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Tilting at Windmills

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June 18, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

SHINY NEW IDEAS....Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore, writing about Iraq in the Washington Post, says that Democrats are spineless cowards who are "playing to the polls to obtain political advantage at home." Roger that. So here's his plan:

I believe the only realistic alternative — the least bad option, if you will — is a limited deliberate drawdown of our military men and women and a redeployment of the forces remaining in the region to areas where they can more efficiently and effectively carry out a clearly defined mission.

I believe that the American military is on target when officers ask for a mission that includes maintaining — either at bases in Iraq at the request of Iraq or in bases in Turkey, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia — a military force powerful enough to launch special operations missions against al-Qaeda or Sunni insurgents in Iraq; train Iraqi troops to defend their own country; and guarantee the security of the Iraqi government, if so desired by Iraq.

Um, in exactly what way does this differ from the plan offered by all three of the major Democratic candidates? Hell, they'd almost be justified in suing Gilmore for plagiarism.

Kevin Drum 2:08 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (99)

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Comments

Jim who?

Posted by: anonymous on June 18, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans decided long ago that "character" is about being stubborn, and has nothing to do with integrity. Gilmore's article is just the latest example.

Posted by: Colin on June 18, 2007 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

I thought the Democrats' plan is against whatever Bush is for?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on June 18, 2007 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom F*cker: I thought the Democrats' plan is against whatever Bush is for?

If it was, then the Democrats would be right about 99.999% of the time.

Seems like an improvement to me, so let's go with it.

Posted by: anonymous on June 18, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: anonymouse on June 18, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin is right of course. Gilmore's "plan" is just as unworkable as the "plans" offered by the three major Democrat candidates.

Posted by: Hacksaw on June 18, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Hack(saw): Gilmore's "plan" is just as unworkable as the "plans" offered by the three major Democrat candidates.

Even if that were true, the plans are not as unworkable as the already-failed Bush plan embraced by Hack(saw).

Posted by: anonymous on June 18, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

I believe that the American military is on target when officers ask for a mission that includes maintaining — either at bases in Iraq at the request of Iraq or in bases in Turkey, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia — a military force powerful enough to launch special operations missions against al-Qaeda or Sunni insurgents in Iraq; train Iraqi troops to defend their own country; and guarantee the security of the Iraqi government, if so desired by Iraq.

Isn't defeating the Sunni insurgents, training Iraqi troops, and providing security for the Iraqi government exactly what we've been trying and failing miserably to do for the past four plus years?

Posted by: Stefan on June 18, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

a military force powerful enough to launch special operations missions against al-Qaeda or Sunni insurgents in Iraq

Right now we have a military force powerful enough to launch such missions -- they're just not powerful enough to make them, you know, successful or effective.

Posted by: Stefan on June 18, 2007 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

The answer is that it does not differ in any way, but the Republicans discovered years ago that their voters simply aren't informed enough to notice. They will applaud the Democratic plan when presented by a Republican, and congratulate each other on how much better the plan is than the one those awful Democrats are proposing. Every time.

If you vote Republican, you are either stupid or evil. The money's mostly on stupid, as the evil vote consists of maybe the hundred thousand richest people in the country; the rest are saps.

Posted by: derek on June 18, 2007 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

"If you vote Republican, you are either stupid or evil. The money's mostly on stupid, as the evil vote consists of maybe the hundred thousand richest people in the country; the rest are saps."

Hate to tell you this, but the hundred thousand richest people in the country are probably voting for Democrats. As I recall, the ten wealthiest counties in America all went for John Kerry in 2004. The richest states (New York, California, etc.) are all very, very deep shades of blue.

Posted by: john on June 18, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Name of Play:

The Emporer's New Suit (aka, The President's New Surge)

Plot:

Two swindlers successfully dupe an entire country into acting as though their imbecilic ruler were, in fact, smart as a whip and that his new plan for victory in Iraq has substance. A group of objective observers reveals the truth.

Characters:

The King - played by George W. Bush

A group of swindlers - played by Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, General Petraeus, and Hacksaw Bushbuttlicker

Entire city of dupes - played by the remaining Bush supporters

Group of objective observers - played by American liberals

Posted by: anonymous on June 18, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

john: Hate to tell you this, but the hundred thousand richest people in the country are probably voting for Democrats. As I recall, the ten wealthiest counties in America all went for John Kerry in 2004. The richest states (New York, California, etc.) are all very, very deep shades of blue.

Servants usually outnumber those whom they serve, which could explain the county data.

Regardless, without individual voting data and apart from commonly identified groups (e.g., gender or race), it is difficult to draw conclusions about how any particular arbitrarily-selected set of individuals voted.

Even if someone could and would identify themself as part of the set of 100,000 richest people in the country and agree to be polled, an unlikely event.

Posted by: anonymous on June 18, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Um, in exactly what way does this differ from the plan offered by all three of the major Democratic candidates?

D'oh. They're Democrats, he's Republican. IOIYR.

Posted by: ogmb on June 18, 2007 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Think about it.

If we leave a force in Iraq, what are they to do? What can a small, limited force do that the larger force is failing to do now?

Is the small force to sit by on their bases and watch the civil war unfold?

If the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds go after one another hell bent, what is the small U.S. force supposed to do about it?

Should the Turks move into the north, what then? Should the Saudis dare move into the south, what then?

It seems to me that a small U.S. force left behind after a pullout will be little more than onlookers -- at best.

Posted by: getoutnow on June 18, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

The problem is that none of the three countries mentioned want U.S. troops. Actally, the same problem that got us into trouble there.

Posted by: matt on June 18, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

If we leave a force in Iraq they'll just be targets waiting the truck bomb, like the marines in Beirut.

Posted by: cld on June 18, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Talkingpointsmemo: A few days ago, Andrew Sullivan linked to this rancid post by Glenn Reynolds previewing the coming claims that the war was sabotaged by the critics of the war who had more or less no power whatsoever during the entire prosecution of it.

An incompetent physician who was treating a man for gangrene cut off the leg that was not the one he had diagnosed with disease.

During post-surgery observation of the patient, the same physician refused to acknowlege that he had cut off the wrong leg or that the man still suffered from an illness that was becoming worse, despite warnings by nurses, interns, and residents who had also observed the patient.

The physician insisted that he had cut off the correct leg and continued to insist that the patient be treated with antibiotics designed to suppress post-surgery infection, not to treat a full-blown case of gangrene, much less anything else.

A hospital administrator and second physician discovering that the man had never suffered from gangrene, but instead had a flesh-eating bacterial infection in his arm, tried to intervene and were able to cut remove the offending arm and start the patient on a proper antibiotic regime.

Unfortunately, the flesh-eating bacteria had spread throughout the patient and the actions of the administrator and second physician were too late; the patient died soon after.

The first physician, of course, blamed the administrator and second physician for abandoning his treatment plan, insisting that if they had just stayed the course with his diagnosis and the initial treatment plan, the patient would have survived.

An independent autopsy confirmed flesh-eating bacteria originating in the arm was the cause of death and that it had not spread to the leg at the time of amputation, but the first physician was insistent that he had done no wrong and that others were to blame for the patient's death.

Posted by: anonymous on June 18, 2007 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

There is a no difference in the plans, but there is a HUGE difference in media's treatment of them. The MSM will report on the Republican version, but never report on the Democratic version. They've been pushing the "Dems don't have a plan" Republican talking point for so long they are believing it themselves.

Posted by: Henk on June 18, 2007 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Fred: Stupid Americans like us need all the help we can get.

Sigh.

So, so true.

Unfortunately, some people, like Iraq, are beyond help.

Posted by: anonymous on June 18, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

see, when a member of the democrat party proposes this, it is pandering to the polls for base political advantage, but when a republican does, it is visionary. I thought you'd get that by now.

Posted by: supersaurus on June 18, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Sigh. Ok, Kevin, let's go over The Rules one more time, as established in the mid-90's by the Washington press corps:
1. Democrats do anything = questionable, triangulation, playing to the polls, being weak, etc.

2. Republicans do anything (usually corrupt, destructive, or a creative combination of both) = strong, muscular, decisive.

Gilmore's article was taken right out of a David Broder wet dream about bipartisanship.


Posted by: jonas on June 18, 2007 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

As a resident of Virginia, let me tell you. Gilmore is an idiot. By the end of his term, the commonwealth was bankrupt.

Posted by: Mary Chaney on June 18, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

I think the subtext of the Democratic campaing might best be 'The Repbublican canidates are hallucinating!' I think what the Democrats have to start doing is labeling nonsense as nonsense. When Guilani makes comments about how the Dems are going to surrender to terrorism that charge has to be labeled as nonsense. Yes, a debate about ideas and policies is extremely important to Democracy but at some point one has to recongize that someone is unable or unwilling to particpate in that debate. Inividuals have a right to speak nonsense, to blather on, let the Republican canidates blather, but one also has the right to label nonsense as nonsense. Nonsensical charges best be labled as nonsense. This post does an excellent job of this with Gilmore. '

Posted by: apollo on June 18, 2007 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Jonathan Zasloff:

Three facts about current policy stand out:

1) Under the Bush Administration's budgets, there is far more money spent by the Pentagon protecting its own domestic military installations ($16.5 billion) than protecting the rest of us.

2) In 2002, as part of the legislation creating the Homeland Security Department, Congress directed the administration to construct a list setting priorities for protecting critical national infrastructure: which energy facilities, utilities, bridges, ports, water and other crucial services are most at risk of terrorist attacks and what are the plans for protecting them. Five years later, the Administration still has not developed this list.

3) There was one important pre-9/11 success story: Project Impact, in which the federal government helped fund and worked closely with local governments in developing resilient systems that could provide services in the wake of disasters and terrorist attacks. It was cancelled by the Bush Administration.

Feeling safer yet?

Posted by: anonymous on June 18, 2007 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

I think what the Democrats have to start doing is labeling nonsense as nonsense.

Bingo. How hard would it be for any Dem candidate to simply say "These guys are nuts."?

After all, it's demonstrably true.

Posted by: craigie on June 18, 2007 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

The problem for the Rethugs is that, when given the chance, they'd rather just talk about terrorism or national security rather than do something.

You can insist the Rethugs are tough on terrorism all you want, but no one would ever buy it, given their piss-poor record.

Posted by: Juanita de Talmas on June 18, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Republican primary voters have no idea wha the Democrats are offering in Iraq- Rush says it's cut and run and that's all they need to know.

So to them, Gilmore is proposing something new

Posted by: damned at random on June 18, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

It's simple:

Some Democrats are assholes.

All Republicans are assholes.

Blue is a better bet.


Posted by: hairsplitter on June 18, 2007 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

As others have asked, "Jim who??" Good question. Gilmore was governor of Virginia from 1998-2002 (succeeding George "Macaca" Allen), so he's reasonably well-known in the D.C. area, but there's no reason why anyone west of the Appalachians and north of the Mason-Dixon line should have heard of him.

His vanity campaign for President has drawn no less support than it deserves, because he really is an idiot. An anti-tax ideologue, his particular contribution to the genre was his 1997 campaign against Virginia's car tax. This was the linchpin of his gubernatorial campaign that year, and still makes no intellectual sense. Whether one regards taxes as a necessary evil, or just plain evil, the Virginia car tax is one of the least evil taxes ever devised.

The tax is (or was; I moved out of Virginia, my longtime home, several years ago, and I'm not sure where the car tax stands today) an annual tax on the value of one's motor vehicles. Each county levied the tax on its own, and given that what one spends for a dependable set of wheels can vary enormously, how much car tax you paid depended on the choices that you and your city or county made. In 1997, I was living in Bristol, VA, and I wrote a letter to the editor explaining how my wife and I had paid $59 in car tax the previous year because we were driving cars that were several years old, and hadn't been high-end vehicles when they were new. There were people in Virginia who were paying ten times that much, but that was because they were driving more expensive cars, and their local governments were taxing at a higher rate.

Anyway, that's how Gilmore became governor of Virginia. He's an ideologue and an idiot, and he's exactly the sort of person the WaPo gives op-ed space to.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist (formerly RT) on June 18, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Gilmore was probably the worst Gov. in VA history.
He bankrupted the state. That's one of the reasons Mark Warner was such a hero. I may be wrong but I believe Gilmore is the reason for the 1 term limit for VA governors.

Posted by: VA-expat on June 18, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Dude, if you and GwB would stop fighting freedom and just let it happen, we'd be better off. Start fighting terrorism and the country would be better off.

Posted by: TJM on June 18, 2007 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

How hard would it be for any Dem candidate to simply say "These guys are nuts."?


What is the answer to this question on the basis of the available record?

Posted by: gregor on June 18, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Stationing troops in any Muslim country would not work. The terrorists would just shift from Iraq to whatever country we have troops in. We might as well stick it out in Iraq.

Posted by: TruthPolitik on June 18, 2007 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

TruthPolitik: "The terrorists would just shift from Iraq to whatever country we have troops in. We might as well stick it out in Iraq."

You sound just like one of those dolls where you push a button and a pre-recorded, programmed message is emitted. After a few days, the kid has heard it all and is bored, because you really have nothing new to say.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 18, 2007 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Here is another recent item about new microbes for making fuels from plant matter:

http://www.technologyreview.com/Biztech/18827/

Note the comment at the end about how we can't tell now which technologies will actually be productive/dominant years from now.

And here is another:

http://www.technologyreview.com/Biztech/18827/

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 18, 2007 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

TruthPolitik is right and not just talking out his ass. Look at how the bases in Qatar have become a magnet for terrorists. As have the bases in Oman, Bahrain, Pakistan, the UAE, Mali, Djibouti, Kyrgystan, Uzbekistan... Circumstances in Iraq are in no way different.

Posted by: snicker-snack on June 18, 2007 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

truthpolitc: Stationing troops in any Muslim country would not work. The terrorists would just shift from Iraq to whatever country we have troops in. We might as well stick it out in Iraq.


how's that working out?

Terror attacks 2006: 14,338

Terror attacks 2005: 11,111

- National Counterterrorism Center 4/30/07

29% increase.....with 45% of the attacks in Iraq.

oh right...

Posted by: mr. irony on June 18, 2007 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

oops, I meant this:

http://www.technologyreview.com/Biotech/18937/

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 18, 2007 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

His solution is no solution. What if the Iraqis don't want us to remain in their country anymore? What they don't allow us to take military action within their borders? Isn't this just a rehas of the old "keep 'em hunkered down in the bases" strtagey that even the White House gave up on? What is our bases in Iraq become terrorist targets? There's a lot of mealy mouthed words that amount to nothing new or interesting.

What is interesting is even Gilmore is inching, ever-so-slowly towards a withdrawl position. That wasn't true at the beginning of the year.

Of course, if GOP voters vote for Ron Paul, the troops are coming home no ifs and or buts about it. That's as simple as you can get.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on June 18, 2007 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

a limited deliberate drawdown of our military men and women and a redeployment of the forces remaining in the region to areas where they can more efficiently and effectively carry out a clearly defined mission.

in exactly what way does this differ from the plan offered by all three of the major Democratic candidates?

Are the three major Democratic candidates really in favor of a "limited" drawdown? I thought that they wanted complete withdrawal from Iraq, to be started now or ASAP, and to be completed before the 2008 election.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 18, 2007 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

Stationing troops in any Muslim country would not work. The terrorists would just shift from Iraq to whatever country we have troops in. We might as well stick it out in Iraq.

Oh yeah? How many terror attacks were we suffering in Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, etc. in the years before we invaded Iraq? About one a year or so, wasn't it? As opposed to now, where it's about one every half-hour

And, since over 95% of the insurgent attacks in Iraq againts us are by native Iraqis resisting our invasion, why the fuck would they follow us once they kicked us out?

Posted by: Stefan on June 18, 2007 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I was going to flame "truthpolitik" but I see he has no ass left to confiscate and hand back. Well done.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 18, 2007 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

in exactly what way does this differ from the plan offered by all three of the major Democratic candidates?

Are the three major Democratic candidates really in favor of a "limited" drawdown? I thought that they wanted complete withdrawal from Iraq, to be started now or ASAP, and to be completed before the 2008 election.

No, the Democratic candidates have to offer plans that assume they are not going to be president until after the election. They can, of course, support plans for the current government to act on.

The plan you describe is the one the vast majority of Americans want and have wanted for most of two years. Better phrased as "Just get us the hell out and let the professionals work on the face-saving details as we go." This is actually what the congress should be working on, but the Rethugs and Uncle Joe are blocking any useful debate.

Ultimately, there is one big difference between a Democrat proposing a partial withdrawal plan and a Republican proposing it: no Republican would be trusted enough by any of the parties in the Middle East to make a limited re-deployment work.

Bush has labeled his own party the party of bloody-fisted nationalism. No one has made this horrible a mess of Iraq since Tamerlane came through. They aren't going to give GW or any of his cronies another chance to run up their score.


Posted by: Berken on June 18, 2007 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

Gilmore's car-tax phase-out plan relied on his proposing a balanced budget every year, or the tax reduction would be legally stalled. In his final year, he proposed a budget that the General Assembly--led by Republicans--clearly saw as fraudulent but, hey, it met the letter of the tax-reduction law. The Senate GOP leadership-Virginia had this obsession with fiscal conservancy for forty years-- held press conferences explaining that Gilmore had his head up his ass. Gilmore, term-limited, got a job leading the RNC in the 2001 Elections in Virginia and New Jersey. Chalk those up to two Democratic victories. Mark Warner spent four years cleaning up after Gilmore, became immensely popular for it, and then Tim Kaine (Democrat) was elected. Gilmore was as responsible for Warner and Kaine as much as any single Republican. I couldn't believe Gilmore was running for president. He couldn't win in Virginia.

Posted by: Brian C.B. on June 18, 2007 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

train Iraqi troops to defend their own country

Har, har, har.

We've been at that for 4 fucking years and they don't even bother to show up for work, and those that do are often working for the other side.

Har, har, har.

Even the Pentagon cannot after all these years point to a single Iraqi battalion that can operate on its own. This is really, really rich.

Posted by: chuck on June 18, 2007 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

Gilmore is a typical Repukeliscum: he is a venal, stupid person who cannot figger his way out of a bathroom without help, and besides that, he's an idiot.

Posted by: POed Lib on June 18, 2007 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't see where Gilmore used the word "spineless" in this particular open letter, and I don't think it would be a good idea.

Given the mood of many Democrats now days, all the spineless statements could lead to some toothless mouths.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on June 18, 2007 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

Gilmore: a military force powerful enough to launch special operations missions against al-Qaeda or Sunni insurgents in Iraq; train Iraqi troops to defend their own country; and guarantee the security of the Iraqi government, if so desired by Iraq.

Drum: in exactly what way does this differ from the plan offered by all three of the major Democratic candidates?

Back to my question: is that really what all three of the major Democratic candidates are advocating? In the cases of Obama and Clinton, it is what they voted against.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 18, 2007 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

MRM, you left out the main point -- Gilmore calls for


a limited deliberate drawdown of our military men and women and a redeployment of the forces remaining in the region to areas where they can more efficiently and effectively carry out a clearly defined mission... launch special operations missions against al-Qaeda or Sunni insurgents in Iraq; train Iraqi troops to defend their own country; and guarantee the security of the Iraqi government, if so desired by Iraq

Clinton's plan, according to Media Matters:


In a March 13 New York Times interview, Clinton said that she supported a phased withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq while a contingent of "far fewer troops" would "remain for our antiterrorism mission, for our northern support mission, for our ability to respond to the Iranians, and to continue to provide support, if called for, for the Iraqis.

Obama's website says of his Iraq plan:


The plan allows for a limited number of U.S. troops to remain in Iraq as basic force protection, to engage in counter-terrorism and to continue the training of Iraqi security forces.

These don't sound too different, do they?

Posted by: JS on June 18, 2007 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

So I guess nobody remembers the marines that were attacked by the truck bomb in Lebanon. or the attack on the barracks in Saudi Arabia where we had put troops there to protect the Saudis from Sadam after his attack on Kuwait. Bin Ladin said that american troops in Arabia was the reason for his attack on 9-11. Right now Iraq is the magnit for terrorist attacks. If we pull out to any other muslim country in the region the suni and the shia will have their little power struggle but there will be plenty of terrorist to follow us

I could be wrong but if he is still alive Bin Laden won't let us rest safely in any muslim country. Better to stick it out in Iraq than to attract terrorism to another country.

THINK ABOUT IT>

Posted by: TruthPolitik on June 18, 2007 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

Great comment, TruthPolitik. We should always invade other countries in order to attract the worst of humanity to that country. Gees, what a foreign policy initiative!

As for Jim Gilmore, it seems he is right twice: the Democrats ARE spineless cowards, and we should have a drawdown.

Maybe he thinks he is criticizing the Democrats becasue he doesn't believe they really want a drawdown. I know I don't believe the Democrats when they say it.

Posted by: Dicksknee on June 18, 2007 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

Gilmore: a limited deliberate drawdown of
Gilmore: a military force powerful enough to launch special operations missions against al-Qaeda or Sunni insurgents in Iraq;

JS, I think that the difference is this: Gilmore favors a limited drawdown and a strong remaining contingent; the Democrats favor a large drawdown, and a small remaining contingent. However, it is not clear that they actually support any remaining contingent. Clinton said that she "resented" the idea that any military commitment in Iraq would be inherited by the next president. Obama and Clinton both voted against the continued funding, without which no contingent could remain in Iraq.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 19, 2007 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

MRM, all three of them seem to want a residual force capable of fighting terrorists (or Al Qaeda) and help/train the Iraqi forces. I think they agree on the objectives of the residual force, and I assume that they would also agree that whatever force remains must be capable of meeting these stated objectives.

As for Obama and Clinton voting "against the continued funding" -- this is misleading and I assume you know it. They voted against it because it did not contain some specific provisions. If you interpret their vote as being against funding the troops outright, then didn't Bush also reject such funding when he vetoed the earlier funding bill which the Democrats voted for?

Posted by: JS on June 19, 2007 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

MRM: Gilmore favors a limited drawdown and a strong remaining contingent . . .

This is simply false.

You've deliberately taken a portion of Gilmore's statement out of context.

" . . . a redeployment of the forces remaining in the region to areas where they can more efficiently and effectively carry out a clearly defined mission."

Gilmore says any remaining troops in Iraq would be deployed to other areas, naming Saudia Arabia, Turkey and Kuwait.

His plan does not, as you indicate, require a large contingent to remain in Iraq itself.

You are either obtuse or being dishonest by ignoring the second part of the sentence you quoted.

Posted by: anonymous on June 19, 2007 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

I could be wrong but if he is still alive Bin Laden won't let us rest safely in any muslim country. Better to stick it out in Iraq than to attract terrorism to another country.

Hmmm, a rational man might think it would be better in that case to go after bin Laden where he is, in Pakistan, rather than remaining as a target in Iraq, where he isn't. But Bush, for some reason, prefers to let bin Laden remain alive and free.

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2007 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

So I guess nobody remembers the marines that were attacked by the truck bomb in Lebanon

I remember very well, Reagan then wagged the dog by attacking Grenada to try and make us forget.

Bin Ladin said that american troops in Arabia was the reason for his attack on 9-11.

And we should implement policy based on what Bin Laden says??

Right now Iraq is the [magnit] for terrorist attacks

And a tiny fraction of these attacks are foreign fighters.

but there will be plenty of terrorist to follow us

This remains utter nonsense. So you're in favor of keeping our forces where bombs are going off daily versus redeployment to regions where they "might" go off??

Where's your evidence that terrorists will follow us. Or for that matter, NOT come to the US if we stay? Once again, there is no finite number of terrorists to eliminate. Your advocating we stay in Iraq forever because there will always be terrorists?

I could be wrong

Nooo. Say it ain't so.

THINK ABOUT IT

Truthy, you need some actual independent cognitive function before attempting this. Baby steps.

Posted by: ckelly on June 19, 2007 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

It always amazes me how the leftwing feigns to be the voice of tolerance and truth when in fact, the only thing that generally comes from the left is vile disrespect and unacceptance of their political counterparts combined with a lot of speculation and theory. I find it absolutely hilarious that they actually think they are at war with neocons and conservatives while Iran prepares to blow Israel off the map. Instead of a bipartisan expression of "I conceed that Iran is dangerous and a threat to the safety of its region and beyond, and although we might disagree on what tactical measures should be taken", we just get a lot of "Bush is leading us into a war with Iran who would otherwise be our friend if only Republicans didn't exist".

Democrats are perhaps creative in their hysteria, but they could use a little help in the "what is" vs. the "what might be" scenario. What is: The Middle East wants the blood of Israel and the West. What might be: The West and Israel might bleed, and neither Bush nor American conservatives are the cause.

Posted by: Fred on June 19, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

JS on June 19, 2007 at 1:34 AM

You might be right, and your analogy with the Bush veto is not bad. As I read the Democratic candidates' speeches, it seems to me that they are unclear whether they do or do not actually want any force remaining either in Iraq or in neighboring states able to respond rapidly to crises inside Iraq. I think that the left half of the Democratic party, and our host Kevin Drum want all U.S. forces out of Iraq permanently, and as soon as possible.

If the Democratic candidates prefer leaving a small force in Iraq, and powerful forces nearby, ready to attack in Iraq if necessary, do their supporters know this?

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 19, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

ALSO!!!!!!!!

I find that any form of isolationism expressed by Democrats to be just plain hipocritical. Did Republicans belly-ache all through Bosnia? Does anyone here really believe that Eastern Europe's troubles are over? Does anyone think that our role as World Police is over? Does anyone think that France and Germany won't beg the use of our forces again? The world is massively unstable and it has nothing to do with George Bush. The myopic left is willing to feign isolationism just so I can pay 25% higher income taxes to wait in line at some substandard medical clinic with a bunch of uninformed hipocrites.

Posted by: Fred on June 19, 2007 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

MRM, I agree that there is not complete consensus on the left regarding the timing and extent of a US withdrawal from Iraq.

But I also think that it is important to keep in perspective the basic underlying reality: We are talking about tactical disagreements on how to solve a problem which was entirely, and inexcusably, created by the current administration.

It's as if I set a city block on fire and you and your friends disagree about how to clean it up. In that case, it would not be appropriate for me to try to score political points against you for your lack of consensus, would it?

Posted by: JS on June 19, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

marler: If the Democratic candidates prefer leaving a small force in Iraq, and powerful forces nearby, ready to attack in Iraq if necessary, do their supporters know this?

remember..

if a plan fits on a bumpersticker...

its republican...

Posted by: mr. irony on June 19, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

truthpolitik: So I guess nobody remembers the marines that were attacked by the truck bomb in Lebanon. or the attack on the barracks in Saudi Arabia where we had put troops there to protect the Saudis from Sadam after his attack on Kuwait.

fyi....

for the 8.5-years between 1993 and 9-11...

the #1 killer of americans by terror was..

timothy mcveigh...

where's the war on former g-i's?


Posted by: mr. irony on June 19, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

POed Lib: Gilmore is a typical Repukeliscum: he is a venal, stupid person who cannot figger his way out of a bathroom without help, and besides that, he's an idiot.

at least he believes in evolution...

i think...

Posted by: mr. irony on June 19, 2007 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Postulate:

American soldiers are the cause of the terrorism in Iraq.

We move the American soldiers to Saudi Arabia.

Therefore American Soldiers will cause terrorism in
Saudi Arabia.

Could this be true ?
if not. Why

Posted by: TruthPolitik on June 19, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

By the way this whole thread is a NULL SET because hardly nobody is going to vote for Gilmore

Posted by: TruthPolitik on June 19, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Therefore American Soldiers will cause terrorism in Saudi Arabia.

We should be so lucky!

. . . hardly nobody . . .

Don't you mean "hardly anybody?"

Fred: Are you under the impression that Republicans are Tim McVeigh fans?

Pretty much.

After all, Sen. Cornyn was practically giddy in his defense of those who would physically threaten the lives of federal judges.

Yep, pretty much.

Posted by: anonymous on June 19, 2007 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

JS: But I also think that it is important to keep in perspective the basic underlying reality: We are talking about tactical disagreements on how to solve a problem which was entirely, and inexcusably, created by the current administration.

KD: Um, in exactly what way does this differ from the plan offered by all three of the major Democratic candidates?

It's good to remember the basic context, but it is also good to remember the specific point. If, as insinuated by KD, the Gilmore plan is truly indistinguishable from the plans of Edwards, Clinton, and Obama, that is worth noting. Right now, I think that the prospective Democratic primary voters would be very disappointed to learn that all three major Democratic presidential contenders supported a plan like Gilmore's. I think that the Democratic activists want a quick, complete, and permanent withdrawal.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 19, 2007 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

Wonder what it was about the clinton administration that created McVeigh.

This worries me. Maybe I shouldn't vote foe Hillary.

Posted by: TruthPolitik on June 19, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

oops foe should be for.

Wonder why I typed foe.

Posted by: TruthPolitik on June 19, 2007 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK


fred: Conservatives in this country represent more than half of the population.


Can you back it up? No you can't.

lol

Self-identification by registered voters. Democrats - 35%, Independents - 28%, GOP - 26% - Hotline/Diageo 5/23/07

"Americans give the GOP their most negative assessment in the 2-decade history of the WSJ/NBC survey - 49% to 36% say the Democratic Party more closely shares their values and positions on the issues." - Wall Street Journal 6/14/07

Posted by: mr. irony on June 19, 2007 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

shorter truthpolitik: bu..bu..bu..bu..bu..bu..bu..bu..bu..bu..bu..bu..clinton


fyi...bin laden broke mcveighs record..

by a multiple of 17....

Posted by: mr. irony on June 19, 2007 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

Fred: Conservatives in this country represent more than half of the population. Growing numbers of conservatives are merely fiscal conservatives and have social ideals that might even rival a good Democrat's; yet still, there are those like you who prefer to use deception and dishonesty in order to perpetuate the socialist agenda of the far left without even having the intelligence to realize that over 100 years of socialism has not worked.

Thanks!

I'll be laughing for the next week!

If anyone knows about deception and dishonesty its conservatives who lied about WMDs, body armor for our troops, vehicle armor for our troops, the number of viable stem cell lines in existence, global warming, al Qaida links to Iraq, the reasons for the firing of US Attorneys, the existence of secret CIA prisons in Europe, torture in Abu Ghraib, torture in other Iraqi prisons, torture in Afghani prisons, Jessica Lynch, Pat Tilley, Jack Abramoff, etc, etc, etc, and let's not get the epitome, Karl Rove's despicable lie about a political opponent being a child molester.

Here's a hint Fred: go bend over for Bush and then go f*ck yourself.

Bill Clinton may have lied under oath in a frivolous lawsuit brought for partisan political reasons, but dozens of Republicans in the Bush administration have lied under oath with regard to subjects that affect every American.

Nobody does deception and dishonesty better than a conservative.

Posted by: anonymous on June 19, 2007 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

Ann Coulter said in an interview with the New York Observer, "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."

.............

McVeigh's political views, note that he:

* Denigrated women in the military.
* Approved of Cuban refugees fleeing Castro.
* Protested the US intervention in Bosnia and bombing of Iraq.
* Denied federal jurisdiction over guns.
* Railed against high taxes.
* Complained about our "decline in moral leadership."
* Favored Clinton's impeachment.
* Thought the US government was steadily eroding the Bill of Rights.

In other words, McVeigh was a very typical conservative/libertarian.

..............

The rhetoric that informed and inflamed McVeigh came straight from Rush Limbaugh's mouth, so to speak.

Go suck on that, Fred.

Posted by: anonymous on June 19, 2007 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

Did Republicans belly-ache all through Bosnia?

Yes, they did. All the fucking time. They attacked the Commander-in-Chief while our troops were in the field, to put it in language you'll understand.

Posted by: Stefan on June 20, 2007 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

Fred: Concerning the "suck on that" comment, I think it's hatred and venom speak for itself.

You invited it with your vile lies and equally vile accusations against liberals, as well as your dishonest denials about McVeigh.

Anyway, to say that McVeigh shared certain values of the far right in America; therefore, all Republicans support terror is rather pathetic.

He didn't share certain values, you lying twit; he shared every major platform value of the GOP.

In any event, you are lying about anyone saying ALL Republicans support terror; it was there are Republicans who supported McVeigh and I proved it with the Coulter quote.

You offer nothing but silly assertions and untruths.

Why should this leftwing blog be any different from any other leftwing, speech-suppressing forum?

Happens on conservative blogs all the time AND they don't let you post anonymously.

So much for free speech.

And before you ask, yes, conservatives have championed the right to anonymity as an important aspect of free speech when they want to remain anonymous, so it is entirely hypocritical to deny that same anonymity to others.

Concerning Bosnia, this was a bipartisan effort. We rallied behind our troops that they complete their mission safely and successfully.

An outright lie.

With only limited exceptions, the GOP-run Congress tried to undermine Clinton on Bosnia every chance it could.

You are lying by saying that most of the GOP supported Clinton and the war in Bosnia and that it was the exception in the GOP to oppose it.

Posted by: anonymous on June 20, 2007 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

More proof of your lies, Fred.

Republican congressman John Duncan, Jr., from Tennessee:

Under Democrat Clinton's presidency, when he planned bombings in Bosnia and Kosovo, 80 percent of Republicans, including Duncan, opposed it, Duncan noted.

Eighty percent is not a handful of exceptions.

Want more proof of your mendacity?

Here it is.

Thus, to refrain, it is you who is the liar and deceiver and your political philosophy that embraces those tactics:

If anyone knows about deception and dishonesty its conservatives who lied about WMDs, body armor for our troops, vehicle armor for our troops, the number of viable stem cell lines in existence, global warming, al Qaida links to Iraq, the reasons for the firing of US Attorneys, the existence of secret CIA prisons in Europe, torture in Abu Ghraib, torture in other Iraqi prisons, torture in Afghani prisons, Jessica Lynch, Pat Tilley, Jack Abramoff, etc, etc, etc, and let's not get the epitome, Karl Rove's despicable lie about a political opponent being a child molester.

You refuted none of these, because you can't.

They all represent lies by conservatives, lies with profound impacts on the people of America.

Posted by: anonymous on June 20, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Fred: You talk of freedom and liberty, but attack opposition in Stalinist fashion.

This from someone who supports a party and political philosophy that:

* fires anyone who proffers an opinion that doesn't fit Bush's predetermined decisions

* ruthlessly attacks with untruths anyone who offers an opinion contrary to that of the administration

* is willing to out a covert agent in retaliation for voicing an opinion contrary to the administration

* orders soldiers whose opinion contradicts the administration to remain silent or face disciplinary action while allowing those who embrace the administration's opinion to voice their support

* knowingly uses false allegations of pedophilia to attack political opponents

* opposes anonymity while demanding it for themselves

* accuses anyone who offers a contrary opinion of being a traitor

In other words, you are a pot and you are calling a kettle black.

Posted by: anonymous on June 20, 2007 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

fred: I do appreciate the responses, although I think we can do without the insults...


it might help if your arguments were based on something other than your feelings.


as for bosnia....

the following are all from 1999

"You can support the troops but not the president." --Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?" --Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is." --Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

pretty sad....

any way...

fewer americans died by terror at home and abroad under 8-years of clinton...

bush fixed that...in under 6-years...

heck of a job..

Posted by: mr. irony on June 20, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK


actually...bush did it in under 1-year...

Posted by: mr. irony on June 20, 2007 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

fred: U.S. attorneys get hired and fired at the "pleasure of the Presidency" (period)

is that why the 5-of the top-6 people at the department of justice have resigned since the scandal broke in march?

(gonsalez is the only one of that bunch left....f.y.i.)

i guess you have to be naive to be a conservative..

Posted by: mr. irony on June 20, 2007 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK


fred: Jack Abramoff: Bill Jefferson. Get a grip.


did you know...that of the 11-people who have either pled guilty or been convicted..in the abramoff scandal..

not one is a dem.

not one..

all 11...are republicans...

f.y.i...there are more to come..

Posted by: mr. irony on June 20, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

fred: The first attempt of the Towers occured under Clinton.


for the 8.5-years between 1993 and 9-11...

the #1 killer of americans by terror was..

timothy mcveigh...

mcviegh is dead...

since 9-11...

and after 2-invasions..

osama?

not so much..

Posted by: mr. irony on June 20, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

fred: Global Warming: My response: Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah.


that's not very convincing....

Posted by: mr. irony on June 20, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

fred: So Bush caused terrorism?


no..he just didn't do anything to stop it..

even after he was warned...

numerous times..

"Bin Laden Determined To Strike Inside The United States" - Presidential Daily Briefing 8/6/01

Posted by: mr. irony on June 20, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK


fred: And you're telling me that after Jefferson, no other heads will role.


not at all....

A federal grand jury in Washington D.C. has been investigating Sen. Ted Stevens' (R-AK) ties to the corrupt Alaskan oil company, Veco. Both the former CEO and vice president have pled guilty to corruption charges. - Anchorage Daily News 6/18/07

Posted by: mr. irony on June 20, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Fred: WMDs and lies: Prove it. Moreover, everyone knew they had them. Did all of those Kurds and Iranians die from fresh air? There are numerous tapes of Dems and Repubs discussing the WMDs of Iraq from the 80s till now. No one lied about anything, and if Democrats were really so stupid to actually be duped into war, why are you supporting these bafoons?

Everyone could not have "known" that he had something he didn't have.

At best, you could claim everyone "suspected."

The fact you are willing to use "know" shows just how much you are willing to lie, because it is a lie to say anyone "knew" he had something he didn't have.

More to the point, the fact that he "had" them sometime in the past has nothing to do with whether he "had" them in April 2003 when Bush invaded.

You are conflating past pre-2003 knowledge of past pre-2003 conditions with 2003 current knowledge of 2003 current conditons and pretending they are the same thing.

Additionally, the UN inspectors had determined that Saddam had not such weapons or programs and CIA intellingence had produced evidence that there were no WMDs that Bush buried and hid from Congress and the American public.

In short, Bush lied about what the intelligence was and he lied about what the UN inspectors hadn't found.

Finally, whether Bush lied or not has nothing to do with whether the Dems were bamboozled (not uncommon when one is provided with false information, which is what Bush did, hiding at least three major intelligence reports that contradicted his claims about Iraq), but simply whether he lied.

He did.

Body and vehicle armor needed improvement. Great point. Whatever. Clinton's forces used the same equipment. The problem was and is being addressed. You must be one of those people who blames Bush for a bad bowel movement in the morning.

Rumsfeld (Bush's legal agent whose statement's Bush never contradicted) falsely stated that manufacturing delays were the cause of the lack of body and vehicle armor.

This was false. The Pentagon hadn't ordered any because they were trying to win the war on the cheap and bodies are cheaper than armor.

Global Warming: My response: Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah. Causation is not factual, only theoretical, yet Dems and socialists use it rather unscientifically for political gain.

Every major scientific organization in the world has confirmed that global warming is a fact and caused by humans.

There is nothing more scientific than that, your lies notwithstanding.

"Blah, blah, blah?"

But of course you cover your ears and say this any time any inconvenient fact comes along.

It is the conservative way.

Dishonest and deception are the conservative way.

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

Torture committed by the U.S. goverment: PROVE IT. It's just not factual.

It has been proven in a military court. With convictions. And it has been proven that the military tried to cover it up. Taguba has talked, you lose.

Abu Garab: Get over it. This was not an order from the White House. Stop deluding yourself. Those responsible are being punished. They are shameful war criminals.

Taguba has talked, you lose.

Besides, you don't read well. My statement was conservatives lie, not just the White House. It is irrelevant whether the White House ordered it or not, even though it is almost certainly true that it did.

Jack Abramoff: Bill Jefferson. Get a grip. Corruption does not dwell solely on one side of the great political divide. Decency, courtesy, respect and manners do not either.

Sorry, but Abramoff's corruption has netted several more times the number of convictions than Jefferson's will.

Pat Tillman? Is that who you meant? He was a great American. He is the ultimate hero. I agree that there was deception surrounding his death and time will tell and perople may be punished, but Tillman was a great man regardless.
Tillman would vomit at the notion of the far left using him for political points, but such is life.

His family vomited at the military and Bush using him for political points, just like you, but then you don't care that he died, as long as you can pin it on some scapegoat to get the administration off the hook.

Karl Rove: Who cares about Karl Rove?

Bush and obviously you.

Jessica Lynch: WTF are you talking about? If you have a point about her, do tell.

The military lied about the circumstances of her capture in an attempt to use her capture for partisan political purposes.

U.S. attorneys get hired and fired at the "pleasure of the Presidency" (period)

Sorry, but wrong again.

Al Qaeda links to Iraq: This was not a reason for invading. We did not invade Iraq to "get al qaeda". It is merely a pleasant side effect.

Bush proves you a liar, which is ironic since Bush himself is such a liar.

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

BTW, we can now throw in lies about voter fraud too!

Posted by: anonymous on June 20, 2007 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK


fred: Yeah and Clinton was asked to take custody of him and he refused. Also, he failed to kill him when he walked the streets freely.


even if that were true...

bush invaded 2-countries..

and

bin laden still lives...

heck of a job...

Posted by: mr. irony on June 20, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Fred: Yeah and Clinton was asked to take custody of him and he refused.

Another lie that has been debunked time and again.

Really, you don't have to lie to prove your fascist bona bides.

We all know you for what you are, a lying, Buah-ass kissing, sycophant who wants terrorist to win so bad that you continue to support their greatest ally, George W. Bush!

Posted by: anonymous on June 20, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK


fred: "I want America to be socialist."

why do you want america to be socialist?

Posted by: mr. irony on June 20, 2007 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK


fred: I might respect you more.


who wants -your- respect?

Posted by: mr. irony on June 20, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Fred: I especially like the Florida "election theft" reference at the end.

Since I referred to "voter fraud" not "election theft" it is abundantly clear you are not just ranting, you are just not reading.

Bye-bye.

Posted by: anonymous on June 20, 2007 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK


fred: why do you socialists hide?


you were the only one to mention socialism...

why do you think its so special?

Posted by: mr. irony on June 20, 2007 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK


fred: And you're telling me that after Jefferson, no other heads will role.


fyi..

this one is from.....

today...

South Carolina Treasurer Indicted
Republican Served as State Chairman for Giuliani
- AP 6/20/07

what is it with republicans and felony's?

Posted by: mr. irony on June 20, 2007 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

fred: I think the untruths speak for themselves.


don't be too hard on yourself....

Posted by: mr. irony on June 20, 2007 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

[Fred, Your commentary can only be described as trolling and you sufficiently annoy me. You came in here acting like a jerk from your very first comment, and I do not have to tolerate you, so I choose not to. Simple enough for you? Now whine and act like a victim. Typical conservative troll behavior. Sad, really. Oh - and check a f**king dictionary and actually learn the meaning of the word "socialist." You truly look like a moron to the erudite commenters who post here.]

Posted by: Fred on June 21, 2007 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

[no one here is afraid of your staggering intellect, Fred. You're late to the party. Your "points" have been refuted here for years. Repetition does not equate to veracity.]

Posted by: Fred on June 21, 2007 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

fred you were the only one who mentioned socialism..


fred: "I want America to be socialist."

why do you want america to be socialist?

why won't you answer the question?

chicken?


Posted by: mr. irony on June 21, 2007 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

[Trolling deleted]

Posted by: Fred on June 21, 2007 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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