Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Jonathan V. Last's distortion

It is always lovely when a "journalist" suffers such a need to push ideology first that he ultimately does not know what he is talking about. McCain stressed that he wants occupying American troops in Iraq for the next hundred years. Why is that? Is Iraq supposed to be a bulwark against a new "Cold War" style of engagement with terrorism? Then I would have to say that McCain doesn't have much in foreign policy experience. Especially the foreign policy of knowing how terrorists operate. Terrorists have taken root in Pakistan, President Musharraf hasn't done much about them. The Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan. The Kharzai government practically doesn't control anything outside of Kabul. We have a failed state in Afghanistan and McCain wants to keep American troops in Iraq for the next 100 years. We haven't resolved the Afghanistan issue and made it a stable democracy. But McCain wants to spend the resources the U.S.A. does not have to keep American military forces in Iraq for the next hundred years. Which means we continue to be at war in Iraq for the next hundred years. Where is the distortion?

Now for Mr. Last's information, I was among the U.S. Military that served in Germany. We had certainly been there since the end of World War 11. We took over old Nazi bases. The one I served in, Panzer Kaserne, was a base for one of the Panzer tank divisions of the Nazi army. But after the second world war, our mission had also changed. We weren't there to keep a resurgent Nazi force under wraps since we had tried and convicted them at Nuremburg. The newly democratic German government had outlawed anything that had the flavoring of the ideological bigotry carried to violent extremes that was all that the Nazis had represented. No, we weren't "occupying" Germany because Nazis remained a viable guerrilla force. We were there because of the Soviets, we were there, as we stood vigil in Japan and South Korea because of the presence of the threat of world wide Communism. We are likely to maintain a presence in Japan because of China, Germany and other NATO countries because of a newly menacing Russia. And certainly South Korea because the war isn't over between north and south. We are also in these countries with the blessings of their governments. And for that reason, any high profile politician could also travel fairly safely in any of those countries. That is not to say that the President of the United States can travel freely in broad daylight anywhere in Iraq as could Mahmoud Ahmadinejad president of Iran in a recent state visit to Iraq. Will keeping American forces in Iraq for the next hundred years make it possible for high profile American politicians to visit freely in Iraq and to travel safely? That is, on par with what Ahmadinejad was himself able to do? Or do they have to travel under heavy guard as Republican members of Congress had to do. Travel by stealth in an out of Iraq as GW Bush had to do. You know you have a failure of policy vis a vis Iraq when the country is more safe for this nation's sworn enemies such as Iran's president to visit there than the U.S. government that came to "liberate a people" from the butcher of Bhagdad. That surely should tell Last that until he takes, as a journalist, a closer look at the facts, he is hardly in a position to tell Senator Obama just how naive or inexperienced he is. Last writes for a major newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer. So, who is he pimping for? Hillary Clinton or John McCain.

For myself having some experience with terrorism, terrorists only need a base of operations--which can be found anywhere. A place for recruitment--which includes the World Wide Web. Some time to plot and plan in secret, which is why terrorist acts in any country continue to mostly be successful when carried out. Only some terrorist cells have been pre-empted and their plans disrupted. So the question for Senator McCain would seem to be, when terrorists can and have spread out to other middle eastern nations, how do you propose that a continued American presence in Iraq will put a lid on terrorism? When terrorist cells can and do set up in any country, inclusive of Great Britain, Spain, Lebanon, Canada, Turkey, etc. how will keeping an American presence in Iraq put a permanent lid on Al Qaeda? Speaking of some dangerous naivety here. For what ever reason we are really in that country today, I highly doubt that it is about national security.

2 comments:

Dogwalkmusings said...

I followed your link from HBO and am certainly glad I did! Great post. I'm going back now to read some more.

The New Arch Druid's take on the news said...

Thank you so much for your comment. I won't claim foreign policy experience, but I do try to keep informed. Given what I remember of my military service in Germany, terrorists were a threat then. Even if the faces and rationales for such criminal enterprises have changed; the act itself hasn't become history. Far from it.