Democrats & Liberals Archives

W.F. Buckley: Iraq War a Failure

According to William F. Buckley, Jr., conservative icon and founder of the National Review:

One can’t doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed.

“It Didn’t Work”

Posted by Woody Mena at February 26, 2006 9:22 AM
Comments
Comment #129672

Now they admit it? =/

Woody, this article may be of interest to you: Scotsman.com: Neo-cons lose the ascendancy as toughest battles loom at home

Posted by: Mike Tate at February 26, 2006 9:57 AM
Comment #129676

Woody


Please.

Buckley speaking on behalf of Republicians is equivalent to Mike Moore speaking on behalf of Democratis.

Pat Buchannan has been saying the same thing for months,but he too is a caricature…very much like Ted Kennedy….they talk…no one listens…or really cares…..

This guy lost his fast ball two decades ago…much ado about nothing

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 26, 2006 10:49 AM
Comment #129677

Guys

I don’t agree with Buckley, but that is not my point.

You all know that if this thing goes bad, it will be a tragedy for the United States and the Middle East. It will ruin George Bush’s historical reputation, but the extent of that black mark will depend precisely on how much it hurts the U.S.

In other words, a failure of Bush is a failure for America and the reverse is also true.

I think that some people miss this connection. A recent example were new pictures from Abu Ghraib. Those who were so enthusiastic to publish them will please tell me how that could help the U.S. win in Iraq. Tell me what NEW information it would give anyone. On the other hand, how many ways can you think of that it could hurt us (not George Bush, us).

I have long heard the argument that when we criticize ourselves it shows the world how good we are. This makes some sense, but it doesn’t mean you have to go out of your way to supply inflammatory material. Is that what you do in your personal life? On a first date, do (did) you tell your partner about all the bad relationships you had in the past.

Think of it like a court case with an honest lawyer (hypothetical, I know). The honest man will not hide evidence and will acknowledge the facts of the case, but he will emphasize what his client did right and if the case involves a traffic accident, for example, he won’t use his defense time showing the bloodiest pictures of accident victims from last year’s accidents.


Posted by: Jack at February 26, 2006 11:05 AM
Comment #129679

Jack,

you’re right…we should hide the truth….???
Don’t get me wrong, I understand what you are trying to say. However, hiding truth is not always the best route. Honesty is the best policy.

Mike,

I agree with Eagle. Quoting this guy and trying to tie him to all of the right is no better than the right tying all of what Michael Moore says to the left.

I hope the left is not going to start using this tactic. The right has used it to inflame the left and consolidate thier base. Those of us in the middle find it tasteless at best.

Posted by: Tom L at February 26, 2006 11:14 AM
Comment #129680

SE,

“This guy lost his fast ball two decades ago…much ado about nothing”

As any aging pitcher knows, it takes more than a fastball to get out batters, especially when a batter swings as wildly as this group does.

Buckley stil knows how to turn a phrase.

Anyone that would dismiss him outright, like the wild swinging batter, could end up looking pretty foolish.

Posted by: Rocky at February 26, 2006 11:16 AM
Comment #129681

We cannot leave Iraq. Regardless of lives and treasure, we must stay and win. To do otherwise would be to surrender to Al Queda.

I admit I am disappointed at how many Republicans are sounding like Cindy Sheehan now. Even Bill O’Lielly is trying to move away from Iraq.

We must stay the course. Whatever it takes.

Posted by: Aldous at February 26, 2006 11:26 AM
Comment #129682

Thank you for the link. WFB can sure turn a phrase. As usual he is full of sh**, but what elequent sh**. His MO, as he often does, is to base his arguments on unfounded premises. It is easy to get caught up in the phraseology and internal logic of his appeals and thereby accept his often faulty premises. In this case his premise is that there was some kind of high-minded goal for the invasion of Iraq other than naked imperialism and personal vendetta,coupled with a willing military-industrial complex anxious to justify its existence.
Good.Maybe he will help cover a withdrawel with the undeserved shroud of decency neccessary for the neo-cons to admit defeat and do what we should have done long ago. Namely,get out. Embrace Murthas plan,perhaps, and aid the Kurds some.

Posted by: BillS at February 26, 2006 11:29 AM
Comment #129683

TomL

It is not hiding the truth not to supply illustrations that will reinvigorate an old story.

Let me again make an analogy with something we all understand. You just got married and are on your honeymood. You had a girlfriend a couple of years ago. You told your new wife about her and she knows your were “seriously” physical. Your old girlfriend sends you some graphic pictures of same. Are you being dishonest if you don’t share them with your wife on your honeymoon night? (that is presuming she is not the type to enjoy them).

Posted by: Jack at February 26, 2006 11:37 AM
Comment #129684

Jack,

Is there a whits difference between publishing those photos, and those from the right that would have the MSM re-publish the “cartoons” that inflamed the violence in the Middle East?

I will not lump you in with those guys, but sometimes the right talks out of both sides of it’s mouth, and then is the first to deny it.

Posted by: Rocky at February 26, 2006 11:42 AM
Comment #129685

First, I think it’s funny how the rightie comments have gone. No discussion of why the article is wrong, no arguing the issues. Just distraction and an attempt to slime the opposition (Jack) and attacking Buckley himself (SE).

Jack,

You all know that if this thing goes bad, it will be a tragedy for the United States and the Middle East.

If? Jack, this thing went bad the minute we didn’t have enough security to prevent looting. Actually, it went bad the minute we decided to invade on paltry evidence and pre-concieved notions. It is ALREADY a tragedy. The real tragedy has been in not understanding that “staying the course” is not going to get the job done.
Critics of the war do not want the war to fail, as much as you want to paint them that way. I was as against the war as anybody, but I prayed daily that we would find WMDs, so that America would be at least somewhat justified. Now that the war has happened, we actually want it to be done right, but the stubborness of the administration has led to the brink of absolute, obvious civil war. Maybe it’s time to rethink things? Or admit that we maybe need to try something else? You can try to paint that as being unamerican, but it just isn’t true.

Tom,
Nowhere in the original post were all republicans said to think this way. This post is the complete opposite of one by say, Eric Simonson, where a quote is distorted and then all liberals are indicted for supporting it. Here, what a man said was quoted and linked to, with no commentary.

I was happy to see this article, because It showed that not only commie pinko anti-american far left liberal michael moore clones thought that maybe the war is being run badly. Maybe if criticism came from a conservative, I thought, they wouldn’t just dismiss him as being biased or crazy. I guess I was wrong.

Posted by: Brian Poole at February 26, 2006 11:46 AM
Comment #129687

Aldos

You’re beautiful.You are an artful writer.My compliments.

All
Here’s my read:

Three days ago I was concerned that an all out civil war was about to break out.

I think that Iraqis from both side peered down that well and didn’t like what they saw.

While sporatic violence may continue as a result of the bombing for a few more days,it should peter out(provided another big one doesn’t get blown up,that is).

This might in fact puch a unity government into a reality.

Al Sadr comes out ahead though.He played the statesman first and then he sent his militia to guard the other mosques.

Remember that he is a nationialist,so he will push,I think, for a government to be formed quickly now.

What really has to happen is that the Sunnis have to begin dropping dimes on people…if a big fish or two were to be reeled in,that would go a long way .

The whole concept of “losing” Iraq is hogwash.

Actually,if the situation,with all these twists and turns since Bagdad fell,were to be successful,then America wins,not the president.

Last I looked I though both democrats and republicans have given their lives here.

This thing I predict,will even out shortly.

By the way,the nationial networks have been about two to three days behind on this story too.

My favorite right wing fanatic,Dan Pipes has some very interesting things to say too.If you liberals want a chuckle or two and see what the REAL right wing thinks,visit his site www.danpipes.com

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 26, 2006 11:56 AM
Comment #129689

Rocky

The difference is profound, although the net result of both is Muslim rioting.

I would not have published the cartoons initially. They were in bad taste. What I objected to is the fact that other people so objected to them being published in little Denmark that they rioted, burned and killed. Once it became a matter of that, I had to support the publication to test the limits of the world I live in. Denmark is not under Sharia law. Should Sharia law be permitted to reach into Denmark (or France, or the U.S.)?

The photos are offensive too, but that is not the reason I oppose giving them wide exposure. They are misleading. They imply that this is new and ongoing. They are also just inflammatory, like pictures of aborted babies, or imagine if before necessary surgery, the surgeon showed you graphic pictures. Does it help with your decison?

Pictures don’t always tell the truth.

My point is not that it should be illegal to show the pictures. My point is that I would not cooperate in distributing them and I don’t think anyone with the best interest of the U.S. at heart should do so. I believe that some Americans have lost sight to this. They think the pictures just hurt George Bush. They fail to understand most people are not sophisticated enough to make that distinction over the long term.

Some of our opponents have become very clever in manipulating American opinion. They play kind of a reverse good cop/bad cop. They imply to people unsophisticated enough to believe it that they aren’t against America, just George Bush. It divides America. But consider that Osama bin Laden is nursing a hateful grudge for what happened in Andalusia in 1492, do you really think he would be different if we had different leadership?

Posted by: Jack at February 26, 2006 12:17 PM
Comment #129690

Jack
“do you really think he would be different if we had different leadership?”
I think he would be dead or in prison if we had different leadership.

Posted by: BillS at February 26, 2006 12:25 PM
Comment #129691

Jack,

My point exactly.

Those on the right that would have us publish those “cartoons”, are just as wrong as those that have published the photos.
Both are needlessly inflammatory, yet both “sides” claim the high ground in their desires to publish.

It is lunacy, plain and simple, and does nothing to further the dialogue, not only between the “sides” in this country, but between the “sides” in the Middle East as well.

One man’s “appeasement” is another man’s diplomacy.

It is truely unfortunate that cooler heads might not prevail.

Posted by: Rocky at February 26, 2006 12:42 PM
Comment #129698

First all, I am NOT trying to attribute the words of William Buckley to the rest of the Right. (As some of you noticed, I offered no editorial comment whatsoever.) You will hear no argument from me — most conservatives are still in denial about Iraq.

The comparison between Moore and Buckley is pretty hilarious. I can just imagine Buckley curling his lip in disgust and giving a hyper-erudite explanation for how he is in no way like that man. And he would be right. But let’s roll with the comparison, and suppose that Michael Moore suddenly came out for the Iraq War. That would really be something, wouldn’t it?

Jack,

I see the Abu Grahib issue as tangential, but I was also upset about the Australian newspaper publishing more Abu Grahib photos. The principle was fine, but the timing was terrible. They could have waited until the cartoon furor cooled down.

I agree that a black mark on the Bush foreign policy is also a black mark on the US. Bush is the president until 1/2009, and there is no getting around it (realistically, at least). What is up for debate is whether having the US troops there is helping or hurting at this point. I think the US presence doing more harm than good. A graceful exit would be good for Bush and the US.

For what it is worth, I don’t think the Iraq War was a complete failure. Saddam is gone for good. It’s time to declare victory, and leave.

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 26, 2006 1:31 PM
Comment #129706

Maybe Iraq will descend into full-scale civil war, but Jack’s correct in saying that this would be a failure for the U.S. — I’d say a disastrous one, the repercussions of which few can fathom. It is certainly not worth the prices of seeing the current inept administration fail again.

My hope and belief is that even Mr. Bush, king of denial, finally realizes how serious the situation is. He seems to be pulling out all the stops to convince Iraq leaders that a unity government is crucial to Iraq’s survival. I, for one, desperately hope he succeeds.

Posted by: Reed Sanders at February 26, 2006 1:45 PM
Comment #129708

From www.juancole.com
I’ve found this to be the best site to daily news and informed comment on Iraq. Cole is liberal, and, like most liberals, time and again has been right about Iraq.

“… The Mahdi Army took over several Sunni mosques in Baghdad and hung black banners from them. These banners signify the Twelfth Imam, who is associated with the tomb destroyed at Samarra. That is, the Mahdi Army took over Sunni mosques and rededicated them to the messiah of the Shiite branch of Islam, which is highly provocative.”

“… Guerrillas attacked the shrine of Salman the Persian. They killed the guards and placed explosives at the tomb, then blew it up, destroying it.

Salman al-Farisi was a companion of the Prophet Muhammad who advised the early Muslims on military tactics, and is said to have introduced the technique of digging a trench to trip charging enemy cavalry. Because he was from Iran, and because the Iranians largely became Shiites after 1500, Salman is especially beloved by Shiites. The desecration took place 24 hours after 48 Shiites were killed in the same region…”

Earlier in this thread, Jack writes:

“… a failure of Bush is a failure for America.”

And now, here we are, face to face with indisputable failure. There is little to do but turn away, talk about hunting accidents and approving billion dollar sales of assets to Arabs.

Liberals opposed going into Iraq. Murtha offered a reasonable plan for extricating ourselves from Iraq. Yet Republicans and conservatives opposed this plan. Columns here on Watchblog equated Democrat suggestions for withdrawal with surrender. And now, as people like Buckley admit the obvious, there is little we can do but turn our faces away.

Yeah, it’s a loss for America. Liberals opposed this. I opposed this. And I’m not happy, I’m bitter. But the day of reckoning is coming for Bush supporters, for those who supported invading Iraq. And no, it’s not the Rapture… unless we consider Republicans bodily ascending to another place after losing Congress a rapturous event. I suppose the 2006 midterms could be considered just that- at least for Democrats, and liberals, and the best interests of the United States.

Posted by: phx8 at February 26, 2006 2:12 PM
Comment #129709

If no one had spoken out about how wrong it was to attack Iraq. If the news media had not told anyone about how many Iraquis have been killed, how many American soliders have been killed and maimed,how many muslims we tortured,and how terrible conditions are in Iraq; if everyone had just kept their mouthes shut and followed our president faithfully, we would still be where we are today.

Posted by: jlw at February 26, 2006 2:44 PM
Comment #129710
Buckley stil knows how to turn a phrase.

That might be, but it now takes him 2 hours to say it insted of 1 1/2 hours.


Posted by: Ron Brown at February 26, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #129711

Ron,

May we all be as eloquent as he still is, when we have reached his age.

Posted by: Rocky at February 26, 2006 2:56 PM
Comment #129718

Sicilian Eagle’s comments prove that there is no evidence, no speaker Democrat, Independent, 3rd party OR Republican, no act, no deed, no negative comment or critique made, that could possibly be accepted as valid by the faithful of their party. Any hint of negative review of the Republican Party leadership must result in the negation of the reviewer. Democrats have their own such faithful. The faithful make a mockery of our Constitution which demands critique, review, and informed consent by the public. The faithful mock reality, and thus are condemned to continue to err and repeat failed policies. For reality has no place in their world lest it reaffirm their faith.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 26, 2006 4:07 PM
Comment #129719

rocky my man nobody could have said it any better than you,riverside huh!

Posted by: rodney brown at February 26, 2006 4:08 PM
Comment #129721

>>Is that what you do in your personal life? On a first date, do (did) you tell your partner about all the bad relationships you had in the past.


Jack,

This is hardly our first date (Iraq), and at some time in any relationship, if it is going to survive, forthrightness has to occur. We are not being honest in our subjegation of the Iraqi people. They did not ask for us to turn them democratic, they did not ask for us to relieve them of Saddam, they did not ask for us to occupy their country. Our first date is long over, our marriage has failed, and now it may be time for divorce. When can we come clean and come home?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 26, 2006 4:16 PM
Comment #129726

David

Hold on there,partner.

I have slammed the president plenty here these last six months.

When he’s right,I go to bat for him,when he’s wrong I slam him.

Pretty easy.

What am I supposed to do…agree with a guy (Buckley) who has little or no traction left except for a tiny minority of republicians?

It would be like if you agree that that Democratic San Fransisco councilman who said we should disband the military was speaking for the entire Democratic party.

He is as far left as Buckley is right,thus both are marginalized.

When critiquing the message(here the message is Buckley’s)you gotta also critique the messanger(here again Buckley) to put it into perspective.

I agree with you on your view of the constitution’s place in our society,but I think you made a leap there a bit by saying I don’t.

You think the president is dead wrong ab initio on everything…I don’t.

We can agree to disagree,can’t we?

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 26, 2006 4:32 PM
Comment #129727

there once was a time, before we became a disposable society,there was a term for those people the old sage, the wise old owl, the village elders,the old chief,the shaman, ect ect.sadly today it is the old fart, put that old person out of there misery, hey there like a old dog shoot them. i think that is very sad!

Posted by: rodney brown at February 26, 2006 4:42 PM
Comment #129728

Past time to fire Rumsfeld isn”t it? A manager of a car wash would have been canned after so many mistakes.There must be at least one neo-con war monger out there that at least is competent that GB could appoint.

Posted by: BillS at February 26, 2006 4:44 PM
Comment #129730

I wouldn’t say Buckley is the Michael Moore of the Right. First of all, Buckley has kept himself in much better shape than Moore … a better analogy is the James Carville of the Right.

That being said, only an idiot would put stock in an opinion of a man’s view of Iraq who’s never been there. That’s why I rely on old friends in the military who’ve been there for my Iraq news. Please forgive me if I dismiss the NY Times which can’t go through a week without an Abu Graihb story.

And we need to get rid of the unwritten “Gulf War I / Afghanistan” rule which says we have to win a war in a few weeks or we go home. Sometimes wars are, how do you say it, … hard!

So WFB says we need to acknowledge defeat as he sits in his living room perch? I suppose he would’ve called the Marshall Plan a disaster in 1947 and demanded its immediate cessation … it was a disaster by the way … well, in 1947 anyway.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 26, 2006 4:50 PM
Comment #129732

Glenn Greenwald, my second favorite center-right commentator, weighed in on the Buckley piece and added some very interesting historical perspective from when Buckley was himself a young firebrand:

http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006/02/prepare-noose-for-bill-buckley.html#links

I’d be glad to hear some discussion.

Posted by: Arr-squared at February 26, 2006 4:55 PM
Comment #129733

Ken,

And we need to get rid of the unwritten “Gulf War I / Afghanistan” rule which says we have to win a war in a few weeks or we go home. Sometimes wars are, how do you say it, … hard!”

Had we gone into Iraq prepared to do something other than topple Saddam, this would have been a lot easier, AND we would probably be done by now.

Bush compounded the mistakes we had already made by not accepting Rumsfeld’s resignation when it was offered.

Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, et al learned nothing from the Gulf War, of which they were the primary architects.

Easy is in the planning. You only go to war with what you have if you are in a hurry.

Buckley has been around a long time (ie. experience), and has seen a lot.
He deserves the view from his couch.

Posted by: Rocky at February 26, 2006 5:10 PM
Comment #129734

R^2,

Yes, by all means, let’s hang those traitors Howard Dean and Bill Buckley. ;)

I agree Greenwald’s contention that Bushites aren’t really political conservatives, as traditionally understood. But then, what do you call them?

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 26, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #129735
And we need to get rid of the unwritten “Gulf War I / Afghanistan” rule which says we have to win a war in a few weeks or we go home.

A few weeks? It’s been three years. It took us less than four years to defeat Hitler. It took the North four years to defeat the South. If you can’t get the evildoers in four years, they can’t be gotten.

It’s not that winning is simply hard. Further efforts are fruitless at best and harmless at worst. Basically we are banging our head against a wall and saying “Breaking this wall with my head may be hard work, but it’s worth it!”

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 26, 2006 5:20 PM
Comment #129736

Oops I meant “fruitless at best and harmful at worst”.

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 26, 2006 5:22 PM
Comment #129737

To his credit, WFB made a pretty good call on Iraq in March 2003:

Bush said: “Unlike Saddam Hussein, we believe the Iraqi people are deserving and capable of human liberty. And when the dictator has departed, they can set an example to all the Middle East of a vital and peaceful and self-governing nation.”

Mr. Bush would have done better to speak more modestly about expectations. Sitting down on vast oil reserves does not bring prosperity or freedom, as we are quickly reminded merely by citing Venezuela, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. What Mr. Bush proposes to do is to unseat Saddam Hussein and to eliminate his investments in aggressive weaponry. We can devoutly hope that internecine tribal antagonisms will be subsumed in the fresh air of a despot removed, and that the restoration of freedom will be productive.

But these concomitant developments can’t be either foreseen by the United States or implemented by us. What Mr. Bush can accomplish is the removal of a regime and its infrastructure. The Iraqi people will have to take it from there.”

Good link, Arr-Squared. No question, Bush and the Republican party severely harmed this country. They misled us into a war, thinking it would result in their own political gain. Mission Accomplished! For a while, it worked. As the linked article demonstrates, they jeopardized our national security by pretending to act in its name, while simultaneously questioning the patriotism of those who opposed them, throwing around words like “traitor” and “coward” with abandon.

But the bill is coming due. The Republican Rapture is well nigh.

It’s fascinating to look back at past comments about Iraq. Liberals called it right. When Senate liberals voted against the Resolution to go into Iraq, the words of Jeffords were prescient. Other individuals, such as WFB, also called the situation pretty accurately from their own conservative perspective.

When Clinton lied about sex while under oath, many Republicans believed Clinton’s character was such that he warranted impeachment.

Bush has misled the country into war. Even more incredibly, Bush and his administration made no practical post-war plans, turning the initial success into a defeat. Bush has surrounded himself with inept people, particularly Cheney, and kept them around in spite of their poor performances.

This does not represent the kind of character I want to see in a president.

Posted by: phx8 at February 26, 2006 5:33 PM
Comment #129741

I am so sick of this administration and their lying and cheating and avoiding issues.
How many of you know people living in other countries (occupied or not)?? Have you ever asked them what they think of Bush? He is an embarassment !…a joke ! How long will it take to regain our standing abroad ?? We were once pretty much revered and looked to as an example.
I just personally think it’s sad that one moron has been able to do this..(well at least he is the hood ornament)….Clinton didn’t even get to screw Monica, but this guy has screwed us all……..what’s wrong with this picture ?

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 26, 2006 7:34 PM
Comment #129747

SicilianEagle, I made the comment as I did, using your comment as an example of demeaning the authority of the critic, rather than attempting to negate their message. The inference that I made that you were one of the faithful incapable of being convinced by fact or reality, was clearly there, and I apologize.

You are quite right, you have demonstrated objectivity and willingness to deal with facts even if they negatively reflect on your party.

I argue your point however, that Buckley is irrelevant due to his being on the extreme wing of the party’s plank. Fact is, that extreme wing has had a tremendous influence and continues to, upon the actions and policies of the Republican Congress. Buckley is not irrelevant, though his following may be sparse these days. His voice combined with many others in the extreme plank do exert some measurably influence on the Congressional Republican leadership, still, even if only by proxy through their followership representatives who lobby the Congressional leadership.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 26, 2006 8:28 PM
Comment #129752

Today Bill Kristol said:
“… We have not had a serious three-year effort to fight a war in Iraq.”

Absurd. He backed it for the past three years, he backed the idea of invasion and killing, and today says we’re not making a “serious” effort. What an asshole.

But in an unintended sense, he’s correct. A war should not be fought to “wag the dog.” It should not be fought to distract the nation from a poor economy, or whip up patriotism prior to an election. It should not be done by choice. It should only be fought as a last resort, and then, waged with the lessons of the Powell Doctrine in mind. It should be a “serious” effort, total, and should be executed in a way which prevents Fourth Generation Warfare from ensuing.

Meanwhile, Security Advisor Stephen Hadley said this about the situation in Iraq:

“They’ve stared into the abyss a bit, and I think they’ve all concluded that further violence, further tension between the communities, is not in their interest.”

For those of you who might forget, this is the same Stephen Hadley who insisted on incorporating the 16 words in the 2003 State of the Union address. It’s quite a speech, the 2003 SOTU, with so much about Iraq being so wrong, but let’s return to the hapless Hadley.

Why is this guy still employed?

Many Sunnis do not want to participate in a government in which they are ruled by the Shias. It doesn’t matter if the government is a democracy, dictatorship, or constitutional monarchy. They’ve chosen to fight rather than submit. Does Hadley think the insurgents and terrorists are unhappy about the escalating violence? Why hasn’t he been fired?

Partition is the obvious answer. The elections last year were a disaster. Like Yugoslavia, Iraq will be broken up. It’s just a question of how long the US continues pursuing the foolish course set by Bush.

Posted by: phx8 at February 26, 2006 9:15 PM
Comment #129753

WFB does not speak for Rpblcns? He has been wagging that dog for decades. He invented Ronald Reagan. Add the Bush southern strategy, and you have their current party. He help hound those less conservative out of that party by threatenihng to break it in half. He ran for mayor of NYC about 1964 advocating something like work camps for welfare recipients, and was the last living American arguing in favor of poll taxes and literacy tests.

This is like the previous thread where it was pointed out that Scaife was unhappy about Bushco Iraq policy. The VRWConspiracy is dropping loser GWBush. He is a lame duck anyway. I wonder what sort of nut they will come up with for 2008.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 26, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #129754

Rocky
True! Most of us aren’t that eloquent now. I reckon when your a intelengent as he appears to be it just takes you a while to come up with the word’s that dummies like us can understand.

phx8

Bush has surrounded himself with inept people, particularly Cheney, and kept them around in spite of their poor performances.

That’s croneism at it’s best


ohrealy
The Republican party didn’t hound the less conservitive out of the party. They have hounded the more conservitive out of the party. The only difference between the Republicans and the Democrats is the spelling of their party names.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 26, 2006 9:56 PM
Comment #129759

ron,

well said.

Posted by: diogenes at February 26, 2006 10:14 PM
Comment #129767

David

No need to apologize..you.Steve and AP are the clearest thinkers on the blog and I enjoy our exchanges.

As a moderate republician,I am embarrased by the far right wing of the party.

Guys like Pat Robinson,Jerry Falwell,Russ Limburgh make me puke.

And I take every opporunity that I can to drill those guys.

Robinson,Falwell and the like all are very wealthy men now because of the Christ for profit business….and depsite the fact that I am a non-practising Christian,I KNOW that was never the word of Jesus that they spew out of their mouths.

That being said,the left…the hyper left…the openly flaunting hyper-left…that stuff doesn’t sit well with me either.

Thus,both sides have loonies sitting on the edge in my view.

Buckley’s conservatism was born in the Cold War era.Conservatism like that has mutated into many many forms.

As has liberalism.

I just don’t like the pure hatred for the president that I see.

He may not be the brightest bulb on the tree,but I just don’t see a black heart there.

I see a guy who is trying as hard as he can during one of the toughest times in American history…perhaps the toughest given the enemy we face.

Guys like Cheney,Wolfiwitz(sic) et al….right wingers…are the price the president has to pay nowadays to get elected.

Frankly,during Persian Gulf 1,I though Cheney was a rock.

During those daily press briefings,I felt assured knowing that a tough son of a bitch was in charge.

Maybe he brought arrogance this time around to the table….and there was where the message was lost.

Seems to be that an element of the Democratic Party hasn’t gotten over the fact the Bush beat Gore,let alone Kerry,and no matter what any of them say or do it’s futile.

Getting back to the issue at hand,another comparison that I can make is of Ramsey Clarke,a former Attorney General for the Democratic party,now being a spokesman for the party….or Jimmy Carter for that matter…..foolishness and doesn’t represent the party’s view.

Mark my words:sooner or later a moderate party will be born…a party that is flexible but sensitive to the will of all Americans…including Christian moderates,that will sooner or later control America.

Meanwhile,we have an enemy to fight on the Arabian Penisula,and we all have to start realizing that the enemy is there,not here.

Phx8

A partition of Iraq is a real possibility,which,I have concluded, wouldn’t be the worse thing to happen.

Sunnis are the world’s dominant Moslem sect..the richest too.

If there is a bloodbath of Sunnis in Iraq,the Iranian problem will solve itself…as I have said repeatedly,we are the victims of an Islamic Reformation taking place..a fight that is taking place in Iraq,Palestine,Lebanon,Iran to mention a few,but if we pull out tomorrow and let them slaughter each other…well that’s the dumbest solution of all.

Today we have zero Iraq divisions(again) in the A category.IF a politicial can be rammed home,If the security forces decide to fight for an Iraq…maybe it’s possible.

But,we didn’t lose this war.We kicked assed and took numbers.The Iraqis are losing the peace.

Posted by: sicilian eagle at February 26, 2006 11:00 PM
Comment #129771

Rocky,

We were in a hurry, weren’t we? These prominent democrats seem to have thought so as well: http://media1.streamtoyou.com/rnc/111505.wmv

And WFB can certainly have his view, and I can call his telescopic view ignorant and uninformed. But it’s not his fault since he’s never been there. Can anyone tell me about a mainstream news link discussing the good we’ve done in Iraq? Or are liberals (and WFB) going to be so self-loathing that they think the 500 or so thousand troops who’ve passed thru Iraq haven’t done any good?

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 26, 2006 11:21 PM
Comment #129777

WOODY! YOU’RE THE MAN!!

Thanks for your Civil War & WWII references below!

“A few weeks? It’s been three years. It took us less than four years to defeat Hitler. It took the North four years to defeat the South.”

Yes! Let’s see … 500,000 dead from WWII and more dead in the Civil War than the Revolutionary, WWI, WWII, Korea, & Vietnam Wars combined. One day at Iwo Jima OR one hour at Gettysburg match our losses in Iraq … SO ARE YOU DECLARING THIS ONE DAY OR ONE HOUR THE NEW STANDARD FOR GIVING UP IN A WAR?

Shoot, with guys like you we’d have the Japanese in control of west of the Mississippi River and the Nazis in charge of east of it! Go team!

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 26, 2006 11:32 PM
Comment #129779

and now we know why they started calling it ‘the long war.’ perhaps they should have skipped that one and gone straight to ‘the eternal war’. Go Team!

Posted by: diogenes at February 26, 2006 11:39 PM
Comment #129785

Ken,

“These prominent democrats seem to have thought so as well”

So, where were the Republican Revolutionsts during all that time?

DID I forget about the BJ that they were more interested in?


“Or are liberals (and WFB) going to be so self-loathing that they think the 500 or so thousand troops who’ve passed thru Iraq haven’t done any good?”

500 or so thousand?

You know, that number has a familiar ring to it.

I’m thinking that Cheney, because he was Secretary of Defence at the time, might agree that 500 or so thousand was the number of servicemen that kicked Saddam out of Kuwaitt.
You know what’s really amazing?
They were there all at the same time!
Imagine that, 500 or so thousand, just to kick Saddam out of little tiny Kuwaitt.

So do you think that if they weren’t in a hurry Bush and Don and Dick could put together a force at least as large, if they were going to force a regieme change in a country the size of Iraq?

I mean after all, they had what, a year and a half?
Daddy had less than half that.

Do you think that Buckley gets his news from The Times or perhaps Newsweek, or, no, I’ve got it Fox News?
Buckley’s sources are impecable.
Why does he need to be in Iraq to be able to ferret out the information that leads him to his conclusions?

Give me a break.

Posted by: Rocky at February 26, 2006 11:59 PM
Comment #129786

ken damm you, you beat me to the punch!

Posted by: rodney brown at February 27, 2006 12:01 AM
Comment #129796

SE,
Check out “The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century” by Colonel Thomas X Hammes. It’s in the library, but google it online first if you’d like.

What we’re seeing in Iraq is the kind of war we’ll continue seeing elsewhere, Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW).

Many people thought we’d win in Iraq by conducting a Third Generation type of warfare (3GW): blitzkrieg, with overwhelming conventional firepower destroying the enemy’s defenses. We occupied Iraq, and erroneously thought the war was over; by the standards of 3GW, we won.

But times have changed. The Iraqis and Taliban and other opponents are no longer fighting by 3GW standards.

Our country is about to lose the war, and the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the Neocons. Their arrogance and hubris is exceeded only by their foolishness.

We’re still spending huge sums of money on Virginia class nuclear attack submarines and the next generation of air superiority fighters. It’s a complete and utter waste.

The Buckley article mentions training. A terrific article was recently published by The Atlantic Monthly on ‘Why Iraq has no Army.’ I’ve linked this in the past, so I won’t repeat myself. Suffice it to say, the Bush administration’s incompetent self-delusion is especially on display when it comes to training.

You write “… If we pull out tomorrow and let them slaughter each other…well that’s the dumbest solution of all.”

I’m not so sure about that. It may come to that kind of slaughter anyway, Shia v Sunni, Iran & Shia Iraq against the Arab Middle East.


Posted by: phx8 at February 27, 2006 12:33 AM
Comment #129798

Robertson, Falwell, and Limbaugh are the mainstream of the Rpblcn party. What I do not understand is why there are 2 Rpblcn senators each from Maine and New Hampshire. Do people there really think they will not vote with much of the agenda of the church of I Hate You?

WFBs cold war agenda is being revived by this administration for the new cold war.

I guess Sunday is the day the Rplcns get tired of waving their pompoms in the red forums and come over here.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 27, 2006 12:42 AM
Comment #129797

Robertson, Falwell, and Limbaugh are the mainstream of the Rpblcn party. What I do not understand is why there are 2 Rpblcn senators each from Maine and New Hampshire. Do people there really think they will not vote with much of the agenda of the church of I Hate You?

WFBs cold war agenda is being revived by this administration for the new cold war.

I guess Sunday is the day the Rplcns get tired of waving their pompoms in the red forums and come over here.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 27, 2006 12:42 AM
Comment #129819

ohreally

If you think Falwell,Robertson et al are “mainstream”,I have a bridge I want to sell you.

It’s humorous,actually.

Most republicans belong to the party(I for one) for economic reasons,not religious reasons.

New Hampshire and Maine have learned well from watching their neighbor Massachusetts with the Dukakis-Kennedy-Kerry cabal there for 3 decades.

Mainstream Christians(Most Catholic and Protestant demoninations anyway)are not fanatics…despite the transgressions made by pedoplile priests and wayward ministers.

There is a BIG evangelistic movement,however,formed in part by a BIG segment of Christians who were are are tired with the permissiveness found in everyday life,and on television and in Hollywood and in response to government policies that they find repulsive.

Phx8

We need nuclear subs.Think China.North Korea.That said,the military “thinkers”…the planners…got caught with their pants down and insisted on fighting Cold War style.

That’s what provoked the uproar in the Pentagon when Rumsfield came on board.

Entrenched Pentagon bueracrats,backed by corrupt congressmen and senators who have milked the system dry for generations now and cuased the purchases of unnecessary hardware year after year is the problem…an inherited problem,by the way,is the culprit.

Rummy is right..we need a more mobile force…with more special operators,better intelligence(on the ground)and a whole bunch more that what we have now.

Those problems are fixable,however…and will be fixed.

As far as training the Iraq army…again the job was entrusted to the military…the president delegated that job to those who alledgely had the expoertise..and that’s the problem.

A few months ago I posted here that I would have a meeting with Casey and his boys if I were the president and I would have given him 30 days to find the Jordinian or else he’s fired.I woulda squeezed his gonads and have asked for a daily report on progress on that one issue alone.

This morning things seemed to have quieted down in Baghdad…as I said last week,the Sunnis now know that they are one inch away from a bloodbath.I think a deal on the government happens with 30 days barring another mosque bombing.If that happens,well we gotta stand aside until a fight is finished,then pick up the pieces of what’s left and start again.


Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 27, 2006 7:24 AM
Comment #129820

Ken,

Very creative thinking there, but you were the one who brought up the amount of TIME the war has taken. You wrote “And we need to get rid of the unwritten “Gulf War I / Afghanistan” rule which says we have to win a war in a few weeks or we go home.” I agree. It has been about 150 weeks. That is quite a bit more than a few. I didn’t write anything about casualties.

Or are liberals (and WFB) going to be so self-loathing that they think the 500 or so thousand troops who’ve passed thru Iraq haven’t done any good?

I know you were replying to Rocky, but I’ll take this one, too. I, for one, think that the troops there have done some good (past tense) by getting rid of Hussein. Where they are continuing to do good, that I don’t see.

And self-loathing has nothing to do with it. Facts are facts.

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 27, 2006 7:45 AM
Comment #129824

By the way, I never thought I would find myself the “defender of all things Buckley”, but the right wing has had trouble restraining it’s shoot the messenger impulse so here goes: William F. Buckley was also 2nd Lt. Buckley. He served in the Army during World War II. I don’t know if he served overseas, but that still makes him Audie Murphy compared to most conservative pundits.

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 27, 2006 7:59 AM
Comment #129827

Great piece in today’s washington post by Kissinger linktext This goes to a potential solution for the entire area I think

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 27, 2006 8:25 AM
Comment #129833

The Iraq war is a failure in its concept, planning and execution. First, the concept of removing Saddam followed immediately by all Iraqis wildly waving US flags was a fantasy perpetrated by Shotgun Cheney.

Secondly the war was based on flawed or false information. Bush really wanted to get Saddam for trying to whack is old man. Bad idea.

Thirdly, attempting to defeat Iraqi armies and placate the population with only 160,000 troops was a disaster of historic proportions. It took 550,000 troops to boot Saddam out of Kuwait. And Kuwait is the size of New Jersey. We can thank Rumsfeld for this.

We will be paying for this catastrophe for the next 50 years. Bet on it.

Posted by: TitleTownJake at February 27, 2006 8:50 AM
Comment #129834

>>I see a guy who is trying as hard as he can during one of the toughest times in American history…perhaps the toughest given the enemy we face.

Guys like Cheney,Wolfiwitz(sic) et al….right wingers…are the price the president has to pay nowadays to get elected.

se,

Perhaps the problem is that you are right. Cheney/Bush IS working as hard as he can (how many days has he spent on his ranch and vacationing elsewhere?). But, as to the part about toughest times in our history…have you thought about that statement since you made it? Our history is full of thougher times, AND this tough time was designed by none other than your hero. He made the tough time and now he’s working hard to get us out of it? Phooey!

Posted by: Marysdude at February 27, 2006 8:50 AM
Comment #129837

I don’t think Haliburton would consider the Iraqi invasion anything but a goldmine:

“Halliburton gouged the taxpayer, government auditors caught the company red-handed, yet the Pentagon ignored the auditors and paid Halliburton hundreds of millions of dollars and a huge bonus.” NT Times article today

Posted by: tony at February 27, 2006 9:01 AM
Comment #129838
Halliburton gouged the taxpayer, government auditors caught the company red-handed, yet the Pentagon ignored the auditors and paid Halliburton hundreds of millions of dollars and a huge bonus.

That can’t be right! With the VP on the Halliburton payroll, surely the Pentagon was bending over backwards to make sure that Halliburton was dotting its i’s. A man of integrity like Cheney insist on nothing less. Begone, with your liberal media fabrication. :>

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 27, 2006 9:07 AM
Comment #129855

Woody,

You paint quite a picture:
“But let’s roll with the comparison, and suppose that Michael Moore suddenly came out for the Iraq War. That would really be something, wouldn’t it?”

Now I have to figure out how I’m going to clean the coffee out of my keyboard. Thanks for the laugh. You really should warn a person before you make a funny like that.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 27, 2006 10:15 AM
Comment #129862

Given the very real possibility of continuing violence and civil war between the Sunni and Shia factions in Iraq I thought it might be good to find some comment from the almost forgotten Kurdish north in Iraq. The following link provides a little insight. IMO it’s a must read:

Kurdistani identity is denied in the Iraqi constitution
http://www.kurdmedia.com/articles.asp?id=11499

I quote:
“The United States and Britain have exercised considerable influence in shaping the draft constitution working to appease neighboring governments, particularly Turkey and Arab states. As a result, Kurdish self-determination is denied. The idea of federalism has been diluted to a very simple form of federation, which is not helpful to Kurdish people. The federation does not recognize the ethnic, historic and geographical reality of a Kurdish homeland.”

Mission accomplished!
KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 27, 2006 10:52 AM
Comment #129864

>>I don’t think Haliburton would consider the Iraqi invasion anything but a goldmine:

Tony,

The ‘Times’, Glanz, said the US Armay is going to honor its obligation to reemburse Halliburton’s KB&R for costs it has incurred even though it has handled its job so ineptly. The reason given? The No-Bid Contract stipulates that the job did not require being done right. WOW!

Posted by: Marysdude at February 27, 2006 10:57 AM
Comment #129889

Jack,

You said:

“You all know that if this thing goes bad, it will be a tragedy for the United States and the Middle East. It will ruin George Bush’s historical reputation, but the extent of that black mark will depend precisely on how much it hurts the U.S. “

“In other words, a failure of Bush is a failure for America and the reverse is also true. “


…and Jack, THAT IS PRECISELY WHAT THOSE OF OPPOSED THIS LUNACY HAVE BEEN SCREEMING ALL ALONG!

…While the rest of you fervantly wave the flag to rally the rest of the lemmings over the cliff!

Time will tell the tale, won’t it? It’s not that I’m a pessimist, it’s that I am EXTREMELY pessimistic of accomplishing peace and stability in this manner. This simply makes no sense.

RGF

Posted by: RGF at February 27, 2006 12:16 PM
Comment #129898

>>It’s not that I’m a pessimist, it’s that I am EXTREMELY pessimistic of accomplishing peace and stability in this manner. This simply makes no sense.

RGF

Posted by: RGF at February 27, 2006 12:16 PM

RGF,

What???…You mean you don’t think the US can invade a soveren nation for no legitimate reason, occupy their country for several years and poke democracy down their throats and come out smelling like roses? You hysterical darned Democrats ought to be ashamed of yourselves…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 27, 2006 12:32 PM
Comment #129974

Rocky,

You didn’t dispute any of my points so my response is short. And if you’re saying we should’ve sent more troops in at first . . I agree. I’m also more “Powellian” with my warfare theories. But disagreeing with tactics shouldn’t mean you disagree with the end goal.

Woody,

I got out after 14 years in the USMC and am a LtCol in the reserves (IRR), hopefully that suffices to contradict your “conservative pundit” theory. And I just met a woman in my business whose husband is in Kuwait and whose daughter is a Sgt (Army) in Iraq. The daughter is in Supply and Materials … building roads in Iraq. So, with all due respect, you don’t anything about what’s going on in Iraq if you think the only good thing we did is oust Hussein. New schools, sewer systems … we’re busting our ass over there and don’t care to hear a bunch of lawnchair quarterbacks make diarrhetic, politically induced damnations of efforts over there.

But, much like WFB, you not knowing crap about Iraq is not your fault unless you’re in the media business. I would recommend you seek out anyone from a Corporal to a Colonel to get there view of what they’ve done and what they saw in Iraq. Please don’t be a buffoon and base your views off of a few … especially those selling books. Talk to 20 random troops of various ranks before you continue to voice this “Yes I support the troops but they’re not doing anything worthwhile” mantra.

Finally, it would be nice to be out of there, no kidding … what moron would disagree with that? But “hard” doesn’t equal “quit”. We got our ass handed to us on a platter the first years of WWII … doesn’t mean we should’ve grouped together in the caverns of Appalachia and prayed for Nazi and Imperial Japanese mercy.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 27, 2006 3:22 PM
Comment #129979

Ken Cooper,

just as a for instance -

I know of neighborhoods in cities in the Southwest where the residents actually prefer to live on dirt roads because it reduces traffic.

If you rolled in with troops and tanks and forcibly rebuilt and paved their streets, do think they would LIKE you for it?

RGF

Posted by: RGF at February 27, 2006 3:39 PM
Comment #129985

Pavement is pollution. A town in Florida, near where I lived for 15 years, stopped allowing any further pavement years ago.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 27, 2006 4:08 PM
Comment #129986

Ken, Ken, Ken, Ken, Ken,

You’re not trying to campare this Iraq stupidity to WWII are you?

Our troops are doing a bang-up job in Iraq. That being said, they are doing it in a dishonest endevour. Honorable actions in an unhonorable event is like saying the German military did a bang-up job in the European Theatre of Operation, or that the Japanese pilots were very professional while bombing Pearl…

We are not the good guys in Iraq. We just have good guys there…mores the shame that those good guys have to be tarnished with the same brush as Cheney/Bush.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 27, 2006 4:12 PM
Comment #130053

Ken,

“And if you’re saying we should’ve sent more troops in at first . . I agree. I’m also more “Powellian” with my warfare theories. But disagreeing with tactics shouldn’t mean you disagree with the end goal.”

I disagreed going into Iraq without exausting all possible diplomatic avenues first. In that sense Bush and company were indeed in a hurry to get there.
That said, once we were there I was all for kicking butt and going home.
Well that wasn’t what we did. We went in, we didn’t secure squat. We allowed the Iraqis to run amuck, and started to build before we secured anything. That isn’t the Armed forces fault.

For this I fault George, Don, and Dick.

We have been jerking around there ever since

Armies are trained to fight. They are there to wreck havoc. They are not police men, construction site security guards, or for that matter, diplomats.

Posted by: Rocky at February 27, 2006 8:09 PM
Comment #130157

Ken,

Take a breather. I’ve been nothing but civil to you.

Sometimes the most respectful thing you can do is be honest. What would you do if you saw a close friend, let’s call him George or Don, engaging in something self-destructive? I hope you would tell him! He might feel betrayed, but you would be doing the right thing.

I have never been to Iraq, but I am familiar with the historical precidents. Take your example of WWII. It is pretty well established that the Nazis were going to seek a separate peace with the US. (Which would have been a very bad outcome, of course.) There is no way they could have invaded North America. It was hard enough to hold onto France.

Everyone has something to bring to the table.

Just my opinion. If the US troops stay in Iraq and everything turns out great, I’ll be the first to admit it.

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 28, 2006 8:36 AM
Comment #130164

Ken and others,

Working in a art gallery does not qualify one as an artist. Your experience is the USMC, while noble, qualifies you as another person with an opinion.

Today’s forcast: Saddam will be acquitted. Why? His defense will prove Bush as the villain. His invasion of a sovereign county under false pretenses was illegal and his actions are responsible for the deaths of 30,000 in Iraq.

Posted by: titleTownJake at February 28, 2006 9:12 AM
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