Support the troops, let them win!

The American people want to finish the job in Iraq, but please don’t tell Democrats or the left.

Finishing the job is not merely a slogan, or wishful thinking, or even delusional disregard for reality, it is possible. And it is morally the right thing to do, both for our own security and for the welfare and security of the human beings who live in Iraq, in the middle east, and the world.

A recent poll tells us that the American people understand this. We are a nation that, on the whole, seeks the good for ourselves and the good for others.

9. I 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.

Totally Agree 57%
Totally Disagree 41%
Strongly Agree 34%
Somewhat Agree 23%
Somewhat Disagree 13%
Strongly Disagree 28%
Don't know 1%
Refuse to answer 1%

10. The Iraq War is a key part of the global war on terrorism.

Totally Agree 57%
Totally Disagree 41%
Strongly Agree 31%
Somewhat Agree 26%
Somewhat Disagree 15%
Strongly Disagree 26%
Don't know 1%
Refuse to answer * ~POS Lundy Iraq Survey


And Democrat's position?
5. And, which one of the following would do most to hurt America’s reputation as a world power...

59% To pull our troops out of Iraq immediately ...or...
35% To leave our troops in Iraq for as long as it takes to restore order
05%
DON’T KNOW
02% REFUSED ~POS Lundy Iraq Survey


"Can't install Democracy at the point of a gun?"

There's a precedent, too, for the current Democrat position of surrender and defeat, or 'peace' if you prefer. GatewayPundit has a blog entry about Democrats during the Civil War, when Gen. George McClellan was nominated as their candidate for President on a platform of making 'peace' with the south at the price of the human rights and dignity of millions of people considered property.

But then who cares about slaves? If they wanted freedom they should have freed themselves, right? Just as the Iraqi's could have freed themselves from Saddam. The U.S. doesn't have, "the right to install democracy at the point of a gun," as so many on the left have reiterated again and again.

From the 1864 Democratic Party Platform:

Resolved, That this convention does explicitly declare, as the sense of the American people, that after four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during which, under the pretense of a military necessity of war-power higher than the Constitution, the Constitution itself has been disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private right alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the country essentially impaired, justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, with a view of an ultimate convention of the States, or other peaceable means, to the end that, at the earliest practicable moment, peace may be restored on the basis of the Federal Union of the States. ~sewanee.edu

The price for the Confederacy to end hostilities would have been the enshrinement of slavery in the south as a legal institution in perpetuity. This is the price Democrats were willing to pay then. Today it is the Iraqi people who are the price which Democrats are apparently willing to pay for our surrender.

Now I know that those who support the Democratic position don't think of it this way, but in reality Democrats give moral support to insurgents and Al Qaeda by characterizing Bush and the war as illigitimate, illegal, and impossible to win. This is true whether or not one believes it. Morale is a major component of war. When Democrats declare defeat and actively seek to give victory to the enemy that tends to give a hopeless cause hope.

With the conclusion of the war in 1865 the Peace Democrats were thoroughly discredited. Most Northerners believed, not without reason, that Peace Democrats had prolonged war by encouraging the South to continue fighting in the hope that the North would abandon the struggle. ~civilwarhome.com

History does indeed repeat itself.

Posted by Eric Simonson at February 21, 2007 10:45 PM
Comments
Comment #209255

Eric,

As usual, you are hilarious. By linking to the poll, you allow us all to see how you cherry picked, but I’ll leave it to others to have fun with that.

Posted by: Trent at February 21, 2007 11:04 PM
Comment #209256

P.S., your reproduction of selected polls would make more sense if you changed “Totally Agree” to “Total Agree.” Otherwise, you invite everyone to challenge your math skills as well as your peculiar brand of reasoning.

Posted by: Trent at February 21, 2007 11:07 PM
Comment #209257

Eric, those polls show something that I know from personal experience. Something I don’t think that Democrats (and others on the left) have grappled with at all.

The erosion in the support for the Iraq war is NOT because large portions of the American public have bought into the left’s anti-war, Bush-lied, “No blood for oil” mentality. Democrats delude themselves into believing this, but it’s false, and it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the Democrats are going to overplay their political hand and suffer a likely backlash.

In any case, as disgusted as I with the Democrats, I’m even more disgusted by Bush’s handling of the war—as he, not they, is in charge of it.

From the beginning, Bush has lived in a fantasy-land about “winning hearts and minds” before we even control real-estate, and has fought a war of half-measures and failed political calculation.

Bush has a problem with the left, but he’s had that problem since he was elected. Now he is losing the right and the middle—which would still flock to him and his polls would soar if he’d just do what it takes to win the war, if that’s even possible after all the blunders to date.

Personally, I see defeat on the horizon, an American retrenchment, and a very bloody and more costly return to the Middle East at a later date. The Democrats, in their folly, will likely engineer our retreat and thus share significant blame for it.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 21, 2007 11:09 PM
Comment #209258

Oh, this is Hilarious.
If any of you were wondering what “POS Lundy” is, check this out: Davis Lundy — you can click on the Moriah Group too, and then follow the links. It’ll tell you that they’re a small Marketing and Public Relations firm out of Chattanooga, Tenn. whose claim to fame is Electing Republican Zack Wamp’s 1994 bid to Congress. Oh, and his partner, one Jim Gilliand gets an external link connected to the Christian Foundation Center of America.
Can we say Mickey Mouse? How about Mislead?

Posted by: Adrienne at February 21, 2007 11:25 PM
Comment #209259

Here’s more on that survey:

Americans Still Want to Win in Iraq, New Poll Shows

(CNSNews.com) - A new national survey shows that a majority of the American people still support President Bush and want to win the war in Iraq. The survey was conducted nationwide by Public Opinion Strategies (POS) February 5-7 among a bi-partisan cross-section of 800 registered voters. “The survey shows Americans want to win in Iraq, that they understand Iraq is the central point in the war against terrorism and they can support a U.S. strategy aimed at achieving victory,” said Neil Newhouse, a partner in POS. “The idea of pulling back from Iraq is not where the majority of Americans are.” By a 53 percent to 46 percent margin, respondents surveyed said that “Democrats are going too far, too fast in pressing the president to withdraw troops from Iraq.” “How Americans view the war does not line up with the partisan messages or actions coming out of Washington,” said Davis Lundy, president of the Moriah Group, which commissioned the survey. “There are still a majority of Americans out there who want to support the president and a focused effort to define and achieve victory.”

Here’s the link this astoundingly important information.
Dang. 800 Americans in Chattanooga Tenn. think the president is doing great! And those Dems are up to no good!
LOL!

Posted by: Adrienne at February 21, 2007 11:39 PM
Comment #209260

Eric
Trents right. For for someone from the right to take solace from that poll is nothing short of amazing.I am surprised you did not go on and compare Bush2 to Lincoln or maybe the 67% disaproval rate in the poll kept you from it.


LO
Remember that this war was never popular. At the very least 30% of Americans opposed it from the begining. Many of us were in the streets shouting,”don’t do this! It is a mistake.”The invasion of Afganistan,on the other hand,had almost total support.It is a bad idea for any democracy to get into a war without broad support. Another Vietnam lesson the neo-cons refuse to learn.
You are correct in giving the incompetence of the Bush regime credit for adding substantially to the anti-Irag war majority.
“No blood for oil” really is not such a bad credo.

Posted by: BillS at February 21, 2007 11:43 PM
Comment #209264

Lets skip the “hypothesizing” about the polls…..who cares? If anything has been proven over the last 10 - 15 years or so is that the polls are always wrong.

I’m more interested in hearing Adrienne’s chuckles about her party’s historical perspective. LOL? The historical fiber of the lib left is spineless. The Civil War analogy is right on.

You’d think after 140 years or so they would have wised up. Talk about tired, typical behavior.

hmmmmm, maybe enough people would be better off if slavery was still ok - it sure would put a damper on immigration now wouldn’t it?

I had forgotten about Mclellan - thanks for bringing that back up. I love it when you can send a direct blow at the soft, squishy, midsection of the pansy party.

rube

Posted by: rubicon at February 22, 2007 12:06 AM
Comment #209267

That doesn’t match some of the polls I’ve seen.
That doesn’t agree with the results of the last election.
That doesn’t agree with a majority in Congress.
That doesn’t agree with Bush’s dismal approval ratings, as a result of blunder-after-blunder.
Unfortunately, the Executive Branch can continue to roll around like a loose canon on the pitching deck of a sinking ship, and stay the course, no matter how far off course it is.
It seems delusional.
When will the Executive Branch finally realize that fighting the war on the cheap ain’t working?
21,500 more troops is too little too late.
And the hundreds of thousands of troops to do it right isn’t worth it.

Iraq is not making us safer.
Saying it is total nonsense.
In fact, the whole mess has most likely made us less safe, along with other nations.
There were no WMD.
It’s not right to do this to our troops.
We’ve been in Iraq long enough.
Saving face is not worth any more lives of our troops.
Protecting the oil is not worth any more lives of our troops.
With the current civil war, it’s unlikely ANYONE will have control of the oil for a long time.
It’s not right to do this to our U.S. troops.
It’s not our job to nation-build or baby sit the Iraqis’ civil war.

  • Most Iraqis polled want us to leave (who can blame them?). 82% of Iraqis “strongly oppose” the continuing occupation, and 45% of Iraqis feel attacks against coalition troops are justified! The battle for hearts and minds has already been lost!
  • A poll of U.S. troops in Iraq (released by the Zogby International polling firm) finds that 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should leave Iraq.
  • In March of 2006, 25% of U.S. troops said the U.S. troops should leave Iraq immediately.
  • Our troops deserve better. It’s not right to subject our troops to danger for nation-building and baby-sitting civil wars. Iraq will have their civil war with or without us.

The cost will be enormous (in terms of lives of U.S. and coalition troops, Iraqis, and monetary cost).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 22, 2007 12:13 AM
Comment #209268

rubicon-
Tell me something: if you guys are so much stronger than us, why aren’t you winning? You’ve had control. You’ve had the party line ability to get things done? What could stop you if you were so right? If you were so bold, where were the calls for sacrifice, where’s the glorious mobilizations, and all this other stuff? You talk about how steel-spined you folks are, but you talk the talk more than you walk the walk.

If you guys really had the guts you claim to have, you would be calling for the reforms we did all along for the sake of the war. Instead, you just provided political cover for your leaders. How brave.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 22, 2007 12:19 AM
Comment #209273

Stephen,

The left calls Bush’s stay the course approach ineffective and then you complain that we don’t have a spine? Huh?

D.A.N. I have not seen a poll that points to the troops wanting the US to leave Iraq. I have seen plenty of polls where the troops want to go home. Are you confusing the two? Enlighten me.

Eric, thank you for the post. Our narrow minded readers want to forget history and would like to tie failure to a time line. Kind of like changing channels when you don’t like what is on TV. Spend too much time focusing on a global strategy to protect America … just change the channel and watch “Amazon Women From the Moon”.

Posted by: Honest at February 22, 2007 1:47 AM
Comment #209275

Our troops already won, bring them home. Most Republican leaders won’t be happy until they are all dead or, they have conquered all the world’s people. Ironic that Republican leaders hide behind slogans of supporting our troops while pushing ever harder to keep them in the path of bullets and bombs in places which pose no threat to us.

It’s true of some Democrats too! War is the great employer, for those who can survive it. Government is the great employer of choice for some Democrats, and the military/defense is the largest
employer of federal government. There are 17,000 military industrialist lobbyists working Capital Hill. War is their bread and butter, baked and spread in public tax dollars blindly given up by the American people.

Voting Out Incumbents is democracy in action. Voting incumbents back in again and again is the hallmark of governments like Saddam Hussein’s, China’s politburo, and American puppet regimes like Pinnochet, Musharaaf, and the Sha of Iran.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 22, 2007 2:38 AM
Comment #209278

Hahaha. Yep, the Democrats showed their true, Confederate ways 150 years ago.

Just try getting rid of the Confederate flag, and see which side screams about their culture being destroyed.

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 22, 2007 6:47 AM
Comment #209279
If anything has been proven over the last 10 - 15 years or so is that the polls are always wrong.

Really? Got any examples?

The only one I can think of is the exit polls from 2004, and that was with a totally different methodology then the telephone polls we are usually talking about.

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 22, 2007 7:22 AM
Comment #209282

Wow, Lundy got responses from 198% of Americans with that first question and 197% of Americans with the second question.

I know I’ll trust these numbers!

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 22, 2007 8:55 AM
Comment #209285

Eric, also on this poll is what the public thinks of the Democrats position of “retreat” and “defeat”.

53% believe “The Democrats are going too far, too fast in pressing the President to withdraw the troops from Iraq.”


Posted by: rahdigly at February 22, 2007 9:49 AM
Comment #209286

Eric,

I also feel that it’s important to succeed in Iraq, that it’s an important part of the war on terror, that we can’t simply ditch Iraq, etc., but I also think going in there was a mistake, and am realistic in regards to our current options and situation. Is it really so hard to understand that beating our chests and having the will to win is not enough?

Posted by: Max at February 22, 2007 9:51 AM
Comment #209287

EVEN PRINCE HARRY WILL BE GOING TO IRAQ ….WHERE ARE JENNA AND BARBIE?

Posted by: Lynne at February 22, 2007 9:55 AM
Comment #209288

Eric:

Why didn’t you post the answers to the Lundy poll’s questions #1 and #2….because they don’t support your position??? My, my…

Posted by: Rachel at February 22, 2007 9:58 AM
Comment #209289

Why staying in Iraq won’t help bring peace to Iraq or end terrorism

Posted by: Lynne at February 22, 2007 10:01 AM
Comment #209296

This is ridiculous.

First, it does not matter how popular a particular strategy is with the American people. It will be effective or ineffective regardless of what civilians think.

Second, your comparison of Operation Iraqi Freedom to the American Civil War is completely misapplied. In one situation you have a nation fighting to keep itself together, in the second you have a nation entering another nation and deposing its current leader. I do not see the similarity at all. It seems you are merely trying to use the issue of slavery to your advantage. Well bully to that, I refuse to be sucked into your hypnotheoretical arguments ;|

Posted by: Zeek at February 22, 2007 11:21 AM
Comment #209297

Rachel,

“Why didn’t you post the answers to the Lundy poll’s questions #1 and #2….because they don’t support your position??? My, my…


Looking at the entire poll, the first two questions would (certainly) conclude that you can disagree with the President, yet still support the troops and their mission.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 22, 2007 11:23 AM
Comment #209300

Remer -
“Most Republican leaders won’t be happy until they are all dead or, they have conquered all the world’s people.”

Some people are going further and further away from sanity in their responses, I’d say.


Lynn -
“EVEN PRINCE HARRY WILL BE GOING TO IRAQ ….WHERE ARE JENNA AND BARBIE?”

Duh! Prince Harry is doing what he wants to do and the Bush girls are doing what they want to do. Both countries allow freedom of military choice. There is no requirement that presidential children must serve in the military (last time I checked our constitution anyway). So get a new tag-line or change the constitution.


Posted by: Don at February 22, 2007 12:19 PM
Comment #209302

Bla, bla, bla, bla, bla!

Enlist Eric! Enlist! Go help to complete the job in Iraq!

Posted by: Kim-Sue at February 22, 2007 12:55 PM
Comment #209305

Enlisting isn’t the problem; it’s not supporting the troop’s mission. Enlistment rates have been right on in 2006 and they’re still looking good.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 22, 2007 1:09 PM
Comment #209306

Just try getting rid of the Confederate flag, and see which side screams about their culture being destroyed.

Uhh Woody, it was Fritz Hollings that put the flag up at least over the SC State House. I guess you can disown him now though, seeing as he retired his “D” in 2004.

Posted by: George in SC at February 22, 2007 1:10 PM
Comment #209308

Rahdigly

Yes the enlistment rates are looking good. I think that may have something to do with several key factors.

The military is now accepting enlistees with criminal records and highschool dropouts.

They are offereing enlistment and reenlistment rates as high as $150,000. And from what I could determine the average is about $15,000 with many in the $40,000 range.

They are offereing recruiters bonuses plus an additional $500.00 a month for as little as a six month reenlistment.

If you ask me these are very attractive incentive builders in the eyes of young people. The end result is that this is what the military had to do to meet ends. In essence we are buying patriotism.

Posted by: ILdem at February 22, 2007 1:44 PM
Comment #209309

Come on, you guys. Lay off Eric. His side is so desperate for good news that they’ll grab on to anything. They still believe stuff like that there were WMD in Iraq, that the Iraqis are better off now than before we invaded and occupied them, that the battle there is against the terrorism that attacked us on 9/11, that Wilson was wrong about attempts to get yellowcake, that Cheney et al. weren’t out to punish Wilson as well as smear him, that “winning” has a discernible meaning in Iraq and that that’s what we’re doing, that Iran has some hand in formenting the insurgency in Iraq, that Saudi Arabia doesn’t, that the escalation (oh, excuse me, the politically correct term is “surge;” don’t want them yelling at me and telling me I’m not patriotic because I don’t toe the line set by the administration, the party of small government) is well thought out and is working.

So you see, we need to feel sorry for them, because they can only go on if they are allowed to keep their fantasies alive, and people like Fox News, Hannity, talk radio, Powerline, Drudge, and, now, Lundy all are willing to feed those fantasies to keep them from jumping off a bridge in shame about their wrong-headedness over the last four years. On another thread, another poor soul was trying to compare all military deaths during a previous administration to battlefield deaths alone during the Iraq invasion and occupation. No matter how people tried to explain that the comparison was inept, the unfortunate one just wouldn’t acknowledge that the comparison was meaningless. No amount of logic or factual argumentation will sway people lost in fantasy. They deserve our pity, not our scorn or rage. Save that for the guys at the top who are willingly waging this campaign for the sole purpose of saving their own faces.

Posted by: mental wimp at February 22, 2007 1:57 PM
Comment #209312

Ildem

“If you ask me these are very attractive incentive builders in the eyes of young people. The end result is that this is what the military had to do to meet ends. In essence we are buying patriotism.”


Don’t you think they (at least) deserve their bonuses?! They don’t make that much to begin with, so re-signing with a nice bonus helps them and their families. They’ve put their life on the line, they live and work in that sh*t hole; can’t they receive a bonus for it?! Heck, even civilian receive incentives to re-sign w/ their companies; does that mean they’re not good workers or the company is “buying professionalism”?


So, some think they are bought and paid for their patriotism?! Huh. Well, I’m sure the troops can be reassured that, even though they may be viewed as “being bought”, they still are supported. Hmmm…


Posted by: rahdigly at February 22, 2007 2:55 PM
Comment #209315

I don’t think rahdigly means the same thing most people mean when he says “support” in reference to the troops.

Posted by: mental wimp at February 22, 2007 3:16 PM
Comment #209317

I was being facetious.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 22, 2007 3:27 PM
Comment #209323

So was I. See here and here.

Posted by: mental wimp at February 22, 2007 4:05 PM
Comment #209327

ILdem,
“The military is now accepting enlistees with criminal records and highschool dropouts.”


so much for the dropouts. mumbo jumbo.


“It is certainly not the case that current enlistees are poorly educated. For instance, the average serviceman reads at an entire grade level higher than his civilian counterpart. High school graduation rates for wartime recruits are fully 17 percent higher than for U.S. civilians aged 18–24.”

“The U.S. military is one of the most colorblind, merit-based institutions in the nation. Soldiers surrender their individuality voluntarily to join a team, with a team mentality. Mandating service will diminish this choice.”


Posted by: rahdigly at February 22, 2007 4:29 PM
Comment #209328

rah,

First, your link didn’t work.

Second, assuming that the statistics you cite are correct, they in no way dispute or disprove what ILdem said.

ILdem said that dropouts are now accepted. He (she?) did not say that the average education of an enlistee is lower than the average for the country as a whole. If the average education for the military was higher than of civilians before this change, it could still be higher after the change, even if the low end of the enlistment scale is allowed to be lower than it was before.

Further, the military high school graduation rates can be higher than the civilian rate and still accept dropouts.

ILdem compared the current enlistees to past enlistees. He might be wrong, but you won’t prove it by comparing current enlistees to non-enlistees.

It’s that old apples and oranges thing that bites you again.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 22, 2007 4:45 PM
Comment #209329

OK, rad…what the heck IS the troops’ “mission”…it’s changed so many times, it’s too hard to keep up!

Impose democracy (oxymoron!), depose Saddam (long done), rid Iraq of WMDs (how many did the US find?? afterall, the US under Reagan actually supplied the WMDs)….ummmmm…what’s that mission again????

Posted by: Lynne at February 22, 2007 4:51 PM
Comment #209330
From the beginning, Bush has lived in a fantasy-land about “winning hearts and minds” before we even control real-estate, and has fought a war of half-measures and failed political calculation.

Sounds strangely familiar. Maybe because that’s the same stupid tactic used in Vietnam. You can’t win hearts and mines until you can control the real estate.

BillS

“No blood for oil” really is not such a bad credo.

Then are y’all ready to let the oil companies pump the oil we have here in this country so we won’t have to rely on foreign oil?

ILdem
Got news for ya. Reenlistment bonuses aren’t something that just started with this war. They’ve had them for more years than you are old. My daddy was offered a reenlistment bonus right after WWII. My uncle and a cousin were given them during Korea. Other cousins were offered them during the 50s and 60s. I received a bonus in 68 and another one in 72.
All these bonuses were given or offered during the draft. And if anything have increased in size with the all volunteer military.
And what’s the difference between having an enlistment bonus for someone that’s willing to serve their country and having a signing bonus for some over rated, and way over paid, athlete?
Who would ya say deserves it the most?

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 22, 2007 4:55 PM
Comment #209332

George in SC,

I was mainly thinking of Sonny Perdue (R) who got elected Governor of Georgia in 2002 largely by being pro-confederate flag.

The incident with Fritz Hollings happened 45 years ago.

But let’s just use common sense here. If you saw someone with a confederate flag on their car or truck, wouldn’t you bet it was more likely a Republican than a Democrat?

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 22, 2007 5:05 PM
Comment #209334

Woody

I was mainly thinking of Sonny Perdue (R) who got elected Governor of Georgia in 2002 largely by being pro-confederate flag.

So what makes you an expert on GA politics? Sonny Perdue wasn’t “pro-confederate flag’ as much as he was for freedom of speech. Something that the left only believe in when that speech agrees with them.
And no, I didn’t vote for him in 02 or 06. I don’t personally like the guy.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 22, 2007 5:29 PM
Comment #209335
But let’s just use common sense here. If you saw someone with a confederate flag on their car or truck, wouldn’t you bet it was more likely a Republican than a Democrat?

Depends on what color they are.
Now to get down to reality. Most folks that have and display Confederate flags aren’t either Republican or Democrat. They are for the most part folks that know how to think for themseleves, believe in freedom of expression and refuse to get tangled up in any party.
They also know that the Confederate flag is a symbol of states rights. Something neither party believes in anymore.
Then of course there are unfortunatly the few kooks that discredit the flag by being bigoted idiots.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 22, 2007 5:40 PM
Comment #209337

Rahdigly

“It is certainly not the case that current enlistees are poorly educated. For instance, the average serviceman reads at an entire grade level higher than his civilian counterpart. High school graduation rates for wartime recruits are fully 17 percent higher than for U.S. civilians aged 18–24.””


I in no way implied that military enlistees are poorly educated. I only said that the military is now accepting high school dropouts. This is not something which was previously done. If this is so there must be a reason. And one would naturally assume that reason is because they were having problems meeting quotas via conventional enlistment procedures.


Posted by: ILdem at February 22, 2007 6:09 PM
Comment #209338

Ron Brown,

Of course I’m not an expert on Georgia politics! If all stuck to our areas of expertise then Watchblog would have 99% fewer posts.

I haven’t done any survey on Confederate flags, but I think we can agree that few people who display them would identify themselves as liberal or left… which means they tend to be Republicans or least right-leaning independents.

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 22, 2007 6:09 PM
Comment #209339

Ron Brown
The Confederate flag is a symbol for treason.

Posted by: bills at February 22, 2007 6:13 PM
Comment #209340

Ron Brown
The Confederate flag is a symbol for treason.

Posted by: bills at February 22, 2007 06:13 PM

WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 22, 2007 6:21 PM
Comment #209341

Rahdigly


Don’t you think they (at least) deserve their bonuses?! They don’t make that much to begin with, so re-signing with a nice bonus helps them and their families. They’ve put their life on the line, they live and work in that sh*t hole; can’t they receive a bonus for it?! Heck, even civilian receive incentives to re-sign w/ their companies; does that mean they’re not good workers or the company is “buying professionalism”?


So, some think they are bought and paid for their patriotism?! Huh. Well, I’m sure the troops can be reassured that, even though they may be viewed as “being bought”, they still are supported. Hmmm…”

Once again I never implied that the troops were non deserving of bonuses. Or that they are not good workers. I do greatly admire what they do and wish them well until we can get them home from that sh*t hole.

I have noticed in your posts that you try very hard to convince people that soldiers are lining up in droves to join the cause out of pure patriotic duty. I do not believe this is so. My statements merely help to substantiate those beliefs. Until incentives were increased the military was not meeting its quotas. This does imply that money is a viable motivating factor.

Posted by: ILdem at February 22, 2007 6:21 PM
Comment #209342

Woody
Yeah, their right leaning alright. That’s because they believe in freedom of speech, expression, and the freedom of ALL people regardless of race, creed, color, religion, or lack thereof, education, or social status.
Something neither the Republicans or Democrats believe in.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 22, 2007 6:26 PM
Comment #209343

Ron Brown

“ILdem
Got news for ya. Reenlistment bonuses aren’t something that just started with this war. They’ve had them for more years than you are old. My daddy was offered a reenlistment bonus right after WWII. My uncle and a cousin were given them during Korea. Other cousins were offered them during the 50s and 60s. I received a bonus in 68 and another one in 72.
All these bonuses were given or offered during the draft. And if anything have increased in size with the all volunteer military.
And what’s the difference between having an enlistment bonus for someone that’s willing to serve their country and having a signing bonus for some over rated, and way over paid, athlete?
Who would ya say deserves it the most?”

I got new for you too Ron. I am no youngster. I served in the military. Did my time in Vietnam. I was offered and refused a reenlistment bonus that was substantially less than those of today. I do totally understand the need to pay to keep the allready trained. I also understand the lure of money.

I never said that they are non deserving of bonuses. I know all too well the challenges of surviving on military pay. As I told Rahdigly I am merely pointing out that until incentives were increased the military was not meeting quotas. This I believe does point out a distinction between enlisting or reenlisting out of pure patriotic duty and that of enlisting for the large bonuses they are recieving these days. I believe it is safe to say that some of those would not have reenlisted or enlisted without those incentives. Of course I can not project a percentage in regards to the former, but it does lead one to believe this is why they are now meeting quotas.

Posted by: ILdem at February 22, 2007 6:37 PM
Comment #209344

Ron Brown sez:

WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A fine example of cogent argument.

Posted by: mental wimp at February 22, 2007 6:51 PM
Comment #209346

ILdem
Thank you for serving our great country.
True there are those that might not have enlisted or reenlisted without the bonuses. But I kinda believe that there’s more that enlisted to serve their country than for the money. Like you I can’t prove it but if someone doesn’t feel the need to serve their country I don’t believe that for the most part all the money in the world will get them to serve.
Reenlistment is most likely a little different. During the 20 years I served I talked to a lot of guys that were reenlisting. Both with and without the draft. Unless they were planing on a career in service about half reenlisted for the bonus that was offered.
Specially in my AFSC during Vietnam. We had the Variable Reenlistment Bonus which gave us $5,000 over the regular bonus. As you know in the late 60s and early 70s that was a whole heap of money.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 22, 2007 7:19 PM
Comment #209347
Honest wrote: D.A.N. I have not seen a poll that points to the troops wanting the US to leave Iraq. I have seen plenty of polls where the troops want to go home. Are you confusing the two? Enlighten me.

  • A poll of U.S. troops in Iraq (released by the Zogby International polling firm) finds that 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should leave Iraq. In March of 2006, 25% of U.S. troops said the U.S. troops should leave Iraq immediately.
  • See the sixth paragraph:

    Now we receive news that U.S. troops serving in Iraq do not agree with President Bush. A poll of these troops just released by the Zogby International polling firm finds that “an overwhelming majority of 72 percent of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and nearly one in four say the troops should leave immediately.”

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 22, 2007 7:22 PM
    Comment #209348

    So, which do you believe?

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 22, 2007 7:23 PM
    Comment #209352

    Ron Brown sez:

    WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    A fine example of cogent argument.

    Posted by: mental wimp at February 22, 2007 06:51 PM

    What other response do you expect from such a blatant unsubstantiated lie as that? A reasonable one? LOL

    Posted by: Ron Brown at February 22, 2007 7:30 PM
    Comment #209353

    Ron Brown

    Well, I can tell you’re upset. Is it that you really love the confederate flag and all it stands for?

    Anyway, a symbol means what it means to someone. It may mean something else to you, but their meaning isn’t “wrong” in any logical sense, meaning being subjective and all.

    Posted by: mental wimp at February 22, 2007 7:38 PM
    Comment #209355

    Ron Brown
    So you are saying the Confederacy did not take up arms against the United States?Doing so is treason. The flag was their symbol. Its not complicated,like it or not.

    Posted by: BillS at February 22, 2007 7:42 PM
    Comment #209356

    It’s easy to make villains out of the political opposition. Fact is, though, most people want what’s best for the country. The crucial hinge here was that 160 years ago, my party was unwilling to admit that what it sought to preserve and the means by which it sought to preserve it were wrong.

    That failure to perceive this error can harm both political fortunes, and the fortunes of this country. But it’s not a charge to make lightly.

    This country, despite the continuous complaints of a number on the right, managed to win the cold war. The Democrats were not inactive in setting cold war policy. They maintained a policy of containment. Rather than risk all out war, we chose a path of economic and hegemonic isolation of our enemy.

    That plan worked. Without a war to inflame the people of Russia to the defense of their country, the, and with the Russia spending a prohibitively large amount on its defense, due to it’s aggressive stance, The Soviet Union died from the stagnation of its economy.

    Many considered containment to be a wussy way to confront the Soviets. It was in fact the best way to confront a totalitarian power that would turn aggressive at the drop of a hat. Instead of giving them the fight they wished for, we created a hybrid of peacetime and wartime states of readiness, a sustainable defense built not on the need to be as violent and paranoid as the enemy, but to let them know on a perpetuatl basis that we were prepared to defend ourselves if given cause. This allowed us to keep our economy a mostly peacetime one, which allowed us to diversify our interests. Our enemies did not, and they suffered for it.

    America’s strength would only suffer if we start making it all about demonstrating strength by attacking every country that looks at us funny. We need to base our response on actual threats, not potential threats that we can’t even be sure exist.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 22, 2007 7:56 PM
    Comment #209358

    mental wimp
    Yes, I love what the Confederate Flag stands for. It stands for the rights of each state to decide whats best for them. And the right of people to decide whats right for them.
    In other words, FREEDOM. Something I would expect a Yankee to understand as they took the side of tyranny during the War of Yankee Aggression.

    BillS
    Is George Washington a traitor? Or any of our other founding fathers? They all took up arms against their country.
    The South was doing something that the North didn’t have the guts to do. It was standing up for the rights of every state to decide whats best for them instead of letting some central government that don’t know jack decide for them.
    Ever sense the War of Yankee Invasion ended those rights have been eroded by the Federal government.
    But it would stand to reason that Yankees and Liberals wouldn’t understand that sense they don’t believe in any rights except the Federal Governments.

    Posted by: Ron Brown at February 22, 2007 8:11 PM
    Comment #209359

    Something I would expect a Yankee to understand…….

    Should read
    Something I wouldn’t expect a Yankee to understand….

    Posted by: Ron Brown at February 22, 2007 8:13 PM
    Comment #209360

    Stepen D
    The Soviet Union fell because of a dramatic drop in oil prices. They had been keeping their economy together with high profits from oil instead of good governance. This would work again today to get rid of despotic regimes.Care to make a list?
    The military industrial complexes in both our countries became totally out of control. Theirs has diminished. Ours has not.
    Were the Soviets agressive? After WW2 they were no more agressive,and arguably less,than we were and are. How many countries did they invade in the cold war? How many have we? Afganistan is a wash. We both have invaded.
    How many legit forign governments did they try and subvert or overthrow compared to us. Not even close. We are far ahead.

    Posted by: BillS at February 22, 2007 8:25 PM
    Comment #209363
    the War of Yankee Aggression

    The sad thing is that I think Ron actually believes all this. He really believes that fighting for the right to enslave people is fighting for freedom. That the way to support the “freedom of ALL people regardless of race” is to remember with fondness when one race enslaved another.

    And next we’ll prove that white is black and be killed at the next pedestrian crossing…

    Posted by: LawnBoy at February 22, 2007 8:32 PM
    Comment #209365

    Ron Brown
    From the British standpoint,yes,George Washington was a traitor. I did not denigrate the Souths bravery or cause. You may be uncomfortable with the thought but treason is treason.
    There are a number of Reps that profess a belief in states rights until a state does something they do not approve of. For example,CA. medical pot law,Ore. assisted suicide,the Schievo case. Currently the auto companies are in federal court trying to block CA. from increasing mileage standards. Thoughts?

    Posted by: BillS at February 22, 2007 8:36 PM
    Comment #209366

    When you hire a contractor to do a job, you expect it to be done to a reasonable standard.

    We now what the problem is.

    Bush couldn’t close in on Osama, he can’t rebuild New Orleans, and he can’t accomplish shinola in Iraq.

    Now unwilling to admit he is creating more problems than solving in Iraq, he and Eric want you to believe it is vital to the war against Al Qaeda to stay and continue the killing of US soldiers in Iraq. At least, until he is out of office and can begin to blame tbe newly elected Democratic President for his screw up.

    This administration has been one huge cluster after another. Nepotism gone waaaay wrong. Keeping Junior employed at the expense of our future and children in Iraq is not an option. Firing Rumsfeld was right. Firing Bush and Cheney, sadly isn’t as easy, but they were the problem from the start. Eric screwed up when he championed these folks and like Bush himself, cannot admit his own failures. He is the quintessential party hack, no matter what the damage done and lives lost, never surrender, never admit to gross incompetence, keep failing upward.

    Give Americans the power to fire these jerks via poll and see the results. Our problem in Iraq would be over. It’s sitting on Pennsylvania Ave. The case for the CEO president is over and done, at least when it’s the idiot son you’re touting as the CEO. Just give it a little more time…he can and will screw it up worse.

    Thanks Eric, your advice is golden.

    Posted by: gergle at February 22, 2007 8:42 PM
    Comment #209369

    P.S. Iraq will resolve itself, if you let it. It may well federate. We need leadership with some actual diplomatic and non-self agrandizing policies. That will not happen with these clowns.


    Focus, America. Remember Bush and the conservative movement? It was all a show wasn’t it? From Mission Accomplished to Good Job, Brownie. Lies. Bravado. Secrecy. The classic underacheiver given power. Massive spending, massive growth of goevernment, ala Homeland Security. Every bit a lie. Don’t enable the Dry Drunk.


    I do not blame Bush specifically for 9-11, although I think he was complicit in ignoring warnings and stifling FBI investigators. But he hasn’t accomplished the goal of finding Bin Laden, or quashing Al Qaeda. He has blundered us into a middle east conflict on behalf of third parties who have many axes to grind, none of which are in the interest of the U.S. He has bloated the government and spent our children’s futures on persuing his vision of his legacy. While he may have wet dreams at night of himself as Churchill, he ain’t even close. He’s more like Barney Fife or Pauly Shore, IMO.

    Posted by: gergle at February 22, 2007 8:59 PM
    Comment #209374

    BillS-
    The Soviets spent a quarter to three-tenths of their GDP on their military. We never spent more than 17% at worse. They had to basically occupy Eastern Europe with the Red Army to keep in in line. We used the Marshall plan to ensure that this wasn’t necessary.

    We diversified our economy, they centered theirs on military equipment. As for their activities? Well, we didn’t keep countries capitalist by occupation, for the most part. In 1989, when the Red Army withdrew, practically ever government they supported collapsed.

    Ron Brown-
    Do you believe America should be one country, or not? If you believe America should be one country, what’s the point of celebrating the Confederacy? If you do not believe that, by what standards do you call for unity behind this president for this war?

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 22, 2007 9:48 PM
    Comment #209376

    LawnBoy
    If you’d read something other than Yankee history books you’ll find out few things.
    1.Salvery was starting to become unprofitable at the start of the war (the industrial revolution, remember it?) and slavery wasn’t the issue.
    2.Most Southerners didn’t own slaves and didn’t believe in slavery.
    3.There were Yankees that owed slaves.
    4.There were also Yankees that believed in states rights and joined the Confederate Army. Reckon they were traitors too?
    5.The Yankees wanted to tell South what they could or couldn’t do. And the South didn’t want to be told by a bunch of self righteous idiots what to do.
    6.The South believed then and still does believe in states rights. The North didn’t and still doesn’t.
    7.The North elected Lincoln hoping to get the South to succeed so it could start a war with it and force their views on them.
    8.The North got want it wanted and everyone’s rights have been going down the tubes sense.
    9.The Yankees still think they were right even though they’re the ones that started the eroding of our freedom with their War of Aggression.
    10.Slavery would have ended even without your war and things would have been better than they are now.

    Posted by: Ron Brown at February 22, 2007 10:10 PM
    Comment #209379

    Stephen Daugherty
    Yes the Uintied States should be one country and would sitll be even if the South had won the war. The South didn’t have the resources it needed then and would have had rejoin the union.
    The Confederacy was fighting for the rights of the people and the states. Something that needed to be done and it was evident that the North wasn’t going to standup for anyones rights.
    But then that’s something the Yankee text books leaves out. That the North was scared of an oppresive Government.

    Posted by: Ron Brown at February 22, 2007 10:20 PM
    Comment #209380
    If you’d read something other than Yankee history books you’ll find out few things.

    Sure Ron. I’ll read your propaganda soon. I’m sure I’ll long for the days of slavery soon, too.

    1. Irrelevant.
    2. But they fought to save it.
    3. Irrelevant.
    4. Yep.
    5. The South just wanted to enslave people. All for freedom, right?
    6. That’s B.S. That was the Constitutional issue brought to the fore, but people don’t rip the country apart for Constitutional law squabbles. The rebellion happened in order to keep the slaves.
    7. Huh?
    8. Maybe, except for the darkies. They got their freedom. Or do they not count?
    9. War of Aggression? The South ripped the country apart and attacked loyal military bases, and it was all started with a War of aggression? Laughable.
    10. Eventually, yes, slavery would have ended. But not after decades more of slavery for real human beings. That wouldn’t be better.

    I recommend you read some recent history of the period written by people that do not have the stated agenda you support.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at February 22, 2007 10:21 PM
    Comment #209381

    What’s funny is, Eric will consider his idiotic post a success because of the number of comments it’s received. Why do we give him what he wants? We should give his posts the attention they deserve.

    Posted by: Trent at February 22, 2007 10:34 PM
    Comment #209383

    Did I just hear someone say that the Confederate flag does not symbolize treason???? What a wacky argument. Maybe there are other things that it symbolizes as well as treason. Maybe some of the things it stood for were well intended - but isnt’ there some saying about how the road to Hell is paved?

    Arguing that the Confederate flag doesn’t represent treason b/c it also represents other things is like saying the Nazi swastika doesn’t represent genocide because it also means “peace” in sanskrit - the newer symbolism has entirely overtaken whatever symbolism existed before. Next you’ll say that the white hood of the Ku Klux Klan doesn’t really represent racism, b/c it was worn by Scotsmen in ceremonies.

    Also, arguing that the South would have had to “re-join” the Union is completely beside the point - the South fought a war that killed 3% of the US population for the express purpose of seceding. If that’s not treason (the crime for which Jefferson Davis was imprisoned, by the way), then I would love to know what is.

    Also - just for the record - the South fired the first shot of the War of Southern Delusion at Fort Sumter.

    There’s lots to love about the South - that sad section of history, however, is not.

    Posted by: Jim M. at February 22, 2007 10:51 PM
    Comment #209387

    Stephen D
    It is important for you to examine the role of oil in the Soviets downfall. There are lessons to be learned and it is frequently glossed over. Jack suggest that Reagan may have had something to do with lowering oil prices to that end.

    Another point I wanted to get through to you was that we are far from blamless in the cold war. All together the cold war was a tremendous waste of treasure and humanity that could have been averted.It was not a contest of good guy vs bad guy but of bad guy vs worse guy. While we were playing this horrible game another global threat emerged that has attacked both our countries.

    Posted by: BillS at February 22, 2007 11:22 PM
    Comment #209388

    Ron Brown
    On your point #7: If we elect Obama will you guys leave again,please?And for Gods sake,take Texas.

    Posted by: BillS at February 22, 2007 11:32 PM
    Comment #209389

    Trent,

    You are absolutely correct, it should read Total Agree, and Total Disgree.

    Posted by: esimonson at February 22, 2007 11:33 PM
    Comment #209390

    BillS,

    Remember that this war was never popular. At the very least 30% of Americans opposed it from the begining.

    From this, couldn’t I also say that if only 30% support it then it’s popular?

    Posted by: esimonson at February 22, 2007 11:36 PM
    Comment #209391

    Ron Brown-
    The South has been romanticized and sanitized from what it really was. The Confederate apologists want to distance themselves from the slavery and its attendant racism, so it gets abstracted to “States Rights.”

    But what did all that states rights concern? The slave labor economy, for the most part. Let’s not kid ourselves. It’s just not politically correct to support the South for what it really was.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 22, 2007 11:40 PM
    Comment #209392

    Trent,

    What’s funny is, Eric will consider his idiotic post a success because of the number of comments it’s received. Why do we give him what he wants? We should give his posts the attention they deserve.

    I’d consider it a success if some sliver of truth were to somehow get through the ideological filters here on watchblog. Apparently, judging by your responses, this is not a siccessful post.

    Posted by: esimonson at February 22, 2007 11:45 PM
    Comment #209394
    Bla, bla, bla, bla, bla!

    Enlist Eric! Enlist! Go help to complete the job in Iraq!
    Posted by: Kim-Sue at February 22, 2007 12:55 PM

    Chickenhawk fallacy. Devastating.

    Posted by: esimonson at February 22, 2007 11:50 PM
    Comment #209399
    I’d consider it a success if some sliver of truth were to somehow get through the ideological filters here on watchblog. Apparently, judging by your responses, this is not a siccessful post.

    By that standard, you’re right. It would have had to have had a sliver of truth to it to start with. I’m glad that you acknowledge that our responses have made that clear.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at February 23, 2007 8:30 AM
    Comment #209401

    Eric-
    This article says: A Republican pollster thinks this poll is full of crap.

    There’s a detailed analysis of the questions in the report, and it comes down to the fact that the questions lead those being polled around like a pony.

    This is the relevant discussion:

    The first finding — that 57 % support “finishing the job” — is based on asking respondents whether they agree or disagree with the following statement: “I 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.” What does Johnson, the pollster I spoke to, think about this question?

    “It’s designed to elicit a positive response by putting respondents in the position of saying that they don’t support `finishing a job,’” Johnson says. “It’s not a straightforward wording at all. It’s also put in the first person to personalize it. In polling when you use the first person you generally get a more positive response.”

    The next finding — that Americans think victory is “possible” by 53%-43% — is based on asking whether respondents agree or disagree with this: “Victory in Iraq, that is creating a young but stable democracy in Iraq and reducing the threat of terrorism at home, is no longer possible for the U.S.” Pretty tricky, eh? Note that this question is framed as a negative — forcing people to disagree with a negative. And it asks whether people think it’s “no longer possible” to reduce the threat of terrorism at home — something that’s clearly worded that way because fewer would agree with it.

    “This wording is completely unprofessional,” Johnson says. “It’s designed to confuse the respondent. People are being asked whether two different things can be accomplished — establishing democracy in Iraq and reducing the threat of terrorism at home — and [the question] doesn’t clarify which one people are talking about.”

    Finally, let’s look at the finding that only 25% agree with the statement, “I don’t really care what happens in Iraq after the U.S. leaves, I just want the troops brought home.”

    “That’s a leading question,” Johnson says. “It’s forcing people who want the troops brought home to say they disagree, because it’s forcing them to say they don’t care what happens if they’re pulled out. Most Americans don’t want the troops there but they’re also concerned about what will happen if they’re pulled out.” Asked if he was merely badmouthing a competitor, Johnson said that they were “not often” in competition because his firm does state polls while Public Opinion Strategies focuses on national ones.

    So, essentially, the word was designed not to clarify, but to lead people to answers the pollsters wanted, and discourage those they didn’t. A poll, to have credibility, has to ask questions in a simple and objective manner. Like “Do you support the war?” Instead of “Do you support the war, in so much as you support fighting terrorists who want to invade our country, rape our horses and ride off on our women?”

    This is a poll designed to be a self fulfilling prophecy. It’s designed to make it appear like the consensus has shifted towards support for Bush’s policies, or at least the intentions of the policy, despite the fact that most reputable polls say otherwise. It’s meant to break liberal’s strides, and give pundits like Rush something to crow about.

    Trouble is, it’s meant to do everything except what a poll is supposed to do: inform. It’s a fiction, a product of clever wording rather than a snapshot of public opinion.

    The Republican party has fallen on hard times precisely because it depends so much on this kind of self-serving media strategy.

    I mean, if you can shape your media picture by mere public relations, why bother getting things right? You can just lie your way past the point where you’re accountable any longer. There’s no need to correct mistakes! Just do damage control. No need to change course! Just settle into a state of denial. No need to face the truth! Just call anybody who even prints a bad word about you a partisan hack.

    Winning isn’t everything, but it’s become everything for the Republicans, and as a result, they’ve suffered.

    Nobody’s perfect. To win every battle, as Republicans were wont to do, they had to deny a lot, but what they denied didn’t stay buried, didn’t stay unacknowledged by everybody else.

    The Republicans of modern times have a hard time admitting defeat. In better times, that might have sometimes been a virtue, but in difficult times where one cannot do anything right without confronting the truth, it’s a great liability.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2007 8:58 AM
    Comment #209404

    Great comments here by the lefties. I enjoyed reading them. StephenD. last post, excellent!!!
    Ron Brown,
    You need to quit hating Yankees. The Civil War is long over. Please read Lincoln’s second inaugurual address — and try to take those words to heart.

    Well, I’m off to Portland, Ore for the weekend —so until I read and comment again, happy posting Watchbloggers!

    Posted by: Adrienne at February 23, 2007 9:28 AM
    Comment #209410

    Oh, ok, Stephen. Here’s a poll that finally shows support for a war that some of you bloggers hate and want to get out of there (ASAP), no matter what the cost. So, here’s the American public supporting the troops, THE PRESIDENT, and the mission. Now, you find 1 (republican) pollster that disagrees with it. Well, that must be that he’s correct, then. Whatever.

    The questions were finally not skewed to get the answer they wanted. The question about the war was very concise and to the point. ““I 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.”

    Yes, exactly. That’s very clear and to the point. Yet, your pollster friend finds that “It’s designed to elicit a positive response by putting respondents in the position of saying that they don’t support ‘finishing a job”. That’s exactly what the debate is about, “Do you support staying in Iraq and finishing the job” or not. Can’t get more straightforward than that.


    Posted by: rahdigly at February 23, 2007 10:12 AM
    Comment #209414

    Ron Brown

    “ILdem
    Thank you for serving our great country.
    True there are those that might not have enlisted or reenlisted without the bonuses. But I kinda believe that there’s more that enlisted to serve their country than for the money. Like you I can’t prove it but if someone doesn’t feel the need to serve their country I don’t believe that for the most part all the money in the world will get them to serve.
    Reenlistment is most likely a little different. During the 20 years I served I talked to a lot of guys that were reenlisting. Both with and without the draft. Unless they were planing on a career in service about half reenlisted for the bonus that was offered.
    Specially in my AFSC during Vietnam. We had the Variable Reenlistment Bonus which gave us $5,000 over the regular bonus. As you know in the late 60s and early 70s that was a whole heap of money.”

    Kudos on your service. You made a career of it. Congrats on being able to stick it out. I served in the AF as a dog handler and was in Vietnam the last year that we actually occupied basis over there. My last two years were served stateside at a base in Oregon. This was peacetime so they were only offering reenlistment bonuses to those they felt deserving. I did seriously consider what I believe was about a $3000.00 offer at the time. As you say a lot of money at the time. But I decided that the freedom to go where I want when I wanted was more important. I actually did enjoy my time in the service and felt that it greatly accelerated the growing process. There was a time when I wish I had stayed in and made a career out of it. But it all worked out for the best. I got a state job was offered early retirement with an 80% pension and full benifits after 25 years via a state buyout to reduce costs.

    I think there are many reasons why people enlist. And I am sure they are somewhat differnt than when we did our time. Now days college level education is considered by many as a necesary means to achieve their financial goals. And a means to get involved in the field of their choice as opposed to taking what is available. The very high and increasing cost of that education is a motivating factor for many. I am not up to date on what sort of education programs are offered but I believe that with enlistment bonuses and education funding for years served, can pretty much pay for a modern day education. There are those who feel a great sense of patriotic duty, like the allure of traveling to foriegn countries, and truly enjoy that sense of comraderie one gets from being part of a supportive team in times of extreme distress. There are those who are looking for a direction in life or simply just a place to belong. There are those who desire or need direction and like the regimented daily routines. And probably a myriad of other reasons.

    Certainly nobody can fault them for what they do especially considering how poorly they are compensated.

    Posted by: ILdem at February 23, 2007 10:55 AM
    Comment #209416

    Stephen D.

    “Winning isn’t everything, but it’s become everything for the Republicans, and as a result, they’ve suffered.

    ‘Nobody’s perfect. To win every battle, as Republicans were wont to do, they had to deny a lot, but what they denied didn’t stay buried, didn’t stay unacknowledged by everybody else.

    The Republicans of modern times have a hard time admitting defeat. In better times, that might have sometimes been a virtue, but in difficult times where one cannot do anything right without confronting the truth, it’s a great liability.”

    To quote a phrase “You nailed it Stephen” Well said! Excellent post all the way around.

    Posted by: ILdem at February 23, 2007 11:15 AM
    Comment #209426

    “The Republicans of modern times have a hard time admitting defeat.”


    And the dems are having a hard time admitting victory. Yet, they “support” the troops, though.

    Posted by: rahdigly at February 23, 2007 12:31 PM
    Comment #209445

    rahdigly-
    If the guy was expressing his personal opinion, it would most definitely be straightforward.

    However, what makes a professional like that Republican pollster wince at these questions is that poll questions, in order to get an accurate picture of what people really think, are typically phrased not to be leading.

    The pollster should not be pushing for one response or another, even for a partisan client. a poll that skews numbers in a candidate’s favor can set them up for a fall.

    As a polling question there’s a hidden semantic trap: The question personalizes the issue, and defines it more narrowly as well.

    Examine the sentence structure:
    1)The first person pronoun, “I”, which the pollster said tended to always skew things more positively.

    2)”support finishing the job in Iraq”, a phrase freighted with a great deal of political meaning and assumptions. “Job” denotes obligation, “finishing the job” presupposes that the what we’re doing is an obligation to be carried out. Already, you’ve told the audience what the proper response is.

    3)”that is”, a phrase that turns the dependent clause into a definition for “finishing the job”. Unimportant? No, because one could consider alternate plans and ideas regarding what “finishing the job” is.

    4)and the dependent clause, which I need not repeat here. That dependent clause essentially defines a course of action essentially like that of the Bush Administration.

    So there it goes: Personalize, load, narrow the definition towards one that matches a desired policy.

    This was a poll question designed with great care to bring people to a conclusion they might not on their own. The point of a poll, though, is to allow people to tell you what they think, instead of you leading them to give you the response you want. Why? Because polls are samples, and thought you can skew the sample with your questions, you can’t skew the opinions that the polls are sampling for.

    This poll essentially represents the Republican party lying to itself about the support for the president’s course of action, in order to create more support. Instead of increasing support by improving things in Iraq, they’re trying to increase support by “debunking” a much better founded notion that the war is unpopular.

    A good poll, both in the sense of utility and in the moral sense of the need for clarity and honest in its undertaking, has to keep out of its own way, letting what the people believe soak into the results as much as possible. The more a poll interferes with its own picture of the opinions of the public, the more it does a disservice to those seeking information from it, and those trying to determine the mood and opinions of the public with it.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2007 2:41 PM
    Comment #209451

    Rahdigly

    ““The Republicans of modern times have a hard time admitting defeat.”

    I believe the point Stephen is trying to make is that taking a staunch position and standing behind it no matter its validity is no longer considered admirable or a virtue as Stephen puts it. Standing behind a position is fantastic so long as one is not hiding anything that may alter the validity or integrity of that position. Because of questionable practices, scandal, lies, and deciet they have broken that trust which would have previously allowed them to do so. They had the whole stadium to themselves, and no viable opponents for so long that they grew arrogant, careless and overconfident in their supremacy. They are now having a hard time swallowing their pride and admitting that change on their part is necesary for their own good.

    Stephen D.

    I hope that I have adequately interpreted the intent of your statement. If not I do apologize for inacurately imposing on your debate.

    Posted by: ILdem at February 23, 2007 3:48 PM
    Comment #209470

    Stephen,

    “This poll essentially represents the Republican party lying to itself about the support for the president’s course of action, in order to create more support. Instead of increasing support by improving things in Iraq, they’re trying to increase support by “debunking” a much better founded notion that the war is unpopular.”

    You’re way off on this one. The reason it was questioned like that was because that’s been the debate. The “mission” (there’s that word again) is to build up Iraqi forces and have the Iraqi gov’t stand on its own. And, everyone knows this. So, when the public is asked “I 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.” that’s a legitimate question; not a loaded one. This has been the debate for years, now.

    ILdem,

    “They are now having a hard time swallowing their pride and admitting that change on their part is necesary for their own good.”


    Are you talking about the Democrats and their determination to lose this war?! Think about it…

    Posted by: rahdigly at February 23, 2007 5:17 PM
    Comment #209477

    Eric,

    Before finishing the job, could your guys in Iraq can actually *start* the job?
    Like secure the nation they actually invaded 4 years ago? Or actually does nation building, as promise, not nation crashing, as witnessed.

    What? The job was never defined?
    You’re so damn right. Pun intended.


    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at February 23, 2007 6:10 PM
    Comment #209479

    ILdem-
    I would qualify things this way: The modern Republican party is a reaction to the persistent power of the Democrats over the last several decades that preceded the 1994 election. They built their politics, built their message, and built their indoctrination to encourage a staunch opposition to the Liberals.

    It’s understandable, to some extent. They felt they had to turn back a cultural tide, and to a certain extent they did.

    They problem was, they were like an army never de-mobilized after they defeated their enemy. The problem with constant maintenance of such attitudes is the insecurity that comes with them, the need to prevent any kinds of steps backwards, any kind of retreats.

    In better times, when the arguments are mostly rhetorical, There’s more room for error. You can simply say, “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.” The problem comes when what you do and what you believe comes into harder contact with reality, and it becomes more necessary to adapt and change your beliefs in order to properly deal with the situation. The Republicans have failed miserably to do this. They think they’ve got a good bead on things, despite everything that’s been screwed up, all the assumptions proved unsound.

    We have to be careful ourselves, because we could end up making the same mistake for different reasons, and in different ways. Politics should be a process for dealing with conflicting positions and beliefs, not a hiding place one withdraws to in order to avoid the facts and figures that should inform such things.

    Rahdigly-
    Is a pollster supposed to be arguing with or persuade the people they’re polling, or getting their views in their purest form possible?

    The question might be appropriate for a politician to ask, given that their purpose is to argue and persuade, but a pollster, especially one trying to get the true shape of a sample’s opinion, should do their best to stay out of their respondent’s way, and not corrupt the results with their own point of view, blue or red. There are ways to parse and phrase the question so you get a much more reliable answer on the question of what they think. The pollsters in question didn’t bother to do that.

    As for our determination to lose the war? First, that’s never been what Democrats have wanted. Second, our point at this point is that the war is already lost. The failures are past tense. If you’ve lost a war, if there’s no undoing the damage through further effort, it’s time to cut your losses. It’s not bravery to force a country to wallow longer in the consequences of a war’s failure. It’s an intensification of the defeat and its costs.

    Moreover, we have no desire to let this defeat become a defining part of our history. We leave Iraq not to dwell on defeat, but the rethink our approach to foreign policy, to improve it.

    The real question is whether you believe in learning from mistakes and doing better, or whether you believe in looking for somebody to blame for the failures of policy they did not have the power or the opportunity to shape. It’s easier to hate and oppose liberals than it is to wrestle with your own demons, struggle with your own mistakes.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2007 6:24 PM
    Comment #209486

    Stephen,

    “Moreover, we have no desire to let this defeat become a defining part of our history. We leave Iraq not to dwell on defeat, but the rethink our approach to foreign policy, to improve it.”

    Hold on a minute. I don’t believe that most Americans view this as a defeat; in fact, this poll proved otherwise. Americans do not like defeat and they can’t stand to lose. Most Americans can’t stand that Iranian (jerkoff) President and all his bullsh*t; Al Qaeda and the rest of the fascist pigs putting up videos every other week spewing their jihad; or the constant bashing of America (and Americans) time after time. Most want to win this war and (still) believe it’s winnable. That’s America. We are the best and we don’t want to be defeated; especially, by a bunch of rabid cowards that are trying to destroy our way of life. Most Americans know who our (true) enemies are and we want them defeated. DEFEATED!

    This poll seems to have jaded your opinions a little bit. Having the American people behind this war (and it’s cause) is a good thing. It’s good for our troops to know that the American people are behind them and their mission.

    I guaruntee you that the terrorists don’t like this poll at all! They must be seething right now. Their strategy has been to cause as much chaos as possible (for as long as possible) until public opinion caves in enough to withdrawl the troops; then, they’ll celebrate victory. It’s great to see that, after four years, the American people haven’t caved yet. It’s great for the US! Great!!!

    Posted by: rahdigly at February 23, 2007 7:52 PM
    Comment #209487

    Rahdigly

    “ILdem,

    “They are now having a hard time swallowing their pride and admitting that change on their part is necesary for their own good.”


    Are you talking about the Democrats and their determination to lose this war?! Think about it…”

    Absolutely not. There is no such desire by any democrats I know. Only a desire to end this conflict as it was a failure a long time ago by way of a myriad of serious mistakes and miscalculations by this executive branch. With the biggest being entering into at all.

    Posted by: ILdem at February 23, 2007 7:53 PM
    Comment #209520
    in fact, this poll proved otherwise.

    This is funny. Stephen deconstructs the poll point by point, demonstrating that an informed analysis concludes that the poll itself was flawed. What’s Rahdigly’s response? That the poll isn’t flawed because it represents reality. How do we know what reality is? By looking at the poll!

    Rahdigly’s so accustomed to spinning that he doesn’t notice that he spun himself into circular reasoning.

    Classic.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at February 24, 2007 10:18 AM
    Comment #209523

    Perhaps the right is so desperate for anything that even remotely supports their position that they will hang their collective hats on even something this silly.

    The truly sad thing is that this pollster was only able to get 53% positive asking a loaded question, in Chattanooga.

    Go figure.

    Posted by: Rocky at February 24, 2007 10:28 AM
    Comment #209533

    ILdem,

    “Absolutely not. There is no such desire by any democrats I know. Only a desire to end this conflict as it was a failure a long time ago by way of a myriad of serious mistakes and miscalculations by this executive branch. With the biggest being entering into at all.”


    Ending this conflict, with anything short of completing the mission, would result in failure. No doubt! The democratic party (and the MSM) have invested in defeat; they are immersed in it. They’ve “McGovernized” themselves and they can’t get out of it. Look at Clinton and Edwards; they’re stumbling all over themselves when they talk to their democratic primary base by saying “I was wrong to vote for this war; it was all Bush’s fault… but I need your vote to be President and show this country leadership.” Whatever. Not going to happen. Look at Lieberman; the democratic party (already) bumped him out for an anti-Iraq candidate. Now, Lieberman may be forced to go Republican b/c of his (firm) stance on Iraq.


    This is why the poll question was phrased that way: “I 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.”. That is precisely the mission in Iraq. Now if you don’t support the mission, you would’ve said “NO”. If you do support the mission, you would’ve said “YES”. Nothing “loaded”; no chicanery; just a straightforward question.


    Posted by: rahdigly at February 24, 2007 11:20 AM
    Comment #209535

    Great posts, Stephen D. I loved all of this whole thread from the Southeners saying that slavery wasn’t all that bad and it would have eventually gone away anyhow to one lone Repug glorifier defending the indefensible. I have to say again, way to really nail it Stephen. I also have to always chuckle when Eric writes something and then lets someone, usually Jack, this time someone else, defend his premise.

    Posted by: ray at February 24, 2007 11:47 AM
    Comment #209605

    Rahdigly-
    The questions were rigged to get a certain kind of response. You say it’s just part of the debate. But if you ask somebody a question, and you’re looking to get their opinion and nothing else, you shouldn’t be asking them a leading or loaded question. That’s you getting in the way of learning what the other folks really think.

    All polls sample. They ask about a thousand people what they think in a randomized survey, and then use mathematical models to determine the overall opinion of the population.

    The danger of failing to ask neutral questions, of failing to get out of your own way in deriving the poll’s answer, is that even if you could change the opinion of the person you’re asking, the change in comparison to the overall population will be small. Meanwhile, you’ve managed to give yourself a false impression of what everybody actually thinks.

    The only purpose to do such a thing is to have the results be persuasive, to change people’s opinion by a fallacious appeal to percieved public opinion. But that means, you’re essentially lying to gain support. It’s not ultimately going to solve the real problem with the war’s popularity. It never has.

    Americans were behind the war when they thought it would do some good. American’s aren’t fools or cowards. They won’t be leaving because they’re scared of any terrorists. They’ll be leaving because they think it’s an unsalvageable mess. At least, unsalvageable by us. The longer we stay, the more we get in the way of Iraqi’s finally settling on a government.

    We blew it. Yeah, I’m saying that. Because we didn’t fight hard enough? No, our soldiers fought their hearts out. They came through on their side of the bargain. Soldiers should not be made hostages of their superior’s poorly justified dishonestly sold plans.

    They certainly shouldn’t be forced to try to win a war with less soldiers, less resources, and less training in the necessary issues of the fight. This was not a war lost by a failure of morale, but rather by a failure of strategy. They were simply given the wrong orders, and not given the material support to carry out any alternative plan.

    I can say that, at peace with what I’m saying, because I know this country tried its hardest to make this work, and I never said anything like what you alleged I believed. I was never for defeat. Saying we lost, and liking the fact are two different things. Saying we had problems, and wanting us to have problems are also two different things, but the Republicans for the most part never made that distinction, and becaue of that, never could take advantage of it.

    If this president had admitted his mistakes, he might not have been re-elected, or he might have taken a hit at the polls, but he would not have done as much harm to our foreign policy interests, and he might have been able to shake the perception that he’s a reckless incompetent. He might also have managed to piece together a composite plan that would have better suited both the population’s opinions, and the War’s necessities. That, however, would have had to have been done some time ago, because the war developed away from our control in the meantime. Time and tide wait for no one, and stalling until after the elections to deal with the problems of policy lost Bush this war.

    America doesn’t like who’s leading them. The poll, with it’s twisted questions tries to convince people otherwise, but if you look at any poll that’s done by people who knew what they were doing, the results show that very fact.

    Americans don’t like to be defeated, and they don’t like to be led into defeat. That’s why people don’t like Bush.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 24, 2007 5:44 PM
    Comment #209631

    Rahdigly
    Rahdigly


    Ending this conflict, with anything short of completing the mission, would result in failure. No doubt! The democratic party (and the MSM) have invested in defeat; they are immersed in it. They’ve “McGovernized” themselves and they can’t get out of it. Look at Clinton and Edwards; they’re stumbling all over themselves when they talk to their democratic primary base by saying “I was wrong to vote for this war; it was all Bush’s fault… but I need your vote to be President and show this country leadership.” Whatever. Not going to happen. Look at Lieberman; the democratic party (already) bumped him out for an anti-Iraq candidate. Now, Lieberman may be forced to go Republican b/c of his (firm) stance on Iraq.”

    You are ranting. Much of what you say makes no good sense to me. I fail to understand how the democrats and the msm can be held responsible for failed policy they had no control over. The dems were never invited to participate in the planning stages nor were the msm. As a matter of fact the dems were excluded from most everything the last six years. Not by their choice but by a party mired in secrecy and self righteousness. George, Dick, Rummy and their band of strike happy cohorts are as a group solely responsible for the erroneous events leading us into this conflict. Your defense of this administration and their plunders is old, tired, overused and non effective. Give it up. Accept the fact that this failure is the result of those who were not capable of making it a success. (and no I am not refering to the troops who should be commended for courageously perservearing while our executive branch recklessly plays with their lives)

    And by the way Lieberman is not leaving the democrat side. It would be sure political suicide for him the next time around.

    Posted by: ILdem at February 24, 2007 10:11 PM
    Comment #209730

    Stephen, it wasn’t rigged; they were asked a specific question which is (precisely) equivalent to the “mission” in Iraq.

    I’m glad this poll came up, b/c it debunked the anti-war/anti-Bush crowd, bigtime. 3 years of negative coverage (every night) about Iraq and the American public is still behind the war and the “mission”. Like I said Stephen, it’s a good thing for America; especially, since the President’s approval rating is low, yet the mission and the troops are (still) supported. This shows how you can disagree with the president, yet still back the troops and their mission. And, that’s what Americans have said in this poll. They think it’s winnable and they will not be defeated! Those who are against Bush exclusively, with nothing but hatred, haven’t proved they’re for the war and the mission. It’s that obvious; hating Bush doesn’t help our country and makes it impossible to support the troops and the war.

    Posted by: rahdigly at February 26, 2007 12:26 PM
    Comment #209735

    ILdem,

    “I fail to understand how the democrats and the msm can be held responsible for failed policy they had no control over. The dems were never invited to participate in the planning stages nor were the msm. As a matter of fact the dems were excluded from most everything the last six years.”


    Oh, they have failed. They gave the President Authorization to go to War, then offered no plan how to conduct it; just criticism. Now, the democrats, who voted for the War, are backtracking on their vote. Added to which indignity, they’re trying to usurp the President’s powers to conduct war. And, just in case some believe that’s a good thing, Congress is not constitutionally allowed to do this. They can cut off funding for the troops and that would end the war; however, they’re not to take Commander in Chief responsiblity like they’re attempting to do. That’s not leadership. That’s not good for our troops and their mission. That’s the problem with the democrats in this. It’s disingenuous and uncalled for.

    By the way, Lieberman is in a comfortable position in congress right now. He’s being “courted” by both sides. He’ll vote mostly with the Democrats; however, he’ll continue to be the lone dem that is in (firm) support of Iraq and completing the mission. Remember, he’s an Independent now b/c the democratic party bumped him out for an anti-Iraq candidate; even though Lieberman votes with the dems 90% of the time, the exception being the Iraq War.

    Posted by: rahdigly at February 26, 2007 1:06 PM
    Comment #209880

    WAR IS OVER! If you want it

    Another 2 U.S. soldiers died today, and another 15 were wounded. Support our troops by bringing them home. I’m not for an immediate withdrawal, but I am for deadlines. All U.S. soldiers should be home by December 2008. Critics of withdrawal deadlines argue that such talk only emboldens the enemies. Might deadlines also encourage the Iraqi government to step up? Just something for the withdrawal critics to think about. The world doesn’t function properly without deadlines.

    Controlling terrorism is a matter of law enforcement, not military power. The solution to a stable Iraq is not more war, it’s more politics and diplomacy. Unfortunately, the U.S. government has created a difficult world for the Iraqi government and its neighbors to negotiate. Granted, Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator, but can supporters of the war really say Iraq is better off today with hundreds of Iraqis dying every day and thousands fleeing every month? Since when did America become the democracy police? Last time I checked Saudi Arabia was a monarchy and 19 of the hijackers on 9/11 were Saudis. So, when are we going to bring shock and awe and democracy to Saudi Arabia?

    The withdrawal should take place as follows:
    June 2007 reduce current levels to 125,000
    December 2007 reduce levels to 100,000
    March 2008 reduce levels to 75,000
    June 2008 reduce levels to 50,000
    September 2008 reduce levels to 25,000
    December 2008 all troops home

    At each stage of the withdrawal, the U.S. government should encourage and participate in diplomacy. This should include direct diplomatic relations with Iran. This is just one of many plans for ending U.S. involvement in Iraq. What’s your plan?

    Posted by: Thomas at February 27, 2007 4:07 PM
    Comment #210594

    All you “withdrawl” and “redeployment” types; check out how the military
    feels about the amount of troops. Let’s see the “pollsters” (on this blog) debate this poll. Remember, this poll was used as a “hit” piece by CBS (Rathergate 2) a week ago.


    “13) We currently have 145,000 troops in Iraq and Kuwait. How many troops do you think we should have there?

    Zero 13%
    0-50,000 7%
    50,000-144,000 6%
    145,000 13%
    146,000-200,000 22%
    200,000+ 16%
    No opinion/Don’t know 23% “

    That’s 51% who feel we should have the same or more troops in Iraq; compared to 26% who feel we should have fewer to zero (aka “pullout”, “withdrawl”, “redeployment”). Guess that poll is “rigged”, huh?!

    Posted by: rahdigly at March 5, 2007 4:04 PM
    Comment #212380

    rahdigly,

    Rigged? I doubt it. It makes sense that members of the military want more troops. The military is in the business of waging wars. That’s why we have civilians in charge. Left to their own devices, the military (especially a volunteer military) might wage war indefinitely.

    A majority of the general public(58%) want the troops back home within a year, and 59% of the general public oppose the President’s troop surge. The Republicans can ignore this now if they wish, but they will pay for it in the 2008 elections. (http://www.pollingreport.com/iraq.htm)

    If you are a proponent of more war, why don’t you sign up for the military and go fight in Iraq? They could use your help.

    Posted by: Thomas at March 16, 2007 6:39 PM
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