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Shock And Awe
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Good post Dan, but in all fairness, I wouldn't have immediately and correctly interpreted the "remember the lessons of Munich" comment either. Had the comment been "remember Neville Chamberlin" or remember "Peace in our time", I would have caught on immediately. I consider myself to have a reasonable knowledge of history and a three digit IQ, As a result I do know that Chamberlin traveled to Germany to appease Hitler. I remember the umbrella. I would have had to think a bit to realize that Chamerlin must have travelled to Munich, since that was the German capitol at the time. I also remember the result.

My reaction to the comment would have first gone to the Olympics as well. Israel tracked every one of those terrorists down and killed them all, though it took them many years. They killed some by error during that process. That is a lesson for today.
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Re: Shock And Awe [ajfranke] [ In reply to ]
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"in all fairness, I wouldn't have immediately..."

you would've if you'd seen the entire email this person had written. i don't remember it well enough to quote it, hence i didn't want to attempt to quote it in my oped. plus, that was, as i recall, the gist of the morning's reporting, appeasement, etc.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Shock And Awe [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Dan, Thanks for the thoughtful consideration. BTW, I read "What went wrong" last summer. I agree with your synopsis. Another book worth considering is "Taliban" by Ahmed Rashid, also written before 911. It helps one understand the rise of militant Islam not only in Afghanistan, but elsewhere.

1st Place, 50-55 2018 USAT Duathlon Sprint Duathlon National Championships, National Champion; 2nd Place Overall, 2018 Virginia Duathlon; 3rd Place, 50-54, 9th overall, USAT Long Course Duathlon (Miamiman); 4th Place Masters, 10th overall, 2018 Kiawah Island 1/2 Marathon
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Re: Shock And Awe [ajfranke] [ In reply to ]
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Dan,

Thank you for the well written op/ed peice. I fall into the category of "trying to gather information/learn about the situation." If you have the time, or the inclination, I would be very interested in learning anything you would be willing to share. I'm would also like to hear from Tom Demerly too. Both of you are intelligent and articulate writers. I would like to read an article on why we are in Iraq, without passing judgement as to should we be in Iraq.

Regards,

Brett
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Re: Shock And Awe [timberwolf] [ In reply to ]
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the "why" we are in iraq is open to debate, and depending on where you come down on that you'll come to a conclusion one way or the other as to whether we "should" be in iraq.

there are plenty of areas in which i'd just love to talk about this. but if i start, then i'm in it, and i don't want to be in this debate online.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Shock And Awe [timberwolf] [ In reply to ]
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Realistically the entire "necessity" or motivation for our current operations in Iraq may never be available in the public sector. This is the nature of diplomacy, negotiation and warfare. Based on the information I have been exposed to in the popular media, books and formerly in the military my assessment is there may have been additional compelling reasons for the U.S. to commit such substantial resources to this operation. The operation has been conducted in an expedient manner, somewhat suggestive of a finite timeline being imposed by the agenda of the opposition (Iraq). Again, the full extent and purpose of these operations is not likely to be fully available to the public. "The first casualty of war is innosence". Select your leadership with great care. It is likely you will have to trust them in your abscence.

Tom Demerly
The Tri Shop.com
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Re: Shock And Awe [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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I think most American's are asking if this War is justified. Though I think several of the below points could be argued, I can see where Shrub (George Bush Jr.) feels the US is justified.

War is just when there is:
" Just cause
" Just intent
" No other option
" Legitimate authority
" Specific and achievable goals
" Specific and legitimate casualties
" Proportionality in cost and response

I for one am behind our President and will feel safer once the "Coalition of the Willing" (I love this phrase) have accomplished their goal.

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Why? A Long Response [ In reply to ]
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Although I've avoided the debate until now, I'll take a shot at the "why" we are in Iraq now, and hopefully answer why we aren't in Iran, North Korea, or any of the other nations mentioned as potentially greater threats by critics of the war. The result will be a lengthy post, but one worth reading if you want to be well-informed.

Our national security strategy is based on the application of four instruments of national power: diplomacy, military might, economic power, and information. Collectively, these four instruments are sometimes referred to as the DIME. The official origin of the DIME lies in the Carter Administration's Presidential Directive (PD) 18, US National Security Strategy, authored largely by renowned political scientist Samuel Huntington (I say official because others had identified these instruments previously, but not articulated them in a pronouncement of public policy). Observing that the US enjoyed “a number of critical advantages” in its ongoing competition with the Soviet Union, among which were America’s relative “economic strength, technological superiority and popular political support,” PD 18 outlined a number of diplomatic, economic, military, and informational measures by which the US could leverage these relative advantages to carry out its national strategy. Four years later, the Reagan administration National Security Council clarified and codified the instruments and measures first described in PD 18 into what we now know as the four instruments of national security strategy in National Security Decision Directive 32, US National Security Strategy. The DIME subsequently became a cornerstone of every succeeding administration’s statement of national security strategy.

In every national security crisis we face, the administration du jour makes critical decision on the use of each of the elements of national power. In some cases, the emphasis is on diplomacy, coupled with economic and informational measures, with military power taking a back seat. In other situations, military power is foremost, with diplomacy relegated to a back seat.

We are in Iraq today because the current administration has concluded that either the only or the best way to achieve/protect America's national interests (which can also be a subject of much philosophical debate) is through a strategy emphasizing military power, followed closely by information, and subsequently by economic power and then diplomacy. Diplomacy was not causing Hussein to disarm, and was only serving to divide the UN and NATO. Furthermore, since Hussein may not yet possess a nuclear weapon, he can still be affected by offensive military power (not necessarily the case with a nation that has nuclear weapons). Agree with their conclusion or not, after twelve years of diplomacy, backed by varied amounts of military might, this administration concluded that diplomacy was a failure and that the only way ahead was to emphasize the military rather than diplomacy. The result is the new strategy embodied at the pointy end of the nation's military spear by the shock and awe campaign unfolding on CNN.

Why, many have reasonably (if not somewhat sarcastically) asked, don't we do the same to North Korea? The answer is that the North Koreans have displayed a tendency over the last 50 years to rattle the sabers every so often to achieve diplomatic (and frequently economic) concessions. At the same time, their possession of a nuclear weapon makes offensive military action a poor choice. Their possession of a nuclear weapon makes them dangerous, but it is their ultimate willingness to "calm down" in exchange for economic and diplomatic concessions that makes a different application of the DIME applicable in the North Korean case.

That, in a very large nutshell, is why we're in Iraq today: because the administration has concluded that the DIME currently leans heavily toward military action. You may not agree with their underlying reasons, but hopefully you can see that this administration, and every American administration, has some basis for its decision-making. Something to think about on those long rides...





Ben H

Christian, Husband, Father, Ranger, Triathlete
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Re: Shock And Awe [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Now that we're in it, debating whether we should be in it is besides the point. Just hoping all goes well because the consequences if it doesn't are not good for anyl of us.

Understanding the issue in all its aspects is still critical for an informed democratic populous. I recommend Kanan Makiya's Republic of Fear and Kenneth Pollack's "TheThreatening Storm." Josh Marshall's blog talkingpointsmemo.com is also always of interest.
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Re: Shock And Awe [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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Without wanting to get into the fray on this site, I only want to comment that I do not think there is anything hidden in Bush's policy. His key advisors have openly advocated this policy in public journals since the Gulf war. The public discussion by Bush hasn't been great or always forthcoming but there is nothing hidden.

An article I thought worth reading http://www.salon.com/...2/berman/index3.html
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Re: Shock And Awe [michaelg] [ In reply to ]
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Article 17 - Geneva Convention

No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.

A History Lession

In August of 1990, Iraq invaded and occupied neighboring oil rich Kuwait, and refused to evacuate despite numerous UN resolutions beginning with Resolution 660 and US threats to use force. Beginning in February 1991, the US and its allies conducted operation Desert Storm to liberate Kuwait. In addition to reversal of the Iraqi aggression, the coalition was intent on eliminating stockpiles of chemical weapons known to be in the possession of Iraq and to disarm the country.



Gulf War - POWS

* From Marine Capt. Russell Sanborn, whose AV-8B was shot down over southern Kuwait on February 9, 1991:

"The guards also used a rubber hose to hit Sanborn's legs and back.... They also smacked the sides of his head so hard they knocked him off his stool, loosened his teeth and broke his eardrums. After his eardrums had been ruptured, he could not hear or understand their questions. He was taken back to his cell."

* From Air Force Col. Jeffrey Tice, whose F-16 fighter bomber was shot down over Baghdad on January 19, 1991:

"Tice's captors beat him so hard they dislocated his jaw twice and burst his left eardrum. They hit him with rubber hoses and with clubs. They also tied a wire from one ear to another to something like a car battery and shocked him to the point that every muscle in his body contracted at once." This forced Tice to clamp his jaws down so hard that he broke several of his teeth.

Gulf War Ended

The Security Council passed Resolution 687 as part of the cease-fire arrangements ending operation Desert Storm. The resolution , among other things, required Iraq to rid itself permanently and unconditionally of all nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons capabilities and allow inspectors full access to verify and monitor compliance. The resolution established a monitoring and inspection mechanism UNSCOM (United Nations Special Commission) to ensure Iraqi compliance. Resolution 687 also linked a decision to lift sanctions with Iraq's fulfillment of the disarmament provisions. The resolution was passed under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, meaning that military force could be used to enforce compliance.

Baghdad was obligated to make full declarations about its weapons programs and accept monitoring and verification activity as determined necessary by UNSCOM and the IAEA. The UN inspectors were supposed to verify the Iraqi declarations and report their evaluations to the Security Council, which would then make decisions on sanctions. The inspections were not intended originally as a mechanism for discovering concealed weapons.

In practice, the Iraqi government did not disclose notable weapons stockpiles and programs, including biological weapons discovered by inspectors in 1995. Despite numerous UN resolutions, inspectors were not allowed access to various "presidential" sites and in 1998, the inspections ceased entirely and the inspectors went home. Iraq did not comply with other key aspects of 687 and other UN resolutions including return of Kuwaiti prisoners and property.



Resolution - 1441

All 15 council members voted for the resolution: permanent members China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States; and non-permanent members Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Guinea, Ireland, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Singapore, and Syria.

The resolution states that Iraq remains in material breach of council resolutions relating to Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait and requires that Baghdad give UNMOVIC and IAEA a complete and accurate declaration of all aspects of its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs and ballistic missiles systems, as well as information on other chemical, biological, and nuclear programs that are supposed to be for civilian purposes, within 30 days.

January 2003

France said it would wage a major diplomatic fight, including possible use of its veto power, to prevent the U.N. Security Council from passing a resolution authorizing military action against Iraq.

Fast Foward - Today

At least 6 Scud Missles have been used against coalition forces, all of which Saddam has denied possessing.

Yesterday US forces of the 3rd Infantry Division found a huge installation "Apparently" used to produce chemical weapons in An Najaf, some 250 kilometers south of Baghdad.

Why is it that when the US flexes its military might under a Republican President, peace-nics seem to come from everywhere to protest ? I do remember Clinton lobbing a few cruze missles at Iraq in 1996, without UN approval, yet you barely heard a peep. I wonder if these same peace-nics who say they support the troops will actually do the right thing for once and welcome them home.

IMO when history looks back, George Bush will be vindicated.
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