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October 23, 2006



Luck has nothing to do with it.

If we get paid to talk it up, we'll talk it up. If not, at most you'll have to deal with the second-stringer dolts that were infesting the place over the past couple of days while we paid shillers were enjoying some time off -- those Lefties are cheap and unwilling to pay the mandated union overtime for weekend work.


you sound discouraged in your assessment of the new strategies put to use in the Iraq war. I'm sure there is a lot happening behind the scenes that we are unaware of militarily. I put my faith in this administration's fight on the war on terror.The generals and soldiers have taken the pulse of the insurgency and are adapting daily to new terrorist tactics. Now we need to have a little faith and hope in the midterm elections as well as the soldiers in training in Iraq.


What do you want them to say?

I imagine there are some conversations behind closed doors with Maliki. I don't expect to be told about them, though.

hit and run

SunnyDay: I imagine there are some conversations behind closed doors with Maliki. I don't expect to be told about them, though.

Well, if they reflect positive developments, you are probably correct. However, any part of the talks that would reflect badly on the administration or Bush specifically you probably can expect to be told about.

And then in a year or so, perhaps Calame will apologize for the NY Times having published it.


I would expect the NYT to publish all the bad news it is fit to print and to make up bad news if need be. A drop from 450 papers to 50 is huge. NYT is in its death throes and needs some big money bags to bail it out. Unfortunately that person is going to be some leftist communist with deep pockets.


Actually, I think this is a little Rovian plot. A great deal of the pessimism about the war, actually comes from those who support it but feel we are not doing enough to win it. By keeping vague a hint of a shift, the notion is those folks will "stay the course"--that is come out to vote for the Reps.
By letting Baker come out and hint of a pull out, the dance works for those who want out faster.

I'm with Brit--Rumsfeld won't go after the election and there will not be a big change.
(Although I wouldn't mind cutting out the entire Near East Asian desk of the DoS, and telling Maliki if he won't reign in Sadr we will, and if he doesn't like it, let them ask us to leave them to the mercy of their enemies.


The greater problem lies with our press than with our government. I wrote an editorial about Calame's confession and showed it to our editor. He looked for Calame's original piece, expecting front page big news in the Times and, finding it buried, wondered if this wasn't some piece of arcane newsiana of no interest to our readers.

I said that precisely because it was buried it was significant. If the Times and other MSM don't know what journalism is about, they deserve to be exposed. Journalists are responsible for three things:
1) To help improve the accuracy of our mental maps of reality.
2) To challenge bad premises and weak logic where found.
3) To identify and label threats to society (all society, not just our particular culture and nation) to help us marshal resolve to persist where necessary.

Independent of rhetorical changes by the administration, today's vapid press can undermine our clarity of thought and our resolve to persist. That was less true when George Washington urged us to persevere at a time letters were more important than newspapers.

American impatience is sometimes an asset -- as when, perhaps, it sparked the invention of sliced bread. But today impatience is often a liability fed by our press. Do not encourage it by focusing on changes in rhetorical presentation when the war we are fighting is the same war to be won yesterday, today, and tomorrow.


Quite brilliant, sbw.


H&R - so true.

sbw - you too.


It is certainly true that the military tactics have changed several times over the course of the occupation. The administration is simply trying to differentiate between "staying the course" strategically (i.e., finishing the job in Iraq) and "staying the course tactically" (i.e., sticking with unsuccessful tactics).

I don't see it as a rhetorical shift as much as a response to semantic attacks.


Me, too.


Send in the grey mail team!


TM...very nice working in the golf metaphor

play the course, one shot at a time

that's what I used to tell my students

Some Guy

Hotline's Last Call quips "It's not a timetable, it's a freedom calendar."

Gotta admit it is a pretty good line.


that's what I used to tell my students

If people didn't already hate you, they more than likely do now. Let's recap...you live in paradise...now you tell us you play (teach) golf for a living. ::grin::


"With any luck, this rhetorical shift will be ignored rather than mocked and derided."

Why should anyone mock and deride a statement of fact? Bush and Co have gone through several attempts of helping Iraqis help themselves. Early Iraqi troops ran away from fights, a Saddamite general was put in charge of Fullujah for a time, US troops have done clears, clear and holds and now there's talk of clear, hold and build.

The glib line about play the course using all the clubs in the bag is actually quite appropriate. Do you think we'd be better off using just one club in Iraq?


Some serious bouts of rationalization going on here. On one hand you have people deriding the way the press describes the situation and on the other you have people discounting the rhetoric of the current administration as mere semantics. Either the way something is talked about matters or it doesn't, and if context actually does matter here then I think what the president says has a lot more effect than any one publication.

Florence Schmieg

How many other wars were being run on cable news 24/7? This leads to ridiculous second guessing and backseat driving. Wonder how WWII would have been conducted in such an environment?


I shudder to think,Florence..


When was the last time Bush actually said, "Stay the course"?


This leads to ridiculous second guessing and backseat driving.

It's not backseat driving if the majority agrees with the direction.

When was the last time Bush actually said, "Stay the course"?

Does the frequency really matter?


Does the frequency really matter?

I'm just trying to figure out when this rhetorical shift, which is apparently very big news today (it's on CNN!) actually took place.


Clarice and SunnyDay - Thnx.

Eric: Either the way something is talked about matters or it doesn't

Don't miss a subtle difference. Thinking is "slippery." Conversations are slippery. By slippery I mean it's easy to shift up or down a level. For example, when your wife says, "You snore!" and you reply, "A you ever do is complain!" there are really two separate and distinct conversations that need to be recognized and differentiated -- which is a skill not usually taught in school and one not practiced in the press.

Journalistic obtuseness allows candidate debates to occur and the follow-up discussion to omit discussion of substantive differences and dwell entirely on who "won." For that reason discerning audiences should hurl whenever a pundit resorts to the word "momentum."

If journalists are not careful "Stay the course" or even "Mission accomplished" can quickly deteriorate into navel contemplation and miss other useful understandings.


****"A you ever do is complain!" s/b "All you ever do is complain!"****


Hey maybee-that would be less than two weeks ago:

"Stay the course also means don't leave before the job is done. And that's -- we're going to get the job done in Iraq. And it's important that we do get the job done in Iraq."
Press Conference by the President
October 11, 2006


The new phrase is to stay, or not stay Maliki.

They've already said they're giving him 2 months to get it together or they'll replace him.

This regime change is hard work!

Barney Frank

It IS a semantics issue, and one that Bartlett created by his careless use of the term 'strategy'.

He first states there has never been a stay the course strategy and in the next sentence states that strategically we will stay the course. A couple of sentences later he states that our tactics are changing weekly.
Evidently he has no concept of the difference between strategy and tactics.
Whose bright idea it was to have someone who knows apparently absolutely nothing of military terminology, let alone common english, comment on the war is beyond me.

What this administration could have accomplished with even half way competent communications will forever remain a mystery.

Miracle Max

"fluidity and adaptability"

That's what they're calling it now? It used to be "advancing to the rear."


This is so nitpicky it is absurd.

Can you imagine FDR having to argue semantics while fighting the Japanese Empire and the Nazis?

There is a lot going on in Iraq all the time. Needless to say we will change tactics from time to time.

The country needs so much in terms of its infrustructure, schools, hospitals, roads, electricity, water and sewage systems are among the day to day concerns.

There is the job of building political parties and alliances as well as creating a whole political class.

Add to that the day to security issues that are exacerbated by foreign intereference from bad neighbors as well old rivalries and tensions. Obviously, there will not be changes in tactics and even goals to some extent.

I honeslty do not know what people expect.

And we could not fight WW2 today nor could we rebuild Europe today.

Too many whiners and too many mouthy media people who have no practical experience in anything constantly finding fault with everyone else.


Can you imagine FDR having to argue semantics while fighting the Japanese Empire and the Nazis?

Three and a half years after Pearl Harbor Hitler was dead and Japan was beaten down in the Pacific. What does Bush have to show for the same time period?

If journalists are not careful "Stay the course" or even "Mission accomplished" can quickly deteriorate into navel contemplation and miss other useful understandings.

Don't fall into the role of blaming the media for any negative light falling on the Bush Administration. The administration and its constituents' binary rhetoric has never left any room for "other useful understandings" and it's the height of historical revisionism and naivete to suggest that the delivery of this rhetoric had any subtlety associated or that its proponents left any room for flexibility.


Three and a half years after Pearl Harbor Hitler was dead and Japan was beaten down in the Pacific. What does Bush have to show for the same time period?

I suppose if we started firebombing Bagdhad, the insurgency might be beaten down more quickly.



Like hell I will not blame the media.I see and hear this dishonest self serving crap every day. And now CNN is pandering to the enemy again, by running propaganda for them with the filming of a shooting of an American by a big bad brave terrorist or some such nonsense.

When Doolittle lead the bombing campaign against Tokyo months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor he made it plain to his men that civilians would be killed and he gave them the oppurtunity to decline the mission.

None of them declined and Doolittle was seen as a hero for taking the fight to the enemy in a way they would never forget. Today the left would call him a war criminal. No such victory would be allowed.

Let's just imagine what would happen to MacAurthur today when he left thousands of Americans to die in the Phillipines. We hear about how Rumsfeld does not care about the troops because the DoD is slow to uparmor humvees, imagine the response to the death march today. We can not even conceive of it.

So like I said can you imagine FDR defending this kind of policy today while snarky lttle people heckled him about semantics?


BTW, It took many years for the Japanese to assume control of their government and we still have a base there.


Don't you get the feeling that whatever they say, whatever position the Administration presents... is just another lie, another way of misleading the public?

Bush has quite clearly said that he wouldn't leave Iraq if only Laura and Barney are with him... everything else, any other description or "position" is a misleading lie they hope the public will swallow.

There's a reason the public very much dislikes the President and the Congressional leadership and this is it.

Sara (Squiggler)

I am shocked that TM, of all people, is so confused. I thought those with half a brain and Tom certainly has a full brain, know that "stay the course" means and has always meant not pulling a Vietnam and "cutting out" before the job is done. It never had anything to do with TACTICS. There is a far different meaning, militarily, between strategy and tactics. I expect Dems and nutrooty tooties to confuse and conflate, but TM, I'm surprised that you seem to as well.

Where the idea ever came from that "stay the course" meant never changing tactics or making adjustments to the situation on the ground is beyond me. Well no, not really, it came out the mouths of the likes of John Kerry, Jack Murtha and Nancy Pelosi, whose combined IQ wouldn't equal the cost of a candy bar.

Sara (Squiggler)

Of course, it is clear to me because unlike the Democrats, I do not want to elect the al-Qaeda party to run the House and Senate.

Sara (Squiggler)

Eric, would you like to compare the casualty figures for that same 3 year period? Or perhaps you think we should end the whole thing by dropping a couple of A-bombs on the Middle East? Or how about a D-Day invasion where how many died in a single hour? You aren't talking to your buddy Kos Kiddies with no knowledge of history other than what another of their buddies falsified in Wikipedia.

Sara (Squiggler)

For those of you who seem so confused, I would recommend you go HERE and read the chart and then download the .pdf file. I trust CENTCOM far more than I trust the Dems and their analysis:

CENTCOM asks: What is the goal of the enemy? Often we think of the future as next week or next year. What might the world look like 100 years from now? In the second edition of The Nature of the Enemy we take a look at Al Qaeda’s plan of a global Caliphate, the thwarted dirty bomb plot and the extremist’s use of the English-language media.
Barney Frank

Three and a half years after Pearl Harbor Hitler was dead and Japan was beaten down in the Pacific.

So you are advocating dropping nuclear weapons on Teheran and Damascus?


You should look at this democratic ad about
stay the course;


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