Democrats & Liberals Archives

Give Me The Real Reason

History will likely see the failure of the War in Iraq in terms of an early failure to bring security to the newly conquered territory. From that comes all the other parts of the problems that made our efforts in vain. Yet even now, Republicans like John McCain are doing their best to browbeat us into continuing the war, and blame the majority of Americans and the people they’ve elected for their failures. But what do they really have to give us to hope for?

A great many Americans found amusement in John McCain's well-protected walk in the "safe" environs of a Baghdad market. The rosy assessment that McCain has made on behalf of the President, who seems to be getting another good soldier to fall on his sword on his behalf, is that the new surge will succeed in securing Iraq, and that all the President needs is more time to make a clean getaway more time to succeed.

Let me be blunt: he's had over four years. He's had more time than Eisenhower and McArthur needed to win back Western Europe and the Pacific from the Axis powers. Why is one damn country, no bigger than California, taking that much time? Should we give more time to a president who with a 21st century Army has failed to secure, and continues to fail to secure a much smaller stretch of territory than a 1940's American army took in a single year?

I'll tell you why the President's not been able to do his job. He chose to fight a political war at home, rather than defuse such internal conflict by admitting to mistakes early, and resolving them with equal speed. The evidence is clear on what this administration has done, and more importantly, not done.

We did not originally have to replace Iraq's army, or its police. Those actions were made necessary by this administration's firing of these people in the first place. They were made necessary by the arrogant refusal of the Administration to listen to those people who said that repairing the damage from those dismissals would take decades. Additionally, the administration purged the ranks of Iraqi bureaucracy of the Baathists, which done indiscriminately put a bunch of folks whose only crime was doing what was required at the time to be in the civil service, in addition to getting rid of the real devotees of the old regime. All these together made Iraqi resistance to the new order of things, as we set it up, pretty powerful.

The problem is not one that attrition can solve. Attrition only works if you can cut off reinforcements to the other side. Otherwise, the war continues until you run out of resources to fight. If we're imagining after all this time that we can actually win this war, then our first problem is security. Bush, though, has drawn most of what we have to cover Baghdad. That means in other places, we don't have much presence anymore.

The estimates to secure the whole of Iraq? About half a million. Our system is already so taxed, though, that our soldiers are returning before Army doctrine would have them return to the battlefield. Some may shrug their shoulders at that, but it's a matter of keeping these units well-equipped, well-trained, and minimizing the kinds of lethal stresses that built up can reduce good judgment in the field, and survival as a veteran at home. We either put in for a draft, or we radically expand the size of our military to accommodate the logistical problems.

Bush has done neither.

Without presence, nothing else will go our way in the long run. We can baby-sit Baghdad for a short while, but we cannot do what it takes to bring political stability to Iraq. If we are unable to do that, this waiting game is pointless. America does not need another Vietnam War, perpetuated by a government that refuses to read the writing on the wall regarding public opinion.

For the president's information, the only thing that stands between the troops and their money is him. We've put together the spending bill necessary to get them all kinds of things, including the healthcare Bush was unwilling to pay for. We may have done a little political bargaining to get it through Congress, but Bush doesn't have that excuse for the loads of pork he approved time and time again, and that the supposedly fiscally responsible Republicans piled on without a qualm.

His problem? We're not going to allow him to leave office with America still in Iraq, or still there in great numbers at least. He's convinced that the best thing he can do to rally disillusioned party members is to push this war even harder. Having been chastened by the 2006 election, and its fundamental message that America wanted out of Iraq, his contrarian response was to do the exact opposite of what people wanted, a move that forced this Congress to fund those troops, despite their mandate to bring them home to spare them more of this interminable fiasco. We're giving Bush what he wants: funding. In return, though, he must submit to the overwhelming majority of Americans, and leave Iraq.

The Republicans have little to gain from this continued defiance. They wish to confuse the matter, muddy the issue, but the fact is, wars like this aren't won after almost half a decade of procrastination and lowballing. There has been damage done to our ability to secure Iraq, and to rehabilitate the country in our image. This damage is no mere illusion, and fooling people here into thinking that this can all be brushed aside is just going to make things hurt worse when those realities come back to frustrate our efforts.

I wanted to hope for better things. It took me until some time last year to finally conclude that there was no winning Iraq. Too many opportunities passed us by, which Bush did not take because he did not want to violate his vaunted message control.

He knew that to bring more troops in would validate the criticism that we had come in light, that to get more political with the solution would validate the criticism that he was relying too much on military operations, and that to admit that the strategy wasn't working, that things were getting worse, would ultimately admit that his policies had not gone in their desired direction. In looking at Bush's failures, many can be seen in the silhouette of the criticisms he was trying to avoid. He would not fix problems where fixing them would negate previous administration positions.

Now he's got a new message that he's unwilling to depart from, and the party, for the most part, dutifully follows in his footsteps, backing the same horse they lost so big on. Perhaps they are trying to appease their base. Perhaps they are trying to avoid the fragmentation of their party. All in all, though, their position is unformly gutless. They can't admit the mistake. They won't ask the sacrifice it would take to get things actually done. They'll just hold on until somebody else can get the blame for putting an end to all this. Once that is done, they will try and divide the country for years to come on the notion, conveniently ignoring the four years of responsibility they bear. They'll once more talk of "peace with honor", so they can pretend they didn't lose a war.

The problem is, you don't win or lose a war at the absolute end. You win or lose a war as you make the choices that decide the course of events, as you succeed, make mistakes, and either chose to redeem the mistakes, or compound them. To avoid admitting to the mistakes in the 2004 election, the Bush administration and the Republicans compounded mistakes, and procrastinated on taking care of troublesome issues. It is in that irresponsibility, and the next two years worth of perseveration on that, that we see the failure in this war.

The Republicans killed their own war, and nobody should forget this. They had the power to win. They did not do what it took to win. They did not do what would maintain confidence in the war effort, and more importantly, what would actually serve the goals of the war itself. They will confront Americans with an elaborate campaign to convince them otherwise, but their actions during the past five years will speak louder than their words to those listening. They will speak to the reality of the situation in Iraq, which is nothing like it was ever promised to be in he beginning, nor what they promised it would become in time during the 2004 election.

Nobody likes to lose. I never wanted to lose this war. I'm certain the Republicans never wanted to lose their majority. There are two different ways to lose, in the end. You can admit defeat while you're strong enough to recover well, or you can wait, and put yourself in an even worse situation. I hate to leave anybody out on a limb in Iraq, nor do I wish to neglect my own country's welfare. I believe that by starting the withdrawal early, and making it gradual, we can both serve to wean the Iraqis off of our aid to the extent it's possible, and also prevent the more shameful consequences of a catastrophic failure that would inevitably be brought on if we continue to beat our heads against the wall trying to win this war on Bush's pathetic plan. America deserves a soft landing rather than a hard fall.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at April 7, 2007 7:56 PM
Comment #215496


The finger pointing has already begun.

We will hear people blame this mess on everything from the Media to the “anti-war” crowd, and nothing could be further from the truth.

Mr Bush enjoyed a nearly 90% approval rating just after Sept, 11th 2001, and he pissed it away. America likes to win, hell nobody likes to lose, but instead of doing the things necessary to win this engagement in Iraq, this administration seems only to do that which will only keep us from losing.
That just hasn’t been enough, and Bush’s approval ratings, once in the stratosphere, have plummeted as a result.
It’s has been said that if we lose in Iraq, the Democrats win.
This is utter bullshit.
If we lose in Iraq, everybody loses.

Through gaffes, Malapropisms, and missteps, this administration has done more than it’s fair share to screw up the war on terror and ruin the standing this country has had around the world.
If we are ever to regain that standing it will take decades of hard work, and a renewed effort in the war on terror.

Posted by: Rocky at April 7, 2007 9:45 PM
Comment #215500


I disagree that the war is not winnable. The question though is which war, and to what extent are we willing to commit to victory.

If this were the Nazi regime we were fighting, there would be a draft, conversion of auto factories into military munitions makers, and a sweeping propoganda machine like WWII. If Iraq were the hot bed of terrorism being launched in America, we could wipe out large sections of it with impunity. When it’s a lie, in a democracy, there are enough honest people that the truth eventually comes out. Americans aren’t going to support a lie for long.

The problem is the Iraqi’s aren’t the Nazi’s. They aren’t terrorists. They aren’t even seeking world domination. The Sunni’s in Anbar are rising up against Al Aqueda, The Shia and Sunni are settling old scores and vying for power. We’ve done what we can do militarily. It ‘s time for us to hand the reigns over to Iraq.

This is a war in which we have no part, and only increase Arab hatred of American interference in internal struggles. Will people die if we leave? Sure. We have propped up regimes that have no legitamacy in Iraq. They will fall. The longer we stay the more we allow external regimes to find an excuse to intervene in Iraqi issues. We support Iraq in stability and deomocracy. We resist tyranny and genocide. Will terrorists follow us home? Yes.

We have created more terrorists by staying in Iraq. Some will try to launch US attacks. Most will continue in Iraq. This is true whether we are there or here. By withdrawing from Iraq we do not have to withdraw from the war on terrorists. We can seek them out anywhere in the world.

The war that is winnable, is for the hearts and minds of fair minded Arabs, and the war against terror campaigns based on lies. We win it by showing no fatigue or mercy for terrorists whether sanctioned by friend or foe. This means we mount operations to retrieve or extinguish Bin Laden. We continue to support the building of infrastructure and economic survivability without poppy production in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We deal fairly with Israel and Palestine.

It means we stop genocidal regimes from commiting their crimes without consequence, like we did in Kosovo. With right on our side, the world will aid and support us. When we lie and manipulate people for the benefit of trade and corporate profit, we eventually experience the blow back that we now see in many parts of the world. When we lie, regimes like Iran and China gain foothold in the world as equally legitimate.

The dishonesty of the Iraq campaign has led us down a wrong and treacherous path. It’s time we fought the real war…the war for the high road, the road for moral leadership.

Posted by: gergle at April 7, 2007 10:29 PM
Comment #215501


With the benefit of hindsight, you probably could have avoided many of the mistakes we made in Iraq. But you might have made some very serious ones, just different.

Consider the Iraqi army problem. First, the army largely disbanded itself, so it was not much of a choice. Those who wandered off were mostly the conscript Shiites or Kurds. You probably could not have enticed them to return. The ones who would have come back right away were the Sunni Baathists and Saddam enthusiasts. You can see the possible consequences of having Saddam’s SS equivalent running security.

I think we may have went too far with the Baathist purge, but again consider the consequences of leaving them in power. If the Sunnis feel aggrieved with the Shiite majority running the show, how much would the Shiite majority feel aggrieved by leaving the Sunni Baathists in control? Liberating the concentration camp and leaving the guards in place might not be so popular.

The new strategy of the surge is the one advocated by General David Petraeus. This is the guy whose plans the Dems praised just before they tried to cut off the funding for them.

I know Dems have been sure we would lose for a long time. But considering the great cost and risk of losing, do you not think it might be useful to give this strategy a chance. Remember, Dems demanded many aspects of this strategy when they thought Bush would not do it. And they praised it when advocated by General Petraeus.

Do Dems really want to win? I believe you do, but there seems to be a big part of the liberal establishment that does not think we deserve to win.

Posted by: Jack at April 7, 2007 10:46 PM
Comment #215505

The problem with the hindsight argument is that these people were told about virtually every potential problem in advance. If that’s what happened, your problem is not 20/20 hindsight, it’s not being able to listen.

The army did not disband itself. We could have carved off the loyalist segments, done the same with all the other parts of the system. With the Shia firmly in control, they would have been capable of doing the rest, instead, we essentially told the Sunnis that they would have little voice or participation in the government, and threw out most of the experienced bureaucrats who would help us get things done, who knew the system and how to work it.

You want your ideal Baathist purge? Fine. But look at Germany, when we tried nearly the same. We failed there, too, because when a party like the Nazis or the Baath party gets into power, they close off the routes up the ladder for all non-party members. You have to be more selective, get rid of the worst, and let the rest remain.

You want to turn this around on us? Petraeus is not a free agent, who is at liberty to speak his mind. When Rumsfeld was in charge, and Bush had him there indefinitely, were Petraeus’ approaches on counterinsurgency taken? No. It was stay the course. Only after the election did Bush go with the counterinsurgency approach, and he has not put enough soldiers in, according to many generals now retired, to achieve the goal. Why should we give Bush credit for once again lowballing a strategy?

Moreover, why should we give him any credit for waiting another election cycle, and letting the country go to hell before “taking” our suggestion?

This country deserved better than a defeat, and I’d say most Democrats believe that. Unfortunately, that’s what this President handed us, by not adapting to the situation instead of playing politics. Given that Bush has failed, even now, to give America the necessary effort needed to win, I’d say this country needs an organized withdrawal more than it needs Bush to run this thing into the ground. I know you folks are fond of Bush, but he hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory. He’s done just enough to make himself look like he’s trying, but not enough to actually do what he needs to do.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 7, 2007 11:35 PM
Comment #215507

The error went (and still goes) far deeper than not providing adequate security at the beginning of the war.

In fact, it’s very likely that more stringent security would have created problems just as bad or worse than what has occurred.

After the fall of Baghdad, critics asked, “Why isn’t the US preventing all of this looting and lawlessness that is terrorizing the Iraqi public?”

Had the US done what was necessary to prevent it, however, critics would have asked, “Why are American troops, who want to be seen as liberators instead of occupiers, shooting and arresting looters—who are, after all—trying to survive in this war-torn country?”

I did not think that we should have fought against and occupied Iraq at all without more provocation than we were presented with. But once we reached that point, if we did, the war needed to be massive, quick, and brutal, and instead of rebuilding a new government along with a domestic infrastucture, we should have delivered a simple message that any Iraqi government who tried the same thing again would be treated exactly the same way.

No, Bush’s initial folly was regarding the war as a war of “liberation” on behalf of the Iraqi people to begin with.

The war he chose to fight is not “unwinnable.” It’s just going to be very long, very expensive, and very painful. There’s really no choice of running away and simply allowing Iraq to become a province of a nuclear Iran, a nuclear Iran sitting on top of a vast percentage of the world’s oil reserves. It’s not pretty, but we’re stuck with it.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 7, 2007 11:57 PM
Comment #215510

Marvin Minsky, dealing with a student who was messing around with a computer program to play tic-tac-toe saw that his student was wiring it randomly. When he asked why, the student said he didn’t want this neural net to be learning the task with any preconception. Minsky told the student that wasn’t true at all. The system would still have preconceptions, he said. You just won’t know what they are!

Look at Afghanistan, or Pre-World War II Germany, where we didn’t do much in the way of control of the situation, where we either left things alone, or we piled extra punishments on the people in question. You take control of these situations, and don’t leave countries to rot, because the rot spreads and causes new problems. We can assume that we’re all powerful because we can knock down a government, but that does not allow us to determine the result of what comes from that.

We can’t rewire Iraq randomly, and think we can determine the fate of the nation. Bush’s problem is that he went halfway in all respects. Too many not to seem like occupiers, too few to occupy properly.

I don’t think you appreciate that situations like this don’t get better over time with wars, especially when you have a still undermanned war being fought along those lines.

You can use emotional words like “Run away”, “province of Nuclear Iran”, or things like that, but I don’t think you understand the problems there, either. Iran is Farsi, Iraq is Arab. They may share a common religion in the majority, but language is important in the Arab community.

Might I ask, with all the Iran friendly people in the current government, what’s the difference would that make at his point? Iran was going to become influential the moment we knocked the Sunni Baathists out of power. If you didn’t want that, you shouldn’t have wired the system randomly.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 8, 2007 12:36 AM
Comment #215511


“critics would have asked, “Why are American troops, who want to be seen as liberators instead of occupiers, shooting and arresting looters—who are, after all—trying to survive in this war-torn country?”


Those that were doing the looting destroyed more than they took, and the war had been going on less than a month.
It wasn’t just the looting that we didn’t secure either. There were ammo dumps, for instance, we noted yet didn’t secure.
In our rush to find WMDs I guess that a mere ammo dump wouldn’t rate at the top of the list until those same explosives started being used against us.
Go figure.
We’ve had to backtrack and play whack a mole in towns we ran through to get to Baghdad.
One of the first rules of warfare is that you cover your ass.
Well, we didn’t, and we are still paying the price 4 years later.


Your “hindsight” argument would only be true if we hadn’t been talking about these same problems for 4 years.
This is deja vu all over again, and the same mistakes were made over and over.

Bush has had carte blanche with virtually no oversight for 4 years.
Why are we still being asked for patience when we are still making the same mistakes?

Posted by: Rocky at April 8, 2007 12:48 AM
Comment #215513


In any decision all sorts of things are floating around. After the decision is made and the facts are known, it is very easy to pick the ones that turned out to be true. If you pick through your or my postings on this blog, we could be said to predict lots of things we had no idea about.

IF all those warnings were out there, how come so many Dems voted for the war? Dems argue they were tricked, but if - as you say - everybody knew these facts, that certainly means Clinton, Edwards, Kerry et al knew it too.

You are fooling yourself if you think you could have maintained the Iraqi army with the Shiites firmly in control. It is like putting former slaves and union loyalists in command of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Re disbanding itself, do check into the facts. Do you recall ANY intact large units of the Iraqi army captiulating? What happened to them? If they did not fight and they did not capitulate where were they? In the case of Germany, German units capitualed and maintained their structure. Not the Iraqis.

Re the change in strategy - you can give credit to Bush or not. The strategy is differnt now. Early reports indicate that it may be working. That might not mean a “win” but it might mean we leave in a better position.

I think the Dems are invested in defeat for Bush and some of them do not seem to understand that such is also a defeat for America.

BTW - Pelosi’s debacle in Syria shows the limit of the innocents abroad diplomay. If Dems are so smart, how come she is so stupid. Even the Liberal “Washington Post” writes about the Pelosi’s pratfall in Syria. Golly-gee Nancy. This diplomacy stuff is harder than you thought.

Posted by: Jack at April 8, 2007 1:06 AM
Comment #215515

Debating the Iraq war with Democrats these reminds me of road-trip I took to Lake Tahoe back when I was in college. Three of us were in a van when it hit an icy patch and went into a snow bank.

One guy (let’s call him Jim), spent the next three hours while we waited for the tow truck talking about how the van should have had better tires, how we’d been going too fast, how we were all probably going to freeze to death, how he should have been the one driving, how the whole trip was a stupid idea anyway, and so on and so on. Of course, he’d come along pretty willingly until there was a problem.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 8, 2007 1:19 AM
Comment #215520

Please, don’t tell me this stuff was just floating around. A lot of this stuff was conventional wisdom that they had to deliberately decide to ignore, including the number of the troops, the preparations for future policy, and the dismissals.

Additionally, this stuff was going around The executive branch, which really wasn’t talking too much to Congress about important things- not that the Republican leaders cared about that.

As for Shiite control, with them the majority, what do you think that Iraqi Democracy would mean?

As for large, intact units of the Iraqi army operating? They didn’t need to be intact. They just needed to know that they had jobs, and they would show up. Instead, Bush decided to put them out of work. And has been hiring them back ever since! Only now, you’re having to rebuild the structure and the organization of the army from scratch, something that takes years.

It’s easy to call this all political. I feel personally tired about it. It’s too much of a cliche to make me feel insulted. I really wish he had won, so this whole thing could be behind us, and some good would have been done in getting rid of Saddam. It was bad that Bush mislead us, but if he won the war that was forgiveable. But to screw the operation up, too?

Bush doesn’t get automatic credit for changing strategy. That’s a very political way to look at a much more pragmatic problem, namely, are things getting better. They’ve gotten worse for four years. Crucial opportunities to prevent the uprising altogether, to calm it down, to prevent the Abu Ghraib scandal, to pacify Fallujah and Najaf early before their violence spread, to get Sunnis participating in the elections in proportionate numbers, and to prevent the sectarian violence have passed Bush by.

Only now, with a devastating political reversal, does Bush finally increased troop numbers, ditch Rumsfeld, move to a more counterinsurgency oriented plan. But this is after he’s so discouraged the American people with the arbitrary need to stay the course that they want America to draw down. He had the opportunity to follow the American people’s wishes long ago. Doing what he’s doing now is too little, too late. History in Iraq literally passed him by.

I know damn well what it means to withdraw without the strategic victory we had to have. Don’t you understand why I published all those years worth of warnings, exhortations, criticisms? Or did you just think I was doing it for political reasons?

For most people politics is an expression of something else. I have had a lifelong admiration for the military, and found the fact that our men were sent short on evidence for what they were looking for deeply worrisome, especially given our ongoing fight with al-Qaeda. I could have forgiven Bush that if the war had been dealt with in a more responsible way, but for political reasons, they wanted things their way. They went in with only a plan A, and everything depended on people who, once bitten, were now twice shy.

I’ve been saying to you all, “Don’t you know what you’re doing wrong here? Can’t you see this isn’t going to work?”

And again and again, what people said was going to happen, did happen, and what the Bush administration promised did not. Bush invested in his own defeat, at the end of the day. He piled on debts of patience, debts of credibility, and worse, acts like he’s done nothing wrong.

As for that “debacle”? First, the WaPo is not liberal on its editorial page. Second, it’s a manufactured debacle. Republicans in Congress have gone to the Syrians to talk to them as well, and you don’t have them out front in the stocks. The extent of this “fiasco” is your party’s artifical outrage.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 8, 2007 2:28 AM
Comment #215521

You’ve got your metaphor wrong. You see, this van’s been backed out of the snowbank, and then has been crashed repeatedly into the next few snowbanks, all while people have been begging the driver to get off the road, and find another opportunity to travel.

Only this driver thinks he knows better than two out of the three others in the van, and will keep on doing, because he’s got to get where he wants to go. Never mind that his running into these snowbanks made so much noise that an avalanche has buried the pass.

Oh well, quite an overextended metaphor, I guess. But better than an overly simplistic one, formulated to flatter one’s poor opinion of most folks in the country.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 8, 2007 2:38 AM
Comment #215522


There was another party of travelers that became stuck in the mountains not too far from Tahoe. They were called the Donner Party. Jim would have been right in that group. Luck on your part, doesn’t make Jim less right.

I do, however, agree with your first post, except for the war as it stands being winnable. Bush also made the mistake of lying to the American public and thus lost support for the war. Irregardless whether a long term stay would result in a “win” We will pull out eventually whether it is a Republican or Democrat in office in 09. What will turn this into a win, is how we pull out and whether we support Iraqi stability and democracy after our troops have left.

The consequences of pulling out of Iraq, while not as dire as Bush claims, are going to be experienced. The withdrawal began last year. The “surge” is political cover, not a real strategy. What is occuring now is a US political game, the Iraqis know this. The Sunni’s are now fighting Al Qaeda,and the Shite’s, their real enemies. Insurgents fight invaders, whatever their origin.

Posted by: gergle at April 8, 2007 3:26 AM
Comment #215526

” know damn well what it means to withdraw without the strategic victory we had to have. Don’t you understand why I published all those years worth of warnings, exhortations, criticisms? Or did you just think I was doing it for political reasons?

I think you were doing it for political reasons.

At the close of the last Presidental election I believe it was Howard Dean who said the Democrats would oppose Bush on EVERY issue. That’s been happening ever since, to the detriment of the country. You have been a part of this.

I think we all can see what’s happening. We have a line in the sand and while the right and left are bickering, the country is going to hell.

Posted by: tomd at April 8, 2007 7:27 AM
Comment #215529

tomd: Yes, the Democratic party has opposed Bush on every issue but one: immigration reform. Interestingly, a majority of Americans have also opposed Bush on every issue but one: immigration reform.

Opposing Bush when he is wrong is the patriotic duty every intelligent, patriot American… that tells you something about the minority that supports him.

Finally, if it were not for the “bickering” between the left and right, the country would already be in hell and not merely enroute thereto.

Posted by: Allen at April 8, 2007 8:44 AM
Comment #215530

Second paragraph in the previous post should read: “Opposing Busch when he is wrong is the patriotic duty of every intelligent, patriotic American… that tells you something about the minority that supports him.”

Posted by: Allen at April 8, 2007 8:47 AM
Comment #215536

This country isn’t going to hell. That’s just what some politicians want you to think. They want you to believe that no matter what they do, no matter how many mistakes they make, but don’t make up for, that you’ve got no choice if you want to save everything you love.

That is the trap. That is why, despite an almost complete betrayal of your values by these people, folks like you still back them- because you care.

I’m doing this because I care. That’s why I took the first step and started writing on this site. That’s why I do everything under my real name. To say that I’m doing things for political reasons alone is to imply that all I care about is my party’s fortunes. Well, if that were the case, I would have done this back in 2000 or even earlier. At that point, I sort of cared, but didn’t feel like getting up on a soapbox and doing anything about it.

I do it now because I care about the direction of our foreign policy. I don’t want to harm this country; quite the opposite. I do want this country to prosper by its foreign policy.

Do I oppose him on most of his policies? Yes, but that’s not necessarily a Partisan thing alone.

On global warming, I’m a science geek before I’m a Democrat. I understand the science enough that I don’t tend to just question it at random, especially when those questioning it unleash stuff I know isn’t accurate.

On Fiscal policy, I’m fairly non-partisan. I don’t like overspending by my people because overspending undermines our social programs. I don’t like it in Republicans because it’s hypocritical for a party that not only claims to be fiscally conservative, but also beats my party over the head with it. Either way, I don’t like it.

On Bush’s military decisions, it’s the one thing that I would have thought that a Republican would have done right. Perhaps I didn’t agree with getting into this war, but I would think that a Republican would be ashamed to screw something up that bad

In many things, my politics are an expression of what I personally believe to be right, apart from what my party wants. I believe that pushing for what I’m pushing for can help this country, and if it doesn’t, I will ask my party to change its course.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 8, 2007 11:09 AM
Comment #215537

The only people who “need” the Iraq War are Bush and his cronies who are making millions off us taxpayers. Bush needs to be a “war” president so he can seize unprecedented power…it’s his excuse for everything he does.

January 20, 2009 will see a new president taking the oath of office in a morally and economically bankrupt United States (unless Bush keeps power, using the bill Congress passed all but unanimously allowing the presdent to seize power like a mad dictator). S/He will need more than a wing and a prayer to guide this country back to life under its real Constitution.

Posted by: Rachel at April 8, 2007 11:20 AM
Comment #215540

This country isn’t going to hell. That’s just what some politicians want you to think. They want you to believe that no matter what they do, no matter how many mistakes they make, but don’t make up for, that you’ve got no choice if you want to save everything you love.”

I’m not taking a politician’s word of what’s happening. I see what’s happening every day in my own life and the attitudes I see every day.

Your post indicates a belief that I rely on the word of others while you investigate everything yourself. Kind of arrogant on your part don’t you think?

Posted by: tomd at April 8, 2007 11:24 AM
Comment #215542

According to Bremer the Iraqi army was disbanded on his order. Sure there were desertions but the order came from him. The whitewash is wearing thin.

Do not underestimate Bremers incompetence. When the chance for early elections arose he put them off until key state owned industries could be “privatized”,(read: sold or given to cronies).This gave time for the insurgency to grow for purely neo-con ideaology.
To all
Announcement this morning from Sadr calling for all Iraqis to stop fighting each other and unite against Americans. Its over. The sooner we get out the less cost in lives and treasure. Do we have to wait for more body-bags to accept the reality? Is there a required number,say 50000 like Nam?

Posted by: BillS at April 8, 2007 11:37 AM
Comment #215543
there seems to be a big part of the liberal establishment that does not think we deserve to win.
I think the Dems are invested in defeat for Bush.

Gawd, what horses$%t. Bush has been the commander in chief for the entire war. Until very recently, Congress has given him everything he wants with no strings attached. But you guys still fault the Democrats for not wanting it enough.

It’s like your loved one goes into surgery, and after she dies on the operating table the surgeon says it is your fault for not wanting her to recover. No doubt you would scream, “But you were the one in charge! You did the work! How dare you blame ME?!”

That is exactly where Democrats find ourselves now. We love our country, and don’t want to see it humiliated. Bush and his cronies have f^%ked this up royally, and we are supposed to fill guilty for not sending enough happy thoughts. Screw that.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 8, 2007 11:37 AM
Comment #215544

Problem is Stephen is that WWII and this war are completely different. One most of the world was against Germany,Japan and Italy, where now most of the world is against the US, and rightly so.

This war should have never happened, and it is probably a lost cause now. It has turned into a civil war that we have no right to be involved and in the middle of, we need to pullout completely.
Now with Al-Sadir spouting his bullshit, it is time for someone with a set of balls to take him out. Screw the false Iraqi government, he has said to his followers to kill Americans, well it is time to take off the kid gloves and start taking out those that are keeping the killing and murders going. To go into the mosque’s pull these guys out, if they do not want to come out themselves. They do not care if they kill there own people, so why should we care what happens to them. There religion is a non-tolerant religion and no matter what we do or say, they hate us,want to kills us, and always will.

Now the problem is Bush and the Saudi’s don’t want to lose in Iraq because then the killing will spill over to Saudi and guess who has a LOT of money to lose, Bush-Chaney and CO.

Posted by: KT at April 8, 2007 12:42 PM
Comment #215545


Well put. Thanks.

Your logic astounds me. You correctly percive a lost cause but rather than respond with a strategy to cut our losses you would prefer action base on gonadle secretions.I am not alone when I say not with my money, not with my sons and daughters. It is past time for us to start thinking with other organs, our brains perhaps.
Islam itself does not call for anti-Americanism. Some radical sects of Islam preach that. There are many American Muslums even a congressman as loyal as you and I.Many of our allies are Muslum. Turky,Eygpt,Pakistan etc.Things are not as simple as some would like. That is why we are blessed with the ascendant organ mentioned above.

Posted by: BillS at April 8, 2007 1:02 PM
Comment #215549

Is nobody paying attention to the fact that we are short on “troops”??? We have no more backup sources to pull from….the stockpile is empty! Our Air Force and Navy are still in relatively good shape, but we can’t use them in this environment. Our Army and Marines are staying late and going back early. Using the Guard units for other than what they are intended for is leaving us totally vulnerable as well as decimating them along with the regular army.
What in the hell are we doing to these people and how in the hell can we sleep at night knowing we are doing it???!! This s**t is way past old now, too , about us being unpatriotic and/or unsupportive of our military. A whole bunch of right-siders need to get a grip and fall into a new mind set before falling over the cliff with the rest of the lemmings……

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 8, 2007 2:02 PM
Comment #215552


“Let me be blunt: he’s had over four years. He’s had more time than Eisenhower and McArthur needed to win back Western Europe and the Pacific from the Axis powers. Why is one damn country, no bigger than California, taking that much time? Should we give more time to a president who with a 21st century Army has failed to secure, and continues to fail to secure a much smaller stretch of territory than a 1940’s American army took in a single year?”

i don’t think this is a fair comparison. the rules of engagement have changed drasticly since then. i don’t believe the american people could stomach the type of collateral damage that was needed to win that war, today. you also need to consider the political climate. you the have speaker of the house taking it upon herself to represent US foreign policy, the press with nothing but negative daily coverage, and the constant acusations by members of congress that the pres. is a liar and cheat, none of which would have been tolerated in the 1940s, and more than likely would have brought on charges of treason, an giving comfort to the enemy. don’t kid yourself this is coming from both sides of the aisle, although more from the left, with only political motivation. whether you agree or disagree with this war, it was doomed from the beginning because of sheer politics.

Posted by: dbs at April 8, 2007 2:14 PM
Comment #215554

dbs….you’re so right. This can’t be compared to the 1940’s army. During that time, we had a more than substantial force led by a wise and trained military man himself. The idiot in charge today bears absolutely no resemblence to that !!!

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 8, 2007 2:28 PM
Comment #215555
you the have speaker of the house taking it upon herself to represent US foreign policy

You can always count on the Right to find a good scapegoat, or in the case not a very good one. No doubt Nancy Pelosi has been plotting behind the scenes for the past four years sabotaging the war. She probably stormed into the Pentagon in 2003 and demanded that they invade Iraq without enough troops and equipment. Damn you, Nancy Pelosi!

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 8, 2007 2:33 PM
Comment #215556

Take a look at this…

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 8, 2007 2:36 PM
Comment #215557

In WWII about half the world was against us. We forget that now that we have won. It is true that have been fighting in Iraq longer than in WWII, but it is also true that we lost more Americans taking Mount Suribachi than we have in the entire Iraq war to this point.


If you read Bremer’s book (not very good, I admit) you do get an idea of the complexity. There was not much of an army to disband.

In any case, we need to look forward. The only question that matters is whether or not America will be better off withdrawing today, tomorrow or when. Everybody wants our troops home. The disagreement is about when and how.

Most of you think the U.S. is hopelessly defeated in Iraq. From what I read and the people I talk to, I believe there is still a chance for a better outcome. When I balance the risks of leaving too soon with the risks of trying to achieve that better result, I believe the risks of the one, outweigh those of the other.

Posted by: Jack at April 8, 2007 2:40 PM
Comment #215558

Arrogance? I was speaking generally about the politicians, about what they want people to believe. No doubt you’ve done your own research, but I think the attitude’s just pervaded our country, to the point where many conservatives and cultural critics are just looking for the next menace, the next crisis that’s drug down the country. I’m sick of it, and not just from the Republicans.

You told me that I’m just opposing the war for political reasons. How is that not presumptuous, especially after all the trouble that I’ve gone through in order to make the opposite point. Why do you doubt my honesty on this matter? Why do you take my word at such low value? Why am I, as an opponent of continuing the war, as a critic of the Bush administration’s policy there, presented as being hollowly partisan?

I gave you the benefit of the doubt on your motives. I didn’t tell you that you were just saying things were going to hell so you could elect Republicans at all costs, because I know better, I know conservatives myself, people who just want the best for things. We can be wrong and right without being white hats and black hats

The Israelis took off the kid gloves decades ago. They still have a terrorism problem. That should tell you something.

I don’t mind pre-emptively wiping out terrorist cells when we get intelligence on them, but the real victory is not the death of the Terrorists, but their obsolescence and isolation from society.

Mainstream Islam tolerated Jewish, Catholic, and Orthodox Christian communities for over a millennium. Only recently have colonial tensions overwhelmed this good will. Pulling people out of mosques is not going to teach anybody a lesson other than might makes right, and that cooperating with those who don’t want them to be intolerant means submitting to those who violate their spaces and go after those with the strength to stand up to them.

No, what you have to do is move their world on from these leaders, invalidate the stuffy medievalism, and their anti-western sentiments. Let us be the people who put the radicals and their kind to shame with our willingness to bring peace, not the ones who validate their slanders about the West.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 8, 2007 2:42 PM
Comment #215563


woody, what scapegoat? i only pointed out what she is doing would not have been tolerated 60+ tears ago. no conspiracy theory here.

Posted by: dbs at April 8, 2007 3:10 PM
Comment #215566


“This can’t be compared to the 1940’s army. During that time, we had a more than substantial force”

i agree. i think we should have had a larger troop presence from the start. unfortunatley you and i didn’t get to make that call. i’ve heard the same from several marine corps officers i’m aquainted with.

“led by a wise and trained military man himself. The idiot in charge today bears absolutely no resemblence to that !!!”

agree with the first part, although i’m not a big fan of FDR. as for the second part. don’t agree, i believe leaders in the military generaly make these decisions, although in hind sight i might have sided with those calling for a larger troop presence. as with johnson, i don’t think wars should be fought the white house and congress. i believe you tell the military what the goal is, let them figure out how to best do it, and keep the politics out. BTW hope this post finds you doing well.

Posted by: dbs at April 8, 2007 3:26 PM
Comment #215570
The Israilis don’t have their own critisizing each other.

You obviously haven’t studied up on Israeli politics. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert now has an approval rating of 3%. That’s not a typo.

i only pointed out what she is doing would not have been tolerated 60+ tears ago.

I assume you mean “years”, although “60+ tears ago” sounds rather poetic.

Have you done any research on this? FDR met strong opposition in his day. I don’t know specifically about politicians doing their own diplomacy, but there were certainly prominent public figures like Lindbergh who were openly sympathetic to the Nazis. (And they were wrong, of course, but the point is that they existed.)

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 8, 2007 3:41 PM
Comment #215571


“It is true that have been fighting in Iraq longer than in WWII, but it is also true that we lost more Americans taking Mount Suribachi than we have in the entire Iraq war to this point.”

Yep and we lost more soldiers on Omaha Beach as well. So what.

During WW2 there was an urgency that was palpable.
FDR didn’t have to sell that urgency. There were German U-boats off of our Eastern seaboard, and Japanese troops in Alaska.
Hundreds of thousands of European and Asians died before we joined the conflict.
America was rebuilding it’s Military, and was well on it’s way to having millions of troops ready to fight. The American people were asked to sacrifice and they did.

Bush sold this Iraqi thing like a used car salesman. He played on the emotions of an American people still reeling from Sept. 11th.

There were no Iraqi subs off of our coastlines. Iraq wasn’t an imminent threat.
Yet we are still there and there is still no urgency, and there is still no call for sacrifice.
That we haven’t suffered more casualties in Iraq is a good thing, but we are no further in the war on terror than before we went into Iraq.
Point of fact, IMHO, we are now behind where we should be and now don’t even have the support of the rest of the world anymore.

Saddam, a marginal threat at best, is now dead, and the real threat is still alive.

Posted by: Rocky at April 8, 2007 3:44 PM
Comment #215573


“I assume you mean “years”, although “60+ tears ago” sounds rather poetic.”

WEAK!!! yes woody that would be YEARS. sorry for the typo.

Posted by: dbs at April 8, 2007 3:47 PM
Comment #215574

dbs….I also agree with you on the idea that wars should be fought militarily as opposed to politically. Give the military a goal, the manpower and tools to achieve it, then sit back and let them do what they have been trained to do. However, politicians and big businesses and government endorsed corporations don’t make any money off of short wars !!!
I’m doing well, thank you, and hope you are the same.
And by the way….. Happy Easter to all ! :)

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 8, 2007 4:07 PM
Comment #215577

Let’s be clear re the nature of that toleration. It was a lot like the old south tolerated blacks. Christians and Jews were tolerated as long as they knew their place. And all Islamic states took Christian slaves as a matter of state policy. That is roughly the same deal some of the Islamic terrorists are offering today.


You answered your own question. Comparisons to WWII are imperfect. When people say we are fighting longer than it took to conquer Germany or Japan, it is useful to look at the differences in the wars.

The problem of terrorism is serious, but it is not the existential threat posed by nazis or communists. That does not mean it is not important. As the president said, it was a gathering, NOT an imminent threat.

Posted by: Jack at April 8, 2007 4:22 PM
Comment #215580

Stephen Daugherty,

This is undoubtedly one of the best articles you’ve written in the months I’ve been participating here, possibly THE BEST!

I really don’t know what I can add. Oh yeah, wait a minute! Hasn’t it been nearly three months since Bush announced the “surge”? Yet now we’re told the “surge” is only at 2/5 or possibly even 1/3 the needed level?

If that’s true what the f$#@ is taking so long? Lack of readiness? Geeze-loo-eeze are we stretched too thin? Too few people are speaking the truth.

The truth is, if we plan on continuing our occupation of Iraq, we need to reinstate the draft. Only a few politicians are being honest about that and our volunteer Army and National Guard are paying the price.

The writing is on the wall. If we’re going to stay we’re going to need a hell of a lot of troops. There have been two “mini-surges’ since the original “surge” which didn’t include support troops, and that original “surge” is still not complete because we don’t have the “bodies” to make it happen.

NO ONE in DC is being honest enough when it comes down to troop strength and readiness. Murtha tried I think, and then got tired. IMO we’re really screwed in the short term and possibly disastrously screwed in the long term.

Al Sadr has just opened the “flood gates” for Shia Muslims to declare jihad on American troops at a time when we’re already bogged down with fighting Sunni’s. This will not be good!

We’re likely to see much more “shock and awe” which will inevitably result in more hatred towards the west, which is us, and we lose! We have become the aggressor, perhaps unintentionally but that makes little difference.

I’m less proud to be an American today than I ever have been in my lifetime. Wow, I guess I had more to say than I thought I did.

Posted by: KansasDem at April 8, 2007 4:38 PM
Comment #215582


Posted by: KAP at April 8, 2007 4:43 PM
Comment #215584

“Everyone wants our troops home.” No,Jack,They don’t. You assume the stated reasons for the invasion were genuine. That has been proven untrue on many levels. I would submit that the reason for the invasion were to gain a regional military foothold and to secure oil supplies,idealy with a puppet regime in Bagdad for cover. This goal has not changed. We are still building those non-existant permanent bases and US soldiers are still dying for an American imperial neo-con quest.

Posted by: BillS at April 8, 2007 5:00 PM
Comment #215585

The irony is that my subtext is that we can do better. That’s been my belief and the belief of my fellow democrats.

That’s why I point to WWII. There were were facing enemies who could really give us a run for our money, in pitched battles, air engagements, and naval battles. And we won. We should have no problems bringing the numbers to the battle, nor economic muscle, nor logistical strength.

The only thing that could really prevent that, with Bush as both the DOD secretary’s boss and the Commander in Chief is Bush himself. The only politics, with the power he had, that could have sunk him, were his own. He had the power, he had the support in the beginning. Blaming anybody else is just an exercise in making excuses.

Weary Willie-
There are times when a person’s response forces me to really think to answer, and this is not one of those times. A trip to the grocery store is more like it.

The Israelis are not all in agreement about the course taken, especially given revelations about corruption. Ehud Olmert’s ratings actually make Bush’s look good So, that’s a non-starter.

On the subject of sending hundreds of thousands of police to take care of Iraq in the place of the soldiers, you’re basically exchanging a heavily armed force in the midst of an civil war for a lighter armed one, who I don’t think they’ll like much better.

As for protecting NY with the Second Amendment, however you mean that, I think you’re mistaken on what keeps the peace there: namely, the fact that most people voluntarily submit to the laws. If people don’t want to play ball no amount of guns or police officers or any measures will keep the peace.

Part of what makes America great, and what keeps the peace in this country, is that people feel that they can stand up for what’s right without having to go outside the system to do that. The more we try to work outside the system of the rule of law to get what we want, the more likely it is we’ll end up giving that blessing up.

You think Bremer is going to be an impartial witness on his own behalf? These two or three years of trying to build an army and a police force would not be necessary without his decrees.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 8, 2007 5:09 PM
Comment #215598


how about, adressing the main point of my post. would these other activities have been tolerated or not? and would the american people accept these types of collateral dammage?

Posted by: dbs at April 8, 2007 5:41 PM
Comment #215602

“Send the New York, NY. police department to Basrah.”


The way we’re abusing and misusing the National Guard we might as well send at least half of the individual State’s Police forces to fight Iraqi insurgents.

Just imagine dialing 911 and hearing, “I’m sorry, all of our personnel are in Iraq at this time, please call back in 6 months, thank you!”.

Posted by: KansasDem at April 8, 2007 6:09 PM
Comment #215607

Another great difference between Iraq and ww2 is that ww2 was a stratigic and moral imperative. In other words we were right. Vietnam and Iraq were and are exercises in imperialism and a MIC out of control. Were that not the case both wars would have recieved the public support needed for victory like that in ww2.

Posted by: BillS at April 8, 2007 6:38 PM
Comment #215610

“Just imagine calling europe and europe saying it isn’t there any more!”

Weary Willie,

So, our National Guard is protecting Europe?

And they could use the help of the NYPD?

And they’re doing it by being deployed to Iraq because Iraq had invaded Europe when?

Oh, and just which country in Europe did Iraq invade?

Posted by: KansasDem at April 8, 2007 6:46 PM
Comment #215617


Your post is exactly right in all regards. Your persistence in attempting to help the blind see the light is admirable but probably a lost endeavor.

All arguments against what you write that I have read here are just a re-iteration of the same old rants of the last several months.

I suppose a few who argue against your ideas actually have a degree of hope that things may turn out for the best in Iraq. But lets be honest here it is not terribly difficult to see the writing on the wall and recognize that the odds are heavily against a favorable outcome.

Unlike yourself I personally never felt we had a chance of accomplishing anything in Iraq. When one thinks about how many thousands of years the people of the middle east have been at odds with each other it is hard to imagine that we could simply stroll in one day and our very presence would make things allright. Our cultures, religions and ideologies are just to different to mesh into any type of coherant bond capable of peacefully surviving together in close proximity. This recognition had nothing to do with hindsight or a supposed superior intellect, merely a simple recognition of human nature.

For those who feel it neceasry to place blame on us who do not see the value of continuing in a dead end endeavor, I say it is a travesty that our people are dying at the whim of an unconsionable and obstinate CIC.

We went to Iraq for all the wrong reasons and we reamain in Iraq for no good reason. Quite simply, the reasons for leaving far outwiegh those for staying. For me it is that simple and logical recognition that dictates leaving.

Posted by: ILdem at April 8, 2007 7:04 PM
Comment #215622

It’s reading things like this that take me beyond angry and sad !!!!!

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 8, 2007 7:20 PM
Comment #215624

It’s reading things like this that take me beyond angry and sad !!!!!

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 8, 2007 7:25 PM
Comment #215625

Sorry!! didn’t mean to post that twice…

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 8, 2007 7:27 PM
Comment #215631

Willie, I don’t have a clue what you’re saying most of the time, and this last one isn’t any different.
Don’t let me keep you from going to sleep…

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 8, 2007 8:00 PM
Comment #215642

I addressed this last year in my post Neat Little Boxes of Euphemism.

Let me give you my view. This phase of the war should never have been fought. This, for all intents and purposes, was supposed to be the after-war period, where we wrapped up everything in a nice, neat bow.

Instead, we failed to provide security, failed to govern effectively, and failed to set up or keep in place those who could do it for us, and have been punished for that failure with an extended post-war insurgency. Our president refused to admit he had a problem while it was manageable. He said it was to support the troops. I don’t know how you support the troops by mismanaging them, failing to give them the manpower, training, and strategy necessary to keep things from spinning out of control.

You insist on making this about the mainstream media. I reject that on the grounds that much of these problems developed before there was any real push from the media, or any great outcry. Most of this crap happened while Bush was still popular and shock and awe was still considered shockingly awesome. They undermanned both the mission and the bureaucratic support for the occupational authority from the outset, and didn’t put aside any real money for reconstruction.

If all this was true before things turned south with the public and the media, then blaming either misses who is trully responsible. If it starts with Bush and his people, then the strategy itself, which they persisted in, and aggravated with Bremer’s policy becomes the cause of the other problems and the source of much of the dissent, rather than the other way around. Cause must precede effect, and a few complaints, a few instances of naysaying and negative reports is not enough to bring defeat.

If it is a strategic matter, we look at the refusal of the Bush administration to part from its policies as a major part of where we are today. How can positive news reports cover for the failure to get basic utilities up and running, to keep terrorists and interlopers from other countries out, and the homegrown insurgents cowering in the shadows?

These were not unsolveable problems, and I don’t believe history made any one outcome inevitable. Bush’s stubborn unwillingness to adapt strategy in the face of failure, to admit fault and change course, is high on the list of things that caused both the political negatives of bad coverage and strong domestic dissent, and the strategic negatives of poor influence with the Iraqis, the escalation of the violence, and the failure to make Iraq politically stable.

Am I bashing Bush? No more than I need to to make my point: the Iraq war is a failure, and the sooner we realize it, the smoother we can make our departure.

Weary Willie-
I was born and raised a Texan. I don’t buy into the stars and bars thing. I was never indoctrinated into that whole “war of Northern Aggression” thing. I have no divided loyalties in regards to my country; I believe in America as a whole.

I wasn’t saying that responding to you was like going to the grocery store. I had just returned from one. Still, it doesn’t take much thought for me to critique your notion. The NYPD and other police departments in this country are effective because they know their work and their cities, the public recognizes their authority, and isn’t so violent that full body armor and submachine guns are a necessity. Iraq would chew these people up, unless they were essentially trained as soldiers, which defeats the point of your plan.

Besides, the Iraqis would only really respond to locals, and only locals would know the area well enough to be anything but naive disciplinarians in pacifying the area. I’m sure you mean well, but you’re underestimating the intimate understanding of an area and a culture that plays into any police force’s ability to keep the peace.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 8, 2007 9:59 PM
Comment #215645

Weary Willie

It’s good to know you can see the broader picture.

Its sad to know you can see the realities, yet you fail to acknowledge them.

Posted by: ILdem at April 8, 2007 10:08 PM
Comment #215652


never mind. i can see i’m not going to get a direct answer. thats ok though.

Posted by: dbs at April 8, 2007 11:01 PM
Comment #215667

My answer to you is that collateral damage is not as much of a problem as you suppose. More people express concerns over our three thousand dead soldiers, than the 60,000 plus confirmed dead among the Iraqis.

It’s not the collateral casualties that are holding us back. We can put bombs through front doors. We no longer have to decimate population centers in order to target buildings placed among them. We can be more selective than ever, so the moral imperative becomes that we will be more selective. The article I link is an answer to the complex question of of how we do that. There are rational limits both to how much we involve civilians, and to how much we can uninvolve them and do things right.

To understand WWII civilian casualties, one must understand the necessity to carpet bomb, and the perceptions that surrounded the notion of Strategic bombing. What they generally found is that bombing of civilian centers generally had the opposite effect of what was intended. Only with the genocidal power of the nuclear bomb could strategic bombing really scare people about it. We also have to understand that this is is good old-fashioned conquest done with 1940’s technology. Civilian casualties are nice for a symbolic discussion of necessary sacrifices, allowing people to say that their approach is the more realistic approach.

It’s an easy way of saying: if we had been more ruthless we would have won. What if, though, your task was to bring a country together? Then you could not pull out all stops without threatening to undermine your own success.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 9, 2007 1:11 AM
Comment #215685


Announcement this morning from Sadr calling for all Iraqis to stop fighting each other and unite against Americans. Its over. The sooner we get out the less cost in lives and treasure.

Yes. This makes it more than clear that it is OVER. But then, it has actually been over for years now.


It’s reading things like this that take me beyond angry and sad !!!!!

I feel the same way. I hope everyone will read that link you posted.

Stephen, nice piece.

Weary, you’re well past the stage of deserving to be banned, but you’re obviously having a lot of fun trolling your perpetual nonsense.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 9, 2007 11:45 AM
Comment #215708

Death toll continues to mount….no significant slowdown, just a diversion of insurgent attacks.
By the way, can anyone tell me what “step 2” is in this surge fiasco??? When does step 1 end and what are we looking for to signal it’s time to move on to the next step??
Nice to see you again, Adrienne…

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 9, 2007 1:57 PM
Comment #215952

Weary Willie-
Your words are a beautiful reminder of why the Republicans have lost their majority.

Sometimes your critics are merely being yappy, but if you stepped back a little, you might realize that your party has given people real reason to get barking mad.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 10, 2007 7:35 PM
Post a comment