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July 20, 2008

Comments

Lee A. Arnold

Soylent Red, in re #1, I thought Petraeus said he didn't need to arm the tribes to fight AQI -- that the tribes were already well-armed? There were a lot of news reports in the U.S. that they were winning on their own, even before getting logistical support from the U.S. This is not true?

In regard to #4 -- no, not a chance I want to take. But your statement was that if there were a total withdrawal, the Sunnis would demand protection from the government. I doubt they'd be serious. They would be fools to expect protection. They'll join the government, but it will take a long time before they will trust Shi'ites.

BUT THERE WILL BE NO TOTAL WITHDRAWAL. Even by Obama. That's what I find so ridiculous and revealing among the spinsters here. I thought you guys had better judgment. The military colleges are publishing histories about how the Bush Administration screwed up the occupation by not listening to the military. Any President is likely to make mistakes, but nobody is going to repeat Dubya's mistake.

JM Hanes

SR:

Oh I think he cares, I just think he's begun to believe that the hype really is all about him, not about the power he may wield. I don't think he has a clue just how obtuse he has begun to appear because he's so far out of his depth that he doesn't even realize it. He spent his life carefully gauging other people's reactions, but that stopped when everybody around him started gauging his. Now he has to wait for the polls to tell him what he used to be able to figure out face to face.

Rick Ballard

"BUT THERE WILL BE NO TOTAL WITHDRAWAL. Even by Obama."

Yeah. We know. He's a liar, he's always been a liar and he's not even close to being as good a liar as Bubba.

So, what other positive things have you to say about your liar candidate?

MikeS

Now don't you clowns actually have to DISPROVE an assertion

I don't think it's necessary (or possible) to disprove assertions that are dependent on your psychic abilities, such as mind reading and prophecy.

Comments such as these "By the way, it may have been Petraeus who..., The serious Democrats in the foreign policy establishment don't like Bush..., By the spring of 2004, even Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld stopped smiling in public. Because they needed more troops..." are baseless and, well just silly. I understand that you are proud of this kind of substance free fluff, but if you want to impress me with your psychic abilities tell me which team will win the Super Bowl.

Soylent Red

I thought Petraeus said he didn't need to arm the tribes to fight AQI -- that the tribes were already well-armed? There were a lot of news reports in the U.S. that they were winning on their own, even before getting logistical support from the U.S. This is not true?

Show me, don't tell me. This is patently false. And it's not just logistical support they're getting from us.

But your statement was that if there were a total withdrawal, the Sunnis would demand protection from the government. I doubt they'd be serious. They would be fools to expect protection. They'll join the government, but it will take a long time before they will trust Shi'ites.

My statement was that if you withdraw too many or all. Not all, although that would surely be too many.

And, as I said, the only thing standing in the way of Shia retribution is an Iraq-first Iraqi government, i.e. one that won't condone or participate in Shia retribution. That's why you need the support there. To ensure the government has enough resources to maintain security for everyone.

And yes I know Obamessiah is going to maintain a super-duper "strike force" there. But just what, in his almight military wisdom, does he propose that strike force consists of?

Bottom line is if he maintains what he needs to in Iraq in order to get the job done, he's a liar based on everything he's said to date. If he's not going to do that, he's a fool.

So what's it gonna be: cynical liar or inexperienced fool?

bgates

My favorite AP line ever:
One Obama gaffe while overseas, or the appearance that he's not ready for an international spotlight, and the media's elite will be there to judge him, said Bob Zelnick, Boston University journalism professor.
He's been entirely 100% gaffe-free so far, what are the odds he makes the first mistake of his thoroughly impressive life overseas?

Lee A. Arnold

Not a fool. I really doubt whether there's an inch of difference between Obama and McCain on Iraq. I think they're both playing to get elected. McCain is lying in the other direction. He will start reducing forces too.

And I don't think Maliki represents an Iraq-first government.

Show you Petraeus' testimony, or the news reports?

RichatUF

Rick and SR-

We are being too hard on BHO by calling him a liar.

We need a new term:

Obamance-no, that would be the fawning msm and his scary cultlike fans...

Obamastency-holding 2 or more inconsistant political positions on the same issue, which are used as a campaign device for political posturing in front of a partisian audience, each position is used for a different audience, and which the campaign maintains mean the same thing. eg. NAFTA, FISA, Iraq, AIPAC speech...

The Obamastency in Obama's NAFTA proposal was pointed out by a Canadian Embassy official...

Needs some work

Lee A. Arnold

MikeS really you'll have to do better than that. I'll stand by every one of those assertions. If this is the level of argument in the Republican Party, it's no wonder you guys are tanking in the polls. I used to think it would be a close election, but McCain would win by a nose. In fact I picked McCain to win in '08 six years ago, and the only time I wavered was in Giuliani's first surge. But McCain better be getting advice on better retorts than yours.

RichatUF

opps...needs spell check too:

inconsistant political positions::

inconsistent political positions

Ann

I think we need to speak Ecolanguage without the boxes and voice over. I'll try:

[People elect Obama] =[Withdrawal of American Forces from Iraq] = [Iraqis are buggered] and [Americans are screwed forever]

You know he has something there with the Ecolanguage. Simple Really.

Soylent Red

Show me where Gen. Petraeus said "we don't need to arm the Sons of Iraq". Because if he said it, all those captured AKs and Toyota Hi-Luxes that they're currently using showed up out of thin air.

Then you can show me the news reports where it said that prior to the Anbar Awakening (generally considered to have started in September 2007 with the al-Rashawi assassination) Sunnis had formed their own security forces. Then show me where you read that those forces were acting without US support.

And never mind, I got my answer: Liar.

MikeS

I'll stand by every one of those assertions.

My goodness! "By the spring of 2004, even Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld stopped smiling in public. Because they needed more troops..."

Of course it's not true literally, but do you mean to insist that General Casey wanted more troops when he said repeatedly up until 2006 that he didn't want more troops and didn't have missions for more troops to perform?

The entire idea represented by that sentence was manufactured in your tiny little mind and has absolutely no factual basis!

JM Hanes

"Any President is likely to make mistakes, but nobody is going to repeat Dubya's mistake."

Oh sure. In his July 15th speech Obama says:

After this redeployment, we'll keep a residual force to perform specific missions in Iraq: targeting any remnants of al Qaeda; protecting our service members and diplomats; and training and supporting Iraq's Security Forces, so long as the Iraqis make political progress.
A whole lot of people just died while we were discovering that you can't target al Qaeda in Iraq with guys making forays out of bunkers. You have to be living virtually cheek by jowel with Iraqis to get the "actionable intel" you need to go after anybody. Here's another one:
Only a strong Pakistani democracy can help us move toward my third goal - securing all nuclear weapons and materials from terrorists and rogue states. One of the terrible ironies of the Iraq War is that President Bush used the threat of nuclear terrorism to invade a country that had no active nuclear program. But the fact that the President misled us into a misguided war doesn't diminish the threat of a terrorist with a weapon of mass destruction - in fact, it has only increased it.
Bush was right about everything; he just picked the wrong country. It's democratization, baby. And preemption!:
The danger ... is that we are constantly fighting the last war, responding to the threats that have come to fruition, instead of staying one step ahead of the threats of the 21st century.
Not that he won't make his own truly stupid mistakes too:
We will redeploy from secure areas first and volatile areas later.
Almost forgot this simlimar gem on the purpose of residual forces from his PBS interview, where he described "a counterinsurgency force that can act swiftly if you start seeing the reemergence of al Qaeda in Iraq." Maybe if Obama had bothered to have a sit down with Petraeus before he staked out his "plan" he'd know that he just proposed a truly embarrassing oxymoron. Lucky for him, the swooning crowds haven't got a clue either.

Soylent Red

BTW Ann, I looked at this whole Ecolanguage business. My conclusion is this...

Lee Arnold has made a career out of PowerPointification.

JM Hanes

Rich:

I call it Obamatory, myself.

MikeS


RichatUF,
Would you consider "cognitive obamanance?"

Soylent Red

Maybe if Obama had bothered to have a sit down with Petraeus before he staked out his "plan" he'd know that he just proposed a truly embarrassing oxymoron.

*Snort* JMH.

"As I have always said, I uh, propose a plan to, uh, sort of, uh, conduct what I, uh, you know, like to call, uh, 'long-range counterinsurgency'. To that end, my high-speed, uh, strike force, will, uh, sort of, redeploy, to, uh, Bermuda. Where I will personally, uh, review them, as soon as someone, sort of tells me, uh, what that means."

glasater

"Lee Arnold has made a career out of PowerPointification"

He could be using Flash.

And his premises have really big holes in them--and his voice is annoying:-)

JM Hanes

Lee:

"McCain is lying in the other direction. He will start reducing forces too."

He's never said he wouldn't. He's consistently said withdrawals would be tied to conditions on the ground, not schedules dreamed up by politicians on what Patreus has referred to as "Washington time."

Ann

"PowerPointification and Plumbing"

I love you guys!! LOL

Soylent Red

Yeah glasater but what I mean is this...

Words, Shapes and Colors. He's just arranging them so that they can be transferred onto PowerPoint slides.

Crap. If he'd have included animations and goofy sounds, he'd have hit quinela.

JM Hanes

Uh, well, yeah SR, that's what I meant to but my um, you know, staff, it's a problem.

JM Hanes

Fortunately, I only have the power to make truly embarrassing typos: **Petraeus**

Sara

Yo Lee, the only poll plungers we've seen lately are Pelosi and her Congresscritter defeatocrats, Harry "the war is lost" Reid, and Bambi, who is barely neck and neck even with McCain, even with the MSM leading his charge.

And then there is senile ol' Jack Murtha who is being challenged by William Russell in PA. Russel outraised Rep. John Murtha, D-Johnstown, by $511,000 in the most recent fundraising quarter. The quarter ended on June 30.

Russell Brigrade:

The campaign of Johnstown resident and Republican nominee for Congress Lt. Colonel Bill Russell outpaced incumbent Congressman John Murtha in the second fundraising quarter of 2008. According to campaign manager, Peg Luksik, William Russell for Congress reported raising $637,137 to Murtha’s $113,155 to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). The combined totals from the first and second quarters of 2008 exceed $900,000.
Soylent Red

Uh, well, yeah SR, that's what I meant to but my um, you know, staff, it's a problem.

Please, oh please let him put on an ACH helmet when he gets to Iraq.

With his tall head and jugears it will look like an enormous camoflaged bee sat down on his neck.

Pontifficatrix

You would be well advised to exercise the utmost caution where pontifical plumbing is concerned.

JM Hanes

Now that's your *Snort* right there, SR.

JM Hanes

Sara:

Oh please, let Russell be the one! I assume he's probably getting a big chunk of change from out of state; do you think he's got a real chance vote wise?

Sara

JMH:

I have been so busy with the grandbabies, I haven't been following what is happening in J-town, but Russell needed 1000 write-in votes to get on the primary ballot and he ended up with 4000, after a challenge that tried to keep him off so that Murtha could run unchallenged. And now he is outraising Murtha big time, although Murtha still has more than a million on hand from previous campaigns and his porker ways.

For those who don't know, Russell is a Lt. Colonel and decorated Desert Storm and Iraq War combat veteran and who was at the Pentagon on 9/11 and returned home to run against Congressman John "Jack" Murtha.

Lee A. Arnold

Soylent Red, The first mention of Sunni Awakening in Anbar I can find is May 31, 2007, here:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2007/05/iraq_report_babil_awakening_al.asp

Or is this not what you're talking about?

In the joint testimony before the House last September 2007 Petraeus said they found no need to arm the Sunni tribes. I am not going over that testimony with a magnifying glass to prove it to you.

And right before Petraeus' testimony his COIN advisor David Killcullen wrote that the tribal revolt was not anticipated by the US command, was not caused by it and was a "surprise." Google it yourself.

Now I didn't say the Sunnis had formed their own "security forces." I wrote they were fighting.

Lee A. Arnold

Now MikeS, I know now that factual history is not your style, but everybody from McCain to the dreaded Murtha yelled for more troops in 2004. There was a bump up in the spring, and then a bump up after Bush's re-election. I Googled a graphic so you could see it: the blue line:

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44549000/gif/_44549620_us_troop_death466x277.gif

The White House was very worried about what it would look like. Read Bremer's memoirs all about it. He wanted more troops and even he blames Bush.

So now we have: the Army War College, the National Defense Institute, almost all of the retired commanders, and Paul Bremer. All blaming Bush! And we haven't even gotten to the serious Democrats yet!

JM Hanes

Lee:

The Petraeus comment that I recall came in response to questions and speculation about what had happened to a big truckload of weapons that went missing. Don't know if it's the same remark you're thinking of, but it's a detail that might conceivably narrow down the search for a citation if you're still looking.

Elliott

Rich:

...it seems that the new location for the Obama Rally is also problematic.

Soylent:

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.

Behold the fiendish cunning of Axelrod. He doesn't care how many are present at the rapture next week. Instead, he expects the appearance before the Victory arch will secure enough votes in the capital city of North Dakota to put Obama over the top.

JM Hanes

This is rich:

KABUL - U.S. presidential hopeful Barack Obama called the situation in Afghanistan "precarious and urgent" on Sunday and said Washington should start planning to transfer more troops there from Iraq....

"We have to understand that the situation is precarious and urgent here in Afghanistan and I believe this has to be the central focus, the central front, in our battle against terrorism," Obama said....

If the United States waited for a new administration to take office, it could take a year to boost troop levels, he said.

For someone who put his NATO committee on permanent hold because running for office was so much more important, that's a pretty bizarre order of buisness. This is so important, Washington ought to taking care of it as we speak, -- because I obviously just don't have the time. So much for the fierce urgency of now.

JM Hanes

Lee:

"Read Bremer's memoirs all about it. He wanted more troops and even he blames Bush"

That couldn't possibly be because so many people did and still do credit Bremer for one disaster after another, of course. Should we assume you accept his passionate defense of disbanding the Iraqi army too?

"So now we have: the Army War College, the National Defense Institute, almost all of the retired commanders, and Paul Bremer. All blaming Bush! And we haven't even gotten to the serious Democrats yet!"

You've got such a pile up of unsupported assertions going here, I don't think you can afford to add any more. I'm also thinking you haven't really spent much time with original sources yourself and may not even know what the sources are. You're like a blind man describing an elephant he heard about. We all know there were plenty of miscalls, there always are, and we all know that most of the folks looking to cast blame or push it upstairs, are going to pick Bush, but that really doesn't tell us much that's useful. Every war is always going to be over in 6 months, and the boys will always be home by Christmas.

For your reading pleasure, Rand Corp finally put out the official version of its study at the beginning of July, just a few days after the 700 page Army report was released. As Michael Gordon, who is probably the best reporter on Iraq now writing for the New York Times, notes, Tommy Franks, among others, is not exactly treated kindly either.

In any case, I gather that one of those "mistakes" you say Obama won't be repeating is the one where you actually listen to what the Generals on the ground are telling you, instead of the politically engaged armchair generals & punditocracy shouting at you in DC.

Pagar

Good morning to all!
JMH, I agree completely. Obama is too busy running for President to do his job as a Senator. Why can't people see that he is a total fraud?

Pagar

"and we haven't even gotten to the serious Democrats yet!" The only thing Democrats are serious about is making sure anyone who fighting America has their 100% support. Why else would Sen Rockefeller need to make this trip before the war started?

"ROCKEFELLER: No. I mean, this question is asked a thousand times and I'll be happy to answer it a thousand times. I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq, that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11."

LUN

Why else is everything one hears from the Democrats "We cannot win"? All such messages do is encourage anyone who is fighting America.

Jane

Good Morning Pagar,

I might have to hand my mantle of 'good morningness' over to you. You keep beating me.

What a fascinating discussion you guys had last night. Like Clarice I plan to save it to read over. I'm gonna label it the "Troll Seminar".

hit and run

Good morning!

(and thanks Ann for the compliment)

It's gonna be a scorcher here today.

Soylent Red

Lee:

I will accept that May 31, 2007 reference since it came from Roggio. Four months doesn't change the essence of my argument, particularly since there is no set date for the beginning of the Anbar Awakening.

But your crack research team over at the HopeyChangey Institute failed you miserably. Now, I'll grant that I only made a quick check of facts but here's what I discovered:

I word searched the Kilcullen article you mentioned, entitled "Anatomy of a Tribal Revolt" (I happened to have it tucked away on my computer from an entirely different context). Looked for the word "surprise". Didn't find it anywhere. Maybe you're talking about a different article about tribal revolt.

So then I did a general Google search for "Kilcullen + Surprise" and "Kilcullen + Anticipated". Only found the word "surprise" in comments sections. Only found the word anticipated in a few, but out of context.

But suppose it was a surprise. How does that change my argument? I have said from the get-go that one didn't follow the other. The Surge was required to exploit the Awakening, not cause it.


I then word searched the entire transcript of the Gen. Petreaus testimony. Didn't find any mention that they didn't find that they didn't need to arm Sunnis.

Just to be sure, I did the same with Crocker's testimony. Same result.

I did, however, find where he said we were bringing the Sons of Iraq into the Iraqi security structure, how we were training them, and how we had convinced the Iraqi government to set aside funds to contract them. I also found how they were working alongside US troops to round up baddies and find IEDs in the area.

So it looks like all of your unfounded assertions remain unfounded. I can't do the research for you. You have to show your work.

I did find this though, in response to Gen. Petraeus' testimony:

"The time to end the surge and to start bringing our troops home is now," said Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), "not six months from now." Obama added that he "can only support a policy that begins an immediate removal of our troops from Iraq's civil war, and initiates a sustained drawdown of our military presence."

Found that quoted on HuffPo from the WaPo. I don't really see how you can nuance that into anything but what it is.

You've wasted enough of my life. Go away.

Soylent Red

Oh and good morning Jane. When does your show start?

Jane

Gee SR, have you been up all night? Nice job.

I'll set the date for the trial run tonite. Then we will take it from there.

thelonereader

SR:
Now that you have called Lee's bluff I 'spect we won't be hearing from him anymore.
Good work!

Cecil Turner

Now MikeS, I know now that factual history is not your style . . .

That's a good one, coming from a guy trying to tell us the "surge" was the Dems' plan all along. Looking back I see . . . The Real Iraq Study Group:

Forget Jim Baker's crew. The neocon hawks who sold the war, joined by John McCain and Joe Lieberman, unveiled their new plan for "victory": At least 25,000 new troops in combat roles well into 2008.
Dems passed a house resolution that criticized the surge, but failed cloture in the Senate.
Democrats claimed victory anyway. "A majority of the United States Senate is against the escalation in Iraq," said Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
Weeks later, he declared it a failure:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday the war in Iraq is "lost" . . .
Now we find that the Dem propagandists are claiming they were for it all along, or that it was essentially the same plan, General "Betray-us" got lucky, or that it didn't matter in the first place. The latter claims would be a lot more convincing without all the previous vehement insistence to the contrary.

Pagar

"which ones aren't"? I think Bill in Ariz named them all. I can't think of a one I would add to his list.

Appalled

An election is a statement of the voters on what they would like their future to be like. I think its fair to say the voters really do not want any more Iraq in their future, if they feel the consequences of withdrawal will not be too bad for the US.

McCain has made statements consistent with staying in Iraq. Obama has made statements consistent with not staying in Iraq. Malaki has now made the consequences of withdrawal seem nonexistant.

I see that some believe that Obama has now linked hismself to Malaki, and this may impede his freedom of action later. I tend to agree with TM here -- Obama dies not want to be spending his Presidency on Iraq (in the same way Eisenhower did not want to be spending his on Korea).

If Iraq does work out, Bush will likely get a somewhat better place in history than he has been assigned thus far. (That means he might be seen as a better president than, say, Franklin Pierce or Benjamin Harrison) But, if Iraq does work out, what we may see is the US equivalent of the Boer War -- a war which, finally, we did win, but in a way that called into question both the US appetite for global action and US devotion to its own values.

Of course, there is still Afghanistan. I wonder how much in the way of resources we want to spend there?

Jane

Perhaps we should save that question until after the next attack.

Jane

If I hadn't been completely, utterly and totally offended by Obama by now, this would have done it for me. LUN

Team Obama issues dress code for female reporters

Talk about a patronizing nanny-stater, sexist prig...

UGH

bio mom

Does it bother anyone else that Obama is meeting the troops in the deserts dressed in a suit and tie??

Jane

Apparently it bothers the troops.

GMax

I think he is wearing the suit and tie so that he resists any temptation to put the tank helmet on!

Cecil Turner

McCain has made statements consistent with staying in Iraq. Obama has made statements consistent with not staying in Iraq.

Well, yeah . . . if you just ignore what they actually said.

If Iraq does work out, Bush will likely get a somewhat better place in history than he has been assigned thus far.

I'm rather more concerned about the war than Bush's legacy. I'd hope most Americans are. But reading comments from liberals, there is no way to conclude most of them are (except for those hopefully rare types who would like to see us lose for "comeuppance" and to "put us in our place"). Fighting a war to lose is not a value . . . it's immoral and incompetent.

kim

I might be so bold as to surmise that enough progress has been made in the Middle East and particularly Iraq, that the American voter will sense that if the area returns to a quagmire after a Democratic win, then that is the state of foreign policy to expect from Democrats, and that Republicans, at least, can win, even if it is costly.

Of course, I'd much rather McCain won, but he would face an enormous challenge in matching Bush's eight years of progress against a desperate challenge. Face it, Jihadism is desperation, and quite unnecessary, but also highly resistant to eradication.
================================

kim

Jane, I like Techies comment at your link: 'Someday the press is going to wake up and realize they are in an abusive relationship with Obama'.
===================

boris

Making us safer is not a reason for going to war. Increasing danger for the enemy until they’re either dead, surrender or abandon the use of force against us and run away; that’s the purpose of war. While that may be safer for us in the long run it almost never is in the short run. Thus making safety the overriding issue wrt war results in less of it long term.

The problem with Saddam is that after the first Gulf war he thought he had won especially when GHW was not reelected. The first Gulf war was an obvious overmatch but did not accomplish any of the primary goals listed. Saddam was clearly willing to defy, engage and sabotage the war on terror using any means at his disposal. Any serious campaign to defeat terrorism required his removal on strategic, humanitarian and opportunistic grounds.

If we keep Iraq and Afghanistan the lesson for terrorism would be that 911 was a disastrous blunder for them. IMO the reason there has been no serious attempt to attack the US is they realize their only chance for “victory” is for dimorats, nimrods, and moonbats to gain the upper hand in elections and force defeatist retreat. and for that to happen the general public has to descend into complacency of false security. Then Al Qaeda, like Saddam, will claim they won and will have to be dealt with one way or another at greater cost for everybody in the future.

clarice

Jig's up for the press--per Rasmussen 49% of those polled think the media's in the tank for Obama.
I don't think that's good for them or him.
But I do think the judgement's warranted.

clarice

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/belief_growing_that_reporters_are_trying_to_help_obama_win>Media In Tank for Obama

MikeS

Now MikeS, I know now that factual history is not your style...

Gadzooks, what form of madness is this? A man gets caught making stuff up, so he makes up new stuff to prove his original creations were true all along!

Now most liberals can make stuff up faster than I can correct them, so let me concentrate on just one of the assertions from your hallucinations comments, that you insist is accurate.

Let me paraphrase, you said that in 2004 Bush and Cheney had no troops they could send to Iraq, and were so sad they stopped smiling.

You were being facetious about the men not smiling, (of course that isn't true) so I will overlook that.

Your point about the President wanting to send more troops, but he just didn't have them, is a creation of yours. It is untrue. We know this because he did have them he did send them and they are only now still returning home!! There were in fact more fresh troops available in 2004 than in 2007 went the Surge was implemented.

During that time period, 2004, the President routinely bragged that the first question he generally asked commanders on the ground was did they need more troops or anything else. The responses of Gen. Casey were well known. He didn't have missions for more troops!

So, you original statement was absolutely untrue. No statement by McCain, Murtha, Obama, or anyone else, can undo your lie.

Appalled

Cecil:

MaCain's comments - per your links, are along the lines of I won't have troops in Iraq any longer than is necessary. Obama's are along the lines of "I will end this war".

You can argue that they are saying roughly the same thing (as Andrew Sullivan has been trying to do), but McCain's thrust is the necessity of staying, while Obama's are along the lines of determination to leave.

That's the way the candidates have chosen to portray themselves. Which gives Obama an advantage if Malaki says withdrawal in 16 months sounds good.

Appalled

clarice:

By all evidences, Obama mistrusts the media and really seeks to control them. I have a hunch that the media will not stay in Obama's tank very long. (Whether they leap out before or after the election is the question.)

Thomas Collins

If B57O is going to get a bump from his excursions and whatever translation of Maliki's comments wins out, it hasn't happened yet. Today's Rasmussen tracking poll has it 42%-41% for B57O. McCain has been steady over the past few weeks in the low 40s, but B57O has gone from the high 40s to the low 40s. Perhaps the legacy media has crowned B57O as His Inevitableness a little too soon.

sbw

'Mornin' all.

From late last night: "a career out of PowerPointification."

More aptly describing Lee's career: Power Pontification

clarice

I hope you're right appalled, but I suspeect they are masochists or so persuaded he will win that they will endure some rib kicks just to retain the possibility of access...and then , they think ,after the long Bush drought, there will be WH balls and dinners and Georgetown soirees where the bien pensants can gather and bask in the glow of eachother's wonderfulness once again.

sbw

Heh! Dr. Samuel Johnson quotation from the frontispiece of a book I just bought:

My dear friend, clear your mind of cant ... you may talk in this manner; it is the mode of talking in society; but don't think foolishly.

Cecil Turner

MaCain's comments [. . .] are along the lines of I won't have troops in Iraq any longer than is necessary [. . .] but McCain's thrust is the necessity of staying

This is self-contradictory. Staying is obviously not the difference, as both have exactly the same position on long-term presence (i.e., "not").

The difference is timing: Obama supported leaving regardless of whether we'd won or not, McCain (and Bush, Petraeus, and most, but not all, GOP congresscritters) wanted to win first. It's the same today, but we've come close to winning (and may well have) in the intervening two years, so they're close to convergence. But the difference in strategic terms (contra Sully's vapidity) is stark.

And if we can just keep the Dems' hands off the levers of power until everything's over, then things'll work out fine. (Which is pretty much the story on their national defense competence . . . and why I haven't voted for one in ages.)

Jane

Media In Tank for Obama

How is it that so many people in this country don't know or care that the media's job is to report both sides and thus keep us free? You would think the outrage over the media completely ignoring their primary job would exceed all the other outrages combined. And yet, no one seems to even notice.

It simply blows my mind.

MikeS

If we keep Iraq and Afghanistan the lesson for terrorism would be that 911 was a disastrous blunder for them.

Yes. Recall that Osama and the Democrats thought our troops would be defeated in the mountains of Afghanistan, and Saddam and the Democrats thought our troops would be defeated in brutal, house to house urban combat.

The terrorists and defeatists have learned a lot in the past 6 years. So, have our allies and adversaries.

PaulL

And Jackie O, whoops, I mean Michelle O, will be host of the White House balls. What an opportunity for photographers. The copy practically writes itself.

sbw

Jane: How is it that so many people in this country don't know or care that the media's job is to report both sides and thus keep us free?

Actually, Jane, I believe journalism schools who have embraced the "objectivity" model you mention "report both sides" do not convey the job to be done. The task of the journalist, as a surrogate for the individual, is to help improve the accuracy and usefulness of one's mental map of reality, the better to plan one's future.

That they misunderstand their job, and that no one calls them on it, is an indication of the failure of education, caught up as it is in teaching subjects as a substitute for first helping students learn how to think (grammar, logic, rhetoric [in the useful sense of the word], and learn what's worth thinking about (what can we know, how should we behave, and how should we govern ourselves).

Hence, Thoreau was right when he said, "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."

MayBee

Here are the blog posts from Karen Tumulty at TIME magazines the swamp for July 20, 19, and 18.
Tell me she is not giddy with anticipation. Tell me the press is over Obama in any way.


Chicago to Shannon to Amman
"A quick dispatch before the (Obamaless, for now) Obama charter takes off from Midway. "

Obama's Day in Afghanistan
"Meanwhile, I'm still in Chicago. The campaign charter is supposed to take off this evening"

Obama's First Interview from Afghanistan

Travel Update: That Berlin Speech
" Word is that the candidate has left Afghanistan, presumably for Iraq. The charter takes off tonight from Chicago to Amman."

Obama Lands In Afghanistan
"KT here--

For those of you who might be wondering, the campaign charter takes off tomorrow evening for Amman, where we presumably will be joining Obama for the rest of the trip. I will be posting frequently, assuming I can get the technology to work"

More Obama Trip News

Obama's War-Zone Traveling Companions

MayBee

Time Magazine's "Swampland"

Cecil Turner

If we keep Iraq and Afghanistan the lesson for terrorism would be that 911 was a disastrous blunder for them.

And the converse is even more compelling. Handing them victories would embolden them immensely:

Q. Describe the situation when your men took down the American forces in Somalia.

A. After our victory in Afghanistan and the defeat of the oppressors who had killed millions of Muslims, the legend about the invincibility of the superpowers vanished. Our boys no longer viewed America as a superpower. So, when they left Afghanistan, they went to Somalia and prepared themselves carefully for a long war. [. . .] They were stunned when they discovered how low was the morale of the American soldier. [. . .] As I said, our boys were shocked by the low morale of the American soldier and they realized that the American soldier was just a paper tiger. He was unable to endure the strikes that were dealt to his army, so he fled [. . .] After a few blows, it forgot all about those titles and rushed out of Somalia in shame and disgrace, dragging the bodies of its soldiers. [Osama Bin Laden, 1998]

Lee A. Arnold

Soylent Red, actually you first wrote that it was "precipitated by an influx of Marines," NOT that "one didn't follow the other." I thought maybe you knew something from talking to some marines! It seems like most of the others here twist facts to suit opinions. I want you to know that I remember that Petraeus said something like they didn't have to do much arming of the Sunni Awakening (at least last year) -- because I remember thinking "that makes sense, those sheiks are probably armed to the teeth already!" But I have to admit, I don't see any links to Petraeus' responses to questions (after his prepared testimony.) Have the links all been taken down? (That was in last September.) As for Kilcullen, he's written a couple of times at Small Wars Journal that the Awakening was unexpected. But since you write that you "accept that May 31, 2007 reference since it came from Roggio," but that my "unfounded assertions remain unfounded," it may not matter to you either. It looks like a busy day for me so I have to sign-off for now. Just as well, I'm not a keyboard potato. After reading this thread of comments, the Right is as unclear and contradictory as the Left.

PeterUK

Cecil Turner,
Which of course is the bottom line of Incursio Interruptus,you run you lose.
The Democrat meme of "He who fights and runs away,lives to fight another day",not with the seventh century you don't.

fdcol63

" ... they went to Somalia and prepared themselves carefully for a long war ..."

This is their greatest asset and our greatest weakness. Our modern, Western culture is too focused on immediate gratification and lacks the patience and will for a long struggle.

Even worse ... too many of us don't believe we have anything worth fighting and dying for, while they inculcate into their children a culture of death and martyrdom.

As our birthrates decline while theirs continues to increase, who will outlast whom?

PeterUK

"Soylent Red....I thought maybe you knew something from talking to some marines! It seems like most of the others here twist facts to suit opinions."


To coin an Americanism,"You gotta love him"

kim

Anbar awakened in the Fall of 2006. The phenomenon preceded the surge, but was aided by it. Some of the Sunni clerics just wouldn't stomach the outrages of al-Qaeda and they steeled the sheiks.
=======================

sbw

The soylent red Bald Man installments I have are:

December 09, 2006 at 03:52 AM

June 06, 2008 at 10:52 PM

July 04, 2008 at 12:13 AM

July 18, 2008 at 10:58 PM

Are there more I should add to the list? They deserve to be tracked.


royf

After reading this thread of comments, the Right is as unclear and contradictory as the Left.

I like this one. Lee comes in here with his MSM/DNC talking points, gets them torn to shreds by SR and others but don't you know it's because the Right is contradictory. Jeez these people are so predictable, I had already been told that by the MSM/DNC.

fdcol63

We on the Right are "contradictory", but Obama and the Dems just "shift" to the new realities.

LOL

Rick Ballard

"Some of the Sunni clerics just wouldn't stomach the outrages of al-Qaeda and they steeled the sheiks."

Kim,

The ironclad rules of desert hospitality require some negative action on the part of the guest prior to his being sold out and/or murdered for his goods (or because the host has accepted payment to do so). The cleric is a creature of his sheik and provides the theological context for the betrayal/rape/murder which follows the sheiks acceptance of a new lessor/lessee arrangement.

Same goes for 'warlords' in Afghanistan. They change sides like socks and the local imam can always provide the requisite justification (if any is needed).

It's all just part of the rich panoply of islamic mores and ethics, written in sand and susceptible to erasure by anyone holding a sword.

The stories of AQ brutality are entertaining but we shouldn't get too caught up in legends created by the sheiks as cover for their sale of the guests whom they had welcomed into their homes.

Barney Frank

The surge troops have mostly been used to stop further ethnic cleansing in Baghdad by dividing the city into walled zones --

Lee Arnold first wrote the above which is false.
The problem was the lack of enough troops to perform counterinsurgency operations in outlying areas while still keeping something of a lid on Baghdad proper.
The solution was the surge.
To Petraus's credit (the author of the current counterinsurgency handbook) he recognized this and called for enough troops to do the job.
With the additional troops he was free to work in Anbar, Diyalah and other provinces with the local sheiks, with whom he had been culitvating relationships for some time. Our troops worked in close cooperation with former adversaries constantly. Our soldiers fought side by side with the Awakening irregulars and the Iraqi army to defeat AQ in Iraq.
It was only after the provinces had been cleaned up, which funneled vast amounts of the bombs and violence into Bagdhad that we could turn our attention there and secure it.
To say that we didn't or that the Anbar awakening was a spontaneous event caused only by Al Qaeda atrocities and was unrelated to our presence in any way, or that Bush deserves no credit for putting Petraeous in charge and giving him a free hand is akin to saying the French resistance liberated France and it was despite those idiots, Churchill and FDR.

kim

Yeah, Rick, true to a degree not Kelvin but Tartuffian. Never forget men like Sistani, though.

Here was one al-Qaeda trick; they served roast young son to one couple suspected of co-operation with the Americanos.
===============================

Rick Ballard

Kim,

Sounds as good as nun raping Huns, doesn't it? Guests and fish - three days is the limit.

kim

Another key point about the early stages of the Awakening, little mentioned, is that the Sunni rural saw our troops protect their city mouse cousins from Shia death squads. It was obvious early that we weren't in there just to destroy Sunni Arab influence in Iraq. That helped the sheiks make their leap of faith to stand with us. Another little mentioned fact is that most of the oil in Iraq is in Shia and Kurdish areas; the Sunni, to keep any of the oil wealth, had to hope we'd side with giving them their 20% national share. Chalabi has helped ensure this little aspect of the political reconciliation.
=======================

kim

How is it Conan says? 'Drive their women and children before you'.
=========================================

PaulL

That'll Teach You Dept: Obama denies a plane seat to the New Yorker.

BobS

Morning, Lee. Still using your tortured logic on SR I see. At least you've dropped that transparent Bush hating stuff that gives you away.
At any rate, lets deal with the Awakening. Your assertion that it was unexpected may be a close as anything you've said to be accurate. But there's little doubt that the Awakening would have happened with US forces on the ground, knowing they were going to stay and knowing that they were help them defeat AQ.
Recall the mantra "winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqis?" Probably along with you, I grew weary of hearing this. Yet the presense and success of US forces was intended from the beginning to acheive just this.
Only history will be able to adequately assess the matter, and that the success that has become Iraq would not have happened without the "Awakening". But it already clear that without the surge which lead to the defeat of AQ and foreign fighters, we would not be where we are today.

kim

Cartoonists to the back of the bus. Under it if they draw. Bang, bang, he shot them down, bang, bang, they hit the slicks.
=======================

clarice

About his June fundraising..Politico reports that $25 m of it came in on the very last day.
Do you believe this cock and bull story?

MikeS

The term Anbar Awakening generally refers to disparate Sunni militias rather than a unified group. These militias were paid by the U.S. to patrol neighborhoods and to point out al Qaeda elements so they could be attacked by the Marine Corps.

These militias were generally armed only with small arms such as AK47s possibly some RPGs. They did receive training which was primarily related to how to notify the Marines when al Qaeda elements were spotted and how to evaluate the target and the potential for collateral damage.

clarice

NYT refuses to allow McCain to respond to Obama Op Ed
http://www.drudgereport.com/flashnym.htm

Rick Ballard

"Do you believe this cock and bull story?"

Sure. Hold the last two weeks receipts for deposit on the final day of the month and - viola! - a really big day. But not a $100 million dollar month. Which is, ya know, kinda what the Messiah's minions were promising just a little while ago.

BobS

Clarice: No to the fundraising. Not surprised about the times. I'm going to link it after coming up with a headline

Pagar

Clarice, sounds about right for a politician
that apparently has managed to hid his birth certificate so well that people that were able to track down the status of Valerie Plane at the CIA (which apparently has been America's most closely guarded secret for the past several years) are still not even able to find where Obama was born weeks after they started looking.

LUN

clarice

And then, Rick, you have an excuse for the later disclosure (too much, too fast to account for quickly) AND some shiny tinfoill to distract from the failure to meet the trumpeted goal.

clarice

HEH, Pagar. Have those videos been poted yer by scary?

Ranger

NYT refuses to allow McCain to respond to Obama Op Ed
http://www.drudgereport.com/flashnym.htm

Posted by: clarice | July 21, 2008 at 12:43 PM

Hmmmm... wouldn't that make the Obama OpEd "free advertising" that need to be reported as a campaign controbution from the NYT to the Obama campaign?

GMax

Well my money is down on the held the books open and pushed some of July, maybe a lot of July into June to make it look better.

I thought it strange at the time when the report came out that the number was low that Obama's camp issued a denial but did not respond with a number. Why was that? They had released numbers when they needed the boost in the primaries in as little as three and four days after month end.

Did they follow some logic in this and look at postmarks and move all donations postmarked prior to month end but received afterwards? Or did they just lie, with the delay being time to get legal counsel on the impact of fiddling. Unless I am missing something, I think counsel would tell them that overreporting is unlikely to get them any sanction, its the failure to disclose that the law is aimed at.

This guy has not minded lying to us before, and the facts currently known to us make my scenario at least possible. I dont know if that is what happened but I do sincerely doubt $25mm came in on one single day.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame