Democrats & Liberals Archives

A Clear Exit Strategy

Republicans have for a long time been taunting Democrats to present their strategy for getting out of Iraq. When the Democratic Senators presented their approach in their recent REAL SECURITY agenda, Republicans complained that it was too vague. Well, Senator John Kerry has followed up by presenting a clear and simple exit strategy. I hope President Bush accepts and implements Kerry’s approach so that our troops can come home.

The REAL SECURITY agenda states

"Ensure 2006 is a year of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty...... "

My Republican friends want to know what we mean by this? What we mean is that Iraq, as it says, should have full sovereignty, something that cannot happen unless we remove our troops and end our occupation. We are in favor of a good exit strategy.

John Kerry believes we should have deadlines, since Iraqis perform only when faced with a deadline. Therefore, he says in the New York Times:

"Iraqi politicians should be told that they have until May 15 to put together an effective unity government or we will immediately withdraw our military. If Iraqis aren't willing to build a unity government in the five months since the election, they're probably not willing to build one at all. The civil war will only get worse, and we will have no choice anyway but to leave."

This is the first step. If Iraqis cannot work together after 5 months of trying, our troops should go home. If our deadline spurs Iraqis into action for unifying their country, then we proceed to step 2:

"If Iraq's leaders succeed in putting together a government, then we must agree on another deadline: a schedule for withdrawing American combat forces by year's end. Doing so will empower the new Iraqi leadership, put Iraqis in the position of running their own country and undermine support for the insurgency, which is fueled in large measure by the majority of Iraqis who want us to leave their country. Only troops essential to finishing the job of training Iraqi forces should remain."

This is what Democrats mean when we say that 2006 should be a year of "significant transition..." We want to get out of Iraq.

Unfortunately, I do not think the Bush Administration wants to get out any time soon. It is building huge bases in Iraq. What on earth for - if not to stay indefinitely and influence events in the Middle East? This is a plan of action that is guaranteed to encourage the growth of more terrorism.

Democrats want to get out. This is why they offer exit strategies. Kerry's exit strategy is simple, easy to implement and stands a good chance of working. To convince Bush to follow it, though, would require a political genius America does not have.

Posted by Paul Siegel at April 5, 2006 6:18 PM
Comment #138235

its easy to get out. we could pack up tomorrow. we are there because we have a vested interest in seeing democracy work in Iraq. How about coupling that with an exit strategy?

Posted by: b0mbay at April 5, 2006 6:45 PM
Comment #138238


We have no vested interest in Iraq. We have an interest in helping our president rectify a monstrous mistake. I take nothing away from the work our forces have done in Iraq, mostly rebuilding infrastructure that we destroyed in the first place.

Paul is absolutely correct in his assessment of the Iraqi mentality. As long as we do not give a deadline, they will continue to dawdle over forming a government.

If we were to set a deadline and give evidence that we mean exactly what we say, a clear message would be sent to the Iraqi government and the terrorists: not too long from now, you won’t have the US to blame. IMO, it won’t stop a thing. The fighting will continue because we are not the issue, control of the country is the issue.

Our intentions were honorable, our men and women brave, but the entire operation was flawed from the beginning. With all the Mid-East experts in Washington, someone should have figured out that toppling Hussein was not the end of the battle. We won the war and lost the peace because we didn’t look ahead. You cannot take a country made up of three disparate groups, held together by a strong central government, and expect them to play nice when the control is gone. There are too many old hatreds and grievances for that.

So, let’s do it. Let’s set two deadlines as Paul suggests. One, to set up a functioning government, and two, withdrawal of all except training forces for the Iraqi military and police forces. Maybe even a third, as of (blank), you are on your own.

Posted by: John Back at April 5, 2006 7:09 PM
Comment #138239

b0mbay….the point is that as long as we are the ones making all the sacrifices over there, the Iraquis won’t expend the effort, the lives or $ to implement a working (democratic) government. Sure, they had an election….but I think that Bushco swept in on them so fast with his personal ideas and intentions, that their heads are still spinning. It’s becoming more clear with time, that this isn’t something they feel is worth fighting for. And I think most people are delusional to think that 1) We would see a democracy emerge for years to come, and 2) if/when it did, we wouldn’t recognize it as anything we know. It’s not our place to stay over there and babysit them….cut our losses, bring most troops home, leave a contingincy force there to clean up and to DIRECT and ASSIST with rebuilding efforts. We gotta get these kids home and get them built up and ready to go again, ‘cuz stoopid is working pretty hard to piss a bunch of other people off………..

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 5, 2006 7:12 PM
Comment #138240

I cannot help but notice Kerry was against withdrawal before he was for it.

On his web site Juan Cole critiques Kerry’s plan, and passes along a terrific alternative; hold a national referendum among Iraqis on whether US troops should stay or withdraw.

There’s no question, the Iraqis must be made to understand, one of these days we’re leaving. The Bush administration wants to be patient, but that enables irresponsible stalling among the factions. Patience is also expensive for us. Furthermore, it ignores the fact the US occupying forces are part of the problem, and exacerbate resistance. The periodic flattening of towns doesn’t help either.

Better to be impatient. Force the factions to take responsibility. Who knows, maybe we’ll get lucky, and the sectarian warfare, or civil war, or whatever you want to call it, maybe we’ll get lucky and it won’t spread into Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Turkey, and elsewhere. Maybe.

This all assumes the Bush administration does not have ulterior motives, which would be revealed by building permanent military bases. Eh? What’s that? We’re building them right now? Oh.

Best case? In my opinion, an authoritarian Shia regime will execute enough Sunnis to utterly, brutally repress them. They’re capable of it. They’re doing it right now. Death Squads are busy every night. The Kurds will remain independent in all but name. So, that’s the best case- a Shia democracy/theocracy, closely aligned with Iran. That’s the best case.

Is the invasion of Iraq the biggest blunder in US history? Could be. It’s not a bigger mistake than Viet Nam yet, it’s the second worst blunder in US history so far-

but give the Bush White House a little more time….

Posted by: phx8 at April 5, 2006 7:14 PM
Comment #138246

Exit strategy? Ship or plane,either is good.

Posted by: BillS at April 5, 2006 7:37 PM
Comment #138248

I don’t think our withdrawal should be phrased in terms of some “if we don’t withdraw, we’ll just inspire more terrorism” phrasing it that way makes it sound like we’re appeasing the terrorists.

No, terrorism is a secondary result of a more primary concern, and that is the inherent unrest that a standing army on one’s doorstep creates, especially one so undermanned as ours. Bush’s plan may have made better sense if we had pacified the country with more men and more overwhelming force.

Our purpose in leaving this battlefield would be to let things settle into place. If we have done things right to that point, then the nation should be able to settle into a new normalcy our presence would otherwise interfere with.

We should not be afraid to do so, unless we’ve failed to do our job. If we cannot leave, then Americans should know why, and be given a new plan of action that deals with these facts.

Our choice is not courage versus cowardice, but timely action versus procrastination. As Sun Tzu said, nobody has ever brilliantly protracted a war. We will win nothing by staying past the point that our presence brings positive results.

And if it comes to pass that we can’t bring positive results regardless of what we do? Then we should have the courage to take the honest course of action, and furthermore to learn our lesson this time, rather than fall into the denial that followed Vietnam.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 5, 2006 7:41 PM
Comment #138249


You mean Kerry didn’t “stay the course”? What a traitor.

There couldn’t be any other reason for “flip-flopping”, except maybe to analyze the situation and adjust appropriately?

What a concept.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 5, 2006 7:45 PM
Comment #138253

Yes, Kerry adjusted, and ultimately that’s to his credit. But I’ve always thought his election position on Iraq was a calculated move to be just a fraction to the left of Bush, rather than advocating simply doing what is right.

Sadly, I don’t think there’s a good way out of Messopotamia. Oh! The link should have been to:
Anyway, as Juan Cole mentions, exiting is easy. Exiting with honor is difficult. I’m not even sure it’s possible anymore.

Yeah, it’s easy to get a little snarky with Kerry. But Bush? I despise the man and what he & his administration have done to the country.

Posted by: phx8 at April 5, 2006 7:57 PM
Comment #138255

The big mistake everyone is making is thinking that Bush plans on getting out of Iraq. He doesn’t. We have permanent bases there. We are there for the oil so we can’t leave. We’ll be stationed there like we are in Germany, Korea, and Japan, etc.

The man is truly gifted at saying one thing and doing another. But then hypocricy is easy. He talks about our dependence on oil but doesn’t change a thing. I can’t believe there are good and honest people who still believe all his BS.

Posted by: Duke at April 5, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #138256


Although I do not like John Kerry’s politics or worldview, in this case I believe he is right. It’s time to cut our losses and come home. We have done about all we can. Now it is up to the Iraqis to decide their own future. We have given them a good start, but the baby’s gotta walk sometime.

Bringing our troops home would not be an admission of defeat, it would be a statement: we did what we set out to do. We got rid of Hussein and gave the Iraqis a semi-level playing field. What they do with it is up to them. phx8, I’m afraid, is right. The Shia will dominate, the Sunnis will be decimated, and the Kurds will keep on being Kurds and saying: ‘“A pox on both your houses.”

Posted by: John Back at April 5, 2006 8:03 PM
Comment #138270

What a relief that we didn’t elect John Kerry president in 2004.

Didn’t Dems object back in 2004 when Republicans said Kerry would pull out before the job was done? I guess we would have been right.

Posted by: Jack at April 5, 2006 9:04 PM
Comment #138281

John Beck:

“Our intentions were honorable, our men and women brave, but the entire operation was flawed from the beginning.”

Can you explain to me how “our intentions were honorable”?


“Didn’t Dems object back in 2004 when Republicans said Kerry would pull out before the job was done?”

Oh, I think you’re wrong—we’ve done a “helluva job” in Iraq—and ruined what little reputation this country had left in the world, jacked up the national debt another $300 billion, killed tens of thousands of people for no reason, lied about how we got into Iraq, lied about how we conducted our policy there…thank the almighty dollar (since God has washed her hands of this mess) that ‘we didn’t cut and run.” What unmitigated, horrific nonsense!!

Posted by: Tim Crow at April 5, 2006 9:49 PM
Comment #138284

The ‘job’ will not be ‘done’ in our lifetime. We’ll never know if Kerry would have made a good President or not, but we can be sure he’s flipped the right amount of flop this time. Set deadlines and follow up on them…

Posted by: Marysdude at April 5, 2006 10:11 PM
Comment #138289

Would it be worse under Kerry? We’ll never know. Out of political expedience, plenty of moderate Democrats have felt it necessary to pretend they’re tougher on security than Republicans, as if militarism were somehow making us safer and happier. Pretty stupid, if you think about it. Plenty of moderate Dems have demanded more boots on the ground. Unfortunately, the time for that is loooong past. So there’s a certain amount of posturing by Republicans and moderate Democrats.

Remember the bombing of Yugoslavia under Clinton? McCain kept demanding boots on the ground. How lucky we were that a Democrat was in power. Clinton overruled the Army generals and the advice of people like McCain, and relied upon air power. We accomplished strategic objectives without one American combat death. That is leadership.

Today, in Iraq, we’re screwed. Not only will we have failed to achieve strategic objectives, we’ll be out hundreds of billions of dollars, with thousands of Americans dead and over 17,000 wounded; and we haven’t even started talking about the horrendous toll this has taken on the Iraqis, all as a result of our actions. Tens of thousands dead? What does a number like that even mean? Can anyone here even comprehend the suffering behind a statement like that? “Tens of thousands dead.”

Not only will we have failed to achieve anything positive in terms of our strategic objectives, we will have moved in precisely the opposite direction.

By failing to concentrate upon the proper goal, Human Rights, rather than the tool for spreading it, Democracy, we have watched the occupation slide into anarchy. We ignored concepts like self-rule and self-determination, and in a disastrous decision, implemented democracy amid a colonialist nightmarish amalgamation of differing warring ethnic and religious groups. Predictably, the minorities do not want to be democratically oppressed by the majority.

Like I said, the best we can hope for is a successful brutal suppression by the Shias. It will result in a religous fundamentalist state allied with Iran, which most people would consider to be worse than the secular Iraq of Saddam Hussein, but unfortunately, that’s the best we do. The Kuwaitis and Saudis will look and their own Shia populations and wonder about their loyalty. Iran will do the same. I do not think Iranians feel warm and fuzzy and the Emir of Kuwait, or the Sunni Saudi royal family. The Iranians may put the ball in play, and say ‘Democracy anybody’?

Just ranting…

Posted by: phx8 at April 5, 2006 10:24 PM
Comment #138294

Let us see how Democracy works in America. Let’s hold a national referendum on Kerry’s plan vs. The Bush plan, stay the course. Or is it stay of course?

Posted by: jlw at April 5, 2006 10:36 PM
Comment #138299

“The big mistake everyone is making is thinking that Bush plans on getting out of Iraq. He doesn’t. We have permanent bases there. We are there for the oil so we can’t leave. We’ll be stationed there like we are in Germany, Korea, and Japan, etc.

The man is truly gifted at saying one thing and doing another. But then hypocricy is easy. He talks about our dependence on oil but doesn’t change a thing. I can’t believe there are good and honest people who still believe all his BS.

Posted by: Duke at April 5, 2006 08:00 PM”


Hmmm, how can I put this? Damn straight! Tell it like it is! Occassionally Bush tells the truth. One of those times was when he said another president would have to decide when to leave Iraq. As long as Bush or a Bush & Co. successor are in power we’ll be bogged down in Iraq.


I knew when I read that earlier today that some smart ass would have to throw out the “he voted for it before he voted against it” sh**. Of course anyone that would say that has to be small minded enough not to have read his actual “pre-election” strategy on Iraq. And they’d also have to ignore all the times that Bush and Rummy have told us they have to adjust the strategy to fit the situation on the ground.

Sheesh. Some people never let the facts cloud their judgement.


Posted by: KansasDem at April 5, 2006 10:42 PM
Comment #138303

I voted for Kerry. When it comes to domestic policy, I’m behind him right down the line. I think he’s a good man and a brave man. But when it comes to Iraq, in my opinion Kerry let his presidential ambitions interfere with his judgment of facts. If I recall, he originally voted for the resolution to invade Iraq, unlike half of the Democrats in the Senate. Yes, the Bush administration lied to Congress, and for that Bush should be impeached, but nevertheless, despite the lies, liberal Senators voted against the invasion (along with one Republican and Jeffords, and Indpendent). Now, I’m glad Kerry is stepping forward as a leader, and presenting a specific proposal. But if you take a look at the record of someone like Feingold, Senators like Kerry and Clinton pale in comparison…

Posted by: phx8 at April 5, 2006 11:15 PM
Comment #138306

“The ‘job’ will not be ‘done’ in our lifetime. We’ll never know if Kerry would have made a good President or not, but we can be sure he’s flipped the right amount of flop this time. Set deadlines and follow up on them…

Posted by: Marysdude at April 5, 2006 10:11 PM”

Thank goodness we’ll never know if Kerry would have made a good president or not. It’s not by the way, but (of course) we’re saved of that scenario. Thank you Ohio. He! He!

Anyway, Mary, when you say to “Set deadlines and follow up on them”, are you talking about the US or the Iraqis?

Posted by: rahdigly at April 5, 2006 11:30 PM
Comment #138311


We are in charge in someone elses country. We set the agenda. It is up to us to determine when (or if for Cheney/Bush) it is time to go. But, because we instigated this stupidity, we now have the obligation to set the deadlines, i.e., for establishment of a cohesive government, establishing Iraqi security, dealing with the insurgents, etc. And, once we’ve set the deadlines…stick by them. Draw down, back off and leave at the times we set. Make it soon rather than late.

If Iraq wants a democracy they’ll work for it. If Iraq is not interested in a democracy they can’t be forced into one. Would YOU live in a form a of government that was forced on YOU???

Posted by: Marysdude at April 5, 2006 11:44 PM
Comment #138315


My bad. After rereading I get what you’re saying. I just “fast-forwarded” thru the messages and I guess I found what I wanted to find.

Again, my bad. Sorry.

PS: I do however think Juan Cole is a bit full of himself. If you were to ask the Kurds, I’ll bet they’d ask us to stay. Between the Sunni and Shia it would depend on whether you asked the common man (or woman) or one of the many “leaders”.

Posted by: KansasDem at April 5, 2006 11:49 PM
Comment #138316

The inherent paradox in your statement is that if the job had been done right in the first place, withdrawing at this point would not be defeat, it would be the end of a job well done.

Tell me, if everything up to now has worked so well, why are we unable to go? This is the fundamental test of success in creating a friendly Democracy- can it stand on its own, or does it have to be propped up by America at our own rather heavy expense?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 5, 2006 11:50 PM
Comment #138320

That’s a very good article by Kerry.
Better late than never, I always say.

phx8 — excellent posts. You’re 100% right.
And unfortunately Duke was right, too. Bush has no intention of leaving Iraq. He has already said so, and those permanent bases they’ve built prove that the Neocon Republicans want us to remain there indefinitely, no matter the cost in blood and treasure.
They should be impeached, but even if they never are, they should certainly be kept out of power from here on out — because their policies and their corruption has brought our nation nothing but the most disastrous of consequences.
Thankfully, I think the majority of Americans have finally come to realize this in extremely large numbers.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 5, 2006 11:57 PM
Comment #138321

Dammit Paul! This was the next in my series on the Democratic Party agenda. Oh well. Good post. :)

You did leave out the implementation details. I’m sure you assumed that people would go read Kerry’s entire ediorial, but most won’t.

For this transition to work, we must finally begin to engage in genuine diplomacy. We must immediately bring the leaders of the Iraqi factions together at a Dayton Accords-like summit meeting. In a neutral setting, Iraqis, working with our allies, the Arab League and the United Nations, would be compelled to reach a political agreement that includes security guarantees, the dismantling of the militias and shared goals for reconstruction.

To increase the pressure on Iraq’s leaders, we must redeploy American forces to garrisoned status. Troops should be used for security backup, training and emergency response; we should leave routine patrols to Iraqi forces. Special operations against Al Qaeda and other foreign terrorists in Iraq should be initiated only on hard intelligence leads.

A couple more things: Vice President Cheney’s assertion that if we leave terrorists will take over in Iraq is just assinine. I haven’t been able to take that guy seriously since the early 90s when he argued that the collapse of Communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall were an elaborate Soviet trick to get America to drop its guard so they could take over the world.

Iraqis will never let foreign terrorists take over their government. Hell, the Iraqi insurgents just gave Zarqawi the boot. They don’t want foreign terrorists in Iraq either.

Also, it’s not like our troops will be gone. We’ll be keeping Special Forces units in the region to hit the terrorist training camps that sprouted up after our invasion as their whereabouts become known. And don’t forget, the Democratic security agenda calls for an expansion of our intelligence assets and doubling the number Special Forces troopers.

We will defeat Al Qaeda faster when we stop serving as its best recruitment tool. Iraqis ultimately will not tolerate foreign jihadists on their soil, and the United States will be able to maintain an over-the-horizon troop presence with rapid response capacity. An exit from Iraq will also strengthen our hand in dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat and allow us to repair the damage of repeated deployments, which flag officers believe has strained military readiness and morale.
Posted by: American Pundit at April 5, 2006 11:57 PM
Comment #138324

“If Iraq wants a democracy they’ll work for it. If Iraq is not interested in a democracy they can’t be forced into one.”

I understand and (certainly) agree. And, they do want democracy and they are working for it. My question is, who the hell are we, or anyone else for that matter, to “set deadlines” or “time tables” for a country that’s supposed to have it’s own democracy?! It takes time and it’s not going to get any better by us forcing them to democratize by setting deadlines. That’s crazy.

“Would YOU live in a form a of government that was forced on YOU???”

How would one know if they were living in a gov’t that was forced on them? If you’re oppressed, then you proably wouldn’t know it. Luckily we all have the UN to save us from oppression…oohh, that’s right, they are worthless. At least the (Western) european countries will help us…. oh that’s right, they won’t. Or, better yet, how about any country that will free us only for us to say they are policing the world… yeah that’s it.

Posted by: rahdigly at April 6, 2006 12:03 AM
Comment #138332

Banks financing a company do not give them forever to pay back the loans. Sooner or later, the company is expected to operate on its own. We’d simply be telling these people that they have to have their act together on things by a certain point if they want the mission to continue

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 6, 2006 12:20 AM
Comment #138335

We shouldn’t withdraw completely from Iraq, EVER. We should have permanent bases there from which to launch atacks on Iran and Syria. We have bases in every other country we’ve liberated, so why should Iraq be any different.

And BTW, we shouldn’t be concerned at all about the world’s opinion of the U.S. The rest of the world should be concerned about U.S. opinion of them. What good does it do to be the only superpower if you let third world countries and France set the agenda?

Posted by: Duano at April 6, 2006 1:21 AM
Comment #138341

“We shouldn’t withdraw completely from Iraq, EVER. We should have permanent bases there from which to launch atacks on Iran and Syria. We have bases in every other country we’ve liberated, so why should Iraq be any different.”

Beyond the moral, ethical, political, humanitarian
and sheer practical aspects of your statement, if the Chinese and other Asians decide to call in the Treasury notes they have purchased and dump their dollars, you will find that such hubris will fade like fog on a rapidly warming spring day. We have the military to pretend to be a super power, but not the economy or the natural resources. Let me make myself clear—WE CAN’T AFFORD OUR IMPERIAL ARROGANCE ANYMORE!!

Any continuance of this arrogance will need to install a draft,(cannon fodder for your American Century)and the American people will not put up with it.

As for a US base in every country we’ve ‘liberated’, I think most of the world population has had enough of American-style, cowboy-capitalist, corporate-dictated ‘freedom’, The spread of Americanism—its days are numbered.
Our imperial over-reach assures it, thanks to the neo-cons.

Posted by: Tim Crow at April 6, 2006 2:07 AM
Comment #138346

Jim Crow,

Why is capitalism such a horrible word to you people? The United States is morally, economically, and militarily superior to the rest of the world, and it’s time we started acting like it. As soon as all other nations on this planet realize that the U.S. will do what we want, when we want, how we want, there can be a real chance for world peace.

Posted by: Duano at April 6, 2006 4:02 AM
Comment #138348

We cannot leave Iraq. To run away from Al Queda would be the worst thing we can ever do. We must destroy Al Queda in Iraq before even thinking about withdrawal. This is war. We keep fighting until the enemy is dead.

Posted by: Aldous at April 6, 2006 4:51 AM
Comment #138349


And people wonder why Iran wants a Nuke…

Problem is most of the PLANET thinks of America the way you do. Which is why a Nuke is such a good idea.

Posted by: Aldous at April 6, 2006 5:24 AM
Comment #138350


I think what you meant was, we’ll do what the Chinese want us to do, whenever they want us to, however they want us to. Don’t you remember when your hero W dropped our balls on the runway at Honshu Island? That’s your only superpower, now, chief — the central committee in Peking. And guess what, they have the nukes to enforce it. Must be laughing their asses off as we strut around like we own the place. Bring ‘em on, indeed.

Jim C.

Posted by: JimC. at April 6, 2006 5:41 AM
Comment #138351

China does have nukes, but we have enough to wipe their entire country off the map 1000 times over. It’s kinda sad how liberals hail the rise of communist China as the messiah to all those oppressed socialists waiting for liberation from capitalist tyranny under the evil U.S. Guess what, Jim Chinaman, they’d blow your communist guts out as quickly as the rest of us. But we don’t have to worry about that because China’s “one child” policy will cause a total collapse of their “booming” economy in just a few decades, if not years. India is the real powerhouse, and Dubya’s already building a strong alliance with them right now. Imagine the world’s only superpower and the world’s largest democracy together! China? HA HA HA HA HA HAAAA!!!

P.S. The Guano thing was kind of funny the first twenty times, but now it’s just sad. Name calling is an immediate sign of not having an intelligent argument.

Posted by: Duano at April 6, 2006 6:07 AM
Comment #138360

Duano ranted:

The United States is morally, economically, and militarily superior to the rest of the world, and it’s time we started acting like it.


Name calling is an immediate sign of not having an intelligent argument.

Not as much as making provably false statements is…

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 6, 2006 8:38 AM
Comment #138362

hmmm…. come on own up, one of you guys on the left is posting this right wingnut bat shit. Yes ha ha funny sterotype but really it is so sad.

Posted by: OZ at April 6, 2006 9:01 AM
Comment #138369

We are to the point where the readiness of our armed forces, our ability to take on other fights, and to keep this one going will be severely limited. We are already paying for this war primarily through deficit spending. That can’t go on forever without causing economic problems, like Vietnam did for us in the 70’s.

Your approach to war is political, more than its practical. In politics, of course we can fight a war forever, of course our soldiers (bless their hearts) can get the war won with what they have, and of course the President’s policies couldn’t possibly be the source of the problems. That would be the dissenters and the media, who all happen to be far left loonies, even if they’ve got track records and expressed views that say otherwise.

In the real world, it takes money to keep an army in the field, especially if its being done thousands of miles from home. The greatest army in the world does not come cheap. Neither does the technology, which itself must be maintained.

And yes, manpower can be a problem. Real world Armies must be rested, if they are to be ready to fight again, and if you don’t want your soldiers collapsing from the strain of perpetual deployment. Additionally, even the best equipped, best-trained army in the world can lose a war if those above insist on the wrong strategy, and/or if they are not used in appropriate numbers to the conflict at hand.

But I don’t hear that talk from your side. What I hear is “Support the troops.” Which I don’t need to hear because I support them one-hundred percent, despite my disagreements on the policies that sent them to war. To many Republicans, “support the troops” has been the license to ignore concerns about vehicle maintenance, troop levels, mismanagement of the war’s strategy, cuts in benefits, etc.

At least that’s been my experience. Maybe I’m just too liberal to think straight, but it seems to me that if time and time again the interests of the soldiers comes second to the interests of the leaders above them, then supporting the war as this president is fighting it does not constitute supporting the troops.

The same bait and switches seem to apply to supporting this country and supporting the economy. Everything boils down to conformity and agreement with the policies of the Republican party, regardless of the observed consequences of those policies. If that’s not the case, why do all Republican cures for economic problems involved tax breaks or deregulation or some other Club for Growth hobbyhorse? Why is privatization of utilities or other things always the solution to prices, even if afterwards, prices go up?

Your party is trying to capture the world in a checklist of ideological positions, and if you don’t agree with all those, you’re a traitor, and your political movement deserves to be ground into the dust.

Unfortunately believing that you’re doing good for the country and actually doing so can be two different things. Right now, big business has sunk us up to the elbows in China’s labor market. They provide the cheap labor to make most of our goods. Only thing is, to make that labor cheap, they engage in currency manipulation, labor movement supression, and all kinds of other non-Adam Smith approaches to trade and doing business. They are increasingly importing labor from the country, setting them up in abominable conditions. China is becoming on another side of things more middle class, with all the expectations that come of that.

So you say they’re on the verge of collapse. Well let me ask you something. What happens if a collapse does occur, if some natural disaster, industrial accident, war, or political revolution disrupts China’s contribution to WalMart’s low prices, and America’s bottom line?

America should not get into the game of trying to bolster domestic industries with protectionist policies. Still, though, we cannot act as if the global market is truly free, letting other countries get the better of us, on account of their looser versions of “free” trade.

This may not be in the short term interests of many companies, that Bush’s administration so attentively sees to with bailouts and tax breaks (is that truly free market economics?), but it’s in the public interests of the nation to ensure our economic health, and not let others cheat our system with impunity.

As for loving my country? I do, not the least part for the reason that it’s home. I would do just about anything to defend this country, and that includes working to correct the mistakes and policy outrages of this country’s leaders.

America is not the policies of its president, or the president himself, and we are not unpatriotic to criticize them when we honestly find fault with them. We hate torture and warrantless spying on citizens. That doesn’t mean we hate America and would like to see it attacked. It means we believe there are other ways to achieve those goals more consistent with what is great about us as a nation.

The truth is, we can never make the rest of the world realize what you want them to realize, because the reality is that we can’t make that happen. The politicians can act like we can do all those things, but that’s not the real world. What will impress people is America as a broker of positive change, rather than America as a agent of chaos and turmoil. We can only maintain America’s power so long if that is face we end up giving the world. America is not all-powerful, it is human.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 6, 2006 9:29 AM
Comment #138373

>>Why is capitalism such a horrible word to you people? The United States is morally, economically, and militarily superior to the rest of the world, and it’s time we started acting like it. As soon as all other nations on this planet realize that the U.S. will do what we want, when we want, how we want, there can be a real chance for world peace.

Posted by: Duano at April 6, 2006 04:02 AM


The rest of your rant is just that, but I bold faced the part that stuck out to me. The very thing that I find so repugnant about fundamentalists is their down the nose assumption that they are somehow morally superior to people of other beliefs, non-beliefs, countries, etc. DUANO, morallity has NOTHING to do with religion or nation…NOTHING!

Posted by: Marysdude at April 6, 2006 10:28 AM
Comment #138374

Mmm, I somehow get a feeling that if the country wanted a John Kerry plan for anything they would have voted for him… :P

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 6, 2006 10:31 AM
Comment #138375

Duano, You went off about name calling, yet you call Tim Crow - Jim Crow, and Jim C- Jim Chinaman.

Intelligent argument?

Interesting topic though everyone.

Posted by: musicman at April 6, 2006 10:36 AM
Comment #138378

I’m sick and tired of hearing the Kerry flip flop bullshit…
If the president is to be believed, (pause for laughter to subside) in a recent Q&A session when he answered point blank to a point blank question, he did NOT enter office with the intention of invading Iraq. Obviously HE flip flopped on THAT mindset.

“If I recall, he originally voted for the resolution to invade Iraq…”

NOBODY voted for the resolution to invade Iraq, because there NEVER WAS a resolution to invade Iraq. The resolution called for giving the president authority to do so if he deemed neccessary. Recall, at the time, we were into a well justified invasion of Afghanistan in pursuit of a terrorist. We all (mistakenly) assumed that the president would be prudent and let the UN and the NEIA do it’s job to prove or disprove the president’s claims of WMDs in Iraq. Who but the insiders knew that, a FULL MONTH before our legislative branch voted on that resolution to give him authority to invade Iraq, the president had already stolen $700 Million from the effort to find and bring to justice Usama bin Laden in order to prepare for war with Iraq?

Now we must leave him to decide to fish and feed himself for life… or starve.

Posted by: Thom Houts at April 6, 2006 10:46 AM
Comment #138390


its easy to get out. we could pack up tomorrow. we are there because we have a vested interest in seeing democracy work in Iraq. How about coupling that with an exit strategy?

We have a vested interest in seeing democracy work in the U.S., too…but Bush and his cronies with the media in cahoots are not making progress toward but rather away from democracy…how about an exit strategy for the Republicans in Congress and in the Executive branch???

Posted by: Lynne at April 6, 2006 11:25 AM
Comment #138401

We cannot leave Iraq until Al Queda is completely destroyed there.

Posted by: Aldous at April 6, 2006 11:49 AM
Comment #138406

Here is the Resolution:


This joint resolution may be cited as the “Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq”.

Here is Kerry’s statement:

Quite eloquent. But wait! There’s more! Here is Molly Ivins:

“Senator Kerry and his supporters claim that he was fooled by exaggerated reports about Iraq’s military prowess from the administration. However, there were other senators who had access to the same information as Kerry who voted against going to war. Furthermore, former chief UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter personally briefed Senator Kerry prior to his vote on how Iraq did not have any dangerous WMD capability; he also personally gave the senator – at his request – an article from the respected journal Arms Control Today making the case that Iraq had been qualitatively disarmed. Members of Senator Kerry’s staff have acknowledged that the senator had access to a number of credible reports challenging the administration’s tall tales regarding the alleged Iraqi threat.”

Kerry knew he was enabling the Bush doctrine, and Kerry knew he was enabling the invasion of Iraq.

I’ve said it before, I voted for him, but on this issue, Kerry initially screwed up. To his credit, he’s recognizing what needs to be done now. That’s a lot more than anyone can say for Bush.

Posted by: phx8 at April 6, 2006 12:01 PM
Comment #138414

>>We cannot leave Iraq until Al Queda is completely destroyed there.

Posted by: Aldous at April 6, 2006 11:49 AM


If this is sarcasm or satire, you lost me…al Qaida wasn’t there when we got there, and al Qaida will leave there as soon as we leave there…so there!

Posted by: Marysdude at April 6, 2006 12:51 PM
Comment #138421


You’re a passionate advocate of using our military abroad to advance your policy goals. I am very interested in hearing about when you were one of those brave men and women who can be sent into harm’s way.

Posted by: Arr-squared at April 6, 2006 1:20 PM
Comment #138432

just like the way all Qaida left us aftre 9/11 2001 i am not sure son its better to have killed most of them and have them on the run rats do way more damage when left in big numbers left alone we got to flush them down the toilet where they belong with the rest of the crap they were a open wound festerinng under clinton and the puss was building up now that the wound is healing let cut the head off them thats all qaida of course

Posted by: FA STEPHENS at April 6, 2006 1:49 PM
Comment #138436

The kerry plan.Why doe’s does kerry’s plan sound so much like the kerry plan for the viet nam war?Pull all troops out leave millions to be slautered after we are gone.Maybe kerry can talk you folks into spitting on our G.I.s when they arrive in the states.Hell maybe he should have jane fonda co-sponser his last suggestion JOHN KERRY FOR PRESIDENT any body

Posted by: justwondering at April 6, 2006 1:53 PM
Comment #138439

The more I read Duano’s posts, the more I am convinced they are totally ironic and satirical.

Hey, have you all heard about this today?:
Bush Authorized Leak to Times, Libby Told Grand Jury

Bush Credibility now zooms from zero well down into the minuses.
Remember when he said he’d fire anyone involved in leaking this story to the press? Remember when he said: “If there’s a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is.”?
Yeah, well now we know. It was the vice president with the president’s approval.
Isn’t it time to impeach these F*cking Liars?

Posted by: Adrienne at April 6, 2006 2:00 PM
Comment #138442

>>Posted by: justwondering at April 6, 2006 01:53 PM

That was a stupid post.

I spent 2 1/2 tours in Nam. I did so because I was a professional. I would walk by hooches and tents that had ears and other body parts strung on strings and wires between those hooches and tents. What did Kerry say that was wrong?

Ms Fonda has apologised for sitting in that gun emplacement, and admitted it was wrong and in poor taste.

We did leave Nam and the body count remained essentially the same as it was before we left, and then reduced to todays count which is nought.

We’ll never know for sure, because history can’t be rewritten, but Viet Nam would have likely been better off if we’d never started the war on a lie about Tonkin in the first place (Iraq anyone?).

Posted by: Marysdude at April 6, 2006 2:07 PM
Comment #138449


I’ve tried every which way to get to the Sun article. You must have caused a landslide of hits…I can’t get through…whew!

Posted by: Marysdude at April 6, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #138459

adrienne, betty, aldous, news flash AP news 12 minutes ago, mckinney apologizes for incident.

Posted by: mb at April 6, 2006 2:40 PM
Comment #138464


The more I read Duano’s posts, the more I am convinced they are totally ironic and satirical.

Perhaps, but as musicman points out, using my name as satire in regards to racism isn’t amusing. I spent some growing-up time in the South in the Fifties, and witnessed Jim Crowism first-hand. Using my name to resurrect such injustice from some twisted sense of irony is not appreciated.

Posted by: Tim Crow at April 6, 2006 2:51 PM
Comment #138467

Marysdude by any chance did you serve under john kerry.Whats the chances you were drafted into the service?the military in 2004 made it clear john kerry was a fraud.ever wonder why after the 2004 election no pictures were ever shown of kerrys trip to iraq?Or did you even know he went to iraq?If he runs in 2008 lets see the pictures of all the troops showing kerry love.marysdude just wondering

Posted by: justwondering at April 6, 2006 2:57 PM
Comment #138483

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 6, 2006 3:43 PM
Comment #138488

Marysdude, did you get through to the article yet? If not, don’t worry, it’s starting to spreading all over the media.

“news flash AP news 12 minutes ago, mckinney apologizes for incident.”

Good for her. Too bad for you righties though, isn’t it? Because now people might have to get back to thinking about the serious political fallout from this week’s resignation of shamelessly crooked former Majority Leader Tom “Cockroach” DeLay, and now this latest revelation that Bush and Cheney were the ones who authorized the leaks and endangered the lives of a bunch of CIA opperatives, simply to cover for their shoddy justifications for taking this nation into an illegal war.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 6, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #138494

Now we’ll have to listen to both sides as anylists interpret this latest release. There are as many opinions as anylists…..and the scary ones are saying that once a President releases information, or authorizes its’ release, it is no longer confidential and he has done no wrong. No surprise….there have been factions stepping up to justify all of his illegalities, so why should this be any different. And he is one of the moral majority…. go figure.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 6, 2006 4:22 PM
Comment #138518

“No surprise….there have been factions stepping up to justify all of his illegalities, so why should this be any different.”

Yeah, they’re going try to try like hell to spin this one just like they’ve spun every other wrong, outrageous thing the administration has done. But I’m getting the distinct impression the public has finally reached it’s credibility limit with these clowns.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 6, 2006 5:13 PM
Comment #138528

Adrienne… I agree. I mean one can only keep going on blind faith for so long. The fact that these things are being released by members of his own party should say volumes. Well, we can hope !!

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 6, 2006 5:42 PM
Comment #138538

“I mean one can only keep going on blind faith for so long.”

But you know what really kills me? Not a single member of the Washington press corps even asked Lil’ Scotty McClellan about this story today. Not one. Is it because they know he’ll just lie and evade like he always does? Maybe. But to not even ask!
So much for the “Liberal Media”, eh? If the press was actually comprised of Liberals, you damn well better believe they’d have been all over it.

“The fact that these things are being released by members of his own party should say volumes. Well, we can hope !!”

It does speak volumes. But isn’t it delightful the way they’re starting to eat themselves alive? There is this story with Libby. There is the whole Abramoff scandal. There is the Delay scandal. There are GOP members in Congress starting to question the president about Iraq.
And today there are these sorts of stories:

Congressmen tear into Gonzales over NSA wiretap ‘stonewalling’

Rumsfeld Challenges Rice on ‘Tactical Errors’ in Iraq

Obviously they are beginning to implode.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 6, 2006 6:13 PM
Comment #138558

And a couple of days ago, I caught briefly on TV a retired commander who has just written a book, soon to be released, on the fiasco that is Iraq……but he is also calling for Rummy’s resignation. He said his calls over there were disastrous……. And you’re right, the implosion is well under way!

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 6, 2006 8:01 PM
Comment #138562

>>Marysdude by any chance did you serve under john kerry.Whats the chances you were drafted into the service?

Posted by: justwondering at April 6, 2006 02:57 PM

Different service (I was in the Marine Corps), and a different time. But I don’t doubt his service or his awards or his word about what he witnessed.

I enlisted, July 15th, 1958, and retired Aug 31st, 1978. But, my father was drafted in 1943, does it make a difference?

Posted by: Marysdude at April 6, 2006 8:12 PM
Comment #138603

You mean the SwiftVets? There’s a reason Swiftboating has become synonymous with a vicious smear campaign aimed at honorable service. Kerry’s record is exemplary.

The SwiftVets are not so exemplary. The Admiral in charge of the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth ran an operation in the Delta whose intention was to show the flag on the Mekong Delta. He did, and ended up making Swiftboat assignments one of the most hazardous assignment of the war, this without having an appreciable impact on the Vietcong.

John O’Neil, coauthor of the “Unfit For Command” book, was one of the men Nixon handpicked to astroturf an pro-war veterans group together to oppose Kerry’s group. He met with and debated Kerry on a nationally televised episode of the Dick Cavett show, where he pushed Vietnamization as a success, and pooh-poohed Kerry’s stories of dysfunction and atrocities (Kerry’s accounts have weathered time and history better). Somehow, by supremely wierd coincidence, he ends up thirty years leading another suddenly created anti-Kerry group.

Jerome Corsi, the other author of the book is revealed to be a viciously partisan Freeper, whose commentary on the site is enough to make Lincoln spin in his grave.

Many of the accounts in the book are contradicted by established facts. Many of the people making claims are contradicted by words and actions of times past, including a number of them who supported him for a tough senate campaign during the mid-nineties. Accounts are contradicted by official records, other eyewitness accounts, and even the wording of Kerry’s Silver Star citation, which mentions nobody being shot in the back, much less the teen in the loincloth they claim Kerry shot to get the award.

The deeper you get into the whole rigamarole, the more you see indications of the involvement of Republicans. One of the major funders of the SwiftVets by amazing coincidence, a homebuilder, is also a big supporter of DeLay. Also, similar tactics were used in confronting other candidates with military records, including John McCain, Max Cleland and Ben Hackett.

So I trust the Swiftvets as far as I can toss a Swiftboat. It seems like anytime there’s a Democratic Party candidate capable of challenging their people, large groups of critics and debunkers magically come out of the woodwork. I think, unfortunately, some in the modern Republican party appreciates what our soldiers do for our country, so long as they do it for the Republican party first.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 6, 2006 11:12 PM
Comment #138606

TIM Crow,

Sorry abour screwing up your name, an honest mistake, no foolin’. Jim C is obviously rooting for China to destroy the United States, so I think renaming him was appropriate. How about Jim Communist? I’ve been called Guano so many times on here I almost started posting that as my name, yet when I turn it around on someone, everybody goes into panic mode.

Everyone else,
My rants were in part a satire of how liberals always portray conservatives as being psycotic nut jobs. I love this country with every part of my soul, and I do believe it is a morally superior nation to the rest of the world. I like the fact that I am a citizen of the world’s only superpower, as should every American on here. I do believe it’s time for the Iraqis to step up to the plate. We’re not going to be able to change their diapers for ever, and their potty training is way overdue. But we cannot afford to allow that country to fall into the hands of terrorists again because that would create a solid block of terrorist states: Iran, Iraq, and Syria together as Islamic radical hotspots. I do not believe that if we suddenly bail out of Iraq, Al Qaida will just take their ball and go home. Iraq WILL BE THEIR HOME. Sandwiched between Iran and Syria, it would be the perfect place from which to plan future attacks on the U.S. and other nations. But it is time for the Iraqi leaders to turn it up a notch, because we’ve got plenty of people right here in America demanding to have their butts wiped by the government, and eventually we’re gonna run out of baby wipes.

Posted by: Duano at April 6, 2006 11:17 PM
Comment #138610

“you’re right, the implosion is well under way!”

If I may quote “Scooter” to Judy in jail: “the aspens turn in clusters, because their roots connect them.”
They are certainly turning on each other in clusters, but I say it’s long past time to tear these treasonous bastards out by the root with an Impeachment!!!
But wait, Bush did say he’d fire the people behind these leaks — so maybe he and Cheney can simply step down! (Yeah right, like they’d ever put the good of the nation before their own mad desire to wield power at any and all cost.)

Posted by: Adrienne at April 6, 2006 11:29 PM
Comment #138611

Adrienne posited:

The more I read Duano’s posts, the more I am convinced they are totally ironic and satirical.

The sad thing is, neither he nor “John Counts” nor “justwondering” nor “AP Stephens” are being in the least way satirical. They actually and fervently believe what they say, and they are not alone. Look at this study:

Now, look at the way in which these Conservatives - these voting citizens - write their posts: look at the spelling, the grammar, the syntax, the punctuation. Now, evaluate their Critical Thinking skills.

They are nothing more or less than an ignorant monkeymass, the product of an intentional campaign of dumbing-down much of the American Electorate. They have never been taught how to become informed. They have never been taught to Question Authority. They have been taught instead to replace Knowledge with Lies, Intellectual Curiosity with Faith, and Wisdom with Talking Points. Intentionally. By a cabal of evil men and women who know that their ideology is evil and uncompassionate. So that those very men and women can control more Power and Wealth.


`Trip to the Bullet Box, anyone? (I like the new Diebold Hollow Points, m’self!)

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 6, 2006 11:29 PM
Comment #138628

Betty, that study is from 2003. It’d be interesting to know how many of those misconceptions the people who were polled would still hold if they decided to conduct a similar study now. After all, quite a lot has happened since then, and the presidents approval ratings are currently pretty darn low.

I agree that it is sometimes shocking to see some of the incredibly ignorant comments many posters (Or is it the same few posters with a lot of different tags? You just never know…), will shamelessly spout off in this blog.
As for spelling, punctuation, and grammar, I’ve often wondered how (or if) many folks ever managed to graduate from high school? I don’t know about you, but where I come from, we needed to pass English classes in order to get our diplomas.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 7, 2006 12:36 AM
Comment #138634

The plan I am sending you has been approved by many prominent thinkers and
activists in the field. Which includes: Benjamin Ferencz, Chief Prosecutor
at the Nuremburg Trials, Tom Hayden, Matthew Rothschild, Anthony Arnove, Danny Schecter,
Tony Benn- Former Member of the British parliament ,Reggie Rivers,
Robert Jenkins, Andrew Bard Schmookler and others.
     I formulated this plan in September 2004, based on a comprehensive
study of the issues. For my plan to be successful it must be implemented
with all seven points beginning to happen within a very short period of
     I have run up against a wall of doubt about my plan due to it’s
rational nature ,and due to it’s adherence to placing the blame on the
invaders, and then trying to formulate a process of extrication which would
put all entities in this conflict face to face, to begin to finally solve
the dilemmas that exist.
     If you read my plan you will see that it is guided by a reasonable
and practical compromise that could end this war and alleviate the
internecine civil violence that is confronting Iraq at this juncture in it’s
    I am making a plea for my plan to be put into action on a wide-scale.
I need you to circulate it and use all the persuasion you have to bring it
to the attention of those in power.
    Just reading my plan and sending off an e-mail to me that you received
it will not be enough.
    This war must end-we who oppose it can do this by using my plan.
    We must fight the power and end the killing.
If you would like to view some comments and criticism about my plan
I direct you to my blog: sevenpointman
Thank you my dear friend,
Howard Roberts
                      A Seven-point plan for an Exit Strategy in Iraq
1) A timetable for the complete withdrawal of American and British forces
must be announced.
    I envision the following procedure, but suitable fine-tuning can be
applied by all the people involved.
        A)  A ceasefire should be offered by the Occupying side to
representatives of both the Sunni insurgency and the Shiite community. These
representatives would be guaranteed safe passage, to any meetings. The
individual insurgency groups would designate who would attend.
At this meeting a written document declaring a one-month ceasefire,
witnessed by a United Nations authority, will be fashioned and eventually
signed. This document will be released in full, to all Iraqi newspapers, the
foreign press, and the Internet.
       B) US and British command will make public its withdrawal, within
sixth-months of 80 % of their troops.
        C) Every month, a team of United Nations observers will verify the
effectiveness of the ceasefire.
All incidences on both sides will be reported.
        D) Combined representative armed forces of both the Occupying
nations and the insurgency organizations that agreed to the cease fire will
protect the Iraqi people from actions by terrorist cells.
        E) Combined representative armed forces from both the Occupying
nations and the insurgency organizations will begin creating a new military
and police force. Those who served, without extenuating circumstances, in
the previous Iraqi military or police, will be given the first option to
        F) After the second month of the ceasefire, and thereafter, in
increments of 10-20% ,a total of 80% will be withdrawn, to enclaves in Qatar
and Bahrain. The governments of these countries will work out a temporary
land-lease housing arrangement for these troops. During the time the troops
will be in these countries they will not stand down, and can be re-activated
in the theater, if  the chain of the command still in Iraq, the newly
formed Iraqi military, the leaders of the insurgency, and two international
ombudsman (one from the Arab League, one from the United Nations), as a
majority, deem it necessary.
G) One-half of those troops in enclaves will leave three-months after they
arrive, for the United States or other locations, not including Iraq.
       H) The other half of the troops in enclaves will leave after
       I) The remaining 20 % of the Occupying troops will, during this six
month interval, be used as peace-keepers, and will work with all the
designated organizations, to aid in reconstruction and nation-building.
     J) After four months they will be moved to enclaves in the above
mentioned countries.
     They will remain, still active, for two month, until their return to
the States, Britain and the other involved nations.
2) At the beginning of this period the United States will file a letter with
the Secretary General of the Security Council of the United Nations, making
null and void all written and proscribed orders by the CPA, under R. Paul
Bremer. This will be announced and duly noted.
3) At the beginning of this period all contracts signed by foreign countries
will  be considered in abeyance until a system of fair bidding, by both
Iraqi and foreign countries, will be implemented ,by an interim Productivity
and Investment Board, chosen from pertinent sectors of the Iraqi economy.
Local representatives of the 18 provinces of Iraq will put this board
together, in local elections.
4) At the beginning of this period, the United Nations will declare that
Iraq is a sovereign state again, and will be forming a Union of 18
autonomous regions. Each region will, with the help of international
experts, and local bureaucrats, do a census as a first step toward the
creation of a municipal government for all 18 provinces. After the census, a
voting roll will be completed. Any group that gets a list of 15% of the
names on this census will be able to nominate a slate of representatives.
When all the parties have chosen their slates, a period of one-month will be
allowed for campaigning.
Then in a popular election the group with the most votes will represent that
When the voters choose a slate, they will also be asked to choose five
individual members of any of the slates.
  The individuals who have the five highest vote counts will represent a
National government.
This whole process, in every province, will be watched by international
observers as well as the local bureaucrats.
During this process of local elections, a central governing board, made up
of United Nations, election governing experts, insurgency organizations, US
and British peacekeepers, and Arab league representatives, will assume the
temporary duties of administering Baghdad, and the central duties of
When the ninety representatives are elected they will assume the legislative
duties of Iraq for two years.
Within three months the parties that have at least 15% of the
representatives will nominate candidates for President and Prime Minister.
A national wide election for these offices will be held within three months
from their nomination.
The President and the Vice President and the Prime Minister will choose
their cabinet, after the election.
 5) All debts accrued by Iraq will be rescheduled to begin payment, on the
principal after one year, and on the interest after two years. If Iraq is
able to handle another loan during this period she should be given a grace
period of two years, from the taking of the loan, to comply with any
structural adjustments.
6) The United States and the United Kingdom shall pay Iraq reparations for
its invasion in the total of 120 billion dollars over a period of twenty
years for damages to its infrastructure. This money can be defrayed as
investment, if the return does not exceed 6.5 %.
7) During the beginning period Saddam Hussein and any other prisoners  who
are deemed by a Council of Iraqi Judges, elected by the National
representative body, as having committed crimes will be put up for trial.
The trial of Saddam Hussein will be before seven judges, chosen from this
Council of Judges.
One judge, one jury, again chosen by this Council, will try all other
All defendants will have the right to present any evidence they want, and to
choose freely their own lawyers.

Posted by: howard roberts at April 7, 2006 12:59 AM
Comment #138651

Betty and Adrienne,

I can’t speak for other conservatives on this site, but I would put my English skills up against yours any day. Critique the message, not the messenger, remember? “Ignorant monkeymass”? You probably will not receive a warning from Watchblog like conservative name callers do, but you should be ashamed of yourself nonetheless. If I misspelled anything, it’s a typo, that’s it. I’ve seen some pretty sad spelling, punctuation, and grammar from both sides of the spectrum on here and I’ve always overlooked it and tried to refute, agree with, or just understand the point the writer was trying to make instead of getting caught up in showing how I was such a superior English student and acting as if these people were somehow beneath me. Grow up and get a real message with which to refute mine, or enter a local spelling bee and show off your superiority to the ignorant monkeymass.

Posted by: Duano at April 7, 2006 3:02 AM
Comment #138653

Watchblog Managing Editor,

Now look at the way in which these Conservatives, these voting citizens write their posts: look at the spelling, the grammar, the syntax, the punctuation. Now, evaluate their critical thinking skills. They are nothing more or less than an ignorant monkeymass, a product of the intentional dumbing-down of much of the American electorate.
Posted By: Betty Burke

If a conservative had posted this, would there be a warning in order?

Posted by: Duano at April 7, 2006 3:15 AM
Comment #138655

BTW Betty,

While I must admit you do have a pretty good handle on written English, I couldn’t help but notice some grammatical errors in the very post in which you lamented the language skills of the “ignorant monkeymass” of conservatives. It’s incorrect to capitalize every adjective in a sentence, nor is it proper to frame the word “intentionally” as a complete sentence. Just an FYI.

Posted by: Duano at April 7, 2006 3:40 AM
Comment #138782

>>Watchblog Managing Editor,

Now look at the way in which these Conservatives, these voting citizens write their posts: look at the spelling, the grammar, the syntax, the punctuation. Now, evaluate their critical thinking skills. They are nothing more or less than an ignorant monkeymass, a product of the intentional dumbing-down of much of the American electorate.
Posted By: Betty Burke
If a conservative had posted this, would there be a warning in order?

Posted by: Duano at April 7, 2006 03:15 AM


Yeah, but she’s right…and I’ve been warned, and I think Adrienne has been more than once. Conservatism has zero to do with ‘The Watcher’s’ warnings.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 7, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #138797

If I said that there weren’t educated Republicans around, I’d be slighting my former teachers and classmates up at Baylor. While I do believe that the Republican party does encourage anti-intellectual and anti-scientific partisanship more than the Democrats, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a good number of smart, well-spoken, enlightened conservatives among them.

Lets go back and look at Baylor. Despite the fact that its one of the most conservative campuses in the nation, the school teaches disciplines with deep-time elements (that is, Biology with Evolution, Geology with an earth Billions of years old, Astronomy and Physics with the Big Bang theory, etc.) without apology, and fought off attempts to dilute this with Intelligent Design. Additionally, it belies the notion that all evangelical institutions are fundamentalist, teach a contextualist view of the bible, albeit one that also rejects the more secularized and rationalized versions as well.

We must also consider that Liberals have their own brainless trust, if you will, their own supply of people who don’t think much of book learning and the like. Looking at it from that angle, we see a problem that works across party lines. So why do we see more syntax challenged posts among the red column?

What I think it boils down to is a difference in the Watchblog audience, mixed with a difference in political cultures. I’ve seen on other sites Democrats and Liberals posting comments that more than equal what we see sometimes from far-right individuals in venom. Watchblog’s editors, of course, do their best to remove such individuals from the discussion.

What I believe spells the difference is who believes they’re still fighting the culture war. In many ways, Liberals are ironically conservative, with their way of life fairly mainstream, their secular values dominant. We’re culturally dominant. As such, aggression is typically a threat response, and is not so directly aimed at the commentors.

The Republicans have their political dominance, but that comes at the price of having to keep up appearances for the culturally dominant liberals. So many of their claims and their talking points center on convincing culturally liberal Americans that environmental, military, and educational policy is consistent with their ideals. Bush hides culturally objectionable policy behind names like No Child Left Behind (how liberal an idea about education), Clear Skies, and Healthy Forests.

He talks about himself as a compassionate conservative, and a uniter rather than a divider, in order to appeal to a liberal culture that values compassion and consensus-building. Bush, before going to war, went to the UN, even though he and his fellow conservatives positively hate the institution.

Again and again, conservatives and others pay lip service to liberal principles in order to hide just how illiberal it is. Why does this work? Because to some extent, modern liberalism is anti-authoritarian at its base. Many modern liberals, despite their ideals, do not have the faith that New Deal Democrats had in government intervention. It’s not that they object to it, though, it’s just that they don’t actively push it or defend it until it becomes a problem for them.

Ultimately, though, I would say that this liberalism is part of what allowed Republican ascendance. It’s fall, though, will be the fall of the current Republican Majority. The combination of liberal culture with a more active and pragmatic liberalism has created a liberal movement, mostly below the Washington Radar, mostly grassroots, that is pretty much set to take over the complacent, muddle conservatives of today’s majority, people whose only real metric of where the party’s going is the leadership in Washington.

That, ironically, is why the vicious attacks on the establishment Democrats is fairly useless. They are the old school Democrats, the one whose power has been cultivated during the Republican majority’s reign. The liberal movement that Bush’s 2002 political purge and subsequent trail of deceptions and debacles has inspired has only begun to make its presence felt, and it stands to do serious damage to Republican fortunes come 2006. It will also shift the balance of power in the Democratic party, and change the intellectual and emotional tenor. The new Democrats will not be the apologetic, passive Democrats of the last two decades.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 7, 2006 1:58 PM
Comment #139210

My thesis is that Conservatism is a “bankrupt philosophy” which necessarily implies the holder is either Ignorant or Evil. Actually, somewhere on a scale between the two. Search for the phrase “Nosmo King” in the following thread:

The study I cite (both Above and in the referenced thread) - and other studies as well, usually couched in terms of Republicans vs. Democrats, rather than Conservatives vs. Progressives - prove that those who are least educated (i.e.: probably Less Well Informed) are far more likely to be Conservative than Liberal. However, this does not mean that Conservatism makes ya Stoopid (although, it does - and intentionally so): it means that the more informed one is (and, the more compassionate one is), the more likely one is to be a Liberal Progressive.

This is because Conservatives are more concerned with the acquisition and maintenance of Wealth and Power than they are with the Quality Of Human Existence. For Progressives, the exact opposite is true: we are more concerned with the Quality Of Human Existence than we are with the acquisition and maintenance of Wealth or Power.

It is our characters that make us Liberal and Progressive - not the other way `round.

And yes, I am damn happy to be on that side of the fence. There is NO MORAL EQUIVALENCY between the two opposing ideologies: Liberalism is the philosophy of Jesus, Christ; Conservatism is the philosophy of Wolf Larsen. One side says, :From each, according to their Ability, to each, according to their Need.” The other side says, “The big eat the little that they may continue to move, the Strong eat the Weak, that they may retain their strength. The lucky eat the most and move the longest, that is all.”

I am repelled by Conservative “thought” - it is the thinking of the Anti-Christ, in very real and entirely secular terms. Everything that gentle and wise man taught to those who who would listen is anathema to the Conservative; and Conservatism is anathema to what he taught.

Never was there a Nazi who was not a Conservative.

Never was there a Klansman who was not a Conservative.

Never was there a Social Darwinist who was not a Conservative.

And now we see, in this time, the results of unbridled Conservatism: havoc - poverty - rapine - oppression - war, and rumours of war. Conservatism has wrought this, and one day - if we are very lucky, if we can learn from history - it will be banned from Public Policy in this nation just as Nazism has been banned in Germany and Austria.

By the way, as for my use of Capitalisation: this is my present Medium; I paint Ideas with Words, and I will bloody well use them as I see fit. Why don’t you take your piddling conformist complaints to Robert Burns or “Uncle Remus” (Joe Harris) or Samuel Clemens? If you don’t like my Chaos why don’t you put on your Block-Warden armband and arrest me? [sticks out tongue] I am a mouse in the walls of your cities: you will never see me bow to your Order. And I will keep nibbling away at it until either It or I die in the process.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 8, 2006 8:07 PM
Comment #139307

I have never seen a lurid example of mental masterbation. It made me want a cigarette.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 9, 2006 4:57 AM
Comment #139311

Sorry, the above should read:

I have never seen a more lurid example of mental masterbation. I made me want a cigarette.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 9, 2006 5:18 AM
Comment #139448
Sorry, the above should read:

I have never seen a more lurid example of mental masterbation. I made me want a cigarette.

Actually, it should have read:

“I have never seen a more lurid example of mental masturbation.”

Man, you just can’t do anything right, can you?!

P.S.: Please - oh please - do have that Cigarette! And, thank you for Smoking.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 9, 2006 9:15 PM
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