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July 20, 2008

Comments

kim

It would be amusing if Obama won for Maliki to have to beg him to keep our forces over there late next year. Maybe he could remind Obama that he owes him one.
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Don

Your problem is the majority of Americans want out, and think it was a mistake to start the war in the first place.

McSame fails on both counts, and Obama's an exact fit in the zeitgeist.

Face it Republicans-you're fat and nobody likes you.

kim

But what a way to pull a wild card from your sleeve. Calls for withdrawal have gone overnight from sounding like the trumpet of retreat to the celebration of victory. What's bittersweet for the Democrats is that for them to call for redeployment after success they must acknowledge success, which will cause much dissonance. I mean, whence the argument for 'pre-emptive regime change' now?
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Thomas Collins

Maliki is walking a tightrope. He knows if US troops leave, things could unravel in Iraq. But if he is seen as a US stooge, he knows he is toast (at least figuratively, perhaps literally). So his comments about the US leaving contingent upon the security situation being stable make sense. I suspect Maliki realizes that a fixed 16 month withdrawal schedule is naive at best and nuts at worst. Even B57O seems to understand that. My worry is that if B57O becomes POTUS (which I still believe is unlikely, notwithstanding that just about all of liberal "right thinking" opinion and a substantial amount of conservative "right thinking" opinion seem to view B57O's coronation as very likely to occur), B57O, in an effort to please the conciliatory internationalists, will withdraw from Iraq too soon and also renege on his pledge for a muscular presence in Afghanistan.

In any event, if Maliki is able to continue to pull off this balancing act, he deserves Statesmen of the Year (and perhaps Statesman of the Decade) recognition.

kim

Don, you are not listening. Regime changed in Iraq worked; it's not a miracle and the American people are tired of Democrats being such flim-flam artists. The public sentiment about Congress is a measure of their chagrin with Democrats; that Bush is preferred despite the uniform disdain of the MSM is a measure of him.

If Obama is elected, his failure to deal with Iran as Bush has dealt with Iraq, will hurt him. Frankly, though, I suspect Bush will get the mullahs to fold before the election.
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kim

Thomas, if Iran settles down, Maliki probably will be able to keep domestic peace and ensure international security within 16 months. If not, he'll be walking back, and I'm sure he'd rather walk back with McCain than Obama. Obama's probably Sunni, anyway. Heh.
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kim

What we might have dawning, TC, is strategic co-operation between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Persia's move, I should say 'urge', to the Mediterranean is not exactly historically unfamiliar.
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boris

Who cares what Downer Don says? His whole life was a mistake in the first place and it would be utterly pointless to try and unFUBAR it now.

kim

Two differences between 1945 and 2008: Bush is not running for office after winning his war, and the American military doesn't support his opposition, as did the British military support Atlee. The parallel is suggestive but misinformative.
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Soylent Red

Reagan once said words to the effect of "it's amazing what you can get done when you don't care who gets the credit."

Whether or not Republicans get the credit or if Obama gets elected or whatever, the historical facts remain the same.

Bush was the catalyst that accelerated leaving behind the old ways of doing business in the ME which hadn't accomplished anything in 60 years. When, out in the future, the ME is pacified and part of global community in ways other than oil, people will look back to see where it started.

And it won't be Obamessiah or Harry Reid they find.

Let us also not forget that even if Obamessiah elected there will be ample ways for him to screw up. Afghanistan is hot, and if you think that warfare is confined Republican administrations, you're sorely misinformed. The geography is going to change, but we're got another 20 years of this at minimum.

Unless the Obamessiah decides it's better to let A-Q reconstitute. Then history will remember him too. Just ask Clinton or Carter.


As for the Maliki thing, Maliki knows the reality of American politics and is playing to his internal audience, who, of course, would like to see the Iraqi government in full control without American help.

Maliki knows that Obama has really only one logical choice IOT maintain stability: US troops stay at least in the region until he is confident in the Iraqi security forces to handle the job. To do so would mean that Obamessiah reverses his previous "all troops out in 16" position and maintains ***GASP*** "permanent" bases.

Uh oh, Don and the CodePink crowd go under the bus.

Or, Maliki realizes that Obamessiah could be so irresponsible as to actually believe his own BS, and will in fact pull all troops out in 16 months (except for the ever vigilant and powerful "strike force" /snark). In this scenario, when violence erupts (as it surely will), Maliki knows that he is sitting on a Shia majority and can easily obtain the support of Iran. An Iran who, BTW, is absolutely in support of Obamessiah's plan.

And so, Dems would then be forced to re-invade, and explain how things went from victory to defeat during WonderBoy's admin.

Even though the press is in the bag for him, Obamessiah can't (yet) erase history or current events to suit his purposes. People already are finding out he's a liar, let them find out he's a weakling too.

Thomas Collins

Kim, I hope you're right about the possibility of an Iraq-Saudi Arabia axis as a counterweight to Persia. I suspect that the Iraqis and Saudis view the Persians as a greater imperialistic threat in the region than the US. Perhaps some day the left in this country will see things as clearly as the Iraqis and Saudis. No wait, that would mean acknowledging that there may be greater threats in the world than Bush and Cheney!!!


tina

"When they stand up, we stand down" and "return on success" has always been the policy of President Bush. I'm more than disappointed after watching some of the talk shows this morning, that no one is bothering to mention it. I don't expect the media to mention it, but I thought perhaps CJCS Mullen or Sen. Leiberman might; was surprised they did not.

Charlie (Colorado)

Don, you are not listening.

Honestly, you coulda stopped right there.

Don

You guys really need a better story line.

If everything's going great -and wasn't it up to 15 of 18 benchmarks last week or so?-then why can't we leave?

Well because things are not really going so great...er...progress is being made...er...but the enemy is an independent variable...blah blah blah

Now it's the right wing hawks who want to basically say it's a quagmire...so we can stay!

The logic can't support itself because it ain't logical.

clarice

Why can't we leave South Korea--the war's been over there for a long time, hasn't it?

kim

Don, you are not listening. We are accomplishing great things in the bog. It's a dirty, stinkin' job, but someone's got to do it. Aren't you glad no one asked you to do it?
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Thomas Collins

So Don, is it your story line that keeping our troops in Kuwait and enforcing the no-fly zone while leaving Saddam in power and able to exploit the UN oil for food program would have left the US and the Middle East in a more stable position today. By the way, Don, on a related issue, I am also curious whether you believe that our ability to deal with Persia's nuclear program would be improved today if we hadn't invaded Iraq. Do you think that the multilateral European initiative would have been more effective than the Persian leaders observing our troops near their border?

I know I am going to be chided by some of you for feeding Don. But I really am curious to find out how an inveterate opponent of GWB's Iraq policy (and I think Don would probably qualify) conceives of the world situation in 2008 with Saddam still in power. I promise, I will put a limit on my feeding.

kim

Soylent, I'm glad you said that Afghanistan will be twenty years at minimum. The difference there will be drying the money for the madrassahs, and the need for Islam to pursue that (false) route to power.

In 1980, when the USSR invaded Afghanistan I told everyone I knew that the Afghanis would throw them out. It isn't just that I've read Kipling. In that time, every other Afghan man in the marketplace had a rifle slung over his shoulder, Michelle style. Of the ones who didn't, the impression was that their weapons were concealed. Afghani culture is similar to other mountain ones, and other crossroad ones and other Muslim ones but is unparalleled elsewhere. Twenty years? Oh Bamiyan, my Bamiyan.
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kim

Why Thomas, in Don's world Obama and Saddam would have had a nice little meeting of the minds over tea and unconditions one afternoon. It would leave Saddam's human shredders in place in Baghdad, and Obama's vote shredders intact in Chicago. Those two would have no problem with each others. We'd see fist bumps, heh, maybe high fives.
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Thomas Collins

"Michelle style"

LOLOLOLOLOLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!

I'm glad I wasn't drinking my coffee next to my keyboard, Kim. Now I have a mess to clean up, but at least I don't have computer repair costs.

kim

Don't tell Don that Obama would draft his ass into the quagmire.
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kim

I really can't say enough, Soylent, about the excellence of your post. Remember, too, the quietist Sistani. He's not going to let the Persian mullahs run the show.
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Ranger

Well, the more I think about it the more I think Maliki is playing Obama perfectly. Obama's justification for leaving now is that Maliki is a failure: the Surge has worked by providing security, but the Iraqis haven't stepped up politically. Now Maliki seems to be supporting Obama's timeline, but because his government is a success, not a failure. For Obama to endorse Maliki's statement, he has to repudiate his own logic of why we have to leave. Hense why the Obama camp had no comment on Maliki's statement. They see the trap and are trying to figure out a way out of it before Obama gets to Iraq.

kim

Well, that would be nice, Ranger, but TwinkleToes Obama will pirouette into prescience about it, if not in Maliki's mind, in the mind of the journalatariat here in America. Nonetheless, what's the objection now to 'pre-emptive regime change'? Like, say, in Iran?
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kim

That would be a final irony if Obama wins, for the the Israelis and Bush to change the regime in Iran and leave Obama to clean up the quagmire. Prepare to register for the draft, Don.
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kim

Obama can spend Chinese money to re-unify Korea, too; yet another Bush mess.
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sbw

Which "peace" do people want to give a chance?

The American Liberal version of "Not war" is a lack of conflict that says I get liberty because I lucked into it, but you don't deserve it because you are unlucky and not me.

The Classical Liberal version of "Not war" believes everyone who, by their actions, chooses to live under a protective umbrella of peaceful problem resolution deserves to have the opportunity. This version recognizes that the United Nations has failed its Human Rights Charter and reluctantly, when necessary, steps in to fill the vacuum.

This is the elephant in the campaign room that no one talks about. It's political discussion that Obama dare not face and McCain has not raised. Do you label the UN what it is, and threaten to withdraw funding, or does the nation continue to act where the UN has failed?

Obama does not want to raise the issue because most of his followers are shallow thinkers who feel peace is the absence of war, no matter how many oppressed living elsewhere are under the boot.

Damn their eyes!

sbw

That's damn the eyes of the shallow thinkers. I apologize for the ambiguity.

RichatUF

McCain was right about the surge, Obama was wrong, and now Obama is the one getting a boost from our current success in Iraq.

I'm still trying to understand this point. Obama's entire campaign has been built around losing Iraq, and if say by September, the security gains are generally unreversible (regardless of the details of a continuing US presence), so much so that even the most radical progressive can see it, doesn't this suck the air out of the Obama campaign.

Ranger

To elaborate further on the trap that Maliki has set for Obama here... Obama says that we must leave because that is a nessessary condition for Iraq to become a successful polity. Maliki is "endoring Obama's withdrawl timeframe" but inverting Obama's logic. Maliki is saying that the US military can leave because Iraq has (or soon will) become a successful polity. Thus, if Obama "agrees" with Maliki, he is admitting he was wrong about why US troops have to leave and that if things get worse later, we must stay longer.

Maliki also perfectly timed this so that Obama will have to respond while he is in Iraq. It will be much harder to disagree with Maliki's assessment face to face.

Soylent Red

Kim:

I'm not just talking about Afghanistan, although that will certainly be 20+ more years in the making if we want it done right.

What I'm talking about is moving pieces around the board. A-Q, while weakened, isn't gone. We're going to be fighting with them, or their Qutbist ideological successors way out into the future. Again, if we give a damn about actually stopping the use of terror as a political tactic.

You do that by augmenting the much vaunted "diplomacy" with a couple of additional elements:

a. the capacity and will to affect regime change on those who will not play the game (rogue nations)

b. the capacity and will to conduct counter-terror and counterinsurgent operations (failed states)

It's important to note that, like Iraq, at the failure of diplomacy doing a. can cause b. So when diplomacy isn't working, the answer isn't to apply more diplomacy. You have to, in the case of rogue nations, be prepared to go through the progression. In the case of failed states, diplomacy is less likely to work in the first place. Thus you make the commitment to long term COIN and nation building.

I know that's not a popular concept with many Republicans, but if you look at it from the standpoint of investing now to avoid catastrophe later, it truly makes sense.

All of this will be lost on the Peace=No War set that Obamessiah needs to get elected. But if Obamessiah gets elected, the best we can hope for is that he's a true BS artist. Because if he is, he may see that tossing his closely held beliefs about diplomacy, and his deepest party base, under the bus, is the correct choice.

But of course Don and his ilk will simply tell us that Obamessiah's wars are wars for humanitarian reasons and that they have always maintained that some war is OK.

My guess is that WonderBoy's ego and anti-US tutelage will get the best of him, and if elected he will throw Afghanistan under the bus, and the moonbats and Euros will chant "amen".

clarice

I remember looking at the map on Sept 12, 2001 and wondering how in the hell we were going to move all those pieces around without further increasing the danger to us..I'd say we've done a very good job ot Mideast Pickup sticks.

BobS

As the new theatre of the war will be Pakistan, it CHILLING to think what BHO would do.

BobS

I love to use CHILLING. It mocks the lefties so

clarice

He told us what he'd do--ATTACK PAKISTAN--remember?

Soylent Red

See Pakistan is one of the places where I think a little robust and hard-nosed diplomacy would work. As in reminding Musharraff which side his bread is buttered on and how replaceable he is.

Do you really think the Organizer in Chief is going to do that? Me neither.

Plus then I'd have to listen to Obamessiah's oh-so-worldly-and-wise pronunciation of the word "Pawk-ee-stawn" for the next umpteen months.

Screw that. Let's invade.

BobS

I do.....it may be that he gets his wish sooner rather than later. It appears the Paks are abandoning all the border regions with peace agreements with the local taliban. Can you say "free fire zone"? The Paks havent complained a whole lot when we've ventured in. There

BobS

cont..... on must be a reason NATO has been massing on the border.

clarice

It's a sweet prospect, Soylent. I suppose the assasination of Bhutto provided some extra incentive to let us clean out that sewer for them. In truth, Pakistan cannot move to the next stage of development without more stability and there can't be any with the lawless fronties untamed, can there?

BobS

Solvent: I think the Paks know they are unable to defeat the taliban. So many of their military and intelligence services are sympathetic. I really feel these peace agreements they've been signing may be their way of washing their own hands politically and signalling the beginning of strikes by us inside Pakistan.

bio mom

Pakistan has nuclear weapons.

The press misrepresented Maliki's meaning. Maliki's government has corrected that. Let's see how quick the press is to issue their own corrections.

BobS

yes, they do, biomom. But I'm stasted to feel that the Paks both want and need the coalition to defeat the Taliban as they are unable to for them. The Pak govt in Islamabad has never controlled the tribal regions as it is.

PeterUK

"Pawk-ee-stawn",sounds like Cary Grant.

Pakistan would have no worries.America invades,blows shit up,world opinion turns rapidly against America,the left and the Muslims scream for withdrawal,the UN Security Council votes against the invasion.The EU,mindful of its large Muslim populations,demands America withdraws.Barry flip flops and hurls someone under the bus.
No,sorry,if America leaves Iraq to fall into a failed state again,nobody will take America seriously ever again.

Soylent Red

BobS and Clarice:

I have an up close and personal relationship with the prospect of invading Pakistan, so forgive my bias.

I've been doing the research on some pretty newsworthy areas since back in February, so I feel like I can speak to what we'll find there. The whole border region and FATA is deep injun country. And going back to something kim said earlier, these boys like to fight. Invasion would be politically damaging on both sides of the equation, and would make 03-07 OIF look like a church picnic in terms of casualties.

That's not to say that we can't take them. It's just to point out the reality of doing so on their home turf. Which goes back to what you and I have said in the past Clarice: Keep flat Iraq open for business to bleed off A-Q resources from Afghanistan.

And BobS, there is open source information available, if you read a little between the lines, that suggests there are probably already SOF working inside Pakistan. Asia Times coverage is pretty enlightening sometimes.

My guess is that large scale ground invasion will be unnecessary. If Pakistan simply turned a blind eye to airspace violations over the FATA, and kept their own people out of the way, I think we could alleviate a lot of our problems through SOF and ordinance.

And Solvent...heh. Because I'm mildly corrosive.

BobS

My guess is that large scale ground invasion will be unnecessary. If Pakistan simply turned a blind eye to airspace violations over the FATA, and kept their own people out of the way, I think we could alleviate a lot of our problems through SOF and ordinance

This is what I suppose is up. And I believe as you seem to indicate are already operating there. Do you believe that there is a chance for additonal airstrikes?

Can you provide links? I'd love to have them.

Chris

SR,
"My guess is that WonderBoy's ego and anti-US tutelage will get the best of him, and if elected he will throw Afghanistan under the bus, and the moonbats and Euros will chant "amen"."

I hope we never have to find out. But assuming we do, I think the Euros are already on to BHO and are realizing that they may be the ones getting the view of the magic bus undercarriage. It's crowded down there, but probably room for a few more.

Soylent Red

Bob:

Asia Times is good WRT to Pakistan and Afghanistan. I've started reading it every day.

Also, if you can finagle a way, tap into the BBC World reporting service. Beeb people monitor, translate and report foreign news sources in English. I look at a lot of Paki and (eek!) French reporting from the region.

I get to it through the Open Source Center. You'd have to register for that, and I don't know if it's open to the public or not. I think it might be, but I've never tried.

Also, for all of you JOMers, I'm compiling a bookmark set of standard approved open source research links. When I complete it, I will find a way to disseminate it.

Schornick

I did not get the impression that Maliki endorsed Obama or his plan. The man has to be careful how he phrases things, after all Obama might just win and if he does Maliki will have to deal with him.

I just think the press is doing what it does best, playing with words.

And Don, what do you think Iraq would be like today if we had just let Saddam do what he wanted? Do you think that it would be a peaceful place?

JM Hanes

Rich:

I'm not sure it's possible to suck the air out of the Obama campaign. DoT nailed the baseline here:

If it comes down to, "If you'd had your way we'd have lost," to which the response is "if I'd had my way we never would have been there in the first place," the issue of the war is substantially neutralized for both men.
That's why Obama keeps beating the stategy vs. tactics drum. He gets too caught up in padding the argument to make that point as succinctly as DoT did, but it doesn't really matter, because the left had already bought into it before his star began to rise. He's just capitalizing on a view that is virtually set in cement.

Contra the rightwing meme, I don't believe the left is actually committed to defeat, per se. They are single-mindedly committed to the repudiation of George Bush and everything he stands for as "the worst foreign policy disaster evah" incarnate. Whether they cast blame for a loss or take credit for a win in Iraq is, appropriately enough, simply a matter of tactics in service to that obsessive/compulsive objective. Stripped of the nuance, They Are Olberman, and their superior vision will only be vindicated when GWB is officially enshrined as the Worst Person in the World.

BobS

Terrific, SR! Thank you!

BobS

Schornick: This from TM earlier today. Can't let the lefties hear this.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Prime Minister, the war and its consequences have cost more than 100,000 lives and caused great suffering in your country. Saddam Hussein and his regime are now part of the past. Was all of this worth the price?

Maliki: The casualties have been and continue to be enormous. But anyone who was familiar with the dictator’s nature and his intentions knows what could have been in store for us instead of this war. Saddam waged wars against Iran and Kuwait, and against Iraqis in the north and south of his own country, wars in which hundreds of thousands died. And he was capable of instigating even more wars. Yes, the casualties are great, but I see our struggle as an enormous effort to avoid other such wars in the future.


Crew v1.0

Where is Tom reading or hearing that "Obama is the one getting a boost from our current success in Iraq"? Unless it is on the view that the absence of an outroar is a net gain for the messiah.

Count me lost and confused. We won, but where's Bush's bounce? Oh, I forgot, he "lied." Never mind that it wasn't just Cheney, but also Valerie Maiden Name and Ambassador Joseph Plame, who thought we'd find WMD.

Cecil Turner

That's why Obama keeps beating the stategy vs. tactics drum.

Neglecting the obvious (that his usage demonstrates he understands neither), what "strategy" has BW proposed, other than "run away"?

Besides, the framing of the debate continues to be faulty. There's no debate on whether to withdraw, only the pace. And in fact, the withdrawal of troops has already begun due to rotations that were scheduled with the plan (now down to 146K from the surge peak of 170K). Petraeus says further reductions should be based on security. Obama wants 'em scheduled based on . . . well, politics, I guess.

It's a pretty safe bet that Obama's plan would've led to a less favorable situation if we'd implemented it the last go-round. Why that gives him any cachet now is a testament to marketing . . . but not common sense. I confidently predict Petraeus will get his way again (at least until Jan '09).

RichatUF

JM Hanes-

Maybe I was "inartful"? I also would disagree with the premise that the left viz. Iraq is more committed to destroying Bush than having the US lose.

The situation as it is today and any further improvments through the Iraqi and US elections, will be a wash for McCain and a minor negative for Obama. McCain supported the surge and the Iraq campaign since the beginning. BHO's most passionate supporters are, in addition to being irrational Bush haters, are also irrational US haters with a peculiar Winnie-the-Pooh vision of international relations. If the President weren't Bush, they would still be committed to defeat in Iraq and once that were achieved they would moveon to defeat in Afghanistan. Furthermore, if Obama were committed to success in Iraq, in a Brookings Institute nuanced sort of way, he wouldn't have the DNC nomination.

clarice

I doubt anyone but we wee band of nutters is paying much attention to what it was that Maliki said/meant though they may hear that all the media had to admit some error in their initial two reports.
OTOH O's most fervent support came from the Jugend Let's Rock Again Like we Did in 60 and those of their parents still in NeverNeverLand. With the issues down to more "minor" matters like the economy, will they go back to watching MTV or whatever they do to amuse themselves?

BobS

Notice Maliki's phrasing here:

"Saddam waged wars against Iran and Kuwait, and against Iraqis in the north and south of his own country, wars in which hundreds of thousands died"

He refers to Iraqis "in the north" which were once referred to as the Kurds. Maliki-a shia muslim - with one wordhas shown how much has changed in Iraq. So-called experts has spoken to the seperateness of Iraqis. How bad does that partician idea from Joe Biden seem now?

Ahhhhhh, the superior judgement of the Democrats.

Lee A. Arnold

The surge is NOT credited by U.S. military analysts for the reduction of violence in Iraq. That is credited to the "Sunni Awakening" against "al Qaeda Iraq," which was aided by tons of U.S. money and military intelligence, and on the Shiite side to al Sadr's ceasefire declared in 2006. Twenty- or thirty-thousand extra troops would have been useless had these not occurred, and were made unnecessary, because of them. Look it up. The surge troops have mostly been used to stop further ethnic cleansing in Baghdad by dividing the city into walled zones -- you can say this is a good idea, and I would agree with you half the time, but nobody knows how it will be resolved.

McCain's main problem is that, although he is an honorable man, he is in the wrong party. The Republicans abused him and threw him overboard for an incompetent and devious child who then lowered his guard on counter-terror, lied to get into a war, didn't provide the troops the generals wanted to secure the place after the invasion, mismanaged the occupation, lied even more about it all to a compliant press to get re-elected, and now touts the "surge" as something more effective than an attempt to salvage his place in history.

Now, I imagine that people in the United States will declare this war to be a good turning-point in the far distant future, IF the whole area turns into democracies. (Personally I think that long-term, the war won't have made a difference one way or the other.)

But not many people in the United States think that this amount of deceit and stupidity was necessary nor, since it probably added thousands more deaths, forgivable. Douglas Feith's protestations notwithstanding! I thought McCain had an even chance, but having to continue to declare his support for these awful clowns in the White House is looking a losing hand.

BobS

Mr. Arnold:
Nonsense.
You lost it in your first sentence by completely dismissing the surge of any value. This follishness was the basis for the rest of many indefensable assertions.

pagar

"Contra the rightwing meme, I don't believe the left is actually committed to defeat, per se.''

I disagree, I think the Democrats are totally dedicated to defeat for America. If they were not, Sen Lieberman would still be a Democrat, instead he is listed as an Independent.
In Vietnam, none of our military who were serving there were helping the North Vietnamese, the Americans who were helping the North Vietnamese were the American press and the fifth column in the US led by John Kerry. At that time, I doubt if any of them knew or cared of George Bush. The important thing to them was to defeat America and they didn't care how many American troops had to die so they could achieve their goal. Nothing has changed, they are determined to insure we are defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan. George W. Bush is just icing on their defeat America agenda.

JB

Thanks, Lee.

I'll just clip your post as a glossary-type reminder of every false, lame leftist talking point circa Summer 2008.

glasater

Lee A Arnold--you have certainly partaken of the Left's koolaid if you believe this President lied to get the US into a war.

And your pretty little Social Security analogy is also full of holes.

JB

"You lost it in your first sentence by completely dismissing the surge of any value."

BTW, this is the new Larry Johnson spin. It wasn't the extra troops, we just "bought them off." He knows beter than Petraeus. He was a CIA analyst, you know

JB

"The surge is NOT credited by U.S. military analysts for the reduction of violence in Iraq."

Umm, like who? Crazy Larry Johnson?

Is David Petraeus a competent military "analyst"?

Thanks for playing. Come again.

RichatUF

Lee Arnold-

You're stupid.

Rick Ballard

Rich,

A lot of very stupid people are going to bitterly resent that insinuation.

BobS

The left's argument is based on taking people for fools. It demonstrates one thing - they proritize their own agendas over that of the US

PeterUK

Thanks Lee,that was a trip down memory lane,not read authentic leftist gibberish like that for quite a while.
I'm surprised nobody asked you if you has a cousin Benedict.

BobS

And yes, I just challenged your patriotism.

BobS

Peter: I'm sorry. I just couldn't help it.

There is a joke going around Basra that the Iraqi military is willing to offer training to the British forces who abandoned that fight in 2006.


From todays NYSun oped page

narciso

The most revolting thing, Obama has said recently, is that Karzai, is in his bunker back in Kabul, and doesn't venture out further than the city limits. Does he want
Karzai to go out like Benazir Bhutto in Karachi; look how well that turned out.
Of course Karzai is protected by those
'good mercenaries' Dyncorp; because the likes of General Zinni and Asst Sec Armitage would only hold board seats there; actually with Civitas Capital.

One recalls that Germany was the site at one of those first aid conferences where the allies promised aid to the new Afghan government; yet fell short at an abysmal level. It was also the site of the 'loyal jerga' that promised the restoration of the octogenarian King Zahir Khan; whose inattention was in part responsible for the tragic turns that Afghanistan embarked upon in the latter part of the 20th century. It also has been among the most reluctant of allies to actually target Taliban & AQ.

Jane

Geez Rich, you made me look!

PeterUK

BobS,
"And yes, I just challenged your patriotism."

He might be a great patriot,finding of which country is the key.

Thomas Jackson

McCain is a new kind of conservative, the kind that no one seems to recognize as such. The kind that strays so far from what conservatism means that he has as many media fans as did Kerry.

McCain or Obama? Makes no difference to me except I know what to expect from Obama and I haven't the faintest idea what I'll get from McCain. And the proof of that is Bush's promises and his actions.

Need more buyer's remorse?

PeterUK

BobS,
"There is a joke going around Basra that the Iraqi military is willing to offer training to the British forces who abandoned that fight in 2006."

Oh the lads can fight alright,but they had no support from the crypto Communist government.They were underfunded,under the jurisdiction of th ICC and undermanned.
You have to know that Tony Blair committed troops to Iraq so that he could strut the world stage.There was a secondary aim of destroying the British Army,as the Labour party has done with many other British institutions.
With Barrack Hussein Obama you have another Tony Blair,when he says he is going to bring change,he means CHANGE!!

clarice

PUK, the Daily Mail is reporting that a group of "influential MPs" is fighting Hamza's extradition on the ground that we engage in waterboarding and that's torture.
Now, dammit it, man, get cracking on the sale of those S.C.A.M. pike sharpening kits.

BobS

McCain's been concistent enough for me on three issues: Prosecuting the war on militant Islam; taxes; judges. The election of Obama assures the opposite I what I feel strongest about.

BobS

Boy, I cannot spell today...consistent.

Larry

Why can't we leave South Korea--the war's been over there for a long time, hasn't it?
Posted by: clarice | July 20, 2008 at 11:33 AM Well, sorta. Many months of peace talks ended in stalemate, so the Korean War status is cease-fire.

BobS

Didn't intend to disparage Black Watch. Thanks for the insight to the politics.

Ann

The following is a transcript of an exclusive interview with the Democratic presidential candidate, who told CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent LARA LOGAN (she sure gets around):

Obama: Now Is The Time For Iraq Withdrawal

If your ears turn bright red, does it mean you are full of carp? Obama's ears looked like Rudolph's nose during the entire interview. :)

hit and run

Ann:
The following is a transcript of an exclusive interview with the Democratic presidential candidate

Hmmmm, is that description maybe a bit too definitive?

WASHINGTON - Condoleezza Rice says it's a remarkable accomplishment that a black politician is on track for his party's presidential nomination.


The secretary of state said Democrat Barack Obama's likely nomination shows the nation's progress in race relations.

Is there something Rice knows that she's not telling us?

I mean, she's techincally right, but how many people are using those qualifiers these days ... other than Hillary supporters.

I'm just askin'...

JM Hanes

Cecil:

"Neglecting the obvious (that his usage demonstrates he understands neither), what "strategy" has BW proposed, other than "run away"?"

I made the obvious point last week. This week, I'm making a distinction between all the things which clearly ought to matter, but which may very well not make nearly as much difference politically as most of us think they might or should. I'll stipulate to faulty framing of the issues which confront us in Iraq; I'm suggesting that Obama can shift frames as fast as you debunk them without sinking his campaign, because animus toward Bush's War on the left is fundmentally unrelated to questions of victory or defeat. Victory can be spun as defeat, defeat can be spun as victory; there's only one constant here: Bush was wrong.

Rich:

"I also would disagree with the premise that the left viz. Iraq is more committed to destroying Bush than having the US lose."

Even as we speak, folks on the left are delightly spinning the now undeniable advances that will make troop reductions conceivable into proof positive of Obama's prescience. I firmly believe that the bulk of resistance to the war originated in resistance to Bush himself (beginning with his "selection") and has remained rooted there, notwithstanding the lushness of the anti-war growth we've seen on the surface.

While there are certainly folks who believe the U.S. deserves to loose, and plenty whose attitudes toward the military make them susceptible to all sorts of drivel, I simply don't believe they exist in sufficient numbers to explain the Democrats' current advantage. The left came just as unhinged over the FISA cave-in as they did over any possible backing away from his 16 month timeline. Indeed, the spinning designed to whitewash that potential flip-flop was well underway amongst his supporters till the polls suggesting it made Obama look wishy washy came out and he decided a correction was in order.

Porchlight

Ann, he was probably just terrified because he knows Michelle is watching his every move with Ms. Homewrecker Lara.

Seriously, though, it is pretty damn hilarious that they backlit his ears like that.

michaelt

Bush (and McCain et al) will end the chemotherapy if and when the tumor is killed.

Obama and the Democrats want to stop treatment without regard for the patient's condition.

Properly framed, Iraq is not a winning issue for the Democrats.

JB

Well, if McCain loses at least watching Blue Dogs spend the next two years in a tizzy should make for enjoyable viewing.

Ranger

Obama: Now Is The Time For Iraq Withdrawal

If McCain is smart, he will run an add that goes something like this:

Sen. Obama finaly got it right on Iraq. He says "Now is the time for Iraq withdrawal."

Now is the time to start withdrawaling from Iraq because we have defeated al Qaeda, trained the Iraqi Army to defend their country, and the Iraqi government is making great progress in unifying the country.

Unfortunately, Sen. Obama has been saying the same thing for 4 years now. "Now" has always been the "right time for Iraq withdrawal" regardless of the situation on the ground and the impact on the future of America and Iraq.

Sen. McCain has allways fought for victory. He has been calling for more troops and a change in approach since the begining of the Iraq War. Now he support Prime Minister Maliki in his call to consider a US troop drawdown because we have won the war and it is time to come home, victorious.

In 2005, 2006, 2007, and at the begining of 2008 Sen. Obama said the same thing when withdrawaling troops would have been a distaster for America and Iraq.

Politicians repeat talking points regardless of the facts on the ground.

Leaders make decisions based on the hard facts.

McCain, Courage to Lead.

Ann

Obama reminded me of a bat in that interview.

Soylent,
"Plus then I'd have to listen to Obamessiah's oh-so-worldly-and-wise pronunciation of the word "Pawk-ee-stawn" for the next umpteen months."

That and "Tally-bon". :)

PeterUK

Clarice,
Have you got a link for that and any names?

Lee A. Arnold

Bob S, -- Actually I didn't dismiss the surge of any value. I think it saved lives in Baghdad. If you read the rest of my comment, you would see that. But as for the rest, you go argue with the U.S. military experts, not me! Petraeus' testimony on the surge was very clear to separate the sources of reduced violence overall in Iraq from the functions of troop deployments in Baghdad. In an interview with the Washington Post just before his latest testimony last March, he "credited both the mainly Sunni neighborhood patrols known as the Awakening and a cease-fire called by Shiite cleric and militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr with helping to bring down violence." By the way, it may have been Petraeus who sold the Bush Administration on the smartness of supporting the Sunni Awakening with cash and intelligence -- the boneheads in the White House may have been originally against it! I think Petraeus is a smart and interesting man and don't challenge anybody's patriotism. Ricardo Sanchez and almost every other top retired general backs troop pull outs -- why would that be? Do you challenge their patriotism too? Or have they figured out it is the only way to get the Iraqis to think clearly? The real problem for the U.S. is that your little boy Bushkins handed the government of Iraq to people who are basically the best friends of Iran. That is why the U.S. foreign policy establishment tends to see the whole situation as more difficult than it should have been.

clarice

"Commons Foreign Affairs Committee" is the description and here's the link:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1036573/MPs-halt-extradition-terrorist-cleric-Abu-Hamza-US-CIA-admitted-torture.html>Hamza Forever

Ann

Hit,

I heard Hillary has purchased a presidential campaign domain for 2012.

PeterUK

What is it with these Democrats and incursio interruptus,are they like this at home?

PeterUK

Clarice,
This lists the members,for Liberal Democrat,you can read New Labour clone

BobS

Someone help me with that tortured nuance. It somehow got to hating President Bush as always.

Ann

I thought that dangerous terrorist's were released to a partial house arrest in the UK.

boris

So the Obamakins version of events is Iraq has been saved by the wisdom of Al Sadr and it all would have happened much sooner if Bush had simply got his bumbling storm troops out of the way a long time ago. Sorta like it was Reagan's bluster and saber rattling that kept the USSR going for many years when appeasment would have allowed it to pass from natural causes almost immediately.

clarice

PUK, I take it the Foreign Ministry is not bound to follow the recommendations of this committee of dunderheads?

PeterUK

"Or have they figured out it is the only way to get the Iraqis to think clearly? "

Yes,leaving them to get splattered all over the streets by Iranian trained terrorists really clears the mind.

Cecil Turner

But as for the rest, you go argue with the U.S. military experts, not me!

You're quoting the spin from the WaPo (Cameron Barr), not "U.S. military experts." Nice try, though.

RichatUF

JM Hanes-

I'm not really understanding your point. For me it comes down to this bit of leftist thinking: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it".

The democrats picked the biggest issue of the Bush Administration, the Iraq War, and when it was going badly they never moved off the subject. They made the issue about Bush personally (the ridiculous claim "he lied" when he had 70%+ majorities in both houses of Congress for the AUMF) and they would hound any Democrat that strayed from the reservation and puff up everything they could find for an investigation.

The claim that it is just about making Pres. Bush "The Worst Person in the World" would be undermined by Sen. Lieberman's treatment by the DNC after a lifetime of public of public service and saving the Clinton Presidency. If the DNC had room under its tent for democrats which were pro US victory, then his treatment would have been unnecessary.

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