Democrats promise surrender

Bring it on.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Democrats would be “relentless.”

“There will be resolution after resolution, amendment after amendment … just like in the days of Vietnam,” Schumer said. ~kansascity.com

Finally, their journey to the darkside is complete. Democrats are now officially the party of Dennis Kucinich and Michael Moore.

One might be tempted to opine that Democrats should be relenteless against the enemy in Iraq rather than against Americans, but that would be too much to ask. Playing politics with soldiers lives is standard operating procedure for the left.

As it's been pointed out by others, this latest vote opposing the 'troop surge' and Democrats plans to 'slow-bleed' the troops in order to force the war to an end is hypocritical and particularily craven when you take into account the fact that they just confirmed the new commander, author, and promoter of this troop surge a week ago. If they wanted to stop the troop surge the best message would have been to reject the confirmation of General Petraeus.

So in other words, not only are Democrats directly contradicting the opinion and advice of the top military commander in Iraq, they approved him and his plan and then turned around to oppose it and use it as an anti-war issue.

Army Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, who has been selected to replace Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr. as the commander of Multi-National Force-Iraq, supports the president's new strategy for winning the war in Iraq. The strategy emphasizes more troops are essential in accomplishing the mission.

"If we are to carry out the Multi-National Force-Iraq mission in accordance with the new strategy, the additional forces that have been directed to move to Iraq will be essential. Greatly increased support by our government's other agencies, additional resources for reconstruction and economic initiatives, and a number of other actions are critical to what must be a broad, comprehensive, multifaceted approach to the challenges in Iraq," Petraeus said at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. ~newsblaze.com

Party of surrender

Hillary Clinton now demands an immediate surrender from our troops within 90 days. Why? Why don't Democrats ever demand the surrender of Al Qaeda or insurgents in Iraq? That's what an American interested in victory would do. That's how unity in the midst of war has traditionally been expressed... by demanding the surrender of those whom our soldiers fight rather than the surrender of our troops.

Feb 17, 2007 — WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the early front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, has called for a 90-day deadline to start pulling American troops from Iraq. ~abcnews.go.com

In addition to outright calls for surrender, Democrats have a plan to, "slow-bleed," the troops in Iraq in order to end the war.
Top House Democrats, working in concert with anti-war groups, have decided against using congressional power to force a quick end to U.S. involvement in Iraq, and instead will pursue a slow-bleed strategy designed to gradually limit the administration's options. ~politico.com

Don't get me wrong, this is exactly what I expected. But I am still amazed. Who are Democrats at war with?
In addition, Murtha, acting with the backing of the House Democratic leadership, will seek to limit the time and number of deployments by soldiers, Marines and National Guard units to Iraq, making it tougher for Pentagon officials to find the troops to replace units that are scheduled to rotate out of the country. Additional funding restrictions are also being considered by Murtha, such as prohibiting the creation of U.S. military bases inside Iraq, dismantling the notorious Abu Ghraib prison and closing the American detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. ~politico.com

This is what supporting the troops but not the mission looks like. Proclaiming defeat, and sounding the retreat!

It's as if Democrats want to ensure that Al Qaeda can be free to rule Iraq. Even as Al Qaeda leader after Al Qaeda leader is killed or captured and the promises and boasts of jihad fall flat on their face. Al Qaeda and the insurgents have been defeated at every turn and yet according to Murtha our troops are incapable of fighting these undefeatable freedom fighters in Iraq. This is what Democrats consider 'supporting the troops'. Sounds more like an insult to me.

The truth about Iraq is that we are winning, we have been winning, and we will win. The only thing that could possibly change this outcome are politicians who want to avoid victory at all costs.

Our troops defeat the bad guys every single day. We have lost no battles and we have continued to grind the enemy down.

How are the bad guys doing in Iraq? The Iraqi media is full of information on what the various Sunni, Shia and Kurdish factions are up to. Lots of the reporting is speculation, but a lot of it is not. If you've been following the action long enough, you can pick out the accurate stories. And the talk on the street and in the shops is also pretty dependable. That said, most people believe al Qaeda in Iraq is finished. After boasting last Fall that they would establish a safe zone in western Iraq, and failing to do anything close to that, the Islamic terrorists lost whatever credibility they had left. Most of the terrorist bombings these days are the work of Iraqi Sunni Arab organizations, who still believe that if you make the Iraqi Shia Arabs mad enough, they will get so nasty that neighboring Sunni Arab nations will feel compelled to invade. ~strategypage.com

In retrospect Democrats want to make believe that it doesn't matter that they voted for the war and now want to abandon it. It does matter. And if responsible Democrats were thinking rationally they would understand that the short term political gain of defeating Bush at the cost of losing a war will not outweigh the long term loss of being responsible for a shameful surrender.

Was the invasion of Iraq necessary? If you listened to Democrats in congress authorizing the war, it was imperative. Now they say that it was not, that Iraq was never a threat. Bush deceived them, they say. Democrats can never again be trusted on matters of war.

Posted by Eric Simonson at February 18, 2007 2:24 PM
Comments
Comment #208722

>>Don’t get me wrong, this is exactly what I expected. But I am still amazed. Who are Democrats at war with?
Posted by Eric Simonson at February 18, 2007 02:24 PM

ES,

A better question…who was the enemy in Iraq before we showed up?

Terrorism is for law enforcement folks, not armies. Iraq was and is not our enemy. Anyone currently in Iraq who is our enemy, is so because we are in Iraq. I wish somehow you neocons would shake the webs out of your brain-housing groups and realize just how stupid this Iraq mess really is.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 18, 2007 4:03 PM
Comment #208725

Bush has never fought the war as if he wanted to win it anyway, so most of the blame for “losing” it (if that happens) will have to fall on him, not the Democrats. The Democrats themselves have had minimal involvement at all, and that’s how they seem to like it.

On the other hand, Democrats have maneuvered themselves into a position which is truly sickening. The worst thing that could happen to their electoral prospects would be sucesses in Iraq, so they are all but cheering for setbacks and defeats.

I say a pox on both their houses.

At this point, the only reason for favoring the hapless Republicans in this dirty little squabble is that you don’t risk self-loathing in seeing a suicide bomber kill a couple dozen civilians and think “Hmmm… is that gonna win my side some votes?”

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 18, 2007 4:21 PM
Comment #208730

You know when you see an ES post with the word ‘Democrat’ in it, you know the word ‘surrender’ can’t be far behind.

Well, I can think of several words that could be linked to the neo-cons. How ‘bout ‘belligerent stupidity’?

I truly believe that the group of people that will have the final say on the Bush administration’s foreign policy will not be the Democrats. It will be the centerist Republicans, as evidenced by the seventeen House Republicans and the seven Senate Republicans (including my Senator, Gordon Smith) that have seen the writing on the proverbial wall. One could be cynical and say that they are facing stiff opposition for re-election in ‘08, and that they have taken note of the past November elections and are tacking accordingly.

But, I prefer to accord them more credit than that. They are beginning to see that the Republic is in the thrall of a dangerous ideological radicalism, a radicalism that not only refuses to ‘play by the rules’, in foreign policy, in economic policy, in social policy. They don’t believe that they should even have any rules. ‘Rules are for the lesser folk, we have an agenda to fulfill. We are your ideological superiors, sit down and shut up.’

Thus, democratic and legislative opposition is seen as treason, and questioning of failed policies are unpatriotic.

The neo-con sun is setting—things will never again be as good as they had it with this administration. In trade policy, in governmental policy, in foreign policy, the American people are beginning to examine the goods the neo-cons have been delivering for the past six years.

Blind allegiance and lock-step obedience to party objectives conjured by radicals in the GOP are every bit as unsavory and dangerous as the alleged
governence of the Democratic Party by the Left.

It is long past time to look at the problems facing the Republic as Americans, not as ideologues. I have been very critical of Gordon Smith and his unquestioning support of this Iraqi fiasco. Today, I congratulate him. For whatever reasons, be they political survival or poll-watching, Mr. Smith made a careful and judicious decision to vote against enabling the Bush administration’s disfunctional and damaging policy in Iraq.

Eric, there will be more Republicans that will turn away from this administration’s policies. Because, radicalism, however you dress it up, is not for American consumption.


Posted by: Tim Crow at February 18, 2007 4:49 PM
Comment #208731

Well we must admit the surge seems to be making things better.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Militants struck back Sunday in their first major blow against a U.S.-led security clampdown in Baghdad with car bombings that killed at least 63 people, left scores injured and sent a grim message to officials boasting that extremist factions were on the run.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070218/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq


What is happening in Baghdad is what happens when you have a non-reality based president elected by people who think the world is 6,000 years old. NOT a god idea.

Bring em home NOW!

Posted by: muirgeo at February 18, 2007 4:59 PM
Comment #208733

On the other hand, Democrats have maneuvered themselves into a position which is truly sickening. The worst thing that could happen to their electoral prospects would be sucesses in Iraq, so they are all but cheering for setbacks and defeats.


Posted by: Loyal Opposition

I don’t see it that way LO. You can’t win a Civil war. Being realistic and recognizing that is not a fault.

If your saying the democratic party should kinda let it play out so that the full failure of Bush and the Neocons can be seen and result in a success in 2008 then that would be a sad position to take.

The worse thing you can do is pretend that sending more troops to their deaths will help when every bit of factual evidence and logic says otherwise. That’s the Republicans position. I’m not sure how you would want the Democrats to get on that side and actually do the right thing. If you have a commander you insist you MUST win EVERY battle then you will likely lose the war. We didn’t win every battle in WW2 sometimes we re-directed our efforts.

Posted by: muirgeo at February 18, 2007 5:09 PM
Comment #208734

The reason we sometimes think liberals are less than reliable is because of their tone. We see it here. They seem almost pleased when there is bad news. Whether or not you support the war in Iraq, remember who the bad guys are. When the terrorists blow something up, they are the bad guys and they are TERRORIST not insurgents or rebels.

Honorable rebels do not purposely murder their own people just to make a point.

Those who really think this is a lost cause should look at it in sorrow because the bad guys win, and I mean real sorrow, not “I am sorry that Bush is…” It is the terrorists who are killing people and it is they who will do even more of it if we leave.

It is a strategy of terror to murder so many people that good people just can no longer stand it. For the civilians deaths are not an unfortunate consequence. Killing civilians is their goal, their strategy, and it may be working. They figure if they kill enough we will give up and let them kill more.

There is also an important factor lost in the talk. People say that in Iraq we are not fighting those who perpetrated 9/11. This is incorrect. There were no operational links between Saddam and 9/11, but Al Qaida came to Iraq and they are the ones who provoked the current problems. It was their explicit strategy. That is why the killed so many Shiite civilians. They will fight us where we are and it is true that if we do not fight them in Iraq, we will be fighting them some other place.

Posted by: Jack at February 18, 2007 5:34 PM
Comment #208735

Eric Simonson said: “Playing politics with soldiers lives is standard operating procedure for the left.”

Eric, that comment is 100% applicable to President Bush. We all know that Bush could have given our military the go ahead to launch bombing runs on Baghdad and al-Anbar Province at anytime which would have destroyed those populations and ended this Civil War in days. But, Pres. Bush has tied our military’s hands behind their backs refusing to give them the green light for victory.

And why? Because it would be an extremely politically costly move for both Bush and America in international affairs.

But, let’s be clear. The only person standing between Victory in Iraq and our Military, is Pres. Bush. The Pres. commands the most awesome firepower in the world. He won’t use it to allow our soldiers to claim victory. He prefers they die and get maimed in restricted and constrained role in this war that marks time until another president can take responsibility for the outcome of either unleashing our military or pulling out.

Go pedal your everyone but you and your leader are cowards crap to dummies who don’t what our military capability is, and that it is the politics of the President who refuses victory. No One Else.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 18, 2007 5:37 PM
Comment #208737

Eric, based upon the Bush Administration track record it would seem the repubs can never again be trusted in matters of War either. Perhaps we should call it a draw and wage some peace for a change, maybe both parties can do better at that.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 18, 2007 5:40 PM
Comment #208739

j2t2

You cannot just call it a draw and wage peace. The fact that Al Qaida et al came to Iraq indicates that they will follow. This will not be the end and Iraq was not the beginning.

We chose to fight in Iraq. Maybe it was a mistake, but the bad guys will chose the next place.

Posted by: Jack at February 18, 2007 5:48 PM
Comment #208741

Jack,

Osama wanted us in Iraq. Al Qeada wanted us in Iraq. They wanted a war to weaken our resources, and knew it would lead to them getting more funding and troops.

I suppose now you would like to go into Iran, and continue being Al Qaeda’s puppet…

On June 8, 2006 the Iraqi Prime Minister confirmed that Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi was killed in a United States Air Force F-16 airstrike at 6:15 pm local time (1415 UTC) the previous evening, June 7. In a statement posted on the Internet that day, signed by Al-Qaeda in Iraq’s “deputy emir,” Abu Abdel-Rahman al-Iraqi, al-Qaeda in Iraq pledged to “increase [their] persistence in continuing holy war so that the word of God will be supreme.” [55]

A document found in Zarqawi’s safe house indicates that the terrorist group was trying to provoke the U.S. to attack Iran in order to reinvigorate the insurgency in Iraq and to weaken American forces in Iraq.[56] “The question remains, how to draw the Americans into fighting a war against Iran? It is not known whether American is serious in its animosity towards Iran, because of the big support Iran is offering to America in its war in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Hence, it is necessary first to exaggerate the Iranian danger and to convince America and the west in general, of the real danger coming from Iran…”. The document then outlines 6 ways to incite war between the two nations.

There’s a smart and dumb way to fight terrorism, and going into Iraq was the really, really dumb way. You don’t always win a war with fighting. I would have thought Republicans would have learned that from Ronald Reagan and Bush Sr. Please ask President Bush to stop doing Al Qaeda’s bidding.

Posted by: Max at February 18, 2007 5:58 PM
Comment #208743

Max

I wrote a post specifically explaining why we should to invade Iran. Nobody has said we will except people like you trying to drag a red herring across the trail.

We did not invade Iraq to fight Al Queda. There were lots of reasons at the time. I wrote a whole post about that too, talking about the Clinton era resolution for regime change etc. Al Qaeda came to Iraq (Zarkawi was there BEFORE we invaded) because they thought it was a place they could fight us. If not there, it will be somewhere else.

I am not arguing here whether or not we will succeed. I am arguing that you do not just get to turn this off and come home. The bad guys will follow.

Posted by: Jack at February 18, 2007 6:15 PM
Comment #208744

Jack said,

but Al Qaida came to Iraq and they are the ones who provoked the current problems. It was their explicit strategy. That is why the killed so many Shiite civilians. They will fight us where we are and it is true that if we do not fight them in Iraq, we will be fighting them some other place.

Of the terrorists in Iraq, Al-Qaida is the worst. They and their partners will kill innocent civilians in order to create chaos and a civil war. They are atrocious, evil, they are the enemy of all.

And who gave them Iraq? It wasn’t the Democrats and our tone. It was George W. Bush and Co, and yes, Republicans who support the mess in Iraq and continue to perpetuate it as if there is some “victory” out there being spoiled by the defeatist Democrats.

Did the Iraqis ask us to fight Al Qaeda in Iraq? I am tired of even this version of a worn-out phrase. Maybe we should have fought them where they were, namely Afghanistan and Pakistan. Next time we decide to have a war with the terrorists let’s invite them to Karl Rove’s vacation cabin instead of the homes and lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

Posted by: chris2x at February 18, 2007 6:16 PM
Comment #208747

Jack, your argument that al-Queda will follow us is BUSHIE BOGUS.

Fact is, al-Queda has cells all around the globe. Our NIE said this. They are the experts. They are here, in the U.S. despite our troops being in Iraq. That whole argument that all of al-Queda is concentrated in Iraq because our troops are there is factually bogus. Whether or not our troops are in Iraq, al-Queda cells will continue to push toward Canada, Mexico, S. America and the U.S.

Our troops in Iraq DO NOT PREVENT this. Your comments are full of wild Bush weed.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 18, 2007 7:00 PM
Comment #208748

Jack, The point of my previous post was to add the repubs into Erics statement that the Dems could never again be trusted in matters of war. Certainly we can all agree at this point that the “War on Terrorism” as waged by the Bush Administration has led us down the wrong road. Unless of course the real reason we are in Iraq has more to do with oil supplies, neocon ideology, and imperialism than with the reasons Bush trumped up to get us into Iraq. So in my mind if what Eric stated has any degree of truth at all, why would we the people allow our elected officials of either party to deal with matters of war.
In addition I done believe the Bush mantra of fight them there so we dont have to fight them here”, I think its a neocon job on the American people.
So no leadership at the Federal level and no real reason for being there, to me, says the American people have one choice- wage peace. Work it out, buy the damn oil, but for crying out loud at least stop aiding the enemy with the foolish Bush schemes.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 18, 2007 7:10 PM
Comment #208749

Jack
“killing civilians is their goal.” For us its just by accident so they’re not as dead and their relatives do not hate us as much. Right?

There are some Dems that voted to autorize the President to go to war if neccessary. Not the same as a declaration. There were also many that opposed it. There were also many,many Americans that opposed the invasion from the start. We yelled at the top of our lungs,”This is a mistake and will end badly.”Even the Dems that gave the war early support were surprised at the horrific incompetence of the Bush regime. The blame belongs to the Bush regime and its supporters . The blood is on your hands.At least be big enough to admit it and stop trying to blame shift. It is over. There are three ways civil wars end;one side wins;a political settlement(either a federation or division);or an forign occupation in perpetuity. Only the last requires our presence and that is politically,morally and economically untenable.

Posted by: BillS at February 18, 2007 7:24 PM
Comment #208751

Chris2x

It really doesn’t matter who gave them Iraq or why they are there. Zarqawi arrived in Iraq before we did after we chased him out of Afghanistan.

All decisions are made about future, not past events. What do we do now? Will a quick pull out be make our situation better or worse? We now have Al Qaeda in Iraq. They came to fight us there. If not there is would be Afghanistan, Pakistan or someplace else.

David

I expect that Al Qaeda also has limited resources. The fact that they put so much effort into Iraq indicates that they think it is important to defeat us there and that they are not putting those same resources someplace else.

J2t2

Bush went into Iraq because it was a gathering threat and he felt that it would be better to deal with it before it became an imminent threat. Saddam was very destabilizing. He had been kept down, more or less, by sanctions, which were beginning to fray. Reasonable people believed Saddam had and/or was developing various weapons of mass destruction. Such weapons are not very useful militarily, but they are excellent terror weapons. In 1991 we underestimated Saddam. From 1992-2002 we overestimated him. That is the nature of intelligence.

BillS

There are many fewer. When you see those death tolls listed everyday - a dozen people killed by car bombs etc - none of those are killed by the U.S. If both sides behaved as we do, civilian casualties would be significantly less common than traffic fatalities.

The bad guys have won this. They are more willing to kill than we are to watch it. It is almost the complete opposite of a legitimate insurgency. When the Germans occupied Poland or Czech Republic, they would killed civilians and the underground insurgents would risk their lives try to save them. In Iraq the insurgents kill civilians and Americans risk their lives to save them.

The big shame will be if these bad guys prevail.

Posted by: Jack at February 18, 2007 7:58 PM
Comment #208752

Don’t you liberals know that the only way to win in this world is through war?! Send in the 20 year olds! They volunteered! They want to fight! Why teach them to shoot if we don’t send them to war? What a waste of training that would be right? Talking and diplomacy and saber rattling never works! Kill! Kill! Kill!

Iraq is a glowing success, the media just won’t report the good news! There are no WMDs in Iraq right? Because of the war!

We’ve got bin Laden on the run!

We haven’t been attacked on our soil in over five years! Can any other president say that? Err…strike that question please.

Ron Reagan didn’t defeat the USSR without dropping a few bombs on them now did he…err, nevermind.

Signed,
Mr. Chicken Hawk

p.s. fight them over there not here (now if we could just figure out who “them” is).

Posted by: Boomer at February 18, 2007 8:03 PM
Comment #208758
I don’t see it that way LO. You can’t win a Civil war. Being realistic and recognizing that is not a fault.

What do you mean you can’t win a civil war? Of course you can. Civil wars are won and lost all the time. But of course, that isn’t the important question in this case.

Whether you should fight a war or not is a separate question, but for all the science and strategy (“strategery?”) behind the study of warfare, winning one is actually pretty simple. If you’re unable or unwilling to do either of the two following things, then you shouldn’t be fighting
at all and should be using other approaches.

1). Identify the enemy.

2). Injure and strike fear in the enemy to the extent that he loses hope of survival without making peace with you. As long as you have more to lose than he does, why should he make peace with you ever?

In the American Civil War, the Union didn’t win until Grant cornered Lee and gave Lee a choice of death or surrender and Sherman began burning everything in his path. Germany didn’t surrender in WWII until they had nothing left to throw into battle and their cities were scorched. Japan didn’t surrender until they started losing entire cities from single bombs.

Compare that the actions of the US military in Iraq and in the “war on terror.” You don’t win wars by “winning hearts and minds.” Hearts and minds are not battlefields that you fight on with tanks and missles. But that is the kind of war that George Bush in his folly has tried to fight.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 18, 2007 8:27 PM
Comment #208759

This rhetoric about fighting the terrorists over there rather than over here is such bullshit. Should I be fighting with my wife in your house? The point, Jack, is for you, Eric, and others to stop clinging to slogans that make great sound bites but mean nothing.

Of course we need to fight the terrorists not create more of them, train them, and motivate them by creating the policies and conditions that kill their family members.

Until I hear something intelligent from the pro-war crowd why should I support this war? The best I can come up with is Powell’s Pottery Barn rule. We are on the hook to provide security for the Iraqis, the security this administration failed to provide. Now we are faced with a “surge” in American forces over there which sounds only like what we have done in the past. I still have not heard or cannot come up with an intelligent answer on how we will “win” in Iraq.

I do not support Democrats calls for opposing “the surge” because the surge is just smoke and mirrors, a way to frame the real issue by both parties in some half-palatable way to the American people. But if we cannot militarily provide “breathing space” or a “political solution” this year it would be criminal to support this administration any longer. I hope moderates like Jack and obsessed warmongers like Eric would wake up instead of supporting an endless war, killing or maiming tens of thousands of real people a year, because we couldn’t think of something better to do.

So, Jack, Eric, how do we win this war? Has the Bush amdministration let you in on it because I don’t see it. You think the Kurds and Shia are going to let AlQaeda take over? If this war is so critical to our security why do we not have a draft? Why aren’t Bush’s daughters fighting over there? Why don’t we have a war tax on the richest 1% who are so much better off as Jack has pointed out. WHY ARE WE NOT DOING SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAN WHAT WE’VE BEEN DOING? If you cannot answer that, then how can you support continually putting our troops in a “no-win” situation.

Posted by: chris2x at February 18, 2007 8:43 PM
Comment #208760

Jack
We are not likely to ever see the civilian death toll. I suspect numbers we have inflicted are not that far from those of the insurgencies especially if you take into account the initial invasion. A 1000 lb bomb takes a great toll,no matter how smart it is.

We can go back and forth I suppose. What really bothers me and the reason I expect the current Bush strategy to fail is the administrations refusal to bring Iran into the picture. Yea, they took American hostages. They did not cut their heads off. Their help in Iraq,Afganistan and in the global war on muslum extremeism could be invaluable. They offered assistence before and helped support the new Afgan government. They are one of the more democratic countries in the region,more so than most of our allies.Even with the mullahs they educate women etc. Nobody says we have to like them but they will be involved one way or another.They must.Looks like one more lost opportunity in a series of them and more GIs will die because of it.

Posted by: BillS at February 18, 2007 8:44 PM
Comment #208763


This seems to be becoming a standard procedure. Eric gets the shit started and Jack defends it.

Posted by: jlw at February 18, 2007 9:34 PM
Comment #208764


Read the sunday Doonesbury. It is exagerated, but only slightly.

Posted by: jlw at February 18, 2007 9:40 PM
Comment #208765

It’s not that the terrorists, those currently in Iraq, would literally follow us back to the US that concerns me.

Once they didn’t have to deal with being killed on a daily basis at the hands of US troops, most of those guys would simply be too busy terrorizing and murdering Iraqi civilians while they’re setting up their dirty little Islamicist state.

No, the problem is what it says about American will if the strongest military on the planet turns tail and runs from a pack of cut-throats. If we show that kind of weakness, then yes, the war will follow us home because we will have demonstrated that bullying us works. Our enemies, as hideous as they are, are unfortunately better-led and more cohesive than we are. Why wouldn’t they attack us here if they get rewarded instead of punished for doing so? If we leave now, they SHOULD attack us. They’d have much to gain by doing so.

Do we “create more terrorists” by fighting? Of course we do. Just as “we created” panzer divisions by fighting Hitler, or Lincoln “created” the Army of Northern Virginia by invading the South. It’s only obvious that the enemy mobilizes their resources when they’re under attack.

The problem with Bush’s whole approach, and now with the “surge” is that rests on strategies which have never succeeded in the history of the world and which are based on fundamental errors of both politics and warfare. Sooner or later, whether it’s Bush or somebody else (probably somebody else, and probably much later) we’re going to wise up, and by then the cost is going to be enormous. The learning curve here is simply pathetic and sad.


Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 18, 2007 9:48 PM
Comment #208766
Bush went into Iraq because it was a gathering threat and he felt that it would be better to deal with it before it became an imminent threat. Saddam was very destabilizing. He had been kept down, more or less, by sanctions, which were beginning to fray. Reasonable people believed Saddam had and/or was developing various weapons of mass destruction.

Do you really believe this? I don’t. The intelligence analyst who said we had “slam dunk” evidence of Iraq’s WMDs now says he never meant to imply Iraq actually had WMDs, only that Bush could make a slam dunk case to the public. How disgusting. The Pentagon now says much of the evidence used at the time was fabricated.

So, in a best case world, Bush “believed”, contrary to any real known evidence, that Iraq had WMDs, and decided to manafacture evidence to use the nation’s grief after 9/11 to draw us into a war. You can give him the best of intentions, but its still criminal.

Posted by: Max at February 18, 2007 10:06 PM
Comment #208767

Thank God many of you above are not some of our Generals on down that are in charge of fighting this war. From the above postings and on other occasions there are so many of you that would truly make havoc of our military. Groan, grumble, grouse and gag all you want, but I have heard nothing, absolutely nothing contributing to a victory in Iraq.

Posted by: tomh at February 18, 2007 10:23 PM
Comment #208768

LO
I am a bit surprised but you did finger one of Bushes gravest errors. He did not identify the enemy correctly. Saddam,may he burn in hell, was not the enemy in the “war on terror.” He was contained,was not connected to Al Queida. Bush took his eye off the ball.

Posted by: BillS at February 18, 2007 10:36 PM
Comment #208769

tomh
A victory in Iraq? That opportunity has long since past.

LO
OK,lets look at our civil war. What if the British had intervened? They considered it. It probably would have made the war go on much longer. Most likely the N.and S. would have wound up shooting at them. If they had stayed they would have expected to run the country no matter who won.They were to smart to get trapped like that. Are we?

Posted by: BillS at February 18, 2007 10:47 PM
Comment #208770

Eric-
We tried to find WMDs. Failed, because there were none. We tried to end a collaboration between Saddam and al-Qaeda. Failed, because there was none. Worse than failed because our inability to secure Iraq allowed al-Qaeda and others agents to penetrate the country.

We tried to set up a Liberal Democratic Republic. Nobody’s seriously talking about that now. We tried to contain the violence. It’s only gotten worse. We tried to prevent a civil war, and failed.

Virtually every goal we’ve set for ourselves, we’ve failed at. Because we didn’t believe hard enough in the mission? No, because most of the errors that cost us dearest were at the beginning of the war, when it was still popular and a political positive.

The real pattern I see is this: a failure to understand the battleground, a failure to bring the proper resources to bear- essentially, the leadership on this war was better prepared to talk about the war and make all this rhetorical noise about loyalty to our soldiers and the politics of the situation than it was to actually run the war itself.

America’s losses in this war were not inevitable. America is not incapable of winning the war on account of a lack of stomach, a lack of resolve, or a lack of a sycophantic media. The real problem is that the people who have run this war think that our main problem is psychological, not logistical or political. They think it’s about being held back. Trick is, the only people I’ve seen holding back in this war have been the President and his subordinates.

How many times did Democrats ask for more soldiers in Iraq? How many times did we complain about waste and mismanagement? How many times did we ask you to get off your ass and actually win the war? No, you guys were too busy waiting for things to get better. WAITING. That’s all these strategies are about, and it’s fricking absurd. Oooh. Let’s lowball the troops again and see if we can win by making a lot of noise about some anorexic surge. The Bush White House then goes into gossiping housewife mode, and starts telling a bunch of stories to try and get people interested in yet another war with us already fricking fighting another two. Has it occured to you that dividing our intentions and our forces between wars is a good way to lose wars?

You guys are like a ten year old kid flexing his skinny arms and beating his skinny chest in front of a mirror. Sure, acting macho and saying you’re not going to lose is a manly thing to do, but if all you’re going to do afterwards is bide your time until you leave office with a weak-ass strategy like yours, all you’re doing is showing the world that your leadership is weak, vain, and in utter denial.

There’s something worse than admitting a weakness: There’s demonstrating weakness to the world, then going into complete denial and screwing things up even more. Those who can admit to weaknesses can address them. Those who don’t just make bigger jackasses of themselves.

America is sick of losing, and the Bush administration has leached most people of the faith that we can win our way out of this war, by continually failing to turn the fortunes of this war around.

You can’t expect people to support a war forever when their support is not rewarded with progress. Why should America reward past incompetence with future patience?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 18, 2007 10:53 PM
Comment #208771

>>I have heard nothing, absolutely nothing contributing to a victory in Iraq.

Posted by: tomh at February 18, 2007 10:23 PM

tomh,

You cannot claim victory when your motives and aims are not honorable. A ‘win’ now would be shallow indeed…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 18, 2007 10:53 PM
Comment #208775

BillS, I meant to imply that Bush did indeed fail to identify the enemy correctly. As many comedians have pointed out, how do you fight a war on “terror?” Terror is an emotion. Why not fight a war on boredom while we’re at it?

We fought a war on “terror” for a couple reasons. 1). We are too PC to name who we actually mean, and 2). Many of those responsible for that “terror” are so-called US diplomatic and trade “partners.”

It’s as if Roosevelt had declared a war on “sneak attacks” after Pearl Harbor in order to avoid offending the fanatical followers of the Emperor and to ensure that we could go right on trading with Imperial Japan while we pretended to fight a war.

Your analogy to Britain and the US Civil War doesn’t hold water for a number of reasons. Had they entered the war it would only have been to defend their trade interests in North America because there was no possibility at all by that stage of them regaining and administering their former colonies. Great Britain didn’t enter the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy despite the Confederacy’s attempts to lure them in not because they feared establishing British authority here but because they actually needed Northern grain more than they needed Southern cotton, and because by that time the English population had no sympathy for the institution of slavery.

As for Saddam, that’s another issue. I think he was correctly identified, and the fight against Saddam was not the problem. The problem was the ill-advised transition to “nation-building” which followed.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 18, 2007 11:23 PM
Comment #208777

Did you see that House vote? The vast majority of Republicans voted no. REPUBLICANS WENT ON RECORD SAYING THEY DON’T SUPPORT OUR TROOPS. Those dirty un-American bastards.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 18, 2007 11:37 PM
Comment #208778
We fought a war on “terror” for a couple reasons. 1). We are too PC to name who we actually mean.

I don’t get this. Dawn said it too in another post. What does this mean? Who is the enemy anyway, can you tell us? I thought it was Al Qaeda, and that Bush couldn’t say that because he damn well knew there were no Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Posted by: Max at February 18, 2007 11:39 PM
Comment #208780

BillS

Actually, the bombs can be very precise. I was recently in Belgrade where I saw a the defense ministry building that was nearly completely destroyed, around it almost nothing was touched. This is no longer like WWII.

You read what I wrote re Iran. I do not advocate invasion, but I do not expect the Iranians to help, even if John Kerry had asked them very nicely.

Jlw

When Eric makes a good point, I defend it. I would even defend a good point if you guys made it.

Max

If you look at the SOTU speech in 2003, you see the variety of reasons. Yes, we thought he had WMD. Yes the CIA told the President that it was a slam dunk. The CIA director, BTW, was a Clinton appointee. This is no surprise since Clinton also thought there was WMD, just like almost everybody else. But WMD was not the only reason.

Posted by: Jack at February 18, 2007 11:56 PM
Comment #208787

Jack,

Even if Bush really did believe Sadaam had WMDs (a big if, considering Scott Ritter, the chief inspector there said they did not), it still doesn’t excuse manufacturing evidence or implying that Iraq was connected to 9/11, which in my opinion he sure did.

So what was the motivator? It’s surfaced that Bush and team planned an Iraq invasion, and had been talking about it for years before he became president. He just simply believed his father was wrong to have left Iraq, and believed it would be a great test case to prove his neo-conservative principles. Money, prestige, and political capitol basically.

Here’s Cheney’s plan for Iraq. It shows that he was thinking there would only be 5,000 soldiers left in Iraq about a year ago. Hubris, recklessness, and poor judgement have led us into this war.

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB214/index.htm

So Jack, if the president believed there were WMDs in Iraq, does that mean it was okay for him to lie to the public about the facts when making his case? He either lied or was incredibly poorly informed.

Posted by: Max at February 19, 2007 12:18 AM
Comment #208789

I am fine with the stand taken by right wing conservatives, absolutely fine. Their position is understood.

The results of the 2006 midterms delivered a message, loud and clear. Right wing conservatives choose to ignore it. Not a problem.

The nature of federal government makes it almost impossible for the legislative branch to force the executive branch to stop waging a war, especially if the minority branch of the legislature chooses to use the filibuster.

Keep it up, Republicans, by all means, keep it up. As difficult and as painful as it may be to wait, let the voters decide in 2008. I will be satisfied to go that route. Will you?

Posted by: phx8 at February 19, 2007 12:30 AM
Comment #208792

tomh. That is exactly the problem my friend I too have not heard anything that would contribute to victory in Iraq. Not from Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Rice, the neocons none of them. Yet thet continue to make the claims and beat their collective chests as if their latest scheme is working. Are you sure they are on the side of the American people.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 19, 2007 1:11 AM
Comment #208793

Eric and Jack must be right.

Mitch McConnell said today on CNN Late edition, “the fundamental decision after 9/11 that the president made, and the Congress initially overwhelmingly supported was to get on offense, go after the terrorists in Afghanistan, initially, then we widened it to Iraq. The result of that, of course, has been 100 percent protection here at home.”

Just remember those words “100 percent protection here at home”.

The transcript is here:
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0702/18/le.01.html

Somehow, I’m also sure that we Democrats are 100% responsible for the conditions facing our injured troops at Walter Reed:

Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army’s Top Medical Facility
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/17/AR2007021701172.html

In fact it’s probably all Murtha’s fault.

Posted by: KansasDem at February 19, 2007 1:25 AM
Comment #208794

Any comments on how the war in Iraq is doing at fighting Al Qaeda? I’m really glad we basically abandoned Afghanistan. That really worked for us.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 — Senior leaders of Al Qaeda operating from Pakistan have re-established significant control over their once-battered worldwide terror network and over the past year have set up a band of training camps in the tribal regions near the Afghan border, according to American intelligence and counterterrorism officials.

American officials said there was mounting evidence that Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, had been steadily building an operations hub in the mountainous Pakistani tribal area of North Waziristan. Until recently, the Bush administration had described Mr. bin Laden and Mr. Zawahri as detached from their followers and cut off from operational control of Al Qaeda.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/19/world/asia/19intel.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Posted by: Max at February 19, 2007 1:32 AM
Comment #208795

KansasDem,
It is pretty silly, is it not? Neither the Iraqi nor Iranian governments, and not even Hezbollah, have a record of attacking the US on American soil. The only way they ever attack American troops is when we situate them in their land. The terrorist attacks came from Al Qaida & Osama bin Laden.

SECDEF Gates stated there are four conflicts within Iraq: Sunni v Shia, Shia v Shia, Arab v Kurd, and Sunni v US. General Casey testified that only 3% of the fighters consist of Al Qaida in Iraq & foreign jihadists. That is who we refer to when we talk about “terrorists” om Iraq. Although car bombs make headlines, the most common cause of violent death among Iraqis is gunshot wounds, not explosives.

Over 70& of the Shias want the US out of their country, and over 90% of the Sunnis feel the same way. But more remarkably, 95% of Iraqis detest Al Qaida in Iraq & the foreign jihadists.

There is no chance- NONE- that Al Qaida in Iraq and the foreign jihadists will ever be welcomed by Iraqis. The “terrorists” are despised by Iraqis. The Republican talking points about terrorists are so grossly ignorant and display such a gross lack of misunderstanding of the situation, it is hardly suprising we are in the current situation.

The 2008 elections will decide the matter once and for all. After all the wasted lives & broken lives and lost treasure, the only upside I see is that the voice of conservatives and Republicans will be swept away for decades to come.

As I mentioned in the earlier comment, I hope they keep it up, and make their position understood loud and clear. Absolutely. Despite the terrible short term consequesnces, in the long run, it is the best possible thing that could happen to our country. Let the voters decide in 2008. Let”s do it.

Posted by: phx8 at February 19, 2007 1:39 AM
Comment #208796

Jack naively said: “I expect that Al Qaeda also has limited resources. The fact that they put so much effort into Iraq indicates that they think it is important to defeat us there and that they are not putting those same resources someplace else.”

Jack, first of all, al-Queda hasn’t the remotest hope or thought of beating us in Iraq. It simply isn’t in the realm of logistical possibility and they know it as well as we do.

What makes you think they have put “so much” effort into Iraq. I recall bombings in London and Saudi Arabia and Indonesia during this time. They are there to keep us there. Pure and simple. The longer we stay in Iraq, the more the people of Iraq and other Middle Eastern and Islamic nations turn against us.

And, no, you are flat out wrong about their presence in Iraq detracting from their establishing presence and violence and resources in a number of other nations as well. It comes with a decentralized organization, Jack. Stop projecting our military strategy and tactics on al-Queda. That is incredibly naive.

As naive as the British projecting their strategy and tactics upon Washington’s and Benedict Arnold’s armies, and why the British lost. The British held nothing but contempt and disrespect for Colonialist hit and run by day and, sneak away at night tactics, which falsely buoyed the Red Coat’s sense of superiority and confidence. Right up to, and including the Yorktown battle which changed the balance of the war in our favor, upon Cornwallis’ surrender, thanks to some naval help from the French and a bit of bad weather.

al_Queda is not fighting this war on our terms, in our chosen locations or, by our rules, tactics and strategies. How they define victory is not even remotely the same as how we define it.

For them, to simply obstruct is a victory. For them to demonstrate sneak attack prowess is a victory. For them, Abu Ghraib and GITMO headlines were a victory. Rendition was a victory for them. For them to cause a trillion American dollars to be spent on them and not on our own people is a huge victory. And for many of them, to die is a victory.

In other words, to incite us to wield our massive wealth and military might and invite us to breach our own rules, treaties, and Constitution because no one can stop us from doing so, is a major strategy of al-Queda. And to so incite us to anger as to cause us to turn world opinion against us by our own actions is their stealth tactics. And the sooner our government leaders wake up to this, the sooner we might actually be able to get the upper hand, and stop being our own worst enemy.

The war on terror must be fought primarily through international policing and intelligence sharing. Using our military as a blunt instrument on innocent populations is precisely how we give victory to the terrorists by turning public opinion against us.

In the end, we will end up diminishing terrorist organizations using the same policies and many of the same strategies as Clinton’s administration and the British. Albeit with a far better organized and trained intelligence community, which is still in the making 5.5 years after 9/11.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 19, 2007 1:47 AM
Comment #208799

To the patriots out there:
I seriously think now is the time to make sure we are armed well and our arms are true and accurate. I hope for the best, but I expect the worst.

To the others (and you know who you are):
We have defended you in all wars past and we will do it again when the enemy comes to our shore. If that should happen, don’t try to hold me back. You might become my enemy then.

Posted by: tomd at February 19, 2007 8:06 AM
Comment #208805

People to put it in terms anyone can understand is simple. We are at war with an enemy that makes Hitler look like a elderly grandmother,we can’t afford to pull out now it would wreck all of our efforts and unless you hate the idea of a standing professional Army protecting you let us win give us the support we need and the tools not polatics. From Iraq good day

Posted by: Steve at February 19, 2007 9:43 AM
Comment #208806

Jack said:

I expect that Al Qaeda also has limited resources. The fact that they put so much effort into Iraq indicates that they think it is important to defeat us there and that they are not putting those same resources someplace else.

I don’t want anyone to miss this link showing how wrong that statement is:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/19/world/asia/19intel.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Tomd,

We have defended you in all wars past and we will do it again when the enemy comes to our shore. If that should happen, don’t try to hold me back. You might become my enemy then.

No one is suggesting we don’t fight terrorism. We’re saying that being in Iraq is not accomplishing that. We are flushing vast amounts of money down the toilet (more than this nation has or can safely borrow) on Iraq. That money and our attention could be used to more successfully fight against terrorism.

Because of this war, we haven’t even implemented the most basic recommendations of the 9/11 commission. We haven’t secured our borders. We don’t have the leverage, respect, or time needed to organize international task forces. Our forces are depleted. We are in massive debt. We’ve instituted laws and procedures which contradict our American values (surrendering in a way). We’ve ignored other threats that we would normally have dealt with (e.g. Katrina) or that we would be dealing with (e.g. Global Warming).

Al Qaeda wanted to lure us into a long prolonged fight abroad. Bush did their bidding! Zarqarwi actually made plans to lure the US into a war with Iran, and we are heading in that direction! How stupid can we be? If the enemy comes to our shore, it’s support for this president that’s made it possible.

Posted by: Max at February 19, 2007 9:44 AM
Comment #208809

We’ll protect you too Max

Posted by: tomd at February 19, 2007 9:58 AM
Comment #208810

Max

Your article does not show how “wrong” the statement is. Reverse your point of view. Take the Al Qaeda perspective. Do you think they would contemplate withdrawing from one battle field in hopes that we would leave them alone in another? And does the fact that the U.S. can engage in both Iraq and Afghanistan indicate that we are not making resource allocation choices? Do you think that they are thinking that since we are still fighting them in both places, the best thing to do would to pull out?

Re Iran - I addressed that many times. You have created this straw man out of your projections of what you would do if you were George Bush. If we invade Iran, I will criticize it, although since the U.S. is MY country, I will try to make the best of it and not try to help it fail.

The current strategy is to squeeze Iran with economic and political pressure. It is to interdict Iranian forces in Iraq. It is to engage the Iranian people with information campaigns. It is to work mulitlaterally. The Europeans have had the lead for years. Which part of that strategy do you dislike (besides that it is a Bush policy)?

Posted by: Jack at February 19, 2007 9:59 AM
Comment #208821

Why do we waste our time arguing in threads like this? Look at the idiotic title of the article: “Democrats Promise Surrender.” The shortest of comments are all that are needed to respond to trolling such as this. For example:

On Bin Laden and Al Qaeda:
“I truly am not that concerned about him.”
“But once we set out the policy and started executing the plan, he became — we shoved him out more and more on the margins. He has no place to train his al Qaeda killers anymore.”

The Iraq “insurgency”:
“I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.”

Afghanistan:
Tora Bora

Homeland Security:

9/11 Commission Recommendations — ignored.
“You’re doing a heckuva job, Brownie.”

Seriously all we need do to respond to this crap is fling short phrases, or the words of our obviously retarded Republican leaders right back in their faces.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 19, 2007 11:20 AM
Comment #208823

During the past few days there have been the following major terrorist attacks:

Iran: about a dozen Shias killed by a blast set off by an Iranian Sunni group. Whoops! This does not fit into the American world view AT ALL!

Thailand: over two terrorist dozen bombings,and at least seven dead, most likely carried out by Sunnis. The bombs exploded around Thailand almost simultaneously, a modus operandi typical of Al Qaida.

Pakistan: another dozen Shias killed by a blast most likely set off by a Pakistani Sunni group.

India: About 67 people horribly burned to death on a train, caused by a terrorist bombing. The terrorists may have been Muslims, but there is a good chance they could also have been Hindu nationalists.

Draw your own conclusions.

Posted by: phx8 at February 19, 2007 11:31 AM
Comment #208824


TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH—I AM NOT ALL THAT CONCERNED WITH bIN LADEN.

The Administration and flunkies argue that we are fighting the terrorists in Iraq rather than here in America and that Iraq has become a giant terrorist magnet. At the same time, Al Qaeda’s leaders, bin Laden and al Zawahri are rebuilding their organization and re-establishing contact with their operatives around the world. The Administration knows that the bases are training more operatives for strikes around the world. However, Pakistan is our ally because they don’t have oil and when the terrorists strike again it can be blamed on Clinton or the Democrats.

Posted by: jlw at February 19, 2007 11:32 AM
Comment #208826

‘Al Qaeda wanted to lure us into a long prolonged fight abroad. Bush did their bidding!’

…and the Dems are doing it now!!

Posted by: bug at February 19, 2007 11:45 AM
Comment #208832

Republicans have certainly made some “dumb” comments during this war; however, the “slow bleeding” process, by the Democrats, to take the US out of Iraq is (by far) the most ridiculous act against our country, thus far.


This is not courage; courage would be to cut off funds and “go with the polls” and end this war. Yet, the dems aren’t doing this. They just continue to “claim” that they are supporting the troops and that they’re doing what’s best for the country.


Posted by: rahdigly at February 19, 2007 12:11 PM
Comment #208850

In all of the Democratic pronouncements, I’ve never heard a plan that addressed the fact that there are groups out there who want to attack us and kill us. What do they plan on doing about that? What do they plan to do to help the Middle East become a safe place to live?

Posted by: Eric at February 19, 2007 12:54 PM
Comment #208855

Tomd,

Why aren’t you in Afganistan or Pakistan then? You really are off your rocker when you start coming up with paranoid scenarios and threatening your countrymen. Don’t worry, if Al Qaeda invades our shores I would gladly defend my family and countrymen.

The whole question in Iraq is how are doing defending this country from terrorists? Quite miserably by most benchmarks. How about lives lost and destroyed? Are you the judge of the world who gets to say 3,000 lives in the World Trade Center is worth hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives and over 3,000 American soldiers lives and counting?

I’d like to know more about the scenario you envision of “the enemy” coming to our shores. Are we about to be invaded by an AlQaeda or Iranian Army? If some terrorists blow up the Los Angeles International Airport are you going to go out and shoot everyone in a turban? If I “get in your way” for indiscriminately rounding up people or killing them that would probably make me your enemy but it would make you the enemy of all Americans, the Bill of Rights, and civilization itself.

Posted by: chris2x at February 19, 2007 1:06 PM
Comment #208857

LO,
Are you too PC to name who you actually mean?

Posted by: chris2x at February 19, 2007 1:11 PM
Comment #208861

Eric the topic was “Democrats promise surrender” Not “What is the Democrats plan for dealing with those groups that want to attack and kill us”

Posted by: j2t2 at February 19, 2007 1:23 PM
Comment #208864

Does this administration have what it takes to win this war?Today’s headlines seem to suggest otherwise.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 — Senior leaders of Al Qaeda operating from Pakistan have re-established significant control over their once-battered worldwide terror network and over the past year have set up a band of training camps in the tribal regions near the Afghan border, according to American intelligence and counterterrorism officials…

The new warnings are different from those made in recent months by intelligence officials and terrorism experts, who have spoken about the growing abilities of Taliban forces and Pakistani militants to launch attacks into Afghanistan. American officials say that the new intelligence is focused on Al Qaeda and points to the prospect that the terrorist network is gaining in strength despite more than five years of a sustained American-led campaign to weaken it.

Posted by: chris2x at February 19, 2007 1:25 PM
Comment #208868

Jack

“e Iran - I addressed that many times. You have created this straw man out of your projections of what you would do if you were George Bush. If we invade Iran, I will criticize it, although since the U.S. is MY country, I will try to make the best of it and not try to help it fail.”

To help it fail Jack? This neocon ploy to shirk responsibility and make dems look like unsupportive patriotic wimps is getting very old, very lame and has most definately been overused.

As most people, regardless of party affiliation see it, the problem with this misled and mishandled republican coerced mistake is that it was a failure a long time ago. Anyone with any common sense can see that it is time for us to swallow our pride, admit our mistakes, regroup, refresh our military and take an intelligent approach to the fight against terrorism. Of course an intelligent approach would require an administration with diplomatic negotiating powers and non alienating policies of which this current administration quite apparently is mostly devoid.

The fact that this mess is a failure is in no way the result of those of us who oppose. The failure is the result of creating and hurriedly rushing illprepared into an unwarranted and ill advised conflict. And who at this point can honestly and confidently say that we were not led astray as to the reasons why.

This opposition is not about party affiliation, Bush bashing or the right to say I told you so. It is about the realities of failed policies, wasted lives and a s—tload of money which we feel could be better spent here at home.

And if it turns out we are right, of course we will say we told you so. That is just human nature. However to imply that this right is somehow our motivation to oppose shows neocon shortsidedness and is just plain foolish.

Posted by: ILdem at February 19, 2007 1:40 PM
Comment #208870

Jack: You said that Al Qaeda had no resources and were putting them all in Iraq. The article says that Iraq has plenty of resources and is setting them up in Afghanistan. The fact that you can’t even admit a simple error speaks volumes. I guess I finally see what you share in common with this president.

Posted by: Max at February 19, 2007 1:51 PM
Comment #208876

I’m expecting another “Mission Accomplished” photo op soon. I mean, Bush today compared himself to George Washington with typical Bush Hubris. It now looks like we have Putin right where we want him.

Yeah, I like it! Mission Accomlished!

We’ve achieved the goal of truly reviving the Cold War! Detente’s for wimps! It’s a MAD, MAD world!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070219/ap_on_re_eu/europe_us_missile_defense;_ylt=AmQcQ4neIWwySEg36LqB1cTMWM0F

Posted by: KansasDem at February 19, 2007 2:18 PM
Comment #208881

tomd-
When do you expect the Iranians or anybody else to cross the Atlantic, make it past our Air Force and Naval Defenses, invade a technologically sophisticated superpower and lay waste to the populace?

The case for foreign invasion is thin. Just because 9/11 happened, and 9/11 was unimaginable, doesn’t mean that every horrible outcome that’s unimaginable or unlikely could come to pass.

Jack-
A government should have a solid practical basis for action in war, and a solid political basis if it is a war of choice. Bush has neither. Like I said in a previous post of mine, We should give up on Iraq, rather than lose in Afghanistan.

It’s not my job, or anybody else’s to support a mistake. A true leader earns support with the quality of their work and the persuasiveness of their arguments for it. The alternative is what’s torn your party apart: artificially maintaining support for policies that they ought to have been pushing for improvements in, just as forcefully as the Democrats. Party loyalty can kill a war with love, by overlooking strategical and tactical mistakes at a time when they should be recognized and resolved.

Rahdigly-
The irony is that Murtha plan poses a problem for Bush’s policy only because Bush is running the army ragged. That’s the dilemma that the Murtha Proposal creates, and it’s kind of ingenious.

All Murtha wants to do in this plan is bring units home and allow time to refit, recuperate and rest, which is consonant with what was done in times past with wars. Bush, though, has tried every trick in the book (extended tours, repeated callbacks, use of the national guard and Army and Marine reserves) to cover up for an army that is clearly not large enough to maintain a war of even Iraq’s size for the years that Bush wants.

It’s only Bush’s failure to expand the ranks of the military, to come up with a sensible manpower plan for Iraq that makes this proposal a potential war-ender. If Bush’s policies actually made some military sense, It would hardly put a dent in things.

The proposal exposes the central hypocrisy of how this president wages war: he supports the soldiers with lip service, but has created a system that has absolutely dropped military readiness through the floor. If he were truer to his commitments, if he had the courage of his convictions to deal with the manpower problem, bringing soldiers home from the war to rest, rearm, and recuperate, he would have nothing to fear from Murtha’s proposal.

How do you defend a lack of military readiness? Do you want us to get attacked? Do you want to embolden our enemies?

Eric-
First, we can’t make the Middle East a safe place to live. The residents must do that. I wouldn’t mind helping, but I don’t call multiple Bush-Doctrine wars help.

Second, we’ve made plenty of plans, you just ignore the ones that don’t look like yours.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 19, 2007 2:33 PM
Comment #208883

Max

Read more carefully. I said Al Qaeda has limited resources. This is true of any organization. The reason I compared it to the U.S. is to show that even the U.S. has limited resources. I do not know how to explain that to you. If you spend resources one place, you are not spending them in another. You may well have enough to do many things, but how you allocate your resources indicates what you think is worthy or important.

ILdem

We are speaking of a hypothetical invasion of Iran, which I do not think is a realistic possibility. I agree with you that it would be a bad thing to invade Iran. You really do not get to argue that point or call Bush dumb for doing what he has neither done nor threatened to do.

Posted by: Jack at February 19, 2007 2:40 PM
Comment #208884

Chris2x

The enemy will not invade as a conventional invasion occurs. They are here now! And they continue to enter our country. They will do some dastardly deed not from an invasion force, but by small groups either as suicide mission candidates or to regroup and redo.

Posted by: tomh at February 19, 2007 2:41 PM
Comment #208885

KansasDem

Bush apparently holds himself in high regard. I find it astounding that someone of such limited capacities can be elected twice let alone once. I too have noticed and am concerned about the apparent erosion of diplomatic good tidings between our two countries. However I am not surprised as Bushco has proven to be diplomatically challenged in all areas. Lets hope we can survive another 22 months of his leadership.

Someone should mention to him that self righteousness is not a virtue. But I seriously doubt he would make the connection.

Posted by: ILdem at February 19, 2007 2:42 PM
Comment #208887

Stephen,

“The irony is that Murtha plan poses a problem for Bush’s policy only because Bush is running the army ragged. That’s the dilemma that the Murtha Proposal creates, and it’s kind of ingenious…All Murtha wants to do in this plan is bring units home and allow time to refit, recuperate and rest, which is consonant with what was done in times past with wars.”


Do you think Murtha’s plan would have worked in WWII?!

Posted by: rahdigly at February 19, 2007 2:43 PM
Comment #208888

rahdigly, slow bleeding, really? Pray tell what do you call what the Bush Administration has been doing to this Country in Iraq the past 3 years? It certaingly hasn’t been a fast bleeding but it has definetly been a bleeding none the less.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 19, 2007 2:43 PM
Comment #208889

LO
I used the British/civil war anology as a means to show our unfortunate position in Iraq. Obviously the Brits did not intervene for the reasons you pointed out plus ,I would submit,they were smarter than our current leaders.
I am curious as to the geneal direction of your post. Do you think we should have just nuked Falluaja etc.? Kill all the Muslums?Kill all the Sunni Muslums?I hope not. A pathway back to the dark ages (with a radeoactive glow) is not what I would give my children.

Posted by: BillS at February 19, 2007 2:47 PM
Comment #208890

Jack

“ILdem

We are speaking of a hypothetical invasion of Iran, which I do not think is a realistic possibility. I agree with you that it would be a bad thing to invade Iran. You really do not get to argue that point or call Bush dumb for doing what he has neither done nor threatened to do.”

Jack my reply was meant to coincide with the fact that the mess in Iraq is what is leading to Iraq. I am not calling him dumb for doing something that he has not yet done. And my main point is that referring to dems as unpatriotic because we do not believe in a failed cause is totally wrong and shortsided.

Posted by: ILdem at February 19, 2007 2:49 PM
Comment #208894

Tomd, post#208799
Glad to see patrotism still alive out there.
Steve, post # 208805
Thanks for your service over there in Iraq! There are a lot of us behind you here in the states wishing you and your brother soldiers victory and a safe return home.Give em Hell!

Posted by: dolan at February 19, 2007 3:06 PM
Comment #208895

Rahdigly-
They had a draft in WWII, rather than rely on an all volunteer army of limited size for an extended period of time. I greatly doubt that the cabinet secretary in charge of the Army was bargaining down Eisenhower before D-Day on the number of troops he would send across the English Channel.

I was reading that article about the conditions at Walter Reed hospital, and besides gettin pissed off as hell that this is what happens to our soldiers after all they’ve done, I noticed what some guy said about this war’s peculiar nature:

Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, commander at Walter Reed, said in an interview last week that a major reason outpatients stay so long, a change from the days when injured soldiers were discharged as quickly as possible, is that the Army wants to be able to hang on to as many soldiers as it can, “because this is the first time this country has fought a war for so long with an all-volunteer force since the Revolution.”

Since the revolution. Do you guys have any idea of what you’re doing? There’s a reason that hasn’t been done, and it’s at the heart of what makes Murtha’s policy so dangerous to your president: to keep fresh troops in the field takes a great number of soldiers. A small, volunteer army works if you’re not going to fight a lot of big, extended wars. But it doesn’t work if you do things Bush’s way.

Why does Bush see fit to ignore 200 years worth of wisdom as to how to run a war?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 19, 2007 3:07 PM
Comment #208898

tomh,

I understand we cannot be invaded by AlQaeda in a conventional war sense. I am just trying to point out tomd’s emotionally overwrought response to the terrorist’s attack on our shores (911) represents a lack of thought. His need to get his gun ready and threaten those who get in his way implies what if we are not fighting a conventional war? Is he talking about rounding up all muslims in this country at the point of a gun? If I stand up for a fellow American’s rights will he shoot me?

This kind of crap thinking on his part is why we are in this mess in Iraq and many Americans still think Iraq had something to do with 911.

Posted by: chris2x at February 19, 2007 3:17 PM
Comment #208900

just a note,
feb 19 1945 was D-Day on Iwo Jima
1st day 566 killed 1,755 wounded.

Posted by: dolan at February 19, 2007 3:31 PM
Comment #208904

BillS, I haven’t advocated nuking anybody so I don’t really follow your drift.

I do think though that recent technological advances in warfare have caused all of us to entertain ideas about waging war which simply do not make sense.

Had they been available, neither World War II or the American Civil War (since we’ve been using those examples) could have been won using precision guided missles or standards of engagement which sought to sort out military and civilian targets as if they were completely separate and had nothing to do with each other.

I consider it a largely unproven notion that an actual war of conquest (as opposed to a punitive actions as were directed against Serbia) can be won without—in some measure—setting out to deliberately demoralize the enemy’s civilian population and motivate them to sue for peace and to rise up, if necessary, against their own government in order to secure their own survival. This does NOT mean indiscriminately targeting civilians—far from. But if the enemy’s civilian population still fears their own government and/or the insurgents fighting amongst them more than they fear you, you have an insurmountable problem.

I’m not saying that the US SHOULD try to kill civilians, but going out of the way to spare any damage to civilian infrustructure and to leave social and economic systems intact is simply folly in most cases. Afghanistan may be a unique case in this regard since the Taliban really was a relatively weak centralized government dominated by foriegn influences (Pakistani) which was already fighting a civil war against a mostly indiginious army. In that situation, a nudge and war of half-measures made sense.

In most cases though, if confronted with an enemy who we’re not willing to fight “total war” with, then we should simply not fight that war. We should ONLY go to war when the threat to the United States is such where we’re willing to play for keeps.

I supported the war to remove Saddam for a few months—that is, until it became apparent that smashing his regime was only the first step in a long chain of folly. At the stage we’re at today, there are no good options, and simply leaving would be the worst of all. It’s not about making excuses for Bush OR simply wanting to see him fail. What he’s doing in Iraq may still succeed—and I hope it does for all our sake—but I’ll never think it was gone about in a sensible way.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 19, 2007 3:42 PM
Comment #208905

Stephan,
Their was a draft in WW11 but I would say a majority of the troops enlisted. In my families case, my dad was drafted in 1942 and my 2 uncles enlisted in 1943. It was a different time though, people were more patriotic as a whole.

Posted by: dolan at February 19, 2007 3:43 PM
Comment #208908

“I am just trying to point out tomd’s emotionally overwrought response to the terrorist’s attack on our shores (911) represents a lack of thought.” There you go again… assuming I meant something other than what I said. My “emotionally overwrought response” is to the increasing attitude of cowardly behavior I see from the left.

” Tomd,

Why aren’t you in Afganistan or Pakistan then?”

I’ll compare resumes with you if you like, but are you saying I shouldn’t voice my opinion if I don’t go and fight?

“His need to get his gun ready and threaten those who get in his way implies what if we are not fighting a conventional war? “

How does that imply a conventional war any mort than any other type of war?

“Is he talking about rounding up all muslims in this country at the point of a gun? If I stand up for a fellow American’s rights will he shoot me?” Please point out where I said anything that would give you that idea.


Talk about paranoid.

Posted by: tomd at February 19, 2007 4:04 PM
Comment #208910

Jack said:

I expect that Al Qaeda also has limited resources. The fact that they put so much effort into Iraq indicates that they think it is important to defeat us there and that they are not putting those same resources someplace else.

1. Al Qaeda is ramping up, building new bases.
2. They are putting more and more of these resources in Afghanistan.

Posted by: Max at February 19, 2007 4:27 PM
Comment #208918

It’s not the money that bothers the dims about the war in Iraq. They waste more money in a week than has been spent in the war on terror with their social ills.

It’s not the men and women killed in the line of duty. More people die in LA in a month than since the war began.

It is the fact that they hate America for what it stands for and wants what pol pot, Hitler, and Stalin had. COMPLETE AND TOTAL CONTROL OF OUR LIVES.


What a bunch of jackasses.


Posted by: im at February 19, 2007 5:22 PM
Comment #208920

Stephen, I’m still not sure, after all this time, if you’re comments are about our country at war or just bashing Bush.

Every war there is fatigue and battle weary amongst our soldiers. It’s clear that the US Military doesn’t want to institute a draft; the morale and the results are better with volunteers. And that’s what we have.

Murtha’s plan would be futile to victory (in any War), b/c it’s based off pulling out before the mission is accomplished.

Do you truly think that these troops want to pack it in and lose this War just to get some (well deserved) rest? The troops want to accomplish their “mission”. Period! They know what’s at stake; they know the soldiers who have died and been injured; they know the time they’ve spent away from their families. All they need from the American people is to support their mission and they’ll accomplish it. That’s all they need from us.

If they didn’t like their commander in chief, they’d vote against him (2004). They didn’t. They know their mission, so let’s back them and stop bickering about the Administration.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 19, 2007 5:39 PM
Comment #208923

Rahdigly said: “The troops want to accomplish their “mission”.

There mission is what their commanders tell them it is. Your belief that our soldiers define their own missions is faulty in the extreme. If the President says tomorrow there mission is to exclusively train Iraqi Army troops and nothing else, that becomes their mission and they will do their very best to accomplish it with the resources put at their disposal.

Their mission is what the U.S. Government tells them it is. If the mission changes, they won’t be demoralized. That is a complete fallacy of understanding promulgated by many who have never served.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 19, 2007 5:51 PM
Comment #208924

im said: “It is the fact that they hate America for what it stands for and wants what pol pot, Hitler, and Stalin had.”

Man, what an ignorant statement that is. If it were true, their would be mass emigration by Democrats to other nations more to their liking, like CUBA. The facts just don’t support such a proposition.

Comments like this show rejection of their very own Party leaders, the vast majority of whom (Republicans) said on the Congressional Floor that disagreeing on the war in Iraq is not an unpatriotic act, nor is ignorantly supporting a lost cause.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 19, 2007 5:57 PM
Comment #208925

LO
Thanks for clearing that up. Options are indeed limited including the option to”stay the course”. We the people will just not stand for that.

Posted by: LO at February 19, 2007 6:07 PM
Comment #208931

David R,
I did serve same time you did and you are correct, their moral and belief in their ability to defeat the enemy will not change. They will however remember the politicions playing politics that could prevent them from victory over our enemy.

Posted by: dolan at February 19, 2007 6:36 PM
Comment #208933

David
Didn’t a lot of liberals promise/threaten to leave the country if George Bush was reelected? I know that not many really did (they believe in talking about things but not doing them), but they are ones who started the silly game.

Max

It is just a matter of math. They do not have limitless resources. They are choosing to commit resources presumably where they are most interested in getting what they want. If they can ramp up simultaneously in very many places, I think we have to worry even more about the global war on terror and need to ramp up ourselves.

Posted by: Jack at February 19, 2007 6:48 PM
Comment #208949

Jack, tell me which Democrats of consequence said that? Any of the leadership? Any politicians? Any precinct captains. I mean, Timothy McVeigh was a Republican. Should he be permitted to speak for Republicans and you in word and deed?

Give it a break.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 19, 2007 8:06 PM
Comment #208952

Dolan, your comment lacks any credibility. Our troops don’t define foreign policy, nor would most of them presume to. Most of them are intelligent enough to admit they don’t have all the facts and information to make such decisions, though they may have opinions just like you and I.

You don’t have a clue what our troops think. The polling research organizations do, because they asked them in significant numbers. The majority response was the surge won’t work, and we will not succeed fighting the Iraqi’s civil war for them.

I haven’t seen the polls on the following question but, I suspect if asked if they can handle al-Queda, their response would be “Just point them out!”

Our soldiers are intelligent enough to distinguish between combat against the enemies of our nation and the combat against a nation divided amongst each other. Regretfully, many civilians here aren’t.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 19, 2007 8:13 PM
Comment #208953

Jack said: “It is just a matter of math. They do not have limitless resources.”

Neither are ours. From what I read, their resources are growing, ours are diminishing. I mean, what is their national debt up to, now? OURS is approaching 9 Trillion dollars, a 70% increase since 2001. You do the math.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 19, 2007 8:15 PM
Comment #208954

Was he a Republican? Hitler was a vegetarian and an animal rights advocate. So what? That is not what they are known for.

I didn’t say Democrats; I said liberals. Not all Dems are infected by liberalism. Take a look at your/our own blog if you want to see that loose talk about leaving the country. We should be free of many celebrities by now if they kept their words. I never thought anybody would actually go and made fun of them at that time too.

Posted by: Jack at February 19, 2007 8:25 PM
Comment #208959

David R,
You presume to know where I find my information without knowing anything about me.I do not have any close friends that are not either vets or are presently active duty now. I would say you base your opinions on polls and you anti war beliefs you held before you were a soldier and as a demonstrator. You are an over educated intolerant self proclaimed expert. Dont ever tell me what I think lacks credibility and that I dont have a clue you dont know me sir! I have treated you with respect as to your opinions before but no more.

Posted by: dolan at February 19, 2007 9:38 PM
Comment #208963

Jack
“infectd with liberalism” My,aren’t we fiesty this evening. American Heretige Dictionary..2.a”.A political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties,government by law with the consent of the governed,and protection from arbitrary authority.”

Care to question the source?Does the dictionary have a liberal bias? Those are founding princples and not archaic. It also says we believe in the gold standard. Hadn’t thought about that for awhile.Useing”liberalism” as a perjoritve is something you most often eschew,instead relying on reasoned persuasion. I hope you return to that vane.

Posted by: BillS at February 19, 2007 10:01 PM
Comment #208975
We have defended you in all wars past and we will do it again when the enemy comes to our shore.

LOL! Let me know when you sight the terrorist invasion fleet, tomd.

Seriously, at what point did Americans become so afraid? We won two Great Wars and a bunch that weren’t as great, and all of a sudden we’re skeered of a few hundred assholes sittin in a cave somewhere. God help us…

Posted by: American Pundit at February 19, 2007 11:39 PM
Comment #208978

But Dolan, your anecdotal opinions still do not override empirical statistical polling. I know from your comments that you don’t know what you are talking about when you speak for all the troops. Because what you have to say contradicts the polls by those whose bread and butter depends upon accurately assessing opinions of far more troops than your little circle of friends.

Logic is logic, Dolan. One can refuse to use the rules of logic, even make up their own rules, but others will neither comprehend nor agree with one who does that.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 19, 2007 11:57 PM
Comment #208980

Jack, 7.2 million Americans have left the country to live overseas. My bet is, there is no significant weight one way or another as to whether they were liberals or conservatives. Probably the same mix as the 300 million who haven’t left. A bit wealthier though, perhaps.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 20, 2007 12:01 AM
Comment #208983

Marysdude,

A better question…who was the enemy in Iraq before we showed up?

I don’t know, can we ask Hillary?

Now, I believe the facts that have brought us to this fateful vote are not in doubt. Saddam Hussein is a tyrant who has tortured and killed his own people, even his own family members, to maintain his iron grip on power. He used chemical weapons on Iraqi Kurds and on Iranians, killing over 20 thousand people.

… In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001.

It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security. ~Hillary Clinton, not too long ago


Posted by: esimonson at February 20, 2007 12:23 AM
Comment #208985

David,

Eric, that comment is 100% applicable to President Bush. We all know that Bush could have given our military the go ahead to launch bombing runs on Baghdad and al-Anbar Province at anytime which would have destroyed those populations and ended this Civil War in days. But, Pres. Bush has tied our military’s hands behind their backs refusing to give them the green light for victory.

What?!

David, are you saying that your method of dealing with the insurgency would be to obliterate entire populations of Iraqis? Why not just nuke a few cities whle we’re at it. That would end all the violence.

Posted by: esimonson at February 20, 2007 12:29 AM
Comment #208986

dolan,

“just a note,
feb 19 1945 was D-Day on Iwo Jima
1st day 566 killed 1,755 wounded.”

If this is a comparison to our current situation in Iraq, it is apples and oranges.

At Iwo Jima, an island that is 21sq kilometers or about 8sq miles (by comparison the island of Manhattan is 20sq miles), America committed approx. 110,000 troops and secured the island in 2 months.

Iraq is 169,234 sq miles, and America and it’s allies committed only 3 times that many (300,900) to take and secure a country about the size of California, and nearly 4 years later Iraq still isn’t secure.

I think the key word here is commitment.
Those that lead us don’t seem to be interested in doing whatever it takes to assure a victory in Iraq.

The mission in Iraq wasn’t hamstrung by Congress, or the lack of support of the American people.
It has been the policies of this administration, Messrs Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld, that has caused the failure.
The lack of commitment to do whatever it took to assure victory in Iraq starts at the top.

Those on the right want to point to WW2 as an example of how terrible war can be.

Despite being dead for 60 years FDR could run this “war” from his grave better than this crop of bozos.

Posted by: Rocky at February 20, 2007 12:36 AM
Comment #208989
So, Jack, Eric, how do we win this war?

We are winning. Name a battle we have lost. Name a mission where insurgents defeated our troops.

Posted by: esimonson at February 20, 2007 12:53 AM
Comment #208991

tomd,

Nice try but you still haven’t answered my question. Here is what you said,

To the others (and you know who you are): We have defended you in all wars past and we will do it again when the enemy comes to our shore. If that should happen, don’t try to hold me back. You might become my enemy then.

What are you talking about besides you are pissed off at liberals? Why would I hold you back, under what hypothetical scenarios are you talking about? I offered a couple of scenarios because I don’t know why I would be your enemy or how I would “hold you back”. Obviously, we are not in a conventional war so what are you talking about besides being acting like a blow hard?

Posted by: chris2x at February 20, 2007 1:26 AM
Comment #208998

“Nice try but you still haven’t answered my question. Here is what you said,

To the others (and you know who you are): We have defended you in all wars past and we will do it again when the enemy comes to our shore. If that should happen, don’t try to hold me back. You might become my enemy then.”

If the sho fits…..

Posted by: tomd at February 20, 2007 7:45 AM
Comment #209018

Rahdigly-
Claims of Bush-bashing seem to be a standard means of ignoring the fact that there are rational reasons for looking negatively upon Bush’s actions.

Fresh troops are not a convenience, but a necessity of long term wars. Do the research and you’ll find this out. War is stressful on the mind, the body, the unit, and the equipment the soldiers carry. It is not weakness to bring units home, but an opportunity to let the soldiers clear their heads of the stresses of the war, to let their bodies recover from that stress, to let their vehicles be repaired and retrofitted, to let worn-out equipment be replaced over an entire unit, rather than be replaced in a piecemeal fashion.

This has been what Bush’s policies have prevented, in the name of continuing the war. As a result, our readiness is in the toilet, which is bad news for us, and good news for enemies that want to start wars while we’re run ragged trying to start this one.

Like the man said in my quote, this country has not run a war for this long with a purely volunteer force since for well over two hundred years. There’s a reason: in all other wars, where large force presences were needed, the leaders bowed to military realities: a small standing army could not long fight these wars without breaking, without losing discipline, losing wars, and losing unnecessary numbers of soldiers.

The numbers of soldier we can keep in Iraq is determined by the number of soldiers we can cycle in and out, and Bush’s system has run that to its limits. Unfortunately, he’s not the bold leader you claim him to be. If he was, he would have long ago asked for an expansion of the volunteer army, and perhaps even called for a draft.

Should I have to remind you that we won WWII under a draft system? Drafts aren’t bad so long as long as the soldiers are motivated to fight, motivated to be part of a unit. They shouldn’t be called out for brief wars, of course, and it is more preferable to fight with well-trained professionals, but sometimes necessity requires that we put aside preference for what’s needed.

What we needed in Iraq and never got were the numbers of troops necessary to take over the country wholesale.

This president never gave his soldies what they needed to win: security in Iraq. Instead, he went about this war in a way that allowed extremists to take up arms and take over. Bush put our armies in a weak position, and that weakness, not any weakness in the coverage or the public, is what has lost us this war.

And yes, it is lost. You define victory in terms of not giving up. But perserverence is not everything. There have been armies ground into the dust despite their best intentions. No, there’s another element, on which you have ignored: success in the object of battle.

One can win nearly every battle and lose the war, if none of those battles achieves what’s necessary to win. Did all our victories prevent civil war? Did they prevent the Sunnis and Shia from becoming further estranged? Did we create the liberal democratic republic we promised to? Did we wrest control of Iraq from the militias and the sectarian powers that be? Did we replace Saddam’s government with one strong enough to function in our absence? If we’re winning, why do we need a surge?

There’s a dangerously seductive quality to the rhetoric of the right at this point, one that lulls one’s senses to the facts on the ground, that promotes a certain amnesia regarding what has come before. We would like to believe that this time things will be done better, if people just have faith in the new plan. But the new plan is widely regarded by military experts as insufficient, a political fig leaf that trades the ability to continue this war for the appearance that we’re committing to a sprint to the finish line.

But it’s not going to bring victory. It can’t. There aren’t the numbers in there, nor the political solutions necessary to bring the war to a close successfully.

The great tragedy of this war is that has been run by people who love war, but can’t stand to acknowledge the unpleasant or inconvenient realities of it. You can’t win a war on rhetoric and perseverance alone.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 20, 2007 10:01 AM
Comment #209023

Dolan-
The real question is not whether our soldiers can win a war, but whether their leaders can. The Generals have to win the war in the strategies they choose before the soldiers can help them make that victory a reality. The soldiers aren’t merely having to fight the enemy, they’re having to fight the consequences of their leader’s decisions.

An example? Fallujah. The contractors get killed, and Bush, instead of waiting for things to cool down, orders the soldiers in, inflaming the insurgency there to the point that the insurgents essentially own the city. Then, having committed, he chickens out, taking the soldiers out before their mission there is finished. Result? Fallujah becomes and stays a no-go zone for the next six months, the chaos building outwards, and hundreds of Americans die a month owing to this emboldening failure of strategy. When we finally go back to retake the city, the damage has already been done.

It’s a pattern that repeats again and again with this administration. They try to be bold, some fiasco occurs, and they try and cover their asses, rationalizing the mistakes. As public opinion sours over the failures, they read the writing on the wall, and go back and all too late try to recover from the mistake.

It happened with disbanding the army in 2003. Jay Garner, the Administrator practically begged the president’s man, Bremer, not to do it. He went ahead anyways and added in a failure to keep the police paid and working, and a broader than necessary De-Baathification program that essentially gutted all the institutions of control, army, police, and bureaucracy that kept Iraq in one piece. We’ve been trying and failing to rebuild what we destroyed ever since.

It happened with troop numbers. Only now, after losing a historic midterm has this president decided to heed calls for greater troop presence. Only now is he even saying that he’s decided to change course, after years of stonewalling. Only, again, he’s waited too long.

The people leading this war are unable to get ahead of their own mistakes, and our soldiers are paying for it by being put in a no-win situation. We shouldn’t be refereeing a civil war at this point. We should be advising a reformed, authoriative Iraqi government and Army on how to maintain a Democracy. That would be victory. Not what Bush has us doing now.

It’s time to stop giving this man second chances. He does not want to learn. He does not want to listen to people who don’t tell him what he wants to hear. He’s too stubborn, too close-minded to be an effective leader, much less lead this country to war. If you want to see the politicians who have failed the troops, look to the Republicans.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 20, 2007 10:33 AM
Comment #209024

tomd,

If we are not in a conventional war how would I get in your way? That was the reason for my “Why aren’t you in Afghanistan?” comment. Not to compare resumes or challenge the bonafides of your opinion. You don’t have to fight directly in this war to make yourself heard. If you are not part of a military or law enforcement operation I would be interested in how you “patriots” with your weapons are going to take on terrorists in this country so I wouldn’t get in your way and become your enemy. Unless Mr Bin Laden invites himself over to your house, I’m not sure what you are alluding to.

However, if you still can’t answer the question, I can only conclude you may be dangerous or a blowhard.

Posted by: chris2x at February 20, 2007 10:40 AM
Comment #209027

Eric-
Our enemies in Iraq have not defeated us by attrition of our troops in flat out battles, but instead by frustrating our aims to make Iraq a stable, calm society. The violence we have failed to prevent is our defeat. The control we failed to establish is our defeat. The state of civil war is our defeat.

Now, I’m not a defeatist. I don’t want my country to lose another war. However, I’m realistic enough about what I’m looking at to recognize that despite everything I wished for, everything I wished this president would do to prevent all that from happening, that defeat has come to pass.

When is it going to occur to you that most Democrats did not want to lose this war? When is it going to sink in that the failures of policy caused the faltering of support, and not the other way around. When is it going to occur to you that a war can be killed by supporters who fail to discourage their leaders from unwise courses of action?

Instead of a clear-headed, practical approach to war, the approach has been to engage in perpetual apologetics for the war, letting slide the bad habits, corrupt practices, and strategical mistakes that they would later have to rationalize and defend. The Republicans will lose Iraq because they were more interested in doing everything it took to defeat the Democrat’s opposition to the war than taking the fight to the enemy.

A house divided against itself cannot stand one Republican once said. When he was re-elected, Lincoln did not seek to further divide his country, but instead reunite it. When Roosevelt found himself fighting a war, he buried the hatchet with his Republican rivals, rather than use the necessity and the importance of the war as a bludgeon to use against his political enemies. Few presidents have so foolishly divided their countries to support the wars they fought. They engage in bridge-building and consensus building instead, and appeal to real necessities concerning wars.

The Republicans and this country will lose this war because they underestimated the value of fighting a war with true bipartisan support, instead of political browbeating and armtwisting, or not fighting it at all.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 20, 2007 10:55 AM
Comment #209048

Stephen,

“Should I have to remind you that we won WWII under a draft system?”

Believe it or not, we won WWII b/c we had the backing from the entire country; we had to, look at all the US deaths in that war. If WWII was fought today, the media would be all over FDR and the military for the 1,500 deaths, during the invasion of Normandy, in one day alone, b/c of a training accident. One day! A training accident!!


The problem with this war is that there is a good number of people (americans) that don’t want our troops to accomplish their mission just so they can (continue) blame the President. The fact is, in every war, the troops don’t have exactly what they need, when they need it; you make due with what you have and you get it done. That’s the way it was for my Great Uncle’s in WWII, my Dad in the 60’s and for myself in the 1990’s. That’s the Military. A “happy soldier is a complaining soldiers”, meaning they are always complaining they don’t have enough.


The fact is, the “mission” is not about “perseverance”; it’s about taking out the enemy and building Iraq to stand on its’ own (politically and militarily). You know that. Everyone knows that. Our troops believe they can accomplish this.


So, enough with the Bush bashing. Let’s win this war and use the negative energy (currently aimed at Bush) towards the real enemy.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 20, 2007 12:31 PM
Comment #209060

rahdigly,

“If WWII was fought today, the media would be all over FDR and the military for the 1,500 deaths, during the invasion of Normandy, in one day alone, b/c of a training accident. One day! A training accident!!”

If FDR was running this “war” it would be over already.

Posted by: Rocky at February 20, 2007 1:20 PM
Comment #209064
“If FDR was running this “war” it would be over already.”

Exactly. We would have lost already and all the Generals and FDR, along with his administration, would be tried at the Hague for War Crimes.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 20, 2007 1:36 PM
Comment #209080

Stephen,

“We won WWII because we gave the soldiers what they need to win. We gave them numbers, we gave them economic sacrifice, we gave them equipment pouring off the assembly lines, and we gave them an administration more interested in winning the real important goals of the war than looking good to the media.Your kind of support is a hollow shell of the kind of support that our soldiers got in WWII. For one thing, those soldiers knew exactly what they were fighting for, and so did the public that support them.”


Exactly. You’re proving my point. Where (in today’s war) do you see everybody on the same page with the mission? You could’ve had the “media”, in WWII, talk about death counts (every freaking night) like they do today. You could’ve of had “our” newspapers print our “secret” strategies to the enemy (LIKE THEY DO TODAY!!). You could’ve had anti-war mothers (ala Cindy Sheehan) pleading about how this war is killing our “kids”. I could go on and on, by the way.


We didn’t have these things in WWII; that’s why we were successful! It’s not the President or leadership that’s the difference (from the two eras); it’s the country that’s different. There’s no doubt that, in today’s era, WWII wouldn’t be successful at all. The enemy would’ve have been “America”, rather than Japan, Germany, and the Italy. That’s a fact.


Our troops know (exactly) what they’re are fighting for today, just as they did in WWII. It’s the Americans, trying to stop the war, that don’t want the troops to complete their mission. Oh yeah, and the enemy, is another group that don’t want the troops (and Bush) to complete the mission, either.

You can’t fight a war (to win it) when you’re own countrymen are obstructing you. Hence the reason I recommended stop bashing Bush and use that same anger towards the (real) enemy (the terrorists).

Posted by: rahdigly at February 20, 2007 3:11 PM
Comment #209084

Surrender? Surrender!?!??! What the &@#$%&*# are you talking about? To whom would we be surrendering? According to your story, Al Qaeda (remember them, the ones responsible for 9/11 and who were drawn into Iraq by the bone-headed invasion?) is finished there. So is there to surrender to? The Shiites? The Sunnis? The Kurds? Surrendering their country back to them? Oooh, the shame.

Make some sense, at least. No wonder we’re in this mess, if such assertions pass for intelligent discourse among the supporters of continued occupation of Iraq. If we’re going to communicate in cartoon language, then this cartoon (top of the page) expresses my feelings about the war.

Posted by: mental wimp at February 20, 2007 4:14 PM
Comment #209103
We are winning. Name a battle we have lost.

Umm… The battle for Iraqi hearts and minds. And the battle for the support of the American people.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 20, 2007 6:40 PM
Comment #209123

Rahdigly-
I said “we gave them numbers” as in, we gave them more soldiers than they needed, instead trying to fight two wars with less than enough soldiers, and not only that, but do it on purpose to prove their pet theory about military doctrine! A pet theory, I might add, that’s pretty much proved wrong.

I said we gave them economic sacrifice. Where the hell is our economic sacrifice? Bush won’t even take back the tax cuts for the sake of the war. No other president in American history has given tax cuts in a time war, and for a very good reason: you need the revenues to fight the war. Never mind, though, lets do it cheap, or on credit that’s going to benefit our economic competitors!

And is equipment pouring off assembly lines? No. Soldiers are having to scrounge for parts to keep their vehicles from falling apart. The worst part is, we’re many times more economically powerful than the nation that fought WWII, and this is the best that this administration is managing.

You want to tell me that’s support? No, that’s military piety, worship from afar without real material support behind it. Our soldiers needed more than that, and sooner, rather than later, to win the war. Unfortunately, we never got it, because Bush simply wanted to test his military doctrines to destruction.

I believe in this country. I don’t simply pay lip service to this country’s greatness, and then turn around and call most of my country generational disappointments. I don’t buy into that garbage that this generation, or any other American generation is incapable of greatness. I think that’s just the self-indulgent B.S. of a bunch of people who want to believe that they are the chosen people of the nation, better than all those other degenerates that make up most of the country. Well sorry, but I don’t take that elitist crap seriously. I think all it takes is the right kind of leadership and examples.

I watched after 9/11, and saw what my generation is capable of. It is my true regret that Bush could not have been bothered to tap that potential, that instead he sunk us back into the pre-9/11 morass of selfishness and moral relativism, quickly forgetting our real enemies for the sake of those he was comfortable fighting.

I think, in fact, have always thought that we could do better than Iraq, and better than what the Bush administration has done. You think I want to end Iraq, because I want to hold back my country. Good heavens are you off the mark. I want Iraq to stop dragging my country down. Iraq has always been an impediment in my view to the real work of protecting this country against the tterrorists. It’s been a distraction, a waste of resources, and a source of wear and tear on the armies we should have had available for other fights.

It hasn’t been me who’s forgotten our real enemy, or anybody else among the Democrats. It’s you fellows who had to take us on this disastrous tangent, for the sake of some fuzzy-headed geopolitical aim. It’s time for this country to do something better worth it’s time and effort.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 20, 2007 11:45 PM
Comment #209126

Stephen D,
I think we both believe that our troops have allways been capable of winning against any enemy that our country may face. It is when politicions try to micro manage the conduct of fighting the war is where our troops suffer. I am afraid this will continue weather a republican or democrate is president. I respect your view allthough we disagree in principle I believe you are a patriot sir.

Posted by: dolan at February 21, 2007 12:01 AM
Comment #209163

Stephen, you continue to make this about Bush and it’s not. The fact that he’s our President is something that has to be taken up with the voters in this country; they’re the ones that re-elected him. It’s not for anyone to undermine the President (Commander in Chief) conducting a war. You don’t like his policy, tough. I don’t like his policy, tough. That’s how it works. Dissidence is one thing; disobedience is another. Our troops should be left out of this and, if you truly want to give them support and rest, then back off and let them do their job. That’s what the military truly needs from us. That’s it. Support them and their mission and we’ll see victory.


Politicizing the War today is a big (big) problem and why we won’t be able to win any war in the future. As long as pepole allow their hatred for Bush to blind them; they won’t be routing for America to win. The reason being that “anything good for Bush is good for our country” and “anything bad for Bush is bad for our country”. That’s the way it is. This is why WWII fought today would not result in victory for our country like it did over 60 years ago. One big reason, if 3100+ troops (volunteers) dying is a huge number today, then 45000+ troops (draft) would never (ever) stand today. Never! Especially when Germany “didn’t attack us in Pearl Harbor”. Huh! That would reign huge in today’s press. Huge.


Also, don’t forget all the secret strategies that would be “LEAKED” (!!) in today’s press. Take a look at this one, this was posted the other day about US Attack plans for Iran. Disgusting! In WWII, the propoganda and leaks would be about the enemy, not the US and its’ allies.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 21, 2007 12:02 PM
Comment #209173
It’s not for anyone to undermine the President (Commander in Chief) conducting a war. You don’t like his policy, tough. I don’t like his policy, tough. That’s how it works. Dissidence is one thing; disobedience is another. Our troops should be left out of this and, if you truly want to give them support and rest, then back off and let them do their job. That’s what the military truly needs from us. That’s it. Support them and their mission and we’ll see victory.

Are you serious? Your position when responding to a list of the serious mistakes made by the President in planning and supporting the war is to say that citizens (the President’s bosses) have no right to complain, that we should just ignore his mistakes, support him anyway, and that everything will work out magically in the end?

The bad decisions of the administration are the reason that there are problems in the war. It is not Bush-bashing to point out the mistakes - it’s reality. We want the war to succeed, and the only way to get there (if at all possible) is to improve and change the tactics, support, and strategy. And you honestly think that trying to get the President to improve his strategy to one that might actually success is interference and disobedience? That pointing out the flaws in strategy is the source of the problem, not the flaws themselves?

Wow.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 21, 2007 12:36 PM
Comment #209185

Stephen,

Your rationale is flawed. When our troops go in hard, you criticize them for inflaming the insurgency, when they wait for the enemy to coalesce you criticize them for not crushing the enemy quickly enough. In short there is no right answer but the answer you have already predetermined. Defeat.

Defeat is the only answer that makes sense to Democrats and the left because it brings them victory over Bush. Nothing else seems to matter except that they view military defeat as their political victory.

The fact, FACT mind you, that militarily we have not been defeated is a fact conveniently discounted. Victory will be achieved. Defeat is only an option for those for whom victory in Iraq is no longer an option. In fact, it is a huge liability.

Posted by: esimonson at February 21, 2007 2:33 PM
Comment #209190
The fact, FACT mind you, that militarily we have not been defeated is a fact conveniently discounted.

It’s not discounted out of convenience; it’s discounted out of irrelevance. This isn’t a war between standing armies. This is a mix of four different wars, some which have us as combatants, some which have us as referees. This isn’t a situation in which we can notch military victories and go home.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 21, 2007 3:23 PM
Comment #209193

Here something I found interesting, check out this little fact.

Not only is the death rate amongst active military in the Iraq War the lowest than all wars we’ve (ever) been in; there’s actually more military deaths in 4 years of the Clinton administration (during Peacetime) than deaths in 4 years of War time in Iraq. Ridiculous that’s not been reported. Now, that’s a death number that would trump the “1000”, “2,000”, “3000” death tolls honored by the people who support the troops but not their mission.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 21, 2007 3:40 PM
Comment #209196

rahdigly,

Your reading comprehension needs work. We invaded Iraq in 2003. The deaths in the two years listed since the war began (2003 and 2004) are higher than the deaths in any year in the Clinton presidency.

Ridiculous that’s not been reported.
Not at all, because there’s no reason to report your misunderstanding something. Posted by: LawnBoy at February 21, 2007 3:52 PM
Comment #209200

The point is 4,417 deaths, between 1993 and 1996, are deaths in peacetime. Since March 20, 2003 until today (47 months) we’ve had 3,133 battlefield deaths; that’s huge compared to Peacetime. And, that’s a dept of defense stats that any reporter can use as a source; the source is certainly good and accurrate. Yet, they don’t b/c they’re biased, lazy and deeprooted in Bush defeat. In fact, this wartime death number compared to peacetime number would (certainly) trump all the media’s mantra of “We’ve got to get out of there! 3,133 battlefield deaths is out of control, this is horrible! We support the troops.” yada, yada, yada.

It shows how absurd the media truly has been about this death count. Now there’s a number that blows their (pathetic) attempt to incite fear and worry for our troops, when in fact they’re doing better in war time than in peace time. So, enough already with the bleeding-heart emotionalism; look at the facts and concentrate on victory. Period!

Posted by: rahdigly at February 21, 2007 4:25 PM
Comment #209204

rah,

You’re comparing apples to oranges. You’re comparing deaths by all causes over one period to deaths from only one cause in another period. It’s not a valid comparison. If you had numbers of total deaths over a similar period, you’d have a point. You don’t.

The best we can do is compare 2004 (the only year both in the document and during which the occupation/war was ongoing) to a typical year from the area you highlighted.

In the Clinton era, there were about 60 deaths/year/100,000 serving due to accident, suicide, illness, etc. In 2004, there were about 57 deaths/year/100,000 serving due to accident, suicide, illness, etc, 43 deaths/year/100,000 serving due to hostile actions, and about 10 deaths/year/100,000 serving pending or undetermined.

I would guess the last number is hostile-action-related since the other numbers are so constant. That would put the total from hostile action to about 53 deaths/year/100,000 serving.

So, it’s true that for the one year that’s reliable there were more deaths from normal causes than from hostile action, but hostile action nearly doubled the death rate in the military.

That’s a big difference, and it only shows up when you compare apples to apples, which you didn’t do.

Yet, they don’t b/c they’re biased, lazy and deeprooted in Bush defeat.

Nah, it’s because they know much better than you how to use logic.

So, enough already with the bleeding-heart emotionalism; look at the facts and concentrate on victory.

How about looking at the facts and concentrating on victory without relying on an emotional need to defend the indefensible at every step?

Period!

Oh, crap. Not again.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 21, 2007 4:52 PM
Comment #209205
when in fact they’re doing better in war time than in peace time.

I should have highlighted this line. You’re just wrong.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 21, 2007 4:56 PM
Comment #209210

rahdigly-
He’s the commander in chief, the fricking decider He’s the one pushing the surge despite the fact that most people in this country and many in his party oppose it.

As for the voters? They have every right to change their minds, especially after such a disastrous second term. It is their right to undermine policy that does not agree with their wishes. This wouldn’t be a democracy if that wasn’t the case.

I don’t have to obey my President if I neither wish it, or am not compelled to do so by law. That’s called freedom, pal, and it’s what those soldiers are dying for.

And, in case you haven’t noticed, I do want my soldiers to do their job. I’d love for them to be able to do that. Problem is, there’s some crappy policy in the way of them doing that. What the Military needs is civilian authority that knows what it’s doing, and is doing the will of the people.

This war was politicized from the start, even to the point of swiftboating a triple amputee war hero because he didn’t support the war. This war was founded on a political agenda, more than it was ever founded on a sensible policy or reliable intelligence. This was a war of choice in the most fundamental sense, and worse yet, that choice was a complete mistake.

People hate Bush because he has strained their patience and defied their wishes with willful abandon, and berated them for complaining. He shows no respect for the American people. Why should they respect him?

I believe this country could still win WWII today. I don’t have that same pessimism about the country that I love that you do.

Oh, and about that death toll? Nice try. People die in the military just like they do out in the real world. The numbers that should count in your comparison are between hostile deaths then and now. If you examine the tail end of that graph, the hostile deaths are clearly greater. A president can’t make troops immortal, immune to life’s hazards, but they certainly can cut lives short with their decisions, good or bad.

This isn’t about bleeding heart emotionalism. This is about a war that should have been over and done with nearly four years ago, yet has managed to actually get worse.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 21, 2007 6:11 PM
Comment #209211

Yeah, yeah. Same old argument; but with no effect (once again). If your argument is that I’m “comparing apples to oranges”, then the media and anti-war groups are doing the same with these death counts. This war has had the fewer death counts than WWI, WWII, and Vietnam; yet, they still want to tout the death count. When these numbers exceed one of those three Wars, then you can use the “apples and oranges” stuff.


Until then, I definitely see a difference in the number of death counts in 47 months of the Iraq war (3133) compared to 4,417 deaths in 48 months during peacetime.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 21, 2007 6:11 PM
Comment #209213
Yeah, yeah. Same old argument; but with no effect (once again).

“Yeah, yeah. Same use of evidence logic to show I don’t know what I’m talking about. but with no effect (because I refuse to listen or to ever admit that I’m wrong).”

We hear ya loud and clear.

Until then, I definitely see a difference in the number of death counts in 47 months of the Iraq war (3133) compared to 4,417 deaths in 48 months during peacetime.

Because you’re ignoring that there were probably about 4,400 deaths in the 47 months due to causes other then the war.

You’re comparing 60 deaths/year/100,000 serving to 120 deaths/year/100,000 serving and saying that the first number is greater. How ridiculous.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 21, 2007 6:21 PM
Comment #209215

Looks as though some haven’t learned about the straw man agruments; not to mention the ad hominem attacks and the (constant) dodging of facts, in the past. Yet, I remember. It’s waste of time. See ya…

Posted by: rahdigly at February 21, 2007 6:35 PM
Comment #209226

Yawn…..

Posted by: Rocky at February 21, 2007 8:01 PM
Comment #209230

Rahdigly-
I did a little looking around, and here’s what I came up with.

1)Only twenty percent of casualties are outside of combat among those numbers.

2)The numbers are confined to those who died in Iraq, while the rest is not.

3)Very few of the deaths during the course of the years in your chart are attributeable to hostile action, even if you include terrorist incidents.

So, essentially, all the number really prove is that Before Bush started the Iraq war, most soldiers died of what everybody else dies of in the general public.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 21, 2007 8:20 PM
Comment #209235

Eric-
First and foremost, let’s dispel this notion that I’m criticizing a lapse in our soldier’s judgment. Once again, you conflate our forces, and our Commander in Chief.

Second, my rationale is nothing like you describe it. Am I for or against having gone into Fallujah? Well, that’s a different question than what we do once we’ve stuck ourselves in that situation.

It was a bad idea to go in so soon after the incident with the mercenaries occured.

However, things change once you’ve started combat. The problem is that once we started, we shouldn’t have withdrawn, and let the situation draw itself out. Once we were committed, we could not win by pretending that we could undo what had been done. It emboldened our enemies to not take things all the way, to allow them such freedom of operation in Fallujah after we had attack and galvanized the population.

Fallujah is a microcosm for the rest of the war, emblematic of his willingness to be bold on impulse, disregarding good advice, but unwilling to make the political sacrifices necessary to win outright, when things don’t go as planned, or those influential to him haul him back.

You read what I wrote, and what I wrote was that having involved ourselves here, we had to be willing to make the sacrifices to get ourselves out of the trouble we got ourselves into. Unfortunately, that would have required admissions of mistakes, of being wrong, if only in the implicit message than any change of course sends. And Bush has really never been willing to do that, unless political pressure has forced him to.

You talk of being militarily undefeated, but I don’t see us in control there. I doesn’t matter that we haven’t lost battles outright. We didn’t go to Iraq just to have to have a bunch of battles for no reason. We had goals. But the way things have turned out, we’ve failed to meet those goals.

Does this mean that America deserves to lose? I don’t think so. I’d say we hardly deserved to have all this happen. America didn’t need to be involved in this kind of debacle. We deserved better than this, and I’ve never said different.

I don’t tell you that we have been defeated because I like the fact, or because victory would be good for Bush. I’m simply telling you what things look like to me, given everything that’s failed in this war.

You want to see the political fortunes of your party in terms of purely political events. You want to see the failure of the war not as a consequence of lousy policy, but as a result of lousy coverage motivated by political jealousy. You want to see our opposition to the war in terms of insane levels of hatred for Bush stemming from partisan motivations, rather than as a result of successive disappoints and failure to achieve promised objectives.

In short, you want to convince yourself and others that the failings of this war aren’t your responsibility, because that would require facing up to the shortcomings of your political doctrines, something Republicans in modern times have been essentialy taught is a weakness of political discipline.

But political discipline is not the only kind that matters. The lack of any real sense of policy as priority has been the leading contributor to this disaster. This has been an administration too pre-occupied with shaping it’s political image, to do the things that would both implicitly shape that image positively, and would also produce good real world results (and not coincidentally).

In the end, actions speak louder than words, and more meaningfully. The time has come to take what actions are in this country’s best interests, not those meant to save Bush’s political fortunes. This president is seriously on the track to have himself considered the worse president of modern times.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 21, 2007 9:07 PM
Comment #209254

Stephen,

I believe this country could still win WWII today. I don’t have that same pessimism about the country that I love that you do.


It’s not pessimism, Stephen. When you look at what happened in WWII, and how that war was carried out, and you compare it to how today’s media is covering this war, I just don’t see how we could be victorious. I gave you examples, I’m not sure why you didn’t debate them. Honestly, you’re one of the few (that I’ve noticed) on this blog that at least addresses the topic and gives an opinion.


All those military deaths (45000+); draft; torture of enemy combatants; secret missions (Hiroshima/Nagasaki); incendiary bombings; civilians casualties; and the fact that the Germans didn’t attack us at Peal Harbor, those things have been brought up and overplayed (constantly) in today’s era. They just wouldn’t let that go in WWII’s era. We’ve had 3133 military deaths; an all volunteer military; with a country that didn’t attack us on 9/11; and all the (constant) “leaks” by our own media towards our own country. And these are just a few examples.

They just wouldn’t get away with it today and, I have to say, it’s a shame b/c that’s how you get it done. You don’t turn on your own country, you take it to the enemy. It just wouldn’t happen.


He’s the commander in chief, the fricking decider He’s the one pushing the surge despite the fact that most people in this country and many in his party oppose it.

Here’s an interesting poll I looked at today, it’s very different than what is in the MSM.

57% “support finishing the job in Iraq, that is, keeping the troops there until the Iraqi government can maintain control and provide security for its people.”

56% believe “Even if they have concerns about his war policies, Americans should stand behind the President in Iraq because we are at war.”


Hmmm. Interesting…



Posted by: rahdigly at February 21, 2007 10:55 PM
Comment #209262

rahdigly,

During WW2 FDR asked the American people to sacrifice, so that we could build the mightiest war machine that the world had ever seen.
We, America, were forced into WW2. Our Pacific Fleet had been decimated at Pearl Harbor, and shortly after that Germany declared war on us.
FDR sent as many troops as possible into battle with the best technology available at the time and as the technology improved so did the available equipment.
The loss of life aside, Japan may have done America the favor of forcing us to update our aging fleet.
Also during WW2 when the strategy didn’t work we adapted and tried something else until we found a strategy that did.
FDR didn’t just pound his head against the wall and insist we “stay the course”.

On the other hand, Messrs Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld sent too few American troops into an elective war in Iraq, ill equipped to secure the country, and tried to do it on the cheap.
When the populace began looting, and everything descended into chaos, we stood and watched.
Rumsfeld basically said “shit happens”, as if that wasn’t what he expected to happen.
If something didn’t work, we just continued to do it and we “stayed the course” for three long years.

We went into Iraq light, and with no plan past the fall of Baghdad.
Four years later we’re still there and Iraq is no more secure than it was when Baghdad fell.

Oh, and all Bush has asked the American people to do was to spend like there was no tomorrow and to “stay the course”.

Posted by: Rocky at February 22, 2007 12:00 AM
Comment #209266

rahdigly-
Were we attacked by Iraq or an ally of Iraq? No.

Do we have enough soldiers to do the job? Not even by the estimates of those advising the surge.

Was WWII won by confidence and good media coverage? The trouble with your assertion is that you treat these things as independent from real events in the war. My Grandfather’s generation did not have to wait interminably for progress, nor did anybody have to B.S. them about the purpose of the war. Cynicism about a war can be bred by the failure to generate progress over time. Support for a war is not a closed system, it is a feedback loop. Things not only did not get better over time, they’ve gotten progressively worse.

If you really wanted to sell this war, you had to win it. There’s no such thing as free lunch. You have to earn support, or gain it from common cause. The Bush administration deprived itself of both by the way it started and went about this war.

As for your poll? It isn’t as simple as you think. It’s not merely civilians who are losing faith in this war and this president.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 22, 2007 12:10 AM
Comment #238634

Can Democrats Surrender Fast Enough to Save the Insurgency?

” ..the Democrats need for U.S. Troops to be killed in large numbers to assure our defeat and their party’s political victory. Victory in Iraq means defeat for ‘08 Democrats …. that’s sad that a great political institution has sunk to such depths.” Kent Herrick

Posted by: Kent Herrick at November 18, 2007 12:03 AM
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