GOP Scores Major Victory In House And Senate

What began as a heated debate over the “origins and conduct” of the Iraq War, ended yesterday in a major victory for the GOP. The Iraq War Resolution (House Resolution 861), which endorses President Bush’s war policy and rejects setting a deadline for troop withdrawal, was passed in the House by a vote of 256-153 …

The Senate, meanwhile, soundly rejected a John Kerry look-alike resolution by a vote of 93-6, which would have called for a near immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.

The House Debate

On Thursday, the House of Representatives was home to one of the longest Iraq War debates in recent memory. Spanning over 11 hours (and continuing Friday morning prior to the vote), both Republican and Democratic officials held nothing back, leading to what the Washington Times has called a “raucous debate.”

The debate was — at least — partially sparked by the Pentagon’s announcement of the 2,500th death of a US Service member, Marine 1st Lt. Michael L. Licalzi (RIP).

More than 140 lawmakers took to the House floor to express approval or disapproval for President Bush’s handling of the Iraq War and the War on Terrorism in general. Beneath the concrete slabs of rhetoric, which both parties poured on nice and thick, lay a central issue: Should a deadline be set for a troop withdrawal?

Republicans across the board rejected the idea of setting a deadline while Democrats were fairly mixed on the issue.

Democratic Representative John P. Murtha (Pennsylvania), who has become the leading critic of the Iraq War, reiterated his calls for a troop withdrawal from Iraq:

“We've done everything we can do militarily. . . . Only Iraqis can solve the problem in Iraq. I say it's time to redeploy and be ready.” Washington Times

(. . .)

"We're not making progress,” said [Murtha] . . . Iraqis are fighting a low grade civil war in which U.S. soldiers should not be involved. "They're fighting each other, and our troops are caught in between," he said. Washington Post

Murtha’s military credentials, however, were not enough to keep Republicans from pouncing on what they view as a “defeatist” mentality among democrats. Republican Representative Mike Rogers (Michigan) offered a rebuttal to Murtha’s grim account:

"We make progress every day," countered Rep. Mike Rogers (R Mich.), who contended that the only people who want the U.S. military to leave Iraq are terrorists and "some politicians." Looking at Murtha, he added: "Don't get confused about every little problem that happens."

Democratic representatives happily resorted to a familiar line of attack, claiming that President Bush misled the country with “faulty intelligence.” Several Democrats then called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Rep. George Miller, California Democrat, called the war “a blunder of historic proportions by this president.”

(See Democrat Hypocrisy)

The Kerry Smackdown

Despite the similarly themed debates in both the House and the Senate, the John Kerry Smackdown was unique to the latter.

Earlier this week, Senator Kerry drafted a strongly worded resolution that called for a near immediate troop withdrawal while harshly critiquing the Iraq War. The GOP seized the opportunity to out Kerry as a flip-flopping radical:

GOP senators wanted a vote on language recently drafted by Kerry calling for nearly all U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Iraq by the year's end. But Kerry, his party's 2004 presidential nominee, surprised the Republicans by declining to offer the language as an amendment to a defense authorization bill, after colleagues had urged him to consider possible revisions.

To force a debate and a vote, McConnell, the GOP whip, introduced Kerry's language as his own, knowing that all Senate Republicans and most Democrats would vote against it. Democrats objected when Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) called the measure "Kerry's amendment." Kerry said the maneuver led to "a fibbing, fictitious vote."

Kerry’s resolution was defeated by a heartbreaking 93-6 vote. Aside from Kerry, five democrats supported the resolution: Barbara Boxer (California), Robert C. Byrd (W.Virginia.), Russell Feingold (Wisconsin), Tom Harkin (Iowa) and Edward M. Kennedy (Massachusetts).

The GOP enjoyed the additional victory of outing several Democrats who have called for a troop withdrawal in the past, but voted to the contrary. More importantly, Republicans in the House and Senate were nearly unanimous in their opposition to a timetable for a troop pullout, which should work in their favor come election time. After all, it’s nice to know where a party stands on issues of national security.

Vice President Dick Cheney had a message for Senator Kerry as well:

Vice President Cheney weighed in, taking note of Kerry’s statement . . . urging fellow Democrats . . . to acknowledge that the war was a mistake. “I’m not surprised at John Kerry switching his position yet again," Cheney said on Sean Hannity's radio talk show. Kerry is charging "that somehow he was misled," the vice president said. "He wasn't misled. He saw the same intelligence all the rest of us saw. He knew what an evil actor Saddam Hussein was."

The GOP Victory

Still, the real victory for the GOP came yesterday morning when the members of Congress passed House Resolution 861, the Iraq War Resolution. The resolution sent a strong message of support to President Bush.

The nonbinding resolution declared that “that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror.”

[The resolution] says that since the removal of Saddam Hussein by invading U.S. forces in 2003, "the terrorists have declared Iraq to be the central front in their war against all who oppose their ideology." It "honors the sacrifices" of U.S. and allied forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and "declares that it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment" of U.S. troops from Iraq.

The resolution also "declares that the United States is committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure and united Iraq," and it congratulates the new Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, and the Iraqi people for participating in the 2005 elections and forming the first democratic government under Iraq's new constitution.

Needless to say, Democrats were not pleased:

Democrats denounced the resolution as political gamesmanship aimed at providing ammunition to use against them in November's midterm elections. They argued that the intent was to force lawmakers who oppose Bush's Iraq war policy to effectively cast a vote against winning the war on terrorism if they wanted to register their objections.

Political gamesmanship, indeed. The Democrats, however, took equal part in the two-day political posturing session. Of course, they were outdone by their Republican counterparts, who were willing to stand by their rhetoric when it came time to vote.

Posted by Dr Politico at June 17, 2006 4:32 PM
Comments
Comment #158770

So, the will of the American people and Iraqi government mean nothing?

Posted by: David S at June 17, 2006 5:40 PM
Comment #158776

What need is there for a resolution like this if the Republicans are right, and the people are on their side?

This is the move of people who want to demonstrate to the American people after a prolonged, bloody, and humiliating war, after inexcusable failures of policy and intelligence, that they still know best about policy.

This is bill is a tourniquet around the stump of the Republican’s credibility as leaders on military policy, an amputation that occured precisely because of the overconfidence that sent this bill through Congress and the Senate.

The Republicans are trying once more to make a virtue out of stubborn inflexibility on policy. This is the wrong time to make such a move, because it is the inflexibility on policy that has both aggravated the problems of the war, and drained the patience from the average American.

You folks have had opportunity after opportunity to recognize the gravity of your situation, and give the American people the relief of a new policy direction. Instead, through month after month of increasing violence, obvious problems and an ill-advised war of words back home, you have beat one message into the Average American’s brain instead: We’re running this war, and we’re going to win this, not you all.

The politicians of the GOP want to be the heroes of this story. Trouble is, they don’t deserve to be. The American people have spoken again and again to their discontent with those policies, and the Republicans have not even been good enough to recognize that discontent as legitimate.

Right now, this is the only victory on the War on Terror they can manage: A forced legislative victory against their critics, intended to once more rehash that all-too-clear fact of who won the last elections, and who controls the policy that runs this war.

So what are you boasting about, Dr. Politico? What do you have here? This is merely politicians once more basking in the glory they’ve continued to borrow from our soldiers, soldiers they continue to fail to materially support. They are the deadbeat dads of the military, always willing to declare their love, but rarely willing to give our soldiers what they need to succeed.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 17, 2006 6:33 PM
Comment #158779

WOW a CNN poll pushing a liberal agenda… big shock there.Show me an INDEPENDIT (and no i dont mean Fox) poll that shows that and then maby ill give it some credit.

Jeff

Posted by: Jeff at June 17, 2006 6:38 PM
Comment #158781

Yep, what a victory for the American people. Politicians wasting our tax dollars to debate and vote on this crap. Americans love poiticians who waste thier money and time like this.

Posted by: gergle at June 17, 2006 6:43 PM
Comment #158784

Jeff-
Let’s leave aside any claim of liberal bias until you can prove that there were any problems in how they took the poll. The troublesome thing with this whole liberal bias claim is that it’s become a license to disregard facts. That becomes a problem when you’re trying to distinguish between a trully wronged politician, and one who’s using a ready-made claim like media bias to divert attention from the facts that incriminate them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 17, 2006 6:57 PM
Comment #158787
WOW a CNN poll pushing a liberal agenda… big shock there.Show me an INDEPENDIT (and no i dont mean Fox) poll that shows that and then maby ill give it some credit.

Um, okay. Here’s a source FOX sometimes quotes:

- Iraqis want us to leave

- Americans want us to leave

- The world wants us to leave

- Americans fed up with Guantanamo

Posted by: Max at June 17, 2006 7:27 PM
Comment #158788

Oh yeah, and when you put it in all caps you should, like, spell check it. It’s INDEPENDENT.

Posted by: Max at June 17, 2006 7:29 PM
Comment #158789

Te problem with that link is that they don’t show the survey questions.

The question could very easily been worked like this, “Do you favor the US being in Iraq for years and years or do you want them to come home sooner?”

Posted by: Keith at June 17, 2006 7:36 PM
Comment #158790

How about this one from Zogby?

Posted by: David S at June 17, 2006 7:43 PM
Comment #158792

This of course is very convenient
__________________________________________________
The survey included 944 military respondents interviewed at several undisclosed locations throughout Iraq. The names of the specific locations and specific personnel who conducted the survey are being withheld for security purposes. Surveys were conducted face-to-face using random sampling techniques. The margin of error for the survey, conducted Jan. 18 through Feb. 14, 2006, is +/- 3.3 percentage points.
_________________________________________________

Posted by: Keith at June 17, 2006 7:53 PM
Comment #158796

Keith-
What’s convenient, far too often, is how these cases of media bias always seem to coincide with Republicans getting in trouble or screwing something up. Of course the unanswered question is whether the facts are credible and the inferences valid. That would then speak to the crediblity of the story.

It’s much tougher to make such determinations of what is truth and what is not, if the only means you have of making such determination are vague charges of political bias.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 17, 2006 8:24 PM
Comment #158803

To mainstream America, this vote was pretty meaningless. It does absolutely nothing to get our boys and girls home sooner, which the majority of Americans want, and it does nothing to demonstrate which party is worse, Republicans in power, or Democrats out. Just a waste of more tax dollars, absolutely right.

If only that time had been spent on education, saving Soc. Sec., or securing our borders. What a waste. Vote Out Incumbents by voting for challengers. It’s the only message from the people that they will understand and take to heart.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 17, 2006 9:23 PM
Comment #158805

The debates in the House and Senate were a waste of time and, like I wrote, it was a “two day political posturing session.” HOWEVER, it was a major victory for the GOP. Why? Because, if the vote never took place, then every media outlet throughout the world would have been reporting that the US is “seriously considering” a pullout. That would have constituted a major blow for Republicans and by avoiding that blow, the GOP came out ahead. Hence, “victory.”

Also, I wouldn’t put much stock in media polls, no matter who’s reporting on them. They are generally unreliable and extremely lax in following statistical convention. Hence the large magins of error (generally between 3-6 points). Media polls are conducted for entertainment purposes only.

Posted by: Dr Politico at June 17, 2006 9:55 PM
Comment #158806

Stephen,

I didn’t say anything about political bias. If anything whith Zogby and others it’s an ideological thing.

I’m also saying that percentages don’t matter if they don’t show the raw data and the methodology. Also how many of the soldiers that they asked to be interviewed told them to FO before they could get 944 to agree to be interviewed.

Posted by: Keith at June 17, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #158808

DP-

Even if you take a 3-6 point margin on the Zogby or CNN polls, the numbers are still relevant. And remember, that 3-6 percent can swing either way. So it’s possible that as much as 59% or as little as 47% of Americans favor setting a pullout date. At the high end, that’s more than Bush ever carried in an election, at the low end it’s enough that our congressmen should have taken this issue more seriously.

Posted by: David S at June 17, 2006 10:11 PM
Comment #158810

Doc Politico,

Let me project a few months ahead for the GOP, let’s see troop drawdowwwwwn perhaps arooouuuuund say October?!! Sound likely?

**Also; Zogby has also been wrong before (Kerry win in 04)so I wouldn’t put too much stock in ‘em either really. They can not only be swayed to give certain results but undoubtedly they can be paid for. I certainly don’t trust phone polls as usually it’s around dinnertime when they call and people are in a hurry to eat or do whatever.

**Plus I think a case can be drawn that with FOCUS GROUPS that people have a sociological answer when they stand up in front of a group and an equal but often times, opposite viewpoint or reallistic answer to things when anonymous which is just what we’re doing now. In group to some extent we aim to please, or try to please, general concensus listeners and monitor facial expressions when thoughts are forming in people’s heads but in anonimity we can genuinely abuse each other and speak the truth with zero retribution or social consequence hence no ostracization or having to backtrack to explain oneself for more complex answers.

Here’s another thing that concerns me: J Murtha saying he is going to run for speaker should the Democrats take back the majority in the house. If there was ever a redflag to chase off the malaised middle that would be it—we need the switch hitters from the midsection.n That was just really poor judgement on his part.

Posted by: Novenge at June 17, 2006 10:21 PM
Comment #158812

David S,

Actually, the poll you’re refferring to had a 3.3% MOE, so it could swing from 49.7 to 56.3. For the media to choose to represent the higher figure is the irresponsible part. Still, the margin of error is not the only problem with media polls, it was just one point I was making. The manner in which they are conducted tend to lend themselves to systematic errors. For example, they are rarely as random as they purport to be. Often, they are “convenience samples” which should never be represented as accurate of informative.

Keep in mind, I am not attacking any specific poll, but rather media polls in general. They are simply for entertainment purposes.

Posted by: Dr Politico at June 17, 2006 10:26 PM
Comment #158815

DP:

Keep in mind, I am not attacking any specific poll, but rather media polls in general. They are simply for entertainment purposes.


Yeah, they’re just for entertainment purposes unless they swing your way.

This debate was as politically cynical as it gets. The shame of the world on the House for wasting time and money on it.

Posted by: pianofan at June 17, 2006 10:56 PM
Comment #158819

News flash
We are winning the war.
Terrorist are dying or being capurted over there.. not here.
by the way by helping Iraq gain its freedom we protect ours.

Posted by: steve K at June 17, 2006 11:24 PM
Comment #158821

Dr. Politico-
If Bush had done his job on working out the strategy and justification of this war solidly to begin with, what the media would report would be a secondary and mostly inconsequential problem, because the media would be reporting on a victory.

The defense of going after liberals has been what I call a Corsican Brother’s defense. When me and my brother were kids, we had this absurd little game named after this Cheech and Chong movie we’d seen parts of. We didn’t understand much of it really, but we like this part where the brothers duel, especially the unconventional way the fight developed: When ever they harmed themselves, it hurt the other guy.

So, we would punch, stab, and shoot ourselves (not for real, of course) and the other would pretend to get that injury. It was a hoot.

Right now, it seems like the Right Wing is playing that game with this country, hoping that fighting off those damn liberals will hurt the terrorists. But it won’t and it hasn’t. In real life, when you stab yourself, it’s you who bleeds, not your opponent.

The Right keeps on trying to do the impossible: permanently defeat and marginalize the left. More and more, as our dissent to the war becomes the stronger position in the public’s eyes, this paranoia is sent our way.

In the end, Not only are you underestimating half of America, but you’re insulting it, too, and turning the political battles into the important ones.

Deny the poll all you want to. Just keep in mind that you can’t go on dividing people forever without dividing yourself out of a majority

Keith-
Ideological and Political are basically synonymous here, and you’re insinuating based on no evidence at all that these people were selective about who they were talking to.

This strikes me as a cop-out.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 17, 2006 11:26 PM
Comment #158822

Steve K-
Ron Suskind’s latest book suggested that recently, an operation was aborted that involved a cyanide gas attack on the NY subway system. It was 45 days short of execution.

I think al-Qaeda’s still here, still plotting and planning. It’s nonsense to think that an organization pouring thousands of recruits into the Iraq war can’t spare a few dozen for an operation on us. It’s wishful thinking and a dangerous kind of complacency.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 17, 2006 11:32 PM
Comment #158825

why the negative comment???
I would agree that the war is waged world wide.
still since there attacks on 9/11 there have not been any success attacks here planed or otherwise.
Why is bad to want us to win???

Posted by: Steve K at June 17, 2006 11:46 PM
Comment #158829

I just can’t help myself.

I have a problem not rolling my eyes whenever I hear a Democrat talking about Republicans manipulating and/or ignoring polls.

Democrats notoriously live and die by polls. Heck, Clinton wouldn’t even get dressed until he had taken a poll of the country to see which suit he looked best in!

As a matter of record, both sides manipulate polls to their advantage. There are no clean hands here, just different degrees of dirty.

Posted by: ulysses at June 17, 2006 11:54 PM
Comment #158831

Stephen,
The subway story is from 2003. Al Qaida lost operational capabilities in 2003. Since then, terrorist attacks have been homegrown affairs, such as the London bombing; nothing to do with Al Qaida, but inspired by the US invasion of Iraq.

Releasing the subway story is a typical Bush scare tactic.

Posted by: phx8 at June 18, 2006 12:05 AM
Comment #158832

We are the only country in the world that acts in the best interest of the world.

All other countries act only in their own self interest. We are fighting a just war for a bunch of countries that don’t deserve our help. And that doesn’t matter to us, thank god.

Our real enemies are the secret police of iran and syria and similar countries. These malicious groups are the most dangerous because they are powerful and operate in secret outside their own countries. they never take credit for their operations and do a great deal of damage.

We should stand together as americans and help rid the world of these menaces to freedom and allies of terror.

Any politician or media group that opposes the war in iraq opposes the war on terror. by not supporting the war on terror they increase the fear and confusion felt by all americans. to me
they fit the definition of terrorist.

Do not listen to them and oppose them, that is how we will win.

Posted by: henry C. at June 18, 2006 12:08 AM
Comment #158841

Here is the link for the alert about a potential terrorist attack on the New York subway systerm in 2005:
http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/10/06/newyork.subways/index.html

Here is the link for the current story:
http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/06/17/subway.plot/index.html

Bet you it was the information from 2003 that was used by the US government to terrify New Yorkers in 2005.

Henry C,
You have been terrified. How long has this been going on? Time to get over it, Henry. Put aside the fear. Take a deep breath. It is a beautiful world outside your door. Go ahead. Step outside and look around. See? No terrorists to be seen, not a one. Feel better? I hope so.

You write: “We are the only country in the world that acts in the best interest of the world.”

Wow. So. On the one hand, you are terrified, and everyone who does not buy into your fear is a terrorist. On the other hand, the US acts in the best interest of the world, so presumably everyone would love us for our selflessness, and we would not be targeted in the first place.

Unless, of course, it is by foreign secret policeman.


Posted by: phx8 at June 18, 2006 12:26 AM
Comment #158842


Read this about election fraud

Some interesting points:

Based on the review of several different very specific state and federal requirements, laws and provisions, the unsecured overnight storage of Diebold voting machines and their memory cards in poll workers houses, cars and garages in the days and weeks prior to the closely watched election between Republican Brian Bilbray and Democrat Francine Busby violated several federal and state provisions which, if not followed, would revoke the certification of use for the voting systems in any California election.

just last week, two different elections in an Iowa Republican primary revealed that the popular incumbents” who had both apparently “lost” their races after paper ballots were optically-scanned had in fact won their races after a subsequent manual hand-count revealed the scanners were programmed incorrectly.

Interesting stuff. I’m going to see if I can find out more about it. Wish I could post, I hate to put this at the end of a long blog, it needs it’s own.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 18, 2006 12:30 AM
Comment #158852

Its Diebold. What did you expect?

Posted by: Aldous at June 18, 2006 1:12 AM
Comment #158854

Aldous:

True, but it’s more than that.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 18, 2006 1:37 AM
Comment #158858

Yawn…its Diebold!!!(Republicans stole the election!!!Blah, blah, blah. You (dems)LOST, now grow up and get over it.
Yawn…Its global warming!!! (were all gonna drown!)
Yawn…Its Aldous, king of contrariness!!! Double leftist yawn.
Yawn….an anti bush bumber sticker that reads “Barbara should have aborted!” (oh, that’ll show those dastardly republican types, not only do we disagree with you, but we want you dead and your children aborted. Why is that I never see any anti Kerry signs that are nearly as mean, vicious, vile and immature? Don’t let it bother you, really? With messages like that on your cars, you’ll bring everyone running to your side. In twenty years, the democrat party will be a footnote in history, and hopefully, replaced by something a little more benign.)
Yawn… the left is not even close to half the population, try more like a third (and thats being generous)but they certainly are loud, nousy and obnoxious. But then, the Sunni’s led by that all around great guy and poster child for world peace, Saddam Hussien, showed us just what it looks like when a power hungry minority gets in charge. On campus, I’ve noticed that the very people who claim to be the most enlightened are also the very same people who work hard to prevent an opposing point of view to be heard. But then, what should a conservative, white, Christian male at massage therapy school expect? Equality? Hah! Not here kids. Thank God I already have a good job!

Posted by: HardHatHarry at June 18, 2006 1:50 AM
Comment #158860

Remember, only liberals care about the sick, and the downtrodden. I like to keep that in mind when I’m working on the torn and tired muscles of cancer and auto immune deficiency patients.

Posted by: HardHatHarry at June 18, 2006 1:54 AM
Comment #158861

Kerry (who served in Vietnam, BTW) is a fool and has been since before he served in Vietnam. His proposal makes as much sense as eating 12 day old ham salad. Actually, I’d eat the salad first. (Even his Dem buddies voted against his proposal. I guess they’d eat the salad first, too.)

Posted by: Don at June 18, 2006 2:08 AM
Comment #158871

Asked what they would like the newly elected Iraqi government to ask the US-led forces to do, 70% of Iraqis favor setting a timeline for the withdrawal of US forces. This number divides evenly between 35% who favor a short time frame of “within six months” and 35% who favor a gradual reduction over two years. Just 29% say it should “only reduce US-led forces as the security situation improves in Iraq.”

That means 35% of the 70% want us out in less than 6 months.

This is from MAX’s links. If you will read them you will find they do not prove what max wants them to prove. Actually just the opposite. For example: Two thirds of the world think we shoud stay if the Iraqi Govt asks us too. They only want us out if they ask us to leave. They asked us to stay by the way.

I would encourage everyone to take the time and read MAX’S links to the wpo site and you will notice that they dont really say what MAX is alluding that they say.

His Guantanimo one is the one that is farthest offf.


READ THEM! It’s FUNNY!

Posted by: scott at June 18, 2006 4:07 AM
Comment #158872

Hard Hat Harry,

I certainly hope you aren’t comparing the atrocities of the murderous Bathist Party to The Democratic Party? I don’t think the Democrats are “a power hungry minority” in any sense with exception perhaps to maintenance of stability and some bureaucratic standards. What? We didn’t go along lockstep with the Iraqi mistakes knowing full well it was a damn mistake (w/ no help from Hillary—Kerry et al who wanted to be popular instead of thinking things through) Is that the extent of your petty grudge?

Let me enlighten you, we HAD NOT finished the job in Afghanistan for one, so you sack of brilliant asses (the republicans) wanted us to have two wars instead of one thinking the Iraqi streets would be laden with roses. well, unless those roses had tripwires and explode they weren’t. So the Democrats aren’t going along in goosestep hence they must love Saddam????? WTF is that? Do explain. Ya’ wanna’ talk about tired rhetoric geeesh! That Saddam-lover material is circa 2003—Yawn.

Posted by: Novenge at June 18, 2006 4:13 AM
Comment #158875

Hard Hat Harry, also if we got more “benign” we wouldn’t exist right now—just tellin’ ya’ the truth.

Our political panacea as I see it now comes down to this now: Che Guevara nursing a gunshot wound versus Ayn Rand with ‘roid rage. And what created it like this? The republican rancor that came about during Clinton, causing democratic backlash, causing right wing backlash, left and right backlash and on to today with the crap circus.

Posted by: Novenge at June 18, 2006 4:37 AM
Comment #158877

ROGER

We are a government of the people by the people and for the people.

If the House of Representatives and the Senate… which we voted for, have voted to support the President…………THEN THEY HAVE VOTED FOR US ALSO.

YOU GET WHAT YOU VOTE FOR!

Posted by: Roger at June 18, 2006 7:02 AM
Comment #158880

Steve K-
The question isn’t whether it’s bad to want America to win. It’s not. That’s what I want, for crying out loud. What’s bad is making the mistake of thinking you’ve won just because you haven’t been attacked again. It took eight years for them to attack America once more, eight years between the World Trade Center Bombing and the 9/11 attack. These guys have more patience than we give them credit for with our ADHD paced attention-spans

Ulysses-
Flawed as they are, they are one of the few ways we can tell the Opinion of a wide swath of people. They should not be treated lightly or as canon scripture either. The results I’m relating are a direct factual response to the assertion that somehow this majority vote in the legislature reflects America’s will

PHX8-
This wasn’t released by Bush, but instead by a journalist/writer whose past book, The Price of Loyalty, was rather critical of the Bush administration in its portrayal of Paul O’Neill’s period as Treasury Secretary.

We must not make the mistake of thinking the threat from the terrorists, however badly exploited by this president, is at an end.

As for operational capability, I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss it.

Henry C.-
Stop with your first line. Who are we to decide that? Who are we to even know what that is? Yes, we can be altruistic, but no, that doesn’t mean other countries can’t be either.

All other countries act only in their own self interest. We are fighting a just war for a bunch of countries that don’t deserve our help. And that doesn’t matter to us, thank god.

We’re fighting this mostly for ourselves. Not that is bad, a love of your country is hardly a bad thing. We’re not there merely for the principle of it. We’re there because a majority of Americans became convinced in 2003, based on the information they were given, that a threat against their country was building there.

Any politician or media group that opposes the war in iraq opposes the war on terror. by not supporting the war on terror they increase the fear and confusion felt by all americans. to me they fit the definition of terrorist.

Do not listen to them and oppose them, that is how we will win.

Your definition of terrorist leaves something to be desired. It seems you consider people telling the truth about a war, about how we got into it, and about what the failures have been, to be a betrayal. What do you have to fear, though, to be in terror of, if what they say isn’t true? If it’s not, the facts on the ground would refute them, and the truth would wash back into the coverage. The news is bad and staying bad, because that’s the reality. Even then, that is not a defeatist position. If we are willing to change things, we can turn the war around, but only if we acknowledge our problems.

You will not win by turning against the media and feuding with your fellow Americans. More to the point, you have not won by doing those things. You’ve only made things worse

HardHatHarry-
The Diebold case is nothing to yawn about. If the Republicans start taking shortcuts in winning elections, who’s to say less scrupulous Democrats might not follow suit, especially if we win the next election. You set the standards out there that you would want for yourself. I want an honest system. Don’t you?

Global Warming is nothing to yawn about. It’s happening. We’re seeing the glaciers retreat, the temperatures rise, and the weather patterns shift. It’s nothing to yawn about. Just that over the next few decades, we’re going to find the see level creeping over every city close to sea level, and the weather itself is going to get really wierd, and really extreme. We’re messing with a system we don’t fully understand here.

I’m sure given enough time, one could find equally vile bumper stickers on Republican cars, but hey, the parties are big enough on both sides to contain their share of assholes.

I think we can all get swelled heads about our parties, and about ourselves. It’s part of the reason that negative politics like we’ve seen is better at splitting people up than gluing them together. Sometimes going negative is necessary, but it’s not very productive to take that path alone.

Roger-
Yes, they have voted for us. Question is, did they vote with us? I don’t think so. I think they voted with their own sentiments, which are drifting out of sync with their constituents on many issues.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 18, 2006 9:13 AM
Comment #158887

The new republican strategy: ignore the will of the Aerican people to protect/pardon themselves. Brilliant. Too bad it didn’t effect any poll numbers for you folks.

Gentlemen! We’ve got to protect our phoney baloney jobs! -Gov. William J. LePetomaine

Posted by: Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout at June 18, 2006 10:37 AM
Comment #158926

I love it.

When the Republicans were ahead in the polls following 9-11, all we heard was how the American people support the Republicans.

But now that the Republicans have proven themselves incapable of protecting America and are behind in the polls, all we hear is that the polls can’t really be trusted.

How hypocritical can you get?

Posted by: ElliottBay at June 18, 2006 4:25 PM
Comment #158936

womanmarine

I’m sorry, do you have any links for this story (Diebolt) that aren’t, aluminum foil wearing blog sites?

Posted by: Keith at June 18, 2006 5:27 PM
Comment #158942

I hate hearing all of this pessimism. There are good things happening in this war. The media hides most of it and feeds you liberal doom-and-gloom. What about the terrorists we kill? These uncivilized subhuman terrorists want to kill every American and other free people. This is why we shouldn’t withdraw until the backbone of Terrorism is broken.

And why are we pampering a murderous dictator with muffins?

Posted by: stubborn conservative at June 18, 2006 6:28 PM
Comment #158943

Stephen

My post was a bit flippant. I guess it’s because polls seldom reflect my opinion or the average people that I know.

We often stand around the water cooler or the office coffee pot and marvel at how off-base some of these polls are. Maybe I just happen to work with a lot of people with like minds.

But I do agree that, flawed as they are, polls are often the only way politicians can even get close to understanding what the American people are thinking.

The thing that bothers me, I reckon, is that polls are so easily manipulated, by the way a question is phrased, for example, to achieve a predetermined outcome.

And, as I said earlier, both parties are experts at manipulation.

Posted by: ulysses at June 18, 2006 6:35 PM
Comment #158976

Look, this administration simply took chum and dumped it in Iraq and wrapped it in jingoistic rhetoric. The American public - polity bought it hook line and sinker…..Just like the good Germans did in the post Weimar Republic. So Iraq is now a mecca for every terrorist in the neighbourhood…And then some. Now if you feel dooped, get over it. Old adage, if it is a lie, then we go to war over that lie. This is all that Goebbels spun….Ya know, “the bigger the lie, the more easily it is believed…” Oh I see, we are supposed to be so much better than others throughout history that were dooped…Surely, Americans can’t fall prey to jingoistic rhetoric utilised as justification for hegemonic military adventure. For we are more intelligent, enlightened and too sophisticated to be led to the trough ? And by the way, “they” being of a different culture and non Christian was icing on the cake. So at the end of the day, all that Rove and company devised was a scheme that said, if you don’t vote for this measure, you are not a good American, and you are yellow. (And, coincidentally, it’s a congressional election year and the Republican base and swing voters have grown increasingly disenchanted.) Sounds like the same goading that Hearst used to get McKinley into the Spanish American war. So at the end of the day, how do we honour the dead soldiers killed in Iraq…Put another mothers’ child in harms way w/a military stratagem built on mud. Sounds about right, don’t you think.

Posted by: Eisai at June 18, 2006 10:45 PM
Comment #159013

Was this vote in the House and Senate a political ploy? Yes. Did the Democrats come out looking stupid? Yes again. I doubt Zarqawi’s body was even cold before the first Democrat talking heads were saying we should pull out now. I guess they didn’t talk to the other Democrat talking heads who were pulling damage control saying Zarqawi’s death meant nothing. The democrats tried using Z’s death as a political maneuver for the mid-term elections and the Republicans called them on their bullshit and did it in writing for all to see while reassuring the Iraqi people and government that they would not be abandoned. The Democrats claim to be leaders than go along with whatever the Republican majority says. That’s just the type of real leadership we need in times like these. This idiotic vote wouldn’t have happened if the Democrats weren’t trying to score cheap political points in the first place.

Posted by: 1LT B at June 19, 2006 3:59 AM
Comment #159014

Why didn’t they called this resolution “We Will Prevail in War On Terrorism”?
At least some humour will have emerged from this waste of tax, right?

Because, except this “We Will Prevail” official (and quite blind) certainty displayed, what’s really new here? Looks so much as the old “Stay the Course” policy to me.
Hey, afterall, why changing a so wonderfully winning policy!?!

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 19, 2006 5:03 AM
Comment #159015

Steve,

I would agree that the war is waged world wide. still since there attacks on 9/11 there have not been any success attacks here planed or otherwise. Why is bad to want us to win???

Two nations which joined the *Coallition* force in Iraq had been attacked since 9/11. Spain, then UK.
Remember, when Bush used these as Western nations defending along USA the free world?

But I bet in such case the “Us or Them” don not apply anymore, it’s just the selfish “USA or Others”. Except these 2500 (and counting) american soldiers already killed in Iraq and the un(der)reported wounded soldiers who don’t seem to fall under the american victims definition…

But, yeah, no attack on US soil since 9/11.
Yet.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 19, 2006 5:18 AM
Comment #159017

Henry C,

We are the only country in the world that acts in the best interest of the world.

LOL.
Too bad your first sentence make it very hard to read the rest of your post while I was trying to stop laughing and get back a neutral minded reading stance…

All other countries act only in their own self interest.

Yeah, screw them all.
In fact, that’s exactly what’s happening!

We are fighting a just war for a bunch of countries that don’t deserve our help. And that doesn’t matter to us, thank god.

So now it’s a just war that no nations asked for but you don’t care?
I agree 100%.

Our real enemies are the secret police of iran and syria and similar countries. These malicious groups are the most dangerous because they are powerful and operate in secret outside their own countries. they never take credit for their operations and do a great deal of damage.

The most powerfull nations on earth with the most larger and dangerous secret/black operations agency are… “syria, iran and similar countries”?!?
You should be kidding!?

Any politician or media group that opposes the war in iraq opposes the war on terror. by not supporting the war on terror they increase the fear and confusion felt by all americans. to me they fit the definition of terrorist.

Tell me who use a color-coded terrorism risk level again? Wasn’t a political group? So, by your definition, they increased the fear and confusion felt by all americans, right? Was this political group falling under your definiton of terrorist? Why not?

And what about american citizens that opposes the war in Iraq? Do they opposes the war on terror and then are terrorists themselves too?
Did you check the pools about americans view on Iraq War recently? Does 1/3 american being labeled a terrorist something that make sence to you? How about 2/3 of them opposing the Iraq War? Does a nation where a majority of people could be labeled as terrorist make any sence to you?

Do not listen to them and oppose them, that is how we will win.

A War on Terror will ends when *everybody* stops being terrorized. US War On Terror will ends when *every american* stops being terrorized.
In both case, it will never happened so I guess someone will have to stop it arbitrary while still some people will be in fear of… well, whatever.

Please make this day sooner than later. It often take more balls to fight for peace than for war.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 19, 2006 5:45 AM
Comment #159018

Damned:

Did you check the pools …

Check the polls!

Well, one could also check the pools, but it wont help much him to guess the average americans view on Iraq War…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 19, 2006 5:49 AM
Comment #159026

I thought just occurred to me and it surprises me that it hadn’t previously. The entire foundation of Democrats hopes for election success this year hinge on discrediting the Bush administration for its conduct of the Iraq war. Therefore, all of thier political hopes depend upon our failure in Iraq. If Iraq were to turn around in the next few months to the point that we could begin a large scale troop withdrawl along with increasing Iraqi oil production to drive down costs, the Democratic party would be in chaos. Their entire plank is based on the continued misfortune of America in both the domestic and foreign arena. No wonder they need to downplay any good news. No wonder they sound like a bunch of reborn Petains. Hell, thier own party chairman said right after the 2004 election that his party’s goal was obstructing any legislation the Republicans put forward. No wonder the Democrats always lose at the polls. Thier entire agenda requires failure. Great leadership from a great party. What a crock!

Posted by: 1LT B at June 19, 2006 6:17 AM
Comment #159102

In the debate on the war Iagree with Conggressman Murtha. Tostart and orderly withdrawl of our troops out of Iraq And Place a reactionary force in Quait. This gets our troops out of the line of so we wont have our troops over reacting and inocent civilan. Also acoment on Sean Hanity when senator Kerry said that were teroizing Iraqi civilians, what do call when they bust down your door in the middle of only to find afrihten mother and her childern.Why isnt no from the conservites on sprilaing debt and congress abaodoning the pay as you go economy policy started by Clinton administration all Georgie has don is squander our childrns and grandchilden.

Posted by: earl at June 19, 2006 12:08 PM
Comment #159106

1LT B,

Isn’t that strategy straight from the Republican handbook? Don’t you defend your party’s strategies all the time as being calculated and meaningful?

Tell you what, if Republicans can actually pay for this war (and stop leaving my unborn grandchildren with the bill), then I’ll stop routing for anyone who opposes it.

And this does not mean I want US troops to die…I say bring back the draft and lets have a real debate about the justifications for being there, because then it won’t just be poor people seeking college money and war-lovers who were wearing flat-top haircuts when they were 12. It will be EVERYONE’S children…even those sheltered ass spoiled Bush girls.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 12:21 PM
Comment #159107

1 LtB,
In any election, ‘misfortune’ increases the chances of the challengers. That’s just the way the world works. Democrats have done all they can to help Republicans avoid the ‘misfortune’.

Posted by: Schwamp at June 19, 2006 12:23 PM
Comment #159205

Oh, yea! We set up a straw man and knocked him down hard! Whoo! Watch me strut around the room like I’d just captured Osama Bin Laden. Like I’d just solved the energy crisis. Like I’d just turned around the economy. Like I’d just addressed the immigration challenge. Like I’d just solved the crime problem. Like I’d just solved the racial problem. Like I’d just solved the poverty problem. Like I’d…meh, you get the idea.

Posted by: mental wimp at June 19, 2006 4:23 PM
Comment #159211

“Kerry (who served in Vietnam, BTW) is a fool and has been since before he served in Vietnam. His proposal makes as much sense as eating 12 day old ham salad. Actually, I’d eat the salad first. (Even his Dem buddies voted against his proposal. I guess they’d eat the salad first, too.)”

Obviously, this message is well researched and not ad hominum at all. But seriously, are we talking about the Kerry bill that the republican majority whip erased Kerry’s name on, put his own, and then called an immediate vote before democrats had a chance to discuss which bill they were going to stand behind? This really shows two things: first, democrats themselves barely know what they stand for, and republicans will employ just about any sneaky strategy to win. Win what? I’m not sure, because it isn’t hearts and minds.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 4:39 PM
Comment #159219

Just one more comment:

Despite today’s highly politicized national security environment, the index results show striking consensus across political party lines. A bipartisan majority (84 percent) of the index’s experts say the United States is not winning the war on terror. Eighty-six percent of the index’s experts see a world today that is growing more dangerous for Americans. Overall, they agree that the U.S. government is falling short in its homeland security efforts. More than 8 in 10 expect an attack on the scale of 9/11 within a decade. These dark conclusions appear to stem from the experts’ belief that the U.S. national security apparatus is in serious disrepair. “Foreign-policy experts have never been in so much agreement about an administration’s performance abroad,” says Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations and an index participant. “The reason is that it’s clear to nearly all that Bush and his team have had a totally unrealistic view of what they can accomplish with military force and threats of force.”

Read the whole link if you are interested in opinions not to be found on Fox News.

Posted by: mental wimp at June 19, 2006 4:53 PM
Comment #159238

OMG…

No wonder a majority of American voters haven’t voted for a Dem prez candidate since 1976.

And that year it was only 50.1%!

All the party puts forward is whining.

“We want a debate on Iraq!”

OK, let’s take a vote on immediate withdrawal. Isn’t that the Pelosi-Murtha-Kerry-Dean-Kennedy-Durbin position? Fine, lets vote on it.

“We can’t vote on it now! We haven’t had time to decide if that’s what we really mean! This is so unfair!”

It’s like sitting in the back seat on family vacations.

And, according to the exit polling that called John Kerry the ‘landslide winner’ in 2004… a big majority of American voters with children voted against the party of “whine and cheese”.

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 19, 2006 5:56 PM
Comment #159241

“No wonder a majority of American voters haven’t voted for a Dem prez candidate since 1976.”

WTF??? 2000 wasn’t a majority? Clinton didn’t win in a landslide twice?

Did I read that wrong, or is R-O-W just being himself again?

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 6:00 PM
Comment #159271

Actually Clinton didn’t win 2 landslide victories, in ‘92 he received 43% of the popular vote, thanks to Ross Perot who took a big chunk of the Republican vote (18%).

In ‘96 he received 49.2%. Again with Ross Perot taking 8.4%.

Posted by: Keith at June 19, 2006 7:16 PM
Comment #159278

Keith,

You are right. Dems won handily, but not with a majority. But 2000 still holds up.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 7:31 PM
Comment #159338

And you didnt hear the Republicans yelling “he has no mandate!” When he won both elections by less a percentage of the American people than both of Bushes elections either!

Posted by: scott at June 19, 2006 11:43 PM
Comment #159351

I didn’t really understand the last part of the last post, but I heard Bush talking plenty about a having a mandate with 51% in ‘04. First president ever who believed having a simple majority was a mandate. He’s become increasingly less popular ever since.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 20, 2006 12:13 AM
Comment #159356

The resolution may somewhat be political gamesmanship but thats ok. It forces the future Presidential candidates of both parties to go on record with their positions on the war.

Posted by: Carnak at June 20, 2006 12:27 AM
Comment #159358

I just did a google search on “Bush does’nt have a mandate.” and “I have a mandate”

The results are shocking!

Posted by: Talondegato at June 20, 2006 12:29 AM
Comment #159368

I agree With Kevin on reinstuting draft.His should have been sent over to the place of those women who were capture at the begining of theWar. Every adminstrations Childern should have been sent over to upold this policy.

Posted by: Earl at June 20, 2006 1:14 AM
Comment #159375

Earl,
The flaw in that statement is that no-one makes their son or daughter join the military. It is all done by volunteering. And the boys and girls coming back from Iraq have the largest percentage of re-enlistment ever.

Posted by: scott at June 20, 2006 1:34 AM
Comment #159394

Scott-

Show me that stat…I’m dying to see it. All I hear about are class action lawsuits brought by soldiers who keep getting duped into more service because of the hidden terms of the contracts they signed. The recruiters got sued too for lying about those terms to get that signature and the gov’t has been sued for creating incentives for recruiters to do questionable things. So to say there has been record re-enlistment numbers would be hard to reconcile.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 20, 2006 3:24 AM
Comment #159396

It is mentioned here: (about Bagdad in this instance)
Strong re-enlistment numbers have continued since the unit got to Baghdad as well.

“The division is so successful in retention because the soldiers want to be part of a great team and because of the dedicated leadership across the board,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald T. Riling in an email to Army Times. “The soldiers believe in our mission. They believe in our division and our Army.”

http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-1861350.php

It was mentioned at the end of last week on all three cable news channels.

And I believe if you figure the percentage of recruiters you speak of it would be very tiny.

And I think it was like two recruiters out of thousands that got sued. I might be wrong, maybe it was three.

If thats all you are hearing about, I ask if you stay close to those far left blogs.

Posted by: scott at June 20, 2006 3:40 AM
Comment #159397

Also here:

Despite a rising tide of combat deaths and the prospect of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan for years to come, Americans continue to volunteer for duty and are re-enlisting at record rates.

Even the Army National Guard, which has had 150,000 citizen soldiers mobilized for up to a year, has seen retention rates “going through the roof,” said Guard spokesman Maj. Robert Howell.

http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,FL_numbers_041404,00.html?ESRC=airforce-a.nl

Posted by: scott at June 20, 2006 3:51 AM
Comment #159402

The stories I speak of were covered by every major newspaper.

And why are all your sources Military magazines? Anything from an independent source?

It doesn’t surprise me at all that the armed forces would report about its success. I noticed there are many critisisms being leveled about what the numbers aren’t saying. Here’s the first result from a google search:

http://www.intel-dump.com/posts/1123695630.shtml

It seems to be all about reaching this years goals, but doesn’t tell us about extra incentives, past trends in re-enlistment and how that compares to today’s numbers, and it doesn’t tell you if the benchmarks have been lowered. It doesn’t even say that the armed forces are still well behind where they need to be.

I read just a few days ago in the NY Times (they win awards for their investigative journalism - something not all too common in Military Mags) that a National Reserve Unit iabove the Arcit Circle has been activated for the first time in its history. I has historically been left alone because it literally costs more money to get combat ready (especially in desert heat) than it is worth. But due to the extreme fatigue of many units pulling tripple tours of duty, they are being funded and trained for a terrain they will struggle in (they were designed as a first response to an attack from siberia). It is not economical, yet the Army is doing it.

Also, just today there is news about the huge rises in PTSD in the Iraq units.

So I’m seeing all these great sources saying one thing, and you and the military saying another.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 20, 2006 4:16 AM
Comment #159403

You ended up posting one LA Times article…it makes no mention of any sudden change in soldiers’ feelings of success, but rather talks solely about the extra tax-free bonus money they are getting to re-enlist.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 20, 2006 4:22 AM
Comment #159405

Kevin23

And in looking for info on class action lawsuits, I could only find:

November 10-12 — Obese soldiers class action. When kicking out servicepeople for gaining too much weight, the U.S. armed services have insisted that they return their enlistment bonuses. (Justin Brown, “How far can military go in punishing obese soldiers?”, Christian Science Monitor, Nov. 9).
http://www.overlawyered.com/archives/00nov1.html#001110a

could you get me more info on that class action lawsuit you mentioned?

Posted by: scott at June 20, 2006 4:24 AM
Comment #159407

|The stories I speak of were covered by every major newspaper.|

You read every major news paper?

My statemnet was record re-enlistment and I gave more than a couple of mainstream references.

Plus it was on all three major cable news networks

then what did you do?

You tried to tear apart the facts.

The fact is that re-enlistment is at record levels from those serving in Iraq.

I believe that is what I said in the begingin.

BTW Fort those of you who do not know. These articles can also be found on larger media sites like the NYT for a fee.

Record levels of re-enlistment can also be found in the major papers however a simple google search will not find them.

Posted by: scott at June 20, 2006 4:35 AM
Comment #159409

|You ended up posting one LA Times article…it makes no mention of any sudden change in soldiers’ feelings of success, but rather talks solely about the extra tax-free bonus money they are getting to re-enlist.|

Don’t Spin!

I didn’t say anything about ‘any sudden change in soldiers’ feelings’

and that article doesn’t ‘solely’ talk about bonus.

and even if both those were true, we are still at record re-enlistment rates

Posted by: scott at June 20, 2006 4:39 AM
Comment #159412

|So I’m seeing all these great sources saying one thing|

so my last question is:

what great source do you have that states we are not at record re-enlistment rates by the troops coming back from Iraq?

Posted by: scott at June 20, 2006 4:42 AM
Comment #159413

“Several soldiers have filed restraining orders against the Pentagon regarding the back-door draft. Oregon National Guardsman Sgt. Emiliano Santiago, with three months remaining at the end of an eight-year enlistment, saw his unit mobilized for Afghanistan and the termination date of his enlistment extended by 27 years! That should constitute slavery. A district court judge ruled against Santiago stating the military would endure “hardship” if he ruled in Santiago’s favor. Capt. Jay Ferriola and David Miyasato both had their honorable discharges reinstated after they agreed to drop their lawsuits against the Army for violating their constitutional right to be free of “involuntary servitude.” Some soldiers have gone openly AWOL instead, including Texas Army National Guardsman Carl Webb, a leader in the Austin, Texas peace movement. For information on one’s legal options in avoiding compulsory military service, try the GI Rights Hotline (1-800-394-9544); they handle about 3,000 calls a month.”

more general info on stop-loss policies at:

http://www.pbs.org/now/politics/troopsforiraq.html

There have certainly been lawsuits over that.

This was via google and I don’t have a lexus password so I can’t look up the articles. I think it’s also important to note that just because a lawsuit is filed in federal court and reported on, doesn’t mean that they succeeded or are briefed in any way online.

The point to take from the sudden rise in business for attorneys who specialize in this (they even created a hotline), is that there is dis-content out there in amounts massive enough to make some people go AWOL and sue rather than abide by their contractual obligations of entended duty which were not even written in the contracts (there was a mere reference to an obscure US Code). This among many other things.

I’m going to have to leave it at that, as I can’t justify spending all night trying to figure out where I read what. I do know there’s new stories all the time in all major media sources, so keep a look out for them.

With that, I must sleep.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 20, 2006 4:49 AM
Comment #159415

Exactly my point Kevin and you made it well!

‘Several soldiers’ out of our huge military is a fraction of a fraction of a percent. The way you talk about it however would make it sound like half of our military is wanting to go awol.

But still re-enlistment is at record levels

Posted by: scott at June 20, 2006 4:56 AM
Comment #159418

OK…how about this. I concede that you are technically correct (assuming there are no manipulations of the data) about current re-enlistment levels. But you should concede that the numbers do not show anything other than a direct response to direct monetary incentives. Of course they would choose now to re-enlist.

And nobody can deny the growing discontent in every facet of the armed forces over the last few years…top to bottom there’s more “unnamed sources” blowing whistles to reporters and the like. It has been reported on extensively.

And spin? Nope. But were anyone to insinuate that these numbers are the result of anything but bonus dollars, they’d be spinning. Not to say it’s un-true, but just not supported by that statistic.

And you really call three military mags “mainstream references”? Maybe if you’re a grunt they’re mainstream, but not stateside.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 20, 2006 5:09 AM
Comment #159419

“The way you talk about it however would make it sound like half of our military is wanting to go awol.”

Now that is spinning…just don’t get too dizzy. And don’t read words that don’t exist.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 20, 2006 5:11 AM
Comment #159420

And the “Several Soldiers” thing was from ONE report. Nobody claimed to give you some kind of master list.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 20, 2006 5:13 AM
Comment #159448

Kevin,

The numbers and attitude described are accurate. I’m sitting in Baghdad and yes, there is plenty of bitching about being over here, but its a warzone, no one likes them. The military doesn’t fudge its numbers. We were truthful last year when we stated that we weren’t meeting our goals. Why not accuse us of lying then, aside from the fact that it didn’t conflict with the Democrat’s re-election agenda?

The military is expert on our potential manpool, and on a population of almost 300 million, we have approximately 34 million men of service age. If both sides were serious about sharing the burden and reducing the number of times soldiers have to serve in Iraq, there should be a draft.

I’ll go even further. We should have mandatory conscription to some type of public service. The Peace Corps or a reformed CCC would be good options for those who don’t want to serve in the military. Anyone refusing should forfeit any government benefits in perpetuity. Its high time that citizenship meant more than just a free ride. We all enjoy a lifestyle far better than the huge majority of the world, and we have a responsibility to our country for all it gives us. For the huge majority of people, doing thier duty means nothing more than doing whatever they want. Oh yeah, and “being vigilant.” It is morally and ethically indefensible for less than 1% of the citizenry of this nation to be solely responsible for its defense.

Posted by: 1LT B at June 20, 2006 8:22 AM
Comment #159496

1LT B -

I completely agree with what you said, except for the part about coordinating my critisisms with a democratic re-election campaign. I’m anti-Bush…not Pro-Democrat.

I think this solution forces people into a meaningful debate on the matter.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 20, 2006 11:33 AM
Comment #159519

Kevin23
|But you should concede that the numbers do not show anything…|

That is a rather bold statement. I would say that it would be more accurate to say that patriotism, love for the military, friends left behind, pride, are among many other reasons are behind their decisions, including also a beleif in what they are doing. Money helps, but I have many friends in the military from over the years and I have known none of them who have gone in for the great money to be made by joining the military. LOL

No I called CNN, MSNBC, AND FOX mainstream
Oh, Im sorry, I refered to them as cable news networks

If you did not read the AWOL thing with the sardonic conotation that was meant I’m sorry.

As for the several soldiers thing, we live in an age of ‘sue , sue, sue’. even if it was 1000 it would still be a fraction of a fraction.

Thank you 1LT B for your input.

Posted by: scott at June 20, 2006 12:33 PM
Comment #159553

Small fractions or not…they are real grievances. While I doubt their success rates will be high, there is real discontent out there.

“I would say that it would be more accurate to say that patriotism, love for the military, friends left behind, pride, are among many other reasons are behind their decisions, including also a beleif in what they are doing.”

In a perfect world this would be true. I’m sure it is to an extent. But lets not get excited and start getting too carried away with interpretation. If you can show me consistency in the numbers over time, independent of all these huge bonus incentives, then I’ll concede that is not the primary motivation. Until then, that is where the significant causal link exists based on your own sources.

And yes, I gathered the tone of your AWOL remarks. It is easy for us to turn a comment into its most extreme variation in order to attack it, but this is a logical falacy, and despite the sarcastic tone, I’ll still call it what it is.

Posted by: kevin23 at June 20, 2006 1:51 PM
Comment #159557

Oh….and a lump tax free sum of $7500 is nothing to scoff at when you make military wages. It IS significant.

Posted by: kevin 23 at June 20, 2006 1:58 PM
Comment #159624

But Kevin,
I said this:
Earl,
The flaw in that statement is that no-one makes their son or daughter join the military. It is all done by volunteering. And the boys and girls coming back from Iraq have the largest percentage of re-enlistment ever.

Scott-

Show me that stat…I’m dying to see it. All I hear about are class action lawsuits brought by soldiers who keep getting duped into more service because of the hidden terms of the contracts they signed. The recruiters got sued too for lying about those terms to get that signature and the gov’t has been sued for creating incentives for recruiters to do questionable things.

So to say there has been record re-enlistment numbers would be hard to reconcile.

I think I proved my original point.

Posted by: scott at June 20, 2006 4:10 PM
Comment #159633

That didn’t make any sense Scott…what are you saying?

Are you saying that my suggestion about the creation of a draft forcing people into meaningful debate is wrong because we currently don’t have a draft?

What did you prove? That it was a mere suggestion I made? Well no shit.

You showed your numbers, and I made my critique and we both cited sources. The issue is: what do they mean. THAT is what we’re debating, no?

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 20, 2006 4:34 PM
Comment #159866

|The issue is: what do they mean. THAT is what we’re debating, no?|

No! That is just it Kevin.
1 I made the statement that we are having record re-enlistment.

You said (sarcastic paraphrase for fun and emphesis):

’ Couldn’t be, not with all those class action suits and all. Thats all I hear about.’

I gave proof for record re-enlistment.

you said ‘ah, must be bad sources.’

I gave more sources.

you said ‘they are all coming back only for the money’

So now we are trying to debate all the individual intentions of the re-enlistees.

|If you can show me consistency in the numbers over time, independent of all these huge bonus incentives, then I’ll concede that is not the primary motivation.|

You see, the burden is up to you to show that our boys and girls are only after the money. Show me that their hearts are not in the right place and I’ll concede that ‘It’s the money honey’.
Most would be beter financially to not re-enlist and go back to the private world.

See, (and Republicans do this too) instead of saying, “oh, I was wrong. people think they have to keep changing the debate until they find a way of arguing the original subject in a way they can win.


Just answer the original question and we can go on to a differentr post and have more fun debating:

Is our military having record re-enlistments?

Posted by: scott at June 21, 2006 12:56 AM
Comment #159914

Scott,

I’m going to do what everyone else here should also be doing. I took what I have been reading and seeing , and tried to reconcile it with your statement. It didn’t mesh, and I told you exactly that. So I asked for the sources. You gave them. I read them. I read about great incentives and positive numbers. I then read other sources to try and figure out what the critisisms of the numbers were. I’ve taken statistics and I know how data can be selectively reported. Turns out, that’s the very critisisms being put forth. I listed a few for you. You suddenly got very defensive that I would not agree they meant what you claimed they meant.

Now, the little script you wrote was cute, but I am not a big fan of fiction. The interpretation of my posts was the most interesting part. It is as if there was no rationality at all, and came from a purely emotional place. It’s provides me with great insight though.

So, do you realize, read it for yourself, that I never accused the numbers of being wrong. I just said that it didn’t match other stories. Why didn’t you attack that question instead of getting upset that you weren’t given a catagorical victory because you did indeed quote a published statistic correctly?

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 21, 2006 3:44 AM
Comment #159920

So are we having record re-enlistment or no?

Posted by: scott at June 21, 2006 4:05 AM
Comment #159928

We already dealt with this. But I’ll copy and paste it for you anyway.

“I concede that you are technically correct (assuming there are no manipulations of the data) about current re-enlistment levels.”

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 21, 2006 4:33 AM
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