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The stakes are too high for irresponsible political posturing

Amen Bruce, amen.

I've heard those conservatives or to-now Iraq war supporters express their misgivings about the "surge." Those misgivings, that lack of confidence, have strong grounds in the too often vacillating and confused course of our engagement.

Still, not only is there no alternative that doesn't promise even worse outcomes, but the misgivings ignore the unavoidable problems of any war.

No, the "surge" is not a magic bullet. Indeed, far more is needed, all up and down the line from military to diplomatic force. But, it is having some important results, even now when just starting. We should be demanding the far more that is needed.

Instead, many are folding their tents and by their silence deserting into the night. Instead, the line must be held against the counterproductive various resolutions in Congress, which only work for politicians catering to weak will for their own personal interests in holding office, and which only serve the enemy that depends on surrenders and spinelessness in Washington for what they can't and won't achieve on the battlefield or in the hearts and minds of the locals.

Arguments for conscience and sense that neither serve conscience or sense, because they spell defeat and worse consequences, are smokescreens.

It's that clear.

Read it all and share with everyone you know. This is serious business. War policy and the consequences are much too serious for a bunch of spineless politicians to use for political positioning. The time has passed for such irresponsible foolishness. It is time to speak up and let those on Capitol Hill know we are paying attention and our patience has reached its limits.


Comments (68)

LorieThis is like ... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

Lorie

This is like the sappy bilge of Viet Nam yore...just plough more bodies into Bush's (this time around )failed Iraqi strategy.

Just what body-count will make you people relent that, just as Colin Powell told the symp, "You break it, you own it?"

If you engage in a wrong-headed strategy, what body-count will finally resolve your lunacy, Lorie?

Lorie:I never ceas... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Lorie:

I never cease to be amazed by the assumptions you righties are willing to make about others motivations. Invariably, you and the others never cite a thing to support the reading of others minds and motives which you feel so free to do. It fits with the kill the messenger trick the right loves to use.

God forbid anyone but you folks should act out of their conscience. As I said the other day I feel sorry a little (but not much )for you.

The real question is what w... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The real question is what will be the ultimate cost in U.S. lives for showing weakness to an enemy that claims to love death? That's the question those who what to pull out of Iraq need to answer and then be held accountable for politically.

Of course there are those, ... (Below threshold)
robert the original:

Of course there are those, like Puke, who have no tent to fold.

Their strategy, as far as I can tell is "withdraw to Okinawa and then do a Tinkerbell."

There are some on the left who are trying to find a way forward. They realize that if we leave now, Iran will move in and the Saudi's will arm the Sunni and AQ. Chaos and terrorism will reign.

Who could want election victory at this expense?

Robert,Clinton com... (Below threshold)

Robert,

Clinton comes to mind as one, Obama.....the list is long.

When political games (non binding resolutions) are more important than winning the war on terror, the choice should be clear who is serious about national security and who is not.

Whats the exit strategy for... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Whats the exit strategy for all of those big liberal cities?

Record high murder rate in Philly last yr, when are we gonna pull out?

Newark, Nawlins, Detriot, etc all in big lib trouble, when are we puling out?

16000 murders a yr in US, how come the far left arent so concerned about them? We know they dont care about innocent babies, but I guess urban homicides also falls off the uberlibnut political radar.

Arepukelican: So pray tell... (Below threshold)
GeminiChuck:

Arepukelican: So pray tell, what do you suggest? You obviously must think you're Mr or Ms Brilliant so tell us what should be done and what you project to be the result if your recommended actions are followed. Which are you? A pacifist that believes the USA should never protect our freedoms & liberties? Or a "tough-on-terrorism-until-they-fight-back-weenie"?

GC

I am against the surge (big... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

I am against the surge (big surprise there) but as Bob Knight put it, if you can't stop it, you might as well as lay back and enjoy it.

Since we can not stop the surge, we have to look at the best possible outcome. By mid summer, it will be apparent that the surge has failed, and, as the Prez promised, the fall back will begin. The smart money is that the Iraqi Survey Group recommendations is plan B (see Condi Rice).

Maybe it is too late, God help us, and I feel sorry for the unnecessary loss of more US serviceman. At least the miserable end is near.

"..A pacifist that believes... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"..A pacifist that believes the USA should never protect our freedoms & liberties? GC

Now that we know that Iraq was not a treat to our "freedoms and liberties", who are you crapping?

Maybe it is too la... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Maybe it is too late, God help us, and I feel sorry for the unnecessary loss of more US serviceman. At least the miserable end is near.

Being that you expressed that the best possible outcome for the surge is that if fails, I have to wonder what you are referring to when you say "At least the miserable end is near." Is it the end of U.S. involvement in Iraq or the U.S. itself?

Now that we know t... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Now that we know that Iraq was not a treat[sic] to our "freedoms and liberties". . .

No one can know that Iraq wouldn't have become a very serious threat by now had Saddam been left in power. Saddam suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the U.S. in GW1 and he was well on his way to bribing his way out from under UN sanctions. We know Saddam had used chemical weapons in the past and we know he kept his ability to produce more once the UN was gone. Saddam was not known as a forgiving person, so in the post 9/11 world, free of UN sanctions and with billions of oil dollars, Saddam could have become a real monster. The left would then be blaming Bush for not taking the obvious course of action when he had the opportunity.

If one steps back from the ... (Below threshold)
Diffus:

If one steps back from the political bickering and surveys the situation, one question suggests itself: Why do those who oppose the war do so?

The primary reason that Vietnam drew so much protest was because young Americans were being conscripted. That's a marked contrast to today's all-volunteer force. Almost anyone in the armed forces has either joined since Iraq was invaded or re-upped since then, and each of them factored the possibility of being sent or being sent back to Iraq into his or her decision. Surely the war's opponent's can't be opposed to the choices being made by free-thinking adults.

Is their motivation monetary? Do they oppose the war because they view it as a wasteful government program? Wasteful government programs existed long before the war, will continue long afterwards, and have, in aggregate cost far more )have we won the War on Poverty yet?). In fact, I'd bet that many who oppose the war are champions of many such programs.

Is their motivation civil libertarian? Aside from my ability to call Uncle Osama, who has sworn to destroy my country, without the government listening in, I can't think of any ways in which the war effort has infringed upon my freedom. I'm still free to speak truth to power without being arrested, to worship or not as I see fit, to enjoy life just as I did before 9-11, unless I'm going through an airport -- but TSA has not a thing to do with Iraq.

Is their motivation because they love freedom? I can't see how living under a tyrant is better in that regard than living in an emerging democracy that's holding free elections, nor can I see how leaving a fledgling democracy to fend for itself in the cauldron that is the Middle East today will help the Iraqi people achieve freedom.

The only reason I can think of to admit defeat is because you think the war cannot be won. And the only reasons you might think it cannot be won are because you believe either that the U.S. militarily cannot succeed, or that the Iraqis are incapable of self-government.

Can any of you critics of the war articulate a compelling reason for withdrawal that does not include the word Bush and that does not infantilize the men and women who are putting their lives on the line to try to make Iraq a success, or denigrate the ability of the U.S. military to carry out its mission or of the Iraqi people to govern themselves?

Lori-You are as delu... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Lori-
You are as delusional as Dick Cheney. It can't be easy to live in a parallel universe.

GeminiChuckI don't... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

GeminiChuck

I don't know exactly what to propose because I didn't make the untutored and imbeccilic decision to go after Saddam because he had WMD or was connected to AQ. Shoveling more American troops into Bush's meatgrinder, however is not the answer.

Engaging the Middle Eastern powers, including Iran & Syria, to explore a resol;ution would be a beginning. Afterall, Iran was initially cooperative after 9-11. It took the ridiculous knee-jerk "axis of evil" Bush simplicity to help derail further cooperation.

However, I realize that in your absurd world, the thought of engaging Iran and Syria is so anthema as to be worth countless more American bodies for the sake of your assumed attitude..

You neocons delivered this nation into a no-win situation because you have no shred of any idea as to just what the world is like, particularly the Middle East. Your simplistic "bully-on-the-bloc" concept of international relations has delivered the US into a lose-lose situation.

Dig yourself and the chimp-in-chief out of the hole you dug w/o filling it w/ the bodies of others.

Puke - you forgot to mentio... (Below threshold)
GeminiChuck:

Puke - you forgot to mention that we should engage in dialog with UBL. And if you want to do the blame thingy, go read some history of Iran and the late 1970's where your favorite "gee lets just talk" dem JC turned over the Persian Empire to Islamists Fascists because he didnt like dictators (go figure!). That's when the problems started - you pacifists-at-any-cost gave them their start. As usual, Republican presidents have to correct the God-awful mistakes of senseless democrats.

gc


"pukeface" I have yet see y... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

"pukeface" I have yet see you offer a "plan" as to how you bleedingheart cowards would do anything differant other then "cut and run". Come on now and tells us what we should do as you try to make out that you are the know it all. What are you waiting on? Lets us hear it if you got something differant. All I ever hear from any of you is Bush this, Bush that on and on and on. Same old BS. Waiting.

LorieThe stakes, a... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

Lorie

The stakes, as you say, are way too high for people like you to continue to worship slaveringlyat the foot of BusWe are in this mess because Bush, who didn't know the difference between a taco and a plate of carry-out Chinese in Beijing, got us into this mess due to a total lack of knowledge about the Middle East and its generations of history.

A leader, not still on the Rice-foreign-policy-tutoring nipple, might have better understood the potential problems w/ the Middle East and its history and culture.

midle East

Diffus: Very well said. Exc... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Diffus: Very well said. Excellent troll repellent.

Forgive us who don't think ... (Below threshold)
robert the original:

Forgive us who don't think negotiations with Iran will work. Carter tried this with the hostages and the Europeans tried it and all we got was two years wasted and more progress towards a nuke.

Clinton tried it with Arafat too, and ended up believing that he was just being jerked off.

Clinton/Carter did a deal with North Korea and after billions in US and UN money, they broke the agreement anyway and built nukes.

The UN tried it too with Iran, and after mild santions following endless negotiations, Iran is now giving everyone the finger, just like Iraq.

When will you realize that negotiation with fanatics never works.

Just what body-count wi... (Below threshold)
marc:

Just what body-count will make you people relent that, just as Colin Powell told the symp, "You break it, you own it?Posted by: aRepukelican at January 28, 2007 06:09 PM

Indeed we do "own it," and no matter how we got there it's the U.S's responsibility to "fix it."

We have yet to see you give your thoughts on the matter aRepukelican other than pulling out.

The smart money is that the Iraqi Survey Group recommendations is plan B (see Condi Rice).
Posted by: BarneyG2000 at January 28, 2007 07:03 PM

This might come as a shock to some, or none, but aren't you just a bit confused? Shouldn't that be the Iraq Study Group (ISG)?

It could be plan B Barneyrubble2000. On the other hand the ISG is plan A but you and many others only think a failure now would result in a "plan B."

That occurs because you either are ignorant, or just misguided, and only cite the sections of the ISG that fit your agenda.

The section if the ISG report that rejects an immediate withdrawal because that would precipitate a strategic, moral, and humanitarian disaster never is in the memo outlining the lefts talking points for the week.

The ISG also plainly rejects a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq and any withdrawal should be based on security conditions on the ground in Iraq, not on political considerations in Washington.

I'm sick of the pussificati... (Below threshold)
Hockey Players - The Anti Pussy:

I'm sick of the pussification of the left on important issues. Grow some gonads and fight for America. Those bastards want to kill us and you are to blind to see it.

Political decisions by thos... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Political decisions by those in Washington appear to have diverged from the reality in Iraq.

Things are getting better there as we speak; al quaeda has fled Baghdad, Iraqi forces are busting balls in Najaf, and are increasing in their abilities. The surge is working before the troops even get there.

But all you have here are a bunch of dims. who, instead of reading the war bloggers who've actually gone there, are sipping lattes and catching up on all the news that fits the Prince (Sulzberger).

Why are our troops behind the policy, but our civilian leadership in Congress, and the dims, are not?

You're wishful thinking is an alternate universe. Anything to punish Bush, even if it involves defeat of American interests, and loss of American (and Iraqi) life.

Diffus said The... (Below threshold)
Jaku:

Diffus said

The only reason I can think of to admit defeat is because you think the war cannot be won. And the only reasons you might think it cannot be won are because you believe either that the U.S. militarily cannot succeed, or that the Iraqis are incapable of self-government.

Well, the war will not be won because of both of your assertions. Number one, the US military cannot succeed, because success has never been clearly defined. Does success mean that all three ethnic groups in Iraq living peacefully in a representative style democracy? If that is the definition, then it will never happen as while the Shia and Sunni continue to kill each other over their stupid tribal feud, while the Kurds are holding fast on their own and they don't want anything to do with Iraq proper. I seriously doubt they will even think once about happily sharing the oil deposits discovered on their lands, as written in the new laws of Iraq.

The elections in Iraq did one thing, it squared everyone off. Lines have been drawn. The only real solution will be a partition of the land. Let everyone have their own ____stan and hopefully they can chill.

Have you read about the recent meetings in the Iraqi parliment? Insults, threats, name calling, it's the damn star bellied sneeches versus the non star bellied sneechs all over again. The idea that Iraq is going to have a functioning capable govt anytime soon is foolish and naive. They hate each other in ways we don't understand as their beefs go back 1500 damn years. I'm sure they are very glad Sadda m is dead and gone but the reality they have now is just another form of oppresion. How many have fled, 1.5 million or more? If it was such a success story, why did they go> Maybe it's the constant pile of headless bodies turning up each week, or the car bombs or something.

Or how about that recent daring attackon our troops where our soliders were abducted by gunmen speaking English, wearing US issued clothing in GMC trucks? Somehow, the Iraqi police at the guard checkpoint just waved them on in. were they in on it too?

People like to boast about how many Iraqi police and soldiers there are, but that doesn't comfort me one bit. I bet those ranks are so populated with the very same people we are fighting against at night.

And how many Iraqi army troops are ready for combat? How many police? How many of them take the point on missions, or do our boys have to take the lead every damn time?

Can any of you critics of the war articulate a compelling reason for withdrawal that does not include the word Bush

No, because he lies responsible for the situation. I'm very surprised you even brought taht up. Of course his name will get mentioned, he is the president and he gets the credit for pushing it though. Bush was the one out there telling the country what a dangerous man Saddam was, and that he had all these bad weapons, and he's crazy and we need to stop him right now. Bush said that. As did the rest of the bunch. I'm still amazed you think Bush should not be mentioned when articulating a point why I think Iraq will fail.

I think that's a nice deflection that has been gaining traction on the right; removing Bush from the spotlight, instead choosing to blame the inevitable failure of Iraq on the media, or the Democrats, or Michael Moore, or anyone, anywhere, other than the people who are responsible for invading Iraq with false pretenses. It was Paul Bremer disbanded the Iraqi army. The CPA was staffed with 22 yr old kids with no experience whatsoever in rebuilding a country like Iraq, but they were pro life so I guess that qualifies them. Abu Gharib. It goes on and on, one after another.

The military types that said, prior to invasion, that we would need 300000+ troops to get the job done were brushed aside. They were sneered at, probably mocked in private. But Bush and Cheney told me it's the most important struggle our nation has ever faced. Then why did we send just enough troops to not get the job done?

Even the ISG report, Bush kicked that to the curb as fast as he could, even though it was designed to cover for him, but he is so unsavvy as a politician he didn't give it two thoughts. His father's cleaners went out of their way to help the boy, and like a petulant arrogant brat, he huffed and told them to get out of his room.

I have to close with a quote I saw from Jack Valenti. This sums it all up, why we will never win Iraq.

"Conquerors on alien soil can never defeat insurgencies that spring from the people and live among them like fish in the sea. In that part of the world, ethnic, tribal, sect, family and religious loyalties always triumph over 'democratic' governments. Every country has a loathing toward occupiers, no matter how benign the occupiers' motives,"

"pukeface"-still waiting.</... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

"pukeface"-still waiting.

Things are getting bette... (Below threshold)
Jaku:

Things are getting better there as we speak; al quaeda has fled Baghdad, Iraqi forces are busting balls in Najaf, and are increasing in their abilities. The surge is working before the troops even get there.

I would love to see your sources for such an optimisitc projection. Do you care to offer any evidence supporting these claims?

jhow66You wouldn't... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

jhow66

You wouldn't be able to hear anyway because you have your head so far up Bush's ass we can see your forehead when he smiles.

diffus-you seem to r... (Below threshold)
strongMan:

diffus-
you seem to reject a lot of the possible legitimate reasons to be in favor of withdrawal, so why don't you tell us?

reasons for withdrawal:
us military cannot carry out its mission, because the mission is no longer military. this does not denigrate the military. the fact that the military cannot accomplish the goal of establishing a pro-western democracy in Iraq has nothing to do with service members military abilities. they are simply being asked to do a job for which the military is not suited. why is this so hard to understand?

we cannot force the Iraqis to do what we want, when what we want is for them to establish a pro-western government, and not only that, but to do this as if they mean it, and not because we are there telling them to do it. our politicians have created an ahistorical nation building mission, which the military cannot accomplish.

many believe that chaos and civil war are inevitable whther we leave now, or at some time in the future. thus, what is the point of putting off the inevitable? it will always be a gamble as to when is the right time to leave, unless you believe that we are miraculously going to achieve middle east peace in the near future. therefore, it is likely that we will not definitively know when leaving will present more or less risks.

unless we are prepared to stay there indefinitley, which seems unlikley to help the problem, and which the american people are not going to support (sorry, but it's true and we all know it), someone is going to have to eventually make the decision to pull the trigger on withdrawing. if the admin listens to credible experts who have an INFORMED opinion that now is not a good time to withdraw, then i support staying. withdrawal should only be done if it can minimize bad outcomes for iraq and the us. i say minimize, because the outcome seems grim regardless of what happens. let's face it, "greeted as liberators" was a crock, and so now we have to deal with the consequences of the decision. bottom line is that eventually we are going to withdraw, and someone is going to have to decide when. thus, why not now?

it seems impossible that Bush could contemplate withdrawing, so, instead, it appears that the military will be kept in iraq and "augmented" until Bush is gone and the next president will have to clean up the mess. i realize that you reject that bush and politics has anything to do with any of this, but you are in complete denial. this doesn't mean that the democrats don't have their own political game, it simply means that Bush has his own political game, also.

the other reaosns why people support withdrawal i think are psychological (ron paul had an excellent speech on this aspect). those in favor of withdrawal are mostly not bush supporters, and many are not republicans. non-bush supporters and non-republicans have less of an emotional investment, and thus do not feel the sting of losing. this point of view feels that the whole thing was a mistake, and that the goals that the president has articulated of why we are in iraq are largely unattainable and unrealistic. thus, this viewpoint thinks that we have already lost, so we might as well recognize this and leave now. the supporters of the war and the president still believe that winning is possible, and feel it is "their war," and so they must win. the psychological commitment is much heavier, and thus defeat is much more painful.

i realize that i have not abided by your ground rules in answering this question, but it is pointless to give some kind of an naswer, but be forced to ignore the actual reaosns. you may not agree, or like thee reasons, but this is what people think. i also don;t really understand the fetishism with which bush supporters support him, but i accept that they seem to beleive that the goals are achievable, or even claim to know what the goals are.

there is no point in asking people to articulate a position which you are against, but make the rules so that the answer is more palatable to you. we don't like bush; we think he screwed up and has no idea what he's doing and that his goals are both unachievable, and totally unachievable simply by use of the military. that's the bottom line. you may not like this, but it's a fact.

if you don't like this answer, you can come up with one that you think would be more reasonable for us- i am waiting for it.

BTW aRepukelican, you note ... (Below threshold)
marc:

BTW aRepukelican, you note the need for talking with Iran and Syria.

Is "talking" talking with Syria worth the effort? Is it worthwhile when they are harboring those that are fleeing the new Bush offensive?

Eyewitnesses in some volatile areas said that large numbers of militants have fled to Syria to avoid being trapped in the incoming security operations.
According to those witnesses, residents and shopkeepers are no longer concerned about militants whose existence in public used to bring on clashes that put the lives of civilians in danger.
A shopkeeper in al-Karkh [western Baghdad] said that many of them [militants] packed their stuff and headed to Syria to wait and see what the operations are going to be like.
While experts consider this a failure in protecting the plan's secrecy which might lead to the loss of the surprise factor, they also say it indicates the seriousness and resolve in this plan that is already scaring away the militants. PM Maliki pointed out that seeing them run away is a good thing but he returned and said the security forces would chase them down everywhere after Baghdad is clear.

The only reason I can th... (Below threshold)
Brian:

The only reason I can think of to admit defeat is because you think the war cannot be won. And the only reasons you might think it cannot be won are because you believe either that the U.S. militarily cannot succeed, or that the Iraqis are incapable of self-government.

This implies that you think those are the only two possible outcomes that would constitute "success" (which has never been defined). I would hope that anyone with any sense at all would not see world events as that black-and-white.

Jaku, The first ha... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Jaku,

The first half of your reply to Diffus can be summed up simply by saying you don't believe the Iraqi people can govern themselves. Most of the rest is the usual Bush bashing blaming him for mistakes that can only be seen clearly in hindsight. If you study WW2, you'll find the U.S. made many blunders that cost thousands of U.S. troops their lives. As I said before, war is not a perfected science and I pray it never will be.

Conquerors on alien soil can never defeat insurgencies that spring from the people and live among them like fish in the sea.

It seems that most of the insurgents fighting against the U.S. are not from the Iraqi people, but from other nations. If the Iraqi people resolve their internal differences, then it's the foreign instigated insurgency that's doomed. The U.S. is holding back the foreign insurgency to give the Iraqi people time to resolve their own issues and form a unity government. If you're right that the Iraqi people cannot govern themselves, then all this will fail no matter what we do, but are you willing to make that decision now and doom millions of Iraqi people to such mayhem? Where's your compassion for them?

mac-this is only cle... (Below threshold)
strongMan:

mac-
this is only clear in hindsight because the president refused to listen to anyone who disagreed with his pre-formed view. you complain that critics criticize bush about things that are only clear in hindsight. but, at the same time, we are not allowed to criticize the new, completely post-facto rationales for why we are there now and what we are doign there. i thought we went there to get wmd? there's no wmd. so we are still there to create a pro-western democracy? did someone ask us to do this? remembering why we went there helps us determine when to leave. didn't bush pose on a ship with a big banner that said "mission accomplished" a few years ago? why didn't we leave then- because we have a different mission now? oops.

it is complete bullshit that most of the insurgency is made up of foreign fighters. this is factually inaccurate.

WWII is not an analogy to this war. period. it is completely different.

jaku-
a very good point about trying to take the president out of this. it really doesn;t make sense to blame everyone BUT those who are responsible- Bush, etc. but, of course, this is how the admin operates, and we should expect nothing less. they would have made great leaders of the soviet union.

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

IT doesn't take much brain that Syria and Iran want to stoke a civil war in Iraq and they have the willing proxies in Iraq. The liberals are either too dumb to see this or too dishonest to acknowledge it. They simply want the US to lose.

Mac"It seems th... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

Mac

"It seems that most of the insurgents fighting against the U.S. are not from the Iraqi people, but from other nations."

Perhaps the delusional will make that sort of statement, but you would never be able to substantiate that save somehow being able to publicly broadcast the voices that you hear.

Whoever the fruitcake above that claimed the "surge" was already a success, even prior to the deployment, must be of the same ilk who conned the chimp-in-chief into thinking that the Iraqis would put flowers into the barrels of American guns just as in the old days of Hashbury.

Marc

I don't know where you get that quote about what some people ar saying about the disappearing insurgents unless you can read Arabic from your link.

Whatever your source, a few anecdotal observations hardly a trend make.

Mac, you are right, I do no... (Below threshold)
Jaku:

Mac, you are right, I do not believe the Iraq people can govern themselves at this moment in time. Maybe 10, 20, 30, 50, however long it may be, then they might get it together but today, forget about it.

Why is it when I criticize the president in a calm manner, I am automatically bashing? Do you really have such an emotional investment about the Iraq war because you are too afraid to admit you were wrong, as the post after mine by Strong man pointe d out?

Then you said

It seems that most of the insurgents fighting against the U.S. are not from the Iraqi people, but from other nations.

According to who exactly? You think all of the people the US are fighting in Iraq aren't local? You even used the term 'foreign insurgency' and I almost fell over. Are you serious about that? Or is that what you want to believe, since we were supposed to be greeted as the good guys, now that has faded into dust. Please, I would love to see any story or link or whatever that shows they are not locals. I don't believe that at all.

I bet if you went to Iraq today, you wouldn't need to recruit non-Iraqis, there's plenty of locals willing to do the job. Of course there are some foreign fighters in Iraq as they can get free hands on training on how to kill US soldiers with IED and sniper attacks, but it's the locals giving them safe passages and obviously working with them. Police and military included.

then you said
If you're right that the Iraqi people cannot govern themselves, then all this will fail no matter what we do, but are you willing to make that decision now and doom millions of Iraqi people to such mayhem? Where's your compassion for them?

Mac, dude, it wasn't my decision to make then nor is it now! I didn't doom anyone, I was out there against invading Iraq back in 2002 when the drums were getting louder. I knew exactly what would have happened once the initial jubilee wore off. We did roll in and it was easy militarily, but the most important part of the entire operation went to hell in a basket very quickly after. I feel sorry as hell for the Iraqis, God knows they have been through and continue to endure more shit than I ever could.

But ultimately I cannot in any sound mind believe that anything positive will come out of the US invading Iraq, not as poorly executed as we did it.


It will go down in history as one of the greatest military blunders our country initiated.

LoveAmerica-Is there... (Below threshold)
strongMan:

LoveAmerica-
Is there anything that Bush/cheneyBot say that you don't believe? this may or may not be true, but do you think this for any other reason than this is what the admin says?

Puke,boy you picked the app... (Below threshold)
jainphx:

Puke,boy you picked the appropriate nic.You know nothing about Viet Nam.I will say this again! We never lost a battle in Viet Nam,only on the streets and college campuses here in this country.Once the funding was cut of for Our allies South Viet Nam,the real killing began.I suppose you want that again.Millions died because of pukes like you.The war would have been completely won if we would have gone into North Viet Nam and took it to them.Because of COWARDS like you the rest is history.Be proud you loser if you get your way you can watch the deaths of millions more.You discussed me lying pervert.

Jaku, you're such a simplet... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Jaku, you're such a simpleton, you couldn't glance at the next blog entry, below?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070128/wl_nm/iraq_dc_76

AQ Fleeing Baghdad per UPI:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/upi/20070128-103718-4308r.htm

Successes:

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/IRIN/b54ca6d897656ea0b83cc423c9a53d16.htm

Don't read that much, do you, Jackie?

Jakoff, got another one for... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Jakoff, got another one for you:

http://today.reuters.com/News/CrisesArticle.aspx?storyId=PAR256580

Enough for you, or do you only want Times Select(r) references?

Dumbass, just like your other lib buddies here.

StrongMan,In your ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

StrongMan,

In your reply to diffus you seem to agree with Jaku in that the Iraqi people cannot govern themselves, and thus, it's pointless to stay any longer. It can be a difficult question to know when to given up on a person or a nation, but concerning Iraq there's another issue to address. That is, what part of the conflict in Iraq will follow the troops back the U.S.? With a victory in Iraq, will the U.S. be the next target? Those wanting to withdraw from Iraq may not feel the sting of defeat right away, but they may feel it more directly and deeply in the future. What do we do then, go back into Iraq? Me thinks we should stay and fight as long as there's any hope of salvaging the situation.

We had the big rehash of the "mission accomplished" banner a few days ago and your side lost that argument hands down. The banner was for the crew of the USS Lincoln as it returned from the longest carrier deployment in decades. We had navy veterans state that such banners are not uncommon even when there's no media around. Bush's speech from the flight deck of the Lincoln fully dispels any notion that the banner was for Iraq; read it and see for yourself.

As I stated several posts above, no one can say what threat Iraq would now pose had Saddam been left in power and I gave my reasons in that post if you're interested. In my view, that potential threat would have fully justified the invasion of Iraq apart from any WMD.

it is complete bullshit that most of the insurgency is made up of foreign fighters. this is factually inaccurate.

Remember I said "insurgents fighting against the U.S." not just Iraqis fighting against other Iraqis because of their religious issues.

WWII is not an analogy to this war. period. it is completely different.

I was talking about blunders. You know the kind caused by human error. As long as humans are involved you are going to have errors that cost lives.

jainphxYour histor... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

jainphx

Your history of Viet Nam is purely delusional. There was no way in hell that the US was going to defeat a nationalist movement that we betrayed in the first place w/ fraudulent promises to Ho for Japanese resistance in return for our support for independence after WW2. We reneged, supported the return of SE Asia to French colonialism and the battle was on.

Pople like you think you can win by simply unleashing the might of the US military regardless of what circumstances pertain to a particular situation.

Your bluster of how we could have won Viet Nam is not much different from Hitler and his fools of the 1920's Germany who blamed Germany's loss of WW1 on the politicians who wouldn't let the generals fight.. You militarists always make the same misstake because you are all of the same mentality.

Sure, we could have won Viet Nam by turning it into glass. Time to pound your chest and make victory grunts and salute your horseshit military prowess.

Wow, Mitcehl, pretty fast w... (Below threshold)
Jaku:

Wow, Mitcehl, pretty fast with those links.

I read about the 250 dead, and that is good news indeed.

The washington times articles last sentence has a grim reminder, that while they are leaving for now, they are probably laying low because we've only talked about a surge so loudly for so long, and they'd figure they'll take five, and wait it out. They'll be back, you can bet. It's not costing them much to fight us, but it sure as hell is costing us.


I do read some stories about Iraq that I think are good, but this is only four stories in one week, and there could be just as many bad stories that can be posted as well.

And mitchell, much to your discontent, I do not identify as a liberal. I carry some conservative and liberal thoughts, but I am one of those damn independants who feels both sides don't have much appeal to me

. That is, what part of ... (Below threshold)
Jaku:

. That is, what part of the conflict in Iraq will follow the troops back the U.S.? With a victory in Iraq, will the U.S. be the next target? Those wanting to withdraw from Iraq may not feel the sting of defeat right away, but they may feel it more directly and deeply in the future. What do we do then, go back into Iraq? Me thinks we should stay and fight as long as there's any hope of salvaging the situation.

Well I kind of agree with you a bit there. We are in a situation where we can't just leave, but I disagree about staying just for hope. We can hope for lots of things, but reality might tell us otherwise.

If we just leave now, boom, we're gone, well then things will really go south and it would suck. The country would endure civil war on a larger scale then what we are seeing now.

But I still believe firmly our presence now only inflames those who wish us harm. And since we really botched the hearts and minds thing, they have no love for us anymore.

And what ever happened to the phrase "When they stand up, we'll stand down"? As in when the Iraq cops and soliders start doing their jobs, we can ease ourselves out of there, correct?

I don't know about that one. If we have to send 20K more over, would that mean they aren't standing up yet, or do they need a bit of assistance?

As long as humans are involved you are going to have errors that cost lives.

Of course that is the risk, but we are the supposed to have the best armies, the best intelligence, we are supposed to trust what our leaders tell us, especially when it comes to using the military and sending the best soliders on the planet to do a job.

Considering the amount of information that was available to the Bush administration in regards to Iraq prior to invading, and that they chose to only read what they wanted to see is inexcusable.

People do die for mistakes that the leaders of our country make. History proves that, but it's no excuse when it comes to Iraq. You can't just say, oops, our bad, there really were no WMDS, Saddam was hardly a threat to the US, maybe Iraq and Israel but not us.

mac-i never said t... (Below threshold)
strongMan:

mac-

i never said that the iraqis cannot govern themselves. what i said is that we are trying to set up a pro-western democracy there, and the emphasis should be on "pro-western." i am not at all convinced that this is going to happen, no matter what we do. this has nothing to do with them being able, or not being able, to govern themselves. i just don;t think they are necessarily going to establish a government to our liking.

this, unfortunately, is a large part of the problem. what if they set up a government that is dominated by religious fundamentalists? mission accomplished? or we stay longer, thus really becoming an occupying force? i kind of think that the way things are going in the middle east these dyas, it is highly unlikley that we are going to see the emergence of pro-western democracies, especially pro-american, in the near future. definitely not while bush is the president (this is not bush hating, it is a recognition of reality), and it is anyone;s guess what will happen once he's gone from office.

ironically, our being there can actually be detrimetal to the establishment of a pro-american government that is stable. the reason, in my opinion, for this is athe while iraq is crawling with american troops, a government which is pro-american will probably be seen by iraqis and other countries as a puppet of the americans, rightly or worngly. this government will not have legitimacy. the iraqis will be worrying about how they are viewed by their neighbors once we leave, as it is their neighborhood, not ours. a govt viewed as illegitimate and a puppet of the americans is not going to last long.

furthermore, i don't see us withdrawing as giving up on the iraqis. it would be more of a recognition that we are doing more harm then good for them and for us. when you are doing more harm than good, it does not seem all that smart to continue what you are doing. obviously, no one knows the absolute solutoin to this, but this is my opinion. when no one can answer how long we should expect to stay, or when the answer is "until the job is done," i am not instilled with confidence. there is nothing more permanent than a temporary solution.

when you say "follow the troops back," what do you mean? please don't tell me you are making a connection between 9-11 and Iraq. do you mean that there will be acts of terorrism in the US? i think that is likely no matter what happens. when you say that we would then have to go back to iraq, do you mean because it will become lawless and chaotic if we left now, thus a breeding ground for terrorist training camps, etc.? if so, this is a good point. but that's what i was talking a bout earlier- this is what is happening in iraq now, so it is going to be a gamble as to when it will be better or worse to leave iraq.

there seem to be a mot more terrorists in iraq now then there were before the invasion. the problem is, again, if the time to leave is when a stable pro western democratic government is elected, that could take years, or could never happen. even if you and i came to a compromise that if that is the only option we can live with, then we would agree to stay, the rest of the country is not going to accept this solution. do we even have the military personell for this? i agree that leaving chaos in our wake is a dangerous, but it seems this is inevitable- it is a question of when, not if.

re: mission accomplished-
you can believe whatever you want. i don't know shit about the navy, or when they hang banners, or whatever, and neither does the average person. what i (and everyone else) do know is that when bush gave that speech, that picture was on the front page of every newspaper and news website and was in every tv news broadcast. that was not a mistake, because karl rove does (or did) things on purpose. if you want to accept the bush spin, that's your business, but they knew exactly what they were doing. i am sure you are technically right about the banner, but it was used a prop for the administration's polticial purpose, hence its plastering the airwaves and newspapers. you can;t seriously beleive that was just a conicidence.

Wow. Nice long wordy comme... (Below threshold)
epador:

Wow. Nice long wordy comments. On both sides.

Still some nasty sniping from both sides. Kinda looks like a pointless war to me. Let's just withdraw before anyone else's feelings get hurt and God forbid anyone become scarred for life. Or someone pretending to be independent is exposed. I mean, I've lost my patience with all this conceited blubbering about pointless loss of life and no definition of success. The stakes are too high for this kind of bull hockey.

We need more REAL hockey players willing to check hard in the corners and give an extra minute on the ice!

"People do die for mista... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"People do die for mistakes that the leaders of our country make. History proves that"

Clinton not protecting or Country and going after the enemy. BEING A COWARD AND NOT KILLING BIN LADEN BECAUSE HIS APPROVAL RATINGS AROUND THE WORLD ARE MORE IMPORTANT.

Hi Rob. Clinton does share... (Below threshold)
Jaku:

Hi Rob. Clinton does share some of the blame, but he stopped being president on 1-20-2001, and lost all his access to intel and briefings. While I do not agree that Bush should get every last breath of blame he bears more of a burden than Clinton does.

And do you still want to try and tell me what Jim Webb said that was a lie in his rebuttal to the SOTU, or will that make you cuss up a storm without address the subject? I don't want to get you more upset or anything.

It is only the bigge... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

It is only the biggest lie of this Century that Democrats started on their quest to regain POWER. The ever changing and morphing lie that began as "Bush Lied" people died , "Bush's War"to the more toned down version of "unneccessary war" . Every democrat who cowardly makes those claims is guilty of this lie. Only Congress can declare war , it was Clinton who wrote the Iraqi Liberation Act with the Same Democrats now suffering amneshia who declared Sadam an Imminent threat. As if you didn't know. The jerk even compared the economy as if it was like the Depression.

Jaku conveniently forgot ho... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Jaku conveniently forgot how Clinton got his national security advisor Sandy Berger to steal and destroy classified documents way after 2001. Jaku may be forgiven for not knowing about this.

For Jaku 's benefit, the recent actions of the liberals/dems are contemptible and Jaku shouldn't participate in the liberal attempt to cover up this contemptible behavior.

Still, not only is there... (Below threshold)
Larkin:

Still, not only is there no alternative that doesn't promise even worse outcomes, but the misgivings ignore the unavoidable problems of any war.

It's total nonsense that there is "no alternative" to escalating the war or cutting and running. There are a thousand shades of gray between those two options.

The best approach to Iraq would be something along the lines of that recommended by the Iraq Study Group. A phased withdrawal over time along with a concerted effort to achieve a true national reconciliation in Iraq between the Sunnis and the Shiites. Negotiations with Iran and Syria would help as well as a firm declaration of neutrality in the Sunni-Shia civil war in Iraq.

Bush's plan won't work because it fails to address the underlying political causes of the problems in Iraq. Since day one when we arrived the Sunnis have been shafted time and time again. We bombed their cities into rubble and threw hundreds of thousands of them out of work by disbanding the Army and deBaathification. Next, we allowed the first election to occur without their participation. Then, we let the Shiites and Kurds write and pass a constitution that the Sunnis opposed almost unanimously (Anbar province voted 97% against it).

And now, we're SURPRISED that the Sunnis act so ungrateful after all we've done for them? We're SURPRISED that they don't embrace a "democratically" elected government that looks the other way while dozens of them are rounded up, tortured and murdered every day?

An extra 20,000 troops isn't the solution to the problem we have created in Iraq. And make no mistake about it. WE are more responsible than anyone else for the current mess that Iraq is in. And the same fools in the White House who created this disaster certainly are not to be trusted to come up with the fix for the situation.

Jaku conveniently forgot... (Below threshold)
Jaku:

Jaku conveniently forgot how Clinton got his national security advisor Sandy Berger to steal and destroy classified documents way after 2001. Jaku may be forgiven for not knowing about this.

Oh, I know all about it. It's totally irrelevant to this particular discussion however. I'm certain you may find a way to make it appear.

re: mission accomplishe... (Below threshold)
marc:

re: mission accomplished-
you can believe whatever you want. i don't know shit about the navy, or when they hang banners, or whatever, and neither does the average person. what i (and everyone else) do know is that when bush gave that speech, that picture was on the front page of every newspaper and news website and was in every tv news broadcast. that was not a mistake, because karl rove does (or did) things on purpose. Posted by: strongMan at January 28, 2007 10:23 PM

And you "sir" are full of more shit than a Christmas goose. I understand those in opposition to the Bush admin from the start believe Karl Rove has some type of brain wave machine that he sends out controlling waves of energy from.

But to even imply, let alone believe, that he was/is such a controlling authority he can mandate what all the media outlets print and write as you seem allude to is beyond nonsense and borders on paranoia.

You claim to not know much about the Navy, here's a frickin' clue, make an attempt to learn before believing or spouting off the talking points that have become part and parcel of the anti-Bush crowd.

You can start here - In eight Navel deployments from the West Coast (5) and Japan (3) in each case the returning ship all were adorned with banners of welcome or something similar to mission accomplished. In one case the U.S.S. Halsey returned to San Diego had displayed that exact banner, "mission accomplished."

Anyone, let me repeat ANYONE, with the slightest bit of common sense when seeing mission accomplished on the decks of the U.S.S. Lincoln in the context of Bush's speech honoring the ships return home, and noting several times the mission in Iraq wasn't finished and the war against islamic extremists was long from over fully understands what that banner meant.

Go back and read that speech, think about that banner, and rethink your position. Failing that, STFU, about subjects you know nothing about.

Note to aRepukelican: The link provided was from a source that is fluent in speaking and reading Arabic, in fact an Iraqi, Iraq the Model.

Marc,While being t... (Below threshold)
Live@9:

Marc,

While being technically correct that the Mission Accomplished banner on the U.S.S. Lincoln was primarily for the returning crew you don't think Karl Rove took one look at the situation and thought to himself "What a great photo op". That was/is his job by the way, political adviser to the White House. He would have been neglecting his job responsibilities had he not tried to maximize the U.S.S. Lincoln speech for all it was worth.

I mean come on, he was the first President to fly on to a carrier using the tail hook. Who can forget the flight suit with the cod piece? The ship was turned away from shore and into the setting sun to maximize the photo composition. The crew was strategically places around the Commander in Chief for maximum cheering affect. A prime time slot on all the news channels. You think all this happens by accident? These kinds publicity events are the job responsibilities of a large staff headed by Karl Rove.

So forgive those of us who refuse to be naive about how this administration has and is using the media to effect public opinion. The mission accomplished banner is just one in a long line of "staged" events that are for domestic political consumption and we're just not buying it anymore.

While being technically... (Below threshold)
marc:

While being technically correct that the Mission Accomplished banner on the U.S.S. Lincoln was primarily for the returning crew you don't think Karl Rove took one look at the situation and thought to himself "What a great photo op". That was/is his job by the way, political adviser to the White House. He would have been neglecting his job responsibilities had he not tried to maximize the U.S.S. Lincoln speech for all it was worth.

And this is unusual? Do you mean this never happens from those on both sides of the aisle? And the scenario as you describe is Rove acting after that fact.

So what!

I mean come on, he was the first President to fly on to a carrier using the tail hook. Who can forget the flight suit with the cod piece? The ship was turned away from shore and into the setting sun to maximize the photo composition. The crew was strategically places around the Commander in Chief for maximum cheering affect. A prime time slot on all the news channels. You think all this happens by accident? These kinds publicity events are the job responsibilities of a large staff headed by Karl Rove.

Yawn.... Show me any presidents national/international photo op that doesn't do variations of the above?

So forgive those of us who refuse to be naive about how this administration has and is using the media to effect public opinion. The mission accomplished banner is just one in a long line of "staged" events that are for domestic political consumption and we're just not buying it anymore.
Posted by: Live@9 at January 29, 2007 01:39 AM

EVERY presidential event for EVERY president is a "staged event" Your forgiven for not being naive.

Those that trot out the banner issue, like strongMan who readily admits to knowing nothing about the navy yet can easily conflate the banner into something it's not, by not taking into account the speech given that day are not.

You can start here - In ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

You can start here - In eight Navel deployments from the West Coast (5) and Japan (3) in each case the returning ship all were adorned with banners of welcome or something similar to mission accomplished.

And how many of them were covered by the media? On how many of them did the President make a landing?

It doesn't matter what was done previously. What was done that time had a meaning unto itself. (E.g., someone could have said, "Gee, there are going to be lots of cameras here this time; maybe we shouldn't display that 'Mission Accomplished' banner so prominently, and have the President make a speech right in front of it").

Sorry Live@9 , political... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Sorry Live@9 , political adviser does not contain the word "FRAUD" in it does it? Just because you know your Political Party completely engages in fraud as many are routinely caught doesn't mean that Republicans engage in the same thinking.

Your post goes beyond pathetic. It is simply sad that you must think that way. And it is the only way democrats think and why I don't consider them as American at all , they are Democrats first and formost and who knows where American ranks if at all. Saying they are for America lacks credibility the same way it does when they say they support the troops.

There was no sign that said "Rebublicans Won" or "Rep"s Rule" , it was a victory for our Country you asshole. It is treasonous and unpatriotic what the democrat party has done to this Country and the Administration and it's UNFORGIVABLE. The Grotesque display of criminal incompetants fiending for political power , there is no more a despicable or diabolical group of humans on the face of the Earth. May they overdose on their ill gotten gains.

Brian , your still crying... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Brian , your still crying likw a petulant bed wetter. Your beyond reproach, STFU you are embarrassing the human species . Fucken unbelievable!

What about the rest of the 360 days of the year the Democrats Media is allowed to create the news?

"And how many of them were covered by the media? On how many of them did the President make a landing?"

Oh WAAA! WAAA!

My previous post above applies to you as well.

Hey Brian , how many times have the Media responded to calls of the enemy so they can get a good shot of their next terrorist attack, bomb exploding and death of our Soldiers?

Sick bastards.

Journalists like Democrats consider themselves Americans second at best.

Just an observation here ab... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Just an observation here about all the fulminating about the banner on the carrier. It now can't be seen in the video on the White House web site. Hmmmm??? Wonder why not?

The first words out of Bush's mouth: 'In the battle of Iraq the U.S. and its allies have prevailed." Really?

H

"But the biggest problem we... (Below threshold)
maggysturn:

"But the biggest problem we face right now, is the danger than the United States will validate the terrorist's strategy, that in fact what will happen here, with all of the debate over whether or not we ought to stay in Iraq. ... That we don't have the stomach for the fight. That's the biggest threat."
-- Vice President Cheney, 1/24/07

VERSUS

"Oh, I'm so sorry the vice president so underestimates the people of this country. He has so little faith in this country to say something like that. ... [M]aybe the vice president should tell the families of those who have lost their lives, over 3,000, and over 23,000 wounded, some very seriously for life, that they don't have the stomach? Come on, let's get real here."
-- Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), 1/24/07

I'd say that Sen Hagel is on the side of right, and that little Dick Cheney is as asshole...

Shutup stupid , Chuck Hag... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Shutup stupid , Chuck Hagel is the asshole and so are you. You parasites are such pathetic frauds , STFU you are an embarrassment to the Human Race.

Jaku,Why ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Jaku,

Why is it when I criticize the president in a calm manner, I am automatically bashing? Do you really have such an emotional investment about the Iraq war because you are too afraid to admit you were wrong, as the post after mine by Strong man pointe d out?

The reason it's bashing is because it's all about mistakes that can only be known as mistakes in hindsight. Bush was also criticized for invading Iraq with too small a force, but the quick military victory shut up those critics. In hindsight it's easy to say we should have went in with 500,000 troops, but no one can know how that would have turned out either. When I asked you about pulling out now and dooming millions of Iraqi people to mayhem you replied as follows.

Mac, dude, it wasn't my decision to make then nor is it now! I didn't doom anyone, I was out there against invading Iraq back in 2002 when the drums were getting louder. I knew exactly what would have happened once the initial jubilee wore off.

It's easy to see mistakes in hindsight, but when ask what to do now you don't want to go on record even though you claim to have such great foresight. Do you really have such an emotional investment about the Iraq war because you are afraid you might be proven wrong by future events? Bottom line, if you're not willing to recommend a path for the future in Iraq, then you have no credibility in criticizing Bush for past mistakes.

Well I kind of agree with you a bit there. We are in a situation where we can't just leave, but I disagree about staying just for hope. We can hope for lots of things, but reality might tell us otherwise.

I don't think any reasonable person expected the U.S. to stay in Iraq indefinitely under any circumstances, but the question is what should trigger the pull out. Is it just based on a budget and once it's expended we should leave? Is it based on the number of troops killed, and what's that number. Is it based on the time it takes to rebuild Iraq. We spent nearly a decade rebuilding Japan and many wanted to pull out of there prematurely as well. The world wonders what the liberal plan for Iraq is.

In reply to my statement about blunders being inevitable in any war you write this:

Of course that is the risk, but we are the supposed to have the best armies, the best intelligence, we are supposed to trust what our leaders tell us, especially when it comes to using the military and sending the best soliders on the planet to do a job.

As far as I can tell you neither agree or disagree. Are you a politician? Top ranked chess players make blunders playing a game, but you expect the President and military leaders to be perfect in making war. I just don't get why liberals believe their opinions are reality based when they ignore simple principles that govern all human activities.

Considering the amount of information that was available to the Bush administration in regards to Iraq prior to invading, and that they chose to only read what they wanted to see is inexcusable.

Where you been? Bush was reading the same information that Clinton had and both came to the same conclusion that Saddam had WMD. Congress had access to exactly the same information Bush had and it was their job to oversee the interpretation of the information. Now many claim they didn't look for themselves, and you seem ready to give them a pass. In any complex situation where people express their opinion about a subject there are always going to be some who disagree with the majority. Should we go with the minority opinion? Is that the way the Supreme Court should work? If not, then it would have been equally wrong for Bush to go with the minority opinion on Iraq.

Saddam was hardly a threat to the US, maybe Iraq and Israel but not us.

That's the biggest hole in the liberal argument. At the time we knew Saddam suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the U.S. in Gulf War 1 and we knew he was not a forgiving person. We also knew the U.N. was not effective in containing Saddam because many of the U.N. resolutions were being ignored. We knew that Saddam had made piece with Iran and both viewed the U.S. as their enemy. We also knew that Saddam had the ability to give terrorists sanctuary, money and weapons. We knew Saddam was willing to use chemical weapons against civilians. We also knew Saddam had access to billions of oil dollars if the U.N. sanctions were ever lifted. In hindsight we know Saddam was close to bribing his way out of U.N. sanctions altogether. This is the monster you would have left in power. Few outcomes in Iraq are likely to be any worse than leaving Saddam in power. So much for your foresight

This is serious business... (Below threshold)
mantis:

This is serious business. War policy and the consequences are much too serious for a bunch of spineless politicians to use for political positioning.

Read: opposition should not be voiced, the Congress should unconditionally support whatever policies the president puts forth, because war is not a time for debate.

On that note, I'll reference you to Winston Churchill (thanks to Greenwald for pointing this out):

From time to time in the life of any Government there come occasions which must be clarified. No one who has read the newspapers of the last few weeks about our affairs at home and abroad can doubt that such an occasion is at hand.

Since my return to this country, I have come to the conclusion that I must ask to be sustained by a Vote of Confidence from the House of Commons. This is a thoroughly normal, constitutional, democratic procedure. A Debate on the war has been asked for. I have arranged it in the fullest and freest manner for three whole days. Any Member will be free to say anything he thinks fit about or against the Administration or against the composition or personalities of the Government, to his heart's content, subject only to the reservation, which the House is always so careful to observe about military secrets. Could you have anything freer than that? Could you have any higher expression of democracy than that? Very few other countries have institutions strong enough to sustain such a thing while they are fighting for their lives.

I owe it to the House to explain to them what has led me to ask for their exceptional support at this time. It has been suggested that we should have a three days' Debate of this kind in which the Government would no doubt be lustily belaboured by some of those who have lighter burdens to carry, and that at the end we should separate without a Division. In this case sections of the Press which are hostile-and there are some whose hostility is pronounced-could declare that the Government's credit was broken, and, it might even be hinted, after all that has passed and all the discussion there has been, that it had been privately intimated to me that I should be very reckless if I asked for a Vote of Confidence from Parliament.

And the matter does not stop there. It must be remembered that these reports can then be flashed all over the world, and that they are repeated in enemy broadcasts night after night in order to show that the Prime Minister has no right to speak for the nation and that the Government in Britain is about to collapse. Anyone who listens to the fulminations which come from across the water know that that is no exaggeration. Of course, these statements from foreign sources would not be true, but neither would it be helpful to anyone that there should be any doubt about our position.

There is another aspect. We in this Island for a long time were alone, holding aloft the torch. We are no longer alone now. We are now at the centre and among those at the summit of 26 United Nations, comprising more than three-quarters of the population of the globe. Whoever speaks for Britain at this moment must be known to speak, not only in the name of the people-and of that I feel pretty sure I may-but in the name of Parliament and, above all, of the House of Commons. It is genuine public interest that requires that these facts should be made manifest afresh in a formal way.

We have had a great deal of bad news lately from the Far East, and I think it highly probable, for reasons which I shall presently explain, that we shall have a great deal more. Wrapped up in this bad news will be many tales of blunders and shortcomings, both in foresight and action. No one will pretend for a moment that disasters like these occur without there having been faults and shortcomings. I see all this rolling towards us like the waves in a storm, and that is another reason why I require a formal, solemn Vote of Confidence from the House of Commons, which hitherto in this struggle has never flinched. The House would fail in its duty if it did not insist upon two things, first, freedom of debate, and, secondly, a clear, honest, blunt Vote thereafter. Then we shall all know where we are, and all those with whom we have to deal, at home and abroad, friend or foe, will know where we are and where they are. It is because we are to have a free Debate, in which perhaps 20 to 30 Members can take part, that I demand an expression of opinion from the 300 or 400 Members who will have sat silent.

It is because things have gone badly and worse is to come that I demand a Vote of Confidence. This will be placed on the Paper to-day, to be moved at a later stage. I do not see why this should hamper anyone. If a Member has helpful criticisms to make, or even severe corrections to administer, that may be perfectly consistent with thinking that in respect of the Administration, such as it is, he might go farther and fare worse. But if an hon. Gentleman dislikes the Government very much and feels it in the public interest that it should be broken up, he ought to have the manhood to testify his convictions in the Lobby. There is no need to be mealy-mouthed in debate. There is no objection to anything being said, plain, or even plainer, and the Government will do their utmost to conform to any standard which may be set in the course of the Debate. But no one need be mealy-mouthed in debate, and no one should be chicken-hearted in voting. I have voted against Governments I have been elected to support, and, looking back, I have sometimes felt very glad that I did so. Everyone in these rough times must do what he thinks is his duty.
- 01/27/1942


And more Churchill:

If a division takes place, it is a matter of confidence, which, nevertheless, enables everyone to see exactly where we stand and how far we can call upon the loyalty of the House. If such amendment should be moved and pressed to a division-I say this for the information of countries abroad-those who vote against the Government will not be assaulted with rubber truncheons, or put into concentration camps, or otherwise molested in their private lives. The worst that could happen might be that they might have to offer some rather laborious explanations to their constituents. Let it not be said that parliamentary institutions are being maintained in this country in a farcical or unreal manner. We are fighting for parliamentary institutions. We are endeavouring to keep their full practice and freedom, even in the stress of war.
- 11/12/1941

Oh, in case you don't like ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Oh, in case you don't like the open-to-debate stance of old-europeans like Churchill, here's Teddy Roosevelt:

"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

And Rob continues to call e... (Below threshold)
Brian:

And Rob continues to call everyone a liar and whiner without anything to back it up at all. We're supposed to just take his word for it! I believe someone wrote a post about that sort of empty logic...

Shutup stupid , Chuck Ha... (Below threshold)
hansel2:

Shutup stupid , Chuck Hagel is the asshole and so are you. You parasites are such pathetic frauds , STFU you are an embarrassment to the Human Race.

Sputtering little fool. His opinions have no power, so all he's got to offer is obscenities. Pathetic.

"And Rob continu... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"And Rob continues to call everyone a liar and whiner without anything to back it up at all. We're supposed to just take his word for it!"


I don't see why not , You call Bush a liar without anything to back it up , you party gets busted commiting voter fraud and your leader is proven liar. Sucks to be you. Have fun playing your word games.

I have backed up everything... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I have backed up everything I have said. Show where I have not. Or is this going to be another of your whiny lie-and-run posts?

You, however, have backed up nothing. You call Webb a liar without anything to back it up, you party gets busted committing voter fraud, and your leader is proven liar. The "word games" you accuse me of playing are called "factual basis" in most circles.

To announce that th... (Below threshold)
Gladrep:

To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

Typical liberal, communist view. Your job as an American citizen is to support your President, not criticize him. Typical of all you lib dummycrats and your stupid opinions about what America should be. If you don't like it here, then leave.

Me and my conservative brethren will be happy to see you go so we can praise our leader as he should be praised. Long live George W. Bush.

Ya just don't get it. It's ... (Below threshold)
Rae:

Ya just don't get it. It's ALL about 08. Everything both parties say, do, think, everyone they meet, everywhere they speak, every bill proposed, voted upon....all is about who will be in power in 08. That is probably the single biggest reason this country is so polarized.




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