Democrats & Liberals Archives

Democratic Iraq Strategy

Now that the Republican administration has shown that it has no plan for extricating itself from the mess in Iraq, except to repeat “stay the course….. stay the course…. stay the course….,” Democrats are advocating an exit strategy. According to the latest news, Iraqis seem to like the Democratic approach.

On Sunday, Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki unveiled a national reconciliation plan that offered amnesty to insurgents but left a timetable for withdrawal vague. The vagueness is most likely due to American officials leaning on him not to ask for a timetable - as previous reports had suggested he would.

Today we get this dispatch from Baghdad:

"Insurgents are demanding the withdrawal of all U.S. and British forces from Iraq within two years as a condition for joining reconciliation talks, a senior Iraqi government official said Wednesday."

It seems pretty clear that Americans are not popular in Iraq. It also seem obvious that we are a sticking point that is preventing Iraqi reconciliation. Reconciliation is what Iraqis need, and they need to do it in their own way.

Why can't we get together with Iraqis and discuss with them our exit strategy? Sure, Democrats have been proposing this for a long time. But this is no reason why patriotic Republicans should resist this rational solution to a terrible problem.

"Stay the course" is not a plan for success. It's a slogan. Let's follow the Democratic strategy for getting out of Iraq. This will enable us to concentrate all our energies on fighting our true enemy - Al Qaeda.

Posted by Paul Siegel at June 28, 2006 5:07 PM
Comments
Comment #162882

Paul
What is this “course” that the Republicans are talking about when they say “stay the course?”

Posted by: kctim at June 28, 2006 5:21 PM
Comment #162883

“Reconciliation is what Iraqis need, and they need to do it in their own way. “

When has this catastrophe EVER been about what the Iraqis need?!

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 28, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #162885

“Stay the course” are the only words that Bush can speak without looking and sounding like the dumbass he is. It’s a wonder he can utter those words without hesitating and stuttering, course he practices them so often he should be able to say them in his sleep.

Posted by: Sherri at June 28, 2006 5:38 PM
Comment #162889

But what is that “course” he is speaking of Sherri?
I would like to know what the course is before I start judging it.

Posted by: kctim at June 28, 2006 5:51 PM
Comment #162897

Paul

I though you wanted a serious discussion on Iraq.

Stay the course means “until the Iraqis can handle their own security”

They now have 300,000 security personnell. By year’s end they will have 365,000. 18 months ago they had zero.

They have a unity government that has hit the ground running. They are rolling up insurgentss left and right. Now the insurgents want a truce.Same as bin Laden.

You guys serious or what?

Probably another attempt to salvage another failed Democratic strategem.

Won’t work. Never has.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 28, 2006 6:24 PM
Comment #162905

Stay the course means Bush and Cheney don’t want to admit they got us into this thing for nothing, which of course they did. So they want to stay until something good happens. They figures it has to eventually. Just as they figured WMDs were bound to turn up at some point, which of course they didn’t. It’s all about not admitting mistakes.

Posted by: Stan at June 28, 2006 6:41 PM
Comment #162907

Perhaps there is confusion because the original “course” has now been flip-flopped into nation building for our own gain…oops for the Iraqi people, (who want to know when we are getting out of their country). Just once let’s here it said, “we broke it because we had to get our monster,(Saddam Hussein, who was once upon a time bought and paid for by the U.S. Government), out of the way, he was no longer amenable to our need for the natural resources on his land, we’ve got to fix it and you all are going to pay for it, and you better like it because we’ve got your phones and bank accounts under surveillance. Got a problem with that speak up and we’ll call you a terrorist or our followers will torment you until you assimilate. It’s funny really, the original plan was for Iraq, (remember Saddam Hussein tried to kill my Daddy), long before 9/11. Also let’s not forget, Osama Bin Laden was armed and trained by us to help Afghanistan fight the Soviet Union.

Posted by: Connie at June 28, 2006 6:42 PM
Comment #162910

So, SE, can the Iraqis handle their own security or not? If they can, lets get out. If not, when will they be able to? And if they have such a strong security force, why are so many Americans still dying?

Posted by: David S at June 28, 2006 6:49 PM
Comment #162912

had sad is this, it’s the insurgents who speak for the Democrats where is the leadership and the articulated positions by anyone other than the “cut and run crowd” face facts YOU DEMS ARE SOFT and do not have the heart to finish anything and that is the reason you are going to lose in November and lose in 2008 you just do not have it within you to take a stand and finish it….the will isn’t there and the people of America know this.

Posted by: peter at June 28, 2006 6:50 PM
Comment #162911

It’s almost absurd that the Republicans should be pointing at the Democrats, saying the Dems don’t have any better plan for fixing this thing.

If someone is taking a wrecking ball to your house, smashing it beyond all recognition, why should you be faulted for not having a better plan than they do for fixing it. Here’s our plan—stop the wrecking ball. At that point we can begin rebuilding it.

Posted by: Stan at June 28, 2006 6:50 PM
Comment #162915

kctim, Republicans won’t say other than to repeat Bush’s definition of victory, a stable, secure, Iraq which can work favorably with western and other nations of the world.

Translated, that means either never, OR, it means we can pull out when we leaving won’t give Democrats the ability to credibly say, we told you so!

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 28, 2006 6:56 PM
Comment #162922

Paul,

According to the latest news, Iraqis seem to like the Democratic approach.

You mean they’re going to release Saddam and reinstate him as President for life, and repopen the rape rooms?

Posted by: esimonson at June 28, 2006 7:15 PM
Comment #162924

Sic Eagle:
“Stay the course means “until the Iraqis can handle their own security””

You do realize that some of these security forces that we’ve been training have actually been killing our soldiers, right?

“They have a unity government that has hit the ground running.”

Yeah, right. There is just so much unity. Iraq is now just one big happy family — and one of the few things they seem to agree upon is that they’ll give amnesty to insurgents who have killed Americans.

“They are rolling up insurgentss left and right.”

Who is insurgent and who isn’t? Who is actually a member of the security forces and who is using that as an excuse to kill Americans? Our troops sure as hell don’t know. They’ve been claiming that civilians will be friendly to them one day, even feeding them, and the next these same people will shoot at them. A week ago I read in the newspaper about how two California families had been told by the Pentagon that their kids were killed by trainees who were patrolling right along side them.
It is long past time for America to “cut” our loses and “run” toward sanity rather than keep to the GOP’s “stay the course” madness.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 28, 2006 7:19 PM
Comment #162930

In January 2005, during her confirmation hearings for Secretary of State, Condi Rice testified there were over 120,000 trained Iraqi security personell. Biden responded the actual number was about 4,000.

Who do you think was telling the American people the truth?

Last year there were three Iraqi units capable of fighting on their own. Then there was one. Then the number dropped to zero.

That number is now “classified.”

Between January and August of 2005, approximately $500 million dollars- half the Iraqi defense budget- disappeared, along the with interim Iraqi Secretary of Defense and his cronies. The money was never recovered.

There is some good news. The Iraqi insurgents- primarily the Baathist groups- are willing to negotiate. Their precondition remains the same; their demand for US withdrawal.

The US has attempted to negotiate with the insurgents before, but since the unanimous precondition among insurgent groups was for the US to leave, previous talks ended quickly.

This time, the Iraqi government might be able to conduct the negotiations. If successful, perhaps the fledgling government will be able to extend its reach beyond the borders of the Green Zone.

Posted by: phx8 at June 28, 2006 7:30 PM
Comment #162934
It seems pretty clear that Americans are not popular in Iraq.

Guys, if 8 terrorist groups are willing to approve of the USA being in Iraq for 2 more yrs, and these groups are far bigger US-Haters than most Iraqis, then why do SO MANY LIBERALS HERE SEEM MUCH LESS TOLERANT OF THE USA (in Iraq or otherwise) than terrorists?

CAN WE PLEASE **STOP** THE ANTI-USA HATE SPEECH HERE?

Recently senate Democrats coalesced around an Iraq strategy. The vast majority of them voted in favor of an exit strategy but without a specific end point.

It took only 3 years and a whole lot of mistakes, but Dems finally agree w/ Bush’s 2003 strategy.

Can we PLEASE all stay together now, SUPPORT our country to get this done right (give Security and Friendship), then leave Iraq?

AND get out of Kosovo, Korea, Japan, Germany, … How ‘bout we stop defending them, pouring our tax $$ into their economies, and have ‘Enough Troops’ available for anything in the future … heaven forbid.

Posted by: Brian at June 28, 2006 7:47 PM
Comment #162943

“They have a unity government that has hit the ground running. They are rolling up insurgentss left and right. Now the insurgents want a truce.Same as bin Laden.

You guys serious or what?”

Sicilian Eagle,

I’m serious. What I see is the government using our troops as cannon fodder. We’re playing “hit-n-run-Harry” just like we did in Vietnam. Rather than maintaining a troop deployment that would allow us to maintain 100% control over an area that we already “cleaned out” we just play “whack-a-mole” and wait for the insurgents to come back and we go again.

All that time the “innocents” are forced to take sides or die. If we find they rendered care to the insurgents we send them to Abu Ghraib. If the insurgents find that they cooperated with us they cut their heads off. The outcome is still to be seen, but as it stands wre’ve learned very little from Vietnam.

All the while there are more innocents killed due to “collateral damage” and many of their survivors become the next generation of terrorists. At the same time our whole “tribe” develops a thirst for blood and decides that we should “declare war” on the poor and starving immigrants.

History is the great equalizer. But, when god is on your side you just can’t lose!

KansasDem

PS: maintaining a force that could “secure” every insurgent stronghold in Iraq means reinstating the draft and raising taxes!

Posted by: KansasDem at June 28, 2006 8:03 PM
Comment #162956

“If someone is taking a wrecking ball to your house, smashing it beyond all recognition, why should you be faulted for not having a better plan than they do for fixing it. Here’s our plan—stop the wrecking ball. At that point we can begin rebuilding it.”

Stan,

That’s possibly the best “short” explanation I’ve heard. I’m serious.

I’m going to send this quote to every Democrat on my list. Think how effective AARP’s campaign against Soc. Sec. piratization was. This could be the “wrecking ball” to wreck the GOP.

I strongly suggest that everyone send this idea to everyone on their Democratic mailing list. Just picture a 15 second add with a wrecking ball working on several middle class homes and then the White House.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 28, 2006 8:20 PM
Comment #162984

Kansas Dem

We haven’t exchanged thoughts in a long while, and I am glad that I found you on this thread tonight.

The security forces are light years ahead of say, 12 months ago. The crucial mid-level officer corp is what’s lacking. Presently, there are 2500 newly minted officers, and 1500 Saddam era left-overs. As this crucial group gets more experience, will you then see real progress with the security forces.

That being said, over 300,000 security are now in the field, including 25,000 of 26,000 planned at the borders.

Today, the insurgents communicated by email with the prime-minister, and that’s a good thing. That means that the Sunnis within the governmet are now reaching into these groups and people are talking. Now that that Jordianian scum bag is safely in hell, these people,who never had a history of sectartian strife, may have a chance to creat their own country.

American forces will be ther to a limited extent for years. They have to. They are the hammer. They will provide air support and logistical support for a nacent force. Most importantly, Baghdad is getting secured bit by bit, neighborhood by neighboorhood. As the politicial talks beging to gel, more progress will be made.

Listen, I have fun over on the other side tweeking the nose of the Democrats because Lord knows that for many months the Dems have crucified everything the admisistration has done. The president has been a called a war criminal on some of these threads. Of course I am going to fight back. However, in the final analysis, I think guys like Paul Seigal, Steve Daughtery, David Remer, American Pundit are patriots, and no, Adrienne, I am not being patronizing either.

However, you guys better take a long hard look at your own party. The secular progressives have won the war within your party for control, and it will be a matter of time before the moderate “middle” of your party has more in common with Republicans that the “new” Democtats.

A two or three party system is essential for our form of government. But vitriol and partisian hatred cloud the issue of who we really are. Fact is, we are the greatest country in the history of the earth, and we all should be proud of that.

Right now, I (we) see radicial Islam as the biggest threat since Nazi Germany, except these guys MAY someday have access to a nuclear weapon. That sentence has to give some of you pause to think.

I think about it all the time.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 28, 2006 8:51 PM
Comment #162989

“What is this “course” that the Republicans are talking about when they say “stay the course?””

“Stay the course” simply means, ‘don’t dare admit any mistakes cause it’s an election year’.
They view any admission of any flaw, mistake, change needed, as a sign of weakness, and, as republicans, they are paranoid of showing weakness,(I’m speaking of elected reps, not all republicans) or thoughts differing from the collective.(very Borglike)
I’m actually scared of people that don’t change opinions given new facts. That react the same way every time. That refuse to change course for fear of shame.
Stay the course, said the lemming. Ignore that cliff.

Posted by: Observer at June 28, 2006 8:56 PM
Comment #162991

“They now have 300,000 security personnell. By year’s end they will have 365,000. 18 months ago they had zero.”

NONE of which can work independantly of our military guidance.
The funniest part is the people that actually believe we’ll EVER be out of Iraq. Yeah, those billion dollar bases are just “temporary”.

Posted by: Observer at June 28, 2006 8:59 PM
Comment #162998

“However, you guys better take a long hard look at your own party. The secular progressives have won the war within your party for control,”

Amazing how republicans always know so much about the inner workings of the democrat party. They always know what were doing wrong, how to fix us, and have every member labled and graded.
Tell us, please, who ARE the “secular progressives” that have won control and which Democrats do you NOT have a problem with? (I’m guessing you like Leiberman?)

Posted by: Observer at June 28, 2006 9:08 PM
Comment #163003

“CAN WE PLEASE **STOP** THE ANTI-USA HATE SPEECH HERE?”

You mean stop ANY AND ALL criticism of ANY AND ALL george bush policies, pretend everything is hunky dory, and stop that pesky opposition party ‘electioneering’ and support repealing the 22nd ammendment and just put bush into office for life?
Would THAT win us your approval?

“Right now, I (we) see radicial Islam as the biggest threat since Nazi Germany, “

Yes, we understand the power of propoganda.

“I think about it all the time.”

As was the plan.

Posted by: Observer at June 28, 2006 9:13 PM
Comment #163005

Eagle et al: It should be obvious. “Stay the course” means control the oil. Keep military bases in Iraq for that purpose.

Posted by: BillS at June 28, 2006 9:15 PM
Comment #163011

Eagle: I hope you are right that “secular progressives” have taken over the Democratic party. Much of the left and middle are secular progressives. It is about time. Now after we get congress back we can offer America real solutions.

Posted by: BillS at June 28, 2006 9:28 PM
Comment #163018

I have to agree with paul,. youre all nuts if you think this is going to get your guys elected. You have no plan for anything.

Posted by: sandra at June 28, 2006 9:33 PM
Comment #163022

BillS is correct. “Stay the course” means to continue occupying Iraq so that we can control the oil reserves. We are not going to turn over the fourteen military bases over to a foreign government and we are not building the world’s largest embassy for nothing.

Posted by: mark at June 28, 2006 9:36 PM
Comment #163031

Let’s do it the John Kerry way stay, no get out, no lets stay, no I’ll go talk with the enemy

Posted by: Rich at June 28, 2006 9:50 PM
Comment #163037

Sicilian Eagle,

You said, “these people,who never had a history of sectartian strife, may have a chance to create their own country.”

I’ll give you a chance to explain this further before I press you about the division between Shiite, Sunni, and Kurd. Why did Saddam kill all of those people?

“However, you guys better take a long hard look at your own party.”

I have and I continue to every day. What I see is diversity, the same kind of diversity that exists on every street, in every classroom, and in every workplace in America. Not only diversity based on race or religion but diversity of opinion.

Please, point out the diverse opinions in your own party. OK, I’ll start. Some want amnesty for illegal aliens while others prefer a wall and mass deportation. Can you think of another?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 28, 2006 10:00 PM
Comment #163044

I’ve certainly changed my mind. I advocated staying until we cleaned up the mess we had made and Iraq could keep things under control themselves. I now believe this will never happen and we should end our occupying of Iraq immediatly and let them control their own destiny. We defeated Iraq three years ago and have been occupying the country ever since. Let Iraq have their freedom; they won’t have it until we leave.

Posted by: mark at June 28, 2006 10:06 PM
Comment #163046

Okay, let’s look at a few ideas here.

First, let’s look at the recent history in Iraq. UN (not U.S.) inspectors were thrown out in 1998 after reporting that Iraqi authorities were evasive and they saw trucks with unknown cargo leaving as they were arriving.

What did Hussein do with no one watching him?

There were also WMD left over from the 80’s and 90’s that WERE FOUND. No more of that “there were no WMD’s” talk. Check out the recent work by Senator Santorum. However, even accounting for what has been declassified…

Where are the rest of the WMD’s?

Hussein knew for months that we were going to invade (I want to say 6 months, but I’m not certain.) We found empty labs that we knew had recent activity. We found filing cabinets with few documents of worth. We found some of the nuclear sites from 1998 recently cleared out (at least, that’s what has been declassified). All that was reported in the first weeks of the war, by all the major news networks. So….

Where did all the WMD go?

Is is SO hard to believe that some of it may be in Syria, or sold quickly on the black market, or stockpiled somewhere else? The man was not stupid, and didn’t suddenly have a change of heart regarding being “THE MAN” that stood up to the West and thumbed his nose at the U.S.

I think we tried the whole “let’s leave it up to the people living there” thing with the Taliban in Afghanistan. All they did was host an Al-Queda conference that resulted in 3000 Americans being pounded into burning dust in New York. I can’t see that leaving Saddam alone would have resulted in anything good.

It is NOT a stretch to believe that Saddam would have sold any weapons on hand to any group of nuts that would help him finance his dictatorship.

OH, and for all the people who say “why didn’t we go into Sudan or Rwanda, or East Timor?”. Easy.. they don’t have anything we need as much as Iraq does. Its a matter of national security and protection of resources. I like that this country stands up for itself.

We’ll get out of Iraq when we’re convinced (and the Iraqi government is convinced) that they can run things on their own.

We’re not in the business of colonialism. We just want safe markets for our products and low-cost natural resources. How is that bad?

Posted by: Matt Lyons at June 28, 2006 10:08 PM
Comment #163049

Kansas Dem

I agree with you on your point about diversity in the Democratic party. Many decry the differing opinions within the party(both Dems and Repubs) and demand we speak with one voice and have just one plan for any given problem. I think we need to discuss and disect as many ideas as possible so that the best solution can finaly be arrived at. We can not let just a very few do all the thinking for us. That is a strength of the Democratic paty, not a weakness.

Posted by: mark at June 28, 2006 10:15 PM
Comment #163057

Matt Lyons,

So, if the “jihadi’s”(my made up word)have these weapons what are they waiting for? For us to set boots on their ground? Oops, already did that.

Maybe until we appear to be building permanent bases on Arab land? Oops again.

Maybe until they can ship them to a US harbor? Well that could never happen because we’ve had more than enough time to secure our ports. Haven’t we? Guess that sale of DPW’s holdings is moving a little slow.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 28, 2006 10:27 PM
Comment #163059

KansasDem - Wow. You’ve hit on a topic that’s been on my mind for about a week. There is a strong perception that Democrats have very little cohesion and appear scattered and segmented. Your question inspired the thought that perhaps our broad cross section of ideas and opinions are the cause of this. In comparison, Republicans have a relatively static and rigid set of ideals, where any new subject is either fit into the Republican mold, or ignored. If this is true, it would explain several things. One being that one uber-right Republican sounds very much like all of the others, and that one uber-left Democrat rarely has a set of opinions that match others in thier catagory. It would also explain the sense of insecurity felt by Republicans without that rigid ideology, and the sense of disenfranchisement of Democrats when none of the myriad of ideas they posess fit into that Republican framework.

Too simplistic?

Posted by: DOC at June 28, 2006 10:29 PM
Comment #163060

Mark,

I don’t understand why it’s so hard for a Democratic politician to get that across. It shouldn’t be a burden, but rather an asset.

For some reason the bulk of the American people want a 2 or 3 word answer to everything.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 28, 2006 10:32 PM
Comment #163061

Rich, Sandra,
THis forum is for CONTENT. We already know the RNC talking points and sloganeering.
Question:
Do you have anything to add to the debate?

Posted by: Observer at June 28, 2006 10:33 PM
Comment #163062

“We defeated Iraq three years ago and have been occupying the country ever since. Let Iraq have their freedom; they won’t have it until we leave.”

Bless you Mark,
To say we are “at war” is disengenuous. Were we “at war” with Japan and Germany in 1946? No, we were occupying and rebuilding and we didn’t get war rhetoric from our politicians in the years following.
Yes, radical islam is a threat. So’s drunk driving. No, islamists cannot bring down America, at best they can pick off a few people every few years. Is that reason enough to change EVERYTHING about America in fear of the bearded bogeyman?

Posted by: Observer at June 28, 2006 10:36 PM
Comment #163063

“There were also WMD left over from the 80’s and 90’s that WERE FOUND. No more of that “there were no WMD’s” talk. Check out the recent work by Senator Santorum.”

Dear sir,
The following entities have discounted santorums WMD report:
Dept of Defense,
The Pentagon,
Fox News,
the Dulfuer report,
Former weapons inspectors.
The White house iraq survey group (bush’s guys)

What was found was, as directly quoted from a DOD spokesman, ‘less toxic than things most have under their sinks’.

Posted by: Observer at June 28, 2006 10:42 PM
Comment #163064

KansasDem,

Good point. I don’t know why they haven’t been used against us.

I think there are a couple of scenarios though. Could Syria be waiting to use them in a large scale conflict against Israel? Why would it be in Syria’s interest to reveal that they have the weapons unless they absolutely HAD to use them? I mean, why would they want to attract our attention and get pulled into the fight?

The other scenario is that we HAVE found more that has been reported. I think more information will come out in the next several years as more intel is declassified. It’s not as simple as some would like to put it- - that we in the public have ALL the information necessary to make an informed judgement of this. Didn’t World War 2 take a long time? Weren’t there still members of Hitler’s inner circle being found decades later? Has intelligence been held back for longer periods of time in other conflicts? I think these are politic-free questions that will just take time to answer.

Posted by: Matt Lyons at June 28, 2006 10:42 PM
Comment #163066

Observer,

If you are correct, then why would someone waste time classifying that information? that doesn’t make sense. Don’t tell me its just the evil right-wing bushies obfuscating the truth from us.

Posted by: Matt Lyons at June 28, 2006 10:45 PM
Comment #163067

DOC,

I don’t think it’s too simplistic. The last job I worked at we had many training sessions on diversity. This is a diverse country. It’s not just a matter of race and religion.

It’s a matter of bringing together all of your assets and properly utilizing them. Certainly, you can seldom find a true concensus. You will hopefully be able to find a compromise, but certainly there are times you will have to make an informed decision even if it’s unpopular.

My problem with the Republicans is that they seem to disregard everything that doesn’t fit the Neo-con status-quo.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 28, 2006 10:47 PM
Comment #163070

“If you are correct, then why would someone waste time classifying that information? that doesn’t make sense.”

Probably was part of a larger pool of data that was classified. This administration has taken secrecy to a whole new level not seen since the Cold War was hot. Asking me to make sense of them is to ask me to get a headache.
But when EVERYONE that matters says santorum is full of it, why do you still cling to his rantings? He isn’t exactly known for cool, level headed debate.
Google: santorum,wmd and read a bit. You’ll get the point.

Posted by: Observer at June 28, 2006 10:49 PM
Comment #163078

Observer,
Okay, I WENT to some of the sites you mentioned. What I found was this:
The Dulfuer report said that the 500 items found were NOT part of Saddam’s self-reported WMD stash, and were probably made before 1991.

However, they HAD been found as part of IED’s in several parts of Iraq.

SO, if we are finding weapons that Saddam never admitted to having, and if some IED’s are shown to have WMD elements in them, then wouldn’t it be logical to assume (all thoughts about Sen.Santorum aside) that there could actually be some WMD somewhere in Iraq, or that we have found some and those findings are still classified? Even the vaunted Dulfuer report said that was a definite possibility.

Oh, hey, you may have seen this- the Al Aqsa Martyr’s brigade has allegedly fired a chemical weapon-tipped missile into southern Israel. The article I saw this in said that they had not claimed to have such weapons until 2003. Let’s see- what happened in 2003 that would have dumped chemical weapons onto the black market???

I think I’m being fair with the sources that YOU provided me. Touche, mon ami.

Posted by: Matt Lyons at June 28, 2006 11:09 PM
Comment #163080

I guess that the republicans are saying don’t forget that we sold Saddam wepons of mass distruction and he didn’t use all of them against his own people and or Iran so the unused ones should be somewear, and we need to clean up their mess no matter how many innocent lives it costs.

Posted by: dave at June 28, 2006 11:14 PM
Comment #163087

Matt Lyons:

“We’re not in the business of colonialism. We just want safe markets for our products and low-cost natural resources. How is that bad?”

Please tell me you’re joking!!?

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 28, 2006 11:39 PM
Comment #163088

Brian,
Maybe the word has lost all meaning, but the Sunni Iraqi groups are not terrorists. By definition, terrorists target civilians. The Iraqi insurgents are our enemies, and we are killing them, and they are killing soldiers, but that does not make the Iraqis terrorists.

Islamic terrorists often target civilians. For the most part, they are Sunnis, and they conduct suicide attacks.

Matt,
“… for all the people who say “why didn’t we go into Sudan or Rwanda, or East Timor?”. Easy.. they don’t have anything we need as much as Iraq does. Its a matter of national security and protection of resources. I like that this country stands up for itself.”

Excuse me, but the resources of the Iraqis do not belong to us. We are not standing up for ourselves when we steal from someone else.

The Iraqis did not appreciate the CPA selling Iraqi industries to multinational corporations. They not appreciate their nationalized industries being sold to the highest foreign bidders, so they actively fought against the rebuilding of their own infrastructure, and against the export of their oil.

The amount of money which has been stolen from American taxpayers and the Iraqi people during CPA rule & the interim Iraqi government beggars description.

Shipping WMD’s out of the country makes no sense at all. For starters, when it comes to chemical weapons, they are usually artillery shells. The shells are usually binary weapons- that is, chemical components are kept in seperate sections of the shell. This makes handling safer. The shells are designed so that the chemical warfare components will only be mixed when the shell is rotated at high velocity. An rifled artillery piece matching the shell specifications is necessary, otherwise the chemical weapon is useless.

So! It makes no sense to ship out shells without shipping out the artillery pieces. They could be disassembled, but now there is just that much more to smuggle out of the country.

There was no program for building a nuclear weapon. Period.

There was apparently no biological warfare program, either. But here is an interesting bit of trivia:

Did you know we can identify the exact cow from which the anthrax spores of Saddam Husseins program were derived? The cow was from Britain.

As for chemcial weapons, it would make more sense to bury them rather than risk transportation. But first they would have to have been built, and the last possibilty for that disappeared in 1995. Therefore, any chemical weapon shells Saddam wanted hidden were already eight years old.

It makes no sense.

Oh. Pure rumor, but I believe it. During the First Gulf War, Saddam Hussein did not use WMD’s because the British made it clear they would nuke him.

Posted by: phx8 at June 28, 2006 11:39 PM
Comment #163119
You mean they’re going to release Saddam and reinstate him as President for life, and repopen the rape rooms?

esimonson,

I thought that was Bill O’Reilly’s plan.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 29, 2006 1:01 AM
Comment #163123

Did anyone else see the Senate Democrat Cmte. Hearing on Iraq Pre-War Intelligence? I thought there were some eye raising statements made, including a statement by Lawrence Wilkerson, Chief of Staff to Former Sec. of State Colin Powell, who said that he was “not proud to have participated in what I consider to be the perpetration of a hoax.”

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 29, 2006 1:19 AM
Comment #163125

BTW, I find it sad that these hearing were not taking place in the full Senate. The Republicans refused to participate in the hearings, Mr. Wilkerson called it an embarrassment. It seems to me as leaders of this country they would want to hear what some of the top Iraqi intelligence professionals had to say about the matter.

It just goes to show that the Republicans in the Senate have no more interest in what the intelligence community has to say than Bush did/ does.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 29, 2006 1:29 AM
Comment #163129

Excellent thread here — good work from all the lefties.
phx8 your last post was both interesting and informative — my favorite kind.

Kansas Dem wrote:
“What I see is diversity, the same kind of diversity that exists on every street, in every classroom, and in every workplace in America. Not only diversity based on race or religion but diversity of opinion.”

Mark wrote:
“Many decry the differing opinions within the party(both Dems and Repubs) and demand we speak with one voice and have just one plan for any given problem. I think we need to discuss and disect as many ideas as possible so that the best solution can finaly be arrived at. We can not let just a very few do all the thinking for us. That is a strength of the Democratic paty, not a weakness.”

YES! I’m so happy to come upon these two comments tonight, because amazingly enough, I was just writing something quite similar to another thread in this column — so I’d like to share it with you guys:

I’ve gotten the impression that people who say that Dems are too far left currently have created some kind of mythical Democrats in their minds. Because the plain truth of the matter is, the Democratic Party in the past has been far more liberal than it is currently. Furthermore, I believe that people who make the far left claim are somehow expecting the Democrats to become the kind of issue-driven lock-steppers that the GOP is — but our party has never been that kind. Nor do we want it to be. We’ve got every kind of American you could ever imagine under the liberal tent, and we actually LIKE having such a wide variety. This gives us a wider array of ideas to draw from and makes us better negotiators through necessity. This certainly also makes liberals more tolerant and accepting of differences between people, and more sensitive to the many differing needs that all sorts of Americans need answers and help for. And, I think these factors are the very reason that our party produces better and stronger leaders for this country

So yes, I agree that the diversity of the Democratic Party IS a strength not a weakness!

Sic Eagle,
Maybe you don’t even realize it, but you ARE being patronising when you say things like this:

“However, in the final analysis, I think guys like Paul Seigal, Steve Daughtery, David Remer, American Pundit are patriots,”

In the final analysis they are patriots?!!! My how very BIG of you to allow them this boon!!! Listen here, Eagle these intelligent and well informed people don’t need for you to pat them on their heads and tell them they are patriots despite your difference of opinion with them. The great majority of the people in ALL THREE columns who come to post in this blog are American patriots. People who want to discuss the issues this country is facing because we ALL care very deeply. In my mind, this is never even in question.
The fact that you seem to use this over and over as though it’s the highest praise you can offer is actually and insult to our collective intelligence.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 29, 2006 1:53 AM
Comment #163134

phx8 wrote:

Brian, Maybe the word has lost all meaning, but the Sunni Iraqi groups are not terrorists. By definition, terrorists target civilians. The Iraqi insurgents are our enemies, and we are killing them, and they are killing soldiers, but that does not make the Iraqis terrorists.

1.) No. Maybe according to your definition phx8, but not according to American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language 2000, Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law 1996, and I’ll bet ~all others.

2.) No. Or at least, I will bet no — these Terrorists have been attacking *mainly* US forces, according to AP (though how would they know?). So phx8, you are SURE that no one from all these groups have EVER killed a civilian?? Either you are one of them on the ground, or you are one of them philosophically, wrt giving them benefits of the doubt WAY beyond what you seem willing to give the USA, Bush, Republicans, and other fellow Americans (e.g., me).

Are you SURE you want to consider non-leftwing-nutjobs your personal enemy, and are you SURE the enemy of your enemy is *really* your friend??

3.) No. Ask anyone in kindergarten: a Terrorist is one who terrorizes. Agreed?

So any group who tortures multiple US soldiers, supposedly crushes their testicles and rips them off, conducts electrotorture on them, cuts of heads, and booby traps the corpses MIGHT be considered a Terrorist. But I guess you don’t want any Americans to be unfair to these sick, twisted, __ed-up, evil, demented guys, right (whose side exactly are you on??).

…or would such treatment just not terrorize a man like you?

Posted by: Brian at June 29, 2006 2:18 AM
Comment #163138
Terrorist is one who terrorizes. Agreed?

Yes, and could you please ask the Republicans to stop terrorizing the voters every election cycle? Thank you.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 29, 2006 2:27 AM
Comment #163139

Was this part of the “course”?

When they talk about the loss of intimacy, many Iraqis are mournful. Like members of most Middle Eastern societies, Iraqis have traditionally prized warmth and valued social interchange over what Westerners might regard as personal privacy. In the old Iraq, it was better to err on the side of nosiness than to appear cold or distant. It was perfectly normal to grill strangers on their marital status and the price of their possessions.

Little by little, that warmth has been bled away by war. Tension pulls on the city now. The atmosphere is thick with intrigue; it feels film noir, cloak-and-dagger. Except it is real - and deadly.

“Behavior has changed from rational behavior into instinctive, animalistic behavior,” said Ehsan Mohammed Hassan, one of Iraq’s leading sociologists and a professor at Baghdad University. “The individual is not safe from the others. He has to hide. He doesn’t want people to see him because he thinks the people are evil.”

Amid the fear and loathing, a long-standing tribal tradition has disappeared. ~LA Times, Fear and Posing in Baghdad

We Americans sit over here acting all holier-than-thou, bickering about what should become of Iraq. Haven’t we forgotten about somebody? Shouldn’t we be asking what the Iraqi’s want Iraq to become? They obviously don’t like the “course”.

Let Iraq have their freedom; they won’t have it until we leave.

Mark,
The most sensible sentence in this whole thread. How can anybody be free at the point of a gun?

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 29, 2006 2:47 AM
Comment #163141

The bottom line is that the insurgency is looking at the plan to withdraw; a Democratic plan; to finally end this. They would not even consider negotiating with the repubs, because they knew that they would get nowhere. They want to end the violence and have their own country, and the Democrats have the only viable plan to do that. That is a phased withdrawal and redeployment of troops.
The insurgency knows that the repubs planned, right from the start, to stay in Iraq forever. That is the neocon plan. Lie to everyone and continue to fight for oil. The Iraqis see the only honest people in the USA as being the democrats, so they have offered an olive branch to end this whole thing to the only ones who can: The Democrats.
It’s pretty simple when you look at it. The neocons screw things up, and the Democrats fix them. It’s what we do.

Posted by: Cole at June 29, 2006 3:11 AM
Comment #163150

SE,

Right now, I (we) see radicial Islam as the biggest threat since Nazi Germany, except these guys MAY someday have access to a nuclear weapon. That sentence has to give some of you pause to think.

(pausing)
Isn’t the biggest threat since Nazi Germany the guys who TODAY have access to a (huge stockpile) nuclear weapon?

I think about it all the time.

Quite an obsession then, no?
You can’t live in fear forever.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 29, 2006 5:57 AM
Comment #163164

Matt Lyons-
The trouble is nobody has any evidence than any such mass exodus of weapons actually took place. Charles Duelfer simply stated that he found no evidence to indicate that this occured. So far, no other evidence, besides the words of a long retired general relaying hearsay, corroborates this notion.

Maybe one day this belief will be vindicated. But not yet, and not now.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 29, 2006 9:01 AM
Comment #163165

David Remer
“Republicans won’t say other than to repeat Bush’s definition of victory, a stable, secure, Iraq which can work favorably with western and other nations of the world”

Thank you!
I honestly thought I had missed the piece of news that detailed this “course” that is getting so much criticizim and defense.

Posted by: kctim at June 29, 2006 9:12 AM
Comment #163169

Paul what part of NO do you not understand?The Senate has made it clear that we will not Wave the white Flag in Iraq.If the Anti-War folks will just chill this Iraq war will be over before you know it.Hey you have Iran to fight for next you are still in the game.Its time for the Anti-America Groups to start thinking of ways to aid and abet Iran as They are next in line for American Justice.

Posted by: justwondering at June 29, 2006 10:21 AM
Comment #163172

Phillipe,

If you think that the real threat comes from ALL those countries who have nukes currently…You are truly paranoid…(is this what you are saying?)

I do not fear this current group, because they understand their responsibility to their country and to the world.

I do not feel that way about those rogue nations that are truly a half-a-bubble off. These countries place NO value in human life and act accordingly. They are the threat.

Posted by: Cliff at June 29, 2006 10:33 AM
Comment #163173

The Iraq War is over. We won.
Withdrawing from Iraq at this time would not be surrendering.
But its not about the troops is it?
If a strong and secure Iraq is the end result, the Reps will have the political upper hand.
If we withdraw and leave Iraq a mess, the Dems have the political upper hand.
The party that “says” they are against nation building needs another nation to stay in power and the party that “says” they are for human rights needs Iraqis to suffer more in order to get power.
The troops are political pawns.

Posted by: kctim at June 29, 2006 10:33 AM
Comment #163176

Cole: Well said.
We have a chance,a slim chance, to start bringing the oil oligarchy to an end. Independance from fossil fuels is a moral,economic,enviormental,and geopolitical imperitive. For far too long our lust for oil has warped our policies toward the world. The technological obstacles can be overcome. We are good at that. The daunting obsticals are political. They will not give up their power easily. Currently Democratic victories will lead toward that end. The Republican neo-cons ARE the problem. I hope that the day will come when the real conservatives once again take back their party and the question becomes one of which party can produce oil independance better.
Sounds unrealistic? Maybe but we are at an historic junture. Can you imangin being able to tell The Saudis and company to eaither get a handle on the Islamist themselves or keep their oil.

Posted by: BillS at June 29, 2006 10:40 AM
Comment #163177

“It seems pretty clear that Americans are not popular in Iraq.”

I happen to live near a huge army base. Not a single soldier has stated that America is not popular in Iraq. Quite the contrary, they adore american soldiers. Maybe they were interviewing the terrorist?

“Stay the course” is not a plan for success. It’s a slogan.”

Doesn’t that mean finish the job? Don’t we need to complete the the rebuilding of infrastructure and rebuilding of the government?

Why do the Liberals feel they must know every detail about the plan in Iraq and ASSUME there is not an exit plan? Why should the administration and military report this to the media? So terrorist may Know our strategy? How ridiculous can this get?

I have a withdrawal plan for the Liberals. Stop using the war for political propaganda. Stop telling America there is no exit strategy in place unless you have proof.

Just speculation here; but I feel certain Bush wants to withdraw troops ASAP. The only thing he needs to do is to be more agressive. It will bolster his approval rating tremendously when he does. Also, Insurgent demands mean very little. They are criminals and criminals have no right to demand anything.

Posted by: Curmudgeon-at-large at June 29, 2006 10:43 AM
Comment #163184

The Republicans have articulated a vision for Iraq. A stable democracy freindly to the US. Staying the course means providing support until they can sustain themselves into a democratic, US freindly puppet regime. It is the front line in war on terror and we must win.

Now we may question the feasibility or morality of this plan, but it is a vision and plan that can be clearly communicated and easily sold.

What is the democrates vision for Iraq? Just exiting and withdrawing troops does not explain their vision for Iraq and how to get there. What do they want Iraq to be? How does it fit in our foriegn policy

Republicans have a weak plan but they have vision and goals for Iraq. But the democrates have no vision, no goals and no real plan.

This is a real problem for democrates. They are not united with a leadership position for Iraq. And the American people will follow who has the plan, even if it is a bad plan.

Posted by: Stefano at June 29, 2006 11:01 AM
Comment #163186

kctm: The illogic in your argument is so great as to be breathtaking. Your conclusion that the troops are pawns is correct but setting a timetable(exit strategy) for withdrawel is no game,but will protect the troops and save lives. Keeping them in harms way ,even if it hurts our stated objectives,is the goal of the Republican party for political reasons.

Posted by: BillS at June 29, 2006 11:10 AM
Comment #163190

Brian,
Defining a terrorist as one who terrorizes is tautological. You will have to do better. I refuse to wander through a solipsistic hall of smoke and mirrors.

There are many definitions, even in the source you selectively cite.

But here is a pretty good definition most of us would accept:

“Terrorism is an anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (semi-) clandestine individual, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby — in contrast to assassination — the direct targets of violence are not the main targets. The immediate human victims of violence are generally chosen randomly (targets of opportunity) or selectively (representative or symbolic targets) from a target population, and serve as message generators. Threat- and violence-based communication processes between terrorist (organization), (imperilled) victims, and main targets are used to manipulate the main target (audience(s)), turning it into a target of terror, a target of demands, or a target of attention, depending on whether intimidation, coercion, or propaganda is primarily sought…”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definitions_of_terrorism

So, no, enemy attacks upon our military are not terrorist attacks. Bush is not a terrorist either, unless you want to use a vague definition like “a terrorist is one who terrorizes.” By that definition, Bush certainly qualifies, since the 13 alerts prior to the 2004 had not intent other than to create a climate of fear.

So cut the crap, and use a real definition. A worder is one who wordizes. Use your words.

You need to differentiate between an enemy who attacks or even tortures a US soldier, and an enemy who targets civilians in order to create fear & distribute a political message.

Torturing a US soldier is a despicable war crime. However, it usually would not be considered terrorism.

Kctim,
Good comment! Exactly right. It all depends on how the political parties define “victory.”

Posted by: phx8 at June 29, 2006 11:18 AM
Comment #163204

BillS
“kctm: The illogic in your argument is so great as to be breathtaking.”

I assume you mean the part where I say the Dems also have a political reason, not where I stated the Reps political reason.
Sorry, but I look at both sides.

“Your conclusion that the troops are pawns is correct but setting a timetable(exit strategy) for withdrawl is no game, but will protect the troops and save lives.”

Um, a good exit strategy cannot be pushed to accommadate a timetable.

“Keeping them in harms way ,even if it hurts our stated objectives,is the goal of the Republican party for political reasons”

And a premature withdrawl, even if it hurts our stated objectives, is the goal of the Dems for political reasons.
So what. Only the military knows if it is time to go or if there is still more work to be done.

The Reps need, or want, to make Iraq a safe, secure country so they can say the Dems were wrong and had no faith in our country or its military.
The Dems need, or want, us to withdrawl so they can say, look at the mess we created, look at the useless deaths of US soldiers and we told you so.(well, they said that after it started getting hard)

As phx8 just said”
“It all depends on how the political parties define “victory.””

Too bad the victory they are concerned with is the victory of their party in the coming elections.

Posted by: kctim at June 29, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #163206

kctime,
So, let me get this straight. You like mission creep?

Posted by: phx8 at June 29, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #163207

kctm: I would submit that a timetable is an exit strategy and vice versa. Of course flexibility must always be maintained.
The military are the last people we should trust to make these decisions. That is why our founders insisted on civilian control of the military.
We do have a basic disagreement. I would furthur submit our stated goals are not our real goals. Securing the oil supplies of the region by whatever means necessary is and has been the tantemount goal. That is a goal not worthy of the cost in treasure and blood we are paying.

Posted by: BillS at June 29, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #163212

phx8 (and/or everyone else),

WHY IN HEAVEN’S NAME ARE YOU/OTHERS SO INSISTENT ON NOT CALLING THESE PEOPLE TERRORISTS???

Please read the definitions on the site YOU referenced above, as well as the one you copied. By my reading, these do not preclude the Terrorist label from those who torture and/or kill soldiers — in the order listed:
Oxford English Dictionary
Webster’s New International Dictionary
Oxford Concise Dictionary of Politics (2nd edition)
American Heritage Dictionary
UN’s “academic consensus definition”
EU’s official definition
USA’s official definition
As well as the two sources I referenced (from Dictionary.com)

If there are multiple definitions from a reputable source, then ANY definitions may be commonly used – it is not for you or any other individual to say one is acceptable, and others you do not personally approve of are not.

“Defining a terrorist as one who terrorizes is tautological. You will have to do better”

C’mon. Be honest here. I gave 3 definitions. 1st was by accepted Dictionaries. 2nd was to point out that these groups have been killing many/mainly Iraqi civilians anyhow. The 3rd preceded by the words “Ask anyone in kindergarten:”

I wonder and ask again: Why so tolerant of these Terrorists (or whatever you want to call them), but so intolerant of me, Republicans, USA, Bush, …?

Posted by: Brian at June 29, 2006 12:37 PM
Comment #163215

Phx8
I really do not know what “mission creep” is?

BillS
“kctm: I would submit that a timetable is an exit strategy and vice versa. Of course flexibility must always be maintained.”

That is why I said an exit strategy cannot be pushed to accommadate a timetable.
A timetable is pretty on paper, but real life factors always affect it.

“The military are the last people we should trust to make these decisions. That is why our founders insisted on civilian control of the military.”

You misunderstood me, probably my bad.
The military are the ones there and their reports are what the admin should use to determine what is the next step. You, me or the media have no way of knowing if it really is time to go or if there is still more that needs to be done.

“We do have a basic disagreement. I would furthur submit our stated goals are not our real goals.”

No disagreement there.

“Securing the oil supplies of the region by whatever means necessary is and has been the tantemount goal.”

I agree with that opinion too. I just wish there was a way for it to be proven.

“That is a goal not worthy of the cost in treasure and blood we are paying”

That is where we would differ. If the cause for war would have been to help secure one of our major energy sources, then I would have support the decision to go to war.

Posted by: kctim at June 29, 2006 12:39 PM
Comment #163221
Not a single soldier has stated that America is not popular in Iraq. Quite the contrary, they adore american soldiers.

Even me, in front an american soldier carrying an M-16, hand grenades and at one word away of a local area air strike, will told him “I adore you”.

Doesn’t that mean finish the job? Don’t we need to complete the the rebuilding of infrastructure and rebuilding of the government?

“Finish the job” is also hardly a strategy.
But, anyway, there’s a government, so quickly rebuild the infrastructure and, hop, mission accomplished!
Damn, the infrastructure are not rebuilded after 3 years of occupation? Why that? Lack of funds maybe? One should ask these private contractors, no?

Also, Insurgent demands mean very little. They are criminals and criminals have no right to demand anything.

That’s up to Iraq government to decide this. And, AFAIK, insurgents want US withdraw timetable under 2 years and the all new Iraq gov offer them amnisty of any act against US occupation forces in hope to build a national unity and, why not, peace.

And guess what? Who oppose this Iraqui plan for Iraq future?

Maybe they were interviewing the terrorist?

Most probably: these days every people who speak against US policy is called a terrorist anyway…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 29, 2006 12:54 PM
Comment #163224
I wonder and ask again: Why so tolerant of these Terrorists (or whatever you want to call them), but so intolerant of me, Republicans, USA, Bush, �€�?

Brian,

There are terrorists in Iraq. They are not local citizens to Iraq and came into Iraq just for that purpose. I would not call the local insurgence terrorists. They probably feel that they are defending their culture and want the U.S. to leave. It is easy for us to the U.S. as liberators, but do you think it is that easy for the Iraqis? If a foreign power took the U.S. and was occupying it, would you not fight back? Would you just roll over and say do what you will with us?

We are not intolerant of the U.S.A. at all, we are trying to defend it from big government control. We are intolerant of Bush & Republicans because we can see what they are really up to. The whole Iraq war was a sham from the beginning. If we do not keep our government under control, who will? I am sure you would not like it if some outside power had to do it for us. Besides, we are able to learn from history. What happened to all the Good Germans, could happen to us.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 29, 2006 1:31 PM
Comment #163231

Kctim,
The classic example of “mission creep” was in Somalia. We sent the military in to help distribute food during a famine. The goals the mission kept changing the longer we remained. By the end, we were taking sides in fights between Somali warlords in Mogadishu.

In Iraq, we went in to depose Saddam Hussein and install democracy. Due to mission creep, we remain in Iraq… I am not sure why… stabilize the democracy by suppressing the Sunni insurgency, I guess. Terms of victory are vague.

Brian,
Ok, have it your way, if it makes you feel better. Everyone who terrorizes is a terrorist.

Do you see any difference between an Iraqi insurgent who plants an IED and tries to kill US soldiers, while avoiding civlian casualites, and an islamic fundamentalist car bomber who blows up civilians in a marketplace?

Would you negotiate with an Iraqi insurgent? I would, in a heartbeat. How about a Saudi car bomber? I would not.

I thought this was very interesting. The bombers of the temple in Samarra were led by an Iraqi. Two other Iraqis participated, one Tunisian, and four Saudis.

Posted by: phx8 at June 29, 2006 1:44 PM
Comment #163233

Phx8
Gotcha, thanks.
I would have to say I don’t like it then.
I would have liked us to have left Iraq right after we had captured or killed saddams regime.

Posted by: kctim at June 29, 2006 1:49 PM
Comment #163242

I honestly do not understand why people pretend that we are in a war against terrorism. Politicians use such general/subjective terms all the time to confuse an unaware public.

There is no war on terror, only constant American imperialism which is being countered by those who are threatened by it. This isn’t anti-American rhetoric, just plain truth. We can all agree that terms like terrorist and freedom fighters are subjective. Bush uses “terrorist” the same way Alexander uses “barbarian.”

Posted by: dckat at June 29, 2006 2:13 PM
Comment #163246

“I think I’m being fair with the sources that YOU provided me. Touche, mon ami.”

Yes, your much more of a military expert than those idiots at the Pentagon and DOD.
I bow to your data interpretation skills and ability to come to conclusions beyond our own intelligence agencies.
BTW, you mentioned IED’s. You do know that the vast supply of IED material the insurgents are using to blow up our guys was obtained from huge ammo dumps that our guys were ordered to pass by as they made a beeline for the oil facilities?
Oh, I forgot who I was talking to.

Posted by: Observer at June 29, 2006 2:21 PM
Comment #163247

phx8:

“I refuse to wander through a solipsistic hall of smoke and mirrors.”

Damn…wish I had said that!:-)

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 29, 2006 2:23 PM
Comment #163248

Kctim,
I would look for a similar withdrawal scenario. At this point, I would withdraw now. I would like to see an announcement of phases, perhpas 10,000/month, with complete withdrawal one year from now.

The Iraqi insurgents, 11 groups, would accept a truce under these terms. There could actually be a sort of happy ending to the whole thing. Islamic terrorists comprise a small portion of the resistance, but I really believe Iraqis would reject them, Sunni & Shia alike, if the insurgents accepted a truce, & the US withdrew.

Without any terms or plans, the US is almost like an enabler. The Iraqis will lean on us because it is easier than standing on their own.

Posted by: phx8 at June 29, 2006 2:24 PM
Comment #163250

Tim,
The word “onanistic” was dropped in favor of “solipsistic,” but I will look for another opportunity!

Btw, the Mencken quotes from other threads are great!

Posted by: phx8 at June 29, 2006 2:27 PM
Comment #163254

““a terrorist is one who terrorizes.” By that definition, Bush certainly qualifies”

Great……now I have another term for the far left. I have a gteat solution. Come up with a comprehensive plan, better than the Republicans and we will all greatly support it. Seriously….but the blah blah is no more than criticism without solutions. Thats easy and requires no thought or creativity….well outside cut-n-run which some dems actually support.

I was thinking about the possibilities if Kerry had become president (aaah, the chills!). The military would hace criss-crossed the Atlantic 30-40 times by now. All dependent on what the polls indicated.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at June 29, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #163256

Curmudgeon,
You advocate staying the course while ignoring its consequences upon other events. Did you know a compatriot of Osama bin Laden, Sheikh Aweys, is now in charge of Somalia?

Posted by: phx8 at June 29, 2006 2:39 PM
Comment #163264

I supposed when Democrats win more elections, they can call cards, BUT, until they do…..

Posted by: gopRkwel at June 29, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #163270

Adrienne:

“The great majority of the people in ALL THREE columns who come to post in this blog are American patriots. People who want to discuss the issues this country is facing because we ALL care very deeply. In my mind, this is never even in question. The fact that you seem to use this over and over as though it’s the highest praise you can offer is actually and insult to our collective intelligence.”

You just accurately described why I feel “slimed” when Sicilian Eagle “commpliments” us. Thanks.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 29, 2006 3:05 PM
Comment #163331

“Come up with a comprehensive plan, better than the Republicans and we will all greatly support it. “

A lie. You wouldn’t read it, no matter how well thought out.
Fact is, there is NO GREAT SOLUTION. That is the point. The guy who got us into a ‘no good way out’ situation should bear the brunt of the criticism, not the party that didn’t manage to stop him.
Funny, we get more heat for bush’s screw ups than bush does.
Lovely.

Posted by: Observer at June 29, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #163340

“The Iraqi insurgents, 11 groups, would accept a truce under these terms”

Did you read ALL the terms of their offer??
End all actions against the insurgency, NOW.
Compensation to every family with someone killed by us AND property damage.
Allow Baath party member in new government and allow Sadams high level officers back into military.
Release of all insurgent prisoners.

It’s not a real offer. I’m sure our military would love to hear that they have to release the guys that killed their buddies.
What do you think the reparations bill would cost?

Posted by: Observer at June 29, 2006 5:13 PM
Comment #163342

Observer:

Fact is, there is NO GREAT SOLUTION. That is the point. The guy who got us into a “no good way out” situation should bear the brunt of the criticism, not the party that didn’t manage to stop him. Funny, we get more heat for Bush’s screw-ups than Bush does. Lovely.

Man, I like the cut of your jib.:-) I’m starting to actively look for your posts. Kudos!

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 29, 2006 5:16 PM
Comment #163346

Observer,
Last year, the offer to negotiate was contingent upon immediate withdrawal. Now they may come to the table if we withdraw within two years.

I do a lot of negotiating. In a situation like this, both sides would come to the table with extreme, seemingly irreconciliable positions. Why not? Why concede anything, since anything conceded up front cannot be regained?

The fact is, both sides need to find a way out. The US cannot afford to stay. The Sunnis insurgents cannot withstand the onslaught of the Shia death squads. I saw a statistic- nine Sunnis are executed by death squads for every Shia who dies in a suicide bombing.

We are divided in this country. Democrats are divided over whether to stay or go. Republicans are also divided. Even as Cheney declares we will never leave, Casey is working on the withdrawal timetables.

It is a real division. The Neocons want the Iraqi oil.

Somalia has no oil. Therefore, a failed state falling under Islamic fundamentalist rule, & Sharia law, and led by a Sheikh who has been on the UN terrorist watch list, well, we will pretend it just is not happening. Who wants to deal with clans? Who wants to deal with warlords? We do not want to deal with Somalia because there is no money in it, no boost for the November elections, no oil.

Posted by: phx8 at June 29, 2006 5:33 PM
Comment #163352

“The great majority of the people in ALL THREE columns who come to post in this blog are American patriots.”

Maybe, then again maybe party loyalty is stronger than ever. Maybe it is now more important for the party to draw a line in the sand and defeat the home insurgency. I’m no longer convinced that many of our politicians desire Iraq success that would shed Bush in a positive light. No, is just just too close to November elections. I truly hope I am wrong but the conflict between Blue & Red is uglier than ever. We are talking political careers here.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at June 29, 2006 5:43 PM
Comment #163356

“brunt of the criticism, not the party that didn’t manage to stop him.”

Stop Him? They agreed with him! They encouraged Bush. They stated Sadaam must be REMOVED. I’ll spare the posting of quotes, we have all seen them a dozen times. So, you do mean the war OUR GOVERNMENT got us into….right?

If citizens would look at the WHOLE picture and stop sparing their party from responsibility, we would probably finish up this “course” in a more timely manner. It seems, dems want NO responsibility for a solution of getting us out of something they helped get us in to. By solution we don’t mean finger pointing either.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at June 29, 2006 5:54 PM
Comment #163358

phx8:

I can’t find much to disagree with you in your post. I think the Democatic position is wrong “NOW”, because it offers a concession before negotiation.

This looks like tough cop, soft cop, from my youth pastor days. The director of the camp would be tough and say “if you don’t clean up your act you are out of here.” The counsellor would say “I see some good in him/her give him another chance”. The director would say, “OK if you say so, but you better do whatever the counselor says!! No more breaking camp rules.”

In this case we are the tough cop. We are saying forever!!! The Iraqi’s are the soft cop. They negotiate with the american military as the threat.

I think we stay until the new government believes they can handle the security situation on their own. We also keep the “stay the course” rhetoric until negotiations are done.

I disagree with the Democratic party approach. Setting a timetable for withdrawal would be so stupid. Why give away are biggest bargaining chip? We leave when the Prime Minister gets the best deal he can from the negotiations.

What is crazy about the democratic plan, is they want to concede right when the negotiations are starting in earnest. The government just got formed a few weeks ago. Lets really undermine the new government. Lets cave now, before the new government is just getting sworn in. That is real support. Within a month of the cabinet being formed we announce we are leaving.

The new government deserves time to negotiate. A reasonable time. Not weeks or on the hurry up. They deserve at least a year maybe longer to try to move this insurgency into the political process.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at June 29, 2006 6:03 PM
Comment #163372

So any group who tortures multiple US soldiers, supposedly crushes their testicles and rips them off, conducts electrotorture on them, cuts of heads, and booby traps the corpses MIGHT be considered a Terrorist. But I guess you don’t want any Americans to be unfair to these sick, twisted, __ed-up, evil, demented guys, right (whose side exactly are you on??).

…or would such treatment just not terrorize a man like you?
Posted by: Brian at June 29, 2006 02:18 AM

Don’t suppose Brian that if you were in Abu Ghraib, or in Haditha, or being waterboarded, you would be terrorised? Thought so.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 29, 2006 6:34 PM
Comment #163373

OK,one more time. A timetable IS an exit strategy. A timetable IS an exit strategy. Bushco does not want an exit strategy because they never intend to leave. They do have a political strategy. We are hireing mercenaries from all over the world to replace our ground troops.That way we can occupy the place without as many body bags to worry the public. Not ones anyone cares about much anyway. “privatizing”the war.

Posted by: BillS at June 29, 2006 6:35 PM
Comment #163374

Craig,
I wish US policy in Iraq did reflect a “good cop, bad cop” approach. We could be using that approach in Iran, with the Europeans playing good, the US bad.

The problem is, I have no confidence in the Bush administratons ability to craft any kind of approach at all.

It looks to me like most of the Bush administrations decision concerning Iraq are made with domestic considerations in mind. From start to finish, to me it looks like the needs of the Iraqis have never mattered at all.

The White House seeks political advantage at home, permanent bases in Iraq, and the oil.

But without plans, the White House will continue caroming from crisis to crisis, completely gobsmacked everytime something unexpected happens in, say, Somalia.

Posted by: phx8 at June 29, 2006 6:36 PM
Comment #163389

20 years from now the middleeast landscape will be completely changed. History will look back at GWB and crew with a much more objective eye when put into perspective. 3000 people willingly made the unltimate sacrifice so that millions could breath the same freedom that many here take for granted.

If your two choices are “stay the course” or “cut and run”, I say let’s work to finish this - whatever it takes. Do we need a timetable? - YES. Exit strategy? Of course. But not before the job is done.

I say we start building a bunch of McDonalds over there. Start piping in Skinamax on the Iraqi tube… THe sooner we can get them living the American dream the better. Oh yeah, running water would be nice too.

Posted by: b0mbay at June 29, 2006 7:30 PM
Comment #163405

b0mbay:

“…3000 people willingly made the unltimate sacrifice so that millions could breath the same freedom that many here take for granted.”

I suspect more than a few of those three thousand were just trying to get some bread for college, and were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

As for what the Iraqis will be breathing, it will probably be this….

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0629-32.htm

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 29, 2006 7:51 PM
Comment #163437

Tim Crow,

Great link. Makes me wonder how many decades we’ll be paying war reparations to Iraqi’s?

Something the “stay the course” crowd doesn’t seem to get is just how thin our military is stretched: “Guard may miss border mission deadline”, from:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060630/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/immigration_guard_7

John Murtha today published this peice in the Huffington Post: “The Cost of the War Approaches Half a Trillion”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-john-murtha/the-cost-of-the-war-appro_b_24039.html

And, folks, we’re not paying, we’re passing the costs of this war onto future generations. I say, if you want to stay then make a real stand and advocate reinstating the draft and raising taxes. Of course no politician will truly advocate that because it’s political suicide.

While it’s impossible to predict the future I believe Iraq will dissolve into sectarian strife and possibly civil war whether we leave one year from now or 10 years from now. And if that’s true it will certainly become a true playground for future groups of true international terrorists.

The bottom line is, if we must stay, then we all must start to pay.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 29, 2006 9:43 PM
Comment #163444

And sand will fill the tracks of the Americans as it has the Persians,the Romans,the crusaders,the Germans,the British………

Posted by: BillS at June 29, 2006 10:36 PM
Comment #163449

kctm; We agree on much. We both agree that the war was for oil.We disagree on wether it was worth it.Half a trillion dolars and rising. If we had spent that money or even a good portion of it developing and perfecting alternate fuel technology not only would the lives of so many have been saved but America would be the world leader in the industry for the next century. Furthur our forign policy would no longer be warped by our constant need for oil as it has been for so long now. This is not wishful thinking. We are behind. There needs be no Wright brothers to invent some thing new(although there might be),just the application of known methods and technologies would do it.Clearly we can not expect the real changes needed for this from the current administration. They are part of the problem. The Democrats are more likely to embrace this goal at this time. It was part of Kerrys platform for example.
You are probably thinking,so what. We are in Iraq now and have to finish. We can disagree on that. What I am talking about is avoiding the next Iraq and the next and the next. As oil supplies are used up the possible conflicts become more and more certain. You’re right.I am a dreamer. I dream that the next century can be an awakening and not one long protracted battle after battle over an energy sorce that is destroying the planet.
respectfully Bill

Posted by: BillS at June 29, 2006 11:58 PM
Comment #163509

Hi, Liked your blog and enjoyed your comments. Since you a regular writer and commentator on Politics, I would like to invite you to post your views and ratings on politics on ResponsePlanet.com. I believe your views will be much appreciated on ResponsePlanet.com; moreover, I am sure you had welcome the opportunity to promote your own blog and attract some traffic.

Posted by: Kevin Collier at June 30, 2006 5:12 AM
Comment #163527

“I suspect more than a few of those three thousand were just trying to get some bread for college, and were in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

I always love this argument. We just joined the “Club” so we could go to college. We should take the Israel approach and require all individuals to serve for a period of time. Our nation is spolied because many do not realize freedom has a price. Someone has to make the sacrifice.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at June 30, 2006 7:56 AM
Comment #163676

Phx8:

It looks to me like most of the Bush administrations decision concerning Iraq are made with domestic considerations in mind. From start to finish, to me it looks like the needs of the Iraqis have never mattered at all.

Sort of. I think this whole thing going back the last 60 years has been about oil. Clear back to Rosevelt. I do hope Iraqi’s will be better off when we are finished with this war.

THEEEEE issue is how do we guaruntee the free flow of oil to the west, and at the same time provide security for the countries supplying this oil, without having troops on the ground?

We were able to do that up until 1991 with the US navy and our airforce. I believe we can get there again.

I also think Murtha is right on ultimate goal but terribly wrong on process. His plan would have given away the biggest bargaining chip before the negotiators were appointed by the Iraqi government.

On the withdrawal of US troops the Republicans are right for now. After the negotiations have had a good amount of time, and the Iraqi troops are in place to profide for their own security, then it is time to look at withdrawing, not before.

We need to look like we are going to be there for 100 years. We need to force the insurgency to move into the political process. Then we need the current Iraqi government to tell us to get lost.

Right now the democratic party is too often on the same side of the issues as the terrorists and the insurgency.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at June 30, 2006 3:52 PM
Comment #163722

KansasDem:

“Great link. Makes me wonder how many decades we’ll be paying war reparations to Iraqis”?

It makes me think of how many will die grotesque deaths in total silence while self-satisfied Americans have long since moved on to other things.

Like the Vietnamese who have died of Agent Orange and other defoliants we used, that are still dying from unexploded shells and mines.

Most of imperialism’s costs aren’t seen until much later, when most aren’t looking.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 30, 2006 5:50 PM
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