Tying Some Thoughts Together

  1. There have been several threads lately of similar (but not the same) theme. I have posted to most of them, but here I want to tie all my thoughts together. Feel free to respond or not as the spirit moves you. (Like LVRN said, when I start to number my points, its about to get deep in here.)

    1. The UN and its support (or lack thereof) of the US position on Iraq: Who cares? This organization over the last 30 years or so has rendered itself impotent, if not irrelevant. Look at the some of the latest appointees to the commissions on arms control (Iraq) and human rights (Libya). They are out of touch, they are unrealistic, and worst of all, they are irrelevant. Were it not for the financial support that the US provides, the UN would have gone belly up a LOOOOONG time ago. On another thread, we debated the feasibility of universal health care. You want it? Fine, pull out of the UN, and use the billions we support that body with to finance health care in the US. At least the money would be better spent.

    With resolution 1441, the UN has provided a long list of actions Iraq must take, lest they face the direst of consequences. If they back down now (which is exactly what is happening) then they have broadcast to every tin pot dictator "go ahead, do whatever you want. Oh, we'll rattle sabers, and grimace mightily, but we won't really do anything, and we'll try to prevent anyone else from doing anything either." The time is now. The UN must live up to it's charter, or must forever be consigned to the same waste bin as the League of Nations.

    2. The millions of innocent Iraqi citizens who will die if G. Bush continues on his "evil" path: Nonsense. We (our military) are better than that. We use, particularly in urban and populated areas, precision weaponry that singles out targets, destroying military and infrastructure while minimizing civilian damage and casualties. This argument is at best spurious.

    3. The thousands of American "boys and girls" who will come home in body bags if we pursue our evil path: A parallel to the above argument. Again, nonsense. Those who make this argument are no better than Chicken Little, running around yelling the sky is falling. Don't believe me? Look back, no more than 12 years ago. You all made the same predictions just prior to the Gulf War (parrotting Saddam, I might add). Look at what really happened. We destroyed the Iraqi army in place. We inflicted massive damage. We took on the vaunted Republican Guard and poked a hole in their balloon. We reduced Iraqi ability to fight to smoking rubble. All while suffering less than 300 US casualties. At the time, even the most liberal among us admitted we did a pretty good job. The "mother of all battles" turned out to be the mother of all retreats. Nuff said.

    Oh, to be sure I am not predicting the same or fewer casualties, but those casualties that occur in excess of the Gulf War I will HAPPILY, PROUDLY, AND VERY PUBLICALLY lay at the feet of our past co-presidents, Bill and Hilarity. Though years of neglect, poor funding, halting of weapons development, and use of the military as a testing ground for their favorite social theories, the Clintons did manage to reduce our military both in strength and morale. But I believe in our military, and that they have the character to overcome these enforced shortfalls.

    Of course, there may be more casualties if Saddam uses chemical or biological weapons. But then, some of you seem to believe that since Larry, Moe, and Curley, sorry, the UN weapons inspectors can't find them, they must not exist. And if they do exist, and Saddam does use them, does that not justify what Bush has said all along?

    4. We cannot go unilaterally, not without our allies: I lay this one at the feet of the liberal press. Much print has been devoted to the dissent of Germany and France. At the same time, almost wholly ignored by the press is the fact that no fewer than 18 European heads of state have signed a letter of support for the position of President Bush. Jordan has signed on, and agreed to allow US forces to use Jordanian bases as launching points for attacks on Iraq. There are others, but my God, how many more allies do you want us to have? Or is it just the approval of Capitulate (sorry, France) and Germany you are looking for?

    5. This war is about oil. I almost can't stop laughing long enough at this one to respond. Were that true, Daddy Bush would have handled that problem long ago. You see with the battle plan enacted in the Gulf War, the US was in possession of all of the major Iraqi oil fields within about 15 hours of the onset of the ground war. If it were about oil, as many of you charged then, we simply would have kept the oil fields then.

    6. The evidence presented by Powell was poor. Those who make such statements are either unfamiliar with all the evidence presented, or are mouthpieces for other propaganda organizations. The truth is he presented satallite photography, signals intercepts, and information from confidential sources that proved his point. If you cannot accept this, then you do not understand intelligence gathering, and you do not understand photo interpretation.

    Other arguments, such as the Bush family heritage, are spurious, and detract from the real, and more important decisions we face. Every family in the US has a familial skeleton somewhere, whether it is know or not. In my mind, President George W. Bush has proven himself to be a man of his word, of honor and integrity. He is a leader.

    Some of you may remember, some months ago, I posted my reservations about the rush to war before letting the inspectors do their work. Well, they have done their work to the best of their ability, and have admitted that Iraq continues to obfuscate and not live up to the terms of the surrender or the terms of Resolution 1441. Frankly, the time for debate is over in my mind. Let me assure you, I am not saying you should desist in your efforts to detract, or to halt current events. This is after all, the United States, and you are free to do so. I would never try to silence your voice. But, the case has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The Iraqi government stands in material breech of the terms of surrender and the terms of Resolution 1441, to both of which they agreed. The time to remove this government is at hand.

    As I also said, my best friend in the world is currently in a part of the world I would wish him out of. He stands in harms way. If I could, I would go. Not for love of war or glory, but because I would stand with him. I'd go as a CRNA, or as a CI agent, or even as an infantryman, would the Army allow me back. Why would I go back, in any capacity? Because I believe in the rightness of our cause, because I believe that the appeasment of Hitler taught us all a valuable lesson. Unfortunately, owning to knees of glass, I cannot go. So, I dedicate the words of a song written by Toby Keith to Bob, and all his comrades in arms (and no, I don't expect that many of you who have never been in the military will understand this):

    "Justice is the one thing you should always find,
    you've got to saddle up your boys,
    you've got to draw a hard line.
    When the gunsmoke settles
    we'll sing a victory tune,
    and we'll all meet back at the local saloon.
    We'll raise up our glasses against evil forces,
    singing whiskey for my men,
    beer for my horses."

    First round is on me.

    Kevin McHugh, CRNA
    SFC, US Army (ret)
  2. 238 Comments

  3. by   memphispanda
    I don't know what else to say except
    1. Thanks for taking time to spell out what many are feeling but aren't able to put in words as well.
    2. Thanks for serving your country.

    God bless our soldiers and our country.
  4. by   Mimi Wheeze

    You said it well.
  5. by   Q.
    Excellent posts. A few things I'd like to add with regard to the "it's all about oil" argument.

    I've heard the same argument as well, that Bush is interested in Iraq soley because of the 11% (or was it even less than that?) of the world's oil that they have, so that he can continue to be rich and make his oil friends rich. Frankly, I'd like to someone to address just how they suppose Bush would get "rich" if he suddenly has massive amounts of oil? Stated in other words: if there is suddenly a surplus of oil? Economics usually dictate that when there is a surplus of something, cost goes down, therefore Bush and "his friends" would surely take a financial hit. Does anyone care to comment on this?

    Secondly. I understand the questioning of our government and it's leaders; it's as American as apple pie to do so. But I would hope that all Americans question our government honestly and while informed. To balk because France and Germany are slow to sign on really, in my opinion, doesn't carry that much weight. France and Germany may have their own "evil" agendas that are taking them down that path. For one, isn't France owed billions from Iraq? So, if Iraq goes "bye-bye," so does France's repayment.

    I'm convinced of Powell's evidence. And like I stated before in another thread: yes, documents can be faked. Yes, photos can be doctored and yes audio can be voiced-over. But a few things to remember is that some of the intel presented was in fact, taken from the Iraqi's themselves. So if you don't believe the United States, well then heck, just ask Iraq! And finally, if it really comes down to he-said-she-said, as what it seems to be with some people, then you have to look at who you trust. And yes, without a doubt, I trust Powell over Saddam any day. I don't care about any family skeletons Powell has. I don't care if he lied on an application. I don't care if he played hard-ball politically one day. He hasn't oppressed or murdered his own people in an effort to gain dictatorship. Yep, he's got my vote over Saddam.

    Again, great post Kevin.
  6. by   cindyln
    Can I hear an AMEN!! You are so right!!
  7. by   fab4fan
    This makes me think of the song, "Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition" for some reason.
  8. by   kmchugh
    Well, Fab4fan, it made you think, anyway. Care to respond to any of the points I made? No flame, but your response was kind of what I expected. You can't argue the factual basis of what I said, so a flip, offhanded, insult is tossed to try to humiliate me. Rest assured, it didn't work. Rather than humiliated, I am somewhat embarassed for you that that was the best you could do.

    Kevin McHugh

    Edited to add what I really thought.
    Last edit by kmchugh on Feb 8, '03
  9. by   LasVegasRN
    Originally posted by fab4fan
    This makes me think of the song, "Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition" for some reason.
    I was sitting here thinking the same thing!

    Kevin, for what it's worth, I hope you are right.

    Edited to say: I don't think it was intended as an insult.
  10. by   RNonsense
    Well written Kevin...
    For what it's worth, I agree on all points. No, I do not want a war. Yes, SH is a nutbar and must be stopped. Didn't Bush state any oil reserves would be held in trust by the UN, should a takeover occur?
    Anyway, I pray for peace.
  11. by   Q.
    I too don't want a war. War is scary. This particular war is even scarier, due to the weapons involved, meant for civilians. But all the more reason I want S. H. disarmed.
  12. by   fergus51
    Kevin, I think most of your post was well thought out and well said.

    Except (c'mon, you knew it was coming ) the Bill Clinton thing. The Republicans seem to blame Clinton and Gore for EVERYTHING. His responsibility in this war is no more that Bush Sr, or Reagan for that matter (cause the liberal press has sure been talking about their actions involving SH lately and it is equally pointless). The left says it's Bush and Regan's fault for supporting SH for years and then leaving him in power after the gulf war, the right says it's Clinton's fault for weakening the military. It makes the issue a Democrat-Republican one when it really shouldn't because that detracts from the real question of "what do we do about it now?".
  13. by   Q.
    I'm not sure that Kevin meant to imply that by the Clinton's not giving a damn about our military that they somehow are responsible for this war. I think he meant it as a separate point.

    The only one responsible for this war is Saddam Hussein himself by failing to disarm under UN Resolutions.
  14. by   fab4fan
    So glad you could read my mind Kev., and know what I was thinking when I wrote that.

    I am very concerned about what is going on. The reason I don't get into the fray of debates here is that nothing will change your mind, or that of anyone else. It's like that old show "Point/Counterpoint."

    I think it's ill advised to send troops to Iraq just as it is going to become incredibly hot and they will have the added burden of wearing protective gear in case of bio. devices. That's just one of my worries.

    Anyway, I just said that as an overall comment, not particularly pointed at anyone in particular; the fact that you took it so personally makes me wonder.

    "War...good God...what is it good for? Absolutely nothin' "-Edwin Starr