Duty, Honor, Country

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Jan 28, 2005
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Edmond
#1
An article very critical of Congress and argued well.

Duty, Honor, Country
Congress is shirking its responsibilities.

By Mario Loyola
Thursday’s interim progress report on the surge in Iraq ran into a long-expected cold shower: Nobody wants to hear it. Bad news out of Iraq is what the market wants. Signs of progress cause controversy and consternation.

How time flies. On October 11, 2002, the People of the United States, in Congress assembled, said this:
(a) AUTHORIZATION- The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to—

(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and

(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.
Interesting choice of words. Remember that the seminal U.N. resolution of the Iraq crisis, which passed shortly after Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait, “authorizes” the use of “all necessary means … to restore international peace and security in the region.”

Just what did Congress think it would take to accomplish all of this? A quick in an out police raid?

The October resolution meant war, and Congress knew it. And all Americans knew — because the president and his entire Cabinet never tired of repeating it — that this was going to be a long, hard struggle; a painful and costly struggle; and that the outcome was uncertain.

So where are we now? Four years and nine months later almost to the day, we have suffered some four thousand casualties, and many more wounded; a trillion dollars in treasure gone; and years during which our democracy could hardly think of anything else because of its transfixion on the drama of Iraq.

On the other side of the balance, we saw the toppling of Saddam’s regime.

We saw the sight of Saddam himself, hunted down like a dog, hanging from an ignominiously improvised gallows, with all his unspeakable sins still on his head. We saw justice for his victims, and a warning to future despots. And think of our original aims — the elimination of a state-sponsor and practitioner of terrorism; and the shuttering of a black-market weapons bazaar where God-knows-who was selling God-knows-what to our worst enemies.

Instead of that regime, we have today the prospect of a functioning democracy. And while it’s as ugly and messy as they come, it is also on the very verge of being able to defend itself, govern itself, sustain itself, and be an ally in the war against Muslim extremism.

Yet now, in the opening stages of the first major American-Iraqi counteroffensive since the bombing of the Samarra mosque in early 2006, Congress is ready to surrender.

Ask yourself this: If on the day that Congress passed the Iraq-war resolution, they had been able to gaze into a crystal ball and see all that was to flow from their vote — the responsibility that went with their conviction; the uses to which the president would put the awesome powers they were granting him; the fact that many thousands of our soldiers would soon find themselves fighting and dying for duty, sacred honor, and their beautiful country — if on that day, 13 months to the day after September 11, 2001 — they had known all that would transpire between that day and this, are we to believe that they would they have wavered? They would have cravenly warned of the inevitability of failure? They would have thought 4,000 casualties an excessive price to pay for destroying one of the most barbaric regimes since World War II, a regime whose victims must be counted in the hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of human beings?

And what if they had known then that this very day, U.S. and Iraqi forces would be marching into every neighborhood of Iraq’s most troubled provinces, boldly, and brooking no resistance?

Just weeks into the decisive counteroffensive of the war, we are breaking the back of enemy resistance across that central third of Iraq that was always the focus of the war. Thousands of insurgents have been captured and hundreds killed; the Shiite death-squads have been overawed, and have gone largely into hiding; the al Qaeda leadership is being annihilated before our eyes; and whole tribes — formerly bitter enemies of the Coalition — are coming over to our side wholesale, swelling the ranks of the Iraqi security forces. Anbar province, which just months ago was thought an unassailable base for al Qaeda, is fast becoming an unassailable pillar of the new Iraqi state.

Yesterday, the White House released the unclassified version of its preliminary report to Congress on the surge. What’s the upshot? Mixed, needless to say. Progress in some areas, not so much in others. Inevitably, the press was going to cite this as further evidence of defeat. But the report honed in on the key thing:
What is important is the overall trajectory, which, under our present strategy, has begun to stabilize, compared to the deteriorating trajectory seen over the course of 2006.
Operation Phantom Thunder is meant to lay the groundwork for a “clear, hold, and build” operation set to commence in coming weeks. Stay tuned. The real offensive has yet to begin.

But American forces are on a tight rotation schedule. The surge must begin to recede early next year, because the surge units — in addition to the units already previously scheduled to leave Iraq — must begin to depart in the spring, and there are no forces to take their place. A moment’s reflection suffices to see that American forces will be used in large numbers only for the “clear” phase of the coming offensive. The “hold” and “build” dimensions of the war will be the responsibility of the Iraqis.
In the past, the basic problem was that many Iraqi units would simply fail to show up; and those that did show up were grossly undermanned — sometimes at barely 35 percent endstrength. After the president’s press conference yesterday I asked one senior administration official if he had any confidence that Iraqi Security Forces would be up to the job of “hold and build” when they hadn’t been before — in Tal Afar and Fallujah for example. He noted the growing “maturity” of the Iraqi Security Forces; their newfound sense of discipline; and the fact that their units are reporting to the most hardcore operations in Baghdad as promised, and at endstrenths of 50 to 65 percent. And they are taking three times as many casualties — man-for-man — as U.S. forces.

There’s one often overlooked difference between the opposing sides in the Iraq conflict. America and its Coalition and Iraqis allies can solve their problems on the ground. It may be tough and expensive; and it might take a long time. We might have to redress bureaucratic accounting problems, and field artillery deficiencies, and the lack of airlift and other maneuver capabilities in the ISF. But we are redressing them.

Meanwhile the forces battling the central government can’t solve their problems. With every month that passes, the so-called insurgents seem weaker and more fractured. The most vital manpower reserve of the insurgency — the Sunni tribes — are coming over to our side wholesale. And according to one of the most senior counter-insurgency advisors to General Petraeus, “This is not a result of planning. It‘s a fashion trend.” If anyone is begging for an exit-strategy from its current predicament, it is the insurgency.

Put yourself in their shoes. They have studied history. They know what an insurgency needs in order to win. They know that they will never achieve national geographic scope. No foreign army is going to come to their rescue. They will never have diplomatic recognition, from any country. No Iraqi general will ever defect to their side.

As things now stand, they cannot win. Their only hope is Congress. And now — at the very moment that our troops finally have the chance to prove they can win — a majority of the Congress wants to legislate defeat, by interfering in the strategic and tactical judgments of the constitutional commander-in-chief and his generals, and force them to do things that they are convinced will throw to the winds all that we have gained at such a terrible price.

In yesterday’s press conference, President Bush made plain what he thinks of that. “I don’t think it makes sense today, nor do I think it’s a good precedent for the future.”

Bravo.

— Mario Loyola is a fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies .
 

jakeman

Unhinged Idiot
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Apr 4, 2005
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From dictionary.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------
nu·cle·ar /ˈnukliər, ˈnyu- or, by metathesis, -kyələr/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[noo-klee-er, nyoo- or, by metathesis, -kyuh-ler] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–adjective
1. pertaining to or involving atomic weapons: nuclear war.
2. operated or powered by atomic energy: a nuclear submarine.
3. (of a nation or group of nations) having atomic weapons.
4. of, pertaining to, or forming a nucleus.
5. of, pertaining to, or like the nuclear family: nuclear bonds.
–noun Informal.
6. nuclear energy: switching to nuclear as a power source.
[Origin: 1840–50; nucle(us) + -ar1; cf. F nucléaire]

—Pronunciation note In pronouncing nuclear, the second and third syllables are most commonly said as /-kliər/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[-klee-er] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation, a sequence of sounds that directly reflects the spelled sequence ‑cle·ar. In recent years, a somewhat controversial pronunciation has come to public attention, with these two final syllables said as /-kyələr/[-kyuh-ler]. Since /-kliər/[-klee-er], the common pronunciation of ‑cle·ar, might also be represented, broadly, as /-kləyər/[-kluh-yer], the /-kyələr/[-kyuh-ler] pronunciation can be seen as coming from a process of metathesis, in which the /l/[l] and the /y/[y] change places. The resulting pronunciation is reinforced by analogy with such words as molecular, particular, and muscular, and although it occurs with some frequency among highly educated speakers, including scientists, professors, and government officials, it is disapproved of by many.

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Federal Marshal
Jan 28, 2005
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Edmond
#13
Perhaps they could. Your point? Or did you not have one? Just wanted to make a sarcastic comment to get your view out there since you can't seem to discuss anything related to the topic?
You should know about sarcasm and making comments completely unrelated to the topic at hand.
 

Donnyboy

Lettin' the high times carry the low....
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This article makes the dangerous presupposition that the same congress that gave Bush carte blanche to do whatever the hell he wanted is the same one that is currently trying to pull us out of this mess.
In large part it is......

Look up your current congress members that were in office when the vote listed above passed......for the most part it is the same congress.
 

OSU Sig

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#17
OK. It also makes the dangerous presupposition that the information that they were provided with to grant that dictatorial power was truthful/accurate. In fact its a ridiculous article. Please god someone post an article about how the same congress that passes the 18th amendment also passed the 21st.
The only thing ridiculous is your lame response. Oh, and feel free to post this article regarding the 18th & 21st amendments you are speaking of.
 

Donnyboy

Lettin' the high times carry the low....
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#19
I hear you buildings....but to me my problem with congress is the tone in which they take regarding Bush.

I am not a big Bush fan.....I will acknowledge he has had the hardest presidency in decades much of which was no fault of his own.....but many in congress voted for whatever the popular cowboy put in front of them because it was well a popular cowboy and America loves popular cowboys. Now they slam language in the Patriot Act after having voted for it.....that wasn't an evidence issue it was right before them in black and white. To the evidence, it isn't like Bush and Cheney sat down one day with photo shop and why didn't such peace loving officials question what they were looking at when it was presented.......could it be Bush had an approval rating in the 70's at the time and we were all bloated on "freedom fries"?

I think so... and that is my problem with the Bush bashers that were in at the time.......they would have voted for all muslims to be locked in a compound on 9-15 because the nation loved Bush's take charge swagger. Now that the approval rating is the in the 20's they are equally as critical as they were sheepish......it's fake.
 

okstateguy987

Teamo Supremo
May 7, 2007
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#20
OK. It also makes the dangerous presupposition that the information that they were provided with to grant that dictatorial power was truthful/accurate. In fact its a ridiculous article. Please god someone post an article about how the same congress that passes the 18th amendment also passed the 21st.
dictatorial power? please tell me what this is. as I understand it, the President has done what is within his constitutional rights.

we've been over this many times, the information was the best we had at the time. you cannot use hindsight to say that we made the wrong decision. how would we have known it was wrong? and many people disagree that it was wrong anyway. Congress made the decision. If they wanted better information, then they should have asked for it. everybody was gung ho at the outset anyway, so you can't reflect the same views today.

you missed the point of the whole article.

The point of the article is that we are making progress in Iraq! So to pull out right now or anytime in the near future completely undermines all that we have accomplished there. Then our dead soldiers would have really died in vain.