Surge purges Moqtada

Surely this is a sign of the enormous failure of Bush’s “troop surge.”

Feb. 13, 2007 — While members of the U.S. House of Representatives take turns weighing in on President Bush's planned troop surge in Iraq, the focus in Iraq is not on the arrival of more U.S. troops, but the departure of one of the country's most powerful men, Moqtada al Sadr and members of his army.

According to senior military officials, al Sadr left Baghdad two to three weeks ago and fled to Tehran, Iran, where he has family.


It's just a vacation. C'mon. He knows that Democrats are in charge now. He's not actually running scared of our mercenary armies. He's celebrating the surrender of U.S. forces led by Pelosi, Murtha, et al.
Al Sadr commands the Mahdi army, one of the most formidable insurgent militias in Iraq, and his move coincides with the announced U.S. troop surge in Baghdad.

Sources believe al Sadr is worried about an increase of 20,000 U.S. troops in the Iraqi capital. One official told ABC News' Martha Raddatz, "He is scared he will get a JDAM [bomb] dropped on his house."

Sources say some of the Mahdi army leadership went with al Sadr. ~abcnews.go.com


Surely not. The surge has been proclaimed a failure! Nancy Pelosi said so. Nothing good can come of it except more wasted lives of unlucky or unintelligent war criminals stuck in Iraq because of their lack of education.

By the way, who was that Zarqawi guy again?

Posted by Eric Simonson at February 14, 2007 12:24 AM
Comments
Comment #207995

Personally I think that Sadr is going to sit in Iran eating figs until the Democrats get their way and the US retreats from Iraq. Then he can return and be Iraq’s Ayotallah.

Then in five or ten years we can fight Gulf War III, this time (most likely) with nuclear weapons.

A main reason I don’t support “the surge” is that despite their rhetoric, the Bush administration is actually just marginally more serious about fighting the war than are the Democrats.

Sadr is in Iran? Why is he anywhere? Shouldn’t he be DEAD?

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 14, 2007 12:41 AM
Comment #207998

Everybody knows the surge is just temporary. That’s why it’s called a surge. Sadr’s going to ride it out in Iran and then come back in a few months.

He’s not gone. Sadr’s faction is an important part of the freely elected Iraqi government.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 14, 2007 12:49 AM
Comment #207999

Eric,

I’m glad you see the surge as the failure it is. Yes, Moqtada al Sadr can leave, go on vacation, his army can disappear into the civilian ranks, and then when the Americans leave he can return and take over the country.

Al-Sadr loyalists occupy 30 of parliament‘s 275 seats and fill six Cabinet posts. Surviving the latest security sweep while it weakens Sunni rivals would enable al-Sadr to project his power more assertively in Baghdad.

“I expect it to be 12 months or less before the Americans withdraw from the cities and stay in bases outside,” said Joost Hiltermann of the International Crisis Group, or ICG, a Brussels-based think tank. “Whoever survives this Baghdad security plan will have a better place in the vacuum that follows a reduced American presence.”

“But the overall strategy will be restraint,” said Harling, also with ICG. “Mahdi Army fighters can redeploy in southern Iraq and return to Sadr City when it‘s all over to avoid arrest.”

Nice.

Posted by: Max at February 14, 2007 12:49 AM
Comment #208008

Eric, and some of us smart opponents to this surge warned that the insurgents would not stand around to be killed by the surge, but, withdraw to pop up in another round of “whack a mole” somewhere else in Iraq.

But, you bunch of cowboys love whacking those mole holes at ever greater expense to our soldiers and taxpayers and national debt. Thank Buddha Republicans have lost control of Congress, and will lose the White House in ‘08. Democrats will also find ways of increasing the national debt, but, without wasting our military’s soldiers on a lost cause. That civil war in Iraq is going to be fought with our troops in the middle or not.

Those of us who truly respect and care about them prefer that civil war take place without our soldiers in the middle, playing civilian politician’s long distance game of “whack a mole” at our soldier’s gravest of expense.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2007 1:55 AM
Comment #208013


Eric: The presidents policies couldn’t have worked out better for Iran if they were the ones implementing it. So, the anti-Iranian Shite leader is being wined and dined in Tehran while the pro-Iranian Shite leaders are running Bagdad with billions in support from America. Things just can’t get much better for the Iranians.

The Administration runs its propoganda mouth in ever increasing magnitude on Iran while it spends hundreds of billions of our dollars and American lives to finance the Iranian foreign policy. You should be very proud of them.

Posted by: jlw at February 14, 2007 3:03 AM
Comment #208015

Interesting sourcing,… straight from Neocon Central?

I recently heard this kind of rhetoric described as coming from the thinking of Barnard Lewis.

See? We’re winning. Sadr is running…. or colluding with Iran. See? We have to invade Iran. See? They’re scared now. See?

Dick? Condi? Rove? You guys been leaking again?

Posted by: gergle at February 14, 2007 4:21 AM
Comment #208020

Eric-
Don’t get your hopes up just yet. When the whole thing about the “surefire” connection between Iran’s government and weapons used on American soldiers heated up, General Pace, Joint Chief of Staff, was quick to point out that our people really didn’t know how much connection there was. These were reports by anonymous sources, one of which had no reason to be anonymous.

Now we have folks claiming that We’ve scared Moqtada al-Sadr out of Iraq. This, likely from the same people. Only trouble is, nobody’s confirmed he’s actually out of the country, and also, he’s been to Iran at least twelve times on official business, and many times on personal mattters.

I think what this is, is folks trying to make the surge look like something more effective than it is. Besides, it will be three or four months before people would really feel the heat.

Until we get a non-anonymous source on this, I call shenanigans.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 14, 2007 8:04 AM
Comment #208021

Every increase in troop numbers in Viet Nam was a ‘temporary’ increase…each one accomplished something…oh well! Here we go again.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 14, 2007 8:07 AM
Comment #208028

Eric,

Wait a minute. I thought we WANTED guys like al Sadr to be in Iraq! Isn’t the whole point of the war to keep guys like him in Iraq so they aren’t attacking us here?

Help me out here, I’m so confused!

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 14, 2007 9:56 AM
Comment #208031

Touche’, Woody!

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2007 10:19 AM
Comment #208033

LO,

So your proposal is that we have to stay in Iraq forever, or at least 10 years. And your definition of victory is what?

Woody,
LOL

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at February 14, 2007 10:30 AM
Comment #208041

Woody

We do not want them here. Iran is already full of terrorist. Nobody will notice one more and as long as they do not come here, that is good.

Ideally, he would have stood and fought, as these guys are apt to brag they will do. Then he could have died and got those virgins. Maybe he is too smart to believe that BS they tell the losers.

Posted by: Jack at February 14, 2007 11:06 AM
Comment #208045
We do not want them here. Iran is already full of terrorist. Nobody will notice one more and as long as they do not come here, that is good.

Sorry, still confused. What is he doing in Iran if there are not US soldiers there? Guys like him are supposed to be in Iraq planning attacks on US soldiers, so they don’t plan attacks here. That is the theory, anyway. If he is hanging out in Iran, heaven knows what mischief he could be planning. Nope, this is definitely a setback. ;)

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 14, 2007 11:23 AM
Comment #208046

The fleeing of that bearded pig proves that the troop surge (actually) works. We’ve been there nearly 4 years now and he’s just leaving when we (and Iraqi troops) surround Baghdad; not to mention closing the Syrian/Iranian border (for 3 days). We should see many, more successes.


By the way, to all you anti-Bushites, this is a good thing; it’s great that our troops can show some positives signs in their mission, even though you don’t want any success for Bush.


Posted by: rahdigly at February 14, 2007 11:30 AM
Comment #208048

rahdigly or anyone else,

How would you define “success” in Iraq? This is a serious question.

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 14, 2007 11:53 AM
Comment #208053

rahdigly, your comment indicates you are another “whack a mole” supporter. The trick is to trap and capture them, not spook ‘em out of one area where your troops are, to another area where your troops are not. We have been playing this “whack a mole” strategy of Bush’s for years at great cost to our soldiers and treasury.

But, a loyalist to Bush can hardly be expected to change their spots in light of evidence that his policy and strategy are dementedly flawed. Loyalists will just keep saying they love our troops while voting to keep killing and maiming them. I am sure someone will forgive somewhere. But not me, and not here. If actions speak louder than words, Bush loyalists could care less what happens to our troops, so long as their hope for an ambiguously defined victory, no matter how faint and flickering, can be kept alive.

In other words, Bush loyalists would rather kill our troops than admit they backed the wrong horse. It really is just ego triumphing over saving and protecting our troops from needless harm.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2007 12:08 PM
Comment #208052

Rahdigly, Eric, etc.-

How do YOU know if he left Iraq? Or where he went? or why? Let alone know establish a direct causal link to the surge?

Until then, you are speculating and guessing. Its wishful thinking…Nothing more.

And I too would like to know why Sadr, an alleged terror kingpin, leaving Iraq is not counter-productive if the theory of occupying Iraqi streets is to fight them there as opposed to here. Or can we just admit that was a baseless load of BS from the start?

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 14, 2007 12:08 PM
Comment #208054

I’ve come to wonder, is this forum Jacks testing ground for next weeks AEI talking point, or visa versa? In any case, it’s plain see the sheeple have taken to carrying Jacks rally cry of anti-“anti-Bushites”.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at February 14, 2007 12:11 PM
Comment #208055

Jack-

“We do not want them here. Iran is already full of terrorist. Nobody will notice one more and as long as they do not come here, that is good.

Ideally, he would have stood and fought, as these guys are apt to brag they will do. Then he could have died and got those virgins. Maybe he is too smart to believe that BS they tell the losers. “

You really believe that garbage? No one will notice if he’s in Iran planning attacks? What??? What about those he is planning against???? That’s just stupid, Jack.

Ideally he would have stood and fought? Well no shit. Ideally they’d be in uniforms on a battlefield, right? I suggest a re-reading of US history…did we establish the greatest nation on earth by standing and fighting in plain view?

Maybe it is time for some more coffee this morning?

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 14, 2007 12:14 PM
Comment #208058

We have been in Iraq for four years now, at huge expense, and accomplished little. We could be there four more years and still the country would not be stabilized and there would be no infrastructure. The enemy, at this point, can simply become invisible and wait out whatever measures we take. What’s most egregious is that if we had planned for stabilizing the country after our invasion perhaps the whole Iraq thing would have worked. But it didn’t and now is time to wake up to reality.

Posted by: Max at February 14, 2007 12:28 PM
Comment #208059

Jack, your use of the word ‘purge’ is what makes the entire premise of your article false. Sadr has not been purged, he has just moved his base of operations. “Whack a mole, whack a mole, whack a mole”, is not a winning strategy.

Gen. Schinsecki was right! Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld were horribly, and lethally wrong. Restoring the integrity of the Republican Party begins with this admission. Failure to do so, only serves to preserve the Republican Party’s historical minority party status.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2007 12:29 PM
Comment #208064

David

I didn’t use the term purge. That is Eric.

Kevin

I would rather have the man dead, but I fail to understand how chasing him out of Iraq can be spun as a failure.

I can just imagine your history of WWII. - Rommel escapes from North Africa, failure for Montgomery at El Alamein. Nazis leaving France indicates failure of Normandy invasions. Or my favorite, Hitler still free in his bunker shows failure of Allied advance.

Posted by: Jack at February 14, 2007 1:08 PM
Comment #208065

>>By the way, to all you anti-Bushites, this is a good thing; it’s great that our troops can show some positives signs in their mission, even though you don’t want any success for Bush.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 14, 2007 11:30 AM

rah,

We had several successes in Nam too. I don’t see this ‘surge’ as anything more than an escallation, but if you want to call it a success, who am I to defer? But why is something like chasing al Sadr out of Iraq considered a success? We seem to have set our goals pretty low…especially considering the cost.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 14, 2007 1:09 PM
Comment #208066

Jack-

Creative analogies. But you avoided the point at all costs. You can’t say we “chased” him anywhere, now can you? Let alone why and how. But yet you can say it means victory? HOW???

I never once said that chasing someone out necessarily equates to defeat. You made that up. I merely asked some questions.

You are really working hard to avoid having an honest discussion. Try taking some responsibility for your own words and answering me directly. Or maybe Dave1-20-2007 is right in that you literally do not comprehend what you claim to be responding to.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 14, 2007 1:18 PM
Comment #208070

David R.,
“But, a loyalist to Bush can hardly be expected to change their spots in light of evidence that his policy and strategy are dementedly flawed. Loyalists will just keep saying they love our troops while voting to keep killing and maiming them. I am sure someone will forgive somewhere. But not me, and not here. If actions speak louder than words, Bush loyalists could care less what happens to our troops, so long as their hope for an ambiguously defined victory, no matter how faint and flickering, can be kept alive.”


That is (arguably) one of the most disgusting and repulsive statements I’ve read on this site! As a veteran and (heck) as an American that’s is a sad, tragedic (and selfish) commentary. Our troops are fighting for the United States of America and, just b/c you don’t like the war, doesn’t mean that that’s how they and every other American feels.

“We the People” of this country decide (collectiviely) where our “foreign” interests should or shouldn’t be via elected officials and voicing our opinions.


These troops are an “ALL VOLUNTEER” military and they know the risks they are getting into when they enlist. They don’t look at their mission as “maiming” or “killing” of our troops; but as accomplishing “The Mission”!! These “Bush loyalists” (definitely) include a good number of military personnel; the US military voted in favor of Bush (nearly) 4 to 1 in the 2004 election, when the war was not going well and all the anti-war people were speaking out against it. So, you should try listening to the troops rather than speaking for them! They “Volunteer” and “fight” for this country; they sure as hell ought to have their voices heard and respected; not to mention, get a little respect from you! Do you think that’s possible, David?!!!! Because until then, you have alot of explaining to do to our troops!

Posted by: rahdigly at February 14, 2007 1:30 PM
Comment #208073
I would rather have the man dead, but I fail to understand how chasing him out of Iraq can be spun as a failure.

It’s quite simple, Jack. War supporters told us that we should be happy that guys like al Sadr are tied down in Iraq fighting the US forces. Since he left Iraq, we should be somewhat less happy. He is footloose and fancy free now.

Or maybe I am mistaken to take those kinds of claims seriously?

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 14, 2007 1:45 PM
Comment #208074


Kevin23: Perhaps you are being a bit unfair to Jack and the other true believers. The neocon movement has become a political/religious movement. There are no answers only faith.

Posted by: jlw at February 14, 2007 1:47 PM
Comment #208077

Woody,
“How would you define “success” in Iraq? This is a serious question.”

I define success in Iraq as: building up their forces so they can defend themselves and have their government established to where they can take control of terrorists who use their country as safe havens. I know this is similar to what we did in WWII with Japan and Germany; however, they were successful and I believe that’s (truly) the only way to deal with the “cest pool” in the Middle East. And, I do believe eliminating Saddam was a necessity; he wasn’t going to change no matter how much “pressure” the UN placed on him.

I don’t believe we should leave that region (at all!); in fact, we need more bases and contacts in that region. I do believe that these Islamic militants can (and will be) defeated with a unified and unwavering US Foreign policy.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 14, 2007 1:51 PM
Comment #208079

jlw-

As cynical as it is, I’m really starting to believe that. Or perhaps I’m just not cynical enough.

Rahdigly-

I’m not sure if you were one of them, but most neo-con sympathizers on WB have made it clear that re-deploying troops to bases instead of on the streets is a defeatist policy.

And most people in both parties advocate a bigger civilian presence there (intelligence most notably). But because they don’t want US troops in the streets, they are again labelled as defeatists. The debate over which would be more effective is lost.

And one of the biggest problems I’ve noticed has been people’s being over-eagar to draw historical analogies (WWII most notably) in irresponsible ways. Comparing the occupation of Iraq to the re-building of Germany and Japan, for example, is misguided. Iraq is a much different situation for a plethora of reasons.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 14, 2007 2:06 PM
Comment #208083

Kevin,
“Comparing the occupation of Iraq to the re-building of Germany and Japan, for example, is misguided. Iraq is a much different situation for a plethora of reasons.”

I understand your opinion; however, I (respectfully) disagree with it. I believe this war is closer, in comparison, to WWII than any other war this country has fought in. I believe that the way WWII was handled is the correct way to win a war. All wars are messy (to soldiers and civilians) and every war has blunders, errors and deaths; there’s no escaping from that. I know, I know, some may say that not waging a war at all will eliminate deaths; however, (again) I don’t believe that at all, people will die at the mercy of the enemy if war isn’t waged upon them.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 14, 2007 2:27 PM
Comment #208085

rahdigly, I am a veteran of 3.5 years in the Army 72-75. I too enlisted which made me a volunteer. And I opposed the war in Viet Nam everyday I was in the U.S. Army. So, don’t try to tell me that enlistment automatically renders a soldier favorable to civilian policy which unnecessarily risks their lives.

And check the polls, 6 of 10 Americans I know do genuinely care about our troops and hence, they want our troops withdrawn from the middle of Iraq’s civil war.

And thank you for the all bold lettering. Always a good sign that the truth stung a bit.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2007 2:41 PM
Comment #208086

rahdigly, your point about Germany and Japan is valid. Which is why the White House’s mismanagement of Iraq is all the more striking. Schinsecki advocated a WWII strategy, invade, subdue, install martial law, and then incrementally turn over the running and rebuilding of the country as the occupied government proves capable.

That is clearly not the strategy Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, followed. They chose instead to fire the man recommending the only strategy that could have succeeded.

25 thousand more troops at this late stage doesn’t begin to address the need of the WWII strategy, precisely because Iraq is NOT like Germany and Japan in one crucial regard - they are not a homogenous culture and they are engaged in a civil war which was not the case in Germany or Japan.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2007 2:50 PM
Comment #208089

Dave1, I didn’t want us “to go into” Iraq in the first place. I wanted us to use aereial bombing to make progressively smaller chunks of concrete out of anything having to do with Saddam Hussein’s regime and keep doing that for as long as necessary.

But now that we’re there, we have to face reality. We can’t afford to be driven out by a pack of cut-throats and terrorists just because Democrats now want their political pound of flesh from George Bush and have turned on the war they either voted for in the first place or won’t end now by exercising their perogatives as the majority party in Congress.

I have little doubt that between Bush’s lackluster efforts and Democratic obstruction, we’re looking down the barrel of a much longer, bloodier, wider and more expensive conflict down the road—probably five or ten years now when Bush himself is clearing brush at his ranch in Crawford.

I don’t like the situation at all, and have little optimism that the Bush administration is going to ever figure out what it takes to win a war. This war has been four parts PR to every part combat, which ironically has made both the PR and the combat weak and indicisive. The fact that Sadr is still alive, much less in Iran, is exhibit A.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 14, 2007 3:07 PM
Comment #208091

David R -
I sure wouldn’t want to attack you personally, like you attacked rahdigly in post 208053. That was a vicious personal attack. You should have been censored:

“But, a loyalist to Bush can hardly be expected to change their spots in light of evidence that his policy and strategy are dementedly flawed. Loyalists will just keep saying they love our troops while voting to keep killing and maiming them…In other words, Bush loyalists would rather kill our troops than admit they backed the wrong horse. It really is just ego triumphing over saving and protecting our troops from needless harm.”

Saying that rahdigly is just trying to save his own ego… That he would rather kill our own troops than admit something???

I know that BlogEditor wouldn’t want me to attack you this way, since you are not the issue being discussed. Neither is rahdigly the issue, but you made him part of the issue by your comments.

Posted by: Don at February 14, 2007 3:21 PM
Comment #208092

David, Rahdigly, and all WWII analogists-

The best analogy for our occupation of Iraq in terms of the types of problems we face, is the German occupation of France. Remember the French underground? We’re not wanted in the streets of Iraq, and you can stroke yourself all day long about analogies, and I can too.

But the situation in Iraq is still unique in many ways and should be respected as such. Let us talk in real terms for once.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 14, 2007 3:24 PM
Comment #208094

Don, your words were “Saying that rahdigly is just trying to save his own ego”

My words were:

“But, a loyalist to Bush can hardly be expected to change their spots in light of evidence that his policy and strategy are dementedly flawed. Loyalists will just keep saying they love our troops while voting to keep killing and maiming them. I am sure someone will forgive somewhere. But not me, and not here. If actions speak louder than words, Bush loyalists could care less what happens to our troops, so long as their hope for an ambiguously defined victory, no matter how faint and flickering, can be kept alive.”

Notice Rahdigly is not mentioned in my words above. If he defines himself as a Bush Loyalist as I define it in this context, then the shoe may fit, or not, as he deems it to.

WB rules permit everyone here to speak generally of motivations, intents and actions regarding political behavior. No one is extended the privilege to derogate an individual by name or personal reference.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2007 3:33 PM
Comment #208096

Kevin23 said: “But the situation in Iraq is still unique in many ways and should be respected as such. Let us talk in real terms for once.”

To speak of Iraq in real and historical terms one must recognize both its similarities AND differences to previous lessons learned.

Iraq is a war in which we are involved. That makes it similar to all other wars in which we have been involved, a priori. There are other similarities as well to other conflicts, and important differences.

To distinguish only the difference, or only the similarities, is to fail to grasp the reality that is this Iraq War.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2007 3:37 PM
Comment #208097

With the exception of the occasional slip? Like saying…

“Kevin23, you don’t understand banking or interest rates”

…in response to an honest question.

I’m not questioning the rules, just pointing out that we are ALL human and tend to not be bound so well by rigid rules. Everything in life is circumstantial.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 14, 2007 3:38 PM
Comment #208098

“To distinguish only the difference, or only the similarities, is to fail to grasp the reality that is this Iraq War.”

Yes. Exactly right.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 14, 2007 3:39 PM
Comment #208099

David R,

Your opposition to Vietnam is fine; as is your opposition to Iraq. However, your comments were absurd and selfish; these soldiers don’t disagree with this war, they want to accomplish their mission. They’ve expressed their opinions over the years, one noteably in the 2004 election. Not to mention, the military have made their quotas with enlistment rates in 2006; even when the recruits knew they’re going to the “sandbox”, or staying there (re-enlistment).


“And check the polls, 6 of 10 Americans I know do genuinely care about our troops and hence, they want our troops withdrawn from the middle of Iraq’s civil war. “


Wait a minute. “People you Know”?!! Do you know all the people polled? Or, are you talking about your own poll you conducted?!!! No, most Americans disagree with how the war is going; yet, they don’t (all) agree there should be a pullout. Because, if that were true, the Congress would have voted to pullout of Iraq already. They did have a vote on pullout in 2006, in the House of Reps; it was defeated unanimously (by something like 400-2). And, we’ll (continue) to see how Americans feel when Congress gets a chance to “cut off Funding” for the troops. That would certainly lead to the withdraw of our troops; however, it’s never going to f@#$ing happen!


“And thank you for the all bold lettering. Always a good sign that the truth stung a bit.”

By the way, I use bold letters (sometimes) to differentiate my opinion from quoted ones; usually when there are multiple quotes. And, I believe it’s “CAPITAL” letters that means one is shouting on the internet.


p.s. Thanks for your service; I truly mean that of all veterans. Just remember, being a veteran doesn’t give you the right to speak for the troops or to “selfishly” assume, b/c of you’re dislike with the war, that’s the way they feel, too. There have been a number of times where they’ve expressed their desire to complete their “mission”, not to “Cut and Run”. Besides, if they felt the same way you do, the troops certainly wouldn’t have voted in Bush (their Commander in Chief) in 2004; they would have voted for fellow Vietnam Veteran John Kerry, who certainly could’ve been seen as a non”Bush Loyalist” to use your terms.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 14, 2007 3:41 PM
Comment #208102

Kevin

Dave might be right, in which case I would not know since I would be not comprehending.

Re Al Sadr this is what I comprehend.

He is fighting us in Iraq because he wants to fight us in Iraq. He holds the has held the initiative in that he can break off fighting any time he wants. This has not changed much. What has changed is the he previously felt secure enough to stay in Iraq in between his bouts of making trouble. Now he evidently does not. This does not represent a major victory, but it is undeniably a good thing. We have made him fearful enough to leave the country. He has lost some of the initiative. It will be harder for him to command and inspire his followers now that he has “redeployed” to Iran.

Re Dave and your comment about details - some details need not be addressed. If the premise is wrong, it does not matter how elegant the argument based on it. It is also wrong. You need not eat the whole egg to know it is rotten.

I think we were talking about the economy in the other thread. This is from todays WSJ:

“Last year, U.S. exports, industrial production, real hourly compensation, corporate profits, federal tax revenues, retail sales, GDP, productivity, the number of people with jobs, the number of students in college, airline passenger traffic and the Dow Jones Industrial Average all hit record levels. For the third consecutive year, global growth was strong, continuing to lift (and hold) millions of people out of poverty.”

There are lots of details you could bring up, but the basic premise is that things are really good. When you are looking at the forest, you do not focus on each individual tree. If you want, you can find some bad trees, no matter what the general condition.

Woody

As above, he was always footloose if he wanted to leave the country. This has not changed. The only thing that has changed is that he previously felt safe in Iraq and now he evidently does not.

Posted by: Jack at February 14, 2007 3:56 PM
Comment #208103

David’s remarks about rahdigly were appropriate. It is disgusting that people on this board would couch their arguments in terms of “defending the troops”, “standing behind the troops” or “supporting the troops”; as if having any negative comment about policy and strategy is somehow unpatriotic. People engaged in these tactics show the weakness of their argument. Particularly appalling is the comment that “they (the troops) volunteered, they knew what they were getting into”. If this isn’t a massaged version of “f**k ‘em, they should have known better”, I don’t know what is.

I think the Blog Editor should be more active, not in guarding people’s feelings but in addressing the repetitious, duplicitous, factually and historically inaccurate drivel posted by some on this board.
Before you post, stop and think (what an idea!) Is what you are saying accurate? Try it! You’ll feel better about yourself!!
At the very least, stop hiding behind the men carrying the guns!

Posted by: Charles Ross at February 14, 2007 3:58 PM
Comment #208105

“I think the Blog Editor should be more active, not in guarding people’s feelings but in addressing the repetitious, duplicitous, factually and historically inaccurate drivel posted by some on this board”

Geez Charles, I enjoy reading the blue column. I hope the editor doesn’t take your advice and decide to get rid of it.

Posted by: kctim at February 14, 2007 4:08 PM
Comment #208106

rahdigly, your facts are just erroneous. I suggest you actually look at the polls.

Also, find a wider breadth of reading material. Many soldiers have and are speaking out against this war. One soldier is being court martialed for refusing to go BACK to Iraq. It is in the headlines. Read them.

Your shouted facts above just aren’t born out by the facts in the press. And just what do you think our enlisted soldiers on the ground think their mission is? I can tell you what many have said their mission is on TV, to get each other out of Iraq alive and in one piece. One soldier put it this way, ‘my job is to cover my buddies back, and his is to cover mine, so we can get through this.’

Their mission is to do what the Commander in Chief orders them to do. That is their mission. If the President says tomorrow that their mission is to make an orderly and phased withdrawal from Iraq, that is their mission.

Where do you get this stuff? Ronald Reagan propagand War movies? Our soldiers are motivated by service to our nation, service to Constitutionally defined civilian authority over the military, and duty toward their comrades in arms and their chain of command. But, many are also motivated to enlist by the $45,000 sign up bonuses.

That is a true statement by definition. For if they could be recruited without the bonus, the bonus would not exist, and didn’t, until enlistment quotas failed to be met. $45,000 enlistment bonus: unheard of when I enlisted. But, then in 72 we had conscription. A very different situation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2007 4:18 PM
Comment #208107

Kctim, thank you! a perfect example of taking up space but adding nothing.

Posted by: Charles Ross at February 14, 2007 4:22 PM
Comment #208108

Want to support the troops? Bring them home. Now.

They were deployed based upon pretexts, misleading information, deception, and outright lies.

As for Al-Sadr being in Iran… Maybe yes, maybe no. If he is in Iran, he may be fleeing ahead of the escalation. He may also be fleeing internal divisions within the Mahdi Army. Some factions within the army apparently feel he it too political, and no longer aggressive enough with attacks upon the Sunnis and Americans.

Really, I do not think there is enough information to determine if this story is true in the first place, and if true, whether it is a good or a bad thing for us. The Mahdi Army becoming even more extremist is hardly good news. The eventual collapse of the army would be a mixed bag. It would place the Iranian-allied SCIRI & Dawa in an even more dominant position, ready to use US troops and weaponry to concentrate upon crushing the Sunnis, once and for all. That is how civil wars usually end. One side wins an overwhelming military victory. It will not be pretty, and it certainly will not be something any American can be proud of.

One thing is sure. If the Shias supporting al-Sadr ever get serious about attacking US troops, we will know it, without a doubt. American deaths in Iraq will skyrocket if this ever happens.

Posted by: phx8 at February 14, 2007 4:23 PM
Comment #208109

Don,
“Saying that rahdigly is just trying to save his own ego… That he would rather kill our own troops than admit something??? I know that BlogEditor wouldn’t want me to attack you this way, since you are not the issue being discussed. Neither is rahdigly the issue, but you made him part of the issue by your comments.”

I have to (respectfully) disagree with you. David R didn’t say that “rahdigly would rather kill our own troops”, nor did he say that “rahdigly is a Bush loyalist”; he said “Bush loyalists” in general; meaning, anyone taking acception to that would fit in the “If the shoe fits” category, rather than actually saying they were.

My point was that, by his term “Bush Loyalist”, that would include the majority of the troops b/c they “are fighting for their Commander in Chief and following his mission”; if they were against the Bush, they wouldn’t have voted for him in such a large number in 04 and the enlistment (and re-enlistment) rates would be down, instead of on pace like they are now. Those are dead give aways that David failed (miserably) to address.


Also, David’s comment gave the false pretense that if you “do believe in the war, that you don’t care for the troops” or that “you’re for maiming and killing of soldiers” and, that’s just complete (and utter) nonsense. In an all volunteer military, you can’t be forced to enlist; especially when there’s a war going on that they don’t want to go to (ala Vietnam).


So, I appreciate your attention to this matter; yet, I feel the only thing David R needs to do is to apologize the soldiers, whom would fall under his term “Bush loyaltist”. And, just b/c he’s a veteran doesn’t give him the right to speak for them. He (as well as every other American) needs to respect the troops and their mission; even if they disagree with the war.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 14, 2007 4:26 PM
Comment #208110

Jack, tis your comment missing the forest for the trees. As Bernanke stated just this morning, the long term economic prospects are troublesome.

America’s economy cannot be measured in a snapshot except for the shortest sighted of purposes. The nation depends on prolonged economic soundness, and all the heads of our government’s economic policy agencies agree, the economic picture gets bleaker with each passing year of inaction on entitlements, national debt, trade imbalance, and widening wealth distribution inequality. Our national savings rate is now BELOW zero. Who’d a thunk it was even possible. Bernanke cited all these as worrisome for the nation’s economic health in the longer term. And Bernanke said the optimal time to act on some of these was 10 years ago. Each passing year now makes the solutions more costly and painful for Americans, and pushes us closer to a point of not being able to prevent an economic crisis.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2007 4:31 PM
Comment #208111
As above, he was always footloose if he wanted to leave the country. This has not changed.

But he was supposed to be tied down in Iraq fighting US forces!

I guess I will never have the brains to think like a neocon. Sigh.

rahdigly,

Appreciate thoughtful answer to my question.

Just a tip, though: Putting whole paragraphs in bold doesn’t make them any more forceful.

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 14, 2007 4:35 PM
Comment #208112


Since the enlistment age has been raised to 42, my 40 year old neighbor just enlisted in the national guard. His buddy who is already in got a
2000 dollar reward for talking him into it. My neighbors son is going to enlist in June after he graduates from H.S. He and his father are going to split the 2000 dollar bonus his father will get. The local national guard are all heavy equipment operators. My neighbors son told me, we don’t have to fight, just build roads and there aren’t any jobs here. I have no disagreement with that. The son also told me that they don’t like Bush at all. They think he is a terrible president and that he has really screwed the war up. By the way, they are not going to vote for Obama because he is a Muslem. I told him to watch less Fox News.

Posted by: jlw at February 14, 2007 4:35 PM
Comment #208116

Charles Ross,
“If this isn’t a massaged version of “f**k ‘em, they should have known better”, I don’t know what is.”

Sorry you feel that way. Now, are you saying that, had Vietnam had an all “volunteer” military, there would have been the same amount of enlistments as the draft in that War? Or, the same amount (% wise) as today’s military in Iraq?!


If people truly didn’t believe in the mission they certainly wouldn’t join up and that’s a fact. Just ask the anti-war crowds, they wouldn’t join up b/c of this war; in fact, that’s the point they (usaully) make when it comes to enlistments, “Why don’t Chenney and Bush send their kids to their war?!”. At every major anti-war rally that’s said.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 14, 2007 4:51 PM
Comment #208117

David

This snapshot has been going on for three years already.

We have challenges ahead. We always have challenges ahead. I would be happy with the following:

Economic conditions are great right now, among the best we have ever had, and conditions have been very good since 2003. In the longer term, we face serious structural problems with entitlements that we need to address. We need a national debate on entitlements, but I fear we will not have that debate until conditions become so urgent that politicians cannot avoid the issue.

Posted by: Jack at February 14, 2007 4:52 PM
Comment #208119

Jack-

“Dave might be right, in which case I would not know since I would be not comprehending.”

Seeing as how it was baseless, personal, and subjective, gee, it doesn’t take a genius to add it up.

But if you’d like to jump on the bandwagon here, I’d love to talk IN DETAIL about some of your rediculous statements made in this thread. You prefer to be rude and arrogant. And you admit it, at least I’ll give you that much. But I only give what’s due.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 14, 2007 4:59 PM
Comment #208120

Woody,
“Just a tip, though: Putting whole paragraphs in bold doesn’t make them any more forceful.”


Take a look at my answer to the bold comment, in Comment #208099; then see if I still need a “tip”.


Comment #208099:
“By the way, I use bold letters (sometimes) to differentiate my opinion from quoted ones; usually when there are multiple quotes. And, I believe it’s “CAPITAL” letters that means one is shouting on the internet.”

Posted by: rahdigly at February 14, 2007 5:01 PM
Comment #208122

RE: Troop surge.

I can see the potential of positive results from this troop surge. The point is to give the Iraq government and military a chance to get their feet under themselves. With all the bombings and violence in Baghdad, they haven’t a chance. If the violence in the capital city is curtailed, the Iraq military will have a safe base from which to operate. Then the US will be able to draw-down troop levels. This is a win-win.

Some people speak as though this is a bad strategy on Bush’s part, but I don’t see their logic. A bad strategy would be do keep doing things as we have been doing things there or withdrawing without giving the new government a chance. This is a new strategy and, although it is not necessarily a brilliant one, it does seem reasonable.

If it works, this will lead to the desired end-game.

Being an independent voter I don’t care about politics (a non-binding resolution or not) on this subject. I want US to win. A win is likely if Baghdad is secured.

Posted by: Don at February 14, 2007 5:12 PM
Comment #208123

rahdigly, I owe no one an apology. I went from E1 to E5 in less than 3 years, and worked as a platoon sergeant. I have lived through the off duty talk of what motivates and moves soldiers, and the on duty moans and groans and bitch sessions.

I speak for those troops who would rather be anywhere else than in Iraq facing getting their ass shot off. Because they live up to their duty and commitments does not mean they would choose their mission there in Iraq if offered another choice. Especially if the choice was offered to their entire squad.

Yes, there are gung ho types in every army and every conflict who love to kill and blow shit up and wouldn’t want to do anything else. And our military and nation need these type of soldiers. But, the vast majority would prefer not to have kill or be killed if another way could be found.

So, no. I won’t apologize to any of our troops for my comments. I respect the their commitment, their sense of duty toward each other, and their sense of responsibility to their nation and families back home. But, I also know they are not Gods, the vast majority are regular folks like you and I who find themselves (especially the national guard and reservists) in truly extraordinary and frightening circumstances which they would end in a heartbeat if they could. But, they don’t run, they don’t hide, their integrity and responsibility for their decision to enlist will not permit that.

And for that we all owe them our respect, and our dedication to remove them from harm’s way as soon as practicable. The policy issue is whether the mission set out by the President and Secretary of Defense is achievable with the resources the civilian government provides in the least costly fashion to our military? If they can, they should. If they can’t, the civilians in the White House need to redefine what the mission is.

The troops don’t define the overriding mission goals. The White House civilians do. Our military will give everything they have to accomplish that mission. But, if the mission is ill-equipped and under-supplied with manpower to secure the Iraqi nation with Iraqi cooperation such as it is, which IS the White House’s mission, then our soldiers lives and limbs are being wasted on a failed civilian strategy.

So far, the evidence all points to this strategy as being a failed one. Which means our civilian government is failing our military and soldiers. Since the government answers to the American civilian population, it is incumbent upon the people and their Congress to halt a failed White House civilian defined objective which costs our soldiers needlessly.

One General turned down a 4th star on his shoulder rather than support this failed and now impossible objective in Iraq defined by the Bush White House. That is truly remarkable.

Halting the civil war in Iraq is the main objective of the White House to insure the success of the new government in Iraq. It is an objective which our military is ill-equipped to accomplish given the constraints the White House has placed on it.

If our military were given the green light to use all available force on Baghdad and Anbar province, this civil war in Iraq would be over in less than 48 hours. But, like the constraints placed on our military by the civilian government during the Viet Nam War, our military has not, and will not be given the authority or green light to win the objective militarily. The consequences of taking out Baghdad and Anbar Province are not ones the White House or our Congress are willing to allow.

Therefore, there is only one thing to be gained by Bush’s strategy besides more debt and casualties, and that is passing the responsibility for the outcome of invading Iraq to another President. That in my eyes makes Bush the biggest coward and most derelict President since LBJ and Nixon who also chose to pass the war on to another President rather than make the tough decision to allow our troops to win it, or withdraw.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2007 5:13 PM
Comment #208124

The troops should not be used as tokens in anybody’s arguments for or against the war, and if you know very many of them (as I do—I have a family member there now and have met several of his buddies), you’d realize that they don’t even want that.

There are some, a minority, who don’t believe in the war or their mission. There are even a lot who are in no way Bush supporters or voters who DO believe in it. It’s quite interesting to talk them, and people on either side of the debate may be surprised by what they hear.

It’s wrong to say “You have to support the mission in order to support the troops,” but it’s equally wrong to denigrate them and accuse them of the things that, frankly, several Democratic leaders and many members of the left punditry have been guilty of. Wanting to be spoken of with respect and fairness is not the same thing as demanding uncritical support for their mission.

In any case, in a civilian-run government and volunteer military, we do not set policy based on the opinions of those serving in the armed services. That’s not the way it works, and not what the public or the troops demand.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 14, 2007 5:19 PM
Comment #208126

Jack, you are avoiding the political management issue. Bush sacrificed the future economic health of this country for a couple years of disparate economic health.

Would it not have been far more prudent of him to have worked with the Congress to deal with the future of climate change, entitlement spending cuts instead of growth, and paying down the debt instead of doubling it over his last six years?

Clearly that is the line of reasoning Bernanke was taking when he said the optimal time to have begun dealing with the sustainable economic health of this nation was 10 years ago.

OK, both you and Bush can brag that we have an exuberant economy for a couple years, but, at what cost? Decades of deprivation and strife for those who follow? I hardly see that as bragging rights, and neither does Bernanke, Greenspan, Walker, Paulson, or a host of others who know a helluva lot more about sound economic policy than Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove and Wolfowitz.

It’s kind of like the fox crowing over the guinea after diving into the lion’s mouth to catch it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2007 5:25 PM
Comment #208127

Don,
If- and it is a big “if”- a troop surge stabilized Bagdhad, that would be a good thing, and it would give the Iraqi government some legitimacy among Iraqi Shias (but not the Sunnis). However, it does not change the other conflicts. The conflict between Arabs & Kurds in Kirkuk, the conflict between the Shia SCIRI/Dawa v Mahdi Army, and the conflict between Sunnis and Shias elsewhere would remain unresolved; the conflicts between the Sunnis and Shias would remain unresolvable, short of separating the two groups.

Separation has already occurred to a great degree in Bagdhad.

Posted by: phx8 at February 14, 2007 5:31 PM
Comment #208132

Rahdigly-
First, I can understand why you bold your own words, but that’s not necessary. You can take your quotes and put them between blockquote tags, which essentially work like the bold tags, only using the word “blockquote” in the place of “b” or “em”

Okay, now on to other matters.

First, we haven’t established that he’s left Iraq. If he’s still there, he hasn’t fled. Second, we haven’t established why he’s left. He’s gone to Iran on official and personal business before, so those possibilities have to be ruled out. Third, the Surge will not hit its peak before May or June, so the question of the surge having scared him out of the water, so to speak, is dubious. It’s not really happened yet.

Fourth, al-Sadr’s departure is not necessarily a return to good times. If he has gone, it may signal a fragmentation of his forces. Good if a large number become moderate, bad if they stay radical, even as they fragment. Say what you want about Sadr, but it’s easier to deal with one asshole than have to bargain with ten or twenty. It was convenient in WWII to have people who could submit to terms of surrender on behalf of their population and facilitate the transition towards peace and a possible change of the political structure.

It was a mistake to decapitate Saddam’s regime. It’s so much easier to get somebody to say uncle if you haven’t removed the head from the body

Fifth, even if everything that is said is true, our biggest problem is not the Shia, who actually like being in power, it’s the Sunni, who hate that the Shia are now in power. Sadr’s departure might be a victory, if the Sadrists quit the fight and return to moderate lives, but it’s a minor victory, and not the biggest necessary condition for any victory.

David probably misread your motivations. I think you think that opposing dissent to the war actually helps. Unfortunately, it’s had the opposite effect, because most dissent was based on what was going wrong with the war. People wanted a change in policy not because they were afraid of winning or confronting the terrorists, but because of fears that bad policy was losing the war for us. As that policy has gone uncorrected for three, now almost four years, people have essentially lost hope of any correction, and therefore, lost hope of victory.

This has never been really a problem of support for victory. You folks had it. It’s been the disillusionment and disappointment of the events of the last few years that’s leached support. People still support the troops. They’ll do what it takes to help them. But nobody helps a soldier by expecting them to win a war with insufficient help in men and materials. That’s just a good way to torture and torment them, to get them asking for the rest of their lives what they did wrong, or what was wrong with their country, when the real responsiblity for the screw-up rests elsewhere.

This war is nothing like WWII. World War II had clearly defined objectives. We weren’t chasing around irregulars. It was pitched battle, conventional warfare all the way. Roosevelt didn’t lie about the Japanese attacking us. They did that. Nor did he lie about Germany and Italy declaring war on us. There was no ambiguity in what we had to do and why.

This war? We were told we would find things, that these things were the reason for war. We didn’t find those things. When asked about this, the architects of the war changed their tune. They even managed to spin the fundamental failure of security, pretending it was this devious strategy for drawing al-Qaeda and other Jihadists into the fight to be destroyed. In reality, the last thing Iraq needed was an ongoing war in the midst of all the reconstruction.

Folks can talk about fighting the terrorists there so we don’t have to fight them here, but the fact is, terrorist numbers have increased, and don’t seem to be suffering from great amounts of attrition. Let’s say we’re actually successful in Iraq; there are still more terrorists around. We couldn’t stay in Iraq if we won, since a necessary precondition of victory is our ability to depart and leave the nation in peace.

So, we have a dilemma, if we follow your line of logic: If we lose, they follow us home. If we win, we can no longer stick around and be either the sitting ducks or terrorist magnets, and their numbers have increased, and will likely stay as such whether Iraq is won or not. Then they follow us home. So, we can’t lose or win, or the terrorists follow us home!

Every war has blunders. Some, though, result in one side or the other failing. A few in the wrong places, and even the good war could have been lost, or not have been the absolute success it was.

Iraq has been lost by a sum of certain blunders, and we are paying in resources and men (albeit those who have volunteered and understand the risks) for them. Should we pay a price like that, with little chance of any return on our investment? I don’t think so.

Nothing about most American’s opposition to this war has to do with fear of the enemy. We’re not running from an unexpectedly fierce opponent. If we were making progress, Americans at home would mourn the dead, but celebrate the results of their sacrifices. With the continual escalation and loss of what control we had at the beginning, people can’t see a reason to continue pouring such costs into the battle.

Our volunteer forces are at their breaking point, with recruitment only kept up by the skin of our teeth, not to mention a hell of a lot of relaxation of restrictions on who can sign up. There was even a hidden camera report in my hometown of recruiters coaching potential recruits on how to hide their drug habits. Our fiscal policy is crap, thanks to the fact that Bush isn’t man enough to ask America for the sacrifice in taxes to pay for the war. We could afford it if we wanted to. Also, he’s not asked for the additional troops until just recently. Will they even be able to recruit enough to cover that?

We should fight according to our strengths, not by hiding weaknesses we fail to take care of. America should withdraw from Iraq, carefully as it can be done, and let itself heal from the miserable policy that’s stretched our resources so thin and so hollowed out our army as a fighting force. If we can’t fight this war right, we shouldn’t be fighting it at all. American cannot afford to cripple it’s forces just so Bush can avoid admitting the obvious problem.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 14, 2007 5:48 PM
Comment #208142

We should just declare marchall law in Iraq, smother them up for a few years, give it as a territorial gift to Iran as a peace offering, then start negotiating oil prices with them.

At least then we might actually profit from this in the long run.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at February 14, 2007 6:22 PM
Comment #208147
I wanted us to use aereial bombing to make progressively smaller chunks of concrete out of anything having to do with Saddam Hussein’s regime and keep doing that for as long as necessary…Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 14, 2007 03:07 PM
Please excuse me but why did you want to take out Saddam in the first place? Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at February 14, 2007 7:11 PM
Comment #208148

Stephen,

Another possibility you didn’t elaborate on in number 2 is that he might have gone to Iran for efforts of coordination and alliance in advance of the surge.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at February 14, 2007 7:22 PM
Comment #208149

I stand by my comment: Particularly appalling is the comment (BY YOU !!!) that, “they (the troops) volunteered, they knew what they were getting into.” I said that this is nothing more than a massaged version of “f**k ‘em, they should have known better”.
I think this pretty accurately reflects what is going on in your mind. Take a look at recruitment ads, that are obviously making appeals to immature minds. No where in these ads is any hint of “what they are getting into”.
What they have gotten themselves into is a poorly planned, poorly executed fiasco by a couple of (hopefully) ex-drunks who have kept as far away from responsibility for it all as they can. They blame the intelligence, the state department, the generals, the democrats; I have no doubt when we exit this nightmare with our tails between our legs that w or shooter will state somewhere in their memoirs something along the lines that the troops just didn’t fight hard enough. Isn’t that what don “you go to war with the army you have not the one you want” rumsfeld has already insinuated?

Posted by: charles Ross at February 14, 2007 7:27 PM
Comment #208150

Dave-
My point in point two was that they hadn’t eliminated other reasons for the visit. The reason you gave could very well be one they’ve failed to rule out.

Charles Ross-
My general read on the angle they’re employing? They would like to believe that their plan was good but that others screwed it up. It’s less painful for those who were true believers, and it’s less politically inconvenient for those who don’t want to be held responsible, who want to spin everything to their benefit.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 14, 2007 7:41 PM
Comment #208152

Hi Stephen,

I was just hoping to make it clear that a commander leaving a battle field isn’t just “running away” He could be the killer rabbit.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at February 14, 2007 8:17 PM
Comment #208156

I’m sick and tired of hearing
things from uptight,
short-sighted,
narrow-minded,
hypocritics
All I want is the truth
Just give me some truth

I’ve had enough of reading
things by neurotic,
psychotic,
pig-headed politicians
All I want is the truth
Just give me some truth

No short-haired, yellow-bellied
son of Tricky Dicky is
gonna Mother Hubbard
soft soap me
with just a pocketful of hope
Money for dope.
Money for rope

I’m sick to death of seeing
things from tight-lipped,
condescending,
mommies-little-chauvinists
All I want is the truth
Just give me some truth

I’ve had enough of watching
scenes of schizophrenic,
egocentric,
paranoiac,
prima donnas
All i want is the truth
Just give me some truth

— John Lennon

Posted by: Adrienne at February 14, 2007 9:13 PM
Comment #208157

David:

You are way way out of bounds to think Bernanke is in your camp.

In reaction to his remarks today the both the stock market AND the bond market rallied. The Dow reached a new all time high.

You have been calling for people to get out of the stock market. (June 2006).

Jack is far closer to Bernanke than you. Jack is mainstream, you are on the fringe economically.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 14, 2007 9:21 PM
Comment #208159

Craig, only in the short run. My arguments align perfectly with Bernanke on the long term. Apparently you keep missing that distinction which I clearly make in all my writings.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2007 9:28 PM
Comment #208161

Oliver North is on TV saying his visit with the troops hands down has them on the side of opposing the surge saying it won’t work.

For you nubile Bush Loyalists, ret. Col. Oliver North is no Liberal by a very long shot.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2007 9:32 PM
Comment #208163

David

In the long run everything happens. No prediction of the stock market means anything unless it has some fairly specific time frames. If you dumped stocks in June of last year, you are around 10% poorer than you would have been.

When Bernake says the best time to start was ten years ago, he cannot be talking about Bush, BTW.

Bush tried to address entitlements. He got demagogued and smacked all over the place. His opponents either said there was no problem or that the only solution was raising taxes. The only answer is structural. There is not point in pretending the current system can handle the coming weight of entitlements. Bush did not buy today’s prosperity at the expense of the future. What he is guilty of (and his opponents even more) is the equivalents of not planting the trees we will need to harvest 20 years from today. But in fairness to him, the Dems stole his shovel.

BTW -glad you finally see the economy is doing well today.

P.S. What do you think we should do NOW to address entitlements? What programs would you cut?

Posted by: Jack at February 14, 2007 9:41 PM
Comment #208165

Loyal Opposition said: “There are some, a minority, who don’t believe in the war or their mission.”

Not according to Oliver North. The majority he spoke with on the ground in Iraq don’t think the surge will work. But, there will be more losses as a result of it, more troops means more targets.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2007 9:51 PM
Comment #208166

“What do you think we should do NOW to address entitlements? What programs would you cut?”

We should get out of Iraq, cut all military expenditures that are wasteful and needless, and oh yeah, put all the astronomically rich under the guillotine and take all their money. That ‘ll get us over the SS boomer hump and let us fix medicare and medicaid.
:^) Just joking — although I do think the French were onto something there…

Well, my honey’s coming home very soon, so I’m outta here.
Have a happy Valentines Day, all.
Here’s to hoping you all quit blogging, in favor of telling someone special just how deeply you love them.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 14, 2007 9:55 PM
Comment #208167

Put a one year freeze on the cost-of-living increase. Increase the retirement age from the present 65-67 range. Perhaps add six months to all four halves. accelerate the amount of payroll earnings that are liable for the social security tax. Review all suspect disability claims. (a widely overlooked area)
This is not a problem that needs a permanent solution. All these measures taken together would extend 100 % benefit pay out for a couple of decades beyond the roughly 2040 date for exhaustion of the reserve.

Posted by: charles Ross at February 14, 2007 9:59 PM
Comment #208170

David R-
“…more troops means more targets.”

It always has (since the world began). The other side of this same coin it that more troops means less enemy activity (and/or more enemy deaths). If the British could have landed more troops and supplies during the American Revolutionary War we would be driving on the left side of the road today.

Posted by: Don at February 14, 2007 10:05 PM
Comment #208171

Jack said: “Bush tried to address entitlements. He got demagogued and smacked all over the place.”

That is just such bullcrap, Jack. Bush proposed enriching the corporations by privatizing SS and the public wouldn’t have it. He was elected by the people to respect their interests, not destroy them.

And his Medicare Rx drug plan was an attempt to address entitlement spending? Jack, I am disappointed in your blind loyalty to this president’s defense. A dose of reality based thinking might improve the quality of these knee jerk, rush to Bush’s defense, type comments.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2007 10:10 PM
Comment #208173

charlie ross, fixing Soc. Sec. now, is relatively painless if the political will can be found. Health care costs and Medicare/Medicaid is the problem defying ready solutions and threatening the economic well being of our future, along with the debt, and defense spending amounts, and trade deficits, 3/4 of a trillion dollars this last year.

That trade deficit, growing almost every year for the last 20, is akin to taking out loans with foreign companies. They send us their products and we send them promissory notes called U.S. dollars. It is a real problem when levels reach 3/4 of a trillion dollars a year and the trend is a rising one over decades.

Bernanke is reluctant to address this issue, as it is politically charged by the root cause, Free Trade Agreements, so called. The graphs of the trade deficit in the years following free trade agreement implementations is stark.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2007 10:17 PM
Comment #208178

LO
“political pound of flesh….”The new congressional majority was elected because the majority of Americans are fed up with the Iraqi engagement and fed up with the Bush regimes handling(bungling) of it. To eguate responding to the will of the people who voted for them as any thing other than their solemn resposibility is to scoff at and denigrate the mechanisms of democracy and,sir,beneath you.


The”surge” only makes sense if it is an attempt to stabilize the capital long enough to give the Iragi government some fleeting chance of control to cover a withdrawel of US forces without the embarassment of the fall of Siagon. Whether this is worth the extra cost in lives and treasure is an open question. We will know if this is the real plan if large numbers of troops are tranfered from other parts of the country to aid the effort.

Posted by: BillS at February 14, 2007 11:32 PM
Comment #208179

Don-
You have to basically flood the country with troops in sufficient numbers to give the troublemakers no quarter.

Let’s forget about whether Americans would support the means to deploy that many troops, let’s confront the unspoken fact here that you won’t acknowledge: Bush will not and has not invested those numbers of troops. We were calling for this long ago, when it could have made a difference, but Bush waited until January 2007 to even attempt an anemic increase. This, after the country has become a battle ground for sectarian civil war.

It is not enough to win a war to not lose it. There’s a certain philosophy that says that if you don’t admit defeat, you haven’t lost yet.

This is the typical Republican approach to war since Vietnam. They want to believe that if we tried harder, if we had simply believed in the war with greater confidence in our nation’s abilities, that we could have triumphed.

It’s an easy trap to fall into if you think the war is merely about what’s in your head. Psychological factors are important, but can only sway the course of the war to the extent that they can motivate people to make a change, people with the actual means in hand to bring that to pass. Problems come when the people who have the means to determine the outcome are either not cooperative, or on the other side of the war.

We wouldn’t spend hundreds of billions of dollars buying fighter jets and other weapon systems if war was simply a matter of psychological factors. Our technology is quite effective at denying our enemies the means to succeed, so long as they try and match us on a technological battlefield. Our soldiers are harder to kill, our supremacy in conventional war often is a given. And yet, not all means to win a war depend on technology.

Our ability to inflict focused violence on opponents is a technological leap ahead. The consequences of that, though, are not dictated by technological laws of physics, but rather psychological tendencies among the people. One way to reduce the effectiveness of technology is simply to remove the ability of that technology to bring about clear-cut results.

Being in the midst of two or more different sides in a civil war is one way to squander such an advantage. If we could indeed drop pretenses of neutrality and simply beat the shit out of somebody… Well, therein lies another problem. This war only works if we can leave a self-sustaining government behind, one people could unify behind. But our indefinite presence allows a government to exist that is not self sustaining, and they know it. I guess the Republican way of saying this is that it’s no different than subsidizing a company to keep it going despite it’s failure to compete by itself.

Our continued presence allows a weak government to continue that doesn’t control the whole country. It perpetuates the chaos, rather than ending it. Once we start leaving, folks will either realize that they have to get their act together, or they will be the victim of the victors.

I don’t pretend to know what the result of this will be, and we should not wait to find out. We have to engage Iraq’s neighbors in an effort to rehabilitate the country on their terms. We have to make it clear to them that they will not profit by continued turmoil. They can either broker peace in Iraq, or let the chaos build outwards. They made Iraq about us, now let’s make it about them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 14, 2007 11:55 PM
Comment #208181

David

Saving Social Security and other entitlements will require some personal accounts, raising retirment ages, controls on costs, means testing and some raising of taxes. We should be prepared to discuss all of them.

Posted by: Jack at February 15, 2007 12:27 AM
Comment #208188

Jack, and adopt only those necessary and least offensive to us as citizens.

I think personal accounts on top of Medicare and Soc. Sec. are a great idea, especially if benefits for both are means tested. Meaning, if you were wealthy enough in your career to comfortably create large personal accounts, you don’t need the benefits of Soc. Sec. or Medicare unless in retirement the Stock Market wipes your savings out, or some other misfortune renders you bankrupt.

What is needed is to truly make SS and Medicare national safety nets, and not entitlements. That was the flaw in these programs from the very beginning when their original designs were modified in order to get passage of them in the Congress.

I very much agree with your other measures and they are likely to be in the mix for the solution if the Congress can be forced to find its backbone to deal with it. I personally think it will take removing a much larger number of incumbents to see that happen. Though, November’s election was a damn good start down that road.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 15, 2007 12:52 AM
Comment #208189

Bills, the D.C. muffled scuttlebutt today is that the surge has nothing to do with securing Iraq, but with increasing military posture against Iran along with the now 3rd carrier group being sent into striking distance of Iran.

Sounds more plausible than winning the civil war in Iraq with an additional 25 thousand troops. Takes a whole lot less troops to start a war, than to finish one.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 15, 2007 12:58 AM
Comment #208201

D.Remer
There are serious problems with the evidence shown the other day even beyond the fact that it was shown anonamoisly. Cameras were not allowed,no independant examination was allowed. The distributed photograpghs shown showed one device with the date of manufacture printed on it. The date was written mm/dd/yyyy. The only country in the world that places the month first is the US. The others ,including Iran,place the day first.
The presence of such a large US fleet is an opportunity for another Tonkin Gulf episode. The open season on Iranians in Iraq is bound to lead to a response.
It is not in Irans interest to have a destabilized Iraq. Iran enjoys friendly relations with the US backed Iraqi government. Iran was helpful in the fight against the talaban and in establishing the US backed Afgani government,even to the point of pushing for the word”democracy” in their constituion. Their help ended when Bush labeled them part of the “axis of evil.”They have not attacked another country for over two hundred years. Their main threat seems to be as a competeing regional power.Our best bet is too sit down with them and discuss our differences. We managed to do that with the Soviet Union when they were a geniune threat to our survival. Why not Iran.Iran will be involved no matter what happens. Sooner or later the US will depart but Iran will always be there.

Posted by: BillS at February 15, 2007 2:08 AM
Comment #208213
Jack said: “Bush tried to address entitlements. He got demagogued and smacked all over the place.”

That is just such bullcrap, Jack. Bush proposed enriching the corporations by privatizing SS and the public wouldn’t have it. He was elected by the people to respect their interests, not destroy them.

While it pains me to defend Bush (and his evil minion Jack, haha), I have to give him some credit here. He did propose a genuine reform to Social Security. It wouldn’t have taken care of the baby boomers (because it didn’t apply to them), but it was worth considering. I genuinely hope the Democrats think about appropriating the idea and calling it “universal 401k” or something.

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 15, 2007 9:39 AM
Comment #208224

Charles,

“I stand by my comment: Particularly appalling is the comment (BY YOU !!!) that, “they (the troops) volunteered, they knew what they were getting into. I said that this is nothing more than a massaged version of “f**k ‘em, they should have known better”. I think this pretty accurately reflects what is going on in your mind. “


That’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it! I believe this is nothing but a red herring, so you don’t have to admit that the troops know what they’re getting into.


Take a look at recruitment ads, that are obviously making appeals to immature minds. No where in these ads is any hint of “what they are getting into.”


At this point, it’s a given that they’re going over to Iraq; the (“Non-bias”) MSM reports the casualty counts and daily bombings every day and night via newspapers and newscasts. There’s rarely been a time (for the last 3 years) where Iraq hasn’t been discussed. All the anti-war activitist coverage and, for NBC, the reporter who actually said our military were “Mercenaries”. You’d have to be living on Mars, or just in complete denial, not to know where you’re going when you enlist. Please!

Also, why did the military vote for Bush (nearly) 4 to 1 in the 2004 election?! If they’re not for this President and this war, why didn’t they come out in droves and vote against him?!! I mean, Kerry was against the war (after he voted for it)! Why would the military vote in such a large number like that?

Posted by: rahdigly at February 15, 2007 11:06 AM
Comment #208227

If Al-Sadr did flee the country, apparently he has a lot of company.

According to official estimates, 2 million Iraqis have fled the country. Another 1.8 million have moved within the country.

Seems a lot of Iraqis have voted with their feet.

Posted by: phx8 at February 15, 2007 11:21 AM
Comment #208229

rahdigly,

There was no “lesser of two evils” in the last Presidential election.
I didn’t vote for Kerry, and my life certainly isn’t hanging in the balance, so to speak.
Who the troops choose to vote for is a meaningless statistic. They don’t get to chose where they go, and they don’t fight for the President, they fight for America.

Today Mr. Bush made a startling statement. He announced that the opium poppy crop in Afghanistan was larger than in previous years and the Taliban was using the profits to buy weapons.
What makes this statement truly curious is that the Taliban had banned cultivation of the poppies, and under their control, by 2001 the cultivation had dropped by 99%.
Only after they lost control, did the opium trade re-appear.

Posted by: Rocky at February 15, 2007 11:40 AM
Comment #208232

Hey folks, just playing with my formatting for my posts. Hope you find it appropriate.

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

ALL SOLDIERS SUPPORT THE WAR. DOING ANYTHING BESIDES SAYING YOU SUPPORT THE WAR IS TREASON AND MEANS YOU HATE SOLDIERS. IF YOU THINK THIS WAR IS A BAD IDEA, THEN YOU ARE A TERRORIST.

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

Posted by: Max at February 15, 2007 12:10 PM
Comment #208235

Rocky,

They don’t get to chose where they go, and they don’t fight for the President, they fight for America.


Of course they fight for Bush; he’s their Commander in Chief! And, voting allows them to express and voice their opinions. Why wouldn’t they have voted for Kerry who was against the war? Doesn’t make sense. If I wanted to end this war (which I do not!), I wouldn’t vote for Bush; he is (clearly) unwavering and staunchly for this war and accomplishing the mission.

In fact, with the exception of Joesph Liberman, I would vote for any Democrat if I was for bringing the troops home. I know Liberman is now an Indepedent; however, that’s b/c he was for completing the mission.


So, it’s certainly clear, to those people that have chosen to take the “blinders” off, that if you want out of Iraq, vote for a Democrat. The troops didn’t. They voted in a larger number for Bush in 2004, than they did in 2000.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 15, 2007 12:27 PM
Comment #208237

Rahdigly,

“Of course they fight for Bush; he’s their Commander in Chief!”

And we are “his” Commanders in Chief.

He works for us.

Posted by: Rocky at February 15, 2007 12:39 PM
Comment #208241

Rocky,
“And we are “his” Commanders in Chief. He works for us”


You still didn’t answer why so many troops were in favor of Bush. Why?!

Why would the military vote (in mass numbers) for Bush, who’s in favor of the War and Accomplishing the Mission; not the candidate who’s mantra was “Wrong War, wrong place, wrong time”! Why?!!!

I’m not letting you duck this one fellas. Someone step up and answer that (specific) question!

Posted by: rahdigly at February 15, 2007 12:56 PM
Comment #208246

rahdigly-

You are being ridiculous now. You want a definitive answer as to why hundreds of thousands of individuals voted the particular way that they did? Well, then I’d like a burger and fries with that.

There are literally millions of reasons a person votes the way they do.

Rah, YOU are the one who assumes to know the answer here. You are the one who is making an ass of themselves with backward-ass logic.

If you want an honest answer, ask an honest question.

I’m so sick of people making baseless remarks then requiring others to formally and scientifically disprove them before even considering another viewpoint. And when the remarks ARE disproved, you will simply move on as if nothing happened. It’s really getting to be all too predictable and pathetic.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 15, 2007 1:15 PM
Comment #208249

Jack-

“Re Dave and your comment about details - some details need not be addressed. If the premise is wrong, it does not matter how elegant the argument based on it. It is also wrong. You need not eat the whole egg to know it is rotten.”

You and your crappy analogies. The vast majority of the time I merely ask you to explain your own statements. You will answer only with general statements. If you mean to say you do not need to elaborate because you already presume that they are rotten, then fine. Maybe you could have mentioned that to begin with so I can keep my questions to myself.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 15, 2007 1:36 PM
Comment #208252

Phx8,

Comment #208108:
As for Al-Sadr being in Iran… Maybe yes, maybe no. If he is in Iran, he may be fleeing ahead of the escalation. He may also be fleeing internal divisions within the Mahdi Army. Some factions within the army apparently feel he it too political, and no longer aggressive enough with attacks upon the Sunnis and Americans… Really, I do not think there is enough information to determine if this story is true in the first place, and if true, whether it is a good or a bad thing for us.
Posted by: phx8 at February 14, 2007 04:23 PM

Comment #208227: If Al-Sadr did flee the country, apparently he has a lot of company.

According to official estimates, 2 million Iraqis have fled the country. Another 1.8 million have moved within the country. Seems a lot of Iraqis have voted with their feet.
Posted by: phx8 at February 15, 2007 11:21 AM


Ok, first and foremost, do you believe he fled now?! That bearded pig and his coward diciples fleeing is a good thing. It means the know Betreas is serious; Bush is serious; and (of course) our troops, along with Iraqi military forces are serious!!!


Kevin,

“Rah, YOU are the one who assumes to know the answer here. You are the one who is making an ass of themselves with backward-ass logic…
I’m so sick of people making baseless remarks then requiring others to formally and scientifically disprove them before even considering another viewpoint. And when the remarks ARE disproved, you will simply move on as if nothing happened. It’s really getting to be all too predictable and pathetic.”

It’s a simple question; one that doesn’t take a scientific study to formulate an answer. I can’t believe some of you are rattled over a simple question. You’re the ones that know everything, this should be an easy one for you.

And, by the way, didn’t a certain somebody use this comment: “You know, arbitrary lumping people together and attacking them via straw-man attacks. Or are you a victim today?”

Posted by: rahdigly at February 15, 2007 1:55 PM
Comment #208255

Kevin23, you make another comment like this one on this site and you will never be allowed to participate in the comments at WatchBlog again.

“Rah, YOU are the one who assumes to know the answer here. You are the one who is making an ass of themselves with backward-ass logic.”

Posted by: Watchblog Managing Editor at February 15, 2007 2:08 PM
Comment #208256

rahdigly,

“It’s a simple question; one that doesn’t take a scientific study to formulate an answer.”

It is a seemingly pointless question but here’s my best guess.
Leading up to the election we heard phrases like ” we’ve turned the corner” and “they’re in their last throes”.
Perhaps, all evidence to the contrary, our military personnel, like the rest of those that voted for Mr. Bush, bought into that concept and that is why they voted the way they did.
Or, perhaps lacking anyone else better to vote for…

So now, here we all are, more than 2 years later, and what has really changed, except to the worse of course?

Posted by: Rocky at February 15, 2007 2:17 PM
Comment #208258

rah,
I believe that our men and women in our all volunteer military are made up of mostly patriots. They better than us here typing in our thoeries see the difference they are making. They are not children, they are young by years only. They make more life or death decisions in one day then we do in a decade. They voted for Bush as their commander and chief because the majority of them believe in their mission. Every time politicions have tried to fight wars by micro managing and by polls are military has been handcuffed and kept from succeding. Bush has not conducted this war by poll nor should he. Our future president no matter which party, I hope will not be swayed by polls and political posturing as he or she presides has commander and chief. Our enemies will still be at war with us even when Bush is out of office. I will support our president no matter which party he or she may be. Degrading and insulting our President and troops does nothing to keep our country strong it dose the opposite. Just my opinion.

Posted by: dolan at February 15, 2007 2:42 PM
Comment #208259

Rocky,

It is a seemingly pointless question but here’s my best guess.
Leading up to the election we heard phrases like ” we’ve turned the corner” and “they’re in their last throes”.
Perhaps, all evidence to the contrary, our military personnel, like the rest of those that voted for Mr. Bush, bought into that concept and that is why they voted the way they did.
Or, perhaps lacking anyone else better to vote for…


Interesting. The voters, whom voted in favor of Bush, did so b/c some of his (catchy) lines; not b/c they believed in the mission?! So, The Bush Administration snowballed them, then?! He suckered them! That’s your answer as to why the troops and the majority of Americans voted for Bush in 2004?!!


It still doesn’t make sense that the candidate with the “Wrong war, wrong place, wrong time” slogan didn’t “woo” over the people. I mean, if the troops and the voters weren’t for the war, then why did they vote for a guy that was? And, keep in mind, this was an election year where Hollywood came out against Bush; Moore with his propraganda movie exploiting 9/11 to smear Bush; all the entertainers speaking out (via concerts) against Bush and “his” war; the body count was piling up; the “Mission Accomplished” banner; and, of course, the 50+ (front page) Abu Ghraib stories. Why?!

Doesn’t add up that, with all that mentioned, people were “snowed” into thinking “we’ve turned the corner” and “last throes” (to which I think might have been said in 2005). Just to let you know,

Posted by: rahdigly at February 15, 2007 2:46 PM
Comment #208262

Rahdigly-

I’m going to simplify to appease the selective enforcement:

You don’t know why troops voted the way they do. Neither does anyone else. All we have are polls which don’t address causation at all.

And there is nothing “simple” about the workings of hundreds of thousands of individual minds trying to make sense of a wide array of political issues.

Creating a conclusion, then assuming the underlying facts is ass-backwards logic. Pure and simple. I’ll let others draw the obvious conclusions.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 15, 2007 3:17 PM
Comment #208265

rahdigly,

“Doesn’t add up that, with all that mentioned, people were “snowed” into thinking “we’ve turned the corner” and “last throes” (to which I think might have been said in 2005). Just to let you know,”

This article was dated July, 30, 2004;

http://www.alazhari.unv.net/2004/ALLPOLITICS/07/30/bush.issues/index.html

“Bush’s new refrain will be “we’ve turned a corner, and we’re not turning back,” Devenish said.

I was wrong about the “Throes” thing, Cheney said it in May of 05’.

Perhaps your confusion with the “Turned the corner thing” is because we “turned” so many corners in Iraq, we appeared to be going in circles.

Posted by: Rocky at February 15, 2007 3:39 PM
Comment #208266

Dolan,

“I believe that our men and women in our all volunteer military are made up of mostly patriots. They better than us here typing in our thoeries see the difference they are making. They are not children, they are young by years only. They make more life or death decisions in one day then we do in a decade. They voted for Bush as their commander and chief because the majority of them believe in their mission. Every time politicions have tried to fight wars by micro managing and by polls are military has been handcuffed and kept from succeding. Bush has not conducted this war by poll nor should he. Our future president no matter which party, I hope will not be swayed by polls and political posturing as he or she presides has commander and chief. Our enemies will still be at war with us even when Bush is out of office. I will support our president no matter which party he or she may be. Degrading and insulting our President and troops does nothing to keep our country strong it dose the opposite. Just my opinion.”

Well said, I (definitely) concur. It’s about the mission and will always be about the mission; regardless of who is President. I was in the military under President Clinton, and I can tell you that I never (ever) ever wished our missions failed b/c I didn’t like him. And, believe you me, I did not like Clinton; didn’t vote for him once.


The problem with the Bush haters is that, and you can look up some of the comments and see for yourselves, many of them “brag” that they’re not for the “mission”; however, they’re for the troops. I cannot understand that logic for one second. The American people have to be for the mission; b/c the troops certainly are. Yet, Bush is for the mission, and they want Bush to fail, so (therefore) the mission is a complete failure (just like Bush). It’s sad, sad, sad.


Looking back at WWII, the people were behind the country; the propraganda was coming from our “enemies”, not our “President” and his Administration. When blunders were made, and there were many of them, our own media didn’t turn on the troops or the President as they did with Abu Ghrab.


However, that was a different time I’m afraid. Yet, it is nice to hear comments on this blog like the one you made. Good job, Dolan.


Posted by: rahdigly at February 15, 2007 3:46 PM
Comment #208270

Rahdigly,

In one breath you say you find it disgusting that Remer claims to speak for all soldiers and in the next you do the same. I honestly doubt a majority of the soldiers are for this surge. A majority of American citizens are not. A majority of generals are not. Bush’s advisors were not. Were all these people against accomplishing the “mission”?

For years after 9/11 it wasn’t possible to breathe a word of criticism against Bush without being labelled some kind of traitor. He had nothing but support from most of this country. Since then, it’s become clear to many (and I’ll bet many soldiers) that abused that support.

Everyone would love it if we could accomplish stability in Iraq, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept and like every crazy idea thrown over the fence, especially ones that lead to more soldiers getting killed needlessly. It doesn’t mean we have to like the way we were manipulated into getting into this crazy dumb war in the first place.

Posted by: Max at February 15, 2007 4:11 PM
Comment #208271

Rocky,

“Perhaps your confusion with the “Turned the corner thing” is because we “turned” so many corners in Iraq, we appeared to be going in circles.”


Hey, thanks for providing that link, it actually proved your comment false. Bush didn’t say that we’re turning the corner, or that we turned the corner in “Iraq”. This is what the (actual) quote, to which You submitted, said:

>”Nicolle Devenish, the Bush campaign’s communications director, said the president will pivot away from tough rhetoric against Democratic candidate Kerry and focus more on “laying out a vision” for the next four years…We started the campaign by talking about what the country has been through, the war on terror and the economy, and now we’ll talk about the vision for the next four years and the difference in visions for the future…Bush’s new refrain will be “we’ve turned a corner, and we’re not turning back,” Devenish said.”


So, as you can clearly see, he didn’t say we’ve turned the corner in Iraq; rather, we’ve turned the corner in the War on Terror and the economy. Nice try, though.

So, thanks for the source, Rock. I appreciate it. :-)

Posted by: rahdigly at February 15, 2007 4:15 PM
Comment #208272

rahdigly,

“The problem with the Bush haters is that…”

How can anyone possibly “hate” a man as inept as Mr. Bush has been?

I do have to admit that, with his Alfred E. Newman good looks, I feared what he might do when elected to his first term.
With all the Malaprop’s he has uttered, with the way he has treated world leaders, with his calling President Juncker of Luxembourg “a piece of work”, calling Vladimir Putin “pooty poot”, it would be cruel to hate a man that is so out of touch with reality.

If America is victorious in Iraq, it will be in spite of Mr. Bush, and his policies, not because of them.

So when you throw around the term “Bush hater”, count me out, because I find it hard to hate a man this foolish.

Posted by: Rocky at February 15, 2007 4:15 PM
Comment #208273

rahdigly,

Dispite your desire to play “gotcha”;

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/08/11/bush.corner/

as you will see Mr. Bush used the term “turned the corner” for just about everything.

Posted by: Rocky at February 15, 2007 4:20 PM
Comment #208275

Inept, crazy, foolish,out of touch with reality,These terms when refering to a standing president in a time of war when we have troops in the field I feel is aiding and abetting the enemy. Our president no matter what party they might be should be treated with dignity for they represent our country and way of life. Yes I feel any bashing of any of our presidents past and present in the time of war are the acts of treason. Just my opinion.

Posted by: dolan at February 15, 2007 4:38 PM
Comment #208279

dolan,

To me, and I’m sure many others, this is a President who foolishly started and ineptly executed that war. He is a detrimental embarassment to our nation and as much as I will respect the office in protocol, the man has none of my respect. It is his treason against our country to establish policy based on his political “capital”. It is my patriotism to speak freely about that for a better future.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at February 15, 2007 4:47 PM
Comment #208280

David:

Craig, only in the short run. My arguments align perfectly with Bernanke on the long term. Apparently you keep missing that distinction which I clearly make in all my writings.

Sorry. You are an extremist in your economic views. Closer to a doomsdayer.

Let me give you and example. Bernanke says that if we do nothing to address the demographic changes, our children will experience a 14% drop in their purchasing power. That sounds terrible, but that means per capita income would drop from 9 out of 229 to 12th out of 229. Still way above the 90th percentile in standard of living.

He uses not an economic argument in discribing the future but a moral argument. Hi paper “The coming demographic transition: Will we treat future generations fairly?”

One of his remedies is exactly the one I argue for REDUCING the deficit. Notice in his argument he does not say eliminate the debt or even eliminate the deficit.

Contrast that to your tone. You repeatedly say that Bush has bankrupted this country and after 2014 the world as we know it is going to pretty much end.

Jack is very much withing main stream economic thought. You are on the far fringe.

Craig


Posted by: cholmes48@comcast.net at February 15, 2007 4:48 PM
Comment #208282

Dolan,

“Our president no matter what party they might be should be treated with dignity for they represent our country and way of life.”

I could care less if Mr Bush was a Democrat, a Republican, a Whig, or a Bull Moose, he has not represented America the way it deserves to be represented.
We have been made the fool, all in the name of the PNAC’s hegemonic agenda.
I don’t feel the need to have America “rule” the world.
I merely wish for America to be a shining example of what the world ought to be, and let the world make their own choices.

That is, after all, the American way.

Posted by: Rocky at February 15, 2007 5:07 PM
Comment #208286

Dolan,

You have the right to have whatever opinion you want in this country. Too bad your opinion is that others shouldn’t have that right.

This reminds me of a story where recently a Danish professor was asked by a Muslim militant for an example of why freedom was important. “You’re my example”, said the professor, “Your sect is not allowed in many Arab countries.”

We tolerate different opinions in this country, even when they differ from our own. In my opinion, your views are un-American. Oh, and Bush is worse than an idiot fool, he’s a liar, but I think that’s been established as fact by now.

Posted by: Max at February 15, 2007 5:27 PM
Comment #208295

Max,Rocky and Dave,
You have answered pretty much as I thought you would. It is a shame that today if you stand by your country and your president that you are considered un-american.

Posted by: dolan at February 15, 2007 6:31 PM
Comment #208297

Did someone say that to “stand by your country and your president is un-american”?

Who? When?

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 15, 2007 6:38 PM
Comment #208298

dolan,

“It is a shame that today if you stand by your country and your president that you are considered un-american.”

Don’t lay that baloney on me, pal.
I never said it, and I don’t believe in it.
You are entitled to your opinion, but I won’t allow you to hide behind it.

America was built on dissent, it is in the very Constitution that Mr. Bush so blithely called “a piece of paper”.

Posted by: Rocky at February 15, 2007 6:39 PM
Comment #208299

dolan

I think we should start keeping tally. I’ll side up with ya.

That makes it:

dolan 2
others 1

Posted by: tomh at February 15, 2007 6:40 PM
Comment #208300

Rocky-

It’s only “a piece of paper” until it becomes convenient to insist on a purely “textualist” approach to interpreting it.

It just depends on what result you want to achieve.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 15, 2007 6:42 PM
Comment #208312

kevin,

I didn’t call it a piece of paper, Mr. Bush did, and I am not the one throwing around the word treasonous like yesterday’s trash.

The troops have long ago achieved the goal of ridding Iraq of Saddam. Our troops need a break, and it’s high time they got it.

We also need to address that guy that Mr. Bush doesn’t “think much about”.

Posted by: Rocky at February 15, 2007 7:10 PM
Comment #208313

Rocky-

I was basically being critical of Bush and his kind’s disrespect for the constitution.

And are you saying that OBL and Al Qaida is still a threat? Hmmm…there’s a thought.

…and “treasonous” should indeed be a solemn word.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 15, 2007 7:17 PM
Comment #208314

dolan, I stand by my country and president when they are doing good things for people. I consider it my patriotic duty to criticize my country and my president when I believe they are doing bad things to people. The government of my country including my president was designed to serve and protect the American people and this land they live in. When my country and president begin action which takes the lives and limbs of 100’s of thousands of people, they have the obligation to convince me it is for the greater good.

This President has utterly failed to convince me invading Iraq or asking our troops to fight and die in another people’s civil war, is for the greater good of people, their or here.

If you believe supporting the President’s actions serves to benefit our dead and maimed soldiers fighting that Iraqi civil war, it is also your patriotic duty to say so. I would never call you unpatriotic for supporting your president or this nation. I would say your support of Bush’s surge is going to harm more American lives than save them, and you and our President are wrong. One can be wrong and still patriotic.

Though it was wisely said many times that patriotism is the last stand of scoundrels losing their way. It is a simple logical fact, if our troops are removed from the Iraqi civil war, less American troops will be injured and killed. There is just no getting around that fact. One can only rationalize that ordering our troops to die and lose limbs in that Iraqi civil war is for some purpose which will benefit American lives far more than the loses by our soldiers. But, that is in the end, only a rationalization. There is no evidence one way or another as to whether American security will, in fact, be diminished or enhanced by continuing order our troops to fight the Iraqi civil war. There is only hope and speculation of that.

I don’t find our losses in Iraq worth that kind of hope or speculation, given there is no evidence to support either.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 15, 2007 7:18 PM
Comment #208316

No offence meant or taken Kevin.

Posted by: Rocky at February 15, 2007 7:24 PM
Comment #208319

Craig said: “Sorry. You are an extremist in your economic views. Closer to a doomsdayer.”

As for extremist, no more so than David Walker, Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan, or Paulson, all of whom have said our future economic situation is untenable if we do not act with haste to change that future.

As for doomsdayer, Absolutely, and thank you for the compliment. Were it nor for those who see the potential for disaster shouting it into awareness, no action would be taken to avert such disasters.

We all owe Al Gore an immense vote of thanks for perservering in his doomsdaying prophecy to the point that the President and the Congress are finally discussing means and ways to mimimize the costs and harm. I am proud to have been a doomsdayer on that and many other issues, such as Iraq from my very earliest writings. My doomsday predictions on Iraq have been everybit fulfilled, most, most regrettably.

So, I thank you for putting me in the class of doomsdayers as the likes of Al Gore, Carl Sagan, Thomas Malthus, Albert Einstein, Gen. Eric Shinseki, and Mahatma Gandhi.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 15, 2007 7:32 PM
Comment #208324

Rah,
I think you are correct, at least two stories confirm Al-Sadr is in Iran. One story suggests he is on a short visit. The other says a lot of Mahdi Army leaders have fled to Iran because their names are on a list of people active with the Death Squads. Personally, I think the latter story is the right one.

It looks like we have gone with a “pick the winner” strategy. It looks like we are siding with SCIRI/Dawa once and for all, and against the Sunnis and the Mahdi Army. It is the only viable option if we insist on keeping Iraq unified. Unfortunately, it means a lot of Sunnis and political opponents of SCIRI/Dawa are about to die at the hands of the Badr Brigades, with the help of US troops.

Posted by: phx8 at February 15, 2007 7:42 PM
Comment #208332

David R.
As usual you have a well thought out reply to my stated opinion. I know you served in the military the same time I did. We just came out of the service with different views. We have been fortunate to fight our wars on land far away from our homeland in the past. You must admit that terrorists are going to Iraq to fight our troops and are killed. I think as Iraq as a battle field in the overall war on terror rather than seperate.David if we do pull out of Iraq and leave the Iraq people to fend for themselves dont you think it will fall into terrorist hands? And if so will we have to go back in with greater cost of soldiers lives? You are right the outcome is hope and speculation but I would rather fight or battles on other turf rather than our own. One 9/11 was too many.That is my thoughts on American security we have not been attacked here since 9/11 I believe because we have taken the fight to the enemy. I believe the best method of dissent is by using your vote.

Posted by: dolan at February 15, 2007 8:01 PM
Comment #208337

dolan,

“if we do pull out of Iraq and leave the Iraq people to fend for themselves dont you think it will fall into terrorist hands?”

Eventually we will have to leave, and even after the Iraqi government “stands” on it’s own, there is no guarantee that another regime, less friendly to America, won’t be “elected” and the game will start all over again.
Either way we cannot continue to be nurse maids.
Iraq is in the situation it is in thanks to us. The mistakes we made in the begining of this mess are the only reason we are still there.

Posted by: Rocky at February 15, 2007 8:17 PM
Comment #208349

Rocky,
I agree we will eventually have to pull out but is now the right time? Shouldnt we let the surge play out and see if we can secure the Iraq government? If we pull out now I believe you are right, Iraq will fall to its old enemy Iran. A now radical Iran will control the regions oil and be able to finance terrorist attacks on Isreal and the US. It will also use its new found wealth to further their quest for nukes. I believe if that senario plays out we will suffer more attacks on american soil.

Posted by: dolan at February 15, 2007 8:41 PM
Comment #208353

Rocky,

“Dispite your desire to play “gotcha”;
as you will see Mr. Bush used the term “turned the corner” for just about everything.”


Here’s the source you used to say Bush has stated that “we are turning the corner in Iraq”. I just don’t see where he said we are turning the corner in “Iraq”. Remember, this is your source and your quote. And, you (and everyone else) can see if your comment (Comment #208265) is “gotcha” or not.

>”Perhaps your confusion with the “Turned the corner thing” is because we “turned” so many corners in Iraq, we appeared to be going in circles.”


At a Republican rally in Springfield, Bush defended his record in office, took shots at Kerry and underlined his conservative views and values.

Bush told cheering supporters Friday that “there’ll be big differences in this campaign. They’re going to raise your taxes; we’re not.

“We have a clear vision on how to win the war on terror and bring peace to the world,” Bush said. “They somehow believe the heart and soul of America can be found in Hollywood. The heart and soul of America is found right here in Springfield, Missouri.” Kerry used the refrain “Help is on the way,” in his acceptance speech Thursday night. He also said he would have a different foreign policy than Bush.


“I will be a commander in chief who will never mislead us into war,” Kerry said.

Bush socked back at the Kerry-John Edwards ticket and the Democrats, saying Kerry has “good intentions, but intentions do not always translate to results.”

“After 19 years in the United States Senate, my opponent has had thousands of votes but very few signature achievements.”

“He and his running mate consistently opposed reforms that limit the power of Washington and leave more power in the hands of the people,” Bush said. “He’s spent nearly 20 years in the federal government, and it appears he’s concluded that it’s just not big enough. He’s proposed more than $2 trillion of additional federal spending.”


Bush said he has achieved:


An education policy that has improved reading and math skills.


Prescription drug care coverage that had been promised for years.


Better health care centers for low-income Americans along with new tax-free savings plans.

Success in building military alliances while taking charge of national security decisions.


Bush asserted that while more has to be done to improve the economy, the country has overcome the terror strikes, corporate scandals and recession because of tax cuts and the “hard work and will” of Americans.

“We gave tax relief to every American who pays taxes. We didn’t play favorites with the tax code,” he said, and maintained that ending the “junk lawsuits that hurt our small business” will keep jobs from heading overseas.

Kerry has said one of Bush’s failings is the failure to amass support from other nations on Iraq.

Bush also said he agreed with the conclusion of the 9/11 commission when it said “our homeland is safer but we are not yet safe.”

Along with the small government theme, Bush also espoused more traditional rhetoric on subjects including abortion, religious values and government, heterosexual marriage and conservative judges.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 15, 2007 8:56 PM
Comment #208354

dolan,

I am for Murtha’s plan of withdrawing “to the horizon”.
The civil strife in Iraq is going to continue whether we are in Baghdad or not, and right now we are just one more target.
We went into Iraq light, and now we are paying the consequences of not securing the country first, and then trying to rebuild everything.

I also think that Iraq will eventually elect someone we haven’t picked, and that someone won’t be our ally.

As I said before, I think Iran is one of the least of our worries right now.

How stable is Pakistan?
They already possess nuclear weapons, and there have been assassination attempts on Musharraf.

I think that there is where the true terrorist threat lies, not with the bullshit and bluster from Iran.

Posted by: Rocky at February 15, 2007 9:01 PM
Comment #208356

Rocky-

Have you seen Murtha’s new ideas? A minimum one year break between deployments, an end to stop-loss, etc.

Now these are truly “troop-friendly” ideas.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 15, 2007 9:08 PM
Comment #208357

rahdigly,


These are the exact words I used;

“Leading up to the election we heard phrases like “we’ve turned the corner” and “they’re in their last throes”.
Posted by: Rocky at February 15, 2007 02:17 PM

Just where exactly in that sentence is the word Iraq?

Look it up for yourself. I didn’t even say that Mr. Bush said it.
All I said was “we heard” it.

Posted by: Rocky at February 15, 2007 9:08 PM
Comment #208358

Kevin,

Our National Guard has been deployed for far too long.
Perhaps Murtha isn’t such a bad guy after all.

Posted by: Rocky at February 15, 2007 9:10 PM
Comment #208360

Rocky, this is what you said. This is your quote and your source; not mine! I’m not letting this alone; especially with your comment of “gotcha”, in Comment #208273.

Face it Rock, you either used the wrong source or you misquoted it. Either way, that comment is cleary debunked.


Comment #208265

“rahdigly,

“Doesn’t add up that, with all that mentioned, people were “snowed” into thinking “we’ve turned the corner” and “last throes” (to which I think might have been said in 2005). Just to let you know,”

Rocky:

This article was dated July, 30, 2004;

http://www.alazhari.unv.net/2004/ALLPOLITICS/07/30/bush.issues/index.html

“Bush’s new refrain will be “we’ve turned a corner, and we’re not turning back,” Devenish said.I was wrong about the “Throes” thing, Cheney said it in May of 05’.

Perhaps your confusion with the “Turned the corner thing” is because we “turned” so many corners in Iraq, we appeared to be going in circles.”

Posted by: Rocky at February 15, 2007 03:39 PM

Posted by: rahdigly at February 15, 2007 9:27 PM
Comment #208362

rahdigly,

This is just silly.

I know what was posted, you know what was posted. It’s all there in black and white.

You made an assumption. You read into what I wrote, only what you wanted to read. I used the word Iraq once in those two posts.

Get over it.

Posted by: Rocky at February 15, 2007 9:33 PM
Comment #208367

This thread started as a debate as to whether or not terrorists disappearing into other countries was a victory or defeat for Bush’s tactic of surging.

But you, Rahdigly, have ignored the premise of the thread and instead attacked anyone that criticizes Bush as a traitor.

We’ve had enough of this. The days when you could just wave a flag and end an argument are over. So, support your claims that the troops as a majority support this tactic. Support your claims that this is unAmerican. Support your claims that the surge is a good idea. Support it or shut up. I mean to suggest this as a rule to everyone on watchblog, not just you. The subtitle of this site should be “treat others with respect and support your claims or shut up”.

Posted by: MaxTh at February 15, 2007 10:18 PM
Comment #208374

I concur, the proof is right there for all to see and that this is silly. You’ve been presented with your own source and it said no such thing that Bush said “turning the corner in Iraq”. It’s there and it’s too late to take it back. Too late.

In Comment #208265 you used this source; then, in Comment #208273 you used a different source.

I simply pointed out that the #208265 source didn’t say anything about “turning the corner in Iraq”. It didn’t.


I’ll move on; however, the evidence is proven and it wasn’t even my source to begin with.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 15, 2007 11:25 PM
Comment #208376

rahdigly-
Why do you always emphasize what he says? Document real achievements. Don’t go for tax cuts, though, because we wouldn’t be running huge structural deficits without them.

Dolan-
We can’t prevent what’s already happened. The country is in Civil war (in fact, the intelligence community says the term is insufficient to describe the chaos). We haven’t had control for a long time, outside the Green zone.

When are you going to admit that Bush’s strategies haven’t succeeded, when the rest of us have forgotten enough about the war for Republicans to get away with blaming others for their failure?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 15, 2007 11:49 PM
Comment #208378

Dolan asked: “I think as Iraq as a battle field in the overall war on terror rather than seperate.David if we do pull out of Iraq and leave the Iraq people to fend for themselves dont you think it will fall into terrorist hands?”

Well, that’s the thing, Dolan. I have not heard but two Democrats, Kucinich and Edwards call for a complete pull out of Iraq. But, I have heard at least a couple dozen Republicans on the House Floor state that the Resolution against the surge is tantamount to pulling out which they say will be the next step.

Murtha, Biden, Warner, and the vast majority of Congresspersons who talk of any drawdown or redeployment are talking about LEAVING numbers of our troops in the area around Iraq to continue the fight against al-Queda, training Iraqis, and to protect Iraqi borders from any massive incursions.

Given that there is but, the tiniest of minorities calling for complete withdrawal, and the Murtha plan appearing to be largely what the majority of those calling for an end to escalation are looking at, I just don’t see the terrorists gaining at all from our drawdown.

But, even if the impossible scenario were to take place and the U.S. withdrew all troops from the Middle East, no amount of evidence exists that says the Iraqi Army and government would rollover and allow al-Queda to take over. The Shia have nothing to gain giving one inch of hold to al-Queda and they are the dominant sect in Iraq and in the government and in the Army.

Nor would neighboring countries to Iraq allow that to occur. So, I just don’t see the scenario as in the realm of possibility that so many use in their fear mongering that somehow we are the only barrier between Iraq and her people and al-Queda.

Now there is ample evidence that if the U.S. withdrew completely from the Middle East, that the Middle East would likely become very unstable and warlike over the future of Iraq. And for that reason alone it is prudent for the U.S. to maintain a military presence in the Middle East, as Rep. Murtha calls for, and a majority of Democrats and nearly all Republicans in the Congress agree with.

But that requires neither an escalation at this time, nor ordering our troops to fight in the middle of the sectarian war going on in Iraq. I am absolutely with the Sen.s Warner(R)/Biden(D) camp on this.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 16, 2007 12:26 AM
Comment #208389

Eric Simonson is correct. We have won a great victory when Sadr left Baghdad. The key now is to be relentless and up the pressure. I am sure our National Guard will be available to reinforce the initial surge troops in a few months. We must do what is needed to keep America safe.

Posted by: Juan dela Cruz at February 16, 2007 5:22 AM
Comment #208397

Aldous, is that you?

Posted by: Rocky at February 16, 2007 9:47 AM
Comment #208423

Phx8,

“It looks like we have gone with a “pick the winner” strategy. It looks like we are siding with SCIRI/Dawa once and for all, and against the Sunnis and the Mahdi Army. It is the only viable option if we insist on keeping Iraq unified. Unfortunately, it means a lot of Sunnis and political opponents of SCIRI/Dawa are about to die at the hands of the Badr Brigades, with the help of US troops.”


I don’t believe that this is a “pick the winner” strategy. I mean, I know I’m bias when it comes to American interests (call me a patriot), I look at this more as: Bethreas means business; Bush means business; Maliki means business, etc. They sent the troops in, with a deadline, and many of the enemy fighters fled, including that bearded pig.


Think about, Al Sadr is supposed to be this leader of martyrs; people that will die for their cause of taking out the infidel and keeping Iraq destablized and (remain) full of chaos. Yet, they ran, like a bunch of b*tches, from the surge. Now, some may say they’re “regrouping” or “laying low” for now; yet, I believe that shows how weak they truly are. They’re like bullies and they got punked down. Bigtime!

Posted by: rahdigly at February 16, 2007 1:29 PM
Comment #208433
Yet, they ran, like a bunch of b*tches, from the surge.

Or, they just left the country for a visit to the neighboring country, as they often do.

I’m curious how many times it would have to be pointed out that you are making significant assumptions in your analysis before you would acknowledge that you are jumping to unknowable conclusions.

Based on experience, I think the number is frighteningly high.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 16, 2007 2:31 PM
Comment #208465

“They’re like bullies and they got punked down. Bigtime!”

Too bad they STILL took our lunch money.

I’m afraid looking at international relations in the same way a kid looks at recess is not all that insightful.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 16, 2007 4:40 PM
Comment #208466
The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.
- John F. Kennedy, Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at February 16, 2007 4:50 PM
Comment #208475

Stephen,

Your source:

EFPs have been a favorite tool of Hezbollah in Lebanon, which is one reason to suspect that Iran has had a hand in supplying EFPs to Iraq as well. But if they’re being manufactured in Baghdad machine shops, that puts things in rather a different light.


I’m not sure I understand the tone of this particular article. If this has been something that Hezbollah does and now it’s being done in Iraq, wouldn’t that affirm the “Iranian” connection (or backing)? Think about it, Hezbollah is backed by Iran; they’re (basically) an extension of Iran.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 16, 2007 6:55 PM
Comment #208484

rahdigly,

“Think about it, Hezbollah is backed by Iran; they’re (basically) an extension of Iran.”

Hezbollah is also backed by Syria. The same could be assumed.

Posted by: Rocky at February 16, 2007 8:02 PM
Comment #208486


rahdigly: If the weapons are being made in Bagdad machine shops, it makes the administration claims totally false. It makes no difference if thay got the plans from Hezbollah, Iran, off the internet or out of a box of cracker jacks. The administration said it knew that the weapons were supplied by a branch of the Iranian army with or without the consent of the Iranian government. In essence, the administration story is a fabrication which is used to stir up anti-Iranian sentiment and pave the way for the Cheney/Bush invasion of Iran.

Posted by: jlw at February 16, 2007 8:08 PM
Comment #208487


A reoccuring theme, Cheney cherry picks the inteligence to present the message that he wants the American people to here. The intelligence is debunked. Cheney sends a flunky out to claim the the intelligence community screwed up. The great delegator gave Cheney the job of classifying and declassifying intelligence and the ability to demand the intelligence that Cheney wants.

Posted by: jlw at February 16, 2007 8:27 PM
Comment #208494

Rocky,

“Hezbollah is also backed by Syria. The same could be assumed.”

Of course. This is what has been the problem; the borders with Iran and Syria. And, these are the same two countries that were guilty back in the Spring of 2006 in Lebanon; they were backing Hezbollah.


Jlw,

“It makes no difference if thay got the plans from Hezbollah, Iran, off the internet or out of a box of cracker jacks.”


If it doesn’t matter, does that mean it’s just a coinicident that they’re using the same techniques that Hezbollah’s doing? The same Hezbollah that’s backed by Iran and Syria?

Posted by: rahdigly at February 16, 2007 9:09 PM
Comment #208496

rlw-
It doesn’t make the administration’s case false, but it makes the presence of these weapons an inconclusive piece of evidence as to Iran’s involvement.

The Bush Administration is trying to blame a Shia country for the failure that mostly relates to a Sunni insurgency. Alleging that high-tech arms are being funnelled from Iran gets attention. If they don’t have to be made there, and if they are in fact rather rough for a product from a country like that, it kind of takes the wind out of the outrage.

Rahdigly-
It’s worse than you think. The essential point here is that they are likely made in country, and that the connection to the government is not all that solid.

It’s not enough that Iran is getting involved, By that rationale, we should be invading Saudi Arabia and other countries supplying the Sunnis, especially since the Sunni insurgents are the larger problem.

Y’all have been too froggy about jumping to conclusions in this war. If we have to go to Iran, fine, but let them make the mistakes that lead to an unnecessary war, not us.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 16, 2007 9:52 PM
Comment #208502

To be a patriot, one had to say, and keep on saying, “Our country, right or wrong,” and urge on the little war. Have you not perceived that that phrase is an insult to the nation?

Mark Twain

Posted by: Rocky at February 16, 2007 11:24 PM
Comment #208546

Stephen,

“It’s not enough that Iran is getting involved, By that rationale, we should be invading Saudi Arabia and other countries supplying the Sunnis, especially since the Sunni insurgents are the larger problem.”


Do you think the situation would be better or worse if we invaded Saudi Arabia? Do you think they would have less or more death squads in that country? Do you think they would have more suicide bombers or less in Saudi Arabia?


It’s interesting how some don’t want to rush to war with Iraq and Iran; yet, you always here “why don’t we invade Pakistan, Syria, or Saudi Arabia; they’re state-sponsors of terrorism.”


Posted by: rahdigly at February 17, 2007 12:56 PM
Comment #208548

I don’t want to rush to war with any of them.

It has been our “rush” to war that has us in the middle of an area that has been hostile to us for 50 years.

War should always be the last resort, and any rush to any war is just simply foolish.

Posted by: Rocky at February 17, 2007 1:17 PM
Comment #208563

Rahdigly-
You may have inadvertantly made my argument for me: We invade Iran, and a tenuous presence becomes concerted and targeted on us.

Fact is, we don’t have enough troops to secure Iraq as it is, and you want us to take an action that is likely to bring on a counterattack. If war with Iran is necessary, so be it, but let’s not be on an unprepared footing going into the war. That’s been our biggest problem with this current one, and if you guys succeed in getting us into one with Iran, I’m afraid y’all will make the same mistake once again, and that would just be catastrophically stupid, in both the literal and hyperbolic sense of those words.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 17, 2007 3:35 PM
Comment #208565

So, how many weapons have to be supplied? How many nukes? How many plots and plans? How many violations and sanctions? How much oil does a country have to supply? How many 9/11’s to we have to go through in order to take out a country?


I mean, what do you think our enemies are saying about us right now? Do you think they’re worried? Do you think they’re afraid of our “liberties” and the right to bash our own Administration; the same administration that is (trying) fight the enemy? Do you think the enemy thinks it’s easier to fight the US (anywhere in the world), or do you think they could join our country and fight us through the political system?

What are we showing the enemy right now? Anyone have an opinion as to what the enemy thinks about fighting us?!

Posted by: rahdigly at February 17, 2007 3:44 PM
Comment #208622

rahdigly,

“Anyone have an opinion as to what the enemy thinks about fighting us?!”

You know for years the right has told us they didn’t a rats patoot about what the rest of the world thought about America.

Now are we to assume that you really care?

Posted by: Rocky at February 17, 2007 9:03 PM
Comment #208634

Rahdigly-
This is your equation here:

Agree with Bush Policy = Fighting against our enemies. Disagree with Bush policy = Fighting on our enemy’s side.

Everythings just so rigidly set out on the right, and so little of it has to do with anything but the logic of the stereotypes of liberal beliefs being taken out to their greatest absurdity.

I believe we should triumph over our enemies. But I don’t think here that aggravating the situation does us much good. If we lower the level of our rhetoric towards the people of Iran, we can get them to stop worrying about us, which leads them to line up behind their leaders, and get them back to focusing on what they were looking at before, which is the flaws of their system.

If the average Iranian will do for us what we want done, in terms of moderating and holding back the admittedly extremist government, then we profit by that, and its foolish to try and provoke worse things.

You folks went into Iraq light. You had big dreams of nationbuilding, but you found the basic doctrine distasteful, and so went into the whole thing unprepared for dealing with the challenges.

You folks had support. You folks had everything you needed to win the war on hand. Morale did not begin to become a real problem until this neverending chain of screw ups got going. You cannot expect a country to continue supporting and support continuing a war that’s either not able or not well lead enough to achieve its original purposes.

This war was supposed to disarm Saddam, and prevent a collaboration with al-Qaeda from bearing its insidious fruits. Then, when our failure to find any good evidence of those two notions invalidated these causes for war, the purpose shifted towards making Iraq a free Democracy. Fine. I’d be the first to tell you that I wanted us to bring order and heal the wounds of our invasion, as well as Saddam’s regime. To that end, me, and folks like me started telling you guys to get your act straight.

Unfortunately, you folks had set your universal translators to “evil liberal”, and you took all our helpful suggestions as to bringing more soldiers in, uparmoring the humvees, gaining international cooperation to lighting our financial and military burderns as insidious efforts to bring defeat to Americans.

Meanwhile, the policies of this Administration did nothing to prevent events from getting continuously out of control. This is what people watched happen.

Now, you got some notion that the reason all this happened had to do with busted morale, and emboldened terrorists. Everything revolves around the media, around appearances. We can have our soldiers riding around which hillbilly armor, with plywood, sandbags, and scrapmetal serving in the place of real armor, but if our Secretary of Defense is asked an embarrassing question about that, it’s time to go on the PR offensive.

That’s what makes me sick about the way the right conducts war. Everything is about visions of victory. Nevermind that you haven’t put the men or the resources in place to do what you want, the dream of victory will be enough.

God help me. It makes me angry. It is easy to shoot your mouth of and say that this, that, or the other offense must be avenged by military force. Me? I think our military is called upon to be ready to put themselves in harm’s way, but in return for that, care must be taken in the decision to go to war. These people will make their sacrifices, and they will do so, for the most part, with honor. But those sacrifices can be wasted by leaders who don’t examine the situation to find things out, who actively search for some pretext for war, instead of trying to judge whether one is even necessary.

If you’ve started from the assumption that war is the only solution to the problem, then you probably haven’t examined the problem all that well. Reliable information is more important than just that which serves to prove your case.

You can talk about how the threats after 9/11 demand that we jump on every potential threat before it becomes one, but by the very nature of such an approach, one ends up on a bunch of wild goose-chases that end up distracting one from what’s really going on.

Real security comes from vigilance, not from paranoia. Let’s not sneak around trying to start a war on bare evidence. Let’s not be trying to wage war at all, until we are sure that it’s the only defense we have against a real, clear and present danger. If the threat isn’t already here, going to war against it is pointless.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 17, 2007 9:50 PM
Comment #208644

Stephen,

It isn’t just that we went in light. We went in light because that was the design of Rumsfeld’s master plan.
His whole political life had led up to the Fall of Baghdad.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=165669

When questioned about the chaos on that day, his best response was basically “shit happens”.

I’m sorry, we allowed anarchy to reign, with no apparent plan to deal with it, and all we could say was “oops”.

IMHO, that was the defining moment in the “war” in Iraq, and we haven’t recovered the momentum since.

Posted by: Rocky at February 17, 2007 10:14 PM
Comment #209092

“Anyone have an opinion as to what the enemy thinks about fighting us?!”
Posted by: rahdigly at February 17, 2007 03:44 PM


Reply:
“You know for years the right has told us they didn’t a rats patoot about what the rest of the world thought about America. Now are we to assume that you really care?”
Posted by: Rocky at February 17, 2007 09:03 P


“This is your equation here:

Agree with Bush Policy = Fighting against our enemies. Disagree with Bush policy = Fighting on our enemy’s side…Everythings just so rigidly set out on the right, and so little of it has to do with anything but the logic of the stereotypes of liberal beliefs being taken out to their greatest absurdity…I believe we should triumph over our enemies. But I don’t think here that aggravating the situation does us much good. If we lower the level of our rhetoric towards the people of Iran, we can get them to stop worrying about us, which leads them to line up behind their leaders, and get them back to focusing on what they were looking at before, which is the flaws of their system…” Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 17, 2007 09:50 PM


So, I guess there’s no (direct) answer to the question. Oh well, it (certainly) wasn’t a loaded question.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 20, 2007 4:48 PM
Comment #209145

Dumb questions deserve dumb answers.

Question: Anyone have an opinion as to what the enemy thinks about fighting us?!

Answer: They think the Powerpuff Girls should wear Burkahs.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at February 21, 2007 10:30 AM
Post a comment