We should listen to rational experienced voices

In 2002, Jim Webb penned an op-ed in The Washington Post cautioning the US about going into Iraq. Who is Jim Webb? He is a former Marine, Secretary of the Navy and US Senator from Virginia. He has a law degree from Georgetown and has been a member of both political parties serving under multiple Presidents.

Two paragraphs from his pre-invasion op-ed piece are telling:

“The first reality is that wars often have unintended consequences — ask the Germans, who in World War I were convinced that they would defeat the French in exactly 42 days. The second is that a long-term occupation of Iraq would beyond doubt require an adjustment of force levels elsewhere, and could eventually diminish American influence in other parts of the world….

Other than the flippant criticisms of our ‘failure’ to take Baghdad during the Persian Gulf War, one sees little discussion of an occupation of Iraq, but it is the key element of the current debate. The issue before us is not simply whether the United States should end the regime of Saddam Hussein, but whether we as a nation are prepared to physically occupy territory in the Middle East for the next 30 to 50 years.”

It should be noted we have been in Iraq for  over fifteen years. Maybe, the chest beaters should listen to those who have fought and have experience rather than people who understand less what fighting and occupying a country mean.This was a crossroad moment in our history and we have not been the same since. Many thousands of American and allied troops died, even more Iraqi troops and civilians died, our reputation has suffered and our debt is much higher. Plus, he was right on the money about American influence being impacted around the globe. Lying to allies and others about weapons of mass destruction has that kind of effect, not to mention misunderstanding the landscape.

Right now, almost 200 former military and intelligence officers have penned letters being critical of the US President’s decision to withdraw security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. This follows earlier criticism of the same President on his siding with Russia over his intelligence officials or not heeding the advice of his more experienced folks.

Call me crazy, but maybe we should listen to the more rational and experienced voices? They may be telling us something we need to hear. We owe it to Amercans fighting for our county to take the time to get it right.

13 thoughts on “We should listen to rational experienced voices

  1. Very wise words from both Webb and yourself. The trouble, of course, being that the power of the office of presidency goes to the heads of those who occupy the office … not always, but in the current case it is true. And even in GW’s case, I think to an extent he felt that the invasion of Iraq and toppling of Saddam would make him look ‘tough’, although I do think Bush had a conscience far beyond that seen in the Oval Office today. Listen to wiser, more experienced people? Excellent advice, but it will not be heeded, for Trump seems to actually believe he is omniscient and knows better than any. For those who would disagree with him, it’s “my way or the highway”. I fear the mess he is making and wonder how many decades it will take to restore our reputation with other nations.

    • Jill, the sad part is he follows his gut, which has been shown to be more effective for sales, than execution or management. Plus, a key part of being a narcissist is to echo back criticisms onto others. You may have noticed the McCarthyism accusation of Mueller is an echo back on Trump’s list of people being acquainted with McCarthyism. The same holds true of Nixon and his enemies list, which he is now saying McCahn is a “rat” like John Dean. Dean is remembered as having a conscious. The rat reference is akin to a mafia family, which is what many have described his leadership style as.

      To me, Trump’s reactions are predictable, as he has done this all of his life. By the way, what has happened to ol’ Rudy? He truly is acting the fool. M question is if Trump now says he did not say that to Comey, why is mentioning it now and not making a greater deal then?

      Again, this will get far worse as Mueller gets closer to the throne. Keith

      • His gut is so full of gas from all the Big Macs that it is no wonder, if he’s listening to his gut, that his decisions are about as healthy for this nation as fast food.

        To me, the more he protests, the more guilty he looks. The more he tries to divert attention from the accusations of obstruction and worse, the more the alarm bells and red flags are set off in my head. There is a line from Hamlet that is mostly misquoted as “Methinks thou doth protest too much”. That clearly defines Trump and his antics. His mind never grew along with his body, and he fails to see that he is proclaiming his guilt every time he opens his yap.

        Yes, there is no doubt that it will escalate, and I think we have to largely ignore the B.S. and focus on the facts. Hard to do sometimes.

      • Jill, methinks he does, too. It will only get worse. I don’t know why people aren’t recognizing that Mueller is keeping his mouth shut. The leaks have not come from his team. Trump is the one babbling on and on contradicting himself. Although, this is most definitely not a witch hunt, Trump would do well to watch out for falling houses. Keith

      • I just read a bit ago that Trump claims he would have the right to head up the investigation if he so chose. B.S.! If he had that right, then it wouldn’t be an investigation at all! Oh how I do hope a falling house lands smack atop his head!!!

      • Jill, a question for Rudy would be since Trump changes his stories so often, does he know his own truth? The follow-up comment is, of course, he will perjure himself as he has does not know all the versions he has espoused. “When you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember as much,” said a friend probably quoting a more famous person. Keith

  2. Dear Keith,

    The president needs to listen but he has shown over and over again, that he is incapable of this sort of discipline even when his actions harms himself.

    It seems that the White House didn’t listen to Don McGahn regarding whether any privileges should have been exerted to prevent Mr. McGahn from giving 30 hours of testimony to the FBI. Mr. McGahn’s advice was overruled. It seems some key folks in the WH did not get that Mr. McGahn was not necessarily bound by the client-attorney privilege because he is not the president’s personal attorney but rather he represents the office of the presidency. There is a difference.

    President Trump did this to himself.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, it is definitely not the first time that Donald Trump did not listen and followed his gut. You might want to check out John Oliver’s “Last week tonight,” on 8/19. He discusses at length Trump’s lack of understanding of trade and tariffs, supposedly his sweet spot. Other leaders notice. What is also surprising is how unsupported Peter Navarro’s positions are supported by real economists. Navarro cited two, but one said he had a problem with his zero-sum game approach and the other said he is not an economist. This is Trump’s expert on China and trade.

      Keith

  3. Note to Readers: I wrote about Jim Webb today after seeing “Darkest Hour” about Winston Churchill’s difficult decision at the time of Dunkirk’s evacuation. He was very close to being convinced to seek a peace agreement with Hitler and Mussolini. Fortunately, he was able to evacuate the troops with his civilian boat navy and gained the courageous support of the King. Had he succumbed, we may be all speaking German now. That is why we must evaluate and make tough decisions by people who know what war is all about. In this case, he said we must fight and the British people stood behind him.

    Crossroads moments are of great importance. We invaded Iraq for the wrong reasons without thinking of what we would do once we broke the country.

    • Hugh, it has been a slow burn before Trump, but fueled further by him, to make people doubt experience and expertise. My hypothesis is we can link this to the fossil fuel industry to sow seeds of doubt on climate change discrediting scientists and their heavy influence of the GOP and Fox. Now, Trump has revved up the deep state BS being against him. I think it is competent people questioning less competent people. Keith

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