Even in the blogosphere you can be hard pressed to find those blogs that really demonstrate varying points of view on any given issue. We all like to be around those that think like us, see things like us and want things they way we want them and at times thats what you will find in alot of blogs. Unfortunately that is wants wrong with politcis today; our inability to listen not hear what the other side is proposing or advocating.
It seems as if you are Republican you find yourself gravitating towards those and if your a Democrats you find yourself going towards those. Me. I like to roll with all of them. The only real way I believe you can understand how to make the "whole" better is to understand the "parts"better. At least thats my philosophy.
So I ventured over to the thread on the debate being aired on Meet the Press at Raising Kaine (RK) a "progressive" blog, sorry you have to read previous posts to get my gripe with that word, and one of the more highly participated sites for Virginia politics. Of course, I was not going to come across to many like minded folks (thtas independently moderate)but found some great commentary of the debate in Iraq from some posts like those of JPTERP, who guided me to some really good sources for undertsanding the Iraq question. **See Raising Kaine Meet the Press thread at www.raisingkaine.com You find your rather left of left element on the Iraq issue for the most part, no not those wearing pink, but nonetheless see little value in our efforts in Iraq and seem dead bent on getting us out of Iraq without a comprehensive plan for the region. Needless to say I join in and get rather trashed in the process but its all good. Us independents sleep well at night.
Being labeled as a Bush apologist rather quickly was quite amusing. You see when you make independent minded statements or questions regarding the future of the region and the realistic results of any withdrawal you suddenly become a supportor of the Bush policy. Its the old if you do not see it the way I do then your with them guys over there mentality.
Its like lets hold the Republicans in the Assembly accountable for the Transportation Package but not the Governor who endorses it kinda thing. Both sides are guilty of this tact.
Look if believing that most Americans simply want us to "win" in Iraq makes me an apologist so be it. The fact remains that this conflict had an overwhelmingly high approval rating as did Bush once real combat operations ceased and the country was thought to have been secured. People forget that three years later after being bogged down in political turmoil.
Had the story ended there how would we be portraying Bush? Sadly it did not end there and the longer we have been there the longer lower the approval ratings get. Amercians do not oppose the War in Iraq, Amercians oppose LOSING the War in Iraq. We have seen this before. Amercians like to win and win big, fast. Think first Persian Gulf War, think Panama, think Grenada and operations like those. Now think of events like say Somalia and the political disaster that was.
How would we have been as a country during WWII had that war, especially the War in the Pacific been covered like present day conflicts. It scares be to think about how different our world would be, had those seeking isolation from the world were able to manifest itself into something greater through the countless portrayal of the horrors of that war. We call it mainstream media in this country but I fail to see little that makes coverage mainstream.
I spent hours going over photos taken in the provinces of Iraq by serviceman and so much of what they portray makes me proud to have both served and to be an American. They are not pictures of the war being portrayed on MSNBC, CNN or Fox but one that inspires the values that we say we stand for. Water projects, markets, building hospitals and clinics, building bridges and roads we had destroyed from the air. We ARE rebuilding that country. NO one says we have to. We could just leave. Any many folks think that that is exactly what we should be doing is leaving. Leave to fight the war on terror elsewhere, on the fringes of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistans borders wherever as long as its not Iraq.
Apologists I am not. But since we are talking apologies where are they from those who for political gain supported this war and who now tell us well they really did not know the full picture or the intel was bad or heck did not even read the intel? It really peeves me that people like Obama, Kucinich, Paul, Gravel and others get marginilized by mainstream media who seem dead set on electing Clinton and if the left is to be believed and all is lost in Iraq than those folks who they marginilize got it right and the top of the ticket got it completely wrong. Its okay for Clinton to get it wrong but not any of the others who authorized this war. Wheres her accountability? Oh but its so much easier to legislate than to lead is it not?
A couple thread comments:
Blogger Newport News Dem : Repubilcans "spewing the same Al Queda beat them there so they don't follow us home"
Okay so whats the difference from fighting in Iraq or some other Middle eastern front? Do people really believe that if we pullout to the fringes or simply re-allocate forces that terrorist will not seek us out. Al-Queda has come there, mostly from the ranks of those Shia in Saudi Arabia for many reasons like the fact that they oppose the Sunni governments like Saudi Arabia and do not want Iraq to be another Sunni state. Sure they are fighting us there, but if you had'nt notice they are also killing those who do not share their beliefs within their own culture.
Again Newport News Dem: "Al Queda is once again being used to scare Americans into supporting a failed policy" in Iraq
Do we not believe that Bin Laden is doing the exact same thing in reverse. His he not using the US as the focal point for his mission as a means to increasing his ranks. People forget that the hatred for the US goes back to when....could it be the support/creation of Isreal. Very little to do with policy more to do with history. While many Amercians are worried about terror I do not think they look at Al Queda the same way as say we did in 2001. Who is to be given credit for that. Who is to be given credit for no further attacks on our soil? It is not my contention to defend the executive, but somewhere something is working in order to preserve our security.
I read all the time on liberal blogs that Al Queda is simply waiting to do something really big and thats the reason why we have not been attacked again. It is as if the effort of those in our governmental agencies is minimized because the reason why weve been safer is solely because the terorists are waiting not because we are preventing them. This rationale also does not support logic concerning Iraq. If the so-called "follow us" home theory is accurate than whould they not be compelled to do just that once we leave Iraq. I mean we are there now so theycame there to hit us or at least hit what we represent. Whouldn't make since that if we were to remove the target on the ground (us by their view) in Iraq that they to would simply shift operational objectives. Wait. You mean to say Al Queda has operational objectives in Iraq? No? Well if they do not than what has been their true objective? Spain, Indonesia,Britain? No I think it is safe to say that most of the operations are focused on Iraq.
So that brings us full circle to the idea that we are fighting them there so we will not be fighting them here. And exactly who is best suited to be doing this fighting? Who is best suited to handle the fall-out of an attack from an emergency perspective. Is it our cities or is it our military? Who is it that this government determined to place in harms way ? Is it those that are trained to do so or those citizens simply pursuing happiness? The fact remains that when an attack is successful our military does not shut down, it is trained to respond. Should another attack happen here I fear you cannot name me one city that would not completely shut down.
In my eyes thats where we have failed. Not really in Iraq but in securing our borders, ports , and creating a system of response where the information is disimilated to the population. If you reside in Chesterfield, do you know the emergency plan? Have you seen the Homeland Security literature on how to set your family up with a communication plan? Most I am afraid have not. We are ill prepared for another attack and thats the trajedy. Not the conflict in Iraq. I view our role in Iraq no different then a quasi-peacekeeping force between the extremists and the peace and freedom seeking Muslims at this point while the country comes into its own. Its simply now a matter of sides, truth be told. Though we want them to determine their destiny I doubt we would or could allow a pro-Iranian or shia controlled state there. Now thats just naive. I am sure.
Lowell a commentator on RK put it simple that "Al Queda has no better friend than George W. Bush"
I guess he means that Bush by staying in Iraq is embolding the enemy. That his policy has given new life to terrorism and terror in the world is simply manifested itself because of the failures in Iraq by the Bush administration. I was having some coffee at Starbucks last week and a friend posed a very good question:
"If I told you that by staying the course in Iraq we would experience the status quo in terms of terrorism here in Amercia (zero since 9/11) or by withdrawing from Iraq there was at least a 25% chance for Amercia to experience another terrorist attack, which would you prefer?."
Yeah, talk about deep. We'll of course I would take the status quo. He then later got me with a "How do you think the present day political partisanship would have dealt with the assumption We Dropped the Bomb to Save Lives that was used to end WWII." At this point I need to upgrade to expresso.
I never looked at Iraq in that fashion. Maybe Bush sees Iraq as the "bomb" that is saving American lives. Most people do not feel he is the brightest kid in the schoolyard but it could be so. Maybe that is how he has been approaching this thing all along. Whatever his approach there is certainly a large force here at home opposing it. And yet the opposition, including every Presidential hopeful has yet to devise a way to lead are way out it. Simply having a plan to withdrawl by a certain date and implementing diplomatic measures does'nt seem to me to be a real long term solution or a even practical. A withdrawal I believe will almost certainly stand that region up on end and I really believe that Isreal will be forced to defend itself alot more agrressively and I think that takes this thing to a whole different level.
If we withdraw I think you can forget about a Palestine state as well. Isreal we seek more room for security for its people as it sees turmoil in Lebanon, politcial upheaval in Eqypt to the south and then further instability in Iraq with upon of withdrawal continued Shia insurgence backed by Iran.
It's just not as simple as bring the troops home. Thats campaign rhetoric. We have some serious problems and of course the Iraq Solution is one of them but we need serios people to solve them right now and they just are not stepping up to the table. I keep looking out for that FDR, JFK, Teddy Roosevelt, Abe Lincoln to rise above politics and move us forward....maybe he is out there but we just have not found him yet.
The debate will indeed continue.