Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Oliver North meets Oliver South.

Oliver North wouldn’t know "victory” in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT)or Iraq if it jumped up an fragged his behind.

Below is a rewrite of Mr. North’s op-ed in Sunday’s Washington Times (6-25-06) “Wages of Defeatism” which can be found on the Washington Times wegsite at http://www.washingtontimes.com/commentary/20060624-112128-9446r.htm

*****
“Wages of Militarism”
Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.
-- Winston S. Churchill

Churchill delivered this line in the British House of Commons on May 13, 1940, in his first address as Prime Minister. As he was speaking, the French and British armies were reeling from Adolf Hitler's onslaught through neutral Belgium. It's a good thing Churchill didn't have "war heroes" like George W. Bush or Dick Cheney, both untested in their early years in the horrors of real war. Otherwise Great Britain might have been compelled to invade and occupy Germany breaking his own nation’s budget and dividing his own nation politically to sustain an unending global war against all dictators democratically elected or not.
Regrettably, Messrs Bush and Cheney are but the most visible and strident members of an lethally ambitious cult of catastrophe. A war mongering cadre believing that the War against Global Terrorism is like World War II. Though they claim to "support the troops," they send them into battle with incompetent war planning and a lack of protective armor. Their party -- and a pliant press corps -- allowed this dynamic duo to ‘stay the course” in Iraq and forgo any hope a real victory in Global War on Terror. Osama Who? To them, and the shrinking capitulationist cabal to which they belong, there shall be no "bad news" from the battlefield. Every American casualty is regarded as a reason to carry on and only proponents of the war regardless of their military background have credibility.
It's apparent from last week's lack of real debate in the House of Representatives and this week's ranting Senate, that their party's leadership believes a steady drumbeat of war is the best way keep Republicans in power in the 2006 and 2008 elections. Whether that's true or not remains to be seen -- but the "stay-the-course crowd" has unquestionably emboldened our adversaries and disheartened our allies overseas. A few recent examples:
Tokyo, alarmed over North Korean willingness to flight test its multistage, nuclear-capable Taepo-dong II intercontinental missile has decided to withdraw its 600 troops from Iraq and bring them home on the chances they will be needed there if the US attacks Pyongyang.
From Caracas, Venezuelan strong-man Hugo Chavez, awash in petrodollars, is actively intervening in the coming Nicaraguan elections. With overt and covert help from self-described "Bolivarian Socialist" Chavez, Daniel Ortega and his Sandinistas are poised to reassert control over Nicaragua because they know the US is bogged down in the Middle East.
In Tehran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also perceiving this American military weakness, is slow-rolling a U.S.-European proposal offering incentives for Iran to abandon its nuclear enrichment program. Meanwhile, the Iranians continue their crash program to install and "spin-up" more centrifuge arrays -- essential to manufacturing weapons-grade nuclear material, hoping the US further extends is military reach, fiscal deficit and alienation of the Muslim and non-Muslim world.
Inspired by Bin Laden’s survival a coalition of radical Islamic groups in Mogadishu, Somalia, calling itself the Islamic Courts Union, has proclaimed it now administers the Somali capital under "religious law." Though U.S. and allied forces are in neighboring Djibouti, the clerics and Islamic radicals appear confident that discord in Washington’s pentagon, policy makers and strategic alliances will prevent any interference with their plans for a Taliban-like regime.
And to prove again that "good news" in Iraq is "the only news" back home, the leaders of the "Stay the Course" movement either ignored or derided their won military leaders pre-war assessments about troop needs and likely resistance have gleamed onto the fact announced by Republicans Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, that "more than 500 artillery rounds containing Sarin and mustard gases have been found in Iraq." Rather than focus U.S. troops efforts in finding Bin Laden they hold a press conference for locating and destroying these weapons that were likely “old ammunition dating to before the first Gulf war" with “provided by USA” stamped on their components.
But now real generals familiar with fighting real wars (unlike North’s escapades of international law breaking) are joining the Iraq war critics. Because they understand the consequences better than most, they are speaking out against the Bush-Cheney Axis to "stay the course." To an extraordinary extent, these real generals (remind me of highest rank achieved by Oliver North) are re-enlisting their credentials and volunteering to speak out about the “incompetents” and occasional criminal acts carried out in Iraq and in the wider war on terrorism, not to mention our own Constitution, by the war mongering “patriots”.
And while all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines I have talked to in understand the value of being held accountable for their actions -- they do not comprehend the lethal fascination of those focusing only on positive news. Getting Abu Musab Zarqawi was a one man, one-day story. American "atrocities" touch thousands and are news forever.
Earlier this week, shortly before the Pentagon announced seven Marines and a U.S. Navy Corpsman would be court-martialed for crimes in Iraq, Vice President, Richard "Dick" Cheney, again compared the GWOT to World War II ignoring his own President’s words that this war will last a very long time…perhaps generations.
A recently returned soldier I talked to said, "If we can’t stop 100% of the home grown terrorist plots, the terrorists win, as a result of our own heavy handedness both here and around the world." He then said, "This is a war of ideas. And the reality of a war against an uninformed but highly capable enemy, combined with the intentional or unintentional collateral damage caused by both sides, waging war is no longer a winnable option" It's a statement the war mongers must eventually capitulate to if they are serious about any type of ‘victory’ against terror.

Oliver South is a fictional writer who takes Oliver North’s imbecile rhetoric as a nationally syndicated columnist and the Host of "War Stories? on the Fox News Channel, and shows how absurd any war mongering is in an era of ubiquitously available hyper destructive dual use technologies in an increasingly political divisive environment.

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