Bipartisan “Quagmire Policy” to be Implemented to Bolster Election Results

Hillary the Hawk is trying to coo like a dove, despite her recent Pax Americana vote on the Senate floor. WaPo suggests:

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, a third category 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.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. Is isolationism the answer?
    Is that the real agenda of some libertarians?
    What is the role of the military?

    We don’t need a military according to some libertarians. The inconsistencies are obvious. Some libertarians want no military outside our borders and believe they should exist only for protection (self defense) of our borders but go nuts when even the idea is advanced that the only appropriate use of the military is to secure our borders.

    What is the role of the military in an ideal libertarian society? Are they to be disbanded? If so, seems to me to be a very dangerous proposition.

    Please, someone explain to me why there is so much venom and vile toward us maintaining a strong military.

  2. Julian,

    I didn’t suggest that we get rid of the military, merely that we don’t make the same mistakes we did in “your” war.

    While we may disagree about whether we should have gone to Iraq in the first place, I’m sure you agree that we should have a clear mission and then dedicate the necessary resources to ensure that it is accomplished with the least amount of American casualties.

    The way I see it, the politicians are in charge of a military operation and people who will get hurt the most are the soldiers on the ground.

  3. DO,

    It’s Army slang. AO is area of operation(s).

    unass the ao: unassemble the area of operation, to leave a particular spot, widely used in the US Army

    Example: What do you say we unass the ao and grab some chow?

  4. Steve, thanks. AO was ranked 45th at ( now bookmarked) and I missed Area of Operations on the first readthrough–I had figured AO referred to something having to do with the American Army.

    I agree with your assessment of the situation.

  5. julian

    the reason that there is so much “venom and vile” towards a strong military in libertarian circles is two words: posse comitatus. While the mere idea of using the military to police the citizenry is reprehensible and strongly prohibited, the fact of the matter is that the best protection against the government abusing the military is for the government not to have a standing military at all. Here’s another bone to throw in: if a war is so unpopular that you cannot convince normal militiamen to fight it, is it worth fighting? I submit that with an all-volunteer military, you don’t need a large standing army. If you need troops, they’ll come, in droves, and faster than you think possible.

  6. I’d like to point out that peace, diplomacy and free trade that libertarians support is not isolationism. The mercantilism that many conservatives and liberals endorse would qualify as such were it not for their aggressive foreign policy.

  7. John

    If they will come in droves, then why did we need the draft in WWII? Maybe that war also was not worth fighting.

    Maybe there has never been a war worth fighting in our history. The draft was implemented on both sides during the War Between the States (War for States Rights or War of Northern Aggression in the South, Civil War in the North). They did not come in droves in the North. There were draft riots in New York so that argument does not hold up.

    I will remain a libertarian but do leave the lock step mentality of the Party when it comes to national defense, the war on terror and the need to draft conscripts now and in the future.

    No politician should have the right to decide issues about war if he/she has not served in the military. As it stands today the elitists from D’s and R’s are willing to send the poor into harms way but will not serve themselves or allow their children to serve. Most politicians are from the privileged upper classes and cowards.

  8. Julian

    1) after PH, the volunteers did come, it’s just they got overwhelmed by draftees
    2) the draftee military took over a year to be prepared to fight in WW2, in vietnam, it took 8 months to get the first 3500 troops on ground, in desert storm/shield, it took 6 months to get 660,000 troops on ground.

    I do suspect that we will never agree on this one, you having seen only conscripted military and me having only seen all-volunteer military. My quote in this is “you know, when the shit hits the fan, I want to know that the guy behind me providing cover fire WANTS to be there and won’t head for the hills at first opportunity”

    If the war on terror needs a conscripted army, doesn’t that mean that the terrorists win?

    As for the last paragraph, you’re absolutely right. One really ought to have to show their DD form 214 or military ID to vote on war. Unfortunately, soldiers make lousy politicians, just look at Jackson, Grant, Ike, et al.

  9. Julian,

    “If they will come in droves, then why did we need the draft in WWII?”

    Draft registration was in place before Pearl Harbor — and the recruitment offices were turning people away AFTER Pearl Harbor because they were flooded with “I wanna gos” and it was administratively easier just to send out induction notices to draft registrants (whether or not said registrants were among the hordes trying to get in voluntarily).


    I’m confused as to what you mean by “the draftee military took over a year to be prepared to fight in WW2.”

    Pearl Harbor was attacked on 12/7/1941. The first major US ground offensive in the Pacific commenced eight months later with the August 7th landing on Guadalcanal, and US forces hit the ground in North Africa in Operation Torch three months after that.

    Tom Knapp

  10. thomas. I got my chronology wrong, thought torch was the first american involvement…

  11. The American Civil War was a waste.

    It wasn’t about slavery. Lincoln said so himself. It was about preserving the Union, mainly to force the South to keep paying tariffs on imported goods that might compete with Northern manufacturers.

    For this, draftees were enslaved and killed.

    The Emancipation Proclamation was a war tactic to undermine southern resistance. It only freed slaves on territory that was in rebellion (and would be conquered by the Union later), not within territory held by Union troops, even in the South.

    Afterwards, blacks were supposedly free, but routinely terrorized and “put in their place” for another century. Surely they would have become truly free much sooner if the Confederacy had been allowed to leave, and face the natural consequences of its backward economic system on its own.

    What other justification can be made for this war? American Empire? What does this consist of, but the ability to have more wars?

  12. War is the most successful excuse for enlarging government and diminishing the freedoms of the people. Once surrendered, never fully restored.