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July 20, 2008

Comments

Ranger

Mr. Arnold,

You may have missed it, but the Sunni Bloc has returned to the government, thanks to Maliki's dismantling of the Shia militias. Let us also remember that the only reason the Iraq Army was free to conduct those operations was becuase the Surge put enough US boots on the ground to stabalize the situation across much of Iraq. Given that the entire purpose of the surge was to provide sufficient security for Iraqis to reconsile, and that is exactly what they are doing thanks to the successful IA operations, it is kind of disingenous to argue the surge had "no effect" on what is going on. Without the surge, those IA operations never could have taken place and the Sunni Bloc would still be boycotting the government.

By the way, war is a dynamic and multi faceted situation. Though it may be problematic to say "the surge is the only reason we are where we are today in Iraq" it is also problematic to argue that we would be where we are today in Iraq with out it. The surge made a significant controbution to the progress that has been made, and to deny that is to deny reality.

PeterUK

Clarice,
MPs job is to vote for whatever the government says they should,Lobby Fodder.On the other hand Gordon Brown is in the sh one t and needs support.After consulting focus groups the Muslim community,the anti-war groups,the RSPCA,Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all,Gordon will see what votes are in it for him.
A current theory is that we are in the throes of "Gordondammerung" that the failing PM will engage in a scorched earth policy to make the country ungovernable by whoever takes over,
So toss a coin Hamza gets deported or gets a knighthood?
Oh,sorry,I forgot,Brussels will make the decision.

MikeS

Cecil:
Besides, the framing of the debate continues to be faulty

Yep. The battle for Iraq is nearly over and the good guys won! The larger war goes on in other theaters. In Afghanistan our troops are fighting the same enemy, with the same ideology, as they were fighting in Iraq. That enemy is using the same weapons bought with the same money as was the case in Iraq.

Just as we support our other allies such as Germany, Japan, South Korea, whether it's for 100 days or 100 years, we ought to be willing to support Iraq for as long as they want us there.

Now that the war in Iraq is over, people in that region should be able to look forward to a future of peace, stability, and prosperity. Sadly, Iran is threatening that future with their unreasonable insistence on creating the capacity to build nuclear weapons.

Neo

The banality of Obama's withdrawal plan is breathtaking.

Every war that involved an invasion utimately included a withdrawal, but it's how you get to the withdrawal that matters.

Take France in the 40's .. invaded by the Axis and the Allies. Obama's plan was modeled after the Axis who left with their tail between their legs, while Bush's plan was modeled after the Allied plan.

Rick Ballard

Neo,

Maybe he should use the speech in Germany to announce that he is going to use the the Jodl/Keitel Model for withdrawal? That would be a big hit.

Ann

Besides the fact that Obama is evidently planning to be president for the next “eight to 10 years”, I found this comment interesting:

"And despite what the Bush Administration has argued, I don't think there's any doubt that we were distracted from our efforts not only to hunt down al-Qaeda and the Taliban, but also to rebuild this country so that people have confidence that we were to here to stay over the long haul, that we were going to rebuild roads, provide electricity, improve the quality of life for people. And now we have a chance, I think, to correct some of those areas."

RichatUF

Ann-

Too fast.

Yes, BHO did say that he plans on being president, of these great 57 states, for 8 or 10 years. Watching him sometimes remindes me of those clowns they get on the "Jaywalking" segment.

Lee A. Arnold

Ranger, I read that yesterday, and it's a good and welcome step by the Sunnis. But instead of questioning people's patriotism, my basic argument in my first comment above stands uncorrected, and it's actually a domestic political argument: Tom Maguire's top posting here and the McCain supporters in this thread think that a majority of voters ought to support McCain because of his support for the surge. We'll find out, but I'm guessing the voters won't think that's much of a reason. McCain stood by with few public complaints while the White House mismanaged the war for years until the Iraq Study Group and big losses in Congress was forced upon it. If McCain can convince the people that, as you write, the surge finally gave breathing room to the Iraqi political process, and that war is hell and unpredictable and so on, then that might work for him. But he has to be careful not to make claims for the surge which are not true. It is not, for example, the main cause of the reduction in violence: even Petraeus is careful not to say that. I think McCain to win has to divorce himself from Bush, not go along with his simpleminded misdirections. Independents and even some Republicans are thoroughly fed-up with this level of incompetence, and they are not going to vote for another one doesn't get it right.

RichatUF

Lee Arnold-

You're still stupid.

clarice

Are we to believe that the left which argues OVER THERE (arguing we should have wiped out the Taliban from every shitty cave in Afghanistan) instead of putting Iraq on the target list) really meant they wanted us to fight real harder in Afghanistan? Are they going to be delighted to hear he'll take the troops coming out of Iraq--whenever they come out--and ship them to Afghanistan instead of home to plant flowers at the site of the old Mother Cabrini houseing estate?

PeterUK

"Take France in the 40's .. invaded by the Axis and the Allies."

The Dunkirk analogy would be better,you still have to go back.

Jane

JMH,

I completely agree with you. Over the last 7 years I've yet to see a committed liberal actually talk facts on any issue. And every position can be traced to abject hatred of this president. People talk about how popular Bush was after 911 - that's tripe. He was not popular - ever. Bush v Gore cemented that fact. Liberals have consistently rooted against their self interest simply because that would mean siding with the administration. I belive that in 2004 that same anti-Bush-on-everything was the stated plan for that election. If there was ever any doubt look at what pretzels Pelosi and Reid have turned themselves into, all in the interest of revenge.

Obama is right that we need to bring the country together. He's just the wrong man for the job. What we need to do is throw out nearly every single member of Congress, and all other elected officials and replace them with people who love this country more than they love their party.

PeterUK

"McCain supporters in this thread think that a majority of voters ought to support McCain because of his support for the surge".

I think you will find these good people are more "anybody except Obama" supporters.

Elliott

"And despite what the Bush Administration has argued, I don't think there's any doubt that we were distracted from our efforts not only to hunt down al-Qaeda and the Taliban..."

Iraq was probably also responsible for making the US too distracted to do anything about the hostages in Colombia, as Time Magazine claimed recently:

Today, Stansell, 43, a former Marine, Howes, 54, a former State Department counternarcotics pilot, and Gonsalves, 35, a former Air Force intelligence officer, live in slightly better conditions, says Pinchao. Still, a video that police seized last fall from FARC operatives in the capital, Bogota, shows the men looking weak and depressed. They have now been in captivity for five years — one of the longest hostage episodes in U.S. history. Yet few Americans know about it. President George W. Bush has mentioned the hostages publicly only once, when he visited Colombia last year. "It's amazing and discouraging to think that these three guys, former U.S. servicemen, could be left behind and forgotten this way," says Lynne Stansell, Keith's stepmother, of Bradenton, Fla. "The Bush Administration has all but ignored them." [big snip]

Since taking office in 2002, Uribe has made impressive progress with Colombia's security and economy. But there is scant contact between him and the FARC, which is far from vanquished. "I'm killing myself every day wondering why dialogue is so impossible for all sides in this tragedy," says Betancourt's mother Yolanda Pulecio. At least Betancourt is a cause celebre in France. In their jungle encampments, America's hostages in Colombia are not just out of sight; to all but their families and supporters, they seem to be out of mind too."

Apparently not (via Hot Air):

Mossad and the US and French intelligence services worked for more than a year with the Colombian authorities to develop the plan," Vanguardia said, citing an Israeli secret service source.

I wonder whether Sarkozy's public posturing, recounted glowingly by Time, was part of the plan.

Of course, let us not be distracted from the most important fact: if anything happens in Pakistan or Afghanistan the administration will have been following The One's lead.

Elliott

Ugh, *****The One (the Presidency be upon him)*****

hit and run

Lee:
But he has to be careful not to make claims for the surge which are not true. It is not, for example, the main cause of the reduction in violence: even Petraeus is careful not to say that.

The surge, by itself was not sufficient.

The surge, however, was necessary.

Without the surge, no Awakening.

With it -- Awakening is possible. Not guaranteed...but possible.

Ann

I should of mentioned there is video of the interview along with the transcript I linked to above. It really is a must see to believe thing.

I think Obama wants to leave Iraq (to hell with all of them) and rebuild Afghanistan in 8 to 10 years, after he goes after the real Tallybon. I wouldn't be surprised if he promised a super highway through the Hindu Kush. He is that stupid.

Should be an exciting week!

tina

Obama Road Show not selling to the Troops

LUN

PeterUK

Yes no serge,no suit.

Actually,I don't think McCain is running on the "surge" so the whole argument is a srawman.

PeterUK

"I wouldn't be surprised if he promised a super highway through the Hindu Kush."

I wouldn't be surprised if he thought the Hindu Khush was a takeaway in downtown Chicago.

hit and run

"And despite what the Bush Administration has argued, I don't think there's any doubt that we were distracted from our efforts not only to hunt down al-Qaeda and the Taliban..."

I thought we turned the damn thing over to NATO, with the US taking a supporting role?

Does Obama disagree with that?

I mean, because he certainly could have held a fuggin Senate Subcommittee hearing on the matter, what with him chairing the subcommittee that would oversee NATO. Oh wait, Biden said they held those hearings at the full committee level....and Obama attended 1 out of 3 of those....and in that 1 he asked NO QUESTIONS relating to NATO and Afghanistan.

Eye on the ball.

hit and run

Come, Mr. Tally Bon, tally me banana
(Daylight come and he wan' go home)
Come, Mr. Tally Bon, tally me banana
(Daylight come and he wan' go home)

Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
(Daylight come and he wan' go home)
Day, he say day, he say day, he say day, he say day, he say day-ay-ay-o
(Daylight come and he wan' go home)

MikeS

Without the surge, no Awakening.

This is another question that has been improperly framed. The Awakening was part of the goal of the COIN strategy to win hearts and minds. The idea being that insurgency requires the support or at least the acquiescence of the populace.

Iraqis were no doubt fighting and dieing in battles against al Qaeda, but their true value was in pointing out al Qaeda elements so the U.S. troops could destroy them.

Al Qaeda was defeated by the U.S. strategy.
The Shia militias were defeated by the Iraqi Army. That was also U.S. strategy.
The Sunni militias were defeated by Sunni self interest.

MikeS

we were distracted from our efforts not only to hunt down al-Qaeda and the Taliban...

Hit, I think Obama is using the 'royal' we in this quote.

Soylent Red

Lemme take this opportunity to state the following, in as unequivocal terms as I can:

I am sick of the word "distraction".

I distract the dog while the vet does his work. You distract children to get them to stop crying. "Distraction" implies a short or easily broken attention span. It implies lack of focus.

Like GWB held up a red rubber ball and said, "Look, look!" while he invaded Iraq. Or that suddenly my mind just got wiped clean about Afghanistan in March 2003.

I wasn't distracted at all and I'm sick and tired of being implicitly compared to a silly animal, a child, or an idiot by that jugeared dickwad and his minions.

I really wish someone would point out how absolutely maddeningly condescending that word is for everyone over the age of three who doesn't pee on fireplugs.

Soylent Red

fix

centralcal

Ann - "8 to 10 years!" The more Barry talks to stupider he reveals himself to be. I could laugh if it weren't so darned scary. These media acolytes who are covering his every ignorant statement - how do they sleep at night?

MikeS

how absolutely maddeningly condescending that word is for everyone over the age of three who doesn't pee on fireplugs.

The guy who chose that word is going to require some things from you. He's going to require that you work, turn down your thermostat, eat less, etc. He won't allow you to go back to your old life, uninformed and uninvolved.

sbw

Been away all day. By way of catching up:

First of all, it is NATO that is massed on the border of Pakistan, not the United States. It would be interesting to see the UN Security council have to try to "condemn" any incursion. And any incursion would likely be of the "hot pursuit" kind rather than pacify.

Secondly, Obama has to be crazy to prefer an Afghanistan or even a north Pakistan battlefield over the relatively open terrain of Iraq. It has as much potential to "quag" as Vietnam ever had.

And, of course, the Big O has no understanding of decentralized cell-based terrorism if he wants only to posture like Colin Powell and cut off its head and kill it. Bin Laden is less of a problem than the semi-autonomous cells.

The goal, in the absence of a United Nations willing to intervene in such cases, is, for the benefit of the citizens affected and the rest of the world, to recover failed states so that they can no longer provide safe haven for terrorist production. That's what we are accomplishing in Iraq, and what Obama would abandon.

Re:

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.
I don't buy it. I'd come back with:
If you would never have been there in the first place, then you don't recognize the danger a failed state can be to its citizens or the rest of the world. What's more, you don't recognize the inability of the U.N. to act to recover them. Such insights are important for a President.

hit and run

Italics are a distraction!

Jane

let me try

hit and run

Italics are a distraction!

Every fiber of my being wanted to follow that with, "from the real threat we face, BOLD!!!"

And then put about 50 bold tags together that would keep people trying to turn off the bold tag all night.

Well, every fiber of my being EXCEPT the one that wants to keep each of you as a friend.

JM Hanes

Rich:

Perhaps the Worst Person in the World was an inartful flourish. :) Or we may simply be talking past each other in some way. I don't see how Lieberman doesn't actually reinforce my point: he cares more about winning in Iraq than "defeating" Bush. The democrats picked the issue upon which the Bush Administration was most vulnerable. Any failure goes in his column, any undeniable success is attributed to other forces. The political genius of "Bush Lied" and the reason that it has been the longest running, hardest beaten, theme of all, is because it makes Bush's War in Iraq (as opposed to "our" war in Afghanistan) an illegitimate war, win or lose.

It may be easier to attack Bush when he's failing in Iraq, than when he's winning, but it's the Bush failure that's the significant part of that equation, not the American failure. If he's winning, you ramp up the impeachment talk and go back to casting the war as a crimminal enterprise and warning of imminent attacks on Iran. Winning in Iraq is only "bad" in the sense that it might make Bush look good. There's a reason Obama works so hard to tag McCain as Bush III; he didn't focus nearly as much attention on Iraq, till McCain's unfortunate "100 years" allowed him to revivify the familiar "endless war" specter, i.e. underneath it all, McCain is just like Bush.

I'm not sure I'm making my point any clearer. Part of it is that Democrats care more about winning elections than they do about winning the war in Iraq, but I also think that BDS is more widely and deeply entrenched than a lot of the folks battling to correct the record on Iraq really recognize. The number of people who believe that Bush is a stupid, lying scumbag may not be all that big, but the number who despise or dismiss him and think he might be some or all of the above is enormous. I'm not sure what the best way for McCain to go about establishing that he is NotBush, but I believe running on the success of Iraq is the hardest place of all to distinguish himself, because the left has spent years figuring out to play that issue as an anti-Bush cautionary tale from every angle, regardless of events on the ground.

I'm just going to abandon ship here, and hope that maybe some obvious analogy will suddenly occur to me down the road, if this hasn't shed any additional light on what I'm trying to get at.

narciso

It was the combination of factors, the surge along with Petraeus's counter-insurgency strategy that he started in
Mosul, but refined at the Command & Staff College with insights from McMaster's experience at Tell a Far, similar operations by Mansoor and even Mirabile's
stint in Ramadi; in addition with the backlash against the Wahhabist minions of Zarquawi and Al Masri. All this combined to create the conditions for civil peace and political reconciliation; whose final example was Maliki's campaign against the Sadrists in Basra. I used to have some more understanding, since he was over his head when it came to Abu Ghraib; but his refusal to admit to realities. General Baptiste, didn't like that the war was fought along the 'total mobilization' strategy of World War 2, so he joined MoveOn.org's advisory committee ;does that make any sense. He did make a mea culpa, by the time that the surge integrated counterinsurgency program
had yielded fruit. General Zinni, wants credit for the fact, that he knew about Iraq in the 1990s "Operation Desert
Crossing."Fmr. Vice Admiral Sestak, now is a fixture at CAIR functions; that's like joining the Bund in '44. Any other great authorities to consider on the subject?

Lee A. Arnold

Hit and run, the first reports of the Sunni Awakening in the U.S. press appeared around June 2006, and the surge didn't start until February 2007. We had to wait until after Congress changed hands in Nov 2006 and then the Iraq Study Group in December signaled that the entire foreign policy establishment was fed-up with the Bush Administration's conduct of the war.

Bill in AZ

Sweetness and Light: Obama calls for 7000 more troops for Afghanistan.

After Bush, Rumsfeld, Feith, et al painstakingly put together an international coalition to support Karzai to make sure he wasn't viewed as an American puppet, Obama wants to blow that away and go it alone with US troops, destroy Karzai's credibility within his own nation, and generally put us and them back several years. The mans foreign policy stupidity is beyond breathtaking. Sounds good on camera to his swooning and fainting followers who have not a clue why things are fragile there, and why they will continue to be fragile for some time to come.

He basically told Karzai that he and the Afghanis are too stupid and incompetent to handle things in their country, so we'll have to come in, clean up his mess, then when we go away in a few short months, he can patch things up with his widely disparate tribal factions that he has been carefully coddling into some kind of a cohesive government. Maybe Obama can send in a couple of community organizers to help him out.

Lee A. Arnold

JM Hanes: "Part of it is that Democrats care more about winning elections than they do about winning the war in Iraq..."

And the Republicans do not? That's why the surge didn't come before the 2006 midterm elections. The public was polling massively against the war, and the Republicans didn't want to lose Congress. They lost it anyhow.

JM Hanes

Lee A. Arnold:

If someone asked you to describe the difference between military operations in Iraq before the surge and and during the surge, could you do so? The fact that you apparently think the extra boots were primarily occupied with setting up concrete barriers in Baghdad suggests to me that you really have no idea that the entire force, not just the additional troops, were deployed in completely different arrays and retasked for counterinsurgency -- which is a radically different proposition at almost every level from almost operation that preceeded it. Baghdad was the very last place troops were deployed, after ever widening belts (does Diyala mean anything at all to you?) were secured -- and held -- till there was virtually no place left for AQI and other militants to hide.

MikeS

the first reports of the Sunni Awakening in the U.S. press appeared around June 2006

Yup. Part of the COIN strategy employed by the Marines in Anbar.

Cecil Turner

McCain stood by with few public complaints while the White House mismanaged the war for years until the Iraq Study Group and big losses in Congress was forced upon it.

Riiiight . . . Dec, 2004:

McCain, of Arizona, said he had “no confidence” in Rumsfeld, citing his handling of the war in Iraq and the failure of the Pentagon to send more troops . . .
Personally, I think McCain was wrong on the point. But you're either clueless or lying.

It was the combination of factors, the surge along with Petraeus's counter-insurgency strategy . . .

The troop plus-up called the "surge" was provided in order to implement Petraeus's COIN strategy. They're not separate events.

sbw

JMHanes, now there you go again, trying to interfere with someone's comforting oversimplification. You're going to give him a left-brain cramp.

Cecil Turner

And the Republicans do not?

At least the GOP is rooting for a win in Iraq. The Dems hope to lose the war, in order to benefit politically. You just tacitly admitted that with the above; and if you think it's okay, then yeah, I'm questioning your patriotism.

sbw

And the Republicans do not?

McCain: "I'd rather lose an election than lose a war."

That makes it McCain: 1 -- Lee A. Arnold: 0

Jim Rhoads aka vnjagvet

JMH:

It is hard to reason with Lee who has been memorizing talking points instead of following the various Iraq campaigns.

JM Hanes

Lee:

"That's why the surge didn't come before the 2006 midterm elections. The public was polling massively against the war, and the Republicans didn't want to lose Congress."

Were Republicans discouraged in '06? You bet. Was anybody, with the possible exception of McCain, sure the surge could even work before the '06 elections? The Samarra mosque was bombed at the end of Feb. '06 and after the initial reaction, the sectarian violence which ultimately led to the change in tactics didn't begin seriously ramping up till months later -- at about the same time the election season was getting underway -- and was still escalting months later. You may think that reinventing 150,000 boots on the ground is just a matter of getting around to issuing an order, but it just doesn't work that way in the real world.

JM Hanes

Jim/sbw:

I'm looking at it as a training exercise, because lately I find myself thinking that I should be posting on lefty sites, and coming back here for help with arguments and R & R, instead of confining myself to venting with folks who already get it. But then I come here first... On alternate days, I just say to hell with it.

sbw

Lee's real problem is that he is a win/lose kind of person, entirely interested in what might be worth standing up for. That type of approach is literally unprincipled.

JM Hanes

The Anbar Awakening certainly began before the surge, but the idea that is was anything resembling the sort of fait accompli as the left describes it now is just counterfactual. As I recall, they were enraged by our decision to support it (arming Sunnis! in a civil war! the insanity!)

sbw

Gad! Preview is our friend: ***entirely UNinterested***

Sorry.

MikeS

instead of confining myself to venting with folks who already get it

I think I get it JMH, but I get it a lot better after you and other JOM commenters articulate an argument several different ways.

JM Hanes

MikeS:

I've been learning stuff on a daily basis here, myself. And actually, a lot of times, trying to write something down is a big part of sorting things out in my own mind as well. Some days the sorting goes better than others!

RichatUF

JM Hanes-

Any failure goes in his column, any undeniable success is attributed to other forces.

No worries-"Think of a jackass, know your lies and frame the propaganda"-the problem I think is that I haven't really thought about making a distinction between a "Bush loss" in the Iraq War and a US loss in the Iraq War. I'd also point out that the US's enemies wouldn't bother to make a peculiar American political distinction either.

Rick Ballard

"That type of approach is literally unprincipled."

SBW,

I'm sure you remember the "does not share my values" response to the Pew survey taken to discover why Kerry came up short. The general "interpretation" of the response was that "evangelicals" rejected Kerry on "social conservatism" grounds. The reality is that the majority identified the fact that Kerry possessed no identifiable principles of any sort.

IMO - Kerry rates higher than Obama wrt "principles", even though I can't think of any examples of Kerry principles for a 'compare and contrast'. The script calls for the coming Obama loss to be ascribed to racism but it's going to be precisely because he, like Kerry and the rest of the Copperhead/Progressive wing, have no identifiabe principles.

sbw

Good point, Rick.

They do think they have principles, but those are really ill-thought-out clichés that, once expressed, allow them to stop thinking any further. Laziness. Sheer laziness.

Soylent Red

Lee:

The Sunni Awakening references you are talking about were in regard to specific arrangements made with fed up sheiks in Anbar. It was a short term situation wherein Marines (1st MEF?) partnered with local Sunni "Sons of Iraq" groups to ferret out and kill AQI elements. It was precipitated by an influx of Marines into the area, and a broad level of trust that the Sons of Iraq could and would actually do what they said they would do.

After the '06 mosqu bombing, the good idea machine was fired up to try to get a handle on the basic internal security issues. The Marine Corps piped in with "Hey we're doing this thing out in Anbar...", and someone listened. The Surge took the basic strategy (more troops, host nation forces taking the lead) and applied it to the rest of the country.

The recent unpleasantness in Sadr City and parts south is Maliki applying the Surge theory to Shia militias. Only difference is we are (voluntarily) confined to even less of a support role.

So to say one thing led to or depended on another is misinformed. Things were in motion simultaneously. As is usually the case. One person doesn't come up with the answer. Many people do, all at once, and then it is refined and packaged.

But just as there was no succession of events, there will most certainly be a succession of events if we withdraw altogether (is that Obamessiah's position today? I forgot to check his website...). If you withdraw a few, you're OK. If you withdraw too many, or all, the following happens:

If we leave, what will happen is this...

1. AQI will attempt to re-establish a foothold in Anbar, and perhaps the Kurdish north, by way of Syria.

2. Maliki will be forced to pacify or ignore, and he will choose to pacify. The required forces will be sent, making them unavailable for security in the Shia population centers and the south.

3. Iran will move in to solidify the Shia militias.

4. The Sunnis will freak out and demand the government protect them from the Shias as well. Again, Maliki won't have the manpower.

5. Each side will view the government as being unresponsive to their security needs, and will take matters into their own hands.

6. The Organizer-in-Chief will look down his nose at the teleprompter and tell all of the gun-loving, religion clinging masses that we don't get involved in civil wars, and thus will sit on our hands until one-on-one diplomacy between himself and every ne'er do well in the region succeeds.

7. Gas prices will go to $10 a gallon.

8. The Left will blame Bush.

Considering that the BoyWonder was formulating his grand strategy without the input of anyone in the actual military, and had no knowledge of current situation on the ground, and since he has no military experience himself (up to and including Boy Scout), you might understand why some of us are skeptical about his vaunted judgment. particularly when so much hinges on making an informed decision on troop levels, rather than simply letting Medea Benjamin tell you what to do.

narciso

No Kerry has no principles, he was an Arabist for thirty years despite his family background, he made hs reputation, slandering other Vietnam Vets with the Winter Soldiers. He felt compelled for reasons that are unclear, to vote for the AUMF in Iraq; but he turned rather quickly on that point. Obama is more like Dean in that regard, his opinion in 2002, had no power because he had no authority. Dean's
'maple dripping' associates, directed his change of opinion, earlier in the campaign; a point the netroots took up. But it's true he seems more of a stuffed shirt that 'hopey
changey' Barry Dunham.

My hometown paper never fails to dissapoint,
besides taking Maliki's Spiegel(the publication that had Krugman comparing Bush to Marcos and wondering if he'd be shipped to Gitmo)quote verbatim, the op ed features
a commentary by 'esteemed geologist' Carl
Hiaasen, on why offshore drilling is a bad idea, and a commentary by Warren Zinn, formerly of the Army Times, lamenting his photograph of Spec. Dwyer's rescue of a child, led to his earlydeath. No, but the endless pieces on Iraq as an eternal quagmire, probably had something to do with it. The Saturday edition, had a column, lamenting McCain's inability to answer why
birth control isn't covered by insurance by Viagra is. And a sidebar on Bud Day's intemparate statement about Moslems, which featured a comment by Khaled Saffuri, a former Arab American Republican now turned
libertarian upset with Bush over the issue
of you know terrorism. Well describing Saffuri as a Libertarian, is kind of a narrow description; kind of like saying Ted Bundy was a former law student, or Manson was an aspiring musician, The fact that Saffuri is a longtime associate of the Yemeni political entrepreneur Abdelarram Al Amoudi, inplicated in the attempted assasination of Khadaffi, the Wahhabi affiliated chaplains program, and PIJ fundraiser Sami Al Arian, is a more complete description; that might have a little more to do with the astrangement from the GOP.

BobS

Why does it always seem Lee's posts take at least two hours? Gotta check back for those talking points I guess.

scottl720

'oh the lads can fight alright' PUK,

got that right,

man, you guys are on fire tonite,

clarice

Wish there were a way to preserve this thread --it's full of some really fantastic posts.

Lee A. Arnold

I think that everybody knows that one of the few things McCain criticized about the war was indeed Rumsfeld's miscalculations -- he was one of the first Republicans with enough guts and honor to say it. So name something that wasn't obvious at the time.

And actually it was Cheney who was first against arming the Sunnis, because he though they would try to overthrow the government.

So forget the left. I'm sure there are lots of goofy liberals who hate Bush and will vote for Obama, and then be disappointed to find out that he is a solid member of the U.S. defense establishment (much as you guys here would hope to invent otherwise! Talk about self-deception among the libruls!?) While if McCain wins, he is going to RAISE your taxes, on the way to taking the Republican party to the center. You heard it here first. Because he's not going to need the right-wing any longer, and they stuck a knife in his back to begin with.

I realize now the way to score here is to call people names instead of making coherent arguments.

But before drifting off into you dreams, what you guys REALLY ought to explain is why the CONSERVATIVE Democrats, blue dogs, and Dem liberal hawks who first SUPPORTED the war have turned against the Bush Administration with scorn and hatred.

Why? Let's go back further:

To anybody paying attention -- not to the US press, but the foreign press available on the web -- Iraq started going south by the fall of 2003.

By the spring of 2004, even Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld stopped smiling in public. Because they needed more troops. Members of Congress on BOTH sides of the aisle SAID SO. But unfortunately, after prancing around on a flight deck in "Mission Accomplished," that would have been an admission of poor planning, an admission they didn't need, going into the 2004 re-election campaign.

Forget the left. The serious Democrats in the foreign policy establishment don't like Bush because he used the war against them politically, then screwed it up, then still insisted on their support.

Lee A. Arnold

This is really enlightening to me, because I didn't realize how out-to-lunch you guys are with respect to the make-up of the Democratic Party. You think they're all traitors or something. How do you boneheads expect to win an election without knowing your opponent?

Ann

Oh, how I agree, Clarice. I was just going to post how much I admire everyone here. It is really remarkable and fun.

By the way, Hit has another great piece at TheVIMH and speaking of voices in my head, I can't get his Tally Bon song out of my mine. :)

Soylent Red

I realize now the way to score here is to call people names instead of making coherent arguments.

When you actually make one would you highlight it in bold so we can easily distinguish it from the preponderance of your posts, which are just talking points? Thanks in advance.

The Lee Arnold Dialectic Method:
1. Make irrational and provably false statement.

2. Get shot to pieces.

3. Claim everyone is calling you names.

4. Change the subject and repeat from step 1.

kim

Oh yes, your Learoyds, and Ortheris's can fight. Unh huh. Yessirree, Bob.
=================================

Rick Ballard

"I realize now the way to score here is to call people names instead of making coherent arguments."

Come now, Lee. I remonstrated with Rich for calling you stupid and I still feel an apology is owed. There must be thousands of very stupid people all accross the nation who still feel the sting of his having numbered you among them.

BobS

Lee/Larry/Sockpuppet: YOU ar part of the Dem Party. Pathetic is the word that comes to mind for operatives like you who troll sites whom disagree with you. In fact, there's so few of you that you are probably known by some other name here.

kim

Sour grapes, Lee, sour grapes. Old story, been there done that. What ya' got now?
=============================

Sara

The left doesn't want to do anything or support anything that would actually require them to do something besides whine about what the right isn't doing for them.

Bill in AZ

...the make-up of the Democratic Party. You think they're all traitors or something.

OK, lets start with the short list first - which ones aren't?

Soylent Red

and Ortheris's can fight

Trusty chums all of them kim. Never met one I didn't like.

Soylent Red

which ones aren't?

Zell Miller. After that I'm stumped.

sbw

Lee: How do you boneheads expect to win an election without knowing your opponent?

Funny, I thought I already reminded you that McCain said "I'd rather lose an election than lose a war."

We know our opponents. You don't.

Lee A. Arnold

Now don't you clowns actually have to DISPROVE an assertion by way of argument, or has the "Mission Accomplished" prancing become your M.O., too?

Lee A. Arnold

Soylent Red, there's no way Obama's withdrawing altogether. But your total-withdrawal fantasy list could stand some real-world improvement:

1. They may try it, but AQI is DOA with regard to the Sunni sheiks and the Kurds. That would be a big fight.

2. Maliki will have no power -- pacify or ignore won't be an option, for him.

3. Iran is already there. They had the business deals sdewn up in southern Iraq by the end of 2004.

4. The Sunnis won't be depending upon the Shia government at any time in our lifetimes, no matter what happens.

8. By the description of "BoyWonder" I was sure you met Dubya, right up to "Medea Benjamin!"

Porchlight

Clarice, I've saved threads a couple of times by copying and pasting into Word. Or you can bookmark it and I think it will remain permalinked.

clarice

Thanks.

sbw

Lee, break our commitment to Iraq and don't expect anyone to trust a commitment ever again.

If you, the Big O, and the MSM cannot see the potential consequences, then how, for the love of Mike, are we supposed to help you understand anything?

sbw

Clarice, to save a thread, your browser should be able to save a webpage as a web archive. In Safari it's under the File menu and Save as...

Specify the format as a Web Archive.

BobS

how sad the Dem party has become

Jim Miller

Some commenters say that the Democrats want to lose the war, regardless; other commenters say that the Democrats just want to drive Bush farther down.

I think both sets of commenters are right, depending on the Democrat. You may recall seeing a poll some time ago that found that about half of the Democrats (and very few Republicans) thought this was a bad country. That half, and those that speak for them in Congress, and elsewhere, do indeed want us to lose, and would want us to lose even if a Democrat was president. (Though they might not be as loud about it.)

For the other half, it is mostly about political advantage. If losing the war will help them keep control of Congress and win the presidency, well that's fine. Conversely, if winning the war takes an issue away from McCain and helps them win, then that's OK, too.

Neither group knows much military history, or is inclined to think strategically. So they claim that this war has been horribly mismanaged, and they simply ignore the likely consequences of an Al Qaeda victory in Iraq.

This combination of ignorance and irresponsibility may cost us dearly, if Obama is elected president. (He adds a narcissistic arrogance to the mix, which will make matters even worse.)

BobS

Its incoherance. Its void of ideas. Its existance reduced to sad sock puppet figures who parrot the party line they receive in Emails and faxes

BobS

Narcicissm...thine party is Democrat

Soylent Red

Lee:

Your assertions need some adjusting as well...

1. They may try it, but AQI is DOA with regard to the Sunni sheiks and the Kurds. That would be a big fight.

How long do you think the population will last without American support? That's the real question. Sons of Iraq aren't large enough and don't have the weaponry do get the job done without support. I offer as evidence the fact that we actually had to go into Anbar, rather than watch the Sunnis throw off AQI themselves.

2. Maliki will have no power -- pacify or ignore won't be an option, for him.

3. Iran is already there. They had the business deals sdewn up in southern Iraq by the end of 2004.

I'm not talking about business interests. Iranians have been present in Iraq since forever. It's home to some of the holiest Shia sites and one of the largest Shia seminaries in the world. They also do a lot of cross border petro business. So, duh.

What I'm talking about is the Qods Force training up the so-called Special Groups of Sadrists inside Iraq. Also the supply train of weapons, particularly EFPs moving in from IRGC depots in western Iran. Those things don't just kill Americans you know. They kill elements of a non-Iran-compliant iraqi government too.

4. The Sunnis won't be depending upon the Shia government at any time in our lifetimes, no matter what happens.

Bull. They are already participating in the government and are reliant on an Iraqi-first type of government to protect them. They make up less than a quarter of the population. If the Shias chose to eliminate them, they could, after a bloody struggle.

Besides, is that a gamble you really want to take, or are you just throwing things out to see what sticks?

8. By the description of "BoyWonder" I was sure you met Dubya, right up to "Medea Benjamin!"

Oh sorry. I forgot to call the Obamessiah by his rightful title.

What will you people do when you don't have Bush to blame anymore? Oh right, McSaaaaaame

RichatUF

Rick-

I've been waiting for a better class of troll. This seminar species that has been coming from BHO's boiler room is just boring. It "blah, blah, blah...look a WaPo article...'Mission Accomplished'...Iraq is in Iran's vest pocket...its al Bush's fault."

In some campaign news, BHO claims that he'll be president for 8 to 10 years and it seems that the new location for the Obama Rally is also problematic. Wasn't this trip to show his verve, his sang froid...that he isn't one of those embarrassing Americans...

BobS

SR: Don't waste superior intellect on a sock puppets like Lee. None of the current members of the Dem party never listened to someone like Pat Moynihan famously said that someone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. Get back to those college kids manning the phones at the DNC for your response.

Soylent Red

Well of course you're right BobS. I suffer fools poorly.

OT...I am watching "Two Mules for Sister Sara". I have forgotten how good a movie it is. If you haven't, you should.

Porchlight

Clarice, I've saved threads a couple of times by copying and pasting into Word. Or you can bookmark it and I think it will remain permalinked.

Porchlight

Holy cow, I have no idea how that posted twice. Typepad is hiccupy these days.

Ann

Rich,

Well, he is kinda like a new troll because this one knows a second language called Ecolanguage (link under his name) and he is a Pedantic Doodler. I don't think we have had one like him before.

According to Lynn Sweet, Obama is going to deliver a speech on TRANS-ATLANTIC RELATIONS in Berlin on Thursday outdoors in a park under the Hitler Victory statue. Can't Wait..do you think it will have anything to do with his new plane logo?, you know CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN.

BobS

Sorry about the "superior intellect" angle. I always answer back when lefties talk about how dumb we are and how smart they are.

BobS

Still waiting for Lee's response, though.

BobS

Courage is on TV tonight: Apollo 13

Rick Ballard

Rich,

I think the good trolls are working the PUMA sites. I don't think the "get in line, bitch" approach is going to be all that productive but I do hope they keep trying. Meanwhile, we get the test dummies.

I would note that Obamaworldtour seems to be suffering a bit on the "a picture is worth a thousand words" end wrt Afghanistan. Maybe the French, Belgians, Austrian and Danes can show their appreciation for him selecting the Victory Column (as placed by Hitler) as his podium by showing up en masse for his speech.

These boys sure are sharp - that one belongs alongside the decision to go to a stadium in Mile High City for his September evening acceptance speech. Nothing like balmy 50 degree weather to perk up a crowd. Unless it rains, of course.

BobS

Rick: dont you think they assume propoganda is spread the same way viz. MSM as it always has? When they lie or mislead now, someone online answers back. How long in the old days would the "maliki agrees with obama on 16 months" thing have been around?

MeTooThen

JM Hanes,

Here:

"Perhaps the Worst Person in the World was an inartful flourish. :) Or we may simply be talking past each other in some way. I don't see how Lieberman doesn't actually reinforce my point: he cares more about winning in Iraq than "defeating" Bush. The democrats picked the issue upon which the Bush Administration was most vulnerable. Any failure goes in his column, any undeniable success is attributed to other forces. The political genius of "Bush Lied" and the reason that it has been the longest running, hardest beaten, theme of all, is because it makes Bush's War in Iraq (as opposed to "our" war in Afghanistan) an illegitimate war, win or lose.

Me too, then.

You have correctly and succinctly distilled the essence of the unprincipled and cynical machinations of the Democratic Party since the "stolen election" of 2000.

And the proof of this, as you point out, is the way in which Sen. Joseph Isadore Lieberman (Likud, CT) has been pilloried, maligned, and ultimately jettisoned from his former party, for speaking real truth to power.

For his honesty and candor, Sen. Likud is now just another dirty, Neo-con, fifth-columnist, Jew bastard.

And to think, I voted for that criminal.

Still, the hunt for those responsible (read Jews) will continue apace after Barack Hussein Obama II becomes the POTUS.

The Truth and Reconciliation Councils will make for interesting and provocative conversation.

Except for the reeducation camps and the destruction of Israel.

Just sayin'.

JM Hanes

Rich:

The post at HotAir reminded me of a tidbit from Special Report on Friday(?). Can't remember the name of the correspondent who reported the venue change, but apparently the campaign tried to give him the impression that Obama was never enthusiastic about the choice of the Brandenburg Gate and claimed that "He told his staff that it was presumptuous." The correspondent wondered aloud why they let the story hang out there for days, if that were actually the case, and then noted that perhaps the most interesting feature of the new location was that it had a view.... of the Brandenburg Gate! LOL! They probably picked it for the backdrop, and ended up in trouble all over again. Meant to post those tidbits over on Ed Morrissey's thread, but never got around to it.

I suspect Obama's grand tour complete with network anchors (and what looks like his presumption that he's entitled to consort with world leaders of his choosing) may be putting more than one head of state into awkward positions. I read somewhere that no one seems to be sure whether or not Mailki, for one, really wants to take a meeting with Obama, since he hasn't met with McCain. And, of course, I'm sure Angela Merkel has been just thrilled about the little Brandenburg contretemps, which put her at odds with the Mayor of Berlin. Thanks, Obama!

BobS

Too many make Israel about religion when it should be about politics. Israel is a democracy. End of story.

Soylent Red

JMH:

Al that assumes that the Obamessiah cares what the foreign leadership thinks. And that's not what this trip is about.

The trip is to show all of the fawning and swooning Euros shouting loud hosannas. That, in turn, will show Americans that if they only elect the Obamessiah, everyone will be BFF with us again.

bgates

Nothing like balmy 50 degree weather to perk up a crowd.
Shows what you know. What with global warming, it'll probably be 85 in Denver by then.

The stadium will be the last part of the city still above water, too. (Oh wait, He said the waters have already begun to recede, didn't He?)

RichatUF

Thanks Ann and Rick for setting me straight. I'd hate to insult the BHO/ACORN boiler room workers making $6.00/hr by insinuating that Lee Arnold is one of them.

JM Hanes-

I'm a bit stunned by the European leg of this trip. Germany doesn't have a vote in the US presidential election and if there is a large block of ex-pats and military he wants to reach why not have it a hotel or a football stadium in K-town. I suppose the reaction could be German interference in the election, but I'd think that he would want to avoid putting himself and his German hosts into this position in the first place.

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