Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 5, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

PLAN Z....Here's Joe Biden on Thursday:

I have reached the tentative conclusion that a significant portion of this administration, maybe even including the vice president, believes Iraq is lost. They have no answer to deal with how badly they have screwed it up. I am not being facetious now. Therefore, the best thing to do is keep it from totally collapsing on your watch and hand it off to the next guy -- literally, not figuratively.

Is Biden right? Beats me. I simply have no idea what Bush and Cheney genuinely think these days, and I certainly wouldn't discount the possibility that they continue to live in an alternate reality in which they truly believe that "victory" is still possible in Iraq.

But even if Biden is right, I suspect there's a bit more to it. As we're all aware, "population transfers" are the order of business right now in Baghdad (and in the rest of the country as well, though slightly less dramatically). Eventually, regardless of any action one way or the other from the United States, the Shiite, Sunni, and Kurd populations will be almost entirely separated. This was the prerequisite for our "success" in Kosovo, and in a similar way it's possible that once Iraq's ethnic cleansing is mostly complete their civil war will start to die down of its own accord and the U.S. will finally be able to prop up a government of sorts. It won't be much of a government, but it might be enough for Bush to convince himself that his steadfastness kept Iraq together after all. I suspect that both Bush and Cheney may be counting on this.

And if even that doesn't happen? Then, as Biden said, it's the next president's problem. I guess that's Plan Z.

Kevin Drum 2:41 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (118)

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Comments

I thought this was obvious for months, if not years.

Posted by: dontcallmefrancis on January 5, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Gotta be more to it. If Bush & Cheney held their stated opinions honestly, there wouldn't be a need for such effort to keep everything so secret.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on January 5, 2007 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

I would call it Plan HRC, actually. I suspect that is what Rove has been working on for the last 12-18 months.

Jeb in 2012!

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on January 5, 2007 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

And if the Shiites and Kurds own the oil fields, then Big Oil can do bidness with them. Mission accomplished.

Posted by: ac on January 5, 2007 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

I have reached the tentative conclusion that a significant portion of this administration, maybe even including the vice president, believes Iraq is lost.

Hah? What nonsense. The President supports a surge because he wants to have a VICTORY in Iraq. As Victor Hanson of the National Review pointed out, allied troops were able to achieve victory after a surge of troops in 1918. Same thing could happen in Iraq.

Link

"The Allied offensives of August and September 1918 that finally broke the Kaisers armies followed from a surge of thousands of fresh American troops into the western front."

Al (The Real One)Al (The Real One)

Posted by: Da Al on January 5, 2007 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is nothing but a figurehead, a smirking glad-handing frontman for the Cheney cartel.

Cheney has always ever had one, and only one, objective in Iraq, and that is to seize control of Iraq's oil for his cronies and financial backers in the US-based multinational oil companies, with that control enforced by a permanent US military presence. Any government of Iraq -- or if Iraq is partitioned, of the oil-rich partitions of Iraq -- that will acquiesce to that goal is acceptable to Cheney.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 5, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

"As we're all aware, "population transfers" are the order of business right now in Baghdad (and in the rest of the country as well, though slightly less dramatically). Eventually, regardless of any action one way or the other from the United States, the Shiite, Sunni, and Kurd populations will be almost entirely separated. At that point, it's possible that the civil war will start to die down of its own accord and a government of sorts will be able to rule. "

Don't be ridiculous. Even when they are all living in their own ethnically pure provinces or states or whatever you want to call them, there is still the question of who gets the oil money.
The two sides in Sudan live pretty segregated from each other.

Posted by: Maynard Handley on January 5, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Regardless of the outcome in Iraq, Bush & Cheney may still envision some form of political victory.

In the very words of John DiIulio, "Politics have always trumped, if not outright replaced, policy in this administration."

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on January 5, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Even if the Sunni and Shiite are separated, this won't bring peace. The Sunni areas have no oil, and the Shiites aren't about to share. Also, if the Kurds declare independence (de jure as opposed to de facto) Turkey will invade.

Also, don't forget that an ocean of blood vengeance is owed by all sides. This thing is a long way from quieting down.

Posted by: jimBOB on January 5, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Maynard: I agree. I think the most likely end state is an independent Kurdistan (either de facto or de jure) and a Shiite theocracy in the rest of Iraq. However, a slightly more benign outcome is within the realm of possibility, and that may be what Bush and Cheney are counting on happening.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on January 5, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Plan Z, I love yah!

Posted by: Plankton on January 5, 2007 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

his was the prerequisite for our "success" in Kosovo, and in a similar way it's possible that once Iraq's ethnic cleansing is mostly complete their civil war will start to die down of its own accord and the U.S. will finally be able to prop up a government of sorts.

Shit, I wish Iraq would be as easy as Kosovo. In both cases countless innocent citizens lost their lives, but at least in Kosovo our fighting men and women weren't stationed over there without a battle plan like so much target practice.

Posted by: mmy on January 5, 2007 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

So is Biden saying we should actually WIN in Iraq? If that is what Biden means, then great for Biden. About time a leading Democrat besides Lieberman said so.

But knowing Biden's history I think this is meant to be a cutesy twist. "If the Bush Administration has given up on Iraq then why are we still there?"

In other words he manages to bash the Adminstration without actually having to take a stand himself.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on January 5, 2007 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

You guys just don't understand.

It's like watching a sculpture as it's created. You don't stand around looking over the artist's shoulder complaining that a half finished work looks like a pile of dead puppies.

No. You wait until the actor has finished his piece and created a physical object fit for unveiling.

The administration is creating new realities as we speak and all you are able to do is study the historical reality that was yesterday. They don't live in your world and they aren't bound by your liberal democratic set of physical laws and forces.

Posted by: American Buzzard on January 5, 2007 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, it looks like things are simply sorting themselves out! All right! Nothing left to do but congratulations and partay like it is 1999!

Posted by: Tripp on January 5, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

As the sun was setting in the western sky and with Salisbury having an insurmountable lead, young George stood as a Stonewall on the Phillips Andover side, yelling, albeit hoarsely, "Give me a V, Give me an I, Give me a C............Give me a drink"

Old cheerleaders never die, they just rot away in their saddle shoes.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 5, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

There's a factor in Iraq that wasn't present in Bosnia: oil. The Sunni home territory doesn't have any.

Another factor is that the Shiites are not unified. Hakim's SCIRI is joined at the hip to Iran, Sadr opposed Iranian domination and partition.

Posted by: Joe Buck on January 5, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

With regard to "Da Al"'s comment, by September 1918 there were almost two million American soldiers on the Western Front. You might call that a "surge", or, more accurately, you might call it "one of the largest military deployments in the history of the world," but whatever you call it, it was on an entirely different scale (and with a much clearer and militarily-achievable objective) than Bush's plan to send a few thousand more American troops to Iraq.

So if the American deployment to the Western Front in the autumn of 1918 is to be Bush's model (or justification) for escalation in Iraq, his plan is off by several orders of magnitude.

Posted by: McCord on January 5, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

hmm. What happened to WW2?
or did you just google surge and miltary victory?

tool.

Posted by: JIMMY on January 5, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

K-Drum,
Kurdistan won't happpen, or do you think Bush co. really wants to engulf the whole Middle East?

Posted by: Ghost of Tom Joad on January 5, 2007 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

"As Victor Hanson of the National Review pointed out, allied troops were able to achieve victory after a surge of troops in 1918."

Well, but German troops were unable to obtain victory on the Western Front after their earlier "surge" of troops in 1918.

And back in 413 BC (as Hanson would know, if he knew anything about the Peloponesian War), the Athenians were besieging Syracuse, with little success. They tried a "surge" strategy--5000 additional hoplites under the leadership of Demosthenes, their best general. The result: complete disaster.

Cherry-picking history for examples of "surges" leading to victory is not very persuasive, in other words.

Posted by: reattmore on January 5, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Biden's guesses about who believes what are open to question, but the important point -- that Bush's "strategy" involves nothing more than letting the clock run out and leaving the unpopular decisions to his successor -- is absolutely true. Bush would rather sacrifice American soldiers than add yet another entry to the catalog of coddled failure that is his life.

Posted by: sglover on January 5, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

They don't live in your world and they aren't bound by your liberal democratic set of physical laws and forces.

Now if only the press would get off their a**es and report this sort of thing:

http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2006/12/18/suskind_empiricism.html

Posted by: JJ on January 5, 2007 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

We've already "surged" by adding 300,000 Iraqis troops and police to the mix. Perhaps it has escaped the resident's mind.

Which is odd, considering that for the past two years the Iraqi troops were sold as the panacaea for all of Iraq's ills. Remember all the wingnut gloating about how various provinces were being handed off to them, how they were taking charge of missions with our guys just sitting on the side laughing and smoking?

Yeah, neither do the wingnuts.

Even if you count the effectiveness of each Iraqi troop as just 1/3 of an American troop, that's still a surge of 100,000 right? What the hell is another 20,000 going to do if 100,000 didn't help? Not to mention that we're already up 19,000 coalition troops right now from where we were in February 2004.

The only cover more more troops will provide is for Bush's ass.

Posted by: trex on January 5, 2007 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

For what it's worth, according to CNN the Democratic leadership has "pre-empted" Bush's impending announcement of plans to escalate the war:

In a letter to President Bush on Friday, leaders of the new Democratic Congress said increasing troop levels in Iraq would be a "serious mistake."

The open letter comes as Bush considers a new war strategy, shuffles his Iraq commanders and moves his spy chief to handle Iraqi diplomacy.

Sources with knowledge of the president's deliberations have told CNN that Bush may temporarily bolster the roughly 140,000 U.S. troops now in Iraq by an additional 20,000 to 40,000 -- a move loudly rejected in the letter.

"Surging forces is a strategy that you have already tried and that has already failed," says the letter, signed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"Like many current and former military leaders, we believe that trying again would be a serious mistake. They, like us, believe there is no purely military solution in Iraq. There is only a political solution."

The Pelosi-Reid letter also says sending more troops to Iraq will endanger more Americans and stretch the "military to the breaking point for no strategic gain." More than 3,000 U.S. troops have lost their lives since the war began in 2003.

The leaders called for "phased redeployment of our forces in the next four to six months," while shifting their principal mission from "combat to training, logistics, force protection and counter-terror."

I agree with Rep. Dennis Kucinich, an announced contender for the 2008 Democratic nomination for President, that the Congress should exercise its Constitutional authority to cut off all further funding for the occupation of Iraq, and require Bush to use the funds already in the pipeline from the previous $70 BILLION "emergency" appropriation to pay for bringing the troops home, beginning immediately and proceeding as quickly as possible.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 5, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin sez:
I think the most likely end state is an independent Kurdistan (either de facto or de jure) and a Shiite theocracy in the rest of Iraq.?

And what will the Saudis have to say about that?

Posted by: Keith G on January 5, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

During the Nixon reign over the Vietnam War, Kissinger was pushing the "decent interval" strategy. We know we lost but let's drag this out a few more years for political reasons. And Kissinger is advicing Cheney on Iraq. All one has to do is think "decent interval" and one knows Biden just got it right. Of course, my question is why did it take him so long?

Posted by: pgl on January 5, 2007 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

A political victory for Bush would be either

1) he makes it to January 20 2009 without a helicopter evacuation of the Green Zone, or

2) someone finally says "no" to him regarding the surge, so he can blame anything that happens afterwards -- like a helicopter evacuation of the Green Zone -- on whoever told him "no."

Bush escapes full accountability either way, which is the new definition of victory.

Posted by: grytpype on January 5, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Da Al thinks Iraq is WWI all over again? What a hoot!

Posted by: pgl on January 5, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

And Victor Davis Hanson once wrote that we fought in WW1 with skills learned in the Civil War.

Such as: Do not attempt to charge into hails of minee balls and cannon fire - So in France, we charged into machine gun and artillery fire. Real students of warfare those Pershing fellows.

The only lesson learned was attrition works, if you have superior numbers in cannon fodder to lose.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 5, 2007 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Then, as Biden said, it's the next president's problem.

John McCain doesn't want it to be:

"McCain On Iraq War: This Issue Isn't Going To Be Around In 2008′"

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/01/03/mccain-iraq-vanity-fair/

Lott's not being friendly either.

Seems like there's some ranks-breaking going on. They want the albatross around Bush's neck, not theirs...

Posted by: JJ on January 5, 2007 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

No matter what happens in Iraq, W. Bush's invasion and occupation will always be considered a failure. When the fighting retreat to Kuwait occurs during the next administration, W. Bush will be the person almost every American will hold responsible for the useless deaths of American soldiers. Some of us will also blame W. Bush for the deaths of Iraqis, too.

Posted by: Brojo on January 5, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

And when Turkey invades "Kurdistan", is that part of the big-brained game of Risk that President Cheney has in mind?

Bush may be (is) the worst president ever (tm), but Cheney really is the worst american who ever lived. Ever.

Posted by: craigie on January 5, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Kevin:

Thanks. Good insight.

Posted by: Steve Sailer on January 5, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

I guess that's Plan Z.

More like Plan 9 from Outer Space. And Bush's little project is about as deserving of funding as Ed Wood's was...

Posted by: JJ on January 5, 2007 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Bush escapes full accountability either way, which is the new definition of victory.

gryt..

I understand the point you are making, but that does not have to be the ultimate reality if we, the good guys, simply and ever-consistently refer to this horrid conflict as Bush's War.

Much like the "tax and spend" moniker applied to liberals, Bush's War frames the issue quite well and has the side benefit of being the truth.

Posted by: Keith G on January 5, 2007 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

And what will the Saudis have to say about that?

Hey, if the House of Saud wants to fight the fight in Iraq, let them spend the blood and treasure.

Posted by: Wapiti on January 5, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

I saw this movie once where some Greek guys led by Odysseus won a war with a surge. They made this big huge wooden horse and hid inside it to capture the city from the inside out.

So maybe Bush knows what he is doing.

Posted by: Tripp on January 5, 2007 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

About two weeks ago a prominent mid east expert said that his sources felt the sunni insurgents were close to actually mounting an attack on "Emerald" City.
This causes the presumption that if we leave, Emerald City will be overrun. This is anathema, personally and politically, to our hubristic incompetents running this fiasco.
It also broaches the "1% Doctrine" that America's palatial dowtown Baghdad digs are in some violative jeopardy as we speak.
Lo and alas that we should be in this situation, but both scenarios cry out their seductive song.
"Surge, surge, surge"
"Surge you fools."

Posted by: craig johnson on January 5, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Keith, agreed this is Bush's war, but don't let Cheney and the other neos off the hook. Bush was just a useful retard for them.

Posted by: grytpype on January 5, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Understood G, I just want to be sure the GWB is able to revel in all the credit he deserves.

Off topic, but did we know this?

WASHINGTON — The White House and the Secret Service quietly signed an agreement last spring in the midst of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal declaring that records identifying visitors to the White House complex are not subject to public disclosure.
Posted by: Keith G on January 5, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

I simply have no idea what Bush and Cheney genuinely think these days,

Of course you do. You're just too scared to accept the terrible truth.

What they're thinking is:
"Ha ha! Suckers!"

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 5, 2007 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

McCainus will save us!

Posted by: * on January 5, 2007 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

JJ wrote: More like Plan 9 from Outer Space. And Bush's little project is about as deserving of funding as Ed Wood's was.

Interestingly, according to Tim Burton's great movie Ed Wood with Johnny Depp in the role of Ed Wood and Martin Landau in his Oscar-winning role of Bela Lugosi, Wood obtained the funding for Plan 9 From Outer Space from conservative Christian fundamentalists who wanted to produce religious films.

He convinced them that they should first invest in his movie which was guaranteed to be a box office smash since it would "star" the famous Bela Lugosi (actually just a few moments of footage of Bela Lugosi, who by the time Wood produced Plan 9 had already died), and that they could then use their enormous profits to fund the production of their religious films.

Plan 9 From Outer Space went on to win numerous awards as the worst movie ever made.

There are some parallels with Bush's war in Iraq.


Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 5, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Honest Joe and Saint John say: SURGE!! BITCHES!!

Posted by: cleek on January 5, 2007 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Biden is fighting the last war, the Iraq War.

George W. Bush and his cohorts are fighting the next war, the Iran War.

Posted by: tom t on January 5, 2007 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

No matter what happens in Iraq, W. Bush's invasion and occupation will always be considered a failure. When the fighting retreat to Kuwait occurs during the next administration, W. Bush will be the person almost every American will hold responsible for the useless deaths of American soldiers. Some of us will also blame W. Bush for the deaths of Iraqis, too.

Nonsense. I mean, I wish that what you say is true, but it plainly isn't. Hopefully we won't see the kind of rout that you allude to, but in any case, Iraq offers no happy resolutions. Fairly or no, whoever has to make the necessarily unsatisfying decisions is going to face a political firestorm. If anybody's going to be the fall guy, simple justice requires that it be Bush and Cheney.

Posted by: sglover on January 5, 2007 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

The New War, the way out of the Old War, is a U.S.-British-Israeli-Saudi push against Iran.

Wonder what Joe Biden and friends have to say about that . . .

Posted by: big pol on January 5, 2007 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Bush escapes full accountability either way

The death of President Ford has allowed for the evacuation from Viet Nam to be remembered since it happened during his administration. No one blames Ford or Nixon for the defeat of the war. LBJ is the president who takes the blame. W. Bush will be the only president associated with the failure in Iraq. May his name live in infamy for ten thousand years.

Posted by: Brojo on January 5, 2007 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Plan 9 From Outer Space went on to win numerous awards as the worst movie ever made. There are some parallels with Bush's war in Iraq.

Hmm. I wonder if we're going to find out that Bush has a secret liking for pink cashmere sweaters?

Posted by: JJ on January 5, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Someone should ask President Bush what he knows about plans for an attack on Iran.

And should President Bush reply that no plans have yet reached his desk, that Someone should thank him politely, and ask again what he knows about plans for an attack on Iran.

Posted by: Inquirer on January 5, 2007 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Gryptype has it exactly right above: You have to remember that everything Bush does is purely for political reasons. The White House knows full well that Congress, the press and and American public all realize that escalating the war is an astonishingly stupid thing to do.

So Bush can announce his plan for more troops, see it sunk by public opinion and denounced by the Congress -- and then have someone else to blame for why we lost Iraq. It's Nancy Pelosi's fault!

Posted by: Boots Day on January 5, 2007 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

reattmore: And back in 413 BC (as Hanson would know, if he knew anything about the Peloponesian War), the Athenians were besieging Syracuse, with little success. They tried a "surge" strategy--5000 additional hoplites under the leadership of Demosthenes, their best general. The result: complete disaster.

I thought Alcibiadies was their best general, but the local Taliban accused him of sacrilege, and he had to run away. Casey seems to be coming home because of sacrilege, too (insufficient belief in Bush's divine plan), but I wouldn't compare Casey with Alcibiades.

Posted by: anandine on January 5, 2007 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

George W. Bush and his cohorts are fighting the next war, the Iran War.

When at first you don't succeed (Iraq), try, try again (Iran)?

Those who have lost wars are always fighting the next one . . .

It's called denial.

Since Iran is thrice as hard a nut to crack as Iraq, I guess we have that much more grief and deficit to look forward to.

Not to worry, though.

Bush is done.

He and Cheney go to war in Iran and they will be impeached and Pelosi will be president.

Posted by: Google_This on January 5, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

The Dems should put forward a bill de-funding the war tomorrow. At the same time, launch a massive PR campaign, explaining that Bush, Cheney and Powell lied to Congress to get the original authorization for military action. If the bill is defeated, label this the McCain/Bush Offensive and remind the American people every day whose idea this is. If Bush tries to circumvent the restriction on funding, impeach him.

Truth and the bully pulpit of Congressional majority status are the most powerful weapons the Democrats have.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 5, 2007 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

But Bill Kristol sez the Iranians would greet us as liberators.

Posted by: JJ on January 5, 2007 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Mitch McConnell, Republican minority leader in the Senate is on tv saying he talked with the president, and the president feels he can still win in Iraq. This sounds a whole lot like 'stay the course.' We really haven't heard much in the way of illuminating material from the Cheney/Bush Cabal; two Thursdays ago Bush from Crawford in his statement to reporters, referenced the word "important" about Iraq a half dozen times, looking most ineffective and out of his league, standing with his fellow war mongerers, while on his ill-advised vacation.

Posted by: consider wisely always on January 5, 2007 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

Plan Z? The problem with this crew is that they never really have had any plan since "shock and awe". Expecting fuck-ups to come up with any plan is dreaming. The Decider should be running things from the Green Zone...that would be a good plan Z.

Posted by: horatio on January 5, 2007 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

Why do Bush and Cheney hate Freedom so much? Why do they hate America?

Posted by: cboas on January 5, 2007 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

On C-SPCAN's Washington Journal this AM, Mr. Lamb referred to Biden's remarks and then added that Biden also wanted to be that president the Iraq Occupation was handed off to.

If Bush attacks Iran, I wonder if Biden will still want the job.

Posted by: Brojo on January 5, 2007 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Al (The Real One)Al (The Real One):

Oh my god. The ignorance of this man! Don't suppose you've heard of "Johnny come lately", have you?

Bad analogy.

There is nothing this war-waging administration has actually planned, incredible though that may seem.

At this present point, both Afghanistan and Iraq are slipping downstream. The more winnable war is Afghanistan but it is getting ignored because of the troop level in Iraq.

The level of stupidity here is absolutely astounding.

You'd better all thank your stars that this administration were never faced with any real national threat. They are absolutely incompetent. Not to say delusional.

Posted by: notthere on January 5, 2007 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

Bush's little project is about as deserving of funding as Ed Wood's was...
I'd say less so. Only thing Ed Wood killed was time.

No one blames Ford or Nixon for the defeat of the war. LBJ is the president who takes the blame.
Yeah, but Johnson was a Democrat, and everything is the Democrats' fault. And everyone knows we lost Vietnam 'cuz those lily-livered congressional Democrats wouldn't let us go in there and win! It'll be the same in Iraq. It's started already. You can hear Michael Savage any night raving about our troops having to fight a PC war.

BTW which end of the horse will Bush and Cheney come out of?

Posted by: thersites on January 5, 2007 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Zeus, I hope I'm wrong!

Posted by: thersites on January 5, 2007 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo--I heard that too on cspan. Brian Lamb said it without derision, just very plainly, and moved on to a caller. You almost could have missed it, it was a soft, quick comment. I had wondered if he was quoting Biden, speculating or had talked to an insider.

Posted by: consider wisely always on January 5, 2007 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

anadine,

When you say you wouldn't compare Casey with Alcibiades, is that as a military leader or a ladies man or both? Of course, the ladies man part did cause him a ton of grief at the end.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 5, 2007 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

More like Plan 9 from Outer Space.
Bush's plan calls for ressurecting Saddam from the dead?

Posted by: asdfg on January 5, 2007 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

Both Nixon and LBJ share blame for Vietnam. LBJ is at least remembered for being personally tortured about it, but Nixon is known for secretly bombing Cambodia and trying to avoid accountability for his criminal behavior. So this brings to the public mind Geo Bush with his imperial ways, reminiscent of Nixon, holding onto a failing war, as the public says no more. The passing of Gerald Ford brought all this to the forefront. At least I heard people making the comparisons.

Posted by: consider wisely always on January 5, 2007 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

Boots Day: Gryptype has it exactly right above: You have to remember that everything Bush does is purely for political reasons....

Yes, I agree. I also speculate that that is the conclusion that Biden isn't saying, at least not directly.

Biden explained his remarks (Kevin's quote) during a CNN interview this afternoon [with emphasis added]:

BLITZER [quoting Biden]: "I have reached the tentative conclusion that a significant portion of this administration, maybe even including the vice president, believes Iraq is lost."
That's a pretty shocking statement. Give us the context. Tell us what -- what you know.
BIDEN: Well, let me tell you what I think.
I -- as I said, I have a tentative conclusion. I start with the premise that Vice President Cheney and Secretary Rumsfeld are very smart guys. I have known them and worked around them and with them for the last 30 years. They're very bright.
I could not believe -- and we have been on your show and talked about this -- that, the last three years, they actually thought we were making progress. I could not believe the assertions about them saying, we have trained up Iraqis and we're doing so well, that they actually believed.
And, so, I have reached the conclusion that they had to know how bad things were, but they had to have reached the conclusion of one of two -- one of two conclusions. Either the radical change necessary in order to get this back on the right path was something they weren't willing to recommend, or, two, they concluded that the best thing to do is keep this stitched together, and hand it off to the next president.
And that's the tentative conclusion I have reached, because these are very smart guys. The idea...
BLITZER: So, are you just -- are you just surmising this, based on your...
BIDEN: I'm surmising this.
BLITZER: You have no inside information that...
BIDEN: I have no inside information to that effect, none whatsoever.
Here they are, at a time now where they're basically rejecting the recommendation of everybody in the world, everybody in the United States that has made that they have respect for, the Baker-Hamilton commission, the recommendations made by their own military, et cetera. And I think it's very difficult for them to change policy. The idea -- I don't think they're willing to take a risk on talking to Iran. I don't think they're willing to take the risk on engaging Syria. I don't think they're willing to take the risk on putting more pressure on the government to -- in Iraq to take over more responsibility.
And, therefore, because they're not willing to take the risk, and they have no real alternative, 30,000, 20,000, 15,000 troops are not -- emphasize, are not -- alone, going to change the situation on the ground. And, so, I think they have to know that.... [Cite]

Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 5, 2007 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

If Cheney wants Biden's opinion, I'm sure Cheney will beat it out of Biden.

Mean while, I must say, the Dems finally learned how to play little Bushie and tricky Dickie in all the right ways.

Whats Cheney going to say? That there are still WMD in Iraq? That Waterboarding is still a no-brainer? You know Dick, he has a way of being a real dick. And of course Biden knows this too.

Posted by: Cheryl on January 5, 2007 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

I saw this movie once where some Greek guys led by Odysseus won a war with a surge. They made this big huge wooden horse and hid inside it to capture the city from the inside out.

So maybe Bush knows what he is doing.

Yup, he's already started -- as the horse's ass.

Posted by: Bob M on January 5, 2007 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

It's just the Dems letting Bush know, two can play the get nasty to each other game. Bush never learns, too bad (for Bush).

Posted by: Cheryl on January 5, 2007 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Biden is on Wolf Blitzer, asked to clarify what he said --is saying he has no inside information, sees the administration rejecting every sensible recommendation, and it is very difficult for them to change policy, they don't want to take the risk in anything, and have no real alternative. More troops are not alone going to change the situation on the ground. Biden as chair of the foreign relations committee thinks we should take the chances and radical steps recommended by The Irag Group. Biden says he himself can do nothing. He wanted to add his voice to dissuade them from escalating the war, like Colin Powell did. This seems, he said, not to have worked. Was asked about the cutting off the funding: Biden says stopping the funding is not a viable option. You'd have to cut off all funding, the pres can still send in troops, the troops would need bullets, etc., so it is a false threat(to shut off money) Says I am holding hearings to lay out the reasonable options for a more reasonable result, there are significant Republicans not supporting stay the course. This might sway Bush. That is the political reality. The interview ended that way.

Posted by: consider wisely always on January 5, 2007 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

OFF TOPIC: Does anyone know what is happening at Billmon's site?

Posted by: Malcolm on January 5, 2007 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. Where was this Biden when he was running for President? Not that I will vote for him this time either, but THAT is the kind of thing we need to be hearing from all the leading Dems.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on January 5, 2007 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

> OFF TOPIC: Does anyone know what is
> happening at Billmon's site?

He announced his intention to cease blogging. I suspect that in the process of preparing the site for long-term archive, he (or his hosting provider) damaged the web server configuration. Either he hasn't noticed or doesn't care.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on January 5, 2007 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

Check at moonofalabama--that is a sister site of Billmon. I miss him too

Posted by: consider wisely always on January 5, 2007 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

Cranky one--Yes, at moonofalabama.org there is a Billmon link down the page past 12/28/06 that says "WB: That's all Folks." Then the link fails, page cannot be located. There are a hundred plus comments about whatever has happened to our beloved Billmon.

Posted by: consider wisely on January 5, 2007 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

I can't believe that someone hasn't seized on this issue of leaving it for the next President. If we are still at war during 2008 and well into 2009, the idea of changing Presidents during a war without articulating why we are there and what the reasoning behind "not doing anything about it" should cause the American people to reject BOTH parties for their lack of courage.

I don't care if it's a Democrat or a Republican--if they think they can let a thing like Iraq sit on the backburner and not be dealt with until the next political season, they should suffer decisive defeat or impeachment for failing to do their Constitutional duty.

You don't leave troops in the field, fighting a war without direction or a clear purpose, and you don't put the POLITICAL aims of a political party ABOVE the defense of this country.

This is what Biden is trying to talk about, and he's obviously failing to articulate the right thing--namely, that the Congress should compel the Executive to deal with the war at hand regardless of political expeidiency.

A pox on both their houses for not doing so.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 5, 2007 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Ha ha. Fred Rogers would NEVER have said that. You are kind of cute, I guess

Posted by: consider wisely on January 5, 2007 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider --

You put your finger on why this administration has been so irresponsible in the prosecution of this war. There is only one leader to blame for passing this war to the next administration, and he gave this indication some months ago.

He also is the only one with respoinsibility for starting it and its total mismanagement.

Impeachment is possible if only on the level of criminal negligence, let alone international law or constitutional grounds.

Won't happen. In the political sphere there is no actual culpability.

Posted by: notthere on January 5, 2007 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK
I think the most likely end state ...Kevin Drum at 3:31 PM |
An indendent Kurdistan is not in the cards according to Turkey and Iran. A Shiite Iraq could possibly agree to be subsumed into a greater Iran, leaving the Sunni the desert.
the Congress should compel the Executive to deal with the war at hand regardless of political expediency.... Pale Rider at 8:16 PM
The Defense Budget for the upcoming year has been passed already. Bush can and would re-direct whatever funds he wanted for whatever purpose he wants. Do you think that a guy who pens a signing statement which states that he has a right to snoop whenever he wants to a bill that forbids snooping into mail without a warrant gives a damn about law? Congress can put language into the next appropriation demanding the war be wound down, but there's no way Bush / Cheney would obey. Posted by: Mike on January 5, 2007 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

The truly sad fact in all of this is that the administration sent Americans to war on totally false grounds, with absolutely no exit plan, strategem, or action. It is criminal.

Posted by: consider wisely on January 5, 2007 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

The problem with impeachment is that it reverses the voice that the American people spoke with in 2004. We know it was wrong, we know he did not deserve re-election, we know he has done many things that can be legitimate reasons to impeach him and the Vice-President.

But that's a non-starter--the Republican Party's impeachment of Bill Clinton was a traumatic, frivolous thing that should never have gone past the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. To now impeach Bush--while deserved, probably--further traumatizes the country and leaves us with what exactly? The American people would be looking at Nancy Pelosi as President. Again, I'm fine with that--she's eminently more qualified than Hillary Clinton to be President, if you want to be fair about it.

We are sitting here with a war on our plates. Whoever sits in the Oval Office is bound by oath to deal with it now.

The Republicans know that if they do the right thing, they will LOSE the next election, irregardless of who runs. This is similar to the Jimmy Carter movement in 1976--it doesn't matter who the Democrats run, the fact that the Republican Party has 100% responsibility for the conduct of this war and must remove our troops immediately in order to do the right thing is where the paralysis lies. There is no courage in the Republican Party to bite the bullet, accept the future losses, and do the right thing.

IF he fails to do that, I think impeachment goes back on the table. Right now, it's probably too soon to contemplate impeachment. I realize many, many good people are howling for impeachment and disagree with me, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 5, 2007 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

THIS is the story of the week, by the way:

CBS: Military Tells Bush It Has Only 9,000 Troops Available For ‘Surge’
A State Department official leaked word this week that President Bush is considering sending “no more than 15,000 to 20,000 U.S. troops” to Iraq. “Instead of a surge, it is a bump,” the official said.

This claim was bolstered last night by CBS’s David Martin, who reported that military commanders have told Bush they are prepared to execute a troop escalation of just 9,000 soldiers and Marines into Iraq, “with another 10,000 on alert in Kuwait and the U.S.”

Does anyone comprehend the significance of this? At the height of war, the United States doesn't have enough troops to carry out the stated will or policy of the POTUS.

US troops are being overrun and chased like rabbits on our southern border with Mexico. We are undefended as a nation.

Uh, I might be rethinking my position on impeachment before the night is out...

Unbelieveable. The POTUS and the VPOTUS have left America undefended by breaking our military. They have failed to carry out their oath, plain and simple.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 5, 2007 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

Impeachment is in this administration's future.
How many members of the Bush administration does it to change a light bulb?
One to deny the bulb needs changed.
One to attack the patriotism of anyone saying the bulb should be changed.
One to blame Clinton for the bulb burning out.
One to tell the world they are either for changing the lightbulb or for darkness.
One to give Halliburton a billion$$ no-bid contract for a new light bulb.
One to arrange a photo-op of Bush on a ladder under the banner "Light Bulb Change Accomplished."
One administration insider to resign and write a book about how Bush really was in the dark.
One to viciously smear the above author.
One to rattle about on tv about how Bush had a light-bulb changing policy all along.
And finally one to confuse us all about the difference between screwing a light bulb and screwing the country.
Found on The Ruth Group

Posted by: consider wisely on January 5, 2007 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist: For what it's worth, according to CNN the Democratic leadership has "pre-empted" Bush's impending announcement of plans to escalate the war:

I don't think it is worth anything. What they have to do is send him a law requiring those actions.

Maybe they are working up to it. Or maybe they are doing a "Murtha": articulating a plan that they would vote against if it were introduced.

I think that Bush obstinately wants to win the war, and will do what he can to win the war as long as he is in office. If the Democrats want to influence the war in Iraq, they have to match his obstinacy with aouthority that he can not evade. Put differently, that letter is just a document for the 2008 campaign.

Unless, as I said, they are working up to something that they can pass through the legislature.

Posted by: calibantwo on January 5, 2007 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider --

Unlike the Clinton event, the Democrats are not going to pursue that petty route the Repubs walked, even though there are so many lives lost by this "man".

However, you are right that the Repubs and only the Repubs take all the blame for this war and its direction. I can't see a single Republican with the separation from the war necessary to show an individuality. That includes McCain: even if he disagrees with the size of the surge, he is associated with the idea.

Bush is a lost leader. Who has any trust in him now? Any Republican presidential hopefuls will distance themselves, as will all re-electables in anything like marginal states. That will weaken any Republican message in contrast to Democratic thrust.

It's not just the Iraq war. It's the whole Republican hubris and demagoguery that 51% of the vote gives you a mandate to run the country like you own the truth.

Hopefully the Democrats will not follow that mistake.

Posted by: notthere on January 5, 2007 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

I can't see a single Republican with the separation from the war necessary to show an individuality.

I've got a short list:

Chuck Hagel
Colin Powell
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Dick Lugar (has held himself aloof from the neocons)
Mitt Romney
John Warner

I think McCain is tainted, as is pretty much the rest of them.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 5, 2007 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

Why aren't the Dems immediately cutting off the funds for the war?

Were they all just lying for the last 2 years?

Who will be the last soldier to die for a failed war?

The Dems have the power to stop the killing. All the blood spilled in Iraq from now on is on the Dems hands.

Posted by: mark on January 5, 2007 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

It is so ironic watching David Drier, Republican house member, on Cspan 2 now, complaining about "New Rules" from Democrats, he is literally standing there and whining.
--Louise Slaughter,Democrat, N.Y.,Rules Committee Chairman, is talking about the abuse of secrecy by the republicans about the medicare prescription bill, how they blocked democrats from the meeting, instead had lobbyists. (She wrote an article about it last June and it was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.) How republicans had congress people crying as they tried to change votes til the wee hours of the morning. How they did this often with bills.
Here she is on cspan talking about all this just as republicans are complaining about the democrats' "House Rules for 110th Congress. She stresses--
Never again will we be locked out of the process. America too was left out of the room, she says. And the bill was altered after by republicans. Drier is back wah-wahing, hands in the air, gesticulating. This is great to behold

The only joy of 2006 is we took over congress.

Posted by: consider wisely on January 5, 2007 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

I work in a psychiatric hospital and one of the first things the staff learns in orientation is that psycho patients have a tendency to "shop" for the staff who will sympathize with their needs and cater to them despite the fact that their demands are not reality-based and counter to their treatment plans.

GW Bush is General shopping in the same fashion, looking for the poor sucker who can't afford to or doesn't see himself in the position to retire in order to support his delusion. Some, but not much difficulty there.

Let's call Bush what he is, a sociopath, mentally ill. He has no regard for and no concept of any life other than his own. American troops dying needlessly is an abstract he will never comprehend.

His ego and paranoia reign supreme. I understand all the arguments against impeachment, but I wonder if whether at some point his mental illness will become so apparent to his inner circle that they begin to betray him. Even if the betrayal is only in his head. He may not have the emotional maturity to resign, but watching him go completely nuts from paranoia and betrayal by his loyals may be worth the watch.

Posted by: barcelonist on January 5, 2007 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

Mark--I watched an interview with Congressman John Murtha, 38 year Marine veteran from Pennsylvania, on Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night and he gave every indication the Democrats had plans to deal with this war, and that requested appropriations would be scrutinized, and used to deploy the troops. I think Biden is full of bluster and just ends up getting press time. Murtha really seemed on target, and remember, Nancy Pelosi really likes him.

Posted by: consider wisely on January 5, 2007 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

RE-deploy the troops, I mean, as Murtha said last year.

Posted by: consider wisely on January 5, 2007 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

Ever heard of “7 year old’s soccer syndrome”? While Bush dithers in Iraq, there are important geopolitical issues receiving little or no attention.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 5, 2007 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

TCD--excellent article. It is all about opportunity costs, and Richard Clarke outlines them succinctly. Good link.

Posted by: consider wisely on January 5, 2007 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

The elephant in the room [still] is that Iraq is in civil war. I thought it wildly ironic that General Petreus, supposed expert on counter-insurgency, would write on the lessons of the Vietnam War and not see the frightening parallels between Vietnam and Iraq--both nations were in civil war and would have to decide their own internal course. There can be no success when occupying a nation tearing itself apart. Iraq has become the land of Mad Max. There isn't a way to define victory that is not won by one of the indigenous warring factions themselves.

And we surge into oblivion, leaving the road to Washington open to Barbarians while we lose power and treasure far away. Surge ahead. Yeah. They have sent recall letters to dead and grieviously wounded soldiers recently, so great is the need for replacements. So many ruthless politicians, so few soldiers. Lieberman et al should join up for foot patrols.

Posted by: Sparko on January 6, 2007 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK

If anyone thought that a Democratic congressional victory would reduce the rabid Bush Derangement, I guess they were mistaken.

Posted by: rnc on January 6, 2007 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

You're right - Bush is still deranged.

Posted by: craigie on January 6, 2007 at 2:41 AM | PERMALINK

If anyone thought that a Democratic congressional victory would reduce the rabid Bush Derangement, I guess they were mistaken.

It hasn't reduced the servility to Bush of rightwingers, either.

Posted by: Bengt Larsson on January 6, 2007 at 2:42 AM | PERMALINK

I believe the administration will do whatever it takes to come out of this thing with some sort of stalemate if only to protect it from another thumping at the polls in 2008.

http://www.enewsreference.com

Posted by: eNews Reference on January 6, 2007 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

tom t said: Joe Biden is fighting the last war, the Iraq War.
George W. Bush and his cohorts are fighting the next war, the Iran War.

I completely agree, and I think it is surprising how little attention this is getting in congress and in the press.

Posted by: JS on January 6, 2007 at 4:22 AM | PERMALINK

Mike at 8:31 PM nails it - The use of signing statements by Shrub makes a mockery of the legislative process. Shrub has surrounded himself with a gaggle of "ya da man" attorneys who tell him whatever he wants to hear about his power. His latest signing statement whereby he has overruled Congress and now allows the opening of mail without warrents is the height of his arrogance. He truly believes that he is the King and/or Cromwell and that Congress should be disbanded.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 6, 2007 at 7:12 AM | PERMALINK


what was wrong with plan a?

A series of secret U.S. war games in 1999 showed that an invasion and post-war administration of Iraq would require 400,000 troops, nearly 3-times the number there now. - AP 11/4/06

Posted by: mr. irony on January 6, 2007 at 8:00 AM | PERMALINK

How can the Democrats realistically control anything when they have the likes of Lieberman in their midst? This so-called majority that the Democrats have in Congress seems awfully tenuous, not to mention the situation with Tim Johnson.

Lieberman is whole-hog behind escalation and even a wider Middle East war. There are powerful forces inching us forward toward this cataclysm. This must be the case as McCain and Lieberman have committed fully to this course of action and would not do so if they thought it was politically dangerous. I hate to say it, but the idea of an attack on Iran is proceeding with the same feeling of inevitability that preceeded the Iraq war. Naval forces being sent to the region, a troop surge, even the lowering price of oil recently makes me wonder if the Saudis are bribing us to make this happen. Buckle up kids, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Posted by: jman_nyc on January 6, 2007 at 8:13 AM | PERMALINK

But, as a student of history, I'll take all of the mistakes everybody else made in Iraq and make them all well in Iran. Onward to our 52nd state.

Posted by: George W on January 6, 2007 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

The real Iraq Study Group

Forget Jim Baker's crew. The neocon hawks who sold the war, joined by John McCain and Joe Lieberman, unveiled their new plan for "victory": At least 25,000 new troops in combat roles well into 2008.

By Mark Benjamin

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/01/06/aei/

[snip[

'The think tank's plan is not for the lighthearted. The glossy 47-page AEI report, titled "Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq," envisions sending 25,000 additional troops to clear Baghdad house by house. Then, as report author Frederick W. Kagan put it, those soldiers would not pull back to their bases but remain stationed in Baghdad neighborhoods, providing security for civilians. "We can clear and hold critical terrain in Baghdad," Kagan told the crowd.

This is no small surge, nor a temporary one. For better or for worse, it is an escalation of the war. Supporters envision a last-ditch effort to forget about all the mistakes of the past and return, four years into the war, to the overwhelming force envisioned in the so-called Powell doctrine, which held that the United States should never commit less than the overwhelming force needed for a decisive military victory. For die-hard supporters of the war, this is a chance to finally do it right. The plan calls for increased troop levels for at least another 18 months.

This plan also flips on their head the key ideas emphasized by the Iraq Study Group: that the solution in Iraq is political and not military, and that U.S. forces must transition quickly away from combat roles and into training Iraqis. In the AEI plan, the United States would force a military solution that would, in turn, enable a political compromise. Retired Gen. Jack Keane, a plan supporter, called a military victory "the precondition for political, social and economic development." '

[snip]

They've learned nothing and become ever more delusional.

Posted by: MsNThrope on January 6, 2007 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider: IF he fails to do that, I think impeachment goes back on the table. Right now, it's probably too soon to contemplate impeachment. I realize many, many good people are howling for impeachment and disagree with me, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I agree with much of what you've said above, but I'd note that what the White House is doing is quite simply stalling, hoping to get through the next two years.

The escalation is a craven mechanism for buying time--maybe six months, because we have to give it a fair trial, right? (!)--and then a few more months of saying, well, we have to wait for the full effects of the escalation to show up, and then six more months of the same delaying tactics with a fresh new slogan, and then--hey, you know what, I think Bush might just be fucking with us, trying to drop his cesspool on the next guy, but, hey, what's the point of impeaching him now since it's mid-2008?

That is the only objective now of his "strategy" in Iraq: buying his soulless, cynical ass enough time to get out of office and hand the mess over to his successor. The White House has abandoned any other goal. If anything improved even slightly in Iraq between now and January 2009, no one would be more surprised than the Bush crowd.

We can argue in good faith over whether impeachment is the best course. But if it's going to happen, it has to happen soon. It's not going to be an option in 12-18 months.

Posted by: shortstop on January 6, 2007 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

Globally syndicated writer William Pfaff said it so well: "...the president is described as...weighing 'other options' on Iraq policy...supposedly new ideas...this presents a pleasing picture of the president, with knitted brow, sifting through hundreds of new ideas, stacked in heaps about him, heartened by the thought that somewhere here the solution is close at hand..."
from "The Menace of Dienbienphu"

Pfaff wrote three years ago that Bush would leave Iraq in shambles, and accuse Iraqis of being unworthy of Americans efforts to help them.

Posted by: consider wisely on January 6, 2007 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Iraq WILL be the next president's problem, if the liberals don't let this president finish the job.

Just like Osama bin Laden became Bush's problem, because Clinton didn't finish the job.

Fortunately President Bush understands the importance of staying the course.

Posted by: Al on January 6, 2007 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Al,you and your ilk are nothing but cowards.
If half of one percent of you chicken hawks supporting this escalation would just VOLUNTEER for service their would be no problem with troop levels.
Why are all the people like Al supporting this war a bunch of keyboard cowards!?
11% support for this surge equals around 33 million american COWARDS.
Why are you such a coward Al?

Posted by: Albert on January 6, 2007 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Al, get your ass over there puke! On the double! Snap to it soldier!

Posted by: jman_nyc on January 6, 2007 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

JJ beat me to it. Whether it's Plan 9 is debatable, but it sure sounds like it came from Outer Space. Or maybe Inner Space -- all that empty space inside the Little Idiot's head.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 6, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Al is proof the government uses our funds to pay commentators to promote their wicked agendas, along with the smirk, that the emperor likes so well.

Posted by: consider wisely always on January 6, 2007 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

"The real Iraq Study Group

Forget Jim Baker's crew. The neocon hawks who sold the war, joined by John McCain and Joe Lieberman, unveiled their new plan for "victory": At least 25,000 new troops in combat roles well into 2008."

Hmm, sounds pretty much like thier plan, if successfull, would leave us in the position we are in in Afghanistan: controlling the capitol and little else.

Posted by: jefff on January 6, 2007 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

"This claim was bolstered last night by CBS’s David Martin, who reported that military commanders have told Bush they are prepared to execute a troop escalation of just 9,000 soldiers and Marines into Iraq, [b]“with another 10,000 on alert in Kuwait and the U.S.”[/b]" emphasis mine, if it happens to work

Heh, thats pretty funny. 10,000 on alert, like in case something bad happens?

Posted by: jefff on January 6, 2007 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

According to Dan Frookmin, Biden is dead wrong

At first, I thought that Biden was playing head games with the Bushies but now I wonder if Biden is either a moron (very likely), or a Dick Cheney supporter. Does big oil and credit cards go hand and hand with each other?

Purge of the Unbelievers


By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Friday, January 5, 2007; 12:18 PM

What to make of the sudden spate of personnel convulsions emanating from the White House?

I see a possible theme: A purge of the unbelievers.

Harriet Miers, a longtime companion of the president but never a true believer in Vice President Cheney's views of a nearly unrestrained executive branch, is out as White House counsel -- likely to be replaced by someone in the more ferocious model of Cheney chief of staff David S. Addington.

Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalizad, considered by Cheney to be too soft on the Sunnis, is kicked upstairs to the United Nations, to be replaced by Ryan Crocker, who presumably does not share his squeamishness.

John Negroponte, not alarmist enough about the Iranian nuclear threat in his role as Director of National Intelligence, is shifted over to the State Department, the Bush administration's safehouse for the insufficiently neocon. Cheney, who likes to pick his own intelligence, thank you, personally intervenes to get his old friend Mike McConnell to take Negroponte's job.

And George Casey and John Abizaid -- the generals who so loyally served as cheerleaders for the White House's "stay the course" approach during the mid-term election campaigns -- are jettisoned for having shown a little backbone in their opposition to Cheney and Bush's politically-motivated insistence on throwing more troops into the Iraqi conflagration.

I think George Lucas said it best in his first Star Wars movie, with Carrie Fisher's script (Princess Leia), saying to the commander of the Death Star, "the tighter you close your fist, the more star systems will slip though you fingers”.

Posted by: Cheryl on January 6, 2007 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Look at it from the Bush point of view and it all becomes clear. If it collapses on the next guy then its 'his' fault. Probably due to his inability to "stay the course". This not only shifts the blame to someone else but will also "prove" that Bush was right all along. He already "knows" that he is right. The blame will belong to the Media/Commies/Sympathizers/ect. Did you learn nothing from Vietnam?

Posted by: Big Picture on January 6, 2007 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

"I thought Alcibiadies was their best general . . ."

He was in exile, living in Sparta, at the time.

Posted by: rea on January 7, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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