Pass The Applesauce, Please!

I suppose that the watchdog taxpayer group Citizens Against Government Waste is a right wing, neo-con outfit, right?

Posters on the left side will slam me (and them) for this, but there is so much pork in HR1591 …the emergency spending bill that Pelosi,Murtha and the rest of the crew in the House passed last week … that the price of a pork chop shot up 50 cents a pound today!

You don’t think that this “reform-minded” House is corrupt yet? Read on…..

According to the Citizens Against Government Waste web site...right smack dab in the middle of their homepage for all the world to see...is an analysis of the pork-encrusted bill that the Dems crowed about last week. Did you see this on ABC, CBS, CNN,NBC? Was this reported in the New York Times,The Washington Post, The Daily Kos?

Didn't think so.

This "anti-war bill", this "historic" bill as Pelosi says includes the following white meat amendments.....if this doesn't prove that votes were bought, I have a bridge I want to sell you!

Consider:

$500 million for emergency wildfires suppression; the Forest Service currently has $831 million for this purpose;
$400 million for rural schools;
$283 million for the Milk Income Loss Contract program;
$120 million to compensate for the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the shrimp and menhaden fishing industries;
$100 million for citrus assistance;
$74 million for peanut storage costs;
$60.4 million for salmon fisheries in the Klamath River region in California and Oregon;
$50 million for asbestos mitigation at the U.S. Capitol Plant;
$48 million in salaries and expenses for the Farm Service Agency;
$35 million for NASA risk mitigation projects in Gulf Coast;
$25 million for spinach growers;
$25 million for livestock;
$20 million for Emergency Conservation Program for farmland damaged by freezing temperatures;
$16 million for security upgrades to House of Representatives office buildings;
$10 million for the International Boundary and Water Commission for the Rio Grande Flood Control System Rehabilitation project;
$6.4 million for House of Representative’s Salaries and Expenses Account for business continuity and disaster recovery expenses;
$5 million for losses suffered by aquaculture businesses including breeding, rearing, or transporting live fish as a result of viral hemorrhagic septicemia;
$4 million for the Office of Women’s Health at the Food and Drug Administration.

I don't see Kevlar vests, bullets,guns,Humvee armor, medical supplies, there...do you?

Nope, all I see is pork drippings.....pure unadulterated pork....brought to you exclusively by the shameless Nancy Pelosi and Jack Murtha.

Pass the applesauce please.....


Posted by Sicilian Eagle at March 26, 2007 8:29 PM
Comments
Comment #213840

S. E.
I’m glad I don’t claim any alligence to a polital party, but anybody who claims there is no corruption in the Democratic party is severly brain washed. Corruption is in both parties. Most of our congress are attorneys, I’d say at least 90%. The first thing in law school is being trained how to twist the truth. If any lawyer says they don’t, I’ll show you 435 in the house and 100 in the senate.

Posted by: KAP at March 26, 2007 8:45 PM
Comment #213843

SE,

“I don’t see Kevlar vests, bullets,guns,Humvee armor, medical supplies, there…do you?”

I suppose you aren’t going to tell us about the rest of the money in this bill, and where it goes.

Posted by: Rocky at March 26, 2007 8:50 PM
Comment #213844

After what twelve years of Republican rule in Congress brought us, you’ve got some set of balls to complain now…

JLS

Posted by: Jeff Seltzer at March 26, 2007 8:53 PM
Comment #213849

SE,

So you’re being disingenuous at best when you say that the “pork” takes away from the appropriations to the military.

You’re sounding more like Rush every day.

The pork listed here is about 2% of the total bill.

The Senate bill asks for 122 billion, that’s actually a bit more than the House bill you’re bitching about.

Posted by: Rocky at March 26, 2007 9:18 PM
Comment #213851

SE-

From Wikipedia:

Throughout its history CAGW has been charged with being a front group for a multitude of interests from both the right and left sides of the political isles. This occurs because CAGW is funded by the Olin Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, Merrill-Lynch, Phillip Morris, and Exxon-Mobil. The Washington Post is also reporting that they may be linked to the Abramoff scandal[14].

More info here from source watch.

you said:

Posters on the left side will slam me (and them) for this, but there is so much pork in HR1591

I think you are projecting here. Not all of us are as blindly partisan as you suggest. I wouldn’t argue with you regarding this bill. It is, in my humble opinion, a sorry excuse for legislation in its entirety.

Of course, I must also point out to you that any conservative who hasn’t made this an issue since 2000 can in no way legitimately argue against this bill based solely upon pork. They have not a leg to stand on in this regard. Congressional Conservatives have abdicated their duty to restrict spending over the last six years and most of you have either defended it or remained silent.

Finally, you may not see Kevlar, armor, supplies, etc … But it has been less than three months, Republicans have had six years and still …???????


Posted by: jrb at March 26, 2007 9:21 PM
Comment #213853

Just curious….

Isn’t there actual insurance that should be available - and purchased - that if purchased would eliminate the ‘need’ for the majority of this pork??

Posted by: bugcrazy at March 26, 2007 9:41 PM
Comment #213854

I would like to preemptively say what Democrats will say, here is their argument: Don’t look at me, look at the dummy

The dummy being the Republicans, so in essence they will just say well they did it first.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at March 26, 2007 9:43 PM
Comment #213856

P.S: This bill is not an anti war bill Sicilian Eagle as you say, this bill is a pathetic attempt by the Democrats to look anti-war while really waiting over a year, the withdrawal date in it is for September 2008. And what a freaking cooincidence that they chose September 2008, it is six weeks before the election and just when most voters start paying attention. Thus the Democrats are trying to gain as much political capital as they can from the troops by bringing them home as close to the election as possible, if they really cared about the troops they would do it in May 2008 or January 2008 or a date that wasn’t so obviously a political ploy.

“House Democrats Using Troops As Political Pawns”
http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/004922.html#more

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at March 26, 2007 9:48 PM
Comment #213862

Richard-

Be fair, both sides are playing political games here. Both R’s and D’s are busy jockeying for power rather than governing.

Posted by: jrb at March 26, 2007 10:09 PM
Comment #213863

jrb: Yeah I know that. I am a Green and am sick of the holier than thou actions of the Democrats, they do much of the same things as the Republicans but when they do it they say: Don’t look at me, look at the dummy.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at March 26, 2007 10:18 PM
Comment #213870

I wonder what you folks make of this:

Other late additions to the supplemental crack down on wasteful government contracting. The bill adds millions to the budgets of multiple Inspectors General to investigate contacts related to the Gulf Coast recovery. It also withholds funds from the Defense Department until it produces a report on contractors involved in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And the supplemental would require that the agencies that rely heavily on contractors develop and implement a plan to minimize wasteful contracts. The House recently passed a similar provision in H.R. 1362.

The president later added requests of $3 billion for the Base Relocation And Closure (BRAC) program and another $3 billion for troop increases. Notwithstanding these additions being added, the president made it abundantly clear that he intends to veto the House bill.
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 26, 2007 11:22 PM
Comment #213871

Richard Rhodes-
How do you suggest we get the votes to pass an military appropriations bill that has some chance of ending the war, pray tell?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 26, 2007 11:25 PM
Comment #213872

Oh, while we’re on the subject of body armor, the linked article says the bill pays for about 10 billion dollars worth of it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 26, 2007 11:27 PM
Comment #213875

S.D.: “How do you suggest we get the votes to pass an military appropriations bill that has some chance of ending the war, pray tell?”

I understand that pork is the way that the votes are bought yes, but that is just it votes shouldn’t be bought. Moreover Stephen I am commenting more on the September 2008 date, which is extremely politically driven. We all know both major parties eat pork.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at March 26, 2007 11:41 PM
Comment #213877

Personally, I prefer roast chicken hawk.

Posted by: gergle at March 26, 2007 11:45 PM
Comment #213879

I see no pork — indeed this a vegan bill. There are no “bridges to nowhere” or big-time lobbyist kickbacks in it. I see a lot of money for the troops and some necessary crisis-driven expenditures, and some other stuff that was left hanging in mid-air when the GOP lost the last election.
But while we’re getting our undies in a bundle over gi-normous amounts of wasted cash, are we allowed to mention how badly we’ve been ripped off by contractors in Iraq? Or how our troops have been horrendously short-changed by no-bid contracts given to Halliburton and Subsidiaries? Or how about the fact that the president has overspent the money allotted to him for the Iraq War by ONE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS?
Would our resident Bush apologists care to say a few words about those sorts of insane cash outlays, hmmm?

Posted by: Adrienne at March 26, 2007 11:50 PM
Comment #213880

While I disagree that this bill is disproportionately pork laden, and I NEVER agree with SE’s sic-ken-ning posts…That Rocky and Stephen don’t see a problem with pork in the numbers that SE listed..even though many of these projects may merit funding..is why we have serious balooning of government spending problems.

Posted by: gergle at March 26, 2007 11:56 PM
Comment #213881

SE,
The Emergency Supplemental Bill includes $1.3 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers to do levee repair in New Orlenas. That item alone equals all the others added together. So come right out and say it. Do you consider this “pork”? Are you against it?

The Bill also includes $969 million for Health & Human Services to prepare, and to develop a vaccine for avian flu. Again, it equals almost all the items added together. Do you consider this “pork”? Are you against it?

Many of the items you mention involve farm subsidies, in cases where disasters severely impacted agriculture. Do you consider this “pork”? Are you against it?

Pick one. Pick carefully. You will need more than hyperbole to make your case.

Posted by: phx8 at March 26, 2007 11:58 PM
Comment #213882

Richard, what date would you think would lend itself to a non political date for the troops to be removed yet allow enough time to plan for and execute a proper redeployment of the troops?

Posted by: j2t2 at March 27, 2007 12:01 AM
Comment #213884

SD:

Please, don’t ever stop posting here.

Adrienne, phx8:

Great points, I always enjoy both of your posts as well.

gergle:

You, sir, hit the nail on the head!

Posted by: jrb at March 27, 2007 12:05 AM
Comment #213885

j2t2: I think we should have left a long time ago. But too answer your question, which I already have above when I said: “Thus the Democrats are trying to gain as much political capital as they can from the troops by bringing them home as close to the election as possible, if they really cared about the troops they would do it in May 2008 or January 2008 or a date that wasn’t so obviously a political ploy.”

I would personally like to see us leave as soon as possible. I don’t claim to know everything about military redeployment, but I think that we should have all the troops out between September of 2007 and January of 2008.

Moreover the only political date is September 2008 - November 2008, the six weeks right before the election. I just find it despicable that this is when the Democrats want to withdrawal. It is so painfully obvious that they want this date for political reasons, I want the troops out as soon as possible. The Democrats want the troops out when they can maximize political capital, which is the six weeks before the election.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at March 27, 2007 12:19 AM
Comment #213886

I don’t like pork much, but if it ends the war, then it’s a small price to pay, in both literal and moral terms.

I would rather not be pennywise and pound-foolish.

Richard Rhodes-
Beware the use of the words obvious in a political debate, as by definition there are often matters where folks obviously believe otherwise. The key is to find out what the different angles are and figure out why people disagree with you.

One potential problem with your theory is that September is the alternate, not prefered date. March 2008 is the date that gets triggered if sufficient progress is not gained in Iraq.

That, my friend, is the problem with speculating so much out of just a date. The pork is an embarrassment, but the war is a catastrophe, and I’d rather be embarrassed about pork than see America’s defense become compromised because Bush has so fatally overextended us.

But of course, given the choice, I’d rather we cut out the pork. If he vetoes this, fine. We can cut out the pork It might be easier this time around, because many who voted against last time no longer have the benefit of claiming they didn’t vote for this. A reverse Kerry situation, if you will.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 27, 2007 12:21 AM
Comment #213890

SD-

The pork is an embarrassment, but the war is a catastrophe, and I’d rather be embarrassed about pork than see America’s defense become compromised because Bush has so fatally overextended us.

Great point here. I agree 100%. And I did read in your link that, per this bill, “major combat operations” could end as soon as Jan. 2008 and as late as Sept. 2008. I had not previously known that caveat.

I still think, however, that if our Democratic leadership had conviction, and a little intestinal fortitude, they would say, “No waiting. Bring the troops home now.” My rationale is, if we can agree that it was improper to go into Iraq in the first place then, each day we stay we are participating in an improper act. It is for this reason that I cannot support this bill and think it’s unfortunate that this is the course we are taking.

Posted by: jrb at March 27, 2007 12:46 AM
Comment #213893

Stephen: My entire point was just to say that, as far as I had seen, the media had not pointed out the obvious political capital in leaving in September 2008. And since the media didn’t I decided to. It is blatantly obvious that a September 2008 withdrawal would be the best possible situation, politically speaking, for the Dems.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at March 27, 2007 1:00 AM
Comment #213894

If pulling the troops out of Iraq is going to end the war, are the terrorists on the same page as the dems?

Posted by: dolan at March 27, 2007 1:00 AM
Comment #213896

Dolan-

I am speaking of the war in Iraq [separate from the “war on terror”]. Thus, If we don’t have any troops in Iraq, there is no war that we are involved in there. Therefore, by definition the war is over regardless of what page Democrats are on.

Posted by: jrb at March 27, 2007 1:08 AM
Comment #213897

jrb,
I respect your conviction although disagree with your beliefs. Dont you think the dem leadership should just cut the funding? Wouldnt that make their opposition to the battle in Iraq more defined?

Posted by: dolan at March 27, 2007 1:18 AM
Comment #213899

Dolan-

I have very mixed feelings about the cut funding approach. I just want Democrats to say enough is enough. Say it was wrong to go in [i.e. Iraq wasn’t involved in 9/11], so bring ‘em home. I sincerely believe it was a wrong war, wrong place, wrong time situation. I am not a pacifist or anythng, I just don’t think invading Iraq was the solution to the position we found ourselves in.

Posted by: jrb at March 27, 2007 1:30 AM
Comment #213900

Does pork still exist in the Democratic Congress? Sure! I doubt many people are suggesting that the Democrats have completely eliminated pork spending or really attempted to do so.

BUT! What has happened is that pork spending has gone down since 2006, which is was a peak year in pork spending following a pattern of increase from 1999. This is according to Citizens Against Government Waste, smack-dab in the middle of their website!

According to the Chinese calendar, 2007 is the Year of the Pig. Fortunately for American taxpayers, it will be a smaller pig than usual. The 2007 Congressional Pig Book has not been this little since 1999, as only two of the 11 appropriations bills were enacted by Congress and the remaining nine were subject to a moratorium on earmarks. There are no indoor rainforests, National Peanut Festivals, mariachi music grants, or teapot museums to be found.

See this page for more details.

Also, a representative for CAGW did appear on CNN a couple weeks ago. Apologetically, I cannot provide a link. But the media is not (completely!) ignoring this problem.

Posted by: Xan at March 27, 2007 1:32 AM
Comment #213901

Xan-

thanks for the link. I liked the historical trends page. Telling.

Posted by: jrb at March 27, 2007 1:40 AM
Comment #213902

We are going to lose this war in Iraq. It WILL be the democrat’s fault.

May a pox be on your house forever.

Posted by: tomd at March 27, 2007 3:48 AM
Comment #213908
We are going to lose this war in Iraq. It WILL be the democrat’s fault.

The great incompetent one (i.e., your president) has had almost four years (since “major combat operations ended”) to win “this war in Iraq.” Don’t blame the democrats. Congress has given Bush everything he wanted so far. The blank check is over.

This administration is incompetent. The war has no purpose. The American people know this. You are just too much of a blind partisan to see it.

Posted by: Jeff Seltzer at March 27, 2007 7:31 AM
Comment #213910

SE,

I don’t think all of this is necessarily pork (wildfire suppression?), but let’s assume it is. You have about $1.8 billion worth of spending there. The federal budget for FY 2007 is about $2.8 TRILLION. So those crazy spendthrift Dems want to increase the federal budget by .06% (that is, six one-hundredths of a percent). How will the Republic survive?!

That assumes that the bill would actually lose money. According to MSNBC, we are spending about $200 million a day in Iraq. So if this bill makes the war end a mere nine days sooner, it will have no net cost.

(We can argue about the merits of withdrawing as a policy, but there are the dollars and cents.)

Posted by: Woody Mena at March 27, 2007 8:31 AM
Comment #213914

SE,

I don’t see Kevlar vests, bullets,guns,Humvee armor, medical supplies, there…do you?

IIRC, soldiers deployed in Iraq didn’t either in the first two years.

Yeah, pass the applesauce please…..


Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at March 27, 2007 9:22 AM
Comment #213915

jrb-
Bringing an army out is like stopping a car. It’s good to do it as quickly as possible, but doing it too quickly is like stopping the car by running it into a brick wall.

We need time to arrange our exit. You don’t move more than 150,000 troops out of a place without arranging the transportation, figuring out where they’ll be redeployed to, and so on and so forth.

Cutting funding does not mean leaving our soldiers in the field without supplies or anything like that. It simply means shutting down the production. Everybody goes home, or where ever they’re supposed to go. Ultimately, it’s the only recourse we have, short of repealing the authorization for war, which would really ram things into a wall.

Richard Rhodes-
Democrats were voted in as the majority to do this. if they can manage it, what’s the problem? Moreover, you miss the fact that the Sept date depends entirely on Bush’s ability to make the current strategy work, which is unlikely, given the way he’s once again lowballed things.

You can talk about how this is all politicized, but here’s my test for politicization: are the practical realities being ignored in order to move the policy forward? If not, then there shouldn’t be a problem. It is expected that Congressfolk will seek credit for what they do and take political advantage of doing what the people want. It’s not a bad thing, if they’re really doing what we’ve asked them to, what’s in our best interests.

Only if they are seeking praise for something unreal, something that doesn’t deserve it, should the matter of politicizing actions concerning a policy be considered, because then the politics is doing harm to policy.

Dolan-
From what I’ve heard, terrorists in Iraq are not on the same page with the people there. There’s no real popular support for them. You must understand that as much as people in the Middle East think it’s justified to strike back at the US, they don’t much like the terrorists themselves.

They sort of see them the way many liberals see the televangelists, as overzealous moralizers. It doesn’t help their popularity that they often kill and attack fellow Muslims. Nor does it help them that they’re often calling other followers of Islam lousy Muslims. I believe there’s a word for that: takfiri It’s something like “slanderer”

Not everybody is as keen as jihad as folks think, just as most Americans aren’t that keen on seeing the apocalypse occur in our lifetimes. Folks want ordinary lives, to make a living. The more we disrupt that, the more we do Bin Laden and his followers a favor.

As for just cutting the funding? Like I said to the others, armies don’t stop on dimes. I’d rather we have a gradual withdrawal than a hasty one. We didn’t get the beginning or the middle of the war right, we might as well not screw up ending it.

tomd-
Does the buck ever stop with Bush? The truth is, the coverage of this war has gotten negative because Bush refuses to square with the American people about the way this war has steadily degenerated. The presses job is to report the facts, and when the president won’t face them, that’s when he’s going to look bad.

If he faced them, and then did something about them, rather than lecture people about the need to stay the course, he might have remained better liked, and his war might have more public support. Instead, he’s gone about the business of trying to prove his critics wrong by not giving up on his way of fighting it. That hasn’t worked, and that’s just dug the man deeper.

We didn’t begin this war as a losing war. It became one because the people who planned it and executed did not want to do things in a way that compromised their precious ideology. They didn’t want to nation build, they didn’t want to use men more than technology, they didn’t want to have to admit that the terrorists they said were there and the WMDs they believed were there didn’t show up. They just settled into their own closed-off perspective.

Thing is, though needs and problems can somewhat be anticipated, war is not predictable, which means people need to expand their awareness of things, rather than close it off, expand their options rather than paint themselves into corners on purpose.

We didn’t lose this war. It wasn’t ours to lose. We could not have dented the morale of a winning war, and there is clear evidence that decisions made by this administration were responsible for much of the problems that arose during and after our invasion.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 27, 2007 9:29 AM
Comment #213916
We are going to lose this war in Iraq. It WILL be the democrat’s fault.

Calm down guys. From my french point of view, it will be the US fault. Who needs to blame one side only when a whole nation (who (re-?)elect Bush in 2004) is at fault?

Be serious one minute: no draft, tax cut during wartime, no accountability, 3 years of (im)moral and political blank check!

Hello!?!

This war is your. The blame is too.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at March 27, 2007 9:29 AM
Comment #213924

“tomd-
Does the buck ever stop with Bush? The truth is, the coverage of this war has gotten negative because Bush refuses to square with the American people about the way this war has steadily degenerated. The presses job is to report the facts, and when the president won’t face them, that’s when he’s going to look bad.”

That’s not the way I see it Stephen, The Dems have been after Pres Bush ever since he got elected the first time. I vividly remember the press and the Dems being fooled by him during his campaign because they underestimated him. You are right. It is the press’s job to report the facts. More and more now days they report opinion instead of fact and that opinion seems to always favor the left.

Yeah, we are going to lose this war. The Dems will make sure of it. I hope you are proud. I’m saddened beyond words.

Posted by: tomd at March 27, 2007 10:30 AM
Comment #213927

If you want to end the war then just cut off the funding; don’t “pussyfoot” around the issue. If the dems feel they have a “Mandate” to end the War (instead of winning it!), then just take it to the American people and end it. All you defeatist and anit-Bushies ought to be ashamed of yourselves; you let your bias and selfishness trump your patriotism. Pathetic!

Posted by: rahdigly at March 27, 2007 11:30 AM
Comment #213932

tomd,

Proposition: The Republicans have been doing everything they can to lose this war.

Can you prove me wrong? Bush has had virtually a blank check for four years now, and we are getting our ass kicked. Either he and his advisors are absurdly incompetent, or they are actually trying to lose. In any case, until very recently the Democrats have had no impact on the war whatsoever.

Posted by: Woody Mena at March 27, 2007 12:35 PM
Comment #213944

“tomd,

Proposition: The Republicans have been doing everything they can to lose this war.

Can you prove me wrong?”

Not using your rules.

Posted by: tomd at March 27, 2007 1:40 PM
Comment #213946

The problem I have with this is they had to add all the posk just to get them to vote the way they wanted. If you are against the war, fine but vote your consience not allow it to be bought….

Posted by: Patrick at March 27, 2007 1:53 PM
Comment #213949

I look at the items listed as “pork” in Sicilian Eagle’s post and most of them look like reasonable expenditures of money. It makes me consider what it is we mean by the expression “pork”. Is it any money we spend on domestic needs?
Is it any money that is “piggy” backed (no pun intended) onto other bills?
Is it money added to a bill by a member of Congress for the congressman’s own district?

I have long objected to unrelated legislation being combined or added to a major bill. Each of these items listed should get its own notice of hearing, its own “without objection?” question, and, if there is an objection, its own debate on merit. Although relief for spinach growers may have great merit and be a worthwhile expenditure of money, it has nothing to do with funding the military

Posted by: charles Ross at March 27, 2007 1:57 PM
Comment #213950

Why do you have a problem with it Patrick?
It worked in 06 didn’t it. Vote for the Dems and we will end the war. Oh, and we will also give you pay raise.
The Reps think you should earn your money, the Dems will give it to you. Vote for us!

Posted by: kctim at March 27, 2007 1:59 PM
Comment #214021

SE

good to see ya back. ALL RISE THE KING OF THE POT STIRRERS IS IN THE ROOM

Posted by: dbs at March 27, 2007 7:57 PM
Comment #214033

Hey SE, glad to see you back!

As usual, you’re way off the mark with you’re article — the “pork” you speak of is a very tiny fraction of the entire defense bill and I’m not sure I’d consider funding for flood control, Katrina reconstruction and wildfire prevention “pork” — but I am a little disappointed.

But I guess it doesn’t matter since President Bush will veto the bill anyhow.

Posted by: American Pundit at March 27, 2007 8:24 PM
Comment #214050

Tomd-
Everythings mental with you guys. That’s what comes of an overly politicized perspective on war. You underrate the importance of the policy screw-ups. Seriously underrate them.

Iraq needs a new army. Why? Against the advice of many, including Jay Garner, the Administrator first brought into Iraq, we disbanded the old one. Now, we’re rehiring the same people, and fighting some of the people we let go.

Iraq needs new police. Why? Because we were too cheap to pay to keep the old ones on the job.

Iraq needs reconstruction. We’ve been there four years, what gives? We’ve dumped enough lettuce in Iraq to feed a nation of rabbits, yet we’re still struggling to restore the basics of infrastructure. We brought in contractors when people in Iraq could do the job and needed the work. Those contractors, dealing with army too small to spare much in the way of escorts, hire mercenaries. A few of these mercs take a wrong turn, get mobbed, burned, and hung over some bridge girders. The president sends men in against the advice of commanders on the ground, then equally so, yanks them out halfway, to wait half a year to take back the city. During that year, the violence increases immensely as the terrorists and insurgents have new bases to work from.

It’s amazing how much of all these events have little to do with the media, isn’t it? Perception is not as important as reality. It’s the reality of what we’ve done in Iraq that has allowed our enemy to defeat us.

The problem with blaming it on the media, is that as long as we have a robust media, there will be criticism. Becoming paranoid about it only leads to an obsession with message control, which often means denying what you know to be true to control one’s appearance to one’s supporters. As you fall into the black hole of media bias, everything gets sucked back into paranoia about the media.

If, however, you admit that it’s a practical failure, then losses in wars like Vietnam and Iraq are not inevitable results of a society and a media you can’t control (and would never really anyways) They become lessons in how to better fight a war, in how to better conduct counterinsurgency operations, among other things. We don’t have to lose the next war, if we’ll admit the real reasons why we lost this one.

That’s more productive than another generations worth of anger of political rationalization, of nihilistic claims that America has seen its best days and is now in decline.

Your choice, man. You can go on hating us for what you see as our loss of this war you guys controlled, or you can realize that the mistakes were yours, and as such you can endeavor not to repeat them.

Rahdigly-
Wars don’t stop on dimes. We’re giving Iraqis and our soldiers a chance to make this as orderly a hand-off as is possible.

You can keep on explaining how this all went wrong so your party seems clear to you of the blame, or you can admit that this war was screwed up. The evidence is all there. You just want it to be a perception and a loyalty problem because then you have an easy solution: partisan politics. Blame the Democrats, attack the Democrats, make sure they’re marginalized, then do things your way.

Only you folks did things your way this time. You own this mistake. You might as well own up to that.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 27, 2007 9:36 PM
Comment #214068

SD-

Was that a slap down I just heard? Ouch, sounded painful …

Posted by: jrb at March 27, 2007 10:17 PM
Comment #214110

DBS

Many thanks! That “King Of The Pot Stirrers” comment gets nominated for my Eagle Award which I will announce in June.

As you know,Adrienne was the last winner,and from what I heard has made the award the centerpiece in her living room. :)

Sometimes,she throws it at me,though.

Thankfully, she usually misses. :)

It’s a lot better than “King Of The Pot Smokers”,which,as you know, that title is usually firmly enconsed with others for the other side of the aisle based on some comments that I have read lately :)

AP

My old friend,thank you. I expect that after the next couple of pieces that I have written get posted, the novelty of the Eagle’s return will have dissiapated,and that we can get done to some serious communication. How’s things in Singapore?

Stephen

I have dodged replying to my absolute favorite commentator for two threads now…kinda like saving room for dessert,so to speak. Fear not, my brilliant friend. The clash of diversse philosophies is imminent, and when it occurs will be the wonder of the blogsphere.

Right now though, I am feeling like that guy Leonardis from that movie “300”….300 brave Spartans at the pass in Thermoplie holding off the heathen hordes….

With the dump of the president in the polls it reminds om of a funny story I once heard:

The Lone Ranger and Tonto were riding one day in a valley, when from the south a huge war party of Indians appeared and began chasing them. They turned north ,but another huge party was closing in on them from that direction. Same thing when they turned east, then west.

Realizing that the end was near, The Lone Ranger turned and said to Tonto: “Well,old friend, the end is near”.

Tonto turned and replied: “Who are you calling friend, white man?”

Thus, the Mighty Eagle,along with a select few here on Watchblog,are now the Spartans,but unlike the Lone Ranger, the end isn’t quite here yet.

Seriously,look for my next post. I wrote it specificially with you (and Adrienne) in mind. It will be a focused debate…something that I think you,me,Adrienne,and all our friends will enjoy. I know that Jack will post next and maybe one or two more,so I didn’t want to hog the column all week.

Meanwhile, I will sit back and watch the Senate as more Tontos appear.

Posted by: Sicilian Eagle at March 28, 2007 12:54 AM
Comment #214170

What a joke!!! Bush is standing before the mike just fizzing because this bill has so much “”“pork”“” in it!
Talk about the epitome of arrogance and selfimportance…. Pathetic.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 28, 2007 3:03 PM
Comment #214200
According to the Citizens Against Government Waste web site…right smack dab in the middle of their homepage for all the world to see…is an analysis of the pork-encrusted bill that the Dems crowed about last week. Did you see this on ABC, CBS, CNN,NBC?

Actually, yes it was on TV, I don’t remember what network, but John Murtha was explaining it was stuff that needed to be done because the Republicans didn’t do it. A lot of that is to help clean up the Republican-caused mess of Katrina. No the hurricane itself isn’t their fault, but it is the administration’s fault for ignoring the scientists’ warnings of what would happen and not dealing with the levees.

It isn’t really pork in the traditional sense, and if it was it wouldn’t even be noticeable compared to nearly anything the GOP did. It’s government spending to help out businesses and local governments after a disaster of course, but that’s been going on for far longer than since 2007. So if you’re saying the federal government shouldn’t do that, or making a point about the proper role of it in this, you should argue it on its own terms, rather than trying to make out like its the Democrats fault when it isn’t.

AP,

As usual, you’re way off the mark with you’re article — the “pork” you speak of is a very tiny fraction of the entire defense bill and…

The problem with hardcore Republicanism (not necessarily conservative philosophy in general) is that it’s based on loyalty to a movement and the people in it, and a vigorous opposition against anything that questions it. Many Republicans have a “team player” mentality, where their goal is not to find the truth or help America even, but to “win” and defeat their enemy in this case liberals no matter what. That’s of course why they only see what they want to see, and will read their own interpretation into some event regardless of the facts. This happens all the time, usually say a right-wing blooger will find out something that doesn’t look right (no pun intended) and post it as proof of some far-reaching liberal conspiracy or atrocity. Then later liberal/independent bloggers might show how it either isn’t true at all or it was blown way out of context and meant something completely different. If they’re proven wrong they’ll never apologize or admit it, but just wait for the next little thing to come along. Again, this doesn’t necessarily apply to conservatives in general and I’m not saying SE is like this, just something I’ve noticed.

“After what twelve years of Republican rule in Congress brought us, you’ve got some set of balls to complain now…

JLS”

Good point.

Posted by: Thom at March 28, 2007 7:14 PM
Comment #214223

I think most Republicans have become affected with the dreaded “short term memory syndrome” Suddenly after twelve years of porking up these war supplementals theyve amazingly become fiscal conservatives.
You guys had your turn and you turned away as your party did it, now all of a sudden God sends a lightening bolt down and strikes all the porkers of the past decade. Enough of the hypocricy. Actions speak louder than words and in that regard youve failed miserably to act as role models.

Posted by: ksec at March 28, 2007 10:13 PM
Comment #214236

SE-
The problem is, the Republicans talk like Leonidas, but plan and execute things like Denethor. They look into their Palantirs and see visions of death and doom, the fall of all things, and don’t realize that these are the things the forces of darkness want people to believe.

America can stand its ground against the terrorists and make our defense against them without matching their descent into the depths. The question, ultimately, is what we are willing to sacrifice for: freedom, or security. It is better to sacrifice a little security to preserve a great deal of freedom than to sacrifice a lot of freedom to get only a little security.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 28, 2007 10:51 PM
Comment #214239

Calling any project you do not happen to agree with or do not want to take the time to understand “pork” might be lots of fun but it is not very convinceing or germain to intelligent political discourse. Those projects you mentioned are not pork. They do not benefit one particular supporter. They were not tacked on at midnight. No one has tried to hide their authorship. They are all within the perview and past practice of the federal government.Note the large investments for agriculture. Ag is the fundemental driving industry for the country. It is quite proper for the federal government to assist and provide continuity and it is in our best interest.

Posted by: BillS at March 28, 2007 11:20 PM
Comment #214266

You have to feel sorry for supporters of the administration and the occupation of Iraq. They have to watch while their carefully maintained fictions come crashing down around their ears, and they have nothing left to do but try to blame the Democrats. But it wasn’t the Dems that pushed to invade a country that hadn’t attacked us and remove its entire governmental structure while destroying much of the physical infrastructure. To no ones surprise (other than the administration and its hardcore supporters) the place turned into a violent quagmire with no obvious exit for the US. Of course they lash out at the Democrats: the alternative is to blame themselves and their kind has never been able to self-reflect. Many of their leaders still think that Vietnam was a good idea that somehow liberals ruined. It wasn’t the Dems that decided to placidly ignore the human suffering on the Gulf coast and pat Brownie on the back for making a feeble, failed attempt to rouse George’s interest in the disaster. It wasn’t the Dems who neglected the returning wounded Vets’ medical and social needs, and they didn’t turn the Federal prosecutor’s offices into political arms of the Republican party. It doesn’t matter though. Nothing will ever change their supporters’ minds; every fact will be twisted into somehow supporting their notions. It is sad, really. I have to turn away, unable to look at them anymore.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at March 29, 2007 3:05 AM
Comment #214301

“No the hurricane itself isn’t their fault, but it is the administration’s fault for ignoring the scientists’ warnings of what would happen and not dealing with the levees”

So, the Republican congress and the Republican President built these levies in 2000, knowing full well they couldn’t handle a Cat 5 hurricane and no Democrat congress or President has ever known about this in the past?
Talk about only seeing what you want to see, and reading your own interpretation into some event regardless of the facts.

Posted by: kctim at March 29, 2007 12:54 PM
Comment #214306

Phillip,

“From my french point of view”

What’s that, the White Flag?! What did you think of France when it was found out that they had “garaunteed” oil contracts with Saddam as long as they kept him in Power?! Hmmm?!!


Stephen,

“Wars don’t stop on dimes. We’re giving Iraqis and our soldiers a chance to make this as orderly a hand-off as is possible.”


The “handoff” will be made when we complete the mission; retreating is not acceptable.


“You can keep on explaining how this all went wrong so your party seems clear to you of the blame, or you can admit that this war was screwed up. The evidence is all there. You just want it to be a perception and a loyalty problem because then you have an easy solution: partisan politics. Blame the Democrats, attack the Democrats, make sure they’re marginalized, then do things your way.”


My party, huh?! Wars are messy and many mistakes are made; WWII is a great example of this. Yet, some of you (somehow) don’t want to win just so you can blame Bush and make sure it sticks to his legacy. You (eventually) will have to get over it, b/c we will win this war and it will be inspite of some of you; and we know exactly who you are out there…

Posted by: rahdigly at March 29, 2007 1:38 PM
Comment #214315

rahdigly,

“Yet, some of you (somehow) don’t want to win just so you can blame Bush and make sure it sticks to his legacy.”

I don’t know if I have heard anyone say that they don’t want America to be victorious in the war on terror.
As for the messy parts, and the mistakes, there is plenty of blame to go around, and Bush is certainly not the least guilty

“You (eventually) will have to get over it, b/c we will win this war and it will be inspite of some of you..”

We’ve already won the war in Iraq, it was over in 2003.
“Mission accomplished” means we won, right?
So, what exactly do you mean by win?
By winning do you mean the elimination of all terrorists?

“and we know exactly who you are out there…”

Ooooo, threats? Surely your not serious?

Posted by: Rocky at March 29, 2007 2:44 PM
Comment #214333

Rahdigly-
Retreating is not acceptable! But sitting on our ass indefinitely waiting for the Iraqi’s to get their act together is, isn’t it?

And what they have to do. And how exactly is what we’re doing now helping? We’re not really reducing the violence very much, overall. We’re not taking back al Anbar, or calming down the Sunni Triangle. Bombs are still going off, and we’re still looking like a bunch of chumps because we don’t have the forces to prevent it.

Oh yeah, I really want to hang around and demonstrate further the impotence of my country to win a war. As for WWII, Eisenhower didn’t skimp on the soldiers and spend months reinvading the beaches of Normandy trying to make it work. He sent in the numbers necessary to win the battle the first time, and got it over with. Likewise, he didn’t lowball things in Europe and wait for the Russians in France. He applied the force needed early on, and we had V-E day less than a year later.

You talk about Normandy and the Casualties, and how were such wussies for mourning the roughly 3000 casualties of Iraq, but there’s one major difference: Normandy worked, and they didn’t fart around making excuses and covering their asses making it work!

You talk about winning now. Sure, after you’ve disillusioned your supporters and permanently pissed off your opponents. Sure, when even now, you don’t have enough soldiers to stop the violence. Yeah, it’ll just happen by luck. Any day now. Just like the other nine hundred times.

I don’t want to wait for another miracle. I want us to stop beating our heads against the wall, and start doing something productive. Like perhaps finishing Bin Laden, or something useful along those lines.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 29, 2007 4:52 PM
Comment #214379

Just think if we could redirect all the hatred the lefties have against Bush and the republicans against our enemy (the terrorists not our selves), I think the dems could really kick some ass.

Posted by: dolan at March 30, 2007 12:01 AM
Comment #214475

Good point, Dolan!!


Stephen

“Retreating is not acceptable! But sitting on our ass indefinitely waiting for the Iraqi’s to get their act together is, isn’t it?”

The “Surge” is not sitting on their a$$es; yet, the dems tried to undermine it with the “non-binding” resolution a few months ago. And, we did win the war, “mission was accomplished”, we are (now) in the process of winning the “peace” and let them hold their own (as a country) in that cest pool called the middle east!!


“As for WWII, Eisenhower didn’t skimp on the soldiers and spend months reinvading the beaches of Normandy trying to make it work.”


No, my point is that, in today’s media (including bloggers), you guys wouldn’t even have listened to General Eisenhower; instead, you would have found a General that disagreed with the President or wanted to pull out and “redeploy”. The point about WWII is that the left (today) would’ve tried this crap (then) when all those death tolls were mounting and it didn’t look like we were going to win.

Rocky,

“I don’t know if I have heard anyone say that they don’t want America to be victorious in the war on terror.”


They don’t have to “say” it directly; however, when they sound like the enemy or (inadvertently) provide aid and comfort to the enemy, that is an impediment to victory. No doubt about it!


By the way Rock, did you hear the lastest comments from Rosie Odonnell on the view?! Would you consider her part of “Coulter’s ilk” or just as “insidious as the enemy”?!!

Posted by: rahigly at March 30, 2007 6:12 PM
Comment #214476

Dolan-
Let me share something with you: my breaking point with Bush as a leader was when he announced, despite the fact that Bin Laden remained free that he was not much concerned with him anymore. I think it would be easy to say we weren’t on the same wavelength on that statement.

We were and still are all for taking the fight to the terrorists. That’s what America was happily doing on a bipartisan basis before going after Saddam became the aim of the administration.

Why do you think not finding terrorist training camps, a terrorist conspiracy with Saddam, or the WMDs was such a big deal? Without them, the Iraq war is a strategic error, and a distraction from the War on Terrorism.

You could ask yourself what better motivation one could have to dislike and even hate a leader like Bush than the failure to remain steadfast in the fight against the man who many consider this nation’s worst enemy.

Iraq adds insult to injury. Bush makes that his central front in the war on terrorism, spins a tale to get people to buy it as such, then fails to find much of any evidence to support that story.

Then to make matters worse, to add injury to insult, if you will, he even manages to screw the war up, not only putting America at a disadvantage in the fight, but even letting the terrorists into the country, affording them the very harbor he was claiming he would deny them.

The truth of the matter is, all we’ve wanted to do this whole time was get back to kicking the right people’s asses. The center of this dispute is not whether or not we pursue terrorists, it’s whether we go after the right ones.

The terrorists in Iraq remain largely because we do. They aren’t terribly popular. Being muslims who are attacking Muslims, puritanical in a country that is mostly secular, Sunni with a country mostly Shia, doesn’t make them a lot of friends. The Iraqis don’t need to be saved from al-Qaeda. I made my suggestion a couple months ago: drop Iraq, pour our resources into going after the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Let’s everybody start kicking the right asses together.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 30, 2007 6:27 PM
Comment #214478

Rahdigly-
Oh, the media would have torn apart the leaders! That’s right. Let’s deflect attention to a hypothetical about the media, instead of dealing with what the decision makers do. Eisenhower knew what to tell the media if he failed: That he failed. he had a letter written concerning that eventuality. He wasn’t a defeatist, he was just honest with himself: war is uncertain. You try telling them anything else and you’re a liar covering your own ass.

But Eisenhower had some insurance: he listened to those who knew what they were doing and put together the system right. He didn’t neglect the back-up plans, or training the troops to deal with the unexpected in battle. When the initial plans for Omaha Beach failed, there was a plan B, and the soldiers had been taught how to do it.

You just want to tell yourself that this war would have gone ideally if there wasn’t any media looking over your leader’s shoulders. The reality is, these people had a mature response to the possibility that the media might criticize them: they did their best not to earn that criticism.

It’s not evil to admit defeat when you really have been defeated. It’s the first step to reformulating your approach and learning from your mistake. You can’t go on forever, though, not admitting defeat, or one day, you will find yourself having lost the war.

If you had admitted things were going bad earlier, you might have won this war. As it is, it’s beyond the forces that your President is willing to bring to bear.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 30, 2007 6:39 PM
Comment #214481

Rahdigly,

“They don’t have to “say” it directly; however, when they sound like the enemy or (inadvertently) provide aid and comfort to the enemy, that is an impediment to victory. No doubt about it!

This is such bullshit.

So what you’re really saying is that this “aid and comfort” to the enemy thing is completely subjective, and open to interpretation by anybody?
That’s crap and you know it.
That means that anything, that anyone says, at anytime, could be construed as aiding the enemy.
Who gets to do the interpreting, hm-mm?

“Would you consider her part of “Coulter’s ilk” or just as “insidious as the enemy”?!!”

Trolling again are we?
Anyone, that might inflame and divide Americans, for a profit, should be considered a part of Coulter’s ilk.

Posted by: Rocky at March 30, 2007 7:02 PM
Comment #214500

Rocky, Stephen,
I believe the basic difference in our view on the war on terror is I believe Iraq is a battle in the war on terror and you believe they are seperate. The difference between WW11 and this one is that the alot of americans dont look at this war as a world war at all. The one thing I think we all can agree on is that war has been declared against us. I believe it is time republican, democrate or independent get behind our president and our troops and collectivly kick the terrorist ass where ever they may be.

Posted by: dolan at March 30, 2007 11:08 PM
Comment #214503

dolan,

The “terrorists” are in Iraq at our (America’s) invitation. The terrrorists weren’t there when we invaded, and the Iraqis are taking it in the shorts as a result.

Yes Saddam supported Hammas, and the Palestinians. Yes he paid the families of the suicide bombers in Israel.
Yes Saddam was a bad man.
I have yet, however to see any substantial tie to Bin Laden.
Point of fact, Bin Laden was quite vocal about his distaste for Saddam’s secularism.
Iraq was a side trip in the war on terror that could have waited, and Bin Laden is still on the loose.

Doesn’t that make you wonder at all?

Posted by: Rocky at March 30, 2007 11:28 PM
Comment #214541

stephen,

“Eisenhower knew what to tell the media if he failed: That he failed.”

And, today’s media would have ripped him apart; they would have used that to get the US to pullout of Germany. In fact, Eisnehower and Patton would have been tried at the Hague for committing war crimes. That’s a fact!

Today’s left and the MSM cannot fight (to win) Wars, it’s just not possible! They hide behind “Ameican history” and distort it if they have to b/c all they want to do is take down Bush. That’s it! They don’t want to win wars, they don’t want our standing in the “World Community” better; they just want to use all that against Bush and blame him for it. That’s why I referrenced WWII; it was very messy, there were alot of mistakes, and the death toll was in the tens of thousands range. Yet, the country was committed to fighting the Germans even though (technically) they had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor. The Press were (more) committed to bad mouthing the Nazis’ propaganda rather than falling for it as today’s media is doing with the muslim fanatics. WWII wouldn’t have been a victory for us; regardless of who the leaders were. You can’t fight wars with the left and MSM. Period!!

You should take heed to what Dolan said earlier; the left should focus their energies (hate) toward the real enemies, then you’d see the enemy fall alot faster. Much of the way Americans were in support of WWII; everyone was behind us, very little hatred towards our own country!


Rocky, I see you didn’t answer my question directly. I thought you were stand up guy?! Just answer the question Yes or No?

Would you consider Rosie O’donnell part of “Ann Coulter’s ilk”?! Are Rosie’s comments “more insidious than the terrorists who chop heads off and blow up civilians”?!!!

Posted by: rahdigly at March 31, 2007 11:41 AM
Comment #214555

rahdigly,

“Rocky, I see you didn’t answer my question directly.”

My guess is that you couldn’t possibly understand just how hysterically ironic that statement is.

Posted by: Rocky at March 31, 2007 2:40 PM
Comment #214595

Dolan-
We didn’t find the collaboration there to begin with. The incursion of the terrorists of al-Qaeda was the result of poor security. It could have been prevented.

How pathetic is it that we go there to confront the terrorists, don’t find them there, and end up letting in by means of our error? That’s not the good way to open up a new front in the War on Terrorism. That’s a strategic mistake. Why should I back it? Why should I back the continuation of an error, especially when it’s clear that this president hasn’t learned his lesson. Also, neither this president nor the public want to do what it would actually take just to bring peace now to Iraq, and there’s no guarantees that if we committed half a million troops to the war that our ultimate objective of bringing peace to Iraq after we’ve left would be achieved.

I’m not so naive as to believe that our soldiers go to war to be kept absolutely safe. Risking their lives is part of the job description. But we should not risk them knowing that their manpower and the situation itself will not allow success to come from their efforts. They should not be forced to fight a losing war.

I have no problem in going to war for the right reasons with the right means to fulfill the right plans. Failing that, I could understand an imperfectly run war that was redeemed by a willingness to admit and repair problems. This war is nothing like that. I have never seen such a foreign policy disaster in my life. Supporting it would make me sick. I don’t reward failure, and I don’t reward ass-covering, I don’t reward people who are stalling the wishes of the American people for time so they can exit office claiming they didn’t lose the war. That’s all this surge is.

Rahdigly-
There was progress in World War Two. We have regress in Iraq. We had Iraq relatively under control at the beginning. The insurgents tested our ability to keep them down, found that wanting, and have been escalating it ever since, ratcheting up the violence on a steady pace, regardless of Bush’s policy

Tell me, in all your wisdom, how we’re winning, when we’re unable to back down the pace and the initiation of enemy attacks, to contain the chaos. This is not a PR problem. The military, if properly employed, could have gotten in the way of this. The Iraqis and Americans wanted them to do that. Americans would have supported the reinforcement of forces there, when there was the sense that it would change things for the better.

As a Republican you put far too much faith in the power of propaganda. That cannot win wars when the means are lacking. We don’t send our soldiers to war armed with posters and videotapes. We send them with guns and tanks and bombers. We also send them with numbers. We sent hundreds of thousands of troops into Normandy. We didn’t leave our fates up to the performance of technology, which failed miserably on Omaha Beach. We had one wave after another going in there, backing up those who came in first. They didn’t mess around on troop numbers, taking a wait-and-see attitude.

Unfortunately, Bush’s little increase (literally little, military experts call it insufficient for the task at hand) comes far too late. This is another thing that the cheerleaders of the Republican party don’t consider: things change in the war, and the opportunities don’t wait forever. If we had impressed the Shia with our competence in security and rebuilding, and the Sunni with our control of the country, and our fairness towards them, we might have won. But the Bush administration, by it’s actions and inactions blew all these opportunities. Time has an arrow in societies, and you can’t simply reverse all the results after you’ve missed your chance.

You want commitment alone to be all that it takes to win, because of course, you’ve got all the commitment in the world. You don’t want to have to admit you put your money on the wrong horse, whether were speaking of a leader, a policy, or a war in general. Can’t you guys even admit you’re human? You’re so committed to keeping on message, that you can’t even tell how far it’s departed from reality, and how little most other people want to hear it anymore.

Words are less important than actions, and for all your talk about the necessity to win the war, your people didn’t even commit to increase troops until you lost the election. Why is that? Why is that only in January 2007, that Bush began to believe we needed more troops?

Maybe politics had more to do with why we’re having a surge now than military necessity. The question then, is why should Americans die to cover the Republican’s political butts?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 1, 2007 12:10 PM
Comment #214603

Rocky, I see you just can’t answer a (simple) question; even made it a Yes or No and you still won’t answer it. And, this is from a position that you wouldn’t change even if “hell freezes over”.

Stephen,
“There was progress in World War Two. We have regress in Iraq.”


There was regress in WWII, as well. And, it’s that “regress” that today’s MSM and left would have focused on (exclusively); that’s why we wouldn’t have won. What do you think today’s MSM would have to say about the death of 20,000 American soldiers? The way the Japanese-Americans were treated? Would it be positive? Do you think the anti-war crowd would’ve been worse than they are now with the venomous attacks (at our own country) and the pass they give the terrorists, particulary Iran?!!

Posted by: rahdigly at April 1, 2007 3:34 PM
Comment #214609

rahdigly,

“Rocky, I see you just can’t answer a (simple) question; even made it a Yes or No and you still won’t answer it. And, this is from a position that you wouldn’t change even if “hell freezes over”.

So what you’re saying is that I should give you more than you ever gave me.
Sorry, you expect more than you are willing to give.

And besides…

“So, I’m glad you spoke up; I (now) know where you stand as far as the terrorists/Coulter’s ilk are concerned and I know not to take you seriously with that issue.
Posted by: rahdigly at March 26, 2007 01:58 PM”

What exactly is your point?

Posted by: Rocky at April 1, 2007 5:47 PM
Comment #214676

Rocky, the “point” is to answer the question! I’ve answered questions (directly) to you and other bloggers on this site; you can look it up if you want to. Dodging questions is a classic trademark for people who can’t debate or who have “weak” points. You have made it clear that you believe in that poisition; yet, you mentioned Coulter and her ilk. Later you defined “ilk” as talk radio and anyone profiting from both left and right. So, I (specifically) asked you if you would include Rosie Odonnell and her comments in that category; a catergory, by the way, that you think is more insidious than the terrorists.

Why don’t you make it clear if this particular person is included in your belief?!

Posted by: rahdigly at April 2, 2007 12:57 PM
Comment #214681

rahdigly,

Obviously you take me for a fool.

This is now the 4th or 5th different thread that you have made it a point to ridicule me for my statements about Coulter.
Statements BTW I still stand by.

To clarify my position for everyone else;

IMHO, anyone that deliberately foments hate under the guise of opinion is undermining what this country stands for, and is merely using the First Amendment as a shield for their sedition.
Additionally, IMHO, anyone that would do this for a profit, is more insidious than any outside force that would do America, or Americans physical harm.

So rahdigly, since you have already told me that you wouldn’t take anything I write regarding this issue seriously, I will assume that your intent is to bully me.

I refuse to be bullied.

Enough is enough.

I will stand by the answer that I have already given you, and you will just have to deal with it.

Posted by: Rocky at April 2, 2007 1:38 PM
Comment #214689

Rocky,
“Statements BTW I still stand by.”


If you stand by them then answer the question!


“So rahdigly, since you have already told me that you wouldn’t take anything I write regarding this issue seriously, I will assume that your intent is to bully me.”


Oh, Rock, stop (trying) to play the victim here; I’m not bullying you at all! Asking whether or not you would consider Odonnell as part of “Coulter and her ilk”, is not bullying; however, not answering that question is “dodging”. And, I did not ridicule you by the way. You know that my philosophy has been to “tell people what you think, so they can know who you are and what you believe”. I don’t take your kind of logic seriously in the defense of our country; yet, I wanted you to clarify who exactly would fit into that category. Remember, I thanked you for telling us what you truly believe; you can look that up if you want!


“IMHO, anyone that deliberately foments hate under the guise of opinion is undermining what this country stands for, and is merely using the First Amendment as a shield for their sedition. Additionally, IMHO, anyone that would do this for a profit, is more insidious than any outside force that would do America, or Americans physical harm.”


So, for “everyone” out there in the blogosphere, would you consider Rosie Odonnell part of that criterion?!!!!

Posted by: rahdigly at April 2, 2007 3:18 PM
Comment #214701

rahdigly,

I already knew who you are and what you stood for.

As for “playing the victim”, or dodging the question, I saw this movie before it was colorized, and frankly I don’t need your approval to post my opinion here.

I think that everyone, including you, knows where I stand on this issue.

You asked a question, I gave you an answer.
That my answer might disappoint you isn’t my problem.
You have gotten your answer, I don’t think you need to ask it again.

Posted by: Rocky at April 2, 2007 4:35 PM
Comment #214721

I asked a specific question and you did not give me a specific answer; instead, I got red herrings and lectures from you. What are you afraid of, Rock? If you truly believe in your view, and I believe you do by the way, then why won’t you answer if you would (indeed) include Rosie O’donnell in the “Coulter and her ilk” category?!

Posted by: rahdigly at April 2, 2007 7:57 PM
Comment #214745

Rahdigly-
When I talked about regress, I was talking about the overall war. The Pattern of WWII, is one of progress. After we got our defensive footing, and started winning back territory in Europe and the Pacific, we gained momentum over the enemy.

Compare Korea, only a few years later, to WWII. A much less positive viewpoint, and Eisenhower took advantage of that to get elected. Did our people, in the space of less than a decade suddenly wimp out? In your view, yes!

Or maybe, folks thought the war was an awful waste, that we weren’t going to get further by continuing it.

The American people want progress. They know this country’s capable of it. They know their country’s strong, for the most part. They know we shouldn’t be losing the wars we get into, not unless somebody screwed up, or we’re not approaching it right. They gave this president an election’s worth of second chances.

Your problem is that you find it easier to believe that America is weak and decayed than legitimately dissatisfied with the results. Bush has to be the lone voice of reason despite his utter failure to take any of the opportunities given to him, and actually do something right with them.

I think America’s living up to its promise. It’s correcting the mistake it made with Bush: trusting him.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 2, 2007 10:50 PM
Comment #214849

“After we got our defensive footing, and started winning back territory in Europe and the Pacific, we gained momentum over the enemy.”

And, that’s exactly what I’m referring to; before the “defensive footing” (as you say), there were 1000’s (upon 1,000’s) of US Military Deaths all for a War (Europe) that many Americans (for a while) didn’t believe we should be in, should’ve been in Japan b/c they attacked us. Today’s MSM/Libs wouldn’t have tolerated that (at all!). They would have “Free Speeched” their own gov’t (under the guise of “Troop Supporters”) to “pullout” or “redeploy” or (the most dispicable) “pork” budget bill by congress b/c they are afraid to cut off funding for the troops!


Posted by: rahdigly at April 3, 2007 3:06 PM
Comment #214968

Rahdigly-
Even before Pearl Harbor, Americans were beginning to turn agains isolationism. After it, though, they were dead set against remaining aloof. But I guess that’s inconvenient if you’re trying to justify Iraq, which divided people from the start.

Also, If I recall correctly, there was little question of going against Germany because they quickly declared war on us, when we declared war on Japan! Americans had a clear enemy who had made their intentions very clear. Sort of like al-Qaeda.

Iraq did not make the first move in this war. There was no Iraq Pearl Harbor. Afghanistan was our near unanimous response to al-Qaeda and the Taliban bastards who harbored them and let them train their terrorists there.

Iraq was a tangent taken by this Administration to fulfill a foreign policy agenda item that the Neocons opportunistically sought to use our war on terrorism as a pretext for. In the end though, they had to cook up a whole bunch of garbage to convince others, and perhaps even themselves that this was an appropriate course of action.

You want to believe that if only you could suppress the media, and permanently defeat the “libs”, you “cons” would just be having a perfect old time running things, that all you ever needed was more power.

What you fail to realize is that you were given much of what you wanted, and that people didn’t like what you did with the power you had. You folks lost the war, doing your best to make everybody else spectators to actions you thought were going to be smashing successes.

As such, we should not shrink from ending such a failure. If something happens because we leave, it’s your fault. If you guys had run the war right, leaving at this juncture would not be so hazardous. We’ve been there four years, watching bad go to worse. This war did not have to follow this path. This is the path the Republicans chose, so they could pretend to America and the world that their policy wasn’t at fault for what was going on.

So go on and spout the propaganda. I guess that’s what you have to do to keep yourself from realizing just how bad your people screwed the war up. Blame the media for covering your mistakes. Blame the Democrats for doing what opposition parties in a Democracy are supposed to do, when the other side’s screwing up. Blame America first for not being as unified or unquestioning of their support of this policy as you wished them to be. Do all that, if makes you happy.

Don’t read all the books that detail how critical mistakes were made in the early parts of the war, while the media was still replaying the exciting footage from the embedded reporters, and most Americans thought we had really won the war. Don’t watch the programs detailing all the lies, half truths, and groupthink that went into make a case for war that collapsed on virtually every level. Just stay away from that, and rest in the comforting arms of your party’s talking points, assured that victory is around the corner, and the only thing in the way is the fact that most of the country doesn’t trust or agree with you and the president.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 4, 2007 9:08 AM
Comment #214987

Stephen, we didn’t lose the war. Our troops did their job and are (still) doing their job in Iraq; all they need is support for their mission. And, the Media and the left are NOT doing that!

What I’m saying about WWII is that, when we were getting our asses kicked for a while (1941-43), today’s Media and the left would have said that it’s “too hard”; we’re creating “more nazis”; the world sees us as the “bad guys”; every night the news would report “kamikaze strikes”, today’s equivalent to suicide bombers; our troops are “torturing germans”; we “don’t want to be like the enemy”; all those training accidents were “FDR’s fault”; “the troops weren’t prepared”; the US death toll would’ve been in the ten thousand range; it’s “FDR’s War”; “we’re losing”; “the US generals and leaders should be tried for War Crimes in the Hague”; “Why don’t FDR and his Admin send their kids to go fight their war”; etc, etc.


The fact is, Stephen, in WWII, the “Media” and the “opposition” party didn’t do these things (at all!); they couldn’t b/c they would’ve been betraying their country and setting this country up for defeat! They just wouldn’t (couldn’t) do it!!

Posted by: rahdigly at April 4, 2007 11:59 AM
Comment #215036

rahdigly,

What you fail to take into consideration is that FDR asked the American people to sacrifice for the war effort.
Even before America was attacked at Pearl Harbor there was a program in place to build our army to the strength of 10 million soldiers. Unemployment was low because America was re-arming.
After Pearl Harbor, gas was rationed, and there were huge recycling drives for virtually everything that could be used to build the greatest fighting force ever assembled.

FDR got the American people involved.

We were saving Europe, and Asia from the Axis powers that had a war machine of their own, not fighting criminals.

Bush hasn’t asked the American people to sacrifice anything, he hasn’t asked the American people to be a part of any war effort. He has only asked us to spend our money.


Posted by: Rocky at April 4, 2007 3:38 PM
Comment #215081

Oh, no, no, Rock. You don’t get to “butt” in this debate until you answer the question I asked you, 5 TIMES NOW, SPECIFICALLY!!!! We can meet up on another topic; until then, step up and answer the question on this one. Come on, you can do it…


Posted by: rahdigly at April 4, 2007 8:35 PM
Comment #215094

rahdigly,

I’m not even interested in the debate, I just wanted you to understand the facts of your rant.

If all it took to not have you respond was not to answer one lame question, I should have thought of this a long time ago.

Posted by: Rocky at April 4, 2007 9:57 PM
Comment #215098

Well, there you go. You go on a blog not to answer comments and questions that you believe in, all b/c someone doesn’t have your viewpoint. That’s a good one, Rock.


It’s like winning at a drinking game. The object of a drinking game is to lose so you get drunk; not to win and stay sober. Because, if you want to be sober: “THEN DON’T PARTICIPATE IN DRINKING GAMES”. My Goodness!

Posted by: rahdigly at April 4, 2007 10:33 PM
Comment #215109

And here I thought the object of a drinking game was for the pride of knowing that you were man enough to drink the other guy under the table.

I don’t really drink, so I guess I just didn’t truly know what it was about.

Go figure.

Posted by: Rocky at April 4, 2007 11:59 PM
Comment #215231

Rahdigly-
You defend a surge that contradicts what the president said for a year before, that we had all the troops we needed. Coincidentally, this comes after a stinging defeat for your party. This claim of yours is just pure politics.

You sling these counterfactuals about what today’s media would have done. What you fail to understand is that not everybody needs to or has to pay attention to what the media is doing in order to do their jobs.

Bush had more than four years to get the soldiers into Iraq that he needed to get control. All that time, and only after an electoral defeat does he see the wisdom of it.

Bush had four years during which he could have gotten in the way of all this escalating chaos politically, and likely would have done much more good.

You guys flip flopped, from a position of not putting in more soldiers, to one of surging them without even regard for their logistical readiness. You complain that the bill Bush promises to veto will deprive the soldiers of what they need in terms of training, yet Bush’s plan, because of his failure to bring more troops into the army, will make that happen anyways, even after we get the whole operation funded!

And all you can do is spin elaborate partisan fantasies about what today’s media would have done in WWII, putting the words in everybody’s mouth that you’re sure they would have said.

We have lost the war. If we can’t leave without leaving chaos behind us, and we can’t stay with Bush’s current plan in place without degrading our soldier’s ability to fight, then we don’t have a winning exit strategy. We have bad, and we have worse. By not admitting the problem, you have chosen worse. I will stick, for my part, with what’s merely bad.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 5, 2007 2:20 PM
Comment #215989

Certain blogs and alternative media have detailed the sheer lunacy of right-wing warbloggers. They can’t accept that Bush, and their party and ideology has failed America. So for things like Iraq, they blame the media, the Democrats, and even the troops themselves (despite the whole “support the troops” sloganeering they actually have contempt for the men and women fighting). The people they won’t blame are the people who are actually responsible, and their own flawed ideology. And they’re practically incapable of believing anything that goes against their political views, no matter how obvious or factual.

I personally think they’re similar to members of scientology. Scientologists (and other cult members) can’t accept any criticism of their cult, it’s always someone else’s fault. They think that practically all the problems in the world (even things like the holocause and 9/11) are caused by… psychiatrists. Kind of similar to how those on the far right are determined to believe that all the problems in America are caused by liberals. This doesn’t apply to all conservatives,just hardcore supporters of Bush and the far right agenda (which many would say aren’t that conservative anyway).

So whenever you’re trying to convince someone on a blog that Iraq really isn’t equivalent to World War II or that liberals don’t really want terrorists to win, if they can’t accept simple facts or logic then you’re dealing with one of these cult-like individuals and no matter how much time you spend explaining your views they’ll never budge. Although I haven’t read it yet, a book which supposedly talks about this phenomenon is “Conservatives without Conscience.” It has something do with a personality type that’s drawn to authoritarian-type ideologies like fascism or neoconservatism.

Posted by: thom at April 11, 2007 3:13 AM
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