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August 09, 2007

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Appalled Moderate

The reality is that we are in Iraq until January 20, 2009, and will commence the pullout after that date. The positive reports are great, but the inability of Iraqi politicians to get their act together, or even put together the appearence of putting their act together will eventually cause all of this to spiral right back to doom/gloom.

Iraq needs some leaders if things are going to work out. Anyone have a clue who those might be?

Barry Dauphin

Give it another six months, and you'll have the Dems berating Bush for having ever talked about pulling out of Iraq before the job was done.

hit and run

Geraghty posted this a couple days ago:

UPDATE: Stuart Koehl of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University-SAIS writes in with a good point:

The error being made—on your part as well as by others—is assuming that progress can only be made at the level of the national government. In fact, under the Iraqi constitution, the national government is rather weak, while traditionally real political power has been wielded on the local and regional level. And it is precisely at the local and regional level that we see real progress being made with regard both to power sharing and national reconciliation. Because of the social and constitutional structure of Iraq, political progress cannot be imposed from the top-down, but must percolate from the bottom up. To some extent, the members of the national assembly and the unity government are merely play-acting, posturing for the cameras until such time as a consensus emerges on the local level that will prompt them to act. The success of our counter-insurgency effort on the political front is not measured in the assembly chamber, but in the tribal councils. And there, we are definitely winning.

The post Geraghty had this update in started as a question after he read this post from Bill at ICDC Jounral

hit and run

In that link above about Dems getting on board or checking the schedule, we read this:

WASHINGTON (AP) - One senator said U.S. troops are routing out al-Qaida in parts of Iraq. Another insisted President Bush's plan to increase troops has caused tactical momentum.

One even went so far on Wednesday as to say the argument could be made that U.S. troops are winning.

These are not Bush-backing GOP die-hards, but Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin, Bob Casey and Jack Reed. Even Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee, said progress was being made by soldiers.

To which Harry Reid responded:

"I believe ... that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything"

"I won't believe him [Petraeus] because it isn't happening."

When it was pointed out that the question was about fellow democrats talking about the surge working, Reid huffed:

"We're going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war ... Senator Schumer has shown me numbers that are compelling and astounding."

Pressed whether that was the case if the US was in fact winning in Iraq, Reid began shouting:

"I believe ... that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything"

"I won't believe him [Petraeus] because it isn't happening."

Syl

cause all of this to spiral right back to doom/gloom.

How can doom/gloom spiral back when it has never left your mind at all? Political progress has been made, it's only that it's being made more slowly than we all would like. (and Democrats don't consider bottom up progress important since they have a bias toward Central Government as the all-encompassing answer to all problems.)

As Bush pointed out today, revenue sharing is already occurring, it just has not been statutorily codifed yet...to take one example.

And the belief among Democrats that because Maliki is shia, he will be more forgiving towards Iran misses the fact that Iraqi shia are of the Najaf school, whereas Iran's mullah's are of the Qom school. A split that is very important.

I think the coming months will show more political progress overall and I also believe the 'benchmarks' set out may be viewed more as way posts than decision points regarding withdrawals.

Conditions in Iraq have changed quite dramatically since the Baker commission did its study. If they were to look again, I think their conclusions and benchmarks would be adjusted to fit conditions currently on the ground.

clarice

I think--and have for some time, that God loves George Bush and there's nothing Reid or Schumer can do about it to change his/her mind.

Syl

I can't point to a specific quote or anything, but I've heard grumbling such as 'See, more troops makes a difference! We should have had more troops all along like Shinseki said!'

I'd just like to point out that the number of American troops available to use is limited. We all know that. But now our force is augmented by trained and equipped Iraqi troops who were not available before. Now when we clear an area, a small number of our troops PLUS many Iraqi forces can remain in the area to assure the bad guys don't return.

In some areas of Iraq, it's the Iraqis themselves who are taking the lead in clearing areas and maintaining gains.

And, no, this would not have been possible with the original Iraqi Army which melted itself away after the invasion and which had 11,000 sunni generals. Can you imagine depending on them to hold Fallujah back then?

Yes, Maliki's government went on vacation. It's hot in Iraq. Our soldiers, however, are still fighting in the heat. But don't forget the Iraqi army is fighting too.

cathyf

Shorter version of AM's position:

Because Iraq is more like Switzerland than France, we must declare defeat and install a Pol Pot for them.

Cecil Turner

Doesn't look to me like Cordesman's position changed one whit from last quarter:

The US has no good options in Iraq, either to stay or leave. At best, it can now only try find the least bad path of uncertainty and work out the best compromises over time. To do this, it must focus on its overall longer term strategic interests in the region, working with its friends and allies, and looking both at what can be done in Iraq and in the region as a whole.
Or, for that matter, from last year:
"The only way that can happen is if the Iraqis can come together. And what we are doing, I think, represents the limits of American influence."
The only thing new is this:
The attached trip report does, however, show there is still a tenuous case for strategic patience in Iraq . . .
Which would be faint praise coming from anyone else. From Cordesman . . . well, it's something. Looking over the rest of the report, he claimed there was some real military progress, but that's about all I got out of it. Moreover, the gratuitous political statements are distracting (as is some of the stilted phrasing and just plain poor English):
The US team in Iraq, however, is much more experienced, and there is a new degree of realism and competence that clearly can never come from within a failed Bush Administration.
Whatever. He coulda saved himself the trip and mailed this one in.

Semanticleo

Best case scenario;

We keep 50,000 troops for 50+ years in the Kurdish region as a buffer with
the South, which will be fractured into 10,000 fiefdoms with NO recognized central authority.

Is that progress?

Neo

Sorry for going off subject, but this big.

Before today, GISS would have said 1998 was the hottest year on record (Mann, remember, said with up to 99% certainty it was the hottest year in 1000 years) and that 2006 was the second hottest. Well, no more.

hit and run

Cecil:
Whatever. He coulda saved himself the trip and mailed this one in.


I liked this:

It is Iraqis that will shape Iraq's ability or inability to rise above its current sectarian and ethnic conflicts, to redefine Iraq's politics and methods of governance, establish some level of stability and security, and move towards a path of economic recovery and development.

To quote famed military strategist and foreign policy expert David Byrne: "Same as it ever was"

Enlightened

Sorry for the OT but, Haditha "Massacre" crumbling - again.

"In his recommendation, Lt. Col. Paul Ware said murder charges brought against Sharratt were based on unreliable witness accounts, poor forensic evidence and questionable legal theories.

"The government version is unsupported by independent evidence," Ware wrote in an 18-page report. "To believe the government version of facts is to disregard clear and convincing evidence to the contrary."

Don't the above two statements pretty much say it all?

I cannot wait until these fellas get a chance to address Murtha's bald-assed lies. In fact I would dearly love to see one of them confront him face to face.

Another stunning example of Fact-Checking 101.


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2007/08/09/national/a091331D44.DTL&tsp=1


clarice

n a related note, Sharratt has been formally cleared of all charges in the "Haditha Massacre". Time ought to be run out of business, Murtha ought to be kicked out of Congress and the NCIS should be the subject of a serious investigation itself.

cathyf

Do any of the Haditha marines have a legal case against Murtha for slander?

PeterUK

"Maliki is shia, he will be more forgiving towards Iran misses the fact that Iraqi shia are of the Najaf school, whereas Iran's mullah's are of the Qom school. A split that is very important."

Might be worth noting also,the Iraqis are mainly Arab and Kurds whilst the Iranians are mainly Persian.The divisions in the area are also ethnic,perhaps more so than sectarian.

clarice

It's hard to sue a Congressman for slander--you have to show it was outside his legislative role. I think the key case involved Proxmire and his Golden Fleece awards. Murtha accused the men of cold blooded murder. I believe he did this off the floor and I think they may well have a case against him.

He also lied by suggesting his statement was based on a briefing by Gen Hagee--that briefing didn't occur until days after Murtha made his statement. I'll try to pull up the Proxmire case.

Neo
Do any of the Haditha marines have a legal case against Murtha for slander?

I think this falls under the political category of "stealing the lollipops from children" which is part of the MOS for politicians.

Appalled Moderate

cathyf:

The Iraqis don't need a Pol Pot to commit genocide or ethnic cleansing. They are doing quite well with the personnel they have.

The one thing we have seen is that the Sunni have figured out that they don't want to be ruled by religious fanatics. That's progress, but it does not help us much with the Shia, whose radical groups will happily take help from Iran as long as they have another foreign devil to rail against. (And guess who that might be.)

Plus, much of what needs to be done over the next 1.5 years, out of necessity, must be done by the Bush administration. And those guys have forfeited any trust to which they were entitled. Much of the problem with entrusting any more activity in Iraq to these guys is the fear these guys will do something else that is entirely mad. (Invade Iran...simly align with the Sunni against the Shia...initiate a coup against Malaki.)

clarice

Cathy,"The House and Senate did not begin using their own in-house lawyers until the 1970s, inspired by the surprising suit by behavioral scientist Ronald Hutchinson, whose government-funded studies of aggression in monkeys won a “Golden Fleece” award from former Sen. William Proxmire (D-Wis.), a pork-barrel critic who would make Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) proud.

When Proxmire publicly mocked Hutchinson’s work in a floor speech and a newsletter sent to nationwide subscribers, saying the professor had “made a monkey out of the American people,” Hutchinson struck back with a defamation lawsuit. The case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, which found Proxmire’s speech outside the Capitol was not covered by constitutional immunity.

“It was a bit of a shock when that happened,” said Don Ritchie, the Senate’s associate historian. “Speech-and-debate is a very important issue; it does put a large blanket over members because you want them to be able to speak their minds. But it’s not 100 percent guaranteed.”

http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:xYG-CMv8h7gJ:thehill.com/cover-stories/constituents-v.-congress-the-good-the-bad-and-the-crazy-2006-09-05.html+Suing+Congressman+for+slander+Proxmire&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us>Limits of speech and debate clause immunity

PeterUK

Impeach Murthida!

Enlightened

Murtha is a disgrace. I hope the military community takes care of the likes of him.

I'd rather be an honest chickenhawk than a lying sack of shit like Murtha.

hit and run

(new beachamp tidbit on last thread. bob at confederate yankee fact checked the legendary fact checking of TNR, and well....you can guess the results)

boris

There needs to be stability and prosperity for Shia and Sunni in Iraq to make a political deal they can live with. Shia need to grant Sunni some of their political clout because unless Sunnis have a stake in the game they will just take over again at their first opportunity (following US withdrawal).

As long as foreign terrorists can prevent economic development there is no real incentive for Shia to offer or Sunni to accept. That's why local security and stability is key. US military presence can promote stability for economic growth at the local level that can over time provide the necessary incentives for cooperation.

Reducing the equation down to just military and political is incomplete and incorrect. The missing factor is economic, and the solution, if there is one, is growth and prosperity. Maybe Iriqi culture doesn't quite get "democracy" but it's a safe bet they get "wealthy". People are just more likely to learn what they need to make a good living.

hit and run

From Michael Goldfarb (no! not a beauchamp item!):

...this week’s cover story of Der Spiegel-- titled "Baghdad Babylon: SPIEGEL-Reporter with U.S. Soldiers in the Iraq War," provided an unexpectedly upbeat assessment of the current surge strategy in Iraq. For three weeks in July, Der Spiegel reporter Ullrich Fichtner and his photographer traveled across Iraq under the auspices of the U.S. military to get a first-hand impression of the situation on the ground. Online, the 15-page in-depth Iraq trip article titled "The Hellish Peace" is only available to Spiegel subscribers

During an online-chat yesterday about his recent trip to Iraq, Ullrich Fichtner provided the following assessments:

"I think that the current troop surge provides a real opportunity for progress that could make a difference [in Iraq]." […]"One can say that the entire North, the Kurdish areas, but also the rural areas around Baghdad are no longer war zones."

...
Fichtner also believes that the extent of conflict between Shiites and Sunnis is overestimated by the outside world--that real reconciliation across religious lines is still a distinct possibility:

"It is also a race against the clock. As long as the sectarian murders continue, and there are still about 600 such executions every month, there is no room for talks. But these executions are a Baghdad-specific problem. In the rest of the country [Shiite and Sunni] groups lead a life of peaceful coexistence." […]

Finally, Ullrich Fichtner expressed his hope that people around the world will not be blinded by new photos of bombings; rather they should recognize "that a successful future for Iraq is possible."


...If they've lost Der Spiegel........

hit and run

Sorry, not Michael Goldfarb, it was Ulf Gartzke that posted that on the WS blog.

clarice

Can we start a Foer pink slip date lottery?

Appalled Moderate

boris:

You don't get the economic without security. And you don't get security without enough of a political resolution such that those who are shooting are willing to put away their guns, and try a non-military approach to their problem.

boris

And you don't get security without enough of a political resolution

That's where we disagree. US military enforced stability creates the opportunity for economic development which creates the incentive for political solutions.

Without the economic incentive there is nothing to gain and nothing to lose.

Extraneus

While all the half truths and spin of the past have built up a valid distrust of virtually anything the Administration says about Iraq, real military progress is taking place...

Love those obligatory preceding notes.

The Democrats have allied themselves with our enemies to the extent that they see no benefit other than in our own defeat, because they see no benefit that isn't political. Reading the tea leaves, they're beginning to calculate that they'll fail in an effort to slime Petraus, and the rats are trying to find another way out. I don't think there is one, but I find it encouraging to note that Hillary -- the only one of them who could hope to position herself on the winning side -- has managed to get herself into a you-know-what match with a DoD deputy over the wisdom of publicly planning for a pull-out just in time to witness the victory they dread.

I wonder how Schumer's vote-counting predictions look if Bush and Petraus succeed.

sylvia

I think as long as we get the Sunni areas to stabilize, we have "won". And if it is true that they are on their way to stabilizing, contrary to what Harry Reid says, we have already won.

The fighting around Baghdad will probably take place for years to come and is probably more like a Mafia power struggle than a religious/governmental war. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of that fighting had always taken place under the radar for many years even before. We can't prevent every revenge murder in Iraq, but what we can do is get the regions satisfied with their lots and willing to work with the central government at least in a way that isn't overt warfare. With the Sunnis coming on baord, that takes care of all three groups.

I think this will happen naturally over time, not because I am optimistic, but because history shows that wars always settle down into the natural state of peace, and it will happen eventually.

sylvia

One thing I'm curious about is how are the Iraqi people perceiving the Maliki government? I haven't heard much about that one way or the other in recent months. Although I suppose no news is good news and it seems that Maliki seems to be holding some support of the people and I haven't heard the Sunni's complaining that much about him personally. So it looks like he could be doing worse.

Les Nessman

" The positive reports are great, but the inability of Iraqi politicians to get their act together, or even put together the appearence of putting their act together will eventually cause all of this to spiral right back to doom/gloom.

Iraq needs some leaders if things are going to work out. Anyone have a clue who those might be? "

Why single out Iraq? You could say the same thing about the U.S.

PeterUK

TNR - A Desathly Silence

sylvia

By the way an interesting article not really related to this thread on 'sadism' in the London Times.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/
guest_contributors/article2163832.ece

It seems that these sadists were useful in an evolutionary sense to keep the rest of us in line so that we don't hide behind the others and face the wild animals when we hunt. It kind of ties into my ideas of bullies and why there always seems to be one bully in a group who has an exaggerated sense of 'place'. However, I'm not sure these sadists have not outgrown their evolutionary usefulness in modern society, and are not now causing more trouble than they help. Saddam Hussein and all the strong arm dictators I think are examples of relics from our hunter gather past that are still causing the world a lot of unneccesary trouble.

Extraneus

Iraq needs some leaders if things are going to work out. Anyone have a clue who those might be?

Seems like one possibile place they could continue to find leadership is...the Americans. The only problem with that is that the majority of Americans, judging by their own leaders, want the Iraqis to lose and lose big. I wonder if that has any bearing on the Iraqis getting their act together politically.

hit and run

In discussing the getting on board article TM links above with dems grudgingly admitting that the surge is producing positive results, Taranto looks ahead (and behind) to the 2008 (and 2004) election(s):

Actually, when you think about it, it's amazing how similar the 2008 race is to the 2004 race. We have a formidable establishment candidate who originally backed the war, then changed his mind (John Kerry then, Hillary Clinton now); a challenger who has opposed the war all along, and who is clearly out of his depth (Howard Dean, Barack Obama); and a third guy who stands around looking pretty (John Edwards, John Edwards). The biggest difference is that Mike Gravel doesn't quite have the gravitas of a Carol Moseley Braun.

This year, of course, everyone seems to think the Democrats are very likely, even guaranteed, to win. That's because, unlike in 2004, George W. Bush is very, very unpopular. The biggest danger for the Dems, then, is that their nominee will figure out that Bush is not on the ballot and won't know what to do.

Pagar

"The Democrats have allied themselves with our enemies to the extent that they see no benefit other than in our own defeat, because they see no benefit that isn't political."

I think the American leftist politicians and their supporters are getting desperate. They have committed themselves to supporting enemies of America, just like they did in Vietnam. Just like Vietnam, the American military is going to prevail; so the only way America can be defeated is by the American leftist terrorist supporters.

clarice

Taranto's ALMOST as good as Hit.

Steve

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clarice

Charges dropped against a second marine in Haditha..http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/military/20070809-1145-bn09haditha.html>I want Murtha kicked out of Congress and Time out of business

Gmax

Remember the guy at NASA who made a big splash by complaining that his views on global warming were being surpressed? Hansen.

Well read this and wonder if the whole thing wasn't another smokescreen, trying to cover up the miserable work that he had done on observed temperatures. Or maybe not so miserable as deliberate?

Doubt he was deliberate in his errors? I cant prove it of course, but how many scientists withhold source data so that peer review of their work is impaired? Besides Michael Mann of hockey stick fame I mean. So forgive me if I impute some motivation here beyond the evident misfeasance.

Link to article:

http://www.dailytech.com/Blogger+finds+Y2K+bug+in+NASA+Climate+Data/article8383.htm> Warmest on record? Not 1998!

Neo
I've heard grumbling such as 'See, more troops makes a difference! We should have had more troops all along like Shinseki said!'

This is usually accompanied with a long sob story about how the Republicans have not wanted to "grow" the size of the military.

Of course, the proscribed solution to "growing" the military is to introduce the "draft". Everyone knows (or should know) that after the "draft" ended in 1973 (or 74), there were no more large scale anti-war protests. For most folks, it really wasn't about the war, but about being sent to war.

In this case, the truth lies in HR163 (108th session), the `Universal National Service Act of 2003'. Charlie Rangel's bill expressly indicates that the draft would be for a retreat.

(b) FORM OF NATIONAL SERVICE- National service under this Act shall be performed either--

(1) as a member of an active or reverse component of the uniformed services; or

(2) in a civilian capacity that, as determined by the President, promotes the national defense, including national or community service and homeland security.

Syl

Warmest on record? Not 1998!

Heh. Our local NWS guy looked it up. Richmond, VA hit 103 yesterday. But the warmest day in August in Richmond was 106! and that was in....

1918!

BarbaraS

What is it now? The e-mails have gone out to the faithful. Since we are winning militarily and have scuttled Plan A the dems are now trashing Maliki and the Iraqi government. This is Plan B. Well, they have to have some reason for us to lose and pull out in Iraq. They have far too much invested in our defeat. What happens when the Iraqi government gets its act together? What ploy will the dems use then? What is Plan C? Will their so-called civil war be at its height? Who knows with the dems. I am astonished at each new low they sink to. The next thing after A, B, and C is D. The Iraqi government is not giving each Iraqi their fair share of revenue which shows we have lost in Iraq.

Extraneus

Everyone knows (or should know) that after the "draft" ended in 1973 (or 74), there were no more large scale anti-war protests. For most folks, it really wasn't about the war, but about being sent to war.

Excellent point.

Gmax

the draft ended in 74. My lottery number was something like 18, so please forgive me for having a rather soft spot in my heart for Richard Nixon even today.

Ralph

Another point that gets lost is that opposition to the War was not nearly so strong as the media likes to portray it (the winners get to write the history books). The bill defunding assistance to Vietnam passed by a VERY small margin (as in 46-45).

If anyone is interested, I have a PDF (non searchable) of the Congressional record giving the roll call fo the vote.

I THINK that the Democrats have fallen into believing that the reality of the War was as their myth portrayed it, and they're not succeeding with convincing the public to the extent that they'd like since the MSM, while still very powerful, is NOT the sole source of information this time around.

Ranger

Well, to be honest, I sense a rope-a-dope going on here. The Dems are now hitching their wagon to a lack of political progress and banking on no progress being made in August. I suspect that there actually will be more political progress behind the scenes now that the Iraqi Parlament is out of sesion. What will the Dems do if the Iraqis reconvien in September and suddenly agree to a wide range of new policies?

Neo

the draft ended in 74. My lottery number was something like 18, so please forgive me for having a rather soft spot in my heart for Richard Nixon even today.

Mine was 85

clarice

I am certain that the alignments and agreements are coming from the bottom up and whether or not Parliament is in session is irrelevant to that.

Neo

I want Murtha kicked out of Congress

I bet Murtha can get each of these Marines a great earmark.

Appalled Moderate

Ranger

The political reality is that any attempt to get the US out of Iraq will be filibustered and/or vetoed. The military progress is enough to keep wavering GOP members on board, which means any filibuster or veto can be sustained. I think the Dems will, of course, stage votes on the report, and the votes will be close to party line. But there won't be a whole lot of debate and there will not be talk of defunding the war. (That train left the station long ago.)

As for the Iraqis, I don't thin they will be amking a lot of political progress, simply because the main governmental players aren't from the same group with which we have allied to kick around Al Q.

Neo

I sense a rope-a-dope going on here

Expect to see the argument that although there has been a superb effort on the part of the US military, the political side has not improved and .. yada yada.

The alternative will be something about the Democrats pushing Bush to let the military do their job better or some such nonesense.

Remember, politicians are expert at redirecting blame and credit.

Neo

I think the Dems will, of course, stage votes on the report

This is going to be a bit difficult in the Senate.

The House has completed 12 appropriations bills while the Senate has completed just one, and this doesn't include sending them to conference (or a facsimile thereof) and voting on the conference reports. All this has to happen in about 6 weeks.

I expect the House to take the lead in the Democratic efforts to surrender after the recess.

David Walser

When Bush first announced the "surge", he explained the purpose of more troops was to secure the physical peace that would make political progress possible. Before the surge was fully staffed (i.e., before the additional troops had even made it to Iraq), the Democrats and other opponents of the war prematurely said the surge had failed to secure the physical peace.

Now that the surge is fully staffed and there are signs the military is beginning to produce the hoped for physical peace, the Democrats are, again, claiming the surge has failed. This time, the surge is seen as a failure because the hoped for political progress has not materialized. Just like the first time, this claim of failure is premature.

How can we expect political progress to occur when the necessary predicate, physical peace, has not yet been fully secured? (That would be like expecting the surge to produce physical peace before the additional troops are even in Iraq!) Just as we could not rightly say the surge could not produce physical peace before giving it time to work, we cannot say the Iraqis cannot make political progress before they've been given a real chance. These things take time.

MikeS

The reality is that we are in Iraq until January 20, 2009

If things keep going as well as they are now, I'd bet a draw down will be underway before that.

Boris is usually right on, but today he is even better. The bottom up argument for Iraqi political progress is insightful.

Appalled has a fair point with the which comes first thing, but the U.S. can't really impose a political solution on the Iraqis. It now appears that we can impose a military solution.

TerryeL

Appalled Moderate:

This administration has lost all credibility? Really?

It seems to me that Bush has been rather consistent in what he has said about Iraq, in fact if you read the speech he gave to the UN back in September 2002 or listen to his press conferences today he has always maintained that removing Saddam from power and bringing stability to Iraq are in our national interest.

The opposition on the other hand, said Saddam had wmd, then said he did not and further stated that anyone who said otherwise was lying. They have said Saddam should have been removed from power and left in power. They have said we should have left Iraq alone and then turned right around and said we should have maintained sanctions and the no fly zones whether those options were available or not. etc. etc.

So when it comes to credibility I really don't think the critics of this administration are in any position to pass judgment. They just bitch bitch bitch.

I wonder what the reaction would have been if in 2002 George Bush had stated that the UN and the Clinton administration were full of it, Saddam was pure as the driven snow and had no weapons. And as far as that is concerned if he wants to kill hundreds of thousands of his own people who are we to spoil his fun? Saddam can go on giving sanctuary to terrorists in Iraq and money to terrorists elsewhere and we are just going to mind our own damn business and try to avoid any much deserved blowback.

I can imagine the reaction from both sides of the aisle.

The truth is I think Bush has tried to get the job done in Iraq, best he could, difficult as it is. He has every impetus to succeed and no reason to desire failure. It is sad that the same can not be said for the members of the other party.

SlimGuy

the draft ended in 74. My lottery number was something like 18, so please forgive me for having a rather soft spot in my heart for Richard Nixon even today.

Mine was 85

Posted by: Neo | August 09, 2007 at 04:46 PM

 

I got my draft notice when my submarine pulled into Japan for a port visit.

The XO had a great laugh about all that and sent off a message to say no dice guys we've already got him.

Government, it's not just for breakfast anymore. 

SlimGuy

For weeks I had to endure really bad jokes of how they would trade me for two first round picks and another choice to be named.

Enlightened

Well, the left can always turn to the Absolute Moral Authority to get them out of Iraq.

Sheehan officially launches campaign against Pelosi.

The San Francisco Bay Area Triumvirate - Bezerkley (Barbara Lee) supporter of the Black Muslim Bakery - and the thugs and murderers therein.
Oakland (Dellums) See above.
Add to the mix the mayor of SF who snorts cocaine, is an alcoholic, sleeps with his assistant's wife, councilmen that don't even live in the city getting elected and taking bribes, nutbags on the council that think giving out needles to homeless drug addicts is so right, but do nothing to clean up the used needles - in one of the nations most beautiful central parks. And now the Absolute Moral Authority has slithered into the woodwork.

Thank god for Leftwing Moralists.

You just cannot make this shit up. I think I'll just lean back in the ole Baracalounger and grab a brew. Don't cost nothin.

clarice

Terrey, that was an excellent post.

Enlightened

OMG! Speaking of the Leftwing Moralists - you have got to go to Cap'n Ed's and see the latest leftard gimmick. Criminy sakes - WTF is wrong with them????

A guy trying to slime Fred! by way of the KKK. Moveon. Kerry. DNC.

Gimme another brewski. It's gonna be a long night.

Enlightened

It seems to me that the left is going to degenerate further into their self-made cesspool with more and more personal smears in lieu of action. They sure as hell ain't getting it done in Congress. I predict the absolute ugliest campaign in 2008 most of us will ever witness.

PeterUK

Enlightened,
You have to remember, the left simply take their personality defects and project them onto others,they are nasty,so they think nasty.

windansea

time for another global warming post TM?

a geek storm is raging as McIntyre of climateaudit has debunked NASA's USA temperature data, they reverse engineered the NASA kook Hansen's software (he has never shared it, even though US taxpayers paid for it) he's also the one who whined about being intimidated by BushHitler when after giving about 400 media interviews it was suggested someone else do just one

this will provide a nice tasty blog swarm for next week

start here

Sara

Via California Conservative's Gary Goss:

My good friend Darryl Sharratt just posted the good news on Freepers. Here’s what Darryl posted:

At 7:00 PST, 9 August 2007 Justin and his attorney met with a Marine Corps representative in an office at Camp Pendleton, CA. At this time, my son LCpl Justin Sharratt, was handed an official Marine Corps Disposition of Charges document declaring the charges stemming from the 19 November 2005 Haditha engagement have been officially dismissed. The last line of the two page Disposition Of Charges document ended with these words from the General, “And as you have always remained cloaked in the presumption of innocence, with this dismissal of charges, you remain in the eyes of the law- and in my eyes- innocent.” Lt. Gen James T. Mattis

Jim Robinson—My family would like to offer you a sincere and deep felt thank you. During our darkest days you allowed us to publish our story here on Free Republic. When others went deaf, you listened and you heard. Our belief in God, our belief in the innocence of our son and the support and prayers of the American people helped us through this rough ordeal. Our family has met a group of American patriots here on FR that my words fall short in thanking. You helped us through these trying times with your support, thoughts and financial assistance. My family is truly proud to be an American family. You took us in and made us part of Your Family. For that I can never thank you enough.

With the General’s announcement of the exoneration of my son, LCpl Justin L. Sharratt, part of our journey has ended. Another has just begun. We will put our lives together and continue the fight for the remaining Haditha Marines. By now, you know these men. They are part of my family and I know you have made them part of yours. My son served with these men and he would have given up his life for them. I hope to find justice for these Marines and the battle has just begun. God Bless.

Redrover, Madison Marine, Girlene, Marine Uncle, Eagles6, Semper Fi Mom, Jazusamo, 4 woodenboats, LanceyHoward, brityank, pinkpanther, Chickenhawk Warmonger, RaceBannon, xzins, velveeta, freema and others- names, with no faces. You helped my family through this and we may never be able to express our gratitude. Thank You!!!!!!

hoosierhoops

Add to the mix the mayor of SF who snorts cocaine, is an alcoholic, sleeps with his assistant's wife, councilmen that don't even live in the city getting elected and taking bribes, nutbags on the council that think giving out needles to homeless drug addicts is so right, but do nothing to clean up the used needles - in one of the nations most beautiful central parks. And now the Absolute Moral Authority has slithered into the woodwork.

-enlightened
I had to giggle at this post..yea, i know you bring up some serious issues not to be blinked at..but still the hoopster went to college in the bay area and still have fond memories of the places and people i met..
The Bay area consists of the best and worst of what america is..the best people i have ever met, lifetime friends and some real freaks..what did you expect?
I hate to see us paint an area with such a broad stroke...we fall into the trap of condemning a whole area because of some..
( Now sister Bom Bom running for mayor years ago cracked me up).
Well that's all i've got to say..cause for days now i haven't much to write in these posts...time will tell about Iraq...oh and also..that pvt.doughhead that wrote those crazy stories..man, I'd hate to be him with his unit...

hit and run

Syl:
Richmond, VA hit 103 yesterday. But the warmest day in August in Richmond was 106! and that was in....

1918!

Yeah, 102 here yesterday. 100 today. 100 tomorrow. But like you, those aren't records.

Aug 7,8,9 the record highs here were all 1918 as well. Oh, but not Aug 10!!!! 1930.

Well, what about Aug 11? 1925

Aug 12 and 13? 1918 again.

Shucks.

In all of August only one day's all time high has been in the past 25 years. Aug 14, 1995.

By the way, mrs hit and run and kids will be passing through Richmond Sunday on their way to Yorktown/Newport News. I tell them to wave.

And, I hope your eyes are better. Those beautiful, enchanting eyes. When you are gone, you are surely missed.

windansea

funny, Puerto Vallarta is having the coolest summer in years, it's about 85 right now

I expect Drudge & Instapundit to link to the NASA GW temp data shortly

TerryeL

clarice:

I just get so annoyed sometimes.

For instance tonight on Brit Hume's Special Report I even got annoyed at Charles Krauthammer.

He was carrying on about how Maliki was too nice to the Mullahs and when it was mentioned that even Karzai was civil with the Iranians {with whom his country shares a border} Charles just sort of blew that off.

In fact he did not even mention AlQaida, it was as if the Sunnis were our new best friends. I know the US is making is real headway with the Sunni but if it had not been for their support of the insurgency and AlQaida for the last three years the Shia might be a little more willing to try and get along with them and allow them more say in the government.

Sometimes it seems to me that we have two completely unrealistic extremes on these issues, the left which thinks we can all just get along if only the right stops being paranoid and bigoted and warmongery..... and then we have some people on the right who think we have to go to war with everyone right now this minute.

And of course neither course of action is gonna happen. Maliki is between a rock and a hard place and so is Karzai, expecting either of them to get in the mullahs' faces in an overt and public way is not realistic, not now anyway.

We are going to go right ahead and sell military hardware to Saudis whether everyone on the right likes it or not, because the Iranians do not like it and that is what we care about it.... they are a destabilizing force and so we want to destabilize them.

And so on and so forth.

Sara

I expect Drudge & Instapundit to link to the NASA GW temp data shortly

I saw posts on this yesterday.

USAgal

Another interesting unrelated article on the 'skeleton'. It seems the skeleton releases hormones involved in insulin regulation and might be a factor in Type 2 diabetes. Who knew?

http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSN0836919020070808

and look on the very bottom right hand side for the link

Sara

TerryL: The problem is that we are no longer at war with Iraq and have not been for some time. Scroll down on this post to see what Iran is doing and the consequences. The commentary is scary enough but the pictures say it all.

windansea

H&R YouTube video assignment

there's a thread at hotair about a parody video some lefty made called Romney's Girls

some of the commenters suggest a youtube video of Silky's Boys

"I Feel Pretty" would make a nice soundtrack

TerryeL

Sara:

I am not saying that the Iranians are not messing around in Iraq, I am sure they are. I am saying that the American people are in no mood for another war right now.

That does not mean we just roll over.

However, it is not realistic to expect Karzai to pick a fight with them and it is not realistic to assume that Maliki is going to roll over them just because he went to see them. Our own man Corker has been talking to the Iranians in Baghdad and Bush has made it plain that he believes Iran is destabilizing.

We can say we are not fighting with Iraqis or whatever, but thousands of Shia civilians were killed by Sunni insurgents and AlQaida and while it is a good thing that they are turning on AlQaida and trying to push out the insurgency, it does not change the fact that all that violence worked to the advantage of the Iranians and the disadvantage of people who want reconciliation.

To think that we can push these leaders who are trying to hold together these young governments into further confrontation with Iran is not realistic and it might actually backfire on us.

TerryeL

That should be it is not realistic to think that Maliki is going to roll over FOR them just because he went to see them [Iran]

hit and run

Wish I had the skillz. Never done a youtube vidoe. But I can link the heck outta them when necessary...

hit and run

OK, I'm getting nervous.

Where's Jane?

On her 3rd or 4th glass I hope.

And about to log on.

I was assured I would get a gay liveblog of the debate.

Did I word that correctly?

Ralph L

From Wiki:
"The United States abandoned the draft in 1973 under President Richard Nixon, ended the Selective Service registration requirement in 1975 under President Gerald Ford, and then re-instated the Selective Service registration requirement in 1980 under President Jimmy Carter." IIRC, they made a change in 1970 that ended most of the antiwar/anti-draft protests.

Clarice, Proxmire was also a pork hypocrite (surprise!). My father was working at Coast Guard HQ when they tried to close a Wisconsin station that had 2 calls/year when the average was well over 100. Guess who stopped the closing?

Sara

TerryL, well then I agree with you 100%.

clarice

I still think the fact that Chalabi is staying there, the Iraqi dinar is doing well, lots of Mideasterners are investing heavily there says a lot more aboutIraq's future than what the pundits come up with.
(Remember the CIA's trumped up charge that Chalabi was spying for Iran? Piffle!) Bordering states have to come to all sorts of accommodations. We don't. We will do everything--or should--to destabilize Iran and Karzai and Maliki can work out trade and customs and other issues of mutual impostance.

hit and run

(don't know why my name and email is saved between sessions, but I have to re-enter a url each time?)

Anyway, regarding the gay debate, let your voice be heard.

Submit a question here to be answered LIVE on The Presidential Forum, August 9th

Jane

2nd glass of wine H&R - and gearing up mightily for those prideful democrats. I promised my business partner I'd give her a complete tally of all the reparations they are sending her way.

Jane

Should I do it here or in a less active thread?

hit and run

Where you go I will follow.

Jane

Well if no one objects I'll stay here, but I'm happy to move back a topic or two so don't be shy.

And the anti troll mechanism is gonna make it painful.

Jane

And where is Elliot who is clearly the reigning king of liveblogging?

hit and run

Hopefully he's picking up another bottle of pinot blanc.

Jane

Welcome to "democrats pander to the gays" brought to you by LOGOS which surely must mean something that I'm not privy to.

Tonite's debate is not really a debate, it's a series of interviews with all of the dem candidates except Biden and someone else who is clearly not important enough for me to remember.

Okay, here we go.

Jane

Oh dear. Melissa Ethridge is among the panelists and Margaret Carlson is the moderator. This is called "the invisible vote '08". I wonder if Amy will be okay with being invisible at paycheck time?

Here comes Barack Obama who was the first to accept the invitation.

He shakes hands with the entire audience.

He declares a "historic moment for America".

Joe (president of the HRC) asks him about what place the church has in gay marriage because Obama says it is up to the churches.

Obama was himself and outsider, and wants equal rights, proposed NOMA, supports strong civil unions, he doesn't think the church should make the decisions as to rights but churches have the right to allow gay marriage or not. As president he will "fight hard" to make sure the 1100 rights gays don't get, they will.

Would he have voted for gay marriage as a state senator.

He takes issue with the word "marriage", so it depends on how the bill come up. He supports civil unions not marriage.

Joe says that is "separate but equal" Obama can't remember the year his parents were married, but says they were illegal in several states. So he gets it, but the name is not as important as the right.

Obama says it's okay for Joe to be troubled, but he's into rights not words. And he brings in the Justice department.

Margaret asks if religion owns the word "marriage" and since Joe can't get married, it;s a lesser thing.

Obama says his proposal would not be "lesser".

Sara

FYI - Sorry to interrupt the live blogging, but Fox just did a promo for Hannity's America that runs on the weekend and this weekend it will be the Real Truth about the Wilsons.

Jane

Melissa is thrilled to be there and says her community needs the government's help. She say Obama talks well, she says the last 8 years have filled her with fear. How will Obama bring the country together.

obama got into politics because he doesn't like people looking down on other people. So the gays are the reason he got into politics. But he is hopeful because of the constitution. Can we tap back into the decency of something.

He recalls his 2004 convention speech. He played little league in the blue states (huh). Politics creates fear that doesn't match up, so he will, as president talk to people in a way that will make them come togehter. (I guess he is a uniter).

Melissa talks about her work ethic, and constitutional equality. She says God made her gay and encouraged Obama to be the first.

Sara

Why can't these politicians say that marriage is about gender, not sexual orientation and that Civil Unions solves the problem which is all about benefits anyway?

Jane

Other guy:

How is Obama going to end homophobia in the black community.

Obama has already done it. (And he is good with initials "I did LGTB issues before the HRC".

When there is truth telling involved, people respond. Some people have elevated one line in Romans above the sermon in the mount (I'm impressed)

A recent poll of young people says 28% of the public do not oppose same sex marriage.How can he represent old school.

Obama says he has a track record of getting there first. He's not for gay marriage. Just gay right.

Would you put the fight for gays and lesbians for civil rights on a par with civil rights.

Obama doesn't want to compare victimology (good for him) but there are parallels.

The cause of his life is that everyone is treated fairly.

Obama sums up - he wants more time. All the candidates are better than the republicans.
But he is not just a talker, he really believes it.

hit and run

Edwards tackles the difficult issues: on and on about Coulter in a gay debate.

Boy talk about speaking truth to power.

Jane

In the order of which they responded to the invite - ta da! John silky pony Edwards.

He shakes more hands than Obama.

A couple of guys in the audience are clearly perving on him.

Melissa: she and his wife have cancer and they are both able to afford health care.Does he understand the special needs of gays who can't get their spouses healthcare.

He thanks HRC and says those "rights' should be available to gays. (Health insurance is a right now i guess)

He now says he was in the LA gay center and the message is there are lots of homeless gays because their parents kicked them out.

he wants everyone to see that because it had a huge impact on him

Melissa asks if john is okay, because she has heard he is uncomfortable around gays. John denies saying that. It came from a political consultant.

Melissa has children. And she talks about the 2 mommies thing. Does he think public schools should teach about 2 mommies.

John says yes. Then he blames kids in foster care on something - I guess not teaching 2 mommies.

It's important for the kids for their peers to understand that being gay is a good thing.

margaret asks what grade it should be introduced. John has not yet thought about that.

Jonathon: Gays thought they were being used as a scare tactic in 2004 and edwards didn't do anyting, will he next time?

Edwards bashes the right and Ann Coulter, and says he understands hate mongering, and if you stand by it's okay for the right to hate monger and especially Ann COulter.

The leader must be strong and denounce it.

Margaret asks if he wants to take on Ann Coulter or just Elizabeth. edwards says Ann coulter is the worst kind of public discourse. And it is intended to divide us.

You can't let hatred get a foothold (somoene tell harry reid, pelosi and John Murtha)

Other person: Susan stanton a transgender was fired. If someone on his staff said they were transgnedered what would edwards do.

He would support them personally and emotionally and in every way, and that's why we need more laws about discrimination. (Would he pay for the operation?)

He says he would be supportive, and likens it to race.

Re; his opposition to same sex marriage. What in your religion leads to this position?

Edwards recant - he should not have said that. he believes to his core in equality. It now makes perfect sense to him now that not allowing marriage stops short of equality.

We have seen a president who tries to impose his faith on the people and he won't do that.

Jane

So given this conversion what is stopping him from supporting gay marriage?

Edwards says his opinion has not changed but he believes in civil unions.

He's against DOMA and don't ask don't tell.

What will you do when Colin Powell says no.

It's not his job, it's the president's job.

edwards tell the gays are owed a debt of gratitude.

Jane

Dennis Kucinich who is woefully short.

He represents mainstream america.

Jonathon: You are for everything the gay community wants. Is there anything the LGBT community wants that you are against.

K- keep those contributions coming.

Why do you support same sex marraige.

K- it's about whether you really believe in equality - there is no power greater than human love. Poeple who love each other must have the opportunity to express it, and the states should not interfere.

So are Obama and Edwards just pandering.

K- I'm saying I'm for all being equal - quotes constituion at length. he lives it.

He will issue executive orders to make everyone give equality. Particularly contractors.

Love is transformative power. he will bring that to the WH

Margaret says he is so evolved for a member of congress and asks how long he has believed that.

he says: "Who cares" (boy I never thought I'd agree with K on anything)

He'a all about social justice. And he wants to exemplify the path the gays have taken.

Melissa fawns and says she hopes he always runs for president until he is elected. he says it took 5 times to get elected to congress.

Poeple have benefited from medicinal marajuana. Does he think it should be a federal law.

K- he objected to raids. Compassion requires that the govenrment support medical marijauna and he's make the justice department compassionate. And drugs should be a health issue not a criminal justice issue.

K - I'm the only person who stands for a single payer long term no co-pay health insurance plan. Everyone is totally covered.

Margaret asks how he will get elected because he is further out.

K - I'm in the center. I led the challange against Iraq. The rest of the country agrees. Being president means you have to do the right thing the first time. And he is always right about everything (who knew?). His candidacy is transforming the race and will transform the nation (phew)

He has a clean heart.

Jane

Re; AIDs funding

Will he reinstate Ryan White funding and how will he bring congress around.

Yes, he co-authors medicare for all. He promotes sex ed unless parents opt out. A president has to embrace people with AIDS in a meaningful way. (How would that go?)

Joe: You are an outspoken hero for our community (Oh dear) will you get Barney Franks bill passed for employment discrimination. (Oh please, do your job well you idiot)

Now K says 1+1=2 not zero. (What the F?)

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Wilson/Plame