A soldier in Iraq recently penned the following letter, which probably does a pretty good job of expressing rightwing thought on the war. After being directly admonished by Delftsman to read it, I did. Here's the pertinent excerpt with my response:
I’m finding that perhaps I don’t agree with how the Administration is handling everything over here. But I also realize that it’s a hell of a lot easier to analyze after the fact.
Actually, it was pretty easy to analyze before the fact. You and millions of other Americans simply chose to ignore this analysis. Lifelong conservatives, including those with lifetime military (e.g., Bacevich) or intel careers (e.g., Ray McGovern), were openly stating that the administration was lying to the U.S. people and completely out of touch with the situation. I was out in the street physically protesting this war before it happened.
It would appear that, yes, we probably should have started this invasion with more troops (more bombs, and significantly more planned destruction, by the way. Should’ve pummeled this place until we had complete submission and started rebuilding from there.)
This "analysis" assumes that the U.S. hasn't killed enough Iraqis and so that's why there are currently problems. I'd like to maintain an objective tone but I must say this plainly--this is an absolutely assanine comment. The reason the U.S. will find this war unwinnable is simply because it won't be able to get enough support from the average Iraqi. You somehow think more civilian casualties would have given the U.S. more support. Of course, there is always a "final solution" in these situations. One can just go in and kill everyone. Both Hitler and the Mongols tried this at certain points. It doesn't bode well for the maintainence of a longterm, multicultural civilization.
We probably should have anticipated presently resulting issues to some extent….the foreign insurgency, the Iranian and Syrian support, the fleeing former regime elements, civilian looting and destruction, corruption in the ranks of the new Iraqi Army and police, collaboration of some these same with insurgent elements for personal or ideological gain, and most importantly, the potential for a close working relationship between a predominantly Shiite government with Iran.
These things were anticipated. The Bush administration simply chose to ignore them.
So, there are some unforeseen problems that maybe should have been expected previously and planned for. Didn’t happen. What do we do now? Go home and say it just didn’t work out? No. Go home and continually tell Americans till the end of time that this is a quagmire and it’s George’s fault? This would be the plan of most Bush-haters. But thank God (by the way, you are allowed to do this too, because of the American soldier, but maybe not for long with the US Constitution being rewritten by our judiciary) that at least you have this President in there, a man of conviction, morals and Christian faith, not the wishy-washy, mealy-mouthed putz who perhaps would be handling these difficulties more wisely? Not likely. And Bush, with these characteristics has been a wonderful example to our all servicemembers here, all of whom take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States (as written), believe in the grand importance of what they’re willingly doing and most of whom still pray to God while wearing a government provided uniform and being paid by that government.
Sometimes I find people spouting such bizarre idiocy that I have to wonder what the point is of attempting conversation. Who told you that Bush is a God-fearing Christian with deep convictions? Bush? Do you believe what everyone tells you? Is there a single event that we know about Bush's life that would suggest that he has a single conviction, moral feeling, or an ounce of faith? As we watch him nervously shift back and forth behind the podium, is there the slightest reason to assume that this idiot has a single leadership quality (beyond his aristocratic blood)? Do the actions of Bush's team make you think he gives a damn about the Constitution? The Patriot Act and everything else he's done (regardless as to how you feel about these things) would suggest just the opposite.
Also, most of them will have been here more than three and a half months before going home and without plans to protest! Who got me started? Anyway, we’ve got work to do and a lot yet to accomplish. Part of my point is that an awful lot has been successfully accomplished already and the efforts continue. By far the biggest obstacle to a more speedy success and return home to the States is this liberal media, the academic and Hollywood freaks who have no clue or purposely misrepresent or ignore the truth to push forth their own agendas.
Why are liberals a threat? They don't run things. You've got your man as president; you control both houses; you now own the Supreme Court; and you've even got your own news channel. This is your war. You bought it, paid for it (actually our children will pay for it, but you get the point), and own it. Don't blame this on liberals. If things go awry, the blame will fall squarely on your shoulders.
Continue to watch ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS, and read the NY Times and Washington Post if you want to be manipulated and let them form your opinion. Start ignoring them or, better yet, challenging them if you truly do “support the troops”! The last thing these guys over here need is all that two-faced “we support the troops” hoopla when people don’t.
I fully agree that people should turn off their TVs and think for themselves. But do you really think Fox is telling it like it is? They could be making movies for all it matters. The show provides less intelligent insight in 24 hours that my barber does in 5 minutes.
If you’re not behind the mission, you’re not behind the troops. If you can’t acknowledge what they’re doing is important and necessary, then you’re belittling their efforts and sacrifice. They don’t need and want that.
I don't support the troops. I don't think the U.S. will be better off if U.S. troops are occupying countries around the globe. I don't think that what you're doing will lead to much positive. I'm very sure that democracy, if it is to last, is almost always home-grown. Your efforts and sacrifice may very well be making matters much worse than they would be otherwise. I realize that this uncomfortable reality makes your job much more difficult, but that's the way it goes. I didn't ask you to go over there. If your actions end up taking a bad situation and making it much worse, I'll blame Bush, his supporters, and you who have chosen to fight this war.
So, thank you to all who truly do “support the troops”.One last item. Don’t believe any of this crap about Islam being a “religion of peace”. There are obviously peaceful and spiritual Muslims, but they do not follow Mohammed’s teachings and lifestyle. Read the unabridged Koran. Compare and contrast Christ and Mohammed. Study your history regarding the Crusades and learn that the Muslims were trying to convert the world, not the Christians. Decide for yourself where knee-bending respect and tolerance of Islam is going to lead. And it spreads. France, Spain, Britain, Denmark, Sweden, most of northern Africa, where thousands upon thousands of Christians are brutally murdered in Mohammed’s name without so much as a peep from anyone.
Here in a nutshell, you've provided a very good reason why the U.S. shouldn't be over there. Islam has co-existed peacefully with other cultures and religions for much of its history and it continues to do so in many places in the world. Attitudes and actions like yours only contribute to its radicalization. Left to its own, radical Islam would be left to fight an uphill battle to maintain its message amidst the secularizing forces at work in the modern world. You've provide it with a superb justification, essentially tossing an archaic, illogical, and doomed movement a life-raft just as it was about to sink below the waves.