Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

"The Cost of Freedom"

Fellow sub-blogger Rob and I often disagree about the war in Iraq, and this is another one of those times. In a recent post, Rob respectfully took issue with another mil-blogger's statement that:
"I know that we are fighting here, not only to preserve our own freedoms, but to establish those same freedoms for the people of Iraq. It makes my stomach ache to think that we are helping to preserve free speech in the US, while the media uses that freedom to try to RIP DOWN the President and our morale, as US Soldiers."

Rob responds thusly:
"Iraq has nothing to do with preserving American freedoms. Our soldiers in Iraq are not preserving free speech for us. The invasion and occupation of Iraq have nothing to do with our security or freedom here at home. If we were talking about Afghanistan, I'd buy it. See, Afghanistan is where the group that actually threatened our security by carrying out the 9/11 attacks was based. They weren't in Iraq, until we went in and made Iraq a terrorist magnet."

As Rob disagreed with SGT Long, I respectfully disagree with Rob. Despite the historical revisionism of the left, there were actually several reasons to open an Iraqi theater in the Global War on Terror (discussed eloquently by Steven den Beste here, and less eloquently by me here and here.) Note: If you're one of those who think the only reasons the Administration ever gave for war were WMDs, please read the texts of President Bush's Sept 2002 speech to the UN and 2003 State of the Union address.

I believe wholeheartedly that our mission is Iraq in inextricably tied to defending our freedoms at home. The War on Terror (or, if you don't like going to war against an "idea", The War On Those Who Seek To Re-establish The Caliphate By Use Of Terror) will last a long time; the Iraqi theater, in my opinion, is only the second front of many more to come. Rob implies that there's something wrong with making Iraq into a terrorist magnet; I believe that it's better to kill those people who need killing over there, rather than having even 1 out of a thousand of them come here to attack us, as they would possibly do otherwise. That's how we're defending free speech; by fighting our enemies away from our shores, we can mitigate the need to curtail civil liberties at home -- and if you don't believe that could happen, I guarantee that if we have another major attack on American soil, you'll see Democrats joining Republicans in passing restrictions that would put the Patriot Act to shame. And you know what? If we hadn't gone into Iraq, we'd still be under threat from terrorists seeking to attack us at home. Now, though, maybe our resolve will convince some terrorist leaders that the price they'll pay for attacking the U.S. is too high (you attack us, we'll take out the government that supported you, plus another government that might support you in the future.)

Or maybe not. In any event, we're learning more about what works when fighting war in the 21st century. We've learned not to stack prisoners into pyramids, because the American public won't stand for it. We've learned that you need better plans for the period after "major combat operations" are over. We've learned that there are some allies we can trust, and others we can't. We've learned that the American body politic isn't ready to support some of those actions required to show the terrorist leaders that we really mean business -- yet. All these lessons will come in handy next year... or in five years... or in fifteen years, when we have to open the next theater in the war.

And hopefully, because of the men and women sacrificing so much in Iraq, that new front won't be the American theater.


Blogger Robert Schumacher said...

I suppose we're simply going to have to agree to disagree. You make your point well, but this is one of those times where we just see it differently.

10/16/2005 2:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess it's all a matter of how wide and far your vision is. I happen to be one of those who think that planting a democracy with a free market economy right in the middle of all those dictatorships, theocracies, and kingdoms will do wonders towards turning Muslims from enemies into allies some 20 years down the road.

Yeah...I think the President thinks that far ahead. He's got real good vision, and a lot of grit to go with it.

10/16/2005 2:43 AM

Blogger half said...

I suppose we're simply going to have to agree to disagree. You make your point well, but this is one of those times where we just see it differently.

Good hevens! What kinda blog is this? This civility is corrupting our children.

10/16/2005 4:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen brother, I understand where you are coming from. You have been in the ditch and know what is going on.
We either sit on the sidelines and get whacked like spain, or we put it in their face. There's no choice on this one. Spain is proof that giving up to those focks leads only to disaster.

10/16/2005 6:23 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GREAT POST "BUBBLE" - not being impressive enough myself or even intelligent enough to prove any of this either way and most people should admit they fall into a similar slot. We all should learn all we can before we speak so adamantly as we'd like to THINK we know exactly what's happening in this BIGGER than us PICTURE. There is evidence in many directions. THIS post goes into some of the detail. All I DO know is that we can not allow "knee jerk" power hungry dictators who randomly kill their own citizens to control a large portion of the energy needed to fuel the entire world.

10/16/2005 1:10 PM

Blogger Rich Casebolt said...

Bubblehead, let me reinforce your analysis with some concurring opinions:

Why Saddam ... before Osama?

How do we win this war?

10/16/2005 4:04 PM

Blogger Subsunk said...


Actually our greatest weapon has historically been the American GI. If you want to change people's opinions on America, send in the Marines or the Army (even the Navy and Air Force will fit here if we can get in enough to make port calls). Their integrity and compassion as the finest ambassadors of America will change the folks' opinions faster than anything else. They just have to be shown how to live with other folks like we do, or die fighting that premise. Once they know there is another world out there, they will choose it themselves.

The trick is to find the right place to send in the Marines. Since Iraq had been lying for 12 yrs, they were the logical place to begin.

You may find this is cynical or diabolical or evil thought, but it remains true nonetheless. I don't believe anyone thought this way as a strategic plan. I believe it just happened this way. I agree with you there is plenty of evidence of terrorist support in Iraq before the invasion. You would have to ignore 30 yrs of history to believe that this is not a global war against every Islamic radical in the world. And Iran, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia are all targeted in different ways.

So why didn't we take on "one of the more dangerous ones first"? Why pick off the biggest guy in the gang on the next block when the little one is right there caught in the act? You take out the thug you have caught red handed. Besides, we're working up to knocking off those other idiots. In many different ways.

Just because you can kill everyone in the Middle East in a big flash because they pissed you off, doesn't mean you should do it or want to do it. But a nuclear explosion in NYC, Wash DC, LAX, or Houston caused by an Islamofascist from Egypt, Syria or Iran doesn't mean we shouldn't retaliate and retaliate big. So if it happens, I will support removal of the Middle East from the Earth. We'll find the oil somewhere else. It ain't worth 4 million dead Americans to find out they bought a nuke from Russia.

I know I'm alone or nearly alone amongst civilized company in this position --- but it is correct, it is reasoned, and it is mine. Call me crazy. Everybody else does. But when Chicago gets blown away, don't be looking for advice. You already have it.


10/17/2005 9:34 AM

Blogger Skippy-san said...

I agree with Rob on this one. We are expending precious resources to help a bunch of Arabs ( and Kurds) while it may be good for them, in the long run it may not be in the US interest.

The war in Iraq is not the same as the GWOT and never will be. What it has done is sidetracked the other effort and in the process, because of the way it has been resourced it has placed a strain on the resources of the nation.

Furthermore, making critical arguements of the President is the job of the media and the public. So why criticize them for doing their job?

Iraq is the Weimar Republic of the 21st century. In about 2 years they will vote their own version Nasser into power.

Even if they do, it is an Iraqi matter, not an American one. Saddam is gone our work there is done. I'm like Prof Bainbridge, the results may be good, but I'm pissed at George Bush ( who is not a visionary despite what people think.....) for getting us into this mess to begin with.

10/17/2005 11:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who claim Iraq had nothing directly to do with 9/11 I have one word.
After the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor, who and where was our first counter-attack?
We attacked the French in northern Africa. It is called strategy.

Basic Besick

10/25/2005 1:11 PM


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