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Tilting at Windmills

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September 28, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

EDWARDS ON IRAQ....Here's an excerpt from Wednesday's Democratic debate. It came after John Edwards said firmly that he would pull all combat troops out of Iraq and wouldn't continue combat missions there. "I believe this war needs to be brought to an end," he said. Then this:

MR. RUSSERT: Would you send combat troops back in if there was genocide?

MR. EDWARDS: I believe that America along with the rest of the world would have a responsibility to respond to genocide. It's not something we should do alone. In fact, if we do it alone, it could be counterproductive.

In fact, if I can go one step further beyond what you just asked, I think the president of the United States — and I as president — would have a responsibility, as we begin to bring our combat troops out of Iraq, to prepare for two possibilities. One is the possibility that — the worst possibility, which is that genocide breaks out, Shi'a try to systematically eliminate the Sunni. I think we need to be preparing for that with the international community now, not wait. And second, the possibility that this war starts to spill outside the borders of Iraq. And that's a very difficult thing to contain, because we know historically that it's difficult to contain a civil war.

An emailer wrote to suggest that Edwards is saying, yes, he'd send troops back in. I take the opposite view. The odds of getting the "international community" to send troops into Iraq to break up a Shia-Sunni war is exactly zero, and Edwards knows it perfectly well. By saying "It's not something we should do alone," he's effectively closing off the prospect of sending U.S. troops back into Iraq under any circumstances, but without quite saying so directly.

Comments? Which interpretation sounds most plausible to you?

UPDATE: cmdicely thinks that what Edwards is really saying is that we need to change the current reality:

Edwards is clearly saying here that the US needs, absolutely, to begin laying the groundwork now so that if genocide were to occur in Iraq, the current political reality that would make the international community unlikely to be willing and able to respond effectively would no longer hold, so that effective, productive international intervention to end any such genocide, which would have a US role, would be practical.

He is also saying that if that is not done, then it seems certain that the US would not be able to productively intervene if there were a genocide.

This doesn't match either your interpretation that Edwards views it as a static reality that there is no possibility of an international effort if needed, nor does it match your anonymous correspondent's interpretation that Edwards is committing unequivocally to send troops back in.

My take: I agree that Edwards said this, but I'm not sure it answers the question. I'd say the odds of the international community sending combat troops to Iraq is virtually zero no matter what Edwards or any other president does. It's just not gonna happen. For all practical purposes, then, Edwards is saying he wouldn't send troops back in under any circumstances that are even reasonably conceivable.

Also in comments, Catch22 says, "I think the most honest answer is that it would depend on a lot of things." That sounds about right.

Kevin Drum 2:20 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (85)

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Comments

Drum: Which interpretation sounds most plausible to you?

Ummm...Not yours. Sorry.

Posted by: grape_crush on September 28, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Yours.

Posted by: Bette on September 28, 2007 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Either. Since it depends is both a reasonable answer to such a question but would be interpreted as weasling.

Americans want nice black and white answers but such complex hypotheticals really are not well suited to honest black and white answers.

I think the most honest answer is that it would depend on a lot of things.

Like, what were the probable consequences of renewed intervention, what are the alternatives and consequences.

Americans dont like equivocal answers and nuance.

Posted by: Catch22 on September 28, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

he's saying neither. or rather he's saying both.

edwards is a politician. his answer can be interpreted both ways, so whichever way you want the answer to be you can see it in his response.

the only thing it clearly is is unclear.

Posted by: upyernoz on September 28, 2007 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Mostly yours. In the extremely unlikely event that things got to the point where the world community would be willing to go into Iraq, yeah, we would go too. Otherwise we're done.

Posted by: Emma Anne on September 28, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

International buy-in for helping out this boondoogle may, repeat may, be forthcoming if the next administration is willing to humbly admit the failure of the previous administration (letter number one), and then proceed to bust some of the contract sweet deals that have been doled out and start handing them out to allied countries. "We're sorry, here's some contracts, here's some money, sos." Ain't that hard doing bidness when there is an incentive. It'll feel extremely painful. All options are extremely painful. That's the problem with reducing the options to the merely painful.

Posted by: Crusty on September 28, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Catch-22, and I like the fact that he's giving a response with some nuance to a ridiculous hypothetical.

Posted by: crack on September 28, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

Edwards is showing his foreign policy greenness here. It's another classic liberal flip flop argument. Edwards is essentially saying "I will pull troops out, but I won't." And that gets us into problems later on, because it puts our forign policy in a mess. No one can understand it. It's like saying, you want peanut butter or jelly or both? Well, which way do you go with that answer? What if you want ham on rye? Where's the room for that sort of thing?

This is why Breck girl would make a horrible president. It's answers like this that show he has no leadership. Where does one get the qualities to make decisions? YOu either got it or you don't.

Posted by: egbert on September 28, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK
Which interpretation sounds most plausible to you?

Neither interpretation is remotely plausible. Both are based on the unjustified premise that Edwards is secretly attempting to give a simple "yes" or "no" to intervention. This is pretty clearly not the case; Edwards has little problem being direct when his position is that simple.

Edwards is clearly saying here that the US needs, absolutely, to begin laying the groundwork now so that if genocide were to occur in Iraq, the current political reality that would make the international community unlikely to be willing and able to respond effectively would no longer hold, so that effective, productive international intervention to end any such genocide, which would have a US role, would be practical.

He is also saying that if that is not done, then it seems certain that the US would not be able to productively intervene if there were a genocide.

This doesn't match either your interpretation that Edwards views it as a static reality that there is no possibility of an international effort if needed, nor does it match your anonymous correspondent's interpretation that Edwards is committing unequivocally to send troops back in.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 28, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

When I mention busting various contractual agreements between the gov. and the bidness sector, I'm suggesting a much wider scope than Iraq contracts. A pound o' flesh ain't going to feed the bulldog on this screw-up. Contract legalities are going to flushed with a tax base diplomacy move. There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Posted by: Crusty on September 28, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

I think Edwards' understanding that using US troops to stop sectarian violence in Iraq would be counterproductive, means he would not interfere in Iraq unilaterally.

What really bothers me about Edwards' comment is he accepts the well worn platitude (American fear) that Shiites would systematically destroy Iraq's Sunnis. Even the Iraqi Sunnis never actually destroyed Iraq's Shiites.

Shiites will probably have to pound the shit out of the Sunnis to establish political control in Iraq, just as the Sunnis did to keep political control, but it will not approach the violence that the US is already using to kill Iraqis.

The propaganda theme that the US must intervene to stop genocide is tragically laughable. The US is subsidizing the genocide of the Palestinian people, and mainstream politicians are forced publicly say they support it unconditionanlly.

Posted by: Brojo on September 28, 2007 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

It's fun to be bent over the log.

Posted by: Ralph Wiggum on September 28, 2007 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

"Responsibility to respond" is not automatically send in the marines. He's wise enough to realize our responsibilities are bigger than Iraq, and our responsbilities to Iraq aren't limited to combat. Pretending the only way to be responsible is to occupy Iraq is why we're not making any progress in the war on terror or solving the myriad problems associated with the Middle East. Way to go Edwards.

Posted by: dennisS on September 28, 2007 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Holy shit.

So Kevin can understand subtlety in this regard, but yesterday struggled with the concept of committing to a complete withdrawl.

Kevin, since the logic of this post clearly conflicts with that prior one, can we revise it to note that Edwards does not in fact wish to keep troops in Iraq til 2013?

Posted by: bubba on September 28, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

There is already a civil war.

There is already genocide.

Why are we ignoring these facts, brought on by Bush's war?

Let's not blame civil war and genocide on US withdrawal.

Posted by: JC on September 28, 2007 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Where does one get the qualities to make decisions? You either got it or you don't.
Posted by: egbert

Wow. Egbert, the stupidest troll on this website, is attacking someone's decision making skills? That takes brass balls.

Posted by: DJ on September 28, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

The transcript sounds like Edwards was working this out as he went along, so I doubt that he imagines that he possesses a detailed map of where everyone would be lined up after U.S. withdrawal. Unlike every member of the Bush administration, Edwards hasn't lied enough to forfeit the right to be taken at his word.

Look at it as a declaration of intent without every contingency mapped out. We and the Iraqis need to get our troops out of their country. If we cannot engineer our withdrawal in a way that prevents genocide, it is likely that some Iraqis will act on their genocidal impulses. Edwards, bless his heart, is leaving room to imagine that U.S. troops might have a beneficial role to play in an international intervention force.

My guess is that there will be too much opposition from too many quarters, inside and outside of the country, for U.S. troops to be welcome there ever again. But I would hope that we could do something to repair the damage that we have done, and I support Edwards' efforts to envision such a future.

Posted by: Boolaboola on September 28, 2007 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like he's just speaking honestly about how one would respond to a hypothetical, future situation influenced by a lot of different variables. If he was thinking about any one or two things that could happen that would totally rule out, or make definite, acting in a certain way, he didn't make it very definite.

Posted by: Swan on September 28, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who's honest answer is "if x happens, we're definitely going back (regardless of any other considerations)" is an idiot.

Posted by: Swan on September 28, 2007 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who's honest answer is "if x happens, we're definitely going back (regardless of any other considerations)" is an idiot.

If people really want that kind of an answer, it's because they've been hypnotized into wanting to hear nonsense answers.

Posted by: Swan on September 28, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Committing genocide requires the ability to systematically kill the targeted group with the intention of destroying it completely. Iraq's Shiites do not have the capability, nor has there been any communication that they intend to do such a thing. The whole discussion of genocide by Shiites of Sunnis is a propaganda theme to please Saudis and Israelis, and a ploy to whip up domestic fearful support for killing Iranian Shiites. In Iraq, only the US has both the capability and the stated intentions of doing anything resembling genocide.

Posted by: Brojo on September 28, 2007 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think it's as black and white as you put it, Kevin. I agree with Boolaboola. Edward's response is both direct and fairly comprehensive regarding potential contingencies. While the political forces you cite may be real, there is always the potential for change, and this is probably why Edwards has emerged, in my humble opinion, as the best presidential candidate I have seen in quite some time. One of his primary goals has obviously been to change the structure of rhetoric for the Dems, and I think this is a perfect example of exactly that. I just hope he continues to raise the bar.

Posted by: Conrad's Ghost on September 28, 2007 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Well, gee. If we're going to do hypotheticals, then let's go wild.

We'll provide the airlift and the logistics, and bring the Chinese in to do the boots on the ground thing. They have a big enough army to saturate the place and wouldn't have Rumsfield's tolerance for disorder and riot, so they might actually get the peacekeeping part right. Why would they do it? This would give them some chance at access at Iraq's oil, and possibly also some leverage with the grateful neighbors, their buddies in Iran, that might also help lock in some more low priced oil. That's the win for the Chinese, not to mention the step up to superpower status when they bail us out.

And why would we do it? Maybe then the Chinese would get bogged down.....

Posted by: lahke on September 28, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

The easiest answer is that Edwards, along with most Democratic front-runners, has no frigging clue what to do about Iraq, or most serious national security issues. There is no "national community" capable of dealing with things like this. There's just us.

Edwards knows damn well that he will be out of a job if he talks about anything resembling victory. He also knows damn well that the only alternative is withdrawal, that the area will go to hell now if we pull out, and that he can't say so (although he comes pretty close here).

And fortunately, he knows that he has a lot of friends, including Kevin, who will "interpret" what he says to make it into something coherent.

Posted by: harry on September 28, 2007 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Goes to show, Sunni Arabs are about as least loved as any group has ever been. It seems to be an ethnic/religious grouping that many people would just as soon be wiped out.

You would think that they would get the hint and stop promulgating psychotic Islamic preachers.

Posted by: Matt on September 28, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Nobody knows how much more wreckage Bush will create between now and Jan 2009. So there are a lot of unknowns.

If I were running for President now (and I'm not, not even with matching funds), my intention would be on Day One to announce a withdrawal in roughly a year (pending plans drawn up by the Joint Chiefs), and simultaneously announce a regional conference on the future of Iraq -- *including* all the major players excluded heretofore (meaning France and Russia, who want more business opportunity there, Iran and Syria, neighbors who have some reason for wanting stability next door, Saudi Arabia, who wants to make sure the Sunni minority is protected, etc.).

As the new President, the only play you've got is to have say you're leaving and start some actual dialogue on what can be done to stabilize the region. And how you play your cards after that will depend on what sorts of reactions you get from home, and from the international community.

No matter what, it's going to be difficult and fraught with peril, but that's the fault of the guy who put us in that position.

So Edwards is more or less saying that -- he has no intention of the US policing a civil war on it's own, and he intends to get what he can internationally. And it's implied (I think) that if there's genocide, and the international community won't step in to help, it's not just on the US' shoulders.

It's going to take some subtlety, nuance, and the ability to deal with changing circumstance to navigate this fiasco. Nobody should have a black/white answer right now.

Posted by: zmulls on September 28, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Wondering about his answer to Russert's "gottcha" question really misses the point.

"Edwards said firmly that he would pull all combat troops out of Iraq and wouldn't continue combat missions there."

Real leadership is having the courage to say something "risky" (risky by the Clinton standard anyway). If somebody doesn't sound like a coward when answering question, they're less likely to be perceived as one.

Posted by: skip on September 28, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Edward's comments on Iraq are strong, consistent and make little sense. Edward's is for an embassy in Bahgdad but for no combat troops. Who is going to protect the embassy from mortar fire etc? Edwards holds genocide a possibility and that genocide has to be prevented but once US troops are out getting US troops back in is going to next to impossible. One of the points about being a little unclear on a total withdrawal is that if a residual force is there with a combat capablity then genocide can be addressed. I think Hilary has the best position on Iraq.

Posted by: zed on September 28, 2007 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

The easiest answer is that Edwards, along with most Democratic front-runners, has no frigging clue what to do about Iraq, or most serious national security issues.

Harry, it's the easiest answer because you didn't stop to think. The President of the United states--the strutting jackass who invented this war--has no frigging clue what to do about Iraq, or any serious national security issue. He's passing this bloodbath and its destabilizing consequences on to his successor. He admits as much, so it's time for you to consider acknowledging it as well.

What you're mocking is the Democrats trying to save what's left of our collective ass.

Posted by: Boolaboola on September 28, 2007 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

And why isn't anybody in the media suggesting that we intervene militarily in Myanmar....oh, that's right....they don't have any oil!

Aren't we supposed to be promoting and supporting democracy everyhwere? Funny how we're standing by and doing nothing while the junta is slaughtering monks....

Posted by: mfw13 on September 28, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

I like lahke's answer. Send in the Chinese!

Serious journalists need to give up on these out of context hypothetical questions and deal with what the candidates say, what the candidates have done. We'll decide from there.

Posted by: tomeck on September 28, 2007 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of flip-flops, egbert, how do you describe Bush's "We're winning, We're winning, Mission Accomplished! from pervious years with his current "We've regained the momentum and are now beating Al-Qaida." If we were winning, why did we have to turn things around?

Flip...

Posted by: tomeck on September 28, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK
So Kevin can understand subtlety in this regard

I see no evidence of understanding subtlety in Kevin's suggestion that Edwards' response was meant as a coded statement that the US troops would not go back in the event of genocide.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 28, 2007 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo: "Shiites will probably have to pound the shit out of the Sunnis to establish political control in Iraq..." and " The whole discussion of genocide by Shiites of Sunnis is a propaganda theme to please Saudis and Israelis"

I agree, except for the fact that I think Shiites will be unable to dominate the Sunnis militarily.
The Sunnis have had years of experience in the Iraqi army, have had access to weapons dumps left unprotected after the invasion, and will receive plenty of Saudi support after US withdrawal, if it's not happening already. The Saudis have already said publicly that they will not allow a Sunni genocide to take place. On the other side we have the Shia, basically a rag tag group with little training, who will certainly be supported by Iran. So a proxy war is in order unless the Iraqis themselves can come to some agreement before a US pullout. It seems to me that the only chance of success for Iraqis is to have a mediation process in place right now with mediators coming from either Saudi Arabia and Iran, or possibly some unaligned country outside the ME. The US should have no voice in the mediation or in whatever the outcome might be.
It's my view that the US is turning 'against' allowing eventual Shia dominance in Iraq, hence the extreme anti-Iran stance.

PS: This thread is about Edward's position on withdrawal. I don't trust any of the major Dem candidates to do what is best for Iraq, although Edwards is perhaps the best shot.

Posted by: nepeta on September 28, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK
The odds of getting the "international community" to send troops into Iraq to break up a Shia-Sunni war is exactly zero, and Edwards knows it perfectly well.

I disagree with this, although I can see why Kevin would think it a long shot. The chances are not zero.

In any case, we need to elect a talented President who can (and will) effectively involve the international community when it comes to problems like Iraq. Things change and opportunities present themselves. Edwards is correct to indicate that every effort possible to involve others should begin prior to withdrawal. In his comments above, cmdicely is also correct.

I consider all three top Democratic candidates, and probably Richardson as well, to have the talent and work ethic that Bush lacks. It was a huge mistake to reelect Bush and it would be a huge mistake to elect any of the current Republican candidates. We need a dynamic President who possesses skills and is free of the ethnocentrism exhibited by the Republicans. We’ve got a lot of image rehab to do.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on September 28, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK
Edward's comments on Iraq are strong, consistent and make little sense. Edward's is for an embassy in Bahgdad but for no combat troops.

He's for maintaining a force of about a brigade for securing the embassy and protecting humanitarian efforts, but not tasked with an offensive mission.

This is similar to (though less extensive than) Obama's call for a force to protect the embassy and US bases in Iraq, and in strong contrast to Clinton's policy to maintain a substantial force in Iraq tasked to offensive ("counterterrorism") operations.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 28, 2007 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Shiites will be unable to dominate the Sunnis militarily

Sadly nepeta, you are probably correct. I say sadly because historically the Shiites have not comitted the kinds of atrocities Sunnis have and I do not think they ever will. I think the US has sided with the Sunnis and wants a return of a Baathist/Sunni dictatorship. I would prefer a Shiite poitically dominated Iraq because they are the majority and the most disposed to democratic values, if Iran is any indication of their future behavior.

Posted by: Brojo on September 28, 2007 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

I think Russert's a bit late: we already have some "ethnic cleansing" going on. How many Iraqis need to die before they reach Tim Russert's idea of genocide?

Posted by: Ray Waldren on September 28, 2007 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Amazing new info at Juan Cole's site (at least for me), including a translation of the actual meeting that took place in 2003:

Bush-Aznar Transcript

"Bush-Aznar Transcript: The War Crime of the Century

I made two claims about the transcript published by El Pais of Bush's conversations with Spanish leader Jose Maria Aznar on 22 February, 2003, at Crawford, Texas.

The first is that the transcript shows that Bush intended to disregard a negative outcome in his quest for a UN Security Council resolution authorizing a war against Iraq. Bush wanted such a resolution. He expressed a willingness to use threats and economic coercion to secure it. But he makes it perfectly clear that he will not wait for the UNSC to act beyond mid-March. He also explicitly says that if any of the permanent members of the UNSC uses its veto, "we will go." That is, failure to secure the resolution would trigger the war.

Posted by: nepeta on September 28, 2007 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Well spoken by cmdicely! (and by John Edwards!)

Posted by: Detroit Dan on September 28, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Civil war does not equal genocide. What you'd probably see is sort intramural version of the Iraq-Iran war with the Sunni minority being backed by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni majority nations, Iran backing the Shia, and the Kurds mostly staying out of it but backed by the U.S. and other Western powers.

Posted by: JeffII on September 28, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

And it's implied (I think) that if there's genocide, and the international community won't step in to help, it's not just on the US' shoulders.

so some Americans may whine. So what? You've always had self-righteousness in scads... Your nation shat on us when we told you as loudly as we could how stupid your imperialistic venture was... This one's all yours.

And really I have no interest in our doing anything, anything at all that abets American empire (which isn't to say our government won't do this but not quite with the alacrity you've come to expect). You've shown yourselves to be corrupted by power (as would most any humans in your position and why concentrated power is almost always a bad thing for all involved).

Posted by: snicker-snack on September 28, 2007 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

PLEASE everyone, read the Juan Cole link I posted
at 4:56 PM. You won't believe it. You absolutely won't believe it...

Posted by: nepeta on September 28, 2007 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry to hijack the thread like this but I'm blown away that something like this should come out. A taste of the first few paragraphs of the transcript which was published two days ago in the Spanish newspaper, El Pais:

Transcript of Bush-Aznar Consultation in Crawford, February 22, 2003

President Bush. We are in favor of getting a second resolution in the Security Council and would want to do it quickly. We would want to announce it Monday or Tuesday [24 or 25 of February of 2003].

President Aznar: Better Tuesday, after the meeting of the Council of General Affairs of the European Union. It is important to maintain the momentum gained by the resolution at the summit of the European Union [in Brussels, Monday 17 of February]. We would prefer to wait until Tuesday.

Bush. It could be in the evening Monday, considering the time difference. In any case, the next week. We will see that the resolution is written so that it does not contain obligatory steps [for Iraq], that it does not mention the use of force, and that it states that Saddam Hussein has been unable to fulfill his obligations. That type of resolution can be voted for by many people. It would be something similar to the one passed regarding Kosovo [the 10th of June of 1999].

Aznar: Would it be presented to the Security Council before, and independently of, a parallel declaration?

Condoleezza Rice. In fact there would not be parallel declaration. We are thinking about as simple a resolution as possible, without many details regarding [Iraq’s] obligations--such that Saddam Hussein could use them as stages and consequently could neglect to fulfill them. We are speaking with Blix [head of the inspectors of the UN] and others of his team to get ideas that can serve to introduce the resolution.

Posted by: nepeta on September 28, 2007 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

He's for maintaining a force of about a brigade for securing the embassy and protecting humanitarian efforts, but not tasked with an offensive mission. Posted by: cmdicely

It is also about the same amount of force we had in Somalia, and we all no what that led to, and the war lords there weren't half as organized or half as well-supplied.

Posted by: JeffII on September 28, 2007 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Drum's statement that there is zero chance of any international military assistancein Iraq is simplistic and not helpful. Of course there is zero chance under the current catastrophe created by the Bush-Cheney criminal war of aggression followed by criminally incompetent occupation. But that does not mean the international community would be indefinitely unwilling to help end the catastrophe if U.S. leaders were to admit their egregious crimes and appeal for help with vigorous diplomatic efforts that would be inclusive of all nations in the region.

No one ever said the mess that Bush and Cheney have created would be easy to solve, but it is simply foolish to think the task is impossible which is what the zero-chance talk implies. The Iraq Study Group's report last year implicitly acknowledged that Bush had screwed things up big time, but recommended a diplomatic surge, if you will, as opposed to the incredibly stupid but predictable Bush military surge instead. The U.S. has much to offer in diplomatic negotiations so it is silly to think there is"zero-chance" of anything once serious diplomatic horsetrading begins.

The harsh reality today is that as long as Bush is President nothing is going to change in Iraq. He is too stupid and stubborn, as most war criminals are, and there are not enough Democrats or far-sighted Republicans in Congress to stop him. Once the Democrats occupy the Executive branch and have much larger majorities in Congress, then intelligent work to solve the problems in Iraq can begin. And the longer the Iraq stalemate drags on, the more likely it is that the Democrats will control the Executive and Congressional branches come January, 2009. That is when things will change for the better in Iraq.

Posted by: Bob C on September 28, 2007 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Of course the international community would be happy to move into Iraq to prevent genocide if we pull out. We just have to accept the reality that if the French, Germans, Russians, Chinese, and a multitude of others choose to move in to prevent genocide they do so with the intent of sharing in the exploitation of the trillions of dollars worth of oil unfortunately stored beneath the Iraqui sands. As long as we insist on the fallacious assumption that God mistakedly placed OUR oil under their desert, we're fucked.

Posted by: sparky on September 28, 2007 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

with the intent of sharing in the exploitation of the trillions of dollars worth of oil unfortunately stored beneath the Iraqui sands. As long as we insist on the fallacious assumption that God mistakedly placed OUR oil under their desert, we're fucked. Posted by: sparky

Oil is a commodity traded on the international market. It matters not one wit who owns the oil. It all finds its way to market. It's only of value to those who own and control it if it's sold. Hold it "hostage" for too long, and that will boomerang back on you.

Posted by: JeffII on September 28, 2007 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

To add to what JeffII said about -

"He's for maintaining a force of about a brigade for securing the embassy and protecting humanitarian efforts, but not tasked with an offensive mission. Posted by: cmdicely."

An excellent argument for total withdrawal is that a residual force of 50 or 60 thousand troops is of no real military value. I think 5,000 troops is less than useless but rather a military disaster waiting to happen.

Posted by: zed on September 28, 2007 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

"cmdicely thinks that what Edwards is really saying is that we need to change the current reality ..."

Not only do I agree completely with cmdicely on that specific instance, but the willingness to dismantle the ossified "conventional wisdom" framing of the issues is one of Edwards' very best features. From being the first to boycott Fox News, to referring to "the Surge" as "McCain's Escalation", to even disputing our actions as a holy "War on Terror", Edwards has shown he understands the need to oppose the Republican Marketing Machine on the level of language itself, so that other viewpoints can even begin to get a fair hearing in this country.

Posted by: a1 on September 28, 2007 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't be so all-fired sure that other nations wouldn't consider intervening to stay genocide in Iraq. With a new U.S. president who is intelligent, less rapacious, (and sane), the rest of the world might be anxious to help end the horrific occupation in Iraq.

At any rate, his proposal really undercuts the Republican spin about how we can't get out because genocide would be inevitable and nothing could stop it.

Posted by: Chrissy on September 28, 2007 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

Jumping in late, I second Chrissy. Like most Americans, I'm afraid, Kevin has no real appreciation of foreign sentiment toward American -- or the West's -- interests. Hell, the whole world's interests. Nobody's anxious to clean up the horrible mess the US has made in Iraq, and looks to want to spread to Iran. But there is tremendous residual respect for this country around the world, and when and if we have a new and respectable President (who will not be a Republican, that's a given), possibilities enlarge dramatically.

Posted by: DOW on September 28, 2007 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

What would happen is that Iran will take over - and I would add that the only thing that keep Iran at bay all this time was Saddam and threate of fake WMD.

The Bushies will ultimately lose this war, but Bushie and Cheney don't really care. It was about getting big oil to invest big time in the Bushies - no return invest need apply. It's Bushies little one-way loyality street - you have to be loyal to Bushie - but Bush will be damned if he loyal to anyone but himself. So Bushsie is pretending that the greedy Hydrocarbon Framework law is somehow workable but Iran is particularly anti-western contract in their policies - Big oil has been so screwed by the Bushies and the complete lack of competence that perhaps they think Bush want just step down without taming Iraq. But it ain't going to happen - even Hunt oil will be lucky to hang on to Krudish contracts.

I also don't think Iran is particulary wanted genocide. Bush would love to pretend things would be as bad as Vietnam - but I don't see it.

Letting Iran take over isn't a bad idea.

Posted by: Me_ again on September 28, 2007 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

er...Big oil has been so screwed by the Bushies and the complete lack of competence that perhaps they think Bush WON't simply just step down without taming Iraq. But it ain't going to happen - even Hunt oil will be lucky to hang on to Krudish contracts.

I also don't think Iran is particulary wanting genocide. Bush would love to pretend things would be as bad as Vietnam - but I don't see it.

Letting Iran take over isn't a bad idea.

And I might add, that frankly - taking out Saddam in the way the Bush did it - simply handed Iraq to Iran - and there is nothing Bush can do about it - even attacking Iran won't solve this mess. It will only make it worse and harder and harder for the US to do business in region.

Posted by: Me_again on September 28, 2007 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

In addition to helping to just end this cruel occupation what nation would want Iraqi refugees flowing in as the result of genocide? If the choice is between well reasoned planning and sending aid and/or troops to stop genocide versus accepting regugees the choice of aid and troops would probably trump accepting a refugee crisis.

Posted by: Chrissy on September 28, 2007 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

" taking out Saddam in the way the Bush did it - simply handed Iraq to Iran"

I don't think Iran is the least bit interested in taking over Iraq. Iran has enough problems on its plate and certainly doesn't want Iraq there too. Iran will be quite pleased if Iraq eventually becomes a Shiite state, and will help the Shiites to make that happen, but no way do they 'want' Iraq. Unfortunately, while the Bushies were talking about the 'axis of evil' they forgot about the 'Shia Crescent.' It's really hard for me to believe that a US administration could have foreign policy advisors that were just so damn shortsighted. Quite honestly, though, I'd be happy to see a Shia Crescent. Seems to me that a Sunni/Shia balance in the area might be stable. But that's just an uneducated guess on my part. But certainly the Iraqi Shia have karma on their side.

Posted by: nepeta on September 28, 2007 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

One more try. Please everyone, check out my link to Juan Cole's blockbuster news at nepeta 4:56 PM.

Posted by: nepeta on September 28, 2007 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

Republican candidates are all (except Ron Paul) saying we should try to 'win' the war.

Edwards is saying we have to remove all the combat troops.

Americans want out.

Hmmm, which candidate are they going to prefer?


John Edwards -- Leadership America is gonna love!

Posted by: MarkH on September 29, 2007 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

Also in comments, Catch22 says, "I think the most honest answer is that it would depend on a lot of things." That sounds about right.

That's another way of saying that Edwards would choose not to act in case of an Iraqi genocidal.

Edwards and cmdicely say that they favor a complex and unspecified policy to prevent genocide in advance, so that American troops can be withdrawn with no fear of a genocidal war of large scale breaking out. However, the only thing under the control of the U.S. is the American deployment. Once the U.S. soldiers are withdrawn they will not be sent back, so the best thing to do is ... .

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on September 29, 2007 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

I feel for everyone who has tried to think there way out of this one. The truth is that our options are all varying shades of lousy. As predicted by the Bush 41ers, pulling the plug on Saddam created an aggressive regional vacuum, a cancer. To mix metaphors again, an intended controlled fire quickly moved beyond control. Ultimately, it will play itself out, but until it does, no one can know where the chaos will lead. Winning the war won't happen- the best we can hope for is an unsatisfying stalemate. There will be stepped-up ethnic cleansing after our departure. My sense is that accelerated stair-stepped withdrawal is the best short-term fix for us, recognizing that there are no long-run assurances that it will work out for anyone else. I feel John's pain. It's a lousy situation. (And I agree that an international security force is a huge pipedream- except for Iran, who's going to jump in?)

Posted by: kreiz on September 29, 2007 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

I'd say the odds of the international community sending combat troops to Iraq is virtually zero no matter what Edwards or any other president does. It's just not gonna happen.

You underestimate both the international community's loathing for Bush and anything that would have the appearance of helping him and their level of interest in showing support for and cooperation with "any other president" that doesn't think taking a dump in the international punchbowl is high times.

Posted by: Thumb on September 29, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Americans won't support leaving Iraq when we're winning a decisive victory over Al Qaeda.

Patraeus told Biden to expect between 60 - 90 hostile American casualties a month through next March. The run rate for September is under 40 for a 35% improvement and for the last half of September it's under 20 for a 68% improvement. Civilain casualties are down 50% in September and consistent with urban homicide rates in urban USA.

Harry Reid is entitled to his opinion but not his own facts. The above news is why 2,200 Marines have already boarded Navy ships and left Iraq. The drawdown has begun.

Posted by: rdw on September 29, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Winning the war won't happen

We are winning, right now.

Al Qaeda is losing decisively. Sadr surrendered a month ago and Al Douri is looking for a deal. Maliki is holding all of the aces. Oil Revenues we're nearly $8B in July and August and will approach $20B the remainer of the year. The tribal leaders are throwing in with Maliki for very obvious reasons. This isn't rocket science. Patraeus is playing a brilliant hand.

Posted by: rdw on September 29, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK
Edwards and cmdicely say that they favor a complex and unspecified policy to prevent genocide in advance...

The policy may or may not turn out to be complex and of course it cannot be specified in great detail right now. But contrast the following scenarios:

1. The United States continues to follow the Bush doctrine of indefinite occupation. The certainties of this scenario are that it will be very expensive, bloody, long lasting, and that the United States will continue to foot the bill in terms of lives and money, as well as a tremendous amount of ill-will and resentment from most of the world.
2. The United States leaves, voluntarily or involuntarily, without having prepared very well in advance for contingencies like genocide in conjunction with the relevant international players. The certainties of this scenario may be the same as for scenario one above.
3. The United States leaves in the wake of an effective effort to build international cooperation and consensus for various contingencies. The certainties of this scenario are that we will no longer be a lone cowboy, the lone underwriter, and the chances of avoiding disaster increase.

The world has repudiated the Bush Doctrine. If we do the same, and elect a talented non-ideologue as President, things have a chance of getting better.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on September 29, 2007 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Civilain casualties are down 50% in September

"In order to save the village we had to destroy it."

"Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it."

Posted by: Thumb on September 29, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

[banned commenter]

Posted by: rdw on September 29, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

"Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it."

[Yet you persistently post, even though you know full well your bleating will be deleted.]

Posted by: rdw on September 29, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

[Banned for trolling]

Posted by: rdw on September 29, 2007 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK
… so the best thing to do is ... . MatthewRmarler at 2:16 AM
Send in the Fighting 101st including you.
Americans won't support leaving Iraq when we're winning a decisive victory over Al Qaeda….rdw at 1:24 PM
Real Americans, not from the fantasy world in your head, beg to disagree.
We are winning, right now... rdw at 1:42 PM
Where is this fantasyland Iraq only you can see? There are over 4,000,000 Iraqi refugees who would agree that you are a mental case. Posted by: Mike on September 29, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: The run rate for September is under 40 for a 35% improvement and for the last half of September it's under 20 for a 68% improvement.

let's review the improvement....

USA deaths in Iraq 2004: 851

USA deaths in Iraq 2005: 846

USA deaths in Iraq 2006: 822

USA deaths in Iraq 2007: 798 (thru Sept.)

(source icasualties.org 9/29/07)

rdw...i thought we already turned the corner 2-years ago and that al quida was already in their last throes...

Posted by: mr. irony on September 29, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Mr Irony,

Unfortunately you thought wrong. You can keep living in the past like Harry Reid and look just as foolish or you can live in today's real world.

I quoted you facts from the identical source. The fact is General David Patraeus is delivering very significant progress and all efforts by liberals to surrender as soon as possible are officially off the table. Harry surrendered the Friday before labor day weekend and from what I am reading every presidential candidate above 5% in the polls has also surrendered.

The cut and run crowd has lost decisively. Say what you will about chimpy but history will record the fact he is a gifted politician. Consider the election results, the Iraq Study group, his lame duck status, and the raw power of the far left. Be honest, you were certain we'd be pulling out. What does chimpy do? He INCREASES the troop count by 30,000 and makes it stick. He gets the military every dime requested.

Here's a question for you Mr Irony. Say you are the Senate Majority leader and it's just before the Thanksgiving break. General David Patraeus, or Dr David Patraeus, has delivered a 75% drop in civilian and military casualties in three months and brought home 10,000 US Troops. Mitch McConnell offers a resolution praising the esteemed General.

Do you support it?

Posted by: rdw on September 29, 2007 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Real Americans, not from the fantasy world in your head

Interesting poll and it gets to the brilliance of Patraeus. The MSM has done a terrific job of promoting their anti-war and anti-bush view. It's been very effective. Yet not effective enough to stop Bush. He's running the war and Harry Reid has zero influence. These polls are mere noise. They are utterly meaningless.

The poll dates were as of Sept 11-14 when August data was the most recent and not quite as bullish. The positive trends were in place however which is why Harry surrendered so early. The positive trends have accelerated. The MSM can only hide the fact so long.

Interestingly Patraeus ISN'T promoting them. He's focused on keeping the prressure on through March. He was brilliant in lowering expectations. When it's clear he beat the best expectations in Sept by 35% and might beat by 70% in October he'll be the most famous American General since Ike. Even without Fox running specials.

It's to the good Generals advantage to let the extraordinary news leak out slowly. Let Harry Reid try to surrender a few more times and become the Neville Chamberlain of the 21st Century.

Posted by: rdw on September 29, 2007 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

Here's an example of rdw's legendary analysis on Iraq:

Iraq is well in it's way to becoming a prosperous and strong democracy. Their military has made tremendous progress the last year and will by the end of 2006 crush the insurgency. Today showed the total lack of popular suppport for them.

They will make more noise but influence nothing.

Posted by: rdw on December 15, 2005 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Bwa hahahaha!

A tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing.

Posted by: trex on September 29, 2007 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

A tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing.

Or rather a script delivered by a shill, signifying the Republican Wingnut Welfare system is still alive and well.

Posted by: Thumb on September 29, 2007 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

I think there's something people are missing, he's making a veiled threat to Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran. He's telling them, "when we pull out, and there's a civil war it's not going to be contained within Iraq. And you're on your own."

The biggest losers of a failed Iraq (Somalia like failed) are their neighbors - not the US.

Posted by: Dervin on September 29, 2007 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone in history ever actually intervened and succesfully "stopped a genocide" that had already started?

I mean, it's a kind of weird assumption that everyone seems to make about WW2, but it never made any sense to me. It seems to me like the Nazi party was actually pretty much succesful at its goal of destroying European Jewry, despite the fact that the Allies were fighting a war on Germany (in fact most of the killing occured after the war got under way). That's not to say that fighting WW2 was wrong or unneccesary, just to say that it is a gross mischaracterization of what happened to imply that we "saved" very many Jews through our war effort. I think that people often make this gross misjudgment of that history, because it is too horrible to consider the true fact which is that, although Hitler lost the war against the Allies, he certainly did succeed in his mission of destroying European Jewry. The same can be said of the Armenian genocide, which occured in the context of World War One. Are there Armenians in Turkey today in any significant number? That's all you need to know about whether that genocide was a success.

Wars have certainly been fought that rightfully PUNISHED the perpetrators of a genocide, but that is a very different matter than actually PREVENTING the genocide from happening in the first place. Confusing the two goals is just going to give people unrealistic ideas of what military force can accomplish. What would have really happened in Rwanda if a military option had been pursued in May or June of 1994 (the earliest possible date, from a purely logistical standpoint)? Would some lives have been saved? Probably. Would the genocide have been "prevented"? No. The Hutus would still have suceeded in killing a very large percentage of the Tutsis in Rwanda.

None of this is to say that intervention is not sometimes justified. But just because we might rightfully feel some guilt for not "doing something" about genocide in various areas of the world, this doesn't mean that we should fall into the opposite trap of believing in our own omnipotence and invincibility. If one group of people runs a country and really gets it into their head that they want to kill another group in that country, that acute murderous dynamic is not going to be easy to stop. Time is against the intervenors, and even assuming that the military battle is won quickly, this does not mean that the genocidaires would not still have the ability to terrorize their victims in the chaos. The SS continued killing even after the Eastern front had destroyed the Wehrmacht, even when German troops were in full retreat. Every indication is that the Interahamwe would have done likewise. In fact, they continued to kill even in the refugee camps in the DR Congo, long after the RPF had taken Kigali.

Where does the notion that the US troops prevent a 'genocide' in Iraq come from to begin with? What have we been able to stop from happening in Iraq so far? If anything has stopped a genocide, it is the fact that the two main antagonists in Iraq are fairly equally matched in terms of their firepower. It is the Badr Corps and the other Shia militia groups which have done the bulk of the dirty work of pushing the Baathists out of their neighborhoods, of standing up and fighting. And vice-versa. How is this scenario going to morph into a "genocide" any worse than what is already going on? You can't have a true Rwanda-like genocide unless you have a well-armed group facing a helpless, unarmed group. The rarity of this situation explains the relative rarity of true Rwanda-type genocides in recent history. Iraq is certainly not going to be in that type of situation anytime soon. Niether Shia nor Sunni are lacking in weapons or soldiers. Instead, what is far more likely is continued low level violence, followed perhaps by a true set-piece civil war, which is of course a very different creature than a "genocide". While intervention to stop a "genocide" might sometimes be justifiable, military intervention to "stop" a set-piece civil war between two armed and well-matched foes is just plain crazy. It makes no more sense than if the US were to try to parachute in between the trenches on the Somme and stop WW1.

Posted by: kokblok on September 30, 2007 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: I quoted you facts from the identical source.

USA deaths in Iraq 2004: 851

USA deaths in Iraq 2005: 846

USA deaths in Iraq 2006: 822

USA deaths in Iraq 2007: 800 (as of 9/29/07..with 3-months to go)

(source icasualties.org)


rdw: The cut and run crowd has lost decisively.

Favorable: Dems = 50% - Gop = 44% - Fox News 9/26/07

Party Favorability: DEMS 53% - GOP 38% - Gallup 9/17/07

More than six in 10 said the Iraq war is not worth fighting. - Wash. Post/ABC poll 9/8/07

3 in 10 Americans “believe that the U.S. and its allies are winning the war on terrorism.” - CNN poll 9/11/07

rdw...do you know what decisively means?

rdw: What does chimpy do? He INCREASES the troop count by 30,000 and makes it stick. He gets the military

so much for last throes and having turned the corner...huh...

lying then?

lying now...hmmm..

"Sending more Americans would undermine our strategy of encouraging Iraqis to take the lead in this fight." - President Bush 6/28/05

rdw: Do you support it?

Petraeus is “an ass-kissing little chickensh*t." - CENTCOM Commander Adm. William Fallon - Inter-Press Service March-2007

meanwhile, those new sunni buddies of the president?

92% of Sunni's call violence against U.S. forces acceptable - ABC News/BBC/NHK poll in Iraq Sept-2007

gwb sure can pick em, huh....

Posted by: mr. irony on September 30, 2007 at 5:56 AM | PERMALINK

kokblok: Has anyone in history ever actually intervened and succesfully "stopped a genocide" that had already started?


good question...sort of related...

“I don’t think you invade Iraq to bring liberty." - Def. Sec. Robert Gates 9/18/07

Posted by: mr. irony on September 30, 2007 at 5:59 AM | PERMALINK

/

Posted by: rdw on September 30, 2007 at 8:02 AM | PERMALINK

/

Posted by: rdw on September 30, 2007 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

/

Posted by: rdw on September 30, 2007 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

rdw--
You're exactly right. We can't "win". In fact, in this particular shit-storm, exactly NOBODY wins. Not the pro-war people, not the anti-war people, not our military, and most importantly, definately not the Iraqis. Actually, there is one group which does win. The winners are the Iranians.

What makes your analysis somewhat meaningless is that you never refer to anything actually occuring on the ground in Iraq. You never refer to how Iraqis actually view what we have done to their country. You're more interested in some short term idea of what such and such
person says about our own military. It doesn't fucking matter. The disaster has already occured. The mission was idiotic from the start. I'll say that to a man in uniform as quickly as I will to a man in sweatpants blogging at midnight. Soldiers don't need to have their hands held. This mission is the greatest strategic failure the US has ever embarked upon. It is also a moral travesty. We'll be having to answer for it for the rest of our lives. That pisses me off. I don't want to be like a whiny apologetic German any more than you do. But you better get used to it, because that's what our future is. We will have to take our lumps. There's no way around that.

Of course things will eventually get better in Iraq, at some distant point in the future. They could hardly get worse. But that won't change a godamned thing. That won't change the fact that Iraq would have definitely been better off if we hadn't invaded in 2003. Look at the constant death, the horror show that is daily life in Iraq. Tell me with a straight face that anything near that scale of horror was occuring in Iraq in 2003. That's the only thing that matters. That holds true even if the level of violence were to go down 35% or 50% from its peak. It's still much worse than what it was before we got there and Iraq would still be the most violent and worse place to live on earth, followed closely by Burma and North Korea.

I am unlike many liberals in that I care less about what we do now than that we accept our guilt--publicly and loudly--- for starting this mess. What we can do now is limited to a number of really bad options with totally uncertain results. Maybe it is better to stay in, maybe better to pull out. I don't think anyone can convice me either way. No one knows what will happen either way. That's how bad it is. That's why the people who want to pull out can't win the argument. Of course, you can't win your side of the argument, either. It's obvious you have your basic statistics wrong, for one thing. Another thing is that you cannot identify the actual causal mechanism by which our presence is preventing ethnic violence in Iraq, which now seems to be the last thin reed our presence in Iraq is being justified on. I don't believe for sure that that mechanism exists. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't--niether of us know so let's just cut the bullshit. I do know that, even with our troops present, Iraq is still the most violent place to live on earth. How do you get worse than that? Again, anything is possible, but history suggests that situations worse than Iraq, circa 2007 are actually fairly rare. Yes, they happen, but not nearly as often as we might think.

In the end, if I had to take the vote, I would favor pulling out. I certainly wouldn't do so with the smug self-righteousness you seem to ascribe to anyone who disagrees with you. I would cast that vote with the same sense of dread I have felt throughout this whole disaster, with the scary feeling of rooting around in the dark and bumping into things.

Posted by: kokblok on September 30, 2007 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

rdw--

So now the whole goal of the war was to eliminate Saddam Hussein? That's funny, because according to recently released transcripts of pre-war conversations between Spanish Preznit Aznar and Bush, that goal could have been accomplished without this war. I mean, if that's really all it was about. Google it yourself.

Of course, if the real goal was to bring joy to the heart of the ayatollah in Iran by watching a Shia mob basically tear apart Hussein, then I say, yes, mission accomplished! Great job there, chaps!

Posted by: kokblok on September 30, 2007 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: But that explains Monica and his failed Presidency.


fewer americans died by terror under clinton..

bush fixed that...


rdw: He allows you to chase your own tail. Leave aside the obvious fact that if Fallon actually believed this he'd never say it.

denial isn't a weapon...

denial is a disease...


USA deaths in Iraq 2006: 822

USA deaths in Iraq 2007: 800 (as of 9/29/07..with 3-months to go)

(source icasualties.org)

victory is soooo close....just one more ..

just one more...


Posted by: mr. irony on September 30, 2007 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK


"Absolutely, we're winning." - G. Bush 10/25/06

"We're not winning, we're not losing." - G. Bush 12/19/06

rdw: We are winning, right now.

lying then?

lying now?

so hard to choose...

why not both?

Posted by: mr. irony on September 30, 2007 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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