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20 June 2006

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jonst

Pl,

And this stops where? And now do we stay longer because of this? This is a very, very, dangerous, and tragic, varible, to allow policy or military decisions to be governed by. Leaders have to rise about this kind of provocation. Not use it, as I suspect it will be used, to rally people, in their understandable outrage, to fall in behind a failed and counter productive policy.

lina

Rise above?

OUR leaders?

Our global-war-on-terror, bring-it-on, wanted dead or alive, matinee idol leaders?

This back and forth volley has worked so well for Israel for the last 60 years.

Right?

drouse

Unfortunately, retribution will extend to many who were uninvolved.

Just as it was intended to do. To me at least, this seems intentionaly planed to provok atrocites from our troops. I think that it will produce the intended results. I hope not but it will happen.

Sonoma

"Unfortunately, retribution will extend to many who were uninvolved".

Well, how tough and cold blooded you sound, Colonel.

You ought to apply for a speechwriting job to better serve the swine who Big Lied this nation into unleashing war.

That was my first reaction to your observation.

But you are absolutely correct, in point blank fashion.

Aside from the officer-idiots who left the 3 soldiers hanging in the wind, of course all natives will now be considered fair game.

And nothing GW Bush can say will alter that simple fact.

W. Patrick Lang

All

Anyone who thinks that the jihadis have nor succeeded in escalating the level of violence by this action is just naive.

pl

W. Patrick Lang

Sonoma

You have made the classic mistake of thinking that a prediction by an intelligence officer is advocacy.

On the same basis, the people on the neocon side have mistaken me for someone sympathetic to the insurgents. pl

jonst

Pl,

You wrote...."Anyone who thinks that the jihadis have nor succeeded in escalating the level of violence by this action is just naive".

I think you are correct. This will indeed escalate the level of violence. And I might add...anyone who escalates the violence based on this terrible event is himself naive. Naive to the ways of, war, 'victory' and self interest. However those concepts are defined. But yes...indeed we're in a reactive mode. I, myself, have always been a fan of the proactive method of thinking where that is possible.

W. Patrick Lang

Folks

This particular group must be hunted down and exterminated. If you do not, similar things will happen all over Iraq.

Villagers must be left alone even if they are complicit in some way.

This is a war. These jihadis broke the rules. You say there are no rules. you are wrong. We make the rules. One of the rules is that nobody butchers our men like cattle. pl

lina

Col.:

Perhaps you didn't hear. The old rules don't apply any more.We're through the Looking Glass in this new world order.

Even the hapless Gen. Powell recognized it:

". . .It will reverse over a century of U.S. policy and practice in supporting the Geneva conventions and undermine the protections of the law of war for our troops . . ."

[Colin Powell to Alberto Gonzales in response to Gonzales' memorandum to President Bush recommending that the Geneva Conventions not be applied to the conflict in Afghanistan.]

W. Patrick Lang

Lina

I am just an old fashioned guy and have thought from the beginning that these enemies should be treated in accordance with the 4th Geneva convention. pl

lina

There's been a lot of ink and argument over whether we are (or should be) in a "real" war or a metaphorical war.

Post 9/11, President Bush declared a "War on Terror." By doing that he basically elevated a group of loosely affiliated international criminals to the status of nation state. They (the criminals) got the most powerful country in the world to declare war on them. That alone was a big enough victory for the Al Qaeda PR team to take the rest of the decade off.

But our President wasn't done helping them yet. He began dismantling the traditional laws of war, and, for the piece d'resistance, he sent 140,000 U.S. troops to occupy a country of 27 million people in the middle of Arabia.

I've sided all along with the school of thought that believes terrorist groups should be dealt with using methods akin to those traditionally employed against organized crime - using surgical military operations sparingly where/when needed.

I realize we're too far gone at this point to change course in any meaningful way. Even if we could reverse this course now, we'll be another 50 years trying to fix this mess.

It's all rather discouraging (to say the least).

semper fubar

Boy, those 'quaint' geneva conventions would have come in handy a couple days ago, wouldn't they? Well, what did we expect, after we so blatantly chose to ignore them? But I guess those rules are for the other guys.

And nothing GW Bush can say will alter that simple fact.

If anything, GWB will try to inflame the situation. As if that would help his poll numbers.

lina

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

(A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt)

James Pratt

The governments that wanted this war, American, Israeli and Iranian, deserve the world's outrage, as well as those persons yet unknown who encouraged them. To be distracted by consequences is understandable but not wise.

zanzibar

I am outraged by the heinous murder of 2 of our young soldiers. I feel for their families and the loss they must bear.

Although an Iraqi jihadist group has claimed responsibility, I doubt we can be certain in this era of "information warfare" who was behind this brutal act. It could as well have been Baathists or others with an interest in provoking an escalation in violence. Do we really know who to retaliate against? When the Blackwater contractors were killed and strung up in Fallujah we retaliated by basically depopulating the city and then leveling most of it. But have we really pacified and brought to heel the "insurgents" who move in and out of Fallujah?

As angry as I am towards the perpetrators of this horrific act and want them to be brought to justice, I am equally angry at the Bush/Cheney regime for putting our soldiers in this situation in the first place.

"This is a war." - pl

I am not sure who we are fighting and why. Is it the AQ type jihadists who did not exist in Iraq before our arrival or Baathists or Sadr's militia or Iranian influenced groups or Syrian influenced groups or all of them? Do our soldiers know who the enemy is, why they are the enemy, how to identify them and what the mission objectives are and when it is accomplished? It seems to me we are not fighting a war in the classic sense.

"You say there are no rules. you are wrong. We make the rules." - pl

When "might is right" is the only rule that applies it leads at times to strategic decisions like what the Bush/Cheney neocons made in invading and occupying a country that was contained, posed no threat to us and its neighbors. This attitude led Cheney to inform Saud Al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister that why he wanted to invade Iraq was because "it was do-able", despite Faisal's warning that "The US and British troops would be bogged down in Iraq for years. There would be civil war between Sunnis and Shias. The real beneficiary would be the government in Iran." Would it be appropriate to infer that a consequence of that rule is that those weaker than us respond to unprovoked attack and subjugation by retaliating in an asymmetrical manner as they have no other means? Is another consequence of this rule that the majority of the rest of the world believes that the US poses the biggest danger to world peace? What would be lost if the US set an example that even the mightiest nation will conform to internationally accepted standards of behavior and common agreed principles that are enlightened by our constitutional framework of individual liberty.

John Pfeifler

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have abandoned the high ground.

W. Patrick Lang

John

Perhaps you could be a little clearer? pl

Charles Cameron

Okay, Col. Lang, I'll buy: please overlook whatever ignorance or idiocy this may imply on my part, but what does Al Akth Bi-Tha'r Yejii mean?

john

Clearer…the loss of life in this questionable enterprise is regrettable; the loss of the two soldiers under such horrific circumstances is distressing. The response should be swift, sure, and deadly, and most likely will be just that. Had our leaders, executive and legislative, adhered to the Geneva Conventions, our necessary and compelled response would be appropriate not tit for tat. Righteous wrath beats vengeance. Or to put it another way, we have abandoned the high ground. No doubt we’ll get even, we won’t be able to feel as good about it.

W. Patrick Lang

Charles

At last. It means that "the taking of vengeance approaches." An old proverb. pl

Curious

I am surprised they don't keep the heads and post picture. That happens before.

Curious

Incidentally, the biggest problem with this torture/beheading incident.

It will create significant increase of hostility between the troop and Iraqi population. True enough we are way past 'heart and mind' gimmick. But now, those frustrated 19-24 yrs old foot soldiers are definitely going to loose their cool bit by bit.

Things will spiral out of control, as Al qaeda work on psyhcology of "revenge" to create increasing gulf between Iraqi population and troops.

Curious

The response should be swift, sure, and deadly, and most likely will be just that.

Posted by: john | 22 June 2006 at 03:20 PM

Predictably so. In fact Al qaeda is counting on that. Remember Fallujah? That was after a mob lynch four mercenaries. And The order came to clean up and destroy the town.

It was one of the most successfull Al qaeda story.

1. It turned Fallujah into a dead city and now we spend so much capital trying to secure and revive the city. But that town dead complete with gangland divisions. (score one for taliban style kingdom) We are thinking in term of geographical capture, while Al qaeda intent is to destroy modern civil society structure. (we are doing the job for them)

2. Because of the geographical shape of Iraq, the fall of Fallujah also means Al qaeda now owns Ramadi and Bagdad (civilian route/supply line are cut off, hence everythng that flows from it, including civil authority)

If one look at which area turns into trouble, the pattern, the timing. Al qaeda is gaining strengh and their strategy is much more focus now. (eg. cutting off small towns and turn it into chaos to control the supply line that pass it) bigger actions happens more often near baghdad now.

I wonder if somebody has done a time series slide of the attack pattern. I bet it would be the envy of an strategist. It pulsate effective from the outter moving inside and out again, forcing us to go everywhere.

jonst

John,

"swift, sure and deadly" you say? Sorta like "shock and awe"? Oh wait...that's how we started this thing. Revenge for W's Father is how they sold the oil grab to the boy.

"Knee deep in the biggy muddy and the damn fool says keep marching."

john

Curious,

Exactly. Our leaders renounced the quaint Geneva Conventions and lowered our moral position to that of those we would supplant. President Bush is discovering the huge difference between saying we are in a "long war" and actually fighting a "long war." Also, he is discovering that the apparent "anything is possible" mantra of his administration has consequences. So, the question pl suggests is will our leaders exercise leadership during the inevitable response to this latest outrage or will they wring their hands and show us yet again how ordinary our exceptional nation can be.

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