Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It's About Time!

A new organization, Freedom's Watch, launched a nationwide $15 Million radio and TV advertising campaign today supporting the importance of victory in the war on terror we are currently fighting.

"The mission of Freedom's Watch is to ensure a strong national defense
and a powerful effort to confront and defeat global terror, especially in
Iraq," said Bradley A. Blakeman, President of Freedom's Watch. "Those who
want to quit while victory is possible have dominated the public debate
about terror and Iraq since the 2004 election. Freedom's Watch is going to
change that."
"When it comes to protecting our country," continued Blakeman, "we'll
spare no effort. Our goal is to make clear that when America goes to war,
victory is the only outcome. That's what the troops are saying in these
advertisements and what Freedom's Watch believes. We do not agree with
those groups pressuring our lawmakers to abandon victory."
Go to the site and check out the videos of the commercials they are running. And donate to their cause if you are so inclined.


  1. So they're working on enlisting for the military, right? Right?

    Oh wait. Of course they're not. Yeah, we gotta win. Right. Sure we do. ... Rah!

  2. I strongly agree that we need a strong national defense and to confront and defeat global terror. What I don't understand is how so many otherwise bright individuals believe that we can achieve those goals through military action alone.

    John Batiste recognizes that, too:

    "As a conservative, I am all for a strong military and setting the conditions for success. America goes to war to win. I am not anti-war and am committed to winning the struggle against world-wide Islamic extremism. But, I am outraged that elected officials of my own [Republican] party do not comprehend the predicament we are in with a strategy in the Middle East that lacks focus and is all but relying on the military to solve the diplomatic, political, and economic Rubik’s Cube that defines Iraq...

    "America’s national strategy in Iraq is akin to a four legged stool with legs representing diplomacy, political reconciliation, economic recovery, and the military. The glue holding it all together must be the mobilization of the United States in support of the incredibly important effort to defeat world-wide Islamic extremism. The only leg on the stool of any consequence is the military–it is solid titanium and high performing, the best in the world. After almost six years since September 11, our country is not mobilized behind this important work and the diplomatic, political, and economic legs are not focused and lack leadership [my emphasis]. Most Americans now appreciate that the military alone cannot solve the problem in Iraq. In this situation, the stool will surely collapse.

    "Our military and our treasury are not unlimited resources. The war in Iraq is breaking our fine Army and Marine Corps, and we are perilously close to doing damage that will take more than a decade to fix. Our brigades and divisions in Iraq today are at near full strength because the rest of the force has been gutted. We cannot place America in a position of weakness as it just begins its long war against world-wide Islamic extremism. The Republican administration is bleeding our national treasure in blood and dollars with little to show for it."

    We won the war in 2003, Andy. Now we have to win the peace. The $15 million that Freedom's Watch will spend on radio and TV advertising could be put to so many better uses that I can't even to begin to enumerate them. A million or two to these guys would be a nice start.

  3. Before you pick on me for linking to a blatantly Democratic party site, Think Progress, let me note that Gen. Batiste first sent his essay to the WSJ and the Rev. Moon's Washington Times. Both harrumphed and silently muttered, "No, thank you."

    And I think if you read more of the postings from Michael Yon, whom you feature prominently on your link list, you'd understand more of the situation on the ground. Read it and weep, Andy. I did.

    This shit is serious. It is not being presented for our entertainment. It is not an exercise in gamesmanship. Real people are fighting and dying or coming home minus important body parts. Real people are having their homes raided by foreign occupying forces at 3 in the morning, local time.

    Understand that. Understand that $15 million worth of advertising will not change that. Not at all.

    sjones at igc dot org.

  4. Steve,
    We have been attacked and our citizens and soldiers have been killed for over 20 years by these terrorists. What are we supposed to do about it? Sit by and let them continue to increase the intensity of their attacks on us? No, we needed to go in and take the fight to them in Afghanistan and later in Iraq and if we have to, Iran.

    War is a horrible thing but it is necessary at times because these people do not want peace with us, they want to kill us. I don't understand how we are supposed to negotiate with terrorists. I don't think they are interested.

    I think we are absolutely doing the right thing by fighting these people before they can attack us again.

  5. Andy, define "these terrorists". Are you including all Muslims? If so, you are very much mistaken. Are you talking about al Qaeda? If so, you are very much correct. Our enemy is al Qaeda, not the entire Islamic world.

    There was absolutely no connection between al Qaeda and Iraq. Osama bin Forgotten hated Saddam, and the feeling was mutual. Again, there was absolutely no connection between al Qaeda and Iraq.

    Until we invaded and screwed up the occupation royally. It was only then that Salafists like the execrable and now wonderfully deceased Abu Musab al Zarqawi set up his little al Qaeda shop west of Baghdad.

    Now, thank goodness, even the Sunni Iraqis who have spent the last four years killing American soldiers are totally fed up with the presence of those blasted Salafists, and have joined with us, the occupiers, to eliminate them. Hopefully, they will soon succeed.

    What happens then, Andy? If we do not pull out of their part of Iraq, they will revert to killing our troops again. And they will do it with the arms that we gave them.

    Jesus tap-dancing Christ, Andy, pull your head out of the morass! Read some history! Hell, even the "Idiot's Guide to Iraq" has enough to teach us that I sent a copy to President Bush. Apparently, he didn't put that on his list of books in his reading contest with Karl Rove, because he still thinks that we did not win the war in April of 2003, and is still looking for "victory".

    We won, Andy. We tossed Saddam from his perch, we caught him, and then we saw the Iraqis try and hang the son of a bitch from the rafters. And his worthless sons were dispatched with less of a fuss. Good riddance to bad rubbish!

    "War is a horrible thing but it is necessary at times." I absolutely agree, Andy. But this is not one of those times. You do not negotiate with terrorists. But you definitely have to negotiate with the nations which produce terrorists. Most of the terrorists who knocked down the World Trade Centers on 11 September 2001 were Saudis, Andy. Not one of those bastards was from Iraq.

    So why did we invade Iraq? Did you do your homework and read the Project for a New American Century's “Rebuilding America's Defenses" plan?

    Obviously not.

    "I think we are absolutely doing the right thing by fighting these people before they can attack us again."

    Which people, Andy? 1.2 billion Muslims? Or 10,000 al Qaeda?

    Focus, Andy, focus. Focus on our real enemy, not on 1/5th of the world's population. Focus on al Qaeda, and work with, not against, the Muslim world to eradicate them. Hell, if the Sunni militias which have been lobbing mortars and rockets on our troops for the past four years can join in the fight against al Qaeda, why can't Iran? The Persian Iranians are Shias, and hate the Salafists even more than the Sunni militias do!

    It would be stupid for us to attack Iran when 1) it has three times the population of Iraq; 2) it hates al Qaeda even more than we do; 3) its people are proud nationalists, much as you and I are; 4) our military, particularly the US Army, is exhausted after four years of deployment.

    Am I getting through to you, Andy?

  6. Let me apologize for the tone of that last comment, Andy. It was late, and in case it isn't clear by now, I'm a very frustrated man. I was rude, and for that I apologize. But I stand by every word.

  7. “Steve Jones”-- I’ll tell you what I tell all the pacifists: War is one of mankind’s favorite activities. People love it. That is why the world has seen more wars, big and small, than you could ever count. And that is why no war ever suffered from a shortage of participants.

    So grow up, Steve, or shut up. See the world for what it is and for what it has always been. Save the moaning and wailing, the word games, and the silly arguments over policy. It’s war. If you can’t enjoy it, at least let others.

  8. E5, I'm no pacifist. But you have to be a pretty weird individual to "enjoy" war. Every soldier I've met or read who has been in a war has hated war, even when they agreed with the necessity of war. Hell, even the War Nerd hates what we've done in Iraq - check out that first paragraph.

    Here's something I wrote last year to a friend who said his church was discussing the necessity of war, and whether there was any such thing as a "just war":


    "...which is the title of a book by Chris Hedges I recommend to anyone looking into the question of the necessity of war. He writes, 'War, at times inevitable and unavoidable, is part of human society. It has been since the dawn of time - and probably will be until we are snuffed out by our own foolishness.'

    "War is deeply ingrained in our beings. It is how some of our ancestors survived to produce us. At times they used brutal force to survive times of turmoil, of resource scarcity, of competition for food and lebensraum. As we developed agriculture and larger societies, war became institutionalized. Often, whole castes or groups, or sometimes entire populations were devoted to learning the art of war, and practicing that art when necessary.

    "War is in our myths, our histories, and our religions. War is in our art, our literature, our music. Greeks and Romans had gods of war. Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida decried the horrors of war. Yet Henry V is a glorious celebration of war. "We few, we happy few..." That speech gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. Especially coming as it did after Henry's long night of doubt and fear.

    "Will Durant determined that there have only been 29 years in human history when there was no war in the world. 29 years of peace in all of human history..." [I'll spare you the rest.]

    Note that I think Durant's 29 years no doubt missed some far-off tribal conflicts. I doubt there's been a moment of peace since we lost our tails and came out of the trees.

    So, E5, don't tell me to "grow up" or "shut up." And don't ever, ever, call me a pacifist.

    Enjoy the rest of the war.

  9. Well, "Steve Jones," if you’re not a pacifist, and you truly understand what I and others have written about war, then why the hell are you wasting all this blog space?

  10. I don't know what you have written about war, E5, beyond your brief note inviting me to "grow up or shut up." That's all I know from you. I thought what I wrote in my last comment was very much in line with what you stated - that war is a constant in human history. If you care to expound, be my guest.

    By the way, you don't need to put my name in quotes. It's the name my parents gave me. You can contact me at sjones at igc dot org if you'd rather take our conversation out of Andy's site.

    I don't believe in war for the hell of it, E5. I believe in war as a last resort, and as a just cause. I'm not anti-war. But I oppose poorly-planned wars of choice with amorphous, shifting and conflicting goals that not only cost us in blood and treasure but threaten to break our military forces while strengthening our enemies and increasing their number.

    I especially oppose wars which divide the people of our nation. I wandered in here from Wulfgar's blog, where he and Andy were taking shots at each other over their conflicting stands on Iraq. That's what I hate most: watching us snipe at each other rather than at our very real enemy, al Qaeda and other Islamists. (Note I didn't say Muslims. Islamists are to Islam what Dominionists are to Christianity - fundamentalists that want their religious view of the world to prevail. Both are fascistic as well.)

    We're not fighting smart. Hell, we're fighting each other. Bush considers Democrats more of an enemy than bin Laden. Too many in the Democratic leadership see the GOP as more of an enemy than bin Laden. That's stupid and wrong and dangerous.

    Maybe LTC Yingling will help you understand. Here's a taste: “Armies do not fight wars; nations fight wars. War is not a military activity conducted by soldiers, but rather a social activity that involves entire nations. Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz noted that passion, probability and policy each play their role in war. Any understanding of war that ignores one of these elements is fundamentally flawed.”

    We've turned our passion away from al Qaeda and onto each other, E5. If we don't recognize that, and try to change it, bin Laden wins.

    THAT, sir or madam, is why I am "wasting blog space." I want us to win, not bin Laden.

  11. Steve,
    When I speak of terrorists, I am speaking terrorists who are now predominantly Al Qaeda. I'm not sure who they were affiliated with in the 1980s or early 1990s when they were terrorizing us.

    I also know that Al Qaeda was not in Iraq when we attacked them. The reason we went to war with them was their defiance of the dozen or so UN resolutions, Saddam kicking out the weapons inspectors and the intelligence that he possessed and was making WMDs. Even the Clintons , Democrats and most other countries believed this.

    We need to establish stability in the region and we will eventually. Our national interest requires us to help establish this stability. We rely on this region for a good chunk of our oil imports and without the free flow of oil, our economy and citizens will suffer.

    This is also why we need to stabilize the situation in Iran. They are openly threatening one of our allies - Israel and flaunting their development of nuclear weapons. They are a threat to the stability in the region and, therefore, a threat to our national interests.

  12. Well stated, Andy. We do indeed need to establish security in the region, especially since it was us who destabilised it. I hope we do, and I support the surge because I believe it will help. But I am aware that the surge cannot be maintained beyond April of next year. I am concerned that we have not begun the economic, diplomatic and political efforts which the surge was designed to support. Now we've got Hillary and Carl Levin spouting nonsense about removing al-Maliki. Fools. That's up to the Iraqis at this point.

    As to Iran, we do have to stabilize that relationship. We can't stabilize it simply by threatening it and refusing to deal directly with it. And we sure can't afford to go to war with it. We simply don't have the forces necessary to occupy it. It is to our advantage to deal with it directly. Look what happened when we decided to deal with North Korea. Diplomacy is unfortunately our only option with Iran at this point. We must pursue it. We'd be better off dealing with Ali Khamenei (and Khatami) than the idiot Ahmadinejad. For one thing, the presidency of Iran is sort of like the governor of Texas - there ain't much real power in the office. Khamenei is the CinC.

    I'll have to disagree that violating UN sanctions is a reason to invade and occupy a nation like Iraq, but, hey, water under the bridge. It's way too late to argue that one. We have to figure a way out of Iraq that leaves it stable and, hopefully, an ally against al Qaeda. The sooner the administration gets serious about pursuing the diplomatic, economic and political efforts, the better our chances.

  13. Sorry, “Steve Jones,” but all you write is liberal drivel—and really old, worn-out liberal drivel at that. Yeah, sure, you’re not against war... now here it comes! BUT...

    But war must be a last resort.
    But it has to be a good and just war.
    But it has to be a well planned war.
    But it has to be this kind of war and that kind of war and most of all it has to be my kind of war.

    Yeah, sure, sure, “Steve Jones,” you’re not against war. It’s just that you’ve never found a war that met all your criteria. My guess is you’d find something wrong with any war, some lame, liberal excuse why we shouldn’t fight it or why we should quit it.

    As I said out the outset, and which you apparently missed completely, war is one of mankind’s favorite activities. People love it. That is why the world has seen more wars, big and small, than you could ever count. And that is why no war ever suffered from a shortage of participants.

    All I will add to that is you’re not fooling anybody with this honest patriot routine, where you pretend to support America against her enemies, then proceed to enumerate a thousand reasons why America is doing everything wrong and therefore will ultimately lose. Typical liberal drivel.

  14. Well, then, I guess all America has to do is to proclaim it, and then it will come to pass.

    Good luck with that.

  15. ...especially in Baghdad.

  16. E5, I don't know what I was getting at with those last two comments either. But I do know that neither of us will change the other's mind. If you have anything further to say, drop me a note at sjones at igc dot org. Let's leave Andy's blog alone.