Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Long Propaganda War

It’s official. We are no longer fighting the “war on terror.” We are now fighting the “long war.” This is what the grand Republican administration has announced. One wonders, why the change in names? What was wrong with the old name? Are we no longer concerned with terrorism? Did we beat the terrorists while I was not looking? Does the fact that nothing is working for the Bush administration have anything to do with this? Does the upcoming congressional elections? Could it be the start of not a real war, but the kind of war Republicans love: a propaganda war?

I believe the Republicans have 3 main reasons for transforming the "war on terror" to the "long war":

  • Botched "War on Terror"
  • Spreading Fear
  • Killing the Democratic Party

Botched "War on Terror"

Remember when Bush went to sea to congratulate the armed forces for "Mission Accomplished"? He did not see any reason then to change the name of the "war on terror." Of course, not. We were winning, he thought.

When General Eisenhower was fighting World War II, did he stop to figure out what to name the war? Even to suggest such a thing is ridiculous. Eisenhower was thoroughly absorbed in doing whatever he could to win the war.

Why is the Bush administration changing names in midstream? Why?

Because we are not winning, that's why. We are bogged down in Iraq, a side-show from the real war. Our name is mud all over the world because we run prisons across the world, condone torture, spy on Americans without legal warrants, disregard civil rights of Americans. Today I read about a report of the UN condemning our use of Guantanamo Bay to torture detainees. I feel ashamed when I read such news items.

We are not winning because terrorist acts are increasing around the world. This is one reason the government is not releasing statistics on the subject.

Osama bin Laden unleashes an attack against us and we go fight in Iraq. Where is Osama bin Laden?

You don't fight wars by giving them new names. You concentrate on winning. But Bush has already said we can't win the "war on terror." Maybe Republicans do not know how to run a real war. But they surely know how to run a propaganda war. They excel in manipulating people and the media. They are first rate in smearing opponents. Nobody is better at attacking those who disagree with them.

The "long war" is not the name of a real war, but a propaganda war.

Spreading Fear

Remember during 2004, every time there was a primary, a political convention or an election, suddenly the threat color code increased? Do you believe that Osama bin Laden ties his activities to our election calendar? The purpose for changing color codes was to scare the public. The purpose for scaring the people was to elect Republicans - the party that will keep you safe, they said. Their propaganda was very effective. It worked.

This year we hear nothing about threat color codes. How long can you play the same game? The Republicans need a new means for instilling fear, a new propaganda vehicle. So they decide on the "long war." As Hillary Clinton said:

"Contrary to Franklin Roosevelt, (who said) we have nothing to fear but fear itself, this crowd is: `All we've got is fear, and we're going to keep playing the fear card.'"

Republicans want to submerge us under a blanket of fear so that we follow them like sheep. They want to shut up all dissidents so they do not speak up. They intend to label as traitors - they already have - those, like Rep. Murtha, who want to end the Iraq war.

The Republican motto is

"Fear brings power."

Killing the Democratic Party

Against whom is planned this propaganda war? What difference does it make to Osama bin Laden what we call the war? Do the insurgents in Iraq care about the name of the war? Does it make any difference to anyone in the Middle East? The UN? Our allies? Anybody?

The propaganda war is planned against the Democratic Party. Democrats have insisted that Iraq had nothing to do with Al Qaeda. OK, this is not a war against terror, but a "long war." Democrats want to plan an exit from Iraq. How can we do such a thing if this is a "long war"? There's no way to get out of fighting. This is a "long war" and Bush is a "war president."

"War presidents" must be obeyed. Those, like the Democrats, who do not, are traitors. They must be treated with revulsion. You definitely should not vote for them.

Bush or another Republican "war president" will keep you safe by making this a militaristic society. You don't mind this, do you? Would you rather be ruled by Democrats, who talk endlessly of freedom, but who don't want to fight?

So says the Republican propaganda. Its purpose has nothing to do with national security. It is to get rid of the Democratic Party. Karl Rove, himself, has said that this is his goal. The "long war" will help him do this.

All the macho words and deeds of this macho president have produced miserable results in the "war on terror." So Bush is getting ready to fight a "long war," a full blown propaganda war against Democrats.

Bush has no idea how to win the war on terrorists. Let's elect a few Democrats who will show him how.

Posted by Paul Siegel at February 13, 2006 2:19 PM
Comment #124379

Of course it doesn’t really mtter because nobody really cares what it’s called…

Bush has no idea how to win the war on terrorists. Let’s elect a few Democrats who will show him how.

You’ll have to find some who know how themselves first. I’ll give you a hint, they won’t be from Congress…

Posted by: TheTraveler at February 13, 2006 3:03 PM
Comment #124380


I think you are right in most of what you say. The “long war”, or what ever you want to call it, is definitely a major factor in the Republican plans for the midterm elections. It would behoove the Democrats to score points off the ineptness of our efforts. Don’t get me wrong, I think we did the right thing by going into Iraq in the forst place. However, I also think there was not enough thought given to after the prime mission, the ouster of the Baathist regime, was accomplished.

There needs to be a plan to finish the job and get our troops out. Unfortunately, neither Republicans nor Democrats have come up with one that has a chance of working. Those who call for an immediate pull out would be condemning the region to a long and bloody civil war, with other countries, Syria and Iran, getting involved. This would lead to genocide of the Sunni and Kurds and destabilize the region for years.

On the other hand, the longer we stay, the more strength the terrorists gain. They have a beautiful target, the great Satan that invaded a soveriegn nation and now won’t leave.

I haven’t been able to come up with a single scenario that doesn’t leave an unacceptable situation after.

But, that doesn’t mean that we quit trying.

Posted by: John Back at February 13, 2006 3:05 PM
Comment #124386

Great post! As I’ve said before, for all practical purposes, the War on Terror in the US ended in 2003, with the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Since, then, it has been a policing and intelligence operation. International operational cooperation between terrorists appears to be nearly non-existent. Incidents are limited to regions; for example, Saudis may cross the Iraqi border to commit a suicide bombing; but Saudis are not flying to Rio de Janeiro to commit suicide bombings.

Have terrorist incidents increased each year under the Bush administration? Well, yes, but careful about those statistics. An awful lot of the incidents are from Iraq, where it’s hard to tell what’s going on amid all the chaos, terrorism, insurgency, and rampant garden-variety crime. Same goes for Afghanistan, but on a smaller scale. In addition, a lot of the attacks occur between India/Pakistan/Kashmir.

There is no question the War on Terror outlived its usefulness as a focus for policy over two years ago. Practically speaking, there simply isn’t enough out there to mount a ‘war.’

The War on Terror, or “Long War,” is precisely what you have stated: a propoganda device to terrify Americans. The intent is to instill fear. Nothing more, nothing less. And it has worked very well on Bush supporters.

Republicans are terrified. They live in fear.

Can Democrats and liberals save the day?

Posted by: phx8 at February 13, 2006 3:19 PM
Comment #124391

I believe is Clinton would have been on watch perhaps we wouldnt be in this situation. The war on terror should have started long ago, but like I said Clinton was pre-occupied. When it comes to defending my country trust me I dont want any Democrat to defend me. The dems view the war as criminal activity. We are at war. It so funny to see the Dems claiming they dont want to stop the program. That the program is vital.But yet and still they try and weaken the program.

Posted by: Thomas at February 13, 2006 3:37 PM
Comment #124392

I really would like to understand what the Democrats are offering in ending the war on terror. Labels don’t really mean anything and it’s stupid to write lenghty tomes trying to prove that they do. Which Democrat Senator or House Member’s website do I go to to understand the strategy to end the war?
Please, no more sound-bites, I want something to really chew on. Where’s the beef? Thanks for all your thoughful, kind, and considerate comments. Jim

Posted by: Jim Martin at February 13, 2006 3:39 PM
Comment #124403

“This year we hear nothing about threat color codes”

Patience. Its only Feb., people would forget or become immune. Better for them to wait until Aug or so.

Posted by: kctim at February 13, 2006 4:02 PM
Comment #124404
There needs to be a plan to finish the job and get our troops out. Unfortunately, neither Republicans nor Democrats have come up with one that has a chance of working. Those who call for an immediate pull out would be condemning the region to a long and bloody civil war, with other countries, Syria and Iran, getting involved. This would lead to genocide of the Sunni and Kurds and destabilize the region for years.
Maybe we should just bite the bullet and leave. The Iraqi people don’t want us there, and they don’t want freedom. They want a society following muslim law. Besides its the Iraqis themselves who are blowing themselves up, the “insurgents” are not Al Qaeda. If they really want to work at a free western democracy, they can but now they don’t want to and they don’t care.
I really would like to understand what the Democrats are offering in ending the war on terror. Labels don’t really mean anything and it’s stupid to write lenghty tomes trying to prove that they do. Which Democrat Senator or House Member’s website do I go to to understand the strategy to end the war?
So, what are the republicans. They just want to a) clamp down on our freedoms and b) fight the Iraqi war. Posted by: John at February 13, 2006 4:05 PM
Comment #124408

Here’s what I would do:
1) Secure the borders. Terrorists shouldn’t be able to get in here in the first place. Bush has completely failed to do this.
2)Secure critical locations. Ports, nuclear power plants, and other areas vulnerable to terrorism should be especially guarded. Infrastructure and emergency management systems should be hardened to withstand attacks.
3) Stop fighting in Iraq and re-focus the military on what they should be doing, finding and capturing actual terrorists. Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, people who actually want to commit terrorism in the US.
4)Look into ways to make intelligence and domestic anti-terrorism more efficient. Is the FBI capable of fighting terrorism, or should it just focus on crime? Should the CIA be re-organized? Do we need more agents? I don’t know, but I would investigate. Federal agents should be given resources and tools as necessary, as long as they aren’t abused or used to violate civil liberties. No warrantless searches,etc.
5) Clean up the US. Re-affirm the constitutional freedoms, punish corruption, keep officials competent and honest. This may not seem relevant, but we need to show the US is an honest, worthy, ethical government. Make it respectable, and make it worth fighting for.
6) Look at ways to decrease the desire for terrorism. This might involve propaganda. It might include common-sense cooperation with arab countries and encourage them to preach against terrorism. We still need to use force, however right now if one terrorist is killed another will take his place.

See, no need to violate civil liberties or expand executive power. I just thought of this now. If anyone has any ideas, it would be neat to hear. This is for all those times when you might watch a public official and thought you could do a much better job than that.

Posted by: John at February 13, 2006 4:10 PM
Comment #124421

I believe it was Machiavelli in ‘The Prince’ who wrote, “There are many who think therefore that a wise Prince ought, when he has the chance, to foment astutely some enmity, so that suppressing it he will augment his greatness” In other words, give the people a constant adversary to fear and they will always be in need of protection. Unfortunately, American citizens are so out of touch with basic political strategies that they do not see that the wool is being pulled over their eyes. They do not realize that the Bush administration has made us the single largest target of hate ever (the only exception being Isreal, which the Islamic world views as one and the same anyway). The Bush administration has therefore put us in more danger than we have ever been.

Posted by: tom at February 13, 2006 4:36 PM
Comment #124423

I believe it was Machiavelli in ‘The Prince’ who wrote, “There are many who think therefore that a wise Prince ought, when he has the chance, to foment astutely some enmity, so that suppressing it he will augment his greatness” In other words, give the people a constant adversary to fear and they will always be in need of protection. Unfortunately, American citizens are so out of touch with basic political strategies that they do not see that the wool is being pulled over their eyes. They do not realize that the Bush administration has made us the single largest target of hate ever (the only exception being Isreal, which the Islamic world views as one and the same anyway). The Bush administration has therefore put us in more danger than we have ever been.

Posted by: tom at February 13, 2006 4:38 PM
Comment #124434


Why are you so afraid?
I really do not know anyone who is afraid…
Tell me what it’s like?

Posted by: Cliff at February 13, 2006 5:07 PM
Comment #124439


you’re not paying attention. It’s not I who lives in fear, just the Bush supporters.

Posted by: tom at February 13, 2006 5:18 PM
Comment #124450


I am surrounded by pro-Bush people.
They are not afraid.

So, if you are not afraid, what’s the problem again?

Posted by: Cliff at February 13, 2006 5:37 PM
Comment #124453

Check the column to the right. Look for words like ‘islamofascist.’ Look for articles about issues heavily loaded with emotions, but devoid of content, such as the controversy over Danish cartoons. Sometimes the fear will manifest itself as an irrational projection of hatred. Sometimes it will be more craven- people offering to sacrifice constitutional rights ‘since they’ve innocent anyway’ in favor of permitting illegal searches of US citizens; after all, someone might be talking to a terrorist.

Earlier in this thread, someone wrote “When it comes to defending my country trust me I dont want any Democrat to defend me.” That’s an astounding statement. Think about what would motivate a person to say that. They’re afraid, and despite the obvious fact many liberals and Democrats serve in the military, that person believes only Bush can protect him from… from… well, from something.

What can be done about terrorism? On a practical note, not a lot- at least not much that is dramatic or motivating for a political base. It’s a matter of intelligence work, special ops, and international cooperation.

In Iraq, I’d advocate partitioning the country, giving the Shias & Kurds territory & oil, and giving the Sunnis money. Consider this: we spend @ $1 billion per week in Iraq; why not give 1,000 Iraqi Sunnis $1 million every week for the next year. We could give 52,000 Iraqi Sunnis a million dollars each. I guarantee terrorist attacks would come to a half, as well as sabotage. Within a year oil exports would go from where there are now, half of what was exported under Saddam Hussein, to perhaps double what was exported before the invasion.

But I’d settle for implementing Murtha’s plan ‘as soon as practicable.’

Withdrawal might give the Iranians less desire to build nukes. Maybe.

Institute an even-handed policy between Israel and the Palestinians.

Secure US borders. Personally, I’d dissolve Homeland Security, beef up the CIA & FBI, and roll most international programs into the CIA, including the NSA. I’d allow student visas and one year, one time worker visas. Anyone else would be welcome to immigrate, as long as they entered legally, and became US citizens. Keep a bouncer at the entrance, but open the doors!

Prosecute Poindexter and Negroponte. They belong in prison, not in government. It’s truly unfortunate they escaped being prosecuted for felonies- only the pardon of another conspirator saved them.

Posted by: phx8 at February 13, 2006 5:44 PM
Comment #124467

“I really would like to understand what the Democrats are offering in ending the war on terror.”

Are you saying that you WANT the U.S. to keep fighting an unending war? What are you offering by prolonging the violence?

Posted by: Claire at February 13, 2006 6:19 PM
Comment #124472


We agree that if Clinton was in charge we would not be in this mess. Clinton would never have broken with Bush senior’s plan of winning in Iraq without firing a shot. Btw, if I read you correctly you still think that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and/or was involved in 9/11. Just how many times does it need to be proved this is not true before it seeps into conservative brains? If to support Bush you needed to believe the world was flat I know you guys would really believe it in a second. America sees this, and this is why Republicans have lost all credibility.

Posted by: Max at February 13, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #124485


When people say they would not want a democrat to protect them, you think it’s fear? AND if democrats think that they run on that this year, they are fearfully mistaken. FEAR does not have anything to do with it.

How may fearful Republicans do you know?
I don’t know a one.

I find it amusing that libs seem to “know” what conservatives are thinking.

I will confess, I do not have a clue what libs are really thinking. That’s why I read this blog.

Posted by: Cliff at February 13, 2006 7:09 PM
Comment #124495

The Republican party is the party of white, christian males, and it is full of fearful followers. The fear can take the form of xenophobia, of something as imaginary as an ‘islamofascist.’ It also can take the form of homophobia. But to tell the truth, I don’t think foreign affairs will make the difference this November. I think it will be the economy, and I think it will spell disaster for Republicans.

“When people say they would not want a democrat to protect them.”

That’s one of the most amazing things I’ve seen in print. I served in the military. I knew people who died. I really don’t want to write about that, because I don’t think I can do it without getting extremely nasty, flaming the writer and getting kicked off Watchblog. But boy, is it tempting.

Posted by: phx8 at February 13, 2006 7:28 PM
Comment #124499

Republicans call it the “Long War” because it will allow them to carp 9/11 over and over again. Mark my words… the closer the November Elections get, the more “Terror Alerts” will we get.

Posted by: Aldous at February 13, 2006 7:34 PM
Comment #124500

Fear in this case is not the knee-shaking pulse-pounding sensation of panic that you may (or may not) be acquainted with. It is much more insidious than simple emotion — beyond emotion into a state of mind where the irrational dominates the rational. The fear we’re talking about here is a longstanding (and once profoundly useful) part of the human condition. It’s the thing that made us cower together at night for safety, before we had the tools to protect ourselves from the night predators. Unfortunately, that same suspension of rational thought in favor of groupthink is still operative in the human brain today, and this administration has the skill to take full advantage of that.

Posted by: FearItself at February 13, 2006 7:37 PM
Comment #124504


Also there will be more “My evesdropping program prevented X many attacks”. It’s sickening.

Maybe the resolution by the ABA will have an affect? I certainly hope so.

Lawyers group slams Bush on eavesdropping

I don’t believe the Republicans in power are afraid, they are using the fear of the masses who are afraid, and trying to keep them afraid. Fearmongering is part of what kept them in power, that and an unbelievable vicious smear campaign, which they have every intention of continuing and perfecting.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 13, 2006 7:42 PM
Comment #124536

Max please explain to me how Bosnia was a threat to the U S. Were you concerned then that maybe Clinton was a war mongerer. Clinton had on three occassions the ability to do Bin Ladin in,but here again we all know what Clinton was pre-occuppied with.

Posted by: Thomas at February 13, 2006 8:41 PM
Comment #124545

to all,
i really this is a good time for all to reread “1984” and for those who haven’t, read it for the first time.

Posted by: ec at February 13, 2006 9:19 PM
Comment #124547

“One wonders, why the change in names? What was wrong with the old name?”

Maybe b/c the libs have been spending the past five years saying we never (officially) declared war. Or, maybe it’s b/c the left is so invested in defeat and they “coddle” our enemy more then they do our own country. Think about that…

Posted by: rahdigly at February 13, 2006 9:27 PM
Comment #124548
Unfortunately, American citizens are so out of touch with basic political strategies that they do not see that the wool is being pulled over their eyes.

Once again, the all-knowing, omnipotent liberals must tell the average American just how mentally deficient he/she is. Was there no political strategy involved when Kerry and Edwards both made sure all the Christian conservatives knew that Cheney’s daughter was gay? Or how about the NY Times waiting until just the right time to print the wiretapping story, their ace in the hole they’d been carrying for almost a year. They didn’t need it for most of ‘05 because Bush was busy shooting himself in the foot all year, but as soon as he started fighting back and winning, gotcha again!! EVERYTHING the Dems do has a political strategy behind it. The pot can call the kettle black all day, but that won’t change the color of the pot.

Posted by: Duano at February 13, 2006 9:28 PM
Comment #124549

Thanks…I think I know where the fear exists now…

Posted by: Cliff at February 13, 2006 9:30 PM
Comment #124553


Your 6 action steps are very much like those I posted a few days ago in response to a similar right-wing challenge. Most Democrats and Independents with whom I speak have the same ideas, expressed in very similar terms.

You have probably noticed the predictable responses of the right-wing posters on this site. If you make concrete suggestions, they will either ignore them or come up with non sequitors to try to invalidate them. Kind of like senile old Uncle Fred, who you hope you can avoid at the next family gathering.

So to Cliff and his fellows, here is a challenge: answer John, if you can.

Posted by: Robert Benjamin at February 13, 2006 9:41 PM
Comment #124562

When talking “scare” tactics, does anyone out there include telling old people that Republicans are going to kill them by taking away their social security? How about if you vote for Republicans you’ll bring back the Jim Crow laws?

Those scare tactics are used every general election. It never happens, though. Yet, every election the “fear” card is played.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 13, 2006 10:05 PM
Comment #124565


If this is the best you can do, then you are only proving my point.

Next contestant?

Posted by: Robert Benjamin at February 13, 2006 10:11 PM
Comment #124568


John’s points are OK. Most conservatives would agree on a number of his points. How they are being implemented would be different. #3 on Iraq is the only one where there is a distinct difference of opinion.

Now what do you want? We could argue as to whether these things are being done or not and you would hear all things from all sides saying yes and/or no. Both sides would argue that they “have a better way”.

Question fearlessly answered…

Posted by: Cliff at February 13, 2006 10:23 PM
Comment #124574
Or, maybe it’s b/c the left is so invested in defeat and they “coddle” our enemy more then they do our own country. Think about that…
Do you actually believe a word of that, or are you just a typical right-wing hatemonger?

Republican PR people count on peoples’ stupidity and tendecy to suspend rational thought. The right says the left believes people are stupid. Well, people are stupid, at least the left doesn’t manipulate and exploit it.
I guess that is a difference between the parties, the left actually tries to help people.

And funny how whenever the republicans do something bad, the only thing they can do is attack liberals. For now I guess pre-emptive war isn’t just for actual violence. Their tactic is “The best defense is a good offense.”

Posted by: John at February 13, 2006 10:34 PM
Comment #124579


That’s the problem. Bush is not even doing the most common-sense things like securing our borders. None of those are being done. Everything being done either revolves around measures that take away civil liberties, like the NSA eavesdropping, or Iraq. None of those are making us safer. It would make us safer to go after real terrorists.

I recently read somewhere that Al Qaeda already assumes we monitor their communications. This makes sense, they’re not stupid and know well to take the simplest measures to avoid detection. That’s why actual intelligence makes more sense than wide-spread monitoring of american citizens.

Posted by: john at February 13, 2006 10:45 PM
Comment #124581

Ph8x and Paul (and others)

Liberals project this fear thing onto conservatives. I am not particularly afraid of anything and I vote on my aspirations, not my fears.

All you need do is read these blogs to see who refers to fear more often. The blue side is really big on doomsday scenarios and warning us how bad things are and how much worse they are going to get. And the blue boys constigate us on the other side for not being depressed enough.

As an Americans and a Republican, I know that things may be very hard to do, but I am completely confident that we will win in the end. That is what we do. We win. The personality combination that liberals can’t seem to understand - to know that the road ahead is rough, steep and dangrous but still be optimistic about the result, is what defines us. Liberals mistake that for insouciance or maybe even stupidity. Have you ever noticed that conservatives smile more often? Liberals even make fun of that.

I have come to the conclusion that liberals are just naturally fearful. They worry about the impending ecological or economic collapse. They fret over how bad life has become (in their incorrect assessment). They predict population bombs and severe energy shortages. That is why they seek the predictable security of government programs instead of the better, but less predictable market. That is why they always want to fall back on regulations, instead of letting people and firms try and fail.

The future will be better than the past because we all will use our intelligence to make it so. But on the way to the future, things will sometime be bad and we will have setbacks. And many of the things that will make life good in 2025 have not been invented yet. That is the fear mongering conservative line.

Posted by: Jack at February 13, 2006 10:51 PM
Comment #124590


Regarding the “Mission Accomplished” on the carrier: This shows the dems continued lack of respect to the military. Paul, you go on an aircraft carrier for 7 months away from family, friends, most modern conveniences, and even just the simplicity of a nicely cut lawn … and during those 7 months you kick ass and take it to the enemy unlike the USSR could do in several years … and you play a large role in deposing a dangerous, bigoted, and evil government like the Taliban … and then you tell me how you feel when people laugh and scoff at the idea that you accomplished your mission. Enough said.

And it’s funny to listen to a liberal wonder at “propaganda”. “The domestic surveillance program” is also an interesting name … especially since it involves only INTERNATIONAL calls.” What’s next from the Dems … “The Major League Baseball Superbowl”?

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 13, 2006 11:07 PM
Comment #124591

I look at our current situation, and I think both sides have something wrong. My fellow Democrats are most likely wrong about the threat from the terrorists. We will see another attack in the next five years on our soil, or at least a serious attempt. We had eight years of relative peace between the WTC attacks.

We should not baselessly lull ourselves into a false sense of security. We should be alert, though not paranoid about the ways in which these people could act against us. Maybe al-Qaeda itself is a has-been organization, but that does not mean that none will spring up to take over it’s purpose and mission.

The Republicans are wrong because they believe they haven’t been living in an environment of fear. But I don’t blame them for not perceiving it, because the modern Republican party builds much of its political capital on it. They build on the fear of our enemies, the fear of betrayal by our allies, the fear of what the liberals might do if let into office.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 13, 2006 11:08 PM
Comment #124593

Ken C.

That’s the spirit! Who cares if a message is grossly inaccurate? Especially when lil’ Georgie got to dress up like someone who was actually in the military and ride a plane!

Posted by: Yossarian at February 13, 2006 11:10 PM
Comment #124594


Like I said,

Both sides would argue that they “have a better way”.

Posted by: Cliff at February 13, 2006 11:11 PM
Comment #124597

“Well, people are stupid, at least the left doesn’t manipulate and exploit it.

Uhhh, yes they do. Read what I wrote, every Presidential election they pull those stunts; it’s outrageous and disgusting. How about funerals?! Wellstone memorial; Corretta Scott King’s funeral, they were more about taking political shots then paying respect to the deceased. Again, disgusting!

“I guess that is a difference between the parties, the left actually tries to help people.”

Yeah, by taking rich people’s money (heavy taxation) and giving it to the poor; keeping the poor to remain poor and getting their votes. That’s really helping people.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 13, 2006 11:20 PM
Comment #124607

It is very strange that they’re now trying to change the name. But these Neocon’s have always been obsessed with language and labels, rather than being obsessed with the substance of issues or making things actually work.
Just a thought — perhaps they now want to call it “The Long War” because we’re coming up on the fourth year of the war and they still don’t have a plan for victory?

“Which Democrat Senator or House Member’s website do I go to to understand the strategy to end the war?”

You might start by reading this letter that Rep. John Murtha just wrote to the president. Also, here isa link to his website.

phx8, good post. I’m right on the same page with you.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 13, 2006 11:42 PM
Comment #124609

“I really would like to understand what the Democrats are offering in ending the war on terror. Labels don’t really mean anything and it’s stupid to write lenghty tomes trying to prove that they do. Which Democrat Senator or House Member’s website do I go to to understand the strategy to end the war?
Please, no more sound-bites, I want something to really chew on. Where’s the beef? Thanks for all your thoughful, kind, and considerate comments. Jim

Posted by: Jim Martin at February 13, 2006 03:39 PM”

Oh goody a game.
Jim try this on for size:
Sample #1:

November 21, 2005
Press Release

Biden Delivers Major Address on Iraq


Turning the Corner in Iraq

A speech by U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

Council on Foreign Relations - New York City - November 21, 2005

Mr. BIDEN: Today, I want to talk to you about Iraq. I want to start by addressing the question on the minds of most Americans: when will we bring our troops home?

Here is my conviction: in 2006, American troops will begin to leave Iraq in large numbers. By the end of the year, I believe we will have redeployed at least 50,000 troops. In 2007, a significant number of the remaining 100,000 American soldiers will follow.

But the real question is this: as Americans start to come home, will we leave Iraq with our fundamental security interests intact or will we have traded a dictator for chaos?

By misrepresenting the facts, misunderstanding Iraq, and misleading on the war, this Administration has brought us to the verge of a national security debacle.

As a result, many Americans have already concluded that we cannot salvage Iraq. We should bring all our forces home as soon as possible.

They include some of the most respected voices on military matters in this country, like Congressman Jack Murtha. They’re mindful of the terrible consequences from withdrawing. But even worse, in their judgment, would be to leave Americans to fight – and to die – in Iraq with no strategy for success.

I share their frustration. But I’m not there yet. I still believe we can preserve our fundamental security interests in Iraq as we begin to redeploy our forces.

That will require the Administration not to stay the course, but to change course and to do it now.

And though it may not seem like it, there is actually a broad consensus on what the Administration must do.

Last week, 79 Democrats and Republicans in the Senate came together and said to the President: we need a plan for Iraq.

Level with us. Give us specific goals and a timetable for achieving each one so we know exactly where we are and where we are going.

As I have been urging for some time, that will require as many changes at home as on the ground. The gap between the Administration’s rhetoric and the reality of Iraq has opened a huge credibility chasm with the American people.

The problem has been compounded by the President’s failure to explain in detail his strategy and to report regularly on both the progress and the problems.

As David Brooks reminded us in the New York Times yesterday, “Franklin Roosevelt asked Americans to spread out maps before them and he described, step by step, what was going on in World War II, where the U.S. was winning and where it was losing. Why can’t today’s president do that? Why can’t he show that he is aware that his biggest problem is not in Iraq, it’s on the home front?”

I want to see the President regain the American people’s trust. It is vital to our young men and women in Iraq today — and to our security — that we get this right. George Bush is our President – and he will be there for another three years. I want him to succeed.

Leveling with the American people is essential, but it is not enough.

The President has to be realistic about the mission and forget his grandiose goals. Iraq will not become a model democracy anytime soon.

Instead, we need to refocus our mission on preserving America’s fundamental interests in Iraq.

There are two of them: We must ensure Iraq does not become what it wasn’t before the war: a haven for terrorists. And we must do what we can to prevent a full-blown civil war that turns into a regional war.

To accomplish that more limited mission and to begin to redeploy our troops responsibly we must make significant, measurable progress toward three goals over the next six months:

One, we must help forge a political settlement that gives all of Iraq’s major groups a stake in keeping the country together.

Two, we must strengthen the capabilities of Iraq’s government and revamp the reconstruction program to deliver real benefits.

Three, we must accelerate the training of Iraqi security forces and transfer control to them.

Let me discuss each goal, one at a time.


First, we need to build a political consensus, starting with the Constitution, that gives the Kurds, Shi’a, and Sunnis a stake in keeping Iraq together. Iraq cannot be salvaged by military might alone.

Last month, the Constitution passed overwhelmingly. But the vast majority of Sunni Arabs voted “no.” Unless changes are made by next spring, it will become a document that divides rather than unites Iraq.

All sides must compromise. Sunnis must accept the fact that they no longer rule Iraq. But unless Shiites and Kurds give them a stake in the new order, they will continue to resist it.

If the situation devolves into a full-blown civil war, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men won’t be able to put Iraq back together again.

Does anyone here support using American troops to fight a civil war against the Sunnis on behalf of the Kurds and Shiites? I don’t – and I doubt many Americans would. But if we fail to forge a political consensus soon, that is what our troops will be dragged into.

The Bush Administration was AWOL until the arrival of Ambassador Khalilzad this summer. We let the Iraqis fend for themselves in writing a Constitution. In our absence, no headway was made.

We can’t make those mistakes again. We need to be fully engaged. Next month, there is an election for the National Assembly, and I expect Sunnis to turn out in large numbers.

After the elections, we must turn our attention immediately to encouraging the Kurds and Shi’a to make genuine compromises.

Our Ambassador can’t be the only one in the room cajoling Iraqis. We need a regional strategy that persuades Iraq’s neighbors to wield their influence with the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds for political compromise. They will do it, because no one other than the terrorists has an interest in Iraq descending into civil war.

The major powers also have a stake. Europe has un-integrated Muslim populations that are vulnerable to Middle East extremism. India and China need stable oil supplies.

Our Allies must get over bruised feelings and help forge a political consensus. We must get over our reluctance to fully involve them.

We should form a Contact Group that becomes Iraq’s primary international interlocutor. That would take some of the burden off of us… and maximize the pressure on Iraq’s main groups to compromise.

I’ve called for a regional strategy and an international Contact Group repeatedly. So have three former Republican Secretaries of State – Shultz, Kissinger, and Powell. It’s what the Clinton Administration did in the Balkans. It’s what this Administration did in Afghanistan. Organized, sustained international engagement can make all the difference.

But it will only happen if America leads.


Second, we need government ministries that work and provide basic services, and we need to re-do the reconstruction program to deliver real benefits.

Right now, Iraq’s ministries are barely functional. They make FEMA look like the model of efficiency.

The Bush Administration belatedly has developed plans to build up the government’s capacity. But there aren’t enough civilian experts with the right skills to do the job.

We need a civilian commitment in Iraq equal to our military one. I recommend the President and Secretary of State consider ordering staff to Baghdad –- if there are shortages. Just as military personnel are required to go to Iraq, why shouldn’t the same apply to the foreign service? The dedication and courage of the foreign service officers I’ve met on my five trips to Iraq is extraordinary. They will take the toughest assignments if we ask them.

This should not be their burden alone. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Blair proposed individual countries be partnered with ministries. It’s a good idea. But it got a lukewarm reception. We should revive it.

Our military commanders tell me: we can’t defeat the insurgency unless we have a reconstruction program that makes a difference to ordinary Iraqis. Congress gave the Administration $20 billion for reconstruction. There is far too little to show for it.

Raw sewage is in too many streets. Lights are on less than half the day. The water isn’t safe to drink in too many homes.

Unemployment rates are around 40 percent. If 40 percent of Iraqis have no job and no hope, the insurgency will always find fresh recruits.

We were told before the war, oil would pay for reconstruction. Two-and-a-half years after Saddam’s statue fell, Iraq still is not exporting what it did before the war. They are 700,000 barrels per day below target. That is roughly $15 billion in lost revenues a year.

This President has the only oil company in the world losing money.

Projects have been delayed or never started. Now, the money is nearly gone, and the needs are still great. The President has yet to explain how he will fill the gap.

Of the $13.5 billion in non-American aid pledged at the Madrid conference two years ago, only $3 billion has been delivered, and even less spent.

The Administration is creating Provincial Reconstruction Teams, modeled on the civil-military effort in Afghanistan. They will focus on getting local governments to deliver services. It’s a good idea, but it’s long overdue – and it’s not enough.

We should step up our recruiting of Allied civilian experts for the reconstruction teams.

I would redirect our spending to Iraqi contractors and away from expensive multinationals. Iraqis don’t have to add a line item worth 40 percent of the value of a contract for security. I’m glad to save American taxpayers money.

And we need to get countries that have already pledged economic assistance to actually deliver it — and pledge more.

It’s time for another Jim Baker mission. The President should ask him to convene a conference with our Gulf allies. These countries have seen huge windfall oil profits, from our pocket books. We’ve gone to war twice in the past decade to protect them and preserve security. It is past time that they step up – and give back.


The third goal is to build Iraqi security forces that can provide law and order in neighborhoods, defeat insurgents, and isolate and eliminate foreign jihadists over time.

The Administration tread water on training for two years. Not until the arrival of General David Patreaus in June 2004, did we start a training program worthy of its name.

Back in Washington, all we have heard from this Administration is misleading number, after number.

In February 2004, Secretary Rumsfeld announced there were over 210,000 Iraqi security forces. He called it “an amazing accomplishment.” Seven months later he said there were 95,000. Now we’re supposedly back over 210,000 trained security forces.

When folks in Delaware hear numbers like that they ask me: why do we have 160,000 American troops in Iraq then?

What we need to know – and what the Administration has refused to tell us until recently – is how many Iraqis can operate without us, or in the lead with U.S. backing?

We’re finally starting to get answers. In September, General Casey said that, two and half years into the training program, one battalion — less than 1,000 troops — can operate independently. Another 40 or so can lead counter-insurgency operations with American support.

And there are real concerns that the security forces have more loyalty to political parties than to the Iraqi government that militia members dominate certain units and that others have been infiltrated by insurgent informants.

General Patreaus overhauled the training program. The result is much greater professionalism.

But training takes time. And just as it was getting on track, the Administration reassigned General Patreaus back home. That was a mistake.

The President must tell Congress the schedule for getting Army battalions, regular police, and special forces to the point they can act on their own or in the lead with American support.

We also need to accelerate our training efforts, but not at the expense of quality.

We should urge Iraq to accept offers from France, Egypt and other countries to train troops and police – especially at the officer level — including outside Iraq

If embedding more Americans with more Iraqi units would do the job, do it.

We should devote whatever resources are necessary to develop the capacity of Iraq’s security ministries. Even the most capable troops will not make a difference if they cannot be supplied, sustained and directed.

And we must focus our efforts on the police, who are lagging behind. Establishing law and order through a competent police force is as important for Iraqis, as defeating insurgents is for us.


That leads me to the final piece of the Iraq puzzle: forging an effective counter-insurgency strategy. Until recently, we have not had one.

Our forces would clean out a town. Then they would move to the next hornet’s nest, and the insurgents would return.

Why? Because we did not have enough U.S. troops… or any capable Iraqi troops… to hold what we had cleared.

Meanwhile, neither the Iraqi government nor our reconstruction efforts were capable of building a better future for those temporarily liberated from the violence.

The Administration finally seems to understand the need not only to clear territory, but to hold it, and then to build on it.

The critical question is this: who will do most of the clearing and the holding? We now have no choice but to gamble on the Iraqis.

In the past, I argued that we needed more American troops in Iraq for exactly that purpose. The failure to provide them… and the absence of capable Iraqis… made a “clear and hold” strategy impossible.

We also left huge ammunition depots unguarded, allowed unchecked looting, and created a security vacuum filled by Sunni insurgents, foreign jihadists and common criminals.

But the time for a large number of additional American troops is past.

What we need now is a different mix, with more embedded trainers, civil affairs units and special forces.

The hard truth is that our large military presence in Iraq is both necessary… and increasingly counter-productive.

Our presence remains necessary because, right now, our troops are the only guarantor against chaos. Pulling out prematurely would doom any chance of leaving Iraq with our core interests intact.

But our large presence is also, increasingly, part of the problem.

Two years ago, even one year ago, Iraqis were prepared to accept an even larger American presence if that’s what it took to bring security and real improvements to their lives.

Our failure to do just that has fueled growing Iraqi frustration. A liberation is increasingly felt as an occupation. And we risk creating a culture of dependency, especially among Iraqi security forces.

Even if more troops still made sense, we don’t have more to give. In fact, we cannot sustain what we have now beyond next spring unless we extend deployment times beyond 12 months, send soldiers back for third, fourth, and fifth tours or pull forces from other regions.

That is why it is virtually certain we will redeploy a significant number of forces from Iraq in 2006 and more will follow in 2007.

Assuming we succeed in preventing a civil war, perhaps 20,000 to 40,000 Americans will stay for some time after that to continue training and equipping the Iraqis to keep Iraq’s neighbors honest and to form a rapid reaction force to prevent jihadists from establishing a permanent base in Iraq.

If – if — that redeployment is accompanied by measurable progress in forging a political settlement, building real Iraqi governing capacity and transferring control to effective Iraqi security forces, we can start the journey home from Iraq with our fundamental interests intact.

But if we fail to implement the plan I’ve described, then Iraq is likely to become a Bush-fulfilling prophecy – a terrorist training ground – and we’ll see a full blown civil war that could become a regional war.

If that happens, nothing we can do will salvage Iraq. We’ll be reduced to trying to contain the problem from afar. Those who today are calling for us to leave will be proved tragically prescient. I still believe that, if the Administration follows the plan I’ve outlined today – and if the President brings it to the American people and asks for their support — we can start climbing out of the hole the Administration has dug and start to leave Iraq with our interests intact.

Iraqis of all sects want to live in a stable country. Iraq’s neighbors don’t want a civil war. The major powers don’t want a terrorist haven in the heart of the Middle East.

And the American people want us to succeed. They want it badly. If the Administration listens, if it levels, and if it leads, it can still redeem their faith.

Thanks for listening.

Stay tuned for sample #2.

Posted by: KansasDem at February 13, 2006 11:46 PM
Comment #124611

Sample #2:

Biden Offers A Comprehensive Homeland Security Plan

February 2, 2006 – In an effort to improve our nation’s woefully inadequate homeland security, U.S. Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) today offered an amendment to the Tax Budget Reconciliation bill that will dramatically improve America’s domestic security. This amendment will provide $41.97 billion over the next ten years to improve on those areas where we received a “D” or “F” from the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, and it will provide critical funding for other areas where security is lagging. It is completely off-set by closing corporate tax loopholes, and it provides for $23 billion to reduce the deficit.

Below please find a summary of the Biden amendment and a copy of the remarks he gave today on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

SUMMARY: Biden Homeland Security Amendment

Planning – ($80 million)

• The Administration received a D with respect to basic threat assessments and security plans for our critical infrastructure.

Personnel – ($2.5 billion)

• 1,000 new FBI agents (1.4 billion) • 200 new Amtrak Police officers ($183 million) • 13,000 new local counter-terror, homelands security officers ($1 billion)

Equipment, Training and Security Upgrades ($37.17 billion)

• Rail and Transit system security upgrades ($1.1 billion) • Equipment, Training and planning for First Responders ($26 billion) • Interoperable Communications ($5 billion) • Chemical Plant Security ($70 million) • Port Security ($5 billion)

Technology ($1.5 billion)

• Watch List Integration ($50 million) • Improved Information Sharing ($250 million) • Checked Bag and Cargo Screening ($1.1 billion) • Container Screening ($108 million)

FLOOR STATEMENT: U.S. Senate – February 2, 2006

Mr. BIDEN: Mr. President, I have an amendment that is fashioned to deal with the 9/11 Commission’s report that came out less than two months ago and it is — it relates to — it was on December 5 of 2005.

And it was the so-called report card, where this prestigious bipartisan commission led by former Republican Governor Tom Kean and former Congressman Lee Hamilton, took a look at what we have done based on what they had recommended in the 9/11 report.

And it tells us how little we’ve learned and how little we’ve done to actually make the homeland safer.

Most Americans, Mr. President, at least in my state, believe that at least the most obvious steps have been taken to close the gaps in our homeland defense. They believe that at the very least, we have a plan, that we’ve set priorities, and that we know what the next step will be. But let me quote from the commission’s report that’s only six weeks old, seven weeks old on what we’ve done to assess the risks and vulnerabilities of our critical infrastructure — transportation, communications, industrial assets.

Here’s what they say — and I quote — “no risk and vulnerability assessments actually have been made.” continuing to quote — “No national priorities are yet established.” continuing to quote — “no recommendations have been made on the allocation of scarce resources.” continuing to quote — “all key decisions on homeland security are at least a year away.”

Mr. President, we all remember 9/11, when we discovered that local police, fire, and rescue units could not communicate with each other, could not communicate with federal agencies. There was no way to coordinate the action, no way to share information. Well, things are no better today. No better today.

It gets worse, Mr. President. Airline passenger screening - the one place I think most Americans think we’ve probably done pretty well. The 9/11 commission says — gives that effort a grade of “F.” Airline baggage screening to check for explosives. Again I quote from the report on December 5, 2005 — quote — “improvements have not been made a priority by congress or the administration.”

Mr. President, this is unacceptable. This Administration tries to fill in the most obvious gaps in our homeland defense but they haven’t done it. We haven’t done it. We simply haven’t done it.

And this amendment is designed to fill in the most obvious gaps. It begins with those areas where the commission graded us and the President as “F” and “D” in the commission report addresses other issues such as the utter lack of systematic — a systematic program for rail security, passenger freight, stations, tunnels, rail yards, bridges.

Mr. President, every dime in this amendment is fully paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes. Frankly, Mr. President, this is a modest list. There is much more to be done.

This amendment focuses on the most glaring and dangerous shortcomings in our homeland defense. By closing these loopholes, this amendment actually returns $23 billion to the treasury to improve our fiscal security, reduce our dependence on borrowing from other countries.

Mr. President, I’ve been joined in this amendment — and I didn’t have time to notify her because I didn’t know until two minutes ago, by Senator Stabenow of the state of Michigan, who’s worked tirelessly on dealing with this issue.

And, Mr. President, it’s pretty basic. We have done nothing much to deal with the problems most Americans know relate to homeland security. We are safer but not nearly safe enough. The bipartisan commission that got great grades from everybody in the nation felt compelled on their own dime, their own money, their own resources, not funded by the government, to continue to issue reports and to hold hearings. And they issued a report on December the 5th that is, quite frankly, embarrassing and dangerous.

So our amendment is designed to fill some of the loopholes, not all of them, that, in fact, have been left by the President’s failure to secure our national interest, our homeland defense, as well as by our failure as a congress to step up to the ball.

We can and we have to marshal all our country’s resources in this struggle, Mr. President, and I’ll bet you 100 bucks if you asked anybody in the public, from corporate CEO’s to the average American out there, would you rather us spend this money on securing our ports, our nuclear plants, our railroads, our cities, or would you rather us give it back in a tax break, I think it’s just like the COPS bill years ago. Given the choice, the American people said, let’s make our streets safer. I’m confident they think we should make the country safer.

This will be voted on not in this first bunch of amendments but the second, but I’m not going to get a chance to speak to it at a later date. There was a little opening in time here. I thank the chair or the staff for letting me know this time was available. I yield the floor.


Posted by: KansasDem at February 13, 2006 11:51 PM
Comment #124629

Kansas Dem,
So Biden is running for President? Why subject us to his long-winded speeches? Unless the Dems can put forth a candidate with solid values/ideals and can outline a plan in plain terms for the average voter (read middle class midwesterner)they don’t stand a chance. Right now the Republicans hold the House, the Senate and the Presidency - for a reason: the average voter doesn’t want to hear doom and gloom, tax and spend, the economy is bad, etc… The average midwesterner is middle class, proably white, blue collar or in a service industry (i.e nurses, cops, etc..), public school educated, probably pro-life, mostly Christian. These are the people that stand in the rain in lines to vote. These are the people who watch the news and are convinced that the East and West coast inhabitants are weird. The Heartland believes in family, hearth and home, preserving nature and the family farm, hunting to control wildlife populations, supporting the young people who have joined the military with care packages and prayers, taking care of our own - not letting the government tell us how to live. THESE are the people that most of the Republicans speak to. Democrats tend to scare them. The harping, the anger, the anti-American sentiment that they sense in the media are all bad for Dems. For many years I was a Democrat. Then I changed. We can’t continue funding welfare programs when jobs are being lost to China and illegal aliens. We can’t keep people on Medicaid when small businesses are taxed to the point of ruin and unable to offer employees health care. We can’t secure our boarders when we can’t even send back the ones we catch. There are many problems in the country, but most people wouldn’t live anywhere else. I wouldn’t. But screaming “the sky is falling” with every speech doesn’t help. Calm, rational, non-judgemental, bi-paritisan discussion may be only a pipe dream - but it’s one that many ‘average’ Americans would like to see - from both sides.

Posted by: Ilsa at February 14, 2006 12:28 AM
Comment #124643


It was appropriate for you to post the full text of Biden’s speeches, since so many conservative posters have stated that no democrats have any kind of plan. Biden stated clearly and completely what he felt should be done. Now it’s just a matter of whether or not others agree with him and not the lack of a democratic plan.

The change of name for the war is a typical political move for this admin. It’s one that I am certainly tired of. When there are no results to show, simply divert attention in some way. If the going gets tough, bounce a shiny object in front of the republican supporters to distract them. They rarely will discuss the real issues, but usually resort to attacks or various methods of changing the subject. We have not heard any real substance from the president or his admin in several years.
Whenever a democrat in congress says that they want a clear list of objectives in Iraq, the repubs say that dems want us to pull out immediately. Another diversion.
Why can’t they just answer the questions? Is it because they have no answers, or that they know that no one will like the ones that they have?

Posted by: Cole at February 14, 2006 1:06 AM
Comment #124659

So, Ilsa, what are your solutions to those problems you point out? Those doom and Gloom issues that you offer no solutions to? Funny that you criticize someone by doing the same thing you criticize.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 14, 2006 2:33 AM
Comment #124660
So Biden is running for President? Why subject us to his long-winded speeches? Unless the Dems can put forth a candidate with solid values/ideals and can outline a plan in plain terms for the average voter (read middle class midwesterner)they don’t stand a chance.


What do you want? You don’t want a detailed plan, but you don’t want “talking points” either. Three years of war and I have yet to hear a Bush plan for exiting Iraq, does he have one? Have any other Republicans put forth a plan for exiting Iraq? If so where are they? I think some of you are so blinded by partisanship that you will discard any plan, no matter how logical or good, just because a Democrat came up with it. You kind of prove the point that others here were making, in a big way.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 14, 2006 2:44 AM
Comment #124662
tax and spend


Better than borrow and spend and pass the bill onto your children, don’t you think?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 14, 2006 2:47 AM
Comment #124663
“Which Democrat Senator or House Member’s website do I go to to understand the strategy to end the war?”

Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) and Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA)[RealPlayer Video 2 hr. 30 min. C-SPAN2]

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 14, 2006 2:53 AM
Comment #124777

“Why subject us to his long-winded speeches?”

Because, as Paul “the soaring” Siegel so aptly and accurately points out this is a propaganda war. (by the way, thanks Paul) Unfortunately it’s a war that can’t be won because the Neo-cons won’t let the facts interfere with the same tired old diatribes.

While the Democrats try to voice solutions the Neo-cons close their eyes, plug their ears, and chant “the Democrats have no ideas”, “the Democrats have no Iraq stategy beyond cut-n-run”, “the Democrats are fiscally irresponsible”, the list here is really endless and it’s 100% BS!

Finally, it’s nearly impossible to debate anything with someone who’s major news sources are Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Pat Robertson, none of whom have ever let the truth interfere with their distorted thinking.

For those who think the Republicans have provided a moral “highground” from which to spit upon us libby’s I stongly suggest this brief, yet insightful opinion piece from USA Today:
What has happened to America’s Jesus? By Rob Borsellino:;_ylt=AgUCIsueAcmClXVNJTivHuj9wxIF;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJvMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA—


Posted by: KansasDem at February 14, 2006 9:38 AM
Comment #124822

Thanks to all of you who provided actual “meat” in dealing with the situation in Iraq. I believe Senator Biden has some very good ideas. Now, can he get the support of those ideas from his side of the aisle and some from the other side? I believe the administration is open to good ideas from any side. We could win the war on terrorism in a very short time if the world saw Americans working together for a solution instead of tearing out each others throats. Jim

Posted by: Jim Martin at February 14, 2006 11:18 AM
Comment #124882


I live in Missouri, just above the bootheel. From here, it looks like the “heartland” is about homophobia, teen pregnancy, and crystal meth. It’s the land of Limbaugh, hate, and fear. It’s a land where framers revolt if their handouts are compromised, but hate welfare and social services. It’s a land where science is vilified and mysticism taken as fact.

In short, you can have the hypocritical heartland. Life here is so “authentic” and superior to the coasts.

Posted by: Arr-squared at February 14, 2006 1:22 PM
Comment #124892

OK. Stop the whining about the Democratic Party. You have no one to blame but yourselves for the inability to deal w/ damage control. Democratic Party leaders JUST LIKE the Republican Party leaders seem very inept. A lot of rhetoric, no substance. The American people want more integrity from both parties and they aren’t getting it.

The Democrats deserve a kick in the rear. I hope they get it real hard.

Posted by: Bill at February 14, 2006 1:32 PM
Comment #124924

Propaganda is a religious term, derived from the 1822 Society For the Propagation of the Faith, formed to help missionaries working in Louisiana. Bush is using propaganda to promote belief in himself.

Posted by: ray ohrealy at February 14, 2006 2:03 PM
Comment #124935

Ha! Jack Murtha has a strategy?! Oh, that’s right … “over the horizon” forces in Okinawa.

Now, having been a Marine for 14 years myself I had occasion to glance at a map every now and then. Mr. Murtha should do the same before he makes another ridiculous attempt at “strategy”.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 14, 2006 2:12 PM
Comment #124940

Yossarian, a grossly inaccurate message? Really? The Taliban are back in charge of Afghanistan?? Saddam still has his rape room sons pillaging Iraq??? Hmmm, can’t find that anywhere in the papers or on the web …

I’ll keep looking though.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 14, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #124970

Ken C.,

Well, I guess whether or not the mission is accomplished in Iraq depends upon which justification du jour your side is currently standing behind for the attack on that country. By most accounts, and viewed in light of whichever rationale in the kaleidoscope of constantly shifting ones offered by the Bush administration, it is a colossal failure that promises to be more of a problem in the future than it ever was under Saddam.

Afghanistan isn’t looking so good, either. A nation that is basically one city that teeters on the brink of being consumed by the lawlessnes and disorder in the countryside is hardly a grand success.

I guess it all depends on how you define your terms. I would hesitate to call a situation in which a few modest successes are tempered by monumental failures an accomplished mission.

But maybe that’s just me.

Posted by: Yossarian at February 14, 2006 2:58 PM
Comment #125036

Kansas Dem:

You know that the Democratic party can’t get sufficient support from the base to elect Biden. Who do you really think could get the nomination?

Posted by: goodkingned at February 14, 2006 4:27 PM
Comment #125071

Right now, Iraq is in the middle of a civil war which was begun by our invasion. The Iraqi people do not want us there any longer. They want their country back, even if it’s not completely democratic, as Bush would like it to be. The U.S. cannot make democracies wherever we want. Democracies have to be desired and fought for just as we fought for ours. If we leave right now or a year from now, the country will be in the same state it is in right now.
We cannot take the army out of Iraq and then make it into a terrorist fighting machine. Armies are not cut out for finding and killing terrorists. We need to provide the CIA with multilingual agents who can infiltrate terrorist cells with the sole purpose of ferreting out those who are intent on bringing destruction to our country.
Someone on this thread said the administration is open to new ideas. That is a real laugher! Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld believe they are the only ones with ideas. They just haven’t come up with any good ones in five years.
I live in Michigan. The majority of us did not support Bush in 2004 and I have often wondered where he got the idea he had a “mandate” to rule as Emperor Bush.

Posted by: jcp at February 14, 2006 5:44 PM
Comment #125084

“You know that the Democratic party can’t get sufficient support from the base to elect Biden. Who do you really think could get the nomination?

Posted by: goodkingned at February 14, 2006 04:27 PM”

I’m not at all convinced of that, although you could well be right. I think you’ve seen me say before that I’m moderate. I’m so moderate, in fact, that I’d hoped for a McCain v. Gore run in 2000. Had that been the case I might well have voted for McCain.
Hillary seems to be the predetermined Democratic frontrunner for ‘08. Personally I hope not. I think it’s just too early to tell. Any number of Governors could step up to the plate on either side within the coming months.

Now for a dumb question,assuming you’re a Republican, do you ever get disgusted with any of the actions of your own party?

I certainly do with mine. Learning today that Paul Hackett was basically forced to withdraw from the Ohio senate race has me fuming.


Posted by: KansasDem at February 14, 2006 6:10 PM
Comment #125138

Ken C.,

Re: “Mission Accomplished,” I believe it should be “Mission Creep Accomplished” or maybe “Revised Mission Accomplished.” The “mission” as defined about 90 days before Bush dressed up in the pilot costume was to find WMDs. Remember that one? It was even in the news!

Since there were no WMDs, now the whole mission has “creeped” to spreading democracy and humanitarian aid, or maybe that’s just the “revisionist” version of the mission that W wants us to believe was always the real reason we went to war.

We’ve lost over 2,060 of our sons, daughter, mothers, fathers, husbands and wives since the ‘mission was accomplished.’ I’d say the announcement of any mission accomplished, no matter how you define it, or redefine it as may be the case, was at a minimum premature. Still is.

Posted by: Boomer at February 14, 2006 7:53 PM
Comment #125205

All of the Clinton vs. McCain talk notwithstanding, unless they run against each other, history does not favor a Senator or US Representative becoming president. JFK and Warren Harding were the only exceptions in the 20th Century. Governors, Vice Presidents and Generals are the most frequent electees, but sitting governors have the best track records by far, at least in modern history. By my count, 18 governors have been elected president, 9 in the 20th Century, if you count Bush as actually elected in 2000. Only 4 VPs were elected immediately after serving as Vice-President.

My own preference would be for a Democratic governor, especially one with a good record of attracting Republican voters while staying true to progressive values. I especially like Mark Warner, since he not only left office with a very high approval rating that crossed party lines, but because Virginia governors have real executive authority.

The demonstrable incompetence of the current administration in governing at every level may make a demonstrable COMPETENCE in governing the sleeper issue in 2008. If so, I would look for one or more Republican governors to challenge McCain, Hagel, and any other Republican Senator for the nomination.

If this plays out, I would not be surprised to see a Romney vs. Warner race, with the odds favoring Warner. The reason I see this as likely is that a center-right Republican will probably not be supported by the hard-core right, while a center-left Democrat can hold both the bulk of the Democratic base and attract the bulk of the Independents.

Posted by: Robert Benjamin at February 14, 2006 9:42 PM
Comment #126089

Wishful thinking, but getting a nomination for Prez is about one thing, money. I really have no idea who we’re putting up in ‘08, but barring some kind of huge scandal, old Hill skates into the nomination for you guys. You said you’d like to see some one who can lure Republicans but still hold liberal values? So basically, you want another flip-flopper. Is there some left-wing conspiracy to lose elections for some secret reason? It seems like you guys are trying your best not to win.
On another note, I can’t speak for goodkinged, but I get disgusted with my party over a lot of things. The border comes to mind. Or playing lapdogs to the oil companies and, for that matter, the Saudis. I am an American first, conservative second, and I’m sure there are a lot of other things on the list before Republican. It’s just that the Republican party is the only real alternative I have to radical liberalism. If the Democrats would give up their socialist ambitions, renounce the ACLU and get back to really being the party for the little guy, then maybe, no never mind, not gonna happen.

Posted by: Duano at February 16, 2006 7:33 PM
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