Monday, October 04, 2004

Kerry on Iraq and Afghanistan

On Afghanistan:
KERRY: Unfortunately, [Bin Laden] escaped in the mountains of Tora Bora. We had him surrounded. But we didn't use American forces, the best trained in the world, to go kill him. The President relied on Afghan warlords and he outsourced that job too. That's wrong.

So... :
Afghanistan was wrong because we outsourced to Afghani soldiers, not US ones, but Iraq was wrong because we didn't outsource to France. And not only that, but there is no way we could have outsourced to France or Russia with these possible illegal oil deals from Iraq, and there is no chance for getting French or German help now, as Kerry suggests. Please just pick a position so we can get some serious debating done instead of merely pointing out flipflops.


At 10/04/2004 9:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your rant this time is a bunch of shit. Just because you are close minded you have not really stopped to think about what Kerry means. He didn't even suggest that we "outsource" to France, just that we call on allies to help up foot some of the bill and cost of life. Posts like yours make me want to vomit. Bush has made such a mess of everything that just picking up a few pieces at once is impossible, and trying to pick them up together makes for multiple arguments that may or may not sound the same depending on context. The least you could do is stop worshipping Bush and think of solutions instead of complaining about the inadequecies of Kerry's attempts at solutions to the world's problems.

At 10/05/2004 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I refuse to call you random, because I'm that way, and you're not. That said, I mean what follows in the nicest way possible:

Outsourcing is different than co-operating, and the French are not Afghan warlords.

Also, I'd like to know WHY there is no chance for getting help from France or Germany. Neither you nor your source explain this. Furthermore, while I doubt the total impartiality of any source, I'd appreciate it if you used more neutral ones.

At 10/05/2004 10:39 PM, Blogger Randomscrub said...

Commenter 1: Try to be a little less vulgar please. Personal attacks on my character (or lack thereof) do not refute arguments. I'll agree that France is different than Afghan warlords. But that was not Kerry's reason for opposing them:

But we didn't use American forces, the best trained in the world, to go kill him.

In that case, France and Afghanistan both fail his criteria, insofar as neither are the USA.

Commenter 2: Tell me how Kerry's definition of outsourcing differs from a the traditional role of allies in war (i.e. to fight battles alongside, and sometimes for, you). Then we can debate it.

As far as the inability to get troops from Germany and France:

Chirac (Frnace): "French policy with regard to Iraq
has not changed and will not change." (that means NO TROOPS) (does this seem more neutral?
look at the policy positions from France, and ask yourself if they'll committ troops to a war they oppose this much.)

For the Germans, I apologize for not backing it up. I have seen a quote from German politicians laughing at us for asking, but I can no longer find the link. Whether you believe me or not is entirely your business.

On Neutral sources: I wish I could find some, but the MSM has decided on the storyline for Iraq, and it does not include America doing well. For a decent look at what may be going well related to Iraq, it is very difficult to find anything in the standard media.

At 10/06/2004 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

allies: agreeing on a goal, working together to reach that goal

outsourcing: glorified use of merceneries

Since we couldn't get allies (Why couldn't we, if what Saddam was doing was so wrong?), we were reduced to outsourcing. Which is similarly wrong, and what got us into this problem (both with Saddam and the Taliban) in the first place.

France: YES, they oppose the war. FACT. WHY do they oppose the war? You can blame it on oil deals, but that risks counter-claims that America is in Iraq now for the oil, too. I think that they oppose the war because they're iffy about the US being the world's sole superpower and the US taking it upon itself to police the world as it and only it sees fit.


At 10/06/2004 8:52 PM, Blogger Randomscrub said...

Karl, your definition of allies vs. outsourcing is meaningless. There is absolutely nothing objective contained within those definitions. You need to define them with some concrete parameters, not "I don't like these allies, so I'll call it ousourcing." And keep it military, not general. France is still an "ally" in the great scheme of things.

And take note: I am not a multilateralist. I don't care why France opposed the war. They could have opposed it because they thought camo was bad fashion for all I care. Would it be nice to have their help and approval? Yes, of course. Is it reasonable to make foreign policy conditional on the world's approval? No. We as a country need to do what we believe is right. I know that many liberals, such as yourself, think that this leaves us dangerously unaccountable. But you always seem to forget that there are 200 million American voters that serve to keep the government in check, not to mention the governments myriad internal checks and balances.

As far as the point and nature of this war, I will make a full post on that sometime soon (hopefully) but I'll give the gist of it here. This war is not about "policing." This is about protecting our own citizens from terrorist attacks by two means: deterrence and democracy. The war in Iraq singlehandedly caused Libya to throw in the towel on their nuke program, and the War on Terror in general has killed or captured 75% of Al-Qaeda leaders (who were leaders on 9/11). It is also about spreading democracy, proving that their is a viable alternative to the dictatorships and brutal theocracies in the region.

At 10/06/2004 11:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

alright, forget the outsourcing/allies distinction (not because you've convinced me, but because I don't want to research the proper military distinction.)

You're all about unilateralism, ja? Unilateralism seems self-fulfilling to me, though. France and Germany won't commit troops because they don't like the US doing things alone, which means that the US have to "go it alone." And, supposing Kerry was critiquing the US' lack of unilaterialism in going after Bin Laden when he was talking about the US' reliance "Afghan Warlords," why are you anti-Kerry in this instance? IF you're not a multilateralist, you must dislike US use of Afghan Warlords over a country that that still is, in the great scheme of things, an "ally."

The war in Iraq is about protecting us through deterrence and democracy? I really don't think so, Andy...we're not deterring, we're fighting a costly war in order to protect and/or create democracy. That is not deterrence. That's intervention. Whacking one problem in order to prevent other problems seems far more direct than mere deterrence. Moreover, you can't claim something that happened in Libya to justify what happened in Iraq. If Libya was the problem, shouldn't have America gone there (alone, if necessary) and done something about it?

checks and balances? I don't think that your faith in them is justified. then again, I don't like the underpinnings of the entire modern political project, so that my taint my views fairly considerably.

mortal's advocate,

At 10/07/2004 1:35 PM, Blogger Randomscrub said...

You mistake my argument. I don't dislike having or making use of allies. I dislike letting them determine our objectives and policy. WE decide what to do, then see if others will help us do it. We do NOT need to change our mind because another country (or even several) don't like what we believe to be the right course of action.

Please try to come up with a less circular argument about unilateralism being self fulfilling. It can be easily reversed to "since France and Germany won't give us troops, we are forced to go it alone." The problem is obviously not just us doing things alone (since if they had provided troops we wouldn't be "alone")...(also assuming you ignore the 20 some other countries who did give us troops), but the problem is that we decided alone.

You're making a fine distinction, but one I'll grant (at least in part). The war is intervention in Iraq. However, to the rest of the world, it is deterrence. It is deterrence insofar as it encourages countries (like Libya!) to control themselves so that we don't have to "intervene" there too. Libya was not the point of the war, you are right. But to have a similar effect on SEVERAL nations without having to go "whack" them is indeed the point. Deterrence in this context is "whacking" one problem to prove you're serious, and several others go away for fear of being "whacked." They are deterred from harming the US and its citizens.

At 10/07/2004 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"WE decide what to do, then see if others will help us do it."

Wow, we're pretty arrogant, ja?

I dislike the idea that other people and other countries don't have valuable ideas to contribute to our ideas of right and wrong nad consequently our foreign policy. I don't think that we, by our own reason or strength, can do the right thing. While we similarly aren't going to be perfect with oither country's help, we're going to be a lot closer.

The US's decision to "go it alone" is causal in this case. We intervened on our own. And since we did, France and Germany and a number of other countries were prevented from helping us, even if they might have otherwise. How is this circular? My phrasing very well might have been last time, but I still don't see the relation.

You can't justify intervention in Iraq because of its deterring effects in the rest of the world. Moreover, the US's actions in Iraq has most likely caused the US more problems in the rest of the world than they have deterred. That makes intervention (which is a nice bloodless word for war) in Iraq "terrence" or whatever the opposite of deterrence might be (reterrence, perhaps?) Either way, it's nicht sehr gut. It's like the hydra...we're whacking one head to have more grow (or turn against us) in its place. Military force isn't going to provide the cauterization needed.


At 10/08/2004 3:31 PM, Blogger Randomscrub said...


I may have stated my case a bit stronger than I intended. I did not mean to imply that we do not listen to other countries. They do have valuable ideas at times. But the decision, ultimately, MUST remain ours. Even if others do not agree with us to do something we believe is wrong on the basis of global peer pressure is a terrible idea, and one that will ultimately result if you allow other countries a vote in US decision making. Our values are simply not the same as those of other nations (which also the core of my dislike of the UN).

Our intervention was not intended to be alone. You need to go look up the 16 resolutions that the UN passed and neglected to enforce, and the persistent case that President Bush made to them to get off their collective a** and stop Saddam from doing exactly what the unenforced resolutions were failing to prevent. Yes, the US had other reasons as well, but this was a reason that most of the Western World should have been able to rally around.

I can indeed justify it on deterrence grounds. We have now destroyed two regimes that knowingly harbored terrorists, and this has others quaking in their boots. We are slowly denying terrorists the ability that makes them so effective: the ability to hide. As their safe havens realize that harboring terrorists may well earn them a visit from the US military, those havens will disappear quite quickly. Unless you can provide us with a method that produces comparable (or better) results, I am inclined to support the foreign policy of the current administration.

I think we should stop this debate here, unless you wish to continue it in another forum (i.e. in person or via email). It's a pain to keep checking this.

(Oh, and here are those links from neutral sources you wanted:

On French/German troops:

On the bribing of French/Russian/Chinese officials by Saddam:



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