Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Course to Disaster

“Stay the course,” the president says over and over and over. What course? The course that has produced the horrible results we have now? The results that we will face after we plunge off the cliff? And what about all the deaths and miseries occurring daily in Iraq? The administration calls these things “numbers.” The rest of us think they are tragedies. The longer we stay the more tragedies we”ll have - while Al Qaeda will grow stronger.

After President Bush returned home, he told Americans:

"And the willingness of some to say that if we’re in power we’ll withdraw on a set timetable concerns people in Iraq, because they understand our coalition forces provide a sense of stability, so they can address old wrongs and develop their strategy and plan to move forward. They need our help and they recognize that. And so they are concerned about that."

Almost immediately, Bush was contradicted, as the following AP wire shows:

Iraq's vice president has asked President Bush for a timeline for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq, the Iraqi president's office said.

Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni, made the request during his meeting with Bush on Tuesday, when the U.S. president made a surprise visit to Iraq.

"I supported him in this," President Jalal Talabani said in a statement released Wednesday.

Who wants Bush to stay the course? Not Iraqi leaders. Not Iraqi people. Not the majority of Americans.

Here are some of the possible "fruits" of staying the course:

  • Tens-of-thousands more Americans dead and maimed
  • Hundred of billions, perhaps trillions, of dollars wasted in executing the war
  • Huge increase in jihadists who hate Americans and suicide bombing becoming a growth industry
  • Neglect of the real fight against terrorism: the Afghanistan fight, homeland security, intelligence, building democratic coalitions against autocratic nations, aiding poor countries, etc.
  • More Arabs tortured by our military, thus dissolving the good reputation America has had around the world
  • Increase the budget deficit, bringing an increased likelihood of ruining our economy
  • No money for helping the poor, the uninsured, the helpless
  • Further reduction in civil liberties
Staying the course will lead to disaster. Let's take the advice of the Iraqi people and let's form a plan for exiting that both the Iraqis and Americans can agree on. I believe both Senator Kerry and Senator Reid are working on such plans.

Republicans are destroying our ability to fight terrorism by concentrating on fighting fellow Americans. After we come up with a bi-partisan plan of exit from Iraq, all of us, Republicans and Democrats and everybody else, will be able to work together to win the war on terror.

Let's not stay the course. Let's work together to avoid disaster and to win the war on terror.

Posted by Paul Siegel at June 16, 2006 5:29 PM
Comments
Comment #158468

Paul,
Good post.

Here is the latest polling info:

A narrow majority of Americans — 53 percent — favors setting a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, with 47 percent saying the deadline should be in a year or less, according to a CNN poll released Friday.

Among those who favor setting a deadline of a year or less, opinions also are divergent. The survey found 13 percent of Americans want withdrawal within a few weeks; 15 percent want it in six months; and 19 percent want it in a year.

The Iraqis have asked us o set a deadline. It is only a matter of time before they become more strident about withdrawal.

Posted by: phx8 at June 16, 2006 5:41 PM
Comment #158469

Paul,

While this is considerably off-topic I can’t help myself.

Is anyone familiar with the saying, “don’t take your eye off the ball”?

Well, did we?

U.S. within range of new N. Korea missile
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060616/ap_on_re_as/us_north_korea

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 16, 2006 5:43 PM
Comment #158479

The idea that you can fight a war on terror with an army is laughably absurd. Clearly, in Afghanistan it was necessary to topple the Taliban who harboured Al Queda and Bin Laden. That operation was done with great intelligence, by pounding them from the air and drawing the Northern Alliance into front line service. That operation also served as a warning to other regimes who might be tempted to harbour terrorists, and also to Pakistan who armed and aided and trained the Taliban. Afghanistan is as yet a work in progress, and the eye has been taken off the ball too much for many people’s liking there. The forces of civilisation are not yet sturdily established there yet, and much more investment needs to go into that country, especially into infrastructure and education.

However, to send an army into another country, which just incidentally had no part of 9/11, undoes much of the advances made in Afghanistan. To the muslim world, this is an incitement which many young muslims feel compelled to respond to. This is not to excuse terrorism, but at the same time, it does not arise in a vacuum. Furthermore, it is hard to imagine how the population of an arab country, invaded by the US and seeing many of their countrymen killed and maimed, could tolerate such a presence for any length of time.

Fighting terrorism is a policing action. It requires the co operation of all countries, working together, with their intelligence services to the fore in tracking and arresting those who would conspire to carry on a campaign of terrorism. Where necessary, special forces may need to be used to carry out asassinations or abductions of suspects. In short, fighting these people is a surgical operation with a very fine scalpel, not about unleashing a bull in a china shop. I believe that to any rational observer, the jury is very much still out on Iraq, and it is difficult to see how a country which has been atomised into its constituent parts, can be made whole again - too much water under the bridge. Just like Humpty Dumpty. The invasion of Iraq was inspired by the imperialistic arrogance of the neo cons who thought they could shape the middle east to their liking. I believe it will have a similar effect on American polity, disillusioning the American people and leading to another period of brooding isolationism. I have a strong sense that by the time the US finally withdraws, it will have nothing to show for the sacrifice of its young people, the squandering of its peoples treasure and the lasting enmity of a people who have suffered greatly as a result of this arrogance. It will only reap a bitter harvest, and people that is fitting.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 16, 2006 6:04 PM
Comment #158480

All of those “fruits” that you listed, Paul, are cancelled out by one big plus—the ability to control the oil spigot of the world. To not only open the spigot, but to close it down to control the price of oil. The pressure of oil that remains in the ground makes all the right people very, very wealthy.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 16, 2006 6:05 PM
Comment #158481

The idea that you can fight a war on terror with an army is laughably absurd. Clearly, in Afghanistan it was necessary to topple the Taliban who harboured Al Queda and Bin Laden. That operation was done with great intelligence, by pounding them from the air and drawing the Northern Alliance into front line service. That operation also served as a warning to other regimes who might be tempted to harbour terrorists, and also to Pakistan who armed and aided and trained the Taliban. Afghanistan is as yet a work in progress, and the eye has been taken off the ball too much for many people’s liking there. The forces of civilisation are not yet sturdily established there, and much more investment needs to go into that country, especially into infrastructure and education.

However, to send an army into another country, which just incidentally had no part of 9/11, undoes much of the advances made in Afghanistan. To the muslim world, this is an incitement which many young muslims feel compelled to respond to. This is not to excuse terrorism, but at the same time, it does not arise in a vacuum. Furthermore, it is hard to imagine how the population of an arab country, invaded by the US and seeing many of their countrymen killed and maimed, could tolerate such a presence for any length of time.

Fighting terrorism is a policing action. It requires the co operation of all countries, working together, with their intelligence services to the fore in tracking and arresting those who would conspire to carry on a campaign of terrorism. Where necessary, special forces may need to be used to carry out asassinations or abductions of suspects. In short, fighting these people is a surgical operation with a very fine scalpel, not about unleashing a bull in a china shop. I believe that to any rational observer, the jury is very much still out on Iraq, and it is difficult to see how a country which has been atomised into its constituent parts, can be made whole again - too much water under the bridge. Just like Humpty Dumpty. The invasion of Iraq was inspired by the imperialistic arrogance of the neo cons who thought they could shape the middle east to their liking. I believe it will have a similar effect on American polity that the Vietnam war did, disillusioning the American people and leading to another period of brooding isolationism. I have a strong sense that by the time the US finally withdraws, it will have nothing to show for the sacrifice of its young people, the squandering of its peoples treasure and the lasting enmity of a people who have suffered greatly as a result of this arrogance. It will only reap a bitter harvest, and perhaps that is fitting.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 16, 2006 6:06 PM
Comment #158483

The idea that you can fight a war on terror with an army is laughably absurd. Clearly, in Afghanistan it was necessary to topple the Taliban who harboured Al Queda and Bin Laden. That operation was done with great intelligence, by pounding them from the air and drawing the Northern Alliance into front line service. That operation also served as a warning to other regimes who might be tempted to harbour terrorists, and also to Pakistan who armed and aided and trained the Taliban. Afghanistan is as yet a work in progress, and the eye has been taken off the ball too much for many people’s liking there. The forces of civilisation are not yet sturdily established there yet, and much more investment needs to go into that country, especially into infrastructure and education.

However, to send an army into another country, which just incidentally had no part of 9/11, undoes much of the advances made in Afghanistan. To the muslim world, this is an incitement which many young muslims feel compelled to respond to. This is not to excuse terrorism, but at the same time, it does not arise in a vacuum. Furthermore, it is hard to imagine how the population of an arab country, invaded by the US and seeing many of their countrymen killed and maimed, could tolerate such a presence for any length of time.

Fighting terrorism is a policing action. It requires the co operation of all countries, working together, with their intelligence services to the fore in tracking and arresting those who would conspire to carry on a campaign of terrorism. Where necessary, special forces may need to be used to carry out asassinations or abductions of suspects. In short, fighting these people is a surgical operation with a very fine scalpel, not about unleashing a bull in a china shop. I believe that to any rational observer, the jury is very much still out on Iraq, and it is difficult to see how a country which has been atomised into its constituent parts, can be made whole again - too much water under the bridge. Just like Humpty Dumpty. The invasion of Iraq was inspired by the imperialistic arrogance of the neo cons who thought they could shape the middle east to their liking. I believe it will have a similar effect on American polity, disillusioning the American people and leading to another period of brooding isolationism. I have a strong sense that by the time the US finally withdraws, it will have nothing to show for the sacrifice of its young people, the squandering of its peoples treasure and the lasting enmity of a people who have suffered greatly as a result of this arrogance. It will only reap a bitter harvest, and perhaps that is fitting.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 16, 2006 6:10 PM
Comment #158484

Excellent post Paul.


The question I have is how are we ever going to withdraw from Iraq if their is no goal to do so.
This is not something that is just going to happen. We need to take concrete steps to make this a reality. Most people who I know who are successful at what they do are goal orientated in nature. Iraq will never know freedom and independance until they can do it on their own without the U.S.A. as an occupying force. Do GWB and the neocons want success or do they want to remain in Iraq into perpetuity? Or, is that their definition of success in Iraq?

Posted by: mark at June 16, 2006 6:10 PM
Comment #158489

Nobody is happy about Iraq. But to use an analogy,while we still have to determine just how the fire got started,its more important to put it out.
Are we better off with a democratic Iraq?
That is really the main question. Can we create this situation in a reasonable amount of time?
If the consensus is yes,we stay. If not, we go.

Posted by: jblym at June 16, 2006 6:19 PM
Comment #158494

Are we better off with a democratic Iraq if they continue with the atrocities (to us) of their version of the laws? Are we better off if the religious zealots win elections (Hamas anyone?)?

I suspect we’re in for some trouble for some time to come. We haven’t fixed anything!!

Posted by: womanmarine at June 16, 2006 6:29 PM
Comment #158495

Paul,

You said…

The longer we stay the more tragedies we”ll have - while Al Qaeda will grow stronger.


ANNNNNNNHHHH!!!! WRONG ANSWER!

Here’s a news story that you and the entire MSM have (almost) totally ignored! It was on the news ONCE and then relegated to the trash pile when it didn’t agree with their political agenda. You see…good news is BAD news for the MSM where Iraq is concerned.

We’re kicking their ASSES and they KNOW IT!

Posted by: Jim T at June 16, 2006 6:30 PM
Comment #158497

How about a Democratic America… then we go fix the foreign governments.

Posted by: Pat at June 16, 2006 6:33 PM
Comment #158498

I seem to have repeated myself a little there! ;-) I guess if it’s worth saying once, its worth saying again and again!

In response to jblym’s question as to whether you can create a situation of democracy in Iraq, I simply say; think about it jblym, how can the US create a democracy in Iraq. That is something that only the Iraqis can do, and by putting yourself in that situation, you are giving a disastrous hostage to fortune. A society riven by tribal, religious and political division with no tradition of democracy but a stong one of corruption attempting to build a democracy from the ground up, while a civil war is raging all around. If you like long shots on the horses, them maybe this is a good bet for you.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 16, 2006 6:35 PM
Comment #158499

Aren’t we kicking the asses of the same people Bush said we were liberating??

Posted by: Pat at June 16, 2006 6:35 PM
Comment #158501

Don’t bother responding… most of the jerks on this blog that give you one word or one sentence responses that make absolutely no sense at all are just here to annoy and frustrate the liberals.

I was asked by a candidate in the 25th district of Florida to “man the blogs and get our message out” I almost did but it turned out he was a Republican.

Clint Curtis… he was the guy that wrote the software for the blackwell voting machines in Florida than testified before congress about it. He’s not a bad guy but he’s a Republican and I guess they all use the same play book.

The point is that they get volunteers to disagree on all non-republican blogs just to frustrate democrats into giving up the fight.

Keep fighting.

Posted by: Pat at June 16, 2006 6:42 PM
Comment #158507

Jim T,
No one pays attention to that link because it is a transparent example of PsyOps. Here is another example of PsyOps, a blast from the past. Remember this?

“THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT OUR FIELD OF MOVEMENT IS SHRINKING AND THE GRIP AROUND THE THROAT OF THE MUJAHIDIN HAS BEGUN TO TIGHTEN. WITH THE SPREAD OF THE ARMY AND POLICE, OUR FUTURE IS BECOMING FRIGHTENING… DESPITE FEW SUPPORTERS, LACK OF FRIENDS, AND TOUGH TIMES, GOD HAS BLESSED US WITH VICTORIES…”

Yes indeed, folks, that was a letter purportedly by Zarqawi.
http://www.newamericancentury.org/middleeast-20040212.htm
It appears laughably amateurish to us in retrospect, but at the time, Bush Supporters ate it up with a spoon.

Now, troops are going in to re-occupy Bagdhad, and we are about to go in to Ramadi again. Almost 300,000 civilians have already fled Ramadi. It is a hair raising time for Sunni refugees, because if the Shia Death Squads catch them, they are toast.

Democracy for Iraq? I can see democracy succeeding in a Shia region, in a Sunni region, and in a Kurdish region. However, democracy is not the same as valuing Human Rights, which is what I think we mean when we say we want to see democracy flourish.

Democracy for a united Iraq seems improbable, simply because the Sunnis will not want to be ruled by the Shias, regardless of the form of government.

Posted by: Phx8 at June 16, 2006 7:00 PM
Comment #158508

Excellent post all ‘round.

The book “House of War” by James Carroll is an excellent look at how the United States has, over the decades, evolved into a system that desperately needs, as Gore Vidal would have it, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace (another good read, too).

The trend is not encouraging: the election of 2000 was decided by Jeb Bush and the Supreme Court, the Patriot Act, the domestic surveillance program(s), the war based on lies that got us into Iraq, and who knows what else…

Then again, the US is making the same strategic mistake that other superpowers have made: blood and treasure invested in wars or hegemony abroad, all the while things crumble on the home front.

And just as power abhors a vacuum in Iraq (the center will probably never hold), POTUS has simply used the circumstances to center more and more power around the executive.

Posted by: ra at June 16, 2006 7:01 PM
Comment #158516

“Stay the course,” the president says over and over and over. What course? The course that has produced the horrible results we have now? The results that we will face after we plunge off the cliff?…Al Qaeda will grow stronger.

Paul:

Please, you call eradicating a vicious dictator, revamping a previosuly opressive government and turning it into a democracy in only a few years, ratifying a constitution, appointing dedicated officials across the politcal landscape, both Suni, Shia and Kurd, to foster harmony and political growth, and killing the #1 terrorist in Iraq, who happened to be the spiritual and tactical leader of the most insidious terror network on the face of the earth “horrible results?” I call that success.

And the only way Al Qaeda will grow stronger is if we buy into the deranged John Murtha’s lunacy by cutting and running. Taking the offensive, like we did with the killing of Zarqwai, will bring victory. Complaining and bickering will culminate in defeat.

Thats the difference between the right and the left. The right takes the offensive, the left bickers.

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at June 16, 2006 7:44 PM
Comment #158523

The so-called ‘War on Terror’ declared immediately after 9/11 has been used as a pre-text for every power grab, war crime and atrocity committed by this administration. As Gore Vidal has said, “It’s an abstract noun. You can’t have a war against an abstract noun; it’s like having a war against dandruff. It’s meaningless.”

Meaningless yes, but it is at the crux of the mentality that was cleverly cultivated and encouraged at every turn by the reigning White House Machiavellians. This fraudulent fragment of Orwellian doublespeak permeates every facet of political life in Amerika. Even most democrats have fallen into the trap of referencing it with nauseating regularity.

And, you don’t have to be a Fox News junkie either.

The time to declare war on the “War on Terror” is long overdue IMHO.

Posted by: tim at June 16, 2006 8:24 PM
Comment #158524

Much has been said on this topic. It is my fervent hope that when the Irag adventure endswe,as apeople,have the fortitude to remove the militarist. For starters it should be a class A felony for a defense contractor to buy as much as a cup of coffee for a legislater or administration official. Asignment to a committee that has anything to do with defense procurement should mean niether you or any member of your family can ever go to work in the defense industry,not as a member of the board,a consultant. an attorney,nothing.
Congress should take back the war powers as the founders intended. The war powers act need to be rewritten. After a very short period of time ,say 30 days max, Either congress declares war formely or we get out. One argument against that is that a formal declaration of war would require our allies to join. And this is a bad thing?
The money wasted on defense currently is plenty enough for research and development ,with the private sector ,real methods to get us off fossil feuls. There is enough to perfect desalinasation to provide enough clear water to the middle east cheap enough for irrigation. There .You want middle east piece? Give them enough water. That is what they have really been fighting over for 2000 years or so.

Posted by: BillS at June 16, 2006 8:44 PM
Comment #158525

Alex wrote -
“And the only way Al Qaeda will grow stronger is if we buy into the deranged John Murtha’s lunacy by cutting and running.”

Murtha is calling for redeployment not a withdrawal, establishing a presence “over the horizon” with troops in the region. That’s not cut and run, that’s picking up and moving a few blocks over.

Posted by: europheus at June 16, 2006 8:45 PM
Comment #158526

Paul-
Yes,I agree,its up to the Iraqis to build a democratic system. When you were talking about a society thats riven with religious, tribal, and political differences,we must be holding up a mirror.

If ever there was a country that is a composite of human society,we live in it. The Iraqi people have got no monopoly. We manage in spite of our differences. And by the way,anyone remember Boss Tweed? That was a little example of organized corruption in government here.

Can the people in Iraq overcome their religious differences? I believe that co-existence is possible if they can see a material and immediate advantage. People tend to be very practical when its to their own benefit. Something along the lines of how the Feds pay Innuit citizens oil royalties in Alaska.

I abhor the violence,and wish that there was a better answer than what BUSHCO. says.
My gut tells me that it is better to try to finish at this point than walk away and guarantee anarchy and a religious fundamentalist government.

Posted by: jblym at June 16, 2006 8:46 PM
Comment #158528
Murtha is calling for redeployment not a withdrawal, establishing a presence “over the horizon” with troops in the region. That’s not cut and run, that’s picking up and moving a few blocks over.

europheus:

Hmmm, it still sounds like he wants to get a large percentage of our troops out of Iraq. But in any case, ignoring the technicalities, the bottom line is that the Dems by and large want to leave Iraq, and that notion is irrational, irresponsible, and jeopardizes all that we have worked to build in Iraq as well as the future security of the entire region and the world.

If we leave Iraq now, or in the very near future, with the new government and security force still in its infancy, Iraq will surely fall to terrorism, and the Dems dont seem to understand this. Then well be back at square 1, with 2500+ less American soldiers and a new breeding ground and sanctuary for terrorist networks to cooridinate and initiate their sinister attacks.

Nobody wants to imperialize Iraq, we just want to make sure the country can stand without the American crutch before we let it take off running.

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at June 16, 2006 8:57 PM
Comment #158532

“Nobody wants to imperialize Iraq..”
Then explain why we are building 14 permanent military bases there. Why is the embassey the largest ever built? Bushco would have tried to invade Iraq even if 9/11 had never occured. Iraqs oil reserve was the goal from the beginning and probably why big oil helped propel him to the presidency.These are not nice people although your naivete must be comforting.

Posted by: BillS at June 16, 2006 9:15 PM
Comment #158533

Liberals always manage to find excuses to belittle the effort of our troop to rebuild Iraq.

There is a lot of reasons why we go to war. Our security, the necessity to kill all the terrorists… Fortunately Gore or that Kelly lost the election, otherwise they will definitely come up with some stupid plans to appease the terrorists e.g. shutdown the economy and switch to wind farm tomorrow or set those “enemy combatant’ free so they can kill us again.

We, the People who live in USA and love USA (ie none of the Liberal or Democrats), will always pray for our troop out there. Always.

Posted by: Joel at June 16, 2006 9:17 PM
Comment #158536
Then explain why we are building 14 permanent military bases there.

BillS:

Bring me the report that confirms the validity of your statement and then Ill respond.

But in any case, Bush has said on numerous occasions that he has no intention of permanently staying in Iraq, as has the rest of the GOP. He has clearly elucidated that he intends to build up the government, train a security force that can adequately protect the country, and then leave.

Why is the embassey the largest ever built? Bushco would have tried to invade Iraq even if 9/11 had never occured. Iraqs oil reserve was the goal from the beginning and probably why big oil helped propel him to the presidency.

This is actually quite funny. So since we have a large embassy we must be staying there forever, right? And you cant juss assume that Bush was going to invade Iraq even if 9/11 didnt occur, you have no evidence to even mildly justify that point. Oh, and I guess you can read minds too, because it seems that you definitively know that Bush is in Iraq for oil and nothing else. It must be obvious, where did I go wrong?

Take note everybody, BillS’ preceeding quote is a textbook example of a conspiracy theory. Every ounce of written word is dripping with assumptions and infeasibiities, and the entire argument is backed up by nothing more than unsubstantiated rumors concoted by left wing bigots.

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at June 16, 2006 9:29 PM
Comment #158537

Alex,
It is clear to me the American military presence is not leaving Iraq any time soon. We have established multiple bases in the country and that will not be abandoned.

“If we leave Iraq now, or in the very near future, with the new government and security force still in its infancy, Iraq will surely fall to terrorism”

Agreed, this happened once before to Iraq, why repeat history?

An increasing number of our casualties are from road side bombs. An increasing expense for our military is the repair of M1 Abrams in desert conditions. It’s time to reduce the number of troops on the ground. We have superior air defense to resolve issues that appear.

Posted by: europheus at June 16, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #158541

Mmm, Pat…

You make a one sentance comment and then your next post is an attack on people who use one sentance comments… Nice.

And this is a republican blog, and a democrat blog, and a third party blog. Of course there are republicans who post here, it’s a place where, I HOPE, most of us can debate the topics in question.

I hope that you realize that you are mistaken about the blog and join in, not just ‘go out and get the word out for liberals’ but that’s just something we’ll have to see …

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 16, 2006 9:51 PM
Comment #158545
An increasing number of our casualties are from road side bombs. An increasing expense for our military is the repair of M1 Abrams in desert conditions. It’s time to reduce the number of troops on the ground. We have superior air defense to resolve issues that appear.

Europheus,

We have now about 30,000 fewer troops in Iraq than we did at the beginning of the year. We are seeing an increase in the ability of the Iraqi police. Many people want us to bring the troops home soon, hopefully within a year. Many don’t want us TELEGRAPHING when we will be doing this, setting an ARBITRARY deadline and giving the terrorists in question the home needed to continue the fight but to feel finally that it is no longer worth the cost.

Perhaps you can accept that as a valid view instead of your ‘insistence’ that we are either out now or going to be there forever?

OH, and I love how the liberals continue to demand that we set a time table and bring the troops home, they do know that when we DO bring them home they will say it’s because of their insistence, not because it was just finally the right time.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 16, 2006 9:55 PM
Comment #158548

Alex Fitzsimmons:

“Bring me the report that confirms the validity of your statement and then Ill respond.”

http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2004/040323-enduring-bases.htm

“From the ashes of abandoned Iraqi army bases, U.S. military engineers are overseeing the building of an enhanced system of American bases designed to last for years.

Last year, as troops poured over the Kuwait border to invade Iraq, the U.S. military set up at least 120 forward operating bases. Then came hundreds of expeditionary and temporary bases that were to last between six months and a year for tactical operations while providing soldiers with such comforts as e-mail and Internet access.

Now U.S. engineers are focusing on constructing 14 “enduring bases,” long-term encampments for the thousands of American troops expected to serve in Iraq for at least two years. The bases also would be key outposts for Bush administration policy advisers. “

Posted by: Aldous at June 16, 2006 10:04 PM
Comment #158555

Here’s another article regarding permanent bases.

http://www.fcnl.org/iraq/bases.htm

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 16, 2006 10:27 PM
Comment #158556

Thanks Aldous.
You saved me the trouble of responding. Now if he just bothers to read it.
Alex
The bases are no secret.Just google it and pick a source you trust. BBC,Chicago Tribune you name it. One base is 15 sq. miles.

News: We are outsourcing the war. The Philipine news reported today of an active recruitment campaign in the Philippines for mercenaries. Starting pay is 1700$a month and up depending on experience. Cheap by our standards but good pay over there. So far they have signed up 7000.

Posted by: BillS at June 16, 2006 10:27 PM
Comment #158559

BillS,
Please, the republicans prefer the term “privatizing” it sounds so much more market friendly.
coonyjay,
If the conservative leadership was truly concerned with some parental role they would have done so with a “Declaration of War” not this cover your tail “authorization of force”. Please note that congress has refused to act with the authority the constitution places with them.

Posted by: Ted at June 16, 2006 10:43 PM
Comment #158566

Rhinehold,


Perhaps you can accept that as a valid view instead of your ‘insistence’ that we are either out now or going to be there forever?

Totally accepted, and allow me to clarify my previous post, I do not believe that we are either out now of there forever.

Our military will maintain a presence in Iraq for many years to come. I agree with President Bush that we will not be in Iraq permanently. That statement only removes infinity from the timetable.

Our military should reduce their numbers, and of course not entirely. Many of the boots on the ground need to make their way home. We need our national guard back; Iraq is not their nation to guard.

We must support the Iraqi forces in their infancy and we need to reduce our losses at the same time. That requires giving them what they need to get the job done in knowledge and equipment, regardless of betrayal factors.

Posted by: europheus at June 16, 2006 11:42 PM
Comment #158574

Alex,

Nobody wants to imperialize Iraq
When did Halliburton change its name to Nobody?

Posted by: ElliottBay at June 17, 2006 12:27 AM
Comment #158578

WHEN LIBERALS SAY THAT THEY JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND. THEY ARE RIGHT THEY DON’T. MY 8 YEAR OLD GRANDSON UNDERSTANDS WHY WE ARE IN IRAQ. LIBERALS ARE TERRORIST …. THEY DON’T WANT TO UNDERSTAND…

Posted by: debbie at June 17, 2006 12:47 AM
Comment #158582

Debbie,
I am a liberal. Do you think I am a terrorist?

By the way, typing in all capitals is “shouting.”

Posted by: phx8 at June 17, 2006 1:02 AM
Comment #158588

The jig is up. They finally figured it out. Allus secular liberals secretly yearn for sharia law. OK,who told.

Posted by: BillS at June 17, 2006 1:28 AM
Comment #158589

coonyjay and Debbie,

So let’s all share equally in the war effort. Write or call your senators and representatives and insist that taxes be raised to support the war effort. Also request that the draft be reinstated immediately.

It takes money and manpower to fight a “long war”. I only want to be sure everyone is pulling their share of the weight.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 17, 2006 1:29 AM
Comment #158604

Right on Kansas. When are the Bush twins enlisting?

Posted by: BillS at June 17, 2006 2:05 AM
Comment #158608

Terrorists are either shot dead or incarcerated in federal or offshore prisons. Many folk believe the lefties and liberals are terrorists, or at a minimum on the same side as the enemy.

History dictates that Joseph McCarthy failed.

Debbie, please don’t hate your fellow Americans for their opinions. True terrorist could care less if an American is with or against our President.

Posted by: europheus at June 17, 2006 2:15 AM
Comment #158677

If ever there was a country that is a composite of human society,we live in it. The Iraqi people have got no monopoly. We manage in spite of our differences. And by the way,anyone remember Boss Tweed? That was a little example of organized corruption in government here.

Posted by: jblym at June 16, 2006 08:46 PM

Jblym, I’m sure you’re not saying that there is a close relationship between civil and political society in Iraq and America, or any other Western country for that matter. Despite the ethnic and racial and religious diversity of the US, it’s people all subscribe to the liberal democratic nature of the state, and I think all thinking Americans value the separation of church and state, wisely bequeathed by your founding patriots.

But then, as I write this, I have to reflect again. The US from this remove here in Ireland, seems to be a country increasingly bitterly divided between Reps and Dems, speaking of each other in terms of contempt and treachery. A land where the separation of religion and state appears to be increasingly challenged, and a manaical extreme religiousity, awaiting and indeed cheering on the “Rapture” of destruction, makes me wonder if indeed their is such a huge gulf between Iraq and America. Your country seems increasingly polarised, and it does not take a huge stretch of imagination, given contempt for fellow citizens that is often on display even on the blog, to imagine when that bilious polarisation gives rise to violent expression.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 17, 2006 6:39 AM
Comment #158687
U.S. military engineers are overseeing the building of an enhanced system of American bases designed to last for years.

Last year, as troops poured over the Kuwait border to invade Iraq, the U.S. military set up at least 120 forward operating bases. Then came hundreds of expeditionary and temporary bases that were to last between six months and a year for tactical operations while providing soldiers with such comforts as e-mail and Internet access.

Now U.S. engineers are focusing on constructing 14 “enduring bases,” long-term encampments for the thousands of American troops expected to serve in Iraq for at least two years.“

Aldous and BillS:

How do you guys get ”permanent” from any of the afore mentioned? Sure, there are ”enduring” and ”long term” bases being set up in Iraq, but that doesnt necessarily mean were going to occupy those bases ”long term”. Again, the GOP doesnt want to set a timetable for troop withdrawal because we just dont know how long we are going to have to be there. The Bush administration is setting up ”enduring” bases in case we are there ”long term” so we can be prepared. Why build shoddy temporary bases, when you dont even know how long you are going to occupy the area, when you can build more durable, ”enduring” bases and play it safe?

When did Halliburton change its name to Nobody?

Elliot Bay:

I assumed that by imperialize everybody knew I meant one government permanently taking over operations from another government in another country. What I probably should have said is that few politicians have publicly championed imperializing Iraq.

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at June 17, 2006 8:43 AM
Comment #158693

Whoops, point of clarification, in my last post, where I said:

”but that doesnt necessarily mean were going to occupy those bases ”long term”.

I meant to say ”permanently” instead of ”long term”.

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at June 17, 2006 9:26 AM
Comment #158704

“And by the way,anyone remember Boss Tweed? That was a little example of organized corruption in government here.”

A Democrat. The most corrupt politicians in American history were a Democrat and a Democratic political organization.

Posted by: traveller at June 17, 2006 10:40 AM
Comment #158713

Telegraphing our intention to leave is only a problem if we’re not ready to leave. If we have things under control, we can step out from under the Iraqis, they’ll hold. Yes, they know the date, but so do we, and so do the friendly Iraqis, and they know that they have to sink or swim. These bases are telegraphing our intention to stay, giving comfort to those Iraqis who don’t want to have to shoulder the burdens themselves.

I would think the Republicans would understand this most of all: you don’t encourage hard work by taking people by the hand and doing everything for them.

If the Bush administration thinks things are so bad that they can’t leave, they should say so, rather than cloak it in the politically convenient “they stand-up/ we stand-down (but no definite timetable)” rhetoric.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 17, 2006 11:40 AM
Comment #158718

Alex:
If I had stated three years ago that there were no WMDs in Iraq and that intelligence was being gathered selectively and even falsified to furthur a PR campaign supporting an invasion and this false information was even given to the secretary of state for his testimony before the UN,would you have called it a conspiracy theory?
Modern imperialism usually takes the form of the later British model. A puppet government is set up that allows the exploitation of the countries natural resources on favorable terms to the occupying country and provides a sheltered market for products from that country.

Posted by: BillS at June 17, 2006 11:50 AM
Comment #158741

No single issue has caused me more hurt and heartache than this one. I have struggled to support this president in his effort to eradicate terrorism. But, enough is enough.

I can not in good conscience see one more American family grieve so that an Iraqi family can celebrate.

It is time to announce a firm date for the withdrawal of all American and coalition forces from Iraqi soil. And the sooner, the better.

If the Iraqi people cannot find the will and the courage to defend their new-found freedom, they do not deserve it.

But it should be Iraqis dying for Iraqi freedom, not Americans.

Posted by: vietnam_vet at June 17, 2006 1:26 PM
Comment #158773

Alex: google bases in Iraq and keep reading.

Posted by: BillS at June 17, 2006 6:10 PM
Comment #158799

As Joel would have it:

“We, the People who live in USA and love USA (ie none of the Liberal or Democrats), will always pray for our troop out there. Always.”

And now we should all be standing up to sing I’m Proud to be an American, right?

Well, all except those liberals and Democrats, I s’pose. And probably the darkies, too, not to mention the fags and the jews and the gooks, eh?

You gotta be kidding me…

Posted by: ra at June 17, 2006 8:56 PM
Comment #158905

Can You Afford to Vote Republican?

Many Americans are asking the most important question of their political lives this year; can you afford to vote Republican? Most are finding a simple answer and that is no. Past the mess in Iraq with billions and maybe more than a trillion dollars poured into that country, it is engulfed in a Civil War with no end in sight. Most Iraq output and production figures such as oil production, schooling open, jobs available, public utility service, and security is at an all time worst. The American job creation is at an all time low. Many American are seeing loss of real opportunities for their children and grand children because of cuts in funding and movement of American jobs overseas. For most of Americans the Living Wage and earning power is at an all time low. American Constitutional Freedoms seem under attack at every turn. The alarming price of energy is causing personal budget cuts and the cost of goods and services to increase rapidly. The American Budget Deficit is over eight trillion and headed to ten trillion dollars causing heavy borrowing and passing incredible debt on to future generations. Americans look at the disaster in New Orleans and see an America unprepared for the present, much less the future.
Every one knows that that the American Dream seems headed toward the American Nightmare. We seem beset with disasters all around and the lack of leadership, the stories of massive fraud in Iraq, massive fraud in the Gulf Coast, government employees making disastrous mistakes and lacking the qualifications to even hold the job in the first place. Government employees coming straight from an employer and making no bid decisions in favor of that employer and then not investigating billions of dollars in missing money because of lack of oversight. Policy decisions are constantly based on favoritism toward the big corporations and against the American public. We are losing respect and cooperation from our Allies abroad. We are forfeiting our claim and our heritage to the title of the Land of Opportunity and Freedom.
We are losing the culture that our Forefathers lived and died to create, not in merely the words, but the deeds. Republicans like to say to America that we have a choice and we do. Just like every other time anyone else in American history has failed the country, the people of America, the future generations of Americans have to say no. Enough is enough. It is time to say had enough, vote Democrat. America and your future deserve nothing less. Vote for your future, vote a straight Democratic ticket this fall and vote for America. Remember the future you save will be you own. Democrats are committed toward the Quality of Life and the American Dream, this now more than ever. Vote not for failure but for an America with shared prosperity and the American Dream for all.
-Thomas P Love

Posted by: Thomas Love at June 18, 2006 2:15 PM
Comment #158988

Those who “cut and ran” were Reagan in Lebanon, Nixon/Ford in Vietnam, and Clinton in Somalia. Perhaps Truman in Korea, although were still technically there. Oh yeah, Bush in Venezuela

Hmmm, mostly sounds Republican to me.

Cut and Run is really a term chicken hawks hide behind though. It’s the universal declaration of Chicken Hawks.

I watched the Chicken Hawk behind the Chicken Hawk in chief talk today about the glory and reason for fighting in Iraq. Sadaam hid Abu Nadal who is sorta Alqaeda, so therefore Sadam was going to attack America eventually. That’s why we attacked because Al Qaeda is in Iraq. It’s better than fighting them in New York.

I wonder when someone is going to tell him that Alqaeda came late to Iraq, contributes a minor portion of the fighting, and in recent captured intelliegence disclosed they stopped a minor attack on New York to keep our idiot in chief focused on Iraq, so they could recruit more Arabs and Muslims while continuing to safely hide out in Afghanistan / Pakistan.

Iraq is a political tool for Bush, it’s a political tool for Bin Laden. A vote for Republicans is a vote for Bin Laden’s continued health. Iraq is an Iraqi problem now. There is a Sunni/ Shia war occuring. Iran will side with the Shia. Baathist/ Sunnis will side with Syria and produce another strong man if they win. The Kurds will support the Shia to a point. Turkey will invade if the Kurds rally around Kurdistan in the wake of an attack on them.

We are now creating instability in the region rather than stabilizing it. We are contributing to Al Aqaeda. We need to focus more on Pakistan and Afghanistan and East Africa. Iraqis have there own battles to fight out, they will not countenance Al Qaeda, if we leave.

Bush has created his own self sustaining war much like Johnson. When he leaves and Iraq descends into unfettered war, he will lose political power. He will not pull out, and he will be defeated politically.He cannot run but he will erode the Republican majority as it kills off its own supporters. It will take the next administration to remove us, and those that die wil have died for the politics of the Repuplicans. That is the most sick kind of cynical patriotic BS.

Posted by: gergle at June 18, 2006 11:38 PM
Comment #158999


Wasn’t it G.Bush who said that the next president will be the one to decide when we will leave Iraq.

The republicans in the Congress and the White House make boss Tweed and his boys look like boy scouts. The Cheney/haliburton scandel and the Congressional republican/military contractors have ripped off the American taxpayers for more money than Boss Tweed could even imagine existed.

Since liberal democrats are terrorist loving traitors, shouldn’t all liberal democrats fighting in Iraq be immediately recalled to America? Isn’t our military concerned about the possible consequences of having liberals in the military.

If we leave Iraq, where will the invasion of Iran be staged?

Posted by: jlw at June 19, 2006 1:41 AM
Comment #159006

“If we leave Iraq, where will the invasion of Iran be staged?

Posted by: jlw at June 19, 2006 01:41 AM”

My concern with that is somewhat opposite yours. What will happen to our 130,000 troops if and when we start bombing Iran?

I mean isn’t that about the same as the Feds renting a “safe house” for a Mafia informant right next door to the Mafia Boss?

It’s definitely bedtime.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 19, 2006 2:32 AM
Comment #159023

It’s been nagging at me for a while now, but I’m still not there yet. For the life of me, I can’t seem to nail down just what the reason is for us being in Iraq in the first place. I mean the real reason, not the ones the Bushies told us. I did say “ones”, because there were more than one lie we were told to get us in there.

There is something really fundamental missing here. Someone up above got me thinking, though. Remember in the old (bullshit) high school history books that used to tell us that war was good for the economy? Both Presidents Bush were faced with a horrible economic situation, partly their fault (the Republican economic strategies of the 20th century were all laughable in their inequities, but that’s another topic) but partly not.

Is this the trigger? Is this why we seem to be intractably linked to fighting wars that seem to boggle our minds? Lots of people have been scratching their heads about this one, but there have been others in the past that do the same thing. Why? What is the reason?

It does tend to fit, though. Some people somewhere deep in the bowels of our government keep on telling these “wartime-presidents” that in order to keep our economy afloat, the military-industrial complex must have war. It’s written right in the playbook. It’s a rather frightening thought, but none of the other reasons being bandied about seem to fit.

Well, other than the naked greed possessed by the oil companies that really hold the Republican Party purse strings. That one fits as well. But I haven’t reached that point of pure cynicism just yet.

Stay the course? Sure, George. Even if that course means we run off a cliff at the end of it. The money we are spending now is just ridiculous, and for seemingly no benefit.

The other question that I have had about staying the course wasn’t “My God, what if we fail?” because we at least have some precedence in that department. No, the real question is “My God, what if we succeed?” I would love it if the Repubs were actually right and we wound up with a stable democratic Iraq. I just know it’s not likely. It’s about as likely as Paris Hilton joining a convent and taking a vow of chastity.

The other, other question I had was about the cost of putting our military through such paces. Iraq is clearly a flimflam. But, what happens when we REALLY need it at it’s best, and we come to find out that we’re all shagged out from all of this…whatever it is in Iraq? You cannot keep a military indefinitely on the go. It costs too much, and not just in monetary value. Being at war is a failure on all fronts; political, social, economical, spiritual.

When it comes time for the US to really need it’s military, for instance, should China get belligerent and attack Taiwan, or North Korea attacks South Korea, or any number of other scenarios, will they be ready? We were in Vietnam for a lot of years, and the cost to the nation was just awesome in the true sense of the word, and our owned Armed Forces were stretched to the bone and needed YEARS of reforming before they could actually do something. There were stories of our troops being so burned out, so cynical and so demoralized by their experience in Vietnam (it has nothing to do with us “winning or losing” as it’s clear it wasn’t winnable to begin with) that commanders used to have to bring MP’s with them to visit their own troops in their own barracks! It took decades of counseling for these men before they could actually function on a normal level.

Is this worth “staying the course” for? Are we all truly prepared for the consequences of this adventure in Iraq?

Posted by: joshuacrime at June 19, 2006 5:59 AM
Comment #159055

Can you say “quagmire”? If Mr. Bush had been to Vietnam, he might recognize now that we are facing the identical situation in Iraq: an artificially manufactured regime lacking the respect of the common people, who only want some peace and quiet, even if that means living under a renewed tyranny; an army and police force riddled with agents of the insurgency; an American military belatedly coming to the realization that smart bombs are no good unless there is someone on the ground willing to betray the location of the main bad guys, i.e., that “winning the hearts and minds” of the people is more important that showing off our latest technological toys; a government in Washington that doesn’t know what to do besides keep on throwing away money we don’t have, and the precious lives of our best young people.
The chickenhawks in the White House should have listened to the only Vietnam veteran on their team, Colin Powell, when he said we can’t invade Iraq without first having an exit strategy.

Posted by: dragon at June 19, 2006 9:39 AM
Comment #159143

Remember Freedom isn’t free so If you don’t qaulify for the Bush Taxs cuts prepare to pay with the life and limb of your children. It’s time to stop pulling punches and put a stop to the kool aid drinking morons in the republican party taugting false patriotism to bigots and idiots while the dems try to defend talking points. We are not kicking Alquada’s Ass and it’s time we stand together and say America’s are losing their liberties, and jobs so Bush can recruit more slave labor for corperate America. Americans are dying for a proped up government all to make Bush look Macho. It’s time to call a spade a spade and quite arguing over whether or not it’s a shovle.

Posted by: Chuck Johnson at June 19, 2006 2:05 PM
Comment #159208

“Freedom isn’t free”.

But Americans will buy it for you.

If we stop today, the cost of freedom in Iraq spread among every American comes to $979.52 each, and each Iraqi owes the United States the equivalent of $11,109.52.

Posted by: sum facts at June 19, 2006 4:29 PM
Comment #159220

As if you people a experts, I support this president and it sure as hell would be better than GORE. you morons

Posted by: jason at June 19, 2006 5:01 PM
Comment #159221

sum facts: I’m curious what you use as the value of a son, daughter, father or mother?

Posted by: gergle at June 19, 2006 5:04 PM
Comment #159228

gergle - I don’t go there. I can’t emotionally hold it together long enough to finish the thought.

There is no price.

Posted by: sum facts at June 19, 2006 5:21 PM
Comment #160654

Yo, Jason, expert. It sure as hell would be better than Gore? Well, you tell me, is it? Would be’s don’t count. Seen any films your boy has put out? Seen even one coherent sentence? And you call us morons?

Posted by: ray at June 22, 2006 7:06 PM
Comment #228371

Has Washington leaders lost their minds !!!
They are building a multi-billion dollar Iraq embassy in a country that does not want us while our returning wounded troops are mistreated in poor under-funded VA Hospitals.

Posted by: Patti at August 4, 2007 8:00 PM
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