Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Sunday | August 25, 2002

DeLay grasping at straws

Tom DeLay made an impassioned defense of war mongering on Fox News Sunday. Following on the heels of Wednesday performance, when he called war critics "appeasers", DeLay now thinks Bush has some kind of "spider sense":

I hope Americans all over the country will start speaking out. The president instinctively knows what needs to be done here.
Setting aside DeLay's faith in the president's instincts -- instincts that have brought us economic malaise, deficits, and the collapse of confidence in corporate America, DeLay is completely off the mark.
  1. I feel very comfortable about going in because if you look at the Gulf War as an example, tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers immediately surrendered.

    Iraqi troops did engage in mass surrender in the Gulf War. However, they had no interest in giving their lives in order to defend their invasion of Kuwait. They were never called upon to defend their country, Iraq, from foreign invaders.

    Thus, there is no guarantee Iraqi troops will engage in mass surrenders a second time around. Indeed, their morale should be boosted by the fact their new tactics will even the playing field a great deal. (See this old post for an examination of Saddam's new urban guerilla tactics. And this one.) We can certainly assume that Saddam won't leave his troops in the desert, exposed to US airpower, any more.

  2. They don't want to lose their lives in support of this evil man. I have every expectation that you'll see a huge surrenders of troops, including his most elite troops, as soon as we start moving.

    Iraqi soldiers wouldn't be defending the "evil man" Saddam, they would be defending their nation. That could make all the difference.

    If US strategy is predicated on the mass surrender of Iraqi troops, no wonder the Pentagon is worried. The US so outclassed the Iraqis in the dessert, that they had no choice but to surrender. US airpower, artillery and armor will be next-to-useless in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. This will be an infantry war, and the AK-47 matches up nicely to an M-16.

  3. But the point is that I believe in President Bush's leadership. I believe that he knows how to go in there and get Saddam Hussein and I'm going to support him in that and I'm going to help the House of Representatives understand that.

    Funny how the Chickenhawks have all the faith in Bush's leadership, while the veterans and current military leadership do not. And in the international arena, the US stands alone in its stated goal of "regime change".

  4. The question is not whether to go to war, for war already has been thrust upon us.

    Iraq has done nothing to instigate Bush's insistence on war. It has not posed a credible threat to its neighbors in over a decade, has not threatened the use of any WMD it may have, and has not gassed anyone for over two decades (and when it did, it was with US acquiescence).

    The no-fly zone has effectively contained Saddam -- protecting minority groups in the northern and southern parts of the country. Any notion of protecting Iraq's neighbors is silly, considering that none of Saddam's neighbors feel particularly threatened. In short, NOTHING has changed in the past year that would indicate that "war has been thrust upon us".

    That is, nothing except the 2000 selection of Dubyah.

  5. Every generation must summon the courage to disregard the timid counsel of those who would mortgage our security to the false promises of wishful thinking and appeasement.

    When all else fails, summon the ghosts of Nazi Germany. Only difference, Axis armies were marching across Europe and Africa while Western powers stood idly by:

    In 1935, Germany takes French-occupied Rhineland. There was no international outcry.

    In 1936, Italy invaded Ethiopia. Ethiopia appealed to the League of Nations: "It is us today. It will be you tomorrow". The League of Nations imposed weak sanctions on the Italians but scrapped them soon thereafter.

    In 1938, the Munich Pact was signed, ceding four Sudeten Czech districts to the Germans. The transition was overseen by western powers.

    In March 1939, Hitler violated the Munich Pact by conquering the remaining parts of Czechoslovakia.

    In September 1939, Hitler invaded Poland.

    I would love to see how the Iraqi status quo is anything like the WWII policy of appeasement.

    Posted August 25, 2002 11:12 AM | Comments (2)


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