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Why Many Democrats Won't Even Consider Success in Iraq

In my Townhall column today I go into the reasons I believe many Democrats are more concerned with politics and the destruction of George W. Bush, than they are the outcome in Iraq.

Over the past months and years, those on the left have gone to great effort to paint the mission in Iraq as "failed," "doomed" and a "disaster." They have failed to acknowledge the accomplishments of the U.S. military in Iraq, but have been quick to talk about those in our armed forces as child victims of a failed policy or (worse) as bloodthirsty thugs engaging in torture and terror.

It is certainly not a pleasant thing to accuse fellow Americans, particularly ones entrusted by the citizenry with the nation's well being, of playing politics with American lives or of providing moral support to her enemies, but I think it is time to ask some hard questions.

Why have so many critics of the war spent more time talking about alleged abuses at Gitmo than they have talking about the new freedoms being enjoyed by those in Afghanistan and Iraq as a result of actions taken by the U.S. military?

Why is it that many war critics seem to believe the U.S. is capable of addressing the conflict and genocide in Darfur, but that they are not capable of achieving victory in Iraq?"

Why is it that when generals, or more frequently former generals, express a lack of confidence in the President, the Secretary of Defense, or our policy and mission in Iraq, their word is not only accepted without question, but their opinions are treated as absolute fact, but when other generals say that it is still possible to win in Iraq, and that condemnations of the President and his policies encourage the enemy, they are ignored?

Why, when given a choice between defeat through surrender or the possibility to pursue victory, there are so many so eager to choose the former?

It is difficult to answer those questions without considering what victory in Iraq would mean.

Victory in Iraq would not only be a positive development for those in the Middle East with effects being felt around the world, and a huge success for those in the U.S. military, but success in Iraq would be seen as the ultimate success for the Bush presidency. For too many politicians considering the options in Iraq, and the choice between defeat through surrender or pursuit of victory, that is a huge problem.

Read Ben Shapiro's column about Jim Webb's response to the State of the Union speech for additional examples of the Democrats' inability to offer anything of substance to the debate on Iraq, preferring to attack the man who, like it or not, is still the Commander-in-Chief in charge of the war effort.

But this is what today's liberals call "muscular liberalism." Commentators on the left raved about Webb's speech. Though Webb called for a "new direction" in Iraq, he offered not a single practical word about how to tackle the situation on the ground. Calling for "regionally based diplomacy" will not solve much in a region including the likes of Syria and Iran -- and it is certainly not "muscular."

What, then, makes Webb a "muscular liberal"? His absolute loathing for President Bush. Democrats believe that it takes more courage to obstruct President Bush and Republicans than to fight Islamism. Webb offered nothing but vitriol, and Democrats lapped it up.

President Bush is not a perfect president or a perfect man. But he is a man, not a child. On a night when President Bush spoke maturely about serious issues, Webb graphically illustrated that Democrats are simply angry adolescents not to be trusted with national security.

Update: Wesley Pruden and I are definitely on the same wavelength. (Link via Lucianne)

Destroying a president is not much of a strategy to win a war, but it's all the Democrats have.

The churls of the left don't seem to care whether their country wins the war, the important thing is to "keep hate alive." If hate worked in '06, maybe it will work again in '08, when the stakes will be considerably higher.
...
The president's tormentors in Congress, some old and some new, insist they don't have anything against the fine young Americans with their lives on the line in Iraq, but the troops are dispensable to the larger partisan goal of destroying George W. and abdicating the responsibility that comes with being the world's only superpower. If the troops are hurt, too, well, that's just a risk the critics will have to endure.



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Comments (62)

Two problems: "winning" is... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

Two problems: "winning" is undefined, and what about the price? Seems to me that the best we can hope for at this point is a reduction in the violence, possibly at the expense of partitioning the nation. So the US-style democratization of Iraq is doomed. How many American lives are you willing to sacrifice and how much of our treasure are you willing to spend for such limited "victory?" My own answer is that we've already paid far too high a price for what we can reasonably expect to accomplish and it's time for our troops to come home and our taxpayer dollars to go for more concrete benefits for average Americans.

Of course they are actively... (Below threshold)
Brett:

Of course they are actively hoping for failure. That's what they do, it's inherent in the current liberal approach. Anything that will make the country weaker, or more like their beloved Europe, they fall all over themselves for.

I think it's only partly out of derangement over GWB - that can't be the only cause, since the same thing has been going on since the 70's. They absolutely pilloried Reagan, predicting the end of the world (literally) for facing down the commies. Of course they were wrong, but that hasn't made them stop and think.

Naturally, they are attempting to destroy anyone who threatens their power, but I think it's much more deeper (and ironically more sincere) than that.

They HATE America, and probably more on point, they despise Americans, or at least they hate the majority of Americans, for which they have nothing but contempt. Democrats idolize and lionize people like Ivy League professors - but all those yokels out in flyover country who are so stupid that they have to make a living growing food or delivering packages or digging ditches are a bunch of worthless hicks who shouldn't be considered.

Of course those same worthless hicks kept them out of any sort of positions of power for 12 straight years, and are lining up to do it again in a year and a half. Their own misplaced sense of superiority won't permit them to change, so they have to come to the conclusion that >50% of the American public is just stupid for not voting for them. They HATE them for it - Joe Average is their worst enemy, and George Bush is their guy. If they can stick it to GWB then they indirectly stick it to all those people who voted for him.

I think the same logic applies all the way back to Reagan - Democrats and other assorted liberal types also despised Reagan and by extension everyone who voted for him - which in Reagan's case is one hell of a fraction of the American public.

W keeps moving the goalpost... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

W keeps moving the goalpost. No WMDs: check! Set up a one-man-one-vote democracy: check! Now it's a New Deal-style welfare program financed by the US. Lorie, don't you see the REAL plan is to keep us there FOREVER? And even those unopposed to the invasion, now realize the only winner is Iran. As for The Surge: the troop strength already varies from month to month as low as apx. 132,000 up to apx. 146,000. Even the Republican gentry (Sen. Warner) has had enough of George by now.

Why is it that when gene... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Why is it that when generals, or more frequently former generals, express a lack of confidence in the President, the Secretary of Defense, or our policy and mission in Iraq, their word is not only accepted without question, but their opinions are treated as absolute fact, but when other generals say that it is still possible to win in Iraq, and that condemnations of the President and his policies encourage the enemy, they are ignored?

Because when generals express a lack of confidence in the president and SoD, and then they're fired, and then their replacements express a lack of confidence in the president and SoD, and then they're also fired, and then the SoD is fired, and his parting words are that he admits to failure, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff dispute the strategy, and then the new SoD admits that the old policy is a failure, and then FINALLY a general is hired who says there's a "possibility" of success... well, who are you going to believe?

I left the room when then p... (Below threshold)
TC:

I left the room when then pres finished didn't hear Webb and did not care to.

I find the practice of jumping upon your president moments after their STOU address to be rather sad behavior at best. Wait till morning wipes!

OR

Open up all venues of our politicians speeches to immediate responses from the general public that elected you!

You so that in fairness, we can call you out on the things you say to the rest of congress on a daily basis. hammer you for behavior unbecoming and actually ask you about all those billions you swept under the rug that your relative got because you got some program or another passed.

We could directly ask Nancy WHY she thinks that a 7$ min wage is good except for where her family has a large business loaded with %4 an hour workers?

blackCat, you are completly ignorant of history.

Brian,Get out of you... (Below threshold)
Lorie:

Brian,
Get out of your conspiracy theory bunker and get a whiff of reality, and fresh air. Not only have Dems ignored the generals who have had good things to say about the president and the mission in Iraq, but they have gone to pains to pick and choose what they want to believe from the generals they do cite. It would be funny if it were not so dispicable. The media allows them to get away with it too. Instead of saying, "Mr. Dem Politician, you have cited with enthusiasm the statement from General So and So about this negative aspect of the mission in Iraq, but you have said nothing about the positive things he has said about the mission. If he is right about one statement, do you accept the other positive statements he has made, as well?" They won't even ask why it is that generals who bash Bush are praised and taken at their word by the Dems, but those voicing support for the mission are ignored completely.

Geez, it is after 3 a.m. Sorry, but I have to get up in the morning.

It has nothing to do with t... (Below threshold)
Charles Martel:

It has nothing to do with the costs. Democrats waste money on far less noble causes on a daily basis. The idea that they are 'doing it for the troops' is similarly absurd when we have a volunteer military and record reenlistment rates for soldiers going back to Iraq.

When you ask a lefty why Iraq is failing you inevitably get some answer like, "It's an immoral war!" or "war for oil!" maybe even "Stop the unlawful U.S. occupation!". They certainly talk about "neo-cons" and possibly Cheney's desire to drink the blood of puppies. Bush's 'mismanagement' of the war is the most sane assessment that one can get from the left, but really everybody criticizes that now. In reality, Bush has screwed up in one fundamental way, but it doesn't have to do with troop levels or insufficient amour.

Iraq is the failure of modern liberalism. Yes, you read that correctly. A central tenant of liberalism has failed. When this is accepted, it makes the entire situation understandable.

The central tenant that I'm talking about is 'multiculturalism' and its sister 'political correctness'. What has failed is the idea that all cultures and people are the same. This is the idea of 'equality' that liberals use to justify everything from affirmative action to socialism. Liberals would have us believe things like 'deep down we all desire the same things'.

The real factor that has prevented Iraq from 'working' is Islam. Islam is a political system that is simply not compatible with western style democracy. Something most people don't know is that the Iraqi constitution has a provision for Sharia law written in it. It says: "no law can be made that violates the laws of Allah". This is very significant when you consider that Sharia isn't too favorable to women's rights, right of religious minorities and all the freedoms we hold dear in the west.

Essentially we have a situation here where conservatives are 'rooting' for a form of liberalism to succeed in this 'nation building' scheme and liberals are simply rooting for conservatives to fail. Liberals simply don't understand that this won't be seen in the world as a failure of Bush, Cheney and the 'Neo-cons' but as a failure for America.

This para requires an adden... (Below threshold)
marc:

This para requires an addendum:

Why is it that when generals, or more frequently former generals, express a lack of confidence in the President, the Secretary of Defense, or our policy and mission in Iraq, their word is not only accepted without question, but their opinions are treated as absolute fact, but when other generals say that it is still possible to win in Iraq, and that condemnations of the President and his policies encourage the enemy, they are ignored?
addendum - Why is it a bunch of grandstanding hack politicians from both sides of the isle produce a non-binding resolution disagreeing with the Presidents new policy, yet some of the same also approve without reservations the very General who is the architect (and universally praised for his expertise) of the U.S. Militarys counter insurgency doctrine to head the new strategy in Iraq?

bryanD[elusional - W keeps moving the goalpost. No WMDs: check! Set up a one-man-one-vote democracy: check! Now it's a New Deal-style welfare program financed by the US.

Do you really have to be pointed in the direction of the Congressionally approved resolution on Iraq outlining each of your "moved goalposts," (plus about a dozen more that are in your Moonbats Guide to Iraq Opposition) or are you intellectually curious enough to search it out yourself?

Or maybe intellectually dishonest enough to continue to spew that tripe?

Which is it?

marc, It's always SOMEBODY ... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

marc, It's always SOMEBODY ELSE's fault. Remember the Dixie Chicks War of 2004-2005?

Even more interesting is th... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

Even more interesting is the fact that the "FIred generals" that "Disagreed with BUsh" had a large part in WRITING the new policy. Just like Web fclaims that the majority of troops "Disagreed with the current direction of the war" BUt fails to mention that in that same poll the main response they wanted was MORE troops? Whop has the fundemental dishonesty problem here, I wonder?

The donkeys are in trouble ... (Below threshold)

The donkeys are in trouble if they think Webb is the future of their party. Apart from being a perv, he's a crank and isn't very tactful.

Sounds like the perfect democrat.

I'm still waiting for anyon... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

I'm still waiting for anyone from the left to come up with a single constructive suggestion that will help us actually win in Iraq. I'm still waiting for anyone from the left to honestly portray what the consequences will be if they do succeed in forcing Bush to surrender. The only two liberals I can think of who deserve our respect are Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller, and both were treated shamefully by their own party. Instead, we get John Kerry, John Murtha, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Russ Feingold, Charlie Rangel, John Conyers, Howard Dean and Wesley Clark. Any adult who admires any of these clowns is either not paying attention or a partisan tool.

Abraham Lincoln suffered the same fate from the self-serving and disloyal Copperheads in Congress, an ignorant and short-sighted populace, and a muckraking press. Bush is not the first president to be smeared as an underachieving monkey.

The Democrats at the time gave us George McClellan as a presidential nominee in 1864. Liberals were wrong in 1864 and they're just as wrong-headed today. That's why our Constitution places the conduct of the war in the hands of one single commander-in-chief and not the politically motivated harpies in Congress.

To the left, it's still "Mr. Bush's war", just as the Civil War was "Mr. Lincoln's war". That reason alone is reason enough to prevent Bush from succeeding. Rangel's two pathetically insincere attempts to reinstitute the draft had nothing to do with victory in Iraq. He was hoping incite a repeat of the New York Draft Riots.

Lincoln's greatness was that he was not swayed by the shallow narcissism of his opponents on the Left. He had the vision to look beyond the next election and stood his ground in the face of incredible pressure. He was willing to put the future of our country in front of the political aspirations of his own party and the catcalls from his opponents. Lincoln would be proud of Bush for his "stubbornness", and I'm still proud of Bush.

It's not a damned Coca-Cola "We are the World" commercial, and it's not some stupid video game. We're at war, and it's for real. The next attack on the west is very likely to be horrific, and the left will predictably lay the blame at Bush's feet for not preventing it, while conveniently ignoring their own complicity in encouraging the attack in the first place with their corrosive political scheming.

marc, It's always SOMEB... (Below threshold)
marc:

marc, It's always SOMEBODY ELSE's fault. Remember the Dixie Chicks War of 2004-2005?
Posted by: bryanD at January 26, 2007 04:51 AM

I posted the comment your responded to at 04:08AM. It took you all of 43 minutes to respond with exactly nothing.


Pretty sad performance. And typical.

I carefully read your artic... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

I carefully read your article as well as those you cited in your post Lorie. I think there are some serious fallacies in your logic and argument. What I see in your post is an emotional argument, an argument based on your beliefs and your feelings. That said, I respect your view but disagree for a few of the following reasons.

Lets start with your underlying premise: "Many democrats won't even consider success in Iraq." The facts are that 71% of the country opposes Bush's current "plan"; Republican Senators Smith, Hagel, Warner, Snow and Collins oppose Bush's current "plan".

Senator Biden has put forth a "plan" for success in Iraq; Congressman Murtha has put forth a "plan" for success in Iraq; many Democrats support the Iraq Study Group's "plan" for success in Iraq. 80% of Iraqi's are strongly opposed to coalition troops in Iraq. Now anyone can reasonably disagree with those "plans" but it is fallacious to say that many democrats (you seem to be singling out politicians) don't want success. Please provide us with evidence of those democratic politicians who don't want "success" (not your version of success but just success) If there are democrats who are more interested in Bush's failure than success in Iraq they deserve condemnation.

I read an interesting quote from the chairman of the Kansa Republican Party. Kansas is not exactly a bastion of democratic "Bush haters" as far as I know. He said: "...the president's war policies are not very popular here...even good republicans are getting frustrated and believe the president is being stubborn...Seven out of 10 good conservative republicans may not want to say it, but they oppose the war."

So, Lorie I think your point is dead wrong. It's so easy to accuse people of bad motives who honestly think Iraq was wrong from the beginning or who are terribly concerned about its current direction. To me it's a cop out to paint them as people more interested in Bush's failure than the safety and well being of our country. That argument is as wrong as the one from those on the left who accuse those on the right of being "chicken hawks." I respect your position, I just disagree with it. I wish more on the left gave you that respect as I wish more on the right respected opposition.

I asked in one of your earlier posts what your definition of "victory" is. I ask again.

The donkeys are in troub... (Below threshold)
Luke:

The donkeys are in trouble if they think Webb is the future of their party.

Never, ever trust a man with a rug on his head.

"And even those unopposed t... (Below threshold)
LJD:

"And even those unopposed to the invasion, now realize the only winner is Iran."

How about... Iran (and war opponents) has been a major contributor to the violence and setbacks for our forces in Iraq. Their day of reckoning is coming (both).

Jim Webb, this is their tou... (Below threshold)
R3:

Jim Webb, this is their tough guy? Isn't he the same Jim Webb that Ollie North pounded while in the Marines together?

"I'm still waiting for anyo... (Below threshold)
Reality:

"I'm still waiting for anyone from the left to come up with a single constructive suggestion that will help us actually win in Iraq."

Funny, I'm still waiting for anyone from the right to come up with a single constructive suggestion that will help us actually win in Iraq.

I'm also waiting for a credible explanation of what constitutes "winning" in Iraq. Is it when the civil war is over? Is it when the Shia take over? Is it when the oil is sucked dry? Are there ponies involved?

There is a whole lot of stupid coming from the cons in this thread, starting with the originator.
Lorie put up enough strawman to scare off every crow east of the Mississippi.

"Wolf, Wolf, I simply don't... (Below threshold)
maggysturn:

"Wolf, Wolf, I simply don't accept the premise of your question. I just think it's hogwash."
-- Vice President Dick Cheney, after Wolf Blitzer asked if mistakes in Iraq had hurt the administration's credibility,

VERSUS

"The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."
-- Cheney, 6/20/05

So who's spewing "hogwash" here? It's pretty clear that it's none other that Darth Vadar himself, Little dick Cheney.

"And even those unopposed t... (Below threshold)
jesus:

"And even those unopposed to the invasion, now realize the only winner is Iran."
How about... Iran (and war opponents) has been a major contributor to the violence and setbacks for our forces in Iraq. Their day of reckoning is coming (both).
Posted by: LJD at January 26, 2007 07:24 AM

Are you writing this from your barracks in Baghdad? Or are you just another chicken hawk like those in the administration?

For all you who support the war, why aren't you in Iraq now? Phonies, liars, and cowards, that's why.

"Reality" is a notably poor... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

"Reality" is a notably poor choice for a handle. Instead of complaining, try remembering that Bush had the full approval of both houses of Congress when this all started. Try coming up with something that will work instead of working so hard to find fault with everything Bush does.

Hugh likes polls and statistics. OK. 34% of registered democrats admit that they don't want Bush to succeed in Iraq. Not that they don't think adding troops in Iraq won't succeed. The question was whether they wanted Bush to succeed in Iraq. A third of you responded "No." That's cheap partisan politics before national security. You're so blinded by your contempt for the man you won't even contemplate victory and you won't do a thing to help. It's all intramural volleyball to you.

What I admire about Bush is that he knows what has to be done and doesn't shrink from criticism from the narcissistic left or the assholes at the New York Times. For alternatives, we get proposals to cut and run, baseless talk of impeachment, defunding the war, and knee-jerk criticism from grandstanding idiots like Jim Webb. It's more important to you to make sure Bush fails than it is to defeat extremist terrorism, and I'm ashamed of all of you.

Strawman, my ass. Lorie's right, but you're too biased to admit it.

Who's the you you yooh hooe... (Below threshold)
hugh:

Who's the you you yooh hooed about? No generalization in you's post.

Sorry, I get this techie la... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Sorry, I get this techie language fouled up all the time. I meant your comment you bobdog you.

Would someone on the right ... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Would someone on the right like to explain what the consequences of failure as a result of the impending "escalation" of stay the course will be and exactly what will occur then as opposed to what a phased withdrawl would do now?

Does Georgie boy have another "strategery" other than place this whole mess in the lap of a Democratic president (which we all know is inevitable by then) and place the blame in their pockets?

No different than what he is doing now by refusing to acknowledge what everyone other than the 30% deadenders keep regurgitating back to him which is, Bad decision Dick and George, time to pull in your horns and begin a different course not one based on death and destruction. Listen to daddy George.

bobdog"34% of r... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

bobdog

"34% of registered democrats admit that they don't want Bush to succeed in Iraq"

Just where is the poll you cited? Link, please.

"34% of registered democrat... (Below threshold)
Reality:

"34% of registered democrats admit that they don't want Bush to succeed in Iraq."

Cite?

The poll bobdog is referrin... (Below threshold)
mantis:

The poll bobdog is referring to is discussed at length here.

lgf has an audio clip of Fr... (Below threshold)
woody:

lgf has an audio clip of Frank Miller (no less) capturing all this into 4 minutes of fear & logic. Worth a listen.

geez mantis, if you were an... (Below threshold)
Reality:

geez mantis, if you were any more stupid you would be inanimate. Did you bother reading the rest of the blog you linked to?

"Question 19: Do you personally want the Iraq plan President Bush announced last week to succeed? [Yes/No/Don't Know]

All: 63/22/15
Democrats: 51/34/15
Republicans: 79/11/10
Independents: 63/19/17

Before going any further, let's note some of the more obvious instances of intellectual dishonesty in Mirengoff's post.

First of all, he misrepresents the question at hand (in an even more extreme manner than Goldberg does). Fox/OD didn't ask whether respondents wished for failure of "an American military mission against al Qaeda, radical Islamist militias, and death squads, and for the slaughter in Baghdad to continue unabated", instead they asked if respondents wanted the Bush Surge to succeed. There is a substantial difference between the actual question and the Mirengoff Version question, and I would suggest Mirengoff did not recast it simply to clarify things for his readership."

geez mantis, if you were... (Below threshold)
mantis:

geez mantis, if you were any more stupid you would be inanimate.

And what is it I wrote, exactly, that was stupid? You wanted a cite, I gave you one. You'll notice that I linked to Dennis the Peasant, whose blogging I like very much, instead of some swamp like Powerline. Why did I do that? Because he puts the poll in context instead of just spewing the line about Democrats wanting us to fail in Iraq.

I'll remember not to help you out in the future, jackass.

What I find unsettling is t... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

What I find unsettling is that number of Democrats that will choose letting it linger over trying a new strategy. I know they want a pull-out but I don't see any real effort applied by Congress in that direction.

In otherwords

My ranking of options is:
1) Change strategy (ftw)
2) Go Home
3) Business as usual

I understand, but don't agree with
1) Go Home
2) Change strategy
3) Business as usual

What I find unsettling are these priorities
1) Business as usual
2) Go Home
3) Change strategy

Yet Democrat appear fine with the last option.

My apologies mantis, I natu... (Below threshold)
Reality:

My apologies mantis, I naturally figured you were one of the wingtards here that posts stuff that contradicts their own viewpoint. The stupidity here is so deep sometimes you can't tell the crap from the ponies.

Bush has a strategy. It is ... (Below threshold)
groucho:

Bush has a strategy. It is to drag thing on until at least 2008. He has already said he would be leaving it for the next guy (or gal) to clean up. Buying into the long struggle argument is something only the most rabid of the 20 percenters are still doing at this point. He won't achieve victory because he keeps mistaking what he wants to see for reality. Poor little Georgie started a fire ha can't put out.

TY, Mantis for the Dennis t... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

TY, Mantis for the Dennis the Peasant link. Excellent analysis of the Fox poll.

Ever who this "reality" nut... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Ever who this "reality" nut is just got elected to the "club".

To understand the liberal p... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

To understand the liberal position, you need to clear your mind of your pre-conceived notions about liberals.

Many are angry at the President; but it's not a personal thing. We think he is doing great damage to our country.

You may not understand the liberal position on Iraq because liberals frame the question differently than you do. You ask: How do we win in Iraq? We ask: What is the best we can do given the very terrible situation in Iraq? We believe that it is a lost cause and getting more of our sons and daughters killed there is a bad idea. You believe it is winnable; we do not. This is not a position to "destroy the president". It is a position to save our loved ones from senseless deaths.

I assume that conservatives believe that the war is winnable. And that you believe that such a victory would have excellent consequences.

Liberals doubt that, even if a victory were possible and achieved and Iraq became a sustainable democracy, that it would start a wave of reform throughout the middle east.

I can understand the conservative position, while still disagreeing with it. I believe that, if you try, you can understand the liberal position.

The "Club" membership keeps... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

The "Club" membership keeps growing. Is there a special on tin foil somewhere?

Jesus-Just because... (Below threshold)
LJD:

Jesus-

Just because the response to your stupid comments usually begins with that exclamation does not authorize you to use it as a handle.

My point was about Iran. That's it.

Not only was your questioning of my service out of place, but also unsubstantiated.

I am so tired of the stupid-ass assumptions of you chickenshit libtards who have not worn a uniform single day in your life. It is unfathomable to you people that some one would support something they are intimately involved in. STFU Now. Please. You embarrass yourself.

Reality:geez ma... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Reality:

geez mantis, if you were any more stupid you would be inanimate. Did you bother reading the rest of the blog you linked to?

In the future, you might want to be careful about hauling off and talking shit like this without using your, buddy. if the switch to your brain was turned on, you might realize that mantis was just supplying the link that you asked for.

and, if you have spent any time on this site, you would know that mantis is anything but stupid.

the whole flagrant name-calling thing doesnt do much for your arguments, so i suggest that you drop that particular tactic.

crap. the word "brain" sho... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

crap. the word "brain" should be after the word your in the first sentence, which should say:

"In the future, you might want to be careful about hauling off and talking shit like this without using your, buddy."

Irony alert. talk about not turning the brain on. hehe.

The Fox poll shows a philos... (Below threshold)
MartyH:

The Fox poll shows a philosophical divide over support for the military during a war.

The question is: "Do you personally want the Iraq plan President Bush announced last week to succeed? [Yes/No/Don't Know]"

With troops in legally sanctioned combat, regardless of the President or where it is, the answer for me has to be yes. Clinton in Bosnia-yes. Grant at Cold Harbor (7000 casualties in 20 minutes during a hopeless attack on entrenched positions)-yes

Custer at Little Big Horn-yes.

The question is not whether I support the plan, or the war. The question boils down to "Do I want US troops in combat to succeed?"

The troops are committed-that decision has already been made. The only way I could respond "No" to that question is to support the failure of the mission.

Answering "No" to the question above is identically the same as answering "Yes" to the following question: "Do you personally want the Iraq plan President Bush announced last week to FAIL?"

Others may see it differently-that is why I started this post describing it as a philosophical divide.

MartyH--I'm assumi... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

MartyH--

I'm assuming that polls like that are part of the reason war supporters believe the opposition (that is, nearly 2/3 of the country) are unpatriotic.

I think many of those being polled are confused by the wording of the question. If you are convinced that Iraq is in a civil war that the U.S. cannot win, the question itself makes no sense. It's like asking, "Would you prefer the sky to be green instead of blue?" Well, the sky is what it is.

We want AMERICA to succeed. Iraq, as we see it, is a disaster for America. It's a "no win" situation. That's why we want out.

You're certainly welcome to disagree, but it would be an improvement if you understood (rather than misunderstood) our position.

Dear Charles Martel,<... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Dear Charles Martel,

The central tenant that I'm talking about is 'multiculturalism' and its sister 'political correctness'. What has failed is the idea that all cultures and people are the same.

Is that what the idea of multiculturalism is about? Where did you get that definition? Who is going around purporting the idea that all cultures and people are the same? Can you point me to someone who is saying this?

Here is an easily accessible defintion of 'multiculturalism' from Wikipedia:

Multiculturalism is an ideology advocating that society should consist of, or at least allow and include, distinct cultural groups, with equal status. Multiculturalism contrasts with the monoculturalism which was historically the norm in the nation-state.

The general idea is not that "all cultures and people are the same," but that all cultures and people should have equal status, or rights. That's the idea, pal.

The real factor that has prevented Iraq from 'working' is Islam. Islam is a political system that is simply not compatible with western style democracy.

Ya, right. It's all because of Islam. It's not the decades and decades of war, the corrupt leadership, the colonial roots, or anything like that.

It's all just because of Islam. Great analysis. Read this.

To understand the libera... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

To understand the liberal position, you need to clear your mind of your pre-conceived notions about liberals.

Okey, Dokey ..

My preconceived notion about liberals is that they have as many different shades of opinion about the war as the conservatives I know do.

Consider it dropped.

Many are angry at the President; but it's not a personal thing. We think he is doing great damage to our country.

I certainly can understand that feeling. As a woman, I still see the effects of the damage done to womens rights in this country by Bill Clinton and expect the fallout will continue for years.

You may not understand the liberal position on Iraq because liberals frame the question differently than you do. You ask: How do we win in Iraq? We ask: What is the best we can do given the very terrible situation in Iraq? We believe that it is a lost cause and getting more of our sons and daughters killed there is a bad idea.

So let me see if I can understand you correctly?

You ASSUME that there is absolutely nothing that can be done to "fix" the situation and it's time to cut our losses and move one?

Ummmm, Publicus, I think you just made their argument FOR them.

I assume that conservatives believe that the war is winnable. And that you believe that such a victory would have excellent consequences.

Liberals doubt that, even if a victory were possible and achieved and Iraq became a sustainable democracy, that it would start a wave of reform throughout the middle east.

I can understand the conservative position, while still disagreeing with it. I believe that, if you try, you can understand the liberal position.

One comment on that ...

Once there was a Soviet Union and a wall separating Berlin.

Never say never.

Publicus-People th... (Below threshold)
LJD:

Publicus-

People think the anti-war crowd is unpatriotic because they say things like:
"war for oil"
"War of imperialism"
"unjust and illegal"
"A war we CANNOT win"

Those sort of comments sort of place a stigma against those viewpoints, regardless of the situation on the ground, because we believe that out country stands for so much more than that.

The key point is "If you are convinced that Iraq is in a civil war that the U.S. cannot win,.." the nthere is something wrong with you.
So how may anti-war folks out there have a breadth and depth of knowledge on this subject more than Gen, Petraeus? Didn't think so. All you have is what you get on the nightly news, sans perspective.

Once there was a Soviet ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Once there was a Soviet Union and a wall separating Berlin.

Never say never.

True enough. Democracy can work in the ME. But not in Iraq at this point in history. In fact, if before the Iraq war you asked me to list the ME countries by the likelihood they could see democracy soon, I would have put Iraq dead last.

I probably would have put that other "Axis of Evil" country, Iran, first on the list. They have a relatively homogeneous population when it comes to religion, a sizable middle class, strong education, and a large, if underground, reform movement (that is not doing so well in the past couple of years). Whereas Iraq has massive sectarian strife, a paltry and shrinking middle class, poor education system, and an ethnic population of about 15-20% of the whole that has been autonomous for years and doesn't really dig the idea of even being part of Iraq.

One country with a reasonable, or even good, chance of achieving democracy in the coming decades, and one that doesn't have a snowball's chance in Rub'al-Khali of getting there. Of course we chose to invade the latter because it was far easier to overthrow. Big. Mistake.

If Righties really believe ... (Below threshold)
Blue Neponset:

If Righties really believe that Bush's surge plan will transform Iraq into a democratic paradise with soft serve ice cream and excess electrical capacity then I don't understand why they are complaining so much about what the Democrats are saying. If Bush is right then you will get your "victory" soon enough and you can shove it in the Dems faces in 2008; win back Congress, the Governorships, and stay in the WH. It seems like a win win situation to me.

"If you are convinced th... (Below threshold)
mantis:

"If you are convinced that Iraq is in a civil war that the U.S. cannot win,.."

I am convinced that Iraq is in a civil war that the U.S. cannot win, and there is nothing wrong with me. And I'm not unpatriotic, just realistic.

Of course that does depend on what you mean by winning. If you mean that we will achieve peace in Iraq and leave it a functioning democracy, then there's no way we're going to win. If you mean getting rid of an evil dictator and making sure his weapons programs are gone and cannot be restarted, hey we already won!

The only way we could even stop the violence and achieve some control and order in Iraq would be to double, if not triple, the troop presence there and make sure that the population fears us more than they do the militias or the terrorists. Problem with that is the military, the public, and the Washington cannot stomach the brutality that we would have to exhibit to out-terrorize the terrorists. And even if we did that, we would have to leave the country in the hands of yet another dictator who could maintain control.

Whereas Iraq has massive... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

Whereas Iraq has massive sectarian strife, a paltry and shrinking middle class, poor education system, and an ethnic population of about 15-20% of the whole that has been autonomous for years and doesn't really dig the idea of even being part of Iraq.

WHAT?????

I thought Iraq was a model of educational advancement, women's rights, etc, etc. until Dubya screwed it up. ;-)

You are not wrong IMO, but you are making one assumption. Democracy can flourish without Iraq as currently constituted remaining exactly intact. It was a cobbled together country to start with - if they choose to break it into 3 (for example) countries, it is their choice.

I thought Iraq was a mod... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I thought Iraq was a model of educational advancement, women's rights, etc, etc. until Dubya screwed it up. ;-)

Yeah, yeah, I know: the Micheal Moore school of history. I never subscribed to that one.

It was a cobbled together country to start with

Agreed, we have the British Empire to thank for most of the ridiculous borders of the ME.

if they choose to break it into 3 (for example) countries, it is their choice.

Breaking into three countries would probably just give us continued war over resources. Biden has been proposing a plan for decentralized federalism for quite some time, and it could have a chance, but would be very tricky to pull off. I sincerely doubt the administration would ever come on board though. Maybe in two years...

Again, I am amused at the q... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Again, I am amused at the quasi-intellectual pontification of the liberals. In the end, liberals are not honest enough to admit that they want the US to lose even when their actions clearly show their intention. It doesn't take much brain to see that the bad guys want to stoke a civil war in Iraq and the liberals in the west want the US to lose.

Simple observation: the terrorists have given us their metric for victory - a US withdrawal from Iraq. The terrorists and their sponsors openly cheered for a Democratic electoral win with the expectation that the Dems will deliver a US withdrawal for them. I did expect better of the Dems after they won the election. But they are beyond contempt for me right now. The dems did exactly what the terrorists expect them to do and more.

They have a chance to vote down Gen Patraeus as the new Iraq commander. This general fully believes in the surge. Instead of voting him down, they took a pass. Another example of playing politics (nothing unusual).

The bottom line is that the dems/liberals want the US to lose. Most of the liberals are not honest enough to admit that. A few are, but most are not (to make you happy)

The word for a widespread c... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

The word for a widespread conviction among liberals that we cannot win in Iraq is "defeatist".

Have any of you ever considered how different things would be in Iraq if Congress put aside their partisan wienieness and actually supported our Commander in Chief? If the New York Times refused to publish every leak of secret materials and actually supported our mission in Iraq?

Did you ever honestly consider that you're giving strength to our enemy, protracting the war, and maybe even causing some of the battlefield deaths you're so damn sensitive about? Or that Al Quaeda's entire strategy is BASED on your limp-wristed squeamishness? And you're wondering why so many of us hold you in such contempt?

Have any of you ever con... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Have any of you ever considered how different things would be in Iraq if Congress put aside their partisan wienieness and actually supported our Commander in Chief? If the New York Times refused to publish every leak of secret materials and actually supported our mission in Iraq?

Why, yes, I bet the Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiites would magically just forget centuries of differences, clasp hands, and start singing Kumbaya!

Get out of your conspira... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Get out of your conspiracy theory bunker and get a whiff of reality

Everything I posted was true and supported by facts.

Not only have Dems ignored the generals who have had good things to say about the president and the mission in Iraq

LOL, you're doing exactly what you claim the Dems are doing! You're ignoring all of the generals, SoDs, Joint Chiefs, etc. who have criticized the plan, and you're pumping up the one general who said, "The situation in Iraq is dire... but not hopeless." Lemme tell ya... that "good" ain't so good!

No, they wouldn't, Brian, a... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

No, they wouldn't, Brian, any more than the Lebanese and the Palestinians are going to have group sex with the Israelis. Trans-generational hatred is a characteristic of the region.

So running away from the region is going to solve your little problem? I'd like to see the world in perfect harmo-nee, too. (fade chorus)

OK, so tell us, how differe... (Below threshold)
Brian:

OK, so tell us, how different would things be in Iraq if Congress put aside their partisan "wienieness" and actually supported our Commander in Chief? Your answer must stay within the boundaries of the reality that 95-97% of the violence in Iraq is sectarian, and only 3-5% is caused by foreign fighters or al Qaeda. And also that Iraqis overwhelmingly reject al Qaeda.

Go.

It doesn't take much brain ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

It doesn't take much brain to see that the bad guys want to stoke a civil war in Iraq. But the liberals cannot see it. The surge strategy seems to yield political fruits already. I guess that 's why liberals are against it. These liberals, and Brian is a prime example of it, are not honest enough to admit who they are and what they believe.

Wrt Patreus, now we know that liberals are not honest when they say they want a debate. Here is a chance for real debate with a surge general, they take a pass. These people cannot be honest. Brian is an example of that

From Captain Ed,

However useless Sadr's endorsement might be, it does demonstrate that the new strategy has had its intended effect. Sadr would not be backpedaling and trying to cut deals if the new efforts hadn't done significant damage to his operations. He's looking for a political solution precisely because we have attacked the Mahdis as a military problem -- and Sadr knows that the Mahdis can easily be beaten on that basis. Zalmay Khalilzad, the outgoing US ambassador, noted the difference between a change of heart and a change of tactics, and Sadr has proven himself a master of the latter and allergic to the former.

Brian, you've missed the po... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Brian, you've missed the point again. Part of the reason things are so tough in Iraq is that partisan politicians, the media, and many lefties have created a self-fulfilling prophecy that has encouraged resistance.

Al Quaeda, the Iranians, the Syrians, Sadr, and the Saddam dead-enders have built their strategy on America's political spinelessness. All they have to do is wait us out. You've pretty much made my point by the way you responded.

Maybe Nancy Pelosi will negotiate a peaceful solution this weekend, but I doubt if that's her agenda. Maliki was roundly criticized in the press for saying pretty much what I'm saying, and by my lights, he's right.

Brian, you've missed the... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Brian, you've missed the point again. Part of the reason things are so tough in Iraq is that partisan politicians, the media, and many lefties have created a self-fulfilling prophecy that has encouraged resistance.

So Americans are responsible for the sectarian violence between the Sunnis and Shiites? That's a new one.

Al Quaeda, the Iranians, the Syrians, Sadr, and the Saddam dead-enders have built their strategy on America's political spinelessness. All they have to do is wait us out. You've pretty much made my point by the way you responded.

Bzzt! There you go outside the parameters of reality! You're focusing on the 3-5% of the violence, and generalizing it out to the other 95-97%.

You've pretty much made my point by the way you responded!

Ryan a:The very id... (Below threshold)
Charles Martel:

Ryan a:

The very idea that we could go into a country in the heart of the Muslim world and rebuild it to a western liberal democracy requires those certain politically correct beliefs that these Muslims peoples really want freedom. This is really part of the modern liberalism and its sacred belief in multiculturalism.

Certainly things like corrupt rulers and warfare have had great effects upon the history of the middle east, but as your reaction shows it is politically incorrect to even suggest the influence of Islam in the history of war. Islam is the only major religion in the world with a developed doctrine, theology and law that mandates war against unbelievers. It is absurd that we continue to deny Islam's influence through history and modern jihad terrorists.

So is it all because of Islam? No, but it is the major factory that nobody is willing to talk about.

So is it all because of ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

So is it all because of Islam? No, but it is the major factory that nobody is willing to talk about.

I'll talk about it. You are completely right.

I'm glad you are willing to... (Below threshold)
Charles Martel:

I'm glad you are willing to talk about it, but none of our 'leaders' are. Bush prefers the "religion of peace" route. We will never win the war in Iraq nor the larger(and inaccurately named) "war on terror" unless we are willing to discus these things.




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