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Iraq, The Study Group, and Bush's 'Stay the Course'

The Iraq Study Group released its report on December 6, 2006. It has generated tremendous commentary and response. Much has been made of the 79 recommendations made in the report. However, one must wonder if they have generated so much support because they present a plan (totally lacking from the Bush administration), or because they have an inherent value in themselves.

The ISG's report has largely been rejected by Bush. It is not the first time he has turned away from a graceful change of policy on Iraq. He purportedly wants to "win" in Iraq, but neither Bush, nor the ISG, put forward what "winning" or even "success" actually means.

On the positive side of the report, it clearly describes a reality in Iraq that the Administration has denied: "The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating." It also clearly states that rather than the press focusing on the negatives in Iraq as Bush has claimed that the violence is underreported:

"In addition, there is significant underreporting of the violence in Iraq. The standard for recording attacks acts as a filter to keep events out of reports and databases." (pg 94 of the report)

On the negative side, it attempts to throw the ball into the Iraqi government's court. The Study Group argues that Iraq needs to step up and take action and responsibility. It presents an image of a government that is woefully (and perhaps willfully) not meeting its obligations. According to the ISG, "the government of Iraq is not demonstrating effective partnership", and the U.S. should "rescind funding" of those projects where the government is not stepping up (pg 89). It seems to be that this misrepresents, or at least overstates, the power that the Iraqi government actually has.

The Iraq offensive has had errors from day one. Not the least was invading Iraq to overthrow Hussein in the first place. Hussein was painted as a significant threat to the United States. He was not. He was painted as supporting al Qaeda (which he did not) and it was insinuated that he was linked to the events of September 11, 2001 (which he was not). Based upon an incorrect (and possibly manufactured) claim that Hussein had "weapons of mass destruction" (including a nuclear weapon that could be launched in 45 minutes) Bush authorized a preemptive invasion of Iraq.

In garnering support of Congress and the people of the United States, these fears were promulgated, while the costs (and time frame) of the invasion were minimized (Rumsfeld - six days, six weeks, I doubt six months), and cost neutral (Wolfowitz - Iraq oil would pay for the war).

It is here where we perhaps get to the heart of the issue regarding Iraq - oil and profit.

Iraq was viewed by the Bush administration (and by the Project for A New American Century) as a tremendous opportunity, and as a grand experiment. The opportunity was to extend direct control of the United States into the heart of the Middle East, and thereby control not only Iraq's oil reserves, but the reserves of the region. It was also an experiment in that Iraq would be the proving ground for unfettered capitalism. This would requiring prying loose the government controls, and national ownership of both resources and industries. This experiment in unfettered capitalism was labeled as "democracy."

The plan was to displace not only Hussein, but the entire governmental, administrative, and economic structure of Iraq. To that end, the U.S. not only displaced Hussein, but also depopulated government, critical services, and the military of the "Baathists." All social structure and control collapsed. A power vacuum, as well as chaos, replaced it. I believe that the plan was to swiftly insert Chalabi as a pawn President and then transition over to a structure that met the visions of the PNAC dreamers. However, the Chalabi plan failed. There were not adequate "coalition" forces in Iraq to fill the gap left by the dismantling of all official social structures, nor to control the chaos that soon broke out.

Instead, the Coalition Provisional Authority was put in place. The job of the CPA did not seem to be to craft peace out of chaos, but to move along what we might call the "Iraqi experiment." Namely, the shifting of all state control of resources and services into the hands of business - U.S. business. No-bid, cost plus contracts were handed out to major U.S. corporations raising the ire of France, Russia, Germany and others. More telling, and more direct, was the approval of PSA's (Production Sharing Agreements) which shifted the control of Iraq's natural resources from the government to private companies - namely U.S. corporations (Muttit, 11/2005 - pdf). As explained in the "Crude Designs" report:

The development model being promoted in Iraq, and supported by key figures in the Oil Ministry, is based on contracts known as production sharing agreements (PSAs), which have existed in the oil industry since the late 1960s. Oil experts agree that their purpose is largely political: technically they keep legal ownership of oil reserves in state hands3, while practically delivering oil companies the same results as the concession agreements they replaced.

Running to hundreds of pages of complex legal and financial language and generally subject to commercial confidentiality provisions, PSAs are effectively immune from public scrutiny and lock governments into economic terms that cannot be altered for decades.

The predicted consequences (also in the Muttit report)?

At an oil price of $40 per barrel, Iraq stands to lose between $74 billion and $194 billion over the lifetime of the proposed contracts2, from only the first 12 oil fields to be developed. These estimates, based on conservative assumptions, represent between two and seven times the current Iraqi government budget.

Under the likely terms of the contracts, oil company rates of return from investing in Iraq would range from 42% to 162%, far in excess of usual industry minimum target of around 12% return on investment. (page 4)

Hence we see two lies revealed at once. First the lie that Iraqi oil would "pay for" the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq as put forward by Wolfowitz and the administration. Second, the lie put forward by the Iraq Study Group regarding the power the Iraqi government has to fund its own projects that aren't "performing" to U.S. expectations. Iraq's oil is firmly in the control of transnational corporations, as is most of the rebuilding of its infrastructure. Therefore, in threatening to defund projects, the U.S. remains firmly in control of Iraq (and Iraq's government) whether there are "troops on the ground" or not.

The report also calls for the government to shut down the militias. However, the militia of Sadr (the Sadr Brigade) is perhaps the only Iraqi controlled military of any size in Iraq. It is also officially represented in the Iraqi government. Further - the Sadr group was elected (democratically) just as was Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine. The ISG is effectively calling for the removal of a democratically elected part of the Iraqi government, and argues that this will lead to stability. It seems more likely that the ousting of Sadr, his forces, and his support, will likely doom Iraq to more time without an official government. Maliki is virtually dependent of Sadr's support (and the power of his militia) to stay in power at all.

All of this brings us back to Bush's refusal to change strategy. I have no doubt that he is a pugnacious and stubborn man - he has adequately demonstrated that. However, there is a lot on the line for Bush (his desire to show up his father not being the least of them). Under the mess that the administration has created, withdrawal of U.S. troops, or U.S. budgetary funding, strands all of those no bid contractors and beneficiaries of PSA's in the cold. The billions in pure profit would be lost, and the real Bush backers would be tremendously damaged. On a more intellectual level, the "Iraq experiment" would have dramatically failed. Unfettered capitalism fronting as "democracy" would be lost. The long term plan of control (and profit), and "protecting" of "U.S. interests" might be permanently damaged.

The changes in support for the U.S. occupation of Iraq are stunning. They go beyond the lack of support of the American public. The recent polls show that 71% of the public disagrees with Bush on Iraq. However, even more stunning is that Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon has come out staunchly against Bush on Iraq calling it "absurd" or "even criminal." Below is part of his speech as covered on CNN and posted at YouTube.

(You may see the entire 23 minute statement via Google video)

Before the invasion of Iraq, Colin Powell cautioned "if you break it you own it." Well we have truly broken Iraq and the costs are high all around - particularly for the Iraqi people themselves, but more broadly the entire region. However, it is not only Bush who refuses to see reality in Iraq. The press continues to report the U.S. "victories." One recent example was the reporting that an air strike on Thar Thar (north of Baghdad) had killed 20 al Qaeda. Unfortunately, the seventeen people who died were civilians - including five women and six children. To make matters worse, photographs confirmed the civilian deaths.

George Bush Sr. has made a career of cleaning up after his namesake. The Iraq Study Group might be yet another attempt to do so. Perhaps it is not surprising that Bush Sr. broke into sobs while praising his son Jeb upon Jeb's exit from the Florida governorship. It was Jeb who was supposed to sit in the White House - not George. It was Jeb who was to carry on the Bush legacy. Now, the scale of George junior's failings are beyond repair, and George senior's dreams lies in tatters. The consequences of George W.s' actions are leaving a bloody and destructive trail. The "misjudgements" are devastating for Iraqi's, for the region, for the U.S. and coalition forces, and for the United States as a whole. Can Humpty Dumpty, now lying in shards, be put back together? One hopes that is possible, but it seems highly unlikely that George W. Bush will be the one who does it.

Other Articles of Interest
Heather Wokusch. 12/03/05. CommonDreams. Mission Accomplished: Big Oil's Occupation of Iraq

Gilbert Achar. 2/2002. Monthly Review (V 11 N 55). U.S. Imperial Strategy in the Middle East

Ed Harriman. 11/21/06. London Review of Books. The Least Accountable Regime in the Middle East

Paul Harris & Peter Beaumont. 12/10/06. Guardian. After Baker, what next for the war in Iraq?

Walter Pincus. 12/10/06. Wa. Post. Training Iraqis May Pose Risks For U.S.

John Broder & Robin Toner. 12/10/06. NY Times. Report on Iraq Exposes Divide Within G.O.P.

Posted by Rowan Wolf at December 10, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #198582

I certainly do not want to own Iraq.

The price of Mideast gasoline at the pump has been estimated at $11.10 a gallon, based on its actual cost to us.

Jon Stewart should be added to the list of news sources. He has a comedy show with good jokes, whereas our government policy is a bad joke. see:

There is a longer version, but it will probably be taken down soon.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 10, 2006 5:14 PM
Comment #198593

You forgot a link.

ISG faq

Posted by: Keith at December 10, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #198597

Neither the Iraqi government nor Pres. Bush will endorse the plan. It was a well intended effort but, produced nothing of use. But, then, what did anyone expect of a study group studying a quagmire. A quagmire is by definition a situation that lacks options to end it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 10, 2006 7:17 PM
Comment #198601


Great article. I don’t disagree with you in the least. Bush and the Neo-Cons deserve all the hell we can muster about their failed policies. If we raise enough hell maybe we can prevent this from happening ever again.

I am however optomistic that Bush will make some major policy changes. Sure, he’s licking his wounds right now, but I think the pressure to change course will overwhelm him within the next few weeks.

While nearly everyone disagrees with me about this, Bush is one sick puppy. I prefer the DX of “sociopath” but regardless of that, he obviously cares nothing about anyone other than himself and possibly those closest to him. If he did he’d make more mention of the loss of life in Iraq.

The same day that the ISG report was released we lost eleven of our most patriotic and bravest citizens. These were people that deserve the respect of every American but Bush still found it better to sidestep between “funny man” and defending himself. (I can never quite get past his attempt at humor as he “looked” for WMD’s under peices of furniture, etc)

Bush doesn’t care about the men and women being killed and wounded in Iraq. He didn’t (and doesn’t) care about the thousands displaced by Katrina. But, he’s finally about to start caring. His own party (his “base” if you will) lost control.

W’s base is now reigning him in. I hope that his base can convince him to pursue new diplomatic avenues. I’m more doubtful after watching the Sunday morning poli-talk shows. I’m not sure where and when “we” decided that diplomacy had to be a matter of “give and take”. Sometimes it can be a matter of never agreeing on some issues but finding that we all benefit from mutually acceptable outcomes on other issues.

Being the “sovi-expert” she is I’d think Rice should remember “detente”. Then again I think we’d do well to replace Rice with someone like Chas. W. Freeman, Jr. He has diplomatic experience in the Middle East. He played a huge role in our successful troop deployments in Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

I guess only time will tell, but I must also add that McCain’s lost his mind. He thinks we can increase our troop presence in Iraq by 20,000 to 50,000 men and women without straining our defense capabilities. I suspect dementia, but that’s another story.

Posted by: KansasDem at December 10, 2006 8:02 PM
Comment #198608

Keith and David,

The ISG is only one part of the equation. Within only a few days we’ve seen memos from Rumsfeld, testimony from Gates, the ISG report, retribution from a GOP Senator, descending poll ratings, and-oh yeah-the loss of both houses of Congress.

Add to that the likelihood of Senate and House hearings about every penny spent, every complaint concerning lack of military equipment, mismanaged defense contracts, etc, etc. Sure, we incoming Dems said we were going to play nice, ha-ha, do you believe that? I’m no insider but I doubt it. I expect we’re going to try and nail the coffin shut on just as many Republicans as we can.

It’s true that congress can’t control military operations at this point(other than jerking the purse strings). It will be up to Bush to change policy but he’s under a lot of pressure. I think you fail to recognize the strength of Jim Baker within the Republican party. We’ll see.

Posted by: KansasDem at December 10, 2006 8:39 PM
Comment #198613

“Neither the Iraqi government nor Pres. Bush will endorse the plan.”


I must add that if the Iraqi government doesn’t like our plan they can kiss our butt. The US can’t be the world’s “policeman”. We’d love to be when we look at situations as those in Darfur but the reality is, we can’t. And we shouldn’t be expected to. Sure we can help and we do.

In the case of Iraq we freed them from an oppressive regime. Of course the Sunni’s are PO’ed. Well, we can’t fix everything. The Iraqi’s now need to stand on their own. We’ll do what’s right as far as rebuilding the infrastructure we destroyed but not what your neighbors keep destroying.

As American’s we’re thrilled at words like “a hand up, not a hand out”, and we seem not to care about those in our own nation who can’t afford housing, or food, or healthcare, but we can pour “trillion$” into foreign lands that will quite likely turn around and bite us in the ass. (Based on the fact that Iraq formed it’s constitution around Sharia law).

Had we truly sought energy independence 25 to 30 years ago we could just sit back and wait for the Islamic fundamentalists to implode.

Posted by: KansasDem at December 10, 2006 9:13 PM
Comment #198617

There will be a show down. Bush will not withdraw and will force Congress to impeach or cut funding. This will be used to blame the Democrats for failure in Iraq. Mark my words.

Posted by: gergle at December 10, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #198622


You may be right, but I’ll go out on one of my notorious limbs (notorious because there’s not even a tree) and say Bush will moderate just enough to prevent that. If the spanking he’s gettin’ from Momma & Pappa Bush and their friends don’t do it, we’ll soon be looking down the barrel of the Scooter Libby trial.

Which brings me back to one of my past “limb outgoing’s”. The Libby trial will last just long enough to remind us of all the Plame outing BS and we’ll fume like hell, congress will waste weeks on hearings, and before the trial is over there will be a plea bargain.

Scooter will be granted several months to get his affairs in order and then he’ll be granted a pardon by W. Oooooooorrrrrrrrrr, maybe Cheney will retire and Bush will appoint Rick Santorum as VP. That’d keep us Dems from impeaching him, and Santorum’s looking for a new gig anyway.

Posted by: KansasDem at December 10, 2006 11:12 PM
Comment #198623

“The US can’t be the World’s “policeman”.” The corporations think we can, the people have started to think and they think otherwise. The oil companies might have to give Haliburton a no bid contract to build them an army.

Speaking of thinking, do you think that George Bush might be Dan Quails revenge?

Posted by: jlw at December 10, 2006 11:33 PM
Comment #198628

KansasDem: I think your limb just broke. Every right wing pundent and publication is attacking the ISG. What, no more troops, talk to Syria and Iran, these people are nuts.

I think you are getting the answer to what the Republicans think of Baker.

Posted by: jlw at December 11, 2006 12:24 AM
Comment #198631


I’ll go out on my own limb and say that Scooter will either be acquited or the charges will be dropped. Considering he was indicted for lying about a crime that never was, it will be interesting to see what Fitzgerald comes up with.

Posted by: Keith at December 11, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #198642

It is about time we started talking about the fact that although the republicans got their hands slapped by the voters, the far left not only also got slapped by the voters, they got spanked by the Democratic party too. No Micheal Moore, No Cindy Shehan, No George Soros, No Streisand. The list goes on. Any loud noise from Move

If the far left thinks that Nancy Pelosi or the American people are going to let them make decisions on Iraq, they have a big surprise coming.

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 1:32 AM
Comment #198643

You are probably right but so be it. We must do what is right for the country and world and let the chips fall where they may. As far as blameing Dems it will help some Bush is impeaced and all the dirty laundry is brought out into the open rather than a funding cut to stop the war. It is just too dangerious to let him continue,especially now that he has shown he has no intention of listening to the grownups and the right-wing spin machine is still backing him.

Good commentary.

A blowjob is not a crime either(thankfully) and the right made much about lieing about that. Double-standard here?

Posted by: BillS at December 11, 2006 1:34 AM
Comment #198644


The Republicans will force an end to US involvement in Iraq.They do not want to face another election with our troops there.

Posted by: BillS at December 11, 2006 1:43 AM
Comment #198645


The Moderate Dems and the Moderate Reps will force a “we are not cutting and running policy”

No comment on the fact that the far left got spanked worse than the GOP in the last election?

I guess not.

Posted by: Scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 2:13 AM
Comment #198647

Scottie1321: I’ll be your Huckleberry. The far left lost nothing in this election. The far right-were not going to cut and run republicans lost big time to liberal, moderate and conservative Democrats. Those Republicans have now cut out of Washington D.C. and are running for home crying all the way.

Posted by: jlw at December 11, 2006 2:34 AM
Comment #198652

Rowan, an excellent article. If the info in your links is reliable, it provides at last a coherent motive for the whole sad Iraqi business. I recall a claim being made that one of the reasons for the invasion was Saddams decision to sell oil in Euros, perhaps precipitating ageneral move by oil producing nations to denominate oil prices in Euro.

It’s interesting that in one of your linked articles, it is claimed that Iran is moving in this direction. If so, can an invasion be far off? I think such an invasion at this point is extremely unlikely, given the situation on the ground in Iraq and the overall disarray of the Bush regime over the Iraqi quagmire. Surely the American people will not be fooled again by the Neo Cons? It seems however that an Iranian invasion was one of the wet dreams of the Neo Cons. Praise Jesus their failure in Iraq leaves them too discredited to pursue such an insane course.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 11, 2006 7:44 AM
Comment #198660

It might help you to understand the difference between expectations that did not work out and a lie.

I suspect you know what a lie is and simply cannot keep yourself from using hyper-political inflamatory language.

But When the democrats fail to balance the budget and eliminate all deficit spending, shall I declare daily that they “lied” to us? When the democrats fail to eliminate ear marks and corruption in Washington shall I declare they “lied” to us? Now that the democrats have failed to put forward a better plan for Iraq shall I declare they have lied to us? When the democrats fail to fix social security or medicare shall I declare they lied to us?

Just who is lying here? The democrats are in charge soon, what is their plan? What will they do to balance the budget? No one KNOWS! They really don’t have any plan!

The plan put forward by the Irag group is almost universally now seen as a flop. Drawdowns but stand up? Train the Iraq troops so we can drawdown? Is this new? Better, a better way? It sounds like the failed plan repackaged. It’s Bush on drugs, do what Bush does but do it better! Perhaps a plan that isn’t anything new and has nothing written in concrete is the perfect plan for the democratic party which wants to declare it can do it better but offers no concrete plan to do it better.

The election is over and we still haven’t seen the “superior” democratic party plan. Democrats are now stuck with trying to support a non plan as the plan they want to follow, a plan they didn’t come up with because they have no plan!

Now that the democrats have won back congress isn’t it time for Kerry to put forward his secret plan to save Iraq? Please, don’t tell me your team doesn’t have a superior plan?

You boys have some power now, what will you do about Korean nukes and Iranian nukes? What will you do about a radical, intollerant, Islam that is waging war on the US and on the west in general? Will you seal the board or just offer amnisity to all you can scamper across it because it’s a core believe of politcal correctness to support illegals?

Better think of something! when Euorpeans are questioned on the street about who will fight radical Islam if they are unwilling to….they all say “the Americans” will fight terrorists and radical Islam. Well, how does the democratic party plan to wage war with radical Islam when their core belief system tells them they must deny that radical Islam is at war with the US?

Oh boy, the democratic party stole the paddles to the canoe and it looks as if they will refuse to paddle!

Posted by: Stephen at December 11, 2006 9:43 AM
Comment #198661

Hey, maybe it’s time for Hillary and Obama to stand up and tell us their secret plan for Iraq?

Hello, democratic party, US calling, is anyone home? anyone on your side have a plan besides cut n run Murtha?

Posted by: Stephen at December 11, 2006 9:52 AM
Comment #198662

My guess is that the next 1.5 years will play out as follows:

1. Bush will says he is flexible but his actions will show he is not.

2. The U.S. military will continue to muddle through, the civil war in Iraq will continue. By the time the caucuses/primaries roll around there will be over 4,000 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.

3. Congressional Leaders will express their opposition to the war, but fund every one of Bush’s requests for money for the war. (And this will include some Republicans.) Their rationale will be two-fold: Bush is commander in chief and we are not going to deny the soldiers what they need.

4. The war will still be the #1 issue when the 2008 primaries start.

5. Unless she manages to change her tune on Iraq and explain that reasonably to the public, Hillary Clinton will lose the early caucuses/primaries to an anti-war candidate, and she will drop out.

Just my guess.

Posted by: Steve K at December 11, 2006 10:14 AM
Comment #198667


I can see what you are saying as happening, all except for your point five. And in my opinion Bush will change course in Iraq but democrats will declare he has not. The goal will remain the same but the approach will change. Bush still believes that radical Islam is at war with the US and it is his obligation to fight that war. Something the far left will never agree to, no matter how often the US is attacked or under what circumstances.

But on your issue 5, Hillary in my opinion has a LOCK on the democratic party nomination.

Brother Gore roaming the world preaching the gospel of Man-caused-the-glaciers-to-melt will not win the nomination.

Mr. “I’ve done nothing but am a Rock Star” Obamma will not defeat Hillary because she has the money, she has the standing, she has the political power. She is as corrupt as can be but she is Politically Correct and the far left doesn’t seem to be able to take that away from her.

I see Hillary as getting the same sort of support that the left gives Harry Ried. He took Abramoff money and stuffed it in one pocket declaring it was ok for him to take it. He took dirty property deal money (1 million influence peddling) and stuffed it in the other pocket declaring it to be legal, he’s stuffing lobbyists money in his 4 boys pockets…and the democratic party tells us he will eliminate corruption in Washington and is a great leader! If he were a Republican the left would have already shamed him into resigning!

I would look for Hillary and Obamma to run together in 08 as a team. Most likely against McCain and Rice. I think the right will support McCain because he is one of only two or three than can beat Hillary. And I think the left will counter, at the appropriate time, with a McCain smear designed to take him down. The corrupt Hillary of course will declare she had no idea this smear was coming.

Posted by: Stephen at December 11, 2006 10:52 AM
Comment #198670


I’m not sure what you mean by “The goal will remain the same but the approach will change.” As long as the soldiers are still getting killed and Iraq’s government is dysfunction, I don’t believe the public will see a difference in Bush’s policies.

On the other point, regarding Hillary, everything you say is possible, but my thinking is different. When it is time for those several thousand hard-core Democratic voters to pick a name in Iowa and New Hampshire (and a few others being added as I understand), I believe the war will be primary on their mind.

Hillary may do well in national polls and amongst the elite (primarily the money-givers), but those who actually vote in primaries are more ideologically-driven. (This, BTW, is the same reason why I do not believe Guiliani has a chance in the Rep. primaries.) That’s why I think Hillary’s only chance to win the nomination is change her tune on the war, or hope the war goes away.

I know some people will compare that to the 2004 primaries, and I have a response to that. In 2004 the war was an issue, but so was Bush. I think Kerry beat Dean in the primaries because of the anti-Bush appeal. His military credentials were seen as a way to beat Bush at the security issue in general. But Bush isn’t on the ballot in 2008.

That said, I don’t know who will beat Hillary, but it will be an anti-war candidate, perhaps someone who emerges from Congress during the debates this coming year.

Posted by: Steve K at December 11, 2006 11:28 AM
Comment #198676


Just keep saying that the far left won in those elections. You will have a much harder time supporting that statement than I will supporting my statement that the Dems won, The far left and the gop lost. And that the far left lost worse because they were essentially silenced by the dems in order to win the election.

So JLW, Tell me how the far left won in this election.

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 12:23 PM
Comment #198679
Hey, maybe it’s time for Hillary and Obama to stand up and tell us their secret plan for Iraq?

Fine, there is no secret plan to win the Iraq War. When did Clinton and Obama say otherwise? What the Democrats said is that we need new leadership. Rumsfeld is already out, so that is a success right there.

Posted by: Woody Mena at December 11, 2006 12:40 PM
Comment #198681
Tell me how the far left won in this election.

The far left wasn’t on the ballot, and didn’t win or lose. However, I think just about everyone on the left side of the political spectrum is happy that the GOP and neocon fantasists got their rear kicked.

Posted by: Woody Mena at December 11, 2006 12:43 PM
Comment #198683

Ah you are so right Woody!

The far left was not on the ballot. WHY?

They didn’t even make it through the primaries.

But where they really lost is the fact that all the dems elected do not agree with the far left viewpoint on guns, war, social issues.

Where they really lost is the fact that they were kept quiet during the election.

Where were all the far left Icons that were all over the 04 elections? Where were they?
I state it again.

Just what far left dems won in the 06 election?

Posted by: Scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 1:02 PM
Comment #198685

“Please, don’t tell me your team doesn’t have a superior plan?”


Biden’s had a plan for a long time now:

Bush (via Tony Snow) calls it a “non-starter”.

Your rants are growing old. I’ve just proved you wrong. Biden’s a Democrat and he has presented a plan.

You also continually rant that Democrats fail to recognize the threat of Islamic Fundamentalism. Show me one quote by any Democrat stating that such a threat doesn’t exist.

It was Republicans that chose to ignore a memo titled “Bin Laden determined to attack inside the U.S.”. Yeah, put Rice on the ticket, I’ll love seeing clips of her testimony to the 9/11 commission over and over and over.

When Schumer led the opposition against the Dubai Ports World deal, Democrats (and a few centrist Republicans) were called islamophobic by the neo-cons. So which way is it?

Was Bill Clinton ignoring the threat of radical Islam when he launched airstrikes against Bin Laden’s hiding places in Afghanistan? Oh yeah, he was wagging the dog. Sorry I forgot.

Just keep putting your hands over your ears and yelling, “la-la-la-la” loudly whenever you hear something that disagrees with your ideas. We know it’s hard for you Bush supporters at this point.

Posted by: KansasDem at December 11, 2006 1:25 PM
Comment #198689


Here is a start:

BEHIND THE TIMES….Sam Harris is no friend of religion, and in particular no friend of Islam. Today in the LA Times he takes his fellow liberals to task for not taking the threat of Islam seriously enough:

This may seem like frank acquiescence to the charge that “liberals are soft on terrorism.” It is, and they are.

Talk about putting your hands over your ears. Here is a liberal stating the same thing that stephen did.

Here are two more great articles tying this all together: (not right wing articles btw)

Far left- You lost too!

I would encourage all to search for themselves. You will find a whole bunch of far lefties who have stated:

The threat of Islamic Fundamentalism is overstated or does not exist.

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 1:43 PM
Comment #198690

Sorry here are the links.

is kansasdem wrong?

does the far left ever say that there is little or no threat to Islamic extremist

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 1:47 PM
Comment #198695

“Just what far left dems won in the 06 election?”


Based on his voting record:
I would have to say William Jefferson for sure. Hey, I’m not from Louisiana, don’t blame me.

Then there’s Keith Ellison, unless you consider Health insurance for all Americans a moderate or conservative goal. And, oh yeah, he’s Muslim American.

Posted by: KansasDem at December 11, 2006 1:58 PM
Comment #198697


So you’re quoting Sam Harris? When was he elected to Congress? Guess I missed that.

Go ahead, straighten me out.

Oh, and what the hell does this have to do with Rowan’s article?

Posted by: KansasDem at December 11, 2006 2:06 PM
Comment #198700


Thank You,
William Is an 8 term incumbent from a very liberal district so that answers that. He also kept his campaign rather moderate.
Keith Ellison: another rather liberal district. I couldn’t find any pictures with any far left Icons. Only Jesse Jackson.

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 2:12 PM
Comment #198702

We have dems on this discussion board debating with me saying that Radical Islam IS NOT AT WAR with the US. I prefer to debate with honest people. If you don’t believe that radical islam is at war with the US SAY SO!

As far as no plan, I’m not saying that some individual dems have not put forth a plan, I’m saying that the democratic party has no plan. They got together to create a plan, but they couldn’t even come to terms on if we are or are not at war with radical Islam. There is an entire wing of the democratic party that says that radical Islam is not at war with the US and we should not be at war with it. The attempt to come up with a unified democratic party position failed and thus we have the “no plan” party of the democrats telling us they have a better plan…but they offer no better plan.

I would agree with the poster who indicated that one way the dems one was to run many who did not agree with the far left. But I would point out that the far left Kerry, Kennedy, Dean, Hillary, Reid are leading the democratic party. And what they are counting on is that when the votes are not secret, they can force those in the democratic party who are not radical left to be lead by the left and vote as the left demands they vote.

From what I can tell, the Democratic party will put forward no Iraq plan because they are not unified on it. Instead it will be an 08 issue for Hillary and Obama to run with against McCain and Rice. And the democratic party will spend it’s time denying all of Hillary’s past crimes and corruption will smearing McCain. Something they said they hated Bush for doing…smearing McCain! LAUGH.

Posted by: stephen at December 11, 2006 2:17 PM
Comment #198703


I quote Sam because he makes the same argument that Stephen did. That lots of the far left do not understand the danger that Islamic Extremist pose.

What the hell does this have to do with Rowens Article?

The far left want out now. Win or lose. The far left would like to believe they have a mandate that makes that possible..

They also lost in the 06 election:

The far left lost more than the GOP in the 06 election. They lost in the primaries, moderate dems were elected. The far left was kept quiet during the election.

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 2:19 PM
Comment #198704

BTW kansas

You did not ask for a quote from a congressman, you asked stephen for a quote from “any democrat” I do belive Sam considers himself a democrat.

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 2:25 PM
Comment #198712

“you asked stephen for a quote from “any democrat” I do belive Sam considers himself a democrat.”

Now you’re parsing words. I meant a democrat that’s actually part of the political process.

Pointing out Sam Harris as a liberal democrat is just about like pointing to Fred Phelps as a conservative. No one wants to claim either one of them.

Did you see Sam’s “ticking bomb” defense of torture?

IMO he’s certifiable.

Posted by: KansasDem at December 11, 2006 2:59 PM
Comment #198715


I am making exactly the point that you deny. that at the core of what’s happening in Iraq is the larger war against Radical Islam. Radical Islam now wants Iraq. We see terrorists flooding in from Syria, Iran, Al Qaeda all waging a war to take down democracy in Iraq and replace it with some form of Radical Islam. Iran supplying funds, bombs, weapons. Radical Islam is working hard to see the US defeated in Iraq and the goals of Iran and Al Qaeda pushed forward.

I can find democrats on this board debating and declaring that Radical Islam is not at war with the US, they claim it’s a bogus war, a lie, something made up by Bush and necons to seize power, blah blah blah. I thanked one about two weeks ago for actually coming out and admitting he feels Radical Islam is not at war with the US and therefor does not support a war against it. That IS the core of this debate.

I believe and Bush believes that we DO need to have some sort of a victory, a real one, over radical islam in Iraq. That if we decide to embrace FAILURE as the only other option in Iraq that the consequences for our future are drastic.

This goes to the very heart of the debate. Is Radical Islam at war with the US? Are we going to fight that war or not? If you do not believe that the war against terrorists and radical Islam is all that important…then cut N run in Iraq becomes a very appealing course. Esp if you are a cultural warrior working to see that the US becomes more socialist, appeasing, and unwilling to engage in warfare.

It’s not about Bush lying, that’s not what Iraq was about. Iraq was about WMD by and large in the start. Hillary And Bill Clinton (and many other democrats) warned America before they left the Whitehouse that Saddam had a WMD program and that he needed to be removed. Did Bill Clinton and Hillary lie to America? Did they? I think not on that subject. I think they were mislead by our failed intelligence system. Do you believe they were misled or that they lied? If misled why would you not think that George Bush was also misled by the same CIA on the same subject. So we were wrong about WMD, we were wrong that after Saddam was gone we could restore order, we were wrong that we could get their oil up and running and that it could pay for reconstruction and the war effort. A lot of people were wrong about a lot of things. So what? We have to live forward not backwards.

We either win or we lose. And many in the democratic party are looking for a way to loose and see winning as “staying the course” and “unacceptable”. It’s got more to do with their cultural revolution than geo-politics. America is supposed to be more socialist, more submissive to the UN and to Europe. A slave to political correctness. Not willing to stand up to Radical Islam, Sadam, Nukes in Iran, Nukes in Korea. Pay them like Clinton did and pretend we have an honorable deal even when we know they are cheating. Do nothing and be accepted.

What do I want from a democratic congress? I want a balanced budget, something they stopped talking about after the election. I want a fix to social security, a fix to medicare, the end of ear marks and corruption like Harry Reid taking abramoff money and doing land deals in Vegas for a million bucks. His kids working as lobbyists. I want a national health care bill that is built up AFTER the problems of deficit spending, social security, and medicare are fixed. I want a boarder fence…the fence Pelosi rejects and will most likely kill funding to in the future when it comes back for additional funding. I’m opposed to the present wide open boarders the radical left supports.

I want these real problems fixed. What we are likely to get is a raft of legislation aimed at increasing government spending to buy votes from the middle class and no plan put forward by the democrats for victory against Radical Islam.

Posted by: Stephen at December 11, 2006 3:14 PM
Comment #198718

scottie1321: I see that you have decided to misrepresent my statements rather than defend your own. I said that the far left lost nothing in the election because, as you stated yourself, while many of their voices were fairly silent, they were very active behind the scene. Nearly every candidate that they backed in the primaries won their primaries. In the general election, the far left supported every Democrat with one notable exception, Lamont in Connecticut. Also, I don’t consider some of the people and groups you mentioned here and on another thread far left. I seriously doubt that the members of a group like PETA would vote for a Democrat or a Republican. If they vote at all, I expect the would vote for the Green Party or some off the wall animals are humans party. I’m sure there one or two of those out there.

I also said that the Democrats won the election and the Republicans lost. Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats have almost always, in my political lifetime, had a healthy mix of conservative, moderate and liberal representives because the American people are a mix of conservative’s, moderate’s and liberal’s. The Republicans by and large have represented the wealthy elite’s and proclaimed that what is best for them is best for all. Democrats have always tried to come to a consensus and most of the time one of their groups is disappointed in that consensus. Sometimes, all three groups are disappointed. The liberal wing of the party has often had the upper hand in the primaries. The moderates and conservatives have maintained their control in the general election by staying home or voting Republican when they think the liberal choice is to liberal for their tastes.

There have always been far left and far right elements in America. Until recently, neither has played a significant role in either party. Now we have a situation where far right reactionary elements have control of the Executive Branch of our government much to the dislike of most Americans including many Republicans.

What do the American people expect the Democrats to do about Iraq?

I think they expect the Democrats to show some courage and stand up to Bush. I think they expect them to investigate the policies and tactics the Administration has employed, not only in Iraq, but in the war against the terrorists as well. I think they expect the Democrats to demand that Bush change some of those policies and tactics. If Bush refuses, it won’t bode well for the Republicans in the next election. Nothing significant can be achieved before the election by staying the course.

In my opinion the only thing that can be achieved by staying the course is a continuation in the training of the combatants for the civil war and a continued strenghtening of al Qaida and other terrorists groups while we wait on Iran to get the bomb.

On the issue of funding, I expect the Democrats will increase funding for supplies and equipment need by our troops almost immediately. If Bush changes some of his policies and some of the tactics being employed, I expect funding to be increased for reconstruction and possibly, but I doubt it, more money for the Iraq government. They, the Iraq government, has squandered or stolen nearly every dime we have given them.

If Bush refuses to change, the Democrats won’t reduce funding and Bush will have given them a perfect cover for not doing so. They can simply tell the truth— If we cut funding for the war, Bush will use that as a reason to continue to deny our troops what they need to accomplish American goals in Iraq.

Who will be the nominees in 08?

As I have stated before, I think Hillary will win the Democratic nomination and if she is smart she will name a former general, probably Clark, possibly another. I personally like the Democrats TV general, I think his name is McCafferty. He is more charismatic and convincing than Clark is. Well, I’m not sure that he is a Democrat but he sure knows what’s up with Bush’s policies. After the nomination process, Obama will give one of his great speech’s declaring that the Democrats and Hillary could not have made better choices and neither can the American people.

If the Republicans deny McCain the nomination again, it will rip the Republican party apart and I think they know it. McCain could run as an independent and that would probably favor Hillary.

Posted by: jlw at December 11, 2006 3:41 PM
Comment #198719

A democrat who claims Radical Islam is not at war with the US is Rocky (who posts on these boards and openly says they are not at war with us). A regular poster here whose base philosophy is that Radical Islam has not declared war on us and that the US should not be at war with it.

In my opinion this is a question the left does everything it can to AVOID answering. Often because they dare not answer in the affirmative because the logical recourse for the US is to wage war on Radical Islam. And the left wing RELIGION preaches no war but rather the US should be subject to: pacifism, appeasement, socialism, and rabid political correctness. To admit Radical Islam is at war with us is a step too far for most on the left because that makes their cultural war harder to win. So that fact must be hidden in a mess of accusations,smears, lies, anti-Bush hate etc. He did it because they tried to kill his daddy, he did it to make oil money, he did it because “neocons” made him, he did it so he could destroy the constitution..and on and on and on go the smears and lies of the left.

This is the core of the debate in my opinon. Not “Bush-lied” misdirection from the left. If you do not believe Radical Islam is at war with the US or you believe that Islam is JUSTIFIED in waging war on the US then you will of course oppose the use of force in fighting them and many who are hyper-political will use it as justification to smear and lie about our leaders and the war efforts. It’s an emotional sickness I believe, this hyper-politicization.

I’ll quote the liberal on these board declaring that Radical Islam is not at war with us and give the URL. Rocky claims they are not at war with us and he stands by that.

“Can you answer this question?
Posted by: Stephen at December 3, 2006 05:20 PM
Comment #197565
stephen L

Posted by: Rocky at December 3, 2006 05:27 PM

Posted by: Stephen at December 11, 2006 3:42 PM
Comment #198721


If the democratic party represents all the people and the Republican party represents only a narrow band of Rich…why did all the people get together and vote the democrats out for the last decade or so? They turned to Newt G and the Republicans and they delivered the balanced budget that Clinton likes to try and take credit for.

And if the democrats represent me why don’t they stand for balanced Budgets? And I point to the fact that they have never in my life time balanced a budget when they controlled congress. Why did they not fix social security? Why did they not fix Medicare? Why did they not seal the boarder against illegal aliens? Why do they support the 45 million abortion genocide? People who refuse to deal with those issues are not truly representing me nor the bulk of America.

I don’t think Democrats do represent me or the bulk of America, which is why they were out of power for so long, and why they may get pushed out of power again.

The democrats will not balance the budget, they will not fix social security, they will not fix medicare, they will not seal the boarder (Pelosi opposes the fence and will probably kill it in the future when it comes back for more funding). I suspect that in the 08 elections the only thing the democrats will have to run on is Iraq and the money they voted to the middle class as they ran up the deficits. That none of the real, big tough issues will be resolved nor will they ever be resolved by a democratic party congress.

Posted by: Stephen at December 11, 2006 3:54 PM
Comment #198726

Thats it Kansas,

Go to Arianna Huffingtons far left blog to prove your point.

again you prove my point.

I want the far left to be loud and strong. I want Kucinnich to talk every day on all the networks. I want to see Huffington debate the issues any day of the week.

Pelosi, Reid, even Hillary, don’t!

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 4:00 PM
Comment #198728


Could you please show me what statements I misrepresented?

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 4:05 PM
Comment #198737

Stephen: I see you are still crying about the Republicans losing the election even though the Republicans lost because they didn’t do any of the things you wanted done. Oh, I forgot, the Republicans balanced the budget when Clinton was president. Clinton never sent a balanced budget proposal to Congress did he? Clinton never signed the balanced budget agreement he made with Congress did he?

After Bush was elected, it was absolutely necessary for he and the Republicans to flush the balanced budget down the drain, create the largest bureaucracy in the history of America, go on a borrow and spend spree that created an enormous deficit that could be disasterous for coming generations, for what? So that the wealthy and you could get a trillion or two dollar tax break?

Posted by: jlw at December 11, 2006 4:42 PM
Comment #198739


Talk about misrepresenting.

I just read through all of Stephens posts and I don’t find him anywhere crying about anything.

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 4:47 PM
Comment #198740

The Brits no longer refer to a “war on terror.”,,1968668,00.html

Who represents “radical islam”? The Al Qaida of Osama bin Laden is no longer significant in terms of its ability to organize attacks, has not been significant for quite some time. Dealing with them is a matter of police work, international cooperation, perhaps the occasional use of Special Forces, or a Hellfire missile dropped on a mud hut in Pakistan. It hardly constitutes a “war.” So, who represents “radical Islam”? The Wahabbis? They are mostly Sunni Saudis. Hezbollah? Amal? Name one instance where those organizations launched an attack against the US. And remember, the predecessors of Hezbollah attacked in the US Marines in Lebanon, but we invaded their country, not vice versa.

The Iraq Study Group is a joke, since the recommendations are more along the lines of suggestions. Hey! Start calling the permanent US bases “temporary”! Make a statement saying the US does not want Iraqi oil! Do not actually do,/em> anything, no need to set specific dates & timelines and measureable goals. Just spin spin spin, and maybe, maybe, someone will believe it.

The ten members of the ISG visited Iraq once. Only one ever left the Green Zone. Do any of them speak Arabic, or have even a passing familiarity with that culture? Well, Jimmy Baker provides legal representation for Saudi Arabia, and cuts huge deals with the Saudis through the Carlyle Group, but the ISG is supposed to be about Iraq- NOT the interests of Saudi Arabia.

According to Reuters, 1000 employees work at the US embassy in Baghdad. 6 speak fluent Arabic. Another 33 speak “some” Arabic. I wonder what the remaining 96% of those people do?

Posted by: phx8 at December 11, 2006 4:56 PM
Comment #198765

“I want Kucinnich to talk every day on all the networks.”

Your wish come true:

Ohio Rep. Kucinich to run for president

Posted by: KansasDem at December 11, 2006 6:33 PM
Comment #198768


I just saw that too Kansas, thanks for forwarding the good news. Listen to this from kansas’ link:

“The liberal, anti-war Ohio congressman said he was inspired to run because he disagrees with the way some of his fellow Democrats are handling the war”

This divide is the reason the far was left kept quiet during the 06 elections.

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 6:40 PM
Comment #198772

Name a liberal Democrat incumbent who did not win re-election. Take your time.

Posted by: phx8 at December 11, 2006 6:50 PM
Comment #198774

PHX I don’t think at any time during this debate did I say or even imply that.

What I did say was that the FAR left did not win much and raelly only with incumbents. That the “big win” made by the democrats that beat republicans were moderate to conservative democrats.
I also said that the Dems kept the far left very quiet before the elections.

And on top of that Here is your ONE:


Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 6:56 PM
Comment #198777

BTW lets never confuse the term liberal democrat with the far left. They are not at all the same thing.

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 6:59 PM
Comment #198783

What makes Kucinich worthy of attention is that he is saying what so many politicians are afraid to say: we need to withdraw from Iraq NOW.

And he is right. Read “Cobra II.” We should never have invaded, and, having invaded, we lost any opportunity to salvage the situation in the weeks and months immediately following the invasion. Iraq is beyond recovery, and has been beyond recovery for years.

Politicians like McCain & Hillary are afraid to come out and say what needs to be said. They are afraid to say the emperor has no clothes, because recognizing it means the crowd will accuse them of stripping the emperor. The Democratic party is merely following the lead of liberals and the public at large.

60% of Americans want a withdrawal in a year or less. 70% of Iraqis want the same. Kucinich, along with liberals like Feingold, has been right all along.

Posted by: phx8 at December 11, 2006 7:22 PM
Comment #198784

fyi, McKinney lost the Democratic primary.

Posted by: phx8 at December 11, 2006 7:25 PM
Comment #198785

Thank you PHX8

You prove my point.

You want out now, win lose or draw.

Those of us in the middle want our troops home too. it done right. And you cannot accomplish that by pulling them out now. Hillary isn’t afraid to take your position, she doesn’t take your position. McCain isn’t afraid, he does not agree with you.

Asked in that way you will find only about 20% who agree with you. LOOK IT UP!

Again thank you for helping show the divide between the far left and the rest of the dem party.

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 7:28 PM
Comment #198789

Being right is no pleasure in this case. There is no “win, lose, or draw.” We lost a long time ago. There is no “winning” when hundreds of thousands of people die because of lies, corruption, and incompetency.

“Asked in that way you will find only about 20% who agree with you. LOOK IT UP!”

No. Provide a link. In turn, I will be happy to link any statistic I have mentioned.

Posted by: phx8 at December 11, 2006 7:38 PM
Comment #198793

And I agree with you one hundred percent.

I know you believe that in your whole heart. I don’t fault you for that. But the fact remains, that the large majority does believe there is a right way. I guarantee there will not be any immediate pullout . You say it is because Hillary and McCain and many others on both sides are just afraid to say it. I say that is the only way you can spin it to make it look like the far left has ultimate support for your view.

I say McCain and Hillary don’t agree with you.

No link, let everyone look for themselves. Let them listen to the dem leadership and what they say about the subject.

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 7:47 PM
Comment #198794

Practically speaking, an “immediate pullout” would take months. It is not that easy. Withdrawal is a huge challenge from a purely logistical point of view.

And with that, I will have to say good night-

Posted by: phx8 at December 11, 2006 7:52 PM
Comment #198795

And BTW “we did not lose a long time ago” that may be your far left view, but you would say that about any war. That is another view that the far left holds only to it’s self.

And the troops really resent the fact that the far left thinks they are losers and the democrats get blamed for it.

Thats why the far left is being pushed in a corner by the democratic party.

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 7:53 PM
Comment #198796

“What makes Kucinich worthy of attention is that he is saying what so many politicians are afraid to say: we need to withdraw from Iraq NOW.

And he is right.”

So you have already come around closer to my way of thinking:

“Practically speaking, an “immediate pullout” would take months. It is not that easy. Withdrawal is a huge challenge from a purely logistical point of view.”

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 7:56 PM
Comment #198801

“Can you answer this question?
Posted by: Stephen at December 3, 2006 05:20 PM

Where is this radical islam you’re talking about? is it a country? does it have a uniform? An army? What uniform does it wear? Certainly there are elements of Islam that are radical, and some of them wish great harm to the west generally and the US in particular. But they are not a country. They do not have a uniform. Nor do they have a stamp of the foreheads saying “Radical Islamist!, not even “terrorist”. So tell me Stephen, how do you fight a war against such a foe? How many infantry does it take to take out such an enemy? How many Abrams or Apaches or F18 will solve this problem? Well, however many, the numbers of US military assets in Iraq seem to be insufficient to quell that little spat. Of course that are not all Islamist radicals in Iraq, many are no doubt Iraqi patriots seeking to send an imperial invader on his way. But the truth is, if there were radical islamists seeking to do harm to the US before the invasion of Iraq, there are many more since. So it seems reasonable to conclude that the Bush strategy not only is not working, but is totally counter productive. The only way you can hope to defeat such an enemy is by police work and intelligence. The reason being is that such people are criminals, and should be pursued like criminals. If you try to make war on them with conventional armed forces, many innocents end up dead, as in Iraq, and you have many more “radicals”, tho’ not necessarily motivated by Islam. revenge is a very powerful motivator.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 11, 2006 8:20 PM
Comment #198802

Thank you Paul

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 8:25 PM
Comment #198805

Hey Snottie 1321, since you don’t want us to confuse the far left and liberal democrats, please do us all a favor and spell out the differences. I need to know which I am, in your world anyway. Thanks in advance.

Posted by: ray at December 11, 2006 8:48 PM
Comment #198808

I believe the difference lies in the same place someone on the far left would put it. They would most likely call themselves Socialist rather than far left.

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 9:08 PM
Comment #198809

Most politicians on the far left would surely never use that term however. Cept’ for Bernie Saunders.

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 11, 2006 9:12 PM
Comment #198816

“And BTW ‘we did not lose a long time ago’ that may be your far left view, but you would say that about any war.”

scottie1321, help me out on this one.

What exactly is our objective in Iraq?
Should not that be the measuring stick of success?
I still do not understand just what it is we are trying to get done, and no one ever seems to spell that out which is a crucial oversight.

Posted by: Zeek at December 11, 2006 10:02 PM
Comment #198819

“If you try to make war on them with conventional armed forces, many innocents end up dead, as in Iraq, and you have many more “radicals”, tho’ not necessarily motivated by Islam. revenge is a very powerful motivator.”

Paul in Euroland,

Then there’s the refuge crisis we’ve created:

“more than 120,000 Christians who have fled Iraq are unlikely to go home and about 100,000 of them want to come to the United States, where many have relatives, according to a group representing the Christians. A great many of the estimated 1.4 million Iraqi Muslims also are expected to try to resettle, many in the West, according to UN officials.”

Posted by: KansasDem at December 11, 2006 10:36 PM
Comment #198824

Saddam would have sold all the oil he could pump at below market costs. This war was about oil, but it was about oil because of the power oil conferred on Saddam and the dangerous use he put it.

The main things stopping Saddam from pumping more were and a infrastructure falling apart for lack of investment. Realism would have let him off Sanctions, let him take the steps he wanted to reestablish power, let him sell as much oil as he could.

The dream was to create some sort of democracy in the heart of a region where despotism rules. It looks like the realists will win this round. We will go back to the policy we followed since 1945. I regret that we were unable to change the situation. The policy was implemented poorly. But the motivation was good. It was an opportunity to try democracy, but maybe a jump too far.

Posted by: Jack at December 11, 2006 10:53 PM
Comment #198838

Jack: If I were invested in oil stock, the fact that Sadam was selling oil below market cost would get my attention faster than him using the money to buy weapons. After all, I own stock in weapons manufacturers to. Wasn’t it Saudi oil that paid for 9/11?

Ah, the George Bush I had a dream speech. I don’t recall Bush saying that I am going to invade Iraq, remove Sadam and start democracy in the Middle East. I think Chalabi figured big in the plans as well. The administration would have been satisfied if they could have pulled that off. Perhaps we all would considering.

Posted by: jlw at December 12, 2006 12:29 AM
Comment #198841


The operation was a success but the patient died?

Posted by: womanmarine at December 12, 2006 1:05 AM
Comment #198846

Jack, Rowan’s link given above, provides I beleive a much more probable reason for he invasion of Iraq;

I just came across this link of a speech given by Bill Moyers to graduates of West Point. I think it’s really powerful stuff, and to any one reading it with an open mind, particularly any American who truly loves their country, it must give pause for deep thought and reflection. Not all patriots serve in uniform, and not all of them are cheerleaders for war.

The idea that you could export democracy to the Mid East generally, and Iraq in particular, is, if you just think about it briefly, absurd. There is no culture of democracy there. No democratic infrastructure. Little political culture. tribal differences, religious differences, regional loyalties greater than local ones. It would be nice to see demmocracy evolve in that part of the world, but it must be created by the people there themselves, when they are ready. So people talk of Germany being transformed after the war to a democracy. But Germany had a democracy before hitler. The culture was there, it had just failed Germany in the 30’s, allowing Hitler to come to power. Japan had a settled system too, a quasi democratic government with voting rights for all male citizens, before the onset of the Showa restoration. Now, most of the neo cons who promoted the project to export democracy to the mid east are intelligent people. So two choices are open to us as to their motivation. First, they were blinded by ideology to what was staring them in the face. Or secondly, they didn’t give a rats ass about democracy in the mid east, using that merely as a cover for an oil grab. I know which one I believe.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 12, 2006 6:17 AM
Comment #198847

Stephen, In this election there were examples of far left Democrats winning election. One example I’d like to point you to is Massachusetts’s governor’s race. Deval Patrick beat the current Lt. Governor Kerry Healy, who was basically a reincarnation of Mitt Romney.

Posted by: Warren P at December 12, 2006 8:18 AM
Comment #198857


If big oil has taken over Iraq, how come we do not control the oil?

If big oil is so enthusiastic about getting its product cheaply (presumably to sell it for more) why would they not want to leave the situation alone, where Saddam would sell oil to anybody who bribed him and sell as much as bribes to UN officials would allow?

The big oil controls the world theme just does not work here. If we were willing to invade for oil, a much better target would be Saudi or the Emirates. Occupation there would be much simpler.

I think that those who supported the invasion generally did so for security reasons. Despite the lack of WMD, there were lots of reasons.

wrote a post about those reasons shared, BTW, by the Clinton Administration.

But once you go into Iraq, what are the options? We had to try democracy. I am surprised and a little disappointed by the “realists” who hate Bush so much that they are willing to throw out their own principles and argue that democracy is not a valid goal.

I started my professional life in the 1980s. I remember very clearly the criticism of Reagan. He as stupid to believe democracy was possible in E. Europe. When they declare martial law in Poland, the German chancellor said that Poles were not ready for democracy. Now it is hard to find anyone who will admit to it, but check out the historical record.

The Iraq policy looks like it will not work as we hoped. But the hope was properly placed, even if the cause is lost.

Posted by: Jack at December 12, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #198858

“Then there’s the refuge crisis we’ve created.”

“In this context, a crisis can be loosely defined as a situation where there is a perception of threat, heightened anxiety, expectation of possible violence and the belief that any actions will have far-reaching consequences”

A problem or a crisis Kansas. Again you show my point. We have 11,000,000 illegal imigrants. 120,000 equals 1%.

Iraq has a population of almost 27,000,000 that makes 120,000 less than a half a percent of the population.

But you call it a crisis to get legs for your argument. It would be more accurately described as a problem.

But it makes all the people we hate look worse if it is a crisis.

This is what im talking about.

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 12, 2006 12:14 PM
Comment #198859

sorry definition of a crisis from wikipedia

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 12, 2006 12:16 PM
Comment #198861

Did you not read the atrticle?Unfettered crony capitalism is NOT democracy. In this case it is imperialism. Ascribing noblility to our invasion is too much of a stretch even for one as well versed at apoligizing for Bushco as yourself. If democracy was the reason for the invasion then you have to admit that all the WMD bs was exactly that. What,Bush did not want to admit a noble mission so he came up with lies. A bit far fetched,don’t you think.
Furthur,there is no reason why we should or could go back to the(as you like to call it) “realpolitik”. There are better options,among them ceasing our reliance on middle-east oil. Of course that will not happen until we can remove the Bush crime family and their agents from power.

Posted by: BillS at December 12, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #198864

Big oil already controls the oil in Saudi and the emirates. Why do they not control the oil in iraq? They do.However China is recieveing increasing control,probably in exchange for cooperation on NK.

Posted by: BillS at December 12, 2006 1:05 PM
Comment #198867

“A problem or a crisis Kansas. Again you show my point. We have 11,000,000 illegal imigrants. 120,000 equals 1%.”


Uh, I fail to see what point you think I’m helping you prove. 120,000 represents the estimated number of Iraqi “Christian” refugees ONLY. The number of total Iraqi refugees is estimated at one and a half million. Of course the vast majority are Muslim so maybe in your world they don’t count.

You actually make a very good point about conservatives. As long as it’s not their “base’ that’s suffering their is no crisis. It reminds me of Barbara Bush’s comments about the Katrina survivors: “And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this—this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them.”

Crisis? What crisis? Great job Brownie, er Rummy, er Condi……….

Great freakin’ job Georgie!

Posted by: KansasDem at December 12, 2006 1:47 PM
Comment #198870

“However China is recieveing increasing control,probably in exchange for cooperation on NK.”


Speaking of China and North Korea:

“South Korea’s nuclear envoy said Tuesday that
North Korea could be persuaded to disarm with strong incentives to help reverse its economic crisis, while China called for flexibility at revived arms talks it is hosting.”

Evidently not all nations see diplomacy as a waste
of time.

Posted by: KansasDem at December 12, 2006 1:59 PM
Comment #198872

KansasDem: The latest figure I have seen on Iraq refugees is 2.3 million. 1.8 million in neighboring countries and .5 million internally displaced. With an average of 3000 per day going to or through Syria and Jordan. 10% of the population and growing.

Posted by: jlw at December 12, 2006 2:42 PM
Comment #198878

e as stupid to believe democracy was possible in E. Europe. When they declare martial law in Poland, the German chancellor said that Poles were not ready for democracy. Now it is hard to find anyone who will admit to it, but check out the historical record.

The Iraq policy looks like it will not work as we hoped. But the hope was properly placed, even if the cause is lost.
Posted by: Jack at December 12, 2006 12:05 PM

Jack, you’re not seriously comparing the countries of Eastern Europe to the mid east surely? What points of comparison are there? Eastern Europe was in the unremitting grip of Stalinist communism since the end of WW II. These people were not willingly subjects of the Soviets. They were annexed effectively by Stalin at the end of the war. Practically all of them had well developed political cultures, not to mention their wider cultures that were part largely of Western culture. It is clear since the break up of the Iron Curtain that those people yearned to be free of the Commies. Think Hungary 1956, or Czechoslovakia 1968 ( I think that was the year). These two countries were symbolic of the yearning throughout Eastern Europe for freedom. It was only at the end of the 80’s that the circumstances had changed enough to make their liberation possible. We didn’t see those countries fracturing into their constituent parts once Communism collapsed, with the exception of Czechoslovakia, which had a pretty amicable divorce, and Yugoslavia, which didn’t. I guess what this shows is that where you have the kind of latent fracture in a society, crisis will tend to open and widen that fracture. Now, does that sound like Iraq? In fact, Yugoslavia is probably a pretty good comparison for Iraq. You had multiple cultures and religions held together by a strong man. Once he departs the scene, the different tribes are at each others throats.

As for Iraqi oil, I notice you haven’t addressed the question of Production sharing agreements (PSA’s) and their imposition on Iraq (“with State Department origins”). Was this just a side benefit of the invasion? What if it wasn’t, if in fact it was a primary motivating factor, along with a desired similar arrangement for Iran?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 12, 2006 3:38 PM
Comment #198897


What did we do to get ourselves off the oil addiction before Bush? During the 1990s improvements in energy efficiency slowed and they have improved again since 2002.

We went into Iraq for security reasons. It was an established U.S. policy (since 1998) to seek regime change in Iraq. That is why all those prominent and experienced Dems in the Senate went along with the plan. Saddam was a dangerous guy. Clinton said so too.

Only a dull person does anything for only one reason. The idea to establish reasonable democracy was certainly a subsidiary reason mentioned at the time.

The desire to secure oil is a broad theme, but the idea of crony capitalism pushing the war has no basis in fact. Oil is fungible. The prices are rising because the Chinese, Indians etc are buying more oil. Is the law of supply and demand a surprise?


Re N. Korea. Great. Let them do it. That is why we rejected direct one on one talks with the N. Koreans.


I agree with the analysis about E. Europe. BUT most American liberals and many of W. Europeans did NOT agree with it in the 1980s, when they accepted communism as permanent and generally accepted in E. Europe. They called Ronald Reagan a crazy cowboy who wanted to roll back communism. Millions marched in European capitals and in American cities such as New York to protest.

I know much less about the Middle East than I know about E. Europe. E. Europe was a familiar culture for me. Iraq is not. But I believe that people want to be free in all parts of the world and a recognize the same arguments I heard in the 1980s re E. Europe being used today about the Middle East.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of martial law in Poland. This is what some of those realists said back then:

“Change, too, has its limits,” charged Bundestag Member Freimut Duve, a member of West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt’s Social Democratic Party. “Lech Walesa should have recognized them long ago.” Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau stated that martial law “isn’t bad” if it prevents civil war. George Kennan, a former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, suggested that Poland’s latest tragedy might have been avoided if only Solidarity had been content “to rest for a while on its laurels” instead of pushing the “semiparalyzed Communist government” to the wall.

Read one article and remember the perfidiousness in the face of tyranny. Sound familiar?

Re oil – just do the numbers. Iraq produces about 25 billion of oil a year. The invasion costs more than that. AND that is assuming you can just get all the oil and keep it forever. It just does not add up. Besides, Saddam was willing to sell as much as anyone would let him sell. It is not like he was holding it off the market or demanding high prices. If we were interested ONLY in the money, the best bet would be to deal with Saddam.

Posted by: Jack at December 12, 2006 5:55 PM
Comment #198904

The oil companies did not pay for the invasion. The US taxpayer paid for it… well, actually, borrowed to pay for it.

Posted by: phx8 at December 12, 2006 6:07 PM
Comment #198908


Where did you get your figures?

…the existence of more than half a million refugees who have fled persecution and violence as a consequence of Bush’s war in next door Iraq.

For Bush to acknowledge their existence — as well as another half million Iraqi refugees scattered in Syria and other countries throughout the region — is to admit the failure of his enterprise,

that makes 1 million total.
Human Rights Watch site btw

Now I want all of you far lefties to Google and find total numbers on refugee problems all over the world. Lets try Venezuela with Cindy Shehan’s boyfriend Chavez. Start there and go to another one of your highly esteemed leaders and go to Cuba. Do some world searches. See if that 3% of Iraq’s population makes a “crisis”. Or if it a serious problem that needs definate attention.

Don’t just listen to others, look and research for yourself, ALWAYS. People will tell you untruths to make their point. ON Both Sides and In the MIDDLE.
The far left however makes it an everyday habit. They have too.

Posted by: scottie1321 at December 12, 2006 6:28 PM
Comment #198916

The invasion was not to obtain oil .It was to secure(control oil) wth an eye to China. It failed. Another in a long list of failures. The Neo-con notion that unfettered capitalism was supposed to bring democracy led Bremer to delay referendums until government institutions could be divied up to cronies. This gave time for the insurgency to grow as iraqi patriots joined the terrorist and Saddam supporters.
Democracy? When do we invade Saudi or the UAE then?
Can we agree that oil independance from the Middle-East is an important goal?
The myth than Saint Reagan had much if anything to do with the democratization of E. Europe is arrogant. Gorbachov,Lech Walsea,Pope John Paul and millions of others deserve more credit. Reagans contribution was syphoning off our national pension fund for an absurd arms race that may have helped weaken Soviet institutions as it has ours. That and training and arming the Talaban including Bin Laden.

Posted by: BillS at December 12, 2006 6:58 PM
Comment #198919

Jack, people accepted the Communist domination of eastern Europe because the situation was stable, it didn’t impinge on our freedoms, and it was easier to look the other way, considering the apparent alternative was the possibility of nuclear conflagration. I recall the 80’s and Reagans military build up. I recall the fear in Europe of armageddom being unleashed. I can understand the Germans fear of upsetting the status quo. Many of them will have had painful memories of the war. Many more perhaps will have had even fresher memories of the Russians, before the wall went up. It may not be noble, to abandon our neighbours to their fate, and say that they should not stir things up too much. But when you’re on the front line of a cold peace, you don’t want to stir the hornets nest.

As to the value of Iraqs oil exports compared to the cost of the war, that’s not really relevant for two reasons. Firstly, as Cheney said, Iraqi oil would pay for it. Secondly, Iraq was pumping vastly below its potential because of poor maintenance and low investment. Further, Iraq was to be merely the appetiser. Iran and Syria were next for the treatment. Iran in 2005 was the worlds fourth largest producer of oil, after saudi, Russia and the US.

Now if US oil companies could control Iran and Iraqs oil output, it would put them into a hugely powerful position. Look at the combined reserves of both Iran and Iraq. Together, they are almost as great of those of Saudi.


Are you seriously telling me that that is not a massive temptation? Or that it wouldn’t make sense, especially as the Iraqis oil was going to pay for it, or as the guarantor of last resort, the US taxpayer?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 12, 2006 7:01 PM
Comment #198967


The oil companies do not control U.S. policy. If they did, it would be a lot cheaper just to give them the money than to fight a war that may or may not give them money.


I have written on many occasions re giving Lech Walesa, Pope JP and others credit. All these were necessary but not sufficient to bring down communism and Reagan is among them. A Carter presidency followed by Mondale would have preserved the evil empire. The U.S. was very active in E. Europe, Central America and Afghanistan during the 1990s. BTW - the people actually involved in Poland credited Reagan (and the Pope).

Gorbachev played an important role of NOT destroying the world, but he never had any intention of bringing down the Soviet Union. Events spiraled out of his control.


You made my point re E. Europe. People are often willing to sacrifice liberty for stability. Reagan made people nervous because he saw the future didn’t need to be like the past and that consigning E. Europeans to the purgatory of communism was both bad policy and bad morality. Who can deny that Europe is better off w/o the Iron Curtin. Putin thinks that the greatest tragedy of the 20th Century was the breakup of the Soviet Empire. I disagree.

Re oil - sure it is a temptation. People would want to have the oil IF they could. But we have free markets and rule of law that prevent such things. Oil is fungible. It really doesn’t make much difference to big oil who pumps it. What matters is the price. Saddam was willing to sell a low cost. Not a problem for big oil. Prices have been set by supply and demand. It is a dirty float, but it is a float. Within our system of markets, there is no way to control the overall price of oil. Indeed, if the Chinese were to control the markets, their system would allow a command & control, but they do not.

Posted by: Jack at December 12, 2006 9:13 PM
Comment #199025

“A Carter presidency followed by Mondale would have preserved the evil empire.”That is of course entirely speculative. Even Reagan said they would collaspe internaly.
It should not be forgotten that Reagan armed and trained what is now called the Talaban. Reagan called them “freedom fighters”. They are killing our soldiers now.He will be remembered for that as well as smashing democratic movements all over the world.Whether he helped spread more democracy than he destroyed is an open question.

Posted by: BillS at December 13, 2006 3:52 AM
Comment #199036

I believe their are five clear and primary reasons why the President delayed the announcement of a new approach to the Iraq conflict. Five reasons he felt he can also afford to wait until January to announce the new approach.

1) The need to make changes that lead to an acceptable outcome in the broader war on terror (as opposed to outright defeat for the US). That means on a more elemental basis, the president believes that radical Islam IS at war with the US and we need to win that war and that Iraq is now clearly a part of that war….this is in opposition to the far left that drives the Democratic party and is in opposition to a terror war even as an Intolerant, Radical Islam is waging on the US on all fronts. So the president is delaying, getting all the best advice he can get to achieve a victory for the terror war in the face of waning US public support.

2) The Democratic party failed to put forward an alternative plan. The one time that the Democrats got together as a party to create a plan, a way forward in Iraq, they broke apart over the issue. Advocating everything from cut N run and impeach Bush to send more troops and fight better….the democrats agreed they had no way to reach an agreement (as a party) on Iraq or the war on terror. The democrats as a party have failed to provide a better way forward…proving they are only capable of criticizing and undermining but no good at leading us to victory. There are individuals crying “do this” or “do that” but as a party they have no plan.

3) Afraid to surrender in the middle east and possibly see hundreds of thousands butchered in a massive civil war in the face of coming 08 elections, the bulk of democratic legislators agree they must continue to fund the war in Iraq due to those political considerations. Meaning the party with no plan, will continue to fund the plan they don’t like, because they have no other option, no other idea.

4) The failure of the Iraq commission to provide the US (and the Democratic party) with a brave new way forward! Many on all sides of the issue were hoping that the Iraq commission in all its supposed wisdom would point out to the president something bold, new, simple, different, even obvious! Democrats were hoping the commission would do what they were unable to do, and come up with a clearly better way forward that they could adapt as the democratic party plan. The only thing radically new the commission really brought to the table was to go beg the terrorist state of Iran (which is in the middle of building nuclear bombs to destroy Israel and is the primary sponsor of terror in the middle east and Jihad against the US). Sad, very sad. Causing one well known publication to simply call them “surrender monkeys”.

5) A mixed and radically different set of new proposals is presently coming from the vast majority of retired and active US Generals and other advisor’s who are much more aware of what’s actually going on in Iraq than those who have failed to put much of anything of value on the table. The farce put forward by the left that our generals were being ignored and wanted to cut n Run is being ripped apart. All generals active and retired are now putting forward their ideas and from what we hear, they do not for the most part advocate surrender or cut N Run.

So the president feels that politically and practically, he has to be the one to find a better way, neither the democrats as a party nor the commission are going to provide such a way and neither will they force him to stop the present conflict. That means he’s going to try to take the time to get it right and to manage an acceptable outcome for the US based on the view that we cannot afford a defeat in the overall war on terror.

Tough luck Bush haters, you put in a congress that had no plan…now George Bush has to come up with the plan.

Posted by: Stephen at December 13, 2006 8:43 AM
Comment #199075

Given the history of Bush administration incompetence, cronyism, deception, and outright lies, there is no chance of getting it right in Iraq. We are far beyond the point of recovery.
Unfortunately, Republicans rejected the Murtha plan, and so far the proposal by Feingold has received little attention. In any event, Bush is the CINC, & Defense & State are running the show.

Wonder how we reached this point? Here is an interesting article on cronyism in Iraq under Bush:

Yesterday, congressional testimony by the Lancet people details their scientific methodology, one used in for estimates in previous conflicts.

600,000 dead.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah & Amal & a major Christian ally are within an eyelash of bringing down the Sunni Lebanese government.

Last month, the Saudis summoned Cheney to visit & read him the riot act. Yesterday, the Saudi Ambassador resigned.

Make no mistake, the situation has too much momentum and is spinning out of control. The Saudis see the writing on the wall. The US is backing al-Hakim & SCIRI, the Iranian allied powers in control of the Iraqi government. Al-Sadr & his Mahdi Army are targets. Al-Hakim makes it clear, more force is needed, and the US is in the way of settling this once & for all for the Shias. The Saudis will do their best to protect the Shias.

Implosion, explosion.

The Bush administration is responsible. Even now, they are pursuing the classic strategy of a loser.

Ever see someone bet on the wrong stock? They attempt to make up for it by pouring more money into the bet. And that is what the military is going to do. Classic loser strategy.

The number of troops required to actually stabilize Iraq, if that is even possible, would approach 400,000. We cannot do that without a draft. Unfortunately, this is not really a matter of national security, so much as it is a matter of political security for Republicans.

It is a Republican war. You sowed the wind, and we are all far worse off for it.

Posted by: phx8 at December 13, 2006 2:13 PM
Comment #199087


So your response is essentially, the Democatic party has put forward no plan and not put foward any plan, all it need to is criticize and undermine?

As far as Murtha, why do you push his plan? Even the democratic party has rejected the Murtha plan.

I agree with some of what you have said but don’t care for the lies part. What specific lie? Do you think Bush lied about WMD??? Do you think that Bill Clinton and Hillary also lied to us about WMD when they were in office? I don’t buy your “lies” line. But i’m sure it feels good repeating it again nd again and helps you to believe it.

Too bad the democrats couldn’t agree on a plan for Iraq….if they could they might be able to contribute more to this war on terror and more to what happens in Iraq than just criticism and negativity.

Posted by: Stephen at December 13, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #199103

Unfortunately, you are right; there is a great deal of negativity coming from Democrats. This is because Republicans chose to use these wars for domestic political advantage. And after all the purple thumbs, and talk of “cut and run,” and conversatives throwing around words like “traitor” and “coward,” it has turned out to be a disadvantage after all.

Remember the traffic light of death? Remember the terror alerts called for no reason other than a need to instil fear among Americans, done to boost sagging approval ratings?

The Clintons are irrelevant. They did not choose to invade Iraq. Bush did.

You do not buy the part about lies? This is too easy. Pick a topic related to Iraq, and I will provide you with a lie told by Bush, or for that matter, Cheney, Rice or Rumsfeld. There are entire sites devoted to this.

By the way, if you or anyone else likes political reading, I would highly recommend “State of Denial” by Woodward, or “Cobra II.” I do not like Woodward, but “State…” was a surprisingly good read. “Cobra II” is an account of the invasion from an almost purely military perspective. Again, it is a surprisingly good book. Both are available at the library, and at decent discounts on Amazon.

Posted by: phx8 at December 13, 2006 4:41 PM
Comment #199113


ONLY Reagan said they would collapse, but he knew they needed a shove.

The mainstream intellectuals thought (and some hoped) it would last forever.

Posted by: Jack at December 13, 2006 5:41 PM
Comment #199143

Keep your hero. Both of us will be in the ground before enough time has past for historians to evaluate the Reagan presidency accurately. Even though I think of him as a destructive baffoon I must admit I would rather see him in the oval office now than its current occupant.

Posted by: BillS at December 13, 2006 8:44 PM
Comment #199200


Great post. You’d think America would catch on that the GW presidency was a high price for us to pay to rehabilitate GHW’s boy blunder. Maybe they have.

I actually liked Dad until recently. I think we’ve paid enough for Junior’s “career”.

Posted by: gergle at December 14, 2006 6:18 AM
Comment #199212

Dubya’s press conference yesterday demonstrates his intention to diddle while our soldiers die. He has certainly proven he is not the decider; but, rather, he has proven that he is decidedly incompetent. It appears he will not only stay the course but will dig us in even deeper.

Nevertheless, a long term perspective might be useful in the analysis: (1) Dubya will be known as the worst US president in history, even surpassing Richard Nixon; and (2) Dubya will relegate the GOP to the back bench from whence they came and belong for the next 40 years. Both outcomes are good for the country and will mean our soldiers did not die enitrely for nothing. There is a silver lining in that black cloud. Go Dubya!

Posted by: Allen at December 14, 2006 10:38 AM
Comment #199268


“do you think that George Bush might be Dan Quails revenge?”

HA! I just said that exact statement a week ago at work!

I think the best thing to do in Iraq is to reduce our size to supplemental support, leave the politics to the Iraqis and occupy it in the same manner we did the philipines. Strategic location and nothing more.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at December 14, 2006 2:24 PM
Comment #199756


I realize of course you are declaring the terrorist war against the west dead because it fits with your political agenda. But Britan recently announced they are tracking some 30 plots by muslims in England and some 1,600 persons who are asociated with them. Get it? No, you don’t. The problem is real, it’s huge. It’s real, and no matter who hard you deny it….you can’t make it go away. But your politicaly correct left wing religion requires that you disavow the Jihad that radical islam has declared on the US and the west.

Posted by: stephen L at December 19, 2006 12:30 AM
Comment #214421

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