Third Party & Independents Archives

The InDecider

Perhaps President Obama is trying too hard to not be seen as his predecessor. Instead of being known as “The Decider”, is President Obama trying to be known as “The InDecider”? In most cases he can spend time making up his mind (by reading polling data trends) but his lack of a quick decision in the Afghanistan theater is a worrisome trend.  However, worse for the world, next spring he may not be able to take that time as the issues in the Middle East quickly come to a head.

Rumor has it that not only is Israel looking to take out Iran’s nuclear installations, but they are actually looking to President Obama on the go ahead call. As Benny Morris writing in the Guardian tells us:

But it is not only Israel's leaders who will have to decide. So will Obama, a man who has, in the international arena, shown a proclivity for indecision (except when it comes to Israeli settlements in the West Bank). Will he give the Israelis a green light (and perhaps some additional equipment they have been seeking to facilitate a strike) and a right-of-passage corridor over Iraq for their aircraft? Or will he acquiesce in putting atomic weaponry in the mullahs' hands?

It is clear – and should be by then to all but the most supine appeasers – that the diplomatic approach is going nowhere, with the Iranians conning and stonewalling and dragging their feet, all the while enriching more uranium. And Tehran is laughing, as it were, all the way to Armageddon. Ahmadinejad and the mullahs know full well that the west will never impose the only sanctions that could work (a complete boycott of Iranian oil and cessation of the export to Iran of all products).

If there is an attack, it will not be just a surgical strike and we go back to the status quo. It will be an all out war with retaliation from Iran, Hezbollah and probably Hamas. And even if we don’t assist in the attack, it is most likely that Iran will not just retaliate against Israel. Most likely, US forces will be targeted in every arena, possibly even by suicide bombing on US soil.

The alternatives? Distance from Israel and allow Iran to have nuclear weapons. Or, the US could take out Iran’s military infrastructure completely like it did with Iraq in 2003, allowing for the power vacuum to create enough chaos in Iran to put them back a decade as a danger to the rest of the world. None of these options are politically beneficial to the President.

It will be a no-win decision that President Obama is going to have to make. And most likely will have to make quickly. To date, this isn’t something that he has shown a proclivity to do.

So while we spend time debating things that, compared to what may be coming next spring, are pretty minor (partisan power plays notwithstanding) the powder keg that has been building for what seems like thousands of years may actually be about to go nuclear.  We can all only hope that he is getting a decision ready now, we have just about enough time for him to make his mind up on what to do.

Posted by Rhinehold at November 24, 2009 1:52 AM
Comments
Comment #291430

There is no greater a decision a U.S. President makes, nor one fraught with as great a peril for the nation and its military personnel, than a decision regarding war.

Obama is, and I am proud to support him in this, seeking and EXIT strategy to operations in Afghanistan which will be definite, likely to be achieved, and which will accomplish at least the minimal objectives for our nation to withdraw, with a minimal cost in lives and limbs and treasure.

That kind of decision takes time, just as a Chess game can take months to see through to checkmate based on the first moves.

Rhinehold, your article alludes to either a preference for a shoot from the hip decider like GW Bush who took the U.S. into an unnecessary and unjustified war. Obama is, as you point out, quite the opposite kind of leader. The nation and her people including our military will be utmost on his priority list in deciding on the best course in this war in Afghanistan which was botched and neglected for years by the previous administration.

Here again, Obama is a very courageous and responsible president to take on the enormous disarray our country was left in by the previous administration.

Rather than second guess his motives for taking his time to get the best possible answer for Afghanistan, just criticize the man for the real reasons, he’s a president from a liberal political party. Saves a lot of bandwidth.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 24, 2009 8:27 AM
Comment #291431

Yes, there is coming a major conflict in the Middle-East and Obama will be the agent of “Change”. He will waffle, as he has done in every other decision, in his support of Israel. Even Israel does not believe Obama will support Israel:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1108976.html

In fact, leaders in Israel believe Obama wants a confrontation with Israel:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1091428.html

But why should any of this surprise us, according to Muslim teaching, it is not considered a sin to lie to an infidel. So when Obama says he supports Israel, he is lying. “Actions speak louder than works”.

Obama will not even support American troops in Afghanistan, why would anyone think he would support Jewish allies? Especially when he is so eager to appease Muslims.

Posted by: propitiation at November 24, 2009 8:36 AM
Comment #291433

What DRR calls, “seeking and EXIT strategy to operations in Afghanistan which will be definite, likely to be achieved, and which will accomplish at least the minimal objectives for our nation to withdraw, with a minimal cost in lives and limbs and treasure.”

Is in reality, seeking to cater to his liberal base. How many times, during the campaign, did Obama declare the war was in Afghanistan, and under his presidency, he would be victorious. But, as it turns out, he is a typical liberal seeking a way to “withdraw”, but rather a way to “turn tail and run”. IMO, yes, by all means, cut and run. Because if we stay there, only more Americans will die as a result of leaving them without support. Why is the morale of troops stationed in Afghan falling? Could it be they know they have been left out to dry? I would not characterize Obama as “courageous”, I would characterize him more as the “cowardly lion”.

Posted by: propitiation at November 24, 2009 8:50 AM
Comment #291436

Propitation argues the conservative view saying: “But, as it turns out, he [Obama] is a typical liberal seeking a way to “withdraw”,

As opposed to a Republican like Bush who enters war without an exit strategy and leaves the longest wars in our history for the next president to clean up.

Thank you for that most remarkable candor in elucidating the Republican rationale and logic for diminishing this nation on nearly on every front and measure of progress, only to blame the liberals for coming to the nation’s rescue to clean up the Republican mess, which 40+ percent of Republicans even admit was the result of the Bush Administration and partly the Republican controlled Congress.

Propitation says: “Obama will not even support American troops in Afghanistan”.

Absurd. Has Obama cut off their food, bullet, or equipment supplies? Has he cut off their mail to and from home?

Folks, Propitiation’s argument is obviously this, Refusing to send more troops than necessary, refusing to make our military presence in a hostile land an even bigger target for our enemies, resulting in larger numbers of maimed and dead Americans, is this Republicans view of failing to support our troops.

Beware of comments like Propitiation’s. They allude to a belief that America would be better run by military Juntas and dictators than by elected civilian government in a democratic republic, by a majority of the American people.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 24, 2009 8:59 AM
Comment #291437

“The longer President Obama waits to make a decision on whether to send more troops to Afghanistan, the more voter support for that war appears to be ebbing away…Thirty-nine percent (39%) say yes that victory is still possible, but 36% disagree and say it is not. One-in-four voters (25%) are not sure.”

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/afghanistan/voters_now_closely_divided_on_u_s_chances_for_victory_in_afghanistan

I wonder what percentage of “The Great Generation” believed we could win WWII? Anyone see a change in America? Could it be, America has a defeated attitude, because we have leadership that exudes defeat?

Posted by: propitiation at November 24, 2009 9:00 AM
Comment #291438

Since the Bush administration has once again been brought up as an excuse for Obama’s failures: I will respond. The Bush presidency never set a date to complete the war on terror and I believe as Bush did, it is a never ending battle. Until or unless these Muslim extremist can embrace democracy and weed out the enemy, the war will never be over. We can fight them on their soil or we can fight them on our soil, whatever.

How many democrats voted to go to war?

Obama and liberals think you can talk to terrorists and change their mind about converting the world to Islam, with those who do not facing death. Maybe Obama should take some lessons from Israel, concerning the success of dialog? The only thing terrorist understand is violence, and it is a fatal mistake to misunderstand this. They view diplomacy as weakness and they view Obama as weak.

Posted by: propitiation at November 24, 2009 9:13 AM
Comment #291439

Propitation won’t show here the poll numbers on the Afghanistan war at the end of 2008 when his President was in office. That’s because they would show that the erosion in public support of the Afghanistan War began under the Bush administration, and the numbers were not much different when Bush left office than they are now.

[Sept. 5, 2008] Public support for Afghan mission lowest ever: poll

Nice partisan blind try, there Propitiation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 24, 2009 9:16 AM
Comment #291440

Propitiation now writes in ignorance of the facts on the ground in Afghanistan: “Since the Bush administration has once again been brought up as an excuse for Obama’s failures: I will respond. The Bush presidency never set a date to complete the war on terror and I believe as Bush did, it is a never ending battle.”

The al-Queda terrorists in Afghanistan are now estimated to number about 100. It was al-Queda terrorists we went to war with. Not the Afghanistan people. And you know what, routing out 100 people of any description in a country like Afghanistan who know the terrain better than we, is impossible. But apparently, you believe killing and maiming thousands of American soldiers, and spending a trillion more debt and deficit tax payer dollars to take out 100 al-Queda in Afghanistan is a justifiable expense.

Thank Buddha, the majority of the American people don’t agree with you Propitiation, according to your own cited poll.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 24, 2009 9:22 AM
Comment #291441

DRR’s comment:

“Propitation says: “Obama will not even support American troops in Afghanistan”.

Absurd. Has Obama cut off their food, bullet, or equipment supplies? Has he cut off their mail to and from home?

Folks, Propitiation’s argument is obviously this, Refusing to send more troops than necessary, refusing to make our military presence in a hostile land an even bigger target for our enemies, resulting in larger numbers of maimed and dead Americans, is this Republicans view of failing to support our troops.”

Obama’s failure to support the troops is 3 months of failure to answer his General’s request. Obama’s failure is weakness and indecision.

Why is troop morale dropping? Why are there now more deaths? Obama stands before American troops in his photo ops and tells them nothing will be held from their support, that “HE has their backs”, what a joke. The only back he is covering is his own backside.

Oh, Good Lord, Obama is on the TV screen again. A day without Obama’s face on the TV screen is like a day without sunshine.

Posted by: propitiation at November 24, 2009 9:25 AM
Comment #291442

As I have said many times before, BY ALL MEANS BRING THEM HOME. If they don’t have the support of the president and if the president believes it is an unwinable conflict, then bring them home.

Why would anyone want to thank “a fat guy made out of stone”, “which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell”?

Posted by: propitiation at November 24, 2009 9:35 AM
Comment #291443

DRR sad:

“the majority of the American people don’t agree with you Propitiation, according to your own cited poll.”

I think the point being made was the lack of confidence in Obama has led to lack of Americans to believe we have the ability to be successful in Afghan.

Sorry, it must have shot right over your head.

Posted by: propitiation at November 24, 2009 9:41 AM
Comment #291447

Propitiation asked: “Why is troop morale dropping? “

Well, at least you are asking, instead of pontificating. Having been in the Army in 3.5 years, part of that time with 3 stripes moving platoons through AIT (advanced individual training), morale can flag for an enormous number of reasons, and nearly all of them pertain to immediate leadership in the chain of command nearest the troops. However, in this particular case in Afghanistan, the length of the war without measurable progress in subduing hostilities and losses is a big factor. Another, is simply not knowing the future, whether an all out offensive throughout the nation outside of Kabul or a protracted and constrained strategy is going to continue.

Give you a clue, which many of our soldiers don’t have. America doesn’t have the manpower, nor does the entire U.N. forces with ours included, to launch an all out nation wide offensive and nation rebuilding program. Complete withdrawal from Iraq would not even provide enough manpower to lock down the geography, and transit personnel and material of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

And a protracted and constrained effort, now in place going on 8 years, is taking a toll on morale.

If you think there is any easy, quick, and inexpensive fix to Bush’s dereliction of duty in Afghanistan, by all means, please share it with us.

Obama is weighing the costs and outcomes from a set of all negative options, limited in part by Bush’s doubling of the national debt in his 8 years, all while fooling voters like you that he and his party were fiscally responsible. What a frumping joke on Republican voters that was. Not once, but twice.

Comments like yours defending Bush are an obvious rationalization to the cognitive dissonance created by having been duped by him. I understand. We all have our defense mechanisms. Wearing them in a public forum like this is not even unusual, anymore. As if no one will notice. :-)

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 24, 2009 10:10 AM
Comment #291449

Propitiation, as if he didn’t have a clue, asks: “Why are there now more deaths? “

Because we are now at war with the Afghanistan people, not just al-Queda and a few war lords. Bush’ constrained and restricted effort over years in Afghanistan has built up hostilities and casualties perpetrated by both sides on the Afghanistan population, and just as we would do in their shoes, they aren’t taking it anymore, without a fight.

Try taking in something other than Faux news, and objective, non-partisan answers to questions like these will be readily found.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 24, 2009 10:17 AM
Comment #291450

propitiation - what are you saying?

But why should any of this surprise us, according to Muslim teaching, it is not considered a sin to lie to an infidel. So when Obama says he supports Israel, he is lying. “Actions speak louder than works”.

Are you saying that Obama is a Muslim? That says a lot about where you are coming from. Never let facts get in the way of making outrageous statements. I suppose you also think he was born in Kenya too.

Afghanistan is a mess. It was a mess when Bush was bungling it and it remains a mess today. Bush ignored the history of the region and went blundering into an ill-conceived war that he couldn’t win in 7 years and dumped it on Obama to sort out. Obama is now faced with nothing but awful choices that will cost people who do not deserve it their lives. If you think that is such an easy decision then you don’t understand the problems or you don’t care about human life. Sending more soldiers isn’t going to solve any of the problems. Pulling them all out tomorrow isn’t going to solve any of the problems. Doing some in-between measure isn’t gong to solve any of the problems. It’s easy to be an armchair quarterback. It’s easy to say, “listen to the generals.” Generals are trained achieve military objectives as they should be. The problem is the objectives that need to be achieved are not military they are political and social. The military is not especially suited to solve these kinds of problems.

Posted by: tcsned at November 24, 2009 10:17 AM
Comment #291451

Propitiation said: “I think the point being made was the lack of confidence in Obama has led to lack of Americans to believe we have the ability to be successful in Afghan. Sorry, it must have shot right over your head.”

That whizzing sound you heard was not over my head, but the speed at which you discounted the FACT I pointed out to you, that public support for the war hit bottom during the Bush administration. One often fails to hear the truth when their head is buried in denial of it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 24, 2009 10:21 AM
Comment #291453

Propitiation in reply to the comment, Thank Buddha, said: “Why would anyone want to thank “a fat guy made out of stone”, “which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell”?”

Perhaps for the same reason so many thank some rabble rouser claiming to be the son of God by emaculate conception, and telling people idiotic stuff which 99.9/10% of followers refuse to follow, like don’t make war, but, turn the other cheek, instead.

For your education, Buddha was a man, Siddhartha Gautama, like Christ, whose life story is an inspiration to billions of people. Unlike so many Christians, many more of them actually refuse to advocate for war and killing. But, like all religions, killers find cover in the cloak of religion.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 24, 2009 10:30 AM
Comment #291455

Propitiation said: “As I have said many times before, BY ALL MEANS BRING THEM HOME. If they don’t have the support of the president and if the president believes it is an unwinable conflict, then bring them home.”

So, it is Black or White answers you seek. Doesn’t that make living in this world of grays rather difficult? What part of the media’s coverage for several years now on the topic that THERE ARE NO EASY ANSWERS TO AFGHANISTAN, have you been ignoring for so long.

Given a set of possible answers, all with high negatives, choosing the best of them with the least negatives, while projecting their outcomes into the future for educated guess comparison, is not a quick process. It requires very detailed factual information about each of the possible answers, and then the time consuming process of assimilating that data and processing it into a best guess future outcome, and then comparing each to the other.

All way over your comment’s reach, apparently.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 24, 2009 10:37 AM
Comment #291456

DRR, what part of “I didn’t support Bush’s policy”, don’t you understand? Why do you persist in blanketing all conservatives as Bush supporters. I was against sending troops into Afghan and Iraq. My belief was to turn them into a sea of glass, and let it be done.

Bring them home is my point, does your opinion differ? My reason for bringing them home may be different than yours, but bring them home.

Wait, I have just experienced a “Brain Fart” of wisdom. I know how we can fix all our problems:

Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, Bush did it, etc, etc, etc.

See how stupid this sounds, and it doesn’t fix anything.

Posted by: propitiation at November 24, 2009 10:46 AM
Comment #291462

propitiation, what a rant. But, forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but, your rant doesn’t address any of the points and counter arguments I made in reply to yours.

Straw men and red herrings are apparently well oiled tools in your debate bag. Rather than rant on topics I never addressed, how about replying to the points and facts I did respond with, as I did in response to your comments?

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 24, 2009 11:00 AM
Comment #291470
Rhinehold, your article alludes to either a preference for a shoot from the hip decider like GW Bush who took the U.S. into an unnecessary and unjustified war.

No, my article alludes to questioning if this president, when it hits the fan, is capable of making a decisive and quick decision.

As for Afghanistan, don’t you think that he might have had, say, 10 months to think about a possible ‘exit strategy’? How long, and how many people have to remain in harms way, for him to work that out? And if he hasn’t been thinking about such things since before he was elected and for certainly after he took office, isn’t that a failing on his lack of focus on his responsibilities to the American People?

Why not just pump up the president with the real reasons, you have invested so much into his success that it is nearly impossible for you to not elevate him into diety status? It would save some bandwidth. I am blessed with not having fallen to such internal pressures and can adequately praise and criticize the MAN.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 24, 2009 11:36 AM
Comment #291485

Wow,

Quoting the Guardian, and averring for a preemptive strike against Iran in one post. I can’t wait to see how this fits with Libertarianism and the next time someone quotes the Guardian with a liberal slant.

Posted by: gergle at November 24, 2009 1:30 PM
Comment #291505

Propitiation-
Your argument is disgusting, to say the least. You claim Obama is a Muslim. That is a lie, or a statement made in reckless disregard for the truth. Hidden in that claim is the additional implication that being a Muslim is an ugly nasty thing. Otherwise, why lie about it? Then, finally, you use that as the poor logic with which you give an explanation of his policy.

You should be ashamed to make such an argument.

As for “Bush did it?”

Another fallacious approach that raises the strawman regarding Bush’s responsiblity (that he’s responsible for everything that’s gone wrong) to cover for the truth, which is (and evidence backs this.) that he did a lot wrong.

As for withdrawal from Iraq?

School yourself a little in the matter. You don’t just pick up and go from an active war zone without a plan. Maybe you want to under take the genocidal plan of nuking Iraq and the rest of the Middle East (which would do wonders for the rest of the world, probably making global warming a moot point) or maybe you just say such things to sound macho. Either way, the argument is beneath contempt and should be dismissed.

Obama’s taking a few months to consider decisions that will literally affect the rest of American history. Rushing these decisions will not get victory or our troops home faster. A plan cooked up with tough attitude is not the same as a tough-minded plan. People can be poseurs, and some folks can be all hat and no cattle.

If you don’t like Obama up on that screen, thats your tough luck. But there are real reasons why it’s him up there, and not somebody you like better.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 24, 2009 5:08 PM
Comment #291517
Quoting the Guardian, and averring for a preemptive strike against Iran in one post. I can’t wait to see how this fits with Libertarianism and the next time someone quotes the Guardian with a liberal slant.

Ok, gergle, please point out to me where in the article I ‘avered’ for a preemptive strike against Iran? Did I at one time suggest either way what *I* thought should be done or, if you read it again with a clear mind, does it not speak to various options, none of them attractive or ‘wins’ for the presdient, that he is going to have to make?

As for the guardian, I’ve quoted from it from time to time in the past and will again do so in the future. Heck, I’ve quoted from commondreams.org, and I find that organization as a whole pretty disturbing, but they get some things right now and again as well. Why would I avoid doing so?

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 24, 2009 6:34 PM
Comment #291519

Well, we are busted flat in Baton Rouge, and all around. We have not bucks to implement HC, Cap & Trade, and to continue two wars. Congress wants to pay for their war by taxing us. Strange that they can push stimulus, recovery, cap & trade, and HC through as if there is no tomorrow yet can’t pay for the war without taxing us. A continued war on the middle class IMO. They could sell war bonds to pay for the war, but, IMO they would rather continue attacking the working folks.
With Iran coming on strong a strategy might be to cut back and stick in in Iraq and Afghan. Keeps pressure on Iran and gives us a leg up if we have to go in on a nuke sweep. Would keep Iran from attacking neighbors as well. Once things are settled with Iran we could begin to pull out of the mideast. Seems that would be a strategy that Obama could live with.
IMO, we are broke, $105T in debt. That is broke plumb to the pejorative. I think we should pull the troops out, support Israel in taking out the nukes and let Europe clean up the afterbirth.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 24, 2009 6:58 PM
Comment #291531

Holy Mackerel, again, this thread sure went in a strange direction quickly. On Afghanistan, have we developed some new techniques on dealing with guerilla warfare that don’t turn the population of a country against us? If we haven’t, then I don’t see how we will do much more than the Israelis have been able to do in dealing with terrorists. On Iran, supposedly now run buy a military junta instead of clerics since the last election, we’re forcing them into a corner that isn’t going to end well for either side.

Thank enlightenment for our ability to give something to others besides a bed in the ground, a pile of ashes, or a sky burial.

The Four Noble Truths

The Eightfold Path

Posted by: ohrealy at November 24, 2009 8:09 PM
Comment #291532

And I forgot to mention food for the fishes.

Posted by: ohrealy at November 24, 2009 9:06 PM
Comment #291533

Well, perhaps we could get Iran to agree not to attack Israel. If so, then we could put anti-missle defenses in Israel and wait it out. A cheap way out but doubt if Israel and Russia would buy it.
Do you recall when the Israelies shot up the USS Liberty? Man, I’ll never forget that. And, we funded the development of an Israeli war fighter aircraft. We could sure use that money today. I believe the cost of putting a soldier on the ground is approx $1M/day. It’s hard to fight a war on the cheap anywhere anymore.
To broke to fight. The Ruski’s must be loving it.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 24, 2009 9:19 PM
Comment #291561

Rhinehold,

I’ll remember that next time you denigrate a source.

As to averring for a preemptive strike, why does Obama have to pre-decide on Iran, again? Whatever happened to having the military have contingency plans and waiting for real events to actually unfold? You seriously think there are no contingencies? I guess post-Bush Libertarians have thrown out that option.

Ho Hum, a post making much ado about nothing.

Posted by: gergle at November 25, 2009 8:22 AM
Comment #291566
As to averring for a preemptive strike, why does Obama have to pre-decide on Iran, again?

I never said he had to pre-decide. Jesus, gergle, if you are going to comment on what I write, at least read it?

Whatever happened to having the military have contingency plans and waiting for real events to actually unfold?

Great idea! Why didn’t he do that with Afghanistan again? That’s my concern, he is going to need to make a quick decision. I am hoping that that decision making is in the works but it isn’t working well for deciding what to do about Afghanistan when a quick decision was called for.

You seriously think there are no contingencies? I guess post-Bush Libertarians have thrown out that option.

No, post-Bush Democrats have as evidenced by the month long delay in making a decision in Afghanistan. What was the contingency there? From what we are led to believe, Obama needed this time to plan out what he is going to do. Doesn’t that speak to there being no planning beforehand?

Ho Hum, a post making much ado about nothing.

I suppose if you think a 3rd war while we are STILL fighting 2 in possibly the biggest powder keg that exists on the planet today that has the power to draw in the rest of the world ‘nothing’ then yeah, I would suggest you quit reading my boring old articles.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 25, 2009 10:02 AM
Comment #291567

Wow, so world war 3 is here? Who knew?

Posted by: gergle at November 25, 2009 10:06 AM
Comment #291569

BTW, wasn’t it the left that tried to say the US had alread pre-decided to invade Iraq because there was work done in 2001 regarding the contingency of invading Iraq? I guess some of us just never thought that having military contingency plans was high on the list of things that the left was interested in.

I keep forgetting that all of the rules change when the people in power change.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 25, 2009 10:12 AM
Comment #291572

Well, except for the testimony of Bush insiders who claim there was a push to fit the facts to make the case for invasion, I guess you forgot that also. Time for some of those memory pills, perhaps.

BTW, I think Afghanistan policy (Including Pakistan and India, and Iran) is important, and worth taking time to evaluate. Assessing where we are, and deciding how to proceed with cleaning up what may well be another Vietnam-like mess is worth taking time to consider.

My fear is Obama may well end up in LBJ’s predicament, but being of an age to be fully aware of the Vietnam ensnarement, I suspect he will not fall into the same trap. That said, if Afghanistan is still smoldering in 2012, reelection might be a struggle. Time for anything but an exit is limited.

Posted by: gergle at November 25, 2009 10:26 AM
Comment #291574
Well, except for the testimony of Bush insiders who claim there was a push to fit the facts to make the case for invasion, I guess you forgot that also.

Deflect much?

BTW, I think Afghanistan policy (Including Pakistan and India, and Iran) is important, and worth taking time to evaluate. Assessing where we are, and deciding how to proceed with cleaning up what may well be another Vietnam-like mess is worth taking time to consider.

Sure, I agree. Now, why wasn’t that done BEFORE October 2009? Was Afghanistan not an issue before then? Was this a surprise that occurred?

I thought Obama was this great ‘multitasker’? To date, I have yet to see any evidence of that, just keep hearing ‘but there are other, more important things to work on’ that speak to him not being able to multitask.

Time for anything but an exit is limited.

Please tell me again, why are we STILL there? Obama still labels it the ‘good war’. Why? What is the point of us STILL being in Afghanistan?

And, before you start on the predicted deflection, I called for withdrawl from Iraq in 2005… My views on that hasn’t changed since then either. I don’t know why we are still in either of these places. I thought one of the positives of electing Obama was that we wouldn’t still be fightingn wars this long into his precidency…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 25, 2009 10:35 AM
Comment #291577

I have no idea what you mean by deflection.

My point and, I think it is quite clear, that the Iraq invasion was not an issue of contingency, but policy to find a phony reason to invade. Of course, there were contingency plans. What exactly is your point?

One can certainly argue whether that policy was valid or not, but it had little to do with contingency.

Just as there was fallout from Vietnam, there is the possibility of deadlier fallout from Afghanistan. While the news agency’s are promoting the “finish the job”, what that exactly entails is yet to be seen.

The exit from Saigon wasn’t exactly well thought out, was it?

Posted by: gergle at November 25, 2009 10:46 AM
Comment #291580
What exactly is your point?

My point is it is a bit disingenuous to claim that having a contingency plan is proof of a preplanned intent to invade but insist that we should always have contingency plans for various things that may come up.

If you believe that contingency plans are things we should have, then having one cannot be proof of anything. However, that is exactly what many on the left used it for. Which is illogical.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 25, 2009 11:42 AM
Comment #291594

Rhinehold,

I know we both speak english, but contingency plans have NOTHING to do with the invasion of Iraq. Period.

Since you love British periodicals,

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/bush-god-told-me-to-invade-iraq-509925.html

Not that I buy this reasoning, but just because it would irritate you a bit, and I do think Bush is a bit of a whacko.


Another more serious source since you seem to be having memory problems:

http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_timeline_of_the_2003_invasion_of_iraq&general_topic_areas=decision

From Ron Paul, quasi-Libertarian:

http://www.antiwar.com/paul/?articleid=7213

From Christopher Hitchens:

http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/8486

From Bob Woodward:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/074325547X/ref=sib_fs_top?ie=UTF8&p=S00R&checkSum=Up8JkAwSW4IRidbn833Wl5BvSbH%2BAT4lEYU3FR6%2FrQc%3D#reader-page

Posted by: gergle at November 25, 2009 5:43 PM
Comment #291666

Ah, a conservative only column.

Posted by: gergle at November 26, 2009 11:57 PM
Comment #291672

RH
There is NO evidence that Iran has been or is now pursuing nuclear weapons,period. There is accusation. There is speculation.Evidence? It ain’t there. Reminds me of Saddams WMDs.
It is a shame about the Middle-East peace process again getting bogged down and things could get ugly,especially with the Isrealis picking that crack pot Zionist for a leader. Hardly the fault of BHO.
BTW: There is nothing wrong with reading polls. Every responsible public leader needs to know what the people he or she works for feel about an issue.Personally, I appreciate a president that looks into issues and considers results before wielding the sizable power of the US.
I understand your dissapointment. BHO has been in power almost a whole year now and ALL the worlds problems are not hunky dory. What is taking so long?

Posted by: bills at November 27, 2009 7:13 AM
Comment #291678
Ah, a conservative only column.

Sure, if you mean that everything that isn’t beholden to the party is conservative. Let me know how that works out at the ballot booth in the coming years.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 27, 2009 10:57 AM
Comment #291679
There is NO evidence that Iran has been or is now pursuing nuclear weapons,period.

So, your suggestion is that Obama is wasting his time pursuing sanctions against Iran since we have no evidence that they are enriching uranium for nuclear weapons. We shouldn’t be going after Iran but Israel instead for their horrible treatment to the Palestinians, right? I just want to make sure I get your opinion correct and on record.

There is nothing wrong with reading polls. Every responsible public leader needs to know what the people he or she works for feel about an issue.Personally, I appreciate a president that looks into issues and considers results before wielding the sizable power of the US.

Apparently you think I find something wrong with it myself. That’s an interesting leap of logic… There are times when it is right and there are times when it is not. And there are times when a president must act quickly or at least have been thinking about something before it happens by using some forethought so that when they have to make a quick decision, it is a good one.

My point is that we don’t have any evidence that this is something Obama is capable of doing. Recent history with the way he has handled Afghanistan’s troop level increase request is a prime concern in this area. You seem to think that I hope he fails with the upcoming issue with Iran, but you would, again, be mistaken.

Imagine that.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 27, 2009 11:03 AM
Comment #291689

No, I meant you weren’t allowing posts for a while, and did not post one of my responses.

Posted by: gergle at November 29, 2009 2:36 PM
Comment #291690

To wit this one:

Rhinehold,

I know we both speak english, but contingency plans have NOTHING to do with the invasion of Iraq. Period.

Since you love British periodicals,

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/bush-god-told-me-to-invade-iraq-509925.html

Not that I buy this reasoning, but just because it would irritate you a bit, and I do think Bush is a bit of a whacko.


Another more serious source since you seem to be having memory problems:

http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_timeline_of_the_2003_invasion_of_iraq&general_topic_areas=decision

From Ron Paul, quasi-Libertarian:

http://www.antiwar.com/paul/?articleid=7213

From Bob Woodward:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/074325547X/ref=sib_fs_top?ie=UTF8&p=S00R&checkSum=Up8JkAwSW4IRidbn833Wl5BvSbH%2BAT4lEYU3FR6%2FrQc%3D#reader-page

Posted by: gergle at November 29, 2009 2:38 PM
Comment #291705
No, I meant you weren’t allowing posts for a while, and did not post one of my responses.

Sorry, but I have done no such thing, perhaps you are having an issue, but it was not related to me…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 29, 2009 8:37 PM
Comment #291706

Apparently you are having a disconnect. There were issues in Iraq that meant we could end up invading them or at the very least, getting into some kind of military event against them. This was not something new to the Bush administration, him having Iraq invasion plans put together when he came into office (btw, ther were Iraq invasion plans under Clinton as well, as there should have been).

That simple act of doing so in NO WAY ‘proves’ that the administration as intent on attacking Iraq ahead of the breakdown of diplomatic avenues.

In the same way, THIS administration, I HOPE, is putting together all of the miliary options against Iran and how to deal with Israel should this come to a head as it ay next spring. Would that mean that they had pre-decided to attack Iran? Of course not.

I have not stated that Bush didn’t have a proclivity towards dealing with Iraq, militarily if necessay, should they continue to support international terrorism, threaten the US, shoot at our planes on a near daily basis and keep violating UN Chapter 7 resolutions. In fact, 70+% of Americans felt that way before 9/11. YOU are the one who is, again, trying to create straw men to argue with. Nothing I have stated is unfactual.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 29, 2009 8:46 PM
Comment #291707

gergle,

I went back and checked and there was a pending comment from you because it had more than 1 link in it. For your information, I get *NO* notification of such comments being held, had I known it was there I would have approved it (which I have done). I have never blocked comments to any article. I wish there was a better system (we post and view pendng comments in a different interface that we comment in) but I have had many posts held for that same reason over the years, which is why I usually try to keep my comments free of more than one hyper-link, because, again, the writers have no way of knowing if there are pending comments on our articles unless we go looking to see.

I understand that it is against the nature of some on this site to give the benfit of the doubt (as evidenced by the idiotic racist crap) but your accusations of my behavior are incorrect.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 29, 2009 8:54 PM
Comment #291708

Again

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 29, 2009 8:57 PM
Comment #291724

Sure glad you don’t throw race into any discussions that have absolutely nothing to do with race, again, I can only see what happens and what is written. When I reposted, it still had multiple links, but I accept your explanation. I can’t see into anyone’s heart.

You seem to be confused between contingency plans and what has been reported as a desire to find a reason to invade. Yes, it was a standing policy to remove Sadaam even in Clinton’s term, but he didn’t start a preemptive war. Bush did. That you choose not to differentiate is telling.

Posted by: gergle at November 30, 2009 8:27 AM
Comment #291727

In Rhinehold’s defense, as a former writer for this blog, I never even knew that we, as writers, had any control over approving or deleting posts. There’s probably a ton of them on my articles that I never saw. So, gergle, Rhinehold isn’t doing anything to block you. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of rhyme or reason to it when or why that happens.

As to Iraq, it sure did seem like invasion was on the minds of the Cheney crew before Bush got elected and the half-hearted diplomatic efforts kind of expose that. They ignored anything that didn’t fit their preconceptions. They cut off inspectors. They were arrogant in thinking that it would be a cakewalk and didn’t plan for a protracted occupation. Yes, there should be contingency plans for dealing with belligerent countries but the Bush administration seemed to have only one plan that was to go to war. Preemptive warfare is a horrible policy and that is what should we should be focusing on and discrediting and making sure never, ever happens again.

Posted by: tcsned at November 30, 2009 10:08 AM
Comment #291770

AFAIK, the server was down for about 2 days after Thanksgiving. You should be able to include 2 hyperlinks in a post, any more than that and your post will be rejected. People get around that by posting the url without the http, just starting with www, and quote from the pertinent section of the text.

It’s a shame that we’re getting more involved in Afghanistan. The war party gets what it wants, no matter which half of the duopoly is in power.

Posted by: ohrealy at November 30, 2009 10:25 PM
Comment #291776

Ohrealy,

I agree, Afghanistan looks bad. I did think the surge was a bad idea in Iraq, but it did seem to bring about some stability which may allow for a more orderly withdrawal. If that is the idea in Afghanistan, I’ll withhold judgment.

The difference between being a critic on the outside and a responsible party on the inside, is having to actually do something.

Posted by: gergle at November 30, 2009 11:39 PM
Comment #291792

gergle,

You are apparently wanting to argue something completely different than my point. Not sure why though…

Again, my point is that having a plan to invade Iraq in early 2001 was not proof of an intent to invade Iraq. We can debate whether or not other things that we now know point to that (and have I am sure over the years), but simply having the plan was in no way the proof that those on the left wanted it to be.

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 1, 2009 4:26 AM
Comment #291799

Gee, what was I arguing about?

BTW, wasn’t it the left that tried to say the US had alread pre-decided to invade Iraq because there was work done in 2001 regarding the contingency of invading Iraq? I guess some of us just never thought that having military contingency plans was high on the list of things that the left was interested in.

I keep forgetting that all of the rules change when the people in power change.

Perhaps this completely false statement? Perhaps the false information about enrichment tubes, mobil chemical plants, yellow cake, and Al Qaeda in Iraq? That’s what the left cited. That, and the scorched earth policy toward critics. But making false premises is more fun, No?

Posted by: gergle at December 1, 2009 9:21 AM
Comment #291845

It isn’t a false statement. When the information leaked that there was a plan in place to invade Iraq shortly after Bush took office, it was touted by the far left as PROOF that Bush was bent on going into Iraq and nothing would dissuade him.

Otherwise, why was it big news? It should have been a ‘ho-hum’ event, it would be silly not to have plans to invade Iraq, especially considering that it had been the policy of the United States since 1998…

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 1, 2009 11:49 PM
Comment #291847

Rhinehold said: “Again, my point is that having a plan to invade Iraq in early 2001 was not proof of an intent to invade Iraq.”

But, it is evidence to help make the case. Combine that evidence with all the evidence of fabrication and cherry picking of intelligence to make a fabricated case for invasion based on imminent threat, and combined with the 100’s of billions of overpayment dollars to industry’s supporting the Republican Party and close to the White House like Haliburton, KBR, and BlackWater, and all the proof that is necessary in the court of public opinion is provided.

Those who defend the Republicans as you appear to be doing here, will of course never accept such overwhelming evidence or the judgment of the court of public opinion. But, that is entirely predictable.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 1, 2009 11:58 PM
Comment #291865

Oh, OK, it was the faaaaar left. You know that guy in Carmel. Geez. Even Pinocchio has trouble stretching his nose that far.

Posted by: gergle at December 2, 2009 1:21 AM
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