Democrats & Liberals Archives

Bush the Compulsive Gambler

President George W. Bush ordered that his surge in Iraq not be reduced but to be maintained - at a somewhat lower level. The number of troops in Iraq will probably remain at about 140,000 for the rest of his term. This is what most of us expected for a long time. His actions in Iraq are similar to the actions of a gambler in a casino. A compulsive gambler.

Here is the way a compulsive gambler acts. He visits a casino just for the fun of it. Sometimes he wins, more often he loses. When he wins he says "I made a lot of money; I'll gamble some more." If he loses, he says "I can't live with my losses; I'll gamble again to retrieve my losses." Eventually he reaches the point where his losses accumulate so that he has very little money to gamble with. So he places himself in debt in order to return to the casino and "win" his money back. He loses again and again he borrows to return to the gambling place. He cannot leave the casino, regardless of how much he goes into debt.

Bush made a speech "accepting" the recommendations of General Petraus for a pause. He said:

President Bush on Thursday ordered an indefinite halt in U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq after July, embracing the key recommendations of his top war commander. Bush said Gen. David Petraeus will "have all the time he needs" to consider when more American forces could return home.

Like any gambler who made a lot of money at the casino, in May of 2003 Bush put on a flyboy suit, descended upon USS Abraham Lincoln and boasted:

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much. Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. (Applause.) And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.

He won his bet. Then, our fortunes in Iraq went downhill. So Bush said "We can't leave now and allow conditions to deteriorate further; we don't want those who died to have died in vain." When there was a small improvement Bush said "Now that we are winning we can't give up." Soon the news was bad and Bush said "We can't leave now; we can only leave after we "win." In this way, Bush gambled not with money that belongs to him but with the lives of our troops, a resource several times more valuable than money.

This continued from 2003 to now. Who is going to stop this compulsive gambler who is destroying our troops and our society for the sake of what he calls a "preemptive war"? Must we wait for a Democrat to be elected in order to stop this fatal gambling?

Posted by Paul Siegel at April 10, 2008 5:12 PM
Comments
Comment #250265

Just give them another 6 months Paul. I am sure they will have a grasp on things by then. ;) And yes you answered your own question. No changes will be made until GW his cronies and his blind gutless republican legislature are no longer empowered.

Posted by: RickIL at April 10, 2008 7:00 PM
Comment #250266

RickIL,
That pretty much sums it up.

I think Bush might be the worst president in the history of the US. It’s not that other presidents haven’t messed up. Nixon resigned. Hoover presided over the Great Depression. Harding was grossly unfit. James Madison did a lot of things right, but he had to flee the White House when it was burned by the British. Doesn’t get much worse than that. James Buchanon didn’t do too well before the Civil War either.

But Bush fails on so many counts. He’s not weak in just one area. It’s not just letting 9/11 happen on his watch. That was bad enough. Incredibly, he’s turned in terrible performances right across the board. He made a hash of things on so many fronts- the economy, paralysis after Hurrican Katrina, torture, wiretapping, Iraq, the failure to pursue Bin Laden, Terry Shiavo, Climate Warming denial, a puzzling lack of interest in enacting any legislation… or more likely, a contempt for Congress so profound that he didn’t see the point, not even through his own party… national debt, federal deficit, trade deficit, tanking dollar… Sheesh, this list could go on and on. The guy has been a first class ****-**.

He has richly earned the 28% approval rating he now receives. But it’s scary to think 28% of Americans approve!

Posted by: phx8 at April 10, 2008 7:21 PM
Comment #250270

phx8

He has richly earned the 28% approval rating he now receives. But it’s scary to think 28% of Americans approve!

That is pretty amazing isn’t it. Of course they would like us to believe that they are the percentge who see the whole picture and understand better than the rest. But we really know that they are the blind trust people and the wealthy who have benefited so greatly under Bush rule. They are the ones who stand to lose some of their wealth when the system has been re-calibrated. The very last thing they want to see is a regression of all that Bush and his voting monkeys have given them over the last seven years. At this time next year you will be able to include Bush in that list of ex presidential failures. I would rank him right at the top of the list. He has certainly been the worst president in my lifetime. Completely and totally inept to say the least. I think the whole world must be counting the days awaiting his departure in hopes that in the meantime he and his minions do not attempt any new ventures.

Posted by: RickIL at April 10, 2008 9:10 PM
Comment #250272

He’s a gambler because it’s always paid off for him. Of course, the fix was in. Daddy’s friends and future treasury rapers made sure of that.

Why would Iraq be any different? He saw John Wayne do it on TV all the time.

Posted by: googlumpus at April 10, 2008 9:45 PM
Comment #250281

I haven’t been commenting in this blog lately because most of the time the writers here don’t bother to post on the most important stories of the day. That being the case, I take it that the above article is going to be the closest thing that we’ll be seeing to a post on Petraeus’ “progress” report before Congress?

Paul Siegel quoting our Idiot in Chief:

So Bush said “We can’t leave now and allow conditions to deteriorate further; we don’t want those who died to have died in vain.”

What the hell else is new, eh? Of course more have to die for the Republicon Mistaken War in Iraq, because if these clowns could bring themselves admit that no more of our troops should have to die in Iraq, it would then mean they’d have to actually admit they’ve made NOTHING BUT MISTAKES AND F*CK-UPS from start to finish.

How did we all like Old Man McSame reading his response to Petraeus from a prepared statement? Rah. Rah. What a grandly goose-stepping Lil’ Neocon Cheerleader he was! (Hillary seemed to be reading from prepared responses also, I noticed. Obama on the other hand actually looked engaged, and fully capable of formulating his intelligent and cogent questions right there on the spot. He’ll give good cabinet meetings, I suspect…)

Btw, did any other Watchblog readers notice how McSame misstated the details of the ceasefire in Basra, and how he once again confused Sunnis and Shiites while referencing al-Qaeda? I did, I’m afraid — literally.
I thought: Well! Doesn’t that kind of “impressive lifetime experience” make America feel oh-so-safe-‘n’-secure?! I also thought these displays of eerily familiar dimwittedness reminded me of exactly the kind of Decider I’ve become so bloody scared, and sick, and very very tired of listening to.

Have any of you ever tried to add up the things that McCain has said about Iraq the way that I’ve struggled to? Personally I can’t do it — because it all seems like sheer craziness.
For instance, he says that we can’t leave Iraq until we achieve Success. But Success means that Americans will have stopped getting killed and wounded — and that means we can stay for 100, 1,000 or 10,000 years. But, we CAN begin leaving Iraq when the violence retreats to the point where no Americans are getting killed.
WHAT?!
Uh, Nurse? I think Old Man McSame in Room 32 needs his enema — he seems to be totally full of sh*t.

Have we all heard about how Veterans Affairs are refusing to provide voter registration for wounded vets? After all, they can’t have these soldiers voting for a president who is going to move to end the Mistaken War so that soldiers like themselves no longer get blown into to bits, now can they? No, they naturally have to block that kind of change. It just wouldn’t be depressingly McSame enough for them.

phx8:

I think Bush might be the worst president in the history of the US.

Might be?! Come now — don’t be shy! Can we not simply state that GEORGE W. BUSH IS WITHOUT A DOUBT, THE WORST PRESIDENT IN U.S. HISTORY?
I for one, certainly think so. And it seems I’m not alone in this thought, because many professional historians are now saying that Bush will likely go down in history as The Worst.

In years to come, I imagine some sixth-grader will look G.W. Bush up in an encyclopedia and write a paper that will claim that the reason that Bush was called “W” was because he was The Worst. :^)

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 10, 2008 11:12 PM
Comment #250282

Almost forgot — We’ve had The Surge, now we’re to see The Pause, with absolutely no chance of Withdraw. I guess patriotic Americans aren’t supposed to notice that these sick little euphemisms are taking on a brutally sexual connotation. Perhaps appropriately though — what with the way this country, especially our troops, have been getting forcibly screwed by the Republicons for five long, bloody and painful years?

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 10, 2008 11:56 PM
Comment #250284

The biggest gamble would be leaving too early. The safer bet is finishing the job there.

There is astonishing progress. Even the Dems see this. That is why they have made a significant change in their strategy. Last year they were saying that we were defeated and should just run off. Today they are essentially admitting that we are winning, but saying that victory cost too much.

They are 100% correct that Iraqis should pay more for their own reconstruction. We are getting them to do it. This is also, however,an interesting change of strategy for the Dems. They are admitting that Iraqis CAN pay. What does that say about the success of the Iraqi government and economy. Beyond that, it puts to be the whole idea of war for oil. If indeed the war had been for oil, we wouldn’t need to advocate that the Iraqis get off the American dole, we would just have that oil money.

VV et al

I would love to write more about Iraq, but I have promised myself to address the subject only in response and I have to moderate myself.

As you recall, I am in Iraq and I am very closely involved in some of these events. I get too emotionally involved and that is not good to argue on a blog.

I personally know and like some of the Iraqis who the terrorist would kill - along with their families - a few days after we left, if we leave too soon. I have walked through villages that would be terrorized and I have seen the progress that would be thrown away. I cannot help but argue from this experience. Most people cannot understand this and I cannot understand them, so I hold back on this subject.

I should be done in Iraq later this year, I hope before the election. Then I will begin to write more about it again.

Until then, I have to put up with the statements by people who have never been to Iraq and some who have never even been in a war zone at all. It is hard for me to do, but (as in Iraqi itself) the alternative is worse.

Posted by: Jack at April 11, 2008 12:49 AM
Comment #250285

Jack,
It is easy to make statements about Iraq that are more accurate than those presented by conservatives and Republicans, or even people there on the ground, because the government of the United States does not inform Americans of what is happening, and the people on the ground are not provided the information because they do not have a need to know; yet the information is available in books and on the internet.

For example, what percentage of Iraqis want the United States to stay in their country? What percentage want the United States to withdraw within a year? You would think this is an absolutely critical piece of information, since it reflects the success or failure in a battle for hearts and minds, which is what Iraq is all about. Yet the information is not provided to the public by Bush or Petraeus or Crocker. It is, however, available through the last poll conducted by the Opinion Research Bureau, a British firm.

You know full and well what the truth is. You know full and well that we are not welcome in Iraq. As of March 17, 2008, at least 70% of Iraqis want the US out of their country. This statistic is consistent with previous polls by the same organization. And if you can show statistics provided by the government of the United States which indicate otherwise, go for it. But you won’t. Because there are none.

Right now, Iraqi factions are using us to suit their own purposes, particularly in the fight between the Mahdi Army and the Badr Brigades. In Basra, two thousand Iraqi soldiers deserted and went over to the Mahdi Army. The Iraqi government replaced them with 10,000 militiamen from the Badr Brigades.

But it’s also happening with the Sunni Awakening Councils. They’ve been infiltrated. You know that, right? United States soldiers are being killed by these ostensible allies, and the US has armed them. But to say they’ve been infiltrated isn’t really accurate, because they were always allies of convenience. They like the money and the guns and the power…

But the Bush administration will do what we have all known they would do all along. They will run out the clock. The next administration will be handed this mess, and Iraq will continue to weigh down the country.

So cheer up, Jack. Iraq will continue for at least another nine months. Another $75 billion in taxpayer money will go down the Iraqi drain.

I’m not in Iraq, and I’ve never been in combat on the ground, but nevertheless, I’d like to offer a piece of advice:

Never root for a war of choice.

Posted by: phx8 at April 11, 2008 1:39 AM
Comment #250288

Jack et al,

I’m tired of Neocon talking points. I’m also tired of emotional tirades about your involvements that are being used to imply that none of us could possibly know anything, and that you’re really the only one who is keeping up with what’s going on in Iraq, simply because you volunteered to go there.

I am also heartily sick and tired of the phrase “progress in Iraq” because it has been a constant rhetorical device going all the way back to the very beginning of Bushco’s excuse-mongering about this Mistaken War and Disastrous Occupation. “Progress!” has been the continual refrain all along, as they have tried to deny and excuse all of the disastrous facts that were, and still are, directly front of our faces.

From the outset we have heard Bush declaring “Progress” as he purposely avoided acknowledging the burgeoning Iraqi insurgency. In 2003 when he was finally was forced to discuss it, he did so claiming that “progress in Iraq” was being made. It remains the favorite catch-all phrase for every scrap of failure in this Mistaken War. And we heard it again yesterday: “Progress”, more “Assessments”, and more “Time.”

Nothing Concrete and Nothing Real — except the death of our troops and continuing destruction of Iraq and the Iraqi people — who want nothing more than for us to leave, so that they can fight their civil war without our taking a side, and so that they can work out the problems that their nation must eventually face.

In September of 2007, Petraeus sat before Congress, ignored the American troop casualties, and invoked “progress”. He ignored the vast majority of the Iraqi people who believed that security was getting worse under the “Surge”, he ignored the rise of the militias, ignored that the crumbling state of the Iraqi government was worse, and ignored the dangerous and perilously overextended state of the American armed forces — exactly as he did in his recent appearance. Instead he talked about “Progress”.

In that same political performance he dishonestly claimed that the murders of civilians were down, that sectarian violence was down, that the number of “security incidents” were at their lowest levels since June of 2006. Those comments were not true.

In January 2007, Petraeus also used the evidence of a shift in Sunni alliances to call for Congress to support escalating the war, aka: “The Surge”. In September of last year, Petraeus used the same damn evidence to claim that this somehow proved the “progress and success” of “The Surge”.
(It didn’t. The Surge has not been a sucess, and the proof of that is the fact that we just got our asses kicked hard by al Sadr’s Militia.)

Meanwhile, Baghdad continued to be ethnically cleansed of Sunni’s as Petraeus and the Republicons scared up another warning of how leaving would cause increased terrorist activity, and a bloodbath of sectarian violence and ethnic cleansing. Petraeus even showed Congress charts to bolster his story, but they too, were false.

Nothing has changed.

Petraeus and Crocker are still being dishonest with the American people when they say they just need more time. At least Petraeus did admit in this latest appearance that “we haven’t turned any corners” and that the “progress” is “fragile and reversible”. Wow, thanks for the clue, Sherlock.

McSame disagrees however. He says we are: “no longer staring into the abyss of defeat” and should reject calls for “a hasty, reckless, and irresponsible withdrawal” from Iraq.
Except back in September, not a single Republican could bring themselves to admit that we were indeed staring into an “abyss of defeat.” No, back then we were just “making progress”.

It seems that mistakes and defeat are things that are always to be referred to in the past tense — even as they mouth the word “progress” yet have absolutely NO REAL PROGRESS to show for it.

Allow me to close this post with a few of the comments that REPUBLICAN Senator George Voinovich had for Petraeus and Crocker:

“I think Osama bin Laden is sitting back right now looking at this thing [and saying] in effect, We’re kinda bankrupting this country. We are eating our seed corn. We’ve got some really big problems today, and we are in a recession, and God only knows how long we’re gonna be in it.”

He asked both Petraeus and Crocker whether the Iraqi government understood that the US would eventually withdraw and said that we need to tell Syria, and Saudi Arabia and Egypt:

“Hey guys, we’re on our way out. We have to leave here because of our own financial situation.”

Finally Voinovich said:

“We need a “surge” in diplomacy. The American people have had it up to here.”

I really couldn’t agree more.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 11, 2008 3:46 AM
Comment #250290

Phx8


I have been trying to figure out public opinion polling for many years. I got an MBA in marketing research. I have seen these polls in action. Polls like that don’t work in Iraq. No pollster has ever figured out a way to get a good sample. They all cheat and extrapolate. Beyond that, opinion is too nuanced for the yes and no answers. My opinion based on talking to lots of people is that they want us to do BUT they want us to stay. Nobody likes to have their country occupied, but when the alternative is death and destruction on a massive scale you might accept the less of the things you don’t want.

When I walk into a crowd of Iraqis, they are friendly and welcoming. They are absolutely NOT afraid of us. People want to have their pictures taken with us. It is not what you read in the newspapers.

It is a complicated situation. Some former insurgents are now allies; some allies may become crooks. I fully understand it. You probably have never worked in an environment like this. The picture is a lot clearer when you are reading about it in the NYT.

War is very terrible. I certainly can see the effects of war. But I now see the rebuilding and the hope. I don’t want that to be lost for American political reasons. I don’t want to see all those smiling people dead. As I wrote, the reason I stay away from this subject is that I am too close to it. I simply cannot explain to people who have not seen and experience these things and it is frustrating. I am not talking about things I have heard from others. I am talking about thinks I have seen and touched.

VV

I am equally sick of those who do not understand the situation telling me that what I see is somehow incorrect because it is not backed up by a media report by a guy writing from the Green Zone or maybe from outside Iraq.

I am not using talking points. I am using experience. Something I have and you guys don’t. Maybe you are right. Maybe the far away perspective is correct. I don’t know. What I do know with absolute certainty is that is we leave today many of the people I have seen rebuilding their lives and their communities will die in terrible ways. I want to avoid that if I can.

I SEE progress every time I go into Iraqi communities. We HAVE a diplomatic surge that is working. I am sorry if I choose to believe my own eyes rather than your talking points.

We might lose. Such defeats happen even to great powers. But I see a good chance to achieve success, to avoid some of the bloodshed, to help build a place that is better than what it was.

I might be wrong. But that is where I stand now. You can reject those things now. I want to wait until I know we cannot achieve them before I accept defeat.

Posted by: Jack at April 11, 2008 5:19 AM
Comment #250292

jack

I was unaware of your service to our country I must have missed it in your other posts. I will admit I have often times not read your posts because I feel they are antagonistic. Thank you for your service. I can certainly appreciate how frustrated you must feel and certainly believe your first hand experience. I think you might agree though that not everyone’s experience in Iraq is the same. I also think that when people are in a bad situation they must find the good so that they don’t feel what they are doing is in vain. I would like to see what you have experienced and seen in Iraq spread to the whole country-my concern is how long is that going to take and when do we decide that maybe its not possible for all of Iraq to experience what you have seen and that maybe using the military is not the best way to achieve this goal. My problems with the war in Iraq have nothing to do with whether the surge is working, or if we are having success in some areas, or how the media presents it. I have been against this war from the beginning. I always felt that there were other ways to accomplish our goals. I feel we are always to eager to use force to accomplish things and that we somehow think using diplomacy is weak. But none of that matters now. What matters is getting out and not leaving it worse and that to me is where diplomacy comes in.

Paul I could not agree more with what you have posted.

I believe that Bush is a mental health mess. From my view he is a dry drunk without a 12 step program. He is probably average intelligence and we need some one with an above average IQ running the country and making decisions. From things I have read he has a fixation with competing with his father and doing things better than dear old dad. I think Bush is amoral. Anyone of fighting age during vietnam who was infavor of that war and was willing to send others to fight but would not fight himself lacks backbone and is narcissitic (believing-he is special and doesn’t have to play by the rules that govern others)

With all that said: I put as much blame on my own party and the people of Amercia for this insane war. We all are as culpable as Bush. Had the democrats not gone along on the vote we would not be there. Where was I when Bush started on this course. I was yelling at the TV screen-that did nothing to stop the war. Where was I when Bush ran for a second term and won-I voted against him and that was it. I sat at home and waited for someone else to stop the insanity.

Where were the Americans who were against this war to begin with. I can only speak for myself and I was too afraid to speak up because it appeared that most Americans were infavor of going. I was afraid of what I would be called and so I did nothing. Where were the Americans who did not want Bush for a second term-same place as me? Voting and doing no more?

And to those Americans who were infavor of agression instead of peacemaking-shame on you, and to those Americans who voted a second time for Bush-shame on you for being lazy and not bothering to educate yourselves more. But most of all SHAME ON ME-for doing nothing.

Bush got us where we are because we let him. Yes he is an awful president but WE put him there.

Posted by: Carolina at April 11, 2008 9:00 AM
Comment #250295

Jack

I lived in a war zone for a little over a year at the age of 20. I worked alongside the Vietnamese people and got to know some of them quite well. I was there during the last year and one of the last out during the initial redeployment of US troops. I to this day still wonder what if anything happened to some of those people. I was very young and did not at the time have a firm understanding of the situation even though I was there. I had a job to do and I did it. Beyond that we all had associations with the people of Vietnam just the same as we do here at home. Just like Iraq there was no clear definition of who or where the enemy was at any given time. The people we conversed with during the day may have been the ones we were fighting at night.

I felt at the time, as I do now about Iraq, that there was just no way we could ever firmly defeat an enemy of that sort. They had patience, determination, desire, knowledge and understanding of their ways, people and culture that we would never be able to fully understand. But most of all they seemed more than willing to simply outlast us if necessary.

In Iraq we are trying to impose democracy upon a nation that is not familiar with and does not fully understand the implications and problems that come with it. We are trying to intertwine cultures to form a semblance of our own way of thinking. It is natural that any nation of pride might object to us forcing ourselves and our notions of what is appropriate upon them. Winning in Iraq is not just a matter of containing a few small terrorist groups. It is a matter of transforming a foreign nation into what we think it should be for our personal gain. What we have created is an outstandingly corrupt and dysfunctional government which has no idea how to overcome the evils of greed. They have no idea how to go about forming a coalition of factions that can successfully come to terms and negotiate a peace that is fair, functional and good for the entire nation.

We do not have the patience or recourses to withstand a hundred years and the trillions of dollars necessary to wait out an evolution of democracy in a country that has no idea what it means or how to achieve it. At some point we will have to let the cards lay where they may and allow the Iraqi’s and their neighbors to sort out the issues at hand.

War is a messy endeavor. In the end people have to choose sides and the outcome always determines the end result for those affected. One thing is for sure, the outcome will never be what is best for everyone. One could even argue that our very presence in the region is guaranteeing that the outcome will not be determined so long as we are there. Simply because we and our greed induced personal needs are the very crux of the problem.

I agree that you may be too emotionally involved. I have thought this for some time now, but did not out of respect for your situation bring it up. I wish you and all your Iraqi friends well. But I fear that unless their government can miraculously somehow become functional soon that the end of our hard core involvement may be coming to and end soon.

Posted by: RickIL at April 11, 2008 9:50 AM
Comment #250297

Carolina

Bush got us where we are because we let him. Yes he is an awful president but WE put him there.

Like you I opposed Iraq from the beginning but I did however voice my opinion. I will admit that it was difficult involving most in discussions that leaned towards our approach being wrong. It was apparent to me that Bush was doing all he could to circumvent the UN inspectors claims of no wmd. We had been keeping Saddam in check with simple fly overs for years. There was no reason that we could not continue in that fashion to keep him in check. I am not claiming to be anymore knowledgeable or insightful than the next guy. It is just the way I viewed things at the time.

I did not vote for Bush in either of his terms. I felt him to be lacking of the necessary intelligence from the very beginning. I have openly advocated against him from day one. So I feel no guilt and will accept no responsibility for him. He is the result of an apathetic and lazy voting constituency. I suspect that if nothing else his inadequacies have served to wake up and energize a nation of voters, young and old.

Posted by: RickIL at April 11, 2008 10:11 AM
Comment #250299

“He is the result of an apathetic and lazy voting constituency”

The same one that will elect hillary or Obama as our next President.
So much for anything getting better anytime soon.

Posted by: kctim at April 11, 2008 10:37 AM
Comment #250310

I find it interesting, when reading the various descriptions of President Bush, how such a person could defeat the best of the Democrats twice. According to the American public and our electoral system, neither Gore or Kerry could muster the support to defeat the one who is being so vilified today.

I know your fall back position well, so don’t bother trying to CYA by telling me that George stole the elections. You’re a bunch of whiners and losers and you’re going to loose again because of the despised liberal positions you have adopted and those you choose to lead the charge to socialism.

The misogynists wife and the preacher’s student will be found lacking and be defeated by an old white guy that understands American values.

Posted by: Jim M at April 11, 2008 12:41 PM
Comment #250312

We’re beating a dead horse here folks

So much has been said that at this point ‘goes without saying’. Our focus needs to be on what can be done to salvage this mess, if indeed that is even possible.

I know that at my age (60) that I’ll never see the prosperity and prestige again that the US enjoyed during nearly all my lifetime, through good Presidents and bad and that hurts me beyond measure. I’m part of the first generation ‘ever’ that will leave this country in worse shape than when I entered this life. The system is broken whenever one man and a not so covert band of thieving thugs can destroy everything that we believe in and have fought and died for in less than eight years.

No punishment is too severe to be meted out to these people. Amazingly, there are still people out there who support this government. How can that be? Is there actually that many in-bred idiots running loose in our society? I would willingly standby and watch the kidnapping of these jerks to be taken before the World Court for war crimes. The thought of it makes me giddy.

And wtf are Hillary and Obama trying to prove with all their sniping? If I didn’t know better, I’d believe that they were actually trying to lose the upcoming election. Why that know-nothing wannabe bitch doesn’t stand aside is beyond belief. In the first place, listen to her. She doesn’t sound all that much different than she did 40 years ago as a ‘Young Republican’. She hasn’t changed a bit and change is what we desperately need in this country. More of the same on ‘either side’ of the aisle is just not going to cut it.

Posted by: Glenn Sand at April 11, 2008 1:10 PM
Comment #250338

Bush was upbeat on Iraq even when fearing failure

But of course, Bush doesn’t lie, right?

Despite mounting violence, Bush gave upbeat assessments throughout the summer of 2006, saying as late as October 11: “It’s my responsibility to provide the American people with a candid assessment on the way forward … Absolutely, we’re winning.”

Candid? Not.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 11, 2008 5:40 PM
Comment #250367

Womanmarine, in a military sense, have we ever been “losing” in Iraq? Whether now, pre-surge, or at any time since 2003?

I readily admit that there have been serious questions about our strategy AND serious questions as well about whether the mission is one we should pursue. Those are persistent questions and (in my eyes at least) very legitimate ones.

However, if people think we’ve ever been “losing” in Iraq, then they must have a very skewed view of what military success and failure looks like and no knowledge whatsoever of military history.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 11, 2008 10:26 PM
Comment #250373

LO:

You didn’t see me post about “losing”. It was about Bush being candid with the American people. Did you read the link?

Posted by: womanmarine at April 11, 2008 11:48 PM
Comment #250379

The “war” in Iraq is long since over. We are now an occupying army, waiting for democracy to bloom while shooting at those who want us to get out of their country. Bush has no intention of reducing our involvement. He is intent on turning this mess over to the next POTUS. McCain apparently wants to stay there until they stop shooting at us. I think they will only stop when we leave.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 12, 2008 1:00 AM
Comment #250386

RickIl et al

SOrry for the short response. Not much time to type.

Vietnam is/was very different. The analogy just doesn’t work well. In Vietnam you had a massive nationalistic (although also communist) force. In Iraq that is not the case. In Vietnam, you knew who would (and did) win if we lost. In Iraq, the enemy is just chaos. There is nobody who will step in. Iraq is not Vietnam in any way except Americans are involved. You cannot apply the Vietnam template.

You also may recall how the Vietnam war ended. It was not an insurgency. It was massive invasion from the North, well equipped with armor, air and other assets. It was like Grant taking Richmond. There was not a popular uprising that did it. It was superior conventional military force. There is no such player in this conflict.

Posted by: Jack at April 12, 2008 2:00 AM
Comment #250421

“Astonishing progress”????

We broke it…our sanctions and our invasion broke Iraq…so any so-called “progress” is simply the erasure of an infinitesimal portion of the horrendous damage we’ve caused…

And where’s any “progress” within the US on domestic problems? The Border Patrol is now spending our money on sponsoring a NASCAR race car!! With increasing poverty, the US cuts back on Medicaid payments to the states which are already strapped from federal cutbacks! Food prices are soaring because of soaring gas prices…not to mention the housing crisis that was allowed to happen…

“Progress”???? Where????

Posted by: Rachel at April 12, 2008 1:45 PM
Comment #250430

Rachel,
Don’t you get it? All we need to grasp is that:

War is Peace.
Freedom is Slavery.
Ignorance is Strength.
And Failure is Progress.

When we can finally drive all the ungood thoughtcrimes out of our heads, then proles like us will surely come to see that everything is actually Double-plus Good — and so are we!

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 12, 2008 7:02 PM
Comment #250446
We broke it…our sanctions and our invasion broke Iraq…so any so-called “progress” is simply the erasure of an infinitesimal portion of the horrendous damage we’ve caused…

This is just so typical of the liberal read on everything. Blame America, exonerate everyone else.

Our sanctions? You mean the sanctions put in place by the entire world when Saddam Hussein brutalized his neighbors and his own citizens and set Kuwait’s oil fields ablaze? You make it sound as if Iraq was some peaceful bastion of brotherhood and love that was randomly assaulted through no fault of their own. Like I said, typical.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 13, 2008 12:13 AM
Comment #250457

Loyal:

I don’t understand how so many people can keep drinking the Kool Aid in the face of real evidence that the US is getting nowhere in Iraq and that the world laughs at our so-called president…

The sanctions did nothing to end Saddam Hussein’s rule…however, they did hurry the deaths of hundreds of thousands…morality is hardly the US strong suit.

Posted by: Rachel at April 13, 2008 9:11 AM
Comment #250459

Rachel, that’s exactly what I mean.

These sanctions that “hurried the deaths of hundreds of thousands” were not US sanctions. They were UN sanctions. Yet, out of apparent hatred for the “immoral” United States, you blame the US for UN sanctions. And of course, it would never even occur to you to blame Saddam Hussein for them.

An interesting fact is that the rate of those killed in Iraq by sanctions was several times greater than those killed by violence during or after the invasion. By invading Iraq, we have saved hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives. Not a fact you’re likely to hear mentioned from whatever far-left sources you get your news from.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 13, 2008 10:28 AM
Comment #250463

So much for the well-trained and able forces that are supposed to take over and relieve our forces….

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080413/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_080412155268

I’d say this is a step back, and NOT forward, Jack.

Posted by: janedoe at April 13, 2008 12:47 PM
Comment #250467

Pottery Barn, Jack.

It was too late to cry about the damage done in 2003. War sucks. It shouldn’t be taken lightly. That does not mean it makes sense for the US to stay there.

Posted by: googlumpugus at April 13, 2008 1:48 PM
Comment #250531

And, to put a sharp point on how silly it is that Bush is saying “We’re ‘winning’”, this link shows how badly we are, in fact, losing this guerilla war, much the way we lost the one in Vietnam and the Soviets lost and we will lose those in Afghanistan. The administration and the Republican’s campaign for prez both depend upon the American public not being able to grasp the realities of the war not being about body counts or conquering of geography, but about balance of power. El Sadr is winning by any reasonable measure: he has the bulk of the Shia allegiancy, he has the trust of the Iranians, he can overwhelm the government militia at will, as he was prior to his elective cease-fire (in itself a power coup). So why don’t we just get the hell out? We’re only prolonging the violence by giving the majority-supported militia reason to resist our occupation and the perceived capitulators in the Iraqi government. The Al Qaida/Sunni factions are a minor part of the violence, as Petraeus can demonstrate with all his useless charts.

Out now.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at April 14, 2008 12:26 PM
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