Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 23, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

WINNING THE REAL WAR....Andrew Sullivan writes:

Readers know that I don't support any timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. This puts me in the excruciating position of supporting a war conducted by an administration whose key players are manifestly incompetent and reckless.

....Unable to access intelligence, forced to rely on news reports, blogs and other sources for information, I don't have an alternative master-plan to win either. I would support an increase in troop levels, a clear-and-hold strategy, a more aggressive military commitment to protect the infrastructure, and the kind of outreach to alienated Sunnis that Maliki and Khalilzad are attempting. But as long as Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are running the show, I cannot say I am optimistic that such a sane strategy will be employed or that it will succeed. It's like asking Ken Lay to turn Enron back into an ethical, profit-making company. But what else can I do? I agree with John McCain that peremptory withdrawal or a fixed date would amount to surrender to an enemy that seems to be gaining momentum and strength.

Scratch a Republican and I'll bet a lot of them feel the same way under the surface. They know in their hearts that this administration can't win the war in Iraq, but they can't stand the thought of withdrawing because it seems too much like surrender. So they're stuck supporting a war they know is a losing effort.

"Excruciating" is one word for this, though I might suggest a few others. Instead, I want to ask a question: Why are people like Andrew Sullivan so convinced that a carefully planned phased withdrawal would be such a disaster?

Because it would set off a civil war? Iraq is already in the middle of a civil war, and a public plan for withdrawal might actually make an expansion of the current civil war less likely. In the best case, the Sunni insurgency might become less violent once they know we're genuinely planning to leave. In the worst case, the Shiites will beat them once and for all after we're gone.

Because it would give al-Qaeda a safe haven? But why? A Shiite nation with close ties to Iran would be no friend of al-Qaeda. And freeing up troops in Iraq would allow us to beef up our presence in Afghanistan, where a resurgence of the Taliban is a genuine threat.

Because it would destroy our standing in the world? This is a fatuous argument. Staying in Iraq is doing far more damage to our standing in the world than a careful withdrawal ever would. Withdrawing from Vietnam didn't destroy America's standing in the world, withdrawing from Algeria didn't destroy France's standing in the world, and withdrawing from Lebanon didn't destroy Israel's standing in the world. It was staying too long that did the damage.

If the only way to win a war against Islamic jihadism is by invading and occuping Muslim countries, we're going to lose. Luckily, it's not the way to win. It's time to acknowledge this reality and demand that the Bush administration stop posturing and instead pursue a genuine, long-term winning strategy for the broader war we're fighting. An open-ended commitment to occupying Iraq isn't part of that.

Kevin Drum 12:46 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (389)

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Comments

Kevin, we cannot retreat. Remember, if we do not fight the terrorists in Iraq they will eventually come over here.

Posted by: Typical GOP Hack on June 23, 2006 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

It's an article of faith (and not entirely untrue) that the withdrawals from Beirut and Somalia (and Israel from Lebanon) encouraged terrorism. "Losing" in Iraq would, by that logic, encourage the terrorists to expand their campaign.

It's probably true, too. Just because withdrawal is a bad option, though, doesn't mean that all the others can be worse.

Posted by: Aaron Bergman on June 23, 2006 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

There have already been terrorists "over here" (and several of them, including the ones you link to, were domestic).

Posted by: Darryl Pearce on June 23, 2006 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

Staying in Beirut and Somalia would have encouraged terrorism. That's not a article of faith, that's a fact. Iraq proves it.

Posted by: Mario on June 23, 2006 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

....Unable to access intelligence, forced to rely on news reports, blogs and other sources for information, I don't have an alternative master-plan to win either.

Andrew Sullivan is just one more Republican among countless hordes of them who doesn't have any kind of plan for Iraq -- but just wants to stay here and hope that the situation changes magically on its own.

Or rather, he wants the troops to stay there until something magically changes.

The main reason Republicans can't stomach a withdrawal: it will cause them to lose standing among voters and hurt them politically. Withdrawal is not glorious victory, withdrawal is a tacit admission that Bush and Republican hawks failed, withdrawal feels too much like the failure of Vietnam all over again.

As long as troops stay in Iraq these guys can and will invoke the flag and the fallen and 9/11 to drown out the uncomfortable voices calling them out on their incompetency and mendacity.

Posted by: trex on June 23, 2006 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

Alternatively, the Bushies want to keep the war going because it strengthens their hand at home, giving them an automatic advantage in elections and allowing them to keep their actions secret under the guise of "national security".

Bush needs to be a war president until the end of his term.

Posted by: bad Jim on June 23, 2006 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

Well, guess what. While Rove et. al., are carving the Dems a new one for being cutters and runners for suggesting a timetable for withdrawal, the Iraqi government, with the help of Ambassador Khalilzad, are quietly negotiating a peace deal with Sunni insurgents that would include a UN-approved timeline for withdrawal of US troops. It isn't clear that Bush will accept the deal, but I wonder if the Republicans will start calling Khalilzad a coward and cutter and runner. Hypocritical bastards, all of them.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,7374-2239088,00.html

Posted by: Jim on June 23, 2006 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

Pretty much what 'trex' says. If you don't want to ask Sullivan about what he fears if we withdraw, ask him what he expects should we stay indefinitely. I don't think anybody in the "stay the course" camp can give a coherent and remotely realistic description of what "victory" means. They just like the way the word sounds.

Posted by: sglover on June 23, 2006 at 1:09 AM | PERMALINK

And damn it, we needs those troops at home right now, defending marriage! After all, that's the most pressing issue of the day.

Posted by: kidkostar on June 23, 2006 at 1:09 AM | PERMALINK

Sullivan's out of denial in one respect (the administration is run by tactical maladroits) but still deep in it when it comes to the fantasy of ``victory.'' He refuses to see that the victorious spread of democracy is no longer part of the objective. The permanent base in Iraq to monger fear and intimidation, and a nation on permanent war footing with revenues stripped from social programs and permanently funneled into the military-industrial complex -- that's the objective now.
He doesn't get it. Probably never will.

Posted by: secularhuman on June 23, 2006 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

As usual, your comments and questions are right on target. I cannot wait to hear Andrew's responses!!!!!! Press ON!!!!!

Posted by: Noel Johnson on June 23, 2006 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

It's an article of faith (and not entirely untrue) that the withdrawals from Beirut and Somalia (and Israel from Lebanon) encouraged terrorism. "Losing" in Iraq would, by that logic, encourage the terrorists to expand their campaign.

You were doing okay for the first five words. Scratch everything out after that and go do some serious, or even casual history reading - ideally books focusing on events and not opinions. It's absurd to think that terrorism would increase following a withdrawal from Iraq. Ordinary Muslims who are not part of terrorist groups right now, in 2006, do not flock to the cause because we withdraw from Iraq, thinking, "gee, I bet we can *conquer* that frickin' country now!". This is awful logic. To the extent that ordinary Muslims are joining up with terrorist groups right now, it's because we're in Iraq, not because we're gone. Iraq is the crucible, the training ground, the 'history in the making', the evidence against our country in the eyes of an Arab.

In support of this, please go to those history books:

When the US pulled out of Vietnam, rather than being encouraged by our cowardly withdrawal to go get in fishing boats and paddle over here to blow us up - the war stopped.

When Israel pulled out of the majority of South Lebanon, open conflict with Hezbollah slowed to a trickle. When Israel left the security zone, it dried up. These aren't opinions - go look at the casualty figures from Lebanese organizations during the occupation vs. after.

When France pulled out of Algeria, the Algerians didn't chase them over to Corsica. Israel has left Gaza, and immediately Fatah and Hamas began to bleed each other instead of cooperating. Abbas now has Hamas on the verge of accepting a document that rules out violence in pre-67 Israel. The historical record clearly shows that violence wanes when the occupying army packs up and goes home. And no f***ing suprise, is it? I mean, how do reasonably intelligent people get so deeply lost in ideology so as to begin to overlook the most basic logic for the war's existance?

Why are Iraqis trying to blow up our troops in Iraq? Because we're running their country with our army. When will they stop? When we leave.

Now, it may be that amidst the 98% that celebrate victory and settle down to killing each other when we leave, there's a 2% that will continue to plot attacks on us.

That's what Predator drones are for. The war we're fighting contributes nothing to that war - the GWOT.

Posted by: glasnost on June 23, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin pretty much assumes it's our call when we leave Iraq. It's not. It's up to the Iraqis. It is their input that the UN seeks when deciding whether to renew the mandate we and our allies have in maintaining troops there. It's in consultation with them (not with the mood of the American public) that we must decide drawdowns. It's that kind of foreign policy that will ultimately earn us standing in the eyes of the world.

From the Iraqi of view, no matter how much they wish we were already gone, they want us to stay until their army and police forces can provide security on their own. This is a nuanced position that calls for a phased withdrawal independent of progress on the ground fails to accommodate.

If Dem foreign policy boils down to going to war if and only if Germany, France, Russia, and China agree that we should, and withdrawing from war whenever we grow tired of it, the foreign policy of the Bush administration, for all its manifest faults, is preferable.

Posted by: JohnFH on June 23, 2006 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

"He wants the troops to stay there until something magically changes."

Exactly. He wants some eighteen year old who signed up to get an education to stay there. Why them and not him? For Sullivan and the Neocons, soldiers are pawns for the reality changers like them. So what if a few thousand pawns die? History is the life of nations as Tolstoy said, and they're changing those national lives no matter how brutishly. Our new Napoleons can't die in Iraq. Who would change history?

Ron Suskind, "Without a Doubt", New York Times Magazine


The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'"

Posted by: Mario on June 23, 2006 at 1:18 AM | PERMALINK

I think the unspoken rational these days for staying in Iraq has to do with the perceived need to be seen by the Saudi's as protecting the Sunni from the Shia. This kills two birds with the same stone in that by supporting the Sunni's in Iraq we are also maintaining a protective barrier which keeps the ruling Sunni's in Saudia Arabia in power while at the same time we are protecting (somewhat?) the Israeli's from further action by the Iranian backed Shia.

Did I mention the need to protect the oil fields of the area from further devastation?

Posted by: Mikhail the sceptic on June 23, 2006 at 1:20 AM | PERMALINK

"If Dem foreign policy boils down to going to war if and only if Germany, France, Russia, and China agree that we should"

Who suggested that Sir troll.

Posted by: Mario on June 23, 2006 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK

Jim is right to herald the deal that the president of Iraq and US ambassador to Iraq are trying to hammer out with Sunni insurgents. Any suggestion that these attempts are not going on with the full backing of the Bush administration, is, so far as I can see, totally baseless.

Posted by: JohnFH on June 23, 2006 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

It's in consultation with them (not with the mood of the American public) that we must decide drawdowns...From the Iraqi of view, no matter how much they wish we were already gone, they want us to stay until their army and police forces can provide security on their own....If Dem foreign policy boils down to going to war if and only if Germany, France, Russia, and China agree that we should, and withdrawing from war whenever we grow tired of it, the foreign policy of the Bush administration, for all its manifest faults, is preferable.

Ah, I see. So according to the Republicans we can't allow the American voter to decide when we can leave Iraq, but we can only do so when the Iraqis let us ("it's in consultation with them...that we must decide drawdowns...they want us to stay"). If Republican foreign policy boils down to giving Iraq a veto over where and when America deploys its armed forces, then the foreign policy of the Democrats, who favor leaving these decisions in the hands of Americans, is preferable.

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

If Dem foreign policy boils down to going to war if and only if Germany, France, Russia, and China agree that we should, and withdrawing from war whenever we grow tired of it

Strawman.

Worse yet, that's exactly the position you advocate in the first paragraph when you say the U.S. can only withdraw when the U.N. decides whether or not to "renew our mandate" based upon the input of the Iraqis.

Which is it? Or is it that we can go to war whenever we want on whatever flimsy basis no matter what the world community thinks -- but can only cease war and withdraw with a permission slip from U.N. and the occupied country?

From the Iraqi of view, no matter how much they wish we were already gone, they want us to stay until their army and police forces can provide security on their own.

Polls seem to suggest a divergency of opinion in this matter split on sectarian lines.

Polls also show that roughly half of Iraqis feel it is legitimate to attack our troops as long as we're on Iraqi soil waiting until "army and police forces can provide security on their own."

Posted by: trex on June 23, 2006 at 1:28 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, there are rules against invading another country, particularly if that country hasn't already attacked yours, and isn't on the verge of doing so. In such cases the support of world opinion is pretty nearly a prerequisite. Germany's neglect of that consideration in 1914 and 1939 cost it dearly.

Posted by: bad Jim on June 23, 2006 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

Look, if we hadn't stayed fighting in Vietnam until now the Communists would have taken over that country, the dominoes would have fallen across Asia and into the Pacific, and we'd now be fighting the NVA on the streets of San Diego...oh, wait. Never mind....

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

It is their input that the UN seeks when deciding whether to renew the mandate we and our allies have in maintaining troops there.

Moron. We have no UN mandate. From the point of view of the UN, our unprovoked invasion was an illegal act of aggression.

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

Any suggestion that these attempts are not going on with the full backing of the Bush administration, is, so far as I can see, totally baseless.

Ah, I see, so the Bush regime is now negotiating with terrorists?

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

In the worst case, the Shiites will beat them once and for all after we're gone.

What if that looks like Rwanda in 1994? That will certainly hurt our international standing even more.

Worst case scenario

Posted by: Tyler Simons on June 23, 2006 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

Dear Mario,

sorry if I misled you by contextualizing the view that any US-led attack or invasion of another country requires pre-approval from the UN Security Council. Otherwise, on this view, it is illegal.

I am well aware that the Clinton administration did not so argue when it intervened in Bosnia and Kosovo or bombed Sudan, Afghanistan, or Iraq. But it was the standard that many anti-war activists held the Bush administration to in the runup to the war in Iraq.

I take it, therefore, that you recognize that this particular anti-war argument does not pass a reality test. If so, we are in agreement.

Posted by: John FH on June 23, 2006 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

A methodical phased withdrawal may be the best policy. But as long as Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are running the show, I cannot say I am optimistic that it will succeed.

Posted by: B on June 23, 2006 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

we have a UN mandate to have troops in Iraq now. Please do a little more reading. It's not open-ended, either, but subject to review.

And yes, the Bush administration is attempting to broker peace with the Sunni insurgents. That's appropriate, whereas negotiating with the likes of al-Qaeda is not. Surely you are able to see the difference.

Posted by: JohnFH on June 23, 2006 at 1:40 AM | PERMALINK

sorry if I misled you by contextualizing the view that any US-led attack or invasion of another country requires pre-approval from the UN Security Council. Otherwise, on this view, it is illegal.

Legally that is indeed the case. Articles 2.3 and Article 2.4 of the United Nations Charter, a treaty which the US is a signatory to and which is therefore supreme law of the land, provide that:

2.3. "All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered."

2.4. "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations."

There are only two exceptions to the prohibition on waging warfare: (i) the first is every state's natural right to self-defense (Article 51 of the Charter), while (ii) the second, under Articles 42 and 53 of the Charter, allows the Security Council to sanction member states, or regional alliances, to use force if a country is in clear violation of the U.N. Charter.

Otherwise, under international law, no state may legally use force against another outside of the above narrowly tailored exceptions

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

There may be many war supporters who are sincere about the dillemma enunnciated by Sullivan, but most of them support the untenable position of staying the course only because it is expedient for them to do so for achieving their political ends.


How many more Americans (let alone Iraqis) will have to sacrifice their lives to keep the Republicans in power?

Posted by: nut on June 23, 2006 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

What if that looks like Rwanda in 1994? That will certainly hurt our international standing even more.

At this point, the suggestion that we piss away even more lives and wealth in the name of an abstraction like "our international standing" reads like a sick joke.

Posted by: sglover on June 23, 2006 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

John FH, name me one war that Clinton started. Anti-war people wanted to let the UN inspectors finish their job. Bush couldn't allow that. No WMDs and all that jazz.

Posted by: Mario on June 23, 2006 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

I remember the debate about Vietnam. We used to talk about the implications of withdrawal and of staying. There seemed to be no good alternative. Losing a war was not considered an option by many, many Americans, myself included, but we could see no way to stay and win. It was when we realized that the North Vietnamese were not merely part of the faceless communist horde (I know they are communists but they are Vietnamese first)that we also realized that we were watching bigger historical themes at play--the end of colonialism and an old civil war among the Vietnamese. When we grasp those truths we finally understood that colonial empires were obsolete. In the long run a determined force of indigenous fighters using asymentrical warfare would wear down any colonial power. We were the first indigenous people to do so in 1776. We also realized that we had no business picking sides in the civil war between Hanoi and Saigon. When those two truths became evident to the electorate, it became possible for Nixon to pull our troops out. Many of us hated the idea of letting the Godless communists win, but we were wrong. In the long run we had no business trying to capture a lost French colony and it was their civil war anyway.

The lessons we need to learn from Vietnam are we have no business trying to create a colony in Iraq, and how the Shiites and Sunnis resolve their age old problems are none of our business.

I would suggest one caveat, the Kurds have been strong American allies. We need to make sure they can emerge from any civil war with the minimal amount of damage possible. We didn't do that for the hill folk of Vietnam, much to our great shame.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 23, 2006 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK

Well, the Army has upped the enlistment age to 39, so that's one kind of barometer of what staying the course means.

Posted by: cyntax on June 23, 2006 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK

And yes, the Bush administration is attempting to broker peace with the Sunni insurgents. That's appropriate, whereas negotiating with the likes of al-Qaeda is not. Surely you are able to see the difference.
Posted by: JohnFH

are you agreeing that they aren't terrorists, then? are they freedom fighters?

Posted by: Nads on June 23, 2006 at 1:50 AM | PERMALINK

we have a UN mandate to have troops in Iraq now.

Secretary General Kofi Annan doesn't seem to think so. Speaking on September 16, 2004 Annan said, "I have indicated it [the US invasion of Iraq] was not in conformity with the UN charter. From our point of view, from the charter point of view, it was illegal."

But if there is a mandate, please cite the date and number of the resolution so I can look it up.

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

How many Americans will respond yes to the following question: Do you think we should stay in Iraq and sacrifice more Americans for the purpose of keeping the Republicans in power and those addministration officials safe from prosecution who might have broken some laws in the prosection of the Iraq fiasco?

Posted by: nut on June 23, 2006 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

Well, the Army has upped the enlistment age to 39, so that's one kind of barometer of what staying the course means.
Posted by: cyntax


The new age is 42:

http://www4.army.mil/ocpa/read.php?story_id_key=9197

Posted by: Nads on June 23, 2006 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

From the excellent Times article that Jim linked to, the proposed government peace plan includes the following:

The 28-point package for national reconciliation will offer Iraqi resistance groups inclusion in the political process and an amnesty for their prisoners if they renounce violence and lay down their arms, The Times can reveal.

The Government will promise a finite, UN-approved timeline for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq; a halt to US operations against insurgent strongholds; an end to human rights violations, including those by coalition troops; and compensation for victims of attacks by terrorists or Iraqi and coalition forces.

A halt to U.S. operations against insurgent strongholds? Tacitly accusing coalition troops of human rights abuses? That certainly doesn't jibe with the wingnut talking points expressed daily on this site and elsewhere about the need to hunt down every last insurgent or that coalition troops haven't committed any abuses.

With all that appeasement and America-hating talk, if one didn't know better one might think Nancy Pelosi were brokering this deal, not the Prime Minister of Iraq.

*sigh* Why does Prime Minister al-Talabani hate America?

Posted by: trex on June 23, 2006 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

Well, the Army has upped the enlistment age to 39, so that's one kind of barometer of what staying the course means.

Actually, it's 42 as of today:

US Army raises maximum enlistment age to 42

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2006 (AFP) - The US Army said Wednesday it is raising the maximum age for enlistment from 40 to 42 in an effort to expand its pool of potential recruits.

The move comes just six months after the army raised the maximum age from 35 to 40, reflecting continuing concerns about recruiting even though it has met its monthly goals for the past 12 months.

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

That would be President al Talabani, not Prime Minister.

Posted by: trex on June 23, 2006 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK

It was staying too long that did the damage.


Exactly. But the grassroots Republicans, Mayberry Machiavellis, want to stay there so the next president, presumptively a Democrat, will be forced to unilaterally withdraw and they can complain about cutting and running and Democrat failure.

Posted by: cld on June 23, 2006 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

And yes, the Bush administration is attempting to broker peace with the Sunni insurgents. That's appropriate, whereas negotiating with the likes of al-Qaeda is not. Surely you are able to see the difference.

The question isn't whether we can see the difference (any reader of this blog knows we've seen it all along), it's whether the Bush regime can recognize the hypocrisy of its position. Bush spent three years conflating the two groups, calling Iraq the "central front in the war on terrorism" and pretending that every Iraqi resistance fighter is Al Qaeda, but then, when things turn bad for us suddenly they're not terrorists anymore. Considering that the homegrown Iraqi rebels make up 95% of the resistance, and that they'd stop fighting us the minute we leave, why exactly are we staying to fight them?

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, it's 42 as of today:

US Army raises maximum enlistment age to 42

Ah, good. See the news can always get worse.

Posted by: cyntax on June 23, 2006 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

Still waiting on the cite of that UN mandate....

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 2:08 AM | PERMALINK

If the only way to win a war against Islamic jihadism is by invading and occuping Muslim countries, we're going to lose. Luckily, it's not the way to win.

Thank you thank you thank you.

At last, the clear ring of truth.

Posted by: craigie on June 23, 2006 at 2:08 AM | PERMALINK

Trex,

your surprise at what the Bush administration and the president of Iraq are up to might give way to qualified praise for the protagonists in question rather than nonsensical statements about Talabani (and by implication Khalilzad).

And no, we have no moral obligation to the UN or the Security Council when it comes to Iraq. But both the UN and the UN-sanctioned occupying forces in Iraq have a moral obligation to the Iraqi people and the government they elected.

Nads,

the al-Qaeda folks are terrorists pure and simple. Negotiations with them would be a waste of time.

Sunni insurgents who do not target fellow Iraqis but "only" American soldiers are terrorists of a kind as well, just as the IRA committed terrorist acts against the British in northern Ireland. That example teaches that negotiations with such groups may eventually pay off. But not in the context of a pre-announced disengagement. Surely this point is obvious.

Posted by: JohnFH on June 23, 2006 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

But the grassroots Republicans, Mayberry Machiavellis, want to stay there so the next president, presumptively a Democrat, will be forced to unilaterally withdraw and they can complain about cutting and running and Democrat failure.

Bingo.

And with that superb insight you provide the Andrew Sullivans of the world a plan for leaving Iraq they can love.

Posted by: trex on June 23, 2006 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

the UN resolution under which the multinational force is currently operating is 1637 (2005). Use whatever search engine you wish and plug in Iraq, UN, and 1637, and you will find all the information you could ever wish.

Posted by: JohnFH on June 23, 2006 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

And no, we have no moral obligation to the UN or the Security Council when it comes to Iraq.

No, as signatories to the UN Charter and member of the Security Council we have a legal, not merely moral, obligation to the UN and SC.

Sunni insurgents who do not target fellow Iraqis but "only" American soldiers are terrorists

If they only fight American soldiers then they are not, by definition, terrorists but are guerillas and resistance fighters. Terrorists target civilians, not soldiers.

the UN resolution under which the multinational force is currently operating is 1637 (2005).

Got it, thanks.

And so to bed....

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 2:24 AM | PERMALINK

Sunni insurgents who do not target fellow Iraqis but "only" American soldiers are terrorists of a kind as well, just as the IRA committed terrorist acts against the British in northern Ireland. That example teaches that negotiations with such groups may eventually pay off. But not in the context of a pre-announced disengagement. Surely this point is obvious.
Posted by: JohnFH

obvious???? what the fuck is the basis of this discrimination????

who exactly the fuck are YOU ... YOU, an armchair patriot chickenhawk ... to decide who does and who doesn't qualify as a terrorist???

which of these deserve permanenet detention in gitmo? which ones are we allowed to torture? how do you differentiate either of these groups from american soldiers?

Posted by: Nads on June 23, 2006 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan says, "Considering that the homegrown Iraqi rebels make up 95% of the resistance, and that they'd stop fighting us the minute we leave, why exactly are we staying to fight them?"

Answer: Because the government the Iraqis elected wants us to. If we didn't, they believe, the insurgents would overrule the rule of the majority by violence and oppression, as was the case under Saddam.

Essentially, we are playing the same role the Brits did and still do in northern Ireland. A thankless task to be sure. The alternatives, however, are even worse.

Posted by: JohnFH on June 23, 2006 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

JohnFH I guess Clinton didn't start any wars did he? So logically you should be able to see why "anti-war" people held a man, Bush, who started a war to a different standard than a man who didn't. Are you "pro-war" by the way? Because being pro-war seems a little like being pro disease and pestilence. LOL.

Posted by: Mario on June 23, 2006 at 2:29 AM | PERMALINK

Essentially, we are playing the same role the Brits did and still do in northern Ireland. A thankless task to be sure. The alternatives, however, are even worse.
Posted by: JohnFH

I'm curious ... do white people like you ever get tired of this burden ... or do you actually REQUIRE that the natives eventually massacre you before leaving?

Posted by: Nads on June 23, 2006 at 2:29 AM | PERMALINK

Geez Nads,

no reason to get so hot under the collar. Perhaps I was not clear enough. I did not mean to imply that the distinction between various kinds of enemies and terrorists and non-terrorists is easy. It is not.

I was saying that you cannot negotiate from a position of strength with Sunni insurgents (however you wish to label them) in the context of a pre-announced timetable of withdrawal. THAT should be obvious.

Posted by: JohnFH on June 23, 2006 at 2:31 AM | PERMALINK

Mario,

If Clinton was "anti-war" when he took us to war against Milosevic, then so am I. If FDR was "anti-war" when he took us to war against the Hitler and the others, then so am I. If Lincoln was "anti-war' when he led the north in a war against the south, then so am I.

Posted by: JohnFH on June 23, 2006 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK

I was saying that you cannot negotiate from a position of strength with Sunni insurgents (however you wish to label them) in the context of a pre-announced timetable of withdrawal. THAT should be obvious.
Posted by: JohnFH

maybe if you kill just a few more of them, they'll allow you to retreat with dignity.

Posted by: Nads on June 23, 2006 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK

your surprise at what the Bush administration and the president of Iraq are up to might give way to qualified praise for the protagonists in question rather than nonsensical statements about Talabani (and by implication Khalilzad)

You missed my point. I was highlighting the irony that when the political left has similarly criticized human rights abuses in Iraq (Abu Ghraib) or called for a withdrawal -- which in essence is the same as the Talabani plan of not attacking insurgent strongholds -- we've been called traitors.

Now all of a sudden conservatives are embracing those ideas as noble and visionary -- and subtly giving the credit for the plan to Bush.

For the record, I do think this is a good plan. And not just because many of the its elements are ones that we on this blog and others have been suggesting for about two years now.

Well yeah, that and because it makes sense.

Posted by: trex on June 23, 2006 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

Still can't name a war Clinton started? Why? Because there isn't one. Clinton didn't start the Bosnian war, but he sure as hell ended it. That's the definition of anti-war. Ending wars, not starting them and leaving others to pick up the mess like Bush.

Posted by: Mario on June 23, 2006 at 2:42 AM | PERMALINK

Still can't name a war Clinton started? Why? Because there isn't one. Clinton didn't start the Bosnian war, but he sure as hell ended it. That's the definition of anti-war. Ending wars, not starting them and leaving others to pick up the mess like Bush.

Posted by: Mario on June 23, 2006 at 2:44 AM | PERMALINK

Trex,

I beg to differ on your conflation of Talabani's positions and plans and those of the American left, at this moment in time or at any preceding moment. Gimme a break.

But I also want to emphasize that though we agree on some things and disagree on plenty of others when it comes to Iraq, I do not consider you a traitor in the least. I imagine you to be a sincere patriot just as I imagine Russ Feingold to be such. He is a senator from my state I have voted for in the past and will probably vote for in the future.

As long as you remain an independent thinker and refrain from political hackery, you will have my full respect, and I hope I will have yours.

Posted by: JohnFH on June 23, 2006 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

Mario,

in your book, then, Nixon, Reagan, and Bush I are anti-war and Lincoln, Kennedy and Johnson are, like Bush II, pro-war.

Somehow I don't think it's that simple.

Posted by: JohnFH on June 23, 2006 at 2:51 AM | PERMALINK

Oh and by the way, FDR and Lincoln did not start wars either. Have you heard of Pearl Habor or Fort Sumter? Like Clinton, these men were very good at ending wars not starting them.

Posted by: Mario on June 23, 2006 at 2:51 AM | PERMALINK

The Iraq war is over. It has been over since Bush declared Mission Accomplished. Ever since then America has OCCUPIED Iraq. We will not lose the war if we leave now, we will just no longer occupy Iraq. This is what the Iraqi governmnet and people want. This is what the majority of the American people want.
That's not "cutting and running". It is ceasing the occupation!!!

Posted by: aRuss on June 23, 2006 at 2:51 AM | PERMALINK

"Maybe if you kill just a few more of them, they'll allow you to retreat with dignity." - Nads

Or maybe they will eventually resign themselves to working for their goals through non-violent means, as the IRA did. More realistically, maybe the Iraqi government will become strong enough to contain the insurgency with limited outside help, as is the case in Colombia.

Posted by: JohnFH on June 23, 2006 at 2:55 AM | PERMALINK

I beg to differ on your conflation of Talabani's positions and plans and those of the American left, at this moment in time or at any preceding moment. Gimme a break.

Sorry John, you can see Talabani's plan element for element in this post dated November 21, 2005:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_11/007603.php#758243

Also, if you peruse the archives I guarantee you that you that the you will find our suggestions of a phased withdrawal mocked as "cut 'n run" and "appeasement;" you fill find that when we said that insurgents were defending their country just as anyone would (as some of the Iraqi officials are now saying, not to mention the Republican Senators that have jumped on that bandwagon) the trolls here screamed that they were terrorists and we were crazy for suggesting otherwise; and there are literally dozens of threads where we demanded an end to human rights violations and were told that because of ticking time bombs and evil terrorists torture is necessary.

Hell, there was a thread this week on that.

In fact, the Talabani plan contains most of what the American progressives have been calling for...except for not invading in the first place.

Posted by: trex on June 23, 2006 at 3:03 AM | PERMALINK

Or maybe they will eventually resign themselves to working for their goals through non-violent means, as the IRA did. More realistically, maybe the Iraqi government will become strong enough to contain the insurgency with limited outside help, as is the case in Colombia.
Posted by: JohnFH

... we rushed to illegally invade a country which had no means to attack us, had nothing to do with 9/11, and which suffered first under a dictator which we installed, later under sanctions which we imposed, and now under a violent civil war which we created.

there is NO evidence that the jackasses repsonsible for this have any sense of workable policy, or have made any predictions which have come close to resembling the eventual reality, or have any idea of the unintended consequences of their mis-actions.

in fact, there's no evidence that these fuckers have any abilities beyond klling large numbers of brown people.

... and I have no reason to believe in your misplaced optimism ... you'd have better luck praying to tinkerbell.

Posted by: Nads on June 23, 2006 at 3:08 AM | PERMALINK

Mario,

I'm in favor of ending wars as much as you are. But some have been ended better than others. Nixon-Ford ended the war in Vietnam war in abysmal fashion. We're still waiting for the standoff with North Korea to end so our troops can go home. Reagan and Gorbaciov ended the Cold War in best way imaginable.

The presidential candidate in 2008, Democrat or Republican, who has the best plan to limit our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq while ensuring that both countries do not fall into extremist hands will get my vote.

Posted by: JohnFH on June 23, 2006 at 3:11 AM | PERMALINK

we have a UN mandate to have troops in Iraq now

Just to add a little context to this, the U.S. asked for the multinational force mandate as a way to put a post facto blessing on an invasion that Stefan correctly stated was at least informally viewed as illegal by the U.N. when it happened, and to which the Security Council (I believe grudgingly) agreed.

Just so we're clear, this wasn't a mandate in the common political meaning of the term, where someone is said to have endorsement or legitimacy through a strong showing in a referendum or electoral victory. This was really just a way of making the best of a terrible political situation and a way to smooth things over in that international body where a powerful nation had ignored the rules and done what it had wanted anyway.

Posted by: trex on June 23, 2006 at 3:19 AM | PERMALINK

Trex,

I couldn't find the plan you are talking about, but I will keep looking. It's wire reports like the following I'm used to reading (2005):

WASHINGTON, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Iraqi President Jalal Talabani urged the United States on Friday not to withdraw hastily from Iraq and said U.S. forces should be reduced gradually over the next two years.

"For those who call for an immediate pull-out of American troops, we say that we honor the sacrifices the United States has made," Talabani said in a speech at a Washington hotel.

"A withdrawal of American and multinational forces in the near future could lead to the victory of the terrorists in Iraq and create grave threats to the region," he added.

Asked how long he would like U.S. and other forces to stay in Iraq, Talabani said the plan was to gradually reduce U.S. forces over the next two years.

"Not only would we need American forces to fight against terrorism, we need some of them to frighten our neighbors and prevent them from interfering in our internal affairs," he said.

If you are in agreement with Talabani's assessment of the need for the UN-sanctioned multinational force in Iraq for the reasons stated, then that makes two of us.

Posted by: JohnFH on June 23, 2006 at 3:25 AM | PERMALINK

Saint Ronald ended the cold war, blessed be his name. Right.

The world will heave a huge sigh of relief when we end the brutal occupation of Iraq. As vicious as the insurgents and the al Qaeda-wanna-be are, our armed forces take back seat to nobody.

If only we'd spent a tiny fraction in Afghanistan of the hundred of billions we've poured into Iraq, we might have made some small improvement in the lives of that war-ravaged nation. We've been leveling city after city in Iraq instead, and our leaders accuse anyone who suggests an alternative of cowardice.

If Bush, back in the depths of his alcoholism, ever heard the advice to stop digging once you're in a hole, he appears to have forgotten it.

Posted by: bad Jim on June 23, 2006 at 3:29 AM | PERMALINK

BTW, Talabani's a Kurdish figurehead; Maliki's the prime minister (however shaky his majority).

Posted by: bad Jim on June 23, 2006 at 3:38 AM | PERMALINK

"The world will heave a huge sigh of relief when we end the brutal occupation of Iraq." - bad Jim

So will the Iraqis. Ditto the Afghans. But they also know that that day will not come until their governments become capable of taking on the insurgents in their midst without our help. It doesn't take a genius to predict that it will take at least 2 years, and probably longer, to reach that point.

Posted by: JohnFH on June 23, 2006 at 3:41 AM | PERMALINK

If the war in Iraq is ever seen as a victory for the U.S., the Democrats as a party are dead. They've invested too much in defeat. Pretty much everything you read on this subject comes out of that fact.

Posted by: lbj on June 23, 2006 at 3:54 AM | PERMALINK

If the war in Iraq is ever seen as a victory for the U.S., the Democrats as a party are dead. They've invested too much in defeat. Pretty much everything you read on this subject comes out of that fact.
Posted by: lbj

Recall that we haven't been wrong about Iraq yet.

Posted by: Nads on June 23, 2006 at 3:56 AM | PERMALINK

"Maliki's the prime minister."

And we all hope his schedule for a turnover of 16 out of 18 Iraqi provinces by the end of the year is met.

For analysis, see:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5007864.stm

Posted by: JohnFH on June 23, 2006 at 3:59 AM | PERMALINK

We won. They've got a government. We can't defend them from themselves.


Posted by: Alan in SF on June 23, 2006 at 4:35 AM | PERMALINK

Some day this will sink in:

Our staying in Iraq is what al-Qaeda wants. It may take many years to fully see the terrible stupidity of the invasion, but its terrible consequences should by now be obvious; it's a recruiting ground for terrorists. It is for them what Spain in 1936 was for communists.

If you're for "staying the course," you're working for al-Qaeda.

Posted by: buddy66 on June 23, 2006 at 4:55 AM | PERMALINK

My summary of the situation:
The executive branch of the U.S. government, at least, declared a War On Terror following a horrific attack on the United States.
From the outset, it was obvious it was going to be very difficult to locate the enemy, because they were not a nation but adherents to a cause who were generally spread around many nations, often anonymous, and all highly mobile.
The allegedly incompetent Bush plan boils down to practically simplifying the task: 1) Find terrorists, particularly those who identify with al Qaeda, and 2) kill them.
The intervention and occupation of Iraq has been a remarkable success in implementing those two goals. We have found a battlefield that the enemy was drawn to like moths to a flame. We have killed thousands of them. As long as we remain in Iraq, we will kill many, many more.
War is never a good means of achieving idealistic goals. It works best as a simple tool of revenge or acquisition. President Bush has moved to make it an idealistic war by postulating that re-making Iraq into a more modern, liberal society will actually insure a lasting victory over terrorism and Taliban-style extremism.
Bush is right. A large majority of Iraqis risking life and limb to participate in elections prove he is right. The fact that Sunni, Shia, and Kurds are working together and are governing together prove he is right. Iraqis as a whole are not a hopelessly medieval, bitter, backwards people. That would be Democrats.
War is never antiseptic or predictable. That is because the enemy is in practice likely to do anything that they are smart enough to think of. In the 1945-1947 occupation of Germany, the U.S. encountered thousands of Nazi bitter enders who ambushed and sniped American troops, killed local officials who cooperated with the Allies, and generally attempted to continue to rule the German people through fear and gangster tactics.
The United States quietly snuffed out the "Werewolf" Nazi resistance by summarily executing captured Nazis on the spot with very, very little public disclosure of what we were doing and how often we were doing it. The focus of publicity was kept on the Nuremburg trials and the sins of the Nazis.
The occupation of Japan went much better. Two nuclear bombs and numerous cities being carpet bombed with napalm and other incendiaries convinced the Japanese that resistance was worse than futile. Japan had used up most of its young men bent on suicidal, bitter-end resistance before the conventinal war ceased.

Posted by: Mike Cook on June 23, 2006 at 5:10 AM | PERMALINK

If you don't want to ask Sullivan about what he fears if we withdraw, ask him what he expects should we stay indefinitely. I don't think anybody in the "stay the course" camp can give a coherent and remotely realistic description of what "victory" means. They just like the way the word sounds.

They know what victory means. It means that Iraqis won't contest the Bush-Bremer 100 orders that sold off Iraq's resources, never to belong to the Iraqis again.

Victory means that the contracts that were given to the multi-nationals for everything from oil to frankenseeds remain in place. It's THE reason Bush couldn't cobble together an enthusiastic coalition of the willing (don't you just love these focus group phrases?) - Bush's and Cheney's partners were a little too greedy and didn't want to share. That's why it was all done on the cheap.

Did you know that Iraq, probably the original bread basket of the world, had a seed storage bank with varieties some 8000 years old. Our military destroyed it in the first weeks of the invasion, and have turned the Iraqis into guinea pigs, lab rats, forcing them to only grow frankenseeds for western corps.

There are great reasons why they should hate us. And if they didn't before, they sure do now. There is less possibility for Iraq to exercise free choice in this so-called democracy that has been shoved down their throats than there is for grass roots America to pick their candidates for President. The middle class is fleeing Iraq. Without a middle class, there can be no democracy. Iraq is over, folks; it's the Balkans all over again. Bush isn't leaving for the sole reason that there is a fortune there in oil. He doesn't give a shit about the people, never did, never will.

Exporting democracy to the Middle East? Who is Bush kidding with this rhetoric? Not the Iraqis, and certainly not liberals. Who gives a good goddamn what Andrew Sullivan thinks?

Posted by: Marty on June 23, 2006 at 5:38 AM | PERMALINK

Bush is right. A large majority of Iraqis risking life and limb to participate in elections prove he is right. The fact that Sunni, Shia, and Kurds are working together and are governing together prove he is right. Iraqis as a whole are not a hopelessly medieval, bitter, backwards people.
It's a puppet government, you fool.

Did you know that WE wrote their constitution? And in it, we insisted that they NOT be able to own any of their own resources again. Yeah, the Bush-Bremer 100 orders were put into their constitution, so that they couldn't sue the U.S., couldn't get their property back, could never throw off the shackles of imperialism. They can't even go into business without having a "coalition partner" as their partner.

Do you think any of you yokels who just loves da Bush man had a clue about who and what he really is, do you think you might just wake up and realize that you have no business voting? Of course not. That would take reasoning skills, of which Bush voters seriously lack.

Posted by: marty on June 23, 2006 at 5:51 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin is a bright and honest fellow, but he often is weak on anything related to military issues. Here, he asserts the following opinons, citing no supportive facts and mostly offering naive speculations:

1. "this administration can't win the war in Iraq," EVEN IS KEVIN'S RAZOR SHARP MILIARY MIND IS GRANTED FULL DEFERENCE, WHAT IS HIS BASIS FOR THIS?

2. "republicans but they can't stand the thought of withdrawing because it seems too much like surrender. So they're stuck supporting a war they know is a losing effort." LIKE WHO?

3. Iraq is already in the middle of a civil war, and a public plan for withdrawal might actually make an expansion of the current civil war less likely. BASED ON WHAT?

4. In the best case, the Sunni insurgency might become less violent once they know we're genuinely planning to leave. SURE, THE SUNNI "INSURGENCY" IS JUST UPSET BECAUSE THEY DON'T KNOW THAT WE ARE GENUINELY PLANNIGN TO LEAVE AND THEY WILL PULL THINGS BACK ONCE WE SHOW THAT GENUINENESS

5. In the worst case, the Shiites will beat them once and for all after we're gone. WHY IS THIS THE WORST CASE AND LIKE ANYONE THINKS KEVIN CAN PREDICT THE WINNER? THE SHIITES HAVE NOT HAD MUCH HISTORICAL SUCCESS IN BEATING THE SUNNIS. ANY HOW IS THE THE WORST CASE?

6. Because it would give al-Qaeda a safe haven? But why? A Shiite nation with close ties to Iran would be no friend of al-Qaeda. BASED ON WHAT? THERE ARE PLENTY OF INDICATIONS THAT IRAN IS HELPING AL QUEDA.

7. And freeing up troops in Iraq would allow us to beef up our presence in Afghanistan, where a resurgence of the Taliban is a genuine threat. WHY IS THE TALIBAN A GENUINE THREAT BUT THE TERRORISTS IN IRAQ BLOWING UP INNOCENTS AND PLEDGING ALLEGIANCE TO AL QUAEDA IS NOT?

8. Staying in Iraq is doing far more damage to our standing in the world than a careful withdrawal ever would. BASED ON WHAT?

9. "pursue a genuine, long-term winning strategy for the broader war we're fighting." LIKE KEVIN HAS PRESENTED A 'GENUINE LONG-TERM WINNING STRATEGY.

Posted by: brian on June 23, 2006 at 5:56 AM | PERMALINK

That the US has lost Iraq is already apparent to everyone. Withdrawal will merely be acknowledgement of an accepted fact.

Posted by: bob h on June 23, 2006 at 6:38 AM | PERMALINK

I say, let George W. Bush and the GOP have their goddamn war - it's all theirs. I'm sick of these scumbags trying to denigrate the patriotism of everyone who opposes this immoral and illegal occupation.

Everyday the Dems should stand on the floor of the House and the Senate and ask, "How is your war going, Mr. President?" and "When are you going to start paying for your war, Mr. Bush?". They should keep a tally of the number of coffins of Americans over the door to both Chambers and on the front gate of the White House. It's their albatross - let's hang it around their necks prominently!

Remember - War is just terrorism on a bigger budget!

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on June 23, 2006 at 7:01 AM | PERMALINK

So, it's come this.

The debate over Iraq has become a dialogue between the Mugwumps and the Know-Nothings. The Bush-supporter Know-Nothings pretend good things are happening in Iraq. And the Bush-hater Mugwumps pretend nothing bad will happen if we pull out.

It's a sad day when I have to say these words: Andrew Sullivan is right, and Kevin Drum is wrong.

Bad as things are in Iraq today, they WILL get worse when we leave.

In answer to Kevin's question: The real risk in withdrawal is a failed state next to our allies Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The consequences of such a cut-and-run strategy will either be Iranian hegemony over the former Persian Empire or (more likely) a Afghan-style terrorism incubator along the lines of what we got when this same White House gang cut and ran in the late '80s and early '90s. And, while we DO have a civil war in Iraq right now, there is no question that it will get worse if we leave. Juan Cole has made sure we all can know what happened in Lebanon.

Pretending otherwise will result in no better policy than pretending that continuing to follow a failed strategy will produce a different result than it's produced so far.

Posted by: scotus on June 23, 2006 at 7:38 AM | PERMALINK

"If a Democratic candidate emerged who promised to stick to the Iraq war to victory, but conduct it in a more aggressive, ethical and competent way than the current crew, Americans would be more than receptive."--Andrew Sullivan
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I wrote Sullivan asking him to define victory. No answer yet. I haven't heard a clear definition of victory from anyone. Bush speaks of Iraq achieving democracy as some sort of benchmark for victory. It's apparent now women will be far more oppressed, subjugated and consigned to a subservient role in Iraq than they ever were under Saddam. This will be true no matter how "free" and democratic the government finally settled upon. This is victory?

Posted by: steve duncan on June 23, 2006 at 7:39 AM | PERMALINK

ALL the arguments you make Kevin are completely wrong and always have been on this subject - the same goes for most if not all the liberal blogsphere. There are three choices here: one, send in many more troops and lock the country down - but that is never going to happen although McCain wisely keeps suggesting this option; two, recognise that Iraq cannot avoid a meltdown and stay in in an effort to somehow define or contour the outcome; three, get out because there's nothing to be done and you have no choice but to accept the dire consequences of your actions. You obviously Kevin side with three - except for the dire consequences part and therefore your choice is really no choice at all since it is too detached from reality: it is not an answer to just make up or wildly assume scenarios that seem to justify your conclusions.

They're already in a civil war?? They're in a TYPE of civil war, a degree of one, there are many degrees further it can go. Iran will not allow Qaeda a safe haven? Why not? How can you just assume Iran can control such a thing or that even if they could that they won't see some tactical advantage to not controlling it? And how is it you assume that the entire country will but under a Shia thumb? That's pretty convenient. Withdrawing will not demean USA standing in world to a lesser degree than it is now? Again, how the hell do you know this? It certainly will if things spin wildly out of control. Besides, it's not just world opinion that matters: Vietnam did impact negatively, as did Algeria and as did most certainly Lebanon: such 'surrenders' do have effect, they're not culturally neutral, they just don't fade away into insignificance. But of course it's convenient for you to assume they do.

There's nothing more annoying than listening to liberals discuss foreign policy: it's like having to discuss football with your wife. Pointless and dreary.

Posted by: saintsimon on June 23, 2006 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

Steve --

Women will be "more oppressed, subjugated, and consigned to a subservient role in Iraq than they ever were under Saddam."?

You absolutely need to substantiate this statement.

Posted by: smitty on June 23, 2006 at 7:53 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

The concern is not loosing to the Iraqi's, it's loosing to their domestic political opponents. To pull out of Iraq would be to admit that the Democrats were right, and that they are loathe to do.

Posted by: MSR on June 23, 2006 at 7:56 AM | PERMALINK

It must be a testosterone thing; or something in the water like chlorine or flouride.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on June 23, 2006 at 8:05 AM | PERMALINK

"We have killed thousands of them. As long as we remain in Iraq, we will kill many, many more."

Bullsh**. We have killed thousands of Iraqis, but you have *no idea* how many are terrorists. As long as we remain in Iraq, we will kill many, many more Iraqis while creating many, many more terrorists.

Posted by: Joel on June 23, 2006 at 8:10 AM | PERMALINK

Saintsimon

You made a nice argument right up to the meaningless and smug shot at "liburls."

You have defined the problem. There is no good solution.

I have a question for you and all the nation building conservatives, what business is it of ours to pick sides in the fight between the sunnis and the shiites in Iraq? It's their damn country. Let them kill each other until another Saddam emerges, or they break up, or they try to develop democratic institutions. All of it their choice.

I can see no reason for nation building in Iraq. At least none any better than the conservatives rightly rejected when they opposed nation building in Somalia. Can you? Why the selective conservative embrace nation building in this case? Why are you all so hell bet to stick your noses in somebody elses business?

Maybe the reason is you and the administration want to steal Iraqi oil. Is that it? Are you just a bunch of imperialists coveting your neighbors goods? Not very Christian of you.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 23, 2006 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

what is so terrible about admitting we can't cut it in iraq? we started the thing, we got ourselves into this mess, why can't we admit we failed, and just "cut and run?" when kevin says we can't just surrender, i'd like to know why. saving face just means more deaths, both american and iraqi, and staying put just postpones the inevitable, which will be a carefully orchestrated flight from the country, with a carpet of air strikes to keep the insurgency quiet until we're gone. nothing we do now, absolutely nothing, will help iraq in any way. all we can hope for is greater destruction and the total loss of infrastructure. there will be no recovery, and especially no "victory." meanwhile our pitiful efforts in iraq are costing us the tenuous but very real victory we won in afghanistan. the argument that we cannot retreat because it will invite the terrorists "over here" is just ridiculous: the terrorists are already over here.
what was terrible about vietnam was not that we left in defeat: it was that we stayed so long in the first place, when everyone knew the thing was wrong, wrong, wrong, and that we could never win.

Posted by: impeachablesource on June 23, 2006 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

I don't buy the argument that the Sunni insugency would win, or is winning. The Shia death squads are doing more damage than Sunni belt bombers. If the issue is merely stopping the Sunni terorists, then the solution is to slowly withdraw and let the Shia death squads take care of the matter.

Think. The Sunni are supporting the belt bombers and truck bombers. Evidently they support them because they think they can take back power. Test them. If that is what they believe, then have the US troops stand down and let the Shia death squads deal with the issue.

Posted by: Matt on June 23, 2006 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

sorry: i mistook sullivan's comments re the war for kevin's response. i ought to know better than attempt a post before i've had my first coffee. amen, kevin, amen: yours is the only iraq strategy that makes the slightest sense.

Posted by: impeachablesource on June 23, 2006 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

Why are people like Andrew Sullivan so convinced that a carefully planned phased withdrawal would be such a disaster?

Simple...it's be a political disaster for the Republicans, tarnishing the jingoistic, macho image they've carefully developed over decades.

Not insignificantly, it'd also be another tacit admission that the opponents of the war -- Sullivan's so-called "fifth column" -- were right in their assessment of the risks, costs and benefits, and they were wrong. By contrast, since Bush insists on paying for the war with a tax cut, and Sullivan and his pro-war cohort generally have no skin in the game, being for the war costs them, quite literally nothing. Except for their reputation for honesty, and since when have Republicans card about that?

Posted by: Gregory on June 23, 2006 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

Although I'm well to the left of Andrew Sullivan, I respect him greatly. He should be honored for his relentless campaign against the American use of torture and for his condemnation of Bush administration mendacity and incompetence.

But I part company with him over the Iraq war. The Bush administration we both abhor will be running the show for another two years. Nothing will change on the ground in Iraq. We can expect only more American casualties, more misery among the Iraqi people and a continuation of the insurgency and civil war.

World opinion is against the U.S. Our remaining in Iraq will only damage our reputation and our honor further. It is time for us to leave Iraq.

Posted by: Evan on June 23, 2006 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin:

Before someone comes along and sells you another war, please tell us all what you mean when you talk about winning "a war against Islamic jihadism." Define your enemy and your objective before you start pondering strategy and tactics.

If there is a war to be won against "jihadism," it will be fought and settled within its own universe. I don't know what you're talking about, and I'm not sure that you do, either. Who is it you're aiming at? By what actions do they identify themselves to you?

Posted by: Confused on June 23, 2006 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

Smitty, reports from various Iraqi cities speak of scenes reminiscent of tales of the Taliban in Afghanistan regarding treatment of women. Roving enforcers dictating how they dress, banning cell phone usage and the driving of cars. There are reports of girls being prevented from attending school.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.codepinkalert.org/downloads/WelcometoLiberatedIraq.pdf
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.antiwar.com/ips/suri.php?articleid=8784
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/060806Z.shtml
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.whrnet.org/docs/issue-amna-0604.html
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1014/p09s02-coop.html
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Smitty, google Iraqi women's rights 2006. You can read all day if you choose from a variety of publications spanning all idealogical camps. Most if not all describe a deteriorating state of women's rights in Iraq, especially as compared with their lives under Saddam. Or are you from the Bush "global warming" segment of observers? Maybe you think we need to see how things develop over several thousands of years before trying to discern a pattern?

Posted by: steve duncan on June 23, 2006 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

I still love Al Franken's take on the Republican position that the Dems have "no plan" to get out of Iraq. Of course he says it better...but it amounts to realizing that Bush is saying "I've gotten you this far...now what are YOU going to do!" Like it's up to Dems to clean up this mess...my GOD!!!! Of course they and others will have to try their best to do that eventually if we aren't so far up that "polluted pathway without a proper propellant"....

Posted by: Dancer on June 23, 2006 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

We must withdraq from Iraq very soon. Not because or in spite these rancorous partisan prideful debates, but because the privations on our Army and Marines are simply too great. Victory, such as it is, is not up to us. We have given the Iraqis a choice between extremist, cultist religion, or the modern world they helped to create. their decision will be indigenous. We have lost at least 3 combat divisions killed and wounded. National prosperity has evaporated in this fool's game. Families have been devastated. We have proved that we can stubbornly cling to a mistake, all that remains to determine is if we are more foolish or more stubborn. We need to call home our good soldiers now. Pride versus cruelty should be an easy judgment to make. We must reserve the right to strike AQ in what remains in Iraq, but we have suffered much for pride's sake.

Posted by: Sparko on June 23, 2006 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers,
It was when we realized that the North Vietnamese were not merely part of the faceless communist horde (I know they are communists but they are Vietnamese first) that we also realized that we were watching bigger historical themes at play--the end of colonialism and an old civil war among the Vietnamese. When we grasp those truths we finally understood that colonial empires were obsolete.

The problem is that, as with the Iraq invasion, many people knew this from the beginning, and certainly by the time of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, and were utterly vilified for even saying so. (It was patently evident to some from 1954-56, when the U.S. undermined national elections.)

It took 12 years and 58,000 American and millions of Vietnamese lives for enough people to abhor the waste of it all, but I disagree with you on the point that significant numbers of Americans eventually caught on to the anti-colonialism history and civil war aspects. You certainly don't see much evidence of this awareness when the subject comes up today, and it's obvious that the lessons were really never learned (and again, the folks who said this before Bush invaded got vilified).

The discourse, as it was then, gets dumbed down to playground level with "cut and run" epithets and "stay the course" admonitions, and I expect "peace with honor" to come back from the grave any minute now. IMO, the invasion of Iraq is even more insane and unjustified than our Vietnam fiasco, but maybe the good news is that it's taken less time for Americans to catch on, despite the Hannity dolts in Congress.

Posted by: R. Porrofatto on June 23, 2006 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

If FDR was "anti-war" when he took us to war against the Hitler and the others, then so am I. If Lincoln was "anti-war' when he led the north in a war against the south, then so am I.

FDR didn't take us to war -- Japan attacked us and Germany declared war on us, and we defended ourselves in response. Lincoln didn't lead the North to war -- the South attacked the United States when it fired on Fort Sumter, and we defended ourselves in response.

Now how did we "defend" ourselves against Iraq? When did Iraq attack us, or declare war on us?

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

Porrofatto, there will always be enough fans in the U.S. of killing and robbing brown people to sustain these types of wars. I don't see it ending soon. Whites enjoyed killing Native Americans. They enjoyed enslaving and killing Africans. They enjoyed killing Filipinos. We've unleashed death squads on numerous South and Central American peoples. There doesn't have to be any political or econimic necessity to war for Americans to get onboard. If the "enemy" is dark skinned we'll keep pulling the trigger long after the conflict ceases to make what little sense it may have when it commenced.

Posted by: steve duncan on June 23, 2006 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

Saddam declared war on America a long time ago and was shooting at our planes. And had done everything he could to help terrorists kill Americans. After September 11th we could not risk further inaction.

Posted by: John on June 23, 2006 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

John, that's a good one! Ha, ha, ha!! John Stewart bows to your comic sensibilities!

Posted by: steve duncan on June 23, 2006 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps you missed all of Saddam's declarations, then, or when he promised the mother of all wars against the United States? More importantly, Al-Qaeda declared war on us on September 11th. Since Saddam harbored them, he is an accessory to the act. Also he attacked an American war ship. By the rules of war, an attack on a war ship is a formal act of war. If you remember more World War II history, Japan did not officially declare war on us until about an hour AFTER the attack on Pearl Harbor. Does that mean we were not at war while the bombs were falling?

Posted by: John on June 23, 2006 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

I'm fairly sure Sully would respond with something about how creating a nation that sponsors terrorism against Israel is a Very Bad Thing.

And it is.

All the more reason to pursue a robust policy of supporting a two-state solution. Iran seemed to get this as recently as two years ago, so I have hopes that American (and British) hardliners can see it as much as the Mullahs.

Posted by: MNPundit on June 23, 2006 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

John, again you're so hilarious yet utterly sublime in your presentation I have to think you've missed your calling if engaged in anything but writing comedy routines. C'mon, fess up, you work for Fox News, right?

Posted by: steve duncan on June 23, 2006 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

The triumphalism of the war supporters and stay the coursers even in face of the continuing fiasco that is the Iraq occupation is a sight to behold. Why should the other Americans continue to die just so a group of idiots can wallow in their delusions of grandeur?

Posted by: nut on June 23, 2006 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

The discourse, as it was then, gets dumbed down to playground level with "cut and run" epithets and "stay the course" admonitions...

Aye. That's the nub of it.

Only in this case W dumbed us down from the top.

Posted by: obscure on June 23, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan
Lincoln didn't lead the North to war -- the South attacked the United States when it fired on Fort Sumter, and we defended ourselves in response.

Fort Sumter was an 1850's Tonkin Gulf. A provocation.

Now how did we "defend" ourselves against Iraq? When did Iraq attack us, or declare war on us?

They'd been shooting at us continuously in the no-fly zones for 12 years. Not to mention trying to assassinate our ex-President.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 23, 2006 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

John, the U.S. harbored Al Queda in the continental 48 for months before they dropped the Towers. Law enforcement had their names, their pictures, tracked their movements and much of their money. Other nations alerted us to their presence. We obsereved them come and go from our borders. Yet we didn't intercede. That's harboring them in my book. If you're right about Saddam I guess that makes us as culpable as him in 9/11. Can we declare war on ourselves for facilitating this madness?

Posted by: steve duncan on June 23, 2006 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

They were shooting at us continuously in the no-fly zones for 12 years and never once hit a plane? What a grave threat.

Posted by: Botecelli on June 23, 2006 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike, as far as that assassination attempt on Bush1, always go for the head of the snake. Saddam if smarter than people give him credit for.

Posted by: steve duncan on June 23, 2006 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

Why should the other Americans continue to die just so a group of idiots can wallow in their delusions of grandeur?

Umm. Because the Republicans who control congress are too spineless & subservient to put a stop to it?

Posted by: obscure on June 23, 2006 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

R. Porrofatto

I don't know about every American, but I, for one turned against the Vietnam war when I realized there was more at play than simply stopping the faceless Communist horde.

I would submit that the Iraq was is a neo-colonial war, and that it has failed for exactly the same reasons Vietnam failed. No body can colonize a country the size of Iraq. More over the English left us the potential civil war when they combined a large population of Shiites with a generous mix of Kurds to be controlled by a lesser group of Sunnis. For all his monsterous faults, Saddam understood that he, or some strong man like him, was all that stood between a giant civil war between the Sunnis and Shiites, a civil war the Sunnis couldn't win without help.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 23, 2006 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

They'd been shooting at us continuously in the no-fly zones for 12 years.

The no-fly zones, you may be interested to learn, were over Iraq, not over the United States -- so I fail to see how Iraqi batteries firing at hostile U.S. warplanes in Iraqi airspace qualifies as an Iraqi attack on America. If we shot at hostile Iraqi fighter jets flying over New York and DC, would that be a U.S. attack on Iraq?

Not to mention trying to assassinate our ex-President.

In 1993, so hardly cassus belli for war in 2003. We've tried to assassinate foreign leaders numerous times, including multiple attempts to kill Castro -- was each one an act of war by the US against that country?

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

"Fort Sumter was an 1850's Tonkin Gulf. A provocation."

Except that the firing on Fort Sumter actually, you know, happened.

Posted by: Joel on June 23, 2006 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

Also, don't forget that Saddam used to point his ass towards USA whenever he passed wind.

Posted by: nut on June 23, 2006 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

In the 1945-1947 occupation of Germany, the U.S. encountered thousands of Nazi bitter enders who ambushed and sniped American troops, killed local officials who cooperated with the Allies, and generally attempted to continue to rule the German people through fear and gangster tactics.
The United States quietly snuffed out the "Werewolf" Nazi resistance by summarily executing captured Nazis on the spot with very, very little public disclosure of what we were doing and how often we were doing it. The focus of publicity was kept on the Nuremburg trials and the sins of the Nazis.

Complete lie, never happened. There was no "Werewolf" resistance movement, except in Sgt. Rock comic books, and the US took zero -- that's "0" combat casualties in Germany after May 1945.

More from wwww.mediamatters.org:

But the history indicates otherwise. According to numerous sources, the ["Werewolf"] group did not "terrorize" or "assassinate" German officials or civilians after the war. As Daniel Benjamin, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, discussed in an August 29, 2003, Slate.com article, the most notable instance of this "guerrilla unit" assassinating a German official occurred on March 25, 1945 -- nearly two months before the war in Europe ended. Benjamin wrote: "Werwolf [Werewolf] tales have been a favorite of schlock novels, but the reality bore no resemblance to Iraq today." He went on to explain:

"In practice, Werwolf amounted to next to nothing. The mayor of Aachen [a Germany city] was assassinated on March 25, 1945, on [SS Chief Heinrich] Himmler's orders. This was not a nice thing to do, but it happened before the May 7 Nazi surrender at Reims. It's hardly surprising that Berlin sought to undermine the American occupation before the war was over. And as the U.S. Army's official history, The U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany 1944-1946, points out, the killing was 'probably the Werwolf's most sensational achievement.'"....

An August 26, 2003, Los Angeles Times article also disputes Sowell's claim that the guerrilla group terrorized Germans after the war:

"The Werewolves were founded in September 1944 by SS chief Heinrich Himmler, who saw them as a special force that would work behind U.S. lines to sabotage equipment and kill U.S. troops ... But according to Perry Biddiscombe, a historian of postwar Germany who wrote a 1998 book on the Werewolves, the force was designed only to assist the German army in winning the war. It was not created to be an underground movement after a German defeat."....

Attacks on U.S. troops in the American sector of occupied Germany were so rare that some who were there deny any took place.

An October 12, 2003, Dallas Morning News article noted that apart from the "Werewolves," there were a few instances of attacks, but their scope was not remotely comparable to the Iraqi insurgency:

"'It's a lot of baloney,'" scoffed Albert G. Silverton, 85, a Californian who was an Army Counter Intelligence Corps officer stationed near Heidelberg in 1945-46. 'It sounds very intriguing and very romantic and sensational, but believe me, the Werwolf was a totally ineffective joke,' Mr. Silverton said. 'I don't know of one case where any of our men were ever shot like is happening in Iraq.'"....

The "Notebook" section of the September 8, 2003, edition of The New Republic also contained an item refuting this claim:

"To be sure, few would argue that rebuilding Germany was easy. But that's where the comparison [with Iraq] ends -- in fact, postwar Germany was marked by a surprising lack of guerrilla violence. 'There was basically no violence directed at us or allied servicemen after capitulation,' says Peter Fritzsche, professor of German history at the University of Illinois. Most Nazi officers were busy trying to save their own skins, and the vast majority of Germans were only too glad to see the war end and the Hitler regime toppled."

mediamatters.org/items/200512150003

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan
The no-fly zones, you may be interested to learn, were over Iraq, not over the United States -- so I fail to see how Iraqi batteries firing at hostile U.S. warplanes in Iraqi airspace qualifies as an Iraqi attack on America. If we shot at hostile Iraqi fighter jets flying over New York and DC, would that be a U.S. attack on Iraq?

That depends. Is there a no-fly zone that we've agreed to respect over NY and DC?

I don't see why you are OK with them trying to shoot and kill our pilots if it's in the no-fly zone. Was is the history behind the no-fly zones?

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 23, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

While many have focused on the opposing choices of whether we should remain in Iraq without a deadline for withdrawal vs. whether we should establish some deadline to withdraw...there may be something else at play. Read an analysis that explains how Iraq may be the focal point of a Republican October surprise...here:

www.thoughttheater.com

Posted by: Daniel DiRito on June 23, 2006 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

More on the lunatic "Werewolf" myth from political scientist Daniel Benjamin at Slate:

The Army history records that while there were the occasional anti-occupation leaflets and graffiti, the GIs had reason to feel safe. When an officer in Hesse was asked to investigate rumors that troops were being attacked and castrated, he reported back that there had not been a single attack against an American soldier in four months of occupation. As the distinguished German historian Golo Mann summed it up in The History of Germany Since 1789, "The [Germans'] readiness to work with the victors, to carry out their orders, to accept their advice and their help was genuine; of the resistance which the Allies had expected in the way of 'werewolf' units and nocturnal guerrilla activities, there was no sign. "

Werwolf itself was filled not so much by fearsome SS officers but teenagers too young for the front. [Anthony] Beevor writes:

In the west, the Allies found that Werwolf was a fiasco. Bunkers prepared for Werwolf operations had supplies "for 10-15 days only" and the fanaticism of the Hitler Youth members they captured had entirely disappeared. They were "no more than frightened, unhappy youths." Few resorted to the suicide pills which they had been given "to escape the strain of interrogation and, above all, the inducement to commit treason." Many, when sent off by their controllers to prepare terrorist acts, had sneaked home.

That's not quite the same as the Rumsfeld version, which claimed that "Today the Nazi dead-enders are largely forgotten, cast to the sidelines of history because they comprised a failed resistance and managed to kill our Allied forces in a war that saw millions fight and die."

It's hard to understand exactly what Rumsfeld was saying, but if he meant that the Nazi resisters killed Americans after the surrender, this would be news. According to America's Role in Nation-Building: From Germany to Iraq, a new study by former Ambassador James Dobbins, who had a lead role in the Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo reconstruction efforts, and a team of RAND Corporation researchers, the total number of post-conflict American combat casualties in Germanyand Japan, Haiti, and the two Balkan caseswas zero.

slate.msn.com/id/2087768/

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

"Was is the history behind the no-fly zones?"

Why don't you look it up yourself, moron?

Posted by: Joel on June 23, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

That depends. Is there a no-fly zone that we've agreed to respect over NY and DC?

Yes -- it's called the territorial integrity of the United States, and our right to defend our sovereign territory against foreign incursion. Why don't you know this?

I don't see why you are OK with them trying to shoot and kill our pilots if it's in the no-fly zone. Was is the history behind the no-fly zones?

Would you mind moving those goalposts back? I'm having a hard time seeing them from down there. There's a difference between being "Ok" with it, which implies approval, and recognizing that they have a right to do it, that defending their airspace against hostile warplanes is not an "attack" on the country that sent those warplanes. If I broke into someone's house and he shot at me, I wouldn't be "Ok" with it, but I wouldn't whine that it was he who attacked me, either.

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

I'm very late to this conversation, but Kevin Drum's initial analysis was first-rate. The thread has been remarkably good as well. The ratio of sense to trollspew is better than I have seen in ages. I have to infer that even the trolls know the "stay the course" fervor is a desperate gambit.

So I guess we won't see a triumphant pull-out of troops on Oct 30, just before the November mid-terms. We were speculating about that six months ago, remember?

As for a phased withdrawal, why is that "cutting and running?" We have done 70-80% of what we ostensibly set out to do (once you get past the WMD deceit): Saddam is no longer in power, a government has been elected, an Iraqi army and police force are being established, the ME has been destablized. So, make it clear that the US is going to withdraw in two years--October 2008 at the latest (right before the 2008 election, *sigh*) and figure out how to strenghten the legitimate Iraqi government in the meantime.

I suspect the reason Bushco & conservatives don't want to define "Victory" explicitly is because to them victory means, "on our terms", with Iraq as our free-market buddy, enriching our corporations, and the US with access to bases and oil. The "war-time" president angle is also extremely advantageous. So they don't really want to solve the Iraq problem either, because they are not going to get what they want in Iraq, and they do get some political mojo the way things are now.

But I have to wonder about a different approach: perhaps, instead of spending ~$200 million a day to support our war effort, the US should withdraw its troops and pay every Iraqi $8 a day for three years to stop fighting. The average income in Iraq has collapsed to around $800 per person. So $2920 per person annually would make a huge difference. We're going to spend the money anyway, and this way, no one gets killed. And with all that money sloshing around, the Iraqis might figure out that they would rather trade with each other than slaughter one another. They feel more beneficent towards the US to boot.

Posted by: PTate in MN on June 23, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Ok, first let me point out the lies:
"...an enemy that seems to gaining momentum and strength". Only the left would believe that. According to the late Zarqawi's memos the insurgency is having a tougher and tougher time of succeeding.

"...Iraq is already in a civil war". Gen. Casey completely denies this statement, and he is in the middle of it.

"....destroy our standing in the world". The only countries that aren't too happy with us are the ones that we want to be upset with us. All civilized countries are wishing for our success.

This must be Kevin's back door attempt of trying to jump on the bandwagon as our efforts in this war are now looking to victorious. I can here the left now when out troops start heading home and Iraq becomes stable how they supported this effort all along, but would have done it differently.

Kevin states that "staying too long" damages our standing in the world, then please explain our presence in Europe and Japan stemming from WWII that we still have. Would that be an example of staying too long? And now Kevin advocates a long term commitment but not an open ended policy. You guys are scrambling now.

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

Just to add a little context to this, the U.S. asked for the multinational force mandate as a way to put a post facto blessing on an invasion that Stefan correctly stated was at least informally viewed as illegal by the U.N. when it happened, and to which the Security Council (I believe grudgingly) agreed.

No, the Security Council never agreed to our invasion. Bush claimed that he was going to ask for a vote, "no matter what," but then flip-flopped when he saw he was going to lose. We invaded with no political legitimacy at all.

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

News Flash to Andrew Sullivan: The Iraq War isnt just a political "game."

"Rove is winning this game for now. If you stick to your anti-war position, you are left with hoping for catastrophe, which a great political party should be above." - Andrew Sullivan

Ask Andrew Sullivan: If tommorrow you became convinced that further military action was only going to make the situation worse and that withdrawal was the best option for America and the soliders, would that mean you were hoping for catastrophe? Obviously not, but that is what you are claiming here.

IF this were just a political game of no real consequence then Mr. Sullivan would be partly right. He ie also right that Rove treats the war as partisan political game.

Sullivan is wrong that recognizing the continuing in the war is hoping for catastrophe. He badly confuses the political gaming issue for the real world consequences. No one is hoping for catastrophe that I know of, the wingnuts do claim this repeatedly without evidence.

I for one dont have a solid opinion on what we should do, but I do know the vast majority of people pushing for withdrawal are doing so, because they believe it would be best for America and that we should no longer be puting American lives at risk. This is what they are hoping for, the probability that the current President and Congress are unlikely to listen doesnt change that hope into one for castastrophe. Only people who treated this as a partisan game and only a partisan game would come to such a conclusion for the anti-war stance. Reality is I know of no one who is antiwar who is treating this like a political game.

Sullivan should be smart enough to see that his statement is false. Being against the war is not remotely equivalent to being for catastrophe. Being for withdrawal is hoping to end this ongoing catastrophe. He apparently confuses badly what people expect to happen under the current policy with what they want to happen. Then he further badly confuses wanting to change that outcome with wanting it to happen.

Posted by: Catch22 on June 23, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan, that is where the right and left have huge differences. We should never let the UN dictate what we do militarily. If you feel different I urge you to tell the voters this fall and in '08 that our military should act under the direction of the UN. PLEEEAASSEE bring that one up.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans now concerned about our credibility and standing in the world? That's rich.

Posted by: Ringo on June 23, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Is there a no-fly zone that we've agreed to respect over NY and DC?

By the way, Iraq never agreed to the no-fly zones. They were unilaterally created by the US, UK and France after the 1991 war. The no-fly zones were not authorised by the UN nor were they specifically sanctioned by any Security Council resolution.

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Then he further badly confuses...

Sullivan is a badly confused individual.

Posted by: Ringo on June 23, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan, just say it, you believe that our military should act under the direction of the UN. Have the balls to stand for something so we can all see what a left leaning, America hating liberal piece of ....... you are.

That's what you believe, but you don't have the courage to tell the voters that because you know it's a sure loser. And that's why the left has to mask who they really are in order to win an election.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Jay, you actually believe Pentagon propaganda? The lies told by DoD have exceeded methods needed to tally them. From Pat Tillman to the number of battle ready Iraqi troops if their lips are moving it's falsehoods you're hearing. The later clarifications don't receive nearly the negative coverage the initial lies garnered them in positive press. Lie now and deal with truth later is their MO. You're actually too myopic and gullible to see that?

Posted by: steve duncan on June 23, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

Cut 'N Run Jay: Kevin states that "staying too long" damages our standing in the world, then please explain our presence in Europe and Japan stemming from WWII that we still have.

The explanation is simple. They surrendered and stopped fighting us. We won. In Vietnam, by contrast, where they never stopped fighting us and we lost, we have no presence.

Would that be an example of staying too long?

If we'd been spending $200 million taxpayer dollars a day, and taking ten thousand plus casualties a year, for the past sixty years in combat in Germany and Japan, then probably, yes, that would be staying too long.

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK
Is there a no-fly zone that we've agreed to respect over NY and DC?

No, neither were there no-fly zones that Iraq agreed to over Iraq; there were no-fly zones that the US and others illegally and in direct contravention of binding UNSC resolutions imposed, without agreement of Iraq, on Iraq in 1991 and 1996.

I don't see why you are OK with them trying to shoot and kill our pilots if it's in the no-fly zone. Was is the history behind the no-fly zones?ht of withdrawing because it seems too much like surrender. So they're stuck supporting a war they know is a losing effort.

The no-fly zones were illegally imposed and enforced by the UK, US, and France (France withdrew in 1998) in direct contravention of the express terms of the cease-fire resolution imposed by the UN Security Council. They were never, contrary to the implicit premise of your NY and DC comparison, agreed to by Iraq, nor were they consistent with the binding command of the UNSC that the US, et al., respect the soveriegnty and territorial integrity of Iraq. They were notionally imposed as a means of enforcing other elements of the cease-fire resolution, but the US, UK, and France had no authority to use military force in contravention of the cease-fire terms to enforce other cease-fire terms without express authorization from the UN Security Council, except in the event of an actual Iraqi attack on one of them, or some other nation that called on them for defense, after the cease-fire was imposed.

Of course, the enforcement itself was an attack on Iraq, and legally entitled Iraq to act in self-defense against it, irrespective of the legality of its prior actions.

Thus, firing on aircraft "enforcing" the "no-fly zones" -- which were engaged in illegal attacks by the US, et al., on Iraq -- could not legally justify further US attacks on Iraq.

You can't use over a decade of illegal aggression by the US against Iraq to justify an intensification of illegal aggression by the US against Iraq.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 23, 2006 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

"....garnered them in the positive press"? steve duncan.

riiight.

The press has nothing positive to say about anything in Iraq nor about this administration. Denying reality and hoping for the worst is the left MO and you're in the middle of that pathetic pack. Ignorant, selfish, and delusional and dishonest is what the left has become. Congratulations.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

So they surrendered and we still stayed? That's not very nice is it? What would the UN have to say about that? And you don't think those bases cost us any money? Nice spin shit-for-brains.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

The allegedly incompetent Bush plan boils down to practically simplifying the task: 1) Find terrorists, particularly those who identify with al Qaeda, and 2) kill them.

Unless, of course, they hide out in Pakistan, or are named Osama bin Laden. Then Bush can't be bothered.

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK
We should never let the UN dictate what we do militarily.

If that's the case, we ought to repudiate the UN Charter, which is a ratified treaty in which we've agreed, in specific circumstances which apply here, to do just that.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 23, 2006 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: You can't use over a decade of illegal aggression by the US against Iraq to justify an intensification of illegal aggression by the US against Iraq.

Well, Republicans shouldn't do that, at least not with a straight face and any sense of intellectual honesty -- whether they can, of course, given their level of mendacity, is another matter....

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Shit-for-brains stefan exemplifies the dilemma of the left. Firmly believes that the UN should direct our military but doesn't have the courage to say it. And is now scrambling for a position to take on this war as we can now see victory.

250,000+ military
three successful elections
permanent government
Zarqawi dead
Saddam on trial
Iran wanting to talk
Memo's from Zarqawi stating the insurgency is on the ropes
WMD's found, (actually an old story, 500 missles of sarin gas) but never acknowledged by the selfish left.
Bilbray wins in CA

Watching the desperation of the left grow deeper and deeper is pure entertainment. This will be the best year yet. Pass the popcorn.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

If that's the case, we ought to repudiate the UN Charter, which is a ratified treaty in which we've agreed, in specific circumstances which apply here, to do just that.

Repost with edits from above:

Articles 2.3 and 2.4 of the United Nations Charter, a treaty which the US is a signatory to and which is therefore supreme law of the land, provide that:

2.3. "All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered."

2.4. "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations."

There are only two exceptions to the prohibition on waging warfare: (i) the first is every state's natural right to self-defense (Article 51 of the Charter), while (ii) the second, (under Articles 42 and 53 of the Charter), allows the Security Council to sanction member states, or regional alliances, to use force against a country in clear violation of the U.N. Charter.

Otherwise, under international law, no state -- including, yes, the U.S. -- may legally use force against another outside of the above narrowly tailored exceptions.


Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, it all comes down to saving face. If we have any kind of withdrawal at any time--full out, phased within one year, phased over 3 years, full after 7 years--the insurgents or al qaeda types will declare that they ran the US out of Iraq. It does not matter when and it does not matter under what circumstances. Those claims will be made. Bush simply does not want those claims to be made while he is president. It would be the last dagger in this absolute failure of a foreign "policy" adventure. We now know Bush has no problem horribly torturing an innocent mentally handicapped person, just to save face. That is all this is about.

Posted by: bubba on June 23, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

First, we have to ask whether a "clear and hold" strategy could actually work in Iraq. I think that's debatable. And, I think a clear and hold approach would cause the groups that are currently occupied killing each other to turn their full focus to killing our troops.

Second, do we actually have the ground forces that could implement a clear and hold strategy? Again, that's debatable. The modern military is not geared to hold ground, it's geared to destroy the enemies men and material a la the old Soviet army.

There are no good answers for Iraq. This is going to fester for a long time.

President Bush set out certain parameters for our invasion of Iraq. Sullivan and his ilk should insist that the guy they wanted to lead the nation stick to his word, or explain why he won't.

Posted by: zak822 on June 23, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

That's it Stefan, stand on that one during election time if you think the US should firmly abide by those resolutions. Have the courage to actually tell people what you believe in.

Of course those same resolutions were violated by Saddam when he entered Kuwait. Were violated by the UK when they entered the Falkland Islands. Were violated by Russia when they entered Afghanistan. So, should the US lead by example? If the left really told the voting public everything they believe in; open borders, UN control of our military, wealth redistribution, UHC, etc, etc,. They would not win an election in the forseeable future.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Now the Republicans are saying we went to war over 500 missles which a defense official descriped as pre-1991 weapons that could not have been fired as designed because theyd already been degraded

Posted by: Botecelli on June 23, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Shit-for-brains Jay exemplifies the dilemma of the right. Firmly believes that the Iraq puppet government should direct our military but doesn't have the courage to say it.

Posted by: Joel on June 23, 2006 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

"Now the Republicans are saying we went to war over 500 missles"

Not even missles, just shells. Worthless shells at that.

Posted by: Joel on June 23, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Oh so now the WMD's that were found are not good enough for the left to justify the effort after having screamed like little school girls the last three years that GW lied. All of you should admit that you were wrong and played upon the fears of Americans. Of course that's assuming that you all have integrity, which is a key missing ingredient on the left. Starting with Howard Dean.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

I would support an increase in troop levels

Kevin, to do so would probably mean instituting the draft. Do you support the draft for an illegal and immoral war??

Posted by: SweettP2063 on June 23, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
I know it is super late in the tread but they key document about why it is in the National Interest to withdraw immediately is here:
http://www.hudson.org/files/publications/odom_national_interest_summer_2004.pdf

Posted by: Nemesis on June 23, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

The real strategy of the Administration in Iraq is to hang out there until someone else moves into the White House in 2009.

This Administration is in a mess, it knows it, and it is determined to save face until it can safely walk away and pass the problem onto another President. And of course, blame the mess on the new Administration...

That is the real reason behind "staying the course". The rest of the rhetoric is just raw mest that the GOP throws at its ever-shrinking base to cling on to power in November.

Don't expect any "genuine, long-term winning strategy". The only strategy that the Administration has is to cover its ass.

Posted by: Devil's Advocate on June 23, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

They should be directing our military now Joel. They are now in the lead in this effort and guess what, that has been the plan all along. Remember that "plan" that the left sonesn't have? That's the difference between us, I stand for something, you stand for nothing therefore will fall for everything. When you finally realize what a tool you've been for buying into the left propaganda, start voting republican, you'll fell better about yourself.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Now I am convinced that Jay is a parody troll- nobody could be that dumb

Posted by: Botecelli on June 23, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Oh so now the WMD's that were found are not good enough for the left...

Jay, stop peddling that weak shit here. Rusty crap in a shell casing from the late 80s ain't an immediate threat to the US nor a looming mushroom cloud. Get in line with troll Cheney and declare to the public that degraded shells and C-4 are WMDs and THIS is the reason Bush invaded Iraq and destroyed thousands of lives and billions of dollars. I dare you.

Posted by: ckelly on June 23, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Sweetp, do you support the UN? If so, Saddam signed a UN cease-fire agreement stating the if any of the conditions in that agreement were violated, the allies reserved the right to continue hostilities. He violated every condition, so the war is not illegal.

Secondly, our military is comprised of nearly 2,000,000 people, Currently there are roughly 130,000 in Iraq. Not exactly needing a draft, huh?

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Cut 'N Run Jay: That's what you believe, but you don't have the courage to tell the voters that because you know it's a sure loser.....That's it Stefan, stand on that one during election time if you think the US should firmly abide by those resolutions.

I don't where Jay gets this idea that I'm running for election....

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

We're not really touting that ckelly, in fact it is an old story. The fact is though that sarin gas is a WMD and it was found, so you guys are the liars, but we won't focus on that, that's common knowledge.

The recent vote in Congress demonstrates your representatives support for this administrations plans in Iraq. I urge you to depart from your own reps votes and tell the voting public how illegal and immoral this war is and that we should immediately pull out, or do you have the balls to do that?

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

I can actually see the spittle hitting Jay's monitor!

Posted by: S Ra on June 23, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

They should be directing our military now Joel.

Ah, finally! So according to Cut 'N Run Jay, and to JohnFH above, the U.S. armed forces should operate under the direction and control of the Iraqi government. That's the difference between Republicans and Democrats, I suppose -- Republicans believe Iranian-allied Iraq should have a veto over how the US uses its military, Democrats believe those decisions should be left up to the American voter. And they wonder why Americans don't trust the GOP when it comes to protecting America's national security....

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, give them a timetable and about the time the transports start landing at the airports and military bases in Iraq thousands of terrorists will be lined up several deep with Stingers and other types of shoulder fired surface to air missiles itching to get a shot off at our departing troops.

Of course, we may discover that the jihadists are out in the streets celkebrating their "victory".

Those with the missiles may be angry, vengeful next of kin and other relatives of "collateral damage" and other "accidents of war".

Posted by: Ray Waldren on June 23, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

And they say the Democrats are anti troop! Yet another example of chicken hawks talking the talk but sacrificing our nations best for their own political needs. They won't give amnesty to Mexicans but will free the killers of our troops. This is a disgrace.
And BTW the key to the agreement is a scheduled troop pull out. This is what the Repukes have been negotiating in the background while acting like hawks in the public, this is exactly what happened in Viet Nam.


Peace deal offers Iraq insurgents an amnesty
From Ned Parker in Baghdad and Tom Baldwin


Posted by: fat karl on June 23, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Jay, regarding those WMDs that were found. I'm really not too concerned that we found a few hundred old battlefield chemical munitions left over from before the first Gulf War.

What I'm really concerned about it the massive, awesome intercontinental Howitzer that Saddam must have had (right?), which would have enabled him to lob those shells onto the United States. I mean, we went to war because those "WMDs" represented a real and present danger to us, right?

Posted by: Wonderin on June 23, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Wait until these "homegrown" terrorists in Miami are found to be democrats. ROTFLOL.

Yeah, but we're not safe here and GW has no plan. Riiiiight.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

I see that Jay knows how to drool.

Pretty fancy!

Posted by: obscure on June 23, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Jay, don't forget when enumerating this administration's successes to put "Bin Laden still alive and kicking" at the top of the list.

Posted by: steve duncan on June 23, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

No shit-for-brains Stefan, let me clarify this for you as I know you are pretty fucking stupid. YOU believe that the UN should direct our ENTIRE military. I believe that the new Iraqi government should lead our current military force in Iraq helping to secure their own country and government as they find their footing. This allow them to continue to gain control of their own future.

The left has lost soooo badly on this one it's comical. I almost feel sorry for you pathetic losers. Well, no not really.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Quote from the Sullivan article:

I should therefore break the news to my liberal and Democratic readers: Rove is winning this game for now. If you stick to your anti-war position, you are left with hoping for catastrophe, which a great political party should be above.

should be above...

... but isn't.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on June 23, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Jay, do you think that we'll be able to tow the intercontinental Howitzer with one of our armorless Humvees?

Posted by: Wonderin on June 23, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

"They should be directing our military now Joel."

Unbelievable! I can't wait to see the Republicans run on a platform that includes the Iraqi government directing our military. I love it!

Moron.

Posted by: Joel on June 23, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Wait until these "homegrown" terrorists in Miami are found to be democrats.

Miami? So we have to invade Florida, right? After all, a terrorist threat requires a massive military response, and the Jeb Bush government in Florida has been harboring these terrorists. Cut 'N Run Jay's not proposing that we deal with these terrorists merely through law enforcement methods like letting the FBI arrest them, is he?

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

It's only a matter of time before UBL is wiped out, as he currently hides in fear in his caves. Remember it was Zarqawi's inner circle that turned on him and the same thing will eventually happen to UBL.

Remember Eric Rudolph? It took us five years to find him and he never left the Southeast.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

JUST DON'T GET IT do you shit-for-brains. Watching you scramble for the negativity gets more and more entertaining. Desperation on the left is sooooooo fun to watch.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

The fact is though that sarin gas is a WMD and it was found...

And that's why Bush has been trumpeting this as vindication...oh wait.

Gosh, maybe we should move our troops to Okinawa after all - I'm sure if they scour the island they might find some unexploded WWII vintage shells. WMDs! WMDs!

Posted by: ckelly on June 23, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Jay, I'll admit it, even if Stefan won't. I DO want the UN to run our ENTIRE military; I want to give the Trilateral Commission full control over MY life (and by extension, yours), AND I want to have a black helicopter in every garage.

Oh yeah, I want Armageddon to happen real soon, too.

Posted by: Wonderin on June 23, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

Joel, do try and stay up on things would you. GW has already stated many times that the Iraqi generals are now in the lead on directing many of our military efforts as well as the Iraqi military. Geez, you guys are pathetic.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

ckelly, you can join Stefan in the "JUST DON'T GET IT" corner. Now run along.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

WE'LL BE GREETED AS LIBERATORS!!!

Posted by: Jay-for-brains on June 23, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Jay is another one of the 30%ers whose feeble brain has been reduced to Swiss cheese from too much Faux News - watching, and Limbaugh - listening. Those trolls are so delusional that they cannot figure out that they are a pathetic minority.

This said, ignore him. He has nothing to contribute but incoherent rants.

Posted by: Devil's Advocate on June 23, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Wait until these "homegrown" terrorists in Miami are found to be democrats.

Jay is just flailing wildly now.

Anyhoo, regarding those arrests in Miami, I guess that fighting terrorists really IS a law enforcement problem after all. Who knew? Besides Kerry and most Democrats that is.

Posted by: ckelly on June 23, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Well wonderin, under leadership from the left; Dean, Pelosi, Reid and Kerry. Armageddon would happen.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

"Democrats believe [decisions about the prosecution of the war in Iraq] should be left up to the American voter." - Stefan

They are left up to the American voter. This is a non-issue. That's why we have a Republican president, a Republican congress, and a majority of the elected Democratic opposition advocating positions far closer to the center than those advocated by Stefan.

Of course, if the American electorate was given the option of voting out the people it voted in every 6 months rather than every 2, 4, or 6 years, Stefan might be happier, I dunno. He can answer that one for himself.

Posted by: JohnFH on June 23, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Well, yeah, Jay. But isn't Armageddon what you really want? The Second Coming, and all? C'mon, I admitted the part about wanting the UN to run my life; now it's your turn to spill your guts.

So how come you're not voting for Democrats?

Posted by: Wonderin on June 23, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Watching you scramble for the negativity gets more and more entertaining. Desperation on the left is sooooooo fun to watch.

Posted by: Projection Anyone? on June 23, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Oh I am sorry Devil's, I didn't realize minorities ruled in a democracy. I mean afterall, when you win an election by more than 3.5 million popular votes and the recent overwhelming vote of support in Congress re: Iraq, those must all be minority positions right?

Who taught you math?

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Cut 'N Run Jay: I urge you to depart from your own reps votes and tell the voting public how illegal and immoral this war is and that we should immediately pull out, or do you have the balls to do that?....I believe that the new Iraqi government should lead our current military force in Iraq

And yet let's remember how Cut 'N Run Jay got his nickname, when back in February he wrote:

IMHO, it's time to start coming home and let them fend for themselves. At the very least, it may take them years or decades to get back to the threat that Saddam posed, and hopefully we won't have to do it again. Posted by: Jay on February 23, 2006 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

So wait, we shouldn't pull out, but we should start coming home? And we should let the Iraqis fend for themselves, but we should also let them control our military? Maybe it's just me, but I'm having a hard time telling these two positions apart.

I urge Jay to depart from the Bush regime and tell the American voters that "it's time to start coming home and let them fend for themselves."

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Assuming all republicans are religious, another mistake by the left. Just add that one to the long, long list of mistakes.

Give me liberty or give me death. The US should lead on every issue this planet faces in pursuit of freedom and democracy be damned with the UN or reputations.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Read the polls, Jay. You and the rest of your fellow asylum inmates are NOW the minority.

Bush's approval ratings are stuck in the low 30s. The GOP - controlled Congress' approval ratings are in the low 20s. A majority of Americans (2/3) believe that the country is on the wrong course. A majority of Americans (57%)want the troops home.

You and your ilk are the whackjob fringe.

Run along, now. Go enlist and go to Iraq, Chickenshit.

Posted by: Devil's Advocate on June 23, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Another Bush success story: After laying siege to Iraq for 3-1/2 years he has to sneak into Baghdad unannounced, plane lights out, communications blacked out with the very government he's installed for fear of violence preempting his visit. 3-1/2 years after Pearl Harbor America had kicked ass over several continents and marched into Berlin without having to cower under cover of darkness or keep our grand entrance a secret. FDR, Truman, Patton and the rest of that generation would review Dubya's sorry ass performance to date and shed a tear for the people he's gotten killed in this charade of a war. Dubya will leave Iraq with his tail so firmly tucked between his legs it'll be tickling his navel.

Posted by: steve duncan on June 23, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

As usual, Bush is an expert in boxing himself into a corner.

If the GOP line is "The troops come home when they are ready, things are improving, wait and see", then a small troop withdrawal right before the midterms looks like part of a general draw down and gives the impression things are under control. It buys time, because you can always say "look, we tried a small redeployment, it isn't working, let's keep what we have now".

But no, the GOP line is "Even talking about leaving is cutting and running, and the terrorists win", which pretty much guarantees that there will be no withdrawals this year, no matter what happens.

I hope Krugman is right and "Let's talk about what to do in Iraq" wins out over "More of the same" this November. Remember, the Press and the GOP thought Terri Shiavo was a slam-dunk win at first.

Posted by: Alderaan on June 23, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I'm certainly with you there, Jay. I'd like the US to lead on solving or curtailing global warming, for example. Eh?

(Psst...where do you think Saddam hid the intercontinental Howitzer?)

Posted by: Wonderin on June 23, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Again, just don't get it Stefan (that's a great new nickname). I will go slow so you can follow. Yes, it is time to start a gradual withdrawal as the Iraqi military is now starting to gain momentum and confidence which will allow them to "fend" for themselves. I saw this coming months ago. And yes, the Iraqi military Generals should continue to direct and dictate the action, afterall it is their country. Are you really that stupid?

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, the Trolletarat is worried about this topic. Look at how rapidly they deployed first JohnFH and then when his shift was done Jay of the ever imagined facts (like most civilized countries support America in Iraq, which is clearly bogus and unsourced, one such claim among many from this trolletariat member) took over and has been posting truthiness at a mile a minute rate.


Personally I think Gregory at June 23, 2006 at 8:33 AM pretty much sums this one up. Withdrawal by the Bush/GOP regime would undercut everything they have said over the last three years to questions about the actual need for, mechanics of, and planning for of the Iraq invasion. It would undercut their ability to lambaste the Dems as the party of retreat and surrender while they (GOP) are the party of resolution and victory which they have been spewing for years now.

Finally though the GOP and Bush have demonstrated that their domestic political needs are more important to them then the lives of American troops and even the ability of the military as a whole to retain its fighting capability. Something that keeps getting overlooked in these discussions is the damage being done to the American Army and Reserve as a war fighting force. the under funding and lack of proper support of armor in the beginning, the lack of decent rotations to allow decompression of soldiers in a highly stressful environment, all these things have been contributing to weakening the US Army to a point where it will make the Army of the 70s look good. Not a good thing at all for anyone that takes national security issues seriously.

Posted by: Scotian on June 23, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK
Of course those same resolutions were violated by Saddam when he entered Kuwait.

First, they aren't "resolutions" they are provisions of the UN Charter, but, yes, Saddam violated them by invading Kuwait, and the US led -- rightly -- a response, coordinated through and authorized by the UN (even though, as an actual attack had occurred, UN permission was not strictly necessary for a response, nevertheless, the Charter also requires that member states submit such matters to the UN and, when a decision is made by the UNSC, abide by it.)

Were violated by the UK when they entered the Falkland Islands.

The Falkland Islands were and are sovereign territory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, so, no, they didn't violate any portion of the UN Charter by sending military forces there.

Argentina, on the other hand...

Were violated by Russia when they entered Afghanistan.

The Soviet Union rather than Russia, but true. So? Saddam, the Soviets, and Argentine dictators committed illegal acts of aggression, so its a good idea for the US to do so, too? Is that your argument?

Posted by: cmdicely on June 23, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

So now it's global warming. Let's see, the planet has been around for billions of years (just ask Stefan) and we have seen a gradual rise in temps the last two hundred years. OK, what is 200 years divided by a few billion year? Less than 2 1/10,000's of a percent. Yup, definitely time to panic.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

ckelly, you can join Stefan in the "JUST DON'T GET IT" corner.

I'll admit it Jay. I just don't "see" the brilliance and genius of Bush as you describe. I don't get how Iraq had/has anything to do with 9/11, imminent threats to the US, or terrorism prior to our invading. I don't get how you can "see" victory in the anarchy that is Iraq.

I guess a re-edumacation is needed. Perhaps if I listen to Rush...

Posted by: ckelly on June 23, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

9 U.S. soldiers were killed yesterday -- 5 in Iraq, 4 in Afghanistan. The Iraqi President has declared a state of emergency. Meanwhile, the daily bombings, kidnappings, and summary executions od Iraqis continue unabated. Cheney's last throes are the throes that last.

The Sunni - dominated government has in effect installed an Islamic Republic in Iraq, one that is closely allied with Iran. So much for bringing democracy...

Stay the course indeed. Heckuva job, Georgie!

Posted by: Devil's Advocate on June 23, 2006 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

"And yes, the Iraqi military Generals should continue to direct and dictate the action, afterall it is their country."

That's not what you said upthread, Jay. You said the Iraqi government should direct our military. Not "the action, "our military."

Are you really that stupid?

Posted by: Joel on June 23, 2006 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Well, okay, you've explained it for me. Thanks, Jay. You're right, global warming isn't a problem after all.

But I still would like your opinion on my intercontinental Howitzer theory. The cannon that would make those chemical WMDs a real threat to us. Do you think they manufactured it themselves? Or maybe they bought it from the Chinese?

Posted by: Wonderin on June 23, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

The question is how can American forces leave Iraq with minimal loss of prestige, money, and men. There will be no victory, glory, or honour, or splendid model laissez-faire state, or friend of Israel and the US created in that place. Americans will settle for the small satisfaction that the tin-pot dictator Saddam Hussein, who dared to defy American will, has been removed from power. But that is all.

If you travel across Africa or through India you will see small overgrown parks, often in the bush, chock-a-block with statues of great Europeans. This will be fate of Americans in Mesopotamia but for them the only monuments, as in Vietnam, will be what they destroyed.

The adventure in Iraq is just maintenance of a waning empire that is out of money and men and now prestige thanks to Dick Cheney and friends, as Ron Suskind says in his new book the reason why that country was invaded was to "create a demonstration model to guide the behavior of anyone with the temerity to acquire destructive weapons or, in any way, flout the authority of the United States."

This is not the first time in history a demonstration of might- drunk on nationalism- has ended as a demonstration of weakness. Let us hope for the sake of national pride that the Chinese continue to lend money for these ego follies.

Posted by: bellumregio on June 23, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

I hope the illegal immmigrant from England suffers a lot more than mental excrutiation for supporting the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Posted by: Hostile on June 23, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

I have never claimed GW to be genius, but the plan is working as demonstrated by the accomplishments listed in my 10:48am post.

Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 but Iraq has a whole lot to do with the larger scale of jihadism. That is the perfect example of the left who JUST DON'T GET IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

"A majority of Americans (2/3) believe that the country is on the wrong course. A majority of Americans (57%)want the troops home." - Devil's Advocate

The question then is whether the majority of Dems in the Senate are reading the electorate correctly when they refuse to support a call for withdrawal independent of progress on the ground.

I'm pretty sure they underestand the sentiments of the American public better than those with McGovern-like positions today.

Posted by: JohnFH on June 23, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Let's see, the planet has been around for billions of years (just ask Stefan) and we have seen a gradual rise in temps the last two hundred years. OK, what is 200 years divided by a few billion year? Less than 2 1/10,000's of a percent.

AHAHAHAHAHA! HAHAHAHAHAHAH! Man, that grasp of science is just...oh Christ, that's too funny. You can't buy entertainment this good....

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, devil's. An average of 123 people are murdered everyday here in the US. Should we declare a state of emergency?

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

"An average of 123 people are murdered everyday here in the US. Should we declare a state of emergency?"

How many people live in the US, Jay? How many in Iraq? Think these numbers are different?

Moron.

Posted by: Joel on June 23, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Saddam, the Soviets, and Argentine dictators committed illegal acts of aggression, so its a good idea for the US to do so, too? Is that your argument?" - cmdicely

Perfectly valid point. I'm also pleased to see a defense of Bush I's decision to go to war against Saddam. A war of choice, not of necessity, yet still justified.

I have many friends in Europe, however, who feel that the US led intervention in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Serbia under Clinton was illegal because not approved by the UN. Does cmdicely agree?

Posted by: JohnFH on June 23, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK
I'm pretty sure they underestand the sentiments of the American public better than those with McGovern-like positions today.

Ah, the silent majority argument. Face it, JohnFH, you're a dead-ender and a 30 percenter. If it were up to me, I gather you and the rest of the Bush sycophants in this country, ram you in a cannon, and fire you at North Korea.

Posted by: SavageView on June 23, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

So you want to use that argument Joel?

58,000 dead soldiers in Vietnam
2,500 soldiers dead in Iraq.

Comparable?

Right back at you moron.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Iraq has a whole lot to do with the larger scale of jihadism.

It didn't when Saddam ran things....MAYBE it does now that's debatable and IF so it means Bush created it. I get it now Jay - Bush inflamed jihadism where there was none. Thanks Georgie. So if we somehow put out the jihadi fire in Iraq in years to come - we'll be back to square one. Minus the thousands dead, wounded, and billions of dollars spent. Goody.

Posted by: ckelly on June 23, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

The Iraqi government declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew Friday after insurgents set up roadblocks in central Baghdad and opened fire on U.S. and Iraqi troops outside the Green Zone

Posted by: nutty little nut nut on June 23, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, there was no jihadism prior to GW. Geez, most insane comment yet. ckelly, follow the popcorn trail that started in 1972 Munich Olympics and recently went through Beslan, Jakarta, Madrid, London, NY, etc. etc.

Again, the left DOESN'T GET IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

Get the hate, division and fear?

Posted by: nutty little nut nut on June 23, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

More success!!: BAGHDAD, Iraq - The Iraqi government declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew Friday after insurgents set up roadblocks in central Baghdad and opened fire on U.S. and Iraqi troops just north of the heavily fortified Green Zone.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The enemy is setting up roadblocks in the capital of a country the U.S. military has occupied for 3-1/2 years? Jay, is this success? Is this victory? If insurgents can do this when we're present imagine the field day they'll have when we are finally driven out. Yeah, that Rummy is a genius alright. Smarter than the average bear.

Posted by: steve duncan on June 23, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

"58,000 dead soldiers in Vietnam
2,500 soldiers dead in Iraq.

Comparable?"

Uh, no.

Did you have a point?

Moron.

Posted by: Joel on June 23, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

So let me get this straight. Just because Andrew Sullivan is oh so conflicted about what to do about this fiasco, we should let a few hundred more American soldiers die while he searches his soul?

Posted by: nut on June 23, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

58,000 dead soldiers in Vietnam
2,500 soldiers dead in Iraq.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jay, be sure to include that comparison in any letters of condolence to affected families of the current conflict. I'm sure pointing out that disparity will go a long way in assuaging their pain.

Posted by: steve duncan on June 23, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

58,000 dead soldiers in Vietnam
2,500 soldiers dead in Iraq.

Comparable?

Why, yes they are.

All of them died defending their country. All of their precious lives were wasted by self absorbed leaders ashamed to admit a mistake setting in air-conditioned offices in Washington--leaders unworthy of any of them or their service.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 23, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

That's right stevie, the curfew was to be imposed until 6am Saturday but was shortened to 5pm Friday when the threat was neutralized. But good job cherry picking the negative. Howard Dean and Cindy Sheehan would be so proud of you.

You guys are too stupid for words and don't have a chance in hell of winning in '06 or '08. But have a nice day.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Scratch a Republican except Andrew Sullivan is no Republican, Hes one of those MSM republicans you guys like to keep around because of the ridiculous crap he spews under a conservative moniker. I suppose David Brooks is a conservative too?


Because it would destroy our standing in the world? Nice straw man. When did we ever say that? No, because it would embolden our enemies, Sell out the Shiites and Kurds, precipitate a civil war, and leave a power vacuum in the region all while handing the terrorists a massive public relations victory over the great Satan.

And how do you know what world opinion is? What, did you take a telephone poll of the world.

Asshats.

Posted by: Fitz on June 23, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

What leads Andrew and others awry is they are asking the wrong question: it's not whether we are going to withdraw it's a question of how and when.

The US lost, Iran won - and they're happily watching the US troops effectiveness crumble a few hundred miles away.

And that's why there are two simple things that need to happen first: Fire the management, Rumsfeld on down and second, declare that we're not going to maintain permanent bases. And that's what every Democrat should say. Nothing about calendars - just say we shouldn't be occupiers and we shouldn't leave the idiots in charge.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on June 23, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Now THAT's how to spell it out to voters.

If every Democrat would just memorize and repeat what Keevin just wrote any time they're on TV or the radio, we'd win come November.


Posted by: ferd on June 23, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Ron and stevie, why don't you guys start writing letters to all of the Iraqi families that were torn apart fron death and starvation under your policy of containment, or the victims of the carpet bombing in Kosovo, or the dead soldiers from the failed effort in Somalia, or those poor people in the Aspirin factory in the Sudan. Let the letter writing campaign begin. You're all a bunch of fucking loser hypocrites.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney's last throes are the throes that last.

Cheney was right; at the time he said that, they were running out of throes. No one could have anticipated that a new shipment of throes was already on its way to Iraq.

Posted by: Max on June 23, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

or better yet, write a letter to the families of the people in Waco. When the left felt it best to kill every man, woman and child, who were all US citizens, to try and stop a suspected cultist mad man.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Why are people like Andrew Sullivan so convinced that a carefully planned phased withdrawal would be such a disaster?

What they really fear is the vacuum are withdrawal creates.

Such a vacuum is likely to be filled by Iran, at least at first. People in the middle east have long memories. Iranians remember that they were the worlds first super power, and they became that when they occopied Iraq by conquering Babylon some 2500 years ago. With a strong Shiite presence in Iraq, they would be drawn into Iraq.

An Iran with an Iraq satelite is suddenly in a position to dominate the entire Middle East east of the Suez and South of Turkey. An Iran with an Iraq satelite immediately dominates the entire Persian Gulf. An Iran with an Iraqi satelite is in a position to threaten Israel like it hasn't been since before the 6 day war and by an Egypt controled by Naser. That's what people worry about.

Traditionally Turkey was a check on Iranian pretensions on the Middle East - by way of dominating eastern Anatolia and upper Iraq (historical Armenia and Kurdistan). The ability to control these areas (begining in 1512-ish) gave the Ottomans control of both lower Iraq and the southern coast of the Persian gulf, and the entire Middle East west of Iraq, including Egypt. The problem is, today Turkey is more interested in becoming part of Europe than it is in becoming part of Iraq. So that leaves the field open to Iran if we leave.

This all goes to show that the pre-2002 Iraqi arrangement was as elegent as it was complicated. We had Saddam contained by no fly zones on the one hand, but then we were able to use him to check and contain Iran's influence on the the Middle east, especially the Gulf, on the other hand.

Some strategist fear that an Iranian movement into Iraq will draw in Turkey, with help from Saudi Arabia and Israel. But then Turkey is a member of Nato - so the situation is one that would continually draw in powers from outside, much as is prophisized by fundie apocolyptic christians by the way. (they presume that Russia and China will be drawn into Iraq) not altogether impossible.

All of which leads them back to staying the course in Iraq.

The solution that then must be considered is, instead of ramping down, to ramp up - big time. That means a draft. Politically that's not possible at this time, though it was on 9/12. (but a draft on 9/12 would have meant that the Bush administration couldn't use the army as its personal possession for invading where ever it felt like - meaning he couldn't have used a conscripted army to invade Iraq with out a real debate).

So what is likely to happen is we will stay there until Bush leaves or a triggering event happens. Then we will leave. Then the above scenario will play out, perhaps, bring us back into Iraq, but presumably with a much larger army, more able to do the job.

Democrats are rightly left with a choice of ramping up or ramping down. That rightly has them split. Republicans are stuck with the position of stay the course - which is a position of making young Americans shooting targets for disident Iraqi's and others for an infinity.

The choice of invading Iraq was hugely flawed. The up side was big, perhaps, but was not likely, despite Wolfowitz and Cheney's insistence, and the down side was enormous, and all in the face of an awkward and complicated policy that was nevertheless still working - which meant the place to choose to evolve middle eastern politics and social values should have been somewhere else, like, Bahrain, and the UAE where modernization is progressing just fine, and Afghanistan where we both, had a reason to be their, and they had a tradition of pro-modern constitutional bodies in the King and the Loya Jurga which could easily have been manipulated into a constitutional parliamentory monarchy.

Tsk, tsk, they've bungled things all the way around. Could it be that they have another agenda?

But of course. At that's where the problem begins and ends. The Neocons are really Neo-medievalist - wanting a banana republic that makes the rich richer and the masses impoverished and controled by religion. The Islamacist are really Neo-medievalist wanting to return to an age where Islam was the ascendent society. Both want a medieval social/political model where religion and state are blurred. In short, the Neocon's and the Islamacist want to much of the same thing.

That means the war was bound to be bungled.

Posted by: Bubbles on June 23, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK
I have many friends in Europe, however, who feel that the US led intervention in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Serbia under Clinton was illegal because not approved by the UN. Does cmdicely agree?

The US intervention in Kosovo after the NATO air war with Serbia was, I believe, authorized by the UN; the principal legal justification (though not the principal moral justification) for the NATO air war itself were actual cross-border attacks into Albanian territory; its certainly a case on the edge of legality, though.

Bosnia-Hercegovina is, well, a case where the legal conditions in the UN Charter as to use of force between member-states weren't applicable to the US action, as the US intervention was against the forces of the Serb entity with Bosnia which was warring on the central government and the (by the time the US intervention occurred) combined Croat and Bosniak entities.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 23, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently, the Iraqis disagree with Andrew:

Iraqis Demand a Withdrawl Timeline

.

Posted by: WPB on June 23, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Jay is simply having a difficult time accepting the fact that he's a dead-ender and a 30-percenter. We can wrap him in the Mission Accomplished banner, slap on Bush's codpiece, and fire him at North Korea.

Posted by: SavageView on June 23, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

You can't use over a decade of illegal aggression by the US against Iraq to justify an intensification of illegal aggression by the US against Iraq.

Ha ha ha ha! Hands up everyone who agrees with cmdicely that the Clinton Administration was guilty of "illegal aggression" against Iraq over the 8 years of Bill Clinton's presidency, including illegal military strikes.

This would, of course, be in addition to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians that were killed by Clinton's sanctions against Iraq.

Posted by: GOP on June 23, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK
An average of 123 people are murdered everyday here in the US. Should we declare a state of emergency?

I dunno, are organized insurgent forces setting up roadblocks and firing on US and allied troops in Washington, D.C.? Are foreign troops from governments allied to the US firing on the bodyguards of US cabinet members in the US?

Posted by: cmdicely on June 23, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Why cant you kids get any of your representatives to vote for this bunk? or even say it?

Posted by: Fitz on June 23, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, you're right. Why haven't we been demanding things of the Bush administration before? What a great idea....

Posted by: catherineD on June 23, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

this should be interesting: withdrawal from one province in the south:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/focusoniraq/2006/June/focusoniraq_June161.xml§ion=focusoniraq

Posted by: republicrat on June 23, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

The US intervention in Kosovo after the NATO air war with Serbia was, I believe, authorized by the UN; the principal legal justification (though not the principal moral justification) for the NATO air war itself were actual cross-border attacks into Albanian territory;

What "cross-border attacks into Albanian territory?"

Posted by: GOP on June 23, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

"...why haven't we been demanding...." catherineD

Because the left does not stand for anything. Their positions change faster than the wind.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

They know in their hearts that this administration can't win the war in Iraq, but they can't stand the thought of withdrawing because it seems too much like surrender. So they're stuck supporting a war they know is a losing effort.

Nobody "knows" that the war is a losing effort. That's why the Democrats opposed the Kerry resolution. The most the Democratic senators were willing to support was that some withdrawal start before the end of 2006.

Anyhow, Pres. Bush already announced his plan for U.S. withdrawal: as the government troops stand up, the coalition forces will stand down, as illustrated in my previous post.

Posted by: republicrat on June 23, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, I think you are angry. I could say something caty like "Don't go away mad. Just go away," but the truth is your anger seems to be a direct result of the frustration you are obviously feeling. It must be very, very frustrating to defend this administration. I would suggest that you might find happiness by abandoning your faith based vision of foreign policy. You should replace it with something based on reality.

Before we invaded Iraq never had anything to do with the War on Terror. The invasion was an unnecessary diversion from the GWOT. Why we invaded Iraq I don't know, but I suspect it had something to do with wanting to steal Iraqi oil. Maybe it had to do with somebody's childish day dream about imposing democracy at the point of a gun. Maybe it had to do with seeking revenge on somebody who tried to kill Bush I. Maybe it had to do with promoting the second coming of Christ. Support can be found for any of the forgoing reasons.

What it had nothing to do with was helping poor Iraqis find freedom. If that was our goal we wouldn't have to go to Iraq to find poor people in need of freedom. The citizens of any number of countries close to home suffer from the need for greater democracy. Before Iraq Republicans were absolutely against nation building. They only embraced nation building when they didn't find WMDs. Hypocracy thy name is conservative. Jay I am sure you find defending such hypocracy frustrating. It must be especially frustrating when in your heart you know we are right and you are wrong.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 23, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

There are a bunch of Alpha Americans - male or female - who don't like to lose.

When gopers test phrases in their focus groups - they found that 'cut and run' was effective for demonizing the anti war crowd.

The phrase 'cut and run' evoked the most negative response in Aunt Beatrice and Uncle Harry from DesMoines - as well as Donald Trump wannabees.

In this environment - we cannot hope for any kind of sanity. The 'experts' do this for a living...

LIVING - is what the rest of us would like to return to....

And because I have a life beyond watching Israelis AIPAC our foreign police - all I can do is make sure my kids don't become their cannon fodder in a war that is not mine.

Posted by: tj on June 23, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Conservatives built this disaster and have no real choice but to ride it into the ground. What would any rational person expect. They cannot do or perceive to do anything else-their choices are vastly limited. Stay the course is all they can do even a public opinion turns against them. The war was wrong, is a disaster and continues to be and day by day US citizens realize this. This is good for everyone because it continues to focus on how out of touch conservatives are to any realistic intelligent foreign policy. Everyday conservatives just dig the hole deeper that they've dug for themselves and alienate themselves further from the average US citizen. With this methology they should themsselves effectively destroy their own majority for decades to come.

Posted by: Where's osama on June 23, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers,

What clearly superior alternative policy to the invasion do you propose there was?

Posted by: GOP on June 23, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

go tj!!!

you said it better than I could.

"There are a bunch of Alpha Americans - male or female - who don't like to lose."

When gopers test phrases in their focus groups - they found that 'cut and run' was effective for demonizing the anti war crowd.

The phrase 'cut and run' evoked the most negative response in Aunt Beatrice and Uncle Harry from DesMoines - as well as Donald Trump wannabees.

In this environment - we cannot hope for any kind of sanity. The 'experts' do this for a living...

LIVING - is what the rest of us would like to return to....

And because I have a life beyond watching Israelis AIPAC our foreign police - all I can do is make sure my kids don't become their cannon fodder in a war that is not mine.
There are a bunch of Alpha Americans - male or female - who don't like to lose.

When gopers test phrases in their focus groups - they found that 'cut and run' was effective for demonizing the anti war crowd.

The phrase 'cut and run' evoked the most negative response in Aunt Beatrice and Uncle Harry from DesMoines - as well as Donald Trump wannabees.

In this environment - we cannot hope for any kind of sanity. The 'experts' do this for a living...

LIVING - is what the rest of us would like to return to....

And because I have a life beyond watching Israelis AIPAC our foreign police - all I can do is make sure my kids don't become their cannon fodder in a war that is not mine."

AMEN AMEN AMEN - people need to speak the truth of this war. It is not OUR WAR. Our government is under occupation by a foreign government, using American Jews as operatives.

Posted by: Carol on June 23, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Ron, again you get it WRONG. I am not angry at all, in fact just the opposite. I am very happy with the economy, our war efforts, and driection as a country. I am not happy with the current spending and am anxious to see President Gingrich take the oath in January of '09. I am also very entertained by the current implosion of the left. It's soooo fun to watch. Say hello to Sheehan, Reid, and Dean for me on your way down.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, there was no jihadism prior to GW.

Speaking of not getting it. Been reading long there, Jay?
You: Iraq = jihadism
Me: Iraq not equal to jihadism, particularly during Saddam. Again, no jihadism from the secular Iraq under Saddam. Now is there? Perhaps. GW spreading jihadism since 2001.


or better yet, write a letter to the families of the people in Waco.

Oh boy. Jay's warped defense of the pedophilic murderer Koresh in three...two...one...

Posted by: ckelly on June 23, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

It's that popcorn trail ckelly. I find it hysterical that the left lumps all christians in the same boat, puts all republicans in the same boat yet can find the subtle differences between muslims and jihadists.

JUST DON'T GET IT DO YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You're too thick and stupid for words and will never be trusted to lead this country so just continue to complain from the sidelines. It's what you do best.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

'Because the left does not stand for anything. Their positions change faster than the wind.'
--jay

The left stands for dealing with terrorism as a criminal, not a military problem, using diplomacy instead of bombs, developing smart alternatives to oil, and treating others as we would want to be treated.

The things that are changing "faster than the wind" are the Bush Administration's justifications for invading Iraq - WMDs, Saddam was evil, mass graves, preventing an Islamic caliphate, spreading "democracy" (which they don't seem to want here) and on and on and on....

Only numbskulls like you are being duped by these "bait and switch" arguments.

(By the way, nicely said, tj!)

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on June 23, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

No, because it would embolden our enemies, Sell out the Shiites and Kurds, precipitate a civil war, and leave a power vacuum in the region all while handing the terrorists a massive public relations victory over the great Satan.


Gosh, maybe Bush should have considered all these negatives before merrily marching onward to disaster while declaring we'd be there only months. But I guess smashing the fine china is HARD work. Yes, a fine mess that Bush will leave as his legacy for "some other President" to clean up.

Posted by: ckelly on June 23, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Kriz, you might want to tell your representatives that, they apparently don't agree with you.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Carol, you make a good point, wannabe alpha Americans do not like the perception of losing. But I think they are willing to cut and run once they actually have to start feeling any pain. As long as there are no consequences, asshole Americans are willing to let others suffer in order to allow themselves to feel superior. Therefore, it is up to those of us who are committed to ending the US occupation of Iraq to make it painful for the Sullivan bare back riders to support this war. As soon as these yellow bellied Bush cock suckers feel any discomfort, they will be the first to cut and run. See Bush's Air National Guard service as an example.

Posted by: Hostile on June 23, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Conservatives built this disaster and have no real choice but to ride it into the ground

If it's such a disaster why did Kerry's various resolutions fail so miserably? Your party could not even pass the Feingold resolution and it didn't even say anything. It was a humiliating example of legislative weakness. Why do Senate Democrats even show up?

The attempts to make Iraq into Vietnam have been so pitiful as to be comical. Old Liberals, legends in their own minds, pine for the glory days of the anti-war movement. Ain't happening. Some moron columnist for the Boston Globe even asked yesterday to reinstate the draft theorizing then there might form an anti-war movement.

Isn't it the picture of irony that only liberals demand a draft? How pathetic is that? Too bad we have a magnificient Military staffed by patriotic and exceptional volunteers that has redefined what a great military represents. Not since before Rome and Alexandar has any military been so dominant. There will not be a draft.

What a pity liberals are unable to take any pride away from their amazing accomplishments. Conservatives get to celebrate and savor them and their heroic bravery every day and will see to it that they always remainproud of what they've done and will do for the rest of their days. They will get their parades and they will be celebrated every year.

The anti-war libs with memories of 68 think it is they who s/b celebrated. No friggin way. They are responsible for trying to label an entire generation of heroes as baby killers. It's an event most Americans look back on with disgust. John Kerry paid for his slander. If these old libs want another model to see how it ends for them look to Dan Rather. They will be remembered for cowardice.

Posted by: rdw on June 23, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Withdrawl is easy. DECLARE VICTORY! and leave. Blame everything that happens after that on the Iraqis. We got into it under false pretenses, why not get out of it the same way.

Posted by: John on June 23, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

See Bush's Air National Guard service as an example.

Are you serious? Aside from destroying Dan Rather, a few other liberal executives at CBS and utterly destroying what little reputation for journalistic integrity CBS may have owned exactly what did this story do?

Posted by: rdw on June 23, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

hostile, that post is the biggest pile of liberal brain damage I have ever read. You are spectacularly stupid and I will be using your comments as the example of liberal brain damage for months to come. Thank you. btw, good luck in 'o8. Oh and also you are the "asshole" American.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

The airwar was NOT approved by the UN. It was a unilateral action.

Posted by: rdw on June 23, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

If the only way to win a war against Islamic jihadism is by invading and occuping Muslim countries, we're going to lose

Let me put this as gently as I can.

The United States is going to loose the War on Terror.

And I don't mean a Vietnam type reversal. I mean Athens post Syracuse or Napoleon post 1812.

Posted by: Thinker on June 23, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

jay: our military is comprised of nearly 2,000,000 people, Currently there are roughly 130,000 in Iraq. Not exactly needing a draft, huh?

wonder why the army is doing this?

For the 2nd straight year, The U.S. Army has raised its maximum enlistment age in order to make its recruiting goals amid the Iraq war. Now you can be 42 and still volunteer.

Meanwhile, the Army Reserve predicted it will miss its recruiting target for a 2nd straight year. - 6/21/06

also

"The Army spent approximately $426 million on reenlistment bonuses in fiscal year 2005 or almost 8-times more than its budgeted amount to meet its retention goals." - gao.gov


seems like hard work to keep those numbers where they are....

and you have to wonder with all those troops...why some have gone back for a second and a third tour..

why should they have all the fun?


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

When you smell the fear of a child your tongue forks and your head begins to narrow as the reptillian part of your heritage takes over your humanity. Then you howl silently as you reach out and begin scratching through the abdomen in search of your treasure: juvenile liver.

Posted by: Hostile on June 23, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

With this methology they should themsselves effectively destroy their own majority for decades to come.

wishful thinking and no more. If the last 3 weeks are anything to go by their majority is safe. Kerry was sliced and diced in the Senate not once but twice. The libs couldn't even get a meaningless resolution on the war passed.

You've got John Murtha of abscam fame leaidng the charge against Iraq now. He might be the dumbest individual in Congress today. Going to move the troops over the horizon to Okinawa is he? That's DUMB! It is an utterly stupid idea and he keeps on running it out there.

As long as the GOP is running agaist the Democratic party they're going to have to try to lose the majority. Karl Rove isn't about to let that happen.

Posted by: rdw on June 23, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

The conservatives are like the Nazis "on the Volga" river.

They cant win, and there is no exit, so there is only disolving into a position of weakness.

They'll be blaming their defeat on the liberals, the media, the homosexuals and the jews. No news there.

In Vietnam, America's defeat was predicted by Graham Green long before America even got into that war in any significant sense (he looked at the situation and he looked at American judgment, the rest was easy). Yet Conservatives like to kid themselves that that war was still winnable if not for the liberals etc...

The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, written long before there ever was an America states: "All wars are lost or won before they are begun."

More precisely: "Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory."

If you read through the Art of War, the current war on terror will make you sick.

(see:
http://www.chinapage.com/sunzi-e.html)

One such troubling section says: "There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general:

(1) Recklessness, which leads to destruction;
(2) cowardice, which leads to capture;
(3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults;
(4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame;
(5) over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble.

These are the five besetting sins of a general, ruinous to the conduct of war.

Posted by: Bubbles on June 23, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

WPB: "Apparently, the Iraqis disagree with Andrew: Iraqis Demand a Withdrawl Timeline"

The link you posted leads me to ponder: If this is true, then Bushco must have known that an Iraqi government demand for a withdrawal was pending.

This suggests that the recent "stay the course" rhetoric by Republicans is stage-setting. When the Iraqi government demands the withdrawal of US troops, Bushco can primly claim that they had no intention of leaving, but, gosh, they respect the wishes of the fully-functioning, democratically-elected Iraqi government. It's easy to imagine Bush on the stump bragging about the "accomplishment"--an Iraqi government that can stand up for itself, a resolute Republican government that kept its promise and brought peace to Iraq.

The MSM will spin it like a victory, Fox viewers will feel vindicated, and no one in the US will pay any attention if the bloodshed continues and the new Iraqi government act like Saddam, the sequel.

Posted by: PTate in MN on June 23, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK


jay: Yeah, but we're not safe here and GW has no plan. Riiiiight.


Days the federal terror alert system has been in place: 1,558


Days spent at terror alert level Green or Blue: 0


safe...but not green or blue safe?


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

wonder why the army is doing this?

Simple -- so all those brave Republicans who sit around the bar shooting their mouths off that "I'd to to Iraq but they won't let me, I'm too old to join up" can finally get their chance to put their money where their mouth is....

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK
The airwar was NOT approved by the UN.

Well, you've actually said something true for a change.

Now you just need to learn to read so that you can post things that are both true and relevant.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 23, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

They'll be blaming their defeat on the liberals, the media, the homosexuals and the jews. No news there.

Worse than that -- on the liberal homosexual Jews who work for the media.

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK


jay: I believe that the new Iraqi government should lead our current military force in Iraq helping to secure their own country and government as they find their footing.

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

got anything more current?


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Why should we be surprised that the dems have no cohesive strategy for success in Iraq? After all, they get their talking points from knee-jerk folk singers like Neil Young:

Neil Young (Have You Forgotten?)
words and music by Dr. BLT (c)2006
http://www.drblt.com/music/neilyoung.mp3

A timetable for leaving Iraq is foolhardy, but
Now That Zarqawi's Gone...
words and music by Dr. BLT (c)2006
http://www.drblt.com/music/nowthatzarq.mp3

...an eventual departure from Iraq appears increasingly realistic.

Bruce
aka Dr. BLT, The Original Blog 'n' Roller

Posted by: Bruce on June 23, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

jay: 58,000 dead soldiers in Vietnam
2,500 soldiers dead in Iraq. Comparable?


how about this comparison...

Days after bombing Pearl Harbor that Japan surrendered to U.S. forces: 1,365

Days since September 11, 2001 that Osama bin Laden has remained uncaptured: 1700+


heck of a job...


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

(1) Recklessness, which leads to destruction;
(2) cowardice, which leads to capture;
(3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults;
(4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame;
(5) over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble.

Well, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld diplay (1) to (4) of the faults. Number (5) doesn't seem to bother them too much.

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

uh Bubbles -- I'm blaming the Jews and I am an anti war Libertarian.

Seems the Jews can't get a break. Perhaps because they have been stirring the pot for too many centuries.

You have to work overtime to accumulate that many enemies in that many countries over that much time.

Our foreign policy has been AIPACked... by treasonous American Jews.

Posted by: tj on June 23, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Are you advocating dropping the bomb on Baghdad thisspace? Wow, a liberal finally getting tough........

That's the funniest thing I've read today, thanks thisspace.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK


jay: Their positions change faster than the wind.


bush was against negotiations with IRAN....before he was for them


Bush was against campaign finance reform; then he was for it.

Bush was against a Homeland Security Department; then he was for it.

Bush was against a 9/11 commission; then he was for it.

Bush was against an Iraq WMD investigation; then he was for it.

Bush was against nation building; then he was for it.

Bush was against deficits; then he is for them.

Bush is for free trade; then he's for tariffs on steel; then he's against them again.

Bush is for states right to decide on gay marriage, then he is for changing the constitution.


how is that for starters?


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

"...treasonous American jews" - tj

Racist and fear mongering. You gotta love the hypocritic brain damage on the left.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers,

What clearly superior alternative policy to the invasion do you propose there was?

Posted by: GOP on June 23, 2006 at 1:33 PM

At the time I proposed not invading. There was no need to invade. Saddam was bottled up quite nicely.

By the way I wasn't alone in proposing we continue the same policy against Saddam while we conducted a real GWOT.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 23, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Jay - universities in Chicago and at Harvard came to the same conclusion. American Jews are manipulating foreign policy to advance the cause of their crazy; cousins in Tel Aviv.

That is not a racist or fear mongering statement.

American Jews are in this up to their yarmukebeanies. Then they scream Nazi when somebody notices.

Posted by: karen on June 23, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Sullivan repeats the false premise that Dems could redeem themselves by embracing the war and waging it more effectively than the dishonest and incompetent Bush Administration has done. And failing to do this, the Dems are reduced to hoping for catastrophe. Wrong on all counts.

The notion that an immoral war based on deception, hubris and false premises can be turned into a successful occupation is a complete illusion. There is no amount of additional troops or more competent commanders and/or Secretaries of DoD that would allow an American army to successfully occupy Iraq and force it into passive acceptance of such a humiliation. We were doomed to having our occupation fail the moment we decided to stay and occupy the country. That is the reality.

As for hoping for catastophe? What an outrageous statement. No sane person could wish what has happened on any nation, ours or theirs. What Sullivan mistakes for "hoping" is instead realistic acknowledgement. The occupation is failing and was doomed to failure. The only thing to hope for is that reality will sink in and our leaders will deal with it honestly, not try to cover it up by misrepresenting this reality to the American people.

So why does Sullivan, who can surely see the catastrophe but cannot grasp is logical inevitability, still cling to the illusion that if we only had a good plan, good leaders, and unified support from Dems, we might still succeed? The answer is simple: To admit the truth is to acknowledge that he, his party, his President, and the unethical neo-con idiots who supported/encouraged/cheered them on just made the studipest, most costly and harmful foreign policy blunder in a century. It ain't human nature to handle that one, but there it is.

Posted by: scarecrow on June 23, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

You lied on every single one of those.

How's that for finishers?

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK


jay...proof through assertion?

lol

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

so the liberals in the vaccuum of the academia ivory tower claim it's the jews fault? Well, it must be true then.

pull your head out karen.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK


jay the nation building one is close at hand...


"I don't think our troops should be used for what's called nation building." - George W. Bush, Oct. 11, 2000, in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Neither do I and neither do you thisspace, remember, nation-building is done through diplomacy not troops. That's what the left has been advocating all along and you're too stupid to remember that, but GW did.

Excuse me a minute: hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Thanks for the laughs.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan
Would you mind moving those goalposts back? I'm having a hard time seeing them from down there.

No goalpost moving here. Ultimately the no-fly zones stemmed from Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. They reaped what they had sown.

There's a difference between being "Ok" with it, which implies approval, and recognizing that they have a right to do it, that defending their airspace against hostile warplanes is not an "attack" on the country that sent those warplanes.

You and I differ on that. The UN decided that to save the Kurds and the Shia from the brutality of their own soverign government we would overfly them. The Iraqis felt we flew over their sovereign territory and shot at us? Which ones, exactly? The majority of Iraqis, which were in fact the subjects of the brutality?

This is the same UN that pushed sanctions and weapons inspectors, which you approved of and feel were the correct response to Saddam (not war) and that. They could have made similar claims and arrested or attacked the WMD inspectors as invaders on their sovereign territory. What then?

If I broke into someone's house and he shot at me, I wouldn't be "Ok" with it, but I wouldn't whine that it was he who attacked me, either.

Bad analogy. The analogy is if you were beating and killing your own family and someone came in to stop you from carrying out the barbarity against your own.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 23, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK


on wmd's


(CBS) President Bush took a few minutes during his trip to Europe Thursday to voice his opposition to establishing a special commission to probe how the government dealt with terror warnings before Sept. 11. - 5/23/2002

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Was is the history behind the no-fly zones?"

Why don't you look it up yourself, moron?
Posted by: Joel

Because I want to know what he thinks, you miserable sack of shit.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 23, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK


jay....there are alot more

Bush first says he'll provide money for first responders (fire, police, emergency), then he doesn't.

Bush first says that 'help is on the way' to the military ... then he cuts benefits

Bush-"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden."
Bush-"I don't know where he is. I have no idea and I really don't care."

Bush first says the U.S. won't negotiate with North Korea. Now he will

Bush goes to Bob Jones University. Then say's he shouldn't have.

Bush said he would demand a U.N. Security Council vote on whether to sanction military action against Iraq. Later Bush announced he would not call for a vote

Bush said the "mission accomplished" banner was put up by the sailors. Bush later admits it was his advance team.

Bush was for fingerprinting and photographing Mexicans who enter the US. Bush after meeting with Pres. Fox, he's against it.

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK
The UN decided that to save the Kurds and the Shia from the brutality of their own soverign government we would overfly them.

See, there's the core of your problem.

You persist, despite having been repeatedly corrected, in the mistaken claim the no-fly zones were imposed by the UN.

They were not.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 23, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

this is my favorite of the bunch...


FLIP
The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him. -- G.W. Bush, 9/13/01

I want justice...There's an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, "Wanted: Dead or Alive." -- G.W. Bush, 9/17/01, UPI


just a few months later....F-L-O-P

"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority. I am truly not that concerned about him. -- G.W. Bush 3/13/02

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

here's another one that flew under the radar...


FLIP...."Human trafficking is one of the worst offenses against human dignity. Our nation is determined to fight that crime abroad and at home." -GWB 7/16/04

FLOP.....President Bush has decided to waive any financial sanctions on Saudi Arabia for failing to do enough to stop the modern-day slave trade in prostitutes, child sex workers and forced laborers. -AP 9/21/05

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

just stay in your fantasy world thisspace. It's a good place for you.

Someone from the left calling GW inconsistent is just too hysterical for words.

btw, I will point out that previous liberal positions are that one who remains steadfast in their positions does not take the time to think through the issue. Yet now, you're chiding him on that very fact. Of course though much of what you're claiming is not reality. But I do like the analogy.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

It's hard to lose all the time isn't thisspace. I think that is why your lashing out and grasping for anything to keep your pathetic movement alive. Good luck on that and please entertain us with more desperation. It's sooo fun to watch.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK


FLIP

"No American will be allowed to torture another human being anywhere in the world." - GWB 1/26/06


FLOP

Bush administration lawyers argue that a new law that bans cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody does not apply to people held at Guantanamo Bay. - WASH.POST 3/3/06


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: You persist, despite having been repeatedly corrected, in the mistaken claim the no-fly zones were imposed by the UN.

Once or twice I can chalk up to a mistake -- UN, US, the two look so similar. But when he keeps making this claim month after month, despite us pointing it out to him time after time that he's wrong, it's no longer a mistake -- he's deliberately and quite consciously lying.

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK


its easy to judge....jay

your empty claims

or bush's words

drip
drip
drip

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

lashing? backing up claims i made is

lashing?

jay...stop playing the victim

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Jay - it is no secret that AIPAC and American Jews own the politcal process.

That Jews ALSO control media content is why Americans remain dullards and doofuses on the subject.

It's a little late in the game for Jews to be screaming anti semite!!

They reap what they sow - here and everywhere they have tarnished the machinery of government with a virulently ethnocentric agenda.

Posted by: tj on June 23, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

In regard to blaming jews, there a jewish people on both sides of the political divide. They take a prominent role in the Neocon movement. But, they also play a prominent role in the liberal movement.

So if you are picking on jews, its because they are prominent. Which is why Germans picked on them. So you have to go back and check your motives.

Its much better to blame this war and our political situation on Neocons, and you can draw a tie between American Neocons and Israeli Neocons if you like, but blaming Jews, that's not right. Its not their Jewishness that's to blame, its their Neocon-ness that's to blame.

But it does create an interesting situation. Tom Friedman is emotionally liberal, but he is also, emotionally concerned about Israel. That concern for Israel paralizes his analysis on the Iraq situation because if the U.S. fails there, and it is failing, and Iraq becomes an Iranian satelite, Iran will be able to not only assert political dominance over the Persian gulf, and perhaps 60% of the worlds known oil reserves and nearly 70% of the exportable supply, but Iran will be able to threaten Israel, with only tiny little Jordon as a buffer between the two.

Thus, Jewish people, who are concerned over the welfare of Israel, have to be concerned over any talk of us leaving. Those Neocons, that are also Jewish, that are also concerned for Isreal's security (I mean Pearl, Wolfowitz and Furst [spell] and Krystal) did Israel no favors when they pushed America into Iraq. The Isreali's are crafty, smart and ingenious, but with the demographic explosion of palestinians on the one hand, the demographic explossion of muslims in the middle east on the other, and the prospect of American failure in its Iraqi adventure, their strategic situation seems to get worse every year.

Pity.

Posted by: Bubbles on June 23, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Your analogies are completely incoherent thisspace, you may think they back up your claim but just like child with ADD, you have failed to prove anything. But keep deluding yourself.

drip, drip drip, do you have an STD thisspace?

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

on free trade and steel tariffs:

During the 2000 presidential election, Mr. Bush championed free trade. Then, eyeing campaign concerns that allowed him to win West Virginia, he imposed 30 percent tariffs on foreign steel products from Europe and other nations in March 2002.

Twenty-one months later, Mr. Bush changed his mind and rescinded the steel tariffs. Choosing to stand on social issues instead of tariffs in steel country Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia the Bush campaign decided it could afford to upset the steel industry rather than further estrange old alliances.

the fun part of the flip flop....

bush visited pa. to pick up campaign contributions..

then...he reversed the tariffs...playing them like maybe he wouldnt if they were supporters...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Bubbles - you pity? the Israelis?

That's like pitying the python who is choking on his meal.

Posted by: tj on June 23, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK


then there's this:

"I don't think you can win it," Mr. Bush said of the war on terror on NBC's "Today" show August-2004

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan
Once or twice I can chalk up to a mistake -- UN, US, the two look so similar. But when he keeps making this claim month after month, despite us pointing it out to him time after time that he's wrong, it's no longer a mistake -- he's deliberately and quite consciously lying.

Always with the insults and aspersions cast. Why do you hate the military and America and love Saddam?

US, Britain and France all felt at one time that Resolution 688 gave them the approval needed. And no-fly worked to stop Saddam in brutalizing his own people. Others respectfully (or in your case disrespectfully) disagree with the legality. France bowed out in 98, when the humanitarian aspect dwindled. But it'd be naive to think that no-fly zones and WMD inspectors were unrelated. The no-fly zone work directly helped in coercing Saddam to support inspectors, and were ratcheted up and down in relation. Sounds like A Good Thing to me.

The rest is all just lawyer-speak. Anything that considers Saddam to be treated with as the rightful leader of a sovereign nation is complete, total BS to me, since he was actually just a brutal thug who ruled a majority with fear and terror.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 23, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." -- G.W. Bush, 9/13/01


"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority. I am truly not that concerned about him. -- G.W. Bush 3/13/02

jay...those words are not analogies...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

First of all the quote was;

"I don't think we will win it" (at least get the quotes right).

And he is right and consistent, saying all along that the Iraqi's will eventually win this and they will be the ultimate winners.

Smarter liberals please.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

rsm...reminded me of another flip flop....

the GOP was for saddam until they were against him..

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

So GW said that he was not concerned about UBL the same time we went into Afghanistan? Please check your dates moron.

That quote was actually from this year (I believe), not in 2002 and it stems from the fact that UBL is rendered useless and hiding in a cave somewhere.

Again, much smarter liberals please.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

The utterances from the trolls on this thread are a fascinating peek into all the different kinds of ways the human mind can go wrong.

It's been a kind of relay race of personality disorders with Jay stubbornly refusing to hand off the baton while feverishly running the wrong direction around the track, and rdw claiming that he's already won while still in the bleachers struggling to fit into his ill-fitting gym shorts from the '60's.

the U.S. asked for the multinational force mandate as a way to put a post facto blessing on an invasion that Stefan correctly stated was at least informally viewed as illegal by the U.N. when it happened, and to which the Security Council (I believe grudgingly) agreed.

Stefan: No, the Security Council never agreed to our invasion.

Sorry, that was poorly phrased. "Grudgingly agreed " was referring to voting on the multinational force mandate, not the invasion.

Posted by: trex on June 23, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

jay...you lie


from the transcript:

Lauer: So Im just saying can we win it? Do you see that?

President Bush: I dont think you can win it.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5866571/


that wasnt very hard...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Why are you entertaining Jay the troll? Do you believe for a nanosecond that you will have him admit to his lies, disinformation, incoherence, and abysmal stupidity?

He gets his marching orders from his brownshirt masters and comes on the progressive blogs to hijack the threads. He has been at it all day.

Ignore that freak.

Posted by: Evil Progressive on June 23, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Are you still talking thisspace?

It never is very hard for you, at least that's what your wife says.

Don't you have an NSA program to complain about? Or an indictment of someone to whine about?

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK


trex: fascinating peek into all the different kinds of ways the human mind can go wrong.

their plan is typical rove...

they are creating their own reality...

that's what that bush administration offical meant when he talked to suskind in 2004...

rove knows out of 10-people who view this exchange between me and jay...

one will believe jay....and that's the goal

despite my dates on quotes that are easily searchable

and jay's empty claims...

they are the first line of disinformation...

create confusion and doubt...even when none exists.

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

jay: Don't you have an NSA program to complain about?

no...just backing up my claims that bush is a flip flopper

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 23, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Always with the insults and aspersions cast.

I apologize. I'm sorry that you feel calling you a liar when you lie is an insult.

US, Britain and France all felt at one time that Resolution 688 gave them the approval needed.

Yes, but that's not what you said. You said "The UN decided that to save the Kurds and the Shia from the brutality of their own soverign [sic] government we would overfly them" -- now you say the US felt it had legal justification, which is a different case. You know very well the no-fly zones were independently imposed by the US, UK and France, yet you keep saying it was the UN -- that's a lie.

Moreover, while the US, UK and France claimed that Resolution 688, adopted on April 15, 1991 gave them the approval needed, this claim has no basis in law. The resolution did not say the Security Council was acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which provides for enforcement action, nor did it say that all necessary means (such as a no-fly zone) could be used. The UN Charter is very clear that only the Security Council, and not individual member states, can decide what measures can be taken to enforce Security Council resolutions.

Indeed, not only did the resolution not authorize no-fly zones, it also contained specific language protecting Iraq's territorial integrity and thereby undermining the US's claim that it had legal sanction to invade Iraqi airspace:

"Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Iraq and of all States in the region,"

The United States tried for years to win legal approval for the illegal no-fly zones in the Security Council, but eventually stopped trying.


Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Jay has a lot of time on his hands. He got fired from his last job for exposing himself to children. He lives in a dilapidated trailer next to the town dump. He lives off his girlfriend, his mother, and welfare checks. From time to time, the local Rovian operative pays him to come on the progressive threads, and spew his imbecile tripe. The rest of the time, he trolls child pornography sites.

Jay is the typical trailer trash Bush voter.

Posted by: Evil Progressive on June 23, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

so you're perfectly ok with the NSA program? Now that's flip-flopping.

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Are you my neighbor evil?

Posted by: Jay on June 23, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

tj

There's an old saying "we like to say we see things as they are, but in reality, we see things the way we are."

Being Jewish or isreali, or both, does not strip away the humanity in the person. Therefore I can pity the person who lives in Isreal and is surrounded on all sides be forces that want to destroy them. Both Christians and Moslems single out Jews as contemptable obsticles to the formation of their religious movements.

I seem to recall Churchill saying, of the Nazi's "they are either at your feet or your throat." Like wise you'll find them declaring that the Jew's are either Pythons or cochroaches. Either discription is designed to dehumanize them as a prelude to commiting inhumane acts.

Agian, I suggest you contemplate the old adage: we see things not as they are but as we are. Contemplate that and consider what it is you want to be, then working from that, what it is you want to see, not the reverse, else you become something utterly unthinkable.

Just a suggestion.

Posted by: Bubbles on June 23, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

And no-fly worked to stop Saddam in brutalizing his own people.

What about when we let the Turkish Air Force conduct bombing raids in the no-fly zone against Kurdish targets in norther Iraq? Was that also done to protect the Kurds?

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Are you implying Andrew Sullivan is a Republican?

'Cause that just ain't so.

Posted by: Birkel on June 23, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK
US, Britain and France all felt at one time that Resolution 688 gave them the approval needed.

I think it would be more accurate to say "the US, UK, and France all felt that having vetoes on the Security Council and more military capacity than Iraq meant that, legality aside, nothing really stood in the way of them doing whatever the hell they wanted to."

Its not like there is any reasonable reading of the 688 that includes any authorization for any use of force by those countries within the soveriegn territory of Iraq.


Posted by: cmdicely on June 23, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK
What about when we let the Turkish Air Force conduct bombing raids in the no-fly zone against Kurdish targets in norther Iraq? Was that also done to protect the Kurds?

Of course. Every Kurd killed by Turkish bombs was effectively protected from suffering any adverse treatment by Saddam's regime, or any Iraqi successor it might have.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 23, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

Smitty, reports from various Iraqi cities speak of scenes reminiscent of tales of the Taliban in Afghanistan regarding treatment of women. Roving enforcers dictating how they dress, banning cell phone usage and the driving of cars. There are reports of girls being prevented from attending school.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.codepinkalert.org/downloads/WelcometoLiberatedIraq.pdf
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.antiwar.com/ips/suri.php?articleid=8784
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/060806Z.shtml
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.whrnet.org/docs/issue-amna-0604.html
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1014/p09s02-coop.html
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Bush administration is getting that same information from their own Ambassador to Iraq. Two previous reports, aardwolves, from CIA bureau chiefs stationed within Iraq since the war began were the same, and they lost their careers over it. There's no winning left to happen. 80% of the country is in chaos, and the remaining 20% is deevolving quickly.

Take a good look at the photos illustrating the piece - they're from every place mentioned in the report. Iraq is a wasteland of heat, sand, radioactive waste, darkness, putrid water, raw sewage, malnutrition, hunger, starvation, unemployment, uncertainty, torture, death. Remember Katrina and those who remained? Any Iraqis who CAN get out of Iraq, are getting out of Iraq. Those remaining will never be the same. They'll never be whole again. Americans (military and media), too. Have you noticed correspondents reporting from even the "safe" zone (the green zone inside Baghdad is no guarantee of protection)? PTSD. It used to be that you only saw what a bundle of raw nerves they were in outtakes that never made it on the air. A loud noise and paralysis, dry mouth, wide eyes, protective crouch. Now you can see all that and more in their on air broadcasts.

What must be said is that, contrary to the Bush administration's insistence "Nobody could have known...", many knew that when Bush unleashed the dogs of war in Iraq that what is happening now WOULD happen. Bush was desperate to silence them. To rush into the war, drown out opposition, start it just so this very conversation couldn't take place: "Once you're in it, you have to support the troops, and you can only do that by supporting the war." If I knew that this was going to be an insurgent war, and I did (as did everyone in my circle of friends far away from the corridors of power in Washington), then, of course, the Bush administration knew.

How anybody can this administration get away with still saying it (as Cheney said this past week at a press luncheon), when it was the reason Bush 41 didn't do it a decade earlier. With today's VP as his SoD, no less!

There were those who signed on, like Colin Powell, because they believed that Bush was going to wage the war in the one way that it might turn out to be a short (certainly over by now), abrupt change of leadership (with smooth sailing for Corporate-World thereafter). There was an outside chance that if Bush went in with overwhelming troop strength, planned for and focused on quelling an insurgency at its inception (by retaining the Iraqi army, government workers, massive rebuilding efforts run by, for and employing Iraqis), it might have worked. IF, Bush's intention was to merely topple Saddam Hussein and install a democratic republic. But that wasn't the intention. Need I list the reasons we should know that it's not and never was the intention?

Bush and Cheney have been talking about this "long war" since 2001. Their emissaries (those like Newt Gingrich, Cliff May, Frank Gaffney, the hacks sent out to sell the policy on cable) dropped "Occupied Japan and Germany, and Korea" whenever "when are we bringing the troops home, leaving Iraq?" was broached. The administration intended a permanent occupation, with a puppet front government.

We talk much about Bush failing in Iraq because it's such a mess according to most sane persons' sensibilities. Have you considered that this is what the Bush administration intended? Has any American President been as successful as this one has been at achieving his domestic (and foreign, too, when you really think about it) agenda? All while remaining in office, in control over all branches of government, despite the lowest approval ratings since Nixon? A unitary Presidency, when exit polling of the last 3 elections put the other party in power, and the mass psychosis has the media who hired the exit pollsters CHANGING the exit poll numbers. Not questioning the tallied ballot counts, but declaring that the exit polls were wrong. When exit polls had, up until this administration, proven to be so scientifically accurate that the U.S. still uses the same methodology to monitor foreign elections.

I read and watch these discussions and wonder how long it's going to take before you realize that you're talking to Republicans, Conservatives, as if they are normal, sane rational patriotic American people. No sane person would keep Rumsfeld on as SoD if what's going on in Iraq wasn't the desired result. No sane majority in Congress would abdicate their power if this wasn't EXACTLY serving their needs - MO' BETTAH and CERTAIN power!

Stand back for a bit, observe without responding, and you might come to the same conclusion as I: Only those who are certain of their continued control (remaining in office after the next elections) would be making the decisions that these people are making.

They have already admitted that they know NO MORE than you or I on intelligence matters, and what led up to the decision to go to war. I, and most liberals, actually knew more than our Congress claims to have known, because we listened to all of the experts, on all sides, before the war. We asked questions of those with special knowledge - weapons inspectors, government whistleblowers, who came forward to participate in the national dialogue that was taking place in the alternative media.

The picture that we got, even if you didn't know who or what to believe, was a fevered effort to overwhelm eminent dissenting messengers who disagreed with the Neocons' call to war and prevent their being heard.

Congress performs no oversight whatsoever on what Bush is doing with taxpayer dollars, in the military, in Iraq, in intelligence agencies, or anywhere. The biggest deficit in the history of the world, billions missing, squandered and wasted, no hearings?

Congress admits to being kept in the dark by this "Unitary Executive" on everything from surveillance programs of the American people to war appropriations. They continue to abdicate their role, and demur and defer to, Constitutionally, a CO-equal partner. That's never happened. Nevermind that it's never happened in the history of the U.S.; it's never happened in the history of the world. It goes counter to every law of animal nature.

Alpha personalities drove them to compete for leadership roles in the richest most powerful country in the world, and they cease participating, despite their plunging numbers. Despite being lied to by the occupants and representatives of the Executive branch? They're not changing their positions on anything, in fact, they're only making more preposterous proclaimations (Santorum and his latest on WMD in Iraq) and shamelessly pandering to the Republican Christian rightwing fundamentalist base.

What is that telling you?

Here's a hint: Even when the Republican Christian rightwing fundamentalist base shows up in force at the polls, they are outnumbered by everybody else. What does Karl Rove have to do to get the Christian rightwing base to show up at the polls (and at the very real risk of losing the moderates in the Republican party) (answer: create chaos with inflammatory insubstantial issues), and in that chaos, what is he able to pull off?

Stealing elections.

The left isn't wrong on the issues, and our positions aren't unpopular. Our positions got us more legal votes than the right in the last 3 elections. Cast, legal ballots. I'm not even referring now to their Democratic voter and ballot suppression stunts, or dirty tricks like jamming Democrats' "get out the vote" campaigns on election day. I'm talking about legally cast and filled out ballots that never got counted. I'm talking about voting machines that consistently erred in Bush's/Republicans' favor and never (rarely, but so rare as to be statistically impossible) in Kerry's/Gore's/Democrats favor. I'm talking about whole preceincts in Democratic strongholds voting Republican.

Throw off the rhetoric of "they get votes by keeping the people scared, in a state of constant wars" and "they're better at getting the base out to the polls." In an odd, twisted sense, one of the benefits and purposes of their war efforts and their "get out the fundamentalist vote" campaigns is just so they can make a claim to explain their "wins" - when they haven't actually gotten the votes to win elections that they must then steal.

I have a question for people who think that spoiled Democratic ballots are due to stupid voters (stupid black people, stupid elderly people, native-Americans, and all other special interest/minority groups within the Democratic party). Are Christian fundamentalists, that call in to political talk shows and spout gospel, quote passages in the bible, smarter, more capable of filling out ballots correctly than Christians or blacks or elderly or any other in the Democratic party? How about hispanics? Wouldn't you think that hispanics' ballots would be spoiled at a similar rate between the two parties? Cuban immigrants' vs. Mexican immigrants? El Salvadoran vs. Guatemalan? Even within Mexico itself, immigrants from different regions. English is still a second language and equally challenging to understand on a ballot. And yet it's the groups identified as Democrats that are having their votes suppressed, challenged, thrown out.

Unless and until we fix the broken election process, all the rest of this talk is useless. We already voted, in overwhelming numbers, against everything this administration and Republicans are doing.

Posted by: Maeven on June 23, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney's claim that the situation in Iraq couldn't have been anticipated is a flat out lie.

The state department anticipated all of this, and did considerable planning to meet these problems, only to have the pentagon throw them out.

George Bush's father anticipated these problems when he halted the first Iraq war.

Cheney himself anticipated these problems at the end of the first Gulf war.

To say the opposite is really, hillarious, if it weren't so deadly and distructive.

Posted by: Bubbles on June 23, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

"From the Iraqi of view, no matter how much they wish we were already gone, they want us to stay until their army and police forces can provide security on their own."

I think this Republican't talking point has beeb shown to be false by the intra-Iraq peace proposal reported by the (London?) Times. Iraq NOW wants us to go and wants us to give them a timeline.

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 23, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

US, Britain and France all felt at one time that Resolution 688 gave them the approval needed.

I think it would be more accurate to say "the US, UK, and France all felt that having vetoes on the Security Council and more military capacity than Iraq meant that, legality aside, nothing really stood in the way of them doing whatever the hell they wanted to."

Its not like there is any reasonable reading of the 688 that includes any authorization for any use of force by those countries within the soveriegn territory of Iraq.

OK, the lawyers win. International law trumps all. I wasn't up to date on Chapter VII or whatever document.

I am continually suprised that liberals such as yourselves so vigorously defend international law and international institutions when they give such great cover to brutal thugs such as Saddam. I understand the need for rule of law to separate us from the beasts, but some times it'd seem like doing the right thing involves some international civil disobedience.

As I mentioned in a previous thread, I briefly thought Iraq would have been a time that liberals and conservatives could have converged, in ridding the world of Saddam. Turns out that liberals and old school realpolitik conservatives do converge, but on not fighting a war. Instead, it would be old school realpoliticians who recognize Dictators = cheap, reliable oil and liberals who place international institutions uber alles.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 23, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

If I knew that this was going to be an insurgent war, and I did then, of course, the Bush administration knew.

Don't underestimate the Bush gang's capacity for self-delusion.

They believed what they wanted to believe. This is where it has gotten us.

Posted by: obscure on June 23, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Andrew Sullivan is a Colin Powell Republican't.

We broke it, we own it.

Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman are Colin Powell Democrats.

And the new Iraqi "coaltion" govenment, as owner of Pottery Barn, is just trying to get the bull out of the china shop before it can cause any more damage. "Go, go. Please, just go. Don't try any more to clean it up. We can talk about payment later. Just get the heck out of my place while there is still something left of it."

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 23, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

I am continually suprised that liberals such as yourselves so vigorously defend international law and international institutions when they give such great cover to brutal thugs such as Saddam.

From Robert Bolt's "A Man for All Seasons":

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

RE:

FLIP

"No American will be allowed to torture another human being anywhere in the world." - GWB 1/26/06


FLOP

Bush administration lawyers argue that a new law that bans cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody does not apply to people held at Guantanamo Bay. - WASH.POST 3/3/06
----------------------

Hey Jay,

The GOP really does FLIP, FLOP on major issues. But sigh, likewise the Dems.

It's reported in the "liberal media" all the time.

(Do you read anything but these blogs?)

There aren't political parties in this country. Hell we really don't have countries anymore. We have IOC's and they run it all.

Armed Madhouse.

Just the facts, folks.

Posted by: bluesky on June 23, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

I understand the need for rule of law to separate us from the beasts, but some times it'd seem like doing the right thing involves some international civil disobedience.

This phrase, "civil disobedience," I do not think it means what you think it means. Civil disobedience involves breaking the law without resorting to violence while recognizing it as the law and subjecting yourself to its sanctions.

It does not involve breaking the law through an act of violence, then pretending that the law doesn't exist, and then claiming that you don't have to obey the law because it doesn't apply to you anyway, and even if it did you don't care.

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Boy is that Jay a piece of work. Full-frothing Republican't zombie stuff. Howard Dean, failed presidential candidate, on the brain. Tax cuts endangered by possible Democratic congressional victories showing what's truly his concern. Money, money, money. MY money. My precious....

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 23, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Turns out that liberals and old school realpolitik conservatives do converge, but not on [ridding the world of Saddam]. Instead, it would be old school realpoliticians who recognize Dictators = cheap, reliable oil and liberals who place international institutions uber alles.

You're playing obtuse to protect your mind from the discomfort of an actual thought process.

Liberals--for the most part--opposed invading Iraq for a simple reason: Unprovoked aggression is a bad (extremely bad) precedent to set. Sometimes the law protects bad guys too. That's the way the world works and there's good reason for it. (Someone remind me of the aphorism about the Devil and the forest...)

Civilization is made manifest when laws are respected and abided. On rare occasions laws must be broken, in extremis. Only a fool would think that Saddam, who had nothing to do with 9/11, was a do-or-die situation.

Also, Mike, educate yourself on the history of US interventions, for example, in Iran. Your arguments come from a touchingly naive place.

Posted by: obscure on June 23, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

"An average of 123 people are murdered everyday here in the US. Should we declare a state of emergency?"

You know, I think if 123 policemen were murdered everyday in the U S of A, we might see a state of emergency. What we probably wouldn't see is our government sending out more policeman to be sitting ducks.

What do our troops actually DO everyday in Iraq? They 'patrol' They drive up and down the roads in poorly armored vehicles (or more heavily armored ones that are a danger to drive) just waiting to get shot at or blown up by an IED. Almost 50% of our soldiers in Iraq don't even see themselves as having a definable mission there.

Why does Dubya hate our troops?

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 23, 2006 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Ooh!

Stefan covered me even as I typed away!

Bless you, Stefan.

Posted by: obscure on June 23, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Someone remind me of the aphorism about the Devil and the forest...)

See my 5:09 post above. It's from "A Man for All Seasons."

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

re Bush's (non)service in the national guard, rdw confuses the may-have-been forged memos "story" with the full story, which was that the sentiment in the memos WAS true.

The stupid MSM and their gullible followers, as are their wont, stared at and were blinded by the flash bulb instead of looking at the true picture.

Bush shirked his duty. His father pulled strings to get him into the Guard. He specifically refused to serve in Vietnam. When he had to report for a physical, he ran away. His father pulled further strings to get him in the Alabama Guard. He never showed there at all.

The tragedy is that Dan Rather and his team were too eager and didn't do the investigative digging that would have allowed them to report on Bush's Guard service without resorting to the memos. And they were too young, probably, to remember what documents typed in the early '70s looked like.

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 23, 2006 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

The US intervention in Kosovo after the NATO air war with Serbia was, I believe, authorized by the UN; the principal legal justification (though not the principal moral justification) for the NATO air war itself were actual cross-border attacks into Albanian territory;

What "cross-border attacks into Albanian territory?"

Posted by: GOP on June 23, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan
This phrase, "civil disobedience," I do not think it means what you think it means. Civil disobedience involves breaking the law without resorting to violence while recognizing it as the law and subjecting yourself to its sanctions.

Yea, I meant the other thing.

Obscure
Liberals--for the most part--opposed invading Iraq for a simple reason: Unprovoked aggression is a bad (extremely bad) precedent to set.

Ah, but had Saddam known that before Kuwait.

Civilization is made manifest when laws are respected and abided. On rare occasions laws must be broken, in extremis. Only a fool would think that Saddam, who had nothing to do with 9/11, was a do-or-die situation.

I understand the need for the rule of law, as I said before, but frankly I don't see countries such as Iraq, or more exactly leaders such as Saddam, as being a part of civilization. I don't recognize him as the leader of the people in his country, since he ruled by brutal force. His emmisaries should have been turned away. He should have had the exact same amount of voice in the UN as you or me, essentially none.

This is me talking, not shilling for the rest of the conservosphere. I don't have problems with international organizations in general. I have serious problems with the current one. Sudan on Human Rights Council? That's the obvious example.

There ought to be a UN-like organization, but it's time for a change. UN 1.0 is old and showing its age. Time for UN 2.0 to both reflect new realities and set high goals for civilization. (Or are we fundamentally flawed, as being discussed in the other thread. Maybe this is as good as it gets). It should require countries to have a civilized form of government to join. A modern democracy. The rewards should be compelling to encourage countries to modernize their government. As a carrot, we should send them weekly postcards with a picture of Saddam being yanked out of his spider hole and the text on the back, "Your time is coming."

But the current UN will not go away without serious, serious pain and squawking.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 23, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

Well, you've actually said something true for a change.

So you agree with him that the airwar was not approved by the UN.

Then why was it "legal" (as you are using the word)?

Posted by: GOP on June 23, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

In the worst case, the Shiites will beat them once and for all after we're gone.

If the Shi'ites lose again, will we redeploy to defend them or watch them be slaughtered as before?

What we would like, and may be developing, is for the army of the central government to be able to defeat each militia in turn.

Posted by: republicrat on June 23, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, so much anger and desperation from the right wing posters. I quess that they truly sense that their chance to screw all of civilization with their stupidity is gradually coming to an end. They just can't believe that basically their methods are ineffective, totalitarian, and not functional worldwide or within a free society that they cannot force or manipulate toward their own misperception of reality. One can almost smell the fear in the air. Brain-dead style conservatism won't work, never will. Boy are they gonna be unhappy the next couple of decsdes.

Posted by: Where's osama on June 23, 2006 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

As I mentioned in a previous thread, I briefly thought Iraq would have been a time that liberals and conservatives could have converged, in ridding the world of Saddam.

There is a cost to everything. As Maeven pointed out upthread, the cost to the invasion of Iraq has been this

Iraq is a wasteland of heat, sand, radioactive waste, darkness, putrid water, raw sewage, malnutrition, hunger, starvation, unemployment, uncertainty, torture, death...Any Iraqis who CAN get out of Iraq, are getting out of Iraq. Those remaining will never be the same. They'll never be whole again. Americans (military and media), too.

Iraq is now a chaotic war zone filled with despair, accruing tens of thousands of dead and wounded a year. As we speak Baghdad is in a state of emergency and the top story on MSNBC is the flurry of accusations against U.S. troops that they have been brutalizing and/or killing ordinary Iraqis, ostensibly as a result of combat stress.

This dire state of affairs is exactly why this war was ill-conceived and predictably unwinnable in any meaning of the word that is humane.

Perhaps there were peaceful or at least much less bloody ways to remove Saddam. We'll never know now. Besides, Rumsfeld's stated goal was to get in and out in weeks and let the Iraqis sort it out for themselves. Whatever your aspirations were for the Iraqi people, the administration had a different agenda.

Criminal negligence at best...

Posted by: trex on June 23, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

trex
Any Iraqis who CAN get out of Iraq, are getting out of Iraq.

I disagree with almost everything you wrote, but I'll focus on this one point.

So where is the refugee crisis? Where are the millions of Iraqis getting out of Iraq? Huge influx of refugees into Jordan? Turkey? Syria? Saudi Arabia? Iran? Link, please.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 23, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan
From Robert Bolt's "A Man for All Seasons":

So where would draft dodgers and other civil disobedients fit into that picture?

And how should be consider words such as...

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...

...in treating with beasts such as Saddam Hussein?

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 23, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Instead, I want to ask a question: Why are people like Andrew Sullivan so convinced that a carefully planned phased withdrawal would be such a disaster?"

Ummmmmmmmm, because it would be the current administration implementing said phased withdrawal plan?

--Rick Taylor

Posted by: Rick Taylor on June 23, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

To refuge camps, dumbass. Seek information that doesn't not comform to what you desire it to be and you might start to actually expound your knowledge and learn. Then you won't come off sounding like a brain-dead prejudiced conservative and over time might develop rational cynical thinking..........No probably not.

Meanwhile why can't Bush get Osama-is he afraid of Osama or Pakistan? The US had defeated the Japanese in less time than it's taken Bush to not bring just one single man to justice. If Bush had been president in 1941 then I guess by his logic that he would have attacked.......say, New Zealand?

Posted by: Where's osama on June 23, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Where's osama
To refuge camps, dumbass.

Prove it, moron, or STFU.

Actually, it was trex that made the unsubstantiated claim, not you. You're just a dittohead for his "fake but accurate" bullshit.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 23, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

AFAIK, while the Iraq war has produced a serious crises of displaced persons, its mostly an internal displacement, rather than people leaving the country.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 23, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

So where is the refugee crisis? Where are the millions of Iraqis getting out of Iraq? Huge influx of refugees into Jordan? Turkey? Syria? Saudi Arabia? Iran? Link, please.

Learn to do your own research, please:

Iraqi Refugees Overwhelm Syria
Migrants Who Fled Violence Put Stress on Housing Market, Schools

By Scott Wilson
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, February 3, 2005; Page A18

"....Syrian officials say 700,000 Iraqis from various ethnic, religious and economic backgrounds have arrived since the U.S.-led invasion, far more than in any other country in the region. The flow has spiked in the past four months...."

And from the Guardian UK:

Iraq Refugees Flee for Jordan, Syria

Thursday June 15, 2006 12:31 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) - More than 650,000 Iraqis fled their homeland for Jordan and Syria since the beginning of 2005, [i.e. not counting those who fled in 2003-2004] according to a refugee survey released on Wednesday.

The violence has forced over 40 percent of Iraqi professionals to leave, according to the survey, published by the Washington-based U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.

It said Iraq ranks third worldwide as a source country for refugees with 888,000. It is outranked only by Palestinians and Afghans.

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, I sense the built-up frustration. Think things are a certain way and that things all ought to be a certain way and continually finding that eventually it's all just self diluted, ill composed bullshit and the world doesn't work that way at all. And the country is attacked basically by a man and the president not only cannot find the person that did it but instead is so mentally out of touch with reality that he instead attacks a country that had nothing to do with it whatsoever. I'd be frustrated too. Awol not only is a chickenshit but can't be comprehensive enough to go after the US's true enemy-Osama bin Ladin. What a mental reject. Can't even keep is eye on the ball. Attacks Iraq where we can all be pretty assured Osama isn't. At least he got the right hemisphere.

Posted by: Where's osama on June 23, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

...Perhaps there were peaceful or at least much less bloody ways to remove Saddam. We'll never know now....

Posted by: trex on June 23, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Do you think if we had offered every man, woman and child in Iraq $2500 (what we value their inappropriate deaths as worth) to surrender up Saddam and his brothers, maybe a few others, might hacve done it?

That's about $64 billion and no US deaths or casualties.

Bargain!

Posted by: notthere on June 23, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

rdw confuses the may-have-been forged memos "story" with the full story, which was that the sentiment in the memos WAS true.

Let's not be excessively stupid. We just watched Dan Rather retire in an egregiously humiliating fashion. His only defenders being a few whackjobs on the Huffington Post and other moonbat blogs. Even Drum described his use of these memo's a disgrace.

They were crayon copies. They were that Bad. Dan has not one single defender in the mainstream press.

You can have your fantasies about GWVs service being honourable or not. But if you are going to say he did something wrong you need to prove it. Sentiment isn't proof. Without proof you are just another moonbat.

You saw what it got Dan. 24 years at the tiffany network and he gets the bums rush. 24 years and the 1st line in the bio is memogate. Clinton has impeachment, Rather has memogate, GWB has 62M votes for the largest ever.

Posted by: rdw on June 23, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers,

At the time I proposed not invading. There was no need to invade. Saddam was bottled up quite nicely.

You've got to be kidding. Here's how Fareed Zakaria describes the situation:

"... by the latter part of the [1990s] the policy [of "containing" Saddam] was collapsing. In 1996 Saddam invaded the Kurdish safe haven of northern Iraq, re-establishing his power in the area. In the next few years he repeatedly defied U.N. inspectors and busted sanctions. His neighborsJordan, Turkey, Syriabegan illicitly trading with him. The French and Russians were openly working to get the sanctions lifted. Saddam adopted an increasingly bold negotiating strategy, refusing or reneging on various compromises that were offered him. In 1998 he stopped cooperating with the inspectors. In November 1999 he stopped exporting oil (under the oil for food program) so that he could send oil prices to their highest levels in a decade. On coming into office, Colin Powell, realizing how ineffective sanctions had become, tried to create a "smart sanctions" program that would target the regime and not the Iraqi people. The French and Russians scuttled it."

At the time of the invasion, Iraq had been under economic sanctions for 12 years. Those sanctions had killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, destroyed much of Iraq's infrastructure, and reduced the quality of life of Iraqis who were still alive to third-world level. The "temporary" oil-for-food program that began at the end of the 1990s was a fiasco of corruption and mismanagement. Saddam exploited it to strengthen his position and amass enormous funds for illegal purchases banned under the sanctions. The program provided some humanitarian relief to the Iraqi people, but chronic disease and malnourishment were still rampant (UNICEF estimated in 2001 that Iraqis were still dying at the rate of 30,000 a year because of the sanctions.) There is no indication that any of this would have changed if we had not invaded in 2003. There is no indication that the condition of the Iraqi people would have improved. There is no indication that Saddam would have stepped down or been deposed in a coup or uprising (in fact, his position was getting stronger).

Now, explain to me how, in light of all this, invasion was clearly worse than your alternative ("not invading," which I assume means "maintain the status quo").

Posted by: GOP on June 23, 2006 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

And they were too young, probably, to remember what documents typed in the early '70s looked like.

Dan Rather is over 70 years old you twit. It was one step above crayon. It was exposed as a probable fraud within 2 hours of the show and confirmed as a definite fraud within 24 hours. Everyone on the planet knew it was a pathetic forgery and the fool stood by his story for 2 weeks. Kevin Drum labeled the show a disgrace without even addressing the quality of the forgery. The chain of evidence was controlled by known moonbats including Mary Mapes.

Posted by: rdw on June 23, 2006 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

The US intervention in Kosovo after the NATO air war with Serbia was, I believe, authorized by the UN; the principal legal justification (though not the principal moral justification) for the NATO air war itself were actual cross-border attacks into Albanian territory;

What "cross-border attacks into Albanian territory?"

This is the third time I've asked. Can you substantiate this claim or can't you?

Posted by: GOP on June 23, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

So where would draft dodgers and other civil disobedients fit into that picture?

People who practice civil disobedience don't flout the law -- they openly disobey it to make a moral point, but then also accept society's legal sanctions (i.e. they allow themselves to be arrested, etc.) in order to illustrate the problem with the law. Civil disobedience is not about overturning or ignoring the law, it's about exerting moral pressure to cause the law to be changed.

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, thanks for reminding me why I read and agree with your column almost every day

I agree with you more often than any other pundit in cyberspace

Posted by: tim on June 23, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

Dear God; will nobody recognize that the war in Iraq is not about terrorism and is about oil? What we win is the 110 billion barrels of crude. If we lose, and we cannot, we go Argentina in short order.

Kevin Drum is a smart fellow, but he is just like the rest of the Joe Conason, Gene Lyons group of journalists whose publishers won't let them even order vinegar and oil on their salads lest someone hear them say "oil" and think they are about to tell the truth. Even Scheer, who used to tell the truth before being fired by the LAT for it, has quit now that his publishers have told him to stop talking about oil.

There is no OTHER reason for BEING in Iraq, no matter how many fake reasons are put forward. And the question isn't about what will happen when we steal their oil, the question is about what will happen if we do not.

Posted by: SamSnedegar on June 23, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

So where is the refugee crisis? Where are the millions of Iraqis getting out of Iraq? Huge influx of refugees into Jordan? Turkey? Syria? Saudi Arabia? Iran? Link, please.

Thanks to Stefan for providing the relevant cites while I was out.

Here's the CS Monitor on May 22nd of this year quoting the (subscription walled) NYT:

In the last 10 months, the state has issued new passports to 1.85 million Iraqis, 7 percent of the population and a quarter of the country's estimated middle class. The school system offers another clue: Since 2004, the Ministry of Education has issued 39,554 letters permitting parents to take their children's academic records abroad. The number of such letters issued in 2005 was double that in 2004, according to the director of the ministry's examination department. Iraqi officials and international organizations put the number of Iraqis in Jordan at close to a million. Syrian cities also have growing Iraqi populations.

Also, increasingly Iraqis are refugees within their own country:

Ahmed Mashhdanny, a senior Kirkuk governorate official, said that more than 200,000 Kirkuk residents have been displaced since 2003 and more than 300 have been killed in ethnic fighting over land. "The return of the Kurds to the city left thousands of Arabs displaced in deteriorating conditions and has increased ethnic aggression between the two groups," he said.

The Red Crescent estimates about 90,000 people have been displaced from their homes within Iraq due to sectarian violence and living in refugee camps. It's not clear whether or how these figures overlap with those of the Kirkuk refugees, which appear to have been counted as a separate group.

You're just a dittohead for his "fake but accurate" bullshit.

I'm not sure what I said to deserve that, but you're certainly welcome to fuck right off.

Posted by: trex on June 23, 2006 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan and trex...

Just popped in. I have seen two numbers on how many refugees returned to Iraq following the war (all predictions on waves of refugees post-war were wrong). The numbers are "three million" and "at least 1.2 million". I don't have any better cites than that, but I haven't looked that hard. These refugees came from camps in Iran and Saudi Arabia. So that puts us ahead on the refugee count as compared to the Saddan-era.

I also followed the links and saw quotes like, "Refugees driving up housing costs in Amman." These people aren't struggling and starving like in Darfur. They're doing a middle class flight.

In Saddam's day getting a passport was difficult or impossible. You escaped from Iraq, not took a flight out of the airport.

trex
RSM: You're just a dittohead for his "fake but accurate" bullshit.

I'm not sure what I said to deserve that, but you're certainly welcome to fuck right off.

It was your selective cherry picking of hte facts, choosing to ignore the fact that million+ refugees had returned to Iraq after the war and where they lived while they were gone (camps in desert), and only looking at current events. From my second link...

Since my first encounter with Iraq almost 40 years ago, I have relied on several broad measures of social and economic health to assess the countrys condition. Through good times and bad, these signs have proved remarkably accurateas accurate, that is, as is possible in human affairs. For some time now, all have been pointing in an unequivocally positive direction.

The first sign is refugees. When things have been truly desperate in Iraqin 1959, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1980, 1988, and 1990long queues of Iraqis have formed at the Turkish and Iranian frontiers, hoping to escape. In 1973, for example, when Saddam Hussein decided to expel all those whose ancestors had not been Ottoman citizens before Iraqs creation as a state, some 1.2 million Iraqis left their homes in the space of just six weeks. This was not the temporary exile of a small group of middle-class professionals and intellectuals, which is a common enough phenomenon in most Arab countries. Rather, it was a departure en masse, affecting people both in small villages and in big cities, and it was a scene regularly repeated under Saddam Hussein.

Since the toppling of Saddam in 2003, this is one highly damaging image we have not seen on our television setsand we can be sure that we would be seeing it if it were there to be shown. To the contrary, Iraqis, far from fleeing, have been returning home. By the end of 2005, in the most conservative estimate, the number of returnees topped the 1.2-million mark. Many of the camps set up for fleeing Iraqis in Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia since 1959 have now closed down. The oldest such center, at Ashrafiayh in southwest Iran, was formally shut when its last Iraqi guests returned home in 2004.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 23, 2006 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

"The rest is all just lawyer-speak. Anything that considers Saddam to be treated with as the rightful leader of a sovereign nation is complete, total BS to me, since he was actually just a brutal thug who ruled a majority with fear and terror."

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 23, 2006 at 3:27 PM

When I read this from you I had to double check to be sure it was from you. While I have on more than one occasion massively disagreed with you I have also recognized that you do have a real personality behind this alias of yours unlike too many of our conservative commentators here. I do not consider you a part of the Trolletariat anymore and have not for some time. However, you *DO* have this bad tendency to base your reasoning on the same truthiness that the Trolletariat does, as Stefan has shown you regarding the serious refugee problem from Iraq and of the most necessary social group towards building a stable open/democratic society at that. That being a middle class of course. Therefore this inherently increases the difficulty of creating the Iraq that is the goal you and your leader(s) claim is the necessary basis for withdrawal with honour and with victory. That you are unaware of something this relevant to the interests of the creation of a free Iraq despite your own proven interest (even if your source material tends to be a bit light on the accuracy) not only tells we liberals something, it should be telling you something as well.

What it should be telling you is that those you trust to lead you and your country to victory are not only being secretive about operational issues (which is perfectly legitimate, although I do believe that it should be a delay and not a total ban, something like months to years depending) but the basic realities on the ground. After all shouldnt you have some idea of Iraq being the third worse refugee situation on the planet in a society that values the free press and an informed citizenry which then votes in responsible government? Isnt that the underpinning of the democratic way of life regardless of form it takes from Parliamentary to the wonderfully balancing of act America was created as? So if you are as someone with the intelligence and the inclination to think for themselves should you not then be very concerned that so many of the basic facts you were told about both to launch this war and ever since on the ground have had such a remarkably high incompatibility with objective reality/truth whenever such comparisons have been possible?

It should bother you quite a bit, especially given the clear strains the US Army and Reserve are taking, another fact not being discussed, and it should be discussed even in this so called wartime (Im sorry, this is not a real war, real wars involve conflicts between nation states, while serious and important dealing with global terrorism is, it is not a true war in terms of operational realities) when the information to recognize it already exists in the public domain. When I hear for example all the talk about how retentions are so high from the last three years I do not chalk that up to belief in the mission, I chalk that up into belief in their fellow troopers on the ground that they left in that hellhole and a refusal to leave them alone to die without them watching their backs. When I see the Army raising recruitment age seven years to 42 that tells be they are unable to meet their needs at the prior level. When I see recruitment bonus costs exploding as someone else noted in this thread that tells me the same thing. Why doesnt it tell you any of this?

Then there is the comment I quoted of yours at the beginning of this. As Stefan points out at 5:09 PM June 23 whatever we thought of Saddam he had been the recognized head of state of Iraq by the global community. Therefore he is entitled to all the same legal protections as other Heads of State under international treat/law. It is like diplomatic immunity, you extend it even to those you oppose because only true reciprocation will actually make such a thing work. Well preemptive wars of aggression not based on direct self defence without global consensus through the UN these days also carries with it a similar cost as to violating diplomatic immunity for those that do so. This is what has truly scared many in the rest of the free world about America. It is not so much that America launched a war against the desires of the rest of the planet, it is by doing so and with the shifting rationalizations ever since as well as the use of methods of brutality occupation tends to bring with it has been literally systemically gutting international law. You have to remember that throughout the Cold War Americas foreign policy was to strengthen international law, create international institutions and did so in enlightened self interest. This was how America really won the Cold War. This policy was followed by every American President post WWII until GWB.

I have to wonder about you RSM, I really do. At times your writings both impress me and give me much to think on. Other times though your work is so inherently flawed that even while your logic/reasoning processes are sound the assumptions, premises and facts are not, which inherently corrupts the reasoning/logic. On the topic of this Iraq war you obviously care about it, yet you have time and again been shown how flawed your facts/premises are no matter how strong your reasoning. Your contempt for the Dems/left in America also appears to outweigh your desire to challenge your own beliefs by actually doing the research necessary to see for yourself the reasoning behind Dem/leftie reasoning without automatically assuming it will be wrong. While I well know the Dems/lefties have their own faults and problems, they are also historically speaking those that tend to actually follow through on good governance, both economic (in terms of keeping the governments fiscal house in order nothing more than that, the greater economy aspect is not quite so clear cut) and legislatively. There has been much social justice progress in America the last half decade now, and much of what I see in current American conservative politics is the backlash of such rapid significant fundamental change to a society. A fair amount of it in my mind is also legitimate and has merit, unfortunately the extremists have become the norm and claim to be the only saviors for the less extreme conservatives.

Therefore we end up with the degree of polarization in American politics and society today. You are unfortunately one more victim of it, in demanding such explicit details for success and operating in Iraq you are demanding something from those with currently NO POWER to do anything regarding Iraq to have and provide to you these details than has never been asked/demanded of the GOP and especially Bush. Why is that RSM, if it is important to know what the Dems would do (and I agree it is important and fair to ask of the Dems, indeed because it is important to require of any in office regardless of party) what you and your fellow travelers have never gotten from those actually launching and running this war of occupation? Sure feel free to continue to ask this of the Dems, but if you are truly more interested in the welfare of the troops, in the success of this mission, and of the security of America then you should be as forceful in demanding the same degree of explanation of these issues of Bush and the GOP. Otherwise you have let your partisanship dictate your thinking and your decisions no matter how much you may want to believe otherwise.

So which is more important to you RSM? Is it your integrity and consistency on issues of such importance, or is it your political partisanship/affiliation worth more to you? This is what infuriates so many on the left and middle about those that continue to blindly support this Iraq war, it is that the support you give to your Commander in Chief is blind support and blind faith, and after the clear incompetence of the last three years in Iraq this is continued to be extended and the same blind (I originally typoed this as blond, I almost left it that way for the humour) faith in the idea that the Dems would make things worse. Things cant get much worse even if Iraq degenerates into all out sectarian warfare. Unlike Afghanistan which had no resources making it worth outside support from interested parties the neighbours will keep this from being a failed state like Afghanistan. However I truly doubt what will be in place will be much better from an international perspective, but from a stability of the Iraqi citizen I suspect it will be. You have to understand, things truly are worse now for Iraqis than it was under Saddams boot. Now instead of worrying about a clear danger and having some idea of what to do to minimize risk of violence from the dictator and his people they have the random violence that has existed and increased over the last three years. Their basic utilities are overall no better than under sanctioned Iraq, and in many places worse. They have no real domestic stability in the country and instead of slowly becoming more secure it has somewhat quickly been growing less/worse and extending into previous stable areas (i.e. Basra).

The rule of law has always been one of the greatest defences against instability and the rule of force (whoever has the most force/power wins regardless of merit) humanity has ever come up with. It should be disregarded at ones peril, especially when doing so wholesale as Bush has done. For its willingness to stand behind this belief and to extend it across the board within its society and fight for it in both World Wars and then the Cold War was why America could be fairly called the leader of the free world and the shining city on the hill. This is what Iraq has cost America RSM, and it appears to have cost you your ability to recognize what is truly important to fight for, especially if you believe the Islamic international terrorists are fighting you because they hate your freedoms. If that is their goal than you should treasure/value those freedoms all the more and be willing to tamper/change them all the less, not the other way around.

Posted by: Scotian on June 23, 2006 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0522/dailyUpdate.html

From the Christian Science Monitor:

Middle class leaving Iraq
Since destruction of Samarra shrine, many Iraqis are desperate to leave the country.

By Tom Regan | csmonitor.com

A few months after reports indicated that Iraqi university professors and academics were fleeing the country because of violence and kidnappings, new media reports say that the middle class in Iraq also wants to leave.
The New York Times reported last week that more and more middle class Iraqis seem to be " doing everything they can to leave the country."

In the last 10 months, the state has issued new passports to 1.85 million Iraqis, 7 percent of the population and a quarter of the country's estimated middle class. The school system offers another clue: Since 2004, the Ministry of Education has issued 39,554 letters permitting parents to take their children's academic records abroad. The number of such letters issued in 2005 was double that in 2004, according to the director of the ministry's examination department. Iraqi officials and international organizations put the number of Iraqis in Jordan at close to a million. Syrian cities also have growing Iraqi populations.
The reason for the exodus, the Times writes, is the wave of sectarian violence that has engulfed Iraq since the Feb. 22 bombing of the revered Shiite Askariya Shrine in Samarra. Most frightening for most Iraqis was the sense that their government was doing almost nothing to stop the fighting, and in fact may have helped, as soldiers from Shiite-dominated ministries have been accused of participated in the sectarian killings.




05/19/06

Posted by: Devil's Advocate on June 23, 2006 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

Here is Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein when the U.S. plied Iraq with money and weapons in its war against Iran... Of course, it was the eighties. The trolls were in infancy then. By the way, that makes them eligible to serve. How come the little cowards are on the keyboard rather than serving in Iraq? Could it be that they are too afraid to put their sorry yellow asses on the line? Like Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld and the rest of the deferment / AWOL crowd? Stay the course, they say, as they are sinking their fat arses into their easy chair to watch more Faux News.

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/

Posted by: Devil's Advocate on June 23, 2006 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

ABC News/Time/BBC/NHK/Der Spiegel poll of Iraqi public opinion, Oct-Nov 2005

Overall, how would you say things are going in your life these days - very good, quite good, quite bad, or very bad?

Good: 71% (up from 55% in June 2004)
Bad: 29% (down from 45% in June 2004)


Compared to the time before the war in Spring 2003, are things overall in your life much better now, somewhat better, about the same, somewhat worse or much worse?

Better: 51%
About the same: 19%
Worse: 29%


Compared to our country as it was before the war in spring 2003, are things in Iraq overall much better now, somewhat better, about the same, somewhat worse or much worse?

Better: 46%
About the same: 13%
Worse: 39%


What is your expectation for how things will be for Iraq as a country overall a year from now?

Better: 69%
About the same: 11%
Worse: 11%


I would like to ask you about todays conditions in the village/neighborhood where you live. How would you rate the following using very good, quite good, quite bad or very bad?

The security situation:
Good: 61% (up from 49% in Feb 2004)
Bad: 17% (down from 21% in Feb 2004)

The availability of jobs:
Good: 38% (up from 26% in Feb 2004)
Bad: 58% (down from 69% in Feb 2004)

The supply of electricity:
Good: 45% (up from 35% in Feb 2004)
Bad: 54% (down from 64% in Feb 2004)

The availability of clean water
Good: 58% (up from 50% in Feb 2004)
Bad: 42% (down from 48% in Feb 2004)

The availability of medical care:
Good: 62% (up from 51% in Feb 2004)
Bad: 36% (down from 47% in Feb 2004)

Local schools:
Good: 74% (up from 72% in Feb 2004)
Bad: 25% (down from 26% in Feb 2004)

Local government:
Good: 51% (up from 50% in Feb 2004)
Bad: 42% (up from 38% in Feb 2004)

The availability of basic things you need for your household:
Good: 60% (up from 56% in Feb 2004)
Bad: 39% (down from 41% in Feb 2004)

Your familys protection from crime:
Good: 66% (up from 53% in Feb 2004)
Bad: 33% (down from 44% in Feb 2004)

Posted by: GOP on June 24, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

Scotian:

You have to understand, things truly are worse now for Iraqis than it was under Saddams boot.

I quote this one example out of numerous claims you make in your post of 10:49pm that you have obviously just pulled out of your ass and are trying to pass off as fact. Where is your evidence?

As you can see from the poll results I quote above, your claim is contradicted by the opinions of the Iraqi people themselves, at least as of late last year. Substantial pluralities of Iraqis believe that both their own personal situation and the situation of Iraq as a whole are better now than they were under Saddam before the invasion.

Furthermore, more detailed questions found that pluralities of Iraqis believe that the situation is better now than before the invasion in 9 of the 11 specific areas they were asked about: security, clean water, medical care, schools, local government, protection from crime, family economic situation and freedom of speech. Only in two areas (availability of jobs and supply of electricity) did more Iraqis believe the situation is worse than better as compared to spring 2003.

Posted by: GOP on June 24, 2006 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, a poll from six months ago, I'm sure nothing has happened since then to change the minds of Iraqis.

Here's a synopsis of a poll taken three months ago by IRI from the Chicago Tribune:

A majority of Iraqis say their country is in dismal economic shape and getting worse, according to a new poll conducted by a conservative American think tank, with three in four respondents also describing security in the country as "poor."

The numbers reveal a population with little optimism about its economic future. They show that Iraqis believe jobs are harder to find, electrical service is poorer and corruption has increased dramatically since last year.

And 62 percent of respondents said Iraq is more politically divided today than in the past.

The results were culled from 2,804 face-to-face interviews from across the country by the Washington-based International Republican Institute, or IRI. The interviews were conducted by Iraqi pollsters and included responses from violence-ridden western Anbar province for the first time since IRI began regular opinion surveys in May 2004.

Fifty-two percent think the country is moving in the wrong direction, the most since IRI's polls have been conducted, with 30 percent saying it's going in the right direction--the lowest percentage since the polling began.

Only a bare majority, 51 percent, believe life would be better or much better within the next five years, down dramatically from the 85 percent who said so in April 2005.

No link, the full article is archived and protected. It can be purchased on the Chicago Tribune website though.

Posted by: trex on June 24, 2006 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

Scotian: You have to understand, things truly are worse now for Iraqis than it was under Saddams boot.

Don P. I quote this one example out of numerous claims you make in your post of 10:49pm that you have obviously just pulled out of your ass and are trying to pass off as fact. Substantial pluralities of Iraqis believe that both their own personal situation and the situation of Iraq as a whole are better now than they were under Saddam before the invasion.

Not so much with the situation in Iraq as a whole. This is taken from the ABC News/Time/BBC/NHK/Der Spiegel poll that you cited:

NEGATIVES Other views, moreover, are more negative: Fewer than half, 46 percent, say the country is better off now than it was before the war. And half of Iraqis now say it was wrong for U.S.-led forces to invade in spring 2003, up from 39 percent in 2004.

Half say it was wrong to invade and 65% oppose the presence of coalition forces. From the results of this poll the personal satisfaction that Iraqis feel in their lives seems to be independent of the invasion, independent of how well they feel the country is faring, and largely inimical to the presence of coalition troops.

Posted by: trex on June 24, 2006 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

trex

You cannot draw reliable conclusions about long-term trends in public opinion and conditions in Iraq from a fluctuation over a period of 3 months, especially when the polling methodology has changed. The overall trend in public opinion since the invasion has clearly been positive, as both the ABC News poll and the IRI polls show. On only two of the fourteen occasions when IRI has asked the right direction/wrong direction question has there been a plurality for wrong direction.

Posted by: GOP on June 24, 2006 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK

I saw War Stories from Ward 7-D on my local public TV station tonight. Traumatic Brain Injury. It pissed me off. How can we subject our troops to this, and for what? Such injuries might be a necessary evil if our presence in Iraq was truly needed for the security and defense of the US, but I cannot see that our presence is accomplishing anything of any value at all. After seeing this, I am a lot more sympathetic to the view of getting our troops home as soon as possible. The whole half-hour show is available at the link. Watch it for yourself.

Posted by: stephe on June 24, 2006 at 2:01 AM | PERMALINK

Blanche,

Not so much with the situation in Iraq as a whole.

As I said, the poll found pluralities answering "better" for both the question about the respondent's personal situation and the question about the situation in Iraq as a whole. Yes, the 46% who felt that the situation in Iraq is better now than it was under Saddam before the invasion is "less than half" of total respondents, but it's significantly higher than the 39% who felt that the situation now is worse.

Not that it would be all that meaningful even if those percentages were reversed. Nation-building is a long-term project, even under better circumstances. It took Germany and Japan many years to recover from the devastation of World War II. Even Britain continued to ration food until 1954, nine years after the end of the war. That is why, as I have said before, we won't really be in a position to evaluate the long-term effects of the Iraq War for another decade or more. Of course, that won't stop people like you from trying to spin every downward blip as a vindication of your opposition.

Posted by: GOP on June 24, 2006 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

But right now the fact that the average Iraqi is worse off than under the sanctions imposed by George H. W. Bush brings a smile to my face as I ignore the hundreds of thousands who have died in the five years of George W. Bush's presidency.

Posted by: GOP on June 24, 2006 at 2:37 AM | PERMALINK

Let me see if I have this right. We cannot leave Iraq because there is a growing resistance to our forces who want us out of their country. We don't belong in their country, they don't want us in their country, but we can't leave until they stop fighting the occupation. A bit like our coup in Panama eh? Wipe out the government, put in our own government. Then in Panama have the president there write a constitution that disallows an army. Then say , whoa Panama has no army to protect the canal , therefore we must deploy troops there forever. To quote Thomas Jefferson." I tremble for the fate of my country when I remember God us just...

Posted by: Melissa on June 24, 2006 at 5:04 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: Let's not be excessively stupid.


"I think we are welcomed (IN IRAQ)," President Bush said. "But it was not a peaceful welcome." - 12/12/05


or perhaps...


"I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound perch in my lake." - President G. W. Bush 5/7/06

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 24, 2006 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

The "Iraqi people" (Allah knows what the sectarian breakdown is) want the US to have a timetable for withdrawal: 87% in a recent poll. So the Repubs who want us to stay should overrule the people themselves? I thought they were against "paternalism."

Posted by: Neil' on June 24, 2006 at 8:39 AM | PERMALINK

Scotian
I have to wonder about you RSM, I really do. At times your writings both impress me and give me much to think on. Other times though your work is so inherently flawed that even while your logic/reasoning processes are sound the assumptions, premises and facts are not, which inherently corrupts the reasoning/logic.

I'm not an international lawyer by any stroke of the imagination. I know lots of lawyers, and each of them is capable of arguing, with all the fervor of righteousness they can muster, for their argument. They do so compellingly, presenting their argument in such a way that I must ask, "How can it be otherwise?" Except for the fact that they disagree. So then I must be a juror and weigh their arguments.

In the end I internalize everything they said along with my own beliefs and value system, and make a decision. Often ultimately a gut decision, that I then back out and rationalize with what I have. And my gut tells me, based on everything I've known or heard, in my heart of hearts, that getting Saddam was good. Or could be good. Or could have been good. It is not by any means over with. As I've said many times before, I agreed with Tom Friedman's views on Iraq.

Your contempt for the Dems/left in America...

I have no contempt for dems or the left. But I do like to argue, and am perfectly happy trading ad hominems. While I do not pursue an aggressive policy of pre-emptive ad hominems, many posters here do, so I return fire when fired upon.

You should have left it as "blond".

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 24, 2006 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

"You should have left it as "blond"."

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 24, 2006 at 8:58 AM

I almost did. The only reason I decided against it is because one of the more irritating stereotypes for me is the one where blond equates with stupid/dumb. Still though I could not help but chuckle when I first read the typo when I was proofing my writing, and while I do not like the stereotype I couldn't just let it go completely hence why I did it the way I did.

Posted by: Scotian on June 24, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

trex,

But right now the fact that the average Iraqi is worse off than under the sanctions ...

You have provided no evidence that this claim is true. You're just making up "facts" out of thin air, like Scotian. The ABC News poll expressly contradicts your claim. It found that a significantly higher proportion of Iraqis believe they are better off now than they were under the sanctions than believe they are worse off now.

Posted by: GOP on June 24, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Like all Republicans I believe only what I want to believe. The fact that there are fewer services, the fact that there is more day to day violence, and the fact that the morgues are far busier than under the sanctions are mere facts to be ignored because they don't suit my agenda. I have provided no studies to refute these things because, well, being facts, they are irrefutable.

Posted by: GOP on June 24, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Hello, my name is Scotian and I make up "facts" out of thin air. When studies and polls are presented to me showing that my "facts" are false, I just ignore them and keep pretending that my "facts" are facts.

Posted by: Scotian on June 24, 2006 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

See how good I am - I try to deflect from my inability to provide facts by posting under someone else's name. No one better challenge me to show that the death rate has decreased since the sanctions though. I don't have the slightest proof to back that lie. Nor do I have a clue who might use my name to remind others just how dishonest I am.

Posted by: GOP on June 24, 2006 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

My name is Scotian and I have no idea what's happened to the "death rate" "since the sanctions." I have no idea about anything. I just make things up and call them facts. When polls and studies are presented to me contradicting my "facts," I just ignore them. For example, I completely ignored the ABC News poll that contradicts my "facts" about conditions in Iraq.

Posted by: Scotian on June 24, 2006 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

Since I haven't provided even a single study on the death rate, I don't know either. I just keep stealing some innocent person's name and repeating the results of a poll that has nothing to do with the conditions, only the impression of conditions. But that's because I'm not smart enough to know the difference.

I do know that there is more day to day violence, the morgues are overflowing, the infrastructure is still in worse condition than before the war, and that Iraq is pumping less oil than under sanctions - all of which would lead a non-insane person to conclude that it is highly unlikely that the death rate has gone down, but then I am not one.

Posted by: GOP on June 25, 2006 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

Please tell your politicans in Washington that if they do not withdraw troops from my country soon, Allah will exact sever punishment upon them, and they will not get to enjoy 72 virgins in the afterlife.

Posted by: ahmed al-hadi on June 25, 2006 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

Hi, my name is Scotian and I have been parodied by GOP/Charlie/Nathan yet again because that is the last resort for that person to discredit my writings. Well rather that discrediting the person is the only way he knows how to respond to any he disagrees with, actually discrediting the writings content itself is clearly too difficult for him.

Thankfully my writing style is distinctive enough that Chuckles is unable to replicate it. Got to love that fear of me from the chief member of the Trolletariat here.

Grow up Chuckles. You have done this before and it did you no good then so being repetitive like this only further indicates your immaturity and potential insanity since you expect a different response/reaction to it than the last times you have done this to me and others here.

Posted by: Scotian on June 25, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

trex,

But right now the fact that the average Iraqi is worse off than under the sanctions ...

This thread is probably dead but for the record, while I agree with the sentiment expressed above(because Iknow some Iraqis personally and have heard their pre-invasion/post-invasion insights) the only place I can find this claim is under the "GOP" handle.

If you're implying that I posted this under your name, that's absurd. Name stealing is for juveniles, specifically Charlie/Cheney but not limited to him/it.

For all I know the final posts in this thread are just Charlie/Cheney arguing with himself under different handles because it gives him some kind of masturbatory thrill.

Posted by: trex on June 25, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

trex
Name stealing is for juveniles...

And is also quite the popular tactic to use against people who disagree with the mainstream here. At least, it has been over the last year I've been milling around these parts.

specifically Charlie/Cheney but not limited to him/it.

There's no way to know who does it thanks to how comments work here, but I promise you the "trolletariat" gets far, far more than it gives on this front. The locals choose to look the other way usually.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 25, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

RSM:

Not to the extent where the e-mail addy is also duplicated precisely, in most of the parody cases by the left here they specifically do not duplicate the e-mail addy so one can actually see that it is not the original alias holder. Consider the case of the false tbrozs' that were here, their e-mail addys were never the same as the original tbrozs'. That being said I personally do not care for someone doing so regardless of which side it is, if one is going to parody/caricature someone they should not use the exact same alias IMHO.

So I hate to say this but the trolletariat does not get far more than it gives on this, and I was here when this first started up a couple of years ago and the lefties here started doing this as a response to Charlie and another trolletariat member doing exactly this to put words in someone they disagreed with mouth so they could then use that false post to lambaste the aliasholder for things they didn't actually say but yet were somhow exactly what the trolls claimed was the real thinking behind those aliases. In other words the leties here did not originate it and even from the start unlike the trolls that did it to the lefties the leftie response did not duplicate email addys in no small part because they were not trying to actually pretend someone said something, unlike the trolls that were doing it to us. Indeed I was subjected to this within my first few moths here which is why this is something I recall so clearly. Sorry Mike, yet again I can't agree with you because the underlying facts your reasoning used is flawed.

Posted by: Scotian on June 25, 2006 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

They were going to exorcize the ghosts of Vietnam, and they just can't give that up.

The defeat they fear is not a military one in Iraq; it is a political one on the domestic front.

Leaving Iraq will be a political failure for the Republicans, and (as they see it) a victory for the Democrats. And they just can't bear that.

Posted by: Nancy Irving on June 25, 2006 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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