Democrats & Liberals Archives

The War We Need to Win

Barack Obama made a very important foreign policy speech yesterday. I thought it was terrific. But a lot of pundits - not the least of them, Democrats - in an effort to build more controversy than we already have, attacked specific statements in the 40 minute speech.

The statement the pundits are picking on is:

If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will.

Immediately they jump to the conclusion that this is unilateralism, no better than the untilateralism of George W. Bush. Nowhere in the speech does Obama indicate in any way that he will proceed unilaterally. He said that if "Musharraf won't act, we will." We'll probably have many nations with us.

Will we be working with other nations or not? To answer this you need to read the whole speech. I will not present the whole speech (you can jump to it by following the previous link). However, Obama presented his "comprehensive strategy" with five elements:

  1. Getting out of Iraq and on to the right battlefield in Afghanistan and Pakistan - under this element he mentions the above quoted statement. He will lead us out of the Iraq trap that helps primarily al Qaeda and refocus on the real war with al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan

  2. Developing the capabilities and partnerships we need to take out the terrorists and the world's most deadly weapons - His stress is on partnerships. First we need to integrate diplomats, development experts, intelligence experts and civilians with our military experts. Second, Obama will
    create a Shared Security Partnership Program to forge an international intelligence and law enforcement infrastructure to take down terrorist networks from the remote islands of Indonesia, to the sprawling cities of Africa.

    He quotes JFK with reference to negotiation with enemies:
    Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.

  3. Engaging the world to dry up support for terror and extremism - He will roll back "the tide of hopelessness that gives rise to hate." Here's an important quote:
    As President, I will lead this effort. In the first 100 days of my Administration, I will travel to a major Islamic forum and deliver an address to redefine our struggle. I will make clear that we are not at war with Islam, that we will stand with those who are willing to stand up for their future, and that we need their effort to defeat the prophets of hate and violence.

  4. Restoring our values - Another beautiful quote:
    That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are. And it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists. The FISA court works. The separation of powers works. Our Constitution works. We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary.

  5. Securing a more resilient homeland
This is as positive a foreign policy statement as I have seen. It's obvious Obama wants to work together with our friends and talk to our enemies. He is not against force per se, but force used in a stupid way, which is essentially what we are doing in Iraq. I don't agree with every single statement he makes. But I'm solidly for his overall approach. Let's get back to the war we need to win against al Qaeda.

Posted by Paul Siegel at August 2, 2007 3:11 PM
Comments
Comment #228182

Ahh, the great liberal leader.*** Whatever B. Hussein Obama…

The Democratic party’s stance on tough situations

Posted by: rahdigly at August 2, 2007 3:50 PM
Comment #228186

Withdrawing U.S. Troops from Iraq Is Not a Good Idea

The U.S. led war in Iraq has been a focal point of debate in Washington. The American public went ahead blaming Bush administration for the unpopular war. On the other hand, members of the Democrat Party kept pushing for legislation to set a deadline for withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. According to Anne Flaherty, Associate Press writer, U.S. House representatives have proposed new Iraq legislation to appeal for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq within three months. Consequently, immediate withdrawal of the troops from Iraq might result in creation of a lawless state in Iraq. As a result, Iraq would be at civil war with herself and the extremists, especially al-Qaeda, would take control of Iraq. The stay of U.S. troops in Iraq would help secure Iraq for the Iraqi people.
The overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s authoritarian regime in Iraq in 2003 was a great idea to establish a democratic government system. This move has enabled Iraqi citizens to choose the government of their choice and to live freely from being victimized by their own government. In January 2005, this dream became a reality when Iraqis had a chance to vote for their leaders of choice. Since the American government was instrumental in this history making election, America should still work hard to achieve the goal of bringing a just and democratic government to the people of Iraq.
Since the beginning of the war, American troops have been in Iraq for four years to form a democratic government and insure security for Iraqis. According to the Associated Press, the war casualties are increasing. As of Tuesday, July 31, 2007, at least 3,652 members of the U.S. military have died in the war in Iraq (AP count). Also, the cost of the war reached $10 billion a month. This number might look alarming, but it could be worst if the U.S troops pull out as per the Democrats’ strategy. The U.S can not leave Iraq in the situation in which Iran and al Qaeda could implement their agendas. The withdrawal of troops may sound appealing to the mass of American people, but the consequences outweigh the benefit of the partial solution proposed by the majority Democrats. To put it in the word of Michael Duffy, it will be “Iran’s huge victory in taking over the Persian Gulf and empower terrorists everywhere to attack our allies and our homeland” (Time Magazine, July 30, 2007). In Duffy’s argument, one can relate to American interests in the Middle East and the aggression committed by the Iranian extremists in the region. I believe the war was wrong in the first place, but the Americans can not turn blind eyes to the fact that we need to complete the job. There is also other problem associated with the government of Iran.
The U.S. should find a common ground with Iran to avoid destabilization of the situation in Iraq. The cooperation of Washington and Tehran would further help in building a democratic government in Iraq. According to Nell King Jr., the two governments on July 24, 2007 met in Baghdad and agreed in principle to bring stability into Iraq (Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2007). This step, which was taken by both countries, needs support from the Democrat Party and the American public to bring an end to the war in Iraq in a way that will safeguard the American interest and stabilize Iraq.
According to the New York Times, the coordinated strategy plan of the top U.S. commander and the U.S. ambassador to insure that security will be restored at the local and national levels in a year or so to secure the country before U.S. troops leave Iraq (New York Times, July 27, 2007). Meanwhile, they suggested that by restoring security in Baghdad by the summer of 2008, and a sustainable security would be established at the national level by the summer of 2009. Instead of immediate troop withdrawal, this plan should be taken as the principle plan. The top U.S commanders are the ones who know much more about the situation on the ground on a daily basis. This truth should persuade us to give the troops a chance to accomplish the mission. The stay of U.S. troops in Iraq would help in bringing a political compromise, which would bring the Muslim sects together to avoid sectarian violence. According to USA today, U.S. troop deaths sharply declined in July to about 61 members in Iraq compared to average casualty levels in April, May, and June which averaged 110 dead per month. I think a quick pullout of U.S troops will contain the violence, and this can be seen as the Iraqis leadership demanded U.S. forces to stay longer. The presence of U.S. troops keeps al Qaeda on the run while they train Iraqi security forces and the Iraqi Army. The more we train Iraqis, the more they will be capable of taking over their country’s security.

In conclusion, there are so many reasons of why a U.S pullout can be viewed by some of us, including me, as a partial solution to the problems facing America in Iraq. First, the war was waged to create a better country for the Iraqis. In this regard one can not argue that we should leave Iraq in a state that is worst than it was before the war began. The lawless state that we might create and the vacuum that al Qaeda and Iranian extremists would try to fill are our concerns. Therefore, the U.S. troops should stay in Iraq until the goal is accomplished. If American troops are withdrawn now, Iraq would be left in an anarchic situation that would create instability in the region. The American public and the Democrat Party should at least think twice before starting to pullout U.S. troops from Iraq.

Posted by: Manyang at August 2, 2007 4:46 PM
Comment #228187

Sorry Paul, you can’t spin away a foolish statement by an inexperienced candidate. Replace President Musharraf’s name with the President of any other nation and you will realize how ridiculous this sounds. B.H.O. didn’t even bother to mention the U.N. in his “we will” which is another sign of immaturity. President Bush, after many months of negotiating, finally got the approval of the U.N. that Obama fails to address.

Posted by: Jim at August 2, 2007 5:10 PM
Comment #228188
We’ll probably have many nations with us.

We had many with us when we removed Saddam from power, how many is enough to not be called unilateral and can we get that written down somewhere so that we can know when it is and when it isn’t? Or is it just the party in power at the time that dictates that?

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 2, 2007 5:18 PM
Comment #228193

Paul,
Good article. I like Obama, although I think he would make a better Vice President at this point. I do not particularly like Clinton, but she is doing a good job in in the so-called debates of projecting herself, of looking “presidential.” Whoever wins will be handed a lost war, because Republicans will be desperate to run out the clock, and try to blame others for their folly.

Here is an diary I posted on DailyKos for a Democratic Strategy in Iraq:

“In Iraq, the general idea seems to be for the US military to control Baghdad & establish order, allowing a sense of physical security to translate into political stability, and eventually spread from inside the capitol city out to the rest of the country.

It is an inside out strategy, it is not working, and it is not going to work.

Wouldn’t it make sense to do the opposite, and establish an outside in strategy?

Use the US military to secure the borders. (Remember, we do not use the military in the US due to the posse comitatus restrictions). I believe General Petraeus is right, in that the first key is to stop the suicide bombers, most of whom come from other countries, especially Saudi Arabia, North Africa, and so on. In various polls, Iraqis almost unanimously dislike the foreign jihadist suicide bombers. The next most disliked faction is the US military.

If the military could secure the borders- especially the enormously long Saudi/Jordanian/Syrian border- it would drastically reduce the attacks by Salafist Jihadis, which would reduce tensions between the Shias & Sunnis. In addition, it would remove the US from the factional fighting. US troops would become much more popular with Iraqis. Rather than the complete withdrawal of US troops, which is where we are heading, this approach would permit troops to stay in Iraq with a lower profile, in a less violent role, without assuming the mantle of unwelcome occupiers. Finally, it would also give our technological edge a chance to dominate the long, porous borders, while simultaneously diminishing the chances of the conflict spreading into a regional war.”

Manyang,
Iraq already borders on anarchy, and by almost any standard, their infrastructure is in worse shape than the pre-Saddam Hussein era. To suggest Al Qaida in Iraq would take over after the US leaves is ludicrous. They are a small faction among the thirty or so participating in the civil war, and probably the most unpopular one. The elections were a disaster because they allowed the only organized parties at the time, the Iranian-backed parties Dawa & SCII, to take control. Not surprisingly, the Sunnis overwhelmingly rejected this scenario.

The simple fact is that the overwhelming majority of Sunnis and Shias do not want the US in their country.

I am not so naive as to believe an outside in strategy will be adopted, since the ultimate goal of the Bush administration is control of the oil.

Posted by: phx8 at August 2, 2007 5:48 PM
Comment #228195
I believe General Petraeus is right, in that the first key is to stop the suicide bombers, most of whom come from other countries, especially Saudi Arabia, North Africa, and so on. In various polls, Iraqis almost unanimously dislike the foreign jihadist suicide bombers. The next most disliked faction is the US military.


Oh, Patreus is right, that is for sure!!

“The additional American military formations brought in as part of the surge, General Petraeus’s determination to hold areas until they are truly secure before redeploying units, and the increasing competence of the Iraqis has had another critical effect: no more whack-a-mole, with insurgents popping back up after the Americans leave.”

“In war, sometimes it’s important to pick the right adversary, and in Iraq we seem to have done so. A major factor in the sudden change in American fortunes has been the outpouring of popular animus against Al Qaeda and other Salafist groups, as well as (to a lesser extent) against Moktada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army. These groups have tried to impose Shariah law, brutalized average Iraqis to keep them in line, killed important local leaders and seized young women to marry off to their loyalists. The result has been that in the last six months Iraqis have begun to turn on the extremists and turn to the Americans for security and help. The most important and best-known example of this is in Anbar Province, which in less than six months has gone from the worst part of Iraq to the best (outside the Kurdish areas). Today the Sunni sheiks there are close to crippling Al Qaeda and its Salafist allies. Just a few months ago, American marines were fighting for every yard of Ramadi; last week we strolled down its streets without body armor.”

Posted by: rahdigly at August 2, 2007 6:34 PM
Comment #228196

Paul,

This is why I will not vote for Obama:

“create a Shared Security Partnership Program to forge an international intelligence and law enforcement infrastructure to take down terrorist networks from the remote islands of Indonesia, to the sprawling cities of Africa.” (emphasis mine)

It is obvious from this statement that Obama has not read a newpaper or a history book in his life.

We have been fighting terrorists using “police” tactics…treating terrorism as a police matter for 35 years. It has not worked…and will not work. History teaches us (and HAS taught us) that lesson emphatically.

Obama chooses to ignore history…and I choose to ignore Obama.

Posted by: Jim T at August 2, 2007 6:37 PM
Comment #228198

Jim T., the world did not have the benefit of 9/11 to learn from during that 35 years. 9/11 didn’t just change the political calculus for the U.S., it changed the political calculus for every nation on earth with strong economic ties to the EU and U.S., and/or, large Islamic populations within their own borders.

This is the new reality Obama intends to tap for maximum ‘police’ and surgical strike effect, sanctioned by an international cooperative agreement.

Obama’s reasoning is sound and viable, and immensely beneficial departure from the GOP’s perpetual war strategy, straight out of Orwell’s 1984 novel, which has already made a huge down payment on bankrupting America’s future.

Hillary would do well to take notes.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 2, 2007 6:55 PM
Comment #228199

Rahdigly, Petraeus is wrong, as evidenced by the 76 killed in Baghdad today. He is wrong about the whack a mole having ended. There is a reorganization and counter strategy taking place amongst insurgents and al-Queda. We know this by their highly adaptive strategies and abilities in the past used as excuses by our previous military Generals and Bush for having not made more progress over the last several years.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 2, 2007 7:00 PM
Comment #228200

So what is Obama going to promise these Mulsim thugs at this conference he is going to address? That we will no longer suppport Israel? That he will help them expand Islam in America? Just what is it he can tell them that they want to hear? Do you think they want to hear that he is going to attack their Muslim pal bil laden in Muslim Pakistan? Get real.

Posted by: Carnak at August 2, 2007 7:02 PM
Comment #228203

Paul, good article. Obama is smart as a tack. A bold move on his part to say what he did (I agree with him), and in so doing, he’s the one controlling the debate. He has now forced every other candidate (left and right) to come out and speak about their positions on this topic.
That is exactly how real leaders act, and what true leaders do.

David:
“This is the new reality Obama intends to tap for maximum ‘police’ and surgical strike effect, sanctioned by an international cooperative agreement.

Obama’s reasoning is sound and viable, and immensely beneficial departure from the GOP’s perpetual war strategy, straight out of Orwell’s 1984 novel, which has already made a huge down payment on bankrupting America’s future.”

I couldn’t agree more. This is what we should have been doing all along instead of invading and occupying Iraq and destroying their entire country and so many of their people, and making our troops fight and die in a war for no reason, and put ourselves into an insane amount of massive debt. Intelligence gathering and surgical strikes wherever Al Qaeda can be found has always been the logical answer. In fact, the previous intelligence we just learned of, which we now know Bushco chose not to act on, put high ranking members of Al Qaeda at a meeting in a very remote location within Pakistan. We could have taken them out (without danger of harming innocent civilians), and then apologized to Musharaff later, if need be.

“Hillary would do well to take notes.”

I think Hillary should be extremely worried indeed. Not only does Obama look more presidential than she does, but he doesn’t come off slimy and calculated the way she does.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 2, 2007 7:56 PM
Comment #228206
“I will make clear that we are not at war with Islam, that we will stand with those who are willing to stand up for their future, and that we need their effort to defeat the prophets of hate and violence.”

Sounds great, doesn’t it? On closer inspection it’s typical Obama baloney, thus proving once again there’s a nickel’s worth of difference between Obama, Clinton and the Republithugs when it comes to good old-fashioned American hegemony.

The simple fact of the matter is, the United States has ‘stood with’ repressive, anti-democratic regimes for sixty years in the Middle East, supporting such thugs as the House of
Saud, Egypt, Jordan, and repressive despots in Iran and Iraq.

It’s really very simple: a nation cannot ‘defeat the ‘prophets of hate and violence’ while peddling the violent demons of our liking in the name of ‘democracy.’ Obama’s all-American spin is particularly disingenuous here. And stinks to high heaven.

Posted by: black & red at August 2, 2007 9:18 PM
Comment #228209

It is easy for someone like Obama to say these things. He has no experience with really trying any of these things. He probably believes what he says. Sounds very nice.

Why can’t we all get along?

Posted by: Jack at August 2, 2007 9:32 PM
Comment #228211
If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.

Paul, if you’re right and Obama really meant that he would act without Musharraf only if “many nations are with us,” then Obama is even more naive than he appears.

If there is “actionable intelligence,” i.e. reports of a meeting of top Al Qaida leadership somewhere in Pakistan, what do you or Obama think is going to happen?

How do you get “many nations” on board without telling many nations about your intentions? How long would it take to get, say, a UN resolution or any other kind of international support to bomb inside Pakistan?

I do know that even it is possible at all (which it most likely isnt’) it would take a hell of a lot longer than this intelligence would remain “actionable.” To say nothing of the fact that lining up the support of many nations would require a great deal of publicity that gives away the entire game.

I can imagine it now: Al Qaida will be quaking in their boots in suspense over whether or not Obama is going to bomb the location of the secret meeting they’re planning to hold at the time and place Obama says it will happen.

And what if Obama actually DOES bomb or otherwise attack a location inside of Pakistan? Doesn’t he know how this works? CNN, the BBC and the New York Times will report the locals’ claim that nothing but civilians were killed, that the bombs fell on a wedding party, a hospital or orphanage, and there were no members of Al Qaida within a thousand miles of the place. Whether Al Qaida was really there are not is irrelevant—that’s not what will be reported.

And then Obama will be in the same position as Bush—trying to defend why he attacked a foreign country on the basis of “faulty intelligence.” I can see it now: Obama lied and people died! Don’t think it wouldn’t be said, because it certainly would.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 2, 2007 9:47 PM
Comment #228212

All
There are more than two candidates in the race.


Jack
Its painfully clear that Bushco does not have any experience trying these things either.

Posted by: BillS at August 2, 2007 10:14 PM
Comment #228214

Jack said

It is easy for someone like Obama to say these things. He has no experience with really trying any of these things.

That is utter nonsense. In case you are tempted to believe such folly consider this point. A new strategy of the “war on terror” needs to be developed. A purely military strategy has NEVER worked for any nation in the absence of GENOCIDE. The fact that something has never been tried does not make it untenable. I’m sure most discerning people, like Obama, know that. It’s morans like Bush that cant’ or won’t even read the writing on the wall.

Posted by: Kim-Sue at August 2, 2007 10:29 PM
Comment #228216

The ‘new strategy’ that Obama is suggesting is the same old strategy that we’ve been using pre-9/11 and has failed us miserably.

A good combination of using police and troops needs to be utilized, knowing when to use which and not ruling anything out is the best method. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make a great bumper sticker for the next election cycle.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 2, 2007 10:54 PM
Comment #228218

I keep seeing this kind of “logic” regarding not pulling our troops out of Iraq:

1. Withdrawal of American troops will leave Iraq in caos.

2. Withdrawal of American troops will result in civil war.

3. Withdrawal of American troops will embolden our enemies

4. Withdrawal of American troops will leave Iraq in the hands of “terrorist.”


I don’t know why I am still so surprised that so many people believe this foolish propaganda.

1. Remind me again when…say…in the last 20 years Iraq was stable? I suppose under Saddam Hussein, you Bushies might think Iraq was stable. Oh, that’s right it you guys who wanted to take him out. So you can’t use that time period as a plausible reason to support such nonsense

2. Since the reckless call for the invasion of Iraq by US troops by your favorite idiot and mine—well…not mine—He’s just a plain idiot, when was “unity” in Iraq (other than their celebration of the countries recent soccer victory over Saudi Arabia). When was this so-called democratic government able to function? When were they willing to do anything except let American soldiers lives be wasted to protect them?

3. It takes a real idiot (and I don’t just mean Bush this time) to not understand that INVADING IRAQ PLAYED RIGHT INTO THE HANDS OF GLOBAL JIHADISTS. This reckless mission that Bush condenmed American troops to undertake has made Al Qeada superfluous—every Global Jihadist group associates themselves with Al Qeada and not because of their activities in Iraq BUT because of 9/11 and the fact that Osama Bin Laden still has not been captured by the US Military.

4. Which terrorist will take over Iraq? Al Qeada (“in Iraq”—what a crock that is. Bush has been pushing that propaganda button ever since he declared “mission accomplished” (an even bigger crock) Let’s see we have Sunni terroist (aka insurgents), “Al Qeada in Iraq”, Shiite terroist with organized and armed militias—some of who are even supported on the QT by Shiite factions of the “Unity Iraqi government.” Sunni and Shiite death squad. All of these groups infiltrate the so-called Iraqi Police force and Army. Yes by all means, leave our troops in the middle of this mess. Let them continue to train people who could eventually turn and shoot our soldiers in the back. You are so so naive if you think that sort of incident has occurred already.

Here’s something to think about for the future. Of course it presumes the impossible, but Bush keeps pushing this crap so I will use it here. We win in Iraq, the democratic government is stable and unified, the American-trained and equipt Police and Army can control the security of nation without US forces. Even if all of these events had a snowball’s chance in hell of happening, do you really think a “new democrataic Iraq” is going to live in “peace” with Isreal—remember even though they are unified Iraq is still predominantly Shiite and these blocks in the government have never said they were going to lessen their diplomatic relationship with Iran.

If we go with the 10 years for “success” that these Bushie Generals have predicted. Iran will most like have nuclear weapons capability. I wonder if they would share the technology with Iraq? Hmmm?

Tell me again why invading and occupying Iraq was necessary for the war on terror? Remind me again of how Saddam Husseins death makes the US more secure from Global Jihadists?

Posted by: Kim-Sue at August 2, 2007 11:01 PM
Comment #228220

Kim-Sue, among Obama’s great innovations that “haven’t been tried” are:

1). Giving a speech at a “major Islamic forum” where he promises to say exactly what Bush always says—that we’re not at war with Islam but Islamic radicals. This you see, will help “restore hope” and “roll back the tide of hopelessness” in the Muslim world.

2). Bombing, despite their objections, an Islamic country which possesses nuclear weapons. This will occur to further capitalize on all the love Obama will undoubtedly be feeling from Muslims after his great speech at one of their major forums.

It’s all completely absurd. Reading all of Obama’s proposals makes one of two things clear.

1). Obama really believes that he can charm the Muslim world with all of his pretty phrases the same way he can charm liberal Democrats and the American media.

Or 2). Obama actually knows that Muslims aren’t going to roll over for him (while he’s bombing them) simply because he’s a silver-tongued orator with a heart-warming personal story about growing up black in America, but it doesn’t matter because they aren’t the ones he needs to con in order to get elected.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 2, 2007 11:13 PM
Comment #228221

Sue

The current strategy is highly political and developmental. It is not and never has been purely military. In fact, many of the good ideas suggested by Dems are being done aleady.

For example, in both Iraq and Afghanistan we have deployed civilian provincial reconstruction teams, whose job it is to work out the political and developmental issues. The problme for political solutions is that security needs to come first.

Posted by: Jackj at August 2, 2007 11:16 PM
Comment #228222

Rhinehold,

What is the precedent for any combination of police and troops effectively quelling terrorism? NEVER—unless you can provide even ONE example. It doesn’t matter what bumper stickers say, at least for this voter. If it did, I might have… not really but we are in La La land here so I will state it…I might have voted for Bush.

LO

I did not hear Obama’s 40 minute speech. I do think, however, there is more detail to his ideas and plans than can fit into a 40 minute speech.

Others

I would be careful, so to speak, about playing this inexperience card with Senator Obama. I don’t think our current “president” would hold up under the same kind of scrutiny. Oh, that’s right, I’m a Bush hater so I couldn’t possible have any valid points in this regard.

Posted by: Kim-Sue at August 2, 2007 11:27 PM
Comment #228229

Kim-Sue,
I like Obama. I think the motivations behind his ideas are solid. But I do think Clinton shows better sense when it comes to foreign policy. During the first 100 days of a new administration, the president should first talk with close allies, and make sure everyone is on the same page. It is a multilateral approach, and it takes time to develop. Putting major foreign policy initiatives into play without first lining up international support is a little naive. And, given the legislative experience of Obama, he would be more likely to succeed in pushing through domestic priorities, passing legislation. It is possible the Democrats will have supermajorities in the House & Senate, but more likely they will come close without achieving it. As a result, the honeymoon period needs to be maximized by passing bills through the legislature. My sense is that Hillary recognizes this. I am not so sure about Obama.

Unfortunately, the issue of Iraq sucks the oxygen out of the room. The sooner we end this, the better off we all will be.

Posted by: phx8 at August 3, 2007 1:08 AM
Comment #228233
“Petraeus is wrong, as evidenced by the 76 killed in Baghdad today. He is wrong about the whack a mole having ended. There is a reorganization and counter strategy taking place amongst insurgents and al-Queda. We know this by their highly adaptive strategies and abilities in the past used as excuses by our previous military Generals and Bush for having not made more progress over the last several years.”


Petraeus is not wrong! Al-qaeda is getting their a$$e$ kicked over there. Bigtime!! It is because our troops are taking it to the enemy and now we have Iraqis, that have fought against us at one time, turning on Al qaeda and other extremists there. They are tired of the brutality of al qaeda and, as we have found out, it was al qaeda’s strategy to create an “al qaeda in Iraq” to make it look like a civil war. Well, it is not a civil war and the Iraqis are siding with us and turning on al qaeda. Sucks for al qaeda and all those who sided with them (intentionally or unintentionally)!!!!

Posted by: rahdigly at August 3, 2007 7:21 AM
Comment #228240

“All
There are more than two candidates in the race.”


And the United States is committed to human rights, justice, and the rule of law.

So anyway, there’s this rabbi, a preacher and a priest in a rowboat….

Posted by: black & red at August 3, 2007 10:32 AM
Comment #228250

As of today, Hillary believes in nuclear deterrence, and Obama wants to talk to people like the guy in Iran, who is not even the real power in his country. The real guy is worse.

Getting out of Iraq? Absolutely yes, preferably 3 years ago. More involvement in poppy and pot Afghanistan and Pakistan? The reason this administration went into Iraq was probably that they thought it would be easier. Many have tried to control mountainous countries but has anyone suceeded in the long term? Quote JFK, meet with Islamic leaders, and make more promises about security, but the people who are the problem are completely outside any system of control.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 3, 2007 11:36 AM
Comment #228253

David,

Do you think the world was any less shocked when Black September did their thing at Munich?

9/11 changed nothing.

After 9/11, we began a “war” against terrorism. At that point, it could be called a war. Yes, the tactics, for once, had changed.

But look at what Afganistan and Iraq have devolved into.

A police action. Nothing more than what we’ve been failing at for 35 years.

You either DO war or you DON’T do war. What we’re doing now is NOT war…and it is failing.

Police actions do…not…work. Period.

Obama’s idea of an “international intelligence and law enforcement infrastructure” is just more of the same old same old.

It is failure before it even begins.

How do I know? How well is the “international intelligence and law enforcement infrastructure” doing in the “war” on drugs?

Pretty piss poor.

So much for handling drug dealers as a “police” matter…and so much for handling terrorists as a “police” matter.

You either DO war (with all its inherrent cruelity and barbarism) or you DON’T do war (with its constant emminent failure).

Posted by: Jim T at August 3, 2007 11:50 AM
Comment #228270

Phx8,

I like the ideas and soundness of your post, very interesting points to consider. I don’t know if Clinton has more sense, but I would agree that she has more “indirect” experience. Let’s not forget that her husband is a “policy maven.” These two have been a political team for a very long time. In that regard, Obama does not yet match Clinton, but do any of the other candidates?

Posted by: Kim-Sue at August 3, 2007 3:03 PM
Comment #228271

Jackj,

Check the headlines regarding “political” progress in Iraq; and I mean THURSDAY’S headlines.

As far as security first, by all means let’s just keep throwing American soldiers in the fray while the Iraqi POLITICAL ethnic groups try to “find the love.”

When will those of you expecting as much as a political resolution in Iraq realize that this dispust goes way beyond politics!!!!! Do some reading of your history books please. Also, ask yourself, this question then think about a plausible response. “Prior to the Bush-demanded invasion of Iraq, how were political factions kept in check in Iraq?

Posted by: Kim-Sue at August 3, 2007 3:12 PM
Comment #228280

Here’s how the (good leaders) Dems are doing with their power.

Survey shows just 3% of Americans approve of how Congress is handling the war in Iraq; 24% say the same for the President

Posted by: rahdigly at August 3, 2007 5:15 PM
Comment #228284

Obama = not qualified re foreign policy. Period. End of story. If that is important to you (as it should be to us all), you would be foolish to vote for him.

Posted by: b0mbay at August 3, 2007 7:06 PM
Comment #228289

rah, is that poll broken down into Democrats and Republicans? I’d give Democrats in Congress about 60% approval on Iraq and Republicans zero.

Posted by: American Pundit at August 3, 2007 9:02 PM
Comment #228330

It sucks when the poll doesn’t go your way, doesn’t it, AP?! It doesn’t matter what approval you give them, the public is only giving them 3% approval. That is absurd! Add this to the already lowest approval numbers for congress in the history of poll taking.

Now, maybe at the DailyKos Convention this weekend, where the “great leaders” are meeting with their kook base; then, they may receive some high approval ratings. Not with the regular folks though.

Posted by: rahdigly at August 4, 2007 10:20 AM
Comment #228349

rah, I’m just reminding you that there are still Republicans in Congress and in every poll that asks about the parties individually shows Republicans bearing the vast majority of American dissatisfaction. Most people say the obstructionist Republicans are screwing up Congress.

Posted by: American Pundit at August 4, 2007 2:30 PM
Comment #228363

“Obama = not qualified re foreign policy. Period. End of story. If that is important to you (as it should be to us all), you would be foolish to vote for him.”

This is a really silly thing to say. Previous experience with foreign policy isn’t at all important, and it is extremely foolish to claim that it is absolutely mandatory. Intelligence, clear headed consideration, and a discerning character is all that is required to succeed in this area. Indeed, many of our very best presidents had no experience with this whatsoever. For instance, Franklin Roosevelt didn’t have any foreign policy experience before he was elected, and yet he did very well in that area, and he won World War II. Neither did Harry Truman, yet under his leadership the United Nations and NATO were founded, and the Marshall Plan went forward to rebuild Europe after the war.
Bill Clinton had no experience, yet did just fine with foreign policy. In fact, he was, and still is, highly respected and admired around the world.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 4, 2007 6:08 PM
Comment #228367
“Most people say the obstructionist Republicans are screwing up Congress.”

AP, that is not what that poll said; you are trying to take shots at the Reps when this (Democratically controlled) congress is not living up to their billing. They promised integrity and change in Iraq and no more corruption. All they have done thus far is get the minimum wage passed. Whoppie Do!

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are running the worst congress ever, and it is only going to get worse b/c they are trying to pass taxpayer funds onto illegals; not advising a strategy to win in Iraq; and (of course) going after the Administration on trumped-up charges. The people are against illegal immigration and they want to win in Iraq; we don’t like how it is going, however we want to win. And the dems are just not doing it (at all!)

Sorry AP, you have to accept reality here:

Survey shows just 3% of Americans approve of how Congress is handling the war in Iraq; 24% say the same for the President

Posted by: rahdigly at August 4, 2007 6:55 PM
Comment #228389
AP, that is not what that poll said

I never said it was. I merely pointed out that when America’s dissatisfaction with Congress is broken out by Party, polls show that we’re far more pissed off at Republicans than Democrats. Here’s one.

There are a bunch of neat poll results on that page. Look at that, 57% of Americans think it’s good that Democrats controll Congress and only 31% think it’s bad.

I love polls, rah. Keep ‘em comin’. :)

Posted by: American Pundit at August 5, 2007 2:08 AM
Comment #228390
Bill Clinton had no experience, yet did just fine with foreign policy. In fact, he was, and still is, highly respected and admired around the world.

Yeah. I can’t wait until he’s back in the White House, Adrienne. :)

Posted by: American Pundit at August 5, 2007 2:09 AM
Comment #228495
I love polls, rah. Keep ‘em comin’. :)

Sounds like you only like polls that tell you what you want to hear. You are (still) conveniently leaving out the fact that congress is controlled by Democrats now and, as of August 1, 2007, this survey said only 3% of Americans approve of the way Congress is handling the War in Iraq. Many libs said that the 2006 elections were about a change in Iraq; well, after 7 months of “leadership” and trying to secure defeat in Iraq and allow illegals in this country, the American people are fed up. Here’s the most recent poll (from the website you sourced):

CBS News/New York Times Poll. July 9-17, 2007. N=1,554 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

“Are you mostly pleased or mostly disappointed with what the Democrats in Congress are doing?”
28% Pleased
58% Disappointed
14% Unsure



“Are you mostly pleased or mostly disappointed with what the Republicans in Congress are doing?”
21% Pleased
68% Disappointed
11% Unsure


Posted by: rahdigly at August 6, 2007 12:20 PM
Comment #228940

I was referring to his statements/stance more than anything else (specifically the ones about meeting with dictators unconditionally and especailly the one about not using nukes ever). This is perhaps the dumbest thing I have heard a legitimate candidate say. Maybe Obama hasn’t ever heard the term MAD or understood that a nuclear arsenal can be used as an effective deterrant (and has for the past 60+ years).

Posted by: b0mbay at August 10, 2007 12:40 PM
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