Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Who said that?? "Because things get difficult, you don't cut and run!" - The answer!

In response to criticism regarding our presence in Somalia, after the Battle of Mogadishu and the Black Hawk down tragedy, in October, 1993, former President Bill Clinton quoted Colin Powell, saying:

"Because things get difficult, you don't cut and run!"

Most people automatically assume only a Republican would be capable of making such a statement but, surprisingly, a Democrat repeated that same statement to congress, with great earnestness and conviction. Interesting how times have changed, since those days. And, actually, at the time, it was mostly the Republican leadership demanding: what are we sacrificing our young soldiers in Somalia for? (Now it's the Democrats asking the same question about our troops in Iraq.) Unfortunately, under pressure, Clinton capitulated (for political reasons, undoubtedly), promising the American people that the troops would be withdrawn by March 31, 1994. It wasn't until one year later (March 1995) that all U.S. personnel finally bailed out, but our withdrawal from Somalia was what ultimately prompted Osama Bin Laden to proclaim, 4 years later, "... that the Americans are a paper tiger", and to boast that the U.S. could easily be defeated because we were unwilling to suffer casualties. Saddam Hussein had also predicted (prior to the 1st Gulf war), that Americans would be unable to tolerate"10,000 dead in one battle". And Saddam's prescient comment has indeed proven true. Once again.

The American people have absolutely no patience, for anything, and our leaders take their political cue from the demands of the people. In spite of our power and might, over time, our overly-civilized battle demeanor and reluctance to 'stay the course' has only served to embolden our enemies. It's our one fatal flaw: the inability to stomach prolonged warfare and the casualties that are an inevitable result of battle. Bin Laden, in a 1997 interview with CNN, claimed that the mujahideen's defeat of the Soviets, in occupied Afghanistan, proved to him that a few could triumph over the many. It was this victory over the soviet invaders that led to the following epiphany: "the myth of the superpower was destroyed not only in my mind but also in the minds of all Muslims". In 1996, assessing our battle-steadfastness, or lack, thereof, he said "The Russian soldier is more courageous and patient than the U.S. soldier....Our battle with the United States is easy compared with the battles in which we engaged in Afghanistan." And yes, the battle might be easier, but through no fault of our courageous soldiers. They have been forced to fight a p.c. war, through the scope of public opinion, with a barbaric enemy that has no comprehension of human decency. Yes "war is hell" but sometimes necessary, and in a civilized world, people usually abide by certain rules of engagement and the various Geneva Conventions. Not so with this enemy. While we fight with our hands tied behind our backs by certain Laws of War, the insurgents continue to flagrantly violate them all.

And so, 10 plus years later, Bin Laden and the Islamist extremists have us pegged. They realize that all they have to do is keep up the offensive, by hammering away at our defenses and our will to fight. They know full well that by gradually increasing the body count, the American people (and hence our politicians), will tire of it all and start demanding withdrawal. In which case they have won. And then what?

So, no matter who originally said: "Because things get difficult, you don't cut and run!", or who will say it again, some day; regardless of their political affiliation, it is an extremely valid statement! One that needs to be considered carefully, because withdrawal is just not a viable option.

(Thanks to BCF and B.B. for setting me straight.)


Blazing Cat Fur said...

As with Vietnam this war may well be lost on the homefront. In Canada we have the silly left demanding that our soldiers be withdrawn from Afghanistan - ridding that nation of the Taliban does not seem to register as a "just cause" with these leftist quislings. It doesn't help that most of our European partners will not allow the troops they have on the ground to fight, so sad.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Blazing Cat Fur said...

Ya Ya bitte but what the heck u talkin bout Willis???

Papa J said...

You know, I did think of googling the answer; however, it just felt like cheating.

I have a comment and an observation or two. When we went into both world wars, it was understood by most of America that we had a moral obligation to be there. Most Americans would deny that with this war.

Two big mistakes we made:

1. We didn't immediately impose a maritial LAW upon entering the country and so there was no law. While we celebrated the toppling of the statue of Saddam...we shouldn't have let the Iraqis do that. We should have shot vandals and looters on site in the first couple of days. The law would have been established early and wouldn't have been five years of catch up.

2. All of our soldiers should learn arabic. Even now it should be mandatory. I lived for two years in Italy. I learned the language quickly and therefore I quickly loved the country and the people. Our military has no vested interest in Iraq. They see it as a job they can clock out of. If they spoke the language and could communicate first hand with the citizens there would be a much deeper sense of obligation. Not to mention the Iraqis would hear our input and commitment directly from us not through a translator. Using a translator by definition adds distance from the people.

We shouldn't cut and run, and we can certainly do much more on the most fundamental levels to make our military function as 100,000 embassadors on the ground.

Dave Gorman said...

Hey Incog...I have a blogger question that I wanted to ask you about META tags, since I see the content of your blog is indexed by google. Can you email me?

Incognito said...

They say that had there been more support on the homefront for the Vietnam War, we could have won. Who knows.

And it is sad, BCF, because people don't realize how quickly the middle east will be radicalized, as soon as we pull all foreign troops out of that region. And from there, it will easilu spread out.

As for our german friend. I dare say he is a spammer, but I decided to leave it on for a while, because he had the tenacity to actually go through the whole word verification process. I wouldn't recommend anyone clicking on any of the links, however.

I thought the WV process would deter spam. Guess not.

Incognito said...

BCF? Did you cheat? :-)
Google is really amazing. Next quote, if I have one, I will have people promise not to google, scout's honor.

Unfortunately, people, misguidedly, believe that we have no moral obligation to be in Iraq. I beg to differ. I have argued this point in previous posts, but do we just stand by and watch a bully beat the daylights out of someone and do nothing because it's none of our business? I don't think that way. I realize people need to stand up for themselves, but what if they can't? It's my moral duty to help those who need to be helped. Even at the risk of my own life.

And I would agree... we should have imposed some kind of martial law, but I think we were afraid of being viewed as invaders rather than benevolent liberators. So we have been tiptoing around rather than getting to the task at hand.
We made some major mistakes, including underestimating the tribal mentality and the tenacity of the insurgents. their jihad against democracy.

And I agree, as well, about the language issue. But logistically that would be difficult. I think they do pick up some phrases here and there, and for the most part, many do act as ambassadors. we never see that part in the media. I have a friend who was there and he had some lovely stories to tell. But I do agree, that there needs to be more diplomacy taught to our soldiers.

Incognito said...

Dave, Meta what? my content is indexed by google? Pray tell what do you mean?

And I *could* email you, but it depends on why? You trying to out me? ;-)

Blazing Cat Fur said...

We do have a moral obligation to be there. It was a sad day when Canada failed to join the Iraq coalition. However we have made up for it somewhat by taking our part in Afghanistan. We are 5 english speaking peoples, US, England, Australia, Canada and NZ. Europe is going to get very messy before this is sorted out. The tyranny we face today is no different than WW II - fascism is fascism.

What me google? ;)

peddlinshutterbug said...

HAHA! Following is the German to English translation of our idiot anonymous friend UBERguber! any idiot with cut and past skills and google translate site access will see: Just thought you'd all be interested in case you thought you were missing any intellect.. here it is:

"With you have the possibility of ordering in completely comfortable kind fuel oil and liquid gas for your power requirement and at any time of experiencing the newest from the mineral oil market Fuel oil, liquid gas and bio Diesels buy and price comparison with With you have the possibility of ordering in completely comfortable kind fuel oil and liquid gas for your power requirement and at any time of experiencing the newest from the mineral oil market. Price comparisons for fuel oil offers Germany find you out completely with The interesting fuel auctions and the possibility for mineral oil large orders round the fuel oil offer off. You find fuel oil for consumers here everything that you need: current information from the fuel oil market, background knowledge of specialists and up to date fuel oil prices. Now again: exchange yourselves with Gleichgesinnten in the fuel oil forum over questions and experiences approximately around fuel oil. Our Shop offers to you besides many articles approximately around the topic fuel oil at convincing prices:'

Incognito said...

Canada, and most of the rest of the world, BCF. Sadly. I think this lack of global solidarity just proved to Saddam and the Islamist extremists that they would prevail. Saddam got his butt kicked, but the Islamists certainly have been doing well.
Gaelic is a dead language, so you forgot the Irish. Tsk, tsk, and you 1/2 Irish.. ;-) I lived there for many years as a child. Lovely country!

Yes, Europe is going to get very messy, that's why i want to visit a few more places before it does. Soon.

And I actually think the tyranny we face today is even worse. The German fighters wanted to survive. The Islamic extremists embrace death. That's the fundamental difference. They have nothing to lose, in their twisted minds.

Incognito said...

Thanks Peddlin for the translation service.:-) I just figured it was spam so couldn't be bothered to check it out.
Oil... hmmm.

Lambent said...

Shot vandals andlooters, Papa J? The death sentence for vandalising and looting? WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!? That would have really ingratiated yourselves into Iraqi hearts! Would you shoot pick-pockets too? That is the funniest thing I've heard in ages. I'm going to email this one around a bit.

Teach them Arabic? Look up the average SAT scores of the average American GI - good luck in class!

This is true entertainment!

Papa J said...


Overthrowing a government is not like controlling a riot in Watts, you are reestablishing the rule of law. If the populace won't respond to entreaties to obey that law en masse how would you propose correcting it? (Mind you I am not talking now, I am talking about when we moved in to Iraq and allowed those conditions to persist.)

As for the average SAT score of the American GI I believe you are sounding a lot like John Kerry

Yes, I do believe that with immersion training... (for the first three months in Iraq your squad must speak arabic and nothing else when they are in casual conversation)...with immersion training it could easily be done.

moma said...

anyway, and ABOVE ALL, that quote is just true! of course, when it's necessary, and worth it.

this "next blog" thing is great!

hello everyone!

lambent said...

Papa J, please. Look at what you wrote previously. If people don't respond to an occupying force's requests, you can't just start shooting them. It's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Really it is.

And you've changed your tone.

"We should have shot vandals and looters on sight in the first couple of days." Didn't you just say they didn't respond to your entreaties? You would should them "in the first couple of days." That's great. Really, you fucking imbecile. Listen to yourself. You are either A: A fascist; B: A Nazi or C: Just plain stupid. I would go with C.

Comments like you made are what so much of the problem is. Go in and shoot them in the first couple of days. What a joke.

Incognito said...

Welcome MOMA. Glad you stopped by. Yes, it is true, of anything. Just like the phrase when the going gets rough... blablabla.

Lambent, I don't mind dissenting comments but please be civil. We are all entitled to our opinions, whether we agree with others or not, and there's no need to be mean-spirited about it. There needed to be a much more forceful approach at the beginning, even the people complained about not feeling protected.

And I would think you, of all people Lambent, would agree with the importance of understanding your host country's culture, which includes a working knowledge of the language. I have many friends who have joined our military, who have university degrees. They're not all high school drop outs. And other than a few bad apples, which you get in any sector of life, they are a hard working, courageous bunch of guys and gals who have committed to protecting the freedoms that even you enjoy.

Dave Gorman said... turns out that blogger blogs now automatically set things up so that the content is indexed by search engines. I think. I don't really know for sure. Your blog is indexed though.

Out you? Why bother...I already know you're Cate Blanchett.

Incognito said...

Dang, how did you know, Dave?? it's actually Winslett.. :-)

So does this mean you still want me to email you, or did you answer your own question? I'm still not sure what you were asking... but...

Dave Gorman said...

I think I figured it out...but even if I didn't I don't think you're the person to help

And I'm surprised to hear that you're Kate Winslet. I figured you were older than 35, because now you have enough of a brain to be a the great Winston Churchill once said. I guess you bloomed early.

Either way, I loved you in
"The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind".

Lambent said...

Erm...yes, you should have been more forceful. You weren't supposed to be invading though, you were supposed to be freeing. There's being forceful and there's shooting looters on sight - come on, they are civilian criminals, not terrorists and if you agree with Papa J on this one I can only hope that there aren't too many of you out there who think that civilian law-breakers should be shot on sight. It's behaviour like that that gets you riled up against China.

My host countries culture? I was born and bred here. It would be nice if occupying forces could speak the local language, but 2 years chilling in Italy ain't quite the same as a six month tour of Baghdad, is it? Let's get practical here. Shooting criminals and learning the language are probably not the way to go about sorting this situation out.

Incognito said...

You're probably right, Dave. What do you mean by indexed? :-)

And, oops.. I meant Hepburn? Or is she dead? Cate, Kate... something..
Did you really like "Eternal Sunshine..."?

Winston actually didn't say that, but most people think he did, so he might as well have.

Incognito said...

Lambent.. You can't take things literally. Of course one doesn't shoot civilian criminals, unless one is being shot at. But it was also a war, and in times like that you often have no way of gauging who are the common criminals and the insurgents. Remember, the insurgents are very clever.
And there's a difference between shooting a criminal or insurgent and a poor Tibetan pilgrim trying to make it to another country.

I hope you realize that I have absolutely no ill will towards the people of China, just their repressive government.I'm sure most of them would prefer a more democratic rule.

So you were born and bred in Hong Kong, but from what you have led me to believe you are a Brit. So you are an expat living in a foreign country. Many expats don't bother learning the language of the country they live in. They hang out with other expats and don't bother integrating. I think that's unfortunate. So good for you that you have.

Whenever we travel or live abroad we should make the effort to learn the local language. Even if it's a few words. We represent our country and with a little diplomacy and interest in others we can win over those who might otherwise hate us. A little kindness and sincerity goes a long way. I know I have been able to win people over by showing interest in who they are. During the Bosnian war, the US military did have classes in both language and cultural differences to better prepare the soldiers. I met a Bosnian woman who actually conducted those training sessions.

Papa J said...

I've never been called a facist or a nazi before. You're right I must just be stupid; however, genius, you ignored my question. What would have been the proper response then? What we did was wrong, because we didn't even try to enforce the law initially. Of course I'm not suggesting that we go in shooting any Tom, Dick, or Saddam walking down the street with a TV in hand. If you disagree so vehemently, you should offer a resonable alternative.

Here is some recommended reading on the subject.

The simple question at hand is human life versus valuables. The more complex question at hand is human life versus rule of law.

Dave Gorman said...

Indexed - all of the content of your blog can be found through a google search. That's what I want for my blog.

And I loved "The Eternal Sunshine...", but I couldn't stand "Adaptation".

And I think I know who you are now...the girl that played "Tootie" from "The Facts of Life"?

Incognito said...

Thank you Papa J. Interesting reading!!

So you mean if you googled "Confessions,,blablabla" I'm listed? That's probably cos I have about 90 different posts on my blog. (Yeah.. have lots of time on my hands when not on stage). I think, just like with acting, it's a question of perserverance. The longer you're around and the more you audition the more likely you are to get a job (or googled- in blog terms). Yo ujust have that one post on yours, right? See I did read it. Interesting theory. Am taking note of all the actors around me, btw.

Never saw Adpatation.

Tootie? Ha! Wrong colour.