If you want reasons beside the obvious, here are mine. My view is the best arguments against the war are the words of those who support it. I have come to the conclusion that their arguments are stupid because there is no possible intelligent, ethical defense for this war, even if it had been true that Hussein had WMD and was up to his eyeballs in an undeclared war of terror against the United States.
Had that been the case, the need to do something would have been compelling, but an inadequately prepared invasion into a foreign nation with no significant world support against an enemy in fortified positions with the ability to kill both troops and our civilian population would have been the very last scenario anyone who graduated from the War College would have suggested.
I'm not some bleeding heart that thinks that in understanding our enemies, we can make them our friends, or that you should be nice to rabid doggies. Nope, not at all.
I think the proper way to deal with such matters is smoothly, routinely and effortlessly. In other words, there is an ideal correlation between terrorists and smoking holes - one to one. Any course of action that treats the disease of terrorism as anything more significant than the threat rabid dogs, feral bears or stray tornadoes represents grants it a significance it does not deserve. (All the above threats are, in fact, a significantly greater threat to the typical US citizen than all of the terrorist networks combined.)
We are just smart enough that we do not declare a "war on tornadoes." However, if we did, and if it were prosecuted as well as the war on Terror has been, we would be losing. Just as we are losing the "War on Terror" in general and the conflict in Iraq in specific."
In war, the simplest and most common way to lose is to pick a fight you cannot win, in a situation where you cannot easily extract yourself, under conditions where just being there rouses the population against you. In observing this, I'm saying nothing that Sun Tsu, Erwin Rommel, or Dwight Eisenhower would not have said to a particularly dim lieutenant placed on staff so he couldn't fuck up anything more important than a pot of coffee.
It is sometimes the case that it's possible to negotiate from a position of strength on the basis of understanding. But more directly, understanding your enemy means that you can maneuver them into defeating themselves.
Well, unfortunately, our involvement in Iraq is a text-book example of that principle. We done gone and sucker-punched dat tar-baby, an' B'rer Wolf, he be laughin!
Here's what one of the "deadenders" said in response to one commenter in the Clipmarks thread.
Sounds more like they should be called "Blogs for Ethnic Cleansing" or "Blogs for Insurgency" or "Blogs for Al Qaeda in Iraq"When the first voices heard in defense of an agenda are those of fools and bigots, it's time to consider whether or not the agenda itself reflects the people in favor of it.
If you define "working" as proving that a slightly larger, but still inadequate force will reduce violence, yes, the Surge Worked - duh. Thirty odd violent incidents that would be headline news for weeks in any other nation, as opposed to double or more. It's an improvement, but it's not the fundamental change the situation requires.
Of course, this assumes that there's a legitimate reason to be there - and there is not.
It assumes that a victory in Iraq is critical to the war on terror - which it isn't, even if you could define "victory" in either case, which you can't.
I don't oppose this war because I'm a pacifist, a "peacenik" or a "liberal," I oppose it for the same reasons that SunTsu, George S. Patton, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Stonewall Jackson would. I oppose it from the perspectives and for the reasons it would have been opposed by great "liberal" thinkers like Barry Goldwater.
I could - and have - explained it in depth, but it boils down to this: Never stick your dick in a pencil sharpener and dare the enemy to turn the crank.
There are two reasons for this:
First - it proves your dick will fit in a pencil sharpener. To validate the metaphor, in making such a threat, you demonstrate that your ability to project force in a way that successfully achieves your end is sharply limited by your ability to cope with an intelligent and resourceful enemy or by other things that become obvious once you engage.
Second - It occurs to the enemy that a man with his dick stuck in a pencil sharpener tends to be completely focused on the situation at hand.
From the viewpoint of the worldwide strategic goals of any putative "Islamofacist" movement, there could be no better recruiting tool than Iraq - and no easier way to keep our forces pinned down than to maintain just enough pressure on the crank to keep us focused on "the job at hand."
Of course, I believe the same rationale appeals strongly to Bushco, so compellingly that I have personal suspicions that the war between the US and Al-Queda exists only to serve the ends of each - and any decisive engagement, with ANY outcome would be a disaster from both perspectives.
This whole "we are fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" meme is nonsense. Any decent military leader will tell you that if you want to win a war decisively, you pick ground the enemy has difficulty getting to, is not familiar with, where it's difficult for them to blend into the countryside. For most of our history, our entire national security has depended on the fact that "fighting them over here" is far superior to "fighting them over there." It's better, far better, to BE the pencil sharpener.
This philosophy has been seriously degraded by dick waving cold warriors talking about "projecting force," but the fact is that our founders, in choosing to rely on militias to defend until a scratch regular army could come running, were displaying both political AND strategic brilliance. That's an essay for another time; but let's remember that many of them were noted for their military services and successes, unlike the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
If there is a "war on terror," wherein "turrists" from "Islamofacists" are motivated to come and try their tricks, it would be a hell of a lot easier - and far more decisive - to let them come.
But the Dubai ports deal - and many other key infrastructure ownership issues, as well as the insistence on security measures that have the effect - and only the effect - of restricting the movement of US citizens, while habituating them to intrusive searches and arbitrary abuses tells us all we really need to know.
You see, I don't much put my faith in what people in authority say. There are all kinds of reasons why they might be less than totally forthcoming, even if their motives are as pure as the driven snow. What I place my faith in is evidence of actions achieving a visible end - and using what is visible as an indicator of the general shape and form of that which is unseen.
I base my views on a very solid appreciation of what war can and cannot achieve, human nature, and of course, cause and effect.
The only clear, certain and measurable benefit to anyone is the consolidation of executive power and the erosion of individual liberties within the United States.
Further, the most seriously defended actions on the part of the Administration, it's highest priorities for covert action - have been aimed at US. Warrentless wiretapping. The elimination of habious corpus. The pernicious idea that anyone - including US citizens - may be detained indefinitely without trial or even public notice as "enemy combatants" on the say-so of George or his designated heir to power.
These are the fruits of victory Bush seeks, I must conclude. And that means that "a terrorist" is anyone who doesn't think Bushco should own their ass and be able to sell it off wholesale.
In joining this effort, I'm also calling for a return to the fundamentals of Constitutional National Security - which means a return to state and local defense networks that are on polite, but distant terms with federal authorities, and who's proper response to being told to drop everything and prosecute a foreign war of choice is "Sir, fuck you, Sir; I'm needed at home."