The $622 Billion Answer - Response and rebuttal

Hokum!  The idea we as a nation wasted billions of dollars on an assertive defense in the GWOT because we went into Iraq is totally ignoring the all the relevant facts.  Fact number one is we were attacked repeatedly over the course of 20 years by various terrorist groups culminating in 911.  Our response prior to George W Bush taking office was inconclusive at best and incompetent at worst.  If Andrew Sumereau was alluding to the past, i.e. prior to 2001, he didn’t make his point well, however, if he is asserting that since 2001 we haven’t done what is necessary by going into Iraq and are taking too long, then he is ignoring the circumstances and reality on the ground.  It sounds as though he thinks nothing has changed other than military adventurism with no purpose.

Prior to 911, especially in the Clinton administration, terrorism was a criminal matter and thus totally reactive, waiting to be hit.  After 911, the US government became proactive, not waiting to be hit and aggressively defending itself against every discovered plot.  Now if Andrew Sumereau was referring to all the resistance, obstruction and interference the current administration has encountered by the anti-war movement, liberal Congressmen and the liberal MSM since 911, I could well understand his exasperation.  Blaming the military and the current administration for not getting the job done in less than three years in spite of the behavior of the opposition is misdirected. 

The slow pace of the GWOT is mostly to blame because of the opposition lest you forget some inconvenient facts.  Both Reuters and the AP have been caught repeatedly acting as propaganda agents for the terrorists using photoshopping of pictures and downright false reporting.  The NYT has repeatedly hindered secret government operations aimed at the terrorists by public exposure, lest you forget the SWIFT outing and the secret CIA detention centers in foreign countries.  Both the liberal Democrats and MSM have repeatedly mischaracterized the NSA wire tap program as though the government was listening on private conversations between law abiding citizens.  If you are calling a known terrorist phone number, you not only need to be watched closely, but also you should be in jail at the earliest opportunity.  I find it interesting that Reuters and the AP are emailing known terrorists.  Apparently, it hasn’t dawned on Andrew Sumereau that war also includes propaganda.

Andrew Sumereau acts as if Iraq is not a facet of the GWOT.  Again a convenient ignoring of the facts.  Saddam Hussein sponsored terrorist training camps, not Boy Scout outings.  Where did Mr. Sumereau think those who finished their training would do with their bomb making skills?  Cook hot dogs?  Whether Saddam intended to train for al Qaeda directly or coincidently is immaterial, the act of training a terrorist makes one a sponsor of terrorism.  WMD was found in Iraq despite the denials of the all three opposition groups.  It doesn’t matter if only a ton or so of material was found, the fact Saddam had it only means the probability was greater that he had more and was successful in hiding or moving the remainder in some fashion.  The fact that al Zarquawi, deceased leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, said their aim was to destabilize Iraq and use it as a base of operations is also conveniently ignored.

You can make all the claims you wish that the mission in Iraq has changed but again you ignore the necessary facts, after deposing Saddam Hussein, did you expect the US to simply govern Iraq as a conquered territory, the 51st State in the Union or turn Iraq over to a corrupt and inept UN (the Food for Oil Program)?  The only response after deposing Saddam was to set up a democracy or did you really want another dictatorship? 

I also find it interesting Andrew Sumereau makes absolutely no reference to the sea change occurring on the ground in Iraq as we speak.  Once again, a convenient ignoring of the facts regarding events since al Maliki as taken to heart that no faction in Iraq is to be given safe haven from prosecution including his buddy al Sadr and the Mahdi Army.  In the face of the deceptive tactics used by all three opposition groups: the anti-war movement, the liberal Congressman and liberal MSM it is disingenuous to claim that a lack of public support exists because of a lack of leadership by George W Bush or an effective military.  Given the attempts to pass a no confidence resolution in Congress, it seems more likely that someone is afraid Bush’s new strategy dealing with the specifics of Iraq is working.  Here’s another inconvenient fact Andrew Sumereau ignored, in being assertively proactive on the GWOT, no new attacks on US soil since 911.  However, if the liberals get their way, that track record will change.

Dan Scott

Update: Andrew Sumereau replies.
Response to Mr. Scott:

I am gratified that my remarks regarding the recent proposed military budget have apparently hit a nerve.

Business as usual can no longer be acceptable.

Rest assured that nothing in my article disparages the military or its members. Accordingly, it is my respect and awe of the record and achievements of the United States and its abilities that is the genesis of my criticism.

The many mistakes of the Clinton Administration, the evil nature of Saddam and his regime, the very real danger of terrorists and our exposure to them, are not disputed in my article.

Propaganda, as Dan Scott points out, is very real and very powerful. But it is the business of serious administrations to successfully counter, or answer effectively propaganda. Lincoln had a few incisive words to say about this reality.

Upon review, I really can't find anything in my remarks controversial regarding the facts. I am simply saying that the nation (not me, and not Dan, nor assuredly most AT readers) does not regard this as a serious war, in the sense that Dan wishes.

Douglas MacArthur said, "In war, there is no substitute for victory." I agree. Does anyone in Washington DC agree? If so, what would they do about it? Surge troops? Please! Has anyone heard of General Westmoreland? Vietnam? Tet? This is like watching TV Land nostalgia.

Mr. Scott's criticism reads like a condemnation of anti-war no-nothings who forget the past.

I am no liberal hair-shirter. On May 5th of 2005 AT published my article Why Vietnam was lost, which, I humbly state, reads like prophesy. On the contrary Mr. Scott, a close reading of my article today will show that I base my comments on the objective truth that we are not willing, for whatever reason, to use the power and resources at our command.

Andrew Sumereau