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March 30, 2007



The intelligence committe works the same, but it's all classified.


Culture of Corruption!! (tm)

crickets chirping

SUrprise surprise the Dem whores are as filthy as the GOP whores


Herewith, some links.

OpinionJournal has an important article by Arthur Herman on counterinsurgency. The article compares the Iraq situation--both military and political--with the Vietnam conflict and, above all, with the Algerian conflict, in which the successful strategy for defeating insurgencies was formulated.

I was particularly struck by his description of the French political opposition: "an intellectual and cultural insurgency at home, led by the French left and the media."

A Hugh Hewitt interview with Herman can be found here.

In this interview Herman addresses a broad range of topics, including the current British hostage debacle. In that regard he comments:
AH: I think one of the reasons why Iran has acted in the kind of provocative way which it has this last week, was precisely because they were feeling the heat from the Petraeus offensive. That’s my term for it. I don’t like the term surge. Surge, I think, doesn’t describe what’s happening there. This is really the Petraeus offensive, and a whole different way of conducting the war, including cutting off the Iranian support, and going headfirst, and really making sure that that kind of support is undercut. And I think the Iranians are feeling the heat, and that is one reason why they’ve tried to drive this wedge.
And with regard to the "loyal opposition" at home he makes these remarks:
HH: The local populace had to see the military and the civilian authority as the ultimate winner. I agree, I worked closely with Nixon in ’78-’79-’80, used to read Robert Thompson’s book on Malaysia. It was always that inevitability. And the Congress killed us this week on this point, didn’t they?

AH: It was definitely…and I don’t know if it was a fatal stab in the back, but it was definitely a stab in the back. And it just goes to show the kind of uphill work that the Bush administration is going to have to do, which, I mean, let’s be frank, which they’ve avoided doing up until now. They have…you’ve got General Petraeus, and by the way, this is not unrelated to the Iran issue.
HH: Now ... how does the French experience in Algeria…what’s that teach us about what to do next?

AH: It teaches us that the military guys get it a lot faster than politicians and bureaucrats. They catch on, they make the adjustments, they can win this kind of a war. It’s when the politicians and the bureaucrats, who sense on the part of the public a kind of faltering support and confidence, will undercut that. That’s where the great disasters come from. And Algeria, like Vietnam, was a humanitarian disaster. Those who cooperated with the regime, would help the French and so on, were slaughtered or driven into the sea, and this is what we’re going to face in Iraq without a doubt, if we don’t turn this game around. Not Iraq, that’s being turned around. Turn around the game here in the United States.

Arthur Herman, an eminent historian, has taught history at George Mason University and Georgetown University. He is author of "The Idea of Decline in Western History and To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World," among other books. His next book is going to be on Gandhi and Churchill. The OpinionJournal article also appears in the April issue of Commentary.


I have pointed this to a few people, as tempting as it is to believe that Feinstein was caught doing something dirty everyting that I can find indicates that she was not a member of this subcommittee this year.


Back to Iraq...the Bush/Cheney fiasco in Iraq has set us back terribly for many years to come. Obviously, we should have never gone in, and then, to stumble about in the country without a clear plan and then let it flounder to the point of civil war has been a tragic saga. Our military has been exposed as quite unsuited for nation-building, it isn't really what the military is designed for, (Father Bush, Powell and Scowcroft knew this), and it's clear that our troops are not the best vehicle to get Iraqis to stand up for our vision of what's good for them. The Dems at least see the writing on the wall. Bush's war has failed to acheive a stable, peaceful Iraq, the Iraqis are going to have to come up with their own plan. We should get our soldiers out of harms way. The Dems are not defeatists, they are realists. Our troops are now part of the problem, not the solution. Bush failed on all counts. He ginned up the war on false info, then got us in there with no clear mission, too few troops, no exit strategy. Bush is not only the worst president ever,he is also a poor excuse of a human being. No wonder he's lost the country (the U.S.), he was never able to articulate a clear vision or purpose for this war, and he never showed us a plausible way to victory. I think he will cling to this war til the end of his term. To change course now would be to admit that he failed, that's the one thing this man cannot do. What an utter failure. America will survive this complete bust of an administration!


"The Dems at least see the writing on the wall. "

No they only see the writing on the cheque.


TM: The Feinstein/Blum kerfuffle is a faux scandal, and the folks at Stubborn Facts are way off the mark. And I will say at the outset that I'm a proud member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (New York City chapter).

I've spent over 20 years in the securities and investment management business, and while I don't personally know Richard Blum, I know his business and reputation. Blum runs an investment management business--he's a fiduciary for the owners of the assets he manages. If you want to call Feinstein's relationship with her husband's fiduciary responsibilities an "appearance of a conflict of interest," then good for her resigning when the Democrats retook the majority. This is not a scandal--irrespective of any comparison to other faux scandals anyone cares to make for partisan purposes.

Let me be clear, Richard Blum doesn't own Perini, URS, Boston Scientific, Kinetic Concepts (all publicly-traded companies), and billions of dollars (from government contracts) are not going into the "family business." The "family business" is Blum Capital Partners LP, and related-named entities that are investment management fiduciaries. For the record, Blum is chairman of the board of directors of CB Richard Ellis, a real estate services company--a private company for which such "public" information is not readily available. Blum's day-to-day responsibilities are overseeing an investment management business, not managing the operating businesses in which he has invested on behalf of others. Admittedly, a significant portion of Blum's personal wealth will be tied up in his investment management business, as well as co-invested along with his clients' assets--which is the standard, and expected, practice in the private investment management business.

Furthermore, a review of the most recent proxy statement for Perini (http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/77543/ 000007754306000047/proxy_2006.htm) clearly refutes the idea that Blum, in concert with CEO Ronald Tutor, control 75% of the voting stock of Perini, as reported by The Center for Public Integrity (http://www.publicintegrity.org/wow/bio.aspx?act=pro&ddlC=45).

The reports on this matter is badly researched, and clearly, the issue of how the investment management business operates is not understood, as it is flagrantly misrepresented. Such ill-informed critiques, and the repetitious linking thereof, further fosters a hyper partisan environment.

And I'd be happy to fill in the gaps in the knowledge surrounding this topic--follow-on questions welcomed.

(Sorry about the link format.)


Gawd, is Michelle Malkin the biggest joke ever or what? LOL

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Back to Iraq...the Bush/Cheney fiasco in Iraq has set us back terribly for many years to come.'

If you'd visit the article that azaghal linked to, you would see that it is the domestic political opposition--from Michaael Moore, Sean Penn through Harry Reid, Chuck Hagel, and Pelosi--that is the tragedy. Both for Iraqis and Americans. Just as the likes of Sartre his girl friend consigned Algeria to a bloodbath.

There's no polite way to put it. By undermining our military effort at home they are consigning Iraq to the same fate as SE Asia in the 70s and Algeria in the 60s.

Dennis Miller has a very interesting interview with a former Hollywood liberal here, today.

You can download it and listen. It's in the third hour, the man's name is Evan Sayet.


Good point, Patrick. Interestingly though, they really don't care. Quite instructively, at least for me -- and we'll have to do our best to instruct our own children as to the morals of the left while we have this golden opportunity -- they'd just as soon see every Iraqi hanging from a meathook in Abu Ghraib then see them succeed as a free people. If Maliki came to address Congress tomorrow, they'd boo him. No horror from Saddam's reign fazes them in the slightest when they're angling for defeat and pontificating on what a failure Bush is. It's as though they'd actually like to see Saddam's sons raping and killing their way into succession, and haven't the slightest care about it.

Sickening, but unmistakably true.


Damn right Patrick R. Sullivan! Lets show those Libs... Lets get a recruiting drive going. Right here on JustOneMinute! All true Patriots, aged 42 and under, will vow right now to go enlist in the U.S. Army immediately... As we all know, the Army is barely meeting its already reduced recruiting goals, can barely sustain its current operations, and as a result most state-side combat units are currently manned at less than 50% strength, training with rundown or non-existent equipment, and otherwise completely unready for immediate deployment if the need were to arise. Lets show the tangos (thats the bad-guys people), and their allies the Libs, that we will put our money where our mouth is and FIGHT for our country! Hooah! After all, no true Patriot would refuse to fight for his country, especially with the all-pervasive threat that we now face... See y'all down range!

Rick Ballard


I appreciate your remarks concerning Blum but the Blum Capital website isn't kidding when it says "We take an "own the whole business" approach into the public market".

A review of insider transactions reveals very substantial appreciation during Blum's "own the whole business" days.

Senator "Hire Perini and make at least one Dem happy" Feinstein is fully capable of explaining just how few feathers really went into her nest on the basis of her recommendations.

There may be little causation involved but the correlation could use a little explanation.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Are you just naturally stupid, Cro? Or do you have to work at it?

hit and run

Patrick R. Sullivan...a naturally stupid person who works hard to maintain and add to his stupidity achieves not just an additive effect but an exponential effect on his stupidity.

Harry Arthur

cro, sorry, try another argument. The "chickenhawk" meme doesn't get it any more. Otherwise, if you truly believe your point, then unless you have worn a uniform yourself you do not have the right to an opinion either.

Your screen name, however, appears to be well chosen (no offense intended to other cave men who may wish to comment).


Did you say Caveman?


Rick Ballard: I'm not certain I understand all of your points--so help me out if I'm off base.

The "own the whole business approach" is a standard practice in the investment management business, i.e. Finance 101. If you find such phrases revealing, it most likely demonstrates how little you know about the investment management business, rather than explaining anything about how Blum Capital Partners conducts its business.

You've lost me on the insider trading activity--I don't see a mention of Richard Blum or any Blum entity. That executives and board members exercise options and sell shares when the stock price goes up is not a recent phenomena. But you seem to allege that those folks must owe their fate to the actions of one senator in the minority party.

Look, it's quite simple. Richard Blum does not own Perini or URS as alleged in an article in some left-coast, left-wing weekly rag--they are publicly-traded companies in which his investment management business has invested on behalf of their clients.

If the underlying premise is wrong, there's nothing to explain.

Rick Ballard


Check '04 - '05 - Blum Capital LP disposed of a total of 5 million shares as "Owner", the same description currently held by Tutor. There are currently 26.6 million shares outstanding.

I agree that Blum in all probability never made a single operating decision while they owned the stock. They're undoubtedly just very astute in their investment selections.


Lets see--you invest money for other people--------now remember many of the transactions occured when the dems had control of the senate-2001-2003-----the companies you have invested your customers money in increaase their government contracts at least 10 fold---the bulk of them no-bid contracts---and your wife is on the appropriations committee
no sir nothing to see here move along now.

Les Nessman

"If the underlying premise is wrong, there's nothing to explain."

Well, that practically guarantees a Waxman/Schumer congressional hearing though, correct? Maybe Fitz should take a look at this too.

It's not the scarcity of evidence that matters, it's the Seriousness of the Accusations that counts. And really, the paucity of evidence of wrongdoing just means that we need the gummint to start digging into this. Surely they can find someone who will misremember something and throw him in jail.

Patrick Tyson

From Dan Rather to "an article in some left-coast, left-wing weekly rag."

And they said it wouldn't last.


Oh Forbes..that was fascinating...so do tell why the MSM didn't pick up on the resignation and I am sure you can explain the "junkets" to the sites for inspection, right?


Nice try.


So Feinstein is in the clear because the association was in the past or something? Oh Puhleaze....Cheney had not been involved with Halliburton for years, but we still had to hear the entire company demonized for supposed war profiteering because they did business with the government...as defence contractors are want to do..

What hypocrites. Just like supporting the notion that Saddam should go and the Iraqi people should be liberated, right up until the time Saddam actually went. etc.

I think that a great deal of the problems we are facing in Iraq would not be there if the Saddam Hussein fan club would stop encouraging the enemy.

But no matter, we will kick of the Iraqi genocide sometime in the not too distant future and who knows? Maybe... George Clooney will fly to DC in his Gulfstream and give a little press conference demanding that we "do something" about Darfur.

Maybe they can get the UN in on the act and they can pass some toothless resolutions the Sudanese government can use as toilet paper. Of course if we actually did do something about Darfur the left would start lighting matches to American flags.

I think the thing that amazes me the most is that to the left Saddam's Iraq was not a debacle, it was a kite flying paradise.

I mean really, if Saddam would not change his ways even to save his life, what makes the dim witted left think he would have changed his ways once he had gotten away with defying the US and the UN and the ceasefire? The no fly zones and the sanctions were not going to last forever you know. What then? What Saddam going to stop killing his people and lusting after WMD? I doubt it, he would have gone after the Kurds, finished the job of destroying the Marsh Arabs and the ecosystem they depended on for their survival and he would have put those tens of thousands of scientists back to work on his weapons.

Time macine

If Feinstein has nothing to hide,why call for a congressional committee to clear all this up? I'm sure she is willing to testify under oath.



@ Cromagnon

Lets get a recruiting drive going. Right here on JustOneMinute! All true Patriots, aged 42 and under, will vow right now to go enlist in the U.S. Army immediately...

1. I would never enlist in the Army. I'm a Marine and will always be a Marine.

2. It's an idiotic idea and always has been this "chickenhawk" nonsense.

3. The time will come when *you* liberals will have a military action you favor. It'll be vastly amusing seeing how you deal with this meme when it's shoved right down your throat.



@ Forbes

There's no conflict of interest?

Nice try but that's nonsense. Feinstein is on the appropriations committee and steers valuable contracts to companies in which her husband has invested heavily. These companies accumulate greater gross income, and profits, due to the government contracts they get *from Feinstein's committee*. The value of these companies rise and so their stock prices increase along with any stock dividends. Feinstein's husband profits by either selling the stock or cashing in the dividends.

That's not a conflict of interest? Do you know what the definition is of "conflict of interest"?

What a silly pile of bullshit.



I think the thing that amazes me the most is that to the left Saddam's Iraq was not a debacle, it was a kite flying paradise.

They know it wasn't a paradise. They just pretend to cover their tracks.

It wasn't that long ago the very same liberals were screaming about how the sanctions were murdering children in Iraq. How much of a paradise could Iraq have been if the very same people were screaming about dying children?

Unless you take the view that "dying children" is the very definition of paradise for these people. Which sometimes doesn't seem that far off from reality.


that she was not a member of this subcommittee this year.

Didn't she resign in January of this year? Am I missing some point you are making?


The Feinstein/Blum kerfuffle is a faux scandal

I think I understand what you are trying to convey, Blum doesn't own the companies that contracted with the military, therefore, no conflict of interest. What I can't figure out is how there is not conflict of interest. He owns an investment company that invests in these companies. How can you claim there is no conflict? If those companies do well, his investment does well. Maybe the story needs to be cleaned up as to whether he is an owner or not, but to flat out say there is no scandal is denying how he makes his money from the investment company.


Certainly investors would like to know which companies were going to get government contracts and were not..
It wasn't very politically acute of Feinstein putting herself in a position where such questions could be raised.Much better to have not taken the position on the committee in the first place.



You expect too much when you demand logic from these people. They see only their own truth. They take the truth and bend and shape it until it fit their meme and is totally unrecognizable. If they can't make it fit their meme they toss it out and call it lies or ignore it.


Much better to have not taken the position on the committee in the first place.

But if she had done that she would not have gotten the contracts and her husband's company would not have become a rival of Halliburton.

Other Tom

Was Bill Clinton a chickenhawk when he rained the bombs down on Bosnia and Kosovo? When he sent young men to die in the streets of Mogadishu? I don't think so, because even though I served and fought hard in a war, I have never subscribed to the asinine notion that only those who volunteer to fight have standing to support military action. Among many others, that principle would have prevented Abe Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson and FDR from sending troops into battle.

It is, in fact, no principle at all. It is an irrational argument made by fools for reasons of temporary expedience.


You expect too much when you demand logic from these people.

Well, I wasn't exactly demanding anything, just wondering how Cheney can still be tied to Halliburton and Feinstein receives a pass. The separation factor between Cheney and Halliburton is much larger than the one between Feistein and her husband's investment company.


If Bush/Cheney really believed that the Iraq War was the last great stand against the world-wide Jihad, why did they not ask more from our country? Why didn't they re-institute a draft? Why didn't they reach out to all Americans to make sacrifices? Why couldn't they see that they needed a united America and a strong contingent of allies to suceeed? If this was not possible, then to embark on the war was stupid from the get-go! Setting up Guantanamo, abusing Iraqis at Abu Graib, instituting a torture policy, curbing our civil liberties were terrible decisions, anti-democratic too. Why did they primarily use the war as a cudgel against their political rivals? Their approach to Iraq/Iraqis and to America/Americans was flawed from the outset, based on lies and misperceptions, and exectued incompetantly. Ronald Reagan used to talk about America as the shining city on a hill - Bush/Cheney have replaced that shining city with Guantanamo. It's just a terrible legacy, and the next President will have a lot of "hard work" to do cleaning up the mess.

Lady Sara

Seamus, why would we need to institute a draft? Are you one that would only serve your country if forced to by a draft law? Creepy. Why does your country HAVE to ask you, if you love your country, why don't you ask what you can do? Gee I think the dem. hero said something just like that way back in the dark ages when Democrats still had at least an ounce of patriotism and spine left. Who has used the war as a cudgel? Certainly not Republicans or GWB. Can you tell me how you lost a single civil liberty? Name me one civil liberty that you as an individual have lost? And where do you want the worst of the worst terrorists housed? You want them in your neighborhood or running around the world blowing shit up and killing more thousands? And Abu Grabe was the result of a few very sick individuals who happened to find each other. Last I heard, they'd been tried, convicted and are serving their own prison sentences. The only mess the next president will be cleaning up is the mess the cowardly cut and run democrats bring on us and the world when we become the laughing stock of the whole world for acting like a bunch of weenies instead of the Super Power and Leader we claim to be. bin Laden predicted that America is too weak, too soft, a Paper Tiger and to win against America just wait them out until their chickenshit leftists begin their whining and appeasing.



go back a look at history. Bush never said that Iraq was "the last great stand against the world-wide Jihad." Just a stepping stone. Get a grip on base facts and then come back.


Feinstein was briefed by a friend and associate what contracts they were going for - this is a weird attempt at trying to erase the conflict of interest...one example is she knew that while supposedly nameless faceless the companies were involved in NON COMPETITIVE Bids - hmmm...and what does the appropriations committee do? They give the go ahead on the projects.

Also, the "junkets" to inspect their projects is interest in conflict.


I think that a great deal of the problems we are facing in Iraq would not be there if the Saddam Hussein fan club would stop encouraging the enemy.

They were for the enemy before the war. I just wished they own up to it - "we want defeat, we want the enemy to win."


Also, on the feinstein flap -- pretty sure in one of the articles is said that DOD had a problem or there were red flags raised.

And a 2004 article announcing all the big contracts (7 I think) URS was awarded 3! 3 of the 7? In the article, it said DOD did not immediately respond to the question why URS got 3 of the 7.

Look, if the companies were the best to do the job, so be it. The problem is, she should not in any way be green-lighting projects she gains from.

What I want to know is if the DOD felt pressured to use them AND did the DOD then use them in order to get their projects green-lighted?



Other Tom

Cheer up, Seamus. The next president will be Rudy Giuliani, and he'll do just fine. We're confident that he'll continue to stack the federal judiciary with the kind of right-wing judges and justices we like--the kind that drive you cuckoo. We're looking at a Republican in the White House for at least the next ten years. Have a nice day!


No...we need another Jimmuh so we can teach the Dims a lesson. We know that Billary could do as good a job - 'Course nobody wants to vote for her.


Bush's fiasco in Iraq cannot be blamed on the Libs, the Dems. The poor execution of the war and occupation lies completely with Bush, Rumsfield, Cheney. Even the mobbed-up Guliani will have to distance himself from Bush's terrible term, if he's to get any traction in a general election. The Draft worked well in WWII...maybe not so good in Vietnam. The American people are partiotic, but not stupid. If the cause looks just and winnable, citizens will rally to the cause, if the Government needs to raise up an army quickly, the draft has proven to be an effective tool. This is still a Democracy - yes, Bush/Cheney should have done a much better job appealing to all Americans - I thought war in Iraq should have been the very last resort, but then once we went in, we should have given it our all -- see the Powell Doctirne. I don't support torture or secret prisons - see Martin Amis' Korba's Dread for a master's lesson in how a government, given license to secretly arrest, interrogate, torture and execute people can lead to a totalitarian hell. We're a long way from that, but our poisoned political culture, and our atrocious, small-minded, bullying leadership shows that our Democracy is fragile indeed and and can be corrupted and broken. You should be happy that there is a "loyal opposition," - The Bush/Rove strategy of divide and conquer is not sustainable, a strong America is a united America...the Dems/Libs benefit from the Repub/Conservatives and vice versa. Most of us did rally together after 9/11 - Afganistan should have been the focus, we should have made that and catching Bin Laden priority one. Instead, Bush made a terrible detour into Iraq and Bush squandered an amazing opportunity to be a great President.


[IGNORE ON TARGET=seamus REASON CODE=066 REM="Blathering Idiot"]


The next president will be Rudy Giuliani

Let's see Giuliani has had three marriages, he's pro abortion, pro gay rights, and pro gun control. Plus his business dealings may also be a tad problem too:

"Kerik's indictment could set the stage for a courtroom battle that would draw attention to Kerik's extensive business and political dealings with former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who personally recommended him to President Bush for the Cabinet."

Ex-Partner Of Giuliani May Face Charges



Who gives a rat's behind? Already into smearing people right? Typical tactic. Can't stand on your own principles, so smear. Good.


"Feinstein's indictment could set the stage for a courtroom battle that would draw attention to Feinstein's extensive business and political dealings with her husband, enriching him buy steering contracts his direction."



Fiasco? I tell you what, if Iraq does turn into a decent country with a representative government, you can just keep telling yourself, that it was not in your name.

For years I listened to lefties complain about the US having anything to do with Saddam right up until the US stopped having anything to do with him. And then they complained about how awful Clinton and his sanctions were and how they did not work, right up until Bush said, no more sanctions and then we heard how the sanctions were indeed working. The left said Saddam had weapons, he was a bad man, he needed to go...right up until doing an about face worked for them.

The only thing consistent about the Left and Iraq is their willingness to use the Iraqi people and their suffering. In truth you people don't give a damn about democracy or the human rights or the Iraqi people at all. You just want to sit back, unaccountable for anything and preach.

The interesting thing is that it is always the Democrats who say that every vote counts, and yet they could care less about the fact that the Iraqi people had their first real election.

Maybe you guys should revise that to "every vote counts, so long as they are voting for us...screw everyone else."


First, there should always be questions when there's a potential conflict of interest when government contracts are awarded to someones spouse. However, URS contract was awarded in a competitive bid unlike the Halliburton subsidiary contracts that weren't. Halliburton subsidiary Brown & Root paid over $2 million to settle a claim that it had overcharged the government on an earlier non-bid contract.

From Mater & Ross

War brings business to Feinstein spouse


"if Iraq does turn into a decent country with a representative government" - it will be well after Bush is gone, our troops are back home, and the Iraqi people stand up and figure it all out for themselves.

I do believe that every vote counts - I wish Bush and Rove did too!

"every vote counts, so long as they are voting for us...screw everyone else." - That's Karl Rove's MANTRA!


Glory or Folly?

“The war,” Sen. Mitch McConnell “is the reason you are speaking to the Republican leader, not the majority leader.”


""every vote counts, so long as they are voting for us...screw everyone else." -

Democracy not suit you James?


"the reason you are speaking to the Republican leader, not the majority leader.”

..and because Nancy hasn't got a clue.


""every vote counts, so long as they are voting for us...screw everyone else." - that was a quote from Terrye


It's simple really.

More and more insurgent groups are joining the political process. Sadr's mahdi army has split into factions with no single leader since Sadr has fled and his influence is now next to null. The moderates are free to split off and join the political process. The extremists, backed by Iran, can be killed.

The same is happening on the sunni side. They are now splitting their allegiances. Some joining the political process, some fighting al Qaeda and the caliphate, some still aligned with al Qaeda.

When these groups split, the moderates peel off, the intelligence on the extremists gets better and we kill more bad guys.

It's a process, not a single war. We have to stay to maintain the trust of the Iraqi people who are handing us tips now right and left. Abandon them and all discipline breaks down.

Iraq is no more messy nor catastrophic than any war and where massive civilian casualties occur, it's due to al Qaeda.

Are seamus and sferris good with setting a timetable for al Qaeda to withdraw from Iraq? or are they willing to let al Qaeda win in Iraq just their girlfriends can have free abortions?


You use it you own it James.


It sounds like it's actually more complicated than you say Syl. According some of the soldiers on the ground in Iraq the "good guys" who give us tips by day, are sometimes the same "bad guys" who are shooting at us and planting IEDs at night. Or insurgents are enlisting "innocent civilians" to do their dirty work at the threat of harm to their families. How our boys are supposed to sort out the best way forward all seems quite murky. I don't think the U.S. military is best suited to help figure all this out. We will have to leave it up to the Iraqis, maybe sooner is better than later. No matter what, it's gonna be bloody and painful, and well, I don't think Bush and Co. thought this through at all.


There should also be a timetable for the Iranian al Qods,Revolutionary Guards and military personnel to leave Iraq also.A Phased withdrawal by Hezbollah,who make up the suicide bomber contingent along with all the Syrian operatives should be announced.
Finally after the punitive raids on Iran,American forces should set a withdrawal date.


I see you cannot bring yourself to mention al Qaeda,Iran, Syria or Hezbollah Mr Blackforest,when doing your rather simplistic analysis.Why not?



It is not the Republicans who are claiming every election they lose is stolen, no we leave that to the side who has been known to swap cocaine for votes. Like Huey Long's son said "When I die, I wanted to be buried in Louisiana so that I can remain active in politics."

You guys are famous for it.

But my real point here is that given a choice between backing an elected government in Iraq and yearning for the good old days when Saddam Hussein was slaughtering his own people in the hundreds of thousands, now you chose the latter.

My guess is if it all works out in the long run the Democrats will be reminding us that Bill Clinton was the first American President to make the removal of Saddam from power our national policy.


If we're counting on the "moderates" in Iraq to help make this all work, I guess I'd point to our own House and Senate too...let's hope the moderates can pull the extremists from both sides so we can all work together!

Anyone for the Moderates!?



And you make it sound simple when you act as if we can just leave and innocent people will not pay the price for it.

No one will ever trust us again if we do that. And they shouldn't. If they do someone like you might saw that limb off, right after you talk them into crawling out on it.

Right behind you buddy, you can count me....


"Anyone for the Moderates!?"

Is this some kind of racism James.that you believe Iraqis are incapable of peace?

I will ask again.

You can not bring yourself to mention al Qaeda,Iran, Syria or Hezbollah Mr Blackforest,when doing your rather simplistic analysis.Why not?



the "good guys" who give us tips by day, are sometimes the same "bad guys" who are shooting at us and planting IEDs at night.


This kind of shit happens in Afghanistan too!! You think we're too stupid to figure it out?



The war has been disaster of the first order, so I am in support of timetables. We're pulling troops out after 2008 when Bush retires to his ranch anyway. We've shown we can attack Al Queada in Somalia using bases in Ethiopia. So, we can attack Al Queada in Iraq from any number of locations in the Middle East. It's likely Iraqis will eliminate the al Queada presence on their own if we left. Al Queada was and is not the biggest problem facing Iraq. It's hard for Republicans to admit this fact because of fealty to Bush.


our boys

You don't own them, they aren't boys and if you really gave a damn you'd realize that they've been in the sandbox since the 70's and they'd like to finish what they volunteered for so that their sons and daughters aren't there a decade from now-at a bigger "cost."

You'd also realize that they're still in K-O-R-E-A.


Yes, Generral s.ferris-

You were for listening to the generals before you were against it.

And name ONE damn general that supports this idea of yours-

I am in support of timetables

You can't.

You Petite Pelosi Paratrooper du Pork.


Al Queada was and is not the biggest problem facing Iraq.

He actually mentioned them! ::applause::

However, right now al Qaeda IS iraq's biggest problem. Car and truck bombs and chemical attacks are massively killing civilians.

How dare you just wave it off? You're slime.


Your stupid war is growing more unpopular by the month. With Bush's approval ratings at historic lows, with voters supporting a timetable for withdrawal by a clear majority, Republicans are marching with Bush off into obscurity.


"So, we can attack Al Queada in Iraq from any number of locations in the Middle East."

A very interesting strategy my little Pocket Bonaparte,however a couple of problems.Al Qaeda is free to attack you in the new locations,the countries you have moved to may not be too grateful.
It would seem you are simply moving the battlespace elsewhere.

"Al Queada was and is not the biggest problem facing Iraq. It's hard for Republicans to admit this fact because of fealty to Bush."

What is the biggest problem facing Iraq?I'll bet you say it has it has seven letters.

I'm not a Republican,I have no fealty to Bush,but it is obvious that your timetable has had them dancing in the streets from Damascus to the Hindu Khush.
As far as I can see the Democrats are shitting in their own nest,if they take the White House in 2008 they will be the laughing stock of the world.


The 'popularity' (what a dumb word to use) of the war has NOTHING to do with what is actually going on in Iraq.

One is political, the other reality.

So since you can't argue reality, you turn to the political.



Ex-Aide Details a Loss of Faith in the President

"Looking back, Mr. Dowd now says his faith in Mr. Bush was misplaced."

"In a wide-ranging interview here, Mr. Dowd called for a withdrawal from Iraq and expressed his disappointment in Mr. Bush’s leadership."

"He criticized the president as failing to call the nation to a shared sense of sacrifice at a time of war, failing to reach across the political divide to build consensus and ignoring the will of the people on Iraq. He said he believed the president had not moved aggressively enough to hold anyone accountable for the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and that Mr. Bush still approached governing with a “my way or the highway” mentality reinforced by a shrinking circle of trusted aides."

“I really like him, which is probably why I’m so disappointed in things,” he said. He added, “I think he’s become more, in my view, secluded and bubbled in.”

"In speaking out, Mr. Dowd became the first member of Mr. Bush’s inner circle to break so publicly with him."

"He said his decision to step forward had not come easily. But, he said, his disappointment in Mr. Bush’s presidency is so great that he feels a sense of duty to go public given his role in helping Mr. Bush gain and keep power."

Lady Sara

Stop calling them insurgents. They are TERRORISTS, they are animals who would as soon kill you as look at you. These are EXTREMISTS who are sadistic and who have no place in any civilized society.


"Your stupid war is growing more unpopular by the month. With Bush's approval ratings at historic lows, with voters supporting a timetable for withdrawal by a clear majority, Republicans are marching with Bush off into obscurity."

Good God! It is simply about power for the Democrats,this slimy little Stalinist,believes it doesn't matter who dies as long as his party has power.


The 30% of the voters who continue to support Bush are almost entirely Republicans.


April 1, 2007
Ex-Aide Details a Loss of Faith in the President

AUSTIN, Tex., March 29 — In 1999, Matthew Dowd became a symbol of George W. Bush’s early success at positioning himself as a Republican with Democratic appeal.

A top strategist for the Texas Democrats who was disappointed by the Bill Clinton years, Mr. Dowd was impressed by the pledge of Mr. Bush, then governor of Texas, to bring a spirit of cooperation to Washington. He switched parties, joined Mr. Bush’s political brain trust and dedicated the next six years to getting him to the Oval Office and keeping him there. In 2004, he was appointed the president’s chief campaign strategist.

Looking back, Mr. Dowd now says his faith in Mr. Bush was misplaced.

Looks more like Bush misplaced his faith in another viper.

Patrick Tyson

Finally found it:

Feinstein May Assume Interior Appropriations Gavel

With less than one fourth the number of legislators in the House of Representatives yet nearly as many committee posts to fill, U.S. Senate members frequently chair more than one panel -- and the combination of a committee and a subcommittee is commonplace. Even chairs of coveted Appropriations subcommittees typically also chair full committees. As such, Senator Dianne Feinstein is expected to chair the full Rules Committee as well as one of the spending committees subpanels.

Senator Feinstein has served as Ranking Democrat on the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee during the 109th Congress, and normally she would be expected to take the chair position next year when the 110th convenes..

However, with Sen. Harry Reid’s (NV) ascendance to Senate Majority Leader he will forego the gavel of the Energy & Water Appropriations Subcommittee, on which he is currently Ranking Democrat. One scenario that appears to have a strong likelihood involves Sen Byron Dorgan (ND) moving from Interior to Energy & Water, with Feinstein then giving up the Military Construction panel to become chair of the Interior Subcommittee.

from California Capitol Hill Bulletin,
Volume 13, Bulletin 31 -- November 17, 2006

...(emphasis mine,) and, based on the subcommittee assignments as listed on the Senate Appropriations Committee website, it looks like that is exactly what happened when the Senate reconvened...in January.


Yes sferris- everything should be a popularity contest-

Springtime for Hitler in GER-MA-NY!

21 million civilians dead.

Mao Tse Tung-populist-35 million civilians dead.

Stalin-man of the peeps- 62 million civilians dead.

Hell let's do wars by call in vote a la American Idol

We could do manuevers that way and that be more efficient than waitng around for those Spring Breaker members of the House that are dictated to by opinion polls anyways.

Let's just get rid of them and save some bucks. [sarc tag for the trolling impaired.]


Stalin-ism is passe, PeterUK. The vast majority of Americans are tired of Bush and want him to leave office. Britons feel the same about Blair. Blair's unpopularity has to due with his support for Bush's policies. My UK friends don't like Blair, and they dislike Bush even more.



What makes you think I would give a damn what some guy named Dowd thinks? Is he any relation to Maureen?

In truth most Americans want to see success in Iraq, needless to say they want the war to end we all do.

I find the very idea of popular and unpopular wars absurd. Do you think WW2 was popular? Do you think those folks were just jumping with joy because they got to go fight the Japanese and the Nazis? As far as that is concerned do you think anyone even did a poll asking them?

At the end of the war there was a reason we let Stalin get such a good deal at Yalta, people were tired. It happens.

But that does not mean they want to run away or give up or that they believe that just stating that you have a timetable and then boogying on a certain date will make everything ok.

If it had not been for this war we would never have known how bad our intel was. But one thing is for sure, Saddam was still going to be there. One way or another we would have to dealt with him or his psycho sons. I fail to see how many different ways this was going to end.

I know the opposition has this fairytale idea that Saddam and President Obama would have become friends or something...but in truth Saddam would have been standing on a balcony somewhere shooting off his Ak, bragging about he almost killed a president, made a mockery of the UN, got rid of the sanctions and now was going to rebuild his military and finish the job he started and no one could stop him. That is most likely what would have happened. I for one, do not think that young Americans should have to go to war in Iraq every generation. I say finish it.

And by the way Bush's approval ratings are not at historic lows and the war is not growing more unpopular every month.


Ah great does that put DiFi in proximity to the large tracts of funds-for DOE?


I'm not sure how reliable polls are in Iraq, but except for the Kurds, I don't think the majority of Iraqis want us there, even if the security situation worsens, I think Iraqis would like to take their chances for building a new country out of the ruins of the war. I don't think they see us as saviours...the troops are perceived as part of the problem. Bush botched this big time. He will never admit it, some of you here won't either...but sometimes reality bites!

Jack is Back!

Boy, this is a tough crowd given that probably 90% of you are inside the beltway types without any military service to speak in the terms you use here. Lets face it, this is probably the most partisan, ideological period of our republic. We are facing a threat unlike anything before - it is identifiable but it is also mercurial. It doesn't have a country, a flag, a government, a uniform or a visible set of targets. But it is there just like the sky, the oceans and the weather - its big and it changes everyday. Yet here we are 300 mil + divided (unlike WW2 - where it was really on the line). That many people, that much technology, that much affluence can create terrible warps of support, anger, malignment and even socio-pathic thinking metamorphized by the net-roots into a philosophy only a schizophrenic anarchist could love. I have never understood why liberals, leftists, progressives, hell even mid-road dems have this empathy with radical Islam, Iran, NK, AQ, etc. when the first ones to go if they got their hands on us would be the liberties and values they all promote. Gotta get real folks. If you don't think this is a threat of magmanimous proportions like I do then go and try living in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Iran (as I did in my past). No cheating by living in a expat compound. Then come back and run all this *tripe* by me again.


Ah great does that put DiFi in proximity to the large tracts of funds-for DOE?


As a September 12 Republican, I have wondered and wondered about what would have happened if Gore had been s/elected in 2000. "Phoenix Woman" at fire!dog!lake! has figured it out, and I am grateful.

I admit to being surprised that Sandy Berger and Saddam Hussein both turned out to be on our side (watch for surprise appearances by Uday and Qusay!), but that's why I'm not a credentialed alterative historian.



You cannot continue to fight a war without public approval. Bush has done little to enlist this country's support in the war in Iraq. It's not surprising then Americans are rejecting it in increasing numbers.


As for polls, I think that Rasmussen had Bush at 43 a week ago and at 40 a couple of days ago, that is not great, but it beats the hell out of Truman.

The thing that really steams me is that the Democrats voted for this war and then as soon as they saw a way to use it politically they not only abandoned it they sabotaged it.

I think that in the future, they will not look too good.

And speaking of historic lows, I would say that Pelosi and the Democratic Congress are heading there.

They put the outside date for this timetable at September 2008, the election is in Novemember and the new president will be sworn in a few months after that. So if this is such a great issue for them why not run on it then and let the new Democratic Commander in Chief makes the decision to retreat?



Bush has done little? And other than hope for disaster what has the opposition done? And to them it is all about the next election, but to the Iraqis, it is life and death. And while Democrats can look at their polls and gloat and plot and plan and scheme how they can best use this to their benefit....AlQaida is going to go right on blowing people up. and they are counting on you and your support, don't let them down.


Rasmussen is not a scientific poll. It's based on automated telephone questionaire reponses. See, Polster.com for all Bush Approval Polls and their averages. Current trend is 33.6%.


Bush hasn't done little. He's been a great recuiter for Al Quaeda.


Rasmussen is as "scientific" as any poll. The truth the demographics are the key and we know it. How many Democrats, Independents and Republicans do you talk to and how do you ask the question. I am not sure any poll could be called scientific. They are all to some extent subjective.

Most presidents see low numbers in the end of their second term. Reagan did and Clinton saw some low numbers too, but I think the Republicans actually helped him to some extent when it comes to polls, because people felt a certain sympathy for him after the impeachment. Carter did not even need a second term to get people sick of him. Truman went from very high to very low, but Truman had some really difficult things to deal with too.

As for Bush recruiting for AlQaida, that is not true. Do you think that if we failed to respond at all they would just go away? That fighting back is a bad thing? So why ever fight back? Just grovel and beg and take the hits and go on.

Back in 1998 Zawhiri said that all good Muslims should kill Americans because of what Clinton was doing to the sons of Iraq, in fact the actual declaration of war against the US came long before Bush ever got to WAshington. So blaming AlQaida on Bush is historically inaccurate. And by the way, if that is true, should we surrender Afganistan as well as Iraq? After all we have actually been there longer.


"Blair's unpopularity has to due with his support for Bush's policies. My UK friends don't like Blair, and they dislike Bush even more."

So you are further left than the Labour party,Socialist Workers, Respect,MAB, kind of cove eh?

No Blairs unpopularity has little to do with Iraq and everything to do with fail leftist policies,the same road you are dragging the Democrats down.


Rick, terrye, memomachine: Thanks for your thoughtful responses. To set the record straight, I'm a proud member of the VRWC, and would never vote for Sen. Feinstein, but the assertion in the article is WRONG. The article claimed a conflict due to "Richard C. Blum's ownership of two major defense contractors." He doesn't own them. That's a faux scandal.

I'm just as exhausted as the next person over all the invented outrages, let's not play the games of the nutters and the nutroots.

If you have specific facts to support such claims, provide them.


Poll averaging is a more accurate method for determining trends. FYI, Rasmussen polls are included in Pollsters totals. Automated telephone surveys such as Rasmussen's are more inaccurate then individual polling. There's plenty of data to support this conclusion. It's also cheapest method of conducting a poll, with the exception of online polls that are even more inaccurate. Mark Blumenthal posted a number of articles on automated surveying methods that were very informative. I'll post the link when if I find it.


Feinstein stepped down from Military Construction Appropriations Committee. She stepped down to remove any question of impropriety. The contract awarded to her a company her husband was working was done in an open process. Blum is very wealthy, his investment in the company represented less than 1% of his wealth. Feinstein is not going to jeopardize her entire career over such a small matter. To be honest, I am not a big supporter of Feinstein, she is much more conservative then the majority of San Franciscans.


Right Track/Wrong Track

American's are not happy.


I never said that poll averages were a bad thing, I only said that polls are subjective and for some topics useless.

Such as the right track/wrong track. That has not been good for a long long time.

Maybe the Baptists think we are on the wrong track because more people know who Anna Nicole Smith is than know who Moses was. And maybe the socalled progressives think America is going in the wrong direction because we have not shut down the Pentagon and made gay marriage legal.

That tells us that people are more polarized and to be truthful I have not found people on the left to be particularly interested in reaching out. They like polarized.

I also think that asking people if they want to see the troops home by September 2008 is emotional blackmail. Ofcourse they do, we all do. I don't want to see this go on any more than anyone else does..but sitting arbitray withdrawl dates in Washington a year and a half ahead of time without even giving a passing nod to the Commander in Chief or the troops on the ground is not only not Constitutional, it is impractical. It can't work.


48% of Americans Reject Evolution

Ouch. And 33% of people polled still think Bush is doing a good job in Iraq.


And btw, America just voted in the Democrats in Congress, doesn't that make them feel like America is going in the right direction? I guess not.

I think that stuff like gas prices effect these polls. When gas goes down, people feel better about a lot of things. come to think of it I thought the Democrats ran on getting those prices and keeping them down. Maybe they could take a break from surrendering to the enemy and harassing the Attorney General long enough to keep that promise.



And one in ten think the Democrats have a real plan for Iraq, one that will work that is.

See, this is my point. All you care about is the numbers. How many people support Bush's handling on the war {a man who will be out of office in 20 months} vs what? Nothing, all you care about is bitching about Bush. You do not have a better idea, your only solution is running away and you act as if the fate of these Iraqis we made promises to means nothing. After all, once they have served their purpose of helping to destroy Bush who cares how many die? This war is not about life and death to you..it is just politics.

And I wonder how many of those people who do not like the way Bush has handled this think he has been too soft? I think you might be surprised at the answer to that.

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