Iraq: Bad And Worse Decisions

 

Deciding to go to war is never a good decision, never a right decision. At its essence, modern warfare – the mechanized slaughter of human beings on an industrial scale – is the quintessence of man’s inhumanity to man. It is, without exception, something bad. At times, however, it is a terribly unfortunate yet seemingly necessary thing. The sad calculation that must be made, therefore, concerns whether going to war, or fully prosecuting a war once begun, is the least undesirable in an array of undesirable options.

One could apply this rationale to any number of wartime decisions, such as: President Truman’s decision to drop two atomic bombs on Japan, hastening the end of World War II at a horrific cost in human suffering; the allied decision to firebomb Dresden in World War II, weakening Germany’s will to fight and incinerating German civilians in the process; the decision by President Roosevelt, concerned for the safety of the American homeland, forcing thousands of Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II.

All three were terrible decisions, all essentially bad. Yet each was, arguably at least, the least undesirable in an array of undesirable options. One hopes they were made within that context and with that sensibility, which, in times of great strife and uncertainty, is what we need from our leaders.

Politicians who vote for or against war due to the shifting winds of opportunism, to bolster themselves politically, are acting not only unwisely, but immorally. America’s rush to war in 2003 against Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq may have been too hasty, perhaps even ill-advised; it’s easier to make that call now, with ten-plus years of hindsight, than it was in the days leading up to the U.S. led invasion of Iraq. Green-lighting the invasion was an extremely difficult call to make. One hopes that President Bush, and those members of Congress who authorized him, did so in the somber, sincere belief that theirs was an essentially bad decision, yet one that had to be made.

U.S. led coalition forces quickly defeated Hussein’s regime, however, the subsequent occupation of Iraq became extremely difficult and costly, in financial terms and, more importantly, in losses of U.S. and coalition service personnel, as well as civilians. Many of those same politicians who had authorized the use of military force against Iraq (Senators Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Harry Reid among them) suddenly, in direct response to shifting political winds, wanted to cut America’s losses and abandon an extremely unstable Iraq to whatever regional menace might wish to consume it and its population.

President Bush stood firm, however, and continued to fully prosecute the military surge of 2007-08. His steadfastness, in the face of intense political opposition and skepticism at home and abroad, resulted in victory, and a stable Iraq – a stability that was acknowledged, and later squandered, by President Obama.

Stay tuned, for there is more to this narrative.

The Insanity of the Clinton Campaign

Have we seen anything more politically insane, more downright delusional, than Hillary Clinton’s current campaign for the presidency? In answering that, we might wish to climb into our handy-dandy time machine (you know, the one we keep in storage, just in case) and take ourselves back forty years to 1975. The Watergate scandal has drawn to a close, Americans have generally gotten past the jolt of President Gerald Ford pardoning former President Richard Nixon for any Watergate-related crimes he may or may not have committed, and folks are beginning to focus on the next year’s presidential election.

Imagine further that Richard Nixon, despite all his political baggage, decides to throw his hat in the ring and once more run for president (having served less than two years of his second term, before resigning from office, he’d be eligible). Imagine still further that nearly half of all Republicans say they don’t trust Mr. Nixon, yet 76% of them say they’ll vote for him anyway. And not only that, Nixon’s candidacy has unflinching support from the three broadcast networks (in 1975 there were only ABC, NBC and CBS), and the rest of the nation’s media and cultural elite. As insane as all of this may sound, it’s comparable to modern-day liberals and their delusional ‘Hillary for President’ routine.

Mrs. Clinton’s concealment and later destruction of subpoenaed State Department emails was, after all, an apparent obstruction of justice. Not only does that constitute a crime, a felony in fact, it’s a crime that Nixon himself didn’t have the gumption to commit. Indeed, what might the reaction have been if Mr. Nixon had destroyed his Watergate tapes, after Congress had subpoenaed them? Would the Republican Party and the nation’s media and cultural elite have touted the man as an ideal president?

Not bloody likely.

Hillary Clinton has erased her State Department emails. In other words, she burned the tapes. Should this not be thoroughly investigated – by the FBI perhaps – before Mrs. Clinton gets too far along in her second campaign for the White House? Might the Democrat party and liberal elites put their enthusiasm for her on hold, at least until we’ve been assured she’s not a felon?

And then there is the Clinton Foundation, with ever more obvious conflicts of interest, and perhaps more criminal activity. In other words, more insanity … stay tuned folks

What Does Mob Rule Look Like?

America is in a precarious epoch, as the once hallowed Rule of Law, by which all citizens held equal rights and privileges under our justice system, is ever more a quaint, naïve relic. We now see ‘mob rule’ increasingly drive events and determine outcomes.

Rioters in the streets of Baltimore, for example, pressured state attorneys to leapfrog the grand jury process and prematurely file criminal charges against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray. While announcing the charges, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby proclaimed, “To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America: I heard your call for ‘No justice, no peace.’” In doing so, she compromised the judicial process under threat of social unrest, and allowed mob rule to have the day.

What happens in Baltimore does not occur in a vacuum, but rather, as Ms. Mosby indicated, is related to events occurring across the country. Rolling, politicized media accounts encourage a cumulative awareness and intensified impact for tragic yet otherwise unrelated confrontations between police officers and black men. The grievance industry and its cadre of professional protestors and assorted anarchists manipulate legitimate public concern into virulent, riotous outrage. The resulting televised images of violence and destruction are now familiar and, sadly, to be expected.

Then the Obama Administration steps in, conducts a pro forma investigation, and declares the law enforcement practices of the city in question (Baltimore, Ferguson, et cetera) need reforming. New layers of federal oversight are proposed, guidelines for local law enforcement, to be mandated by bureaucrats in Washington. It is as though the Obama Administration has made itself a participant in this mob rule we find increasingly prevalent in America.