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June 25, 2009

You've Come A Long Way, Baby

Over at Blackfive, there is an interesting discussion going on:

"The neocon agenda of using hard and soft US power to spread liberal democracy, while noble, wasn't enough of a justification for my brother to be over there, and in any case there was little evidence indicating that it was succeeding."

And while this wasn't necessarily the *main* question postited in the post, it seeemed to me that it was at least at the heart of the questions within the post.

Was it worth it?
Are we doing any good over there?

Commenter Tom W.'s answer seemed, to me, to answer the *big picture* question in admirable fashion:

"While the terrorism was certainly bad, Iraq made astonishing social, economic, and political progress the entire time and built up effective security forces, which is nearly unbelievable considering the country was fighting the most ruthless, merciless, evil enemy in the modern age. How many other countries have built armies from scratch, adopted free-market capitalism, written a constitution, and held their first free elections all while fighting a long-term war? Pretty much none, I think. The Coalition provided the security and the example, and the Iraqis improved themselves by sheer force of will. They're amazing, truly heroic people."

To his answer, I would like to offer this into evidence as to the good we're doing.

"Unlike the American campers who have played basketball for most of their lives, the Iraqi girls have played organized basketball for only a year or two....

Khoshee, a 24-year-old coach for the Iraqi team, said visiting the United States was a dream for her.

'I will tell others that the U.S. is like this: more open than Iraq, especially for girls,' Khoshee wrote. 'Girls here can even travel by themselves, and their parents are so supportive of them. It’s so much more free, and people also respect others and protect their environment.'”

To the first question, that answer lies within the hearts of those who have given their blood, sweat and tears for the dream of a free Iraq.

As to the second...those who have tasted freedom will not remain forever grounded .

Posted by at June 25, 2009 03:30 PM

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If I didn't think we were doing some good over here, I wouldn't be here. But in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter what I think.

The *Iraqis* think we've done tremendous things for them -- and we still are.

I could go into chapter and verse, but John would dock my salary for posting off-site...

Posted by: BillT at June 25, 2009 05:02 PM

From Blackfive: Furthermore, what if the reason Obama has been slow to get behind the protests in Iran is that ultimately, he won't be able to take credit for it?

Not to worry. So far, he's never hesitated one instant to take credit for another's work.

Posted by: BillT at June 25, 2009 05:27 PM

I don't worry so much anymore over whether we did any good over there.

I do worry about whether we'll squander what we did accomplish under this administration.

/sourpuss mode

Great post, DL :)

Posted by: Cassandra at June 26, 2009 10:13 AM

I'm not worried at all about whether or not we did any good. I just think it's amazing what has transpired over there. 6 years ago (little longer than the VES has been alive!) the very notion that these girls would be playing basketball and forming teams. But to come to America!? To attent a camp with many other American girls, experiencing a small, eye-opening slice of American freedom? None of these girls could have dared to dream such before.

And I do worry about what we are squandering. So much so, that I am better off holding my tongue.
Which, as an afterthought, is probably significantly easier than holding my panties.

Posted by: DL Sly at June 26, 2009 03:00 PM

> Was it worth it? Are we doing any good over there?

Millions of purple-stained fingers make that a silly question.

They said they couldn't do it because of the death threats, then they said they wouldn't turn out in the face of death threats, then they stopped paying attention. Funny how that works in the "they" of modern media.

Even if they slide back, that's millions of people who have had a taste of it.

I think that, in true fact, the USA had clear, adequate, and self-evident reasons of its own for going over there and taking Saddam out of power.

It is equally clear that by far the most expedient solution would have been to prop up a strongman and leave -- total time after invasion, 9-12 months.

Instead, and for the first time since WWII, we stayed and did the right thing. We made a mess for our own perfectly valid reasons... And then we stayed to help clean it up.

If someone doesn't find pride in that, they're a grade-A moron, who really needs to be forced to live for 10 years in any of a couple dozen countries I could list off, including China and Tanzania.

Posted by: Obloodyhell at June 27, 2009 11:12 PM

Heh. Those types wouldn't survive 10 *days* in China or Tanzania.

Drop 'em in Zimbabwe and they wouldn't last 10 *minutes*...

Posted by: BillT at June 28, 2009 04:04 AM

"Heh. Those types wouldn't survive 10 *days* in China or Tanzania.

Drop 'em in Zimbabwe and they wouldn't last 10 *minutes*..."

A more economical drop would be S.E. Georgia.

• Bulk rates via UPS to the Okefenokee.
• Advertise it as an urgent effort on behalf of displaced Tannin and Kaolin habitat. Ask for donations which will entitle the giver to monthly updates via Webcasts, along with a picture of the work being funded to save the Tannin and Kaolin, plus a free gift card to StarsnBucks.
• Replenish the ambient volume of swamp gas.
• Introduce fresh biomass for the swamp creatures.

CONS: Other than EPA fines?

Ok give me a few...

Hmmmm, upsetting the Ph balance of the swamp?

Posted by: bt_dueling-banjos_hun at June 30, 2009 09:44 AM