Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Democratic Art Of War

Based on the success of UN/NATO operations in Afghanistan, the mission is expanding once again this year to stabilize and integrate new and more dangerous provinces into a coherent Afghan state. Britain is quadrupling its force level, Holland just agreed to triple its military presence, and 60 other countries pledged long-term aid and investment to strengthen Afghanistan’s democracy. The Democrat’s way of war is triumphant.

UN/NATO assistance forces in Afghanistan are effectively stabilizing and asserting government control over every province in which they operate. The cornerstone of their success is the deployment of Provincial Reconstruction Teams, which include civil engineers, teachers, police, doctors, firefighters, judges, and civic advisors as well as a strong security force. These PRTs stabilize their assigned region and help local leaders govern honestly, rebuild (or build) infrastructure, develop their economy, strengthen democratic institutions, and forge strong ties with the central government in Kabul.

When a province is secure, new teams set up shop in neighboring areas and slowly and inexorably spread stability across the country. This is a tested and effective civil-military strategy with a long history of success -- most notably in defeating the Communist insurgency in Malaya.

After the initial US military victory in Afghanistan, President Bush left a few thousand troops to beat the bushes for bin Laden and immediately focused on Iraq. This neglect turned out to be a good thing for Afghanistan -- and for Democrats. The subsequent UN/NATO operation is a validation of the Democratic Party's way of war: Build a broad consensus for the operation, work with a legitimate alliance to defeat the enemy forces, give the UN control of the country's transition to democracy, and forge a multinational network to share in the peacekeeping, reconstruction, and astronomical cost of the operation.

Afghanistan is everything President Bush's unilateral Iraq adventure never was and unfortunately never will be. It’s a tried and true model for state building. It's the "multilateral" "global test" operation that John Kerry was skewered for proposing -- and it's working where President Bush's way of war in Iraq is not.

In fact, the unsuccessful Iraq operation is beginning to have repercussions in Afghanistan. Security analysts have long expected “blowback” from the failure to secure Iraq, and it's clear now that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi feels confident enough of his security there to send graduates of his Iraq-based school for Islamic jihadists to derail the progress in Afghanistan.

In the face of this new threat, President Bush inexplicably decided to withdraw thousands of US troops from Afghanistan at a time when they'll be sorely missed. Not only that, but President bush is cutting the size of our Army Reserves and the National Guard -- which include the bulk of the Civil Affairs and Military Police units so vital to our operations in Afghanistan (and Iraq, for that matter) -- to their lowest levels in decades!

Ordinarily that would worry me, but the Democratic way of war in Afghanistan is robust enough to handle President Bush’s retreat. Unlike Iraq, where a significant withdrawal of US troops signals defeat, our staunch NATO and French allies in Afghanistan are picking up our slack. Also, unlike Iraq, the assistance forces in Afghanistan are perceived as partners, not occupiers or oppressors. The Democratic art of war as demonstrated in Afghanistan has a legitimacy and strength that President Bush’s unilateral adventurism can never match.

Posted by American Pundit at February 3, 2006 11:17 AM
Comments
Comment #120056

AP,

Good article, it will certainly raise the rightwing’s hackels. One comment:

This neglect turned out to be a good thing for Afghanistan — and for Democrats. The subsequent UN/NATO operation is a validation of the Democratic Party’s way of war

We have to remember, and give credit to, Bush I for his Gulf War I success. It just goes to show how far the (rotten) apple can fall from the tree as Bushie certainly lost his mind with all the coke and alcohol he did. I know college cost me a few IQ points, but I’m not the president (thanks be to heaven).

Posted by: Dave at February 3, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #120057

Meanwhile Bush is allocating 400 billion toward the war in Iraq. I don’t know how the world or our economy will survive the irresponsible arrogance of today’s neo-conservative blowhards.

Posted by: Max at February 3, 2006 12:30 PM
Comment #120087

Wow. Libs can’t come up with a coherent plan so they take one of Bush’s successes and call it their own … interesting!

Do Libs think France & Germany wanted to help in Iraq but George Bush turned them down? He intentionally created less of a coalition than Gulf War I or Afghanistan on purpose? Sure! The French and Germans were just desperate to help in Iraq, but ole W, he just didn’t let them so he could minimize the coalition in Iraq as much as possible.

Well, that’s another bold attempt at liberal revisionism, but the fact is just as many countries had the offer to help in Iraq as Gulf I and Afghanistan. THEY chose not to, and, as the gargantuan UN Oil For Food Scandal has proven, they seemed to have chosen inaction in Iraq mostly for nefarious reasons.

I hope the Libs keep up this “We won’t go to battle unless we have at least 42 countries on our side” mantra. That will mean a great 2006 and 2008 election cycle for republicans!

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 3, 2006 1:44 PM
Comment #120092

I don’t know how in the world even the non neconservatives can’t come to grips with reality and impeach this president. Anyone with young children has to be dreading the future I know I am for my children. I also have an aging mother who now talks about how many more years she can afford to stay alive due to this guys cuts in social programs. How would he like to hear his mom say I can only afford to live for 5 more years then I’ll have no income to help me pay my taxes, medical bills and just daily necessaties. When is the right going to open their eyes to what is being done to this once great nation. It’s depressing but then making everyone depressed is good for the pharmaceutical companies to sell more illicit drugs.

Posted by: Vic at February 3, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #120093

Dave,

You’re a liberal. There’s a 90% chance your liberal Congressman voted against Gulf War I. I find it odd that you would praise it now.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 3, 2006 1:56 PM
Comment #120094

Vic,

Yeah, I’m real sure my son will look me in the eye in 30 years and go, “Boy, I wish we had a senile Saddam Hussein to deal with, not to mention all of those associated trappings! Damn your generation Dad! What were you thinking getting rid of that problem halfway through its shelf-life?!”

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 3, 2006 1:59 PM
Comment #120096

Ken,

It didn’t help to insult them and make it clear we were going ahead with or without their support. Not saying France and Germany especially would have teamed up with us anyway, but it would have done some good if we had even attempted to be diplomatic and get support, rather than put on the insulting and stupid facade of 4th grade-like bravura and machismo we did.

If someone worked for me and mouthed off to anyone that disagreed with him and came up with zero results while overseeing several catastrophes I’d can his butt regardless of who he was or what the situation. Impeach him for the high crime and misdemeanor of incompetency.

I guess the neocon’s are so worried about the future elections they are now willing to claim victories in parts of the world they are withdrawing from while other countries pick up the slack. That’s ok. We know they go to their closets late at night and cry for Clinton or Gore to return and save this country from the hole it’s in.

Posted by: Max at February 3, 2006 2:00 PM
Comment #120097

Ken-
On Bush’s plan: He invoked NATO, which was a Democrat Creation. Even in Iraq, Bush made at least token appeals to the UN (another Democrat creation), because he knew most Americans, and his British Allies (strongest we have) would not support the war if he failed to do so.

As for French and German noninvolvement: we vindicated their original premise: that it was unlikely Saddam was as dangerous as we thought.

On the number of countries: Many of the nations helping contribute no more than token aid. Some are territories that we ourselves provide the defense for, so essentially, we are the military for many of those countries! I think only a handful of those countries has troop presence over a thousand, and only two countries have a presence over 10,000, though I’m not certain about Britain being there in such strength anymore. Only one army is there in force over a hundred thousand: the US.

By contrast, many of the nations in the last war contributed tens of thousands of soldiers, with international strength matching ours. Additionally, we got free gas from the Saudis and much of the cost of the war defrayed by Japan and other allies.

Your numbers are the least important ones I can think of. It doesn’t matter whether you have a hundred nations in tow, if only one, yours, is doing the heavy lifting.

The similiarties between Bush’s effort’s and his father’s end on the surface. Unfortunately, that’s where most GOP rationalizations for how this war was wage end too.

We Democrats have it easy compared to you. You have to conjure up lies and spin to justify what you’ve done and how you’ve done it. All we have to do is focus on the substance and the results of your actions, and you’re toast.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 3, 2006 2:01 PM
Comment #120102

Max,

Your comments are full of hypocrisy. Other countries are coming into “take up our slack” and that’s bad … but we went to Iraq with only the support of 20 nations instead of the 40 nations we had in Gulf War I … and that’s bad. Countries help us and it’s bad. Countries don’t help us and it’s bad. Now you want to impeach the President because he what? Because he overthrew a vicious dictator who constantly threatened America and is now trying to rebuild the country that dictator ignored?? You’re right! Bush is the devil!

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 3, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #120109
We Democrats have it easy compared to you. You have to conjure up lies and spin to justify what you’ve done and how you’ve done it. All we have to do is focus on the substance and the results of your actions, and you’re toast.

Not me. : )
Not anymore.
I actually agree with much of AP’s article, except for the partisan spin.
It’s too bad the way these things always decend into petty partisan bickering.

Democrats and Republicans both voted on these things.

I agree that, lately, Republicans appear to be worse than Democrats. That’s one reason I’m no longer Republican. But the fact is, both parties are both pretty pathetic.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 3, 2006 2:28 PM
Comment #120113

Stephen,

On Bush’s plan: He invoked NATO, which was a Democrat Creation. Even in Iraq, Bush made at least token appeals to the UN (another Democrat creation), …… I GUESS BUSH SHOULDN’T USE THE INTERNET SINCE THAT EVOLVED MOSTLY DURING A DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENCY EVOLVED DURING WHIG (NOW REPUBLICAN) CONTROL. THAT PRESENTS A REAL QUANDARY NOW, DOESN’T IT? TO SAY A PRESIDENT CAN ONLY USE DIPLOMATIC TOOLS INITIATED BY ONLY SAME PARTY PREDECESSORS IS RIDICULOUS, EVEN FOR A LIBERAL. REAGAN ENDED THE COLD WAR, I GUESS CLINTON SHOULDN’T HAVE BENEFITED FROM THAT.

As for French and German noninvolvement: we vindicated their original premise: that it was unlikely Saddam was as dangerous as we thought.
REALLY?! DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT CHEMICAL WEAPONS? DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE A 2000 SQFT HOME YOU COULD HIDE ENOUGH CHEMICAL WEAPONS TO KILL TENS OF MILLIONS? HAVE YOU CHECKED EVERY DESERT HOLE. ARE YOU SAYING IRAN AND SYRIA ARE ESSENTIALLY SWITZERLAND AND DON’T HAVE ANYWHERE TO PARK 20 TRUCK LOADS OF ANTHRAX? THE ONLY FACT IS WE HAVEN’T FOUND ANYTHING YET. TO SAY THAT MEANS “DEFINITELY NOTHING EXISTED” IS RIDICULOUS, EVEN FOR A LIBERAL.

On the aid, yes, we received much more support in Gulf War I. You see that as a problem for us. I see it as more of a problem for France, Germany, and the others. Again, they had EVERY opportunity to offer help.

The similiarties between Bush’s effort’s and his father’s end on the surface. Unfortunately, that’s where most GOP rationalizations for how this war was wage end too. RESULTS ARE ALWAYS ON A LINEAR SCALE WITH EFFORT? REALLY? CONGRATS ON YOUR WORLD BUT, I GOTTA TELL YA, IN THE REAL WORLD I’M USED TO IT DOESN’T ALWAYS GO THAT WAY … ESPECIALLY WHEN OTHER PEOPLE AND THEIR UNCONTROLLABLE DECISIONS ARE A FACTOR.

We Democrats have it easy compared to you. HERE’S WHERE WE AGREE!! DEMOCRATS JUST WHINE AND COMPLAIN AND OFFER NO REASONABLE ANSWERS. IRAQ IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE. VOTE FOR WAR, RECANT, COMPLAIN IT TOOK “SO LONG” TO GET TO BAGHDAD, COMPLAIN ABOUT MUSEUM THEFTS, HATE THE WAR YOU VOTED FOR BECAUSE IT’S TAKING MORE THAN 5 DAYS TO COMPLETE, DEMAND IMMEDIATE PULL-OUT BUT NOT EVEN COME CLOSE TO VOTING THAT WAY WHEN HAVING AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO IN CONGRESS, SAY BUSH LIED JUST TO GO TO WAR EVEN THOUGH JOHN KERRY TALKED ABOUT ACTION IN IRAQ IN ‘98 AND NO ONE WAS MORE HAWKISH THAN HILLARY. NOW YOU DON’T WANT AN IMMEDIATE PULL-OUT, MAYBE (EVEN YOUR WHINING ISN’T REALLY CLEAR), BUT A TIMETABLE DRAWDOWN. NOW BUSH IS TALKING ABOUT LESS TROOPS IN IRAQ AND YOU’RE COMPLAINING ABOUT THAT … AND ON AND ON AND ON AND ON …

It’s easy to complain. My neighbor has a 5 year old across the street who does it every day. So, congratulations on your “easiness”.


Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 3, 2006 2:42 PM
Comment #120120

There will only ever be one issue in Afghanistan, that is the poppy fields, and who controls them. The Russians considered using biological agents to eradicate them, and that’s when we got involved there. Opium has always been their number one export, yet you never hear any discussion about it.

Posted by: ray ohrealy at February 3, 2006 2:59 PM
Comment #120122

Ken,

I am running out for the weekend and just decided to check the group quickly. I just wanted to say thank you for bringing some eveness to this group. I feel like everytime I check this list it is just a buddy club with members licking their wounds and crying themselves to sleep. I like your points, some sense still exists. I particularly like what you said about the Dems now taking credit for Afganistan. It was our troops, our coalition who took care of business and brought around change. Find me one Dem. Senator who is going to stand up and claim the Democrats won Afganistan: Hilary? HA! So thanks Ken, keep up the good work.

Posted by: The BDB at February 3, 2006 3:00 PM
Comment #120123

Good article, AP. You’re obviously right. The Liberal way is the successful way.
Stephen great reply to Ken Cooper. Obviously you’ve struck a nerve with it too, because his rather incoherant reply is loaded with shouting capitalizations.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 3, 2006 3:00 PM
Comment #120139

Remember Dems, We would nothave enabled the Afgahni people by creating a pocket of democracy if the Democrats had gotten their way. It is so like liberals to take credit form others hard work sacrifice.

Posted by: jeffrey at February 3, 2006 3:35 PM
Comment #120141

Oh, Ken,

Did you conveniently forget how many European nations (including France and Germany) offered to help in the rebuilding even after we invaded without their agreement?

BUT NOOO! (Sorry, I felt compelled to borrow that from John Belushi), Bush wanted all the rebuilding contracts for Haliburton, so this administration rejected the UN and EU. Imagine how much extra national debt we could have avoided if not for Bush’s bravado.

I am not an Arab apologist. Today’s events in the EU and Denmark cry out with resonant clarity the current divide with the Muslim world and seemingly intractable differences that seem headed toward more open conflicts.

I think Arab pride and the unmistakable velocity to take offense on matters of faith are the plutonium of our age. The only other group I’ve seen as easily offended by secular affairs are the Religious Right, but that is another conversation…

Despite this, I find Iraq was a horrific error, a fool’s errand squandering life, capital, and international respect for a hollow victory.


Posted by: CPAdams at February 3, 2006 3:41 PM
Comment #120144

MY child is ten and thanks you for leaving him the dinner check.Can’t we take some donations from lobbys or better yet tax as we go and pay for what you want and make some sacrifices.
The wimpy plan I glading pay you tuesday for a hamburger today

Posted by: js at February 3, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #120145

Wow
So the 18,000 troops and special forces we left in afganistan are now just a few ,,and now its a way to show how great the democrats are ? well lets seee …… first we have nancy pelosi and congressman murtagh stating we should leave now simply pull out and abandon all the iraqis who want freedom ,,,I personally believe only reason were starting to see posts such as this is that the nation is not foolish and the majority of americans know that electing any democrat is the same as allowing a coward with a water pistol to stop all of hitlers army.2006 is here baby and all your cowrdly rants and intenional intelligence leaks exposing america to increased chances of being attacked again are about to be voted on again …..and when its over look out there will be alot less democrats in congress and the senate ,,enough hopefully to allow the republicans to continue to protect america and reduce taxes hopefully bringing a line item veto back to president bushs plate so many of the liberal owl crap studys and so on can be placed in the garbage can where they belong.in all my years have never seen such an evil group of lying politicians such as harry reid nancy pelosi and kennidy ,durbin ,clinton ,barbra lee ,boxer ,the list goes on and on .they care nothing for america and have and will expose any information evan when they know it will endanger americas security….they are all evil and between this election and 2008 most will be removed …

Posted by: Rylee at February 3, 2006 3:49 PM
Comment #120148

He may have just been trying to distinguish his text (juxtaposed) from Stephen’s ? If so, bad idea. : )

At any rate, from someone who no longer belongs to either party, it seems both sides like to take all the credit for themselves for good things, or place all the blame on the other party for bad things.

Regarding hillary, check this out…

So, how many Democrats here want Hillary for president ?

Boy, am I glad there will be no incumbent for the office of president next election.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 3, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #120152

Ken,

How are you going to explain to your kids why they are penniless and working for India when they grow up and find out that Iraq was never a threat and was well on its way to disintegrating before Bush bankrupted their country on it? The neocons own no positions anymore - not financial responsibility, not honor, not even an ounce of common sense, and its obvious to everyone but themselves.

Posted by: Max at February 3, 2006 4:04 PM
Comment #120161

They’re not just penniless.
Each person already owes over $27,000 National Debt for the National Debt.
And, it is growing by $2.14 billion per day !
The debt is now 66% of GDP.
Up from 33% in 1980.
And, there’s no end to spending in sight.
Bush is about to ask for another $100 billion for the war in IRAQ.
At this rate, we’re headed for trouble.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 3, 2006 4:20 PM
Comment #120165

America cannot continue to import the viscious materials that we currently obtain from this area. This region provides much of the oil and drugs needed to fuel our get up and go lifestyle. If we continue to suck on the oil teat of the Middle East and provide no incentive for the farmers to grow crops other than opium,we sow the seeds(pun intended) of our own demise. EDUCATION,EDUCATION,EDUCATION. Extremists succeed because the populace does’nt know any better.

Posted by: jblym at February 3, 2006 4:26 PM
Comment #120169

I love Middle Eastern democracies, almost as much as Bush does.

In Egypt, where the radical Muslim Brotherhood won 10% of the vote despite the incumbent’s efforts to suppress the vote. Yes, bring on democracy. Maybe with a little organization they’ll win the next election outright and send Egypt back into the middle ages.

To Palestine, where the newly elected Hamas plan to use sharia for legislative guidance. Yes, and sharia law will not be binding until the electorate decides to do so in a democratic manner. How’s that for funny? Imagine an electorate voting on whether to abandon their collective freedom.

Context is everything and I apologize in advance for my pedantic way of reviewing to history. Democracy works where freedom and the love of freedom of expression are core societal values. The Enlightenment and its ideals are the source of our democracy.

The Muslim world, as expressed in the theocracies that have followed the overthrown dictatorships, does not value plurality. Nor freedom of religion and the separation of church and state. Or the freedom of the press. Maybe the quiet many, but not the faithful and the imams. (but they do like guns, so the NRA should be happy)

So please, President Bush, please install more democratically elected governments in the Middle East, governments established of the zealots, by the zealots, for the zealots.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 3, 2006 4:33 PM
Comment #120170

jblym

it’s not just education. Iran has 80% literacy and high university attendance, even among women. Literacy in Iran is as high as Saudi Arabia. Considering that 30% of Iran’s labor force in in agriculture and rural literacy rates have been historically lower throughout the world, literacy in urban areas is comparable to the West.

So, having an educated population, please explain Iran. Because I can’t, except in the context of a culture that does not have the same core values as us.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 3, 2006 4:45 PM
Comment #120181

Dubya’s actions in Afghanistan and Iraq would make for a great movie, and they could get Alfred E. Newman to play Dubya. But this is certainly a situation where fact really is stranger than fiction. The movie would have more twists and turns than someones intestinal tract—and having similar contents, too! But I digress….

Afghanistan simply cannot be considered one of Dubya’s successes! He claims our troops were sent to capture Osama bin Laden and to overthrow the Taliban/Pashtun regime. So even though Osama was really in Pakistan, the US invaded Afghanistan, and Dubya coerced Pakistan into helping the “war on terror.” Then, American energy companies signed contracts to build a gas pipeline across Afghanistan, they installed Hamid Karzai (a former advisor to Unocal) as the interim president, and then made sure Karzai got “elected.” Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Dubya’s administration was busy falsifying WMD intelligence on Iraq, revealing the name of a covert CIA operative, and spying on Americans. After all, he wanted Iraq and its oil all along—the rest is just icing on his cake.

With that said, the only reason UN/NATO forces were allowed into Afghanistan is because Dubya didn’t want to ‘waste’ his time in Afghanistan. He didn’t want to risk having popular pro-war sentiment war decline in the US before he could invade Iraq. So he and the Neo-Cons stirred up a jingoistic fervor, falsified WMD intelligence, and then invaded Iraq. Meanwhile, the Law Offices of Haliburton, Exxon/Mobil, WalMart, Microsoft, Citicorp and Associates gained control of the oil, gas prices remain artificially high (read: $36 Billion in profits for Exxon/Mobil), and the US can indirectly regulate China’s economic growth (while sending all of our jobs there, too). And he’s using our troops as his own private security force for the Iraqi oil fields. So in reality, Dubya does not want an exit strategy from Iraq because it would risk a civil war there, and also increase the risk of Iraq turning into a strict Islamic state like Iran. Meanwhile, this gives him the launching pad to invade Iran if he feels the urge; or when his “Law Offices” tell him to.

So that brings us back to Afghanistan, a country that was invaded, had its minimal infrastructure destroyed, and then pretty much neglected by Dubya. Handing over control to the UN/NATO was probably the smartest accidental act that could’ve happened. The UN/NATO control will enable real nation-building to occur and give the Afghan people a chance to exert free will and self-determination. For the most part, the US used to be really good at that (read: post-war Europe), at least until the corporations took control of the White House and Congress. Good luck to Afghanistan and the UN/NATO forces, they’re gonna need it.

Posted by: SunDevil at February 3, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #120182

Reading through these posts I was amazed at a very large disconnected from our friends on the right. They keep saying that we Democrats did not support the war with Afghanistan. On the contrary, 99.998% of us agreed.

Contrast the Afghan war with fighting an elective war based on lies. One in which Bush said your either with us, or against us. One in which we promised to work with the UN but he chose to break that promise (in fact, specified in the law granting the use of force in Iraq is to work with the UN).

AP merely points out the difference between the two approaches. Good work AP!

Posted by: Patrick Howse at February 3, 2006 5:12 PM
Comment #120185

One more “liar” telling stories about the “imminent threat” that led us to war in Iraq:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2023128,00.html

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 3, 2006 5:23 PM
Comment #120198

“It is so like liberals to take credit form others hard work sacrifice”

And money!

Posted by: kctim at February 3, 2006 5:48 PM
Comment #120214

CPAdams:

Did you conveniently forget how many European nations (including France and Germany) offered to help in the rebuilding even after we invaded without their agreement?

Oh yes, France and Germany offered to help as soon as their was money to be made. Of course France had an excuse, she had to recoup all the money that was lost from shady pre-war deals with Iraq when Saddam fell.

Don’t be to hard on France. They were unable to use their usual post-conflict method of generating income, i.e. selling goods and services to the occupying force.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 3, 2006 6:34 PM
Comment #120223

Conservatives have no problem recognizing the economic motives of France, Russia and others. Why are conservatives blind to the economic motives of the US?

While France and the US may be motivated by economic considerations, I cannot help but notice that, in the case of Iraq, the US is the country which invaded another with a ‘pre-emptive’ attack.

Posted by: phx8 at February 3, 2006 6:56 PM
Comment #120243

I had no idea that the Democrats were running the war in Afghanistan and that Republicans were running the war in Iraq. Wow. I learn something new every day.

And here I thought that George Bush was running both wars, and doing so according to what possibilities and challenges each of the two very different situations presents.

But what’s totally bizzarre about American Pundit’s post is how Britain and Holland’s involvement in Afghanistan is thought to be a “Democratic” success, but Holland and Britain’s involvement in Iraq is supposedly something different.

I guess that when Britain fights in Afghanistan, they do so because of the negotiating skills of the out-of-power Democratic party, and when they fight in America’s “unliateral war in Iraq,” they’re doing so because they’re lap-dogs of George Bush.

Yeah, this all makes perfect sense.

Posted by: sanger at February 3, 2006 7:55 PM
Comment #120249

In addition, let’s not invent out of thin air some fictional and un-historic figment and call it the “Democratic way of war.”

What is the “Democratic” way of war? Somalia? A smash-up success that was. Vietnam? Kosovo?

Do you remember the UN Security Council Resolution which authorized Clinton’s Kosovo war? I hope not, because he was unable to get any such resolution and went ahead anyway.

If the UN is now able to take an expanded role in Afghanistan, it was made possible by one thing and one thing only: the actions of the American military-led coalition over the past several years under the leadership of George Bush.

If the problem had been left to the UN to begin with, the Taliban would still be in charge of Afghanistan.

If and when things are more relatively stable in Iraq, the UN will take a more active role there too, but deposing Saddam and a democratic Iraq will never be their accomplishment.

Posted by: sanger at February 3, 2006 8:09 PM
Comment #120256

The BDB

It was our troops, our coalition who took care of business and brought around change.

You write as if the troops belong only to The President and the Republicans and not the entire U.S.

WE ARE STILL HUMAN. And human error is exactly that, human error, regardless of which-side one is standing.

Everyone wants what is best for everyone of our American Troops. And the world. We just don’t seem to be able to figure out what is the best way. Yelling at one another instead of talking, blaming instead of accepting, closing minds instead of learning will not bring our troops home. It didn’t work in Vietnam and it won’t work here.

Posted by: Linda H. at February 3, 2006 8:22 PM
Comment #120269
You write as if the troops belong only to The President and the Republicans and not the entire U.S.

Linda, if you look at the top of this thread, you’ll see that it was American Pundit who said that the actions of not only the American troops in Afghanistan but Dutch and British troops as well were a triumph for “the Democrats.”

The American troops don’t “belong” to anybody. They’ve only done what the American public has asked them to do.

And yes, the American public asked them to fight in Iraq just as much as they asked them to fight in Afghanistan.

Look at the polls that supported the Iraqi invasion when it began. Look at how the Democrats almost unanimously voted for the invasion.

It’s only later, when going got tough, that the Democrats abandoned support of the mission that the’yd previously asked for. The troops haven’t abandoned it. The president hasn’t abandoned it.

It’s the Democrats, seeking political advantage and kowtowing to their extremist far-left base , who have decided to abandon the troops and the mision they originally asked for.

Posted by: sanger at February 3, 2006 8:49 PM
Comment #120291

Linda H.

“Everyone wants what is best for everyone of our American Troops.”

The Democratic position seems to find more value in dead soldiers than live ones because they are more poltically useful. Democrats never seemed to care about the military prior to Bush administration when they were slashing the funding for training and equipment.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 3, 2006 9:43 PM
Comment #120304
Dave,

You’re a liberal. There’s a 90% chance your liberal Congressman voted against Gulf War I. I find it odd that you would praise it now.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 3, 2006 01:56 PM


Thank you, Ken. Thank you so much for that insightful and informative post! After all, us stupid, ignorant libs have no knowledge of anything so by participating here you’ve managed to bring us to an average of average.
Thank you, good night, and good luck.
Imagine an electorate voting on whether to abandon their collective freedom. Posted by: CPAdams at February 3, 2006 04:33 PM
Not so hard CPA, see: US Patriot Act. Posted by: Dave at February 3, 2006 10:07 PM
Comment #120307
It’s only later, when going got tough, that the Democrats abandoned support of the mission that the’yd previously asked for.

It’s only later, when we found out that the reasons for going turned out not to be true that public support for the war was lost. Not support for the troops, mind you, we wanted them to have the proper armor and supplies, medical care, etc. The support for the troops has never changed, no matter how many want to claim otherwise.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 3, 2006 10:10 PM
Comment #120310

The U.S. still does most of the fighting, handles most of the logistics and takes most of the risk in Afghanistan. It is great to have allies, but I don’t see that as a Democratic policy.

You can’t separate Afghanistan from Iraq. Had we not gone into Iraq, we would have a different set of problems, but maybe not a better situation. Assume the counterfactual, that Iraq would have created no problem absent our invasion. In that case Islamic radicals would have concentrated their murderous operations in Afghanistan. It would not be as trouble free (and BTW it is not trouble free anyway).

In addition, the now universal ostensible support for Afghanistan would not be there. Moveon.org and the radical left hated the Afghan campaign. A member of the Schroeder government called Bush Hitler BEFORE Iraq. Do you really believe that the 2004 election would have featured no strong criticism of the Bush policy in Afghanistan if the Iraq target had not just been so much more inviting?

Afganistan would have suffered the same trajectory as the Patriot Act: supported wildly at first and criticized later.

Posted by: Jack at February 3, 2006 10:22 PM
Comment #120312
We would nothave enabled the Afgahni people…if the Democrats had gotten their way.

Bullshit.

Democrats never seemed to care about the military… blah, blah, blah

Complete bullshit.

Do Libs think France & Germany wanted to help in Iraq but George Bush turned them down?

Ken, up until onsite inspections made it clear that Iraq had no WMD, France was working with the Pentagon to integrate a carrier group, and armored division, and hundreds of fighter aircraft into the invasion plan.

But after months of inspectors crawling over every inch of Iraq, it was clear there were no WMD. The French and Germans are a little smarter than President Bush for realizing that a war to disarm a disarmed opponent is idiotic.

And yes. It’s a fact that President Bush turned down help from France and Germany and many other UN member nations as well:

The Bush administration has abandoned the idea of giving the United Nations more of a role in the occupation of Iraq as sought by France, India and other countries as a condition for their participation in peacekeeping there, administration officials say.

“The administration is not willing to confront going to the Security Council and saying, ‘We really need to make Iraq an international operation,’” an administration official said. “You can make a case that it would be better to do that, but, right now, the situation in Iraq is not that dire.”

No foresight or common sense whatsoever. Just hubris and ego… The exact opposite of the successful sequence of events in Afghanistan.

ARE YOU SAYING IRAN AND SYRIA ARE ESSENTIALLY SWITZERLAND AND DON’T HAVE ANYWHERE TO PARK 20 TRUCK LOADS OF ANTHRAX? THE ONLY FACT IS WE HAVEN’T FOUND ANYTHING YET.

EARTH TO KEN: Even President Bush has stopped looking. There’s nothing to find.

Opium has always been their number one export, yet you never hear any discussion about it.

ray, the UN tried spraying the crops, but with the same result we’ve been getting in Columbia. Now the focus is on creating alternative economic opportunities for opium farmers. Karzai figures it’ll take about 15 years to ween them from it.

More importantly, the fact that there isn’t a raging insurgency in the secured Afghan provinces makes it easier to put things like that and “the rule of law, and protection of minorities, and strong, accountable institutions that last longer than a single vote,” on the front burner.

I cannot help but notice that, in the case of Iraq, the US is the country which invaded another with a ‘pre-emptive’ attack.

phx8, it was a “preventative” attack. There’s a huge philosophical and legal difference. A pre-emptive attack is made on a country that’s an imminent threat to your own. That obviously wasn’t the case with Iraq — President Bush himself made it clear that Iraq was not an imminent threat.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 3, 2006 10:41 PM
Comment #120315
It is great to have allies, but I don’t see that as a Democratic policy.

Holy Crap! Please, Jack. The Democratic Art of War is all about working with legitimate standing alliances.

Now, Republicans may have felt that way at sometime in the misty distant past (Reagan and Bush Sr.) but that’s long gone. Today’s Republicans don’t need no help from no one — ‘specially not from the corrupt UN, useless NATO, or the traiterous French.

No Jack, the Democrats are right on how to successfully wage war. Republicans are wrong.

Had we not gone into Iraq…maybe not a better situation…Assume the counterfactual…blah, blah, blah.

Whatever. Come back when you’ve got some facts, Jack.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 3, 2006 10:52 PM
Comment #120316
What is the “Democratic” way of war? Somalia? A smash-up success that was. Vietnam? Kosovo?

Somalia? That was the elder Bush’s doing, and is a perfect example of the “the Republican way of war.’ Go in half-cocked, without the recommended number of troops, with no exit strategy, and expecting the indigenous population to throw flowers at you.

Kosovo? A perfect example of the democratic way of war. Limited in its scope, in defense of an organized and united opposition, letting the military do what it does best and the UN do what it does best.

Do you remember the UN Security Council Resolution which authorized Clinton’s Kosovo war? I hope not, because he was unable to get any such resolution and went ahead anyway.

That’s right, and Clinton could have pouted and barred the UN from Kosovo just like Bush is doing now in Iraq. He was wise enough to realize that the actions of the military would ultimately be judged by the success of the peace. Bush just wanted to go kick some butt. Vicariously ofcourse.

Vietnam? Please. More than enough blame for both parties in that war, which ended 40 years ago. Shame Bush was too well protected from it to learn its lessons.

If the UN is now able to take an expanded role in Afghanistan, it was made possible by one thing and one thing only: the actions of the American military-led coalition over the past several years under the leadership of George Bush.

It’s amazing how easily Republican’s think they can take credit for the victories of our armed forces. Support for our military is absolutely bipartisan, as was the war in Afghanistan. It is Bush who dishonors the military by attempting to equate opposition to his failed post-war policies with opposition to the soldiers who are paying the highest price for them.

If the problem had been left to the UN to begin with, the Taliban would still be in charge of Afghanistan.

That isn’t true, the UN was solidly behind the invasion of Afghanistan, but on your general point, I agree. When there are hard decisions to be made, the UN Security Council will always be stymied by the conflict of interests of the states which comprise it. But the UN Office of Operations and its military and civilian police divisions have a proven track record for effectiveness in stabilizing post-conflict regions. And as a multinational organization, the indigenous peoples are less likely to question its agenda. Bush was a fool not to take full advantage of them.

If and when things are more relatively stable in Iraq, the UN will take a more active role there too, but deposing Saddam and a democratic Iraq will never be their accomplishment.

I would wager good money that this is not the case. If the UN goes into Iraq in force it will be because the US left Iraq unstable and incapable supporting itself. Letting thme in on Bush’s watch would be an admission of error, something our President seems allergic to.

I have no problem with the term “Democratic way of war” It is does not imply that the Democrats “invented” it. But most Democrats would support it as strongly as most Republicans currently demean and denigrate it. We can call it something less polarizing; something like ‘Common Sense’, once the Republican’s are forced by failure to move towards it.

Posted by: Mike Cooper at February 3, 2006 10:53 PM
Comment #120318
I had no idea that the Democrats were running the war in Afghanistan and that Republicans were running the war in Iraq. Wow. I learn something new every day.

I doubt it. It’s pretty pathetic that you have to completely fabricate an argument in order to win it, sanger. Any time you want to comment on what was actually written, feel free.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 3, 2006 10:56 PM
Comment #120323
If the problem had been left to the UN to begin with, the Taliban would still be in charge of Afghanistan.
That isn’t true…but on your general point, I agree. When there are hard decisions to be made, the UN Security Council will always be stymied by the conflict of interests of the states which comprise it.

Exactly. That’s why Democrats believe we can go to war without UN approval — if necessary.

I made that pretty clear in my description of the Democratic Art of War. Handing control to the UN doesn’t happen until after the war is won — by mostly US troops and with support from a legitimate standing alliance like NATO or ASEAN or the African Union or the OAS or a similar legitimate regional alliance:

Build a broad consensus for the operation, work with a legitimate alliance to defeat the enemy forces, give the UN control of the country’s transition to democracy, and forge a multinational network to share in the peacekeeping, reconstruction, and astronomical cost of the operation.

Excellent post, Mike.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 3, 2006 11:05 PM
Comment #120330

American pundit, I am talking exactly about what you’ve written, and anybody who reads your post will see the same thing.

You have explicity tried to seperate what’s going on in Afghanistan from Bush’s policies, as though Afghanistan AND Iraq are not both being shaped by different Bush’s policies. Further, you’re trying to say that successes in Afghanistan are “Democratic” successes.

Your words:

The Democratic art of war as demonstrated in Afghanistan has a legitimacy and strength that President Bush’s unilateral adventurism can never match.

In a quote like that, how can you say that you’re not taking a Bush success and trying to turn it into a Democratic one?

But it doesn’t stop there.

Holland just agreed to triple its military presence, and 60 other countries pledged long-term aid and investment to strengthen Afghanistan’s democracy. The Democrat’s way of war is triumphant.

So I ask you: are the Democrats prosecuting the war in Afghanistan or is Bush? You’re simply ignoring Bush’s central role in all of this.

If the Democrats are enjoying these “triumphs” and “successes” (your words) in Afghanistan, how in the world have they managed to do so without Bush, who is actually, um, Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces?

Posted by: sanger at February 3, 2006 11:19 PM
Comment #120332

American Pundit:

It would be nice to visit your little world where France is a loyal and capable military ally and not an illegal trading partner with US enemies. Is it too much to hope for that your Germany wasn’t run by a politician who only campaign platform was his dislike of America? What time does the UN peacekeeping force swoop in and save everyone from the capitalist menace? I’d hate to miss that. Finally, is there a snack bar and do you take American Express?

Posted by: goodkingned at February 3, 2006 11:22 PM
Comment #120339

AP

We rarely talk about facts. Facts are things we agree about.

Critics of our Iraq policy make various assumptions unrelated to facts or evidence. Some seem to think the world would be better if we had left Saddam in power. Others assume (contrary to experience) that the President could have persuaded the UN to do something forceful. Most feel their strategies would have worked better than what we did.

The simple fact we all can agree on is that making one decision precludes others and that each decision comes with a set of advantages and disadvantages. The other fact that I think we should agree on is that someone can always accomplish more in a hypothetical case than in a real one.

The Bush Administration managed the conflicts in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Because we consider Afghanistan currently more successful, you want to it is not. If you want to take that kind of logic, our policy is very successful among the Kurds, moderately successful among the Shiites and not very successful among the Sunnis. So we can say that the policy in Kurdistan is not really Bush’s.

It is very convenient to define your group ex post facto by whatever is works. I am glad that you like the Bush policy in Afghanistan enough to claim it as your own.

BTW - Kerry advocated lots of things. You can find him almost anywhere you want. That was one of his problems.

Posted by: Jack at February 3, 2006 11:57 PM
Comment #120345

Ah, Kerry. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

I suppose that this is the Kerry quote which American Pundit had in mind when talking about Kerry and the Democratic “way of war.”

“If Saddam Hussein is unwilling to bend to the international community’s already existing order, then he will have invited enforcement, even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act.” September 6, 2002

Posted by: sanger at February 4, 2006 12:06 AM
Comment #120346

I forgot a word that makes a difference.

The Bush Administration managed the conflicts in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Because we consider Afghanistan currently more successful, you want to SAY it is not.

Posted by: Jack at February 4, 2006 12:10 AM
Comment #120348
We rarely talk about facts.

No Jack. YOU rarely talk about facts. Mine are well documented.

Jack and sanger, you guys can dance around all you want, but it’s a fact that the way Afganistan is being handled is the way Democrats believe the US should wage war. The war in Iraq is being handled in a way that Democrats rightly point out is counterproductive and ineffective.

It was a good day for Afghanistan (apparently in 2002) when President Bush decided to focus his attention on Iraq and leave Afghanistan to the UN and NATO.

If you want to take that kind of logic, our policy is very successful among the Kurds, moderately successful among the Shiites and not very successful among the Sunnis. So we can say that the policy in Kurdistan is not really Bush’s.

Did I miss something Jack? Is Kurdistan’s transition to democracy being handled by the UN? Are NATO troops and Provisional Reconstruction Teams assisting the Kurds with security and infrastructure? :)

No, Iraq is all Bush.

Oh, and thanks for throwing in the totally bogus little RNC-talking-point slap at Kerry. It adds soooo much intellectual weight to your argument.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 4, 2006 12:22 AM
Comment #120350
The Bush Administration managed the conflicts in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

No, Jack. The UN and NATO are managing Afghanistan. Facts, Jack. Facts. Karzai never had an L. Paul Bremmer telling him what to do.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 4, 2006 12:24 AM
Comment #120352
“If Saddam Hussein is unwilling to bend to the international community’s already existing order, then he will have invited enforcement, even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act.” September 6, 2002

sanger, I’m not sure why you think I would object to that or why it would help your argument. That’s exactly what we did in Bosnia and Kosovo.

The difference is, unlike Iraq, in those instances we went to war with a legitmate coalition and we immediately turned the state building operations over to the UN.

Those operations — and Afghanistan — are all cheap, effective, and successful. Again, unlike Iraq.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 4, 2006 12:29 AM
Comment #120362

Mike,

“Somalia? That was the elder Bush’s doing, and is a perfect example of the “the Republican way of war.’ Go in half-cocked, without the recommended number of troops, with no exit strategy, and expecting the indigenous population to throw flowers at you.
Posted by: Mike Cooper at February 3, 2006 10:53 PM “

IMO you’re at least partly right. I believe George HW Bush did send in approximately 25,000 troops as part of Operation Restore Hope. Although I can see how one might argue that Clinton was weak in pulling out after the Blackhawk Down incident in Mogadeshu. IMO the other choice would have been to get bogged down in a civil war there just as we are now in Iraq. At any rate it was definitely a UN failure since Clinton had turned control of the operation over to the UN within the first weeks of his presidency.

But, on to the real purpose of my post: you’re mentioning George HW Bush made a light bulb come on in my otherwise dim brain. As far back as Bush II’s build-up to the invasion of Iraq one of my arguing points against it were the words of his own father in 1999:

http://www.fas.org/news/iraq/1999/03/a19990303bush.htm

Specifically: “Whose life would be on my hands as the commander-in-chief because I, unilaterally, went beyond the international law, went beyond the stated mission, and said we’re going to show our macho?” he asked. “We’re going into Baghdad. We’re going to be an occupying power — America in an Arab land — with no allies at our side. It would have been disastrous.”

‘nuff said?
KansasDem


Posted by: KansasDem at February 4, 2006 12:52 AM
Comment #120363

American Pundit, you’re not even making sense.

You want to tell us now that UN troops deposed the Taliban and rolled into Kabul?

At their best, the UN is like the cheerleaders who rush onto the field waving their pom-poms after a football game. But you know what? Those pom-poms and mini-skirts aren’t what won the ballgame.

NATO has been involved in Afghanistan, sure, but the US leads NATO, and the non-American troops involved in Afghanistan were then and are still today a drop in the bucket compared to the number of American troops there (except for the indiginous Northern Alliance who worked closely with the American military).

Karzai never had Bremmer, but so what? He’s worked with other Americans who have carried out the same role in Iraq that Bremmer carried out in Afghanistan.

The UN has been repeatedly invited to take a wider role in Iraq, and they even tried to, but then in true fashion cut and run when their headquarters were attacked.

Only when the heavy lifting has already been done by the US, is the impotent, pathetic and corrup UN able to accomplish anything anywhere on this planet—and only then with American money and American military protection.

When we reach the point in Iraq that we’ve reached in Afghanistan, the UN will be all over the scene. When that happens, I’m sure that you will declare Iraq’s democracy a great vindication of the UN and another great triumph for the Democratic party and their awesome war machine.

Just look at the Democratic archive on this every site and just count the number of posts which declare Afghanistan a “Bushco” disaster.

The Democrats can now wave their pom-poms and shake their booties, but they’re not convincing anybody but themselves that they were the ones who actually scored the touchdowns.

Posted by: sanger at February 4, 2006 12:55 AM
Comment #120364

Jack,

Critics of our Iraq policy make various assumptions unrelated to facts or evidence. Some seem to think the world would be better if we had left Saddam in power.

Yes, that’s right. Our country would not be bankrupt, we would be safer, and Saddamm would be well on his way out without us firing a shot or losing any lives. No one. Not even Bush believes that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Everyone, even Republican Generals publicly state that Iraq has become more of terrorist threat to the US post invasion. The debt is a reality. You can argue that somehow everything will turn out alright and this will somehow become a war we “win”, but don’t deny the basic facts of the current situation.

Also, when you’re saying things like, I paraphrase: “it’s easy in retrospect to know how to avoid the mistakes” you’re pretty much admitting something’s messed up. So what is that something and what are the Republicans going to do about it other than throw money at it?

Posted by: Max at February 4, 2006 1:01 AM
Comment #120368
You want to tell us now that UN troops deposed the Taliban and rolled into Kabul?

sanger, I don’t know where the heck you got that. Actually quoting what I write instead of making stuff up might help.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 4, 2006 1:05 AM
Comment #120373

sanger,, thats bull & you know it.

democrats are those who suit up for the opposing team, lose the game, & then dress up in drag like the winning team’s cheerleaders hoping they’ll get asked to the prom.

Get your story straight.

Posted by: Phil at February 4, 2006 1:13 AM
Comment #120374

“Saddamm would be well on his way out without us firing a shot or losing any lives.” by Max

Max:

Maybe I missed something in your post. Why would Saddam be on his way out? Was there an early retirement plan? Did he inherit a condo in Florida or what?

If the US had not toppled him. The UN was on the verge of withdrawing inspectors and there was talk of lifting the sanctions. That was what he was waiting for. That was why he hid components and personnel. Without supervision he would have been free to follow his conscience. Do you think he was preparing to retire from the dictator business?

Posted by: goodkingned at February 4, 2006 1:20 AM
Comment #120376
but the US leads NATO

No, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer is the NATO Secretary General and NATO forces in Afghanistan are under control of the Italian General Mauro del Vecchio.

And in fact, president Bush is handing over control of all US forces in Afghanistan to NATO this year.

the non-American troops involved in Afghanistan were then and are still today a drop in the bucket compared to the number of American troops

So what? You still don’t get that it’s about legitimacy, not numbers.

He’s worked with other Americans who have carried out the same role in Iraq that Bremmer carried out in Afghanistan.

That’s absolutely false. The Afghan government was turned over to Karzai immediately after the loya jirga chose him, whereas the Iraqis have been ruled by first Gen. Garner and then Bremmer and then the US-picked IGC.

See, it’s that legitimacy thing again.

The UN has been repeatedly invited to take a wider role in Iraq,

No, they weren’t sanger. Perhaps you didn’t read the news back then. Here it is again:

The Bush administration has abandoned the idea of giving the United Nations more of a role in the occupation of Iraq as sought by France, India and other countries as a condition for their participation in peacekeeping there, administration officials say.

“The administration is not willing to confront going to the Security Council and saying, ‘We really need to make Iraq an international operation,’” an administration official said. “You can make a case that it would be better to do that, but, right now, the situation in Iraq is not that dire.”

Facts, sanger. Facts.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 4, 2006 1:28 AM
Comment #120379
The UN was on the verge of withdrawing inspectors…That was what he was waiting for. That was why he hid components and personnel.

Earth to GoodKingNed: There were no hidden components. There wasn’t any WMD. Even President Bush stopped looking.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 4, 2006 1:32 AM
Comment #120380
democrats are those who suit up for the opposing team, lose the game, & then dress up in drag like the winning team’s cheerleaders hoping they’ll get asked to the prom.

What is it with Republicans and gay fantasies?

Posted by: American Pundit at February 4, 2006 1:34 AM
Comment #120381

AP

I don’t think the RNC bothers to have talking points about Kerry anymore. Even Dems know he is a loser. The problem Dems have is that many of them are like Kerry in that they do tend to stand on all sides of issues and then change depending on current opinion. I did check on this at the RNC webpage and they DO have clips of Democrats doing just that.

You can’t really believe that NATO and the UN. NATO, as you know, can’t move anywhere or carry out any complicated operations without the U.S. It is not only a matter of leadership. It is literally true in the case of transports, logisitics command and control. And Americans have to do most of the actual fighting since we make up the bulk of mobile combat forces. Those, BTW, are facts.

The UN can’t manage much of anything, period. Or let me qualify, the UN can keep the peace as long as somebody else has already established it, nobody will seriously threaten hostilities and it is not very contraversial. One of the articles you cited mentioned how the unfortunate Dutch troops behaved under UN command when they allowed the biggest massacre in post war Europe. That was in a UN safe zone, wasn’t it?

If the we help the Iraqis get the situation calmed down enough, I suppose UN will be able to make a contribution there too.

Posted by: Jack at February 4, 2006 1:36 AM
Comment #120382

I am writing too fast and not paying enough attention. The sentence should read, “You can’t really believe what you say about the UN and NATO.”

Posted by: Jack at February 4, 2006 1:39 AM
Comment #120384

Isn’t it a little too early to declare victory in Afghanistan?

It’s going better in Afghanistan than Iraq. No doubt. The strategy surrounding the invasion of Afghanistan has proven much sounder than the one for Iraq. No doubt. In Afghanistan, we have international cooperation which includes significant commitments, including boots on the ground. Again the same cannot be said for the situation in Iraq.

But almost anything looks good compared to the debacle in Iraq.

The situation in Afghanistan differs from Iraq in important ways. For starters, Afghanistan was a failed state, with no secular nationalists. National unity was provided by a religious movement, the Taliban, which consisted primarily of Afghanistan’s majority ethnic group, the Pashtun.

We overthrew the Taliban with relative ease because they were a rural movement. The Taliban never depended upon infrastructure or an urban area for their success. Occupying Kabul didn’t mean the Taliban were defeated; taking Kabul and a few other cities just sent the Taliban back to the countryside.

The current government resembles the pre-invasion Taliban government in many ways. The Pashtun once again are re-asserting their control. Karzai, ‘the mayor of Kabul,’ still depends upon American bodyguards for security. Meanwhile, through a democratic process, former members of the Taliban government and even former Warlords are participating in the Afghan government. Is it time to declare victory? We have less Al Qaida, but more poppies.

The country remains primitive, and without considerable commitment, beyond the city of Kabul, Afghanistan will remain a failed state.

The decision to go into Afghanistan was overwhelmingly supported by both Democrats and Republicans. Support has remained consistent, and both parties support the effort today.

The SOTU address kept mentioning isolationism. I have no idea what that meant. No one knows what that meant. The discussion about Afghanistan revolves around doing more, not less.

The problem is that it is very difficult for the US to do more, because resources were diverted to Iraq.

Posted by: phx8 at February 4, 2006 1:41 AM
Comment #120383

No you are wrong. After Saddam fell, a government scientist came forward with a component used for prohibited research that he had been instructed to (I’m not kidding about this) bury in his yard.

I agree that there was not an operational WMD program in Iraq. However, I suspect that precursers were concealed and material transported to Syria prior to the war.

Also, Saddam was cozy with foreign interests such as Germany, Russia and France who would have helped him for graft. With no supervision, it would have been easy to revive the chemical weapon program for internal use or for export to terrorist groups.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 4, 2006 1:41 AM
Comment #120386

I give up, American Pundit.

While condemning Bush, you want to insist that it’s off-limits to mention who actually defeated the Taliban in Afghanistan and who has actually been using both a wide variety of both diplomatic and military means over the past four years to not only stabilize the country but attract the kinds of international involvement which you consider a good thing.

The secret to rationalizing the gross ahistorical innacuracies of your position will not suddenly be discovered by reading your posts even a thousand times. Not a million times. Not ever.

I have quoted you exactly numerous times, despite your protestations to the contrary, and your own words, I’m afraid, show that at this point you’re just spinning emptily within a void.

Posted by: sanger at February 4, 2006 1:44 AM
Comment #120390

I think we should “stay the course”.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 4, 2006 1:51 AM
Comment #120395

Jack:

Re your comments about US military being required for logistical reasons;

Most other nations do not spend enough money to have equipment capable of interacting with the US equivalent so they are unable to participate in combat actions with US troops. Canada comes to mind. If this trend continues, the prospect of multilateral military action will be impossible.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 4, 2006 2:05 AM
Comment #120423

Remember, Saddam flew his remaining airforce to Iran to save it from the U.S. Air Force in ‘92. He could very easily have moved his technology to other countries if he wanted to. He probably did. Perhaps that is where Iran got it’s current nuk technology.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 4, 2006 4:04 AM
Comment #120429

Did somebody fart?

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 4, 2006 4:15 AM
Comment #120458
NATO, as you know, can’t move anywhere or carry out any complicated operations without the U.S… Americans have to do most of the actual fighting since we make up the bulk of mobile combat forces.

Of course. And again, so what? It’s not about numbers, it’s about legitimacy. The Democratic way of war is percieved as legitimate, President Bush’s way in Iraq is not.

the UN can keep the peace as long as somebody else has already established it

Umm… that’s why US and NATO troops are doing the security work in Afghanistan. I’m not sure why you’d go off on this tangent, Jack…

Unless you’re talking about Iraq — in that case, at the time President Bush turned down the UN’s offer of tens of thousands of additional peacekeeping troops in August of 2003, there was no insurgency and Zarqawi hadn’t yet set up shop. That would have been the perfect time to get the UN involved. But Bush turned down the help.

I have quoted you exactly numerous times

sanger, you have quoted me exactly twice. And then drew a wacko conclusion: that I think Democrats are running the war in Afghanistan.

There is no way an honest reading of what I’ve written could give you that impression. It’s obvious that you believe the only way you can win an argument is by making up some wacko opinion and then easily poking holes in it. I mean, you can do that if you want, but it doesn’t prove anything.

I give up, American Pundit.

Of course you do sanger. If you could successfully argue that I’m wrong, you wouldn’t need to create a strawman by misrepresenting my point:

The Democratic way of war — as President Bush’s neglect allowed our UN and NATO allies to practice it in Afghanistan — is superior to President Bush’s way of war in Iraq.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 4, 2006 6:05 AM
Comment #120461
He could very easily have moved his technology to other countries if he wanted to. He probably did.

Earth to Willie: If that were true, President Bush would be all over it. Bush stopped looking for WMD because there aren’t any. And you can stop looking for Bigfoot and the Tooth Fairy. They don’t exist either.

Perhaps that is where Iran got it’s current nuk technology.

Iran got their nuclear technology from President Bush’s best ally, Pakistan. That’s a well-documented fact. I’m surprised Republicans don’t know that… No I’m not. :(

Posted by: American Pundit at February 4, 2006 6:14 AM
Comment #120466

For those who don’t know:

The reason so many European Countries are sending Troops to Afghanistan is because of the Drug Trade. Afghanistan’s Drugs now supply over 50% of Europe’s Addicts. THAT is the reason England is sending more Troops.

Posted by: Aldous at February 4, 2006 6:23 AM
Comment #120469

Aldous, that’s not the only reason. But if that’s the reason you want to throw your support behind the operation, then welcome aboard.

Here’s Karzai’s take on it:

“I was quite naive. Three years ago I thought we were going to destroy poppies this year and that’s it,” Mr Karzai told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “But no, it is a real economy, there are people depending on it. It will take time to develop alternatives.”

…He said it would take up to 15 years to wean his country from poppy-farming, the first stage of heroin production.

As the oil spot strategy secures more of Afghanistan, more economic opportunities will be available for the farmers and fewer farmers will be beyond the law.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 4, 2006 6:34 AM
Comment #120485

YikeS!

A completely hostile thread develops and the Sicilian Eagle didn’t start it!

AP gets so annoyed that he uses the word “bullshit” in response to a post!

A thread where Stephen Daughtery make comment too and the mighty Eagle flys in too late for comment!

Plus womanmarine,Dave,phx8 joing the fray versus sanger and Ken Cooper. 5 versus 2.

Nah,Ken and sanger don’t need my help here……

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 4, 2006 7:14 AM
Comment #120490

SE, I can understand why you wouldn’t want to take up with sanger. Blatantly misrepresenting a person’s stance just to score some cheap shots is pretty embarrassing.

On the other hand, maybe you’ll skip the Ted Kennedy jokes and dazzle us with some stunning insight on the topic. :)

Posted by: American Pundit at February 4, 2006 7:48 AM
Comment #120509

Ken,Rylee,Jeffery, BDB,KCTM,goodkingned,Sanger,Jack,good job keep it up!

Posted by: RDAVIDC at February 4, 2006 9:19 AM
Comment #120512

AP
Tell you what…I have to zip to a lexture right now abd can’t right a thought piece,but henceforth I will swear off Ted baby,as there is no further use beating a dead donkey.

Tonite check this thread for a masterful response from the mighty Eagle,drafted while sipping some of that fine beer from Singapore.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 4, 2006 9:28 AM
Comment #120515

Ken Cooper-
What gives you the wild idea that we’re saying Bush can’t use those means. We’re merely saying that the Republicans don’t have all the correct ideas, and that we have contributed useful ideas to international affairs, ideas Bush has used. That invalidates the criticism that we don’t come up with useful ideas.

Not every useful idea is a new one, and sticking with good ideas that aren’t novel is no crime. Hell, that’s the basis of your political philsophy! (Else, what are you conserving, oh conservative?)

As for the Chemical Weapons? I know they’re not the most stable of chemicals, and that the stuff from the eighties, if it wasn’t binary (stored as two different, relatively non-toxic chemicals to be mixed together in flight). I know that the weapons inspectors could find little evidence that Saddam had reconstituted his Chemical weapons manufacturing capability, and absolutely none that it had been taken elsewhere. The thing is, you can’t move that big of a shipment and have no-one know. You have to hire or assign drivers, you have to get people to load it, and you have to have government officials to direct it. Now I know that in the conspiracy mindset you can always have everybody shot, and a whole bunch of dust thrown in folks eyes, but in the real world, such conspiracies often have defectors, especially after the strong leaders who bring them forward are put in a position of weakness, or piss off the wrong folks. We would have something more than some unfounded speculation about their current location. The Republicans have gotten too use to taking unfounded speculation at face value, when it says what they want to hear. What this is says is that it’s not Bush’s fault he invaded and found no WMDs. That’s what you want to hear. You don’t want to hear that so far two of our top weapons inspectors, hand-picked by him, have found no evidence that Saddam at the time had any real weapons program worth starting a war over. We can talk all we want to about how he might have been a risk in five years, if the sanctions were lifted, but then we’d run afoul of a very important fact: We waged a preemptive war, which means we did so to get in front of an imminent threat which we needed to respond to immediately. Not some problem we would have in five years, and only if he were released from sanctions.

I’ve never really had a problem with deposing Saddam from a moral standpoint. He deserves to fall, and the Iraqis deserve better government. But we weakened ourselves by going in on faulty premises. We weakened ourselves by using misleading information, edited and otherwise innaccurate to get the reluctant to go along with this war. We weakened ourselves by going in half strength and not adapting quickly when it became apparent that our tactics, manpower, and equipment weren’t cutting it.

Furthermore, we weakened ourselves by turning this entirely into a political debate between the two parties. One can win a debate, but still be wrong. Rhetoric can seduce agreement from people where the facts would argue against such trust.

When you talk about being linear-minded, I think the charge fits you better, because you’re touting the number of countries as an effective measure. I’m saying that the support they give to us in a practical, manpower, and financial sense is more important than that they give by just sitting there and being the justification for a claim that X number of countries are on our side.

As for control? I’d say you have more control when you know what you’re up against than if you wade in ignorant of how things really stand. You can plan and work out compromises easier if you know what people value, or can be lead to value. In the end, results matter, and no amount of excuses as to why we don’t deliever on our promises can satisfy Americans or Iraqis about what we’re doing in that country. Excuses and rationalizations weaken a war effort. You get things right, or you get out of the way and let somebody clean up your mess. We should have never gotten to the point where we would have to rely on the Iraqis themselves to secure the country. We should have secured it from the beginning, because things only get more out of control the longer you wait to secure the battlefield.

As for Complaining?

I think that people were, indeed, too quick to complain about the lull in pace that hampered us about halfway through the invasion. That said, that’s 20/20 hindsight. Nobody knew that winning Iraq in the first round would be so easy. But you folks underestimated badly how difficult it would be to make a functioning peaceful Democracy out of Iraq, not even planning to stay in force after August of that same year. You looked at the breakdown of law and order, and instead of being concerned, you folks said it was people stretching their freedom legs! I mean, people are known to express their joy at their newfound freedom by dancing, shouting, and stripping nearby buildings down to their insulation, now aren’t they?

As for immediate pull-out, let me hit you with something: I’m not in favor of that. But even then, I think you badly misrepresent the vote in congress. Murtha offered a Bill that basically said, we’d immediately begin a withdrawal when it became practicable, that we’d leave a force in place over the horizon, and that we’d use diplomacy to further our goals.

But that’s not the bill that was voted on. The bill that Republican Duncan Hunter put into play simply said we’d withdraw, knowing that few Democrats were interested in signing onto a bill that would allow Iraq to collapse. This is the vile political games your politicians play. They know Americans have lost patience with this war, but instead of reviving their faith by getting things done, getting serious about results, holding the president accountable for bringing better outcomes in Iraq, and getting the place secure, your party simply plays politics. We want this president to think long and hard about an exit strategy, a graceful way to leave. Your people are content to waste billions of taxpayer dollars farting around with no real idea of how we finish this off, other than the Iraqis magically becoming capable of governing and defending themselves.

Tell me, specifically, since you represent the party in power, how do we come home from all this? How do we win? What is our president’s military, diplomatic, and civil strategy for defeating the insurgents and bringing about peace in that nation? Do you even know?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 4, 2006 9:37 AM
Comment #120520

I once was a Kennedy Fan,but, if you look into the history of their past you see Ted is a repeat of their history!The Demos have been GUILTY of everything they accuse the Repubs of and the Demos guilt is documented but the accusations of the Dems against the Repubs is 95% just that Accusations!Guilt is established by proof,real proof,not forged.If I say someone is a jerk that doesn’t make him a jerk,but if I print accurate info and pictures showing he talks and acts like a jerk I show him to be a jerk.Documented proof is not statements in a newspaper,but,what a person says and does is and when a person stops speaking and acting like a jerk they cease to be a jerk.Opinions are not fact no matter how many people hold the opinion.

Posted by: RDAVIDC at February 4, 2006 9:50 AM
Comment #120531

Stephen,
“As for immediate pull-out, let me hit you with something: I’m not in favor of that. But even then, I think you badly misrepresent the vote in congress. Murtha offered a Bill that basically said, we’d immediately begin a withdrawal when it became practicable, that we’d leave a force in place over the horizon, and that we’d use diplomacy to further our goals.”

I’m sure you’ve seen this, but here’s Murtha’s renewed plea to the President:


Feb. 1, 2006


Congressman Murtha’s Letter to President Bush




The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,


This March will mark the beginning of the 4th year of the war in Iraq. In contrast, U.S. involvement in WWI came to an end after 19 months. Victory in Europe was declared in WWII after 3 years 5 months. In the Korean War, a cease-fire was signed after 3 years and 1 month. But after more than three and a half years into the war in Iraq, your administration finally produced what is called a “Plan for Victory” in Iraq.


Iraq is not the center for the global war on terrorism. I believe Iraq has diverted our attention away from the fight against global terrorism and has depleted the required resources needed to wage an effective war. It is estimated that there are only about 750 to 1,000 al-Qaeda in Iraq. I believe the Iraqis will force them out or kill them after U.S. troops are gone. In fact, there is now evidence that Iraqi insurgent groups are increasingly turning against al-Qaeda and other foreign terrorists.


Our country needs a vigorous and comprehensive strategy for victory against global terrorism. The architect of 9/11 is still out there but now has an international microphone. We must get back to the real issue at hand - we have to root out and destroy al-Qaeda’s worldwide network.


There are 4 key elements that I recommend to reinvigorate our global anti-terrorism effort: Redeploy, Replace, Reallocate, and Reconstitute.

Redeploy


The war in Iraq is fueling terrorism, not eliminating it. Our continued military presence feeds the strong anti-foreigner fervor that has existed in this part of the world for centuries. A vast majority of the Iraqi people now view American troops as occupiers, not liberators. Over 80% of Iraqis want U.S. forces to leave Iraq and 47% think it is justified to attack Americans. 70% of Iraqis favor a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. forces, with half favoring a withdrawal in the next six months. In fact, 67% of Iraqis expect day-to-day security for Iraqi citizens will improve if U.S. forces withdraw in six months and over 60% believe violent attacks, including those that are ethnically motivated, will decrease. Our military presence is the single most important reason why the Iraqis have tolerated the foreign terrorists, who account for less than 7 percent of the insurgency. 93% of the insurgency is made up of Iraqis. Once our troops are re-deployed, the Iraqis will reject the terrorists and deny them a safe haven in Iraq. The Iraqis are against a foreign presence in Iraq of any kind.


The steadfast and valiant efforts of the United States military and coalition partners have provided the Iraqi people with the framework needed to self govern. The Iraqis held elections that have been touted as highly successful, based primarily on the accounts of Iraqis who went to the polls. But our continued military presence in Iraq, regardless of the motives behind it, is seen by Iraqis as interfering in Iraq’s democratic process and undercuts the chances for the newly elected government to be successful. Recently, Iraq’s National Security Adviser accused U.S. negotiators of going behind the back of the Iraqi government on talks with insurgents, saying the process could encourage more violence. He said, “Americans are making a huge and fatal mistake in their policy for appeasement and they should not do this. They should leave the Iraqi government to deal with it… The United States should allow the new Iraqi government to decide on how to quell the insurgency.”


In December 2005, an ABC News poll in Iraq produced some noteworthy results. 57% of Iraqis identified national security as the country’s top priority. When asked to rate the confidence in public institutions, they gave Iraqi police a 68% confidence level, the Iraqi army 67%, religious leaders 67%. But the U.S./U.K. forces scored the lowest, a mere 18%.


The longer our military stays in Iraq, the more unwelcome we will be. We will be increasingly entangled in an open-ended nation building mission, one that our military can not accomplish amidst a civil war. Our troops will continue to be the targets of Iraqis who see them as interfering occupiers.


Redeploying our forces from Iraq and stationing a mobile force outside of the country removes a major antagonizing factor. I believe we will see a swift demise of foreign terrorist groups in Iraq if we redeploy outside of the country. Further, our troops will no longer be the targets of bloody attacks.

Replace


The ever-changing justifications of the war in Iraq, combined with tragic missteps, have resulted in a worldwide collapse of support for U.S. policies in Iraq.


The credibility of the United States of America will not be restored if we continue down the path of saying one thing and doing another. We must not lower our standards and tactics to those of the terrorists. In order to keep our homeland secure, we must hold true to the values that molded our American democracy, even in the face of adversity. Former Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, said it best during a speech in March 2004 to the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies: “America knows we cannot seek a double standard. And, America knows we get what we give. And so we must and will always be careful to respect people’s privacy, civil liberties and reputations. To suggest that there is a tradeoff between security and individual freedoms — that we must discard one protection for the other — is a false choice. You do not defend liberty to forsake it.”


Restoring the world’s confidence in America as a competent and morally superior world leader is essential to winning the war on global terrorism.


A recent pubic opinion poll, conducted jointly with Zogby International and taken in Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, found that 81% said the war in Iraq had brought less peace to the Middle East. A majority of the respondents said they view the United States as the biggest threat to their nations.


Mr. President, I believe in order to restore our credibility, you must hold accountable those responsible for so many missteps and install a fresh team that demonstrates true diplomatic skill, knowledge of cultural differences and a willingness to earnestly engage other leaders in a respectful and constructive way. This would do much to reinvigorate international participation in a truly effective war on global terrorism.


Reallocate


The Department of Defense has been allocated $238 billion for the war in Iraq, with average monthly costs growing significantly since the beginning of the war. In 2003 the average monthly war cost was $4.4 billion; by 2005 the average monthly cost had reached $6.1 billion.


Despite the urgent homeland security needs of our country, the bipartisan 9/11 Commission issued a dismal report card on the efforts to improve our counter-terrorist defenses. Even the most basic of recommendations, such as the coordination of fire and police communication lines, still have not been accomplished.


In the face of threats from international terrorists, we need to reallocate funds from the war in Iraq to protecting the United States against attack. A safe and swift redeployment from Iraq will allow us to do just that.

Reconstitute


The U.S. army is the smallest it’s been since 1941. It is highly capable. But this drawn out conflict has put tremendous stress on our military, particularly on our Army and Marine Corps, whose operations tempo has increased substantially since 9/11.


The Government Accountability Office issued a report in November 2005 addressing the challenges of military personnel recruitment and retention and noted that the Department of Defense had been unable to fill over 112,000 positions in critical occupational specialties. This shortfall includes intelligence analysts, special forces, interpreters, and demolition experts— those on whom we rely so heavily in today’s asymmetric battlefield.


Some of our troops have been deployed four times over the last three years. Enlistment for the regular forces as well as the guard and reserves are well below recruitment goals. In 2005, the Army missed its recruitment goal for the first time since 1999, even after offering enlistment bonuses and incentives, lowering its monthly goals, and lowering its recruitment standards. As Retired Army officer Andrew Krepinevich recently warned in a report to the Pentagon, the Army is “in a race against time” to adjust to the demands of war “or risk ‘breaking’ the force in the form of a catastrophic decline” in recruitment and re-enlistment.


The harsh environment in which we are operating our equipment in Iraq, combined with the equipment usage rate (ten times greater than peacetime levels) is taking a heavy toll on our ground equipment. It is currently estimated that $50 billion will be required to refurbish this equipment.


Further, in its response to Hurricane Katrina, the National Guard realized that it had over $1.3 billion in equipment shortfalls. This has created a tremendous burden on non-deployed guard units, on whom this country depends so heavily to respond to domestic disasters and possible terrorist attacks. Without relief, Army Guard units will face growing equipment shortages and challenges in regaining operational readiness for future missions at home and overseas.


Since 9/11, Congress has appropriated about $334 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, while the insurgents have spent hundreds of thousands. We have seen reports estimating that the total cost of the wars may reach as high as $1 trillion. These estimates are said to include such costs as providing long-term disability benefits and care for injured service members. It is estimated today that over 16,000 U.S. troops have been wounded in Iraq, 10,481 of whom have been wounded by “weaponry explosive devices.”


But while war costs continue to climb, cuts are being made to the defense budget. As soon as the war is over there will be pressure to cut even more. This year, even while we are at war, 8 billion dollars was cut from the base defense spending bill. You ordered another $32 billion in cuts to the defense budget over the next five years, with $11.6 billion coming from the Army. The Pentagon told Congress only last year that it needed 77 combat brigades to fulfill its missions, but now insists it only needs 70. In fact, 6 of the 7 combat brigades will be cut from the National Guard, reducing its combat units from 34 to 28. Even though all of the National Guard combat brigades have been deployed overseas since 9/11, your Administration has determined that, because of funding shortfalls, our combat ground forces can be reduced. Not only will these cuts diminish our combat power, but our ability to respond to natural disasters and terrorist threats to our homeland will be adversely affected. It is obvious that the cost of the war, in conjunction with the Army’s inability to meet recruitment goals, has impacted this estimate. My concern is that instead of our force structure being based on the future threat, it is now being based on the number of troops and level of funding available.


I am concerned that costly program cuts will lead to costly mistakes and we will be unable to sustain another deployment even if there is a real threat. The future of our military and the future of our country could very well be at stake. The high dollar forecasts of our future military weapons systems and military health care add pressure to cut costs on the backs of these programs. As our weapons systems age, the concern becomes even greater.


During a time of war, we are cutting our combat force, we have not mobilized industry, and have never fully mobilized our military. On our current path, I believe that we are not only in danger of breaking our military, but that we are increasing the chances of a major miscalculation by our future enemies, who may perceive us as vulnerable.


Sincerely,


JOHN P. MURTHA
Member of Congress
_______________________________________________

Of course that comes from the party with no ideas. I find it hilarious that our friends on the right think they have AP on the ropes.

KansasDem







Posted by: KansasDem at February 4, 2006 10:20 AM
Comment #120536

RDAVIDC

“Opinions are not fact no matter how many people hold the opinion.

Posted by: RDAVIDC at February 4, 2006 09:50 AM “

You’re 100% right.
This was the opinion of George HW Bush in 1999:
“Whose life would be on my hands as the commander-in-chief because I, unilaterally, went beyond the international law, went beyond the stated mission, and said we’re going to show our macho?” he asked. “We’re going into Baghdad. We’re going to be an occupying power — America in an Arab land — with no allies at our side. It would have been disastrous.”

It’s a fact that it came from this 1999 speech:
http://www.fas.org/news/iraq/1999/03/a19990303bush.htm

It’s also a fact that he foretold the future of his son’s occupation of Iraq with almost uncanny accuracy.

Father knows best.
KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 4, 2006 10:34 AM
Comment #120551

That will mean a great 2006 and 2008 election cycle for republicans!

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 3, 2006 01:44 PM

If by losing everything, then you will indeed have a great election cycle as things have been going so well. Public opinion polls show a deeply discouraged America towards Congress and the President. You should keep that in mind. It’s not just the people who hate Bush, but it’s the folks in the center.

The GOP is convinced that the only foreign policy is one of intervention and domination, posing as “strong” rather than “weak, which is code for diplomacy. Rather than investigate the causes of terror, the Bush rationale falls to “hating freedoms”. The radical Islamic would not give two sh**s if we lived in a democratic state if we had nothing to do with them, but our economy is tied to them and our foreign policy is.

The UN oil scandal has to be one of the most underwhelming “scandals” in recent years.

It pales in comparison to manufacturing evidence and starting a war and then allowing private contractors to waste billions to line their own pockets while our servicemen have insufficient eqipment. To continually deny while doing nothing may be a “plan”, but from where I am, I’d rather have “no plan”, as the GOP parrots like to squak.

Posted by: Ken Cooper's faulty Logic at February 4, 2006 11:29 AM
Comment #120563

It’s pretty sad that the dems have to latch on to the success of Bush and make it their own in order to feel good about themselves..here’s a plan..try actually DOING something yourselves and then you will truly be proud. I’ve read all these comments and I have never felt so validated being a conservative…

FACT#1: There is no “center”..just the lib’s way of trying to escape the enormous joke that their party has become.

FACT#2: George Bush isn’t running for president anymore, so as for the individual who “fears for the future of their children”, unless they grow at a much faster rate than most humans, they will never know what incredible times they live in..especially if they listen to your lib-biased media morons.

FACT#3: The U.N. is the most corrupt organization on the face of the earth…the true model of international deviance. Period.

Posted by: Charlie at February 4, 2006 12:15 PM
Comment #120593

Maybe it’s just me being ignorant, but it seems to me that your defense for the Afghanistan war being a greater success than the Iraq war seems pretty weak.

First, just because we aren’t having the same success or same international support in the Iraq war compared to that in Afghanistan doesn’t make it worse. They are two different wars, and you’d have to be pretty naive to how the world, politics, and war work to think that the dynamics aren’t going to change as well.

Second, you’re theories of why things are going better in Afghanistan compared to Iraq are about as sound as what one statistics teacher of mine theorized:

All men in our nation’s prisons eat bread. Therefore, bread is a significant factor to why causes men to commit crimes and serve time in jail.

It’s about that logical. There are too many factors that go into the working of one single campaign. You can’t pin down the success or failure of the same with one or even five different factors. It’s called “twisting the facts to your point of view.” I know, one of those crazy technical terms that you never hear of.

Third, I’m not sure if many of us are treating our soldiers in a similar way that the Vietnam soldiers were treated (aka like the enemy of everything good). Or perhaps we are just refusing to talk to them. But if you talk to the soldiers who are coming back, they tell a completely different story of the war and what is going on there, than what you hear on the nightly news. The people love and respect them. The Iraqis are happy that they are there. The soldiers feel like they are there doing important, worthwhile things. Hardly none of them regret going over there and many wouldn’t mind returning. One or two odd balls who make it on the news doesn’t not make that the “norm.”

I want to make one thing clear with all this. Don’t pull this shroud over people’s eyes, making one party look better than the other. I’m a democrat (though I must sound quite conservative because I don’t agree with you and I’m attacking your view point.) However, I respect and honor the republicans and their views. I don’t always agree with them, but that doesn’t mean I can’t respect them. I must remind you all, that we are a “nation.” That means we are in this together, in the good and the bad. Get over the fact that everyone doesn’t agree with you and do it your way. That’s part of life. We are working together to create the best product for “all.” Not for “me” nor “you.”

So, it’s not the “Democrat’s War” nor is it “Bush’s War.” It is very much, just as the foreigner’s put it, “The American War.” And whether you like that or not, “that’s just the way it is.”

Posted by: Myke Smyth at February 4, 2006 1:02 PM
Comment #120605

when suddenly compelled to assume the reins of government in Moslem lands, as Afghanistan in times past and Egypt at present, she fails after a fashion which scandalises her few (very few) friends; and her crass ignorance concerning the Oriental peoples which should most interest her, exposes her to the contempt of Europe as well as of the Eastern world.
RICHARD F. BURTON, August 15, 1885.
From:

http://manybooks.net/pages/burtonrietext0211001108/25.html

He was talking about England, but it applies to us now.

Posted by: ray ohrealy at February 4, 2006 1:52 PM
Comment #120620


The Mighty Eagle’s response to Jack Murtha


Dear Mr. Murtha


1.This March will mark the beginning of the 4th year of the war in Iraq. In contrast, U.S. involvement in WWI came to an end after 19 months. Victory in Europe was declared in WWII after 3 years 5 months. In the Korean War, a cease-fire was signed after 3 years and 1 month. But after more than three and a half years into the war in Iraq, your administration finally produced what is called a “Plan for Victory” in Iraq.

RESPONSE
Wrong.While victory was declared in Europe after 19 months against an enemy that had been softened up by 20 million Russians,OCCUPATION of Europe lasted another five years.You probably forgot that.


2.Iraq is not the center for the global war on terrorism. I believe Iraq has diverted our attention away from the fight against global terrorism and has depleted the required resources needed to wage an effective war. It is estimated that there are only about 750 to 1,000 al-Qaeda in Iraq. I believe the Iraqis will force them out or kill them after U.S. troops are gone. In fact, there is now evidence that Iraqi insurgent groups are increasingly turning against al-Qaeda and other foreign terrorists.

RESPONSE
Wrong again.Iraq is the battlefield for world terrorism…..except you can’t see it.Better there than here,no congressman?The more will kill there is one less we worry about here.Why can’t you understand that?Take the blinders off and look at what has been accomplished there.


3.Our country needs a vigorous and comprehensive strategy for victory against global terrorism. The architect of 9/11 is still out there but now has an international microphone. We must get back to the real issue at hand - we have to root out and destroy al-Qaeda⦣x20AC;™s worldwide network.

Response:Well,as long as nitwits like you continue to send messages of discord to the enemy,that won’t help,will it?You really think that dumb “over the horizon” idea is a plan for victory over terror?Guys like you help the terrorist turn up the microphone by encouraging them.Retreat isn’t victory.


4.There are 4 key elements that I recommend to reinvigorate our global anti-terrorism effort: Redeploy, Replace, Reallocate, and Reconstitute.


Respone:I have 4 for you,congressman:retire,reflect,retract,and rethink.


5.The war in Iraq is fueling terrorism, not eliminating it. Our continued military presence feeds the strong anti-foreigner fervor that has existed in this part of the world for centuries. A vast majority of the Iraqi people now view American troops as occupiers, not liberators. Over 80% of Iraqis want U.S. forces to leave Iraq and 47% think it is justified to attack Americans. 70% of Iraqis favor a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. forces, with half favoring a withdrawal in the next six months. In fact, 67% of Iraqis expect day-to-day security for Iraqi citizens will improve if U.S. forces withdraw in six months and over 60% believe violent attacks, including those that are ethnically motivated, will decrease. Our military presence is the single most important reason why the Iraqis have tolerated the foreign terrorists, who account for less than 7 percent of the insurgency. 93% of the insurgency is made up of Iraqis. Once our troops are re-deployed, the Iraqis will reject the terrorists and deny them a safe haven in Iraq. The Iraqis are against a foreign presence in Iraq of any kind.


Response:Listen you pinhead,if we withdraw before the Iraq army can stand on its feet,the counrty will be torn in three pieces by greedy politicians disguised as clerics.If we leave,they get the keys to the vault.What’s wrong with you?Think they only steal in Congress?And by the way,have you disclosed your PAC contributions this year as well as individual donors?


6.The steadfast and valiant efforts of the United States military and coalition partners have provided the Iraqi people with the framework needed to self govern. The Iraqis held elections that have been touted as highly successful, based primarily on the accounts of Iraqis who went to the polls.

Response:The first intelligent thing you said.Exactly how did the elections happen….”over the horizon?”…or maybe some of the 200,000 Iraqui security forces had something to do with it?Not to mention the sacrifice of our brave troops?


7.But our continued military presence in Iraq, regardless of the motives behind it, is seen by Iraqis as interfering in Iraq⦣x20AC;™s democratic process and undercuts the chances for the newly elected government to be successful.

Resposne:Bullshit,to qoute AP.Our ambassador ther has done a remarkable job of moving the process forward.Do you know his name,by the way?Culturally.he forgot more than yoy know about the culture.Let the pros handle it.You are a grand stander.

8.Recently, Iraq⦣x20AC;™s National Security Adviser accused U.S. negotiators of going behind the back of the Iraqi government on talks with insurgents, saying the process could encourage more violence. He said, “Americans are making a huge and fatal mistake in their policy for appeasement and they should not do this. They should leave the Iraqi government to deal with it⦣x20AC;? The United States should allow the new Iraqi government to decide on how to quell the insurgency.”


Response:You want it both ways?You are making a serious allegation here….please provide specific allegations…the who,and when…otherwise an irrevalent,partisian bullshit paragraph.


9.In December 2005, an ABC News poll in Iraq produced some noteworthy results. 57% of Iraqis identified national security as the country⦣x20AC;™s top priority. When asked to rate the confidence in public institutions, they gave Iraqi police a 68% confidence level, the Iraqi army 67%, religious leaders 67%. But the U.S./U.K. forces scored the lowest, a mere 18%.

Response:Big deal.Was Al Sadr and his crew polled?I have a better idea,let’s all follow him and the Baathist too at the polls,right John?


10.The longer our military stays in Iraq, the more unwelcome we will be. We will be increasingly entangled in an open-ended nation building mission, one that our military can not accomplish amidst a civil war. Our troops will continue to be the targets of Iraqis who see them as interfering occupiers.

Response:Nonsense.A new administration backed by a stronger security force will,in time take control….exactly as YOUR president and commander in chief predicted.


12.Redeploying our forces from Iraq and stationing a mobile force outside of the country removes a major antagonizing factor. I believe we will see a swift demise of foreign terrorist groups in Iraq if we redeploy outside of the country. Further, our troops will no longer be the targets of bloody attacks.

Response:I have a better idea.Why don’t you go on a boat and sail over the horizon.Your idea is idiocy and unsupportable by logic…..withdraw,then declare victory,eh John?


13.The ever-changing justifications of the war in Iraq, combined with tragic missteps, have resulted in a worldwide collapse of support for U.S. policies in Iraq.

Response:Worldwide collapse?Ask the Dutch,British,Isrealis,Japanese,Italians,Poles,and South Koreans if they agree with you…..but they don’t count,right?World-wide collapse…what a complete exageration….


16.The credibility of the United States of America will not be restored if we continue down the path of saying one thing and doing another. We must not lower our standards and tactics to those of the terrorists. In order to keep our homeland secure, we must hold true to the values that molded our American democracy, even in the face of adversity. Former Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, said it best during a speech in March 2004 to the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies: “America knows we cannot seek a double standard. And, America knows we get what we give. And so we must and will always be careful to respect people’s privacy, civil liberties and reputations. To suggest that there is a tradeoff between security and individual freedoms — that we must discard one protection for the other — is a false choice. You do not defend liberty to forsake it.”


Response:YOU should take Ridge’s words to heart congressman…YOU create discord…You hog every mike you can….you should shut up and let the pros do their jobs…..the game has past you by a long time ago.Dinosuer.Like you know who in Massachusetts.


16Restoring the world⦣x20AC;™s confidence in America as a competent and morally superior world leader is essential to winning the war on global terrorism.


Response:Exactly the words of the president.The first intelligent thing you have said.


13.A recent pubic opinion poll, conducted jointly with Zogby International and taken in Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, found that 81% said the war in Iraq had brought less peace to the Middle East. A majority of the respondents said they view the United States as the biggest threat to their nations.

14.Ya,so?Who was polled?Hamas?Moslem Brotherhood?The PTA?You dolt.


15.Mr. President, I believe in order to restore our credibility, you must hold accountable those responsible for so many missteps and install a fresh team that demonstrates true diplomatic skill, knowledge of cultural differences and a willingness to earnestly engage other leaders in a respectful and constructive way. This would do much to reinvigorate international participation in a truly effective war on global terrorism.

Response:Ah…I get it…a fresh team….Mike Mooore,Howard Dean,…who else you want?John Kerry?Hillary?who?

16.The Department of Defense has been allocated $238 billion for the war in Iraq, with average monthly costs growing significantly since the beginning of the war. In 2003 the average monthly war cost was $4.4 billion; by 2005 the average monthly cost had reached $6.1 billion.

Despite the urgent homeland security needs of our country, the bipartisan 9/11 Commission issued a dismal report card on the efforts to improve our counter-terrorist defenses. Even the most basic of recommendations, such as the coordination of fire and police communication lines, still have not been accomplished.

Response:I forgot…exactly how attacks have taken place here since 9/11? ZERO,you idiot.Something is working,and you didn’t create it.


17.In the face of threats from international terrorists, we need to reallocate funds from the war in Iraq to protecting the United States against attack. A safe and swift redeployment from Iraq will allow us to do just that.


Response:You need a brain transplant,congressman.Plus,intercepting cell calls is a lot cheaper.Constitutionial,too.


19.The U.S. army is the smallest it’s been since 1941. It is highly capable. But this drawn out conflict has put tremendous stress on our military, particularly on our Army and Marine Corps, whose operations tempo has increased substantially since 9/11.

Response:Wrong.Read the Pentagon’s report today in the Washington Post.Stop manipulating facts.


19The Government Accountability Office issued a report in November 2005 addressing the challenges of military personnel recruitment and retention and noted that the Department of Defense had been unable to fill over 112,000 positions in critical occupational specialties. This shortfall includes intelligence analysts, special forces, interpreters, and demolition experts— those on whom we rely so heavily in today⦣x20AC;™s asymmetric battlefield.

Response:Because of perceived discord cause by you and others,enrollment did slip.Thankfully the case has reversed.Re-enlistments,which you neglect to mention,are through the roof,but again that doesn’t count,right?


22.Some of our troops have been deployed four times over the last three years. Enlistment for the regular forces as well as the guard and reserves are well below recruitment goals. In 2005, the Army missed its recruitment goal for the first time since 1999, even after offering enlistment bonuses and incentives, lowering its monthly goals, and lowering its recruitment standards. As Retired Army officer Andrew Krepinevich recently warned in a report to the Pentagon, the Army is “in a race against time” to adjust to the demands of war “or risk ‘breaking’ the force in the form of a catastrophic decline” in recruitment and re-enlistment.

Response:The army will still kick the ass of anyone on the horizon,stop whining and back them up.


23.The harsh environment in which we are operating our equipment in Iraq, combined with the equipment usage rate (ten times greater than peacetime levels) is taking a heavy toll on our ground equipment. It is currently estimated that $50 billion will be required to refurbish this equipment.

Response:Make yourself useful then…make sure they have what they need instead of pissing and moaning about it.


22.Further, in its response to Hurricane Katrina, the National Guard realized that it had over $1.3 billion in equipment shortfalls. This has created a tremendous burden on non-deployed guard units, on whom this country depends so heavily to respond to domestic disasters and possible terrorist attacks. Without relief, Army Guard units will face growing equipment shortages and challenges in regaining operational readiness for future missions at home and overseas.

Response:ditto.Stop whining and get they heros what they need.Mobilize your energy in that direction if you want to be useful.


23.Since 9/11, Congress has appropriated about $334 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, while the insurgents have spent hundreds of thousands.

Response:Bullshit.Show me how the insurgents have spent “hundreds of thousands” billions is more like it.Concentrate on stopping the flow of money into the area and you will be off my shit list.Another lie.


24 We have seen reports estimating that the total cost of the wars may reach as high as $1 trillion. These estimates are said to include such costs as providing long-term disability benefits and care for injured service members. It is estimated today that over 16,000 U.S. troops have been wounded in Iraq, 10,481 of whom have been wounded by “weaponry explosive devices
But while war costs continue to climb, cuts are being made to the defense budget. As soon as the war is over there will be pressure to cut even more. This year, even while we are at war, 8 billion dollars was cut from the base defense spending bill. You ordered another $32 billion in cuts to the defense budget over the next five years, with $11.6 billion coming from the Army. The Pentagon told Congress only last year that it needed 77 combat brigades to fulfill its missions, but now insists it only needs 70. In fact, 6 of the 7 combat brigades will be cut from the National Guard, reducing its combat units from 34 to 28. Even though all of the National Guard combat brigades have been deployed overseas since 9/11, your Administration has determined that, because of funding shortfalls, our combat ground forces can be reduced. Not only will these cuts diminish our combat power, but our ability to respond to natural disasters and terrorist threats to our homeland will be adversely affected. It is obvious that the cost of the war, in conjunction with the Army⦣x20AC;™s inability to meet recruitment goals, has impacted this estimate. My concern is that instead of our force structure being based on the future threat, it is now being based on the number of troops and level of funding available.


24.Listen,everything ground commanders request,we give them.These budget cuts are transitioning from a cold war to a modern war force.They have been the product of many studies and endorsed by the Joint Chiefs of staff.To defend this country in 5 years we must be much more mobile.
I am concerned that costly program cuts will lead to costly mistakes and we will be unable to sustain another deployment even if there is a real threat. The future of our military and the future of our country could very well be at stake. The high dollar forecasts of our future military weapons systems and military health care add pressure to cut costs on the backs of these programs. As our weapons systems age, the concern becomes even greater.


REsponse:Don’t worry,the administration has it under control…and the subsequent Republicuan administration will finish the process.Sit back and watch how it’s done.

27.During a time of war, we are cutting our combat force, we have not mobilized industry, and have never fully mobilized our military. On our current path, I believe that we are not only in danger of breaking our military, but that we are increasing the chances of a major miscalculation by our future enemies, who may perceive us as vulnerable.

Response:Ya,ok.Take 2 asprins and call me in the morning.


Sincerely,

Sicilian Eagle


Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 4, 2006 2:31 PM
Comment #120634

Okay, it’s official, American Pundit confirms rampant drug use with this reply to me:

“Ken, up until onsite inspections made it clear that Iraq had no WMD, France was working with the Pentagon to integrate a carrier group, and armored division, and hundreds of fighter aircraft into the invasion plan.”

On site inspections making it clear?? YGBFSM! Do you know what an inspection is? Iraq inspections were like a private (Saddam) telling a gunnery sergeant (the UN), “Okay Gunny, you can inspect my stuff, but I need one week’s notice before you get within 100’ of my belongings. Oh! And you can’t go into the little black box in my locker. Oh! And if my bed isn’t made … well, I’m just not going to respond to those criticisms. Oh! You can only look at my rifle from 5 feet away. Oh! My fingernails are always dirty, that’s just the way it is! … etc. etc. etc.”

How do we know the inspections didn’t amount to much? A unanimous 14th (or was it 15th? … there were so many!) resolution from the UN saying Iraq was NOT, key word: NOT, complying.

Yes, Saddam is gone and any of our kids who study this issue 30 years from now will thank us up and down … well, they’ll thank us conservatives anyway. A senile Saddam may be a harmless picture to Libs, but not to those with common sense.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 4, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #120665

Ken,
Conservatives missed the big picture. OBL was a radical Islamic fundamentalist. He opposed secular Arab regimes because of their authoritarian, corrupt, un-Islamic nature. The threat to the US came from OBL, Al Qaida, and the Trotsky-like attempt to spur fundamentalists to action on an international basis.

Saddam Hussein and the Baathists were secular Arab nationalists, the enemies of OBL and Al Qaida. Taking out the secular Arab nationists strengthened the hand of the fundamentalists. It’s that simple.

It was a profoundly foolish strategic mistake. Any threat to our security posed by Saddam Hussein was theoretical and distant in years. The threat posed by OBL and the radical fundamentalists was immediate and real.

Fortunately for us, the number of radical fundamentalists with an international focus was small; there were far fewer than we originally feared. (AP, this is one point on which CIA analyst and talking head Michael Scheuer apprears to have been completely wrong. There just weren’t that many in the first place, and the bombing in Afghanistan apparently killed an awful lot of them). The campaign in Afghanistan & subsequent police work destroyed Al Qaida as a threat, and although OBL & Zawahiri remain powerful symbols capable of inciting violence, the War on Terror effectively ended in 2003, with the capture of the mastermind behind 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

However, sympathy for the cause of OBL and Al Qaida skyrocketed as a result of the US invasions and occupations of two Arab capitals. Terrorism became a greater threat than ever on a localized basis: with Al Qaida in Iraq, the Pashtun in the Northwest Provinces of Pakistan, and with wannabes in England, Spain, and elsewhere. While there is no longer a coherent organization with which to wage war against, the causes which spurred the conflict in the first place have been exacerbated by US actions.

Posted by: phx8 at February 4, 2006 5:05 PM
Comment #120679

SE,
Personally, I think Murtha makes sense, and his proposal for withdraw from Iraq makes eminent sense.

2. “Iraq is the battlefield for world terrorism…” Well, it obviously was not a battlefield before we invaded. Most of the terrorism is inflicted by Al Qaida in Iraq, and most of those terrorists are not foreign jihadists; the organization has morphed into an Iraqi operation. Their attacks are generally aimed at Shias, as opposed to the various insurgent groups, which target US troops rather than civilians. In any event, the conflict is not international, but localized. These are not the same opponents that committed the murders of 9/11.

3. “… You continue to send messages of discord to the enemy…”

Our internal discord is irrelevant. Some of the same opponents we now face fought the USSR in Afghanistan as Mujahideen. The Soviets faced no discord, no critical media whatsoever, and yet they lost. They lost because the Soviets were interested in the outcome, but the Afghans were committed as a matter of life and death and the exisstence of all they valued. Of course, enemies seek to force our withdrawal through political means; but if we faced a matter of national security and national survival, such efforts by the enemy would be as irrelevant to us, as our discord is irrelevant to them. They don’t fight because we disagree with each other.

5. “if we withdraw before the Iraq army can stand on its feet,the counrty will be torn in three pieces by greedy politicians disguised as clerics.”

Too late. We failed to recognize partition as the best alternative, and sought to perpetuate the borders of a country doomed to fail from inception. We’ll eventually end up there anyway, but not until many die.

7. & 9. Polls show the majority of Iraqis want the US out of Iraq. Among Sunnis, the sentiment approaches unanimity.

8. Recently negotiations with the insurgents were resumed, but they fell apart again. The insurgents demand a hard withdrawal date. The US refuses to set a date.

10. “A new administration backed by a stronger security force will,in time take control….exactly as YOUR president and commander in chief predicted.”
Until Iraqis place loyalty to the country above loyalty towards their ethnic group/clan/religion, this will not happen. As for predictions by the Bush administration, SE, I’m positive you don’t want to go there.

16. “… Exactly how attacks have taken place here since 9/11? ZERO…”
Very good! Now, how many attacks have been attempted inside the US since 2003? ZERO! How many terrorist infiltrators have been captured attempting to cross our notoriously porous border? ZERO!

Come on, SE. You know what I’m saying is true. What conclusion must you draw?


Posted by: phx8 at February 4, 2006 6:09 PM
Comment #120684

Sicilian Eagle,

That must’ve been one hell of a lecture. I’m glad to see your talons are as sharp as ever.

Just to clarify, you do know I did a cut-n-paste of Murtha’s letter to Bush, eh? I’m thinking he’s probably too busy to read this blog, but his email address is available. I’ll bet he’d appreciate ANY response from Bush even if it were as “biting” as yours.

John Murtha’s record has proven him to be a very strong supporter of the military. Even the earliest attacks on his credibility were later poo-pooed by the Bush administration. When I read that letter in it’s entirety I see someone who is truly worried about our ability to maintain the safety of OUR young nation not only today but for many tomorrows.

In a truly Democratic society our Commander-in-Chief would welcome Murtha’s suggestions (even if he disagreed and dismissed them as foolish) during a time of great threat. I assume we can agree that we are living in a time of great threat?

IMO Bush has surrounded himself with “yes men” (and women) who are willing to cast aside any ideas other than those espoused by them and their “base”. I think this is a dangerous course of action and what I seem to hear from the far right is, “we won, let Bush do his job, shut up, you’re all a bunch of whiners, dissent is unpatriotic, etc.”

Dissent in American history is as patriotic as me telling you that, although we disagree, I’d be proud to fight along side of you to defend our freedom and our American way of life. Hell’s bells, somehow I left out apple pie.

Any statement must truly be looked at in it’s entirety to deliver it’s true meaning. Remember how Rumsfeld got ripped by the press over the Q & A over Humvee armor many months ago? I believe his statement was “you go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want” (not a true quote, just my memory) but if a reasonable person listened to the entire statement it went far beyond that.

SE, you just did the same thing with Murtha’s letter. Both Rumsfeld and Murtha are respectable men, far more so than I, and they both deserve great respect.

American Pundit’s post was “butchered, disected, and murdered” in the same way that you treated Murtha’s letter to Bush, or the way the media treated Rumsfeld’s replies many months ago.

That treatment of another’s opinion does not suggest superiority, but only arrogance which is a a close relative to ignorance.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 4, 2006 6:31 PM
Comment #120686

Mr Smyth,
If Smythe is your real name… Good post. But the conclusion that criticism should not occur is simply wrong. The Soviets faced no internal dissent or criticism about Afghanistan; if they had permitted dissent through their media, and listened to criticism from a loyal opposition, perhaps they would have withdrawn sooner, instead of staying in Afghanistan until their government fell.

We’re spending a billion per week in Iraq. A billion per week. Surely you can come up with better ways to spend a billion per week.

Posted by: phx8 at February 4, 2006 6:40 PM
Comment #120687

Will the last US soldier leaving Iraq on the liberal timetable please turn off the lights so that we won’t have to witness the immediate slaughter of the Iraqi innocents who didn’t have the foresight to store their own IEDs and RPGs?

Posted by: goodkingned at February 4, 2006 6:42 PM
Comment #120692

Goodkingned,
Iraqi families often have two guns; one stays with the house, and the other is for travel.

You do know the conservative time table, don’t you? You do know the Bush administration is not requesting any additional funds for reconstruction, right? We bailed. We’re done. Stick a fork in it.

In the meantime, the civil war has been underway for some time. Did you know that ABC reporter Woodruff was doing a report on Iraq’s ‘return to normalcy’ when the IED went off? Innocents have been slaughtered for some time. Tens of thousands have died. No one knows just how many innocent men, women, and children have died.

With luck, we’ll choreograph a withdrawl with the Iraqi government… They’ll demand we pull out, we’ll wipe a tear from our eye, sorrowfully shake our head, say ‘look, my little country is all grown up,’ and with a muffled sob we’ll turn away, and beat feet by the elections in November.

But yeah, chances are a hell of a lot more people will die when we leave. We’re damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. Train an Iraqi Army, and they’ll nothing more than a trained Shia militia with better guns. Don’t train an Iraqi Army, and we stay & fight the Sunnis as a Shia proxy.

A billion dollars per week. Over 2000 American soldiers dead. Over 16,000 wounded. Tens of thousands of Iraqis dead and wounded.

Our national security is not at stake. Our national survival is not at stake. So tell me, why is this in our national interest?

Posted by: phx8 at February 4, 2006 7:00 PM
Comment #120699

phx8:

Unfortunately, this isn’t the American Revolution where we could hold our position and wait for the redcoats to march over the hill directly into our line of fire. Our enemies in the war against terror fight from concealment, hiding amoung the innocent and not so innocent population. The war in Afganistan drove our enemies to new hiding places, the war in Iraq drew them out again.

Iraq was a soft target for terrorists to move their operation to for several reasons.

One, Saddam provided financial and structural support to all manner of terrorist groups.
Two, Iraq is conveniently located being adjacent to terrorist hot spots such as Syria and Iran allowing for the free transfer of personnel, material and information.
Three, the nature of the US/Saddam conflict was an excellent vehicle for the anti-western rhetoric that terrorists organizations use to recruit members.

Aside from the fact that this was a pragmatic place to continue the war on terror, there are two excellent justifications for the US to become involved in the fight to free Iraqi’s from Saddam’s control.

Iraq has a sufficiently large middle class to allow a democratic model to work.
And finaly, it was the right thing to do.

The Iraqi’s deserve more that a sadistic dictator. Iraq’s neighbors deserve to be free from fear that they would be the victim of Saddam’s aggression once the Iraqi sanctions were lifted. And the US needs assurance that we won’t be fighting Desert Storm III in another decade.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 4, 2006 7:38 PM
Comment #120723

“One, Saddam provided financial and structural support to all manner of terrorist groups.”

Can you back this up with facts?

“Three, the nature of the US/Saddam conflict was an excellent vehicle for the anti-western rhetoric that terrorists organizations use to recruit members.”

I agree with this, but can’t see how this is anything but one of the most serious disasters of the botched invasion.

“Aside from the fact that this was a pragmatic place to continue the war on terror,”

So you call $300 billion and no visiable change in the terrorist’s abilities pragmatic?

Posted by: tony at February 4, 2006 8:28 PM
Comment #120729

goodkingned,

“Will the last US soldier leaving Iraq on the liberal timetable please turn off the lights so that we won’t have to witness the immediate slaughter of the Iraqi innocents who didn’t have the foresight to store their own IEDs and RPGs?

Posted by: goodkingned at February 4, 2006 06:42 PM “

Actually we already were the last ones to turn the lights off in Bagdad, and they’re still not back to prewar status. All that aside I have one question:

Is our military ready to take on the major threats we’re confronted with TODAY?

If you want to live in the “spin world” you’ll believe that 3 or 4 tours of duty result in “battle hardened troops” and actually that’s somewhat true but many independent reports have shown we are in truly deep sh*t. If you’d ever worked at a physically demanding job you’d know that. Even if you never come under fire you’re working in a horrific climate carrying nearly 50% of your body weight in armor, weapons and ammo.

OK, I lied, I have a second question: do you believe we can “take on the whole damn world”? Due to our fearless leaders misguidance we have more foreign powers considering “us” as a threat than we have since the JFK years. Have you paid any attention at all to Putin?

If you truly think that Bush & Co. are doing a great job then I can only say, “good luck and good night”.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 4, 2006 9:13 PM
Comment #120741

The Mighty Eagle’s response to Jack Murtha
Additional comments by Rylee:

Dear Mr. Murtha


1.This March will mark the beginning of the 4th year of the war in Iraq. In contrast, U.S. involvement in WWI came to an end after 19 months. Victory in Europe was declared in WWII after 3 years 5 months. In the Korean War, a cease-fire was signed after 3 years and 1 month. But after more than three and a half years into the war in Iraq, your administration finally produced what is called a ⦣x20AC;œPlan for Victory⦣x20AC; in Iraq.

RESPONSE
Wrong.While victory was declared in Europe after 19 months against an enemy that had been softened up by 20 million Russians,OCCUPATION of Europe lasted another five years.You probably forgot that.

Comment:
Perhaps im mistaken but I thought we still had troops in germany today …as i spent 24 months there in the eightys ,,,seems like we were there a little longer than implied…..

Next:

2.Iraq is not the center for the global war on terrorism. I believe Iraq has diverted our attention away from the fight against global terrorism and has depleted the required resources needed to wage an effective war. It is estimated that there are only about 750 to 1,000 al-Qaeda in Iraq. I believe the Iraqis will force them out or kill them after U.S. troops are gone. In fact, there is now evidence that Iraqi insurgent groups are increasingly turning against al-Qaeda and other foreign terrorists.

RESPONSE
Wrong again.Iraq is the battlefield for world terrorism…..except you can’t see it.Better there than here,no congressman?The more will kill there is one less we worry about here.Why can’t you understand that?Take the blinders off and look at what has been accomplished there.

Comment:

Perhaps the congressman is unaware of Iran and syrian weapons being brought across the border to assist in destabilizing the new iraqi government for if succesful it will mean the eventual downfall of both iran and syria,so no matter what it takes both countries will do virtually any thing to stop the new government from succeding,they would love it for us to leave allowing them a free hand to bribe and or kill those they can not persaude to their view point.and please remember that most of iraqs original air force from the early 90s went to and is currently sheltered by Iran ,,,more than likly the missing chemical/bio weapons are currently stored there or syria as well.And these thoughts are what the democrats expect americans to vote for thier party allowing them to govern like this ?….shows why they will continue to lose most elections and continue thier down ward spiral.

Next:

3.Our country needs a vigorous and comprehensive strategy for victory against global terrorism. The architect of 9/11 is still out there but now has an international microphone. We must get back to the real issue at hand - we have to root out and destroy al-Qaeda⦣x20AC;⦣x201E;?s worldwide network.

Response:Well,as long as nitwits like you continue to send messages of discord to the enemy,that won’t help,will it?You really think that dumb “over the horizon” idea is a plan for victory over terror?Guys like you help the terrorist turn up the microphone by encouraging them.Retreat isn’t victory.

Comment:
as the FBI and other federal agencys continue to investigate recent leaks regarding secret CIA prisons in other countries and the recently devastating leaks regarding the NSA wiretaping of foreign nationals speaking to americans in this country I personaly believe at the root of each leak one or more democrats will be discovered as the source of the leak,and if because of these leaks the terrorists pull off another succesful attack i wonder how many democrats will reconsider the direction and objectives of their party and either vote republican or actually change partys ,,this time i believe the evidence is there and will be uncovered prior to the next election ,,,once this occurs the dems will be finished as a legitamate party.Once all america sees that the democratic party is more interested in being elected and back in power than they are the safty of all americans and are willing to release top secret military secrets to achieve thier goals they will lose most americans votes…very few when it comes right down to it will vote for those willing to abandon all weve achieved in iraq and afganistan and around the world in this fight with rabid suicidal extremist killers ,and with each new speech made by kennidy ,Pelosi ,Murtagh,Reid,Clinton,Boxer,Lee,Durbin,Dean,and 90% of the other dems america slowly opens its eyes and realizes all the dems want is power to tax and spend our money while allowing enemys who would kill us if given the chance our tax money as a way to avoid war and pay off the enemy ,,,as the clinton regime discovered to americas dire realization terrorist regimes can only be bought off for so long and now a day of reconing is rapidly approaching …..


Posted by: Rylee at February 4, 2006 10:01 PM
Comment #120742

Goodkingned & Rylee,
You keep confusing Iraq with the War on Terrorism. (As usual, Afghanistan is forgotten).

Earlier in this thread, I pointed out the War on Terror effectively ended in 2003 with the capture of ‘the mastermind behind 9/11’ (according to the 9/11 Commission), Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Since 2003, there have been 4 major terrorist attacks. (The Bali attacks were conducted by JI, and cannot be attributed to Al Qaida). These attacks occurred in Spain, London, and twice in Egypt. They may or may not have involved Al Qaida, although Zawahiri came from Egypt, so that would hardly be surprising. These were conducted by jihadists in-country, and in any event could have been carried out without assistance from Al Qaida.

My question for you: How are these attacks linked to Iraq?

Please note, there have been no terrorist attacks or even attempts to penetrate the US in quite some time- and NEVER have there been attacks within the US borders by an Iraqi. None. Not once.


Posted by: phx8 at February 4, 2006 10:23 PM
Comment #120745

Rylee,
if you believe this:
“I personaly believe at the root of each leak one or more democrats will be discovered as the source of the leak,”

I suggest you try this:
http://www.findlocaldoctor.com/

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 4, 2006 10:30 PM
Comment #120757

Thank you American Pundit for supplying me for the funniest post by any blogger in any forum. You have made my paper’s top 10 list. I consider myself a democrat who believes in saying F our troops but still supporting our troops while saying F our troops while standing by them and still find your post beyond amusing.

Thank you.

Posted by: Thankyou at February 4, 2006 11:15 PM
Comment #120759

Dear Kansas Dem,

Can you please explain your post?

The war on terror ended with the3 sheik’s capture? Can you please tell the people who are killed by homicide bombers this?

Posted by: LocalDoctor at February 4, 2006 11:19 PM
Comment #120760

Screw you.

Posted by: KansasDem at February 4, 2006 11:21 PM
Comment #120772

“Homicide bomber”? Isn’t that redundant? Homicide. Bomber. Oooof. But it gets worse. If someone is killed by a bomber, how can you tell them anything? They’re already dead. Ugh. This is the kind of thing I might expect from Bush in a SOTU address.

Aside from the impossibility of communing with the dead, what bombing victims are we talking about? Are we talking about the innocent women and children recently killed in Pakistan by American missiles? That was certainly a ‘homicide bombing.’ Firing missiles into houses without knowing who is inside constitutes murder in my book. That fits the phrase ‘homicide bombing’ very neatly.

The War on Terror ended in 2003 because Al Qaida lost its ability to operate. Members of the organization have been captured along the Afghan border in Pakistan during the last two years, but that’s about it. Al Qaida does not seem to be able to act outside that region. Al Qaida appears to have lost its ability to coordinate, network, or operate.

Posted by: phx8 at February 5, 2006 12:01 AM
Comment #120783

SE-
The dilemma that you’ve failed to acknowledge is this: If things are as nice and successful as Bush claims, we should be able to start leaving now. If they are not, then Bush has screwed up, and he needs to redeem the mistake if possible.

The test is whether we can leave. If we can’t, it’s obvious we haven’t won. As Sun Tzu once said, there’s no such thing as a brilliantly protracted campaign. All the military campaigns that Murtha mentions were on their way to tangible success long before the end of those periods Additionally, the conflict was settled in Europe, not inflamed into a long-term insurgency.

After a few years of these delayed results, Americans are rightly starting to wonder whether Bush has any real idea of what he’d doing in Iraq, and how he’s going about the job of finishing it off. You talk of morale and discord, but you fail to note that in a Democracy, dissent cannot be eliminated, it can only be answered and confronted. Additionally,if you had read your military strategy, you would know that victories and results are as important to morale and popular support as what other people are saying. What the Critics say only sticks to the point that people believe it. Folks are believing it, and not Bush’s pleas. Why? I don’t know, if a person isn’t straight with you enough, you write them off.

I guess in the end, it all centers on one point: actions speak louder than words. If you want your critics shut up, show your skill.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 5, 2006 12:36 AM
Comment #120790

Blog crew. I did not post this:

“Screw you.

Posted by: KansasDem at February 4, 2006 11:21 PM”

I repeat, I did not post this!

There must be a way, since I have to include my email address, to find out who’s using my “screen-name” and trying to run my teat thru the ringer.

Seriously, I messed up once recently using inappropriate language and I apologized.

This is not my post!
KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 5, 2006 12:58 AM
Comment #120794

I should have said “that was not my post”.

Using someone elses blog name has to be a blatant violation.

Believe me, I’d never stop with a simple “screw you”.

KansasDem
PS: John T. can vouch for that from removing my last offensive message.

Posted by: KansasDem at February 5, 2006 1:05 AM
Comment #120837

phx8:

Re: Your post, I would like to respond.

“Goodkingned & Rylee,
You keep confusing Iraq with the War on Terrorism. (As usual, Afghanistan is forgotten).”

No not forgotten, my post was about why we were in Iraq, not why we were in Afganistan. That’s another topic.

“Earlier in this thread, I pointed out the War on Terror effectively ended in 2003 with the capture of ‘the mastermind behind 9/11’ (according to the 9/11 Commission), Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.”

Apparently, I don’t believe I agree with your conclusion that the War on Terror ended in 2003. In fact, I think it’s ludicrous. I still think that radical muslem extremists intend to try to do harm to western nations and so does OBL as is evidenced by the statements released recently. Maybe he didn’t read the 9/11 commision report.

“Since 2003, there have been 4 major terrorist attacks. (The Bali attacks were conducted by JI, and cannot be attributed to Al Qaida). These attacks occurred in Spain, London, and twice in Egypt. They may or may not have involved Al Qaida, although Zawahiri came from Egypt, so that would hardly be surprising. These were conducted by jihadists in-country, and in any event could have been carried out without assistance from Al Qaida.

My question for you: How are these attacks linked to Iraq?”

First, I dispute your dismissal of the Bali attack as an unrelated event. That attack was targeted at an establishment catering to Australian tourists. It was widely acknowledged that the attack was in reprisal for Austraila’s participation in the Iraqi War. You might not think so, but the Austrailian government did as is indicated by their statements after the attack.

Regarding the other attacks you do include here’s what I think.

The attack in Spain occurred immediately before the presidential election and the pro-western imcumbant was defeated and Spain withdrew its military support from the Iraqi war. The world press concluded that the attack was timed to have exactly that effect.

Since England is the second largest force in the Iraqi War and a staunch supporter of the War on Terror, it seems obvious that the attack was a reprisal for England’s involvement in Iraq.

Egypt has always harshly opposed violence by radicals within her borders. Attempts to incite the Egyptian people to Jihad are brutally crushed.
This attitude makes Egypt a target for terrorist attacks. You’re right, this may have nothing to do with Iraq. It has everything to do with the War on Terror which is a global conflict.

“Please note, there have been no terrorist attacks or even attempts to penetrate the US in quite some time- and NEVER have there been attacks within the US borders by an Iraqi. None. Not once.”

True, there have been no successful terrorist attacks withing the US since 9/11. However, since 9/11 there have been at least half a dozen terrorist cells publically uncovered in the US, their members detained or arrested. And those cells are just the ones we, the public, know about. There is no way to know how many more cells are operating or are under investigation.

You’re right, I don’t know of any attacks in the US by Iraqi nationals, however there is evidence gathered by US and European intelligence agencies of meetings in Iraq and Germany between Al Quida operatives and representatives of Saddam Hussien’s government. Since they were secret meetings, and were conducted covertly, we don’t have transcripts of the conversations at these meetings so we can only speculate on the topics the terrorist organizations and Saddam wanted to discuss. In this imperfect world that is sufficient evidence for me.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 5, 2006 4:13 AM
Comment #120872
How do we know the inspections didn’t amount to much? A unanimous 14th (or was it 15th? … there were so many!) resolution from the UN saying Iraq was NOT, key word: NOT, complying.

Ken, you have the timeline wrong. That resolution was passed before the inspectors went back in. According to the inspectors, the 2002-03 inspections were getting adequate cooperation and turned up nothing in the way of WMD.

The IAEA cleared Iraq of nukes or a nuke program, and Blix was weeks away from clearing Iraq on all other WMD. Extensive post-war inspections by the CIA turned up no evidence the WMD existed any later than 1998 (when President Clinton bombed evey suspected WMD site in Iraq).

I usually charge a hefty fee to do fact-checking, but I’ll give you a big pro-bono on this one. I hope you keep up your attempts to stay informed.

Sincerely,
-AP

Iraq was a soft target for terrorists to move their operation to for several reasons.

Earth to goodkingned: The terrorists didn’t move into Iraq until after the US invaded.

I just read this in the paper and shook my head in dusgust. For the first time, as far as I can tell, Sec Def Rumsfeld acknowleged that Iraq is now a training ground for terrorism:

Rumsfeld said radical Islamic terrorists were using Iraq as a training and recruiting ground, in the same way as they operated in Afghanistan when the Taliban were in charge.

So terrorists are using Iraq under US occupation just like they used Afghanistan under the Taliban. Freakin’ incredible…

px8, I have to disagree with the idea that the war on terror is over. JI has ideological, financial, and technical ties to al-Qaeda. They’ve claimed that themselves, and other groups have done likewise.

Obviously, there haven’t been any more terrorist attacks on the US, but there have been al-Qaeda-inspired attacks — as you mention — in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. No doubt the measures, especially the financial measures, enacted after 9/11 have restricted their operations, but it’s not over.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 5, 2006 6:56 AM
Comment #120880

I’m getting a lot of abuse, but no one’s been able to punch a hole in my argument: The Democratic way of war, as the UN and NATO are practicing it in Afghanistan is superior to President Bush’s way of war in Iraq.

I’ll help you guys out. To do it, you’ll have to either prove that the UN/NATO mission in Afghanistan is not the way Democrats have repeatedly said they’d have done Iraq — or you’d have to prove that the Iraq operation is going better than Afghanistan.

Kudos to Myke who attempted the much harder (but equally futile) second option:

First, just because we aren’t having the same success or same international support in the Iraq war compared to that in Afghanistan doesn’t make it worse.

Are you actually saying that because the Iraq operation is less successful than Afghanistan that Iraq is better?

They are two different wars…

Exactly. The Democratic way of war and the Bush administration way of war. That’s my point — but for some reason I thought you were trying to debunk it rather than strengthen it.

Either way, thanks for contributing. ;)

Oh hey! I’m just checking my AP news feed: Sunni Politicians Raise Warnings of Civil War

As NATO troops extend the reach of Karzai’s government and bring stability into the southern reaches of Afghanistan, US troops in Iraq are chasing ghosts until they can hand off the fighting to Iraqi forces and then leave: “As they stand up, we run away.” I think that’s how President Bush put it…

Seems to me it would be more polite to stabilize Iraq before we give it back — you break it, you fix it — but I guess that’s why I’m not the President.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 5, 2006 7:17 AM
Comment #120904

All

I am glad that my response to Murtha’s letter evoked discussion….I merely parsed his letter,paragraph by paragraph pointing out factual inaccuracies,including his lead paragraph.

Note I did not attack his patriotism.He is a patriot,be it a misguided patriot.

Rather,I believe that the enemy hears what we say.I believe that quotes by politicians favorable to their cause end up in their propaganda and at their sermons in the mosques on Fridays.

Becuase they do not understand Western thought as badly as we do not understand their thought,discord,or perceived discord as the case may be,get traction there pretty quickly and that opposing view ends up with propaganda legs.

The dumbest thing to do right now is the over the horizon thing..especially since the Iranian fuse is now lit.Bases in Iraq are well protected and virtually impregnable against Shia attack,if that were ever to occur.

One comment that deserves a comment however is the zero comment that I made,Zero attacks on our soil since 9/11.

Probably scores have been foiled.

But how many we will will never know,although at least 7 are rotting in prision right now in Buffalo off the top of my head.

Maybe an intercepted cell call was (is) responsible in part for that.

Instead of pissing and moaning about the cause of the war,we should all be encouraging the learning of Farsi,Arabic,Chinese dialects and study the culture a lot more than we do.

The cartoons were inflammatory and I believe the Danish papers were out of line publishing them at so sensitive a time.BUT,the violent response in Syria,Lebanon,Iraq and Palestine is just as bad.I was glad to see Al Sistianni in Iraq and the grand Mufti in Lebanon call for calm.Hamas in clearly fanning the fire in Plaestine…an indicator of future things,I guess.


One more thing.A radio commentator here in Massachusetts coined new names for our senators…….”Botox.”…and “Detox”…

Gotta go and sharpen my talons now….

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 5, 2006 8:49 AM
Comment #120945

Set backs and blunders.

23 Al-Qaeda members tunnel out of Temeni Jail.
13 convicted of USS COLE and French tanker.
Al-Qaeda is training in tunneling. Protect our boarders. 20 tunnels found since 9/11. Yellow alert.

Posted by: js at February 5, 2006 9:51 AM
Comment #120953

One comment that deserves a comment however is the zero comment that you made.
Zero attacks on our soil since 9/11.Not true soaring eagle come out of the clouds your low on oxygen you must be light headed.
(1) 1993. 6 Americans killed 1000 injured.
(2) 9/11.

Posted by: js at February 5, 2006 10:15 AM
Comment #120958

Js

Oxygen supply fine from here…you musyta flunked math,though.


1993 the First Trade Center bombing and the Cole attack happened BEFORE 9/11……during the Clinton administration.

Now,all together…2x1 equals 2,2x2 equals 4,2x3……c’mon…togther,as a group…..

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 5, 2006 10:40 AM
Comment #120965

Glad you can multiple to 4. You got me.

1993 during Clinton Adm.

9/11 during the Bush Adm.

No 2nd attack on Bush’s watch. Maybe we can agree on that.

Posted by: js at February 5, 2006 11:16 AM
Comment #121009

I’ve suggested the War on Terror ended in 2003. Several have responsed, but in each case I can concede the responders point without changing my own point. For all practical purposes, the War on Terror ended in 2003.

Yes, several cells were busted inside the US between 9/11 and 2003. Since then, I know of none. If you know otherwise, please let me know!

JI is a long-established movement in Indonesia. Its actions are limited to Indonesia. No question, JI is objectionable, and no question, it shares Al Qaida’s jihadist fervor. However, JI is limited in its actions to Indonesia. That is a problem for the Indonesian government, and we should cooperate with them, sharing information & resources if necessary.

But that hardly constitutes a War on Terror for the US. There just isn’t sufficient cause for teroorism to be the focus of US foreign policy.

OBL & Zawahiri are symbols. Their words are poisonous, and they should be hunted as a matter of justice and as a matter of revenge. But no one believes they are involved in actual operations anymore.

Perhaps this gives some of you pause. Think about it. You know this is not a Democrat or liberal or Republican or conservative position. The Democrats are too afraid to say it. They can’t risk being seen as soft on security. The Democrats are simply afraid. The Republicans can’t risk dropping the so-called War on Terror either. They gain too much, because the instill the fear, and they gain and profit from the fear.

Every person and every country undergoes a tragedy at some point or another. Sometimes the tregedy is truly mostrous. Most people and most countries eventually come to terms with tragedy, overcome it, and move on. They do not feel compelled to let something horrible become the focus of the rest of their time. They do not feel compelled to spend the rest of their time being consumed by fear.

It’s past time, people. Put aside the fear. Let’s move on.

Posted by: phx8 at February 5, 2006 12:47 PM
Comment #121111

>>It’s past time, people. Put aside the fear. Let’s move on.

Posted by: phx8 at February 5, 2006 12:47 PM

phx8,

Hear! Hear! But, we shouldn’t have to relax our vigilence on terror to put aside our fear. What about 9/11 would cause a nation like the United States to cringe behind a Cheney/Bush administration crying for a relaxation of Constitutional law? It was a horrible event. It was not a declaration of war by any entity that can cause us national harm. They can only bite at our ankles like a lap dog. I can’t believe we site terroristic acts as a war. The perpitrators are a bunch of frigging hooligans and should be hunted down and treated as such. The way we’ve responded, they already won the ‘war on terror’. They’ve caused us to change the very things about America that made our way of life so much better than theirs.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 5, 2006 5:06 PM
Comment #121391
I am glad that my response to Murtha’s letter evoked discussion….I merely parsed his letter,paragraph by paragraph pointing out factual inaccuracies,including his lead paragraph.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 5, 2006 08:49 AM


Sorry SE, you’re the guy with factual errors. Spouting opinion, irrelevencies (real word?), and dogma in no way shape or form discredits the general accuracy and factuality of Mutha’s letter’s content.

For example:

1.This March will mark the beginning of the 4th year of the war in Iraq. In contrast, U.S. involvement in WWI came to an end after 19 months. Victory in Europe was declared in WWII after 3 years 5 months. In the Korean War, a cease-fire was signed after 3 years and 1 month. But after more than three and a half years into the war in Iraq, your administration finally produced what is called a ⦣x20AC;œPlan for Victory⦣x20AC; in Iraq.
RESPONSE
Wrong.While victory was declared in Europe after 19 months against an enemy that had been softened up by 20 million Russians,OCCUPATION of Europe lasted another five years.You probably forgot that.

Perhaps I forgot the 250 IED assualts per week on Allied troops from 1945 to 1949? What % of the occupying armies was ours in 1945 - 1949, and what percent of those IED’s against our troop?
Or, Perhaps you forgot Yalta; it’s called “planning” for “after”. A word and action not apparent in Bush II’s vernacular or record.
(BTW: I believe the “official” end of occupation was right after the Korean War (1954+/-), or about 10 years)

Posted by: Dave at February 6, 2006 11:02 AM
Comment #121397
But that hardly constitutes a War on Terror for the US. There just isn’t sufficient cause for teroorism to be the focus of US foreign policy.

Ah, I see what you’re saying. You’re the isolationist Bush warned us about. And here, I thought he meant Pat Buchanan. :)

Seriously, you’re right that most of those groups act regionally and it’s hard to attack inside the US right now, but I wouldn’t discount the possibility.

That said, the whole murdering children, blowing up commusters, and beheading bound victims thing in the State of the Union was pretty overboard. It’s not like terrorists are going to hit Topeka or Vacaville. Yes we need better immigration controls (an integrated terrorist watchlist would be nice — five years and counting on that simple deterrant…) and we need to continue pursuing the money and the intelligence leads, but we’re hardly at war.

If that’s your point, then I agree. The terrorists aren’t going to invade with their terrorist jets and terrorist battleships and tanks. This is primarily an intelligence/law enforcement/Special Ops/diplomacy thing.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 6, 2006 11:21 AM
Comment #121401

I looked up the ‘end-of-occupation’, and duh!!

I forgot that 5/5/55 was the “official” beginning of the state of west Germany and the end of allied occupation.

AP; what’s a ‘cummuster’? Is that like a flammable mass transit rider?

Posted by: Dave at February 6, 2006 11:32 AM
Comment #121410

Dave

I will stipulate to the correction…which,of courses only further serves that Murtha was wrong ab initio.

Gotta run…..old Detox is questioning Gonsalvez on CSPAN.I gotta see how much his hands are shaking this morning…if I put a hammer in them I could probably get him a job cracking walnuts or something when he retires….you know..something constructive…

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 6, 2006 11:44 AM
Comment #121449

Thanks SE,

I do love how you people always like to denegrate life long public servents who’ve seen two of their brothers murdered on TV and whose liberal views have improved the lives of millions of our countrymen. So much better to idolize lazy silver spooned warmongering chickenhawks instead.

Posted by: Dave at February 6, 2006 1:16 PM
Comment #121450

SE-
Most of your attacks on his factual innaccuracy appear to the rest of us to be either differences of opinion or interpretations.

As for propaganda, you must understand the nature of the beast: reality makes the best propaganda, and they aren’t in short supply of that over there. They videotape their decapitations of civilians, their suicide bombings, and our soldiers getting shot and blown up. They show the mangled bodies and carnage on al Jazeera and the other satellite networks, and that shit gets broadcast worldwide.

Yes, our enemy will turn any disagreement on policy into propaganda. But you misunderstand the nature of propaganda: opportunism, expedience, and agenda. In short, those who want to make us look bad will do just about anything with any kind of information to make that happen. If they don’t have something to bitch about, they’ll make something up, which is easy enough on the often conspiracy-minded Arab Street.

Our only defense, really, is to make sure that they are making up most of their propaganda. Fighting fire with fire will only leave us lying to people who already distrust us. Censoring folks for criticizing the war will only cut the brake-lines on bad policy. What we do is that we give people both here and abroad good reason not to buy the propaganda. We fight fire with water, subjective lies with objective truth.

Take care of the reality first. Then we don’t have to spend so much of our time shadowboxing with the subjective shadows of public opinion.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 6, 2006 1:17 PM
Comment #121458

Additionally, SE, I want to point out to you that out of the thousands that the surveillance program went through, only a handful (less than ten) were selected out each year.

Selectivity in who we go after is more than just a civil liberties issue, it’s also an issue of efficiency in our efforts. Which is more time-effective in searching for a needle in a haystack: searching straw by straw, or running a strong magnet through it? The methods you defend filter through tons of information to gain a small number of results. Other methods can more quickly and effectively filter out who is involved. As for 9/11, and attacks on our soil, the Clinton administration could make your same argument for the rest of the time after: No domestic attacks. But that, in retrospect, was a false sense of security.

In the end, we don’t do ourselves much good by “proving” to ourselves how safe we are again and again. We don’t need to rest on our laurels, or start patting ourselves on the back.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 6, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #121487

Dave

To quote Ron Regan “I knew Jack Kennedy and you’re not Jack Kennedy “

Not even in the same galaxy.

BUT,I promised AP that I would’t smear old Detox anymore.It’s just so hard….kinda likea kid not being able to lick his fingers after eating a piece of chocolate though…but I will try(again)

Stephen
Re-read exactly what you wrote on the above post and apply it to the republician party as brought by the democratics….same result,no?

Perception works in many ways.

Bottom line:the over the horizon thing is realy realy dumb right now in light of Hamas and Iran.

We should be moving things into place(like tomahawks and subs)..not moving things out.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 6, 2006 3:01 PM
Comment #121843
We should be moving things into place(like tomahawks and subs)..not moving things out. Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 6, 2006 03:01 PM


Unfortunately, Bush’es military response is only making the problem worse. More violence would be like throwing water on a grease fire.

Posted by: Dave at February 7, 2006 8:57 AM
Comment #121875

Oh, by the way, it wasn’t a Reagan quote, it was Lloyd Benson beating on Quayle for comparing himself to JFK.

“I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Mr Quayle, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”

Are you people that desperate, i.e. the need to keep making stuff up, or is it just in keeping with Big Brother’s plan?


Posted by: Dave at February 7, 2006 10:00 AM
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