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June 03, 2005


There are consequences for lying to the American people about the reason to go to war as well.

Well this is certainly a potential bottom line and what it is all about etc., etc.,! Time will tell us a story. I would clarify my view on this, however, with the following statement:

Does a political power pay a penalty for lying about the real reasons for taking a country into a NEEDED war, OR does a political power only pay a penalty for lying about the real reasons for taking a country into an unnecessary military conflict? BTW as an aside, what about telling the truth about the reasons for an unnecessary war or is unnecssary enough in itself????

How this Iraq issue plays out will affect American foreign policy for many years to come, but then again, I would have said the same thing about the Vietnam conflict. Vietnam did put an apparent zipper on large-scale American military actions for 25 years, so maybe the time span effect of bad military-foreign policy is only one generation.

Anyway, if the American public starts to feel the world is a safer place post 9/11 because of Bush's war in Iraq, then military recruitment will return to the "good" level, and God help any country that gets in America's way for a while. If the Iraq war does indeed turn Vietnamesque (new word--mine), it will be interesting to see the price that the Bush crown pays down the road, as well as how timid the US might then become militarily and for how long this time??

ng -- No fast return from depressed position. The social contract between soldiers and the nation they serve has been visibly dishonored -- especially w.r.t. the reserves, but also with active duty. That'll factor into the subjective risk model everybody uses on all sides of the equation.

Near term, it gets worse. A dwindling able-bodied force will be asked to do more, under conditions of increasingly overt express doubt re the mission. Mischief-makers elsewhere on the globe will be marginally encouraged by our comparative disadvantage. Noncombat working conditions will deteriorate as they did in a demoralized, drug-addled, dead-ended post-Vietnam force.

And our adventure in Iraq conceivably climaxes in a full retreat under fire, abandoning conspicuous amounts of usable equipment and live personnel.

This was all in the cards when we went in, it's in the cards today, and it'll be a generation before we repeat the slow series of confidence-building walkovers (Grenada, Panama, Gulf War I) that brought US ground force back to can-do posture.

WWII suggests that the penalty is only for lying to get us into unnecessary wars.

The effect of (Boomer) parents withholding consent for this war in the most dramatic way possible on our continued ability to conduct the war has to be critical. Also whether it affects voting patterns, because that is the key to ending this madness.

I'm thinking parents vote.

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