Bryan Caplan has an open thread.
Archive for the ‘Terror War’ Category
Posted by PrestoPundit on 11/26/2007
Posted by PrestoPundit on 11/17/2007
Actually I think Tyler Cowen only scratches the surface.
Posted in Terror War | Comments Off on The Real Cost Of The Iraq War
Posted by PrestoPundit on 09/19/2007
Posted in Terror War | Comments Off on It’s Hard Not To Like
Posted by PrestoPundit on 09/18/2007
Thomas Sowell on John Agresto’s “Mugged By Reality”:
The worst mistake, in Agrestos view, was the failure to establish law and order in the wake of the military victory, before undertaking the grandiose project of attempting to create democracy in Iraq. From this fundamental mistake, many of the other tragedies followed.
In the absence of law and order, there was widespread violence, looting, rape — in short, the war of each against all that Hobbes warned about, centuries ago.
As for democracy, Agresto understands that the right to vote is no guarantee of freedom, toleration or respect for the rights of others. Without those prerequisites, democracy can mean tyranny at home and terrorism abroad.
Apparently the American civilian authorities in Iraq did not understand this or else they let that understanding be overridden by political considerations. By setting up a government based on warring factions, they made cooperation in the national interest a very unlikely prospect.
I remember thinking these sorts of thought during the early days of the war. I was dismayed at the time by how very few “conservatives” ever brought up this basic stuff.
Posted by PrestoPundit on 09/17/2007
Yes, you read that right.
Posted by PrestoPundit on 09/15/2007
Bandow doesn’t pull any punches:
had President Bush listened to his military advisors at the start, we might not be facing catastrophic failure today. When Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki testified that a large occupation garrison would be necessary, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz dismissed his concerns and pushed him into Pentagon deep freeze.
The administration ignored sound military advice because it was living in an ideological fantasy world, in which Iraqis would cheerfully submit to rule imposed by the U.S., there would be no insurgency, and rival factions would circle campfires singing Kumbaya. “Stuff happens,” Secretary Rumsfeld declared after looting swept liberated Baghdad. It happened because the administration chose hope over experience in designing its Iraq policy.
Read the whole thing.
Posted by PrestoPundit on 09/13/2007
Former White House insider Peter Wehner says that U.S. war strategy in Iraq was flawed from the outset. This is what many of us believed at the time — unfortunately the massive voice of the anti-GOP press corp and the leftist intellectual establishment overwhelmed the strategic criticisms coming from conservatives, and the Bush administration and most pro-war conservatives effectively shut their ears to other conservative critiques, prefering to assume that the only dissenting voices were coming from the leftist core of the Democratic party (the press, the universities, Hollywood, etc.)
In hindsight, what is remarkable is how many years it took before this war strategy was changed, and how little responsibility the President and his government have taken for their strategic failures.
All of this is another indication of how badly damaged the country is from the overwhelming power of the left in the intellectual and journalistic quarters of the nation. Healthy and constructive debate in this country hardly has a place when so much energy is directed simply to balancing out the powerful and overwhelming voices of the brain-dead left in the mainstream media, in the Democratic Party and in the universities, among other central U.S. institutions.
As Norman Podhoretz says, you’ve got to fight with the people and country you have– and the people and country we have is one dominated by leftists with a very limited moral compass and a very limited understanding of how the world works — and with very hateful ideas about their country and their fellow (traditional) countrymen. In other words, we are an intellectually and spiritually crippled “superpower” and the leaders of the conservative movement, the GOP, and the military need to take this into consideration when they contemplate unending warfare to bring “democracy” to all of the world.
Posted by PrestoPundit on 09/12/2007
Whatever might have been the case in 2003, in 2007 we’re fighting for our national security. Even if al-Qaeda didn’t have a single operative in Iraq four and a half years ago â€” a proposition that remains in dispute â€” the terrorists subsequently declared it their main front.
The move was a grave error for al-Qaeda. After a honeymoon in which Sunni insurgents allied themselves with foreign extremists, Iraqis found the severity and blood thirst of al-Qaeda in Iraq a far more insidious threat than the U.S. presence.
Sunnis began to rally to the American side in an alliance of convenience. As a result, al-Qaeda is suffering not only a massive defeat but also a strategic humiliation. This violent rejection of al-Qaeda by fellow Sunni Muslims amounts to the greatest American public diplomacy triumph since the collapse of the Taliban regime in 2001.
It increasingly looks like we’re caught now in the middle of a proxy war between Saudi Arabia (which supplies al-Qaeda with its money, men and mosques) and Iran (which supplies the Shiites with weapons and IEDs). It’s true that both countries support folks who would do us harm — but our presence in Iraq is the thing which makes it easy for Saudi Arabia and Iran to damage America and the non-Islamic West without any repercussion.
Posted by PrestoPundit on 08/29/2007
and America in the 1860s to the religion-fueled clan war in Iraq today. I don’t know how such an analogy is going to convince anyone of anything. Here’s the article.
Wehner says that 2006 was an awful year for Iraq but says that 2007 was “significantly better”. But note well. According to the AP:
Nearly 1,000 more people have been killed in violence across Iraq in the first eight months of this year than in all of 2006.
According to the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization, the number of displaced Iraqis has more than doubled since the start of the year, from 447,337 on Jan. 1 to 1.14 million on July 31.
Wehner — known for his “think tank” memos circulated in conservative circles and at the White House — recently left his post as Bush’s head of policy “strategery” and is now a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
Posted in Terror War | Comments Off on Peter Wehner Is Comparing the Civil War
Posted by PrestoPundit on 06/26/2007
Bush’s self-described amnesty plan is headed for passage in the Senate.
I feel terribly sad for every American who has sent aÂ loved one abroad to die for a President and Congress who have not and will not secure the country from terror attack — and are happily replacing them on the job and in the the votingÂ booth with uneducated, low-wageÂ foreigners, including gang members, convicted criminals, terror suspects, and drug runners.