Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Friday, December 16, 2005

When Poor Timing Gets Deliciously Ironic

From yesterday's Las Vegas Review-Journal comes the following letter to the editor:

"It was George Santayana, years ago, who warned that those who ignore the lessons of history will be required to relive them."

That's a really funny way to lead into this letter, given that Democrats have never seemed to learn from history that defeatism in the War on Terror leads to devastating electoral ineptitude.

"Robert J. Caldwell ("The Democrats' quandary on Iraq," Tuesday commentary) would be well-advised to consider Mr. Santayana's words."

And this follow-up makes it even more funny, given that -- again -- Democrats really do face a quandary in Iraq. From today's Washington Post, Nancy Pelosi expressly stated that her party has no official position on Iraq. Yeah, I'm sure that'll pack your consituency into the voting lines.

"Mr. Caldwell's argument against 'precipitous withdrawal' from Iraq, together with President Bush's justification of the sacrifice of perhaps 30,000 Iraqis killed -- by insurgents -- are compelling reminders of what took place in Vietnam more than 30 years ago..."

Speaking of voting lines, remember that this letter is from yesterday's Review-Journal. As in, the same day that an estimated 70% of Iraqis voted for a their first post-war parliament. Personally, I question the timing. Another funny aspect of this part of the letter is that if you'll recall, it started out with an admonition to remember the lessons of history. Apparently our letter-writer has forgotten that U.S. defeatism led to precipitous withdrawal, and the subsequent massacre of countless South Vietnamese.

"...Vietnamization and Iraqification of host-country armed forces, failed and failing, respectively..."

Yeah, speaking of that whole "questioning the timing" thing, the letter comes only a few days after reports that Iraqi military are increasingly taking the lead in combat operations. So again, all those pesky facts seem to come out at the precise moment to undermine this clownskull's point.

"...the imposition of a U.S. model of democracy in lands historically and socially ill-suited to the practice..."

Did I mention that 70% of registered voters showed up at the polls yesterday, the same day this letter was published? And of course, Afghans seem to like voting, too. In spite of liberal dogma to the effect that brown people don't like freedom.

"...misleading reports of progress in the field..."

Ah, here we find our unfortunate author's escape hatch. If there is any information suggesting that Iraq is anything other than the quagmire the Dems need it to be, it must be misleading.

"...extremist insurgencies willing to die to repel an occupying force..."

To paraphrase general Patton, I'd rather have those dumb bastards dying for their country than have our boys die for it. Except that, of course, the people who blow themselves up are foreigners themselves, meaning they aren't exactly repelling an "occupying force" so much as acting like occupiers themselves. Try to keep that point in mind. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is not an Iraqi, his is a Jordanian. Actual Iraqis -- Sunnis, even -- don't like him.

Ah, but is this just another case of misrepresentation? Here's a simple test you can try. If the news favors Bush, and comes from Reuters, you can bet your last dollar it's true.

"...and, finally, no exit strategy, which, in Vietnam, led to the hasty retreat of U.S. personnel from Saigon in 1975."

We have a very simple exit strategy: we'll leave when we win, or when a legitimate Iraqi government asks us to (which is the same thing as a win). And given that Iraqis have now successfully voted in huge numbers in three national elections, with less violence than New Orleans experienced in the three years I lived there, I'd say we're well on the way to that "when we win" goal. As for Vietnam, I just finished reading an interesting book, Southeast Asia: Past and Present, which had a section on the Vietnam War. I don't pretend expertise on the Vietnam war, by any means, but from what I've read it looks like a combination of defeatists at home (such as our author, here) and a military strategy that primarily aimed to blow up North Vietnamese bridges instead of making South Vietnam a viable alternative.

Is Iraqi peace a viable alternative to surrounding nations? I'd have to say yes, not only because it inspired a popular uprising in Lebanon and cratered Assad's Syria, but also because average Iraqi incomes have soared by over 60%, and 70% of Iraqis rate their economic situation positively.

Think about that. Sixty percent. Do you know what I would do with a 60% raise? Buy $42,000.00 worth of Pez, baby! And I'm sure the Iraqis can think of something to spend their extra money on, as well.

But the bad timing of this poor sap's letter to the editor coalesces in one grand finale at the end:

"Mr. Caldwell is right about one thing, however: Democrats are indeed divided on the issue of Iraq. The question is how high the body count will rise before there is consensus."

As I mentioned above, Dhimmi Pelosi expressly stated that the Democrats have no position on Iraq.


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