Liz Cheney's complaint

Sen. Hillary Clinton declared this weekend, " I'm in to win." Anyone who has watched her remarkable trajectory can have no doubt that she'll do whatever it takes to win the presidency. I wish she felt the same way about the war.

Now, in fairness, Vice-President Cheney's kids can say things like this. Liz here has five kids, one very recently and her sister Mary is a lesbian, so she can't serve in uniform either. The Bush kids have no such excuse. George W. has two daughters, both in good physical condition and who are of military age, his brother Jeb has three sons, also in good physical condition and of military age. Any call for doing whatever one can about the war would sound mighty peculiar coming from any of the younger Bushes.

Liz points out: “We are at war.” Yes we are, but who put us there? Did President Bush point America to real threats and genuine emergencies or did he and his buddies make up a bunch of stuff and get us into war for their own, still unknown purposes?

We will have to fight these terrorists to the death somewhere, sometime. We can't negotiate with them or "solve" their jihad. If we quit in Iraq now, we must get ready for a harder, longer, more deadly struggle later.

This is the kind of hysterical, overwrought screaming and yelling we've been listening to since late 2002. When I read this sort of stuff I just think of people running down the street, naked, screaming and waving their arms.

If we restrict the ability of our troops to fight and win this war, we help the terrorists

Okay, let's take Liz's word for that. Question: Does remaining in Iraq do anything whatsoever to inhibit the terrorists? Al Qaeda has troops inside Iraq. Al Qaeda did not have troops inside Iraq before March 2003. By giving Arab jihadists easy and plentiful targets to shoot at, did the US inhibit the growth of jihadist groups all over the Mideast or did it encourage them?

Beware the polls. [The American people]...did not say that they want us to lose this war.

I'd be very, very skeptical about what a member of a political party that got a “thumping” at the polls says about what their loss means. As a solid majority of Americans say they want US troops to withdraw from Iraq, I'd like to know how that can be interpreted as “Let's remain and fight on.” Seems to me that during the 2006 midterm election, Bush & Co stated quite clearly and quite frequently that leaving = losing, but Americans voted for Democrats anyway.

[Americans] did not say that they want us to allow Iraq to become a base for al-Qaeda to conduct global terrorist operations.

As Iraqis don't like al Qaeda by the very large majority of 94%, I very seriously doubt al Qaeda would survive the departure of American troops from Iraq by more than a few weeks. Obviously, Iraqis will not fight al Qaeda while US troops remain in their country, but it seems very highly unlikely that Iraqis would put up with their continued presence afterwards.

They did not say that they would rather we fight the terrorists here at home.

Again, this is the kind of mindless, hysterical, screaming overstatement I spoke of earlier. Even if we leave aside all of the conspiracy theories concerning 9-11, the theories about Bush & Co. arranging for 9-11 to happen or at the very least knowing about it all well beforehand, we still have the very strong, clear evidence that 9-11 was a one-time event. There were far too many warnings beforehand, there was much too much evidence beforehand for anyone to take seriously the idea that any such attack could succeed a second time. My brother, a conservative, pro-Bush person, went to a briefing about power plants and assures me we've got nothing to worry about on that score. One might also keep in mind that the Nazis made a single guerrilla landing on American shores back in World War II (Long Island), and were promptly rounded up. Hitler concluded American intelligence agencies were completely on the ball and aware of what was going on and never tried again.

We are fighting the war on terrorism with allies across the globe, leaders such as Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan and Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan.

Um, Afghanistan and Pakistan are right next to each other, an alliance of those two does not exactly constitute a globe-spanning movement. Seriously, there really aren't many others in the “Coalition of the Willing” anymore. All of the big countries except Britain refused to sign on to begin with and British citizens appear to be highly inclined to send Tony Blair off to the Hague to stand trial for his part in the war.

Brave activists are also standing with us, fighting for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the empowerment of women. They risk their lives every day to defeat the forces of terrorism.

Now here's where Liz just becomes completely incoherent. Terrorists don't care about any of that stuff. Individual terrorist groups may be concerned that their women are getting too liberated or that some of the people in their country have the incorrect religious opinions, but the idea that terrorists as a whole, even just the ones fighting US troops in Iraq, have a coherent set of political “platforms” or even opinions is just crazy. That sort of viewpoint takes wild, insane conspiracy theories to new heights of lunacy.

What about Iran?

What about it? Iran's nuclear program isn't going to produce anything for another decade at least and there simply isn't any evidence that Iran is seriously contributing to the Iraq War. Iran will wait until George W Bush leaves office, at which point the US can fashion a sane and sensible policy.

[US soldiers] know that free people must fight to defend their freedom.

Are the Iraqis free or are they being occupied by US troops? Iraqis seem to feel that it's the latter, that they're living under an occupation. If Iraqis had control of their own country and invited Americans in that would be a different situation entirely.

American troops will win if we show even one-tenth the courage here at home that they show every day on the battlefield.

It takes very considerably more than courage to win a guerrilla war. Iraq is not your basic, classic, straightforward battlefield. An occupier in a guerrilla war requires at least 15 soldiers for every 1,000 civilians. The US currently has about five soldiers per 1,000 Iraqi civilians, about a third of what's needed at the minimum. Is the US capable of raising enough soldiers through a draft? We'll never know because Republicans have refused to even raise the issue and Democrats have no mandate to do so.

Victory is the only option. We must have the fortitude and the courage to do what it takes. In the words of Winston Churchill, we must deserve victory.

We must be in it to win.

Very stirring and heartfelt words, but “victory” ain't gonna happen. The US is not willing to do what it takes, heck, the Bush family is not willing to do what it takes. President Bush refuses to attend the funerals of any soldiers, his wife refuse to be photographed visiting wounded soldiers in the hospital and Bush's two healthy, military-age daughters are still not in uniform. There's simply no way Americans are going to make any serious sacrifices for the Iraq War until the First Family does.

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