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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Iraq, and why does the military vote Republican???

Election 2007. The real issues are not whether John Kerry is an anti-military elitist who is an embarrassment to the Democrats and America. Let's go beyond buffoons like Kerry and address the real issues. At the heart of the matter of the War on Terror is the matter of Iraq. (Scroll down to the part where I assert The Military = Republicans who re-enlist! to view some actual truth about today's military in contrast to the mumblings of an elitist kept man.)

Republicans say that Iraq is crucial to winning against terrorists. They have led the fight to free Afghanistan and are doing so in Iraq as well. Here are some of their assertions:

* Afghanistan is free and the Taliban no longer rule

* Iran is technically free and on its way to self-government on a practical scale

* Al Queda has been literally decimated with most of its leadership killed or captured

* No major terrorist attacks have been successfully launched on our soil since 9/11

Democrats counter by claiming that Iraq is simply a "breeding ground for terrorists" and it is a "quagmire." My friends who have actually served there tell me that Saddam drained the quagmires years ago and it is actually a sandbox. In fact, they call it "The Sandbox." Other Democrats claim we went to war on false pretenses and other liberal loony claims that play to the Nancy Pelosi fruitbat base and the Democratic Underground and the Daily Kos. But these are arguments meant to massage the far left lunatic fringe and fool the ignorant. Is there really a good argument to be made by the left??? Let me pose one with an excerpt from a treatise by a sports writer (!) I like to read, Gregg Easterbrook:

Of the many moral questions regarding the Iraq War, the one the American political and media systems are not dealing with in any way, shape or form is the number of Iraqi deaths. A few months ago President Bush said the estimate he has been given by military intelligence is 30,000 Iraqi deaths caused either directly by our military or set in motion by our invasion. American forces have been trying to avoid killing the innocent. But no matter how carefully our armed forces have behaved, why is the American conscience not shocked by so many innocent people killed owing to our unilateral decision to seize another nation? Why did the media shrug when Bush used this shocking figure?

Had some other country or group done something that caused 30,000 deaths here, we would claim an unlimited right of self-defense and retaliation. Yet the death the United States has brought to the innocent of Iraq isn't even being discussed here. Some of the Iraqis who have died because they have been hit by our bombs, or in the sectarian violence our destruction of the Iraqi government set loose, would have died by now regardless; perhaps some of them would have been killed by Saddam Hussein, had he remained in power. But by invading Iraq we made ourselves responsible for what happened next, and what has happened next is killing of the innocent. When 3,000 were villainously slain here, we called it a crime against humanity. Since then we have caused or played a role in the deaths of perhaps 10 times as many in Iraq, and this is spoken of here as if it were some mere unfortunate side effect of policy. History may judge America harshly for acting as though Iraqi lives have no value.

Now I disagree entirely with the premise that Iraqi lives have no value, since our soldiers and construction workers are risking their lives daily to build up the schools and roads and hospitals and power plants, etc, that are important to the lives of those same Iraqi people. It is the terrorists who act as if Iraqi lives have no value because life is of little or no value to them!

It is important to present this point of view, though, because the loss of life in Iraq is the real issue. Is the loss of life for both Iraqis and the Coalition Forces worth the prize to be gained? Is the loss of life incomprehensibly high?

30,000 Iraqis and 2,000 US troops (both figures estimated)being the official casualty count in three and one-half years. During that time:

-3.8 million people were killed in auto accidents world-wide
-over 140,000 of them died in the USA as a result of over 20 million accidents over that time period.
-almost 15,000 people died from auto accidents in the State of California alone.
-more than 7,000 people were murdered in California during that time frame.

Think about never see a headline like, "195 people murdered in California in July, the bloodiest month since June of 2005!" or, "double-figure auto crash deaths in the Golden State for the 47th day in a row!". But you do see lots of death toll headlines coming out of Iraq, don't you? A bit of proportion is needed in thinking about the situation. For sake of perspective, consider that:

D-Day and the Normandy
offensive lasted from June 6th to August 19 in 1944. The estimated death toll? 132,000.

The siege of Leningrad: 850,000 in less than two-and-one-half years.

Iwo Jima: 28,000 in two months

Somme: The WW I battle lasted from July to November of 1916. Over 300,000 soldiers are estimated to have died, including 70,000 on the very first day of battle!

WW II conservatively took an estimated 48 million lives, both military and civilian. 30 million of those 48 million were either Chinese or Russian and better than half of those were civilian casualties. But then if you include the Jews and other "undesirables" who were slaughtered by Hitler during this time frame it jumps to around 55 million. I have seen estimates of over 62 million.

Over 2 million casualties took place in the two years after WW II was officially ended as allies dealt with sectarian struggles and pockets of resistance in Western Europe and the Communists in Eastern Europe and elsewhere did the same, albeit with more violent means. Some casualties also resulted from relocations and displacements in the aftermath of the war.

WW I claimed at least 15 million lives.

The War on Terror is a World War! Islamofascists are a growing problem, not just in the Middle East but also in Europe and Asia. They want to expand to the Americas and rule the world. We balk at the death count in Iraq and yet we don't see the bigger picture. But the military does, at its core, where the soldiers themselves express their opinions.

The Military = Republicans who re-enlist!

Don't miss the significance of the US Military again meeting its recruitment goals. Unlike the world in the mind of John Kerry, the military demands its recruits have a high school diploma and that they pass both an intelligence test and a physical test in order to get in to the service. There are plenty of people who try but are not qualified to enter in to the military.

One of my sons, who is interested in perhaps becoming a detective or working in the FBI someday, joined the Army Military Police. He had to take many months of training to be prepared for the jobs he would be given. He is now qualified to be a Customs agent and has had combat training and experience in addition to handling police patrol duties. He is now the desk sergeant at his current base, taking calls and handing out assignments to the patrol officers. Rob is a sharp guy both mentally and physically.

My other son was begged by military recruiters to join. The Navy offered him a four year scholarship to Notre Dame and an officer's rank to start if he would go into the Nuclear Engineer's program. But Dave wants to be a teacher and has been attending college stateside. So, amongst my sons the military batted .500!

I'm proud of both of my sons and both of them are excellent students and physically active. They are typical of the kinds of people who are recruited by the military and of those that join. Today's US Military is almost entirely full of exemplary and top-notch people. I have two friends serving in Iraq right now, one of whom is an officer who is in the engineering field when he is not active in the military and the other is a Police Officer locally. I have a few friends who have been overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan and are now stateside. They are all now still serving in the military and all but one of them are also taking college classes while they are stateside. John Kerry truly is an idiot! Some of the best and brightest of us all are deciding to serve...

Don't miss the fact that the military votes Republican. Yes, the people whose butts are on the line in Iraq because of the policies of the Bush administration support the Bush administration!!! I have to say that putting your vote on the side of the guys who want you to carry a rifle into battle is truly putting your money where your mouth is...the troops believe in the Iraq situation, they believe it is part of the War on Terror and they believe that they are fighting for and protecting their country. Here is a definitive comment on the subject:

This is why the military is made up mostly Republicans and Independents. The only thing Dems will fight for is their corner of the street to protest the war in Iraq.

Bush: 73%
Kerry: 18%

Republicans: 59%
Independents: 20%
Democrat: 13%

(According to the Army Times, Air Force Times, Marine Corps Times, Navy Times poll in USA Today)

Soldiers voted for Bush over Kerry 4-1

Soldiers die in war. What a shock. My husband is active duty and served a year in Iraq. He re-enlisted in Baghdad. He's not the only one:


Army: 104%
Navy: 100%
Marine Corps: 107%
Air Force: 100%

(Oct. 1, 2005 to August 31, 2006)


Army: 104%
Navy: 100%
Marine Corps: 101%
Air Force: 100%

(Oct. 1, 2005 to August 31, 2006)

David S.C. Chu, undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness, said last week that one of the main reasons recruitement and reenlistments are high is because of "Patriotism. One of the things we read into the survey results of young Americans today is (that) patriotism has risen to a much higher place on the list of reasons why people join the military. In a sense, we are seeing right before our eyes the unfolding of a new 'greatest generation' in the history of our republic."

"Chu said enlistments lag in New England and the upper Midwest and are strong in all other parts of the country."

Aren't those Democratic strongholds, the upper midwest and New England? Hmmm...

Doesn't it say anything to you Democrats that soldiers continue to re-enlist, especially in theater? Maybe the guys on the ground know something that your talking points are missing? Instead of pretending to care about soldiers dying, why not thank God that there are people braver than you who are willing to go abroad and defend America and promote democracy.
Entire post here.

My father-in-law passed away. He was a decorated WW II war hero and received a veteran's funeral. A few of his veteran friends, one of them using a walker, came to pay their respects. They gave him the military salute, played taps, and in a few eyes they displayed tears. The members of the "Greatest Generation" are dying off now, those that didn't die fighting for our freedom in Europe and Asia and Africa years before. These men would be proud of today's military and I suspect that most of them are horrified at the John Kerrys of today. Thank God people like that were willing to give their lives for their country then. Thank God great young people are willing to give their lives for their country now. Don't listen to the elitist blather of the Liberal Leftist Appeasement Monkeys! We need to stay the course in Iraq and take the fight to the enemy rather than wait for them to come here to attack us instead. Vote for candidates that support the President and the War on Terror!!!!


highboy said...

The troop morale isn't what Dems try to claim either. The military has reached its recruitment goals/requirements without so much as a hiccup. Glad to have you back Radar.

xiangtao said...

"30,000 Iraqis and 2,000 US troops (both figures estimated)being the official casualty count in three and one-half years. During that time:

-more than 7,000 people were murdered in California during that time frame."

California also has about 10 million more people than Iraq so 25,000 less violent deaths there is pretty significant.

Also you do realize that when Iraq is referred to as a quagmire, that is not meant as a literal bog, but the fact that we are stuck there with no forseeable way to get out without massive casualties?

scohen said...

I keep hoping for the day when you learn statistics but sadly, that day hasn't arrived yet. Even with the figures you quoted for deaths in Iraq --which seem terribly low, Iraq's murder rate still is 115/100,000 while California's is around 20.6/100,000.

Despite being nearly six times California's that still doesn't even pass the smell test. Let's plug in some other numbers:

Lancet study: 655,000 2512/100,000
half that: 375,000 1438/100,000
This poll 100,000 383/100,000
From here, max: 192/100,000
From here, min: 173/100,000

And The murder capitol of the US, Washington, DC's murder rate is:

40/100,000. (it's actually not the highest when normalized, but you get my point)

So, according to non-pentagon sources, Iraq at best has a rate of death at least ten times that of California. It's hardly safe, and surely has to be one of the more dangerous places on earth right now.

Please, for the love of all things great and small, do us all a favor and take a stats class --this way, you can actually use numbers to support your argument rather than posting them and making yourself look foolish. I could turn your entire argument around and show you how Saddam's regime is probably safer for the average Iraqi than driving is, but that wouldn't be a fair argument, would it?

I'm sure we can all agree on that.

See you at the polls on Tuesday.

xiangtao said...

After this weekend I have some new comments to add to this post:

Enlistment remains high at least partly due to enlistment bonuses to the tune of $40,000 dollars. Re-enlistment bonuses are significantly higher than this.

In a discussion with a longtime airforce seargeant, I was told:

"I have always voted republican because when republicans are in power, I get pay raises. When they are not, there are some cuts."

* * *

"Instead of pretending to care about soldiers dying, why not thank God that there are people braver than you who are willing to go abroad and defend America and promote democracy."

Actually, I took the oath of service today and will be heading to basic around Fenruary.

highboy said...

"Actually, I took the oath of service today and will be heading to basic around Fenruary"

Amen! I remember the day I signed the dotted line. The proudest (and scariest) moment of my life! God bless! We'll keep you in prayer, and thank you!

radar said...

I posted comparison statistics to show that California can be a dangerous place, too, not that it is as dangerous as Iraq. But also to illustrate the terribly slanted media coverage, and apparently that goes right over scohen's head. Statistics, you can do so much with them. Scohen, did you take an Ironics class????

Did everyone miss how much bloodier WW I and WW II were than Iraq?

Okay, in other news, Xiangtao you have my respect and thanks and best regards! Thanks for serving your country and being part of the solution!

scohen said...

" I posted comparison statistics to show that California can be a dangerous place, too"

But the statistics show that you're mistaken. Ammortizing over the three years, that makes CA have a rate of around 7/100,000 per year, which is isn't great, but it's about average for the US and it's hardly dangerous.

Your commentary only illustrates your lack of sophistication regarding statistics, the media seems to understand that Iraq is extremely dangerous, while California is not. No "Ironics" required.

radar said...

"Your commentary only illustrates your lack of sophistication regarding statistics, the media seems to understand that Iraq is extremely dangerous, while California is not. No "Ironics" required."

No, my commentary serves to illustrate that the news media spins the news to serve their agenda. I illustrated how I could "spin" statistics to make California look pretty darned dangerous and yet, relatively, it is much like the other states and we normally don't consider ourselves to be in grave danger...normally.

However, if it is three times as dangerous in Iraq that pales in comparison with news reports that make it sound like it is 300 times as dangerous in Iraq. The point is that the news media have distorted the news to make the situation look bleak. I stand by my statements.

scohen said...

"if it is three times as dangerous in Iraq that pales in comparison with news reports that make it sound like it is 300 times as dangerous..."

You really should take another look at the number above. Even the lowest estimates showed Iraq was almost seven times more dangerous, not three, which is terribly significant. The worst estimates show that Iraq is over 125 (2512/20) times as dangerous as California --is that good enough? Seems to be in line with what you claim the media is doing.

The only reason your argument is convincing to you is that you haven't taken a stats class. Please pick up any of these and have at it. Imagine the power in your arguments when you can use the numbers to back you up rather than blindly posting them and having some random geek tear you to shreds.

"I stand by my statements."

Then at best you look silly. At worst it's either willful ignorance or stubbornness.