Democrats & Liberals Archives

Dem's Iraq Plan In Action

Democrats have long sought to change the military mission in Iraq to training Iraqi forces, protecting US interests and hunting al-Qaeda. Democrats, listening to Middle East analysts (here’s one - and another), are convinced that minimal US troop involvement is the best strategy in Iraq and that, if left to themselves, Iraqis will massacre the al-Qaeda fighters in their country. Over the last few days, we saw that scenario play out.

In the Baghdad suburb of Amiriyah, devoid of US troops, Sunni citizens -- including anti-US insurgents -- rose up and kicked al-Qaeda's ass.

This and similar recent actions in Diyala province are purely Iraqi reactions to the depredations of al-Qaeda terrorists. US troops had little (if any) involvement in this particular fight, which highlights a fundamental fact: America won't drive al-Qaeda out of Iraq; only Iraqis can do that.

In fact, the local mayor made it clear that US troops would only screw things up, "If the Americans interfere, it will blow up, because they are the enemy of us both, and we will unite against them and stop fighting each other."

That seems pretty straight forward. Guys like McCain and Lieberman are running around screaming that we need to look at the consequences of withdrawal from Iraq. I agree. It looks like the result of withdrawal is victory over al-Qaeda.

Posted by American Pundit at June 2, 2007 12:31 AM
Comment #221961

AP I recently read that now that the Dems have become part owner of the downside of Iraq (by giving in to W) we can expect to see victory declared in mid 08, just in time for a repub win at the polls (as they have just won a war). It seems the Dems plan to get us out of Iraq is in play just the spin needed to be different to allow for some Repub political gain.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 2, 2007 12:49 AM
Comment #221962

The only faction in the Iraqi civil war more unpopular than the US is the Al Qaida in Iraq/foreign jidhadist faction. The Iraqis really, really dislike the Saudi Arabian suicide bombers. We should draw down, now, with the goal of complete withdrawal from Iraq. This was supposed to be a liberation, not a conquest.

Unfortunately, the Bush administration views Iraq as a conquest, for all practical purposes an acquired colony. Talk of maintaining a presence for “training” and so on is a smokescreen to preserve those permanent military bases, threaten Iran, and ensure US/Brit/Dutch oil corporations receive the lion”s share of Iraqi oil reserve profits, at the direct expense of the Iraqi people.

It is no coincedence that oil exports are down to 1.6 million bpd, vs the pre-invasion levels of 2.3 million bpd. It rarely makes the news, but Iraqis are blowing up the pipelines faster than they can be built, in order to thwart American corporate imperialism.

Posted by: phx8 at June 2, 2007 12:54 AM
Comment #221964

phx8, More power to the Iraqi people. It seems they have the determination required to keep the corporate pond scum out of Iraq.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 2, 2007 1:01 AM
Comment #221968

phx8, your comments are spot-on, as usual.

AP, it doesn’t sound to me like the Neocons want to allow us to leave Iraq any time soon. I was just reading this article where Defense Secretary Gates and Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno (overseer of daily military operations in Iraq) are calling for permanent U.S. bases in Iraq, along the lines of our presence in South Korea.

Also, this from Odierno:

Odierno also cited progress resulting from the buildup of 28,500 U.S. troops in Iraq, but he appealed for patience and said he may need time beyond September to determine whether the “surge” ordered by Bush in January is working. “The assessment might be … ‘I need a little more time,’ ” he said.

The troop increase will be completed in mid-June, with 8,000 more U.S. combat personnel moving into position in Baghdad and its outskirts and in Anbar province over the next two weeks. Odierno said it will take until at least August for those forces to be “immersed into the local populace” and be able to improve security.

So, just as Feingold predicted after the Dems caved on the spending bill:

You know what’s going to happen in September? They’ll bring General Petraeus back and he’ll say, ‘Just give me until the end of year. I think things are turning around’. And then we’ll be out of session, come back in late January, February, and the fact is a thousand more troops will lose their lives in a situation that doesn’t make any sense and it is hurting our military, hurting our country. This should not wait till September.

Odierno is already setting the stage here for the escalation, whoops, I mean “surge” just “needing more time”.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 2, 2007 2:14 AM
Comment #221970

j2t2, I’m not exactly sure where you’re going with that first post, but changing the military mission as I described has been the Democratic plan since Kerry ran for Pres in 04.

As for Republicans declaring victory in 08, don’t count on it. President Bush made it very clear that he doesn’t care if withdrawing US troops is the quickest way to defeat al-Qaeda in Iraq, he’s keeping them there until he’s out of office.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 2, 2007 2:23 AM
Comment #221971
AP, it doesn’t sound to me like the Neocons want to allow us to leave Iraq any time soon.

Sure. Republicans would rather lose than admit Democrats have the winning strategy.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 2, 2007 2:25 AM
Comment #221989

I think Adrienne has it about right. There is no plan that makes any sense, except political expedience here.

It’s time to get out. Now.

Posted by: barneygoogle at June 2, 2007 11:39 AM
Comment #222004

Anyone surprised that proposals are floating for a permanent occupation? That was the point from the beginning. The neo-con American Century crap. What is under discussion is just how much power to allow the puppet Iraqi regime. This is the face of imperialism since ww2 when the more overt forms went by the wayside,probably as a cold war caculation.Who in their right mind does not expect Iraqisto fight back. Who in their right mind does not expect the prestige and support for Al Quiada to increase as a result?

Posted by: BillS at June 2, 2007 2:18 PM
Comment #222013

AP, just luv how you (constantly) try to steer any credit away from Bush and the repubs. The dems have owned the strategy of defeat and they cannot get out of it. We will win in Iraq and it is b/c of our current President and the US Military showing leadership & sheer determination to “complete the mission”; much to the dismay of the dems who have (at first) agreed to the war and have (since) done everything to distance themselves from their position to WIN the war. It sucks to be in their camp; it was a heinous position to put themselves in, yet it was their choice. And, it does not matter how much you try and spin it; the dems sold out this country for political reasons. Sucks to be them.

Posted by: rahdigly at June 2, 2007 4:07 PM
Comment #222015

rah, I love how you put “complete the mission” in quotes. Why don’t you tell me what you think “complete the mission” means.

If it means defeat al-Qaeda in Iraq, then the Democratic strategy is working in Amirayah and your plan is failing in Baghdad.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 2, 2007 4:46 PM
Comment #222028

AP, here you go with the “semantics”. The President has been saying for years (now) that “We have to fight them there so we don’t fight them here”; you and I both know (very well) that “them” is Al Qaeda and other Islamofascists that want to kill the “Great Satan”. The enemy is losing; the Iraqi government is forming; the US Military has been building up Iraqi security forces and we are (slowly but surely) winning the “hearts and minds” of the Iraqis. Yet, you want to “spin” this as the dems strategy?!! No way, Jose!

The dems strategy is “defeat” and there’s no going back (for them) now. They (democrats) chose to go after Bush rather than the enemy and they will have to suffer the consequences. To quote the “Soup Nazi”, from Seinfeld: “NO SOUP FOR YOU!!”

Posted by: rahdigly at June 2, 2007 7:12 PM
Comment #222035

Far as I remember there is a difference between a battle and a war. Without a doubt, we have been losing this battle in Iraq. A poorly conceived and executed battle, however, as Rah points out we are seeing progress. Not that anyone here on in the media prints/promotes those stories.

“Permanent occupation”, sounds horrible, as is your intent. While the means at which we went to battle are no longer in dispute, what we are really arguing on these many posts, and other articles, is winning the “war” on terrorism. This battle is important to that war. The battle for Iraq. Win or lose, the war persists right? Of course.

BillS, “Permanent occupation” is a legitimate strategy in winning this war. I cannot see how any sitting President, anytime in the near future (say two terms) is going to ever eliminate our presence from Iraq. I see value in moving troops to border control and to Afghanistan to improve that situation. However, it is wrong to assume any election will yield a President that can, or will, remove our presence 100% from Iraq. Remember, we’re trying to win a war, not just this battle.

Posted by: Edge at June 2, 2007 10:04 PM
Comment #222036

Rahdigly, surely you cannot possibly believe that……manure! Winning hearts and minds? The US building up security forces? The security forces are simply extensions of the badr brigades and the madhi army. The average mohammed in the streets of Iraq hates your guts, and why would they not? You have decimated their country, leaving it and daily life awesomely worse than when Saddam was in power. You have done so based on lies. It is clean now that the invasion of Iraq was to secure military bases there, steal the oil, and cow any ideas of independent thought or action by arabs or persians. It was always about imperialism, the project for a new american century of the neo cons. And it scares me that still so many americans cannot see the price their democracy is paying for this madness. Scott Ritter makes an excellent point on this very topic on truthout:

Once upon a time the US stood for something that was admired around the world. Now it simply stands for naked aggression, greed, imperialism and vacuousness among its people. For shame.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 2, 2007 10:06 PM
Comment #222037

Edge, don’t worry about it. If you and your presidents can’t remove your troops from Iraq, the Iraqis will do it for you. The only question remaining to be answered is how many young Americans have to pay the price before you get it. You have no business there. You never did, and the Iraqis will bleed you dry in blood and treasure till you get the message.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 2, 2007 10:10 PM
Comment #222039

Same message Paul, same message. Me and my President? I could not agree more, how many more Americans (regardless of age) are you willing to watch from offshore die before we take the gloves off further? I for one don’t want to see us escalate to a higher level after another attack. Today’s JFK incident is proof our enemy is not going away in this war. You would have us withdrawal completely and lose a strategic advantage. I don’t want the Iraqis to bleed us dry, however, I don’t want our enemies to do the same. Do you think … seriously do you think that Americans ARE going to die over the upcoming years. I worry so. Regardless?

Question for you sir, are you advocating a 100% withdrawal and do you think that will work to protect America?

Posted by: Edge at June 2, 2007 10:18 PM
Comment #222040

Edge, my county was occupied for centuries by an vicious imperial power. We never stopped fighting them, and that was in the age of imperialism. That age is over. People around the globe reject the imperial project at least as much now as then, except they have the knowledge and history of how previous peoples have dismissed the evil empires.

With all of your military might, the largest spending of all, more than all the rest combined, can’t pacify a relatively small country like Iraq. How absurd. What a waste of such massive investment. Freedom loving people around the globe are cheering the Iraqis on. You have no business there. You cannot steal either their oil or their independence. You learned nothing from Vietnam. You ask if I think that Americans are going to die over the upcoming years? Are you for real? Are they not dying now? Do you imagine that the Iraqis are suddenly, for some mystical reason, going to embrace your guys over there and stop seeking to kill them?

You ask what will work to protect America? that’s easy, stop warmongering. Get your troops home to where they belong. 100% of them. Now that would really be supporting your troops. After that it’s up the the Iraqis to work their own future out. With appropriate compensation from the US and the Brits of course for all of the massive damage and death you have caused.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 2, 2007 10:35 PM
Comment #222041

Paul, you confuse my opinion with what you mistake for US policy. Warmongering, huh? A country bent on waging war would have a far different look than America does today. Vietnam has nothing to do with Iraq, different time, different war. Comparisons are easy to cherry pick to support your view.

Back to my point, idealistically, which is what you are being. We could pull out. My point is still that it will be difficult for America to leave the middleast given the overall war on terror. Please, by all means scream for our depature. However, thing strategically man, what is the best way to protect America? It is more than likely to keep activity abroad and at home focused on terrorism.

Iraq has been a mistake, however, now that we are there, can we really pull out and protect the lives of our citizens? Unfortunately, I don’t see how.

Hopefully, like I said above, we’ll follow some of the Dems plans to move towards the borders and focus more on Afghanistan. That is my hope.

Posted by: Edge at June 2, 2007 11:02 PM
Comment #222042
We have to fight them there so we don’t fight them here

rah, if that’s the Republican strategy, then they suck at it. the Fort Dix Six and the guys we caught today in New York make that clear. We’re fighting them here regardless of what’s happening in Iraq.

The enemy is losing

That’s an interesting statement. Especially since Defense Secretary Gates just refused to make that claim.

The fact is, this administration and the people who never questioned it’s policies are responsible for the growth of al-Qaeda as a global ideology. It’s a fact that our occupation of Iraq (and failing to kill bin-Laden) is directly responsible for a surge in terrorist recruits.

It’s also a fact that what’s going on in Iraq is an Iraqi problem and it’ll be solved by Iraqis. We’re going to have some forces there to help train their military, protect our interests and help them hunt down al-Qaeda, but it needs to be primarily an Iraqi operation. The action in Amirayah — Iraqis kicking al-Qaeda’s ass without US involvement — is tangible proof of the Democrat’s strategy for our involvement in Iraq.

So I’m not surprised, rah, that you’re unable refute it with anything but recycled debunked talking points and baseless claims.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 2, 2007 11:15 PM
Comment #222048

This is absolutely hilarious.

It requires some seriously warped thinking to say that Iraqi citizens rising up and “kicking al-Qaeda’s ass” in a suburb of Baghdad are following “a Democratic policy.”

And to believe that that the fact that American troops are harrassing, confronting, and slaughtering Al Qaida on a daily basis not only in Baghdad but around the country has nothing to do with enabling the Iraqis (as opposed to foreign jihahdists) to take matters in their own hands and defend themselves against the decimated forces of Al Qaida.

The entire aim of our CURRENT policy is to allow Iraqis to take things in their own hands against their enemies—just like this. And now when it happens, when we see an obvious success of American policy, you consider it a triumph of a “Democratic position” which is actually the opposite of what allowed this to happen in the first place.

Totally, laughably absurd.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at June 3, 2007 12:00 AM
Comment #222054

AP- I have not seen any comments on the U.S.Navy

bombarding Somalia late Friday?

Posted by: -DAVID- at June 3, 2007 3:38 AM
Comment #222060

Edge, you just don’t get it, or maybe you do. Perhaps you think it’s ok to wage war to build an empire. So you think Vietnam is irrelevant to the conflict in Iraq? In both cases, you destroyed a country and massacred huge numbers of its people to try to achieve something that was based on either lies or stupidity, or both. In both cases you tried to install a polity which was against the wishes of the people. In both cases, you failed to see that you could not win, without destroying the vill to save it. Well, pardon me, but that’s not a winning strategy.

As to warmongering? The US has to be the most militarised country within the western block, if not in the world. You worship the concept of your military. You have such a fixation with your armed services and too many refuse to question a military deployment in case it might be seen as not supporting the troops. Sometimes the troops shouldn’t be supported. That ever occur to you? Where is your concern for the massively suffering people of Iraq? Your President is seeking to start a new arms race by placing missiles in eastern Europe whose only logic is to mop up any Russian response with what they have left after a US first strike. Do you realise that the US has up to 1,000 military bases outside the US?

The US is not in the mid east to fight the war on terror. It is there to wage the war of terror. That is what empires do. If it was truly interested in fighting terrorism, it would deploy the appropriate resources to fight terrorism; policing resources, it’s own and those of the international community. But terrorism does not exist in a vacuum. You cannot eradicate it without dealing with the injustices that give birth to terrorism. Ron Paul know exactly what I mean. The US is engaged in the mid east to control their resources, and to try to keep the natives in the region compliant, just as the British did before you. Now try and tell me that that’s not imperialism.

I provided a link above to an article by Scott Ritter. I would ask you to read it. Ritter comes across to me as a true patriot. A man who lives up to his marine oath. A man of true character, loyalty, honesty, integrity. Place him alongside the decider, who bugged out of military service, and I know who looks shabby. If the US people don’t wake up sometime soon, what is left of US constitutionalism will be extinguished because people saluted any idiot waving the flag in their faces. The true patriots are those who have the guts to speak truth to power. And clearly there are all too few of them at present.

You ask what is the best way to protect America. Well, there is an old legal maxim, one of many legal maxims of the common law. He who seeks equity, must do equity. Another is he who comes into equity, must come with clean hands. If you want justice for America, then America must do justice for it’s counterparties. Stop plundering the resources of others. Stop attempting to force your interests on others at the point of a gun. Stop the imperial juggernaut. Go back to the original values of the US, its founders and its constitution. Live your words, instead of giving only lip service to them.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 3, 2007 6:19 AM
Comment #222066


“Sometimes the troops shouldn’t be supported.”

While I might agree with much you have written, I would disagree with that particular statement.

The “troops” are mere pawns in this hegemonic gambit, and for the most part are no different than you or I. They have been placed in this untenable situation out love for what they believe is right.
Every country has “troops”. America isn’t the only militaristic society on the planet. We just spend more money than every other country combined on whizz-bang technology.

Blame this administration, blame the strategists, blame their military leaders, hell, blame corporate America, but the grunts on the ground are just doing a job that sometimes has to be done, and as such they deserve support even if those that send them into harms way do not.

Posted by: Rocky at June 3, 2007 7:17 AM
Comment #222068


the troops are citizen soldiers, all volunteers. It is the responsibility of every citizen in a democracy to ensure that when war is called for, that it is properly justified and waged. It is the responsibility of the citizen to hold the government to account, otherwise tyranny reigns.

If the troops signed up out of misplaced patriotism, then they have failed the as citizens to ensure that their country only fights wars that are unavoidable. Having said that, I don’t mean that I have no sympathy for them. I understand the myths and legends that bind the disparate strands of US society together. In so far as they are useful in bringing together and binding disparate immigrant communities, they have served a very noble purpose. They can however, be a double edged sword.

Certain totems of US democracy, like the flag, the pledge of allegiance, the Presidency as an office, are designed to inspire reflexive patriotism and reflexive patriotism is unquestioning patriotism, which is potential dynamite. Not for nothing has patriotism been described as the last bastion of the scoundrel. As for supporting the troops, what I mean is to stop supporting them in the imperial adventure, and bring them home, where they belong. Is that not the best support for them, taking them out of harms way where they are fighting the rich mens battle? The same rich men who clearly scoff at the idea of themselves prosecuting war at the sharp end.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 3, 2007 8:19 AM
Comment #222070


“Not for nothing has patriotism been described as the last bastion of the scoundrel.”

A quote from Mark Twain, American satirist.

Paul, I understand you live in Ireland. Do you love Ireland?
Does that make you a patriot or a scoundrel?

I was raised to question authority.
I am no hyper-patriotic yahoo, and I often do not support American foreign policy, but I do love my country.
Does that make me a patriot or a scoundrel?

Love of country isn’t the least, nor is it the most, of the reasons that many Americans join the military.

Let’s not paint all with such a broad brush.

Posted by: Rocky at June 3, 2007 8:53 AM
Comment #222071

Rocky, you misunderstand me. I do not criticise patriotism, merely those who cynically use it. The duty of the patriot is to ensure that those who would abuse it are held up to the light for all the world to see. It is the duty of the patriot not to be misled by the use of calls to patriotism. Often is it those who clothe themselves in the garments of patriotism, who are truly the scoundrels. Hence Twains quotation. Patriotism can be noble, but not as noble as fellow feeling for ones fellow human beings. And if you can truly empathise with your fellow man, you cannot defend the agony imposed on the people of Iraq, or indeed those of Palestine.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 3, 2007 9:04 AM
Comment #222072

The democrat plan in action is corruption….I told you folks they would spend massively and lied to us about eliminating ear marks.
WASHINGTON - After promising unprecedented openness regarding Congress’ pork barrel practices, House Democrats are moving in the opposite direction as they draw up spending bills for the upcoming budget year.

Democrats are sidestepping rules approved their first day in power in January to clearly identify “earmarks” — lawmakers’ requests for specific projects and contracts for their states.

Rather than including specific pet projects, grants and contracts in legislation as it is being written, Democrats are following an order by the House Appropriations Committee chairman to keep the bills free of such earmarks until it is too late for critics to effectively challenge them.

Posted by: Stephen at June 3, 2007 9:38 AM
Comment #222074


I do not defend the actions of my government, I often find them to be reprehensible.

I do wish the childish actions of those in the Middle East would come to a resolution.
Israel exists largely because American xenophobia wouldn’t allow migration of European Jews to America after WW2. The Palestinian’s historic homeland is Greece.
These guys need to work this out amongst themselves, but if it weren’t for petroleum (and religion), this would have been solved long ago.

Posted by: Rocky at June 3, 2007 9:43 AM
Comment #222078

Why are democrats sidestepping their “earmark” rules. Why are we willing to tolerate them lying to us about eliminating earmarks. Why do we tolerate continued corruption from the democrat party? Where is the outrage from the left for being lied to and for the on-going business as usual corruption from the democrat party?

It’s your congress now. It’s your parties corruption now, and they plainly ARE corrupt. Reid and his Abramoff money, his dirty little property deals, his lobbyist kids. 20 billion in dirty pork spending attached to the defense bill. A concerted effort to hide the pork in violation of their own “clean up congress rules” until the last minute so their dirty spending can fly through.


Posted by: Stephen at June 3, 2007 9:52 AM
Comment #222080

Rocky, I respect your position. However, if it weren’t for US UN vetos on palestine, US arming and financing of Israel to the teeth, it would have been solved long ago. The international community, including the US, determined that peace between Israel and the Arab neighbours should be based on withdrawal to 67 borders, with perhaps minor mutually agreed adjustments. In contravention of the Geneva Convention, Israel has consistently settled these occupied lands. Twice the Arabs have offered final settlement terms, recognising Israel by all of the Arab states, and indeed Iran has indicated it would recognise Israel under these terms too, in return for Israel withdrawing to the 67 borders and coming to agreement on the right of return of Palestianian refugees. Twice Israel has ignored this offer. Ipso facto, Israel does not want a peace that would require it to return the occupied territories and give up its further territorial ambitions. And the US by showering unconditional military and financial largesse on Israel, is complicit in this charade. Instead, it seems that the tail wags the dog.

As to the Palestinians historic homeland being Greece? I didn’t know that, but I’m not aware that they have ever agitated for a return there, unlike some, so I don’t really see the relevance of that.

The theme of this thread is the Dem’s Iraq plan in action. The truth is the Dems are little different to the repugs. They are both playing the game of power, both different manifestations of the war party. The situation in the US reminds me of what my cynical brother in law often says of elections; it doesn’t matter who you vote for, the government always gets in.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 3, 2007 10:00 AM
Comment #222081


Can you link me to a document that shows Syria and Iran laying out a deal in which they recognize Israels right to exist and live in Israel?

My understanding is that they do not recognize Israels’ right to exist and want the state of Israel destroyed. I’m sure you are not just blowing it out both ends, that you can link me to documentation.

Posted by: Stephen at June 3, 2007 10:22 AM
Comment #222082

And I might add, Paul, that you can’t take Syrian words SEPARATE from the actions of their proxy armies. If their proxy armies continue to wage war on Israel and declare they are dedicated to the destruction of Israel….then “peace deals” and “recognition” is meaningless while arab bullets and bombs continue to fall on Israel.

Arafat had the deal, he refused it and chose the status quo instead….terrorism.

Posted by: Stephen at June 3, 2007 10:27 AM
Comment #222083

I think the day that Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and others come forward and declare they are ready to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, ready to acknowledge their boarders, ready to stop fighting and draw up the boundaries….that’s when you can have peace. Right now, while terrorists dedicate themselves to the destruction of Israel and a huge proxy war is being waged in the middle east by many arab nations through the terrorists against Israel… can’t have peace.

I’m now seeing many America liberals advocating the destruction or “removal” of Israel. In my opinion the left wing of the democrat party has joined with the terrorists.

Posted by: Stephen at June 3, 2007 10:31 AM
Comment #222084

“In my opinion the left wing of the democrat party has joined with the terrorists.”


Posted by: Rocky at June 3, 2007 10:46 AM
Comment #222088

In fact Stephen, Syria negotiated a peace deal with Israel recently, which Israel decided to backtrack from. According to some, it did so at the insistence of the Bush regime.

Stephen, please put aside whatever preconceptions you may have, and research the wealth of material that is out there. Then make up your mind. The claims you make bear no relationship to reality. Believe me, there is nothing I believe that I will not reconsider in the light of cogent evidence. All I ask of you is that you are prepared to do the same.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 3, 2007 11:17 AM
Comment #222098
There is no Democratic strategy in Iraq. There never was.

Wrong. For years, the Democratic strategy in Iraq has been to change the mission to training Iraqi forces, protecting US interests and hunting down al-Qaeda. We do not need large numbers of US troops to defeat al-Qaeda in Iraq, as the actions in Amirayah and Diyalah province prove.

The Democratic strategy is also to shift military, diplomatic and economic resources to the central front in the global war on terror: Pakistan and Afghanistan. Iraq is a sideshow and a distraction from the war on terror.

al-Qaeda is training in Pakistan and Afghanistan, not Iraq. al-Qaeda is planning gthe next attack on America from Afghanistan and Pakistan, not Iraq. The leader of the global jihadists is in Pakistan, not in Iraq. The schwerpunkt — the center of gravity — in the war on terror is in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Even worse, Republican involvement in Iraq has superceded the Israel/Palestinian conflict as a rallying point for thousands of pissed off Muslims who would otherwise have no reason to join the jihad — that’s a fact the CIA confirmed multiple times over the last four years.

We will win this war when we shift the diplomatic, economic and military intelligence, civil affairs and special forces resources that are accomplishing nothing in Iraq back to the focal point of the war on terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And that’s also part of the Democratic strategy.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 3, 2007 1:41 PM
Comment #222104
“In fact Stephen, Syria negotiated a peace deal with Israel recently, which Israel decided to backtrack from. According to some, it did so at the insistence of the Bush regime.”

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s all “Israel’s” fault and the “Bush Admin” pulled the strings. Couldn’t (possibly) have a thread that had bloggers badmouthing Iran, Syria and other radical islamists; the ones that truly deserve the blame?! No, no, no.

Looks like you are not alone in thinking Israel is the enemy or (at least) the ones that we need to be worried about making a move “away” from “peace” deals. Check out this “cogent evidence” about what the President of Iran is saying about Israel: ’Countdown’ To Israel’s End

Posted by: rahdigly at June 3, 2007 1:57 PM
Comment #222115

Weary Willie, why would you think there’s a lot of water between Iran and Israel? Go look at a map… Dude.

Are you saying the Democratic Party has been waging a different war in Iraq and Afganistan?

I’m saying Democrats would have — and will — wage a different and more effective war against global terrorism than the current Disaster-in-Chief. It’s no mistake that al-Qaeda and Iran both endorsed Bush’s re-election. They love him.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 3, 2007 2:35 PM
Comment #222130

“If the Democratic Party Leadership would not have used this Iraq war as a vehicle to regain power this war would have gone differently. Had the Democratic Party Leadership initiated this war under the exact same curcumstances this war would have gone differently.”

This is a joke, right?

Had this administration prosecuted this war with the same zeal that they used to make those that opposed their policies appear as unpatriotic traitors, this would have been over long ago, and it wouldn’t mattered what the Democratic leadership did.
The right have done all they could to divide this country, from the loudest pundit, to the lowliest intern in this administration.
This administration took the cheapest way possible from point “A” to point “B” and the Iraqi people and the American soldier have paid the price for the frugality.
You don’t go into an elective war without being prepared to make changes in strategies if things don’t go well.
“Stay the course” isn’t a strategy, it’s an excuse for being unprepared.

If the American soldier is able to pull this off, it will say more about the American soldier than it will of this administrations ability to lead.

Posted by: Rocky at June 3, 2007 4:07 PM
Comment #222132

Rahdigly, first off, Ahmedinejad didn’t call for Israel to be wiped off the map. See below;

I haven’t seen the Reuters report you cite before. However, given how Ahmedinejad’s comments have been twisted before, I would need a lot of convincing as to what he actually did say. But even that’s beside the point. Ahmedinejad is not the real power in Iran. So what he says is not really that important. In any case, in making the remarks alleged in the Reuters report, he was not making any threats. He simply expressed his opinion, for whatever that may or may not be worth.

Why is it that you are not prepared to at least examine the paradigm that the Mussies are all bad, evil even, and the cavalry are all good? Is that the level of your sophistication? The facts of course are that the Muslim peoples are not invading the west with militant armies, seeking to take control of us. They are not seeking to exercise hegemony over us. They are not seeking to control and steal our resources. If they were left to their own devices, to follow their own genius, I have no doubt they would long since have integrated themselves much more successfully into the modern world. instead, they have been victims of western rapine and plunder for centuries. And you wonder why they hate us? If you want to just spout prejudice and calumny, that’s easy. It takes a little effort and self honesty to actually research what the facts really are, much more difficult than just picking up talking points from the screaming neocons. As Ron Paul had the courage to say, they are over here, because we are over there.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 3, 2007 4:11 PM
Comment #222133

Stay the course is exactly what this President said he would do. Stay the course is exactly what this President has done. You cannot say that for the Democratic Party Leadership. They were for it before they were against it, and now they are for it again.

Your Democratic Party leadership cannot accept the fact that you have committed an enormous blunder when you authorized the use of force in Iraq under the guise of framing George W. Bush.

He has stuck it in your eye and his legacy will be a secure middle east, in spite of your eager attempts to regain power.

Posted by: Wearyt Willie at June 3, 2007 4:15 PM
Comment #222134

“He has stuck it in your eye and his legacy will be a secure middle east, in spite of your eager attempts to regain power.”

This seems to be some alternate definition of security that even the Iraqis, and those in the Middle East are unaware of.

Posted by: Rocky at June 3, 2007 4:33 PM
Comment #222136

“…the American People support his action in Iraq!”

And this appears to be some alternate definition of support that the American people are unaware of.

Posted by: Rocky at June 3, 2007 5:04 PM
Comment #222139

So I take it we can scratch you off the Obama doner list.

Posted by: BillS at June 3, 2007 5:23 PM
Comment #222140

Weary Willie,
What a bizarre take! The five major television news outlets are owned by large corporations, and their CEO’s all vote Republican. The American people are bombarded with relentless propaganda concerning this war. The fact is, the Republicans, the media, and yes, the Democrats (outside the liberal wing) are being led by the American public, not the other way around. And the fact is, the American public is utterly disgusted with the Bush Administration and congressional Republicans.

“Assertions” of misconduct? You must be kidding! Hello? Corruption was listed as the most important factor by voters in the 2006 midterms (unless you combine terrorism & Iraq). How many resignations does it take to convince you? Would you like a list?

“Manufactured” aggressions against the constitution? Read the fourth amendment sometime and square it with the bald-faced lies surrounding wiretapping.

How on earth can you say “the American People support his action in Iraq”?

“Do you favor or oppose the U.S. war in Iraq?”

Favor Oppose Unsure
% % % 5/4-6/07
34 65 1 offers a great resource for recaps of various major polls, including ones on Iraq, approval ratings, and so on. Instead of just making stuff up based upon wishful thinking, I would suggest backing up controversial assertions with sources.

The Bush administration has introduced instability, not stability, to the Midde East. Wishing it will look good at some far off time in the future is laughable.

We owe our allegiance to the best interests of the country, not a political party. If one party cannot get it right, as the lock-step Republicans have so richly demonstrated, then maybe- maybe- the other will.

Posted by: phx8 at June 3, 2007 5:28 PM
Comment #222145


“He stood his ground and contrairy to what the media is spouting day after day, the American People support his action in Iraq!”

“It doesn’t matter what the American people think when they are being led by the nose by the media.”

So Willie, which is it?

The Democratic Party didn’t call the Constitution “a damn piece of paper”.
The Democratic Party didn’t under fund, and under man the effort in Iraq.
The Democratic Party didn’t leave Bin Laden alive in Afghanistan.

You’re p*&^ing in the wind if you think that the American people will put up with much more of this nonsense.

Saddam is dead.

It’s time for the Iraqis to rise or fall on their own.

Posted by: Rocky at June 3, 2007 5:43 PM
Comment #222147
this effort must not be lost, it has no timetable, it must be won.

Define lost. I documented events that indicate the Iraqis will defeat al-Qaeda elements in their country with minimal (if any) help from the US military.

We are in a war with people in the middle east

No. We are at war with al-Qaeda. They are led from, and training unmolested in, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

And that’s why you guys are losing the war on terror. You have no idea where the focal point is — or rather, as long as you can beat Democrats over the head with Iraq, you’ve chosen to turn a blind eye to it.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 3, 2007 5:52 PM
Comment #222149

“And that’s why you guys are losing the war on terror. You have no idea where the focal point is — or rather, as long as you can beat Democrats over the head with Iraq, you’ve chosen to turn a blind eye to it.”

Well said. But it goes further than that. The so-called “War on Terror” never did offer an adequate focus for foreign policy after the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in 2003. It always was a matter of police work and international cooperation, with an occasional call for use of special forces.

Instead, the Bush administration used it to justify militarism and grossly blatant imperialism. It is sickening, and the results have been disastrous.

Meanwhile, we are treated to yet another example of grotesque propaganda. A group of so-called “terrorists” supposedly planned to blow up JFK. Except the “terrorists” did not have a plan, or explosives, and what they supposedly wanted to do was scientifically impossible; but the airwaves have been saturated with bogus bullshit, as if somehow blowing up a pipeline or storage tank would cause an entire airport to go up in flames. It is another disgusting example of propaganda, done to keep Americans in a state of fear.

Posted by: phx8 at June 3, 2007 6:03 PM
Comment #222150

“You and your quotes and links will not convince me that you are not politically motivated.”

So, what you’re saying is that you have made up your mind, and don’t try to confuse you with the little things, like facts.

Posted by: Rocky at June 3, 2007 6:05 PM
Comment #222152

Willie, keep up the “good fight” brotha; some of these bloggers are (completely) infected with Bush Syndrome (BS). They do nothing but complain about Bush when the great threat is right there infront of their faces. Then, they have the audacity to say the dems have a plan for the War. Yeah right, it’s called “retreat” and “defeat”; they rather us lose in Iraq, so they continue to blame Bush for everything (BS).

As I have said before, the dems chose the position: what ever is good for the country is bad for them, and whatever is good for them is bad for the country. It is a despicable choice; however, it is theirs and they own it! The (current) democratic party does not know how to fight wars or win them; they just know how to politicize them.

Posted by: rahdigly at June 3, 2007 6:46 PM
Comment #222153

You write: “It’s a simplistic view of the war on terror to think it would start in 2001 and end in 2003 when it has been going on for 30 years.”

Terrorist attacks against the United States have been few in number over the past thirty years, and conducted by a very small number of people, primarily ones claiming allegiance to Al Qaida & Osama bin Laden. The “war,” if you insist on calling it that, started full bore on 9/11, reached its crescendo with the invasion of Afghanistan, and for all practical purposes ended in 2003.

The US occupation of Iraq has inflamed Muslims around the world since then, no doubt. There have been a few instances of local populations being inspired by OBL to plan attacks. Meanwhile, the disorganized remnants of Al Qaida seem to be reconstituting in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Sadly, the Bush administration has failed to devote its focus where it belongs. It seems incapable of addressing the root causes of terrorism; instead, the administration seems to perceive the world in some sort of deeply sick 1970”s US/USSR paradigm, with Muslims replacing Communists as the enemy. Terrorism in the Middle East is a symptom, not the problem.

We need to address the underlying problem of failed nation states. We need to address what Thomas P.M. Barnett calls “The Gap.” Without a viable government or infrastructure, failed states such as Afghanistan & Somalia (and now Iraq) will eventually restore order through an organic process by resorting to the one remaining unifying cultural & organizational force, namely Islam; and they do this through organizations such as the Taliban and the Islamic Courts Union.

This- NOT terrorism- is an appropriate focus for US policy in the Middle East.

Unfortunately, Iraq utterly derailed Bush administration foreign policy. Instead of concentrating on Afghanistan, and devoting resources there, Bush and the lock-step Republicans chose to take down Saddam Hussein, resulting in precisely the opposite of what was desired: yet another failed state.

It was an incredibly stupid decision.

Incredibly stupid.

And we need to get out now.

Posted by: phx8 at June 3, 2007 6:47 PM
Comment #222155

Thank you phx8, for bringing that point out about the “attempt to blow up JFK”. That was honestly one of my first thoughts when they released the deluge of reports.
What would one call the fear of fear propeganda???
Maybe just sticking to plain old BS would work!!

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at June 3, 2007 6:54 PM
Comment #222158

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at June 3, 2007 7:26 PM
Comment #222169

What a wonderful piece of propaganda Willie. Worthy of Leni Riefenstahl. No doubt it’ll have all the hankies out dabbing teary eyes. Reducing an evil war, destroying a people and their country to a feeble attempt at emotional blackmail. I wonder if the producer were to fill their presentation with images of the broken bodies, Iraqi as well as American, the destroyed lives, the raped, the tortured, the mentally destroyed, the broken families, the ruined land, and then attempt to show us what has been achieved that was worth that unspeakable barbarity, what impact that might have. But then the purpose of propaganda is not to portray the truth, is it? No, It’s purpose is to hide the truth. To blind people to what is actually happening. Nice try tho’!

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 3, 2007 8:33 PM
Comment #222172

Weary Willie,
“The goal is to allow a democratic-republic to be formed in Iraq.”

True. But how to accompish that goal? Invasion, conquest, occupation, and effective annexation will not work. Building permanent military bases and demanding sole access to lucrative oil reserves through unfair contracts is inconsistent with the goal. Because what we are doing is just a naked grab for oil and geopolitical position.

We fnd outselves fighting, not terrorists, but insurgents. We are fighting Iraqis.

Do you doubt this? There are 18,000 fighters imprisoned in Iraq. Only 350 are foreigners. General Casey, SECDEF Gates, and others estimate the “terrorists” comprise about 3% of the total insurgency. There are a lot of factions, but most insurgents consist of Sunnis. About 80% of US troop deaths are caused by IEDs, at the hands of Sunnis. They do not want to be dominated by Shias. They resent being violently expelled from power. And re-integrating them by force, at American hands, seems to be unacceptable for them.

Too often, the US supports authoritarian governments at the expense of Muslim people, based upon the colonial models of the last century. Furthermore, we cannot take sides with one religion against another, with Israelis against Palestinians.

Do you wonder what a representative, democratic government in Iraq will look like? Take a good hard look at Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mehdi Army. They are nationalists, religious fundamentalists. In Lebanon, see Hezbollah. It makes no sense to support democracy, and then support bombing them when we realize we dislike what their self-determination means.

Over time, these groups will become less revolutionary and fanatical. The same will inevitably happen in Iran. Rather than bombing, we need patience. We need to exercise Soft Power, not bombing.

The abatement of fanaticism & revolutionary fervor will not happen if the US chooses aggression, confrontation, and the use of military force. Eventually, I believe we will see Islamic democracies, despite the terrible decisions made by Bush & Cheney and the Neocons. But these democracies will reflect Islamic culture, and that includes some… well, let us say, some distasteful attributes. Equal rights for women will be a long, long time in developing. Islamic democracies will not like Israel. And, unlike the Emirs and the Saudi royal family, who corruptly enrich themselves at the expense of their people, Islamic democracies will not be anxious to hand over their natural resources for exploitation by foreign invaders, or allow their countries to be used at platforms for attacking others who are less compliant.

Posted by: phx8 at June 3, 2007 8:57 PM
Comment #222178


Of course you’re right.

Every member of this Republican administration is pure as the driven snow.

Iraq has been a thriving democratic country and has been one of America’s best allies in the Middle East. The war in Iraq hasn’t cost America a penny because of the massive oil revenues that have been pouring out of Iraq with the production of oil at 100%. All of the utilities (electricity and water and sewage) have been running at 100% and the Iraqis greet every American soldier with flowers.

And I am sure that those Quaker terrorists deserved to be investigated.

I have seen the error of my ways, I just don’t know what I as thinking.

Posted by: Rocky at June 3, 2007 10:11 PM
Comment #222179


Posted by: Rocky at June 3, 2007 10:12 PM
Comment #222187

Weary Willie — you’re a typical follower, don’t ever try to use reason to debate, just use the talking points you get from Rush/Hanitty and their ilk.

Posted by: Tony CO at June 3, 2007 10:56 PM
Comment #222192

Some of you have the nerve to talk about “followers”. All (most of) you have been doing (for the past 4 years) is “follow” the anti-Bush/War crowds talking points. Nothing but Bush bashing and little (very little) about the (true) enemy. Now, the article of this thread is about how, the little success we are having is due to the dems strategy?!!! Oh, yeah, ok!

I totally concur with Willie, some of you are “rats on a sinking ship” and the ship “isn’t sinking”; at least that is not what the dem’s talking point is right now. However, as soon as the dems start saying the ship is not sinking, then you’ll get on board. Nice.

Take a look at this video one of the bloggers shared on another post a few weeks back; some of you may understand why your arguments just do not fly with many of us.

To Our Americans Serving in Iraq

Posted by: rahdigly at June 3, 2007 11:12 PM
Comment #222196

Weary Willie,
“Iraq was respectful of it’s female population and held them up as equal before Saddam Hussien gained power.”

No. The Baathist government of Saddam Hussein was secular, and permitted some degree of westernization, which is one reason the Shias hated him so much.

“Iraq was a prosperous region before Saddam.”

Not really. The period of greatest prosperity for Iraq came under Saddam during the 70”s. It came apart during the Iran/Iraq war of the 80”s.

As you are undoubtedly aware, both parties share responsibility for foreign policy events of the past century.

“Your party exploited these people and your party gave them the funds to attack us.”

That is a bizarre statement.

Posted by: phx8 at June 4, 2007 12:51 AM
Comment #222197
You and your smart talk will not fool me. You and your quotes and links will not convince me

Of course not. Facts are evil; ignorance is bliss. Go back to sleep, Willie, big strong GW will make the bad people go away.

phx8, excellent posts. Thanks for bringing up Barnett. If anybody’s looking for a strategy and vision for a better tomorrow, read “The Pentagon’s New Map”.

We need to address the underlying problem of failed nation states.

Defense Secretary Gates just made the same point at the Shangri-La meeting in Singapore.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 4, 2007 1:07 AM
Comment #222227


“I haven’t seen the Reuters report you cite before. However, given how Ahmedinejad’s comments have been twisted before, I would need a lot of convincing as to what he actually did say. But even that’s beside the point. Ahmedinejad is not the real power in Iran. So what he says is not really that important. In any case, in making the remarks alleged in the Reuters report, he was not making any threats. He simply expressed his opinion, for whatever that may or may not be worth.”

Not making threats?! That is what could have been said about Hitler! Look how the people, that did not take Hitler’s remarks seriously, went down in history; the same (exact) thing can happen here. The question is, where will some of you be?! Will some of you (continue) to turn a deaf ear to this “Iranian Hiltler” and his puppet masters (The Mullahs) that are pulling his strings?! Or will some of you actually stick up for Israel and the US (the Great Satans) against these (present day) Nazis?!!!

Here’s the Rueters article again: Iran president sees “countdown” to Israel’s end ; I’m sure some of you will be looking (intently) for articles that say he was “misinterpreted”.

Oh and, here’s some more “twisted” statements from him, also.
Iranian president calls Israel ‘disgraceful blot’

October 27, 2005 Iranians plan a nation-wide demonstration on Friday in support of their president’s comments that called for the elimination of Israel. The demonstrations would coincide with the annual event called al-Quds Day, where the Israeli control of Jerusalem is protested. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a speech to 3,000 students in Tehran said Wednesday there was, “no doubt the new wave [of attacks] in Palestine will soon wipe off this disgraceful blot from the face of the Islamic world.” At a conference called “The World without Zionism” the recently elected Iranian president Ahmadinejad said the establishment of Israel was, “a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world,” a reference to Western military and political pressure. Ahmadinejad won the presidency in June with a populist approach that stressed Islam and revolutionary principles. The speech cited numerous references to the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and included a declaration that, “As the imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map.” ,

Posted by: rahdigly at June 4, 2007 11:07 AM
Comment #222256


A peace deal “floated” by Suadi Arabia is meaningless. The peace deal was ON THE TABLE and Arafat walked away from it.

Hezbollah is waging a war of extermination against Israel and “peace deals” do not stop them.

Until Iran and Syria pull back their proxy armies and agree to an all encompasing peace deal, Israel, the US, the EU and all the free nations of the world must STAND UP AGAINST the terrorists and fight them.

You are supporting the wrong side. You should take a stand against terrorism.

Posted by: Stephen at June 4, 2007 3:38 PM
Comment #222257

Paul, you have given me enough links to prove you are pro terrorist and anti Israel.

Please link me to a statement from Hezbollah announcing they are prepared to recognize Israels right to exist and to accept the state of Israel in the middle east. Until Iran’s proxy armies capitulate on the destruction of Israel and support peace, they will continue to wage a terrorist war against Israel and I might ad, with the full support of political correct liberals like you.

Posted by: Stephen at June 4, 2007 3:41 PM
Comment #222269

Pro Terrorist and anti Israel eh Stephen? I suppose this guy is too, amazingly for a Jew;

Stephen, I had hoped that you had the capacity to open your mind. I admit it. I was wrong. You don’t want to know, you don’t want to learn, you simply want to confirm and entrench your prejudice. Fair enough. That being the case, I don’t really see any point in debating further with you. Beannacht de ort.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 4, 2007 7:37 PM
Comment #222283

Surely someone that knows so much that they don’t need the facts to confuse them would take the time to translate “God go with you”.


Posted by: Rocky at June 4, 2007 9:41 PM
Comment #222291
Paul, you have given me enough links to prove you are pro terrorist and anti Israel.

You know what’s funny: The Israelis debate this stuff all the time, no problem. But over here, if you take any stance other than we should nuke all the people pissed off at Israel, you’re an anti-Semite. Weird.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 4, 2007 10:32 PM
Comment #222312

Interesting alternate history, Willie.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 5, 2007 12:16 AM
Comment #222371

“Nixon ended the war in Vietnam under duress.”

“Nixon also implied that he had a “solution” to the war in Vietnam, but was vague in providing the details of his plan.”

“Once in office, he proposed the Nixon Doctrine, a strategy of replacing American troops with the Vietnamese troops, also called “Vietnamization”. In July 1969, he visited South Vietnam, and met with President Nguyen Van Thieu and with U.S. military commanders. American involvement in the war declined steadily until all American troops were gone in 1973. After the withdrawal of U.S. troops, fighting was left to the South Vietnamese army.”

Just how is that ending the war under duress?

Willie, you just don’t make no sense.

Posted by: Rocky at June 5, 2007 8:05 PM
Comment #222401


Both Truman and Eisenhower sent “advisers” into Vietnam.

Last time I checked Eisenhower ran as a Republican.
I was a young adult during the Nixon Administration, and I at least supply links that back up what I write.

As for wikipedia, you seem incapable or uninterested in supplying any FACTS that disprove wilipedia’s accuracy.

Snide comments and inaccurate opinions don’t count, and while you are entitled to your opinion, you aren’t entitled to make up your own facts as you go along.
If you think I am wrong, prove it, and back it up with factual links.
Dispite the “edit” button on wikipedia’s pages, it more accurate than any link you have provided (that would be zero), that would prove your point.

Posted by: Rocky at June 6, 2007 7:14 AM
Comment #222521


“Obviously some of us weren’t paying attention or simply refused to entertain a point of view other than their own so I will re-iterate, re-post, and hopefully it will get thru to some of the people with the Democratic Party blinders on.”

Perhaps the misunderstanding has more to do with your existential, stream of consciousness rant that lacks a coherent central thought, than anything to do with partisan blinders.

Speaking of partisan blinders, often they work both ways, and just as often they work as partisan blindfolds.

As far as the Bush quote goes, it sounds more like he is waiting for a teenager to show more responsibility so he can give him the keys to the family car than addressing the pressing problems of a sovereign government that he is trying to build.
Bush misses the point that the Iraqi situation is caused by a deplorable lack of security in Iraq, not by any foil hat conspiracy against his dream of a stable Democracy in the Middle East.
He cannot build a country without it.

Oh, and BTW, you cannot debunk anything without verifiable facts that actually prove your point, something that was sadly lacking in the above post.

Posted by: Rocky at June 7, 2007 8:49 AM
Comment #222623


Even if you kept on repeating that over and over, and click your heels together three times, it still won’t be true.

Posted by: Rocky at June 8, 2007 9:57 AM
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