November 19, 2005

Another Presidential Pop-Over On Turkey Day?

After the requisite Murtha-mention (a relatively polite one, though I'm as disgusted as Sully about other comments making the rounds, despite my obvious total disagreement with Murtha's Iraq prescriptions), the WSJ editorial page today opines:

We'll grant that the White House could do a far better job of reassuring Americans and thus providing political cover for Congress. It has finally begun to fight back against the Democratic lie that it was "lying" about prewar intelligence. But what's really needed are continued explanations of why the war is justified, the consequences of defeat, and above all repeating again and again a strategy for victory. Among other things, Mr. Bush could draw attention to progress in Iraq by visiting there himself.[emphasis added]

Note, like B.D., the WSJ agrees Bush should be focusing, not on refutations of the Bush Lied! meme, but rather "repeating again and again a strategy" for victory. And, as I've said, its gotta be more than: "As they stand up, we'll stand down".

Meantime, note the WSJ's cogitations about the supposed beneficial impact of a Presidential visit to Mesopotamia. Hey, could another Thanksgiving pop-over be far away? Even money there's no overnight, though, despite that we're in the "last throes..." But hey, if it boosts the moribund polls!

P.S. To head off the hate mail, let me point out right away that I'm not intrinsically opposed to Bush spending, say, 5 or so hours (double the last time!) in Iraq. It does boost the morale of troops in theater, and it is good for the Commander in Chief to spend time with the soldiers under his command. But, let's talk turkey, as the saying goes. The grand aggregated time spent in that country by, say, the two Secretaries of State (Powell and Rice), Don Rumsfeld and the President (has Cheney even been, hasty googling uncovers nada?)--well, it's probably not even 60-80 hours. Given that this is the central front in the war on terror, that almost 2,100 U.S. soldiers have died there, and that we've pumped in hundreds of billions--you wonder if more hands-on attention might not be warranted, no? Yeah, even a good CEO gets his hands dirty and kicks the tires once in a while down on the factory floor...

P.P.S. Remember Richard Nixon's "Silent Majority" speech? Nixon said:

The Vietnamization plan was launched following Secretary Laird's visit to Vietnam in March. Under the plan, I ordered first a substantial increase in the training and equipment of South Vietnamese forces. In July, on my visit to Vietnam, I changed General Abramsí orders so that they were consistent with the objectives of our new policies. Under the new orders, the primary mission of our troops is to enable the South Vietnamese forces to assume the full responsibility for the security of South Vietnam.

Will history repeat itself, with some 'Iraqification' policy declaration, perhaps issued with Bush standing near (very carefully vetted and screened!) newbie Iraqi recruits (bonus points: 'these units helped free Tal Afar'!)? Or will Bush confine himself to handing out the turkey, stuffing and cranberry topping to G.I.s again, amidst 'stay the course' bravura? Maybe both, even? But, for that, Bush would have to top the 2 and a half hours he spent there last time...

I speculate, you opine!

Posted by Gregory at November 19, 2005 12:24 AM | TrackBack (0)
Comments

The lack of any sort of effective message/plan from the administration has been a contuining source of amazement to me, and I think, one source of Bush's popularity problems. I sometimes wonder if they really just don't have a plan to win this, and hope that events, or the mostly non existent Iraqi army somehow get their act together enough, to bail them out. All I see is a country falling into civil war with a destabilized region as an unwelcome bonus prize. I'm sincerely not trying to be partisian, we fail in Iraq at our perial as a country. I just don't think these guys have whatever it takes to win something like this. I know Greg didn't think much of Kerry, but could he have done any worse?

It's pretty sad when you have to feel the best you can hope for from Bush is some kind of Turkey day flyover with some Iraqi troops for props. After all this is over a lot of trees are going to die as scholars try to divine what the Bush plan for winning the war really was. If we are going to stay we need to make sure that when we leave, we leave Iraq as a functioning country that's not a threat to us. If the Bush admin can't accomplish that, we are well and truly screwed, and a whole lot of lives and dollars will have been wasted. Sadly, that's were I feel we are headed. If you're in Congress, and you feel the same way, I can understand you honestly saying that we might as well leave soon, and try to minimize the immediate damage to our troops and country, as the long trem damage is allready written in the stars.

Posted by: Thom at November 19, 2005 01:42 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I sometimes wonder if they really just don't have a plan to win this, and hope that events, or the mostly non existent Iraqi army somehow get their act together enough, to bail them out.

Here's a question.....

who, precisely, is in charge in Iraq? Who is tasked with keeping all the balls in the air, making sure that none are dropped? Who gets to decide when a military mission that the generals think is necessary will create too many problems for political stability for instance?

I don't know.....and I kinda think I should know. I recall when Rice was NSA, she was put in charge.....but she's at State now, and doesn't seem terribly engaged in the day to day in Iraq.

So who is in charge?

Posted by: lukasiak at November 19, 2005 03:16 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

OK, you guys think the lying meme is not PC?

Then how about this,

Bush is a deceitful and conniving politician!

Posted by: NeoDude at November 19, 2005 03:59 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I agree with the emphasis needed on the consequences of how an exit strategy is formed. That's a key part of what disappoints me about the Murtha proposal -- there's no plan for Iraq afterward, barely a thought. If the Bush Administration is criticized for not planning its invasion sufficiently in advance, so those who live in an imaginary world where the U.S. can suddenly be free of Iraq can be criticized at the lack of planning for post-occupation contingencies.

Abandonment of Iraq at this point (besides being the biggest coup to terrorism since 9/11) would almost predictably unleash armageddon-like possibilties for Iraq and the whole region. The Murtha proposal is flawed particularly in the conceit that the U.S. has a choice whether to be involved with Iraq (which is different than how to be involved). How do you let a tiger's tail loose?

Worst case scenario? Murtha's plan is equivalent to the "Pol Pot-ization" of Iraq. Those who shed a tear over the innocent victims of this conflict will weap at the destruction yet to come.

Posted by: Jamesaust at November 19, 2005 05:07 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Jamesaust....

The underlying premise of Murtha's proposal is that the Iraqi's (and the international community) won't "stand up" until we "stand down."

Murtha's proposal also includes the deployment of a sizable rapid reaction force that could go into Iraq if things get out of control there.

I support Murtha's proposal, primarily because the rest of the world, especially Iraq's neighbors, understand what could happen if Iraq does descend into chaos. IMHO, the sole reason why our occupation is futile is the international community's perception of George W. Bush -- the rest of the world will not "stand up" and help the US because they know that Bush will interpret any success in Iraq as vindication for his policies -- and "success" in Iraq will free up Bush to pursue other moronic military adventures.

The real solution to the Iraq crisis is to engineer the resignation of Cheney and Bush, replacing them with a centrist Republican President (Danforth, Hagel, Powell, etc.) and a centrist Democratic Vice President (Gephardt, Reid, Cuomo).

Since that ain't gonna happen until Holiday on Ice is touring in Hell, withdrawal seems to be the only other option.

Posted by: lukasiak at November 19, 2005 05:57 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Jamesaust....

The underlying premise of Murtha's proposal is that the Iraqi's (and the international community) won't "stand up" until we "stand down."

Murtha's proposal also includes the deployment of a sizable rapid reaction force that could go into Iraq if things get out of control there.

I support Murtha's proposal, primarily because the rest of the world, especially Iraq's neighbors, understand what could happen if Iraq does descend into chaos. IMHO, the sole reason why our occupation is futile is the international community's perception of George W. Bush -- the rest of the world will not "stand up" and help the US because they know that Bush will interpret any success in Iraq as vindication for his policies -- and "success" in Iraq will free up Bush to pursue other moronic military adventures.

The real solution to the Iraq crisis is to engineer the resignation of Cheney and Bush, replacing them with a centrist Republican President (Danforth, Hagel, Powell, etc.) and a centrist Democratic Vice President (Gephardt, Reid, Cuomo).

Since that ain't gonna happen until Holiday on Ice is touring in Hell, withdrawal seems to be the only other option.

Posted by: lukasiak at November 19, 2005 05:58 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Greg:

I think that the principal reason that senior administration officials spend very little time on the ground in Iraq is that, if I remember correctly, the last one who pulled an overnighter - Paul Wolfowitz - came fairly close to getting whacked. As far as I can tell, he's the only US politician who has actually shed blood in Iraq.

A second reason may be that administration officials who spent any time outside a US military base are guaranteed to bump into an Iranian functionary, and it would be awkward to have to make small talk whilst waiting for the elevator. It must have been exruciating for Condi Rice to have to share a platform with the local head of Iranian intelligence when she was in, I think, Sulaymaniyeh a few months back.

Posted by: dan at November 19, 2005 06:45 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Greg, wouldn't it make a bigger impression on Iraqis for some of their soldiers or politicians to be invited to the ranch in Texas?

A visit to the ranch is the signal honor this administration can confer, plus there is always a lot of brush to clear. I can practically guarantee more than 5 hours face time between the President and the good folks from Iraq, provided they don't arrive too late in the day, and no human bombs at all. Inviting some of the American troops to come to the ranch would be great for morale too. They could take a couple of days out of their next leave.

Posted by: JEB at November 19, 2005 08:32 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

If Kofi Annan can schedule time in Baghdad, so can Bush. This war is his political legacy and it's not going well.

Bush should remember it's not how you start (Mission Accomplished) it's how you finish.

Posted by: meade at November 19, 2005 09:33 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Greg,

Could you shed some light on why you think it would be a good thing for a president to present himself in a manner that overtly recalls Richard Nixon and a Vietnamization policy that ultimately ended in a North Vietnamization policy for South Vietnam.

Getting the Iraqis doing it themselves is certainly the right way to go, but that's definitely not the way to present it.

Posted by: Mike at November 20, 2005 04:40 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I agree with Dan Larsen. The Bush admin needs to first strongly and aggressively disprove the democrats assertion that the Bush delibertely misled the country into war.

Sure, explaining to the public the why the war is justified is important, as is reminding the public about the admin's strategy to victory--but will most of the public believe Bush if they think he is a liar, that Iraq is "wrong war, wrong place, wrong time" according to Murtha... (or is it Kerry)?

First things first, Greg.

Winning the war not only involves fighting insurgents in Iraq, but also winning the political war at home--which means beating the crap out of the defeatist Democrats at home, exposing the way they (deliberately or not) undermine the troops in Iraq and their lies and hypocrisies. and aggressively confronting the anti-war, liberal MSM. ;)

And since you think the Bush admin is doing it wrong in Iraq, and the Bush Admin OTOH seems to be set in their ways (and will only make minor adjustments on their iraq strategy in the future)--why don't you Greg urge this pathetic opposition party called the democrats to come up with something (a better alternative winning strategy, perhaps?) other than "cut-and-run"?

In short, urge them to be a more responsible and credible alternative to the incumbent party. Ya?

Posted by: john marzan at November 20, 2005 07:25 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

John M., Let's pretend for a minute - that's not too long to fight the gag reflex - that there is some truth/merit to what you you wrote immediately above.

What would you do to "win" in Iraq? Just what is the "admin's stategy to victory"?

Let's assume that a large proportion of the country is has been swayed by the "lying" democrats. How would you explain the rightwing strategty to victory to them?

Details count. Please explain how we are goin to "win" in detail.

Some of those details should be projected costs, benefits, time frame of various options.

I am trying hard to understand and I'm looking forward to you assisting me in this regard. So far nobody has been able to spell out how we win in Iraq. "Stay the course" doesn't cut it for me. How does staying the course result in victory?

Again, details, details, details, please.

Thanks.

Posted by: avedis at November 20, 2005 01:09 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

John M., Let's pretend for a minute - that's not too long to fight the gag reflex - that there is some truth/merit to what you you wrote immediately above.

What would you do to "win" in Iraq? Just what is the "admin's stategy to victory"?

Let's assume that a large proportion of the country is has been swayed by the "lying" democrats. How would you explain the rightwing strategty to victory to them?

Details count. Please explain how we are goin to "win" in detail.

Some of those details should be projected costs, benefits, time frame of various options.

I am trying hard to understand and I'm looking forward to you assisting me in this regard. So far nobody has been able to spell out how we win in Iraq. "Stay the course" doesn't cut it for me. How does staying the course result in victory?

Again, details, details, details, please.

Thanks.

Posted by: avedis at November 20, 2005 01:10 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The premise of this will be hard for Bush and his bootlickers - to begin by proving that he did not lie us into war, and then continue into why the war is justified, and finally lay out a stategy for victory.

I'd settle at this point for an explanation of what a "victory" might actually look like, and some plan as to how we might get there.

Fat chance of seeing any of that. Bush doesn't know, and aparently his bootlickers don't care.

For the Bush fans that still don't get it - but that are trying to figure out who is right in the debate, you might want to read this article from the Washington Post today written by former Senator Bob Graham:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/18/AR2005111802397.html

Graham was in a position to really know what was happening since he was chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, and the run-up to the Iraq war.

Posted by: Mark-NC at November 20, 2005 03:01 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

There's another huge nail in the WMD pretext coffin today in the LA Times. It's a damming, long, article about German intelligence's horror at how the Bush adm. sexed up Curveballs information. Curveball is/was a Genman intelligence asset. We look a bunch of Keystone Kops. It's tragic. The Bush administration response of "Well everyone thought the same thing" gets weaker, and weaker, as more relevations come out. This from the Republicans who are supposed to be the "adults".

Posted by: thom at November 20, 2005 03:04 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Visiting the troops during Thanksgiving is another meaningless PR gesture that will have little or nothing to do with the issue of when the actual withdrawal of American forces should begin. The heart of the matter is that through political manuvering and manipulation inside the Beltway, the war in Iraq was predestined to failure simply because Bush administration officials managed the war not to win but to influence public opinion throughout the region and the world. The soldiers in Iraq are fighting an urban guerilla war with death by 2,100 cuts and rising each day. And the guerillas know that they have the deciding factor of time being on their side.The newly discovered torture chambers run by Shiite militia forces within the government and alinged with Mullah Sadr is just another indication that what we have in Iraq is a low-grade civil war in the midst of airy illusions about nation-building and spreading democracy. Carving a turkey with the troops will not solve the disaster that the Iraq War has become for Bush.

Posted by: george at November 20, 2005 03:37 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Yeah! And how much time, exactly, did that dandy Franklin D. Roosevelt spend in Normandy in 1944? Huh?

Scumbag chicken "war leaders"! You tell em Greg!

Posted by: New Sisyphus at November 20, 2005 11:57 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The L.A. Times has another nail in the Bush Admin's "We didn't mislead this country into war" coffin. They have a long, detailed article regarding the Germans experience with Curveball, who is their asset. Essentially the Germans were horrified that we were using Curveballs information as the basis of our WMD claims in the run up to the war. Go read the article.

Posted by: Thom at November 21, 2005 03:35 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The L.A. Times has another nail in the Bush Admin's "We didn't mislead this country into war" coffin. They have a long, detailed article regarding the Germans experience with Curveball, who is their asset. Essentially the Germans were horrified that we were using Curveballs information as the basis of our WMD claims in the run up to the war. Go read the article.

Posted by: Thom at November 21, 2005 03:44 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The L.A. Times has another nail in the Bush Admin's "We didn't mislead this country into war" coffin. They have a long, detailed article regarding the Germans experience with Curveball, who is their asset. Essentially the Germans were horrified that we were using Curveballs information as the basis of our WMD claims in the run up to the war. Go read the article.

Posted by: Thom at November 21, 2005 03:53 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Avedis, I think the admin's strategy is what is being implemented right now. Do they need to explain it better to the public? Yes. But no amount of explaining "the details" will suffice if most Americans have bought the so-called opposition party's canard that Bush misled the country into war vs. Iraq and we shouldn't be there in the first place.

You won't be able to convince anyone, no matter how many details you throw out, no matter how brilliant your plan is, no matter how good our intentions are in Iraq if the admin did not disprove first the dems assertion that Bush misled the public into an "unnecessary" war, and bush lied re wmds.

Let's assume that a large proportion of the country is has been swayed by the "lying" democrats. How would you explain the rightwing strategty to victory to them?

The American public can tolerate mistakes from this admin if they're convinced the war is legit.

But obviously, if they think the war was a Bush lie (according to the so called opposition party), then there's no point in staying in iraq, is there? The public will just shut out the administration and not listen to them anymore. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

The admin's first move i think is to expose the so called opposition party. It starts with this McCain salvo:

"I think it's a lie to say that the president lied to the American people."

Who do you think he's referring to, avedis?

Next move is, like what greg said, to explain more fully what the stakes are in iraq, the consequences of cut and run etc etc.

and encourage the opposition party to come up with a better strategy (if the dems think they have one) other than retreat. LOL.

Posted by: john marzan at November 21, 2005 04:31 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The admin's first move i think is to expose the so called opposition party. It starts with this McCain salvo:

"I think it's a lie to say that the president lied to the American people."

what lie is mccain referring to, and who's repeating them, avedis?

Posted by: john marzan at November 21, 2005 05:04 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"I think the admin's strategy is what is being implemented right now..."

John, since you're in favor of what's being down right now, you must have thought it over carefully, made sure you understood it, weighed the costs and benefits and risks of other options against it. Therefore, you must have a pretty good understanding of what it is.

I don't. I am hoping you can enlighten me. Again, please explain to me what our current strategy is and what its merits are. How is it going to work.

And please don't tell me our current strategy is simply to "stay the course" because that is clearly not working, nor Ican I see why it would.

Posted by: avedis at November 21, 2005 12:53 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I'm not certain Secret Service would allow another Turkey Day fly in. It is getting too much attention now (as you point to it) and it's an M.O. the insurgency may expect.

Though, maybe it will happen in Balad. There's a runway there that could easily handle a 747.

Posted by: Chris at November 21, 2005 04:45 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Our current strategy in Iraq is fourfold

1. To bring Iraqi forces up to speed

2. To clear and hold parts of Iraq

3. To aggressively go after the insurgents, esp AQ in there strongholds in Anbar and elsewhere.

4. To work for a political agreement between the Iraqi govt and those elements in the Sunni Arab community willing to look to the future

2 and 3 are dependent on 1, as there have not been enough coalition forces to do both - and the inability to hold territory makes it hard fro 3 to be effectives, as insurgents run from place to place.


There is significant evidence of forward progress on all of 1, 2 and 3. This has started to translate into reductions in the number of attacks on Iraqis, Iraqi civilian deathts, etc as shown in Brookings Iraq Index. The last couple of weeks AQ has managed some big hits again. Whether thats a fluke, or a sign that earlier reductions were a fluke, I cant say.


US casualties have increased, as US forces have taken a more aggresive posture in Anbar.


there is mixed evidence on 4 - the original Iraqi constitution showed a failure, but the mods just before the referendum were an improvement. Much depends now on the outcome of the election.

Posted by: liberalhawk at November 21, 2005 04:55 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The American public can tolerate mistakes from this admin if they're convinced the war is legit.

this is nonsense. The American people only care about the "legitimacy" of this war because it has turned out to be a disaster. If it wasn't such a mess, nobody would care about the lies that they were told.

If the hawks don't want to see support for this war to continue to erode, they need to start insisting that Bush admit that the American people were sold this war on false premises -- and that he is responsible for all the mistakes that were made because he was too focussed on implementing the policy of "regime change", and not focussed on the details at all.

This would "clean the slate", and help restore the trust of sufficient numbers of the American people to allow him the time necessary to finally achieve something in Iraq.

Posted by: lukasiak at November 21, 2005 05:22 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Your hope that Iraq become the Vietnam of your dreams won't make it so Luka

Posted by: Pogue Mahone at November 21, 2005 05:59 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Lukasiak -

A question for you: is there a difference between coming to a judgment based on what was retrospectively found to be false, misleading and/or incomplete information and simple lying in order to get people to believe what you want them to believe?

If so, which do you think best describes the Bush Administration's run up to war with Iraq?

Posted by: newsisyphus at November 21, 2005 06:31 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

what id like to know is are neocons going to still be called Likudniks now that Sharon himself isnt a Likudnik anymore?

When is someone going to point out that the doyenne of middle east studies, the good prof from U Mich, has profoundly misjudged the future of the mideast?

Posted by: liberalhawk at November 21, 2005 08:02 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

A question for you: is there a difference between coming to a judgment based on what was retrospectively found to be false, misleading and/or incomplete information and simple lying in order to get people to believe what you want them to believe?

yes

If so, which do you think best describes the Bush Administration's run up to war with Iraq?

the latter, although the reality is not quite as cut and dried as your question implies.

Bush sought information that would support his case for war, then distorted and exaggerated that information, while deliberately ignoring/hiding/denigrating all contrary facts. Bush decided on the policy first, then "fixed" the intelligence to fit the policy, rather than demanding the best intelligence, and deciding what the policy would be on that basis. The truth was irrelevant to Bush, and when you make statements without caring whether they are true or not in order to do what you want, you are lying.

Posted by: lukasiak at November 21, 2005 09:57 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I don't know if I'd go quite as far as to say he lied, but its pretty apparent that as Luka states, Bush already had a policy concerning Iraq in place - its been widely noted that there was already planing for an Iraq invasion prior to 9/11, as least as a whatif scenario.

Now as has already been mentioned there are loads of whatif scenario plans formed in the Pentagon and the like, that never see the light of day. However it stands to reason that if a whatif plan is developed there are at least some in the administration who are considering the necessity of developing such a scenario. This makes it fairly clear that that the Bush Admin certainly had thought about Iraq well before the whole thing started being discussed in public earnestly.

Whilst its sad that the Democrats are placing patisan points scoring above the desparate need to solve the issues in Iraq and move it forward, at the same time its pretty apparent even to me, that the Bush Administration did not do satisfactory Due Dilligence on the intel available - which most sources at the time were suggesting was not as water tight as the Bush Admin and Blair were making out.

As such, whilst they may not have "lied" by Luka's definition, as such they are still guilty of making a decision based on flimsy evidence and with a complete lack of due dilligence - which when you consider how important a decision it was and has been, then there needs to be some explanations made. I'm no constitutional lawyer so I don't know what is impeachable or not, But nonetheless the tax paying and voting public of America deserve an explanation.

That said I don't believe now is the right time to do so. As any person who's played team sports will tell you, turning on the capatain for a bad decision in the middle of game time will only lead to a worse loss. The time for recriminations and learning happens after the game in the changing shed, so that NEXT time you don't f*ck things up again.

As I said before the American public deserves to have Cheney and Bush front up, but the right time is after Iraq is moving forward, or failing that at the end fo the term, unless rocksolid evidence comes to light before hand that shows that they did more than failing to do due dilligence on such an important decision....

Posted by: Aran Brown at November 22, 2005 01:35 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

That said I don't believe now is the right time to do so. As any person who's played team sports will tell you, turning on the capatain for a bad decision in the middle of game time will only lead to a worse loss. The time for recriminations and learning happens after the game in the changing shed, so that NEXT time you don't f*ck things up again.

Aran, that's a lousy analogy. This isn't a football game that lasts a few hours. Its an ongoing war in which Americans are dying that has no end in sight. If you were playing a football game that could last for years, and the captain was incompetent but unwilling to make mistakes, you'd need to criticize him in order to get him to change his strategy, and listen to people other than those who keep telling him that the game is about to turn around.

Posted by: lukasiak at November 22, 2005 04:16 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

George Bush is deceitful.

Posted by: NeoDude at November 22, 2005 06:24 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

L.H. "There is significant evidence of forward progress on all of 1, 2 and 3. This has started to translate into reductions in the number of attacks on Iraqis, Iraqi civilian deathts, etc as shown in Brookings Iraq Index."

WTF?????? I don't see it. The American people don't see it. Murtha doesn't see it, nor do a number of retired military (who no longer have to brown nose up the CoC). I say Brookings et al is smoke and mirrors and so are you.

L.H. I believe you are part of the salvation through democracy crowd. It is interesting how much your democracy seems to rely - internally - on force of arms.


Posted by: avedis at November 22, 2005 12:26 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

It's pretty clear that Bush already had a policy on Iraq!
Are you people just stupid or blinded by your hate of Bush.

The US Government had a regime change policy on Iraq since 1998 when the Congress voted on regime change.

Oh! that cannot be right, Bush didnt take office for another two years.

Posted by: davod at November 22, 2005 04:52 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

L.H. "There is significant evidence of forward progress on all of 1, 2 and 3. This has started to translate into reductions in the number of attacks on Iraqis, Iraqi civilian deathts, etc as shown in Brookings Iraq Index."

WTF?????? I don't see it. The American people don't see it. Murtha doesn't see it, nor do a number of retired military (who no longer have to brown nose up the CoC). I say Brookings et al is smoke and mirrors and so are you.

L.H. I believe you are part of the salvation through democracy crowd. It is interesting how much your democracy seems to rely - internally - on force of arms.


The American public see whats in the media. Which run an article on the clearing of the Baghdad airport road once, but not only highlight every single US casualty, they then proceed to use articificial casualty milestonse, and to hype stories like Murthas.


To see whats going on with clear and hold, and the performance of IRaqi units, you have to look at websites that focus on the tactical situation in Iraq.

Yes, democracy does rely on force of arms when there are people who oppose it with violence. Thats the real world.

Brookings gives sources for all their numbers. Go look at their index and tell me which ones are smoke and mirrors.

as for Mr Murtha, being a decorated Viet Nam vet does not mean you cant be wrong. Mr McCain is also a decorated Viet Nam vet, and he does not share Mr Murthas view of the situation on the ground in Iraq. Clearly at least on decorated VN vet is incorrect.

Posted by: liberalhawk at November 22, 2005 05:03 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Davod we are neither blind nor stupid. Congress may well have had a policy on Regime change, but it was the Bush Administration that decided to enforce it. If you do some research into what the UN weapons inspexctors were saying 90-95% of Iraq's WMD was accounted for, there was no evidence that they could find of covert programs to develop new WMD, and whilst they were still searchign for the remainign 5-10% of the WMD unaccounted for, because they were more than 5 years old they were useless anyway.

But instead on listening to the UN inspectors, the Bush Admin made a case for war on based on intelligence that was at best weak and inconclusive. Now for another anology (I hope this is a better one luka), if the CEO of a company made a major investment decision based on a similar level of Intel to what the Bush Administration made their decisions on, and things turned out the way they have you can guarantee that that CEO and the entire Senior Exec would have been fired long ago and new people brought in to fix the mess.

So the point is moot as to whether Congress approved regime change before Bush took office for two reasons. Firstly regime change can be enacted by a number of methods, not just Military invasion. Secondly, even though congress approved it, the Bush administration made the case to Congress to do this militarily based on poor intel. As such they were responsible for the evidence they presented to Congress, with which they made their case. Now I'm not suggesting they lied, but they are quite clearly guilty of not doing proper Due Dilligence on the intel with which they based their case. Therefore they need to front up and take responsibility for this.

That said, I've already made the point that Partisan Points scoring by the Democrats is in my opinion, the wrong thing to be doing, insofar as its not contributing to the single most important issue of the moment which of course is solving the Iraq problem. My comments have nothing to do with any blindness or hatred towards Bush - although I have no love for the Bush Adminsitration, there are much bigger issues at play. Taking your nation to war based on weak intel, on which you haven't done proper due dilligence on, is not good enough, but as I have said now is not necessarily the right time to take them to task. Fix Iraq first and then deal with it.
If you're happy that your current administration took you to war without ensuring that the case was rocksolid, then you're completely entitled to your opinion. If it was my government I wouldn't stand for it, but thats just my opinion...

Posted by: Aran Brown at November 22, 2005 09:18 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The problem with the messeage, as I see it, is no matter what the administration says, they will be criticized. The Democrats want an apology for somethings. But an apology will only illicit a round of "I told you so's". So why bother?

President Bush has been getting slaughtered with criticism for months with nary a response. And when he finally responds, he is accused of criticizing his critis. I do not believe Rep. Murtha is a coward, and I did not get that message from what I saw or read (other than that shameful display by all sides on the House floor).

I have found it amusing and somewhat hypocritical that people are now slamming Cheny for not having served. Well, I don't see any military service in Reid, Pelosi, Lehey, or many other war experts biography's. Christ, even Senator Kennedy served in the Army. The reality is, military service offers a perspective, but it is not a requirement of any elected or appointed civilian office in our government.

The Democrats have yet to come up with any sort of plan for anything other than more hearings. Hearings are great in the proper context. However, hearings will not get gas prices down, lower inflation and unemployment, or provide healthcare. Those are the strong issues for Democrats, but they will not address them because all they want to do is manhandle the President.

President Bush has 3 years left. That is a long time in politics.

Posted by: Mike at November 22, 2005 10:58 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Fix Iraq first and then deal with it.

Aran, if Iraq gets fixed, do you really think that Bush won't see it as a vindication of his policies -- including his lies -- and pursue military action against Syria or Iran?

This is a president who can't even admit making mistakes, let alone learn from them. If things start going decently in Iraq, you can bet the farm that the papers will suddenly be full of stories about "terrorist sanctuaries in Syria" and "terrorists being harbored in Syria" etc... and you know what that will mean...

the other point is that the Democrats have no power to "fix" anything. It doesn't matter what they propose -- its not going to be adopted (and even if a Democratic plan was adopted, Bush would botch its execution.)

Murtha's right -- we need to get out as soon as "practicable". Personally, I think a compromise of setting specific goals to be achieved within specific timeframes, and withdrawing troops as those goals are met, is a reasonable compromise. (but I don't think that Bushco would meet those goals, and as his inability to do so becomes increasingly apparent, the call for "withdrawal as soon as practicable" will increase.)

*******************

The Democrats have yet to come up with any sort of plan for anything other than more hearings.

mike, we try to eschew this kind of repetition of fact-free GOP talking points. Various Democrats have offered plans -- and the Senate even voted down a plan sponsored by the Democratic Party, then passed a watered down version of that same plan. If you can't contribute to the discussion without resorting to lies, please go away. Thank you.

Posted by: lukasiak at November 23, 2005 12:49 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

avedis, One good, primary reason why we do not know details of the Bush Administration's plan in Iraq is because if we knew, so would the enemy.

When has a president EVER shared war plans with the public? Answer: NEVER.

Posted by: mamapajamas at November 23, 2005 12:57 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

When has a president EVER shared war plans with the public? Answer: NEVER.

this would be a good point....except that nobody's asking for war plans, we're asking about plans for ending the occupation of Iraq.

Don't you remember when the President announced that "Major combat operations are over?" It was in all the papers.....

Posted by: lukasiak at November 23, 2005 01:57 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Luka,

I don't entirely agree with you on this point. There is plenty of evidence the Dems can hit the Bush Admin with in terms of of taking the country to war based on intel that was not satisifactorily examined, and despite objections from the UN, and the Weapons inspectors. Unfortunately the Dems at the time proved to be a bit weak and allowed Congress to vote for an invasion that under International Law was illegal, and based on evidence that was poor (and should have been scrutinised by the Democrats in congress more closely). That said to have done so at the time would have lead to calls of un-patriotism and the line. But its not my intention to rehash that old talking point for obvious reasons.

I don't disagree that they should put Bush and Co on notice that the case for war they presented to Congress should and will be examined, and any failings (be it lack of Due dilligence, lies or whatever) held to account.

But I don't believe the time to do that is just yet. The Partisan Politicking is not doing anyone any good (IMHO). Assuming things do get fixed, IF the Dems had any cojones whatsoever, there is more than enough evidence to warant further investigation, and resolving Iraq, needn't be an "off the hook" situation for the Bush Administration. The case for war was flimsy and weak, the invasion broke international law, the Post Invasion occupation is a debacle, and the torture issue are all points that can and should be examined post the fact.

But in the meantime the points scoring on both sides, isn't stopping American Soldiers or Iraqi civilians from being killed, Isn't helping control the insurgency, nor is it dealing with the WOT, let alone dealing with any domestic issues. I don't necessarily disagree with Murtha's plan, but at the end of the day now is the time for both sides of congress to pull their fingers out of the proverbial and take some decisive action to get this thing sorted out.

But experience tells us - and I guess your right on that score - I don't see the GOP playing ball and the Dems seem to lack the balls (despite having the weight of public opinion behind them) to do much other than play partisan politics (with obviously the exception of Murtha and a few others). I know I'm being a bit utopianist, but then again I'm only an armchair enthusiast...

Posted by: Aran Brown at November 23, 2005 03:13 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

L.H. "Yes, democracy does rely on force of arms when there are people who oppose it with violence. Thats the real world."

You are lingering on a misguided presuposition here - several actually in your general approach to the Iraq situation - but this is the one I want to address at his time.

The presupposition is that those who are killing Americans are enemies of democracy.

I don't think you can make that logical leap without invoking boatloads of hubris, ethnocentrism and egocentrism.

Has it ever occurred to you that a proud Arab may not want foreign invaders in his country - particularly non-muslim foreign invaders - and that his killing of said invaders has nothing to do with democracy pro or con?

In fact, Iraqi political parties are starting to get it together. And the one thing they agree upon is that Americans must leave. In fact, according to the NYT, a statement was issued at the recent Cairo meeting that condems the acts of terrorism against muslims in Iraq, but basically says it's ok and understandable to kill Americans.

The Al Qaeda component in all this is small and will be errased by the Iraqi people themselves. AQ only got a foot in the door because we opened the door for them. Once we are gone any alliances with them will lose their raison d'etre and the AQ presence will no longer be tolerated.

It would appear that, sans our presence, force of arms will be less necessary than you would like to believe.

What is it with all you chickenhawk types? Always so quick to solve everything by force of arms ( though not yours or your children's, of course). I find your minimizing of the costs of the Iraq adventure to be disgusting, though typical. American blood and treasure is flowing steadily into the sands of Iraq. Such cannot continue indefinitely. That is a fact. It is a fact that the American people are well aware of. It is fact that the insurgency is well aware of. Go ahead and chastize "the media" all you want to. Doing so doesn't change the facts.

I'm still waiting. Can't any of you brave armchair generals expalin to me how "staying the course" will result in victory in a country thousands of miles from home where we are no longer wanted (see results of Cairo meeting)?

Can't any of you spell out the costs and benefits upon which your decision was made?

Can't any of you even explain what "victory" would look like?

Posted by: avedis at November 23, 2005 10:38 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

L.H. "Yes, democracy does rely on force of arms when there are people who oppose it with violence. Thats the real world."

You are lingering on a misguided presuposition here - several actually in your general approach to the Iraq situation - but this is the one I want to address at his time.

The presupposition is that those who are killing Americans are enemies of democracy.

I don't think you can make that logical leap without invoking boatloads of hubris, ethnocentrism and egocentrism.

Has it ever occurred to you that a proud Arab may not want foreign invaders in his country - particularly non-muslim foreign invaders - and that his killing of said invaders has nothing to do with democracy pro or con?

In fact, Iraqi political parties are starting to get it together. And the one thing they agree upon is that Americans must leave. In fact, according to the NYT, a statement was issued at the recent Cairo meeting that condems the acts of terrorism against muslims in Iraq, but basically says it's ok and understandable to kill Americans.

The Al Qaeda component in all this is small and will be errased by the Iraqi people themselves. AQ only got a foot in the door because we opened the door for them. Once we are gone any alliances with them will lose their raison d'etre and the AQ presence will no longer be tolerated.

It would appear that, sans our presence, force of arms will be less necessary than you would like to believe.

What is it with all you chickenhawk types? Always so quick to solve everything by force of arms ( though not yours or your children's, of course). I find your minimizing of the costs of the Iraq adventure to be disgusting, though typical. American blood and treasure is flowing steadily into the sands of Iraq. Such cannot continue indefinitely. That is a fact. It is a fact that the American people are well aware of. It is fact that the insurgency is well aware of. Go ahead and chastize "the media" all you want to. Doing so doesn't change the facts.

I'm still waiting. Can't any of you brave armchair generals expalin to me how "staying the course" will result in victory in a country thousands of miles from home where we are no longer wanted (see results of Cairo meeting)?

Can't any of you spell out the costs and benefits upon which your decision was made?

Can't any of you even explain what "victory" would look like?

Posted by: avedis at November 23, 2005 10:39 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Avendis contributed

"The presupposition is that those who are killing Americans are enemies of democracy.

I don't think you can make that logical leap without invoking boatloads of hubris, ethnocentrism and egocentrism."

It must take some an incredible amount of willfull ignorance to even question the motivations of the "insurgents" of Iraq

Obviously they are working toward an alternative to democracy and representative government

To even feign ignorance of this point pretty much sums up the prospects of meaningful discussion with you

Sad as I didn't think you were like Luka

Posted by: Pogue Mahone at November 23, 2005 04:35 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The Al Qaeda component in all this is small and will be errased by the Iraqi people themselves. AQ only got a foot in the door because we opened the door for them. Once we are gone any alliances with them will lose their raison d'etre and the AQ presence will no longer be tolerated.

I disagree with the first sentence, because of the truth of the last sentence.

I don't think that the al Qaeda element in Iraq gives a rats ass about how things turn out in that country. They are there for one reason only -- to weaken the USA. If peace breaks out, and the US is told to leave, the terrorists will leave as well -- and find other opportunites to kill Americans elsewhere. And there are at least a couple thousand of these people who have demonstrated that they are willing to leave their homelands and risk death in order to attack the USA.

In other words, it is no longer in the interest of the United States that the situation in Iraq be resolved. Thanks to this moronic war, we now really do "have to fight them over there, or else we will be fighting them over here."

And the worst part is that unlike the al Qaeda we faced in 1991, which was lead by a madman with a penchant for huge "theatrical" attacks, these terrorists understand that its just as effective to undermine the US with a multitude of far smaller attacks.

Bushco doesn't want peace to break out anytime soon, that's for sure, because it doesn't want the inevitable attacks that will occur against US interests once we withdraw from Iraq to happen on its watch.

Posted by: lukasiak at November 23, 2005 04:54 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Can't any of you even explain what "victory" would look like?" Avendis


Well, much like the Cold War - it will be a long and difficult struggle - involving military, political and social pressure to bring about an eventual victory

What I would consider victory and what you would be satisfied with are probably very different things so I won't waste the effort explaining it

Suffice to say the enemy has no capital that we can capture and there is unlikely to be any signing ceremony on a battleship so continued expectations along these lines are quite infantile

Posted by: Pogue Mahone at November 23, 2005 07:46 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

So, in other words, Pogue, you don't have a freakin clue as to what you're talking about, do you?

Posted by: avedis at November 24, 2005 10:20 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Well, there it is.
All the pretty syllogisms and delicately constructed proofs brushed away to reveal "you don't have a freakin clue".

Exactly as Pogue has been predicting all along: Why bother answering your baited questions when you're so convinced of evil machinations you know must exist?

Some other simple truths, then, for you, my friend..and Paul:

40,000 citizens of the republic die every year in motor vehicle accidents.

Going to war is what soldiers do. It's in the job description. You can feel sorry for our spouses, and children - but why would you (pretend) to give a damn that we're in one geographic region or the other? We're either killing people, or practicing how to kill people. How is this so hard for you leftists to understand? Should Police Officers not go out on patrol? Should Firemen not respond to fires? You want answers as to how this particular AO will be resolved? Why should we bother, when you get get past your demonstrated disdain for our profession, for the love of god?

(Hmm, Love of God - sorry - I know that's a problem for the left as well - probably should have typed "for pete's sake".)

Oops - tangent alert - back to cases...

I got even better news for you, brother. That great American public you're (currently) singing the praises of - they know all this. They feel bad when enough media outlets want them to feel bad. Do you really think that most of then care about the final outcome in Iraq?

C'mon - look out your window. Look around you at the cars on the road next time you're stuck in traffic. You think they care which percentage who is popular with what...in Iraq? You can't even get most of them to care about that kind of stuff in their own city. Didn't you know?

But I don't need to ascribe intentions - hell, I'd be no better than you. So I'll be better than you by telling you the contents of my heart.

The 2 Million some-odd Men and Women of United State's Department of Defense are either going to hand over a feeble republic to the tender mercies of our State Department and Western friend's NGO's to help along to maturity, or we're going to leave the place so unbelievably broken that they'll (angry dead-enders, caliphates and workaday joes who don't have the resouces to leave)spend all their time and energy just trying to cull enough calories to live another day.

Either way. It's what we in the Army call a Win-win. And every single stinking day that we're there makes our organization stronger and smarter. Despite you and your friends keyboard ranting. And the best part? There is nothing that you can do from your soft seat that can stop this from happening.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted by: Tommy G at November 25, 2005 04:46 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Hallelujah Tommy G!

Holds up Card.
9.8 on the Bitch Slap O'metre

Posted by: Oracle Jones at November 26, 2005 01:31 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Yeah right.....oh ouch....

Pogue responds to my question - which called for specifics - by saying that victory (he continues to fail to define this concept) will be a struggle that will take a really long time.

A struggle against whom? What sort of struggle? What sort of conflicts will we see? What sort of counter measures will be deployed? etc, etc, etc, etc, etc And, most important, what will peace ultimately look like.

He compares the struggle to the Cold War. Interesting. During the cold war we dealt with primary threats through containment. Thus, our current "struggle" seems to me, from the outset, to be very different from the cold war.

Pogue apparently has not yet mastered the conceptual differences involved in opposites (e.g. cold versus hot).

I can hardly believe that the Pentagon and State Dept are not knocking your door down to hire you guys in directorships.

What's even funnier is that Tommy G. and Oracle are such simpletons that they actually think there is some iota of practical substance to what Pogue said.

"Why bother answering your baited questions when you're so convinced of evil machinations you know must exist?"

1) He didn't answer the question.
2) What evil machinations? Where did I mention anything like that?

"40,000 citizens of the republic die every year in motor vehicle accidents.....Going to war is what soldiers do...."

I'm not sure I read you accurately here, but you seem to be saying that the current caualty levels in Iraq are nothing......why more people die in car accidents and, anyhow, military personnel get paid to fight and die so who cares when and where or why that happens.

Brilliant! Maybe that should be the new sales pitch down at recruitment posts throughout the country.

At any rate, it's wrong. military personnel are paid to defend our constitution and our interests. They understand that they may be killed or maimed doing so. However, there is a sacred trust that their sacrifices are for a just cause and that they are necessary to protect/defend their country.

They are not to be wasted on a whim. I sincerely hope that - with the attitude you present toward the lives of the troops - you are not an officer.

As for the rest of the drivel you posted, I'm getting tired of refuting the pinko lefty label you try to stamp all over anyone that disagrees with you.

Does Pat Lang have disdain for your profession (Assuming you are in the service)? Is he a lefty pinko?

I generaly agree with his perspective. Go ahead. Smear him.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/

Posted by: avedis at November 26, 2005 02:36 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Yeah right.....oh ouch....

Pogue responds to my question - which called for specifics - by saying that victory (he continues to fail to define this concept) will be a struggle that will take a really long time.

A struggle against whom? What sort of struggle? What sort of conflicts will we see? What sort of counter measures will be deployed? etc, etc, etc, etc, etc And, most important, what will peace ultimately look like.

He compares the struggle to the Cold War. Interesting. During the cold war we dealt with primary threats through containment. Thus, our current "struggle" seems to me, from the outset, to be very different from the cold war.

Pogue apparently has not yet mastered the conceptual differences involved in opposites (e.g. cold versus hot).

I can hardly believe that the Pentagon and State Dept are not knocking your door down to hire you guys in directorships.

What's even funnier is that Tommy G. and Oracle are such simpletons that they actually think there is some iota of practical substance to what Pogue said.

"Why bother answering your baited questions when you're so convinced of evil machinations you know must exist?"

1) He didn't answer the question.
2) What evil machinations? Where did I mention anything like that?

"40,000 citizens of the republic die every year in motor vehicle accidents.....Going to war is what soldiers do...."

I'm not sure I read you accurately here, but you seem to be saying that the current caualty levels in Iraq are nothing......why more people die in car accidents and, anyhow, military personnel get paid to fight and die so who cares when and where or why that happens.

Brilliant! Maybe that should be the new sales pitch down at recruitment posts throughout the country.

At any rate, it's wrong. military personnel are paid to defend our constitution and our interests. They understand that they may be killed or maimed doing so. However, there is a sacred trust that their sacrifices are for a just cause and that they are necessary to protect/defend their country.

They are not to be wasted on a whim. I sincerely hope that - with the attitude you present toward the lives of the troops - you are not an officer.

As for the rest of the drivel you posted, I'm getting tired of refuting the pinko lefty label you try to stamp all over anyone that disagrees with you.

Does Pat Lang have disdain for your profession (Assuming you are in the service)? Is he a lefty pinko?

I generaly agree with his perspective. Go ahead. Smear him.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/

Posted by: avedis at November 26, 2005 02:37 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Air Kill.

Posted by: Oracle Jones at November 26, 2005 06:20 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Pogue responds to my question - which called for specifics - by saying that victory (he continues to fail to define this concept) will be a struggle that will take a really long time."

Much as it would was impossible for anyone in 1949 to define the full details of the Cold War and exactly how victory was to be acheieved and when I will not attempt to lay out any specifics for you beyond one - some of us understand we are at war with a very dangerous enemy while you prefer to bitch and moan about every step along the way and deny the that the threat even exists.


"A struggle against whom? What sort of struggle? What sort of conflicts will we see? What sort of counter measures will be deployed? etc, etc, etc, etc, etc And, most important, what will peace ultimately look like."


Peace will look like it always has - a wonderful benefit brought to you despite your bitching by men and women much better than you


"He compares the struggle to the Cold War. Interesting. During the cold war we dealt with primary threats through containment. Thus, our current "struggle" seems to me, from the outset, to be very different from the cold war."

Well our "containment" in Korea cost us 38,000 lives - in Vietnam it was over 50,000
If it makes things easier for you - consider Iraq "containment" - and a low cost variety at that according to your definition of how we won the Cold War

"Pogue apparently has not yet mastered the conceptual differences involved in opposites (e.g. cold versus hot). "

Oh I don't know about that - but I can tell you the Cold War was quite hot at times - despite your revisionism that holds a view of us and the Rooskies sitting on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall for 40 years "containing" each other until ( no thanks to Ronny RayGun for sure - I'll save you the trouble for making that clear ; ) ) old Lenins boys said "the jig is up lads, we better give in to the Yankee imperialists and adopt capitalism and free elections"

It will be a long and dirty war - and like most such things perhaps you should begin with some more simple questions than the one you have asked of me -

Try this one - Are we at war?

Posted by: Pogue Mahone at November 27, 2005 05:03 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

One cannot help but marvel at the "intellectual" gymnastics required to compare the war on terror with the cold war, and to claim that the war in Iraq is the "war on terror" equivalent of Korea and Vietnam.

Pogue can't even identify the enemy. He won't "lay out any specifics" except to tell us that we are confronted with a "dangerous enemy".

This isn't politics or history, its xenophobic superstition at its most primitive--and dangerous.

Posted by: lukasiak at November 27, 2005 12:48 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Thanks Jones - I try to stay out and stay civil until the painted smiles fall of their sneers. The chickenhawk stuff always gets me when it's hurled - it's the worst and most damning of their lies:
"you can't have an opinion on the war because you're not a veteran" they have the nerve to type as go on about the constitution. Unfathomable depravity. But, as I say, there you are.

As he has no answer to any of my questions, I'll leave him to Mahone - because he already answered the question he just posted:

"Aran, if Iraq gets fixed, do you really think that Bush won't see it as a vindication of his policies -- including his lies -- and pursue military action against Syria or Iran?

This is a president who can't even admit making mistakes, let alone learn from them. If things start going decently in Iraq, you can bet the farm that the papers will suddenly be full of stories about "terrorist sanctuaries in Syria" and "terrorists being harbored in Syria" etc... and you know what that will mean..."


I mean there it is. This is what motivates these guys. They need to have this administration ham-strung so that it doesn't continue to prosecute the war. Can you believe that they just come right out and say it? The mind reels. Is it any wonder they recoil at being called unpatriotic? What else is it to be called? "Tired of refuting"? When did you start?

Posted by: tommyG at November 27, 2005 02:47 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

tommy, you know you've flipped your lid, don't you? You're just not right in the head; not thinking straight.

Posted by: avedis at November 27, 2005 09:16 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Tommy G,

Bush is a deceitful politician.

And blind allegiance to him wonít change that fact.

Posted by: NeoDude at November 28, 2005 02:18 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

tommyG wrote: I mean there it is. This is what motivates these guys....

Tommy, lukasiak is only one person. Therefore, you cannot use his statements to determine what motivates multiple people ("guys"). You can, at most, use them to determine what motivates him.

Posted by: Kenneth Almquist at November 28, 2005 07:23 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Thanks Jones - I try to stay out and stay civil until the painted smiles fall of their sneers. The chickenhawk stuff always gets me when it's hurled - it's the worst and most damning of their lies:
"you can't have an opinion on the war because you're not a veteran" they have the nerve to type as go on about the constitution. Unfathomable depravity. But, as I say, there you are.

nice try Tommy, but the "chickenhawk" argument isn't about "not having an opinion if you aren't a veteran"....its about the willingness of war supporters to require that others make sacrifices they are unwilling to make themselves.

of course, if you didn't misrepresent arguments and take quotes out of context (as you did mine) you'd have nothing to say.

Posted by: lukasiak at November 28, 2005 06:31 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Perhaps Bush would be willing to send his strategy for winning the war directly to AQ in Iraq. Is that not effectively what is being asked for?

Those who want to box the administration into one course for victory are being naive.

Posted by: Abc56 at November 29, 2005 10:34 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The classic chickenhawk gambit is for an opponent of any action to suggest that those supportive of the action to join directly or stfu

A variation is for opponents of action who have served in the military to suggest the same thing - albeit with, in their opinion, more justification

Both are the same in that they try to shut down support for the effort by shaming those who disagree

Neither is acceptable in my view

I do notice the lack of interest in answering my one question however -

Avendis - are we at war?

Posted by: Pogue Mahone at November 30, 2005 03:45 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Pogue, you obviously weren't in the US in the 1990's. Let me fill you in - numerous Republicans bitterly attacked Democratic politicians as disloyal draft dodgers. Some Democrats noticed that military service was an option for which most GOP politicians/pundits hadn't had time for - other priorities, grad school, etc. So they pointed this out, which discomfited many Republicans.


Abc56: "Perhaps Bush would be willing to send his strategy for winning the war directly to AQ in Iraq. Is that not effectively what is being asked for?"

No, what is being asked for is having a credible strategy for victory. Having one, executing it and keeping it secret from AQ is rather hard to do, in the long run, or even the medium run. For example, Bush telegraphed the Iraq invasion many months ahead of time. It'd have really, really s*cked if Saddam had actually had chemical/biological weapons and ties to AQ, because he'd have had months in which to transfer them.


"Those who want to box the administration into one course for victory are being naive."

Irrelevant to the current situation. People are asking for at least one good strategy; the Bush administration's strategy was for domestic political victory only.

Posted by: Barry at November 30, 2005 02:07 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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