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Re: “Barack McNamara Obama

This article is a full attack on McNamara and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. There is a moral loss on the part of the writer, and lies are common. The title says much: Why can't Obama see his wars are unwinnable?

In that title one could presume the discussion may be about the ongoing healthcare crisis, or cap and trade, or the stimulus bills. Instead it is about McNamara's involvement in the war in Vietnam and Obama's involvement (so far) in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here is the first problem I had with the article:

Some call McNamara's life tragic. Tragedy-inducing is closer to the truth. Yes, he suffered guilt in his later years. "He wore the expression of a haunted man," wrote the author of his Times obit. "He could be seen in the streets of Washington [D.C.]--stooped, his shirttail flapping in the wind--walking to and from his office a few blocks from the White House, wearing frayed running shoes and a thousand-yard stare." But the men and women and boys and girls blown up by bombs and mines and impaled by bullets and maimed in countless ways deserve more vengeance than a pair of ratty Nikes. Neither McNamara nor LBJ nor the millions of Americans who were for the war merit understanding, much less sympathy.

Excerpt over. To say that one should not attempt to gather understanding or give sympathy to anyone in pain is simply barbaric. The actions of terrorists are terrible and unforgivable. However, one of the most common thoughts about them is "why?". This is because when terrible things happen seeking understanding so that a prevention of future tragedy can be put forward is the most civilized response.

Take the example of the article's writer: McNamara was one of the initiators and promoters of the conflict in Vietnam which caused massive tragedy and suffering. Because he caused suffering when he suffers nobody should ask why or try to help.

Replace the example: A building collapses. The designer has immense remorse and it was his fault for a bad design. Should we not approach the designer to understand why he designed it that way so that we can make sure it doesn't happen again?

This is where the article enters the land of ignorance:

Why can't President Obama imagine himself living in a poor village in Pakistan? Why can't he feel the anger and contempt felt by Pakistanis who hear pilotless drone planes buzzing overhead, firing missiles willy-nilly at civilians and guerilla fighters alike, dispatched by a distant enemy too cowardly to put live soldiers and pilots in harm's way?

Excerpt over. First, the targets are selected on information. The drone bombings, whether legal or not (that arguement isn't made), are not weekend hunting trips that our military goes on. They are based on information that is sometimes right, sometimes wrong. However, the information gives us an enemy target. The willy-nilly approach is a lie.

Then it says we are cowardly for not putting our troops on the ground. We are not allowed by the Pakistani government to place our forces in Pakistan. Now an arguement to the legality of the drone bombings could go forward, but it doesn't. The author mentions World War 2 and the deaths of the Japanese. He writes the following:

At least Japan started the war. What of Afghanistan and Iraq, where approximately 2 million civilians have been killed by U.S. forces? Neither country attacked us. Shouldn't George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and the rest be prosecuted as war criminals? Why not Obama? After all, Obama is leaving 50,000 troops in Iraq after the war there is supposedly coming to an end. He's escalating the unjustifiable, unwinnable tragedy in Afghanistan--there are 68,000 U.S. troops there now, probably going up to 100,000 by next year--while spreading the conflict into Pakistan.

Excertp over. The death toll is completely wrong. The highest of estimates have been proven false as they include repeat numbers. They are based on news reports, and combined reports of the same attacks. Iraq was a war we started. Afghanistan? This person should look up 9/11, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban. Then, look on a map and see that the areas Al Qaeda and the Taliban were most active in was: Afghanistan. We were attacked.

Afghanistan was just justified in the paragraph before this one, and we should leave the odds to win to our forces fighting there. I haven't lost any trust in them. I'm sure they can do it. Also, to use a World War 2 example, Britain was losing the war for quite a while. Despite losing most of her allies, Britain didn't just say "oh, we are losing. Lets surrender."

The conflict in Pakistan is not being done by American forces. Pakistan is attacking the Taliban after a series of suicide bombings broke a cease-fire signed earlier in the year. It is not Obama's fault that the Taliban do not keep their word and attack civilians provoking a response by the Pakistani government.

He continues:

Like McNamara, Obama doesn't understand a basic truth: You can't successfully manage an inherently doomed premise. Colonialism is dead. Occupiers will never enjoy peace. Neither the Afghans nor the Iraqis nor the Pakistanis will rest until we withdraw our forces. The only success we will find is in accepting defeat sooner rather than later.

Excerpt over. Colonialism did have a hand in Vietnam when the French fought. We were fighting for an independant South Vietnamese state. The full evidence for this is the fact that we never put troops in North Vietnam. We were only defending the sovereignty of South Vietnam. As for colonialism in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iraq may have oil but it has multiple personality syndrome in the form of three ethnic groups that can't seem to live with each other. Afghanistan? It has field after field of illegal drugs. Not much of a gold mine there. These wars are not about colonialism.

The Pakistani people, although some join the Taliban, are mostly in favor of the goverment of Pakistan. They are not an enemy of the United States. Nor are the people of Afghanistan. As a whole, most are peaceful. Iraq, same thing. It is so peaceful in Iraq we are now able to end full operations and let Iraqis take the front lines.


. "We didn't know our opposition," concluded McNamara. "So the first lesson is know your opponents. I want to suggest to you that we don't know our potential opponents today."
Actually, it's worse than that. Then, like now, we don't have opponents. We create them.

Excerpt over. We create them? We created 9/11? The U.S.S. Cole bombing? The embassy bombings worldwide? The first Trade Center bombing? That was just off the top of my head. We invented Al Qaeda and pursue that figment of our imaginations at the cost of lives and money with no enemy in Afghanistan? I recommend you read what you write and use facts, instead of emotion, as proof.

Posted by RHKINC on 07/16/2009 at 12:40 PM

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