Libertarian Party Anarchist/AntiWar faction - Gene Berkman, Steve Newton, Mary Ruwart, Tom Knapp, Trent Hill, George Phillies, Todd Andrew Barnette, et.al.
Each of these individuals and organizations are highly respected leaders of the left wing of the overall libertarian movement. For years they have brutalized Bush and Republicans over the Iraq War. They have taken vitriolic jabs at anyone, even among libertarians, who supported the War. Now that the Mission in Iraq has been Accomplished, not a single one of them, has come out and admitted that perhaps they were wrong
Before I respond, let's capture the essence of Eric's complaint:
To this day, the Libertarian Left has been completely silent on the success of the Surge.
Not a single Leftist Libertarian has given any credit to Bush for the ultimate success of the War. A look at the usual suspects shows all without exception, completey silent in regards to Iraq War success.
Actually, Eric, I spoke out extensively on the tactical success of the Surge on June 24, 2008; here's an extenisve excerpt to jog your too-often deficient memory:
The Surge was and is a tactical/operational change in the tempo and focus of American operations in Iraq, intended to be time-limited in terms of resource commitment to achieve a specific end: creating an atmosphere of temporary stability for the US-backed Iraqi government to get its act together.
I do not dispute the tactical insights of General Petraeus, the courage and abilities of my brothers and sisters with boots on the ground, or even the fact that the surge has achieved its short/medium-term goal.
None of which changes the following:
Long-term prospects for stability in Iraq, especially in the fantasy pro-US Iraq that was to be the lynch-pin of a grand strategy to remake the face of the Middle East are no better than they were three years ago because the long-term dynamics of the situation have not changed. Iraq is organized into a weak federal government system that is inherently ill-equipped to maintain internal peace in the cultural dynamic of three major ethnic/religious groups caught within the artificial confines of a common nation-state. The stability prospects of this state are poor regardless of the presence of Al Qaeda or other outside influences.
The effectiveness of the Surge has not in any fashion reduced the influence of Iran in the region. Quite the contrary, the Surge has, by making the Iraqi government look even more like American lapdogs, convinced many moderate politicians throughout the Middle East that some sort of independent counterweight to Western influence. Moreover, the increasingly unilateral nature of Israeli posturing toward Teheran continues to erode both stability and US credibility in the region.
There continues to be absolutely no evidence that "fighting the terrorists over there keeps us from having to fight them at home". The lack of large-scale terrorist action against US territory is attributable not to operations in Iraq, nor even primarily to many of the more ridiculous security measures adopted domestically (taking off my shoes in the airport); the primary deterrent to Islamic terror in the US remains logistical. Men who spend their days sitting in caves pulling fleas out of their blankets, no matter how many laptops or Swiss bank accounts they have, cannot maintain a significant operational tempo against the continental US. They can at best try for long-shot gamble every few years.
The fact that a specific tactic within the context of the war is working is not an ex post facto justification of an interventionist war in the first place. In other words, if it was neither advisable nor ethical to conduct a near-unilateral intervention in Iraq, then--guess what?--even winning the war doesn't make it right. What it does do is make the use of unilateral American military might more seductive to politicians, corporations, and ideologues of all stripes.
There are more reasons, but I'll let it rest there.
The point, for our Republican friends who mistakenly think they're Libertarians, is that the hard-won tactical victory won at significant cost to my brothers and sisters in green is a barren one, that will rank with other squandered victories like Operation Junction City (Vietnam, 1967) or Huertgen Forest (ETO 1944).
In the meantime, Eric also makes the following rather jingoistic assertions about the cheapness of death for America's fighting men and women (which he carefully keep in the comments section):
Have we become that much of a pussy Nation that we can't even tolerate 4,000 War dead to rid the World of the most evil murderous Thug Dictator in modern times? (Unless you count Castro or Chavez).
And as a Veteran I will tell you Lundy, that THERE IS NO GREATER HONOR FOR A VOLUNTEER IN THE UNITED STATES MILITARY TO GIVE ONE'S LIFE FOR LIBERTY AND PROTECTION OF THE HOMELAND.
A concept that non-servers find hard to comprehend.
And you've proved PRECISELY what I've been screaming at the top of my lungs for 25+ years in this libertarian movement of our: POINTY HEADED INTELLECTUALS ARE DESTROYING LIBERTARIANISM!!!
Lundy, we need Meat and Potatos libertarians, blue collar guys, Joe the Plumbers, Tito the Builders, Libertarians who love their country, have pride in the Military, and aren't afraid to wear that on their sleeves.
You side with the pointy-headed Geeks. Thus, I'm gonna have to mark you off on the side of the Advesaries of Liberty.
I hope one day you will redeem yourself.
Here's a wake-up call from somebody who served a hell of a lot longer than Eric did (21 years), and who counts several of his own close brothers and sisters among the fallen of the past six years...
In the United States--a country with whose founding principles Eric writes off with regularity as pointy-headed intellectualism--we have this thing called civilian control of the military.
Here's how it works, Eric: it's sort of a social contract. Our all-volunteer military gives up a large measure of the rights and privileges of American citizen in order to create a disciplined military force that can kick ass and take names. They agree--in advance--to accept orders and missions that place their lives in danger.
Our part of the agreement is that we work as hard as we can to insure that if we have to ask them to lay down their lives or lose body parts (forget about the tens of thousands of wounded and their families, did you, Eric?) that we do not do so unnecessarily or for reasons of political expediency.
Let's see: Saddam Hussein as the worst and/or most murderous dictator in modern history? Yeah, Eric, keep believing that one--and while you're doing that, explain why you don't advocate US military intervention to stop genocide in Darfur?
Or should we turn left and right from Iraq to plunge into Syria and/or Iraq?
Where does it end with you, Eric?
You can run with your pathetic whining about how people who don't agree with you have to be marked down as Adversaries of Liberty, which only serves to prove the point that you don't have the first single concept of what liberty actually entails...
You can moan in your simpering posts about an America so weak that the mere inauguration of Barack Obama is treated as the equivalent of Hitler's rise to power...
Because every time you do, you expose yourself for the pseudo-patriot you are.
Is that too pointy-headed for you?
Or do I have to make it even simpler to understand?
It's your vision of America that scares me, Eric.