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July 14, 2008



a lull in Shia militia activity

I'm speechless.

Soylent Red

Yeah Neo...

Somehow he missed the last, erm, 9 months?

The man is glaringly ignorant and yet he has the balls to knock McCain on swapping Sunni and Shia.


If there were a real press in this country the headline tomorrow would be:




hey. Michael Yon and Barack Obama agree. The war is over.

Yon knows from personal experience. Obama knows because, well, it's the last thing that came out his mouth and showed up on his web site.


Next .. we'll be treated to an Obama "Mission Accomplished" speech.

Danube of Thought

Is it really possible that this guy can get away with this sort of bullshit from now to November? This fellow is absolutely dangerous in his ignorance and duplicity.

Yes, this war has lasted longer than the US Civil War. It has cost us roughly 4,000 dead, as opposed to something like 600,000 in that war. (And never mind the relative populations in 1865 and 2008.) Is Obama aware of this? Does a war become worth losing because of its duration, as opposed to the casualties we suffer? Does he have any idea, one way or another? Is he even equipped to consider such questions?

I would like to think that the answer to my first rhetorical question is "no, of course not," but at this point I just can't be sure.


Back when the Iraqi war was being debated, John McCain had a lenghty article on his website on the reasons we needed to go. He needs to dust it off. It was that good.

Dennis D

The problem with Democrat Candidates is they must run as extreme leftist radicals in order to win that nomination but then need to shift center-right to win America. This opens them up to appearing dishonest and flip flopping. It happened to Kerry and Dukakis as well.

Soylent Red

McCain needs to make a better effort at pinning Obamessiah down. The guy throws words around that sound right, but aren't right. This gives him the appearance of knowing what he is talking about without having to actually take a position.

For instance, Obamessiah would withdraw "combat troops" from Iraq. Well...

That would mean, to most military people or people who were in the know, "everyone in a combat arms capacity". That includes, SOF and MiTT advisors.

If you extend that, you could also include those roles that support combat arms, like CAS, MI or Ordinance.

If you really extend it you could remove all of the logistical support as well.

So, by this example, Obamessiah is saying something where he has (at least) three possible realities to choose from. And he can choose from any of them and still have political cover.

So to pin him down, you have to peel the onion, and do it in standard DoD terminology from which he cannot obfuscate.

In the "combat troops" example, you do that by asking him to reconcile policy positions with desired outcomes, in view of his quotable statements.

For example, he claims he doesn't want to maintain a "permanent presence", but says we can probably get away with small groups for "training" and "support" operations. OK.

Once you've removed all the "combat troops" (as defined by DoD terminology) on one or more of the levels I described, who do you have left? What's their mission? And who does security for them?

Then, by extension, you ask him how that fits in with his (as yet unarticulated) Long War strategy. IOW, if they're not in Iraq, where are they, and what are they doing?

When he blathers on about "fighting terrorism, Al-Qaeda, whatever, in Afghanistan", pin him down on why he feels a "surge" there would work, when on thus and so date he said a surge wouldn't work.

IOW, badger him with terms and planning esoterica to expose how ignorant he is.

I guarantee you I could choir practice a squad of privates to be able to eviscerate him in about twenty minutes. And I know people smarter then me who could make it apparent that he is unfit to be a den mother.


McCain didn't switch up anything, if you think Iran is not training Sunni and sending them back across the border with very lethal precision machined warheads you are not following the program, have a nice day,


The bit I found fascinating was where he claims he will not let the military set up permanent station there as they have in Korea. Then how about pulling the troops out of Korea and Kosovo and Germany and Japan and all the other places.

What Bambi fails to realize is that the Middle East is where the major problems of the world are centered. By taking away our troops from that area he is essentially neutering us in having any influence on what happens there and also removing us from any affect on the oil production for the foreseeable future. That is not a good position for us to be in at this juncture.

With the problems of Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Palestinians all on the front burner, why leave now?


The bit I found fascinating was where he claims he will not let the military set up permanent station there as they have in Korea. Then how about pulling the troops out of Korea and Kosovo and Germany and Japan and all the other places.

What Bambi fails to realize is that the Middle East is where the major problems of the world are centered. By taking away our troops from that area he is essentially neutering us in having any influence on what happens there and also removing us from any affect on the oil production for the foreseeable future. That is not a good position for us to be in at this juncture.

With the problems of Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Palestinians all on the front burner, why leave now?


I've just discovered where Obama draws inspiration for his op-eds:



I finally figured out why Bush has been keeping bin Laden alive; it's so he can make a campaign video for Obama this October.

JM Hanes

I'm just pleased that Obama put such emphasis on Maliki's call for a withdrawal timetable just before the BBC reported that some anonymous staffer had completely misrepresented Maliki's remarks.


Soylent--that's good advice on everything he says--cause he doesn't know what he's talking about and doesn't much care as long as it's ephemeral enough to allow him slip and slide room. But--McCain knows military matters probably better than he knows anything else and that's where he ought to start the peeling.


JMH: It looks like Obama is dependant upon MSM sources for info. Maliki never said that although the headlines did. Generals on Petraus staff tried to make that clear. The headlines said so - not actual assessments - by people.

Obama is a victim of the old Dem way of depending on dictating the narrative through/with the media. (Dems/media being essentially the same prior to talk radio, FoxNews and the internet).

Soylent Red


10-4 on that.

If O! can't see that Iraq has transitioned from regime change to counterterror to proxy war with Iran, and that each requires an active presence, well...


Clarice: Can this fellow be onto something about hedge funds? He left this link on my site.

John Thacker

"A New Strategy Needed: The Iraq war has lasted longer than World War I, World War II, and the Civil War."

World War II? March 2003 - July 2008 compared to September 1939 - September 1945. Hmm.

Well, I suppose that in Sen. Obama's world, it only counts when Americans are dying. Poles, Brits, French? Screw 'em, that wasn't part of WWII.

Soylent Red


That's what's frustrating for me.

When the Obamessiah talks about these things I find myself cross examining the radio. He doesn't even know what he doesn't know.

But he shore do tawk purdy.


Slightly OT

Does anyone else get an uncomfortable feelign about Obama's suggestion of "an equally powerful civilian security force"?

Sounds too much like the Brown Shirts to me.

All the Best,


Yes, this war has lasted longer than the US Civil War. It has cost us roughly 4,000 dead, as opposed to something like 600,000 in that war. (And never mind the relative populations in 1865 and 2008.) Is Obama aware of this? Does a war become worth losing because of its duration, as opposed to the casualties we suffer? Does he have any idea, one way or another? Is he even equipped to consider such questions?
We were at Gettysburg last week. About 7,000 Americans killed each other in just 3 days there. The moral fortitude of both Union and Confederate forces -- from generals right down to privates is striking, especially when compared to our modern surrendercrats who pee in their pants at every slight or even imagined setback.

The other point about the war... In November of 1864 the Union voted to keep fighting until they won. By the following April (a month after Lincoln's inauguration) the war was over. If our surrendercrats didn't come so close to winning elections, maybe the Islamofascists would have given up by now...

Soylent Red

Sounds too much like the Brown Shirts to me.

Just like swastikas and marching hammers, that cool O with the flag horizon in it will make for excellent armbands.


I don't know what comment you had inmind, but Wall St is in NY and the big hedge funds (and law firms) are major Dem contributors.


Clarice: This fellow left the comment in my blog regarding Schumer/Indy



He seems to desire to trace Schumers motivations to his links to hedge funds and uses a 2007 NYTimes story as his base


Probably some rare Republican Mets fan who still links my blog

Soylent Red

Hey John Thacker...

Did you ever live in Nebraska? I was pals with a John Thacker in high school.


Could be. The cnbc article I cited tied it to his connection with the leftist public interest groups.And I think the cnbc connection is closer (i.e. helping competitors of the bank). But I really can't say I know with certainty what his motivation was. It could simply be that he wanted the publicity.
Whatever his motivation, it was wrong to do what he did, and he's smart enough to know the probable consequences of his action.


roger that, Soylent
oh, and did you know Clarice has a crush on you!!

i probably should not have said that, but hey,it's pretty obvious,

watch the pumpkin bro... :) and give 'em hell'


The Schumer issue is this...

Scenario: An auditor knows that the company he is auditing is going has hit a bit of a rough spot because he is seeing their books. Has his girlfriend's brother-in-law's college roommate heavily short the stock. Then he becomes a "whistle blower" exaggerating the company's problems, using his detailed knowledge to talk the stock down. He, the girlfriend, the brother-in-law and the roommate split the take from the trading profits and retire to a lifetime of ease in the islands.

Scenario: A senator on the Senate Banking Committee knows that a bank is going through a rough spot. He sends a letter talking down the stock to the Office of Thrift Supervision and then releases the letter to the press. He has his big contributors in hedge funds make huge profits shorting the bank stock, and they split the trading profits and give the senator his "take" in the form of campaign contributions.

In the first scenario, if the prosecutors can prove it, the auditor, the girlfriend, the brother-in-law and the roommate are all going to jail. (Or the first one of the four who can exchange immunity for all the scheme's details gets to stay out of jail and the other three are going.) So why aren't Chuckie and the hedge funds facing down prosecutors?


Now this is interesting ..

SAN FRANCISCO -- A disgruntled city computer engineer has virtually commandeered San Francisco's new multimillion-dollar computer network, altering it to deny access to top administrators even as he sits in jail on $5 million bail, authorities said Monday.


Apparently, Cathy...thats what the commentor on my site was implying


What's that childhood line, "whatever you say about me, bounces off and sticks to You"
well Gen. Robert Gard, head of Veterans for Obama;(I know thats like Roadrunners for Coyotes) who last was tut-tutting the relevance of McCain's military experience, himself should through himself under the bus;href<http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/general-gard-vietnam-and-iraq-needs-more
informative-title/> for his role in a task forces reviewing War Crimes allegations in Vietnam. At the very least, charges of use of command influence need to be considered. Seeing how the left went on a bender, practically calling McCain 'Bomber' Harris, just a few weeks ago. They still haven't gotten around that tidbit about Bob Kerrey
and the events, that Vistica 'unearthed' about that operation in Vietnam. It's like
something out of a DeMille novel with this crew.

I've reconsidered about the impact of the Britt cover, what Spiegelman wasn't available to tick everybody off again; Rall oevre is stick figures. They might have aimed for a 'coletilla' effect, but the impact of the web along with Lizza's rather
strong narrative, makes that task a little too meta. Lizza's long methodical profile, featuring the likes of Mrs. Pretzwinkle, makes up for the unsourced hatchet job provided by Hersh; some weeks before. It really is so over the top, yet is full of suggestions of areas of inquiry. Michelle didn't go for a German accented Phd Phil like Angela Davis, but her Princeton thesis
deals in the same themes. Obama hasactually worn that tribal get-up in Somalia/Kenya??
which according to Ed Markey, is all due to global warming. Hubby Barry's old Hyde Park coffee clatch, the Ayers/Doehrn's are
partial to the AK-47 and stamping the flag; with Father Wright serving as the eternal
soundtrack of the new SDS. Hamas, the FARC, Code Pink, form the remainer of the bar scene from the Mos Eiseley cantina.

With a little over a month to go; the stories are only going stranger. A flavor of what we have to expect is an echo from 4 years ago, when the Sandy Burger National Archives story and that New Republic piece alleging an August surprise, re Bin Laden; which likely came from rogue ISI which would ultimately unravel an investigation into the network of Mr. Essam Hindi,(which the net roots insisted was a feint)and his multiple target plot but undermined the search for the network that would conduct the 7/7 bombings, Which of course, Mr. Americablog would blame the Bush
administration for; Kerry would try that 'reporting for duty' stunt, and Rather and Mapes would try to provide cover fire
with Bill burkett and the eponymous "Lucy Ramirez' which the crew at LGF and some intrepid bloggers at Free Republic. There will likely be a return of Mr. Tuyen, McCain's warden at the Hanoi Hilton, who along with 'Fidel' allegedly an official in
the Cuban heath ministry should be at the Hague; but what's the likelyhood of that,


I'm just pleased that Obama put such emphasis on Maliki's call for a withdrawal timetable just before the BBC reported that some anonymous staffer had completely misrepresented Maliki's remarks.

Why did Obama waste his energies learning Spanish instead of* devoting his attention to Arabic? Shouldn't we be embarrassed now?
*Standard disclaimers apply.


Well, I suppose that in Sen. Obama's world, it only counts when Americans are dying. Poles, Brits, French? Screw 'em, that wasn't part of WWII.
You know, it's embarrassing when you talk to Europeans, and they know about the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, and then you go over to Obama and he thinks the war began at Pearl Harbor.

You'd think he'd be more sensitive to the Polish experience, since his grandfather liberated Auschwitz.


I thought the war began when we provoked Germany, Japan, and Italy with illegal arms shipments and then the lend lease act.

I mean, honestly, do "French military"* and "war" belong in the same unnegated sentence?
*Perhaps Obama is drawing the inspiration for his civilian defense force from the resistance.


He doesn't even know what he doesn't know.


I've been saying this about Obama for months. And that is in my mind the difference between being good at what you do and being a hacker.

Altho I'm really not sure if Obama actually can be said to do anything.

Oh and Good Morning everyone! It's gonna be a great day!

hit and run

Good morning Jane!

Question of the day: when do you go on the air?


the WSJ today


Descent From Entebbe
July 15, 2008; Page A17
Liberated after six years of jungle captivity, Franco-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt exclaimed: "I think only the Israelis can possibly pull off something like this." If only.

Tomorrow, the Israeli government is scheduled to release five Lebanese prisoners, including a man named Samir Kuntar – more on him in a moment – in exchange for two of its kidnapped soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, and information concerning the fate of airman Ron Arad, missing since 1986. The exchange might seem semiequitable, if only the three Israelis weren't all presumed dead.

Former Entebbe hostages celebrate their rescue in Tel Aviv, July 4, 1976.
Israel is also trying to negotiate the release of Gilad Shalit, kidnapped by Hamas and held in the Gaza Strip since June 2006. Cpl. Shalit is almost certainly alive. The asking price for his freedom, should terms ever be met, will be high: Hamas has already turned down cold an Israeli offer to release 450 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for their one hostage.

Israel's predicament is a self-inflicted wound. In 2004, Israel released some 400 prisoners, including Hezbollah cause célèbres Abdel Karim Obeid and Mustafa Dirani, in exchange for the remains of three Israeli soldiers and a living former army colonel named Elhanan Tannenbaum, described in press reports as a "businessman." It later became public that Mr. Tannenbaum's business was drug dealing.

It was clear what was coming next. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah welcomed his returning comrades by saying he was "more determined than ever" to wage war on Israel. He added that more kidnappings would be in store for Israelis unless they promptly released Kuntar. Israel refused. Sure enough, in July 2006 Regev and Goldwasser were kidnapped by Hezbollah, sparking a war in which 163 Israelis were killed.............

Israel, Iran and the Bomb
The U.S. should support an air strike by its allies.


Reading these while listening to Mika & a gal from the Financial Times lamenting America's upopularity in the world.

At lease on this one Joe did stick up for America. God help us if Brez gets back in power. If I were him I would be embarrassed to show my face. If I were Mika, I'd change my last name, but these people have no shame.


Hindraker at Power Line did a good job of answering Obama's op-ed. I especially love the way Obama is getting all big and bad about Afghanistan while rewriting history on Iraq.


I dunno Hit, some Tuesday in the following couple of weeks. Or, as soon as I'm prepared. Hey I read your blog. Is there more than one of you married to your wife?

I hope you had a great vacation! It sure looked great from here.


So why is Samir Kuntar so important?

Cecil Turner

Hindraker at Power Line did a good job of answering Obama's op-ed.

Yes he did. But really, this is barrelfisking. Barry has a pattern of being right on every issue after the fact (even if he has to be a bit revisionist), but increasingly he has a public record that comes back to bite him. Comparing his contradictory statements is too easy, especially on the surge. My favorite was this:

Finally, in 2006-2007, we started to see that, even after an election, George Bush continued to want to pursue a course that didn't withdraw troops from Iraq but actually doubled them and initiated a surge and at that stage I said very clearly, not only have we not seen improvements, but we're actually worsening, potentially, a situation there.
But the really funny thing is his supporters' claim to his superior insight based on a vote he was too late for (and probably would've avoided anyway), but elide the perfectly stupid defeatism evidenced on the one significant issue during his tenure. John summed it up nicely:
It is possible that at some point in American history there may have been a major politician as dishonest as Barack Obama . . .
And, I might add, one less prepared to handle the nation's defenses. And if John McCain can't manage to make that point by November, he doesn't deserve to get elected.


and ....


let's all remember that "permanent bases" refers to the construction techniques employed rather than the intended duration of their occupancy.

The alternative to "permanent bases" are tents.

If Halliburton owned Coleman Tent Manufacturing, you'd be reading about how Bush wouldn't commit to builidng more permanent bases because Bush wanted to set up a situation where tents in Iraq are replaced every five months to benefit Cheney.



I'd like to see someone put 'The Pet Goat' on his teleprompter.

Danube of Thought

Mornin', Jane.

I just received a lenghty e-mail quoting a letter to the editor of some Louisana paper from an anonymous active-duty Army Colonel. The subject is Wesley Clark's recent comments about McCain's lack of leadership experience. Apparently it was being broadcast on CNN to a large, dusty mess hall in Afghanistan, and the guy says that when Clark made his remarks he has never seen so many soldiers grow so silent since 9/11. He then goes on to recount his experience serving under Clark, and gives a description of this vainglorious ass-kisser that comports with the opinions of everyone I have ever known who has had any experience with the man. Before this thing has run its course Clark will be a net minus for Obama.


Trying to catch up on thread comments because I have mostly been away from the computer....

Congrats Jane on a new broadcast career! Hope to be able to tune in when you are on the air!

Soylent sounds like he is about to be deployed. Did I read that right? All your mother hens will be nervous wrecks here, so you better check in as often as possible.


Rangel seems to be in the press headlights..today the WaPo has a lengthy piuece about how he's hitting up companies under the purview of his committee for contributions to a Rangel library and the NY papers are reporting he's evicting hims4elf from the 4th rent controlled apt which he's been using as an office.


Having been recently to Gettysburg, it's hard to avoid the comparison between Clark and McClellan -- except that McClellan looks far more honorable, and the Copperheads were soundly defeated in 1864.


If wishes were fishes . . .

Then everyone on the conservative Republican side would stop with the "flip-flop" descriptions of Obama's policies, statements, etc. Calling him a flip-flopper is so weak and lame!

They should call him "the eraser." He is always wiping his slate clean - frequently several times in one day - and writing a new improved version (which he will later also erase). This is not flip-flopping.


From Media Blog at NRO:

A fundraising email from David Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager

Unfortunately, when it comes to collecting giant checks from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs, McCain and the RNC do have a lot to brag about.

They are raking in huge donations from those who want to keep Washington just the way it is. And they are pulling ahead in the money race.

Are republicans ahead in fundraising or is this lie-all-the-time strategy of Obama's at work here?

Danube of Thought

A little refresher on Wesley Clark:

"In 'Waging Modern War,' General Clark wrote about his fury upon learning that Russian peacekeepers had entered the airport at Pristina, Kosovo, before British or American forces. In the article 'The guy who almost started World War III,' (Aug. 3, 1999), The Guardian (U.K.) wrote, 'No sooner are we told by Britain's top generals that the Russians played a crucial role in ending the West's war against Yugoslavia than we learn that if NATO's supreme commander, the American General Wesley Clark, had had his way, British paratroopers would have stormed Pristina airport, threatening to unleash the most frightening crisis with Moscow since the end of the Cold War.

"'I'm not going to start the third world war for you,' General Sir Mike Jackson, commander of the international KFOR peacekeeping force, is reported to have told Gen. Clark when he refused to accept an order to send assault troops to prevent Russian troops from taking over the airfield of Kosovo's provincial capital. The Times of London reported on 23 May 2001 in an article titled, 'Kosovo clash of allied generals,' that 'General Sir Michael Jackson [was] told that he would have to resign if he refused to obey an order by the American commander of Nato's forces during the Kosovo war to stop the Russians from seizing control of Pristina airport in June 1999.'

"If General Clark had had his way, we might have gone to war with Russia, or at least resurrected vestiges of the Cold War and we certainly would have had hundreds if not thousands of casualties in an ill-conceived ground war."


bad: I read that too, about the fund raising and wondered about it like you have.

Clarice, or someone here, said he has until June 20th to release his June financial info. That should be interesting.


I remember that, Danube. What a little prick Clark is. I doubt he'll be playing much of a part in the O campaign now--unless everyone under the bus gets together for a joint appearance farewell tour.


What a little prick Clark is.

A perfect sentence in every way...


This is an important read by Thomas Sowell although the folks here at JOM have probably already done so.

Last paragraphs:

Nowhere do facts matter less than in foreign policy issues. Nothing is more popular than the notion that you can deal with dangers from other nations by talking with their leaders.

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain became enormously popular in the 1930s by sitting down and talking with Hitler, and announcing that their agreement had produced "peace in our time"-- just one year before the most catastrophic war in history began.



My experience with Clark was a distant one, but completely soured me on the man. At the end of the first year in Bosnia, the ARRC HQ which had been running things left and passed command over to NATO's southern HQ based in Naples. Clark then immidiately started micro-managing the operation. Right after the transfer he flew to Sarajevo and talked to the commanders. One of his statements there was that Dayton was a good peace agreement, and he knew because he helped negotiate it, but it hadn't been fully implimented because the peacekeeping forces on the ground handn't worked hard enough the first year to see it through. That kind of ticked off everyone in the first deployment who had been working 12-14 hours a day, 7 days a week for a year. The truth is that Dayton is a fatally flawed peace agreement, and anyone who knew anything about the situation in Bosnia at the time understood that. So, rather than take responsibility for the failures of his own handywork, Clark chose to blame the troops instead. That told me everything I needed to know about the man right there.

In 2000 I met an officer who had worked on the intel staff in Naples during the run up to the Kosovo War. I asked him how they could get the situation in the run up to the war so wrong, estimating that it would only last a couple of days and then the Serbs would capitulate? He said they didn't get it wrong. They estimated it would take 1,200 aircraft and 10 to 11 weeks of bombing to get the Serbs to make a deal. He then said that the reason the war started with only 400 aircraft and no real plan past the first few days was that Clark had told Clinton that was all it would take. He then told me that when they read the NATO HQ intel reports during the run up to the war, they discovered that all of the stuff coming out of Naples was missing. When they asked the intel chiefs why they were told that Clark didn't like what Naples was giving him so he was having them re-do it all to reflect his personal assessment of the situation.

Cecil Turner

The bottom line on Clark is this, from his former boss, GEN Hugh Shelton:

“I’ve known Wes for a long time. I will tell you the reason he came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart. I’m not going to say whether I’m a Republican or a Democrat. I’ll just say Wes won’t get my vote.”
To put it mildly, that's not a recommendation.


C'mon --at some point in time every one of us has worked with a Wes Clark type--maybe not one so extreme and succeeded so much despite his very obvious character flaws, but still..we all know him.


At the end of May, the cash on hand numbers were:

McCain campaign: $32 million (for the primary)
Obama campaign: $43 million (but only $33 million for the primary)
RNC: $53.9 million
DNC: $3.9 million

Of course with the pledges from Democratic interest groups, I expect the left will far outspend the right.


Obama is delivering his FP speech. SO far it's just words.

Oh here comes the Bush bashing. WE could have gotten al Qaeda after 911 - but didn't.

We could have secured the homeland but didn't. We could have rebuilt the homeland but didn't.

Hoy cow, where does he live?

Instead we've lost 1000's of lives, spent money and alienated all our allies, on a war that had nothing to do with 911.

The soldiers are great, but we need to talk about the strategic consequences. IRAQ IS A DISTRACTION. (I swear to God he said that)


but still..we all know him.

Is he the guy at the country club who flouts the rules by using his cell phone and sneaking his guests on without paying?


5 goals:

Ending the war in Iraq responsibly
finishing the fight with Afghanistan, wiping Taliban and al Qaeda off the planet
Securing all nukes

(I missed the last 2)

McCain supported the war, I warned everyone and no one listened, I had the judgment.

Going forward McCain wants to talk about Iraq I want to focus on a new strategy. I've said many times that
our troops have performed brilliantly. Petreaus was okay.

Saying teh surge should change my opinion does not take into account the facts. Too much money, soldiers are tired. Our strategy in Iraq caused Afghanistan to fail.
Iraq hasn't done their job, so I will end this war. Maliki has called for a timetable (uh well no Barack that's not true)
Now is the time for a redeployment to push Iraq's leaders.

Bush and McCain don't have a strategy for success, just a strategy for staying in Iraq. They call redeployment surrender. They have no consideration of a strategy beyond Iraq's border. They do not have the judgement. We can't kill every al Qaeda sympathizer (gee he just vowed to do it). Or wait til Iranian influence is gone (the only mention of Iran).

New mission on first day of office - ending the war. 16 months, blah blah blah.


But don't worry, he's committing to helping displaced Iraqi's. Bush and McCain got it wrong. The entire point of the war is to bring bin Laden to trial!


...ending the war.

Nixon or Obama?


He's gonna send 2 brigades to Afghanistan and support an Afghan judiciary - huh?

I don't have a clue what this means for NATO, maybe he will just throw them under the bus. He will spend a billion dollars to get rid of corruption, and get rid of the poppy farmers. And the Afghan people must know that our committment will endure, which of course they will believe after we abandon Iraq.


We need more predator drones. And we will take out bin Laden if we see him. WE have to change our Pakistan policy to win the war. We will triple non-military aid to Pakistan people and sustain it for a decade (yeah that should work - not).

It's all about Pakistan.

WE will secure all nuclear weapons from terrorist states. Iraq had no active nuclear program, and Bush mis-led us into the war. I made this a priority in the senate. I will lead a global effort to secure all nuclear material in my first term.

Send a clear message. America wants a world with no nuclear weapons. WE need to work with all the nuclear people. A global ban on the reduction of fissile material and a reduction of missiles. IOW I will disarm this country. That will give us credibility with Iran.

WE must stop Iran, McCain will continue a failed policy that has allowed Iran to succeed. I will use diplomacy without preconditions. But I will prepare.


This is OT but amusing.
Carl Levin basically running away from http://firedoglake.com/2008/07/15/fdl-welcomes-senator-carl-levin-to-talk-about-ongoing-senate-investigation-into-detainee-abuse/#more-27984>FDL just a few minutes ago.


Watching Obama is like watching a busy cat covering carp on a marble floor.


The other point about the war... In November of 1864 the Union voted to keep fighting until they won.

And that was a war that also went very badly for the Union the first few years, with Lincoln's popularity plummeting, until there was a change of strategy. All these brilliant second-guessers seem to think that the conduct and success of a war are always a matter of competence. Ultimately they may be, but things rarely go smoothly, and there are plenty of opportunities for whiners to demand retreat.

maybe not one so extreme and succeeded so much despite his very obvious character flaws, but still..we all know him.

Totally. Ranger's story about Clark and the Naples intel reminded me of my boss who used to boast that he would just make up numbers on the spot when he was asked for them in meetings. Major organizational decisions had to be made on such "data," but that didn't faze him at all, since he was the one who got to make or at least influence most of those decisions. Since he believed his views were correct, it didn't bother him if he had to make up data to support them.

He's a lefty by the way - one of those charming people who now claims to have supported Afghanistan from the beginning even though I remember him saying differently at the time.


Phone rang, I missed the rest.


If the troops are tired, will sending them to Afghanistan wake them up or something?


I’ve known Wes for a long time. I will tell you the reason he came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart.

After I talked to that guy who worked in Naples that quote made sense to me. I have a feeling someone in the Intel Chain got word to GEN Shelton about what had gone on before the war started and that is what convinced him to remove Clark.

That is a key part of why I despise that the Dems at this point. They fabricate the charge that Bush "cooked the intel" to justify war, then they venerate a guy like Clark, who really did cook the intel, knowing that no one who knows what realy happened will violate security and tell the truth in detail.


From The Page:
He says what’s missing from U.S. policy on Iraq is “a discussion of the strategic consequences of Iraq and its dominance of our foreign policy.”

“By any measure, our single-minded and open-ended focus on Iraq is not a sound strategy for keeping America safe.”

Vows to make the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban a “top priority.” “This is a war that we have to win.”

“In fact – as should have been apparent to President Bush and Senator McCain – the central front in the war on terror is not Iraq, and it never was.”

Is the single minded focus on Iraq actually coming from Bush and McCain? I say not. It isn't Bush and McCain that have tried to single out Iraq as the most important foreign policy issue, or as an entirely separate war.
I really do not understand the logic behind abandoning Iraq but focusing on Afghanistan. He can pronounce that Iraq isn't the central front, but he can't deny it is a front.

The difference should be that NATO is available to help if Afghanistan, while we're carrying the load in Iraq. Ask NATO to step up their military efforts or shut the hell up about criticizing us all the time.


http://thepage.time.com/sen-demints-letter-to-obama/>Here we go.

In February, I had the privilege of visiting and talking with our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. These brave Americans serve their country with incredible passion, pride and courage. As you know, NATO’s International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) plays an integral part in the current operations and reconstruction of Afghanistan.

There are concerns about the imbalance between some European nations, their level of commitment to the fight in Afghanistan, and caveats these nations place on their forces in theater. I trust you will become well acquainted with these issues. The Bush Administration has worked hard to maintain and increase the level of forces our European allies have committed to the fight.

However, despite these successes, I am concerned our Subcommittee has not held any hearings on these issues over the last two years. With oversight of NATO relations and its role in Afghanistan, I believe it is time for us to focus closely on these issues. As Ranking Member of your Subcommittee on European Affairs, I would welcome a chance to hold a hearing on NATO’s mission in Afghanistan upon your return.

The success of Afghanistan is critical to the future of NATO and vital to our efforts to defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban. As the situation in Afghanistan grows more tense, it is time for us to hold a hearing on the mission there. I look forward to working with you to schedule this hearing.


Jim DeMint
United States Senato

Rick Ballard


Jugears has been very, very busy these past two years. Besides, what do committee meetings have to do with the price of arugula? Or fresh fruit for Michelle's children for that matter.

I'm not sure that reporting the substance of his remarks serves any purpose - isn't the sincerity and fine tonal quality of his voice more important? Didn't he reflect an authoritative, uplifting and calming stage presence?

Besides that, what position has Jugears held beyond the period in which it was convenient to do so, anyway?


Obama is pulling another trick--he made a major policy speech on Iraq and Afhanistan today BEFORE he goes on his trip, which normal people think is backwards. Fact finding first THEN policy.

However this is all calculated on Obama's part. Appease the left today, go on the trip, make a different speech when he returns. See how good I am, I can change my mind when the facts change. Or somesuch.

Be prepared for the Dems to tout his sound judgment. What kind of pre-emptive strike can we manage before this unfolds?



I really do not understand the logic behind abandoning Iraq but focusing on Afghanistan. He can pronounce that Iraq isn't the central front, but he can't deny it is a front.

Obama's logic in the matter in that Iraq is unimportant because it is important to US security interests and Afghanistan is important because it is the easier of the 2 conflict zones to lose-just rattle Pakistan enough and US and NATO could get isolated as most of our supply lines run through Pakistan.

More specfically, his foreign policy thought derives (though he would probably deny it) from Orientalism, Edward Said's New Left opus, which says that the West can't know the Orient (in his case the Middle East) and that Western scholarship about the Middle East is an act of oppression. This is broadly a derivation of cultural hegemony and power/knowledge, and since this book has been the manual of dealing with the Middle East for decades, it has resulted in a culturally relativist foreign policy in which we debase ourselves towards the Middle East, are self-indulgent with our relationships, and fearful to make any criticism. The Bush Doctrine was the hard break on this thinking, but decades long habits of mind and the bureaucratic privilages Orientalism has provided, has generated a blowback in Washington.

If Obama is an Orientalism believer, then he would have to believe that the Iraq War (and the Afghanistan War) are acts of racism and oppression-to be opposed. He would also believe the bureaucratic privilages should be protected and the previous decades (70's-90's) of thinking was correct, and the consequences of that thinking were of a US failure to know the Middle East. He is using a hawkish stand on the Afghanistan War as a beard for his true foreign policy goals. He'll surrender their too.


I dunno Syl, given the way he phrased it, - leaving has nothing to do with winning or losing, so the facts won't change that. And he has doubled down on Afghanistan which his base won't like, but will probably accept because he has vindicated them on Iraq. The speech was aimed squarely at the people who are having second thoughts about his move to the center.

The pre-emptive strike is that his policy is the wrong policy, but no one on his side will believe that, they just want to give it to George Bush.

McCain can say he's got the exact wrong position on Iraq, and only those disposed to hear that will hear it.

I'd rather concentrate on the somewhat veiled innuendo that he will rid the world (including us) of nukes. I'd like to know who goes first in Obamaland. It almost sounded like he planned to lead by example - dismantle our program so the Iranians would follow suit. I must have heard that wrong....

Terry Gain

"But the absence of genuine political accommodation in Iraq is a direct result of President Bush’s failure to hold the Iraqi government accountable".

Right, genius, beat up on Iraq. This will sure help. Given that Iraq and America have combined under Bush to defeat al Qaeda in Iraq, one can certainly understand Obama's negative feelings about Iraqis.

Obama: He'll end Bush's war rather than win it.


Full text of BHO's speech is at the bottom of this link



Said was one of Obama's mentors at Columbia. So the shoe DEFINITELY fits.

I think that New Yorker cartoon was also a pre-emptive strike against valid criticism. I mean how dare we bring up Said. Even worse (because most people have never heard of Said) is that it will be stated as proven fact that Obama is a Christian (which he is) and it will be difficult for someone to say 'Yes, he is a Christian. Look who brought him to Christ...Rev Wright.'

Jane, you're probably right. But any even slight nuanced alteration will be viewed as symptomatic of 'good judgment'.


Here is a flavor of the speech, sorry for the length.

Imagine, for a moment, what we could have done in those days, and months, and years after 9/11.

We could have deployed the full force of American power to hunt down and destroy Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, the Taliban, and all of the terrorists responsible for 9/11, while supporting real security in Afghanistan.

We could have secured loose nuclear materials around the world, and updated a 20th century non-proliferation framework to meet the challenges of the 21st.

We could have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in alternative sources of energy to grow our economy, save our planet, and end the tyranny of oil.

We could have strengthened old alliances, formed new partnerships, and renewed international institutions to advance peace and prosperity.

We could have called on a new generation to step into the strong currents of history, and to serve their country as troops and teachers, Peace Corps volunteers and police officers.

We could have secured our homeland--investing in sophisticated new protection for our ports, our trains and our power plants.

We could have rebuilt our roads and bridges, laid down new rail and broadband and electricity systems, and made college affordable for every American to strengthen our ability to compete.

We could have done that.

Instead, we have lost thousands of American lives, spent nearly a trillion dollars, alienated allies and neglected emerging threats - all in the cause of fighting a war for well over five years in a country that had absolutely nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.


"our single-minded and open-ended focus on Iraq "

Pheh--What he's saying is that rather than wrap it up with a solid defeat of AQ, he wants to go chasing them thru the wadhis in Afghanistan where we have no technological advantage and where--as the left asked--we are working as part of a coalition(NATO).

I see the left rather like one of those road signes that point in all directions(for energy and foreign policy)--which is to say whatever path we choose, they will argue the right one is OVER THERE, not the road we've taken.
After we move more troops to Afghanistan, the over there will be Pakistan..even if Iran is more threatening.
We had one goal in Afghanistan:Deny AQ a national safe haven and we got that. Now he's in Pakistan but without overt state cover..


RichardUF--we could have done all that, instead..despite a perfidious opposition party and an outrageous and unprepared bureaucracy we beat the Taliban and threw them out of Afghanistan, putting OBL on the run; we rolled up the Pak nuke souk; Libya folded; Korea seems to have folded; the mystique behind the world organs like the UN and NATO has evaporated anyone with an IQ over a turnip's knows these are failed institutions upon which we can no longer rely; our biggest detractors in Western Europe (save in Spain) have been kicked out of office and replaced by far more sensible and sympathetic leaders.
We've had no more major attacks on US soil in 7 years.
In South America, Castro and Chavez are losing their punch and FARC is about dead.
In North Korea, multi party talks seem to have worked and Kim is far less of a threat than he was.


So, the Young Prince has already decided that the War in Iraq earns the same dismissive noun as the Rev. Wright and anything else he can't or won't address as a serious issue, "distraction." I think I have it categorized: if it doesn't help him get elected, it's a distraction. We must be focused on Him and his rightful spot behind the new seal of the USO. I mean USA. Or, do I?
Here's the thing. If he believes in meeting with the "President" of Iran and other world leaders to determine the way forward, why would he not want to know what is going on in Iraq before he decides and announces he war plan? If he were a pitcher, he would tell everyone before the game started that he was going to strike out Manny on the change up, down and in.
This kid is seriously flawed. Why, after having committed to a position not based on the facts on the ground would he spend time and money to go to Iraq? Maybe it is to make the JFK speech in Germany. What an ego. And I thought Bill Clinton was empty.
Anyway, here's the quote.
“This war distracts us from every threat that we face and so many opportunities we could seize,” Barack Obama said in a speech in which he called for a swift end to the war.
I, for a lonely one, would like an enumeration of the many opportunities lost by the war. I've pulled apart many a damage claim based on the hot air of opportunity cost. Every threat we face, every move you make, every cake you bake, I'll be watching you.

Charlie (Colorado)

Does anyone else get an uncomfortable feelign about Obama's suggestion of "an equally powerful civilian security force"?



Noticed elsewhere that McCain responded it's usual for people to make a report after, not before, a fact finding trip. LOL


We will be marching thru the streets in uniform by 2010.


From BHO's speech

spent nearly a trillion dollars

about 537 billion over 63 months...I've wondered how much the Tanker War cost, and The First Persian Gulf War cost, and Clinton's Iraq War cost...


How much did it cost to maintain the no-fly zone?
The troops on standby in neighboring hostile to us states while Chirac played games at the UN?

...strengthened old alliances, formed new partnerships, and renewed international institutions to advance peace and prosperity.
Ya know, that's a really nice one-sentence description of the Bush Administration's impressive accomplishments in Iraq.

Yes, it is, cathy.


Quick Quiz: Our relations with France and Germany
a)are better now than in 2003
b)are worse now than in 2003

I haven't heard about the Franco-German axis recently.


The Bush administration has made progress in every of the items in BO's litany. The Iraq no, Afghanistan si argument is nothing more than a way for the left to obfuscate their opposition to military action and the administration's success. When the WH and military made a decision on where to strike in the ME six years ago, Iraq was the obvious major target. Strategically located, major oil producer, run by a bloody despot and his crazy sons, probable promoter of terrorism and harborer of AQ, thought to possess WMD, etc. Afghanistan is mostly mountainous, few resouces, home to Taliban and some AQ.

But this is rational: BO is addressing his Koolaid addled constituency and hoping to convert some ignoramuses.


As Obama has already decide whats best for Iraq, he's revieled himself to be wedded to the American hysterical left. For them, the war was just wrong. And since it was wrong from the beginning, we should withdraw. They refuse to recognize any success and in fact many still are deluded into thinking it's worse.

I actually have more respect a for tnd can understand those who maintain Iraq was just a bad idea or are just anti-anywar. But the Obama Left though seems somewhat rooted in Bush hatred. Like anything, they are against anything that Bush is for. Its the "just because" argument.

glenda waggoner

Does anyone think Obama will have an accidentally on purpose visit with Assad or Ahmadenijad while on his trip? Probably a meeting with Hezbollah and Hamas? They are the ones he wants to reach out and dialogue with. Kids, he definitely is on thinner ice traveling abroad-it cannot be as scripted,
as his 12 flags behind him in speeches here.
Soylent-I am starting to feel safer knowing you'll be in the field. Steady. When does Jane's program start and how strong is the signal?
Did anyone see the story on CNN @ raising $ for Bush's library? Do they really want to go there considering their beloved Bill has still not released a donor list for his?


Maybee: A

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