Democrats & Liberals Archives

Benchmark Farce

After months of saying he will veto any Iraq-funding legislation containing benchmarks, President Bush now says he is ready to accept benchmarks. Sounds good. However, none of the “benchmarks” suggested bear any relationship to whether U.S. troops should leave or not. The whole idea of benchmarks is a farce.

Here are 5 "benchmarks" suggested:

  1. Privatizing oil and sharing oil revenues
  2. Conducting provincial and local elections
  3. Reversing de-Baathification that hurt members of the Baath Party
  4. Amending the constitution
  5. Spending $10 billion reconstruction money
What does any of these "benchmarks" have to do with the curent war in Iraq or the price of fish? Maybe spending the $10 billion is related, but the others are interference - very similar to mother-in-law interference with the activities of a new couple.

I was under the impression that Bush attacked Iraq in order to make it a democracy. Since when does one democracy tell another democracy how to run its internal affairs? Constitution, revenues, elections, parties - let them decide these things for themselves. Our job is to get out.

At least one "benchmark," the first in the above list, has to do with the price of oil. Not just the price but who is in charge of and receives the money from Iraq's oil. We hear so much about the 3-way battle among the Shi'a, Sunni and Kurds. What about the big oil companies:

Shell has played a major role in influencing Iraq’s controversial new Oil Law, which would allow long-term contracts with foreign oil companies to be signed while Iraq is still under occupation. The oil law proposes giving multinational companies the primary role in developing Iraq's huge untapped oilfields, under contracts lasting up to 30 years.

Is it any wonder that Iraqi's are resisting this "benchmark"? Can you blame them for not wanting to give away their major source of revenue to private companies?

And what about us? Why make fattening the coffers of Big Oil a "benchmark"? Is this why we sent our young men to be killed in Iraq?

Let's stop this benchmark farce. Let's bring our troops home.

Posted by Paul Siegel at May 14, 2007 4:40 PM
Comments
Comment #220307

Benchmarks for success without an exit plan for failing to meet them, is indeed a farce. In essence, Bush and Congress are saying, the benchmarks are up to the Iraqi government to meet - if they fail to meet them, we have no choice but to stay there. If they meet them, we have no choice but to stay there.

This would be a farce, except farce implies comedy and their is nothing amusing about the loss of life and limb occurring to Americans in Iraq, or the emotional devastation occurring to their families and loved ones back home.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 14, 2007 4:56 PM
Comment #220317

It is hard to describe the wide-ranging scope of the incompetence of the Bush administration.

Ah, how soon we forget. Iraq was going to be the conservative equivalent of the Marshall Plan. Privatization and the magic of the market place would be the key to an economic miracle in the Middle East. Democracy would spontaneously flower throughout the region.

Ugh- ugly.

It turned into an enormous debacle. This article from WaPo applies:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/13/AR2007051301165_pf.html

De-Baathification meant closing down the government and the Iraqi economy, and around 500,000 Sunnis lost their jobs. Hmmm. Unemployment around 60%. A country lousy with weapons, a veritable NRA dream of gun availability & ownership. Foreign guys in black SUVs driving around the cities, “contractors” intent on hiring other foreigners to do the work, heavily armed foreign soldiers walking the streets, patrolling in HumVees and tanks… Yeah, that will work out great.

Criminy, what a stupid enterprise. Benchmarks? What a joke! And unless Congress pulls the plug on funds, we have more of the same to look forward to for the remainder of this pathetic, inept, incompetent administration.

Posted by: phx8 at May 14, 2007 6:28 PM
Comment #220319

Paul, David, phx8, I agree completely.

phx8:
“unless Congress pulls the plug on funds, we have more of the same to look forward to for the remainder of this pathetic, inept, incompetent administration.”

Yes. Long past time, and Congress has been getting nowhere so far. They need to pull the plug on the war funds, but the question remains, will they ever find the courage to do it?

Posted by: Adrienne at May 14, 2007 6:57 PM
Comment #220326

Didn’t Bush (and Petreaus) set benchmarks in the surge plan?!! I see some of you don’t listen to your own countrymen, as well as not listening to the “enemy”!
;-)

Posted by: rahdigly at May 14, 2007 7:46 PM
Comment #220328

You all are absolutely right. It is time for the dems to grow a pair and discontinue funding. This benchmark compromise game is going nowhere fast. I am beginning to think it is all just a ploy to make them appear as if they are serious about getting out, when in reality they simply don’t have the balls to take a stand. If they want my respect they are going to have to get serious and offer Bush no options. He has made no serious effort to date to indicate a withdrawal plan. He is just setting us up for another year of failed policy and senseless death.

Posted by: ILdem at May 14, 2007 7:54 PM
Comment #220355

Rah

Your link does not work. I don’t have the time to do the research. But from what I remember the argument was that there is no incentives under the Petraeus plan for the Iraqi’s to reach any benchmarks. They were just hollow words with no consequences.

And as for Bush’s plan, hell the guy is such a screwup he couldn’t scratch his balls without giving himself a hernia. We have been followiing his plan for six years and the situtation is deteriorating faster with each passing week.

Posted by: ILdem at May 14, 2007 10:01 PM
Comment #220358

I feel the Democrats are trying to get us of out of this horrible occupation.

However, they need 60 votes overcome any veto. Maybe we just need less Republicans in the Senate :)

Posted by: Patrick Howse at May 14, 2007 10:25 PM
Comment #220361

Do those that are for getting our troops out of harms way in Iraq of the belief that the U.S. presence will be completly removed?

What I remember of some of the better articulated Democratic plans like bidens is to move the troops out of major population areas. Move the troops to the borders to focus on stopping those that would join the foray.

Timelines or no timelines, benchmarks or no benchmarks, veto or no veto, within less than two years we’ll have a new administration and it would be difficult to see how any sitting President and/or Congress/Senate would completely vacate Iraq anytime in near future (three to four years).

The only true way to get the troops out will be a pure bill, with pure timelines for COMPLETE withdrawal.

I hear a lot about timelines, however there seems to be little media coverage on what those timelines would mean relative to a complete withdrawal.

Posted by: Honest at May 14, 2007 10:33 PM
Comment #220365

Ildem,

You all are absolutely right. It is time for the dems to grow a pair and discontinue funding…And as for Bush’s plan, hell the guy is such a screwup he couldn’t scratch his balls without giving himself a hernia.

Looks like Bush should let the dems scratch his balls; b/c that’s as close as the dems will ever get to having balls! Bet that!! Here’s the benchmarks speech again; along with Petraeus’ (recent) briefing about that plan.

By the way, Ildem, could you (please) explain why Al Qaeda’s #2 leader came out and announced Iraq bill shows U.S. defeat; is he showing “balls” when he says “U.S. congressional bill calling for a troop withdrawal from Iraq was proof of Washington’s defeat?!!!”

Posted by: rahdigly at May 14, 2007 10:48 PM
Comment #220385

Give it up rah !!!! Dipshit’s speech is nearly 6 months old, and he has stepped on his d**k a hundred times since then.
If you’re as much of a supporter as you try to make out to be, then quit paying so much attention to the crap put out by Al Queda and the rest of the knee jerks over there. The more you refer to something like that, the more you are giving them credibility!!
The ones in Washington, right now, that really have the balls, are the ones that are walking away from Bush and everything he has ever touched. The last one being the deputy A.G. Seems many are finally waking up to the fact that this idiot is NOT our saviour, and the best thing to do about it is to create distance.
Just maybe the Senate’s effort to put out a new bill http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070515/pl_nm/iraq_usa_funding_dc_3;_ylt=AoKH3pzckC_h9IdMUkasMWME1vAI will pick up some more support from the right. The public is looking for heads now, and if they don’t pay more attention to those who elected them, they can kiss another term goodbye. I’ve been screaming and wishing for impeachment for months now, but I actually do understand the need for votes to do it, just as it takes votes to get a bill with some real teeth in it to the Joker. We are buried under 6 years worth of Bush’s crap, and it will take time to dig out from there. That is really hard for me to say, because I am pretty much part of the “patience, hell, I want it now!!!!” crowd. I may not be nearly as politically savvy as some on here, but I do know that nothing happens instantly. We just need to keep up the pressure in every way possible, and not let any bulls**t go on without challenges.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at May 15, 2007 2:05 AM
Comment #220398

rahdigly quoted: “U.S. congressional bill calling for a troop withdrawal from Iraq was proof of Washington’s defeat?!!!”

rah, there is nothing, absolutely NOTHING the U.S. could do that al-Queda wouldn’t SPIN to its own advantage. It is the height of folly to allow al-Queda’s spin of our actions dictate our actions. Why can’t conservatives join the concept that we shouldn’t make our decisions based on what al-Queda may say about it? Al-Queda is the enemy, al-Queda doesn’t serve. Al-Queda should not dictate your reactions.

When, what your enemy says dictates your actions, the enemy has already won, because they only have to speak to get you to react the way they want you to.

Plain enough? I hope so. Being conservative is no substitute for thinking things through. That is why this conservative party led war has been such a debacle.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 15, 2007 9:11 AM
Comment #220412

I found this interesting article from Rueters in London.

The last paragraph is telling…

Posted by: cliff at May 15, 2007 11:18 AM
Comment #220419

Rahdigly-
I think it’s so telling that you follow the rantings of a terrorist as your definition of victory. You think he’s unaware of the effect his words have? He wants people like you to react, and perpetuate this deal for them. Why not? It’s great for recruiting, great for dividing this country.

I say, f*** him. Let him bloviate from some cave in Pakistan. If you’re worried about showing him weakness, it’s our defenses and our other operations to deal with terrorism that you need to work on.

The Iraq war has not been good for our war against terrorism. about the only thing we still have going in that respect is that we haven’t admitted defeat. That, though, is allowing a bad situation (good for them) to be perpetuated.

Almost certainly, probably just to get people on your side of the aisle riled up, they’re going to attack us when we leave. Or they’re going to try. If we improve our defenses, we could intercept that attack, and the momentary appearance of weakness would come into conflict with the lasting reality of strength.

But if we end this, and we lack for defenses, Americans will be sitting ducks, and the Bush administration’s myopic focus on the Iraq war will be the source of that weakness. We’re paying hundreds of billions of dollars a year to raise al-Qaeda’s recruiting numbers, but maybe thirty billion to protect our shores. I know no defense would ever be perfect, but damn is that a waste of money. Right now, we’re depending on our enemies decision not to attack us, on that has had little to do with how many terrorists have been killed in Iraq.

I would rather depend on America’s strength and watchful readiness, than al-Qaeda’s good will. Let’s secure the homeland, like we should have all along.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 15, 2007 12:18 PM
Comment #220421

You guys just can’t put your Bush hatred down for one second! You don’t listen to your enemy word for word; however, you have to “know” your enemy and their strategy. Their strategy is to win the media war and have Americans turn on their own gov’t (including military). And, low and behold, we have the anti-Bushies getting “played” by the enemy, just like they counted on. Good job anti-Bushies, it’s great to know that the (true) enemy can count on you for propraganda and spin in “their” favor!!!


Posted by: rahdigly at May 15, 2007 1:13 PM
Comment #220425

A friend of mine who served in WWII tagged you people accurately in his last email to me calling you “Tokyo Rose (fill in your name)”. Tokyo Rose broadcast the same message as I read here to our soldiers;
1. The President is lying to you.
2. This war is illegal.
3. You cannot win this war.
Before Pearl Harbor the majority in this country did not want us to interfer in European affairs. President Roosevelt knew what was coming and persisted in his effort to ready US for the coming conflagration. American’s were shortsighted then just as now.

Posted by: Jim at May 15, 2007 1:56 PM
Comment #220434

Rah, thanks for confirming every word of my comment above about many conservatives. Fortunately, both Republican and Democratic Congresspersons are able to see through al-Queda’s spin, and ignore it for what it is, spin. Rep. John Murtha’s plan is what Republicans and Democrats are going to adopt at the end of this year. Get used to it.

There are political and Iraq realities to be faced, and I am encouraged to see more and more Congresspersons from both sides of the aisle, recognizing that al-Queda cannot be allowed to dictate that reality for us. (See my article on this topic for elaboration.)

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 15, 2007 3:24 PM
Comment #220435

Jim, in case you were asleep, we already won the war with Iraq. Saddam Hussein is dead and his army dismantled. We won. Sheesh! Catch-up on the news, guy!

The issue is not our war with Iraq. The issue is Iraq’s war with itself. Only Iraqis can win that war. Hope this helps you catch up with the rest of us on current events.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 15, 2007 3:27 PM
Comment #220440

David,

The congressmen/women (you mentioned) are not seeing through Al Qaeda’s “spin”; they are falling victim to their spin. It’s pathetic. Remember, there are choices and the anti-Bushies are making their choice to paint Bush & company as the “boogie man”; instead of the (real) boogie men (Al Qaeda). When we do (indeed) complete this mission, we’ll know who was for it and who was against it. And, by the way, don’t even waste your time replying with that smart-a-lick line about “mission accomplished”; we heard it for years now.

You guys (still) haven’t addressed why some of you are being played (like a fiddle) by Al Qaeda and why the dem congress (and a few weak Repubs) sound similar in regards to mocking Bush and troop withdrawl from Iraq. I’d like to see if some of you would (actually) have the guts to go up to one of our (all volunteer!!) military, who is putting their life on the line in Iraq, and tell them that the “mission has (already) been accomplished” and see what they tell you. Then, after you pick yourselves off the floor, tell them that you support them, just not their mission and their Commander in Chief and see where that gets you. See how proud they would be to have defended “your” rights and liberties. Many of you wouldn’t have the balls to do it; just like the dems in congress don’t have the balls to defund the war.

Posted by: rahdigly at May 15, 2007 4:40 PM
Comment #220443

rah said: “The congressmen/women (you mentioned) are not seeing through Al Qaeda’s “spin”; they are falling victim to their spin.”

Says you. Fortunately for the rest of us and our soldiers, your opinion is in the minority.

Stephen and I have illustrated adequately how it is people of your opinion who are being played by al-Queda.

But, persevere in your beliefs and voicing your opinions. That exercise is what keeps America a free nation. And most of the rest of us tolerant of voices like yours which would degrade fellow Americans, for their exercise of the same right.

I am curious, do hold this same opinion of the growing number of our soldiers in Iraq who now side with the so-called anti-Bushies? How patriotic can that be by your own standards? Just curious.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 15, 2007 5:00 PM
Comment #220446

The anti-Bushies know (exactly) who they are; they are the ones with “hate” rather than “dissent”. Big difference between the two! If the troops have dissent for the war and their Commander in Chief, then I have (absolutely) no problem with that at all and I do not (I repeat) do not put the troops in the same category as the anti-Bushies. Funny how now the anti-Bushies want to equate hate with dissent; b/c all they’ve done in 6 years was attack Bush with (straight) “hatred”. Added to which indignity, they are still trying to associate themselves as troop supporters.

Why don’t some of you step up and admit that we can’t win and admit defeat, if that’s what you truly believe. Oh, and try and do that without blaming Bush. Doubt that’s even possible!

Posted by: rahdigly at May 15, 2007 5:24 PM
Comment #220451

Jim, in case you were asleep, we already won the war with Iraq. Saddam Hussein is dead and his army dismantled. We won. Sheesh! Catch-up on the news, guy!

The issue is not our war with Iraq. The issue is Iraq’s war with itself. Only Iraqis can win that war. Hope this helps you catch up with the rest of us on current events.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 15, 2007 03:27 PM

“Sheesh” right back at you PM. Before invading Iraq the President said it was a war on international terrorism. And, to believe that “Iraq is at war with itself” is just a no-brainer. Honestly, I wish that were true. PM, you need a little more vision of the world as it is.

Posted by: Jim at May 15, 2007 6:06 PM
Comment #220453

Rah

Why don’t some of you step up and admit that we can’t win and admit defeat, if that’s what you truly believe. Oh, and try and do that without blaming Bush. Doubt that’s even possible!

When one places blame it is appropriate to place it on the person or persons responsible.

Posted by: ILdem at May 15, 2007 6:41 PM
Comment #220454

Rah

Looks like Bush should let the dems scratch his balls; b/c that’s as close as the dems will ever get to having balls!

Actually I would prefer a nice mixture of brains and balls. Without the brain the balls aren’t worth a damn. George is proof of that.

By the way, Ildem, could you (please) explain why Al Qaeda’s #2 leader came out and announced Iraq bill shows U.S. defeat; is he showing “balls” when he says “U.S. congressional bill calling for a troop withdrawal from Iraq was proof of Washington’s defeat?!!!”

To be honest I really could not care less what any Al Qaeda leader or member has to say about anything.

Posted by: ILdem at May 15, 2007 6:46 PM
Comment #220460

Jim, my vision’s fine, I wear corrective lenses. No rose colored Bush tints either, to hide the things one doesn’t want to see. :-)

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 15, 2007 7:45 PM
Comment #220506

Good to see some of you continue to dodge the fact that you are being played by the (true) enemy; yet, your Bush hatred is so intense, you won’t ever see that. Oh well. Way to feed the enemy’s proproganda; following the terrorists playbook step by step.

Posted by: rahdigly at May 16, 2007 11:00 AM
Comment #220525

rah….you will never understand that you are in front of a mirror when you make those statements.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at May 16, 2007 1:55 PM
Comment #220538

Sandra,

If you’re as much of a supporter as you try to make out to be, then quit paying so much attention to the crap put out by Al Queda and the rest of the knee jerks over there. The more you refer to something like that, the more you are giving them credibility!!…you will never understand that you are in front of a mirror when you make those statements.


Oh really, Sandra?!! Well then, I should listen to the US troops, instead. It looks like the troops must be in the same “mirror” I’m standing in.** Here’s an article about our own troops and what they think about the War in Iraq. Soldiers in Iraq Say Pullout Would Have Devastating Results

The soldiers declined to discuss the political jousting back home, but they expressed support for the Bush administration’s approach to the war, which they described as sticking with a tumultuous situation to give Iraq a chance to stand on its own.

Posted by: rahdigly at May 16, 2007 2:43 PM
Comment #220591

rah, you don’t prove anything by putting up OLD stufffff…

Soldiers in Iraq Say Pullout Would Have Devastating Results

By Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 6, 2006; Page A13

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at May 16, 2007 9:48 PM
Comment #220597

rah, if you want to read something current and helpful, read this…
http://www.iava.org/index.php

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at May 16, 2007 10:29 PM
Comment #220626

Sandra, you didn’t respond to what the soldiers said. At all! The only thing you could say was that the article was “old”. Then, you follow that with a link, to a veterans webite, that you coined as “current” and “helpful”?!!! Are you saying that the November 2006 article, that had actual quotes from our soldiers on the front line, isn’t “helpful” to you?! Is that b/c they didn’t speak out against the war?!!! Is it b/c they (actually) defended their “MISSION” and countered the anti-war/Bush crowd’s call for “withdrawl” and “defeat”?!!!


Posted by: rahdigly at May 17, 2007 7:28 AM
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