Democrats & Liberals Archives

Four Bases for Democracy?

The Bush Administration keeps telling us that we are in Iraq to spread democracy. As soon as the Iraqis are capable of protecting their country, Americans will go home. If this is so, why have we been building military bases? Many bases have been built over the years. OK, we needed them to fight the war. But there are four super-bases, each in the over-billion-dollar category, being built full blast in Iraq now. Why? Do we need them for our exit strategy? Do we need them to spread democracy? Or are we building bases because we plan to stay indefinitely - to reinvent the Middle East to our taste?

Tom Engelhardt tells us about a visit Thomas Ricks of the Washington Post paid to Balad Air Base, the largest American base in Iraq, 68 kilometers north of Baghdad and "smack in the middle of the most hostile part of Iraq." Here is part of Ricks' description:

"The base is sizeable enough to have its own 'neighborhoods' including 'KBR-land' (in honor of the Halliburton subsidiary that has done most of the base-construction work in Iraq); 'CJSOTF' ('home to a special operations unit,' the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force, surrounded by 'especially high walls,' and so secretive that even the base Army public affairs chief has never been inside); and a junkyard for bombed out Army Humvees. There is as well a Subway, a Pizza Hut, a Popeye's, 'an ersatz Starbucks,' a 24-hour Burger King, two post exchanges where TVs, iPods, and the like can be purchased, four mess halls, a hospital, a strictly enforced on-base speed limit of 10 MPH, a huge airstrip, 250 aircraft (helicopters and predator drones included), air-traffic pile-ups of a sort you would see over Chicago's O'Hare airport, and 'a miniature golf course, which mimics a battlefield with its baby sandbags, little Jersey barriers, strands of concertina wire and, down at the end of the course, what appears to be a tiny detainee cage.'"

According to Engelhardt, another super-base under construction in Iraq, Al-Asad, was visited recently by Oliver Poole, a British Reporter:

"He observes, of 'the biggest Marine camp in western Anbar province,' that 'this stretch of desert increasingly resembles a slice of US suburbia.' In addition to the requisite Subway and pizza outlets, there is a football field, a Hertz rent-a-car office, a swimming pool, and a movie theater showing the latest flicks. Al-Asad is so large -- such bases may cover 15-20 square miles -- that it has two bus routes and, if not traffic lights, at least red stop signs at all intersections."

There are at least 4 of these super-bases in Iraq. In addition, there is the outrageously super-duper embassy. Is this how we prepare to turn over the democracy keys to Iraq and go home? This is the funniest kind of exit strategy that I have ever come across. Build for a "long war" and then exit. Who is kidding whom?

The neocon purpose has always been to change the entire Middle East. Iraq was merely the entry point - the first battle in the "long war." What foolishness. We had previously established bases in Saudi Arabia. Osama bin Laden used these bases as a pretext to start his horrible movement. So now we get rid of the Saudi bases and place bigger and better bases in Iraq. Our fortunes will not be better here. We are antagonizing everyone in the Middle East. This is a ridiculous way to spread democracy.

The neocon purpose has not been so much to spread democracy as to increase American influence and power in the Middle East. Power is what the whole adventure is about.

The result: We have frittered our power away and now we are busy destroying whatever power remains.

Four bases for democracy? No way. Let's halt construction on super-bases and start construction on infrastructure needs of Iraqis, which has been languishing. Let's tell the Iraqis that we have no long range goals in their country, except to help them solve problems in democracy. Let's tell them that as soon as they think they are ready, we will go home. Let's plan to go home as soon as possible.

Posted by Paul Siegel at February 21, 2006 5:38 PM
Comments
Comment #128305

Uh, Paul, that is classified information you’re spreading there. I think that you might require a visit from our friendly FBI agents to investigate your library books and to tap your phone. We can’t fight for freedom if you keep exercising yours. When are you liberals going to learn that Osama Hussein is just waitin’ for you to speak your mind freely so he can attack America again? So, please, keep these highly classified secrets to yourself, or we will come after you.

GWB

Posted by: mental wimp at February 21, 2006 6:14 PM
Comment #128309

Thanks Paul! You’ve made my day.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 21, 2006 6:28 PM
Comment #128321

so that’s where the money is going…..

I bet they even have running water and electricity; unlike much of the Iraqi citizens

Posted by: Tom L at February 21, 2006 7:23 PM
Comment #128324

hearts and minds….that’s what it’s all about.

Posted by: Tom L at February 21, 2006 7:25 PM
Comment #128329

Well, at least it makes sense to have bases in a country where there is a war going on. A bigger problem (and a bigger waste of money) is the bases we have in Germany and Japan 60 years after that war ended.

Of course that was after we “forced democracy” on those poor innocent Nazis…

Seriously, Paul, our bases aren’t evil just because you put the word “super” in front of them. We need to house our soldiers somewhere.

Posted by: The Traveler at February 21, 2006 7:41 PM
Comment #128341

The Traveler:

Since you obviously don’t know, the Bases in Germany and Japan serve as important staging areas against North Korea and the Balkans. The German Bases, in fact, are used as staging areas in the Iraq War and will be used as such in the future Iran War.

FYI… Any airstrike on Iran Nuclear Reactors will almost certainly come from Germany.

Posted by: Aldous at February 21, 2006 8:06 PM
Comment #128343

Pretty obvious that American Imperialism is busy at work, albeit in a way that actually generates unprecedented antagonism - a pretty dumb way that’s eventually going to backfire.

Posted by: NA at February 21, 2006 8:18 PM
Comment #128345

The invasion of Iraq was and is an imperialist venture. Permanent bases is just more evidence. The idea of spreading democracy is just more spin after WMDs,terror links etc. lost credibilty.Proceeding with few allies is also an indicator. Fewer people to share the spoils with.Nice to have the Brits though. They have more experience. Historically America has not had much success as an imperialist power. Too short sighted and support for sacrificing our sons to such endeavors ebbs and flows,a problem with democracies.
Even supporters should ask themselves if we would be there except for oil. Clearly the amswer is no. Nor would Rommel and Patton have been in the region. It is an old story.

Posted by: BillS at February 21, 2006 8:27 PM
Comment #128346

100 BILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR FOR HOW MANY YEARS?

For this you give up Universal Healthcare, Student Loans, Food Stamps, Social Security, Emergency Medicine, National Forests, Veteran’s Benefits and who know what else?

God Bless the Military Industrial Complex.

Posted by: Aldous at February 21, 2006 8:31 PM
Comment #128348

Very timely post Paul on an uncomfortable truth the American people will ultimately need to justify. ‘WMD’ no longer stands for ‘we meant democracy’, but ‘with military dominion’.

One can only surmise that the completion and full use of these bases were dependent on the Rove/RNC plan for continued GOP dominance after Bush’s re-election. While these self-sufficient behemoths will operate in the middle of the failed reconstruction of Iraq (plagued by incompetence and corruption), which has been effectively abandoned by the Bush administration.

Posted by: Bert M. Caradine at February 21, 2006 8:48 PM
Comment #128353

Maybe we are trading 6 US. ports for 4 to 6 bases in the middle east,we need somewere to put are Army while we close bases in the USA. The Arab people know what occupation looks like they
have seen it for centuries.

Posted by: js at February 21, 2006 9:07 PM
Comment #128354

But how could we just pull out? Easy.Boat or plane.Either is good.

Posted by: BillS at February 21, 2006 9:21 PM
Comment #128358

Glad to see this story see the light.
Amazing what a few Billion
missing tax dollars can get done.
Why is this not in the main stream
media?
The answer is they planned on staying
when they went. Maybe that is why they
are now trying to call it the long war.

Posted by: Honey P at February 21, 2006 9:26 PM
Comment #128377

Consider the possibility that the Bush League is attempting to “spread democracy” with the same method that the Soviet union used to spread communism - under the heel of the boot.

Posted by: ElliottBay at February 21, 2006 10:33 PM
Comment #128378

Consider also the possibility that the Bush League ISN’T really trying to spread democracy - they’re trying to spread capitalism. Not at all the same thing.

Posted by: ElliottBay at February 21, 2006 10:38 PM
Comment #128387

Paul,

Good post. I hope evryone takes time to follow your link and also follow the links within it.

I found this particularly interesting:
http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/home_related/165.php?nid=&id=&pnt=165&lb=brme

It’s also interesting to note “Iraq’s Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari angrily dismissed on Tuesday U.S. warnings to shun sectarianism in the country’s new government, saying Iraqis would not accept interference in their affairs.”
Quote from:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10663271/

I’m curious what the Bush strategy is if the “new Iraqi experiment in Democracy” does indeed become no more than a Shiite theocracy.

KansasDem


Posted by: KansasDem at February 21, 2006 11:10 PM
Comment #128390

Oops, left one out:

Iraq provincial governor suspends US cooperation
http://au.news.yahoo.com/060221/15/xz3g.html

Posted by: KansasDem at February 21, 2006 11:23 PM
Comment #128406

The Traveler
The German base were used during the Cold War to deter Russia from taking over all of Europe. They also would’ve served as a point of entry for US troops in case a war with Russia.
The bases in Japan were and still are there as a deterant to China and North Korea and serve to keep them from invading Japan. Neither country has any love for Japan.
Also neither Germany or Japan have been allowed to have a military sense WWII ended. And the US has been and still is the main protector of these countries.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 22, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #128443

Ron,

I know, and to tell you the truth I really don’t think those bases are a big deal. The point I was making is that the bases in Iraq are far more important right now, because those are the bases that we are staging a war from.

Aldous,

Any airstrike on Iran Nuclear Reactors will almost certainly come from Germany.

Actually, it would probably come from Israel.

Posted by: TheTraveler at February 22, 2006 6:57 AM
Comment #128445

Also neither Germany or Japan have been allowed to have a military sense WWII ended. And the US has been and still is the main protector of these countries.
Posted by: Ron Brown at February 22, 2006 12:34 AM

I think you’ll find Ron, that Germany has a very powerful military, and indeed has and I think continues to serve in Afghanistan. Japan’s military served in Iraq, albeit not in a strictly military role.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at February 22, 2006 7:05 AM
Comment #128449

Paul

So what’s the problem?

We need to give our kids everything possible to get the job done,even if it’s a trillion dollar base,becasue we are in a war.

However,you’re disclosing (again) information of this type sickens me.

Why not disclose exact coordinates of the command center?

Or tell us where Al Quida should place their mortars for optimun effect?

Did your article tell you that each of these bases receive about 200 rounds a day in incoming?

This piece should be circulated…to anyone even remotely think about voting for your party someday.

Better still,maybe you could email the article to Micheal Moore and he can do a “documentary” that can be played at the next DNC.

Instead of the constant stream of partisean bullshit that you write,why don’t you comment on something substantive…..like that blown up Shia mosque and the fight going on right now between fundamentalists and moderates,and also between Shia and Sunni.

Those bases are strategicially located for a reason.

Most times,however,reason is what you lack when you post something as dumb as you have.

If you wanted to say that the construction of 4 bases was a waste of money,a sentence could have accomplished that point.

I normally don’t respond to any of your post because your writings are often the loonies of the loon.

Today however,you pissed off the Eagle,and the talons are out.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 22, 2006 7:42 AM
Comment #128451

“For this you give up Universal Healthcare, Student Loans, Food Stamps, Social Security, Emergency Medicine, National Forests, Veteran’s Benefits and who know what else?”

Posted by: Aldous at February 21, 2006 08:31 PM


Really? They closed the offices for Food Stamps and SS? Veteran’s no longer receive benefits? We never had Universal Healthcare and the Forests are still there. Illegals still get their emergency health care, and citizens still have to pay their own. Students can’t get loans for school?

**Military friends of mine wish people who post this kind of crap would smarten up, AND shut up unless they know what they are talking about.

Posted by: bug at February 22, 2006 8:01 AM
Comment #128452

this might seem besides the point here, but it is about our power in the mideast—-i keep wondering why the admin, esp Bush, is so determined and so tunnel visioned about selling the running of our ports to the group in the mideast, especially, when it has been pointed out that not only have at least 2 of the 9/11 terrorists come from there and they were one of a few countries to recognize the taliban, but they have had trouble monitoring their own ports. does he owe them something? does he or his family share in the ownership of that company? do they “have something” on him or his family, like maybe their ties to the saudi’s who mgiht have had some connection with those saudi’s who flew those planes on 9/11? does anyone know? he is so determined—even threatening a veto, when all his base and buddies are saying “no”——

Posted by: judye at February 22, 2006 8:04 AM
Comment #128461

Sicilianeagle

Do you realy think that al-quida doe’s not know about these bases and there they are located. As you stated they have 200 rounds of incoming a day.If this is not friendly fire, my guess is they know the bases are there. So you just don’t think the american public should know.

Posted by: js at February 22, 2006 8:26 AM
Comment #128467

JS
How would you feel if you were a serviceman posted on one of these bases and read this crap?

Does this piece help them accomplish their mission…and get home faster?

If the answer is no(and believe me,the answer is definately NO!),the it goes against helping them.

It’s one thing to engage in principled debate,another to engage is biased bullshit like Paul wrote.

How wouldd he like to be a 19 year old kid eating a sandwich at one of those Sub Way (indepependently owned and operated by the way) franchises there and get hit by shrapnel because of an idiotic post?

Loose lips sink ships

Military 101.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 22, 2006 8:48 AM
Comment #128471

We have bases in many muslim countries, so Iraq shouldn’t be a suprise to anyone. The exit strategy is to have the Iraqis take control of their country, true. The building up of bases, well can you say Iran and Syria?! Iraq is positioned perfectly in the Middle East (like a heart), that is why Iran and Syria have been trying so hard to disrupt the democracy there. Building democracies and allies is what we did after WWII; there’s no reason we shouldn’t be doing that now.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 22, 2006 9:34 AM
Comment #128472
How wouldd he like to be a 19 year old kid eating a sandwich at one of those Sub Way (indepependently owned and operated by the way) franchises there and get hit by shrapnel because of an idiotic post?

Complete bullshit from closed minded neocons. An attempt to establish that public discussion of public data has a causal relationship to an American casualty. (Almost) amazingly stupid bullshit.
Go move to a monarchy where they still have kings. If not, then a place with mafia dons. I can’t tell which one your Bush is aspiring to.

Posted by: Dave at February 22, 2006 9:44 AM
Comment #128473

SE-
Good Lord. You think you can keep bases that size secret from the enemy? Hell, you think we haven’t heard about this before? Yeah, the talons are out and everything, but it seems like the points you grab at are little better than anorexic voles.

Could you please consider for a moment that this either indicates a complete lack of organized thought as to how we’re going about this war (why the big bases if we’re leaving in a couple years), or it indicates that the Bush Administration is not being entirely honest about its plans.

Why build these big bases if we’re going to be standing up when they stand down? Are the Neocon’s simply biding their time until we’ve exhausted our outrage?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 22, 2006 9:45 AM
Comment #128474

“Why build these big bases if we’re going to be standing up when they stand down?”
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 22, 2006 09:45 AM

Uh..because the Iraqi’s need military bases?

Posted by: bug at February 22, 2006 9:52 AM
Comment #128478

bug-
Bases of this size and complexity would be a white elephant for the Iraqis. They don’t have the tax base or economy for them.

Either the stay in Iraq is going to be longer and more sustained than we have been lead to believe, or we have Bush administration giving Halliburton as big, complex, and expensive of projects to work on as they possibly can, even if we can hardly afford it ourselves.

We’re paying for this with tax dollars, worse yet, deficit tax dollars. Our government needs to tell us the truth about whether we need these bases, and if so, why, in the light of what seems an imminent withdrawal.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 22, 2006 10:08 AM
Comment #128480

Eagle and bug…..your comments are so typical of the “right” mentality…….if someone doesn’t see things from your side and dares to challenge you, then you start the bullying tactics. What the hell happened to freedoms….speech, choice,religion, the press??? What I believe Paul posted was a bit of F.Y.I. for those who like to know more revelations and uncovering of secret movements by this administration. I agree with a lot of the other posts that this seems to make it a little clearer that our military is going to be hanging out there for a long time to come.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 22, 2006 10:14 AM
Comment #128481

Stephen,

The only alternative to bases that I can think of is having our troops sleeping in tents in the street and eating MREs for most meals. Not a good plan for an urban warfare environment.

Posted by: TheTraveler at February 22, 2006 10:17 AM
Comment #128487

Traveler,

My suggestion for our troops is to have them sleeping back home (nat’l guard) or back in anywhere-but-Iraq for the rest.

Posted by: Dave at February 22, 2006 10:32 AM
Comment #128488

Dave

Yes,that is exactly what I am saying…..the enemy ,last I looked,scans blogs like this in search of scraps of intelligence that potentially can be used against us.

If that is a neocon philosophy,then I plead guilty.

Plus,the president is neither a monarch or a mafia don.

He has a set of balls that drag to the ground….something most of your ilk lack in times of war.

Ask Al Gore as he replicated Monica last week in Saudia Arabia.

The president is tenacious and resolute.Two terms that liberals have to dive into a dictionary to look up when describing their leadership.

Yesterday was a perfect example.He spit in the eye of BOTH Republicians and democrats because of the port thing.

It will be a politicial football very shortly but IF we are to have allies…IF…we have to show the world that we are not completely bigoted against 1.5 billion people….then deals like these have to happen.

Here,the Coast Guard,US Customs,Homeland Security is more than capable of defending the ports.

The UAE,while against Isreal and a country that probably unknowingly hosts Al Quida operatives,is and has been a loyal partner in the geo-politicial war against terror.

But Germany,France,Holland and England all have Al Quida….why not preclude them too?

If that’s being a monarch,ok.But to me it’s a prudent decision despite what my conservative collegues think.

If he was a don…well,that’s another story completely.

Stephen

I will let you in on a secret,ok?We will be in Iraq fro AT least a decade.

Minimum.

Thus spending a billion on a base to assure absolute security is a GOOD investment.

What would you prefer…to pitch pup tents in the desert?

Today,Iraq is in flames…I bet you think that US forces bombed that mosque,right?

Nut cakes will be killing everything that moves for the next few days,and I am glad our forces have secure bases to keep their ammo dry until this event passes.

Until next week,that is,when something else happens.

Right now the politicial struggle to form a government there is intense…and a breakout of sectrerian violence is just what the doctor ordered for the lunitics who want to curtail the process.

Finally,IF hostitilities do break out with Iran or Syria for some reason,I am happy knowing that assets are in position and asses can be kicked immediately.


Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 22, 2006 10:35 AM
Comment #128496

This isn’t that complicated. If we have this many bases that are as large as Paul says, then clearly it means America is in it for the long haul. We can debate whether or not this is good foreign policy, but I think the point is that Bush should tell us the truth. If we’re going to be there for AT least a decade (according to sicilianeagle), then Bush should tell that to the American public instead of saying that we’re making progress toward an eventual withdraw. Building bases is not progress toward withdraw, but progress toward more war.

Posted by: Brent at February 22, 2006 11:34 AM
Comment #128497

bullshit #1

the enemy scans blogs like this in search of scraps of intelligence that potentially can be used against us
Who here actually knows secret/confidential information. And if they did, disclosing it publicly (even with the VPs accession) is a crime. Talking 3rd+ hand about bases doesn’t come close. Lastly, if they actually listened to the wingnut bullshit on the blogs, it’s the best disinformation you can put out there.

bullshit #2

He (Bush) has a set of balls that drag to the ground….something most of your ilk lack in times of war.
bullshit #3
The president is tenacious and resolute.
You’re confusing “balls” and “stay the course” with ignorance, stupidity, stubbornness, hubris, and “faith”. He “believes” which makes it easy to continue without any sense of accountability, responsibility, or dependece upon facts, changes in circumstance, or events. Compare also, Bailing on National Guard duty vs. serving combat duty in VN.

bullshit #4

Ask Al Gore as he replicated Monica last week in Saudia Arabia.
Typical irrelevancy, I don’t even know what that’s reffering to. But, at least you avoided a Clinton reference.

bullshit #5

The UAE.. probably unknowingly hosts Al Quida operatives…but Germany,France,Holland and England all have Al Quida….why not preclude them too?
We apparently have al queda too. Why not preclude us? It seems bad on the surface & it’s stupid choices; (1)to open the door to our homeland in such a way (2) to respond with a veto threat.

Posted by: Dave at February 22, 2006 11:35 AM
Comment #128521

Dave

The reference to Gore were his statements that he made while addressing the Saudis there alst week …glad to see you keep up with currents events….shall I expain the Monica thing to you too or hadn’t you heard?

Let’s see…exactly which democrat could prosecute this war on the politicial horizon?Joe Biden?Hillary? The only one with a set of gonads is Joe Lieberman…someone shunned now by your party.He’s a republican but no one has told him yet.

Let the dems grab on to the port issue….will have no traction anyway in a few days.

Defense made it’s plans on these bases known months ago…and they are a centerpiece of the defense secretary’s re-organization plan in that area going forward.My objection to specifics articulated in Paul’s piece stand….unless,of course,you don’t belive we are involved in a world war…which is what I suspect

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 22, 2006 12:30 PM
Comment #128522

Paul in Euroland
When did Germany and Japan get a military force? Last I knew they weren’t allowed to have one. I know Japan has what is called a defence force. But it’s my understanding that it’s very small and poorly equiped.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 22, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #128523

Bug, since you asked everyone to shut up unless they know what they are talking about, I thougt I would talk about what I know. I know that, while the government has not shut down the offices of ss and welfare, but they have cut funds so much that my social worker friends are now out of jobs. I know that my veteran husband is no longer elibible for heath benefits because of budget cuts. I know that his veteral father, while still eligible, now cannot recieve the medication that he needs because of the recent changes to prescription import/export laws and because the VA no longer can afford them.
I may not know much about all the info that you guys are flinging around, but I nearly everybody that I know has been effected by the budget cuts to fund the war.

Posted by: Joy at February 22, 2006 12:34 PM
Comment #128525

Honesty, if Bush would be forthcoming, and tell us it’s going to a take a hell of alot of time. We all know it, why try to hide the fact? This is not a war that can be won quickly, what pisses me off is that we have to pay for the whole damn thing because of Bush being a moron.

Posted by: a pissed off person at February 22, 2006 12:37 PM
Comment #128529

I would like to point out one big point to my fellow conservatives: Dissent and debate DO NOT equal treason — even in a “time of war.” One of our most basic freedoms — paid for in blood during the Revolution — is the right to disagree with the decisions our leaders make. Some of my ancestors fought and died in that war and I refuse to allow their sacrifice to go in vain today.

FYI, such debate does not demoralize our troops — many of my military relatives privately voice the same questions. What demoralizes them is not having enough troops to secure the whole country, of having to fight the same battles over and over again for the same piece of land because we can’t secure our own victories, of having no clear mission plan and exit strategy, etc.

It’s not the debate that bothers them. It’s how the top brass and politicians seem to be out to prove a point rather than formulate a way to win.

Posted by: J. R. Milks at February 22, 2006 12:44 PM
Comment #128535

Sicilianeagle,

However,you’re disclosing (again) information of this type sickens me.

Oh, please, stop kidding yourself. Everyone could find Balad Airbase itself on Google Maps for example, that’s no secret. Contrary to Dick Cheney house ;-).

How would you feel if you were a serviceman posted on one of these bases and read this crap? Does this piece help them accomplish their mission…and get home faster?

This piece have, ATM, exactly zero inpact on this guy. His base is not a secreat. This piece don’t make any harder or easier for him to get home faster. Only the White House could, AFAIK.

How wouldd he like to be a 19 year old kid eating a sandwich at one of those Sub Way (indepependently owned and operated by the way) franchises there and get hit by shrapnel because of an idiotic post?

LOL. It’s so off the edge I even fail to argue against your whatever-name-calling own post!


Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at February 22, 2006 12:59 PM
Comment #128536

J.R. Milk

There is a vast difference between treason and stupidity.

No one on this blog is a traitor(to the best of my knowledge anyway )and all the lefties here I consider to be patriots.

However,some views cross the line every once in a while,evoking an appropiate response.

Debate is great….even among those with opposite views..as is the case here….but..

Calling a sitting president during times of war ignorant or stupid will evoke a response from me.While I respect everyone’s right to debate,every once and a while the gloves have to be taken off,or in my case,the talons sharpned.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 22, 2006 1:03 PM
Comment #128540

“Defense made it’s plans on these bases known months ago…and they are a centerpiece of the defense secretary’s re-organization plan in that area going forward.My objection to specifics articulated in Paul’s piece stand….unless,of course,you don’t belive we are involved in a world war…which is what I suspect

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 22, 2006 12:30 PM”

SE,

I’m glad you pointed out, “Defense made it’s plans on these bases known months ago”. So there’s really no need to read this from May 23, 2005: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1490063,00.html

Besides, if you’ll take time to click on the link in Paul’s post, you’ll find that every one of the “specifics articulated in Paul’s piece” was already available to anyone with a search engine.

Nowhere in Paul’s post do I read anything that indicates he thinks our fighting men and women are not deserving of every possible comfort. In fact he says, “Let’s plan to go home as soon as possible.”

How long must we pursue a failed policy before we shift direction?

KansasDem
PS: It’s good to see the talons are as sharp as ever.

Posted by: KansasDem at February 22, 2006 1:17 PM
Comment #128542

Americans on average are not that liberal, and not that conservative- moderate, in short. They are willing to back military policies and tough laws against terrorists.

They do, however, want to be told what our government intends to do, and be told the truth about it. The value of the truth is universal, and should be respected on all sides. Some, though, hold on to the truth jealously, as for them, it represents power.

And so it does. To not know is to be powerless. To not know whether a policy succeeds or not, to not know the problems going on until they erupt in a crisis- that is making the American people feel less and less faith in their nation’s strength to win this war.

The Bush Administration had people’s trust in the beginning, but it kept on failing to get ahead of the problems that other people had told them were going to occur. Some people talk abou hindsight in terms of the mistakes of this war, but few mistakes were so truly unexpected.

The trouble is, we have an administration that thinks its people know best how to do things, yet are not willing to let their ideas and notions of the war be publically verified and tested. They are convinced that its not their fault that their strategies aren’t working, and that they have to keep on trying, despite all the (rightfully) discouraging feedback they’re getting.

Our government is supposed to function through a feedback loop between the people and their government. The government doesn’t have to do only what people want them to do or what they think the government can do. They are in fact willing and able to accept novel solutions to problems. That’s why government and politics is a specialty, a career in itself in a country like ours.

The price of that acceptance in a Democracy is the gather of consent and consensus. The failure to provide Americans with an accurate picture of what the government is doing, or worse the deception of Americans in regard to this, is only bound to create political and social upheaval.

The Bush administration doesn’t want to have to work within the constraints of Democratic government. They see only the good (or acceptable) intentions behind their deceptions and stonewalls. They don’t see how this builds up resentment and dissent for policies that actually might be viewed more favorably, if the people were allowed to learn about it, discuss it, and decide for themselves whether to take the idea on.

And what if they reject a certain line of policy? Well that’s too bad. You can either wait a while and rework your arguments with new research and new plans, or you can throw out the approach and do what is acceptable to people.

A government cannot maintain the support of its people in the long term if it maintains and initiates policies while purposefully keeping people ignorant of their plans.

As for Bases?

First, our soldiers are tough enough that they do not need all the comforts of home. They understand they are at war, and all the spending on frills is money that’s not going to what we need to get done. Better we spend that money on troops, vehicles and equipment than on the luxuries of stateside America.

Second, the bases should not be so remote, nor so separate. From a safety standpoint it makes sense, but otherwise, it causes problems by cutting off our soldiers from both the situation of the communities they occupy and from the daily lives of the people.

Third, if the bases are, in the future, going to be used by the Iraqis, we need to build on a scale that actually suits their needs and wherewithal. They don’t have our kind of military-industrial complex, and they really don’t need it.

The ultimate question here is whether this government knows the difference between that it wants to have, and what it should have.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 22, 2006 1:19 PM
Comment #128544

“If we have this many bases that are as large as Paul says, then clearly it means America is in it for the long haul. We can debate whether or not this is good foreign policy, but I think the point is that Bush should tell us the truth. If we’re going to be there for AT least a decade (according to sicilianeagle), then Bush should tell that to the American public instead of saying that we’re making progress toward an eventual withdraw. Building bases is not progress toward withdraw, but progress toward more war.”


We have bases in Kuwait and we liberated them 15 years ago. We did the same thing in Germany and Japan; and WWII was, oh, well, OVER 60 YEARS AGO!!!! Neither one of those cases resulted in “more war”. We’re building alliances and strengthening our strike and intelligence capabilities throughout the Middle East.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 22, 2006 1:23 PM
Comment #128548

Paul really good, informative post.
Btw, I always read Tom Englehardt’s TomDispatch — he’s awesome and always gives many links to good, solid info.

Stephen, Dave, — good replies in two entirely different styles. I enjoy reading them both!

Posted by: Adrienne at February 22, 2006 1:31 PM
Comment #128549

“Calling a sitting president during times of war ignorant or stupid will evoke a response from me.While I respect everyone’s right to debate,every once and a while the gloves have to be taken off,or in my case,the talons sharpned.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 22, 2006 01:03 PM”

SE,

I won’t try to defend someones use of “stupid” to describe Bush other than to say it must be their belief.

But “ignorant” OTOH may be arguably accurate. One of todays headlines,
Bush Unaware of Ports Deal Before Approval
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060222/ap_on_go_pr_wh/ports_security_42
would be indicative of either ignorance or at least the incompetence of those around him.

I seem to recall that he was also “unaware” that the levees had been breached and New Orleans was under water.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 22, 2006 1:35 PM
Comment #128553

SE,

“Right now the politicial struggle to form a government there is intense…and a breakout of sectrerian violence is just what the doctor ordered for the lunitics who want to curtail the process.”

Yep, it’s called a civil war, and we are positioned to be right in the middle of it.

“IF hostitilities do break out with Iran or Syria for some reason,I am happy knowing that assets are in position and asses can be kicked immediately.”

The question should be who’s asses are going to be kicked. Iran isn’t going to be a day in the park. Anyone that tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something.

“Calling a sitting president during times of war ignorant or stupid will evoke a response from me.While I respect everyone’s right to debate,every once and a while the gloves have to be taken off,or in my case,the talons sharpned.”

How about ill-informed, detatched, ill-prepared, indifferent, ill-advised, naive, witless, foolish?

We are in the Middle East forever.

I think I’m feeling a draft.

Posted by: Rocky at February 22, 2006 1:41 PM
Comment #128554

rahdigly,

“We did the same thing in Germany and Japan; and WWII was, oh, well, OVER 60 YEARS AGO!!!! Neither one of those cases resulted in “more war”.”

Let me think.
We had a culture in common in Germany and both Germany and Japan were utterly defeated BEFORE we tried to spend billions on bases to stage from.

Posted by: Rocky at February 22, 2006 1:45 PM
Comment #128556

Is the issue that we can’t or shouldn’t have military bases around the world? I am not sure I am following this. What about Germany? What about S. Korea? What about Kuwait? What about Japan? What about Turkey? What about Italy? What about Spain?

BTW, the bases in Germany, S. Korea, Spain, Italy, Kuwait, etc. all existed when Bill Clinton was President. What’s the beef?

Oh, yeah! Forgot about our presence in what used to be Yugoslavia.

Posted by: ILIndCon at February 22, 2006 1:51 PM
Comment #128558

Eagle…..you can spew and spout forever, and sharpen claws tirelessly……that won’t change the fact that this seated president is a moron! He is incapable of speaking without scripts or wired feeds, and if he didn’t have a staff to draw him pictures, he’d be hard pressed to have a clue about much of anything. Okay…all together now, let’s say nuk-ya-lur…. ;)

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 22, 2006 1:59 PM
Comment #128559
The reference to Gore were his statements that he made while addressing the Saudis there alst week …glad to see you keep up with currents events….shall I expain the Monica thing to you too or hadn’t you heard? Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 22, 2006 12:30 PM
Are you comparing Gore Decries Treatment of Arabs Post 9-11 to giving the Shieks a blow job? I think they have to hold hands first ?


Kansas,
Remember that there are different types of intelligence. The ones to ace a test, the one to get born into a rich family, and the kind needed to run a country. 1 out of 3 ain’t bad…

Posted by: Dave at February 22, 2006 2:00 PM
Comment #128560

Good one Sandra,

now let’s try “tur-ruh-rist”
heh…heh…heh.heh.

Posted by: Dave at February 22, 2006 2:02 PM
Comment #128563

Stephen,

First, our soldiers are tough enough that they do not need all the comforts of home. They understand they are at war, and all the spending on frills is money that’s not going to what we need to get done. Better we spend that money on troops, vehicles and equipment than on the luxuries of stateside America.

I can guarantee you than no one who has been stationed at one of those bases would consider it “luxury.”
I can also guarantee you that every one of them appreciates a place of relative safety in a hostile environment.

Second, the bases should not be so remote, nor so separate. From a safety standpoint it makes sense, but otherwise, it causes problems by cutting off our soldiers from both the situation of the communities they occupy and from the daily lives of the people.

I doubt very much that you are more equipped to decide placement of bases than our military commanders. All bases, fortifications, etc are placed where they are placed for strategic reasons.

Third, if the bases are, in the future, going to be used by the Iraqis, we need to build on a scale that actually suits their needs and wherewithal. They don’t have our kind of military-industrial complex, and they really don’t need it.

I don’t believe you’re equipped or knowledgeable enough to decide the needs of the Iraqi military, either.

Basically, the only thing you and Paul (and others) are doing on this thread is criticizing our troops for doing their jobs based on a complete misunderstanding of the situation. This isn’t a WWII style open-field battle environment; this is urban warfare in isolated areas. Without bases, where do the troops sleep? Where do they eat? Where are vehicles repaired? Where are weapons and ammunition stored? Do you expect them to park tanks and airplanes out in the open?

Posted by: TheTraveler at February 22, 2006 2:10 PM
Comment #128565

You know Dave….maybe we should stop for a minute to thank Dubya for the comedic breaks. And let me see…..nope…that’s about it on my list to thank him for.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 22, 2006 2:16 PM
Comment #128568

TheTraveler,

“I doubt very much that you are more equipped to decide placement of bases than our military commanders. All bases, fortifications, etc are placed where they are placed for strategic reasons.”

These would be the same guys whose stratagy was to bypass and not too secure the explosives that are being used against us now?

“Basically, the only thing you and Paul (and others) are doing on this thread is criticizing our troops for doing their jobs based on a complete misunderstanding of the situation.”

That is utter crap. We are critisizing their leaders that haven’t, and continue not to do their own job, thereby making the work that those same troops on the ground have to do, that much more difficult.

Posted by: Rocky at February 22, 2006 2:23 PM
Comment #128571

Sandra,

We can’t forget to thank Dick for shooting his friend.

Posted by: Dave at February 22, 2006 2:28 PM
Comment #128572

Traveler…I think you’re missing the point here.. Nobody begrudges these military people a safe place to go at the end of their day,night,week or whatever !!! God knows they’ve earned that at the very least, but Pauls’ post made it a lot clearer that this administration doesn’t appear to have ever had a plan to come out of there any time soon. Do you like being jerked around and lied to all the time? It happens nearly every time Bush opens his mouth. Like someone said a little earlier in here, the surfacing of these bases clears up part of the mystery about where all the money has gone that was supposed to help re-build homes and schools and hospitals. These sound like state-of-the-art military installations….and go way beyond what would be needed for just that “temporary” stay Bush has been shoving down our throats all along. But wait, maybe we could just kind of move families in there once we do start pulling out…..hell, tents have been good enough for a large number of Katrina homeless……………….

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 22, 2006 2:29 PM
Comment #128575

Dave… even I can’t go so far as to say that was comedic, but what was funny is how that diverted our attention for a few days from some of the other slick stuff happening….

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 22, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #128576

Let me see all of a sudden the democratic party is the party of Truth???? “I never had sexual relations with that women” Told that lie for nine months. Truth to you libs is like garlic to a vampire. Bush won Kerry the “War Hero” lost> get over it already.

Posted by: Thomas at February 22, 2006 2:38 PM
Comment #128584

Thomas,

“Let me see all of a sudden the democratic party is the party of Truth???? “I never had sexual relations with that women” Told that lie for nine months. Truth to you libs is like garlic to a vampire. Bush won Kerry the “War Hero” lost> get over it already.”

Kerry lost?
Wow, thanks for setting me straight.

Posted by: Rocky at February 22, 2006 2:43 PM
Comment #128587

Remember this?

“By keeping our promise on June 30th, the coalition will demonstrate that we have no interest in occupation. And full sovereignty will give Iraqis a direct interest in the success of their own government.”
President Bush, May 24, 2004

I know it’s not polite to repeat myself but, “no interest in occupation”, just begs to be repeated.

ref: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,120821,00.html

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 22, 2006 2:47 PM
Comment #128590

Traveller-
You neglected to read the parts about all the restaurants, movie theatres and “ersatz Starbucks” that are being put on those bases. You should watch this Frontline episode, Private Warriors, if you want to know the expense that we’ve gone through on these bases.

If you’re not clear on my point, ask yourself when’s the last time you spent twenty dollar on one meal, for one person.

I think you’ve read my columns for long enough that you know my wishes as far as our soldier’s safety is concerned. I don’t want to put them in harm’s way needlessly. Still, I think neither they, nor I expect that in a war that total safety is either possible or even sensible. If you’re totally safe while fighting a war, you’ve either won and don’t need to hang around, or you’re not where you’re supposed to be to make a difference. Simple logic, really.

I’m not a military strategist by training, but the people who say that building bases remote from the population is a bad idea are such. In most occupations that have worked, the soldiers have been in their amongst the people, not cordoned off in their own little area.

Other strategists are putting forward exactly the points I am repeating to you: More troops, less extravagances, more interaction among the people, less of an emphasis on force protection, and more of one on actually securing territory and calming things down.

On the subject of what we need, personally I think it’s reasonable to have the space in there for the vehicles and aircraft we need. If you think I’m disputing that, you’ve obviously been skimming through all the things I’ve written these past couple years. I’m nothing if not a pragmatist. The question is, why the rest of it, and do we actually need these bases at all, if we’re doing what the administration is telling us its going to do: start withdrawing troops.

Does it make sense, on the other hand, to be building at that level of expense if these are just to be handed over to the Iraqis? I do not expect them to be that prosperous after we leave, and it is no small feat to maintain a military under the best of conditions. Maybe the numbers contradict me on this, but you don’t seem to have them.

I am not criticizing the troops. In case you didn’t notice, my response has not been a marxist attack on the pig-dogs of the military wallowing in luxury at the expense of the proletariat. My response has been concerned with fulfilling the soldier’s purpose, the soldiers being people I greatly admire.

The question is not whether we need bases, but how we go about basing. If we’re withdrawing, we can make do with what’s there. If we’re not, then the bases make sense, economically constructed. But if the latter strategy is the case, Bush needs to share his policy direction with the rest of the country, and justify his decision. Tell me where I’m wrong in wanting our direction in this war clearly laid out.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 22, 2006 3:02 PM
Comment #128593

Sandra,

You’re right, that sounded bad on a re-read. I was actually thinking back to when the wounds were reported as “minor”, as they would have been at 30 yards.

Posted by: Dave at February 22, 2006 3:09 PM
Comment #128621

Building bases is not progress toward withdraw, but progress toward more war. Posted by: Brent at February 22, 2006 11:34 AM
How about ill-informed, detached, ill-prepared, indifferent, ill-advised, naive, witless, foolish? We are in the Middle East forever. I think I’m feeling a draft. Posted by: Rocky at February 22, 2006 01:41 PM

What is intended with these bases is unknown to us, and probably unknown to Bush, but either somebody is planning for us to have a much larger military than the voluntary one that we now have, or many other bases elsewhere are going to be closed.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 22, 2006 4:18 PM
Comment #128623

Let’s see…

Since I first posted this morning,90 mosques have been attacked since the Mosque of the Golden Dome was bombed this morning….

and 3 imams killed and another kidnapped.

By this time tomorrow,those numbers will be doubled as word filters throughout the rest of the Arab world.

Bush’s fault,right?

I wish there were 10 more bases there right now for our military kids as the Shia backlash finally let’s loose after 3 decades of ruthless Sunni supression……

Hopefully this will lead to people there finally ratting out Al Quida leadership too because a line has been crossed today.

Rocky

So who is the alternative from your side?Here’s a number for you: ZERO…the same number as there has been attacks in the states since 9/11.That’s the same number of attacks on our ports too by the way.

Dave
Let me quote you in response to all your posts since this morning: Eagleshit.(It’s not polite to say bullshit).

Your anology of Gore giving a blow job to the Saudis last week was,however,right on.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 22, 2006 4:22 PM
Comment #128624

SE,

“So who is the alternative from your side?Here’s a number for you: ZERO…the same number as there has been attacks in the states since 9/11.That’s the same number of attacks on our ports too by the way.”

Since I don’t claim any “side” as my own, I will just remain amused by your comment.

You should check you bird feed for DDT, I think you’re halucinating.

Posted by: Rocky at February 22, 2006 4:29 PM
Comment #128635

Hello Eagle:

I have missed your cheery presence in the gloomy land democratic dispair. I was pleased to learn of the base construction. The Iraqi’s are goint to need backup and the shooting isn’t over yet.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 22, 2006 5:00 PM
Comment #128640

SE-
Look, our soldiers don’t need to be huddled in bases at times like this. They need to be out there keeping the order, if the locals can’t do it. This focus on force protection, though made necessary by our low numbers, is killing this war faster than any dissent from home ever could.

You can’t prevent people from getting the wrong idea about a war, but you sure as hell can’t help our soldiers by getting the wrong idea of how to fight it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 22, 2006 5:08 PM
Comment #128644

Rocky

No bird feed goes into this svelt body thank you very much…purely organic stuff( 100% extra virgin olive oil from Sicily is the key by the way)…Italy is now 75% organic you know,plus an occasionial beak or two of fine Nero D’Avola Sicilian wine.

Goodkingned

Last week I was posting on Stephen’s column trying to straighten the poor boy out.Every once in a while he has flashes of brilliance,but it’s a one step forward,two steps back kinda thing with him….so….hard….but I love him anyway.

Stephen

The match is lit today.This is it…that low grade civil war has elevated,I fear.

A couple of things can happen I think:
First,after the usual bloodbath that will take place the next few days,some will smarten up and conclude that they have been exploited for politicial reasons.While this is my fondest wish,I think not.I think some horrible things may happen to Sunni shrines…aided by Al Queda of course.

This will open up discussion to partition seriously….and there is a lot of precedent in the area.

When India and Packistan split,over 17 million people switched locations….the largest emigtation of people in modern times.

In Iraq,it has happened but much more subtely until now.Reading between the lines at what Rumsfield said yesterday,General Casey and staff have been working on all possibilities….including a civil war.

Al Sadr is just returning to Iraq as I write this.Tomorrow he can either be a flame-thrower which will really get things going,or a peacemaker which will boost him politicially.

In any case,Iraqi security forces must be strained right about now…both internally with torn loyalties…Sunni,Kurd and Shia on patrol looking and wondering at each other,and the militias gearing up for internal war.

Buy Exxon.Gas will go up again.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 22, 2006 5:27 PM
Comment #128669

SE,

So, other than removing Saddam from power, what have we accomplished?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 22, 2006 6:13 PM
Comment #128684

We have accomplished the transferring of large amounts of money to people who can transfer that money back to the Bush family when they want it. After he is out, maybe W would like to buy another baseball team or oil drilling company, incorporated in the Cayman Islands of course like any patriotic flagwaving hypocrite. Also, there are the next generation of Bushes to consider. We do not want the royal family ever to have to do any honest work.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 22, 2006 7:10 PM
Comment #128829

Kansas Dem

The short answer is that all the blood letting in this war on terror (this morning the toll now stands at 90 mosques burned,15 imams kidnapped with a tidal wave of violence still to follow,unfortunately) renains there,not here.

After mulling it over last night,I think that IF this initial wave of passes (and that’s a big IF),foreign fighters there will next feel the wrath of the Shia.

If I were the Shia leadership I think that I would offer in a couple of days a halt to the ongoing massacre in return for the radicial Sunni to give up the names of the foreign fighters helping them.

This saves face for both sides for now and MIGHT allow the unification to continue (until the next stupid thing that will occur that is).

It’s interesting that the Shia are going after the Imams…something I said here last week on another thread but was efficerated (sic) on by Steve.

After a bunch of those imams realize that they are about to get killed if they continue with their madness,they may change their tune on unification.

The US is learning here too.Kinda like cutting the heads off a bunch of little snakes and the word is beginning to get out.

This time,those smuggled weapons from Iran are coming in handy to the Shia,but the bigger problem is sure to come.

Today will be an interesting day again.

Posted by: Sicilianeagle at February 23, 2006 7:08 AM
Comment #128864
The short answer is that all the blood letting in this war on terror (this morning the toll now stands at 90 mosques burned,15 imams kidnapped with a tidal wave of violence still to follow,unfortunately) remains there,not here.

So, Sic, Your justification for viewing the Bush policy as a success is that, not counting our 2275+ AMERICAN troops, all the dying is Iraqi?
Too bad it’s so short term, narrowly focused, self serving, fundamentally inhuman, and ignores the history of how/why we are there in the first place. It detracts from a cogent rest-of-post. Which is reasonably posited but I don’t think addresses the root of the problem: As long as we’re there, to the average Iraqi we will be the bigger enemy. To the average Iraqi, the insurgents are patriots and jihadists (not a bad word to them). Right now they have mostly each other to kill since we’re a harder target. If it’s only the Shias left standing, Iraq will really be Iran with a ‘Q’. So, we’re stuck trying to get the 2 to work together although history suggests this will fail. See: Yugoslavia, Checkoslovakia, USSR, Balkanization, the 100 Years Wars, and etc… What we need now is luck.

Posted by: Dave at February 23, 2006 11:08 AM
Comment #128872

SicilianEagle,

To me the “fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here” argument flies in the face of reason. We know Al-Qaeda exists in a large number of countries around the globe. To suggest that they are so “single-minded” as to be able to focus on only one “battle” at a time is IMO just foolish.

If anything the destabilization of Iraq created a recruiting ground and training ground for Al-Qaeda. From the very beginning I expected that eventually Iraq would become a Shiite Theocracy, much in the model of Iran. Whether we’ve reached that “tipping point” now only time will tell.

If this is the beginning of “civil war” what part does the American military now play? Do we now become peacekeepers? While we shift our focus to quelling the violence between Sunni and Shi’a factions what will Al-Qaeda be doing?

Given Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s “in your face” stance with America it seems almost certain that he’ll get involved, at the very least by supplying the Shiite with weapons. If (IMO when seems almost more likely) we start bombing Iran how many other Arab nations are going to decide to act “pre-emptively” based on the suspicion that they’re next on the list?

How many nations possess nukes that we’re already on shaky ground with? If this truly does dissolve into WWIII do you truly believe anyone will be able to declare a victory?

Interesting days ahead indeed.
KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 23, 2006 11:56 AM
Comment #128890

Eagle,

You are more full of shit than a Christmas goose.

Posted by: macsonix at February 23, 2006 12:55 PM
Comment #128918

SE,

I must agree with macsonix. Your venom is remarkable - how dare we question the expenditure of our tax dollars along with American blood. How dare we not???

We are not in state of war - certainly not a declared one. Don’t bother to respond with an entirely predictable diatribe. If Bush had anything dragging on the ground the way you claimed he does, he would have asked congress to declare war on - um, exactly who is he going to declare war on?

That’s the problem, isn’t it? A perpetual state of heightened alert is not war and certainly does not justify substantial incursions on civil liberties. Unless you want to change our name to PSA - Police State of America?

The point about the bases, which you intentionally ignore, is the lack of disclosure from the Bush administration about their intent in Iraq. It is about the lies inflicted on the American public to gain support for Vietnam redux, in 2006 dollars.

If you don’t think this is Vietnam, I have two numbers for you:

61%

Percent of Americans who thought Vietnam was a mistake.

59%

Percent of Americans who think Iraq is a mistake.


This is all about disclosure - so We the People, with whom all powers are reserved, other than those enumerated in the Constitution. It has always been about disclosure.

First it was about WMD - most skeptics thought it was about oil and power in the Middle East, but we were dismissed as unpatriotic.

Then it was about removing a regime that supports terrorism - we still thought it was about oil and power, and again were villified for criticizing ‘our President, our troops, when they are in harms way’.

Then it was spreading democracy in the Middle East - still looked the same over here, but now the argument was ‘if you don’t want to stay the course, you are a flip-flopper or a coward like Murtha’

Now it’s about assuring the nascent democracy doesn’t crumble and ‘standing down as soon as they stand up’ - again, my partiotism is questioned for wanting to ‘cut and run’.

Oh, by the way, Haliburton is digging us in for the next decade. But don’t talk about it - the American people might find out what we are up to.

The treachery makes me sick.

Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus is invoked by neocons ad infinitum to justify this administration’s claim of exemption from the Constitution. A little news for all of you - Lincoln requested congressional approval to do so. Something this president and his henchmen have not had the courage to do.

If Bush cannot maintain support for our involvement in Iraq except by withholding the truth, then he should get us out. If our president needs to destroy constitutional democracy in order to lead as he sees deems necessary, then he shouldn’t lead.

And if our country cannot survive except by denying everything that we stand for, then what have we become?

SE, is that what you are sharpening your talons for?

Another reminder - because your posts clearly show you have forgotten:

we survive as a nation because our military serves to protect the Constitution, NOT the president. The president serves to defend the Constitution.

That is what this all about and that is why dissent is patriotic - because dissent is the last defense of the Constitution.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 23, 2006 3:29 PM
Comment #128982

The president serves to defend the Constitution.

This president, elected an unprecedented eight years after his father, does not share that view on our form of government>

Posted by: Ohrealy at February 23, 2006 9:11 PM
Comment #129093

Macsonix

Watch it there….that goose is my cousin.

CPAdams

Interesting,predicitable response and an indication of your party’s views,I may add.

You don’t even think we are in a war.

How about us outfitting all the enemy….make them wear something like a football outfit..so you can see clearly the enemy.

Probably wouldn’t work though.

Eagles don’t have venom….that is another species called snakes…most snakes belong to your party and I wanted to avoid confusion.

Sorry.

I’ll try to be clearer expressing myself.

Nice comparision too,Vietnam vs Iraq.

Lots of thought there.Did you know that a substantial portion on American forces in Vietnam were draftees and didn’t want to be there?Last I looked,today’s military is an all-volunteer one…including Reservist who knew what they were getting into when they signed on….and have performed herocially I might add.

Terrific analogy.

Just like the snake and eagle analogy.

A tad confused.

If you are going to mention Lincoln…a republician by the way,why don’t you mention Boss Tweed in the same breath…you you that guy…he’s the politician who convinced all those poor Irish immigrants that blacks were going to take their jobs after the civil war…and helped fan the hatred of the KKK that lasted for 150 years .

And by the way,weren’t all those Southern governors and Senators who stood blocking colleges and universaties in the South all Democrats?

If you want to talk about a con job,then hands down the democrats win…convincing the “poor” and the “oppressed” that they represent them,when history sees it differently.

You musta missed that chapter in the history books.

I do agree with you on your patriotism…I do not question that at all.

You are AM,I am FM…different wave lengths,that’s all.

When I started this post,I was going to be flip,but instead I will retrack my talons and fly off.

No venom as you call it.

Suffice to say that there are many out there who espouse my view…as evidenced by the last election…and as will evidenced by the next one too….

Today Iraq is in flames…167 mosques in flames….hundreds dead….look at my first post…I was out front on that one 20 seconds after the story broke on the wires…

Maybe you’d like that bullshit to happen on our shores…I choose no…and as the situation mutates (as it has since Iraq fell)I am glad that it’s there,and not here that its happening.

And I am glad that we have those bases too,or should we be like Geraldo Rivera writing a diagram in the sand for the enemy?

I think I know your answer.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 24, 2006 6:38 AM
Comment #129134

Another analogy

Afghanistan is to Russia

as

Iraq is to America

Thanks George. Thanks for voting him in SE.

Posted by: Dave at February 24, 2006 10:36 AM
Comment #129139

se,

Actually, nothing flip from here. 167 mosques in flames? I heard 10. But lets accept the 167 for this discussion. What we are seeing is what most analysts said would occur in the event of the fall of Saddam Hussein. They said that the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds have lived together peacefully only under brute force and would fracture as a natural result.

I am not a pessimist, I am realistic and understanding trends and behavior is what I do for a living. If someone had bothered to get the best foreign policy brains together before the invasion, the successful democratization of Iraq would have been declared a long shot. Well, we are living with the results of that crap shoot by the Bush Administration.

Except, they won’t back off and admit failure because it has POLITICAL consequences for the GOP. Getting out of there in one year or one day with both lead to the same endgame - the Kurds take Kirkut, make there independent state in the north and the Shia and Sunni fight it out until the Sunnis are brutally beaten or a Sunni majority arab state comes to their aid and the Middle Eastern violence escalates.

That is and always has been a high probability endgame in Iraq. Except Bush rolled the dice with over $300 billion in tax dollars and thousands of American lives.

Nice of you to go off point on the comparison of Vietnam v Iraq. Whether the forces were drafted or not is a non sequitur. I said the public belief that Iraq is a mistake is almost equal to the percentage of the public that thought Vietnam was a mistake.

You think we are not back to Vietnam because people aren’t protesting? Guess again. Our nation is as divided as it has been in the last century. The great divider has fanned partisan flames for political gain.

The point about Lincoln, which you ignored as well, was about disclosure. Bush did not disclose that he went into Iraq for oil and power, not to defend our nation or protect American lives. Bush did not disclose his wiretapping, did not disclose Abu Ghraib, secret prisoners in Guantanamo, the ports deal (which even Tom Delay is against).

AM/FM, se. For me, the central threats to our prosperity and security in our competitive decline with China, India and Russia. I see the Middle East sapping our financial strength and dividing us politically, keeping our eyes off the real target.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 24, 2006 10:49 AM
Comment #129155

CPA,

Actually, Shiites and Shias, in modern times in Iraq, lived in pretty good coexistence until the Lebanese civil war then hostilities exacerbated by Hussein. He gave Sunnis privileges if they joined him and left the Shia behind in poverty.

As for Lincoln, NPR was taling about how Lincoln had exceeded his constituional authority for something (can’t remember, maybe habeus corpus, & no time to look)early in the Civil War. He then went to Congress and said “I believe I may have broke the law doing this, please give a ruling” I believe it was then that congress gave him retroactive authority. A bit different than the Bush “F-U congress, I’m doing it because my lawyers say I can get away with it” even after he had gone to congress for the wiretap authority and was rebuffed.

Posted by: Dave at February 24, 2006 11:53 AM
Comment #129165

Dave

Bad analogy.Never happen.Zero chance.

CP Adams

I have written many times on this blog that partion was a very real possibility…just last week Stephen Daugherty and I had that very discussion.

The danger of sectrian violence was probably one reason back in 1991 that Bush 1 pulled up.

However,since this morning,the situation looks like its calming down….but something else will come up next week probably.

Thus is politicial.Some people want the politicial process shit canned.IF calmer heads can prevail…then the good(if you can it that) from all this trtadedy this week is that finally Sunni elements will conclude that the bad guys are exactly that…bad…and maybe we can roll some of them up via Sunni informants.

I am impressed that Iraqi security forces seem to be doing the job…pretty much on their own too,so many the threat of them splintering was a little premature.

IF we can stabilize the area,then a decade from now,the dollar expenditure may be justified(note the word may)..the loss of American life remains tragic however…but not in vain.

I happen to agree with you about China,India and Russia…and have rwitten on that as well.

However,this is another front…like Iran will be and perhaps North Korea…..in a world war.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 24, 2006 12:36 PM
Comment #129183

SE,

Denial is the first phase. You need to reach Acceptance before a cure is possible. It will take years, maybe a generation, to repair the damage done to our military by your bush. You can recover faster, if you try.

Posted by: Dave at February 24, 2006 1:58 PM
Comment #129196

source the military balance, 2002-2003,nations with largest armed forces,on a list of 30. germanys armed strength, is no 16. with 296,000 active troops, and 390,000 reserve troops.2,590 tanks . 12, frigates and 2 destroyers.and 14 submarines.also 446 aircraft. as for japan. there no 23 on the list, with 239,000 active troops, 47,000 reserve troops,1040 tanks. also 44 destroyers, and 10 frigates.and 16 submarines, also 320 aircraft. lets take a look at our friends in the united kingdom, they are no 25 on the list with 210,000 active troops and 234,000 reserve troops. 594 tanks, and 11 destroyers.and 21 frigates, and 16 submarines, and 332 aircraft, thank you united kingdom! rodney brown.

Posted by: rodney brown at February 24, 2006 2:39 PM
Comment #129234

//
I did not know Lincoln, I never served with Lincoln, Lincoln was not a friend of mine, I never even met Lincoln, but GWBush is no Lincoln, the man could read and write his own speeches. He is not even a JFK, FDR, LBJ, Wilson, Eisenhower, Carter or Clinton.
//

Posted by: ohrealy at February 24, 2006 5:03 PM
Comment #129237

ohrealy,
“He is not even a JFK, FDR, LBJ, Wilson, Eisenhower, Carter or Clinton.”

Or Grant, Wilson, Andrew Johnson, Taft, Harding, or Hoover.

Posted by: Rocky at February 24, 2006 5:16 PM
Comment #129240

Just taking an opportunity to respond to a few gems from my friend the ever-patriotic Eagle.


this is another front…like Iran will be and perhaps North Korea…..in a world war.

Well, that’s twice in a couple of days on this blog alone that you’ve put the words WORLD and WAR together. Does that make you salivate or something? Are you thinking of the New American Century and all the glorious power and money that guys like Cheney and Rummy can gather from an imperialist winning streak (‘course you gotta start with a win, remember) over a couple of generations or so? Or are you simply one of the humble servants of Jesus Christ (never mind his views on war, poverty, tolerance, the sick and infirm, etc.) who just can’t wait for that long-awaited rapture to begin (hoping this whole Muslim/Christian, West/Mideast thing is the catalyst) so you can shimmy up to heaven with everybody else who voted against gay marraige? The way you inject your unfortunately frequent posts with that phrase, in such a flippant, insouciant, and possibly even enthusiastic manner, turns my stomach and is a blatant affront to all Americans in uniform, past and present, including myself.


there are many out there who espouse my view…as evidenced by the last election…and as will evidenced by the next one too….

Oh, yeah - the old two percent margin of victory equals an overwhelming demand for a conservative mandate argument. You can shove that idea about amassing political capital right up your feathery little arse.


If you want to talk about a con job,then hands down the democrats win…convincing the “poor” and the “oppressed” that they represent them,when history sees it differently.

Your post makes a valid point that Southern Democrats were doing their part to stall the civil rights movement forty to forty-five years ago. My question is: What for the love of pete does that have to do with what’s happening in 2006? Answer: NOTHING!

Another question: Which of the following programs or laws was created or enacted by a Republican?

voting rights act
women’s right to vote
the right of anyone not a white, male, landowning citizen to vote
civil rights act
child labor laws
creation of US parks
clean air and water standards legislation
overtime pay
medicare
social security
food and drug standards legislation
minimum wage standards legislation
the FDIC
the SEC

Answer: NONE OF THE ABOVE. So unless you can come up with a similar list of wildly effective legislation and programs that were pet Republican projects, my suggestion is to keep your pie hole (or beak, in this case) shut about which party does more for working-class people in this country.


Here’s a number for you: ZERO…the same number as there has been attacks in the states since 9/11.That’s the same number of attacks on our ports too by the way.

Oh, right. Then assuming there’s a cause and effect relationship here (know what happens when you assume?) Bushco must be doing a splendid job of securing our nation. Same as they were doing on a certain Tuesday morning in 2001. This argument is as tired as Michael Caine.


He has a set of balls that drag to the ground….something most of your ilk lack in times of war.

Hmmmmmm…….is THAT why he joined up with the Texas Air National Guard and then rarely showed up for duty? ‘Cause he’s got big brass balls???? Perhaps you’d know less about his private parts if you spent less time kissing his butt. Again, not exactly the oldest, dumbest, least accurate and most exaggerated claim in the conservative arsenal, but it’s up there by golly.

How wouldd he like to be a 19 year old kid eating a sandwich at one of those Sub Way (indepependently owned and operated by the way) franchises there and get hit by shrapnel because of an idiotic post?

This is truly the most ridiculous drivel I’ve heard regarding the war and our troops since this damn mess got started. If you think American troops are upset that US civilians are giving away classified info on the web during political debate in the blogosphere, then you must really believe you’re a bird.

In my opinion, a gooney.

Oh, and BTW, you can’t spell and neither can any other regular righty poster I’ve seen in over five years of perusing sites like this. Go ahead and kill the NEA, the Dept of Ed, and the Teachers’ unions. Pretty soon you people won’t be able to count, either.

Posted by: macsonix at February 24, 2006 5:32 PM
Comment #129303

macsonix, thought that dan rather bit was a pure lie and if i recall did not mr clinton have draft dodger status!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: rodney brown at February 24, 2006 10:26 PM
Comment #129304

mussinnix cant you guys count 3% i know 1% is a small amount but! 1% would have been 425,000 votes. the amount you was crying about in 2000!

Posted by: rodney brown at February 24, 2006 10:31 PM
Comment #129353

Back to the bases:

If our military is in an area and expects to have the best support, staging areas, safe places to sleep and eat, and places to repair equipment, not to mention store that equipment, you need a base. If you want a base strong enough to keep our troops and all the equipment safe, you need to build a pretty large, secure base.
I have no problem with this. We all talk about supporting the troops. One of the best ways to do that is to have secure bases where they can live and work. They have to be able to get away from the battle once in awhile. So let’s give them a burger king or popeye’s and a movie theater. Let them get their heads back on straight from time to time. Let them sleep without fearing a suicide attack coming through their barracks door. If we did not have strong bases, our troops would be constantly under attack. Their security would be continually chipped away by suicide attacks.
If it takes a super base to do it, then let’s build a super base. Let’s build ten super bases. It’s part of the price you pay to win.
You can criticize Bush for a lot of things regarding Iraq, and they may indeed be planning to stay. Criticize him for that. Say that we should not have gone there in the first place. I’ll agree with that. Say they are doing a lousy job of waging this war. I’m with you. But don’t take away these strong bases which support our troops.

Posted by: Cole at February 25, 2006 12:32 AM
Comment #129427

Macsonix

Sorry about all the typos…it’s a bitch trying to type with talons..have to tap,tap,tap one key at a time,plus I haven’t the foggiest about how to spell-check in this little box that I reply.

Plus,every once in a while when a post is funny,as was your reply,I am too busy chuckling to pay attention to the rules of grammar…suffice to say that my posts evoke comment no matter how the spelling appears..the message touches a nerve,though.

1.Yes,I do think we are in a world war,so that’s three times I have said that on this thread.Bin Laden et al declared it on us back in 1993 but we didn’t realize it.
We are also witnessing a war within Islam too.
Some of us (a majority,I think)now do.
Sooner or later the rest of us will,or at least some of the rest of us, will.
I hope that realization ,however,occurs before the next incident here in the states.

I will put you in that tip toe thru the tulips categeory of those who fiddles while Rome burns for now.Perhaps with time(and under the Eagle’s tutelage) you will have a change of opinion…it’s just right now that you are not ready…I call it a maturation of clear and lucid thought…and this can be accomplished only after all the anger and vitrol has disapated from your thought.

Kinda like the twelve step program,I think.You seeem to be about 2 miles away from the steps presently however.

2.No I am not a Christian fanatic,lunitic or extreme right winger either.I have posted about 300 times here,and while you can call the old Eagle what you want,I think a moderate Republician who will vote for McCain in the next election is probably right on.

3.Most Americian who served in the military,past and present,I bet are more apt to see my point of view than yours,although I do thank you for serving for our nation.The Eagle appreciates your contribution despite our different views.

4.Regarding Civil rights….a correction…from 1865 to about 1960…looks like 130 years to me…blacks were oppressed and exploited primarily by Democrats who convinced most immigramt groups…especially the Irish…that they would take their jobs……unions formed,(white unions,that is..they have always been discriminatory except we never hear about that),and were a convient tool for Democratic politicial machines in Eastern cities(NYC,Boston and Philly being examples)of this.Getting a job “on the city” or “on the state”…called patronage….was a Democratic invention….

5.Your list of programs…social programs and entitlements all…is the same list that we could talk about under both the Carter and Clinton years too.
Abour 3% of our GDP goes to defense….and creates tens of thousans of private sector jobs as well,not to mention advances in the sciences and medicine,so it’s all how you view it.

6.Nice back peddaling the Dems are doing on the port issue by the way.Some of them probably did a Google on the UAR after they flapped their jaws and are re-thinking the issue…as they do on virtually all major issues…..

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 25, 2006 7:18 AM
Comment #129570

I’m going to go ahead and bite here, even though I’d much rather spend my weekend with my family instead of responding to weak and ill-informed posts like this:

macsonix, thought that dan rather bit was a pure lie and if i recall did not mr clinton have draft dodger status!!!!!!!!!!!

Your logic is as perplexing to me as it is comforting to you. Just because Dan and company at CBS decide to use a document that’s probably a fake to prove the point they are trying to make does NOT make their point false. It only makes them lazy, stupid, and caught. Kinda like if a murderer has a mistrial because the cops falsified evidence, it does NOT in any way mean the guy didn’t actually kill somebody. Whoever told you Clinton was a draft-dodger needs to have their head examined. He was as legally exempt via deferment as your buddy Cheney who flippantly let us all know that he “had other priorities”.

cant you guys count 3% i know 1% is a small amount but! 1% would have been 425,000 votes. the amount you was crying about in 2000!

three percent, two percent, one percent - the difference in context of my argument is irrelevant. And any highly socialized chimp could figure that out. Never in the history of this nation has such a small margin of victory somehow been interpreted as such a huge call for radical changes to our system of governance.

As for the Eagle, well your post was as ridiculous as it was condescending. But we’ve come to expect condescencion from the right in general and this administration in particular. If anybody’s fiddling while Rome burns it’s Bush, Cheney, ExxonMobil, Rove, and the lot of ‘em. Your ignorance of the average soldier’s attitudes about this war and its legitimacy are stunning for someone who calls himself an eagle. Read a damn magazine for crying out loud. Texas Monthly, Newsweek, Harper’s, the Atlantic, etc… the list goes on and on of periodicals documenting the plight of our fighting men and women who are fed up with the bullshit they receive from Washington and the Pentagon. Your arguments about Democrats and civil rights are still a little dusty to even rate a response. Thanks for the unnecessary and irrelevant history lesson. Bring the argument somewhere into the neighborhood of the last twenty years and perhaps someone will know what the hell it has to do with what’s happening TODAY. And I must admit that your comment concerning social programs, Carter and Clinton made absolutely no sense whatsoever - I don’t have the slightest clue what your point is at all there.

And lastly, as far as lucidity and anger are concerned, my anger over the activities of the right wing since 9/11 is not only justified, it has made my head politically clearer than it’s ever been, thanks very much.

Posted by: macsonix at February 25, 2006 8:56 PM
Comment #129590

macsonix i always try to back up what i say with facts. please, sorry if your not to busy, look up on the web under, sorry! bill clinton draft dodger, where he wrote his famous letter dated dec 3rd 1969 to colonel holmes, also please look up colonel bill holmes website. sorry bill is and was a draft dodger. i wont respond to your vulgar comments, but again math is easy example 6-3=3 not 2. like you stated. that was my only point. i really did not need the freudian metaphors. thank you rodney brown.

Posted by: rodney brown at February 25, 2006 10:31 PM
Comment #129616

Rodney Brown.

What does Clinton have to do with anything today. If this were a private enterprise do you suppose that the “new” CEO would still be able to blame the last one for problems after 5+ years.?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 26, 2006 12:09 AM
Comment #129652

kansas dem ,just pointing out a true fact. i am not the greatest fan of mr bush, lets see how history remembers him. history is something we should never forget.to forget history is to repeat the past,

Posted by: rodney brown at February 26, 2006 4:15 AM
Comment #129945

Well, here’s what I found googling “clinton draft deferment”:

http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/politics/clintondraft.asp

Which is pretty much what I expected to find. It looks to me like he tried every LEGAL trick in the book to stay away from direct enlistment - but we can say the same about virtually every member of the current administration. When I think of the term “draft dodger”, I normally envision someone leaving to go to Canada, signing papers stating they are a conscientious objector, or going AWOL from basic training or something like that. And that’s clearly not the case here. We all know that during the Vietnam War, the young men who came from backgrounds of privilege or outstanding academic acheivement normally made all the right moves to ensure that they would not end up there if they didn’t want to. So I’ll call this one a wash.

I also have no idea what your reference is to Freudian metaphor. Care to clarify?

Posted by: macsonix at February 27, 2006 1:58 PM
Comment #130021

In talking about partition, we have to remember the sad consequences of so many partitions in times past. Iraq has been a functioning country for several decades now, despite initial divisions. People have moved around, been moved around. There are folks who have now lived their entire adult lives, if not the rest as well, in the places they were transported to.

Partition is a simple answer in search of a nonexistent simple problem.

The Bases are an issue because there’s so much uncertainty about what we’re doing in Iraq. There’s so much uncertainty about that because after the initial plan, which conditions on the ground invalidated, the Bush administration had no backup plan.

At best, the creation of huge megabases indicates a defense department at cross purposes with itself, trying to withdraw and do this at the same time. At worst, what we have is an administration that’s trying to wait out the public’s with to get out of the war.

Either way, somebody’s failing to communicate the right things to the right people. This is a disgraceful way to run the war. If we’re going to stay, say that we will stay, and do what you have to do to keep our effort in motion. It will only get done halfway if you’re havin to sneak this past people, and that will defeat the purpose of continuing things. if we’re going to withdraw, put an end to those things we would only need if we were staying, and devote those resources to making the withdrawal successful.

You cannot run a war effort well if the parts of our defense apparatus aren’t talking to each other and working in a united fashion, and you cannot truly gain the support of most Americans for this war if you don’t even bother to keep them informed of where your’e going with the war, and what support in substantive terms you plan to give to our soldiers. You can put a sticker on your car saying you support the soldiers, but that won’t help the soldier who’s folks back home have to get a collection to pay for body armor.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 27, 2006 7:13 PM
Comment #130129

hey macsonix that war was sad time in our history i missed going by 2 years, i went to germany,just on my little street in 1966-1971 three very fine young men died and two were wounded. i was not putting mr clinton down who in 1969 was in oxford england, i hope you had the time to read that letter he wrote to col holmes, also the term fredian metaphor, was not to offend anyone it just is a book by donald p spence. take care .

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Comment #375117

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