August 28, 2003

New Reason Column -- 'Inter...

Comments

Good piece, Matt. I think that, when people seek to commit to a particular policy or cause, they often forget to look down the line, which, in war, could lead to further losses of lives.

In a roundabout way, I tried to touch on this issue in my TCS piece on the Philippines. After the recent terrorists' escape and military mutiny there, people out here were suggesting either freezing our diplomatic ties with the Philippine government or increasing resources for counterterrorism programs in the Pacific. But isn't there another way? I tried to argue that the sort of aid that the US was already giving needed to be rechanneled, not necessarily reduced or increased. Maybe we can try more of that approach in the Middle East. To be sure, the Philippines and Iraq are two very different animals, but we should at least take into more serious consideration such proposals as speeding up the training and deployment of Iraqi forces, which wouldn't necessarily require us to increase troop presence significantly.

A few questions. In your concluding paragraph, you write: "This expanding effort, if we can afford it, may confront and defeat terrorists at their source, and therefore save American lives at home." Do I detect the flypaper theory here? If so, do you buy into it?

Lastly, and I ask this in all seriousness: what does an associate editor do that an assistant editor or a regular editor doesn't? Just curious....

Posted by: Robert Tagorda at August 28, 2003 05:11 PM

Robert -- Thanks. The key weaselly word in the sentence you quote is "may." Meaning, who the hell knows? I don't agree with the Flypaper Theory, and in fact find it kind of repugnant (it conjures up images is our soldiers as dead flies, even though that's not precisely what the metaphor refers to). More likely, there is something to be said about taking the fight to nasty regimes that contribute to the pool of global terrorism.

As for job titles; they vary wildly from place to place. Here, I edit some, write some, post some....

Posted by: Matt Welch at August 28, 2003 05:19 PM

Dean, a product of the corrupt system that got us into this mess in the first place, is a hypocritical weasel.

We illegally and immorally broke into someone's house and Dean says continue the looting at an accelerated pace and work a little harder to fix the broken windows and squelch the trauma of the people that live there. Anti-war candidate? Duh!

Robert Tagorda, in his TCS piece linked in the first post above, nailed the problem in the Phillipines squarely on the head - corruption and protectionist BS.

I would suggest that the same forces -- corruption and protectionist BS, well flavored with moralistic American hypocrisy -- got us into this mess in Iraq in the first place and will keep us there for years to come. Explore the unilateral nature of our efforts and our reluctance to share the spoils of the 'burglary' with others and you will find the prime corruptors.
This policy of Democracy, preemptively imposed with a gun barrel, is absolute folly. It is called tyranny and it begets tyranny. We should get out of Iraq immediately and arrange for reparations. Bush should be impeached.

True free trade is the answer, honestly and fairly conducted. That would include paying a FAIR price for other nation state's resources and not stealing them under false pretenses.

And yes, as long as we as citizens continue to allow the few, corrupt and immoral, fear mongering neocons (maladjusted, elitist butt suckers who are being used like cheap toilet paper on the rectums of multi-national corporations), to continue with their influence and call the shots for America, we all; "need to be worried."

Posted by: Warren Celli at August 29, 2003 07:16 AM

In your column, you write :

"The Democratic front-runner, who built his lead by opposing Gulf War II, advocates boosting troop levels in Afghanistan by 500 percent".

The Washington Post article you cited said that Dean wants to increase the troops in Afghanistan by a factor of 5, which is a 400 % increase.

I apologize for the nitpicking.

P.S. - My answer to your question is no; we need far less troops abroad, and at home, fighting pointless, wasteful wars like the war on Iraq and the war on drugs.

Posted by: Craig Grabowski at August 29, 2003 06:26 PM

I think it's important to note that one of the people not calling for more troops is General Sanchez.

"When you look at the troop-to-task ratio and the missions that have been assigned to this command, it is clear to me that at this point in time, given the missions and given the tasks, it is not a function of additional soldiers."

from The Washington Times

Then there's Robert Andrews, a military veteran and analyst with impressive credentials also not calling for more troops to be sent in. Scroll down to "Iraq Strategy" to see his quote.

Posted by: Cedar Bristol at August 31, 2003 05:17 AM
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tyranny and it begets tyranny. We should get out of Iraq immediately and arrange for reparations. Bush should be impeached.

True free trade is the answer, honestly and fairly conducted. That would include paying a FAIR price for other nation state's resources and not stealing them under false pretenses.

And yes, as long as we as citizens continue to allow the few, corrupt and immoral, fear mongering neocons (maladjusted, elitist butt suckers who are being used like cheap toilet paper on the rectums of multi-national corporations), to continue with their influence and call the shots for America, we all; "need to be worried."

Posted by: Warren Celli at August 29, 2003 07:16 AM

In your column, you write :

"The Democratic front-runner, who built his lead by opposing Gulf War II, advocates boosting troop levels in Afghanistan by 500 percent".

The Washington Post article you cited said that Dean wants to increase the troops in Afghanistan by a factor of 5, which is a 400 % increase.

I apologize for the nitpicking.

P.S. - My answer to your question is no; we need far less troops abroad, and at home, fighting pointless, wasteful wars like the war on Iraq and the war on drugs.

Posted by: Craig Grabowski at August 29, 2003 06:26 PM

I think it's important to note that one of the people not calling for more troops is General Sanchez.

"When you look at the troop-to-task ratio and the missions that have been assigned to this command, it is clear to me that at this point in time, given the missions and given the tasks, it is not a function of additional soldiers."

from The Washington Times

Then there's Robert Andrews, a military veteran and analyst with impressive credentials also not calling for more troops to be sent in. Scroll down to "Iraq Strategy" to see his quote.

Posted by: Cedar Bristol at August 31, 2003 05:17 AM
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