Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 10, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

NOTHING NEW....There were a number of things worth commenting on in Bush's speech tonight, but I guess the biggest thing that leapt out at me is also the simplest: he really didn't make even a cursory effort to pretend that he was doing anything truly new. There was nothing about new military tactics, just an assertion that more troops would help us clear and hold neighborhoods. There was nothing very serious about reducing sectarian tension, just a laundry list of proposed Iraqi legislation accompanied by some platitudes about Prime Minister Maliki accepting responsibility for his own country. And there was nothing substantial about broader regional initiatives, just the usual pro forma warnings delivered to Iran and Syria.

It took me a couple of minutes to digest this, but there's nothing even remotely new here at all. Almost to the letter, it's the same stuff we've been trying for the past three years, except with about 10% more troops than before. Does Bush really think the American public is going to find any of this very convincing?

UPDATE: There's a little more detail here, but frankly, there's still not much new.

Kevin Drum 10:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (196)

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Comments

Almost to the letter, it's the same stuff we've been trying for the past three years, except with about 10% more troops than before. Does he really think the American public is going to find any of this very convincing?

More to the point, isn't a popular definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result?

Posted by: Jeff S. on January 10, 2007 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think he believes he's convincing anyone. Unfortunately, I think he's stubborn to a point where he no longer cares.

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

Does he even care?
I surmise that the main audience this speech was aimed at was the self-proclaimed DC punditocracy. They're willing to give Bush one more chance, infinitely many times. Tomorrow many of them will laud his bold new move. That's the best Bush can get, and he'll take it.

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

Twelfth verse, same as the first!

Posted by: Otto Man on January 10, 2007 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

Why do you defeatocrats want us to lose?

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

I am truly sorry to say: this has to be stopped -- by whatever means necessary.

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

Thanks Kevin. I came to your site first, because I thought you would provide some relatively clear-headed feedback, and save me the aggravation of having to watch His Majesty myself...

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

Let's have another verse that's worse than the other verse, and waltz me around again Willy.

Was I listening too hard, or did Bush hint that we we're about to double-cross the Kurds again?

Posted by: john s. on January 10, 2007 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

The man just wants all this complicated stuff to go away. If sending 20,000 more troops helps make it go away for awhile, let's do it.

C'mon folks, NFL playoffs are just kicking off and Bush wants no distractions leading up to the Super Bowl.

Posted by: The Lucky Sea Men on January 10, 2007 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

I learned several new things, but that's because I listened with an open mind:

- Al Qada is headquartered in Anbar, the Generals think we can finish them off there.

- Clear and hold will be our new mantra. More to the good.

- Iran and Syria are supplying the insurgency, using them as a proxy force against us. I suspected this before, tonight the President confirmed it. I'm seething, to say the least.

Iraq is crucial to the course of the rest of this century. THe steaks are too high to fail.

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

Listening to the Escalator's speech tonight, I'm reminded of a comment by the comedian David Cross: "I was against the war in Iraq when it started, I'm against the war now, and I'll be against it for the next, oh ... ten to twelve years?"

Posted by: Otto Man on January 10, 2007 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

Poorly read.... if he had been Reagan this speech might have had some chance. It came across like he never even saw the text before late this afternoon.

His presentation was so flat it was painful. This is DOA... possibly his worst prime time speech ever.

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

Make the steaks higher!

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

Mistakes were made. Responsibility rests with me.

Damn liberal mistakes and Responsibility.

This man cannot accept any mistakes directly.


Let's vote for a real man next time.

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

Clear and hold will be our new mantra.

Awesome. This will be like when we switched from "search and destroy" to "sweep and clean" back in Vietnam. That sure made everything alright.

Posted by: Otto Man on January 10, 2007 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

Iran. Iran was new. He said we're definitely bombing them soon.

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

gregor:

it wasn't even "Mistakes were made."

it was "Whatever mistakes were made, the responsibility falls on me."

(neither asserting nor denying whether mistakes were made....)

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

THe steaks are too high to fail.

Damn... The cows got into the pot patch again.

Posted by: Oregonian on January 10, 2007 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK
THe steaks are too high to fail.

This could be a real problem for us. We all like steak. How did the steaks get so high? I don't think we can reach them from here.

I'm hungry!

Posted by: Bozo the Klutz on January 10, 2007 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

I thought the speech was poorly written and poorly delivered. Nevertheless, it worked. The American people don't want to lose in Iraq. They will support an allegedly new approach for a period of time.

The Dems will throw a bone to the anti-war faction with some symbolic vote, but most of the Dems also don't want to prevent the "new" strategy from being attempted.

I'm not optimistic that the "new" strategy will be successful, but I agree that it's worth a try, since the stakes are so high.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 10, 2007 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

I almost decided to watch the speech but I had to go out in the backyard and spend an hour watching really old pile of dogshit.

Posted by: olds88 on January 10, 2007 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

Did anyone else notice his use of the phrase "mistakes were made."?

A phrase first coined more than 30 years ago by ...

Wait for it ...

Robert McNamara.

That speech was written by someone who either is trying to undermine shrub or has no sense of irony or history whatsoever.

And eternal shame on Bob Schieffer for forgetting everything he learned covering Viet Nam.

Just finished reading All Governments Lie!, Myra McPherson's incredible biography of I.F. Stone.

Imagining what Izzy would make of this idiot (shub or Schieffer - take your pick) is enough to send even the most apathetic into the streets.

It's another decade of cannon fodder for the troops, nuclear destruction for Iran, and martial law for the fallen empire formerly known as America.

Posted by: Yellow Dog on January 10, 2007 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

Not nearly as simple or sure as the Democratic approach--unconditional surrender--but then else what would be?

Posted by: monkeybone on January 10, 2007 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

We are so screwed.

honestly, does anyone think that 20K more troops will really make a difference? By Petreaus's own doctrine, we need like a 100K more just to secure Baghdad.

of course, all the pro-bush people are right, though for the wrong reasons. pulling out now would be a disaster and likely lead to a larger clusterf#$& than we have now. But the irony is that we made the mess, we screwed it up royally, and now we've entangled ourselves so much that staying is a mess, leaving is a disaster.

ergo, we're screwed, and if we were going to have fixed it the time to have "surged" was back in 2003 or 2004.

Now, its too little, too late, and no good end can come of this.

Posted by: JoeJoe on January 10, 2007 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

In the pre-speech leaks that were emanating from the White House, there was a lot of chatter about a "political component" to this surge. Did I miss something? I didn't hear a damn thing that even resembled a political component.

If Bush wants to be a "war president" and call this illegal occupation of a sovereign nation a "war", let him follow the Constitution and ask Congress for a formal declaration of war!

Otherwise, our troops should pack their duffel bags and be out tomorrow.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 10, 2007 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

I really don't think he could mean to attack Sadr City, I think he means they'll be helping clear the Sunnis out of Baghdad altogether, which is why he emphasized that everyone would be getting their fair share of oil revenue --once they stop shooting.

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

Opening 100 new Labor Ready offices in Baghdad is not news?

If they make it back at the end of the day without being blown up, they can cash out, with small take out fees, at Payday Loans.

Is Captitalism not truly great?

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

Of course with thousands of lives and the very survival and viability of the U.S. military at stake extrajudicial measures could be morally and ethically justified in stopping Bush. Just saying.........

Posted by: steve duncan on January 10, 2007 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: . . . since the stakes are so high.

No, they are not. That is your delusion as well as Bush's. It is the same delusion that drove the country to go to and remain in Vietnam.

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

Not nearly as simple or sure as the Democratic approach--unconditional surrender--but then else what would be?

Yes, that's the Democratic position precisely. I think I hear your Mom calling, kid.

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

When it comes to Iraq, George W. Bush the MBA President is managing the war like a failed business. For the analysis, see:
"Iraq and the 7 Habits of Highly Defective Presidents."

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

steve duncan,

That's completely in error. Such action will never be warranted in any case where there is electoral recourse.

Posted by: cld on January 10, 2007 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

strategy shift
from stay the course to
more of the same

Posted by: Bill K on January 10, 2007 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK
...I'm not optimistic that the "new" strategy will be successful, but I agree that it's worth a try... x-liberal at 10:33 PM
An reminder of Bush's credibility

...He told us about WMDs. Mobile labs. Secret sources. Aluminum tubing. Yellow-cake.
He has told us the war is necessary…Because Saddam was a threat; Because of 9/11; Osama bin Laden; al Qaeda; Because of terrorism in general; To liberate Iraq; To spread freedom; To spread democracy; To keep the oil out of the hands of terrorist-controlled states; Because this was a guy who tried to kill his dad....

As Adam Clayton Powell was famous for saying, Keep the faith, baby.

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

Of course cld, how forgetful of me. So, just how is it we go about scheduling that election between now and '08 to remove Bush? And please, don't tag impeachment as an electoral option. Getting sufficient numbers of Republicans to support such a move would require Bush drooling, barking and firing a pistol on the White House lawn. Even then they'd balk at filing articles.

Posted by: steve duncan on January 10, 2007 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

If I were religious I would say let us pray for our troops...really going into harms way now

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on January 10, 2007 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

Google_This:

Don't you remember the Domino Theory! That's! how big the stakes in Vietnam were. Domino-sized!

seriously though.. I believe America is robust, and can weather another terror attack, if that's what we're afraid of. So, I'm trying to do the calculus of what withdrawing will cost us.

What exactly would happen if we left? (and do bloggers have to do the work that govt/press/think tanks are paid to do.)

Posted by: absent observer on January 10, 2007 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

steve duncan,

That's just something you've got to put up with. It's why we're not Republicans.

Posted by: cld on January 10, 2007 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

I heard two old points given a sharper emphasis. The first is that Iraq can never be allowed to become a "safe haven" for terrorists at some point after we skeedaddle. Under the Pelosi Plan, that would surely happen: indeed, happen quickly enough that Republicans can make a major talking point about it in 2008.

Second, I heard Bush hint that he might take military action against Iran or Syria this summer. I was surprised to hear that Iran's Shia puppets have attacked U.S. forces and been caught at it.

Now Bush didn't say this, but last week the quotas on accepting refugees from Iraq were changed. If Congress pushed the skeedaddle option so hard that the administration has to cave in, one of the consequences that will happen before even the "safe haven for terrorists" thing becomes evident is that all Iraqis who have sincerely signed on to the democracy program will be at risk of being slaughtered.

Only one nation is going to take these panicked refugees in when they start to move, and that is us. If I am a Republican strategist I paint every tragic video image that comes out of that process with the title "Pelosi Caused This." Plug in different Democrat names as needed regionally.

Worse yet, when hundreds of thousands of Iraqis reach our shores, it will be a mixed blessing. Many will make fine Americans because they believe in democracy and crave our freedoms and our rule of law. But in the mix will inevitably be some of the fierce partisans. The ultimate result will likely most resemble the right wing Cuban influx to Florida after Castro seized power. Things like this have consequences for a long, long time.

The Democrats will try to deflect criticism from the consequences of the skeedaddle plan by simply blaming Bush over and over for "creating" the Iraq mess "unnecessarily." But Bush had considerable Democrat help in this at the outset and he will say that if the faint hearts hadn't quit, it all might have worked. Our new Iraqi fellow citizens who arrive by 2008 might well voice some very loud agreement with Bush on this.

Posted by: mike cook on January 10, 2007 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, that's the Democratic position precisely. I think I hear your Mom calling, kid.

I'm willing to hear a few more elaborate euphemisms for bailing out of the battlefield while the fighting is still going on, never to return. Other than "surrender." Got some?

Please describe what YOU think the Democratic recommendations for the war in Iraq are. I do know the word "victory" is nowhere in the building, and I doubt al Qaeda and the insurgents are going to call a full-scale "redeployment" a "tie game."

Posted by: monkeybone on January 10, 2007 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

Bush's description of the war as the US and Iraqi armies against the insurgents continues to grossly underestimates the complexity of the social and military situation in Iraq. The President won't stumble on a solution if he doesn't understand the problem.

But perhaps this characterization is the only one that justifies our continued attempts at military solutions. When in doubt, shoot more bad guys. The utter lack of any competent diplomacy anywhere in the region is staggering -- we can watch Rice twist in the wind next week.

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

All I can do is repeat what everybody else has been saying around the blogosphere tonight: the man just doesn't care. He believes he's right, and he doesn't give a damn what anyone else thinks.

He still believes that someday there will be a statue of himself in Baghdad where Saddam Hussein's likeness once stood.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on January 10, 2007 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

I do know the word "victory" is nowhere in the building

Yes, because as Bush has made crystal clear, simply saying "success" and "mission accompished" and "victory" makes it so.

This isn't high school football, champ. These are our fellow Americans dying and getting maimed for nothing at all, nothing but empty rhetoric and moronic, mouthbreathing cheerleading. Leave the "tie game" nonsense at home.

Does anyone else remember when there were intelligent conservatives? Ones who made arguments with a sophistication higher than the third grade?

Posted by: TR on January 10, 2007 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

As usual, the defeatocrats have no plan.

Posted by: Al on January 10, 2007 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

The first is that Iraq can never be allowed to become a "safe haven" for terrorists at some point after we skeedaddle.

OK. Assume arguendo this is right.

How is this end actually accomplished? What means that does not cause the multiplication of the terrorists themselves do we use?

It's Mickey Mouse in the Sorcerer's Apprentice, but with lethal consequences.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on January 10, 2007 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

Incompetent.

Mendacious.

Delusional.

Immoral.

Posted by: gregor on January 10, 2007 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

mike cook:

think with your brain. Much worse thing will happen if we withdraw, but we gotta decide if they are something we can live with.

Bad attitudes from Iraqi refugees to US, and negative political spots -- these are trite.

And Al Queda isn't going to make gains in a Shia dominated region.

Posted by: absent observer on January 10, 2007 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

Al Qada is headquartered in Anbar, the Generals think we can finish them off there.

LOL, sorry just lost my beer all over the monitor. You are a parody right? This is exactly why this won't work. Neither you nor Little Ceasar understand "Al Qada"

THe steaks are too high to fail.

Sorry, it failed long, long, long ago. More steaks please!

Posted by: Simp on January 10, 2007 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

Please describe what YOU think the Democratic recommendations for the war in Iraq are.

I love the common conservative complaint -- well, I haven't heard the Democratic plan, so it must not exist! Yeah, that's the evil liberal media for you.

The Democratic plan is spelled out in a 123-page report on Harry Reid's website, which took me all of three seconds to find on Google:

http://democrats.senate.gov/pdfs/RealSecurity_web.pdf

Need someone to read it to you?

Posted by: Marc on January 10, 2007 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

"Does anyone else remember when there were intelligent conservatives?"

No, but then I was not around when conservatives defended the divine right of kings.

Posted by: bobbyp on January 10, 2007 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

Only one nation is going to take these panicked refugees in when they start to move, and that is us.

You should try reading the news once in a while, Mike. 60,000 - 90,000 Iraqis are fleeing the country every month. They're going to many different countries in the Middle East, primarily to Jordan and Syria. The one country that isn't taking them in is us.

If you had a shred of human decency in you that put human life over political ambitions you'd be disseminating videos of those tragic refugees right now with the title "Bush Caused This."

Because, in fact, he did.

I was surprised to hear that Iran's Shia puppets have attacked U.S. forces and been caught at it.

Uh, Shia Puppets = factions of the duly elected Iraqi government. They're "puppets" how?

Next hysterical fantasy.

But Bush had considerable Democrat help in this at the outset and

Not from Democrats he didn't. They were lied to and frozen out of the process. You're thinking of Republicans.

Worse yet, when hundreds of thousands of Iraqis reach our shores,

The Bush administration will never allow hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to settle here, you're high as a kite. It may surprise you to know that tens of thousands have settled here over the years, though.

Better sleep with the nite light on.

Our new Iraqi fellow citizens who arrive by 2008 might well voice some very loud agreement with Bush on this.

Yep, you're high and you don't read the news. Iraqis have voiced their opinion in poll after poll by huge margins that they want us to cease occupying their country. Maliki is begging for us to give him control of his own security forces and has called for a withdrawal timetable himself.

Your entire "analysis" is divorced from reality. If I may borrow a phrase from the morons who trolls this site:

"No wonder you guys keep losing elections."

Posted by: trex on January 10, 2007 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

Iran and Syria are supplying the insurgency, using them as a proxy force against us.

Wow, a troll actually stated what I thought was one of Bush's major messages. Bush needs to prepare the propaganda ground for air strikes, and this is his first step.

Posted by: Pennypacker on January 10, 2007 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

I slept through it.

From what I hear, he still hasn't figured out how the world works.

I had a dog once that barked at the waves at the beach.

Probably could have distracted him with steaks if I held them high enough.

Posted by: B on January 10, 2007 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

No, but then I was not around when conservatives defended the divine right of kings.

You must not read Powerline that often.

Posted by: Marc on January 10, 2007 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

"Much worse thing will happen if we withdraw...." a common belief grounded in an unstated, and most likely false, assumption.

Posted by: bobbyp on January 10, 2007 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

"You must not read Powerline that often."

Alas I do not (reading the Gonzales memos was enough).

It just goes to show that conservatives have not actually changed that much over the centuries. If they had any principles, then one could say they are at least consistent. But they have none.

Posted by: bobbyp on January 10, 2007 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

bobbyp @ 11:28pm

"Much worse thing will happen if we withdraw...." a common belief grounded in an unstated, and most likely false, assumption.

That's exactly what I'm saying -- No one's willing to look at the probable costs of leaving Iraq. From what I already know, I would guess that most people would be willing to pay the price.

But bad attitudes from immigrants is not the worst thing that will likely happen to us.

What is the worst that will likely happen? I don't know. Don't you wonder what's behind curtain number three? Or are you going to pick it without any analysis of how it compares to curtain 1 or 2?

Posted by: absent observer on January 10, 2007 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

Only one nation is going to take these panicked refugees in when they start to move

What, exactly is the name of the drug you are on at this moment in time, because i want some!

Try reading a newspaper once in a while instead of scooping up nuggets of Rushism, why don't you? 1.85 million refugees and an equal number internally misplaced because the place has been ethnically cleansed to the point of unlivability.

What a fucking moron.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 10, 2007 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

The overwhelming sense I had of the speech was more war for war's sake - to justify the sacrifices US troops have already made and to prevent a catastrophe that we already have proven unable to prevent. Honestly, what difference will an additional 20000 troops make in the final outcome of Iraq's civil war?

What are Bush's benchmarks of success for this initiative? Bush talked about America's limited patience but he offered no clear, concise measures of success for his plan. He would have been far more convincing if he had established milestones -- numbers of Iraqi cops on the street, trained Iraqi soldiers in uniform, no Mosby's Irregulars (ie Muktada al Sadr's army) operating uncontrolled.

Bush's speech simultaneouly raises our commitment in Iraq while lowering our expectations of successful outcomes -- he says adding 20K more troops is no guarantee of success. Almost as if to say "maybe I'll get lucky this time." Warnings of failure do not innoculate him from responsibility for the outcome, nor do they absolve him from the need to prove beyond reasonable doubt why putting 20K more Americans in harm's way will work this time when other similar strategies failed.

I thought Bush described the stakes well -- expanded involvement by Iran, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia in a regional struggle if Iraq falls -- but that was the case even before we went to war, when Saddam was in power. War wasn't the only option then and it isn't the only option now.

Bush did everything to raise the fear of failure without ever mentioning possible economic and diplomatic solutions to the region's hostilities. UN? What's that?? And where are our allies? What happened to the Coalition of the Willing? What do the Brits and Aussies say about this plan??

Bush's only solution -- his entire mindset -- is is focused on the use of the military to solve the problems of world affairs. He's a one-note Johnny who has been wrong too many times already to deserve our trust. And yet he has the audacity to suggest that this puts Iran and Syria on notice -- what's that about? Invading Iran?

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 10, 2007 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

More mush from the Chimp.

Posted by: Gwailo on January 10, 2007 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

There were NO FLAGS on the set. And evidently he was in a library. Has he ever done anything like that that before?

Also there was no "God Bless America" at the end of the speech. Hasn't that been de riguer since Reagan?

Granted these are superficial points but superficial has always been germain in Roveworld.

Posted by: paul on January 10, 2007 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

He mumbled something right at the end about 'the author of liberty' to whom we owe it all, which I took as a reference to god, though he may as well have meant his own munificence the thought of which humbles even him.

Posted by: cld on January 10, 2007 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

View Comet McNaught in the morning and in the evening.

Posted by: cld on January 10, 2007 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

Only one nation is going to take these panicked refugees in when they start to move

Sheesh, we've still got plenty of time before we worry about that. Probably won't happen until we take on Saddam. Maybe not even until after the '04 election.

Posted by: Otto Man on January 10, 2007 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

What is the worst that will likely happen?

1. The shia slaughter the sunni. (Right now they have a licence to do so, with our assistance. We are providing them the arms and training to enable them to do so. If we leave, the incentives on both sides shift toward reaching an accommodation).
2. Terrorists will have a home in Iraq. (Terrorists already have a home in Saudi Arabia. Correct me if I am wrong, but that is where most of the 9\11 hijackers came from.)
3. The sunni will slaughter the shia. (not likely, but then whose side are we on?).
4. Extremism and instability will spread throughout the Middle East. (Oh, please, get a grip. When were things stable there? Under the Turks? Then I guess the answer is to bring back the Ottomans.)
5. Our oil supplies will be disrupted (So. You admit at last that it was really about oil all along? I guess this would give us a chance to show if we really could get along with using a lot less of the stuff).
6. Freedom, democracy. (Get serious. You want to really spread freedom? Let's raise taxes massively, cut consumption, and initiate an aggressive campaign to raise world living standards...anything less, you're just bloviating).
7. Israel will run amok. (They already do. We also have monsterous leverage over them, if ever we could find the courage to use it).

I'm sure there are more aspects to consider.

Posted by: bobbyp on January 10, 2007 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

"Defeatocrats?" It's Bush's Republican administration that has led us down the path toward defeat in Iraq.

Posted by: McCord on January 10, 2007 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

Summary of speech:

STAY THE COURSE !!! (+10%)

PS: FU. I'm the decider.
---

Impeach this clown. A disgrace and an embarrassment. Disgusting.

Posted by: Jay in Oregon on January 10, 2007 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

President Bush has adopted the McCain Doctrine as his own.

Posted by: william on January 10, 2007 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

bobbyp: That got a nervous chuckle out of me. I think you're more right than wrong.

let me add: The Kurd's rest and digest until Turkey starts attacking them, at which point we arm the Kurds to attack a EU member state.

Mr Ahmadinejad tells the Iraqi Shias to join Iran -- at which point Mr Sadr & Mr Sistani say to him, "Go &#*% yourself. Shilom."

Posted by: absent observer on January 10, 2007 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is a washed up piece of fucking feces and he is determined to take us all down with him.

Oh, and the steaks? Ribeye? New York? Sirloin?

Posted by: angryspittle on January 10, 2007 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

What exactly would happen if we left?
Posted by: absent observer on January
10, 2007 at 11:00 PM
--

Exactly. We are told repeatedly by the lazy press and the Republican sound machine about how "we can't just leave".

Why not?

Posted by: Jay in Oregon on January 11, 2007 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

Did Bush just give away our war plans to the "terrorists"?

If this was the NY Times some might call it treasonous.

Posted by: AkaDad on January 11, 2007 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

The New York Times today has an unusually harsh editorial on the Bush strategy. Didn't think the Old Gray Lady could speak up so fiercely these days.

Posted by: Lester on January 11, 2007 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

Bush's and other pro-surgers' hysteria that Iraq will fail catastrophically if we leave is striking. It betrays immense lack of confidence in the Iraqi people.

Posted by: ugly_duck on January 11, 2007 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

Marc:

I suggest you read Reid's document yourself. Aside from large sections on enthusiastic domestic spending ideas, and equipping a military the Democrats would never deploy, the actual War on Terror tactics consist of useful and detailed ideas like:

"Eliminate Osama Bin Laden, destroy terrorist networks like al Qaeda, finish the job in Afghanistan and end the threat posed by the Taliban."

Well. That was easy. I'm surprised I didn't think of that myself.

Weren't we talking about solutions for Iraq other than surrender? Reid's paper has hundreds of references about why the war in Iraq sucks. The solutions?

To Honor the Sacrifice of Our Troops, Democrats will:

• Ensure 2006 is a year of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with the Iraqis assuming primary responsibility for securing and governing their country and with the
responsible redeployment of U.S. forces.

• Insist that Iraqis make the political compromises necessary to unite their country and
defeat the insurgency; promote regional diplomacy; and strongly encourage our allies and
other nations to play a constructive role.

Again, why didn't anyone else think of that? Get Iraq secure using their own forces, quell the sectarian violence, and get our allies to help win the war. It's all so simple when you don't give a rat's arse about the details.

Hey, my health proposal for 2007: Cure cancer!

Posted by: monkeybone on January 11, 2007 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

Bush seems to know he's had it . . . and he has.

Posted by: russ on January 11, 2007 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

The fact that the U.S. General Staff is going along with this is a shame.

Posted by: buster on January 11, 2007 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

Okay - you guys owe me one. I took a rabies shot and anti malarials and headed into the festering swamp at powerline. here is what they are saying in comments.

The peace-at-any-price crowd will of course be full of negatives. That’s what separates them from decent Americans.

I believe he has all the authority and justification he needs to take out those installations in Iran which are supplying training of insurgents and actual weapons like IEDs. The press would go nuts, of course. The Dems’ heads would explode. But some action like that could help destabilize the insurgency as well as cutting off materiel they need.

W has never been and never will be a great speaker, and he never has and probably never will present the war in terms the American people can understand, but the important thing is he’s resolute and now he damned well better kick some ass and make sure we straighten that damned Iraq out before we face a generation of warfare with Islamo-Arabo-Irano zombies.

What the heck are the democrats doing? But constantly talking defeat, and then trying to say they are for winning the war?

Who in heck is going to hold them accountable for their terrible performance? Why are we talking about President Bush’s performance? How about their performance? I think that it is the worst performance of an American party in our entire history!

They have never done anything of any value since 9-11 but be a stubborn obstacle to the war on terror. By them calling it Bush’s war and refusing to ackownledge the war that we are really in proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are nothing but a party of gutless, spineless, devil worshipping, pieces of excrement!

There is nobody in their party that is worth listening to, no not one! Find me one person, just one. Not ten, or a hundred, just find me one person.

But for comic relief, try this one...

Sorry Phil, but I do not agree. All kinds of guys can give inspirational speeches. When hollow, the speaker is known as a pedagogue.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 11, 2007 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Aside from large sections on enthusiastic domestic spending ideas, and equipping a military the Democrats would never deploy, the actual War on Terror tactics consist of useful and detailed ideas like:

Aside from large sections on enthusiastic reconstruction and equipping an Iraqi military that is composed largely of men loyal to their own militias, the actual War in Iraq tactics consist of useful and detailed ideas like:

"Achieve victory."

And here's another piece you missed, you idiot: most Americans know this is a war that never should have started and can no longer be won. Expecting a plan from Democrats to win an unwinnable war that Bush has fucked up beyond belief is a little crazy and a lot disingenous. There is no Demcratic plan to wipe out disease forever, either, just in case you were wondering.

And try picking just one handle to post under, sockpuppet.

Posted by: trex on January 11, 2007 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

Well, all I can say is I'm scared as hell. Our president, and apparently his advisors too, are delusional maniacs. I'm not an expert like Juan Cole on the various militia and insurgent groups in Iraq, but I think I can say with assurance that Iran is not supporting the Sunni 'insurgents,' who are the ones attacking our troops. Al Qaeda, also Sunni, would not be receiving aid from Iran. So what's he talking about?! Does he understand that Iraq was ANTI-al Qaeda before the US invasion? Does he understand that he personally has created whatever threat exists now? Has this all been worth the legislation now before the Iraqi parliament which would give foreign oil companies (read US/European) 75% profit on all oil produced in Iraq for the next thirty years, leaving only 25% for the Iraqis? Talk about rape and plunder.
This is all just insane.

Posted by: nepeta on January 11, 2007 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

Does Bush really think the American public is going to find any of this very convincing?

It doesn't matter if we do or don't. It's now just a waiting game. The surge has begun; new troops are already on their way to Iraq.

Bush isn't leaving Iraq. All he is doing is stalling for time, while paradoxically, rushing to complete as much of his agenda as he can before he leaves office, (miring the U.S. in Iraq and throughout the Middle East enough so that future Presidents will find it impossible to leave) while not angering (which would energize) Congress into action impeaching him.

Careful timing is what he's aiming for, to do as much as possible, until it's close enough to the end of his term so that Congress won't bother filing articles of impeachment. Classic Rove - *shock and awe* works on Congresscritters, too.

The Republican senators who released statements not supporting Bush's escalation (Luger, Collins, Smith, Brownback, Coleman, Voinovitch), I'm sure are still brow-beating themselves, second-guessing whether they did the right thing, worrying about blowback because they're not sure "Is he evil, stupid or just plain nuts?" The noise from Bush and the Republicans not signing on is going to suck the oxygen out of their brains for weeks.

Since Congress moves at a snail's pace anyway, particularly the long-winded aristocrats in the Senate, Congress would have had to have started right after the midterms if they had any hope of blocking Bush's plans to start the war in Iran.


Posted by: Maeven on January 11, 2007 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

The new Bush/McCain strategy will win immediate support from the Washington Times, Fox News and the 27 percent of the electorate who vote Republican no matter what.

Posted by: nat on January 11, 2007 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

Can we change his "nom de guerre" from AWOL to CLUSTERFUCK now ?
Global Citizen It was on one of your news links that I saw that Kurds had killed 600,000 Assyrians since the U.S. invaded Iraq. Good fun !

Posted by: opit on January 11, 2007 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

WHAT'S NEW?
See page 10 of the PowerPoint slideshow in the White House's iraq-strategy011007.pdf file:
Counter Iranian and Syrian action that threatens Coalition forces.

That's pretty darn close to MacArthur's decision that it was time to cross the Yalu River and go into China.

MacArther got fired for that. Time to fire Bush.

Posted by: nobody on January 11, 2007 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

Maeven,

I agree with you on Iran. Bush is ready and tonight's speech was a signal. We can expect air attacks on nuclear sites in Iran before the end of his term.

Posted by: nepeta on January 11, 2007 at 12:26 AM | PERMALINK

GC- Glad you survived.

Richard Cohen had a good piece in today's (1/10) WaPo on Bush's thinking which is impervious to logic. The 30% that still believes in him are also impervious. Knowing they'll snipe forever at realists while remaining so unreachable is such a downer.

Posted by: ugly_duck on January 11, 2007 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

Retired Gen. Jack Keane, one of the masterminds behind the Bush/McCain escalation, said in an MSNBC interview Tuesday afternoon that American forces would concentrate on securing Baghdad during the rest of 2007 and then in 2008 would move on to Anbar.

Thus, it would seem, American troops will be fighting and dying in Iraq throughout 2007 and then throughout 2008 all during the political campaign leading up to the presidential vote.

This would seem to be a strategy, then, aimed not only at securing Iraq but also at insuring a Democratic landslide in 2008.

Posted by: rs on January 11, 2007 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

Maeven- I may be naive and optimistic, but I got the same feeling when I heard Ted Kennedy's speech yesterday as when I hear Murtha's speech in November of 2005. I sense it is a turning point, and I do believe Congress is ready to fight this WH. At some point this is no longer a partisan issue, but rather one about separation of powers and defense of our constitution.

Posted by: ugly_duck on January 11, 2007 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry. That MSNBC interview with Jack Keane was Wednesday afternoon, not Tuesday.

Posted by: rs on January 11, 2007 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks Opit. I love it when I direct someone to an Assyrian news source to be dismissed out of hand because the other person "knows better than to trust the Syrian media."

This is the article on the Assyrian genocide that is going on under cover of the Iraq civil war.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 11, 2007 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry! That link in my previous post is to a .pdf file.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 11, 2007 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

What must be refuted in Bush's speech, and the neo-con/conservative argument, is that a withdrawal or 'retreat' from Iraq will result in a victory for the 'Islamic' extremists. It is a lie, but still a widely accepted platitude allowed to be expressed without opposition. If the US leaves wholesale, the Iraqis will have a little civil war and either the Sunnis or the Shiites will assume hegemony over the territory we call Iraq. This national state will not be a nuclear bomb creating hot bed of immoral terrorists regardless of which faction wins.

The other lie Bush told, by ommision, was about who is materially supporting the insugency. The ommission is that Saudi Arabia supports the Sunni insurgency much more than the Iranians, yet he makes a case against Iran in a nationally televised speech.

Those were the two things that I remember thinking while watching the man my people elected to be national leader twice give a speech explaining why he is sending more of our children into war.

Posted by: Brojo on January 11, 2007 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

RS,
So the insurgency will just switch places with us, right? Hide out in Anbar in '07. Bush has to go!!

Posted by: Ghost of Tom Joad on January 11, 2007 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

Brojo,
That suprises you? Has Smirk ever told the truth? Jenna and not-Jenna wouldn't be doing their Paris Hilton imitations if it weren't for the Saudis

Posted by: Ghost of Tom Joad on January 11, 2007 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

on the "learned helplessness" of the Democrats:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/48c1c7b6-a0ea-11db-acff-0000779e2340.html

I don't agree, but I think it's interesting. A more serious problem is that they don't agree amongst themselves on what to do instead.

The reason that there is not much new from the president is that the situation is pretty much a stalemate, but with 90% of the violence concentrated in a region in and around Baghdad.

However, we might be wrong about the "not much new": if it is true that Maliki is now committed to rooting out the Shi'ite militias, a position urged upon him weeks ago by the legislature, then that is new, even though it isn't a new American policy. That, along with enlarged rules of engagement, more U.S. troops, and more Iraqi troops, could make a difference.

Also of possibly greater importance is the clear threat to attack Syrian and Iranian forces in or near Iraq. A significant reduction of Syrian and Iranian influence within Iraq might have a large impact within Baghdad.

On their present language, the Democrats are unwilling to make a binding commitment that Bush is wrong -- i.e. unwilling to pass a law mandating something different. And some are backing the president. It was reported in WaPo that Bush has met personally with 148 Congressmen in the last few weeks, in addition to all the meetings of his staff. The pros and cons have been widely debated in all media.

If Bush's surge is not unambiguously an improvement by about mid-summer, then I expect that the Dems, and enough Reps, will coalesce around a plan of immediate withdrawal. I am thinking that they are more like vultures waiting for someone else to bring down the big prey, or for it to collapse, than like hyenas or lions in a coordinated attack.

Pelosi and Reid wrote a letter urging a policy for Pres. Bush. It was essentially a bluff because they can't get their own party to vote the policy into law. I am not joyful at their dilemma, it just is as it is.


Global Citizen: All kinds of guys can give inspirational speeches. When hollow, the speaker is known as a pedagogue.

That's a good one.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 11, 2007 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

Only a PowerLine regular...or egbert...would write that.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 11, 2007 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

Ghost --

General Keane talked about driving the insurgents from Baghdad and then Anbar.

Since the insurgency consists of both Sunni and Shia and since General Keane did not mention proceeding on to a Shia province after driving insurgents from Baghdad, perhaps he is revealing that the Bush/McCain Doctrine now embraces the 80 percent solution of Dick Cheney -- that is, side with the 80 percent Shias against the 20 percent Sunnis.

Posted by: rs on January 11, 2007 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

As usual, the defeatocrats have no plan.

There is no good solution to the current situation. If you pull out, Iraq will collapse into open civil war (not the poorly veiled one that exists today). If you stay, more american and iraqi lives will be lost. Either way both sides loose.

Posted by: F.Bauge on January 11, 2007 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

mike cook: Worse yet, when hundreds of thousands of Iraqis reach our shores, it will be a mixed blessing. Many will make fine Americans because they believe in democracy and crave our freedoms and our rule of law

Nutso! trex already kicked your ass at 11:22 PM and then Globe did it again at 11:33 PM. But in case you stagger back in here, go read about the march of freedom under the Bushwacko preznitcy: Few Iraqis Are Gaining U.S. Sanctuary, Jan. 2, 2007... Or don't read it and remain a delusional ignoramus.

On a related note, I wonder if the FBI ever found the 3,000 missing illegal Iraqis here in America [BBCNews, Jan. 27, 2003]... 'cause Bush sure as shit gave up the mission to track down Osama, you know, the terrorist thug who masterminded "the day that changed everything" (9/11 for those who have forgotten). OBL hardly ever gets mentioned by Bush, Cheney, or any of the other members of the insane clown posse at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

What gives? Hmmmm... I smell something oily.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 11, 2007 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

gregor: Mistakes were made. Responsibility rests with me.

gregor, you nailed it. I read through the speech (no way would I inflict the pain of hearing it on myself) and found this pathetic, weak acknowledgement of mistakes that erupted from the cosmos like the spontaneous combustion of human bodies. Yeah, we can attribute them to Bush, but he didn't really make the mistakes. The blame just came to roost with him through some kind of tricksiness of the universe where he is saddled with fault when it was really SOMEONE ELSE'S FAULT but he's being the gentleman and taking the blame.

What a loser.

Posted by: cowalker on January 11, 2007 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK


Well. That was easy. I'm surprised I didn't think of that myself.

Then why didn't Bush do it? Why didn't we send enough soldiers to corner bin Laden? Why did Bush take us through this insane adventure in Iraq? Yes, it's simple - simple as listening to generals who told you if you really insist on invading Iraq, do it with the correct number of troops. All these ideas were simple. But clearly, not simple enough for Bush.

We need to redeploy our soldiers. If you want to call it surrender, fine. Call it whatever you want, no one cares. I surrender to the idea that it's become impossible for our soldiers to defeat the insurgents. I surrender to the idea that we need to stand down so that the Iraqi soldiers can stand up. I surrender to the idea that it's the Iraqi government who is ultimately responsible for Iraq. It's their country - the Iraqi gov. needs to go after al-Sadr and take responsibility for wrangling in groups that are killing Americans. I surrender to the idea that Bush's adventure has been irresponsible and a collosal waste of taxpayer dollars.

Posted by: Andy on January 11, 2007 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK

Let's think about specifics -- if Bush goes after Iran and Syria...

I'm assuming that, first, there will be the obligatory trotting-out of evidence that Iran and Syria are involved in Iraq (I actually have no doubt they are).

Then it could unfold in two directions: (a) low-intensity, with special-ops teams taking out individuals and facilities known to be involved in supporting insurgents or death squads in Iraq (the "networks" Bush spoke of), or (b) high-intensity, with air strikes and cruise missile attacks on various targets, esp. nuclear processing facilities, air bases, anti-aircraft batteries, maybe some bridges.

Which way will Bush et al. go? And then what?

Needless to say, this would be catastrophic for regional stability and the price of oil, great news for Russia, Venezuela and other unsavory suppliers of oil, and the trigger for more Hamas and Hezbolla violence.

Can someone reach over and take the keys out the ignition, please? We need to get this driver home and into bed.

Posted by: DNS on January 11, 2007 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

Worse yet, when hundreds of thousands of Iraqis reach our shores, it will be a mixed blessing. Many will make fine Americans because they believe in democracy and crave our freedoms and our rule of law. But some will have treachery in mind, and become republicans.

These must be culled.

Posted by: craigie on January 11, 2007 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

Ex-Liberal: I'm not optimistic that the "new" strategy will be successful, but I agree that it's worth a try, since the stakes are so high.

I can quite understand that you're not in danger and are so sociopathic that you have no empathy for the grunts your "WTF give it a go!" attitude will kill.

The thing that does make me wonder is this though. If Iran does get attacked, how big is their standing army? I mean I know standard wisdom says the US Armed forces can take anyone or anything, but we all know what happened when the Chinese didn't like how close the UN forces go to their border in Korea. I know there was an "honourable draw" but how many American troops had to die to secure it?

MacArthur and Bush, hubris aforethought?


Posted by: Bad Rabbit on January 11, 2007 at 3:04 AM | PERMALINK

I'm late to the discussion. Is it true that Bush said al-Qaeda is headquartered in Ann Arbor? Jesus, how can they defeat us if they can't even beat USC?

Posted by: hellhound on January 11, 2007 at 3:20 AM | PERMALINK

Almost to the letter, it's the same stuff we've been trying for the past three years, except with about 10% more troops than before.

Agree. Except for the additional troops, and the additional money--note there was no mention of that, or of any additional "sacrifice" in Bush's remarks--there is nothing new of substance.

UPDATE: There's a little more detail here, but frankly, there's still not much new.

The only things noteworth in the NSC document are: casting old problems as new problems; and increasing the the anti-Iran and -Syria drumbeat.

Posted by: has407 on January 11, 2007 at 3:32 AM | PERMALINK

So how is this different from the usual ups and downs caused by troop rotations? IIRC troops levels have ranged from as 120-160,000 American soldiers. Is this just another case of Bushco marketing again?

At the start of the thread bb commented "I am truly sorry to say: this has to be stopped" and I think this sentiment is the most true. Bushco's war is a disaster, and Bush needs to be stopped before he does more harm to America.

But I had to laugh at mike cook upthread, the person who argued that we needed to continue to keep our troops in Iraq because otherwise we might be flooded with Iraqi refugees....
Let's assume that Bushco will reverse its policy on Iraqi refugees. Let's assume that Bushco makes arrangements for hundreds of thousands of displaced persons--some of whom will be eager for revenge--to resettle in the US. We can call this "Operation Trojan Horse".

Remember when the conservative line was "We fight them there so we don't have to fight them here?" heh. So now, having successfully created MORE terrorists, Bushco can start importing them to the US.

Posted by: PTate in MN on January 11, 2007 at 4:25 AM | PERMALINK

There were a number of things worth commenting on in Bush's speech tonight

Not really. Bush is a terrible speaker and you can't believe a thing he says anyway. Our trojan horse is about to destroy everything the GOP has worked for the past few decades, and it's dark comedy that they won't realize it before it's long too late.

Posted by: Jimm on January 11, 2007 at 4:44 AM | PERMALINK

Albert's plan for Iraq
a) get the fuck out
b)with some of the billions saved hire Iraqi contractors to repairs basic infrastructure.
c)put duct tape over Bush's mouth
d)let him never control more than a hot dog stand again


Posted by: Albert on January 11, 2007 at 4:52 AM | PERMALINK

If you want to get a feel of how precisely "more of the same" this was, go read BarbinMD's latest post at DKos where she does a point-by-point comparison between Bush's speech last night, and what he said in a press conference on October 25.

It's all but word-for-word.

Posted by: RT on January 11, 2007 at 5:30 AM | PERMALINK

Why Bush or any of these other delusional conservatives think that if the U.S. leaves Iraq, it will immediately belong to al-Qaeda, is beyond me. It is completely illogical. The number of true al-Qaeda loyalists in Iraq is tiny - probably less than 1,000. And they don't have the support of the other 26 million Iraqis now. How is that when we leave, that a group representing .003% of the population suddenly takes over? It ain't gonna happen, folks!

al-Qaeda is a convenient bogeyman for Bush to keep the ignorant living in fear, so they don't squeal too much as the U.S. Treasury gets looted and the Bill of Rights shredded.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 11, 2007 at 5:45 AM | PERMALINK

From my extended thoughts on the speech:

Unfortunately, however, the plan is doomed to fail. It will not quell the violence in Iraq and more Americans and Iraqis will die as a result of this futile attempt.

Bush’s “New Strategy Forward” is way too little and nearly four bloody, painful years too late.

The plan, says Paul Reickhoff, a lieutenant in the Florida National Guard in 2003 and 2004, is not a “Hail Mary” pass, as many in the pundit class have referred to it. Instead, he argues that it is a “draw play on fourth down.” It is a decision with little chance of succeeding and will only result in punting the ball down the field to the next president in 2009.

Posted by: Matt on January 11, 2007 at 6:02 AM | PERMALINK

Bush has given America no winnable options. We withdraw, Iraq falls apart. We surge, Iraq still falls apart even though Bush calls it the only chance for "victory," which he cannot define and. Who thinks Iraqi democracy will suddenly solidify in the next six months thanks to the presence of 20,000 more US troops? Or is it a year?? Two years??? Are we fighting a war or occupying the country?

Competent leaders don't deal their citizens losing hands, particularly when military intervention is involved.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 11, 2007 at 6:56 AM | PERMALINK

"Iraq is crucial to the course of the rest of this century. THe steaks are too high to fail."

No, Egbert, you meant to say the steaks are too high to FALL. Just follow your fault-free president's advice and climb ever higher up the magical beef tree and reach right out there to the furthest branches.

Nothing can go wrong if HE tells you it's right. And, man, those steaks are supposed to be good eatin'!

Posted by: Kenji on January 11, 2007 at 7:21 AM | PERMALINK

Let's have another verse that's worse than the other verse, and waltz me around again Willy

I always thought it was "waltz me around by my willie". That's what it feels like now, anyway.

Posted by: Xenos on January 11, 2007 at 7:45 AM | PERMALINK

As usual, the defeatocrats have no plan.
Posted by: Al

That is the point. Nobody has a plan, because we are at a strategic and tactical dead end. What to do? Cut and run, and retain your forces intact.

At this point, cutting and running (which is a naval term that translates as 'save your ship and men for a fight you CAN win') is more honorable than Bush's strategy of 'dick around and hope things get better.'

There is no honor is getting good soldiers chewed up to save the CiC's ego.

Posted by: Xenos on January 11, 2007 at 7:52 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin said "nothing new" was being said.
That reminds me of this website; nothing new always the same negative loserman mentality.

And still no Democrat strategy for ending this war with a win - or even a way to preserve the dignity of the warrior.

I am sure no enemy takes comfort in the defeatism of Democrats and how the progressive undermines their own president. The President said, "the responsibility rests with me," kind of like "The buck stops here." Not good enough for all the Bush haters. Nothing will be because those progressives are close minded hate mongers.

Why don't we just get on representative from the Muslims and one from the Liberals and have them fight it out to see who will be in charge of how we all live.

Posted by: Orwell on January 11, 2007 at 8:11 AM | PERMALINK

I watched MSNBC's commentary after the speech and was particularly struck by what Barack Obama had to say. Instead of suggesting that the Democrats would fight Bush's efforts to escalate the war by sending more troops to Iraq while simultaneously taking on Iran and Syria, Obama talked about forcing the administration to establish specific penalties in the event that the Iraqi "government" failed to meet Bush's "benchmarks." Sounds to me like the Dems aren't yet feeling comfortable enough with their newly installed backbones to actually attempt to block Bush's plan. They won't impeach, they won't resist... As we used to say in Viet Name, "we won't fight, and you can't make us."
Jefferson weeps.

Posted by: Ex-Pat on January 11, 2007 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal" wrote: The American people don't want to lose in Iraq. They will support an allegedly new approach for a period of time.

Thanks for conceding that Bush's so-called "new way forward" is nothing of the kind, but merely a cynical ploy to punt the Iraqi mess into the lap of his successor. Shame on you for your support of Bush and his neocon cronies.

Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

I am not joyful at their dilemma

That's probably the most overt lie Marler's posted here.

Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

Iraq was better off before the invasion. The Middle East was better off before the invasion. The United States was better off before the invasion.

Posted by: Fred on January 11, 2007 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry..."Viet Nam," not "Viet Name." Easy to forget the spelling when one's brain is fogged with memories of the lessons (apparently unlearned).
And Orwell:
A) Rather than "preserving the dignity of the warrior" how about concentrating on preserving the lives and limbs of the warriors?
B) Name a single progressive who actually considers Bush to be "their own president." You want him? He's yours.
C) The "responsibility" is most certainly his. The pain and suffering, the cost and the legacy will be ours.
D) By "Muslims" I'm sure you meant "insurgents/terrorists," right? Even a knuckle-dragging wingnut like you couldn't really think that the WAR ON TERROR!!! is a war against the entire Muslim religion. Or could you?

Posted by: Ex-Pat on January 11, 2007 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

Off topic, but why do the President's big pronouncements about Iraq always seem to coincide with highly publicized military actions, this time a strike against al Qaeda in Somalia? It's as if Bush is using the DoD as his personal PR agency.

Big announcement that a leading al Qaeda figure in Somalia was killed proves to be false. No surprise there.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 11, 2007 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

It's as if Bush is using the DoD as his personal PR agency.

Why not? He learned that trick from Reagan.

Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

There was nothing about new military tactics, just an assertion that more troops would help us clear and hold neighborhoods.

No, we aren't sending "more troops." We are currently at 132,000. Adding 21,000 gives us 153,000. We were as high as 160,000 last year. This is just more "stay the course."

Posted by: Jose Padilla on January 11, 2007 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK
And still no Democrat strategy for ending this war with a win

Isn't that ANNOYING???

Our great president, completely ignorant of Iraqi culture & history, completely ignorant of the Sunni/Shiite rivalry, starts an unprovoked war against a bad man who had no part in attacking us on 9/11.

Our great president, coveting Iraq's petroleum, blindly attacks secular Iraq and unleashes religious zealots formerly held in check by Saddam.

Our great president, a weak-minded and insecure bully, ignores the international community and starts a conflagration in the heart of the middle-east.

And Democrats have no plan for victory. Why it just leaves me speechless.

Posted by: Bozo the Klutz on January 11, 2007 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

Why do you defeatocrats want us to lose?

Posted by: Al on January 10, 2007 at 10:20 PM

Why do you Reich wingnuts still think we have a chance of winning?

Posted by: (: Tom :) on January 11, 2007 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

U.S. forces raid Iranian consulate in Iraq/Reuters


Holy Crap!

Posted by: MsNThrope on January 11, 2007 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

I do admire the boldness of conservatives. They shat the bed, and now have the balls to complain that the Democrats don't have a plan to unshit it.

Bold. Insane, but bold.

Posted by: Otto Man on January 11, 2007 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

Iran and Syria are supplying the insurgency, using them as a proxy force against us. I suspected this before, tonight the President confirmed it. I'm seething, to say the least.

Oh, Holy Night! You're killing me!

Posted by: ibc on January 11, 2007 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

Apologies to GHWB, but the world would be a much better place if instead of being the alleged victim of an attempted assassination he had contracted AIDS, lymphoma, emphysema, heart disease, diabetes, and had a stroke while recovering from a car accident involving a drunk NRA zealot.

Posted by: rewolfrats on January 11, 2007 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Did any of you notice the part of the speech that mentions November as the time that the Iraqis are supposed to take over for American troops. Did I hear that correctly? And if I did I say let Bush go for it. If the supposed new plan works great and if it doesn't than it would be quite a stretch to blame the Dems for it not working.

Posted by: gandalf on January 11, 2007 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Several have denigrated the thoughts of Mike Cook, the guru of the stab lab on Pacific Coast Highway in Federal Way - However, he does have a point - We must fight them over there so the Twins do not have to mud rassle them in any Country and Western bar over here.

Oh, and all of those up to 90,000 troops, well, Gates is reorganizing the National Guard and Army Reserve requirements for deployment. So we can all pitch in to help assist anyone in our respective states when an emergency develops. Why, who really needs those units to stay in their respective states?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 11, 2007 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

No, but then I was not around when conservatives defended the divine right of kings.

Posted by: bobbyp on January 10, 2007 at 11:22 PM

The divine right of kings is the central core of modern conservatism. How do you think they view GWB? He is the prince grown up and assuming his father's throne. Conservativism is all about social promotion, promotion without regard to ability. That is the reason we are in this mess.

We need less royalty in this country. We need to reject any candidate put forward who lacks a compelling personal story. What some candidate's daddy did is nice, but if the candidate hasn't done anything on his own, family history is worse than meaningless.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 11, 2007 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

Most hilarious of the wingnut reactions is Jonah Lucianne Goldberg's piece in LAT today.

In short: So what if Bush is going to jump and fall from the cliff? At least he knows what he wants, and says directly and clearly that we should go forward and jump. Those dems. Sometimes they say we should turn left, sometimes right, and sometimes they even want us to turn around!

Posted by: gregor on January 11, 2007 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

And of course the Prince slew the dragon, i. e. the dragon being Clinton and by extension, Al Gore. So the political zealots and the fundies of the right rally around their Prince - Tax breaks help, also.

In American Dynasty, Kevin Phillips discusses the restorations of the Stuart and Bourbon Dynasties and compares them with the restoration of the Bush Dynasty. Neither, the second Stuart nor the second Bourbon restoration ended well.

In the Bush restoration, there was an element of bourbon, with the small b, involved as well - From giving up bourbon to becoming a born again Christian warrior. Ah, the zealots of mid life conversions with their concealed hip flasks.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 11, 2007 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

monkeybone: Weren't we talking about solutions for Iraq other than surrender? Reid's paper has hundreds of references about why the war in Iraq sucks. The solutions? "To Honor the Sacrifice of Our Troops, Democrats will: • Ensure 2006 is a year of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with the Iraqis assuming primary responsibility for securing and governing their country and with the responsible redeployment of U.S. forces; • Insist that Iraqis make the political compromises necessary to unite their country and
defeat the insurgency; promote regional diplomacy; and strongly encourage our allies and
other nations to play a constructive role." Again, why didn't anyone else think of that? Get Iraq secure using their own forces, quell the sectarian violence, and get our allies to help win the war. It's all so simple when you don't give a rat's arse about the details. Hey, my health proposal for 2007: Cure cancer!

Monkeybone, I suggest you listen to Bush's speech yourself. Aside from large sections on how great freedom is, and deploying a military that we don't have anymore, the actual Iraq War tactics consist of useful and detailed ideas like:

Our troops will have a well-defined mission: to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods, to help them protect the local population, and to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security that Baghdad needs....We will use America’s full diplomatic resources to rally support for Iraq from nations throughout the Middle East. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf States need to understand that an American defeat in Iraq would create a new sanctuary for extremists — and a strategic threat to their survival. These nations have a stake in a successful Iraq that is at peace with its neighbours — and they must step up their support for Iraq’s unity government. We endorse the Iraqi government’s call to finalize an International Compact that will bring new economic assistance in exchange for greater economic reform. And on Friday, Secretary Rice will leave for the region — to build support for Iraq, and continue the urgent diplomacy required to help bring peace to the Middle East.

Well, that was easy. I'm surprised I didn't think of that myself! Again, why didn't anyone else think of that? Get Iraq secure using their own forces, quell the sectarian violence, and get our allies to help win the war. It's all so simple when you don't give a rat's ass about the details.

Hey, my health proposal for 2007: Cure cancer!

Posted by: Arminius on January 11, 2007 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Jonah Lucianne must have been really extatic over the leadership of Jim Jones - Straight forward - had a plan - didn't waver - carried it out - The Purpose Driven Plan - Well done, Jim.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 11, 2007 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory, actually I was conceding that the Presidnt's new strategy is a ploy try to succeed in Iraq, thus avoiding a bloodbath in which million of Iraqis are killed.

Bad Rabbit, I am in danger. So are you. 3000 people were killed in the World Trade Center. Either of us could be a victim in the next attack.

Your failure to think of the terrorism threat shows how good a job President Bush has done protecting the country from further attack.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 11, 2007 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Just remember "Now's the time to act". Not say, 3 1/2 years ago when it might have mattered.

Posted by: ckelly on January 11, 2007 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:Either of us could be a victim in the next attack.

I hope it's you.

Posted by: Scoff on January 11, 2007 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

We are an ignorant people. We will follow anyone who promises to make us feel good. We elected, excuse me, selelcted, a fool who is nothing but a useful idiot for the oligarchy. The emporer has no clothes.

What have we become?

Posted by: bobbywally on January 11, 2007 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Your failure to think of the terrorism threat shows how good a job President Bush has done protecting the country from further attack.

ex-liberal,

You must be allergic to actual true information. Since 9/11 has the incidence of terrorism worldwide decreased or increased?

Please bear in mind, how many years passed between the first WTC attack and the second? More years than Bush has been president, no? So Clinton was a more effective defender of the US by your criteria.

Posted by: obscure on January 11, 2007 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Your failure to think of the terrorism threat shows how good a job President Bush has done protecting the country from further attack.

He's also done a fantastic job of protecting us from comets and hordes of black dragons.

What? You mean there haven't been any comet dangers or attacks from black dragons? So Bush isn't responsible for stopping those either?

That's it, I'm revoking my membership with Powerline and Instapundit. But I'm keeping the secret decoder ring and the sea monkeys.

Posted by: trex on January 11, 2007 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

I listened to Bush, I heard a fortune telling speech, how it WILL go in the year ahead according to Bush.

Is Iraq about the only place terrorists can hit the US from?

If we "Clean it up" what prevents the terrorists from formulating US attacks from elsewhere then? Weapons, monies, and plans can be gathered anywhere in the world as well as Iraq and of course that bit of Afganistan. So we "democratize" Iraq, is that the end of the terrorist threat to America? Orwell, Mike? Predictions are free today.

Surge and dominate Iraq and feel pleased with yourselves, O' Great GOP. But what are you going to say when attacks continue, other than blame the Dems.

One of those terrorists on 9/11 got on his plane in MY home state. I will never forget that. He wasn't in Iraq, he was here in the US. People are dying over there, in ONE country, in ONE part of a rather large middle east, in ONE bit piece of the world.

Bush is putting all our defensive eggs in one basket. It makes a thinking person ask why. "Why?"

Posted by: Zit on January 11, 2007 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

I don't remember the childhood song this went with, but Bush's speech reminded of the ditty:

Second verse, same as the first;
But a little bit louder and a whole lot worse.

Posted by: Th on January 11, 2007 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

I am in danger. So are you.

I detest fear mongering and I loathe those who do it. The fear of being a vicitm of retaliation for crimes committed is a base emotion, belying the knowledge that wrongs were done but that the victims do not have the right to address them because of the strength of their tormentor.

You are in danger of having justice imposed for your crimes and your solution is to commit more crimes. The correct way to avoid retribution and retaliation for your sins is to ask forgiveness and provide reparations.

The Shiite faction of Islam is feared in America because of the revolution in Iran and the taking of some US spies as prisoners. Those spies would have been executed had they been taken prisoner by any other religious group. The fact that Iran's Shiites did not execute justice on the spies and did not start any wars demonstrates our fear of them is unfounded.

We need to address the wrongs we have committed agsainst our victims and pledge not to use force for the natural resources our military and its industrial complex covet. Then the blood thirsty war pigs that are Americans can sleep soundly. If we do not ask forgiveness, we will remain the very thing we fear the most, a mass murdering thieving monster, and we will be in the shadows outside of justice.

We live in the shadows outside of justice, attempting to escape its light, which some will call danger.

Posted by: Brojo on January 11, 2007 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal" wrote: actually I was conceding that the Presidnt's new strategy is a ploy try to succeed in Iraq, thus avoiding a bloodbath in which million of Iraqis are killed.

Bullshit. You already acknowledged that Bush's allegedly new plan is therefore not new at all. Since Bush has already demonstrably failed at avoiding a bloodbath in Iraq -- much less "succeeding" in any way, including defining success in any realistic measure of achievable goals -- you admitted that Bush isn't really trying -- much less capable -- to succeed in Iraq. QED.

Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Your failure to think of the terrorism threat...

You are barking fucking mad, but stating that is redundant. Your failure to think of anything else is a more desperate fate than any a terrorist could visit on you. You have built yourself a prison, locked yourself inside and swallowed the key. I pity you and all who have bought into the politics of fear.

No one is ever going to attach an appellation like greatest Generation to us.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 11, 2007 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

A little boy likes to destroy
A sandcastle or a building of blocks
A little boy favors a toy
That goes BANG and makes of you dead

When he grows up he learns other methods
Of getting the things that he likes
There's lying there's theft there's cheating and graft
And if these don't suffice there's another way still

Though it's true that women prefer it
And a man who employs it doth risk his utensil
As it calls for patience, forbearance and listening
And treating one's foe as an equal

They call it negotiation or some girlie-thing
They call it the fabric of peace
They call it respect for one's fellow man
But it's harder than packing a piece

Posted by: Law of the Jungle on January 11, 2007 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

I'm watching Mitch McConnell here on CNN. I love his new line: Sure, what we've been doing in Iraq hasn't worked in Iraq. But it's worked great in America -- i.e., because we haven't been attacked. I guess this is just a different formulation of the same imbecile argument. But I thought it was worth noting.

-- Josh Marshall

I'm betting that if we had invaded Somalia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Belgium, Kenya, or the Sudan, we also wouldn't have been attacked in the US.

In McConnell's world, that means that invading those countries instead also would have prevented attacks on the US and thus attacking those countries would have been justified.

Gotta love that conservative logic!

Posted by: Google_This on January 11, 2007 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Your failure to think of the terrorism threat shows how good a job President Bush has done protecting the country from further attack.

Ah, the moronic we're fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here canard.

I think the people of London, Madrid and other recent terrorist-attack sites would disagree with your, uh, "logic."

Posted by: Otto Man on January 11, 2007 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Marc: The Democratic plan is spelled out in a 123-page report on Harry Reid's website, which took me all of three seconds to find on Google:

monkeybone is still searching for a clue.

Of course, if he should stumble onto one, he won't know what to do with it.

Which is why I'm not buying a clue for him.

Don't bother reading the Democratic plan to him either; he doesn't understand the English language when its spoken any more than he does when its in writing.

Posted by: Google_This on January 11, 2007 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

What's new is the implicit promise that he is going to attack Syria and Iran.

At this point only a military coup may save us from that disaster. As horrifically bad as Iraq has been for the Iraqis, the United States and the world, attacking Iran would be worse by an order of magnitude.

Bush is clearly now actively psychotic, and clearly unable to carry out his duties. One would normally hope that the relevant provisions of the contitution would be brought into play, except that the next alternative is almost certainly worse worse.

Posted by: LarryM on January 11, 2007 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Larry Johnson: Bush also has ignored the recent National Intelligence Estimate, which says that the U.S. presence in Iraq is fueling terrorism not diminishing it. Putting more U.S. troops into Baghdad who will be killing more Iraqis will simply embitter more Iraqis and speed recruitment of aspiring terrorists.

Bush puts the nation at risk to save himself.

It won't work, but like the spurned controlling boyfriend, if he isn't going to get the girl, nobody is.

What's next, setting American children up in front of himself at public speeches instead of speaking from behind a bulletproof plastic shield?

Posted by: Google_This on January 11, 2007 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Ottoman:"I do admire the boldness of conservatives. They shat the bed, and now have the balls to complain that the Democrats don't have a plan to unshit it.

Bold. Insane, but bold.

Your scatological analogy made me laugh! Thank you.

Posted by: PTate in MN on January 11, 2007 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

obscure: Since 9/11 has the incidence of terrorism worldwide decreased or increased?

The incidence of terrorist attacks has increased dramatically in other areas, but NOT in the US.

I don't know if you meant to imply a cause and effect relationship between our resistance to terrorism and the increase in terrorism. If so, I disagree. Note that after the US declared war on Japan and Germany in 1941, those two countries increased their aggression. That's what happens in a war. The enemy fights back. Nevertheless, we were obviously right to use military force against German and Japanese fascism. I think history will show that we are right to use miliatry force against Islamic fascism.

Please bear in mind, how many years passed between the first WTC attack and the second? More years than Bush has been president, no? So Clinton was a more effective defender of the US by your criteria.

Don't forget the USS Cole attack also happened on Clinton's watch. Clinton treated terrorism as a criminal matter; Bush made the decision to treat it as a war. I believe history will show that Bush was right to do so.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 11, 2007 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:

I've always expected to die from something I would rather have avoided. It's called "reality."

9/11 didn't change me. The sky didn't collapse when the towers fell. America is robust and can weather the loss of even a major city.

Perspective is what you lack; it won't matter much if you, Bad Rabbit, and I are each killed by an attack. Things will continue just as well.

Posted by: absent observer on January 11, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

ex-lib:

Your failure to think of the terrorism threat shows how good a job President Bush has done protecting the country from further attack.

Well, there was one terrorist attack from Islamic extremists on American soil where 5 people died under Clinton. Since the standard you're using is "no further attacks, ergo whatever's being done is corrent," why didn't Republicans thank Clinton for stopping further terrorists attacks from Islamic extremists, instead of falsely accusing him of not doing enough, and accusing him of wagging the dog? And Clinton did it without launching a war. After the billions spent by Bush, he still hasn't found bin Laden.

Posted by: Andy on January 11, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

It was your boy who let it happen here and cost 3000 American lives, and he was warned. ("You've covered your ass now.) He's a feckless, drooling fool and there is no spinning that. Deal.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 11, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal," your tired, hackneyed neocon talking points have been rebutted so many times, one can only assume you're repeating them out of dishonesty rather than ignorance.

Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

I believe history will show that Bush was right to do so.

And you will take it to your grave unconfirmed, since the history won't be written in our lifetimes. But nice head-fake.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 11, 2007 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

The price tag for the Iraqi invasion:

3000+ American soldiers;

Hundreds of billions of dollars;

Lost opportunities to shore up domestic defenses and enhance intelligence gathering;

Lost opportunities in Afghanistan; and

Tens or hundreds of thousands of innocent civilian casualties.


What did we get for all that expenditure?

Semi-democratic, isolated enclaves in Iraq surrounded by massive violence and militia rule, loss of credibility worldwide, and a reputation as a nation that sponsors and conducts torture and that readily repudiates both international and and its own domestic law while demanding strict adherence to those laws by others.

What a bargain.

Just what you would expect from a failed businessman and a cowardly draft-dodger.

Posted by: Google_This on January 11, 2007 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

I should have responded thusly:

believe history will show that Bush was right to do so...but I DON'T KNOW.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 11, 2007 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

"There were NO FLAGS on the set. And evidently he was in a library. Has he ever done anything like that that before?

Also there was no "God Bless America" at the end of the speech. Hasn't that been de riguer since Reagan?

Granted these are superficial points but superficial has always been germain in Roveworld."
Posted by: paul on January 10, 2007 at 11:36 PM

I thought that a bit interesting as well. It almost seemed that the set was designed more for its impact on Al-Jazeera or Al-Arabiya. He was speaking *to Iraqis* more than he was speaking to us. Perhaps trying to downplay the "crusader" image by not using flags and not mentioning God explicitly.

On another note, I found an interesting article by Julian Delasantellis in today's Asia Times: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IA12Ak02.html

He concludes that we will likely *not* employ Gen. Petraeus' "enlightened" counter-insurgency methods at all because it will create too many casualties for us.

..."Petraeus' and Amos' hard slog through two millennia of military counterinsurgency history is running straight up against the rocks of US military officer-promotion policies. Petraeus may soon to be at the top of the command pyramid in Iraq, but influencing policy lower in the ranks is difficult for any leader. Watch the military run "counterinsurgency" up the flagpole, watch it get saluted, and then watch the war be prosecuted exactly as before.

Anybody who has ever participated in the creation of one of those fatuous "strategic vision mission statements" that all organizations down to the neighborhood paperboys now spout know that there can be an enormous difference between what an organization says and what it does. Whatever it says, how it rewards or punishes its members illustrates its real priorities."...

..."Okay, let's say you have two ambitious young officers serving in Iraq. Both of their units are under small-arms fire from Iraqi insurgents in a building ahead of them. One has read Petraeus and Amos, so he does not call in an air strike. Maybe he sends in his special-ops infantry team to take out the bad guys with small-arms fire. Maybe one or two of his guys get shot up in the process. Do this in this way enough times, and Petraeus and Amos say you will win the support - the "hearts and minds", as this was called in Vietnam - of the local population.

Do this enough times, and your unit could get shot up pretty bad, with attrition rates possibly approaching 50%. Yes, maybe your sector of command would be pacified, but maybe it wouldn't; how could you know what the future would hold when you first start fighting Petraeus-Amos style? Even if your operations succeed and you pacify your area, your unit will soon be transferred out of there, and who knows if your successor will be equally enlightened? "....

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 11, 2007 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "Does Bush really think the American public is going to find any of this very convincing?"

Bush says what Dick Cheney tells him to say, and Dick Cheney obviously doesn't give a damn what "the American public" thinks. The great majority of the American public clearly expressed in the November elections that they want the war in Iraq to be ended, not escalated.

Dick Cheney has, and has always had, one and only goal in Iraq: the establishment of a US-backed puppet government that will hand over control of, and the vast majority of the profits from, Iraq's vast oil reserves to his cronies and financial backers in the US-based multinational oil companies, and that will acquiesce to a large, permanent US military presence to enforce that control.

Dick Cheney will send any number of young working-class Americans to their deaths in Iraq, and will murder any number of innocent Iraqi civilians, in order to achieve this goal -- for as long as he can get away with it.

Thus it is up to the Democrats in Congress to do what Rep. Dennis Kucinich advocates: cut off all further funding for the war, and require that the Cheney/Bush administration use the funding that is already in the pipeline to bring the troops home immediately. Merely talking about their "opposition", and passing meaningless "sense of the Congress" non-binding resolutions, is bullshit, if the Democrats continue to give Cheney and Bush the money to do whatever they want.

The Democrats are now the majority in the Congress for one and only one reason: the American public wants the Iraq war ended. If they ignore the wishes of the voters who gave them their majority, then they are just as guilty as Dick Cheney and George Bush for all the deaths to come in Iraq.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 11, 2007 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: Don't forget the USS Cole attack also happened on Clinton's watch. Clinton treated terrorism as a criminal matter; Bush made the decision to treat it as a war.

Funny how ex-liberal restricts terrorism to that on US soil when defending Bush, but readily uses terrorism not on US soil when bashing Clinton.

I believe history will show that Bush was right to do so.

Idiots often have strange beliefs.

I think history will show that we are right to use [military] force against Islamic fascism.

Unfortunately, Bush isn't doing that.

Iraq was not a hotbed of Islamic fascism, much less a country controlled by it.

Saudi Arabia is, but then Bush didn't attack Saudi Arabia, did he?

If Bush has ever used military force against Islamic fascism, it's only been by accident, not by design, and it's only been miniscule, not a significant act.

Posted by: Google_This on January 11, 2007 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Dittohead scumbag "ex-liberal" wrote: "Clinton treated terrorism as a criminal matter; Bush made the decision to treat it as a war."

Bush made the decision to ignore the numerous warnings about the impending 9/11 attacks and allow them to happen so he could "treat" them as a pretext for his long-planned war of unprovoked aggression to seize control of Iraq's vast oil reserves for Dick Cheney's cronies and financial backers in the US-based multinational oil companies.

Cheney and Bush are criminals, and you are a bootlicking mental slave of criminals.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 11, 2007 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton treated terrorism as a criminal matter; Bush made the decision to treat it as a war. I believe history will show that Bush was right to do so.

Let's see ... the British employed law enforcement techniques to stop that recent airliner bomb plot, and did a brilliant job. Bush employed war-making techniques in Iraq, and now it's Quagmire Accomplished.

Yeah, I'll take the criminal matter approach. It tends to get fewer of my fellow citizens killed and doesn't turn millions of bystanders against us.

Posted by: TR on January 11, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

You speak most eloquently when you speak on things you either no nothing about or are willing to lie about, ex-liberal.

Thus it always is with conservatives: deceipt is a fundamental characteristic of their methods of operation and philosophy and they value the willingness and ability to deceive above all other characteristics.

TR: Let's see ... the British employed law enforcement techniques to stop that recent airliner bomb plot, and did a brilliant job. Bush employed war-making techniques in Iraq, and now it's Quagmire Accomplished.

Domestic law enforcement has stopped a number of terrorist attacks (at least according to the Bush administration itself), but there is not a single demonstrated instance in which a terrorist attack on US soil has been stopped by military personnel.

So, the argument is based on faith, not evidence; typical for ex-liberal and his crew of Christian-fascist wannabes.

Posted by: Google_This on January 11, 2007 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Oops! That's "know nothing" not "no nothing".

Posted by: Google_This on January 11, 2007 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

My fellow liberals,

Thanks for the many hilarious remarks contributed to this thread. Such a welcome relief from the nightmare in Iraq, our insane Dauphin, and the farting buffoons of the His Majesty's Trolletariat.

You've proven that there is a reason why one of America's more lucrative industries and exports -- entertainment -- is dominated by liberals.

Yet we have one accidental comic...Sir Eggburp: Iraq is crucial to the course of the rest of this century. THe steaks are too high to fail.

ROTF... What a precious gem for The Book of Wingnuttia.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 11, 2007 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

...the farting buffoons of His Majesty's Trolletariat.

Bwah.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 11, 2007 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

[The]steaks are too high to fail.

Yes, they must be much closer to the fire to be properly grilled.

Posted by: Google_This on January 11, 2007 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Steak and eggie: it's what's for dinner!

Has anybody checked to see whether Rummy ever actually moved out of his office. It would appear, based on last night's "stay-the-course-plus-ten-percent" memo to the world, that he's still piloting the Enterprise.

Posted by: Trollhattan on January 11, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

So, what is new about Bush's plans in Iraq?

-- Change in rules of engagement. This could be key, becauase our troops were unduly restricted by the old ROEs.

-- Warning to Syria and Iran to stop interfering in Iraq. This could be important if Bush is really able to stop their meddling.

-- Focus on particular mixed neighblrhoods of Iraq, where the combined US and Iraqi forces are sufficient to clear and hold. (I don't know how well this will work. What if the insurgents simply move to other areas?)

-- Insistence on political changes including a plan for sharing oil revenues, Constitution modifications, reducing restrictions on Baath members, etc. (These items have been under discussion for many months. We will see if the government acts on them and if the political changes translate into security improvements.)

-- Allegedly Maliki means it when he says he'll go after all militias. This might actually be the case. See
Al-Maliki gives Mahdi Army blunt choice: disarm or face American onslaught

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 11, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, nothing in "ex-liberal"'s list of "what is new about Bush's plans in Iraq" is, in fact, new.

Last night Bush only said "Stay the Course" again, and all "ex-liberal" can do to prop up the failure of his beloved neocons is tell increasingly obvious lies.

Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

...and just look at all those qualifiers "ex-liberal" uses!

Still, this one's my favorite: Focus on particular mixed neighblrhoods of Iraq, where the combined US and Iraqi forces are sufficient to clear and hold. (I don't know how well this will work. What if the insurgents simply move to other areas?

What, indeed?

If even the reflexively dishonest "ex-liberal" can't put lipstick on this pig, Bush is well and truly sunk. It's just a pity that he's taking America's national security down with him and the myth of Republican competence in national defense.

Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

I think history will show that we are right to use miliatry force against Islamic fascism.

ex-liberal,

I see. So, Saddam was an Islamic Fascist?

Actually, Saddam was keeping Islamic zealots in check. They are now closer to power in Iraq than ever, thanks to the idiotic use of military force.

Just to be clear: What GWB did in Iraq was unleash unprovoked violence against a nation that did not attack us.

And you think this was a good idea.

Btw, it's a lonely job reiterating these remedial arguments but somebody's got to do it...

Posted by: obscure on January 11, 2007 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

This could be key, becauase our troops were unduly restricted by the old ROEs.

Yes, being able to kill, imprison, and torture more innocent civilians than the current rules allow will likely calm things down a lot.

In Bozoland.

Warning to Syria and Iran to stop interfering in Iraq.

Let's see, Bush has warned Syria and Iran to stop interfering in Iraq almost as frequently as Cheney has claimed the insurgents are on their last legs, meaning nearly monthly, but these warnings Bush really, really, really means, so they will have an effect.

In Bozoland.

Focus on particular mixed neighblrhoods [sic] of Iraq, where the combined US and Iraqi forces are sufficient to clear and hold.

Yes, isolated cells of calm in a vast see of chaos ruled by militias is just the ticket - I mean, its worked so well to date, why not just try it again, and again, and again, just to be sure it doesn't work.

Well, maybe it will . . .

In Bozoland.

Insistence on political changes including a plan for sharing oil revenues, Constitution modifications, reducing restrictions on Baath members, etc.

See comment above about "warning" and "Iran" and "Syria" and substitute "insistence" and "Iraqi government" as appropriate.

BTW, oil revenues will go to private companies; they will not be used to pay off the war debt as Bush and Dickless promised.

Allegedly Maliki means it when he says he'll go after all militias.

Ahhhh, we are still basing our beliefs on alleged facts for which there is no empirical evidence.

Posted by: Google_This on January 11, 2007 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

This could be key, becauase our troops were unduly restricted by the old ROEs.

Yeah, we were fighting with one hand tied behind our backs. Just wait until we really start to unleash hell.

THEN we'll win over some hearts and minds.

*If it can't be fixed with bullets and bombs then it ain't worth fixin'.

**They won't be calling Iraq "Middle Eastern Pizza" for nothing.

Posted by: obscure on January 11, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't watch or listen to Bush and have not yet seen a transcript, but according to the editorial in The New York Times, Bush said that "Iraq needed a law on the fair distribution of oil money."

Of course, exactly such a law has already been drafted by the Bush administration and is scheduled to be put before the Iraq legislature, with little discussion or debate, by March.

The new oil law calls for US and UK based multinational oil companies to take over Iraq's oil industry, and take 75% of the profits from Iraq's oil.

That is Bush's idea of "fair distribution of oil money."

That is what Bush's illegal war of unprovoked aggression against Iraq is about, and has always been about.

Cheney and Bush will send any number of young working-class Americans to their deaths in Iraq, and will murder any number of innocent Iraqi civilians, in order to seize control of Iraq's vast oil reserves for their ultra-rich cronies and financial backers in the US-based multinational oil companies -- for as long as the Democrats in Congress let them get away with it.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 11, 2007 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Ahhhh, we are still basing our beliefs on alleged facts for which there is no empirical evidence.

You'd have to, to believe what "ex-liberal" claims to believe.

Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

This could be key, becauase our troops were unduly restricted by the old ROEs.

Heck, why not change the rules of engagement to allow for concentration camps and gas chambers.

That would solve a lot of problems, meet with the approval of Bush's Christian supporters, and fulfill Bush's megalomaniacal desires to their fullest!

Posted by: Google_This on January 11, 2007 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

This could be key, becauase our troops were unduly restricted by the old ROEs.

Does this mean we get to use napalm again?

Posted by: Alfred E. Newman on January 11, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Heck, why not change the rules of engagement to allow for concentration camps

Josh Trevino (aka "Tacitus") is on record advocating exactly that.

Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

"ex-lib?", I know you have a lot on your plate over at Schaife Pre-School - Potty training probably takes a toll on your history classes.

You stated supra that the aggression by Germany and Japan increased after we declared war on them. Yeah, for sure, for sure, why after we declared war on Japan on December 6, 1941, they went out and attacked us. Oop, we declared on the eighth after their savage attack. And we declared war on Germany and Italy on December 11th, following a message from Von Ribbentrop that Germany had declared war upon us. Yes, we did get a touch aggressive after having war declared upon us and being hit with an attack.

Now, remember to flush, FAUXlibber.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 11, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

If al-Sadr gave the US Army a blunt choice: withdraw or face a Shiite onslaught, do you think Bush would say bring it on? Or do you think a nuclear strike would be planned for? I do not think Bush would consider withdrawal.

Posted by: Brojo on January 11, 2007 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Matthew R. Marler wrote: "That, along with enlarged rules of engagement, more U.S. troops, and more Iraqi troops, could make a difference."

You have said something like this at each new effort, each new milestone, going back to "Operation Lightning," when I first noticed this behavior from you. You have been wrong every single time. How many more times do you have to be wrong before it occurs to you to re-examine your thought process?

Posted by: PaulB on January 11, 2007 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

How many more times do you have to be wrong before it occurs to you to re-examine your thought process?

Since this is Marler we're talking about here, I'd imagine the number approaches the infinite.

Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

I think that hell has just frozen over, or at least cooled considerably. I actually find myself substantially in agreement with a John Derbyshire post over at The Corner:

Sorry, but it struck me as a snow job, from an administration that—pretty much like the rest of us—has no clue where to go from here.

The central and most glaring contradiction is the implied threat to walk away... Yoked to the ringing declaration that, of course, we can't walk away. We seem to be saying to the Maliki govt.: "Hey, you guys better step up to your responsibilites, or else we're outa here." This, a few sentences after saying that we can't leave the place without a victory. So-o-o-o:

—-We can't leave Iraq without a victory.

—-Unless Maliki & Co. get their act together, we can't achieve victory.

—-If Maliki & Co. don't get their act together, we'll leave.

It's been a while since I studied classical logic, but it seems to me that this syllogism leaks like a sieve.

Glaring through the president's speech is the awful fact that we are short on sticks. We're short on carrots, too; but this is the Middle East, and it's sticks that count.

Other points:

The president: "America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced." Or else... what? (Same as previous point, I guess. But what's the answer?)

The President: "And there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have." May we know which restrictions, precisely, our commanders (including the Commander-in-Chief) will now lift?

The President: "Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria." We haven't been doing this? We haven't been doing this? How many of the the 21,500 troops of the "surge" will be assigned to these operations? Leaving how many for Baghdad and Anbar? Shall we have a "hot pursuit" policy?

And, returning to the issue of sticks: What, exactly, do Iran and Syria have to fear from us, whatever they do?

Posted by: PaulB on January 11, 2007 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory wrote: "Since this is Marler we're talking about here, I'd imagine the number approaches the infinite."

Marler pretty much has his stock answer ready, I suspect. He never actually said that all of these surges, initiatives, strategeries, battle plans, etc., would work; he simply said they could. My point still stands, though. If every single one of them has failed thus far, why should we think this one will fare any differently, particularly when there is nothing new in this proposal? When the Bush administration has tried a dozen times and failed a dozen times, why on earth should we possibly think that the thirteenth time will succeed?

Posted by: PaulB on January 11, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know if you meant to imply a cause and effect relationship between our resistance to terrorism and the increase in terrorism. If so, I disagree. Note that after the US declared war on Japan and Germany in 1941, those two countries increased their aggression.

It's been corrected many many times here, but we didn't declare war on Japan and Germany first -- they declared war on us. Japan, by the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, and Germany by a formal declaration of war a few days after. We were the victim, not the aggressor.

In the Iraq War, by contrast, we're the Japan of our day with our unprovoked, illegal attack on Iraq.

Posted by: Arminius on January 11, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

From John Derbyshire's post, quoted above: "May we know which restrictions, precisely, our commanders (including the Commander-in-Chief) will now lift?"

Of course we may not. This information will be classified.

Posted by: PaulB on January 11, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Bill K,

add a few letters and you could have haikued that bad boy:

a strategy shift
going from stay the course to
some more of the same

Posted by: Gex on January 11, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, egbert, are those steaks ready yet?

Posted by: Kenji on January 11, 2007 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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