What Comes After the Retreat??????

Bonnie

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By David Warren

I was rewriting history, while walking along some cold lakeshore the other day. My thought was: if Churchill had only come to power in 1937, Chamberlain would have been installed to replace him in 1940.

Had Churchill been in power, and refused to sign Munich, he would have been blamed for the outbreak of war.

I can just hear the prattle in an English pub, circa 1950. "He pushed Hitler to it! Had it not been for Churchill, Hitler would have been satisfied with the Sudetenland, and England would never have had to surrender. Everything was Churchill's fault!"

Today, everything is Bush's fault.

The Iraq Study Group report, fully released in Washington this week, was ostensibly to the purpose of advancing bipartisan agreement on what to do in Iraq. As the commission's co-chairmen, Jim Baker and Lee Hamilton, wrote near the beginning: "U.S. foreign policy is doomed to failure if it is not supported by a broad, sustained consensus."

Good luck finding it. Mr Baker, in particular -- elected by no one -- instructs the U.S. President to follow not some, but all of the report's 79 recommendations, some of them as fatuous as starting unconditional negotiations with Syria and Iran. This is not a "fruit salad", Mr Baker insists. It is a grand strategy. To my mind, the sort of grand strategy the British Foreign Office came up with in the late 1930s: keep negotiating, keep retreating.

We could see the result of the call for consensus in the gleeful receipt of the report by the Washington media, and other Democrat partisans. For several days, as the Wall Street Journal put it, "reporters ransacked their thesauruses for words to unload pent-up antipathy toward the Bush White House: failed, repudiated, dire, abject failure, deeply pessimistic, disdain, replete with damning details, a rebuke, a remarkable condemnation."

I foolishly ordered a goat curry in a neighbourhood West Indian establishment, Wednesday night. The food was great, but I was exposed to CNN for nearly half an hour: Paula Zahn and company "discussing" Baker-Hamilton, with a dig at Bush every 12th second. Again I'm amazed that, despite the 24/7 broadcast of such garbage, a significant proportion of Americans remain sane.

I am often amazed by feats of human endurance and stamina. The ability of my children to withstand the public school system, for instance. A certain lady's ability to survive Ontario health care. A White House spokesman's ability to spot ways to finesse Baker-Hamilton to Mr Bush's advantage.

It is like this. The U.S., with precious little help from allies, who even in the case of Canada refuse to contribute anything like their fair share to the alliance's military costs, for even the most conventional defensive preparedness on the home front, is fighting our common enemy in Iraq. We could be fighting them elsewhere, but that's where our enemy's efforts are concentrated at the moment -- as opposed to, say, the streets of Europe, or exposed infrastructure in North America. It is an enemy remorselessly committed to our annihilation, held up by proxy wars in the Middle East. We must therefore be committed to eliminating them, now and there, instead of here and later. This will not be done by negotiation and retreat.

And such media as CNN (perhaps unfairly singled out), persist in airing a worldview tantamount to blaming the police for the existence of crime. For the consistent argument of the talking heads amounts to, "We may need more troops on the ground in the short term, but the long-term answer is to get out." Translation: "We may need more cops in the short term, to deal with the mess they've already stirred up, but the long-term solution can only be to let the criminals get on with it."

To the criminal mind, even working on low wattage, the response to that has got to be "wait them out". To the mind I call "gliberal" -- to distinguish it from the honourable and responsible tradition of liberal thought -- the very concept of a mortal enemy is beyond processing. Even those who recall what happened on Sept. 11th, 2001, have persuaded themselves that we are only a target because, after that fact, the U.S. went into Afghanistan and Iraq. The unspoken assumption is, withdraw from there, and our problems are over.

It is true that our problems there will be over, if we withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq. Well, perhaps the advantage of doing so would be, to show the Western electorate what comes next.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/12/talk_the_walk.html
 

manu1959

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let me see.......what comes after retreat.........well i would think that if force A retreats, force B would advance and attempt to get Force A to break and run and then wipe Force A out....after that force B would advance on the posistion of force A carrying the battle to them.
 

no1tovote4

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After a retreat the weakened forces of the occupied nation rebuild and set new plans of attack.
 
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Bonnie

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Looks to me like this "report" essentially says America and it's allies should bend over and kiss terrorist ass. Gee what brilliance!!!!!!
 

jillian

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Looks to me like this "report" essentially says America and it's allies should bend over and kiss terrorist ass. Gee what brilliance!!!!!!
I disagree. It says try to get out of a situation that was screwed up from the getgo with as much dignity as we can manage.

This is Daddy Bush and his buddies trying to get Junior in line and educate him.... not that he'll listen.
 
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Bonnie

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I disagree. It says try to get out of a situation that was screwed up from the getgo with as much dignity as we can manage.

This is Daddy Bush and his buddies trying to get Junior in line and educate him.... not that he'll listen.
I read negotiate with Iran and Syria

Good luck finding it. Mr Baker, in particular -- elected by no one -- instructs the U.S. President to follow not some, but all of the report's 79 recommendations, some of them as fatuous as starting unconditional negotiations with Syria and Iran. This is not a "fruit salad", Mr Baker insists. It is a grand strategy. To my mind, the sort of grand strategy the British Foreign Office came up with in the late 1930s: keep negotiating, keep retreating.
Two terrorists nations???? How is that getting out of a "bad situation with dignity"???
 

jillian

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I read negotiate with Iran and Syria



Two terrorists nations???? How is that getting out of a "bad situation with dignity"???
As Golda Meir said "who should I negotiate with... my friends???".

Seriously, much as they're distasteful, what we've done in the mideast has emboldened and empowered both Iran and Syria. We destabilized Iraq and, by default, gave Iran huge power in the region. Lebanon's nascient democratic government is also now destabilized and the whole enchilada is going to be out of control if we don't start remembring how to engage in diplomacy. Does diplomacy work better if there's a gun in the background? Absolutely. But let's not forget what our real interests are here.
 
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Romeo

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As Golda Meir said "who should I negotiate with... my friends???".

Seriously, much as they're distasteful, what we've done in the mideast has emboldened and empowered both Iran and Syria. We destabilized Iraq and, by default, gave Iran huge power in the region. Lebanon's nascient democratic government is also now destabilized and the whole enchilada is going to be out of control if we don't start remembring how to engage in diplomacy. Does diplomacy work better if there's a gun in the background? Absolutely. But let's not forget what our real interests are here.
Our real interests there are stopping terror cells intent on harming america from operating, and on securing an oil supply. Will empowering Iran or syria in the region achieve either of these? Maybe you believe we have different interests there.
 

jillian

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Our real interests there are stopping terror cells intent on harming america from operating, and on securing an oil supply. Will empowering Iran or syria in the region achieve either of these? Maybe you believe we have different interests there.
I agree those are our interests. I disagree they have been pursued in an appropriate fashion, as do most who are far more expert than I in the region, apparently.

It is in the interests of Iran and Syria to have a destabilized region and, to that end, our actions have given them exactly what they want.
 
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Romeo

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I agree those are our interests. I disagree they have been pursued in an appropriate fashion, as do most who are far more expert than I in the region, apparently.

It is in the interests of Iran and Syria to have a destabilized region and, to that end, our actions have given them exactly what they want.
You know what they want even more? MORE INFLUENCE IN IRAQ. duh.
 
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Bonnie

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As Golda Meir said "who should I negotiate with... my friends???".

Seriously, much as they're distasteful, what we've done in the mideast has emboldened and empowered both Iran and Syria. We destabilized Iraq and, by default, gave Iran huge power in the region. Lebanon's nascient democratic government is also now destabilized and the whole enchilada is going to be out of control if we don't start remembring how to engage in diplomacy. Does diplomacy work better if there's a gun in the background? Absolutely. But let's not forget what our real interests are here.
It's much more in our interest to have Iran remove it's lunatic leader from power sooner than later, I'm not so sure that Iraq had much to do with emboldening him, he was poised for this long ago. Syrian leadership is on shaky ground as well so I would be more inclined to say strong persuasion with a gun in the background. Diplomacy is not an option when dealing with irrational untrustworthy people.
 

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And you think we have any at this point?

And you're ignoring the question of appropriateness of our actions... bang for our buck, etc.
We never had any real influence in Iraq, many who had power and money that fled Iraq propped us up as the great freer of the society. We achieved that pretty easy. Maybe hind sight and this could of happened with the beloved Al Gore or John Kerry was President and don't forget that either is after we nailed Saddam we should have throttled back and made the new Iraqi government stand up and be strong. No matter what Saddam was a threat either today or 10 years from now it is a fact and he needed out of power. But with doing that pandoras box opened to, it was gonna happen.
 
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Romeo

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And you think we have any at this point?

And you're ignoring the question of appropriateness of our actions... bang for our buck, etc.


Well our presence their deters terror cells and hinders their operation. Will Iran and syria stop jihadist from operating there, if they take over? Pinky swear?
 

jillian

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Well our presence their deters terror cells and hinders their operation. Will Iran and syria stop jihadist from operating there, if they take over? Pinky swear?
And why are there terror cells there in the first place? Hint: because we invaded and occupied a sovereign nation and threw it into chaos and gave them a huge training ground.
 

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