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Updating Santayana

For years and years, it's been very fashionable to quote Santayana's famous caution: "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." And while I would never question its wisdom, I think I have developed my own corollary:

Those who incessantly study history are doomed to re-create it.

This morning's Boston Globe gave me the perfect example.

First, I discovered this story. It seems that the Kurds in Iraq are getting mixed signals (and who can blame them?) about whether or not we will keep our promises to them. On the one hand, the "surge" (or whatever we're calling it this week) is showing true promise for curbing the ongoing violence in Iraq. On the other hand, actions in Congress and the result of last November's election show a serious wavering in our commitment.

So, what do they have to worry about? Well, thanks to the Boston Globe's conservative columnist (they would have fired him years ago, but he managed to get himself declared an endangered species) Jeff Jacoby shows us just where that sort of thing led to before.

The Kurds have been far, far better friends to the West than we deserve. We've repeatedly broken promises and pledges and commitments to them, all in the name of "realpolitik," and each and every time they have paid the price with their dearest blood. Even lately, those who say that Saddam never had any WMDs are building their lies on the corpses of thousands and thousands of Kurds gassed to death by the Butcher of Baghdad.

Thirty years ago, the Left argued that a war-wracked country would be far better off if we just up and left, and let them sort it out themselves. That ended up with the Killing Fields and over a million human beings slaughtered -- a per-capita ratio that outgrosses Hitler's Holocaust.

I wonder how many Kurds will die if the Left prevails yet again, and if enough Kurds will survive to once again depend on the hollow promises of the West at some point in the future.


Comments (69)

Those who CAN remember the ... (Below threshold)
Alan:

Those who CAN remember the past are condemned to live among idiots repeating it.

Steve Setzer

Who the hell says Saddam ne... (Below threshold)
ChrisO:

Who the hell says Saddam never had WMDs? I haven't seen anyone serious dispute that he gassed the Kurds. The question was whether he still had WMDs when we invaded, and whether we had reason to think he did, and whether it was worth invading over. Nice way to distort the other side's arguments.

By the way, I think it's a bit soon to declare that the surge is showing signs of success. Don't you guys ever learn?

The Kurds are right to be l... (Below threshold)
Matt:

The Kurds are right to be leary of any promises the U.S. makes that aren't immediately backed up with action. We have failed them before and politics being what they are, will likely fail them again.

I think the Kurds are hedging their bets this time around and making sure that whatever happens in non-Kurdish Iraq, they survive as a people and as a country. The best the U.S. can do is make sure other countries (Turkey, Syria, Iran) leave them alone to make it on their own.

I have not heard anyone of ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I have not heard anyone of note suggest that we should abandon Iraqi Kurdistan, even if suggesting that we withdraw completely from the rest of Iraq.

I'm not saying that no one has put that forth, but that I haven't heard it. Can anyone provide a link?

thousands and thousands... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

thousands and thousands of Kurds gassed to death by the Butcher of Baghdad. and what was the Reagan administration view of Saddam's tactics during that time in the early eighties Outrage? no, they not only turned a blind eye, but encouraged him among other measures, by sending special envoy Rumsfeld to Baghdad in 1983, to facilitate supplying Saddam with the chemical weapons he needed, with only a mild cautionary note to Aziz, the foreign minister. .You may have a good point about what will happen to the Kurds, now Jay, but when they were victims of American realpolitic and geopolitical concerns and the American chemical munitions interests what was the conservative response? This is the history that repeats: if they are not in our strategic or economic interests..they are not really our friends.

Why should the Kurds trust ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Why should the Kurds trust the Bush administration? Bush completely flip-flopped on Korea. He said he would not support the status quo in Lebanon, and then did. Bush today said fighting in Afghanistan will be the worst of the war. His had picked commander to run war in Iraq said that troop levels by the end of 2006 would down to 5,000.

Bush has a history of being wrong, selling out the country and incompetence.

(1) Those who want the U.S.... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

(1) Those who want the U.S. to fail in Iraq not only will not acknoledge that the surge is showing signs of success, but will declare it a failure even if it turns out to be an overwhelming success.

(2) The U.S. did not supply Iraq with chemical weapons no matter how many morons suggest that we did.

You see Jay, if we abandon ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

You see Jay, if we abandon the Kurds, its all Reagan's... err... Bush's fault.

1) Those who want the U.S. ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

1) Those who want the U.S. to fail in Iraq not only will not acknoledge that the surge is showing signs of success, but will declare it a failure even if it turns out to be an overwhelming success.

PB, does that apply to to the troops on the ground?
Not one of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen or Marines I interviewed told me that they wanted more U.S. boots on the ground. In fact, nearly all expressed just the opposite: "We don't need more American troops, we need more Iraqi troops," was a common refrain. They are right by Oliver North

Barney,(1) When wa... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Barney,

(1) When was the Ollie North Quote from? 2003? 2004?

(2) Even if it was current, which I doubt, that does not adress my comment. Saying that you don't think more troops are needed is not the same as denying the success of the effort.

I'm not calling the surge a... (Below threshold)
ChrisO:

I'm not calling the surge a failure, I'm saying it's too early to declare it a success, or that it's even showing signs of success. As has been stated before, the insurgents have reacted in the past the same way they are reacting now. Lay low until the temporary offensive is over. The fact that they aren't marching into public squares to fight ther Americans head on isn't a surprise. That's not how they fight.

You know, the propensity of many of you on this board to declare that any criticism of the Iraq war effort stems from a desire to see the US lose is symptomatic of the mindset that created this disaster. Just follow without criticizing or asking questions, out of fear of being unpatriotic. Look at how many Republican politicians and conservative activists are now turned against our involvement in this war. These are the same people who were too intimidated to speak out when their words might have meant something. Putting your hands over your ears and shouting "I can't hear you" is hardly a recipe for success, not to mention reflecting the extremely anti-American ideals so many of you possess.

Not one of the so... (Below threshold)
Dan Irving:


Not one of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen or Marines I interviewed told me that they wanted more U.S. boots on the ground. In fact, nearly all expressed just the opposite: "We don't need more American troops, we need more Iraqi troops," was a common refrain. They are right by Oliver North

You keep trotting out that quote BG2K. It's unfortunate because it doesn't paint the entire picture. Who were these troops? When did he talk to them? Were they the same troops that responded to the Military Times straw poll?

Almost half of those responding think we need more troops in Iraq than we have there now. A surpris ing 13 percent said we should have no troops there. As for Afghanistan force levels, 39 per cent think we need more troops there. But while they want more troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, nearly three-quarters of the re spondents think today's military is stretched too thin to be effective.

The fact is - it's way too early to see how effective The Surge(tm) will be. Gen. Patreaus predicts that results won't be known until the summer. As Bill Roggio notes:

The mere announcement of the security plan has already and an affect on the security situation. On a positive note, the death squad activity has dramatically decreased in Baghdad. The near daily reports of bodies being found bound, mutilated and murdered have significantly decreased. A major reason for this is Muqtada al-Sadr has ordered his fighters to go to ground and not confront U.S. and Iraqi forces. His senior militia leaders are thought to have fled Baghdad.

On a negative note, al-Qaeda has stepped up its car and suicide bombing campaign, attacking soft targets in the city such as markets, pet shops, and mosques, with deadly results. While Al-Qaeda is said to have pulled out of Baghdad, an American intelligence official informs us al-Qaeda has largely withdrawn to Diyala province, and is ferrying in suicide bombers into the city. Al-Qaeda is stepping up its bombing campaign in an effort to both discredit the security operations and incite sectarian attacks. It is vital the currier network of bombers and the bombmaking cells be dismantled to reduce the effectiveness of al-Qaeda's operations in the capital. Further concurrent operations must also be conducted in Diyala to disrupt al-Qaeda's ability to maintain an intensive bombing campaign.

Dan, thanks for the link. ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Dan, thanks for the link. Here is a juice quote:

The American military -- once a staunch supporter of President Bush and the Iraq war -- has grown in creasingly pessimistic about chances for victory.

For the first time, more troops disapprove of the president's han dling of the war than approve of it. Barely one-third of service members approve of the way the president is handling the war, ac cording to the 2006 Military Times Poll.

I thought the US troops were 100% behind the President, and it was the media that was causing a decline in moral among the troops? It looks to me that Congress is just expressing the will of the troops.

Lay low until the... (Below threshold)
Dan Irving:


Lay low until the temporary offensive is over. The fact that they aren't marching into public squares to fight ther Americans head on isn't a surprise. That's not how they fight.

Which is exactly why the change in tactics was necessary ChrisO. Three times we went in an eliminated insurgent strongholds. All three times the anti-Iraqi forces simply waited us out. This time Gen. Patreaus wants to hold the ground. We've gone in and are going to provide overwatch security until the Iraqis can do it themselves. And now Congress wants to prevent the additional troops that will make this possible. War is a science yes but it isn't an exact science. We havn't altered our tactics fast enough and our top leaders are to blame. We need to stop repeating recent history and go back to what we are good at: setting up stable, thriving countries (see : Germany, Japan and S. Korea).

Not hard to tell who wants ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Not hard to tell who wants us to lose here. Oh don't give me that BS that just because I hate Bush I want us to lose. You don't want us to win because it would make Bush right in his actions. And you are a liar if you say differant. If not, then quit your bitching and get behind everything he is trying to do. If your pick gets elected in 2008, then is the time to change things your way. So if it fails it will be on your back. Oh no . We want it to fail now so we can blame Bush and not on us libbies.Sheeze you people gall my ass.

only 35 percent o... (Below threshold)
Dan Irving:


only 35 percent of the military members polled this year said they approve of the way President Bush is handling the war, while 42 percent said they disapproved. The president's approval rating among the military is only slight ly higher than for the population as a whole.

All it proves BG2K is that the Military is a cross section of the American populace. The POTUS isn't vary popular right now. That doesn't mean that the soldiers are going to revolt. Thankfully our armed forces are above partisan bickering. They may disapprove of the way he's handling the war but they won't start calling for his impeachment or rant about how Bushmonkeyhaliburtonhitler is killing them. They have too much class for that - which is more than I can say for those anti-war.

They don't have to say it D... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

They don't have to say it Dan? They just did! If you lose the confidence of the fighting troops, you have lost the war.

They don't have t... (Below threshold)
Dan Irving:


They don't have to say it Dan? They just did! If you lose the confidence of the fighting troops, you have lost the war.

I'd have to disagree. They don't like the way he is handling it. I didn't like the way Clinton handled the Balkans Conflict while I was in the service. This is a far cry from being not being confident of a victory.

BG if you believe that you ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

BG if you believe that you are dumber that most think.

Right now, Western Civiliza... (Below threshold)
MunDane:

Right now, Western Civilization, however much many of its members may refuse to admit it, is involved in a world war. No, it has seen no entire cities destroyed; no trenchlines have drawn their scars across entire continents. It is a world war all the same. Moreover, it is a world war that is putting to the test every notion of individual liberty, freedom of conscience and rule of law that West prizes. And should we lose we will see or our grandchildren will, the erasure of all that is good in Western Civilization.

We cannot afford to lose.

Yet winning will have its price, too. Just as the invasion by the Berbers changed the face of Almoravid Spain to what it is today, this current world war will change us. Because side by side with the virtues of Western Civilization are the paired the vices that may destroy us: a narrow legalistic mindset, and emphasis of form over substance, and an unwillingness to do the ruthless and violent things we must if we are to survive. This list is not exhaustive by any means. Perhaps worse than these things, however, the West has nurtured at its own breast a set of execrable, vile, treacherous and treasonous villains that seek at every opportunity to do all they can to ensure its destruction.

BG if you believe that you ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

BG if you believe that you are dumber that most think. by jhow.

No, I do not think that most think. Do you?

You guys wanted to know wh... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

You guys wanted to know where I lifted the Olly quote, so I posted the link below. Now beware, I know the commentary was on a leftwing Rag, but what do expect from Olly? Based on his total lack of morals, as demonstrated by his total lack of respect of the Constitution (see Iran/Contra) he may have been paid off?

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=18797
Here is another from the same article:
A "surge" or "targeted increase in U.S. troop strength" or whatever the politicians want to call dispatching more combat troops to Iraq isn't the answer. Adding more trainers and helping the Iraqis to help themselves, is. Sending more U.S. combat troops is simply sending more targets.

What will the troops thinks when they read that article, and know that Olly has lost faith, and is providing comfort to the terrorists?

The problem I have with Oll... (Below threshold)
Dan Irving:

The problem I have with Olly (well .. the most current) is that he isn't privy to upper level planning. We are changing our stratedy in Iraq. The General in charge has determined that the change requires additional troops to help reinforce the Iraqi troops that form the bulk of the forces in Bagdhad.

I also agree with the troops Olly is quoting. It's been known for some time, at least from the milblogs I read, that it won't be until the IA and INP can stand on their own legs that things will settle down. This won't happen anytime soon. We have to counter generations of corruption and oppression. That's not to say it isn't happening - the process is slow but improves daily.

In the meantime, the Sunni Triangle and the Shia south need to be pacified (Kurdish N. Iraq is Eden compared to the rest of Iraq). The Shia issue is pretty much forced what with Mooky running to Iraq (should have taken him out the first time). The central area needs stability and a command presence which is what The Surge(TM) is intended to provide. Again - it's way too early to see how this will pan out.

Don't get me wrong BG2K - I don't have my rose-tinted glasses on - I just don't subscribe to the idea that we are loosing. Side note: You notice Olly talking about Al Anbar province and the improvements there? Wonder why Sunni are suddenly joining the police en masse? It's because of the deal brokered by the tribal leaders and the local goverment. Also of note - the police are known to be more corrupt than the IA. I'm not saying these guys are going to hinder our progress, what I'm saying is there is more going on behind the scenes than what Olly portrays in his op-ed. He is correct in his assesment (shared by the troops) that we need to teach the Iraqis to fend for themselves (which is happening but will take longer than most politicians are willing to commit too ) but in the short term we need to provide a secure environment so that Iraq doesn't devolve into a despotic region (think Balkans and Somalia).

BarneyG2000:What i... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

BarneyG2000:

What in the world is what the troops think got to do with anything? If you take the King's shilling, you fight where and when you are told to. My son is headed back to Iraq next month, and he isn't happy about it, but he will do his duty like all the rest of the troops. We don't let the prisoners run the jails, and we don't let the troops decide national policy.

So far all I hear from "your side"(what ever the hell that means), is a bunch of let's do it my way. As I said before, it's easy to rant and rave about how things should have been done and should be done in the future, but it is the presidents responsibility to secure our safety. In two years, if the American public dont like how he has handled things they can elect some one who has a different idea. However, in the mean time we will all be far better off to support him in his efforts to secure a lasting peace in the midle east, and forget about political gains at the expense of the nation as a whole.

Thanks for the link Barney.... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Thanks for the link Barney. And I stand corrected.

Still, a big difference between Oliver North and you (and most lefty commenters I've read on this blog) is that Oliver North wants the US to succeed in Iraq. The tone of the article you linked to is a lot differnt than the tone of most of the leftist comments on this blog. There is a big difference between opposing the "surge" and backing that with well thought out, intelligent arguments and simply opposing the "surge" because it was the President's decision.

Personally, I think we should wait and see, while hoping and praying that it helps. And I am willing to acknowledge that there are signs that it is helping.

Good post USMC. My sentime... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Good post USMC. My sentiments exactly.

I am willing to acknowle... (Below threshold)
Dan Irving:

I am willing to acknowledge that there are signs that it is helping.

Amen.

"What in the world is what ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"What in the world is what the troops think got to do with anything? " by USMC (Herald by extension)

Do you really feel that way? Did you voice this opinion when the righties said "opposition to the presidents' policies were aiding the terrorists, and undermining the moral of the troops? Or, is it only treason when liberal do it?

I doubt it, so who you crapping?

Barney: Just out of curiosi... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

Barney: Just out of curiosity--do you want the surge to succeed?

USMC Pilot writes;<bl... (Below threshold)
John:

USMC Pilot writes;

However, in the mean time we will all be far better off to support him in his efforts to secure a lasting peace in the midle east,....

Will we?

You're got to admit that he had great support when he went off on his big adventure 3 years ago... The administration tried to paint any criticism of it's policy as being "unpaitriotic", or "not supporting the troops", or "being with the terrorists".

So 3 years later, what did we get?

Well, those that tried to ask questions or speak out got slimed, from the Dixie Chicks to Joseph Wilson.

10 Billion dollars went missing in Iraq, due to mismanagement.

Somewhere between 300 and 500 Billion dollars in total has been spent on this war.

International terrorism has increaced since 9-11.

The situation in the Middle East has deteriorated, Iran wants to go nuclear, Israel went to war with Syria, things are generaly more, not less tense...

The situation in Iraq, in spite of all the money spent has gotten worse. More attacks month by month. Infrastructure like power and water are worse than prewar levels, universities, hospitals ransacked, random shootings, bombings, terror. For those people, we've brought them a living hell, even if it was done with the best of intentions.

Right now, in Iraq we don't even have a clearly defined enemy. We can only attempt to stop secterian violence and civil war. Right now, or only tool is our military which is designed primarily to "kill people, and blow things up".

By the time this is all said and done, we'll have sunk something like 2,000 Billion dollars (2 Trillion) into Iraq. Much of that will have been borrowed. We'll be paying for Dubya's adventure for generations.

So, no... In the past, we have NOT been better off to support him in his efforts. I don't have any expectation that his future efforts will turn out any better, based on past experience. Additionaly, I'm very concerned that the administration is ramping up for war with Iran... Sure they SAY they're not, but they also denied that they were planning on going to war with Iraq, which as we know from things like the Downing Street memo, were a lie.

Yeah, I'm worried. This administration has NOT done a good job for us, and more of the same won't be any better.

Barney,Opposition ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Barney,

Opposition to the war in and of itself does not aid the terrorists.

Major politicians calling the President a liar, while saying disingenuous things like: "War for oil", "there was no WMD", American soldiers are like natzi's, etc. does aid the terrrorists.

Major media organizations focusing soley on the successes of the terrorist and pretty much ignoring the successes of the US & Allied Forces does aid the terrorists.

Major media organizations blowing a few minor, but negative incidents involving the US military forces WAY OUT OF PROPORTION does aid the terrorists.

And an idiot running for President who calls the second largest coalition of nations in the history of the human race "going it alone" does aid the terrorists.

It is not unpatriotic to oppose the war, it is unpatriotic to not want the US to succeed since the decision was made.

Nikie, is that some kind of... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Nikie, is that some kind of gotcha question? Barney don't play that game!

I will tell you this. Just about every semi sane expert/pundit predicts the surge will not work without a political solution even the NRO (see today's comments). Only Bush disagrees.

We now know that Iran made overtures to the US and either nobody in the administration bothered to follow-up or Condi is lying out of her ass. This looks like another colossal mistake by Bush.

In my opinion, the surge will result in the US leaving Iraq sooner than any Dem proposal. Bush said that this is the last best chance, there are no back-up plans, and our patient's is not limitless. Let's see if Bush sticks to his word, or flip/flops again.

d'ja ever notice that when ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

d'ja ever notice that when you ask a lefty "do you want the US to win", or "do you want this plan to succeed" they refuse to answer?

I wonder why... Well actually I don't.

OK PB, here is the deal. I... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

OK PB, here is the deal. I want US to succeed in Iraq, Iran, Korea, Afghanistan, and the Middle East as a whole.

Now, based on your earlier comment "Opposition to the war in and of itself does not aid the terrorists." Are you wiling to step-up and say that the non binding resolution against the surge and the persons that vote yea, are not anti-american, terrorist appeasers?

BarneyG,It has never... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

BarneyG,
It has never been clear to me why some feel that simply because Iran made an overture it was Bush's "colossal" mistake not to follow up. It is clear that their public call for Israel's destruction differs with the current administration's stance on Israel. That and their weird Holocaust denial stance labels the Iranian government simply weird in my mind. That alone would seem a reason why the Bush administration has no desire to accord the current Iranian government any credibility in this important diplomatic effort. The current Iraqi government also seems to wish to establish stability without Iranian help. So what's the fuss?

Are you wiling to... (Below threshold)
Dan Irving:


Are you wiling to step-up and say that the non binding resolution against the surge and the persons that vote yea, are not anti-american, terrorist appeasers?

I'm willing to step up and say that they are not those things. I'm also willing to say they aren't doing their jobs. We elect them to make decisions. A non-binding resolution isn't a decsision. (HT: Gulliani)

The non-binding resolution ... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

The non-binding resolution is about as gutless a political posture as one could make. Either support the war effort or vote to cut funding.

d'ja ever notice that wh... (Below threshold)
Brian:

d'ja ever notice that when you ask a lefty "do you want the US to win", or "do you want this plan to succeed" they refuse to answer?
I wonder why...

Because it's a stupid question. Questions like these are only asked by people who can't separate wanting something from a critical analysis of whether actions are achieving that goal (the "Tinkerbell mentality"), or who want to break complex world issues into "us or them" memes so they can win a debate, actual accomplishments be damned.

So let me ask you... do you want the US to win? Because every policy you've supported has so far failed to achieve that goal.

Opposition to the war in... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Opposition to the war in and of itself does not aid the terrorists.

So opposing the war, but keeping it to yourself, is the only way to not aid terrorists.

It is not unpatriotic to oppose the war, it is unpatriotic to not want the US to succeed since the decision was made.

Straw man. Please relate to us someone who has claimed that they do not want the US to succeed.

Please describe for us a scenario where one can publicly oppose the war in such a way that you and your ilk will not condemn then for "not wanting the US to succeed".

only 35 percent of the m... (Below threshold)
Brian:

only 35 percent of the military members polled this year said they approve of the way President Bush is handling the war, while 42 percent said they disapproved.

Oh my! Why do the troops hate the troops?!

On the other hand, actio... (Below threshold)
Brian:

On the other hand, actions in Congress and the result of last November's election show a serious wavering in our commitment.

No, it was a rejection of incompetent action. If your accountant screws up your taxes and you fire him, are you showing a "wavering of commitment" to paying your taxes?

Here's some more "wavering of commitment" for you:

Interviewed on CBS over the weekend, Powell said America is "losing" in Iraq. And he cast doubt on proposals to send more U.S. troops to Baghdad, saying he's "not persuaded" that the plan "will work."
Former New York Gov. George Pataki, breaking ranks with President Bush and the front-runners for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, says he opposes the president's plan to send more than 20,000 additional American troops to Iraq.
a 68-percent majority of Americans strongly (45 percent) or moderately (23 percent) oppose Bush's "surge" strategy
Sixty-seven percent say it is very or somewhat likely that it will lead to increased U.S. casualties without helping achieve our goals there; 62 percent say it is very or somewhat likely that it will make the Iraqis more dependent on U.S. military protection and only delay the time when they are ready to take responsibility for their own security;
55 percent of those polled say they have more faith in the Democratic Congressional leaders to make decisions regarding Iraq policy, versus 32 percent who trust Bush to make better decisions.
Some of the 11 Republicans who publicly broke with Bush were longtime opponents of the war, such as Reps. Walter Jones of North Carolina and Ron Paul of Texas. But others, such as Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan and Jim Ramstad of Minnesota, had never sought the limelight and were almost apologetic in their speeches.
Rep. Ric Keller of Florida, a reliable conservative vote, prefaced his statement with an affirmation of support for Bush personally. But, he said, a ``surge'' of soldiers already had been attempted in Baghdad. ``The benefits were temporary,'' he said. ``The body bags were permanent.''
former Bush strategist Matthew Dowd writes ... "Sending in a small contingent of troops is likely going to be seen as not helpful," Dowd writes. "He'd be much better off with the public if he said, 'This is a mess, we made mistakes, and the only way to fix it is a wholesale change.'
Barney"I will ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Barney"

I will tell you this. Just about every semi sane expert/pundit predicts the surge will not work without a political solution even the NRO (see today's comments). Only Bush disagrees.

You seriously need to review the text of Bushes speeches from the last 4 years if you believe Bush has never noted the importance of a political solution.

Oh, one more from Golden Bo... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Oh, one more from Golden Boy:

Former Mayor of New York City and 2008 presidential hopeful, Rudy Giuliani says he still has doubts as to the viability of a "turn around" in Iraq. Giuliani tells talk show host Larry King, "I'm not confident it's all going to turn around."
You seriously need to re... (Below threshold)
Brian:

You seriously need to review the text of Bushes speeches from the last 4 years if you believe Bush has never noted the importance of a political solution.

Is that any better? That he's been well aware for four years of the need for a political solution, but has wholly failed to achieve it? I'm not sure you should be rallying for incompetence over ignorance.

Well, for one thing, Brian,... (Below threshold)

Well, for one thing, Brian, it shows you've been talking out of your ass again.

You also forget that what Bush is trying to do has never been tried before. EVER. In recorded history. What kind of dip thinks that it's going to go just swimmingly?

BTW, I wrote this piece over a year ago. It ought to answer your "arguments" fairly thoroughly -- complete with links.

J.

I'm not sure you should... (Below threshold)
marc:

I'm not sure you should be rallying for incompetence over ignorance. Posted by: Brian at February 15, 2007 05:38 PM

You'll note my post had zero to do with incompetence or ignorance but directly to a misguided or willfully ignorant statement.

Nice bit of deflection, but it failed.

Having been in the service ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Having been in the service in the Vietnam era, I am not convinced the left cares at all about the military. The liberal colleges are throwing recruiters off campus, stopping ROTC programs, keeping recruiters out of high school and today Murtha wants to move around the money that supports our military so they cannot do the job planned out for them. This whole " I support the troops" is just a useless mantra from the left. ww

WildWillie says;<bloc... (Below threshold)
John:

WildWillie says;

...Murtha wants to move around the money that supports our military so they cannot do the job planned out for them.

Is that your understanding? The Murtha effort is "to require that any troops deployed must meet formal Army readiness standards" (AP). Additonaly, my understanding is that troops must be properly rested before being redeployed, meaning they will get their normal down cycle, and not have their redeployment dates moved up before they are ready.

So WildWillie, what was the Murtha story you heard, and where did you hear it?

You also forget that wha... (Below threshold)
Brian:

You also forget that what Bush is trying to do has never been tried before. EVER. In recorded history.

Hmm, so you're saying that we should be criticizing Bush for inadvisably doing something stupid that has never been tried before, EVER, in recorded history, rather than because he's failing miserably at it. OK, sure.

What kind of dip thinks that it's going to go just swimmingly?

This one.

BTW, I wrote this piece over a year ago. It ought to answer your "arguments" fairly thoroughly -- complete with links.BTW, I wrote this piece over a year ago. It ought to answer your "arguments" fairly thoroughly -- complete with links.

And what beautiful links they are. You must be so proud. Wholly unrelated to my post, but adorable nonetheless.

John, how about this quote ... (Below threshold)

John, how about this quote about Murtha:

"Chairman Murtha will describe his strategy for not only limiting the deployment of troops to Iraq but undermining other aspects of the president's foreign and national security policy."

Note the word "undermining."

J.

You'll note my post had ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

You'll note my post had zero to do with incompetence or ignorance but directly to a misguided or willfully ignorant statement.

Your post was responding to the suggestion of ignorance by suggesting evidence of the lack of ignorance. And since you supposedly eliminated ignorance as the reason for failing, incompetence is the next best explanation.

Nice bit of hand-waving, but it failed.

Hey, here's something else ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Hey, here's something else Bush is responsible for that has never been tried before. EVER. In recorded history.

The U.S. government has squandered as much as $10 billion in public money on Iraq reconstruction aid because of overcharges and unsubstantiated expenses. More is yet to come, federal investigators said Thursday. ...

More than one in six dollars charged by U.S. contractors were questionable or unsupported, nearly triple the amount of waste the
Government Accountability Office estimated last fall.

"There is no accountability," said David M. Walker, who heads the auditing arm of Congress. "Organizations charged with overseeing contracts are not held accountable. Contractors are not held accountable. The individuals responsible are not held accountable."

Jay Tea flatulates the foll... (Below threshold)
John:

Jay Tea flatulates the following:

You also forget that what Bush is trying to do has never been tried before. EVER. In recorded history. What kind of dip thinks that it's going to go just swimmingly?

Well, Rumsfeld for one... Didn't he say when asked how long we'd be there he said weeks, months, certainly not years. Or the advisers that said the oil revenue from Iraq would be enough to pay for the entire bill. Or the administration officials that promised we'd be greeted with candy and flowers by the Iraqis. Or the Chimp in Chief when he strutted around on the aircraft carrier over one thousand days ago saying mission accomplished.

I guess those would be a couple of the dips you were asking about?

Jay,Link please fo... (Below threshold)
John:

Jay,

Link please for this. I'd like to know the source. Obviously I can't tell if this comes from AP, ScrapIron, or someplace in between.


"Chairman Murtha will describe his strategy for not only limiting the deployment of troops to Iraq but undermining other aspects of the president's foreign and national security policy."

Brian,Good quote, ... (Below threshold)
John:

Brian,

Good quote, but you left out the part about;

Of the $10 billion in overpriced contracts or undocumented costs, more than $2.7 billion were charged by Halliburton Co., the oil-field services firm once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney. (AP)

Probably just a coincidence, though and has nothing really to do with any advantages Halliburton may have received in getting no-bid contracts. Dick seems like a stand up, likeable guy, and I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt...


Link please for this. I'... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Link please for this. I'd like to know the source. Obviously I can't tell if this comes from AP, ScrapIron, or someplace in between.

It's apparently from MoveCongress.org, some random, meaningless lefty side (that I, at least, have never heard of). And yet Jay quotes it as if it has any importance.

Is that who you're reduced to quoting from now, Jay?

What kind of dip thinks ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

What kind of dip thinks that it's going to go just swimmingly?

Hey, lookie! More dips!

Thanks, Brian. So the quot... (Below threshold)
John:

Thanks, Brian. So the quote Jay gives was an opinion piece from some nameless blogger, not official press.

Good to know.

Hey, since this post starte... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Hey, since this post started off with a quote, try these, from that most famous of traitorous Americans, Abraham Lincoln:

When the war began, it was my opinion that all those who, because of knowing too little, or because of knowing too much, could not conscientiously approve the conduct of the President, in the beginning of it, should, nevertheless, as good citizens and patriots, remain silent on that point, at least till the war should be ended. Some leading democrats, including Ex President Van Buren, have taken this same view, as I understand them; and I adhered to it, and acted upon it, until since I took my seat here; and I think I should still adhere to it, were it not that the President and his friends will not allow it to be so.
That originally having some strong motive--what, I will not stop now to give my opinion concerning--to involve the two countries in a war, and trusting to escape scrutiny, by fixing the public gaze upon the exceeding brightness of military glory--that attractive rainbow, that rises in showers of blood--that serpent's eye, that charms to destroy he plunged into it, and has swept, on and on, till, disappointed in his calculation of the ease with which Mexico might be subdued, he now finds himself, he knows not where.
All this shows that the President is, in no wise, satisfied with his own positions. First he takes up one, and in attempting to argue us into it, he argues himself out of it; then seizes another, and goes through the same process; and then, confused at being able to think of nothing new, he snatches up the old one again, which he has some time before cast off. His mind, tasked beyond it's power, is running hither and thither, like some tortured creature, on a burning surface, finding no position, on which it can settle down, and be at ease.

Rep. Lincoln also introduced a resolution calling for President Polk to be held accountable for the claims he made to get the U.S. into the war.

Traitor! Aid and comfort to the enemy! Hang 'im!

I should have clarified, th... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I should have clarified, that was Representative Lincoln, speaking about President Polk.

How about this from Upton S... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

How about this from Upton Sinclair:
"Fascism will come to America wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

Sound like anyone we know?

Sound like anyone we kno... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Sound like anyone we know?

OOooh, OOooh, I know! I know!

BryanD?

Brian, John & Barney<... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

Brian, John & Barney

Way to go, guys.

Thanks,Damn, it's ... (Below threshold)
John:

Thanks,

Damn, it's hard trying to get some people to think, though...

I don't know how guys like Lee can be so patient, day in and day out trying to explain stuff.

For me this is a daily excercise in finding my inner Buddha... Some days it goes better than others.

Brian, John & Barney: I sec... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Brian, John & Barney: I second aR. Good show! JT's Kurdish wedge was gutsy, but doomed. (Usually JT's Boston Globe clipping are local yokel virtual birdcage liner material, this one wasn't.)

john along with your "inner... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

john along with your "inner Buddha" can you tell us what media outfit you where with? And school.
Oh and a word of advise to all you kos kiddie rejects--vaseline makes it alot easier to get Jay's foot out of you ass. Also wear a mask like basketball players do as it will protect your nose when Jay kicks your ass with his replys.

The only fascism around her... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

The only fascism around here is practiced (as thoughout history) by our resident lefties. What a charming bunch. And you wimps are not remotely changing anyone's mind here. So, you've got that going for you.

d'ja ever notice that when ... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

d'ja ever notice that when you ask a lefty "do you want the US to win", or "do you want this plan to succeed" they refuse to answer?
I wonder why...

Because it's a stupid question. Questions like these are only asked by people who can't separate wanting something from a critical analysis of whether actions are achieving that goal (the "Tinkerbell mentality"), or who want to break complex world issues into "us or them" memes so they can win a debate, actual accomplishments be damned.

So let me ask you... do you want the US to win? Because every policy you've supported has so far failed to achieve that goal.


You know, in my time on this hear Earth (all 32 years) I've noticed a funny thing. Every single decision and/or issue can ALWAYS be distilled down to a simple choice. So answer the question. Do you want to win or not? Because, unless I'm missing something... deciding to win by "supporting the troops but not the war" that ends up losing the war... is ACTUALLY choosing to lose the war.

Do you want to win or not? If you DO want to win, do what is necessary. If you're NOT willing to do what is necessary, have the intellectual integrity to say you really don't want to win the war.

Barney: "Are you wiling ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Barney: "Are you wiling to step-up and say that the non binding resolution against the surge and the persons that vote yea, are not anti-american, terrorist appeasers"

Sorry Barney, can't do that. I can only see a few things that the non-binding resolution does. It buys the democrats a little time with the lefty voters. It aids, emboldens, and encourages the enemy (islamofascists, terrorists, insurgents, freedom fighters--whatever you wanna call them).

Oh, and I suppose you could say it sends a message to the President. I my opinion that would be a stupid thing to say. The President and anyone who's not informationally retarded knows that the democrats are opposed to anything other than getting out hastily. Hastily, I think most likely to appease the leftist voters. I think many of them know it's the wrong thing to do, but will do it anyway because it benefits them politically.

Can you think of anything else it does? It doesn't stop the current plan from happening. If they wanted to stop the plan they could have voted down the general who devised it. But that would have been a little too honest for the democrats. The democrats have the power to end the war. Why are they not using it and instead wasting time on resolutions that do nothing positive (other than for their own personal political gain)?

Brian: "So opposing the war, but keeping it to yourself, is the only way to not aid terrorists."

No, not at all. Get out and march. Scream at the top of your lungs. Run commercials. Whatever. BUT keep it honest and in the realm of reality. Trying to de-legitimize the war with demonstrably false and misleading statements ("war for oil", "Haliburtion {insert disingenuous offence}", "No WMD", "Bush lied, people died", "If I knew then what I know now...", etc.) does aid the enemy.

Brian: "do you want the US to win? Because every policy you've supported has so far failed to achieve that goal."

First, I don't believe there's a record of which policies I supported so you're making a lot of assumptions with that false statement. Second, the US is trying to do something very good that has never quite been attempted before in ways that have never been attempted before. Some things work others don't. I don't buy the argument that EVERYTHING in Iraq is worse than it was before we invaded. I'm definitely not for giving up and I do support trying new things which is what the non-binding resolution opposes.

Can you name one thing the democrats have done or even suggested to make things better? And no, I don't think quitting will make things better. Temporarily easier for some, maybe, but overall much worse for a phenomenally greater number (like the entire planet) than those who will benefit temporarily (the democrats).

Brian: "Please relate to us someone who has claimed that they do not want the US to succeed."

Well, in my opinion people who cannot say that they DO want the US to succeed is very telling... And there are plenty of examples of that on the left.




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