Democrats & Liberals Archives

Buzz Bombs

It’s only Tuesday and already there’s been a lot of buzz about Iraq this week.

Over the weekend, we learned that the progress report Democrats in Congress forced the President to produce will reveal that the Iraqi government didn't meet any of its benchmarks and probably never will.

Defense Secretary Gates was told to cancel his South American junket because he had some 'splainin to do. Also, President Bush needed his help moving the goal post again. Not that it's heavy, he's just moved it so far and so often that he's pretty winded. He's 61 now. It's not as easy as when he was arrested for stealing the goal post in his college years at Yale.

In any case, let's not forget why President Bush ordered the surge: American troops were supposed to restore order in Baghdad and in the calm, cooler minds were supposed to prevail and Iraqi leaders were supposed to peacefully resolve their differences, create a unified government and work for the good of all the Iraqi people.

Despite the consensus expert opinion that it was a bone-head idea, all the Republicans in Congress backed it. Well it turns out --as it so often does -- that the experts were right. The Pentagon's report says so.

As it becomes clearer that an Iraqi government dedicated to forming a more perfect union, establishing justice, ensuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense and promoting the general welfare is nothing more than a pipe dream, Republicans are having epiphanies left and right.

More and more, Republicans are getting behind the plan Democrats laid out about 2600 American lives ago: Pull most of the combat troops out of Iraq, turn the country's security over to the Iraqis and leave in place US forces adequate to train Iraqi troops, hunt down al-Qaeda and protect US interests.

Of course, President Bush rejects that path to victory. He won't commit the three hundred thousand US troops necessary to win outright in Iraq, yet he won't redefine the mission to match the number of troops he's willing to commit either. President Bush is hell bent for failure.

And by the time enough Republicans in Congress support a change of course, Iraq wll be somebody else's problem. A new President will have to make the tough decisions and Bush's Iraq legacy will remain untarnished -- in his mind.

Interestingly, Robert Novak reports that defector Richard Lugar went back to Indiana expecting to be hung by his constituents for defying the Bush administration on Iraq. Instead, he was greeted with cheers and applause. I don't know why Republicans always think their constituents are stupid. I think we'll see many more Republican politicians joining the "anti-war movement" and it'll be interesting to see how they vote.

Posted by American Pundit at July 11, 2007 2:05 AM
Comments
Comment #225774

AP,

Did you have a look at this site when you were preparing your article?

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/01/20070110-3.html

Reading this “plan” now is all too humerous to me. Perhaps if you did not review it, it might provide some humor (as tragic as that notion is).

You Bush-devotees and other fascists, have a look at the contents of this site. I am interested—for humor sake only—how you plan to defend your hero now.

In describing this “new way forward” propaganda put out by a complete moron—it certainly isn’t “backward thinking.” Most people possessing an intellect would be hard pressed to consider that dribble to be anything resembling “thinking.”

I suppose it is possible that there are intellects among Bush-devotees (hard to imagine, but, nonetheless, possible). This group is exempt from having any objectivity regarding “the new way forward” because it is most likely blotted out by blind devotion to a moronic, terrosit, fascist, etc. (you know the drill—GWB is still walking and talking like a “duck” so I don’t have any reason to refer to him as a “swan.”)

Posted by: Kim-Sue at July 11, 2007 3:44 AM
Comment #225779

Ladies and gentlemen, the President has no clothes. Unfortunately, he is far more stubborn than the emperor in that old story, so we get to see him parade around all jaybird-like (politically speaking) for the next 17 months, barring unforseen legal proceedings. Of course, in the story, the emperor hurt nothing but his own ego. Our little boy king, though, his stubbornness costs lives. At least I hope it’s stubbornness. Could he really be that dumb?

On a lighter note, anybody catch the new Transformers movie yet? Gotta love their version of the Pres: flaked out on Air Force One in his stocking feet asking the attendents to “rustle me up some Ho-Hos” in the middle of a security breach. Good for a chuckle.

L

Posted by: leatherankh at July 11, 2007 7:50 AM
Comment #225785

Perhaps you never understood the truth about this : Its not that Bush is a hero, its that you offer no viable alternative…….only criticism. Look at the congress approval rating if you want to see a rating lower than the Presidents.

Posted by: John in Texas at July 11, 2007 8:58 AM
Comment #225787

AP
I often wonder if W’s plan is actually succeeding. Im not referring to his continued long line of military failures but his hidden agenda. I dont think he gives a hoot about anything but his failed ideologies that includes shrinking the federal government and the entitlements that he finds so disturbing.
The cost of the war and the resulting turmoil to be borne by the next generation continues to ensure his success.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 11, 2007 9:04 AM
Comment #225789

I often wonder what it would cost to fight an Al Queada left alone to train, arm, given unlimited petro dollars from the Iraq you want us to abandon. I also wonder if your children will be up to the even greater cost when you will this problem to them.

Posted by: John in Texas at July 11, 2007 9:10 AM
Comment #225793

I often wonder why the Bush supporters think OBL will take over Iraq. Do you honestly believe the Iraqi people will not throw them out? What benefits do OBL and AlQueada give the Iraqi people that would cause them to open their arms to the terrorist?

Posted by: j2t2 at July 11, 2007 9:52 AM
Comment #225794

j212
Good point for discussion. What benefits did Saddam offer. He killed large quantities of his own people in horrible ways, he confiscated homes from the non bathists and gave them to his supporters, squandered the wealth of his nation on military buildups and war with Iran (millions died in that war). Yet he had complete control. Explain to me how it is not possible for al queada to do the same things. And remember Al queada is committed to thier cause and do not adhere to the constraints we are forced to submit to in this war. They would just kill anyone that they felt needed to go. Think about it before you answer. They have no need to win hearts and minds because they have no intention of allowing free will or independant thought or due process of law.

Posted by: John in Texas at July 11, 2007 10:12 AM
Comment #225802

AP,

Great article!

One thing I’ll stress, albeit ad nauseam, our current troop levels are requiring too much sacrifice from too few Americans. These extended and repeated deployments are morally wrong and they’ve pushed our ground forces to (or perhaps beyond) the breaking point.

So, to those who still support Bush’s failed policy in Iraq, please demand the reinstatement of the draft! While you’re at it also demand we “Pay-Go” the war costs by repealing the Bush tax cuts!

Posted by: KansasDem at July 11, 2007 11:32 AM
Comment #225803

Public opinion is still the biggest telling factor….
http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20070710/1a_lede10.art.htm

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 11, 2007 11:33 AM
Comment #225804
Its not that Bush is a hero, its that you offer no viable alternative…only criticism.

Not true. Democrats offered alternatives every step of the way, from going in with all the troops the military wanted and Rumsfeld refused to provide, to changing the mission to training, counterterrism and force protection.

I often wonder what it would cost to fight an Al Queada left alone to train…

That’s easy to answer: That’s exactly what’s happening now. bin Laden is in Pakistan training terrorists and planning the next attack on America unmolested.

…given unlimited petro dollars from the Iraq you want us to abandon.

Why would Iraqis give bin Laden their oil money? Nothing that ever has happened or is happening now supports that deep brown chestnut.

The idea that a few hundred al Qaeda foreign fighters can take over Iraq is idiotic at best and nothing more than fear-mongering for political gain by Republicans at worst. It’s total BS.

What benefits did Saddam offer.

He was no threat to the US.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 11, 2007 11:35 AM
Comment #225805

j2t2,

Isn’t it interesting that Al Qaeda is now producing more and more video and audio threats…………uh, most likely from somewhere along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border?

Zawahiri gives almost as many “press releases” as Bush & Co. :^/

Posted by: KansasDem at July 11, 2007 11:40 AM
Comment #225806
Explain to me how it is not possible for al queada to do the same things.

I wrote an entire article on that subject.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 11, 2007 11:43 AM
Comment #225807

Your last presidential hopeful, John Kerry, and also Bin laden himslef have both stated that Iraq is central in the war against Al queada.
Was he wrong (kerry) or were you wrong to present him as our democratic choice for president?

“”Iraq may not be the war on terror itself, but it is critical to the outcome of the war on terror, and therefore any advance in Iraq is an advance forward in that…” — John Kerry 12/15/03

Posted by: John in Texas at July 11, 2007 11:47 AM
Comment #225809

Pundit.
you obviously gave no consideration to my post about the way Al Queada could thrive in Iraq. However Saddam proved it could be done if one simply discard any notion of decency or morality. He murdered anyone that looked at him wrong. He murdered Kurds for being Kurds.
Al Queda has all the will and all the force it needs to subjugate Iraq. The same qualities Saddam had. No concern for human life. And a scortched earth tactic that we do not employ. For you to assert this is not possible is every bit as feeble as the Bush admins attempt at the oopposite. I dont know you at all, but i distrust your motives in posting. I dont believe you care for genuine discorse.

Posted by: John in Texas at July 11, 2007 11:58 AM
Comment #225810

John in Texas,

Are you making the assumption that Kerry would have employed the exact same tactics in Iraq that Bush has employed since January 2005?

Hard to imagine!

I’m speechless………..downright dumbfounded.

Posted by: KansasDem at July 11, 2007 11:59 AM
Comment #225812

Kansas;

No, I dont like the handling of the war in iraq any better than you. Dont confuse my intentions. I merely want to point out that the Pundit is wrong. Democrats had 3 seperate chances to either prevent or get us out of iraq. The original vote in congress and two that followed. All were OVERWEHLMINGLY voted down on the democratic side of the aisle (the side they came from). So the question is “Are the democrats weak or do they fail to represent thier voter”?
Pundit also asserts that democrats offered advice on going in with all the force they deemed neccesary when in FACT democrats did everything they could to PREVENT us from going in at all.
The thought process of revisionist history and ignorance of guilt on BOTH sides of the aisle are disingenuous, and the tactic of a political hack with no regard for real discussion. My post are aimed at those that believe this is and was a republican problem. BOTH parties muffed this punt. And according to opinion polls still are. Congress is at 27 percent today, Presdient at 29 percent approval.

Posted by: John in Texas at July 11, 2007 12:16 PM
Comment #225815

John in Texas-
al-Qaeda is a Sunni group, and particularly hardcore at that. Iraq is majority Shia, and al-Qaeda has sided against that majority, directing much of its attacks at them. The Sunni Minority, though, is not much more enamored of them, and they inform freely and often on them.

Let’s not be so scared of al-Qaeda that we imagine them as invincible and unstoppable.

Let’s also not buy into the BS that its in our strategic interest to match al-Qaeda’s ruthlessness. People who run planes into buildings don’t have the same kind of worries about their reputation as a country like ours, especially given what we want people to believe about us and our efforts.

Our best bet to beat al-Qaeda is use the integrity they lack against them, to make their ruthlessness a liability for them.

As for Saddam? Did he deserve to go? Hell yes! But the time and manner that Bush chose to achieve this goal were wrong. Good intentions do not make up for poor timing or judgment on strategy and policy. If we had left Iraq alone for the time being, al-Qaeda would have been in much worse shape than it is now.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 11, 2007 12:29 PM
Comment #225817

I would never advocate a ruthless apporoach such as al queada would employ. My attempt at highlighting the differances between our methods and the ones Al queada would employ were supposed to make it clear that a group with no moral compass or human compassion can be MUCH more effective. And that is Exactly why Al Queada is capable enough to subjugate Iraq if we leave. This is exactly how Saddam managed it. To say it is not possible is folley. The minority in Iraq subjugated the majority for 40 years or more.

Posted by: John in Texas at July 11, 2007 12:38 PM
Comment #225825

John in Texas,

OK, there’s plenty of blame to go around. But I’m content to let the historians sort that out for now.

We still have men and women being blown to hell so lets adapt our strategy! Our thin green line is now a “thin green dotted line”. If we don’t do something soon we may very well see the type of roof-top extractions of American personnel in the Green Zone that we witnessed in Saigon.

The fact is that we CAN NOT sustain our current troop levels long enough for this surge to accomplish the needed results given the reluctance and negligence of the US backed Iraqi government.

Let me ask you this: why did it take so long to fulfill the deployment of “surge” troops? Bush loves to point out that the “surge” is only beginning. Sheesh!

I can only hope that the Webb amendment being currently debated in the Senate reveals who truly supports our troops!

Posted by: KansasDem at July 11, 2007 1:07 PM
Comment #225829

I believe we can wait until september. There is no need (other than political ) for Dick Lugar to go off reservation until then. Its apparent he has aspirations of some kind.
Dont know why the surge took several months to complete, but there are indications that the strategy might work given a few months. Al Queada is suffering the same problems we are. Even if the American press refuses to tell you that.
I was recently out of the country and was able to read and watch non American Iraq reports. It was refreshing to see unbiased reporting and find that Americans are not in fact hated all over the world as our own press would have you believe.

Posted by: John in Texas at July 11, 2007 1:18 PM
Comment #225851

Thank you John.


A word we might look at is patience. Even if the far left is correct in all they say, they thoroughly lack patience.

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 11, 2007 2:24 PM
Comment #225852

Since Mission Acomplished ended Shock and Awe, we have had a policy that fails to take into account that the people we are fighting are also capable of changing tactics. Administration biased reports point out that we are now fighting Al Queda. That is nice, but isn’t that what we were supposed to be doing all along?

Posted by: ohrealy at July 11, 2007 2:28 PM
Comment #225860

Discussion of how we got to this point are best kept for elections. Discussion of what is right and advisable are the sort of things that should be taking place with no political flavors right now. The september report by Patreus should be an important one. If the Big push is still grounded then, the surge will have been another dissapointment. But it deserves the 3 months to have a chance to work. We seem to be too much of a microwave generation these days. Even popcorn is too slow for us. The far left needs to back off and respect the efforts of those willing to act and not just talk.

Posted by: John in Texas at July 11, 2007 2:44 PM
Comment #225877

Republicans Gordon Smith and Olympia Snowe are cosponsoring legislation to have U.S. troops withdrawing from Iraq by April. Meanwhile, the White House is trying to prevent more Republicans from voicing their frustrations with the war until the Surge report is in.

VIDEO:
http://beta.redlasso.com/Community/ClipPlayer.aspx?i=320302f3-8a23-4c0c-8972-b3d43000ec7f

Posted by: PMD at July 11, 2007 3:20 PM
Comment #225882

There is no need nor rationale for waiting for Petraeus’ report. You spoon fed people can’t open your eyes and read the news yourself?

The Iraqi Gov’t. is not cooperating. Great numbers of our General Staff, Bush himself, and Intelligence and State Dept. Condi Rice have all said that if our goals are to be met they will be met by a political and diplomatic solution carried out by the Iraqi gov’t. itself, and there is NO MILITARY solution to achieve our goals.

The Iraqi Gov’t has not even tried to meet one of the benchmarks the Bush administration had outlined from Nov. 2006 through the beginning of the ‘surge’. C’mon, people, engage your brain and exercise a bit of logic.

We are killing our soldiers by keeping them in the center of this Civil War which cannot be resolved without the cooperation of the Iraqi government and the Iraqi government is NOT cooperating. The blood of our soldiers is on our hands as much as on the insurgents and al-Queda. We know we have a choice to remove them from harm’s way and a conflict that is accomplishing nothing - because the Iraqi government is accomplishing nothing. No deBaathification, no Oil Sharing agreements, no local election infrastructure, no Constitutional amendnment procedures to permit Iraqi’s to move forward over their stumbling blocks.

I take this much back, the blood is not on the hands of those who opposed the invasion or have long since called for removal of them. The blood is on YOUR hands who continue to argue Americans should die in an unwinnable situation because YOU don’t wish to confront the fact that you were wrong, Wrong, WRONG, and insist on your right to continue to be WRONG no matter how many American soldiers must die to vindicate your errors.

Pride is the greatest sin in this conflict. And it takes a lack of humanity to trade others lives for the option of not having to admit one was wrong.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 11, 2007 3:37 PM
Comment #225892

Had this “surge” been implemented a long time ago, it might have worked. How much patience are we to employ when it has only been for political reasons that the “surge” is now the way to go? Democrats lack patience now, yes. It is at an end with the failure of this administration to get this even close to right.

The people who asked for more troops in the beginning were shouted down and some fired. Keep that in mind.

Also keep in mind that the Iraqi government is going to take August off. What can they possibly get accomplished that way?

Posted by: womanmarine at July 11, 2007 3:57 PM
Comment #225900

(Most recently) David and womanmarine, you’re right, as usual.
Patience is something we’ve already run out of….and this hasn’t been a “surge” at all, except in Bush’s addled mind….but a trickle, starting months ago.
surge(sûrj)
v. surged, surg·ing, surg·es
v.intr.
1. To rise and move in a billowing or swelling manner.
2. To roll or be tossed about on waves, as a boat.
3. To move like advancing waves: The fans surged forward to see the movie star.
4. To increase suddenly: As favorable reviews came out, interest in the software surged.
5. To improve one’s performance suddenly, especially in bettering one’s standing in a competition

KansasDem has tried for weeks to get people to understand that we don’t have the on-the-ground-manpower to meet the definition of a surge. We are stretched to the max and we owe these soldiers and marines a hell of a lot more than just keeping them in the middle of this insane debacle!!!

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 11, 2007 4:47 PM
Comment #225902

Then you should be really pissed off at all the democrats that in 2 seperate votes in Congress chickend out and chose their jobs over their promises to you AND VOTED TO STAY BOTH TIMES.
Not to mention authorizing the war to begin with and continuing to fund it while paying you even more lip service.

Posted by: John in Texas at July 11, 2007 4:55 PM
Comment #225903

Well, the Republican’s did manage to stomp Webb’s attempt to provide our troops with morally decent limitations regarding deployments.

But…………seven Republicans sided with us to end the filibuster. I believe the final vote was 56 to 41!

I’ll try to find something in print on this later.

Posted by: KansasDem at July 11, 2007 4:57 PM
Comment #225904

Kansas Dem:

Disgusting isn’t it? How much support for the troops does that show?

Posted by: womanmarine at July 11, 2007 5:00 PM
Comment #225907

So long as the whim of a few men causes thousands of our brothers to be honourably butchered, the portion of mankind devoted to heroism will be the most frightful thing in the whole of nature. What becomes of and what do I care about humanity, benevolence, modesty, temperance, tenderness, wisdom, piety, when half a pound of lead shot from 600 paces shatters my body, and I die at the age of twenty in agony beyond words, in the midst of five or six thousand dying men, while my eyes, opening for the last time, see the town in which I was born destroyed by sword and fire, and the last sounds I hear are the cries of women and children expiring under the ruins, all for the alleged benefit of a man I do not know?

Voltaire 1769

Posted by: ohrealy at July 11, 2007 5:12 PM
Comment #225913

No huge surprises as to who prevented an up or down vote on Webb’s amendment. Predictably Lieberman joined with the “Screw the troops—let ‘em rot there” crowd!

Also not surprisingly Lugar and Domenici remained the loyal Bushies they really are and always will be, and McCain obviously figures since he was left to rot in the Hanoi Hilton that indefinite deployments should be good enough for our troops.

One that somewhat disappoints me is Specter……

Time for me to write a “letter to the editor” regarding the re-election of Pat Roberts in Kansas in ‘08. Here’s the list:

* Alexander (R-TN)
* Allard (R-CO)
* Barrasso (R-WY)
* Bennett (R-UT)
* Bond (R-MO)
* Bunning (R-KY)
* Burr (R-NC)
* Chambliss (R-GA)
* Coburn (R-OK)
* Cochran (R-MS)
* Corker (R-TN)
* Cornyn (R-TX)
* Craig (R-ID)
* Crapo (R-ID)
* DeMint (R-SC)
* Dole (R-NC)
* Domenici (R-NM)
* Ensign (R-NV)
* Enzi (R-WY)
* Graham (R-SC)
* Grassley (R-IA)
* Gregg (R-NH)
* Hatch (R-UT)
* Hutchison (R-TX)
* Inhofe (R-OK)
* Isakson (R-GA)
* Kyl (R-AZ)
* Lieberman (ID-CT)
* Lott (R-MS)
* Lugar (R-IN)
* Martinez (R-FL)
* McCain (R-AZ)
* McConnell (R-KY)
* Murkowski (R-AK)
* Roberts (R-KS)
* Sessions (R-AL)
* Shelby (R-AL)
* Specter (R-PA)
* Stevens (R-AK)
* Thune (R-SD)
* Voinovich (R-OH)

Posted by: KansasDem at July 11, 2007 5:47 PM
Comment #225937
…a group with no moral compass or human compassion… And that is Exactly why Al Queada is capable enough to subjugate Iraq if we leave. This is exactly how Saddam managed it.

Your ignorance of Iraq is astounding. When Saddam took power, he was a member of the Baath Party which already ruled Iraq. Sure, Saddam was a thug, but he rose to power within the existing power structure.

Unlike the millions of Baathists who subjugated Iraq under Saddam, the handful of al-Qaeda foreign fighters in Iraq are outsiders and will never be (and never were) tolerated. As Stephen pointed out, the Iraqi government is now Shiite/Kurd and has no love for the Sunni al Qaeda foreigners. Even the Iraqi Sunnis hate al-Qaeda — as you’d know if you bothered to read the article I posted on the subject.

Whether we stay or leave, al-Qaeda will never take over Iraq. That’s just the facts.

No, I dont like the handling of the war in iraq any better than you.

Yet you unquestioningly support every bone-headed move Bush makes. Why is that? Oh, I think I know:

Democrats had 3 seperate chances to either prevent or get us out of iraq … All were OVERWEHLMINGLY voted down on the democratic side

Ok…

…in FACT democrats did everything they could to PREVENT us from going in at all.

So, Democrats made sure we went to war AND prevented us from going to war… Why do I even bother.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 11, 2007 10:01 PM
Comment #225942

“U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded al-Qaida has rebuilt its operating capability to a level not seen since just before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, The Associated Press has learned. “

1 trillion in expenses so far…. and we are at square one. (estimated costs for 35-40000 wounded US soldiers over the past four years = $600 billion)

good game…too bad we can’t just hit restart.

Posted by: jrjr at July 11, 2007 10:20 PM
Comment #225943

jrjr, John in Texas wanted to know what would happen if bin Laden and al Qaeda were left alone to train and grow. You just answered his question.

Al-Qaeda is based in Pakistan. That’s where they are taining and planning for the next attack on America. Iraq is a distraction.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 11, 2007 10:23 PM
Comment #225962

John in Texas-
A lack of inhibition is not necessarily a surplus of momentum. In fact, it can turn the tide in the other direction. As the Arabs and Muslims have seen the violence that al-Qaeda has inflicted on people just like them, it’s diminished their popularity.

It certainly hasn’t helped them much with Shia. As ruthless as they are, it’s rather hard to overwhelm a nation of millions with a few thousand foreign soldiers, especially when the native Sunnis hate their guts for the most part.

Saddam was handed the former order, and it in turn was a gift to Iraq’s former rulers by the British, who formed Iraq from three provinces of the old Ottoman empire. We destroyed that, and it’s unlikely that the Shia will be much inclined to return to the former state of affairs.

As for waiting for September? Why wait to ask the same question, when you’ve already heard the same answer before. More time. That’s been the constant refrain for the last four years. We have spent more time fighting to reassert control over Iraq in this screwed-up occupation than we spent prosecuting WWII. Bush waited almost that entire time to go for this surge, when additional troops would have been helpful long ago.

The truth of the matter is, even with the additional troops he’s got there in Iraq, he can neither sustain these forces at those levels past April of next year, nor are those forces sufficient to do what he asks of them.

In short, it’s a political fraud. It’s a con game meant to give false hope that the President was never willing to make real with this policies.

As for this whole commanders on the ground thing, let us use some common sense here: those commanders cannot speak for themselves, and they can be court martialed for gainsaying the President. The commanders defend Democracy, but they do not practice it, and that is very important to remember when Bush hauls out that line.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 11, 2007 11:56 PM
Comment #225973

Well Im still wondering if W’s plan is actually working good. Delay delay delay stall stall stall spend spend spend yet we leave Pakistan alone as if they were our friend. So it appears to me the logic is dont go after the terrorist we are hunting in the war on terror, dont go after those actually selling nukes and harboring the terrorist, instead stay the course in Iraq. Again those famous utterances of W come into my mind, “Our enemies are innovative and rfesourceful. And so are we.They never stop thinking about ways to harm our Country and our people. And neither do we.” GWB 05 Aug 2004

Posted by: j2t2 at July 12, 2007 1:24 AM
Comment #225976
yet we leave Pakistan alone as if they were our friend.

Hell, we’re giving Pakistan hundreds of millions in military aid alone, including nuclear capable strike jets.

If al Qaeda’s going to take over a country, it’ll probably be Pakistan which is actively sheltering and aiding them. After all, unlike Iraq, Pakistan has nukes — and the US-built delivery systems to strike across borders.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 12, 2007 2:04 AM
Comment #225991

Pundit: Your analytical skills are lacking. There is a big differance between trying to prevent us from going to war and AFTER THE FACT trying to appease the moderates and voting to stay. Pathetic attempts to pay lip service to left wing voters right up until a vote was forced. Then democrats chickened out and only 2 voted to run away. After all that posturing. Not even you can defend this. You say we should be out right now, well democrats had a chance to do exactly that last year and the year before last. Are you fickle or do you just pay lip service like 90 percent of the democrat congress? 27 pecent approval and sinking. The inquisistion will ruin you.

Posted by: John in Texas at July 12, 2007 8:57 AM
Comment #225992

Pundit. Pakistan killed 60+ terrorists yesterday. Keep up.

Posted by: John in Texas at July 12, 2007 8:58 AM
Comment #226013

John In Texas-
First, before 2006, we didn’t have the majority to do it. Second, afterwards, we didn’t defend the capitulation. We slammed them pretty hard for that. Before 2006, things were not much better. If every Democrat in the House had voted against the authorization, it still would have passed there. As for the Senate, it would have taken maybe two Democrat defectors to do it. At the end of the day the Republicans had the political mandate to do whatever they wanted.

Bush’s evidence, which got utterly discredited once people found out more about things, was nonetheless convincing to many folks at the time. How do you anticipate the refusal to go to war would have been treated, when a triple amputee Vietnam Vet like Max Cleland was grouped with Bin Laden and Saddam, and was defeated in the election? Hell, how would you yourself had treated them?

It’s time to stop making our policy decisions based on free-floating anxiety. We’re not helping anybody by staying in Iraq, over the long term. We’re grinding one of the world’s best armies to a pulp for a bunch of people who are unwilling to to cooperate in creating a working country. If they don’t come through, and so far they haven’t, then everything we do is for nothing, and there’s no point in staying around to referee, when nobody wants to play the game fair.

As for Pakistan, the current government is being helpful, to a certain extent, but it’s not entirely stable, and many of the people who engineered the rise of the Taliban are still with this government, and still helping. Almost six years ago, Bush said he would destroy whatever state harbored terrorists, and now he goes out his way not to do anything to disturb the one that harbors our greatest enemy. Bush talks the talk, but his mouth writes check his policies can’t cash.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 12, 2007 11:26 AM
Comment #226019
You say we should be out right now

I never said that. I said that the mission should be changed to training, counterterrorism and force protection. That way we can focus on thte real threat in Pakistan.

Pundit. Pakistan killed 60+ terrorists yesterday. Keep up.

And al Qaeda just declared jihad on Musharraf’s government. If Musharraf falls, al Qaeda inherits a country with nukes and delivery systems. Al Qaeda’s base is in Pakistan, not in Iraq.

Democrats aren’t against the Iraq war because they’re peaceniks, they’re against it because it’s a distraction from the war on terror — in fact, Bush’s ill-conceived war in Iraq made al Qaeda stronger.

And by blindly supporting every Bush bungle, Republicans have proven that they suck at fighting the war on terror.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 12, 2007 11:42 AM
Comment #226041

Stephen, Majority or no, democrats voted TWICE with only 2 dissenters to stay in Iraq and fund it. They all knew they would lose thier jobs if they sided with Murtha, who even voted against his own bill to “redeploy”.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/18/AR2005111802896.html


Would have, could have. weak.

Posted by: John in Texas at July 12, 2007 12:52 PM
Comment #226109

John in Texas-
Murtha’s plan, as presented to Congress, was for an organized, graduated withdrawal that would leave forces over the horizon. The version that came up for a house vote was a bastardized version heavily altered by the Republicans themselves to simply call for an immediate departure of troops.

The funny thing about that is that you folks accuse us of wanting to haphazardly pull out, cut and run. Yet we propose gradual, organized withdrawals and balk at the quick pull-outs when given the chance.

We’ve had quite a number of votes in the new Congress, with clear majorities favoring a pullout. The American people are on our side on this one.

The real question here, with the inability of the Bush Adminstration’s policy to stop the political fragmentation and the violence in the country, is what difference we’re making. Bush has failed to get a policy to the American people which puts the end of such things within our power. All he can do at this point is claim that those results will happen as a deferred consequence of his current, obviously insufficient policies, that the solution will grow and emerge from that.

It might be tempting to hear, but we hear it with the memory of four long years of such claims fresh in our minds. If we were back at the beginning of the war, and we were asked for this patience, doubtlessly people would give it. Bush has strained the patience of the American people for longer now that it took FDR and Truman to win the greatest war of our time, though.

When is enough is enough? The promise of success is no substitute for the real thing, and there are consequences for breaking that promise over and over again.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 12, 2007 8:18 PM
Comment #226110

John in Texas- This afternoon The House Voted, an
passed a bill to leave Iraq in April of next Spring.
Of course, that may only be temporary.

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 12, 2007 8:18 PM
Comment #226154

I don’t to understand how we went from:

“Over the weekend, we learned that the progress report Democrats in Congress forced the President to produce will reveal that the Iraqi government didn’t meet any of its benchmarks and probably never will.”

…..to:

“(CNN) — Iraq has satisfactorily met eight U.S.-set benchmarks, has not satisfactorily met eight others and made mixed progress on two, according to a U.S. report released Thursday.”

…in two days and hardly anyone wants to talk about it!

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 13, 2007 2:38 AM
Comment #226158

————-CNN ____TRUST___BUT YOU MUST VERIFY____——
_______________________________________________________

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 13, 2007 4:28 AM
Comment #226172

Stephen:

The Murtha plan did not call for anything like a smooth , timed withdrawl. You need to read it. In fact you need to read this entire article. It is apparent you did not when i posted it.
The Murtha plan called for IMMEDIATE redeploymnet in that exact wording. And as soon as democrats recognized the trap they had set for themselves they announced they would vote “no” on ANY bill to withdraw. BEFORE the GOP forced the vote. Man, thats awfully revisionist of you.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/18/AR2005111802896.html


and for the record, when Murtha declared we had already lost the war, in public, while our troops were still there, He gave encouragement to the enemy and hope to the enemy and aid to the enemy. he should have been tried for treason. Let alone the impact of such nonsense on our troops. I was outraged.

Posted by: John in Texas at July 13, 2007 10:06 AM
Comment #226178

Also to stephen:

having read your post again i find yet another point on which i have to call you. WWII was fought without kid gloves and without political partisanship reighning in the military. We also had a million men in combat witjhout allies. To make a comparison is unrealistic and just not fair. I suspect you know this already though. And I am dissapointed.

Posted by: John in Texas at July 13, 2007 10:52 AM
Comment #226180

DAVID,

I hate to tell you this but everyone is now reporting that! The initial reporting was wrong. Research!

We have verified!

Which side jumped the gun in the “gotcha” game?

Here is the report card:

POLITICAL

# Forming a Constitutional Review Committee and completing the constitutional review: Satisfactory progress

# Passing legislation addressing the issue of de-Baathification: [The controversial process begun soon after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein that curtailed the rights of members of his Baath Party] Unsatisfactory progress

# Setting up procedures to form semi-autonomous regions: Satisfactory progress

# Establishing an Independent High Electoral Commission, provincial elections law, provincial council authorities, and a date for provincial elections: Mixed progress

# Passing legislation addressing amnesty: Unsatisfactory The report qualified this benchmark, however, saying given “the current security environment in Iraq, it is not clear that such action should be a near-term Iraqi goal.”

# Ensuring that the rights of minority political parties in the Iraqi legislature are protected: Satisfactory

ECONOMIC

# Passing legislation to ensure that revenues from Iraq’s oil resources are distributed equitably among Iraq’s ethnic groups: Unsatisfactory

# Allocating and spending $10 billion in Iraqi revenues for reconstruction projects, including delivery of essential services, on an equitable basis: Satisfactory

SECURITY

# Establishing a strong militia disarmament program to ensure that security forces are accountable only to the central government and loyal to the Constitution of Iraq: Unsatisfactory

# Establishing political, media, economic, and services committees in support of the Baghdad Security Plan: Satisfactory

# Providing three trained and ready Iraqi brigades to support Baghdad operations: Satisfactory

# Providing Iraqi commanders with authority to make tactical and operational decisions, in consultation with U.S commanders, without political intervention, including the authority to pursue all insurgents and militias: Unsatisfactory

# Ensuring that the Iraqi Security Forces are providing “even-handed enforcement of the law”: Unsatisfactory

# Ensuring that the Baghdad security plan will not provide a safe haven for any “outlaws,” regardless of their sectarian affiliation: Satisfactory

# Reducing the level of sectarian violence in Iraq and eliminating militia control of local security: Mixed

# Establishing all of the planned joint security stations in neighborhoods across Baghdad: Satisfactory

# Increasing the number of Iraqi security force units capable of operating independently: Unsatisfactory

# Ensuring that Iraq’s political authorities are not undermining or making false accusations against members of the Iraqi Security Forces: Unsatisfactory

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 13, 2007 11:22 AM
Comment #226182

I wouldnt trust CNN at all. These days if there is a valid document on the internet , that is the only way verify ANY reporting in this country. Read the report or document yourself. There simply is not a network without an agenda in service in this country. And we used to laugh at Russia’s press.

Posted by: John in Texas at July 13, 2007 11:31 AM
Comment #226188

Scottie- Just about now, your Report Card is D-an
Falling. An I do not play gotcha games with Kids
or Ignorant Adults or those in-between! Facts from
from CNN indeed.

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 13, 2007 12:18 PM
Comment #226250
# Passing legislation addressing the issue of de-Baathification: [The controversial process begun soon after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein that curtailed the rights of members of his Baath Party] Unsatisfactory progress

This becomes a problem because what the Debaathification did was deprive the government of most people with any experience of how to governed. Most of the Baath Party members affected by this just pledged loyalty to the party because that was what was required to become a civil servant of certain level.

Without this, we lose both their know-how and much of their participation in the government.

# Passing legislation addressing amnesty: Unsatisfactory

The report qualified this benchmark, however, saying given “the current security environment in Iraq, it is not clear that such action should be a near-term Iraqi goal.”

Without amnesty, with the civil strife running full strength, there’s little in the way of incentive of people to lay down their weapons, particularly the Sunni. The government could just come around and take them away at their earliest convenience.

# Passing legislation to ensure that revenues from Iraq’s oil resources are distributed equitably among Iraq’s ethnic groups: Unsatisfactory

The Sunni do not want to live the economic shadow of the Kurds and Shia. Without revenue sharing the desire to take hold of these economic resources will continue to drive Sunni attempts to fight the other groups over marginal territories.

# Establishing a strong militia disarmament program to ensure that security forces are accountable only to the central government and loyal to the Constitution of Iraq: Unsatisfactory

If the central government has to walk on eggshells around the armies of folks like Sadr, then the reach and the protection that this government will provide to its people, not to mention the legitimacy of its rule will be seriously in question.

# Ensuring that the Iraqi Security Forces are providing “even-handed enforcement of the law”: Unsatisfactory

When one side or another can act against the people of a community with impunity, the trust and the tolerance of the government goes down, and the reliance on sectarian militias goes up.

# Providing Iraqi commanders with authority to make tactical and operational decisions, in consultation with U.S commanders, without political intervention, including the authority to pursue all insurgents and militias: Unsatisfactory

A central government cannot tolerate sectarian control or anarchical unreset if its going to have a solid hold on power. Unless military power is held in common centrally, nobody has any incentive to back off on balkanizing Iraq according to Sectarian interests, just to end up on the bad end of another group’s expansion.

# Increasing the number of Iraqi security force units capable of operating independently: Unsatisfactory

America cannot babysit Iraq forever. If we are to win the war, Iraq has to be capable of defending itself. If we have to stay to prop up a weak military for the long term, we’re screwed. Worse, it’d be an almost exact repeat of our experience with the ARVN forces in Vietnam, which is essentialy what led us into the bloody full-scale war we all love to hate.

# Ensuring that Iraq’s political authorities are not undermining or making false accusations against members of the Iraqi Security Forces: Unsatisfactory

The Iraqi security forces cannot be political footballs for Iraq security forces that need to be impartial towards sectarian interests.

And lastly, let’s go with a mixed note that I think is worth pointing out:

# Reducing the level of sectarian violence in Iraq and eliminating militia control of local security: Mixed

To be honest with you, we are at the point where the violence is just as bad, if not worse, than it was when the surge was starting.

The points where the surge has failed are the fundamental strategic points for us getting out. If

1) the Iraqi government isn’t the sole repository of authority and security in the country,

2) Sectarian bosses can create their only little armed fiefdoms,

3) the Sunnis, the biggest offenders in the insurgency, have no incentive to come into the fold,

and 4) the Iraqi forces are incapable of developing to the point where we can leave the country in their hands,

then we can’t win the war. Minute we leave, there’s chaos. Or rather, more chaos.

Ultimately, we don’t do ourselves any favors by sticking around if they’re not going to work towards these goals with us there. The best we can hope for is that in our departure, we might convince them that they will feel the full consequence of their discord if they don’t work something out between each other.

I’m not too hopeful about that to be honest, nothing requires that this happen, but I see further occupation as a much more painful, slow motion version of that which makes things even worse for us. The time has come to cut our losses.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 13, 2007 8:56 PM
Comment #226314

Stephen Daugherty

I believe that your assessment is right on, but

I also think the Bush Administration is planning a

permanent Big Brother Occupatian in Iraq, an has no

intention of leaving that Country.

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 14, 2007 1:15 PM
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