Skip to comments.War in Iraq - You've Got It All Wrong
Posted on 07/02/2004 12:58:32 AM PDT by Jaysun
The liberals like to say that Iraq is a failure. Some Conservatives say that things arent going as good as we had hoped. We cant expect liberals to look at the facts and form honest opinions, but the view from some Conservatives is puzzling. Ive grown tired of hearing how terrible things are from the liberals, and Ive grown equally tired of the silence coming from Conservatives in response.
So I ask you, what is it that makes Iraq a failure? What makes Iraq not as good as wed hoped? What makes Iraq anything less than an astounding victory?
Surely one wouldnt argue that Iraq is sub par on the basis of accomplishments. Since the beginning of the war in March 2003, weve vaccinated 3 million children, renovated 2,356 schools, printed and distributed 8.7 million revised math and science textbooks, had generated 4,518 MW of power by October 6 (surpassing the pre-war level of 4,400 MW), put 4.62 trillion new Iraqi dinars into circulation, Captured the former dictator who now stands trial, killed his two sons, helped form and recently present a sovereign nation. Just to name a few. No, it cant be the accomplishments that has everyone frowning.
Perhaps the military operation itself is the source of your disdain? How so? It took eighteen days for our forces to capture the airport and topple the leadership in Baghdad. Twenty three days later, on April 28, some 300 prominent Iraqis met in Baghdad under US direction to convene a national conference to create an interim government. Three days later, on May 1, major combat operations were declared over by President Bush. Its worth noting that combat operations and being attacked by terrorist while handing out food and rebuilding schools are two different things. It is factually accurate to call the military operations in Iraq the most successful in the history of the world.
That leaves one other issue. The casualties. Before we dive into the issue of casualties, Id like to say that I dont wish to trivialize a single military death. All of the men and women that have died during their service to our country, no matter how their deaths came about, are highly respected and honored. During the first year of Operation Iraqi Freedom there were 600 deaths. There were also 48 deaths during that same time period under Operation Enduring Freedom. The total is then 648 total hostile and no hostile casualties during the first year of combat. 648 sounds like a great number, until you observe the past number of Military deaths. Ive made the following table to illustrate the number of deaths caused by accidents or illnesses since 1992.
I made this table by using information obtained from the Department of Defense. You can access this information and more here. The average number of deaths by accident or illness over the above 10 years is 689 per year. During the first year of combat in Iraq the number of deaths was 648. In short, youre more likely to die from an accident or an illness in the military than you are from a quagmire in Iraq.
Id like to know what I missed. Is there something else that makes you feel like Iraq is anything less than an astounding success? If so, let me know. If not, do the right thing and set the ignorant among us straight.
Thanks. The facts are so good that they're almost unbelievable. The truth is, everyone considers Iraq a "failure" because that's all they've heard about it.
Great post. Thank you.
The same thing applies to many countries. Exactly one year after 9/11 I was boots on the ground in Korea. The S. Koreans, in general, from what I saw with my own eyes, love Americans. The entire country came to a stop at the moment (one year later) that the twin towers were hit.
A grizzled old Korean (he was 65, and could work circles around my 40 y.o. butt) took me under his wing, hooked me up with his cousins and brothers, and made sure I got a great deal and had a great time.
Now, on the news, I see that S. Korea hates us. Just because some young hotheads protested.
I feel sure that the old man is still hefting sacks of potatoes and guiding GIs to the best spots in town, and making sure they feel at home in a very foreign country.
I ignore the news. I know that S. Korea is a very good ally. I trust that the media is lying about Iraq as well.
Success yes. Astounding success? Let me think about that.
I don't think it is wise to take fools too seriously. I prefer the divine media of absolute truth.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
I would guess that those that can remember the Korean War have a very different view of America then those who merely know of it what their communist professors teach them in college.
On the other hand, it seems that the French of all generations hate us.
The conditions in Iraq are far enough away from Westerners that the situation here can easily be distorted to fit leftist paradigms and ideology. I live in Shiite Iraq and travel quite often. The reactions of people vary greatly but for the most part the Shiites of south central Iraq are friendly and welcome us wherever we go. In areas where there are hostile elements, usually foreign, we are warned well in advance by.... the Iraqis.
The Iraqis are tribalists. There is actually 3 Iraqs: Kurd, Sunni and Shiite. This makes some events over here hard to understand, particularly when most Western journalists are holed up in Baghdad hotels. Comparing the Sunnis of Fallujah to the Shiites in places like Karbala, Najaf and Hillah is like comparing post-WWII German Nazis to Poles. When the media uses the selected opinions of Sunnis up around Baghdad to represent "what the Iraqis think" it is absurd and insulting to everyone but the Sunnis. They are Saddam's people, a minority yet the ones who comprised the Ba'athists and enforced Saddam's Iraq. I suppose it makes sense the media would consider them the essence of Iraq as tyranny is the only legitimate form of government they respect.
The Marxists got traction in France. How can you debate in a language as vague as french? They even have an Academy for French Language to keep the language 'pure'. Anything more complex than 'navarin' is a puzzle.
Socialist turnip pickers. But I love 'em. And won't buy anything french for my kitchen, and my owner supports my position. ;>)
Huh? Are you responding to my tagline?
If Kerry wins the November election the principal characters of the Democratic Party along with their tools in the Left leaning media, the entertainment industry, and some various book authors will end up taking a luxury cruise together shortly afterward. On their cruise ship they'll undoubtedly unveil a banner that would read: "Mission Accomplished!" Though that would be one photo that the Right would never see.
Well the French generation of the 1770 and 80s is no longer with us, so it doesn't seem that's it...
Nothing. Iraq has been an astounding victory from the day we crossed the border to the day we handed the keys to Saddam's cell to an Arab prime minister. The casualties surprised only about a dozen "journalists" at the NY Times. The rest of us knew it was a war.
90% of the media coverage has been democrat sympathizers looking for a quagmire, and if they didn't find one they were just going to have to invent one.
In this case, the "doctor" has performed flawlessly. At this point, its up to the "patient" to continue with the recovery process. The "doctor" and "staff" need to help with the recovery, but the outlook for a 100% recovery is good.
I wrote to ABC News and asked why Jennings seemed so bummed out the day after sovereignty was handed over to Iraq. Jennings frequently does a horrible job disguising his emotions during radio news updates - particularly when the news makes bush appear in a bad light. I wrote: "Could you tell Peter to keep up his pessimism? Because I actually believe that he's unknowingly turning the voting Independents to the political center.".
Whenever I write these things I always begin: "To the staff member who'll read this first, please pass along my sentiments to..."
If major networks got more letters with this kind of tone (but done tactfully of course) I think that it could make a difference. Heck, even the companies that pitch their products during the commercials could stand to get some correspondence!
I have often wondered about this. Thanks for posting.
Iraq is free now. The Iraqis are happy. The lamestream media never says much about that, but the majority of them are delighted. Thrilled.
They're going to vote next year. In a real election, not some Saddam-induced sham/ego-trip.
648 whatever, how many of our enemies have been killed?That's the number I'm interested in.
I wonder what the number of non-combat-related casualties was for the period during the Iraqi and Afghanistan war efforts. That is, in addition to those lost in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are still other accidents and illnesses claiming lives. I hope the numbers are extremely low. With the high numbers of troops on the ground, it is likely..... If the additional casualty list is small, your point is further supported. If not, we should expect this response from the appeasers.
You cannot make this comparison. The 10 year average is for the ENTIRE military (1.3 million). The number of deaths in Iraq is out of 125,000 troops. A person stationed in Grand Forks, ND has zero chance of being a combat fatality.
I'm also willing to bet that the accident rate in Iraq is greater than the 10 year average as well.
That may be splitting hairs. But combat situations should never be compared to peacetime situations. I also believe comparisons like this trivializes the sacrifices of our people in combat, regardless of the intent.
The only reason to go to war is because it is the right thing to do. How the war is played out has nothing to do with it. Once the decision is made, the war must be seen through to victory. Because in the end, how well we succeed in warfare is not justification for the war itself. For example, we didn't know how WW2 was going to turn out but we entered it because it was the right thing to do. The casualty rate was higher than this Iraq war but WW2 was still a resounding success.
I don't mean to be harsh. I'm trying to make your argument stronger.
"I would guess that those that can remember the Korean War have a very different view of America then those who merely know of it what their communist professors teach them in college.
On the other hand, it seems that the French of all generations hate us."
Exactly. I'm not military myself but I have been to S. Korea "boots on the ground". My brother was C.O. of a scout platoon at Camp Hovey-Casey 1994-1997 and I visited him there in 1996.
It's exactly as you say -- the old ones remember and love Americans. The young ones under the sway of commie professors are anti-American, preaching "reunification, reunification, reunification" at all costs, completely ignorant of the difference between a thriving capitalist democracy and a famine-stricken dictatorship.
I was witness to a protest that almost turned into a riot just outside the Camp Casey gate that closed the gate down. Only ROK riot cops lined up 3 deep prevented violence. I only got a brief glimpse of the "protesters" but I didn't see one gray hair among them...
During 2003, the number of homicides in Chicago was 599, in New York City 596, in Los Angeles 505, in Detroit 361, in Philadelphia 347, in Baltimore 271, in Houston 276, and in Washington 247. That makes 3,002 murders in only eight cities.
Is that a better perspective for you? Novak expounds:
The war in Iraq has been one of the noblest and brightest pages in American history. At enormous risk to ourselves, and at great cost, our troops have liberated an entire people from one of the most sadistic despots in history. In the near future, they will leave behind a far better infrastructure (better schools, hospitals and clinics, power grids, telephone systems, oil technology, television, etc.) than has heretofore existed in Iraq, a greater array of free media, and the first beginnings of a new form of republican government not before experienced on the ancient soil hallowed by Hammurabi. The fear Saddam struck in the hearts of his neighbors, and the instability he promoted in the region, will be no more.
Those who died in that cause have given an unforgettable gift to the Iraqi people, which will be remembered with gratitude for generations to come. Their extraordinary achievements have burnished the glory of our nation, and their fame will long outlive the early opposition of those compromised by their past dealings with Saddam. The rich rewards raked in from Saddam's network of international bribery are only now being revealed. The predictions of those who marched against the war about massive streams of refugees, hunger, the unleashing of weapons of mass destruction, immense domestic destruction, huge uprisings in "the Arab street," etc. have been proved false.
The international terrorist groups led by al Qaeda have now been deprived of their bases in Afghanistan, their potential source of chemical and biological agents in Iraq, their support from Libya, their unrestricted access to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and the reliability of their hitherto totally safe assistance from Iran and Syria. All this our honored dead have won for us. Their families deserve to glory in it for generations.
"Greater love no man hath," the Good Book tells us, "than that he lay down his life for his friends." This, too, they have done for their fellow citizens. They have saved the cause of liberty from the shame of appeasing terror. They have protected their homeland and countrymen.
One day it will be a great boast for their children: "My father fought in Iraqi Freedom. He altered the course of history." And so they will be remembered by grandchildren, so long as memory lives.
We Americans need to face the fact that we will always be loathed and hated by those who cannot possibly measure up to us.
For the same reason, many unsuccessful and jealous people hate corporate giants like Microsoft, Wal-Mart and McDonalds. They hate them for doing what they do so well and efficiently that they drive lesser competitors out of business.
Of course, our capitalist system rewards those who perform well in the marketplace. But they are quick to punish those who get complacent and "lose their edge." Hence, witness the rapid decline of such corporations as K-Mart, Eastern Airlines and Wang Computers.
Nations get complacent and "lose their edge" as well. France is one of them. The Roman Empire is another if you want to go back a few thousand years.
As it is, as it was and as it always shall be. Winners rule and losers drool.
"We Americans need to face the fact that we will always be loathed and hated by those who cannot possibly measure up to us."
I disagree in part because they CAN measure up to us if they're willing to make the necessary changes. That's what makes it so sad and frustrating. Japan measures up to us to a some degree, at least economically; and they could militarily if they wanted to, but for better or worse they trust us to protect them.
America is a nation not only of laws and ideals but of IDEAS, not of ubermen who have some sort of special DNA that allows us to do things no-one else can. ANY nation that pursues this same combination of ideals and ideas will meet with the very same type and degree of success.
And that's what pisses me off about France & Co. If they really couldn't help it, it would be unfair for us to be angry with them.
'648 whatever, how many of our enemies have been killed?That's the number I'm interested in.'
Quite difficult to find out. Most reliable looking figures I can find are from infoshout - a leftist source but the methodolgy of the facts they put out look like we can take them at face value.
Anyway: 4,895 to 6,370 Iraqi MILITARY deaths, and somewhere between 9451 and 11333 (the lowest and highest possible numbers for the counting methods used) civillian deaths.
Britain has lost 59 men by the way.
None of these figures include survived injuries. One of the consequences of improvements in medicine and body armour is that people are surviving traumatic episodes that would previously be fatal. The downside of this is that we will see proportionaly more seriously, long term wounded than has been the case in earlier wars. Apparently 4000 US tropps have been taken from Irag for treatment during the course of the war (according the Chanel 4 news in the UK) though I am suspicious of this figure as that would make the casualty figure around 3% which intuitivley sounds on the high side.
Good find and good reporting. Something the lame stream media just doesn't understand anymore. If it is NOT on their agenda it doesn't get reported. The ONLY conclusion that can be drawn from the losses we have taken in Iraq is "MIRACULOUS". Any student in the history of warfare, and any veteran of any war will agree.
check a police report in a city with a military base
"And that's what pisses me off about France & Co. If they really couldn't help it, it would be unfair for us to be angry with them."
Those people don't eat their beef rare, they gush it down "black and blue", seared about 5 seconds per side. That is as good a mark of degeneracy as any, oops, IMO.
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