Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More on "We're Taking Him Out" Silliness from GWB

The OTHER McCain notes that John McCain has little use for GWB's silly attitude, and supplies history.

The possibility of defeat is among the reasons why war should be avoided if possible. I am reminded of Nicias, the Athenian general who argued against undertaking the fateful Sicilian expedition in the Pelopponesian War but who, once the decision was made to undertake the expedition, insisted that it be made with all available force. Athens could afford the expedition, but could not afford defeat.

John McCain has indicated his disdain of Bush's jocular "f--- Saddam, we're taking him out" attitude -- an attitude he says the president manifested a year before the invasion. But McCain has steadfastly insisted that, if we were going to fight in Iraq, we make the fight full-strength. Fight to win, or don't fight at all.

Bush's decision was made long, long before the Administration began its propaganda campaign; but Rummy's "Lean-War" stupidity damn near made Iraq into another Vietnam.

At least it can be said that Bush owned up and fixed the problem with the surge.


Emily said...

At least it can be said that Bush owned up and fixed the problem with the surge.

No, it really can't.

Amy said...

No, it really can't.

Explain, please.

Dad29 said...

emily, nobody but the Commander in Chief could have authorized the surge.

If you're arguing that "the problem is not fixed," then we'll have to define the problem.

Clearly, there are several, and some of them the US will never fix.

But some (the violence-level pre-surge) HAVE been fixed, just like the progress toward self-governance in Iraq.

The way I wrote the post, it was not clear, but 'the problem' I referred to was the continuing violent resistance in Mosul (and a few other places.)

Emily said...

You're right, the CIC is the only one who can authorize such a move. I wasn't disputing that. Perhaps we both suffered from lack of clarity.

What I was disputing was that Bush, and much of his administration, had really owned up to their mistakes. I will grant that, as far as the statistics have been showing, the Surge has made some progress in reducing the levels of violence in the country. That's good. But I have heard nothing from Bush et al in terms of admitting to 1) going to war on false pretenses and 2) going to war without proper planning, and a too-small force.

Dad29 said...

You'll NEVER hear from Bush that the Administration lied about 'why war.' That's because the administration avoids the real question.

They avoid Just War theory's first premise: that just wars are almost exclsively defensive. Iraq was a "pre-emptive" war--exceptionally rare in JWT theory.

There is some 'wiggle room' in JWT for 'pre-emptive' wars--and perhaps just enough for the Iraq adventure to be licit.

In the case of Iraq, there was plenty of confusion over WMDs and whether SH might use them. SH himself asserted that he had them and WOULD use them (and he had done so, internally.) That is the 'wiggle room,' b/c prevention of greater harm IS a condition of liceity. "Nonetheless, the principle of self-defense can be extrapolated to anticipate probable acts of aggression, as well as in assisting others against an oppressive government or from another external threat (interventionism). Therefore, it is commonly held that aggressive war is only permissible if its purpose is to retaliate against a wrong already committed (e.g., to pursue and punish an aggressor), or to pre-empt an anticipated attack." (http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/j/justwar.htm)

IOW, it's not black, nor white.

As to "own up," Bush doesn't exactly have to make a public confession. He fired Rumsfield and then initiated the surge. 2+2=4.