Friday, June 03, 2005
Back before the election I wrote a commentary on Daniel Drezner’s website regarding what I thought of as the short-sightedness of GWB opponents. Dear Mr. Drezner, I can't help but think that critics of GWB's foreign policy tend to focus on minor setbacks and failures at the expense of the big picture: Before 9-11 it looked as if sanctions against the Iraqi regime could not be sustained indefinitely. Our French, Russian and Chinese "allies" were pushing to end them and "human rights" groups were assailing the hardship it caused the Iraqi people. After 9-11, GWB had the choice of appearing to the world as weak in the face of Islamic assault or the opposite and in the process getting rid of the expense and trouble of maintaining forever our air patrols of northern and southern no-fly zones. WMD or not, the cost of not acting would have been incalculable in terms of American prestige and safety. We should also remember the state of the economy by 9-11: We had a recession which started before GWB took office, the tech bubble burst, corporate malfeasance was finally being brought to light and of course there was the freshly made pile of rubble smoking in Manhattan. Where are we now? 5 quarters in a row of excellent average growth and very strong employment numbers. dbp Posted by David Pecchia, October 15, 2004 05:38 PM I thought that I was being clear: Looting at a museum may be a horrible thing, but compared with the liberation of nations containing more than 50 million people, rather insignificant. But still I got this kind of response to my letter… Note: I left out the first part of this letter as it was just a quote from my letter. First, don't forget all of the US companies that were pushing to end the sanctions. Anyway, the big picture is that Bush's record on national security is pretty weak. He let the bad guys go in Afghanistan. That's not a minor detail, that's a huge one. We had the opportunity to take bin Laden and much of the Al Qaeda leadership out over there, but Bush let them all get away. He took our special forces out and diverted them to Iraq BEFORE Congress had even started to talk about giving Bush authorization for war. He replaced them with Spanish-speaking anti-drug agents. Terrible failure. In Iraq, he rushed us in with no strategy to win the peace. He's managed it terribly. And by all reports, terrorist recruiting has gone through the roof as a result. That's making us less safe. These aren't minor details, they're huge. Posted by Zip, October 15, 2004 05:59 PM Let us dissect this bit by bit: First, don't forget all of the US companies that were pushing to end the sanctions. Okay, which US companies? And if there were some, so what? My point was that sanctions could not be sustained forever and that they brought hardship to Iraqi people. Is the correspondent trying to attack US corporations as immoral? Or is he trying to defend the position of nations like France and Russia? He let the bad guys go in Afghanistan. That's not a minor detail, that's a huge one. We had the opportunity to take bin Laden and much of the Al Qaeda leadership out over there, but Bush let them all get away. He took our special forces out and diverted them to Iraq BEFORE Congress had even started to talk about giving Bush authorization for war. He replaced them with Spanish-speaking anti-drug agents. Terrible failure. GWB deprived Al Qaeda the use of Afghanistan as a safe haven and base of operations. This action was opposed by the left in the USA who predicted that it would be a replay of Vietnam. The Christian Science Monitor has a good report of how Bin Laden got away: http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0304/p01s03-wosc.html The story—which takes place after the operation, is dated March 4th 2002. According to Wikipedia, the USA invaded Iraq March 20th 2003. Is it just me? Or does it seem fanciful to state that we moved special forces from Afghanistan to Iraq more than a year before we invaded that country! Again, the big picture: Freed a whole country, denied use of said country to enemy—of course it is a total failure since some of the enemy got away. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_invasion_of_Iraq In Iraq, he rushed us in with no strategy to win the peace. He's managed it terribly. And by all reports, terrorist recruiting has gone through the roof as a result. That's making us less safe. There is a lot of just mush here, but I will try and make something of it… Supposedly the war has been managed terribly. Well then, why didn’t all the bad things the left said would happen actually happen? · There were not 100’s of thousands of refugees · There was not massive oil well fires · Saddam did not use WMD on our troops—yes, yes the left likes to forget that even they believed in WMD before the war and used it as a reason to avoid war. · Baghdad was not Stalingrad and we did not loose the tens of thousands of troops predicted by the left. There are no firm numbers available on terrorist recruitment, but let us just concede for the sake of argument that recruitment is up. I don’t think I am alone in the bias that I would rather have Saudi, Jordanian and Syrian terrorists going to Iraq to be killed by our troops and killed by allied Iraqi troops, than coming here to kill us! Again, big picture: The only nation to openly defy us in our anti-terror campaign has been régime-changed by US Force. We can not count on ever being loved by other nations, but by-God we can make sure that we are feared! And there is some value in that.