April 05, 2006
Americans - The Run Away Generation?
The phone rings in the early evening, reminding me yet again we are in an election year. The rhetoric heats up as Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi pretend to present a plan that Democrats are better on National Defense. Marxist ANSWER, while still organizing the
anti-American "anti-war" demonstrations also has their fingers on the organized anti-American "pro-illegal immigrant" demonstrations/May 1st strike. Patriotism, at least American patriotism, is a dirty word at middle and high schools banning flags or any show of American patriotism on school property as "provocative."
Such peace at all costs softness is not lost on the radical ideology that we have been struggling against for much longer than 9/11/01. Specifically, in totalitarian Iran, Hassan Abbasi is delighted that America's true character of cowardice will soon make a reappearance.
For the past several weeks Mr. Abbasi has been addressing crowds of Guard and Baseej Mustadafin (Mobilization of the Dispossessed) officers in Tehran with a simple theme: The U.S. does not have the stomach for a long conflict and will soon revert to its traditional policy of "running away," leaving Afghanistan and Iraq, indeed the whole of the Middle East, to be reshaped by Iran and its regional allies.Is Abbasi right? Will we soon return to 9/10/01 where we would rather worry about ordering that extra shot of espresso in our morning coffee or which movie we'll attend that weekend then worrying about over there? Have we grown so European in our elitism/nihilism that undiluted love and pride in our nation is something to snicker or roll our eyes about?
To hear Mr. Abbasi tell it the entire recent history of the U.S. could be narrated with the help of the image of "the last helicopter." It was that image in Saigon that concluded the Vietnam War under Gerald Ford. Jimmy Carter had five helicopters fleeing from the Iranian desert, leaving behind the charred corpses of eight American soldiers. Under Ronald Reagan the helicopters carried the bodies of 241 Marines murdered in their sleep in a Hezbollah suicide attack. Under the first President Bush, the helicopter flew from Safwan, in southern Iraq, with Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf aboard, leaving behind Saddam Hussein's generals, who could not believe why they had been allowed live to fight their domestic foes, and America, another day. Bill Clinton's helicopter was a Black Hawk, downed in Mogadishu and delivering 16 American soldiers into the hands of a murderous crowd.
According to this theory, President George W. Bush is an "aberration," a leader out of sync with his nation's character and no more than a brief nightmare for those who oppose the creation of an "American Middle East." Messrs. Abbasi and Ahmadinejad have concluded that there will be no helicopter as long as George W. Bush is in the White House. But they believe that whoever succeeds him, Democrat or Republican, will revive the helicopter image to extricate the U.S. from a complex situation that few Americans appear to understand.
As Iran sets it sights on nuclear weapons with accompanying pronoucements that Israel and Jews have no right to exist, why do so many Americans shrug and think we aren't on the Dar ul Islam radar? The Iranian
President Theocratic Dictator Ahmadinejad believes:
the U.S. is a "sunset" (ofuli) power while Iran is a sunrise (tolu'ee) one and, once Mr. Bush is gone, a future president would admit defeat and order a retreat as all of Mr. Bush's predecessors have done since Jimmy Carter.YOU might not survive to live under the Islamic Republic of America, but Islamists believe your children or grandchildren will.
Is that the future you want to bequeath them?
A truer movie quote has rarely been written:
You can do what's right, or what's easy.
Posted by Darleen at April 5, 2006 12:30 PM
the sad thing, Darleen, is that the "complex situation that few Americans appear to understand" includes bloggers like yourself, who have yet to understand what is really going on in Iraq. The fact is that whether we "cut and run" from Iraq, the political situation there has ALREADY been shaped by Iran. We have no influence on the Iraqi people anymore and have lost the war. Our troops cannot provide adequate security, cannot understand the culture and complex rivalries at play in the communities there, and therefore have no way of obtaining good intelligence, infiltrating and/or curtailing the insurgency. And as a civil war plays out there in slow motion, we cannot stop that either. The game's over. Your brave Bush did a really stupid thing and helped create a haven and breeding ground for terrorism-- something not seen since, oh, the Russians occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980's. And we all know how that turned out.
Posted by: Brad at April 5, 2006 07:52 PM
You're wrong, Brad.
You think that Saddam in power today would have made the US safer?
Damn, you really DO want an Islamist future for the world, whether you articulate it or not.
Posted by: Darleen at April 5, 2006 08:15 PM
You forget that Saddam received tacit support from Reagan and Bush administrations during the Iraq Iran war-- because he was a secular despot, and could check the spread of Iranian style theocracy. We gave Saddam $ and weapons technology and then looked the other way when he gassed the Kurds. Therefore, your formula (Saddam in power = spread of Islamism) doesn't compute. In fact, the opposite has happened. With Saddam's removal the power vacuum has been filled with Islamofascists. Don't you get it?
Posted by: Brad at April 6, 2006 09:29 AM
What you neglect to mention, Brad, is the bombing of Iraq during Clinton's presidency. The untold thousands of Iraqi civilians who died because they lived too close to baby food factories and the like.
1999, where there was an almost daily destroying of Iraq, ordered by Clinton and fully supported by kerry, Kennedy, Pelosi, et. al.
It was during this period, and no other before, that fueled the hatred against America. It was during this time, and never before, that Osama points to when he says that Americans stain the sands of the Holy Land (Saudi Arabia). It is Mogadishu, and how we fled, that makes radical Muslims (who grew in great power during the 1990s) point to the weakness of America.
Osama bin Laden declared war on the U.S. in 1993, and attacked the World Trade Center. Throughout the 1990s, he directed his legionos to attack U.S. installations all over the world. What started as small, random, occasional terrorist actions, became focused against the U.S.
What Reagan and Bush did was wrong, but you omit an entire 8 year period where we all had a chance to see what the Democrats would do if they were in power. If you haven't forgot what Reagan and Bush did in the 1980s, then you haven't forgot what Clinton did (and didn't do) in the 1990s. Which means that you are cherry picking the facts as they suit you, conveniently omitting history, and lying. And that's something that, reading your posts, we ALL get.
Posted by: Feo Amante at April 6, 2006 07:08 PM
"With Saddam's removal the power vacuum has been filled with Islamofascists."
Well, they tried to step in. But somehow their habit of killing civilians has alienated the Iraqis.
Who thought that mass murder could make people so unpopular? Now even the Sunnis are leaving the "insurgency" and rejoining the political process.
But if you close your eyes and click your heels together, you can go to that special place in your mind in which: Iraq was better off under Saddam, stupid Arabs can't handle democracy, and no Republican president has never done anything right.
Posted by: Attila Girl at April 7, 2006 12:12 AM
and no Republican president has never done anything right.
Except for Abraham Lincoln. So long as we don't remember that he:
instituted a draft
used Federal troops to put down draft riots
suspended the writ of habeus corpus
shut down newspapers and jailed (or expelled) editors for sedition
imposed an income tax
printed paper currency
Had moveon.org existed in 1862, they would have gone ballistic...
Posted by: I R A Darth Aggie at April 7, 2006 06:37 AM
Hardly seems anti-American to oppose US policies in the Middle East, which (so far as I can see) aren't doing anyone any good.
Same goes for demonstrations against puntitive immigration policies.
Marxists? Are there any of those left?
Personally I have no complaints about banning flags, if flying them causes disorder.
Beats me why the far right gets so upset about some school district's policies when they usually:
(1) Don't live in the school districts they're complaining about.
(2) Don't vote in that districts and
(3) And usually send their kids to expensive private schools, in any event.
Posted by: Carl W. Goss at April 7, 2006 08:01 AM
I'd like to point out an inconsistency in the logic you applied addressing my responses.
Your point is that Clinton's actions during the post-Gulf War 90's are the primary reason for the hatred directed at us by the 9/11 conspiracists:
It was during this period, and no other before, that fueled the hatred against America. It was during this time, and never before, that Osama points to when he says that Americans stain the sands of the Holy Land (Saudi Arabia).
Yet in the following paragraph, you cite the Feb. 93 attack on the Trade Center:
Osama bin Laden declared war on the U.S. in 1993, and attacked the World Trade Center
First of all, the official declaration of war by Osama occurred in 1996. In '98 the two African embassies were hit, and then in 2000 the USS Cole.
Second: the Islamist terrorists who planned the WTC in '93 are in jail.
Third: The Trade Center bombing in '93 occurred barely two months into Clinton's first term. If you are going to insinuate that Clinton was responsible for that, then how can any Bush defender argue that Bush's administration should not be held accountable for intelligence lapses that preceied the 9/11 attacks (which occurred a full 8 months into his first term)?
Fourth: Departing Clinton staff (including his National Security Advisor) told Bush staffers in January 2001 that al Qaeda was the most important threat on the horizon, and yet no meetings were held to deal with al Qaeda until the week of Sept 11. In fact, the Bush administration considered the biggest threat to be ICBMs from a rogue nation, and were asking for more fundins for space based missile defense at the same time they were asking that the counter terrorism budget be cut.
I wasn't cherry picking; Clinton absolutely could have done more to fight the growing threat of Islamist terrorism (although when he sent cruise missiles against the Afghan training camps the Republicans said he was just trying to distract everyone from his impeachment proceedings). I was going father back to present a more historical picture: this mess we're in didn't start with Clinton. It didn't even start with reagan. It's the consequence of decades of bad U.S. foreign policy decisions that include our overthrow of the democratically elected President of Iran in 1953, to our support of oppressive regimes in Iraq, Iran and Egypt, to our insistence by Bush's Dad to keep our troops stationed in Saudi Arabia after the first Gulf War, thereby fueling Osama and his fanatical ideology. Ask yourself: what must we do to win over hearts and minds in the Middle East? Occupying Iraq for the indefinite future, with no exit strategy? Constructing permanent military bases in Iraq? That isn't the answer.
Posted by: Brad at April 7, 2006 08:54 AM
During the Iran-Iraq war we supported Saddam to the point of stalemate between Iraq and Iran. IE, we invested in the status quo.
But make no mistake, Saddam was a SOVIET client and some of those ties have held true after the USSR collapse since Saddam counted on his bribes of the Russians and French to keep the US from enforcing his cease-fire obligations.
Posted by: Darleen at April 7, 2006 01:26 PM
Boy, are you on the money here, Darleen. And, please, more on the Russian angle - I've been watching Russia in the Middle East with great interst. Check out this (rather old) Shapiro article for an interesting take: http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/benshapiro/2002/12/04/165080.html
I think Brad has been enjoying Hollywood versions of war for too long to allow him a clear picture of the influence of past failures (Mogadishu, Kosovo, and others) on modern policy (notably, that of the enemy). If only we lived in a plastic bubble. Liberals would have a great time preparing to meet threats where none existed, and watching the world spend its time killing and oppressing, if they didn't have to do anything about it.
But speaking of Hollywood, I just have one question, and though it may seem to sidetrack, I'm terribly interested. Where did that movie quote come from?
Posted by: K. at April 7, 2006 05:59 PM
This will be my last post on the matter as the days move past and other news comes to light.
Starting with your first response here:
“We have no influence on the Iraqi people anymore and have lost the war.”
And you base this on what news source? Links please.
On this item, I’ll provide you with links to the contrary, while avoiding blogs, op-eds, columnists, and FoxNews. Only liberal news sources. Washington Post is questionable in their leanings so I’ll avoid them too. Only news sources whose reports display a clear liberal slant. Even so:
Election Eve Lock-downs Begin in Iraq
CNN reported “More than 14.2 million Iraqis who are 18 and older are registered to vote”
“More than 280,000 Iraqis registered abroad, though that figure represents only about 25 percent of those eligible to vote. The biggest group was in Iran, where 60,000 registered.”
This, despite the fact that blood thirsty terrorists and thugs - what CNN calls insurgents, did this:
“Insurgents distributed leaflets in two Baghdad neighborhoods Friday threatening those who might participate in the elections.
"This is to everyone who wants to stand in the queues of elections, the queues of doom and death,"”
Iraqis Worldwide Celebrate Landmark Vote
“Many Iraqis expressed gratitude not only for the chance to vote, but also for the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam.
"I'd like to thank every American in uniform," said Nick Najjar in Southgate, Michigan.”
Prompting even former president Carter to momentarily lose the malaise
Carter Ends Silence, Praises Iraqi Voting
“Former President Jimmy Carter, who predicted that elections in Iraq would fail and in the past year described the Bush administration's policy there as a quagmire, this week ended 10 days of silence to declare the historic Iraqi vote "a very successful effort."
"I hope that we'll have every success in Iraq," Mr. Carter said in a CNN interview. "And that election, I think, was a surprisingly good step forward."
And what was the outcome of that vote?
Rafsanjani To Face Tehran Mayor
“About 31 million people -- nearly two-thirds of eligible voters -- took part in Friday's election. Of their ballots, 1.2 million were thrown out because they were "spoiled," the government said.”
Dec. 15, 2005
Iraqis world wide, vote again
Turnout Strong for Iraq Parlimentary Vote
BAGHDAD, Iraq Dec 15, 2005 (AP)— Iraqis voted Thursday in one of the largest and freest elections in the Arab world, with strong turnout reported in Sunni areas and even a shortage of ballots in some precincts. Several explosions rocked Baghdad throughout the day, but the level of violence was low.
And lets not forget the BBC
Saddam Hussein arrested in Iraq
Saddam Hussein emerged from his hiding place "very much bewildered" and said "hardly anything at first", according to Major-General Odierno.
I mean, it’s easy to research all of this yourself, and outside of seeing your words, actually, your words nearly quoted by Palestinian writer and avowed anti-American journalist, Remi Kanazi in his Op-ed,
Accepting Reality: America Lost the War in Iraq
The late Colonel David Hackworth, best known as an advisor during the Vietnam “conflict”, said something very similar in 2004,
"There is no military solution to the war. We have lost the war in Iraq."
Then the elections happened and he wound up backtracking.
Ex military man, Robert Gaeik said it again on January, 28 2005
“We lost in Vietnam and we have lost the war in Iraq.”
In other words, I’m only seeing this attitude in liberal blogs and liberal Op-eds. Not even credible left wing news agencies are reporting this. Not even CNN or AP.
And all of these just scratch the surface, but this is a blog response after all. So where do you get your information that “We have no influence on the Iraqi people anymore and have lost the war.”
So, links please.
“And as a civil war plays out there in slow motion, we cannot stop that either.”
The big question that other news agencies world wide seem to be asking of the American media is, “What civil war?”
You would think that, of all news agencies, Al Jazeera, which seems to take a delight in reporting on the evil U.S., wouldn’t try to cover our butts now. But even though they predicted it might happen,
even they are asking “What civil war?”
And even report, wonderingly, on a Berkely, California professor who is telling all who will listen that there actually IS a civil war. He just can't say where or who is fighting it.
“As'ad AbuKhalil, author of The Battle for Saudi Arabia: Royalty, Fundamentalism, and Global Power and Bin Laden, Islam, and America's New 'War on Terrorism', believes Iraq has become a country of "mayhem, pillage, and plunder" and its demise threatens stability in the region.
He is now professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus, and visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley.
Al J: Should the US military withdraw its forces from Iraq?
The US has, strategically speaking, lost Iraq ... there is no option of victory. They lose if they stay, they lose if they leave.”
Former interim Prime Minster of Iraq, Ayad Allawi, once accused by the U.S. left of being nothing more than a Bush mouthpiece, said this:
"If this is not a civil war, then God knows what civil war is," he said.
But Allawi isn’t in Iraq.
The same article also spoke to former Pakistani diplomat Ashraf Qazi, currently the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq
NEWSWEEK's Malcolm Beith:
Allawi says that Iraq is in a state of "civil war." You've said that it is not.
QAZI: I don't want to [debate] the semantics. There is a serious sectarian situation, a serious security situation, which needs to be addressed by a broad-based government as soon as possible. As to whether you would apply a definition of civil war to the present situation is a matter that can be debated.
The Associated Press
Many leaders called for calm. "We are facing a major conspiracy that is targeting Iraq's unity," said President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd. "We should all stand hand in hand to prevent the danger of a civil war."
And all of your other statements about the U.S. losing, how bad the Iraq war is, on and on, are equally, and easily, refuted by all who are there reporting the news – even those who specifically feel they have an axe to grind against the U.S. All of your anti-war statements are opinion blog statements – in other words, untrue. And speaking of blogs, Kevin Sites, whose biggest claim to fame is that he started instigating the news instead of reporting it, by goading a young soldier into asking a question that Sites had invented,
really wants to see a civil war in Iraq; is going all over that country looking for one and even HE can’t find it!
So how can we lose a civil war that isn’t even happening? You ask others to get it. We do. I do. Are you getting it yet?
News links over. Next subject
First of all, the official declaration of war by Osama occurred in 1996. In '98 the two African embassies were hit, and then in 2000 the USS Cole.
Are you referring to the attacks in August 7, 1998, in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania? Planned by Osama who said, in 1998,
“We - with God's help - call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it,"
Second: the Islamist terrorists who planned the WTC in '93 are in jail.
No, the Islamist terrorists who carried OUT the WTC in ’93 are in jail.
The terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks are dead.
The group that planned it is the Al Quaeda, as led by Osama bin Laden
I was 3 years off about Osama’s declaration occurring in 1993, though.
Third: The Trade Center bombing in '93 occurred barely two months into Clinton's first term. If you are going to insinuate that Clinton was responsible for that, then how can any Bush defender argue that Bush's administration should not be held accountable for intelligence lapses that precede the 9/11 attacks (which occurred a full 8 months into his first term)?
Actually, I don’t think I’ve said anything to defend Bush. I’m questioning your empty rhetoric, which appears to be absolutely baseless and irrational even while you presume to “educate” others.
But I maintain the ’93 bombing accusation in the same way that the Democrats keep chanting the mantra, over and over, that 9/11 happened on Bush’s watch.
Fred Branfman, the Huffington post
CBS alledges that this happened in the Kerry camp.
They have a recording
Denis Hamel of the New York Daily news
But don’t go away, because if you google, "9/11 happened on Bush's watch" you’ll get over 800 pages of news items and blogs where liberals repeated that mantra all during the 2003/2004 period - and then some. In fact, it’s starting up again in preparation for 2008.
The phrase is actually attributed to JohnKerry.com and even has a few links there, though if you go to his website, you’ll find that those pages no longer exist.
If it’s unfair – If Clinton was unaware of WTC ’93, and Nairobi, Kenya, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 1998, and Yemen in 2000 – then why is it fair to tar Bush with 9/11? Because more people died? Bush had an extra - 6 months? But didn’t all of these previous attacks lead up to 9/11? Didn’t Bush inherit Osama, Saddam, and an intelligence gathering organization that was downgraded, broken up, and, as a matter of policy instituted by the Clinton administration, walled off from sharing information? Isn’t that the U.S. intelligence culture that Bush also inherited from Clinton?
Yes. Tarring Clinton with an attack that occurred only about 4 months after his election is unfair. As it is unfair to do the same thing to Bush. Stalemate.
I wasn't cherry picking
Oh yes. You were exactly cherry picking. In your first post you said of Bush:
“Your brave Bush did a really stupid thing and helped create a haven and breeding ground for terrorism…”
Then, in your second post, you went after Reagan and Bush 41:
“You forget that Saddam received tacit support from Reagan and Bush administrations during the Iraq Iran war…”
Two blogs where you pointed out errors made only by Republican presidents while leaping over 8 long years in between: The period where Osama rose to power.
As I’ve said before. We get it. You clearly don’t. Or if you do get it, then you are not being intellectually honest. You never mentioned Clinton until I called you out on it.
“Fourth: Departing Clinton staff (including his National Security Advisor) told Bush staffers in January 2001 that al Qaeda was the most important threat on the horizon.”
After 8 years in office, I'm sure they told Bush one hell of a lot of thhings. Links please? Or is that information now only heresy because Clinton’s hired gun, Sandy Berger, committed the felony of stealing classified documents, carrying them away in HIS PANTS by accident, and destroying them?
“It's the consequence of decades of bad U.S. foreign policy decisions that include our overthrow of the democratically elected President of Iran in 1953…”
Ah! You want historical perspective, eh? You are referring to the infamous 28 Mordad coup (August 19, 1953 by our calendar) and the overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq. Notice how you have a knack of remembering the names behind historical events when it suits you: that cherry picking thing again.
Whenever it’s a republican, then you say Your Bush! Or you name names. Whenever a democrat may be to blame, you pass over the events entirely or refer to the incident as an “Our” as in all Americans. When you think a republican leader does something wrong, you blame the republicans. When a democrat does something wrong. Then “We”, as America, did it.
In this case, Former Democratic President, Harry Truman, who inherited WWII from Roosevelt, was responsible for the coup.
The American Media, during that period of stalwart honest reporting that George Clooney loves so well, covered up the entire incident.
Tell me, if the overthrow of the Shah was fueled by the long memories of the Iranians, who do you think they were remembering? The republicans or the democrats? I ask this because the overthrow of the Shah came during Jimmy Carter’s administration. The rise of Osama bin Laden occurred during the Clinton administration.
Reagan inherited Carter’s Iranian problems, Bush inherited Clinton’s Al Qaeda problems, and we are still dealing with the Iranian problem.
Btw, I’ll tell you what our exit strategy in Iraq is: Victory.
But what is our exit strategy in Bosnia and Croatia, also inherited?
“Constructing permanent military bases in Iraq? That isn't the answer.”
It isn’t? Since when? Wasn't that the democratic answer in WWII?
What is our exit strategy, when will our soldiers be able to leave, Japan, Germany, and South Korea?
You seek historical perspective?
Did Americans drop the atom bomb on Japan or did the democrats?
Did Americans create the P.O.W. camps for Japanese Americans, or did the democrats?
Did Americans take away the Second Amendment rights from all Asian Americans, or was it the democrats?
Was it a majority of republicans who voted for the Civil Rights act? Or was it a majority of democrats?
Was it a republican George Wallace who stood on the school steps and made his infamous “Segregation Forever!” speech, or was it a democrat George Wallace?
One more thing: Is the only former KKK leader in the senate a republican or democrat? He joined in 1943, so it wasn’t because the KKK was “anti-communist”. No one ever had to join the Klan just to be anti-communist.
Roosevelt was calling the Butcher of Russia “Uncle Joe”.
And what was anti-communist about Byrd trying to destroy Martin Luther King? Byrd said he left the Klan in 1947, and yet he remained on as an advisor to the Grand Imperial Wizard.
And in 1948, Byrd publicly announced, “I will never submit to fight beneath that banner with a Negro by my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds."
In his congressional record, he voted against both Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas for supreme court justice. On Fox news he told Tony Snow, "There are white niggers. I've seen a lot of white niggers in my time. I'm going to use that word. We just need to work together to make our country a better country, and I'd just as soon quit talking about it so much."
And was there a single member of his party or the media who raised their voice against him? Of course not. They didn't see ANYTHING wrong with what Byrd said, or what he has ever done. All is forgiven. After all, he is a democrat!
Yes Brad, we get it. We have a historical perspective and clearly see the pattern. We “capiche”, as you say.
You should get it, google it, or better yet, go to a public library. Read from a wide variety of sources. A narrow slice of information only serves a narrow mind. Educate yourself a little bit outside of blogs and Op-Eds. Then come back and try to educate us.
Posted by: Feo Amante at April 7, 2006 09:16 PM
The movie quote was the near the end of the 4th Harry Potter movie (Goblet of Fire) as Dumbledore tells him dark times are ahead.
Posted by: Darleen at April 7, 2006 10:47 PM
Good grief. You've obviously got a lot more time on your hands than I do. I'm not even sure where to begin to respond to your multiple comments, retorts, allegations, distortions, and irrelevant remarks (e.g., "Second Amendment rights for Japanese Americans"?).
How about this, though....since you seem to have so much time: I'll provide you with something better than links. I'll provide you with my real sources for every one of my remarks. They are not on the internet per se but in books, authored by people with far more historical perspective and credibility than you can muster. And if you would do yourself the favor of reading even one of them, rather than resorting to partisan attacks on Democrats (which only resound in the Wingnut echo chamber of the blogosphere and do not advance any wider understanding of our nation's history), then I will do you the service of continuing this futile debate (futile, because you yourself have determined by te first sentence of your tired tirade to have the last word on this and then move on). Here goes:
Charlie Wilson's War by George Crile: the real story behind our covert war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, and how our assistance to the mujahedeen then (including Osama bin Laden) came back to hurt us
Ghost Wars by Steve Coll: don't dismiss this as just another liberal journalist's book either. All 600+ pages are full of fascinating inside details
All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror by Stephen Kinzer: the true story behind our overthrow of Mossadegh in '53
State of War by James Risen: especially recommend chapter entitled "Searching for WMD"
The New American Militarism : How Americans Are Seduced by War by Andrew Bacevich:
the author is a Vietnam Vet who went to West Point and he has a PdD in history. Read this especially if you think our current strategy in Iraq is working.
By the way, "Victory" as an exit strategy is a hollow, meaningless concept unless and until you (but more importantly, our leaders in Washington and the Pentagon) actually define it.
Posted by: Brad at April 9, 2006 09:18 AM