Wag the Dog

I will fight when my liberty is truly threatened.  But I have absolutely no trust in politicians to determine when this is the case.

Which is why my reaction to this is, Oh Crap!

I am sure it is a total coincidence that, after 35 years of butting heads with Iran, this is occurring during a sputtering economy and within months of a Presidential election.

PS-  I watched Wag the Dog the other night.  Every time Dustin Hoffman said "he f*cked a Firefly girl" all I could think of was Gina Torres, Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite, and Summer Glau.  Well worth losing the Presidency for.

  • jason

    I would lose the presidency again and again...

  • Dan

    I think it would be fair to include Christina Hendricks in the category, as well, since she had a recurring cameo. Recalculate your estimates accordingly.

  • http://tjic.com TJIC

    > Jewel Staite

    Give me Jewel Staite and I'll turn a blind eye to a trumped up Iran war!

  • John Moore

    Standard knee-jerk Libertarian response. Foreign wars are never really necessary. Heck, we'll just wait until they cross our border and our civilian militia will then defeat them. We saw Red Dawn and loved it.

    Right.

    Iran is a major threat to our interests in the Middle East (oil), an existential threat to one of our best allies, Israel, and some of our more unpleasant allies (Saudi Arabia, Iraq). Iran, armed with nukes and IRBM's, would create a new cold war. It would also lead to rapid nuclear proliferation in the middle east, as the Saudi's call in their debt from funding Pakistan's nuclear efforts. IRBM's would then grow to ICBM's (Iran has already orbited a satellite).

    I'm sure the Libertarians are just fine with Iranians, Saudi's and others in the region armed with weapons capable of taking out US cities, or devastating our entire civilization with EMP attacks.

    Fantasy? The Iranians are too rational to use those weapons? The Saudi's are fine and stable and great folks. There wouldn't be a nuclear war in the middle east.

    That's 1939 thinking.

    Are you guys ready for "duck and cover," or survival hideouts for the disaster when an Iranian EMP attack from a "satellite" takes out our power grid in a way that couldn't be repaired for 6 months.

    It's unfortunate that Obama is the guy in the oval office now, but it's just possible that he will do the right thing and attack Iranian nuclear capabilities before it's too late. It's unfortunate that Bush didn't do the job against North Korea, but at least he had a good excuse: the fate of 20,000,000 or so South Koreans who would have died if the North retaliated.

  • Paco

    Maybe it's the Reagan idea of "Peace through strength". If we show the Persians / Mullahs we mean business, they'll back down lest they end up with a rope round their necks like Saddam? Of course, the USAF would dispatch the Iran AF quickly, like shooting fish in a barrel

  • John Moore

    Yeah, the Iranian air farce would be no threat. The F-15's could handle it by themselves. As far as I can tell, the real mission overall would be taking out the more formidable SAM systems, before attacking the nuclear sites.

  • perlhaqr

    John: You're not even *slightly* skeptical over the timing?

    Excellent. See, I have this bridge for sale...

  • http://space4commerce.blogspot.com/ Brian Dunbar

    Paco
    hey’ll back down lest they end up with a rope round their necks like Saddam?

    I'm sure the Iranian generals are dumb as a box of hammers, learned absolutely nothing from 1991 or 2003, or 'Millennium Challenge 2002'.

    John Moore
    The F-15′s could handle it by themselves.

    This alone allows me to dismiss everything else you've written here. You don't know much, what you know is wrong.

    Good day, Sir.

  • chembot

    @ perlhaqr: I've always been skeptical of timing arguments. Too often people want to blame things on some fortunate alignment of the stars or nefarious conspiracy when the reasons for why events occur are usually more prosaic. (Usually, these arguments are thinly veiled cursing of "the other side's" good luck..) Given how short the political attention span is, I am doubtful this will have any impact on zero's election chances.

    @ John: That's a pretty blinkered view of the average libertarian's view of war and foreign policy. Although I don't subscribe to Ron Paul style isolationism, there is a lot of merit to the idea that we are too eager to get involved militarily in other people's affairs. The reasons are predictable based on who is in power, either for humanitarian reasons (Libs) or for resources, realpolitik, or some iteration of manifest destiny (the conservative view). In the medium term (10-30 years) we get burned more often than not by these actions. To any who think differently I would point to a lot of the problems we have in south america, the middle east (Iran included), etc. as hangovers of poorly thought out interventions into areas which weren't our business in the first place.

  • chembot

    As an addendum: I think that peace through strength is a good policy for us, but at it's heart it relies on someone who is willing to shoot the hostage. It worked with "cowboy" presidents like Reagan and Bush because you could be damn sure that if they issued a threat that it would be carried out to the fullest extent. However, when you have a "senatorial" president whose main skills seems to be vigorously eluding responsibility and being the people's empty vessel for vapid emotion "peace through strength" doesn't work so well. (Not to mention the 1st year apology tour he went on. Ugh.)

  • John Moore

    @ perlhaqr: Of course I see the political implications of the timing. That doesn't negate the need to stop the Iranian nukes, and it doesn't necessarily mean that the timing is political - although I don't trust Obama any more than I did LBJ.

    @chembot - I don't think the problem (since the start of the cold war) has been an over-eagerness to get involved in "other peoples' affairs." It has been an inability to follow through due to lack of long term political will, or unrealistic goals.

    We went into Korea and Vietnam as part of containing the USSR's ambitions - not because of any real interest in the affairs of any country (US propaganda not-withstanding).

    We went into Iraq in 1991 because they invaded a crucial ally.

    We went into Afghanistan because any nation which does not destroy a regime which attacks it like Afghanistan did (via their buddies Al Qaeda) won't last long.

    We went into Iraq because they had been at war with us for some time, and were about to break out of the sanctions regime, and mess up a critical region - and because of their ties to terrorists (including Al Qaeda, as we verified after the attack - Zarqawi was there and working with Saddam before our invasion). We grossly underestimated the nation building part, and ultimately (via OBama) lost the will to make it a solid American victory in a region where we need one badly.

  • IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States

    BTW, not sure what Hoffman was referring to, but it should be sort of obvious it wasn't the cast of Firefly... Wag the Dog came out in 1997, and Firefly became a series in 2002.

  • DavidR

    @IGotBupkis: In "Wag The Dog", a "Firefly Girl" is their fictional version of the Girl Scouts or Campfire Girls.

  • Plungerman

    I believe that the title of this new version of reality should be "Dog the Wag". It is difficult to believe anything that is shown on TV or any news now.

    P

  • eCurmudgeon

    While we're on the subject, the 1982 movie Wrong is Right is worth watching as well...

  • frankania

    Libertarians would say that the US army will NOT attack other countries except for DIRECT attacks of USA; however, if YOU want to go, or finance a group of fighters to go, do so.
    If you want to "free" the poor saps in some other place, GO AHEAD, but don't tax ME to pay for it.

  • Lawrence

    I wouldn't read too much into the F-22 deployment to the UAE. After all, given the development time and expense that has gone into the F-22 program, it's about time for that aircraft to deployment OCONUS like the F-15 has been doing for decades.

    I don't see the U.S. launching an attack on Iran regardless of what Iran does. Israel? Maybe. But the Israelis would want a high probability of success if they going to do a pre-emptive attack. That is going to be hard to come to apriori.

    What is more likely is that Iran will go right up to the point to putting a nuclear device together and stop, or pause for a while. While the U.S. and Israel cannot be sure that an attack would destroy Iran's nuclear weapon capabilities, Iran cannot be sure that such an attack would not succeed give the equipment embargo they are under.

  • Dan from Gilbert

    The deployment is EXTREMELY wise. But what isn't wise is plastering it all over the news. Geesh.

    I don't think we're planning on going on the offensive with Iran. But we know full well Israel is. And when that happens (it isn't a matter of if, it's when), we need to be ready to protect our assets if Iran decides to spread the conflict and hit at us in response to Israel's attack. If we don't have assets ready to respond, they could get wreak more havoc than you might think. Especially given the delicate nature of the oil situation over there.

    It's defensive, for sure. And it's a very smart move. One that I'm sure is at the urging of the military leadership and Obama's reluctant approval.

    The good news is, Obama will lose in November, despite any military conflict that might happen between now and then. His political tarot cards have already spoken, in my opinion.

  • Frank Stein

    Wow, John Moore appears to be a real neocon and apologist for every military adventure the US government has involved itself in. Tough to find people nowadays who try to justify sending Americans to die in Vietnam's civil war; the idea that the USSR would use that to take over the world is especially silly given that the commie North won anyway and the world didn't end.

    Also silly to justify invading Iran over nuclear fears, given that an even crazier country (N Korea) has them, and (unlike the US) haven't used their nukes. In fact, having nukes seems to be the only way to guarantee that the US will not start a way with you. For the sake of world peace I hope Iran gets some nukes soon, in spite of the terrorism by Israel and US (stuxnet and the murder of nuclear scientists). Yes, Iran with nukes will make Israel nervous; thankfully the US is not a territory of Israel.

  • marco73

    These press leaks sound like the Schwartzkopf strategy. "Elements" of and "Units" of were blared all over the media during the Desert Shield/Storm buildup. It took us months to get all those ground assets in place during the Gulf conflict in 1990/1991. The press leaks just made it sound like we had a lot more pieces in place than we did, and that probably held back Saddam from thinking he could take parts of the Saudi oil fields without a fight.
    I don't have any inside info on what may be going on today, but sure sounds like we are trying to keep the Iranian leadership off balance about our intentions.

  • http://space4commerce.blogspot.com/ Brian Dunbar

    What is more likely is that Iran will go right up to the point to putting a nuclear device together and stop, or pause for a while.

    I'm not sure about a pause.

    The United States appears - to an outside observer - to follow these guidelines.

    IF $COUNTRY has $NBC then;
    ATTACK
    ELSE
    BLUSTER
    FI

  • Watchman

    The book "American Hero" on which "Wag the Dog" is based (and it isn't really based on the book, almost none of the plot except for the concept of manipulating public opinion is in the movie) posits that Lee Atwater dreamed up the First Gulf War just before he died to get the first President Bush re-elected but that Bush and Baker got impatient and launched it too soon. If you think the movie is cynical about politics and the media, the book makes it look like a kindergarten primer by comparison.

  • Dan from Gilbert

    @Frank Stein... I would rethink your logic regarding the comparison between NK and Iran. North Korean leadership is content to keep the status quo because all they want is to continue to rule their country with an iron fist and use it as their own personal ego boost. They do not want to die.

    Iranian leadership is convinced they are part of an overall plan to usher in the 12th Iman. Part of that plan requires that the US and Israel be brought to it's knees. It is simply naive to think that mutual assured annihilation will keep Iran in check if they have nuclear capability. Are you willing to risk the utter destruction of our country by an EMP explosion over St. Louis, MO by not trying to stop them from obtaining nucs, even if it requires some terrible sacrifices in the short term?

    I'm not.

  • Goober

    Here's my libertarian view on things:

    The iranian people don't want a conflict. Most of them are actually very pro-USA (or as pro-USA as they can be given the circumstances). Many of them see us in a different way than we see them - we tend to visualize IRan as a backwards 2nd world (or even 3rd world) desert with a bunch of religious fundamentalists that want to usher in the 12th Imam, which is far from the truth. What you have is a country full of people who are on the very verge of breaking into true 1st world living standards, with technology and so forth, but without the freedom. The people Of Iran are not their government.

    If the average America citizen were to sit down witht he average Iranian citizen and have a chat, we would see two people who at least on the face of things seem very different, but in actual practice are very, very much alike. Persian culture is centered around the family. They would recognize an American thanksgiving day feast as being a common occurence in their country.

    I won't belabor it too much further beyond just saying this:

    if it weren't for our governments, the Iranian and American people would have so much in common that they would likely never find themselves at odds with each other. The reason that we are about to come to blows is because of our governments. All of you statists out there take note when you are defending the status quo - another entire generation of young people hang in the balance because your power-glorifying, "government uber alles" ideals have been put in place over the last 200 years. The fact that we are even considering a fight right now is entirely because of government, and has nothing to do with the will of the people of either country.

  • Goober

    As for what I think about the buildup, since what I wish was the case and what is actually the case are two distinct things, I think that under the current conditions, it is a great idea.

    Iran has threatened us, and our allies, and continues to do so. I see no problem in threatening them right back - as long as it stays at the threat stage until we must act out of self-defense. Once we stop defending ourselves and become the aggressor, then we are in the wrong.

  • Dan from Gilbert

    @Goober... I agreed with everything you said up until you said, "The reason that we are about to come to blows is because of our governments." That is not wholly true. It's because of THEIR government. If they stopped blustering about the west, sought peace with us and Israel and simply wanted what was best for their countrymen, we'd be at peace with them right now. It's not OUR government that wants war. We want peace. Liberal and conservative alike.

  • IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States

    >>> @IGotBupkis: In “Wag The Dog”, a “Firefly Girl” is their fictional version of the Girl Scouts or Campfire Girls.

    Ah, right. I haven't seen the movie since it came out, but now that you mention it...

    >>> Wow, John Moore appears to be a real neocon and apologist for every military adventure the US government has involved itself in. Tough to find people nowadays who try to justify sending Americans to die in Vietnam’s civil war; the idea that the USSR would use that to take over the world is especially silly given that the commie North won anyway and the world didn’t end.

    a) they weren't communists until we left them with that option by backing the asshole French colonialists
    b) I think Vietnam was a mistake but that's much clearer in hindsight than it was at the time, we're really talking fifties, not sixties or seventies.
    c) The notion that "things turned out all right" is a stupidly presumptuous position to take. They mostly turned out all right because Reagan raised on their busted flush bluff. Certainly the sense of losing was prevalent all through the seventies, and the concern over total nuclear war a predominant concern in the fifties when they thing really got started.

    DfG has it right, and this is the problem most anti-war libertarians Just Don't Seem To Get. We are the rich guy, and there are people out there who will happily attack us just for the "counting coup" aspect of things. We don't have to be "adventurous" to invite attack, we invite attack by merely existing. Pulling in our military and going on the defensive is not an option. When there are credible threats to us and our interests, we have to be prepared to respond to them. This includes a fairly powerful military (which does have extensive peace-time uses which are ill-marketed, involving disaster relief among other things)

    There is often the childishly whiny complaint about why there is more hate than love, more war than peace.

    In both cases, the answer is the same and very simple: It takes only one to want hate/war. It takes two to want love/peace.

    Unless and until both sides think peace is in their interests, there is no peace.

  • IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States

    >>>> Once we stop defending ourselves and become the aggressor, then we are in the wrong.

    So: wait until they actually have nuked New York, Washington, and LA until we take their bluster, threats, and saber-rattling seriously?

    I'm not in favor of precipitate action on the whole, but when it comes to ABC weapons, I'm less willing to wait for an overt attack. If you don't want to get attacked, saber-rattling at someone who can easily wipe you out without trying all that hard is a pretty stupid position to take and invites being taken seriously.

    And given Saddam's experience as an abject lesson in such behavior, one would think that some brains would be applied.

    "What, you tawt we wuz seryuz 'bout dat? Naw, naw, was joke, was joke!!"

    Ha ha ha.... Oooops, there goes your Air Force. LOLOLOL...Ooops, there goes your nuclear weapons facilities.... ROTFLMAO... Ooops, there goes...

    You go up to Bill Gates, tell him you've got a gun, you hate his guts, and you're going to blow his head off, and then reach into your pocket, and his security detail blows your chest open, I don't think the dying gasp "But it... it was only a chocolate gun!!" is really worthy of much guilt on the part of Gates or his detail.

  • IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States

    The primary controlling factor in regards to NoKo is China. As long as China keeps their satellite NoKo under control, the USA isn't going to take issue with their saber-rattling. I don't think anyone with a brain wants to have the most powerful military force the world has ever known operating on the borders of the nation with the largest military force the world has ever known.

    That just BEGS for another stupid Archduke Ferdinand moment in human history.

    And this:
    In fact, having nukes seems to be the only way to guarantee that the US will not start a way with you.
    has to qualify as one of the most dunderheaded, moronic things ever stated on this blog. Funny, I don't see the USA in a war with.... oh, about 190-odd nations in this world that don't have nuclear weapons. Hell, it would be hard to find one we actually push around much that's not a long-time ally. As far as non-nukes that we might take issue with, yet don't do jack about, Venezuela and Cuba both come to mind.

  • Frank Stein

    I wish people could step outside their jingoist view for a moment. The first nation's government uses incendiary language when talking about certain other countries, the 2nd nation's government has invaded and occupies almost every neighbor of the first nation. The second nation is likely involved in terrorist acts within the first nation, murdering certain nuclear scientists. Boneheads in the 2nd nation support their government's actions, claiming that it is all defensive to support freedom and peace, meanwhile their government holds military bases in many countries around the world. Some of these boneheads even think that some religious end-goal is dictating the actions of the first nation, contrary to even a basic understanding of how government works (obtain and increase power over their citizens). The boneheads assume the worst of the first nation, while assuming the best of their own government (contrary again to all evidence). The boneheads understand that unmanned drones sent into other countries that never attacked the 2nd nation have killed children and other noncombatants, and they insist they are not sociopaths, yet they are eager to have their government deal with the "threat" of the first nation. It is highly likely that none of the boneheads agitating for yet another war will ever see the front line, and their children will never be ripped apart by flechettes. In a just world, they would.

  • IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States

    I wish people could step outside their pacifist world view for a moment, in which all that you can hear about another government's fascist behavior is mere "jingoist propaganda" aimed at starting a war with that nation. Because clearly, they have to be lying. Except for the USA, there ARE no "aggressor nations" anywhere in the world.

    Some of these boneheads can't imagine anyone of another creed inciting problems despite believers in this creed being involved in violent problems with just about every other creed it has any connection with, including internal variations in its own creed. Clearly, it can't be the creed that's the problem, it's the reporting painting the creed as vicious, brutal, barbaric, and quarrelsome. That the creed openly calls for the subjugation or destruction of all other creeds? Pshaw, they don't REALLY mean that! That it openly practices barbaric things like clitorectomies is just "their way of doing things", And as for the court-ordered stoning that teenaged girl who was raped by a gang of her relatives? Well, hey, it's really obvious: The Bitch Had It Coming.

    Some of these socio-political geniuses insist that any action taken to prevent or otherwise stop the advocates of such a clearly non-violent creed be kept to impossible standards while those advocating the clearly non-violent creed are under no such compunctions. That those members of the non-violent creed routinely shield themselves with children and innocent civilians in blatant defiance of international laws regarding conflict is all propaganda from the aggressor, with zero truth value despite blatant evidence to the contrary. That said non-violent creed has, for example, kidnapped civilians off the street, killed them, then stuffed their bodies with explosive devices specifically to target first responders when they then dump the bodies on the street, well, that's just a natural result of the aggression of the "violent" states. That the "aggressor" nation goes far out of its way to minimize incidental collateral damage to innocent civilians, often at substantial risk to its own people in an effort to make any strike "surgical" and cause as little harm to others, well, that's irrelevant. Clearly they must be blamed for every possible death, rather than the adherents of the "non-violent" creed who used the innocents as shields in the very first place. In a just world, the pacifists would be fortunate enough to experience the "mercy" of the non-violent creed first hand....

  • IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States

    P.S., not to mention (well, I guess I AM mentioning it) those teenaged girls who were locked in a burning building because they didn't have on the proper head-dress?

    Hey, really, really and truly -- WE MEAN IT: The Bitches Had It Coming.

    /sarcasm off
    Frank, figure it out: You're an empty-headed apologist for a large collection of thugs, lowlifes and the humaniform pond-scum of the Homo Sapiens gene pool.

    WE grasp what propaganda is, and are wary of it. YOU are clueless that there's propaganda from BOTH sides, and gobble down every morsel of propaganda you encounter from the various sub-human entities mentioned above without any critical thought whatsoever. Sub-human not for belief or place of birth, but by action and behavior.

    HUMANS do not do things like this. And yes, that includes, for example, anyone who committed an atrocity in Vietnam while wearing an American uniform.

    "Atrocity" means: not merely the inadvertent killing of civilians, which is unavoidable in war, but the indiscriminate killing of civilians.

  • Frank Stein

    Ah, so we invaded Iraq to promote democracy, and now we'll invade Iran to prevent clitorectomies. Amazing; is there really no reason a neocon won't accept as valid for murdering people in other countries?

    Also, when the government sends death machines that end up killing children, then yes, they must be blamed for 'every possible death' (what does that even mean?) they actually cause. I know, it's not fair that the bad guys don't have the courage to stand in the middle of the street waving 'hit me' flags, but hey, those kids would likely grow up and have their clitoris/penis mutilated anyway, so really, the US government is just doing them a freedom favor.

  • Dan from Gilbert

    IGB... fortunately, the naivete espoused by FS is not widespread. Iran would love it to be the majority opinion, but fortunately, it's not. Leave him to his lollipop and unicorn world while we deal with reality.

    And FS... I was on the front lines of the first gulf war. I know what it's like. Please don't play that silly card. The people who are fighting our wars are aware of the risks and do so because people like you would second guess every situation ever encountered and be paralyzed with inaction. This is very simple, FS. America is good (not perfect, but good.) People who hate America and want it to fail are bad (worthy, but bad.) There is no disputing that. America is the closest thing to a beacon of liberty this world has. There is no other logical way to view that statement. People or countries or governments that would support the demise of the US should be made aware that they support that opinion at their own peril.

  • John Moore

    2Frank Stein:

    "Wow, John Moore appears to be a real neocon and apologist for every military adventure the US government has involved itself in. Tough to find people nowadays who try to justify sending Americans to die in Vietnam’s civil war; the idea that the USSR would use that to take over the world is especially silly given that the commie North won anyway and the world didn’t end."

    Frank, your ignorance of modern history would be stunning if it weren't for the atmosphere of propaganda you no doubt were surrounded by.

    Vietnam was *not* engaged in a civil war. There was a Communist North and a non-Communist south. They had different cultures and didn't like each other. The North was led by a man who became a Communist in the 1920's in Paris and was trained by the Soviets (i.e. Ho Chi Minh). The Soviet plan was to gain territory wherever they could - a ratchet effect. Vietnam was to lead to the fall of Thailand and the Philippines, and a good argument can be made that our intervention prevented that. Of course, if idiots hadn't pulled the funding and banned us Air involvement, South Vietnam today would be like South Korea - another "civil war" with the same involved external parties, but one where we at least pulled a draw out of it. The result: South Korea is a staunch ally and a global economic power and trading partner; South Vietnam is only now becoming really friendly to the US (due to Chinese ambitions) but is an economic basket case.

    So yeah, the Vietnam war, like the Korean war and the various post-FDR interventions in the Americas were all defensive actions against an imperialist Soviet Union.

    Too bad your brain got too washed to recognize it. Too bad the political times forced politicians to pretend we were doing it for the Vietnamese, thus allowing various folks including Libertarians to crow that we shouldn't go and fight other folks fight (let's see, or get involved in "their business"). Vietnam was as much a Civil War with no outside involvement as was the Russian and Nazi invasion of Poland.

  • Dan from Gilbert

    Bravo, John! Well said. Political cowardice leading to severely limited rules of engagement is what lost the Vietnam conflict.

  • Frank Stein

    If only the cowards in Washington would have allowed our brave heroes to drop more Agent Orange on commie villagers!

    "So yeah, the Vietnam war, like the Korean war and the various post-FDR interventions in the Americas were all defensive actions against an imperialist Soviet Union."

    If that's the case then the cure was worse than the disease. Of course now I'll hear sanctimonious tales of how thinking so must excuse the horrible life people had in the USSR. But it's not the job of the US government to save other people from their own government. At least I can't find that in the Constitution, maybe the neocons have access to an updated document that allows for invading (or aiding/abetting, like in Libya) everywhere because we are Good (not perfect, that's impossible, so please just hand-wave away all the murder done in the name of our Goodness).

    So these people who "want America to fail" - what part exactly are they wishing failure on? The imperialistic pseudo-empire that involves itself in other nation's business, from South America to Asia? Or the mom and apple pie mythology of aw-shucks good people just minding their own business?

  • http://space4commerce.blogspot.com/ Brian Dunbar

    And FS… I was on the front lines of the first gulf war. I know what it’s like. Please don’t play that silly card.

    Lucky you. Me, I sat that one out in Okinawa, and happy I was to do it, at least after the fact. A friend of mine was in 2/2 and he came back with _mange_ of all things.

    Don't play the veteran card: it cheapens our service. Guys and gals who didn't serve get an equal voice, equal say in matters. Their opinions will differ from yours. That's the rules. Live with it.

    The people who are fighting our wars are aware of the risks and do so because people like you would second guess every situation ever encountered and be paralyzed with inaction.

    I suggest that your average 18-year old only has the haziest notion of what he's getting himself into when he enlists.

    Some, sure, because of noble ideals of service. Most because the uniform looks snappy, chicks at home dig it, a chance to get out of Dogpatch, or because college was too expensive and the GI Bill is offered to sucker 'em in.

  • Dan from Gilbert

    Brian... I wasn't playing the veteran card. I was reply to FS's accusation that it's fine and dandy to be so hawkish when it's not your butt on the line. I was merely squashing that theory. My opinion stands, regardless of whether MY butt is on the line or that of my children. That's called principle. It's kind of a nice thing to have. FS should try it sometime.

    And yikes... your opinion about the motivation for service is quite cynical. Perhaps that's the crop of young people we're raising now (although I doubt it). But almost everyone I know did it out of love for their country. Of course, people have a myriad of different reasons. It's not black and white. But very few people enter the military for PURE selfish reasons. And even if they do, I wouldn't accuse them of that because that's a slippery slope that leads to the kind of cynicism that creates comments like "Most because the uniform looks snappy, chicks at home dig it, a chance to get out of Dogpatch, or because college was too expensive and the GI Bill is offered to sucker ‘em in."

    All I can do is shake my head in despair at such a vacuous comment. Especially from someone who has worn the uniform.

  • me

    @Dan: "America is the closest thing to a beacon of liberty this world has" - have you lived in this country recently?!

  • Frank Stein

    Someone needs to explain to Dan that just because you don't think every time the US government drops a bomb it means that Liberty and Freedom have an orgasm, doesn't mean you don't have principles. Being a mindless GI Joe might be a principled stand to take, but surely not the only one.

  • http://space4commerce.blogspot.com/ Brian Dunbar

    Brian… I wasn’t playing the veteran card.

    Noted. Thanks.

    All I can do is shake my head in despair at such a vacuous comment. Especially from someone who has worn the uniform.

    I would not say vacuous, but cynical. Been there, done that, got the big green weenie.

    But you know what? If the Commandant called me up and said 'we need you', I'd be there in a heartbeat.

  • Goober

    So: wait until they actually have nuked New York, Washington, and LA until we take their bluster, threats, and saber-rattling seriously?

    I grow very weary of people who don’t understand that the doctrine of self-defense does not preclude shooting first. Please don’t be that guy. Only an idiot waits until his opponent shoots at him first before he fights back – but a good man will at least wait until he is certain that his opponent is about to draw. I’m not willing to nuke millions of innocent Iranian citizens over tough talk and bluster (or even conventionally bomb them, for that matter)

    I think that we should set a little higher standard than to invade simply over some tough talk and bluster. Otherwise, we’d have invaded North Korea some time ago and you and I both probably wouldn’t be here discussing this because we’d both be dead in some front-line ditch over there, or at best have spent a good portion of our lives freezing our asses off while getting shot at by Norks, and for what?

    My advice is to build up there, just as we are, to show them that we won’t back down. Then, work with our allies in the region and inside the country itself to ensure that they don’t shoot first, or if they are planning it, we know about it and can strike before they do. We really missed our opportunity to support the Iranian people in their beginnings of a revolt here a few years back – that would have solved the problem, I think, but Obama dithered there and missed his chance. I think, by the by, that this is the reason that he was so quick to go into Libya (and overreact by actually doing part of the fighting) – he saw that he’d screwed up with Iran and feared making the same mistake twice.