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A New Wave of Troops Heading to Iraq

***Bumped and Updated***

The report comes from the AP:

The first of up to 20,000 additional U.S. troops will move into Iraq by month's end under President Bush's new war plan, a senior defense official said Tuesday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged to hold a vote on the increase, which many Democrats oppose.


Details of a gradual military buildup emerged a day before Bush's planned speech to the nation, in which he also will propose a bit over $1 billion to shore up the country's battered economy and create jobs, said a second U.S. official.

Bush is expected to urge friendly Mideast countries to increase their aid to Iraq but will ignore the recommendation of the bipartisan Iraq Study group that he include Syria and Iran in an effort to stanch Iraqi bloodshed nearly four years after the U.S. invasion, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not yet been announced.

Bush is expected to link the troop increase to promised steps by the Iraqi government to build up its own military, ease the country's murderous sectarian tensions, increase reconstruction and enact a plan to distribute oil revenues among the country's religious sects.

I'm for a troop increase but they and the troops who are already must be allowed to do what they've been trained to do: to aggressively seek out and destroy al Qaeda and other terrorist insurgents in Iraq. At this moment, our troops are in a terrible situation because they can not do their jobs for fear of the media, which is enthusiastically ready to pounce on any event that they think is ugly. Well, here's a newsflash: war is ugly. It's hell as General Sherman said. Nonetheless, our troops are there now, and they must complete the mission, and the only way they can do that is to conduct the war without being second guessed by politicians, the media, pundits, and bloggers.

Jay at Stop the ACLU links to a Gallup poll that says 61% of the American people don't support a troop surge. The last time I checked, we don't make strategic and tactical decision for a war based upon popular opinion. The President of the United States, the Commander in Chief, along with his generals and other advisers are the ones who determine whether or not more troops are needed in Iraq. His decision is not a popular one, but if he chose to not sent more troops because to do so was politically unpopular, he would be heavily ridiculed, and rightly so.

The Democrats, the media, and the lefty bloggers and pundits will yell from the rooftops about what a horrible decision this is. In fact, Ted Kennedy is already exploding with fury. But not because sending more troops is tactically or strategically the wrong move. Kennedy and the other Democrats would denounce President Bush no matter what decision he made. If President Bush were to suddenly declare the war over, the Democrats would come out in opposition to even that decision because those on the left do one thing: they maneuver themselves so that they hold positions that are the exact opposite of the President's. That's why the Democrats will never have a workable plan for Iraq except to "redeploy" our troops.

Update: The Democrats continually prove my point that they really don't want to achieve anything in Iraq but simply want to "maneuver themselves so that they hold positions that are the exact opposite of the President's." Brian at Iowa Voice points out how Nancy Pelosi was at one time highly critical of President Bush for not increasing troops:

This is Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House and Grandmother of America (ahem) in a Washington Post article yesterday:
"We have a platform we didn't have before, Leader Pelosi and I, and we're going to ... focus attention on this war in many different ways," said Reid. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., suggested over the weekend using Congress' power of the purse to restrain any troop buildup.

Now, here's Nancy Pelosi in her pre-Speaker days on May 30, 2004, on Meet The Press:

MR. RUSSERT: Would you send more American troops in order to stabilize the situation?


REP. PELOSI: Yes.

To be fair, she was trying to say that we should get international troops to go, but Russert asked her (several times) that if they refused, should we send American troops, and her answer was a clear-cut "yes".

Check out these news articles that reported how the Democrats were for an increase troops in Iraq at a time when President Bush was not:

Senate Democrats Call for Increase in Troops - The New York Times
Bush Critics Call for More Troops in Iraq - The AP via SFGate.com
Reid backs temporary rise in troops in Iraq - Reuters

Update II: Bloggers are weighing in.

The Anchoress agrees with me:

The Democrat philosophy of the past 3-4 years has essentially been, "whatever it is, if Bush is for it, we're against it. If Bush is against it, we're for it!"

Jules Crittendon makes a point that can not be stated enough:

I'd like to consider this a joke, but on reflection, I can't.


The towering irony, that it is Kennedy and his ilk who seek to create a Vietnam in Iraq, apparently is lost on them.

The last time this happened, Congress cut the funding for the war in Vietnam. U.S. troops and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, with American advisors, had largely destroyed the Viet Cong and pushed back the North Vietnamese Army, when an angry Congress intervened to seize defeat from the jaws of victory. Much as this Congress would like to do now. This is recent history, and the cost of this kind of action is quite clear. Millions killed, imprisoned and enslaved in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Afghanistan, invaded by an emboldened Soviet Union, which knew we would do nothing about it. Our embassy and our people in Iran seized by student thugs, encouraged by their Islamic extremist government, because they knew we would do nothing about it.

AJ Strata could be on to something:

I am seeing article after article that Bush can send troops to Iraq, but he cannot move money the Pentagon's enormous budget around to pay them. Well, paying the troops is not Bush's responsibility - that job belongs to Congress. So, will Congress not fund troops sent to a Congressionally sanctioned war effort by a duly elected President of the People? Will Democrats leave our military high and dry as a sick show of support for the troops? I kid you not, the 2008 election year could very well be determined in the next few months. The Democrats may actually be stupid enough to punish the troops over their frustration with Bush. BDS is that strong in them.

Update III: Please read this piece by Steve Dunleavy about what New York firefigher Danny Swift says about our troops in Iraq (Thanks Anchoress!). He makes the point that the troops must be allowed to do what they do best: hit the enemy and hit 'em hard:

"Our military can't fire their weapons on the enemy. We virtually can only return fire when we see someone shooting at us, and that may be too late. That's not how you fight a war."

Danny was in a Humvee in Taji that day with fellow firefighter Engledrum when one of those dreaded roadside bombs blew his contingent sky high.

When Swift regained consciousness, blinded in one eye, he went to Engledrum's side.

"Sadly, Chris was gone and so was rifleman Willie Urbina," Danny recalled.

But Danny, an Army medic, was credited with saving the lives of Felix Vargas and Ritchie Cornier.

"Change of strategy? People have to realize that the Iraqis, on any side after thousands of years of violence, only respect the guy with the biggest gun," Danny was saying.

"Wouldn't it be nice if we really went into Sadr City and cleaned it out. Then those guys in there would be saying to themselves, 'These guys mean business.'

"Trouble is a lot of our guys can't really give it everything they got even though they want to because they're worried about ending up in Leavenworth.

What a stinkin' shame, too. We give our troops all this training, which is not just to kill the enemy, but to protect their own and their buddies' lives, but when they are placed into harm's way, they are hogtied with ridiculously strict rules of engagement. Why? For one thing, the administration's and the Pentagon's fear of negative media reports.


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Comments (54)

Right on Kim!!!! Count dowm... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Right on Kim!!!! Count dowm for old "pucker puss" (lee lee) (resident turd polisher to make his debut. tick tick tick tic............

"At this moment, our tro... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"At this moment, our troops are in a terrible situation because they can not do their jobs for fear of the media, which is enthusiastically ready to pounce on any event that they think is ugly."

Your suggestion that the military's current effectiveness in Iraq has been limited due to concern over media coverage is patently absurd. You've presented no facts, quotes, statistics or logic to back up this ludicrous position.

"Well, here's a newsflash: war is ugly."

No, Americans who can't accept responsibility for their decisions and instead look around and throw blame elsewhere, are ugly. You've used your position as an online blogger to promote an unjust and un-winnable war -- constantly distorting facts and presenting biased, unfounded positions like the one above. Now you attempt to deflect responsibility for the failure of this war, despite your repeated, multi-year effort to prolong it. That's about as ugly as it gets.

"At this moment, our troops are in a terrible situation because they can not do their jobs..."

At least you've admitted that the troops are in a no-win position. That's a start -- now how about you take a look back at your years of supporting a war you now realize is un-winnable, and add up the dead and wounded Americans and Iraqis, and then tell us what was gained for this terrible price that's been paid, instead of finding someone else to blame.

I don't expect apologies, ever, from the right-wing blogosphere -- but it's high time you accepted some damn responsibility for your actions.

Do the Democrats forget the... (Below threshold)
Clavius:

Do the Democrats forget the hell they created in Vietnam by forcing a withdrawal? The Democratic Congress lost that war, and they are trying to lose this war.

Perhaps if one of the blowhards in Congress actually had to take individual responsibility for what they advocated, we would see better decisions. And Ted Kennedy is the worst -- let's not forget Mary Joe Kopechne.

I have real trouble with the polls. Perhaps if the media described the lack of a troop buildup as losing the war, the numbers would be very different.

Sigh. Perhaps it's time to stop listening to the news....

Lee, the Ethopians are doin... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Lee, the Ethopians are doing just fine kicking ass in Somalia because they want to win. Our rules of engagement have hamstrung our military from doing its primary duty...which is to win. Our military should reform the rules of engagement to allow them to win!

Lee:You present no... (Below threshold)
Clavius:

Lee:

You present no evidence that the war is not winnable, only that you wish that to be the case.

You get a clue. If we don't get serious about winning, we lose.

I suppose you'd prefer we let the Iraqis succumb to the foreign jihadis?

I don't expect apo... (Below threshold)
Clavius:
I don't expect apologies, ever, from the right-wing blogosphere -- but it's high time you accepted some damn responsibility for your actions.

What, tried to inject honesty into reporting?

Exposed bias in the media?

Shown the left to be intent on America's defeat?

Winning is hard, and if you aren't up to it, you lose. And the left loves for America to lose. Just look at the fascination with Vietnam. A Democratic war lost by a Democratic Congress and the left.

I thought I closed that blo... (Below threshold)
Clavius:

I thought I closed that blockquote after Lee's comments.

Sorry...

Looks like Oliver North doe... (Below threshold)
John:

Looks like Oliver North doesn't like the troop surge, eiether.

Would you say it's kinda like he's yelling from the rooftop, or is it more like he's exploding with fury, Kim?

Regarding polls, yeah this administration polls on a daily basis. Polling is a high art under Rove, perhaps more than any other administration. When the polls support their views, they have a "mandate". When the polls don't, then you get all the "leader must make unpopular decisions" BS from "The Decider".

Kim, don't give us that "war is ugly" shit. People like me were trying to explain that concept to people like you four years ago. You seem to think our military is some kind of fun wind-up toy you can play with. Well, it's fucking not. It's blood, and bone splinters, and eyes hanging out, arms and legs blown off, and melted skin, and goddamed burned women and babies.

The fact that war is hell was an important thing to discuss back then. Now, your comment is just flip and disrespectful, particualry to people that are paying the price.

You so enamored of it? Go sign up. You're of age, and sound of body.

This is the most PC war eve... (Below threshold)
Chris G:

This is the most PC war ever fought. And the media has been against the war since day 1. When we can lament how the coffins of soldiers should be shown to the public as a reminder of how Bush is bungling the war, but then in the next breath have Matt Lauer and the Hollywood Left lament the practice of "torture" on enemy combatants, we know we have arrived.

1. War is a bitch. It is actually an organized, man-made hell for the sole purpose of WINNING and COMPLETE DOMINATION. The criticism of this war is similar to me getting my ass kicked in my neighborhood by some muggers one night. Then going into another neighborhood where my muggers may have common interests with other muggers who supported my ass kicking (but were not directly involved) and proceed to kick the living crap out of them. All the while, the uptown people in their gated communities and immaculate condos foam at the mouth about how I treat those already disposed to mugging and other criminal activity.

In other words:
If I get my ass kicked, it's my fault
If I kick the asses of those who want to/try to kick my ass, it's my fault

2. The Dems are in a pickel, because the rhetoric will get louder and require resolution before '08. The current plan is to mark time and play gamesmenship with Bush so a Dem can win thee White House in '08. Since step 3) in the terrorist manual is: If you can't beat them by scaring them into submission or on the battle field, you defeat them by using their politics, look for Al Queda and other malcontents (Iran, Syria, and their proxies) to do a full court press over the next 22 months.

The Dems will either look weak if they protest Bush too much (even if for political theater) and/or lose the moderates, or lose their leftist base if they do anything except complete surrender..... I mean "Redeployment".

3. What's sad is the troops are the ones who really wish they could have fought this war in the way they best knew how to win. Using every method possible to send terrorists and other enablers to their 72 virgins.

Send 50,000 troops, take of the leash, and blackout the media for 90 days (a la Roosevelt during WWII) and see how much progress is made. That is how you fight the war

Clavius writes;... (Below threshold)
John:

Clavius writes;

"And Ted Kennedy is the worst -- let's not forget Mary Joe Kopechne."

Jesus, there aren't many people in the world old enough to remember that, but since you apparently are, how about remembering Michael Douglas who was driving his Covair on clear night in November, 1963 when Laura Bush, then Laura Welch ran a stop sign and caused the collision that ejected the young man from his car, breaking his neck and leading to his death.

You know what...? You Wiztards need to get a new dead horse to beat. That whole Teddy thing has been discussed forever, and it's not even relevant to the discussion, is it?

John: "how about rememberin... (Below threshold)
Chris G:

John: "how about remembering Michael Douglas who was driving his Covair on clear night in November, 1963 when Laura Bush, then Laura Welch ran a stop sign and caused the collision that ejected the young man from his car, breaking his neck and leading to his death."

Let's go through this rreeaalll ssllooww.

Was Laura Welch a congressperson, who went back home while Douglas lay on the side of the road alive and capable of surviving the accident if he recieved even average medical attention?

Was Laura Welch drunk and her rich parents prevented the local authorities from doing tests to ascertain if she was incapacitaed while driving, which would have caused the accident?

Was Laura Welch having an affair with Douglas, which would have rendered her more likely to allow Douglas to die a slow, agonizing death for fear the revelation of the affair would derail political ambitions?

OK, Reallllll slow then. Y... (Below threshold)
John:

OK, Reallllll slow then. You write;

Was Laura Welch a congressperson, who went back home while Douglas lay on the side of the road alive and capable of surviving the accident if he recieved even average medical attention?

Congressperson aside, there is no evidence that this was a survivable accident. Kennedy, according to the report made repeated attempts to reach the underwater car, then went for help. He did not go "back home".

Was Laura Welch drunk and her rich parents prevented the local authorities from doing tests to ascertain if she was incapacitaed while driving, which would have caused the accident?

It is not in the police report if Laura was drinking. There is also no evidence that Kennedy was drinking. According to the report the Kennedy accident occured on a dangerous road on an unlit bridge with no guard rail. Laura's accident occured on a clear night with unlimited visiability... Sheer carelessness apparently.

Was Laura Welch having an affair with Douglas, which would have rendered her more likely to allow Douglas to die a slow, agonizing death for fear the revelation of the affair would derail political ambitions?

Well that's the easiest one of all. Of course everybody understands that the best way to keep something like this under wraps is to allow your lady friend to die in a car accident. Imagine the scandal if he would have fished her out, and they all went back to the reception cold and wet to sip brandy by the fire and laugh about their fine adventure. Yeah, that would have been ugly.

You know what? That last point of yours is just crazy. Like Katherine Harris crazy.

Quit beating the dead horse.. It's not becoming.

Chris G,Has the me... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Chris G,

Has the media really been against this war from day 1?
Yeah, GE-owned NBC, what's in it for them anyway?

Besides, the media cheerleaded this war from the start.
Remember the hippies who marched against it in 2003? Rememmber how the media marginalized them and called them kooks?
The hippies were right.

Congressperson aside,...... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

Congressperson aside,...

Fair enough ... you are not a supporter of the "role model ethics" theory. Can we assume that is true for everyone or do you simply exempt Democratic legislators?

I ask because you complain about the actions of a sitting Democratic legislator being mentioned, but drag out a story about the never-elected First Lady from approximately the same number of years ago. On the face, your comments appear quite hypocritical. Perhaps you can explain why they are not.

....there is no evidence that this was a survivable accident.

Is that not a circular argument? The complaint against Kennedy was that his powerful family kept the accident from being investigated which, would, of course, include not even attempting to determine if the accident was survivable.

You could make all kinds of assumptions given that the accident was not properly investigated. For example, obviously, if she were dead prior to the accident, she wouldn't have survived it either.

As is the case in most scandals, it's about the cover-up. There may have been nothing that could have been done to help Mary Jo Kopechne, but we will never know because of the cover-up.

There is also no evidence that Kennedy was drinking. According to the report the Kennedy accident occured on a dangerous road on an unlit bridge with no guard rail.

Ah, the benefits of being able to remember the event first hand as opposed to reading later accounts ...

Kennedy had been at a party just prior to going on his little adventure. I don't recall even Kennedy claiming that he had nothing to drink that night. But, yes, the accident did occur on a dangerous road on an ulit bridge with no guard rail.

However, Kennedy SHOULDN'T have been on that road if he was going where he claimed he was going when he left the party. So on a clear night, he took a turn off a well-lit road going the right direction to go on an ulit and dangerous one going the wrong way.

Either an act of sheer carelessness or the act of someone who had too much too drink. We, of course, can never know because he did not report the accident to authorities within a time period that would have allowed his blood alcohol to be tested.

How very convenient ...

Kennedy, according to the report made repeated attempts to reach the underwater car, then went for help. He did not go "back home".

I'm sure that you "meant" to point out that when he went for help, that he didn't go to the authorities for help ... he went back to the party to get friends to come and help him.

So, that night, no police, no fire, no water rescue, and no medical personnel were even called to help Mary Jo Kopechne.

It is eveident once again f... (Below threshold)
drlava:

It is eveident once again from the first few sentences of the original post that Kim really understands nothing about what is going on in Iraq. How does one get so misinformed?

I mean this post to me is so pathetic.

To support Bushs delusional efforts at this late date is just sick. More of our guys are gonna get killed for NOTHING!! Human sacrafice to appease some shattered egos.

I am at a loss to explain this insane behavior.

It is eveident on... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
It is eveident once again from the first few sentences of the original post that Kim really understands nothing about what is going on in Iraq. How does one get so misinformed

I was thinking that about your post.

Personally, when time permits I troll around the lefty blogs to read what twisted propaganda is sent out to be spammed on the internet for that day or week. Of course no dissecting opinions are allowed on those sites. I guess it's just a goose-stepping exercise for those that actually are allowed to post in them.

But I spend more time in the milblogs, and then I have to wonder how those with boots on the ground are dismissed.

Maybe we can play a little game today. Let's pull up reporting from the troops themselves on the milblogs and you can ask them how is it that they know nothing about what is going on in Iraq.

And as many of you know there was a milblog conference this year in Washington where the main theme was ripping the MSM for their poor reporting.

Drop "2006 Milblog Conference" in your google and feel free to explain how their lying eyes work in any of their comment sections.

(Deleted link due to Wizbang spam filters)

That's what happened Saturday at the first annual Milblog Conference in Washington. About 200 soldiers, veterans, family members and assorted others who gathered to celebrate the military blogging community spent much of their time chastising the media, denouncing peace activists and lamenting the military's lukewarm response to the blogosphere
I wonder if Kim or any of t... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

I wonder if Kim or any of those on the right have read the new army manual on Counter Insurgency? Lt. General Petraeus, the new commander in Iraq, supervised the development of the manual.

http://usacac.army.mil/CAC/Repository/Materials/COIN-FM3-24.pdf

In a summary of the "unsuccessful practices" the main mistake listed is overemphasizing killing and capturing the enemy rather than securing and engaging the populace. Another point made in the manual is that killing killing insurgents by itself cannot defeat an insurgency. What is indispensable is that the people take charge of their own affairs and consent to the governments rule. Historically that has never been the history of Iraq and the evidence seems to me to be that the populace intends to keep it that way.

In reading many of the righties posts here they seem to be in favor of just the opposite. The "surge" (what an absolutely silly term used to play down an unpopular decision of the president) seems to me to be directed at exactly the opposite of what this manual calls for. More troops. For what?

I agree with one part of yo... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

I agree with one part of your comment, Hugh.

"Surge" and "more troops" are not interchangable terms as many have used them.

"Surge" does involved more troops, but not necessarily a large number of troops. It's a political term to try and calm some members of the left who have claimed that we should "have listened to the generals" but don't actually want to listen to them either and send a large number of additional troops to Iraq as they have asked.

It's a term that is meant to pacify complainers of all views, but actually infuriates them more because it it gives no one what they want.

Do you even realize you ans... (Below threshold)
LJD:

Do you even realize you answered your own question, Hugh?

What are the troops to do?

...securing and engaging the populace
(i.e. Baghdad)

With 140,000 US troops, the... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

With 140,000 US troops, the 2 1/2 mile road to the airport is STILL unsecure. What are 20,000 more going to matter when there's no clear mission? Let's face it, when Osama said "get out of Saudi Arabia", W HAD to put those troops SOMEWHERE while not making it appear too obvious. From Saudi Arabia to the Green Zone with occasional Vietnam-style "patrols" to keep up appearances.

"The Dems will never have a... (Below threshold)
groucho:

"The Dems will never have a workable plan for Iraq except to 'redeploy' our troops. Workable? What the hell is workable about the current plan? When is it going to work?
The "Dems just hold positions that are the exact opposite of the President's" straw man get weaker and more pathetic with every warmongering post, Kim.

"the Commander and Chief, along with his generals and other advisors..." How many times in the last four years have we heard Bush say he relies on the recommendations from his generals I guess he forgot to mention this only applies to info that he agrees with, or else you're next in the retirement line. Who is this fool listening to anyway? I seriously doubt even his Higher Father is in favor of this surge.

Bush has no plan, intentional or otherwise, to win this war. He and his handlers have danced with the devil and have decided to leave it to the next crew to clean up. As if we needed another example of his arrested adolescent behavior.

So he'll look into the camera tonight, all steely-eyed and smug, stressing how neccessary and important more troops are to achieve victory. Many of the rabid partisans who post here will applaud his toughness and resolve, but most will see a pathetic, failed leader whose misguided vision has led this country away from everything that has made it great and towards a darker, more fearful and divisive place. And he knows it. And he doesn't care.

jumpijoe...since you're on ... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

jumpijoe...since you're on here this morning, I wanted to apologize to you for the remark I made on another thread yesterday. It was nasty and there is no excuse for making that sort of reply to another poster on this site.

BTW while I may disagree w/ your views, I do respect the service to this country from both you and your son.

I'm for a troop increase... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

I'm for a troop increase but they and the troops who are already must be allowed to do what they've been trained to do: to aggressively seek out and destroy al Qaeda and other terrorist insurgents in Iraq. Kim

So Kim is essentially saying she wants to take sides and support the Shia. Fair enough, won't make for much of a democracy, but it might lead to stability. Of course, it will be stability at the price of greatly increasing the strength of Iran in the region, but we're gonna invade them next, so everything in the long run will work out hunky-dorry and all this will look like nothing more than a comma.

His decision is not a popular one, but if he chose to not sent more troops because to do so was politically unpopular, he would be heavily ridiculed, and rightly so. Kim

So where were you in 2003? Were you heavily ridiculing him as he rightly deserved? Seems to me those that objected to more troops then were actually the ones ridiculed. Funny how hindsight works, huh?

But not because sending more troops is tactically or strategically the wrong move. Kennedy and the other Democrats would denounce President Bush no matter what decision he made. Kim

There's a reason for this - IT'S BECAUSE BUSH AND THE NEOCONS HAVE BEEN WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING. Opposing whatever position they have has historically proven that you will end up being right. I do not see that trend suddenly changing now.

Sorry to be so snarky, but Kim is truly showing how clueless she is about this war. She wants to kill the badguys, but the problem is the gov't we're trying to support has already been infiltrated by the Shiite militias and does their bidding. But she probably thinks they're bad guys too, so who do we support? Who in Iraq actually wants their country to be what we want it to be? They're fighting for their own interests, not ours, and to keep deluding yourself into thinking that if we just kill X more bad guys, everything will magically turn into a utopia is almost comical, if it weren't so tragic.

Iraq will be a country led by a Shiite dominated gov't associated with and comprised of religious radicals. It may very well be an ally of Iran. It will have a sizable, violent minority that will likely have ties to al Qaeda. The Repubs have truly gotten this country between Iraq and a hard place, and how we go from here is a very, very difficult question to answer. However, it seems to me 20,000 troops does little good. We either re-instate the draft or begin to draw down our troop levels. The Rumsfeld Doctrine of a small force has been throughly discredited and stop thinking this war can be won on the cheap.

Now, I'll be honest, I don't think we should resort to re-instating the draft. But those should be the terms of debate, not whether or not 20,000 extra troops over the next 6-18 months by extending tours and deploying early.

sorry, "Seems to me ... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

sorry,
"Seems to me those that objected to more troops then were actually the ones ridiculed."

should read

"Seems to me those that wanted more troops then were actually the ones ridiculed."

Hard to catch mix-ups in long posts.

Bwahahahaha.....dems trying... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Bwahahahaha.....dems trying to defend Teddy Kennedy (STILL) is HILARIOUS.

I don't see Laura Bush running for office. I don't see Laura Bush sitting up there all arrogant in committees questioning other people's character (Clarence Thomas & Alito, ETC.)

NICE TRY, but you LOSE John. Big time.

P.S. We WILL continue to b... (Below threshold)
Jo:

P.S. We WILL continue to beat that dead horse, especially when that dead horse is still in power and trying to question others integrity, ethics and policies.

Kim updated: "The Democr... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Kim updated: "The Democrats continually prove my point that they really don't want to achieve anything in Iraq but simply want to "maneuver themselves so that they hold positions that are the exact opposite of the President's." Brian at Iowa Voice points out how Nancy Pelosi was at one time highly critical of President Bush for not increasing troops:"

More faulty analysis from the back-peddaling, responsibility-dodging right -- who wants us to believe that today is the right time to increase troop strength in Iraq -- but two years ago was the wrong time.

If Bush had listened to Pelosi two years ago - the damn war would have been over last year -- but the Republicans don't give a crap about winning the war and bringing our troops home -- all they care about is winning elections so they can stay in power.

How many times do we have t... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

How many times do we have to tell you--the US can't win in Iraq! We lost! We're losers! Retreat! Re-deploy! Surrender! We suck! Remember the Viet Nam! We can't beat anyone anymore! We are the new French.

Sincerely,

American Leftist Weenie

jumpijoe...since you're ... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:

jumpijoe...since you're on here this morning, I wanted to apologize to you for the remark I made on another thread yesterday. It was nasty and there is no excuse for making that sort of reply to another poster on this site

aRepukelican,

I will accept the apology. But I will add my son joined the Army without my help or coaxing. I actually tried to talk him into the Air Force since I was a grunt and know it looks easier on T.V.

He simply chooses to follow my footsteps into the Airborne.

Instead of Infantry he went for Artillery Forward Observer, a military occupational skill the Army is expanding. This is due to a doctrinal change (from what I've heard) from taking a building or location with light infantry after fire was already received from that location, to simply leveling the building by close air support or artillery.

A cinder block house in the sand where the enemy is firing from is not worth taking room to room. If the enemy shoots from that location, the house goes down with the shooter in it.

Anyway, I am very proud of him and it even chokes me up knowing he is following my footsteps to honor me. When he does deploy I will be wishing it was me instead him.

Hope you understand my harsh retort taking that into consideration.

Nikkolai, you forgot to add... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Nikkolai, you forgot to add the word "wussy" to the end of that. lol.

Pelosi's comments were corr... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Pelosi's comments were correct at the time. Before the Shiite/Sunni civil war a, escalation of troops may have helped. Now, it is too late, and Generals agree.

I'm against the troop surge... (Below threshold)
Cro:

I'm against the troop surge...and I'm about as hawkish as they come. So why am I against it? Because we've telegraphed this so hard that it is bound to fail.

If I were an Iraqi insurgent, what would I need to do to defeat this surge? Simply lay low for a couple of months... better my intel gathering, targeting, and weapons stocks. When the surge starts to wind down...I simply step operations back up. Short term - the surge will reduce violence, but long term it cannot achieve victory because we are unwilling to address their sponsors, Iran & Syria.

Time is on the insurgents side... all they have to do is play out the clock to win... Just as the confederacy needed to during the ACW. But the Federals wouldn't let them...they forced them into combat by invading their territory. That's what we need to do with both Syria and Iran.

How that is politically possible is beyond me. Our best hope is to simply develop alternative energy sources... get off the oil and let the Haji's blow each other up.

It's those vile Republicans... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

It's those vile Republicans again, isn't it, Lee? Ain't that always the case? Not like the public-spirited Democrats, who would sacrifice anything, pay any price, oppose any foe to win...the next election.

Pelosi legosi has no say in... (Below threshold)
914:

Pelosi legosi has no say in the matter! Decimate the Sunni triangle including Al Sadrs militia and bring the troops home..

And then joining nikkolai's... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

And then joining nikkolai's ranks as an erudite Wizchoir member with reasoned and intellectual discourse, likely a classmate w/ nikkolai in his past life sitting at the feet of the Great Thinker, Plato, there's

Jo

"Nikkolai, you forgot to add the word "wussy" to the end of that. lol.

Posted by: Jo"

jumpinjoeYour resp... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

jumpinjoe

Your response was more than kind, considering what I had said.

TY for the background about your son's impending service as well as yours.

M

After forcing out those who... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

After forcing out those who had led our troops in Iraq..Bush apparently listened to Keane and Kagen.

However,; the reality of what we are capable of is short of the recommendations.

From the International Herald-Tribune:

"Among the advice he has received in recent weeks is a bold troop-buildup plan, written in part by a retired general who was the Army vice chief of staff when the Iraq war began in March 2003.

That general, Jack Keane, argues for sending an extra seven Army brigades and Marine regiments, about 32,000 troops, in two phases beginning in March and April. The first infusion would be 25,000, followed by an additional 7,000 several months later.

In his view, the current strategy of passing security responsibility to the Iraqis to establish the peace is failing.

Frederick W. Kagan, an American Enterprise Institute scholar who wrote the plan with Keane and others, asserts that such a troop increase must be sustained for at least 18 months."

What part of too little too late don't people understand? We do not have the numbers or the equipment for a serious "surge."When have any posting here talked to a troop on their third depoyment with the time they thought they would have with their families cut short?
We are destroying the morale of the very people who care the most. Our brave men and women who, unlike most, chose to serve.

This is important...we will find out if our President choses to ignore the majority of our citizens and our democratically elected officials and the consensus of career military officers.

Our nation and our President(not king)will be forced to address the simple question...
Have we had enough?
By the way...what sacrifice are his children making?
........Bring'em Home...................

"we will find out if our... (Below threshold)
cmd:

"we will find out if our President chooses to ignore the majority of our citizens. . ."

Fortunately, nogo, this President doesn't make military decisions based on biased public opinion polls ginned up by Democrat hacks. Not that a military strike based on popular opinion and political necessity hasn't happened before. . .do the words "aspirin factory," "Sudan" and "Monica Lewinsky" mean anything to you?

"have we had enough?"

Nope, not me. We should have laid the smack down a long time ago. Better late than never.

"what sacrifice are his children making?"

bukbukbukbuhGAWK! CHICKENHAWK!!

Get some new material, asshat. Your shtick is old.

cmdSo just where a... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

cmd

So just where are the polls that have been "ginned up?"

Where are the polls that you can cite show the majority of Americans lusting for more of the Chimp-in=chief's blood-letting of their loved ones?

The absurd remark about polls and policy is simply not credible when talking about the Bush/Rove regime which has never even taken a dump w/ out a poll analysis.

So let me get this straight... (Below threshold)
MinorRipper:

So let me get this straight: Bush is now defying the Baker Report, Congress, the military, and the American public by escalating the war...Forgive me for not brimming over with optimism...
www.minor-ripper.blogspot.com

Let's ship 20,000 Ethiopian... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Let's ship 20,000 Ethiopian soldiers instead, and let 'em at it.

Here's something that puzzl... (Below threshold)
cat:

Here's something that puzzles me. There are now about 132,000 US troops in Iraq. 20,000 more would bring that number to just over 150,000. That's how many there were last summer when Iraq's spiraling descent into violent anarchy actually accelerated and the stream of middle class refugees became a flood.

So how exactly is this so-called "surge" in troops going to help? Maybe if you sent 200,000 more and bombed and killed everything and everyone in sight, you *might* achieve something. But that would probably only result in thousands of insurgents becoming hundreds of thousands as furious relatives of the dead and crippled took up arms. 20,000 more troops is just more of the same, and the same hasn't done very well, has it?

By the way, it's interesting to see Hitler's "stabbed in the back" argument growing in strength yet again - in direct proportion to the deepening disaster you yourselves created. It just couldn't be true, could it, that Pandora should have listened to the warnings before opening this particular box.

Kim, do you think you could... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Kim, do you think you could link to people a little less dishonest and/or stupid? Nevermind, I forgot who I was talking to.

To be fair, she was trying to say that we should get international troops to go, but Russert asked her (several times) that if they refused, should we send American troops, and her answer was a clear-cut "yes".

To be even more fair, she was asked about troop increases almost 3 years ago! Apparently Brian at Iowa Voice thinks nothing has changed in Iraq since May 2004. Stupid or dishonest?

It's also good to note what Pelosi actually said on the subject:

"The burden is on the president to justify any additional resources for a mission," Pelosi said, "Congress is ready to use its constitutional authority of oversight to question what is the justification for this spending, what are the results we are receiving."

The last time this happened, Congress cut the funding for the war in Vietnam. U.S. troops and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, with American advisors, had largely destroyed the Viet Cong and pushed back the North Vietnamese Army, when an angry Congress intervened to seize defeat from the jaws of victory.

This old canard. Sure, we only had a handful of VC left to bomb and we would have won. Total bullshit of course, but bullshit endlessly repeated by people for years. While its absolutely true that we were not defeated in Vietnam, either as a whole or in any major battles (the casualty ratio is something like 20:1 North Vietnamese to ARVN), we would have had to stay in Vietnam for decades to defeat the North Vietnamese, probably by killing all of them and totally destroying the country, if we could have succeeded at all. The idea that we were about to win is completely dishonest. No doubt five years from now people will be saying that we were about to win in Iraq in 2006. They don't say that now, but they will.

Afghanistan, invaded by an emboldened Soviet Union, which knew we would do nothing about it.

Except fund and arm those fighting the Soviets for ten years, severely draining the Soviet military and contributing to the fall of the USSR (thank you Pres. Reagan). Stupid or dishonest?

Our embassy and our people in Iran seized by student thugs, encouraged by their Islamic extremist government, because they knew we would do nothing about it.

We tried Operation Eagle Claw, that didn't work out too well. One wonders what Crittendon thinks should have been done in that situation. Invade Iran? He also seems to forget that all the hostages made it out alive, after their release was negotiated by Pres. Carter. Stupid or dishonest?

Well, paying the troops is not Bush's responsibility - that job belongs to Congress. So, will Congress not fund troops sent to a Congressionally sanctioned war effort by a duly elected President of the People?

I'll call this one. This guy's just stupid. Not even worth responding to.

"So how exactly is this ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"So how exactly is this so-called "surge" in troops going to help?"

It might make sense to go in and secure the retreat routes, and it may be that the "surge" is just phase 1 of Bush's cut and run from Iraq.

If that's the case he's just too damned dishonest to admit it (no surprise there), and will of course have to find a way to blame the Republicans' failure in Iraq on the Democrats, rather than admit the Democrats were right years ago.

And he's sacrificed how many American lives in the process of bullshitting the American public?

In 2004, a much larger Ame... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

In 2004, a much larger American troop presence might have had a better opportunity of stabilizing the country, but now the Iraq guerillas or insurgents are much better organized and much more supported by the public, so this surge will more like a drop in the bucket.
Bush: in June 28, 2005 "sending more Americans would suggest that we intend to stay forever, when we are, in fact, working for the day when Iraq can defend itself and we can leave." Oh I forgot Kim doesn't want second guessers in this forum (including presumably the president) or is 'the Decider' the exception.

I won't criticize until I s... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

I won't criticize until I see the results but I'm pessimistic that this will have any lasting positive effects. Seems like we're going to be hanging our troops out to dry in some very rough areas. I wonder what we plan to do to make them secure from the terrorists. And if Bush keeps his word, this is still a short-term measure, so even if we occupy parts of Baghdad 24/7 for a few months, we will be leaving eventually and I've grown very weary of the promises that the Iraqi police and military will be ready to take our place at that time.

So I see this as creating even more casualties without any real benefit.

To be even more fair, ... (Below threshold)
MyPetGloat:

To be even more fair, she was asked about troop increases almost 3 years ago! Apparently Brian at Iowa Voice thinks nothing has changed in Iraq since May 2004. Stupid or dishonest?

Both.


Oh look- from the Pelosi / Russert transcript:

"We did not adequately prepare for the post-Saddam situation in Iraq. General--don't take it from me. General Zinni himself said the level of sacrifice was not matched by the level of planning. And he also said that--and this was very--in the lead-up to the Iraq War--I'll just quote him here: "In the lead-up to the Iraq War and its later conduct, I saw at a minimum true dereliction, negligence and irresponsibility; at worst, lying, incompetence and corruption."

Maybe if we sent an additio... (Below threshold)
Cornwell:

Maybe if we sent an additional 200,000 troops four bloody years ago, this might have been a good idea.

But sending a paltry 20K for six months? Please.

But I suppose if you clap loud enough over here on the righty blogs, the 'insurgents' will just drop their arms and embrace democracy.

When history is written, I can't wait to see how the Bush Cultists will be portrayed. True believers to the end, swallowing every last lie from Dear Leader's lips as if it were gospel and attacking anyone who has the gall to question the wisdom of Dear Leader as a traitor or a terrorist sympathizer.

But it's the media's fault if we lose. Check.

Seems like we're going t... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Seems like we're going to be hanging our troops out to dry in some very rough areas. I wonder what we plan to do to make them secure from the terrorists.

Two semi-amusing repsonses about your two thoughts 1.) Our men and women don't go into unfriendly areas armed with friggin' peashooters. (That actually made me chuckle!) But I think your point is that you don't want to see them engage unfriendies without a definitive objective and a plan of attack. I think we can both be certain that their CO's would not send them into battle without those two key things. 2.) Keep "them secure from the terrorists"? Again, thanks for the chuckle. The answer is simple: kill the enemy as they engage them--that will keep them secure from terrorists. (I would never say what you said in that sentence this to any Marine, btw. Depending on who they are, they'd either laugh or be mildly to greatly insulted. lol)

I actually agree with liberals that we sent far too few troops right from the start. I never liked the 150,000 number. I wanted to see 250-300,000 (among other tactics). My thought was that if you're going to invade a country and take it over, invade it and take it over like you mean it. That said, if the majority of those 20,000+ troops are sent to Baghdad in order to implement a "Baghdad-first" strategy, as I understand it, I think it will make a difference--especially if the rules of engagement change when it comes to fighting and taking down the Shiite militias that is not presently endorsed by the Mailki (pardon the spelling, I never get it right) government. As I also understand it, ROE is changing in that regard. So, expect it to get bloody--hopefully more terrorist blood than US blood, for sure.

I hope this "bump" works, I really do. I hope it stabilizes Baghdad which is important for myriad reasons. If it doesn't work, and the sectarian violence isn't easing dramatically, then I too will be calling for a withdrawl of some kind.

Can I ask a serious questio... (Below threshold)
JimK:

Can I ask a serious question without getting called a "libtard troll?"

Does no one here think that quoting articles from 18 months ago regarding the on-the-ground situation and troop levels in Iraq is utter nonsense? Things have changed, and it's only logical that opinions may have changed as well. There's a lot of valid opinion out there that says 20K more bodies will not affect the insurgency TODAY.

Why should I care what anyone said 18 months ago? If the Democrats were right when they said it 18 months ago that means Bush is an idiot and screwed up *again* by not sending more troops then. If they were wrong, then who cares? Now they;re right, according to the logic.

So what's the point here besides more finger-pointing?

PeterF: Unfortunately, in ... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

PeterF: Unfortunately, in a war like this, you can't tell the "enemy" until he's struck, so the idea of pre-emptive strikes isn't very realistic. And my question about securing our troops in the neighborhoods is legitimate. The green zone is heavily barricaded against intrusion, but if our people are going to be outside the walls, what's to prevent anybody from lobbing off an RPG or a exploding a car bomb outside of wherever our people are housed. We cannot just block off the streets or move people out of residential neighborhoods, and in a war defined by hit and run tactics by a hidden foe, this is a real issue. So maybe you could stop chuckling long enough to tell us how you'd keep them safe, at least relatively.

Boy old "pucker puss" (lee ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Boy old "pucker puss" (lee lee) is really putting the "polish" on it tonight!

Why does everyone talk abou... (Below threshold)

Why does everyone talk about the consequences of staying (more causalties) but no one talks about the consequences of withdrawl?

Whether we should have invaded or not is a moot point. What we did right or wrong is also moot. What matters is what happens next.

If we withdraw, Syria invades Lebannon (again) and Iran becomes the regional power, triggering an nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Yeah, that's a good scenario.

How long before someone uses one? Oil prices skyrocket and the world economy collapses. No more cars. No more imports. No more computers. No more Internet. Welcome back to the 18th century - got any farmland near you?

The status quo, even at the current cost, is a reasonable price to pay to avoid it.

Kim - as a disillusioned fo... (Below threshold)
J. Rionero:

Kim - as a disillusioned former supporter of the Iraq effort, I have to disagree with your comparisons.

First, most of the Dem remarks you cite are from 2004 and 2005, before the Shia shrine bombing last year that escalated sectarian violence to its current levels. At that time adding troops still *was* a plausible tactic; most (though not all) military experts agree that adding a mere 20,000 is too little too late.

Second, Harry Reid's remarks specifically say he would support additional troops only for 3 to 4 months and only if it was part of a specific date to withdraw all troops one year from now --quite different from simply "supporting" a surge.

This is not to say that Democrats aren't seeking political advantage on Iraq, but let's be honest: there is bi-partisan opposition to President Bush's plan from a wide range of ideological perspectives, including Ollie North, Gen. Abizaid, Lt. Gen. Trainor, Sam Brownback, Chuck Hagel, Jim Webb, Arlen Specter, Susan Collins, Colin Powell, George Will, David Brooks, Pat Buchanan and --let's not forget-- the Iraq Study Group.

I don't want to see Democrats get advantage from this any more than you, but I think it hurts our credibility and our greater cause if we're less than rigorous about where everyone stands on this important issue.

I, for one, am far more troubled that the President I trusted with my votes proposed meeting "the greatest ideological challenge of our time" with something as uncreative and meek as 20K more troops.




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