Democrats and terrorists calling for Iraq timetable

Alongside top Democratic leaders in Congress, the Associated Press reports that Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem is calling for a United States timetable for withdrawal of its military forces in Iraq. Congratulations Democrats, you’ve garnered the terrorist vote.

And a special congratulations to Senator Levin, Congressman Murtha and Speaker Pelosi, for their outstanding efforts in attaining this cherished constituency. A terror-sympathizing state now champions your Iraq agenda. Way to go team, we couldn’t have done it without your unwavering commitment. That’ll teach those war-mongering neocons not to mess with the new majority.

Hopefully this political union of extremists will illuminate the absurdity of the left’s “strategy” for Iraq. Let this be a lesson for the American electorate. This is the “strategy” the people voted for—these are the loons the people backed—I just hope every American who voted for the Levin/Murtha/Pelosi/Syria strategy will take a second look at their decision and think maybe, just maybe, they made the wrong one.

Posted by at November 19, 2006 7:21 PM
Comments
Comment #195739

“…This is the “strategy” the people voted for—these are the loons the people backed—I just hope every American who voted for the Levin/Murtha/Pelosi/Syria strategy will take a second look at their decision and think maybe, just maybe, they made the wrong one.”

and what was the alternative “strategy”? “stay the course”? i’m sorry; that’s not a strategy, that’s a slogan. how many more would you have die for a slogan?

the only real strategy evidenced by this administration was tantamount to “charge!”

…oh yes…and later, “stop and think? that sounds like treason! you terrorist sympathizer!”

we are entrenched in a situation which we cannot win. the insurgents will not stop until we are all dead, or they are… and yet every time we kill one of them, every day we linger over there, we create a hundred more. end the ego-trip. we didn’t lose - our fearless fuhrer did.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 19, 2006 7:58 PM
Comment #195743

Diogenes:

I am no longer a champion of the “stay the course” slogan. I was at one time, but I’m not anymore.

However, I do believe in the mission—training the Iraqi police and security forces to a point where they can sustain their own country without our support.

Setting a timetable is the worst possible move we could make. Not only does that stifle our military leaders’ ability to do their jobs, but, if the police and security forces are not ready to assume control, will inevitably result in the fall of Iraq to terrorism and insurgency.

That would severely undermine U.S. security, bolster the clout of Al Qaeda and other terror groups, and provide just another terrorist sancutary for them to devsise and implement their insidious treachery.

I acknowledge the errors made in this war—terrorists weren’t in Iraq before, and they are now—and I acknowledge the fact that the Iraq war has made America less safe by fueling islamic extremism and anti-americanism…however, I, unlike critics, also acknowledge the dire importance of amending our errors in Iraq, and staying their until the aforementioned goal is complete.

A loss in Iraq is unacceptable…

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at November 19, 2006 8:14 PM
Comment #195750

Alex,

I think that the recent opposing comments from Kissinger and McCain expose the disarray that is the Republican “strategy” in Iraq.

Is it possible that you guys could at least get on the same page with this issue?

Posted by: Rocky at November 19, 2006 8:46 PM
Comment #195751

“I do believe in the mission—training the Iraqi police and security forces to a point where they can sustain their own country without our support…A loss in Iraq is unacceptable.”

i sympathize with your cause; however, i cannot, in good conscience, support it. this is entirely the wrong attitude, in my estimation. if a loss is unacceptable, then what is? the utter decimation of our forces? fighting until every last american man and woman is dead? or should we nuke the entire country of iraq - or the entire region?

the moment you remove our option of cutting our losses, you leave us only with ‘victory or death’ - the former seems highly dubious, the latter highly likely, given the circumstances. i find *that* unacceptable.

you support the mission. the mission has not changed. neither has the strategy for attaining success - namely, none at all. show me a feasible strategy, and i will show you support.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 19, 2006 8:55 PM
Comment #195752

I think the “new direction” will be nothing more than a change of perception. The Congress will continue to fund the Iraq War. The Democrats will just bitch and whine about it.

I’m eager to see what role the MSM has to play in this little drama. I expect news from Iraq will continue to be bad - very bad - as long as President Bush is in office. If there is no discernable progress over the next two years, the Democrats can always say the Iraq situation was so screwed up that it couldn’t be fixed in two decades, much less two years.

On the other hand, the Democrats (along with their willing accomplices in the MSM) may try to capitalize on their new majority status by altering public perception of the situation in Iraq, thus paving the way for another Democrat win in 2008. If the MSM can make it appear that the Democrats won the Iraq War, that would help convince the American people Democrats are not “soft” and really do have better ideas.

Posted by: Chris at November 19, 2006 8:56 PM
Comment #195757

Alex:

“A loss in Iraq is unacceptable…”

Most of the people who voted this past election were voting their dissatisfaction with the ongoing Iraqi debacle. Unfortunately for them, they are expecting some sort of change in policy—i.e., a timetable, or some sort of evidence that the US is on it’s way out. This, despite the fact, that 63% of all Democratic candidates up for election were against setting timetables, etc.,along with the normal racalcitrance from the neo-cons.

Imagine the frustration and anger of the electorate building to the ‘08 elections when nothing happens regarding a quick, or even timed withdrawal from this neo-con catastrophe.

If the Dems try to show some good-faith effort to end this madness in Iraq, and all the Repubs have to show for it is continued stone-walling and foot-dragging by the Bush administration, the GOP will have their electoral clocks cleaned again.

Let’s see how unacceptable that is!

Posted by: Tim Crow at November 19, 2006 9:08 PM
Comment #195759

Chris,

“If the MSM can make it appear that the Democrats won the Iraq War, that would help convince the American people Democrats are not “soft” and really do have better ideas.”

Boy, that would really pull the fat out of the fire then, wouldn’t it?

Posted by: Rocky at November 19, 2006 9:13 PM
Comment #195760

Here’s the current strategy. I have two questions for Democrats and Liberals.

1. What’s wrong with this strategy?

2. What’s the alternative?

OUR STRATEGY FOR VICTORY IS CLEAR

Our Strategy is Clear: We will help the Iraqi people build a new Iraq with a constitutional, representative government that respects civil rights and has security forces sufficient to maintain domestic order and keep Iraq from becoming a safe haven for terrorists. To achieve this end, we are pursuing a comprehensive approach that involves the integrated efforts of the entire United States Government, the Iraqi government, and Coalition governments, and encourages the active involvement of the United Nations, other international organizations, and supportive regional states.

Our strategy involves three integrated tracks — political, security, and economic — each with separate objectives, but together helping Iraqis to defeat the terrorists, Saddamists, and rejectionists, and secure a new democratic state in Iraq.

The Political Track (Isolate, Engage, Build)

Objective: To help the Iraqi people forge a broadly supported national compact for democratic government, thereby isolating enemy elements from the broader public.

To achieve this objective, we are helping the Iraqi government:

- Isolate hardened enemy elements from those who can be won over to a peaceful political process by countering false propaganda and demonstrating to the Iraqi people that they have a stake in a viable, democratic Iraq.
- Engage those outside the political process and invite in those willing to turn away from violence through ever-expanding avenues of peaceful participation.
- Build stable, pluralistic, and effective national institutions that can protect the interests of all Iraqis, and facilitate Iraq’s full integration into the international community.

The Security Track (Clear, Hold, Build)

Objective: To develop the Iraqis’ capacity to secure their country while carrying out a campaign to defeat the terrorists and neutralize the insurgency.

To achieve this objective, we are helping the Iraqi government:

- Clear areas of enemy control by remaining on the offensive, killing and capturing enemy fighters and denying them safe-haven.
- Hold areas freed from enemy control by ensuring that they remain under the control of a peaceful Iraqi government with an adequate Iraqi security force presence.
- Build Iraqi Security Forces and the capacity of local institutions to deliver services, advance the rule of law, and nurture civil society.

The Economic Track (Restore, Reform, Build)

Objective: To assist the Iraqi government in establishing the foundations for a sound economy with the capacity to deliver essential services.
To achieve this objective, we are helping the Iraqi government:

- Restore Iraq’s neglected infrastructure so it can meet increasing demand and the needs of a growing economy.
- Reform Iraq’s economy, which has been shaped by war, dictatorship, and sanctions, so that it can be self-sustaining in the future.
- Build the capacity of Iraqi institutions to maintain infrastructure, rejoin the international economic community, and improve the general welfare of all Iraqis.

THIS STRATEGY IS INTEGRATED, AND ITS ELEMENTS ARE MUTUALLY REINFORCING

(Source: www.whitehouse.gov)

Posted by: Chris at November 19, 2006 9:15 PM
Comment #195761


Chris: If the headlines say the war is over, we won, our troops are loading up and they will be home shortly, They can give George Bush, the Democrats, Santa Clause or God Almighty the credit for it. As a matter of fact I would be perfectly willing to, and I am sure others would as well, let you decide who gets the credit.

Posted by: jlw at November 19, 2006 9:16 PM
Comment #195763


Chris: Aside from the fact that the strategy isn’t working, it seems like a great strategy on paper.

Posted by: jlw at November 19, 2006 9:27 PM
Comment #195765

I am optimistic about the next two years.

The Dems are in power. Now they will have to stop the trash talk and try to make a useful contribution. Their overwhelming rejection of Murtha is a good start.

They also have no further use of Bush bashing. He cannot run again and Cheney will not. I expect some hateful inertia, but politicans are practical. When Dems figure out there is no real gain in attacking, most will give up. I expect they will redeploy their attack machine and aim it at McCain and whoever else seems likely to win the nomination.

As soon as Dems feel comfortable, they will begin to see the glories of the wonderful economy. This year the median income will again begin to move up. Dems will want to jump in front of that parade and pretend to be the leader.

The Dems will not cut and run because they will figure out that it is a loser. Once the Dems are onboard, we have a good chance of actually achieving reasonable goals.

Posted by: Jack at November 19, 2006 9:29 PM
Comment #195767

chris,

sounds great on paper, as it were. it is truly unfortunate that the on-ground situation has not borne out that strategy as viable. most of this strategy sounds like “find those who still support us and make them work together and pull their weight.” easy enough, right?

unfortunately, we are getting less support every day; those who support our goals are plainly refusing to work together; finally, they are not, in fact, pulling their weight.

too much of this strategy relies on iraqi’s to do the job - and they aren’t. great. now what?

we need a strategy which does not rely so heavily on the iraqis. we need a strategy for what *we* will do to achieve success, seeing as the aforementioned strategy of “help them help themselves” has failed. clearly, i think, if we are waiting for them, then we are waiting in vain.

…or, to sum up my post; this stragegy is not, in fact, feasible.

(though i must give you credit for being able to delineate this alleged strategy far better than bush is capable of).

Posted by: Diogenes at November 19, 2006 9:36 PM
Comment #195768

Jack:

Your 9:29 post was a real knee-slapper. Thanks for the guffaw.

Man, I wish we had that kind of loco-weed out here in the north forty—we could balance the budget, fix SS and wreathe Iraq with goodness and light in three tokes. Damn.

Posted by: Tim Crow at November 19, 2006 9:38 PM
Comment #195769

jlw:

Good point. I don’t particularly care how we win, as long as we WIN. And I’m not just referring to Iraq, either. Iraq is one theater in a global war that will last years, maybe decades. I hope we have the stomach for it because after the islamofascists consolidate their hold on Iraq and the surrounding region, they will certainly come after us.

Perception is everything. Democrats perceive that Iraq is lost and the best we can do is pull out as quickly as possible, before more American soldiers die.

Our enemy see it differently. Spin it however you want, but pulling troops out of Iraq prematurely will be perceived as a great victory by our enemies.

Posted by: Chris at November 19, 2006 9:51 PM
Comment #195771

not to put words in the mouths of the “democrats and liberals,” but to answer your questions;

1. What’s wrong with this strategy?

a) it’s not a strategy for *us* to succeed, so much as it is a strategy for the iraqi people to do so, and

b) they are failing, for their part.

2. What’s the alternative?

a) cut our losses, and use our money and troops to defend *our* people, not the people shooting at us.

b) i don’t know, that’s why i asked for any better strategy… i’m fairly well convinced that there isn’t one.


“Iraq is one theater in a global war that will last years, maybe decades.”

terror and democracy go hand in hand. the best way to affect the actions of a government is to attack those responsible for policy decisions. terrorists have realized that in a democracy, that means we, the people. as long as there is democracy, there will be a “war” on terrorism (if there can really be a war on a tactical method of waging war - a war on war, of sorts - kind of elucidates the inherent impossibility of victory).

“Spin it however you want, but pulling troops out of Iraq prematurely will be perceived as a great victory by our enemies.”

it would seem that their victory was sealed when we decided to police, rather than punish, terror. or perhaps it was when we decided to sacrifice our freedom in the name of protecting that very same freedom. i’m torn on this one.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 19, 2006 10:01 PM
Comment #195776

jlw and Diogenes:

I asked “What’s wrong with the strategy?” and “What’s the alternative?”

JLW says it looks good on paper, but it isn’t working. So it’s a good plan, you just don’t see the results. Is that it?

Diogenes says we need a strategy that focuses less on the Iraqis and more on what WE are doing. Could you elaborate, please?

I think both of you raise a really good point. How are we going to measure success in Iraq? It’s clearly not going to be measured by any regular indicator like “per capita income.” Will success be measured in terms of how many people die per day? Are we back to body counts, like we did in Viet Nam? As I recall, that wasn’t a very successful way to measure success.

How are we going to know we’re winning? If you’re not comfortable with the whole win-lose thing, then how are we going to know we’re on the right track?

Posted by: Chris at November 19, 2006 10:06 PM
Comment #195780


Chris: Let’s start with the security forces. Are we really training security forces or are training, arming and equiping the combatants on each side of a civil war? Seems like the ladder is closer to the truth than the former.

Infrastructure: After three and a half years of occupation, by all accounts, the electrical, water and sewage is still in worse shape than when Sadam was running the show.

An occupation force of at least double or possibly triple the size was needed to secure the country and maintain the peace. To do that now, in essence is starting over. I think it is to late for that and even if it wasn’t, the People won’t tolerate it.

Posted by: jlw at November 19, 2006 10:28 PM
Comment #195782

A timetable IS an exit strategy. An exit strategy without one is impossible. This does not mean a timetable cannot be changed to take events into account. One thing a timetable does is to commit us to is an eventual withdrawel of troops.I doubt that was in the original plan but if we are to seek international cooperation to deal with the mess it is a must.
This is a time for serious debate by serious people. Accusations of terrorist sympaties by the Dems is conterproductive.Didn’t you learn anything from Nov.7?

Posted by: BillS at November 19, 2006 10:32 PM
Comment #195788

Lessse, the Democrats, the terrorists and…… oh yeah,. That left wing commie terrorist…. Kissinger.

Posted by: gergle at November 19, 2006 11:23 PM
Comment #195791

a body count is a start. declining american body count would make me (and a lot of other americans) feel a lot better about the whole thing (sorry to sound callous, but it’s true).

pulling our troops out under conditions which do not devolve into all out civil war is better still. here, i certainly agree with bill. setting a timetable does not preclude us from adapting that timetable as the situation dictates.

however, i also agree with jlw in that it is almost assuredly too late to do so at this point - in part, due to bush’s feebleminded rhetoric condemning any such timetable as a victory for the insurgents. now they will undoubtedly perceive it as such, seeing as bush already (erroneously) conceded that it is.

had we the time to start over, i think a federation of states is clearly the way in which we should have approached iraq - it’s what we have the most experience with, and seems well suited to the iraqi situation.

that said, i will grant you that these ideas are neither immaculate nor complete - yet, i have not been elected by the people to come up with such plans, and would (naively perhaps) expect that anyone who was would be capable of achieving a higher standard.

thus, that’s about as much elaboration as you are likely to get from me. after all, my underlying complaint is not that *i* could do any better, but merely that the most powerful man on the planet should *unquestionably* be able to do better - and yet failed miserably, and magnificently.

as he has exhausted our options, so far as i can ascertain, i will probably be one of the few honest enough to tell you that i am *for* a full-withdrawal, post haste.

you call it cutting and running - i call it cutting our losses.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 19, 2006 11:30 PM
Comment #195794
The Dems will not cut and run because they will figure out that it is a loser. Once the Dems are onboard, we have a good chance of actually achieving reasonable goals.

The Democrats won’t have to push withdrawal, because the Republicans are going to do it for them. Just watch. It won’t be long before the Republicans are going to try to outflank the Democrats on the pro-withdrawal side. The rats are leaving the ship.

Posted by: Woody Mena at November 19, 2006 11:44 PM
Comment #195795

What will happen if we withdraw from Iraq?

We will eventually cut funding to Iraq. Iran will step in to aid the Shia. There will be struggles between the Shia factions. They will purge the Sunnis from Shia controlled areas. There will be massive killing of Sunni’s

Turkey may move on the Kurd’s if they sense a threat.

The Sunni’s will lose. The Saud’s may fund some Sunni uprisings. Syria will defend it’s borders, If violence moves into their border areas they will invade like they did in Lebanon.

People will die, borders may shift. Oil may skyrocket. Iran, Syria and Turkey will eventually stabilize Iraq. Al Qaeda may operate in Sunni areas.

Al Qaeda will still be problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as in Indonesia and Africa.

But most importantly, we will stop spending blood and money for a hair-brained idea, that failed miserably. While the Republicans all blame each other and the Democrats, life will go on.

Posted by: gergle at November 19, 2006 11:45 PM
Comment #195810

Terrorists realized a victory of sorts as soon as we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. They indirectly and unknowingly lured us onto their ground. To have us so close at hand where they can so easily murder americans is surely as close to bliss as life can get for them.

Bush made an idiotic and huge mistake. He and his colleagues duped most everyone. He is now caught in a catch 22. If we leave, the legacy of him and his administration goes out in flames. Thousands of lifes will have been lost for nothing. If we stay there still will not be victory. Just more death and who knows how many more hundreds of billions of dollars wasted. There is more killing between the iraqi nationals than between iraqi’s and insurgents. No two factions seem to be able to agree on anything or who should be in control for that matter. Depending on who’s view you take they are either in or as close as you can get to a civil war.

It is no longer a matter of winning or losing. We have to decide how long we are going to delay the inevitable. The signs are obvious to all except those who are unwilling to swallow their pride. Common sense says it is time to admit our misjudgements, face the realities, pack up and head home.

There will be consequences of course. The iraqi’s will have to decide their own fate. The terrorists will still hate and loath our very existence. Yes, of course they will term our leaving as victory. And they will use it as a propaganda tool. So what, militarily we are still the most powerful nation in the world. Regardless of leaving or staying we will be dealing with them for decades or longer. We have essentially changed the course of history within the region. We made the mess now all we can do is watch it unfold and hope our leaders have enough inteligence and good sense to avoid such collosal mistakes in the future.

“Ya can’t win em all”

Posted by: ILdem at November 20, 2006 1:06 AM
Comment #195815


The Iraqis and the rest of the Muslem world want us out of Iraq. The message that We The People sent to the Muslem world is that we want to get out of Iraq. We have admitted to the World that we made a mistake by doing what we are doing in Iraq. We wanted to help Iraq but by doing it the way we did, we made things worse for them. If we admit this and cool our retoric a little, and then ask the neighbors of Iraq and indeed the World to help us put Iraq back together again, I truely believe that help will be forthcoming.

Maybe I am being naive but I thing that if we can bring the World together to help Iraq and us, it will lead to less tolerance for and better cooperation against the terrorists.

Posted by: jlw at November 20, 2006 1:31 AM
Comment #195822

Iraq truly has become a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t situation. No matter what we do, it will never end with us leaving a stable, democratic Iraq behind. If we up and leave, the country devolves into civil war, most likely ending with a pro-western Kurdistan in the north (if Turkey lets that happen) and an Iran clone in the south, with the Sunnis stuck somewhere in the middle and causing problems with both. If we stay, our very presence invites chaos and violence, not to mention that it undermines the perception of autonomy. As long as we stay, the government will never be seen as operating on it’s own. I guess it’s too late for I told you so, but there it is.

Posted by: leatherankh at November 20, 2006 2:27 AM
Comment #195823

Iraq is engaged in a civil war.

Civil wars end when one side achieves an overwhelming victory.

Ponder that for a moment.

Sometimes negotiations lead to a temporary cessastion of hostilities. But the key word is “temporary.” Usually fighting resumes, until one side decisively defeats the other.

The Iraqi civil war consists of at least four completely different conflicts:

1) Sunni v Shia
2) Arab v Kurd
3) Sunni v US
4) Shia SCIRI v Shia Mahdi Army

There are no good options. Chris details the US government strategy for victory. However, that strategy has failed.

US troop strength can only be increased by another 20,000 for a few months at a time, re the recent testimony by General Abizaid. Hundreds of thousands of troops would be required to implement the US government military strategy.

Iraqis will not fight for Iraq. They will, however, fight to defend their primary political/ethnic/religious allegiances.

As I said, there are no good choices. The only sensible option is to withdraw, and back one faction to the hilt, so that the faction achieves a decisive military victory.

In the 1920s, Britain ended a bloody Iraqi rebellion by backing the minority Sunnis.

In the late 1980s, the Kurds rose against Iraq at the end of the Iran/Iraq War. Saddam Hussein ended the civil war by slaughtering over 100,000 Kurds.

After the First Gulf War, Saddam Hussein ended another civil war. The Shias rose against him, and 300,00 Shias died.

There is no secular faction left in Iraq. The Baathists are too weak to matter anymore. The only choice left us is to back the Shias.

We need to withdraw. But just as the aftermath of Vietnam resulted in death & destruction for the South Vietnamese, we need to realize the Iraqi Civil War will probably end in the same way.

Our best hope is to limit the carnage to Iraq, and prevent it from spreading to neighboring countries.

That is a sorry end, but it has the virtue of being an end, and that is more than any current course of action offers.

Posted by: Phx8 at November 20, 2006 2:41 AM
Comment #195824

I honestly can’t believe the title of this article. Why don’t you Bushies GET REAL for a change, huh? Democrats just took the HOUSE AND SENATE and you’re actually still trying to shovel this manure? It just so pathetic!

Woody, nailed it with this:
“The Democrats won’t have to push withdrawal, because the Republicans are going to do it for them. Just watch. It won’t be long before the Republicans are going to try to outflank the Democrats on the pro-withdrawal side. The rats are leaving the ship.”

Yes, I think so too — and hey Woody, check out the size of some of these “cutting and running’” rodents:

The weekend after the statue of Saddam Hussein fell, Kenneth Adelman and a couple of other promoters of the Iraq war gathered at Vice President Cheney’s residence to celebrate. The invasion had been the “cakewalk” Adelman predicted. Cheney and his guests raised their glasses, toasting President Bush and victory. “It was a euphoric moment,” Adelman recalled.

Forty-three months later, the cakewalk looks more like a death march, and Adelman has broken with the Bush team. He had an angry falling-out with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld this fall. He and Cheney are no longer on speaking terms. And he believes that “the president is ultimately responsible” for what Adelman now calls “the debacle that was Iraq.”

Adelman, a former Reagan administration official and onetime member of the Iraq war brain trust, is only the latest voice from inside the Bush circle to speak out against the president or his policies. Heading into the final chapter of his presidency, fresh from the sting of a midterm election defeat, Bush finds himself with fewer and fewer friends. Some of the strongest supporters of the war have grown disenchanted, former insiders are registering public dissent and Republicans on Capitol Hill blame him for losing Congress.

Another quote from the article:

“There are a lot of lives that are lost,” Adelman said in an interview last week. “A country’s at stake. A region’s at stake. This is a gigantic situation… . This didn’t have to be managed this bad. It’s just awful.”

Here’s some more:

The arc of Bush’s second term has shown that the most powerful criticism originates from the inside. The pragmatist crowd around Colin L. Powell began speaking out nearly two years ago after he was eased out as secretary of state. Powell lieutenants such as Haass, Richard L. Armitage, Carl W. Ford Jr. and Lawrence B. Wilkerson took public the policy debates they lost on the inside. Many who worked in Iraq returned deeply upset and wrote books such as “Squandered Victory” (Larry Diamond) and “Losing Iraq” (David L. Phillips). Military and CIA officials unloaded after leaving government, culminating in the “generals’ revolt” last spring when retired flag officers called for Rumsfeld’s dismissal.

On the domestic side, Bush allies in Congress, interest groups and the conservative media broke their solidarity with the White House out of irritation over a number of issues, including federal spending, illegal immigration, the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers, the response to Hurricane Katrina and the Dubai Ports World deal.

Most striking lately, though, has been the criticism from neoconservatives who provided the intellectual framework for Bush’s presidency. Perle, Adelman and others advocated a robust use of U.S. power to advance the ideals of democracy and freedom, targeting Hussein’s Iraq as a threat that could be turned into an opportunity.

In an interview last week, Perle said the administration’s big mistake was occupying the country rather than creating an interim Iraqi government led by a coalition of exile groups to take over after Hussein was toppled. “If I had known that the U.S. was going to essentially establish an occupation, then I’d say, ‘Let’s not do it,’ ” and instead find another way to target Hussein, Perle said. “It was a foolish thing to do.”

Wow, brilliant deduction, Sherlock — thanks so much for this belated assessment on the whole situation.

If you want to read the rest, here’s the Raw Story’s link to the whole WaPo article: Embittered Insiders Turn Against Bush

Posted by: Adrienne at November 20, 2006 3:18 AM
Comment #195838

Funny, this was predicted by Pat Buchanan who said the Neocons would abandon Bush. He made an interesting comment a few days ago. He said that we did not go to war in WWII to stop the spread of facism, we entered WWII because we were attacked at Pearl Harbor.

We were behind invading Afghanistan, and will continue the fight until Bin Laden is dead or captured, and Al Qaeda shown to be the slimy death culture that they are.

America will not support spilling it’s blood for political grandstanding or domino theorists who have never had to fight for anything in their lives.

Wolfowitz, Krytal, and Cheney along with all their cronies should be ridden out on a rail with their brother Rumsfeld.

Posted by: gergle at November 20, 2006 8:49 AM
Comment #195845

Send a hand written apology. Put Saddam back in power. Leave immediately.

Posted by: sassyathiest at November 20, 2006 10:20 AM
Comment #195861

Alex Fitzsimmons,

if the police and security forces are not ready to assume control, will inevitably result in the fall of Iraq to terrorism and insurgency.

What alternative universe are you living in?
Iraq has fallen to terrorism and insurgency since years already.

That would severely undermine U.S. security, bolster the clout of Al Qaeda and other terror groups, and provide just another terrorist sancutary for them to devsise and implement their insidious treachery.

As Iraq has fallen to terrorism and insurgency since years already, indeed the US security is severely undermined thanks to the terrorist sanctuary created by the post-mission-accomplished-plan vaccum.
Not would. Has.
Again, what alternative universe are you living in?

I acknowledge the errors made in this war—terrorists weren’t in Iraq before, and they are now—and I acknowledge the fact that the Iraq war has made America less safe by fueling islamic extremism and anti-americanism…however, I, unlike critics, also acknowledge the dire importance of amending our errors in Iraq, and staying their until the aforementioned goal is complete.

A loss in Iraq is unacceptable…

Nice acknowledgment.

Unfortunatly, to accomplish the aformentioned goal(s) (which ones BTW? - there was so many bring on since 2003 that I’m lost) will needs far far more commitment in both boots on ground, diplomatic efforts and money for actual iraqi infrastructure reconstruction that a majority of americans when facing the real cost of warmongering can’t stand its price anymore (if ever): won’t accept losing theirs relatives locked in Iraq for an unclear agenda and goals, won’t accept the diplomatic price, won’t accept their taxes being sucked by all Iraq’s holyburton bids anymore.

Many of them seems ready to *accept* losing Iraq War, instead.
Even the worst is acceptable when the alternatives are worser…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at November 20, 2006 12:04 PM
Comment #195865

Alex - Just becasue Syria agrees with the Democrates on withdrawl, does not mean it is bad strategy. Your logic is silly, “guilt by association”. There maybe other legitimate motives.

I think this discussion of troop levels in Iraq has been inadequate by both sides. “Stay the Course”, “Victory” or “Cut and Run” is just sloganeering. This is the wrong discussion. The cart before the horse. There is agreement our Iraq startegy needs to change. But until we clearly define our goals and objectsives, we cannot discuss out troop levels. In my view both parties have faulted on this.

Posted by: Stefano at November 20, 2006 12:32 PM
Comment #195892

What is so wrong with a timetable? It gives everyone with any interest in the matter notice as to when they should get what they need to do done. It forces people to go looking for answers as opposed to waiting for solutions to fall on their lap. It also forces us to assess how we will be judging the progress and to prioritize the rebuilding accordingly.

I understand that a hard deadline will also be known to insurgents and rival factions, and that giving an irrevokable public order well in advance of its implimentation can lead to problems in and of itself. But the reality is that the deadline can always be changed, moved, or eliminated provided a clear and convincing reason is given.

I often give my employees arbitrary deadlines to get projects done. It motivates them, and it also makes it so that we notice any potential problems earlier than we otherwise would have. If things aren’t going well, then we re-adjust our tactics and timetable. But, to start, why in the world wouldn’t we make a timetable? If nothing else, it will enable us to provide a more focussed report card to those who hold the purse-strings.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 20, 2006 2:45 PM
Comment #195893

Alex-
First, our ongoing problems were created by this administration’s policies and their stubborn insistence on them. For political reasons, they didn’t adapt to problems when the solutions for doing so were far easier and far simpler. They drug problems out, failed to reconstruct Iraq properly, failed to create a security situation which would allow the region the peace required to get all the reconstruction of the government done right. If Iraq fails, blame rests squarely on the Bush administration. It was their job to run this war. They mismanaged it, then stubbornly refused to deal with their errors.

We cannot forever remain the crutch that holds up the Iraqi Army and police forces. At some point, we have to get out from under them, standing down as they stand up. Trouble is, we’re depending on their initiative instead of taking our own.

Questions of strategy in war are often more practical than perceptual. victories and triumphs do better for morale than slogans and jingoism. You snidely criticize liberals for suggesting a timetable, almost out of reflex. You fail to consider a couple things.

First, comments like the Syrian officials can serve a provocative purpose, goading their enemies into continuing their self-destructive policy. Taking them at their word could play into their hands.

Second, only by laying down a timetable can we gain the initiative. We know how and where they might attack us, because we know what our goals are. We can strategize accordingly, rather than waiting around to get hit.

If we’re unable to take the initiative, then whose fault is that? Who was it who decided how many troops would be used in the invasion? Who failed to figure reconstruction into the costs and the plans of the war?

We create a timetable, then we fight our best to win, to leave behind a viable state. If we take your approach, our withdrawal will be much more haphazard, more Americans will die, and the magnitude of the debacle will become much greater than it would have been otherwise.

We don’t have a lot of good options, and its time the Republicans realize whose fault that is, rather than keep on blaming the folks they kept on the sidelines.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 20, 2006 2:48 PM
Comment #195897

sassyaetheist,

I’m pretty sure you’re joking, but that would be about what these people deserve.

phx,

Why would we want to prevent the chaos in Iraq from spilling over into neighboring countries? Hell, I think a nice little insurgency in Iran or Syria might be a nice payback. Besides, once they revert to killing each other, which seems to be what they’re best at over here, they won’t hate us so much anymore. Beyond this, that type of instability would probably lead to skyrocketing oil prices and finally wean us off of that damned shit. Finding an alternative to oil would be the best thing we could ever do. Once we do that, we can leave this God-forsaken wasteland and let the natives go back to growing figs, herding camels and goats, weaving intricate rugs, and killing each other. Its what they’re best at.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 20, 2006 3:13 PM
Comment #195902

1LT B-

Hang in there, buddy! Putting your ass on the line while everyone at home squabbles about whether it is doing any good has got to be frustrating. I don’t really have a clue as to the mood of the guys on the ground in Iraq, but I do know that if it becomes more cynical than not, we’re in trouble.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 20, 2006 3:37 PM
Comment #195915

1LT B,

Getting off foreign oil would be the smart thing to do, but it’s so unsexy, especially compared to starting a stupid war.

Posted by: Trent at November 20, 2006 4:33 PM
Comment #195925

When it comes down to it, I’d rather we got off oil because we were smart and invented better alternatives that could work, rather than as a result of some obnoxious price increase or war gone out of control. Doing things this way hardly reflects well on the country.

One thing that really galls me is hearing from the Iraqis that they expected a superpower to be more effective. That’s a real low to fall to, when we can brag we’re a superpower but not prove it where it counts. Under Bush, American foreign policy has become about harsh language and tough positions that don’t acheive much of anything.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 20, 2006 5:28 PM
Comment #195927

1LT,
Talks with Syria & Iran sure seem logical. Unfortunately, the current administration has made a habit of being publicly belligerent towards both countries.

In the meantime, politicians continue to duck responsibility for the whole fiasco. No one wants to pull the plug on Iraq, for fear of being tagged “soft on defense” or whatever. It is just a horrendous mess, a fiasco, and personally, I think the situation is beyond recovery.

It will probably take a new administration to make any real progress towards a resolution. It is a sad state of affairs, seeing our country brought so low by nothing more than the sheer incompetence, ineptitude, cronyism, and corruption of its civilian leaders.

Posted by: phx8 at November 20, 2006 5:37 PM
Comment #195957

Talk with Syria and Iran!? Thats like talking with Hitler. No exageration. Lets see: Hitler slaughtered 6 million Jews. Iran and Syria would like to wipe out the state of Israel and all its people.

I’m not a fan of Bush’s Iraq policy by any means, but talking with Syria and Iran? That strikes me as a more than a little insane.

Like they’re gonna actually cooperate to make a stable Iraq…unless that stable Iraq happens to be another Shiite tyranny bent on the destruction of Israel and Western culture in general.

These are the countries bankrolling and arming militias, death squads and the like. They might say they’ll stop, but they won’t really. I all we can do is complain, since we can’t really do anything to them. (Thanks to Bush)

Anyway I don’t want to stay the course but talking with Syria and Iran is like steering a course through a hurricane.

Posted by: Silima at November 20, 2006 10:29 PM
Comment #195992

jlw:

Are we really training security forces or are training, arming and equiping the combatants on each side of a civil war?

That’s a good question. I’m not there, so I don’t have any first-hand knowledge about this very disturbing possibility (probability?). If it is happening, I wonder how serious a problem it has become?

Infrastructure: After three and a half years of occupation, by all accounts, the electrical, water and sewage is still in worse shape than when Sadam was running the show.

Hmm. This sounds more like opinion than fact. Can you support your claim with reputable sources (i.e., sources other than CNN, KOS, The Daily Show, etc.)?

An occupation force of at least double or possibly triple the size was needed to secure the country and maintain the peace. To do that now, in essence is starting over. I think it is to late for that and even if it wasn’t, the People won’t tolerate it.

This sounds like armchair generaling (is “generaling” a word?) to me. Maybe so, maybe not. The consensus of opinion seems to be Yeah, we should have had more boots on the ground at the beginning. But that was five years ago, wasn’t it? And some of the articles I’ve been reading seem to indicate that the current strategy is working, albeit slowly and by degrees. Read Return to Ramadi for a first-hand account of how our soldiers are taking the fight to the enemy and kicking their collective butts.

Posted by: Chris at November 21, 2006 8:44 AM
Comment #195993

Silma,

“I’m not a fan of Bush’s Iraq policy by any means, but talking with Syria and Iran? That strikes me as a more than a little insane.

Shall we then just nuke the place and have done with it?
Not dealing with them is what got us where we are.
There are some saner heads beginning to speak out in Mosques accross the Middle East.


1LT B,

“The Iraqis would rather kill each other than work for any sort of betterment of their society and we’re in the middle of a Machiavellian horror, neither loved nor feared by our enemies.”

That would be because we have done nothing that would have our enemies fear us.
The party Rumsfeld threw in Iraq when Baghdad fell, with it’s chaos and looting, set the tone for this entire operation.

No one is in control.

And apparently no one wants to be in control.
If we do not force the Iraqis to get their shit together, they never will.

We cannot fight a war of attrition in the Middle East. We are spending billions to fight an insurgency that can live on next to nothing, and is resupplied with stolen arms and ammo.

We either need to get serious or get out.

Posted by: Rocky at November 21, 2006 8:50 AM
Comment #195994

Diogenes:

declining american body count would make me (and a lot of other americans) feel a lot better about the whole thing (sorry to sound callous, but it’s true).

Who in their right mind would not agree with you? I don’t want American soldiers to die or be grievously wounded. But you seem to be implying that our soldiers are fighting and dying for nothing, and that’s just not true.

setting a timetable does not preclude us from adapting that timetable as the situation dictates.

Setting a timetable is a recipe for disaster. A timetable for retreat is a potent motivator for our enemies. You have to know that.

however, i also agree with jlw in that it is almost assuredly too late to do so at this point - in part, due to bush’s feebleminded rhetoric condemning any such timetable as a victory for the insurgents.

You are just too funny. Those dim-witted insurgents could not paossibly have put two and two together and arrived at the conclusion that a timetable for retreat would be a great victory for them. Oh, man. This would be hilarious is the subject matter were not so serious.

thus, that’s about as much elaboration as you are likely to get from me. after all, my underlying complaint is not that *i* could do any better, but merely that the most powerful man on the planet should *unquestionably* be able to do better - and yet failed miserably, and magnificently.

I am so grateful that you are not President. I am so grateful that you are not calling the shots when it comes to protecting this country and her allies. If you had been President during our Civil War, the North would have surrendered immediately after First Manassas. If you had been President during World War I, the United States would never have entered the war and millions more would have died. If you had been President during World War II, we would have surrendered to the Japanese on December 8, 1941.

as he has exhausted our options, so far as i can ascertain, i will probably be one of the few honest enough to tell you that i am *for* a full-withdrawal, post haste.

Of course you are. Have you picked out a spot for your prayer rug yet?

Posted by: Chris at November 21, 2006 9:07 AM
Comment #196000

I think people don’t realize the bigger issue of how much worse off we will be if we “lose” this fight. Whatever your political leaning may be, you have to be smart enough (Though is suspect some aren’t) to know this.

Posted by: Matt at November 21, 2006 9:50 AM
Comment #196002

Matt,

“I think people don’t realize the bigger issue of how much worse off we will be if we “lose” this fight. Whatever your political leaning may be, you have to be smart enough (Though is suspect some aren’t) to know this.”

We’ve already “lost” this fight, as we have done precious little to win it.
We cannot force Democracy on those that don’t want it bad enough to to fight for it.

Whatever your political leaning…

Posted by: Rocky at November 21, 2006 10:01 AM
Comment #196004

Thank god this generation was not around when we were fighting WW11! This is a war! Iraq is part of that war.I thought we would learn from Vietnam that once you take land in battle you do not give it back to the enemy. How the weak will howl and cry when when we have to fight the enemy here at home! Remember they attacked us here first! Thank god we had Bush instead of Gore or Kerry! God bless our troops,god bless the USA, God bless our president!

Posted by: dolan at November 21, 2006 10:21 AM
Comment #196007

dolan,

“Remember they attacked us here first!”

Wow, Iraq attacked us?

I guess the MSM forgot to mention that, along with the fact that only Congress has the power to declare war.

It’s got to be some kind of Liberal, pinko conspiracy, don’t you think?

Posted by: Rocky at November 21, 2006 10:36 AM
Comment #196018

Wow Thanks Rocky!
Glad you straightened me out we are not at war! Now all you have to do is tell the terrorists that!

Posted by: dolan at November 21, 2006 11:16 AM
Comment #196019

Interesting to me is the fate of Political correctness in Europe. Political correctness has so dominated politics in Europe that many observers have felt (and written) that Europe would allow the Muslims to continue to take over without resistance. Muslims have been openly bragging that it was only the matter of ten or twenty years and they would control Europe.

I’m now hearing that the public is abandoning the Politically correct “intellectual elite” and their politicans. A movement is growing to stop the Illegal Muslim immigrant take over and to salvage the European nations and culture from the Intolerant Radical Islamists who are attempting to subvert it.

Even as extreme political correctness is failing in Europe in the face of Radical Islam, the demcoratic party left seek to institute that failed system in the US. I find it interesting that Democrats in the US seek to parlay with terrorists even in face of the fact that the politicaly correct in Europe are discovering they must oppose and resist radical Islam..that dealing with them and “accepting” them leads only to the loss of their own nations, culture, and freedom.

Posted by: Stephen at November 21, 2006 11:20 AM
Comment #196021

Rocky,

One point of disagreement with otherwise excellent posts. Blaming Rumsfeld, while convienient, lets everybody else off the hook. If we are serious about putting down the violence, then we need to get used to the idea that we’re going to have to do some unsavory things. We had a great opportunity to do this in Fallujah when that city was going mad. In my opinion, we should’ve pulled out our troops, allowed women and children out after thorough searches for weapons, then carpet bombed it to the ground and made it very clear that any other town or city that revolted would suffer the same fate. Instead, we pussy footed around. This is primarily due to the fact that the American people wanted this war but are unwilling to do what it takes to win. Saddam proved that violence could create control in Iraq, and since the Iraqis themselves have proven themselves to be unable to live in peace with each other, I would see establishing harsh reprisals against anyone who rises up against us to be a possibly effective tool. It does have the virtue of not having been tried, at least not by us.

We can’t afford to fight a war of attrition on the terms being offered us by the insurgents. It is more than easy for us, strictly from a material perspective that ignores political costs, to kill huge numbers of Iraqis with minimal investment of time and resources. Iraq has no air defense network save our own Air Force, it wouldn’t be very hard to load up a couple hundred B-52s with old 500lb dumb bombs and wipe a city or two off the face of the Earth. I tend to think that the Roman approach of making horrific examples out of rebels as having more and more merit as time goes on.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 21, 2006 11:26 AM
Comment #196022

dolan,

“Glad you straightened me out we are not at war! Now all you have to do is tell the terrorists that!”

I can only assume you have something to bring to the discussion other than a regurgitation of far right pundit talking points.

Oh, and BTW, it was this administration that gave Iraq back to the insurgents, by not securing that which we had taken, and by not taking this “battle for Iraq” seriously.

Posted by: Rocky at November 21, 2006 11:34 AM
Comment #196025

1LT B,

“This is primarily due to the fact that the American people wanted this war but are unwilling to do what it takes to win.”

I am willing for us to do what it takes if it gets the job done, but it seems the administration is more interested in playing politics, rather than doing what it takes to finish the job.
Like it or not, Rumsfeld was the face of our military, and he knew the job was dangerous when he took it.
His rhetoric in the face of the chaos, did nothing to solve the problem, and going in light, and not securing the areas already taken, was dumb as a stump.

Posted by: Rocky at November 21, 2006 11:50 AM
Comment #196028

Silma & 1LT,
I would favor talks with Syria & Iran without reservation. Yes, they are our opponents, That is an even better reason to talk.

Egypt used to be dedicated to the destruction of Israel. After a war, Jimmy Carter negotiated the Camp David Accords. Egypt was an opponent; but negotiations (and billions of dollars in “aid”) created a stable situation.

One of the reasons some Muslims resent the US is because our culture overwhelms their culture. Their culture cannot survive our close embrace. Soft Power and the forces of globalization are far more effective than military power in creating a more stable, more peaceful world.

Forget the fear which motivates so much of the current foreign policy. Believe in this country and its best attributes, and lead with our true strengths as we interact with opponents.

It is slow, it takes time, and it can be very frustrating. But it is also a sure way of achieving aims which everyone, regardless of nationality, can favor.

Posted by: phx8 at November 21, 2006 11:54 AM
Comment #196030

Rocky
It may suprise you to find that I do agree with you that “the battle for Iraq” has not been executed with as serious intensity as it should have.I believe once our troops had been deployed we should have treated it as we would have in any battle we fought in WW11.Mistakes have been made but pulling out is definitly not a good thing.We cannot give the Islamic extreamists a percieved victory.We still have a chance to give the Iraqs a country of their own but it may very well take tactics such as 1st B was suggesting.We must treat this “battle for Iraq” seriously like a war that it is so we do not turn this into a battle for america.

Posted by: dolan at November 21, 2006 11:59 AM
Comment #196051

Rocky
No, we should not nuke them. But giving them money and aid so they will covertly intead of overtly support the Iraq isurgency makes no sense.

1LT B
Wipe out Fallujah? Not a good idea. You want to outrage the muslim world, be my guest. Also thorough searches of women would probably involve strip searches, and we know how much muslims would like that idea…

phx8
Egypt was not governed by imams. It had a far more secular government than Iran. Also it was not a global backwater like Iran. Egypt has been civilized for most of human history and is nearby Europe and the western world. It had far more to gain from aid than Iran. Plus Egypt had lost two wars to Israel, Iran has not lost one. Egypt had more to be afraid of.

Given soft power is more effective than military power, but if one of the reasons they resent us is our culture, wouldn’t using our culture to defeat them only make them angier?

Also I don’t want to destroy muslim culture. Muslim culture has been vibrant and contributed greatly to western culture. They invented the guitar. They discovered algebra and geometry. I like muslim culture. Its fascinating.

And still, giving them stuff will just make them go underground, or further underground than they already are. They’ll still supply the insurgency, I’d bet a lot on that.

What we need are a few large bases around the Middle East. Use them as training centers for the Iraqi army and police, and bases to strike at enemy strongholds. They less intrusive into their lives we are, the more they won’t see us. When we stop invading what they see as the home of islam most of the fighters will go home. Those that don’t we can light up from those few bases or aircraft carriers. Couple this with strong security at ports, airports and our borders and good intelligence, I think we’ll be ok.

By the way, I think we’ll be hit again. The threat won’t go away. Probably some will get through. We just have to minimize the threat and make sure very, very few get through to strike us.

Posted by: Silima at November 21, 2006 1:29 PM
Comment #196053

Dolan-

Don’t think for a single second that Americans would use even remotely similar tactics to fight a “battle for America”. First off, it wouldn’t be an unpopular war as it wouldn’t involve governing foreigner land and citizenry. Second, we’d be fighting to win…none of this “doing it on the cheap” nonsense. Third, we wouldn’t be financing our future enemies to fight our current enemies as we’re so prone to doing non-domestically…so “winning” would actually produce a certain level of finality. Finally, everyone would know exactly who the enemy was…so we could actually shoot first and ask questions later in legitimate self defense…something that is impossible if you are trying to govern a foreign nation under the guise of civility.

I’ve said it many times in various threads: the American people, when truy united under a clear mission with a clear purpose, are a force to be reckoned with…second to none in every way. However, when you have questionable motives, an impuned and admittedly flawed mission, bad planning and leadership, and very little popular support from those who are not outright war hawks, the end result is almost always going to be something less than total victory…usually much less.

So, Dolan, my response to you is that it is painfully obvious to the vast majority of people that we are not fighting in Iraq to prevent any domestic struggle. At worst, they will try to blow something up and run away. This is nothing new and will never go away completely. The same solutions apply as have always been applied: Security. It doesn’t matter if the threat is a foreign entity or not.

No one is going to go off to fight a war of attrition just so they can avoid having security in big buildings, for example. It just doesn’t hit home. The logic is stretched past the point of recognition. A bomb is a bomb, and an air raid is something entirely different. Defending your home and family is VERY different from going on offense to possibly prevent the possibility of some symbolic bombing of some building at some point in the future. Its apples and oranges…there’s no comparison.

In America, unity is power. And while you may want to believe the vast majority of Americans and US military personnel are stupid for not equating this conflict directly with a domestically fought war for survival, I think it just reflects reality, and I give credit to most Americans for using their common sense rather than buy into dangerously warped logic.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 21, 2006 1:31 PM
Comment #196095


We shouldn’t worry about our security folks. The Vice President has things well in hand, including the plans for our next war in Iran. He also has all the intelligence he needs to prove how dastardly the Iranians are and how they will soon be able to nuke our cities. Of course the CIA disputes most of his intelligence but why should that deter us.

One of the VP’s pet retired generals showed the whole plan in great detail, with a beautiful color map showing all the targets we are going to hit in Iran. It was on, you guessed it, Faux News last week, right after Bill O’Lylie gave a great diatribe on how the MSM and the BBC were giving away our military secrets to the enemy.

Posted by: jlw at November 21, 2006 6:22 PM
Comment #196099

The real question now is not the partisan baiting that Alex and his small-minded ilk want to engage in, but rather now that we have broken Iraq, what do we do about it? Noam Chomsky (how does that name get your goat, Alex?) suggests that given the immoral nature of our invasion of Iraq under false pretenses, out only ethically viable position is to ask the Iraqi’s what they want us to do. Unfortunately, there is no real government to represent the populace (see Kissinger’s comments in the link above), so we really have no single agent to ask. The country is in too much chaos to conduct a meaningful referendum. So, Alex, you wanna be helpful, try to answer these questions, instead of lobbing bonehead insults toward your fellow citizens who equally would like to help our brothers and sisters in Iraq.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at November 21, 2006 6:53 PM
Comment #196115

wow, chris… and i bothered to take your questions seriously! what a waste of both our times!

“I don’t want American soldiers to die or be grievously wounded. But you seem to be implying that our soldiers are fighting and dying for nothing, and that’s just not true.”

no, i am implying no such thing. if you asked why i thought our soldiers were fighting and dying, then i would have told you! try it next time!

our soldiers are fighting and dying for the greed of our incompetent leader-in-thief. they are fighting and dying because some people feel that their pride is more important than our soldiers’ lives. that’s something. nothing good. but something.

it would seem that some have a vested interest in the outcome of this superfluous war that takes precedence over the image of america in the eyes of the world, the future debt our children will have to repay, and even, incredibly, the lives of american soldiers. our dear leader’s pride or greed - take your pick. that is why they are fighting, that is why they are dying. own it.

“Setting a timetable is a recipe for disaster. A timetable for retreat is a potent motivator for our enemies. You have to know that.”

bull.

“You are just too funny. Those dim-witted insurgents could not paossibly have put two and two together and arrived at the conclusion that a timetable for retreat would be a great victory for them. Oh, man. This would be hilarious is the subject matter were not so serious.”

it wouldn’t have been a win if it was part of our strategy for victory from the beginning - as it should have been. understand? when you define victory so narrowly, you cut the odds of success immeasurably. it also helps to have a plan - on the other hand, if you have set no benchmarks, then its far more difficult for anyone to suggest you haven’t achieved any.

“I am so grateful that you are not President. I am so grateful that you are not calling the shots when it comes to protecting this country and her allies.”

you should be so lucky. (i would say the feeling is mutual, but if possible, they did in fact find a worse candidate in bush).

“Have you picked out a spot for your prayer rug yet?”

wow. what you lack in logic, you more than compensate for with insult. congrats.

for those who would listen to truth and reason, rather than its antithesis (bush);
we must extricate ourselves from iraq with all due haste. our continued presence in iraq will not be the measure of our success, but of our failure. in order to justify the death and terror we have wrought upon that country, you would have us stay longer - but there is no justification for our actions there; when did more of a bad thing make anything better? do not continue to send our people to die in a foreign country to ease your own conscience.

bush had his chance. he failed. i will not support failure.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 21, 2006 9:56 PM
Comment #196120
So, Alex, you wanna be helpful, try to answer these questions, instead of lobbing bonehead insults toward your fellow citizens…

Mental Wimp:

The purpose of this post is not to thoroughly analyze the situation in Iraq (I’ll tackle that in another post). Rather, I just reported the news and drew an intriguing conclusion from it…the rest I left up to the posters.

It’s almost laughable how absurd “redeployment” critics look when they advocate the same policy as a terrorist leader…I just thought that was an interesting point that needed to be called out…that’s all this post is meant to convey. I intentionally kept it short, open-ended and vague to spur a lively debate.

And I see no insults here. I merely stated a fact (an alarming fact at that) and offered a condensed version of my criticism based on that fact. That’s all. It is you, Sir/Lady Wimp, who is convoluting my message in a misguided effort to foment partisan animosity by painting me, a victory supporter, a spinster.

Good spin, good spin, Wimp.

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at November 21, 2006 10:24 PM
Comment #196163

Stephen,

You make a good point about Europe. Following the destruction of 2 world wars, Europe determined to strike a new direction for itself that largely rejected religion and nationalism. For a time, this worked, but they made several mistakes. First, they imported workers from a cultrually different area, never tried to integrate them into society, them never sent them home. Also, I think that decades of dealing with communist terrorism has given Europe a lowered sense of urgency about the problem of radical Islamic terrorism. However, I think it will be interesting when a 9/11 scale attack hits Europe. The Europeans are already beginning to pull their heads out of the sand and realize the threat that is their own Muslim populations. I think this was a big part of the drive to bring Eastern Europe into the EU to be able to draw manpower from nations with the same culture.

I tend to be a big fan of Samuel Huntington’s work. One of the observations he made was that, with the collapse of the Cold War and the external enemies it created worldwide, people would begin to look into thier own culture to begin to find purpose. Indeed, religious observation and fundamentalism is up worldwide. The exception is Europe. Yet even there, signs of a Christian resurgance are beginning to emerge. I sincerely hope that the shallow decadence that seems to be the driving force in Europe now wanes and that they can get back to thier heritage.

Another thing that Huntington observed was that Islam is generally incompatible with other cultures. In every place that Islam borders another civilization, there is conflict. The same looks to be true in nations with a significant Muslim minority, the only exception being the United States. Islam has failed to evolve in over 1000 years and will continue to be a threat until it does, if this ever happens. Ever since the time of Muhammad, Islam has cast covetous eyes on Europe. My hope is that the Europeans don’t allow themselves to fall through indigence after successfully resisting for centuries.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 22, 2006 6:57 AM
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