But Clinton said she is not disturbed by talk of Democratic divisions. “When people say, ‘Gee, the Democrats seemed not to have a unified position,’ I can very straightforwardly say I’m proud of the debate that we’re having,” she said. “We are trying to fulfill our responsibilities, in contrast to our friends on the other side, who have abdicated theirs.”
A brief trip back the 2004 presidential elections indicates how debates between the two hawk parties affect foreign policy. I recall a lot of discourse about inconsequentials like Swift Boat veterans and the like, but don’t recall serious debate about whether the Iraq War was the right thing to do or discussion about how to send our troops home as quickly as possible. The bottom line is that nothing has changed since then, except for more dead American soldiers and more money wasted in an attempt to secure this geographical section of the American Empire.
We can look at this one of two ways. For a moment, let’s consider that the hawks are right in that “Saddama bin Laden” attacked the U.S. with his huge stockpile of WMDs that were stored in Baghdad pharmaceutical plants, hospitals and schools. There would be a reasonable argument to take this mythical person (and his military forces) out in some sort of defensive war. The way to go about conducting this war would be to ensure that every soldier, bullet and bean was available in order to accomplish the mission as quickly as possible with the lowest amount of U.S. casualties (and collateral damage) as possible.
The reality is that we have no clear mission in Iraq. Saddam has been behind bars for some time and Osama isn’t answering our RSVPs of late. It’s unclear whether we are actually sending Osama invites these days and we may not be. After all, if bin Laden was caught, it would be harder for the hawks to continue to try to justify our presense in Iraq.
With respect to bullets and beans, there have been charges (especially about body and vehicle armor) that we’ve been neglectful in this matter since hostilities started.
Now they want to send troops home. Just some of them. This year. I’d not be surprised to see a lot of noise about recent redeployments right before the November elections as over half the voters seem to be suggesting this course of action right now.
Now let me ask the the 290,871,133,895 dollar question:
Q: What do you get when military forces are deployed to a location halfway around the world with no clear mission, an inconsistent count of beans and bullets, combined with troop strength reductions for political purposes?
A: Viet Nam
While I’d disagree with him or her, an honorable hawk would want to ensure the mission was defined and that we utilized the best resources we had available to actually finish the job with the least amount of casualties — then unass the AO as quickly as possible. Others, like me, think we should never have gone to Iraq in the first place. Unfortunately for both the Iraqis and our soldiers,of people are in charge.
No matter how one feels about our engagement in Viet Nam, our half-assed policy there clearly contributed to a lot of American casualties. It’s my expectation that we will start sending some troops home in time for some feel-good headlines immediately before the November elections. It’s also my expectation that the additional body bags will start coming back home shortly after these same elections.