Carter's fallacies

I think your mixing issues. When the Bush administration said it would be quick work to topple the Iraqi regime, this statement was shown to be correct if by that one means the toppling of the Iraqi regime itself. That took no time at all and was indeed a successful mission.
The difficulty has been securing the "peace" and establishing the new government. I remember hearing officials repeatedly saying, after the insurgency had begun in earnest, that this was going to be a long tough slog. For sure, the admin underestimated the ferocity and intensity of the insurgency, which has been made more so by the influx of Al Qaeda and Iran-backed fighters.
Rather than glorying in being "right" about how the Bush admin was wrong, we should extend some of that understanding and patience that your father has extended to dictators like Kim Jong Il and Hugo Chavez and realize we are in for a fight. What is amazing is that the Iraqis have voted and supported the new government even amidst the constant violence. Would that Americans were as brave in their support.

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Submitted by bowser on Thu, 09/21/2006 - 3:42pm.

You conclude your comment above by wishing Americans were "as brave in their support" for the new Iraqi government as some Iraqis are. Is it your position that anyone who disagrees with our continuing military expedition there is not "brave?"

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Submitted by JeffC on Wed, 09/20/2006 - 11:59am.

I don't think I was mixing the issues here. I agree with you that much was said after the insurgency had begun. I was responding to Mr. Garlock's specific statement: "..the President told those unable to figure it out for themselves from the get-go this war would be a long and difficult struggle..." which I don't believe to be historically accurate. I believe that there was a deliberate portrayal of the ease of overthrowing the Iraqi régime for the purpose of garnering support for invading the country. Certainly the difficulties we are experiencing now were never publicly discussed by the administration “from the get-go.” I also think that many of these difficulties were eminently foreseeable. In fact, even with my limited knowledge of the region, I knew that the invasion and occupation would be enormously difficult and that we would not be greeted as liberators. Almost the entire history of the region during the 20th century was a determination to expel Western occupiers from the region.

I am also preparing some analysis of Venezuela, North Korea as well as Palestine. I may or may not send a letter to the Citizen as I really don’t know how much local interest there would be in it; and you well know how time consuming it is to prepare a letter to the editor. If you would be willing to write a letter criticizing Dad’s activities in Venezuela or North Korea, I will commit to responding. My current feeling though, is that I don’t have the time and that it is of little interest locally.

I hope you will not be disheartened that I read your latest letter and found it cogent, knowledgeable and well reasoned and that, even worse, I agreed with you.

Submitted by AMDG on Wed, 09/20/2006 - 2:05pm.

Thanks for the nice comments about my last letter.
Regarding the war and Pres. Carter, I don't want to get into a long tit-for-tat. I think it comes down to trust and sincerity. I think your father is sincere in his efforts to bring peace, but naive for trusting tyrants and assuming that good faith negotiations with them will be reciprocated. How can you sit down and talk with a government like Iran's with their long, consistent history of dissembling, lying, and renegging?
I think Bush too is sincere in his efforts to bring peace. Most of the criticism I see of him and his administration assumes, no, presumes mendacity on his part and of those around him. Mistakes are turned into lies; bad decisions into deliberate attempts at failure. President Clinton was privately quite immoral in his actions, yet all of his defenders--including myself--assumed his public motivations were perfectly moral. Bush is moral in his personal life, but nearly everyone of his critics assume immoral motivations for his actions: lust for power, lust for oil/money, religious zealotry, stupidity, etc.
Bush is betting on Muslims' desire for democracy and freedom, and hoping that that will cure the ails that breed terrorism. To make that possible, he has had to break some eggs, to put it mildly. His gamble may not pay off. But his cause and those serving him would be poorly served by a Commander in Chief who expressed doubt, changed course, and generally indicated a lack of resolve, which is what his critics want him to do.
So, your dad was sincere, but naive. Bush too is sincere, but perhaps simply wrong and naive in his own way. I only would ask liberals to stop the constant accusations of lying, deceipt and coverup for the sake of power. It is undermining our efforts, giving encouragement to our enemies, and benefiting no one but perhaps some Democratic challengers in elections who have nothing better to offer.

Submitted by Hardtack on Wed, 09/20/2006 - 5:17pm.

Every despot who ever got around to gathering enough power to do so, sooner or later set out on a quest to do what HE wanted and not what his citizens wanted. Mr. Bush is close to such conduct.

Submitted by AMDG on Thu, 09/21/2006 - 12:11pm.

Do you forget where we live? The U.S. has checks and balances to prevent a despot from emerging. Past presidents, including FDR and Lincoln, usurped much more power and authority than Pres. Bush when fighting wars and combatting the depression, yet the republic somehow survived. Don't be so alarmist and have a little more faith in the institutions of the country. If anyone is eroding the Constitution, it's the liberals, who through their efforts to make the Constitution a "living document" have twisted or abandoned several constitutional tenets.

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Submitted by JeffC on Wed, 09/20/2006 - 2:54pm.

There is much here to agree with and some to dispute at a later time. I wanted you to know that I broke down and responded to the letter, "I remember Castro and Carter years" with a few thoughts about Venezuela and Castro and such which you might be interested in. I'll be back later.

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