Third Party & Independents Archives

Stop Grandstanding

The Iraq war is front and center.
Just like Bush thought he had ‘Political Capital’ the Democrats believe the same.
I believe the Dems have as much as they said Bush had - close to none.

From pulling out immediately, to deadlines or not, to getting in there and kicking ass... we've heard it all.
Do the Politicians really know what they are talking about?
Do they believe what they say?
I am tired of hearing people that are sitting in D.C. claim they know what they are talking about.
Most of the politicians we hear from have made their lives in politics. They are more concerned with getting re-elected than ANYTHING else. BOTH sides.

I would rather hear it from the troops. From the people who are in the middle of the fight on an hourly basis.

We have - how many? - Politicians running for President?

We have some who are for the surge and believe it will help win the battle and establish a government in Iraq that speaks for ALL the people.
We have some who believe we are in the middle of a civil war and need to pull out yesterday.
We have at least one who is saying something very familiar - 'I wouldn't have voted for the war if I new what I know now.'

Murtha really needs to be reigned in.
The man says the troops need more time off between tours and that new soldiers need more training and experience.
That's perfect. He has it figured out to where very few troops would be there.
How does that make them safer?
Ask any soldier... they are not fully prepared until they are actually in the fight.
The longer they are on leave, the more they have to readjust to when they get back.

We keep hearing about how Bush sent the troops in ill-prepared.
Who's fault was that?
He is the Commander in Chief.
The Commander in Chief expects the Military to be prepared for battle.
It doesn't matter that it was Bush that sent them into Iraq. What matters is why they were not funded and equipped for any possible battle.
Who was in charge of that?

The main problem with the Iraq War is that it has been a PC War.
Why is that?

If 'we' - Bush believed we have a specific enemy we are going after - Why didn't he just say it?
He couldn't.
Someone told him to be careful of the words he used.
'We' were -are- terrified of offending those that can take either side.
Many are still on the fence because they don't know which way this battle will go.
'We' can't even publish cartoons because the enemy we are fighting takes no prisoners.

All of us know by now that it DOES NOT MATTER which words we use because anything we say can be interpreted to mean something else - even the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of what we meant.
The political pundits, politicians, and media are so good at twisting words.

The resolutions in the House and Senate are damaging.
The enemy is celebrating.
They are correct. We are a bunch of wimps.
They will either take over, or the world will finally join together and fight this problem.

We need to get in there and kick ass!!!!!
No more PC Wars.
Either we are in there to win or we don't go in.

BUT - We are in.
The American public does NOT want to lose in Iraq.
Where are the War Protesters when we aren't actually in the middle of one?

This political grandstanding has emboldened our enemy more than going into Iraq ever did.
They see that we are not going to kick ass.
They now know that we don't have the will to win.

If we had come close to getting those off the fence and on to our side -- forget it now.

Get ready to salute a flag -such as Hezbollah's- over the White House.


Posted by Dawn at February 16, 2007 11:41 PM
Comments
Comment #208516

Dawn said: “That’s perfect. He [Murtha] has it figured out to where very few troops would be there.
How does that make them safer?”

Let me explain it to you Dawn. You see, no commander is going to send troops on a suicide mission unless ordered to. Therefore, if there are fewer troops in Iraq, the missions they are assigned will be ones which they can accomplish.

The same goes for funding. If Congress cuts the funding, the tactics and objectives will have to change accordingly.

Diminish the number of troops and allocated funding ONLY for Iraq border protection and training of Iraqi troops, and that will become our troops new objectives. Objectives far, far safer for our troops than fighting both sides of a civil war, door to door, corner to corner, roof top to roof top.

This is not a Democrat explanation or Republican. This is a military explanation and Murtha is well qualified to offer it. Only civilians like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld would send inadequate numbers of troops in to complete objectives far beyond their reach, their numbers, and their logistics. And that is precisely what these civilians did when they redefined our military’s objective from overthrowing Saddam’s Army and removing him from power, to nation building.

Gen. Shinsecki advised the President of this, and the President fired him. A number of our military generals and colonels have advised these civilians calling the shots, that there were simply insufficient numbers of our troops to accomplish the objective of quelling the civil war, the insurgency, and checking the foreign terrorist groups like al-Queda who flocked to where our troops are.

Sen. Hagel (R) advised that if those were to be our new objectives, we would need to reinstate the draft, as did Rep. Rangel. But, they would not listen.

I hope the Congress has the Constitutional Spine to stand toe to toe with this most incompetent President of modern times, and force him to back off using the lives of our soldiers to try to redeem his legacy for having invaded Iraq. President Bush seeks only to keep this war going until he leaves office, at which time the ownership for the aftermath of invading Iraq will be inherited by another President which Bush will blame, salvaging his legacy in his own desperate mind.

The House of Representatives have reflected the majority view of the American people on this issue, as they should have. If the Senate does the same, the political will and capital will have been established for Congress to challenge the White House on the direction of our military’s involvement and risk level in Iraq. And reducing the risk for our soldiers there, is the will of the majority of Americans. As a co-equal branch of the government, once again, it is appropriate that the Congress represent the safety of our troops and the will of the American people on this failed civil war in Iraq.

Congress will not vote to halt all efforts in Iraq, nor should they. They will, I am confident, support the protection of the Iraqi borders and continue the fight against al-Queda strongholds, and continue training Iraqi troops. But, they will also insure that our troops are no longer standing targets in between multiple sectarian warring populations.

And that will mean fewer losses of life and limb for our soldiers. And that should be the objective of every American who says they respect and care about our soldiers.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 17, 2007 1:42 AM
Comment #208520

Dawn,

Please explain to me again why we have to get in their and kick ass.

It seems to me that we’ve kicked the shit out the Iraqi people, for apparently being submissive enough to have not killed Hussein on their own. How many more than the several 100,000 of them do you want to kill and maim? Maybe, instead of creating more hatred for the U.S. in a place that once welcomed us, leaving might be a slightly better idea.

Perhaps we should persue the real bad guys in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Just a thought. America might not have to be lied to, in order to support that “war”.

What has emboldened the enemy, in my opinion, is the knee jerk idiots who supported a fool such as Bush. They know the guy is a liar and a loser. Sadly, a few die hard American morons don’t get who they elected, yet. The sooner reality sets in for the hard core fantasists, the better. Just like we weakened our position in S.E. Asia the longer we stayed, the weaker we make our position in the middle east by staying with this loser, Bush, and his moronic notions of Iraq.

Posted by: gergle at February 17, 2007 5:05 AM
Comment #208532

Listen to what these soldiers have to say:

http://www.vaiw.org/
http://www.mfso.org/

Anyway, I disagree with you that it’s unpatriotic to believe troops should get sufficient training and rest between tours of duty. I also disgree that ensuring the military is prepared for battle is not one of the president’s responsibilities. I find it hard to believe soldiers feel differently, so we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

Posted by: max at February 17, 2007 11:14 AM
Comment #208553
Diminish the number of troops and allocated funding ONLY for Iraq border protection and training of Iraqi troops, …….

Translated. Weaken our forces to the point where the enemy can easily destroy them.

Everyone wants to sit around and play the blame game. They want to play the blame game on why and how we went into Iraq.
They want to play the blame game for the way the war has gone.
They want to play the blame game for the equipment our troops have.
But I DON’T see anyone playing the blame game coming up with any ideas other than cut and run.
The fact is we are there. The fact is things aren’t being done right. The fact is something other playing politics has to be done. The Republicans have screwed it. And the only thing I see the Democrats doing is passing resolutions and threatening to cut of fund our troops need to survive. Some solutions. Resolutions are only politics. And cutting supplies to our troops already there will insure that more are killed.
It’s passed time that both side quit playing around and find some kind of solution. And instead of us sitting around with our partisan politics blaming Bush or defending him, we need to be demanding that both him and Congress work together and get this war brought to a an end where we lose a little face as possible and even fewer American lives.
Face it folks. With the way things have been done sense Saddam was removed it’s to late to try to win this one.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 17, 2007 2:07 PM
Comment #208555

Ron:

You’re absolutely right.

The problem is the politics, and I for one don’t see an end in sight as long as the politicians play partisonship.

Frankly, I don’t know how to stop it. I’d like to go there and testify myself, but you know they wouldn’t listen.

Somehow, we the people have to yell at them all to stop.

But, I do blame Bush and the Republicans for the elevation of the partisonship to this level. Not to say that it isn’t always a problem, it is, but Bush claimed to be the uniter and turned into the decider. How well has that worked?

And I don’t excuse the Democrats either.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 17, 2007 2:36 PM
Comment #208559

Ron Brown said: “And the only thing I see the Democrats doing is passing resolutions and threatening to cut of fund our troops need to survive. “

Absolutely wrong understanding of how our military works, Ron. If some funding is cut, it means the objectives and mission changes to those which can be accomplished with the available funding. I explained this in detail in first comment in this thread.

It takes a pretty low opinion of our military commanders to think they will send our troops on missions or toward objectives for which they are undermanned or ill-equipped. Most would resign first, which some already have, and at least one I know of turned down a promotion for a 4th star on his shoulder if he would go along (I wrote about it a few months ago).

If Congress limits the objectives by cutting funding for the sectarian violence aspect of our involvement in Iraq, and Bush decides to keep them on that mission anyway, understaffed and ill-equipped, then the Murderer is Bush, NOT CONGRESS!

Our Constitution does not give the President the authority to either declare war or allocate funding for it. It is the responsibility of the President to employ our military within the constraints of the resources available. If the military fails, it is the President who fails them in having assigned objectives for which our military was ill-suited to achieve.

This is precisely why President Bush has proven to be such an absolute incompetent in Iraq and why so many in the Intelligence, Pentagon, and Defense communities have turned against him and his handling of the Iraq situation. If our troops are put into failing situations, it is the President, NOT CONGRESS, that put them there. The President defines the mission and objectives as Commander in Chief. And if he does so without consideration for manpower needs and funding needs, it is the Commander in Chief who fails our troops, not the Congress.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 17, 2007 3:18 PM
Comment #208560
But I DON’T see anyone playing the blame game coming up with any ideas other than cut and run.

We either ramp up, stay and maintain the status quo, or leave. Ramping up or maintaining the status quo don’t make any sense to me, so I vote for leave. I don’t think we have the endless pool of money or resources needed to do either of the first options.

Even if we could possibly afford it, IMHO the war:
- Puts our children in debt.
- Takes away resources from other security initiatives.
- Erodes the respect we once had around the world as a champion of human rights.
- Kills our soldiers (at this point needlessly)

Cut and run is a term we use in business a lot. If a project is going into red and requires more resources and money than will be profitable we cut and run, because that’s common sense. Iraq is like a project whose costs will simply bankrupt and destroy the company. It’s beyond common sense to stop.

If you have a better idea I’m all ears, but don’t blame Democrats for giving you the sensible solution. Blame the politicians that have been telling you that we were going to win and that Iraq has been hugely successful. They are lying to you. They lie because it’s easier to tell you what you want to hear than tell you the obvious truth. Again, just my opinion.

Posted by: Max at February 17, 2007 3:26 PM
Comment #208561

Hey Ron,

After reading your post I see we totally agree with one another. Yeah, it’s too late. The time has passed where Iraq is fixable. Let’s leave already.

Posted by: Max at February 17, 2007 3:30 PM
Comment #208580

Max, hate to rain on your parade, but, we CANNOT leave. We CAN remover our troops from the civil war but, we cannot leave the Iraqi nation to fall. We must remain to train their army, to fight al-Queda groups in Iraq which we invited, and to prevent the neighboring nations from entering the conflict to support their respective Shia and Sunni brethren.

Why must we do all that and remain. One simple irrefutable reason. OIL. IF the Middle East becomes embroiled in sectarian warfare amongst its nations, OIL will become a prime target of the warfare. And our economies absolute dependence on that oil to sustain itself is irrefutable at this point.

We must remain. But, we do not need to waste our treasure and American lives and limbs standing between the Shia and Sunnis in Baghdad. No, that we do not need to do.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 17, 2007 5:32 PM
Comment #208587

David
Do you really think that Bush is smart enough to change the mission if funds are cut? Your giving him more credit than you have in the past.
He’ll keep the mission the same even if all the Generals and field grade officers resign and he ends up having to use 2nd Lieutenants. As you said the Generals won’t send troops out without the proper equipment or supplies but can you say for sure Bush won’t? I’m not willing to bet on it.
Cutting funds won’t solve the problem even if Bush did change the mission. Our troop would still be more vulnerable because funds have been cut and supplies aren’t getting to them.
The only way out I see is to send at least 1,000,000 more troops over there, kick ass, take names, and wipe out the insurgency. But our politicians don’t have the gonads for that. And I’m beginning to wonder if the American people do.
Besides, what’s the lives of 50,000 to 100,000 of our young folks compared to the advantages of playing political football with them?

RE:Comment #208580
Do you really think that if we did pull our troops out of the war and just train Iraqi troops that the enemy will quit attacking them? You have more faith in them than I do.


Posted by: Ron Brown at February 17, 2007 6:24 PM
Comment #208611
We CAN remover our troops from the civil war but, we cannot leave the Iraqi nation to fall. We must remain to train their army, to fight al-Queda groups in Iraq which we invited, and to prevent the neighboring nations from entering the conflict to support their respective Shia and Sunni brethren.

How the hell do we do that?

Posted by: womanmarine at February 17, 2007 8:47 PM
Comment #208612
the Generals won’t send troops out without the proper equipment or supplies

Hasn’t that already happened?

Posted by: womanmarine at February 17, 2007 8:48 PM
Comment #208613
But our politicians don’t have the gonads for that.

We don’t have the troops for that.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 17, 2007 8:49 PM
Comment #208640

womanmarine, simple, remove our troops from Baghdad while relocating the seat of Government to another location outside of Baghdad. That would put the civil war in Baghdad squarely on the shoulders for the Iraqi government and Army, win or lose. Our troops can remain in Kurdistan and Kuwait to target al-Queda, aid the Iraqi Army with air support against attempts on the new seat of government, and use air power to prevent mass incursions from outside of Iraq. American casualties would drop significantly. That’s how we should be showing respect and care for our troops.

Logistically, it is very, simple, and would require only 1/2 the troops we now have their.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 17, 2007 10:04 PM
Comment #208642

David:

You think that would make the Iraqis thank us? I don’t.

Who rebuilds the mess? And when? How long do you think we will have to protect the borders and the government while the civil war rages?

I just don’t see it.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 17, 2007 10:12 PM
Comment #208662

womanmarine, they certainly aren’t thanking us now. What is to lose? But, we will save American lives and limbs.

The Iraqis rebuild the mess, when they are ready to get around to that. They must first end their civil war. It is pointless for us to pile tax money into infrastructure which warring Iraqis and invaders just blow up. Pointless!

How long? Who knows. A year, 10, perhaps 25. Depends on how long the Iraqis want to avoid the responsibility for governing themselves and protecting their own homeland.

We have been in Japan for a half century, acting as their nation’s primary defense. In return, we have Pacific presence providing a check and balance on both Russia and China.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 18, 2007 1:58 AM
Comment #208727

David:

But we haven’t been fighting a war in Japan since the occupation have we?

Posted by: womanmarine at February 18, 2007 4:41 PM
Comment #208746

womanmarine, no, we have remained as Japan’s Defense force for 50 years under a treaty agreement that until about 7 years ago, stipulated Japan does not create a military in exchange for our remaining there to defend their nation.

We are in exactly the same situation in Iraq, but, for different reasons. We must protect their nation’s integrity and oil supply due to our economy’s absolute dependence upon it. The strategic reason for our remaining in aftermath of Japan’s defeat warranted our protection of their nation from invasion. Though the reason is different, we are now have the same obligation to remain in and near Iraq for their border protection. It is a national economic imperative to do so until such day as we no longer are dependent on Middle Eastern oil. Our radical Islamist enemies would use destroy that oil infrastructure as a weapon against us and all the Western and Asian Pacific nations.

The irony is, we never needed to invade Iraq to accomplish this same strategic position.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 18, 2007 6:52 PM
Comment #208762


David R.: If we stay in Iraq for 10 to 25 years, how many trillions of dollars will that cost us? You are are right about Japan and Europe. For 60 years we have born the brunt of their defence. Perhaps it has been in our best interests to do so, but the result is that the Europeans and the Japanese are happier, healthier and better off financially that the American people are. We cannot afford and must not allow our economy to be held hostage by oil and big oil interests which is currently in charge of our foreign policy in case you have not noticed. In their eyes, the invasion of Iraq was absolutely necessary. What good would it do them if Saddam keeps the terrorists out and also keeps the American oil companies out? Even worse what if he would have sold oil for Euros instead of dollars?

What this country needs more than anything is a national drive to provide our people with plug-in electric cars. If Hitler could provide the Germans with a Folks car then surely we can do the same. If we went with electric cars and provided the additional electricity need purely from fossil fuels, we would completely eliminate our dependence on Middle Eastern oil and greatly reduce our dependence on any source of foreign oil. In addition we would reduce the amount of CO2 we put into the atmosphere by as much as 42%. I believe if the American people had a choice of wasting our wealth and our young citizens in what will probably be a perpetual war over oil until it runs out or going to electric cars, I have little doubt what they would choose. How about you?

Posted by: jlw at February 18, 2007 9:11 PM
Comment #208774
It doesn’t matter that it was Bush that sent them into Iraq. What matters is why they were not funded and equipped for any possible battle. Who was in charge of that?

Umm… Bush was.

I would rather hear it from the troops.

Dawn, I’ve heard the troops say they don’t need to babysit a civil war. I’ve heard them say that al-Qaeda isn’t much of a threat in Iraq.

Then, again, I’ve heard the troops say they’re happy to be blowing away the Iraqis responsible for 9/11…

Don’t put the troops in charge of the war. Our whole way of life is based on the principle of civilian control of the military and I know you don’t really want to change that.

The resolutions in the House and Senate are damaging. The enemy is celebrating. They are correct. We are a bunch of wimps. They will…take over

Yes. The terrorist aircraft carriers and stealth bombers are already on their way. The terrorist invasion craft are about to hit the beach! Puh-leese. Don’t be so afraid, Dawn. You’re playing right into the terrorist’s hands.

Either we are in there to win or we don’t go in.

Now you’re sounding like a Democrat, Dawn. If Iraq is so important Bush should reinstate the draft and throw another 500,000 troops at it. Otherwise he should admit he’s not serious and get us out.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 18, 2007 11:16 PM
Comment #208784

jlw said: “We cannot afford and must not allow our economy to be held hostage by oil and big oil interests “

I agree, and suggest you write your Congresspersons, not me, and tell them to vote out oil or you will vote them out. That is the only way America is going to reject the oil industry lobbyists and thus become independent of Middle Eastern oil.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 19, 2007 12:08 AM
Comment #208846

David,

You may mark my words: The withdrawal has begun. The wise old Pat Buchanan annouced it a few months ago. We can and will withdraw from Iraq. The American resolve has vanished. The question is who do we support, and will we fund such suport after out troops are gone? It is time for the parties whose interests are more than oil, to pony up.

If Iraq becomes a federation, The Sunni provinces will become the new Palestine, resourceless and a haven for terrorism. Turkey, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia will all interfere in Iraqi politics…just like now. They could be coerced into paying for stability there upon our withdrawal. The Saudis may fund Al Qaeda, like they have in the past. It is still a battle among the feudal kings of the Arabian Penisula. We back any at our own peril. No Arab can eat oil.

The key is going to be our energy policy.

Posted by: gergle at February 19, 2007 12:47 PM
Comment #208874

The mission as the President has stated is to get Iraq to the point that they can stand up for themselves and be a friend in the Middle East. Good enough. It’s the how do we that part nobody is able to provide. What would happen if we twitched our noses and disappeared from Iraq today? I have no doubt that the majority of the “trained” Iraqi forces would revert to their previous religious alliances and turn against their former comrades in arms on the other side. Let’s say we twitch our nose in 5 or 10 years, what will be different? These people need to be able to determine their own future, they will not live in a melting pot of religious idealogy as we do here. It would be great if they could just sit down and negotiate some sort of solution, that will not happen either. We need to let them walk through the fire and deal with whoever emerges victorious. There are plenty of leaders around the globe that we deal with now that are not what we would consider ideal, as long as they are not directly attacking us or our interests we pretty much leave them alone.

Plug in cars, are a great idea, especially if you couple them with non petroleum based charging sources. The Toyota Prius is capable of being converted to plug in, this increases the MPG to over 100. The cost to do so is prohibitive for most people though. Why hasn’t the American Automotive industry embraced electric cars? We all saw what happened recently after Cheney made his deals with the Saudis to keep oil near $50.00 a barrel, gas prices plummeted and right along with them were hybrid vehicle sales. The American public will not embrace the pain of this change with 2.00 gas available.

Iraq needs to pay for the reconstruction of Iraq, sitting on the oil reserves they do, why aren’t we charging them oil for the billions we are pouring into their country? All non-military expenses should be made and loans repayable in oil.

Would moving the operational headquarters of the government out of Baghdad cause the terrorists to follow? It seems that they are in the business of killing civilians, I would expect them to continue to operate where there are the most opportunities.

How are all these arms getting into Iraq? Perhaps we should employ the help of another country that understands the concept of border security. If we were to lock up the borders and prevent the easy movement of poeple and arms into the area, would that not eventually bleed the insurgency dry?


JT

Posted by: JayTea at February 19, 2007 2:06 PM
Comment #208892

Does anybody really believe that we can protect or close Iraqi borders?

Posted by: womanmarine at February 19, 2007 2:57 PM
Comment #208896

Im not sure we can secure the Iraq border. But at the least we need to identify and employ a limiting strategy. Im sorry I don’t remember who in another post, said that most arms are coming from Syria the Saudi’s, I guess those are toes that we just won’t step on?

JT

Posted by: JayTea at February 19, 2007 3:09 PM
Comment #208939

womanmarine
We can’t, or won’t close or protect ours. How can we do in another counrty what aint being done in our own?

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 19, 2007 7:19 PM
Comment #209041

Irresponsible government is running the nation into ruin, and most voters (122 million) that vote (of all 200 million eligible voters) keep re-electing them, and a large group (78 million voters) do not even vote.

The reason Congress and the Executive Branch are paralyzed by inaction is because there is no easy way out of the quagmire in Iraq, and because they are incompetent.

They are incompetent because the welfare of the nation is not their priority.

Iraq is one of the best examples of painting yourself into a corner that ever existed.
Getting there is rooted in lies and trumped-up/falsified intelligence.

However, the stakes in Iraq are much more dire than painting one’s self into the corner.

womanmarine wrote: Does anybody really believe that we can protect or close Iraqi borders?
Ron Brown wrote: womanmarine, We can’t, or won’t close or protect ours. How can we do in another counrty what aint being done in our own?

You’re both right.
It’s not a matter of can’t.
It’s a matter of won’t.

Securing the borders in Iraq is a good, common-sense idea.
Likewise with the U.S. borders.

However, Congress and the Executive Branch (our current government) is where good ideas go to die amidst a nightmarish group of incompetent, crooked, corrupt, and self-serving politicians that are more concerned about securing their opportunities for self-gain, power, cu$hy perk$, voting themselves raises (8 times between 1997 and 2006), and making their long-held incumbencies more secure. Meanwhile, the nation’s pressing problems go ignored, growing in number and severity.

Government is not merely increasingly ineffective.
It is approaching the point of providing no net benefit. But voters keep rewarding bad politicians by repeatedly re-electing them. Which is dumber? The irresponsible, FOR-SALE, do-nothing politicians, or the voters that keep rewarding them for it?

Posted by: d.a.n at February 20, 2007 12:02 PM
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