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Tilting at Windmills

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August 2, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THE SURGE....Michael Crowley reports on a lunch he attended with an unnamed but "prominent" Republican senator on Wednesday:

On Iraq, this senator said he expects that, come September and the Petraeus-Crocker report, the White House will announce "a transition to a new approach." He thinks that will involve a non-trivial drawdown of troops, and a returned emphasis to training Iraqi forces, though he wasn't too clear beyond that. He also said such a shift would head off any possible collapse in congressional GOP support for the war.

Obviously this has to be taken with a grain of salt since there's no telling how much this unnamed senator is actually privy to. If he's right, however, it's a pretty stunning example of just how unseriously the Republican Party takes national security these days.

Think about it. When September rolls around Petraeus and Crocker plainly won't be able to report any political progress in Iraq. After all, there hasn't been any yet, and the Iraqi parliament is on vacation for the next month. What's more, even on the military front Petraeus will be unable to claim anything but the slimmest progress. There's simply no credible way in which anyone will be able to claim that the surge has made enough progress on any front that its job is done and it can start to be wound down. And yet, not only does our unnamed senator think that's what the White House will announce, he also thinks this "new approach" charade will successfully pacify the brewing Republican revolt against the war.

Now, this senator may or may not know what Bush is intending to do. But presumably he knows Senate Republicans pretty well, and his assessment of his colleagues is damning. Elaborate rationales aside (and I'm sure we'll hear them by the bucketload), for anyone who cares about the actual reality of Iraq there's simply no coherent argument for supporting the surge in March and then, six months later, supporting its end even though it plainly hasn't accomplished its goals. You can only do that if you consider Iraq a political game rather than a serious foreign policy problem. Apparently they do.

Kevin Drum 12:27 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (54)

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tapping, tapping, tapping my fingers, patiently waiting for the Chinese to run out of money to loan us. . . .

Posted by: bungholio on August 2, 2007 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum >"...You can only do that if you consider Iraq a political game rather than a serious foreign policy problem. Apparently they do."

And this is a surprise just how ?

"...It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins..." - Benjamin Franklin

Posted by: daCascadian on August 2, 2007 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

bungholio >"...patiently waiting for the Chinese to run out of money to loan us. . . ."

Why would they stop loaning us money when we are doing EXACTLY what they want us to do with the loans ?

Take a hint from from Mr. Tzu

"For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill" - Sun Tzu

Posted by: daCascadian on August 2, 2007 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney / Satan in 08!

Posted by: craigie on August 2, 2007 at 12:53 AM | PERMALINK

You can only do that if you consider Iraq a political game rather than a serious foreign policy problem. Apparently they do.

All they care about is power, and maintaining it. Nothing else matters.

Posted by: craigie on August 2, 2007 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

...there's simply no coherent argument for supporting the surge in March and then, six months later, supporting its end even though it plainly hasn't accomplished its goals.

Perhaps you don't expect them to make the simplest and most logical argument, that the surge didn't work, so we should end it.

That's just an assumption on my part. As it stands, it's your argument that's incoherent.

Posted by: Boronx on August 2, 2007 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?

Posted by: chris on August 2, 2007 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK

While the Bush Administration and Republican senators like Lindsey Graham of South Carolina continue to spin the "surge" as a success, the news from the front augurs differently:

QUOTE:

SUNNIS QUIT CABINET POSTS; BOMBS KILL 75 IN BAGHDAD

by Megan Greenwell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 2, 2007; Page A15

BAGHDAD, Aug. 1 -- Iraq's largest Sunni political group partially withdrew from the Shiite-dominated government Wednesday, the latest indication of growing Sunni frustration with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The announcement by the Iraqi Accordance Front came on an especially violent day in Baghdad, as three car bombs killed at least 75 people in the capital.

. . .

An attack in Karrada, in front of a popular ice cream parlor, was the eighth such blast in that neighborhood in the past month. Although the busy shopping district was once considered one of Baghdad's safest areas, it has experienced a dramatic increase in violence in the past several weeks.

UNQUOTE

Posted by: truestory on August 2, 2007 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

Obviously, Bush, Cheney, Petraeus, Pollack, O'Hanlon and John McCain will report "substantial progress" in September. They won't claim that the Iraqi governemtn is honest, effective or anything else. Will our Congress accept this crap? That's the $64 question.

Petraeus showed his true colors by his timely Sept 2004 Op-Ed about progress in iraq, just in time to help keep defeatocrats out of the White House.

Posted by: malcontent on August 2, 2007 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

daCascadian says: Take a hint from from Mr. Tzu

*cringe* Sun is his family name, and Tzu (Tsu) (zi in pinyin) is an honorific title which means, essentially, "teacher" or "master". This is why you see so many "tzu"s and "zi"s in Chinese lit. Sun-tzu (sunzi, sun-zi), Lao-tsu, Confucious (K'ung Fu Tsu, Kung fu zi), et al.

So, really, one should take a hint from Mr. Sun. But your point is well taken, regardless.

Posted by: Everblue Stater on August 2, 2007 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

The seed of democracy has been planted in the Middle East. Now it must be nurtured.

Posted by: Luther on August 2, 2007 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

In 1968 Richard M Nixon is elected on a platform of getting the US out of Vietnam. LBJ has already frozen US troop levels.

RMN begins a programme of military escalation, including invasions of Cambodia and later Laos as well as heavy bombing of North Vietnam. Over 1/3rd of US dead in Vietnam take place on his watch http://www.rjsmith.com/kia_tbl.html).

The temptations are all there for GWB. Begin a force level reduction, but there is also the potential to widen the war, by attacking Iran. The US could get more enmeshed in the Iraq war, even as it draws down troops.

Congress will cheer him on in this. The genuine 'troops out' faction in Congress is still pretty small.

President Giuliani or President Romney will follow on the strategy. Who knows, maybe President Clinton, too.

Posted by: Valuethinker on August 2, 2007 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

Come September, General Petraeus & Ambassador Crocker will obviously be unable to point to genuine political progress on any of the agreed benchmarks. As a result, they like Michael O'Hanlon & Ken Pollack in their NYT Op-ed, will rely on unsubstantiated assertions of progress, cherry-picked improvements in security (July 07 troop casualties are down from May 07!! Unfortunately May 07 was the worst month in the entire war...). Generally I imagine, we'll be hearing a lot of positive, but guarded, "impressions", Chertoff-style "gut feelings" & most of all, the ever-reliable, optimism-inducing, highly selective anecdotal evidence.

To that kind of unverifiable reportage, whether from O'Hanlon/Pollack or Crocker/Petraeus, Nancy Pelosi yesterday made the most succinct & scathing rebuttal:

"The plural of 'anecdote' isn't 'data'."


Posted by: DanJoaquinOz on August 2, 2007 at 3:04 AM | PERMALINK

Of course they are going to start drawing down the troops next year, because they don't have any more troops to send. The surge was a completely pointless exercise, and I don't think most of the people who supported it ever really thought it would work. It was just something to get behind so they didn't have to admit all those dirty hippies were right, even if it just meant kicking the can down the road for a little while.

Posted by: Mark S. on August 2, 2007 at 4:04 AM | PERMALINK

The real point to be made here is that it was never a "surge" in troop levels. It was an escalation in troop levels, and noone who really knows how this works thought otherwise.

This was never a "surge" and if we don't make that clear now, well, that's a serious failure.

There's no end in sight on this. None. Despite fiscal reality, despite what the American people want, despite perky dispatches from Pollack and O'Hanlon, there is no end in sight.

The Friedman's, the Kristol's, the Pollack's, etc., -- they can write worthless "we win" check after worthless check, and they can continue to cash them at the bank of Fred Hiatt and the Post and at the bank of the NY Times, because in the end, it's not Fred Hiatt or the Times who really have to pay the bill. It's the American public. And the dividends the Hiatts of the world receive right now for printing the tripe they print far outweighs -- in the short term -- the price we will all pay in the long run.

And until we change that equation, we're pushing a very big rock up a mighty steep hill.

Posted by: moot23 on August 2, 2007 at 4:33 AM | PERMALINK

If one reads accounts of the President and the Congress 1968-1973, one sees the same rampant political opportunism.

Very few Senators or Congressmen had the courage, or more cynically the support in their constituencies, to openly call for a full and quick withdrawal.

And you read the same language about strength, and the US image in the world, and stay the course. As if all of these amounted to a hill of beans against one dead US serviceman or woman. (let alone all the Iraqis the Occupation kills).

The situation is very similar to South Vietnam. There is no unified central government for the US to back, that can govern the country. The Army and the Police are simply agents of the different sectarian factions. OK there is no VC/NVA, but the US is also, conspicuously, not fighting for anything.

The really sick bit is going to be when the US pulls out, and all those Iraqis who worked with the US as translators and administrators, who trusted the Americans, get slaughtered. Just as their Vietnamese compatriots were sent to re-education camps to be tortured.

Sweden has taken more Iraqi refugees than America. Sweden.

Those Iraqis are going to be (literally) hung out to dry when the US pulls out.

Posted by: Valuethinker on August 2, 2007 at 5:47 AM | PERMALINK

I would add the corollary of that is that, as ever, the President can lead America out of Iraq, Congress cannot.

Because Congress would forever be tarred with the 'stab in the back' thesis from the right. There would always be a vocal group of neoconservatives and other right wingers, arguing that if we had only stayed the course for another (6 months, 1 year, 6 years) we would have had victory. Any Democratic Congressman in a 'Red' seat would lose his job.

Congress very seldom leads in the US system. It's function is 'advise and consent'.

It is to the President to lead.

Which is why I fear so much a Nixon-like warmonger in sheep's clothing. A prolongation of the agony, more suffering, more death. And for what? No lasting peace in Iraq. No victory (whatever that is taken to mean). No honour.

Iraq is going to be a Shia Islamic Republic, with a quasi-independent Kurdistan. We might as well accept that, and get on with living in that new reality.

Posted by: Valuethinker on August 2, 2007 at 5:56 AM | PERMALINK

Brewing republican revolt?
Please! I'd like to see some evidence of that. Brewing republican skittishness, maybe. Even the Dems can't seem to mount a "revolt" against Bush - just a little polite dissent.

Posted by: jussumbody on August 2, 2007 at 6:14 AM | PERMALINK

bush's overarching strategy is to run out the clock. you might have thought he wouldn't be able to do that back a friedman unit or so when we started in on the surge and he had at least a year of relevancy to go, but here we are, almost september, and already the next friedman is being floated.

I predict the voters will notice if we are still in iraq in november of 2008 no matter how the next friedman is described, but maybe bush and rove are right and I'm wrong, after all look how well rove predicted the 2006 outcome.

Posted by: supersaurus on August 2, 2007 at 7:56 AM | PERMALINK

I see absolutely no evidence that members of the Republican congress will stand up to Bush in a meaningful way, especially on Iraq. Since Bush is actively delusional on Iraq, I will confidently predict the following outcome:

There will be an optimistic, and false, report on how well things are going in Iraq.

This report will be used as n excuse to extend the troop escalation - it isn't a surge because surges come and go, and this one isn't going anywhere.

Bush will either refuse to make any changes at all, or he will make some token cuts to provide minimal cover for his lackeys in Congress.

Troops will only leave Iraq after Bush leaves. The boy-king He will never sign a bill that mandates him to do anything on a concrete timescale. The spinelessness of GOP senators and representatives makes a veto-proof majority very unlikely, and Bush would ignore one anyhow.

Posted by: Marc on August 2, 2007 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

U.S. aggression in Iraq is criminal. Plainly criminal. The U.S. is killing, maiming and torturing civilians. It has destroyed vital infrastructure necessary for the most basic of human living in a civilized society. Schools, hospitals, power and water facilities and transportation and communication networks are crippled. The enviroment is polluted for generations with depleted uranium munitions. Previously pacified (albeit by a decidedly dictatorial ruler) sectarian and religious divisions now rage, erupting in violence and bloodshed. All these crimes are compounded by the undeniable fact there is no coherent plan to address any of these issues competently or in a timely manner. Can someone make a plausible argument as to why Bush and many others in his administration shouldn't be put on trial for all these crimes and hanged if found guilty?

Posted by: steve duncan on August 2, 2007 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

...there's simply no coherent argument for supporting the surge in March and then, six months later, supporting its end even though it plainly hasn't accomplished its goals.

Don't you read the papers? American deaths in Iraq were at their lowest level in 8 months!!

That headline was trumpeted in every paper I saw yesterday. There's the progress the Bush Administration and it's enablers will point to.

Of course that's not true of Iraqi deaths.

Or course that's just a repetition of the seasonal pattern we've seen for years.

Of course that's a cherry-picked stat that in proper context shows ZERO progress.

Nevertheless that will be their spin and their justification for continuing the surge. Cause now that they've not been sitting back in a defensive posture and have been taking it to those baddies American troop deaths are at their lowest in eight months.

Underestimating the complete mendacity and cynicism of the Iraq War cheerleaders is a serious mistake.

Posted by: Curt M on August 2, 2007 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote:
Think about it. When September rolls around Petraeus and Crocker plainly won't be able to report any political progress in Iraq. After all, there hasn't been any yet, and the Iraqi parliament is on vacation for the next month.

It kills me that the Iraqis are taking a break right now. How stupid can the Iraqis be. Or smart, if they want the chaos that is to follow.

Posted by: RSM on August 2, 2007 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

Seconding DanJoaquinOz up there, because that's just obvious - this administration has never hesitated to lie to us.

As to drawing down troops because we're running out of them, I expect the administration to extend tours in Iraq, shorter Stateside tours, and mobilize the NG/Reserves to the hilt.

Remember their basic attitude - in January 2009, they leave office (in a cloud of pardons and last-minute payoffs) and let the Democrats deal with it. The broker it is, the better.

Posted by: Barry on August 2, 2007 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

American deaths in Iraq were at their lowest level in 8 months!!

The papers were all over this yesterday. What they didn't report is the 74 troop deaths in August was the highest level for that month during the entire war.

The administration can take the simple fact that perhaps things aren't the worst they've ever been and spin it into "progress".

You can expect General Patreaus to fall in line. The man is a general. You think he got there by reporting things the Commander Guy doesn't like?

Posted by: Pug on August 2, 2007 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

Lets view the other side of the coin.

First, you clammer and wine about the surge, then when the President wants to draw down because they are transitioning to a new approach to address the new realities, you clammer and wine again about the draw down.

Classic example of Democrats complaining no matter what. You guys don't want solutions, only problems.

Posted by: egbert on August 2, 2007 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

No speculation on the "prominent" Senator? Sometimes it's easier for me to eliminate the ones who are definitely non-prominent. You know, like that guy from Alabama. Or the one from Utah: not Hatch, but that other guy. Of course, some Republicans are getting "prominent" because they're fixing to lose next year (Sununu).

Posted by: Rich on August 2, 2007 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

Barry

No they intend a Republican to be President in January 2009. Be it President Giuliani, President Romney or Pres AN Other.

They do not wish, and will do anything to a forestall, a President Clinton or Barack erasing their legacy.

Don't underestimate them. This is the crew that won Florida (and there are still, troubling questions about Ohio which can now not be answered).

Posted by: Valuethinker on August 2, 2007 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

By the way, Curt M and Pug, not only are you correct about the lowest-level-of-troop-deaths-in-six-months hype flooding the media, by the latest figure I saw at Iraq War Casualties, it's only barely true. The number for July was 80 -- clearly lower than the previous three months, but only 1 short of April's 81. Victory is ours!

Posted by: demtom on August 2, 2007 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Amend what I wrote about: make it March, not April. And February had an identical 81, so the dishonesty of the reporting is more obvious.

By the way, did anyone notice that not a single letter in today's NY Times challenged the paper for falsely presenting O'Hanlon and Pollack as war critics? You know they were inundated with such letters, so the misrepresentation is now blatant.

Posted by: demtom on August 2, 2007 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK
...such a shift would head off any possible collapse in congressional GOP support...

Loyalty to the (Republican) Party is of utmost importance, ultimately more important than loyalty to country. At least that is how it appears.

Posted by: Lyman Alpha on August 2, 2007 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Declare victory and get out?

Posted by: CJColucci on August 2, 2007 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

First, you clammer and wine about the surge

Why people beech and morn about egbert is beyawn me. This stuff is better than Dickens.

Posted by: shortstop on August 2, 2007 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

The seed of democracy has been planted in the Middle East. Now it must be nurtured.

Nurtured with the blood of thousands of Americans, with a few billion thrown at contractors as fertilizer.

Posted by: Martin on August 2, 2007 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

wine about the surge

White or red?

Posted by: Jenna's Bush on August 2, 2007 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

At last, a plan . . .

1. Wind down the war in Iraq.

2. Move the troops to Afghanistan.

3. INVADE PAKISTAN.

It never occurred to me that the way to end an old war is to start a new one.

Posted by: newwar on August 2, 2007 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

boronx: "...there's simply no coherent argument for supporting the surge in March and then, six months later, supporting its end even though it plainly hasn't accomplished its goals."

Perhaps you don't expect them to make the simplest and most logical argument, that the surge didn't work, so we should end it.

Oh, the way they said we were withdrawing from Iraq in 2006 because the invasion and occupation didn't work, so we should end it.

After all, the president said in January that he was setting firm, measurable benchmarks of political progress that the Iraqis were required to meet, and if they didn't . . . . Well, I don't know if he exactly specified what would happen if they didn't. He kind of implied that we might consider withdrawal. But he might just plan on sending Condi over to scowl at them.

No, I'm sure Kevin doesn't expect simplicy, logic or recognition of reality or honesty from the wrecking crew that operates out of the White House.

Posted by: cowalker on August 2, 2007 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

"By the way, did anyone notice that not a single letter in today's NY Times challenged the paper for falsely presenting O'Hanlon and Pollack as war critics? You know they were inundated with such letters, so the misrepresentation is now blatant."

I noticed, because I wrote such a letter. I guess it's considered impolite to criticize an op-ed because its authors distort or ignore their own prior views.

I also understand that O'Hanlon, I think, appeared before Congress that day and admitted that the "success" he claimed affected only the operations against Al Quaeda, not against sectarian violence or against insurgents or militias, and that the political situation was terrible. In effect, he took back what he said. I don't think the Times mentioned that today, did they?

Posted by: David in NY on August 2, 2007 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Gee and I thought the surge was working....Now the White House is ready to give up in a month's time? Who's cutting and running now?

Posted by: Sean Scallon on August 2, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Doubt that it matters that the Parliament is on vacation for the remainder of the month. These questions have to be settled through out-of-Parliament negotiations anyway. The party leaders may or may not be successful in negotiating anything over the next 6 weeks, but they can do so whether or not Parliament is in session.

Posted by: Simon on August 2, 2007 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

This is damning for Republican Senators only: that "there's simply no coherent argument for supporting the surge in March and then, six months later, supporting its end even though it plainly hasn't accomplished its goals."

But 80 senators voted to send Petraeus to Baghdad to do the surge. That's what he told them he would do.

There aren't 80 Rep senators.

Posted by: Simon on August 2, 2007 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Now, this senator may or may not know what Bush is intending to do. But presumably he knows Senate Republicans pretty well, and his assessment of his colleagues is damning. Elaborate rationales aside (and I'm sure we'll hear them by the bucketload), for anyone who cares about the actual reality of Iraq there's simply no coherent argument for supporting the surge in March and then, six months later, supporting its end even though it plainly hasn't accomplished its goals. You can only do that if you consider Iraq a political game rather than a serious foreign policy problem. Apparently they do.

Until we see someone publically proclaim this position, it really isn't 'apparent'. More like a possibility.

Also if the drawdown in troops is established for some future date, conditioned on meeting objectives on the ground then it is likewise not 'apparent'

Posted by: dennisBoz on August 2, 2007 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

demtom: By the way, Curt M and Pug, not only are you correct about the lowest-level-of-troop-deaths-in-six-months hype flooding the media, by the latest figure I saw at Iraq War Casualties, it's only barely true. The number for July was 80 -- clearly lower than the previous three months, but only 1 short of April's 81. Victory is ours!


here's even more perspective....

US deaths in Iraq - July-2007: 77

US deaths in Iraq - July-2006: 43

Posted by: mr. irony on August 2, 2007 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK
...American deaths in Iraq were at their lowest level in 8 months....Curt M at 8:50 AM
That is true every July in Iraq. It's too damn hot there for much activity. Check the July-to-July Coalition casualty figures:

July 2007: 89
July 2006: 46
July 2005: 58
July 2004: 58
July 2003: 49
Every July, the media touts the same story. Every April, they tout the story that tax revenues have increased to highest levels ever. They are right twice a year, but their story is the irrelevance of their interpretation. It's good to have the memory retention of a fart, gets you a cushy high paying job in the MSM.

Posted by: Mike on August 2, 2007 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

"In some ways we probably all underestimated the depth of the mistrust and how difficult it would be for these guys to come together on legislation," Gates said.

Gates is, of course, either lying through his teeth or has a very limited concept of who the term "we" encompasses.

There were many, even within the administration, who accurately predicted and warned of these difficulties.

The ability of Bush administration officials to deny their own culpability in ignoring these predictions and warnings continues to amaze.

Posted by: anonymous on August 2, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Why is Mr. Irony reporting 77 deaths in July 2007 and Mike is reporting 89?

Surely there is an official count that can be verified as accurate (at least to the extent any count performed by a mendacious military can be construed as accurate).

Posted by: anonymous on August 2, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Surely there is an official count that can be verified as accurate (at least to the extent any count performed by a mendacious military can be construed as accurate).

icasualties.org receives its count from the DOD, and the coalition casualty figure (not including the injured) for July was 89.

Posted by: trex on August 2, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

That's right, maybe if we just train and equipt the Iraqi security forces a bit more, THEN everything will be hunky-dory! And if only Charles Manson had provided his followers with better instruction and weaponry, much tragedy could have been avoided.

The problem with the Iraqi security forces isn't that they're poorly trained or that they're poorly equipped. The problem is that their primarly loyalties lie with the various factions in the Iraqi Civil War. Training and equipping them only serves to further destablize Iraq and fuel the bloodshed!

The Iraq War is and has always been a disaster. Iraq exists only as an abstract notion for which nobody is willing to die. There's no way to win this war, no way to stabilize the situation, we have lost, we're just having a hard time admitting the fact.

The only wise course is to withdraw our forces, regroup, shore up our allies and use diplomacy to try to contain the catastrophe GWB created. It's not much, but it's all we can do and it's about damned time we admitted it!

Posted by: Chesire11 on August 2, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

And the democrats are not playing a "political game" with Iraq? Arguing Iraq is the wrong battlefiled and Afghanistan is the right battlefield?

Both sides are playing a political game. The dems probably convince themselves that the game is justified because them getting in power is better for the country. The repubs probably convince themselves that it is okay to sacrifice some principle on Iraq because preserving their positions/power is good for the country.

Leiberman is probably an exception to the political game. I can't think of any war opponent who genuinely seems to be acting against his personal and party interest. Can anyone else?

Posted by: brian on August 2, 2007 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Luther: The seed of democracy has been planted in the Middle East.

Too bad it sprouted a weed.

brian: Leiberman is probably an exception to the political game . . .

Right. He never lied during his campaign. LOL.

Lieberman [sic] is acting in the interests of Lieberman and Israel, that is, in his personal and party interest.

You can buy a clue for $200 from Craig's List.

Posted by: anonymous on August 2, 2007 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

"Leiberman is probably an exception to the political game."

ROFL.... Lieberman?? Not playing politics?? Where the hell have you been?

"And the democrats are not playing a 'political game' with Iraq?"

They're playing it pretty damn badly, if so.

"Arguing Iraq is the wrong battlefiled and Afghanistan is the right battlefield?"

Well, there's no doubt that Iraq was and is the "wrong battlefield," so I'mnot sure what you think your point is.

Posted by: PaulB on August 2, 2007 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

Just in case you forgot that the war may indeed be about oil, the Guardian ran this story:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2140691,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=12

Posted by: marc on August 3, 2007 at 6:45 AM | PERMALINK

"A returned emphasis to training Iraqi forces"????

What the fuck?

Haven't they been "emphasizing" this for the past four god-damned years?? What the hell does that even mean?

Posted by: kokblok on August 3, 2007 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

011795.. WTF? :)

Posted by: www.washingtonmonthly.com on March 31, 2011 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK
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