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Tilting at Windmills

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March 26, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

IRAQ IN THE HEARTLAND....The LA Times reports that even heartland conservatives are starting to abandon the Republican Party over Iraq:

As Liz Larrison cooks up breakfast for customers at her family's diner in a farm town long friendly to the Republican Party, she listens as the regulars sling political opinions as easily as she slings ham steaks.

...."Nobody is against the people fighting the war. I think you'll hear that everywhere," she said. "We're just against it going on and on."

....In fact, Larrison who, like many of her customers, considers herself independent but tends to vote for Republicans says she will vote against her Republican congressman.

Russ Feingold is absolutely right on this issue, and I wish more Democratic politicians would join him in demanding a serious plan for withdrawal of troops from Iraq. We don't have to act like pacifists, and we don't have to scream about the Bush administration being populated by war criminals. We just have to make it clear that enough's enough. An open-ended commitment in Iraq helps to fuel their civil war, not end it, and it's time to acknowledge this.

At this point, the Bush administration's incompetence has pretty much eliminated any chance we ever had for success in Iraq, but whatever chance we have left would be maximized by a serious plan for troop withdrawal. It's time.

Kevin Drum 12:20 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (98)

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Comments

That's OK -- they can redeem themselves by getting in line for Iran! I expect Lieberman to again lead the charge!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on March 26, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

the Bush administration's incompetence has pretty much eliminated any chance we ever had for success in Iraq

Are you still milking that talking point? First, no one defined "success in Iraq," so doing so would be a start toward validating your thought. Second, no matter how you define "success," there was never a chance of it from an invasion of Iraq which was based on lies to begin with.

Please try to keep up.

Posted by: Repack Rider on March 26, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Repack, I beg to differ, many trolls here have defined "success in Iraq," particularly tbrosz. They don't know how to get there from here, but they have a definition.

Posted by: Ace Franze on March 26, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Russ Feingold is also right on the Senate resolution censuring Mr. Bush for breaking the law and spying on American citizens against the provisions of FISA.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on March 26, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps this is blow-back from Rumsfelds "El Salvador Option" starting to come home to roost: where his glorious death squads murder enough people to start a civil war in Iraq. Why else would there be so many Iran-Contra alumni in the administration?

I wonder if there is an Arab dubbed version of Red Dawn being used as a recruiting film for the Iraqi insurgents.

Posted by: Peter on March 26, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you read Instapundit? He said it is simple: Just win!

No wonder he is a Law Professor!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on March 26, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

"In fact, Larrison who, like many of her customers, considers herself independent but tends to vote for Republicans says she will vote against her Republican congressman."

Sort of unrelated, but...

Didja ever notice that the Republican voters in these "here's what voters from the Heartland think" pieces always claim that they are independent, and always vote Republican? I'm sure the trolls will spew out all sorts of stuff about how this is because the Democrats are the party of creeping facism or terrorism, but I wonder if anyone can give a well-thought-out reason as to why this is?

Posted by: mmy on March 26, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

30 beheaded bodies found in Mullah Eid today. 10 executed men found in Baghdad. Are we winning hearts and minds yet?

Posted by: trifecta on March 26, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Why do Heartland Conservatives hate A-murka?

Posted by: Doofus on March 26, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum >"...It's time."

It is LONG past time

Peter >"...Why else would there be so many Iran-Contra alumni in the administration?..."

because those are all the people they have with functional brains

"The future will be a struggle between huge competing systems of psychopathology." - J. G. Ballard

Posted by: daCascadian on March 26, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

I never expected a short war. We're not fighting a country that can be defeated, we're fighting an ideology that must be defeated. The politicians that can't or won't admit that will never get my vote.

Posted by: TruthPolitik on March 26, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Any idea of "success in Iraq" has been polluted by the needless and criminal deaths, suffering, and waste of money caused by the Bush syndicate.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on March 26, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

TruthPolitik is right -- all we have to do is kill and imprison everyone with that ideology, and not get anyone else angry while doing so. Easy!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on March 26, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

This morning Newt Gingrich came up with a really catchy slogan for Democrats this year: "Had enough?" As much as I don't like Gingrich, his two words encapsulate the feelings I have recently been encountering here in the heartland. We have had enough.

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 26, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Every single time a Democrat talks about imposing a timetable, they are immediately attacked by Bush and friends as "cutting and running" -- making them look, however unfairly, as weak on national security.

Moreover, Democrats have no power whatever in making things actually happen in government -- only the Republicans do. Indeed, presumably, withdrawal will take place ONLY when the President, in particular, decides it will be.

In addition, as long as the Iraq war continues, it does further damage politically to the Republicans; from a purely political perspective, the continuation of the Iraq war is good for Democrats.

I certainly don't find any reason to believe that the date of the actual withdrawal of troops would be materially affected by such a call, given how Bush would play it politically to his advantage. So, really, the only case for Democrats to call for a withdrawal of troops would, I think, have to be on principle, not because it would achieve any desired end.

But this brings us to the always hard political question: what is the point of doing something on principle, if the practical political effect of your doing so may be that you cannot achieve power to change things for the better? What kind of principle is this?

Posted by: frankly0 on March 26, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

We're not fighting a country that can be defeated, we're fighting an ideology that must be defeated.

Ideologies aren't defeated by armies. Ideas, in fact, can't be "defeated" at all. The best one can hope for is to present a better idea and prove, through example, that it really is better.

Success in Iraq is not even definable, much less achievable. Do we really think that we can create a western-style democracy, with western liberal social values, in the heart of the middle east? The idea, when stated that plainly, is obviously absurd.

Posted by: Jack Lindahl on March 26, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Withdrawal has its merits, most importantly the fact that American soldiers will no longer be killed in the crossfire of a sectarian war.

But I must disagree with Kevin's point about America's presence fueling the civil war. My impression is exactly the opposite; a strong US military and diplomatic presence is the only factor moderating the behavior of the political factions.

If we want to withdrawal anyway, that's one thing. But let's be clear headed about the consequences.

Posted by: Jonathan Dworkin on March 26, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

We have been at war with Iraq since 1990.

We have dropped tons of bombs all over the country since then.

We have killed thousands.

We have privatized much of the military effort in Iraq.

We have built dozens of permanent bases throughout Iraq.

We have forced elections that amounted to zilch (got a government yet?) on the Iraqis.

We have unleashed the gates of hell and no amount of military might will quell the flames of hatred which we have so willingly fanned.

Withdrawal is not an option. We are in Iraq for the long haul.

What we can do is perhaps spend less money there.

The costs of war are beyond our comprehension.

That's why peace is more than the absence of war.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on March 26, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

We're not fighting a country that can be defeated, we're fighting an ideology that must be defeated. The politicians that can't or won't admit that will never get my vote.
Posted by: TruthPolitik

I feel the same way about the current crop of neocons and christofascists ... so presumably killing americans is where I should start?

Posted by: Nads on March 26, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

But I must disagree with Kevin's point about America's presence fueling the civil war. My impression is exactly the opposite; a strong US military and diplomatic presence is the only factor moderating the behavior of the political factions.

I think this is true too, but would draw (perhaps) a different conclusion. Namely, no matter how long we stay, it's pointless, just as it was in Vietnam: once we remove ourselves, as inevitably we must, the forces at play in Iraq will do exactly what they would naturally do left to themselves.

In other words, the effect of immediate withdrawal is the same as withdrawal five years down the line, a period of civil war and chaos. The only difference is in how much blood and treasure the US will lose.

Posted by: frankly0 on March 26, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK


KEVIN DRUM: we don't have to scream about the Bush administration being populated by war criminals. We just have to make it clear that enough's enough.

Yeah, because when it comes to war criminals, you much prefer them to keep moving from one crime scene to the next. That way, you can keep chasing them without ever having to confront them. Not only does it make never ending fodder for your columns, it has the added benefit of providing you with the opportunity to snipe at those who do take stands. So the message is: Go ahead and commit your crimes. I'll cover you by screaming at those who want justice. But help me out too by not keeping up any one crime indefinitely.


Posted by: jayarbee on March 26, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

On Successful Invasions

You wrote: "At this point, the Bush administration's incompetence has pretty much eliminated any chance we ever had for success in Iraq, but whatever chance we have left would be maximized by a serious plan for troop withdrawal. It's time."

How could you have had a "success" when you invade a sovereign country without cause in violation of a wide range of international treaty commitments? This was a criminal enterprise from the outset and it remains a criminal enterprise. Nothing you could do or say could change the situation now. Put this one in the loss column.

And if you attack Iran later this year, that too will be a criminal enterprise and it will not be a "success" either.

Sooner or later, all the criminals responsible for this "unsuccess" will be held accountable. Hopefully that will be in The Hague before the International War Crimes Tribunal. A lamp post would do in a pinch.

Posted by: anon on March 26, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think "we" are ever going to "leave."

I think the whole point is to establish a defense of the oil from the Chinese. Those permanent bases are called that for a reason. I also think, perhaps, that a lot of senators and congresspeople have been told that, and told why we're there, and they basically agree with the reasons, and thus are not speaking out.

This whole thing is a big Kabuki play, even more than usual.

Posted by: Charles on March 26, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

we aren't leaving. Face it, we are Empire. Our troops are still in Bosnia to this day, over ten eyars later..the fighting has stopped, however. Our troops stayed in Germany for over 50 years, to bulwark against the Soviets. Now, our troops are in place to stave off the coming islamic revival. The original idea, idealistic and misplaced, was that we could create an island of western friendly islamists in Iraq, to serve as the bulwark against the islamo-fascism of Iran, and the plain old militaristic authoritarianism of Syria. It didn't work. Now we have to put a good face on a bad idea. Leaving that part of the world will encourage the militants, not discourage them. If we leave now, we will see this sotry again, in the future, in a jewish-islamic war of some sort, most likely started as a pre-emptive war by Israel. We may as well face things now. It's all a mess, no matter what we do. But, America will need to close this chapter sometime.....either we take care of it now, and with now I mean over the next ten years, on our time schedule, or we will see it again on their schedule.

Posted by: Chris on March 26, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Just to follow up a bit on a previous post, my guess is that Democrats are ALREADY pretty much doing the best thing they can do to effect a withdrawal of troops from Iraq: namely, harping on the enormity of the fuckup in the Iraq war, and the Republican's complete responsibiity therein.

WHy is that the single most important thing Dems can do to achieve withdrawal? Because it makes the issue of the Iraq war hurt Bush and the Republicans in the only that might change things: it damages them POLITICALLY.

The paradoxical effect of calling for a withdrawal is, again, that it now turns the Iraq war to the Republican's advantage: they can cast Democrats as cowards and unpatriotic -- PRECISELY what they did after Murtha called for a withdrawal. And, insofar as they can turn it to their advantage, they have LESS, not MORE, reason to effect a withdrawal.

In short, Democrats who want a withdrawal, in these circumstances, are most likely to get their desired end by NOT calling for it.

Posted by: frankly0 on March 26, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

I thought I had a short attention span. Damn, it's been three years. I guess my attention span isn't shorter than most Americans.

Posted by: aaron on March 26, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

The person and party that pulls us out will be blamed for losing Iraq. Getting rid of Bush is not enough because it doesn't change the dynamic. We are there for much, much longer than anyone is willing to admit. Wishing we had a plan to get out is just wishful thinking.

Posted by: JJF on March 26, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

TruthPolitik is right -- all we have to do is kill and imprison everyone with that ideology, and not get anyone else angry while doing so. Easy!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on March 26, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

30 beheaded bodies found in Mullah Eid today. 10 executed men found in Baghdad. Are we winning hearts and minds yet?

Posted by: trifecta on March 26, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you see how smart Bush is? We don't have to kill them they're doing it to themselves.

Posted by: TruthPolitik on March 26, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Why do people look to the democrats when they are looking for strong critical objective voice in this war? Or indeed anyting? They object sometimes to things the reps do but my impression is they are on whole pretty happy with GW. No fuss and nonense from the donkeys - "Keep it up George" they seem to say.

Posted by: exclab on March 26, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

30 beheaded bodies found in Mullah Eid today. 10 executed men found in Baghdad. Are we winning hearts and minds yet?

Are we now at a point when we can officially declare inoperative the favorite Iraq Hawk argument, that, no matter what, Iraqis aren't, after the war, being executed on masse as they were under Saddam?

Posted by: frankly0 on March 26, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

In '52, Eisenhower campaigned on ending The Korean War.

'Nuff said.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on March 26, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

They object sometimes to things the reps do but my impression is they are on whole pretty happy with GW.

Xanax? Thorazine? Librium? Lithium? What?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on March 26, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Now we have to put a good face on a bad idea. Leaving that part of the world will encourage the militants, not discourage them. If we leave now, we will see this sotry again, in the future, in a jewish-islamic war of some sort, most likely started as a pre-emptive war by Israel.

Xanax? Thorazine? Librium? Lithium? What?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on March 26, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Condi was all over the tube this morning saying significant troop reductions by the end of the year, conditions permitting. What do you want to bet that significant reductions are all that's needed to turn those like Ms. Larrison around. Oh yeah, something else big is supposed to happen near the end of the year also. Can't remember what is is though...

Posted by: smiley on March 26, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

This week on the Tim Russert Show, Russert interview Kevin Phillips - the conservative that has never really liked Bush or the neo-con part of new non-conservatism era - those big government, heavy spending, corrupt Repug thugs.

Kevin Phillips heavy criticized John McCain for being a Bush boot lick even as McCain pretends to be an old style conservative - supporting the war and telling the public France was our foe and saying the US would be in Iraq for YEARS - something like twenty years, I believe

I'd look for McCain to become a total flip-flopper - ever worst then Kerry - nobody is looking for another Bush in 2008.

So whom this week is seen joining Feingold in warning Iraq that Americans are losing patience with the war in Iraq?

McCain is flop-flopping - where are those swifeboat people now?

Did McCain strongly criticized Dems like Carter for object to war in Iraq - post invasion?

Here what McCain is telling Feingold to shut up.

Feingold said he believed "a large troop presence has a tendency to fuel the insurgency because they can make the incorrect and unfair claim that the U.S. is here to occupy the country."

"I think that it's very possible that the sectarian differences are inflamed by the fact that U.S. troops are here," he continued, adding that their long-term presence "may well be destabilizing, not stabilizing."

Asked a question on a different topic, McCain quickly responded: "I believe that premature troop withdrawal is not in consonance with what's going on the ground."

If I were Feingold I'd NEVER let the public forget that McCain wants to continue the Iraq war for 20 Years.

Feingold - it's time to remind Republicans that McCain is really off base with his own Republican Party. McCain wants to keep spending money on this losing war - and frankly McCain isn't anything more that another neo-con - another Bush.

Posted by: Cheryl on March 26, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

"30 beheaded bodies found in Mullah Eid today. 10 executed men found in Baghdad. Are we winning hearts and minds yet?"

I wonder who these people that are being killed .
Are they terrorist or innocents. Why doesn't the media do their job and find out.

Posted by: TruthPolitik on March 26, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Repack, I beg to differ, many trolls here have defined "success in Iraq," particularly tbrosz. They don't know how to get there from here, but they have a definition.

Step 1: Invade Iraq.

Step 2: ?

Step 3: Success!

Posted by: Diamond LeGrande on March 26, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Chris, I never heard that either the USAF or US Army ever left Germany. When did the last base close?

Posted by: derek on March 26, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK
I wonder who these people that are being killed . Are they terrorist or innocents. Why doesn't the media do their job and find out.

I think you should read the newspapers.

These are victims of Sunni-Shiite tribal warfare.

Posted by: obscure on March 26, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Note to all:

If you haven't yet seen Eugene Jarecki's 'Why We Fight,' go and do it asap.

Posted by: obscure on March 26, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

That's OK -- they can redeem themselves by getting in line for Iran! visit: http://onlinepokergames.bravehost.com/poker-news.html
I expect Lieberman to again lead the charge!

Posted by: Adi on March 26, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

"I wonder who these people that are being killed . Are they terrorist or innocents. Why doesn't the media do their job and find out.
I think you should read the newspapers.

These are victims of Sunni-Shiite tribal warfare."

I read the newspapers, I watch the tv news, I even listen to Air America radio. Nowhere have I seen in depth reporting.

Posted by: TruthPolitik on March 26, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

The NY Times featured an article yesterday on Sunni men being kidnapped, tortured horribly, and executed.


Bound, Blindfolded and Dead: The Face of Revenge in Baghdad

This is why I'm not so excited when we're talking about troop withdrawals.

Posted by: Librul on March 26, 2006 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

I read the newspapers, I watch the tv news, I even listen to Air America radio. Nowhere have I seen in depth reporting.

Try reading the New York Times ... because there's a huge story on it in Sunday's edition. People are being yanked off the street at random, tortured and killed. Many are Sunnis who had nothing to do with Saddam's regime, but they're being targeted for revenge killings by Shi'ites. One of them was a guy who kept a pet store. He was too busy taking care of his birds to care about politics.

I've said it before and I will say it again: If you're going to knock over a dictator, then you better be prepared for the civil war that will ensue.

Posted by: Harpo on March 26, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

BUSH DIDN'T BUNGLE IRAQ, YOU FOOLS
THE MISSION WAS INDEED ACCOMPLISHED

http://www.gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=483&row=0

Damn it, given everything that has happened since the chimpero stole the 2000 electin, WHEN ARE SOME PEOPLE GOING TO GET IT!!!!!!

On EVERY issue that people scream INCOMPETENT on, SOMEONE HAS BEEN MAKING MONEY HANDS OVER FIST!!!!

This isn't about "character defects," the chimperor has enabled an neocon/facist agenda that others have failed at.

No, he has never been the "source" of this agenda, just like the smirking chimpy, cheney, rove, ect did not engineer the theft of our democracy.

Chimpy's policies, including KATRINA and IRAQ are OUTSTANDING "SUCCESSES" to those that are stealing money from the federal treasury through outright fraud and an illegal war of conquest based on lies.

As if the crimes of this administration would be alright and acceptable if they were only carried out more efficiently and competently.

GET REAL -- the chimp smirks at you!

Posted by: anonymous on March 26, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Can we please stop talking about incompetence?

The word conjures up visions of someone trying to do a job that he is not qualified for, but probably trying to do the job even while making mistakes.

Will someone please cite one piece of evidence that the Bushites are even trying to do a good job.

Since they don't change what they are doing in the face of incontrovertible that Iraq is in complete chaos - militarily, socially, . . . - there are only two explanations:
1. they don't know what to do
2. they don't care, because it's not the point

Posted by: Jb on March 26, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Lara Logan smacks down the "negative Iraq War Coverage" charges

Watch the video...it's golden !

Executive summary: smart, articulate, very attractive and eviscerates any Republican patsy ass talking points with ease.

Posted by: km4 on March 26, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Who cares what the LA Times writes, Drum?

The LA Time's has a history of pre-election stories that show support for GOP candidates is dropping.

It's the MSM boilerplate. "GOP in trouble in the heartland." Blah blah blah. Every election time.

And always, goofballs like Kevin Drum believe it. And always, goofballs are shocked at the actual election results.

Posted by: Paddy Whack on March 26, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

"At this point, the Bush administration's incompetence has pretty much eliminated any chance we ever had for success in Iraq, but whatever chance we have left would be maximized by a serious plan for troop withdrawal."

He'll screw that up too, Kevin.

There is no hope until Bush has retired to Crawford. We're all just going to have to wait until 2009 until a possible solution becomes conceivable. That's tragic, but it's not callous. That's reality in the Bush years.

Posted by: tristero on March 26, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

If Bush has lost the ham steak eaters, he's lost Middle America.

Posted by: Matt on March 26, 2006 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Sure, the US is still in Bosnia, Japan and Germany. But you'll notice that US forces are not, anymore, in Vietnam. The difference? We won the former wars and lost the latter.

Which is why we won't be in Iraq in ten years, either. Sooner or later we'll be chased out of there, with the last American clinging to the helicopter's skids as it takes off from the Green Zone to a celebratory accompaniment of AK-47 fire.

Posted by: Stefan on March 26, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, it looks suspiciously as if "maintains US bases on site indefinitely" is the very definition of winning, making the correlation between bases and winning tautologous. No wonder Mr. Bush does not want to draw down his forces under any circumstances whatsoever. That would be by definition losing.

What was it he said the other day? "That will be decided by future presidents."

Posted by: derek on March 26, 2006 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you can take the moderate course if you'd like, but when the evidence is abundant that Bush wanted to invade Iraq two years before 9-11, I fall into the camp that screams "war criminal". This sick, mentally deranged man not only needs to be impeached, but either imprisoned or put in a loony bin for the rest of his life.

This little article is also worth a read, since Bush is beginning to manifest obvious signs of lunacy. Go ahead and soft pedal your protests of this loser - In my view, we need to make an example of him and take him down hard. America cannot and will not tolerate a spoiled, Oedipal lunatic that would take us to war just to prove that he is more macho than his daddy!

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on March 26, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

Wow to that Lara Logan clip. Just wow. With that kind of fire and courage I'd wanna marry her if she looked like Rosie O'Donnell, let alone looking like...... Lara Logan.

Make sure to watch to the very end (easy enough for the guys) where she first pummels Laura Ingraham, then when Howie tries to defend the wingnut bitch Ms. Logan turns Howie's defense around like a martial artist and delivers a deathblow. With a smile.

Hmmm, maybe I don't want to marry her. I wouldn't want to be at the other end of that deathly smile.

Posted by: doesn't matter on March 26, 2006 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

chris: we aren't leaving. Face it, we are Empire.

Really? So the US Army has no qualms about sending their troops over for 7th and 8th tours of duty in that theater? How about a 10th tour? No impact on family or troop morale, there, huh?

And all of that worn-out equipment--shredded by sandstorms and IED attacks--we'll just buy more, right?

Posted by: decaffeinated on March 26, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

"Kevin, you can take the moderate course if you'd like, but when the evidence is abundant that Bush wanted to invade Iraq two years before 9-11, I fall into the camp that screams "war criminal"."

I'm new to the blogosphere excuse me but where is the evidence for anyone in the administration being a war criminal?

Also, can we think about the repurcutions of an immediate pull-out on innocent Iraqis? I just saw a journalist who's spent multiple years in Iraq and is planning to stay for the long haul on Bill Maher. He talked about how everything will fall apart if we pull out. We just can't risk the situation deteriorating into total war. If there's even the slightest chance that us staying will prevent that massive bloodshed we shouldn't pull out.

Posted by: Devin Clunn on March 26, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

If there's even the slightest chance that us staying will prevent that massive bloodshed we shouldn't pull out.

If all we're doing is sticking around to keep the house of cards intact, then we're just delaying the inevitable at our own expense. Not a wise course of action.

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on March 26, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

Gee, I'm really impressed that somebody thinks they have unimpeachable evidence that Bush wanted to invade Iraq two years before 9/11.

I'll go you one more. Bush wants to invade Iran right now, today. But he won't do it today because our forces need to rest and re-equip as Iraq winds down. The Pentagon also needs time to absorb the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan because Iran is going to be a much bigger challenge.

Operation Iranian Freedom won't be a go until after Nov. 8th or so of 2008. Bush will wait until the last possible moment as a lame duck on the chance that terrorists will unleash another major 9/11 level blow somewhere in the world, and public opinions swings against the terrorists again.

This time Bush will more explicitly say that, no, we can't really tie Iran to the latest terrorist event and we can't guarantee that Iran has the nuclear weapons they claim to have, but we are going to go jack them up good and see what falls out of their pockets.

Timing in life is everything. Once it is abundantly clear that Iraq is really not in a civil war, in fact, it is stabilizing and slowly regrouping itself as a regional power, Iranians might feel sufficiently pressured to do their own regime change and save the U.S.A. the trouble. Or they might choose the bitter-ender route and use their three or four little nukes to attack Dubai or American forces massing in Iraq on the Iranian border. Maybe they will even get real lucky and sink a large American ship.

Still, the ending will be the same. Bush can start this show Nov. 8th 2008 and leave the incoming president a fait accompli, American forces in Tehran and a big job of nation-building
to either do right or walk away from. I don't think even Hillary could walk away, not if another 9/11 has happened somewhere and a real WMD came out.

What if, this time also, we still don't find the mother lode of all terrorist activity in the world? Well, guess that only really leaves Saudi Arabia, Syria just being a nation only up to assassinating Lebanese politicians. I went and listened to Saudi ambassador Turki al Faisal last Friday. Nice man. Smart man.
There were a whole bus load of American eighth graders in the room courtesy of the Saudi financed make-children-friends-of-Moslem-countries program. Out the window in the bay four Coast Guard boats bobbed up and down on a nasty Seattle day, watching out for the suicide bomber on a jet ski.

Would Dubya consider a lame-duck war? I think so. I think the Saudis think so, too. While Team Bush is in power anything can happen right up to the last day. That should make the big players and the bit players all duly cautious the next 2.7 years.

Posted by: Michael L. Cook on March 26, 2006 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

KD: Russ Feingold is absolutely right on this issue, and I wish more Democratic politicians would join him in demanding a serious plan for withdrawal of troops from Iraq. ...An open-ended commitment in Iraq helps to fuel their civil war, not end it, and it's time to acknowledge this....At this point, the Bush administration's incompetence has pretty much eliminated any chance we ever had for success in Iraq, but whatever chance we have left would be maximized by a serious plan for troop withdrawal. It's time.

I posted my POV and those that I agree with about this subject earlier in the week here and here.

Sure, Feingold is right but he needs to demand a "Bush plan" on troop commitments in Iraq (and also censuring the preznit) because it forces Dubya to respond with more "stay the course" rhetoric and that hurts Repubs politically. Murtha was right. But what's it going to get Dems to offer a serious plan for troop withdrawal now? Nothing. Nada. Repub retaliation, providing cover for their own culpability while they jam the air waves with Dem bashing. What's key is demanding a "Bush plan" and letting the Repubs twist in the wind with everyday that goes by not bringing the troops home. Conditions in Iraq drive the point that Dubya has no plan -- none that's worked -- and reminds us all of the failed judgments of this administration.

Today, on NBC's Meet The Press, Russert listed the Administration's failures of judgment on Iraq to his guest, Condi Rice:

But people are being asked to take your judgement on this, as we sit here this morning, and refer to previous judgements the administration made: weapons of mass destruction, there were none; we would be greeted as liberators, this is three years later; that it would not take hundreds of thousands of American troops to occupy Iraq. Tommy Franks, according to the book Cobra II, said wed be down to 30,000 troops in November of 03. The cost of the war: the budget director of the White House said itd be $50 billion dollars, its now over $350 billion dollars. Each judgement has proven to be wrong. [Cite]
Yeah, keep the focus on the failed policies of the Bushies. That's the ticket. Not much the minority party can do when the Repub Congress controls oversight and the purse strings of our preznit. Shifting Congress over to Dem control in 2006, then maybe we can really affect changes in Iraq. Being tough on Bush is the best course of action in the meantime.

Digby weighed in today with a terrific post, "Cool Hand." Snippet:

MR. COOK: See, I would argue that minority parties don't have to be responsible. That's the one good thing going for them, and when they try to be responsible, they're just going to dig themselves into a hole. I mean, you're on - your job is to throw rocks. Once you start offering alternatives, then suddenly you're playing defense as well. I think Democrats would be crazy, from a political standpoint, to offer up proposals.
[...]
...If we've learned nothing else these last few years, it's that the modern Republican party has no interest in practical, bipartisan solutions to the problems Americans face. Their gift, and the reason they are in the majority is because they dominate modern election campaigning with superior messaging, analysis and coalition building. In this era, responsible policies are meaningless unless Democrats can gain and keep a majority -- and they aren't going to get there trying to impress David Broder with their 10 point plans. They need to learn to do politics as well as they do policy.
As Kevin Phillips wrote over on TPM cafe earlier this week:
I believe that Democrats and liberals in 2006 stand to have their greatest opportunity since 1992 (which was lost). You will have the substantial support of many lapsed Republicans and doubters of Bush conservatism like myself. But I also have the sense that many Democrats and liberals have an instinct for the capillaries, not for the jugular. If that leads to failure in 2006, there will be a major price to pay, not just for the United States but in terms of the credibility of your party and movement.
It is our duty as the grassroots of the Democratic party to continue to pressure our leaders to go for the jugular, not for the capillaries, and show them that we will support them when they do it.
Reminder: If you are in a town or city where your senator has an office, consider dropping by and telling him or her that you support the Feingold resolution.
"The Ides of March have come.... Ay...but not gone."

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 26, 2006 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

This is pretty cynical, and for that reason people might justifiably question my patriotism, but I tend to think that Republican victories in '06 (not so likely) and '08 (a toss-up, for now) might very well be good things, in the long run. Try as I might, I can't convince myself that Dems are up to the challenge of repairing the damage of the last five years. But the next five years are certainly going to require some extremely painful decisions. Two in particular are minefields:
-- How and when do we end the tremendous sunk costs of the Iraq strategic blunder.
-- When do we stop living off the credit card, and end Bush's idiotic and irresponsible tax cuts?

While I doubt that Dems are capable of governing effectively, I'm totally confident that anything Republicans turn their hand to, they'll fuck up. I want to see their lunatic ideology discredited for a generation. The 2006-2012 offers that opportunity.

Posted by: sglover on March 26, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

While I doubt that Dems are capable of governing effectively, I'm totally confident that anything Republicans turn their hand to, they'll fuck up. I want to see their lunatic ideology discredited for a generation. The 2006-2012 offers that opportunity.

Posted by: sglover on March 26, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

So positive and patriotic!

Posted by: McA on March 26, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

At least the republicans seem a little concerned. The democrats seem happy not offer up anything too condemning. Perhaps as someone said further up - the democrats are alittle too far into the happy pills. I hope they are having a good time. At least the reps are aware there may be a problem. On the other hand, this country may not survive any admin like this one. We still haven't caught OBL and he was supposed to be the cause of all this.

Posted by: exclab on March 26, 2006 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

Carrot Top! Live at the Improv, April 11-13!

Opening Act: Michael L. Cook!

Buy your tickets now!

Posted by: ctm on March 26, 2006 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

"I wonder if there is an Arab dubbed version of Red Dawn being used as a recruiting film for the Iraqi insurgents."

One of the better-known bloggers in Iraq wrote about that very thing, saying that the original Red Dawn was very popular in Iraq, and was very widely seen. I don't recall who it was, though.

Posted by: Fausl Starr on March 26, 2006 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Russ Feingold is absolutely right on this issue, and I wish more Democratic politicians would join him in demanding a serious plan for withdrawal of troops from Iraq. - So spaketh Kevin Drum

As Keith Jackson might say, "Whoa, Nelly!"

Aren't you the same man who more-or-less chastized Feingold for the "political theater" of the presidential censure? Make up your mind ferchristsakes! How is this any more important as a unifying issue than Bush's general incompetence and illegal wiretaps?

Feingold/Whoever 2008!

Posted by: JeffII on March 26, 2006 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

If you you look at Tradesports. GOP control of the house is only $57 per $100 pay off.
So yes, Dems are making ground.

Posted by: McA on March 26, 2006 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

"We don't have to act like pacifists"

"F-U" kevin. nothing could be finer than to be a pacifist. the world would be a far better place with more pacifists. Jesus was a pacifist and loved pacifists. It is the violence worshippers that should be the subject of derision and scorn.

Posted by: pluege on March 26, 2006 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know how to say this but...

It's too late. Your troops can't leave now. The Pottery Barn policy applies, and this country is most certainly broken.

But, if the United States wants *significant* allies to commit more troops (i.e, the EU, including the UK) to stabilize Iraq, it won't happen until Bush is gone and and adminstration that isn't full John Wayne-like assholes take over. Sorry. This is a bloody mess.

Posted by: Soviet Canuckastani on March 27, 2006 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

It is the violence worshippers that should be the subject of derision and scorn.

Posted by: pluege on March 26, 2006 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

Sure. But when everyone panics and runs like shit from violence, while vilifying their own troops - its going to be hard for that scorn to stick.

"What do you mean we're bad people? We won! Death to weakling unbelievers"

Certainly the Shiites who declined to retaliate on various attacks have had less effect on the Sunni's than those that have now started.

Posted by: McA on March 27, 2006 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

By the way Jesus was a pacifist who healed Roman soldiers and advised his worshippers to cooperate with rulers in some situations.

Read up on it before you lecture.

Posted by: McA on March 27, 2006 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

MMY,
Very perceptive point about people identifying themselves as Independents who tend to vote Republican. My guess is that when things are going well for the Republicans, these voters identify themselves as "Republicans." But when things go poorly for the Republicans, they call themselves "Independents who usually vote Republican." Ever notice how polls that don't weight by Party ID seem to show an undersampling of Republicans when Bush's overall popularity is down, and an oversampling when Bush's overall popularity is up? It isn't polling shenanigans or chance - you can look at polls that DO weight by party ID for verification of the general trend. It's because of people like those quoted in the article, who shy away from identifying themselves with the party when they are disaffected with it.

Posted by: Elrod on March 27, 2006 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

By the way Jesus was a pacifist who healed Roman soldiers and advised his worshippers to cooperate with rulers in some situations.

He also advised his followers, on occasion, to wear swords.

I also seem to remember an ear getting cut off somewhere in there...

Now, shall we discuss the inconsistencies between the vengeful God of the Old Testament and the inconsistent pacifism of the New testament?

Read up on it before you lecture.

Cast the first stone, friend, by all means.

Posted by: floopmeister on March 27, 2006 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

Anyway, duelling with quotations from the Bible is pretty pointless, isn't it - considering all the contradictions and inconsistencies it contains.

You can't 'prove' your faith with quotations. As St Thomas Aquinas put it, the scholastic approach to the Bible is as profitable as milking a he-goat into a sieve.

And he was a Christian.

Imagine what us non-Christians think of it.

Posted by: floopmeister on March 27, 2006 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

Damn - that's St Thomas More, not St Thomas Aquinas...

Posted by: floopmeister on March 27, 2006 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

also advised his followers, on occasion, to wear swords.

I also seem to remember an ear getting cut off somewhere in there...

Posted by: floopmeister on March 27, 2006 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

Only as a metaphor as in 'Sword of the Spirit' in the New Testament.

And he rebuked Peter for that ear chopping incident and grew back the ear.

As to the old testament, new testament difference.
Christ's sacrifice was a turning point in the way in which people were saved.

Grace replacing Law.

Plus much of the Old Testament cruelty must be taken into context of the cultures it opposed. Child Sacrifice and Temple Prostitution* were pretty common back then.

*Of the local Priest decides your wife must work in the temple as a prostitute against her will or you will be killed type

It was quite common in the old testament for an invader to be used to punish a bad civilization before that civilization got punished itself.
God was way tougher, preceding Christ's sacrifice.

Posted by: McA on March 27, 2006 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

Plus much of the Old Testament cruelty must be taken into context of the cultures it opposed. Child Sacrifice and Temple Prostitution* were pretty common back then.

Gee, I never knew God was a post-modernist. I always thought the moral values of the Bible were eternally unchanging and absolute.

Who knew?

Posted by: floopmeister on March 27, 2006 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

Floopmeister,

And that quote attributed to Aquinas was by Sir Thomas More.

You might want to check your anti-Christian dogma has some solidity to it.

Posted by: McA on March 27, 2006 at 12:53 AM | PERMALINK

McA: just for the record, I corrected that mistakenly attributed quote just after I posted it (and before you commented).

That first stone really hurt - keep casting!

Posted by: floopmeister on March 27, 2006 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

Anti-Christian dogma? Oh, that's such a low blow (end sarcasm).

BTW, why use the term 'dogma'? Are you characterising my argument as 'dogma' because you believe agnosticism is a religion?

That's a trifle silly.

Dogma is often defined as a 'doctrinal system' - I think you'll find it's much more accurate if we refer to your 'Christian dogma' rather than my 'anti-Christian dogma'.

Posted by: floopmeister on March 27, 2006 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

I notice my reference to God's post-modernism went unmentioned - why is that, McA?

Posted by: floopmeister on March 27, 2006 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I detect a gradual shift towards censure. Could that be true? Inquiring minds want to know.....

Posted by: moe99 on March 27, 2006 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

The ancient Hebrews devoted a lot of time to trying to correlate the fluctuations of fortune to the possibility that they were in or out of fortune with their god (which most definitely was not EVERYBODY'S god in those days.)

Most ancient peoples did the same thing. Also the idea of recording their social-historical musings appealed to most ancient peoples, but perhaps to the Hebrews more than others. The Hebrews always liked a good story and they borrowed and adapted stories from other cultures, especially the Persians.

Prophets were the judgmentalists of the Old Testament. In the O.T. there really was not much talk about individual judgment (except some hopeful speculation that you could get good marks with God by observing a quite detailed sets of laws faithfully.) The ancient Hebrews were more concerned about group punishments for group sins. Firstly, you could be punished by God for things your parents or other ancestors may have done. Secondly, you could be punished for things your tribe may have done, or after kings became briefly popular, the king may have done.

Three interesting things about the Hebrews just jump out at me. First, they loved to debate about theological points and they valued universal literacy, so that everyone could read from holy scrolls in the synagogue (which became popular after the upper classes returned from exile in Babylon.)

Second, they jumped on the chance to have their holy writings and prophecies translated into the newly-unified Greek language, because they understood that the Greeks really had something going in regard to a language capable of expressing subtle intellectual concepts.

Third, something about the Hebrews made them a damnably stubborn people. A lot of nations stood up to the Romans once or twice. The Hebrews had to go for a record.

Fourth, something about the Hebrews after they were crushed and dispersed completely by the Romans resulted them into two completely distinct sects: one (Christianity) that specialized in making converts; and one that became one of history's most remarkably insular religions and effective preservers of a cultural time capsules.

Fifth, both branches of the dispersed Judaic line had higher birth rates than the Romans and the Christian thread became attractive to pagans with high birth rates.

Sixth, the Christians created a New Testament with only one really Old Testament feature--a genuine book of ominous prophecy that was set as the end-piece of the Christian compilation of the Hebrew tradition.

Seventh, Islam came along and expropriated great gobs of the Judeo-Christian lore, making today what we should call the Judeo-Christian-Islamic monotheistic tradition. In a way, Islam is the most prophet-centered of the faiths, for it intrinsically assumes a profound fatalism or pre-determination of all things that we might anticipate but can't really change.

Posted by: Michael L. Cook on March 27, 2006 at 5:20 AM | PERMALINK

Michael L Cook of the Discovery Institute in the wee hours is like watching infomercials on the tube. First, he tries standup down at the Comedy Club on lst and Pike, then he becomes the Trinity Broadcast hour. Almost as boring as watching a Mormon Convocation in Salt Lake City.

Keep us informed MLC and please post some more of your racist and homophobic swill as well.

Wearing your cowboy outfit again or still worried about minorities being from "protected classes"?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 27, 2006 at 5:38 AM | PERMALINK

think you'll find it's much more accurate if we refer to your 'Christian dogma' rather than my 'anti-Christian dogma'.

Posted by: floopmeister on March 27, 2006 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

I got no issue with agnosticism just with atheists who don't think through their beliefs. I'd say dogma is any ideological belief that cannot be disputed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogma


Like for example, morality exists but god doesn't
is a statement founded only on reason - which is atheist dogma.

--------------

I notice my reference to God's post-modernism went unmentioned - why is that, McA?

Posted by: floopmeister on March 27, 2006 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK

He is unchanging. His moral standard is their is a price for sin. In this case, Christ paid that price for us.

Why so hostile? You seem to hate God so much, its almost as if you thought he was real or something.
I do.

Posted by: Mca on March 27, 2006 at 5:40 AM | PERMALINK

Fifth, both branches of the dispersed Judaic line had higher birth rates than the Romans and the Christian thread became attractive to pagans with high birth rates.

Posted by: Michael L. Cook on March 27, 2006 at 5:20 AM | PERMALINK

Did the Roman practice of exposure and sexual immorality have anything to do with their lower birth rates?

Posted by: McA on March 27, 2006 at 5:46 AM | PERMALINK

McA, the Romans probably only used the sheep guts condoms for personal protection against STD's. Men wouldn't care about unmarried pregnancy because there apparently were no legal consequences to the fathers in such instances. There might be violent retribution consequences if the person who was seduced (female or male) was of high birth or had a family with touchy pride issues.

For the most part, Roman society seemed well-supplied with skilled abortionists. Julius Caesar
passed laws to try to force young upper class women to marry instead of flitting around from orgy to orgy or chasing celebrity gladiators. The Julian laws failed. Rome after the Colliseum was built (probably funded by the loot from the sacking of Jerusalem, particularly the rich temple) became a society with no serious purpose other than to get one's bread and daily amusements, which grew crueler and more spectacular.

Because the birth rate of the upper Roman classes dropped to nothing even as they decimated their own ranks with furiously brutal intrigues against the emperors and each other, the way was open for immigrants, even former slaves, to rise through merit. These people (like the Celts) often had famously conservative social ethics regarding the sanctity of marriage.

Curiously, the Romans themselves in the early days of building their empire held a lot of quaint conceptions like duty, honor, and so forth that stemmed from the fundamental social contract, that of marriage. The Romans looked at the older Etruscan society as superior in many practical ways, but fundamentally flawed in that Etruscan women had a lot of open social equality and basically acted like a bunch of sluts.

To the south of them, the Romans also admired the advanced civilization of the Greek Italian colonies, but suspiciously viewed the Greeks as a bunch of bi-sexuals. In the end, the Romans ended up being exactly like their predecessors while high-birth-rate socially conservative barbarians pressed in on them from the north, the Germans and Celts, and the East, Jews and Christians.

That's how I read all this history, but of course I am boring, boring, boring to the postmodern set, most of whom will never be married in an enduring heterosexual monogamous sense and who despise all nationalist and militarist sympathies as well, except those of foreign enemies, who get a pass on everything.

Posted by: Michael L. Cook on March 27, 2006 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Michael L Cook,

You know so much - You know so little.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 27, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

An open-ended commitment in Iraq helps to fuel their civil war, not end it, and it's time to acknowledge this.

But when opponents of the war and occupation were saying this a year ago, it was apparently not yet time. Not because we were wrong, but because centrist Dems made a calculated decision not to lead, but follow. It's a point that can be reasonably debated, but not unless those who spurned withdrawal then take responsibility for the nearly 900 U.S. troops killed and more than 2600 seriously wounded (not returned to duty) since then.

The line then was that leaving would ignite a civil war. Those of us who pointed out that one was already underway and that U.S. troops were doing and could do nothing to stop it were simply met with fingers in ears.

When, in early 2005, Democrats refused to take a position, planning to "make Bush own the war" without calling for withdrawal (the only meaningful alternative to the Bush policy), it struck me as political in the worst sense. Wanting to avoid the risk of 'soft-on-security' smears meant countenancing the deaths of however many U.S. troops were killed (and the deaths of Iraqis killed by them) in the period between then and when any Democrats got the courage to face facts and call for withdrawal.

Pretending (or at best wishfully thinking) right along with Bush that some kind of 'success' or 'victory' could be had: that might sound good on the op-ed pages and Sunday talk shows, but how could anyone look the families of servicemembers serving in Iraq in the face and answer the question 'Why not leave?' And, looking at it purely politically, if that non-policy were to continue right into 2006 (as it mostly has), what kind of alternative would Dems offer to incumbent Republicans?

Now that Bush and war approval are in the thirties, now that it's clear the troops can do nothing to stop civil war (and may easily make it worse; see Juan Cole today), now that Kevin says it's time, using the same arguments opponents of the war and occupation were making a year ago, now it's time.

I can get beyond my bitterness, and accept that this is just how politics works. But I have a hell of a time saying honestly to the families of those 3500 men and women that they should have any confidence in politicians of either party.

Posted by: Nell on March 27, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

I have to say that although I have often agreed with his/her posts, frankly0's in this thread are examples of exactly what makes me ashamed me to be a Democrat. If withdrawal is the right policy, then stand up and fight for it. Counting on the deaths of American soldiers to do your political work for you? Why should anyone vote for a party so spineless?

Posted by: Nell on March 27, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin !?!

How the HELL can Russ Feingold be right in stepping away from other Dem party leadership on this, but be "wrong" in doing so on censure? It is all part and parcel of challenging the out-of-control Bush Administration.

You have got to try to explain what I, and am sure LOTS of other readers, see as a huge inconsistentcy here.

Posted by: Robert Earle on March 27, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Repack: "No one has defined success in Iraq." President Bush told America that the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq defined success in Iraq. Talk to him.

"I wish more Democratic politicians would join him in demanding a serious plan for withdrawal of troops from Iraq. We don't have to act like pacifists, and we don't have to scream about the Bush administration being populated by war criminals. We just have to make it clear that enough's enough."

Isn't it clear yet that most Democratic pols in DC actually favor the Bush approach? They offer no critique of the policies, only "better management" of the policies.

I'm hoping that they notice the lack of Democratic voters at the polls. Why vote for GOP Lite?

Last, I used to share the view that "Democrats who want a withdrawal, in these circumstances, are most likely to get their desired end by NOT calling for it." Then I realized that politicians should be willing to make a principled defense of their opposition views.

Posted by: zak822 on March 27, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Also, can we think about the repurcutions[sic] of an immediate pull-out on innocent Iraqis?

As if pro-war Hawks considered the repercussions of the invasion itself on innocent Iraqis. From whence comes this new-found concern for non-Americans? Continuing the occupation is itself a political salvage operation, done at the expense of those who continue to lose their lives in this conflict.

That's fine for you and me I guess, living here in the safe comfort of North America, but I have to wonder how long military families will continue to sit idly by and take the colossal abuse proferred them by the Republican Party.

Posted by: Irony Man on March 27, 2006 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder how long military families will continue to sit idly by watching significant proportions of the Democrat constituency let their anti-Bush bitterness fan them into interpreting every aspect of the current war in the light most favorable to the cause of the enemy.

According to the awesome genius power of the left Iraq is the wrong place to fight terrorism and Bush "should have known" Saddam didn't really have WMD's, and given all that, the Bush administration has totally mishandled the military conduct of the war, ruining America's standing in the world and embarassing us by capturing all the wrong people and mistreating them besides in a misguided effort to prevent the fluke of 9/11 from ever happening again.

I must have the soul of the historian because my natural instinct is not to let overly emotional people get away with the Big Lie technique. But I don't have to soldier on alone, for time itself is on the side of the Bush administration because truth is on their side. Once we didn't know that Saddam didn't have WMD's, but now we do.

The hysterical left likes to claim that all those Iraqis waving purple fingers in the air are misguided fools. The hysterical, sneering left thinks a lot of people are misguided fools.

I don't care if the leftist BIG LIE campaign convinces 90% of Americans that the Iraq intervention is a useless, futile, wrongly-conceived failure, it is not those things. Not because I say so, but because these BIG LIE techniques will start to stink like a three day old fish in the sun when the American people see our soldiers are coming home while Iraq bravely continues to withstand the worst that the WORLD'S terrorists can throw at it to try and destabilize the type of government that most Iraqis well and truly desire.

I repeat, you leftists sound dangerously like cheerleaders for al Qaeda. Al Qaeda's official spokesmen sound more and more like American leftists. Bush has his fingers on al Qaeda's dying throat and American leftists are going crazy because they can't stand it.

Pooh on you nuts. By this November, election time, you will be revealed for the lying, backstabbing, fundamentally treasonous frauds that you all are. You are in active collusion with al Qaeda-protecting policies at an organic level because your very souls are the essence of natural fertilizer.

Posted by: Michael L. Cook on March 27, 2006 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

The foregoing was way too angry, but let's analyze why al Qaeda knows that they can't afford to lose Iraq and why that's where they fight today. Consider today's terrorist success, a suicide bomber (probably Saudi born, financed and controlled from Syria) got his automobile near enough to a police recruiting station in Mosul to kill 30 Iraqis trying to join the police.

Now, does that single bomber smack of a civil war or a homicide bomb attack directed by a more international type of organization? I say it's al Qaeda or a clone and that is the people we need to be fighting, right time, right place, right war, best of all they have to win on the ground we chose and they are losing.

The other battle today, in Baghdad, renegade cleric Maqtar al Sadr's militia got waxed by U.S. Special Operations and some anonymous Iraqi units. Maybe 16 dead. Good old lefty MSM tried every way possible to put an anti-American spin on the fight, or the outcome, or both. This is nothing but the new Iraqi government requesting some housekeeping because al Sadr has been a loose cannon from day one.

Other than that, not much happened in Iraq yesterday. Nothing like a civil war, a lot like al Qaeda wannabees or true believers doing all they can do anymore, lashing out with a single homicide bomber.

Posted by: Michael L. Cook on March 27, 2006 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK
The other battle today, in Baghdad, renegade cleric Maqtar al Sadr's militia got waxed by U.S. Special Operations and some anonymous Iraqi units. Maybe 16 dead. Good old lefty MSM tried every way possible to put an anti-American spin on the fight, or the outcome, or both. This is nothing but the new Iraqi government requesting some housekeeping because al Sadr has been a loose cannon from day one.

Nice fantasy. Too bad that's not what the "new Iraqi government" says:

Iraqs ruling Shia alliance accused the Americans of trying to foment civil war today after a joint US-Iraqi raid on a Baghdad mosque in which 16 people were killed.

Or is the ruling Shia alliance in Iraq also part of the "leftist BIG LIE campaign", "interpreting every aspect of the current war in the light most favorable to the cause of the enemy"?

Yeah, Mikey, its all just a big conspiracy that the whole world is in on to try to make Saint George's Holy War look bad. But you know the truth, so tune it all out...

Posted by: cmdicely on March 27, 2006 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

We will not cut and run. And I hope the Democrats do run on that in 2006. We will have troop withdrawals as the Iraqi military takes over more duties, :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 28, 2006 at 4:28 AM | PERMALINK

Here's the truth, cmdicely, today in Iraq no suicide bomber got through. Had there have been one, he or she would undoubtedly been a Saudi or some other international loser recruited by al Qaeda or one of its clones. Yes, the Shia ruling regime made a little squawk about radical cleric Muktar al Sadr's little kidnap-for-profit gang being all shot up by the Iraqi Special Operations unit while the Americans assisted. But I figure that was mainly for show.

Meanwhile, Condi predicted large troop withdrawals this summer. I bet that happens on schedule because there is no civil war and the Iraqi government itself is already taking positive measures to end the ability of terrorist rats to infiltrate and kill.

The rats, in fact, are being mopped up fairly eficiently, of late.

Best of all, I am kind of supposing that when Republican presidential hopefuls pull their heads out of their behinds this summer, they are going to look around and say, "Hey, this war in Iraq is won! Bush is saying so timidly, but someone needs to flank him on the right and say so loudly. In fact, the key to getting the Republican nomination is to get angry enough to shout down all the serial liars who tried to bad mouth, undermine, and sabotage one of the most incredibly successful feats of nation-building ever attempted."

Let's face it, cmdicely, by next Fall you are going to be choking on a stable, viable Iraq and even as you turn blue you will still be typing furiously on the net: "Bush lied about WMD's! Saddam was no friend of al Qaeda! Most Iraqis would have suffered less had we left Saddam in place!"

But all the good, purple-finger waving folks in Iraq and Afghanistan will be getting real social and economic progress in relative peace. Turn blue until you croak.

Posted by: Michael L. Cook on March 28, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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