Bill Dring: Stop the madness

Letter to the editor

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I have seldom felt so strongly about an issue affecting our country. I urge everyone to protest against the deployment of more troops to Iraq. Protest in any way you can - as loudly as you can - to prevent this huge mistake.

I am on record as being against this war from the very beginning. Some have accused me of being unpatriotic. Peace is patriotic. I have two arguments against the war - first, we had no way of predicting the problems we would get into, and second, although it was easy to get into the war, it would be very difficult to get out.

At this point we need to develop a strategy for the earliest possible withdrawal. I do not know enough to say when we can start the withdrawal or when we can be completely out, but it is obvious that sending in more troops will certainly make getting out more difficult.

We got into this war through a combination of ignorance, arrogance, deception and a poor sense of history. Had Congress (or the American people) been given the facts, or had they made some reasonable projections of the true costs, Congress would never have voted to support this war. Yes, we got rid of Saddam Hussein, but was it really worth the cost?

- 3,000 American dead, 45,000 American wounded and 600,000 Iraqi dead. Plus a total cost projection of $1 trillion.

The last Congress did not do its job. Certainly we should support our troops, but saying OK to $500 million for a U.S. embassy that may never be used just does not make any sense.

Now that we have a new Congress that is not willing to simply rubber stamp every administration decision, we have a chance to put a brake on the escalation. The president is commander in chief, but the Congress and the American people have substantial moral suasion.

It is time to stop this madness.

Bill Dring

Steamboat Springs

Comments

id04sp 7 years, 3 months ago

Dogd,

90% of perception is expectation. I honestly saw "Boo" when I read it. It's a dyslexia thing. Sorry, guy.

I once read a headline that said, "British announce mars plans." I read it 3 or 4 times. It wasn't until I clicked on the link and saw the full story that I saw it said "Bush" instead of "British."

We're really on the same side. I only want what's best for all of us, and I know that's what you want too.

Yeah, I saw the guy fumbling over Shia and Sunni. The middle east culture is so alien to whitebread Americans that it's beyond our comprehension. On the other hand, what difference does it make to us? We're not going to change anybody's mind no matter what we do. Could we have ever affected Japanese culture the way we did after WW-II if the people had not obeyed their emperor and laid down their arms? They were prepared to die down to the last man, woman and child rather than be conquered.

Iraq may be beyond hope. America may not be able to tolerate the carnage it would take to clean the place out.

I believe that fewer Americans will die if we keep the fight "over there." That's hard to argue with, isn't it? If Americans are going to die no matter what, then don't we have an obligation to minimize the number? At least the people in danger today are volunteers who are being paid for their efforts, and not kids at the North Routt charter school.

If you want to see Steamboat die a slow death, let's shut down the air traffic control system and ground the airlines for a month during the ski season after another domestic terror attack. Lots of local businesses have to make their "nut" during the season, and one month without business could have a catastrophic effect. On the other hand, it might be good for the real estate business as people try to move to remote areas of the country, eh?

I fear that we are stuck with idiots on both sides of the issue, and most of all, we are stuck with the idiots who populate the middle east. I'm sorry we have to deal with them at all. Globalization has done nothing to help them, and exposure to them is certainly not helping us.

Pulling out and leaving them to fight it out among themselves is not a viable option. We need to know what's going on. Maybe pulling back to Baghdad and a few of the larger cities and establishing a secure area for our forces to occupy is the way to go. Bring in the B-52s to deal with people who try to scale the city walls; level the earth for 5 miles all around and cover what's left with artillery and land mines.

Whatever the reason, we had to go in for our own protection in the long run. I think we have to stay for the same reason. Nothing beats boots on the ground when you really, really need to know what's going on.

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id04sp 7 years, 3 months ago

Bill,

What you have now is a Congress that got elected by complaining about Iraq. Now they have to actually do something responsible about the situation.

The United States waited until Japan and Germany had conquered half the globe before getting into World War II. All of the doubts you express applied to that war, too, but did we have a choice? I don't think so. We had to face the music eventually, and getting into it late led to far more deaths and much more destruction than if we had jumped into the fray in 1939.

You need to look at this Iraq war in the light of what we should have done against Germany in 1939. There would have been casualtites, wounded, and many dead civilians anyway, but far fewer than the numbers that actually did die due to our late entry. Oh, also, it ended up costing us a lot more money by waiting, and best of all, we invented the atomic bomb to counter Hitler because we thought the Nazis were working on it also. Our invention of the bomb also fed the Soviet nuclear program through spys who obtained secrets from us. What IF we had been able to enter the war in Europe early and skip the whole Manhattan project? Maybe there would be no nucelar weapons today.

Saddam Hussein had well-known and often stated nuclear ambitions. He would have acquired them, given time. He probably had components or at least plans in place when we decided to invade, and was able to move them back out to North Korea, Syria, or some other country because of the time it took us to build up forces for the invasion.

North Korea exploded a nuclear weapon late in 2006. North Korea is building long-range missiles. Saddam Hussein was spending his oil money to purchase weapons from North Korea. Can't you read the writing on the wall?

Hitler was no threat to the U. S. mainland in 1939. Before it was over, there were more U. S. casualties in the 8th Air Force alone than there have been in the Iraq war so far. Millions of civilians died in Europe. We made it worse by waiting.

Saddam Hussein was no threat to the U. S. mainland in 2003. How would it have been if we had done nothing, and suddenly Saddam became a threat to the people living in Colorado in 2007? Would you feel better about the war in Iraq if we'd waited for a nuke to go off in our own back yard?

Our ultimate alternative to a war with Saddam Hussein in 2003 would have been something worse in the long run. Don't be foolish enough to think that everything would have been okay if we had done nothing. That's not what history teaches us.

So, yeah, Iraq is a big mess. At least the mess in in Iraq. Let's be thankful for that.

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OneFly 7 years, 3 months ago

"Don't be foolish" Yes don't be on this post. Another reframing of the issue. Thanks for the letter Bill. And yes there's a new sheriff in town. When the "Decider" decides to escalate the occupation the "impeachment is off the table" line is an out for these pussys and just that is what should be served up for the first course.

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dogd 7 years, 3 months ago

LCDR:

You are operating as an echo of the ignorant and arrogant baloney which got us in this mess, and has made a relatively stable situation in Iraq a crazy chaotic disaster.

Hard to believe that somebody anywhere is still buying the lie about WMD. The paranoid Saddam was using all his resources to ensure his domestic survival as a despot, not going the route of nukes which he probably knew would get him painted as a target. Little w proceeded like an ignorant fool with no eye for consequences. Democracy??? Not when the society is still almost COMPLETELY tribal.

That tribalism means that brother does not vote different than brother, son does not vote different than father, ect. The entire purpose of a representative democracy is defeated.

Bush has provided a haven for the incubation of not only terrorism, but the festering chaos might spread and domino some regiemes which have been workable allies, including Pakistan which actually HAS NUKES.

Bottom line= We CANNOT afford to leave without some sort of strongman in power, and it better be somebody we can work with.

The disastrous idiots you still back don't get it, LCDR. And they won't EVER get it. So , given that fact, staying might be futile . As long as a team of idiots is in place.

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id04sp 7 years, 3 months ago

Gosh, Boo, thanks for clearing that up for us.

Hey, can you give me the winning lottery numbers? That would be a huge help. Thanks in advance.

You're right about us having idiots in charge. If even half of Congress is filled with guys like Duke Cunningham and Mark Foley, we're all idiots for voting them into office. We obviously don't know what we're doing either, so how dare you attack me? You should be tracking me down to give me a hug for trying to understand, no matter how wrong I am. Right? Isn't that the NEA neo-American way?

Here's the real problem. You and a bunch of people like you know exactly what to do all the time, but you are all lazy and self-centered and you don't do it. You leave it to others who are not so gifted with intellect and prescience so that you can criticize them when they fail. In this way you are all evil, cruel and sadistic. You bear 100% of the responsibility for the ills of the world because, obviously, you have all the answers, but just don't make an effort to implement them.

If "you guys" are right, then you should be able to know what to do to obtain power, hold power, and inflict your will on the rest of us. I guess the only reason you don't do it is because you'd rather complain.

If this was not so, everything would be okay and all the problems would be solved already so that us idiots didn't have to try. That's proof enough for me.

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id04sp 7 years, 3 months ago

No, sbvor, you're all wrong. See Boo's post above. I've see the light.

I'm going to sit in my little house in North Routt with two days' supply of food, water and fuel and know that nothing bad will ever ever ever happen in the United States again. Food, gasoline, medicine, fuel and all the necessities of life will be cheap and plentiful for the rest of my life.

Gosh, that feels good to know. Thank God the Democrats are in charge again. Now I can sleep at night.

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dogd 7 years, 3 months ago

sbv joe:

The chairman of that "intelligence"committee was recently asked what the difference between Sunni and Shia might be. He not only admitted he didn't know, but his response seemed to indicate that it might not be all that important to know. Do you think that we are in good shape with guys like that making assessments? There is nothing in your post to indicate that the prosecution of this war has been adequate.

LCDR: I've never indicated that Democrats were good, bad, or indifferent. The only thing I've been continually outspoken and outraged about is the embarrassing choice that Neo-Con fake Republicans have engineered for this proud country. An idiot should never be selected as the presidential candidate for either party. We had 2 (Kerry) last election. Maybe people will pay attention this time. I'm not Boo. I was here long before he showed up and have so far kept my original forum handle for years. Why do you always accuse me of viewpoints I've never taken up?

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dogd 7 years, 3 months ago

This is a FORUM, Joe, not a footnoted scholarly journal. But the guy was the (Even more troubling) RECENTLY ASKEDTerry Everett vice chairman of the House Intelligence Sub Comittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence. He was speaking to Jeff Stein, editor of the Congressional Quarterly.

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id04sp 7 years, 3 months ago

Dogd,

Again, you are right about the idiocy. However, the term "technical intelligence" refers to information obtained by technical means, such as satellites, electronic eavesdropping, etc. Terry Everett's bio is easily Googled and he appears to have the proper background (having served in the USAF in this field).

Asking Everett about the difference between a Sunni and a Shia is like asking Billy Graham to know the technical details of why you can't hear FM on an AM crystal radio just because he preaches on the radio.

Everett is not an interpreter of the Arab culture. He can get you some danged good overhead shots of Mecca, though.

The reporter who asked the question and reported the answer obviously did not have the journalistic objectivity required to follow up and find out where Everett's expertise truly lies. It was apparently enough to get an embarassing answer and report it to shed the worst light on the Congressman.

You don't ask a Doctor of Theology for advice on how to select a space-based radar system, so why expect a "technical intelligence" expert to know about Muslim theology?

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cheesehead 7 years, 3 months ago

Dogd and Boodog, it appears you guys are right, average joe is back!

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