October 6, 2006

"The great Republican collapse of 2006."

That's Charles Krauthammer's phrase.

44 comments:

Doyle said...

Great work, Ann.

Use the anti-Republican sounding headline, then link to the lengthy refutation of the common sensical idea that the Iraq War has made us less safe.

So sly.

The actual point of the article:

Does the war in Iraq make us more or less safe today? And what about tomorrow? The fact is that no definitive answer is possible. Except for the following truism: During all wars we are by definition less safe -- and the surest way back to safety is victory.

[Slow, sarcastic clapping]

Too Many Jims said...

"It is clear that one of the reasons we have gone an astonishing five years without a second attack on the American homeland is that the most dedicated and virulent jihadists have gone to Iraq to fight us."

Wouldn't the next attack be the third? Why is it "astonishing" if there is (at least) 5 years between attacks 2 and 3 when there were about 8 years between attacks 1 and 2? I know that immediately after 9/11 many people (including myself) thought that there would be more attacks but maybe those assumptions were wrong. I don't doubt at all that part of the explanation for the pause in attacks on American soil is due to jihadis going to Iraq (though I would note that the skill set needed for a jihadi to engage American forces in Iraq are different than those needed to come and attack us here ala 9/11) but there are many other reasons for it as well. Some of the other reasons are known (e.g. increased immigration oversight -- hey I said, increased, not great) some of them may be known only to those planning such an attack (e.g. how long does it take to plan and implement such an attack).

I do agree that victory should be our only strategy. Now if the administration would just get busy actually pursuing that, it would be great.

Fenrisulven said...

The actual point of the article:

success in the Iraq project would blunt the most fundamental enlistment tool for terrorism -- the political oppression in Arab lands that is deflected by cynical dictators and radical imams into murderous hatred of the West. Which is why the Bush democracy project embodies the greatest hope for a reduction of terrorism and why the NIE itself concludes that were the jihadists to fail in Iraq, their numbers would diminish.

That was cruel Ann - the Dolyes want to talk about interns & elections instead of terrorism, and you pulled a bait-n-switch

Meanie. :)

Badger said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Badger said...

"The Bush democracy project"
"The Iraq project"

The War in Iraq is a "project" When did this project start?

Fenrisulven said...

When did this project start?

After we overthrew Saddam and liberated the people of Iraq.

Also, under the Geneva Convention [so loved by the Left recently], an "occupying power" is responsible for restoring the country:

"Under Article 43, an occupying power must restore and maintain public order and civil life, including public welfare, in an occupied territory."

http://www.ejil.org/journal/Vol16/No4/art4.html

Too Many Jims said...

When did this project start?

I think the project he has in mind started in 1997 if not earlier.

Fenrisulven said...

"The Project for the New American Century intends, through issue briefs, research papers, advocacy journalism, conferences, and seminars, to explain what American world leadership entails. It will also strive to rally support for a vigorous and principled policy of American international involvement and to stimulate useful public debate on foreign and defense policy and America's role in the world."

Dude, thats so - like - sinister.

Badger said...

After we overthrew Saddam and liberated the people of Iraq.

Utter and complete nonsense. You seriously think Iraqi's feel "liberated"? How can we liberate a country, form a democracy, and fight them over "there" at the same time?

Also, under the Geneva Convention [so loved by the Left recently], an "occupying power" is responsible for restoring the country:

I thought this was a "different kind of war" and the "Geneva doesn't apply because we're fighty an enemy without a central government"?

I don't know why we think repeating a failed policy over and over will somehow achieve results. Taking fire and driving over IED's with Humvees indefinitely is not a plan. I'm optimistic we can still do it, but Bush is too damn stubborn to admit it, and move on. It's stupid beyond words.

Brent said...

The plain view of Democrats on Power Parade is both exciting and frightening. There is no longer any low point to which Pelosi and Reid will not stoop to come into power.

Is Foleygate a sign of back to the future if Dems were to control the House: more of the sexual hypocrisy from the gang that brought us the Clinton Monologues with Vaginas?

Fenrisulven said...

Badger, your post makes no sense:

You seriously think Iraqi's feel "liberated"?

Yes I do, I see & hear from them every day. The Kurds are specially happy that we liberated them.

But I said liberation of Iraq. Not Iraqi's feel liberated. Are you just relfexively distorting comments to avoid them?

How can we liberate a country, form a democracy, and fight them over "there" at the same time?

Are you aware of a concept called multi-tasking? We did it in Germany and Japan. Look at them.

I thought this was a "different kind of war" and the "Geneva doesn't apply because we're fighty an enemy without a central government"?

Iraq has a central government. You are confusing our Geneva obligations to Iraq with Geneva rules re terrorist prisoners. Did you even think before you posted? Or did you just knee-jerk an emotional response?

I don't know why we think repeating a failed policy over and over will somehow achieve results. Taking fire and driving over IED's with Humvees indefinitely is not a plan.

Your mistake is in thinking thats our plan. No wonder you're so confused.

I'm optimistic we can still do it, but Bush is too damn stubborn to admit it, and move on. It's stupid beyond words.

Admit what and move on to where?

Too Many Jims said...

Fenrisulven,

With the possible exception of the organization you promised Elizabeth you would no longer mention, an organization's statement of principles rarely demonstrate that the organization is "sinister".

That said, I don't think PNAC is sinister. I think they were honest about what they wanted U.S. foreign policy to look like, they advocated for it, and (to some extent) we have seen that policy implemented. If anything I wish the administration would have listened to them more. If the administration had listened more to PNAC, WMD would not have been the primary reason for the Iraq invasion. When we discovered that reason was not supported by the facts, the notion that we were there to "reshape the middle east" would not have seemed like such an afterthought. Further, I think PNAC, in general, has not poo-pooed the difficulties we were going to face in the process. As you know, I agree with Kristol that we needed more troops earlier in the process and we need more now.

Brent said...

Fen,

Your excellent comment points to "Badger" illustrate how difficult it can be to teach anything to today's Democrats.

It used to be possinble to have actual arguments and discussions with liberals or Democrats on blogs and elsewhere.

But Howard Dean and Kos have changed the equation. It is no longer important as a Democrat to have facts that actually support your points. Instead, the current Democrat contribution to debate is to just have a lot of facts, throw them out there without any correlation or time for examination, and then walk away, hopefully leaving many of the (they believe) secretly stupid mystified and impressed.

It's actually the old argument style of "muddying the water" - making the issue discussed so murky that no one can come to true conclusion.

You know all the Democrat lines:

Our kids test scores are declining every year

Democrats all together now: "Well now, that's a complex issue".

Terrorists want to kill us

Democrats: "Well now, that's a complex issue".

There's a man at the door with a gun pointed at Momma's head who wants all of our money.

Democrats: "Well now, that's a complex issue".

Badger said...

Is Foleygate a sign of back to the future if Dems were to control the House: more of the sexual hypocrisy from the gang that brought us the Clinton Monologues with Vaginas?

Well Brent, I seem to remember the Leader of the House during the Clinton years. Here's some hypocrisy:

While Newt Gingrich was Leader, and while he was lecturing us the floor of the House about morals, and the evils of infidelity, seems he was having an affair w/ an aide at the same exact time. A guy that divorces one wife while in the hospital w/ cancer, and another wife he divorces on Mothers Day. $300,000 in fines for ethics violations later, I don't see any hypocrisy at all.

You guys are priceless.

Coco said...

I think this is a pretty sloppily reasoned article and indeed the subject of the article itself is pretty scattershot. Nonetheless, I give him half-credit for at least having the intelectual integrity to say: "Does the war in Iraq make us more or less safe today? And what about tomorrow? The fact is that no definitive answer is possible." Which is pretty much all that can be said at this point. Please - partisans from both sides - don't try to convince me with your "reasoning" (alternatively, the leader can do no wrong/the leader can do no right) that this is not the case. Brent and Fen - I agree that your arguments will never resonate with true partisan Democratic liberals, but they don't resonate with this moderate either.

Revenant said...

While Newt Gingrich was Leader, and while he was lecturing us the floor of the House about morals, and the evils of infidelity, seems he was having an affair w/ an aide at the same exact time [and blah blah blah]

And Republicans are such dirty hypocrites that Gingrich still has a flourishing political career to this day!

Oh wait.

SteveWe said...

Badger,

I don't think there can be any doubt that Iraqi Kurds and Shia Arabs feel liberated after the overthrow of Saddam (who gassed the former and starved the latter).

Badger said...

Yes I do, I see & hear from them every day. The Kurds are specially happy that we liberated them.

A commerical? Or do you have friends there? Biden might be right though, about partitioning.

But I said liberation of Iraq. Not Iraqi's feel liberated. Are you just relfexively distorting comments to avoid them?

No. I don't consider killings and torture up from pre Saddam to be "liberated"

Are you aware of a concept called multi-tasking? We did it in Germany and Japan. Look at them.

So we were installing democracies, while we were at war with them?

Your mistake is in thinking thats our plan. No wonder you're so confused.

Yes I'm confused with our plan. Please tell me what it is.

Admit what and move on to where?

Admit to a failed plan, and move to a plan that works.

Badger said...

And Republicans are such dirty hypocrites that Gingrich still has a flourishing political career to this day!

Isn't he thinking of running in '08? I assume he would get zero votes? (since you take care of your own, unlike democrats)

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that you have to keep things straight in Iraq. Yes, a lot of Iraqis would like us out - now. But the vast majority don't want to go back to having Saddam there. Try 85% or so of them (the Sunni population has apparently dropped to about 15% now, with Saddam and his regime no longer able to protect them, so there has been mass emmigration).

But a lot of them do realize that the only reason that the killings are still not at the level we have seen with the genocides in Africa, etc., is our presence there. When they get the violence under control, we leave. Everyone knows that, and most are pulling for it.

Of course, there are still some remaining foreign born terrorists, though not nearly as many as before, and the Baathists would like to go back to being in control. And the Iranians are making trouble because of our pressure on them for nuclear weapons.

Instapundit has an interesting post today on what is really happening in Iraq, and a lot of it isn't bad by any means.

Revenant said...

And Republicans are such dirty hypocrites that Gingrich still has a flourishing political career to this day!

Isn't he thinking of running in '08? I assume he would get zero votes?

Oh please. George Bush could run for the chairmanship of the Democratic Party and get better than *zero* votes.

I've no idea if social conservatives would look past Gingrich's behavior or not -- they're certainly not eager to do so with Giuliani. Republicans who don't care about sex issues might vote for him, except that again Giuliani is the better pick.

(since you take care of your own, unlike democrats)

Who's the "you" in that sentence? I'm not a Republican.

Badger said...

Who's the "you" in that sentence? I'm not a Republican.

Sorry, didn't mean to offend you ;)

MadisonMan said...

I'd feel happier about progress in Iraq if visiting dignitaries didn't have to wear armament when they're at the airport. $300+ billion and 5 years and the airport still isn't safe. Great image.

Revenant said...

$300+ billion and 5 years and the airport still isn't safe.

That's a weird way to phrase it, since little of that $300 billion and 5 years was devoted to airport security. It's a bit like saying "$420 billion and seven years after Columbine and Amish schools still aren't safe". The US may spend $60 billion a year on cops, but that doesn't mean every crime risk in America is having money lavished upon it.

I also have to wonder how many Democrats are willing to apply the "$x dollars and $y years and no progress" to, say, entitlement programs. Does the persistent existance of poor people mean we can finally give up on giving them my tax money?

The Exalted said...

"It is clear that one of the reasons we have gone an astonishing five years without a second attack on the American homeland is that the most dedicated and virulent jihadists have gone to Iraq to fight us."

this is brilliant stuff. though i'm sure it would be news to the english and the spaniards.

so, once we achieve "victory" in iraq, does that mean we are more likely to suffer an attack here? o, where else can the virulent jihadists go?

we should keep the iraq war simmering on low boil indefinitely then, if you ask me.

Revenant said...

this is brilliant stuff. though i'm sure it would be news to the english and the spaniards.

Well, they home-grow their own crazy Muslims over there. We mostly have to import ours.

so, once we achieve "victory" in iraq, does that mean we are more likely to suffer an attack here?

The theory is that Middle Eastern democracy will give Muslims in that area something to pour their energies into besides radical Islam. Victory in Iraq, under that theory, would in the long run result in a lower terrorist threat than existed before the war. Lacking a convenient infidel force to attack, however, existing terrorists would presumably go back to trying to attack us at home.

So the short answer to your question is that after victory in Iraq the risk of a domestic attack will rise again, although not to the level it was at before the war, and then decline afterwards to a new, lower equilibrium.

MadisonMan said...

revenant, my meaning wasn't clear enough. If they're gonna spend all that money, shouldn't a visiting dignitary be able to walk on the runway at Baghdad International without a flak jacket? What a great image to send to your enemy: we can't keep anyone safe even at the most vital part of the infrastructure.

MadisonMan said...

Damn, that still wasn't clear. I'm saying we should've spent a little extra dough when Condi visited yesterday (? Today?) so she didn't have to wear a flak jacket on the runway and look intimidated.

Simon said...

The Exalted said...
"we should keep the iraq war simmering on low boil indefinitely then, if you ask me."

Sadly, we seem to have achieved that whether we wanted or intended to do so.

Revenant said...

What a great image to send to your enemy: we can't keep anyone safe even at the most vital part of the infrastructure

Not only is the Bagdhad Airport not "the most vital part of the infrastructure", but I'd be surprised if it made the top one thousand most vital parts of the infrastructure. Bagdhad hasn't been a center of international trade and diplomacy since before there *were* planes.

Johnny Nucleo said...

I haven't been paying attention to this election. I really only enjoy the Big Show - presidential politics. So, for the record, I don't really know what I am talking about. But that's never stopped me before!

My understanding is that the Dems got this thing locked up. They've been losing for so long it's about time they won something, and the war is messy, and everyone, left and right, is dissatisfied with Bush and the Repubs for one reason or another, and you've got the Woodward book, and that intelligence report thing that says Iraq has made things less safer and more dangerouser, and the Foley Monologues, so it seems like this thing is over.

But I wonder if they are going to blow it somehow. They are so anxious and overeager. They are like coke addicts on the verge of the biggest score of their lives.

Badger said...
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Badger said...

The theory is that Middle Eastern democracy will give Muslims in that area something to pour their energies into besides radical Islam

So we're kicking around a "theory" (with 150,000 Troops), "over there"? Unacceptable, and you have to be out of your mind. Do we have a back theory?

And to hear, "we're fighting them over there", as to 'shut up, we're keeping you safe, while we work on this Democracy/Terrorist Battlefield Theory', is an insult to anyones intelligence, as well as own Militarys Intelligence.

Revenant said...

So we're kicking around a "theory" (with 150,000 Troops), "over there"?

I take it you slept through the last four years? Because this theory isn't a new idea. Bush has been openly talking about it on television since before we ever went into Iraq.

Unacceptable, and you have to be out of your mind. Do we have a back theory?

Its nice that you think it is "unacceptable". And your opinion matters why? Yes, by all means let's have our military policy revolve around the opinions of some anonymous internet troll named "badger" who is just now waking up to what the rest of the country heard about in 2002.

And to hear, "we're fighting them over there", as to 'shut up, we're keeping you safe, while we work on this Democracy/Terrorist Battlefield Theory', is an insult to anyones intelligence, as well as own Militarys Intelligence

Yeah, you might want to rewrite that sentence in English. I don't speak "12:48 am drunken rant".

Tim said...

Badger, like all critics of the effort in Iraq, has no plan but surrender Iraq to the terrorists.

Like that will make us safer.

Badger said...

Rev

I have a family member in Iraq, on a 2nd tour. I've been paying very close attention.

But, it is you that should STFU, or admit there is no plan.

Better yet, put a disclaimer before every one of your posts that you litter here at Althouse, correctly noting you are a GOP tool, devoid of any individual thought, and any legitimate criticism will be answered by another GOP Burped Talking Point.

Fenrisulven said...

Badger: I have a family member in Iraq, on a 2nd tour. I've been paying very close attention.

I call bs. I doubt you know anyone serving in Iraq, unless they're serving with the jihad. And even if you did, your comments here display that you have NO IDEA whats really going on in Iraq, or why we're even there.

Badger said...

Fenris

I will print off an an edited email right here, right now, from my nephew, and fax it to wherever you want. Maybe even to Ann?

Only if you make it interesting.

You must wager $100.

And you also must type in your words, what are plan is moving forward.

Agree?

Revenant said...

I have a family member in Iraq, on a 2nd tour. I've been paying very close attention.

Ah. Must just be a lack of intelligence on your part, then, because you're expressing shock at a reason for being in Iraq that's been widely discussed since before the invasion happened.

you are a GOP tool, devoid of any individual thought, and [blah blah blah]

Yeah, yeah. Get back to me when you have an idea I haven't already heard a smarter version of from Michael Moore, k?

I will print off an an edited email right here, right now, from my nephew

Uh huh. Because *that's* hard to fake. I doubt you're lying about the nephew -- not that I care either way -- but only an idiot would make a $100 bet based on something anyone with a basic text editor can fake.

X-Apparently-To: badger666@yahoo.com via 192.156.19.109; Sat, 17 Oct 2006 14:24:48 -0700
X-Originating-IP: [192.156.19.81]
Return-Path: <lilnephew@hotmail.com>
Authentication-Results: mta337.mail.mud.yahoo.com from=hotmail.com; domainkeys=neutral (no sig)
Received: from 72.3.138.51 (EHLO fireflyserver.com) (72.3.138.51) by mta337.mail.mud.yahoo.com with SMTP; Wed, 12 Apr 2006 14:24:48 -0700
Received: (qmail 25550 invoked from network); 12 Apr 2006 07:42:54 -0500
Received: from 199-231-129-237.rev.sdf.hosting.com (HELO User) (199.231.129.237) by mail1.fireflyserver.com with SMTP; 12 Apr 2006 07:42:54 -0500
Reply-to: <lilnephew@hotmail.com>
From: "lilnephew@hotmail.com" <lilnephew@hotmail.com> Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
Subject: Hi Uncle Badger!
Date: Sat, 17 Oct 2006 11:54:11 +1000
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Content-Length: 990

Hi, uncle Badger! Just wanted to drop you a line and ask you to stop being such a wanker on althouse.blogspot.com.

Also to remind you that the votes of the military forces in Iraq heavily favored Bush over Kerry in 2004. Maybe they know something you don't.

Seven Machos said...

Isn't it fair to say that it is clearly a left-wing talking point to accuse people who espouse a generally conservative point of view of having Republican talking points? Or, even better "Karl Rove's talking points"?

I think you guys need some new talking points. Because this one is getting quite old and regressive.

Derve said...

Because this one is getting quite old and regressive.

At least we're back to talking about progress in the war again, and not attacking our fellow citizens.

So tell us again cheerleaders, what good things will the future bring citizens over there? What good is the violence accomplishing again?

Revenant said...

So tell us again cheerleaders, what good things will the future bring citizens over there?

Peace, freedom, and democracy, one hopes. And yeah, yeah, I know, "its been five years and theres no peace whine whine whine". Grow up. If it takes a century then it takes a century. The Arab world no longer has the option of living in dictatorial squalor.

What good is the violence accomplishing again

Which violence -- ours or the insurgency's? If you want an explanation for what's good about the latter I can't really answer you. Try asking one of the "we support our troops when they kill their officers" folks in the "antiwar" movement.

If you're asking about what the good is of the acts of violence committed by us, though, it would be that we're killing people who don't like the answer to your first question.

Derve said...

"If it takes a century then it takes a century."

The U.S. no longer has -- never did have, in fact -- the luxury of having a century

to implement "peace, freedom, and democracy, ones' hopes..."

(Duh)

Derve said...

"Which violence -- ours or the insurgency's?"

This is the question to spend more time on. The latter -- the insurgent killings -- especially is relevant to U.S. success and should not be so easily shrugged off.

I understand why a person would ignore war strategy and prefer election strategy though. You don't have to produce, just barely beat the next best.

Teams like that never take it all in the end; a different kind of victory if that's all you know.