Friday, October 15, 2004

Curing the Disease

I just read a great article on StrategyPage (thanks Instapundit), and when I read the following passage, I had to wonder if the author had been reading my blog:
Going into places like Fallujah and taking control is not as much of a problem. Keeping control is difficult, because the current government has a bad case of "the Iraqi disease." This affliction causes Iraqi politicians to believe their troops and police are more capable than they are. Although Saddam had this problem when facing foreign armies, he had a better sense of proportion when it came to terrorizing his own people. The current government is willing to just put civilians into police uniforms, give them a week or two of training and put them on the streets. American commanders are having a hard time pointing out the obvious; that this doesn't work. The cops and troops require more training, and the officers even more so. The Iraqis like to believe in magic, and have a hard time admitting that magic doesn't work. Saddam's followers don't believe in magic, they believe in terror, and terror does work.
I said that! Remember? The "Iraqi disease" goes far beyond wishful thinking and overconfidence. It's a myriad of problems that exist throughout the entire population. Conspiracy theories prevail, there's widespread distrust of virtually everyone, grudges last for centuries, there's a very low literacy rate, and their overall perception of reality is incredibly distorted. One can hardly blame them for having this disease, considering how the past several decades have treated them. I bring this up, because people in America simply don't understand what we're up against here. They can't understand why the world's most powerful military can't turn Iraq into a bastion of peace in 6 months or less. It just doesn't work like that. We freed Iraq from Saddam in a matter of weeks. It's going to take years for the Iraqi people to cure their own decades-old "disease." We'll help them with this, but we can't do it for them. The important thing is that it is happening now. Satellite TV's and Internet connections are now available, and reality is actively permeating the collective mentality. It'll take time, and the world will benefit in ways that most people still can't comprehend.


Things are looking good in Fallujah right now. Wow, that sounds like an oxymoron. Things are looking relatively good, I should say. Stay tuned...

Blogs of War

Great blog site, and I can't believe I haven't linked to it yet. It has more links than you'll ever be able to follow, but check it out when you get a chance- you won't be disappointed. It's amazing how much real information you can get from people who aren't concerned with turning a profit.


In a recent post, I claimed that Douglas Brinkley, Author of the John Kerry biofarce Tour of Duty, was calling for Kerry to sign the Form 180. While this appears to be at least partially true, I incorrectly deduced that the inept biographer doubted the validity of his source (Kerry). I tracked down the real story, and it appears that Brinkley just wanted to get reporters off his back! Here's an excerpt:

The Kerry campaign has refused to release Kerry's personal Vietnam archive, including his journals and letters, saying that the senator is contractually bound to grant Brinkley exclusive access to the material. But Brinkley said this week the papers are the property of the senator and in his full control.

"I don't mind if John Kerry shows anybody anything," he said. "If he wants to let anybody in, that's his business. Go bug John Kerry, and leave me alone." The exclusivity agreement, he said, simply requires "that anybody quoting any of the material needs to cite my book."

I bring this up, because I just saw him on Fox giving an interview. Brinkley lied his face off, and I couldn't believe my ears. I agree with Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam- "These days, Brinkley is acting a lot less like a historian and a lot more like a PR flack for John Kerry."

Here's what really fired me up- when asked about the Swiftees, Brinkley said (not an exact quote), "Well, you know- some of them have already been caught in a lie. Like Larry Thurlow- he said there was no enemy fire that day when Kerry got the Bronze Star. Well, it turns out Larry Thurlow got a Bronze Star for the same incident, and his citation said there was enemy fire, so clearly he was lying." And the Fox Newsies just sat there and nodded. Unbelievable. This is the kind of unforgivable dishonesty that lives and breathes in mainstream media. How in the world does he arrive at his assertion that Thurlow lied?

Thurlow got that award in the mail after the war- after he had served his time and he was busy restarting his life. He read the citation, shook his head because he knew it was false, tucked it away somewhere, and forgot about it. Why would he want to go out of his way to go set the record straight? What difference would it make? If he never planned to throw it at the White House, wear it, show it off, talk about it, or write about it- why bother even thinking about it? He did exactly what I would have done. He did what most vets would have done. Unlike John Kerry, he did not write his own citation. He just happened to get an award for someone's (I'd bet the farm it was Kerry's) bogus write-up. You can't impeach Mr. Thurlow's credibility with someone else's statement. Thurlow did nothing wrong. Read this WaPo article and you'll see that despite the Post's efforts to spin it- Thurlow never contradicted himself. So he didn't drive 500 miles to the nearest Navy base to contest the Bronze Star- does that make him a liar? Not even. If Brinkley produced one quote or even one shred of evidence that proves that Thurlow ever endorsed his award for the reasons given on the citation, then I'd say Thurlow's a liar. But Brinkley has no such evidence, because no such evidence exists. Brinkley called Thurlow, who is without a doubt a true American war hero, a liar on national TV. That's despicable. He should be ashamed.

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