Defeat and retreat is not a strategy

Unfortunately, the Democrats of the November Coup believe it is. Now we will have to wait for their elective surrender to play out before returning to the business of fighting terror and spreading freedom.

The right course of action in the war on terror and in Iraq?

Something along the lines of: "...pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

RIGA, Latvia (AP) - Under intense pressure to change course, President Bush on Tuesday rejected suggestions Iraq has fallen into civil war and vowed not to pull U.S. troops out "until the mission is complete."

At the opening of a NATO summit, Bush also urged allies to increase their forces in Afghanistan to confront a strengthening Taliban insurgency.   ~apnews.myway.com

Democrats have said they don't want to stay the course. But then they have said a lot of things over the last few years.

New lies in old wine skins

Among the sordid lies peddled by the left is that American troops are uneducated, brutal, mindless, and hopeless victims of capitalism who were forced to become stormtroopers of the evil empire and who now terrorize innocent women and children in the dead of night, in a manner 'reminiscent of Ghengis Khan', committing numerous war crimes every day.

The armed forces of the United States are broken, defeated, and criminal, according to various Democratic congresspersons.
"I worry about a slow withdrawal which makes it look like there's a victory when I think it should be a redeployment as quickly as possible and let the Iraqis handle the whole thing." ~Congressman John Murtha (D), explaining how retreat must equal defeat.
These are opinions predicated on old and new lies. The old lies reiterated by Murtha, Rangel and Kerry are that the poor and uneducated, as well as the apparently immoral elements of our society, are 'disproportionately' inducted into our armed services. The old inference here comes directly from what once was the dark strains of liberalism, 60's radical leftism. (...aka warmed over marxism and class struggle nonsense.)

The new lies are evident in the reporting and opinions of the left that explain that we've already lost and that we are evil war criminals. 'News' stories like the following are becoming common place and are calculated to aid Democrats and liberals in defeating America in Iraq and anywhere else that we are at war.

A recent AP story explains that American soldiers purposely killed unarmed civilians without provocation. Even though US soldiers were nowhere near this incident, and in fact it was terrorists who killed civilians, the Associated Press either doesn't know that they are printing lies or doesn't care.
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Sir -

Reference the clarification requested on the story by AP below.

Anti-Iraqi Forces opened fire, targeting civilians in the al-Husseiniya area. 10 civilians were killed and six wounded at 11 p.m. Nov. 26. The incident was reported by the Iraqi Police through the Joint National Operations Center (a civilian matter relayed to the Coalition for tracking purposes). There was no Coalition involvement.

v/r

Capt. J. Elaine Hunnicutt (USAF)

Multi-National Corps - Iraq
Joint Operations Center
PAO OIC Nights

[source: floppingaces]
Who to believe? The AP can no longer be considered a credible news source. Regarding any  news about Iraq, the AP should be considered on par with Saddam's Information Minister, Al Shahaf.

Which brings us to Democrat's strategy to 'end to the war in Iraq'.

Defeat and retreat is not a strategy.

When you get all your news from the enemy, one should expect that your outlook might dim somewhat and that it may become difficult for you to have the will and determination to fight a war against terror. Defeat is believing that you can never win, and what's more don't deserve to win even if you could!
"The idea that we are going to win this war is an idea that unfortunately is just plain wrong," he said.

Calling Bush's plan in Iraq a "failed strategy," Dean said he and most Democrats support bringing home an estimated 80,000 National Guard and Reserve troops within the next six months.  ~Howard Dean, DNC Chairman

Old flames and dying embers

With this new Democratic congress Democrats have an opportunity to come back to the center and rejoin with Republicans in fighting the war on terror. They have an opportunity to stop dividing America and pick up a torch that historically was held by Democrats. (...I'm not exactly holding my breath on that. But miracles do happen.)

The sad tale of these last few years is not that a President led us into an illegal war or tricked Democrats into voting for it. The sad tale is that a good percentage of American leaders chose a road of obstruction and sabotage instead of helping in a struggle for freedom, to be laden and to lay upon others the burdens of distrust and slander rather than to 'bear any burden', or 'meet any hardship', in order to, 'assure the survival and the success of liberty'.

The Democratic party has chosen to embrace the darkest impulses of its liberal pedigree and see America as a darkness spreading over the earth rather than a light and a land deserving of loyalty.
The sin of George W. Bush, to hear his critics tell it, is that he unleashed the forces of freedom in Arab-Islamic lands only to beget a terrible storm.  ~Fouad Ajami, USNews.com

I cannot tell you that I am not dissappointed. I am. I long for Democrats who believe in America, (and not the leftist USSA version of a future liberal utopia). I long for liberals who bend more toward the classical than the leftist.

And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe—the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge—and more.

Posted by Eric Simonson at November 29, 2006 8:00 AM
Comments
Comment #196833

Eric-
The condition for our victory in Iraq is being able to withdraw troops without collapsing the nation. The pernicious effect of the rhetoric of folks like you has been to focus people on keeping troops in Iraq, rather than coming up with the plans and the schedules to finish the mission and remove the troops to leave Iraq a free country.

If Iraq is so weak that we cannot leave it, then we need a plan to make it stronger. However, all we’ve seen from Bush’s plan is a continual weakening of that state. Now you can cloak this in all your terms of emotional blackmail and liberal betrayal, but the fact remains, getting out of Iraq with our mission accomplished is the only way to win, and the President has failed at that so far with the plans he so jealously defends and sticks to.

If we can’t go, we’re not winning. If we’re not winning, we need to change course. If you’re unwilling to change course, then the Republican party is obviously too scared of facing the consequences of its own actions to actually bring about any kind of positive outcome in Iraq, and its a blessing that the Democrats are here to bring some sense and realism back into the Iraq policy.

Your party promise and boast of great things, but your actions belie your extravagant self promotion. The time has come to quite throwing around adolescent rhetoric, and start getting down to brass tacks as to what we need to do to exit this war with American interests served best.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 29, 2006 9:04 AM
Comment #196836

Stephen
Could you please explain the current stated military plan (course) and how the Democrats plan, that we have been “blessed” with, would differ from it?

Posted by: kctim at November 29, 2006 9:42 AM
Comment #196838

Eric,

“Democrats have an opportunity to come back to the center and rejoin with Republicans in fighting the war on terror. They have an opportunity to stop dividing America”

Are you kidding?
The Bush administration and the GOP flunkies that control, oops I mean used to control Congress and the Senate were the most divisive group of incompetents in recent history. The Democrats didn’t divide America into Patriots vs. “Cut and Runners.” “Troop Supporters” vs. “Those who aid the enemy.” Karl Rove, divide and conquer politics was GOP approved and very liberally(no pun intended) used by Republicans for the last 8 years.
Think about what you and the rest of the Bush supporters keep saying. Democrats are the enemy. The AP is the enemy. The liberal media is the enemy. Muslims are the enemy.Murtha is the enemy. Pelosi is the enemy. Immmigrants are the enemy. Hollywood is the enemy. Gays are the enemy. Anyone who doesn’t think like me is the enemy.
You folks have so many enemies because you’ve closed yourselves off to any opinions or beliefs other than the ones you agree with. You start sounding silly after awhile because you refuse to allow free thinking and varied opinions to mold or shape your thinking. You keep saying the same things over and over without looking at the mountain of evidence in front of you.
That evidence can be ignored if you discredit almost every news source available and parrot the mindless sheep like O’rielly, Limbaugh, Coulter and Hannity. They have an directive to get the “message” out, not news.
Blame the 60% - 70% of Americans who read newspapers and watch the news that believe the war was a mistake and the President and his staff are useless.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 29, 2006 9:51 AM
Comment #196843

Eric,

“I cannot tell you that I am not dissappointed. I am. I long for Democrats who believe in America, (and not the leftist USSA version of a future liberal utopia). I long for liberals who bend more toward the classical than the leftist.

And I long for Republicans that stood for the Constitution, not the wienies that would erode the Bill of Rights out of fear.

http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Gingrich+raises+alarm+at+event+honoring+those+who+stand+up+for+freedom+of+speech&articleId=d3f4ee4e-1e90-475a-b1b0-bbcd5baedd78

“MANCHESTER – Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich yesterday said the country will be forced to reexamine freedom of speech to meet the threat of terrorism.
Gingrich, speaking at a Manchester awards banquet, said a “different set of rules” may be needed to reduce terrorists’ ability to use the Internet and free speech to recruit and get out their message.

“We need to get ahead of the curve before we actually lose a city, which I think could happen in the next decade,” said Gingrich, a Republican who helped engineer the GOP’s takeover of Congress in 1994.”

The right in this country has continued to allow this President to erode the Constitution through his “signing statements”. They have allowed this President to scare the bejezus out of the American public with statements like “we are fighting them over there so that we don’t have to fight them over here”.
The terrorists don’t have a chance in hell of taking over this country, except by proxy, and by the citizens of this country allowing our rights to be eroded one by one, through the fear of the terrorists lurking in our closets.

It has been said that the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact.
Well, IMHO, we have to be willing to fight them here in America, before we will be capable of fighting, and winning against them in some far off country.
Your compatriots on the right have done everything in their power to have us looking under our beds for the terrorists, but forgot to close the front door.

The biggest problem with Democracy, is that you not only have to be willing to die for it, you must be willing to die to keep it.
The Iraqis don’t seem to get that concept, and I don’t know if they ever will.

And if that makes our Constitution a suicide pact, then so be it.

Posted by: Rocky at November 29, 2006 10:27 AM
Comment #196845

kctim-
Withdrawal, first and foremost. We acknowledge that our mission in Iraq is to enable our withdrawal of forces, just as the mission of a person changing a tire is the withdrawal of the jack holding up the care. Bush gives lip service to the notion of improving conditions in Iraq so we can leave (we stand down as they stand up), but he has not changed much about his approach such that this can actually be managed. He just says we’re going to continue until the job’s done. That’s not a plan, that’s a holding pattern.

What the Democrats propose is to propose a clear plan of withdrawal, and then be prepared to carry it out, step by step. We should, of course initiate plans to deal with the expected terrorist/insurgent response.

The point, ultimately, though, is to compel the Iraqis to do what at this point only they can do: bring order to Iraq. We ought not to abandon anybody if we can help it, but sooner or later, the Iraqis do have to stand up for themselves and restore order to their country. We can’t win a war by guilt trips and unrealistic expectations of what we can do with a nation already so traumatized by invasion, sectarian warfare, and the collapse of law and order.

The specifics I can only hope will be determined following a good examination of conditions on the ground. The last thing we need is more fuzzy-headed politics dictating what powers of observation and expertise should be guiding.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 29, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #196847

Great post, Eric. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the America you appeal to will ever receive your message. What’s even more disturbing is the possibility that the America you appeal to no longer exists.

The Bolsheviks are in charge now. Down is up, wrong is right, defeat is victory, and treason is patriotic.

I have never seen so much intellectual energy directed toward such an ignominious goal. The meanings of common words are being changed to conform to a worldview that is best described as insane. The lessons of history are not just ignored, but spat upon. The libentia (liberal intellectuals) cry themselves hoarse over the alleged “abuse” of captured Islamoterrorists, but are silent when their fellow citizens are tortured and beheaded by the same species of Islamoterrorist. Major news outlets rebroadcast enemy propoganda, stage events, manufacture facts, and the applause from the libentia is deafening.

It seems as though a significant portion of the American electorate (liberal Democrats, mostly) seem hell-bent on suicide.

Posted by: Chris at November 29, 2006 11:48 AM
Comment #196852

Thanks Stephen
What is this administrations plan for withdrawal? Just because it is not shared with the public, does not mean there isn’t one so its hard to say just how different a Democrat plan would be isn’t it?
There is a military exit strategy but I think the only difference is going to be when to implement it. The administration wants to stay until they feel the job is done and some of the Dems want to set a timetable for immediate withdrawal no matter what Iraq’s situation is. Both points have merit.

So its not that the military or this administration have no plans for withdrawal, its just that it is a different plan than the plan you favor. To say otherwise is not being honest.

And Bush does not sit around every night marking where checkpoints should be and what supply’s the troops need either and you know that. It is the military who controls the operation and unless the Dems are going to replace every general with one who agrees with them, stand ops won’t change much.

Saying there was “no plan” for Iraq was dishonest but it helped get the Dems elected. There has always been a plan, its just been a plan that you disagree with.
And while Eric’s post is pretty harsh, the jist of it does make a valid point: To set a timetable to withdrawal without regards to the state of the situation, does equal defeat and retreat.

Posted by: kctim at November 29, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #196855

I really do not understand this line of reasoning other than blind hatred for liberals. I cannot be held accountable because you and the Dumbass-in-Chief are in denial. Iraq is not now, nor has it ever been about the war on terror. It is an immoral war that is wasting lives and resources. We have a responsiblity to Iraq, due to the incompetence of the idiot that got us there, but “staying the course” is not an option. No we cannot just wash our hands of Iraq and leave. We must make this blunder of idiocy right, but continuing down a path that obviously is not working is foolish at best. The course that President Dumbass has mapped out is nothing more than selfish political plotting. He can deny that Iraq is in Civil War, but that denial does not change the fact. It just means he is in denial and a dumbass. If you believe that what we are doing in Iraq is working, then you are obviously in denial as well. You and President Dumbass should actually be ashamed of yourselves for using an immoral war as a tool of divisive politics, rather than pushing for a constructive solution.

Posted by: JayJay at November 29, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #196857
Just because it is not shared with the public, does not mean there isn’t

kctim,

Have you been paying attention at all the last 6 years? This Dumbass administration has no plan, and if they do it is obviously a complete failure. Any plan should be welcomed with open arms compared to the idiocy of the current debacle.

The administration wants to stay until they feel the job is done

It would be nice if the Dumbass-in-Chief would define what that means. It used to be about WMD’s. Not there, so President Dumbass made it about Saddam. Got him. Then it became about spreading democracy. Didn’t last long. Then it became “the central front on terror.” Yeah, but only because Dumbass made it the premire terrorist training destination.

Maybe Americans (and even the left, oh my!) Might be more supportive of this war if we knew exactly why we were still there. Unfortunatly, nobody in the Dumbass Administration seems to be able to give a clear answer.

its just that it is a different plan than the plan you favor.

How can anyone favor the Dumbass plan when nobody seems to know what it is? If you want people to support your plan and goals then you need to tell them what they are.

There has always been a plan, its just been a plan that you disagree with.

Again, it is pretty hard to agree with a plan when nobody seems able to clearly explain the plan. It becomes much easier to disagree with “the plan” when you see the disasterous effects of “the plan.”

And while Eric’s post is pretty harsh

Eric’s post is not harsh, it is juvenile.

To set a timetable to withdrawal without regards to the state of the situation, does equal defeat and retreat.

I have been against the war in Iraq from the very beginning based on moral grounds. If defeat and retreat means ending this immoral war then that is the plan I am for. Continuing the bloodshed because the Dumbass and a few others are in denial about the morality of this war is not an option for me.

Posted by: JayJay at November 29, 2006 12:45 PM
Comment #196859

jj,

There is no other reason left for the author. The neocon wingnut philosopy is disredited and languishing a slow death (to expire estimated date 1/20/09). The only thing remaining is to hate and use stupid rhetorical coments like “defeat is not a strategy” As if “getting the job done” is a strategy. I thought “mission accomplished” already…Dumb-ass-in-chief? lol

I’ve said it before, We leave, Iraq collapses. We stay, we drown. The dumb-asses-who-were-in-charge need to accept responsibility and allow US to move on.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at November 29, 2006 12:50 PM
Comment #196861

JayJay
Please tell me how you know the Dem plan is different or better than the current plan when you don’t have a clue as to what the current plan is.

“it is pretty hard to agree with a plan when nobody seems able to clearly explain the plan. It becomes much easier to disagree with “the plan” when you see the disasterous effects of “the plan.””

You can disagree all you want, but it still does not mean the Dem plan of retreat would be carried out any differently than the current military plan.
It may be an earlier exit and leaving Iraq in chaos, but that could be the only difference between the two plans.

You can blame the military and its secrecy all you want to, doesn’t really change much though. Some people believe the logistics and operational procedures of our military warrant such secrecy for their safety. Others do not and believe putting all military operations out in the open for review by all, including the enemy, is worth it. Being a vet, I happen to favor the former.

Posted by: kctim at November 29, 2006 1:30 PM
Comment #196866

Eric,

“Democrats have an opportunity to come back to the center and rejoin with Republicans in fighting the war on terror. They have an opportunity to stop dividing America”

Are you kidding?
The Bush administration and the GOP flunkies that control, oops I mean used to control Congress and the Senate were the most divisive group of incompetents in recent history. The Democrats didn’t divide America into Patriots vs. “Cut and Runners.” “Troop Supporters” vs. “Those who aid the enemy.” Karl Rove, divide and conquer politics was GOP approved and very liberally(no pun intended) used by Republicans for the last 8 years.
Think about what you and the rest of the Bush supporters keep saying. Democrats are the enemy. The AP is the enemy. The liberal media is the enemy. Muslims are the enemy.Murtha is the enemy. Pelosi is the enemy. Immmigrants are the enemy. Hollywood is the enemy. Gays are the enemy. Anyone who doesn’t think like me is the enemy.
You folks have so many enemies because you’ve closed yourselves off to any opinions or beliefs other than the ones you agree with. You start sounding silly after awhile because you refuse to allow free thinking and varied opinions to mold or shape your thinking. You keep saying the same things over and over without looking at the mountain of evidence in front of you.
That evidence can be ignored if you discredit almost every news source available and parrot the mindless sheep like O’rielly, Limbaugh, Coulter and Hannity. They have an directive to get the “message” out, not news.
Blame the 60% - 70% of Americans who read newspapers and watch the news that believe the war was a mistake and the President and his staff are useless.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 29, 2006 1:45 PM
Comment #196876

kctim-
First, if the plans so secret neither of us know it, there’s not much use talking about it as if its the answer to the Democrats plan. Either Bush has a plan we can speak of, or he doesn’t.

We all know that in the colloquial language, “having no plan” means not having a plan up to the challenge of dealing the current situation. Bush has had one plan after another, and we’ve not seen much in the way of results. Meanwhile, he’s repeatedly asked Americans to stay the course, despite the fact that its been obvious to most people for a while that we need a change in that course.

As for military strategy, you should be aware that our military does not act on its own. There is a chain of command and at its top are civilians in Washington, among them, the President and Secretary of Defense. Bush and Rumsfeld call the shots, even if they don’t necessarily decide every little detail.

A good timetable plan will take account of the conditions on the ground and adapt to those. The administration can say that it wants to stay and do the job, but we can’t finish the job of freeing Iraq until we leave, and the Bush administration’s policy is not leading in that direction. It’s nothing more than a rhetorical point, designed to imply that Democrats and their supporters wish to court disaster with a precipitous departure. Eric wishes to claim the same.

Chris-
What is it about you and Eric that you have to dump on your fellow Americans like this? Americans decided for good reasons that they no longer required the Republican’s services in a number of districts. You can make vicious cuts about crying over terrorists and Islamofascists, but the reality is, people wouldn’t be getting their heads cut off in Iraq with such frequency if the Republicans had done their jobs.

This kind of anger and hatred will not serve this country. It will serve the purposes of the enemy, who has enjoyed seeing Bush alienate other nations and people within his own country. You folks screwed up. Redeem yourselves and join the rest of us as our fellow Americans.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 29, 2006 2:37 PM
Comment #196878

More of the same from Eric. Borrow more money to fund this unpopular refereeing of a civil war or else risk being called stupid, weak and distinctly un-American. Blah, Blah, Blah.

Here’s an idea for you Eric: how about writing a book wherein you “confess” exactly what exit strategy Bush would not have employed, had he not employed an exit strategy. Maybe under the guise of a hypothetical, we’d actually hear some honesty. I hear fox is looking to fill about an hour’s worth of air-time.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 29, 2006 2:43 PM
Comment #196879

And when did Conrad Burns start posting under the name “Kctim”?

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 29, 2006 2:44 PM
Comment #196880

Stephen,

You’d think the Bush (sheep) supporters would feel the most betrayed by this failure of an administration.

Guess not.

The Bush/Cheney secret plan is so secret that the Bush administration would allow the Republican party to lose the House and Senate by not revealing it. That makes it the double triple dog secret plan for Iraq?
Maybe Bush is only acting clueless to throw the enemy off the trail of his triple double quadruple secret plan.

He’s stupid, like a fox.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 29, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #196882

Yawn.

Posted by: Trent at November 29, 2006 2:58 PM
Comment #196883

Andre, Stephen, JJ, Dave1, et. al.

I will take it that you are in favor of the Baker Commission preliminary report. That is to “talk” to Iran and Syria to get help. That is insane.

The Baker Commission is made up of 10 public figures. They are:

Lee Hamilton co-chairman
James Baker co-chairman
Lawrence Eaglebarger
Vernon E. Jordan Jr.
Edwin Meese III
Sandra Day O’Connor (the swing vote)
Leon Panetta
William J. Perry
Charles S. Robb
Alan K Simpson

They are Republican and Democrat, conservative and liberal. They are also heading nowhere favorable to the United States.

Posted by: tomh at November 29, 2006 3:00 PM
Comment #196886

Stephen
I’m not defending the current plan. I’m simply asking how you know the Dems plan, other than having a timeline, is any better or any different then current military plan?
Would it not be in the best interest of our country and our soldiers to make sure the Dem plan isn’t better only because its printed on Dem paper and not Republican paper?

And I’m also very much aware of how the chain of command works but I also know that while Bush and Rumsfeld make the final decisions on major operations, it is the intel and advice they get from their military leaders which help them make those decisions.

Kev23
You don’t have to be a Conrad Burns to know that giving away military secrets would be bad for our troops.
You also don’t have to demean the hard work they do and ignore any and all the good they accomplish in order to be against this war either.

Posted by: kctim at November 29, 2006 3:22 PM
Comment #196888

Chris-

Yikes. No more coffee for you this morning. Its probably a good idea for you to stay away from abortion clinics today as well. I have a nagging feeling that someone who is quick to admonish anyone who does not want to borrow more of their children’s money to fund an unpopular “war” as treasonous, is also the same type of person who likes to use the power of government to force their social views upon people, and thus policing their morality.

Regulating behavoir, forcing religious beliefs into public policy affecting everyone, using government to define and restrict highly personal commitments and relationships, etc., these are all views that involve a substantial departure from any conservative view of government.

So my question to you Chris: how can you go around calling any democrat or liberal a “commy” if you your own party leaders can’t stop stop including and expanding the federal government in every aspect of their domestic and foreign agendas? When did arguing fiscal responsibility, accountability, and federalism in direct response to the most sudden and drastic expansion of the federal government in recent history suddenly become a distinctly “liberal” or “communist” argument?

Maybe these policies are pissing off liberals and conservatives like myself off, not because we are all ungrateful traitors, but because the policies themselves are fundementally flawed, and have put us on the most expensive road to nowhere ever paved. Maybe, just maybe, the majority in this country is on to something when they question the contradictive priorities of this administration. Just a thought.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 29, 2006 3:24 PM
Comment #196890

Here are good alternative ideas I’ve heard and advocated myself: partition the country into three. Share oil revenue among them. Enlist Iran and Syria in the stabilization effort. Withdraw.

The worst part of these is the partitioning since that can get messy, but it’s not like things are rosy right now anyway. I’m sure Turkey wouldn’t be too pleased with a Kurdistan either but screw them. How much do they really want in on the EU?

Ultimately, the very worst part is the old Western colonial attitude of “here’s what’s best for you; here are your new borders.” But that’s hard to avoid in a case like this.

Using Iran and Syria is right out of chess and tennis strategy. Put the opportunity to fail in the opponent’s court. I think Iran would be very invested in making such an effort work since failure would embarrass their leadership and undermine their attempts at regional hegemony. Syria would also have more to gain by successfully stabilizing Iraq than they would by undermining such efforts.

Best of all, the infidel could withdraw from the holy land and we would cut that extremist plank out of the terrorists’ platform.

Posted by: Joseph Briggs at November 29, 2006 3:28 PM
Comment #196892

Kctim-

If your only justification for the current policies is that a secret plan must exist where a public one clearly does not, then I’m afraid we have very little to discuss.

Just as was the case when Conrad used that argument, no one wants to hear that the answer to all the problems brought on by the policies of this administration are going to be fixed only through blind trust in some secret plan developed by that same administration. It is just mindboggling to think that anyone would go for that when they have another option, let alone a vast amount of other options. It is times like these that most of us are thankful for democracy, and the ability to throw bums like Conrad Burns from out of public office when they make such terrible arguments.

And no one is asking for military secrets to be disseminated, just that there be an understandable and unifying plan of action that can achieve a mandated goal. In Iraq, we don’t even have a clear or unchanging goal (democracy? stability? a friend in the region? it keeps changing), let alone a mandate by the American public to do it. Asking for blind faith under these circumstances is laughably innappropriate, and will not, and should not, ever happen in any working and stable democracy.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 29, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #196893

Joseph Briggs-

Good practical post. I tend to agree with your solution as well. Parcelling the country will not be without its own problems, but much better than any of the alternatives as it will allow all three ethnic goups to have a safe-haven where they can bulid, work, and live without fearing daily ethnic reprisal attacks. Nevermind the fact that the British drawn national boundary lines have never really made sense.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 29, 2006 3:55 PM
Comment #196897

Kevin
You can believe our military has no plan and that Bush is responsible for that if you want, but I cannot. I have more confidence in our military than that.

“no one wants to hear that the answer to all the problems brought on by the policies of this administration are going to be fixed only through blind trust in some secret plan developed by that same administration”

Not once did I mention doing or believing in that. I’m asking how people can have such blind trust that the Dem plan is better if they have no clue if its any different than the current plan or not.

You guys are all up in arms over the way Bush is allowing the military to handle the situation and you want a Dem “plan.” What good does it do the country or our troops if the Dem plan you crave, allows the military to run the operation as they see best but with a timeline?

You see, you guys are dead set on ensuring Bush and all Republicans look bad, I am dead set on getting our troops home in the safest manner. It doesn’t matter if we lose 100 troops in 6 months retreating under the Dem plan or if we lose 100 troops in one year bogged down under the Rep plan, we still lose 100 troops. I don’t care which one makes Bush look bad or good, I want the one that works.

“just that there be an understandable and unifying plan of action that can achieve a mandated goal.”

Which must be different than the current one or its a waste of time.

“In Iraq, we don’t even have a clear or unchanging goal (democracy? stability? a friend in the region? it keeps changing)”

No it doesn’t it. Just read the little piece of paper our Democrat and Republican reps signed before went ahead with the action.

“Asking for blind faith under these circumstances is laughably innappropriate”

And asking for blind faith in accepting that the Dems plan is different simply because they are Dems isn’t laughable?

Posted by: kctim at November 29, 2006 4:21 PM
Comment #196898

congratulations eric, you sound exactly like bush - he should be proud - your posts, like bush’s iraq policy… more of the same.

here’s a challenge to all you patriotic americans who believe that we should remain in iraq: ENLIST. oo-rah!

your thinking - win or die (or some derivation, thereof). well, in order to win, we need more troops. it’s simple. it seems that you have an overabundance of time to sit around talking about victory and the dire consequences of failure, and still this vexatious importunity has yet to lead you to act - it’s so necessary for us to win this war that you would demand that someone else do it for you. your father, your brother, your son, your friend, but not you. pure hypocrisy.

…put up, or for God’s sake, shut up.

Posted by: diogenes at November 29, 2006 4:24 PM
Comment #196900

I agree with Kevin23 JB, good sensible post.
Is that the Dems plan? Seeing as nothing so far has even remotely pointed to that, then I would say its definetly a different plan and worth a shot.
Do you think there would be a way to do something like that with minimal American casualties?

Posted by: kctim at November 29, 2006 4:29 PM
Comment #196902

kctim,

Actually Biden and others have been advocating that very plan.

Posted by: Trent at November 29, 2006 4:40 PM
Comment #196905

Thanks Trent
I’m hardly an expert on Iraq, but it seems like an idea that should at least be on the table. Especially if it can get our troops home.
I’ll try and find some time to check out some of Biden’s ideas on it.
Thanks again.

Posted by: kctim at November 29, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #196907

Kctim-

Bad plan, no plan, it’s one and the same at this point. I really have no idea where you are taking this discussion.

What does the democratic “plan” have to do with my post? Were you answering someone else’s points and yet directing it to my writing? I only meant what I wrote, no more.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 29, 2006 5:03 PM
Comment #196909

Joseph

once one gets past all the hate induced drivel supplied by Eric and a few others this turns into an interesting post.

your ideas are good ones. And in the end something of that nature will probably be the anserw. Whether or not consequences will turn out favorable for the Iraqi’s remains to be seen.

As I see it we really no longer have a lot of say in the directions the Iraqi’s choose to take. They are officialy a soverign government and no longer subject to our orchestrations. At this point we are on foriegn ground at the invitation of the Iraqi government. We are pretty much there for security, training, rebuilding and advisory purposes with the exception of when they request military assistance. At least that is the way it is supposed to be working.

Until they have settled the differences between the various national factions there can be no peace for them or so called victory for us. To be honest, at this point I am not sure what would be considered victory for us. It can not be the defeat of terrorism because we will never achieve that goal simply by ending the fighting in Iraq. There never were WMD’s. And the Bush administration has given us no clear definition of what a succesful end would be.

I think you may have hit it on the head. The picture probably would look a lot less complicated once we have exited their country. Probably the biggest and most important reality is that regardless of when we leave, Iraq will still have to live with and deal with their immeadiate nieghbors. All I can see coming from that realization is probably continued conflict for who knows how long. My guess is that we will be supplying them weapons and military support from the air and water for a long time regardless of why, how and when we leave.
Victory for us (whatever that may be) is not nearly so important as leaving them in a position to determine their own fate. I do think we have accomplished that goal. Now it is up to them to decide which direction to take.

Posted by: ILdem at November 29, 2006 5:16 PM
Comment #196912

Stephen Daugherty -

You said:

What is it about you and Eric that you have to dump on your fellow Americans like this?

I’m not dumping on all of my fellow Americans; just the ones who seem hell-bent on suicide.

You can make vicious cuts about crying over terrorists and Islamofascists, but the reality is, people wouldn’t be getting their heads cut off in Iraq with such frequency if the Republicans had done their jobs.

That’s quite a statement. No way to disprove it. No way to prove it, either. Ultimately, all it really does is highlight your contempt for conservatives and Republicans. How can you dump on your fellow Americans like this, Stephen?

This kind of anger and hatred will not serve this country. It will serve the purposes of the enemy, who has enjoyed seeing Bush alienate other nations and people within his own country.

Do you really think our enemies hate us because of what we have done recently? They hate us not because of what we do, but for who we are.

Want to know what really serves the purposes of the enemy, Stephen? Here’s a short list of the tactics employed by your side:

1. Announce to the world that your side is losing
2. Allow your media organizations to rebroadcast enemy propoganda and assume a consistently negative posture in their war reporting
3. Award citizen rights to terrorists
4. Portray your enemies as victims
5. Portray your soldiers as terrorists
6. Prevent your intelligence and law enforcement agencies from sharing information
7. Prevent your law enforcement agencies from eavesdropping on communications between your enemies overseas and their cohorts within your own borders
8. Elect leaders that appeal to your enemies

You folks screwed up. Redeem yourselves and join the rest of us as our fellow Americans.

I disagree. We’re in the middle of a long war, and Iraq is simply one theater of that war.

You’ve given up.

I haven’t.

Posted by: Chris at November 29, 2006 5:46 PM
Comment #196915

Diogenes:

here’s a challenge to all you patriotic americans who believe that we should remain in iraq: ENLIST. oo-rah!

Here’s a counter-challenge to all you unpatriotic Americans who believe President Bush, is the real enemy: GET OUT! Ooo-la-LA!

Thank heavens for leetle girls…

Posted by: Chris at November 29, 2006 6:00 PM
Comment #196917

chris,

again, no substance, only hollow, misdirected insults… just as i expected from you.

as i am quite patriotic, your insult does not apply (nor does anything else in your post…) i take it you refused my challenge, though. you might stop and wonder why, but probably not.

again, i implore those with any mettle whatsoever, and the will to be ‘victorious’ in iraq - do something worthwhile with your life. quit bitching, start enlisting.

…if you want to win, we need more troops…

Posted by: Diogenes at November 29, 2006 6:14 PM
Comment #196919

Stephen,

The condition for our victory in Iraq is being able to withdraw troops without collapsing the nation. The pernicious effect of the rhetoric of folks like you has been to focus people on keeping troops in Iraq, rather than coming up with the plans and the schedules to finish the mission and remove the troops to leave Iraq a free country.

You are quite correct that the focus has been on keeping troops in Iraq. But then why would that be necessary do you think? It couldn’t have anything to do with the incessant defeatism that the left and Democrats have engaged in since voting for the war? Demanding that troops need to leave immediately day after day and calling the entire war illegal and immoral and based on lies?

C’mon Stephen, let’s be honest here. Democrats have completely poisoned America’s position.

For example, I can imagine how diametrically different opinion would be of Republicans if they had slandered FDR from the beginning of WWII by saying we should have never invaded Italy, or France, or Germany, and continued to say that we’ve lost even as the invasion began. Giving German ‘resistance fighters’ aid and comfort, saying that they are in the right and the US is an evil empire.

If Iraq is so weak that we cannot leave it, then we need a plan to make it stronger. However, all we’ve seen from Bush’s plan is a continual weakening of that state.

How is that? How has Bush weakened Iraq, other than by deposing Saddam?

Now you can cloak this in all your terms of emotional blackmail and liberal betrayal, but the fact remains, getting out of Iraq with our mission accomplished is the only way to win, and the President has failed at that so far with the plans he so jealously defends and sticks to.

Here’s the problem with what you’re saying Stephen. Liberal betrayal is a mild way to put the pure sabotage and complete treason that the left has engaged in literally from day one.

From the beginning, the plan has been the same. We go in there, kick ass, help Iraqi’s build another government, and then troop levels would decline.

So far, the terrorists have lost every battle but the left has kept the door open for them to win the war by undermining the mission, undermining the president, undermining the troops, and basically saying that the terrorists have the moral high ground. I, for one, cannot understand it. How could you demonize the war and then ask why anyone would see that as undermining and sabotaging the war?

If we can’t go, we’re not winning. If we’re not winning, we need to change course.

Changing course, according to your party members, is full surrender. Complete with hailing the enemy as victorious. I just don’t understand it.

If you’re unwilling to change course, then the Republican party is obviously too scared of facing the consequences of its own actions to actually bring about any kind of positive outcome in Iraq, and its a blessing that the Democrats are here to bring some sense and realism back into the Iraq policy.

Let’s discuss what that sense and ‘realism’ actually is. (Please go back and read Murtha’s and Dean’s quotes above.)

If ‘positive outcome’ is merely Defeat and Retreat, then you are quite clearly wrong.

Your party promise and boast of great things, but your actions belie your extravagant self promotion. The time has come to quite throwing around adolescent rhetoric, and start getting down to brass tacks as to what we need to do to exit this war with American interests served best.

I think that it is primarily the self-interest of Democrats that Democrats are thinking of rather than American interests when they say that it’s time to surrender. It certainly isn’t responsible or humanitarian.

Posted by: esimonson at November 29, 2006 6:22 PM
Comment #196921

Andre Hernandez,

I hate to say this, but, you might take a look at the beam that is in thine own (collective) eye.

When Bush was elected, (he was elected in your mind correct?), you may recall that Democrats were calling him illegitimate. So what kind of unity were Democrats encouraging even before Bush came into office?

Andre, you have to consider that it takes two to tango. Bush has repeatedly reached out to Democrats and been soundly rebuked for being evil, a liar, an idiot, a monkey… ect.

Posted by: esimonson at November 29, 2006 6:28 PM
Comment #196923

tomh-
Look, it’s not what I’d prefer either, but we’re past the points where we can get our first preference. The insanity was declaring a war on terrorism and not tackling the terrorist support by Iran and Syria first.

Fact of the matter is, Iraq is sandwiched in between the two countries. You talk to the folks in the region when you seek to deal with a country in the area. If France was the problem, would it make any sense to cut Germany, Spain and England out of the equation?

You know, if this were to become a major problem for them, I’d be kind of poetic justice. They gave us plenty of help in making the mess. Why not burden them with the consequences of their actions?

kctim-
At this point, the Bush plan is this: he doesn’t intend to leave. He doesn’t see a way out of this, and he doesn’t want to be the one to face the music.

Not just any plan is better than this I wouldn’t advocate a precipitous withdrawal. But I would advocate a firm withdrawal. Bush has nothing to gain by admitting his strategy failed. We don’t have that problem. The difference in the Democrat’s plan is that we are motivated to make it work. We’re willing to set goals where he’s only willing to make vague pronouncements.

As for the advice that Bush and Rumsfeld get? The thing to know here is that neither of those two have been any good at listening to the rank and file. Both have gone to great lengths to impose their will on the defense establishment in general. That is how we got into this war in the first place, in the way we did.

Chris-
On the subject of the rest of us being hellbent on suicide? Well, dear old me, maybe you’re right. Pardon me while we all throw ourselves under the nation’s buses. The truth is, that’s just a bit of rhetorical theatrics, and you’d do well to dispense with it.

On the subject of proving or disproving the notion that people wouldn’t be falling prey to Islamic terrorists in Iraq if the Republicans had done their jobs, I can say quite confidently that you’re wrong. It can be proven quite conclusively that the current conditions in Iraq are largely due to the failure of the security situation, a responsibility that rests on the shoulders of the outgoing congress and the President. It is under those current conditions that the headcutters have the freedom to snatch people off the streets and decapitate them.

As for why we’re hated? People can hate us for just about any reason. The question is, how much legtimacy we give to that hatred.

As for your list?

1)If its the truth, people are going to figure it out anyways. Besides, if you admit you’re losing, you can actually do something about it and win.

2)If events are constantly negative, its dishonest to report relentlessly positive. Additionally, people can watch enemy propaganda and know it for what it is. Americans are neither that stupid nor that weak. There’s a nice joke in Saving Private Ryan where Hank’s character jokingly expresses despair at being told the Statue of Liberty is Kaput by a propagandist. That’s about the Liberal’s attitude.

3)We give rights to everybody. That way, nobody can point to us and say we’re no better than them. We’re civilized, they’re not, and it has the side benefit of making it easier to punish the bastards.

4)Really.

5)Gee, I seem to recall everybody going out of their way to support the troops. But of course, you’re going to take some quote out of context to contradict me.

6)Evidently you didn’t get the report card on the Bush White House’s efforts. We intend to pass legislation putting the 9/11 Commissions recommendations, designed to resolve such issues, into effect.

7)You missed the memo: As long as they have a warrant, they can snoop to their heart’s content!

8)Our enemies can go screw themselves. We’ll elect who we want to elect. Anybody who worries about what the enemy wants just leaves themselves open to manipulation by our enemies, when they look to provoke us into certain choices.

Iraq is not the central front in the war on terrorism, it’s our first great setback. I intend not to quit in getting past that setback and going after the bastards that really went after us, and intend to kill more Americans in the future.

Take it or leave it: that’s my attitude. I’m not going to let this president’s poor judgment in getting us into Iraq half-prepared continue to endanger this country’s interests.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 29, 2006 6:36 PM
Comment #196924
Bush has repeatedly reached out to Democrats

Ahh… there’s the comedian in the soul of Eric Simonson we all know so well.

Thanks for the laugh.

Posted by: LawnBoy at November 29, 2006 6:36 PM
Comment #196925

We advanced faster than any other military ever. In less than a month Saddam was toppled. Then we became soft. The rest of the world knows that we haven’t stayed hard through a whole war since WW2. If all of our enemies strike at the same time, (Al-Qaida, Hamas, Al-Sadr, Venezuela, China, Russia, Syria, Iran, North Korea, and more) it will be the end of us or we will be wounded and will not recover.

Posted by: stubborn conservative at November 29, 2006 6:42 PM
Comment #196927

Jayjay,

I really do not understand this line of reasoning other than blind hatred for liberals.

I cannot understand your line of reasoning either. But it has nothing to do with hatred any more than yours is hatred of conservatives or neo-cons. Or is that a poor analogy? Would you consider your strong feelings, as expressed in your comments, to be hatred for neo-cons and/or the President?

I cannot be held accountable because you and the Dumbass-in-Chief are in denial. Iraq is not now, nor has it ever been about the war on terror. It is an immoral war that is wasting lives and resources. We have a responsiblity to Iraq, due to the incompetence of the idiot that got us there, but “staying the course” is not an option.

Why is staying until the job is finished not an option? Because that would validate the ‘immoral war’? Isn’t the real reason you would rather pull out now is to defeat Republicans?

I would rather do the right thing, though it dooms the Repubican party, than do the wrong thing and doom the middle east and the world to slavery.

No we cannot just wash our hands of Iraq and leave. We must make this blunder of idiocy right, but continuing down a path that obviously is not working is foolish at best. The course that President Dumbass has mapped out is nothing more than selfish political plotting. He can deny that Iraq is in Civil War, but that denial does not change the fact. It just means he is in denial and a dumbass. If you believe that what we are doing in Iraq is working, then you are obviously in denial as well. You and President Dumbass should actually be ashamed of yourselves for using an immoral war as a tool of divisive politics, rather than pushing for a constructive solution.

The problem here is that you misunderstand completely the motivations of your domestic political enemies just as you misunderstand the motivations of the terrorist enemies who do in fact hate you and want to kill you.

Your last statement says more than anything about the problem with what liberals have done here.

You and President Dumbass should actually be ashamed of yourselves for using an immoral war as a tool of divisive politics, rather than pushing for a constructive solution.

The problem is that the left seems to be more intent on demonizing their political enemies, without ever understanding them…

The question for you JayJay, is how have Democrats been pushing for constructive solutions with Republicans?

The answer is that they haven’t. They have have done everything possible to demonize and delegitimize them. Does this bring us together or drive us apart?

Posted by: esimonson at November 29, 2006 6:47 PM
Comment #196928

Diogenes,

Let me give my qualifications and see if I measure up to your standard for non-hypocracy. My eldest son enlisted after 9/11 and is currently serving his second tour in Iraq. I would enlist also, but they wouldn’t have me (I’m too old and it wouldn’t do anyone any good to have me waddling around like a big shooting gallery duck). Instead, I use my engineering skills (in exchange for reasonable compensation) to design physical security for various military and governmental facilities.

To me this is a vital issue for America. It greatly sadens me that a lot of people (at least MOST bloggers) would rather vent personal insults on people they disagree with than make reasoned arguments to support their positions. There are notable exceptions to this on the “other side” (people who I generally disagree with) such as Stephen Daugherty. His posts and others are typically well thought out (although wrong) and do not consist of personal attacks. Let’s all attempt to meet this standard, shall we?

Posted by: Martian at November 29, 2006 6:47 PM
Comment #196929

Dave,

There is no other reason left for the author. The neocon wingnut philosopy is disredited and languishing a slow death (to expire estimated date 1/20/09). The only thing remaining is to hate and use stupid rhetorical coments like “defeat is not a strategy” As if “getting the job done” is a strategy. I thought “mission accomplished” already…Dumb-ass-in-chief? lol

Hmm. I thought you might pick up the reference of Democrats, “hateful,” and, “stupid rhetorical comments,” who actually said, “Stay the course isn’t a strategy.”

I may have assumed that some of you were more well-informed.

Posted by: esimonson at November 29, 2006 6:53 PM
Comment #196932

Yes, Biden recently brought up the first two points I mentioned (partitioning, oil revenue sharing) in his plan for Iraq. It always seemed obvious to me since the borders were created by Britain back in the day so there isn’t any real investment in those borders among the people of the area and the Kurds seemed to have their stuff together. And we can’t just screw over the Sunnis since they don’t live over any of the oil.

I’m not sure if Biden’s plan includes getting Iran and Syria involved. If it does, great. I heard that idea floated out of Europe a month or so ago and I was thinking along the same lines since a few months back while reading more on Iran’s contemporary history.

The great thing about having Iran as a major player in stabilizing and training is that it can pay off big for them. They will be able to say they succeeded where the US failed. They should be able to parlay this political capital into lenience toward developing peaceful nuclear energy. And we should let them. If the sectarian violence sustains or gets worse, it would besmirch Iran and undermine both their nuclear efforts and, as I said, their goal of regional leadership.

The only downside is that it doesn’t gel with our long term goals for the region (by empowering Iran). But at this point we’ve got to ask ourselves if the price for continuing down this ruinous road is worth our goals or not. I don’t think it is and I think the recent election affirms this attitude on a national level.

It won’t be easy. There is nothing easy in this situation. But the current course obviously isn’t working. Most of all, the idiots who got us into this mess think these are bad ideas, which is an obvious hint that they just might work.

And yes, ILdem, I agree completely with this:

Victory for us (whatever that may be) is not nearly so important as leaving them in a position to determine their own fate.

To me, all this talk of how the US can salvage “victory” in Iraq is rather silly. The most important thing is managing the situation so the violence decreases to where Iraq can get an opportunity to govern themselves in a stable environment. If this results in US “defeat” then so be it. We have devastated their country and brought about this egregious instability. The last thing we should be worried about is saving face. You don’t let go of a drowning man just to pull up your swim trunks, especially if you’re the reason the guy was drowning in the first place.

Posted by: Joseph Briggs at November 29, 2006 6:57 PM
Comment #196937

“The rest of the world knows that we haven’t stayed hard through a whole war since WW2.”

Indeed, it’s entirely possible that inability to stay hard is the very problem that motivates the 13% of the population who still defend this administration’s lies.

Posted by: Arr-squared at November 29, 2006 7:16 PM
Comment #196946

The Shias may have the oil, but the Sunnis have the water.

Posted by: phx8 at November 29, 2006 7:55 PM
Comment #196948

Eric-

Can you ever get through a thread about Iraq without comparing it to WW2? Your tactics are really getting old. And they’ve always been devoid of logic. I love how you go on the attack and accuse democrats of “poisening” the republican “plan”. When was the “plan” ever a good one?

Iraq is a mess, and we need to find a way to make them self-sufficient enough to pull out. Period. It will not be a complete success regardless of what happens from here on out. That bird has flown, and ignorant people like you made absolutely sure of that when you supported Bush’s unilateralism without question.

But by understanding that this conflict (and the debate at home) is more than just good guys v. bad guys is key to our being able to cope with at least some degree of defeat. Most likely that defeat will come in the form of overwhelming influence, economic and otherwise, by Iraq’s neighbors which will push the Shiite population into a more theocratic and anti-western government. It is no longer a matter of winning or losing, it is a matter of salvaging as much of this horrible investment as we can in whatever way we can while allowing Iraqis to determine their own future.

War hawks like yourself helped to feul this fire, and continue to do so at the expense of reason and experience. Not wanting to referee a civil war while trying to fight an insurgency that is supported by a good section of the population DOES NOT make any American a supporter of terrorists. There are undoubtedly terrorists who have the same favorite color as me, that does not make me a terrorist. Similarly, even if every terrorist supports John Kerry for president, that doesn’t mean that a domestic John Kerry supporter is supporting those terrorists. It just means they each have their reasons. Any noble person would attack those reasons honestly. Or do you actually believe that all democrats support Al Sharpton simply because Al Sharpton only supports democrats for office?

I believe that the worst possible way to develope an opinion is to simply believe the opposite of your enemy. It takes zero intelligence and shows zero initiative or concern for the outcome. You, Eric, are a shameful excuse for a republican. I’m so glad we took the party back from people like you in November. To quote the most arrogant line in this thread: “I may have assumed that some of you were more well-informed.”

Joseph Briggs-

I completely agree with your assessments. I wish others who actually create the threads were half as thoughtful.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 29, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #196955

Eric-
In principle, I agree with the notion of not leaving before the job is done. In practice though, the trouble is, Bush has offered us no insight as to what we can expect in terms of strategy and milestones as to the job getting done. It all circles back to him doing things his way. Having come to that place and known it for the first, second, and millionth time during the course of this war, most Americans have had it with letting Bush do things his way.

American can tolerate mistakes, but continuous screw-ups will get on people’s nerves.

Yes, we know the terrorists want to kill us. No, we didn’t need your wise counsel on that, we knew that the minute the planes hit, many of us before then. I knew the moment that the second plane hit was confirmed that it was likely an al-Qaeda attack. I knew who Bin Laden was before he became a household name.

But the Republicans, after years of Pushing rogue states and Iraq as the main threats start beating up on us for our supposed denial in the face of this threat, only to start falling back on the same rogue state/Iraq assessment the minute the Taliban are temporarily out of the game.

You stonewall the 9/11 commission on their recommendations, question their legitimacy, and then fall back on rogue states. You keep on telling us that Iraq is a central front in the war on terror, but the only reason for that is that your folks blew security on the occupation, one that resulted from a war that was itself a fall-back on the whole rogue states things.

To put it plainly, the Republicans are stuck in certain policy habits, and are not adapting to the new threat; instead they are trying to shoehorn the threats they were distracted by before into that all encompassing threat that’s actually there.

We need people running this policy who are under no illusion as to who is posing the greatest threat, and how. Not people like Bush, not people like Cheney, and certainly not people like Rumsfeld.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 29, 2006 9:12 PM
Comment #196969

Eric,

Actually, retreating is a strategy. Thinkers like Sun Tzu have recognized this for millenia. You may think its a bad strategy, but it is a strategy nonetheless. Speaking only for myself, I think it is a pretty good strategy at this point.

If you have a better strategy, let’s hear it. Keep in mind that “winning” is not a strategy. That is a goal.

Posted by: Woody Mena at November 29, 2006 10:46 PM
Comment #196971

Stephen

I admire your persistence and agree with you on all counts. However I think you may as well be talking to a stone wall where Eric and a few others are concerned. Their hatred of liberals has apparently made them blind to common sense and the power of reason.

By their logic the problems in Iraq are the result of whimpy whiney liberals and the lack of support thereof. They obviously can not see the realities and just how futile our situation has become over there. They are unwilling to admit that the problems were created by rushing ill prepared into a maelstrom of foreseeable problems without the support of much of the rest of the world.

Keep plugging away, I am sure you will manage to reach through to at least a few liberal haters.

Posted by: ILdem at November 29, 2006 11:01 PM
Comment #196972

In my line of work, the quickest way to ensure failure among those who work for you is to give them an open-ended task and then fail to define what success means (or define success so loosely that one is never sure when one has acheived it). Sound familiar?

Posted by: Jim M. at November 29, 2006 11:05 PM
Comment #196976

Delusion is a dangerous thing. It creeps up on you and the next thing you know, your ranting about winning an war you’ve obviously failed to understand. You feel persecuted by those who try to alert you to reality and fantasize your paranoid delusion constantly.

I’m sorry this has been such a shock to you, Eric, but we simply had to intervene. Time to go away now for a while, you’ll feel better tomorrow. It’s O.K.

Really. What you need is a good rest now.

Posted by: gergle at November 29, 2006 11:32 PM
Comment #196978

martian,

you are the only one who knows the level of your own hypocrisy. i cannot fact check your statements, but i do not need to. until you prove to be dishonest or prove to be that which you decry (one who ‘vents personal insults on people they disagree with [rather than] make reasoned arguments…’), i will take your word for it.

however, rather than assume that you know what that one particular post referenced, i would suggest you read them all. my challenge, as it were, was intended for those who were able to serve in our military, for continuing the current war in iraq, and yet also cowering behind our troops rather than joining them.

now, i did not direct this challenge to everyone, only those who met the criteria. perhaps i could have been more specific, and for that i do apologize - but the point was clear, and those who meet the criteria know who they are.

furthermore, i did not call out any names, and yet chris felt the need to ignorantly and demeaningly respond (in just the manner you have described). he thereby insulted himself - thus, if you wish to cast blame, you now know where to direct it.

“Let’s all attempt to meet this standard, shall we?”

happy to oblige. but don’t expect me to respond to such disrespectful drivel with an unwarranted degree of respect. i have spoken with chris before, and found him every bit as uninformed and insulting in our prior conversations.

as for yourself, i do not require that you agree with me in order to gain my respect - i quite often disagree with stephen as well, and yet i respect his opinion.

Posted by: diogenes at November 29, 2006 11:45 PM
Comment #196980

Joseph Briggs,

To me, all this talk of how the US can salvage “victory” in Iraq is rather silly. The most important thing is managing the situation so the violence decreases to where Iraq can get an opportunity to govern themselves in a stable environment. If this results in US “defeat” then so be it.

This is precisely what victory means Joseph and it is obviously not what democrats are talking about. Unless by ‘managing’ you mean pulling out.

The effort has nothing to do with managing our image for our image’s sake.

We have devastated their country and brought about this egregious instability. The last thing we should be worried about is saving face. You don’t let go of a drowning man just to pull up your swim trunks, especially if you’re the reason the guy was drowning in the first place.

Here again, I heartily disagree. Was the Hussein regime stable? Were the Iraqi people fine under Saddam Hussein? Did the bounties rewarded to terrorists by Saddam contribute to stability in the region?

Posted by: esimonson at November 30, 2006 12:06 AM
Comment #196981

It is remarkable when those who will likely nuke an American city sometime in the future adopt your rhetoric exactly.

Ahmadinejad, in a five-page letter to the American people, called on Washington to pull out of Iraq and recognize a Palestinian state.

He also cautioned Democratic Party legislators who gained control of the U.S. Congress from Bush’s Republican Party earlier this month that they would be “held to account by the people and by history.”

“It is possible to govern based on an approach that is distinctly different from one of coercion, force and injustice,” Ahmadinejad said. “Undoubtedly, the American people are not satisfied with this behavior and they showed their discontent in the recent elections.”

“I hope that in the wake of the midterm elections, the administration of President Bush will have heard and will heed the message of the American people,” he said. The letter was given to Reuters by Iran’s Mission to the United Nations.

The Iranian leader wrote an 18-page letter to Bush last May, to which the U.S. leader never responded.

He said he was writing now because Iran and the United States shared a responsibility “to promote and protect freedom and human dignity and integrity.” ~yahoo

Posted by: esimonson at November 30, 2006 12:10 AM
Comment #196982

“Was the Hussein regime stable? Were the Iraqi people fine under Saddam Hussein? Did the bounties rewarded to terrorists by Saddam contribute to stability in the region?”

1. yes.
2. not our business, so long as it poses us no threat (sovereign nation, remember?)
3. prove it. cuz there hasn’t been any proof, to my knowledge. and in the event that i’m wrong (which is, admittedly, quite possible), see #2.

yes. i know. i’m an obstinate, indurate bastard, but international law is on my side.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 30, 2006 12:16 AM
Comment #196995
Would you consider your strong feelings, as expressed in your comments, to be hatred for neo-cons and/or the President?

Eric,

Possibly, but I prefer to call it lack of earned respect. I do not disrespect nor hate true conservatives at all, in fact, I am conservative on a number of issues myself. However, I have zero respect left for neo-cons and this President.

You have to understand that I have opposed this war from the begining. I believe that it is absolutly immoral to attack and kill another group of people without substantial justification. The justifications for this war were questionable and on shaky ground from the start and it was quite apparent, to me at least, that this administration was taking advantage of the fear built by 9/11. I was raised in one of those kooky liberal households that taught that respect is not given freely, it is earned. This President and neo-con congress lost my respect early on because of their free willingness to lie and total incompetence, not because they were Republicans per se.

Why is staying until the job is finished not an option? Because that would validate the ‘immoral war’? Isn’t the real reason you would rather pull out now is to defeat Republicans?

Because what “finishing the job” means has not been clearly defined and seems to be evolution in action. Mission accomplished was declared, what 2 years ago? The problem is that the “mission to be accomplished” keeps changing. This war should have been like sex- get in, do your bussiness, and get out.

Instead, we are apparently following some very bad “secret” plan that made what should have been quick work and turned it into neverending escalating violence.

I am not against finishing the job at all, in fact I believe we have an obligation to make right what Dumbass did wrong. But, the “secret” plan is not working. If the neo-cons propose one extreme position of continued loyalty to the “secret” plan and the left proposes the other extreme position of “Defeat and retreat”, then surely there is a compramise position in between just waiting to see the light of day. That is the idea we should be trying to find and stop focusing on the two extremes, both of which are dead wrong.

My views on this war have nothing to do with defeating Republicans. My views have always been about doing the right thing, not just for America, but for all our neighbors in the world.

The problem here is that you misunderstand completely the motivations of your domestic political enemies just as you misunderstand the motivations of the terrorist enemies who do in fact hate you and want to kill you.

Sure the boogyman is out there and wants to kill us. He has always been there and will always be there, that fact won’t change. What does need to change is how we react to the boogyman. The “war on terror” and the unrelated Iraq war are both overreactions to the actions of a handful of extremists.

“We must learn to live together as friends, or we will die together as fools.” Martin Luther King Jr., I do believe.

It really does not matter what my “domestic political enemy’s” motivations may be. Their actions, not their motivations, are the problem. Just like it is the actions of the terrorists that are the problem, their motivations are neither here nor there.

The problem is that the left seems to be more intent on demonizing their political enemies, without ever understanding them

Excuse me? How soon we forget. The left pretty much was silent for the first few years after 9/11. It was not the left that demonized their political enemies, it was the left that was demonized when they finally woke up and started questioning. Suddenly, the left was demonized as un-American and un-patriotic, treasonous for daring to question anything this administration has done. It is pathetic that you feel the need to rewrite history to make it sound like the right was the victim and not the perp. The right tried to demonize the left so much that they wound up demonizing anyone who wanted answers. That could be a good reason that they lost on Nov. 7, they not only wound up demonizing the left, but wound up demonizing many of their own.

The question for you JayJay, is how have Democrats been pushing for constructive solutions with Republicans?

The answer is that they haven’t. They have have done everything possible to demonize and delegitimize them. Does this bring us together or drive us apart?

Oh, I know, those poor darlings on the right have been so open to working with the left and the left does nothing but bad mouth them. I feel so bad for those poor rightwingers that I almost want to forgive them for calling their fellow Americans un-American and un-patriotic. The left should have been grateful to the right for calling them “cut and run,” it was only out of love. I just cannot figure out why the left is so nasty to those poor sweet rightwingers who want nothing but to work together and come up with bipartisan solutions. And the way you have reached out accross party lines with this inspired “Defeat and retreat” post, you should be commend for your courageous efforts to stop the leftwing demonization machine.

Give me a break! The rightwing has been nothing but stubborn, rubber stamp, “stay the course” loyalists and anyone who has the nerve to question the course has been chewed up by the rightwing propaganda machine. Stop trying to play the victim, everyone knows you’re the perp.

Posted by: JayJay at November 30, 2006 2:39 AM
Comment #197005
This is precisely what victory means Joseph and it is obviously not what democrats are talking about. Unless by ‘managing’ you mean pulling out.

Managing can and should include pulling out. As was mentioned earlier, setting milestones is only part of goal-oriented planning. Setting milestones without a timetable is useless.

Was the Hussein regime stable? Were the Iraqi people fine under Saddam Hussein? Did the bounties rewarded to terrorists by Saddam contribute to stability in the region?

1. Relatively yes.

2. Irrelevant. We are not responsible for whether or not Iraqis were “fine” under Hussein. Iraq was not a humanitarian crisis before we invaded.

3. Being post hoc donations to families of martyrs, I imagine their contribution to regional instability was negligible compared to the overriding issues that drive the violence.

It is remarkable when those who will likely nuke an American city sometime in the future adopt your rhetoric exactly.

It’s actually promising. If he wants the US to pull out, too, he would have to have considered that someone must take our place as stabilizing agent and finds the prospect of Iran fulfilling that role amenable. This is to our advantage if we decide to ask for their assistance.

As far as the likelihood of Iran nuking an American city? Well, given the track record of neocon prognostications, I imagine there’s as much chance of that as Iraq having WMD.

Or were you trying to imply something about my motives?

Posted by: Joseph Briggs at November 30, 2006 8:31 AM
Comment #197008

Diogenes:

again, no substance, only hollow, misdirected insults… just as i expected from you.

All I did was hold up a mirror. Your “challenge” makes a mockery of the men and women who have volunteered to fight in Iraq. They should be allowed to finish the fight and win. If winning requires a change is tactics, fine. More troops? Fine. Just finish the job.

as i am quite patriotic, your insult does not apply (nor does anything else in your post…) i take it you refused my challenge, though. you might stop and wonder why, but probably not.

We should not leave Iraq until the nation can effectively defend itself. Your “challenge” is contemptuous and assinine. I prefer clean city streets to trash-strewn streets. Does that mean I have to join the Sanitation Department? I prefer a low crime rate to a high one. Does that mean I have to join the police force? I’d like to see more high school students graduate from high school. Does that mean I have to become a high school teacher? No, of course not. I am a U.S. citizen and have the right to express my opinion regarding the use of our military. Your “challenge” is just a weak attempt to be clever and witty, but it’s actually just sanctimony wrapped in contempt.

again, i implore those with any mettle whatsoever, and the will to be ‘victorious’ in iraq - do something worthwhile with your life. quit bitching, start enlisting.

Again, we see your contempt for the mission as well as the men and women fighting to successfully complete it.

…if you want to win, we need more troops…

I don’t disagree with you on this point, but it’s not just about numbers. It’s how those numbers are used.

Posted by: Chris at November 30, 2006 9:28 AM
Comment #197009

diogenes:

furthermore, i did not call out any names, and yet chris felt the need to ignorantly and demeaningly respond (in just the manner you have described). he thereby insulted himself - thus, if you wish to cast blame, you now know where to direct it.

So, it’s perfectly alright for you to insult me when I turn your “challenge” around and direct it at libs who consider Bush to be the enemy.

i have spoken with chris before, and found him every bit as uninformed and insulting in our prior conversations.

I find many of your posts to be provocative and simply respond in kind.

Posted by: Chris at November 30, 2006 9:47 AM
Comment #197014

sir, you lack the courage of your convictions.
if you feel that you are justified in sending our troops to die, yet feel that the cause is insufficient to risk your own neck, then i must question well more than your patriotism.

in your aforementioned (weak) examples, no one’s life is being wasted - you make the claim that the soldiers’ lives are not being wasted either, and yet you would not risk your own in such a pursuit. here’s a key difference in your weak analogies; soldiers do not decide which wars they will fight - people such as yourself decide that for them.

in this instance, you have decided that they will fight and die to protect non-americans, to deliver freedom to people who neither want nor deserve it, and to line the pockets of war profiteers - this is not the american way. this is not a just cause, nor a just war.

one last time; i did not call you out or insult you. you did that yourself, and by doing so, proved my point - as well as lost any respect i might have afforded you.

finally, my contempt does not lie with those selflessly fighting and dying in this war, clearly. i wish to honor them by bringing them home from a dishonorable war. my contempt lies with those who wrongly and selfishly sent them there…

i must thank you, however, for proving my point more aptly than even i was apparently able to…

Posted by: Diogenes at November 30, 2006 10:44 AM
Comment #197021

Diogenes
You are placing yourself as an elitist. You have elevated yourself above others. That is placing yourself as a god. Pride will bring you down.

JayJay
Using the name dumbass in reference to the Commander-in-Chief and President is an insult to those of us who have respect for the person and the office. You are not helping your argument by using that description in reference to President Bush. You are not earning that respect you talk about by refering to the president as you do. So go back to earning the respect you seek. Lots of work to do.

Posted by: tomh at November 30, 2006 11:36 AM
Comment #197022

Chris,

The right has had a virtual lock on the American government for the last 6 years.

Point of fact, after Sept. 11th, the right in this country, had virtually world wide support for a “war on terror”, and you blew it.

To blame the failures of the theo-con right on the “liberals” in this country is just so much school yard bullshit.

To hear you and Eric tell it, anyone that isn’t in lockstep with your message is a treasonous, traitorous, terrorist supporting, unpatriotic fanatic, and should be shipped off to the Middle East, and have their heads separated from their shoulders.

What a load of baloney.

The far right and their lackeys, Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, et al, have done little but polarize the population in this country for the last 20 years.

Our impending defeat in Iraq isn’t due to lack of support. It is due to the lack of ability of our country’s leaders to think on their feet.
You guys continue to repeat that mistakes were also made in WW2, yet fail to also point out that when, in WW2, mistakes were made, strategies were adjusted to make up for those failures.

You can’t say the same for our Iraq debacle.

Posted by: Rocky at November 30, 2006 11:41 AM
Comment #197032

tomh,

if that is how i have presented myself, or even only your personal perception, and no more - apologies, in either case - it was not my intention to do so. make no mistake; i offer no apologies for my convictions, merely for my poor form in presenting them.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 30, 2006 12:01 PM
Comment #197034
Using the name dumbass in reference to the Commander-in-Chief and President is an insult to those of us who have respect for the person and the office.

And cons think libs are too sensitive. Ha.

Posted by: Joseph Briggs at November 30, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #197038

“…an insult to those of us who have respect for the person and the office.”

the two are not synonymous (“the person and the office”). just as it is entirely possible, and increasingly sensible, to respect the soldiers and yet disparage the war - it is equally conceivable that one can hold the utmost regard for the office and yet have no respect whatsoever for the man currently occupying it.

for instance, this president disrespects every aspect of our government, his office, the constitution (that “goddamn piece of paper”), etc…. daily - while holding the office himself.

his contempt for america leads to my contempt for him; yet i still respect the office he holds, and hope to one day fill it with someone deserving of the title.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 30, 2006 12:23 PM
Comment #197039

Diogenes,

“it is equally conceivable that one can hold the utmost regard for the office and yet have no respect whatsoever for the man currently occupying it.”

Can you say Bill Clinton?

Posted by: Rocky at November 30, 2006 12:32 PM
Comment #197043
Using the name dumbass in reference to the Commander-in-Chief and President is an insult to those of us who have respect for the person and the office. You are not helping your argument by using that description in reference to President Bush. You are not earning that respect you talk about by refering to the president as you do. So go back to earning the respect you seek. Lots of work to do.

tomh,

I do believe that this is a free country that still allows free speech (unless Newt Gingrich gets his way, then we will be censorship city) If I had one shred of respect left for President Dumbass I would respect his title. I will not freely give respect to someone just because of their position, and Dumbass-in-Chief has done zippo to earn my respect. I do not ever recall seeking your respect. If you respect my opinions, great, if not then that is ok with me too. My feelings aren’t hurt, really. I am not here to kiss anyone’s ass.

Posted by: JayJay at November 30, 2006 12:42 PM
Comment #197046

diogenes:

sir, you lack the courage of your convictions. if you feel that you are justified in sending our troops to die, yet feel that the cause is insufficient to risk your own neck, then i must question well more than your patriotism.

What a load of crap! We are not “sending our troops to die.” That, sir, is inflammatory propogandic rhetoric. I would expect such from our enemies, but not from a fellow American.

in your aforementioned (weak) examples, no one’s life is being wasted - you make the claim that the soldiers’ lives are not being wasted either, and yet you would not risk your own in such a pursuit.

You don’t think policement risk their lives every day? And how about teachers? Ever hear of Columbine? My examples were apt enough to disprove your ridiculous notion that Americans who believe we should stay in Iraq until the nation can defend itself should either enlist or shut up.

here’s a key difference in your weak analogies; soldiers do not decide which wars they will fight - people such as yourself decide that for them.

Actually, my elected representatives in Congress and the President determine that. I either agree and support the decision, or not.

I am deeply grateful that there are still men and women who have the courage and conviction to volunteer to serve in our Armed Forces. Do you think they are ignorant of the bloody realities of war? Or perhaps (like John Kerry) you think them too stupid to know any better.

in this instance, you have decided that they will fight and die to protect non-americans, to deliver freedom to people who neither want nor deserve it, and to line the pockets of war profiteers - this is not the american way. this is not a just cause, nor a just war.

I have decided no such thing. You are outlining why you think we’re there, and you are certainly entitled to believe whatever lunacy you wish. I don’t think our soldiers were sent to Iraq to die; they were sent there to topple the regime of a cruel and very dangerous tyrant, liberate millions of people, and help the Iraqi people create a democracy in the heart of the Middle East.

one last time; i did not call you out or insult you. you did that yourself, and by doing so, proved my point - as well as lost any respect i might have afforded you.

Actually, you did. You insulted my intelligence and my character:

chris felt the need to ignorantly and demeaningly respond … i have spoken with chris before, and found him every bit as uninformed and insulting in our prior conversations.

I may vehemently disagree with you, but I never stated you were ignorant, demeaning, uninformed, or insulting. Those are your words, not mine.

finally, my contempt does not lie with those selflessly fighting and dying in this war, clearly. i wish to honor them by bringing them home from a dishonorable war. my contempt lies with those who wrongly and selfishly sent them there…

You want to have your cake and eat it, too. How can you support the troops and undermine their efforts at the same time? And, again, you are expressing your opinion that the war is “dishonorable.” Expressing such may earn you kudos from the kool-aide drinking crowd, but I think it betrays a total lack of respect for the men and women over there who believe what they are doing is necessary, noble, and right.

i must thank you, however, for proving my point more aptly than even i was apparently able to…

I fail to see where you have to proven anything.

Posted by: Chris at November 30, 2006 12:48 PM
Comment #197060

Using dumbass in reference to President Bush shows no credibility. Your sphere of influence is non-existant.

Chris
Your response is seconded by me. Some people charge, accuse, assume, etc. and expect the party addressed to kowtow and whimp our. You did not do that. You held to your convictions.
Thank You

Posted by: tomh at November 30, 2006 1:21 PM
Comment #197062
Using dumbass in reference to President Bush shows no credibility. Your sphere of influence is non-existant.

My “sphere of influence” is non-existant?!!! Someone get Scotty in here STAT! Wee neeeed mo..re powwwwer!

Aye Aye Captain!

Posted by: JayJay at November 30, 2006 1:29 PM
Comment #197065
I fail to see where you have to proven anything…Posted by: Chris at November 30, 2006 12:48 PM
“There are none so blind as those who will not see”
You held to your convictions…Posted by: tomh at November 30, 2006 01:21 PM
At what point does that become plain pigheaded stubborness? Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at November 30, 2006 2:05 PM
Comment #197075

chris.

it is little surprise that you failed to miss my point, or how you proved it. on the other hand, at this point i have little hope or concern over whether you realize anything… and at this point, i think most others realize the hypocrisy you have continuously demonstrated.

“You don’t think policement risk their lives every day? And how about teachers? Ever hear of Columbine?”

the key difference, yet again chris, is *choice*. soldiers enlisted to fight and defend our country - not someone elses, and certainly not under these insidious pretenses. understand? ok then.

stop distorting my post to prove your (nonexistent) point. semantics will win you nothing but an english degree;

“We are not ‘sending our troops to die.’”

i was obviously (to everyone but you) not suggesting that anyone *wanted* our troops to die, as you imply - merely that they were dying (deny it all you want), and for no good reason (at least not one which would compel *you* to risk death - if anything could). yet you support forcing them to stay there and risk death. astoundingly weak argument, for your part.

“Actually, you did. You insulted my intelligence and my character…”

actually, i didn’t. i insulted your post, and only after you insulted *my* character.

“unpatriotic Americans who believe President Bush, is the real enemy: GET OUT! Ooo-la-LA!

Thank heavens for leetle girls…”

note: my post was *not* addressed to you - you took it that way. *your* post *was* directed specifically to me.

i should hope that any editors might now take note, because your posts have gone from bordering on harrassment and defamation of my character to doing nothing but. so drop the ignorant/innocent act.

“I may vehemently disagree with you, but I never stated you were ignorant, demeaning, uninformed, or insulting.”

you may vehemently disagree with me, but rather than address my post, you attacked me. i, in turn, attacked the ignorance and inanity displayed in your post.

“How can you support the troops and undermine their efforts at the same time?…Expressing such may earn you kudos from the kool-aide drinking crowd…”

because i am an american patriot - which means i am free-thinking, as well as supportive of my troops…

i do not have to accept the baseless claims of this president - and the fact that his lies are killing my people…well, i’ll just drop it - cuz the point will be lost on you in any case…

…and if you can’t understand such a basic precept, perhaps you should examine the cup from which you drink…

now, having adequately proven my point, and seeing as you have brought nothing of substance to the table for some time… i am done with you.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 30, 2006 2:37 PM
Comment #197080

Eric-

This is precisely what victory means Joseph and it is obviously not what democrats are talking about. Unless by ‘managing’ you mean pulling out.

First and foremost, we can’t win by staying. Our ultimate victory requires that Iraq become an independent country, no longer reliant on us. That means, at some point, we have to go bye-bye. Bush wants to wait until things get better, using his same old tactics.

They aren’t working. Which means everything’s indefinite. He’s still trying to win by attrition, and trying to build up armies and police forces with America remaining as an obvious, indefinitely present crutch. And he’s still losing. We’ve gone from being conquerors to refereeing a civil war. At what point does reality pop the bubble for this guy?

Your question was about the stability of the Hussein regime. Your answer is, we invaded. That is, if he had other options for regime change, we would have used them. Husseins regime was not the best thing for the Iraqi people, but its far better than the chaos and sectarian violence that’s replaced it. Recall the lessons of the World Wars, where the poorly managed replacement of the Kaiser gave us Hitler and the Nazis. Bad can get worse.

As for Ahmadinejad? We want to learn McFly’s lesson here: somebody might call you chicken, or try to make you look weak, but the best thing to do is realize they’re just being assholes, think things through, and do what’s right. Sorry to be so vulgar, but we do not need to be running American foreign policy to demonstrate the size of our balls, to react to every bait and provocation.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 30, 2006 2:57 PM
Comment #197084

rocky,

“Can you say Bill Clinton?”

good example.

i’m guessing you are pointing out the hypocrisy of those who would condemn everything clinton, and then turn around and condemn anyone who would even dare to suggest that bush *might* be wrong as unpatriotic at best, and at worst, treasonous.

i feel little compunction over condemning them both, albeit to differing degrees. (for instance - in my estimation, clinton is no war criminal).


Posted by: Diogenes at November 30, 2006 3:13 PM
Comment #197089

Diogenes,

“i feel little compunction over condemning them both, albeit to differing degrees. (for instance - in my estimation, clinton is no war criminal).”

I don’t “feel the need” to condemn either of them.
Clinton had his peccadilloes, and Bush is intractable.

I feel that Clinton’s ability to play well with other children (metaphor alert), made him a better President.
Bush’s “my way or the highway” attitude has placed this country in an interesting position, but not one we haven’t faced before, and will probably face again.

Posted by: Rocky at November 30, 2006 3:50 PM
Comment #197092

diogenes:

on the other hand, at this point i have little hope or concern over whether you realize anything… and at this point, i think most others realize the hypocrisy you have continuously demonstrated.

Hypocrisy? How am I being hypocritical? All through this thread I have maintained my support for our efforts in Iraq. Your “challenge” was directed at people like me who think we should stay in Iraq until the nation can defend itself. I turned your “challenge” around and directed it at those of you who seem to believe Bush is the enemy.

the key difference, yet again chris, is *choice*. soldiers enlisted to fight and defend our country - not someone elses, and certainly not under these insidious pretenses. understand? ok then.

Well, let’s see … there was Haiti, and the Balkans, and Somalia, and the first Gulf War, and … Those were “someone else’s” problems, weren’t they? Fact is, we send our troops all over the world to solve “other people’s problems” all the time.

i was obviously (to everyone but you) not suggesting that anyone *wanted* our troops to die,

Here was what you said:

if you feel that you are justified in sending our troops to die, yet feel that the cause is insufficient to risk your own neck, then i must question well more than your patriotism.

I took you at your word. You stated “…sending our troops to die,” so I figured that was what you meant.

as you imply - merely that they were dying (deny it all you want), and for no good reason (at least not one which would compel *you* to risk death - if anything could).

I don’t deny that soldiers are dying. That would be ridiculous. But to state that they are dying for no good reason shows a callous disregard for their sacrifice. I don’t think they’re dying for no good reason. Quite the contrary.

yet you support forcing them to stay there and risk death. astoundingly weak argument, for your part.

I just want for our military to be given the opportunity to finish the job. If our military leaders fighting the war come to the conclusion that the situation in Iraq is hopeless and unwinnable, then of course we should get out as quickly as possible. Until then, I’m going to support the mission AND the troops.

i insulted your post, and only after you insulted *my* character.

That’s splitting hairs, isn’t it? You refer to me (the writer of the post) as ignorant, demeaning, uninformed, and insulting and I insulted you??

note: my post was *not* addressed to you - you took it that way. *your* post *was* directed specifically to me.

Your post was directed to people who believe that our troops need to stay in Iraq until the job is done. I happen to be a member of that group. I responded to you directly because you were the post’s author.

i should hope that any editors might now take note, because your posts have gone from bordering on harrassment and defamation of my character to doing nothing but. so drop the ignorant/innocent act.

You’re right. Ultimately it is up to the editors to decide whether I should be banned or not.

you may vehemently disagree with me, but rather than address my post, you attacked me. i, in turn, attacked the ignorance and inanity displayed in your post.

So I’m not ignorant, demeaning, uninformed, and insulting, but my post is? As the author of the post, isn’t there an implication that I am ignorant, demeaning, uninformed, and insulting?

because i am an american patriot - which means i am free-thinking, as well as supportive of my troops…

I fail to see how you can belittle the mission and support the troops at the same time.

i do not have to accept the baseless claims of this president - and the fact that his lies are killing my people…well, i’ll just drop it - cuz the point will be lost on you in any case…

You’re absolutely right. If you want to believe “Bush lied, people died” more power to you. It makes for a nice, compact anti-war slogan to paint on a sign. But it doesn’t make it true.

Just as you don’t have to believe the President, I don’t have to accept the baseless claims of John Kerry, Michael Moore, Barbara Streisand, Nancy Pelosi, Cindy Sheehan, Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Ted Turner, Jane Fonda, Russell Feingold, Danny Glover, Ralph Nader, and the rest of the loony left.

…and if you can’t understand such a basic precept, perhaps you should examine the cup from which you drink…

Oh, I understand you. I just disagree with you on, well, just about everything.

now, having adequately proven my point, and seeing as you have brought nothing of substance to the table for some time… i am done with you.

Okey-dokey.

Posted by: Chris at November 30, 2006 4:02 PM
Comment #197095

chris,
it was not the democrats who send the army with inadequate protection to Iraq.

It was not the democrats who send the army without armored vehicles to operate in a war zone.

it was not the democrats who sent contractors to perform security operations.

it was the republican congress and president for the last 6 years. you support the troups by calling for their protection, for their return to home, and not spend 4 years in a country that did not have anything to do with 9/11.

where is?

Osama
the Talliban
and the Saudis?

we took the military from Afghanistan where Osama was hiding to attack a sovereign country.

and Rangel, Kerry & Murtha or war heroes, unlike the chicken hawks that rule the GOP

Posted by: sarantos soumakis at November 30, 2006 4:29 PM
Comment #197100

not to backtrack,

but for the record, it is not my wish that you be banned - but that you desist voluntarily. i would far prefer to debate you on politics than ignore you, or cause you to be banned.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 30, 2006 5:05 PM
Comment #197114

Chris

I know these were not directed at me but I would like to put in my two cents if you don’t mind.

“I don’t think our soldiers were sent to Iraq to die; they were sent there to topple the regime of a cruel and very dangerous tyrant, liberate millions of people, and help the Iraqi people create a democracy in the heart of the Middle East.”

We invaded Iraq and staged a show of shock and awe, without the support of Nato, and against weapons inspectors assurances of no WMD’s because our president guaranteed us and the world that Iraq was harboring WMDs and could possibly use them on us or another country soon, period. Nothing more, nothing less. Please do not try to glorify what was either a huge blunder or an even larger deception.

“What a load of crap! We are not “sending our troops to die.” That, sir, is inflammatory propogandic rhetoric. I would expect such from our enemies, but not from a fellow American.”

Of course troops were not sent specifically to die. But it is understood that one can expect casualties in times of conflict. If the presidents motives for invasion were less than honorable (questionable and possibly yet to be determined) then one can say that those lives were lost under false pretense. Hardly rhetorical propaganda, or unamerican. It is totally american to question motivations as well as it is to support them.

“You want to have your cake and eat it, too. How can you support the troops and undermine their efforts at the same time? And, again, you are expressing your opinion that the war is “dishonorable.” Expressing such may earn you kudos from the kool-aide drinking crowd, but I think it betrays a total lack of respect for the men and women over there who believe what they are doing is necessary, noble, and right”

I personally have the utmost respect and regard for our troops and what it is they do. However I do not in any way shape or fashion support this conflict. Soldiers from day one are taught dicipline first and foremost. They are not allowed to challenge their superiors or the decisions they make. They go where they are told when they are told without question. Whether or not they believe what they are doing is necesary noble or right is of no real consequence, other than for personal justification and morale purposes. Upon enlisting they sign a contract stating that they understand these realities. I can guarantee you that not every soldier feels perfectly good about the whats and whys of this conflict. Many of them are serving multiple and extended tours and not by choice either. A lot of our reserve troops are coming home and no longer have jobs waiting and are facing piles of bills and foreclosure notices. Not to mention cuts in veterans benifits.

Our president and his cronies, not Stephen, Diogenes, Joseph, Rocky myself or any other citizen of this country, did our troops a great dishonor when he so very recklessly entered into this nightmare against the advice of most of the rest of the world.

Posted by: ILdem at November 30, 2006 6:12 PM
Comment #197118

Sarantos

Rangel, Kerry and Murtha served in the military.
They are not heroes. I don’t know about Rangel, but Kerry and Murtha refuse to release the papers surrounding their medals. That is a red flag. Again, they are not heroes.

Posted by: tomh at November 30, 2006 6:23 PM
Comment #197121

Chris-

“But to state that they are dying for no good reason shows a callous disregard for their sacrifice. I don’t think they’re dying for no good reason. Quite the contrary.”

Having confidence in the abilities of out military to do the things they are trained to do (fight conventional wars) is very different from having confidence that our military can “succeed” in Iraq. I used quotes because if you ask 10 different Americans what would make for “success” in Iraq, you’d get 10 different answers. The originally compelling justifications have all eroded away with time. The only realistic goal left is stability. Not exactly what most people had in mind when we watched the government raise the debt ceiling year after year to pay for it.

“I just want for our military to be given the opportunity to finish the job. If our military leaders fighting the war come to the conclusion that the situation in Iraq is hopeless and unwinnable, then of course we should get out as quickly as possible. Until then, I’m going to support the mission AND the troops.”

That’s funny. Kind of like allowing the fox to guard the hen-house and then putting all your faith in it letting you know when the chickens are in danger. How did that work out in Vietnam, anyway? The results from nearly blind reliance on Gen. Westmoreland’s assessments impressed you that much?

“If you want to believe “Bush lied, people died” more power to you. It makes for a nice, compact anti-war slogan to paint on a sign. But it doesn’t make it true.”

Bush did lie. And many did die. Denying that is crazy talk. Saying it was justified might be a better strategy, but considering most experts predicted an outcome of civil strife from the beginning, I think it’d be a tough sell to any objective observer.

“Just as you don’t have to believe the President, I don’t have to accept the baseless claims of John Kerry, Michael Moore, Barbara Streisand, Nancy Pelosi, Cindy Sheehan, Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Ted Turner, Jane Fonda, Russell Feingold, Danny Glover, Ralph Nader, and the rest of the loony left.”

Well, I’m not sure what relevence any of these democratic names have on the debate at hand. Tthey seem to be thrown in there in a haphazard attempt to sound extreme. But those people will be remembered only for their real jobs, the causes they supported, and that they supported them with occasionally annoying zeal. They hold no power, only a microphone.

It all comes back to credibility in the end. What is certain is that the name “Bush” will forever be remembered by history as synonymous with deception as almost every aspect of his presidency depended on it to at least a certain degree. And unless he starts embracing the reality that Iraq IS a failure because he never had an achievable mission to begin with, the sooner we can all get back to the real issues and stop calling our fellow Americans cowards, or supporters of terrorists, or any of that crap. Its childish and arrogant to assume that most democrats don’t support the troops, or that they support “defeat”, or even that they don’t support the Iraqi people.

So, chris, if you are adament about governmental welfare with no timelines for Iraq, then do you support domestic entitlement programs in the same mannor? If not, then why do timeframes work in one circumstance and not in another? Why must we be in a holding pattern to go forward? Is it to prevent any appearance of defeat? Constantly worrying about how one appears to the outside world almost always results in failure. Look at Paris Hilton…always worrying about her appearance, yet she still comes across as a bitchy whore.

Maybe we should start looking at this from a “what’s in it for us” perspective. I say we have bigger fish to fry than to referee a civil and religious conflict where the best case scenario is to help spread the Iranian influence in exchange for temperary stability. For starters, how about making it so that we are not obligated to fund our enemies through our oil habbit? Or securing our borders? Or not saddling our kids with debt and faulty social programs? Etc. Etc.

“So I’m not ignorant, demeaning, uninformed, and insulting, but my post is?”

Yes, your post IS. The insults extend to you personally only if the post is perfectly representative of the totality of your character. It is not “splitting hairs”, it is using language as it is intended to be used: to say what you really mean.

Diogenes-

I enjoy your posts. Try not to get caught up in other people being argumentative for the sake of being argumentative. I find that my original post usually answers questions as well as, or better than my 10th post on a subject. Some people will simply never allow themselves to give an inch for fear of justly losing a mile. That strategy is usually transparent to the objective observer. After all, the strategy failed Bush, and he had teams of experts coaching and helping him at every turn.

The atypical knee-jerk response to a firmly supported critique of white house policy is: “So the “dem strategy” (usually refering to the most extreme sounding thing that has been suggested by any democrat in the last 25 years) of [insert lame out-of-context example or hippie/communist analogy here] is better?”

Trust me, the people who actually take these debates seriously and who want to learn something through intelligent communication will not force you debate about Cindy Sheehen or Rosie O’Donnell when you are trying to discuss the president. Unfortunately, if you are like me, and you always crave finality, the extremists who post in some of these threads will dissapoint you every time with their stubborn reversion to to outdated and disproven talking points in response to any good point raised which are contrary their position. Par for the course.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 30, 2006 6:29 PM
Comment #197122

tomh,

I would guess that you think Murtha, having recieved a Bronze Star with Valor device, two Purple Hearts, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, just isn’t good enough to be considered a hero.

Wow, tough crowd.

Tell us again, what medals did you recieve?

Posted by: Rocky at November 30, 2006 6:34 PM
Comment #197124

Diogenes-

Case in point:

“They are not heroes. I don’t know about Rangel, but Kerry and Murtha refuse to release the papers surrounding their medals. That is a red flag. Again, they are not heroes.”

Information is admittedly missing. Yet Tomh somehow still manages to come to a definative conclusion on the matter.

He’ll undoubtedly attack me for some reason unrelated to his proffering wacko logic. Maybe even accuse me of a personal attack. Either way, I treat it like a game. I think of the most outlandish and ridiculous response possible, and wait for it to show up. I’m often right, and I’m often surprised. But I’m rarely upset.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 30, 2006 6:50 PM
Comment #197125

rocky,

a fair, level-headed assessment - however, if that is the gist of your assessment in its entirety, i find it quite simply deficient in several fundamental areas.

i think clinton is guilty of more than minor indiscretions - and i’m not referring to his sexual behavior. since he is of the past, and i know of no actionable behavior (other than the notorious lie), i will not dwell on him. bush, however, is here and now - and we are still suffering from the effects of his illegal actions, as they are ongoing.

now, i am not attempting to pigeonhole you as a liberal, or cast blanket statements about all liberals. indeed, the remainder of this post applies far more to those democrats in office than to anyone posting here…

…still, it is one of my foremost complaints about (some) liberals that they tend to compromise their convictions in order to attain, or retain, the ‘moral high ground’ (or perhaps merely their office), to uphold the illusion (which only they actually believe) that they can do no wrong.

i ask you, where is the integrity in such artificial posturing, such useless pandering?

i voted for a couple democrats this go-round.
granted, if they can fix this mess (if that is even possible), i may yet be inclined to vote for them again. somehow i doubt this, but i honestly hope they prove me wrong.

however, the reason i voted for those that i did was not solely for a change of direction in iraq, but a change of the status quo in dc. i will be more than a little vexed and disappointed if they fail on this front. punish corruption. enforce the law. if you honestly believe that no laws have been broken, then i guess i voted for the wrong guys.

kevin23,

advice well taken. unfortunately, my fingers are apparently a good degree faster than my inhibitions concerning such ‘argument for argument’s sake.’ it is also hard, when so provoked, to draw the line between what might be perceived as convincing to other readers, and what comes across as flatly annoying… but hey, i do try.

Posted by: diogenes at November 30, 2006 6:52 PM
Comment #197127

tomh-
Why is there any need to call into question the record of these former soldiers? If I were in your shoes, I would stop quite short of the blatant hypocrisy of asking people to honor our soldiers and support them, while veterans of the last two major wars this country fought have their record called into question without any conclusive evidence exposing them as fakes.

These people served their country in combat, which is more than we can say for the President and Vice President who have sent my generation of soldiers into combat. Fact is, the whole reason for this vicious, un-called for, artificial controversy is the severe deficit of actual combat experience among the leaders of the Republican party. That is why, in regards to veterans, since they couldn’t join them, they now beat up on them.

You should be ashamed of yourself to use that argument, especially if you are a veteran or former soldier. I would not advocate somebody questioning the military career of any soldier without good evidence of misconduct.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 30, 2006 6:55 PM
Comment #197129

Diogenes-

“my fingers are apparently a good degree faster than my inhibitions concerning such ‘argument for argument’s sake.’ it is also hard, when so provoked, to draw the line between what might be perceived as convincing to other readers, and what comes across as flatly annoying”

I completely relate. Completely. Thus, my support and advice.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 30, 2006 6:59 PM
Comment #197143

Diogenes,

I am an independent, I vote my conscience, not party lines. I am also a pragmatist.

My view of politicians is that, regardless of party, and with few exceptions, as the worlds second oldest profession, they have far too many similarities to the world’s oldest profession for my comfort.

While I don’t support Bush policies, I don’t think this country needs another impeachment, especially one that would leave Cheney in power.

Posted by: Rocky at November 30, 2006 7:26 PM
Comment #197146

independent? then i’m glad i preceded that with a disclaimer.

it would seem that the difference between the first and the second oldest professions is negligible… consisting mainly of the notion that those of the oldest profession at least serve at someone’s pleasure, and those of the second generally please only themselves.

…i think investigations are necessary for our country’s ‘spiritual’ well-being. we need a good cleansing…and the investigations should not stop with bush…

Posted by: Diogenes at November 30, 2006 7:39 PM
Comment #197149

Chris-
Have you ever heard of the Charge of the Light Brigade? Great troops! One of the stupidest fricking missions ever, though. Ours is not to reason, ours is to do and die, right?

The soldiers don’t get a choice, and we honor that sacrifice as well as others when we honor the dead of this war. They didn’t get the choice to compel this president to prepare for a long term occupation, or to prepare to reconstruct Iraq. They have to live with that, and so does the rest of America. Now, you make support and honor of the troops conditional on support of the mission, as if the soldiers just got up and made the decision: “We’re going to have a war in Iraq!”.

No, they didn’t get that decision. They’re trying to make the best of it, I know, and their training and their character is a great deal of the reason things aren’t worse than they already are. But when our leaders can’t even be bothered to take care of such basic things like giving our troops translators, they can only do so much to redeem the situation. They are heroes, but not superheroes.

Unfortunately, your party had to entangle everything in the political bullshit of supporting the President.

Your president had his support, and people deferred judgement for months on end as this war grew progressively more violent and out of control. But patience has its limits. America once defeated two great empires, two of the most fanatical armies ever raised, covering and conquering territory on a global scale, fighting back against an enemy every bit our technological equal, in the time this war has been waged. And yet this President and you think we’re jumping the gun to suggest a new course after an occupation, a fricking occupation in one country has turned into a bloodbath in that same time.

Get some perspective: America is capable of better than this. American knows its capable of better than this America wants better than this. We do not think the greatest country in the world deserves to have its reputation and power drug through the mud by the incompetent policy of a bunch of egotistical ivory-tower political fanatics. We do not think that this is a failure of the stomach, the nerve, the will, or anything else of the American people. We don’t think the American people deserve to be guilt-tripped over another war their leaders screwed up in the planning stages.

This was a failure of the President’s leadership, of his ability to listen, to seek out accurate information and accept feedback that didn’t cater to his ego. The failure of one strategy did not have to be the failure of an entire war. But this president, if he continues his intractable attitudes, may just end up ironically bringing that to pass.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 30, 2006 7:43 PM
Comment #197151

I was in a hurry when I entered the above post. I should not have included Murtha. My statement on the other two still stands, they served like thousands of others served. They were not heroes. The word gets overworked and misused. To classify all vets as heroes is demeaning to veterans in total.

Posted by: tomh at November 30, 2006 7:50 PM
Comment #197154

tomh-
Your rational is not unreasonable, but at the very least you should back down on the questioning of medals. Heroes or not, those medals should be regarded as earned until conclusive evidence demonstrates otherwise.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 30, 2006 7:55 PM
Comment #197193

On D-Day, many thousands of American and allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy. Some of them performed acts of bravery that were above and beyond the call of duty and many won medals for their bravery. But, every man that stormed the beaches that day, was carrying two 20 pound medicine balls. If that is not bravery, what is? If they were not heros, who is?

The greatest enemy of a true believer is the truth.

Posted by: jlw at December 1, 2006 1:37 AM
Comment #197202

Eric,

When you can explain how this mess in Iraq has contributed one iota of help to the real threat of hegemony threatened by radical Islam or Iran, then perhaps I’ll stop calling you delusional. I actually believed there might be some reasonable overarching goal in 03, even though there were many critics. That someone had a workable plan. But I was dead wrong as you still seem to be. Get a grip, man.

It was ill-concieved, poorly executed and has utterly failed. Withdrawal is POLICY now, whether you want to acknowledge it or not. Spin it however you will, this is a classic cluster****, by an incompetent administration.

The only other choice would be to invoke an immediate draft, massively increase force and be prepared to “stay the course” for the next 10 to 20 years. It’s a strategic failure. Time to re-group. Anyone with a shred of common sense knows it by now.


Posted by: gergle at December 1, 2006 4:44 AM
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