Posted by: Jim | November 20, 2006

Q is for Quagmire.

The afterglow of the election has worn off, and now the debate about our plan in Iraq is heating up. The choices have been boiled down to “Go Big, Go Long, or Go Home.”

I feel its patronizing to boil down these complex choices to two-word soundbytes, but at least the sound-bytes aren’t intended to telescope the answer like, “Cut and run” did.

Going long is something that according to Henry Kissinger, is untenable.

Kissinger said, “If you mean by clear military victory an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don’t believe that is possible.”

So going long is not a good option, because the goals of going long are unachievable.  

Going Home has been declared a catastrophic choice. Senator McCain says we can “fight them there or fight them here.” Another soundbyte, which begs me to dissect its simplicity. Senator McCain, I would posit that we will fight them here regardless, and that we should be spending our resources on security our homeland, rather than “going big” elsewhere. Going Big is just more of a bad thing. It’s throwing good money after bad, and worse–throwing live soldiers into a fire to justify the ashes of those already dead. There is no justification. We attacked Iraq for no reason, and lit a powderkeg. The world is far, far worse because we invaded Iraq.

There are a lot more Islamic Jihadists bent on destroying the West now than in 2002 before we invaded Iraq. Going big or going long are both untenable, and will not solve or help anything.

Senator Rangel wants to reinstate the draft. This idea scares me to my core. I have a 14 year old daughter and a 12 year old son. Would I want them to go risk their lives for this debacle?


Going big and going long are not viable options. To me, the best option is to create three nations in Iraq (quickly), and go home.



  1. I have to agree, though reluctantly, because there are no good solutions here. Partitioning will only be a temporary measure and will inevitably lead to more regional strife and more incubation of an entire new generation of terrorists. It will strengthen Iran, which all by itself is an ominous thing. But out of all the options we have, it is the only one that isn’t completely futile in the short term — though it may be in the long term. Ugh.

    The Liberal argument for bringing back the draft is in theory a fairly sensible one (it makes war REAL to people and forces politicians to listen to the masses, especially since Vietnam). Unfortunately, however, it’s a bit late. The people have already spoken overwhelmingly against the war, and bringing back the draft now will only feed more children to the meat grinder and create absolute chaos at home. I don’t think in the current climate, a draft has a snowball’s chance of being reinstituted — unless, of course, things escalate to the point where we have no choice and we really ARE fighting for survival. Which could very well happen in the next decade or so.

    I was against this war from the beginning, for many reasons. This result, which is pretty close to what I predicted to all my friends (right, Jim?), was one of them.

    Saddam Hussein was a piece of shit, but he was the only counterbalance to Iran and was never a threat to us. And, as Jim mentioned, his was the only secular power in the region. Nice going, geniuses. Out of the frying pan and into Ground Zero.

    One has to wonder: are Bush and his cronies secretly Chinese agents? Anybody ever see ‘The Manchurian Candidate’?

    * * *

  2. This topic hits a little too close to home for me to make an objective statement. Simply put though, if my son decided to join the Marines, I would support him unflinchingly, as difficult and as dangerous I know it would be.

  3. Not me. I would send my son to Canada. Same with my daughter, since if we have a draft, it will include both.

    But really, it will be up to them.

  4. Got news for ya. Canada was a one-time dealio. The laws and attitudes have changed since Vietnam (and even moreso since 9/11), and Canada’s government, though more progressive than ours, is much more conservative than it was in the ’60s. They won’t accept hordes of draft-dodgers this time, and the US Gov’t will likely cut an extradition deal with them well in advance of any draft reinstatement anyway.

    The likelihood of the draft coming back any time soon is slim at best, but if it does, don’t expect Canada or Mexico to be havens for young Americans wanting to escape it.

    * * *

  5. I had a big, long comment all prepped when I realized it had nothing to do with the topic. Thanks for opening the stream of consciousness, James 🙂

    I agree with Bri – the draft is not likely to make a comeback. This makes me respect even more those who choose to enlist voluntarily.

  6. I would not put the draft so far out of the realm of possibility.

    All we would need is another Pearl Harbor-type event, and American fear would throw the doors wide.

  7. Agreed. And we all know just how easy it is to engineer and/or exploit such an event. We witnessed it a few years ago.

    But to reiterate the point I made above, I said that the draft didn’t have a snowball’s chance in the CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE. Another attack on American soil could change that climate in an instant, and put us into ‘survival mode’, which is the condition I mentioned being the only exception under which they could pull off a new draft.

    Not trying to be nit-picky here; just underscoring that I already covered the base, so we’re essentially saying the same thing.

    * * *

  8. Nit-picker!

  9. Racist!

    * * *

  10. Asterisk abuser!

  11. Supercilious punctuation fascist poo-poo head!

    * * *

  12. PS: “Go big, go long, go home”

    Last night I did all three. 😉

    * * *

  13. You guys are silly. SUPER silly…us.

  14. I know you are but what am I?

    * * *

  15. *sits on sidelines and claps hands*

    More! More!

    “PS: “Go big, go long, go home”

    Last night I did all three. 😉 ”

    I wish I could say the same. 😦

    Is it Thursday yet?

  16. The army should leave Iraq AT ONCE, and go straight… into Iran, the worlds leading sponsor of terrorism, and proto-nuclear power. I have been saying for years that we can’t leave until we eliminate Iran’s military and their “holy men”. After that we can think about leaving. It looks like nobody is going take action until Tel Aviv or some Western European capital has its heart cut out with an atomic bomb, and I for one think we should strike before things get that far. Rest assured if Israel is hit by Iran, they will take care of things in a most graphic and spectacular fashion.

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