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If Ever You Doubted Liberals Wanted us to Lose in Iraq...

...the reaction to yesterday's Op-Ed piece in the NYT should remove any doubt.

Bloggers unleash fury on optimistic op-ed

Brookings scholars Michael E. O'Hanlon and Kenneth M. Pollack used the most established of platforms, the Op-Ed page of The New York Times, to offer the most politically incorrect of arguments on Monday: "We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms."

Their 1,343-word piece, "A War We Just Might Win," instantly provoked a more furious ideological shootout than has been sparked by any recent development on the battleground or action by the Bush administration.

O'Hanlon told The Politico in an e-mail that he and his co-author were espousing "just temporary optimism," but their article was treated by the left and right as if it were etched on golden tablets.

"Often Wrong, But Never In Doubt" was the headline on the progressive Think Progress blog of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. The posting, which asserted O'Hanlon and Pollack were "embarking on a public relations tour calling for stay the course," drew 228 comments. A printout runs 56 pages. Elsewhere, the site accused the two of "shilling."

In his Interesting Times blog for The New Yorker, George Packer encapsulated the reaction of liberal former war supporters with a piece that suggests the O'Hanlon/Pollack article lacks "a necessary humility."

On the right, these liberal hawks were hailed as returning heroes. The Web site of the conservative Weekly Standard called the piece "Required Reading," saying it "conforms well with much of the reporting that has come out of Iraq recently." A later post attacked those who tried to discredit it. ...

The criticism ranged from mild to scathing. On "Swampland," the blog of the TIME magazine Washington bureau, Jay Carney wrote: "Stories saying we're finally turning a corner -- like the ones insisting the next sixth months are critical -- should be read with immense doses of skepticism." And Joe Klein -- in a post called "What's Missing in this Column?" -- said he agrees "with many, but not all, of the conclusions" and said they devoted too little attention "to the political situation, which is disastrous."

The piece was mocked with headlines like "The War Is Great," and several sites complained that the conclusions contradicted the data in O'Hanlon's "Iraq Index."

Forgetting for a moment the value of the assessment by the 2 authors, the value of the piece as a way out outing defeatists liberals remains unrivaled.

The liberals in this country are so deranged that good news in Iraq is now considered bad news. Rather than being pleased that we might be making progress and hopeful for American success, the liberals in this country are actively -and near openly- hoping for defeat.

But don't question their patriotism. They support the troops.


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Comments (32)

To liberal Democrats (is th... (Below threshold)

To liberal Democrats (is there anything but these days?), Iraq exists solely as a means to solidify their majority in Congress and regain the White House.

It doesn't get any simpler than that!

"Winning" in Iraq is a high... (Below threshold)

"Winning" in Iraq is a highly subjective and relative term and nothing like the meaning of victory after WWII for example. Can the U.S. do heavy damage to the small Al Qaeda terrorist orgnization operating there? Certainly. But can the U.S. make the three sectarian ethnic groups such as the Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish community cooperate together as a single state under one government when these groups began fighting with one another shortly after the death of Muhammad in 632 A.D. Not very likely.

Also, Iran is unlikely to stop their efforts to gain some influence over the Iraqi oil as their own oil reserves drys up or to prop up a Shiite government they can puppeteer somehow as American influence leaves the area, and Saudi Arabia is unlikely to stop their payments to Sunni militia and paramiltary groups to fight for a Sunni government there as well. Both of these countries continue to flow both money and arms into Iraq and continue a cycle of sectarian violence there that makes international business investment very difficult and continues to cripple the economy in Iraq.

At best, the U.S. can setback terrorists like Al Qaeda in Iraq, but other vexing problems will exist for decades or centuries in this postSaddam Iraq for quite some time in all likelyhood. The concept of any tangible and concrete "victory" in Iraq is indeed a very limited one compared to the serious problems that will continue to exist there for a long time.

For an HONEST assess... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

For an HONEST assessment of how things are really going in Iraq watch this:


Otherwise keep your pretty little head in the sand.

Foolish stupid deadenders.

"The liberals in this count... (Below threshold)

"The liberals in this country are so deranged that good news in Iraq is now considered bad news."

I think the problem with this report is that it was authored by two guys who have been doing the same blind cheerleading with Wizbang since the eve of the war. They have repeatedly said "everything is great."


The infamous PNAC document. Notice who is on it. Again, know your source.

Thank you liberals for prov... (Below threshold)

Thank you liberals for proving my point.


It doesn't matter.... (Below threshold)

It doesn't matter.


It wasn't just this one op-ed. There have been increasing reports of optimism and increasing light shined on people like Reid.

CB and jp2 may think that everyone is just as convinced as they are, but it's not true.

Notice that the counter-attack about this "everything is great" op-ed uses terms like "everything is great." It's a move the goal posts, straw man sort of thing. We *can't* be happy about one more opinion that things may have turned around, oh no, we can only be bipolar, either "everything is great" or else we're in a morass of defeat and damnation.

So look at this op-ed in the NY Times. Isn't it nice to see them print something that isn't entirely gloomy? But no! Being "not gloomy" is claiming there is no more work to do, no setbacks in our future, and moreover, it's claiming that "everything is great."

Gloom and angst really isn't automatically more authentic or thoughtful, no matter how many university freshmen think so.

Synova.I se... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:


I see you didn't go to the link I provided.


A You Tube video?W... (Below threshold)

A You Tube video?

Watched one today of Marines having a dance contest.

No really. A dance contest.

If things are going so grea... (Below threshold)

If things are going so great in Iraq why did the Sunnis just quit the government?

Paul:Note that you... (Below threshold)


Note that you quote elements from the piece that include (presumably liberal) opinions that express mere skepticism of the assessment or attempt to introduce elements that the report's authors may not have considered. Do you tar these with the same brush as you apply to "defeatist liberals?"


Ware? You've got to be kidd... (Below threshold)

Ware? You've got to be kidding me.

You know that what he described I already knew. In fact, I've been commenting in various places that have been discussing the supposed "arming" of Sunni tribes, the turning of Sunni tribes against Al Qaida, and the fears of the Iraqi government that those groups will be a problem.

Well you can't have it both ways, CB, no matter how Ware can manage to explain that sectarian violence is way down and that Sunni tribal leaders are turning against Al Qaida and that it's a bad thing. If we are demanding reconciliation with Sunni groups then we need to demand reconciliation with Sunni groups.

Though according to Ware we can't do that.

Funny how the things that we demand should happen get turned into proof that it's not really working. So if the things we demand should happen *don't* happen, is that success?

But you keep your pretty little head in your own pretty little echo chamber.

And I'll keep my pretty little head in mine.

For the "defeat at any cost... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

For the "defeat at any cost" liberals, victory for the US is bad news for for them.

Democrats in Iraq Crisis: What Kind of Politicians Are They?

BALZ: What do Democrats do if General Petraeus comes in in September, and says, "This is working very, very well at this point. We would be foolish to back away from it"?

CLYBURN: Well, that would be a real big problem for us, no question about that.

Ware's report is thinly dis... (Below threshold)

Ware's report is thinly disguised propaganda. He notes, first, that there are marked improvements... then tries to sell them as a shell game. He says we shouldn't look at a drop in sectarian violence as positive because everyone is leaving... but somehow looks past the fact that the increased troop deaths his station was trumpeting the last 2 months came while we were increasing the number of troops. He tries to sell the turning of the local militias to our side as a negative. He somehow says with a straight face that we are creating these militias, but these militias we just created wanted us to work with them years ago. He wants us to believe we are splitting up the people along ethnic lines, while anyone who reads Yon or Totten knows they were mostly segregated before we got there and all we are doing is enforcing curfews and searching people seen in areas thay shouldn't be in.

It would be disgraceful if anyone watched CNN or whichever anchor was in that clip.

Memo, Talking Points for De... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

Memo, Talking Points for Democrats:

1) Bush lied, etc.

2) EMERGENCY!!! There is evidence that we might be able to win the war. ALL HANDS ON DECK!

We must redouble efforts to give up and lose, before we can win.

On this all depends.

What's interesting is the w... (Below threshold)

What's interesting is the way some bloggers are demanding retribution for daring to write anything that suggests progress in the war. One blogger in particular noted that O'Hanlon had been an advisor to John Kerry in 2004. He's now proposing a litmus test: don't support the election of anyone who'd include either of these two in their Administrations.

"Speaking truth to power" isn't as much a virtue on their side as they lead us to believe. It only counts when the "truth" is the one they can accept.

Its good thig we did,nt hav... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Its good thig we did,nt have these lilylivers back in WW II we would all have a dicatator and be going hiel

From BarneyG2000:"If... (Below threshold)

From BarneyG2000:
"If things are going so great in Iraq why did the Sunnis just quit the government?"

From what I see, the Democrats could walk out of Congress and life in the US would go on very well, thank you. Kind of an analogy, just to help you along.

I think it's kinda strange ... (Below threshold)

I think it's kinda strange that some are holding the Iraqi government to a standard they aren't holding their own to. Didn't our government just come to a screeching halt on the important issue of illegal immigration? Something that has far reaching implications in regards to our security. And aren't the Democrats now rallying to affirm that before any Supreme Court nominations are even in the making, their intention is to see to it that anyone Bush nominates gets an immediate "nay"?

For the Democrats that's a virtuous thing because they're standing up for their principles and Republicans are the scourge. But if the Iraqi's come to an impasse on issues, it's a whole 'nother thing.

And we've been at it a lot longer than they.

PW can you say that again i... (Below threshold)

PW can you say that again in different words?

I read it 3 times but missed your point. Hit me again.

It has always been of inter... (Below threshold)

It has always been of interest to me how the liberals are more than willing to accept any news of defeat, disgrace, retreat, demon-like soldiers, terrorist advances, etc. etc. etc., with something approximating religion-like faith in those reports' veracity, but automatically attempt to discredit and destroy any report indicating anything even loosely to the opposite.

Of course, they do this with "global warming", too, so is it really any surprise to anyone?

Though, when you consider that if the public were to believe we were making advances in Iraq (or that "global warming" was more-or-less bunk), the Democrats would lose so very much power, prestige, and faith... well, I guess you can hardly blame them.

Whoever designed the liberal base code sure knew what he was doing...

"(or that "global warming" ... (Below threshold)

"(or that "global warming" was more-or-less bunk),"

The democrats are BUNK. If the Dirty Rats want to lose the WOT so badly then it is our duty to assist them in their suicide. If the good for nothing democrat leadership and thier stupid loyal losers all died tomorrow all our enemies a$$holes would tighten up and would find themselves fighting with themselves saying you go say it, no you read that threatening letter to the United States of America.

The Traitoraous Rats do not deserve the democrat party title or to even call themselves Americans.

You deadenders are s... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

You deadenders are such a waste of time anymore.

This country is falling apart and we've blown another one to bits due to our occupation and all you can do is keep supporting this madness.

I suppose each of you has your own republican talking point on the 20 billion that GW wants to give to our friends the Saudis in weaponry too huh?

Or I suppose you think three bullets drilled into Pat Tillman's head was just an accident?

Geez, it's really hard to believe you are so oblivious of who is the provacateur.

Now we know how Hitler was so succcessful.

You deadenders are... (Below threshold)
You deadenders are such a waste of time anymore.

So go somewhere else. Or are you too stupid to not waste your own time?

Linoge - I second the motio... (Below threshold)

Linoge - I second the motion.

All in favor of CB joining Lee "The Thief" Ward into comment moderation hell raise their hands and say aye.

CB said, "Or I suppose you ... (Below threshold)

CB said, "Or I suppose you think three bullets drilled into Pat Tillman's head was just an accident?"

Did I miss something ? Have the "truthers" claimed Mr. Tillman as one of their own ? If I was related, I'd sue for defamation.

Now we know how Hi... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
Now we know how Hitler was so succcessful.

The unwritten corollary to Godwin's Law is now in effect.

Civil Behavior has just declared himself/herself/itself the loser of this debate.

We will now have the seventh inning stretch, after which CB will dig himself into a deep, deep hole in the ground.

All in favor of CB... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
All in favor of CB joining Lee "The Thief" Ward into comment moderation hell raise their hands and say aye.

Marc, we can't ban all the cat toys. Who would we play with?

On the other hand, CB is descending rapidly into the "just plain batshit crazy" category that finally got bryanD booted.

So, yes, I'll vote aye to banning CB.

Lee "The Thief" Ward... (Below threshold)

Lee "The Thief" Ward

I find it humorous that marc is acting as the champion of proper credit, seeing as he himself often fails to do so.

Isn't there any hypocrisy that makes you feel embarrassed?

Brian:Isn't th... (Below threshold)


Isn't there any hypocrisy that makes you feel embarrassed?

No asswipe:

Lee's issue isn't or wasn't with giving proper credit it was with cut and pasting an entire article from Time Magazine in direct violation of Copyright laws and with no adherence to the Fair Use policy.

What at you have linked isn't even close to an entire article (it's called an except nitwit) and it DOES follow Fair Use policy.

Again your a disingenuous asswipe.

Brian...BTW, where... (Below threshold)


BTW, where in this thread did I "champion of proper credit?"

I didn't, which makes you not only wrong with your sorry assed accusation but you made it on the wrong thread.

Which borders on being labeled a Troll.

WoW! What brought out the l... (Below threshold)

WoW! What brought out the lib brigades with all of the negative votes ? Very impressive. Hey Paul, apparently Wizbang finally caught the eye of the daily-kuss folks.(Isn't it amazing how 2 guys with access to a public library can make it look like there's a bunch of opposition to your opposition to there opposition to victory ?)

It's funny, but the lefties... (Below threshold)

It's funny, but the lefties we have around here all seem to think they're all nuancey, but they really just have an on/off setting.
If you say things in Iraq aren't as bad as everyone says, then you're obviously saying that it's all rainbows and puppies. That seems particularly stupid to me, and one of the reasons I so rarely respond to them.

Take JP2's link, characterized as I think the problem with this report is that it was authored by two guys who have been doing the same blind cheerleading with Wizbang since the eve of the war. They have repeatedly said "everything is great."

Now, I know that clicking a lefty's link usually proves exactly the opposite of what the lefty thinks it proves, but I've heard of the "infamous PNAC document" so I figured I would check it out.
I'll bold the quotes and follow with my observation of JP2's characterization of it as being "everything is great".
we believe it is essential, even in the midst of war, to begin building a new era of transatlantic cooperation.
How is that "everything is great"?

The place to begin is post-war Iraq.
Hmmm, sounds as if the authors are admitting there's a problem, not quite an "everything is great" comment.
Let's proceed
We must help build an Iraq that is governed by a pluralistic system representative of all Iraqis and fully committed to the rule of law, the rights of all its citizens, and the betterment of all its people. Such an Iraq will be a force for regional stability rather than conflict and participate in the democratic development of the region.
"We must build" generally doesn't mean, "everything is great". It means that everything is not great, here's how we can get to okay.
Hmm, let's see what's next.
Building a stable, peaceful and democratic Iraq is an immense task.
Hmmm, I didn't realize "everything is great" was a prelude to an immense task.

Of particular concern, the effort to rebuild Iraq should strengthen, not weaken transatlantic ties.
Hmmmm, seems as if they're talking about how Iraq is causing divisions among allies, I didn't realize that equated to "everything is great", but then, I'm all simplisme about reading what writers intend to mean instead of what my BDS infused mind thinks they really want to say.
Let's continues just for giggles (mine at least, I'm kind of a jerk)
No current challenge is more important than that of building a peaceful, unified and democratic Iraq without weapons of mass destruction on NATO's own borders.
Hmmmm, I didn't realize that a challenge equated to "everything is great" but as I said, I like to read and understand what they write, not "interpret" it to mean what I think they want to write.
More? Sure.
The United States should therefore seek passage of a Security Council resolution that endorses the establishment of a civilian administration in Iraq, authorizes the participation of UN relief and reconstruction agencies, welcomes the deployment of a security and stabilization force by NATO allies, and lifts all economic sanctions imposed following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait a decade ago.

So JP2, you're saying that article is huge paean to how great Iraq is? Or is it really just a blueprint for how the authors think that Iraq should go from it's (then) current mess to a good place?

But then, that's the typical lefty ploy, attack your oppponents instead of what they say. It's even funnier when the support for your attack is off base, that's why I like to click lefty's links, they so rarely say what the lefty thinks they do. I have to assume that what happens is some lefty blogger finds the link, characterizes it and then, their myrmidons just assume that it's been characterized correctly and quoting it. It's like that CNN article about the David Kay report I often see linked by nitwit lefties, it says that we are unlikely to find huge stockpiles of WMD's (what lefties notice) but then, goes on to say that he had all his programs in place, ready to restart them once the heat was off. Typical nitwitery.
And that almost always makes me laugh.

I'll give you a free hint JP2, someone saying something is important and difficult isn't the same as saying, "Everything is great".

On a technical note, for some reason this is not showing up in the "auto preview" section, so if I missed a "close tags", sorry.






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