Liberal blogs “silent” about Iraq elections?

So says a non-liberal blogger, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s true. Let me just say why it’s true for me (as I can only speak for myself).

There comes a point when all you can feel about Iraq is cynicism and pessimism. It will take more than a feel-good photo-op to turn that around, especially after we’ve seen so many in the past few years. Remember the big “handover,” which so many were touting as the dawn of a new day for Iraq? Remember the ecstasy over the last election, when the photos of the purple-fingered Iraqis were touted as prof of some sort of triumph? Remember how many times we were told victory was “around the corner,” freedom was “on the march” and the “backbone of the insurgency” was broken? (Hell, anyone remember the Mission Accomplished banner?)

Each cause for buoyant optimism was soon (very soon) quashed by more death and more mayhem. Today it might be different; perhaps today really is the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the dawn of a new day. But remember, this whole exercise was not about giving people the right to vote. It was about protecting America from terrorism. Every step of the way, we’ve been lied to and disappointed, made increasingly cynical and skeptical. The cause for the war morphed from protection against imaginary mushroom clouds and looming stockpiles to one of liberty and freedom. Those are lofty ideals and beautiful things, but America doesn’t go to war to give people the right to vote. If we did, we’d have invaded China and North Korea and Saudi Arabia long ago.

So I see nothing to get very excited about today. Especially because I believe Iraq is moving ever-closer to Iran, a far more insidious, powerful and influential threat to our security than Iraq ever was. I believe we’ll most likely see Iraq become an Iran-style theocracy dedicated to our destruction. Either that, or things will soon descend once more into chaos. So what we’re seeing today is pure window dressing on a much uglier scene. Remember, the election is only taking place because we’ve shut down Baghdad and put it under what amounts to total martial law.

I really don’t want to be cynical or defeatist. There was a time when I cautiously believed we could pull this off, when I stupidly thought we couldn’t have embarked on such a difficult mission without the most painstaking planning, without a fool-proof plan for a seamless transition. I was more convinced than ever when we won so easily, and when we were greeted briefly as liberators by so many. Now I have no optimism or hope left at all. Yes, so many people went to vote, yes, they do thirst for freedom. But the war will resume tomorrow, and the process of democratization will stall and fail because it has too many enemies. While it is inspiring to see so many Iraqis excited at the opportunity to vote, it only adds to the heartache in knowing we sabotaged any possibility of democracy actually working and surviving.

So don’t expect a lot of jubilation from the left, not even from those who initially supported the war like Mark Kleiman, Kevin Drum, Josh Marshall, etc. Step by step, Bush destroyed our confidence and our hope, rewarding failure, refusing to acknowledge massive fuck-ups and always trying to spin a dismal situation into something it wasn’t. The knee-jerk Bush response, putting lipstick on the pig, doesn’t work anymore. The best we can do is try to slip out as quickly and quietly as possible, call it a “victory” and watch from afar as it all comes collapsing down on the poor Iraqi people we went in to save.

The Discussion: 48 Comments

You know, as opposed to the war as I was, and as fatalistic as I am about our chances of achieving anything of lasting good in Iraq, I do try to be optimistic about these things.

I do think it’s a mistake to keep looking for the big moment; the inflection point; the thing that turns it all around. If this crazy adventure (in the military sense) does fly, we’ll only ever be able to decide in retrospect where the tide started to turn. More likely success, if it is ever achieved, will be on the back of a thousand little things like – not getting caught torturing people; getting the power running; improving security in key areas; ensuring a lasting political framework that won’t disintegrate; demonstrating some economic progress; etc.

But good for the Iraqis. Good for them for coming out and voting despite truck bombs and vest bombs and execution-style shootings and all the other daily heartbreaks. Good for those who didn’t write the whole thing off as a cynical, American PR effort. Good for all the ones who think that their votes matter and they can start to chart the destiny of their own country.

If it all falls apart, and Iraq turns into Kurdistan, a province of Iran and a destitute, angry breeding ground for disposessed, Sunni militants, at least some of them will have given it a crack.

Ultimately, though, even a successful election and a fairly representative government are just the first step. They can descend into corruption or factional infighting, or fiddle while the country disintegrates into civil war, for all we know. They might just provide an excuse for the US to get out by “requesting our departure” and allow us to wash our hands of the consequences.

Or, maybe, they’ll stick. So I do *try* to be optimistic, even though, in my heart, I expect to be disappointed. The consequences of failure will be so awful, that I find I have to root for some kind of progress.

December 16, 2005 @ 2:42 am | Comment

I definitely agree with you about the “Good for the Iraqis.” I really do feel inspired by their optimism. But, as i said, that only makes the reality even more depressing for me. If we had been more straightforward all along and if we’d planned better, we really might have been able to give them the infrastructure for a functional democracy. But we made too many enemies and killed too many innocents and lost too many friends along the way. I simply cannot be optimistic.

December 16, 2005 @ 3:44 am | Comment

“But we made too many enemies and killed too many innocents and lost too many friends along the way. I simply cannot be optimistic.”

Just something you might want to keep in mind: It is the above kind of comment that makes me a bit queasy in the stomach. You have said time and time again that China continually commits such and such atrocities, that X, Y, or Z in China is terribly wrong, that President Hu keeps proving you wrong after years……yet you are still optimistic about China. People are not dying left and right in China it’s true. But after so much difficulty for so long (they have had a lot of shit going on there for….what is it….150 years?) you are optimistic. After thousands of coal miners die you are optimistic. After riots break out, you are optimistic. But because of some major stumbling on the part of the US for 2 years, you claim to have no optimism left for Iraq (framing it in a bunch of “we” that also seems to indicate a lack of optimism for the US).

Now you can rationalize this any way you like, but it is interesting how China has an endless store of optimism and there is none for the US/Iraq.

December 16, 2005 @ 5:21 am | Comment

I am optimistic about post-Bush America. I can’t be optimistic about Iraq anymore; I once really was. I am not optimistic about the CCP, far from it (very). But I am optimistic for China. The CCP is too insignificant, too vile to keep such a great people down forever.

December 16, 2005 @ 6:07 am | Comment

It was discussed in comments at The Eschaton ‘cuz trolls would show up and think the elections were some sort of triumphalism. It just caused me to go look at the election mechanism.

All I have to say is that I thought Hong Kong has a convoluted mechanism to elect LegCo, but that’s relatively straight forward compared to Iraq.

Same closed list, proportional voting as Hong Kong for some of the seats, which was installed by the CCP to deny the Democratic Party Hong Kong a repeat of their 17 for 20 performance pre-1997.

But the allocation per province/municipality in Iraq is based not on population, but on registered voters. So the Iraqi Legislature cannot be democratic or representative, no matter what happens in the vote.

Then there are the compensatory seats which are divied up under some sort of obscure formula to reward people who didn’t fare well at the provincial level, which just sounds like a way of handing seats to the US-backed repatriates like Allawi, who haven’t lived in Iraq long enough to gain much local support.

December 16, 2005 @ 6:39 am | Comment

What a coincidence: Yesterday I bought the newest South Park DVDs, including the episode where the boys have to vote on a new school mascot, and their choice is between
“Douche” and “Shit-Sandwich”.

December 16, 2005 @ 7:40 am | Comment

The elections are cause for another wave of right-wing triumphalism. Certainly not the first and probably not the last. I think the American public is not buying it anymore and will take a wait-and-see attitude.

I think most folks who would like to see the war over are hopeful that this really is the beginning of the end of the war in Iraq. It’s also positive to see a free election in the Middle East. How will it work out? We don’t know and neither do right-wing shouters.

It’s just much easier to be quietly optimistic than engage in the jinogistic “debate” with the Bushbots.

December 16, 2005 @ 7:56 am | Comment

Richard, as much as I’d like to agree with you, to my understanding CCP is not insignificant at all. I’m not sure most people in mainland China perceive the CCP and China as two different entities. It’s just “the government” to them, as opposed to the reality of it being a relic of the most successful soviet foreign policy implementation in history. To maintain control, CCP now uses nationalism to maintain its legitimacy – and it seems to be affecting the masses as intended. (my best guess)

This is a quote in the FT last week from a professor of International Studies at a major Shanghai (or Beijing – I forget) university.

โ€œFor Japan, China has always been backward and weak โ€“ they [Japanese] cannot accept the reality that China will again be superior to Japan and more powerful on all fronts.โ€

If an “academic” talks this way, think of what the average joe in mainland China (who’s been pounded with propaganda since birth) would think? Definitely not harmonious world state of mind. Kind of like everyone in the US all of a sudden subscribing to Wolfowitz.

I haven’t done any research, but I would guess the vast majority of mainland Chinese still thing Mao’s 7 parts right and 3 parts wrong, as opposed to “Stalin-like” or “Hitler-like”. Definitely not in the reality-based real of perception.

December 16, 2005 @ 9:28 am | Comment

Check out the booman tribune, a progressive blog that also regularly features Pat Lang (a former military officer and Mideast specialist) and Larry Johnson (ex- CIA). There’s quite a lot of discussion and open threads about Iraq, including the elections. You have to register to comment at Booman, which keeps the trolls down. But there’s a pretty wide range of opinion about issues, though by and large, the Iraq war is seen as one of the great strategic – and moral – blunders in American history.

December 16, 2005 @ 10:26 am | Comment

I’ll go ahead and re-post my two cents from the thread below (I went into creative vaporlock when faced with the caption contest).

Well, it’s too soon to say what the outcome of this election will be – I do tend to believe the reports of a high voter turn-out, though.

I don’t want to see Iraqis suffer any more than they already have. I hope things improve there, and quickly.

My guess is that there will continue to be a relatively open, fairly functional defacto “Kurdistan” in the north, a Shi’ite theocracy increasingly allied with Iran in the south, and an impoverished, resentful Sunni band in the middle.

Whatever does end up happening, I still won’t support the proposition that a US invasion was in any way necessary or beneficial to our national security. I don’t believe it was worth the lives of our soldiers, and the lives of 30,000 plus Iraqi civilians.

(yes, I know. Saddam was bad. We can have that discussion some other time).

And every time I read about the lagging reconstruction in the Gulf Coast, I think about what we could be doing with the billions and billions of dollars spent on the war.

Oh, and as a p.s…if the Bush administration had been honest about their reasons for invading Iraq…if they’d properly planned for the occupation…if, if, if…

Well, we’d be having a different discussion here. But I would bet that the large majority of the American people would not have supported the war on those grounds. And I think the idea that America should be in the business of invading other countries that aren’t threatening us to force regime change is an example of imperial hubris at its worst. Things like that don’t tend to work very well. Hubris, you know…

December 16, 2005 @ 10:29 am | Comment

“without a fool-proof plan for a seamless transition”

Well, that’s just silly. When in history has anyone had a fool-proof plan for a major undertaking?

If you had been forecasting, several years ago, how long it would take to oust a brutal dictator and then to take the country that he had terrorized and turn it into a peaceful, functioning democracy, what would you have said? 3 weeks? 3 months? Surely at least 3 years, if not more. It would take time, even without outside elements doing everything in their power to sabotoge the effort.

You listed all of the points at which there has been progress along the way, but then wrote them all off because none was a magic quick fix that made everything perfect overnight. What will it take for you to be convinced that there has been progress?

The Iraqi people believe that their lives are getting better – what do you know that they don’t know about their own lives?

Building a country is hard, but the Iraqis want to try, and we’re helping them.

December 16, 2005 @ 10:45 am | Comment

Ann, please. The Bush administration was repeatedly told that they would need more boots on the ground to establish order in the wake of an invasion. They were told that the war would cost upwards of $100 billion dollars. They were told dispanding the Iraqi army would be a terrible mistake. They fired or prematurely retired anyone in a position of authority who questioned their plans. Because, in the immortal words of Donald Rumsfeld, “stuff happens.”

We are not asking for perfection here, but some semblance of competence would have avoided a hell of a lot of death, destruction and sorrow.

And are you really claiming that Iraq is currently a “peaceful, functioning democracy”? Do you watch anything other than Fox news? This flies in the face of, well, you know, that pesky thing we call “reality.” How many attacks have we seen over the last few months? This is your definition of “peace”?

Here’s hoping that this election does put Iraq on the path to better days (and I won’t restate my opinions from above in the thread here). But it’s way too early to claim “Mission Accomplished.” We’ve seen that banner before, 2,000 American soldiers deaths’ ago…

December 16, 2005 @ 11:36 am | Comment

Lisa,

Sorry you went into “a creative vapor lock” in the caption contest.

But come on, alright, that thread got skewed into hetero-male ways. But you can get around it, can’t you? I mean, haven’t you EVER had the hots for a dark Jewish Prince? ๐Ÿ™‚

Hell, my WASP grandmother had the hots for a BLONDE Jewish Prince, and she married him. So, it ought to be easy for a smart lady to imagine, and to translate, what we straight guys say about black-haired Jewish Princesses! ๐Ÿ™‚

(But seriously, I agree with all the serious things you said about the Iraq war, and I have nothing to add to what you said. And that’s rare for me, so, you really said it all….)

December 16, 2005 @ 11:46 am | Comment

Ah, and a bit more seriously:

My old mentor (now 81 years old) from Europe, has written in one of his most recent books:

“Our task now is not to make the world safe for democracy. Our task is to find ways to make democracy safe for the world.”

Because, you know, Hitler was democractically elected. And so was Ron Reagan. (Although, GW Bush was not.)

December 16, 2005 @ 11:49 am | Comment

Hmmm, I’ll have to think about all this, Ivan!

(I have this problem of, um, sometimes going for the big, semi-jock looking guys…pheremones vs. sense, I’m afraid…)

December 16, 2005 @ 12:12 pm | Comment

“If you had been forecasting, several years ago, how long it would take to oust a brutal dictator and then to take the country that he had terrorized and turn it into a peaceful, functioning democracy, what would you have said? 3 weeks? 3 months? Surely at least 3 years, if not more. ”

And we’re still waiting. The one-day ceasefire has already been broken. This second election of hand-picked candidates was held because Sunnis boycotted the first one out of fear or protest. Peaceful, functioning democracy? None of the above.

December 16, 2005 @ 12:39 pm | Comment

Lisa:

Jewish men are not jock types. They just have a lot of hair. ๐Ÿ™‚

December 16, 2005 @ 3:24 pm | Comment

“We interrupt this thread to bring you a moment of levity. Now, back to the serious stuff…”

December 16, 2005 @ 3:25 pm | Comment

Lisa, this IS serious!

ALL of my girlfriends were, and are, serious!

And, truth be told, my Israeli Soldier girlfriend WAS a “jock type!” GRRR!
๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, the things she could do with an Uzi……(but seriously, she was hot….. ๐Ÿ™‚

December 16, 2005 @ 3:28 pm | Comment

…and my Israeli girlfriend used to cook SHARK for me. Although, actually, it was always horrible and I never ate it. Oh, but who cares?

“I will never surrender! Never again! Now you are MY prisoner, Goyische Boy!” Ahhhh! ๐Ÿ™‚

December 16, 2005 @ 3:33 pm | Comment

I didn’t blog on Iraq much because, frankly, I don’t like contemplating that criminal stupidty that is consuming both Iraq and my country. It’s just too painful for me to look at any more. I literally push it from my mind.

Another problem is that I cannot contemplate Iraq without a deep, explosive, killing anger. And I don’t like feeling angry and hateful.

Finally. What was there to say? Fussell writes on this issue in the best book on WWII, Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War when he notes that while WWI created an outpouring of poetry and novels outraged with the war, but the far worse horror of WWII resulted only in ….. silence. I think there is a lot of the same problem. Here the analogue is Vietnam and Iraq — the first produced a steady stream of movies, art, and literature, the second……nada.

Michael

December 16, 2005 @ 8:08 pm | Comment

Ann: “Well, that’s just silly. When in history has anyone had a fool-proof plan for a major undertaking?”

Hitler had a foolproof plan for taking Western Europe, and it went like clockwork.

Anyway, we were promised there was a foolproof plan! Remember the flowers and chocolates line? The stuff about a shining democracy being set up shortly after Saddam’s fall? The fact (ha!) that it would all be paid for by Iraqi oil? That we needed few boots on the ground because high-tech weapons would secure the country? Alas, how soon we forget! Sure, nthing can be foreseen, but we were so off base, so self-deluded that it took us more than two years and huge costs just to secure the 8-mile strip from Baghdad to the airport! And nothing has improved militarily. The death tolls are higher now than they were during the invasion, and iraq is anything but peaceful. LGF Watch chronicles below just how peaceful the country was on the day of the elections:

Bring ’em on: Mizhar al-Dulaimi, head of the Free Progressive Iraqi Party, was killed while campaigning in the center of Ramadi, capital of the restive Anbar province in western Iraq, police said. Three of his bodyguards were wounded.

Bring ’em on: A Shiite member of the interim Iraqi parliament escaped an assassination attempt on Tuesday when a roadside bomb struck his convoy south of Baghdad, wounding one of his bodyguards, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua.

Bring ’em on: In the southern town of Nassiriya protesters burned down a campaign office for Iyad Allawi, a secular leader who has mounted a strong challenge to the ruling Shi’ite Islamist bloc.

Bring ’em on: A roadside bomb aimed at an Iraqi patrol killed a child in Samarra

Bring ’em on: A roadside bomb took the lives of two policemen in Mosul.

Bring ’em on: A Trade Ministry employee was shot dead in Baiji, police said.

Bring ’em on: Small explosive devices damaged three empty polling stations in the restive western city of Falluja on Wednesday, police said. No one was hurt but 4,000 ballot papers were stolen.

Bring ’em on: Streets in Baghdad were eerily quiet one day before Thursday’s election, with police strictly enforcing a traffic ban. Only the noise from an occasional police siren, sporadic gunshot or U.S. helicopter could be heard. Borders and airports have also been closed and the nighttime curfew has been extended.

Bring ’em on: An Iraqi policeman was killed in a bomb blast in Baghdad on Wednesday, according to the Iraqi police. It added in a statement a road-side bomb went off when an Iraqi police vehicle was passing near Sebaa’ bank in central Baghdad. The blast killed one policeman and injured two others.

Bring ’em on: Staff Sgt. Curtis A. Mitchell, 28, of Evansville, Ind., died in Baghdad, Iraq, on Dec. 12, when an improvised expolosive device detonated near his M1A1 Abrams tank during combat operations. Mitchell was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.

Bring ’em on: A large explosion was head in downtown Baghdad within minutes of the polls opening and sirens could be heard inside the heavily-fortified Green Zone. Police said the explosion was reportedly caused by a mortar landing near the Green Zone. There were no immediate reports of any injuries or damage.

Bring ’em on: In northern Mosul, where all polling stations opened, a bomb killed a hospital guard when it went off between a polling station and a hospital, initial US military reports said. mortar also landed near a polling station without causing any injuries, the reports said.
—————————————

Read it and weep, Ann, because you are laboring under delusions spoon-fed to you by an administration that also fed you the stories about Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch, and that said last year we had defeated the insurgency. What will it take for you to see that none of it is true? How many deaths? This is not what we went into Iraq for. The whole mission was a canard, a bright, shining lie, like that other war we lost.

December 16, 2005 @ 8:19 pm | Comment

Michael, I loved Wartime. Great book, great comment.

December 16, 2005 @ 8:22 pm | Comment

Gordon,

Maybe Richard is just right this time about Bush and the Right’s misadventure in Iraq. If we start to get all excited about democracy and regime change using US troops, then the US would start toppling alot of our “friends and allies”. We would probably be aiming our Tomahawks at General Pervez Musharraf, The House of Al-Saud, President Murbarak, the outdated monarchies in UAE, Baharain, Oman and Kuwait, the authoritarian Soviet era dictators like Islam Karimov and Nursultan Nazarbayev… the list goes on..

December 16, 2005 @ 9:28 pm | Comment

So I see nothing to get very excited about today.

Except for Bush getting caught wiretapping enemies, I mean terrorists, without a warrant, right?

Holiday schadenfreude.

December 16, 2005 @ 10:55 pm | Comment

Well, that’s just silly. When in history has anyone had a fool-proof plan for a major undertaking?

There was never any plan for this undertaking.

If you had been forecasting, several years ago, how long it would take to oust a brutal dictator and then to take the country that he had terrorized and turn it into a peaceful, functioning democracy, what would you have said? 3 weeks? 3 months? Surely at least 3 years, if not more. It would take time, even without outside elements doing everything in their power to sabotoge the effort.

I did forecast this, and I said several generations. We’ve destroyed Iraq.

Also, I don’t recall the Iraqs calling for us to murder 100,000 of them (on top of the thousands killed by the sanctions regime), destroy their country and many of their major cities, divide it into three essentially independent parts, and so on, to rid themselves of Hussein.

You listed all of the points at which there has been progress along the way, but then wrote them all off because none was a magic quick fix that made everything perfect overnight. What will it take for you to be convinced that there has been progress?

Well, uh, progress. You know, instead of going from 150 incidents a month in 2003 to 700 incidents a month in 2005. That’s what is colloquially known as “defeat” among most native speakers of English, although the NeoCons call this progress.

The Iraqi people believe that their lives are getting better – what do you know that they don’t know about their own lives?

Quite a bit, since their press is (1) controlled by the occupation government and (2) full of stories planted by our government.

Also, Ann, polls consistently report that the Iraqis say they are worse off than when Hussein ruled, a fact also made clear by any objective measure.

Building a country is hard, but the Iraqis want to try, and we’re helping them.

It was kind of us to bomb and shell and poison and sniper them into this brave new world.

Also, we find that the US govenrment is planting stories in the press, spying on its own people, etc. Does none of this disturb you?

Michael

December 17, 2005 @ 12:10 am | Comment

Actually, Richard, I often ponder that question: what will it take for the Anns of the world to see that we lost. Do you think our right will be like that Japanese Right? They’ll argue that we didn’t flatten Fallujah three times, that the elections weren’t rigged and we didn’t plant stories in the Iraqi press, that torture wasn’t policy but just a couple of isolated madmen, that only a couple of hundred Iraqis died due to US action, and so on? Our Right and their Right seem to suffer from the same set of delusions and preoccupations. It’s scary to contemplate that not only may they never realize we lost, but that they may press these delusions on the world for the rest of our lives and beyond, so that some future America will do the same damn thing.

All this was so predictable. I myself argued in this thread here on April 1, 2003 in conversation with spl_cadet:

************
So what if they weren’t as nasty? How is that supposed to make us commit atrocities?

spl_cadet, we committed atrocities in a number of places when facing guerilla warfare, which we face now. The Iraqis are not stupid. They know that if the US army is stressed enough it will begin indiscriminate warfare against civilians. Already the Army is asking the Administration for more liberal rules, and is taking a tougher stance on civilians. The Iraqis do not have to defeat us on the battlefield. There are many ways we can lose this war, and one way is if we lose ourselves.

I am against this war, precisely because I know what it will do to my country’s military and reputation abroad. We seem like madmen to the rest of the world now. I live overseas, you know. And if I see the worst happening in this war, it is because of my experiences with the incompetence and venality of the current Administration, and the nature of international politics and above all, the dehumanizing effects of war on both the Army that fights and the People that watch. Calls to “String ’em up!” scare me. War is madness.

And unlike you, I recognize the lawful government of my country who charts our course.

So do I. That’s why, like a good democratic citizen, I carefully monitor its behavior and hold it accountable for its actions. I do not take my leaders’ word for anything, and neither should you. A democracy cannot function if people who profoundly disagree with current policy are told that they hate they country and that whenever the Administration declares war, everyone should shut up. That’s not how democracy is supposed to operate. Indeed, it is in precisely these times that people should speak up the loudest.

Maybe. I sure hope so. I’d hate to think what our military and economy will look like after a year of this. Of course, they are already racking up Syria and Iran next. Did you see Powell’s speech?
********

What’s incredible is that after two years of defeat and dishonor, anyone supports this war.

Vorkosigan

December 17, 2005 @ 12:29 am | Comment

Cynics should just bite down on their bile and support the elections. Dubbya can’t just walk away from Iraq without a spot on his permanent record. This is more about cleaning up the mess he made than being praised for it.

I say, good for the Iraqis. Now let’s bring them up to the level where they can look after themselves and we can take our boys out of there.

December 17, 2005 @ 3:43 am | Comment

In the future, I think America should take a cold hard look at the people theyโ€™re sending into occupations and the training methods used. I believe having thousands of American soldiers in Iraq is inflaming the conflict needlessly.

Itโ€™s not a well-known fact but studies have shown that during World War 2, only a small proportion of riflemen would take part in any battle. American studies and interviews discovered that on average only 15 percent of individual riflemen would fire their weapons. The most aggressive units under fierce battle conditions would have at most 25 percent participation rate. The soldiers wouldnโ€™t run but they could not bring themselves to kill. Interestedly enough, all crew served weapons like machine gun and artillery were fired. Peer pressure would force a man to kill but individual riflemen isolated in their foxholes could not.

Once this was known, armies started to modify their training methods to teach men to kill without hesitating. Encouraging bloodlust and aggression, shooting at human like targets, etc. In the Korean War, the participation rate for American soldiers increased to 50 percent. In Vietnam, with more refinements to training methods, it went up to 80 percent. During the last two Gulf wars, it was around 100 percent.

With these new training methods, Western nations armies have a huge advantage over second or third world countries armies. During the infamous firefight in Somalia, 18 American soldiers were killed while 500 to 1000 Somalis died. This was also due to American air support. During the Falkland conflict, the British inflicted far greater casualties on the Argentine forces even though the weapons used were almost the same.

If you look at the American forces in Iraq, you can see they were the wrong type of soldiers for peacekeeping work. This kill first ask questions later type of soldiering is going to inflame the local population. I donโ€™t remember the latest numbers but of the 40 journalists killed in Iraq, around 15 have been killed by American gunfire. George Bush has confirmed 30000 civilians have been killed. I read many stories where the Iraqis claim they were doing nothing suspicious but the Americans would not hesitate to open fire. Thousands of civilians have been wounded and killed at American and British checkpoints.

I seriously believe if the American are going to continue to invade and occupy other countries in the future, they need to train a secondary army of peacekeepers. Experienced people with more restraint and education not teenagers fresh out of high school. At this point, I think the Americans should start withdrawing their forces back to their bases in Iraq and minimize contact with the civilian population.

December 17, 2005 @ 7:19 am | Comment

As a soldier who fought for Iraqi freedom I feel I need to correct some of the information put out in this thread. President Bush did not say that the US killed 30,000 civilians. He said that there has been 30,000 Iraqis killed to include policemen and civilians killed by the terrorists.

As far journalists being killed many of these so called “journalists” work with the Iraqi insurgency. Some of these killed journalists were working directly with the insurgency when they were killed. During the war the Iraqi news services were considered enemy combatants and bombed because they put out propaganda. What is the difference between Saddam’s news services and Al-jazeera? Plus the terrorists themselves have also done their part to kill journalists and no one seems to be offended by that.

Also I take offense that the US military is doing a poor job in Iraq and that we are not the right kind of soldiers for the job. Can someone tell me who the right soldiers for the job are? You want the French in there? Over the course of a year in Iraq it was amazing to see the difference there and it is only getting better and this is due to the US military and also the Iraqi security forces.

I respect Richard’s opinion but I think he is more optimistic about China because he has direct experience and an unfiltered view of the country. I view Iraq the same way. I am optimistic because I don’t view Iraq through NY Times headlines. I view it through experience and what I personally saw.

Was the Iraq war handled perfectly? No it was not, I got plenty of gripes about some of the decisions made during the war. Some of the decisions nearly got me killed.

However, we in the military have a saying that a good plan executed now is better than a perfect plan executed later. That is the way I view Iraq. We are getting better and better at capturing terrorists, training Iraqi forces, reconstruction projects, and organizing the government.

Looking at Iraq and studying the aftermath of the Korean War I see so many similarities. After the Korean War communist guerillas plagued the Cholla provinces in the southern tip of the peninsula for a decade after the war. Even in Korea today people from the Cholla province are stereotyped by the rest of the country as communist sympathisers because of this.

The communist guerillas sponsored by the North Koreans and Chinese attacked government buildings such as the police and fire departments and slaughtered and intimidated villagers that did not support them. An entire ROK Army division was stationed in the province to fight the guerillas. Thousands of lives were lost in the war’s aftermath not only due to the guerillas but also due to sporadic fighting on the DMZ.

Syria and Iran are the sponsors of the current insurgents in Iraq and the Iraqi military are the only ones that can defeat them just like the ROK Army was the only ones that could defeat the insurgency in Korea.

The ROK Army during the Korean War became an effective fighting force only after being properly trained by the US military. We are currently doing the same thing with the Iraqi military. We did not train the ROK Army over night but once we did get them properly trained they defeated the communist insurgents in their country and now have one of the world’s most powerful militaries and even have 3,000 soldiers stationed in Iraq for reconstruction. I am confident that the Iraqis will do the same.

So much about the Iraq conflict is so similar to the Korean War. Harry Truman was very unpopular due to the Korean quagmire and did not seek reelection because of it and President Eisenhauer was elected because he pledged to end the war. The Republicans may very well lose the next election for the same reason.

Also the initially democratically elected Korean government was overthrown by General Park Chung-hee because of the security problems in the country from the North Koreans. Park Chung-hee though initially criticized for the coup rebuilt the economy and is the person responsible for the current economic might of Korea.

Democracy eventually returned to Korea and the country is one of the most democratic countries in the world right now combined with a strong economy and military.

The future will hold many ups and downs for Iraq. We may very well see a coup in Iraq by a strong man who vows to improve security. But should we give up on the Iraqis because of it? Shoud we have given up on South Korea and allowed the North Koreans to gobble it up because of it’s initial ups and downs?

I believe the long term success of Iraq is more important to America than how we feel about a car bombing that may happen tomorrow.

December 17, 2005 @ 8:55 am | Comment

GI Korea,

I hope you’re right and that things are improving in Iraq. But I’ll continue to take issue that this invasion was in any way justified or that it somehow has improved America’s security. I’d argue that it’s done just the opposite, for a number of reasons, one of which is that it’s compromised the readiness of our armed forces – the National Guard and the Reserves in particular.

If the US had wanted to improve the situation in the Middle East, particularly in how it relates to American security, I think the best thing our government could have done was to apply greater diplomatic pressure towards the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, a conflict from which the Bush administration mostly withdrew until very recently. Helping to resolve that situation – diplomatically, and not with bombs – would have removed the justification for many acts of terrorism. You want to show that democracies can work in the Middle East? Then support Palestinian efforts to create one. Pressure Israel to withdraw from its illegal settlements and help create a viable Palestinian state that can be that democratic model.

It would have cost a lot less, in money and blood, than the path the Bush Administration chose to go down.

December 17, 2005 @ 10:16 am | Comment

I would argue that Al-Qaida terrorism is not about Palestine. Having personally dealt with these people, they are religious fanatics bent on the literal interpretation of the Koran. Giving Palestine a state will not stop their efforts to destroy moderate Islamic states.

Israel is using the current hand over of Gaza as test to see what will happen if they give Palestine an independent state in the West Bank. So far the results have not been good as terrorists continue to attack Israel.

A solution for the Palestinian conflict will not come until the culture of the Middle East changes. That change will begin not in Palestine but Iraq. The Palestinians will receive their freedom only if the Iraqis win theirs. If the Iraqis fail in their quest to create a moderate democratic government in the Arab world Israel will use this to justify their occupation of the West Bank.

That is why Palestinians should be cheering for the Iraqis to succeed because it would prove that Arabs can have a moderate democratic state and would put additional pressure on Israel to grant it.

The Palestinians and Iraqis have a lot in common. Both people are looked down upon in the Arab world as second class citizens, but I believe both people have the greatest potential of changing the culture of the Middle East if we help set the conditions to make them successful.

From my experience in the Middle East I would say that the Palestinians and Iraqis are the hardest working people in the Arab world and the majority of their people want to create a better future and not cling to the past unlike other autocratic Arab regimes eager to stop Iraqi democracy and scuttle any peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Too many countries in the Middle East need Israel as the bogeyman to justify their own repressive regimes. That is why no peace will come to Palestine until freedom is won in Iraq.

December 17, 2005 @ 10:46 am | Comment

First, I said that settling the Israel/Palestinian problem would remove a justification for terrorism. I agree that it’s not the root cause of Al Qaeda, which is something very different. But just as the Palestinian problem has very little to do with Al Qaeda, Iraq and Saddam Hussein had absolutely nothing to do with Al Qaeda – that is, until we invaded Iraq, giving Al Qaeda a chance to point their finger and say, “see? We told you that was America’s intention – invading an oil-rich country in the Middle East.”

I think a democratic Iraq would indeed set a great example to other countries in the region. But how does a United States invasion that purports to establish democracy at gunpoint constitute the Iraqis “winning their freedom”? To me, what we’ve done provides an example of the principle of “might makes right” far more than it does of any principles of democracy, and it certainly doesn’t point to the strengths of the rule of law.

If Iraq does, eventually, become a relatively stable, more democratic society, I’m not going to say that it will all have been worth it, because who knows what would have happened if the US hadn’t invaded and the Iraqi people were left to sort out their own destinies? But at least something out of this debacle may be salvaged.

(as a complete aside, I am not against all armed interventions – I think in the case of a failed state or ongoing genocide, armed intervention may be the best option. Hussein’s earlier actions, against the Kurds, for example, may have met that genocide standard, and I think there was a legitimate case for action when he invaded Kuwait).

I am not one of these people who blames everything that’s wrong in the middle East on Israel, but come on. This most recent Palestinain intifada was a huge, tragic mistake, and I would never cede the moral high ground to suicide bombers – but Israel’s settlement policies (to name just one factor) added tremendous fuel to the fire. The US was in the position to have some leverage, over both Israel and the Palestinians, yet for some inexplicable reason, the Bush administration chose to disengage from the process.

December 17, 2005 @ 4:38 pm | Comment

The ROK Army during the Korean War became an effective fighting force only after being properly trained by the US military. We are currently doing the same thing with the Iraqi military. We did not train the ROK Army over night but once we did get them properly trained they defeated the communist insurgents in their country.

They did by the same methods we are seeing in Iraq — death squads and torture. Massacres. Etc.

Also the initially democratically elected Korean government

Incorrect. After Japanese occupation the Koreans organized themselves into People’s Committees which the US shunned and set about dismantling. This triggered a massive revolt in 1946 that spread across several provinces. The US preferred the conservative politicians of the Korea Democratic Party. The US then foisted the ROK government on Korea. That government was a coalition of land owners who had collaborated with the Japanese and expat Koreans brought in because the locals were all tainted. The result was, by ’48 general guerilla fighting all over S. Korea. The ROK fought this with the Korea Police, who were leftovers from the Japanese occupation, and right-wing death squads like the North-west Youth.

Basically the US has repeated this mistake in every one of its interventions — the Iraqi National Congress is a CIA baby erected to provide a fig leaf for the Occupation and has zero legitimacy among Iraqis. That is why a resistance developed, which we have enflamed by our brutal occupation tactics and obvious desire for colonial dominance in Iraq. The result has been a vicious guerilla war with atrocities on both sides, just as arose in ’48 in Korea and of course in Vietnam. And just like in Korea, the US has retained the services of Hussein loyalists in its own service, and developed right-wing death squads, under the tutelage of John Negroponte, who did the same thing in Central America. It is not a coincidence that the Central Americas left the Coalition of the Willing after Negroponte was given a position in Iraq; they knew what was coming.

As for the election of Rhee being democratic that is a joke. Because the elections appeared to ratify the division of korea, none of the parties participatedin them except for Rhee’s. The voting was “organized” by the police and by their right-wing auxiliaries. Naturally it could have only one outcome. Rhee’s speeches were mostly written by his American advisors and the real power in S Korea was the kitchen cabinet of longtime Korean expats and Americans.

The Korean Army which we trained was led exclusively by officers who had served under the Japanese.

The parallels between the occupation of Korea and Iraq are numerous and obvious.

was overthrown by General Park Chung-hee because of the security problems in the country from the North Koreans.

….the natural progression is that after our first government fails, we install another one. In Iraq we have substituted elections for the process of assassination so I guess we’ve made progress.

Park Chung-hee though initially criticized for the coup rebuilt the economy and is the person responsible for the current economic might of Korea.

Rhee was not overthrown by a coup but by demonstrations triggered by his attempt to rig yet another election. Park came on the scene a year later, and run the country with an iron fist two decades until his own CIA chief whacked him.

We haven’t seen that particular parallel in Iraq, but we will.

Michael

December 17, 2005 @ 6:12 pm | Comment

GI Korea:

“Also the initially democratically elected Korean government was overthrown by General Park Chung-hee because of the security problems in the country from the North Koreans. Park Chung-hee though initially criticized for the coup rebuilt the economy and is the person responsible for the current economic might of Korea.”

Inaccurrate. The problems of the short interim govt was inherited from the autocratic first President of ROK, Syngman Rhee. Rhee fled to Hawaii in 1960 amid violent opposition to his authoritarianism. Park simply filled the vacuum of power and caused misery to Koreans who seek their liberty and freedom.

December 17, 2005 @ 10:25 pm | Comment

GI Korea,

“I would argue that Al-Qaida terrorism is not about Palestine. Having personally dealt with these people, they are religious fanatics bent on the literal interpretation of the Koran. Giving Palestine a state will not stop their efforts to destroy moderate Islamic states.”

Yes, Osama may not be fighting out of genuine concerns for the Palestinians, Abbas and his authority knew that and seek to distant themselves from Al-Qaeda propaganda. But by giving the Palestinians a state of their own, we can fairly expect Arab-Muslim anger against the US to tone down quite a bit. It will not cut off Osama and the terrorists but would have deprived them a much valued propaganda tool in his war against the civilised world. Moderate and swing opinion will not be on his side. Thats why Washington needs right now, to appease Arab-Muslim anger. A Palestinian state would solve at least half of that Arab wrath.

December 17, 2005 @ 10:44 pm | Comment

GI Korea:
“Syria and Iran are the sponsors of the current insurgents in Iraq and the Iraqi military are the only ones that can defeat them just like the ROK Army was the only ones that could defeat the insurgency in Korea.”

The Syrian link seems quite confirmed… I am a bit reserved for Iran. Iran definitely had no interest to destabilise the Shia-dominated Iraqi govt no matter how eager the clerics want to see US to leave Iraq.

In fact, the US-sponsored elections only paved the way for a brotherly-Shia theocracy to be set up in Iraq, which is a geopolitical victory for Teheran and a disaster for the US.

December 17, 2005 @ 10:50 pm | Comment

“Syria and Iran are the sponsors of the current insurgents in Iraq and the Iraqi military are the only ones that can defeat them just like the ROK Army was the only ones that could defeat the insurgency in Korea.”

Yes, by slaughtering villagers wholesale, under the watchful eye of American advisors. Just like in Iraq, as a matter of fact.

December 18, 2005 @ 3:37 am | Comment

The initially Democratic government was the one put into power after Rhee was disposed by student protests. The government was weak and this gave Park Chung Hee the opening to conduct his coup in the name of national security.

As far as Iraq ever disposing of Saddam without US assistance is naive. The way the system in that country was setup those people would have never overthrown Saddam. The Kurds would never had won independence from Saddam without the US military assistance and look at the results we have had in Kurdistan in the past 15 years since the end of the first Gulf War.

It is going to take 15 years for Iraq to establish it’s identity just like it did in Kurdistan. I guess what in Kurdistan their was open gun fights between the PUK and KDP political parties but eventually they worked out their differences and now are a thriving democracy with a booming economy. The Kurds are some of the best people I have ever met and I hope in 15 years I can say the same thing about the Iraqis.

As far as Palestine the way I look at it is that former President Clinton worked out the best possible plan for a Palestinian state. I don’t care much for Clinton but I do have to admit he really did a great job working out a Palestinian-Israeli peace plan and yet the Palestinian still did not sign on to it. The common people in Palestine want peace but the terrorist leaders do not want peace because that will dillute their power, prestige, and the ever important cash flow coming into them.

That is why I believe that peace in Palestine will come through Iraq.

Also don’t be fooled Iran is deeply involved in the insurgency. Who do you think is providing shape charged armor piercing explosives to the terrorists? Plus the Sadr rebellions were all orchestrated by Iran. Iran needs the Americans out before they can get defacto hegemony over Iraq. Jafari is not an Iranian stooge despite pro-Shia stance but Sadr is and once the Americans are out of Iraq the Iranians will push threw whatever means necessary to put Sadr into power.

Don’t confuse Iraqi Shias with Iranian mullahs. Remember Iraqis are Arabs and Iranian Persians. There is a long history of conflict just from that fact plus the memory of the Iran-Iraq war runs deep in Iraqis. The vast majority of Iraqis don’t trust or like Iran.

Also theocrats are always going to be part of Iraqi politics. The American concept of seperation of church and state will not work in Iraq. Religion runs deep here just like it did in the early days of American democracy.

As far as slaughtering villagers I did not see at any time the Iraqi military slaughter civilians but I did see the terrorists slaughter civilians which no one seems to care about.

The Iraqi military does like to rough people up but they get results. That is the struggle right now is to determine the balance between human rights and fighting terrorists. Giving milk and cookies to terrorists doesn’t get them to talk. A short session with the Iraqi police does.

During the Korean War and it’s aftermath the same problem occurred for the South Korean security forces. Wholesale massacres led by American advisors is just more left wing propaganda but definitely human rights violations were committed to fight the communists. The left wingers of course conveniently forget the wholesale massacres committed by the communists. War is dirty business and when the enemy plays dirty you better be ready to respond. Milk and cookies doesn’t work.

December 18, 2005 @ 9:16 am | Comment

Funny, GI, treating prisoners decently seemed to work pretty well during WW2. But everyone knows those Nazis were just pussies, right?

December 18, 2005 @ 11:58 am | Comment

GI Korea:
“As far as Iraq ever disposing of Saddam without US assistance is naive. The way the system in that country was setup those people would have never overthrown Saddam. The Kurds would never had won independence from Saddam without the US military assistance and look at the results we have had in Kurdistan in the past 15 years since the end of the first Gulf War.”

Saddam is evil but to use foreign interevention using armed forces to democratise a country is historically a thankless adventure. Never had a democracy succeeded if it is being planted by a foreign power.

Korea’s example is totally irrelevant here. You must realise that the war in Korea was endorsed by the United Nations. Although overwhelmingly American, it has got the UN’s mandate. The Council also condemned China as an agressor. The Iraq war’s legitimacy is questionable.

Now that you have mentioned the Kurds, this is even more worrying. Iraq is an artificial relic of WWI settlements. As a nation, it does not make sense. The elections proves that the Kurds, Sunnis and Shias are voting along sectarian lines, increasingly polarised. Already the centrifugal forces that would pull Iraq apart is intensifying as Kurds, Shias and Sunnis jockey for dominance. A Soviet or Yugoslavian collapse seems very likely, further destabilising the volatile Middle East. Note that the Sunnis came out to vote for fear of marginalised while Sistani called for the “faithful” to vote for the Shia religious parties. Note that Korea is a highly homogenous society unlike Iraq.

December 18, 2005 @ 9:40 pm | Comment

GI Korea:

“Don’t confuse Iraqi Shias with Iranian mullahs. Remember Iraqis are Arabs and Iranian Persians. There is a long history of conflict just from that fact plus the memory of the Iran-Iraq war runs deep in Iraqis. The vast majority of Iraqis don’t trust or like Iran.

Also theocrats are always going to be part of Iraqi politics. The American concept of seperation of church and state will not work in Iraq. Religion runs deep here just like it did in the early days of American democracy. ”

Our late Supreme leader, Khomeini, had seek refuge in Najaf for years until expelled by Saddam. They may be of different race, but the Shia religion bonds the two, especially when the Iraqi Shias can only look to Teheran for alliance being encircled bu Sunni Muslim states. Many Shia Iraqi politicians has also seek refuge in Iran for years. The war between Iraq and Iran in the 80s was mostly an enmity between the Baathist regime, Sunni-dominated versus that of the revolutionary Shia regime in Teheran. A Shia-dominated Iraq had to look to Teheran giving the geopolitical realities on the ground.

So we shall wait and see a cleric-influenced regime to emerge right in the heart of the Middle East, a total US Foreign policy catastrophe.

December 18, 2005 @ 10:01 pm | Comment

GI Korea:

“As far as Palestine the way I look at it is that former President Clinton worked out the best possible plan for a Palestinian state. I don’t care much for Clinton but I do have to admit he really did a great job working out a Palestinian-Israeli peace plan and yet the Palestinian still did not sign on to it. The common people in Palestine want peace but the terrorist leaders do not want peace because that will dillute their power, prestige, and the ever important cash flow coming into them.

That is why I believe that peace in Palestine will come through Iraq. ”

Partially true only. The Palestinian sentiment on the ground is still relatively anti-Israel. Yes, you are right, the common Palestinians want peace but a peace on the terms of the Palestinians. Most still wanted the holy city of Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state and i doubt the Jewish side would give in to that.

Any Palestinian leader who is negotiating with Israel is walking on a tight rope. If he concedes too much, he would be deemed as a sell out and lose all credibility as a leader, if he does not, his people would not be given anything. Negotiation and bargaining are not child’s play and definitely not just about reaching an agreement. Thats plain naive. Thats why Abbas is waiting for the outcome of the Israelite election, for someone who get a strong mandate who can give him the most concessions on the negotiation table.

I think given the illegitimacy of the war in Iraq, it is not possible for peace to come through from Baghdad. The whole debacle is too tainted as an American aggression on Muslim lands. In fact, Iraq is already becoming another Chechnya or Afghanistan, where foreign insurgents are slipping into the country and making it a centre of terrorism in the heart of the Near East.

December 18, 2005 @ 11:25 pm | Comment

GI Korea,

“The Iraqi military does like to rough people up but they get results. That is the struggle right now is to determine the balance between human rights and fighting terrorists. Giving milk and cookies to terrorists doesn’t get them to talk. A short session with the Iraqi police does.

During the Korean War and it’s aftermath the same problem occurred for the South Korean security forces. Wholesale massacres led by American advisors is just more left wing propaganda but definitely human rights violations were committed to fight the communists. The left wingers of course conveniently forget the wholesale massacres committed by the communists. War is dirty business and when the enemy plays dirty you better be ready to respond. Milk and cookies doesn’t work.”

That is a serious mistaken thinking. In the war of terror, we are fighting not just a military campaign but also a psychological war with Al-Qaeda. This whole conflict is not about proving who can kill and torture more effectively. So far, with Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, Bush and his war mongering team is showing the world that democracies can kill and torture as effectively as terrorists.

If we really want to win, ultimately we will have to win with our humanitarianism, something that is entirely absent in the arsenal of the terrorists.

If we continue our burn and kill policy of subduing the insurgency, then we are inching ever closer to the defeat that Uncle Ho has bestowed on America almost thirty years ago.

December 18, 2005 @ 11:32 pm | Comment

I am quickly losing patience with GI korea. Anyone who says there are only two ways to go — either give terrorists “milk and cookies” or torture them — is not welcome at this site. For generations America has managed its foreign affairs relatively well with little or no torture. Only fools and goons believe it is the answer. It’s a documented fact that you can extract confessions through torture – but most of what they confess is pure BS. It is counterproductive, and goes against everything that a civilized society stands for. Only in the Age of Bush would we even be discussing such a no-brainer.

December 18, 2005 @ 11:45 pm | Comment

GI Korea,

“From my experience in the Middle East I would say that the Palestinians and Iraqis are the hardest working people in the Arab world and the majority of their people want to create a better future and not cling to the past unlike other autocratic Arab regimes eager to stop Iraqi democracy and scuttle any peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Too many countries in the Middle East need Israel as the bogeyman to justify their own repressive regimes. That is why no peace will come to Palestine until freedom is won in Iraq. ”

Ironically, Washington needed those autocratic regimes too for its own political and economic interests. The US is still the Saudi regime’s largest foreign sponsor. Remember the Iranian Shah and his dreadful SAVAK? They were American products as well. The numerous autocratic monarchies like Oman, UAE are all in US’s pay and protection. Even Saddam was briefly in America’s pay as well.

Its a real irony that democracy in the Middle East may just bring about regimes that are anti-American.

By invading Iraq, Bush is giving Osama another proganda toll about the “Christian West” launching another “Crusade” against the Muslims. Most Muslims in the world saw that invasion in very bad light.

Certainly if Murbarak or King Abdullah falls from power to democratic Islamist govts tomorrow, i think the US will be in deep shit.

December 18, 2005 @ 11:54 pm | Comment

During the Korean War and it’s aftermath the same problem occurred for the South Korean security forces. Wholesale massacres led by American advisors is just more left wing propaganda but definitely human rights violations were committed to fight the communists.

GI Korea, I read books by serious scholars, not rah-rah horseshit. I suggest you look up things like the Yosu rebellion, whose suppression was organized by Americans and carried out by ROK colonels. Suppression of the revolt at Sunchon was also directly led by US advisors. At that time US advisors were with all ROK army units and a series of secret protocols placed the ROK army under US control. It’s basic history.

This type of knowledge is basic to understanding why, during our short occupation of Korea, so many Koreans came to hate us so much. Why do they hate us all over the world? Because we murder them in great numbers.

Here’s a name you might bone up on: James Hausman, one of the organizers of the suppression of the Sunchon rebellion and the man who was one of the fathers of the modern ROK army.

The left wingers of course conveniently forget the wholesale massacres committed by the communists.

What a crock.

War is dirty business and when the enemy plays dirty you better be ready to respond. Milk and cookies doesn’t work.

Yes, massacres have been so effective in Iraq, Korea, and Vietnam. All ended in victory and populations that love the US.

December 19, 2005 @ 7:48 am | Comment

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