A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

My Photo
Name:
Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Bushquotes 0, Facts 3 in Foreign Policy Shutout

"I believe the most solemn duty of the American president is to protect the American people. If America shows uncertainty or weakness in this decade, the world will drift toward tragedy. This will not happen on my watch. I am running for president with a clear and positive plan to build a safer world and a more hopeful America. "

--George W. Bush, September 2, 2004

Today is five days after the President, amid pomp and circumstance, and before the audience of his Faithful, spoke these ringing and enthusiastic words. Now it's time to face up to a few facts.

First, we have this interesting news from the AP wire:

"(AP) Iran has announced it plans to turn tons of uranium into the substance used to make enriched uranium, the U.N. atomic watchdog agency said Wednesday in a report stoking concern about Tehran's nuclear agenda. The confidential report by the International Atomic Energy Agency said the agency had been informed that the Islamic Republic planned to process 37 metric tons (more than 40 tons) of raw uranium into uranium hexafluoride.....A senior diplomat familiar with the agency declined to say how much hexafluoride could be obtained from that amount of raw uranium, also known as yellowcake, beyond saying it was a "substantial amount." Another diplomat, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said that enough highly enriched uranium could be produced from the hexafluoride derived to make several explosive devices."

Second, we have this little tidbit from the Tehran Times:

"TEHRAN (IRNA) -- Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani stressed that Iran's recent test of the Shahab-3 missile was successful, saying his ministry is ready to test it again 'in the presence of observers'. Iran said last month it carried out a successful test firing of an upgraded version of its Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missile.

Shamkhani stressed that the Defense Ministry was confident of the successful test even before it was conducted. He said, "Given that an effective deterrent policy does not halt at a certain point, the Islamic Republic of Iran continues upgrading its defensive capability." .....Military experts have said the Shahab-3 missile is capable of striking Israel or any other enemy target in the region."

Finally, we have this excellent summary from Stan Crock in BusinessWeek Online:

"No Administration can endure a setback such as the Iraq occupation -- a costly affair that has left Iraqi radicals in charge of major cities -- without consequences....The massive cost of the war -- some $124 billion budgeted so far -- is draining the Treasury and threatening GOP initiatives from tax cuts to Social Security reform. U.S. armed forces are stretched thin, limiting their ability to operate elsewhere.....

What's more, even if Bush can start to extricate the U.S. from Iraq by 2006, the challenges for the President's assertive policy just get tougher. Iran and North Korea, the other members of Bush's Axis of Evil, aren't the hollow military targets Iraq was. "Options for military force are relatively limited" with those nations, says Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, a GOP national security specialist.....

The next major flash point looks to be Iran, which Washington charges is intent on pursuing a nuclear program. Iran has stronger economic ties to the outside world than Iraq, as well as a more formidable military. That makes the likelihood of a U.S. strike against Iran's nuclear facilities low. So despite the risks that economic sanctions could backfire, some U.S. officials hope tough ones could slowly erode support for the unpopular Tehran theocracy."

Let's see....a clear and positive plan to build a safer world. Would that be by fighting the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, Mr. President?

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO: Joseph Marshall
RE: Wrong?

"Let's see....a clear and positive plan to build a safer world. Would that be by fighting the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, Mr. President?" -- Joseph Marshall

Ever study Napoleon, Joseph? Pay particular attention to the Battle of Austrilitz. You'll notice a term there, coined by historians, for the technique Napoleon applied to achieve a stunning victory; the Indirect Approach.

We stated that the Axis of Evil consisted of Iraq, Iran and North Korea.

We don't have the capacity to fight all three in an excellent fashion at the same time, so we take them on one-at-a-time. Defeating the axis in 'detail', as we in the military call it.

So we go after Iraq first, being the most vunerable, politically and internationally. This establishes a logistical and strategic base of operations to go after Iran. Why do you think we're continuing to build up our forces in the area? Now that the campaign of conquest is over. Surely not the piddling activities in Fallujah, Sadr City and Najaf. Those could be handled by a brigade each; one division.

My personal opinion is that we're getting ready to go after Iran. Sometime after the forth-coming election. I could be wrong, but the indicators are sort of pointing that way.

Then again, what are you suggesting with this entry? That we should have invaded Iran first?

Regards,

Chuck(le)

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Test! Test!...thump...thump...thump...

Is this thing on?

11:18 PM  
Blogger Joseph Marshall said...

I think that had kept more pressure on Osama on the Afghan/Pakistan border and used the great diplomatic credit we had at that time to put more pressure on Iran, rather than Iraq, we actually might have been able to avoid war with both.

Failing this, war with Iran was a far better idea than war with Iraq. Iran has always, in my opinion, been the greater danger since the First Gulf War.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Joseph Marshall said...

I would also add that we do not appear to be "building up" more forces in Iraq, but very slowly planning to withdraw them. Or so this link,http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/iraq_orbat.htm suggests:

"Beginning in July 2004, the United States began implementing the OIF 3 troop rotation. OIF-3 plans call for troops numbers to be reduced from 140,000 to roughly 130,000.

"According to documents presented during a HASC hearing on July 7, 2004, US force disposition plans call for a Stryker Brigade to remain stationed in Northern Iraq. The 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, will replace in this role the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. In the North-central sector of Iraq, The 1st Infantry Division will be replaced by the 42nd Infantry Division of the NY National Guard, while II MEF will take over I MEF operations in Western Iraq. The Brigade of the 1st Armored Division attached to the Polish south-central sector, will be replaced by the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain. Finally, the 3rd Infantry Division will take over the 1st cavalry Divison in Baghdad. As part of the rotation, OIF units will be deploying 'heavy'.

The number of Army National Guard brigades in Iraq will increase during this rotation from three to five. The rotation will mark a first with a National Guard division headquarters (42nd Infantry Division) assuming, for the first time in Iraq, command active-duty brigades."

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO: Joseph Marshall
RE: Problem With Blog

I'm seeing everything in the entries and comments as dark blue print over the dark brown background.

RE: Effective Stratgies -- Osama

[Note; Copied and pasted the content so I could read it.]

"I think that had kept more pressure on Osama on the Afghan/Pakistan border..." -- Joseph Marshall

I get the distinct impression that we ARE keeping quite a bit of pressure on Osama, if he's still alive. I doubt he is alive. i think he became worm-food when a thermobaric device collapsed his mountain cave on him. I think his ego is such that it would override his instinct for survival and he'd have given a video tape with reference to events since the battle at Tora Bora to prove he was still alive. We'll see....

"...and used the great diplomatic credit we had at that time to put more pressure on Iran, rather than Iraq, we actually might have been able to avoid war with both." -- Joseph Marshall

All things considered, I don't think diplomatic efforts would do any good with Iran. Look at our relations with them for the last 25 years. They would have been as effective as the vaunted sanctions against Iraq had been.

RE: Booted Feet On the Ground

"I would also add that we do not appear to be "building up" more forces in Iraq, but very slowly planning to withdraw them." -- Joseph Marshall

I'd expect that sort of thing before the election. However, did you notice the comments about moving forces out of Europe?

Also, where you state...

"The number of Army National Guard brigades in Iraq will increase during this rotation from three to five." -- Joseph Marshall

I'd expect reserve formations to move in to free up more active formations for a campaign.

Let's see what happens after the election, if Bush should win.

Regards,

Chuck(ie)

8:23 AM  
Blogger jane m said...

A friend's son serving in the Army in Korea will be going to Iraq in early 2005. He has only been in South Korea about 4 months.

If GWB is re-elected, I predict that after the Iraqi elections and further pacification (it will come even if we have to stomp on some Iranians)we will turn to a further build up of troops in Afghanistan thereby putting teeth into our threats to Iran. The Iranian nuculear threat MUST be eliminated. The political unrest in that country can, of course, be a benefit to the civilized world in bringing about regime change in Iran which is absolutely essential to a peaceful future. I believe that the mullahs are walking on a bed of quicksand. Iran is obviously a great threat and must not be ignored much longer. I don't think we, the great military power that we are, will allow the Iranians to become a nuclear power notwithstanding Sen Kyl's statements.

9:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home