March 19, 2004

You talking to me?

Ouch PM.... looks like this blogging is going to kill another work day's productivity for you as well.
Can't wait to pass the boot with you again. I am only sorry that we never really got to spend much time together.... it only seems like is was enough for you to consider me a ranting lunatic.

Be that as it may....

You ever notice that the LEFT is usually always the first side to hurl direct insults in a discussion (or political argument)?
And these are supposed to be the "open minded" understanding caring people. Well, at least that is what Hollywood and the media tell us.

Why can't they all be caring and compassionate like they make their fictional President Bartlet to be?

Not only that, but it is usually a sign that someone has lost an argument. "Well, yada yada yada and you are a ranting lunatic". I know that this is not the case because I have more respect for the PM than that (and apparently than he has for me....)

Personally, I wouldn't want to openly debate ANY ONE of the Ministers in the hierarchy of the MWO, least of all the Minister of Propaganda. To be honest I would get smoked. I never took a philosophy or a debate class, and honestly, I spent most my time in college/grad school either staring into a beaker of formaldehyde or in compiling computer programs so I am not prepared or cut out for it.

That being said, I really wonder where the PM is getting his information.

Let's start with:

Military Deaths
I guess the US is getting so efficient in waging a war that we when we "loose" 571 in a year (in a country that is ground zero for Islamic militant/terrorist to strike at the Great Satan) that it becomes unacceptable.

The point I was trying to (and obviously did not) make is that any venture that is going to put troops on the ground in the Middle East is going to open us up as a target and we will take casualties. And, we should not let the fact that we take these casualties interfere with our ability to do the stated mission. I merely brought up the fact that (according to your sources) we are loosing 123 a year just in training/accidents alone. Is this number so high that we should suspend all military training? I do not think so.

Well, yes I do consider the military deaths in Iraq to be an irreversible fact (unless you were intending 'fait accompli' to mean something different) . Does this dishonor the troops? I don't think so. While I have not served in the military (as you and the M of A have), I am here at an Army base in Germany whose soldiers are, at this moment, deployed to the Sunni triangle.

If you do not think that every time a roadside bomb goes off and kills one of our soldiers, that it does not affect me, you are gravely mistaken. Chances are that the soldier's son or daughter is in my wife's 1st grade class, or that I have spotted them on the bench press at the base gym, or that their teenage son has asked me if I "wanted fries with that" at the Wurzburg base's Burger King.

The Rain in Spain.....
He also engages in a logical fallacy by assuming that terror organizations are focusing on our soldiers in Iraq at the expense of 'soft homeland targets.' Following the same logic, Spain's troops in Iraq should have prevented the attack on Madrid.

Wait a minute... the Left has said we moved unilaterally in Iraq and that we did not have a coalition.
They (the Left) have also said that, now that we are in Iraq, hundreds if not thousands of Islamic Militants are heading to Iraq to take on the US military (whether directly or indirectly).
Remember, you guys said that Al Qaeda was not IN Iraq until we started the war....

No, I don't think that Al Qaeda sleeper cells in Spain, France, and ??? have hopped on a plane and headed to Iraq, but it would not surprise me if Islamic militants in Syria, Palestine, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, etc have not donned a black head scarf and crossed the border.....

I do believe that a portion (but not all) of Al Qaeda's financial and material efforts are focused on combating US forces in Iraq (and Afghanistan). Not to say that there AREN'T sleeper cells in the US waiting for a follow up, but at least they are spending significant efforts in Iraq.

Have you given any thought to the fact that everyone's knee jerk reaction might be right!
I just think that Al Qaeda, if responsible in Spain, will call it a success. Not just because they killed and wounded a bunch of people, but because it changed public policy and the head of government in Spain.

"The Spanish socialists were opposed to the Iraq war before the election and have maintained their position since"

That may be true but the fact is that the Spanish Socialist WERE NOT IN POWER before the bombs went off nor were they expected to be after the election less than a week later. Spain was set to re-elect the president. (who was an ally of the US and Bush) but just three days later, they elected a Socialist that intends to pull out of Iraq.

Al Qaeda 1 Spain 0

You said
"Under the circumstances, I find the dismissive tone and insulting choice of words to describe the Spanish voters as grossly inappropriate."

What on earth are you referring to? Did I even mention the Spanish voters in my previous post? I will look again but All I said about Spain was

"If Kerry gets in, the Terrorist win. Just like in Spain. I do not want a president that has to call Chirac to consult on ANYTHING let alone international affairs."

Please explain your attack on me because re-reading my own post does not show anything that you are accusing me of. (although… this method of attack is often used by those on the left: Make up something that those on the right have "said".)

Are you suggesting that we just pull out of Iraq? Will that work better there than in Vietnam?

Why was Spain attacked by Al Qaeda then, because of their participation in Iraq or because that was the next logical step after 9/11?
I don't think that you can have this both ways.

COST of 9/11
Uhhhh... first of all your first two "Links" are either dead or they successfully link you to a OP ED piece in the highly regarded un-biased "Wisconsin's PROGRESSIVE Newspaper.
How hard did you have to look to dig up that Gem? Or is it a bookmarked as in the M of P's Favorites?

Here is a simple trick..... type "Cost of 9/11" in to Google
if you are feeling lucky will lead you directly to a GAO report on the cost which as of May 2002 were estimated to be anywhere from 56 Billion up to 105 billon! Now this is just New York City folks.... further down in the report sites the New York Senates Finance Committee estimating Tourism, Business travel, and Economic losses to the whole of the US at 639 billion!

If you have been on an aircraft since 9-11, you will notice that there has been a massive increase in Airport security world wide as a result... this is not free and is a direct cost of 9-11. Baggage scanners, security guards, equipment all add to the cost (not to mention the devastation that it caused the airline industry)

On every base overseas, security has intensified as well, gates and fences, security guards (yes, it is contracted out in some situations) servalance equipment (Each base now has a nifty new gigantic 600 million dollar X-ray truck to "scan" vehicles entering the base. I don't know if they are used at US bases in the states but that is a LOT of money just for the bases in Germany alone.

I would imagine it would be impossible to get your arms fully around the total economic cost of 9-11 to the US and the World..... but if you think that the war in Iraq is costing us more then go here

Germany, Vietnam, Iraq ad nauseum
My point is that we are fully capable of occupying a country. If we are able to do what is necessary to occupy it (which may include loosing troops)
No, Iraq hasn't surrendered... I guess that we could formally "ask" Saddam to "surrender" his country but I am not sure how much good it will do. Most of those in the Middle East are bottle fed on Anti-Americanism, and I don't expect them to change overnight.

Uhhhh TET.
It does not surprise me that your time in Hollywood has poisoned the well of military history.... I have seen the movies they make and remembering that Fact, doesn't often make a good story (i.e sell tickets), it does not surprise me about the fallacy of the ordinary American's idea about Vietnam.

If you want to read a good shortish article about TET, check this out
But, in a nutshell, we kicked their ass! The never took Khe Sanh, and across the board, the NVA and VC forces were forced back and it was all clear by the end of February.
What did happen was how the media had a field day with it and the way it was projected to an American public that had never before witnessed the reality of war in semi-real time.

About Vietnam you said that early in the war "American public opinion strongly supported continued military operations". This just illustrates the power of the presses ability to change the way Americans think.
Quoting my link above
The security of the Embassy was not in serious danger after the first few minutes and the damage was slight but this attack on 'American soil" captured the imagination of the media and the battle became symbolic of the Tet Offensive throughout the world.
Thanks media...

If this would have happened in WW2, America would have pulled out after the Battle of the Bulge when Hitler (like Hanoi at TET) used all of his last efforts to divide and sting the Allies.

Even still, I assume that you would rather let communism (or Saddamism) reign instead of propping up corrupt and ineffective governments?

Can't imagine your thoughts on Haiti.

No matter what country and situation you have, after one government is out there is a perceived "pay back" time that the former "out of power now in power" folks want to hand out. Lets hope this will not happen. But even Iraq's next door neighbors Iran are internally struggling with their Religious rule and they are rethinking the process. Lets hope that a democratic Iraq can be a beacon that the rest of the middle east can use.

Unless you don't want Democracy in Iraq to be successful? While this is great politically for the left, it is not good for the Iraqis or anyone else.

I am glad to hear that Kerry has Promised to consult with our allies. I feel so much better. I just hope that the Countries he consults with have no vested interest in what we want to do.

Kerry: Hey Chirac, we need to sort out Iraq.
Chirac: No can do, they owe us billions of dollars and if you replace the regime, we wont get our money back.
Kerry: Hey Putin, can you help us out with Iraq
Putin: Are you high? They owe us billions! We have sold them tons of military equipment and have signed contracts to pull oil out the ground worth 30 Billion, don't fuck this up for me, my economy sucks enough as it is
Kerry: Sezer my Man! Can you help us out in you Neighbor Iraq?
Sezer: You got 20 Billion?
Kerry: Oh well, even though I have testified that Iraq has WMD and is a threat to the US, I guess its not in our best interest right guys?

"The Foreign Minister's display of jingoism is an embarrassment"

Wow, I have embarrassed the Propaganda minister… you want embarrassment, waste one hour and fifty nine minutes HERE

Back to the trenches (where I will lift a glass of fine German wine to the health of the PM)

I have ALWAYS enjoyed the fact that you signed me up for that kids enviromental newsletter. Really, I got a chuckle out of it and thought of you every time it came in the mail!


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