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The Coming Fight

Expect to see a big fight over Iraq come to a head soon. With Democrats trying their best to get the troops pulled before the public can hear about the progress that is being made and wobbly (that is the nicest word I can think of) Republicans ready to surrender rather than endure low poll numbers, the stage is set for a showdown between those determined to complete the mission and those who want to surrender to defeat. Sickeningly, I fear more Republicans will go wobbly rather than man up. Those are the politicians who will turn on a dime again though, if public opinion starts to swing the other way. The consequences of defeat in Iraq are well known. Even those like the NYT editorial board, who think we should surrender, admit that a likely consequence is genocide. Below are a few comments on the situation from some of my favorite bloggers.

At Ankle Biting Pundits, Pat Hynes writes "A leading staffer for an East Coast Republican Senator told me that there is almost no appetite left to fight on in support of the war effort. Republican Senators want to give our guys until September, but the situation has become increasingly untenable politically, I am told." Pat also says the following about the Democrats'
new Iraq ad:

The ad is fair and accurate, it would seem. Except for one line, the first line, in which the narrator says, "The situation isn't improving ..."

Really?

I read about improvements everyday.

I think the problem here is exactly as we conservatives have sated it from the get-go, and as Scott Johnson articulated yesterday at Power Line: Democrats don't want the situation to improve. They are invested in failure. And if it means they will "play on our fears" by repeating a dispiriting lie--"the situation isn't improving"--well, then so be it. Screw the region, screw the Iraqis and screw our own fighting men and women. Winning the war won't help them win an election, so the ads must run and they must be written and produced in a manner that breaks our nation's spirit.

Lovely.

Read Scott Johnson's post in which he quotes some of Vets for Freedom director, Pete Hegseth's WSJ piece, Give the Surge a Chance. Also read this post at Powerline. My favorite quote from Scott Johnson follows:
Given the demonstrable progress made by General Petraeus and the forces under his command implementing the surge counterinsurgency strategy over the past month, I find the Democratic compulsion to mandate our defeat in Iraq incomprehensible and any Republican assistance lent to the Democrats' effort contemptible.

To those who say there are no signs of progress in Iraq, I could ask why they all of a sudden don't believe the NYT or the BBC, but I know why. Good news in Iraq is bad news for Democrats and bad news for Democrats will be avoided at all costs.

Update: Mark Tapscott says hold firm on Iraq and the Victory Caucus is gearing up to fight the most recent withdrawal effort in Congress. Also read Quin Hillyer's "Surge Protector."


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Comments (187)

Lorie,If you are g... (Below threshold)

Lorie,

If you are going to claim the New York Times and the BBC wrote articles about the surge working in Iraq why can't you link to the actual articles? The NYT link goes to the Weekly Standard's website and the BBC link goes to a blog I have never heard of. The BBC article which is linked to in the unknown blog is headlined: US Iraq chief warns of long war and is basically an interview with General Petraeus detailing the long commitment required by US forces if Iraq is to succeed. The weekly standard article doesn't even link to the NYT.

If this is the best evidence you have that the surge is working then it isn't much.

Blue, you have to actually ... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Blue, you have to actually read the article. For instance:

"The violence has subsided in Ramadi over the past six months - largely, correspondents say, because tribes have turned against al-Qaeda."

and:

"Gen Petraeus attributes this success to the recent surge in combat troop numbers, under which some 30,000 extra US troops have been deployed in Iraq, saying that although much work still remains to be done 'the surge is achieving progress on the ground'."

As for the Times article, very few people... especially ones here... would bother to pay for the dubious honor of reading their tripe, so what good would a link to theor registration page do?

You don't have to pay for i... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You don't have to pay for it, brainless435, you can read it for free on the NYT site. No registration required.

The best reporter in Iraq i... (Below threshold)

The best reporter in Iraq is Michael Yon. He doesn't sugarcoat the story, he reports the facts and events as he sees them in real time, not from a hotel lobby in the Green Zone.
Somebody here was complaining the other night about our condoning torture in Iraq perpetrated by Iraqis against Iraqis.

Read Yon's dramatic description of an arrest made by a U S Colonel of an Iraqi General who was on our side but was suspected of torture.

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/

"The violence has ... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:
"The violence has subsided in Ramadi over the past six months - largely, correspondents say, because tribes have turned against al-Qaeda."

And we all know the tribes have turned against AQ because they see that the Democrats in the US are putting the heat on to get results or get out.

"Gen Petraeus attributes this success to the recent surge in combat troop numbers, under which some 30,000 extra US troops have been deployed in Iraq, saying that although much work still remains to be done 'the surge is achieving progress on the ground'."

Achieving progress? This administration has been telling us we're making great progress for years. It's bullshit.

Admit it, Lorie - you will be the last one standing on this issue. Why? Why are you so determined to be the last American standing in supppoprt of Bush in Iraq. It's illogical given the evidence - even the Republican 'wobblies' who have absolutely nothing to gain from because they aren't up for re-election are now admitting the truth about Iraq.

keep in mind that the goal ... (Below threshold)

keep in mind that the goal of the surge was not simply to cut down on the violence, but to do so in order to give the Iraqis some breathing room to get their act together, both politically and militarily. While it would be nice if the surge did result in fewer deaths (at least fewer non-insurgent deaths), the real test is whether the Iraqis are doing what needs to be done. Will they have agreed on real power sharing? Will their Army and police forces be not only trained, but willing to put 'Iraq' ahead of their regional and clan loyalties? Will they show the initiative to rebuild their society? Will they resist the likes of Al Qaeda and Al Sadr?

So far, I've seen precious little to suggest that they are (and, given the reports of their summer long vacation, plenty to suggest that they're not). And if they aren't, then it really doesn't matter whether the surge results in a (temporary) reduction in violence; the Iraqis will have proven that they're incapable/unwilling to live together in peace. And if that's the case, we ought to get the heck out of there... not because the terrorists have beaten us, but because it wouldn't be right to have our troops die for the bunch of losers the Iraqis will have proven themselves to be. If they're unwilling to stand up and be counted, they ought not expect our troops to do it for them.

At the beginning of the Ira... (Below threshold)
Matt:

At the beginning of the Iraqi Conflict, many years ago, Colin Powell made a comment along the lines of "If you break it, you bought it." He, unfortunately, was right. Regardless of whether or not the war was/is legal, was/is just, was/is neccessary, we are morally obligated to finish it out.

We invaded Iraq on our dime. The Iraqi people, as much as some of them hated Hussein, didn't ask for us to invade. I am sure they would of supported us and been gleeful if we had kept our activities strictly limited to regime change. Unfortuantely, destroying their government, destroying their military, and disrupting what little infrastructure they had is our fault.
We don't get to say "Whoops, Our-bad," and go home. As much as Iraq sucked prior to our invasion, they at least didn't suffer from rampant terrorism, civil war, and danger of invasion/annexation from Iran. Whether we want to admit it or accept it or not, we brought that to them.

We are obliged not to leave Iraq until they have a functional government (regardless of type) and a military that can defend the country from enemies foriegn and domestic and protect the government. Hopefully, that will occur sooner than later, but I wouldn't put money on sooner.

Throughout this I have used words like We and Our. Regardless of political alignment, we as the people of the United states are responsible. It was our congress that gave our president permission to use our miltary to destroy Iraq. It was us, collectively that have refused to hold congress accountable. The majority of Democrat and Republicans that voted to abrogate their responsiblity to declare war are still in office. We haven't held them accountable. The Democrats and Republicans have refused to take decisive action to stop this war although they have several options to them. As citizens and voters we can change the actions of congress every time there is an election.

We have to stay until we have fixed what we broke.

Here's some more <a href="h... (Below threshold)
marc:

Here's some more for you to ignore Neponset:

The irony is that this political retreat is taking place even as General David Petraeus's military offensive is showing signs of progress. "These Anbar [province] sheikhs who are cooperating with the United States have made an enormous difference in what was the most dangerous province in Iraq," said New York Times reporter John Burns in a recent interview on PBS's "NewsHour." "I was out there today at the capital, Ramadi . . . and it's gone from being the most dangerous place in Iraq . . . to being one of the least dangerous places."

Mr. Burns was talking about the trend among Sunni tribal chieftains to ally themselves with the U.S. and the Shiite government of Iraq against what they see as their gravest enemy: al Qaeda interlopers bent on making themselves the leaders of the Sunni community in Iraq. Al Qaeda has taken note of this shift by trying to murder the sheikhs, only increasing the rift between them.

That's a battle al Qaeda is likely to lose, provided U.S. forces are available in sufficient numbers to help Iraqi forces defeat them. It's also a battle that could bring moderate Sunnis on the same side as the predominantly Shiite government--just the sort of "reconciliation" our foreign policy mandarins have demanded of Iraqi leaders as the price of continued U.S. support.

Or as retired General Jack Keane told the New York Sun: "The tragedy of these efforts is we are on the cusp of potentially being successful in the next year in a way that we have failed in the three-plus preceding years, but because of this political pressure it looks like we intend to pull out the rug from underneath that potential success."

matt: you, and powell, are ... (Below threshold)

matt: you, and powell, are wrong. we are under no obligation whatsoever to fix Iraq. we went in to get rid of Hussein, a verified threat, and to eliminate whatever WMDs he might have had. Hussein and Iraq (through their refusal to rise up and throw his a** out) brought this on themselves and as far as I and a whole lot of others are concerned, they can clean up their own mess.

and remember, powell didn't come up with that little gem because he really believed it, he did so because he was grasping at straws to keep Bush from invading and with all of his other efforts (encouraging our allies to protest, failing to get the UN on board, etc.) coming up empty, he thought his little Pottery Barn ploy was as good as he had.

And we all know the trib... (Below threshold)
mantis:

And we all know the tribes have turned against AQ because they see that the Democrats in the US are putting the heat on to get results or get out.

Wow, do you just make this stuff up, Lee?

The tribes have turned against AQ because a) they hate those fuckers; always have; b) the foreign fighters have outgrown whatever usefulness they may have had; and c) they are fed up with having their home blown to shit by foreign interlopers. In short, Iraqis ridding their lands of unwanted foreign fighters is nationalist housecleaning. They are not, in fact, fighting AQ for any reason having to do with American Democrats.

It sounds like the republic... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

It sounds like the republicans are cutting and running. What a bunch of cowards. How can you people keep supporting them?

Violence will subside when ... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Violence will subside when the Iraqi's sign over the rights to their oil.

matt: you, and powell, a... (Below threshold)
Matt:

matt: you, and powell, are wrong. we are under no obligation whatsoever to fix Iraq.

I understand the point you are trying to make. However, it could be construed that it is okay for us to destroy a country and then leave because they "deserved" it.

You could use the same logic in Afghanistan. We should leave immediately because they didn't rise up and kick the Taliban's a** out. The Taliban that sponsored Al Quaeda, oppressed the entire population, is/was working to destabilize Pakistan etc.

AB:Violence wi... (Below threshold)
marc:

AB:

Violence will subside when the Iraqi's sign over the rights to their oil.

You mean to China?

matt: that is exactly the w... (Below threshold)

matt: that is exactly the way I intended my point to be construed. we have on obligation to do what is right for America, not to do what is right for the rest of the world. if destroying a country is good for America, then it gets destroyed. if rebuilding a country is good for us, then we ought to consider doing so.

and you're right, I could apply the same logic to afghanistan. there are some differences: one, they rose up, with our help, against the Taliban, something the iraqis (with the exception of the Kurds) did not do against Hussein, and two, the Afghans are working to build a stable society, they're not hiding behind our soldiers. while I don't like nation building, I mind it somewhat less when the people have their act together, something the Afghans have done and the Iraqis haven't.

matt: you, and powell, ... (Below threshold)
marc:

matt: you, and powell, are wrong. we are under no obligation whatsoever to fix Iraq.

Then I presume you believe we should also pull out of Kosovo rather than stick around and "fix it" by waiting for a reliable gov to be setup.

mantis is repeating what I ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

mantis is repeating what I have said weeks ago. The only missing element are the death squads. When we pull back the death squads will pull up and unleash holy hell on AQ.

SS:something t... (Below threshold)
marc:

SS:

something the iraqis (with the exception of the Kurds) did not do against Hussein

Tell that to the Kurds and Marsh Arabs that Bush I left swinging in the wind after promising to support their fight against Saddam.

That wrong needs to be corrected also.

GRUBBLE:mantis... (Below threshold)
marc:

GRUBBLE:

mantis is repeating what I have said weeks ago. The only missing element are the death squads. When we pull back the death squads will pull up and unleash holy hell on AQ.

And what makes you believe the Sunnies will be spared? Or the Kurds?

marc: yes, not only would I... (Below threshold)

marc: yes, not only would I have never gotten involved in the intramural fight of Kosovo, I wouldn't keep our troops there. It's not our responsibility to be the world's policemen. And for anybody who wants to know, no, we shouldn't send our troops into Darfur. what is going on is sad, but that's just too bad.

The following was lifted fr... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

The following was lifted from Think Progress:

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: So it's not as if there is a date, at six months we'll know and then we have to do something dramatic. [Time Magazine, 1/12/07]

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I think we ought to give him and the president the benefit of the doubt, give them six months and see if it can be controlled. [Fox News, 1/12/07]

BILL O'REILLY: We can't force these people to stop killing each other. They're either going to do it or they're not, but now they know. Now they know. They've got six months and that's it. [The O'Reilly Factor, 1/24/07]

Hey! Six months are just about over based on each of those quotes, so I am sure they will all call on the President to change course.

That would be nice, but we already know that Bush does not have a plan "B". He said so.

I have asked the all knowin... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I have asked the all knowing liberals on another thread to answer this: If the insurgents want us out, and it is known that when the violence lessens to an exceptable rate the US will pull out, why do the insurgents just wait? Hmmm? I know. Conservatives know. Do you??? ww

mantis is repeating what... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

mantis is repeating what I have said weeks ago. The only missing element are the death squads. When we pull back the death squads will pull up and unleash holy hell on AQ.

And the general population as a whole, too! Wheeeeeee!

SS:And for any... (Below threshold)
marc:

SS:

And for anybody who wants to know, no, we shouldn't send our troops into Darfur. what is going on is sad, but that's just too bad.

I agree, but tell that to Sen Biden, that idiot wants to leave Iraq for the Sudan.

And he has the unmitigated gaul to call Bush "brain dead!"

"If the insurgents want us ... (Below threshold)
Conservative Know-it-all:

"If the insurgents want us out, and it is known that when the violence lessens to an exceptable (sic) rate the US will pull out, why do the insurgents just wait?"

Is it because Coalition forces are the ones mostly responsible for the violence?

CKIA:Is it bec... (Below threshold)
marc:

CKIA:

Is it because Coalition forces are the ones mostly responsible for the violence?

Good thing there is a ? mark at the end of that, otherwise I'd request proof of that lunacy.

"It sounds like the republi... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

"It sounds like the republicans are cutting and running. What a bunch of cowards. How can you people keep supporting them?"

Don't worry. We won't be supporting the ones that choose surrender in Iraq, kinda like the Republicans who were for the amnesty bill lost much of their conservative support.

Those wobbly Republicans pr... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Those wobbly Republicans probably believe the hype that the recent poll numbers are about Iraq and not their recent immigration fiasco.

What progress? You can s... (Below threshold)
Kasper Hauser:

What progress? You can say "it's better in Ramadi" or "they've turned against Al Queda", but the number of dead and wounded (Iraqi civilian and U.S. soldiers) keeps rising. I'm not sure what "progress" we are talking about, but it is clear that the Administration badly mismanged the post-invasion.

Maybe we should just move out and let the Sunnis and the Shiia go at it for the next 10, 20 or 30 years.....


I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet, but we need something more than a little "surge".

Don't worry. We won't... (Below threshold)

Don't worry. We won't be supporting the ones that choose surrender in Iraq, kinda like the Republicans who were for the amnesty bill lost much of their conservative support.

Exactly...go back up to Lori's post and read the Scott Johnson link. He said it best.

I'm sorry, it should read :... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I'm sorry, it should read : Why DON'T the insurgents just wait for us to leave? ww

No water, no electricity, n... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

No water, no electricity, no security, no dignity, no peace -- make 'em miserable until they sign the Oil Revenue Sharing Agreement.

but the number of dea... (Below threshold)

but the number of dead and wounded (Iraqi civilian and U.S. soldiers) keeps rising. I'm not sure what "progress" we are talking about,

How many times has this been answered here? The number of dead and wounded increase as our forces and Iraqi forces increase the intensity of the fighting and kill more of the enemy. As a consequence, we have more casualties.

but Lt. Hegseth doesn't tel... (Below threshold)

but Lt. Hegseth doesn't tell the whole story, does he?

Like we've won the war, every battle, but we are losing the occupation. Or that never in history has there been a successful occupation of an Arab country by a western power or that the only reason Israel is hanging on is because it got us and a few nukes.

Like the now friendly warlords in Anbar fighting AQ are Sunni and likely to turn on us as soon as we've helped them accomplish their goals.

Or that our allies, Turkey, has declared there will not be a Kurdish state on its border and is massing troops along the Turkey/Iraq border.

Or that regardless of how much extra blood and treasure we spend trying to buy the princes of the greenzone a bit of time, that to date they've made absolutely no substantive progress on actually forming a working country or finding a way to defend themselves.

What 1st Lt Pete Hegseth needs to do is abandon his part-time National Guard post and join the regular fighting Army, the folks who have made 3 or 4 deployments to Iraq and where company grade officers like Hegseth are leaving in droves and in extreme short supply. Let him fight and die for his beliefs like a real soldier, instead of standing on the sidelines writing articles.

BTW, Hegseth is a bit of ringer. Check out him and his organization at www.sourcewatch.org. Vets for Freedom is a completely GOP front organization and has no, as far as anyone can determine, any active duty military members (won't release a list of members, but donors and contributors are mostly chickenhawk republicans).

The number of dead and w... (Below threshold)
Kasper Hauser:

The number of dead and wounded increase as our forces and Iraqi forces increase the intensity of the fighting and kill more of the enemy. As a consequence, we have more casualties.

Yes. I know that that has been explained before--over and over--for at least four months now. But isn't it supposed to turn around at some point? When? September? December? 2008? 2018?

When exactly will the death toll start dropping instead of climbing?

BTW, Hegseth is a bit... (Below threshold)

BTW, Hegseth is a bit of ringer. Check out him and his organization

No. Check out Michael Yon, or B5. No chickenhawks there (not to give any credence to the chickenhawk arguement, it has been roasted and toasted here already).

You present a complicated picture. I agree, it is. But I have faith in the commanders on the ground to execute the mission. They are smart, bright courageous soldiers. And they are not stupid.

Your historical examples....never in history has there been a successful occupation of an Arab country by a western power

That is a result of US policy, not Arab will.

Let's see: No American invasion of North Africa in WWII? Certain occupation by Germany.

"Or that never in history h... (Below threshold)

"Or that never in history has there been a successful occupation of an Arab country by a western power "

Never heard of Andalusia, Rick? Or do you think that Spain will soon surrender to Bin Laden as he has demanded?

The British occupation of Egypt was pretty successful.

KasperWhen e... (Below threshold)

Kasper

When exactly will the death toll start dropping instead of climbing?

When the politicians let the millitary leaders execute the mission free of concern that the rug will be pulled out from under them. The Democrats (and four or five Republican senators) have placed their bet and are doubling down by demanding withdrawal. They are thoroughly invested in retreat.

Notice how easy it is to sp... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Notice how easy it is to spot the "hope we lose" crowd? All because they got their ass kicked twice by a good ole boy from Texas. They can't stand for something to happen that might be good because of the good ole boy from Texas.
P.S. wee wee they need you over at bluie to answer or delete the 1 1/2 post that you get each day. snicker snort

Another superb article by L... (Below threshold)
steak111111:

Another superb article by Lorie Byrd. You are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT Lorie.

Lee and the rest of the liberals will claim America lost EVEN when we win. LOL

rick kennerly:... (Below threshold)
marc:

rick kennerly:

or that the only reason Israel is hanging on is because it got us and a few nukes.

Funny, Israel has had a bit of trouble putting those that oppose them since oh say... 1948. They've trounced everyone since. Without nucs.

MORE "wisdom" from kennerly:

What 1st Lt Pete Hegseth needs to do is abandon his part-time National Guard post and join the regular fighting Army, the folks who have made 3 or 4 deployments to Iraq

Guess you missed all the whining those of your ilk have done about the National Guard being "stretched" because of Iraq deployments.

If you haven't noticed all National Guard posts are "part-time," unless you mean to say he had willfully avoided service you ain't got anything of substance on the matter."

And what would a good leftest screed be without the obligatory "chickenhawk" cannard.

Rick, if Greece is a wester... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Rick, if Greece is a western power, Alexander occupied the middle east for some time, then Rome, France, The British, Germans, Italians. Turns out never is a long time.

And that should read... "Fu... (Below threshold)
marc:

And that should read... "Funny, Israel hasn't had a bit of trouble..."

Off topic...only slightly. ... (Below threshold)

Off topic...only slightly. Someone other than just me should comment on Paul's "Panic" at Blue.
It's a masterpiece.

HughS - why bother? Anythin... (Below threshold)
marc:

HughS - why bother? Anything that starts with a link to sullivan is suspect at the get go.

Andrew has long since made a small fortune for Alcoa Aluminum's share holders.

I just wanna know two thing... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

I just wanna know two things.

If we do pull out, and the Middle East goes to Hell in a handbasket, are the lefties gonna accept responsibility for all the lives lost?

Second, if we do not pull out, and Iraq stabilizes and becomes a positive influence on the Middle East, will the lefties give Bush and the GOP any credit?

To ask the questions is to answer them, isn't it?

Wow, the White Hou... (Below threshold)
the truth:

Wow, the White House is really struggling to find a parallel that lowers our expectations and puts them in a good light...unfortunately, a better grasp on history and political science might be helpful.

BBC (h/t C&L Commenter):

The head of US forces in Iraq, Lt Gen David Petraeus, has told the BBC that fighting the insurgency is a "long term endeavour" which could take decades.[..]

(H)e warned that US forces were engaged in a "tough fight" which will get "harder before it gets easier".

His comments come as US calls for a rapid troop withdrawal gather strength.

Gen Petraeus was keen to emphasise that the ongoing unrest in Iraq is not something he expects to be resolved overnight.

"Northern Ireland, I think, taught you that very well. My counterparts in your [British] forces really understand this kind of operation... It took a long time, decades," he said.

Here's the problem of using the Northern Ireland analogy: For how long did a band of less than a 1000 IRA militants keep peace at bay? The Troubles were in the late '60s, and that wasn't the beginning. We're not dealing with a few hundred insurgents in Iraq. Also note in the interview (the hyperlink in the above article), Petraeus keeps conflating the issue by talking about al Qaeda, which by all non-White House accounts, is not responsible for most of the violence.

Sounds like things are peachy.

12 billion a month for this... (Below threshold)
enaud:

12 billion a month for this fisasco. It is going to be hard to sustain that.

marcGood point. I ju... (Below threshold)

marc
Good point. I just don't like seeing our millitary and their leaders trashed (and I know you don't either)...guess my mother was right, be careful where you go....sigh, I'm going back.

duaneHave read the F... (Below threshold)

duane
Have read the Federal Budget recently? Just curious? Would $11 Billion make you feel better? $10 Billion? Pick a number.

Second, if we do not ... (Below threshold)

Second, if we do not pull out, and Iraq stabilizes and becomes a positive influence on the Middle East, will the lefties give Bush and the GOP any credit?

Absolutely not. Hell will freeze over first, or burn hotter, depending on your version....see "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" below somewhere.

If we do pull out, and the Middle East goes to Hell in a handbasket, are the lefties gonna accept responsibility for all the lives lost?

No, it will be the Jooos and Bush's fault. Did the Left care a wit about the slaughtered Vietnamese? No. The last thing we heard from the Left about the Vietnamese refugees, other than their becoming very good shrimpers and fishermen, was that they defended themselves with guns during the L A riots.

The last thing we heard... (Below threshold)
marc:

The last thing we heard from the Left about the Vietnamese refugees,

Well not quite... they all cried long and hard when they became "boat-people" floating aimlessly in the Taiwan Straits, Singapore Straits, around various Philippine and Indonesian islands and all the while not uttering a SINGLE WORD why they got there.

Did you guys see this on ya... (Below threshold)
xzerack:

Did you guys see this on yahoo today?

The U.S. Army, strained by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, missed its recruiting goal for the second straight month in June, indicating a trend that some defense officials on Monday called worrying.

So not only will this thing take a decade it is really streching the military.

Why would anyone with other... (Below threshold)
johnSmo:

Why would anyone with other options enlist now?

My nephew talked to me about it enlisting. His father and I are both former Marines (His father was a Sergeant and I was a Corporal). Not sure what his dad told him, but I know what I told him. Not that he would be crazy to enlist, but before he enlist he has something that the people currently serving don't have. That is a choice to determine whether he feels like the current war is worth fighting.

Most members of my family have served in the military and maybe our take on things is a little different. We expect the people serving now would do their duty, that they would obey lawful orders of their immediate superiors. The military does not dictate policy it simply enforces it. We believe that there is a trust between those that serve and those that set policy. The current administration has violated that trust. They've sent them off to fight the wrong war and they aren't taking care of them when they come back.

Well, I could continue on a long rant.... But it's not cowardice that is affecting recruiting goals. It's policy.

Second, if we do not ... (Below threshold)

Second, if we do not pull out, and Iraq stabilizes and becomes a positive influence on the Middle East, will the lefties give Bush and the GOP any credit?

Yeah, and pigs are going to start flying any day now. The biggest problem I have with the kool-aid drinkers is their stubborn refusal to accept they're chasing the impossible dream, they're trying to do what can't be done.

If we do pull out, and the Middle East goes to Hell in a handbasket, are the lefties gonna accept responsibility for all the lives lost?

It's interesting to see so-called conservatives rally round the 'it takes a village (or at least the United States) to save the world' mantra. I thought it was the liberals who were the bleeding hearts crying to solve all of the world's problems. And it's interesting to see the so-called conservatives being so cavalier with the lives of American soldiers; usually it's the liberals who could give a hoot if our American soldiers were being killed.

And I'm certainly no lefty, but I in no way feel responsible for if the Iraqis decide to go kill one another. I got no dog in that fight and no matter how rabid Bush's few remaining supporters go on about how we should care, how sticking around in Iraq is somehow to our benefit, I simply don't agree. There ain't an Iraqi whose life I'd want saved if the cost were the life of an American soldier. In fact, there ain't a million Iraqis whose lives I'd want saved if the cost were the lives of American soldiers.

The gernal said decades huh... (Below threshold)
enaud:

The gernal said decades huh? That is dishearting.

xzerack and johnSmo ... (Below threshold)

xzerack and johnSmo
Yeah
I saw it on Yahoo and what a coincidence, I found this link which is so very informative and such an INCONVENIENT TRUTH for you lefties if you will just READ the whole thing:

http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=11112

There ain't an Ira... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
There ain't an Iraqi whose life I'd want saved if the cost were the life of an American soldier.

That sounds like a racist statement, Steve. Are you saying that Iraqis are not human beings, with the same value as Americans? How much value would you place on an Iraqi life? Three-fifths of an American, perhaps?

You never know. Maybe our n... (Below threshold)

You never know. Maybe our national dignity will kick in and Democrats will be ridden out of Washington on a rail.

x:The U.S. Arm... (Below threshold)
marc:

x:

The U.S. Army, strained by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, missed its recruiting goal for the second straight month in June, indicating a trend that some defense officials on Monday called worrying.

Yep, sure did. al-Reuters, the NYT, Chi Trib and WaPo had the same basic story.

And most ignore this part, "The Army is still exceeding its goals for the year, despite June's miss," or that "July, August, and September are traditionally the best months for recruiting," "Many potential enlistees are turned away from being overweight or lacking a high school diploma."

So your point is?


That 12 billion a month num... (Below threshold)
Rose:

That 12 billion a month number is really bad when, you consider that The Bush administration plans to cut funding for veterans' health care two years from now - even as badly wounded troops returning from Iraq could overwhelm the system.

I stand on the fence on this thing, but it seems like the least we could do is not cut the benefits of the brave men and women fighting for our country.

The price we pay for having... (Below threshold)
BC:

The price we pay for having lying, incompetent leaders....

Even though we invaded Iraq on a pile of lies, the immorality of that has been dwarfed by the gross incompetence that let that country and the lives of so many of its people deteriorate to a sad ass level of hell. But even that level of immorality will be dwarfed if we just abandon them to what will likely be long cycle of nasty, bloody, sectarian civil warfare. The only true solution at this point is to bite the bullet and reinstitute the draft (or something akin to national service). That "surge" came too late and with not enough soldiers. At the peak of the Vietnam War, April 30th, 1969, the US troop levels were at 543,400, and that still wasn't enough to get the job done over there. Although US troop levels in Iraq have in recent months approached 200,000, that's still not nearly enough given the level of violence and its spread. I'm estimating at least a million+ troops would be needed at this point to be deployed to really stamp out the insurgency and bring back civil order.

If that number seems high, bear in mind that during the first Gulf War, the US employed about 500,000 troops along with 160,000 from other countries. And that was a straight, "clean" (as far as any war can be) war effort across deserts that booted Hussein's army of Kuwait. The current situation in Iraq requires both soldiering and policing in urban environments, and dealing with a vicious, decentralized enemy employing guerrilla tactics -- a far, far more labor intensive scenario. While I suppose it's theoretically possible to recruit a million volunteer soldiers, I wouldn't bet on it at this point unless -- maybe -- we sweeten the deal with stuff like bonuses and citizenship grants (but which would make our army like a mercenary force).

And even if you put aside the morality issue, the loss of face and prestige, as well the feeding the worse suspicions and fears about US foreign policy, will likely haunt this country for many years to come.

-BC

Sturm and Drang... (Below threshold)

Sturm and Drang

I have with the kool-aid drinkers is their stubborn refusal to accept they're chasing the impossible dream, they're trying to do what can't be done

They're drinking Gatorade over their, and they can accomplish their mission if you don't abandon them.

usually it's the liberals who could give a hoot if our American soldiers were being killed.

well said

In fact, there ain't a million Iraqis whose lives I'd want saved if the cost were the lives of American soldiers.

As said earlier on this blog, consider yourself in good company with Joe Kennedy and Charles Lindberg. Other Americans disagree.


Interesting that you "defea... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Interesting that you "defeat at any cost" folks bring up the Yahoo! News story quote from yesterday's (9 July) story but neglect today's (10 July) story!

Other active-duty branches of the U.S. military met or exceeded goals, according to Pentagon data.

For example, the Marine Corps, which too has been strained by deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, recruited 4,113 new Marines, exceeding its goal of 3,742 for June.

Of the reserve forces, all except the Air National Guard met or exceeded monthly recruiting targets, the Defense Department said.

Now why would you anti-war dimwits not wanna quote that, hmmm?

johnSMO:but be... (Below threshold)
marc:

johnSMO:

but before he enlist he has something that the people currently serving don't have

HorseSH*T! With the exception of a limited extensions they all have a choice upon enlistment expiration.

When the enlistment is up they get out for whatever reasons THEY decide.

Hugh S,by lowering... (Below threshold)
xzerack:

Hugh S,

by lowering their standards.

Now they take drug addicts and gang members.

Not the best people for the army IMHO. Now thye can't even get enough of those. That is just sad.

The Bush administr... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
The Bush administration plans to cut funding for veterans' health care two years from now

Uh, news flash for ya, Rose: Bush ain't gonna be President in two years!

And the budget for 2009 is far from set in stone at this point. More like set in sand, since a later Congress (and it is Congress that sets the budget, not the President) can--and probably will--come up with their own budget.

You probably shouldn't post comments on blogs until you comprehend how our government works. Save yourself a lot of embarrassment.

BCWhy should we have... (Below threshold)

BC
Why should we have a draft?

that's still not nearly enough given the level of violence and its spread. I'm estimating at least a million+ troops would be needed at this point to be deployed to really stamp out the insurgency and bring back civil order

You're a smart guy. Whence comes this logistics, strategy and troop strength?

BC:the immoral... (Below threshold)
marc:

BC:

the immorality of that has been dwarfed

It's "immoral" to enforce a signed, sealed and delivered 1991 ceasefire agreement?

Just before they started th... (Below threshold)
Bruce O:

Just before they started the Iraq war, the Bush administration estimated that the entire war would cost 1.2 billion dollars.
It currently costs that much EVERY THREE DAYS.

xzerackNow t... (Below threshold)

xzerack

Now they take drug addicts and gang members.

Not the best people for the army IMHO. Now thye can't even get enough of those. That is just sad.

Go back to DU. You don't deserve a response. You do, however, reflect the liberal left view of our troops.

x:Now they tak... (Below threshold)
marc:

x:

Now they take drug addicts and gang members.

Straight up... you're a liar. (and a Rosie clone)

Now prove me wrong. Surely you can come up with a creditable source that makes that claim.

It's "immoral" to ... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
It's "immoral" to enforce a signed, sealed and delivered 1991 ceasefire agreement?

If it's a Republican that enforces it, yes.

If a Democrat enforces it (you know, by lobbing cruise missiles at empty buildings), well, that's absolutely wonderful!

Congratulations Bruce O... (Below threshold)

Congratulations Bruce O

Welcome to Federal Budgeting. Is the cost what really has you bothered? Because your taxes have gone down....unless of course you pay the AMT.

C-C-G..... anyone hear the ... (Below threshold)
marc:

C-C-G..... anyone hear the recess bell ring at DU?

Or have I missed out on the free foil hats being handed out here?

No, Marc, I didn't, but I t... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

No, Marc, I didn't, but I think I did hear the doors to the rooms with rubber wallpaper all open at once for "computer time."

My response above didn't bo... (Below threshold)

My response above didn't bold and italicize the nut's complete remark:

Now they take drug addicts and gang members.

Not the best people for the army IMHO. Now thye can't even get enough of those. That is just sad.

Well, that didn't either. P... (Below threshold)

Well, that didn't either. Point made though.

"Achieving progress? This a... (Below threshold)
The other Matt:

"Achieving progress? This administration has been telling us we're making great progress for years. It's bullshit."

Lee, have you been there more than once? Hell have you been there at all? If you have been then you wold have seen progress.

"Why are you so determined to be the last American standing in supppoprt of Bush in Iraq."

I'm standing with Lorie.

"It's illogical given the evidence "

You have no fricking clue what you are talking about.

"the Iraqis will have proven that they're incapable/unwilling to live together in peace."

Steve, that is an ignorant statement. Please stop talking.

"The Iraqi people, as much as some of them hated Hussein, didn't ask for us to invade. "

Matt. They could not ask us to invade. If they did then they would have been murdered.

I will get to the rest of you in a moment. This is all the stupidity I can handle right now.

I think I did hear the ... (Below threshold)
marc:

I think I did hear the doors to the rooms with rubber wallpaper all open at once for "computer time."

In that case I should expect a reliable census of how many "gang members and drug addicts" have been recruited to this point.

But I have to wonder... will "x" also provide a source to a story how the ilitary is also circumventing their drug testing policy.

Well as the Iraqi governmen... (Below threshold)
Sandbag:

Well as the Iraqi government is unlikely to meet any of the political and security goals or timelines President Bush set for it in January when he announced a major shift in U.S. policy, It looks like these guys are going to be spending their time trying to find another way to get congress to keep supporting this thing. Does it really suprise people that these goals are not likely to be met?

Hey, the Marines have lande... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Hey, the Marines have landed in this thread!

The other Matt (who's a Sergeant in the USMC and a buddy of mine), I owe you another beverage of your choice for that one.

Oh well... even without the... (Below threshold)
marc:

Oh well... even without the "M" on military the point is valid.

"x" where's my "proof?"

The other Matt (who's a... (Below threshold)
marc:

The other Matt (who's a Sergeant in the USMC and a buddy of mine), I owe you another beverage of your choice for that one.

Hey... what about mine? I did my part ferrying around "Jarheads" for 20 plus.

(Sorry other Matt, but you know how it is, if it weren't for the Jarheads and Squids slingin' arrows at each other those long days a sea would SUCK!)

Its all good. If it wernt f... (Below threshold)
The other Matt:

Its all good. If it wernt for Squids I would not have anyone to steal good ship chow from.

"but the situation has bec... (Below threshold)
scrapiron Author Profile Page:

"but the situation has become increasingly untenable politically"
Do you need more proof that the members of congress could care less how many of our soldiers die in Iraq, how many Iraqi's die and for a fact they don't care how many Americans die right here in the U.S. from terrorists attacks. If your entire family is wiped out tonight (some will be in the near future) they will run to the scene and give 'hero' political speaches about what great plans they have to prevent more attacks. It is now all about politics, the RINO's have joined the traitorous democrats is putting every citizen in the country in danger. I don't want to hear any bitching from the left when it happens. You reap what you sow, and you (democrats) have planted a crop of hate for yourself and your children that will never leave until someone kills them. BDS can not be dumped in 09, it will continue to rot your brain until you end your own life, or the terrorist do it for you.

In 2004, the Penta... (Below threshold)
xzerack:

In 2004, the Pentagon published a "Moral Waiver Study," whose seemingly benign goal was "to better define relationships between pre-Service behaviors and subsequent Service success." That turned out to mean opening more recruitment doors to potential enlistees with criminal records.

In February, the Baltimore Sun wrote that there was "a significant increase in the number of recruits with what the Army terms 'serious criminal misconduct' in their background" -- a category that included "aggravated assault, robbery, vehicular manslaughter, receiving stolen property and making terrorist threats." From 2004 to 2005, the number of those recruits rose by more than 54 percent, while alcohol and illegal drug waivers, reversing a four-year decline, increased by more than 13 percent.

In June, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that, under pressure to fill the ranks, the Army had been allowing into its ranks increasing numbers of "recruits convicted of misdemeanor crimes, according to experts and military records." In fact, as the military's own data indicated, "the percentage of recruits entering the Army with waivers for misdemeanors and medical problems has more than doubled since 2001."

One beneficiary of the Army's new moral-waiver policies gained a certain prominence this summer. After Steven Green, who served in the 101st Airborne Division, was charged in a rape and quadruple murder in Mahmudiyah, Iraq, it was disclosed that he had been "a high-school dropout from a broken home who enlisted to get some direction in his life, yet was sent home early because of an anti-social personality disorder."

Recently, Eli Flyer, a former Pentagon senior military analyst and specialist on the relationship between military recruiting and military misconduct, told Harper's magazine that Green had "enlisted with a moral waiver for at least two drug- or alcohol-related offenses. He committed a third alcohol-related offense just before enlistment, which led to jail time, although this offense may not have been known to the Army when he enlisted

Recently, Eli Flyer, a former Pentagon senior military analyst and specialist on the relationship between military recruiting and military misconduct, told Harper's magazine that Green had "enlisted with a moral waiver for at least two drug- or alcohol-related offenses. He committed a third alcohol-related offense just before enlistment, which led to jail time, although this offense may not have been known to the Army when he enlisted.

Xzerack, what the hell does... (Below threshold)
The other Matt:

Xzerack, what the hell does that have to do with progress in Iraq?

But if you want to get into a debate about the quality of people in service now as opposed to 30 years ago, then fine. I will beat you up all day.

Hey... what about ... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
Hey... what about mine? I did my part ferrying around "Jarheads" for 20 plus.

My father was Navy in Korea and Naval Reserves thereafter until retirement at 60, so I know all about--and still harbor (no pun intended) a lot of affection for--da Navy. :)

But when it comes to putting anti-war types in their proper place, ain't nothin' like a Marine.

Other matt,take ti... (Below threshold)
xzerack:

Other matt,

take time and READ the other posts and you will see it was in reponse to someone.

other MattIts ... (Below threshold)
marc:

other Matt

Its all good. If it wernt for Squids I would not have anyone to steal good ship chow from.

Riiiiight! You never served on any of my ships!

Ok so I ask once again. Wha... (Below threshold)
The other Matt:

Ok so I ask once again. What exactly does that have to do with current progress in Iraq?

"X" the Baltimore Sun?... (Below threshold)
marc:

"X" the Baltimore Sun?

Sorry guy gotta do better (plus a link) the B-Sun is farther left than the NYT.

Your next quote only says "the Army had been allowing into its ranks increasing numbers of "recruits convicted of misdemeanor crimes, according to experts and military records."

Guess what "misdemeanor crimes" where always allowed with a waiver. I got in 1981 with two on my record.

And your last citation....so it's one guy.

What else ya got I'm not impressed.

The other Matt....... (Below threshold)
marc:

The other Matt....

he made the accusation that recruiting goals were being met because of all the "gang members and drug addicts" being allowed in.

Morale is inevitably poorer... (Below threshold)
kim:

Morale is inevitably poorer in a non-volunteer military, and performance is directly related to morale, even in the military.
====================================

Of course you are not impre... (Below threshold)
xzerack:

Of course you are not impressed marc you are a fanatic. Your mind won't change if I include the washington post, ny Time, CNN or even holy fox news.

That's what's treasonous ab... (Below threshold)
kim:

That's what's treasonous about you morale sappers.
=============================

General P's military analys... (Below threshold)
Gene:

General P's military analysis and historical analogies are both correct AND THAT IS WHY WE MUST EXIT IRAQ. This is not what the nation has ever bought into and will never buy into. Let them go after each other. Just bring our troops home. The WH, NSA and DoD have failed them by putting them into an impossible situation.

Wanna see a fanatic, xz?</p... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Wanna see a fanatic, xz?

Look in the mirror.

I'll take Matt or Marc, or my buddy John in CA (also Navy vet) over you anti-war whiners any day.

They've all laid their life on the line (and Matt still does) to protect your right to be a jerk, and I think you owe them at least some gratitude for that.

Not that they'll ever get any from you. And the fact that they did (and still do) their duty to protect ungrateful wretches like you, xz, just makes me respect and honor them more.

"The other Matt....<p... (Below threshold)
The other Matt:

"The other Matt....

he made the accusation that recruiting goals were being met because of all the "gang members and drug addicts" being allowed in."

Thanks.

"Of course you are not impressed marc you are a fanatic. Your mind won't change if I include the washington post, ny Time, CNN or even holy fox news."

We are not moving forward because bill jimbob hit aunt may in the uterus when he was 12.

Ya see I can say what ever I want. But without reliable reference it means nothing.

I can honestly say that the group of people I work with now is the best that I have ever worked with.

Thanks Buddy. ... (Below threshold)
The other Matt:

Thanks Buddy.

And, sadly enough, ToM, per... (Below threshold)
kim:

And, sadly enough, ToM, perhaps or ever will. Treasure them.
==========================

Its all good. If i... (Below threshold)
Its all good. If it wernt for Squids I would not have anyone to steal good ship chow from.

Riiiiight! You never served on any of my ships!

I don't know, chow in the Chief's Mess was pretty dang good.

C-C-G: I wouldn't value an... (Below threshold)

C-C-G: I wouldn't value an Iraqi at even 3/5 of an American. And it has nothing to do with racism, it has everything to do with valuing the lives of my family, friends, neighbors and fellow Americans more highly than I value the lives of people elsewhere.

"Achieving progres... (Below threshold)
"Achieving progress? This administration has been telling us we're making great progress for years. It's bullshit."

If we could apply the same standards and metrics to government programs and functions the anti-war doves apply to progress in Iraq, we could abolish half of the Federal Government.

Daily, I debate with myself... (Below threshold)

Daily, I debate with myself which side is more wrong headed on this issue: The side that continues to push on for a policy that is not working, or the side that wants out of Iraq at any cost, no matter what future problems may develop.

At least two candidates, Bill Richardson and Dennis Kucinich are supporting a policy I posted online that calls for an Arab peacekeeping force to take over duties in Iraq, since the American mission has become a lightning rod attracting both Al Qaeda radicals and Iran to meddle in Iraq. Whether Arab states would actually step up to such a peacekeeping role, or whether this plan would axtually work in whole other debate.

The current policy isn't bringing Iraq any closer to peace, and without a peacekeeping force of some type, the region will certainly explode in such an authority vacuum. Iraq is one can of worms this nation never should have opened.

I personally do no feel very comfortable with either the Republican or Democratic solutions to Iraq, myself. I wish a better third way would emerge.

The only true solu... (Below threshold)
The only true solution at this point is to bite the bullet and reinstitute the draft (or something akin to national service)

While I suppose it's theoretically possible to recruit a million volunteer soldiers, I wouldn't bet on it at this point unless -- maybe -- we sweeten the deal with stuff like bonuses and citizenship grants (but which would make our army like a mercenary force).

You know, a liberal is concerned about living wages and higher earnings, until it comes to paying volunteers in our Armed Forces. At that point if we pay them too much or offer them bonuses, then it's a mercenary force and it's bad.

Democrats are generally now calling for a larger Army and Marine Corps, and that's the direction we are heading. So, a couple of services have a couple of tough months and suddenly it's a crisis, reported and commented on with near glee.

As long as I was in the service, everytime we had a strong economy, it was tougher to retain and recruit. Most of the time I was in, we had a growing economy while we were trying to grow our military (80's especially) and, conditions that aren't conducive to retention and recruiting. Well, except for the 90's while some guy named Clinton was slashing our military end strength at the same time the economy was growing.

I don't understand why the guy I quoted, and many others are willing to force a draft on the military, giving us a conscript military.

I'll ask the same question I've asked before. How would it work if your company or business needed ten new workers and instead of rectruiting them you appealed to the government and it went out and drafted ten people from other jobs, unemployment or schools and sent them to you and said make them work.

That's still racism, Steve,... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

That's still racism, Steve, placing us above the ethnic group of the Iraqis.

Scary, isn't it, that we could value the lives of those of another ethnic group, who still bleed red, so lightly that we will not make the ultimate sacrifice to save them.

Truly sad the way the left has degenerated back into racism.

I will pray for you, Steve.

Can't wait to hear my polit... (Below threshold)
Judith:

Can't wait to hear my politicians from MA brag about how they defeated the enemy (Bush), destroyed our military's morale and moved on to bigger and better problems....like sending our demoralized and underfunded military (believe me, when the dems take power, our military will be underfunded, big time) to darfur, opened our borders, destroyed our medical programs, our schools and our religions, and have a death toll from terrorists (like an allowance for how many deaths we are willing to tolerate in the USA)...oh happy days when the dems rule!

Judith, I always tell peopl... (Below threshold)

Judith, I always tell people I'm a political prisoner in CA. I have to say you undoubtedly have it even worse than I do. At least my whole Congressional delegation isn't made up of democratics.

"x"Of course y... (Below threshold)
marc:

"x"

Of course you are not impressed marc you are a fanatic. Your mind won't change if I include the washington post, ny Time, CNN or even holy fox news.

You want me impressed, then prove your direct accusation the recruiting goals are met because of the number of "drug addicts and gang members" that are being let in.

All you have addressed is a suspect news report, a citation of people with misdemeanors being let in (that has ALWAYS been the case) and a single ref to a single man.

For the sake of argument lets agree "drug addicts" are being let in some mythical number.Can you provide a source that claims the military has recinded it's drug testing policy?

I mean it has to be true right? Otherwise all these "dtug addicts" would be popping positive on every piss test.

John in CA:

I don't know, chow in the Chief's Mess was pretty dang good.

Buwahahahhahahaha.... This Bad Boy career E-6 (although SW I might add) saw that chow only after knockin' and uncovering!

At least two candi... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
At least two candidates, Bill Richardson and Dennis Kucinich are supporting a policy I posted online that calls for an Arab peacekeeping force to take over duties in Iraq

The problem with that plan, Mr. Hooson, is that it's even less likely to happen than clicking your heels together three times will send you to Kansas.

The other Arabs in that region don't want a stable, free, democratic Iraq.

The Syrians want Iraq in turmoil to advance their agenda of extending Sunni Islam across the Middle East. Al-Qaeda, you'll remember, is a Sunni group. Syria is approximately 3/4 Sunni Muslim.

The Saudis want Iraq in turmoil because that pulls the most militant members of their society away from Saudi Arabia and into Iraq. Thus the House of Saud doesn't have to deal with them.

The Turks are walking a very fine line between the Middle East and the West, and would never send troops to Iraq, for fear of upsetting their other Arab neighbors.

The rest of the nations are too small to be able to send any significant number of troops, even if they wanted to. And they don't, for fear of al-Qaeda and/or other terrorists (see recent assassinations in Lebanon).

In short, an Arab peacekeeping force is about as likely as finding a Jabberwock under your bed.

John in CA:I d... (Below threshold)
marc:

John in CA:

I don't understand why the guy I quoted, and many others are willing to force a draft on the military, giving us a conscript military.

Sure you do. They have bought Shillary's "shared sacrifice" crap.

Well that and having ZERO clue what a conscript army/navy is/was like. After I enlisted in '81 it took 10 years to finally weed out the real drug addicts and various malcontents before a true professional force was in the field and on the seas.

"Iraq is one can of worms t... (Below threshold)
steak111111:

"Iraq is one can of worms this nation never should have opened.
I personally do no feel very comfortable with either the Republican or Democratic solutions to Iraq, myself. I wish a better third way would emerge."

Posted by Paul Hooson | July 10, 2007 10:39 PM


i agree. the next time some hitler wants to take over another country, we should just sit back and do nothing like FDR did - - - The result? 65 MILLION DEAD instead of less than 4,000. Thank You GWBush for stopping a potential disaster.

marc, I joined in '77, and ... (Below threshold)

marc, I joined in '77, and even though the draft was in the past, there were still hold overs from the draft period. And even thought the Navy didn't get draftees, there were those who joined to avoid their lottery number coming up. Thus you get people in all services who'd rather not be there, and that's just not good for a fighting force.

Ignore me, I'm just checkin... (Below threshold)
Kevin Author Profile Page:

Ignore me, I'm just checking to see if the "Subscribe" option works. Comments are now numbered and I've moved the comment permalink anchor to the comment number.

Ignore me</blockqu... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
Ignore me

Did somebody say something? ;-)

The Subscribe functi... (Below threshold)
Kevin Author Profile Page:

The Subscribe function won't be working until I get a patch from the plugin author for an issue with the path to the executible due to the fact that we use relative vs. absolute paths. That's total geek speak that I expect almost no one to care about or understand.

Carry on...

That's total geek ... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
That's total geek speak that I expect almost no one to care about or understand.

I understood it perfectly.

Not sure if I should be proud or ashamed of that.

In my darker moments I wish... (Below threshold)
scrapiron Author Profile Page:

In my darker moments I wish the democrats 100% success in pulling the troops out of the Middle East. There is no way to pull out of Iraq and let one American troop remain in the region. That would be a 'democrat' issued death sentence to those troops and Israel, (anyone remember the hundreds we lost when the cowardly democrats demanded a retreat a few years ago?) so they must all come home. This will faciliate and accelerate the next major terrorists attack(s) on the United states which will be a death sentence for the democrat party. A lot of large cities will become dead zones within months of the surrender. My hope is that it includes D.C. and NYC. Even the simple minded that support the democrats only because they think it's popular to get on their knees and kiss a** will turn against them overnight.

I see your point, Scrapiron... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

I see your point, Scrapiron, but you'll pardon me if I wish for a happier outcome.

Part of me, however, fears that you're right.

And NYC and DC would be in the top 5 targets, just like they were last time.

Scrapiron, you are correct ... (Below threshold)
steak111111:

Scrapiron, you are correct as always.

However, you forgot to mention that the liberals (with Hillary leading the charge) will blame the republicans after it all comes about. Finger pointing will be as common as raising taxes.

Here you go Marc, ... (Below threshold)
xzerack:

Here you go Marc,

Not that it will make a difference.

the Houston Chronicle reported in August that Army recruiters were trolling around the outskirts of a Dallas-area job fair for ex-convicts.

Law enforcement officials report that the military is now "allowing more applicants with gang tattoos," the Chicago Sun-Times reports, "because they are under the gun to keep enlistment up." They also note that "gang activity maybe rising among soldiers." The paper was provided with "photos of military buildings and equipment in Iraq that were vandalized with graffiti of gangs based in Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities."

USA Today reports:

About 17% of the first-time recruits, or about 13,600, were accepted under waivers for various medical, moral or criminal problems, including misdemeanor arrests or drunk driving. That is a slight increase from last year, the Army said.

Of those accepted under waivers, more than half were for "moral" reasons, mostly misdemeanor arrests. Thirty-eight percent were for medical reasons and 7% were drug and alcohol problems, including those who may have failed a drug test or acknowledged they had used drugs.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/02/14/national/main2474041.shtml

From CBSnews:

The Army granted more than double the number of waivers for felonies and misdemeanors in 2006 than it did in 2003.

So there we go the Houston Chronicle, USATODAY, the chicago Suntimes, The Balitomore sun, CBSNEWS.

But again it doesn't matter you are a fanatic and you will think I am a liar on this matter no matter what evidence I bring. We have lowered our standards and you will never ever admit that.

But I won't waste anymore time on you. If you are interested google and you will find every story I mention. Although lets be honest I am guessing you will not buy anything not reported by drudge.

No link for the H-Chron and... (Below threshold)
marc:

No link for the H-Chron and USA -T article?

Why, because you actually found them at some far left anti-war, anti-Bush website and they are so old the links (if they had them) are long since dead?

I'd lay odds on it.

Anyway, the Chron article notes nothing. Where's the quote? Wheres the proof they recruited anyone, if they were? How many were recruited?

The Sun Times.... I've noted similar stories about ""gang activity maybe rising among soldier." Note the maybe in that quote.

Nothing definitive is it? Question, how does "gang graffiti" prove anything? How much? Is there enough to believe it is enough to make up for a recruiting shortfall?

How do you know it was painted/written by a gang member and not by some wanna-be? I've seen gang graffiti in downtown Hollywood. How many crops & bloods live there?


The USA-T report.... "various medical, moral or criminal problems, including misdemeanor arrests or drunk driving.

Ooooooo.... you can find that in any section of the population, no connection to gangs here move along.

7% were for "drug and alcohol problems. So..... what's that about 1,000 of the 13,600 total?

Even if you claim all 7% (again only 1,000) were for drugs it's a drop in the bucket compared to the alleged manpower shortfall.

Question.... how are those with "drug" problems going to remain in the service when they take their first random and mandatory piss test and fail?

And BTW, why didn't you post the actual numbers from the USA-T article? "double the number of waivers for felonies and misdemeanors in 2006 than it did in 2003" sounds like OH...SOOOOOO many!

The actual numbers tell a different story doesn't it?

The number of felony waivers granted by the Army grew from 411 in 2003 to 901 in 2006, according to the Pentagon, or about one in 10 of the moral waivers approved that year.
That's a gain of only 490 people in a military force of over 1.3 MILLION ASSHAT!

I won't even cover the "petty theft, writing a bad check or some assaults" part, it's childish, just as you are for trying to foist this crap on someone with a half a brain..

You're right... I'm a "fanatic," for reality. And what you have posted is mostly anecdotal and far from proof that these small numbers are anything but VERY, VERY VERY small part of the total recruited each year.

"Guess you missed all the w... (Below threshold)

"Guess you missed all the whining those of your ilk have done about the National Guard being "stretched" because of Iraq deployments."

Hegseth has made one tour compared to regular Army and Marines 3 or 4 tours. If he really believes in this cause, he'd join a regular fighting unit.

"x" One last thing for you.... (Below threshold)
marc:

"x" One last thing for you...

The 490 felony waivers that was reported in your USA-T piece is part of "900,000 Americans [that have] join[ed] the Army, and more than 700,000 soldiers have re-enlisted in the Army," since 9/11!

That's an average of 150,000 per year enlisting!

And you claim 490 is a problem!

The only correct claim you can make is you are an ASSHAT. But having an acute case of BDS prevents you from seeing it.

"You present a complicat... (Below threshold)

"You present a complicated picture. I agree, it is. But I have faith in the commanders on the ground to execute the mission. They are smart, bright courageous soldiers. And they are not stupid."

Or, after years of mismanagement by politicians, is the military being set up as the fall guy for eventual failure?

I heard a radio interview with a Lt. Col. the other day. His assessment: "right force, right mix, too little, too late."

kennerly you've already pro... (Below threshold)
marc:

kennerly you've already proven to be of little substance by use of the chickenhawk cannard.

It's childish and so are you for using it.


See YA!

"Let's see: No American ... (Below threshold)

"Let's see: No American invasion of North Africa in WWII? Certain occupation by Germany."

Come'on, we were all just passing through fighting each other. The Germans weren't around long enough for much of a backlash to form to their occupation (see TE Lawerence). It was all over in about 2 years. The Allied purpose was not hegemony, but fighting Nazis.

The Arab population was incidental and we'd all moved on. We had no vision of bringing democracy to the region.

The Arab po... (Below threshold)

The Arab population was incidental and we'd all moved on. We had no vision of bringing democracy to the region.

You forgot your original point:

Like we've won the war, every battle, but we are losing the occupation. Or that never in history has there been a successful occupation of an Arab country by a western power

As I said, Arab countries have not been occupied because of policy, not the Arab's ability to resist.

To HughS:The 1 milli... (Below threshold)
BC:

To HughS:
The 1 million figure comes from looking the effectiveness of the current troop level, which is roughly around 200,000 and looking at what troop levels were used in past conflicts: about 650,000 total for the 1st Gulf War.

To Marc:
We didn't preemptively invade Iraq to "enforce a signed, sealed and delivered 1991 ceasefire agreement".

To C-C-G:
I suggest you do a little reading to see what Clinton was actually doing during his term in regards to Iraq: like this and this for example.

To John in CA:
For one thing, military service has traditionally never been treated like private employment -- it's defense of your country (in theory at least) and involves wholesale death and destruction. Since the Civil War, when more soldiers were needed, they were conscripted. With that said, I came across this interesting link in regards to what happened when the conscription was introduced for the Civil War.

My concern with a well-paid volunteer/mercenary force is with motivation and not having a diversified military. Also the troop levels needed at a given time can vary drastically -- do you think we can afford to fund "worst case" troop levels 24/7 just in case? I suppose there could be "semi-peace time" funding for average troop level needs and then have "war time" funding when a conflict arises needing a lot more resources. I'm good friends with this married couple, and the wife has a long history of being involved in things like the Peace Corps and international NGO's, while the husband has a martial arts, Navy and Navy SEAL background, and they both think it would be good for this country to have something like 2 years of mandatory national service for all young people finishing school. And by national service, that would military and Peace Corps type activity. I kind of like that idea as well, but that is a personal preference.

However it's done, though, we need a system in place that can ensure that we have enough troops when needed, however many are needed.

-BC

CCG, you are right on point... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

CCG, you are right on point. The reason the insurgents keep fighting even while knowing we would leave if they stop, is because they are not fighting Americans, they are fighting democracy. So, the bloodbath that will happen after we leave is on the hands of the liberals. The republicans and our brave troops want to see this operation succeed.

Kevin, I think you made up that geek stuff. ww

BC:To Marc:<br... (Below threshold)
marc:

BC:

To Marc:
We didn't preemptively invade Iraq to "enforce a signed, sealed and delivered 1991 ceasefire agreement".

Then you need to reread the AUMF, it's plainly listed as one of the reasons.

Which BTW doesn't make it a preemptive strike, it defines it as the resumption of hostilities.

This will faciliate and ... (Below threshold)
Stevenrobb:

This will faciliate and accelerate the next major terrorists attack(s) on the United states which will be a death sentence for the democrat party. A lot of large cities will become dead zones within months of the surrender.

Scrapiron. It's nice for you that your hatred of the democrats fuels fantasies about death and catastrophy for our people here. Just don't fool yourself into believing your grotesque comments make you anything but the human equivalent of a piece of trash.

It's nice how the asshats o... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

It's nice how the asshats on the left not only use the chickenhawk argument, but now even escalate it further. It used to be "If you believed that, you'd fight." Now, pathetic cowards like kennerly use "If you believed that, you'd fight more." How long before these bastards refuse to respond to anyone who hasn't died in battle? That's the kind of debate they preferr, after all. None.

"You don't have to pay for ... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

"You don't have to pay for it, brainless435, you can read it for free on the NYT site. No registration required."
mantis

When I tried to find it, it gave me the registration page. Such is life.

By the way, since you insist on the childish name-calling, maybe I should try. Let's see...
womantis?
man ti*s?

The Arab population was inc... (Below threshold)

The Arab population was incidental and we'd all moved on. We had no vision of bringing democracy to the region.

"You forgot your original point:

Like we've won the war, every battle, but we are losing the occupation. Or that never in history has there been a successful occupation of an Arab country by a western power

As I said, Arab countries have not been occupied because of policy, not the Arab's ability to resist."

If you're going to quote, quote in context. I was referring to the current American occupation of Iraq.

kennerly you've already ... (Below threshold)

kennerly you've already proven to be of little substance by use of the chickenhawk cannard.

It's childish and so are you for using it.

Your saying so doesn't make it true. After all, Combat Vet Daddy Bush had enough sense to know what a protracted occupation of Iraq was not going to work.

Combat Vet Powell, knew better.

It was the chickenhawk neocon crowd with the childish John Wayne fantasies of war movies that got us into this mess. Damn few ever saw combat.

RickIf you'r... (Below threshold)

Rick

If you're going to quote, quote in context. I was referring to the current American occupation of Iraq.

I did quote in context. Not to belabor the point, but if you read your original comment, it conveys the message that an Arab country can't be successfully occupied by a western power. That simply is not true. I gave an example of such. Had the US not invaded North Africa in 1942 Germany would have consolidated control and occupied a number of Arab countries.

The military is on to Powel... (Below threshold)
kim:

The military is on to Powell. He backstabbed Bush throuth the whole first half of this administration. If he let Plamegate fester over resentment about the UN speech, them may the blood of our soldiers be upon him.
=================================

To Marc:It doesn't... (Below threshold)
BC:

To Marc:

It doesn't matter if violations of the 1991 ceasefire agreement were listed as reasons in the "authorization for use of military force" -- that wasn't one of the primary reasons we invaded. Bush and his people gave lots of reasons to invade. This is the key excerpt from the war authorization:

1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq, and

(2) acting pursuant to this resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

While UN resolutions are mentioned, the bit that goes "protect the national security of the United States" is key. And it was a preemptive strike -- even Cheney referred to it that way.

-BC

I gave an example of su... (Below threshold)

I gave an example of such. Had the US not invaded North Africa in 1942 Germany would have consolidated control and occupied a number of Arab countries.

Pure supposition. And what would they have won by occupying more of Africa when we kept pressure on their European and Russian fronts? All they needed was the sub pens in Algeria/Tunisia/Libya to try to control the Gibraltar Straits and keep us out of Sicily and Southern Italy.

Again, the Nazi's were not interested in spreading democracy or any ideology through northern Africa, they were there to fight.

But let's get back to the m... (Below threshold)

But let's get back to the matter at hand, Iraq today.

1. We've been missing presidential benchmarks in this occupation since 2004. President Bush reminds me of a kid about to get a shot who keeps yellings: "wait, wait".

2. Even if we succeed militarily, the Princes of the Greenzone have yet to make substantive progress on forming a working government, allowing us to freely spend blood and treasury to keep them in business. The Princes of the Greenzone have refused to make the hard decisions that will allow us to transfer the fighting to them.

3. The Anbar progress is impressive, but we are working with minority Sunni warlord there. There is no evidence this tactic will work when we move closer to Baghdad and into mixed Sunni/Shia communities.

4. The Turks, our NATO allies, have repeatedly said that they will not allow a Kurdish state on the border of Turkey and has amassed thousands of troops to that border.

5. Come spring the Army and Marine Corps will be broken, unable to sustain the pace of deployments. I know the Navy's already got 35,000 sailors crosstrained as soldiers and on the ground in Iraq. The Air Force, a few less.

6. The burden of this war has unfairly fallen on less than 1% of the population, our military. They're worn out.

7. There are other ways to fight this war, like the way we started out in Afghanistan. Gather intelligence, stand off and hit with air and sea power, mop up with special forces and move on, looking for another opportunity.

8. There are actually good models of how to fight this kind of war playing out right now. We've got lots of Special Forces crawling through the jungles of the southern islands of the Philippines building roads and commerce, giving healthcare, and taking out the locals who oppose them. The Navy's also got a good program going on the Horn of Africa.

1. Wars have benchmarks?</... (Below threshold)
kim:

1. Wars have benchmarks?

2. In Sistani we trust, and the Master of the Bazaar, Chalabi.

3. There is evidence. The Sunni Chiefs saw us protect their city mouse cousins from the Shia deathsquads. Now, the Badr Brigades back Sistani the Peacemaker, and Sadr gives voice to the pack pursuing al Qaeda.

4. Kurdistan exists. Fuck the Turks. Saladin was a Kurd.

5&6. Yes, the heartrending sacrifices for this effort have been made by a few volunteers. How about helping them out, you know with stuff for their morale?

7. Rick Kennerly for Secretary of Defense.

8. You've been listening to Ted.
====================

1. Wars have benchmarks?... (Below threshold)

1. Wars have benchmarks?

War in Iraq is over. Occupations do indeed have benchmarks.

If we're bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq, they need to get with the program or we need to punch out.

I just retired from the Navy, my wife is still AD. I did two combat tours of Vietnam, my wife was in Gulf War 1 and is in theater again right now.

If you actually believe in this lost cause, perhaps you should trot on down to the recruiting office and pick up a rifle.

BTw about your comments on ... (Below threshold)

BTw about your comments on vounteerism:

They Knew What They Were Getting Into

The stupidest comment I hear in defense of the Iraqi war is that soldiers "knew what they were signing up for" when they joined the military. While true on its face, it is also disingenuously false because it only looks at the personal responsibility side of the equation, a favorite hobby horse of the far right.

What these commentators overlook, I think intentionally, is the bargain our volunteer citizen soldiers have made with the leaders of our nation, not to mention the citizens of our great nation. In the decades after the Vietnam war the understood but unspoken bargain was this:

I will serve you. I will protect you and our nation. I will sacrifice for you. While you sleep, I will stand lonely vigil. I will willingly walk my post on foreign soils so your children are not forced to.

In return I ask only this: that you do not waste my sacrifice in foolish endeavors; that you stand behind me as you lead me; that, when all is said & done, I can be as proud of your conduct, restraint & judgment as you will be of mine.


We, as a country, have failed every man & woman in uniform.

Can you find it in your hea... (Below threshold)
kim:

Can you find it in your heart to say 'Chief' instead of 'Warlord'?
=====================================

Those men and women in unif... (Below threshold)
kim:

Those men and women in uniform, uniformly think that people like you have failed them. They believe in the mission in Iraq.

Why the Hell don't you?
===============

Recruiting offices don't ca... (Below threshold)
kim:

Recruiting offices don't carry rifles, but I've got a bead on you.
=====================================

You sound like Sysadmin mat... (Below threshold)
kim:

You sound like Sysadmin material for the effort. What's holding you up?
==========================================

Shorter Rick: Please wind ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Shorter Rick: Please wind back the clock eight years for a do-over.
========================================

"While true on its face, it... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

"While true on its face, it is also disingenuously false because it only looks at the personal responsibility side of the equation, a favorite hobby horse of the far right."

Sums up the moral bankruptcy of the left right there. Especially when added to the bile spilled about wasted sacrifices and "foolish endeavors."

RickAgain, t... (Below threshold)

Rick

Again, the Nazi's were not interested in spreading democracy or any ideology through northern Africa, they were there to fight.

That's your straw man, not mine.

Sums up the moral bankru... (Below threshold)
Stevenrobb:

Sums up the moral bankruptcy of the left right there. Especially when added to the bile spilled about wasted sacrifices and "foolish endeavors.

brainy, why don't you take rick kennerly's advice and go sign up if you're so correct and so gung-ho over this war, instead of simply bad-mouthing the words of someone who's actually served his country and knows what he's talking about.

The biggest problem with people like yourself is you're far too much of a coward to do anything but hide behind your big words, the primary reason you will never be taken seriously.

I've offered Rick, who has ... (Below threshold)
kim:

I've offered Rick, who has talents, a sysadmin position in Iraq. What are your qualifications, StevenRobb?
================================

Skillz, SR, got any? All y... (Below threshold)
kim:

Skillz, SR, got any? All your skillz are belong to us, 'cuz we need 'em. C'mon, surely you can find it within yourself to give a little of yourself.
===========================

Well, Stephenrobb, I could ... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Well, Stephenrobb, I could point out that I'm a veteran with combat experience, but that wouldn't dissuade you or that asshat kennerly. Because I haven't fought enough to defend this country until I'm dead, at which point you can use the noble sacrifice to call for the defeat of my brothers and sisters who are still on the battlefield. Just like you're doing to the 3000+ soldiers that have made that sacrifice already. You're contemptable.

Those men and women in u... (Below threshold)

Those men and women in uniform, uniformly think that people like you have failed them. They believe in the mission in Iraq.

And exactly what evidence do you have of this?

Junior company grade officers are leaving the military in droves, particularly the Army.

The military had to impose stop loss in the combat arms ratings to extend enlistments and keep individuals from retiring.

Because I haven't fought... (Below threshold)

Because I haven't fought enough to defend this country until I'm dead.

But you don't mind sending the same people over and over and over again, do you?

"But you don't mind sending... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

"But you don't mind sending the same people over and over and over again, do you?"

You mean the ones who volunteered? No, I certainly do not. Even when I'm related to them, as my little brother and his 2 ME tours with the Marines, 1 in Anbar last year, can attest.

"While true... (Below threshold)

"While true on its face, it is also disingenuously false because it only looks at the personal responsibility side of the equation, a favorite hobby horse of the far right."

Sums up the moral bankruptcy of the left right there. Especially when added to the bile spilled about wasted sacrifices and "foolish endeavors."

Oh, so we have no social contracts one to another to all in the US? What part of:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Do you not get?

By the way, since you in... (Below threshold)
mantis:

By the way, since you insist on the childish name-calling, maybe I should try. Let's see...
womantis?
man ti*s?

Hey, I don't call myself brainy and then write stupid things.

I do find your taking offense at "name-calling" amusing, in light of the fact that you frequently refer to people as "asshats" and "morons", such as here, here, here, and here.

Keep in mind that I don't really have a problem with "name-calling" (and I think "asshat" is a funny one), and I certainly don't get all worked up about it when others direct it at me, I just thought I would again point out your brainlessness.

You mean the ones who vo... (Below threshold)

You mean the ones who volunteered? No, I certainly do not. Even when I'm related to them, as my little brother and his 2 ME tours with the Marines, 1 in Anbar last year, can attest.

Soldiers volunteered to defend the US & the constitution, not fight elective expeditionary wars of occupations that have absolutely nothing to do with fighting the war on terror. We're more at risk now than we've ever been. Iraq is a major distraction from the WOT.

Nothing stopping you from going to put your beliefs into action on the ground in Iraq.

"Hey, I don't call myself b... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

"Hey, I don't call myself brainy and then write stupid things."

No, you call yourself mantis and then write stupid things. :)

I should have been clearer: Name calling just seems to be par for the course, so no big deal. I think perverting someones screen name like "brainless" is particularly childish, but that's probably because people have been doing it with my name for over a decade now.

(BTW, ironically, "brainy" itself is a perversion of my real name that I have used since the AOL days.)

I'm not so much offended as it's just a pet peeve of mine. And if one more person makes a damn Smurf reference....

No, you call yourself ma... (Below threshold)
mantis:

No, you call yourself mantis and then write stupid things. :)

Yeah, but I'm just a bug. No delusions of grandeur.

Rick, thankfully Iraq isn't... (Below threshold)

Rick, thankfully Iraq isn't an "elective expeditionary war[s] of occupations that have absolutely nothing to do with fighting the war on terror" - for a minute I thought you might have a point there.

Obviously it was a false alarm.

"Soldiers volunteered to... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

"Soldiers volunteered to defend the US & the constitution, not fight elective expeditionary wars of occupations that have absolutely nothing to do with fighting the war on terror."

So now a war initiated by the president and authorized by congress is unConstitutional just because some ass named rick declares it so? Holy Crap do you have delusions of grandeur.

"We're more at risk now than we've ever been."

I'd think we were more at risk in the 90's while we were busy ignoring terrorism than we are now. In fact there was this incident in '93 '98 2000 2001 that pretty much exposes you as foolishly naive.

"Iraq is a major distraction from the WOT."

Your contention is that killing al Quaida by the truckload in Iraq is distracting us from killing... al Quaida? No wonder you're daffy, after all that spinning.

"Nothing stopping you from going to put your beliefs into action on the ground in Iraq."

Ah. the chickenhawk argument never gets old, does it? It's like calling someone you can't defeat with logic a nazi. Wait, you guys do that, too....

That's odd. The strikeouts ... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

That's odd. The strikeouts I put on the years in my comment showed up in the auto-preview, but not the actual comment once I hit "Submit."

Is that a bug or a feature?

Shorter Rick: Please win... (Below threshold)

Shorter Rick: Please wind back the clock eight years for a do-over.

Actually the best comment yet today.

Afghanistan was a great success for awhile and a stroke against OBL. But Iraq was a blunder by every measure--still, it's difficult to not let that go of 3.5k American dead, 57k American wounded, some $trillion in Iraq, but for what? Life is for the living, not to create more dead in a lost cause.

More importantly, where to from here?


Rick, thankfully Iraq is... (Below threshold)

Rick, thankfully Iraq isn't an "elective expeditionary war[s] of occupations that have absolutely nothing to do with fighting the war on terror" - for a minute I thought you might have a point there.

And your evidence is? Weapons of mass distruction? Nope. Ties to AQ? Nope.

We forcibly inserted ourselves into a culture we neither understood or had much in common with. Daddy Bush was smart enough not to kick that snake.

So now a war initiated b... (Below threshold)

So now a war initiated by the president and authorized by congress is unConstitutional just because some ass named rick declares it so? Holy Crap do you have delusions of grandeur.

You mean a war Congress and the American people were lied to about and then stampeded into? That war? Didn't say it was unconstitutional, just not very smart.

"Didn't say it was unconsti... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

"Didn't say it was unconstitutional, just not very smart."

"Soldiers volunteered to defend the US & the constitution, not fight elective expeditionary wars of occupations that have absolutely nothing to do with fighting the war on terror."

Yeah, you did. You explicily stated that since this war was an "elective expeditionary war[s] of occupation[s]" with "absolutely nothing to do with fighting the war on terror," it didn't fit with defending "the US & the constitution." Hence, unconstitutional.

Or are you admitting that was all bullshit tripe used to try and make a weak political point?

The only lies are the ones that Congress was somehow lied into supporting a position they had held for at least 4 years prior to authorizing the AUMF.

nothing to do with fight... (Below threshold)

nothing to do with fighting the war on terror," it didn't fit with defending "the US & the constitution." Hence, unconstitutional.

That's pretty contorted logic. There is a difference between constitutional (legal) and wise.

Rick Kennerly, since you ar... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Rick Kennerly, since you are a liberal and are dishonest in your presentation would make a redundant sentence. So many things you have wrong. Congress did not know what it was voting for when they approved the war? How ridiculous and insulting to the congress. You and your ilk cannot justify why your representatives voted for the war so you make up the lie of being lied to. If you have a complaint, how about finding out why Senator Rockerfeller, who had access to the same classified intelligience, approved it.

You served two tours in Vietnam and yet you just retired. Served what, 35+ years? Were you a clerk or did you actually have to kill or be killed? Never mind, I would not believe you anyway.

The insurgents know that when the violence significantly reduces, the US will leave. So, my question to you is, Why don't they just stop the attackes and wait for us to leave?

The Islamofacists wanted us to be dead along with the jews, but since we went into Iraq, they are really mad now. See how ridiculous your lefty argument is?

You are just a political hack that wants the war to end because GW is the president. Your side has shown many instances of how they dispise the troops, so your words sound hollow. ww

You served two tours in ... (Below threshold)

You served two tours in Vietnam and yet you just retired. Served what, 35+ years?

Nope, 28 years, with a 9 year break in service. 6 years Army, the rest Navy.

Hey brainy,Stop be... (Below threshold)
Stevenrobb:

Hey brainy,

Stop being the coward you are and put your money where your mouth is. If you're so sure this war is just, go fight it. Most of America knows the truth about the mess we're in. It's only stubborn, brainless folks like yourself who have a hard time accepting that you were fooled (and who continue using the false logic that, just because elected officials voted based on false information, that vote remains legitimate). I know, this administration keeps telling you things like, "if we don't fight them there, they'll come here" but, you know something, they're already here (and our great border security won't help stop them either).

So, if you're so sure that this is a just cause, stop talking. Lip service from a coward is useless. You want more of our soldiers to die for a war you believe in, go stand beside them at the front lines of Iraq. Personally, the best thing we can do for them is not play them as political footballs like GWB has.

Rick, did you know that Rep... (Below threshold)
kim:

Rick, did you know that Rep. Issa just told Joe Wilson his wife is a perjuror, and someone else on the committee suggested that Joe and Val might be applying for pardons.

Joe claims Cheney colluded with members of the SSCI to make him out a liar.

What price 'lied into war', now?
================

No, Daddy Bush was stupid e... (Below threshold)
kim:

No, Daddy Bush was stupid enough to listen to the snake Powell advise him to let an abscess fester.

Did you hear what Powell said about the Fitzgerald prosecution? That is shouldn't have happened.

When Bush pardons all the people Fitzgerald leaned on, Powell is hoping to be in the number.
=========================

And what unit of the CIA wa... (Below threshold)
kim:

And what unit of the CIA was supposed to be handing Bush decent intelligence? Maybe it was Plame's?
==============================

"Most of America knows the ... (Below threshold)
RobLACal.:

"Most of America knows the truth about the mess we're in.only stubborn, brainless folks like yourself who have a hard time accepting that you were fooled"

Wrong asshole, most Americans do not have a fricken clue what is going on. The only fool is you desparately trying to lie your commie asses into power before Americans wake up and hunt you down like dogs.Go to hell you lying coward.

"At one point the hearin... (Below threshold)

"At one point the hearing degenerated into name-calling, as Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., accused Plame of lying to the Judiciary Committee during testimony in March when she said she had not tapped her husband to travel to Niger for the fact-finding mission that led to his op-ed questioning Bush's Iraq war claims." Fox News
http://tinyurl.com/2uznju

Hardly damning evidence.

Adios! I'm out of here. N... (Below threshold)

Adios! I'm out of here. No intelligent discussions, just name calling. Besides, I'm getting tired of scrolling down to the bottom. 180+ comments is too much.

If you need me, you can find me, since I don't hide behind a screen name.

Rick, you can leave in a ta... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Rick, you can leave in a taxi. If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute 'n' a huff.

And just because you post under what appears to be a real name doesn't necessarily mean it is your real name. I could post as Jack Napier, but that doesn't mean that I am Jack Napier.

rick, you didn't watch the ... (Below threshold)
kim:

rick, you didn't watch the hearing, did you? You know that Val Plame now has three stories on record about how her husband was sent, mutually contradictory? This latest was perjurious and invoked others who may testify. She is not anywhere near as good a liar as Joe is.

By the way, that AP article from your Fox news link is slanted.

And you got plenty of intelligent discussion from me, one way as it was.
==================================

RickBest of luck. <b... (Below threshold)

Rick
Best of luck.
Don't call us, we'll call you. BTW, leave us all of your IP addresses so we can give the receptionist a heads up.

Most Americans do not ha... (Below threshold)
Stevenrobb:

Most Americans do not have a fricken clue what is going on

No, Rob, most Americans do. You don't, and you're just not sharp enough to know.

Furthermore, if this is such a successful fight against the terrorists, if GWB is such a great leader, how is it that Al Qaeda is as strong now as it was before 2001? We defeated the Nazis and the Japanese in less time than GWB has taken to strengthen the people we're supposed to be diminishing.

Such great leadership. Such a pathetic slew of excuses from the far right for the absolute miserable failures of this inept President. Go ahead and stand behind a fool who's made every wrong turn in the book on fighting the terrorists and, you know, the rest of us will find someone who knows what he's doing.

SR, pretty funny that some ... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

SR, pretty funny that some anonymous loser would call a combat veteran a coward. But that's pretty much the MO for the spineless left.




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