Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 21, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

"OPEN-ENDED COMMITMENT"....At his press conference today, President Bush suggested that American troops would be in Iraq for years to come:

Asked at a White House news conference whether there'll come a time when no U.S. forces are in Iraq, he said "that will be decided by future presidents and future governments of Iraq." Pressed on that response, the president said that for him to discuss complete withdrawal would mean he was setting a timetable, which he refuses to do.

Harry Reid, who has shown himself to be a pretty astute leader of Senate Dems, had exactly the right response:

Three years into the war in Iraq, with that country now experiencing a low-grade civil war, it has become increasingly clear that President Bush is content with an open-ended commitment with no end in sight for our U.S. troops and taxpayers....President Bush must accept that he has to change course, reject the notion of an open-ended commitment in Iraq, and finally develop the plan that allows our troops to begin to come home.

The phrase "open-ended commitment" is the right one to use. It's the logical equivalent of refusing to set benchmarks for withdrawal, and it's not something the American public is very comfortable with. An open-ended commitment during the Cold War was one thing, but Iraq is quite another. An open-ended commitment there sounds way too much like Vietnam.

One question, though. Has Reid himself proposed a "plan that allows our troops to begin to come home"? This is a genuine question. I don't remember hearing one, but I might have missed it.

Kevin Drum 9:22 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (239)

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Harry Reid, who has shown himself to be a pretty astute leader of Senate Dems, had exactly the right response:

Gee. I hate to see want a ham-fisted loser looks like if you think Reid's been a "pretty astute leader."

Posted by: Jeff II on March 21, 2006 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

I like Jack Murtha's plan, and would love to see Reid endorse it. Withdraw, but remain within striking range. But I'm afraid that the hallmark of the Democratic Party is still timidity.

Posted by: Slideguy on March 21, 2006 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

When Bush said "premature withdrawl" in regard to keeping the troops in Iraq, I imaging George Carlin checked to see if the royalty check was in the mail.

Posted by: David W. on March 21, 2006 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

I think he should also find a way to work in "nation-building" and "entanglement," as in:

George Bush has entangled America in an open-ended commitment to nation-building, and has lost sight of the importance of committing our troops to their mission of fighting and winning wars.

Posted by: dj moonbat on March 21, 2006 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

President Bush must accept that he has to change course, reject the notion of an open-ended commitment in Iraq

Yes, President Bush has a open-ended commitment to WIN and ACHIEVE VICTORY in Iraq. Liberals and Democrats don't have a commitment because they want to LOSE in Iraq. And you libs think you can win on that slogan? *Snicker*

Posted by: Al on March 21, 2006 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

FYI, here's the actual line from Carlin, with regard to the Vietnam War:

Were always afraid of pulling out. Pull out? Doesnt sound manly to me, Bill. Lets leave it in there, get the job done! Because thats what were doing to that country, after all

Deja vu all over again.

Posted by: David W. on March 21, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

When I heard him say that, all I could think was 'Wow - this is why his handlers don't let him out without the crutch of a teleprompter very often.' If he wasn't already finished as a president who can accomplish anything, I think that remark alone would do the trick.

Posted by: JoyceH on March 21, 2006 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, President Bush has a open-ended commitment to WIN and ACHIEVE VICTORY in Iraq.

Wow! He want to win AND achieve victory? Heady stuff.

Posted by: dj moonbat on March 21, 2006 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

At his press conference today, President Bush suggested that American troops would be in Iraq for years to come

No offense to Kevin, but is anyone really surprised by this? This has been the elephant (OK, an elephant) in the living room since we entered Iraq. If we leave Iraq, it'll dissolve into chaos. Now that we're there, it'd pretty much be a human rights disaster to leave.

That doesn't justify our going in there. It's just the bed we've made for ourselves. (I know, I'm being generous when I say "we.")

Posted by: Bob on March 21, 2006 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

It depends on the commitment. The commitment to have a bunch of yanks guard the green zone maybe OK, though it is too expensive for libertarians. Even having U.S. troops there just training and air support might be OK for a while.

But, trying to separate factions in a civil war is a no-no.

Posted by: Matt on March 21, 2006 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

Bob: Nope, I don't think anyone was surprised by this. But it's still news when Bush actually fesses up to it.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on March 21, 2006 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

Bush lost Iraq.

He lost it because he sent 130,000 soldiers to occupy a country of 25 million people. It is preposterous just on the face of it.

It matters not what Reid, Murtha or the Dalai Lama proposes for Iraq.

Iraq is lost and Bush lost it.

Posted by: lina on March 21, 2006 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

Relax, citizens, the President's commitment for an 'open-ended' presence isn't incompatible with previous statements.

Of course we're going to be in Iraq for a long time. We'll have some level of troops there training the Iraqis, serving as advisors, etc. It might be 5,000, it might be 20,000. The way operations are going right now, that switch-over from combat to logistics/advice/support may well start in 2006 and be largely complete by 2008. The troops that remain will be more active than troops in Germany, but it won't be the way it is right now.

You folks keep seeing Iraq as worse than it is because you want it to be worse, so that you can bring the President down. It's not going to be that way.

Posted by: Steve White on March 21, 2006 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

Slideguy writes, I like Jack Murtha's plan, and would love to see Reid endorse it. Withdraw, but remain within striking range.

That's a silly plan. Everyone, especially progressive Democrats, understands that the troops within 'striking range' would never be committed to go back in by a Democratic president, because conditions would never be 'right' to do so. They'd sit somewhere between Kuwait and Okinawa and wait, and wait, and wait.

'Withdraw but remain with striking range' is another way of saying, 'we quit'. If that's what you mean, just say so.

Posted by: Steve White on March 21, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

Steve White, don't forget the ponies.

Posted by: Rat on March 21, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK
One question, though. Has Reid himself proposed a "plan that allows our troops to begin to come home"? This is a genuine question. I don't remember hearing one, but I might have missed it.
Genuine question? Surely you are joking!

Reid is in the party that is completely out of government. He is in no position to formulate such a plan. He has no access whatsoever to any planning mechanisms of the Executive, the only available source of any serious national planning ability whatsoever. All Reid can do is state the disquiet the majority of Americans feel about what is going on (or not going on) in Iraq.

Posted by: Dave Alway on March 21, 2006 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

Why does Reid need to have a plan? Bush's GOP controls the entire government. Anything Reid or any Democrat says is ignored and is little more than noise in the wind. That being said, Murtha has indicated how we should leave Iraq. If I'm not mistaken, Kerry has also voiced some basic plan for withdrawal. The whole concept of "redeployment" (withdrawal) has come from Democrats.

Democrats have made repeated attempts to get Rumsfeld out of the Bush government, since it's Rumsfeld who holds the first line of responsibility for everything going wrong. When the incident in Somalia happened the GOP called for Les Aspin's head and Clinton obliged. Iraq is much, much worse but Bush, in his stubbornness, will not listen to anyone including members of his own party, who are now calling for changes.

So really, why should Reid or any Democrat issue any plan for getting out of Iraq? Until Bush is gone nothing will change.

Posted by: Puppethead on March 21, 2006 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

You folks keep seeing Iraq as worse than it is because you want it to be worse, so that you can bring the President down. It's not going to be that way.

Steve W., it's more like you keep seeing Iraq as being better than it is so that you can maintain President Bush hasn't let us all down. The promised "cakewalk" had turned into a quagmire, and wishing it were otherwise does no one any good.

Posted by: David W. on March 21, 2006 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, it occured to me the other day that Iraq will still be simmering after Bush is off looking at land for libraries. There is gonna be a new prez and new advisors to deal with that quagmire. Just like Kennedy to Johnson. Lets hope we need a third president to get that mission accomplished.

Posted by: The Fake fake Al on March 21, 2006 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, 'quagmire', the catch-all word.

Iraq has a constitution, an elected government, and a number of provinces that are no more wracked with violence than Baltimore or Detroit. It has serious problems that remain, and it may not escape some measure of civil war/disturbance.

It also has a large, large number of people who apparently want their country to work. I'm betting that they win in the end. You apparently feel otherwise, Dave.

'Quagmire' has become a word that one uses instead of thinking. Iraq may be many things right now, and one of those, for certain, is that it's far better off now that Saddam is in jug. And so are we.

Posted by: Steve White on March 21, 2006 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

I think the plan is to have U.S. troops at four or five superbases whose main purpose will be to serve as forward bases against Iranian or Iranian/Chinese takeover of Iraq's oil fields, and to guard Kuwait's and Saudi Arabia's flank.

Regardless of what other reasons have been given about why we invaded Iraq, it has always been first and foremost about oil. Who will have control over the greatest remaining reserves in the world? The U.S., Iran, and/or China?

The Chinese are facing a growing problem of rising expectations at home, and if they can't get the oil they need to help their economy to continue to grow, the political establishment will be at risk. They will fight for what they need. That is why they are heavily involved in Africa, and are working to get more access to oil from Central Asia and Iran. There will soon be a day though, when that is not enough. Oil from the Persian Gulf will then be the prize. The U.S. strategy is to take control now so as to have leverage over China over the next decade as this all plays out. If we leave Iraq, even if we withdraw to Kuwait, the strategy becomes much weaker at best. That is why the Bush administration will not leave Iraq.

Posted by: opihi on March 21, 2006 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

Open ended... as in, "no, we have no plan or any kind of idea when or how we will ever be able to leave".

Bottom line; GeeDubya and the old boys will never admit they screwed it up, so they will never walk away from it because that would be admitting we made a mistake.

Posted by: NormalNot on March 21, 2006 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

Steve White wrote: "Relax, citizens, the President's commitment for an 'open-ended' presence isn't incompatible with previous statements."

Well, Steve, that's mostly because the Bush administration has been remarkably coy, not to mention ambiguous and contradictory, in those previous statements. That is not something to brag about, though.

"Of course we're going to be in Iraq for a long time."

Really? Then why have various members of the Bush administration implied or stated otherwise at various times?

"We'll have some level of troops there training the Iraqis, serving as advisors, etc. It might be 5,000, it might be 20,000."

It might also be a dozen permanent bases with 50,000 troops. Or it might be a single soldier with a water pistol. Sorry, Steve, but this is just asinine. Since you don't know, and the administration won't be forthcoming, why speculate?

"The way operations are going right now, that switch-over from combat to logistics/advice/support may well start in 2006 and be largely complete by 2008."

Of course it will begin in 2006, if only because they have to begin the process before the midterm elections. Again, you have no way of knowing anything else about this, so your timeline is wholly fictional.

"The troops that remain will be more active than troops in Germany, but it won't be the way it is right now."

Since you have no way of knowing this, I'm afraid that your reassurances are nothing but partisan bullshit.

"You folks keep seeing Iraq as worse than it is because you want it to be worse, so that you can bring the President down."

No, Steve. We see Iraq as it really is, and how it's shaping up to be. I'll place my record on Iraq against yours anyday.

"It's not going to be that way."

Since you have no way of knowing this, I'm afraid that this reassurance, like the rest of your post, is nothing but partisan bullshit and wishful thinking.

This was just dumb, Steve. Care to engage your brain and try again?

Posted by: PaulB on March 21, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

Steve White wrote: "That's a silly plan."

Is it? Why so, Steve? Forgive us if we don't take your unsupported word for this.

"Everyone, especially progressive Democrats, understands that the troops within 'striking range' would never be committed to go back in by a Democratic president,"

No Steve, "everyone" doesn't understand this, mostly because it's partisan bullshit, wholly disconnected from reality. Care to try again, this time with something substantial?

Posted by: PaulB on March 21, 2006 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

Steve White wrote: "Ah, 'quagmire', the catch-all word."

Ah, the non-response of a mindless partisan who has turned off his brain.

"Iraq has a constitution, an elected government,"

And this is relevant ... how, exactly?

"and a number of provinces that are no more wracked with violence than Baltimore or Detroit."

And a number of cities that are far more wracked with violence than any U.S. city, as you well know. You really did turn off your brain, didn't you?

"It has serious problems that remain, and it may not escape some measure of civil war/disturbance."

No shit, Sherlock.

"'Quagmire' has become a word that one uses instead of thinking."

An ironic statement, coming from you, given that you have presented not one verifiable fact, and supported not one of your assertions. Care to try again?

"And so are we."

And your evidence for this is ... what, exactly?

Sheesh....

Posted by: PaulB on March 21, 2006 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

Welcome to the Forever War. No doubt DARPA has a plan to replace American soldiers with robots. Perhaps one limb at a time (sorry if this is disrespectful, I'm outraged).

Posted by: sara on March 21, 2006 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

What does winning in Iraq entail? Winning the booby prize.

Posted by: Myron on March 21, 2006 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

There was a Bush news conference today?

Surveying left blogistan this morning you wouldn't have thought so.

No one live-blogged it.

Josh Micah Marshall was the first on my list to post on the press conference.

But... Josh doesn't have comments on his main page. And... even then his post (on Helen Thomas) was woefully slow (he didn't get it up until 1:39 pm).

Crooks and Liars had a few comments that seemed to be in real time. But they were ancillary comments confined to a deeply buried thread.

Kevin Drum was the nil set on this subject until late this evening.

Even Firedoglake was sleeping at their excessively verbal wheel.

The Carpetbagger was soliciting votes for a web Emmy.

What am I getting at here?

We all like to punch the Democratic Party for being wimps and laggards and extol Left Blogistan for being hip and timely.

Forget that shit.
It is pure BS.

Left Blogistan is as tardy and inchorent and threadbare... as the DNC.

Here is what is seriously needed:

A sharp cental host on the web who will live blog these sorts of things and provide a thread for humorous and cutting comments.

Until then... Left blogistan is just a herd of sick cats with their tails up in the air. In other words-- assholes pointing every which. You folks won't amount to anything until you learn to shit in the same direction.

Good luck on that...

Posted by: koreyel on March 21, 2006 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Steve W., I just call 'em as I see 'em. Even President Bush today said that the troops are going to be there, well, until sometime when they aren't. What is the exit strategy? Evidently there isn't any.

As for the current violence in Iraq being remotely comparable to crime in Baltimore or Detroit, I can't say when the last jail in the U.S. was knocked over by guerillas to free their recently captured comrades, leaving 20 policemen dead. I think it might have been Harper's Ferry, if my memory serves me here.

Iraq has people who say they want Iraq to work, but it is also filled with sectarian militias - the Kurds won't even let any Iraqi Army forces into Kurdistan, which would certainly put a crimp in the Pesh Merga's style, and the Mahdi Army of Sadr, SCIRI's Badr Corps, and of course the Sunni insurgents themselves are more interested in their own group's political agenda than anyone else's at the moment, hence the steady stream of dead Iraqis showing up at the morgue every day now. How I feel about this reality is not the issue here.

I really don't see why simply containing Saddam's rule (as had been done for over a decade), while working within an international framework to resolve the future of Iraq after Saddam, wasn't an option that would have served us better in the long run, and saved much bloodshed and treasure in the process.

Posted by: David W. on March 21, 2006 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

koreyel wrote: "What am I getting at here?"

I dunno ... probably that you failed to visit the largest progressive blog on the net.

Posted by: PaulB on March 21, 2006 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

I think the question, Steve White, is not whether Iraq is better off three years later, but whether the U.S. is better off. Let's be honest here, we didn't go into Iraq, spend trillions of dollars, lose more than 2200 soldiers, waste thousands of lives, wreck our worldwide reputation, put our foreign policy into shambles, create chaos in a trouubled region, etc, etc. just to make the Iraqi people happy.

What's in it for us? Our soldiers weren't, as it turns out, defending America/protecting our freedom. We didn't get any oil. We've got Hamas in Palestine, Osama bin Laden still holed up in Pakistan somwhere, the Iranians are fast infiltrating the new Iraqi government, and the country is in a freaking civil war, low grade or otherwise.

Even if tomorrow, by some miracle, all the Iraqis decide to play nice with each other--what is in it for us? The good feeling one gets from doing the "right thing?" Creating a pro-Iranian, anti-American, oil-rich, fundamentalist muslim state? Yeah, that will really work to our benefit. You must be very happy that so many splendid young men and women had to die for that.

Posted by: LAS on March 21, 2006 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,Why in hell should Harry Reid come up with any thing! We have NO way to promote anything, so why spend time exposing ourselves to the inevetable shit storm from a crew that doesn't allow any input that varies one whit from their agenda! Kick 'em in the gonads first, then we can talk plans and processes.


Posted by: Grouchy Cowboy on March 21, 2006 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

LAS wrote: "I think the question, Steve White, is not whether Iraq is better off three years later, but whether the U.S. is better off."

Not to mention a frank discussion of costs, risks and benefits, a discussion that has been notably absent from the Bush administration and from our public discourse.

In any case, yours really isn't the primary question on this thread, much though Steve would like it to be. The primary questions are when are we going to leave Iraq? What is our commitment there, in manpower and in time? What is our exit strategy? Are we intending to leave permanent bases there? If so, how active will our soldiers be in internal Iraqi matters? In fighting the insurgency? In protecting Iraq?

The Bush administration has been remarkably coy on these issues, which is why today's press conference was notable for getting Bush to finally admit that the commitment was going to be greater than people in his administration had previously stated or implied.

But of course, we're talking to Steve White, a guy who actually had the chutzpah to claim that a wish list was a plan, so I don't expect him to do any better with these questions than he has with anything else he posted on this thread.

Posted by: PaulB on March 21, 2006 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

George Bush. Harry Reid. State of the Union, 2006: Contest of liars and dolts, with one of them holding all of the cards and the other afraid to take him on.

Posted by: Nixon Did It on March 21, 2006 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

"they'd sit in Kuwait or Okinawa and wait and wait and wait"

And live and live and live.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 21, 2006 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

Stebe White: did you anticipate any measureable, undisputable outcome of our adventure in Iraq? Did you expect guerrilla resistance? Did you expect that we would find no nuclear program at all? Did you expect that Iraqi oil exports would go down - a lot - instead of up? Did you expect that we'd end up alienating the majority of the population of every traditional ally of the US?

I did. I really doubt if you did. And if your predictions are all wrong, why should anyone pay any attention to what you say? Hell, why should _you_ take yourself seriously?

Posted by: gcochran on March 21, 2006 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is a Baby Killer

Reid and all the rest of the pussies are too afraid of history to grab their balls...duh.

Posted by: elmo on March 21, 2006 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

He was so proud, he wanted to be a war president, he could not get his war fast enough and he was sure it would be a cake walk.

Now he is like any spoiled brat, he leaves the whole mess to be cleaned up by someone else, just like all the other times before.

They will be in Iraq for a long time, after all they are building permanent bases.

Until after the elections at least they will keep the troups out of harms way, can't have too many casualties.

Posted by: Renate on March 21, 2006 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

koreyel,

HuffPo has two separate threads on the news conference. One, regarding the future Presidents and the other the Helen Thomas exchange.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 21, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

On the same tack, why should anyone listen to _anyone_ who's that kind of tested fool? Why should we put any weight on the statement of 90% of Congress, 95% of pundits?
Iraq has been an efficient idiot detector. If we made proper use of that information, it might pay for itself yet.

Posted by: gcochran on March 21, 2006 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

The phrase isn't "open ended commitment".

It's "Blank Check for War Profiteers".

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on March 21, 2006 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

When Bush comes up with a plan for Iraq, Reid should then offer one from the Democratic party. The pressure should be on Bush to either come up with a plan or admit he has none. Right now he's got nothing and Reid is correct to make that point, over and over.

Posted by: secularhuman on March 21, 2006 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

"Gee. I hate to see want a ham-fisted loser looks like if you think Reid's been a "pretty astute leader.""

I think that would be Al Gore. A spineless, gutless loser if there ever was one.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on March 21, 2006 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

"Welcome to the Forever War. No doubt DARPA has a plan to replace American soldiers with robots. Perhaps one limb at a time (sorry if this is disrespectful, I'm outraged)."

That's quite all right, your sentiments are right in line with your fellow liberals who have openly expressed desire for America to lose.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on March 21, 2006 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

Steve has got everybody dancing so I might as well join in.

"That's a silly plan. Everyone, especially progressive Democrats, understands that the troops within 'striking range' would never be committed to go back in by a Democratic president, because conditions would never be 'right' to do so. They'd sit somewhere between Kuwait and Okinawa and wait, and wait, and wait"

Fine with me. We've completely blown it. It was a bad idea to begin with, each successive reason given by the administration has proved false, and every prediction they've made about the outcome has not only been wrong, but predicted by his critics beforehand. I have friends over there, including military intelligence officers, and they say that Murtha is correct. Your president is lying to you. We can't fix it and we need to get out now.

The only reason I can see to keep troops within striking range is to keep Syria, Iran, and our own ally, Turkey, from moving into the Kurdish north to keep it from becoming what it inevitably will. Kurdistan.

"'Withdraw but remain with striking range' is another way of saying, 'we quit'. If that's what you mean, just say so."

Because the chickenhawk in the Whitehouse, who so easily spends the lives of others, needs an exit plan that will let him save face. He's screwed up every job he's ever had, with the exception of getting the taxpayers of Arlington to subsidize his baseball business. But this one takes the cake. He's broken the finest military in the world on a useless adventure in someone else's desert, and wasted thousands of far better lives than his.

But go ahead. Have some more Kool-Aid.

Posted by: Slideguy on March 21, 2006 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

One question, though. Has Reid himself proposed a "plan that allows our troops to begin to come home"? This is a genuine question. I don't remember hearing one, but I might have missed it.

Nothing like a moderate left doing the work of Jonah Goldberg et al.

Posted by: lib on March 21, 2006 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Al Gore has a secret plan for ending the war in Iraq. Hey, it worked for Nixon in 1968... :-p

Posted by: David W. on March 21, 2006 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

Alright, so Murtha's plan is looking better and better-I'm taking Steve White's dismissal of it as an endorsement. and, freedom fighter just reminded me of how much I like Al Gore. and these guys are called trolls!

Posted by: URK on March 21, 2006 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

lib: Nothing like a moderate left doing the work of Jonah Goldberg et al.

I know. It's like Drum Tourette Syndrome these days; he's continually blurting out RNC talking points and he can't stop himself.

Posted by: shortstop on March 21, 2006 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

Steve isn't exactly a troll; he's just mostly turned his brain off. When he actually stops to think before he posts, he has occasionally been known to write posts worth reading. Freedom Fighter, on the other hand, is a classic troll, deliberately saying stupid shit just to get a rise out of people. There really isn't anything you can or should say to someone like that.

Posted by: PaulB on March 21, 2006 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with Paul. Steve's too-hearty bluster and attempted condescension simply mask a fundamental fear of change and of having to reexamine his shallow but dearly held notions. (Plus, I think he's been writing himself scrips. I'm just sayin'.)

Posted by: shortstop on March 21, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop wrote: "It's like Drum Tourette Syndrome these days; he's continually blurting out RNC talking points and he can't stop himself."

I dunno. While it's true that Reid doesn't need an Iraq strategy now, and certainly doesn't need one to point out the problems with Bush's strategy (or lack thereof), I think you could make a legitimate argument that the Democratic Party will need at the very least some unified talking points about Iraq as we get closer to the midterm elections.

Posted by: PaulB on March 21, 2006 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

I think that would be Al Gore. A spineless, gutless loser if there ever was one.

May be so, but even then he looks infinitely better than your man, the mendacious GWB.

Posted by: lib on March 21, 2006 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop, it's a fair question to ask what ideas the Democrats may have about resolving the war in Iraq. As the lack of any sort of successful Iraq strategy on the part of Bush sinks in ever more deeply in the public mind, Republicans won't get any traction out of them if they're floated with the public, and there's no better time for that to happen than the upcoming elections this fall. That is how a democracy is supposed to work, after all.

Posted by: David W. on March 21, 2006 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

Is that why the headlione I saw today said Gore isn't running in '08? Can't stand to lose again?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on March 21, 2006 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

Paul, David, I know, you're right. Of course we need a clear-cut strategy. I'm just tired in general, and weary in particular of Kevin's tendency of late to write posts in the approved "he said, she said" style. Reid doesn't need a 20-point plan sitting in his hand at the moment he critiques Bush's monstrosity of a press conference. That's really all I meant.

Need to get some sleep now--night, y'all.

Posted by: shortstop on March 21, 2006 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop:

I agree with PaulB and David W. on this. While it might have been good to keep a plan close to our vests for awhile, as the election approaches we need a series of uniform talking points on Iraq -- something that squares the limited-scope military victory Murtha insisted on (we took out and captured Saddam) with an acknowledged intention to draw down our troops from Iraq, if not entirely from the region itself.

This open-ended committment shit cannot stand. How dare George Bush force somebody else -- I don't care which party -- to clean up his own goddamned mess. It's outrageous.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 21, 2006 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

With Harry Reid as the leader of the opposition party, Bush's Iraq war is going full-steam ahead, 2 right-wingers have been appointed to the Supreme Court, and the Dems lost Senate seats in 2004.

With friends like Harry Reid, who needs enemies?

Posted by: Lucy's football on March 21, 2006 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

After Japan surrendered, we left an occupying force of 150,000. This was in a country that truly was at peace. Iran is in the midst of a civil war and we only have 130,000. Can you spell FUBAR?

Posted by: moe99 on March 21, 2006 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

Invade Iraq? Harry Reid,"yea"

Find an "astute" way to withdraw when the going is tough? Harry Reid, "yea"

Democratic Party: find a way to vote for whatever piece of crap appears to be popular? Yea.

I'm a lifelong Dem, and I generally like Reid, but for God's sake, these people need to take a stand for something other than "geez Republicans have really taken a strong stand about invading Iraq, I need to at least appear to agree. Or, "geez, my peacenik base has really taken a strong stand about withdrawing from Iraq, I need to at least appear to agree".

What the hell foreign policy principle does Reid stand for? what in the hell do Dems stand for?

Roosevelt and Truman are puking in their graves.

Posted by: dwight on March 22, 2006 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

Just like the rest of the Disasters of MBA Georges career --of no course.
'Easy certainty' for sure and much like Pop, Jr. also has no Vision. The WIMP returns.


Posted by: Hamster Brain on March 22, 2006 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

dwight:

I agree with you; it's demoralizing. I was a Dean man in '04 for that very reason.

And it's why I'm beginning to hope Gore begins to think about taking another whack at it ... he's been extremely solid on foreign policy since he made the decision to make an end-run around the traditional media ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 22, 2006 at 12:27 AM | PERMALINK

Is that why the headline I saw today said jimmy swaggert is running in '08? Can't stand to lose again?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on March 21, 2006 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Don p. on March 22, 2006 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

The smartest guy in America, at the moment, is Zbigniew Brzezinski. Set a timetable, he says, probably a year, and pull out, no matter what. He is also the only national figure questioning Bushs styling himself a wartime president. As Z. says, Eisenhower, Truman, Johnson, even Nixon, who had real wars on their hands, never resorted to that kind of demagoguery to stir up the rubes. The Dems should not let the man get away with it.

You need to blog on Kevin Philips new book, Kevin. As a former Republican who has been right about nearly everything, when he says the Republican party is all about corralling the worlds oil, you have to listen.

Posted by: James of DC on March 22, 2006 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

One question, though. Has Reid himself proposed a "plan that allows our troops to begin to come home"? This is a genuine question. I don't remember hearing one, but I might have missed it.

Eh, what's Bush's plan?

Since Reid is not, as far as I know, in any way in charge of US military deployments, any plan of his would have exactly zero chance of being implemented or even listened to, so therefore I don't know why he would need to propose one.

Other, that is, than to give Republicans a chance to paint whatever plan he proposed as "cutting and running."

Posted by: Stefan on March 22, 2006 at 12:43 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, it occured to me the other day that Iraq will still be simmering after Bush is off looking at land for libraries. ...Posted by: The Fake fake Al on March 21, 2006 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK
*
*
*
*

Maybe, but really how much land would a couple of comic book racks require??

What Me Worry?


Bwaaahahahahahahahhah!

Dumbest. President. Ever.

Posted by: jcricket on March 22, 2006 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

"Relax, citizens, the President's commitment for an 'open-ended' presence isn't incompatible with previous statements."

Let's remember what a Texas governor and presidential candidate named George W. Bush said in 1999 when President Clinton had committed US troops to stop a genocide in Kosovo: "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to tell us what the exit strategy is."

So what is it, George?

Posted by: Stefan on March 22, 2006 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

You folks keep seeing Iraq as worse than it is because you want it to be worse, so that you can bring the President down.

How could it be any worse?

I'm serious. How could it be any worse?

The Unitied States has committed a crime by invading a country that wasn't threatening us.

The President, the Vice President, the Secretaries of State and Defense and the National Security Advisor justified this invasion the basis of evidence that they knew, or they ought to have known, was false.

Soldiers of the United States have been caught on tape and film committing atrocities which seem to have been approved, in some form and in some cases at least, at the highest levels of the government.

The Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Vice-President, and the God-damn President of the United States of America have claimed legal justification for torture.

How could it be any worse?

Let's face it Steve White, America is being lost. George W. Bush has debased the meaning, the values and the ideals of America. Whatever this country stood for has been sacrificed for the President's weak and narrow notion of defense.

This blow to our reputation and our national honor will not be restored in my lifetime.

How could it be any worse?

More dead? More atrocities? More civil war? Maybe. Maybe those things will come, maybe they won't. Perhaps the civil situation in Iraq will improve, probably it won't. It doesn't matter. Whatever battles are won, we are losing the war for American ideals and values.

How could it be any worse?

Posted by: Ray on March 22, 2006 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

it is hard for me to fathom the idiocy of some of the arguments on this thread, "...your sentiments are right in line with your fellow liberals who have openly expressed [a] desire for America to lose."

I have never heard from any of my liberal, tree hugging, flag burning, abortion loving, flip-flopping, draft dodging, America hating friends that they want the US to lose any war ever. What some of you low 30%ers may take as our desire for a loss, is the fact that we already have lost.

It's time to come home.

Posted by: nutty little nut nut on March 22, 2006 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK
...what in the hell do Dems stand for? Posted by: dwight at 12:02 AM
While there is no charismatic leader on the Democratic side at the moment, it should not be a hindrance. Can you find a less inspiring person than the inarticulate Bush ? As for your rhetorical questions, think.
...liberals who have openly expressed desire for America to lose.Posted by: Freedom Fighter
By not listening to experts beforehand, Bush has guaranteed a major loss for American: Troops, treasure, prestige and reputation.
Iraq has a constitution, an elected government, and a number of provinces that are no more wracked with violence than Baltimore or Detroit....Posted by: Steve White on March 21, 2006 at 10:00 PM
I wonder what government you are seeing, is it a desert mirage? It has been three months since the elections and no government has been formed. Since most of the provinces are devoid of life, comparing them to American cities is silly. There isn't as much violence in the Kurdish north despite some nasty assassinations, but that area is separating itself from Iraq. It also makes no sense to compare Iraq cities to violence in any other city in the world. How many others have daily car bombs? How many others have death squads? How many others are drastically lacking in basic services like sewage, electricity, jobs, fuel, security and potable water? A lot of people in Iraq simply want those things, things they had before Bush illegally invaded their land. Posted by: Mike on March 22, 2006 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

New Orleans can fit most of those criteria

Posted by: nutty little nut nut on March 22, 2006 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK

Let's remember what a Texas governor and presidential candidate named George W. Bush said in 1999 when President Clinton had committed US troops to stop a genocide in Kosovo: "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to tell us what the exit strategy is."

I think we heard the exit strategy today. Remember back in 2004 when we said Bush could never win in Iraq because he'd alienated too many potential allies? We needed a new President to negotiate for more international help, one who wasn't tainted by his past arrogant behavior, one who wasn't hated by so much of the world.

Well, Bush has come to agree with us. He knows that he's only going to serve as a placeholder until 2009, when the next President will step in with a multi-trillion dollar pooper scooper and clean up after Georgie's oops.

Posted by: cowalker on March 22, 2006 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

Bush can always challenge Reid to name his party's targeted withdrawal date.

According to Murtha it is immediately.

Posted by: McA on March 22, 2006 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder what W's speaking fee will be after retirement? I can't wait to read his book. "He's the smartest man I have ever met," said Eve.

Posted by: nutty little nut nut on March 22, 2006 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum asks a good question: Has Harry Reid ever proposed his own plan for Iraq?

The answer is NO.

Posted by: Paddy Whack on March 22, 2006 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK

McA wrote: "According to Murtha it is immediately."

Only if you're wholly ignorant of Murtha's actual comments and proposals or if you're deliberately lying.

Posted by: PaulB on March 22, 2006 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK

PaulB:

No, I'm pretty sure that was the entire point of Murtha's press conference. Not a *precipitous* withdrawal, but a withdrawal beginning immediately at the speed of the military's choosing. And not a withdrawal from the region, but a withdrawal from Iraq.

It's not "cut and run." But it *is* an acknowledgement that the military has done all it can do in Iraq, has accomplished its military objectives (remove and capture Saddam), and that we had best watch out for our genuine national security interests from a distance.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 22, 2006 at 1:28 AM | PERMALINK

Bob, beginning to withdraw immediately is not the same thing as withdrawing immediately. McA implied the latter, which is a deliberate lie, something we have come to expect from our dear little troll friend. Murtha wants a phased withdrawal, as anyone who has actually listened to him would understand.

Posted by: PaulB on March 22, 2006 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

I'm glad Kevin thinks Reid is a pretty astute leader of the Senate Dems. I was afraid you guys would put someone really appealing to the public up there, like that polymath Dick Durban.

Posted by: minion of rove on March 22, 2006 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you've had this discussion with yourself before.

The Dems do not need to furnish a "plan". The decision to come home is, itself, is a plan, which is much more than we have now. The details of the plan can be worked out by the field commanders.

Why is this so very hard for you to grasp?

Posted by: Libby Sosume on March 22, 2006 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

Nice one Georgie boy. The sort of redesign of language that Orwell would have loved. Up until now victory was a short sharp shock. We go in, we kick butt and we leave.

But now? "I'm optimistic we'll succeed. If not, I'd pull our troops out." Quitting is for losers. Winners stay around. Way to go Georgie.

Posted by: JJB on March 22, 2006 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

Another brilliant post Kevin. You're like Kobe Bryant, off and on!

Once you find your rhetoric, run with it, that's my advice to Mr. Reid.

Posted by: Jimm on March 22, 2006 at 2:41 AM | PERMALINK

People, people! Settle down!

Bush can see the light at the end of the tunnel!


Victory is at hand...

Posted by: SombreroFallout on March 22, 2006 at 4:38 AM | PERMALINK

The Israelis gave the Palestinians the word: we're leaving. Why can't we do the same in Iraq?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on March 22, 2006 at 7:39 AM | PERMALINK

Bush rolled the dice. How do you plan on a tremendously big gamble when the dice keep rolling? If you knew where the dice would stop, you could plan accordingly, but no matter where you try to stop the dice now, you are still gambling on the outcome. Hell of a way to encounter the future.

Posted by: lou on March 22, 2006 at 8:04 AM | PERMALINK

Bush, not obfuscating in 2000 on Meet the Press:

BUSH. Well, let me put it to you this way: When I'm the president, we're not going to obfuscate when it comes to foreign policy. If I ever commit troops, I'm going to do so with one thing in mind. And that's to win, Tim. And that's to win in a fashion that not only achieves victory, but gets us out of the theater in quick order.

Posted by: R.Porrofatto on March 22, 2006 at 8:04 AM | PERMALINK

Reid's term, open-ended commitment, is a wise use of words because it embodies uncertainty. The conservative mindset abhors uncertainty so this usage rings true for them. For us liberals, it's about change, changing for the better, which is often in opposition to the conservative who embraces the "familiar," and favors "unwavering loyalty" -- traits that can be perceived to be lacking in liberals.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 8:11 AM | PERMALINK

The notion that in order to point out that the president is committed to an indefinite, perhaps permanent occupation is somehow weakened if you yourself don't present a withdrawal plan is silly. It doesn't matter what Harry Reid thinks should be done. He has no venue within which to execute any plan, and any ideas he has would neccessarily be insusbstantial. The key point here is the one made yesterday by Biden. Everyone disagrees with the administration. Everyone wants to get out, minimizing any additional damage to Iraq in doing so.

Everyone as Biden said, except Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove.

Posted by: jayackroyd on March 22, 2006 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

PaulB: Bob, beginning to withdraw immediately is not the same thing as withdrawing immediately. McA implied the latter, which is a deliberate lie, something we have come to expect from our dear little troll friend. Murtha wants a phased withdrawal, as anyone who has actually listened to him would understand.

Well said, PaulB, well said.

I liked the Murtha plan when I heard it and I still do. Murtha isn't about abandoning Iraq but removing the counterproductive U.S. presence in a phased withdrawal to let the Iraqis take the lead as they gain their footing. We can redeploy on the fringes with the ability to send in quick strike forces ad hoc and perhaps a troop level in the north to help the Kurds if they so desire it. Listen to the field commanders and involve diplomacy for those affected in the region, for example, Turkey, would be a good thing. Of course, Murtha's recommendations and Dems offering a plan on Iraq now don't mean squat with the Bushies in charge. Yeah, sure. Repubs will marginalize anything Dems say. However, I do think it's important to talk to the liberal base to minimize voter disenfranchisement.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

CNN.com In the days of the Taliban, those promoting Christianity in Afghanistan could be arrested and those converting from Islam could be tortured and publicly executed.

That was supposed to change after U.S.-led forces ousted the oppressive, fundamentalist regime, but the case of 41-year-old Abdul Rahman has many Western nations wondering if Afghanistan is regressing.

Rahman, a father of two, was arrested and is on trial for rejecting Islam. The Afghan constitution, which is based on Sharia, or Islamic law, says that apostates can receive the death penalty.

Democracy and freedom on the march - Bush style.

Why are we not surprised that Bush 43 is no different than Bush 41 when it comes to real democracy and real human rights.

Bush 41: aided and abetted Saddam while he was gassing the Kurds, men, women, and children.

Bush 43: aids and abets the Afghani regime with American blood while that regime executes Christians.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

More proof that no Bush is or ever has been committed to anything other than himself or herself.

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 22, 2006 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

Where are all the right wing Christians now?

Huh?

Where are they are why aren't they fuming at what is happening in Afghanistan?

Faith as wide as the ocean but no deeper than a film of oil on that same ocean.

The greatest right wing Christian fanatic values?

Greed.

Arrogance.

Pride.

Mendacity.

Country before God.

Bush before God.

GOP before GOD.

Their pocketbook before God.

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 22, 2006 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

OT: I'm watching Harper's editor Lewis Lapham on C-SPAN. The topic is his essay, The Case For Impeachment. An excerpt can be read online here. I'm a bit surprised at how many of the call-ins agree with Lapham's POV!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

Yes it is a pity that you view Harry Reid as your brightest leader. Since there are so few to choose from I guess the curve, or bar is fairly low. As for ending the war. The president was simply saying the next president (another Republican) will be there to help complete this countries total tranformation into a Democratic Nation.

Posted by: daveyo on March 22, 2006 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

Bush's plan? Hand off to the next guy. A strategy to be proud of.

Posted by: Ace Franze on March 22, 2006 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

James of DC: You need to blog on Kevin Philips new book, Kevin. As a former Republican who has been right about nearly everything, when he says the Republican party is all about corralling the worlds oil, you have to listen.

Yes, yes, yes!

Saw Phillips on CNN/Lou Dobbs on Monday and as Lou called his book, a brand new very- important book, that is "American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century." Transcript link on the interview is here. A book review in the NYTimes is here . I recommend clicking the links. I'm getting the book.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

Good morning.

daveyo, a Democratic Nation, with initial caps and everything! Excellent parody of a mindless rube.

Ace, the most amazing thing of the past few months has been the Bush administration's willingness to come right out and say, "We don't fucking care what the citizens of the U.S. think. Fuck you."

They've always been open about screwing their constituencies, but they used to at least use flowery doublespeak about it. Now their "strategy" appears to be making announcements that will excite the slavering, glassy-eyed 30-something percent while solidifying the rest of the country's and world's hatred for them.

Does Bush's anger at being questioned run this deep? Or is the bubble just too thick? My money's on the "Grab what you can, boys; the gravy train is finally leaving the station" theory.

Posted by: shortstop on March 22, 2006 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

advocate, I see your ass is wide open today with the shit flowing as usual. Executing Christians has been an on-going problem in Afghanistan for centuries, yet now that it might happen under GW's watch, your concerned. Fuck you, you don't give a fuck about that christian man, you only give a fuck about making the US administration look bad about it. You only care about yourself and your selfish, self-important brain dead agenda, exactly what you blame GW about. Rather hypocritical isn't it?

Just admit it, you are defeated, you have become the terrorists bitch, wanting to to pull out at all costs because it's too hard and there is no way we can win, right? What an inspiration you've become to the people who still live under oppression. They're certainly convinced now that if you're in charge, they're fucked. Let the terrorists sort out the problems of the middle east, because advocate and the left doesn't have a clue, a plan or the guts to do anything about it.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Bush's plan? Hand off to the next guy. A strategy to be proud of.
Posted by: Ace Franze

But entirely in keeping with his trajectory of failing upward again and again - and being bailed out by Daddy's friends' - even as the scale of the failures escalate into the truly catastrophic as is the case currently.

And exactly who has the wherewithal this time around to bail GWB out of this mess created by his own willful detachment from reality?

Against the backdrop of a $9,000,000,000,000 debt?

...
"But the bottom line is that these external imbalances are getting worse rather than better -- even in the face of an apparent resynchronization of the global growth dynamic. In my view, that reflects the dominance of the macro aspects of the problem. The income-based saving of Americas asset economy is so low and the import penetration of its real economy is so high, that more growth in US aggregate demand simply begets ever-mounting trade and current-account deficits. This imposes enormous strains on the international financing mechanism to keep the game going. In 2005, the US needed about $3 billion of foreign capital inflows each business day of the year -- up dramatically from the $2 billion daily funding requirement just two years ago in 2003.

Such external dependency of any nation is simply without precedent in the annals of globalization and international finance."
....
"An earlier era of globalization was brought to a tragic end by two world wars in the first half of the 20th century. While history rarely repeats itself, the rhymes never cease to amaze me. The current wave of globalization is occurring against the backdrop of a very different mosaic of geopolitical risks than those which prevailed a century ago. Nation-specific rivalries have given way to threats coming from the amorphous terrorist ranks. Yet there is a worrisome common thread: In both cases, the integration of economies and capital markets clashed with the fragmentation of geopolitical order. Add in the current tensions associated with widening income disparities, real wage stagnation in developed countries, and the growing outbreak of trade frictions and protectionism, and todays world looks far from secure. The tripwires of globalization are now being set."

Stephen Roach - Morgan Stanley
Mar 13, 2006
Global: Tripwires

Posted by: CFShep on March 22, 2006 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

Typical Apollo, avoiding the real problem. Try reading, or writing a book about Islamic Theocracy; The Peril and Politics of a Radical Religion. Now that book would be much more relevant in today's world, I guess only for those though that don't have their heads firmly planted in the collective left's ass.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

Jay 1.0:

Executing Christians has been an on-going problem in Afghanistan for centuries...

Jay 1.1:

wanting to to pull out at all costs because it's too hard and there is no way we can win, right?

Gee Jay, it sounds like you think GW and crew can change that centuries-old tradition in a few short years. Yup, no problem. We'll definitely succeed where generations of occupiers, from Alexander the Great, through the British, and up throught the Soviets failed.

If you believe that, then fine. Just show us the PLAN. What the fuck is the PLAN? Is the PLAN to just support KARZAI, who's as crooked as a politician can get? Who could care less if Christians get executed?

If not, then please detail this plan. And hectoring others who fail to see this plan, since GW has never really put one out - for Afghanistan or Iraq.

Until yesterday. The new plan is to just dump these nascent caliphates on the next president. Wow. What a fucking plan.

Tell you what Jay - when you and the rest of the Bush disciples formulate a plan, come back and tell us. Until then, stop with the sophmoric tripe about "siding with the terrorists" just because we don't believe the shit that Bush is shoveling.

Posted by: NSA Mole on March 22, 2006 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Jay,
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

If I get in a whack-a-troll mood, I'll be back to expose your lunacy. Why don't you go see a psychotherapist? You need lots of help. Get some.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

NSA, typical fucking bullshit from the brain dead left. No plan? A freely elected democratic government in Afghanistan for the first time EVER, with votes and support from the women of the country. That right there is better than any plan the left has ever come with for anything. So unless and until the left gets a fucking clue about stemming the tide of Islamic Theocracy; The Peril and Politics of a Radical Religion, than we'll talk. Until then, keep your mindless comments directed towards your choir.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

I like to peep in little boy's windows.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

That's exactly what happens to me too when the left talks, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Good night and good luck Apollo.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

Al said he would be my boyfriend but he's way too old. Icky!

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

That's exactly what happens to me too when the left talks, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Unless you lie, then leaving this blog is the proper response. Buh-bye.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

When I'm not reading about Islamic Theocracy I like to look at the kid's undewear pages in my Sears catalog. I don't even care if they're Muslims.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Let me preface my comment by stating I'm a Liberal and proud of it. Generally speaking, I'm against foreign interventions and wary of the ideology of spreading democracy by force.

However - I think that we have a responsibility to the Iraqi people to leave them with something better than they had before we came or endure a war worse than we have trying to do so. As Colin Powell said, "you broke it, you fix it." (Too bad he didnt have the courage to resign for this and other convictions)

I feel ashamed of the way my country leaps into wars and then has few qualms about pulling out when the going gets tough and leaving the mess behind to fix itself.

I'm not quite sure at what level of loss and expense I would advocate our leaving, but honestly, it would be a lot closer to that of the Vietnam War. It's just our moral responsibility to stay. And beyond that - we ought to be willing to step up the conflict and institute a draft.

If, as a nation, we were willing to face our true moral responsibilities in this conflict, maybe next time we would think longer and harder about starting a war in the first place.

Posted by: phlsphr on March 22, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Well I see the mindless liberals, void of any coherent debate or plan, have now fallen back on personal attacks. Well Done, you are certainly positioned to lose yet another election. Fucking mindless idiots, it's really too bad your mothers didn't choose abortion.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Instead of "open-ended," why not simply "endless" or "never-ending"?

Posted by: ZakAttack on March 22, 2006 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

My mommy had an abortion. She named it Jay.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Waaah! Mommy, the bad policeman was mean to me when he caught me with my hand down my pants at the park.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

phlsphr, nice post. We probably disagree on some issues, but that is one of the more reasonable liberal posts I've read.

We've accomplished a lot in three years and it is time to let the Iraqi's start taking care of Iraq. A Senate delgation is in Iraq now and have been told that a permanent government could be in place within 30-45 days. Considering that the Iraqi military now controls over 50% of the country and projected to be 75% by the end of summer, hopefully at that time we can begin to bring our troops home. At that point then I think we can definitely say that we succeeded.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
The Reid plan is called Murtha.
It just can't come out of Reid's mouth until enough Americans are ready for it and enough RNC journos have been neutalised.
Americans are almost there.(you need 60% + momentum)
Jornos are starting to move too, witness Kristol and Cookie.
You have to be patient Kevin or the "knife in the back" people will get the upper hand.

Posted by: Nemesis on March 22, 2006 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

I see the pedophile Cut 'N Run Jay is back to his defense of cutting and running.

Shorter Cut 'N Run Jay: Run away! Run away!

Posted by: Stefan on March 22, 2006 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

Iraqi police uniforms turn me on. My friend, Jeffy Gannon, is going to set up an Iraqi Police website where you can see photos of me and him prancing around in them. I like Jeffy but he's too old for me too. We will have all the fun of wearing the nifty uniforms though and taking turns playing Torturer and Prisoner. This is a lot less icky then actually joining the army or the police.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan: Shorter Cut 'N Run Jay: Run away! Run away!

LOL! Inspired Monty Python.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

Shit-for-brains Steffy, I know it's hard for you (no pun intended) to tell the difference but gradually bringing troops home this summer when the permenent government is in place and the Iraqi's control over 75% of their country, that's called victory. That's a word liberals are unfamiliar with and rightly so because you are all LOSERS.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Spank me, liberals! Spank me, please.

Posted by: Jay's ass on March 22, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

Cut 'N Run Jay at 9:46 AM: Just admit it, you are defeated, you have become the terrorists bitch, wanting to to pull out at all costs because it's too hard and there is no way we can win, right? What an inspiration you've become to the people who still live under oppression. They're certainly convinced now that if you're in charge, they're fucked. Let the terrorists sort out the problems of the middle east, because advocate and the left doesn't have a clue, a plan or the guts to do anything about it.

Cut 'N Run Jay at 10:23 AM: We've accomplished a lot in three years and it is time to let the Iraqi's start taking care of Iraq....hopefully at that time we can begin to bring our troops home.

Just admit it, you are defeated, you have become the terrorists' bitch, wanting to to pull out of Iraq at all costs because it's too hard and there is no way we can win, right? What an inspiration you've become to the Iraqi people who still live under oppression. They're certainly convinced now that if you're in charge, they're fucked. Let the terrorists sort out the problems of Iraq, because Cut 'N Run Jay and the Right don't have a clue, a plan or the guts to do anything about it.

Posted by: Stefan on March 22, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

We've accomplished a lot in three years and it is time to let the Iraqi's start taking care of Iraq. A Senate delgation is in Iraq now and have been told that a permanent government could be in place within 30-45 days. Considering that the Iraqi military now controls over 50% of the country and projected to be 75% by the end of summer, hopefully at that time we can begin to bring our troops home. At that point then I think we can definitely say that we succeeded.

Well, that sounds like a reasonable plan. Is it Bush's plan? We don't know. Why? Because he isn't saying. And why is that? Because it would help the enemy? And which enemy? The insurgents or the Democrats?

My personal guess is that he wants to spring the withdrawal on the country as an "October surprise" for this years election. And he'll find some excuse to say "things are better than I thought they would be". Good news!

Bush has used National Security and foreign policy as a political tool far too much. Our doubt and cynicism about the president's pronouncements and moves are a direct result of that. And his deceptions. As you sow, so shall you reap

Posted by: Doctor Jay on March 22, 2006 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not quite sure at what level of loss and expense I would advocate our leaving, but honestly, it would be a lot closer to that of the Vietnam War.

You mean, at the point where we've killed 2-3 million Iraqis rather than just several hundred thousand?

Posted by: Stefan on March 22, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

However - I think that we have a responsibility to the Iraqi people to leave them with something better than they had before we came or endure a war worse than we have trying to do so. As Colin Powell said, "you broke it, you fix it." (Too bad he didnt have the courage to resign for this and other convictions)

There's a difference between "you broke it, you fix it" when (i) you drop one plate in the store and fix it, and when (ii) you drop one plate and, in an effort to fix it then spend the next several years staggering around the store, turning over the display cases, smashing anything you can get your hands on and killing half the staff. At that point it's probably smarter and more humane to leave rather than try to "fix" anything anymore.

Posted by: Stefan on March 22, 2006 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK
I'm not quite sure at what level of loss and expense I would advocate our leaving, but honestly, it would be a lot closer to that of the Vietnam War.

People -- and nations -- who learn from their mistakes avoid repeating them, rather than waiting until they've made them again and then changing course.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 22, 2006 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, steffy how fucking original. Just admit you have no fucking clue on what to do about anything because your selfish, self-important me first agenda has paralyzed you. Paraphrasing my comments exposes your complete lack of gray matter towards the problems that actually exist in this world. However you are in good company with the rest of the democratic party.

Is it that we killed thousands of Iraqi's or is that the Islamic murderers are killing and continue to kill thousands of Iraqi's. Get a fucking clue and start addressing the actual problem, you mindless twit.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, it's time to ban Jay. He has become something beyond irritating.

Posted by: Ace Franze on March 22, 2006 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Mommy said we could use our trailer to make our new super duper movie about all you loser Muslim darkie libs. It can't be on Tuesday because that's when we pick up our food stamps. Wednesday is out because I said I would panhandle downtown that day. Thursday is no good because I have to go see my nasty old parole officer. Friday is no good because all the kids get out of school early and I like to watch them get on the buses. Oh darn.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Nemesis on March 22, 2006 at 10:26 AM

Spot on.

Doctor Jay,
Your comment about an October surprise merits attention. Bush is always and forever the political operative.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not quite sure at what level of loss and expense I would advocate our leaving, but honestly, it would be a lot closer to that of the Vietnam War.

You mean, at the point where 50,000 Americans have died rather than 2,500?

Posted by: Stefan on March 22, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

That's it Ace, stifle the voice of opposition. It's called fascism, and the democrats display it well.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

I always love this routine, especially when it's performed well.

It goes like this: A troll waltzes into a thread with stuff like this:

I see your ass is wide open today with the shit flowing as usual.
...
you have become the terrorists bitch
...
typical fucking bullshit from the brain dead left.

And then follows it with this:

Well I see the mindless liberals, void of any coherent debate or plan, have now fallen back on personal attacks.

I give this one a 9.3. The score would have been higher but he clipped the board with his pointy head on the way down.

Posted by: R.Porrofatto on March 22, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not quite sure at what level of loss and expense I would advocate our leaving, but honestly, it would be a lot closer to that of the Vietnam War.

You mean, at the point where we have 500,000 American troops in Iraq rather than 150,000?

Posted by: Stefan on March 22, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

As Eric Alterman over at The Nation illustrates [with emphasis added]:

Personally, I have a hard time understanding why, if it was the Administration that created the Iraq quagmire with its toxic combination of mendacity, incompetence and ideological obsession, it is somehow the responsibility of powerless Democrats to solve it. Given the right wing's stranglehold on both the political process and public discourse, Democrats cannot hope to address this problem or even have their public proposals treated fairly. Why then should they make themselves politically vulnerable by offering up a target for Rove and O'Reilly to torture, twist and otherwise pervert for the purpose of political assassination both in 2006 and again in 2008?
What's more, the Iraq situation is deteriorating so rapidly, it is impossible to imagine what will face a Democratic presidential candidate when a genuine plan does become obligatory. Until then, all a potential nominee can do is foreclose future options. Consider 2002. Democrats were desperate to remove the question of Iraq from the agenda in order to fight the election on domestic issues, where they retained their traditional polling advantages. Endangered Southern Dems were begging the Congressional leadership not to put the party out front against Bush on Iraq, lest it open up avenues for a Rovian assault on their patriotism and support for the military
Yep. That sums it up nicely.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

You will not have to worry about what problems will face a Democratic President in '08, because there won't be one. I also find it amusing that you are all worried about unveiling your plan stating that Rove would just annihilate it, as he would. This can only mean:
A. There is no plan.
B. We can't possibly defeat Rove and the Republicans
And you know what, you're right on both accounts.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

A freely elected democratic government in Afghanistan for the first time EVER, with votes and support from the women of the country.

And that government is going to execute a man for converting to Christianity. Great fucking government. Tell me Jay, can those voting womean in Afghanistan leave their burkhas at home if they want? Great fucking government.

Face it, if you even read the news, MSM or otherwise, you'd realize that the duly-elected Afghan government is a joke. It has no real power outside of Kabul, is rife with corruption, and can't stop the resurgence in the opium trade. A trade that's funneling millions into Islamic terrorists.


We've accomplished a lot in three years and it is time to let the Iraqi's start taking care of Iraq. A Senate delgation is in Iraq now and have been told that a permanent government could be in place within 30-45 days. Considering that the Iraqi military now controls over 50% of the country and projected to be 75% by the end of summer, hopefully at that time we can begin to bring our troops home. At that point then I think we can definitely say that we succeeded.

You know, if you had said that, instead of your incoherent liberal-bashing screed, I might have given you some credit. However, too bad Bush and Co. don't agree with you. Bush had decided to let the next president clean up his mess, so don't even try to defend your optimistic troop withdrawl in the next year, much less three.

Just for kicks, I will punch a few holes in your assessment:

1. So some Iraqis "told" the Senators that everything will be ready soon? I guess those Iraqis words are as good as gold. We shouldn't second guess them. Nope. Shit, they have zero politcal control of the country right now, but they are confident everything will be ready in a month? Get real. Those losers don't even venture outside of Baghdad.

2. Wow. The Iraqi military controls over 50% of the country. Guess who controls the real hot spots? That's right, we do. Talk to me when the Iraqi military actually does some real fighting. And can at least defend their own installations.


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Posted by: seeei on March 22, 2006 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Jay said the Democrats are afraid of unvailing their plan because Rove would demolish it.

I think Jay is right.

Democrats are timid and insecure people.

Posted by: MountainDan on March 22, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

More typical fucking stupid liberal bullshit from NSA.
Let's see the freely elected democratic government of Aghanistan is the brunt end of your tripe but the Taliban ran a peaceful country, is that it? Moron. It is too bad that there remains unsettling territories in Afghanistan, but it still remains 100% improved from what the left would have accomplished which is nothing. Great fucking plan!

"Some" Iraqi's include the current leaders of the government who have done a hell of a lot more for that country than you, or anybody on the left would have ever done. So, do I believe them or the bullshit from the left? I will go with them. You get fucking real, you have no idea what is actually ahppening inside that country. Why can't the media find one of the 11 million Iraqi's that voted for the new future of the country and solicit their comments? Oh yeah, because their comments would probably not support the defeatest brain dead agenda of the left.

Why don't you talk to me when you actually acknowledge the real problem in Iraq and actually have some plan to address it. Again until then keep your mindless comments directed towards the choir.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

MountainDan - what's Bush's plan? Why is he afraid to unveil it?

Oh yea, that will "telegraph" our plans to the terrorists.

Well, maybe the Democrats don't want to telegraph their plans either.

Idiot.

Once Bush outlines his plan, then the Democrats can set out theirs. That's usually how it works in government. The party in power sets a plan and the minority party gives its rebuttal.

Posted by: NSA Mole on March 22, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

I believe Juan Cole has pointed out that the 50% of the country the Iraqi military "controls" tends to be concentrated on arid wasteland without many people in it.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 22, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

That "arid wasteland" would include Basra, Mosul, Tel Afar, Fallujah and the entire southern and northern portions of the country. Not bad for an army that has been organized and trained in less than three years.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Jay's a little touchy today. Can't think of anything worthwhile to say, so he retreats to ad hominem attacks. Then questions what I have done.

Here's my answer: the same thing you've done. Nothing, except pay my taxes. So get off your high horse, you whiny little bitch.

You want reality? Iraq has been fucked up since the British created that stupid country. So has Afghanistan. I can guarantee you that the U.S. isn't some magic salve that will turn these idiotic countries into little Americas.

And guess what Jay, the Taliban isn't going to execute this Christian. It's the judiciary set up by this new, democratic government. Get your facts straight before you screed. This government sure might be democratic, but it ain't free.

Why can't the media find one of those 11 million? I'll tell you the answer: it's too dangerous to go outside the Green Zone. And if they do venture out, no Iraqi wants to talk to them: it's either too dangerous, or they don't like us.

You just don't get it, do you fuck-knuckle? I'd love to see Iraq suceed, but they need to do it on their own. We need to get out and let the 11 million take on the few thousand who stand in their way. By your calculus, it's a no brainer. They have the numbers, plus all the training we've provided. So let them do their thing.

I'm just sick and tired of the drain on our blood and treasure. Get out. The military did its job years ago. Now let the nation-builders do theirs.

If you haven't figured it out yet, here's my plan:

Let the Iraqis take charge now.

Posted by: NSA Mole on March 22, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

The greatest thing that can be said about the Iraqi army is that they stayed united following the mosque bombings and the sectarian tensions that ensued. Being that this army is comprised of Shia, Sunni's and Kurds and that they stayed united and focused following the up-risings; that's HUGE.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

More typical fucking stupid liberal bullshit from NSA [Mole].

Bring it on, NSA Mole! I believe Jay is about to poop his pants and pop an aneurysm.

Yeah, give us more, Mole! Woo hoo! Keep 'em coming.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Laura Ingraham was sure able to get out of the green zone and quite safely I might add. She also interviewed many of those 11 million Iraqi's and they are part of the 70% of their countrymen who are optimistic about their future. I guess it just depends on what media you choose to listen to.

I do like the "fuck-knuckle". They do have the numbers and it is soon time to let them take care of their own country. That, we agree on.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Cheering from the sidelines Apollo? That's a good spot for you.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Apollo 13 and NSA mole (AKA Stefan) are about to burst into tears at any moment.

Bush has already laid out his plan. Anybody who has been paying attention knows his plan: Kill the terrorists, and support the emerging Iraqi government as it stabilizes. As the Iraqis take over, the USA will leave.

(I think Apollo 13 has her panties in a bunch because Bush won't give a timetable for withdrawal.)

Posted by: MountainDan on March 22, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

"I am sick and tired of the drain on our blood and treasure" - NSA.

That is a reasonable comment, and many of us a growing weary of that. Unity and strength will not only help the Iraqi's defeat the scourge that plagues their country but it will also lessen the toll it takes on ours.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Red State Americans have an "open-ended commitment" to George W. Bush. He's been taking advantage of that open-ended commitment for 5 years.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 22, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

There's another issue which always follows from our foreign wars but which we're all supposed to be too polite to notice:

How many of our so called 'loyal Iraqi allies' will this country be required to accept and provide for, ala Vietnam, in the aftermath?

Quarter of a million? Half a million? More?

Every person working in the provisional government in any capacity? That's pretty much a given, right? And they'll come with their suitcases stuffed with the billions they've stolen...

All same-same.

Posted by: CFShep on March 22, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Cut 'N Run Jay: That "arid wasteland" would include Basra, Mosul, Tel Afar, Fallujah and the entire southern and northern portions of the country.

From Prof. Juan Cole:

But the "four provinces" allegation is misleading on another level. It is simply false. Guerrilla attacks occur routinely beyond the confines of Anbar, Salahuddin, Ninevah and Baghdad. Diyala province is a big center of the guerrilla movement and has witnessed thousands of deaths in the ongoing unconventional war. Babil province just south of Baghdad is a major center of back alley warfare between Sunnis and Shiites and attacks on Coalition troops. Attacks, assassinations and bombings are routine in Kirkuk province in the north, a volatile mixture of Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs engaged in a subterranean battle for dominance of the area's oil fields. So that is 7 provinces, and certainly half the population of the country lives in these 7, which are daily affected by the ongoing violence. It is true that violence is rare in the 3 northern provinces of the Kurdistan confederacy. And the Shiite south is much less violent than the 7 provinces of the center-north, on a good day. But some of this calm in the south is an illusion deriving from poor on the ground reporting. It appears to be the case that British troops are engaged in an ongoing struggle with guerrilla forces of the Marsh Arabs in Maysan Province. Even calm is not always a good sign. The southern port city of Basra appears to come by its via a reign of terror by Shiite religious militias.

Posted by: Stefan on March 22, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

That "arid wasteland" would include Basra, Mosul, Tel Afar, Fallujah and the entire southern and northern portions of the country

Yes, it would - if the moon were made of green cheese. But it ain't, and the Iraqi army doesn't control those portions of the country.

You are fifty meters underwater and sinking fast. I can barely hear the bubbles of your conservative nonsense these days. It's over for you and your kind.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 22, 2006 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

How many of our so called 'loyal Iraqi allies' will this country be required to accept and provide for, ala Vietnam, in the aftermath? Quarter of a million? Half a million? More?

Yeah, but regarding that particular consequence of the war, you know, "Bring it on." The Vietnamese have brought nothing but hard work, top notch computer science students, and truly fine restaurants and nail care establishments to our country, and I expect no less from the Iraqis.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 22, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Jay wrote: "Unity and strength will not only help the Iraqi's defeat the scourge that plagues their country but it will also lessen the toll it takes on ours."

Whose "unity and strength," Jay?

Man, talk about a meaningless soundbite.

Posted by: PaulB on March 22, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

MountainDan wrote: "Bush has already laid out his plan."

Well, no, actually, he hasn't.

"Anybody who has been paying attention knows his plan: Kill the terrorists, and support the emerging Iraqi government as it stabilizes. As the Iraqis take over, the USA will leave."

That's not a "plan;" that's a hope or a wish. A "plan" would actually involve concrete steps towards the fulfillment of those wishes and measurable metrics and milestones of the progress.

Posted by: PaulB on March 22, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

MolehillDan: Democrats are timid and insecure people.

LOL! What a crock!

Frozen in the headlights like Doe-ish Dubya, our president, who sat stupefied with My Pet Goat in his hands for 20 minutes while the WTC towers burned. Now that's timid.

Flippity-floppity Bush who was against nation building before he was for it to enrich his war profiteering cronies. Wishy-washy W.

The regime of fear, the Bushwackos, who used Terror Alerts for evidently no apparent terrorist attack. Too insecure are they to face the music, they need faux emergencies to deflect attention away from their mistakes to change the subject.

What a bunch of deceptive criminals we have in the Oval Office. Like Rove, Bush is a supreme political operative who spouted at age 26 colorful and stupidly un-timid but telling speech that's he's insecure and vindictive:

"You fucking son of bitch. I won't forget what you said and you're going to pay a fucking price for it."

That's our preznit then and now. Bush, in March 2002, tells Condi, Fuck Saddam. We're taking him out.

Joe Wilson and Valerie Plam know about what kind of "decency and integrity" this Bushliar Administration exudes and we can also see it in the broken promises of a thousand pieces from D.C. to NOLA.

Also in March 2002, while Dubya was expressing his "fuck you" attitude about Saddam to Condi, Cheney tells a Senate Republican Policy lunch meeting that "it is no longer a question of if the United States will attack Iraq, it's only a question of when. The vice president doesn't bring up the question of why, the answer to which is a work in progress." [Cite] That confirms what Paul O'Neill said -- they began planning the Iraq invasion within the first ten days of being in the WH in 2001.

The whole "WMD and Saddam has ties to 9/11 terrorists" skulduggery was to bamboozle the American public into supporting a war that the Bushie NeoCons had already planned to perpetrate from the early weeks of taking office.

"Incompetent," "idiot," and "liar" are the top of mind words for the Talking Codpiece in the latest Pew poll. Americans have got Dubya's number now. But you don't and I wonder why. Isn't it obvious, you're a troll. Buh-bye.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

As the SS Bushtanic sinks slowly into the mud of the Potomac, Captain Edward Smith Bush stands valiently at the helm saying "I find this discussion of our bringing democracy to the world fascinating".

Flight controllers at Clueless National Airport keep advising incoming pilots to not take notice of the many rats swimming toward shore.

Ah, the strains of "Nearer my Bush to thee" from the remaining trolls on deck.

Posted by: stupid git on March 22, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Prof. Juan Cole is the utmost authority on Iraq? Where in Iraq exactly is he?

Fallujah and Tel Afar are 100% under the control of the Iraqi Army, you fucking morons. Basra is as well assisted by the Brits. Mosul is also under the control of the Army albeit with some violence still ensuing.

This month will mark the second month since the war began with the lowest number of American casualties. You need to admit to yourselves that your are all fucking delusional and subscribe to only those reports which support you defeatest brain dead selfish agenda, which is EXACTLY what you blame GW of doing. You fucking idiot hypocrites!!!!!

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

(I think Apollo 13 has her panties in a bunch because Bush won't give a timetable for withdrawal.)

Again, let's remember what a Texas governor and presidential candidate named George W. Bush said in 1999 when President Clinton had committed US troops to stop a genocide in Kosovo: "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to tell us what the exit strategy is."

Posted by: Stefan on March 22, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Jay wrote: "That 'arid wasteland' would include Basra, Mosul, Tel Afar, Fallujah and the entire southern and northern portions of the country."

As usual, Jay, you're completely wrong. The northern portions of the country are controlled by the Kurds, not by the central government or by a unified central army. When push comes to shove, those troops are loyal to their region, not to the central government.

The southern portions of the country are controlled by the Shiite militias. Basra is a classic example, with the police chief of that town openly admitting that he doesn't even control his own forces.

As for the rest, the daily attacks belie the notion that the central government is somehow in control, by any meaningful definition of that word. Might I suggest you do a little reading before you expose your ignorance again?

Posted by: PaulB on March 22, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, determined to continue betraying his ignorance, writes: "Fallujah and Tel Afar are 100% under the control of the Iraqi Army,"

No, dear, they aren't. I know this is tough for you to accept, but do try to catch up.

"you fucking morons."

Dear me, I do believe that our good friend is losing it.

"Basra is as well assisted by the Brits."

Dear, you really don't know what's going on in Basra, do you? I really do strongly suggest you do a little research. Google would probably help.

"Mosul is also under the control of the Army albeit with some violence still ensuing."

Which sort of belies the notion that it is "under control," now doesn't it, Jay?

"This month will mark the second month since the war began with the lowest number of American casualties."

Do you know why that is, Jay? It's because we're not poking our heads out as much. Do look into the casualties of the Iraqis and get back to us, won't you? You might be a little shocked at how not "under control" everything is.

"You need to admit to yourselves that your are all fucking delusional and subscribe to only those reports which support you defeatest brain dead selfish agenda,"

ROFLMAO.... Coming from Jay, this is rich.

"You fucking idiot hypocrites!!!!!"

Yup, definitely losing it. He just can't bear to have his world view challenged. Poor guy....

Posted by: PaulB on March 22, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

As stated by the terrorists bitch Apollo, "Bush was planning for war the minute he took office". What a bunch of duplicitous fucking crap. I thought your mantra was that he wasn't enough attention when he took office, you terrorists whore.

Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame are media whores who set out from the beginning to discredit any findings by the administration and deserve to be exposed for the weak liberal fucks they are.

Pew polls also suggest that well over 60% of Americans support the successful conclusion of iraq and a zogby poll stated that over 70% of Iraqi's are optimistic about their future. Ram those polls up your liberal ass.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

I like to expose my "ignorance" to 12-year-old girls

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

stupid git: Ah, the strains of "Nearer my Bush to thee" from the remaining trolls on deck.

ROTFLMAO! That's funny!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB you're so fucking stupid it's hard to believe. You just stated my very point of the Kurds in control of the north, do you suppose those kurds are part of the solution? And the south controlled by Shiites, also maybe part of the peaceful solution? Who do you think comprises the Iraqi security and military forces?

Get a fucking real debate, moron?

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, as charming as ever, writes: "What a bunch of duplicitous fucking crap."

Well, no, actually, Jay, it isn't. Do read up on PNAC, won't you? As well as Bush's comments immediately after 9/11? It's all there in the public record.

"I thought your mantra was that he wasn't enough attention when he took office, you terrorists whore."

No, dear. Not only is this incoherent, but it completely misses the point.

"Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame are media whores who set out from the beginning to discredit any findings by the administration and deserve to be exposed for the weak liberal fucks they are."

ROFLMAO.... Oh, my.... Too, too funny. Not only is this 100% false, but poor Jay cannot even bring himself to actually look into the facts of the matter.

"Pew polls also suggest that well over 60% of Americans support the successful conclusion of iraq"

No shit, Sherlock. Talk about a completely meaningless point.... "Gee, the polls show that Americans want us to be successful in Iraq! That means something!" So tell me, Jay, are you really this stupid? Or are you just play-acting?

Posted by: PaulB on March 22, 2006 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, looking in the mirror:Get a fucking real debate, moron?

LOL!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, looking in the mirror:Get a fucking real debate, moron?

LOL!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Prof. Juan Cole is the utmost authority on Iraq? Where in Iraq exactly is he?

Near where you are, isn't he?

Oh, that's right.

You won't enlist.

You won't accept a tax increase to help pay for your war.

You aren't lobbying your congresscritters to reverse military salary and benefits cuts, or increase the VA budget Bush slashed just as he threw so many new soldiers into the system.

You don't ask anything of yourself, but no sacrifice is too great for others.

You just run your mouth about "unity," spill other people's blood and spend other people's money. You love death and misery, but don't let any of that icky stuff near you.

What a despicable excuse for a human being.

Posted by: shortstop on March 22, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Cut 'N Run Jay: Prof. Juan Cole is the utmost authority on Iraq? Where in Iraq exactly is he?

Juan R. I. Cole is Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History at the History Department of the University of Michigan. A bibliography of his writings may be found here. He has written extensively about modern Islamic movements in Egypt, the Persian Gulf, and South Asia. He has given numerous media and press interviews on the War on Terrorism since September 11, 2001, as well as concerning the Iraq War in 2003. His current research focuses on two contemporary phenomena: 1) Shiite Islam in Iraq and Iran and 2) the "jihadi" or "sacred-war" strain of Muslim radicalism, including al-Qaeda and the Taliban among other groups. Cole commands Arabic, Persian and Urdu and reads some Turkish, knows both Middle Eastern and South Asian Islam, and lived in a number of places in the Muslim world for extended periods of time. His most recent book is Sacred Space and Holy War (IB Tauris 2002). This volume collects some of his work on the history of the Shiite branch of Islam in modern Iraq, Iran and the Gulf. He treated Shi`ism in his co-edited book, Shi`ism and Social Protest (Yale, 1986), of his first monograph, Roots of North Indian Shi`ism in Iran and Iraq (California, 1989). His interest in Iranian religion is further evident in his work on Baha'i studies, which eventuated in his 1998 book, Modernity and the Millennium: The Genesis of the Baha'i Faith in the Nineteenth Century Middle East (Columbia University Press). He has also written a good deal about modern Egypt, including a book, Colonialism and Revolution in the Middle East: Social and Cultural Origins of Egypt's `Urabi Movement (Princeton, 1993). His concern with comparative history and Islamics is evident in his edited Comparing Muslim Societies (Michigan, 1992).

Scholastic Awards and Grants ; Hudson Research Professorship, Winter, 2003 ; Award for Research in Turkey, May, 1999, International Institute, U-M ; Research Excellence Award, College of LSA, U-M, August, 1997 ; OVPR and LSA Faculty Assistance Fund Grants, June, 1995 ; LSA Faculty Assistance Fund Grant, March 1994 ; Rackham Research Partnership, 1992-93 ; National Endowment for the Humanities, Jan.-June, 1991 ; Office of the Vice-President for Research, U-M (Pakistan), Summer 1990 ; Horace H. Rackham Faculty Grant, Egypt, Summer 1988 ; SSRC/ACLS Post-Doctoral Award, England, Summer 1986 ; Fulbright-Hays Islamic Civilization Postdoctoral Award, Egypt, 1985-86 ; SSRC/ACLS Doctoral Fellowship, Pakistan, India, UK, 1981-83 ; Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Fellowship, India, 1982

Now where in Iraq are you serving, Jay?

Posted by: Stefan on March 22, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Hey stupid terrorist bitch PaulB, have you read at all the acounts of Laura Ingrahams recent visit to Iraq? Or the NYT columnists that visited as well? Both of them we're well outside the green zone and touring the country courtesy of the Iraqi Army and we're very impressed by the lack of violence, kids playing in the street and the general optimistic attitude of the common people of the country. That blies your fucking brain dead defeatest liberal attitude. But Zarqawi would be heartened by your "lay down and service him" attitude. You're a weak fucking liberal bitch.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Damn, this was so good, let's read it again. Well done, stupid git!

As the SS Bushtanic sinks slowly into the mud of the Potomac, Captain Edward Smith Bush stands valiently at the helm saying "I find this discussion of our bringing democracy to the world fascinating".

Flight controllers at Clueless National Airport keep advising incoming pilots to not take notice of the many rats swimming toward shore.

Ah, the strains of "Nearer my Bush to thee" from the remaining trolls on deck.

Posted by: shortstop on March 22, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, shortstop!

Is it haiku time? 5, 7 and 5, is the drill, right? I may try a few.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, still missing the point, writes: "PaulB you're so fucking stupid it's hard to believe."

ROFL.... Coming from you, Jay, that's a compliment.

"You just stated my very point of the Kurds in control of the north,"

No, dear, I didn't. I contradicted your point. Alas that you seem unable to grasp this.

"do you suppose those kurds are part of the solution?"

That depends, dear. They can either be a part of the problem or a part of the solution. As long as the militias in the north are loyal to Kurdish leaders and not to the central Iraqi government, they are part of the problem, something that you seem wholly unable to grasp.

"And the south controlled by Shiites, also maybe part of the peaceful solution?"

Only if you don't want a true representative democracy, with a meaningful central government that is actually in control of the country.

"Who do you think comprises the Iraqi security and military forces?"

Mostly the militias, loyal to their various tribes, sects, and religious leaders. Out here in the real world, that's a pretty serious problem.

"Get a fucking real debate, moron?"

Oh, I have one, Jay. Alas, I fear that you are wholly incapable of understanding it.

Posted by: PaulB on March 22, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

I actually read accounts by people that are on the ground, including my brother-in-law and am not impressed by some ivory tower liberal fuck who deems himself intellectually superior yet doesn't have a fucking clue.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Poor Jay, still desperately grasping for a point, writes: "Hey stupid terrorist bitch PaulB, have you read at all the acounts of Laura Ingrahams recent visit to Iraq?"

Why yes, dear, I have. Did you have a point to make?

"That blies your fucking brain dead defeatest liberal attitude."

No, dear, it doesn't, but you go ahead and think that if you want. I know how important it is for you to maintain your little fantasies.

"But Zarqawi would be heartened by your 'lay down and service him' attitude. You're a weak fucking liberal bitch."

ROFLMAO... Oh, my, Jay; I'm just so in awe of your manly prowess. The testosterone pouring off of you is making me all faint.... This is just fricking hilarious. I can't wait to see what Jay comes up with next!

Posted by: PaulB on March 22, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Iraqi casualties are the highest they've been since the invasion. If that's not an indicator of civil war, nothing is, unless you went to peg it to an ever-stronger insurgency.

Take your pick.

The U.S. has cut way back on patrols, which is why troop casualties are down.

Posted by: Windhorse on March 22, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, you dumbshit. Ingrahm, a cut-rate Rebuplican whore, travelled in heavily armoured US convoys. And i read her diary. She spoke to no common Iraqis. She is nothing but a PR hack.

Posted by: casey on March 22, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB, or terrorist bitch, whichever you prefer. Have you noticed that the Iraqi Army stayed united following the mosque bombings? Or did that get past you? The fact that they did not divide into sectarian groups and join the violence speaks volumes about their integrity, which is much more than yours.

The terrorists have defeated you already which isn't surprising, I am sure you fold quite easily. But the Iraqi army will withstand and eventually defeat the scourge, much to your dismay.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

How old is MountainDan? He sounds hot. Maybe he'll make me squeal like a pig.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

A13: Is it haiku time? 5, 7 and 5, is the drill, right? I may try a few.

That's the most common version; there are lots of others, none of which I can remember. Do it, baby!

Posted by: shortstop on March 22, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, now only your brother-in-law is in Iraq? Before you said your son is there too. What, did he stop writing to you. Can't blame him

Posted by: sirbu on March 22, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Au Contraire casey, it is the MSM that are the democrat whores, running to the press room with every IED that the terrorists know will lead the nightly news. The democrats have besome nothing but bitch pawns for the terrorists.

Listen to her radio program and you will open your eyes on her account of Iraq and the people she spoke with. Or do you not want to hear that?

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Jay wrote: "PaulB, or terrorist bitch, whichever you prefer."

Dear heart, do you honestly think I care what you call me? You're here to entertain me, nothing more.

"Have you noticed that the Iraqi Army stayed united following the mosque bombings?"

Dear heart, has it really escaped your notice how the Iraqi Army is formed? And how some of the units stood by and allowed the violence to continue rather than stepping in to stop it? You really don't see anything that contradicts your little fantasies, do you?

"The fact that they did not divide into sectarian groups and join the violence speaks volumes about their integrity, which is much more than yours."

Dear heart, the Iraqi military is already divided into sectarian groups.

"The terrorists have defeated you already which isn't surprising, I am sure you fold quite easily."

Yes, dear, whatever you say. Do be sure and write me from Iraq when you enlist, won't you?

"But the Iraqi army will withstand and eventually defeat the scourge, much to your dismay."

Yes, dear, and if pigs had wings, they'd be pigeons.

Posted by: PaulB on March 22, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Brother in law, son, does it matter? As long as someone else is doing the dying, I can stay here and enthusiastically endorse grown men raping 12 year old girls! Freedom!

Posted by: Jay Jay on March 22, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB,

I smell desperation when trolls begin name-calling and using profanity and also referring to panties. I prefer briefs over boxer shorts. How about you?

Can this be the best the Right has to offer for debate? I'm underwhelmed by the absolute inanity of these trolls. Closeted Chuckles will surface soon to call one of us "faggots" before long, no disrespect intended by quoting that smear to gay folks on my part, unlike Cheney/Jay/Charlie/Chuckles/Roger/Jason/Don P and any one of his paranoid schizophrenic personalities. Dang, I wish the boy would take his meds.

shortstop...you're the pro, but here a humble attempt:

Terrist bitch. La-la-la!
Why is Jay screaming so loud?
Bush sucks. Most know it.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

He's there to sirbu, just don't hear from him as often. He is enjoying the accomplishments though that he sees on the ground.

PaulB, continue to sing to your choir. Your vapid comments are complete and utter bullshit liberal tripe without any trace of respect for anyone of other than your pretentious self important left weak ass agenda. FYI, the Iraqi military IS comprised of Sectarian factions but are united on the peaceful outcome of their country. Get that through your fucking liberal wooden head.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

OK, flubbed the first attempt a bit.

Mellon-Scaife craps out,
Hiring these guys to troll threads.
Bush still sucks polls say.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

A "plan that allows our troops to begin to come home" is easy: have them pack up and leave.

Posted by: cld on March 22, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

So now Apollo is disgusted when the name calling and anger is directed back at him! What a fucking panty waist liberal weak ass bitch. Can dish it out but can't take it. When the going gets tough, the liberals run away.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Poor Jay, still determined to show how outmatched he is, writes: "PaulB, continue to sing to your choir."

Gee, thanks, Jay. I've been breathlessly waiting for your permission. Whew...glad I have it now.

"Your vapid comments are complete and utter bullshit liberal tripe without any trace of respect for anyone of other than your pretentious self important left weak ass agenda."

ROFLMAO.... I just love Jay, don't you? I wonder if he realizes that by losing it as he has, he has pretty much acknowledged defeat? Jay, dear, do come back when you've actually got an answer for my arguments, won't you? I really hate to win this easily.

"FYI, the Iraqi military IS comprised of Sectarian factions"

Ah, Jay has finally recognized a genuine fact.

"but are united on the peaceful outcome of their country."

Are they, dear? And you know this how exactly? Where is their loyalty placed, Jay? Whom do they answer to? How about those units that stood aside and allowed violence to take place? Or who participated in it themselves, death squad style?

"Get that through your fucking liberal wooden head."

Yes, dear, whatever you say.

Posted by: PaulB on March 22, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Decency. Honor.
Dragged in the dirt by Bushie
He spits on the flag.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Many fine men and women are serving in Iraq. Bush's telling everyone of an open ended policy is eerily like another Glorious Leader once telling General Paulus not to retreat.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 22, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

"Yes dear, whatever you say" - PaulB

Well said bitch. That's exactly how the democrats react to the terrorists too.

How do I know the Iraqi military is united for peace? Because i believe in them and their quest to have a peaceful country that participates on the world stage with the rest of the civilized countries. That's called faith, a virtue of which your dark little selfish liberal heart could not possibly possess.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Fucking on-going fucking brain dead fucking permenent fucking delgation fucking Aghanistan fucking Iraqi's fucking ahppening fucking defeatest fucking up-risings fucking acounts fucking we're fucking blies. So fuck you, you liberal bitches.

I didn't know where to put these:
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

In response to Stefan:

The Iraqis have most likely already suffered (I believe - I dont think anyone really knows) many more than 50,000 people killed as a result of our invasion. Is it OK for us to invade a people and (indirectly) cause that kind of devastation and not be willing to suffer the same loss ourselves in order to fix it?

About troop levels, yes, I would support 500,000 or more soldiers in Iraq, which would clearly require a draft. I think had we done the draft in the first place, the war might be completely over now. Of course no one knows for sure. But an invasion and occupation on this scale should not be done on the cheap, as it was.

You also argue that our cause is already bungled and lost and that staying will only cause more death and destruction on all sides. Admittedly, I find this argument more persuasive. One wonders if an incompetent administration given more resources wouldn't just screw up the war on a larger scale.

But ultimately, I find that argument unpersuasive. I think we still have some chance of ultimate success (semi-stable republican Iraqi govt) with just the force structure we already have, so tripling or quadrupling it would dramatically change the odds. And I think if we have a reasonable chance of success, we should stay.

Believe me, the last thing I want to see is GWB strutting around triumphantly, but this question is about larger things than one idiot President. It's about national honor and acceptance of responsibility.

Posted by: phlsphr on March 22, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Bush weakens the base.
33 percent approve.
Repubs run away!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, digging that hole deeper and deeper, wrote: "Well said bitch. That's exactly how the democrats react to the terrorists too."

ROFL.... Yes, dear, whatever you say. Alas, poor Jay; is this really what he has come to?

"How do I know the Iraqi military is united for peace?"

That was the question, Jay. Good for you; you know how to read.

"Because i believe in them and their quest to have a peaceful country that participates on the world stage with the rest of the civilized countries."

Translation: You don't know; you have no idea; you have no fucking clue. Jay, you really didn't need to confirm this; we already knew this from your other pronouncements. When you can tell the difference between facts and wishful thinking, do let us know, won't you? Maybe then, you'll actually be able to bring something to the debate.

"That's called faith, a virtue of which your dark little selfish liberal heart could not possibly possess."

Yes, dear, whatever you say.

Poor Jay....

Posted by: PaulB on March 22, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Mommy gave me a microscope and a pair of tweezers so I can find my manhood. Goodie Goodie!

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, I'd like to suggest that you read what a well-respected commenter on this blog wrote:

Well I see the mindless conservatives, void of any coherent debate or plan, have now fallen back on personal attacks.

You really should listen to this man, Jay; you might learn something.

Posted by: PaulB on March 22, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

You have no fucking clue either PaulB, you merely see an IED explode, consider all is lost and tuck tail and run. I look at the glass as half full, you on the other hand see it as half empty.

Until you have a fucking plan on addressing the real problem of the middle east: Islamic Theocracy; Peril and Politics of a Radical Religion, don't think that you are even in the debate. You're nothing but a sideshow distraction.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

It's called policy attacks PaulB, not that you would know the difference.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

I got so excited yelling at the comminists on the internets I crapped myself and got spit all over the bib Mommy makes me wear when I type. She's not gonna be happy when she comes home from the truckstop and finds out I stank up the trailer again. I guess I'll just tell her to be an optimist and think of my diaper as half-empty.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Bush's mess: Iraq.
We know the lame duck fucked up.
November looms large.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Outstanding work, Apollo! Keep it up!

Posted by: shortstop on March 22, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Did anyone actually post at 12:58 PM or what that a tiny part of DH Lawrence's decomposing brain?

Posted by: stupid git on March 22, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

phlsphr, if only more democrats would bring your debate to the table, the world would be better off. You are an opposing voice of reason, I still disagree with you on the main issue but you do have good points.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Man, I know it's not nice to make fun of the incapacitated, but I would seriously enjoy a look at Jay's chart. And police record. And divorce papers. And employment history.

Sorry about the prescription coverage running out, though.

Posted by: shortstop on March 22, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, clueless as ever, writes: "You have no fucking clue either PaulB"

If that's the case, it should be easy to refute my points, right? Why are having so much trouble with this, Jay?

"you merely see an IED explode, consider all is lost and tuck tail and run."

No, dear, I look at all of the available data, not just the data that fits into little fantasies I like to create.

"I look at the glass as half full, you on the other hand see it as half empty."

No, dear, I look at the available data, at past history, and dear little Georgie's pronouncements and simply point out the disconnect between the former and the latter.

"Until you have a fucking plan on addressing the real problem of the middle east"

Dear, I don't need a "fucking plan" to point out the problems with the current administration's plans (or lack thereof). Or to point out that you quite clearly don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about.

"You're nothing but a sideshow distraction."

ROFLMAO.... Funny, Jay, that's precisely what I said about you. You are hilarious, though, so you are definitely good for something.

"It's called policy attacks PaulB, not that you would know the difference."

No, dear, it's called ad hominem. Have you re-read what that wise philosopher wrote, Jay?

Posted by: PaulB on March 22, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, if only Harry Reid could just look people in the eye when he said his two-cents worth, instead of downward at the podium.

If Reid is a leader, he's only a leader for spineless centist Dems. The kind of leader that continues to lose campaigns for Dems and their issues - the "you can't beat Bush, you might as well knee before Bush and try not to embarrassed yourself" crowd, even in the face of Bush's ever declining poll numbers.

Banking on Reid will continue to lose elections for the Dem Party as well as banking on Hillary. If this is what Kevin considers to be what a real Dem is, than Kevin might as well be a Republican. Maybe he already is one because it seems Kevin is more like Al From than he isn't - the same "save Bush from any of those belligerent Dems" whom dare complain about Bush and what is doing. Its the all important goal of Washington Monthly and and the TNR.

As for me, I'm sticking with Al Gore, Feingold, and Howard Dean and why the MoveOn.org crowd still hangs out with centrist Dems that like to denounce them the way Sen. Obama, Hillary and real life flip-flopper Kerry AND Karl Rove does seems silly to me. Why not start their own party when it seems that centrist Dems would like to eradicate these silly lefty liberals in the same way Karl Rove would like to do it.

I can certainly understand why Howard Dean isn't interested in investing in Reid or saving money for Washington centrist Dem campaigns. He seems to be reinventing the Democratic Party. Better to rebuild the party if this is indeed the best that Reid can do or be and I'm sure Nevada would perfer a real Republican over a pretend one like Reid. The same why I'm sure that Kevin Drum is going to like the Republican Party much more than the Party Howard Dean has in mind for future.

Posted by: Cheryl on March 22, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

"I don't need a plan" - PaulB

Is that how the democrats plan on winning the next election and guiding this country?

Well done and well said.

Past history? How about transitioning from a violent dictatorship to a freely elected representational government, an organized and united 200,000+ military and Saddam on trial in just three years. How's that for history?

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Frank Herbert said that Bush was never leaving Iraq and at the time he wrote the article (pre-nytselect) I thought there be no way Bush could stay in Iraq but it seems McCain is all for staying the course too. Herbert said, "It's the oil stupid", and damned if that lefty liberal wasn't right.

It always has been the oil but Republicans are going to say "terrorist" and Centrist Dems can't bring themselves to say the oil word without telling lefty liberals how stupid and foolish it is to say its all about the oil.

But why is Bush building those billion dollar military bases in Iraq? Why does Bush want to say in a war he's most certainly losing? The entire Mideast will surely NOT appreciate Bush's pretend help.

Zbigniew Brzezinski says that that things will really get a lot worse in Iraq so that if Iraq is really interested in a functioning government for the people of Iraq, than the new Iraqi government should call for Bush to leave. If the Iraqi government doesn't call for Bush leave - is it a puppet government? Certainly the Mideast will see it that way.

Why did the Saudis tell the US military to leave? Why can't Iraq do the same thing too?

Posted by: Cheryl on March 22, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

If mommy doesn't get home soon and clean me up I'm gonna be late for my NAMBLA meeting. I think she could make it if she'd just blow one less trucker.

Posted by: Jay on March 22, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, rather idiotically, wrote: "Is that how the democrats plan on winning the next election and guiding this country?"

Jay, dear, there are two problems with this little question of yours. The first is that you quite deliberately and quite dishonestly took my quote out of context. The second is that I'm not a politician or a party leader. I'm not even a Democrat, so whatever point you thought you were making is quite moot, not to mention quite idiotic.

"Well done and well said."

Why thank you, Jay, dear. I wish I could say the same thing about you.

"Past history? How about transitioning from a violent dictatorship to a freely elected representational government, an organized and united 200,000+ military and Saddam on trial in just three years. How's that for history?"

Dear heart, we've already been through this. You have no idea how "organized and united" the military is, nor do you have any idea whether the government will eventually be a truly representational government or not. Do come back when you can tell the difference between fantasy and reality, won't you?

Oh, and nice cherry-picking. Remember that little key word, "all," Jay? When you're ready to look at all of the facts, we might be able to have a conversation. Until then, I'm afraid that you're just here for my amusement.

Posted by: PaulB on March 22, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Shortstop,

Still working on obtaining all of his/her records, but the DD-214 appears to be non-existent. DoD needs a new DD file for Chicken Hawk Wannabes, say DD-0000, otherwise known as the Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda file. It should be printed on yellow paper.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 22, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Since my previously mentioned reference to Repub strategist Kevin Phillips and his new book, American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century seemed to put Jay over the edge, let me push him farther to the brink.

Some excerpts from Phillips' CNN interview [with emphasis added]:

DOBBS: Former Republican Party strategist Kevin Phillips joins us here tonight. His new book is called "American Theocracy." It is a provocative indictment of the administration's foreign and economic policy, and examines, among other things, how the religious right is driving this administration's policy. Kevin, it is going good to have you with us.
KEVIN PHILLIPS, AUTHOR, "AMERICAN THEOCRACY": Nice to be here.
DOBBS: This is an indictment, clearly and straightforwardly. What drove you to the conclusions that you've reached?
PHILLIPS: Well, there are a lot of, I suppose, launching pads for this. But one, as many years ago I wrote a book called "The Emerging Republican Majority," was sort of the outline of the Republican coalition.
DOBBS: What was it, what, 37 years ago?
PHILLIPS: Ah. 1969 is when it was published. It started before the election. But what's happened to the Republican coalition in the last 10 years especially is it's been moved more and more towards religious yardsticks. People who go to church. People who favor religion defining government. People who have just a whole set of concerns that go beyond economics.
One of the reasons I think we have kind of screwed up economic politician in some ways is that a lot of Americans have stopped worrying about the economy because they're waiting for the second coming.
DOBBS: And you mean this quite literally?
PHILLIPS: I mean it quite literally.
DOBBS: You talk about 30 to 40 percent the electorate is caught up in scripture, exerting their influence, even power, over the White House and the Republican party. You're comfortable that it's that large a number of people, and that indeed that influence is felt that strongly within the White House?
PHILLIPS: Well, I think so. And it's partly because a considerable number of Republicans and conservatives and evangelicals believe that religion should guide politics and they have no hesitation about pushing their view on a whole host of issues. Whether it be the biblical aspect of the Middle East or science on the White House.
DOBBS: Kevin, your new book, a very important book, "American Theocracy," got off to a bang up start today because, when the president was being asked questions in Cleveland, this is -- I'd like to show you what happened there along with everyone watching and listening. If we could roll that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Do you believe this, that the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism are signs of the apocalypse?
BUSH: I haven't really thought of it that way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: The question was specifically about Kevin Phillips' new book, "American Theocracy," in which you postulate as we have just said, the influence of -- it's interesting. The answer by the president went on for five minutes. And as one of my colleagues said, a simple yes or no would have done it, it seemed to him. That isn't what we got.
PHILLIPS: He can't. A survey by "Newsweek" several years back found that 45 percent of American Christians believed in Armageddon, that it was coming. And about the same percentage thought the anti- Christ was already on Earth. Now, if you were to take the religious Christians, and the Republican coalition includes most of the religious Christians, you probably have about 55 percent of the Republican coalition that believes in this. He can't answer the question weather or not he believes in Armageddon or it's happening in the Middle East. He's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't.
DOBBS: As a matter of fact, the questioner went on to say, do you believe in this, and if not, why not. Literally, as you put it, he was damned if he did and damned if he didn't. We don't mean that in a sectarian way.
Let's turn to the other aspect of this. The influence, the capture, not only of this White House, but the country by debt. The financializaion, if you will, every word you wrote has a ring of truth to it in that we think of all the debt. We look at the explosion in Wall Street. We look at the explosion in financial instruments. What doesn't go away is that four and a half trillion dollars in trade debt.
Now we can go up to nine trillion dollars with ease because Congress has made it convenient for the treasury to do so. We have unfunded liabilities in Medicare and Medicaid. Trillions of dollars in Social Security. The impact on this country in monumental and it is lasting, isn't it?
PHILLIPS: Unfortunately, it's hard for me to see, short of some panic, that goes into a financial crisis, how you really lessen this and lessening it that way with the vulnerability of housing would be a disaster.
But what's happened in a nutshell is that since the 1970s, you have seen manufacturing in this country slide as a percentage of the GDP from a very large lead back then. And during the 1990s it was passed by financial services, the FIRE sector: finance, insurance and real estate. By 2003, you basically had 21 percent in the FIRE sector, GDP. And you had 13, 14 percent in manufacturing.
Now what's pushed up the roll of financial services in that sector is in most part, debt. In the sense of public, international, private, mortgage, credit cards, huge.
DOBBS: And I don't even dwell on the possibilities or the prospects for panic. Because one can hope against hope that we'll make policy adjustments. But what is clear is that our working men and women in this country, their families, our middle class is at huge risk here. And I have got to ask you. How hopeful are you that we can see this become once again become a government that represent the people who count, who make the country work?
PHILLIPS: I wish I could say I thought that would happen but if you look at two previous leading world economic powers, Britain, 100 years ago, and the Dutch after New Amsterdam, but they were considerable. In each case what happened was an erosion of actually making things, as the society shifted towards trading things and moving money around and all of that sort of stuff.
Once you start to make that transition, there doesn't seem to be any way to go back because you create an elite that is then a set of vested interest in the new way of doing things. And they don't much care whether or not they're still making steel in Sheffield, or in Pittsburgh.
DOBBS: We do have to one advantage. And that is a Constitution and 200 years of tradition and values that have served us well. Maybe it's -- I'm going to be an optimist, Kevin, and I know in your heart you want to be as well, or you couldn't have written such an important examination of the crisis that confronts us.
Kevin Phillips, the book is "American Theocracy." It's terrific -- it's an important read. We thank you for being here. Come back soon. Thank you. [Transcript]

Yes, indeed. Thank you! Let's hope we do make policy adjustments beginning in November by throwing the Rubber-Stamp Repub bums out!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I said excerpts but posted the whole Phillips interview. So sue me.

Now for some parting haikus (Thanks, shortstop!)

Another Bush speech.
Iraq is getting better?!
Would they dare Iran?

Bush terror alert!
With Bush approval sinking
They try fear. Again!

Rummy, Cheney, Bush.
Who's the baddest of them all?
Think worse, worser, worst.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Jay was quite the wimp in middle school. Gawky, unathletic, and pale. It didn't help that he had a small dick as well. It's not surprising that he's turned to ranting on the internet. It's much safer in cyberspace. No one can kick his ass via broadband.

Posted by: Coach Gardner, Jay's 8th Grade PE Teacher on March 22, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent work as usual, Apollo 13 - But, with the Rapture nigh, why should they be concerned with our descent back into a two-tier nation? As long as we don't have a run on tulips...........

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 22, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Apollo, you are the most badass haiku writer on this blog. I bow to you.

Posted by: shortstop on March 22, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

You are too humble, shortstop. In your honor..

Shortstop rocks the trolls
With wit and delightful prose.
Do not tempt with her teeth.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Down at Midlands Elementary, I learnt it to be worseterest.

Posted by: George W on March 22, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry about that shortstop...preview is my friend.

CORRECTION

Shortstop rocks the trolls
With wit and delightful prose.
Do not tempt her teeth.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Hi, 3rd Paul!

Glad to see you and thanks.

Yeah, my sister is a Fundie and yes, she's has the idea that what Bush has done and is doing doesn't matter since Jesus is coming soon anyway. I try to point out the anti-Christian policies of this Administration but it doesn't get through.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

jay: Considering that the Iraqi military now controls over 50% of the country


The Pentagon says that "the -only- Iraqi battalion capable of fighting without U.S. support has been downgraded." February 25, 2006


"We are not killing them faster than they are being created." - Brig. Gen. Robert Caslen, the Pentagon's deputy director for the war on terrorism. 3/2/06

Posted by: thispsaceavailable on March 22, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent morning (Not yet noon in Portland)

The wit and wisdom of Apollo and Shortstop.

The skill of the rapier by PaulB - the thrashing of the stick, er twig by the trolls.

The remnants of the trolls reminds me of scenes from Antietam. However, those poor souls were actual soldiers who died gallantly. Must not smear them with the gutless wonders of above.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 22, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, fuckwit pedo
Equally at home trolling
Playgrounds and this blog

Unemployed loser
Eating canned beans and cheetos
Spit-flecked TV tray

Serving his nation
Commodore 64 on
Bravely types nonsense

Fucking fucking fuck
Fucking fucking fuckety
Jay knows damned few words

Posted by: Haime? No, Haiku on March 22, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you, Paul and Apollo; the compliment is returned.

Rut roh, though; this is the second time this week (and it's only Wednesday!) someone has referred to my teeth as sharp. What's up with that? Please tell me this isn't some deep-seated, fellatio-related fear men talk about when we're not around.

Wait, don't tell me. There's a reason why y'all talk about that stuff when we're not around. Carry on.

Posted by: shortstop on March 22, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Wow! Kudos to our new, anonymous haikuist. Methinks I hear a refrain of a familiar, and missed, voice there.

Posted by: shortstop on March 22, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Nah, shortstop, it was just me (or Haime, if you prefer).

Jay epiphany!
Whiny ass titty baby
I am, totally

Posted by: solar on March 22, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I commend you, solar. Look for Jay to show up about 4 p.m. CST with one of his other handles--usually the drill for him after a humiliation of this magnitude.

Posted by: shortstop on March 22, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

I got a million of them for him, when he finishes sweeping up at Burger King

Took my lunch money
Must be those communistas
Damn! Third time this week

Green with dumb envy
Wishing he had passed third grade
Mute with might have beens

Posted by: solar on March 22, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Woo hoo, solar.

I bow to your haikus.

Oh, boy. Whacking trolls haiku-style. Sweet! Bring 'em on. A thread to bookmark for sure.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Please tell me this isn't some deep-seated, fellatio-related fear men talk about when we're not around.

LOL! Maybe?! I'll watch it, shortstop, I meant no offense but only the highest-respect. LOL! *smacks forehead* Doh.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, I wasn't offended, Apollo. I thought it was funny.

Posted by: shortstop on March 22, 2006 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Good, shortstop, because you deserves props on a regular basis around s'here, and yeah, you're right. It is funny. Hadn't thought of it, um, that way. LOL!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 22, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Uuuurp!

That Jay sure is a nice piece of ass.

Posted by: Uncle Penis on March 22, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

phlsphr wrote: "The Iraqis have most likely already suffered (I believe - I dont think anyone really knows) many more than 50,000 people killed as a result of our invasion. Is it OK for us to invade a people and (indirectly) cause that kind of devastation and not be willing to suffer the same loss ourselves in order to fix it?"

That's rather an odd question, I think. I don't really see the two casualty numbers as being related to one another. Moreover, I'm not sure how you're defining, "fix it," which ties into the broader questions of exit strategies, metrics, possible outcomes, and so on. Note that I do not expect you, necessarily, to have answer to those questions, but I do expect that of the administration that took us into this war.

The real questions here are far broader than just the narrow one of the number of people killed and wounded. It still comes down to costs, benefits, risks, and so on -- not just in terms of money and deaths, but also in terms of military readiness, American interests and foreign policy, security, intelligence, and quite a few others, as well.

If the outcome in, say, 5-10 years, is a stable, united, democratic, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-religious Iraq, with respect for civil liberties, some degree of separation between sacred and secular power, with mutual trust and tolerance and a noticeable democratization effect throughout the Middle East, the utopia envisioned by the neocons in the Bush administration, then I think that few would argue with the cost thus far.

If the outcome is a fractured society, marked by conflict, by religious extremism, by increasing intolerance and instability in the country and the region, then I would say that it's pretty clear that the cost is too high.

"About troop levels, yes, I would support 500,000 or more soldiers in Iraq, which would clearly require a draft."

I dunno... I'm leaning toward the opinion that it's too late for that kind of solution, even if we could do it. In any case, I think the point is moot, since it's pretty clear that neither party would be willing to propose this with matters as they stand in Iraq today, particularly in an election year. It would have been nice to have had those troops when we so badly needed them. Now, though, I'm not sure what they could realistically accomplish.

"But an invasion and occupation on this scale should not be done on the cheap, as it was."

No argument here. At least it wasn't done as cheaply as Rumsfeld initially wanted, thank goodness.

"You also argue that our cause is already bungled and lost and that staying will only cause more death and destruction on all sides. Admittedly, I find this argument more persuasive."

As do I. I truly would like to believe that we can bring about a good outcome in Iraq, but as time goes by, I can't help thinking that we've blown it and now we have to find not a good solution but the least-bad one. I truly hope I'm wrong.

"One wonders if an incompetent administration given more resources wouldn't just screw up the war on a larger scale."

Given the Bush administration's record thus far, my own belief is that this is the case. They have shown no signs of competence thus far; more resources would be just more for them to squander and screw up.

"Believe me, the last thing I want to see is GWB strutting around triumphantly, but this question is about larger things than one idiot President."

No question there. That's the one point that our resident trolls here, even the semi-intelligent ones, have never been able to grasp. I want to be wrong about Iraq. And if that means that Bush and the Republican Party get a huge boost, that's absolutely fine with me. I would absolutely love to be on this blog in, say, a year's time and publicly eat crow. Sadly, I don't think this will happen. I've been waiting to admit I was wrong for three years now and, so far, I haven't been.

"It's about national honor and acceptance of responsibility."

Here's where we part company. Continuing a war, with all of its many costs, for national honor alone is one of the most foolhardy and pigheaded things we could do. I'm sure that's not quite the way you meant that, but I find that phrase and others like it, carelessly tossed around by far too many people. If it's the right thing to do, then we should do it because it's the right thing to do, regardless of our national honor. And if it's the wrong thing to do, we should not do it, even if our national honor takes a hit.

"Acceptance of responsibility" is a little better, but only a little. The phrase implies that there is something that we can do, which may or may not be the case in Iraq. If our staying is causing the very problems we are trying to prevent and there is little or nothing we can realistically do to fix this, then the true acceptance may well be that we broke it but there is nothing we can do to fix it.

Posted by: PaulB on March 22, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Remember, that the question Bush was answering is will there ever be NO U.S. FORCES IN IRAQ. None, as in zero, as in not a single one.

It only seems logical that, as long as Iraq has a government who will support it, at minimum, the U.S. would keep some kind of semi-permanent base(s) in the country, for any number of reasons. Let's say a 3,000 to 6,000 US military force.

Hardly an open-ended commitment to an Iraqi war for a battle-weary assembly of troops and US taxpayers.

Posted by: Craig on March 22, 2006 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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