Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Howard Dean is such an a....le!

It's getting darker and darker up here, with two more weeks of steadily increasing darkness until the solstice. We normally don't make a big deal about the solstice because it's between my birthday (awp) and xmas. What's really good about it - for me at least - is that right after that the days finally start getting longer again! A friend used to call it the first day of summer, until I pointed out that under his perverted logic, June 21 would be the first day of winter (egad), and that's when it first really begins to get warm here. Still, there's some psychological import to that day, at least for most of us up here. [Why do we say "up" when we refer to Alaska or Greenland, etc.? In Ushuaia, I bought a sweatshirt that had a map of North and South America on it, but reversed, with the toe of South America pointing "up" and Alaska at the bottom.]

I've decided the perfect situation would be to live in Alaska from April to October, and then in Patagonia from October to April. Although the day/night cycle in Patagonia is muted compared to here - their summers are about the same as Seattle's - still, it would be nice to have long days, permanently.

Oh well, since time has sped up noticeably for us these last 15 years or so anyway, what used to be a "long" winter when we were in our late 20s is a whole lot shorter now that we're in our 50s.

Howard Dean
The guy is a compleat idiot! Thank god he's not president! Yeehah! How can he say that we can't win this war? How does he live with himself?

Unfortunately, he does have a platform to get his face in the news (which is embedded in the core of party central, anyway) pretty much as often as he wants.

Trouble is, he believes that if we simply pack up and leave Iraq, the terrorists will just go away. That's like saying that if we had just turned the other cheek in 1941 and 1942, Japan would have stopped attacking us in WWII. Or if England had just quit fighting back in 1939 and 1940, Hitler would have stopped his brutal takeover of Europe. For all that, our weariness of war allowed Stalin to sieze half of Europe in 1946 without a fight, and later in 1952 we pretty much allowed China to take over half of Korea after a half hearted effort to contain them, and then Tibet in 1959(?), etc. Ask the survivors of all those who were slaughtered in these countries if Dean's (and Kerry's) version of pacifism was a good response to that kind of evil.

The demos have decided that there would be no terror threat if we just left them alone. And that there is no war against terrorism, but instead there's apparently a justifiable war by all those oppressed arabs against the great Satan! Their solution to this war is to surrender and come home. As if they wouldn't follow us across our borders into our cities. As if they'd also decide Isreal was OK after all and stop their intifada.

The demos have recently started a new theme that we should now pull out of Iraq because our troops have become a target for the terrorists! (What about all the Iraqis who are dying every day in the car bombings?) Isn't that what war is? Does anyone really believe that the terrorists would simply take off their ski masks and go back to their day jobs, just because we pulled out and went home? It ain't going to happen.

History teaches that sometimes you have to take a stand against this type of rising evil. If you don't, that evil will roll right over you. Ask Poland, Czechoslovakia, France, etc. Standing up like that is never easy, and it is never without sacrifice. For better or worse, at this point in history the US is the only country with the resources and willpower to take on and lead this terrorist war. Clinton championed a head-in-the-sand approach, and it emboldened the terrorists, which led to 9-11.

It would seem that the demos are not convinced that these terrorists actually represent a threat to us. That they are not a rising tide of evil determined to subjugate half the world. It won't be long before the PC press will stop calling them terrorists altogether. This is Jimmy Carter's new world order!

There 's always been a Timetable for Iraq
When the invasion of Iraq began, no one really expected that we could just hand over the reigns to a new government that first summer and go home. It was obvious to me that if we wanted to prevent a relapse we'd have to disarm the Baathists, and then rebuild their political infrastructure. Saddamn and his cronies essentially dropped a poison pill, destroying much of the country's utilities in their waning days in power. So it was also necessary to reconstruct much of the country's physical infrastructure as well.

There were some who naively believed (at least hoped) that the Iraqis would welcome us with open arms, thank us for our help and quickly take over the show. Imagine, though that you were taught that the US was evil from your first breath. It was on every television show, every newspaper, every monument. The propoganda was intense and unrelenting. Then all of a sudden, that "evil" entity suddenly rolls through your streets in tanks, telling you that it was here to liberate you. Frankly, it was surprising that in spite of a lifetime of being taught to hate, so many Iraqis actually did welcome us.

Of course they want us to get out. Who wouldn't? But when pushed, they'll admit they actually want us to wait a little bit longer before we do pull out, just to make sure that their internal systems are fully capable of taking over. You seldom hear this caveat from your breathless reporters at NPR, CNN or ABC.

So here's the Political Timetable we've been following:

Step One: Appoint an advising governing council to begin to get the systems up and working; to get people in the various government agencies back to work; etc. This was the most difficult step, because of the uncertainties and mistrust between all the affected groups, and because of the constant harping of the media - with France and Germany leading (!) the charge.

Step Two:
Adopt an interim constitution that will establish a temporary governmental authority with limited powers to write and enforce laws, etc. while a permanent constitution is being written - that happened in March 2004.

Step Three: Turn over power from the US administrative authority to an interim appointed Iraqi government - that happened in July 2004.

Step Four: Hold elections for an interim elected government that would be responsible to write a new constitution - that happened in January 2005. Who can forget the remarkable pictures (even ABC showed them) of Iraqis voting for the first time without Saddamn watching, in the face of a stepped up campaign of violence. Even the Sunnis, who deliberately boycotted the vote, now regret their loss of influence in the next phases.

Step Five: Write a new constitution - that happened in August 2005. They missed the actual deadline by a few days, and everyone admits they need to make some changes as time goes by. This was probably the messiest part.

Step Six: Present the constitution to the electorate for ratification - that happened in October 2005. The vote was close, but it was ratified.

Step Seven: Elect a new government under the new constitution - that will happen next week!

I just googled all the news articles regarding the various steps in this timetable, and surprise(!), surprise(!), the leftist media ridiculed Bush at each step along the way, claiming that it wasn't going to work, that the US was being too heavy-handed, blah, blah, blah. In spite of all that here we are, at Step Seven, on time and on target.

Iraqi Security
The bigger issue is security. I watch the demos as they howl that "after all this time, Iraq can only field one battalion (or brigade - or whatever) by themselves." That "we can put an American recruit through basic training in 8 weeks and with a few months specialized training he is ready to fight." They are shocked, shocked, that the rest of the Iraqi battalions (or brigades - whatever) still need US advisors.

What they're not telling you, however, is that our new recruits enter a standing unit that already has a full staff of experienced generals, officers, and non-coms, with all the necessary equipment and training materials. The higher you go in the chain of command, the longer the experience. But in Iraq, we are building an army that currently doesn't have an experienced managerial cadre, no equipment, no manuals, no "Sarge" to take the recruit under his wing and show him the ropes. It's no surprise that they'll need experienced advisors for some time to come. The fact is, the duplicitous use of this measurement by the demos is flawed; and they know it.

Of course there are several talking heads that insist it was a mistake to disband the old Iraqi army. I'm not so sure, but it is what it is. It sure has made it more challenging to rebuild.

It's clear that the terrorists fear the installation of a police force more than anything, and that's why they have targeted the police recruiting centers and training facilities. It will take some time before the local security forces are properly trained, equipped, and led. Then we can come home.

Why would any sane person get specific about timetables now? I think the opportunities to stand down will present themselves. I have no doubt that Rumsfeld has a pretty specific plan for troop reductions over the next two years, but I'm glad the administration isn't insane enough to spell it out for the terrorists' benefit.


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