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Julia Roberts Has a Better Chance of Winning This War (A Brit military historian opines)
The Guardian ^ | January 19, 2005 | Max Hastings

Posted on 01/19/2005 4:04:47 PM PST by quidnunc

Iraq will surrender its soul to America only when the US army has left

There is growing dissension and dismay in the US armed forces about their prospects of victory in Iraq. The yellow ribbons, lapel pins and yard signs expressing solidarity with the nation's soldiers are still conspicuous around army bases across America. But commanders and soldiers alike are conducting an increasingly anguished debate.

There are four reasons for this. First, many service people are shocked by the incontrovertible evidence that the justifications offered by the Bush administration for invading Iraq — WMD and a link with international terrorism — were false. Second, bitter and painful fighting, notably in the showpiece assault on Falluja, has failed to suppress insurgency. Third, there is deep scepticism about progress in recruiting Iraqis to assume the security burden. Even General David Petraeus, the US airborne general charged with organising Iraq's new forces, is said to be increasingly despondent. And finally, the army and marine corps are acutely aware that they have to sustain the occupation without sufficient troops to control the country effectively.

Having begun the campaign convinced of the justice of their cause and their ability to secure victory, many members of the US military and their families now suspect that the cause may be invalid and the battle unwinnable.

Last autumn in Iraq, a senior British officer told me how impressed he was by the Americans' commitment. "Before I came here," he said, "I doubted whether the US army possessed the moral toughness to see this thing through. I no longer feel that uncertainty. I have not met one American at any level who questions the need to be here, and to finish the job."

That assertion is no longer true. In the minds of many US soldiers looms the spectre of Vietnam. …

-snip-


TOPICS: Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: davidpetraeus; defeatism; globalwhining; hastings; itsaquagmire; maxhastings; petraeus
Defeatism and Fortitude

In the Guardian, Sir Max Hastings is still trying to lose the war in Iraq for the coalition single-handed, this time by talking up 'dissension and dismay' within the US military. He tells us:

'Many service people are shocked by the incontrovertible evidence that the justifications offered by the Bush administration for invading Iraq — WMD and a link with international terrorism — were false.'

Uh-huh. Is that so. Well, what do they — or perhaps that should be, he — think was going in at salman Pak in northern Iraq, for example, where there was a full-sized airplane for terrorists to practise on? It's the word 'incontrovertible' that is so, er, arresting. I have book after book on my shelves with detailed evidence of Saddam's involvement in terrorism — not to mention the Senate committee report which stated that he had been fomenting terrorism against the US throughout the 1990s. No doubt all this is incontrovertibly false, too.

By way of a contrast to Sir Max's relentless defeatism, the admirable Amir Taheri, writing in Arab News, comes up with a fascinating comparison between Iraq and Algeria. In the early 1990s, he says, the Algerian terrorist campaign had two objectives: to destroy the Algerian army, and to prevent the any elections. Almost by instinct, the Algerian leaders stumbled upon the holding of elections as a way of mobilising popular opposition to the terrorists, because while few are willing to kill or to die, most are willing to vote. Taheri writes:

'The turning point came in 1995 when Algeria organized its first ever pluralist and direct presidential election. This is was not an ideal election. The candidates were little known figures that had appeared on the national political scene just a couple of years earlier. None presented a coherent political program. To make matters worse the terrorists did all they could to prevent the election. They burned down voter registration bureaus and murdered election officers. Masked men visited people in their homes and shops to warn that going to the polls would mean death.

'And, yet, when polling day came it quickly became clear that the terrorists, in the forlorn attempt at stopping democracy, were, as in so many other instances in history, facing certain defeat. Never in my many years of journalism had I seen such enthusiasm for an electoral exercise anywhere in the world. The “silent majority” spoke by casting ballots, not because it particularly liked any of the candidates but because it wanted to send a message to the terrorists that they had no place in Algeria.

'That one election did not make Algeria a democracy. Since then Algeria has held three more presidential and a dozen local and parliamentary elections. None of these exercises have been perfect, and Algeria may need dozens more elections, which means many more years, before it can achieve the standards set by mature democracies. But the Algerian exercise has made one fact clear: The only way to defeat terrorism is by involving the mass of the people through elections.

'Algeria was the first major Arab country to be attacked by Islamist terrorists on a large scale. It is also the first to defeat them.'

The obstacles to freedom in Iraq are fearsome, and will doubtless get even worse before the election happens. But this inspiring and moving parallel demonstrates yet again why Sir Max Hastings is so very, and despicably, wrong.

(Melanie Phillips in 'Melanie Phillips Diary', January 19, 2005)
http://www.melaniephillips.com/diary/archives/2005_01.html

1 posted on 01/19/2005 4:04:48 PM PST by quidnunc
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To: quidnunc

This reporter should interview real soldiers. What a crock. I know soldiers who've been there. They are shocked at the media coverage here. Piss on him.


2 posted on 01/19/2005 4:07:25 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: quidnunc; okie01

bookmark and ping


3 posted on 01/19/2005 4:07:29 PM PST by dirtboy (To make a pearl, you must first irritate an oyster)
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To: quidnunc

A British intellectual can always be relied upon to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.


4 posted on 01/19/2005 4:07:46 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: quidnunc

no doubt max hastings wears a 'michael moore pin' on his lapel. what a jackass.


5 posted on 01/19/2005 4:08:21 PM PST by kingattax
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To: quidnunc

They find one or two soldiers who are disgruntled, and it's the entire operation. Screw the brits, screw europe, we saved their ass how many times. Some day, the world will regret how they treated us now.


6 posted on 01/19/2005 4:09:00 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: quidnunc
OH NO!!! Another VIETNAM!!!

There's a new one, LOL!

Arioch7 out.

7 posted on 01/19/2005 4:10:19 PM PST by Arioch7
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To: kingattax

"no doubt max hastings wears a 'michael moore pin' on his lapel."

What does that look like, a gold-plated hoagie with a hammer and sickle on it?


8 posted on 01/19/2005 4:11:53 PM PST by mbennett203 (To re-elect Bush, dominate congress and to hear the lamentations of the Democrats!)
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To: quidnunc

Last autumn in Iraq, a senior British officer told me how impressed he was by the Americans' commitment. "Before I came here," he said, "I doubted whether the US army possessed the moral toughness to see this thing through. I no longer feel that uncertainty. I have not met one American at any level who questions the need to be here, and to finish the job."

That assertion is no longer true.

----

No doubt when it WAS TRUE AND WAS STATED, Guardian was running some other leftie defeatist clap-trap and completely ignoring this statement.

He only brings the 'positive' to use as a foil to say "but ...".



Yeah, maybe this is Vietnam... let's hold off for *at least * 10 years before we conclude that, however.

I say Iraq is ALREADY A VICTORY AND ALREADY A SUCCESS. The interim GOvernment is already more representative and better than most mid-east Governments. And Saddam's threat is no more.


And the loss of 1200 soldiers, while tragic, is hardly comparable to the losses in major wars like Vietnam or Korea, etc.

Melanie Phillips is right.


9 posted on 01/19/2005 4:12:09 PM PST by WOSG (Liberating Iraq - http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com)
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To: quidnunc
This is clearly not the time to abandon the Iraqis. They'll soon be forming their own government. Freedom will be a force multiplier. We'll enable them to have the opportunity to control their destiny and then we'll leave. Max Hastings is wrong. He and bin Laden and many in the MSM may want us to fail so they can say they told us so, but they've never given a damn about the suffering under Saddam, and they've been over -the-top in their criticisms and bias against Bush.
10 posted on 01/19/2005 4:14:04 PM PST by elhombrelibre (Liberalism is proof that intelligent people can ignore as much as the ignorant.)
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To: quidnunc
Which of Julia's movies will make the most guerrillas surrender? America's Sweethearts was so bad it might stiffen their resistance.
11 posted on 01/19/2005 4:16:26 PM PST by x
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To: quidnunc

MORE GUARDIAN GARBAGE. How about Pravda, what's their take on things? Any word from The Daily Worker?


12 posted on 01/19/2005 4:18:50 PM PST by Jhensy
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To: quidnunc

The Guardian's track record of predicting military outcomes hasn't exactly been spot on...


13 posted on 01/19/2005 4:22:24 PM PST by Welsh Rabbit
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To: snarks_when_bored
"A British intellectual can always be relied upon to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory."

But why?

To get insight into my question, look at my tagline.
No, I did not invent it, but it does come from one of the most respected thinkers of all times.

Or as certain Civil War cavalry units put it:

"Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining."

Could it be that he has an agenda?

Shhh. "Socialism."
14 posted on 01/19/2005 4:25:21 PM PST by bill1952 ("All that we do is done with an eye towards something else.")
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To: quidnunc

I am glad things are going pretty well in Iraq. Leave it to the kool aid drinking commie left to take a bleak outlook for hope in Iraq. It is to me an indictment of the success for coalition forces in Iraq. Next stop, Damascus!


15 posted on 01/19/2005 4:28:37 PM PST by bubman
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To: dirtboy
(A Brit military historian opines)

When one sees the above on a headline, I asked myself, "Can Max Hastings and The Guardian be far behind?"

Click on the link...and sure enough.

Hastings is entitled to his opinion, of course. But, then, one might recall that he was also the biographer/apologist for Bomber Harris.

Seemingly, the effort expended in justifying the carpet bombing of German cities because "that was all Bomber Command was capable of" has wasted away Sir Max's intellect to the point of the military historian becoming a pacifist.

16 posted on 01/19/2005 4:32:47 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: quidnunc
I was in Britain when the Afghanistan War started.
The self same Guardian wrote even worse, even more gloomy reports, in which the "mighty" Taliban army was going to clobber the "clueless" Americans.
As usual The Guardian's evil, hate-America wishful thinking and "predictions" collapsed like the British Empire right around them, as the magnificent American Army proceeded to efficiently dispose of the hated Taliban Army very swiftly.

Naturally, I spit on The Guardian and their "predictions", because their "predictions"on wars involving America have been close to 100% wrong.
17 posted on 01/19/2005 4:35:02 PM PST by KwasiOwusu
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To: x

Mary Reilly? LOL LMAO

The worst.


18 posted on 01/19/2005 4:41:35 PM PST by Finalapproach29er (I can no longer discern reality from satire on this site. America is losing her common sense.)
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To: Indy Pendance
I am privileged to have just returned from my second overseas trip in three months to support training U.S. forces who are going "downrange" shortly. Suffice it to say, that the average Freeper holds the media in much higher regard than does the average Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine enroute to these "choice duty stations."

Most of the various ops centers will have CNN, Fox, Skynews, BBC, and others up whenever feeds are available. The running commentary from the troops is devastatingly accurate and funny. Unfortunately, it is so colorful as to be unable to pass muster with the Admin Mods, even with severe editing.
19 posted on 01/19/2005 4:42:45 PM PST by Natty Bumppo@frontier.net (Navy Air!)
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To: Natty Bumppo@frontier.net

I don't, I was being kind per the posting guidelines.


20 posted on 01/19/2005 4:45:33 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: Natty Bumppo@frontier.net

And thank you for your service, and your candid report. My kid is leaving within the next two weeks to Iraq. This is their battalion's second tour.


21 posted on 01/19/2005 4:49:19 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: quidnunc

Biy, this is horrid journalism. Hastings just makes some broad assumptions and goes with it :

"But commanders and soldiers alike are conducting an increasingly anguished debate."

A recent military poll (maybe someone can dig it up) showed that approval for Bush's handling of the war has actually increased slightly amongst troops. That hardly sounds like "growing dissension", unless Hastings meant growing in the other direction.

The only "anguished debate" is amongst the idiotarion left.

What an asshole.


22 posted on 01/19/2005 4:51:06 PM PST by Trippin
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To: Trippin

The last poll I saw was about 70% approval for Bush among the military. My kid told me about the pandemonium that broke out at NTC when they found out Bush won, it was like a New Year party. That's why the left tries to stiffle the military votes.


23 posted on 01/19/2005 4:57:55 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: Trippin

this is horrid journalism....

Let's consider the source. The "guardian" has always been the mouthpiece of the communist/socialist party of England. They have NEVER, I mean NEVER written anything that was in any way supportive of the US.
Wankers!!!


24 posted on 01/19/2005 5:18:31 PM PST by UltraKonservativen (( YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID ))
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To: quidnunc; Alouette

Max Hastings also appears to be viciously antisemitic. A quick Google search turned up another article, which is truly disgusting.

Who is at fault for Islamic terrorism throughout the world? Why, the Jews, of course.

Unsurprisingly, the Guardian was eager to publish both these pieces of trash:


http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1166637,00.html


25 posted on 01/19/2005 5:22:35 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: quidnunc

Dear Max:

Thank you for your opinion. It's only your opinion. We shall see what happens.


26 posted on 01/19/2005 5:47:31 PM PST by popdonnelly
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To: Cicero

Hastings is a major league ***hole.

At one time he was editor of the Telegraph and as right wing as they come, a hang 'em and flog 'em type, that was when Maggie was PM.

He later became editor of the London Evening Standard, while Blair was PM. Before he arrived it was centre right, Hastings turned it into a turd way Blair supporting trash pit.

He has only ever been after a Peerage, or more and was duly given one by Blair, for his craven support.

He has no principles, no spine and little else to commend him.


27 posted on 01/19/2005 5:53:04 PM PST by crazycat
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To: quidnunc

Sir Max has a history of spitting on American Soldiers. He suffers from a serious case of envy, I do believe


28 posted on 01/19/2005 7:38:43 PM PST by gatorbait
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