Friday, March 14, 2008

Jim Webb on NPR Weekend Edition on Saturday Morning

The following is an announcement from Jim Webb's office that he will be on NPR's Weekend Edition on Saturday morning:
On Saturday morning, Senator Webb will join host Scott Simon on NPR's Weekend Edition to discuss the five year anniversary of the war in Iraq. The Senator was an early warning voice against the administration's decision to invade Iraq, and he has repeatedly called for a robust diplomatic strategy in order to reduce the United States' military presence in the region.

Like many people with strong national security backgrounds, Senator Webb believed invading Iraq following 9/11 ran counter to our nation's long-term security interests and the stability of the region. And, as he wrote in the Washington Post in 2002: "Is there an absolutely vital national interest that should lead us from containment to unilateral war and a long-term occupation of Iraq? And would such a war and its aftermath actually increase our ability to win the war against international terrorism?"

Tune in Saturday to hear Senator Webb reflect on the past five years of the United States' occupation of Iraq and how we should move forward


Isophorone said...

How did Saddam's support for terrorism (which killed American citizens) and his WMD program lead to stability? Not to mention his awful human rights record.

Maybe our invasion of Europe in the 1940s ran counter to our nation's long-term security interests and stability in that region also. I am sure you have wanted to end our long-term occupation there as well.

Which leads to the obvious question: Just what are your standards for use of American military power, regardless of the political affiliation of the Commander in Chief?

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Well Iso, we never actually found those weapons and most people, including many who supported the war in Iraq, now conclude that there were none.

Further, Saddam Hussein did support Palestinian terrorists but he had no connection to al Qeda.

I won't say that he was a good guy. He was a tyrant. But he wasn't our worst threat. Even to Israel because he was pretty much contained within Iraq.

I am not a dove. I don't think Jim Webb is a dove. I won't put my words in his mouth. But I have long argued that invading Iraq diverted us from going after Osama bin Laden, who was a much bigger threat to American and world security.

While we were distracted in Iraq, bin Laden was able to slip out of Afghanistan. It's no secret where he is. He is hiding in the wild tribal lands along the Pakistani-Afghani border.

My unhappiness with Bush's foreign policy is that his administration is like the gang that couldn't shoot straight. They aimed at the wrong target so it doesn't matter if they got a bullseye.

I would rather have seen us secure Afghanistan, stabilize it, capture bin Laden, deal with the threat in Iran (diplomatic efforts there might be more effective if we weren't bogged down in Iraq because we'd have more resources and be stronger), and deal with the nuclear threat in North Korea.

We also should have been more engaged in finding a solution to the Palestinian problem that would have secured Israel's safety. The instability in that region is also a far bigger threat to world peace than Iraq. But Bush also took his eye off the target there. Now he's backtracking and it may be too little, too late.

As you can see, I'm not arguing a dove's position from a philosophy of isolationisim. Far from it.

I believe in a strong military and an engaged foreign policy. I just think we made some bad decisions about which aims to pursue.

Isophorone said...

Well, Karen, you are incorrect. We did find small amounts of the chem/bio weapons as well as several tons of weapons grade uranium. We also found chemically-resistant suits that the Iraqi army had in storage. Why would they have these suits if they weren't going to use the chem or bio materials on someone again? Most importantly, Saddam's papers showed that he fully intended to deceive UN inspectors and restart his WMD programs in earnest.

By the way, just because we didn't find a "lot" of material doesn't mean he didn't have it. He may well have shipped the stuff off to another country.

Concerning al-Qaeda, it is clear that Saddam did have communications with various cells of the group. This character al-Zarqawi was in Iraq BEFORE Saddam fell, clearly at the invitation of Saddam's regime. For more information (and links) about the Saddam/al-Qaeda connection, read these:

and a good collection of Stephen Hayes' articles here:

As far as bin Laden is concerned, he "slipped out" of Afghanistan before our invasion of Iraq, I believe. Heck, you leftists were the ones making hay out of it. Just some guilt about letting the guy "slip out" of Sudan in 1996?

Success in Afghanistan has nothing to do with our war in Iraq. In fact, the liberation of Iraq has meant that there is one less terror sponsor to give us trouble in Afghanistan and other places. Bush said up front that this war on terror would take a long time, longer than his time in office. How quickly you forget!

Heck, the terrorists have been at war with us for decades. It's about time we start fighting them back.

By the way, a cynical person would say that if we were bogged down with dealing with North Korea, you leftists would be wondering aloud why we didn't deal with Saddam Hussein and his WMDs!

As far as the Pseudo, er, "Palestinian" problem is concerned, CLinton's approach showed the failure of our involvement. Clinton's most frequent foreign guest in the White House was Yassir Arafat. All Arafat did was negotiate in bad faith, and Clinton himself criticized Arafat for making his policies a failure. Somehow Bush was supposed to deal with and trust the same guy? Bush tried ONCE. Then the Karine-A episode happened (remember that? The arms shiupment that the Israelis intercepted?), and Bush knew that dealing wit Arafat would be futile. I think Cheney said it best when he stated that he wouldn't blame the Israelis if they hanged Arafat.

By the way, don't you remember how Iraq was contributing to the instability in Israel? You know, paying the families of the suicide bombers $25,000 a pop? You think somehow we would have achieved success between Israel and the PLO without taking care of Saddam and his terror sponsors? Clearly, the Iranians have also been involved with running arms to Hamas and its affiliates for a long time, and one day we will ahve to deal with them as well. No Democrat is going to do that right!

I was not saying that you are necessarily being a dove or an isolationist. What I was asking was what are your criteria for our military intervention. You, like most on the political left, avoid answering. I certianly hope it is not "Say no to war unless a Democrat is President" like most of the antiwar movement.

Sorry to be so long-winded, but you raised a lot of points that needed answering.