March 19, 2007

Guest Post: Rep. Duncan Hunter

For this extended primary season, we have an extraordinary opportunity to get acquainted with the men and women who want to run for the Presidency. I have extended invitations to all campaigns to have their candidates post their messages to CQ readers. Today, I'm happy to introduce Representative Duncan Hunter, in an exclusive post regarding the surge strategy in Iraq.

An Exclusive Post For Captain's Quarters On The Surge In Iraq

I would like to thank Ed Morrissey for giving me the opportunity to write a guest blog at Captain’s Quarters about the surge in Iraq. The courtesy is much appreciated.

Now, let me take a moment to talk about Iraq. What we're doing in that country is following the same basic pattern that we've used to expand freedom around the world for more than 60 years in places like Japan, Europe, and El Salvador. First, you stand up a free government. Next, you stand up a military capable of protecting that free government, and lastly, the Americans leave.

We've stood up this free government in Iraq and we've also stood up 129 Iraqi battalions that are trained and equipped. What we need to do now is rotate all those Iraqi battalions into combat zones, which will help re-enforce the chain of command, develop combat effectiveness, and help validate the civilian government's control over the military.

While those Iraqi troops are getting battle hardened, they'll need the support of American troops. That's where the President's plan comes in. You can call it a surge, you can call it an escalation, you can call it whatever you want, but what the President is doing is sending reinforcements to Iraq to help mentor and train the Iraqi troops, secure the country, and complete the mission.

I returned this week from a fact-finding trip to Iraq where I met with top U.S. military commanders in Baghdad, Ramadi, and Fallujah and was briefed by Iraqi Army and police officials.

In a letter to the President, I made several recommendations and attached a sample schedule for three-month field operations for all 129 Iraqi battalions, a plan that can be executed within the next six months.

Once the Iraqis are capable of taking responsibility for their own security, then we can rotate American troops home with the knowledge that Iraq is not a threat to our nation and will not be a state sponsor of terrorism.

At this critical point, the members of Congress who are engaging in political posturing, while our soldiers are carrying out their mission, are doing a real disservice to the troops. Let me add that if the Democrats were to cut off reinforcements and supplies to our troops in Iraq, our troops will never forgive them and I don't think the American people will ever forgive them either.

Speaking from experience as someone who has had a son who spent two tours serving in Iraq as a Marine, I know that it's not easy for us here at home to know that our troops are risking their lives expanding freedom in a foreign country. But, even though it's difficult and dangerous work, it's also vital.


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» CapitolLink: Candidates' Quarters from Beltway Blogroll
Ed Morrissey has opened his pages at Captain's Quarters to all 2008 presidential candidates willing to post entries at the conservative site, and Rep. Duncan Hunter became the first to accept the offer today. The California Republican, fresh back from... [Read More]

» Duncan Hunter blogs at The Captains Quarters from Spark It Up!!!
Another great piece by Duncan Hunter is up at The Captains Quarters. He addresses the troop reinforcement in Iraq. Duncan Hunter in 08! [Read More]

» The ‘Rents of War from The Coffeespy
With all the attention Senator Webb has gotten for having a son serving in Iraq, I was quite surprised to find a pro-war representative who has a son who served 2 tours in Iraq as a Marine.  From the Captain’s Quarters, Rep. Duncan Hunter speak... [Read More]

» Duncan Hunter Guest Post at Captain's Quarters. from Stix Blog
Hopefully more and more candidates do this throughout the campaign season. This is a good way to get their message out to more people. The only bad thing is that mostly they will be preaching to the chopir about most [Read More]

» CQ Guest Post: Rep. Duncan Hunter from Bill's Bites
An Exclusive Post For Captain's Quarters On The Surge In Iraq Rep. Duncan Hunter I would like to thank Ed Morrissey for giving me the opportunity to write a guest blog at Captain’s Quarters about the surge in Iraq. The [Read More]

» CQ Guest Post: Rep. Duncan Hunter from Old War Dogs
An Exclusive Post For Captain's Quarters On The Surge In Iraq Rep. Duncan Hunter I would like to thank Ed Morrissey for giving me the opportunity to write a guest blog at Captain’s Quarters about the surge in Iraq. The [Read More]

» 4 year anniversary of the Iraq war from Sister Toldjah
Today is the anniversary of when the war in Iraq started. Republican presidential hopeful Rep. Duncan Hunter has a guest post up at Captain Ed’s that should be considered a must-read on the issue of Iraq, especially today. An excerpt: At this ... [Read More]

Comments (33)

Posted by athingortwo [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 8:10 AM

Rep. Duncan's comments in support of the surge and America's efforts to foster a free, secure, and allied Iraq are appreciated ... but his discussion of his own "plan" for military field operations is another ridiculous example of a Congressional armchair general, of which there are legions. It's not his job to presume to advise our Commander in Chief on military field strategy and tactics, it's his job to legislate. Thank you, Congressman, but Mr. Bush already has a field commander, General Petraeus, who has a plan and a team of subordinate commanders and men and women to carry out the plan.

Yes, we all know that Congressman Hunter is running for President, and wants a chance to play "me too" on defense matters. But you don't see Rudy Giuliani running around pushing three-month field maneuver plans, effectively second-guessing the commanders in Iraq. Let's leave General Petraeus to do his job, until he has proved either a success or a failure at it. If the former, congratulate him and his team, and if the latter, well, then Mr. Bush will have to find a better general.

Posted by TomB [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 8:21 AM

The war effort and obvious progres is being very succesfully undermined by the Left, combined with MSM. They call themselves "Voice of the People" but really they actions are treacherous. It all started with not punishing "Hanoi Jane" for treason some 30 years ago. So now it is free for all the wacos, and to hell with USA.
I feel to puke...

Posted by Ultra [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 10:45 AM

" ... but his discussion of his own "plan" for military field operations is another ridiculous example of a Congressional armchair general, of which there are legions. It's not his job to presume to advise our Commander in Chief on military field strategy and tactics, it's his job to legislate. Thank you, Congressman, but Mr. Bush already has a field commander, General Petraeus, who has a plan and a team of subordinate commanders and men and women to carry out the plan."

This plan was delivered to President Bush before Hunter went public. They're recommendations about what could be done to help out the troops and the war effort.

After all, Hunter is a part of the Armed Services Committee (and has been for over two decades) and he was Chairman of it during the 109th Congress. I would think the President would appreciate his input.

Posted by Rovin [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 10:54 AM

While many (from the eastern seaboard) may not know much of Duncan Hunter, he served his country in Viet Nam (link) and has been on the House Armed Services Committee. While athingortwo may be a little over the top on his/her criticism of Mr. Hunters suggestions and plans, I would submit that Mr. Hunter is well qualified to make suggestions to the President, unlike the our dear friends on the left side of the isle that are demanding and implementing the conduct of the war via legislation----that would better characterize the "armchair general" that athingortwo is alluding to. Has Rudy Giuliani even been to Iraq?

Duncan Hunter understands the ramifications of failure in Iraq and is "suggesting" plans for a stable Iraq and success in this nobel cause. I see no determination/"plans"/suggestions for a victorious and the safe return of our military by the defeatist on the left who have already surrendered to failure.

Posted by RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 11:20 AM

I don't trust Duncan Hunter on economic issues. He may agree with the angry mob on trade issues, but the angry mob doesn't always know their facts. His protectionist tendencies trouble me. He's still better than any Democrat, but certainly not my first choice.

Posted by treehugger [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 11:21 AM

Yes, but while we "stand up" a muslim army in Iraq, ancient Christian populations like the Chaldeans and Assyrians are being systematically ethnically cleansed.

No one is protecting them.

For example, from the Assyrian News Network...Muslims Forcing Christian Assyrians in Baghdad Neighborhood to Pay 'Protection Tax'.

Here is a clip from another AINA report from Christians who have fled to Sweden...

"The front door is opened, two children enter and it gets quiet. It is Sargon and a friend. The parents do not want anyone to talk about the violence in Iraq in front of him, not remind him of the days he was kidnapped. We are invited for coffee and discuss the future on non-Muslims in Iraq. The Iraqis are convinced that presence of Assyrians (Syriacs and Chaldeans) and other non-Muslim minorities will soon be nothing but history".

Posted by reddog [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 11:22 AM

For the last 60 years, the US has installed and supported, around the world, right wing military dictatorships. These governments were always more likely to resort to death squads than ballot boxes to secure the support of the populace.

The idea that the US is a nurturer of democracy is a joke. We put the Shah into power in Iraq. That worked out well. We put Pinoche into power in Chile, another brilliant move. We put Juan Bautista into power in Cuba, setting the stage for the populist backlash that put Fidel and Che into the game.

No one knows when or how we will leave Iraq. One thing is certain though. When we leave Iraq, it will be in the care of a military dictatorship.

Posted by wham1000 [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 11:30 AM

Rep. Duncan’s recitation of US and Iraqis military maneuvering is just that, recitation. To compare the Iraq situation to post World War II Japan and Europe is preposterous. At no moment does he seem to understand that the survival of Iraq as such depends on a political solution. The country is up for grab and the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds will tolerate our soldiers as long as it serves there agenda.

Posted by RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 11:41 AM

Re: reddog at March 19, 2007 11:22 AM

We chose from the choices availible in Iran. In post-WWII Iran there were only 3 ways to go: A) Communist, B) Pro-Western Tyrant (the Shah), or C) anti-Western terrorist-supporting Tyrant. Pick from A, B, or C. Jimmy Carter picked C.

Posted by nolakola [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 11:43 AM

A safe, empty boilerplate comment, with a half-truth dig at the Murtha plan at the end.

But good for you, Captain, in getting a congressman / candidate to comment on something.

Posted by Rockman44 [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 12:27 PM

Hunter is certainly right that the troops will never forgive the Hanoi Jane Democrats if the current group of lilly livered wacko's in the House and Senate have their way and cut funds. That is what the Dem's did to So. Vietnam after 58,000 Americans lost their life to try and keep those people free. I am aVietnam vet, and even to this day will not wathc anything with Jane Fonda in it on TV or at a Movie. No way will that Bit** ever get any revenue stream from me after what she did to us in Vietnam. She should have been brought home in chains and shoot.

Seems like the American people are more interested in their next trip to the mall, or what to wear on a big night out than what could happen to them in the big picture if we don't stand up and confront the Islamic radicals who want to destroy our way of life.

So, if you want to be on your knees praying to Mecca someday, vote Democratic, if you want to remain free (and it gaggs me to say this) vote Republican. They will have to do until hopefully something better comes along that really represent those who still believe in the home of the brave and land of the free.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 1:24 PM

At least we're not at Valley Forge.

And, as all things have counter-balances; aka "consequences." One of the better things to come out from all the negativity about our troops in Iraq, generated by the loud media ...

You get mostly arabs living in sections of this country, where that crap flies. And, so?

Inside the tents they go. Shrieking like Banshee's.

This has an added value of putting Maliki's toes to the fire. As he probably fears "troop pull-outs" more than most Americans do. And, for this reason, alone; Sadr took off for Iran. And, General Patraeus is making in-roads. Most of Iraq is stabilized. Though the sunnis that flew? Good luck to them. They're refugees, now, without UN protections. Because they're in assorted arab states. And, the despots rule them with iron hands. Even in Iran.

What does the future hold?

It's very possible, because our CIA, and the europeans are so clueless. That within the next few years, OR LESS, Iran's current regime goes down the drain.

Based on what? Well, it seems the iranians are finally missing a few key pieces. And, nobody knows where their "generals" went. Or what they're exchanging for sex and food. Maybe? A ticket out? Maybe, one of the few things the CIA and the FBI can do? As they process "legal" paperwork. And, the plastic surgeons give you a new face? Plus identity?

Well, it's cheaper than what uncle sugar was doing for years, and years. As the arabs took the money. And, thought we were way weaker than we are.

SImilar to anything you know? Well, Reagan did make sure that the soviets would hit the skids. Though they hit the skids in 1991. Where the Elder Bush GETS NO CREDIT.

Will people remember this president? I think so. His actions speak louder than words. Of course, his words are all tongue-tied. (Not the way in the old westerns, that you roped up the hero. And, let him sit out all the reels. Until the end. When you also got the cavalry showing up.)

By the way, George Soros funded the group who came to DC, to destroy our monuments. But then? Lots of American servicemen showed up. And, to give you the details? There were really more good guys than George Soros' minions, on the cold, cold mall.

Good things happen when the media doesn't cover it!

While the sounds of "300" has them worried they haven't captured the market place.

While Drudge has a headline that DC has an illiteracy rate 2 to 1 higher than any other place in the country. Doesn't even sound like news to me.

Getting credentials you can't read is on par with being given toilet paper. What do you expect? The gold letter to stick to your behind? So you get shine down there like you get from gold teeth?

Tell me when this becomes a fashion statement beyond the illiterates. Who live in festering colonies, anyway.

As to "where" the fighting is going on, now, in Iraq? It's in their Roach Motels. And, the Iraqis are still way better off than those in gazoo! (Where the UN is hightailing it OUT. Removing their 8000 peace keepers. Because the head of station was "almost" kidnapped.)

Call that "consequences," too. For they abound.

Posted by M. Simon [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 2:15 PM


We supported a dictator in South Korea. What have they got now?

We supported a ditator in Taiwan what have they got now?

There is a difference between authoritarians and totolitarians.

Nuance my friend.

To help you along:

Compare Pinochet to Castro.

Or for that matter Batista to Castro. When Batista was running Cuba it was a top Latin American economy. Now it is only above Hati.

Posted by Muddy Mo [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 2:16 PM

Hiel! Carol_Herman!

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 2:26 PM

Ronald Reagan's style was different. And, because he was successful. AND, he bypassed the media! It's worth seeing, again, what he did that was so profound.

And, as yet? The right hasn't found its voice. Just chorus singers.

Given what's going on in congress, you'd think Duncan Hunter would analyze the crap out of the 25-seat differential in the House. Explaining the political machinery. Instead? A different version of Kumbayah. But Kumbayah, just the same.

Instead? Ronald Reagan began identifying HIS audience, when GE was giving him paychecks. To go to the unon halls. And, speak to their workers. It was here that Reagan found his footing. It's also a possibility that AS A DEMOCRAT, Reagan saw deeply into the problems the democrapic party was having. So, alone, at the station, in 1962, he boarded the GOP train. The one in the WEST. not the one the kakafellers thought they owned through the Chase Manhattan Bank.

So you can see ONE MAN defeating a whole lot of operators. And, at first? Reagan LISTENED.

He had perfect pitch when it came to talking to his audiences. And, he won people over, not exactly one-by-one; but with a whole lot of handshaking going on.

I don't see this, here.

It's rather a vague opporunism, like a local restaurantuer, thinking he doesn't have to do much to bring the locals in. But its not selling nationally.

Yes. There is a news void.

Yes. Somehow it will get filled. Because people use the Net to "surf." Some carry big boards. Some just stick their toes in the water.

But the other thing Reagan had was the GE LABEL. It moved product! And, his role? Was to get the workers enthusiastic about the company.

Which is not exactly what Reagan did. Because eventually GE figured it out. They were paying him to represent himself. And, to bring lots of people along.

Who knew the GE head honchos were not interested in a big tent?

Well, management types usually aren't.

While "the voice" that's reaching out these days? One by one? Guiliani seems to have scored in the middle ground. With big states: California. Ohio. And, Pennsyvania. And, as a "home boy" without a GOP networking system? He'll probably take New Yorkers, as well.

Politics, for those that can handle it, is a profitable business. HIGH IN RISKS, though. Because without customers you don't get all that much bang for your buck.

Yup. It's still early.

Last night, at Drudge, he had Mike Allen on for an "interview." Where the big media honcho started a blog, called "politico." Where "topics of interest" instead of the usual garbage is supposed to flow.

And, this morning? Drudge provided a link in his headlines that led to "politico." But that doesn't spell much out, either. Since the media types really make their bread and butter by influencing people.

When the ride slows? Influencing people gets hard to come by.

By the way, Drudge HATES Guilini!

So there ya go. We've put different tents into place, to see if it can rouse crowds.

Want my opinion? Why?

Posted by M. Simon [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 2:32 PM


The Soviets declared defeat in the summer of 1988 when we exchanged Defence Ministers. I was working with a defence contractor at the time and it was duly noted by many at the plant.

'91 was when the general public noticed.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 2:35 PM

Can't even spell 'Heil' huh, muddy mo?

I guess every once in awhile we get to see "the eyeball of hindsight" showing up. In case it doesn't register, some people carry a spare one in their rectums. As if the germans knew anything about freedoms!

Lucky for us the US is out there with a big fat military. Even though we've trained our troops, the way we've trained our police. To use what's available "sparingly."

Posted by SwabJockey05 [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 2:48 PM


Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 2:52 PM

"Defeat" is an interesting word, when it comes to the russians.

For starters, no russian is a capitalist. Everyone is a pawn of the communists, in control. Bread and vodka are cheap. And, apartments aren't advertised in the classifieds, either.

Now. One of the things to learn is that instead of a big group called "soviets," you know how "satelites," all pretty much under putin's control.

More. Or less. Israel 21C, today, has a match that was made between Israelis and Ukranians, that can turn nuclear waste into safe, desposables. Hard stuff. The CO2 gas is extracted. And, none of the disposal problems apply. You can use this stuff, molded, in tiles. And, road making materials. Hard, black, glass-like rock.

Sure. Not done in America. Where Oxley-Sarbanes, and the idiots not just in congress, but the judiciary, is holding American progress at bay.

So how does this compute?

The soviets had Chernobyl. And, oddly enough, the designs for this furnace began there. How to rid the lands of nuclear wastes.

But russia isn't a place where you grow technologies, either. And, here's where the marriage got made.

Our troops, and especially our air force and navy, will bring all the hustlers into compliance, when it comes to moving goods around the globe.

But don't expect miracles.

A better question? Why are the hollywood stars so dull these days? And, so many in congress lackluster boobs?

While over in the judiciary, it's as if we've allowed bozos to treat the law as if they are priests doing incantations. What a royal mess!

Posted by Matt [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 3:38 PM

"At this critical point, the members of Congress who are engaging in political posturing, while our soldiers are carrying out their mission, are doing a real disservice to the troops. Let me add that if the Democrats were to cut off reinforcements and supplies to our troops in Iraq, our troops will never forgive them and I don't think the American people will ever forgive them either."

Political posturing???? Let me remind you how much your administration told us this war would cost... 1.6 billion AT THE MOST. Let me remind you how long your administration told us this war would last.... 6 months AT THE MOST in the worst case scenarios. Let me remind you how many of our men have DIED... 3,190! Been wounded: 23,924!!! All this, while 70,000 civilians have been killed.

Political posturing?... maybe if your a heartless, stone cold SOB. Even then, your "political posturing" would be completely justified in defense of human life. You're telling me that top republican leaders don't use the defense of human life card through abortion for political posturing?

Do you have any original input, or are you really just going to repeat the same old tired talking points? Congressman Hunter, you had an opportunity to enlighten me and many other people about your justification for this war. But all you did was make me even more depressed about the denial that you remaining Iraq War supporters continue to put yourselves through day in and day out. WAKE UP! You have nothing original to say because deep deep down, what's left of the human in you tells you that this war was a huge mistake from the get go.

Posted by Monkei [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 3:49 PM

So what are you saying, Congressman ... are you in fact a "nation builder"? You agree with Bush, who stated time and time and time again before he was elected that he was indeed NOT A NATION BUILDER. We are just led once again to believe that since your lips and President Bush's lips moved (along with every elected official, R or D, conservatiive or Dem) when he said as much.

Where was this pride in nation building in areas of the world which are not major oil producers? Why did we not invade and throw out the scoundrels in China when they killed those wanting democracy in their main square? What about North Korea? Iran?

Give me a break. You are just like any other politician, you find the thoughts somewhere on some policy paper and read them to us like we are all scared sheep who should believe everything you all say ...

Posted by penigma [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 4:45 PM


I watched your participation in the House debate on the non-binding resolution on the "surge" and admired your candor and expertise in a particular exchange with Democratic Representative from New York. Clearly, you understood far better than he the components of building and maintaining a military force.

That said, his basic premise, namely for how long after four years do we continue this process, was not addressed by you there but is addressed here.

And it is here that I find some questions surface.

a. There are 129 trained Iraqi Battalions, yet only a couple of weeks ago we heard there are only a handful, perhaps as few as 2 or 3 as I recall, that are ready to operate independently. After four years this seems a paultry sum. What is to be done to curb sectarianism in the Iraqi Army? It seems they've been trained, and trained again, how can we reasonably ensure their impartiality?

b. You comment that those Battalions need to "rotate through the combat zones", yet outside of Kurdish areas, no place can reasonably be deemed non-combatant, except maybe the Green Zone itself. What non-combat zone are you considering?

c. You bring up the fact that we established free governments in Germany, Japan, and El Salvador, but rather glaringly, you've left out Vietnam, Cambodia, Iran, Guatemala, Nicaraugua, Chile, and a host of other countries where our forces invaded or acted to remove an unfriendly government and/or insert one we preferred, and we failed to establish such free governments. In addition, the examples of Germany and Japan were of nations ready and open for stability after devestating wars had ruined thier infrastructure and threatened - and in some cases witnessed - mass privation. Iraq was not a nation devestated by war - it's people were not open to our religion, culture, or ideas of distributions of power. The powerful in Germany and Japan were dead - the opposition leaders of Iraq were either expatriates or in hiding, but ready and willing to assert thier right to self-determination of a governmental form not of our chosing.

e. El Salvador could not reasonably be defined as a free society, not certainly for many many years after the end of the civil war, and it's government wasn't one we toppled over the vociferous objections of a dedicated minority. Further, it's army was in place, not being rebuilt. It is better today, but our role was far more akin to assisting a dictatorship transition to a somewhat more tolerant form of government - than it was establishing first a free government, and then standing up it's military. The roles are not the same.

f. The glaring absence of Vietnam is the lesson point though here. We attempted to establish a government that was not of the choosing of the people. We did not have satisfactory support, and we failed when the human cost upon our own soldiers and the Vietnamese civilians exceeded the observable benefit (as observed by the citizens of the United States). How, Sir, is this different? We invaded a country and removed it's tyrannical government, but without accounting for the power vaccuum we would create. We attempted to enforce a form of government the majority don't seem to desire, and we attempted to - only through asking - tell the majority that had been violently oppressed for decades, not to exact vengence upon the minority.

This is not a struggle of outlasting terrorists, it's a struggle of outlasting sectarian hate, hate fueled by our lack of troops in the beginning, by our ignorance of culture during the entire period, and by our hubris - at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere - in thinking we know best how the world should be governed.

What happened to the idea that "which governs locally, governs best?"

I respect your views, but our implementation has been catastrophic, and it seems now that our continuing presence only acts as a lightning rod for Al Qaeda, and will do nothing more than try to buy time for Al Maliki to attempt reconciliation. That would be fine IF the Shiaa wanted reconcilliation, but they very very clearly don't. Once we leave, whether it's today, three years, or five years, just as in Yugoslavia after Tito's death, the hatred and bitterness will return.

It is time to allow the artificial construct called Iraq to fracture. If our troops can perhaps alleviate the violence while that happens, then fine, but if not, our continuing presence appears to be doomed to go the route of Vietnam and Algeria, rather than Japan.

Posted by Count to 10 [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 4:58 PM

The "war" lasted all of weeks, and probably cam in under the worst case price tag. What we have had in the last years has been misslabled a war, partly for convinience, partly for politics, on all sides. What it is is a costly policing action, maintained because not all of us are calous rasists who don't care if Arabs are oppressed.

Bush's claim not to be a "nation builder" was one of the reasons I didn't vote for him the first time. His willingness to throw that out in his first term was one of the reasons I did vote for him his second time.
Iraq is important not because of what its oil can do for us, but for what whoever controls it can do with it's oil. China is basicly too big too go after for the oppresion of its people; the US is powerful, but we do have limits. North Korea is China's pet, so it enjoys similar protections. Iran has been pretending to be a democracy, and Carter did a lot to discourage his sucsessors from doing anything about it.
Between the dictators' protection club we call the UN and a public preference for inactivity at home, the US presidents have to pick their interventions carefully.

Posted by Count to 10 [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 5:21 PM

As far as I can tell, your list serves as an example of how failer follows over-caution, timid half tries, and hasty exits (where it is at all relavent).

Perhaps there would be less violence if Iraq was devided, but there are a number of reasons to believe that would not be the case. An independant Kurdistan would likely lead to a war with Turkey, the lack of oil in the sunni regions would likely be a problem, and the fact that both the kurdish region and the sunni region would be set up to ship down river through the shiite region could be a point of tension. This is all beside the issue that the populations have mixed in several places.

Also keep in mind that Hunter, and to a greater extent the President, have access to a lot more information and experts than you or I do.

Of course, if your perspective is partisan hack who is really only interested in embarasing the sitting president and his party for political gain, then no reality is going to mater to you nearly as much as the perseptions you are trying to get others to accept.

Posted by M. Simon [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 6:59 PM

What is the difference between today's Democrats and the Copperheads of Lincoln's era?

About 143 years.

Worst President Ever

Posted by Matt [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 11:04 PM

Count to 10, you're pathetic. You call me a callous racist for what? How am I a racist in any form of the word? A racist is a person with a prejudiced belief that one race is superior to others.

If you could have mustered enough attention to read my whole comment up there, you may have realized that all I was talking about was the horrible ramifications of making the ill informed decision of invading Iraq. I don't remember saying anything like, "we should leave Iraq because those people are inferior to us". Maybe if I did, you would have a point. It's interesting how that was the first thing you thought of when you decided to label me. Fighting any inner demons?

I happen to think that more Iraqi's have died because of us being there, and I think you should consider avoiding calling people names. The best way to discredit yourself and your argument is to call someone a racist with absolutely nothing to back it up. If you can't form a coherent argument, what are you doing commenting on this blog?

Posted by Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 8:31 AM

M. Simon,

In Chile we supported a right wing dictator who was overthrowing a communist dictator.

We should also point out that Chile also is doing well.

The Phillipines are also doing well. We supported a right wing dictator there for quite a while.

As you mentioned, in the real world, you pick from the options available. Wishing for the perfect candidate is not an option.

The US's record on who we support or oppose is not perfect, but on the whole, the dictators that we supported left their countries better off, to much better off.

Posted by Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 8:51 AM

On one hand, the left condemns the US for supporting dictators.

Then the left condemns the US for getting rid of dictators.

It constantly amazes me how those on the left manage to convince themselves that Iraq pre-invasion was paradise on earth.

Posted by penigma [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 1:25 PM


Syntax aside, I think your point is that those failures noted represent ill-delivered attempts... well, not through lack of trying, so what makes "trying" here any different than "trying" in Vietnam? The answer, is nothing - we are trying the same thing.

My point was that the US has a history of trying to institute governments not embraced by the people, and failing in doing so. Germany and Japan are not examples of this, they are examples of precisely NOT this.

As for the President "knowing more", first that meme was tried about WMD, Houssien's involvement in Al Qaeda, and finally in regard to post-war planning, and in all cases, the "know more" was a series of collosal screw-ups on accepting and respecting the advice of experts. The results were calamitous for this country, so I'm not buying. Whether Duncan Hunter knows more, I don't doubt, but he didn't make that claim here, he brought up non-applicable historical and one ahistorical perspectives, and over-stated generalizations about how we've setup governments, then armies, in countries we helped back into the community of nations. Mr. Hunter didn't claim to "know more" about El Salvador when he made a frankly false claim about how we "toppled a regime", then stood up it's government, then stood up it's army. That is simply not the case with El Salvador.

Finally, while it DID happen with Germany and Japan, it also DID fail in Vietnam, in Algeria, in China, in Cambodia, and probably another half dozen places besides. The key differentiator is the willingness of the populace to accept the help, if "help" our actions can now be called considering the steep price already paid by the Iraqi populace. But MOST IMPORTANT, in the cases of Germany and Japan, the competing power structures, the opposition as well as the former regimes, were essentially wiped out. There were no entities likely to resist assistance, likely to reject a new form of government. THAT is the reason for failure in Vietnam (and elsewhere). Specifically, the former supporters of Ho Chi Minh, and most of South Vietnams populace beside, didn't really have much interest in a Western Democracy. They may have started out ambivilant, but the enforcement of the Key (sic) government made them less supportive, and excesses by the ARVN as well as subversion by the Viet Cong, eventually made the local populace WILLING to abide the Viet Cong - if not WILLING then forced. Why? Because the Viet Cong exited and forced such measures. In Japan and Germany there was no essential opposition, it was killed, and the people were devestated so they were basically willing to accept whatever form of help arrived.

In Iraq, the situation is FAR more like the former (Vietnam), than the latter. Mr. Hunter's comparison is untrue - all due respect to him - Iraq, while devestated economically by sanctions - was not in chaos - like that which existed in Afghanistan after the pull-out of the Russians - or as exists in Somalia. They have no compelling need to accept our particular form of government, and the Shiaa especially have NO interest in doing so. As they represent 60% of the country, that means we have a built in opposition, and one which is HIGHLY motivated to pound the Sunnis. This was well known prior to our invasion, and was the reason Collin Powell referred to Iraq as a well contained problem in 2001, and why our Army leadership was so confused by conflating Iraq with the "war on terror", in that Iraq was essentially a bit player. Toppling Iraq would destabilize the entire region, and in a way we simply could not control. That's not even close to the same as Japan or Germany, who's neighbors had been conquered by them and who GLADLY would accept our aid in reconstruction as well as in supporting the removal of those governments.

Bottom line, Iraq is no more like Germany, than Panama was like the US Revolution.

One final comment, Iraq is going to fracture, whether we want it or not - it may not fully devolve into 3 countries, but if Yugoslavia is a guide - and it probably is - it is likely to be 3 countries. We can either get ahead of the game and assist - and thus reclaim some good will - or we can continue to try to hold this country together - a country our ally Britain INVENTED in 1917 - despite the fact that the population is AT BEST ambivilant about it continuing as one country.

As for partisan hack, candidly, I think you need a mirror. If you want to seriously discuss the issue, that's fine, but save the insults, they do you no credit.

Whether the President is embarrassed on this issue isn't up to me. He failed to listen to his intelligence bureaus, he failed to listen to his genarals, he failed to listen to his diplomats who warned of the calamity to come. In each and EVERY case, those experts were right, and he was wrong, EVERY LAST TIME. His predictions of weeks or months, not years, those were the words of his VP, his SecDef, were wrong and clearly don't align with what Rep. Hunter is saying now. So it seems that the President is changing his story (if not Rep. Hunter), and the embarrassment Bush feels about being so unbelievably, disasterously, consistently wrong is his own issue. As a wise man once said, it's not the truth that hurrs, it's the embarrassment it causes we may not like.

Posted by Count to 10 [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 1:49 PM

penigma, your comment is so full of mems, urban legionds, and bias, and you are so clearly enthralled to the propaganda of totalitarians, that there really is no point in responding to your claims, other than to say that you are wrong.
Not to mention that my point went cleanly over your head without leaving a mark.

Posted by Count to 10 [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 1:54 PM

I look at the Iraq's as human being with just as much right as I have to freedom. You seem to think they don't for some reason. Wouldn't you want to free Britain or Germany if they came under control of a viscious dictator? How is Iraq different?

Posted by Matt [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 2:52 PM

Count, of course I believe everyone deserves to be "free". I'm assuming you don't know much about history. "Nation building", much like colonization and occupation has never, ever worked. At least to the extent that we are attempting to do it now. Just look at the British Raj in India, look at our own history of colonization, look at any instance in history in which one group of people has tried to "save" another group of culturally different people from their own circumstances. These people aren't ready for democracy. Democracy is a direct result of the spread of liberalism (not the big L kind), humanism and education among the people who institute it. Iraqi's don't have any of these currently at the level in which democracy would work. Democracy in Iraq currently means Theocracy, which means more violence. There's no simple way to just give someone the gift of freedom and democracy if they have absolutely no point of reference in which to appreciate it.

Here is the dilemma... the world isn't BLACK and WHITE. There are plenty of oppressive dictatorships out there in the world to go around, and for you to assume that we invaded Iraq because of Saddam's treatment of his people is a delusional idea. We sold him the weapons that he used against his own people for god sake and continued to do business with him afterward! I admire your good intentions, but conservatives are suppose to be realists. Either we stay there indefinetly protecting the Iraqi people from themselves, and we instigate more violence than we would if we were not there, and continue to lose good men, or we leave gradually and give the Iraqi people a sense of being in control of their OWN destiny. For a better summary of this overall point, look up.

I think you should actually read penigmas comment up there. You clearly didn't read it, or only read segments. He makes some great, well informed points. You dismissed him by claiming his statements were "urban legends", and then you proceeded with your argument without backing the foundation for it up with any evidence whatsoever. You have strong opinions, yet no framework to hold them together.

Posted by Count to 10 [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 5:29 PM

No Matt, penigma did not make well informed points. He was simply perpetuating myths. If my identifying that has little backing, the statements in the first place have even less. If you want the facts, go look for them yourself.

As far as Iraq goes, it is fairly simple. If we abandon them, a lot of people will die, and all of the rest will loose the freedoms they have now. This is seperate from the reasons that they have had to re-make their government, which are over and done with (and rightly so). All of the killing in Iraq is the fault of the unjust, in much the same way that any death that happens in the course of a crime is the fault of the criminal. Any contention that violence would go down if our forces pulled out is abserd.

Ultimately, I am no conservative. I have no attachment to what has come before, and am perfectly fine dropping it to replace it with something better. It is just that the current "liberals," identified as Democrats, cling to broken models of statism and socialism, as well as immorality and irisponsiblity, while the current "conservatives," identified as Republicans, are on the side of reform, liberty, morality, and responsibility. I am very frustrated by people claiming to be rational and free thinking when all they do is repeat the propaganda that reinforces their world view.