Insurgents Delenda Est

The eyeballs of the world are now gazing at Baghdad and Ramadi. Military commanders have told us what a wonderful job they have done training the Iraqi security forces, and now it is time that they produce and show results. There is no more time for talk. They must make Baghdad safe and knock the bull crap off.

For the last two years, George Bush has been crucified and vilified over the prosecution of the war in Iraq. Time and again he has said that military commanders on the ground in Iraq, specifically General Casey and his crew, advise him as to troop levels needed and that whatever they need, they get.

It's now shit or get off the pot time, generals.

This week, over 50,000 American and Iraqi forces have poured into Baghdad in an attempt to "secure" Iraq's largest city....a city that holds 25% of that country's population. This massive infusion of troops and security personnel comes on the heels of that Jordanian scumbag being on the receiving end of two 500 pound bombs, plus the capture of computer files and other intelligence information.

Thus far, I am not impressed with what I see.

Since Wednesday, car bombs are exploding, mosques are still being bombed, people are being kidnapped, and it appears to be business as usual. Instead of news about insurgents being killed or captured, people walking the streets, car bomb factories being found and destroyed, I still read about violence.

What the heck is going on? Who planned this security operation? Why are Iraqi security forces standing around and doing little or nothing to stop the violence? Don't they know the first thing about about seizing the initiative and capturing positive public opinion?

I'll tell you what: if this thing craps out and turns out to be a public relations disaster, then the president has to sack the ground commanders, starting with General Casey , and replace him with someone who can do the job.

The president should call this guy and lay it out to him in no uncertain terms. He should also call the Defense Secretary and put a blow-torch to his ass too. As they say in the military, "shit rolls downhill", and a whip has to be cracked by the president now.

I am the biggest supporter of the president and his policies.....most of you know that. However, his "advisers" have to step to the plate and produce for him now, and they have to be told in no uncertain terms that this time they better get results, or they will be gone.

We need to see the new Iraqi government OUT of the Green Zone and mingling with the people. We need people in Baghdad disarmed . We need house to house searches, we need weapons caches found . We need Baghdad re-claimed block by block and if 50,000 troopers in not enough, then god damn it, get more.

The American people want to support our troops and this war, and now is the time for the military leadership to produce and give our brave and heroic forces a plan that will work.

General Casey and the ground commanders: We are looking at you now...and you better do the job.


Posted by Sicilian Eagle at June 18, 2006 11:46 AM
Comments
Comment #158893

Now you’re getting it. This is precisely what we’ve been telling you all along. This insurgency has not been the media-driven phenomena you folks have made it out to be.

Security on the ground is the point. If you have your soldiers chasing back and forth, putting out fires that were just put out last week, you’re not going to have a secure country.

The only way to defeat an enemy that runs and hides is take away all refuge. That will mean more troops, that will mean intense effort, and that will mean putting these people on notice that their security is in their hands.

Security has been thep problem dogging at every other problem we’ve had. It’s been what’s kept Iraq’s infrastructure and economy in the dumps, it’s what’s made it hard to avoid breaches of discipline like Abu Ghraib and Haditha, it’s what’s made it easy for gangs, terrorists, and militias to take over much of the country

I’m not sure it’s within our power to undo all the damage that the lack of security over three years has caused, but if we intend to win, we need to make a profound commitment to seeing this through.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 18, 2006 12:13 PM
Comment #158897

SE-
If I could gauge your frustration by the amount of profanity,boy,are you pissed!
It really is a catch-22. If we could improve the quality of life,there would be less unrest. There would be less unrest,if we could improve the quality of life.

This has come down to a very simple answer. If people in Iraq feel useful,respected and able to control their own destinies,we will have little reason to stay. They will in fact be doing the work that we all say we want them to do. Running their own country!

Posted by: jblym at June 18, 2006 1:18 PM
Comment #158900

SE

Excellent post!

It’s time for the Iraqis to stand up and be counted. Not just the military, but the population as a whole.

Those so-called “insurgents” (I prefer the terms terrorists and murderers) do not operate in a vacuum. Their neighbors know who they are and where they are.

Turn them in! Rat them out! Grab an AK47 and clean up the neighborhood!

Posted by: vietnam_vet at June 18, 2006 1:51 PM
Comment #158901

Stephen

This has nothing to do with anyone getting it, nor is it a political issue.

It’s about people, the military commanders, doing their job now.

If we have 50,000 in Baghdad and the status quo remains unchanged, someone ought to lose their job, period.

As a republican and an admimistration supporter, my words often are a harbinger of things to come by people on my side of the aisle.

Unlike the left, when we clammor for something, it gets done. The plan is to secure Baghdad. Well,secure it. That’s it.


jblym

Not profanity at all. Words of warning, that’s it. I represent those who have fought tooth and nail FOR this administration, not against it, and now we are calling for those who the president entrusted and depended on to do their jobs or be gone.
No more excuses There are 50,000 is Baghdad, where are the results?

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 18, 2006 1:53 PM
Comment #158902

Mighty sicilianeagle - on the ground I gaze heavenward toward you - and dodge your droppings…

This was a pretty good post, in some regards:

The American people want to support our troops and this war, and now is the time for the military leadership to produce and give our brave and heroic forces a plan that will work.

But: Just for the record: When will you start holding Bush accountable for these failures?

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 2:02 PM
Comment #158903

Shit does roll down hill - but responsibility goes to the top.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 2:04 PM
Comment #158906

SE,

Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to hear people back in the rear tell us how to do our jobs. I’m sure that from your lofty perch wherever you live in the States you are in the best position to judge how we operate. Have you ever heard the acronymn REMF? If not, look it up.

I work at a Corps level position and read the updates every morning. Let me tell you a little secret. With the proper intelligence, 100 SF guys could secure Baghdad. These terrorists are cowards who can’t fight us man to man. So they hide and shoot from the shadows or plant bombs they don’t have to be near when they go off. Or, they just kill civilians. If we knew where they were, we could kill all of them easily. its not that simple.

Vietnam Vet said it all. It is the Iraqis themselves who must win this fight. We can help them with firepower and training, but until the Iraqi military and people girds thier loins and starts telling us where these butchers live, there will never be total security.

Since you don’t see progress, why don’t you read some of the stories about the documents we’ve captured that talk about how the insurgency is weakening, losing legitimacy, and on the run. We killed thier leader through an informant. The rest will follow. President Bush said how many times that this will be a long struggle. The Iraqi military has made incredible progress and continues to. If you have a magic wand to magically fix 25 years of dicatatorial rule and 12 years of sanction crippled infastructure, I suggest you wave it. Otherwise, save the back seat driving and let us do our jobs in peace.

Posted by: 1LT B at June 18, 2006 2:37 PM
Comment #158907

There is a way to win:

Get out the checkbook.

1) Hold a referendum. Iraqis would vote on whether to remain united, or divide the country into Kurdistan, Sunni Iraq, & the Islamic Republic of Iraq (with capitals in Basra, Baghdad, & Mosul, reflecting the politically organic divisions which last existed under Ottoman rule, but disappeared under British colonial administration). Hold the vote one month from today. Assuming the vote would favor partition, here is the next step:

2) Pay for resettlement. Any Iraqi wishing to move to a different section would be funded by the US.

3)a: For Kurdistan, Kirkuk would become Kurdish. The country would be a republic, respecting the rights of minorities, especially the Turkmen. In exchange for Kirkuk and funding resettlement, the US would receive 99 year leases on military bases in Kurdistan. Kurds would guarantee non-interference with their fellow Kurds in Iran and Turkey. The Pesh Merga would become the new Kurdish army.

3)b: The Shia Islamic Republic in the south would hold elections to democratically determine the division of power between SCIRI, Dawa, and the Virtue Party. The Militias/Death Squads would become the new army. In exchange for funding infrastructure, the US would ask the Islamic Republic to respect the rights of minorities and women. Good luck there, but it would be the best we could do.

3)c: Sunni Iraq would be an expensive proposition for the US. It would require massive rebuilding projects, enormous funding for resettlement of Sunnis from Kurdistan and the south, and would be an economic basket case for years to come.

But given that the US is already paying over a billion dollars per week for the privilege of experiencing over 20,000 US casualties since invasion, this seems like a good deal.

The violence would end.

The new Iraqi project would have a one year deadline from the time of the vote for US withdrawal from Iraq. US taxpayers would fund the project with a one-time income tax surcharge. US troops would be home by August 2007 (except from Kurdistan or elsewhere, and only if specifically requested to stay by the new Shia or Sunni governments).

Posted by: phx8 at June 18, 2006 2:43 PM
Comment #158908

50,000 troops in Baghdad sounds like a lot, but then I heard on a morning talk show today that New York City has 70,000 police officers. What’s the population of NYC and Baghdad? Based on comparitive population, does it seem that 50,000 troops can do the job, or are we going in with too few again?

Posted by: Maggie Rose at June 18, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #158911

1LT B,

“These terrorists are cowards who can’t fight us man to man. So they hide and shoot from the shadows or plant bombs they don’t have to be near when they go off.”

Excuse my ignorance, but I think that’s called “guerilla” warfare.

If I remember my history correctly it has worked pretty well since Ethan Allen used it in the Revolutionary War, I am sure the British were saying the same thing you are.

Posted by: Rocky at June 18, 2006 3:06 PM
Comment #158912

SE,

Great post.

“This has nothing to do with anyone getting it, nor is it a political issue.”

How can you say that? Isn’t the President and his cabinet in politics? Is he not elected in a political process? Does’t he get to choose who is in charge? How is this NOT a political matter? I will never understand that stance in the Conservative party. When things are not going well, they say people are making it political. They did the same thing with the CIA leak. OF COURSE IT IS POLITICAL!!! POLITICIANS ARE THE ONES MAKING THE DECISIONS.

That is unless Jeff Gannon or somebody else is behind the scenes running things. The way it is going for this party right now, I would not be surprised if they tried anything.

Posted by: Vincent Vega at June 18, 2006 3:20 PM
Comment #158913

I hope that my use of salty four letter profanity does not offend anyone’s delicate sensitivities. I thought that this was a good place to use it since the Sicilian Eagle’s droppings are a little salty here as well. He has been eating red herrings again…

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 3:27 PM
Comment #158917

phx8,

I used to think that partition was a viable solution… but there is the small matter of the “oil” - it is ours - but who gets to sell it too us. The Sunni would not have any under your plan, and they are not going to take that laying down - not as long as they have the support of Syria. So partition if you want but civil war will ensue.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 4:00 PM
Comment #158919

1 LT B,

I don’t know military strategy either… I don’t think that it takes rocket science to figure out that the failures in Iraq are not military. That is why I say responsibility goes to the top. You and Vietnam Vet said it well: “It is the Iraqis themselves who must win.” The failures that I refer to are the failures of civilian political leadership at the top. You said: if you had better intelligence… If your civilian leadership had not based their intelligence assessment on a drunk called curve ball, things would be quite different…

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 4:10 PM
Comment #158920

SE,

How dare you sir, disrespecting our military on the internet for all the insurgents to see. Why are you aiding the enemy? I support our military, the finest military in the world, therefore I am a patriot. If you don’t support them then you are a traitor. If you want to blame anyone for the mishandling of the war you should start with the Bush administration, they are setting the policies that the Generals are following. But like typical Republicans you guys are blaming Activist Generals. You should be ashamed.

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 18, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #158922

The military did not fail in Vietnam and the military is not failing in Iraq. This is a political problem. If the situation is politically unwinnable as a result of the failures and incompetence of the political leadership then we must pull out and cut our losses. The military is performing an enormously difficult mission and may still succeed against all odds in spite of Bush. But if they do succeed 100 percent of the credit goes to our soldiers and the good intentions of the American people and ZERO percent goes to the Bush Regime.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 4:17 PM
Comment #158923

I guess all the noise about more troops on the ground in the past were wrong, but they’re right now? Bush has always claimed his generals had all the troops they requested. Why do I find that so hard to believe? That they didn’t request more, or that they knew better than to request more?

And now, when things are going down the toilet it’s the fault of the generals and the Iraqis?

Amazing.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 18, 2006 4:19 PM
Comment #158927

1ltb, the Iraqi military has made tremendous progress alright. Tremendous progress beheading and murdering and kidnapping Sunnis. Whether they are insurgents or not does not matter. If they are fighting age, that is qualification enough for the Shiite militias to murder them and fan the flames of civil war.

Our troops are in an increasingly unwinnable situation, and that is based on hard facts. Check the Iraqi polls. 42% of the Iraqi people now say it is OK to kill coalition forces and Americans, no problem. More than 70% of Iraqis want the U.S. out of Iraq. They are split on whether that should be within the next 6 months, or within the next two years. But, they want us out. When the majority of the population is opposed to the occupation, and 4 out 10 say it is OK to kill our troops, and these polls have grown worse for Americans every year since 2003, it is pretty safe to say that this is rapidly becoming an unwinnable situation with America in the mix.

See Iraq - US Widening The Civil War for the link to the Jan. 06 poll.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 18, 2006 4:31 PM
Comment #158928

For clarities sake on this thread let me ad: I have recnetly come to the opinion that I don’t think the military can succeed here. I don’t think there is an American military solution - unless of course you are willing to go for the final solution. I think that the political situation is such that: if the military stands and fights - they lose - if they withdraw - they lose. But that is a political no win situation that they were led into by an incompetent political leadership - not a military failure.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 18, 2006 4:33 PM
Comment #158930

1LT B

Hold on there. I AM on you side….always was, always will be. I know what you guys have accomplished,,,and what you are capable of accomplishing. That’s not my beef. Not at all.

My beef is that right now, today, this minute American public opinion is slowly turning around where it should be, which is to 100% support the mission.

There has been almost nothing positive about this operation on the ‘net, on tv, in the papers nothing big. THAT”S where the mistake is. The Iraqi people have been beaten like dogs for 30 years, and terrorized by the insurgents since the fall of Saddam. THEY need good news, THEY need to fight, buit WE need to show them how.

I would have like nothing better but to see one block in the center of town cordoned off, anydevery house searched. Then post 100 guards on that block and proceed to the next. Militarily it accomplishes nothing. However the psychologicial ramifications would be enourmous.

However;don’t think for one second that the Eagle doesn’t support you. ot true


bushflipflops

Nice. No ther comment needed. Hopeless.


Ray Guest

I agree with everything you say. I’d like to see something positive with this operation…there’sa lot at stake, that’s the point.


Womanmartine

Nothing’s going down the toilet. I never said that, you did. I want Baghdad secured…we all do..and the leaders of the military have to make it happen, period, end of sentence.


Vinent Vega

My comments are limited to this operation in Baghdad. It IS a military matter there at this moment, and the stakes are high opinion wise.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 18, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #158931

Meanwhile in Afghanistan.

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/003200606190041.htm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/afghanistan/story/0,,1797859,00.html

I’d of thought we would want to take things one at a time and finish them one at a time.

I guess I don’t have to remind anyone that no one was been completely successful fighting in Afghanistan.

Not the British,
Not the Soviets,

I guess the jury is still out.

Posted by: Rocky at June 18, 2006 4:49 PM
Comment #158932

David R. Remer

My comments are limited to one issue;the securing of Baghdad. That’s it. We are more than capable of accomplishing that. If that is the case (we are capable, as 1 LT B says), and we don’t accomplish that, them heads should roll (figuratively, that is) at the command level.

And, once it is secured, everyone should be told about it.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 18, 2006 4:51 PM
Comment #158933

Rocky

My bet is that they are going after OBL and this time they will catch that bum. Gut feeling.

By the way:I want to wish everyone a Happy Father’s Day, especially to my heros in harm’s way!

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 18, 2006 5:04 PM
Comment #158935

bushflipflops

Bullshit. There are plenty of troops there right now to do the job, including 250,000 Iraqis in the security forces that were not in existence when Shenski opened his big fat mouth.

He has been played like a guitar for political purposes.

There are more than enough assets there. And every day more are coming online. You guys hate it when that happens, though, right?

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 18, 2006 5:10 PM
Comment #158937

How dare you attack the military! We are doing the right thing by putting Saddam out of power and liberating oppressed people. For every U.S troop that is killed out there, we kill 50 of the terrorists. Bush did the right thing by declaring war. The best way to keep the enemy’s fear of you alive is retaliation. That is what we did in response to 9/11. Osama is probably in Pakistan, hiding in fear of us. What would have the Algore done if he were elected president (in response to 9/11)? Bush is a better war-wager. Being anti-war is cowardly and pointless (because there will never be world peace), but being pro-war can also be also be bad if you are blood-thirsty. If war brings respect from your enemies then we must have war for defense.

Posted by: stubborn conservative at June 18, 2006 5:40 PM
Comment #158938

Bush said that when the Iraqis stand up we’ll stand down. If their are 250,000 highly trained Iraqis in the security forces and more coming online everyday doesn’t that constitute standing up? So why aren’t we standing down? If these 250,000 Iraqi troops are prepared as you seem to be implying then why can’t they clean up their own country?

I think that no matter how long we stay in Iraq there is going to be an insurgency, because now most Iraqis dislike our presence in their country or just flat out hate us. I think the insurgents would be less likely to attack Iraqi troops than American troops so we should let them take over policing their own country. Of course the big question is whether or not these newly trained Iraqi security forces are loyal to Iraq or to their tribes? We will never know the answer to that question until we leave, and the administration is scared shitless because it means Iraq could go either way, to a unified democracy or to a civil war. So rather than finding out the answer to that question Bush is going to keep us there until he finds a scapegoat to pull us out. If Democrats win control this year and call for us to pull out then Bush can spin it two ways. If we leave and it descends into chaos it’s all the Democrats fault, or if we leave and the country remains stable Bush can take all the glory. If Democrats don’t win control and can’t call for us to pull out then Bush will just wait for his successor to make a decision, and blame the next administration if Iraq fails and take the glory if it succeeds.

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 18, 2006 5:48 PM
Comment #158940

stubborn conservative,

All I can say is “Wow!”, your powerfully moving post has really opened my eyes and changed my perspective on everything. You are correct, The AlGore would have made a terrible President. When 9/11 happened he would have waited 7 whole minutes after being informed the country was under attack so he could read: My Pet Glacier (A Wussies Guide To The Global Warming Conspiracy). Then the AlGore would have decided the best way to fight terrorism would be to hold daily singalongs of Kumbaya on the White House front lawn, and drop flowers from our bombers over every country in the middle east using a strategy from the New American Millenia organization which believes that if these people just smelled nicer there wouldn’t be so much fighting.

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 18, 2006 6:05 PM
Comment #158946

I don’t have to look up REMF. I knew a lot of them during my 20 years in the military. But I never met any of them on the battlefield or in the evac hospital in Vietnam

All talk and no action.

He don’t need me to defend him, but that’s not what sicilianeagle is about. Every post I’ve read from SE where the military is concerned, he’s always supported the troops.

He’s not trying to tell anybody how to run the war. But he’s spot on in his analysis.

We’ve played around with these thugs long enough. It’s time to do what we should have done in the first place: Drop the hammer on them and don’t let up until they all stop breathing!

You guys have a tough enough job to do over there without having to continue to play hide and seek with the bad guys.

Posted by: vietnam_vet at June 18, 2006 7:06 PM
Comment #158948

Can anyone explain why we are in Iraq?

Posted by: phx8 at June 18, 2006 7:24 PM
Comment #158949

phx8,

I’ll tell you why we’re in Iraq, it’s because unlike a normal person who uses facts to determine foreign policy our President uses his gut. And his gut says all those brown people smell bad and have to pay for 9/11. If you just listened to your gut and not facts (which everyone knows have a liberal bias) then you would come to the same conclusion.

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 18, 2006 7:34 PM
Comment #158953

1LT 8 and Vietnam Vet

Damn right I support the military. And I am unwavering in my support for the troops there as well.

I also believe in the mission and for the past year here on Watchblog, first as a poster and now as a commentator, I have taken them all on in support of them and the president.

However, there are over 200,000 Iraqi security personnell up and running. I perfectly understand that they have no mid-level officer corps. I understand that they are ill-equipped. I understand that some of them are traitors, in the force only as spies. But do they heart to fight for their country? Do they have the stomach to raise up collectively and say :”Stop the slaughter!”

Well,this is a perfect time for that. Our boys will back them up. Re-read my post. My fury is directed at them and our commanders who put this plan into operation.

It better work. The world is watching.

I also believe that Iraq is where the battle should be. I have said this all along. I have also believed that there were WMD somewhere, and they probably are in Syria. I knew that Saddam was a scum bag, corrupt, and himself a weapon of mass destruction.

We are on the 10 yard line now, after all this bullshit. We are close. We need to secure Baghdad, Ramadi, and them disarm the militias.
Then, it’s up to them. Right now, we have a job to do, and my job is to speak out and try to rally support for them here, in the states and in Europe when I’m there.

phx8

You are a profoundly smart guy, and I enjoy all your posts…I always have. Despite the fact that we are on the ideologocal end of the spectrum, I respect your thoughts.

Several months ago, I mulled partion here as an alternative if things couldn’t be put together there.

I am not ready to embrace that thought yet because I believe we are winning, and WILL win there. Plus, as you know, a partition won’t end the bloodshed, and will throw the entire region into turmoil, starting with Turkey and the Kurds.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 18, 2006 8:28 PM
Comment #158955

SE, when the US can prevent murders and violence in our (own) country from happening, then I will agree with your assessment. The fact is that violence is always going to happen, in every country, and it will not go away with (just) a “building up” of a security force. Iraq will always have problems, just like our country; yet, free and democratic countries can right the wrongs and get their countries on the right path.


The killing of Zarqawi came on the heels of the Iraqi gov’t completing its’ cabinet; that’s a (tremendously) big accomplishment that shows the Iraqis (and coalition forces) are securing that country. They’ve certainly “sh*t on the pot”, there’s no reason to “get off the pot” now!


So, have more patience and you’ll (definitely) see “fruition” in Iraq; and the rest of the middle east for that matter.

Posted by: rahdigly at June 18, 2006 8:43 PM
Comment #158958

SE:

To date, there were two Generals who voiced their own opinions and plans.

The first was Shinseki, who was fired.

The second was a Division General, who Rumsfeld tried to fire in the middle of a freaking battle.


Maybe the people you want to punish goes higher up than Casey, eh?

Posted by: Aldous at June 18, 2006 8:57 PM
Comment #158959

SE,

I didn’t take you for someone gullible enough to believe in conspiracy theories, but if you really believe Saddam gave his WMD’s to Syria to be hidden then I understand why you still support Bush.

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 18, 2006 9:00 PM
Comment #158971

SE-
What I’m telling you is that in your post you have encapsulated the essence, in fact, the motivation behind most of our stuff back on the blue column. You now get practically the entire point of what I’ve written from here on back to January 2004.

The reason why things don’t get done for the liberals when we clamor is that we don’t have the majority. We’ve been clamoring all along, but we’ve been dismissed as defeatist and worst.

But it never was about defeat. It was about victory, and Bush’s policies not being sufficient to gain that. Now that might seem like defeatism if you think our motivation is Standard Liberal Hatred of America, but it’s been nothing like that.

1LT B-
You folks know how to do your jobs fine. This has never been about an assault on the competence of the rank and file soldier. You’ve actually got your heads on straighter than the people managing the war from on high.

For all Bush’s words on long struggles, he’s expected something on the order of that instant fix you spoke of for the consequences of Iraq’s past. He had at his disposal State Department teams ready to go, ready to engage all the different tasks of nation building. Instead, he counted on Chalabi and other Iraqi exiles to magically replace Saddam and fix all those things themselves. We didn’t have an occupation ready to go when we came in. Hell, within days, even hours of Saddam’s fall, we had looters stripping buildings down to the insulation.

Even then, a bad start doesn’t have to become a persistent problem. But Bush has not wanted to waiver one bit on the war, and Americans have gone from admiring his tenacity to curse his stubborn arrogance. So what if it’s a long struggle? We can take that. It’s the lack of real, defineable progress we can’t stand. It’s counteraccusations and excuses instead of an admission that things have gone so well.

That admission, at least to themselves is crucial. If you can’t admit your current strategy isn’t working, then how can you move on from it?

Stubborn Conservative-
Your first mistake is assuming that SE was chickening out on the war. Whatever else SE is, he’s never done that. When he thinks (sometimes wrongly) that others are smacking downt he troops, he comes screaming down from the heavens like a Peregrine Falcon, only with a more literate style.

Karl Von Clausewitz would tell you that when you fight a war, the aim is to destroy the enemy’s forces. But if you get deeper into what he’s saying, that doesn’t just mean high kill ratios. In fact, as Vietnam proved, you can have very high kill ratios and still lose.

To destroy an enemy’s forces is to deprive those forces of their ability to fight. A capture army is destroyed, so long as it stays captured. An army can survive almost to a man, but if you scare the shit out of them badly enough, they’re destroyed. Often enough, destroying enemy forces can be literally that: killing or wounding everybody foolish enough to wander into the gunsights. But that can be a costly way to win.

We could kill ten terrorists for every soldier, but if they have the means to recruit, and people have the will to fight, there will be ten replacements, and the forces will remain undestroyed. That was the problem in Vietnam. North Vietnam was technology poor, almost to the point that bombing them to the stone age was an improvement. But they had enough soldiers to easily escalate the ground war and keep escalating. They could also recruit people to be partisans on their behalf, and by a combination of fear and reward, motivate people to work with them.

When faced with such an enemy, nation building is the only true solution. It’s the only weapon one can use to fend off a guerilla war: political domination of the battlefield. You don’t put in some strong man who’s going to give you a black eye and piss people off, though. You put in a good honest leader who can get people behind your kind of unity. You take control of communities inch by inch, until the Guerrillas no longer have support.

One thing for sure: when you invade, you make your presence felt. You don’t go into a country like Iraq with tens of thousands, you do it with hundreds of thousands. You sit on towns and secure them, then keep smaller forces there and move on to the next. You make it clear whose boss, and that law and order belongs to you.

You keep on doing that until every important area is in your hands, and then take care of the periphery. You don’t give a guerilla campaign the chance to start. You nation build, and you do it fromt he start. With tough security keeping the piece, you then rebuild everything, doing your best to respect local customs and religions. If you remember the burning monks from Vietnam, that represented just one of the problem of that war.

You do things this way, as they did in WWII and other successful campaigns, and people will eventually settle down. Then, stage by stage, you leave, until you’ve left whatever residual presence you wish to have there.

The problem here is that for sake of consistency, for the sake of a military doctrine, Bush has had us fight this entire war with our arms tied behind our back. You don’t destroy forces in a guerilla war by killing them all, you destroy them by either making sure they don’t form in the first place, or by making it near impossible for them to move around and gain assistance.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 18, 2006 9:53 PM
Comment #158973

SE:

You tend to compartmentalize too much, spend too much on the minute. I am looking at the overall results, and you know how long many have suggested more troops. You also know how much our government has waffled on how many iraqi units are trained and ready.

You can look at this however you want, but the responsibility goes right to Bush and company shoulders, not ANY of the military from Generals on down who are doing the best job with what they are given from above.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 18, 2006 10:26 PM
Comment #158975

Rahdigly

I agree with you. I am optimistic…always have been, and I have a whole bunch of posts to prove that too. You know that. While it does take time to build an army capable of defending a nation, I very much think what’s going on in Baghdad is a defining moment, and I hope the Iraqi military shows the world that it can stand on its own. That’s it.


Stephen

Thank you for defending me, but I am capable of defending myself.Actually, I have nothing to defend.

The blue column can’t get out of its own way, frankly, and if Gore were in fact president,or worse, Kerry, your girlfriend would be wearing a burka right now.

Bush was the right guy, with the right temperment for the job. He doesn’t squat when he pees like both of the other two guys I mentioned. He lifted this nation after 9/11 with steely determination, which everyone on the blue side forgets. He has taken an enemy far tougher that anything since WWII head on and is beating the shit out of them…something the blue side is incapable of doing, because most don’t have the testicular fortitude to see it through.Your party blows in the wind like a weather vane. It always has, and always will.

The president has nothing to be sorry about concerning Iraq, and I will beat that mantra all summer long.

Yes there have been enormous mistakes and screw up, and the blue column has been quick to jump on each and every one of them. I have been consistent on who I support, and in this instance I smell victory, thus securing of Baghdad is a critical first step.

Finally, Stephen. America did not lose Vietnam. America lost not a single battle there. Saigon fell two years AFTER the last American troops left. If there is a lesson to be learned from Vietnam, is that the enemy then, as it does now, knows the pulse of American and knows that if it attacks the will of Americans here in the states, THEN is wins. Kerry never understood that. Now, he still doesn’t understand that either. Nor does anyone who opens their mouth in front of a mike for the benefit of a ten second sound bite which ends up being blasted all over the Middle East by Al Jazeera.

We need your eloquence here, on the right side, and not vice versa, my friend.

Aldous

No offense, but many of us saw a danger in Iraq..similar to what you now see in Iran. However, if you can site 10 generals who critize the procecution of this war, there are 3000 who endorse it.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 18, 2006 10:44 PM
Comment #158978

SE,
Third Generation Warfare is conventional warfare, along the lines of WWII. The US lost in Vietnam because it fought a Third Generation style of warfare. Unfortunately, Fourth Generation Warfare does not depend upon traditional, conventional victories. We lost the war in Vietnam because we never successfully adapted to the style of warfare.

The USSR lost in Afghanistan for the same reasons. Please note, in the case of Afghanistan, the USSR never faced open criticism from the media or civilian population on its home front. The USSR still lost.

Today we face the same situation in Iraq. On one point, I disagree with most people. I think 1LT hinted at the solution. Iraq is a case for a small number of Special Forces troops. It is not a situation that will be won by 100,000 Marines, or for that matter 500,000 Marines. A large conventional force might have carried the day in May of 2003, provided it had been withdrawn almost immediately, and replaced by a police force. Too late for that.

We could win by killing enough Sunnis. That is an attainable goal. We could do it. However, bringing democracy to Iraq by eliminating the young males of one ethnic group hardly qualifies as a victory in my book, or a credit to our country.

Posted by: phx8 at June 18, 2006 10:59 PM
Comment #158984
These terrorists are cowards who can’t fight us man to man. So they hide and shoot from the shadows
Funny, I think the British said this in 1776 about our ancestors… Posted by: ElliottBay at June 18, 2006 11:12 PM
Comment #158985

SE

Thanks for reminding all that the Vietnam War was lost by the politicians, not the military. We decimated the enemy wherever we found him and never left the field until the job was done.

What did it get us? Betrayed by our government and demonized by the American people.

Richard Nixon summed up the war and the feelings of many Vietnam vets.

“No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now. Rarely have so many people been so wrong about so much. Never have the consequences of their misunderstanding been so tragic.”

Posted by: vietnam_vet at June 18, 2006 11:23 PM
Comment #158986

SE,

If Gore were President my girlfriend would be wearing a burka? In what way was any middle eastern country about to, let alone able to invade and conquer our country? Maybe you should go back to your bomb shelter and pray Bush gets illegal immigration under control or we’ll all be wearing sombreros.

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 18, 2006 11:25 PM
Comment #158989

Alas poor Eagle, I knew him Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest! So we’re patient for 3 years but now you’re not impressed so far? Sorry, but did you really, truly believe that the islamofacist would NOT try to be particularly more brutal since the death of Zarki? When elections loomed - BANG increase in violence. New government - BANG violence. Now to prove to the world (and themselves?) they’re NOT going away easily, not going to let US & Iraqi forces go unchallenged in their build-up and sweeps in Baghdad, and get some positive press from CNN & MSNBC - BANG more violence. With the latest intel collected and the Iraqi PM talking tough, what did you expect? It’s a wild roundhouse punch from a punchdrunk fighter. Take a deep breath and repeat after Uncle Billy W.T. Sherman…
“You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out”.
To stay the course and end the struggle sooner rather than later will SAVE MORE LIVES than to begin the slow and steady death toll that cutting and running will surely bring. Anything else would just be whistling past the graveyard.

Posted by: JR at June 18, 2006 11:42 PM
Comment #158990

Yo flipflop, you’re girlfriend would be wearing a Burka b/c Gore wouldn’t have done a damn thing to the jihadists; in fact, during his “buddies” administration, the jihadist grew stronger and stronger w/out any interference from the US. After 9/11, Gore would’ve done something, yet he wouldn’t have done enough and (certainly) wouldn’t have been resolute and “stayed the course” against these jihadist pigs! That’s a damn fact!!!

Posted by: rahdigly at June 18, 2006 11:43 PM
Comment #158991

bushflipflops

Take a look at France, the Netherlands, England for that matter. They (islamofacists/jihadist)don’t have to invade with bombs and guns, just population. If the US were to go the road of the new Vichy France and not continue it’s efforts at helping muslims assimilate, or drop out of the armed conflict with jihadists, a burka would be the least of our/your problems.

Posted by: JR at June 19, 2006 12:01 AM
Comment #158994

This whole quagmire seemingly comes down to what was said early on. We have found ourselves fighting a guerrilla war. The enemy is not going to wear a red coat and stand out in an open field and wait for the battle to be joined. No zero-sum game here. Quite simply, one must decide if the stratagem is to defeat the enemy or to win the hearts and minds of Arabs and defeat the enemy? One thing for sure, killing women, children and families and justifying it as casualties of war, or saying we don’t keep count of non military or non terrorist killed is going no where fast. When you burst into a man’s home and kill his family, mistake or not, you are no better than the past regime. Plus which, you don’t speak the language. The enemy’s goal is not to kill every American solider, it is to frustrate and humiliate. Reality is a Nixonian fifth corner solution. How to leave everything in disarray and still say mission accomplished. And for the record, the oil is not ours, it belongs to the Iraqi’s. It is only ours if we can afford and need to buy it on the open market. Spoils of war tend to imply imperialistic rhetoric and end goal. Or, just maybe, that is what it was and is all about. As an after thought, amazing how we see good and evil and women’s rights so clearly, but when Middle Eastern royal families and dictators were butchering to maintain their kingdoms, we turned a blind eye. They gave us an unlimited supply of petroleum, fed American industry with purchase orders. Just keep the flow of oil unobstructed, which meant Americans could continue to enjoy their weekend barbecues and drive big hogs…Life is good and everyone loves America. Good ol, out of sight, out of mind. Maybe it’s time for some good ol Chateau Diplomacy and Faustian bargains ?

Posted by: Eisai at June 19, 2006 12:44 AM
Comment #158996

JR & rahdigly,

I still don’t see how my girlfriend would end up in a burka. Rahdigly seems to think a group of jihadists would invade our country and take over by force, which is about as likely as the Martians invading. JR seems to think they would take over by moving here and reproducing themselves into a majority, but in that case it wouldn’t be my girlfriend but rather my great grand daughter that ends up wearing the burka, which I still don’t think is likely, my money is on us all wearing sombreros in 100 years. It’s sad how people would use the most ridiculous of arguments to continually support the wrong positions.

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 19, 2006 12:54 AM
Comment #158997

SE:

3000 Generals were not part of OIF. That’s a fantasy Rumsfeld defenders tell. There are less than a HUNDRED with actual field experience in OIF. Of this number, 10% are now openly criticizing.

Posted by: Aldous at June 19, 2006 1:02 AM
Comment #158998

I love the Republican talking point that us Dems are all about Cutting and Running. Well I accuse you Republicans of Pasting and Walking. You are Pasting in that you are trying to hold together three distinct groups of people that had no business of ever being brought together in the first place (Thanks Brits!). You are Walking in that you are taking your sweet ass time handling this quagmire while thousands of our brave men and women are being wounded and killed all while the real bad guy (Osama) is still running free. So go cram your talking points up your cramholes!

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 19, 2006 1:06 AM
Comment #159009

Sicialian Eagle,

First thing, this war was an “OPTION”, that is precisely what it was. An “OPTION” done alongside another military occupation (Afghanistan) making it not necessary and could have waited. I love how you use the word “war” (in your last paragraph) like Poland was being invaded or some shit.

I think a good portion of the problem is you think Bush wears a cape, now it’s not my place to say whether someone should be “shitcanned” and I don’t think it’s fair to make that asessment of our military without fuller review. But Bush isn’t going to do anything Cheney doesn’t tell him to do. This man is to you some sort of Super Responsive superhero who catches bullets in his teeth and saves women and babies and shit, we get it, but Bush is not going to do crap.

I’ve heard this zeitgeist a hundred times Bush should do this—Bush should do that, AND he subsequentially does none of it. It is like hero worship that overshoots reallity.

1LtB brought up an interesting point and that is intelligence and having good qualitative intelligence and I ask you is Bush’s meddling and f*cking around for political purposes with the CIA disrupting those routes?

See SE you think Bush is Captain America and I think he is Mr. Magoo with a drawl, I have zero faith not only in his abilities but whatever abilities he could run across in the future. Yesterday he was tackling the Coal mine safety issue and laid out the “corporate” reforms that the corporations wanted. His big finale was anouncing that instead of one hour’s worth of oxygen each coal miner NOW gets two hours—totally bereft of the fact that those coal miners were down there for DAYS. Like I said Mr. Magoo with a drawl.

If anything (stressing the word “anything”) Cheney wears the cape in that family.

Posted by: Novenge at June 19, 2006 3:19 AM
Comment #159012

elliotbay and others commenting on the tactics we used in the Revolution

Let clear a few facts up, shall we? Yes, we did wage a guerrila campaign in the Revolution, but you mischaracterize it to compare what we did to what the insurgents are doing now. While both we and the terrorists have openly declared hostilities, we fought a guerrila campaign within the bounds of the rules of armed conflict as they are understood. Our soldiers wore uniforms to distinguish them from civilians. They attacked military targets. They did not behead or lynch captives, and the few who did were punished. The insurgents are nothing more than thugs with machine guns and bombs who make every effort to kill their own fellow Muslims. You’re comparison is off base and an insult to our own history.

Aldous,
Just because a retired general didn’t serve in OIF does not make their experience invalid. While more weight should be placed on field commanders who did serve, retired generals keep in touch and have not only more information than your average man on the street, they also have the benefit of their own experience. The officer corps of the military looks out for its own and the good of the military even after they no longer are active duty. Socrates had it right, even as he was desparaging democracy. “If my child is ill, whom do I consult, a doctor or the mob?” People who have served in the military, especially someone with the experience of a retired general officer, is eminently more qualified to speak of war in general, and what is going on in Iraq right now. The huge majority of the generals support Rumsfeld. Even by your logic of field commanders from OIF, Rumsfeld’s getting a 90% support rate. How many politicians of any part can say that?

SE,

Perhaps I went a little overboard on my comments. I read your posts and know you support the military, but threatening field commanders with public humilitation is not the way to go. When threats like this are made, commanders are more likely to take risks that will cause Soldiers to end up dead that might not otherwise have happened. For example, millions of Russian Soldiers died needlessly in WWII because generals knew if they didn’t accomplish the mission, they would be shot and some political hack yes-man would take their place.

Vietnam Vet- Right on Brother. Keep the faith.

Posted by: 1LT B at June 19, 2006 3:44 AM
Comment #159024

1LT B:

Depends. How many politicians can fire their critics for not supporting them?

Answer: None.

Posted by: Aldous at June 19, 2006 6:02 AM
Comment #159028

Novenge

Huh? The president doesn’t wear a cape? What? Geez…You may be right about the vice president, though. Weeks ago,when knukleheads on the left were first talking about impeachment, I don’t think they realized that the vice-pesident would become president if that were to occur. Funny how that nonsense stopped. Must of had a delayed reaction. Engaging mouth, then brain, I think.

Aldous

I was referring to the entire body of generals t in service and on active duty, and retired. By an overwhelming margin, they support the operation in Iraq.


bushflipflops

pasting and walking? Did you think that one up? Believe me, if that country is ripped in three, much bigger problems are created there than the present situation, I think. No, we will finish what was started, leaving a democratically elected governmet in place there.


1LT 8

Excellent point about the Russians in WWII, and I am glad that you understand my position too, and please keep safe. We all appreciate your bravery and partiotism.

JR

Excellent quote by Sherman! Bravo

Vietnam-vet

My best friends are the vietnam era vets. For three decades now, I have honored their valor, and intent to keep their sacrifice know to the next generation.I have compiled many stats on that war, and the most interesting stat of all is that 2/3 of all servicemen there were volunteers. In a couple of weeks I will post a piece.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 19, 2006 6:33 AM
Comment #159029

Aldous,

I think you’re a little off in your reasoning. While on active duty, officers are specifically prohibited from launching personal attacks against members of Congress, the President, and appointed officials under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The reason for this is that it is detrimental to good military order. I can criticize his policies however. Its comparable to the critique the message not the messenger policy of this site. For example, I can freely submit an editorial to the Stars and Stripes saying I think Rumsfeld’s policies are idiotic, but I can’t say Rumsfeld is an idiot.

That being said, this policy only applies to officers currently on active duty. The generals you speak of are all retired, and do not fall under this policy. Some, such as GEN Franks, will probably defend Rumsfeld if for no other reason than that history will remember him as the man who put the President’s strategy into action, so he will be painted with the same brush as Bush. However, none of the Generals who didn’t serve in OIF have this to worry about, and might be expected to be even more critical of Rumsfeld or the President if they felt they were deserving of criticism. The fact that they are not says alot more to me than a few generals who are critical.

Meanwhile, the Democrats still cannot find a message. While some of their talking heads are pulling damage control talking about how killing Zarqawi doesn’t matter, Kerry and pals are saying this is our perfect chance to pull out. The Democrats say they want to bring the troops home, then only 6 vote to do so in the Senate. The simple fact is that the Democrats have no message except that “We aren’t Republicans.” This may play well in polls, but I doubt it will do so in elections. The Democratic party doesn’t even have the spine to make any more than a token effort to distance itself fron the radical special interests in their own party (how many Republicans have you heard making apologist statements for those assholes at the Westboro Baptist Church?) to say nothing of running a country in a time of war.

Posted by: 1LT B at June 19, 2006 6:35 AM
Comment #159030

SE,

It’s about people, the military commanders, doing their job now.

If we have 50,000 in Baghdad and the status quo remains unchanged, someone ought to lose their job, period.

Hum, could you help a frenchy to remember who’s the US military commander in chief, already?
Thanks.

(The highest a commander rank is, the highest his responsabilities are, right?)

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 19, 2006 6:47 AM
Comment #159031

This is quite a discussion. I would just like to note the following:

1. Iraq is one of the many mistakes that came out of WWI. It is not a natural state, and did not exist until it was dreamt up by the British. The Baghdad Caliphate was wiped out (literally - they killed everyone in Baghdad) by Timurlane in the XIV Century, and afterwards the Turks took over.

2. The British did liberate Iraq from the Turks, but the Iraqis were not grateful and started fighting the British. That went on for years and it was stopped by “aerial policing” by the RAF. It was effective, but it would be probably classfied as a war crime today.

3. We’re doing pretty well in Iraq, considering the nature of the country, and the Iraqis are certainly better off than under Saddam Hussein.

4. My preference would have been to withdraw once SD’s forces were destroyed and we were satisfied on the WMD issue. The Iraqis then could have sorted themselves out, probably in a bloody fashion, but that’s hardly our fault. As it is we are engaged in nation and institution building in a country that never was a nation, and whose institutions have never functioned well. This is not easy, and hence our frustrations.

5. Now that we are engaged, we will have to prevail. This will take some more time, but the Iraqis are building up a military and internal security capacity, and are taking many more casualties than the US forces. This is encouraging, and perhaps in a year or so we will be able to declare a victory and leave. Capturing or killing bin Laden would be a perfect time for doing so.

Charles Kovacs

Posted by: Charles Kovacs at June 19, 2006 6:49 AM
Comment #159032

We cannot leave Iraq until every Al Queda Terrorist is dead there. Its really that simple.

Posted by: Aldous at June 19, 2006 7:02 AM
Comment #159033

BTW, how many of the 50,000 are iraquis troops? Someone know?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 19, 2006 7:09 AM
Comment #159034

Rahdigly,

you’re girlfriend would be wearing a Burka b/c Gore wouldn’t have done a damn thing to the jihadists; in fact, during his “buddies” administration, the jihadist grew stronger and stronger w/out any interference from the US. After 9/11, Gore would’ve done something, yet he wouldn’t have done enough and (certainly) wouldn’t have been resolute and “stayed the course” against these jihadist pigs! That’s a damn fact!!!

No, that’s your guess.

Or please provide proofs to back your claim it’s a “damn fact”. Thanks.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 19, 2006 7:15 AM
Comment #159035

1LT B,

“While both we and the terrorists have openly declared hostilities, we fought a guerrilla campaign within the bounds of the rules of armed conflict as they are understood. Our soldiers wore uniforms to distinguish them from civilians.”

While you are correct in some of your assertions, this statement is incorrect.

Seth Warner and Ethan Allen’s “Green Mountain Boys” were irregulars that did not wear uniforms as such. They were a loosely grouped militia that used guerrilla warfare in fighting the British.

Francis Marion (aka. Swamp Fox) also commanded irregulars in the South during the Revolution, and also used guerrilla tactics.

Even though most of the warfare in the Revolution was “theater tactics”, there were those that led non-uniformed, irregulars that employed what could be considered “guerrilla” tactics.

Posted by: Rocky at June 19, 2006 7:17 AM
Comment #159038

Rocky:

A key difference that 1LTB sees in this war is that much of the “guerilla” tactics are taken against civilians. That’s why I think calling them insurgents is incorrect. Insurgents target military positions, rather than a crowded marketplace or an employment line.

The guys we are fighting now are largely terrorists, in that they use terror to achieve their goals. I doubt you’ll find much documentation of that kind of action in our past. Did the “Green Mountain Boys” shoot innocent American civilians (lets say from Virginia or New York, as opposed to Vermont) as part of their battle plan? I don’t think so.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 19, 2006 7:40 AM
Comment #159041

Joe,

I understood the point. I am not trying to compare Allen to what the “insurgents” are doing, but let’s be factually correct.

BTW, Ethan Allen was put in prison as an “enemy combatant” in England, after a bungled attack on Montreal.

Posted by: Rocky at June 19, 2006 7:56 AM
Comment #159043

joebagodonuts,

I’ve never had truer words put in my mouth. Thanks, you said it exactly right. Furthermore, these guerrila tactics were abandoned once the Colonial Army was stood up.

The terrorists in Iraq did in the past primarily attack us. Then they figured out that its much easier to kill unarmed and innocent civilians while they go to the market or mosque than it is take on armed Soldiers. They are cowards and scum who deserve a bullet and nothing else.

Terrorism is a weapon of weakness and convienience. The Soviets didn’t want to risk open war with NATO, so they funded the Red Brigades etc in Europe and various terrorist groups in the Americas. The Arab nations, after seeing their armies smashed not once but four times by the Isrealis, gave up on conventional war and resorted to terrorism against Isreal. Bin Laden and his minnions have no army to attack the United States with, so they recruit desperate fanatics with a death wish to attack us. While we need to improve our image and relations with the Middle East as a long term solution, the short term solution si to kill every one of these motherless bastards.

Aldous, I know you’ve heard this before, but you surprise me. Its gratifying to see a liberal who isn’t an apologist for these butchers. Thanks for the support on this issue. I’m confident that someone of your obvious intelligence will come around someday. When you do, you’ll be welcome.

Posted by: 1LT B at June 19, 2006 8:18 AM
Comment #159045

1LTB:

Sorry for putting words in your mouth, but glad they were at least the correct ones.

The question I have, that perhaps you are most able of the posters to answer, is how do we rid Iraq of the terrorists. They do a masterful job of blending in with the civilians, and it seems the civilians who know about the terrorists are not coming forward enough to identify them.

Are we getting more and better information these days?

Did our past strategy of cleaning out an area, then moving to the next, allow the terrorists to resaturate cleaned out areas, and if so, how do we prevent that with the current number of troops there?

Without setting a specific date, is there a timetable that you think reasonable for the US getting out of Iraq? What amount of forces do you think will stay in Iraq on a semi or fully permanent basis, a la Japan, Kosovo, Germany etc?

Lastly, do you feel Bush has done a good job of allowing the military to lead the way, or have political circumstances caused him to meddle in the military decisions?

Thanks for your service to our country. You are one of the heroes we need to look up to.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 19, 2006 8:26 AM
Comment #159046

Heh. I only want to stay in Iraq because the alternatives are even worse. I never thought even for a moment invading Iraq was a good idea.

So now we stay… whatever the cost.

Posted by: Aldous at June 19, 2006 8:27 AM
Comment #159049
General Casey and his crew, advise him as to troop levels needed and that whatever they need, they get. It’s now shit or get off the pot time, generals
You’re assuming that Bush isn’t lying about this too. Posted by: Dave at June 19, 2006 8:54 AM
Comment #159052

Dave:

Once you take a position that someone is “lying”, you can discount virtually any statement or claim simply by playing that card.

“The Iraq war is a quagmire” gets discounted by “the media is lying about it”. “The Iraq situation is improving” gets discounted by “the administration is lying about it”.

Once we go to that premise, we no longer need to bother with critical thought processes. Our pre-judged conclusions can be substantiated simply by claiming that those who disagree are “lying” about it.

For me and mine, I prefer critical thought processes, evidence, investigation and the ‘trust but verify’ principle. There are many out there who simply want to feel they are right, and they collapse into playing the “lying” card. Its really easy to do, its a bit addictive emotionally, and it accomplishes virtually nothing, other than assuaging the intellectually lazy.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 19, 2006 9:07 AM
Comment #159054

JR,

They (islamofacists/jihadist)don’t have to invade with bombs and guns, just population. If the US were to go the road of the new Vichy France and not continue it’s efforts at helping muslims assimilate, or drop out of the armed conflict with jihadists, a burka would be the least of our/your problems.

Confusing islamofacists/jihadists with all muslims is like confusing racists/xenophobists with all republicans.

And once again, why when someone talk about EU immigration issues quickly only France case is kept in arguments/name-calling (thanks for Vichy reference!)?
Since when EU is only France?
Sure EU, and so France, have a problem with its immigration policy since last 30 years. But every healthy and open nations have more or less one too, even US, the Land Of Immigrants, have it’s own with illegal aliens…

Last but not least, I fail to see how calling islamofacists/jihadists all muslims is “assimilate” them. Or did I miss something here?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 19, 2006 9:15 AM
Comment #159056

SE: “now we are calling for those who the president entrusted and depended on to do their jobs or be gone.”

SE, much as it pains me to agree with you, I couldn’t have said it better. The US citizen shouldn’t tolerate incompetence anywhere in government, but least of all in deployment and control of the the military. If they’re not getting results they should get fired!

Posted by: William Cohen at June 19, 2006 9:47 AM
Comment #159057

Great post. But it’s delenda sunt, plural.

Posted by: Monica at June 19, 2006 9:47 AM
Comment #159072

Monica

Bravo! I was toying with changing Cato’s famous utterance about Carthage, but decided to leave it because most recognize it. Next week I will do a follow up piece too, so don’t think I made a mistake again,ok?


Willian Cohen

Geez. An honor. Now, if I could just convince you to vote republican….. :)

Phillipe Hudon

I think there is somehwere about 7500 Americans in that 50,000 number, as I recall.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 19, 2006 10:30 AM
Comment #159078

SE,

I think there is somehwere about 7500 Americans in that 50,000 number, as I recall.

Oh. Then I guess it’s US army trainers that we’re looking the outcome these days…
Does the US air forces currently giving a hand here and there are part of these 7500?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 19, 2006 10:54 AM
Comment #159099

A few things to clear up in general-
One, Democrats and Liberals are the last people, in general, to support tactic used against the innocent. Just because we blame Bush for letting it come to this, this guerilla war we’re fighting, doesn’t mean we don’t think people blowing up innocent bystanders and murdering people for being Sunni or Shiite is a good thing.

Two, given a choice between waging this war and continuing the fight against the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden in order to destroy them once and for all, the latter was our choice. Don’t give me or anybody else this Girlfriend in Burka bullshit, because we were committed to a war that made that less likely, rather than more so. By going into Iraq, we set ourselves back. We gave a training ground to our enemies, much Like Afghanistan. Only this time, we can’t blame the Soviets for creating the failed state.

Our problem has always been with his going into a pre-emptive war without credible intelligence, and a change of regime without plans for occupation or security. If I were to phrase it like Sun Tzu in the translations, I would say “This is called tying an Army’s hands behind its back”

That has been what many started protesting this war about. Peace war hardly the issue. We were anti-policy when this started. The only thing that has drained those hopes from Americans, and spur calls for withdrawal, has been the stubbornness of a President and a Part in maintaining a policy that has already taken too many lives. Anxieties here are, Bush may break us as an economic and military power before we finally get out of Iraq. These are not idle concerns.

Rahdigly-
I know that here in Houston, we have suicide bombers constantly setting themselves off, killing twenty or thirty people at a throw. In every neighborhood, we have at least four or five people shot for being baptist or Catholic a day. We have gangs forcing our women to dress in petticoats, and the electricity is on maybe four hours out of the day. People are constantly bombing the local gas lines.

If the above statement stretches credibility on my part, it’s for good reason. We never see this kind of situation in our country, even at our most lawless. It’s not the existence of such crimes, it’s the unhealthy frequency and scale.

If you want to show Americans the country is secure, then the continuation of violence at this level has to stop. We’ve had plenty of patience for a war that’s been on a downhill slide since we overthrew that bastard Saddam. Nows the time, as SE and I are agreed, to see results. He and I both want the violence to stop, to show the world that the tide has turned.

But folks on my side of the debate, that is most Americans, cannot wait forever.

SE-
First let’s review Vietnam. Our purpose was to maintain South Vietnam as a nation. If it could not stand when we withdrew, since that was one of our purposes, then we lost.

We could not forever prop up South Vietnam. The war was a ruinous expense, with no decisive victory won that could give South Vietnam the territorial integrity that was intended.

We did not lose for a lack of will. We stuck through the beginning years of the Vietnam war just fine, despite tens of thousands of casualties. We did not lose for a lack of firepower, that much is certain. We lost because our objective was not about winning battles or even hearts and minds, but about territory. We did not suit our policy to taking care of the issues that would get the South Vietnamese identifying themselves as distinct from the North, and which would steel their will to win and maintain their nation. We could win a thousand battles on their behalf, but unless they wanted to be united under their government as South Vietnamese, and they were willing to die for that belief, we were going to lose.

It didn’t help that secrets were kept, between the military and the American people, between the politicians and the averag American, and between the military and our leaders, about how successful such efforts have been. The application of will without situational awareness in war can lead to disastrous choices, especially when both the plan and the will to carry it out persist.

Worrying about the media is foolish. You either get things done, or you don’t. Relying on positive spin to win wars is setting yourself up to lose them, because that positive spin can become both comfort and delusion in a time were neither is desireable. If you want a media strategy, here it is: stick to the truth, and tell that story well. The facts ultimately speak for themselves. When the attacks drop, and progress is made, that will speak for itself, and you can rightly turn to Americans and speak of your successes. Relying on media spin to keep a war going is an exercise in futility. Reality outranks imagery.

If you worry about images and propaganda too much, it deadens your awareness of what you’re actually doing.

Bush was the wrong guy to fight a war. you need a person who is both confident and careful. You need somebody who hasn’t prejudged a complex situation. You need somebody who aware he’s fallible, and willing to listen to others, even when they’re not singing in his choir.

Bush has none of those qualities. He’s too caught up in his own status as the Decider, as the man who truly knows to remember he’s just another mortal.

JR-
You know, we’d be much better off if folks would shut up about how we’re going to defeat the enemy and ask the tough questions about whether they are. People lose the will to fight a war like this when they’re willing to engage the reality of the situation and their leaders are not. The longer this president and this congress remain intent on proving themselves right on this, the shorter American’s patience will grow.

1LT B-
At some point, you have to admit things aren’t getting done the way they’re supposed to. Mark my words: I want my country to win. This is the first time I can remember taking a dissenting position on a war, and for good reason. Usually, I assume the people in charge know what they are doing, and let that be that. I enjoyed seeing Saddam getting his ass kicked both time, and seeing Slobodan Milosevic get handed his by Clinton.

Normally I’m pretty hawkish. In a way I still am. But I don’t have much use for people who screw these things up. If Bush had maintained the success of the first part of the war, I might have taken him up a notch as a leader, as I did after 9/11.

Unfortunately, he had to pull some pretty stupid stunts. I’m a results kind of person. I can take a little dark side in a fight. I can take civilian casualties. I can take failures in the intelligence here and there. In exchange, though, I want us to win, to make progress in a reasonable span of time, and for there to be no major problem in the reasons we went to war. After all, our country’s reputation is one of its most powerful tools for dealing with the rest of the world. Intimidation or admiration are cheaper than intervention.

If you think my problem’s with the soldiers, then you haven’t understood what I’ve written, or recognized its targets or motivations. If you think I’m a pacifist, think again. The problem here is that you folks are thinking flower power when the reality is that my generation of liberals are the Saving Private Ryan generation. We’re the folks who grew up under Reagan, with many Grandparents who served, and a pop culture that inculcated us with visions of the Good War, especially from Spielberg’s movie with it’s moral conflicts and vivid, graphic realism.

The problem is that people like Bush don’t want our help. They don’t want people that don’t follow their jingoistic line, their ideal of a war whitewashed of all its thoughts. They want to convince us that we’re in a video game war, once again. Unfortunately for them, our video games have gotten considerably more realistic since we last had a full scale war. We can access pictures of war violence on video websites now. Americans are no longer so naive about the sacrifices necessary to win a war.

There’s a flip side to that; it’s not so easy to ask people to make that sacrifice if you’re not willing to be straight with them about why they need to fight this war.

If the Republicans want to win this war, they will have to acknowledge that it isn’t perfect. They will have to acknowledge that we are not dissenting about this war out of evil intentions. They will have to understand that results matter most, and they won’t get far trying to turn one set of Americans against another.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 19, 2006 11:55 AM
Comment #159113

The person who quoted Nixon (one of our nations most acclaimed lyers) in regards to the “misunderstood” vietnam conflict is priceless.

If it went to show anything, it shows that you can’t go to war blindfolded with both arms tied behind your back.

And comparing the NYC police force to a military presence under martial law is just wrong. If NYC had armed militia forces camped out in Brownstones all over the 5 boroughs who periodically came out to raid churches and police stations, kill fellow citizenry, and who several times a day suicide bombed the bridges, tunnels, and municipal buildings - I can guarantee you that their police force would be almost useless…even if they could shoot first and ask questions later.

While I’m sure Park Avenue would be under tight guard, I’m not so sure about Hollis and FlatBush.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 12:38 PM
Comment #159116
Dave: Once you take a position that someone is “lying”, you can discount virtually any statement or claim simply by playing that card. Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 19, 2006 09:07 AM
Not quite, Joe. Now that Bush has been caught lying, his credibility is worth nothing. It is hurtful to this nation to keep defending the Bush after seeing the undeniable real world evidence of his failures. You can deny he lied but the evidence is incontrovertable. I’ll leave your accusation of my mental laziness to the judegement of the editor. Posted by: Dave at June 19, 2006 12:50 PM
Comment #159122

joebagodonuts,
I’m a bit hesitant about answering your questions. I’m a very junior officer and not privy to all of the information you ask about, and some of it is classified so I can’t speak to it in an open forum such as this. My answers are only personal opinions, please treat them as such.

Are we getting more and better information these days? I would have to say yes. We just killed Zarqawi based on an informants tip. We got loads of intelligence from Zarqawi’s hideout and even more in the follow up raids. The best thing that can happen now with the Baghdad crackdown would be a halt to the violence which might give the Iraqi people confidence in their new government and encourage them to expose further militants. Once they’re found, they’re dead men walking. We already proved it with Zarqawi. He was dead before he ever got to that house, he just took about an hour after the bombs hit to realize it.

Did our past strategy of cleaning out an area, then moving to the next, allow the terrorists to resaturate cleaned out areas, and if so, how do we prevent that with the current number of troops there? I think the fundamental flaw was the very speed of our advance. We bypassed many cities on the way to Baghdad and didn’t go in town by town and round up all of the Ba’athists. Nor did we destroy all of the ammo dumps we encountered, many of which were looted for use as IEDs. In fairness, rapidly capturing Baghdad may have been a better option, but we’ll never know if we would have lost more going house by house the entire drive north as we didn’t do it.
We have not achieved what we wanted by cleaning out an area and withdrawing as they have been re-infested. As the Iraqi army stands up more and more, this will PROBABLY be less of a problem. Just as an Iraqi in America might not be able to tell a European from a white American, its difficult for us to tell an Iraqi from a Jordanian. Not so to an Iraqi.

Without setting a specific date, is there a timetable that you think reasonable for the US getting out of Iraq? What amount of forces do you think will stay in Iraq on a semi or fully permanent basis, a la Japan, Kosovo, Germany etc? I would speculate that we will begin a large drawdown beginning within the next 12 months. The Iraqi army is becoming more and more able to fill the roles we were doing. As far as leaving completely, I doubt it will ever happen. I could see us leaving at least a division on a permanent basis to back up the Iraqi army as needed or to provide a credible threat to Iran or Syria. I would also guess we’ll want basing rights for our aircraft as well, once again the better to hit Syria or Iran.

Lastly, do you feel Bush has done a good job of allowing the military to lead the way, or have political circumstances caused him to meddle in the military decisions? This question is way over my rank. To address this, you would need to talk to division commanders and above. Several have come out against Rumsfeld, but most have not.

I hope that was helpful. Also, I wasn’t being critical about saying you put words in my mouth in case you felt that way. You were 100% correct. I guess great minds do think alike.

Stephen Daugherty,

You are right to say you expect to see results, but I think most people had a mistaken impression of the timeline over here. Bush made several mistakes. He did not anticipate the insurgency. He broke up the Iraqi Army, which we could have used if for nothing else than to rebuild the infastructure. However, even if the insurgency never happened or was broken after the capture of Saddam, we would still need to be here for a long time. The Iraqi infastructure was in shambles, the result of incompetent management brought about by corruption and years of sanctions. It takes a long amount of time to build roads, water, sewer, and electrical lines, and other infastructure that we in America have the luxury to take for granted. Fixing it takes time under the best of circumstances, and Iraq is far from the best of circumstances.

If I ever insinuated that you were not a supporter of the troops, I apologize. I do, however, have a real problem with the Democratic party. Their entire mid-term strategy is banking on not seeing progress in Iraq. Any news from here that is good is bad for them because thier whole campaign is based on “Iraq is jacked up and we’re not the ones at fault.” However, this is not the case. The Senate rubberstamped the invasion. For all their talk about not having a strategy to win the peace, I don’t recall hearing them say this before we went in. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and just as Clinton got all the benefits of a booming economy, whether or not he was responsible, so Bush is reaping the ire of Americans over Iraq. The truth is, we won’t know if we’ve succeeded in Iraq until a generation from now. If we can start a functional democracy here and it is passed on to the children being born now, than we have succeeded. We simply won’t know until then.

Posted by: 1LT B at June 19, 2006 1:10 PM
Comment #159129

“The Senate rubberstamped the invasion. For all their talk about not having a strategy to win the peace, I don’t recall hearing them say this before we went in.”

I believe it was Kerry who repeatedly called for an “exit stratedy” and was bombarded by all the patriots who believed there was an imminent threat. Would you have put up resistance in that environment while being told of WMD’s and a “direct link to Osama”?

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 1:30 PM
Comment #159131

More votes straight down party lines than any other congress in history by far. A president who did not veto 1 bill. Where does that “rubber stamp” analogy really belong?

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 1:33 PM
Comment #159137

“No, that’s your guess. Or please provide proofs to back your claim it’s a “damn fact”. Thanks.”


Check out Morrocco and Algeria and see how the muslim women are treated there. Also, take a look at Europe, or I should say, “EurArabia”; see how the Arabs migrate there and don’t assimilate to the country. Look at France and what happened when they tried to prevent kids from wearing Burkas in the classroom. There’s my “damn facts” bro!


Stephen,
“I know that here in Houston, we have suicide bombers constantly setting themselves off, killing twenty or thirty people at a throw. In every neighborhood, we have at least four or five people shot for being baptist or Catholic a day. We have gangs forcing our women to dress in petticoats, and the electricity is on maybe four hours out of the day. People are constantly bombing the local gas lines. If the above statement stretches credibility on my part, it’s for good reason. We never see this kind of situation in our country, even at our most lawless. It’s not the existence of such crimes, it’s the unhealthy frequency and scale.”


First off, (again) with the War and Peace retorts. My goodness! Just a few lines and move on, bra!!


Anyway, can you walk in certain parts of Houston w/out being assualted, robbed, etc.?! Huh! Didn’t think so; that’s what I’m talking about with crime everywhere in the world and how we can’t get rid of it. Also, car bombs and beheadings are (notorious) in the Middle Eastern countries; that’s why we don’t have that here. Yet, you can still be murdered, robbed, kidnapped, stabbed, shot, drive-by, etc.; even in Houston!

:o)

Posted by: rahdigly at June 19, 2006 1:50 PM
Comment #159140

Oklahoma City. First WTC attack. The foiled Canadian plot in recent news.

ALL were car bombs. Not just a middle eastern phenomenon. Just a great way to freak people out.

And Houston is a dangerous place? But I though capital punishment and having everyone carry conceiled weapons was the answer. Apparently not.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 2:00 PM
Comment #159149

The Weathermen or Weather Underground used explosives as their modus in the late sixties early seventies.
At first, they only attacked unoccupied buildings,
however, one of the last bombs exploded while being built in Greenwich Village. That bomb contained nails as fragment devices to cause “as many casualties as possible”. Three members died in the explosion.
The FBI later reported there were enough explosives to level both sides of the block.

Posted by: Rocky at June 19, 2006 2:16 PM
Comment #159150

This conflict doesn’t end until all parties are ready to stop fighting. Increasing US troop strength will not make that happen. In World War II. France was completely overrun by the Germans and never succeeded in quelling the resistance. Germany had control over every city, port, depot, communication system and had a compliant “Vichy” government assisting them. DeGaulle and his bunch continually raided and blew up installations both military and civilian. They never quit.

Much the same will happen in Iraq. I don’t care of we have 500k troops there, the resistance will continue until the Iraqi people on both sides tire of the fighting. Given that most of the fighting now is ethno-religous in its foundation (much like the Balkans), it may be decades before a stable peace is realized. You could have a country like Yugoslavia as long as there was a Marshal Tito to keep the ethnic tensions at bay with force. But, that is unlikely.

We have got to find a way to understand the best incentive for the Iraqis to put down their IEDs and AK47s. My sense is that some level of religous truce between the Sunnis and Shia will be required and some ethnic partition for the Kurds, Sunnis and Shia will be necessary as well. Otherwise, this will be the Belfast of the last 50 years if they don’t come to some reciprocal agreement.

Additionally, it is time the Muslims resolved this. Having us broker a government and peace is like having Hindus responsible for solving the Protestant v Catholic wars of the 15th century.

Posted by: Dennis at June 19, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #159154

SE

Oh, I get it. It’s “blame the military leadership” time. Heavens, it can’t be that the god-like GWB and the steely-eyed Donny Rumsfeld are off their rockers. No, siree, it’s that those damn generals don’t know how to fight a war. Why, didn’t they grudgingly consent to the story that the administration asked them if they had enough troops and they said yes (could someone quiet those retired generals in the back who are making those loud gasps of exasperation, please?). So, don’t take it out on the Republicans this fall. It’s clearly the fault of those liberal Democrat generals who are always stinking things up.

This is an about face from Viet Nam, right? There the generals knew how to win, but the damn politicians just wouldn’t let them.

You slay me, SE, you really do.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at June 19, 2006 2:32 PM
Comment #159156

“Additionally, it is time the Muslims resolved this. Having us broker a government and peace is like having Hindus responsible for solving the Protestant v Catholic wars of the 15th century.”

Posted by: Dennis at June 19, 2006 02:18 PM


Apologies, I meant the 16th century…

Posted by: Dennis at June 19, 2006 2:32 PM
Comment #159169

Philippe

Until the so called “moderate muslims” stand tall and speak loudly, until they, (as Iraqi’s are), take up arms to defeat these murderous thugs, I can only write what I observe. The French are in danger of becoming a minority in their own country, as are the Dutch. The latest blockbuster book out of the UK is titled “Londonistan”. These muslim groups purposely fail to assimilate and march openly in support of Hamas, Al Aqaeda, Hezbollah ad infinitum. CAIR leaders here have spoken openly of the US becoming a muslim country governed by Sharia law, (but PEACEFULLY though!). It is NO SECRET. I will give the benefit of the doubt to anyone who speaks out forcefully against terror/islamofacism - and I will watch with all diligence, those who give lip service to peace while prayerfully/financially supporting killers.

Posted by: JR at June 19, 2006 3:10 PM
Comment #159173

Kevin23:

I wasn’t intending to compare the qualitative differences between NYC police and a trained military unit. I was simply wondering if 50,000 troops were sufficient to do the Baghdad job. I’m against this war, from inception on, but I’d love to see this offensive succeed. I want our troops out of harms way as soon as possible.

I hope that when Bush visited iraq, when he has to suit up in all the protective gear (minus the heavy backpack, weapons, grime and grit), when he had to face the potential threat of injury or death moving from one place to another (even with all his security in place) — I hope he got some tiny smidgen of an idea of what our troops face every day over there. I would like to think it scared the crap out of him…but then, I have to remember who I’m talking about…mr swagger and arrogance.

I hope we get the job done in Baghdad, and begin to turn this around. I’m tired of seeing so many names and faces of Americans sacrificed to bush’s war.

Posted by: Maggie Rose at June 19, 2006 3:20 PM
Comment #159183

Maggie,

Couldn’t agree more that it is tragic to lose soldiers at the rates we’re losing them. But I think it’s important for Americans to really have context for how it is over there. Many of my friends have told me their first hand accounts and I must admit, it does not sound hopeless. They do kill terrorists.

Just not enough benefit for the price tag in my eyes. I’d rather use that money to fight a true war on terror…making the economy independent of oil production. Now that is going to be a war we’ll have to fight anyway. Might as well be a pioneer like our ancestors used to be. Instead, it feels like we’re being milked so we can continue to hang on a thin thread.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 3:42 PM
Comment #159190

JR

Sorry, but I have to call b*llsh*t on several of your points:

…until they, (as Iraqi’s are), take up arms to defeat these murderous thugs…

It is clear to the most casual observer that in Iraq there are murderous thugs killing other murderous thugs in a free-for-all, while a tiny minority try to hold a government together. Most Iraqis don’t want to be in the military, so they cannot sustain a police force or an army. They have Sunni militias fighting Shiite militias, and insurgents and foreign terrorists, using terror against terror, as the infrastructure continues to deteriorate. That is, if you read any serious foreign policy analysts instead of the White House press briefings and listening to Fox News.

The French are in danger of becoming a minority in their own country, as are the Dutch.

How can the French become a minority in their own country? Only citizens can vote, and if someone becomes a citizen, they are, by definition, French. If you mean, instead, that the French will not look like their ancestors, that’s a different issue and more racial in tone and outlook. But has happened in just about every country throughout history (most nations’ natives are a mixture of earlier mixtures), so I don’t know why the French or Dutch should be an exception. This is just a reflection of the scare tactics being used on the US citizens to make them afraid of immigrants.

CAIR leaders here have spoken openly of the US becoming a muslim country governed by Sharia law, (but PEACEFULLY though!).

How is this different from the Christians in this country trying assert their religion into our national loaws, e.g., to post a particular Protestant version of the ten commandments in courtrooms? I see this as pernicious, but do you? Or is it just a talking point?

Posted by: mental wimp at June 19, 2006 3:53 PM
Comment #159201

indepencent of Arabian oil????? Well, now, that is a whole other topic. Let’s see — bush, oil, iraq, soaring Haliburton profits, soaring oil company profits, soaring US deficit. What’s conservative about all that? but they underestimated American ingenuity — now we’re finally getting lots of people talking about alternatives to OIL, inventing ways out of this quagmire. good ole american ingenuity!! gotta love it!!

Posted by: Maggie Rose at June 19, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #159242

BFF:

Yes, GWB said “As the Iraqis stand up, America will stand down.”

And, I have no doubt that he means it.

That’s exactly why the sweep through Baghdad is happening now. Its a test. If the Iraqis prove they can handle most — not all, which is expecting too much too soon — of the situation there, expect a very important announcement from GWB.

One the libs will cry is a Rove-designed “dirty trick.”

The decision you say you want… but, will hate hearing GWB say it… because it means the election is over… and the Dems are losers again.

“I am ordering XX,XXX American military personnel back to the USA before Christmas 2006. The remainder of our brave heros will be brought home gradually before Christmas 2007.”

I can hardly wait for the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

It will be a joyous sound!

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 19, 2006 6:11 PM
Comment #159245

Wow…just like that huh R-O-W?

Everyone will just say “Bush was right” simply because we pull some troops out? No more daily reports about attacks in Iraq? No more troop casualties? No more economic or environmental crisis’ stemming from their destroyed infrustructure? And we certainly haven’t neglected any core issues at home this whole time right?

This will simply solve everyone’s problem with the war? Has history ever proved that scenario right?

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 6:24 PM
Comment #159263

Kevin23:

You miss the point.

A troop withdrawal won’t solve all the problems YOU care about. It ain’t meant to.

The issues YOU care about are NOT what the majority of AMERICAN VOTERS care about.

That’s why YOUR CANDIDATES lose most elections.

And the 2006 mid-terms will be another loser for the Dems.

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 19, 2006 6:58 PM
Comment #159274

So now I’m magically a Democrat because it suits your argument? Try this: don’t assign me any label, try to argue on the merits. Also, generalizing doesn’t suit you. Ex:

“The issues YOU care about are NOT what the majority of AMERICAN VOTERS care about.”

Education, the Iraq War, Social Security, the environment, and out-of-control spending (I’m sorry, Borrowing) are the issues I’ve presented. I suggest you read a poll on what the most important issues to Americans are….because I just hit on most of the top ones. What have you raised?

You only label and attack the label. Not only do you CONSTANTLY and HABITUALLY miss the point, but you fail to address the person or their arguments. Nicely done. I’m sure Lincoln would be proud.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 7:23 PM
Comment #159294

1LT B-
Before we went in, the assumption was that the Administration knew what it was doing. As far as the elections go, it might just be political karma. The Republicans campaigned heavily, in some cases viciously (recall Max Cleland’s case in 2002) for both the political power to go to war, and in 2004 to continue their mandate. Now, in 2006, they are dealing with an unpopular war which has strained American patience.

This is the way things sometimes balance. Though I think much of the political damage is done, improvements in Iraq might benefit the Republicans on the margin.

As well they should. Credit should go where credit’s due. But that has to balance against all the other problems people have with the way they’ve run things. A screw-up at work who manages to do something right still must overcome the reputation other deads have built, especially if their good deeds come in the category of their worst problems.

I think there’s plent of evidence that the Bush administration was at least negligent in building it’s case. Heck, it was wrong to start the push for war first, instead of starting the push from the evidence. But there’s also a great number of predictions and preparations that others said would be necessary that they heard and ignored. The insurgency could have been predicted, if not in form, at least in possibility. Word is, though, they didn’t want any preparations for things as if something might go wrong. They didn’t want that kind of “defeatism”.

This general substitution of politics for policy, the assertion of an agenda for the construction of a sound plan, is what conspired to make this war so difficult. These people in Washington don’t distinguish between getting their way and getting things right.

It’s true that the Public’s dislike of the Iraq war is the center of part of our strategy. An argument can be made, though, that this is only fair, given that Iraq is a real problem, and this congress and this president bear responsiblity. All that said, I’d warn my fellow Democrats, that we don’t do ourselves much good if we screw this up. Jimmy Carter squandered the political boost given by being anybody but Nixon. We could squander the political advantage we’re given by failing to do real good for the American people.

If we are to replace the Republicans, we must be a change for the better, or otherwise we deserve to get kicked out in our turn.

Rahdigly-
You should know by now: I’m comprehensive!

I know Houston isn’t perfect. It’s got its share of crime. The question is whether the situation is on simmer or flambee! Houston, especially out where I live, is not that dangerous. We don’t have running gun battles. We don’t have cars getting blown up on the way to the airport on a regular basis. Even in the rest of the Middle East (with the exception of Israel and Palestine), these kinds of killings and bombings are rare. You’re just trying to rationalize an irrational level of violence.

JR-
Islamofascism: the war cry of those who are trying to win the war on terror by pretending it’s WWIII and fighting accordingly by conventional means.

Anti-Muslim Hysteria: the means of persuasion for those who don’t want to admit that the ethnic situation in Europe is just a little complex.

Mr. Of Way-
One can mean many things one’s incapable of fulfilling. The test with the sweep is can we get back on the ball with the means at hand. I think we’ll need more than that. You can fantasize that Bush will say he’s withdrawing his troops, and maybe he will say it. But if the Iragi forces don’t work out ax planned, it’s either a long stay, or a short ignoble retreat. If Iraq collapses in the wake of such efforts, America in general will wail and gnash its teeth.

Don’t get so focused on defeating your enemies at home that you think these things will defeat your enemies abroad. What we would like to happen, and what does happen, are two different things. The Bush administration would have liked it if Chalabi and his people had neatly replaced Saddam and the Baathists, but that’s not what happened. We Democrats would have liked to see Bush lose the last election, but that didn’t happen. America would like to see this war end without us losing, but we’ll have to see what happens. The first two are history, and cannot be changed. The last one, though can be altered for the better, especially if you Republicans at least start offering some friendly criticism like SE above. if Republicans had discussed the ins and outs of policy like this earlier, this nation might have been pacified earlier. Advocacy is part of being with a party, but so is examination of what you’re asked to push. That is your big check against the officials in your party who might put your people on an unwise or immoral path otherwise.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 19, 2006 8:23 PM
Comment #159295

There is no more time for talk. They must make Baghdad safe and knock the bull crap off.

For the last two years, George Bush has been crucified and vilified over the prosecution of the war in Iraq. Time and again he has said that military commanders on the ground in Iraq, specifically General Casey and his crew, advise him as to troop levels needed and that whatever they need, they get.

It’s now shit or get off the pot time, generals.

Posted by Sicilian Eagle at June 18, 2006 11:46 AM

Nice try Eagle. A previous President said the buck stops here - meaning at his desk. I thought GW was the CIC? So why are his generals getting to blame?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 19, 2006 8:24 PM
Comment #159422

JR,

I can only write what I observe. The French are in danger of becoming a minority in their own country, as are the Dutch.

First, French can’t be a minority in their own country by definition. Your logic is a total nonsense.

Next, that’s still your opinion, not fact backed. No stats showing a quick rate of french converted to muslims or french muslims number explosing, just your opinion based on a quite biased view of France during last november urban violence (which a study had shown religion was not a factor while unemployement and discrimination were, aka failure of immigration policy - I will search a link to this study for french readers here) and the Dutch Mohamed Cartoons muslims reactions.

That’s a very narrowed view of the reality, maybe limited by your TV frame and chanels you have access to. I can’t tell for Dutch but I guess I know better about muslims in France than you since I happen to live in France and actually have a few french muslims friends. I could tell you that muslims is not the current danger to France social fabric but the daily racism that immigrants (muslims or not) are exposed to, in particular the ones who actually are born french: they suffer a double discrimination since all their life and it’s (should be) a complete shame to all frenchs that we fail to consider as much french as they actually are :-(

Last point: moderate muslims are called just muslims here, while we call non-moderate muslims islamists. There is a difference, an important one: its called xenophobia.
Do you call moderate christians “moderate christians” and the radical ones “christians”? Hopefully, no.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 20, 2006 5:24 AM
Comment #159426

Stephen Daugherty,

I think one of the roots of the problem of the Iraq war goes back to the first Gulf War followed byt the bombing campaign in Serbia. In the First Gulf War, people watched on live TV as an unblooded American military took on a battle-hardened army that had 8 years of wartime experience in Iran and smash it into debris in 100 hours while taking very few casualties. The officer corps that had fought so long to redeem the image of the American military, unfairly defamed by Vietnam, seemed to have been vindicated. Meanwhile, the lesson that it seems everyone is that war is a generally bloodless (to Americans, not our enemies) form of entertainment. This was only further confirmed in Bosnia, when we bombed a dictator into bowing to our demands, didn’t lose a single Airman, and got the happy ending of the rescue of a downed pilot. What was overlooked was what happened in Somalia. Bush, his administration, the huge majority of the Democrats, and the American people in general, figured Gulf War II would be a combination of Gulf War I type decisive victory followed by a situation reminiscent of Paris in 1944. They got Gulf War I redux for about a month, and a situation reminsicent of Somalia for the rest.

We as Americans need to recognize that force should be a last resort. Our preeminent military power is too often an irresistible temptation to Democrats and Republicans alike. the use of military force needs to be carefully considered and planned. Everyone involved in the lead up to the Iraq war saw what they wanted to see.

What really burns me about the Democrats is this. Thier strategy to win in November depends upon there being no progress in Iraq. Zarqawi’s body wasn’t even cold before you saw Democratic talking heads saying that Zarqawi’s death wouldn’t mean a thing to the insurgency while at the same time stating it was a golden opportunity for withdrawl. Because the Democrats are trying to turn this election into a referendum on the war, any good news on the Iraq front is bad news for them.

While it was political chicanery, they had the opportunity to say that they would bring the troops home in that farce of a vote on Iraq a few days ago. They skipped it. While not being Republicans may give them a boost in the polls right now, I doubt it will do so in the elections. The Democrats have no message, and this is why they will continue to lose elections, despite winning in the polls.

Posted by: 1LT B at June 20, 2006 5:45 AM
Comment #159429

Rahdigly,

“No, that’s your guess. Or please provide proofs to back your claim it’s a “damn fact”. Thanks.”

Check out Morrocco and Algeria and see how the muslim women are treated there.

I fail to see what’s happen to muslim women in Morrocco and Algeria is a *factual proof* that the same will have happened in US if Gore was elected president in 2000.
A small hint here: nobody can provide a proof about events that may or not happen in the future. And *this* is a damn fact!
;-)

So, at least to me, you guess is just that: you guess. Not a fact neither a damn one.

Also, take a look at Europe, or I should say, “EurArabia”; see how the Arabs migrate there and don’t assimilate to the country.

You take it wrong way: Europe countries don’t assimilate them. Especially France.

Look at France and what happened when they tried to prevent kids from wearing Burkas in the classroom.

What happened already? Did France was burned, mulsims worlwide attack it? Some few radical muslims had strong reactions indeed, but that’s pretty much all.
Some christians bigots were also angry because christians necklace crosses were forbidden too in the process. As was the Jewish’s kipa (spell?). Secular schools mean all kids should be considered as equal. Private schools are still allowed to do what they want regarding regilion visible signs, not public schools in our secular nation.

I still dunno if it’s a good or bad law, BTW.
But reactions was not violent as much as you want to make it.

There’s my “damn facts” bro!

They sounds like damn fears to me, sorry.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 20, 2006 6:09 AM
Comment #159498

Stephen, you’re missing the point on crime; crime is crime. The US has plenty of gang violence and drive-by shootings and drugs that it’s not safe in certain areas of every part in the US. It’s a shame to think that we could only take crimes seriously if it were beheadings or a car bombs; that’s just absurd! Either way, you don’t give up on crime and you don’t let them win. You still wouldn’t be safe in parts of Houston (or other places in the US) with gangs, guns, knives, drive-by, etc. That type of violence is just as effective and daunting as the car bombs are. Believe that!


Houdin, the point is that muslims went into parts of these countries and enforced their radical ideologies in those regions; they are not assimilating to anybody else, it’s their way or the highway. In France, they had riots (for weeks) last year and it wasn’t just a “few” muslims. France doesn’t have control over these muslims and neither does the rest of Europe, which I aptly named “EurArabia”. Look at the “Mohammed” cartoons in Denmark; those weren’t “moderate” protests at all. No, you can’t make fun of muslims; yet, Jews and Christians are made fun of all the time. Whatever!


I’m (definitely) not playing off of fear. You’re the one trying to play off ignorance; “reactions was not violent as much as you want to make it”, bullcrap! Look up what happened in France and Denmark last year and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.


Posted by: rahdigly at June 20, 2006 11:39 AM
Comment #159518

Rahdigly,

Houdin, the point is that muslims went into parts of these countries and enforced their radical ideologies in those regions;

First, we open large our doors in the last 30 years and were very happy they came to help our old nations to rebuild their economy after the WWII.

Second, show me a fact that back they’re enforcing “their radical ideologies in those regions”.
In fact, it’s the France secular law that enforce on them secular ideology by forbidden wearing religious sign(s) in public schools.

I’ve yet to see one fact showing me that my secular way of life was changed to adapt french muslims way of life and belief…

they are not assimilating to anybody else, it’s their way or the highway.

I’ve personal close muslims friends who would disagree with you here. They’re waiting for so long to be considered just “french” like any others…

In France, they had riots (for weeks) last year and it wasn’t just a “few” muslims.

No, that was a quite important amount of young french, a majority of them being the children of immigrants, that were hangry about be disrespected by our Interior Minister calling them all rabbles.

Doesn’t make burning cars right, as it doesn’t make them islamofacists.

Our media, who did - believe me! - report about these urban violences far more often and more deeper than the US media, many factors were presented as critical like youth, unemployement, daily discrimination, poverty, failure of immigration policy, broken social lift, failure of education, politicians putting fuel to fire but never islamisation of young children of immigrants was one of them. Sorry.
And I guess I’ve seen way more media news and debates on this subject than you were ever exposed to.

The single fact that Fox News used a France map where every town was very misplaced, copy-cutted from Google Maps, tell a lot about how deep they want to go, journalism speaking, on covering french riots… I guess this story was made more tastefull to their watchers after being twisted into a french monkeys face islamists riots.
That’s media spin, not the reality I’ve witnessed here.

France doesn’t have control over these muslims and neither does the rest of Europe, which I aptly named “EurArabia”.

If it was the case, France will be now under Sharia Law, right. It is not. Go figure.

Look at the “Mohammed” cartoons in Denmark; those weren’t “moderate” protests at all. No, you can’t make fun of muslims; yet, Jews and Christians are made fun of all the time. Whatever!

These Mohammed cartoons were published. Governments and newspapers of several europeans nations, while disagreeing with these tasteless cartoons, were supporting the press freedom. In Europe nobody was killed due to cartoons publication reactions. Sure, some group expressed their disagreement and anger, even the french catholic church did, but nobody was hurt. None.
So I guess that prove that you can make fun at muslims in Europe or, for that matter, in France.
That prove also that european muslims are more moderate than in other world areas.

I’m (definitely) not playing off of fear. You’re the one trying to play off ignorance; “reactions was not violent as much as you want to make it”, bullcrap! Look up what happened in France and Denmark last year and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

I was there last year and yes, I know what you’re talking about: anti-muslims hysteria.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 20, 2006 12:32 PM
Comment #159528

Houdin, I don’t care if you live in France or not; the point is that they (you) have a serious problem there with the muslim population and one doesn’t have to live there to understand this. The muslims are citizens in France, yet they don’t adapt to the French culture; that was the problems with the riots last year, they were French citizens.


And, I definitely don’t care if you’re muslim friends disagree with what I say; it’s a fact not an opinion that I’ve stated. And, I don’t respect them nor their “religion”; in fact, any religion that says it’s ok to kill, or conquer people and convert them to your religion, is not a religion, it’s a terrorist group. So, you and your friends chew on that!


Posted by: rahdigly at June 20, 2006 12:51 PM
Comment #159574

rahdigly,

Wow. Confident much? Seeing as how you just went all “Crusader” on us and impuned an entire religion that is actually based on faith, peace, and other eerily Christian-esque values. Why?

No reason to jump to insane generalizations.

And most of the rioting by immigrants in France were NOT French citizens. That was the whole debate…that French citizens have guarantees to a job while the immigrant heavy suburbs was seeing 25% unemployment rates. Please re-read the reports.

Posted by: kevin23 at June 20, 2006 2:29 PM
Comment #159578

Because you may be confused, there were two sets of riots. First by immigrants with no job hope, then by University students and youths who hated the reaction by their gov’t which took away their “birth right.”

Posted by: kevin23 at June 20, 2006 2:31 PM
Comment #159602

Kevin,
“Confident much? Seeing as how you just went all “Crusader” on us and impuned an entire religion that is actually based on faith, peace, and other eerily Christian-esque values. Why?”


I’m very confident, I just don’t let the MC crowd dilute my thinking of muslims. Look at what I said again; I don’t think it is a religion, let alone a “peaceful” one, with the beliefs they have. And, “Christianesque?”, not even close. Try somebody else with that stuff.


As far as the riots, the “immigrants” were the muslims; it was b/c two muslim idiots were electrocuted in their encounter w/ the police, let’s not forget that. And, they held up that city for weeks and burned hundreds of cars. I’m telling you guys right now, you’re not going to be able to make stuff up or paraphrase events to get the result you want; that crap doesn’t work here.

Posted by: rahdigly at June 20, 2006 3:03 PM
Comment #159610

rahdigly-

here’s your logic at work:

Mexican people are committing more murders than other groups, so therefore Catholicism is a religion that teaches that murder is good.

See? Idiotic isn’t it. You ever read the Quran? It has many of the same stories as the bible and does not advocate terror.

Please go read…do something!

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 20, 2006 3:35 PM
Comment #159612

And I noticed you conveniently ignored the Christian imperialism that caused the deaths of entire civilizations in the Americas. Does this mean Christainity should be impuned by all Indians as evil and promoting genocide?

Rediculous.

And I’m still waiting for you to respond to the substance of my comments.

And I love that you explicitly appeal to your own authority while admiting you have no will to understand those you badmouth. Come to think of it…why bother, you might just be a lost cause.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 20, 2006 3:41 PM
Comment #159665

On another note:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/20/world/asia/20afghan.html?th&emc=th

Seems Afganistan is steeling some of Iraq’s thunder. I really hope the Brits don’t let this get out of hand. These poppy-farming, quasi-muslims are killing families and friends of gov’t officials…in this case 32 of them. We can’t let blatent attacks like this go unpunished. This is the perfect time to show the Afgans that we can handle our business. Bring in crop-dusters for the poppy fields and bomb anything that moves. In light of recent events it would be wise to evacuate innocent civilians first.

If the enemies flee, they can come back to empty fields and no financing money. Or how about getting smart and legalizing the stuff. Oh, I know, I know, the children..blah blah blah. That’s what parenting is for.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 20, 2006 5:50 PM
Comment #159672

rahdigly,

Houdin, I don’t care if you live in France or not; the point is that they (you) have a serious problem there with the muslim population and one doesn’t have to live there to understand this. The muslims are citizens in France, yet they don’t adapt to the French culture; that was the problems with the riots last year, they were French citizens.


And, I definitely don’t care if you’re muslim friends disagree with what I say; it’s a fact not an opinion that I’ve stated. And, I don’t respect them nor their “religion”; in fact, any religion that says it’s ok to kill, or conquer people and convert them to your religion, is not a religion, it’s a terrorist group. So, you and your friends chew on that!

So, to sum up, you don’t care about a french opinion on french muslims and claim your opinion is just plain fact while failing to back it with links, stats or proofs.

I think then we both should agree we totally disagree.
Thanks.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 20, 2006 5:57 PM
Comment #160081

1LT B-
I think the view of casualties early on was more complex than that. True, we had come off of thirty years of low casualties, and a set of successful action-at-a-distance wars, but there were concerns about the use of WMDs on American soldiers, and anticipation of higher casualties due to the fact we were heading into their home territory, rather than just liberating another nation from them.

What turned this into Somalia redux was how light we invaded. Our forces were well arrayed for a straight, lightning-fast mobile attack, but those were precisely the characteristics we didn’t need in trying to take control of the nation. You got to have feet on the ground in an occupation, there’s no substitute. Bush and company were warned quite clearly about that.

I agree we should think of force as a last resort. Military forces is messy, and the Chaos needs to be carefully managed.

You say that our strategy is based on their not being that much forward progress heading towards November. Truth is, I think that’s a point of view that makes sense more if you’re on Bush’s side, and less on my side of the fence.

Bush has failed for so long to get things right that many believe that mismanagement is the natural state of things. He’s had his share of successes in the past that have done little to improve the situation, despite their significance: a number of elections, the Capture of Saddam, the Elimination of his sons, the re-taking of Fallujah and Najaf. Nonetheless, the overall results have remained poor. If Americans cannot trust the president to turn even these events into a road towards victory, then there are doubts as to whether one more victory will vindicate his approach any more than the others.

Bush’s administration has put many of the claims of the GOP to the test and they haven’t passed. People will not wait forever for the learning curve to level out. They waited four years for this president, 10 years for this legislature to figure it out. They are running out of patience.

Rahdigly-
The BBC has the current total this year for violent deaths at about 6000. by comparison, Houston only had 336 murders in all of last year. For New York, our largest city, The number was only 540. for that same year.

I suspect the numbers you’re using are 2003 numbers, which stand to be the best you’ll ever get.

New York is about the size of Baghdad, and yet it will stand, at this pace to have only a small fraction of the grief that its counterpart will have. My city doesn’t even handle in a year what Baghdad handles in half a month. So please, don’t say crime is crime in this respect. Even with the influx of Katrina Refugees, we’re far safer.

Point is, in our country, in these cities, we have things under control.

Oh, a word of advice: If a person is from a country, it’s generally not wise to tell them you know more about it than they do. That just asks people to take you seriously.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 21, 2006 4:31 PM
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