[lit-ideas] Re: Text of bin Laden Tape

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2006 20:22:58 -0800

Something to keep in mind is that the War against Saddamâs regime was 
virtually flawless and painless.  We lost virtually no one.  Now I say that for 
effect because when you compare the losses in Iraq against any of out other 
wars the casualties are not deserving of mention.  I note that you refer to 
âtens of thousands of troops deployed for year with bullâs eyes on their 
backs.â  That is what was feared by some, but the reality is otherwise.  
Compare our casualties with other wars and you will see.


Also, the Wilsonian exportation of democracy is the antithesis of realpolitik.  
Realpolitik was practiced by Kissenger when he argued we should learn to get 
along with the Soviet Union because they were really going to be around forever.


We are not in a quagmire in Iraq.  As soon as the Iraqi troops are up to speed 
we can back out.  But we do not want to back out until hey are because that 
would give a tremendous boost to the Islamists.


Perhaps the war could have been fought in a better way.  I donât know.  But 
it needed (and needs) to be fought.  If Iraq becomes a self-sustaining 
democracy we will still have Islamists that need to be dealt with, but it will 
be easier to do so if we donât have to worry about Iraq.


You ask how we are going to build solidarity to fight the Islamists.  A good 
start would be for the Media to quit concentrating on âbody bagsâ and 
report a balanced view of what is really going on in Iraq.  If our Media makes 
us blind to the truth then the people believing them will continue to stumble.




-----Original Message-----
From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On 
Behalf Of John McCreery
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 7:47 PM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Text of bin Laden Tape


As I recall from the Phil-Lit days, Lawrence was the one of us who

actually put in the hard work to study Islamic fundamentalism and

develop a persuasive message that when we hear these people talking

about our destruction we ought to take them seriouslyâand be under no

illusions that what we hear is only a kind of posturing that will fade

away when people of good will, or more likely a realpolitik based on

let's make a deal, get together to talk things over. This point I

couldn't agree more with what he has said.


But Andy asks the right question when he/she asks "How do we defeat

terrorism?" What is utterly clear from recent history is that our

leaders have been largely clueless. We've heard a lot of cowboy talk

about chasing them down and smoking them out. We have seen an invasion

of a sovereign nation justified not by real attacks but hypothetical

threats that have turned out, as a matter of fact, to have been

unfounded. We have seen a military machine so powerful that it could

destroy the invaded nation's army in a matter of days bog down in the

precisely the murderous quagmire that our military leaders expected

(remember Shinseki talking about the need for hundreds of thousands of

troops and James Webb writing in The New York Times, "Don't do this

Mr. President. We will have to have tens of thousands of troops

deployed for year with bull's eyes on their backs.") Why? Because the

administration's hand-picked proconsul didn't expect an insurgency (L.

Paul Bremer in his new book). Our image abroad has been shot to hell;

our army is bleeding and strained to near breaking point; Osama Bin

Laden is still out there preaching our destruction. And still all we

hear is, "Keep on shopping, the economy needs you. Trust us, we know

what we're doing."


Know what they're doing? My ass. The lack of enthusiasm for this war

has a lot more to do with the public's being lied to and the unkept

promises, utter incompetence and rancid, rampant corruption of the

current administration than it does with pacificism (a decidedly

minority position in today's US of A).


We do need to fight terrorists, and we do need to do a hell of a lot

better job of it. I repeat Andy's question, Lawrence. How are we going

to do that? And how are we going to build the national solidarity that

winning that fight will take?




John McCreery

The Word Works, Ltd.

55-13-202 Miyagaya, Nishi-ku

Yokohama 220-0006, JAPAN


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