Taking a Giant Step Forward

A milestone will occur today in Iraq that will attract barely a murmur from the biased left wing press.

Today Iraq formally takes command of it’s armed forces.

Ummm…was there even an Iraqi army two years ago? It once again shows the vast improvement taking place in Iraq on a daily basis, yet according to some on the left, we have lost this war. Sure sounds like we’re winning to me!

"This is such a huge, significant event that's about to occur," U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said on Wednesday . "If you go back and you map out significant events that have occurred in this government's formation in taking control of the country, tomorrow is gigantic."

"It's the prime minister's decision how rapidly he wants to move along with assuming control," Caldwell said. "They can move as rapidly thereafter as they want. I know, conceptually, they've talked about perhaps two divisions a month" .

While only a start, this first step is huge. It's hard to believe that earlier this year the in fighting and political maneuvering taking place within the Iraq government would even put this event on the radar screen. Now it's happened, and that is great news.

Yes, a lot more blood will be spilled and yes the militias have to be disarmed, but in the final analysis, this is one more step in the creation of an independent and democratic Iraq that someday will be a great ally in the fight against terror.

It's time to give someone credit for this accomplishment, my leftie friends!

Posted by Sicilian Eagle at September 7, 2006 10:01 AM
Comment #179559

As with every other development that your side has touted with blind optimism, the real test here is whether we get results. To be quite plain about it, the reason the public isn’t supporting this war more solidly, aside from problems with its justification, is the repeated failure to get results from important events like these.

They’re mere formalities, really, a way to say we’ve won some progress, without real movement forward. Bush has indulged in it far too much, and often at the expense of the real progress in the war.

Quit telling us progress, start showing it to us. Start getting results.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 7, 2006 10:23 AM
Comment #179561

Bush’s goal is to never leave Iraq. That is the bottom line. He has said so many times. He will not leave while he is president.

And no there was no army 2 years ago, but, there was one 4 years ago. And the one 4 years ago, did a far better job of preventing sectarian violence, over 3,000 dead per month, than this army is capable of WITH the help of our troops.

The Iraqi Civil War will be fought, with us there as targets, or without us there as meat for their grinder. That’s the reality. And those who support our troops want to bring them home. Those who couldn’t care less about the troops except as political tools to save face, will keep spending their limbs and lives in Iraq.

Yep, that is Bush Supporters - doesn’t matter how many of our GI’s have to die saving Bush’s credibility. He is the commander in chief and they all should die for his credibility if need be. That’s quite a philosophy ya’ll have there. But, it’s not winning hearts and minds here at home anymore than it could in Iraq.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2006 10:41 AM
Comment #179563

You just need to look at results rather than ignore them.
While all is not as rosy as many on the right would have us believe, it is hardly the doom and gloom the left wants people to believe either.

Iraq: Some of what’s not talked about

Posted by: kctim at September 7, 2006 10:46 AM
Comment #179564
Ummm…was there even an Iraqi army two years ago?

Help my memory, SE, would you? Who discarded Iraqi army right after Saddam was removed from power in Iraq?

Sure, let’s celebrate rebuilding what you have destroyed before.
Let’s hope after Iraqi army, the next thing US will rebuild will be Iraqi security. Because both share the same destruction pattern, you know.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 7, 2006 10:49 AM
Comment #179570

“Sure, let’s celebrate rebuilding what you have destroyed before”

We will, just as we did with Europe and Japan.

Posted by: kctim at September 7, 2006 11:01 AM
Comment #179572

The problem is Eagle, that all of the attempts at finding light at the end of the tunnel in Iraq up to now have turned out to be a runaway express train speeding to catastrophic destruction and ever greater instability. Where is the justification for your pollyanna paradigm in the face of massive evidence to the contrary? I believe in being positive, but positivlty without recognising reality will not change a thing. That’s simply wishful thinking, which in itself in general terms, can be relatively harmless. But when many lives are destroyed because of it, then its time to get real.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at September 7, 2006 11:05 AM
Comment #179575

If your idea of “a Far Better Job” is the exicution of massive numbers of people and scores of others jailed and torchered then my friend I know where your heart lies - you profess with your mouth and hide the darkness of your true beliefs.
Then there are those who don’t understand - Bush is not running for office - he won.
Let us say that if, G-d forbid, a Dem becomes president or they secure a majority in either house; do you think they will allow a sharing of power they demand?
The answer is as clear as a bloody nose after a fight

Posted by: kuzriel at September 7, 2006 11:10 AM
Comment #179577

Struck another nerve today. My responses:

Stephen Daughtery
An independent Iraqi army IS progress, Stephen.Look at your posts of 2 years ago…it was non-existent.You refuse to see anything positive sometimes.Give them their due today,for crying out loud.

Watchblog Managing Editor

It’s ok…the Mighty Eagle will even debate the Managing Editor of Watchblog itself….rthe Mighty Eagle…the compassionate conservative that he is, will help anyone in their time of need. :)

Surely you are not saying that Saddam should still be there,are you? No,really…you’re kidding, right?

Phillippe Hudon

Big mistake thrashing the old army by Bremer. BIIIIGGG mistake. But, it’s done and a mid-level officer corps…a new one at that…is gaining experience every day….that’s a good thing.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 7, 2006 11:36 AM
Comment #179578

Something tells me the PM isn’t going to be too quick about relinquishing the only thing propping up this sham government, i.e. the U.S. military.

Congratulations on this purely symbolic and empty milestone.

Posted by: Yossarian at September 7, 2006 11:37 AM
Comment #179580
“Sure, let’s celebrate rebuilding what you have destroyed before”

We will, just as we did with Europe and Japan.

Except that Europe was asking since years for your help against nazi occupations and Japan did actually attack you.
Nothing comparable with 2003’s and today’s Iraq.

But, hey, who am I to ruin any reason, whatever reason, for your Iraq war supporters to throw a party!?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 7, 2006 11:50 AM
Comment #179581

Sic Eagle:
“Ummm…was there even an Iraqi army two years ago? It once again shows the vast improvement taking place in Iraq on a daily basis, yet according to some on the left, we have lost this war. Sure sounds like we’re winning to me!”

Yeah, yeah. You guys were similarly optimistic after Zawqawi was killed — but the violence has only escalated since.
From London correspondent Jim Sciutto at ABCnews: What Dropoff? August Death Total in Baghdad Morgue Triples

It turns out the official toll of violent deaths in August was just revised upwards to 1535 from 550, tripling the total. Now, we’re depressingly used to hearing about deaths here, so much so that the numbers can be numbing. But this means that a much-publicized drop-off in violence in August – heralded by both the Iraqi government and the US military as a sign that a new security effort in Baghdad was working — apparently didn’t exist.

I’m so damn tired of the false optimism displayed by you folks in the GOP. NOBODY is winning in Iraq, and this Vietnam-style cheerleading is deeply dishonest — transparently so.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 7, 2006 11:54 AM
Comment #179584

Ever notice that when something is SOOOOO big and SOOOOO important in the beginning, it usually is degraded to “no big deal” in the end?

Let me explain.

The man in charge of the terrorists in Iraq. Dems yelled that “He MUST be caught”. When he was blown to pieces…the arguement suddenly became…”Oh he’s just ONE guy. He’s not that important.”

Saddam…when he wasn’t in custody…the Dem arguement was “How incompetant. They can’t even catch Saddam!” When he was caught…the arguement suddenly became…”Yeah, but what about Osama?”

A viable Iraqi military? The Dem arguement was “Iraq MUST defend itself.” Now that Iraq is on the verge of doing just that…the arguement is…

“Congratulations on this purely symbolic and empty milestone.”

Thank you, Yossarian for making my point exactly.

And what’s the new Dem battle cry?

“They can’t even catch Osama. What about Osama?”

We can now predict with extreme accuracy the Dem responce when we DO catch Osama…”Oh he’s just ONE guy. He’s not that important.”

Truer word were never spoken…

“It’s time to give someone credit for this accomplishment…”

By the way…

Dems blamed Bush and “his cronies” for the high gas prices…and now that gas prices are in a headlong plunge…will the Dems give Bush and “his cronies” credit for that?

Doubt it.

Posted by: Jim T at September 7, 2006 11:59 AM
Comment #179585
Ummm…was there even an Iraqi army two years ago?

The original existing Iraqi army could have been a great resource for us, but we disbanded them. We believed it would be easy to create a new army. This was one of the biggest mistakes made during the war.

Posted by: Max at September 7, 2006 12:14 PM
Comment #179587

Jim T

Oh, please. You’re being more than a bit generous in saying that Iraq is “on the verge” of being able to defend itself. Iraq is nowhere near being able to defend itself. And I am absolutely correct in saying this is an empty accomplishment, because nothing concrete has occurred. It is purely up to the Iraqi PM how quickly he wants to assume control, if at all. He needn’t do it any time soon. In fact, as a practical matter, he COULDN’T do it any time soon.

Nothing has changed. The second the U.S. military reduces its role in Iraq will the the second that it collapses utterly. As opposed to now, where it is just collapsing a bit at a time.

Posted by: Yossarian at September 7, 2006 12:16 PM
Comment #179589

It’s only those who call the liberal press liberal who don’t watch the liberal press and have no idea what they do or do not report; and since I’m a liberal who doesn’t watch the conservative press, I wonder how I knew about this.

Even those of us still convinced this has been a debacle wish things improve.

Posted by: Zebster at September 7, 2006 12:29 PM
Comment #179590

Agree, this is a great day SE. I was in Iraq 2 years ago and surprisingly there was a nascent army in Iraq, even then. Unfortunately the MSM did not tell of it then, nor did they mention the local Iraq police forces, nor highway patrol that were standing up even then. During my year there I saw changes which have let to the creation of a viable Iraqi army.

No successes in this area can be acknowledged by the left, as they must ignore them to validate their skewed 20/20 hindsight.

Posted by: Seminole 6 at September 7, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #179593


Baby steps. Baby steps.

Saddam captured. Baby step.

Zawqawi blown to hell. Baby Step.

Uday and Koosay blown to hell. Baby step.

Iraq formally takes charge of its armed forces. Baby step.

Take enough baby steps and the war’s over.

And I personally will rejoice every time another baby step is taken…and I will refuse to be overly and overtly pessimistic when something good actually happens.

Posted by: Jim T at September 7, 2006 12:40 PM
Comment #179595

Jim T


Again, NOTHING HAS ACTUALLY HAPPENED. This “baby step” is a nullity. It’s not a baby step, it’s more like marking the area of the rumpus room where the baby COULD take its first step… and ignoring the fact that the baby has no legs.

Enough of that metaphor.

Posted by: Yossarian at September 7, 2006 12:56 PM
Comment #179596

“We Have A Failed Strategy”:
Top military leaders insist new U.S. strategy is desperately needed in Iraq

Posted by: Adrienne at September 7, 2006 12:56 PM
Comment #179597

I’ll give credit where it’s due. It is a good thing that Iraq finally will start standing up. It’s symbolic and important. However, until our guys start coming home (not for short rotations, but permanently) it’s not much other than a milestone. My sense is the Iraqi PM doesn’t want the US to leave and will delay as long as possible any Army taking full control of the situation. The militias are very strong right now and until the balance of power shifts to the military, we’ll be stuck there.

I’m glad they are making progress. I wish it was a couple of years sooner.

Posted by: Dennis at September 7, 2006 12:57 PM
Comment #179598


Take enough baby steps and the war’s over.

“Stay the Course”, huh?

PS: I though the mission was already accomplished 3 years ago!? How come???

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 7, 2006 12:59 PM
Comment #179599
…ignoring the fact that the baby has no legs.

Damn cluster weapons.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 7, 2006 1:02 PM
Comment #179602


I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the cluster weapons are usually efficient enough that surviving with only a leg missing is rare. Oh, and most people tend to die fairly quickly once the femoral artery is cut.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 7, 2006 1:11 PM
Comment #179605


“No successes in this area can be acknowledged by the left, as they must ignore them to validate their skewed 20/20 hindsight. “

And the vast panoply of failures in Iraq must be ignored by the Right, so that the enormous war machine can make money. How ‘bout a pinch of democracy with that steaming wad of capitalist imperialism?


You know, I’ve watched your return to the fray, and marvel at your powers of self-delusion. I can only imagine the tales of mendacity that trail behind you regarding the practicing of your profession.

You are a big, glorified cheerleader rooting your team on to bigger and better things. Except, in Iraq, the home team is behind 44-6, it’s the beginning of the fourth quarter and it’s pouring rain. The faithful, being human, want a hot slice of pizza and a cold brew, and are heading to the parking lot.

I hate political cheerleaders. Instead of letting the facts of a situation speak for themselves, there is constant spinning, selling, massaging. The American people are heading to the exits. They were sucked into the Right’s imperialist dog-and-pony show and now, they want out. And the longer you and your war machine keeps them there against their will, the greater will be the damage done to everything you love about this country. To perpetuate this Iraq policy has been at a cost to American integrity that will take generations to repair—assuming it can be repaired at all.

You are the protector of the faith, a gate-keeper, a preserver of the status-quo, a very conventional man in a sea of convention.

“Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departure as a criticism of themselves. “

Bertrand Russell

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 7, 2006 1:15 PM
Comment #179606
Struck another nerve today… Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 7, 2006 11:36 AM
Not a hard thing to do when you post unsupported opinion as fact on a topic involving tens (hundreds?) of thousands of deaths and hundreds of billions of dollars.

The actual good news is that Blair has admitted the stupidity of following Bush and will resign within the year. Now if only the remaining GOPer would follow his lead…

Posted by: Dave1 at September 7, 2006 1:19 PM
Comment #179609

It’s fairly simple, really. Does this bring greater peace, or does it not? If it does the first, I will take your word for it that we have progress. If things remain as they are, then it is plain to see that this is progress in name only, as all the other notes of progress have turned out to be.

There are plenty of places where the administration can point to success on paper, and they haven’t wasted such opportunities. In the real world, though, you have murders going back and forth to the tune of hundreds a week.

Let’s take the example of sovereignty here. How many months has it been since we supposedly gave it back to them? We’re still there, in this supposedly self-sufficient country. According to your rhetoric, and that of the administration, this so-called sovereign government would collapse in on itself if we withdrew.

If things were as good as you say, we could start withdrawing, and the burden of protecting the country would fall on the shoulders of those to whom it rightly belongs: the Iraqis.

Getting rid of Saddam was not disagreeable to people, but there are right ways and wrong ways to manage that task. There are also appropriate times and inappropriate times.

If you had told Americans that the case for war was as uncertain as the president and/or his staff knew it to be at the time, they might not have gone with it. We trusted the government to get it right, not to simply build cases in support of the favored policy at the top. The real world often doesn’t fit our leader’s initial understanding of things. The good leaders alter their perspective to fit the reality The bad ones merely try to justify their own beliefs.

As for striking nerves, getting reactions out of people does not require one to be right. Fictional movies strike nerves with people all the time. You might think people are merely being defensive, but the truth is, your average liberals on the offensive here. You may be drawing the fire by waving the helmet on the stick, but we’re the ones taking the shots.

Well, friend, you don’t know where our hearts lie, then. It should have crossed your mind a long time ago that we are not hiding dark beliefs, but instead simply disagreeing with you. Unfortunately, the right-wing has gotten addicted to the quick and easy way to have these important arguments, which is to simply slime the other side as traitors and villains.

It’s time for the right to drop these ideas of adolescent exceptionalism. You’re faillible human beings like the rest of us, and here, you happen to be wrong.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 7, 2006 1:34 PM
Comment #179613

Tim Crow

Ouch. Let me first remove the barbs hurled at my feathers here before responding:

We disagree.
I see it one way, you see it another. I doubt anything positive eminating from Iraq would be acknowledged by you or those of your ilk.You see a disaster. I don’t . I see a people struggling to stand for themselves. I see a people who risk their lives every day as they go to work, pray, attend parliment in the hopes of having a society that their children and grandchildren can grow and prosper….something that couldn’t be done under Saddam.

You’re goddam right I am a cheerleader. And I will fight tooth andf nail for what I believe is right too. Last I heard, someone from the right is entitled to be passionate as well,no? I have been unwavering in my support of this administration, yet have also criticized them too when warranted.

However, the president has taken a shellacking unnecessarily this year….first by the Yellowcake Wilson incident by the NYT and WP, then the Guantannamo Bay bullshit and then the Haditha set-up.

Meanwhile,Iraq grows.

Elections,interim governments,constitutions, formation of armies,…all non-existent only months ago..are a reality today…and YOU (collectively) fail to see progress.

Instead you( collectively) have bought hook,line and sinker the democratic propaganda of appeasement,cut and running,or whatever else you folks are calling it today….endless propaganda by the likes of Dean, Pelosi,Kerry, Micheal Moore,Kennedy,Murtha,Clinton,and the rest of the cabal. Look at that list: a freaking disgrace.And that is the potential leadership of this country?

Listen my friend:A call to arms has been issued this week to the right,and they are getting the message that they must join the fray. And join the fray they will,as they mull over the alternative. I know that I am going to make a point to bring 15 Republicans to the polls come election day…and I am going to make sure that the rest of the party gets off their asses and mobilize too.

Final Score (my prediction): 45-44

Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 7, 2006 1:40 PM
Comment #179614

The point being missed here, I believe, is whether you call them baby steps, real achievements or meaningless as it relates to rebuilding Iraq does not mean it has a stinking thing to do with the “war on terrorism.” Thus why both can be right in calling these mildstones important and meaningless.

Posted by: Zebster at September 7, 2006 1:43 PM
Comment #179615

Is there a Iraqi army now? So lets hear about the plans to bring the troops home. Haven’t heard one yet. Might sound good, in name only, but we know who is really going to be out front and unfortuantely it will be the US still.
This war is more and more like Nam, it isn’t funny, but wait maybe bush is having a flash back and thinks it is still Nam. Wait his daddy got him into the air guard and then he went awol.

Posted by: KT at September 7, 2006 1:47 PM
Comment #179621

Is the Iraq War part of the war on terror? Who are we fighting there? Baathists, Al Qaeda, Iran and Syrian proxies, right? So, we’ve got the most formidable military in the history of the planet fighting terrorists in Iraq (and inflicting quite the ass-whipping—with their hands tied behind their backs—I might add). And what does the left want us to do? Retreat, surrender, cut and run…whatever you want to call it.

Someone help me out here. How does this inspire anyone? Except maybe the terrorists….

Posted by: nikkolai at September 7, 2006 2:00 PM
Comment #179622

kt: What happened after we unilaterally withdrew from Viet Nam? I have feeling that these Isamonazis may make those killing fields look quite modest. You know—the 3-5 million people slaughtered by the commie “agrarian-reformers.”

Quite the high point for the American left. But a disaster for southeast asia. We cannot let it happen again.

Posted by: nikkolai at September 7, 2006 2:04 PM
Comment #179623


Posted by: Gerrold at September 7, 2006 2:05 PM
Comment #179624

This news hardly made a splash anywhere, because it’s not really news. Iraq has not taken control of armed forces, they are just starting to. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki now has control over the country’s small air force and navy, and one of Iraq’s 10 army divisions. They will gradually take full operational control of Iraq’s armed forces, including 115,000 U.S.-trained ground troops. Excuse me for counting my chickens before they hatch but why would the Iraqi government be better able to fight terrorism with our soldiers than us? When and if they finally get control? Meanwhile, the Arabic television network Al-Jazeera aired an audiotape Thursday that it said was from the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Hamza al-Muhajer. The speaker on the tape called on all insurgents in Iraq to unite. Insurgency violence of all kinds has continued to escalate.

Optimism in the face of the daunting challenges of these times can be as debilitating as pessimism, shielding us from the obligation to become active agents for a better outcome. If recent disappointment in leadership is robbing Americans of their optimism, this might actually be a step in the direction of cultural maturity. It’s not that President Bush has robbed America of its optimism, but that he tried to replace it with delusion.

Posted by: Max at September 7, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #179630


You will only be happy once Big Brother is in power, the press is run by the Ministry of Truth, the military is run by The Ministry of Peace, the police by the Ministry of Love, and the economy by the Ministry of Plenty. We will call you O’Brien, but the cheerleaders will be lucky to be Wilsons in the new world order you so crave.
But, perhaps we will be lucky. Perhaps we can save America still from the politics of two-minutes-hate and fear that you and your ilk want us to follow.

Posted by: Dave1 at September 7, 2006 2:26 PM
Comment #179632

“Final Score (my prediction): 45-44”

My prediction? Somewhere between 10 and 20 thousand dead Americans, nigh on 1 million dead Iraqis, an additional trillion dollars to the national debt, and all for the unbelievable result of a satellite client state to Iran, with zero dent in terrorism.

Victory has never smelled so ghastly.

As for the metaphorical final score—who cares? I’m up for some pizza and suds.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 7, 2006 2:47 PM
Comment #179638

Sic Eagle, yes, I am saying, if the goal was to remove Saddam, that’s been done. Everything else has been a waste of American GI blood and a quarter trillion taxpayer dollars trying to prevent the inevitable outcome of removing Saddam Hussein.

Hell, man, we have Musharraf, a military dictator with nuclear weapons telling Bush and America to go screw themselves now that the money is dried up, as he removes his troops from the Afghan border in an agreement to not fight the Taliban. Remember the Taliban, SE: they hosted our 9/11 attackers.

I would rather have left Saddam in power and avoided the alliance between Iraq and Iran we now face, and leaving OBL free to live as leader of al-Queda for another 5 years. Yes, your damn straight! But, many Republicans don’t care about OBL, about GI’s dying, about the national debt, they just want vindication for their election choice.

But, in Nov., you will have to note you have lost a good size of your own base for carrying that tune so loudly the whole world hears it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2006 3:08 PM
Comment #179645

To paraphrase the delsional eagle, or perhaps seagull:

Instead you (SE) have bought hook,line and sinker the republican propaganda of mission accomplished, stay the course, culture of life, the insurgency is in its last throes, or whatever else you are calling it today….endless propaganda by the likes of Rove, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Mehlman, Bush, and the rest of the cabal. Look at that list: a freaking disgrace. And that is the leadership of this country?

Posted by: Mister Magoo at September 7, 2006 3:44 PM
Comment #179647

“Sure sounds like we’re winning to me”


This is what is happening on the ground in Iraq… and it is about as far from “winning” as one country can be. Maybe if I saw the Iraqi Army as the key to security in Iraq, then might have some point…

Posted by: tony at September 7, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #179649

David, good post. You wrote:
“Hell, man, we have Musharraf, a military dictator with nuclear weapons telling Bush and America to go screw themselves now that the money is dried up, as he removes his troops from the Afghan border in an agreement to not fight the Taliban.”

Question: Does this mean they won’t be getting all those F-16 fighter jets they wanted? I heard we were going to give them around 40 of these — do you know whether they’ve already been delivered?

Posted by: Adrienne at September 7, 2006 3:57 PM
Comment #179650

Who was who said “Repeat a lie, no matter how outrageous, often enough and loud enough then people will believe it.”?
In this case the liars are the protofascist traitorous right wingnuts of BushCo and their cheerleaders.

Posted by: Dave1 at September 7, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #179651

Tim Crow - mistakes? Sure. Plans do not survive first contact in a war. Road to hell paved with good intentions? Absolutely - but right is right.

This war is about a lot of things, mostly security for this country and our way of life, but it is not about money.

10,000 dead americans? they got 3,000 of us on 9/11, and a couple of thousand of the best and brightest - my brothers, and yours - have died over there for this country. If we quit this struggle 10,000 will be a drop in the bucket when the wolves get among the sheep over here.

Posted by: Seminole 6 at September 7, 2006 4:00 PM
Comment #179652

Mister Gagoo

Imitation is a form of flattery. Feel free to paraphrase me at will. :)

However,the democratic line-up is a joke…a complete joke.If you’re married,I suggest measuring you wife for a burka, because with that crew, they’ll be hoisting the cresent in short order, I think

David R. Reemer

Saddam WAS a weapon of mass destruction…ask the relatives of the couple hundred thousand Kurds he gassed or the half million Iranians he gassed, or the countless thousands that disappeared during his regime.

Plus,you are selling Mushaaraf short. He has a vested interest (*namely his life) to kill OBL. The agreement had nothing to do with the war on terror…yet (again) smoke is being blown that it does. He has been a loyal partner in this fight.

Yes, I note that a good portion of the base is pissed off…but 8 weeks is an eternity in polotics…even you can agree with that. As the Christian right realizes that the least offensive alternative is the present crew, they will return to the fold…especially with the immigration issue yet to be really introduced…this week the war on terror will be highlighted…PLUS..the wallet has yet to be open on television,print,ect.The attack dogs are just loosening up, my friend.


That’s silly. I support the sitting president during a worldwar and you make the quantum leap to a totalitarian state? Nice try.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 7, 2006 4:05 PM
Comment #179656

“This war is about a lot of things, mostly security for this country and our way of life…”

Which war are you discussing?

Posted by: tony at September 7, 2006 4:20 PM
Comment #179662


“Tim Crow - mistakes? Sure. Plans do not survive first contact in a war.”

‘Mistakes’ is your terminology, not mine. I said failures. Iraq wasn’t a mistake (oops! I should have turned left, not right)—it was premeditated neocon murder.

“…but right is right.”

Typical imperial sanctimoniousness. This administration doesn’t know the first thing about correctness.

“If we quit this struggle 10,000 will be a drop in the bucket when the wolves get among the sheep over here.”

The wolves are already here—and they smell of capitalist hubris, fascist tyranny and mendacious meglomania. And that’s just Dick Cheney—I could spend the rest of the afternoon describing the morons that support such policy… but life beckons.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 7, 2006 4:53 PM
Comment #179663


Not a “try”. A simple review of objective evidence supports my conclusion that Bush has no interest in following the Constitution when it conflicts with his self assumed authority as President. He has no interest in following the laws or Congress. And he has no interest in following legal precedence established by the judiciary.
How is that not a dictatorship?

BTW: there is no “worldwar” on terror. Terror is a tactic, not an enemy. But you’re probably referring to the islamofascist pablum. This ain’t world war two and King George was sent packing. This Kings reign expires on 1/20/09 and I for one will be celebrating the new Democrat president, whatever her name :-).

Tim, Nice illiteration.

Posted by: Dave1 at September 7, 2006 5:02 PM
Comment #179666

I don’t think the lefties are convincing anyone over here. Matter of fact, I think they show us how unacceptable it would be for them to regain power.

Posted by: nikkolai at September 7, 2006 5:10 PM
Comment #179675

I don’t think the lefties are GOP is convincing anyone, over here of anything, any longer. Matter of fact, I think they show us how unacceptable it would be for them to regain retain power.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 7, 2006 5:40 PM
Comment #179681


“Again, NOTHING HAS ACTUALLY HAPPENED. This “baby step” is a nullity. It’s not a baby step, it’s more like marking the area of the rumpus room where the baby COULD take its first step… and ignoring the fact that the baby has no legs.”

Well…let’s see…according to the Associated Press…

U.S.-led forces turned over control of Iraq’s military command to the Shiite-led government Thursday, a key step toward the eventual withdrawal of foreign troops.

Hmmmm…sounds to ME like SOMETHING happened. Please write the AP and tell them their story is wrong and the ones who wrote it were full of S**T and only YOU know the true facts…OK?

Philippe Houdoin:

“Stay the Course”, huh?

Well, if “stay the course” means killing the terrorist bastards every time they stick their head out of a hole…then yeah…stay the course. I consider that a WHOLE lot better than turning tail and relocating our troops 5,000 miles away (thank you for THAT plan, Murtha) and calling them a “rapid” response force.

Posted by: Jim T at September 7, 2006 6:50 PM
Comment #179682

Doesn’t independant mean self supporting? Are you saying the Iraqi Army is self supporting? What are we doing there then?

Victory!!!! We signed a piece of paper today!!!

Get a clue.

Posted by: gergle at September 7, 2006 7:04 PM
Comment #179685

try Jesus. Join me with the Harvest Moon

Posted by: Jesse Isaac Lewis at September 7, 2006 7:23 PM
Comment #179686

For everyone who thinks this is a major step forward, please google the term “vaporware”. Because this “benchmark” is nothing but vapor from the marketing department.

We just turned over armed forces to the Prime Minister of Iraq, a man who was the former head of his party’s *JIHAD* office, directing activists and _guerillas_ (aka terorrists) to attack the previous regime. Don’t let the fact that they were attacking Saddam fool you into thinking these are “the good guys”, they mean it when they use the term Jihad and opposed Saddam primarily because he was secular. The Dawa party, or in English the “Islamic Call” party, was created to combat three things: secularism, communism, and baathis arab socialism as far back as the 1950s. It supported the Islamic Revolution in Iran, and in return recieved support from the Iranian government, particularly during the Iran-Iraq war. During the Iran-Iraq War, al-Dawa also committed violent acts against *Western* targets. It was widely viewed in the West as a terrorist organization in this period. In 1983 it bombed the American embassy in Kuwait.

Yeah, this sounds like a great resume for the guy we just handed armed forces over to, doesn’t it?

Posted by: Jarin at September 7, 2006 7:37 PM
Comment #179689

“A milestone will occur today in Iraq that will attract barely a murmur from the biased left wing press.”

Thats funny, I heard it about this hand-over twice today, with the same quotes and all on NPR.

Mean-while ABC is showing a film blaming 9/11 on Bill Clinton, that has “fictionalized scenes”, composite and representational characters, and dialogue and time compression”

Basically, ABC is making stuff up about 9/11, I see this for what it is , and I’m no Clinton fan.

Posted by: 037 at September 7, 2006 7:53 PM
Comment #179694

Tim Crow, please be careful with the term morons. Applied to those in public office, it does not violate our policies. Applied to visitors here, who may in fact support such policies, it does indeed, violate our policy.

Be specific when using terms like that, or run the risk of losing participation privileges here.

Posted by: Watchblog Managing Editor at September 7, 2006 8:09 PM
Comment #179698

SE said: “Saddam WAS a weapon of mass destruction…ask the relatives of the couple hundred thousand Kurds he gassed or the half million Iranians he gassed, or the countless thousands that disappeared during his regime.”

Saddam Hussein was worse than China and the Tibetans, then? Wrong! Was worse than Syria? Wrong. How about Kim Jung Il? Wrong. What states do to their people in other countries has not motivated the Bushies to invade China, N. Korea, or Syria. So, your argument says nothing. He was a horrible leader of his people. So has been Fidel Castro. We aren’t invading Cuba.

Your argument has no merit at all as justification for invading Iraq and destabilizing the region even further and unleashing a civil war. You do realize our actions have caused nearly as many, if not more Iraqi casualties than Saddam Hussein had caused to his own people, right? So if death and destruction is the measure, your argument makes us as culpable as Saddam. Surely that is not the argument you want to make, right? Then find another standard.

As for Musharraf, you really need to catch up on the news. He is giving the Taliban the border areas. The border areas are where OBL is most likely. C’mon, catch some news, and we can talk on a level playing field. Musharraf has received 10’s of millions of dollars from Bush, and now the well is dry. Bush may be Musharraf’s buddy, but that military dictator is no buddy of Bush’s or the U.S. The only part of the U.S. he embraces is our greenbacks and we stopped sending those, so he is demonstrating what a fool Bush was all along saying that Pakistan was our friend in the war on terror. Pakistan was a friend of our greenbacks. Good ole Gulllible Bush. He’s totally misread the situation again.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2006 8:21 PM
Comment #179702

Looking ahead. No matter what one thinks about Iraq and the progress there, if this country is abyssmally ignorant enough to allow democratic control in the hands of San Fran Nan and the one she is choosing for the Intelligence Committee, who happens to be the impeached judge from Florida named Alcee Hastings, then watch for all hell to break loose. Of course this would be only a part of the ignoramus leadership. Frankly most of congress knows nothing about how to conduct the affairs of state. They do know how take your money and run, to the bank or course, or temporarily store it in the freezer. They know how to pontificate about issues and be absolutely ignorant about the topic. That is displayed hour by hour, day by day, by far too many of these “respected leaders”. These same people are making decisions now about national security and they are supposed to know facts about national security, but they show ignorance. I think they should be charged with theft of services. We pay them over $150k and certain expenses and look what we get for it. If you or I were to perform publicly like that, we would end up in the clink. When is congress going to stand up for these United States and seek an honorable end to the Iraq affair. It is simple but mighty—United we stand, divided we fall. Too many of those in congress are narcistic and wanting to satisfy their own egos. They are a threat to this country. They must go down. They must be replaced with responsible public servants, not another politician. I almost feel like preachin’. But I’ll leave it there.

Posted by: tomh at September 7, 2006 8:38 PM
Comment #179703

First of all; please stop referring to Iraq as a democracy. It is a democratically elected theocracy. Read their constitution! As long as it stands they are a THEOCRACY.

Second; this is NOT a world war or a war period! Only congress can declare and ratify a declaration of war. This is a war in the same sence that we had a war on poverty or drugs. Those are going pretty darn well, now, aren’t they?

Scare tactics have worked in the past for this administration and this party but we ain’t quite as dumb as the GOP and Karl Rove would like to think.

Posted by: Tom l at September 7, 2006 8:51 PM
Comment #179704

Saddam was a bad man who killed a lot of innocent people. Easy for people to agree with, easier than you think, in fact. Did they believe he should be deposed? Given the excuse, a whole bunch of Americans thought so. That’s not your problem either.

The problem comes when one tries to figure out whether overthrowing Saddam was a first priority for America. Bush was able to parry that question by seeming to demonstrate that Iraq was indeed a threat.

The question, implicit during most military engagements, is whether the leadership is capable of leading the nation into battle and resolving the conflict afterwards. It becomes explicit here as Americans see chaos going on in Iraq, and the American soldiers seemingly powerless to do anything about it.

As we fail to find the promised weapons, which we were guaranteed to find by our government, and as the war goes from stunning victory to puzzling problem to violent debacle, opposition to the war grows.

All kinds of fallacious appeals to pity, to fear, and to other emotions are used. But they don’t answer the questions this war raises, and people begin to sense that through all the noise of spin.

You can see an epic struggle between good and evil, but even epic struggles are shaped by mundane tensions that have nothing to do with which side is good and which side is not. Saddam may have been a tyrant, but he was very effective at security. Which is to say that in taking him out of the equation, we needed to put something back in to take his place and the place of the infrastructure he built.

We didn’t have the soldiers to keep law and order in the lands we now owned. It didn’t matter whether we were the good guys. Our aw-shucks smiles were not going to meet manpower requirements, our democratically elected charisma was going to be no shield for the blasts of the IEDs.

Opinions don’t matter when the facts contradict them. Ambitions don’t go anywhere when circumstances are not met with the right actions. You can’t cheerlead a victory out of the troops out their if you’re not willing to provide the support necessary in material terms.

The Yellowcake incident was deserved on your party’s part. A cursory check of the documents was sufficient to reveal that it was a forgery. Wilson just revealed what the CIA already knew, and repeatedly, repeatedly told the White House not to run with. They took many of the presidents favorite tidbits out, only to have White House staffers put them right back in.

The Whole Gitmo thing is an example of poor leadership. The White House poorly defined what the terrorists were in an muddled attempt to bypass any controls on what they could do with them. They only ended up creating a policy that offered no solid guidance to officers as to what could or could not be done with prisoners. What started in Gitmo spread to Abu Ghraib and dumped our nation’s reputation in the latrine.

As for this Haditha “setup”? Good heavens, man, have you considered for a moment how quick this military would dump this case if they could? Only this military finding evidence that something happened would perpetuate this case. Other soldiers saw the results, saw the faked reports. The question of what individual soldiers did is still valid and open, and each soldiers should have their day in court. But to persist in the illusion that this was some kind of convoluted insurgent plot without real evidence of such is folly. Something happened. It’s up to the court martial to determine guilt and culpability. Perhaps there’s some saving grace here that’s going to get some of these soldier off. If that’s the case, then let it be so. But otherwise, don’t spread this partisan poison about people like me prejudging folks like them. enough of the facts have converged to indicate the truth of the general account.

The disgrace here is those who would trade the formalities of pretended victory for the realities of an acheived one. You don’t just say “elections” and like magic, democracies appear. You don’t just say “sovereignty”, and all of a sudden, the nation is whole again. And you don’t just say “The Army works on its own” and make it so. There is a difference between signing some order and making something happen, in some transition being submitted as policy, and brought about in reality. Despite all the talk of how Iraq is supposed to be an sovereign democracy with an self-sufficient army and greater freedoms, we have a nation we have not left, cannot leave right now, and seems to be degenerating into something akin to the very kind of failed state we loathed in Afghanistan.

Talk, talk, talk. Talk seems to be opiate of the GOP, the pain-killer dulling your party to the realities whose sharp edges intrude on your comfortable self-regard.

You folks had your chance to fix things right. But your talked yourselves out of it every time, trying to make the consistency of your policy a pissing contest to win with the insurgents. The trouble is, native forces have always had the advantage there. We can’t last forever and keep the fresh troops we need, and the supplies going to that location. It’s costing us dearly, and however much we’re behind this war, at some point we risk bankrupting ourselves by remaining in it.

This is how one rebellion after another has succeeded in defeating superior forces, even those with the best of intentions.

In the real world, good guys need to plan. In the real world, most anti-heros have to match charm and expertise to their bravado in order to flout the established order. In the real world, you can’t get something for nothing.

People like Nikkolai and you can call us traitors and accuse us of siding with enemies, of creating and exploiting America’s failures (the old backstab myth), but that doesn’t make us wrong. Hell, if you people were to get on the ball and start getting a real appreciation of what’s going on, maybe you could get a few of us on your side to help. But you don’t want our help, you don’t want our advice, and you don’t want our participation, and it’s very hard to side with somebody who’s refusing all those gifts we can give to our country, just so they can engage in behavior that just about everybody else sees as wrong and unworthy of further patience.

Seminole 6 says plans don’t survive contact with battle. Well, that’s why you come up with new plans, or at least have some prepared for contingencies. This administration did neither, saying that doing so would be defeatist. In effect, their argument, and yours has been that America’s success and failure rides on that of Bush’s current plan. Maybe what most people other than the cheerleaders of this war have been trying to tell you is that there are other ways to successfully fight the war, and that we don’t need to cling to the plans that circumstances have invalidated.

The tragedy of the Republican Party is that ultimately, in its quest to be considered exclusively right, it’s become stubbornly wrong, even to the point of ignoring the advice of its friends. Once upon a time, we believed that we were capable of better. And it wasn’t so long ago. We fight back against you now because to submit would ultimately be to let the last hope of doing something better, being something better than this, die.

This isn’t about pessimism, This is about listening to the voice of experience, rather than the insistence of vanity. This isn’t about surrendering, this is about fighting the inertia of a dysfunctional government. This isn’t about cutting and running from the terrorists, this is about putting our policies to the test and restoring America’s worn-down military strength.

The Right was unprepared to properly fight the war on terror, to manage this country. The left is going come back and try to run things until the right can get its act together. If you want to take back control, first make up all up all the mistakes and betrayals you inflicted on other American. Then start getting real results for the people. Then our two parties and any who wish to enter the fray can compete to see who serves America best. The time has come to wake up, and it would be sad to see Republicans staying in bed dreaming of past glories.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 7, 2006 9:00 PM
Comment #179706

“Tim Crow, please be careful with the term morons.”

Well, at least someone is reading this stuff.

Is this where I apologize profusely and promise to never, ever let it happen again?

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 7, 2006 9:49 PM
Comment #179710

Hey Dems whats the plan man - I don’t want boo hoos and complaints - it doesn’t substitute for a PLAN.
In all these years - no plan other than we can do it better that you - a song from the late 1940’s I believe. Songs are related to dreams and dreams can be turned into reality - but most are nonsence. Dreams are like moon beams - nothin’ there not even good shin’.
We get better results out of 30 parties fighting it out than 2 who cry.

Posted by: kuzriel at September 7, 2006 10:10 PM
Comment #179711

David R Reemer

Worse than China,Syria and North Korea? Wrong analogy, David.

I do believe that China is in fact pushing toward its own for of democracy..their borders are more open now than any time in the last 5 decades. While human rights abuses abound,surely we can agree that they are a lot better off than say ,during our Vietnam era,no? While the Tibet occupation is a sad chapter in their history, I can’t see the connection. If anything, China will be the one to solve the North Korean issue.

On North Korea you are corrrect, the issue should have been addressed long ago, but the Asain mindset is a completeyt different thing than what we see in the Mideast. How do you say infidel in Korean? Jihad? Crusaders? Religious based idealoghy versus politicial idealogy,thus not a good analogy.

Syria is a piss ant.You,me and say,Adrienne could probably go over there and kick the shit out of them if we want. They ARE a terror facilitator,but again political in nature,not religious.

Saddam was a different story. He funded terrorists all over the place,specializing in financing religious zealots of all stripes. Cash for homicide bombers families and thousands of inticements to any and all to cause harm to America were his calling card. Use religion for personal secular gain.This guy was a mutant.A hydra.The devil.Millions ,not hundreds of thousands died during his reign of terror.

I cannot fathom anyone can say that Iraq is better off WITH him than without him. That arguement just doesn’t wash with me. Sorry,friend.

You have been pissed off at the president why? The reason is that he used the WMD thing as a pretext…that he lied…right? I’ll be happy to debate that issue but the piece I posted was positive in nature today,not a re-hash of recent history. I believe the president was justified back then and we can agree to disagree on that.

Are you rooting for America to lose David? Have you played out the scenarios if Iraq were to collapse into Civil war? Do you think that America leaving tommorow would stop the violence?
If anything the country would collapse into anarchy because the fledgling army would collapse.

So what’s the alternative then? To me, it’s to play our hand out…to leave the place in better shape than we found it..to leave the place in a condition that it’s viable and capable of sustaining life on its own.

That’s why I disagree with you and Stephen (who by the way , is the most elegant of all Watchblog posters….I love that guy, I swear)…we can’t fail,not now.

If that is the case,that is,we can’t fail…why aren’t you as unwavering in support for the mission as I? Your hatred for the president precludes you from doing that….as it has for many in the Democratic party. Personal hatred exceeding the sum of the whole. Thus,that is the story this election season…people now hate the president so much that they refuse to budge even an inch whenever any good news comes out of Iraq. Their blind fury precludes them from seeing that a free Iraq is far better than a collapsed Iraq,and at this stage we have to do whatever we can to assure that happens.

Then,my friend,we can attend to the post-mortems.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 7, 2006 10:15 PM
Comment #179713

From out of all that crap you have been spouting comes a trueism, Illegal immigration will cause the Dems to blow it. We will be feed lies from the repubs and/or the repubs will bite the hand of its corporate bosses and the repubs will pull out enough victories at election time to allow the “world war” to continue, as the dems try to figure out why we shouldnt allow millions of illegals into the Country, What a shame.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 7, 2006 10:21 PM
Comment #179719

Tim Crow:
“Well, at least someone is reading this stuff.”

I know how you feel. Obviously no one read my link entitled:
“Top military leaders insist new U.S. strategy is desperately needed in Iraq.” And that’s a real shame too, because it’s a great article.
[Sigh] Sometimes I don’t know why I bother to keep posting here.

Sic Eagle re: Syria
“You,me and say,Adrienne could probably go over there and kick the shit out of them if we want.”

Nope. I might have a sharp tongue, but a woman of my height and weight can’t kick the shit out of anything larger than teenager. Besides, I believe in diplomacy first — and I think we need to TALK to both the Syrians and the Iranians. Violence should always be the very last resort.
Republicans and conservatives used to agree with that idea too, but not any longer it seems. Now you’re all for starting wars — even pre-emptive wars. I consider that a very scary and disturbing development.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 7, 2006 10:58 PM
Comment #179723

We would like to leave the matter of WMDs behind, but the problem is Bush will never do so. He will not admit that our occupation is a problem if it continues indefinitely.

To put it in terms I’m sure you’d understand, at some point you have to push the fledgling out of the nest. If we can’t push Iraq out of the nest and have it fly on its own two wings, then we’ve failed. No truly sovereign nation requires an occupying army to prop it up.

If it really is true that gradual withdrawal would allow our enemies victory, then something must be wrong. Our objective is to make a free democracy of Iraq, an objective that requires that someday be free even of us. If there’s no room for separation in this deal without Iraq becoming a failed state, the time has come to get our act in gear and do what we have to do to get things moving. We literally cannot afford to procrastinate on this issue.

Unfortunately, procrastination is what is occuring. That’s the essential heart of staying the course: set no new goals, take on no new expenses (like bringing in new soldiers), and occasionally throw supporters a nominal victory liberally coated with conservative rhetoric.

The hand has been playing out since we got there. It’s time to deal another hand.

If you don’t know our plan, you haven’t been listening.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 7, 2006 11:52 PM
Comment #179733


Read the link and found the piece very interesting. There was a lot of talk about a new direction that this admin. needs to take. (this was the point of the article). I can not say that I disagree, but at the same time I tend to side with these top military leaders, all of which do not recommend immediate withdraw. There are a few who would recommend more troops be sent. One general, Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Newbold was said to have stated that setting a time line for withdraw would encourage the insurgents. (I’m Paraphrasing) Retired Marine Gen. Tony Zinni explained that we may be there for another 5-7 years.

Most of those interviewed pretty much stated the same thing when it came to the military aspect of the war.

There was talk of throwing in more $$$, sending in more military NCO’s and training officers to help build up the Iraqi military and security forces. There was also suggestions for more political efforts with surrounding countries in the region. There was even mention of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how we should not be the ally of Israel, but a peace maker between the the two.

I cannot agree with throwing more money into Iraq. There is enough oil there to support that country. What the administration needs to do is get someone from the world bank to oversee and advise the Iraqi gov. on monetary issues. They should not be able to have access to any funds nor have any final say as to how Iraq spends the money save for terrorism and the like.

As far as sending in NCO’s and Training Officers to help with the training of the military and security personnel, Where is the UN? I really haven’t heard much from them concerning Iraq. The UN can now get involved with some troops, say 3000, and really get the ball rolling with some really serious training.

Now down to the meat of the whole matter, Diplomacy. How can we get the middle eastern countries to get along? Well, the way I see it the only time they agree on anything is when it pertains to Israel’s complete destruction, whether it’s a theocratic state or a secular state. Unless Allah comes down and says, “Hey, you kids play nice!”, I really believe that nothing will change.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 8, 2006 1:25 AM
Comment #179749

I love reading the articles and sometimes the comments; especially when just home from a late night and bored. But I wonder… has anyone else ever thought if we met these people face to face, would they be worth trying to debate? Or would we laugh and walk right by? Bc I’ve never met a liberal (at least not locally in SD) that had a good ‘personal’ reason for being so that didn’t also put them in the category of needing a nice pat on the head and someone to lend them an ear. www.benicetoyourlocalliberal/bcthey’lleventuallygetit.usaprideforachangeandhopewecandobetterifwelosethemajorityeverorthewhitehouse.com

Posted by: wasteoftime at September 8, 2006 6:29 AM
Comment #179792

Jim T

What a convenient quotation! Of course, it ignores the entirety of the article, which does nothing but describe how far Iraq is from any semblance of independence from the U.S. military, and in the face of rapidly escalating violence.

To make another analogy that you will fail to address, saying that the gesture in question is any kind of appreciable step is like saying you’ve made a major step in your friend’s drive to work by handing him the keys to a car with no wheels. Utter nonsense.

Posted by: Yossarian at September 8, 2006 10:25 AM
Comment #179811


What did I say above?

Baby steps.

What you want is the U.S. to turn over control of ALL Iraqi forces…ready or not. You want the Iraqi forces ready to defend their nation YESTERDAY.

Hint. It ain’t gonna happen.

How long (and how many baby steps) did it take for the U.S. to hand over the reins to the Japanese government after WW2? Baby steps.

Anything of ANY import will not be acomplished overnight. It just ain’t gonna happen.

How many REAL important things and how many PERCIEVED important things have happened in Iraq so far? Lots of both.

And if…just if…this handover is on paper only, what is it going to do to the Iraqi army’s morale? Lift it? Suppress it? Is their morale REAL or PERCIEVED?

Paper or not…baby steps.

Baby steps.

Posted by: Jim T at September 8, 2006 11:33 AM
Comment #179818


Seven years. And even afterwards they were forbidden from maintaining a standing army.

It’s also worth noting that the occupation of Japan ended six years after its adoption of a new constitution, which occurred one year after surrender. Iraq did not gain a new constitution until two years after our invasion, and has never surrendered.

So, it took us longer to get them started on the road to democracy, but we’re handing over military power to them WAY sooner than we did to japan?

And we are specifically handing it over to a leader who is known for heading up the terrorist wing (aka jihad office) of his political party, a political party which has bombed our embassy in Kuwait in 1983. The release of the Kuwait 17 (also known as the Al Dawa 17) was also one of the most frequent demands made by kidnappers of Western hostages in Lebanon and plane hijackers over the following years, which cannot be seen as coincidental. These are the tactics of the people we have allowed to come into power in Iraq. These are the tactics of the man we just handed an army over to.

Still think these are baby steps in the right direction?

Posted by: Jarin at September 8, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #179856
I know how you feel. Obviously no one read my link entitled… but a woman of my height and weight can’t kick the shit out of anything larger than teenager. Posted by: Adrienne at September 7, 2006 10:58 PM
Don’t feel bad (a) I read the link. (b) The teens in your part of the world must be a lot smaller than here (Mass). At my kids dojo some of the 13 yo boys are well on their way to 6 feet. My 9 yo is 54” and 80#, near 0 fat, and likes to pick up mommy when giving hugs. Posted by: Dave1 at September 8, 2006 2:07 PM
Comment #179860


“Sometimes I don’t know why I bother to keep posting here.”

To keep me from giving up posting here; thus giving the Right carte blanche to spew whatever gibberish comes into their heads, and call it reasoning.:-)

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 8, 2006 2:15 PM
Comment #179902

o’ I’ve been listening and reading - perhaps I haven’t seen the light or are you saying
i can’t recognize reality when it is showen to me.
must be something in the water. Or maybe like the desert - that lacks trees. trees want to grow but conditions are not ripe. Tell me your plan. i’m all ears.

Posted by: kuzriel at September 8, 2006 4:38 PM
Comment #179924

Jim T, Yossarian is right. You really seem to have missed the whole thrust of the article I linked to. Iraq is so far from victory, in spite of all the blood, effort, time, and mind-boggling amount of money we’ve spent there — and “stay the course” is what the adminstration still hopes will work. It’s sheer madness.

“Don’t feel bad (a) I read the link.”

Thank you!
Pretty dark and desperate view of Iraq outlined there, isn’t it?

“(b) The teens in your part of the world must be a lot smaller than here (Mass). At my kids dojo some of the 13 yo boys are well on their way to 6 feet. My 9 yo is 54” and 80#, near 0 fat, and likes to pick up mommy when giving hugs.”

Dang. Fifty four inches tall and 80 pounds — at nine? You must be pretty tall, huh Dave? Sounds like your kid is either doing all his growing now, or he’s going to be a really good basketball player! I’ve only got 10 inches and 32 pounds on your kid — and since he’s obviously into the martial arts, I wouldn’t even want to try to challenge him! :^)

Tim Crow,
You’re very kind. Thank you.

PS. to waste of time,
Your name suits your condescending post perfectly!

Posted by: Adrienne at September 8, 2006 6:00 PM
Comment #180092

Unfortunately, ignorant Americans, like Bush, think everyone sees things the same way as they do. They can never put themselves in the other guys shoes to see the problems. They do not understand the Arab culture and tribal loyalties. Their arrogance is egregious. The jury is still out. Their tipping points are tripping points thus far. We do not know where the true loyalties of the Iraqi boots on the ground truly lies. Will Shia kill Shia? There have been some desertion based on that to date-though sequestered by the American Press. My feeling is that it will not work out as the Neo-Cons wish. This was the wrong war and now Afghanistan is seeing a resurgence of Taliban. That’s what happens when you have a C student in charge. We need reasoning men-not Cowboy mentalities in charge

Posted by: Joe at September 9, 2006 12:58 PM
Comment #180229

“Unfortunately, ignorant Americans … think everyone sees things the same way as they do”

Yes, ignorant Democrats think its unwinnable.
Iraqi leaders don’t buy the defeatist nonsense…

Patience needed

Mahdi, Sistani and other Shiite leaders in the government don’t share Washington’s perception of a downward spiral. They also don’t buy the American sense of urgency — the oft-expressed idea that the new government has only a few months to succeed. Consequently, the many ideas for silver bullets tossed around in the U.S. debate mostly don’t interest them.

You could see this in the conversation I joined at Mahdi’s suite at the Ritz Carlton hotel. We journalists peppered him with questions about why the formation of a unity government had failed to reduce the violence. We asked about all the options usually talked about in Washington — from a rewrite of the constitution to a partition of the country; from an international conference to the dispatch of more U.S. troops.

For the most part, our queries were politely and somewhat laconically dismissed. Iraq is not in a civil war, Mahdi said, and doesn’t need more U.S. troops. It has a constitution and elected government, and thus there is no need for an international conference. As for constitutional reform, the Shiite and Kurd parties that wrote the charter last year are waiting for proposals from Sunni dissidents. Mahdi added: “So far we have heard nothing.”

So what is the solution? “Time — that is it,” Mahdi replied. “A nation like Iraq needs time. The elections for a permanent government happened eight months ago. We have been in office a few weeks. The people who we have in office have never governed. These people come from oppression and a bad political system. We can’t import ministers to Iraq. There will be many mistakes. The Americans made many mistakes, and Iraqis had to support that.”

“Our options as Iraqis are that we don’t have an exit strategy or any withdrawal timetable,” Mahdi said, somewhat bitterly. “We simply go on… . It is a process, and brick by brick we are working on it.
Another data point - the Iraqis aren’t going to hold back like we did to quell the anti-democratic forces:

27 convicted of murder and terrorism are hanged in Iraq:”This is the message I have for the terrorists,” he said of the hanged prisoners, “we will see that you get great punishment wherever you are. There is nothing for you but prison and punishment.”

Posted by: Patrick at September 9, 2006 11:53 PM
Comment #180230

“The Iraqi Civil War will be fought”

The Iraqi PM disagrees with you …

Iraqi PM calls it terrorism

The violence is not increasing, Iraq is not in a civil war. Iraq will never be in a civil war.”

PM Maliki also has said:

“I believe with a great deal of confidence that I have reaffirmed through this, and I became convinced that, I have full confidence of victory and we will be highly capable of defeating terrorism in Iraq.”

“We are determined to defeat terrorism, and the security plan for Baghdad has entered the second phase and it’s achieving its objectives in hunting the terrorist networks and eliminating it.”

“I have informed the President about the national reconciliation plan, which I have launched in order to attract more Iraqi forces which have not engaged in the political process yet. This initiative represents, in addition to building the Iraqi armed forces, one of the initiatives that will contribute to choking terrorism and defeating terrorism in Iraq. ”

Note the label Iraq’s PM uses - Terrorism. The media is desperate to declare a Civil War, so that when Al Qaeda in Iraq blows up another building and kills innocents, they can say that it was ‘civil war’ violence and not “terrorism”.

Posted by: Patrick at September 9, 2006 11:55 PM
Comment #180232

“Something tells me the PM isn’t going to be too quick about relinquishing the only thing propping up this sham government, i.e. the U.S. military.”

“Sham” Govt?!? What a disgusting pathetic lie.

One of the few democratic Governments, elected despite threats from terrorists and significant violence, and BS artists smear that Govt and the sacrifices of the 11 million Iraqi voters who took grave risks to make it happen.

Pathetic and disgusting.

In fact, this is the one *non-sham* Government between Israel and India in the whole region!

We won’t have a sensible discussion on Iraq until the left begins to love democracy more than they hate Bush. That’s the only explanation for such smears against Iraq’s democracy.

For those who say Iraqi democracy can’t be done , I say - IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED. Iraq is *already* a democracy. Imperfect, new, still maturing, but it is there.

The Iraqi Prime Minister and his cabinet was affirmed by Iraq’s elected Parliament, a Parliament elected by 11 million voters in December 2005. They have managed to do in 3 years (go from dictatorship to a new elected national Government under Constituional rule) what it took 13 years in the U.S. (from 1776 to 1789).

This is quite an achievement and despite the violence in Iraq it is an achievement that will not be reversed so long as we are patient in helping Iraq complete this transition and get tothe point where they can defend their Government and people from threats internal and external.

Posted by: Patrick at September 10, 2006 12:00 AM
Comment #180233

“And I am absolutely correct in saying this is an empty accomplishment, because nothing concrete has occurred. “

That’s an ignorant comment that ignores many facts on ground. Ceremonies are ceremonies, but it represents the reality that Iraq’s army is more capable than ever and can now operate to a large extent independently in command and control in fighting insurgents.

What is happening concretely is that more and more operations are beign done solely by Iraqi units in fighting the counterinsurgency, and more and more units are trained to operated independently.
One small example from news last 2 days: “In a raid in Habbiniyah, Iraqi army forces captured two people believed to have engaged in insurgent activities against Iraqi and coalition forces. One was a suspected makeshift-bomb maker connected with multiple attacks against coalition forces, officials said.”

No coalition troops, Iraq Army only, taking out an IED cell. There have been literally hundreds of such operations, a big one recently was the cpature of about 100 Al Qaeda terrorists south of baghdad.

The number is now at 85 battalions out of goal end-strength of 112. This is an evolution. See:

Iraqis stand up for security

We are more than half-way there. Goals for Army training: The end state of the Objective counter-insurgency force will an approximately 137,500 person force based around an army with 9 infantry divisions and 1 mechanized infanty division consisting of 36 brigades and 112 battalions. Current status: The Iraqi Army includes approximately 115,000 trained and equipped combat soldiers … approximately 84% of objective end strength.

In total, there are 106 Iraqi Army combat battalions and 8 Strategic Infrastructure Battalions. In oct 2005 there were 23 battalions and 1 division “in the lead”. In August 2006, there are 85 battalions and 5 divisions.

Recent examples of Iraqis standing up to build up Iraqi security forces:

Iraq’s Newest Officers Emerge - 100 new officers graduated

Iraqi Medics are now serving - Twenty Iraqi Soldiers and Police officers serving near the Iraqi-Syrian border graduated from a combat medical course earlier this month.

Latest western Anbar recruiting drive nets 500-plus Iraqi volunteers for police forces.

4th Iraqi Division assumes repsonsibility


Posted by: Patrick at September 10, 2006 12:08 AM
Comment #180234

In all these years - no plan other than we can do it better that you - a song from the late 1940’s I believe.’

Be aware that when the Dems whine that ‘Bush has no plan for Iraq’, they are lying in patently obvious ways (but some gullible and misinformed buy it!). If you care to read Bush’s plan for victory in Iraq … See - National Strategy for Victory in Iraq at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/iraq/iraq_strategy_nov2005.html See also latest assessment report:
Measures of Stability and Security and the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq. Top-level summary vision of the plan is this - the United States is pursuing an integrated strategy along three broad tracks:
* Political: Helping the Iraqi people forge a broadly supported compact for democratic government
* Economic: Assisting the Government of Iraq in establishing the foundations for a sound market economy with the capacity to deliver essential services
* Security: Contributing to an environment where Iraqis are capable of defeating terrorists and neutralizing insurgents and illegal armed groups

Posted by: Patrick at September 10, 2006 12:12 AM
Comment #180235

“The Yellowcake incident was deserved on your party’s part. A cursory check of the documents was sufficient to reveal that it was a forgery. Wilson just revealed what the CIA already knew, and repeatedly, repeatedly told the White House not to run with. They took many of the presidents favorite tidbits out, only to have White House staffers put them right back in.”

Friends of Wilson and Co. are still pumping this lie?!?! LOL.

Note to non-kool-aid drinkers. Wilson knew nothing of this document prior to its coming public, so his claims like above are easily refutable. his visit was before it was even obtained by CIA so was unrelated to that document, and further, it turns out that whatever Wilson did or didn’t find out in his 1 week junket to Niger, there *was* corroborating evidence for Saddam’s pursuit of yellowcake in the late 1990s by visiting Iraqis independent of that document or Wilson’s (non)report …

Hitchens has thoroughly debunked this in

“Case Closed”: “o summarize, then: In February 1999 one of Saddam Hussein’s chief nuclear goons paid a visit to Niger, but his identity was not noticed by Joseph Wilson, nor emphasized in his “report” to the CIA, nor mentioned at all in his later memoir. British intelligence picked up the news of the Zahawie visit from French and Italian sources and passed it on to Washington. Zahawie’s denials of any background or knowledge, in respect of nuclear matters, are plainly laughable based on his past record, and he is still taken seriously enough as an expert on such matters to be invited (as part of a Jordanian delegation) to Hans Blix’s commission on WMD. Two very senior and experienced diplomats in the field of WMDs and disarmament, both of them from countries by no means aligned with the Bush administration, have been kind enough to share with me their disquiet at his activities. What responsible American administration could possibly have viewed any of this with indifference?”

Wilson is a liar, who was on the Kerry campaign, they ginned up a scandal out of differing assessments of what was up in Niger, and his various cover stories, including “my wife had nothing to do with me going” turned out to be false.

See also -
A scandal plames out

Posted by: Patrick at September 10, 2006 12:25 AM
Comment #180236

“the dems try to figure out why we shouldnt allow millions of illegals into the Country”

The Dems want illegals in this country - that’s their new voting majority.

They won’t change on that score for sure.

Posted by: Patrick at September 10, 2006 12:27 AM
Comment #180237

I don’t think the lefties are convincing anyone over here. Matter of fact, I think they show us how unacceptable it would be for them to regain power.”

Dittos on this.

I am shocked at the number of cheap, shoddy, slip-shod lies the Democrats think they can pull over on the rest of us. And the embrace of Cindy Sheehan, a mentally deranged hater of good things (America, Israel) and lover of crackpot commies (like Hugo Chavez), shows how the entire Democrat party has in the last few years driven over the cliff of insane leftism.

I fear for my country if these leftwing Democrat loons get in power in November. Good enough reason to go straight ticket GOP. I hope for the sake of our country that the Democrat Leftists get sorely disappointed, so that the grownups in the Democrat party can take it back from the foul-mouthed deranged Kos kids and we can have a decent choice by 2008. (paging Joe-memtum, pick up the white phone please…)

Posted by: Patrick at September 10, 2006 12:32 AM
Comment #180379

Wait a minute, Sicilian Eagle. Of the 10 units in the Iraqi army, only ONE is going over to Iraqi control. The other nine are not ready.

4 years and only one in 10 units are ready to go on their own.

This is pathetic.

Posted by: clearwaterconservative at September 10, 2006 8:26 PM
Comment #180380

Oh, and Iraqi soldiers are underpaid, underequipped and frequently AWOL.

And then there’s the problem of serving a government that hardly exists in a country that’s tearing itself apart.

Posted by: clearwaterconservative at September 10, 2006 8:28 PM
Comment #180381

And Patrick (Posted by: Patrick at September 10, 2006 12:08 AM) did you forget to take your medication today?

Posted by: clearwaterconservative at September 10, 2006 8:30 PM
Comment #181667

“Wait a minute, Sicilian Eagle. Of the 10 units in the Iraqi army, only ONE is going over to Iraqi control. The other nine are not ready.”

This is not true. of the 10 *DIVISIONS* in the Iraqi army, 5 *DIVISIONS* are under Iraqi control in terms of beign able to ‘take the lead’.
And there are 85 battalions out of 115 or so end-strength that are able to ‘take the lead’.

Full Iraqi control = Iraqis will assume command-and-control of all these units.

Posted by: Patric at September 15, 2006 8:19 PM
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