Skip to comments.Bush's Trumanesque moment
Posted on 06/28/2008 5:00:09 AM PDT by Clive
The weekly Economist for June 12 placed Iraq on its cover once again. The timing of the cover story was significant. Nine days earlier the Democrats had settled on their presidential nominee -- Barack Hussein Obama -- for the November election.
The Iraq story had been downgraded by the mainstream media when the Democratic primary contest intensified and when the good news from Iraq, according to the Economist, was "far better than it was only a few months ago."
The good news from Iraq is indeed far better than merely good. The military surge President George W. Bush ordered in January 2007 under the command of Gen. David Petraeus has worked according to plan in restoring sufficient normalcy to Iraq, which had been keeling over in sectarian-ethnic violence and al-Qaida driven insurgency.
Against the prevailing consensus in Washington that found expression in the December 2006 report of the Iraq Study Group (ISG) -- a bipartisan commission co-chaired by former Republican secretary of state James A. Baker and former Democrat congressman Lee H. Hamilton -- Bush decided to put more troops on the ground to defeat the insurgency and strengthen the hands of the Iraqi government. The main recommendation of the ISG was phased military withdrawal from Iraq, and diplomatic engagement with Iran and Syria. This was a smokescreen for conceding Iraq as lost to the mayhem of the insurgency worsened by the Sunni-Shia sectarian conflict.
In Washington the Democrats had invested in defeat. They couldn't have cared less what defeat meant for Iraqis so long as it brought humiliation for Bush.
Through all of 2006 the news from Iraq was ugly. It was against this background that Democrats, in midterm elections, took control of Congress promising an end to the war in Iraq.
But the decision of Bush to send more troops under the command of Petraeus displayed his Trumanesque character by refusing counsel for withdrawal despite his loss of domestic support.
The good news from Iraq, as the Economist reports, is the guns have begun to fall silent. American and Iraqi casualties are down sharply, the sectarian-ethnic conflict is mostly over, al-Qaida insurgents are on the run as Sunni Iraqis have turned against them, and the government of Iraqi Prime
Minister Nuri al-Maliki has increased confidence as Iraqi soldiers drove the Shia militia of Muqtada al-Sadr out of the port city of Basra and slums of Sadr City in the capital area of Baghdad.
An Iraq led by an elected government capable of securing its own interests invariably will alter the balance in favour of moderation in the hugely important Persian Gulf region. The effects of a strong and stable Iraq will be enormously positive globally. This will be the Bush legacy, as democratic Korea remains that of Truman, should the good news from Iraq become irreversible with the support of American troops.
The Iraq story, moreover, reveals that all the liberal left talk of solidarity with the poor and the oppressed of Third World countries is merely the empty noise of do-nothing hypocrites when confronted with blood thirsty thugs.
They will decry a Bush rather than advance the freedom of those beaten down by despots.
Iraqis bear witness to this ugly truth and that is why good news from Iraq goes mostly unreported.
Seems like the liberal world is not being fair minded./sarc
The administration of this has been terribly wrong in Iraq, at least where the US military is handling things. The military folks handling this stuff are soldiers, not contractors, and they evidently get no training in contract administration, etc. Lots of money is being handed out, and I suspect many of those dollars are going into funding the fight against us!
A few examples from what my brother found...
He received a request from a village for a wad-o-dough (your $$$ and mine) to paint their town building(s). My brother said it was a lot of money, and rather than give the cash, he could provide paint and brushes for them to do it (they were sitting around 'unemployed'). "Oh, no, they said...we need cash...we have to hire painters from another village, since we don't know how to paint..." My brother said that he'd show them himself how to paint, but suddenly the need for painting wasn't so urgent!This is what we need in my country. These are things our own blacksmiths could make and our people can easily use and repair.
He often received requests for funding on projects that we'd already funded multiple times. The Iraqis were intentionally sabotaging things so they could get the $$$ to do repairs. Rather than maintain something, they benefited more by abusing the infrastructure, since they would get more $$$.
Yes, that's a classic story that's often used as an example. If encountered it myself in some minor volunteer consulting I've done...I once spec'd out some low-maintenance pumps for a water-supply project in Africa, but found that they were replaced by higher-tech ones...nice equipment, but I knew it wouldn't last without trained maintenace folks. Why? Because the latter company was a sponsor of this. And I can't wholly fault the administrators for having to go where they were being given equipment, but it sure isn't the best situation.
Perfect. If only the RNC and ole John would tap into this resentment of the MSM, resentment of the socialist pacifism of The Messiah, resentment of the fact that English should be our national language, resentment over the fact that our borders are sieves for illegals, they might actually stop the bleeding in Congressional elections.
If things had been botched as badly as was done for Iraq, we'd have landed at Normandy, liberated Paris, and then been pushed back into the sea before having to "surge" onto the Continent again.
Of course there are setbacks, but we should expect the lesson to be learned a bit more quickly, especially when even Marine generals and liberals alike were pointing out how the mission had changed--and being slapped down for it.
Thank goodness the President was strong enough to buck the onslaught from the media, and even some conservatives, to do what he knew was the right thing.
It's easy to "to the right thing" with other peoples' money. Typical liberal M.O..
I agree!! They still have time, although not very much.
Very short term thinking. Yes, it cost a lot, and treasure is the least of it. What you and many others, including just about all libdims, fail to grasp is what leaving Saddam in power in the ME would have eventually cost us. Likewise you fail to grasp the long term benefits a stable Iraq will bring to us and the rest of the world. I know, those can’t be measured, but only a BDS suffering fool can’t see these ramifications of a successful conclusion to Iraq. Heck, even a far left rag like the Toronto Star gets this. Or did you not bother to read the article?
um, Sun not Star...
Oh Gawd, you’re Nodrog, aren’t you? I thought I recognized that sanctimonious pseudo-intellectual tone. We got a TROLL of the first order here, freepers.
BTW, Nodrog, your example disproves you thesis, namely that soldiers cannot handle oversight of the small projects because they allegedly aren’t trained. First, seems the soldier did just fine at turning down bogus requests. Second, they are trained. The army trains its people on just about everything they do. Sheesh.
I defy anyone to say we are not a lot better off and safer with Hussein and his sons dead, his wmd factories and ambitions destroyed, and Al-Qaeda shattered and in bad reputation in much of the Arab world. Plus we now have the first functioning, democratic Arab state. Shaky or not, it’s the first. That is the truth.
The housing bubble is about 10 times greater (10 trillion dollars plus) than the cost of the Iraq war. You aren’t even close.
The Iraq war cost the average taxpayer about $1400 a year. Pretty cheap all things considered.
To get funding for the war effort Bush had to deal with pork barreling spending in the House and Senate.
Pelosi has interest in pork barreling spending.
Some defense contracts are in San Francisco.
Teddy Kennedy has interest in pork barreling spending.
Some of our body armor comes from Massachusetts.
All around the country every congressman and senator wanted some that pork.
That has to be one of the most asinine statements anyone has ever made on FreeRepublic.
I guess a fairer statement would have involved the pushback occurring even after taking Berlin.
What an odd diety to whom you pray!
I thought I recognized that sanctimonious pseudo-intellectual tone.
You thinking isn't very accurate...thanks for the warning.
We got a TROLL of the first order here, freepers.
Hmmm...I didn't troll for your comment. Would have been fine if you hadn't responded at all.
Oh, I get it...you're dyslexic, and Nodrog seems a bit like Gondring. Well, note that Nodrog is Gordon backwards, and Gondring backwards would be Gnirdnog. Are you RatYip by any chance?
Plus, I believe Nodrog was a member of LGF, no? Well, I'm not over there...and I am not Nodrog.
So I have UNDERestimated the cost of the Iraq war...yes...but adding in the costs from extra pork-barrel spendig would be difficult to track. Besides, it’s not like President Bush was maintaining any fiscal restraint before that point!
It should of been important for those Republicans in the House and Senate to show some restraint too.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.