Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 10, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

MORE SURGE....So what's the president's plan for the "surge"? Here's Newsweek on the "real plan":

The White House expects all the new troops to be deployed in Iraq. But they won't go until the Iraqis have met several conditions -- or benchmarks -- to get the extra help they say they need....The White House expects that could take as long as six months, making the ramp-up of troops more of a stagger than a surge.

Really? Benchmarks first, then troops? Here's the LA Times:

Interviewed this morning on CBS' "The Early Show," [Dan] Bartlett said Bush would emphasize that "America's commitment is not open-ended, that benchmarks have to be met ... both on the security side but, just as importantly, on the political side and the economic side.

....The Associated Press reported today that Bush plans to commit 17,500 U.S. troops to Baghdad, with the first of five brigades arriving by Monday. The next wave would land by Feb. 15 and the rest would be sent incrementally every 30 days.

Hmmm. Sounds like the same old schtick after all: troops first, and then benchmarks. And we really, really mean it this time. If the benchmarks aren't met, we'll....um....we'll....set some new benchmarks! That'll show 'em we mean business.

Wake me up when the speech is over, OK?

Kevin Drum 2:32 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (136)

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Comments

Is it just me or does it seem that all the leaks in the surge plan have been used to best tweak it for marketing purposes? "Oh no, this plan is sinking like a rock. I know! Let's add timetab.. I mean benchmarks!"

Posted by: Gex on January 10, 2007 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

"You see, we piddle, twiddle, and resolve
Not one damn thing do we solve
Piddle, twiddle, and resolve
Nothing's ever solved in
Foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy
[Washington DC]"

-from the musical 1776 (with apolgies)

Posted by: Keith G on January 10, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

right, if those ungrateful iraqis don't meet our banchmarks, we won't surge, we'll just stay the course. genius!

Posted by: duh al on January 10, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Wake me up when the speech is over, OK?

Great Kevin. I guess I shouldn't be suprised you'll just ignore the speech. Since you've already made up your mind about opposing the surge, of course that's what you would do. But have you ever thought about the consequences of not having the surge? What are your plans to promote greater stability and democracy in Iraq? I haven't heard any and I don't expect any because you would rather have America lose in Iraq than have Bush achieve victory in Iraq.

And have you thought about the consequences of losing in Iraq? A loss would just rally more Americans to support American isolationism. It will cause the terrorists to think they have defeated America and cause them them to think they can defeat us in the War on Terrorism. What about those consequences? We can't just ignore them but you have.

It is because of liberals who are so completely certain we must cut and run from Iraq that would be causing our defeat. Liberals attacked conservatives for their certainty in supporting the liberation of Iraq, but they aren't willing to question their own certainty in their desire to withdraw from Iraq. What hypocrites.

Posted by: Da Al on January 10, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

hey, i'm not that stupid!

Posted by: da al on January 10, 2007 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

I've just read the catchphrase will be "we have to go up before we go down".

We simply can never forget Jeff Gannon.

Posted by: cld on January 10, 2007 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Wake me up when the impeachments over.

Posted by: repug on January 10, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

I have been wondering about what we intend to accomplish with the proposed surge. Could somebody articulate what the President intends to accomplish by increasing troop levels? Is it intended to actually defeat somebody? If so, who?

As near as I can tell the surge is just a lot of additional sound and fury signifying nothing.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 10, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Dan Bartlett also said that Bush would acknowledge making mistakes.

Unfortunately, his solution is to make more mistakes.

Posted by: Grumpy on January 10, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

As near as I can tell the surge is just a lot of additional sound and fury signifying nothing.

or a lot like a George W press conference.

Posted by: ckelly on January 10, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone in the press addressed the reality that some troops will be pulled out of Afghanistan and sent to Iraq? There is evidence that Afghanistan is at a "tipping" point, and pulling troops now would undermine what has been accomplished so far. It's ironic that Americans support the war on Afghanistan, but not the war in Iraq, yet the WH feels we should pull troops out of Afghanistan and send them into Iraq. I guess Afghanistan doesn't have any oil.

Posted by: ExBrit on January 10, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers: I have been wondering about what we intend to accomplish with the proposed surge. Could somebody articulate what the President intends to accomplish by increasing troop levels? Is it intended to actually defeat somebody? If so, who?

In the short run, the coming surge seems to be already provoking anti-insurgent activity:

1,000 troops strike heart of Baghdad
American and Iraqi forces battle gunmen in a daylong fight.

BAGHDAD — In fierce, daylong fighting Tuesday, 1,000 American and Iraqi troops assisted by U.S. attack helicopters and warplanes battled gunmen in a Sunni Arab neighborhood of downtown Baghdad, killing at least 51 suspected militants, Iraqi officials said. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iraq10jan10,0,7908290.story?coll=la-home-headlines

I would think the higher level of fighting by US and Iraqi troops will continue for a while, as the surge helps keep the pressure on them to be active. After that, maybe Bush can come up with another gimmick to encourage the good guys.

I don't think Bush will throw in the towel in Iraq, but I think the next President will. So, the Iraqis have less than 2 years to demonstrate that their government can survive. The odds are against them IMHO.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 10, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

It appears the Bush Administration, as usual, will do what it wants to do but do it behind a wall of smoke and mirrors.

In any case,from this point on the blood is on the hands of the Bush Administration, the blood is on the hands of the Republican Party and the blood is on the hands of John McCain.

Posted by: rusty on January 10, 2007 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Wake me up when the impeachment starts.

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on January 10, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

It appears the Newsweek reporting duo simply copied a White House publicity report. Shades of the Washington Times! Shades of Fox News!

Posted by: jess on January 10, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

When the Iraqis stand up, we'll stand up.

Posted by: charlie don't surf on January 10, 2007 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

ExBrit: There is evidence that Afghanistan is at a "tipping" point

If the anti-war people who make this argument really cared about Afghanistan, and if they really believed it to be at a tipping point, then they would have been demanding that more US and NATO troops be sent to Afghanistan long before the Iraq surge was conceived.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 10, 2007 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

i gotta congratulate Da Al at 2:53 for a perfect synopsis of the crap we're going to hear from the right-wing for the next forever.

and i gotta congratulate ex-liberal at 3:08 for the best combination of honesty ("gimmick") and fantasy (the notion that we are on the side of "good guys") we are likely to read today!

meanwhile, of course, kevin is quite right: the fantasist-in-chief will read a speech full of crap tonight and there is no point in paying any real-time attention to it, any more than there was a point in paying attention to the batch of speeches in 2005 about the strategy for victory, or the speech in 2003 about the mission being accomplished and the battle of iraq being won, or indeed, anything the shallow little prick in the white house has to say about iraq.

Posted by: howard on January 10, 2007 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal, being a moron, doesn't seem to realize that many liberals HAVE been saying for a very long time - going back to Tora Bora, you frickin' nitwit - that iraq was robbing afghanistan of resources and that the job was undone in afghanistan.

that's the nice thing about being a moron, of course: no one expects you to know anything.

Posted by: howard on January 10, 2007 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK
And have you thought about the consequences of losing in Iraq? A loss would just rally more Americans to support American isolationism. It will cause the terrorists to think they have defeated America and cause them them to think they can defeat us in the War on Terrorism. What about those consequences? We can't just ignore them but you have.

Da:

I really don't know if your posts are sincere or if you are just a blogging performance artist.

Americans will never/can never return to isolationism as your dear Repugs advocated in the 1930-1940s. That ship has sailed, dude.

Ya know, we really can't control what terra-ists think. We can, however, assure them and their enablers what we will do given certain behaviors on their part.

As Monday's successful attack in Somalia demonstrates, we do not have to have our boys walking point in order to take out bad guys.

If we carefully and successfully husband our vast amount of technical and military resources, no sane person can feel that they can defeat us in any way.

Only by wantonly wasting our mlitary's blood, material and the good will of others will we even come close to giving terrorist an advantage.

Posted by: Keith G on January 10, 2007 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal" wrote: In the short run, the coming surge seems to be already provoking anti-insurgent activity

Or provoking insurgent activity...

I would think the higher level of fighting by US and Iraqi troops will continue for a while, as the surge helps keep the pressure on them to be active.

Meanwhile, as it has done before during previous "surges," the insurgency can be active at times and places of its choosing, and melt away otherwise, to strike in areas where troops are spread thin (in this case, the rest of Iraq. That's what insurgencies do, you mendacious idiot.

I don't think Bush will throw in the towel in Iraq, but I think the next President will.

No duh -- it's already been remarked, by me among others, that the obvious intention of this "surge" is to punt Bush's mess in Iraq into the lap of his successor.

Seriously, "ex-liberal," you discredit yourself and your neocon agenda with each post. No one regards you as an honest commentator or as an object of anything other than well-earned derision, of that your "IMHO" is worht even a s much as a bucket of piss. Why do you bother?

Posted by: Gregory on January 10, 2007 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, sure, and we'll have all sorts of "battle reports," reported second and third hand, of course, by the media, in which great numbers of insurgents are reported killed, etc., etc., etc. That's already started.

Afghanisatan is a good recent example of the technique. When the U.S., Britain and NATO recently escalated the number of troops there, all manner of reports were published by a media unable to check them out that told of countless Taliban casualties. Yet today the Taliban rules with U.S. and European troops hunkered down and virtually unable to move. And even the puppet government says the situation is worsening by the day. So much for escalation. So much for faked enemy casualty reports.

Posted by: bill r on January 10, 2007 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Also, I can only echo howard's retort to one of "ex-liberal"'s lamer efforts at bullshit.

I'll add, though, that if warfloggers like "ex-liberal" really believed that Iraq was as important as they claim, and really believed the so-called "War on Terror" writ large was an existential struggle with "Islamofascism", they'd enlist.

That "ex-liberal" and his/her/its neocon ilk haven't doesn't make them cowards -- though they are. It means they don't really believe what they say. It makes them liars.

Of course, with "ex-liberal," we knew that, starting with his/her/its phony handle.

Posted by: Gregory on January 10, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Did anyone hear the Terri Gross interview of the wordsmith yesterday. Even though he is a Republican (and fluent in doublespeak), he blasted Bush for having no sensitivity to phraseology. He says "Surge" is the worst choice of words, and that it will backfire.

Posted by: absent observer on January 10, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

howard: ex-liberal, being a moron, doesn't seem to realize that many liberals HAVE been saying for a very long time - going back to Tora Bora, you frickin' nitwit - that iraq was robbing afghanistan of resources and that the job was undone in afghanistan.

Thanks for illustrating my point, howard. In your version, as in mine, liberals' only intertest in Afghanistan troop level is as an excuse to pull troops out of Iraq.

If libs really cared about Afghanistan troop level, they'd be demanding more troops there regardless of Iraq. E.g., more troops could be added to Afghanistan by our NATO allies, but you never see liberals demanding that our NATO allies send more troops there.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 10, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-fg-teams10jan10,0,7086265.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Keith G., you are not the first to observe that complaints about the conduct of war originated in the Revolutionary War, and that the truth of such complaints is not incompatible with winning.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 10, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal," you discredit yourself and your neocon agenda with each post. So never die and never stop typing you magnificent bastard.

There Gregory. I fixed it for you.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 10, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

It's not a surge, it's a sludge — or maybe a slurge!

Posted by: Kenji on January 10, 2007 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

It's a Slurm! Highly addictive!

Posted by: norbizness on January 10, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for illustrating my point, howard. In your version, as in mine, liberals' only intertest in Afghanistan troop level is as an excuse to pull troops out of Iraq.

That, "ex-liberal," is one of the more dishonest statements you've made on this blog, and that's a bold statement.

you never see liberals demanding that our NATO allies send more troops there

Rip that one up, "ex-liberal." That dog just won't hunt.

Posted by: Gregory on January 10, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

the truth of such complaints is not incompatible with winning

Unfortunately, the truth of Bush's incompetent conduct of the Iraqi debacle is all too incompatible with winning.

Posted by: Gregory on January 10, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

First off, if your living in Baghdad, GET OUT!!!! The surge will cause a major refugee problem, no doubt. Baghdad will become a total war zone, a Fallujah. Secondly, I assume the point of 21k more troops is to take and hold Baghdad to give the Iraq govt a chance to get on its feet. But lets say that happens, the sunnis will simply blend back into the citizenry and move to another city. Then we'll ruch over there and Baghdad will turn hot again. OTOH, what the hell else are we going to do to keep Iraq from becoming Iran West?

Posted by: the fake fake al on January 10, 2007 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Kenji on January 10, 2007 at 3:32 PM:

It's not a surge, it's a sludge — or maybe a slurge!

Missing the obvious...it's a splurge...Dubya going on another spending spree...'tho sludge isn't bad.

Posted by: grape_crush on January 10, 2007 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Slurm, highly addictive,

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

Posted by: cld on January 10, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Howard---disagree tonight's speech is must see TV. Like my psych residenacy, watching a real narsassist on the biggest stage there is. All psych students are ordered to watch the bush speech and take notes on what you see.

Posted by: the fake fake al on January 10, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Ha!

Slurm bears a striking resemblance to Surge, the now discontinued soft drink made by Coca-Cola. Both Slurm and Surge are green in color and have similar logos.


Surge at Wikipedia,

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

Posted by: cld on January 10, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

liberals' only intertest in Afghanistan troop level is as an excuse to pull troops out of Iraq.

Filthy fucking lie.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 10, 2007 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK
If the anti-war people who make this argument really cared about Afghanistan, and if they really believed it to be at a tipping point, then they would have been demanding that more US and NATO troops be sent to Afghanistan long before the Iraq surge was conceived.

Many have been doing that since before the 2003 "Iraq surge" began, which is considerably before the 2007 "surge" was conceived. A main criticism of the Iraq war since it began to be publicly discussed has always been that it compromised the ability of the United States to finish the job in Afghanistan.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 10, 2007 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal--
If ex-liberals gave a shit about Afghanistan or US troops, they would have been screaming with us lefties when the drums of war began against Iraq in the first place. But, hey, it was going to be a cakewalk, Iraq was going to be an Israeli ally, and Iraqi oil was going to pay for the whole boondoggle anyway, right? It's nitwits like yourself who have enable the pResident to continue this mess.

Posted by: BiggerBill on January 10, 2007 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Symbolic Votes?

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/10/washington/10capitol.html?ei=5065&en=43a3f1448e55872c&ex=1169096400&partner=MYWAY&pagewanted=print

Don't the Democrats realize that they now have the power to force their policy on the President? I think that the Democrats have two problems: (1) they don't agree what policy they want to force on him; (2) they are afraid they might be wrong. So they want to vote for ambiguous/non-binding language that will be useful when they campaign in 2008 whether they are right or wrong.

This reminds me. Sen. Kennedy has introduced a bill calling for a policy that he wants implemented, not just a symbolic bill. He has consistently opposed the war (well, almost consistently, I think he voted for the 2003 resolution in support of the invasion.) He at least knows what he wants and is trying to get it. Didn't Sen. Kerry call for an increase in the size of the military during the 2004 election, the purpose being to reduce the combat tours of those sent to Iraq, especially the National Guard? That is the way I remember it. Now that the Democrats have the majority, this is a perfect time for him to introduce a bill calling for the policy that he called for in a speech.

The Democrat-led hearings into the conduct of the war are likely to be interesting and illuminating (as well as good political drama.) Until the Democrats can rally behind a policy that they are willing to force upon Pres. Bush, I'd be happer if they would admit that they can't agree.

Lastly, Rep. Murtha famously voted against a bill requiring withdrawal even though the language was taken from one of his speeches. Now that the Democrats are in the majority, he can introduce one that has exactly the language he prefers. He should do so. As long as the Democrats continue to write letters and speeches instead of writing laws, they are just play-acting. I accept that it isn't easy to assume the mantle of power in a big hurry, but too many of them continue to act as though they have nothing better to do than entreat the president.

As a swing voter and ticket-splitter, I like to see both parties strong (articulate, honest, hard-working, etc.) With the Democrats in the majority, I'd like to see them use their power effectively.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 10, 2007 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal on January 10, 2007 at 3:31 PM:

...but you never see liberals demanding that our NATO allies send more troops there.

No, you never see liberals demanding that our NATO allies send more troops there. Absence of evidence on your part is not evidence of absence.

John Kerry:

John Kerry responded to NATO’s refusal to send more troops to Afghanistan saying that despite tough rhetoric, the Bush Administration has failed to lead to prevent disaster:
“NATO’s refusal today to listen to the commanders on the ground and send more troops to Afghanistan is a terrible setback for America’s security. Secretary Rice yesterday said we’ll “pay for it” if Afghanistan again devolves into a terrorist stronghold. But this Administration is failing to heed its own warnings.
Where NATO allies have pledged troops and assistance to Afghanistan, they must follow through. The United States must lead by example by sending at least five thousand additional American troops — including more elite Special Forces troops; more civil affairs forces; and more experienced intelligence units – to Afghanistan immediately.
The Taliban and al Qaeda know we are bogged down in Iraq. We must not allow that disastrous policy to be the excuse for allowing Afghanistan to descend into chaos.”

And Kerry again:

Right now everyone’s treating Afghanistan like a sideshow. The numbers tell the story. Seven times more troops in Iraq – which even the Administration now admits had nothing to do with 9/11 – than in Afghanistan, where the killers still roam free. You could get whiplash watching the Administration policy change from day to day. On Sunday, asked which of the 26 countries in the alliance were dragging their feet in Afghanistan, NATO’s top commander General James Jones, a four-star general and former commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, replied, “All of them.” Tuesday, Secretary Rice said we’ll “pay for it” if Afghanistan again devolves into a terrorist stronghold. But just yesterday the Administration refused to heed its own warnings and refused to send the troops the commanders on the ground said we needed. Tragedy, scandal — and today? Silence. Talk about cut and run. You need to raise some hell about this.

Now, some would argue that Kerry isn't a liberal, but that wouldn't be you, ex-lib.

Posted by: grape_crush on January 10, 2007 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

The only real "benchmark" that President Cheney is concerned about is that the Iraqi government pass the oil law written by the Bush administration and its cronies and financial backers in the oil companies, which will let US oil companies take over Iraq's oil industry and take 75% of the profits therefrom.

Everything that the Bush administration has been doing, is doing, and will do in Iraq is aimed at achieving this goal.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 10, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

How many times have we seen this movie? Funny thing is, this will work with a chunk of the electorate, Bush will seem to be on top of the situation and firm about conditions being met. When the speech is over the nation will still not have a clue as to when troops are coming home.

Posted by: greg wirth on January 10, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

you never see liberals demanding that our NATO allies send more troops there

Are there liberals demanding that NATO send more troops to Afghanistan?

The comment is of course irrelevant to the liberal critique that the Iraq War undermines our chances of success in Afghanistan, but the few liberals I know who opposed the Iraq invasion had in fact previously opposed the invasion of Afghanistan, and do in fact think it would be unfortunate if NATO prevailed. This is perhaps about 5 people that I know, and a tiny fraction (on the order of the membership in A.N.S.W.E.R.) of the U.S. polity. Of the liberals I know who opposed the Iraq invasion, no one gave as a reason for opposition that it would reduce our success in Afghanistan. Also, of the Senators who spoke in opposition to the invasion of Iraq, I didn't hear one who gave that reason, but I didn't read every speech. More common, IIRC, were liberals like Kerry who advocated rapid transfer of soldiers from Afghanistan to Iraq. Again, that's just a handful, but still more than the liberal senators who opposed (in advance) the Iraq war because it would reduce the chance of success in Afghanistan.

Some of the other liberal web sites that I read (truthout, commondreams) also opposed both the Afghanistan invasion and the Iraq invasion, though not unanimously so.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 10, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Senator Obama wisely wrote that Democrats need to expand their focus, that withdrawing from Iraq is the right thing to do, but that alone will not win the War on Terror.

We must withdraw from Iraq, but as we do, we must send more troops to Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban. If the Democrats tie troop withdraw in Iraq to an increase of troops in Afghanistan in the form of a great Strategic Reallignment, they not only will avoid being painted as weak by the Bush Administration, they will also be doing the right thing, securing the Republic, and possibly preventing another terrorist attack.

Posted by: brian on January 10, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Would grape_crush and Secular Animist please email me? I have something important to ask you both, off thread.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 10, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

the few liberals I know who opposed the Iraq invasion had in fact previously opposed the invasion of Afghanistan

of the many liberals i know, 95% opposed iraq; 5% opposed afghanistan. but that's in new york, where no one knows anything about terrorism.

Posted by: benjoya on January 10, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Benchmarks: we'll help you only if you help yourselvesd. So beat yourself up and then if you do it properly, we'll help beat you up as well.

Posted by: Zetetes on January 10, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

the truth of such complaints is not incompatible with winning.

But what is winning?

Quo Vadum?

Posted by: Keith G on January 10, 2007 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

If the Democrats tie troop withdraw in Iraq to an increase of troops in Afghanistan in the form of a great Strategic Reallignment, they not only will avoid being painted as weak by the Bush Administration, they will also be doing the right thing, securing the Republic, and possibly preventing another terrorist attack.

very well put. good on substance, good on politics. somebody hire this guy!

Posted by: benjoya on January 10, 2007 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Do liberals support the American attacks on al Qaeda/Islamic Courts in Somalia?

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/theworld/2007/January/theworld_January249.xml§ion=theworld&col=

A short while ago, the al Qaeda/ICU forces looked set to overrun all of Somalia, but now they are confined to a narrow strip near the border with Kenya.


benjoya: of the many liberals i know, 95% opposed iraq; 5% opposed afghanistan. I think that 5% of liberals is larger than the membership of A.N.S.W.E.R., but about the "same order of magnitude", as they say.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 10, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

maybe not:

http://www.progressive.org/node/4402

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 10, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

If the Democrats tie troop withdraw in Iraq to an increase of troops in Afghanistan in the form of a great Strategic Reallignment, they not only will avoid being painted as weak by the Bush Administration, they will also be doing the right thing, securing the Republic, and possibly preventing another terrorist attack.,

very well put. good on substance, good on politics. somebody hire this guy!

That's what Claire McCaskill said in the campaign, so we sent her to the Senate.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 10, 2007 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

I wrote: "In the short run, the coming surge seems to be already provoking anti-insurgent activity..."

Gregory added: "Or provoking insurgent activity..."

Gregory's comment illustrates a difference in world view. I believe that terrorists are discouraged when our military aggressively oppose them. I think they're encouraged when they're free to do what they want without penalty or cost. Gregory apparently believes that our opposition encourages the insurgents.

Similarly, I think the use of US military against the KKK discouraged them and discouraged the practice of Jim Crow. Gregory's POV suggests that we should have left the KKK alone, because the use of US troops just provoked them all the more.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 10, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

It's not slurm, slurge, or splurge. It's a stragedy.

Posted by: Gex on January 10, 2007 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory's comment illustrates a difference in world view.

Sure. You're a dishonest neocon toad, and I'm not.

You also seem particularly enamored of straw man arguments today. Whatsamatter, lying by omission not doing it for you any more?

Posted by: Gregory on January 10, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: I would think the higher level of fighting by US and Iraqi troops will continue for a while, as the surge helps keep the pressure on them to be active. After that, maybe Bush can come up with another gimmick to encourage the good guys.

So, basically, our current crop of troops in Iraq, according to ex-liberal, are lazy, good-for-nothings who need a promised surge in troops to spur them into actively fighting the insurgents.

Nice.

Posted by: Google_This on January 10, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

SA:

The only real "benchmark" that President Cheney is concerned about is that the Iraqi government pass the oil law written by the Bush administration and its cronies and financial backers in the oil companies, which will let US oil companies take over Iraq's oil industry and take 75% of the profits therefrom.

We already passed that benchmark. Our old buddy Paul Bremer saw to that. The CPA's Orders, which laid the foundation for the neocon free market Utopia that Iraq was supposed to be, are in effect in perpetuity. They even supercede the nation's constitution.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalition_Provisional_Authority#Privatization_of_Iraq.27s_economy

Posted by: Andrew Wyatt on January 10, 2007 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal, cmdicely and gregory (hey, gregory, happy new year!) already dealt with your canard about afghanistan, but just for the record: complaining about lack of US troops being committed to Tora Bora predates the war in iraq.

meanwhile, your analogy at 4:36, last paragraph, fully confirms my earlier comment: the nice thing about being a moron is that nobody expects you to know anything. what an amazingly dumb remark. (your broader suite of remarks is also deranged, of course: you're living in the world of 2003. the problem in iraq today is not an "insurgency," it's a civil war.)

matthew, you need to get out more....

Posted by: howard on January 10, 2007 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

Do liberals support the American attacks on al Qaeda/Islamic Courts in Somalia?

Do liberals support the unprovoked American attacks against the MSM propaganda myth of al Qaeda/Islamic Courts in Somalia?

No.

The Islamists in Somalia are the only political faction capable of bringing stability to the region and ending the tyranny of the war lords. Like the Afghanis, Somalis are very tired of having their male children kidnapped and female children raped and paying tribute to war lords. Many Americans, fearful of religious authority not derived from Hagee's God, support the shooting of dark skinned peoples from aeroplanes, though.

Posted by: Brojo on January 10, 2007 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: If the anti-war people who make this argument really cared about Afghanistan, and if they really believed it to be at a tipping point, then they would have been demanding that more US and NATO troops be sent to Afghanistan long before the Iraq surge was conceived.

They did, in effect.

Liberals have long protested Bush's diversion of troops from Afghanistan to Iraq or to Iraq rather than Afghanistan.

Your mendacity count continues to climb.

How . . . well . . . expected.


Posted by: Google_This on January 10, 2007 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

blah,blah,blah...IIRC, blah, blah, blah...

You don't Marler. Though you're doing a dandy job of revisionism.

Posted by: ckelly on January 10, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal on January 10, 2007 at 4:36 PM:

I believe that terrorists are discouraged when our military aggressively oppose them.

Yup, levelling Fallujah in 2004 really discouraged the terrorists, insurgents, and militias from committing acts of violence since then.

That's sarcasm, in case you missed it, ex-lib...

Posted by: grape_crush on January 10, 2007 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

The only responsible position is impeachment.

Anybody advocating anything else is a dimwit.

IMPEACH.
NOW.


Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on January 10, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

The escalation appears to be a Republican "peace with honor" gambit to (1) finesse a combat troop withdrawal from Iraq fairly quickly so as to minimize Iraq as a political issue heading into the 2008 campaign, (2) build and arm a Shia force that can hold off the Sunnis and avoid a full-scale civil war and inevitable wider Middle East conflict at least until after the balloting, and (3) consequently elect John McCain as president along with a Republican Congress.

Posted by: art on January 10, 2007 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Do liberals support the American attacks on al Qaeda/Islamic Courts in Somalia?

As usual I don't think we know who the hell we're attacking in Somalia or what we are doing.
Though I'm certain we nailed another Al Qaeda #3 Boogeyman and blowed up some stuff real good.

Posted by: ckelly on January 10, 2007 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Did anyone hear the Terri Gross interview of the wordsmith yesterday?

Yes I did. Luntz said "surge" was a bad term because it suggested "more of the same."

I guess as in, "the crowd surged forward" meaning that the nature of the crowd and its behavior didn't change. It just made a moderate change in position.

So perhaps Bush has inadvertently selected the most accurate term for his "stay the course about 13% harder until the army breaks."

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

The Bush plan seems pretty clear now:

More troops.

More body bags.

A greater tolerance for civilian casualties.

Attempt to secure very small and isolated portions of Iraq so he can say he accomplished something.

Leave the whole matter for the next president to clean up.

In other words, Bush took a big dump in the Middle East and has left a big smelly mess for which he, like an infant, takes no responsibility.

Posted by: Google_This on January 10, 2007 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

It's not a surge, it's a sludge — or maybe a slurge!
Missing the obvious...it's a splurge.

I thought he was saying "spooge".
Just W getting off on his War.

Posted by: ckelly on January 10, 2007 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK
Gregory's comment illustrates a difference in world view.

Yes, you believe that people don't get pissed off and resort to violence against foreign powers that who invade their country and then kill their relatives and friends in indiscriminant attacks against a perceived enemy threat, while Gregory recognizes that they do.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 10, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Watch George and Dick insurge together in a foreign land.


How dare those insurgents insurge when we don't want them to? We, as Republicans, meaning I, W, can insurge all over them in a way they cannot know, more surgently and needfully than anyone. Everyone.

Surge upon and over them until they surrender to our surging.

Let the eagle surge.

Posted by: cld on January 10, 2007 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

That's 'watch george and dick surge together. . .'

Posted by: cld on January 10, 2007 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

VICE-PRINCIPAL: "I'd like to say good-bye to those who are going off to college,or to fight in Gulf War V:"Operation: Find Our President's Head."

STUDENTS: "U-S-A! Find the head! U-S-A! Find the head!"

Posted by: Armin Tanzarian on January 10, 2007 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

I greatly admire the extreme selflessness of the Bush administration and its supporters. Who else would be willing to sacrifices so many of our young and women to bring freedom and democracy to the people of Iraq? Not Dems, for sure.

Posted by: gregor on January 10, 2007 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

It is a blind and mindless wormlike male on a mission against all odds. It is a sperm.

Posted by: olds88 on January 10, 2007 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: I believe that terrorists are discouraged when our military aggressively oppose them.

Like children believe in Santa Claus . . .

Let's see, violence is up in Iraq, despite 4 years of aggressive military activities and agressive posturing by the Bush administration.

Yep, that plan seems to be working out just fine.

Posted by: Google_This on January 10, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Art, for a cogent analysis of the situation.

Posted by: Walter Thompson on January 10, 2007 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

Never-was-liberal: "Similarly, I think the use of US military against the KKK discouraged them and discouraged the practice of Jim Crow. Gregory's POV suggests that we should have left the KKK alone, because the use of US troops just provoked them all the more."

Sweet Jeebus. The KKK and Iraqi insurgents? Have you ever met a false equivalent that you didn't like?

Would you use water to put out an electrical fire? Why not? I mean, water works real well on on my charcoal grill, which "suggests" that it would perform just as well if the local Com Ed station was on fire.

Posted by: Clap_Louder on January 10, 2007 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Al's phrasing in his post made at 2:53 p.m. provides an interesting window into the mind of the modern American conservative. Notice how he characterizes a withdrawal from Iraq as an "American loss", but the success of the surge would be a "victory for Bush", not a victory for America. In other words, any bad outcome is everyone's responsibility, but a good outcome only accrues to the benefit of one man - George W. Bush. We have seen the same thing with the American economy. When things were going badly from 2001 through 2003, conservatives pointed to a million things - 9-11, cyclicality, Bill Clinton, sunspots, etc. Then, when the economy starts to pick up in 2004-06, it's all thanks to George W. Bush and his miraculous tax cuts.

Therein lies the difference between liberals and conservatives in America. Liberals believe that we are all in this together - for good or bad. Conservatives only want to share the pain and keep the gain all to themselves.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 10, 2007 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: Yes, you believe that people don't get pissed off and resort to violence against foreign powers that who invade their country and then kill their relatives and friends in indiscriminant attacks against a perceived enemy threat, while Gregory recognizes that they do.

Let's not forget those pissed off because they or their relatives were innocent of any crime or terrorist activity or support, but nevertheless were imprisoned for months or years without charges or access to a lawyer, with some also tortured, merely because an enemy or a neighbor attempting to ingratiate themselves with the Americans falsely accused the person or because the Americans indiscriminately swept up everybody in a neighborhood even after it was obvious the original, single attacker had fled.

Posted by: Google_This on January 10, 2007 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

grape_crush - Using sarcasm as a substitute for logic can be a way to prop up a weak argument (although I must admit that sarcasm is a winner at a site like this.) Yes, defeating the insurgents at Fallujah didn't end the insurgency. It's worse now than it was then. Has the insurgency grown because of Fallujah or because the insurgents didn't suffer a sufficient number of similar defeats? I would say it's the latter.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 10, 2007 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

The cable news channels today are full of reports on the escalation that envision U.S. troops posted "on every street corner" in the places in Baghdad "where the bad guys are."

How does that work?

How many street corners is that?

One, two or three men per corner?

One, two or three shifts?

Wouldn't this make those posted easy targets for snipers and the like?

Etc.

Of course, such questions never occur to the Tucker Carlsons and the blonde floozies who play the part of news anchors these days.

Posted by: Bill on January 10, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "Wake me up when the speech is over, OK?"

From Robert Scheer:

"All the world is really watching," proclaimed Bush press secretary Tony Snow, "and it’s important to get this right." Toward that end, as The New York Times reported, "The president’s aides were contemplating having Mr. Bush deliver it from the White House Map Room, a site replete with the history and imagery of World War II -— imagery that Mr. Bush has invoked as he has sought to compare the campaign against terrorism to the struggle against totalitarianism and the Nazis. But the Oval Office, a more traditional setting, was also being considered."

In other words, it is going to be even more nausea inducing phoniness than the typical Bush speech.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 10, 2007 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

Jane Smiley knocks out We Have to Go Up Before We Go Down,

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-smiley/we-have-to-go-up-before-_b_38298.html


Of course, the eye travels first to "go down". We will go down, and he knows it. The going down is inevitable. Of course, the first idea that leaps to mind is "go down in flames." Yes. He knows that, too. But for George W. Bush, it's better that more American soldiers (not to mention Iraqis) go down in flames (and explosions and gunfire and rocket attacks) than that he follow any of the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group (also in the article, the following quote, "Some staff members on the National Security Council became enamored of the idea of sending more troops to Iraq in part because it was not a key feature of Baker-Hamilton.") The knowledge that Bush will do anything rather than appear to accept advice is right there in the "have to". Can you imagine what it's like to be this man, someone so rigid and fragile that there are no choices? That as soon as someone else makes a suggestion, no matter how reasonable it is, that idea is off the table? One's life would constantly be narrowing to to a very small set of possibilities, or even just one possibility--if Bush doesn't seem to himself to have originated an idea, then he can't act on that idea, and the less successful his own ideas are, the more he is wedded to them. This is a recipe for disaster, and in fact it has created one disaster after another, and not only in Iraq. He is wedded to the idea that he owes no consideration to the rights of anyone in the US other than himself, and that is a constitutional disaster right there (in my opinion, a bigger disaster even than Iraq).

More than enough to get me to read one of her books.

Posted by: cld on January 10, 2007 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

Several years ago my wife purchased a serger. I was quite surprised to learn she also needed a sewing machine. I suspect W. Bush's surge will have a similar costly surprise for the American people.

Posted by: Brojo on January 10, 2007 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal, your work here is done: you've now called for "logic," a quality notably lacking anything you post, so i'll trust, by your own "logic," that you will now STFU.

Posted by: howard on January 10, 2007 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: I would say it's the latter.

Of course you would.

Otherwise, you'd have to admit that the Bush administration's previous and future plans aren't worth the sh*t coming out of the back end of a camel.

For conservatives, it's always the excuse that we just didn't kill enough people.

That was the excuse in Vietnam.

It is the excuse now.

And no matter that most of the deaths that conservatives demand in sacrifice to their arrogance and self-centeredness are innocents.

Posted by: Google_This on January 10, 2007 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: Using sarcasm as a substitute for logic can be a way to prop up a weak argument.

On the other hand, using disinformation, misinformation, outright lies, false logic, facts not in evidence, outrageous presumptions and assumptions, unprovable predictions, faith, etc., as a substitute for logic is the way conservatives prop up their arguments.

Posted by: Google_This on January 10, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

We just didn't kill enough people.

We never can kill enough people to satisfy corporate American authority or Moloch.

Posted by: Brojo on January 10, 2007 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Wake me up when the impeachments over.

In your f-ing dreams, jackass.

You'll be as ineffective at that as you guys are at everything else.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on January 10, 2007 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

What is the word for this, is it poignant, or tragic, or ironic, or is he kidding?

Josh Marshall gets an advance copy of W's speech, with the line,

"Victory [in Iraq] will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved. There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship."

I guess it's Mission de-complished.

Posted by: cld on January 10, 2007 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

From the Wichita Eagle posted 48 minutes ago...and I also heard this on CNN...

Brownback opposes sending more troops to Iraq
BY MATT STEARNS, Eagle Washington bureau

WASHINGTON - Kansas Republican Sen. Sam Brownback came out against President Bush's expected call tonight for a surge of 22,000 more troops into Iraq.
"I do not believe that sending more troops to Iraq is the answer," Brownback said while traveling in Iraq. "Iraq requires a political rather than a military solution."
Brownback had previously supported a short-term surge of troops if it could help achieve long-term political stability, which the Bush Administration has said it hopes a troop surge will help achieve.
But Brownback rejected that argument after meeting this week with several Iraqi leaders, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and U.S. military commanders.
"I came away from these meetings convinced that the United States should not increase its involvement until Sunnis and Shi'a are more willing to cooperate with each other instead of shooting at each other," Brownback said.
"The best way to reach a democratic Iraq is to empower the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own nation building," Brownback concluded, saying it is not in U.S. interest to get deeply involved in sectarian strife.
Where have I heard such statements before? Who was it? Not McCain...definitely not McCain...but...hmmm?

Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 10, 2007 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: "Yes, defeating the insurgents at Fallujah didn't end the insurgency. It's worse now than it was then. Has the insurgency grown because of Fallujah or because the insurgents didn't suffer a sufficient number of similar defeats?"

Are you insinuating that this desert quagmire is the military's fault, for not inflicting "a sufficient number of similar defeats" like Fallujah on the insurgents?

(And for the record, ex-liberal, Fallujah was no more a victory for the United States than was the ultimately successful assault on "Hamburger Hill" during the Vietnam War. In both cases, American troops -- at great cost -- eventually seized their objective, only to be subsequently ordered to withdraw from that hard-won position.)

The United States didn't "lose" a single land battle in the Vietnam War, and it's widely acknowledged by military historians that the Tet Offensive was an unmitigated military disaster for the Communists.

Excuse me, but what's the current name of Saigon again?

Point is, wars are very rarely ever won exclusively through military combat. We've lost this war in Iraq because the Bush Administration obviously had no plans in place to first militarily secure and then rebuild the entire country once Baghdad and other major Iraqi cities were captured by Anglo-American forces.

Our service personnel have done everything asked of them by their superiors. It's the civilian leadership, starting with President Bush, that has royally botched this and that refuses to accept its responsibility for this fiasco.

In that regard, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow even went so far as to once again blame the crew of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln for that "Mission Accomplished" banner that was placed in camera view behind President Bush on May 1, 2003 as he gave that infamous pronouncement that "major combat operations in Iraq are over."

It's simultaneously shameless and disgusting.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 10, 2007 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

Similarly, I think the use of US military against the KKK discouraged them and discouraged the practice of Jim Crow. Gregory's POV suggests that we should have left the KKK alone, because the use of US troops just provoked them all the more.

Discouraged the practice of Jim Crow? Segregation and the Klan lasted for another one hundred years after those Reconstruction clashes, and it was eventually ended by non-violent protests, not by the US military, you ignorant fuck.

Posted by: Arminius on January 10, 2007 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

In that regard, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow even went so far as to once again blame the crew of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln for that "Mission Accomplished" banner that was placed in camera view behind President Bush on May 1, 2003 as he gave that infamous pronouncement that "major combat operations in Iraq are over."
It's simultaneously shameless and disgusting.
Posted by: Donald from Hawaii

And the hits just keep coming. As the incomparable idiots from the NRO like Ledeen weigh in on what needs to be done in Iraq:

    We’ve got lots of soldiers sitting on megabases all over Iraq. They should be out and about, some of them embedded, others just moving around, tracking the terrorists, hunting them down. I don’t know how many guys and gals are sitting in air-conditioned quarters and drinking designer coffee, but it’s a substantial number. Enough of that.

Gimme some more of that good ole neocon support for our troops.

Posted by: cyntax on January 10, 2007 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Donald from Hawaii: "We've lost this war in Iraq because the Bush Administration obviously had no plans in place to first militarily secure and then rebuild the entire country once Baghdad and other major Iraqi cities were captured by Anglo-American forces."

The Bush administration most certainly did have such a plan.

Their plan was that Ahmed Chalabi would be quickly and easily installed as the "new improved Saddam" and that Chalabi and his cronies from the Iraqi National Congress would rule Iraq as a US-backed puppet regime, handing over control of, and the vast majority of the profits from, Iraq's vast oil reserves to Dick Cheney's cronies in the US-based multinational oil companies, while other cronies and financial backers of the Bush administration would enrich themselves from the "reconstruction" of Iraq.

That plan failed because it was based on the gross lies that Chalabi had been feeding to the Bush administration about the degree of support that he and the INC enjoyed in Iraq, and when it failed, there was no other plan.

They have been improvising since then, but always with the goal of seizing control of Iraq's oil wealth for the benefit of the Cheney Cartel.

They are willing to send any number of young Americans to their deaths, and to kill any number of Iraqi civilians, for as long as it takes, to achieve that goal. The potential riches are too vast to be let go.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 10, 2007 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

You'll be as ineffective at that as you guys are at everything else.

And yet strangely, not half as ineffective as the Republicans are at everything.

"ex-liberal," your dishonesty has been more than adequately dealt with, though as usual you'll pretend it never happened and comment as if you still have credibility.

Speaking of credibility, happy new year to you, too, howard!

Posted by: Gregory on January 10, 2007 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it is reported that Maliki has agreed to crack down on Shia militias (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/iraq). That is required for any of this to work. We'll see.

Posted by: !!! on January 10, 2007 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

cyntax quotes Michael Ledeen, We’ve got lots of soldiers sitting on megabases all over Iraq. They should be out and about, some of them embedded, others just moving around, tracking the terrorists, hunting them down. I don’t know how many guys and gals are sitting in air-conditioned quarters and drinking designer coffee, but it’s a substantial number. Enough of that.


This conflates two or three of the classic conservative moron daydreams, 'everyone else is just like me only a lot worse' and 'government agencies have all kinds of money they waste and what they need are serious business people who are not so-called experts'.

Egotism is failure.

Posted by: cld on January 10, 2007 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

Sen. Clinton also was in favor of increasing the size of the military before the Dems were a majority.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/14/politics/14army.html?ex=1168578000&en=65adbaafab411966&ei=5070

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 10, 2007 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Apollo13: "The best way to reach a democratic Iraq is to empower the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own nation building," Brownback concluded, saying it is not in U.S. interest to get deeply involved in sectarian strife.
...
Where have I heard such statements before? Who was it?

Perhaps you heard it from Evan Bayh; he said that on NPR last week.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 10, 2007 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

Howard: matthew, you need to get out more....

What, you don't like The Progressive?

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 10, 2007 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

This conflates two or three of the classic conservative moron daydreams...what they need are serious business people...

Yeah, what is up with the conservative fetish over "seriousness"? Guess it has something do with their attraction to authoritarianism. Wish they'd work out their kinks in private rather than by failed attempts at making policy-- Sheesh.

Posted by: cyntax on January 10, 2007 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen: That's what Claire McCaskill said in the campaign, so we sent her to the Senate.

So now she can work to have it written into law. Granted, she has no seniority, but she can work with those who do. for example, she can work to have her idea inserted into Kennedy's bill.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 10, 2007 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

on John Kerry's proposal to increase the size of the military:

http://www.welovejohnkerry.com/2006/12/21/bush-kerry-iraq-and-the-window-of-opportunity/

Kerry and Clinton both proposed increasing the size of the military. Who else?

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 10, 2007 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

Save your time. Here's a leaked text of the speech:

"BLOOD ALONE MOVES THE WHEELS OF HISTORY! Have you ever asked yourselves in an hour of meditation - which everyone finds during the day - how long we have been striving for greatness? Not only the years we've been at war – the war of work – but from the moment as a child, when we realize the world could be conquered. It has been a lifetime struggle,a never-ending fight, I say to you and you will understand that it is a privilege to fight. WE ARE WARRIORS! Salesmen of north-eastern Pennsylvania, I ask you once more rise and be worthy of this historical hour. No revolution is worth anything unless it can defend itself. Some people will tell you salesman is a bad word. They’ll conjure up images of used car dealers, and door to door charlatans. This is our duty to change their perception. I say, salesman – and women – of the world... unite! We must never acquiesce, for it is together... TOGETHER THAT WE PREVAIL. WE MUST NEVER CEDE CONTROL OF THE MOTHERLAND... FOR IT IS TOGETHER THAT WE PREVAIL!"

Posted by: Steve Paradis on January 10, 2007 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

It doesn't surprise me your not going to wath the President's speech tonight, since you can only get your news from tendentious news sources, like NYT or CNN.

President Bush knows he has to stick with this for the long haul. Nation building is a long, hard, thankless slog with little reward but the smile of the people of Iraq. Bush has the capability of taking the long view. He doesn't care about your shallow, bloodthirsty opinions. He's working toward his legacy, his place in history. He's going beyond the instant self gratification among liberals.

Posted by: egbert on January 10, 2007 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

Can't find a link on BBC or the Telegraph, but scuttlebutt has it that the British will withdraw 3 000 troops soon. Oops.

You'll be as ineffective at that as you guys are at everything else. sportsfan79 at 6:42 PM

Clinton - Kosovo - victory
Bush - Afghanistan - stalemate
Bush - Iraq - defeat
Democrats - impeach - Nixon - success
Republicans - impeach - Clinton - failure
Bush - bin Laden - failure
Sen. Clinton also was in favor of increasing the size of the military … MatthewRMarler at 8:11 PM

Lotsa people have called to increase the size of the military. Others have called for a re-instatement of the draft. So what?

Posted by: Mike on January 10, 2007 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

No Steve Paradis.
Here is the leaked text:

"I am Dracula, and I am going to driiink your blood and draiiiiin your treasury."


Impeach this morally bankrupt baboon.
Now.

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on January 10, 2007 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

Jeebus, what the f*ck is wrong with Newsweek. Why did Richard Wolffe and Holl7 Bailey lied.

Iraqis have met several conditions -- or benchmarks ????

EVERYONE ALREADY KNOWS THAT BUSH IS ALREADY SENDING TROOPS TO IRAQ.

And Dems do nothing.


Posted by: Cheryl on January 10, 2007 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

I DON'T CARE WHAT BUSH THINKS, NO ONE DOES.

Ms. Pelosi better get off her duff and do something. That cowardly, worthless woman. How bad does it have to get?

Posted by: Cheryl on January 10, 2007 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

Bush just proved how big of a idiot he really is by adding 21,500 more troops to his lies to go to war to begin with, blood for oil, this is what his war is all about, he does not care about human life such as our soldiers all he cares about is how much oil can he steal under the cover of his war. The soldiers are fighting a no win situation, we can not win this war I dont care how many troops he sends over there,remember the stupid republicans in 2008 and send some more packing.

Posted by: Al on January 10, 2007 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

Secular Animist: "The Bush administration most certainly did have such a plan. ... They are willing to send any number of young Americans to their deaths, and to kill any number of Iraqi civilians, for as long as it takes, to achieve that goal. The potential riches are too vast to be let go."

You, of course, are obviously correct, and I really should have stated it clearer, to wit:

"We've lost this war in Iraq because the Bush Administration obviously had no plans in place that were anchored in reality, to first militarily secure and then rebuild the entire country once Baghdad and other major Iraqi cities were captured by Anglo-American forces."

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 10, 2007 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

Wake me up when the speech is over, OK?

From his demeanor, it appears that someone needs to wake Bush up when the speech is over.

Who handled his meds tonight?

Posted by: Clap Louder on January 10, 2007 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

I thought my tv screen would crack with the strain of his incredible case of nerves.

And I didn't catch him using that phrase I have come to love so much.

But he did lay the groundwork for the pretext of attacking targets in Iran and Syria, so all is not lost.

Posted by: cld on January 10, 2007 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

Just finished watching the President tonight.

I think he made some powerful, forceful arguments for surging in Iraq, some of the most compelling I've heard yet.

He basically verified that Iran and Syria both are supplying the insurgents, using them as a proxy army to fight against the US. If that's not an act of war, I don't know what is.

Posted by: egbert on January 10, 2007 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

America, I haven't done anything right so far. But, still, you can't afford to allow me to fail.

Posted by: Bozo the Klutz on January 10, 2007 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

I also like the way the President drove home the point that if we lose in Iraq, we lose much, much more than that. No one would be safe anywhere.

Tonight, the President revealed Al Qaeda is based in Anbar. Now this may be a long hard slog, but if we are victorious in Iraq, we also have a good shot at delivering the death blow to bin Laden's operations.

Posted by: egbert on January 10, 2007 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

you know, i could have written egbert's comments earlier today without knowing what the speech would say: the ongoing cult-like support of the bush-enabling fantasists is about as predictable as that bush doesn't have the slightest fucking idea of what to do other than make iraq the next guy's problem.

meanwhile, egbert, just for fun: define "victory in iraq" why doncha? this should be amusing, in a twisted kind of way....

Posted by: howard on January 10, 2007 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK
…He basically verified that Iran and Syria both are supplying the insurgents…eggbutt at 9:42 PM
There can now be no doubt: Bush is divorced from reality. He threatened war with Iran and Syria. He thinks that we should now and for all time, support the Maliki government against the few al Qa'ida that his invasion brought into the country.

"Mistakes have been made. Responsibility rests with me." Whoa, some passive voice there from a straight-talkin' guy. Yeah, right.

He didn't "verify" anything. He made the assertion just as he asserted that there were WMD in Iraq when the inspectors on the ground were finding none; just as he asserted there was an Iraqi nuclear program when the IAEA stated there was none and no evidence of any. This is not new policy, it is the same old stay the course. Die for Maliki bushit we've all heard time and time again.

Posted by: Mike on January 10, 2007 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

Cheryl: "Ms. Pelosi better get off her duff and do something. That cowardly, worthless woman. How bad does it have to get?"

Ms. Pelosi has been House Speaker for a grand total of six days. I'm sorry that you think that a problem that was five-plus years in the making will be neatly resolved like an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

You really need to chill, lest you give yourself a stroke, and also cool it with the personal perjoratives, lest you wish to sound like egbert.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 10, 2007 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

The question is, Egbert, were Bush's arguments compelling enough to have you visit your local recruiter tommorrow and enlisting?

Posted by: Clap Louder on January 10, 2007 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

where will egface be when this 'surge' has failed and there is nothing left but bloodshed?

he can write all this wrong shit and he knows its wrong

as a person ( and I use that term loosely) who is now painfully on the wrong side of history, his only gig is to try and rile lefties-


who are correct btw

we have already lost in iraq

and it wasn't the fault of the left

or the SCLM

it was the fault of asshats like eggface who voted for this criminal

so, we lost

it was YOUR fault eggface

Posted by: maccabee on January 10, 2007 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

egbert: "Just finished watching the President tonight."

Lukewarm, soapy water is always best for removing protein stains from carpets and upholstery. You better move quickly, before it sets.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 10, 2007 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

It was the most sobering speech that I've heard Bush make in his entire time in office. Unfortunately, his relative candidness was also a proverbial "day late and a dollar short." And his implied threats against Iran are bone-chilling, to say the least.

The most repeated phrase I've heard MSNBC commentators make this evening has been "That stands in stark contrast to what he said only [fill in the time slot]."

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 10, 2007 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK
…if we lose in Iraq…No one would be safe anywhere. …Al Qaeda is based in Anbar…. if we are victorious in Iraq, we also have a good shot at delivering the death blow to bin Laden's operations. eggbutt at 9:44 PM
We lost in Vietnam. A generation later, George W. Bush went to Ho Chi Min City to be photographed under a giant statue of the victor of that war to institute new trade agreements.

We have lost in Iraq. There is no way the US can obtain victory whatever victory may mean. If al Qa'ida is based in Iraq, an assertion for which evidence is no only lacking but is contrary, it is because of Bush's invasion. Iraq was a secular state. Because of Bush, the Shia, religious fundamentalists, are in the ascendancy. It is the Shia who are supporting Hezbollah and Hamas. Bush has already refused to deal a death blow to bin Laden by his refusal to go after him in Tora Bora.

Posted by: Mike on January 10, 2007 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you, egbert. You're my kind of American.

Posted by: Bozo the Klutz on January 10, 2007 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

Now then. I think we've reached a consensus that my reputation is more important than United States prestige, treasure and the blood & entrails of our young soldiers.

And I guess that's just a nice way of saying that as far as I'm concerned, if I go down, all of you are going down too.

Posted by: Bozo the Klutz on January 10, 2007 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

Before the grammar police arrive, that should have been "visit your local recruiter tommorrow and enlist?"

I realize that egbert is a parody troll, looking to yank chains (and he types real well with his left hand, his right hand being otherwise occupied...) but the question for him and his ilk remains:

Did Bush's speech motivate you enough to make any personal sacrifices tommorrow?

Posted by: Clap_Louder on January 10, 2007 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

sportsfan79: You'll be as ineffective at that as you guys are at everything else.

That's a hoot coming from someone who supports the most ineffective president in our history.

Posted by: Google_This on January 10, 2007 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

MRM at 8:14 PM: Perhaps you heard it from Evan Bayh; he said that on NPR last week.

OK, and Brownback now joins Democrats Pelosi, John Edwards, Joe Biden, Jack Murtha, Dick Durbin, Diane Feinstein, Hillary Clinton, and many more on the left...

...and Repubs Gordon Smith, Norm Coleman, Colin Powell, and a growing opposition on the right, plus, U.S. generals...

...in stark contrast to John McCain and Lindsey Graham who support a troop escalation in Iraq.

...at 8:28 PM: Kerry and Clinton both proposed increasing the size of the military. Who else?

Who else? Anyone in their right mind whose concerned about national security. As Colin Powell stated recently in opposition to more troops in Iraq and in calling for a drawdown by mid-2007:

The "active Army is about broken," Powell said. Even beyond Iraq, the Army and Marines have to "grow in size, in my military judgment," he said, adding that Congress must provide significant additional funding to sustain them. [WaPo, Dec. 18, 2006]
Increasing the size of our military, aka, rebuilding it, has little to do with the present issue of sending more troops to Iraq. So I fail to see your point exactly. What am I missing in relationship to Kevin's topic?

Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 10, 2007 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

Apollo 13: Increasing the size of our military, aka, rebuilding it, has little to do with the present issue of sending more troops to Iraq. So I fail to see your point exactly. What am I missing in relationship to Kevin's topic?

You are correct, that it has little to do with Kevin's topic; I was just responding to a line that I quoted.

Expanding the army does (or did in Kerry's original proposal, and Clinton's) relate to the surge in Iraq because it would reduce the demand placed on those who are actually rotated into Iraq. Just not really soon. My other point was that Democrats no longer are restrained to enunciation policy changes; they now have the power to enact policy changes, yet they are backing off from policy changes that they previously enunciated (or at least not pushing them.) I cited Kennedy as a good counterexample, because he is actually trying to get his policy preference written into law. Kennedy has been a remarkably consistent and effective senator down through the decades, whether you agree or disagree with his particular policy recommendations. I expect him to keep trying and trying until something like what he wants is either passed or clearly rejected. I think that Reid should either follow his lead or else keep quiet until introducing his own plan. They aren't there for speeches and letters, they are there for votes.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 11, 2007 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

I opposed the invasion of Afganistan for some of the same reasons I opposed Iraq: you can't build a nation out of a factionally-striven state at the point of a geographically remote invader's bayonet.

In other words, I opposed each invasion for reasons specific to that action.

Posted by: mcdruid on January 11, 2007 at 3:30 AM | PERMALINK

I don't necessarily believe Democrats now have "the power to enact policy changes." Even aside from the political considerations (and the effectiveness of the Repubs at questioning Dems patriotism and military creds), the President is the Commander-in-Chief. The Budget as a weapon is too clumsy to use effectively.

Posted by: mcdruid on January 11, 2007 at 3:34 AM | PERMALINK


ex-lib: If the anti-war people who make this argument really cared about Afghanistan, and if they really believed it to be at a tipping point, then they would have been demanding that more US and NATO troops be sent to Afghanistan long before the Iraq surge was conceived.

to that point...in iraq..

"Most top U.S. military officials -- even members of the Bush administration -- did not recommend a 'surge' or escalation of U.S. troops into Iraq when they were interviewed by the Iraq Study Group last fall." - NEWSWEEK 1/08/10

Posted by: mr. irony on January 11, 2007 at 6:15 AM | PERMALINK

MatthewRMarler: Expanding the army does (or did in Kerry's original proposal, and Clinton's) relate to the surge in Iraq because it would reduce the demand placed on those who are actually rotated into Iraq. Just not really soon.


Kerry Says He Would Add 40,000 to Army - Washington Post - June 4, 2004

that was 2-years ago....

ken mehlman at the time said such an increase...would be and i quote..

"dangerous"

even earlier this year...

The Administration opposes increases in minimum active Army and Marine Corps end strengths. - Bush White House June-2006

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/legislative/sap/109-2/s2766sap-s.pdf

gop...always a day late...but hey

its only money and blood...

Number of National Guard killed in Viet Nam: 97

Number of National Guard killed in Iraq thru 2006: 384

Posted by: mr. irony on January 11, 2007 at 6:22 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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