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Ask, and ye shall receive

For some time now, I've been putting out my own thoughts, observations, theories, and notions about the war in Iraq, and how it plays as part of the War on Terror. I've had my share of critics, and have often fallen back on the "well, what would YOU do?" argument a few times. And it's always been met with echoing silence.

Until now.

One of my regular detractors, "jp2," finally outlined his ideas. And now it's MY turn to take his notions and critique them.

(And yeah, jp2 made his share of typos. I chose to ignore them, out of respect for his trying. I would ask others to do the same, and not use the same disgusting tactic of picking tiny points out for criticism to avoid discussing the major ones.)

For one, I propose strenghting the military just out of general principle. That means all war supporters enlist, even bloggers.

Let's start off with the major error in logic here: "all war supporters enlist, even bloggers" does NOT lead to "strengthening the military." It is abundantly clear to anyone who respects the military that the end of the draft and the all-volunteer, professional military has been an unqualified success. Also, the military is doing a pretty good job at meeting its recruiting goals. Our problems are NOT from a lack of manpower -- and if it is, we could start by repositioning other forces around the world. For starters, let's get the hell out of the Balkans.

I do think people being connected to the wars they want is an important step to never making these kinds of mistakes again. Take your lumps

Here's a bit more insight. Serving in the military means "taking your lumps." It's punishment.

Another thought struck me, but I'm probably being too paranoid and giving jp2 much credit: could the push to have war supporters serve in the military be part of a plot to disenfranchise his political opponents?

Think about it: active-duty military members are discouraged from engaging in politics. They cannot run for office, they have limited funds and time to invest in campaigns, and (as noted in 2000 in Florida) their votes -- when they manage to cast them -- are often discarded. Could jp2 be trying to get those who disagree with him out of the electoral process, letting his side win by default?

If that's his strategy, I think he hasn't thought it through. He's proposing taking his political opponents, stuffing them unwillingly into the services, giving them weapons and training, and minimizing their ability to participate in the electoral process. Is that such a good idea?

It reminds me of the talk about the Left "taking to the streets" if they had not won in the recent elections. They tend to forget that they are the ones who regularly push for gun control -- the people they are opposing tend to have a lot more guns, and also tend to be fairly proficient in their use.

That being said - there is no good solution that me or any set of councils could come up with it. It is as MM and Dean have said all along - a quagmire. The country is now broken at the core.

The phrase "self-fulfilling prophesy" comes to mind.

However, if I was on the council I would do the following:

-End the presence of troops in the unfriendly parts of the Arabian peninsula as soon as possible. This is a reason for the extra special inflamed hatred of America. This is one of the main reasons bin Laden was able to round up the mass amount of funds and people to fuel his versions of terrorism. We are not welcome and do more harm than good.

I don't think that jp2 meant just "the Arabian peninsula," so I'll expand it to the entire Middle East. Just where are our troops in "unfriendly parts?" The only place where our forces are right now where they were not invited by the legitimate local government is Iraq proper. jp2 alludes Saudi Arabia, but doesn't mention that we went there in the first place at the request of the Saudi government, to check Saddam after his invasion and conquest of Kuwait. And we left Saudi Arabia when the Saudis asked us to.

-Diplomacy. I like that Cheney is visiting the house of Sa'ud right now, although he is completely hamstrung. We have to bring every single pertinant player in the world to the table and drum up support for a stable Iraq. This is impossible with the current administration. They have blown it.

Diplomacy is fine and good, but there really isn't much to talk about when the two sides have diametrically opposing goals. Iran is not interested in a stable, secular Iraq. They want a puppet, client state they can use as a proxy for their ambitions. Failing that, a weak, fragmented, carnage-wracked Iraq does almost as well. That's why they're arming and supplying the terrorists to the extent they are.

Syria isn't interested in a stable, secular Iraq, either. They fear losing their puppet state -- Lebanon -- and like the violence in Iraq as a diversion from their machinations over there.

Also, the leaders of both nations are insecure about their hold on power. In Iran, the people are not too thrilled with their leadership. In Syria, the Dorktator has to worry about his generals seizing power.

Then there's Saudi Arabia. For decades, they've had a solution to domestic problems: find the nuts, give them money, and ask them to go away. Right now, the fighting in Iraq is giving them a great outlet for their home-grown terrorists and would-be rebels.

So there's three of Iraq's neighbors who have no interest in peace in Iraq. What is there to negotiate with them over? The only diplomatic solution is to say to them "you are NOT going to get what you want in Iraq. You have to figure out what you can live with, and then we'll start talking." An immediate withdrawal serves their purposes admirably, so they have no reason to negotiate in good faith.

-As far as ditching goes - and it feels damn awful to say - it's necessary. Phased withdrawl over the next Friedman Unit.

No, it's not necessary. (And I had to look up a "Friedman Unit" -- it's six months. That little lingo had slipped past me.) Large portions of Iraq are doing all right. The Kurdish north is practically independent. (Something that the Turks do NOT like.) The British are turning Basra over to the Iraqis.

We have not lost this war. It is arguable whether or not we are losing. But there is one sure way to guarantee defeat, and that's to follow the suggestions jp2 outlined above.


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Comments (81)

Wow - my own post - I'm gon... (Below threshold)

Wow - my own post - I'm gonna make it after all!

I'll go through your mistakes later.

jp2, don't bother. You pret... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

jp2, don't bother. You pretty much eliminated yourself as a rational contender by opening with a reference to the "chickenhawk" crap.

Speaking as someone who served, we didn't then and don't now need all those who support us in the military.

And Jay Tea nails it (and you) with his last point.

I believe it was George Orw... (Below threshold)

I believe it was George Orwell who said, "The fastest way to end a war is to lose it."

I read jp2's post last week... (Below threshold)

I read jp2's post last week and, in all seriousness, I was pleased that he chose to take up the challenge to commit his alternatives for our perusal. I appreciate that and the type of reply that JT writes above. I learn a lot from this type of discussion - it beats the name calling (from both sides, I guess).

The left thinks the choice... (Below threshold)

The left thinks the choice is between war, and no war.

The right know the choice is between now, or later, there, or here.

The terrorists wont stop after we leave the mideast, just like they havent stopped after Israel pulled out of Gaza.

I'd love to know what libs will do if we leave the Mideast as they propose, and terrorists start attacking us HERE in the US, as they attack in the Mideast, markets, busses, etc etc. What will libs do then??

Now that NBC has official c... (Below threshold)

Now that NBC has official called the situation in Iraq a civil war, the President can now pull our forces out.

The Sunnis will align with Syria/Saud and the Shittiest (sic) will align with Iran. That will keep both sides busy for the next decade or millennium. We can than focus on a negotiated peace settlement with Israel, Palestine and Lebanon.

Let those bastards drain their treasuries for a change.

Wow - my own post - I'm ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Wow - my own post - I'm gonna make it after all!

Enjoy your infamy, jp2! LOL

(But I applaud you for at least making suggestions and approaches, albeit poor ones.)

BTW, did anyone catch General Abazaid on "60 Minutes" last night? While I haven't been able to find the text of the interview to quote him directly, the General doesn't think we need more troops at this time. And he gave a nice smackdown to Lara Logan who kept using the word "defeat"/"lose" (I can't remember precisely which one), retorting to Logan, "that's your word, not mine".

NBC reported the other night that when Sadr City had checkpoints leading into and out of the city, violence decreased. Since early November when Maliki took away the checkpoints, an increase in violence. I think it's high time to do put the checkpoints back in place, arm them with IA with American back up and get control of Sadr City once again. That, and do soemthing drastic to disarm about the damn Shiite militias...

Based upon past posts I thi... (Below threshold)

Based upon past posts I think Barney and I sit on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but I concede he has a point that has never been adequately rationalized for me. It seems clear that most governments in the Middle East would loathe a republic with a freely elected government in their midst. That the civil war in Iraq between Shiites and Sunnis in the Baghdad area is being supported by outside governments would indicate that. So, if the US were to pullout? This leaves the civil war in Iraq as perhaps a battleground for dominance between Saudi Arabia and Iran. What is the lesser of the two evils here. Or perhaps the Iranians would prefer the US gone because of the Shiite majority in Iraq but the Saudis (and the Kurds) would like a US presence because the Sunnis are in the minority there.

The whole "chicken hawk" ar... (Below threshold)

The whole "chicken hawk" argument is such pitiful crap - the fact that it is even discussed shows the state of the liberal mind in this country.

So, its put or shut up, take your lumps time is it?

Is that in relation to Iraq or Afghanistan? Most liberal whiners will talk all day about how they support the mission in Afghanistan. Slap on the green punk!

Maybe its put or shut up for Bosnia? When exactly does Chelsea Clintons tour of duty start? I have to admit it would be one hell of a photo-op to see the Bush girls splittin a sixer with Chelsea down at the enlisted club. I guess put up or shut up doesnt count for Democratic wars?

How does JP2 feel about the humanitarean effort provided by the US military in New Orleans? I guess hes against it since he isnt running around in a uniform.

So there you go, one way or the other- JP2 is a chickenhawk.

Iraq is in the beginning... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Iraq is in the beginning of a full out civil war, jihadists are returning to Afghanistan in increasing numbers, Lebanon is ready to explode into chaos and Iran is sending help into Iraq.

I don't think the neo-con plan that Bush signed up for of spreading Democracy throughout the Middle East is going as foreseen. That is what happens when you only have yes men sitting at the planning table

For one, I propos... (Below threshold)
For one, I propose strenghting the military just out of general principle. That means all war supporters enlist, even bloggers

Using this same logic then, let's assume that those that are currently serving were given the option to pick and choose what theaters of operations they want to deploy to or to not deploy at all until there is a war they feel they can support.

My guess is you would still have pretty much the same force you have there now.

On that same note, all non-serving or never served civilians that do not support the actions which "all" are volunteering for should reframe from emboldening those that would attack the volunteers.

So basically you would have the status quo military organization fighting but the lefties would just have to STFU.

Sounds fair to me. When can you lefties start?

I'd like jp2 to articulate ... (Below threshold)

I'd like jp2 to articulate the logic behind the idea that one cannot support sending soliders to war without being one of them. Are you saying that one who has not or will not serve in the military lacks the moral authority to advocating committing others to fight?

Does it have to be wartime? Do you have to serve on the ground, in a theater, or will KP at a stateside base do?

What if I attempt to enlist but am rejected due to, say, my degenerative disk disease? What if I am rejected just because I'm a fat-ass couch potato? Will serving as a mall security guard suffice? Bouncer at an inner-city nighclub?

What if I've already served and am retired? Do I have to re-up if I want to support a new war?

Jay, you gave jp2 (just pat... (Below threshold)

Jay, you gave jp2 (just pathetic?) too much credit.

What he presented was a conglomeration of multiple talking points. Nothing that even represents a thoughtful response to your request.

Even what he presented in the talking points is so high level as to be open to interpretation, with the exception of the cut and run part that is.

And here's civil behavior..... (Below threshold)

And here's civil behavior... showing how liberals understand international complexities.

The howl of non-support for combating jihadists and promises to leave the middle east obviously have *nothing* to do with increases in violent activities and set-backs to our goals? It's not as though anyone but "yes men" have been proposing ways to gain ground in those conflicts... "yes men" being defined by not howling defeat and submission? WHEN has any Democrat, any "loyal opposition", made clear they want us to succeed over there? Oh, yeah, Leiberman.

"Iraq is in the beginning of a full out civil war,"

Civil war is not the same as civil disorder, though there are certainly power plays being made. One example is Sadr, who would make Saddam look somewhat boy-scoutish. Potential war-lords and replacement dictators are looking for any way to consolodate their power. This would also happen if we left, only with greater hope for success and likely far more bloodshed.

"jihadists are returning to Afghanistan in increasing numbers,"

The Taliban is also making inroads into Somalia, bringing their notion of civil order to that country abandoned by the US.

"Lebanon is ready to explode into chaos"

And this is our fault?

"...and Iran is sending help into Iraq."

Iran's one and only motivation is not "help". Their sole purpose is to contribute to the destabilization of Iraq, to keep peace at home.

Iraq is a threat in many quarters. Someone mentioned Turkey. There's a reason that we want/need Kurds to remain part of Iraq proper. Do you know what that is? Could you discuss it with me? Explain the issues to show you understand, even if you disagree, why Turkey might see a truely independant Kurdistan as a serious threat to their own domestic stability.

Otherwise admit that the cons and neo-cons know far more about the world than you do.

"I don't think the neo-con plan that Bush signed up for of spreading Democracy throughout the Middle East is going as foreseen."

What do you think was "foreseen?" Wave a magic wand and four years later people completely forget what it was like to fear political participation, trust their legal systems, learn a new way to manage public and military service to provide protection that doesn't depend on one's ethnic and religious identity?

Are the *neo-cons* wallowing in an angst of shattered illusions, or is it just you?

What about what has happened, and is happening, including Sadr, is not within the likely and "foreseeable" pains of building a new government and building one that doesn't rely on a tradition of ruling by fear?

"That is what happens when you only have yes men sitting at the planning table."

And again... the definition of "yes men" is "anyone who thinks this is important and worth doing and believes we should win."

How about some mental effor... (Below threshold)

How about some mental effort/analysis re winning this thing, rather than looking for a way to find defeat, to prove your position "correct" on Iraq, jp2?

I agree with Jay; we only lose if we give up.

A typically stupid Lefty re... (Below threshold)

A typically stupid Lefty reaction to a war: they're surprised when the enemy shoots back and/or tries to make our job difficult. It doesn't take acquiring a doctorate to see that the enemy's most potent weapon is to try and make us think our effort is futile, to get us bickering among ourselves about the worthiness of finishing a job. Idiots on the Left fall right in line with this--an astonishing lack of thoughtfulness and completely useful idiots for the enemy. Way to go, dumb asses.

Wow, such vile comments, fu... (Below threshold)

Wow, such vile comments, full of name childish name calling. Typical. Anyways, my response to JT.


First off, let me ask why any one would listen to or respect your opinion? You have been wrong and so many aspects of this conflict from day one: "The insurgents won't keep this up" and "Democracy will flourish like a dam breaking open..." You've been wrong - always. Why does your opinion matter? I don't talk to DeLay about ethics or Clinton about how to keep a marriage strong. Why should I listen to your opinions on war? You should be ashamed.

Again, let me emphasize that there are zero solutions for this conflict. Certainly your ideas have been wrong, and mine might be as well. Either way, we are screwed. And so are the Iraqis. (The ones who haven't been able to flee) I do wish your ideas were right, JT. It would be nice. But it's not reality.

"Our problems are NOT from a lack of manpower -- and if it is, we could start by repositioning other forces around the world."

It's also important to note that your claim of "meeting our recruiting goals" is slightly dishonest, as we both know that we have lowered the standards quite far. That's how we end up with people like Barker, who raped and murdered a 14 year old girl. What I am worried about is a developing conflict where are troops are needed. I would also like to raise our recruiting standards so we don't end up with the low lying (Barker) fruit. And if we follow St. McCain's plan (which is a bluff) where do we pull 20,000 troops?

"Here's a bit more insight. Serving in the military means "taking your lumps." It's punishment."

For you, it would be punishment. Imagine, actually having to take the action of your convictions! The horror!

You are not surprisingly missing the point about asking war supporters to enlist. (Jeez, when you type that out, it seems to be such a simple request) It's more or less rhetorical and I certainly didn't expect people to take it at face value. It's a larger point. Anyways, I agree with Rangel and his draft proposal. When people are so disconnected from the reality of war - when their only experience is doing "independent studies" - then that needs to change because it's far too easy to send kids into combat. And not to single you out Jay Tea - it's the entire neo-con movement. Led and supported by people are simply disconnected.

"The phrase "self-fulfilling prophesy" comes to mind."

Ahhh yes. The lost war was caused by Michael Moore's email. And the terrorists couldn't stop talking about OH-12. This is another great example of what I meant earlier by "disconnected" although it takes a new form here. The war was lost by people who don't support the war. (Which, by the way, is now a majority of the country) It wasn't lost by the horrible decisions made, or the fact that it was a terrible idea in the first place. Nope. Dean and Michael Moore.

I invite everyone to read this speech by Dean. As you we'll see, he's been spot on.


"And we left Saudi Arabia when the Saudis asked us to."

And yet we still had troop presence on the peninsula... Odd that your "independent studies" didn't go over that.

"Diplomacy is fine and good, but there really isn't much to talk about when the two sides have diametrically opposing goals."

Actually, I think that's what diplomacy is. Maybe this is why you and the neo-cons have had such a tough time with it?

"But there is one sure way to guarantee defeat, and that's to follow the suggestions jp2 outlined above."

Perhaps my ideas won't work. (Cheney is trying one of them right now, so we'll see) Either way, my track record is 100% better than yours. I'm okay with that.

I must admit..as a disabled... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

I must admit..as a disabled vet..I have at times lowered myself to the level of join up or shut up..this is simply wrong...and I admit my guilt.

I will ask simply..who is the enemy in Iraq today?
Whom must we defeat to win?

Easy nogo. The Democrats. ... (Below threshold)

Easy nogo. The Democrats. As a vet--and one who has done tours in Iraq--I feel as if those in the Democrat Party have stabbed me in the back. From day one the left has done everything in its power to see if this effort can fail all in the hopes of embarrassing Bush just to get back into power.

I am not alone in that feeling amongst those serving. Frankly, most that I've talked with feel the Democrats have sold them up the river is an attempt to regain power. You are relagating us to fighting another war just a few years down the road only with less funding, less preparedness and God help us if you get a draft going to completly decimate the abilities of our forces.

As we find out today most of the reports of what has and hasn't happened in Oraq as reported by the Ap and Reuters has been due mostly to terrorists propagandists and not true reporters. All an elaborate lie.

jp2, sorry, but if you side with Rangel and his concept of the draft you are so far out of touch with today's military, it's capabilities, and what a true, total and complete disaster a draft would do to the services the rest of your post isn't worth reading. I am simply astounded by the sheer level of ignorance at such a concept.

This line of thinking just convinces me that the Left would rather see this country destroyed if it meant they could be in power. Careful what you wish for or you just might find yourself in charge of a smoking nuclear hole from a terrorist bomb. You can gaze upon it as you bow to Mecca for your prayers of surrendar.

I'm sorry isn't jp2 being a... (Below threshold)

I'm sorry isn't jp2 being a chickenhawk asking others to enlist to support his desired increase in the military ?

I'm a 50 year old ex-Navy veteran ... so I've served, just not in Iraq ... Does that make me a chickehawk if I support the war on terror ?

jp2: If I directed ... (Below threshold)

jp2: If I directed you to a speech by Karl Rove, would you read it?

We both know you would not. You regard Rove as a partisan hack, with little knowledge of anything beyond his own party's talking points. For the same reason, I will not read anything, let alone a speech, by Howard Dean (since when is the head of a politcal fundraising arm an expert on international terrorism? I woudn't direct you to a speech by Ken Mehlman or Mel Martinez). Partisanship trumps knowledge with Dean, and I've no desire to swim through the sewage that is the DNC Chair's public persona. Come up with a less insulting choice of "authority" and I will gladly read it.

Until then, I remain unconvinced of the soundness of your reasoning.

Actually Jeff, we're all no... (Below threshold)

Actually Jeff, we're all not terribly sure if that qualifies you or not, it's all very confusing. I think you may need to re-up to be granted the holy moral right to support the war.

That's why I stopped watching baseball a while back, incidentally. I'm not good enough to play the game, so I was stripped of my right to support the players.

In that vein, those who criticize the war cannot do so unless they're Iraqis.

"Whom must we defeat to win... (Below threshold)

"Whom must we defeat to win?"


The people who say "we can not win militarily" are right... even if they say it to support a belief that is wrong.

Crushing an enemy is easy... yet the military, like all other tools of foreign policy and diplomacy, is actually a tool to change people's minds. Simplistically in war, to make them decide to stop fighting.

Our presence, now, is to change their minds about opposing civil order and the new government. This may (hopefully) involve taking out Sadr. There are reasons for not having too many of our soldiers on the ground there, but perhaps the benefits outweigh the drawbacks of a larger force... where we have a strong presence there is less violence. Maybe the troops would prefer not to do policing, but that's what we need them to do. If they should not, then who should? Do we have an international "police force?" Should Iraqis do it all?

We really need a long term presence because a major and very important part of the "mind changing" that needs to be done is Iraqi expectations of justice and leadership. Justice is a pretty new concept all around and leadership examples seem to be on the order of rule-by-fear.

Seeing our officers and *especially* our NCO's as they instruct and as they do their jobs... even just the way our officers *treat* their NCO's... is vital.

It might not be as satisfying as dropping bombs... we all like big explosions, don't we? But we need *someone* there to provide examples and training... and for quite a while. Long enough to combat the "institutional memory" of business as usual.

So who?

I've said for a while now that those complaining about Bush's so-called lack of plan to win the peace as well as the anti-war, anti-military sorts, have an opportunity, a HUGE opportunity to suggest plans for building the country of Iraq, helping people understand the underlaying concepts of living in a liberal democracy, and showing their support for those people.

There is no reason at all that other efforts can't be in place concurrently with our military presence... in fact, our military presence may be the only thing providing enough security so that other efforts even have a chance.

All the criticism but no plans to support a liberal democracy in Iraq. All the doom-saying but no rolling up sleeves and expressed willingness to get the job done.

What we have to defeat is time.

And maybe attrition.

"Perhaps my ideas won't wor... (Below threshold)

"Perhaps my ideas won't work. (Cheney is trying one of them right now, so we'll see) Either way, my track record is 100% better than yours. I'm okay with that."

Your track record ? j2p ? Can I assume you never once called Afganistan a quamire ? Or claimed the arab street would boil over ? Doubt it ... How about claiming Bush lied ? Not once ? again I doubt it ... (yes you were wrong)

Your ideas are nothing more than cynical liberal nonsense meant to make you feel good when writing it ... (just like this post)

Answer one question j2p ...

Are we at war with radical islam ?

Yes or No ...

jp2 lives in a dream world ... (Below threshold)

jp2 lives in a dream world with a few thousand leftie's who will surely die at the hands of some enemy like it or not.
I don't believe the 3,000 who died on 9-11 were all serving in the military.

I would sign up for the military tomorrow if not for two things, I've already served 22 years and I'm over 65. If allowed to sign up my discharge date would have to be in the first quarter of 09. If the dim's take the president's office then every soldier that has died fighting for freedom will have died for nothing, and any soldier that dies after that will die because the cowards won't support him/her. They'll get you in a fight and then cut and run, 50 years of history proves that.

I think the nogo got it rig... (Below threshold)

I think the nogo got it right, "I will ask simply..who is the enemy in Iraq today?"

At some point early on it may have been about insurgents or terrorists attacking the west (UN, Red Cross, US forces) but now it is all about revenge killings, and our presence or lack of presence will not change that fact.

If we leave now, we can accomplish our goals:
-Let Iran inherit this wreck. They will be too busy fighting a proxy war to build a nuke, and maybe it will lead to the overthrow of the Mullahs (we kicked-out the GOP).

-We can build a nice new shinny base in Kurdistan. The Kurds will be happy to sell us all their oil in exchange for clout with Turkey.

-The Sunni governments will do anything to prevent the Shiites from growing into a dominate power in the ME. Maybe even broker a peace accord with Israel?

How much more disingenuous ... (Below threshold)

How much more disingenuous can you possibly be jp2?

You provide the example of a single person in the military who has broken the law, and use that to condemn the entire group?

With such narrow conclusions like that, is it any wonder you are so far off on your other proposals?

I agree with JP2 on all tho... (Below threshold)

I agree with JP2 on all those who support the war, join the military. And since it is the military that has provided us the freedoms we enjoy today, in the Revolutionary War, WW1 & WW2 and others, then only those in the military can dictate the freedoms we have. It only makes sense, since they are the ones who have given it to us. Those who haven't joined, then, have no right to enjoin in those freedoms, so they can become slaves to those who gave them their freedom.

Not eloquently written, but you get the general gist.

Apply this to volunteer fire departments. If you don't (or haven't) serve(d) on the volunteer fire department, you have no right to ask them to risk their lives putting out your house fire.

More wisdom from JT:<... (Below threshold)

More wisdom from JT:

"Iran is not interested in a stable, secular Iraq."

"TEHRAN (Reuters) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran would do whatever it could to help provide security to Iraq amid warnings the country was on the brink of civil war."

jp2:Let I... (Below threshold)


Let Iran inherit this wreck.

And what about the Iraqi people? As long as the blood is on their hands it's ok?

Please, you quote Ahmadinejad saying he wanted to help as proof that he has interest in a stable and secular Iraq?
Just how will he help security in Iraq...stop the steady stream of funding to the insurgency? Will he perhaps help Iraq the same way he has helped Lebanon with Hezbollah?

You've burnt a fuse somewhere if you trust this man.

Jay Tea - we shouldn't just... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea - we shouldn't just withdraw US troops from the Balkans, but from all of Europe. I think 61 years of occupation are enough. The troops and support forces that go along with them could be better used elsewhere.

A typically stupid Lefty... (Below threshold)

A typically stupid Lefty reaction to a war: they're surprised when the enemy shoots back and/or tries to make our job difficult.

Nope. This is exactly what the left warned would happen. It was Bush's team who said it would be quick, easy, and we would be greeted as liberators.

Typical stupid righty reaction to the facts: ignore them.

jp2, the comments are hardl... (Below threshold)

jp2, the comments are hardly vile. Grow some skin man.

"You are not surprisingly missing the point about asking war supporters to enlist. It's more or less rhetorical and I certainly didn't expect people to take it at face value. It's a larger point."

Why wouldn't we take it at "face value," jp2? It's your prescription for a new approach -- it certainly has little legitimacy as a "rhetorical" point, because it simply lacks any serious foundation in logic or reason. Do you believe as well that The Pope has no moral authority to speak on the subject of human sexual relations because he is celibate? Do you believe that citizens have no right to advocate for a death penalty because they've never had to "pull the switch?" That legislators who vote against a pay raise should not be entitled to collect it?

This is merely flabby thinking, nothing more.

A couple of people have ask... (Below threshold)

A couple of people have asked "What is a ChickenHawk". I've also heard it misused here.

A chickenhawk is somebody that is hawkish (excited about war), cheers everybody else on, get's the crowd worked up, but has no intention of participating (a chicken).

Dick Cheney is probably our most infamous example. Weasled out of service by getting 5 (five) seperate deferments to avoid the draft. Still excited about a good conflict though.

There's money to be made.

If I directed you to a s... (Below threshold)

If I directed you to a speech by Karl Rove, would you read it?

A clear example of how you allow your biases to keep you ignorant of the facts. He wasn't citing Dean as some abstract "expert". He was pointing out that Dean's predictions about Iraq were significantly more correct than Bush's. If someone pointed to a speech of Rove's where he demonstrated an uncanny ability to accurately describe how a particular policy would play out, you'd be an idiot not to read it. (Not to say that I wouldn't have an eye toward disputing his genius, but then all I would have to work with were black and white "was he right or wrong" facts.)

So the question is, partisanship aside, who do you want to listen to about the future? Someone whose past predictions were largely correct, or someone whose past predictions were wildly incorrect?

"TEHRAN (Reuters) - Preside... (Below threshold)

"TEHRAN (Reuters) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran would do whatever it could to help provide security to Iraq amid warnings the country was on the brink of civil war."

Posted by: jp2 at November 27, 2006 05:26 PM

Are you kidding ? No really, you want to take the word of the President of Iran ...

Wow ... Jay Tea really picked a winner ...

jp2's citation of Pres. Ack... (Below threshold)

jp2's citation of Pres. Ack's statement about stabilizing Iraqi is proof positive he doesn't get it.

A chickenhawk is somebod... (Below threshold)

A chickenhawk is somebody that is hawkish (excited about war), cheers everybody else on, get's the crowd worked up, but has no intention of participating (a chicken).

No, that's not what it means at all.

Chicken-hawkism is the belief that advocating a war from afar is a sign of personal courage and strength, and that opposing a war from afar is a sign of personal cowardice and weakness. A "chicken hawk" is someone who not merely advocates a war, but believes that their advocacy is proof of the courage which those who will actually fight the war in combat require.
Good Lord, BarneyG2000 made... (Below threshold)

Good Lord, BarneyG2000 made two posts that I almost agree with. At least they're good ideas... I just don't know if they'd work without massive slaughter on all sides. Still, there seems to be actual thought behind his ideas. If he can set up peace with Israel, though, then he's the Antichrist!

(Can't have a good debate without somebody calling somebody else the Antichrist.)

Come up with a less insu... (Below threshold)

Come up with a less insulting choice of "authority" and I will gladly read it.

Well, here's an Op-ed by Jim Webb from 2002. Give that a look.

Hey, jp2 is on to something... (Below threshold)

Hey, jp2 is on to something. Bringing every terrorist-supporting regime to the table has distinct advantages. Just imagine what you could do if you could get Ahmadinijad, Assad, the Hamas leadership, Kim Jong Il, Hugo Chavez, Zombie Castro, Zombie bin Ladin, and tthe rest of their ilk together. You could do things like blow up the table. Wouldn't that solve all of our problems? Way to go jp2!

1. CONTINUOUS CHAOS, DEATH ... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:


Control of oil was the real reason for the war, but wouldn't a trillion dollars be better spent researching and developing alternative forms of energy? Which would, from the hardcore capitalist worldview, make the United States indispensible as a trading partner, with world markets dependent on the United States for its energy rather than the Middle East?

John, you identify Cheney a... (Below threshold)

John, you identify Cheney as "probably our most infamous example (of a chickenhawk). Weasled out of service by getting 5 (five) seperate deferments to avoid the draft."

John, were you draft eligible in the 1960's? Do you understand what the rules of the draft were at the time? When you say "weaseled out" of service, are you suggesting that he claimed a deferrment that he was not legally entitled to, or are you just using that pejorative for any teenager at the time who took proper and legal advantage of the rules of conscription?

Or do you use the term for any draft-eligible teenager who employed any means, legal or ilegal, to avoid service. For instance, would you use the same term for Bill Clinton, whose manner and method of evading service is considerably more notorious than Cheney's?

Note also that the army won... (Below threshold)

Note also that the army won't take just anyone.

I aced the ASVAB but they would not take me because of my weight. (which I was not able to get down despite trying and now, being a married woman, feel it would be wrong for me to make the commitment to the army.)

Re: chicken hawk definition... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Re: chicken hawk definition:

According to m-w.com:
Main Entry: chicken hawk
Function: noun
1 : a hawk that preys or is believed to prey on chickens
2 slang : a man who pursues boys or young men for sexual purposes

Those are the only entries. I'm sure it's use in reference to those who support the war is meant to imply that they prey on the young do their dirty work. A pretty disgusting derivation of the original meaning as I'm sure as it was intended to be used...

I like where this is going.... (Below threshold)

I like where this is going. Only property owners can vote on property tax increases. Only gun owners can vote on gun control laws. I like the concept.

Here in Georgia, a chicken-hawk is a soaring predator than hunts and eats chickens. Sounds like Cheney to me.

"Control of oil was the rea... (Below threshold)

"Control of oil was the real reason for the war,..."

How much oil do we get from Iraq? Do you now? Last I heard it was a fraction of what we use. Controlling Iraq controls nothing.

You see, if it was about OIL, my dear, we'd have done like the Russians and French and dealt with Saddam. He would have happily sold us all the oil we wanted and at good prices. A despot can never have too many palaces, after all.

But you show you understand after all because you say, "but wouldn't a trillion dollars be better spent researching and developing alternative forms of energy? Which would, from the hardcore capitalist worldview, make the United States indispensible as a trading partner, with world markets dependent on the United States for its energy rather than the Middle East?"


There is zero logic of any sort in going to war for oil... it's a stupid business decision on the order of Dr. Evil forsaking the international business empire built while he was frozen for a criminal plot to hold the world for ransome because "I'm evil, it's what I do."

You think hard-core capitalists don't *get* that?

Of course they do. This "war for oil" thing is a fantasy of the anti-war left, a fantasy of people who *don't* understand capitalism.

You obviously know better... so why do you still believe?

(It might be worth mentioni... (Below threshold)

(It might be worth mentioning that technology likely to compete effectively with oil as an energy source will, without fail, be very... powerful. It must be. And anything powerful is also dangerous, and therefore it makes people afraid. So while a trillion dollars could certainly be used to develop an effective alternative energy source, it would be opposed with ferver by the political left. How do I know this? Because we have the technology NOW to be independant, but it is not politically possible to do what needs to be done.)

"Control of oil was the rea... (Below threshold)

"Control of oil was the real reason for the war,"

Only people with the logical reasoning skills of a two-year old or the historical knowledge of a fruit fly could believe this.

For twelve years before the start of the second Gulf War, US foreign policy pursued courses of action which by their very nature denied the US access to Saddam's oil. Before the first Gulf War, Saddam offered to be the US's gas station if he was allowed to annex Kuwait. We know how that turned out. After the Gulf War, the US was the most ardent supporter of maintaining sanctions on Iraq, sanctions that denied the US Iraqi oil.

In the run up to the second Gulf War, a primary concern was the possibility that Iraq's oil infrastructure would be destroyed. That means that those people involved in planning and executing the war KNEW that war represented a serious risk to Iraq's oil reserves, and so WOULD NOT be an intellegent mean of seizing it.

Additionally, oil is fungible. Oil being sold anywhere on the market reduces the price EVERYWHERE on the market. Even if the US did not obtain a single drop of Iraqi oil, it would still reap the same benefit if it was being sold to China.

Finally, if the war was about oil, then why the hell are we wasting resources in Falluja and Bahgdad? There's no oil there. Why even bother overthrowing Saddam? Just seize the fields and pipelines and be done. Certainly a lot easier than securing the entire country.

That is why only a Class A Idiot could believe the war was for oil.

"Hey, jp2 is on to somethin... (Below threshold)

"Hey, jp2 is on to something. Bringing every terrorist-supporting regime to the table has distinct advantages."

Actually, Bush and Cheney are doing exactly what I suggested the other day - bringing important people to the table.

Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Iran, France, Japan, Australia, South Korea...


Ask and ye shall receive indeed. I should be on the payroll.

Yeah, jp2, keep putting fai... (Below threshold)

Yeah, jp2, keep putting faith in Ahmadinejad's credibility. That shows your power of observation.

We could just turn over our Middle East policy to him, to do things your way.

God what idiots some of you folks truly are.

jp2Meet Ernie Pyle,... (Below threshold)

Meet Ernie Pyle,real war reporter. Haven't checked this yet, but am willing to chance it: How many times did he use the word "quagmire"?

jp2Just found this g... (Below threshold)

Just found this gem...late to the thread.

" Either way, we are screwed. And so are the Iraqis. (The ones who haven't been able to flee)"

And where were they to flee pre war or post war? To Uday's human paper shredder or the terrorist's daily IED sacrifices?

Someone mentioned that some... (Below threshold)

Someone mentioned that some Iraqis have left recently, but I haven't heard that else where.

Surprising to everyone and contrary to all experience with war... there was not any war related Iraqi refugee problem. Migration was more likely to be into the country than out.

I still think that is significant.

PRE 9/11....<blockquo... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

PRE 9/11....

"Joint Task Force on Petroleum of the James A. Baker III Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations." Their final report detailed Saddam's crimes and in the words of the Council on Foreign Relations' report Saddam's problem was that he was a "swinger".

"Tight markets have increased U.S. and global vulnerability
to disruption and provided adversaries undue potential in-
fluence over the price of oil. Iraq has become a key
"swing" producer, posing a difficult situation for the U.S.

Why is our government in a "difficult" position if Iraq is a "swing producer" of oil?

The answer was that Saddam was jerking the oil market up and down. Up, down, up, down. Saddam was out of control.

"Control is what it's all about," one oilman said. "It's not about getting the oil, it's about controlling oil's price."

So, within days of Bush's election in November 2000, the James Baker Institute issued this warning:

"In a market with so little cushion to cover unexpected
events, oil prices become extremely sensitive to perceived
supply risks. Such a market increases the potential leverage of an otherwise lesser producer such as Iraq..."

Falah Aljibury, an advisor to Goldman Sachs, the Baker/CFR group and host to the State Department's invasion planning meetings in February 2001, the Iraqi-born industry man put it this way: "Iraq is not stable, a wild card." Saddam cuts production, or suddenly boosts it, playing games with the U.N. over the Oil-for-Food Program. The tinpot despot was, almost alone, setting the weekly world price of oil and Big Oil did not care for that. In the CFR's sober language:

Saddam is a "destabilizing influence... to the flow of oil
to international markets from the Middle East."

With Saddam out of control, jerking markets up and down, the price of controlling the price was getting just too high. Saddam drove the oil boys bonkers.

This could not stand. Saddam delighted in playing cat-and-mouse with the USA and our oil majors. Unfortunately for him, he wasn't playing with mice, but a much bigger and unforgiving breed of rodents.

Saddam was asking for it. It was time for a "military assessment." The CFR concluded:

"Saddam Hussein has demonstrated a willingness to
threaten to use the oil weapon to manipulate oil mar-
kets... United States should conduct an immediate pol-
icy review toward Iraq, including military, energy,
economic, and political/diplomatic assessments."

The true motive to invade Iraq, Saddam's "manipulation of oil markets," was there in April 2001, the official excuse.

Not surprisingly, the desires of the "Project for a New American Century," the neo-con field of dreams, of remaking Arabia, was not in the Baker Institute-CFR plan. However, the conclusion, Saddam must go, matched the neo-con's policy demand, if for highly different reasons. The Baker-CFR panel had a limited concern: Get rid of the jerk, the guy yanking the market.

The 2001 Baker-CFR reported its conclusions in a briefing at the Pentagon. And back in early 2001, the initial Baker-CFR report was handed directly to Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney met secretly with CFR task force members (including Ken Lay) to go over the maps of Iraq's oil fields. That, apparently, sealed it. Cheney took the CFR/Baker recommendations as his own plan for dissecting Iraq, beginning with the none-too-thinly-veiled take-out-Saddam "assessment."

Whose plan was it? The membership of the Baker-CFR group was Big Oil and its retainers. Who put up the cash for drafting the extravagant report that was so protective of OPEC and Saudi interests. The cost of this exercise in Imperialism Lite was funded by "the generous support of Khalid al-Turki" of Saudi Arabia.

So Synova, think outside the box. You want to isolate the oil supply to Iraq to try and prove a point.. It's bushie boy who's holding hands with the Saudis. Saudi oil and Bush and his Saudi brothers go back a long way. Must I explain every little detail?

Rumsfeld said the war "could last, you know, six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."

Dick Cheney said "I think it will go relatively quickly ... [in] weeks rather than months."

It's now a civil war.....and you want us to believe it wasn't about oil? The American people voted, they know darn well what it was about. Get it?

Editor's Note: the section in block quotes above is taken from Greg Palast's "The Best Thing In The World For Big Oil", and reprinted by civil behavior without attribution or any other indication that it was not his words. I have added in the block-quoting to show that he was quoting. (Thanks to JSchuler for spotting this.)

Plagiarism is one of the few capital offenses here at Wizbang, and the only reason civil behavior is not being banned for it is that at the end of Palast's piece, he states that "May be reproduced including all original links without permission." I strongly suspect that Mr. Palast did not also mean "without attribution," so I have added that.

This will serve as civil behavior's first and last warning.

civil behaviorIs th... (Below threshold)

civil behavior
Is the price of corn manipulated or controlled by Dick Cheney, Halliburton, Iran, or Karl Rove? For that matter, Soybeans? Wheat? Flax Seed Oil? Cotton?

What evidence do you have that they control world oil supplies? Before you try to answer that, tell us the locations of the last twenty largest petroleum refineries built in the last fifty years.

Hugh, I'm curious...<... (Below threshold)

Hugh, I'm curious...

What does a downstream petroleum refinery have to do with the upstream limited supply of oil, as it relates to your argument?

"And where were they to fle... (Below threshold)

"And where were they to flee pre war or post war? To Uday's human paper shredder or the terrorist's daily IED sacrifices?"

My point is, Hugh, that the number of people leaving - and the type of people leaving - contribute to Iraq's failure. Percentage wise, it's like losing all of NYC for America. It's a big, big problem.

civil behavior:Pla... (Below threshold)

civil behavior:

Plagarizing is NOT civil behavior.
I realize why you would NOT want to link to your source, as it demonstrates that the guy is a partisan hack. But hey, that doesn't excuse it.

BTW: Here's a page that actually shows crude oil prices, along with Iraqi oil production.
Hmm... if Saddam is really controlling the prices, I'm not seeing it. He has a modest impact on OPEC's production, but the major dents are due to cooperation amongst OPEC's members, and not the action of Iraq. If oil companies had a problem, they focused way too narrowly.

And if Iraq is in civil war, it is the mildest civil war in the history of mankind.

"Better to keep your mou... (Below threshold)
Bill M:

"Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt"

jp2 should have remained silent.

Is it just me or does anyon... (Below threshold)

Is it just me or does anyone else think jp2 is dumber then he sounds?
(Do we have a differant Hugh here now?)
"john"--which branch of service were you in?

Large portions of ... (Below threshold)
Large portions of Iraq are doing all right. The Kurdish north is practically independent. (Something that the Turks do NOT like.)

Wake up Jay! The reason the Turks are pissed is that the PKK (Kurdistan Worker's Party) is launching terrorist attacks into Turkey from Kurdish-controlled Iraq. More than 600 people have died just this year as a result of these attacks including numerous Turkish police and military.

That's GW's shining beacon of democracy for you. Exporting death and destruction to Turkey and (soon) to a location nearby you.

If the rule is that "war su... (Below threshold)
the Brain:

If the rule is that "war supporters must fight in the war" doesn't that make the correlary "war detractors must not be defended by military force"?

Would our liberal friends so quickly forsake the protection of the armed forces just to show how comitted to peace they are?

Listen, I'm a little upset ... (Below threshold)

Listen, I'm a little upset right now about Kid Rock and Pam Anderson breaking up, so I'm probably not going to do this justice. In any event, it just so happens that I have my own plan for peace in the Middle East. It's somewhat different from JP2's. Let me just briefly lay out for you here:

To begin with, the answer lies not in strengthening the military or in any strategic exercise, but in advancing the cause of medical science, to the extent of rendering the effects of Valium in a type of low-energy radiation that can be expressed over a large area using only solar power. Once this "valium ray" is mounted on a space-based platform, we can put it in geosynchronous orbit over that part of the world, say at L6, so that the ray disperses over the Middle East, parts of Africa and Southern Europe.

In a matter of minutes, Jihadists of every stripe will be saying, "Hey, Oprah's on in 20 minutes, get me some pistachios and a beer, okay honey?"

I will be available to the Noble committee, should they call before 4 p.m.

JohnThanks for the q... (Below threshold)

Thanks for the question.
First, there is no limited supply of oil unless price controls become law.
Refineries have more influence on gas prices than oil producers because they have limited inventory and unpredictable demand from consumers and speculators.
My point to "civil behavior" was that "control of oil" is a specious argument. If the US corporations wanted to control Arabian and Persian oil they could simply buy it all. That would be far cheaper than a millitary intervention.

It is pretty obvious to som... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

It is pretty obvious to some,( including Bush, who has Texas crude running through his veins,) that controlling the oil, in the world's second largest reserves, was one of the reasons for the invasion and it still is for maintaining it Bush said on Oct 30, 2006 in a campaign rally in Georgia, (the USA) "they (the Iraqi terrorists) want to control oil to blackmail the West" Juan Cole today underscores that:
"the Bush administration has not defined a realistic and achievable set of military goals in Iraq. Its original political goal of establishing a unified Iraq with a pro-US government that would let oil contracts on a favorable basis for Houston, would ally with Israel, and would form a springboard for further US pressure on Iran and Syria, is completely unrealistic. Cheney's inability to let go of those objectives is the biggest problem we have in Iraq. Move on."

Greg Palast would be the fi... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Greg Palast would be the first one to say let's educate the American public as to the chumps who are at this point using the same techniques of deny, deflect and destroy in thier smear and fear campaign. As a well travelled, well versed and certainly more well connnected investigative reporter he is much more interested in keeping the public apprised of what this administration has done and is doing to destroy the fabric of this world.

As you have noted "MAY BE REPRODUCED" means exactly that. It means USE this information to show what is happening.

The best I can say is at least JSchuler is reading though not absorbing what his own eyes are reading.

The Council on Foreign Relations and the James Baker Institute are the two entitity's reporting on protecting the interests of oil using military force. Greg Palast was simply reporting what the groups have detailed for the use of the administration's decision for war.

And since when is civil war with dead bodies by the hundreds laying in the streets, MILD?

Why don't you write the families of the fallen and tell them that this bloodshed incurred by a foreign nation is just a comma in their lives. Just a mild bump in the road.

God help us that 30% of foolish americans entertain such a notion.

So, civil, not only do you ... (Below threshold)

So, civil, not only do you know Mr. Palast's mindframe well enough that you KNOW he won't mind you passing his words off as your own, now you're putting words in his mouth?

I don't agree with what you plagiarized, but I recognize that he's a good enough writer that he doesn't NEED you to say what he thinks for him. So unless you happen to be Mr. Palast, I strongly urge you to GIVE THE MAN CREDIT when you use his words.

Or you can do it again and find yourself a new forum to bother.


astigafa,Do you mean... (Below threshold)
Red Fog:

Do you mean the same "valium ray" depicted in Goldfinger that was sprayed from a formation of Cessnas led by Pussy Galore over the Pentagon in 1964? Best post by far.

My prediction (stop pretending to provide "solutions") is that our boys secure the borders of Iraq and let the roughly 30,000 insurgents slaughter themselves in Baghdad over the next Friedman Unit. Iraqis will then set up shop in relative peace over the next Friedman Unit.

Speaking of Units, jp2, if the draft is reinstated, you'll be rejected for having a pinky-sized pecker. Coward.

Ditto, stig -- great post; ... (Below threshold)

Ditto, stig -- great post; but Red Fog, it wasn't over the Pentagon -- it was over FORT KNOX. Come come, my man.

And by the way, you don't really thik jp2 would register, do you?

That means all war... (Below threshold)
That means all war supporters enlist, even bloggers.
And let all those who don't support the war enlist in the Peace Corps. Fair is fair.

Have fun in a jungle somewhere with neither a Starbucks nor internet access!

Do you mean the same "va... (Below threshold)

Do you mean the same "valium ray" depicted in Goldfinger that was sprayed from a formation of Cessnas led by Pussy Galore over the Pentagon in 1964?

Gee, that was my grandmother's name. Some coincidence, ha?

wavemaker,Sorry: For... (Below threshold)
Red Fog:

Sorry: Fort Knox, not Pentagon, but let me correct you: Of course jp2 would not enlist and that's why I said 'if they reinstate the draft'. He'd be rejected for small package problem and continue his welfare life-style.


I named my cat Pussy Galore and it got kind of embrassing when the kids called out across the neighborhood for her. Had her killed for that reason.

By the way astigfa, does my... (Below threshold)

By the way astigfa, does my memory deceive me, or did I not lose a bet to you as a result of the election outcome? I have a vague recollection that we bet on something, and a less vague recollection that I must have lost it. I believe the loser had to do something embarrassing in public. Please advise.

wavemaker,Whoops. ... (Below threshold)
Red Fog:


Whoops. You said you didn't think jp2 would register for the draft. Okay. Like naming my cat wrong and having her killed: My Bad.

Jay Tea,How is it ... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Jay Tea,

How is it that you don't subscribe to the summation provided by the James Baker Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations reporting Iraq's volatility on manipulating oil prices as being the reason given by our very own government to invade Iraq though surreptitiously renedered by using as cover the wmd fallacy or the whole "Spreading democracy) (i.e., imperialism) angle?

Whether the reasons as outlined is done using Greg Palast's words (which by the way he obviously condones) or the CPR and JB Institute does, what exactly will need to happen to make you quit making excuses for the ja**a** in the WH and his dark side? Why after this last election when it is pretty obvious the country knows the consequences of staying the course are more dire than removing us as the provacateurs do the 30% of you hangers-on refuse to admit to the huge mistake that was made and not try to rectify it for the sake of our children?

What kind of pride or complete intransigence can you justify to not wake up to the threat that has increased exponentially as a result of the incursion into Iraq?

What will it take? You've had Abu Ghraib, generals standing up to declare the incompetence from the beginnning until now, half the world or more hates us, commissioned officers such as Eric Watada saying no, Rumsfield being fired, your butts kicked out of the Congress in large numbers and STILL you hang on to false hope following an idiot down a path of mutual destruction.

You've been lied to, stomped on, cheated, chumped and essentially taken for a fool and yet you come back for more from a guy whose best face forward was being a cheerleader for the crowds at Andover. I mean, cmon, you seem like you have more brains than what comes across.

Excuse me, but is it so important for you to not lose face than to admit like a man you made a mistake and pick up the pieces for your children's future.

When there is another attack and likely it will be when, not if, you really think that by occupying another country and dropping bombs and raiding houses that those people are planning right now to send us 1-800 flowers?

I suppose you are of the opinion that we are going to make them into a democracy even if it kills them huh? Well, we've done a smack up job of that.

That's right, c.b. -- if an... (Below threshold)

That's right, c.b. -- if anyone doesn't agree with you, he must be stoopid.

The first and last refuge of a fool.

I believe you are misquotin... (Below threshold)

I believe you are misquoting...

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel
Before Cheney went to S.A.,... (Below threshold)

Before Cheney went to S.A., the Bush Administration asked for a state attorney general to visit, so he could apologize for having to convict a Saudi national:

"Maybe this is a PR triumph, but you would have to be a diplomat to understand that. It does not appear to be a case of reciprocation: has any Saudi prosecutor ever flown to the U.S. to be grilled by a Congressional committee for failure to prosecute, or keep in prison, known terrorists? I can't see that attorney generals all over the country haven't received another message entirely: that ultimately they can be held accountable to the Saudi royal family, not their elected constituency."

Colorado Bows to the Saudis

wavemaker:By th... (Below threshold)


By the way astigfa, does my memory deceive me, or did I not lose a bet to you as a result of the election outcome? I have a vague recollection that we bet on something, and a less vague recollection that I must have lost it. I believe the loser had to do something embarrassing in public. Please advise.

If I could remember, I would. Uh, okay, say something nice about Nancy Pelosi, and mean it.

Okay.She has nice ... (Below threshold)


She has nice taste in clothes.

I think the bet was that the Dems wouldn't win both houses. Seemd like a pretty good bet back then (probably last winter).






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