greg (grysar) wrote,

More commentary and a bit of praise.

In a lot of ways this hasn't been the best day for the U.S. war effort, so I want to say this now rather than wait.

While I completely agree with what Senator Daschle said when he criticized the admin on diplomacy before the start of the war, I will give President Bush his due. There's also something to be said for supporting the troops and to a certain degree the admin while fighting goes on, but that's a complex issue I'm not looking to address at the moment. What I'm saying bellowing isn't a sample of that, it's simply what it seems on the face of it, genuine praise.

Looking strictly at the military aspects of the liberation of Iraq, this is how a just war should be aged. I have no critiques or complaints in terms of the military choices the President has made. There is a reason that U.S. and British troops are dying and being captured today, that reason is the extraordinarily low level of Iraqi civilian casualties. It may have gone up recently, but last time I checked, Iraq itself was claiming only three dead and hundreds wounded. They have no reason to understate those numbers, so while I don't necessarily believe them, I do find them credible.

By making heavy and early use of ground troops we have gained far greater capacity for distinguishing between civilians, soldiers who don't want to fight, and Saddam's loyalists. As to today sadly showed, we are erring on the side of mercy at times at the cost of our own troops.

Protestors have made a great of complaining about the 'Shock and Awe' campaign. All right, sure it's traumatizing, but as already mentioned the civilian casualties have been minimal. To quote Sherman, "War is Hell" to give context to that quote, Sherman inflicted a great deal of property damage under the idea that war is such a terrible thing that while war crimes must not be allowed, to a certain degree holding back will likely prolong the war which will have a greater human cost. This is a difficult balance to strike, and Shock and Awe has certainly done far less damage than Sherman, and I think it has the balance right.

This war is being waged in a more ethical manner than any war that I am aware of in U.S. history. This is in large part a function of the technology we have available to us, and I am just speaking of the military aspects, not the vastly more dubious diplomatic efforts or preemptive philosophy. I believe President Bush deserves praise in this respect and I'll give it to him. Now some may say that this is just a concession to foreign opposition and antiwar demonstrators. But the thing is, President Bush has chosen time and again that he doesn't give a damn about foreign opposition and antiwar demonstrators.

Also, final note, embedded journalist, great idea done well. Even better 'cause it seemed totally contradictory to the past Bush policy on this sort of thing.

Hopefully we'll continue our efforts in such a vein and the occupation will be handled with similar skill, morality, and devotion.
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