Patterico's Pontifications

11/21/2006

“The Last Man to Die for a Mistake”

Filed under: General,War — Patterico @ 6:40 am



Jules Crittenden wonders who might be the last man to die for a mistake in Iraq, in this column. Unless you are familiar with his writings, the nature of the “mistake” he’s discussing may surprise you. He elaborates in this blog post.

32 Responses to ““The Last Man to Die for a Mistake””

  1. Turn Iraq into a mistake”? It is a mistake — and always was.

    David Ehrenstein (dea91c)

  2. Yes – I read Crittenden’s piece. The “mistake” of which he speaks is leaving Iraq, not going there in the first place.

    Those who still think the war wasn’t a mistake are getting few and far between. So far as I can tell only P2, Crittenden, GW Bush and Barney the Dog are left.

    It must be lonely on warmonger island.

    [You might try stating my opinions accurately if you’re going to criticize them. I have said that, in my opinion, the war was a mistake. I took some flak from some of my conservative commenters for saying that. — P]

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  3. Only a lib would gloat at the success of America’s enemies at using our own institutions of command, communications and control – schools, Hollywood, press, pols, courts – against us. Only treacherous sore losers would promote a campaign of daily demoralization of their braver neighbors and the glorification of the tyrant-cleric-terrorist leaders – working to defeat America and hand their precious heritage of hardwon liberty to an enemy that doesn’t give a damn about the Geneva Convention, murders rape victims, kills gay teens, maims baby girls (preventing these women from ever enjoying a global ”orgasm for peace”), forbids the building of churches and temples, destroys precious cultural artifacts of other faiths, revises history to erase genocide, forbids trade with Jews, teaches their children to hate and kill and that they are entitled to what others’ build and earn and cherish and protect, wouldn’t lift a finger to defend the liberty of an infidel (non-Muslim / less than fully human legitimate military targets – including women, children), would slit the throat of an infidel without remorse, legal council, mercy, and lies to further jihad, including under oath in any US court, or government office.

    Liberty in itself is an aspect of divinity in which we may either participate or not participate. This is a truth that our founders found to be be self-evident, and we can be sure that, in their wildest nightmares, they did not anticipate an illiberal counterrevolution from the left that actually denied the entire basis of the American ideal. – Dr. “Gagdad Bob” on “root causes” – free will, “humanism”

    s. b. (c4f9bf)

  4. LA’s point shown no doubt by the election landslide Dem victory, voted in solely on the issue of their tough stance against the War in Iraq.

    OHNOES (22a999)

  5. I hear you, s.b. The Republican Party really does suck, doesn’t it?

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  6. Mr Ehrenstein wrote:

    Turn Iraq into a mistake”? It is a mistake — and always was.

    As in from when the British foreign office created an “Iraq” for a Hashemite prince, with little or no regard for ethnic and religious boundaries?

    Maybe so. Perhaps if we abandoned President Bush’s promise that Iraq would not be split up, and divided the country into three nations based upon ethnic and religious majorities, we could quite reasonably expect peace and some semblance of democracy in two of them.

    Dana (3e4784)

  7. I’d point out here that there have been men who have died because of this war, who would not have died absent the invasion. But it is also true that there are people alive today who would not be alive had Saddam Hussein and the Ba’ath Party regime remained in power. Not being God, we cannot identify who has remained alive, as we can identify those who have died, but such people certainly exist, by the tens of thousands based on the Iraqi “peacetime” kill rate.

    So, who was the last man not to have died because of the invasion?

    Dana (3e4784)

  8. Come on, Dana. It doesn’t work that way and you know it.

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  9. As in from when the British foreign office created an “Iraq” for a Hashemite prince, with little or no regard for ethnic and religious boundaries?

    Yep.

    Maybe so. Perhaps if we abandoned President Bush’s promise that Iraq would not be split up, and divided the country into three nations based upon ethnic and religious majorities, we could quite reasonably expect peace and some semblance of democracy in two of them.

    At this point in time it’s anybody’s guess. Iraq has always been a loose collection of highly volatile factions. The main reason we placed Saddam in power was that his rule controlled as much (though scarcely all) of the country as possible. Then one day we awoke and the scales fell from our eyes. He was a bad, bad, BAD man and needed to be taken down.

    And his statue needed to be taken down too.

    It was all going to work splendidly cause we’d control the oil and the profits woudl pay for the war. And so MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

    David Ehrenstein (dea91c)

  10. LA, assuming that your statement refers to my comment #6, I’d ask you why it doesn’t work that way.

    The invasion dramatically change conditions in Iraq; I’m certain that you would argue that conditions were changed for the worse. But I’m also sure that you would concede (albeit grudgingly) that there are people who would have been killed by the Ba’ath Party regime, in its efforts to retain power, who were not killed because the regime was deposed.

    We do not know how many people would have been victims of the Hussein regime, had it been left in place; I suppose that he could have seen the error of his ways and killed no one, but that’s a fairly improbable thing. The history of the regime is such that many thousands were killed, evey year, to maintain power via terror, and many thousands more were imprisoned and tortured.

    It is a legitimate question, LA. If we are to count those who have died who (probably) would not have died as a result of the liberation of Iraq, and mark those deaths on the negative side of the ledger, then fairness and reason demand that we also make some sort of accounting for those who were not killed, who were not arrested and tortured, and put that on the positive side of the ledger.

    Dana (e7aa47)

  11. Had Al Gore been awarded the 2000 election, he would have stopped 9/11.

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  12. Obviously the possibility exists, as low as the probabilities are. Of course, had Vice President Gore fabricated enough new votes to steal been awarded the 2000 election, and the September 11th attacks still occured, he’d have wrung his hands and blustered — and actually done nothing.

    Dana (e7aa47)

  13. Had Al Gore been awarded the 2000 election, he would have stopped 9/11.

    Comment by The Liberal Avenger — 11/21/2006 @ 4:22 pm

    So what exactly did Bush do that caused 9/11 to happen?
    What EXACTLY would Gore have done to prevent 9/11?

    I still have never heard exactly why 9/11 was Bush’s fault.

    Hippocrass (018284)

  14. “come on dana, it doesn’t work that way and you know it” he said shrieking like Gollum when caught by Prince Faramir.

    Liverworst pretender, your post are devoid of anything but humor. You are right up there with Michael Richards

    senorlechero (360f45)

  15. My point is that bringing conjecture about what woulda/coulda/shoulda happened had Saddam stayed in power to a pissing match disqualifies you.

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  16. See my appendage to your comment above, LA. I want you to acknowledge that your criticism of me was ill-informed.

    Patterico (de0616)

  17. “I still have never heard exactly why 9/11 was Bush’s fault.”

    For some liberals, the why is irrelevant–Bush’s mere existence is reason enough to believe. For a segment of our society that is largely atheist/secular, they seem to have little trouble attributing god-like powers to him when it’s convenient for them to do so.

    The mere fact of the matter is that most of these individuals are living out a shallow, dull existence and need to concoct a scenario of living in “interesting times” in order to give any sort of meaning to their to their otherwise pointless lives.

    Chris (926a19)

  18. LA wrote:

    My point is that bringing conjecture about what woulda/coulda/shoulda happened had Saddam stayed in power to a pissing match disqualifies you.

    Under such logic, we could never speak of how many deaths were prevented by wearing seat belts or by programs to stop smoking. Heck, we could never even say that medical treatment saved a life, because we can’t know, with absolute certainty, that a person would have died without it.

    You are attempting to disqualify a point, because you don’t wish to concede it has validity, but you’ve made no argument against what was actually said.

    Dana (3e4784)

  19. Interesting discussion. As a Viet Nam vet I find it discouraging to hear the discussion on pulling out of Iraq. We pulled out of Nam and thousand’s of people were killed by the incoming communists and look what happened to Cambodia. Back then none of the supposedly anti-war and love generation cared one bit that they died. Same thing will go for Irag. We pull out and thousands will die. The generation of baby boomers will respond the same way they did in the 70’s. They won’t care. Even now, when the Educated Ignorate discuss the pull out they do not mention or care what happens to the Iragi’s. Oh, once the killing begins they will say what a shame but will put the blame on others. They are good at that.

    rich o (af5e74)

  20. To the people who think that pulling out of Iraq will make America appear weak and defeated to our enemies:

    Unless we really are weak and defeated, what is wrong with our enemies thinking we are? If anything, let ’em think we’re weaker than we are — they’re the ones who’ll be in for a nasty surprise when they discover they’ve misjudged us.

    The only reason I can think of that we’d want make military decisions to give the enemy the impression that we’re strong is that we’re *not* strong, and depend on the illusion of strength for our safety.

    Those who want to reverse the blundering occupation of Iraq have confidence that we can stand our ground against terrorism anywhere. That if terrorists try to attack America, they’ll lose.

    They believe that we’re strong enough to acknowledge when a mistake like Iraq has been made, and *stop making the mistake* rather than blundering on, pretending the mistake doesn’t exist, and hoping our enemies don’t notice that we make mistakes.

    That’s not to say that all arguments for staying in Iraq are bad; there are better ones, even in the column linked above. But the argument that we can’t leave because the terrorists will think we’re weak stinks.

    Phil (88ab5b)

  21. @dana:
    in my american view, the life of an american soldier at risk from iraqi insurgents counts for more than an iraqi saved from saddam hussein by our invasion. if you want to liken this situation to “programs to stop smoking” (comment 18), how about we save lives prospectively by not smoking iraq anymore?
    @liberal avenger:
    your statement that a president al gore could have stopped 9/11 lacks any evidentiary foundation.

    assistant devil's advocate (385f8e)

  22. Phil inquired:

    Unless we really are weak and defeated, what is wrong with our enemies thinking we are? If anything, let ‘em think we’re weaker than we are — they’re the ones who’ll be in for a nasty surprise when they discover they’ve misjudged us.

    You don’t deter attacks by being perceived as weak, Phil. You may not deter an attack by being perceived as strong, given that some attackers don’t care, but at least you aren’t inviting attack.

    One wonders if al Qaeda would have launched the September 11th attacks had they realized that we’d do something radical, like fight back? After all, we hadn’t been fighting back before (which is why our Democratic friends were really so POed by The Path to 9/11), so one can see why al Qaeda might not have expected quite tyhe response they got.

    Dana (3e4784)

  23. One wonders if al Qaeda would have launched the September 11th attacks had they realized that we’d do something radical, like fight back?

    Does one really wonder that? I guess I missed the part where islamic extremists were cautious and risk-averse, only picked on the weak, and only started fights they had a rational plan for actually winning. I saw them more has holy-war-fighting fanatics with no personal stake in winning or losing, who get excited by the prospect of dying in an impossible-to-win battle against a much stronger enemy so they can go to heaven.

    Maybe I was confused by the situation in Afganistan, where once the Russians pulled out, the muslim extremists didn’t keep chasing and attacking Russia for showing weakness, but instead irrationally attacked an even more powerful superpower, namely us, getting their country invaded all over again.

    Phil (88ab5b)

  24. “One wonders if al Qaeda would have launched the September 11th attacks had they realized that we’d do something radical, like fight back?”
    -Dana

    Yeah, we’re really kicking Al Qaeda’s ass out there. They must be really worried about the great position we’re in right now.

    “After all, we hadn’t been fighting back before (which is why our Democratic friends were really so POed by The Path to 9/11), so one can see why al Qaeda might not have expected quite tyhe response they got.”

    -Dana

    Yeah, we didn’t care that it MADE SHIT UP, just that it pointed out our secret plan to get the World Trade Center blown up. Damn, you caught us.

    I can see it now…”The Dana Report”.

    Leviticus (43095b)

  25. The Third Book of Moses hath written:

    “After all, we hadn’t been fighting back before (which is why our Democratic friends were really so POed by The Path to 9/11), so one can see why al Qaeda might not have expected quite tyhe response they got.”

    -Dana
    Yeah, we didn’t care that it MADE SHIT UP, just that it pointed out our secret plan to get the World Trade Center blown up. Damn, you caught us.

    Levi, while some dramatic license was taken, the story related in The Path to 9/11 was correct. The Clinton Administration had been using a law enforcement methodology to combat terrorism, rather than actually fighting back — unless you want to count blowing up an aspirin factory and sending cruise missiles at Osama bin Laden’s camp, after warning the people who would warn Mr bin Laden that they were on the way.

    We never fought back, Levi, and the terrorists knew it.

    Dana (3e4784)

  26. Patterico:

    I acknowledge that you have said that the war was a mistake. It is a position for which I admire you.

    As far as wingnuts go, you and Dana and the bulk of your visitors here are pretty goddamn well grounded.

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  27. […] Jules Crittendon wrote a column for the Boston Herald titled Quitting a worthy fight would be great mistake that is a must read.   So go and read it and come back.  (h/t Patterico’s Pontifications – the comments there are quite lively) […]

    Yankeemom (2a5932)

  28. The Liberal Avenger wrote:

    As far as wingnuts go, you and Dana and the bulk of your visitors here are pretty goddamn well grounded.

    Mr Frey, I’m thinking that this is probably the greatest compliment we’ll ever get from LA!

    Dana (e7aa47)

  29. Heck, that compliment from LA was so impressive that I added it to my site, as a testimonial! :)

    Dana (e7aa47)

  30. LA,

    You say that the war was a mistake. Do you then feel that the Iraqis would be better off now if Saddam Hussein were still in power?

    Frank Staheli (b4cef1)

  31. af2930d7936aa95cd61a…

    af2930d7936aa95cd61a8a9b7835e5d5af2930d7936a…

    af2930d7936aa95cd61a8a9b7835e5d5 (a3e81c)

  32. Greetings,
    First, I am not a regular here. I do like the site and read it a few times a week. As for the war, it seems to me that the discussion about should we be there or should we not is moot. We are there! The discussion should be, how to win! Nowhere have I seem the left discuss winning. We can always debate if we should have gone in after we win, and if the national mood is changed to winning, the war will be shortened considerably. Perhaps additional safeguards should be put into place. I don’t know. All I do know is we should win it and get out.
    Thanks for letting me post.
    Clutch

    richard (686801)


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