Democrats & Liberals Archives

Oh Victory, Where Art Thou?

Our illustrious president, with sober face and humble, virtuous attitude, told the country day before yesterday that he had made mistakes in Iraq; and that he would not merely leave Iraq but stay until victory is achieved. I’ve heard him use “winning” and “victory” before. So I began to wonder what he would consider to be “winning” and “victory.”

Is victory achieved when you accomplish your original goal? If so, he has achieved victory when Saddam Hussein was found and then executed. Regime change was the original goal, was it not?

Is victory achieved when you accomplish your modified goal? Again, the president has achieved victory. He was looking for WMD and they were not there. Maybe that is not victory, but it is almost as good.

Another modified goal was bringing democracy to Iraq. Bush did that, as all the purple fingers of Iraqis can attest. Why does not Bush declare victory? Is it because the "parties" are fighting with real ammunition rather than with talk? After they kill enough people they will talk.

No matter what happens, Bush talks about victory. All he wants is to win, nothing else. He reminds me of the stock market investor who has invested all his savings in a stock that was a "sure winner." And he lost all his money. So he borrows money and invests it in the same stock and loses again. Over and over he does this because his finances are in terrible shape, and he MUST win in order to survive.

Bush is so enamored of "victory" he never even considered what it means. In the last incarnation of the word he defined victory as an Iraq that can sustain itself, govern itself and defend itself. I have no idea what he means by "sustain," "govern" and "defend." But the real problem is that none of these words are related to "victory."

In order to achieve victory you need an opponent. If you play poker, you have an opponent and if you leave with more money that you came with you can say you have won and you are the victor. In any war, you have an opponent and to achieve victory you must beat your opponent.

Who is our opponent in Iraq? Are we fighting the country Iraq? I don't think so. Are we fighting the Sunnis, who seem to be the bad guys? This would mean that we are on the side of the Shiites; if they win, we win. Are we fighting the Shiites? This would mean that we are on the side of the Sunnis; if they win, we win. Are we trying to stop the civil war - or whatever you want to call the bloodshed? I doubt we can do this, and even if we did, this could not be called victory.

Our opponent is Al Qaeda, which is run by Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden and members of Al Qaeda are the ones who attacked us. If Bush wants victory in the "war on terror" he must attack our opponents. Not many of our opponents are in Iraq. Estimates I've read say that Al Qaeda terrorists represent about 5% of the bad guys in Iraq. Most of Al Qaeda is in Pakistan and Afghanistan. If Bush wants victory - as we all do - we must get out of Iraq and deploy are troops in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Bush says we are fighting the terrorists in Iraq so we would not have to fight them at home. OK. Why don't we fight them there in Pakistan and Afghanistan so we would not have to fight them here at home? Once we attack their headquarters, the few Al Qaeda in Iraq will rush back to Pakistan and Afghanistan to help their fellow martyrs.

Bush is seeking victory in the wrong place - Iraq. Our opponents are in Pakistan and Afghanistan. There is where he will find victory.

Posted by Paul Siegel at January 12, 2007 5:08 AM
Comments
Comment #202683

Rep. Senator Chuck Hagel called the Bush escalation plan’
The most dangerious forign policy blunder since Vietnam.” Chuck Hagel is a decorated military hero. So now we will no doubt get to see him savaged as a coward,surrender monkey, etc.Its only fair after what the rightwingnuts did to Kerry and Murtha. Come on guys. Give your best shot.

Lets see if I can predict as good as Woody: Congress ,after much blather,will allow conditional funding for the “new” policy. A 90-120 day timetable with bechmarks and the possibility of extension to be followed by a withdrawel of troops with a contingency left in Northern Iraq obstenstiously to protect the Kurds and stabilize the region but really to protect oil interest.

Posted by: BillS at January 11, 2007 7:48 PM
Comment #202696

Paul,

You make some good points, but when you say, “Why don’t we fight them there in Pakistan and Afghanistan”, I assume you’re forgetting that Pakistan has nuclear capacity. I’ll grant you that they lack the missile to deliver one to the US, but they definitely pose a threat if we get too crazy with them. I think we’ve been dealing with Pakistan fairly rationally.

If you’ve ever been in a real fight to the death you’d understand that you will at that last moment, if not sooner, let all hell loose because you know you have nothing to lose.

But, this nonsense of trying to play “cop” between Shiite and Sunni is insane. It’s obvious that they have no desire to work together. It would require a military force of possibly a million troops or more to carry out a true occupation that may last for as much as ten years or more.

Our involvement there amounts to the same thing as some “outsider” trying to prevent “us” from decimating the American Indian, which we did. Saddam managed to hold a minority advantage by being especially heinous and cruel. Most of europe now considers our “death penalty” cruel.

US troops have no business being in the middle of Iraq’s civil war. Let Iran send their people in to support the Shia factions in Iraq, let Saudi Arabia send in their Sunni supporters, and likewise with the whole damn area.

We’ll live through the interruptions of oil availability. It won’t be easy, but we’re resilient. Let the Arabs fight their own damn wars, and defend ourselves.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 11, 2007 8:49 PM
Comment #202767

BillS—The most dangerous foreign policy blunder in American history was when the Supreme Court appointed GW Bush as “president” back in 2000. A blunder followed closely by the second most dangerous blunder—this time on the shoulders of the Bush 2004 electorate.

I still think Al Gore should have used my idea as a campaign slogan: “Read my lips! NO NEW BUSH’s!”

There is no way out of this national (and, of course, international) nightmare until that total idiot masquarading as the president of the United States can no longer inflict his far less than mediocre character, intelligence, politics, etc. on the American people. God Bless all those who will lose their lives in the interim because of that bastard!

Posted by: Kim-Sue at January 12, 2007 9:54 AM
Comment #202777
When I received the Nobel Prize, the only big lump sum of money I have ever seen, I had to do something with it. The easiest way to drop this hot potato was to invest it, to buy shares. I knew that World War II was coming and I was afraid that if I had shares which rise in case of war, I would wish for war. So I asked my agent to buy shares which go down in the event of war. This he did. I lost my money and saved my soul.

Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (1893 - 1986)

Bush has spent our souls. We must withdraw and let the Iraqis sort it out, I don’t think anyone else can. As was pointed out in another thread here, eventually enough people will have died that either the Iraqi sides will have to talk or there will be no one left. Eventually, maybe, we can redeem ourselves. Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at January 12, 2007 10:55 AM
Comment #202778

Kim-Sue
Technically the Supreme Court did not make a forign policy blunder. Their decision makes more sense now that it is comming out that the Chief Justice was bombed out of his gourd at the time.Bush is no more of a legitimate president than a Franco or Hissain to my thinking. Sadly,because the opposition did not rise up and refuse Bush’s appointment we are where we are today.Too many Democrats were willing to sacrifice freedom for stability. I hope they have learned so it does not happen again. PS Love your slogan. It may be useful yet. Lets not forget Jeb.

Posted by: BillS at January 12, 2007 10:58 AM
Comment #202779

I am glad you brought this up. I’ve seen multiple threads on the Republican side asking whether Democrats even want to “win”. I’ve been wondering what “win” even means at this point?

Posted by: Max at January 12, 2007 10:58 AM
Comment #202792

George Bush reminds me of students I have encountered that in the face of failure keep trying the same strategy that brought them faliure. They are not able to adjust or change strategy. They also seem incapable of incorporating new information into their thinking that does not jive with what they already know to be true.

I don’t think this war is about Al Qaeda and never was, it was about trying to remake the Middle East into an American-style corporate democracy. W and his folks believe that reality is objective and that his view of good government is everyone’s view. He seems to think that if he keeps at it that the Iraqis will come on board with his thinking. The sad thing is Bush will go to his grave thinking he was right and the rest of the world was wrong. Reminds me of Christopher Columbus who went to his grave thinking that he had discovered a passage to India not a new continent even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Posted by: Tom Snediker at January 12, 2007 11:55 AM
Comment #202793

jc said “The cold heart facts of life is George Bush will continue to fight the war without interference from the Left”

I’m glad you accept that the murderous destructive fiasco which is Iraq is the full responsibility of your leader, Bush. Do you accept a shared responsibility for your fealty to Him?

Adrienne,
IMnotsoHO winning the next election has always been Bushes top priority.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at January 12, 2007 12:01 PM
Comment #202808

Dave, yeah. As if I don’t feel cynical enough already, I read something like that and then it’ll suddenly click. The worst part is, while I realize it’s necessary to try to grasp the way the opposition thinks, it makes me completely disgusted and repelled whenever their utterly dark and immoral ruthlessness invades my understanding.

PS. Never feed a troll.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 12, 2007 12:57 PM
Comment #202809

jc,

1 - I am a liberal, not a Democrat.
2 - If 20k troops makes the difference, then I will acknowledge the fact.
3 - In 3 months, if there’s no change, will you acknowledge that Bush has failed or will you simply say he hasn’t won yet?

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at January 12, 2007 1:01 PM
Comment #202811

Adrienne,

Thanks for the compliment (at least I think it was). And the advice :-).

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at January 12, 2007 1:08 PM
Comment #202815

Dave, it was a compliment. It showed that you already are already fully aware that we can put nothing, and mean nothing past these people. And shows that for as cynical as I believe I am, I’m obviously not cynical enough.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 12, 2007 1:18 PM
Comment #202816

Sorry Dave, trying to do too much at once here. Strike one of those alreadys, and make that “and I mean.”

Posted by: Adrienne at January 12, 2007 1:27 PM
Comment #202825

Adrienne,

It’s scary, isn’t it, that things start to make more sense if the Administration really is that “evil”. It’s harder to believe they’re really that stupid.

jc,

I’ve always rooted for our country. That’s why I am so against Bush.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at January 12, 2007 2:01 PM
Comment #202840

JC
I am one of the least liberal people on this board. I cringe when I hear of Pelosi and her un-Constitutional beliefs. Apparently, Reid is just another corrupt politician and kennedy and kerry are nothing but hypocrits and elitests.
But to call any of them traitors simply because they have differing opinions is wrong. Saying any of them do not care for our troops is no better and no less silly than saying President Bush does not care for them.

My point?
Talk show zingers may be fun to type, but they do not help others to better understand your point.
Make your voice heard, but do it in a way in which people will listen.
Its alot more fun and you will learn a whole lot more.

Posted by: kctim at January 12, 2007 3:06 PM
Comment #202860

Dave:

It’s scary, isn’t it, that things start to make more sense if the Administration really is that “evil”. It’s harder to believe they’re really that stupid.

Well, as Mark Twain said, ” I sometimes wonder if the world is run by smart people who are putting us on, or imbeciles who really believe it.”

Regarding Bush’s quest for ‘victory’ in Iraq, Benjamin’s Disraeli’s comment regarding a political adversary seems to apply: “He had only one idea, at it was wrong.”

Posted by: Tim Crow at January 12, 2007 3:52 PM
Comment #202862

JC
That is the beauty of our country, they ARE free to assume he is lying, even if it is for political purposes. Dishonest? Yes.
And I am well aware that the President has more information at his disposal and that he cannot share it with them and yes, I believe they used it for political gain.
But that was not the point of my post.

In order to get your point across, you must do it in a way that people will listen.

I’m not critiquing you nor am I suggesting that I know better or anything like that. I am just offering my two-cents in case you wondering why nobody seems to answer some of your questions.

“could you in all honesty Gaurentee that if he shared this Information that it would not be leaked.Would they not take this information to use against the President and his efforts to win”

Classified info should be distributed as such. Not everybody needs to know everything. I agree.
But, Democrat or Republican or whatever, they are our fellow Americans and I will always believe they have whats best for our country in mind, until they prove otherwise.

Politics is an ugly game, but only because we play it that way.

Posted by: kctim at January 12, 2007 3:53 PM
Comment #202865

jc,
Unfortunately keeping all your secrets to yourself simply makes you suspect when you try to accomplish anything. If Bush doesn’t trust anyone in our government enough to share his “secrets” with, then he really is attempting to become the ‘king’ or ‘dictator’. Or maybe he is simply paranoid.

Our constitution gives us a checks and balances system. If one side does not co-operate with the others then our entire government is heading towards failure.

This is one of mine and I believe many Democrats major concerns about the Bush Administration. No one knows who to believe any more. Especially when it comes from the White House. If President Bush continues this way, we may not HAVE a government “of the people, by the people and for the people” much longer.

Addendum:
BTW: what is the definition of “win” when it comes to Iraq, or the Middle East.

Posted by: Linda H. at January 12, 2007 3:58 PM
Comment #202888

JC

Grow up! I’m mean shut up! The only top secret information that GWB has is how much his bank account will increase when he returns to the private sector on that long long long long awaited day that will end this country’s national DAY- and NIGHT- MARES.

Posted by: Kim-Sue at January 12, 2007 5:17 PM
Comment #202927

Paul

You raise excellent points, but I must say, “victory” was NEVER possible. The original lie sold to those who would believe it was that Saddam Hussein had WMDs. If that megalomaniac did have them, they were given to him by GWB’s hero—the now dead Ronald Reagan!

As far as regime change was concerned, I don’t remember GW Bush admitting to such a goal. I do remember, however, him saying that removal of Hussein was a good thing because “after all he did try to kill my father.” Saddam Hussein kept Iraq and the region in a stalemate for a time, because he was a sociopath and a muderous dictator. Outside of Iraq and the immediate region he was essentially harmless—meaning he never posed any legitimate threat to the US. Focusing attention on such a ludicrous “world figure” played right into the hands of Iran and their “nuclear ambitions.” A program undetected and unchecked until our troops were over committed in the region and elsewhere in the world. The presence of the US in Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein has made America far less secure from Jihadists that seek to kill Americans indiscriminantly. Bush is responsible for this new reality. He has increased the international battlefield on which Jihadists will fight.

Also, the enemy of the US in Iraq has changed so many times I have lost count. I bet US combat forces wish they knew who the enemy is in Iraq. If it were an identifiable legitmate target then mission would have been accomplished ages ago.

Democracy in Iraq—What a crock! Yet, a topic of true historical significance that doesn’t get much debate except the very superficial. Other than perhaps the “president” of the US, did anyone really think the the majority Shiite population would not be in control in a “democratic” Iraq (fictitious democracy or not). Where is the historical precedence—modern or ancient—in this region? Did anyone, except GWB, really believe that propped-up Bush backed Sunni politicians and other returning exiles (Sunni, Shiite, or what have you) would have any lasting influence in a Saddam-free Iraq? They certainly have DOD money straight from our pockets—thanks to Bush and his minions! Did anyone, except GWB, believe that Maliki would be any less prone to sectarianism than the deposed priminister-elect Jafari? They come from the same party. Maliki was a former aid and advisor to Jafari. Did any one, except GWB, really believe that one of our “new” enemies Al Sadr would not be influential in the politcal process irrespective of his armed militia? He is an Iraqi citizen, whether Bush likes him or not, Al Sadr should not be excluded from participating in a “Democratic” Iraq—that last statment presupposes a “free” and “democratic” Iraq would develop following a US invasion—again, did anyone, except GWB, really believe that it would?

All of this debate and discussion should have occurred BEFORE 3,000 plus American VOLUNTEER soldiers gave their lives to this reckless Bush mission. The historal precedences and warnings were all there well BEFORE the US megalomaniac Bush ordered our troops to invade Iraq. This whole situations is a horrifying example of American politics gone so so wrong. Too few people, republicans and democrats alike, thought about what military would be up against, and the reality of muslim/arab culture, history, ecomomics of Iraq—politics and avarice were more important to our elected officials than the lives of the people they supposedly serve! 3000 plus Americans dead, and for what? These Americans mattered and deserved far better than the politicians they had. All these other issues, which polarize the discussions of these bloggs and constitute the fodder of any presidential and political rhetoric, UTTERLY PALE IN IMPORTANCE to the lost live of more than 3000 volunteer American troops!!! Why aren’t their lives the focus and center of the debate regarding this reckless policy and the need to STOP IT, not merely “change” it!

Posted by: Kim-Sue at January 12, 2007 8:14 PM
Comment #202988

BillS

Excellect! So funny, but sadly, so true. I would love to forget about Jeb. OMG! What a positively bone chilling prospect, Bush III. Yikes, just thinking about it really scares me.

I agree, the democrats cast their souls aside to avoid potential political backlash in appearing to support this Iraq disaster. I aim to do some more letter writing to our newly elected officials.

Posted by: Kim-Sue at January 13, 2007 1:19 AM
Comment #203042

Interesting how as late as December 17 dems were calling for more troops and now as soon as Bush does it they nail him. Liberals, please tell your leaders to stand up for what is right and quit opposing Bush just for the sake of opposing Bush.

Its also interesting how Bush keeps making up new arch-enemies. First it was bin-Laden, then Saddam, the al-Zarqawi, and now its al-Sadr. Brings to memory how in 1984 the Party used Emanuel Goldstein and the Brotherhood to whip everyone into a frenzy. Freedom is Slavery. War is Peace. Ignorance is Strength.

jc
please do not call our elected officials traitors unless you can prove the charge. Disagreeing with what you think is right is not treason. Treason is giving aid and comfort to the enemy, which to the best of my knowledge no one is doing.

Kim
Actually most of our soldiers just want the rules of engagement to change so they can whoop the stuffing out of anyone they think is a bad guy.

I have said this before. If we want to win and end this war in a jiffy we should draft a million or so soldiers, send them to Iraq and Afghanistan and see if Iran wants to mess around with us then. Unfortunately this would be ridiculously expensive and more unpopular. But it would do the job. And Bush does have a penchant for ridiculously expensive and unpopular actions.

Posted by: Silima at January 13, 2007 12:51 PM
Comment #203079

Good thread, could be even better if Kim-Sue contributed. However, I understand that she needs to vent.

Posted by: Honest at January 13, 2007 5:16 PM
Comment #203083

“Actually most of our soldiers just want the rules of engagement to change so they can whoop the stuffing out of anyone they think is a bad guy.”

Sounds like they need to work for the NYPD.

Posted by: Tim Crow at January 13, 2007 5:37 PM
Comment #203160

Actually silima, that’s part of the problem. Soldiers have been firing off indiscriminately since this business began. Where have you been? Where the slightest doubt existed in their minds, they took out the potential threat. Hence whole families in cars have been wiped out. A British reporter during the war was taken out. It was and is a question of shoot first, ask questions later. Where do you think much of the insurgency has come from? I recall hearing a US officer describe at a press conference what “We” do; “We kill people and smash things up” as a definition of what the US army is trained for. Which is jim dandy if you’re fighting a conventional symmetrical war. If you’re not, then it’s a disastrous strategy. But then as Rummy said, you go to war with the army you have!

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at January 14, 2007 7:30 AM
Comment #203270

Silima-
It’s awful tricky to determine who’s good and bad when you don’t have your own translators. Understanding the enemy takes on a whole new dimension when it comes to language.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 14, 2007 10:44 PM
Comment #203381

Silima-

Good point. That should have been the strategry from the very beginning. I still would not have supported a US invasion of the sovereign Iraq, but at least our troops would not be up against what they are right now. Alas, our “president” does not believe in “nation building.” Such a policy may not have been as favorable to his or Dick Chicangery’s bank accounts when they finally returns to the private sector.

Host at Jan. 13, 2007-
You don’t know the first thing about me and what I do and do not need. I’m sure you’re just another one of the miriad of intellectually challanged bloggers who post here! Substituting personal attacks and characterizations for intelligent debate is NOT original! But don’t hurt yourself trying to keep up!

Posted by: Kim-Sue at January 15, 2007 4:44 PM
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