Powered by TypePad

« Don't Know Much About History... | Main | Dana Milbank Gets Results »

June 17, 2005


creepy dude

A serious inquiry re: "we can win this":

For the U.S.-what will victory look like? What are the markers for determining when we have "won"?

Appalled Moderate


Good question. I think the answer is that we will know it when we see it. Though I bet Cecil probably has a better answer to this one.

Lurking Observer

In 1945, the US became embroiled in the Cold War.

A war against an ideology.

How in the world were we to tell what victory would look like, 60 years ago? Have we achieved it yet, even now?

Was it worth fighting?

creepy dude

Wasn't Vietnam part of the whole Cold War thingy? So we lost(?) in Vietnam but won the larger Cold War.

Perhaps we could "lose" in Iraq but by 2065 have won the war on terror.

But I'm asking about Iraq LO. If people are scrambling to get on the last helicopter out of the Green Zone before complete U.S. troop withdrawal, I'll view that as a loss.

So I'll repeat the question: What would a victory look like.


I don't see a contradiction in saying there's a quagmire and we can win it. I believe both are true.

But the longer the quagmire continues and the more fed up with the war Americans become the less likely a win is.


What are the odds of success? How have they changed over the course of the past two years?


And if we don't win, its the left's fault right? Or the liberal media for conspiring with the left to disaffect Americans?


Odds against: 179:1 .
The point too few American liberals seem to grasp is how high the price will be if it does fail. It is a point, unfortunately, that also eludes most of America's allies. Does it also elude Rumsfeld? If "10-30-30" are the numbers that concern him, I begin to fear that it does. The numbers that matter right now are 179 to 1. That is not only the ratio of Iraqis to American. It is starting to look alarmingly like the odds against American success.

Sounds about right to me.



Re: the 179:1 odds - do you contend that every Iraqi is an American enemy?

My only concern with the winning of this extended battle, Iraq, is that the next president won't have the cojones or the political will to finish it correctly. I'd be willing to bet that the new government of Iraq has the same concern and knows that its future may depend on its success in putting in place and maintaining a valid constitution and getting its own handle on those who want to prevent that vital step.

Please, Democrats in the group, if you chance to end up in the White House next time, please don't abandon these people to a fate the great majority of them don't want.



"So I'll repeat the question: What would a victory look like."

A Bush in the White House for the entire century! Lessee now. G. W. Bush from 2001-2008. Jeb as VP from 2009-2016, then as President from 2017-2024. Then we might get one of the Bush kids, there are at least 4, in as VP for 8 years, then President for 8 years. And so on. And so on.

Why we could have a Bush in the White House for the entire century! Now isn't that nice!

The definition of victory is: a prosperous stable democratic nation of Iraq. Something that can definitely be achieved, and frankly will be.

But you go on ahead with the doom and gloom.

creepy dude

ed-I salute you sir as the only person who answered my question. The fact that people would rather hammer Durbin than talk about this topic speaks volumes.

I hope you are right-about Iraq-not about the Bushes.

Patrick R. Sullivan

We've already won in Iraq. The question is, do the Iraqis have what it takes to hold on to that victory?



"We've already won in Iraq. The question is, do the Iraqis have what it takes to hold on to that victory?"

That really is the question which won't be answered until late this year. I figure the troops will start a general pullout by the end of the year with a continuous reduction in force taking about 2 years total before final pullout. Probably there will be trainers and advisors there for the next decade or so, in non-combat positions.

It really depends on how much the Iraqis want freedom and are willing to combat terrorism. It also depends heavily on whether or not the Iraqi people can crush the single most oppressive and damaging force in the middle east.


Frankly corruption is a far greater danger to an Iraqi democracy than any insurgency. I'm pretty sure the Iraqi people can defeat terrorism. But whether or not they can defeat corruption is another matter entirely. A prime example is the Phillipines, which has had democracy for many years now. But the endemic corruption has rotted that democracy out like a rotten tree trunk. There's almost nothing left and it's extremely likely that a charismatic leader could implement a dictatorship or monarchy if he's able to provide long-term stability and prosperity. Something that Arroyo is incapable of.

We'll see I guess.


Jamie -- those crazy lefties @ Hoover. God damn them andn their pontificating. If you read the column, you'd basicalyl get the point.

Another crazy leftie

Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel is angry. He's upset about the more than 1,700 U.S. soldiers killed and nearly 13,000 wounded in Iraq. He's also aggravated by the continued string of sunny assessments from the Bush administration, such as Vice President Dick Cheney's recent remark that the insurgency is in its "last throes." "Things aren't getting better; they're getting worse. The White House is completely disconnected from reality," Hagel tells U.S. News. "It's like they're just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we're losing in Iraq."

(from atrios)

I assume, by definition, no longer a republican, because he disagrees with the president.

I assume, "last throes" has some other meaning in old-english or perhaps in the midwest that I am not aware of. Paging Clinton-language Linguists, TM?, Ed?,

Whoever was arguing about "fix" in that other memo, perhaps we can come up with some better meaning for "last trhoes". Surely Cheney, would not repeat the same thing, over and overa gain to us. Surely not. Especially not with the language parsers we have on the right. Who would eat him up on grammar right?

creepy dude

Here's a marker for future updates from today's NYT:

“I think the drawdown will occur next year, whether the Iraqi security forces are ready or not,” a senior Marine officer in Washington said last week. “Look for covering phrases like ‘We need to start letting the Iraqis stand on their own feet, and that isn’t going to happen until we start drawing down’. “

So be on the lookout.


It's unclear to me what Hagel means by "losing the war." Although it's unclear to me what Hagel means by a number of statements he's made over the years. It's not a question of Republican loyalty or independence; it's a question of just making, well, silly statements. And not just ones against the Party line.

Anyway, if by "losing the war" he means the ability of the Iraqi people to take control of the country by themselves with the US providing marginal or auxiliary assistance, I think he's right. For the current moment.

But if he means by "losing the war" that the insurgents/terrorists will be able to defeat the US militarily or will be able to persuade the mass of Iraqi people on to their side, I think he's got very little evidence of that.

It seems to me that blowing up suicide carbombs and killing large numbers of Iraqi civilians does not constitute for the terrorists any type of military victory. But it may be a political one in the larger sense of that word. It's rather clear that their goals are to "Lebanonize" Iraq and/or to create some sort of civil strife among the various religious and ethnic groups. The latter doesn't seem to be happening; but the former sure looks good.

So, again if the definition of "losing the war" is preventing the terrorists from achieving their goals as loosely defined above, I still can't see where Hagel is accurate in his statement.

Great patriot, the man is. Lousy Senator. Goofy statesman.


The comments to this entry are closed.