Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 9, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

KLEIN AND THE SURGE....Note to Time's Joe Klein: when you've dug yourself into a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging.

Let's recap. Or try to, anyway. Yesterday Klein wrote that although Democrats are right about the "surge" (i.e., it won't work), they'll never be taken seriously on the subject until they do their homework properly. You see, he says the motivating force behind Bush's planned surge isn't the usual cast of neocons (who Klein admits have been wrong about Iraq) but "a significant number of military intellectuals who have favored a labor-intensive counterinsurgency strategy in Baghdad for the past three years." And Dems need to take these guys seriously.

Of course, counterinsurgency isn't the question at hand and Klein is being disingenuous by pretending there's some argument about this. The question at hand is whether a surge now would improve our counterinsurgency prospects, and there's been a ton of reporting in the past month that suggests that both the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the military commanders on the ground in Iraq don't think so. Klein knows this perfectly well, just as he knows that the "motivating force" behind the surge almost certainly doesn't come from "military intellectuals" anyway. It comes from George Bush and Dick Cheney, who are casting around for something -- anything -- to fend off calls for withdrawal, and are desperately latching on to the tiny number of people who believe (or claim to believe) that a surge will work while ignoring the much larger number who don't.

Why Klein pretends otherwise I don't know. Today, though, he goes from merely incoherent to completely flipped out. Unhappy at being criticized, and apparently unable to marshal any further arguments for his case, he lashes out:

And so a challenge to those who slagged me in their comments. Can you honestly say the following:

Even though I disagree with this escalation, I am hoping that General Petraeus succeeds in calming down Baghdad.

Does the thought even cross your mind?

I'd like to respond with some kind of snappy comment here, but words fail me. I suspect Klein would be better off if words failed him too.

Kevin Drum 11:49 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (118)

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Comments

Yes, Joe I hope it does. But I know it won't.

Do you, Joe, hope the president will wake up from his delusions or are you hoping more troops are needlessly killed?

Posted by: Mark on January 9, 2007 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

I think Klein is suffering from Blog Derangement Syndrome.

Pretty common in the pundocracy nowadays.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2007 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Klein's remark reflects the state of mind of a guy who's seriously out of his depth, has been discovered, and knows it. Sad, really.

Posted by: LeisureGuy on January 9, 2007 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Even though I don't believe that a perpetual motion machine is a possible solution to our dependence on oil, I'd love it if somebody would invent one. But I ain't expecting it to happen.

Posted by: rea on January 9, 2007 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

My challenge for Joe...Can he honestly say the following:

"I am more concerned with the catastrophic mistakes of our Iraq policy than I am by the tone used by its opponents."

Posted by: Royko on January 9, 2007 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

This is a textbook example of the level of intellectual dwarfism among the lion's share of war cheerleaders in the media--whether shameless right-wing pundits or callow "mainstream" journalists falling all over themselves to polish their devotion to the political elite. Any questionin--or even discussion--of the strategies laid out by the Wise Old Men of Washington by the commoners must mean that the questioners want "us" to "lose". (Never mind that the forces fighting in Iraq aren't there for the American people or our interests, or that it's never been defined what "winning" is...)

The might of the American military is being wielded by a sixth-graders, gleefully cheered on by fifth-graders. It's fucking unbelievable.

Posted by: Andrew Wyatt on January 9, 2007 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Know what would be great, Joe? Beer that doesn't make you fat, and you can instantly turn off the drunk so you can drive home after a bender. Seriously, who wouldn't want that, Joe, eh?

I keep hoping for miracles, but I try not to fashion public policy around that hope.

Posted by: Chocolate Thunder on January 9, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Now you know why the guys Klein have hated Al Gore so much all this time.

To exaggerate a bit, but for Gore there would be no Internet that has exposed their little minds to be so full of rubbish.

Posted by: gregor on January 9, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

oops.

Now you know why the guys like Klein have hated Al Gore so much all this time.

Posted by: gregor on January 9, 2007 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

In other words, Klein's "challenge" amounts to:

Are you willing to ignore your better judgement and instead engage in wishful thinking?

Kevin writes:

"... George Bush and Dick Cheney, who are casting around for something -- anything -- to fend off calls for withdrawal"

Bush's planned escalation in Iraq, and the changes he has made to high-level military personnel, are all about preparing for attacking Iran and the wider regional war that will follow:

Ominous Sign of a Wider War
By Michael T. Klare
The Nation
08 January 2007

Cheney and Bush view this as the great struggle of the 21st century that will determine who controls the vast oil reserves of the Middle East.

"By 2010 we will need [a further] 50 million barrels a day. The Middle East, with two-thirds of the oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize lies."

-- Dick Cheney, 1999

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 9, 2007 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Joe, I am hoping the Iraqi people themselves succeed in calming down Baghdad starting right this minute, so Gen Petraeus and the rest of the troops can go home without one more life lost. Can you honestly say you share my hope?

Posted by: segi on January 9, 2007 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Scott at Tapped:
"ALL ABOUT VANITY": Following up on yesterday's post, Greg has the definitive takedown of Joe Klein's infinitely irritating "OK, liberals may be right, but since they become wrong if you attribute the motives I just made up out of whole cloth to them, really I'm right and they're not" shtick. (As Jon Chait pointed out last year, Klein isn't so much a political writer as a bad theater critic; policy is always less important to him than silly, tautological personality impressions, which makes his audacity in calling Paul Krugman a "dilettante" all the more remarkable.) Greg ends his post with the following challenge:

Back up your arguments with facts and evidence. Produce one example of someone whose comments betray the fact that they're tacitly rooting for American failure. Quote this person. Explain why this person's quotes should be interpreted that way. If you manage to get that far, then maybe consider finding a second example, and even a third. That doesn't sound all that hard, does it?

Asking Joe Klein to back up his generalizations with specific evidence? Things we can expect to happen first include a Royals-Pirates World Series, Danielle Steele winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the arrival of Godot.

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on January 9, 2007 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Klein sounds menopausal -- forgetful, losing his drive, whiny.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 9, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

My answer: I am not "hoping" that Petraeus succeeds. I have no hope at all that he will.
I can't imagine the "calmed down" Baghdad that we will get by use of military force (at this time or any time).

To paraphrase someone else: hoping is not a plan.

(Nothing against Petraeus -- hear good things about him.)

Posted by: carlton on January 9, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Think a little bit about how revealing Klein's "challenge" is.

Really, what he's doing is demanding that people participate emotionally in his delusion. What counts for him is not the reality of things in Iraq, and the likely outcomes, but what we are hoping for.

Isn't this the very basis of delusion? Isn't this why we are in such a mess in Iraq to begin with? Isn't the first step to mature decision making to ignore one's emotional reactions and focus instead on the realities of the situation?

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

So, Joe, how is that self-loathing working out for you?

Posted by: Max Power on January 9, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Time Mag -- home of the always wrong and the whiney attention-whores.

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on January 9, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

And a machine that invents money! Just prints loads of twenties, that you can go and spend just like real cash! Can you honestly say, Joe Klein, that you don't want such a thing? Does such a thought even cross your mind?

Posted by: Chocolate Thunder on January 9, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

It is all BS, according to Gordon Smith, Maliki asked for the toops, so said Bush. The generals are not important anyway, Klein should know.
It is so like Bush, Johnny made me do it. Klein should know better. He should do his homework.

Posted by: Renate on January 9, 2007 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Only slightly off-topic:

I just read in "war room" at saloon.com (http://salon.com/politics/war_room/) that Kennedy has introduced legislation to block the surge. Write to your Senator, call him/her up NOW urging him/her to support this.

Sometimes I am proud to be from MA.

Posted by: thersites on January 9, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Words may fail you, Kevin, but they fail Time Magazine as well. I have trouble believeing that not a single acceptable comment has been posted there in response, somehow...

Posted by: jfaberuiuc on January 9, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

And he just keeps digging: "Oh, Ana, I disagree--and my disagreement is about substance rather than positioning." Then concluding, "All I'm saying is that those who oppose the war now have a responsibility to (a) oppose it judiciously, without hateful or extreme rhetoric and (b) start thinking very hard--and in a very detailed way--about how we begin to recover from this mess."

Substance. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Posted by: Royko on January 9, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Klein is the quintessence of Washington's media elite: overpaid and generally undereductated and ill-informed. They may at some level understand the scope of the disaster in Iraq, but are totally unaffected by it. Indeed, the Bush years of war and tax cuts for the wealthy have been very good ones for them. They have become quislings because their large paychecks are dependent on their access to power and an inflated demand for their services.

In their world, mistakes do not have adverse ramifications. For them, Democrats are 90% right but are to be derided and ignored, while Republicans are 99% wrong but are to be treated as sagacious and steady-handed.

I look forward to the day when their influence is so low that their salaries collapse.

Posted by: SavageView on January 9, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

undereductated = undereducated

I should use the preview function.

Posted by: SavageView on January 9, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Josh Marshall points out today that the counterinsurgency manual General Petraeus wrote says one needs 20 combat troops per 1000 population. That would require 120,000 combat troops just in Baghdad, whereas we now have 70,000 combat troops in the whole country.

Posted by: anandine on January 9, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Where the Gallup polls show MOST American want out now, we can stop with the bad Dems don't want a surge.

Hey Klein, it's not Dems but most Americans that don't like your idea. I see via Josh Marshall's site that Ted Kennedy (D-MA) has introduced a bill that says: No Iraq "Surge" without Hill's OK

If Pelosi is serious about opposing Bush and Cheney our their unpopular “surge” or “escalation” as FOX News just called it, and put an end to his sorry misbegotten, illegal war that Nancy Pelosi should embrace Kennedy’s bill. Kennedy is NO lefty liberal with most American want out of this war.

Oh, and Sally Quinn writes a very good op-ed today about immoral choices of staying Bush’s course.

Posted by: Cheryl on January 9, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

I'm hoping the flying spaghetti monster defuses all those IEDs kisses all our owies. It probably won't happen cause everyone keeps pissing him off by disparaging pirates. Fuckers.

Posted by: B on January 9, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

All the liberals I know and associate with want nothing more than for the Iraqi people to live in peace and raise their children in a productive and tranquil society. We just don't think that sending in 20,000 more American soldiers with guns blazing is the best way to achieve that outcome. Do you?

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 9, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK


Mydd
has a pdf of the Kennedy legislation up. It starts off by noting that the AUMF is clearly irrelevant.

Posted by: jayackroyd on January 9, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Even though I disagree with a welfare state, I hope the Democrats succeed in establishing an effective one.

-- Joe Klein's Ass (or is it Joe Klein the Ass?)

Even though I disagree with leaving Social Security alone and not adopting privatization (or whatever I'm calling it today), I hope the Democrats plan to do nothing about Social Security works.

-- George Bush

Even though I disagree with Clinton's plan to stop genocide in Bosnia and Kosovo, I hope it succeeds.

-- Trent Lott

Even though I disagree with plans to make birth control universally available, I hope those proposing this succeed in reducing the number of abortions.

-- The Pope

Even though we disagree with passing more taxes for the very, very, very wealthy, we hope the Democrats plan to tax the very, very, very wealthy succeeds in spurring the economy to record heights.

-- The GOP

Posted by: Google_This on January 9, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

These comments demonstrate that Klein is correct. Some of you didn't even understand his comment.

Imagine that Bush fails in Iraq (which seems likely). How do you feel about such a failure?

Are you happy to be proved right and to see your bête noire look bad?

Or, are you devastated, because the insurgents' victory over Amirica in Iraq will lead to many deaths in the middle east and will promote Islamic fascism throughout the world?

Klein is saying that many of you feel happy about America's likely defeat, but you ought to feel unhappy. I agree.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 9, 2007 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

The only thing I can say to Klein is that he's bringing disgrace to a great last name.

Posted by: Not a *Joe* Klein on January 9, 2007 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: I agree.

But, then, you are an idiot and a liar.

Here's one for you:

If the Democratic plan to reign in the Bush administration ultimately results in greater security for Americans and peace in the middle east, will you be happy?

Then, why aren't you wishing them success?

Why aren't you offering support for their plan?

You feel more happy about dissing the Democrats for dissing the president's plan than you would about ultimate success for America.

And you dishonestly equate criticism of an already proven failed strategy with wanting defeat.

Remember, it is America we are rooting for, not Iraq.

At least, that's what conservatives always told us when Clinton was in office.

Posted by: Google_This on January 9, 2007 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Imagine that Bush fails in Iraq (which seems likely). How do you feel about such a failure?

I feel awful about our failure in Iraq. That we invaded a country and destabilized it to the point that we have no viable options for anything other than epic defeat is one of the worst things I've seen in my life.

At least I have the sense not to want to send even more men and women into the shredder; we have failed--past tense. It is horrible, and I'd love if 20,000 troops would make Iraq a paradise with liberal democracy and streams of chocolate and flying unicorns with pink, fluffy manes, but it won't.

That doesn't make me happy. It makes me terribly sad. And terribly angry.

Posted by: Jeff Fecke on January 9, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Klein is saying that many of you feel happy about America's likely defeat, but you ought to feel unhappy. I agree.

Bush and Bush sycophants like you are entirely responsible for this disaster and its ramifications. How I "feel" is irrelevant. Life isn't an EST session.


Posted by: SavageView on January 9, 2007 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Even though I disagree with this escalation, I am hoping that General Petraeus succumbs while destroying Baghdad.

Posted by: Brojo on January 9, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Imagine that the Democrats plan to tax the very, very, very wealthy causes the economy to tank. How would you feel about that?

Imagine that the Democrats plan to make birth control universally available fails to lessen the number of abortions. How would you feel about that?

Imagine that the Democrats foreign policy fails to make America stronger and safer. How would you feel about that?

Question, ex-liberal, why are you criticizing Democratic and liberal initiatives and policies unless you want them to fail and you want America to suffer as a result?

Posted by: Google_This on January 9, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal, I'll consider exhibiting more "devastation" once you, Klein, Bush, and the rest of your loathsome ilk start exhibiting an ounce of shame for being absolutely wrong these past 4 years and for steering the country up Shit Creek without the proverbial paddle.

Until then, don't bother telling us what the proper way to act is, because you don't have the right.

Posted by: Killjoy on January 9, 2007 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Are you happy to be proved right and to see your bête noire look bad? Or, are you devastated, because the insurgents' victory over Amirica in Iraq will lead to many deaths in the middle east and will promote Islamic fascism throughout the world?

And why is the important thing to you what people FEEL about such an event, instead of trying to deal with the REALITIES such events would confront us with?

You obviously live in a fantasy land where all that counts is emotions and desires and feelings and other such crap that have nothing to do with making sober, careful, effective solutions.

Grow up. Or at least wipe the tears and mucus off your emotionally sloppy face.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2007 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with ex-liberal. Even someone as rational as Kevin Drum frequently betrays his true animus on this blog - he would rather the world go to hell than see Bush or the dastardly neocons be proven right about anything.

Posted by: the ex-minion on January 9, 2007 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

ex-minion--

Can you please point to Kevin's posts that says he'd rather the world go to hell than Bush or neo-cons been proven right about anything?

Oh, and by the way, Bush and the neo-cons don't seem to have been proven right about anything. If you could offer up that list as well, that would be helpful.

Posted by: jayackroyd on January 9, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

And it's not just that only feelings matter, it's that THEIR feelings are hurt, and we should be all ashamed at being mean and nasty by pointing out that they've been wrong since the start and are still wrong.

I don't recall pearl-clutching of this magnitude back when WE were accused of being wimps, idiots, traitors, and terrorist sympathizers because we opposed an obviously stupid idea.

And the final argument: well what's OUR idea for cleaning up George Bush's mess?

These people are not to be taken seriously. They don't even deserve the attention that's being paid to them, even to scorn them.


Posted by: bleh on January 9, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: Or, are you devastated, because the insurgents' victory over [America] in Iraq will lead to many deaths in the middle east and will promote Islamic fascism throughout the world?

You are presuming facts not in evidence.

First, the insurgents' "victory" would be over the Bush administration's foreign policy, not America.

America will still exist. America will still be the most powerful nation on Earth. [Most] Americans will still be blessed with some of the best living conditions on the planet.

Second, Bush's escalation will also lead to many deaths in the Middle East, a good portion of them, maybe even the vast majority of them, innocents.

Third, Bush's venture into Iraq has already done more for Islamic fascism around the world, fail or succeed, than any other event in the last century.

Fourth, there is no evidence whatsoever that "losing" in Iraq will have any effect on Islamic fascism anywhere, much less worldwide.

This is the fantasy boogieman that conservatives are using to scare people so they can rule by fear.

Just like conservatives claimed that "losing" in Vietnam would lead to worldwide communist domination as nations fell to communism like dominoes.

Didn't work out that way and won't this time either, because conservatives are idiots when it comes to predicting anything involving foreign affairs.

Or science.

Or the economy.

Posted by: Google_This on January 9, 2007 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal could replace the incoherent Joe Klein and we wouldn't know the difference.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 9, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Even someone as rational as Kevin Drum frequently betrays his true animus on this blog - he would rather the world go to hell than see Bush or the dastardly neocons be proven right about anything.

I believe the world is going to hell because Nush and the neocons are wrong. Are you this f**king stupid or simply incapably of seeing cause and effect?

Posted by: SavageView on January 9, 2007 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Even though I disagree with this escalation, I am hoping that General Petraeus succeeds in calming down Baghdad.

More I look at that, the more I realize it doesn't make any sense on its own terms. If "disagree with it" means "think it's going to fail and kill lots more people unnecessarily"--which IS why I "disagree" with it--then asserting that I both "disagree with it" and hope that Patraeus succeeds with it is nonsensical. I disagree with it precisely and exclusively because I don't think it will succeed.

To borrow someone's analogy upthread, I can't both "disagree with" perpetual motion, in the sense of being certain it doesn't work, and simultaneously "hope that it succeeds."

The man's a dunderhead.

Posted by: DrBB on January 9, 2007 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

It's worse than that, bleh. Because their motives are pure and they are "serious," anytime they're wrong, it doesn't count. While we, as dirty fucking hippies, regardless of how carefully we analyze the situation, how prescient we are (see Scott Ritter and Howard Dean, are by definition, not serious.

It's especially galling to hear these people go on and on saying that even though they were wrong, and we were right, they were wrong for the right reasons, and are therefore to be admired, while we, although correct, did not have serious reasons underlying our correctness.

It's just pathetic. But they've got columns in major newsweeklies.

Posted by: jayackroyd on January 9, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Even though you say you plan to drive at breakneck speed and on the wrong side of the road, I wish you well on your upcoming road trip to Vegas. Bon voyage!

Posted by: Concerned for your peace of mind on January 9, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

You really gotta love the gall of the right.

They and Bush have fucked us six ways to Sunday in Iraq, and the truly important thing is, of course, that we demonstrate that we wish they had succeeded.

Of course, if we're angry instead about being so fucked, then THAT can only mean that we wished they had failed.

What pieces of slimy, manipulating shit these people are.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Are you happy to be proved right and to see your bête noire look bad? Or, are you devastated, because the insurgents' victory over Amirica in Iraq will lead to many deaths in the middle east and will promote Islamic fascism throughout the world?

I think I'll give your answer...I DON'T KNOW.

Seriously, grow the fuck up. You question my patriotism when you make such scurrilous and unfounded statements, and I will no longer be magnanimous. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, you diseased pustule, for even considering we would take any comfort, no matter how cold, in dead soldiers to make a political point. That is the stock in trade of you lot, not us.

(Apologies for using up the comma supply.)

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 9, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Google_This on January 9, 2007 at 1:53 PM

*tipping my hat* Well done.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 9, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

I hope Bush's plan to fly close to the sun using his wings of wax succeeds! Anybody who doesn't think it will succeed is hoping his wings melt and that he will fall to the Earth and be smooshed! They can't possible simply think that his plan is a bad idea with no chance of success.

-- ex-liberal

I hope Bush's plan to put a bathroom stopper in Mt. Ranier succeeds in keeping the volcano dormant for the next 1000 years. Anybody who criticizes this plan must be hoping that Mt. Ranier erupts sometime within that period and buries Seattle, killing millions of Americans! They can't possible simply think that his plan is a bad idea with no chance of success.

-- ex-liberal

I hope Bush's plan to shore up the New Orleans levees with walls made of popsicle sticks glued together by children from all across America works. Anybody who thinks it won't must be hoping that New Orleans will be wiped from the face of the earth during the next hurricane. They can't possible simply think that his plan is a bad idea with no chance of success.

-- ex-liberal

=====================

Can I offer a few more, ex-liberal, or do you have at least the minimal decency to admit your tirade was idiotic?

Posted by: Google_This on January 9, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

My question is:

Osama bin Laden is now a rock star to billions, the US has been proven vulnerable, nuclear arms are everywhere and nobody could have foreseen using planes as weapons. Exactly what do you think George W Bush would have done differently if he was being paid cold hard cash by al Qaeda?

This is not to say that he is in the pay of America's enemies, it is to point out that it doesn't make any difference. Regardless of his intentions, his results have been the worst in American history, while greatly benefiting our enemies.

Posted by: CK Dexter Haven on January 9, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Some of you didn't even understand his comment. --Ex-liberal
That would be because his comment is incoherent. See my previous.

Posted by: DrBB on January 9, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal wrote: "Imagine that Bush fails in Iraq (which seems likely). How do you feel about such a failure?"

I feel that Bush should be impeached, removed from office, indicted, prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned for treason and crimes against humanity, for leading America into an illegal war of unprovoked aggression for corrupt purposes of private financial gain, by means of his numerous, deliberate, sickening lies about a nonexistent "threat" from nonexistent "Iraqi WMD" and nonexistent "links between Saddam and Al Qaeda".

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 9, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

How is what I hope for relevant to what will really happen?

The Iraq War was used for domestic political advantage from the beginning. It was a bad idea from the word go.

At this point the Bush administration and its allies and enablers still want to shift from discussing real world policy to disparaging the motives of Bush's critics.

If winning in Iraq was a priority of the deluded and foolish they wouldn't be using the Iraq situation to attack political critics. But they do.

It's just further evidence that they lack anything of substance to contribute. Having created an unmitigated disaster Bush, Klein and company continue to use the disaster they created to attack Bush's political critics.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on January 9, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-liberal, no one is happy about loosing in Iraq, everyone would like to kick Bush's ass and hard. He created the mess, he caused death and distruction to countless people, he used our nations wealth in order to destroy another nations wealth.He, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perl and not to forget Kristol and the likes are the war criminals, they caused all the suffering and all for OIL. We want the killings, the suffering to stop no more no less. And what is it you want? Nothing but oil? Yes, I feel rage, lots of rage.

Posted by: Renate on January 9, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

there is no evidence whatsoever that "losing" in Iraq will have any effect on Islamic fascism [sic] anywhere, much less worldwide.

No matter if the issue is the surge, or other related topics, the Democrats are letting down the America citizenry. This is a hugely important policy debate, but the left is not fulfilling its obligation to completely examine all aspects of this issue.

Key here is the concept of whether or not “losing” Iraq is truthful concept. This is a point that needs much more scrutiny, yet there has been no organized analysis from the Democrats.

The difference between possible and probable effects of a US drawdown has similarly not been explained to Americans. Supporters of the President usually state with much (assumed) gravitas that the dominoes will fall westward and by next year the terrorists target Toledo tomorrow.

Again, the Dems don’t fully engage despite reports, experience, and analysis that show this is nearly complete fantasy.

Policy development at this level is nearly a 24/7 process and it must be explained from the ground up in vigorous, clear and honest terms. The Democratic Party is not engaged and they bare significant blame for what is happening.

Remember, words and “framing” count hence my editorial comment vis a vis “fascism” above.

Posted by: Keith G on January 9, 2007 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Small and poor countries do not invade larger and richer nations. As it turns out even large and rich countries, especially democracies, cannot invade and dominate small poor countries. This is because the indigenous population, no matter how small and weak, can fight on for decades and make the conflict fantastically expensive for the invader.

No great nation can invade and commit the genocide needed to break the will of an indigenous population determined to resist. This may have been so in the past, but it is no longer possible. The natives are wise to imperialism.

Foreign wars against weak nations are luxuries. The reasons for fighting them are always obscure and abstract. No matter how great the propaganda the people on the home front will, in time, cease to believe it is worth the cost and support will collapse. Even authoritarian regimes like that of the old Soviet Union cannot keep a worthless war going.

Authoritarians, fascists and communists among them, who dream of national greatness and personal glory have spent the last century denouncing the soft decadence of liberal democracy and the modern decay of the martial spirit.

The war in Iraq and the larger war to pacify the Middle East to make it ripe for Anglo-American business interests, including oil, will end in failure. This war will just make clear the age of Western domination is closing and a new multipolar world is emerging. Unfortunately the hayseeds that artfully propelled Bush into the White House and set out on this princely war still think it is 1950 or for some of the more enlightened- 1900. They don't call themselves "conservatives" for nothing.

Posted by: bellumregio on January 9, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Any of you interested in looking outside the echo chamber should read Sen. McCain's post over at PowerLine. Those that are convinced the evil capitalist white male heterosexuals are only interested in UNPROVOKED WARS for OIL!!!!! need not go, since you are not interested with being confused with the facts.

Posted by: ex-minion on January 9, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

At least facts was not in the same sentence with PowerLine so my monitor didn't blow up.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 9, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Minion, if this was an echo chamber, your comments would be zapped like the charlie troll, so get off your high-horse.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 9, 2007 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Any of you interested in looking outside the echo chamber should read Sen. McCain's post over at PowerLine.

That was a sarcasm, right? Going to Powerline to look outside the echo chamber?

Bwahahahahahahahaaaaa!

Posted by: Back in Flesh on January 9, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Not sure if everyone has seen these videos of the US military in Iraq or not, but they are pretty amazing: Hopefully our 'surge' will not include too many of these types...
http://minor-ripper.blogspot.com/2006/12/winning-hearts-and-minds-part-three.html

Posted by: MinorRipper on January 9, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

"Do you want America to win? Yes or no!"

And a Time columnist adopts the exacting standards of Bill O'Reilly. You can almost write Klein's next column, about the mean net people who took his sandwich from his lunchbox and pissed on it.
Does anyone on the ed board give a good goddamn about the shreds of Time's reputation?
Who's next to get a column, Glenn Beck?

Posted by: Steve Paradis on January 9, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-minion, you would not know what a fact is. You still swallow all the lies you get from your LiC.

You sound as if you believe Sen, McCain is infallible, like the pope.

Irans OIL needs to be privatized so a war is possible. NK has no OIL.

Posted by: Renate on January 9, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

I thought you folks would be interested in McCain's point of view because it provides very useful amunition to those that think a surge is bad policy. As I see now, though, anything on PowerLine cannot be factual, and to think McCain is right on this issue would be considering him infallible, so I guess the surge should start tommorrow.

Posted by: ex-minion on January 9, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

The naval officer McCain was punsihed for his crimes against Viet Nam. Senator McCain needs to be punished for his crimes against Iraq.

Posted by: Brojo on January 9, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

franklyO: And why is the important thing to you what people FEEL?

Because that was the subject of the Klein quote that we are discussing on this thread.

jayackroyd: Oh, and by the way, Bush and the neo-cons don't seem to have been proven right about anything. If you could offer up that list as well, that would be helpful.

Since you asked, Bush and the neocons have been right about;

1. We could quickly overthrow the Taliban/al Qaeda rule in Afghanistan.

2. We could quickly overthrow Saddam's regime.

3. With the Saddam example, we could convince Libya to end their nuclear weapons program

Also, the outcome isn't yet determined, but:

4. There's a good chance to have an on-goig democracy in Afghanistan, or, at least, a part of that country.

Also, the news of today:

5. Our military support could help defeat al Qaeda in Somalia while killing large numbers of Islamic extremists. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2007-01-08-us-somalia_x.htm?csp=34

Not to mention,

6. By fighting terrorists in Iraq and by aggressuve counter-espionage we could prevent another attack here like 9/11.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 9, 2007 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

I thought you folks would be interested in McCain's point of view

To the point I knew what it was before he did because I held my nose, poured a drink and read the AEI report when it came out. (.pdf alert)

And c'mon - really - telling us to go to PowerLine because PA is an echo chamber? Mother of God...

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 9, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Playing Uncle Tom for the Repubs is still a paying gig but it just ain't fresh no mo

Posted by: clb72 on January 9, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

If I was sloppy and gave the impression that PA is unfair to us trolls I apologise - this is one of the few places where ideas matter. I was addressing that remark to some of the more, er, robust commenters that honestly believe this war was unprovoked, [as opposed to those of us that believe Saddam provoked it by violating the ceasefire he signed on day one following the first Gulf War] or those that believe it's all about OIL!!!!, despite the fact that Saddam would have been glad to sell us oil, from both Iraq and Kuwait, if we had just let him exterminate the JOOOWS and fund terror worldwide.

Posted by: ex-minion on January 9, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

The Islamists in Somalia are fighting to rid their country of war lords. They are not extremists like the followers of John Hagee are. Many Somalis consider the Islamists patriots because they are the only people attempting to bring stability to the region. W. Bush is attempting to expand his world war by bribing or extorting the Ethiopians to invade Somalia, which will make the Islamists extremists in regards to US militant hegemony.

Posted by: Brojo on January 9, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

1. We could quickly overthrow the Taliban/al Qaeda rule in Afghanistan.and 4. There's a good chance to have an on-goig democracy in Afghanistan, or, at least, a part of that country.

Did they not send you the memo? The taliban failed to stay routed, and are poised to come back. We have a four month window in Afghanistan, then it's lost too.

2. We could quickly overthrow Saddam's regime.

Oh for fuck's sake. Everyone knew the overthrow would be a cakewalk, you intellectually dishonest reeking compost heap. It's keeping the peace in the wake that has proved wuite impossible just like we said it would!!!

With the Saddam example, we could convince Libya to end their nuclear weapons program

Maybe so. Or maybe Qadaffi played it the way he wanted to. There is serious suspicion among the intel community as to whether Qadaffi ever actually had an operable nuke program.

5. Our military support could help defeat al Qaeda in Somalia while killing large numbers of Islamic extremists.

I do indeed hope we took out some al Qa'eda operatives. I'm suspicious about the timing but I'm not speculating.

6. By fighting terrorists in Iraq and by aggressive counter-espionage we could prevent another attack here like 9/11.

Not admissible as evidence. Vague and unverifiable.

Care to try again? Or have you had enough?

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 9, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Global,

All predictions or alternative histories are vague and unverifiable. Do you honestly think Saddam-ruled Iraq, and the greater mideast, would be peaceful and prosperous five years after 911 if it hadn't been for the Bush buttinskis?

Posted by: ex-minion on January 9, 2007 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Google_This You are presuming facts not in evidence.

First, the insurgents' "victory" would be over the Bush administration's foreign policy, not America.

That's how you see it, but the world sees America fighting al Qaeda and other terrorists. The world sees democracy opposing tyranny.

America will still exist. America will still be the most powerful nation on Earth. [Most] Americans will still be blessed with some of the best living conditions on the planet.

This is true. Is your unstated point that the rest of the world can go to Hell?

Second, Bush's escalation will also lead to many deaths in the Middle East, a good portion of them, maybe even the vast majority of them, innocents.

That depends on what happens and what would have happened. Most people agree that the fall of the current Iraqi government is likely to be followed by a horrendous bloodbath. If there's no hope at all of averting the bloodbath, maybe we should just give up. But, if there's any hope, it makes sense to go on.

Third, Bush's venture into Iraq has already done more for Islamic fascism around the world, fail or succeed, than any other event in the last century.

I disagree. Al Qaeda says they are using military means to seek domination over a substantial part of the world. In my opinion, resisting aggression is more effective than ignoring it, even when the resistance is unsuccessful.

Fourth, there is no evidence whatsoever that "losing" in Iraq will have any effect on Islamic fascism anywhere, much less worldwide.

Osmama bin Laden said, "when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse." When we fail to resist, or when our resistance fails, we are the weak horse. When our resistance succeeds, we are the strong horse, and al Qaeda is the weak horse.

Just like conservatives claimed that "losing" in Vietnam would lead to worldwide communist domination as nations fell to communism like dominoes.

Our loss in Vietnam was followed by a communist government in Cambodia that slaughtered two million people. Our eventual victory in the Cold War took many years.

Didn't work out that way and won't this time either, because conservatives are idiots when it comes to predicting anything involving foreign affairs.

Ronald Reagan did pretty well with his predictions about winning the cold war. He was a lot smarter than the many liberals who claimed that there was no way to end communist dictatorship in the Soviet Union, so we should just learn to co-exist with it.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 9, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: Blah, blah, blah . . . By fighting terrorists in Iraq and by aggressive counter-espionage we could prevent another attack here like 9/11, blah, blah, blah.

Translation: I have no counter-argument to the points you made, so I'll make up some new speculative conclusions based on wishful thinking and lacking any evidentiary support and revisit some "successes" that are of dubious quality and meaning.

BTW, there is a good chance we can have an on-going semblance of democracy in a portion of Iraq - the building housing the current US-managed "government." There is a better chance that the larger portion of Iraq is without democracy, security, or much of anything positive.

Your self-deceit is amusing.

Posted by: Google_This on January 9, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

...Saddam-ruled Iraq, and the greater mideast, would be peaceful and prosperous five years after 911 if it hadn't been for the Bush buttinskis?

Are you saying Iraq and the greater middle east are peaceful now??? Are you fucking certifiably insane?

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 9, 2007 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Ronald Reagan did pretty well with his predictions about winning the cold war. He was a lot smarter than the many liberals who claimed that there was no way to end communist dictatorship in the Soviet Union, so we should just learn to co-exist with it.

You need to remember who is on the board, bub. You guys like to give Reagan a lot of credit for being someplace at the right time.

I've seen some of the actual (declassified) intel, and I can honestly tell you that rock-n-roll, Levi's and McDonalds did more than Reagan to hasten the demise of the USSR. But all cults of personality need a man-god to metaphorically felate, so carry on with the Ronnie worship.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 9, 2007 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, just use the Atrios formulation:

I am hoping that Gen. Petraeus succeeds in calming down Baghdad. I am also hoping for a pony.

Posted by: Joe Buck on January 9, 2007 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

We used to get terror alerts, maybe now it is somalia. We don't have much evidence of anything from Somalia.
There never was any doubt the US could not win militarily in Afghanistan or Iraq. Afghanistan had no army at all. The Iraqi army had been beaten, it was rag tag nothing to write home about. That is why it was no big deal to defeat. The question always was " WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTERWARD?" Now we have the answer, we have all the disaster that was expected.
We have total disaster in Iraq and an upsurge of Taliban in Afghanistan.
The US borrows money to finance the mess and does not have enough soldiers to fight both wars.

Forget about the moral of invading a country preemptively thousands of miles away, it is also just so stupid on top of it all.

Posted by: Renate on January 9, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Ronald Reagan did pretty well with his predictions about winning the cold war. He was a lot smarter than the many liberals who claimed that there was no way to end communist dictatorship in the Soviet Union, so we should just learn to co-exist with it.

Doesn't take long for the wingnuts' ridiculous obsession with Communism -- for which so-called "Islamofascism" is but a cheap substitute -- to rear its silly head.

"ex-liberal", not-at-all-ex-minion: Shame on you for your dishonesty.

Oh, and by the way, minion, you may have missed the recent news about the oil contracts currently being pushed thru the Iraqi legislature. If you're honest, you'll note how they're different from the terms Saddam may have offered. But then, you aren't, are you?

A general note: Klein's loathsome schtick -- gleefully parroted here by the serial liar "ex-liberal" -- was being touted here ages ago by no-less-dishonest commentors like tbrosz and his ilk. It was bullshit then and it's bullshit now. moreover, Klein's hissy fit shows that he's utterly unqualified to judge who's "serious".

Posted by: Gregory on January 9, 2007 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

ex-minion wrote: "those that believe it's all about OIL!!!!, despite the fact that Saddam would have been glad to sell us oil"

Dick Cheney was not interested in buying oil from Saddam.

That's why the new US-written oil law that is about to be voted on by the Iraqi legislature gives US and UK-based multinational oil companies 75 percent of the profits from Iraqi oil.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 9, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

I'm now the ex-minion because Mr. Rove has barred me from world headquarters, for screwing up the Diebold programming.

Posted by: ex-minion on January 9, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: Ronald Reagan did pretty well with his predictions about winning the cold war. He was a lot smarter than the many liberals who claimed that there was no way to end communist dictatorship in the Soviet Union, so we should just learn to co-exist with it.

Reagan never made any such prediction.

Reagan also never accomplished what you claim he predicted.

There were never "many" liberals who claimed that there was no way to end the communist dictatorship in the Soviet Union; indeed, you would be hard pressed to find even one.

Our loss in Vietnam was followed by a communist government in Cambodia that slaughtered two million people. Our eventual victory in the Cold War took many years.

A non-sequitur.

We know you've already lied about the number of deaths caused by the US withdrawal from the Vietnam War.

No need to follow up that lie with more about Cambodia.

Osmama bin Laden said, "when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse." When we fail to resist, or when our resistance fails, we are the weak horse. When our resistance succeeds, we are the strong horse, and al Qaeda is the weak horse.

Again, a non-sequitur and evidence of nothing you seek to prove.

I disagree.

No, you lie.

Al Qaeda says they are using military means to seek domination over a substantial part of the world.

Where? When?

In my opinion, resisting aggression is more effective than ignoring it, even when the resistance is unsuccessful.

Your opinion is based on the falsity (lie) that those who criticize Bush's action are for ignoring aggression and that Bush's form of resistance is the only possible form of resistance available.

And btw, unsuccessful is unsuccessful. But killing over 3000 US troops and countless innocent civilians just to get to the same level of unsuccess as "ignoring" the problem would have is not just as effective, since we have now lost hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of soldiers, so to put it in simple terms you can understand . . .

lack of success plus 3000+ soldiers lost plus 100s of billions of dollars lost . . .

is not more effective than . . .

simple lack of success,

even assuming that not invading Iraq, but doing something else with that money and manpower (e.g., catch bin Laden and protect our ports), would not have been far more effective use of those assets.

Posted by: Google_This on January 9, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Global Cit,

I'm not fucking insane, I wish we had competent people in charge at least as much as you do. I'd say today we have maybe a 20% chance of a decent outcome. Doing nothing in 2003 would have guaranteed a 100% chance of a WMD protected Saddam trying to redraw the maps, going down in history in a blaze of glory.

Posted by: ex-minion on January 9, 2007 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

I'm now the ex-minion because Mr. Rove has barred me from world headquarters, for screwing up the Diebold programming.

You're the same Bush apologist with the same old dishonesty, minion. Some may find your pretense amusing and give you unwarranted benefit of the doubt, but in my book it just makes you look like an asshole the same way the neocon "ex-liberal" does. Nice company you picked to run with, toad.

Posted by: Gregory on January 9, 2007 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: . . . the world sees America fighting al Qaeda and other terrorists.

No, they don't.

That's why Bush's coalition lacked some significant actors and has lost many others.

That's why you and rdw are always bellyaching about the rest of the world not embracing Bush's vision and standing toe to toe with Bush on terrorism.

They know that Bush isn't fighting terrorism and never intended to, that he was in this for his own personal and idiosyncratic reasons and that the neocons are in it only because they want to destroy anything that is remotely a threat to Israel no matter how devastating to America and Americans.

Israel wants to pursue its own holocaust against the Arabs (just as the Arabs want to pursue a holocaust against the Israelis) and they want America to be their Gestapo.

Bush and the neocons will gladly accomodate.

Posted by: Google_This on January 9, 2007 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Klein's post tells us little about liberals' thinking but a helluva a lot about Klein's projection of his own cartoonish thinking about liberals.

Posted by: The Fool on January 9, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory is another one of Mr. Rove's deep cover agents - don't listen to him.

Posted by: ex-minion on January 9, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

not-at-all-ex-minion wrote: I'm not fucking insane, I wish we had competent people in charge at least as much as you do.

Bullshit. You vote Republican, don't you?

Doing nothing in 2003

Bullshit. We had Saddam in a box -- contained and deterred (something you wingnuts who fellate the corpse of Ronald Reagan consistently fail to remember), and "doing nothing" is nothing but a straw man. Containment and deterrence -- plus a hefty bach of no-fly zones that ensured total air superiority over Iraq -- is not "doing nothing", which is why dishonest bush apologists like you have to present that straw man in order to justify your disastrous war lust.

would have guaranteed a 100% chance of a WMD protected Saddam trying to redraw the maps, going down in history in a blaze of glory.

Bullshit -- Saddam had no weapons, remember? Besides which, again: Containment. Deterrence. Your so-called "prediction" is the product of delusion or dishonesty -- or both, but knowing you my money's on the latter.

And, given your evident and utterly pathetic fear of Iraq, for cryin' out loud -- I'd say a hefty dose of cowardice as well.

Posted by: Gregory on January 9, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

No need to follow up that lie with more about Cambodia.

More than that, Google_This -- "ex-liberal," who seems to particularly relishe lying by omission, responded to your accurate notation of the falsity of the "Domino Theory" by citing one -- and only one -- nation that went Communist -- and that likely as a result of Nixon's illegal policies -- and fails to note, deliberately no doubt, that the Communist Khmer Roughe regime responsible for the bloodletting was toppled by the Vietnamese.

Posted by: Gregory on January 9, 2007 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory is another one of Mr. Rove's deep cover agents - don't listen to him.

minion, given the demonstrably false statements you've been making in this thread and others, I'll stack my credibility against yours any day of the week. It's nice to see you admit you don't have any substantive retort, though of course, how could you?

Besides, given the stunted, sickly smirking sense of so-called humor you exhibit, it's clear that you're a true Republican.

Posted by: Gregory on January 9, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory: More than that, Google_This -- "ex-liberal," who seems to particularly relishe lying by omission, responded to your accurate notation of the falsity of the "Domino Theory" by citing one -- and only one -- nation that went Communist -- and that likely as a result of Nixon's illegal policies -- and fails to note, deliberately no doubt, that the Communist Khmer Roughe regime responsible for the bloodletting was toppled by the Vietnamese.

Just like "Charlie" in Vietnam, "American" right-wing ideologue "Charlie" takes on many guises, Gregory, but his mendacity, methods, motives, and morals (or lack thereof) remain the same.

Posted by: Google_This on January 9, 2007 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Greg,

I appologise for the deep cover insult. Here's a few facts:

1) Regulars on this thread know I've held my nose and voted Dem when I thought Repub screw-ups were too much to excuse.

2) I've also written that I would not have supported the war if I thought sanctions or containment were a viable option. If you think they were, your argument is with people like Bill & Hill Clinton, or Ken Pollack, not me.

3) I've also written I thought this war was so important I would have voted for Edwards or Gephart for prez, and given up domestic policy and the Supreme Court for a generation, to get better management. I could not vote for the feckless gigilo you guys put up because I rightly saw him as one of the few politicos worse than Bush.

Have a great evening, I have family obligations for the rest of the day.

Posted by: ex-minion on January 9, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Policy development at this level is nearly a 24/7 process and it must be explained from the ground up in vigorous, clear and honest terms. The Democratic Party is not engaged and they bare significant blame for what is happening.

Assuming that Pelosi and Reid's letter represents the Democratic policy, then I think that Kennedy's introduction of a resolution represents the right politics and strategy. Congress can pass a resolution that rescinds the AUMF that Congress granted in 2002, and that requires that the U.S. redeploy all troops by a date certain, like July 1, 2007 or Dec 31, 2007. If the president acts in defiance of the resolution, then they have clear and unequivocal grounds for impeachment (unlike the fanciful grounds listed by Secular Animist up above). For maximum political effectiveness, the recission (sp?) resolution can address all the points in the 2002 resolution (e.g., Hussein is now removed, WMDs are now known not to exist, etc.) The language of the resolution has to be completely unambiguous, or else Bush will interpret any ambiguity as permitting him to do what he wants. The resolution should also contain a reminder to the Officer Corps that they are not permitted to obey illegal orders, and that their future promotions, and retirement income, depend on Congressional approval.

Anything short of that, in my opinion, is not an alternative to what Bush is doing. Pelosi and Reid are trying to accomplish by nagging what has to be done by vote.

In the debate leading up to the vote, the supporters and opponents can enunciate what the likely consequences of the passage of the resolution will be, and run on their records in 2008.

In the meantime, Congress ought to consider a resolution prohibiting the use of force against Iran, or at least introduce such a resolution and debate it.

If the Democrats really believe that they were elected principally to end American involvement in the Iraq war, then let them end it.

Posted by: calibantwo on January 9, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

I appologise for the deep cover insult.

How droll -- you offer up a feckless apology, and then compound your true insult by continuing your bullshit.

Here's a few facts:

minion, you have no credibility to claim anything you write is a "fact" -- but you do have the gall to cite your opinion -- mendacious, deluded and reactionary as it is -- as fact.

Regulars on this thread know I've held my nose and voted Dem when I thought Repub screw-ups were too much to excuse.

So what? First of all, your comments make clear that your opinion of Republican excess is doubtless far outside the mainstream. And as I said, the fact that you usually vote Republican belies your claim that you "wish we had competent people in charge." QED.

I've also written that I would not have supported the war if I thought sanctions or containment were a viable option.

Again, what credibility or importance does your opinion have? If you're deluded, dishonest or -- yes! -- just plain cowardly to support Bush's invasion of Iraq on the grounds that containment and deterrence -- the very factors that led the neocons to maintain the war would be a cakewalk, remember? -- wouldn't work, that just diminishes your credibility. You were wrong, minion, and what's worse, your wrongess has cost thousands of others -- but not you or your family, I'll wager -- their lives. Who gives a shit if your wrongness was sincere -- although, given the bullshit you still spew to justify yourself, its impossible to believe it was.

I've also written I thought

See, you keep imagining that what you write and think hasn't been reduced to a pile of rotten, stinking manure by your record of delusion and/or dishonesty. I'm here to help dispel that illusion!

I could not vote for the feckless gigilo you guys put up because I rightly saw him as one of the few politicos worse than Bush.

That you claim your opinion the the so-called "feckless gigilo" was right -- to say nothing of the fact that you have the temerity to apply the word "feckless" to someone other than Bush -- whose watch did 9/11 occcur on, again? Who told the August 6 PDB briefer that he'd "covered his ass"? Whose Watch did North Korea detonate a plutonium bomb? -- just goes to prove that your opinion, whether it's deluded, dishonest or both, isn't worth a bucket of piss.

And you think all that justifies yourself! Truly amazing.

Posted by: Gregory on January 9, 2007 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

ex-minion: I would not have supported the war if I thought sanctions or containment were a viable option.

They were a viable option.

They resulted in Saddam's disarmament.

They were keeping Saddam from rearming.

Predictions that sanctions would eventually fail are just that, guesses at what might occur; predictions are not certainties, as you imply, nor were the potential occurrences of those predictions imminent, immediate, or even near future based on the then-available evidence, much less the evidence now on hand.

It is not just the management of the war that has been bad, it was the initial decision.

That is what you can't come to grips with; that is what you refuse to accept; that is what you are in denial about.

And all your conclusions and all your predictions and all your opinions are formed within this state of denial, based on a set of "facts" and "circumstances" that never existed.

Posted by: Google_This on January 9, 2007 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

the oil contracts currently being pushed thru the Iraqi legislature. If you're honest, you'll note how they're different from the terms Saddam may have offered.

You write that as though it's bad. You would expect an elected legislature to write different terms than a fascist dictator, wouldn't you? In time, the elected legislature has the opportunity to change lots of policies formerly imposed by Saddam Hussein. At least if it survives beyond the withdrawal of American troops. Yesterday somebody likened the regime of Saddam Hussein to the "Cradle of Civilization". The Iraqi legislature now has the opportunity to be the Cradle of Iraqi democracy.

Posted by: calibantwo on January 9, 2007 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

You write that as though it's bad.

It depends on your perspective, doesn't it? It certainly isn't bad for American and British oil companies.

But then, no, I don't write that as if it was bad. I simply write that to counter minion's mendacious dismissal of oil as a motivating factor by inviting him to admit -- as if he were honest enough to do so -- that the war did result in terms more favorable to the Americans and British.

I'd leave to your judgment whether it's therefore good for the Iraqis to export their oil profits to their invaders, but your comment that the "Iraqi legislature now has the opportunity to be the Cradle of Iraqi democracy" shows that trusting your judgment -- or, indeed, your sense of whether it's 2003 or 2007, to say nothing of your ability to distinguish between democracy and anarchy -- would be sheerest folly.

Posted by: Gregory on January 9, 2007 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

calibantwo: The Iraqi legislature now has the opportunity to be the Cradle of Iraqi democracy.

The Iraqis always possessed the opportunity to embrace democracy.

All they had to do was to take up arms against their oppressors like America's founding fathers did.

They chose not to.

Part of that reason is that conservatives in this country armed and empowered their oppressor, looking the other way as that oppressor used WMDs against his own people and the people of Iran, even assisting the oppressor in his ventures against the Iranians.

But part of it is simply because they really didn't, and don't, want democracy that much.

You can't be the cradle of something you do not desire.

In any event, it is amusing to see conservatives rant on and on about how American intervention was necessary to push the Iraqis into democracy, despite the majority never having lifted a finger to help themselves, but those same conservatives point to America's poor and say, "you're on your own."

Conservatives: "we care more about disfunctional Iraqis than we do about own own countrymen, because we can use those dysfunctional Iraqis to preach fear and hatred, as an excuse to take control of needed oil supplies, and as a means to further the divisions in the Middle East so that perpetual war will exist for our "war president" which will justify his continued and uninterrupted use of extraordinary and unconstitutional executive powers."

Too bad the plan didn't work out.

Posted by: Google_This on January 9, 2007 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Conservatives: "we care more about disfunctional Iraqis than we do about own own countrymen

Well, to be fair, Goog, there's precious little evidence that conservatives care about their own countrymen. After all -- and our friend minion is a prime example -- they vote for Republicans.

Posted by: Gregory on January 9, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

calibantwo wrote: "You write that as though it's bad."

Please explain how the terms of the US-written oil law that is going to be voted on by the Iraqi legislature are good for the people of Iraq.

calibantwo wrote: "If the president acts in defiance of the resolution, then they have clear and unequivocal grounds for impeachment (unlike the fanciful grounds listed by Secular Animist up above)."

I would fully support a resolution such as you describe. Alternatively, I support legislation such as that proposed by Rep. Dennis Kucinich which would cut off all further funding for the war in Iraq and require the president to use the funding that is already in the pipeline to pay for bringing the troops home.

Having said that, Congress already has ample, non-fanciful grounds for impeaching Bush, and Cheney as well.

There is nothing "fanciful" about the deliberate, repeated, elaborate, and sickening lies that they told to the American people, the United States Congress, the United Nations Security Council and the entire world in order to justify their long-planned war of unprovoked aggression to seize control of Iraq's vast oil reserves.


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

Fuck the schmuck Klein and his loyalty oath.

And he was a war supporter, no?

Posted by: luci on January 9, 2007 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist: Please explain how the terms of the US-written oil law that is going to be voted on by the Iraqi legislature are good for the people of Iraq.

The terms are being decided by the elected representatives. It is good that the terms are being decided by elected representatives. The terms of the previous contracts were decided by a fascist dictatorship. The terms themselves could be bad, but the current political process is an improvement.

On the whole, I think it would be good if the contracts negotiated with dictatorships always ended with the end of the dictatorship. The evil men do doesn't have to live after them.

Posted by: calibantwo on January 9, 2007 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

my Swedish is marginal, but I got the invading Mesopotamia and "Heckuva job, Bushie, Heckuva job!" parts.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 9, 2007 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Dang! Wrong surge thread!

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 9, 2007 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

How about pulling out the troops and hoping that would calm things down?

Posted by: doug on January 9, 2007 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

Doug - that is exactly what HASC Chairman Ike Skelton has suggested.

(The above link has an embedded link to the referenced Air Force Times article with the subscription wall defeated.)

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 9, 2007 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

calibantwo wrote: "The terms are being decided by the elected representatives."

That's not true, according to articles about the oil law published this week in the UK newspaper The Independent.

Iraq's massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to be thrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under a controversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi parliament within days.

The US government has been involved in drawing up the law [...]

Greg Muttitt, a researcher for Platform, a human rights and environmental group which monitors the oil industry, said Iraq was being asked to pay an enormous price over the next 30 years for its present instability. "They would lose out massively," he said, "because they don't have the capacity at the moment to strike a good deal."

[...]

James Paul, executive director at the Global Policy Forum, the international government watchdog, said: "It is not an exaggeration to say that the overwhelming majority of the population would be opposed to this. To do it anyway, with minimal discussion within the [Iraqi] parliament is really just pouring more oil on the fire."

[...]

Now, unnoticed by most amid the furore over civil war in Iraq and the hanging of Saddam Hussein, the new oil law has quietly been going through several drafts, and is now on the point of being presented to the cabinet and then the parliament in Baghdad.

[...]

Critics fear that given Iraq's weak bargaining position, it could get locked in now to deals on bad terms for decades to come. "Iraq would end up with the worst possible outcome," said Greg Muttitt of Platform, a human rights and environmental group that monitors the oil industry. He said the new legislation was drafted with the assistance of BearingPoint, an American consultancy firm hired by the US government, which had a representative working in the American embassy in Baghdad for several months.

"Three outside groups have had far more opportunity to scrutinise this legislation than most Iraqis," said Mr Muttitt. "The draft went to the US government and major oil companies in July, and to the International Monetary Fund in September. Last month I met a group of 20 Iraqi MPs in Jordan, and I asked them how many had seen the legislation. Only one had."

[...]

The Independent on Sunday has obtained a copy of an early draft which was circulated to oil companies in July. It is understood there have been no significant changes made in the final draft.

[...]

James Paul of Global Policy Forum, another advocacy group, said: "The US and the UK have been pressing hard on this. It's pretty clear that this is one of their main goals in Iraq." The Iraqi authorities, he said, were "a government under occupation, and it is highly influenced by that. The US has a lot of leverage ... "

Read the articles from The Independent that I linked to above, and explain how the terms of this agreement, fashioned by the US and UK governments and the US and UK based oil companies, dictated to a weak government under US military occupation, are "good" for the people of Iraq.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 9, 2007 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

Since Klein/Time's moderated blog only appears to publish a tiny fraction of the comments it receives, I may as well share the one I sent them here; who knows if it will see the light of day there.

----

You ask:

Can you honestly say the following: Even though I disagree with this escalation, I am hoping that General Petraeus succeeds in calming down Baghdad.

The very fact that you can ask this question is proof that you don’t even begin to understand the way politics has changed in this country over the past generation.

You look at the millions of people who actively oppose this administration, and you see the Stalinists and Weather Underground and assorted fringe characters that arose in the insane collapse of the New Left from 1968 through the early 1970s. You see early-Reagan-era bumperstickers that say “It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.”

And that is all you see.

But the world has changed. The opposition to George W. Bush’s regime is broad, mainstream, utterly realistic, and based above all, in love of this country.

We are parents, businesspeople, and taxpayers, as well as students and others who will live with the wreckage Mr. Bush is leaving us. We do not want our country to fail: we want it to succeed. We do not want our troops to die for nothing: we want their lives to be respected, and when the time must come to sacrifice them, we want them to be given a clear mission and competent civilian leadership. We find it immoral to sacrifice their lives to the ego or, yes, self-delusion of either Presidents or pundits.

We do not see America as inherently immoral: rather, we see America at its best as indispensable (as Clinton once put it). And we consider it a global tragedy that George Bush has systematically weakened us and withdrawn us from the international community, where we could have played a powerfully positive role on all the issues that affect our future, from terrorism to global warming.

We are appalled by the Bush administration’s betrayal of the best of what our country stands for, both at home and abroad. We are not, by and large, pacifists: most of us agree that "hard power" must sometimes be used. As you well know, or ought to know, most of us supported the invasion of Afghanistan, notwithstanding our skepticism of the Bush administration’s competence and motives. But, unlike the Bush administration and their enablers, we also understand the importance of soft power and diplomacy. Equally important, we understand the lessons of history: that war, once unleashed, has a logic of its own that all too often swallows even the best-laid plans.

So, here is my challenge to you: which of our leaders and most prominent voices hate America?

When you were challenged about making that accusation over at the Washington Post, you backed off, and said that some of them “merely” use “hate-America” rhetoric. As if that were better. OK, then, which of our leaders and most prominent voices use “hate-America” rhetoric?

Howard Dean, who was savaged by the Joe Liebermans of the world for saying that the capture of Saddam Hussein made us no safer -- and proved to be right? MoveOn.org? Kos, who served in the U.S. military? Atrios? Jimmy Carter? Any Democratic Senator? With Cynthia McKinney defeated yet again, any Democratic House representative? Even Cindy Sheehan’s vitriolic comments -- which go far beyond where most of us are willing to go -- have been targeted very personally at the President responsible for her son’s death, not America. This is not 1970. Nobody is talking about living in the “Belly of the Beast,” or blowing up bombs on campus in U.S. military laboratories!

It is past time for you to go beyond the cocktail party wisdom you share with other Beltway insiders, and find out what really motivates those of us who have come to detest this President. No, Mr. Klein, we do not hate our country. We love the country we grew up in, and we want it back: strong, honorable, respected, safe, free, solvent, rational, and if at all possible, at peace.

And no, Mr. Klein, we are not unserious. And the fact that we have consistently been right when you and your “serious” pals have been wrong ought, somehow, to serve as evidence of that. If it doesn't, please tell me: what would?

A personal word to you, Mr. Klein. I have followed your work for decades; for many years, I enjoyed and respected it. But, as with many readers, I paid close attention during the episode where you denied authorship of your anonymous book, Primary Colors, after you had been identified in part by Donald Foster’s textual analysis. Your dishonest denial had implications. It put Foster’s academic reputation and career at risk: a man you didn’t know, and didn’t appear to care about. Later, you admitted you’d made a mistake. I could accept that: we are all human (though I was troubled by the casual way you seemed to slough off your behavior).

But for me, that episode was a signal that I needed to watch your work more closely for intellectual honesty and rigor. I’ve long since concluded that you don’t measure up. You no longer question your assumptions. You don’t do your homework. You are skating by on past glories and worn assumptions. This country desperately needs some new voices, and in my view you no longer earn the privileged platforms you receive.

Posted by: Bill Camarda on January 9, 2007 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

The one and only important factor is privatization.
Mossadech of Iran, a duly democratically elected head of state, was toppled by the Americans because he nationalized the Iranien OIL,(BP) Iran is in danger now because the OIL need to be privatized. We blessed Iran with the Shah and his Savak police units. Venezuela too is a problem because the OIL needs to be privatized, the question left is the Saudis the OIL CORPORATIONS will be after them later too.
Iraq is occupied and Maliki will do as he is told to do, so stop being so naive and stop talking BS like democracy, freedom, terms being set by the Iraqis, only idiots believe that.
Honest language is escalation, not surge. What does Bush have to hide.

Calibantwo, the OIL belongs to the Iraqis what should be done with it is none of our business, if they want it nationalized it is up to them.

Posted by: Renate on January 9, 2007 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Camarda wrote: "OK, then, which of our leaders and most prominent voices use "hate-America" rhetoric? [...] With Cynthia McKinney defeated yet again, any Democratic House representative?"

In keeping with your challenge to Joe Klein, please provide an example of Cynthia McKinney stating that she "hates America" or an example of her using "hate-America rhetoric".

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 9, 2007 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

That's not true, according to articles about the oil law published this week in the UK newspaper The Independent.

The decisions about the final terms will be made by the Iraqi congress. You want what, the decisions by the Baathist government to persist? It's not like those terms were decided without input from Total/Fina/Elf and the French government.

Obviously, the elected representatives of the Iraqis do not have as much experience as the elected representatives of Texas and Louisiana, but it's still better for the elected representatives to be involved than for a single dictator to decide everything. There wasn't anything especially legal about his ascent to power or his remaining in power. He used Iraqi oil wealth to enrich himself and his family and keep them in power. This is definitely an improvement, even though it comes short of perfection.

Bill Camarda: But the world has changed. The opposition to George W. Bush’s regime is broad, mainstream, utterly realistic, and based above all, in love of this country. Well said, and that was a nice post, the best of the posts that was on-topic, IMO. I believe that it is a mistake to be beyond hope that the U.S. might prevail in Iraq, but I don't think people who are beyond hope (perhaps KD and the majority of writers above) literally want the enemies of the U.S. to prevail.

To relate the two sections of this note: if the Democrats seriously push for the U.S. to withdraw from Iraq (which might be the dominant opinion in the U.S.), then the U.S. has no "pressure" to apply to Maliki to get favorable contracts for American oil companies. If the Democrats seriously push for the U.S. to withdraw from Iraq, all Iraqis associated with Americans will be basically dead meat.

Posted by: calibantwo on January 9, 2007 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Secular Animist: You're right. I had no business making the claim without a source, and I cannot find one. I try to be more careful than that. My memory has obviously misled me.

Posted by: Bill Camarda on January 9, 2007 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

A large part of this doesn't make sense anyway because the Bush Administration is saying the Shiite citizen militias are more dangerous than the Sunni insurgents, so classic counter-insurgency tactics against citizen militias defending themselves from domestic insurgents, as well as taking revenge for past sectarian brutalities, wouldn't seem to fit neatly into any counterinsurgency doctrines, especially since these militias are reportedly quite popular and enjoy the support of their communities. Sure, we could do "scorched earth" campaigns, but what would be left, and who would actually be supporting what we do?

Posted by: Jimm on January 10, 2007 at 3:59 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal just used a quote from Osama bin Laden to bolster his case. That has to sting - someone get the Bactine.

Posted by: Oh the Stupidity on January 10, 2007 at 4:25 AM | PERMALINK

"the world sees America fighting al Qaeda and other terrorists. The world sees democracy opposing tyranny."

If by "the world" you mean the Right Wing nut cases of Merika.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 10, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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