Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

January 11, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

MORE TROOPS?....Jonah Goldberg today:

Here we have a president forthrightly trying to win a war, and the opposition -- which not long ago was in favor of increasing troops, when Bush was against that -- won't say what it wants....Kerry, Pelosi and other Democrats were in favor of more troops before they were against it.

I guess it's Golden Oldies Day on the right. Or, more likely, desperation time. But we need to put this canard to bed before it catches on.

For the record: Many Democrats, along with plenty of conservatives, have noted that the initial invasion of Iraq didn't have enough troops to successfully occupy the country. And they might be right. However, that's quite a different thing from advocating that we send more U.S. troops to Baghdad now, something that I don't recall either Kerry or Pelosi ever advocating.

In fact, if by "not long ago" Goldberg means sometime in the past year, then he'd be hard pressed to find more than a handful of Democrats -- Pelosi and Kerry certainly not among them -- who have even come close to suggesting we send more troops to Iraq. The Reed-Levin amendment, calling for a phased withdrawal to begin in 2006, garnered the support of 38 out of 44 Democratic senators when it was put to a vote last June. In the House, I don't think the Republican leadership ever allowed a vote on a similar resolution, but on the resolution they did allow a vote on, three-quarters of House Democrats supported a phased withdrawal even though the resolution was worded to make virtual traitors out of anyone who voted that way. (Technically, Dems voted against a resolution opposing a withdrawal timeline. That also meant they had to vote against all the related boilerplate praising our men and women in uniform.)

It's certainly true that Democrats have not all been of one mind about the Iraq war. But "in favor of increasing troops"? Please.

Kevin Drum 12:46 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (214)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Jonah Goldberg gives the Democrats too much credit for wanting to win. Thanks for the reminder.

So, where is the Democratic plan for victory? Anybody?

Posted by: American Hawk on January 11, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

This is a serious question (OK, well, partly snarky, but also partly serious):

Are op-ed columnists really not subjected to basic fact-checking?

Posted by: keptsimple on January 11, 2007 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

So, where is the Democratic plan for victory? Anybody?

So where is bush's plan for victory? Anybody?

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

And what is so wrong with increasing troops? Defeat is not a option. The worst that could happen with more troops is we don't completely succeed. It's certainly better to give it one more try rather than to simply accept defeat as liberals and democrats want us to do.

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

Jonah's only goal is to harass the left. No real political discourse will ever come from him, only silliness.

Sad.

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

The biggest question now is simply 'In what does victory consists?'. We hear a lot of people saying we need victory, but no one saying what exactly it is that we need. If 'victory' means 'installing a pro-Western democracy', then obviously that isn't going to be the result no matter what we do. 'Victory' simply seems to mean 'not leaving' or 'not leaving while Bush is still in office' as far as I can tell.

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

Plan to win? No one has a plan to win. Getting out with the least amount of damage is the plan.

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

The Democratic plan for victory? It's very simple - GET OUT OF IRAQ.

Best plan to reduce US troop deaths, without question. But maybe that isn't so important to some . . .

Posted by: MB on January 11, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

So where is bush's plan for victory? Anybody?

Oh that's right it's "Stay the Course" until 21 Jan 09 then it becomes the next chump's problem.

Posted by: klyde on January 11, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

There's also a difference between "increasing the size of the Army" and "increasing the number of troops in Iraq." One can think that it might be a good idea to recruit more soldiers generally, and at the same time think it a very bad idea to push those new soldiers into the meat grinder of Iraq.

Posted by: Kenneth Fair on January 11, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

So Al -

"One more try"? Does that mean that ff the troop escalation goes forward and 6 months from now there is still no clear progress, we can withdraw?

If that were the actual offer from Bush last night, I'd probably support the damned thing.

Posted by: keptsimple on January 11, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

This whole "plan for victory" talking point is pure bull, and anyone with half a brain knows it.

"American Hawk" conveniently pretends to forget the basic fact that there can be only two outcomes from an occupation; either you slaughter the inhabitants and annex the territory, or you leave.

The former is unthinkable in Iraq, so the latter is inevitable. All we are doing by keeping our troops in Iraq is preventing Iraqis from sorting out their own internal differences, and getting our troops killed for no good reason.

Posted by: Tom Betz on January 11, 2007 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

The comment by AHawk suggests that the true goal of the Bush surge proposal is to deflect blame for losing the war on the Dems. Bush proposes an escalation that is unworkable, with half the troop level demanded by Frederick Kagan's blueprint, and with no 18-month commitment as demanded by Kagan. He is proposing a weak plan to lure others into shooting it down and taking the blame for the inevitable chaos in Baghdad.

I also find it interesting that the hook-words that the White House floated in the days before the speech were downplayed in the speech itself, in great contrast to the winning phrase "way forward" in speeches a few weeks back. It tells you that when Rove&Co focus-grouped various phrases, they didnt succeed. The negative polls after Bush's speech were probably not a surprise to the WH handlers.

Posted by: troglodyte on January 11, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Kenneth: Yes, Kerry did propose increasing the end strength of the Army and Marines by 40,000 troops, much of which would have gone to increasing the size of special forces. A number of other Democrats have supported that idea as well.

But as you say, that has nothing at all to do with increasing the number of U.S. forces in Iraq.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on January 11, 2007 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK
So, where is the Democratic plan for victory? Anybody?

The prison warden overheard the ring-leader scolding his gang from their collective jail cell:

I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ANYMORE GROUSING ABOUT PRISON LIFE. WHAT I WANT TO HEAR IS, WHAT'S YOUR PLAN FOR GETTING OUR HANDS ON THE BANKS DOUGH?

Posted by: Bozo the Klutz on January 11, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Al smells funny...

Give me a break with your "defeat is not an option" rhetoric... Its over, we have already lost this war... If the King had provided enough troops in the beginning (not now) we might have had a chance of winning. Maybe. We need to step back and let the Iraqis fight it out. Its a civil war that we should not be involved in. Last night we heard again that we will stay the failed course we are on. I guess what the "people" want does not matter. The king knows all. The president is delusional and an ass. And so is Al.

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

I'd go so far as to say that at the point that Dems were pointing out we needed more troops, the same people calling for them now were accusing Dems of being terrorist sympathizers and enablers for even bringing up the idea. I would point to the 2004 election as evidence. So I wouldn't be suprised that the smallest amount of research would show that Goldberg was against the troop increases before he was for them, and I wager that he probably went so far as to wonder why those who wanted more troops circa 2003-4 hated America.

Posted by: flounder on January 11, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Where is he Dem's plan for victory? I hate to bring up this stale analogy, but it's akin to the captain of the titanic looking at the passengers and blaming them for not coming up with a plan to rescue the ship as it is sinking. The Dems have been largely left out of the whole process from the beginning and held no real power to do anything. The mess we're in now was wholly created by Bush and the GOP Congress, and we've reached a point where no palatable option exists, certainly none where any real victory is possible. Not in terms of what victory might have meant back in 2003, especially. This surge has one objective: to kick this can down the road so the next president has to shoulder some blame and deal with the hard questions because Bush has nothing. He can't come up with a solution because how's he supposed to correct the situation when he can't even admit to a mistake? Plus, I suspect as with most choices made within this administration, their idea of victory is framed by politics and how history might view GW.

Posted by: adam on January 11, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "But we need to put this canard to bed before it catches on."

Jonah Goldberg is paid a lot of money to lie.

Deceiving weak-minded, ignorant, gullible neo-brownshirt mental slave dittoheads with blatant lies is his job, just as it is the job of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Fox News, Sun Myung Moon's Washington Times, the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, etc.

He's not going to stop because someone publicly points out that what he's writing is a lie. He already knows it's a lie.

He's certainly not going to stop lying because a liberal blogger complains about it.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 11, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

The current plan isn't a plan at all, but shuffling the deck-chairs on the Titanic.

And did we ever, ever define "victory"? There is no Democratic "plan" for victory in Iraq because the Republican leadership has fucked up in Iraq so utterly and completely that no victory is possible, if it ever was possible. The justification for the invasion kept morphing and morphing, from WMD, to regime change to stablizing the new government to staying the course.

Since whatever Bushco does seems to make the situation worse, I think the Democratic strategy should be, whatever Bushco proposes, do the opposite.

Posted by: PTate in MN on January 11, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Goldberg gets paid for his drech and I just have to catch-as-catch-can because I'm stuck in a cubicle in the bottom of the customer service department!

Wait! I've got to leave this "temp" job to work my second "temp" job.

Fudge! (...only I didn't say "fudge").

Posted by: Darryl Pearce on January 11, 2007 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

"Defeat "

You keep using that word.

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

Posted by: Darryl Pearce on January 11, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

"The worst that could happen with more troops is we don't completely succeed."

No, Al, I think the worst that could happen is to have dozens (or hundreds) of more soldiers come back maimed or in body bags. It's easy to throw more lambs to the wolves when they're someone else's sons, daughters, fathers, etc. Suggestion: Al, if the worst that could happen is we don't completely succeed, why don't you get your sorry ass over there and ensure that we do succeed?

Posted by: PatMan on January 11, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: For the record: Many Democrats, along with plenty of conservatives, have noted that the initial invasion of Iraq didn't have enough troops to successfully occupy the country. And they might be right. However, that's quite a different thing from advocating that we send more U.S. troops to Baghdad now, something that I don't recall either Kerry or Pelosi ever advocating.

So, more troops were needed when Bush sent fewer troops, but not when Bush sent more troops. How conveeeenient, as the Church Lady would say.

So, what was the magic date when more troops suddenly switched from essential to wrong? And, how do the Democrats deduce how many troops were needed at any given time?

No Bush critic will answer these two questions, because there is no answer. The simple fact is that a number of people will criticize and carp at anything the President does to try to win the war. Kevin is usually a fairminded critic. I'm sorry to see him defend those who are not.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 11, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Are op-ed columnists really not subjected to basic fact-checking?

Basic fact-checking?!?! Hell, they're not even subject to an originality check. This week alone, Samuelson churned out the dozen-th iteration of his pet screed, "I've never heard of this Iraq war you speak of, but those selfish pensioners and their entitlements are a waste of money". The next day, Georgie Will got paid for the latest iteration of his "I've never heard of bloated management or poorly-designed cars, but union workers are entirely to blame for the decline of the auto industry."

These guys aren't writers, they're algorithms.

Posted by: sglover on January 11, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

So, where is the Democratic plan for victory? Anybody?

Withdrawal with all deliberate speed and redeploy to Kuwait.

In the Global War on Terror, this is a pointless waste of resources. We should never have let ourselves get bogged down Iraq any more than we should have let ourselve get bogged down in Somalia.

And while our Army rebuilds and our troops rotate home, we should take out Osama Bin Laden.

Posted by: pbg on January 11, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Here here PTate!! The Republicans and Jonah Goldberg have always won the War of Rhetoric, so much so that the public believes their lies. (See polls pre-Iraq showing that the Majority of Americans thought there was a 9/11-Iraq link).

So, it is too late for Victory-with-a-Capitol-V, all we can do is exactly what PTate suggested and become an opposition party.

Hello! Congress controls the purse, and the Dems need to do just what the GOP did in 1996 and shut down this idea by cutting funding. It is easy to say "we support the troops already in Iraq, we are introducing a bill that would extend blah blah benefits to soldiers who have served in the war on terror but we will not finance Americans being killed in a pointless, thoughtless war.

Someone needs to watch Dave. When he saves the kids funding. Like that.

Posted by: Rachael on January 11, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Y'know..., somebody crashed into my car. It's totalled but the tank is empty. Can anybody help tow my car to the gas station for a fill up?

Iraq's kinda like that.

Posted by: Darryl Pearce on January 11, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Goldberg has publically admited that he's too fat to fight in Iraq. Guess the battle for civilization is not important enough to lose weight. He's like the rest of the ChickenHawk ChickenShits.

Posted by: ToM on January 11, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

What is Chuck Hagel's plan for victory? Any other Republican who opposes escalation have a plan?

I heard Tony Blankley, ex-aide to Newt, on NPR recently characterize Iraq's "government" as a "bunch of guys huddling in the Green Zone" or something close to that. Obviously the situations are different in many ways, but like in Vietnam, there is very little "there" there, next to nothing to prop up.

Keep repeating: There is no military solution.

Posted by: clb72 on January 11, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Patriot" "Hawk" -

The Democratic plan for victory is the 9/11 Commission Report. In case you've forgotten already.

BTW, hawkish patriot, I assume you're posting this stuff from Iraq, since the administration's now calling for volunteers to join the Army. Correct?

Posted by: Slippery Pete on January 11, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin; I see it was your turn to take out the trash this time. Thanks for what must seem a largely thankless chore.

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

ex-liberal wheezes:

So, what was the magic date when more troops suddenly switched from essential to wrong?

On the day that the misbegotten, lie- and hysteri-fueled invasion began, you obtuse twit.

And, how do the Democrats deduce how many troops were needed at any given time?

Well, once upon a time, by following the advice of a certain General Shinseki. But Dear Leader and Paul "Fighting Thinktanker" Wolfowitz knew way better, didn't they?

You gonna keep on with the disingenuous bullshit?

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

Ex-liberal: Your "magic date" occurred on the day that Preisdent Bush noted last night, when Sunni extremists blew up one of the most sacred shrines in Shi'ite Islam. They wanted to provoke a civil war, they succeeded it is unstoppable at this point.

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

I've come to the conclusion that Al is the most successful parody troll in the history of the interwebs. No US citizen is so enamored of the boy king that he would use cheap throw away lines like "one more try" as if they're trying to get an old car to start when what he's talking about is the cavalier squandering of American lives for no good reason.

He has to be trying to show the fecklessness of bush and his supporters when he says things like that. Right?

Posted by: klyde on January 11, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK


To all hawks on this matter,
please put your money where your mouth and enlist and go fight your own goddamn war.

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

So, where is the Democratic plan for victory? Anybody?

There is no victory...only death.

Oh that's right it's "Stay the Course" until 21 Jan 09

Noooo. It's now "A New Way Forward" aka "Stay the Course, Part Deux"

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

American Hawk,

Your "W" Cheerleader uniform and matching pom poms will be delivered by FedEx by COB today.

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

Dems victory in Iraq:(1)Clear the country of WMD.(done) (2) Remove Saddam from power. (done) (3) Install elected iraqi goverment. (done). (4) bring the troops home.(not done).Clearly all the things that need to be done for victory are done exept Bush keeping the troops in Iraq for polical purposes.

Posted by: Thomas3.6 1/2 on January 11, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

I guess it's Golden Oldies Day on the right. Or, more likely, desperation time.

Right the second time -- just check out "ex-liberal"'s risible performance since yesterday.

Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

What's more, those who supported increasing troops never said that a mere 20,000 would suffice.

This Bush Flaccid Surge plan has zero to do with reality on the ground. It's something to make him feel like he's trying hard, and it allows him to punt to the next president.

Posted by: Elvis Elvisberg on January 11, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

"American Hawk" wrote: Jonah Goldberg gives the Democrats too much credit for wanting to win.

No, he gives Bush too much credit by saying he's trying.

Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

The worst that could happen with more troops is we don't completely succeed.

Exactly right as usual, Al. I would add that more troops dying or suffering debiliating injuries in a last-ditch attempt to prop up a wildly ill-conceived vanity war is also kinda bad. But certainly not as bad as the obvious Worst Case: that we don't comletely succeed.

(Also, nice use of the word "we" since us tough guy cheeto muncher Bush apologists are equivalent to the soldiers in the field. Great job, Al. We rock.)

Posted by: Commander Bunnypants on January 11, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

And, how do the Democrats deduce how many troops were needed at any given time?

We pay attention to the findings of the war-games exercises, just for starters. How many fucking times do I have to offer you the link to Desert Crossing before you acknowledge it and stop pretending we are just making shit up?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 11, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Noooo. It's now "A New Way Forward" aka "Stay the Course, Part Deux

"A New Way Forward." Got it!

Oh yea from Nice Polite republican via antiwar.com: http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2007/01/11/us-kurdish-standoff-in-irbil-and-us-evac/

Winning new friends all over Iraq

Posted by: klyde on January 11, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Would any war supporter give a quantifiable definition of "victory"? Anything at all, such as, say, "fewer than 10 Iraqis killed per day by sectarian violence."

Would that war supporter then give a date when that "victory" will be achieved? Such as, say, January 1, 2009.

Further, would that war supporter give odds that "victory" will be achieved by that date. Such as, say, 50%.

Finally, would that war supporter wage a bet - based on his definition, his date, his odds - of $1000 to support his view?

I'm tired of listening to all these blowhards be wrong all the time. I want to make some money off their idiot notions.

Posted by: dogfacegeorge on January 11, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Are op-ed columnists really not subjected to basic fact-checking?

Yes, obviously.

This has been another edition of Simple Answers to Simple Questions (h/t Atrios).

Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Did anyone think that most of this escalation is really just increasing the troops in the area for our inevitable invasion of Iran?

Posted by: smass on January 11, 2007 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Deceiving weak-minded (A.Hawk), ignorant (ex-liberal), gullible (Mike Cook) neo-brownshirt (monkeybone) mental slave dittoheads (Marler) with blatant lies is his job...

Posted by: ckelly on January 11, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Bush proposes an escalation that is unworkable, with half the troop level demanded by Frederick Kagan's blueprint

Not to mention the US Army's own counterinsurgency manual.

Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist wrote: Jonah Goldberg is paid a lot of money to lie.

"ex-liberal" and his/her/its ilk must be so jealous...

Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

sglover asked of "ex-liberal": You gonna keep on with the disingenuous bullshit?

Yes, he/she/it will.

This has been another edition of Simple Answers to Simple Questions (ht/Atrios).

Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

In answer to ex-liberal's "magic date" question:

Well, I'm no expert, but I'd have to say that it was sometime between when the barn door was opened, and when the traitorous liberal media had the temerity to suggest that there were no longer any horses inside.

Posted by: Sammy on January 11, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

ex-lib:"So, what was the magic date when more troops suddenly switched from essential to wrong?"

Well the precise date is a little obscure. It was after the 2004 election, when John Kerry was ridiculed by conservatives for recommending additional troops. It was before the Nov 2006 elections--by which time it had become clear that the US had lost in Iraq, that our troops were caught in the middle of a internicine feud that had been simmering for centuries, and that the primary beneficiary of the US invasion of Iraq was our enemy, Iran.

My own guess would put it in April 2006 which is when Gen. Hussein Kamal's commented to the AP: "Is there a civil war? Yes, there is an undeclared civil war that has been there for a year or more,"

And when Newt Gingrich concluded that "It was an enormous mistake for us to try to occupy that country after June of 2003,"

And when the US Army admitted that it experienced its highest suicide rate since 1999, in 2005.

Posted by: PTate in MN on January 11, 2007 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

I really get tired of hearing that defeat is "not an option." If the success of this war was so paramount to national security, then it deserved to be discussed openly and honestly before we went in. Yet we have the esteemable Mr. Rumsfeld setting conditions like this on the military prior to the invasion:

    "I remember the secretary of defense saying that he would fire the next person that said that," [Brigadier General] Scheid said. "We would not do planning for Phase 4 operations, which would require all those additional troops that people talk about today.

    "He said we will not do that because the American public will not back us if they think we are going over there for a long war."
The current administration lied us into this war because they knew the public wouldn't support the truth. How can any of you hawks now start talking about the need to win this? Where was your concern with getting this right before the war when it might have made a difference? Time for y'all to STFU and sit down; you've had your turn at this and FUBAR'd it beyond belief.

Posted by: cyntax on January 11, 2007 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK
So, what was the magic date when more troops suddenly switched from essential to wrong? And, how do the Democrats deduce how many troops were needed at any given time?

No Bush critic will answer these two questions, because there is no answer.

Stand back, ex-liberal, while I answer the unanswerable:

1) As you ought to have known, "magic dates" wouldn't be magic if they were known. So, that's hardly a sporting question. However, a high-ranking officer of the US armed forces was unceremoniously retired for daring to suggest that 400K troops would be necessary to successfully occupy Iraq. Also, a lot of ugly things can happen in 3+ years, such as losing the good-will of the local population. Or, as a wiseman once said, "You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube."

2) They listen to military experts? Like Shinseki, Zinni, etc. Or, like Casey, Abizaid, etc, both of whom recently said that more US troops would not help.

Ho-hum.

Posted by: obscure on January 11, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

I do love Al's line, "the worst that could happen with more troops is that we don't completely succeed." True. That's what the history books will say, right? It's not that they failed, it's that they didn't completely succeed! They sent 20,000 more people into a quagmire, and didn't completely succeed. Oh well!

Posted by: johnsonjohnson on January 11, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Goldberg: "For an increase before they were against an increase"
If I understand correctly, an Army Chief of Staff said we would need a large number of troops. GW/Cheney/Rumsfeld said No. Chief of Staff replaced.
GW admits the troop size was insufficient. Currently, senior military staff said a temporary increase of 20K troops would not correct the situation in Iraq. GW said, Yes, he was going to "surge" ahead. Several senior military staff were replaced.
If GW was wrong initially, why should he be given the benefit of the doubt now?
Forget about what the Democrats/Liberals/Progressives said. Doesn't it appear that his military advisers gave him correct advice that was ignored by Bush.
After Vietnam, the military went through a lot of pain to make sure the advise they gave was factual and not political. Bush appears intent on destroying that effort.
Oh, by the way, senior military staff also thinks the Army is near the breaking point with Bush's adventurism. Should we ignore those facts as well?

Posted by: rmrd0000 on January 11, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory, supra, has mentioned the counter insurgency manual - Do believe they are being used as platforms for temporary desks - However, the popular new book is "How to Haggle, er Negotiate at the Grand Bazaar in Tehran" Lots of good deals on rugs - Many Going Out of Business Sales.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 11, 2007 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

ex-lib:"So, what was the magic date when more troops suddenly switched from essential to wrong?"

Why don't you explain why you can't recognize that the situation on the ground in Iraq has gotten worse?

Back when Shinseki said we needed more troops would have marked the beginning of the continuum when more troops could have helped; sometime in the last year, year-and-a-half, we passed a point where more troops won't help. Are you so stupid that you can't see we've passed that point? And if so, why should we bother trying to talk to you? What can you possibly contribute?

Posted by: cyntax on January 11, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

So, what was the magic date when more troops suddenly switched from essential to wrong?

Can't tell you the exact date but at some point, because chimpy and his gang -- against the advice of their most experienced generals -- wanted to fight a cakewalk instead of a war, the situation became irrecoverable. At that point, "more troops" became a foolish choice. Still is.

Even better would be not to have gone in in the first place.

our inevitable invasion of Iran?
As we used to say on the playground: you and whose army? Ours seems to be currently overommitted.

This administration needs to be impeached.

Posted by: thersites on January 11, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

And, once again, a significant clarification. Bush's 20,000 man "surge" is just labeling, not a change.

As Jose Padilla pointed out on another thread, "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.""

This is like before the last election when Bushco tried to frame the usual troop rotations as "bringing the troops home".

Posted by: PTate in MN on January 11, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

So, where is the Democratic plan for victory? Anybody?
Posted by: American Hawk

What drivel. There is no plan for victory, Democratic, Republican or Martian.

Iraq is a QUAGMIRE! you dolt! Invading Iraq was a bad idea on day one, the war was lost the day Rummy fired Shinseki for advocating 400,000 troops (meaning, no chance that the Senate would authorize).

There are no good choices! Get it? That is the definition of a quagmire. I await your apology for calling me a coward, defeatocrat, terrorist lover, or what ever other trash has poured out of your ignorant mouth.

The anti-war forces have been right for five years, the pro-war forces wrong. You have dug the hole deep enough, please stop.

Posted by: kevinofburbank on January 11, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

It is pretty clear from listening to the news that the President's speech hasn't inspired much confidence. In fact Condi Rice seems to have been abused pretty badly at a hearing today by members of her own party. All that said there is no showing that the President or any member of his administration get it. Despite his belief in the Unitary President, the American people pretty much expect a President to serve their interests. They will not tolerate a jackass who thinks he is King.

Right now the American people don't see a path to victory. They don't want to fight an occupation that can't be won. They want peace, George W. Bush's legacy be damned.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 11, 2007 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Jonah Goldberg gives the Democrats too much credit for wanting to win.
Posted by: American Hawk on January 11, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk, would you mind indulging us with the names of some Democrats who have stated that they want us to lose in Iraq?

Also, note the number of veterans (some Iraq vets) who were elected (as Democrats) back in November.

BTW, do you think that handing Iraq over to the Iranians (in effect, anyway) is worth the life or limb of one more American? Why?

Posted by: garryowen on January 11, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk-

There is no Democratic plan for victory because victory is no longer possible (assuming it ever was!). Republican carping about the lack of a Democratic plan for victory is like a drunk driver who steers his car off a cliff then berates his passenger for not navigating them back onto the road!

We need to stop wasting lives and resources in pursuit of an impossible victory in Iraq and instead turn our attentions to extracting our forces with minimal damage so we can begin to contain the consequences of this Republican sponsored colossal fuck-up! Any talk of victory is dangerous and delusional in the extreme.

Yes, the consequences of withdrawal are dire, but staying in Iraq does nothing to prevent the days of reckoning for our president's reckless adventurism, it merely delays them while our military is bled white. The consequences will be dire indeed, that's why we shouldn't have invaded in the first place! Sadly, warnings to that effect were brushed aside as weakness and worry four years ago by the same flock of self assured, breathtakingly ignorant "American Hawks" who present them as reasons to stay. You guys were wrong then and you're wrong now and you'll probably be wrong tomorrow.

Posted by: Chesire 11 on January 11, 2007 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK


For Al and most Republicans, "victory" is what inflates his ego, and defeat is stuff that deflates it.

About Americans and Iraqis getting killed...they don't care, reality has nothing to do with it for Al and the like.

Posted by: jillian on January 11, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Goldberg should get off his ass and enlist for Iraq.

Oh that's right, I forgot.
He is a repug warmongerer...
Ain't no fight in that craven breed of pooch.

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on January 11, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Hannity was sounding the same theme last night during post mortem commentary. He said words to the effect that 'ALL Democratic congresspersons were on record supporting more troops. Now they're against it only because President Bush is for it...'

Posted by: greenjeans on January 11, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

"So, where is the Democratic plan for victory? Anybody?"

Thus the raven chideth blackness.

Posted by: dogofthesouth on January 11, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

The idiots who advocate more troops in Iraq now are probably in favor of performing CPR on corpses.

Posted by: Chesire 11 on January 11, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

So, more troops were needed when Bush sent fewer troops, but not when Bush sent more troops. How conveeeenient, as the Church Lady would say.

So, what was the magic date when more troops suddenly switched from essential to wrong? And, how do the Democrats deduce how many troops were needed at any given time?

No Bush critic will answer these two questions, because there is no answer. The simple fact is that a number of people will criticize and carp at anything the President does to try to win the war. Kevin is usually a fairminded critic. I'm sorry to see him defend those who are not.
Posted by: ex-liberal

I'll answer both your dishonest and cowardly questions.

1) "More troops" means hundreds of thousands of more troops. Not Twenty thousand. Four hundred, like what Shinseki got fired for advocating. Four hundred thousand, like what the newly minted Army manual on fight an insurgent war indicates.

2) The date that sending any troops into Iraq was a bad idea was March of '03, as Iraq and Saddam offered no threat to the US, and while it was unfortunate for the Iraqis, the world and the Middle East was more stable with a restrained Saddam threatening Iran.

You lying coward.

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

American Hawk: "So, where is the Democratic plan for victory?"

(Sigh!) And what, pray tell, is your and the president's definition of "victory" this week?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 11, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

"Many Democrats, along with plenty of conservatives, have noted that the initial invasion of Iraq didn't have enough troops to successfully occupy the country. And they might be right. However, that's quite a different thing from advocating that we send more U.S. troops to Baghdad now, something that I don't recall either Kerry or Pelosi ever advocating."

The problem with this is that to understand this statement it requires intellectual powers beyond the scope of what is available on the right.


=

Posted by: jri on January 11, 2007 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

"The worst that could happen with more troops is we don't completely succeed."

And yet you say defeat is not an option. make up your mind.

Posted by: jri on January 11, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

We demonized every Iraqi Sunni, as if they were all responsible for Saddam. And made it possible for the rise of Moqtada and his ilk. Now what?

We can't take back all the nasty things we said about Sunnis (Baath party?), or call back all those soldiers and police we sent packing. Now the Mehdi army is too powerful to take on, really.

So whose side do we take now that Bush is finally acknowedging we're in the middle of a religious civil war?

Posted by: meade on January 11, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

The Reed-Levin amendment, calling for a phased withdrawal to begin in 2006, garnered the support of 38 out of 44 Democratic senators when it was put to a vote last June.

Now that Democrats are the majority party, they should try this again in both houses.

Goldberg's language is clearly too loose. At various times over the last 3 1/2 years, some Democratic leaders have called for enlarging the army or increasing the size of the deployment to Iraq. But never very many leaders altogether, and those who wanted more troops in Iraq two years ago now believe that the opportunity for success was lost.

He might be right about the split between those who want to "win" the war and those who want to "end" the war (or who passively want the war to be "over" without doing anything to make it end.) It looks like the Democrats hold all positions in between Kennedy (who is trying to end American involvement) and Lieberman (who wants the U.S. to win.)

However, Republicans are just as disunited, with a bunch of them saying that an American withdrawal better begin soon, if not right away. And some of them are clearly doubtful that the "surge" can succeed. It is misleading to suggest that the Democrats are more disunited than the Republicans.

Some Ds and Rs are afraid of what will happen if the U.S. perseveres and there is greater disaster than now. Some Ds and Rs are afraid of what will happen if the U.S. withdraws and there is greater disaster than now. In the "sum of all fears" is the source of Congressional passivity.

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

Democratic calls for more troops are code-word for "DRAFT".

Make no mistake.

I'm not sure what I support here. There are two directions; MANY more troops, and more sacrifice (a draft, raise taxes, etc.) go balls-out to win. OR Total withdrawl. I don't think America has the fortitude for either approach right now, because both have serious ramifications.

But what I DON'T support is this mamby-pampy halfassed approach of "stay the course"; and lets face it here, 20k troops won't make a difference. Changing the rules of engagement won't make a difference. We're in for more of the same, because this country has no leadership, and no fortitude.

Talk of a draft is talk to gauge how committed Americans are to this endeavor. And since there are no clearly defined objectives, no Americans are willing to make that kind of sacrifice.

My guess is we'll get more of the same until we're forced to withdraw.

THEN - there will be another 9/11. And this time it will be with WMD, and it will be by an Iraqi. And we'll be forced to go BACK. And THEN, we will have to make a real sacrifice to get the job done right.

And the whole cause of this was arrogant pricks who thought they could run our country like they'd run a business. (arrogant pricks who had never before actually succeeded at running a business).

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

Still time for Jonah and/or AH to volunteer to lead the "attack" on the radio station just inside Iraq from Iran. You will "lead" some Gitmo guys dressed up in Iranian uniforms and no bullets in their AK-47s. Operation Case White II can begin anew. "Springtime for Bush and the newcons, winter for Iran and......."

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 11, 2007 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

And what is so wrong with increasing troops? Defeat is not a option. The worst that could happen with more troops is we don't completely succeed.

The casual ease with which Al agrees to throw a few more brigades into the Baghdad meat grinder really reminds me of a scene from Downfall (last year's German movie about Hitler's final days).

Hitler demands that more soldiers be poured into a totally hopeless counterattack on the Red Army. One of his generals points out that they will almost certainly be slaughtered.

Hitler shrugs: "Isn't that what young men are for?"

Like all rabid animals, Bush's supporters are getting particuarly foamy in their death throes.

Posted by: Peter Principle on January 11, 2007 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

President John F. Kennedy

So I guess Kennedy's words no longer have any meaning for today's liberals and Democrats. How sad.

Since by any measure one wishes to use, the war in Iraq is, and remains, militarily insignificant. During the two week Battle of the Bulge in the closing days of WWII, American casualities were 89,987, with 19,276 dead, 23,554 captured or missing,and 47,493 wounded. We lost more troops practicing for the D-Day landings than we have in Iraq.

One can almost hear the howls and shrieks that would be coming from the Left if we were facing similar numbers in Iraq. How far have we fallen as a nation and a culture in the 40+ years from Kennedy's Inaugural Address.

Pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship in defense of liberty? Apparently, not this generation of Democrats.

Posted by: Chicounsel on January 11, 2007 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Chicounsel wrote: "Pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship in defense of liberty? Apparently, not this generation of Democrats.?

ROFL.... Don't you just love this kind of faux concern troll? It's even more hilarious when you realize that this could just as easily, and more aply, be applied to every single war supporter out there, including both Chicounsel and his hero, George W. Bush.

I could write up a lengthy reponse to point out the idiotic fallacies in dear little Chicounsel's post, but I'll not bother. They're bloody obvious and our dear troll friend knows it all too well

Posted by: PaulB on January 11, 2007 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

We can't win in Iraq because there is no longer any Iraq to win.

Iraq was never a nation-state, but existed as a dysfunctional multinational state under the domination of a Sunni minority. With the fall of Saddam Hussein, the Sunni ascendancy came to an end and the centripetal force was removed from Iraqi society. Now the peoples' allegiances, which were always owed primarily to tribe and sect rather than the state, are unconstrained and have torn Iraq apart.

No matter how many American troops are deployed, the fictional government in the Green Zone will never be able to compete for the allegiance of the people. No matter how many people we train to march in order, or to carry and clean their weapons, there will never be an Iraqi Army loyal to the state.

Iraq cannot be won because Iraq isn't there anymore to be won.

Posted by: Chesire11 on January 11, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

is it more than convenience, when discussing victory that a premise isnt established to identify this attack and occupation on Iraq as what it is, an unlawful act and an ongoing mistake? Words and phrases confuse the truth. How can we discuss victory, and how can we determine it's plan when the reason for being in Iraq has morphed many times. It was at first identified as the right thing to do for the erroneous belief Iraq had ties to terror and suspected weapons that threatened this countries safety. Not long afterwards the engine of continuation was driven by the contention that we were liberating a people thirsting for freedom from a dictator who made life in that country unlivable. The parade of liars, from Ahmed Chalabi to Michael Ledeen et al has at times slowed but never stopped or vanished. Deck chairs on the good ship Bush administration have been repositioned for reasons of incompetence, utter faliure as well as for criminal indictment. A victory is something realized as the outcome of a battle or a war. We are not at war with Iraq. It's a hostile takeover and a wresting of power in an attempt to extend our will and vision of commerce and governemnt on it's people. Our battle has no goal. It was a mistake that this administration has sought to exploit from before it began. It is a mistake that continues to grow.

Posted by: lower tiberius on January 11, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Josh Marshall, over at talkingpointsmemo.com, has posted a clip of Giuliani running with this Golberg meme. Looks like the Mighty Wurlitzer has swung into full gear.

Posted by: PaulB on January 11, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

We can't win in Iraq because there is no longer any Iraq to win.

Iraq was never a nation-state, but existed as a dysfunctional multinational state under the domination of a Sunni minority. With the fall of Saddam Hussein, the Sunni ascendancy came to an end and the centripetal force was removed from Iraqi society. Now the peoples' allegiances, which were always owed primarily to tribe and sect rather than the state, are unconstrained and have torn Iraq apart.

No matter how many American troops are deployed, the fictional government in the Green Zone will never be able to compete for the allegiance of the people. No matter how many people we train to march in order, or to carry and clean their weapons, there will never be an Iraqi Army loyal to the state.

Iraq cannot be won because Iraq isn't there anymore to be won.

Posted by: Chesire11 on January 11, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Chicounsel wrote: So I guess Kennedy's words no longer have any meaning for today's liberals and Democrats. How sad.

You'e writing this from the barracks in Iraq, right, Mr. Pay-any-price, bear-any-burden, along with your the rest of your Bush-fluffing, Islamofascist-fearing, civilization-clashing, bedwetting ilk?

Thought not.

Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

No matter how mendacious the paid apologists and propagandists are, this war will become increasingly unpopular. It helped propel the Democrats into office and it may help them in a couple of years. This is a big hole in the right’s muscular offensive strategy and is a sign of how much of a one-song band the paid hands are. Even when actions erode their position they continue to defend it. Part of this may also have to do with the indigenous self-righteousness and infallibility of their most fervent followers. This crowd doesn’t adapt to changing reality they just adjust their justifications since they already know the solutions. It is a disease of the mind.

Posted by: bellumregio on January 11, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

And did we ever, ever define "victory"?

Candidate John Kerry defined it as a stable, pluralistic, democratic Iraq. The "pluralistic" part begins to look like it will have to be "federal", with multiple ethnicities and languages as in Switzerland (ca 1850 when the civil war was over.)

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 11, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Since by any measure one wishes to use, the war in Iraq is, and remains, militarily insignificant. During the two week Battle of the Bulge in the closing days of WWII, American casualities were 89,987, with 19,276 dead, 23,554 captured or missing,and 47,493 wounded. We lost more troops practicing for the D-Day landings than we have in Iraq.

Fucking thug. I don't say this often, but suit the fuck up and stifle.

This isn't WWII or any other conflict that came before. WWII wasn't WW I, either, BTW.

Shut the fuck up with the false equivalencies already.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 11, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Josh Marshall, over at talkingpointsmemo.com, has posted a clip of Giuliani running with this Golberg meme. Looks like the Mighty Wurlitzer has swung into full gear.
Posted by: PaulB on January 11, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Why should democrats be held responsible for Bush's war?

Dems asked for significantly more troops. A "labor-intensive" approach. 20k more troops is not a significant number. 200k would be significant (and not enough).

Derb's an idiot, and an asshole for thinking that America is actually going to buy that crap.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 11, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like the Mighty Wurlitzer has swung into full gear.

yep. its everywhere today. that dog won't hunt. except with al and hawkboy.

the old guard (3rd infantry)bitches.

Posted by: mestizO on January 11, 2007 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

"Jonah Goldberg gives the Democrats too much credit for wanting to win. Thanks for the reminder.

So, where is the Democratic plan for victory? Anybody?
Posted by: American Hawk on January 11, 2007 at 1:40 PM "

What does ANYONE THINK it would it mean to WIN in Iraq? The "Bush target" for winning is always changing -- to "end terrorism"? "leave the country reconstructed"? "protect the oil (from who?)"?

Is it better to get our soldiers out now and have Iraq pursue its Civil War that we made possible by deposing Saddam Hussein?

Or

Is it somehow better to have thousands more (soldiers and civilians alike) die first... and THEN get our soldiers out once Bush has left office?

Posted by: MS on January 11, 2007 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Candidate John Kerry defined it as a stable, pluralistic, democratic Iraq.

And Commander in Chief George W. Bush -- the guy you support, Marler, and the one responsible for this debacle, no matter how desperate you are to disctract attention to the democrats -- delivered a civil war and a quagmire.

And you support and defend him. Shame on you.

Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Victory? There was no victory possible before we ever went to Iraq. As has been clearly said above, "victory" would have meant complete subjugation, and since that was never going to happen there was never going to be a victory. Proxy wars have not been known historically to deliver victories.

The "new and improved" adventure is not going to work: he hasn't got the 125,000 boots with rifles to close Baghdad --- That figure or thereabouts has been the right one for the number needed to pacify Baghdad for now. and as said above too, what then, after clearing Baghdad?

--- Someone in the Bush firmament knows all that, which makes last night possibly just a ratcheting still further up of the White House BS.

There was a rather reasonable article by a former Mister of Defence in Iraq in the Independent on the 6th. http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2125419.ece

The Bush Baby wants a legacy, Possums. If he is serious he should confound the world in general and totally gob-smack the Islamic world by closing Israel. Amazingly, peace would break out. Are any of you reading Justin Raimondo? Have you read J Carter's book?

As long as the US is propagandized by The Lobby it will go on going downhill. (Trust me, it is!)

Posted by: maunga on January 11, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

And what is so wrong with increasing troops? Defeat is not a option. The worst that could happen with more troops is we don't completely succeed

Shorter Br'er Rabbit. "What's wrong with biting the damn thing. It already has my two fists and still refuses to let go."

Posted by: B on January 11, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship in defense of liberty? Apparently, not this generation of Democrats.
Posted by: Chicounsel

Hey ass-hat. Neither Saddam nor Iraq posed ANY threat to the US. There was no need to attack them to defend ourselves.

Once the lie that we had ANY justification for invading Iraq falls away, so does your lying attacks on the anti-war movement. You brownshirt coward.

Posted by: kevinofburbank on January 11, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

Were the invasion of Iraq ever necessary or even legal, meeting "any hardship" would have meant invading Iraq with 500,000 troops in order to secure the order necessary for liberty, not trying to do in on the cheap as this administration did.

Paying the price would have meant having an actual plan for reconstruction that gave the work and the profits to the Iraqis, engaging them in the rebuilding of their country, driving down the soul crushing 40% unemployment rate and giving them money to put food on the table -- rather than having all of the spoils going to American corporations who've wildly overcharged for work that has never even been completed.

Bearing the burden could mean any number of things, including allowing inspections to be completed so that the truth could be known that there were no WMD's, for if nothing else liberty is predicated on truth, something this administration has had little use for and which give the lie to their concerns for "liberty."

Bearing the burden could also mean enduring the consequences of satisfying justice by admitting our mistake and impeaching a president who lied to the American people to start a war and then utterly mismanaged it, sacrificing hundreds of thousands of lives, billions of dollars, and the security of the region.

Save your irrelevant comparisons to past wars and your abuse of solemn language, your own words have convicted you.

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

No matter how mendacious the paid apologists and propagandists are, this war will become increasingly unpopular. It helped propel the Democrats into office and it may help them in a couple of years.
Posted by: bellumregio on January 11, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

My guess is that Bush's speech last night just guaranteed at least 50 house seats, 20 more senate seats, and the white house in 2008.

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

Windhorse at 3:38 pm: Word.

I might add for Mr. Pay-any-price, bear-any-burden (Oh! The irony!) that the President he supports insists on paying for the hundred-billion-plus-dollar price tag of his pet war with a tax cut.

Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Chicounsel wrote: "Since by any measure one wishes to use, the war in Iraq is, and remains, militarily insignificant."

Hmm... Well, let's see. We could measure it by the number of casualties to both sides. That would certainly be a non-insignificant number. We could also measure it by the damage it has done to the U.S. military, guard, and reserves and to military readiness. Also a non-insignificant number. We could measure it by its duration. Also a non-insignificant number. We could measure it by its dollar cost. Also a non-insignificant number. We could measure it by its damage to U.S. credibility and reputation. Also a non-insignificant number.

In short, and as usual, you don't know what you're talking about.

Posted by: PaulB on January 11, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Since by any measure one wishes to use, the war in Iraq is, and remains, militarily insignificant.
Posted by: Chicounsel

You sir, are a blithering idiot. How many times do we have to educate the "pro-war" faction about how the military works? If you had any integrity you'd go figure this stuff out before spouting off. You really should read Fred Kaplan's column in Slate for a month before you ever post on military matters again.

But since we know you won't do that, let's review:

    As we're often told, 1 million men and women serve in the U.S. Army. So, why is it such a strain to keep a mere 150,000 in Iraq?
    ...
    First, let's look at those million soldiers. Who are they? The Web site GlobalSecurity.org has a pie chart breaking them down into categories. It turns out that fewer than 40 percent of them—391,460—are combat soldiers. And fewer than 40 percent of those combat soldiers—149,406—are members of the active armed forces. (The rest are in the National Guard and Army Reserve.)
    ...
    The Army now has 37 active combat brigades—10 in Iraq, one in South Korea (another one, which used to be there, is now among the 10 in Iraq), and one in Afghanistan. That's 12 brigades deployed to hot spots. What about the other 25?
    Nine have recently returned from Iraq or Afghanistan (the rule is 12 months out, 12 months back home—though some units have seen their overseas tours stretched);
    15 are in training;
    one is reconstituting around the new Stryker combat vehicle.
    The fact is, the U.S. Army has substantially shrunk since the Cold War ended 15 years ago—to the point where it simply cannot fulfill the Bush administration's global dreams.

    So Chico, you can't compare the raw numbers of loses in previous wars with the raw numbers lost in this war. Unless you are trying to be inherently dishonest. The truth this war is militarily significant and we've nearly broke our military prosecuting it. But you, like most supporters of this war, don't give a damn about our troops (to say nothing of the Iraqi civilians).


    Posted by: cyntax on January 11, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

    Weak-minded, ignorant mental slave dittohead Chicounsel wrote: "Pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship in defense of liberty? Apparently, not this generation of Democrats."

    Bush's illegal war of unprovoked aggression based on lies has nothing to do with "defending liberty".

    It has everything to do with seizing control of Iraq's vast oil reserves for Dick Cheney's ultra-rich, neo-fascist, corporate-feudalist cronies in the US-based multinational oil companies.

    And to achieve that goal, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush will impose any price, burden or hardship on the American people and the people of Iraq, will send any number of young Americans to their deaths in Iraq, and will murder any number of innocent Iraqi civilians -- as long as "this generation" of Democrats in Congress let them get away with it by continuing to fund the war.

    Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 11, 2007 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

    ...and the white house in 2008.

    When the command to mobilize our society and economy for the conquest of Iran is given, one wonders what the US electorate will do. Will they rally round the flag and support Bush or will they rise up and insist the military aggression cease and prosecute our war criminals? I doubt very much it will be the latter.

    It is interesting a Mormon is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination, because I think we had all better begin accumulating enough stores to last a year's time. I expect living standards to fall between 30-50% after Bush bombs Iran, and many will go hungry.

    Posted by: Brojo on January 11, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK
    So I guess Kennedy's words no longer have any meaning for today's liberals and Democrats.

    Sure they do. We just don't buy Bush's line that anything he is doing in Iraq either is motivated by, or likely to serve the purpose of, defense of liberty.

    Posted by: cmdicely on January 11, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

    cyntax wrote: "Unless you are trying to be inherently dishonest."

    Of course he is, which is why he ignored all of those other ways that this operation is not "militarily insignificant," not to mention completely ignoring the cost to the Iraqis themselves. You can't really blame the guy, though; at this point, dishonesty is all he has left.

    Posted by: PaulB on January 11, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

    "Jonah Goldberg gives the Democrats too much credit for wanting to win." -- But we won. Mission accomplished. Democrats said 'send enough troops to accomplish the mission, you're not sending enough according to our generals.' Now the mission is accomplished, regardless.

    Its's pretty dishonest to, on one hand, be a hawk and advocate physical force to accomplish nation-building in Iraq and every other non-realist foreign policy goal, and on the other hand denounce anyone who isn't a non-realist hawk as "not wanting to win." Average American hawks are so inundated with pro sports that the only paradigm that they understand is pushing a ball over a goal line.

    If you don't agree that the mission was accomplished, then you must agree that either the mission has never been defined, so there is no goal line, or the mission is to "fight terror" by keeping terrorists from having a base of operations. Anywhere. Again, no goal line, other than installing a favorable government in any country that doesn't police itself to our satisfaction.

    Posted by: Mission Accomplished on January 11, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

    Dear Followers
    If you take the elixir that we have given you, the worst that could happen would be our ascension to haven.

    Posted by: Jim Jones on January 11, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

    cyntax wrote: So Chico, you can't compare the raw numbers of loses in previous wars with the raw numbers lost in this war. Unless you are trying to be inherently dishonest.

    Bing! We have a winner!

    Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

    Jonah Goldberg:

    Here we have a president forthrightly trying to win a war, and the opposition — which not long ago was in favor of increasing troops, when Bush was against that — won't say what it wants. This is flatly immoral. If you believe the war can't be won and there's nothing to be gained by staying, then, to paraphrase Sen. John Kerry, you're asking more men to die for a mistake. You should demand withdrawal. But that might cost votes, so the Dems don't. And, of course, Kerry, Pelosi and other Democrats were in favor of more troops before they were against it.

    ...It's long since forgotten, but perhaps the chief moral argument against the Iraq war in 2003 was that it would create an enormous humanitarian crisis in the form of refugees spilling over the borders, which in turn would destabilize the region. That didn't happen.

    Alternate reading:
    Here we have a president trying to forthrightly win a war--as he himself described it, "the decisive ideological struggle of our time"-- on the cheap. This is flatly immoral. If you believe that failure is not an option, then, to paraphrase Wiston Chuchill, the nation must be prepared to sacrifice blood, toil, tears, and sweat. You should demand that every individual in the nation contribute to to that sacrifice. But that might cost votes, so Bush doesn't do it. And, of course, Bush, Cheney, Rice, (and let's not forget Rumsfeld), and other Repbulicans were opposed to more troops before they were for it.

    ...It's long since forgotten, but perhaps the chief moral argument against the Iraq war in 2003 was that it would create an enormous humanitarian crisis in the form of refugees spilling over the borders, which in turn would destabilize the region. That didn't happen. But we've made up for it in the last year; 2006 saw an enormous number of refugees, both internally displaced, and spilling over the borders.

    Posted by: has407 on January 11, 2007 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

    PTate in MN wrote at 2:00PM: And did we ever, ever define "victory"?

    Cheney's and Bush's definition of "victory" is quite clear.

    Victory is the establishment of a US-supported puppet government in Iraq that will hand over control of, and the vast majority of profits from, Iraq's vast oil reserves to their ultra-rich 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.

    This has always been their goal, since before they seized power in the stolen election of 2000.

    Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 11, 2007 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

    Chicocounsel: Pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship in defense of liberty? Apparently, not this generation of Democrats.

    Apparently not this generation of Republicans, you mean, since I don't exactly see you lot stampeding to enlist or even to raise taxes to pay for this fiasco. So I suppose the GOP version of Kennedy's noble pledge is

    "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, unless that price involves raising taxes on the wealthy, bear any burden, unless that burden involves enlisting in the military, meet any hardship, unless that hardship takes us away from our wingnut welfare, support any friend, unless that friend says something we don't like, in which case we'll demonize him, oppose any foe, unless that foe is Saudi Arabia or China or anyone else who pays us, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

    Posted by: Arminius on January 11, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

    "Pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship in defense of liberty? Apparently, not this generation of Democrats."

    Implicit in Chicounsel's attack upon critics of the war is the presumption that the invasion and continued occupation of Iraq in some way furthers the cause of liberty.

    Perhaps he would care to explain how the cause of liberty, either in the United States or Iraq or anywhere else in the world has been advanced by this holocaust to George W. Bush's ego.

    A brutal dictator who murdered 300,000+ of his countrymen in the course of 24 years of misrule was removed and brought to justice. In the invasion which brought his downfall and the almost 4 year chaotic occupation that followed, however, 600,000+ Iraqis have died violent deaths and murder has become a cottage industry.

    For the first time, the Iraqi people voted in free and fair elections. But the government they elected is powerless, serving at the pleasure of Muqtada Al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army, exerting authority nowhere beyond the Green Zone or rifle range of the American military. The Iraqi people are afraid to leave their homes and 1 million have fled their country (back before the Berlin Wall, we called that "voting with your feet)".

    In the United States, the Bush administration uses its war powers to undermine civil liberties; wiretapping domestic phone calls intercept e-mails and open mail without warrant, suspending the writ of habeas corpus, authorizing the use of torture, using signing statements to defy laws enacted by the Congress of the United States.

    So please explain to me how this burden born by our soldiers, sailors airmen and marines has furthered anyone's liberty anywhere?

    Posted by: Chesire11 on January 11, 2007 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

    What's weird and kind of dismaying about people like Chicocounsel is that they keep coming on these comment threads with their weak-ass rationalizations and their intransient inability to understand basic logical precepts, they get their metaphoric asses handed to them regularly, and yet they don't ever seem to question their assumptions.

    These are the people that identify most closely with the current administration, and I have to believe are in some way representative of its mindset.

    Nothing's going to get any better in the next two years unless the Democrats are prepared to force changes on the Executive Branch.

    Posted by: cyntax on January 11, 2007 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

    Since Chicounsel is a weak-minded, ignorant, dumbass neo-brownshirt dittohead mental slave of scripted right-wing propaganda, whose so-called "politics" has no actual content other than hatred of "liberals" and who is incapable of doing anything but regurgitating the turds that he gobbles from Rush Limbaugh's stinking toilet bowl and the bile that he slurps from the toxic sewer that is Fox News, the numerous eloquent rebuttals of his idiocy will have no effect.

    He'll be back shortly posting other scripted talking points that have been spoon-fed into his feeble brain by the right-wing media.

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

    So please explain to me how this burden born by our soldiers, sailors airmen and marines has furthered anyone's liberty anywhere?

    The Kurds aren't people?

    They're in fantastic shape with the 3rd year of plys 20% GDP growth. Much of Iraq outside Baghdad is doing just as well.

    Kurdustan is going to be Israel. They will be an island of capitalism, liberty and prosperity in a sea of chaos. By 2012 they will be 10M prosperous people on their way to 20M at military parity with their larger neighbors.

    Did you see todays markets. It's just amazing the USA economy screams along while the best Old Europe can manage is a limp. The rich just get richer.

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

    Tom Betz: there can be only two outcomes from an occupation; either you slaughter the inhabitants and annex the territory, or you leave.

    For some occupations this is true. For others it is false, for example our occupation of Germany and Japan after WWII. There are lots of historical cases of occupations that lasted hundreds of years and ended with the occupiers being assimilated into the occupied country.

    That said, I think you have accurately described our choices in Iraq.

    Posted by: anandine on January 11, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

    They do it because the alternatives are unthinkable:

    A - Doing their jobs (assming the have jobs), or
    B - Exposing their pasty skin to sunlight as they go in search of jobs if they don't!

    Posted by: Chesire11 on January 11, 2007 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

    Mark Kleiman: Will anyone notice that his concession that things were going very badly in Iraq through 2006 makes liars of himself and all his supporters, and monkeys of the wingnut columnists and bloggers who kept insisting that everything was going fine and that reports to the contrary were liberal lies from the MSM? Probably not.

    Clearly, ex-liberal hasn't noticed.

    And neither has Dickless "they're-on-their-last-legs" Cheney.

    rdw: Did you see todays markets. It's just amazing the USA economy screams along . . .

    Funny how that happened after it was clear the Dems were going to be in control of the House and how a GOP lock on all three branches for six years merely brought us debt, debt, more debt, an anemic economy, and death, death, and more death.

    Posted by: Google_This on January 11, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

    rdw: The rich just get richer.

    And rdw is a shining example of the dumb getting dumber!

    Posted by: Google_This on January 11, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

    I have little of substance to add , other than to call American Hawk ( snicker ) ( obviously a tough guy stationed mere inches from the front lines) a blithering retard.

    There is no victory cause you can't win a car accident , retard.

    Hawk. That's just the best . Hawk like on Buck Rogers? Or like a Cheney Hawk ? The kind that doesn't actualy Fight , just sends others to ...? Or wait , like the kind that eats rabbits and rats ?

    American Hawk . Wow .He really needs a Colbert Cartoon all to himself.

    Posted by: A. Scott on January 11, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

    Kurdustan is going to be Israel. They will be an island of capitalism, liberty and prosperity in a sea of chaos. By 2012 they will be 10M prosperous people on their way to 20M at military parity with their larger neighbors.

    Are you suggesting that an independent Kurdistan is some sort of slam-dunk that we wouldn't have to defend from Turkish and Iranian military incursions? That's about as delusional as saying Iraq had anything to do with 9/11.

    Posted by: cyntax on January 11, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

    rdw-

    Of course the Kurds are people, but Kurdish autonomy predated the invasion by a decade. It Bush the Elder's imposition of a "no-fly zone" over Kurdistan that allowed the Kurds their freedom, not Emperor Nero's disatrous invasion!

    Posted by: Chesire11 on January 11, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

    New all time high for the DOW.

    We've got crude at $52. That's down 22% from the average price for 2006. This will obviously translate into lower inflation and interest rates with higher consumer spending. All of these things are great for consumers and companies globally but especially in the USA

    It's more than amazing the USA economy can roll along so well while housing and auto's are in recession. Consider in the 3rd Qtr when growth dipped to 2%, the weakest in 4 years, it was still 4x's faster than growth in France and Germany.

    The rich just get richer.

    Posted by: rdw on January 11, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

    Republicans love war , torture and lies.

    Posted by: A.Scott on January 11, 2007 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

    Bush will ultimately butcher as many innocents in Iraq out of pique at his own failings as Nixon did in Cambodia for the same reasons.

    Each soldier that dies from here on out is a sacrifice to Bush's ego and self-centeredness.

    Shame on those who support him.

    Posted by: Google_This on January 11, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

    secularanimist:"Victory is the establishment of a US-supported puppet government in Iraq that will hand over control of, and the vast majority of profits from, Iraq's vast oil reserves to their ultra-rich 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."

    Sad, but true. Remember those early days when Paul Bremer's charge was to create the neo-conservative dream state?

    By this definiition, the withdrawal of American troops would be a total failure, and the establishment of permanent American bases and 75% of oil profits would be "victory." Bloodshed and sectarian violence would be irrelevant.

    Posted by: PTate in MN on January 11, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

    This is why we need to keep describing GWB's plan as the "Too Little, Too Late Plan".

    Posted by: Disputo on January 11, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

    As soon as we kill Uday and Qusay it's gonna turn this thing right around, just you watch.

    Posted by: melior on January 11, 2007 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

    We must beware the smoking gun that could come in the form of a doughy load in the pants.

    Posted by: melior on January 11, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

    Kurdish autonomy predated the invasion by a decade

    NOT quite. Not even close to quite. Saddam butchered over 100,000 Kurds AFTER desert storm and drove over 1.5M into the hills and out of Iraq.

    All of them are back and then some. Kurdish cities are expanding at record rates with the skyline dominated by construction cranes which did not exist prior to GWBs liberation. The place is unbelievable. Airports, Universities, Trade Centers, oil investment, housing etc. are all on fire. The growth is astounding and expected to continue for many years.

    The Kurds are an economic powerhouse. By next year the population will have surged by almost 100% yet all are in housing and unemployment remains low. The Kurds will be the freest islamic people outside the Palestinians in Israel and like them will be very, very prosperous. When an economy is growing 20% per year the level of wealth creation is stunning.

    These are savvy people. They can defend themselves. As they take this great wealth and invest in military infrastructure it will be mear impossible for any Islamic nation to threaten them. Even today, were Turkey or Iran to consider an invasion of any kind their armies would be devastated.

    Posted by: rdw on January 11, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

    Bush plummets 5 points in Rasmussen for the period when his staff was leaking information about the "surge" (aka, escalation) plan.

    Just think how bad it will be after they've actually digested his pathetic prime time performance and understand his real motivations are to push the war beyond the end of his term so he can try to avoid responsibility for the failures and mendacities of his foreign policy.

    Posted by: Google_This on January 11, 2007 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

    Chicounsel: "Since by any measure one wishes to use, the war in Iraq is, and remains, militarily insignificant. During the two week Battle of the Bulge in the closing days of WWII, American casualities were 89,987, with 19,276 dead, 23,554 captured or missing,and 47,493 wounded. We lost more troops practicing for the D-Day landings than we have in Iraq."

    Well spoken, and delivered with all the grace and sensitivity of someone who obviously never gave a rat's ass about those families who have ever lost a family member to a fate, place and time of someone else's choosing.

    In fact, your callous remarks remind me of the old quip colonial troops used to make about the British Empire, to wit "England will always fight to the last Canadian."

    If you think that this war in Iraq is such a great thing, then you really need to enlist. The Army has long since raised the age limit and have lowered their physical fitness standards in order to meet their quotas, so you really have no excuse.

    Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 11, 2007 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

    Kurdustan is going to be Israel. They will be an island of capitalism, liberty and prosperity in a sea of chaos.

    it already was that way before Bush's unnecessary invasion of Iraq.

    It's people like rdw who give dumbass trolls a bad name.

    Posted by: haha on January 11, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

    ...oh and BTW, rdw, as engaging as are your dreams of a Greater Kurdish Co-Prosperity Sphere, you may want to run them by the Turks first. Turkey has a population of 70m, a GDP of $585b, have a large, well equipped, modern military, a sizable, restive Kurdish minority and record of opposing the emergence of an independent Kurdistan for obvious reasons. They just might have some objection to your plans for the Kurds.

    Posted by: Chesire11 on January 11, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

    rdw: Saddam butchered over 100,000 Kurds AFTER desert storm and drove over 1.5M into the hills and out of Iraq.

    If that is true, and few things out of your keyboard are, then it was conservatives led by Bush 41 and rdw that allowed them to be butchered.

    Posted by: rdw_is_a_joke on January 11, 2007 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

    Intellectual pipsqueaks like the Pantload are a joke. His boy totals the car and then he bitches that we can't fix it. Sorry pal, not even Spicoli with all of his father's cool tools and a pound of weed could fix this crumpled ball of steel. Your boy COMPLETELY fucked it all up.

    Posted by: The Fool on January 11, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

    It is interesting to read the few comments by the gung-ho crowd as in:

    "Pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship in defense of liberty? Apparently, not this generation of Democrats.?"

    This war has nothing whatsoever to do with "liberty" . I oppose this war and always have opposed this war because it goes directly counter to any possible notion of liberty. Liberty, means, essentially, a liberal state not a neo-fascist state Bush and the neocons want based on the application of force in all areas of domestic and foreign policy. Besides dominating and occupying a country by making their lot far more miserable than it ever was against their (Iraqi) wishes hardly is "liberty". It will be interesting if, for the right, reason ever returns to fashion.

    Posted by: Chris Cosmos on January 11, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

    we wouldn't have to defend from Turkish and Iranian military incursions?

    Neither Turkey nor Iran have the capability of invading Kurdistan without suffering devastating military losses and a major loss of face in the middle east.

    The USA would need to expend little effort to defend Kurdistan from Turkey or Iran or Turkey and Iran. It would be childs play to destroy both of their air forces before they entered Kurdistan airspace.

    And invading army would suffer horrendous losses and merely chase the Kurds into the hills where Saddam was unable to go. Moreover, any standing invasion force would be sitting ducks even worse off than the soviets in Afghanistan.

    The Turks know the cost of invading Kursistan wold be far greater than any advantages. They need to get into the EU. That would be immediately off the table.

    Iran is fairly stupid but not that stupid and they have a modus operandi. They don't fight. They can't fight. They fund terror groups to do their fighting for them. That opportunity does not exist in Kurdistan which has control of their borders.

    Kurdistan is safe.

    Posted by: rdw on January 11, 2007 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

    They're in fantastic shape with the 3rd year of plys 20% GDP growth.

    If only your one-sided data bore any relation to reality.

    Nominal GDP has been plus 20% for two of the past three years according to Brookings, but much lower according to other organizations that track economic growth. And did you know that Iraq's GDP was higher than 20% before the invasion?

    Of course you didn't. Which means that we haven't caused the Iraqi economy to "boom."

    But touting Nominal GDP is like celebrating the growth of your income without taking into account that your bills and living expenses are outpacing it. According to Brookings Real GDP in Iraq which takes into account the wild inflation was -41% in 2003, 46.5% in 2004, and 3.7% in 2005.

    Not so good when you look at it that way. Significant GDP decline in 2003 essentially cancelling out 2004 with an anemic 2005.

    We've got crude at $52. That's down 22% from the average price for 2006.

    This is because a historically warm winter due to global climate change has caused significant oil reserves, forcing down oil futures and affecting prices.

    You are essentially celebrating the cheapness of sweaters while roasting in an oven.

    Posted by: Windhorse on January 11, 2007 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

    Chicounsel: We lost more troops practicing for the D-Day landings than we have in Iraq.

    Like inflation, you haven't adjusted for advances in military and medical technology or the relative capabilities of the enemies from two different eras.

    In addition, you clearly have not taken into consideration the stakes in WWII versus the stakes in Iraq, which are "nothing to be gained, including no enhancement to American security."

    Face it, you're just mad because the adults are now in charge and making Bush look like the squealing infant that he is, sh*tting all over Iraq like an infant sh*ts his diaper and leaving someone else to clean up the mess.

    Tell me, how would you compare 3000 deaths to those in WWII if the 3000 deaths accomplished nothing more than save the life of a single hostage charity worker held in jail by Iran, but who was neither being tortured nor in danger of execution?

    Bush has accomplished even less than that in Iraq and at the end of the day will have lessened this nation's national security.

    Posted by: Google_This on January 11, 2007 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

    can we PLEASE stop using this "win" "lose" rhetoric like this is some sort of basketball game where whoever has the most points at the end wins??

    there are NO WINNERS IN THIS WAR, only losers... this elementary notion that there has to be a "winner" and there has to be a "loser" is just so disgusting...

    once we get beyond looking at this like some athletic match, maybe only then can we come up with a viable solution...

    Posted by: Man Coulter on January 11, 2007 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

    American Chickenhawk: So, where is the Democratic plan for victory?

    Where is Bush's?

    The "surge" is a plan for defeat.

    Remember your own meme, conservatives; increased violence by a party to a conflict is the sign of desperation from those who've already been defeated.

    Posted by: Google_This on January 11, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

    I would liek to add 2 things.

    Kerry advocated for more troops during the 2004 campaign. The simple fact that most of us crazy ass lefty anti-war nutbags dreaded those words coming from his mouth, and the span of 2 years since then, doesn't even register in the wingnut brain. And the fact that this is a thought that really came from Giuliani and not Jonah Goldberg, since Goldberg never has an original thought.

    -Gleic

    Posted by: gleic on January 11, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

    Neither Turkey nor Iran have the capability of invading Kurdistan without suffering devastating military losses and a major loss of face in the middle east.

    Patently false. Turkish forces outnumber the Peshmerga ten to one, and outgun them as well. The Kurds would be crushed.

    Next false statement please.

    Posted by: Windhorse on January 11, 2007 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

    NOT quite. Not even close to quite. Saddam butchered over 100,000 Kurds AFTER desert storm and drove over 1.5M into the hills and out of Iraq."
    rdw-

    I'm afraid you're confusing the Northern No-fly Zone with the Southern No-fly zone. The Southern No-fly zone failed to protect the Shiites and Marsh Arabs who rebelled against Hussein in the wake of Desert Storm after Bush the Elder encouraged them to believe we would support Iraqi efforts to remove Hussein from power. The No-fly Zone did prevent Hussein from using fixed wing aircraft to put down the rebellion, but it did not sop him from using ground forces and helicopter gunships to slaughter more than 100k Shiites under the very noses of our armed forces in Kuwait.

    Hussein's genocidal campaign against the Kurds in the north took place during the 1980's culminating in the Anfal campaign which included the notorious chemical attack on the village of Halabja. In all around 180k Kurds were slaughtered. Since 1991, the Kurds have enjoyed a "safe haven" and semi-autonomy in the north thanks to a NATO imposed No-fly zone. In October 1991, Hussein even withdrew all Iraqi civil administrators from Iraqi Kurdistan.

    If you don't believe me, I would refer you to the following which provides a decent summary of the recent history of the area:

    http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2002/issue4/jv6n4a5.html

    I'm afraid, my friend that you are the one who's not even close.

    Posted by: Chesire11 on January 11, 2007 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

    then it was conservatives led by Bush 41 and rdw that allowed them to be butchered.


    Spoke like a true blame America 1st liberal.

    I take it todays all time record high on the DOW really pisses you off. Not only have we funded with war with Tax Cuts but the economy is friggin BOOMING!!!!!!!

    GWB has pulled so far away from Old Europe so quickly few libs have any clue it's happened. Even better our economy is crushing them. We'll add $1T in GDP in 2007 and 2008 while France and Germany won't add $100M.

    They are the slowest growing continet on the planet. They have been the slowest growing. They will remain the slowest growing.

    There's an outside chance Chavez will drag down South America but Brazil and Chile are likely to prevent a Euro style maliase.

    The record of the post-81 era is the separation of the USA and Old Europe economies such that Old Europe is in such disrepair they can no longer be considered an ally. They have always been a liability but it's no longer tolerable.

    In 2006 Intel got 60% of its sales from Asia versus 20% from Europe. This 3 to 1 ratio will soon be 4 to 1 and then 5 to 1. That's about how important Old Europe is.

    Posted by: rdw on January 11, 2007 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

    old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat

    Posted by: rdw feedback loop on January 11, 2007 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

    Patently false. Turkish forces outnumber the Peshmerga ten to one, and outgun them as well. The Kurds would be crushed.

    No, the Kurds would run long before they would be crushed. They would have ALL of the tactical advantages and deal any invading army horrendous casualties. Moreover, once any army gained ground they'd be sitting ducks for insurgent attacks.

    I am not suggesting the Kurds would attack anyone else. They could not consider attacking Turkey. Nor do they need too do so. They are in nation building mode and at current rates per capita income would zoom past Turkey and Iran in a decade.

    The question for any invading nation is always risk/return. Will Turkey give up EU membership? How about a freeze on immigration? The Turkish economy would collapse.

    They're going to risk this and more why?

    Posted by: rdw on January 11, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

    rdw: Spoke like a true blame America 1st liberal.

    You are confusing "Bush" with "America."

    Not that this is unexpected.

    I take it todays all time record high on the DOW really pisses you off.

    Not at all. The climb began once it became clear that the Democrats would control the House. Before then, the DOW was just muddling along, afraid of its own shadow because of profligate spending by the GOP House and Bush's interminable war that ran up the US debt to record levels.

    The markets have confidence that the adults are now in charge.

    No small wonder they are exploding with vibrancy, when they languished for six long years under the total control of the GOP.

    Bush is history and he doesn't even know it yet.

    It will be a rude awakening when he finally sees the light and finds out that he wasted eight years of unprecedented opportunity because of his own arrogance, incompetence, emotionalism, stupidity, misplaced loyalty, and self-love.

    Posted by: Google_This on January 11, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

    rdw-

    Iraqi Kurdistan is certainly experiencing a period of explosive growth, however, your assertion that it could handily defeat the Turkish military is just plain silly! The Turks possess a large, well trained and equipped modern military.

    The Peshmerga are a poorly trained militia equipped with few heavy weapons, 1950's era soviet armor and posses no military aircraft at all.

    It wouldn't even be a contest!

    Posted by: Chesire11 on January 11, 2007 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

    Oh, goody! rdw is here and now we get to play retard-hour again!!

    Posted by: Alfred E. Newman on January 11, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

    rdw suffers from irreversible senile dementia. Have pity on him.

    Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 11, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

    OK team. There's 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter and you're only down by 23 points. The three earlier fake punt attempts, the four 75-yard field goal attempts, the seven 4th and 15 go-for-it attempts, and all of the Hail Mary passes that I called would have worked had your hearts really been for winning this game. It's not my fault that you can't execute the plays right. It's not my fault that the offensive coordinator didn't believe in my strategery for victory and left the stadium early to go home. It's not my fault that our defense couldn't sack their quarterback on the 11-man blitzes I called on every 3rd down they ran. It's not my fault that you some of you don't have shoulder pads or helmets. It's not my fault that the fans are booing. Now listen: This game is still winnable, and I don't want to hear otherwise. Only losers quit, because winners never quit and quitters never win. So if you're not going to play for victory in these last 2 minutes of this game and get out there and score 24 points, then you might as well clean out your lockers and go play for the other team. Now when you get back out there on the field, just remember this: All you need to do is believe that you can win, and you will win. And if you don't score 24 points, then keep in mind that you'll have let down me, yourself, your teammates, and the fans, and everyone will remember you for the losers that you are. Everyone on three -- one, two, three, go team!

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

    rdw: The question for any invading nation is always risk/return.

    A formulation that clearly neither Bush nor rdw applied to the invasion of Iraq.

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

    rdw: "The question for any invading nation is always risk/return."

    Well, we know how President Dick Cheney answered that question: he is willing to risk the deaths of any number of young working-class Americans and any number of innocent Iraqi civilians, not to mention America's national security, not to mention a massively destructive and deadly regional war in the Middle East, in return for seizing control of Iraq's vast oil reserves for his ultra-rich cronies and financial backers in the US-based multinational oil companies.

    Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 11, 2007 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

    American Hawk wrote: "So, where is the Democratic plan for victory? Anybody?"

    Fixed that for you:

    So, where is the Democrats' perfect solution to the intractable disaster that the Republicans created? Anybody?

    Posted by: carpelibum on January 11, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

    Since 1991, the Kurds have enjoyed a "safe haven" and semi-autonomy in the north thanks to a NATO imposed No-fly zone.

    I agree the more notorious genocides occured in the 80's but there were several Kurdish region not covered by the 91 no-fly zones such as Kirkuk and there regions were very bloody battlefields. Moreoer Kursistan remained under constant threat. It was only after Saddams removal the economy moved over the 10% growth plane and we've had such stunning population growth.

    Posted by: rdw on January 11, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

    Ann Coulter is not a man, is he?

    Posted by: bubba on January 11, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

    "And what is so wrong with increasing troops?"

    In response to this comment from Al, (who I take it was born sometime between yesterday and 1975) all I can say is "ask Lyndon Johnson".

    Posted by: elg on January 11, 2007 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

    The dumb get dumber...rdw wrote Saddam butchered over 100,000 Kurds AFTER desert storm ... All of them are back and then some.

    Holy shit! Zombies!

    I can't wait to hear rdw's justifications if and when Bush sells out the Kurds again.

    Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

    your assertion that it could handily defeat the Turkish military is just plain silly! The Turks possess a large, well trained and equipped modern military.

    I didn't say they could defeat the turks. I said the cost to the Turks of attenpting an invasion are so enormous they won't seriously consider it.

    Posted by: rdw on January 11, 2007 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

    I got beat up alot in high school, and I never had a date to any of the dances. But now I am a fat boring white man in the fat boring suburbs buying fat boring products for my fat boring family, my life is perfect!!

    Posted by: rdw on January 11, 2007 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

    cyntax wrote: What's weird and kind of dismaying about people like Chicocounsel is that they keep coming on these comment threads with their weak-ass rationalizations and their intransient inability to understand basic logical precepts, they get their metaphoric asses handed to them regularly, and yet they don't ever seem to question their assumptions.

    Authoritarians aren't supposed to question.

    Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

    Cuntservatives like Ann Coulter cause he has a 10 inch clit.

    Posted by: bubba on January 11, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

    Oh, good Ford! rdw wrote of the Kurds: Even today, were Turkey or Iran to consider an invasion of any kind their armies would be devastated.

    That tears it -- I want some of whatever you're smoking.

    Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

    A thought experiment: lets say, somehow magically the central provinces of Iraq are "pacified" with the additional 20,000 troops-what happens then? Do all Iraqi's join together again in one happy nation? Was it ever one happy nation? How do we make Shiite, Sunni, Kurd, Turkoman all come together? Is there a government-in-waiting in the Green Zone able to administer such a country? It seems a successful next stage is very unlikely. We pay millions, if not billions to plan for contingencies such as thinking what the next step after this is. Where is the plan for what comes next? What idiots these Bush people are. Maybe at the beginning this adventure could have worked out with more US troops and less dismantling of Iraqi government and army. Time change, opportunities are lost. There is now elements of ethnic cleansing, revolution against Iraqi government, insurgency against an occupier, terrorism and just plain criminal action elements in this war. Few, if any of these can be addressed by just 20,000 more US troops. And, if so, what happens on the day the battle in the center ends.

    Posted by: Neal on January 11, 2007 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

    rdw wrote: I said the cost to the Turks of attenpting an invasion are so enormous they won't seriously consider it.

    That never stopped Dubya, though, did it?

    Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

    Hey American Hawk:

    "So, where is the Democratic plan for victory? Anybody?"

    What makes you think that "victory" is possible, and how would define this victory? Ramming some sorry excuse for democracy down the throats of a population that would be happy as hell if a Muslim cleric ran the whole country? Is that victory? Making the country secure enough so American oil companies can safely move in and begin relieving the Iraqis of their oil? Maybe you're the type who believes that simply killing off the Iraqis is really all the freedom they need. The Sunnis and the Shiia have been slaughtering each other for centuries. It's not going to end any time soon, and we sure the hell aren't going to be the ones to end it.

    You've been drinking the Bush Kool-Aid. Straight kerosene would be better for your health.

    Posted by: Mark F. on January 11, 2007 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

    I'd be afraid if I were the Kurds then because as the progression of past will show ... once you're a friend of the criminal american Republican Party it's only a matter of time until the honeymoon ends and you're demonized, robbed, beaten and murdered. It's become a "second nature" for them and a modern phenomenon with the old motivation ... greed

    Posted by: Comptroller of the Currency on January 11, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

    The worst that could happen with more troops is we don't completely succeed.

    This is the sort of moral cretinism that got us to where we are now. After all, the piles of tortured, mutilated bodies are not appearing in Al's neighborhood. Therefore they are abstract, merely numbers in which the comma keeps shifting as thousands turn to tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands. Just eggs in a Freedom Omelet�.

    It's certainly better to give it one more try rather than to simply accept defeat as liberals and democrats want us to do.

    Okay. How many last chances are allowed to an administration that hasn't gotten a single thing right? What happens when this latest last chance doesn't pan out, as virtually every serious military observer has predicted? What's the next big bright plan rattling around inside the skulls of these geniuses? At what point do you admit to yourself that if you were a business owner and these bozos were your employees (and, believe it or not, you are and they do), you'd fire them?

    I understand that people don't like to admit they're wrong, but you'd think that they'd at least have enough sense to finally get that reality has them by the short hairs, and maybe they oughta just shut the hell up already.

    I am tired of these chumps smugly asking what our big plan is. You heard our plan back in 2002 -- it was called "Don't invade Iraq, it will be a huge fucking mistake". You sneered and called us traitors and pussies. Now you want to hear our plan, or at least pretend to. Save your phony ecumenicism for the rubber-chicken circuit.

    So now our big plan is to make sure that the current gang ends up in jobs requiring paper hats, so that serious adults can come in and clean up another one of Junior's messes. The only real shame here is that Junior will never face any accountability for all the sorrow and misery he's wrought. The worst we can do is fire his useless ass, or at least emasculate him for the homestretch. Containment, inspections, and verification (for Bush) -- that's the plan.

    These people barely had any plan for Afghanistan; why would Iraq (or Somalia, or Syria, or Iran) be any different?

    Posted by: Heywood J. on January 11, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

    The markets have confidence that the adults are now in charge.

    As usual you miss the point. Markets are taking off because the economy is taking off. What is so cool is the Reagan trajectory begun in 1981 is just as amazing in 2007 as it was 25 years ago. The USA continues to grow above trend and above the global average. Old Europe continues to grow below trend and well below the global average.

    GWB Delinked because Old Europe is a mess. As out share of the global economy increases their share drops like a stone.

    Just compound this out my friends. This started in 1981 and it is reaching disasterous proportions. And you have no clue. How is it possible to have 10% unemployment in this global economy?

    Posted by: rdw on January 11, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

    rdw, the only things you've said so far on this thread that haven't been patently false and proven false are your crazy predictions about the future -- which can't be proven or disproven -- and just a few of your off-topic ramblings, which you owe simply to the law of averages.

    remember your endless confident predictions about the 2006 election that were so wrong as to be humiliating?

    we do.

    Posted by: everyone here at the blog on January 11, 2007 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

    That never stopped Dubya, though, did it?

    You mean the cost of tax cuts and record stock prices?

    Posted by: rdw on January 11, 2007 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK
    I'd be afraid if I were the Kurds then because as the progression of past will show ... once you're a friend of the criminal american Republican Party it's only a matter of time until the honeymoon ends and you're demonized, robbed, beaten and murdered.

    And Bush has already laid the groundwork for demonizing the existing governing bodies in Iraq if that fails, so, along with others, the Kurds—at least, those involved in the present national and regional governments—ought to brace themselves.

    Posted by: cmdicely on January 11, 2007 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

    No, the Kurds would run long before they would be crushed. They would have ALL of the tactical advantages and deal any invading army horrendous casualties. Moreover, once any army gained ground they'd be sitting ducks for insurgent attacks.

    Shorter rdw: Anyone invading Kurdistan would suffer the same fate as the Americans occupying Iraq! Isn't that great?

    Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

    rdw

    I suppose the climb of the Euro relative to the Dollar is a sign of the robust USA economy . . .

    rdw, the US economy is running on a mountain of home-mortgage debt. Did you know that nine subprime mortgage companies have closed shop in the last 6 weeks? The mortgages that they sold as bonds to Wall Street are starting to foreclose. Technically, the subprime companies are supposed to buy back nonperforming loans. So far these nine companies are folding up shop instead.

    Posted by: troglodyte on January 11, 2007 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

    The rich just get richer.

    And abundantly so under Bush - that's part of the problem. Everyone else?...not so much.

    Posted by: ckelly on January 11, 2007 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

    when Bush sells out the Kurds again

    The Kurds learned their lessons. Part of their boom is a defense build-up. They can't depend on anyone especially someone in a democracy where there are regular elections. They are very well trained and armed. They can only depend on themselves.

    This is their 1st homeland. That' part of the reason for the patience. They are biding their time. Their population and their tresury are surging. They will be stronger next year, and then more the next year, etc. Time is their friend.

    Posted by: rdw on January 11, 2007 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

    rdw feedback loop: old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat old europe, john kerry, cambodia, hugh chavez, gdp, wash rinse repeat

    Nice, but I'm going to have to deduct 10 points for leaving George Clooney off the list.

    Posted by: Arminius on January 11, 2007 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

    Nobody reads Jonah anyway except you guys and his mom...

    Posted by: Stu on January 11, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

    rdw: As usual you miss the point. Markets are taking off because the economy is taking off.

    Now THAT'S funny. Great circular logic there. "Markets are taking off because the economy is taking off...." Similarly, I'm getting richer because I'm making more money! I'm getting taller because I'm growing!

    Posted by: D'oh Jones on January 11, 2007 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

    "So, where is the Democratic plan for victory? "

    Don't need one. President Bush is in charge of foreign policy. Your side tells us that all the time.

    Posted by: zak822 on January 11, 2007 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

    "They are very well trained and armed."

    Yes, I can hardly wait to see what they've got planned with all those T-55's!

    Thank you, for the chuckles, boring, fat white man. It has been quite a while since I last encountered anyone quite so dogmatic or obtuse. Never let the world outside stop you from enjoying listening to yourself talk!

    Posted by: Chesire11 on January 11, 2007 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

    RDW -- You're just the kind of person I need to quarterback my team. You have an unshakable sense of reality that will allow you to will the team on to victory, no matter how many points we are down or how many broken legs players are running on. Snap up that chin strap and get in there and lead the team to victory. We need 24 points in 2 minutes, but I know that with your kind of mental and physical strength we'll score at least 35 points.

    Posted by: Head Coach on January 11, 2007 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

    Bush is laughing all the way to the bank. US oil companies are going to bank 75% of Iraqi oil profits! France and Russia saw their oil contracts with Saddam reduced to toilet paper.

    The GOP knows what it wants and how to get it. They lie, cheat and steal and it pays off and pays off huge. Sometimes it's necessary to get ugly and kill a few thousand folks, and that's unfortunate but Bush/Cheney have the nerve and the smarts to get away with it.

    That's what I love about America.

    Posted by: rdw's singing dingle-berries on January 11, 2007 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

    I knew that quoting of JFK would hit a nerve with you people.

    Will have to post a response to my many critics after getting home. Talk to your all later.

    But before I go, it must really hurt that you guys are beginning to realize that the new Democratic majority in both Houses will do nothing, apart from bitching and moaning, to stop Bush, the surge in troops or the war in Iraq. I even doubt that the Senate will pass the symbolic Sense of the Senate resolution against Bush's plans.


    Posted by: Chicounsel on January 11, 2007 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

    I knew that quoting of JFK would hit a nerve with you people.

    It was not quoting JFK but rather your abject stupidity that hit a nerve.

    If it's anything like your original post, don't bother with a response. We have a bunch of eighth graders coming in later for a field trip so we'll have all the puerile, uninformed arguments we can handle, thanks.

    Posted by: Windhorse on January 11, 2007 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK
    But before I go, it must really hurt that you guys are beginning to realize that the new Democratic majority in both Houses will do nothing, apart from bitching and moaning, to stop Bush, the surge in troops or the war in Iraq.

    Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska, addressing the Secretary of State:

    “Matter of fact, I have to say, Madame Secretary, that I think this speech given last night by this president represents the most dangerous policy blunder in this country since Vietnam, if it’s carried out,” said Mr. Hagel, who was seriously wounded in Vietnam. “I will resist it.”

    Posted by: obscure on January 11, 2007 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

    take it todays all time record high on the DOW really pisses you off. Not only have we funded with war with Tax Cuts but the economy is friggin BOOMING!!!!!!!

    That's the ticket -- we'll CONSUME the terrorists into submission! And let the Red Chinese pay for it!

    God I love supply side wars.

    Posted by: Peter Principle on January 11, 2007 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

    Gregory: That never stopped Dubya, though, did it?

    The Turks are smarter than Dubya.

    Come to think of it, that is probably true for any value of Turks.

    Posted by: anandine on January 11, 2007 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

    Hannity and Rudy were pushing this.

    We are in a period where the right's spinners are working 100% of the time at keeping their cult under control, complete control.

    Where is our plan for victory? Too bad the child king didn't come up with one of those maybe once in the last 4 years since it is his short sighted "get the guy who tried to kill daddy" adventure.

    Scott Ritter said before Bush went in that we would leave Iraq with our tails between our legs - he was correct. Now Bush wants some more Americans killed to save his coked up ego by starting a distraction, a war with Iran, nothing more. The man purges generals like Stalin - even that doesn't awaken his cult following that falsely claims to be "patriotic" and "support" the troops. Conservatives don't support the troops - they use their lives as little toys so they can act out.

    The question is, when will Bush, Cheney, and the totally failed Rice, all resign in shame as they should have done long ago for taking our country into their plan free mess? They won't resign because they are principle-free and soulless crowd like their followers have been conditioned to be. Long since time to let people who know something about the world and people who did something other go AWOL and stay coked up in their formative years try to find the best way out of this horror.

    For God's sake the man's own father set up an intervention to try and save the nation from his son's ineptness.

    NEWSFLASH!!!!

    THERE WILL BE NO VICTORY IN IRAQ.

    That was an impossibility that most knew years ago. Only people who listen to right wing radio still carry that delusion. But Lord forbid someone say that - then the cult will jump around and call them un-American like the trained monkeys they have become.

    Face it, the cult of conservatism has created a horror that may be able to be managed but "victory" is a term only the mind controlled running our nation and our military into the ground still buys into....

    Our country has a sociopath at the helm, which is another way of saying we have a huge national security problem on our hands. The really sad part is that most in the cult of conservatism actually knows this but they are too caught up protecting their cult's ideology which Rush & friends molded them into being than caring about America, her military or her future.

    Hannity and his "Enemy of State" award ought to awaken his followers to the fact that he is a fascist bastard but it won't. It is not easy to break away from a cult. Ask the dead at Jonestown.

    Posted by: Ghost of Jim Jones Knows on January 11, 2007 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

    For the first time, the Iraqi people voted in free and fair elections.
    Posted by: Chesire11 on January 11, 2007 at 3:59 PM

    I believe that you are wrong there, and that Iraq had reasonably sucessful elections in the 1950's.

    I'm just sayin'

    Posted by: kevinofburbank on January 11, 2007 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

    I knew that quoting of JFK would hit a nerve with you people.

    Not at all. Quoting JFK in service of your dishonest argument, though, is another matter.

    Posted by: Gregory on January 11, 2007 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

    But before I go, it must really hurt that you guys are beginning to realize that the new Democratic majority in both Houses will do nothing, apart from bitching and moaning, to stop Bush, the surge in troops or the war in Iraq. I even doubt that the Senate will pass the symbolic Sense of the Senate resolution against Bush's plans.
    Posted by: Chicounsel

    which goes to show that neither of these clowns is serious ... it's all about trying to keep a straight face when realizing their sailboat is goin' south lol he realizes were really hurting ....hahahaha ... same chump that day before yesterday was sayin' we'd all end up in a determent camps for not repeating the ripple muscle neo-con talking point. we'll see fucker ...have a nice drive home

    Posted by: Tired of whiny Cheetoeaters on January 11, 2007 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

    Spoke like a true blame America 1st liberal.

    That's a BS line the cult has been peddling for years. It makes them feel better when they dodge reality. No, we don't hate America 1st. We hate the cult of conservatism which is dragging our once great nation to hell and taking the world with it first.

    It is conservatism we blame NOT America - quit using our nation to cover for your cult. America can't help it if a bunch of lying SOB's have deceived the nation into letting them run her into the ground.

    Here, take a couple hours and learn a little about who trained you and why.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9008719207533458404&hl=en

    Posted by: GJJ on January 11, 2007 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

    the dem's plan for victory? Ummm...logical fallacy alert!!! You can't win a war which is already lost. The dem's have a plan for ENDING this ridiculous war. The Bushco plan??? keep it going until someone else gets the job.
    As metaphor; Bush drove us off a cliff...the dem's plan? pull our people back , leave the car wreck where it landed....Bushco's plan? get out and push the mangled car towards the next cliff and then jump in for another crazy ride.

    Posted by: marko on January 11, 2007 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

    Kevin-

    You're probably right about the elections. If so, then thank you for the correction.

    Posted by: Chesire11 on January 11, 2007 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

    Iraq has now become the Terri-Schiavo war; the patient "died" a looooooooong time ago, the patient is only technically "alive" due to artificial means. Bush's plan is to keep pumping food and water and keep the machines running in the hope that one day the patient will miraculously arise and walk and talk again. the dem's plan is to acknowledge reality and pull the damn plug! No amount of intervention , at this point will save this patient who most assuredly is already lost. Screeching about how the dems have no plan for "victory" is the same as yelling at the doctors who had no plan to make Terri Schiavo sit up and talk again. It is a shameful and sad thing to see how far the right-wing detachment from reality has taken them. To them, acknowledging reality is weakness and admitting limitations within a reality based context is "defeatism". How sad .

    Posted by: dantroplanetman on January 11, 2007 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

    American Hawk is proceeding from a false assumption: he is assuming victory is possible.

    Perhaps it was, once. It no longer is.

    I pity people too deep in denial to live here in reality with the rest of us. I'm sure America always wins - in his head.

    Posted by: just AnotherGuy on January 11, 2007 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

    Gregory: And Commander in Chief George W. Bush -- the guy you support, Marler, and the one responsible for this debacle, no matter how desperate you are to disctract attention to the democrats -- delivered a civil war and a quagmire.

    The questioner asked whether anybody had defined "victory", and I pointed to a definition that was neither hidden, nor new, nor partisan, nor non-achievable. You are correct that Bush has not achieved victory, but that does not mean that victory has not been defined.

    Many democracies have been listed: post WWII Greece, California, Illinois, Chicago, Philippines, Taiwan, S. Korea, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, the U.S. during and immediately after the Revolutionary war, India since the partition, Indonesia since Suharto, Chile after Pinochet. Every actual democracy has serious flaws. If Iraq can experience a stable, though flawed democracy, that will be a victory. In Kurdistan, and in many Iraqi towns, effectve democratic governments function.

    As to "debacle" and "quagmire", examples of those abound as well: VietNam, Iwo Jima, Peleiliu, Tarawa, Cold Harbor, Brooklyn Heights, the Hurtgen Forest, Bataan, Kasserine Pass, Anzio, Burma, Iron Bottom Sound, Fredericksburg; the futile campaigns by Grant against Vicksburg and Lee's army (Lincoln was under considerable pressure to relieve Grant in both cases), The Red River, Kennesaw Mountain. In 1944 more than 3,000 men died in a training accident while preparing to invade France. Iraq is not as bad as those.

    I'll continue to support Bush until Congress rescinds the authority granted him under the 2002 AUMF, or until the U.S. is clearly defeated. In Iraq now, nobody has been defeated except the Baathist government, and nobody is clearly ahead except the Kurds and somewhat over half of the Shi'ites. Some areas of Iraq are the freest and richest that they have ever been, and they will lose severly if the U.S. withdraws rapidly. Last poll I read from Iraq, about 2/3 of Iraqis wanted the American forces to remain at least a year, and everywhere that the American forces fight they receive support along with the hostility.

    If the Democrats get together and pass a resolution rescinding the AUMF, I'll write a congratulatory letter to Sen. Feinstein -- I voted for her, but I wrote a letter advising that, because she had voted for the war, I thought that she ought to support the war right up until the time she was ready to vote (not plea or complain) against it. I think that most of them do not want to pass a resolution demanding that Bush do something because they are afraid that what they demand will not work.

    If the "surge" is successful, the Democrats will continue to go along with what Bush orders the military to do.

    I am in a minority, but I am not totally alone. Sen. Lieberman supports the surge, and I agree with his arguments. I do not agree with Sen. Kennedy, but I think that he is standing strongly for what he believes.

    Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 11, 2007 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

    How far have we fallen as a nation and a culture in the 40+ years from Kennedy's Inaugural Address.

    Why do you hate America?

    Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 11, 2007 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK
    …Sen. Lieberman supports the surge, and I agree with his arguments… MatthewRMarler at 8:37 PM
    Senator Lieberman, an independent, has shown that his opinion is based on misunderstanding Iraq so to agree is to show that you are equally misinformed. Not only can Bush not define victory, the mission, of the reason for the invasion, he cannot recognize defeat. When you have been incountry for 4 years and the situation deteriorates over time, it is a defeat because you have failed to establish security, safety or the necessities of society like safe water, electricity, food and jobs.

    Way off topic but

    …the Reagan trajectory begun in 1981 is just as amazing in 2007 as it was 25 years ago… rightist dim wit at 5:22 PM

    In actual fact, the Clinton economy was better than the Reagan and Bush years because he rejected the supplyside nonsense of their administrations. Also note, Reagan had the biggest tax increase in history.

    ...Over all, the 1982 tax increase undid about a third of the 1981 cut; as a share of G.D.P., the increase was substantially larger than Mr. Clinton’s 1993 tax increase....

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

    It is impossible to fight a war of religous beliefs.The only way to any peace in the region
    is by finding a common ground that we are both willing to live by.It is sad to see that most people want are are willing to harm each other over this.The only way we can work this out is by realizing that this is the only world we have and we are destucting it by not following are love for others rather than are base instincts.

    Posted by: Terry on January 12, 2007 at 2:34 AM | PERMALINK

    It is impossible to fight a war of religious beliefs.

    And against a transitive verb, too.

    Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on January 12, 2007 at 2:37 AM | PERMALINK

    In actual fact, the Clinton economy was better than the Reagan and Bush years because he rejected the supplyside nonsense

    Actually Clinton didn't have an economic philosophy and your proving my point about the strength of the American economy. Since 1981 it's been the 8th wonder of the world. As we've embraced suppy-side Europe has gone is the opposite direction and they're paying the obvious price. There's been a global boom and Old Europe is the slowest growing region on the planet.

    They're so screwed.

    Think about their huge welfare states, slow growth, high unemployment, high taxes and high regulation and derth of future support. In 1971 they're were 4.7M Italians 5 and under. In 2005 that was down to 2.6M. It's starting to compound. There no just having fewer babies. Now that have many fewer mommies having fewer babies.

    They can't possibly sustain their welfare state. They can't create jobs. They can't create wealth. They are absolutely screwed.

    In 2007 and 2008 the USA under GWB will for the 7th and 8th consecutive year outgrow Old Europe by at least 2 to 1 if not 4 to 1.

    Australia 25 years ago lagged Old Europe in per capital GDP by about 20%. Now they are 15% above Old Europe and pulling away. Many of the Swedes and Dutch smart enough to emigrate are going to Australia.

    They are so screwed.

    Posted by: rdw on January 12, 2007 at 8:23 AM | PERMALINK

    Mike,

    Here's the key defining fact of Ronald Reagans supply-side policies. This is the fact historians and political scientists and future economists will focus on for the sake of clarity and brevity.

    In 1981 when RR assumed office marginal rates were 70%. In 1989 when RR left office marginal rates were 28%.

    No President, before or since, has so dramatically changed the tax code. He ran on it. He explained it before he was elecred. He did it.

    It worked brilliantly. Jimmy also left soaring inflation, interest rates and unemployment. As hs described in his own words, a national malaise.

    Reegan ushered in a new era. It was Morning in America.

    Jimmy was paralyzed by students in Iran. Reagan defeated the soviets and all of their allies in the cold war.

    The chart you want to focus on is a logrythmic chart of the Dow Jones Industrials for the last 110 years. It's shows the very clear and decisive turning point in 1981 and an uptrend that has yet to reverse. It's truly poetic.

    Posted by: rdw on January 12, 2007 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

    GJJ,

    It's a very, very effective line because it's so obvious. Jeanne Kilpatrick of course made it famous yet I always preferred Menachim Begins version which covered more than American libs and wasn't about America but better described the rank stupidity of libs the world over.

    "Arabs kill Arabs and it's the Jews fault."

    Posted by: rdw on January 12, 2007 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

    Reegan ushered in a new era. It was Morning in America.

    And that's all I really know about or care about. You see? That's all I really know.

    Morning in America. Morning in America. Isn't it lovely?

    Morning in America. I never get tired of Morning in America.

    Thanks. And have a good day!

    Posted by: rdw's singing dingle-berries on January 12, 2007 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

    Intel plans major new plant in China

    World's leading chip manufacturer will invest a 'couple billion' dollars in unit to make leading-edge chips, sources say.


    Let's agree, Old Europe is not a place to invest and hasn't been in decades. As Intel goes so goes US Policy. GWB hasn't been walking away. He's been running away. Nations have permanent interests not permanent friends. The French are not our friends.

    Posted by: rdw on January 12, 2007 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

    Fat boring white guy (aka rdw)-

    Jeez buddy, turn off the computer and go visit your family for a while. Talk with your fat, boring wife. Connect with your fat, boring kids. Go out obey your Dear Leader's command and do your part in the war by buying more fat boring, products. The internets aren't a substitute for a life. Step away from your keyboard, experience life and maybe that will restore some balance.

    …oh and BTW, Reagan's economic policies were basically Keynesian demand side economics. The supply curve is rarely significantly affected by anything other than exploitation of previously untapped resources or technological innovation, everything else is just puttering around the edges.

    Posted by: Chesire1 on January 12, 2007 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

    The supply curve is rarely significantly affected by anything other than exploitation of previously untapped resources or technological innovation

    And what have we had since 1981? A doubling of chip speeds every 18 months? Soaring productivity? Breakthrough after breakthrough after breakthrough. Do you get pissed the cameria, PC, TV, Phone, etc you buy this year will be obsolete the next.

    And what's even better that all of this is happening is that Reagan predicted it.

    Supply-side is all about incentives to work, innovate, procuce, create, etc. We have the video.

    We also have the video of the lefties telling us the USSR was just as economically strong with an equally viable system. The reason liberal economic guru John Kennenth Galbraith died with so little fanfare after so 'illustrious' and long a career is that in the 80's he took the opposite side of Reagan ending his career as a proven buffoon.

    Posted by: rdw on January 12, 2007 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

    This is trulydisgusting and treasonous to suggest at this point in time that we should just "cut and run" like democrats always love to do theclear and present danger and neccessity at this point in time is we have the neccesity to do whatever we need to do as a nation to succeed in this conflict whe our victory is in hand. You have no right to delagate our brave troo's to the trash heap of history by renedering there brave sacrifises moot and useleess by "cutting and running" like you clearly want to do since you have no honor or decency and are borderline treasonous to.

    Posted by: The Major on January 12, 2007 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

    "Where's the democrat's plan for victory in Iraq?"

    Uh, it's kinda pathetic that I have to point this out, but when, ever since the early 20th century, has any nation successfully occupied, pacified, or stabilized a hostile populace for any length of time? Especially one halfway around the world?

    Unfortunately, all too many (chicken) 'hawks' seem to display a simplistic, football-field mentality about war. And that includes the retard neocon 'think tank' buffoons who Bush foolishly relies on for strategic advice and geopolitical planning.

    Just because Schwarzkopf could win a short duration tank battle on open desert, Bush and his handlers thought we could occupy and 'stabilize' a factional tribal mess like Iraq? And just where, in military history, has that ever successfully been accomplished?

    If they'd displayed a shred of knowledge about other cultures, they could have avoided, or at least planned for, the post-Saddam chaos. But they all -literally- thought we'd be greeted with flowers, and Iraqis would all hold a Texas barbecue to thank us for installing (our second) puppet dictatorship, and privatizing their oil fields with lopsided production 'sharing' agreements.

    Unfortunately, all too many bench-warming cheerleaders and professional pundits seem to view war as a spectator sport, all about 'our side' winning. It reminds me of junior high sports coach rhetoric. Unbelievably idiotic. Just a lazy way to feel macho while pounding nachos and shouting at the TV.

    You want the west to 'win?' Don't get into stupid, futile, destructive, poorly planned, absurdly expensive wars in the first place. You can't control the situation no matter how many no-bid contracts you throw at it, how many billions you burn on the trash heap, or how many troops you "bravely sacrifice."

    And NOBODY ever 'wins'.

    Posted by: Atlas Spanked on January 12, 2007 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK




     

     

    Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
    Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

    Advertise in WM



    buy from Amazon and
    support the Monthly