Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 10, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

BUSH TO CONGRESS: DROP DEAD....Ah, I see that our president is being his usual conciliatory self:

President Bush on Tuesday invited Democrats to discuss their standoff over a war-spending bill, but he made clear he would not change his position opposing troop withdrawals. The White House bluntly said the meeting would not be a negotiation.

...."At this meeting, the leaders in Congress can report on progress on getting an emergency spending bill to my desk," Bush said. "We can discuss the way forward on a bill that is a clean bill, a bill that funds our troops without artificial timetables for withdrawal and without handcuffing our generals on the ground. I'm hopeful we'll see some results soon from the Congress."

....In essence, Bush invited the Democratic leaders of Congress to come hear the stance he has offered for weeks.

What an offer! I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't be thrilled to be summoned to yet another version of Bush's self-righteous lecture about how anyone who disagrees with him is abandoning the troops. Sounds like a party waiting to happen.

Kevin Drum 12:29 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (136)

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Comments

But don't you see, he's the "decider."

Posted by: PaulB on April 10, 2007 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Sigh. What a douchebag our president is. I'm reasonably sure he doesn't even UNDERSTAND the concept of debate, or bi-partisanship. Bipartisanship to him is when Democrats do what he says, instead of just steamrolling them with a Republican majority.

Posted by: greebs on April 10, 2007 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

...but Congress is the "funder" !

Posted by: Wilson46201 on April 10, 2007 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Buck Fush!

Posted by: steve duncan on April 10, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

I am no dictator
but when I pass an order
Mr. Speaker, this matter must go no further

- (Calypso singer) Sparrow, "Get To Hell Out Of Here," 1965

He was singing about a strongman in a Carribean banana republic. 'Nuff said.

Posted by: RT on April 10, 2007 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

lame duck walking.

Posted by: ny patriot on April 10, 2007 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Is it any wonder he gets along with Putin?

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on April 10, 2007 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

[Comments by a previously banned commenter have been deleted]

Posted by: Redplague on April 10, 2007 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

What an offer! I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't be thrilled to be summoned to yet another version of Bush's self-righteous lecture about how anyone who disagrees with him is abandoning the troops.

Huh? Centrist veteran journalist David Broder explains why the best plan for the Democrats is to let Bush continue the war if he wants to. I think I trust Broder more than you Kevin on what the best plan for Democrats is.

Link

"George Bush is committed to seeking victory in Iraq and that the Constitution makes him commander in chief until noon on Jan. 20, 2009. As long as he retains that office, and as long as he is seeking that goal, no one can veto his orders to the armed forces or dispute his authority to direct the generals in Iraq to carry out his plans."
"From the start, Democrats ought to concede one big point: Absent any readiness on their part to cut off funds to the troops in Iraq, those forces will be there as long as George Bush wants them to remain."

Posted by: Al on April 10, 2007 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

American Haw...er, Redplague, Congress has given the troops their money.

Bush just has to sign it.

But he's playing politics with their lives.

Why does Bush hate the troops?

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on April 10, 2007 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately, I think there really ARE people who believe the sort of silly schoolyard nonsense that "Redplague" writes.

I suppose that explains the 30% that still support Bush.

What an odd ability, though, to so thoroughly close your eyes to reality. What sort of combination of stubbornness and fear must it take to keep that up, year after year?

It's baffling...

Posted by: bleh on April 10, 2007 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin

Liberals will harp on any trivial issue they can think of to divert attention from Bill Clinton's blowjob and Hillary's murder of Vince Foster. Anything to blind themselves to the fact that a truly moral man, Rudolph Guiliani, will be elected President by a landslide next - um - whenever the next election is.

Posted by: egbert on April 10, 2007 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

> ...."At this meeting, the leaders in Congress
> can report on progress on getting a[...] bill
> to my desk," Bush said.

Any idea why the Republicans in Congress put up with this? Do they really think they can lie supine for 8 years, then jump up and obstruct a President Hillary? Do they not realize that once they let themselves be treated this way, they will always be treated this way?

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on April 10, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

[Comments by a previously banned commenter have been deleted]

Posted by: Redplague on April 10, 2007 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Well good! More of this, and the Congress can abandon any pretense of "working" with the man-child, and maybe we'll see a much-deserved impeachment crank up out of sheer exasperation.

Posted by: sglover on April 10, 2007 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

Let's not be coy, shall we. We both know what this is about.

Let's use this illustrative example: there are two kids: Johny and Tyrone. Tyrone has a bag of lollypops, and Johny wants one. Tyrone says ok he can have one, but rubs it in the mud before he gives it to him. Tyrone maintains that he's offering his friend the lollypop, yet it's comletely disingenious.

The Congress's war bill is like the muddy lolypop.

Posted by: egbert on April 10, 2007 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Although Congress moves a little slow for me and and the dead children, they are moving in the right direction.

Posted by: Brojo on April 10, 2007 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Given the Democrats' past track record and given what Bush wants, he's being completely rational. He's expecting that if he hangs tough, the Democrats will cave in. In the past, enough of them have always acquiesced.

It's now up to the Democrats to prove him wrong.

Posted by: Joe Buck on April 10, 2007 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

How can the Congress eschew the chance at an audience with our leader. Truly, it would be something to tell the grandkids about.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on April 10, 2007 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

redplaque: "I wish the Democrats would stop playing games with troops lives, and start getting them the money they need to effectively fight."

Translation: "I is here to regurgitate whatever the current simple-minded talking points is. How is I doing?"

Posted by: Kenji on April 10, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

every person in congress, senate, need to leave with the whitehouse in 2008, and if we were faithful to our constitution, that would be our goal, not to replace some but all and start over. when a fly lives and begins as a maggot, then grows up to be a fly,lands in a mess or spot, and you use whatever means to destroy it,and succeed, just watch that spot and another fly or a group of them takes it's place. that our elected officials. please truely support change.

Posted by: retired soldier on April 10, 2007 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Egbert, Congress is ending the war. Bush needs to do his Constitutional duty and follow Congress' wishes because they are the wishes of the American people.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on April 10, 2007 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Ah egwhateveryouare-
Are you for real? What about redplague. Are you for real? I find it difficult in my wildest imaginings that anyone on the planet is as stupid as you are. Therefore your not a real people.

Posted by: Gandalf on April 10, 2007 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Like any playground bully, W will keep pushing until someone makes him stop. It remains to be seen whether the Dems finally have enough collective backbone to do it.

Once again: are the terr'ists gonna follow us here from Iraq -- in a canoe? in our troops' luggage? Weren't the Communists in Vietnam also going to come and destroy us all if we left?

Oh, that's right, that's completely different.

Posted by: Jeff (no, the other one) on April 10, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

I agree Joe Buck. But also, I have to wonder, why is Bush making any kind of "offer", however worthless. If Bush thinks that vetoing the existing bill is such a winner, he'll just go ahead and do it. This offer is driven by two things, this White House will not compromise or cooperate in any way, and this White House does not want to veto the existing bill. This is a clear an example of desperation you will ever see from this White House. It is finally sinking in to them that vetoing the bill that funds our troops in the field because it has provisions that the public very much wants is a loosing proposition for them. Their only hope at this point is to bluster the Democrats into caving in. Let us keep up the pressure on them not to.

Posted by: MSR on April 10, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

At this meeting, the leaders in Congress can report on progress on getting an emergency spending bill to my desk...

The Constitution requires the President to report to Congress, not the other way around.

Congress is a co-equal branch of the government. This should be read as a deliberate insult to the Congress, the people who elected them, and the Constitution.

The Democratic leadership needs to explain this, quickly, and further explain that they will not waste their time.

I rely on their speechwriters to present it more tactfully.

Posted by: Wapiti on April 10, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Couldn't Bush have avoided this whole thing by putting the funding for the continuing war into, say, the annual budget? Has the plan of making every last fucking thing into a political club to whack democrats with backfired on them?

Posted by: jg on April 10, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Egbert and others,

The current supplemental appropriations bills provide the president with all of the money he requested, and also imposes a deadline of troop withdrawal in the fall of 2008, well more than a year from now.

Since under both Senate and House versions the troops will be fully funded through the fall of 2008, it seems that what you're objecting to is the withdrawal deadline?

This means, presumably, that you want the issue of when and how to remove US troops from Iraq to be passed on to the next president? Assuming, of course, that you want troops to be withdrawn from Iraq?

Posted by: JM on April 10, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK
That's like funding World War 2… Redplague at 1:01 PM
WWII was won in less time, but Bush is fighting as a hostile occupying power. That is a fight doomed to failure from the beginning like Vietnam. You can continue the slow bleed of American lives and treasure or you can face reality that the insurgency will not end until you leave. Posted by: Mike on April 10, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Does this bill have money for the luxury items like armor and stuff?

Posted by: jg on April 10, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK
Any idea why the Republicans in Congress put up with this? Do they really think

Not as far as I can tell.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 10, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Well, is this a luncheon meeting? What is Smirky serving? Anything good?

I see no reason why Congressional Dems shouldn't show up, eat George's food, laugh openly at him and leave. I mean, it's not a negotiation, after all. George said so.

Posted by: shortstop on April 10, 2007 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

So Bush has generously offered to give Congressional leaders an audience so that they can give a "report" on their progress in getting him the money he is asking for.

How magnanimous!

Posted by: Chris Andersen on April 10, 2007 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps Congress should pass a measure suggesting that Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney should resign, as they are unable to provide further leadership on this matter.

Posted by: cld on April 10, 2007 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps Congress should pass a measure suggesting that Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney should resign, as they are unable to provide further leadership on this matter.

Posted by: cld on April 10, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

As Eddie Vedder sang in "Bu$hleaguer", it's a happenin' tailpipe of a party.

Posted by: Joe Klein's conscience on April 10, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

And the Dems should cordially invite Bush to an impeachment discussion, wherein they outline all of the reasons Mr. Bush is too criminal and unqualified to be president and how they plan to drag him into the well of the Senate and make his account for his high crimes and misdemeaenors before he is dragged, kicking and screaming, to Fort Leavenworth where he shall die in chains. I sure want to be there!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on April 10, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop,

I must respectfully disagree. Showing up at all plays into the Bush narrative that Congress exists to serve his needs. Democrats need to get away from anything that supports that notion. It is more accurate to say that the President exists to serve Congress by enforcing the legislation that Congress passes. Democrats should not go and kowtow to this pathetic boy king.

Posted by: MSR on April 10, 2007 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

after long enough period of being self-righteous does the President ever grow up and become righteous.

I have met the man briefly, and I think he will never understand people who did not grow up with a family estate. disingenuous ought to be his second middle name. George W.D. Bush.

Posted by: Exile on April 10, 2007 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Why should Bush back off? It's the Democrats who have painted themselves into a corner. This is usually indicated by how loud they start to get.

Congress has given the troops their money. Bush just has to sign it.

Who do you think this is fooling? Everybody knows that the main thrust of the bill is the forced capitulation.

If the Congress really does have a mandate to "end the war"--as though the war will stop when the U.S. retreats--then why not put out a bill with nothing in it but the withdrawal? See how many votes it gets in the House and Senate.

Posted by: monkeybone on April 10, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Some Republican't dweeb was on the air yesterday saying outloud and publicly what Mrs. Greenspan reported on Sunday on Chris Matthew's show: the Little Idiot has until August and then the ReThugs (like they're still in power in Congress) will pull the plug.

But to do it now, THAT would be dangerous and treasonous, of course.

He even said there was a Plan B (from outer space?) but they weren't going to tell the enemy (the Democrats?) what it is now.

Sorry I can't remember his name or exactly which show he was on. I hadn't seen him before. I watch MSNBC and Lehrer, so he was on one of those. I think it was Hardball, with David Gregory sitting in.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 10, 2007 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

I wasn't particularly serious, MSR.

Posted by: shortstop on April 10, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

WWII was won in less time, but Bush is fighting as a hostile occupying power. That is a fight doomed to failure from the beginning like Vietnam. You can continue the slow bleed of American lives and treasure or you can face reality that the insurgency will not end until you leave.

I think you might have missed a talking point here and there.

WWII was won in less time? Go back and take a closer look at the weapons and overall tactics that accomplished that. Are you suggesting they be used in Iraq?

Vietnam was doomed to failure long after our combat troops had already left, and Congress failed to support the South Vietnamese army against the inevitable invasion from the North. Not that there's a parallel or anything.

Of course the "insurgency" ends when you leave. When they take over the country again, they aren't an "insurgency" any more, are they?

Posted by: monkeybone on April 10, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Why did American Chickenhawk get banned? I was off the thread for a couple of weeks.

Posted by: brewmn on April 10, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

This Congress was elected for one purpose, to remove Bush and Cheney. Not to simply withdraw from the Iraq war, but to withdraw those two from the White House.

It's not like they lack the material for doing so.

They really need to move this forward. It really is as simple as doing it.

Posted by: cld on April 10, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

"... I have to wonder, why is Bush making any kind of "offer", however worthless."

This is simple. He wants to be able to say he was willing to discuss this with Congress, but they rebuffed him. And as stupid as the MSM is, they'll report that. Unless they've finally figured out that he will never, ever, really take input from anyone other than Cheney and Rove.

Levin has already capitulated, so the Democrats might as well just give the Little Idiot the money now.

I personally think it was a mistake to put these conditions in the bill. I think that having approved Petraeus (sp?) they should have admitted they were approving the "Surge" (tm) too.

If it works, kudos. If it does not, that's the absolute end, and even the ReThugs are admitting it's only got until August.

I hate the war, and I think throwing more money and bodies at it probably won't work. And I hate being so cynical, but to totally kill the NeoCon beast, we unfortunately have to sacrifice some more volunteers and pin this debacle finally and deeply on the ReThugs.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 10, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

...."At this meeting, the leaders in Congress can report on progress on getting an emergency spending bill to my desk," Bush said.

Perhaps Bush can report on the progress in the war on terror . . . oh, wait, nevermind, moving backwards in the war on terror is not progress.

-------------------

monkeybone, monkeybone, ranting through his megaphone,

spews forth nonsense on the green zone;

monkeybone, monkeybone, ranting through his megaphone,

kisses Bush in the brown zone;

monkeybone, monkeybone, ranting through his megaphone,

wears upon his head a cone.

Posted by: anonymous on April 10, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK
…Everybody knows that the main thrust of the bill is the forced capitulation…monkeybone at 1:51 PM
Capitulation to whom, the Iraq people? Bush began his war based on lies, there was no reason to invade; there is no reason to be there; and there is no reason not to leave immediately.
… When they take over the country again, they aren't an "insurgency" any more… monkeybone at 1:56 PM
That's right, your 'insurgents' are Iraqis fighting a hostile occupying power. Glad to help you figure that out. Now all you have to do is figure out why a bigger war took less time to win and why Vietnam was also doomed. Think really really hard…. Posted by: Mike on April 10, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

monkeybone: "--as though the war will stop when the U.S. retreats--"

It will. For the U.S.

And since there is no civil war in Iraq according to you and Princess Bush, it will stop there too.

Thus, you lie.

Posted by: anonymous on April 10, 2007 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't be thrilled to be summoned to yet another version of Bush's self-righteous lecture about how anyone who disagrees with him is abandoning the troops.

Special bonus treats: A 45-minute critique of the misuse of congressional oversight by the "Democrat" Party and "Things I Have Learned from Rush Limbaugh."

Some fun!

Posted by: Peter Principle on April 10, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Le Roi s'amuse.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on April 10, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

'Everybody knows that the main thrust of the bill is the forced capitulation.
'

Speaking for 'everybody'?
You lose.

Posted by: jg on April 10, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Congress is a co-equal branch of the government.

More than co-equal.

Can Congress impeach the president? Yes.

Can the President -- as many other presidents can do -- dissolve Congress and call for new elections? No.

'Nuff said.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on April 10, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a prediction: Congress will never pass and send to the president a bill cutting off funding for Iraq. Sen. Reid's promises to do that are what President Clinton used to call, "boob bait for bubbas." But the Kossacks seem to be buying, so I guess he knows what he's doing.

Posted by: DBL on April 10, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

What has Bush and the army done with all the money we've given them in the last 4 years?? The troops are already under-equipped and untrained - the Dems aren't doing any more harm to them than this administration has already done.

Posted by: JLM on April 10, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Senate Dems should filabuster any supplemental that does not contain withdrawal provisions. This will send a message that the only way Bush can get the money he wants is to accept conditions. Either Bush wants the money (with conditions) or he doesn't want the money.

Posted by: bakho on April 10, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

...WWII was won in less time....

Posted by: Mike on April 10, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Er, no. WWII started in September '39 and lasted until August '45, almost 6 years. In July we will surpass the length of WWI, approximately 4 1/4 years, not 1 year 7 months on your metric.

However, I agree about the civil war and the conclusions.

As to Bush, why not meet with him and come out from the lunch and tell the press exactly what took place in a clear exchange of views. They have a chance to pin GW down as to if he has a measure for "victory" and failure. Or if he doesn't.

We are not at war in Iraq. Militarily we won in April '03. This is a redifinition of the situation to cover for a miserable political failure. The military have been set an impossible task. Responsibility lies squarely with the White House.

Bush himself sounds more and more like a chickenlittle girlie. "The money runs out in April." No, probably not until at least June. "Pelosi, you're undermining the troops." No, a shrieking CinC undermines the troops.

Congress have the right to put Bush on record as vetoing a bill that contains more money than he asked for (and I'm referring to the Vet money, don't bring up the pork as Bush never saw pork he didn't sign before) but includes a restraint on the length of war.

Personally I would have preferred if they had attached a reinstatement of habeas corpus also.

Posted by: notthere on April 10, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a prediction: DBL will never abandon Princess Bush, no matter how many times his policies fail to produce the promised results.

Posted by: anonymous on April 10, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous:

You've had that written up on a Post-It on your monitor for weeks now, haven't you? Aren't you glad I finally showed up?

"Everybody knows that the main thrust of the bill is the forced capitulation."

jg: Speaking for 'everybody'? You lose.

Sorry, mate. You're right. I didn't think about all those who stood to haul in the loot from the pork provisions.

Posted by: monkeybone on April 10, 2007 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

notthere, i think the wwii reference is that once america joined the war, it was won in less time than the so-called iraq war (as you correctly note, it's not really the same war anymore: we invaded and overthrew saddam, and a civil war broke out).

by the time we joined world war ii, the allies were losing....

Posted by: howard on April 10, 2007 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

of course, monkeybone, you can demonstrate how you vociferously opposed the pork in republican war-funding bills, can't you?

the actual amount of "pork" in this bill is under $1B....

Posted by: howard on April 10, 2007 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Why is it President Bush reminds me of my 5 year old granddaughter?

There is a reason he is a lousy negotiator. He doesn't have a clue how (or why) anybody would want to try to settle a problem.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 10, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

It sure seems simple: put a ten-year deadline in the bill and dare him to veto it. Stupid git.

Posted by: dcbob on April 10, 2007 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

...by the time we joined world war ii, the allies were losing....

Posted by: howard on April 10, 2007 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

And Hitler was meeting his first Russian winter.

Posted by: notthere on April 10, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK
…WWII started in September '39 and lasted until August '45, almost 6 years…notthere at 2:32 P
Dec 7, 1941 to V-J day, 8-45. Let's compare American war in Iraq to American WWII.
…I didn't think about all those who stood to haul in the loot from the pork provisions monkeybone at 2:39 PM
Look to previous Republican war funding

On April 4, 2006 the Republican-controlled Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $106.5 billion supplemental spending bill. The bill appropriated $72.4 billion for war funding in Iraq and Afghanistan and foreign aid and $27.1 billion for hurricane relief. Other non-war spending requests added to the bill:
Senator Burns (R-Montana): $4 billion for agriculture relief
Senator Shelby (R-Alabama): $1.1 billion for fisheries
Senator Hutchinson (R-Texas): $350 million for the Education Department to reimburse states for education displaced students
All told, the Senate Committee added $14 billion in spending above the president's initial request. Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, interestingly said of this spending: "The Senate's appetite for unchecked federal spending greatly strengthens the hand of conservatives pushing budget process reforms. I'm not happy with what they did, but it's helpful to our cause."

"As I recall, this bill was not vetoed by President Bush."

Posted by: Mike on April 10, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

'Everybody knows that the main thrust of the bill is the forced capitulation."

jg: Speaking for 'everybody'? You lose.

Sorry, mate. You're right. I didn't think about all those who stood to haul in the loot from the pork provisions.

'

Not even close to what I meant but whatever.
But I do believe you didn't consider those who would receive the pork, I believe it because I certainly hadn't heard anything out of you or anyone on the right about all the pork from the previous six years. Why would it be an issue now? That question was to you and the president.

Posted by: jg on April 10, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

This offer of W's has all the generosity of FOX's offer to sponsor the Democratic debates.

And it should be rejected for the same reason: to accept it is to lend it unmerited legitimacy.

Posted by: lampwick on April 10, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Won't this money be there at the same time the new budget is passed,Why not just tell him sign this bill or wait and we will put it in the annual budget.

Posted by: john john on April 10, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

...Dec 7, 1941 to V-J day, 8-45. Let's compare American war in Iraq to American WWII....

Posted by: Mike on April 10, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think it's up to you to define when WWII started. It's disrespectful to many who lost their lives and loves, including volunteer US citizens.

How about "longer than the USA's participation in WWII"? That's a little more precise.

Posted by: notthere on April 10, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

We are not at war in Iraq. Militarily we won in April '03.

Well, that's sort of like saying that militarily the Soviets won in Afghanistan in December 1979 when they overthrew the Hafizullah Amin government, or that militarily the Germans won in September 1939 when they took Warsaw. I'd say that we're still very much at war in Iraq.

Posted by: Stefan on April 10, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Who we fighting, Stefan? The Iraqi people. Ws the British Army at war in Northern Ireland? They didn't consider so.

And that's defining difference and why people look at what is going on in Iraq in the wrong context. It puts the US armed forces in a no win situation, as Petraeus' subtext has admitted.

It needs a political solution. NEEDS.

Posted by: notthere on April 10, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

WE are not at war. Our military is. WE are shopping and believing that all is going well. It is called an epic struggle for our civilization yet no one except the military has been asked for anything at all besides not questioning the wisdom of our authority figures. Odd.

Posted by: jg on April 10, 2007 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

monkeybone: I didn't think about all those who stood to haul in the loot from the pork provisions.

Among them, GOP members of Congress.

LOL.

BTW, where were you when the GOP was tying tax cuts to war spending?

Or when the GOP and Princess Bush were secretly inserting language into bills already passed by Congress and then not submitting the new language for a vote as congressional rules required?

Posted by: anonymous on April 10, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Any conversation with the social conservative and authoritarian person (the SCAMD persona) will always end up at the point 'do what I tell you or kill me'.

They will admit to no other interaction.

Posted by: cld on April 10, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

jg, you need to study how wars start.

When all this started a small group of nuts, having succeeded with a number of bombings pulled off a propaganda coup that left 3,000 dead and the NYC signature sight a pile of rubble.

There was no epic struggle between civilizations then, but a huge amount of world sympathy including in the Islamic world.

Since then we have broadened the supoport for al-Qaeda exponentially, multiplied their numbers, improved their on-the-job training unmeasurably, spent at least $500,000,000,000, lost another 3500 or so people, implicitly killed many thousands of innocent civilians, unbalanced a whole region known to be a tinder box, and have no clearcut plan to ameliorate the situation, extract ourselves, or fight to a "victory".

Who's fighting this "war" intelligently? Who's winning?

Not the USA.

Posted by: notthere on April 10, 2007 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

...I believe it because I certainly hadn't heard anything out of you or anyone on the right about all the pork from the previous six years.

You might want to get out of the Echo Chamber for a while. Look up "Porkbusters.org" and check out who started it.

Posted by: monkeybone on April 10, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Who we fighting, Stefan? The Iraqi people.

Yes, but that doesn't mean we're not at war. It just means we're in a war we can't win.

Ws the British Army at war in Northern Ireland? They didn't consider so.

No, because Northern Ireland is part of Great Britain and the Northern Irish were British subjects. It was a domestic insurrection, and therefore not analogous to our situation in Iraq today.

It needs a political solution. NEEDS.

Absolutely.

Posted by: Stefan on April 10, 2007 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

NPR is reporting that the Dems said, "no thx" to the invite.

Reid's slapdown was pretty funny.

Posted by: Disputo on April 10, 2007 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, nor did the UK consider itself at "war" in the Malayasian insurgency which included outside fighters coming over the straights with Indonesia. This is often held up as a successful example.

The Russians considered themselves to be at war in Afghanistan. That worked out well, didn't it?

While I'm on it, your comparison to '39 and Poland being the end of WWII for Germany when the invasion caused the war to begin with declarations from Britain and France is either deliberately disengenuous or ignorant.

Posted by: notthere on April 10, 2007 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Who's fighting this "war" intelligently? Who's winning?

Not the USA.


Yes the USA is winning! GWB has remade the entire region from the debacle left after Oslo. The infatada is over the Fence has been constructed, Israel is safer now than at any time since Oslo and has a booming economy. Saddam is gone, Kurdistan is becoming a jewel and Islam is fighting a civil war between Shite and Sunni branches. The USA is out of Saudi Arabia and safely and strategically ensconsed in Qatar. Assad is out of Northern Lebanon and despite Nancy's airhead maneuvers his attempts to avoid blame for his assassinations and other terror activity aren't working.

The middle east had been changed dramatically with the terror nations isolated and faltering. The fence has totally changed the dynamics. Israel is booming. Palestine is in the middle of a civil war, likely to remain under mob rule and will always be dirt poor. Time greatly favors Israel's surging wealth and technological prowess.

The worlds poor nations are always the most socialistic and repressive. The rich nations are capitalist and free. Israel, Kurdistan, Afghanistan and Iraq are just 4 nations seeing explosive GDP growth. Syria, Palestine and Iran are three showing little or negative growth. Iran is so incompetent they must import gasoline. Northern lebanon is prospering. Southern lebanon is a ghetto or rubble. Time will sort all of this out. The repressive regimes are unsustainable just as Reagan predicted with the USSR.

GWB and Sharon have set things up very well.

Posted by: rdw on April 10, 2007 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

there is no reason not to leave immediately

So why are Harry and Nancy offering more money than asked for, for another full year after April?

Posted by: rdw on April 10, 2007 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't be thrilled to be summoned to yet another version of Bush's self-righteous lecture about how anyone who disagrees with him is abandoning the troops.

They should listen to Carl Levin and Barack Obama instead.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 10, 2007 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK
How about "longer than the USA's participation…notthere at 3:05 PM
Precision is always good, but due time pressure, carelessness in wording is inevitable.
…check out who started it monkeybone at 4:02 PM
It's beginning to sound like the kindergarten schoolyard: saying "he started it" is no excuse in the real world. One man's pork is another may be man's just deserts. However, few, if any, congresses so abused the system and earmarks as much as the Republican 109th , which by any standard, was exceptionally abysmal.
…nor did the UK consider itself at "war" in the Malayasian insurgency..…notthere at 4:37 PM
S-t-r-a-i-t-s. Homophones can be tricky. The US considered itself to be at war in the Philippines and that was another war of invasion and occupation. It also took tens of thousands of lives, the US did manage to win against a less sophisticated populace. It not the same in Iraq.
…GWB and Sharon have set things up very well rightist dim wit at 4:45 PM
If you are of the pro-death persuasion. Sharon, by the way, is in a vegetative state. Posted by: Mike on April 10, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Israel, Kurdistan, Afghanistan and Iraq are just 4 nations seeing explosive GDP growth.

Wow.

That is incredible news.

When are you moving?

Posted by: Tripp on April 10, 2007 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

The POTUS sound like a Borgia Pope. They would demand a heretic come to Rome for the purpose of recanting and which was then followed by either prison or burning at the stake. All bow before Pope Bush!

Posted by: DTS on April 10, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

These conservatives sound like impotent little boys on the school playground, whining that the big tough U.S. of A. will be called "weak" if we leave Iraq. First of all, who cares??? We invaded Iraq based on known lies and now we can't leave or we will "appear weak"? What are you smoking? These are the most infantile, idiotic arguments I have ever heard. We need to get some real adults on this blog, becuase the chidren that gather here are too damn dumb to be worth arguing with.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on April 10, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK
…for another full year after April? rightist dim wit at 4:55 PM
Following the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, it gives the US time to engage with neighbors, plan and execute an orderly withdrawal and pressure the Iraqi government to serious action.

Your absence did not make the heart grow fonder nor you any more factual.

Posted by: Mike on April 10, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, nor did the UK consider itself at "war" in the Malayasian insurgency which included outside fighters coming over the straights with Indonesia. This is often held up as a successful example.

Uh, yes and no. While Great Britain didn't consider themselves at war as a nation, the counter-insurgency campaign was treated as a "war" in itself. However, the Malayan Emergency (Malaysia was still known as Malaya at the time) didn't tie down virtually all of the British Army's fighting capacity, as is the case for us in Iraq, so again it has rather limited applicability.

The Russians considered themselves to be at war in Afghanistan. That worked out well, didn't it?

Yes, they did, but again, I'm honestly not sure of your point.

While I'm on it, your comparison to '39 and Poland being the end of WWII for Germany when the invasion caused the war to begin with declarations from Britain and France is either deliberately disengenuous or ignorant.

OK, I thought my comments were generally polite, but this is starting to cross the line. My point in the above comparison was precisely that it wouldn't make sense to call September 1930 the "end" of the war for Germany because they had a limited win early on, the same as it doesn't make sense to say that the war was over for us in March 2003 merely because we overthrew the Saddam government. In both cases what seemed to be an initial victory was merely the prelude to a longer and bloodier war.


Posted by: Stefan on April 10, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

monkeybone: check out who started it.


GOP CONTROL HOME-DISTRICT EARMARKS - 1994: 4,155

GOP CONTROL HOME-DISTRICT EARMARKS - 2005: 15,877

what's next..m-b?

they were victims?

Posted by: mr. irony on April 10, 2007 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: So why are Harry and Nancy offering more money than asked for, for another full year after April?


why didn't the republican controlled congress pass a budget last year?

just one more thing for dems to clean up....

Posted by: mr. irony on April 10, 2007 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Hilarious domain names registered by the Republican National Committee.

e.g.

ricksantorum2010.com

georgewbushsucks.net

Posted by: cld on April 10, 2007 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo,

you're right that was a solid response by Reid; and the spot points out how W is being misleading regarding funds running out.

if anyone's interested it can be found here.

Posted by: Edo on April 10, 2007 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, thanks for the spelling reminder.

Stefan, yes, you were very polite but the Poland comparison? You give this as an example as the end to a war. It's just not a valid comparison. The Germans gambled and Britain and the French had already thrown down the gauntlet before Poland, militarily the weakest of the three, was close to surrender. The war had just started.

In Malaya, Britain was very careful to distinguish between insurgents and the general populace -- to a much higher degree than France in Algeria, the USA in Vietnam or, crucially, in Iraq.

To take the view that you are at "war" and still being a "warrior" (a term I hate as applied lately) when you are an occupying power is an indication of mindset that is counterproductive to ends desired.

The route taken since May, 2003 has been a series of missteps at the least that have accumulated to the present debacle.

There has to be a change in mindset that I hear but have not yet seen from Patreaus, and that we will never have from the present unimaginative CinC.

Posted by: notthere on April 10, 2007 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

...was close to surrender...

I mean that in matter of days, not months.

Posted by: notthere on April 10, 2007 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

monkeyzone: You might want to get out of the Echo Chamber for a while. Look up "Porkbusters.org" and check out who started it.

Hmmmmmm . . .

Out of the four "top pork lovers" listed, three are Democrats, even though the Democrats weren't in control of Congress during the preceding decade or more.

Glenn Reynolds and NZ Bear?

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Gotta love it when monkeybones points to a couple of fellows who are as objective as Princess Bush when it comes to the GOP and prove it by pointing to Democrats as the greater pork lovers despite having no power over the pork during the period in question.

Love it, love it, love it.

Better get out of your own echo chamber, monkeybone.

You clearly can't hear the truth for the Princess Bush Sonata ringing in your ears.

Call us back when Reynolds and Bear actually go after the GOP for their Decade of Pork and Fascist Rule, instead of using the slimy dishonest pretense of going after pork to really go after Democrats.

Instahack indeed.

Posted by: anonymous on April 10, 2007 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Sharon, by the way, is in a vegetative state.
.
.
.
As is Bush
.
.
.
As is rdw

Posted by: ckelly on April 10, 2007 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, guess I should have used the bloody hand puppets...

The premise in the post I was answering was that nobody on the Right cared about earmarks and pork.

I pointed out "Porkbusters.org," a website and anti-pork movement which was STARTED by conservatives and libertarians, and has even-handedly nailed both Republicans and Democrats on this issue.

Nobody was implying that Democrats "started" pork. Fact is, any party in power will gobble up pork like it's going out of style, and Republicans over the past dozen years were no exception.

Posted by: monkeybone on April 10, 2007 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

Good point, monkeybrosz!

Posted by: shortstop on April 10, 2007 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

From my pov, the dems hold the winning hand here. If Bush doesn't like the terms of the emergency supplemental and vetoes it, he gets nothing. That's it. No do overs. When the existing funding runs out, the troops come home.

I'd be very happy with that result.

Posted by: ugly_duck on April 10, 2007 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

monkeybone, pork has always been with us, and i'm all for attempts to eliminate it.

that's rather different than having a case of the vapors because of the tiny amount of pork in the current funding bills, and what we are asking is where is the evidence that george bush and his enablers opposed pork when it was in iraq funding bills passed by a republican congress?

and the answer is nowhere.

i'm amused to see that rdw is equally stupid on foreign affairs as he/she is on economics, but without the endless encomiums to st. ronnie. it makes for a nice diversity.

Posted by: howard on April 10, 2007 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Sharon, by the way, is in a vegetative state.

Yes he is but he got quite a bit done before didn't he. It's funny to look back at how diligently the liberals opposed the idea of the fence. It's there isn't it?

Clinton hated the idea. Sharon made it happen. Come to think of it Clinton hated Sharon too. How that for irony. Clinton had his buddy Arafat made it all possible

Posted by: rdw on April 10, 2007 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

i'm amused to see that rdw is equally stupid on foreign affairs

I am quite good. For example the fence is in fact in place and quite effective. In fact the Israeli economy is booming and there are no more suicide attacks. Palestine is in a civil war with a devasted economy and crumbling infrastructure.

Every day Israel gets stronger. Every day Palestine descends further into chaos with no end in sight. The US just upgraded it's predator to increase the load capacity AND power output to hold even more spy equipment, armaments and stay in the air longer. It will obviously assist the Israeli's in partolling the fence and watching Palestinian suspects from a safe distance possibly delivering a lethal blow if necessary.

Every Day Israel gets stronger.

Posted by: rdw on April 10, 2007 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, yes, you were very polite but the Poland comparison? You give this as an example as the end to a war. It's just not a valid comparison. The Germans gambled and Britain and the French had already thrown down the gauntlet before Poland, militarily the weakest of the three, was close to surrender. The war had just started.

No, I gave it as an example of something that was NOT an end to a war, even though those who started the war might have chosen to delude themselves that it was. World War II was not over in September 1939 merely because the Germans overthrew the Polish government, and the Iraq War was not over in March 2003 merely because the Americans overthrew Saddam -- in both cases there were forces still in the field ready and willing to carry on the fight.

In Malaya, Britain was very careful to distinguish between insurgents and the general populace -- to a much higher degree than France in Algeria, the USA in Vietnam or, crucially, in Iraq.

Yes, we completely agree here (though Britain was not so careful to distinguish between the rebels and the innocent civilians during the Kenyan Mau-Mau uprising a few years later).

To take the view that you are at "war" and still being a "warrior" (a term I hate as applied lately) when you are an occupying power is an indication of mindset that is counterproductive to ends desired.

Ah, I see that we have a disagreement of terminology. You see the term that we are "at war" as excusing our conduct somehow, and therefore seek to avoid it to avoid mitigating our responsibility. I see saying that we are "at war" as simply an accurate rendition of the situation on the ground -- there's lots of combat, lots of shooting going on, it's a war.

Being an occupying power and being at war are not mutually exclusive -- we are both occupying Iraq and at war -- though we are not at war with the state of Iraq, but with those rebels who are resisting our illegal occupation. However, to me saying that we are "at war" doesn't give us some special moral dispensation since we're the ones who started the war, we're the ones who attacked them.

Posted by: Stefan on April 10, 2007 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

That's it. No do overs.

There are countless do overs and as Carl Levin explained to Tim Russert on Sunday they will fund the troops.

There's one branch that has lower poll numbers than Bush and that would be Congress. There's one branch that has higher unfavorables than Bush. That would be Congress. Harry and Nancy, are not enjoying a honeymoon.

Posted by: rdw on April 10, 2007 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

howard wrote: "i'm amused to see that rdw is equally stupid on foreign affairs as he/she is on economics, but without the endless encomiums to st. ronnie."

Trust me, Ronnie will come into play soon enough, probably with a hymn to St. Ronnie, a reference to Reykjavik, and a diatribe against evil liberal professors who were "wrong about everything" while St. Ronnie was "right about everything," as he "wrote everything on a yellow pad," which means that evil liberal historians are irrelevant.

Just as, today, it's St. Bush that's "right about everything" as he's "remade the entire [Middle East]," and he'll go down in history while us evil liberals will foam at the mouth, gnash our teeth and rend our breasts in hopeless helplessness at St. Bush's manly prowess, because "he acts while evil liberals rant."

Dear rdw (it's "he," by the way, if his statements can be trusted) is an equal opportunity ignoramus -- he knows equally little about economics, history, foreign affairs, politics, technology, current events, etc. We have yet to find a single subject about which rdw is reasonably well-informed, much less an expert.

I still occasionally wonder if dear little rdw is a troll. If so, my hat's off to him, since it's rare to meet someone who can play such a role so completely and for such a length of time without once slipping and without once making you absolutely certain that he is, indeed, a troll.

Posted by: PaulB on April 10, 2007 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

OK...

monkeybone, in response to being called over panicky remarks about "forced capitulation" (as if Congress isn't supposed to tackle difficult issues) sticks a jab at presumed Democrats who'll be "haul[ing] in the loot from the pork provisions".

When another commenter calls him on that, he points us to a wingnut website whose main purpose is to blame Democrats for the nation-wide(!), out-of-control(!), so-called pork problem.

Once again he gets called. It's the Republicans who were controlling pork spending from 1995-2007.

So then it's: ''well, everybody does it"; "pork is bad, m'kay?"; "What were we talking about again?"

Hmmm. After you wash the egg off your face and pick the crow feathers from your teeth, monkeybone, you're still gonna have to scrape the dogshit off your penny-loafers.

Posted by: skeg on April 10, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB: excellent analysis!

Posted by: howard on April 10, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

Dear little rdw, as clueless as ever, writes: "There's one branch that has lower poll numbers than Bush and that would be Congress."

Dear heart, you haven't seen the latest polls, have you? Congressional approval ratings are higher than Bush's, not that that's much of an accomplishment given Bush's historically low ratings.

And when you look at the approval ratings of individual Congresscritters, they damn near all of them blow Bush right out of the water.

Posted by: PaulB on April 10, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

I should qualify my last comment: the polls are mixed with respect to overall Congressional approval. Depending on who does the poll and how it's worded, Congressional approval is either higher or lower. On aggregate, it's pretty much a tie. The comment about individual approval ratings, of course, still stands.

Posted by: PaulB on April 10, 2007 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

And, of course, most polls show that the American voters want Congress to rein in the Bush administration's ill-fated adventures and that they are frustrated at the lack of progress in accomplishing this -- hence, lower ratings for Congress (and hardly good news for the Bush administration).

Thanks, howard, but the analysis is not particularly difficult. I remain endlessly fascinated by the guy. He knows just a few actual, genuine facts, and from these he has woven, and continues to weave, endless flights of fancy. And those few facts that he does know keep coming back into the conversation over and over and over again, ad nauseam, because they are indeed all he knows.

Posted by: PaulB on April 10, 2007 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

There's one branch that has lower poll numbers than Bush and that would be Congress.

AP Poll: Congress approval up
By David Espo, AP Special Correspondent | April 9, 2007

WASHINGTON --Public approval for Congress is at its highest level in a year as Democrats mark 100 days in power and step up their confrontation with President Bush over his handling of the Iraq War, the issue that overshadows all others....

Overall approval for Congress is 40 percent. The survey shows Bush's approval ratings remain in the mid-30 percent range, that a striking 39 percent strongly disapproves his handling of foreign policy and the war on terror, and that the public has scant hopes that the president and Congress can work together to solve the country's problems.....

Against that backdrop, the AP poll indicates the public wants Congress to push for an end to a war that has claimed the lives of more than 3,200 U.S. troops.

Forty percent of those surveyed said they approve the job Congress is doing, up from 25 percent approval registered for the Republican majority in the weeks leading to last fall's elections.....

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2007/04/09/ap_poll_congress_approval_up/?page=2

Posted by: Stefan on April 10, 2007 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

W. Bush will be president for another 650 more days.

Posted by: Brojo on April 10, 2007 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

USA Today/Gallup has it the other way around, with Bush's approval ratings above Congress's for the same period, Stefan, which is why I had to qualify my first statement on this.

Posted by: PaulB on April 10, 2007 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

Back on topic, I would say it's highly unlikely that Congress will call Bush's bluff on the funds. What I hope they'll do, though, is allocate just short-term funds, forcing Bush to come back again and again and forcing Congressional Republicans to vote again and again, each time with more reluctance as the death and destruction continue. This is just the first step in what is likely to be an all-too-long process, unfortunately.

Posted by: PaulB on April 10, 2007 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

Nuts ... I left out one critical component in my rdw analysis: the inevitable dig at France and "Old Europe," plus how smart St. Bush is because some U.S. companies are outsourcing to India.

Posted by: PaulB on April 10, 2007 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

Although Congress moves a little slow for me and and the dead children, they are moving in the right direction.

Posted by: Brojo on April 10, 2007 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo is here again to wag his finger and tsk-tsk at people who are actually in the political process and trying to fix the fucking mess he helped create. Silly Congress! Not acting fast enough for Brojo and the dead children! This from the guy who STILL defends his vote for Ralph Nader and STILL blathers on in affected prose about the parties being the same. Guess what, jackass: There wouldn't be an Iraq war if morons like you hadn't voted for Ralph Nader. Repeat after me: "My vote for Ralph Nader helped elect George Bush. I personally share some repsonsibility for what has happened to my country over the last six years." Douchebag.

Posted by: Rich on April 10, 2007 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

How can you expect me to negotiate with you when you refuse to give me everything I want?

Posted by: Ross Best on April 10, 2007 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan -- and there is nothing personal, in this so anyone can chip in -- once we brought down Saddam Hussein and became the occupying power a totally different legal requirement covered our actions. As you wouldn't be surprised we have not come close to fulfilling this requirements.

As an occupying power, by definintion you can't be at war with the inhabitants. That's totally clear -- except to people like Bush. But the US people and press has fallen for it, as they say, hook, line and sinker. This is totally wrong headed.

Unfortunately, because the military has been run from the White House and Rumsfeld's pocket, this has led to the military overplaying their hand in use of force and arrest, and the complete back-burner disposition to developing the internal police and security forces (why the differentiation?) and no Iraq Army as such. And these are all front units. There is no logistical or self-sustaining structure. (WHY?)

We are now in the third iteration of building both the Iraqi police and security forces and we still haven't got it right. Why? Short cuts every time. Now we are 3 years going on 4 years behind the curve if we had done it right,

But, again, Rumsfeld was and the prexnit is all for short cuts.

Posted by: notthere on April 10, 2007 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

As an occupying power, by definintion you can't be at war with the inhabitants.

Legally, yes. But as a matter of reality the US military is at war in Iraq with the Iraqi rebels. That's just a simple statement of fact. It carries no moral judgement or condemnation, it simply accurately describes the situation on the ground. We're occupying their country, and they're fighting us to throw us out. Same thing in Afghanistan in the 1980s, which was certainly a war and also at the same time an occupation.

The United States is not "a nation at war" in the grand, heroic World War II sense of the term (for one thing, there's been no declaration of war). But we are certainly fighting a war -- the fact that we're daily bombing and shooting Iraqis is proof enough of that.

Posted by: Stefan on April 10, 2007 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Nuts ... I left out one critical component in my rdw analysis

I think you also forgot how much Old Europeans love that out-of-touch-with-real-Americans filmmaker George Clooney. But no matter. The night is young.

Posted by: shortstop on April 10, 2007 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

...But we are certainly fighting a war -- the fact that we're daily bombing and shooting Iraqis is proof enough of that.

Posted by: Stefan on April 10, 2007 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

You obviously miss my point. It's the fact that we consider ourselves at war and do exactly what I quote you saying above that proves my point.

Posted by: notthere on April 10, 2007 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK
…As an occupying power, by definintion you can't be at war with the inhabitants. … notthere on April 10, 2007 at 8:22 PM
As an occupying power, the US has legal duties and obligations by treaty. As usual, Bush is not doing his duty.

…The forces of the USA and UK, as occupying powers under international law, have clear obligations to protect the Iraqi population…The USA and UK must fulfil their obligations and continue to do so for as long as they exercise military authority over Iraq.
By definition, however, the authority of the occupying powers is transitional and limited to providing protection and assistance to the occupied population in the emergency created by war. The USA and UK cannot, for example, change the legal system or introduce the radical reforms in the Iraqi criminal justice system that are needed to ensure respect for human rights. Only a newly established Iraqi government, or a United Nations (UN) transitional administration set up by the Security Council, would have such authority under international law….

You are "at war" if the inhabitants are fighting your occupation, killing your soldiers, and defeating your occupation. Has the occupation ever formally announces the specific ends desired? Permanent bases, new oil law, peace treaty with Israel with pipelines? Why did Bush really start a war with Iraq?

he got quite a bit done before didn't he…rightist dim wit at 7:28 PM

You can start with his war crimes, then go to the fact that the 'fence' is actually illegally confiscating Palestinian land.
…Every Day Israel gets stronger rightist dim wit at 7:37 PM

It's a failed state that exists only because of American financial and military aid. They were unable to defeat a rag-tag group of Hezbollah, people who are teachers and average Lebanonese.

Posted by: Mike on April 10, 2007 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

"I think you also forgot how much Old Europeans love that out-of-touch-with-real-Americans filmmaker George Clooney."

Haven't seen that one; he must have picked up a new shtick. The wonderful thing about the guy is that we don't even need him. Since he simply repeats what he's written before, over and over and over again, we could just paste his posts in here from previous threads.

At least with the rest of our trolls, there is some attempt at relevance. Alas, not poor rdw -- he has to bring it back to his few coveted bits of real information at any cost; it's the only way he can feel like he's contributing.

Posted by: PaulB on April 10, 2007 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

As an occupying power, by definintion you can't be at war with the inhabitants.

Sorry, but we are killing lawless elements in Iraq on a regular basis. Are we not allowed to defend ourselves? Are we not allowed to kill those inhabitants who want to kill other inhabitants--in effect, you seem to be arguing that we can't protect the Iraqis who want freedom and democracy from the ones who want to restore Ba'athism or anarchy?

There IS a legitimate government in Iraq--and they are under siege. We are preserving their freedom. Would you prefer that we knuckle under to the terrorists and give them plane tickets so they can come over here and export what they're inflicting on their own people?

Do any of you seriously think a terrorist cares about borders?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 10, 2007 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

I think the thin reed which Bush used to "enforce" UN Security Council Resoultions with force "if necessary" should be rescinded immediately. The Congress of Off-year election, 2002, put us in this mess. Bush certainly exceeded his authority to begin with--not to mention defrauding the people of the country with a flimsy pretext to force inspections. Congress has the sole authority to declare and fund wars. I resolve that this occupation, given Bush's overreach, flawed execution, and failed leadership, should be ended immediately. Bush is commander and chief all right, and is responsible for the disasters he inflicted. Congress has the obligation to FINALLY start living up to its Constitutional responsibilities. No war declaration, no war.
I think Bush has violated the War Powers Act too.
No legs upon which to stand. Decider my ass. He administers the laws and resources outlined by Congress. That part isn't negotiable.

Posted by: Sparko on April 11, 2007 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

He administers the laws and resources outlined by Congress.

Yes, let's just conveniently ignore that whole thing about us having a "Constitution."

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Norm, old buddy, that is the Constitution.
Maybe you have forgotten. Legislation=laws. The Congress also appropriates the money. Levies taxes. You remember? The president can't decide which laws he'll administer, or what money he will squander. Congress is the direct authority for the will of the people, as they are our direct representatives. Presidents can be elected without even achieving a majority of votes.

Posted by: Sparko on April 11, 2007 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan, thanks for the stimulus.

Norman Rogers, par for the course.

Read the whole Norman Rogers at 11:52 PM.

Sorry, but we are killing lawless elements in Iraq on a regular basis. And who are the lawless elements? Those within Government control or those without? US trained or al-Qaida? Anybody on the street? Read the news lately?

Are we not allowed to defend ourselves? If under immediate threat. But why "ourselves" when we are there to establish a new nation; how about "them"; how about excluding killing innocents, or by restricting our killing to actual threats and to arresting probable criminals we have evidence against?

Are we not allowed to kill those inhabitants who want to kill other inhabitants

Posted by: notthere on April 11, 2007 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

Are we not allowed to kill those inhabitants who want to kill other inhabitants Normally after due process -- with a death penalty. Not because you want to pull the trigger, amazing as that may seem.

...you seem to be arguing that we can't protect the Iraqis who want freedom and democracy....No actually you seem to be arguing that non-democratic processes are OK in establishing another pro-US fascist regime.

There IS a legitimate government in Iraq and when is their next election? And what has this "government" actually legislated and done? And which way do you think the next vote will go?

You have such a sad and narrow outlook.

Read the informative news, why don't you?

Posted by: notthere on April 11, 2007 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

Israel, Kurdistan, Afghanistan and Iraq are just 4 nations seeing explosive GDP growth

Dude, you're a little confused. Those explosions over there? They're not the GDP . . .

Posted by: rea on April 11, 2007 at 7:59 AM | PERMALINK

Since he simply repeats what he's written before, over and over and over again, we could just paste his posts in here from previous threads.

Indeedy. A search of this site with keywords "posted by: rdw"and Clooney yields large laughs.

I imagine it would be similarly amusing to search Hollywood, Old Europe, American dream, three-car garage, China and India, and McCain--the last, of course, would turn up hundreds of posts in which he explains why McCain will be president in 2008 and there's just nothing we libs can do to stop it. We don't see so many of those posts from rdw now.

Posted by: shortstop on April 11, 2007 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

I see. bush wants to throw another temper tantrum and call it "negotiation."

Posted by: Peter on April 11, 2007 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

i'm amused to see that rdw is equally stupid on foreign affairs as he/she is on economics, but without the endless encomiums to st. ronnie. it makes for a nice diversity.
Posted by: howard

Wooten's a he. A retiree from Ma Bell with a cushy pension, legacy health care insurance, and a three car garage.

And he's demonstrated the depths of his ignorance over virtually the entire sum of human endeavor. You name it; Wooten's wrong about it.

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 11, 2007 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

shortstop wrote: "would turn up hundreds of posts in which he explains why McCain will be president in 2008 and there's just nothing we libs can do to stop it."

Actually, he's changed his tune. Now, it's posts explaining why Giuliani will be president in 2008, defeating Hillary, and there's just nothing we libs can do to stop it.

And, yes, a search for anything with "posted by: rdw" is an endless source of amusement.

Posted by: PaulB on April 11, 2007 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, I noticed that, Paul; that's why I said we don't see any more of these "McCain is unstoppable" posts from old Wooten. Later, it will be "I'm telling you guys Mitt is unstoppable," all day, every day, with no references to his own callous forsaking of both St. John and Rudy.

Ah, the fickleness of GOP love; "May-December romance" vastly overstates rdw's constancy, except where his obsessive disdain for Hollywood and Old Europe is concerned.

Posted by: shortstop on April 11, 2007 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

the inevitable dig at France and "Old Europe...

How can you forget that? That's rdw's bread and butter. I think he mentioned reading a book once - about the imminent doom of Europe due to immigrating Arab hordes.

Actually, it's rather frightening that we all know so much of rdw. I should have started skipping his posts long ago (like Al's, AHawk, and Norman)

Posted by: ckelly on April 11, 2007 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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