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Obama On O'Reilly: Dreams He Never Had

Appearing on the O'Reilly Factor, Barack Obama provided an interesting quote regarding his publicly tendered view of 'The Surge' in Iraq during his interview with Bill O'Reilly. And it's telling in ways that might escape the viewer or reader on first pass.

"I think that the surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated," Obama said while refusing to retract his initial opposition to the surge. "I've already said it's succeeded beyond our wildest dreams."

I hope you caught that. Obama's in effect saying that it's not that he was actually wrong really, but it's more that no one was really right.

Two things about this that must be recognized without equivocation. Now stick with me here...

  1. It has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams (and to include most Democrats + Hagel) because they never dreamed it in the first place. Victory. It's attainable if you want it. But you have to at least think it first. Even if it comes to you in a dream.
  2. Yes, it most certainly was anticipated. We didn't employ the strategy because it simply allowed us to go over there, prolong the war, and lose more men and women in the interim. Of course, the outcome was never assured. But the strategy, its accompanying tactics and force structure employed was not done so on a whim. There was a vision of victory. Difficult and costly victory. But victory - and less costly than defeat. Actually trying to win a war by breaking an insurgency.

Barack Obama still doesn't understand that, even after drawing so near that victory today.

I'm sorry to be so blunt, but this entire mindset he and his supporters share just pisses me off beyond tolerable levels. Marvin Hutchens, Michael Tanji and I shut down our site for a month after the embarrassing Iraq Study Group Report was released. And we penned a 30+ page PDF study of our own with 40 specific recommendations titled "Achieving Victory In Iraq." We had the report peer reviewed and then sent it to the White House, the Pentagon and other potentially interested contacts well before President Bush announced his Surge plan.

We didn't call it Achieving Honorable Withdrawal In Iraq, or Working Toward Full Redeployment From Iraq, or How To Abandon The Same People To Slaughter Twice In Two Decades In Iraq. We called it Achieving Victory in Iraq. Or maybe it was just some wild dream.

Now, I am not saying our efforts had any impact or considered input on the plan that has proved successful in Iraq. It probably didn't. But that's not the point. The point is that those who crafted the surge strategy formulated for victory, and not for anything else. And furthermore, there were also three men, veterans with a still-strong sense of duty and extended service, who felt compelled to do something, to contribute in some way, in the manner they best knew how. Barrack Obama had barely begun campaigning for the US Senate at the time.

So forgive me if I take it a bit personally when some ambitious defeatist claims the current success in Iraq was beyond anyone's "wildest dreams." No sir. It was beyond yours.

While Barrack Obama and so many others in Washington still can't mouth the word 'victory' and can seemingly barely manage to utter the moderated verbiage of 'success,' don't tell me that no one dreamed of it. That's the definition of "Audacity." And "Hope" is for those who sit around in anxious expectation while someone else fixes the problem.

Wrong answer on both accounts.

Update: A correction. Misspoke when I said "Barrack Obama had barely begun campaigning for the US Senate at the time." That should have read that he had "barely begun his first term in the US Senate." See why you should write after you are angry, not when?


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Comments (51)

This thoughtless, talking p... (Below threshold)

This thoughtless, talking points puking, inconsiderate boob of an embarassment to America cannot possibly be on the verge of becoming POTUS, can he?

I refuse to believe my countrymen would, or even could, do that. No sir, 49 states to Palin/McCain, Massachusetts goes to Obamby/Slow Joe.

Somebody out there, please find a way to be at a "townhall" debate and ask him about our troops "air raiding villages and killing innocents". Just think, you might get your name in "The Guiness Book.." for initiating the longest "Uh" in recorded history.

Yeah, it gets to me also. I... (Below threshold)

Yeah, it gets to me also. I think this defeatist attitude comes from the belief that there is no right and no wrong. That's a convenient belief when you want to do what you want to do, but it takes you nowhere in a hurry when engaging the forces of evil, e.g. Osama bin Laden.

In contrast, McCain's answer to Rick Warren on how to deal with evil was, "defeat it". [end of answer]. McCain,to use his term, has been in the real world. If you can go through 5 years being tortured and still not believe in good and evil and right and wrong, there's no hope for you at all.

I can't speak for everyone, but it does seem to me that more Americans want the threat of terrorism neutralized, and the sooner the better. I don't think many really believe that's going to happen by wishing and negotiating.

Therefore, I think McCain/Palin are going to win by a significant margin. They are where we regular people want and need our leaders to be.

If I were Osama bin Laden right now, I think I'd be donating heavily to Obama.

"I'm sorry to be so blunt, ... (Below threshold)

"I'm sorry to be so blunt, but this entire mindset he and his supporters share just pisses me off beyond tolerable levels."

You are not alone, ESPECIALLY on this issue!

Kudos, Steve... Well stated... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

Kudos, Steve... Well stated article.

Just wait. In ten days, ev... (Below threshold)
Mike G in Corvallis:

Just wait. In ten days, every answer to questions about the Surge will begin with "As I have said all along ..."

And in three weeks he'll be taking credit for it.

Please forgive me for being... (Below threshold)
a little pill of reality:

Please forgive me for being a moron, but I just can't control my compulsion to blather my talking point wherever I can find the space. In fact, if I don't get this off my chest, I will soil myself, and I can't afford any more new underwear.

The important thing to remember is that Obama was one of the only politicians, Democrat or Republican, who had the bravery to oppose the mistake of going to Iraq in the first place, when doing so would make you look unpatriotic. The Bush administration cynically sold this war to the American people by abusing and manipulating their fear and anger after 9-11. They deliberately channeled that anger against Hussein and Iraq and led us into an absurd invasion and occupation that has left us with 1000s of unnecessary deaths and that has energized terrorist forces against us, making us less safe. McCain was a huge champion of this war from the beginning. The fact that they enacted the surge four years into the war shows that they finally did something right, but it does not excuse the fact that they went into Iraq in the first place. Did you know that Bush senior had the chance to take out Saddam but did not because he intelligently recognized that Saddam was a necessary counterbalance to Iran in the region. Bush jr. just went ahead and took him out rashly, thereby strengthening and energizing Iran. This kind of leadership is dangerous, not patriotic, not brave, not bold, not strong. Obama's stance against the war was bold and strong and patriotic, because he wanted to keep going after Bin Laden and not divert our military efforts from Afganistan. Doesn't any of this make any sense to you people? Yes, Obama was wrong about the surge at the end of the day. But what is worse? Going into Iraq in the first place? Or being hesitant about the surge when at the time it appeared to just be a way for more putting soldiers in harms way for a pointless and rash war.

You guys gotta back up and not forget how the Iraq problem started. Take a minute of your time for introspection.

Also, since this page has been so unanimously supportive of every aspect of Sarah Palin, I just wanted to share with you what some top level Republican strategists had to say about her when they did not realize that their mics were still on:

Murphy: "It's not going to work!"

Noonan: "It's over... They went for this, excuse me, political bull**** about narratives. Every time Republicans do that... they blow it."

Murphy: "You know what's really the worst thing about it? The greatest of McCain is no cynicism, and it is cynical."

words from: Peggy Noonan, a former speechwriter for the first President Bush and a conservative, and Mike Murphy, who has advised both Mr McCain and Mitt Romney in the past

Here's the article:


Here's the video:


After listening to what top level Republican strategists have had to say about McCain's choice for Sarah Palin, don't you people think it's time for you to reconsider your blind devotion to her? I mean, someone who wrote speeches for Bush is calling Palin's pick "cynical", which it is by the way. How do you deal with that? How do you address it?

Does anyone here have the balls to address what these top level Republican strategists had to say about Palin? The world was able to hear a morsel of truth for once coming from their mouths. This is what they really think. They are shocked and deeply dissapointed with McCain's choice. Eat it up people.

Oh, rats. I still soiled myself. Um... does someone have a spare pair of underwear they can lend me?

a l p of r,Once Am... (Below threshold)

a l p of r,

Once America is at war, we are all duty bound to win it, not join people who strap bombs (filled with chlorine gas, nails, glass, rat poison, aids virus, etc. etc,) onto young girls with downs syndrome and then detonate them in crowded markets from a safe distance, in an effort to gain political advantage. People who do that to their own country are the scum of the Earth.

Thanks for IDing yourself, placebo boy.

You can bet that Obama was ... (Below threshold)
the pill's name is Steve:

You can bet that Obama was watching the situation in Iraq extremely closely, and making his decisions based on his hope for the best outcome. He was never hoping for a failure and none of us ever have been, and to insinuate that is pure bull.

Obama witnessed Bush lead us into Iraq on a faulty premise, manipulating the fear and emotions of the people, and witnessed years of horrible management without progress. Obama wanted us to get Iraq in good enough shape for it to be handed over to the Iraqis to govern, so that we could take our troops out and so that we could focus on our real terrorist enemies.

Now, let's make this clear: Obama would have voted for the surge had there been a clear and intelligently laid out plan for the aftermath, were it to succeed: namely to assure that we would set a timeline and put pressure on Iraq to take control of its own country.

Because the surge did not come with this implicit goal, and instead came amidst statements from McCain that would suggest staying for 20-100 years, it would make sense that Obama would not want to vote for it. When he could see the surge being in the larger context of a war that had never been well managed and that never was waged with any plans set for the aftermath, he naturally must have felt a comparison to Viet Nam in his mind, and would have felt that it would have been rash to send in more and more troops without a setting a timeline.

Remember that there was a time when we kept sending in more and more troops to Viet Nam, increasing the number of troops amidst calls for us to come home, and we never won. We never won that war. That war was unnecessary and we never one. We all know how that went down.

So, to Mark, I ask. Do you think we should still be in Viet Nam fighting with the Cong? Would it satisfy you to think that we never gave up in Nam and continued to fight it to this day, even if we never got closer to our goal?

Judging from your 'duty bound' statement, it would seem that you'd still like us to be fighting in Viet Nam, with our soldiers still dying unnecessarily. No wonder a group of Viet Nam vets started a group against the war in Iraq.

In any case, the surge worked. And recently the Bush administration which had always been so vehemently against timelines, and which had conceded at one point to use the word "time horizon", has finally given over to what Obama has been fighting for all this time, and has pledged to get the US out of Iraq within two to three years.

So, the way you misrepresent Obama's position on this issue is ridiculous and shows that you are just as stubborn and adverse to listening to reason as Bush and O'Reilly.

And the way you, Mark, misrepresent is particularly awful. You suggest that Obama is personally siding with suicide bombers for political gain. That's just stupid.

It's also stupid for O'Reilly to frame issues in such childish ways. "Ok bub... admit that you were wrong. Just admit that you were wrong about the surge"... bla bla

Look, what journalists should seek to do is to reveal the truth and to understand the details of a situation so that the public is informed enough not to be duped by the government and empowered enough to hold them accountable. As a journalist, O'Reilly should have been more probing about the reasons behind the Iraq war to begin with. Instead, he promoted it vehemently to prove his patriotism. Now he childishly wishes Obama to concede that he was wrong about the surge, when Obama merely wanted to make sure that the troops were sent in there with a full package of intelligent planning instead of a mindset of continuing the war for 100 years without trying to get the Iraqis to take over.

O'Reilly represents a childish and idiotic mentality, exactly the kind of mentality that is so easily manipulated, exactly the kind of mentality that was manipulated for the purpose of invading Iraq.

Talk about doing things harmful to our country for political gain!!!

Bush went into Iraq in the first place for political and personal gain. He wanted to be a hero with a legacy and to get the guy "who tried to kill my dad". He was also in the grips of the neoconservative agenda which thrives in a good vs. evil mentality and which seeks to alter the world through rash actions without thinking about their larger consequences. The Neoconservatives have their roots in Cold War politics. It was they who supplied the Afgans with weaponry and training against the Soviet Union, but failed to have a plan to support the rebuilding of Afganistan afterwards. They left the country to become a wasteland filled with uneducated, highly religious people with lots of weapons (half the population being under 14 at the end of that war), and this country produced the people who attacked us on 9-11. This is what happens when you wage rash war and don't think about the larger consequences. Obama has learned the lessons of these mistakes. The Neocons have obviously not, and have continued to act in the same rash way.

Obama opposed the surge in the hopes that a new surge bill would be written to include a specific timetable and more elaborate planning for how we would get out. He did not oppose the surge for political gain.

"The important thing to rem... (Below threshold)

"The important thing to remember is that Obama was one of the only politicians, Democrat or Republican, who had the bravery to oppose the mistake of going to Iraq in the first place, when doing so would make you look unpatriotic."

The important thing to remember is that the South Side of Chicago hardly requires patriotism from its hack machine politicians. Ask Uncle Jerry whether it's true.

What a bunch of hooey!

a little pill - "Oh, ra... (Below threshold)

a little pill - "Oh, rats. I still soiled myself. Um... does someone have a spare pair of underwear they can lend me?

No, but I have a crying towel.

Little pillHere is... (Below threshold)

Little pill

Here is what actually happened with Noonan the other day:


Stop spinning a tale that fits your meme and stick to the facts. Read more and talk less.

I think Steve nailed it. b... (Below threshold)

I think Steve nailed it. b hussein's re-evaluation of the surge having "succeeded beyond our wildest dreams" just goes to show us that he had no confidence in our military--none...nada...zip. The US military is winning the war and he is surprised? He is truly unfit for command.

This liberal is the "cut an... (Below threshold)

This liberal is the "cut and paste" kind JT warned us about. Hammer time. ww

You guys gotta back up a... (Below threshold)

You guys gotta back up and not forget how the Iraq problem started. Take a minute of your time for introspection.

OK...let's review.

Saddam Hussein's army invaded a sovereign nation, an ally of the United States. The United States formed a coalition of allied states and went to Kuwait to fight Saddam Hussein and liberate Kuwait from his control.

But, rather than going into Baghdad and getting rid of this tyrant, we listened to the hand wringers at the United Nations who told Saddam Hussein to play nice by passing a series of resolutions that would allow him to stay in power.

Saddam Hussein then went on to violate the conditions of those resolutions on a regular basis, knowing that the UN Security Council would never call him on it, as he had been bribing officials from some key countries with illicit oil futures.

While this was going on Bill Clinton signed a resolution making regime change in Iraq an official goal of American foreign policy.

When Bush II decided to take Hussein out, he did so only after receiving bilateral approval of Congress.

Had we not taken him out, he would still be in power, stronger than ever. And, his sons would still be raping women and torturing anyone who opposed Daddy. And, we're not talking about putting panties on guys' heads.

There were mistakes made in Iraq, but going in was not one of them.

Obama is as wrong as wrong can be on this issue.

Back to Steve's post...... (Below threshold)

Back to Steve's post...

"We didn't call it Achieving Honorable Withdrawal In Iraq, or Working Toward Full Redeployment From Iraq, or How To Abandon The Same People To Slaughter Twice In Two Decades In Iraq. We called it Achieving Victory in Iraq. "

I want that on a bronze plaque. Thanks for summarizing the choice we have so perfectly!

When is anyone in the media... (Below threshold)

When is anyone in the media going to start going after Obambi for this "as I have said many times" batshit he keeps pulling.

Gawrsh. I musta missed the speech where Obambi praised the "beyond our wildest dreams" success of the surge.

If I were O'Reilly, I would have responded to that insane flipflop with, "Are you fucking kidding?!?!"

Liberals are like gangs, th... (Below threshold)

Liberals are like gangs, they only talk tough when they're in a group. For the most part, they are weenies. Their favorite color is plaid. They are like a waving piece of grass going back and forth depending on which way the wind blows. They are wandering generalities.

Obama cannot admit he erred because he is afraid of the "gang". He knows he did, and we know he did. I don't care if he admits it. I never expected him to have character. ww

The important thin... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
The important thing to remember is that Obama was one of the only politicians, Democrat or Republican, who had the bravery to oppose the mistake of going to Iraq in the first place

What would leaving Saddam in power mean? We know that Saddam had great success bribing corrupt UN, French and Russian officials and was close to getting out of all UN sanctions. Within a year or two Saddam would have been free to spend billions of oil dollars on rebuilding his military forces. We know from history Saddam was vicious, vindictive, and would seek revenge on the U.S. for his humiliating defeat in the first gulf war. We saw how quickly Saddam made peace with Iran when a bigger enemy (the U.S.) showed up, so we could expect Saddam to partner with Iran and Al Qaida to achieve his revenge on the U.S.

All those who say it was a mistake removing Saddam from power have to accept the consequences of that inaction. They have to accept the stupidity of claiming it would now be better to have Saddam in power than the current Iraqi government.

Also, since this page has been so unanimously supportive of every aspect of Sarah Palin, I just wanted to share with you what some top level Republican strategists had to say about her when they did not realize that their mics were still on:

This shows that few people have as good a judgement as McCain. General MacArthur faced the same skepticism from other "experts" during the Korean war, but his landing at Inchon broke North Korea's string of victories and put them on the run. We see the same thing with McCain's pick of Palin. One bold move put Obama on the defensive.

Excellent Excellent insight... (Below threshold)

Excellent Excellent insight Steve! Can't you just hear Sarah Palin say, "Beyond his wildest dreams?!!! Are you kidding me? I certainly do not want a president who can't even DREAM of a victory for America!!"

And as far as going into Iraq--What better place to fight the war on terror--A country that was losing it's citizens in mass gassings and incredible slaughters at the hands of a madman--who harbored terrorists intent on destroying America and Isreal and all democracies. We not only liberated an entire country, but we have stayed and supported and defended them! God Bless American military and their Comander in Chief--George W. Bush!

Thanks all. Really did not... (Below threshold)
Steve Schippert:

Thanks all. Really did not intend for my first Wizbang post to be an angry rebuke, but I have no control of who says what or when.

Bruce (14), you forgot to mention that little bit about Hussein giving $15-25K to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers who earned their glory ripping apart the flesh of women and children who dared to ride a bus or eat at a corner pizzeria in Israel.

There's a definition for "State Sponsored Terrorism" (at our State Department, not the UN) and there is no skirting the fact that the above is soundly within that definition.

But arguing how we got there is academic. Arguing what we do now (or in late 2006/2007) is not.

Your car is careening toward a tree on a rain-slicked road. What do you do?

A.) Argue with your wife over what caused the car to careen: the rain, her directions to turn, or your braking/acceleration skills.

B.) Ignore the screams and decide which is best to avoid impact and regain control: hard left turn, hard right turn, hard braking, or controlled acceleration into the spin.

C.) Close your eyes, scream louder at your wife, and wait to read what the New York Times suggests in the morning from the hospital.

Two cents from here, for what it's worth.

Thanks all. Really... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Thanks all. Really did not intend for my first Wizbang post to be an angry rebuke, but I have no control of who says what or when.

Thanks Steve and not to worry. The comments have actually been quite tame given all the left's balloons you popped with your well crafted article.

Heh. Not sure about well cr... (Below threshold)
Steve Schippert:

Heh. Not sure about well crafted - it required a correction, after all. It was largely a stream of thought rant. What took the longest was how to edit out the profanity that streamed in the original and yet maintain the effect. Marines have perfected the fine art of profane expression - particularly when angry.

"Obama opposed the... (Below threshold)
"Obama opposed the surge in the hopes that a new surge bill would be written to include a specific timetable and more elaborate planning for how we would get out. He did not oppose the surge for political gain."

This is exactly why Barack Obama does not even deserve to be considered for the highest office in this nation. Wars are not prosecuted by politicians in Washington, (or Chicago community organizers), who write timetables. Timetables are for folks who forget to take their geritol or change their diapers when they soil themselves.

Can we just imagine for a moment Eisenhower, Patton, or Montgomery hesitating to drive Hitler's armies out of Europe waiting for a timetable from some moron, (politician)??

As Bruce has stated above (14. Posted by Bruce | September 5, 2008 7:33 AM ) all the reasons for removing the certain threat Hussein had become was justified. General Petraeus did not say "I can win this war with a timetable".

Obama opposed the surge for one simple reason---to appeal to the cowards of the radical anti-war left for pure political gain. Victory by a military resolve never entered this puppets brain.

"Your car is careening ... (Below threshold)

"Your car is careening toward a tree on a rain-slicked road. What do you do?"

Ask the wife to reach into the glove-box and look for a time-table.

Little Pill... (Below threshold)

Little Pill

The reality is that your hero, Obama, shares on attribute with Bush.

Neither of them can admit when they were or are wrong. It is as simple as that.

What a concept, Obama and Bush share a personality trait, or should I say character trait.

Your first post, Steve, is ... (Below threshold)

Your first post, Steve, is a doozy. Thank you very much. I'm not going to go into specifics here rebuking the first dissenting post categorically because anything that starts off with the equivalent of, "Obama is brave because he was against it," doesn't warrant much attention in my opinion, particularly because it's not what's being discussed.

Obama was against going to war. Yep, I'm pretty sure we know that. Obama was and is still against a strategy that is well on its way to securing complete victory. We're on the road (well down the road) and he's still going back to being against it in the beginning to the point that he was/is ready to bring it all to a screeching halt absolutely securing defeat for the US and 25 million Iraqis.

Citizen of the world indeed.

Somehow he has the notion that it would make him right if we fail. That withdrawing and securing a defeat is proof that it was bad. By this logic anyone who has ever lost a war means it should never have been fought.

England nearly lost a war 60 years ago. Would we say they were wrong to fight? Some still say so.

Obama is wrong. And he'll still be wrong 60 years from now.

What is funny is who many p... (Below threshold)

What is funny is who many people buy into the propagandistic term "The Surge". I especially like how the author capitalizes it to make it seem even bigger and better - "The Surge!" The truth is that we went into Iraq so that Bush could be a "wartime president" and so that all his oil buddies would get their oil wells back. BUT, we did it so half-assed that we had to escalate the number of troops there. Rather than admit that they screwed up, they gave a cool name - "The Surge". When is "The Surge" over? We still have more troops there than when the started "The Surge". There is also so many other factors that contributed to the reduction in violence that are washed over so that the idiot NeoCons can keep selling us on the idea that "The Surge!" was this stroke of genius. I'm so sick of stoopid wars, and now McCain keeps rattling an empty saber at Russia and Iran. It's ridiculous!

Help us Obama Wan Kenobi. You're our only hope!

Shouldn't have gone to Iraq... (Below threshold)
Chris Stewart:

Shouldn't have gone to Iraq in the first place. +Obama

The surge reduced violence. +McCain (though no one ever doubted this would happen)

Iraqi's won't get serious until we give a timeline to get out +Obama (now the Iraqi PM, Bush, and even McCain want a timeline)

The surge WITH a timeline could have saved us 24 billion by now. Plus 12 bil for every month we stay in Iraq after August. McCain wants to cut spending... he should've started there.

- Chris Stewart
real name no gimmick

Obama-Biden 2008
Obama-Biden 2008
Obama-Biden 2008
Obama-Biden 2008
Obama-Biden 2008
Obama-Biden 2008
Obama-Biden 2008
Obama-Biden 2008
Obama-Biden 2008

Ely, you don't know 'the au... (Below threshold)
Steve Schippert:

Ely, you don't know 'the author' very well. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Steve Schippert, I am a terrorism and national security analyst. I am humble by nature about my own doings and such. But I do not suffer fools and every once in a while pry myself away from analysis long enough to dance with cackling coyotes for the sheer entertainment value. Before getting quite serious about my work and study, you should know that I was once known among NatSec bloggers as the Troll Assassin.

So let's dance a spell, shall we?

First, I used the phrase "the surge" (Note to self: Not "The Surge!") because if I used any other phraseology or technical military parlance, a genius like yourself would have absolutely no clue what I was talking about.

Second, I have openly and publicly ridiculed the use of the term 'the surge' to describe the strategic and tactical change it is intended to convey. I have even used it with a (TM) trademark symbol in jest. Why? Because brilliant folks like you, or very busy folks who work for a living and don't have the time to study details, look at the term 'Surge' and equate a simple spike in the number of boots on the ground with increased success - nay, even -cover your eyes, Ely- Victory.

Here, try this on for size. From Understanding Iraq Through Anbar's Lens, which I wrote just a few days ago.

How welcome it is to have the problem of what to do with upwards of 70,000 armed 'Sons of Iraq' now that their respective neighborhoods are relatively quiet and peaceful. Barely over a year ago, the alternative was the prospect of their towns and cities surrendered to al-Qaeda's terrorist enslavement and outright American defeat there. When considering the challenges today and tomorrow, this perspective must be applied.

Was it 'The Surge' that brought such a dramatic change and reversal of fortunes? If you think of 'The Surge' as a troop count, then no. But if you think of 'The Surge' as a conscious decision to change strategies and leave our bases and protect entire swaths of the Iraqi population from al-Qaeda, and thereby giving them the confidence - and armed support - necessary to fight back for their streets, neighborhoods, towns and cities, then yes. It was 'The Surge.'

If we properly apply the lessons learned in Iraq and account for cultural and other unique differences, the same basic human factors that caused the Iraqis to feel confident enough to rise up and defeat a terrorist insurgency campaign are the same basic human factors which will ultimately defeat terrorists in other insurgencies elsewhere.

Like, say, in Afghanistan.

That's what I think of the term "the surge," "the Surge," "The Surge" and "The Surge!" Got that?

Now, as far as "idiot NeoCons can keep selling us on the idea that "The Surge!" was this stroke of genius." Understand out of the gate that I am not a 'Neo'Con. I did not come to conservatism from somewhere else. I am confidently and comfortably Conservative, capital 'C' and bolded.

Let me ask you a question regarding your out-of-breath declaration. Have you ever met an Iraqi? Have you ever been tasked with providing for their security? Have you ever asked an Iraqi what he or she thinks about "the Surge!" and its relationship to their current v. past security and personal safety (AP stringer photographers excluded)?

Have you? I suspect not. And so with that, I suggest that you consider the situation in Iraq from an Iraqi perspective, and imagine life in a town dominated by al-Qaeda thugs bent on cutting the fingers off smokers, baking children and serving them on a platter to his parents in order to intimidate the town into submission, and publicly crucifying young teens who refuse to be conscripted into the terrorists' ranks - and giving them just enough water to ensure they do not die a few days too soon nailed to poles in the sun.

And you accuse me of propaganda? Why don't you ask them what they think.

Until then, please, return comfortably to your couch and open another bag of chips, find the remote and catch up on your TiVO'd Keith Olbermann re-runs. Resume the solitary exercise of convincing yourself in all the comfort of your self-righteous indignation that you are in fact a genius beyond reproach, and that no one else gets it.

We clear here now?

You have no idea how hard and how loudly we laugh at you. We're past being mad, and even past being sad for you.

Now just stop before you hurt yourself. Amusing us isn't all that important in the grand scheme of things.

There. That's my troll quota for the week. The rest is up to you guys.


Ely, and Chris Stewart,... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Ely, and Chris Stewart,

All those who say it was a mistake removing Saddam from power have to accept the consequences of that inaction. They have to accept the stupidity of claiming it would now be better to have Saddam in power than the current Iraqi government.

See post # 18 for details.

Funny , no matter what Obam... (Below threshold)
Shay Dassa:

Funny , no matter what Obama says , the "far right" will dissect and crush all of it. We all have different approaches to different aspects in life , and it is okay to change your point of view. Kind of like how , all of us , were so excited to go into Iraq 5 years ago , and then realized that there were thousands of casualties , no real enemy to speak of , and that it was costing us Hundreds of Billions of Dollars , and we all flip flopped , you know we did , and wanted out. We need a leader that can be flexible and change his/her points of view as new information is gathered...its called wisdom.....I like that as opposed to stubborness ( G.W. ) that got us in trouble. No matter what...bottom line is most of us Republicans( yes , I am one !! )wish we had a candidate as influential and eloquent as Obama...instead we choose ( most of us )to fear him , we all know the reasons. I suggest we educate ourselves on what his agenda really is , because he may be all of our next President for the next four years...and maybe eight !!

I always thought, too, that... (Below threshold)

I always thought, too, that "the surge" was too simplistic a term to use for some to not only be able to grasp all the complexities of the entire strategy, but to even display enough curiosity to see what it was all about.

More than a year ago I was lucky enough to happen on a comment, by someone whose name I cannot recall, in Captain Ed's blog that explained in the shortest terms possible what all "the surge" entailed. He also gave a link which described the different strategies in further detail and how they fit together. I can't tell you how much time I spent reading and absorbing all that information before coming to the conclusion that, while it was not fool-proof, it had an excellent chance of success.

Could we have done this sooner? Who knows. But I think the time was right. I think that the chain of events throughout this battle brought us to a point where it may even have had a better chance than if done too much sooner. I think some Iraqis may have needed to see exactly what they were about to trade Saddam for; endless warring between tribes.

One thing I never did, and that was to underestimate the Iraqi people. I think that's a trap many Americans who opposed the surge have fallen into; they're barbaric, they're not educated enough, they're "third worlders" and so forth. While they were so busy using adjectives like xenophobe and racist to describe those who disagreed with them, they were displaying the very attributes of both labels. Hubris? Yeah, in a way.

To finish, thanks again, Steve. It was a pleasure to read your 'troll assassination'. (should I have capitalized that? Or used an exclamation point?)

Shay Dassa,So what... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Shay Dassa,

So what's wrong with using paragraphs?

and we all flip flopped , you know we did , and wanted out. We need a leader that can be flexible and change his/her points of view as new information is gathered...its called wisdom.....

First, not everyone flip flopped. Second, some of us know that you don't invade a nation, shed blood, topple the government and then walk away before establishing a new government. Doing so creates a bigger problem than the reason you invaded in the first place. That's the lesson of history and no one who ignores history can be considered wise.

bottom line is most of us Republicans( yes , I am one !! )wish we had a candidate as influential and eloquent as Obama...

I seriously doubt you're a Republican because people who are lead by their reason pick substance over flash, and that's all Obama is and ever will be. He's the most liberal Senator so there's nothing about him that's appealing to conservatives.

he may be all of our next President for the next four years...and maybe eight

Maybe so, but the only good thing that will come of it will be to watch him destroy the Democratic party through utter incompetence.

Shay, I'm not "far right". ... (Below threshold)

Shay, I'm not "far right". And neither are a lot of people who comment here. Of course, if one is far left, they may see a person who is center-right as "far right".

I never flip-flopped. Never did I once say it was a mistake. Oh I had reservations about how it was being handled, but I never 'changed my mind' about the rightness of deposing Saddam. And I took a lot of flak for it.

If you changed your mind at any point, don't even try to put that off on me - or a lot of people here.

But you're talking about how it's ok to change one's mind. The topic here is the surge. Has Obama changed his mind about that? No.

Shay - "...then realized th... (Below threshold)
Steve Schippert:

Shay - "...then realized that there were thousands of casualties , no real enemy to speak of..."

Spontaneous Human Combustion is indeed a far greater military medical concern than PTSD or amputee rehabilitation. And it is yet another War Crime(TM) being covered up.

I forgot all about that. Thanks.

Steven Wright - "I woke up this morning, and everything in my house had been stolen. And replaced with an exact replica."

Steve:Great... (Below threshold)


Great job. I haven't read your "Achieving Victory in Iraq" on purpose. I wanted to drop in a bit of recalled history to get your opinion, if you are still here thrasing the trolls. . .

Leave us go back to the days of Jimmy Carter and his historic decision to stop paying the Mullahs in (and out of) Iran. I suspect you know where I am going with this, so let me stop and see if you have a reply. I have this nasty habit of following the money to see what is really going on.

What say you?

He was never hopin... (Below threshold)
He was never hoping for a failure and none of us ever have been, and to insinuate that is pure bull.
Maybe not hoping for failure, but incapable of conceiving of any other result. One might say that events proved he (and you) suffered from a lack of 'vision'.
you guys clearly don't take... (Below threshold)

you guys clearly don't take yourselves very seriously. for the editor of this page to alter the contents of my post to include this immature garbage about "soiling" is ridiculous. the reason I come to post a few long messages is because these are points that need to be heard on your side. The things that I am saying are far from being talking points. Look at the posts on these pages? What are they other than talking points? The messages I am leaving are sincere concerns about what's really going on. If I were leaving dumb-ass talking points, I would drop by to say, "McCain votes with Bush 90% of the time... HA" and that would be it. (by the way, it's true, he said so himself). Instead, I am bringing forth real material that really should be considered over here. Trying to spark some real debate. Instead of adequately responding to the information I am bringing, the editors alter the content of my posts. They are probably going to alter this post here. I have never heard of an editor of a blog going so low as to edit other's posts. If you're not happy with your posts generating passionate posts and interesting debate, you shouldn't maintain a political blog. All you're doing is spouting Republican talking points and basking in the glory of loads of comments affirming what you are saying. No one is digging deeper. This page deserves to be shaken up a little. I enjoy it when people from the other side post on liberal pages, as long as they are bringing up valid points and are using reasonable arguments.

Steve the pill said: <block... (Below threshold)

Steve the pill said:

So, to Mark, I ask. Do you think we should still be in Viet Nam fighting with the Cong? Would it satisfy you to think that we never gave up in Nam and continued to fight it to this day, even if we never got closer to our goal?

This is a classis lefty supposition that crystallizes one aspect of the many between the left and the right: The leftists view- "When engaged in a war, when is the proper time to give up?" The conservatives view- "When will the a.c.l.u. and cnn get outta here so we can win this damn thing!?!"

I have friends who say: 'Y... (Below threshold)

I have friends who say: 'You're smart on everything else, but I can't understand why you vote the way you do.' In true Palin fashion, I'm going to cut through the obvious and simply say: Because God, Country and the Constitution come first.

Thanks for the great blog.

Dear Soiled Pill: As you c... (Below threshold)

Dear Soiled Pill: As you claim you are trying, in a martyr-like fashion, to "spark some real debate" because we really need to hear what you have to say, have you considered, or read, or spent more than an afternoon on this site? We've heard your, "Obama is brave" - "the war was a mistake" - "Bush lied".

"Doesn't any of this make any sense to you people?" Do you know we had already argued this to the point that we went through a general election and a mid-term election and we are now on the eve of another general election?

And damn! I thought your opening paragraph was yours and for a bit I thought, "Well at least he has a sense of humor."

You should have claimed it as your own.

Steve, your post 29 is very... (Below threshold)

Steve, your post 29 is very erroneous in one way: You actually expected Ely and others like-"minded" to listen to facts. The posts that followed showed that they simply did what Biden did last night; plugged their ears and sang la-la-la-.... (Biden in his speeches today reacted to McCain's relatively clear promises on the economy, energy, and the other major issues by saying of McCain's speech, "the silence was deafening!" (repeated 3 times).

So Steve, don't confuse them with facts; their "minds" are made up. (Otherwise it would be so clear to them that their hero has plans that are going to ruin us.)

"Change you can believe in", starting by selecting a VP candidate who's the archtype Washington status quo insider! And anyone is still believing Obama why?!

I am amazed at how many peo... (Below threshold)
debigfrog Author Profile Page:

I am amazed at how many people still want to debate going into Iraq.News Flash people,we are there! Get over it and accept the fact that what should be at issue is how to obtain victory.I am insulted that Obama doesn't think the surge worked.My son spent 2 tours in Iraq and he can tell you how well it worked.Al Anbar, where my son spent 2 tours was handed over to the Iraqi forces this week.Does he not see that as progress.To all you who think that we should have just left Saddam Hussein alone,why don't do talk to the people of Iraq and see what they think.I have spoken to them and my son worked daily with the Iraqi police and they are THANKFUL he is gone.As far as Obama wanting to pull our troops out(not bring them home as he likes to say) but move them over a country or two,is like a slap in the face to all those who have worked so hard to bring peace and freedom to the people of Iraq.Maybe some of you think you are better human beings than the Iraqis and they dont deserve the same freedoms you have as an American.By the way,we are not fighting the people of Iraq,we are dealing with insurgents that come from all over that region including Iran.We are there protecting them and training their military and police to be able to protect their own people.My so spent 7 months living and training daily with the Iraqi police and now they protect that city on there own.I realize there is more work to be done,but it is not easy when these cowards shoot and run and hide.They are cowards that use mentally ill women to do their dirty work.Obama pulling them out early will leave an unstable country vulnorable to places like Iran.Some of you might not care if that country implodes upon itself and is taken over by insurgents.What do you care if we left these people to be slaughtered.Maybe you should think of what effect that could have on you here in America.You think the economy is bad now,an unstable region in the Middle East would bring a whole new set of problems. Now what will Obama do? My son is not going back to fix his incompetence.I hope Obama supporters are willing to go since this is what they want.No one wants this war over more than I do.I have had to spend countless hours holding my breath waiting to hear from my son.I have hugged mothers whos sons didnt make it back and faced the young man who lost his foot during a battle in which my son was 5 feet toward the right of him.Some of you say that the problem is not in Iraq,well who the hell was shooting at my son then.Why have we had to destroy countless AlQueida training camps in IRAQ.Believe me,the media does not tell the whole story.You hear all the bad but hardly ever the good things that have happened over there.One more thing for all of you that complain that we have not gotten Osama Bin Laden.Why dont you strap on a pair of boots,put on 60 pounds of equipment and sling a rifle across your shoulder and climb the rugged terrain that sits on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.You search every cave while he slips back in forth between the countries.You think it is taking too long,then sign up in the military and you go look for him.
marine mom

Obama was against the war f... (Below threshold)

Obama was against the war from the beginning. From the beginning? Do they mean more than a year before he was in the senate? I'm sure that as a young child I was against continuing in Vietnam. Does that make me noble? Or does it just mean I was too young and ill informed to have a well thought out opinion?

Want to get real fair and b... (Below threshold)

Want to get real fair and balance news and comments on this year's elections? Watch PBS, not O'Reilly's bull

alright alright. I underst... (Below threshold)

alright alright. I understand that we are there in Iraq, and I agree 100% that we need to finish the job well, and, on a certain level, I applaud the persistance of this crowd. I think it's great to love your country and to want to defend it at all costs. But I also know that history teaches us the lessons of over-charged militaristic nationalism. This over-eager mindset has proven time and time again to be manipulated into getting into dangerous and unnecessary wars. Yes, we're there, and yes, we should be supporting our country and our troops on the principle of seeking success, but at the same time, we need to limit the tendency within human nature to get caught up in it.

I'll freely admit that I was not sorry to see Saddam executed. He was an evil, evil man and a terrible dictator. If the Bush administration had been correct: if once they got rid of Saddam, the people of Iraq immediately embraced them and let them set up a democracy, history would have proven them right and they would have gone down as heroes and people would not have gone after them as much for misleading the public. I can understand that they thought they would really be heroes. Everyone wants to chance to take down a big bad guy.

But let's face the facts. There are plenty of horrible dictators around the world. Is is smart or safe to go around invading each and every country that houses an evil dictator? No. Iraq was a special case, but frankly, they were not a threat to us. Iran and North Korea have always been bigger threats. If Bush had gone to war with Iran, I wouldn't have been as against it, because I believe that they are a real threat to us. But I still believe in the power of diplomacy. Call me a leftist wimp if you want but this is where I stand.

I haven't completely elimated my own capacity to be outraged by muslim extremists or to be frightened by the real possibility of nukes getting into their hands. But I have matured my mind to the degree that I believe to solving the problems facing us with some degree of intelligence and better planning, because we've all seen what happens when we rush into action without planning properly.

Wow the surge worked. As a ... (Below threshold)

Wow the surge worked. As a solider that spent all of 2003 in Iraq, I must say that i LOST FRIENDS and to this day we have not found these weapons of mass destruction that we originally went after Suddam for. Did Suddam need to be taking out of power, yes. but do not forget that we have found no weapons of mass destruction. And that is why we went in to Iraq a lie and Bush and everyone that said yes to sending us over there should lose over 4000 lives of sleep. Which i promise you they do not lose one R.E.M of sleep. KBR is one of the biggest contract companies over in the middle east when i was their and even now. This is the company that Chaney was CEO of. so while you praise the surge working. we mourn our american brothers and sisters that arent here to praise the success. This blood that is on my hands and others are on our hands because of a misinformed mistake.
We have lost over 4000 soliders, these are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends, and relatives. They have destroyed families, minds, and it feels like my soul. Yet we praise a surge when no one has had the courage, or the patriotism to say I am sorry we made a mistake.

Wasn't the reason for the w... (Below threshold)

Wasn't the reason for the war in Iraq to get rid of weapons of mass destruction?

I don't understand your anger. My daughter fought over there, so I understand a little.

Obama opposed going to war to get rid of weapons of mass destruction. Has he ever said anything against getting rid of Saddam Hussein as being wrong?

I know what I am saying probably won't make much sense right now because I dislike O'Reilly so badly and he makes me so angry I can't think straight.

I heard Obama say on the stump weeks ago that the surge was as successful as it was BECAUSE of factors that had occurred that prepared the way for that success. He did not deny its success. I understood what Obama said weeks ago, why didn't O'Reilly? I guess he dislikes Obama as much as I dislike him.
I saw the part of the interview where O'Reilly practically FORCED him to say the surge was a success using the exact words O'Reilly thinks he has to use. It was ridiculus.

I can't imagine any human being disrespecting the troops. I am proud of my daughter's service. She is an Obama supporter and we both agree that he respects the troops as much as anyone. Obama does have the right vision. I have great confidence in his "world view". I believe he is a very intelligent person and sees "the bigger" picture better than most.

"Wasn't the reason for t... (Below threshold)

"Wasn't the reason for the war in Iraq to get rid of weapons of mass destruction?"

Read it.

I liked his comments about ... (Below threshold)

I liked his comments about the surge. He is great! Credit should be given when credit is due. If the surge is good for the us, then he should give credit to the surge. What is wrong with that?

He is a class act after all. Unlike Mccain and Palin. Palin kicked and mocked community organizers. Do you think what will happen if people start to compare her education and Obama? Of course, Republicans will cry foul loud and clear.

The old John McCain? Which ... (Below threshold)

The old John McCain? Which one:

1959 John: The wild man who partied like a lunatic and graduated near the bottom of his class.

1969 John: War hero. Got shot down; I'm not saying that he should have taken his training more seriously, but crashing 5 planes? Anybody can have bad luck in war, but you have to work hard first to make me feel sorry for you.

1979 John: Ditched his first wife to marrying into a powerful, wealthy, connected organized crime family so he could make a career change and go into politics

1989 John: After cavorting in the Caymans with Keating - of Savings and Loan Scandal infamy - gets caught pocketing $112,000 (and doesn't report it to the IRS). Gets off scot-free

1999 John: Uses campaign finance reform to whitewash his influence peddling sins and runs for President as a maverick

2008 John: Embraces Bush's tax cuts, the far right religious agents of intolerance, a right wing looney as VP who believes in using science to find the oil but not to clean up the mess from oil, who believes in using science to protect her personal health but not our shared planet.

McCain is a fraud who lies, cheats and steals.

Please don't tell me that the liberal writers from the WaPo can't see into the true nature of his character. I know stuff gets edited, but, please tell us that you people have the capacity to, if not write about, then at least perceive the truth.

When we've lost the ability to see and speak or write the truth, then we have lost our way.

The New York Times did an investigation and called out ***Sen. McCain for marrying into an organized crime family***.

It would be nice if the good folks at the WaPo would investigate this matter.

If it was false, then McCain would have sued the NYT. So I'm assuming that the above article is true. Which begs the question: **Why isn't the WaPo investigating and reporting this?**

Thanks in advance,

Posted by: Deep Blue | September 10, 2008 12:38 AM

the press has decided to sleep this one out.

no one asks Republicans any questions
there is a complete pass, as the commentators spew the lies over and over and over again.


Posted by: william | September 10, 2008 12:43 AM






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