November 6, 2006

"Soldiers in Iraq Say Pullout Would Have Devastating Results."

That's the headline for this Washington Post article. Excerpt:
Such a move, enlisted soldiers and officers said, would set Iraq on a path to civil war, give new life to the insurgency and create the possibility of a failed state after nearly four years of fighting to implant democracy.

"Take us out of that vacuum -- and it's on the edge now -- and boom, it would become a free-for-all," said Lt. Col. Mark Suich, who commands the 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment just south of Baghdad. "It would be a raw contention for power. That would be the bloodiest piece of this war."...

"Pulling out now would be as bad or worse than going forward with no changes," [Capt. Jim Modlin, 26, of Oceanport, N.J.,] said. "Sectarian violence would be rampant, democracy would cease to exist, and the rule of law would be decimated. It's not 'stay the course,' and it's not 'cut and run' or other political catchphrases. There are people's lives here. There are so many different dynamics that go on here that a simple solution just isn't possible."...

"This is a worthwhile endeavor," said Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander of Multinational Division North and the 25th Infantry Division. "Nothing that is worthwhile is usually easy, and we need to give this more time for it to all come together. We all want to come home, but we have a significant investment here, and we need to give the Iraqi army and the Iraqi people a chance to succeed."...

Capt. Mike Lingenfelter, 32, of Panhandle, Tex., said that U.S. troops have earned the trust of residents in Tall Afar over the past couple of years and that leaving now would send the wrong message. His Comanche Troop of the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment is working with Iraqi forces to give them control of the city.

"We'll pull their feet out from under them if we leave," Lingenfelter said.

"It's still fragile enough now that if the coalition were to leave, it would embolden the insurgents. A lot of people have put their trust and faith in us to see it to the end. It would be an extreme betrayal for us to leave."

It would be an extreme betrayal for us to leave.

Captain Ed comments:
We have heard a lot from the Democrats in this election season about supporting the troops by withdrawing them from Iraq. Terms like "phased redeployment" and "event horizon" have been thrown around by critics of the war. However, the people that will have to execute those maneuvers do not have much enthusiasm for them....

Do I have to remind you once again that I've been a lifelong Democrat? I would like to be able to vote for what was my party, but I am opposed to them on what they have made their defining issue. I fail the litmus test.

206 comments:

1 – 200 of 206   Newer›   Newest»
Edward said...

Well, if that’s the case, let the new Democratic majorities in Congress hold public hearings where soldiers and generals like these can come explain the precise extent to which our military needs to stay in Iraq to avoid chaos.

The Democrats are not so committed to a pullout that they won’t be swayed by testimony like what’s provided in this article.

All we have now is a barely articulate, sloganeering President making cheap shots at anyone who dares question his war policy.

And Congressional Republicans have entirely ceded the terrain of public discourse on the war to Bush’s useless and dangerous grandstanding.

Voters need to put a stop to that travesty of intelligent decision-making, and the only way for voters to do that is by voting Democratic.

Goesh said...

- they don't sound like dullards forced into servitude for Halliburton if you ask me....

Pogo said...

Re: "The Democrats are not so committed to a pullout that they won’t be swayed by testimony like what’s provided in this article."

That must explain the Democrat endorsement of Lamont over Lieberman.

I call BS, Ed. Dems are committed to failure. Say hello to the 1970s all over again.

Derve said...

Pogo:

Where have you been the past 3 years?

Why is the score such that it is at this time?

What's your game plan once the Republicans win again on Tuesday?

Start concentrating on winning the next election, and let the war fall to the wayside... ?

MadisonMan said...

Such a move, enlisted soldiers and officers said, would set Iraq on a path to civil war

I think that invading Iraq with a stumbling post-invasion plan is what set Iraq on the path to Civil War. I'd like to know when either major political party is going to acknowledge the serious nature of this conflict, rather than using the war as a political tool. That would be refreshing.

NSC said...

It annoys the Dems to death that the troops support this war and want to win it. With their Vietnam frame of mind they simply cannot wrap their minds around the fact that these soldiers are different and this war is different.

Edward said...

Pogo: Everyone knows that many leading Democratic officials still support Lieberman. They just have to mute their support in deference to the results of the primary vote.

Conservatives are sorely mistaken if they think the Democratic Party is comprised only of a bunch of people too afraid to use American military power even when military power is clearly necessary.

The real issue is how to use military power wisely.

Too Many Jims said...

If we are going to stay and win I suggest that the administration start leveling with the public about how long this is going to take.

As an aside, I did like the quote: "He said he believed that U.S. elected officials would lead the military in the right direction, regardless of what happens Tuesday." It reminds me how fortunate I am to have this military serving us.

Trevor Jackson said...

All hail the Freud of the New Millenium, NSC! He just replaces Vietnam for the primal event and everything he wants to believe about his enemy clicks into place. Case closed.

Meanwhile the rest of us actually discuss this patient's specific symptoms.

Simon said...

"I've been a lifelong Democrat? I would like to be able to vote for what was my party, but I am opposed to them on what they have made their defining issue."

The late Chief Justice once said something to the effect of "the best thing to do is to figure out what you believe in and pursue those goals diligently." That usually suffices to place one in a political party or the other, but American political parties do not represent an idea, they represent ever-changing coalitions in which many ideas compete (a lot of people bemoan the "big tent" American party system, compared to the more atomic European system, the latter being mercilessly lampooned in Monty Python's "The Life of Brian." But I think that the endurance of the two-party system is one of the greatest contributing factors to the stability of American political society down the years). Most people, moreover, have their own competing views which vie for primacy: today your main focus may be the candidate's views on stem cell research, tommorrow, it may be the absolutely crazy property taxes. So it's to be expected that parties will engage in a sort of continental drift, and I think most voters also bob around on the surface a little, rather than sitting in any one place. The question becomes, at what point does the prevailing view in the party become so antithetical to your own that it's time to bug out?

tjl said...

"The Democrats are not so committed to a pullout that they won’t be swayed by testimony like what’s provided in this article."

Haven't you been paying attention to what the Dems have actually been saying and doing?
Those few moderate Dems who aren't committed to a pullout will have about as much power in the new Congress, and as much influence in the party, as Joe Lieberman. Those Dems who will actually fill the leadership positions have been antiwar first, last, and always. It's a reflex for them to assume that Vietnam is the template for any and all US military actions.

And speaking of Vietnam, let's recall the aftermath of that conflict. After Saigon fell, retribution was swift for those who had worked with Americans or the government we supported. Some were shot, some sent to reeducation camps. For the population at large, life became so miserable that hundreds and hundreds of thousands risked their lives to flee as boat people. And their ordeal was as nothing compared to what happened when we abandoned Cambodia. If your city has a Vietnamese community, it's easy to find people who will tell you how they lived through this nightmare.


If the Dems achieve their goal of prompt withdrawal, they will succeed in replaying the Vietnam tragedy all the way through to its tragic end.

MadisonMan said...

If the Dems achieve their goal of prompt withdrawal, they will succeed in replaying the Vietnam tragedy all the way through to its tragic end.

The exception would be, I think, that the refugees would not find shelter in America, but in neighboring Arab countries where their hatred of America could fester.

And I will point out that had this conflict been sanely executed from the get-go, talk now would be on how great George Bush is, not on what a sucking mudhole he's landed the USA in.

Simon said...

Edward -
I completely agree with you that "Congressional Republicans have entirely ceded the terrain of public discourse on the war to Bush’s useless and dangerous grandstanding," but I think you're living in another world if you seriously believe that "Democrats are not so committed to a pullout that they won’t be swayed by testimony like what’s provided in this article" - that is about as likely as your faith in Pelosi breaking with two centuries of tradition and running the House in some undefined "more pluralist" manner.

The Republicans are probably going to lose the House on tuesday because of a perfect storm of liberals who are angry about every aspect of the war, starting with the fact we went there in the first place, and Republicans who are pissed at the way the war has been bungled by the administration. Add up those two groups, and you've got a majority.

But these differing motivations lead to differing results. The Republicans who are mad at the conduct of the war are interested in finding out what's actually going wrong and fixing it. But the Democrats' advocacy of unilateral surrender is an a priori position, which is driven by their hostility to the entire underlying enterprise, and they will not permit messy facts to get in the way. From the perspective of those who opposed the war from the get-go (and those who now claim to have opposed it from the get-go), it is better that we lose than that we win; fixing the mistakes risks victory, which is a calamitous non-starter for a party that wants to hang Bush from the yardarm for going to Iraq in the first place.

Make no mistake, the Democrats want this war over, they want it lost, and they are more than willing to effect a dolchstosslegende on our troops to accomplish it.

George said...

Oh, Professor, you have not failed a test, litmus or otherwise.

You are passing and with a solid GPA (Grand ol' Party Average).

As others have said, you did not abandon the Democratic Party, it abandoned you.

Derve said...

Good riddance.

Don't come back too soon crying when the Republicans don't treat you and yours right.

rhodeymark1 said...

Voters need to put a stop to that travesty of intelligent decision-making, and the only way for voters to do that is by voting Democratic.
Change "that" to "the" and I agree completely.

Let's review: Saddam was on a course to obtain nuclear weapons, we are only arguing about when - not if. Democratic leaders, including Clinton and Kerry, had referred to him in unambiguously ominous terms such as "imminent threat". He repeatedly violated multiple UN resolutions while engaging in a kickback scheme with our putative allies. He has been sentenced to hang after receiving an examination of his offenses.

Democrats are not only saying that Bush botched the war, but that Iraq (and the world) was better off under Saddam. Edward's claim that Democratic leadership takes the Islamist threat seriously is undermined by the fact that they have only demonstrated a willingness to bluster and kick the can down the road. The democratic base is even worse, showing a willingness, nay a demand to isolate Israel and completely cede the Middle East to a genocidal outbreak of war.

The war is not over because the enemy has decided to continue the fight in this context. Abandoning the mission will guarantee an even more bloody reprise. I defy anyone to draw the picture otherwise - and yes, you may use your giant crayons with the single flat side.

Fenrisulven said...

She's not coming over to us, merely biding her time until the adults are back in charge of the Dem party.

I was there at one time too.

Fenrisulven said...

Derve: What is the Republican plan for "fixing it" ? What are the needs, what are the costs, what is the timeline to implement these steps?

Can you even identify what needs fixing? I gave you a chance to provide examples and specifics a few days ago. You cut and ran.

Joe said...

Saddam was removed, elections held and a constitution put in place, now we must remain to back up the Iraqi military and police until they are strong enough to maintain security. You can't put a deadline on it, that would only play into the hands of the enemy, who would simply wait us out. Is that so hard to understand?

NSC said...

All hail the Freud of the New Millenium, NSC! He just replaces Vietnam for the primal event and everything he wants to believe about his enemy clicks into place. Case closed.

Meanwhile the rest of us actually discuss this patient's specific symptoms.


Trevor, you are a blast. Are you seriously trying to deny that the Vietnam experience does not DEFINE the Democrats when it comes to their national defense policy and their views on war and the military?

Jeeeze, man, I got one word for you - KERRY - your 2004 presidential nominee.

There are other examples, but that Bozo explains it all.

Derve said...

"Can you even identify what needs fixing?"

lolololol.
That's your plan for winning?
Denying that nothing needs fixing?

Vote Republican Tuesday, I'm saying. Let's give them just a little bit longer to work their ways out of this one. Party on!

Derve said...

I gave you a chance to provide examples and specifics a few days ago. You cut and ran.

I predicted eventual partitioning, not a united Iraqi government working together democratically. Did you miss it? Not to brag, but most of what I have forseen -- for better or worse -- has come true. No purple-finger cheerleader here.

You Republicans are pathetic right now, in refighting VietNam and blaming the Dems for failed strategy to date.

You have no leadership;
you have no working plan.

AllenS said...

tjl said: "And I will point out that had this conflict been sanely executed from the get-go,"

Go ahead, tell everyone how you would have executed this master winning plan.

Trevor Jackson said...

Am I trying to deny that Democrats want to avoid fighting in wars without clear exit strategies, with incalculable costs that we will pay for decades, and with an inability to understand the nature of the enemy or the people we're trying to "save"?

Nope. The party I support is guilty as charged.

What kind of blood or blind devotion does the party you support require?

Fenrisulven said...

Fen: Can you even identify what needs fixing?

Derve: lolololol. That's your plan for winning? Denying that nothing needs fixing?

Not at all, but I now suspect that you're just parroting Kos. I've asked you three times to provide specific examples backed by fact of mistakes made. Every single time you have dodged & evaded. How can Dems "fix" anything when they can't even identify what wrong?

MadisonMan said...

allens -- actually, you're quoting me.

I would have had strong allies -- especially allies who are Arab or Muslim. Why should it have been difficult after the attacks of 9/11 to have moderate arab nations giving more than a token show of support? It might have required work, and flexibility, but I think it was doable then. Now? Much harder.

I would level with the American people. Bush should say: This is a serious job -- one thing you can do to help is stop driving. Let's drive down demand for oil. I'm fairly well convinced that oil profits in, say, Iran, are helping fund the insurgency in Iraq. I've said it before: how about a serious acknowledgement from the Administration about the difficulties ahead? Are they afraid Americans can't sacrifice? I have seen little from the Bush Administration to back up their assertion that they want to win -- however you want to define that. In fact, Bush himself says the US won't be out by the time he's out as President -- so what incentive does he even have to find a solution?

Oh, and I'm probably dump Rumsfeld, too. And stop torturing.

Sloanasaurus said...

Make no mistake, the Democrats want this war over, they want it lost, and they are more than willing to effect a dolchstosslegende on our troops to accomplish it.

Although, I often tend to lean this direction, I also think what Dems really want is power. If the Dems gain power this election by election a bunch of conservative democrats, the call to pull our troops out will flatten.

Bush should listen to the Dems, adopt some of their strategies so that a good chunk of the Dems start to support the war and support our staying there rather than constanly making up lies for the sole purpose of gaining power.

That way everyone can win in Iraq. Dems and Republicans.

Derve said...

Actually, you asked me for "my plan"


3 errors?

The biggest = no accountability for funds. Spend, flush. Spend, flush. No bid contracts. Payoffs to types like Chalabi. With friends like that...

1) Disbanding the native Iraqi army.
2) Going in too quickly with not enough boots to hold the ground invaded (the immediate lootings, Americans retreating to secured bases, etc.)
3) Dividing the American people instead of working to gain their support and sacrificice at home in fighting the enemy.
4) Contractors, contractors, contracts -- privatizing the military. Either we go in with enough fighters, or we contract out. This mixing business with military helps no one.

That enough for now? Vote your mind Tuesday if you think the current leaders have it in them to win, just need a pinch more of time...

MadisonMan said...

That way everyone can win in Iraq. Dems and Republicans.

Yes. Problems arise if a Party thinks a different Party is promoting a winning strategy. One can either join in the strategy, for the good of the county, or object to it, for the good of the Party.

Too often the latter choice is selected.

tjl said...

"I would level with the American people. Bush should say: This is a serious job -- one thing you can do to help is stop driving. Let's drive down demand for oil."

I agree with Madison Man on this. In the immdediate aftermath of 9/11, the Adminstration should have told the nation that everyone would have to make major sacrifices and that the war would be long, hard, and costly. Instead, the message has been, "We'll keep the tax cuts in place, life will go on as usual, and all you have to do is send cookies to the troops." No wonder the Left has been able to nurture its fantasy that the war is a phony, artificial construct of the neocons and Halliburton.

Barring another domestic terror attack, it's far too late to mobilize public opinion in this way. But if the Administration had done this at the outset, we wouldn't be in this toxic political situation.

Henry said...

The Democrats are not so committed to a pullout that they won’t be swayed by testimony like what’s provided in this article.

Wanna bet? Here's Sheldon Whitehouse, the candidate that the Democrats have offered for my vote to replace Lincoln Chafee:

I support a rapid and responsible withdrawal of our troops from Iraq. To do that, we need to make it clear to the Iraqis and to other nations that we are in withdrawal mode. (my emphasis)

Candidate Whitehouse embraces the Murtha plan -- we're the problem; once we withdraw, everything will be peachy.

I don't read responsible criticism from the Democrats or any of the anti-war posters on this board (MadisonMan -- you're right! I cede your point. So what would you do NOW?). I read a bunch of people demanding a silver bullet.

Read a little history. A lot of small wars are won by the presence of the grunts on the ground, just doing their jobs. You want a brilliant master plan for painless victory? You're not going to get one.

You want strategic adjustments, battlefield innovations, creative diplomacy, all focused on long-term success in Iraq? Put up or shut up and don't nominate hacks like Sheldon Whitehouse and expect to get my vote.

NSC said...

Am I trying to deny that Democrats want to avoid fighting in wars without clear exit strategies, with incalculable costs that we will pay for decades, and with an inability to understand the nature of the enemy or the people we're trying to "save"?

Nope. The party I support is guilty as charged.

What kind of blood or blind devotion does the party you support require?


The clearest of exit strategies is the win the dang war. Easier said that done, obviously, but you can't get any clearer than that.

As an aside, I hate the term exit strategy. I implies defeat. I am no historian but I wonder if our leaders sat around talking exit strategies during WWII - other than destroy our enemies at all costs.

Perhaps they did, but I like to think they did not.

Finally, I am an Indepedent, not a Republican, and I vote for people from both parties - I did so in early voting this election. But that being said, I support the party that wants to kick terrorist ass and keep up safe.

That, my friend, is not the Democratic Party.

Doyle said...

Ann -

Putting aside the question of when we should leave Iraq, what about voting out the party that was responsible for invading in the first place.

The argument that the country is so close to chaos (and getting closer by the week) that we can't leave is hardly a ringing endorsement of the people who got us there.

We would have been better off just sacrificing 50 virgins in response to 9/11. It would have made as much sense as invading Iraq, and cost a lot less.

Pogo said...

You have to wonder, given the pre-election stories by the NYTimes (on Saddam's nuclear bomb plans) and now WaPo ( "Soldiers in Iraq say pullout would have devastating results"), whether the folks in the media might be getting cold feet the day before their big victory.

"Good god [agnostic lower case], we're going to win. Then who's going to fight the war? Murtha? Kennedy? Dean? Kerry? Pelosi? Oh, crap."

David Walser said...

Just a general observation on the comments in this thread:

To edward, derve, MM, et al, it is obvious that the Iraq war is a failure. Some may have supported the invasion, but because of the way things have been handled, and the mistakes made, they view Iraq as a lost cause. It is pointless to discuss a plan for victory, because victory is impossible. That's why leaving now, if not sooner, is the only rational policy. Why, to paraphrase that great thinker of the Democrat party, ask one more man to die for a failed policy?

Others, however, do not see Iraq as a lost cause. Indeed, as hard as it is for those who think we should leave to believe, some are confident the war can be won -- if the American people will only be patient long enough to allow that to happen. Yes, it is tragic that close to 3,000 of our military have lost their lives in this endeavor. However, many expected more would die during the invasion alone. As much as this war has cost in blood, many thought the price would be even higher. They see signs of slow progress. Is it taking a long time? Yes. But they knew it would. After 9/11, the President promised that this struggle would be measured in years, if not decades. His critics demand that he level with the American people. His supporters believe he already did and has.

My point in contrasting these two points of view is not to prove one right and the other wrong. It's that they are so divergent that it's all but impossible to hope that either will be able to understand the other.

Freder Frederson said...

I've asked you three times to provide specific examples backed by fact of mistakes made.

Mistakes made??!! They are too numerous to name and books have been written on them. Try Fiasco, Cobra II or State of Denial. But let's just hit the highlights. We didn't go in with enough troops to secure the country after Saddam's government collapsed. We didn't secure the weapons depots which meant the insurgency had an almost endless supply of explosives and munitions. We had no plan (not an inadequate or one that was overtaken by events) for rebuilding. Then we spent the first year trying to build the perfect capitalist state with a bunch of incompetent idealogues instead of using experts.

Worst of all, the president never prepared us or the military for the kind of long, extended, occupation we are involved in. In both manpower and materiel, our military is still structured to fight a ground war against the Soviets in Western Europe. We are too dependent on heavy armor and have almost none of the kind of the vehicles we need to fight the war we are in (light, wheeled armored vehicles, that are designed to be resistant to IEDs and mines). The Army has a four wheeled armored car that it is purchasing but has only bought just over a thousand since the war began. There is also a German six wheeled vehicle that they have been using since the mid-nineties that they could use, but they haven't. Keep in mind that in World War II, we produced 35,000 Sherman Tanks, 90,000 planes in the last year of the war and could produce a liberty ship in a week. Because we are using our tracked vechicles for tasks for which they are not designed (e.g., escorting convoys in the desert) they are wearing out at record rates and our depots cannot keep up.

We are also running out of people. Because Bush has refused to increase the size of the military, the burden of this war has fallen on an infintessimally small fraction of the population. Most of the military has been deployed two or three times. During Vietnam, career military, unless they requested additional tours, would have seen two tours in Vietnam separated by at a couple years stateside. Our military is simply overstretched and we couldn't fight another war if we wanted to.

How on earth do you measure success? Energy generation, oil production, potable water access, are all below pre-war levels. Ethnic cleansing is occuring all over the country. 900,000 people have fled the country and an uncountable number are internally displaced. The central government is ensconced in the green zone and dare not leave it. The level of bloodletting is only getting worse.

Face it we are losing and this president has no plan to win.

Derve said...

some are confident the war can be won -- if the American people will only be patient long enough to allow that to happen.

The majority of the American people will never give you 10 to 20 more years. Never.

I thought that was clear going in.

Pogo said...

Re: "The majority of the American people will never give you 10 to 20 more years. Never."

More correctly some 47-52% of Americans might fit this description. And following this advice would be national suicide. It is fairly typical US history to refuse to engage the enemy until long past the need to do so. Democrats are the standard bearers for this most harmful procrastination.

Hell, Democrats have not yet demonstrated that they even recognize the threat of worldwide Islamic Fascism. It's not a question of if we'll be involved in this 4th World War, but how we'll respond. The Dems, like Brave Sir Robin, want to run away. ("I didn't! I never!")

Doyle said...

His critics demand that he level with the American people. His supporters believe he already did and has.

That's because his supporters are dumber than dog shit.

Shanna said...

3) Dividing the American people instead of working to gain their support and sacrificice at home in fighting the enemy.
I wouldn't blame Bush for this, personally.

Alot of yours have to do with money, and although I'm big on fiscal responsibility, I don't see that having any bearing on military progress.

Gerry said...

"That's because his supporters are dumber than dog shit."

Which makes us smarter than Doyle!

Simon said...

Derve,
First, I reject the framing of your question. I don't have to put forward a positive plan in order to criticize both the manner in which the Bush Administration has run this war and the manner in which the Democrats propose to surrender unilaterally. Frankly, it is beyond credibility that a Democrat - who, by definition has no plan - can stand there and suggest that no one without a plan can criticize the Bush administration, given that your entire election strategy rests on precisely that.

Second, at the risk of engaging the premise, I would start by firing Rumsfeld, increasing troop levels in Iraq dramatically within six months (which potentially includes pulling U.S. troops out of every deployment apart from Afghanistan and South Korea, although the latter is negotiable), and giving the military a free hand to crush the insurgency in whatever manner they see fit.

Are Democrats willing to commit the extra men and funds to Iraq to secure victory, or do they want to withdraw troops and funds?

Freder Frederson said...

I mean really, besides the number of cell phones (which btw are used to trigger IEDs), what is going well in Iraq. By what possible measure can all you pro-war people say that the president's plan (which apparently isn't and has never been "stay the course") been a success. How are things better?

Joe said...

I find the notion that had we but done a few things differently, everything would be fine and perfect now to be completely and totally naive.

MadisonMan's suggestions that the post-invasion plan are what led to the current "civil war" (which isn't what is happening) are especially silly. They completely ignore that the terrorists are being funded by Iran and being led and inspired by a handful of extremists like Sadr who have no interest in a democratic Iraq. This would have happened regardless of ANYTHING the coalition did or didn't do.

Another bizarre suggestion I've read hear (and heard elsewhere) is that the US needed to line up more allies. Have you people been asleep? The US and Britain attempted to do just that. And we got several. Would have it been nice to have gotten more? Sure, but it wasn't going to happen in our lifetime. That aside; be specific--list those actual countries that the coalition could have gotten on our side, but didn't.

The reality is that the rabble rousing element in the Muslim world would have done their job regardless of what country's leaders allied themselves with the coalition. Do you critics really believe that had the coalition forces acted differently, that radical element would have conceded?

Were mistakes made in the post-war reconstruction of Iraq? Yes. Could bigger mistakes have been made? Far bigger (we could have acted like France in Algeria, for one.) Would things be vastly different had we not made those mistakes? No.

Humans are not perfect and forming new democracies is a messy business. Study the American Revolution, for one. Look at France's long struggles to come to terms with democracy. And India. Japan. Germany. Russia. Iraq not only has many of the same growing pains, they are doing it in the face of a Jihadist movement that is willing to stop at nothing in order to prevent that democracy from emerging.

(Iraq is not in a Civil War. It is a democratic state fighing a terrorist movement. It is comparable to Northern Ireland and the IRA only with the terrorists being even more extreme and idealogically driven.)

David Walser said...

Doyle: That's because his supporters are dumber than dog shit.

Given the context of these comments is the WAPO article saying the military thinks we need to stay in Iraq (and that they, therefore, can be counted among Bush's supporters), would it not be reasonable to conclude you are calling the military dumb? Didn't Kerry just get in trouble for expressing similar sentiments?

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NSC said...

That's because his supporters are dumber than dog shit.

Considering that most of the soldiers on the ground believe it too, I guess that makes them just as dumb, huh?

Guess Kerry really was saying what the left thinks after all. Sure you guys support the troops - sure you do.

Doyle said...

First of all, as I indicated in my first post here, opposing withdrawal doesn't require that you approve of having invaded, or that you don't see how blatantly Bush-Cheney tried (and succeeded in the minds of most Americans) to link Saddam to 9/11.

Second, even what Kerry was accused of having meant was accurate. The Army is disproportionately comprised of non college graduates. Having career opportunities other than the military, which is lowering its standards sharply to meet recruiting goals, is certainly a good reason to study hard.

I can say this because I have no (foolhardy) 2008 presidential aspirations like Kerry.

Derve said...

"The majority of the American people will never give you 10 to 20 more years. Never."

"More correctly some 47-52% of Americans might fit this description. And following this advice would be national suicide."

---------

No.
Let me impolitely interrupt to correct you.

Go out and try to sell 10 to 20 more years sowing Middle East democracy, at American expense, to the American people.

You haven't done this, for good reason.
-----------

I find the notion that had we but done a few things differently, everything would be fine and perfect now to be completely and totally naive.

No need to mischaracterize to "win".

Nobody who knows a lick of history is saying the job would have been any easier, much less "fine and perfect now" based on doing "a few things differently".

The problem with putting the talkers, not the doers, in leadership positions... they overestimate what can be done with what we have today.

If you don't have to account or actually do it, hell the sky's the limit: Defeat terrorism everywhere, implement Western style democries to the unenlightened masses starting in the Middle East, bring down the bad guys while protecting the women, children and growing nations from evil!!! Sure it sounds great, but 3 years in, your ideals don't match your actions. And people everywhere are starting to notice.

Set goals more modestly and actually acheive what you set out to do with what you have. Unfortunately, President Bush has nothing in his background -- business or political -- to show he knows this. It's a wing and a prayer, and divide and conquer strategy he's been relying on. That only works for so long too.

Any allies out there should think independently and not be surprised when America is not there for the promised 10 to 20 years. It will never happen. The times have changed and America does not hold that kind of sole world power. (look around at the rest of the world too, not this one region)

Freder Frederson said...

Second, at the risk of engaging the premise, I would start by firing Rumsfeld, increasing troop levels in Iraq dramatically within six months (which potentially includes pulling U.S. troops out of every deployment apart from Afghanistan and South Korea, although the latter is negotiable), and giving the military a free hand to crush the insurgency in whatever manner they see fit.

And where are these dramatically increased number of troops coming from. We have already stripped all the troops from everywhere else, including Korea. Both front-line troops from Korea and the reserve divisions from Hawaii that are supposed to deploy to Korea in the event of a war there are currently in the rotation scedule for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Do you have a number for what "dramatically" is. Because there simply aren't more than a couple brigades (maybe 50,000 personnel total) that are combat ready. And if we send those, that is it, they either win it in a year or we quit the war because we will then run out of replacements and the military will be broken. We can't even maintain current troop levels for another year which is why we will begin to drawdown over the next year regardless of conditions on the ground.

The Baker commission will reccommend a drawdown of forces and Bush will accept it after the elections regardless of the outcome. I imagine he is secretly hoping for a democratic takeover of the house so he can blame losing the war on the "defeatocrats". But the simple fact is that he has worn out the military and we either need to dump a whole lot more money into maintenance and personnel (remember how the Army demanded more money than Rumsfeld wanted to give them) or we start leaving Iraq. But even if we did that now, the backlog is probably too large to get the boots and treads on the ground to significantly increase the number of troops over there for at least a year.

Goesh said...

Wikipedia/Wehrwolf

"The post-war longevity of German resistance movements, such as the Werwolf, was partly due to the continued desperation of the German people who for two years suffered under the U.S. occupation directive JCS 1067.[1] [2]"

Simon said...

Doyle said...
"Putting aside the question of when we should leave Iraq, what about voting out the party that was responsible for invading in the first place."

This perfectly encapsulates the problem with the Democrats, and why they absolutely cannot be trusted to manage the war now. They are obsessed with the question of how we got into this war, which is not the question before us now; the question before us now, whether they like it or not, is "now we're there, how do we win." Failure would be a catastrophe, but as David Walser observed above, the Democrats don't believe that success is possible, and moreover, they stand to lose substantial political cachet if success is achieved.

In this election, as Doyle perfectly exemplifies, voters have a choice between, on the one hand, a party that believes that we can't win, and has a vested interest in transforming that statement into a self-fulfilling prophecy, or on the other hand, a party that increasingly believes that the Bush administration has made some serious mistakes and is interested in fixing those mistakes and going forward to win.

A vote for a Democratic member of Congress is a vote for a party that wants to wave the white flag, bring the troops home, and abandon the Iraqis to whatever fate awaits them. And there simply isn't any escaping that reality. This fall, vote Democrat: it's the closest thing to treason that's still legal.

David Walser said...

Second, even what Kerry was accused of having meant was accurate. The Army is disproportionately comprised of non college graduates. Having career opportunities other than the military, which is lowering its standards sharply to meet recruiting goals, is certainly a good reason to study hard. - Doyle

This is factually wrong. The military has a higher average level of educational achievement than the rest of our society. That is, for the 18 - 25 year old demographic, the educational stats for members of the military is higher than for those out of the military. The same goes for other age groups. This has been true since the mid-1980's. Link coming.

MadisonMan said...

David Walser: After 9/11, the President promised that this struggle would be measured in years, if not decades.

Which struggle? My recollection is being assured Iraq would be a cakewalk, that we'd be greeted with fistfuls of flowers, etc. Now we're there for at least one or two generations. But here, have a tax cut. That's the Republican plan, near as I can tell.

joe: I would not say the war has is a failure. I think it's been very badly mismanaged, if I can put it charitably. Still winnable -- but the course that's been plotted, both domestically and in Iraq, in the past 3+ years makes it much harder than it should have been. And that path has been charted (IMO) in a cynical way to maintain Republican power.

Joe said...

For those advocating increasing troop levels significantly in Iraq; do you understand the political ramifications of doing so?

One of the rallying cries for the Jihadists (not the cause, but an emotional element the Jihadists tap into for support) is that the Western powers intend to occupy and colonialize Iraq. This has been true from day one, which is the principal motivation for keeping troop levels as low as possible.

It is very possible that if you increased troop levels significantly you would lose the support of moderates and those groups that are reluctantly willing to participate in a democracy. I think it very likely that it would make things much worse.

A second effect would be to reduce incentives the current government has from taking over internal security.

Frankly, one good, albeit entirely unrealistic, solution would be to seal the borders of Iran and Syria. Politically, this can't be done.

A strong argument could even be made that we should carve the Kurdish territories out of Turkey and Iran and create an independent Kurdistan. But political realities make all this a pure fantasy.

Fenrisulven said...

Derve: 3 errors?

1) Disbanding the native Iraqi army.


Thats arguable. As I've said countless times before, even if we'd done everything according to Monday-morning quarterbacks like you, we would have made a whole new set of mistakes. There were solid reasons for disbanding the native Army. For instance, if we hadn't, and Shia elements had massacred Sunni, you and your kind would be harping on that instead: "Why didn't you disband their Army?! Any fool could have seen that coming". So I find that argument in bad faith.

2) Going in too quickly with not enough boots to hold the ground invaded (the immediate lootings, Americans retreating to secured bases, etc.)

There were also good reasons for a rushing up into Baghdad. More troops = more support = more static targets = more US deaths. No telling if a take and hold strategy would have cost more than the 3,000 lives we have lost. Your point is indeed arguable, but only in hindsight. Its nitpicking.

3) Dividing the American people instead of working to gain their support and sacrificice at home in fighting the enemy.

Who divided the American people? It wasn't the GOP shouting "No War for Oil" and "Stop this racist war". The Left was against Afganistan and against Iraq. Divisions in this country were already in place b/c of the 2000 elections. Even Bush's cabinet was delayed b/c of Gore's antics and Moonbat tantrums about "selected not elected".

Of your three mistakes, only one has any merit. And even that one is based on hindsight.

Now, without the benefit of hindsight whats the Democrat plan? Be advised, if my side was to play true to your form, we'd hamstring you at every turn and leak classified info to the NYTs to make you stumble.

Regardless, what IS the Dem plan for Iraq?

Shanna said...

His critics demand that he level with the American people. His supporters believe he already did and has.

I think this is a good point. I don’t remember a lot of post 9/11 peppy speeches about how totally easy it was going to be to get rid of terrorists and do nation building. It seems like some people got that impression, but I sure didn’t.

I’m certainly not happy with some of the management of the war, but I never thought this was going to be easy. Setbacks are natural; this is not an easy thing we’re trying to do. But I would rather have people in charge who are actually TRYING to win this thing.

We can’t leave now. Whatever you think of earlier mistakes, we have to fix what we have now! I would LOVE to see some serious Democrats with ideas. I just haven’t seen it yet.

The majority of the American people will never give you 10 to 20 more years. Never.
It bears repeating that we are still in German, Japan, Korea….And nobody complains about that. We cannot still be fighting like we are now for 20 years, but we can maintain a presence forever and people will be ok with it pretty much.

Doyle said...

I don’t remember a lot of post 9/11 peppy speeches about how totally easy it was going to be to get rid of terrorists and do nation building.

"In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed." - George W. Bush, May 1, 2003.

Rumsfeld: "It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months." February, 2003.

"Last throes," "dead enders," etc.

Simon said...

"Do you have a number for what 'dramatically' is."

Yes. The We have 44 Brigade Combat Teams, and for each forward deployment, you think in multiples of three: one BCT in the field, one on the down cycle, and one on the up cycle. So we presently have 10 BCTs in Iraq, which means that in practise, we have 30 BCTs committed to Iraq. In addition, we have 2/6 BCTs in Afghanistan, and 1/2 BCS(s) each in Korea and Kosovo, a total of 38 out of 44. So, to my understanding, even without expanding the military (and I would argue that we should expand the military), we could comfortably increase our force commitment to Iraq by 20%.

Now, if your argument were that we are stretched to thinly, and need to expand the military, I would completely agree with you, but I don't think that's your argument. Your argument is that instead of pouring the resources into Iraq that are necessary to win -- which may include reducing deployments elsewhere in the world and expanding the military, and would certainly include deep cuts in domestic spending to balance increased military appropriations -- you want to solve the equation by unilateral surrender. And I don't think that's an acceptable option. You can criticize the GOP's ideas all you like, but you can't beat somebody with nobody, and the Democrats' foreign policy is a little surrender here, a little accomodation there. Simply put, Republican foreign policy is waving Old Glory; Democratic foreign policy is waving a white flag.

I don't know if a 20% increase is enough or not, so frankly, my answer would be that we ask the generals running the ground war what they want, and we do what it takes to make sure they get it. Can you and I at least agree that Rumsfeld has to go?

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

Doyle, I call bullshit on your quotes. Provide links with context.

Simon said...

MadisonMan said...
"Which struggle? My recollection is being assured Iraq would be a cakewalk ... Now we're there for at least one or two generations."

Not if the Democratic leadership are stupid enough to give their base what they want. With control of either chamber of Congress, the Democrats can bring this war to a halt within one budget cycle, if they have the nerve.

Freder Frederson said...

It bears repeating that we are still in German, Japan, Korea

And none of them have anything to do with the day to day operation of those countries. And how many were killed by hostile fire after their respective wars ended? A handful in each case. In Iraq, the vast majority of the deaths have come after "Mission Accomplished".

NSC said...

Second, even what Kerry was accused of having meant was accurate. The Army is disproportionately comprised of non college graduates. Having career opportunities other than the military, which is lowering its standards sharply to meet recruiting goals, is certainly a good reason to study hard. - Doyle

None - absolutely none - of that statement is true, as a recent Heritage Study linked below proves. But it is so telling that you, and the rest of the left, believe it.

http://www.heritage.org/Research/NationalSecurity/cda06-09.cfm

Simon said...

Fen,
If you mean doyle's 10:22 AM quotes, those are right. Or at least, I certainly remember seeing video of Rumsfeld and Bush saying materially the same thing.

Doyle said...

Bush quote. From the "Mission Accomplished" speech.

Rumsfeld quote. (It's from Feb. 7, on the quotes list on the left.)

Joe said...

madisonman stated: "My recollection is being assured Iraq would be a cakewalk,..."

What speeches were you listening to? I never heard that from the President. Ever. Quite to the contrary, he repeatedly stated that the fight would be long and hard.

During the senate hearings that led up to the authorization of the war, estimates were given at over 10,000 dead for the actual invasion.

There was a belief on part of the administration (and myself, to be honest) that Iraqis would step forward stronger than they had. That they would take matters into their own hands more forcefully than they had. There was historical evidence that they would do so, but they (we) underestimated the damage Saddam had done to the Iraqi mindset. However, at NO time did I hear ANYONE in the administration express belief that coalition forces would be met with flowers. Such a suggestion came from the mouths of cynical critics.

Ironically, one problem is that we won too quickly. Remember that optimistic estimates had the key part of the war lasting six months or longer. This was due to the Iraqi army largely just giving up and going home. (For those who say we should have kept the Iraqi army together; there was no Iraqi army to keep together--it went AWOL.)

On the flip side, while Iraqis were delayed in responding to their freedom, the elections happened much sooner than anyone expected. The constitution was written and voted on much sooner than anyone expected. We really have achieved 90% of our goals in Iraq. Internal security by Iraqis is the only remaining issue. It is critical that we stay long enough for the Iraqi government to assume that responsibility, but no longer. Leaving too soon would be a disaster (as would be staying too long.)

The other reason we must stay is so the Jihadists don't perceive victory. (And the notion that were it not for Iraq, there wouldn't be Jihadist is ignorant in the extreme. Please read up on the Muslim Brotherhood, for one.)

From this perspective, what got us to this point doesn't matter. What matters is where we go from here. I believe the current course of action, however uncomfortable it may be, is, to paraphrase Churchill, the worse option, second to all the rest.

David Walser said...

Here is the promised link on the educational achievements of members of the military (scroll down):

http://tinyurl.com/yg5zqe

I also need to amend my response to Doyle. Doyle's remark might not be factually inaccurate -- at least it can be argued in good faith that it's not. However, his comment is, at best, misleading. Doyle stated that the Army had lowered it's standards. As discussed in the linked report, this is true. Under the new policy, up to 4% of recruits can come from between the 21st and 30th percentiles of the military's "IQ" test. (It's not an IQ test, but that description is good enough for these purposes.) That represents an increase in recruits in that category from 2% to 4%. So, it is accurate to say that the Army lowered it's standard. However, it is inaccurate to state, as Doyle implied, that the military, as a group, are dumber than the average American. Why? Because, the majority of the military's recruits score above average (above the 50th percentile) on this same test. By this measure, the military is smarter, not dumber as implied by Doyle, than the American population.

Noumenon said...

Do I have to remind you once again that I've been a lifelong Democrat?

You are going to keep having to remind people as long as you keep posting like a lifelong Republican -- I don't know what's happened to you. I still like the other 90% of your blog that hasn't changed, though.

Freder Frederson said...

Now, if your argument were that we are stretched to thinly, and need to expand the military, I would completely agree with you, but I don't think that's your argument.

That would have been my argument two years ago, when I thought this war was still winnable. I now think that we have reached the point of no return and putting more of our troops in the country will only make things worse. I think the only solution left now is diplomacy resulting some kind of international peacekeeping force made up of Iraq's neighbors including people we hate like the Iranians and Syrians, but also the Saudis and Jordanians. The end result will be another dictatorship, but hopefully no worse than Jordan or Saudi Arabia.

Can you and I at least agree that Rumsfeld has to go?

Heck, I think he should be in jail (after all he has publically admitted to at least one war crime). But just last week the president reasserted his unwavering support for Rumsfeld. So that ain't going to happen.

Doyle said...

However, it is inaccurate to state, as Doyle implied, that the military, as a group, are dumber than the average American.

I never implied as much. I said they are disproportionately non-college graduates, and they are well known to be disproportionately young.

After 2004, though, I've never been one to overestimate the intelligence of the average American.

Greg D said...

Welcome to the Dark Side, Ann, stay as long as you like. :-)

It's one of those conflicted things for me, too (but for different reasons, of course). I like the fact that the National Democrats' desire for the US to lose the war pushes people like you to vote for my team.

OTOH, it sucks that the National Democrats are so deranged that they want the US to lose.

Ah, well, until they get sane you're welcome to hang with us. :-)

Fenrisulven said...

Doyle, your links contradict your point:

THE PRESIDENT: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.... And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country... Operation Iraqi Freedom was carried out with a combination of precision and speed and boldness the enemy did not expect, and the world had not seen before...We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We're bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous. We're pursuing and finding leaders of the old regime, who will be held to account for their crimes. We've begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated. We're helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of hospitals and schools. And we will stand with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people. (Applause.)...The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done. Then we will leave, and we will leave behind a free Iraq. (Applause.)

And the Rumsfeld link has zero context, just the quote. I'll bet he was talking about the actual liberation - Operation Iraqi Freedom, and not the post-liberation reconstruction.

Doyle said...

Fenris - I'm sorry didn't you claim that the quotes were "bullshit"? Clearly whatever familiarity you have with them is brand new.

MadisonMan said...

Listen to the words of the Vice President, from March of 2003:

...my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.

When asked if he thought Americans would support a long, costly, bloody battle, the vice President replied:

Well, I don’t think it’s likely to unfold that way

Remember those pre-war predictions that Iraqi oil would pay for things? Doesn't that suggest a rosy picture?

I may have been remembering Chalabi quotes for government officials (obvious sarcastic comment snipped) re: Flowers.

Doyle said...

Also, how did over 100 American troops die in October if not in "major combat operations"? Oh, that's right. They were blown up by insurgent IEDs, or shot by snipers. Those don't count, I guess.

Or maybe they're all just Max Cleland-style clutzes...

Pogo said...

Doyle, the quotes are bullshit. They don't describe what you said they did. Instead, they reflected the defeat of Saddam's forces, not the subsequent terrorist invasion from Iran and Syria.

Your quotes were used dishonestly.

altoids1306 said...

Hats off to the WaPo for publishing something, not even positive, but at least even-handed.

I've always felt that Bush, to his credit, has declined to wield the opinion of the military as a political weapon. We live in an interesting country, where our most democratic organizations are despised, and the military is lionized (for good reason). A less tactful or more desperate leader could use this situation to his advantage, to the detriment of the Republic.

NSC said...

I never implied as much. I said they are disproportionately non-college graduates, and they are well known to be disproportionately young.

Disproportionate to what? America as a whole? There are more non-college grads in the country than college grads so what does that prove other than the fact that the military reflects our society as a whole?

And actually, the recruit high school graduation rate is 98% compared to 75% national youth graduation rate, so they are actually doing better than our society as a whole. And, of course, the officer corps is well-educated with a minimum of a college degree and a signficant percentage have advanced degrees.

As to them being disproportionately young - well the military is a young man's/woman's world - there is nothing new about that. Even so the average age of the enlisted force is about 29 with the average age for officers around 35.

These are not dumb, uneducated kids, no matter how much their being so would help the left's agenda. It's harder to say they are dupes of Bush when they clearly are not.

Bruce Hayden said...

Freder,

I would be interested in the consistency of your international forces. Here is my take on the situation:

- Jordan - Sunni, and not enough troops.
- Saudi Arabia - Way too Sunni, not enough troops.
- Syria - You have to be kidding, Baathist, and faciliators for allowing many, if not most, of the foreign terrorists into Iraq.
- Iran - And precisely which Arab country would allow this? Persian hands on Iraqi oil?

And how are they going to enforce peace keeping any better than we can? Are they going to stand between the Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad?

Doyle said...

Oh, so the "subsequent terrorist invasion" (a characterization I dispute) was forseen by the Wise War Planners?

Fenrisulven said...

Doyle: I'm sorry didn't you claim that the quotes were "bullshit"?

You used them out of context to misrepresent what Bush said. Thats dishonest and damages any credibility you may have with readers.

Just because it works for Dowd at the NYTs doesn't mean it will play here.

Doyle said...

Oh I'm sorry it sure sounded like a victory speech to me. Mission Accomplished and all. Obviously my understanding of world affairs is not as nuanced as you Bush followers'.

Bruce Hayden said...

Freder,

I think that you suggestion of an International Moslem peace process misses almost completely what is going on right now in Iraq. It isn't a civil war, and it won't be. On the one hand, you have the Sunni Arabs under a lot of pressure because of their alliance with Saddam Hussein. The rest of the Iraqis want them either out or dead. Definately, not with more power. Instead of trying to placate the 85% majority Shiites and Kurds, they have resorted to indiscriminate killing of innocents. Which only increases the calls for revenge.

The Iraqi Sunni Arabs already have a better deal than they could expect given their (now reduced) numbers, and many of their refusal to vote. What are you going to offer them that they haven't gotten already? The top positions in the government? In the military? And the other 85% of the population is going to stand for that?

What you suggest sounds good on paper - until you have to sit down and look at the problems that it would bring, that are much, much worse than what we are facing right now. The 85% majority Shiite/Kurds are not going to give up more power to the Sunni Arabs, just to get them quiet. They would rather kill them. Worse, you suggest injecting an explosive mix of ethnicity and religion into the situation that would make things far, far, worse (I will admit that going farther afield for a Moslem peace keeping force would probably work a lot better).

In other words, a liberal pipe dream.

Freder Frederson said...

not the subsequent terrorist invasion from Iran and Syria.

You are sadly misinformed if you think that the violence in Iraq is the result of a "terrorist invasion". Nobody has ever asserted that foreign terrorists have ever made up more than 10% of the insurgents, and probably never more than 6--7%. It is probably even less now since the death of Zarqawi and since the Sunnis have apparently turned against the foreign fighters. It is almost entirely Sectarian violence. Of course, this doesn't mean that other countries are not supporting the various factions in Iraq (e.g., the Iranians backing the Shiites and the Arab states supplying and backing the Sunnis), but the vast majority of the killing and dying is being done by and to Iraqis.

Freder Frederson said...

The rest of the Iraqis want them either out or dead.

So your solution is what? Genocide or ethnic cleansing.

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me add that it was pointed out the other day that at least in the Army, and presumably in the other services, a post graduate degree is apparently now required for advancement above O4. Meaning that all those Lt Cols., Cols., and Generals out there have at least a Master's degree, and often PhDs.

Bruce Hayden said...

Freder,

We are all that is standing in the way of genocide / ethnic cleansing right now.

Actually, at present, it doesn't seem to be quite that bad, yet. So far, it is more ethnic cleansing than genocide. The vast majority of the Sunni Arabs being killed right now are highly targetted, either having been involved with Saddam Hussein, being currently involved in terrorism, or being a close family member of one of the above. The later is a direct result of the reality of Middle Eastern revenge - you kill my family, and I will kill yours. And it has the advantage of making suicide bombers think twice - as they not only are sacrificing their own lives, but also that of their sisters, wives, parents, and kids.

NSC said...

Bruce,

It is the same for the Air Force - it is difficult to get to Major, and damn near impossible to get past it, without a post-graduate degree.

In addition, most of the senior NCOs I knew in the Air Force had college degrees and more than a few had post-graduate degrees.

Bruce Hayden said...

Clarifying the last point, I see what is going on from the Shiite/Kurdish point of view towards the Sunni Arabs is that those who transgressed against the Shiites or Kurds are being tracked down and executed. The rest of the Sunni Arabs are merely being made quite unwelcome. As a result, some 1/4 seem to have fled the country, and another 1/12 to 1/6 to have moved to a safer part of the country since our intervention.

The saner Shiite heads realize that reconciliation is for the best, esp. given their numbers. But the hotheads, esp. now with Iranian instigation, are ignoring their elders and going into the Sunni areas to play vigilante.

Bruce Hayden said...

Freder,

I disagree about what was going on historically, but not any more. The foreign component of the violence is much dimished now, esp. after so much of al Qaeda was rolled up in the aftermath of Zarkawi's demise. The sectarian side of the violence is fairly new. Not the Sunni suicide bombings of innocents, but rather the Shiite/Kurdish revenge for it.

Up until maybe six months ago, the main Shiite clerics (notably Sistani) were able to keep their hotheads mostly under control. Not apparently any more.

I attribute part of this to Iranian intervention, possibly (IMHO, probably) as a result of our pressure on Iran for its nuclear ambitions.

Stephen said...

Ann:

Your continued support for the Administration's approach to the Iraq War is mystifying to me.

It is naive of you to think that only the Democrats want to start the move toward withdrawal. So do many Republicans. Whoever is in control, there are going to be ultimata to the Iraqis about their performance (coupled with timelines), and then whoever is in charge will use them as the basis for a stand down, faster if the Iraqis refuse to pull up their socks (or ask us to leave), slower if they make real progress.

In any event, your inclination to stay the course, rather than begin a strategy of disengagement, implies a strategy to make things better, not just a determination that they should not get worse! The latter will keep us there forever!

So what is your strategy for making things better, or perhaps more precisely, what do you think is the Republican strategy, and why do you trust it after so many failures on their watch? Without more troops, we are unable to keep the factions under control and the country, by the military's own meansurements, slides every day closer to chaos. Yet there is no plan, even among hard core Repulicans, to send more troops. Reconstruction has stopped, and failed. There is no plan to fund reconstruction any further. Is there a logical basis for your faith in the Republicans, or this just a reflex on your part?

Bruce Hayden said...

I find it interesting the suggestion that reconstruction has failed or stopped. You sure wouldn't get that impression looking at what the DoD puts out. Rather, they make the point that oil production is finally back up to pre-invasion levels, how many kids are vaccinated, etc.

You would also get the impression that the violence was country wide, when that is far from the truth. Obviously, the Kurdish areas to the north are very peaceful now. But notably, much of the Shiite south is too. Anbar is, well, Anbar. Which leaves Baghdad and the area right around it. Of course, that is where all the reporters are, so, any violence there is amplified, whereas any lack of violence in the parts of Iraq where they don't go, is missed. The MSM seems to be feeding the meme that you seem to be pushing, that the increased level of violence in Baghdad is evidence of increased violence country-wide. But that is not accurate.

Mark said...

My suggestion for a strategy in Iraq going forward: tell the Iraqi government that we have lost faith in the ability of the warring parties to resolve their disputes peacefully, that we believe a partition of the country into separate states for each of the major religious sects is the best chance for peace, and that we will only continue to provide military support for peacekeeping if that approach is pursued. Then encourage the government to hold a national referendum on the question, asking both whether the people support a partition, and whether the people want the multinational force to continue to work at peacekeeping.

I suspect the government would agree to hold the referendum because they need us. I suspect the majority of people would support dividing the country, and that the majority wants us to stay at least for a while.

There's a real chance for peace if the country is divided up. Evidence for that is that success and peace in the Kurdish north. If the Sunnis and Shias weren't struggling for control of a single nation, they wouldn't need to fight like this. A referendum would provide us a path to an exit that didn't look like we were simply abandoning them.

Derve said...

We cannot still be fighting like we are now for 20 years, but we can maintain a presence forever and people will be ok with it pretty much.



Know your enemy.

No way are the native people there going to "be ok with" US troop presence in that region for another 10 to 20 years. They won't tolerate that, no matter what the American people think is best.

Read a history book if you don't understand why this region is a bit different than Germany or Japan.

Bruce Hayden said...

Somewhat interesting take from Strategy Page on the current Sunni situation in Iraq:

"November 3, 2006: About 100,000 Iraqi Sunni Arabs are fleeing the country each month. In 2003, Sunni Arabs were about 20 percent of the population. But Sunni Arabs have been leaving the country, fearful of retribution from Kurds and Shia Arabs, ever since, and at the current rate of involuntary immigration, Sunni Arabs will be only ten percent of the population in another year. While the terrorists comprise a minority of Sunni Arabs, the same minority that supported the Sunni Arab dictatorship headed by Saddam Hussein, they are numerous enough (nearly a million people) to keep the violence going for years. That's unless the government mounts major military operations on the towns and neighborhoods in central Iraq where these Sunni Arabs live. That's what the Sunni Arabs fear will happen eventually, and much bloodshed will follow. "

Bruce Hayden said...

Mark,

Division of the country would work well for the parts of Iraq that are mostly peaceful right now - the Kurdish north and the Shiite south. But the middle of the country is where the violence is and that is where there is almost all of the ethnic mixing. Besides, it is precisely the parts of Iraq that are the most peaceful right now that have the oil. I have no doubt that the people living there would love to get the oil underneath them, and not have to share with those in the center of the country.

But that still doesn't address the problem in the center of the country, notably Baghdad and immediate environs. The Sunnis are still a minority there. What are you proposing:
- giving them the Sunni neighborhoods of Baghdad? or
- giving them minority control over the majority Shiites there?

Simon said...

Mark,
I hate that idea, not least because one of my arguments for direct military intervention was because the continued territorial integrity was imperative. An independent Iraqi Kurdistan would be intolerable to Turkey and Iran, since greater Kurdistan extends into both of those countries, where ethnic kurds would surely be desirous to see their regions desert their masters in Isbanbul and Tehran to join their brethren. I could even imagine Turkey and Iran concluding a Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement, wherein each country rolls in and divides Iraqi kurdistan between them. It's also conceivable that the shiite successor state may well be a purely transitional entity, insofar as its populations will identify vastly more strongly as shiites than as citizens of this new state, and may well petition Iran for incorporation by that country. Of course, if Iran annexed a chunk of Iraq, that puts immense pressure on the sunni states surrounding the sunni Iraqi successor state to annex that state. This is precisely why I didn't want to just assassinate the heads of Saddam's regime and let nature take it's inevitable course.

So I think partition's is very likely a terrible solution at any level, and may cause more problems than it's worth. However, with all that having been said, I have to admit that given the deterioration of the situation, I'd be willing to put that on the table for discussion as a way forward. I think we have to be open at looking at various options, and if nothing else, if we maintained our forces in those three states, no matter what happened, that could provide a strong counterbalance to Iranian proclivities.

I don't mind talking about alternative strategies. I think that anyone who has some ideas for how we can move forward should be welcome at the table, Republican or Democrat. The only people who have no place at the table are the people who have nothing to offer, and that is the Democratic Party. It's true that not all Democrats are against the war, and it's true that some democrats individually have useful things to offer. But that is not the position of the national party, and it is not the position of their base.

If the Dems wanted to contribute in some positive, valuable way, they would be more than welcome to do so, but the fact is that they don't, won't and can't. They don't have any ideas how to win, and even if they did, they don't want us to prevail: they want us to lose so that they can beat their chests and say that they were right all along.

Derve said...

What I think a lot of you may be missing...

it's not up for Americans to decide the future of Iraq. It never was.

Did the Hessian soldiers have much of a role in helping America set up her democracy? These things cannot be imposed by outsiders at gunpoint. Until you have buy in from the Iraqi people(s), what we do Tuesday in this country is much less relevant to success there than many of you think.

It's not in America's hands anymore to win or lose this fight. It never really was.

Bruce Hayden said...

Derve

Cut and Run is not a viable solution, regardless of what you call it. Not all Democrats, of course, buy into that, but enough do that it is all but indistiguishable from a party solution.

If Sen. Lieberman, for example, made suggestions I have no doubt that they would be taken seriously. But Kerry, Pelosi, Lamont, etc. don't come to the discussion with serious, well thought out, proposals.

David Walser said...

Did the Hessian soldiers have much of a role in helping America set up her democracy?

They would have had a role in stopping American democracy if England had won the war.

Bruce Hayden said...

Derve

Success may not be in our hands, but failure surely is. IHMO, cutting and running right now, no matter how you want to hide the reality in rhetoric, would release a genocidal bloodbath.

Doyle said...

Implying that what is going on now is not a "genocidal bloodbath" is hiding the reality in rhetoric.

You know the guys we're training are acting as death squads, too, right?

Simon said...

Derve said...
"Until you have buy in from the Iraqi people(s), what we do Tuesday in this country is much less relevant to success there than many of you think.

On the contrary: it matters a great deal. Iraqis are far more likely to buy into democracy if they believe that we are serious about defeating the insurgency, that is, if they believe that the forces of democracy will triumph, rather than the insurgency.

If Iraqis believe that the insurgency will be defeated, they have every reason to tough out the insurgency. If they believe that the insurgency will win, they will not put their necks on the line.

They are far less likely to buy into democracy if the U.S. government says that troops will move out on a certain day, because you can bet your ass that the day after we leave, the insurgency will move straight back in. Heck, if I were running the insurgency and the Americans said they were leaving on August 1st, I'd go totally to ground, and start issuing dark warnings to the population that as soon as the Americans bug out, there's going to be two sides: the insurgency and corpses.

The moment you set a timetable to withdraw without having either (a) defeated the insurgency or (b) brought the Iraqi forces up to a point where they can fight on their own, you basically hand the insurgency victory. Let's be very clear about this: setting a timetable is giving the insurgency (i.e. our enemies) two things: aid and comfort. Now why does that sound so familiar?

Derve said...

So all Democrats are behind a timetable for withdrawal now, Simon?

Those are the only options: stay the course, or cut and run? Sorry, I still don't buy that.

And I contend that despite what happens here tomorrow, the future of that country remains firmly in Iraqi hands. Despite what the Americans, who only have the Iraqi peoples' best interests at heart, think or promise.

The Iraqi people(s) have never supported a 10 to 20 year occupation last I heard. Even the ones closely allied to American power.

Kirk Parker said...

"I suggest that the administration start leveling with the public about how long this is going to take."

I think you'd get better results if you'd just pay attention and listen better, because they already are saying it's going to take a long time.

AllenS,

"Go ahead, tell everyone how you would have executed this master winning plan."

I don't think you'll get a prompt response; MM is busy at the moment reviewing the plans for the tomb they're building him next to Grant's.

MM himself:

"I would have had strong allies"

Cool: snap you fingers, get strong allies. Why, oh why, didn't Bush think of that???!?!!!

NSC,

"I am no historian but I wonder if our leaders sat around talking exit strategies during WWII - other than destroy our enemies at all costs. [emphasis added]"

You do yourself a disservice, because your conclusion is spot on. Though we did indeed have an articulated exit strategy then; it was called "unconditional surrender".

Doyle,

Re "major combat operations": thanks for proving, over and over again, that you haven't a clue about warfare or the military.

Derve said...

IHMO, cutting and running right now, no matter how you want to hide the reality in rhetoric, would release a genocidal bloodbath.

Unfortunately, I agree 100%.

I've said that months ago here, too.

That's why some of us want accountability every step of the way, not just using this situation as clever election fodder.

Derve said...

I think you'd get better results if you'd just pay attention and listen better, because they already are saying it's going to take a long time.

Oh, that's what the Republicans are saying now?

What do the "Iraqis" have to say about this strategy, do you think? Honestly, the patronization on display here about another country's future is mind-blowing. The overall arrogance of it all.

Cedarford said...

madisonman - Bush should say: This is a serious job -- one thing you can do to help is stop driving. Let's drive down demand for oil. I'm fairly well convinced that oil profits in, say, Iran fuel the insurgency....

That's just an echo of the economically illiterate myth that "If only we stop driving SUVs and stop buying oil from the Saudis, we will drive them to their knees." Oil is a global commodity where demand is dangerously close to production capacity and organized producers have ability to throttle production at will in any case to keep prices up. Lowering demand would help if we faced a total OPEC cutoff...it would have little impact on the great wealth flowing into places like KSA or Iran - because the oil is wanted in 100 other growing nations. Pretending the USA has the ability to control the global oil market, set it's price, drive producers to their knees is puerile fantasy.
(Even with indulging the dream of exciting alternate energy sources that have been knocking about for 40-70 years and all rejected without Gov't subsidy because they are economically unviable at 3-40 times more expensive than coal, oil, gas, nuclear, and hydro. Including the magic elixer cure-all du jour, ethanol.)

We do need a national energy policy. But for our domestic health, not for any prospect that from cutting our demand and boosting domestic production that oil producing nations would lose ability to make huge profits selling their national resource. Besides, the same people with the economic cluelessness of thinking less American SUVs would drive the Saudis to their knees - are also the ones that voiciferously & hysterically oppose nuclear, coal, and any new oil exploration and development in the USA and off our coasts.

*******************
The Democrats have a bad tendency to ignore military advice. In 1975 the military screamed that an aid cutoff would kill Vietnam after 2 years of ARVN success against Cong and NVA. The S Vietnamese had met every deadline, every progress step we asked of them in "Vietnamizing" the stuggle. Yet the Dems still stabbed them in the back. The military screamed as well that a major bloodbath would happen.

The Democrats cut and ran anyways. S Vietnam - denied ammo, air support - fell to a Communist Army that said it was defeated in 1968 and would have surrendered in 1969 but for the propaganda victory they achieved in the Western media and Soviet's efforts at energizing the American and Euro Left.

Then the bloodbath started. 70,000 in Vietnam, 200,000 in reeducation camps. Laos fell and 100,000 were slaughtered. A million refugees came out. In Cambodia, of course, the bloodbath reached the scale of Democide - 1/3rd the population butchered.

The Democrats involved - including some still serving 30 years later like Ted Kennedy, Pat Leahy, Chris Dodd - remain proud of what they did and say they were shocked! just shocked! at the "sad consequences of American mistakes and intervention that no one could have anticipated!!"
***********************


Joe - now we must remain to back up the Iraqi military and police until they are strong enough to maintain security. You can't put a deadline on it, that would only play into the hands of the enemy, who would simply wait us out. Is that so hard to understand?

Like it or not Joe, the world runs on deadlines. And when we fail to tell others sitting on their asses that our support in way of blood shed or treasure lost is finite and headed to an end point...they naturally assume they can remain sitting on their asses.

Any project manager or boss can illuminate you on that reality of life. We just had a case in the USA of ending the idea of Welfare going on "as long as people want it" - about the time we realized we had reached the 3rd generation of dependents..

In Iraq, the safest place to be is sitting on the sidelines and not stepping up as long as others fight and die for you. Perhaps join a militia for local defense...but why die when infidels will?
Deadlines are needed to shake the Iraqis out of that complacency. It isn't a matter of "waiting the enemy out", it is equivalent of telling a welfare parasite that no matter how fat they are, how much they regard school as "oppressive", or how many babies they popped out that the party was over and bad consequences awaited them that would entirely be their fault if they didn't get their act together.

Deadlines and consequences worked to change welfare parasites, they can work to force Iraqis to take charge of their future.

Doyle said...

Re "major combat operations": thanks for proving, over and over again, that you haven't a clue about warfare or the military.

How so?

BTW, I knew that the Iraq War was a terrible idea, which puts me ahead of the curve on this board.

Derve said...

Cut and Run is not a viable solution, regardless of what you call it.

I've heard the Republicans give it other names too, Bruce. Face it, we've stopped fighting to win over there a long time ago. While your Republicans were in full leadership power.

Kirk Parker said...

"Oh, that's what the Republicans are saying now?"

No, it's what they've been saying all along. But I suppose you're one of the people who when Bush says, "We can't wait until the danger is immanent", hears only the single word "immanent". You really do need to work on your comprehension skills, or else admit that your partisanship trumps them.

Bruce Hayden said...

Derve

The line I am drawing is between vigilantiism and genocide on the part of the Shiites and Kurds. Yes, there is some of it already happening, but everything that I have read indicates that the killing of the Sunni Arab Iraqis is still primarily fairly well targetted revenge killings, whereas the killing on the other side is almost exclusively indiscriminate.

I don't deny that there are Shiite death squads now operating, and some of them have members that we trained. BUT, who are the death squads killing right now? Current or former murderers of Shiites and Kurds (and their close family members)? Or Sunni Arabs in general? My understanding is that it is primarily the former, and my worry is when it turns into the later.

Freder Frederson said...

Heck, if I were running the insurgency and the Americans said they were leaving on August 1st, I'd go totally to ground, and start issuing dark warnings to the population that as soon as the Americans bug out, there's going to be two sides: the insurgency and corpses.

This shows me how stunningly ignorant and stupid the backers of this administration are. If you believe that there is one person leading the insurgency or even one insurgency, you are as deluded as the president, who thinks Rumsfeld is doing a fantastic job. How can we rationally discuss this war or insurgency when people make simplistic statements like this?

You don't have a clue whats going on. No wonder we are in the mess we are in. My God, no wonder "stay the course" and "cut and run" is so appealing. It absolves you of any thought process.

Kirk Parker said...

Oops, major typo/thinko time: That should of course be "imminent"! :-(

Freder Frederson said...

Yes, there is some of it already happening, but everything that I have read indicates that the killing of the Sunni Arab Iraqis is still primarily fairly well targetted revenge killings

If by "fairly well targeted" you mean setting up roadblocks and killing every man (letting the women and children go) you stop who has a Sunni last name, then yes, I guess it is "fairly well targeted" as opposed to using bombs.

Derve said...

You really do need to work on your comprehension skills, or else admit that your partisanship trumps them.

My partisanship? lol

Maybe you need to get your own house in order before you go advising rival political parties how to proceed. Oh, and consult the natives about the new 10 to 20-year timeline. That wasn't so well publicized in all circles.

Doyle said...

Way to focus on the negative, Freder. I see you conveniently left out the number of freshly painted schools in Baghdad. You traitors make me sick!

Kirby Olson said...

I'm with you, Ann. A lifelong Democrat, and I have no idea what's happened to the Democratic party. But I think it's this:

Think of Shakespeare's Henry tetrad and position W. as Henry V. He leads a combined group heavily outnumbered against a massive rainbow coalition of Welsh, northerners, and other sundry groups no two of which actually trust one another.

Bush, a party boy in his youth like Henry, grows up and becomes a man.

The other side cannot find a leader that is relevant to all parties within their coalition. So even though Bush and the Republicans are outnumbered they know what they stand for, and they stand for it.

The Democrats have to stand for just anything. But they don't agree on anything. Blacks don't like the gays. The gay women don't like black men. The rural southerners don't like either the blacks or the gays. It's a very disunited party whose only unification is hatred of the Republicans.

The Republicans look like a party with a clear set of principles.

The Democrats increasingly look like a disunited bunch of flip floppers who have to try and please everybody and can't be themselves except when they think they can -- like when Kerry thought he could badmouth the troops last week because he only had elite college students in front of him. The whole country heard it, though.

If the whole country hears what the Democrats are thinking -- their coalition breaks and only half of them show up at the voting booth, just as only a third showed up to fight with Hotspur.

Meanwhlie the Republicans keep moving closer to the center: inviting in black candidates like Steele, and people like Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice ...

Based on PRINCIPLE rather than opportunism ...

The current field of Democratic candidates are actually more like the Republicans in many cases. How can a party hold unless it has a central set of principles to which all the members salute?

Democrats strike me increasingly as merely the party of resentment.

Bruce Hayden said...

Freder,

Ok, let's see if I understand your logic. Since there is no central leadership of the Sunni Arab terrorism in Iraq right now, those involved in it would not hunker down and wait out an American withdrawl, if we set a firm timetable for such?

Possibly, but I think that you are either deliberately confusing the issue, or are living in a dream world. Everyone now has CNN access, even in Baghdad these days, and that sort of message would go through the Sunni Arab population (as well as the Shiite and Kurdish populations) like a wildfire.

Of course, it may also work to temporarily subdue the Shiite militia hotheads, until they can go into the Sunni areas with impunity, extracting their ethnic revenge, etc. After all, as I pointed out well above, we are the primary force sitting between them. Though we aren't as effective as we would like, right now, we are a lot more effective at this than nothing, which is what you would get with a pullout - and almost everyone in Iraq know this.

Simon said...

Derve said...
"So all Democrats are behind a timetable for withdrawal now, Simon?"

No, but the ones who matter - the ones who you would put in charge of the House of Representatives - are behind a timetable. It doesn't make a lick of difference if you, or Doyle, or my neighbor with the Brad Ellsworth sign in his yard are for or against a timetable, and frankly, it doesn't matter if Ellsworth himself doesn't buy a timetable. The fact is that your leadership wants one, and they will push to get one. If they get both chambers (very unlikely), they may even pass legislation on it, but even if they only get one chamber, they could force U.S. forces to begin withdrawing by holding up appropriations bills. For that matter, give Nancy Pelosi the speaker's gavel, and she could stop this war personally if she had the stones to do so, by refusing to bring military spending bills to the floor and refusing to recognize members to speak.

I realize that not everyone lives in a marginal district. Ann doesn't live in a marginal district. But if the Democrats want to nationalize this election, if they want to make this into a referendum on Iraq, then you've got to take the consequences of that: that people should vote on the basis of their opinion on Iraq. Do we vote for the party whose President made some major screwups, but who want to make it better, or do we vote for the party who's determined to screw it up even worse?

Doyle said...

How can a party hold unless it has a central set of principles to which all the members salute?

Good question. I think it has something to do with not being servile, flag-waving drones.

NSC said...

BTW, I knew that the Iraq War was a terrible idea, which puts me ahead of the curve on this board.

A regular legend in your own mind.

Simon said...

Freder,
I am fully aware that the insurgency is not a monolithic force unified behind a central authority. How you can infer that I think so from an abstract hypothetical is beyond me, but then again, I have little incentive to think you're arguing in good faith, so I'll just go ahead and assume you're trying to spin what I said in a feeble attempt to turn what I said to meet your attack. Lame.

Doyle said...

...or do we vote for the party who's determined to screw it up even worse?

Worse! Worse! Worse!

Henry said...

Those are the only options: stay the course, or cut and run? Sorry, I still don't buy that.

Derve, when I vote tomorrow, cut and run is what the Democrats have offered me. To repeat, this what Sheldon Whitehouse, Democratic candidate for Senator in Rhode Island is saying:

We need to make it clear to the Iraqis and to other nations that we are in withdrawal mode.

Rest assured, the insurgents and Al Quaeda will get the message just as loud and clear as everyone else.

Freder Frederson said...

That's just an echo of the economically illiterate myth that "If only we stop driving SUVs and stop buying oil from the Saudis, we will drive them to their knees." Oil is a global commodity where demand is dangerously close to production capacity and organized producers have ability to throttle production at will in any case to keep prices up.

Actually, you're wrong Cedarford. We consume 25% of the world's oil supply. Remember price depends on both supply and demand. If demand dries up, then the suppliers will be hurting and we will once again be in the driver's seat (pun intended). As our consumption goes down, the oil states, who are just as addicted to the production of oil as we are to the consumption of it, have to keep up production to maintain their lifestyles. We could and should have used our unnecessary waste to our advantage (we use about 30% more energy per capita than Western Europeans, after adjusting for climate differences, to maintain a similar standard of living)

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me remind those who are proposing cutting and running, by whatever phraseology, that the Shiites and Kurds are now 85% of the population of Iraq, and that may increase in the next year or so to 90%. They also constitute the vast, vast, majority of police and military, and, thus, have the vast bulk of the guns. If we pull out, it would not be an equal contest. Not even close. It would likely be genocide.

Of course, Iraq's Sunni Arab neighbors would likely take exception to that - and attempt to intervene to protect their Sunni Arab brethern. But who would then be tempted to intervene to protect the 60% of the Shiite population then put at risk? One hint - there is a country immediately to the east of Iraq with twice its population, and its own regional aspirations, based on centuries old beliefs about its lost glory. And Syria? While Baathist, it is also Shiite run. It would be interesting (and quite bloody).

Bruce Hayden said...

Freder,

Yes, if we could reduce our oil consumption by 100%, the price of oil world wide would temporarily drop in accordance with supply/demand curves. However, if we drop it by 10%, that would result in a 2.5% cut in the demand, which the Chinese, etc. would use up shortly in their demand - and what would that 10% cost us?

Doyle said...

A regular legend in your own mind.

Yeah, "More prescient on Iraq than Althouse and most of her commenters" is going on my tombstone, for sure.

Wanker.

Derve said...

Simon:

Vote Republican.

Let's see what they've got up their sleeves for Iraq.

Clearly the only way they are going to learn about foreign intervention is to fight their own way out and stop placing all the blame for their actions on others.

I'm serious.

Bruce Hayden said...

Also, we use more energy per capita than the Europeans partly because this isn't Europe. The population density there is far higher than it is nationally in this country. Yes, in the North East and maybe in a couple of pockets in CA, we have that sort of density. But mostly, not. I have put 100k on my car in the last 4 years - all within five adjacent states (CO, UT, NV, AZ, and NM).

Derve said...

The Democrats have to stand for just anything. But they don't agree on anything. Blacks don't like the gays. The gay women don't like black men. The rural southerners don't like either the blacks or the gays. It's a very disunited party whose only unification is hatred of the Republicans.


Ooooh.
Race- and gay-baiting.
Now there's a new strategy...

(Might win elections; won't win you wars. But you already knew that...)

Freder Frederson said...

I am fully aware that the insurgency is not a monolithic force unified behind a central authority.

Well, then you shouldn't make statements like "if I were in charge of the insurgency", because it sure makes you sound like you do.

We are going to withdraw over the next two years, regardless of the conditions on the ground. Simply because we must. The military is worn out and unless the president is willing to significantly increase the size of the military and put a lot more money into basic maintenance and acquistion of basic material including decidely low-tech equipment like armored cars (not up-armored humvees), we can't even maintain the level of troops we currently have in Iraq. I don't see the president doing that since that will require actually requiring sacrifices of the American people, which he has refused to do all along. So he will cut and run. It's just a question of how he will spin it.

The Brits will be gone within the year, leaving our supply lines dangerously exposed. If the supposedly peaceful shiites in the south (and "peaceful" means a taliban-like theocracy, the British have completely retreated from the towns), decide they don't want the Americans around any more, they can easily stop the fuel shipments from Kuwait to Baghdad, especially since most of the fuel trucks are driven by underpaid contract drivers from Africa or Asia who will quit and go home as soon as a couple get blown up. Once our troops in Baghdad run out of gas, things will get real ugly real fast.

Doyle said...

Bruce -

We also burn more gas per mile than any other country. I don't have the link, but I think it has something to do with avg. vehicle size.

As Ari Fleischer once assured us, the president believes that it's an American way of life to burn ungodly amounts of hydrocarbons.

Freder Frederson said...

Of course, Iraq's Sunni Arab neighbors would likely take exception to that - and attempt to intervene to protect their Sunni Arab brethern. But who would then be tempted to intervene to protect the 60% of the Shiite population then put at risk?

Why didn't any of the genuises at the White House figure this out before they decided to invade? I sure as hell did.

Derve said...

Here's my plan:

Stop burying the bodies. Let them pile up, rot to high heaven, and publicize publicize publicize.

Then some people might realize it's not so funny a situation and no one has the luxury of time.

Only then might out country pull together once again and fight together again. (with Republicans putting their ideals into uniform) The pundits and politicians who would divide our country care about their own success over America's. They don't sacrifice and they don't acknowledge error. They're not winning the war either.

Simon said...

Freder Frederson said...
"then you shouldn't make statements like 'if I were in charge of the insurgency', because it sure makes you sound like you do."

Only to you, my friend, only to you...


"We are going to withdraw over the next two years, regardless of the conditions on the ground."

That depends on whether the Democrats win the House and kowtow to their base having done so. And in any event, I doubt that prediction's merits; I remember Murtha being interviewed back when his resolution to pull the troops out got almost unanimously rejected, and he said that it was absolutely beyond doubt that troop levels in Iraq would have fallen by the election, presumably because he thinks that the GOP's foreign policy is as driven by domestic political ambition as his own party's.

Derve said...

We are going to withdraw over the next two years, regardless of the conditions on the ground. Simply because we must. The military is worn out and unless the president is willing to significantly increase the size of the military and put a lot more money into basic maintenance and acquistion of basic material including decidely low-tech equipment like armored cars (not up-armored humvees), we can't even maintain the level of troops we currently have in Iraq.

Vote Republican tomorrow, Fred.
Don't let this get pinned on the Democrat party.

Freder Frederson said...

We also burn more gas per mile than any other country.

We also use less public transportation, have longer commutes, have larger, less fuel efficient, houses, walk less, and less fuel efficient industries. In other words, we waste energy by almost every measure you can name.

Bruce Hayden said...

Freder,

Spoken with true 20/20 hindsight. Yes, maybe you did predict what might happen, but what you consistently ignore is that the alternative to not invading would most likely be a lot worse than what we are facing right now in Iraq.

We invaded primarliy, IMHO, because the alternative was to look like OBL claimed - quitters. Sanctions were rapidly falling apart (thanks to massive bribery on the part of Saddam Hussein), and when they did, as they would have within months, Saddam Hussein would have been the hero of the Middle East, having stared us down and won. The no-fly zones would no longer be in effect, allowing him to reimpose his will over those areas (through a lot more bloodshed than we have seen since our intervention).

So, the fact that you suggested at the time of our intervention that this all might come to pass is irrelevant, without also having proposed credible ways to maintain our credibility and protect the Kurds in the north and Shiites in the south from Saddam's revenge.

Freder Frederson said...

I remember Murtha being interviewed back when his resolution to pull the troops out got almost unanimously rejected, and he said that it was absolutely beyond doubt that troop levels in Iraq would have fallen by the election

Murtha was considering political implications (and if the Democrats win the house tomorrow, it will be because the number of troops in Iraq has not been reduced). I base my prediction on the ability of the military to maintain its forces in the field. We simply can't keep 140,000 deployed for another two years. And the British will be gone especially once Blair steps down, if not sooner.

Bruce Hayden said...

Freder,

You also ignore that our cities and country, for the most part, are not designed around mass transit. Some 30 years ago, I tried to ride the bus from home to school. It would take well over an hour. I could do it in 15 minutes by car. And it hasn't gotten any better. I rode the bus a bit in Phoenix a couple of years ago, and would routinely take over an hour to get somewhere I could get w/i 15 minutes by car. Commuting to/from work would mean converting a half an hour commute to a two+ hour commute.

So, if you are proposing fast mass transit for the future, then fine. Let's talk 25-50 years out, as population densities adjust to the light rail lines. But there is absolutely nothing that can be done in the short term that would do much good at reducing commuting energy costs.

Bruce Hayden said...

The solution then is to increase our overall troop levels. Yes, that will take some time, but realistically, Clinton drew down those levels too much in reaping his Peace Dividend. We would be in pretty good shape if we just reactivated (retrained, and reequipped) half of the Clinton drawdown.

Kirby Olson said...

Still feel that beneath the PC surface of the Democrats there is enormous internecine energies. Should they ever win and be in a dominant mode in the country again those energies will split and go after one another just as surely as the factions in Iraq have done since the toppling of the Saddam effigy.

If the Bush hegemony goes there will be nothing to unite the Democrats.

Even now it is just resentment that animates them. Wait til the resentment turns between the different factions.

I wonder if there is a single incident or striking moment when you turned from Democrat to Republican, Ann. For me it was the slow realization that the secnario in the country so closely resembled Shakespeare's Henry tetrad.

I suppose most people don't read that any longer. Too busy with Toni Morrison?

But it's a deep sequence, filled with relevance for our time. It is in fact an almost exact parallel -- almost to the point of prophecy!

Derve said...

If the Bush hegemony goes there will be nothing to unite the Democrats.

I wouldn't be so confident of that.

Democrats know domestic issues -- they have to live together every day without the luxury of isolating themselves like the richer Republicans can.

Once the war issues are resolved, there is plenty left to still unite the Democratic party. Some people might not feel "at home" discussing some of these bread-and-butter issues. That's fine. Always options to find a home elsewhere instead of trying to force your own concerns on a household facing other issues.

Derve said...

I suppose most people don't read that any longer. Too busy with Toni Morrison?

Myself, I could never be comfortable with the race-baiting and "othering" of the Republican party.

What's that? They're not all like that? Not fair to paint a party based on the views of a few on the more extreme edges. We all know who the traditional parties represent. Some of us see a changing America too, and don't see the Republican party holding majority status as predicted over the long run. We basically can't afford to keep them in power for much longer.

MadisonMan said...

Stop burying the bodies. Let them pile up, rot to high heaven, and publicize publicize publicize.

How will flouting Muslim burial rules help anything?

Doyle said...

just as surely as the factions in Iraq have done since the toppling of the Saddam effigy.

...which of course was not the work of "the factions in Iraq" as much as it was the PR-conscious Pentagon.

Derve said...

You can't deny a pile of rotting stinking flesh for very long, MM.

Might concentrate attention and cut down on some of the bullshit excuses and joking too.

MadisonMan said...

Meanwhile, every jihadist is screaming that the USA won't let the dead be buried, and isn't that an insult to the prophet Muhammed.

Derve said...

You're a very literal reader, MM.

I kind of pity you. It seems like you don't really know where you stand in this fight, like you're waiting for one side or the other to choose you like back in gym class. Good luck!

quietnorth said...

Ann;

If you are serious about not withdrawing, then you are in favor of increasing troop strength by an incredible amount (still, with no guarantee that it won't get worse).

You talk a good game about seriousness, but how serious are you about the change in strategy that would be needed?

Revenant said...

Myself, I could never be comfortable with the race-baiting and "othering" of the Republican party. What's that? They're not all like that?

I'm more amazed by your apparent belief that the Democrats *aren't* like that.

Simon said...

MadisonMan -
Interesting, isn't it. It isn't just heretics like Ann that the left are mad at, they're even making caustic swipes at you - someone who agrees with them, but evidently without sufficient fervor.

Tomorrow, you'll have a chance to tell the kossacks what you think of what they're trying to do to the Democratic party, you know. You'll have a chance to reject the Derves of this world, and tell them that you're not willing to put up with where they want to take the Democratic party, on Orwellian place where it is unacceptable not only to dissent, but to fail to applaud loudly enough.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Derve said...

I'm more amazed by your apparent belief that the Democrats *aren't* like that.

Not the Democrats I know.
They've lived integration; much of the racial fear has subsided.

It's the elitist Democrats that need to form their own party to represent their needs and stop short-shrifting the rest of the party.

You'll have a chance to reject the Derves of this world,

lol. Personally, I'm encouraging all fence-sitters to vote Republican myself, Simon. I'm not so sure MM has bought into what it is the Democratic party currently represents and is working toward. If he's undecided at this time, you can claim him as yours, ok?

Derve said...

on Orwellian place where it is unacceptable not only to dissent, but to fail to applaud loudly enough.

Wtf you talking about, CheerleaderMan?

MadisonMan said...

Derve, let me help you -- I stand for a successful conclusion to this war. However, I don't think the Republican Administration has the intelligence of ability to do that (The fact that I disagreed with the decision to go into Iraq is moot). I don't think anyone in the Democratic Party has any idea how to proceed either. Hence my dilemma.

Simon, I don't care to cast a vote that in any way can be taken as a reward for the Party in charge. If anyone considers my vote an Attaboy!, I'll cringe. I will report tomorrow on the way I vote. The only one I'm sure on at the moment is a vote for Doyle (Governor, not commenter). I just don't trust Green's moderate facade, and Doyle hasn't done a horrible job with the complete fiscal fiasco given him by McCallum and Thompson.

Simon said...

Derve - Interesting strategy. Presumably, you've concluded that if the Dems take control of the House, they will actually have to develop a policy, or take an actual stand on the war, whereas if they stay on the outside, they keep their hands clean and their powder dry. It's a crazy scheme that will never work, so I wholeheartedly encourage you to try it.

"Wtf you talking about, CheerleaderMan?"

I really don't have the legs for that. No one wants to see a 200 lb white guy shaking pom poms.

Revenant said...

Not the Democrats I know.
They've lived integration; much of the racial fear has subsided


Ah, I see your problem. You suffer from the leftist delusion that only white people are racists.

Meanwhile, Obama is telling black people to vote for Harold Ford just because he's black and his opponent isn't. And Ford's dad, of course, famously referred to black people who voted against him as race traitors.

Yep. Nice and integrated, there. :)

Derve said...

No kidding no one wants to see (or hear) it. You're clearly a cheerleader though. :)

Listen, maybe you should worry less about the Democratic plan should they obtain power, and more about salvaging what you still can. Blame the Dems isn't going to get very much mileage; people will tire of it. Sure that's all you have days before the election, I understand...

chickenlittle said...

If elected in the numbers they already presume, democrats would initiate unpopular payback- no doubt about that. But I could live with that, because I believe the 2008 democratic presidential contender will crush those efforts to gain electoral advantage. I have an inkling of hope that such a leader could prosecute a war, but we're not voting on that tomorrow are we?

Derve said...

Ah, I see your problem. You suffer from the leftist delusion that only white people are racists.

Huh?
When you live and work, raise and educate your children in economically and ethnically integrated environments, you learn to look past color and judge on actions, content of character.

Maybe you all should stop labeling and start living a bit? Might cure some of your fears. Why do those with the most always seem the angriest, or least content? Always blaming their troubles on others and thinking they are better just because they have more, and therefore resent other people's simple happiness? If that's moving up...

Derve said...

Thanks for the clarification, MM.

I will report tomorrow on the way I vote.

No need to make this about you though, if you want to keep it to yourself. You're just one of many votes really, no more no less.

Simon said...

Derve,
Personally, I'm ambivalent about what transpires in the House elections. I'd rather not lose it, because I think that even with control of just the House, the Dhimmicrats can do tremendous harm - but if the Pelosi wrecking crew get in, that's just going to be sheer entertainment to watch, and will practically guarantee a GOP victory in 2008.

Hard though it might be for you to comprehend this, Iraq is not the primary concern of every voter. Neither Iraq in particular nor the GWOT in general is my principle concern - my principal concern is the federal judiciary. My concern is keeping a sufficient majority in the Senate. In fact, if your pals take over the House, the subsequent logjam might well encourage the White House to give up on its legislative agenda, stop wasting time with this pointless FMA crap, and focus on what really matters: filling up the judiciary with, so to speak, the right kind of judges. As I've said before, five Justices run amock is far more dangerous to this country than Al Queda could even dream of, so as far as I'm concerned, the only way this election will be a setback is if we lose the Senate.

The Democrats have worked hard to turn this election into a referendum on Iraq, and they've probably succeeded. But not everyone regards that as the main issue at stake this election season.

Freder Frederson said...

The solution then is to increase our overall troop levels. Yes, that will take some time, but realistically, Clinton drew down those levels too much in reaping his Peace Dividend. We would be in pretty good shape if we just reactivated (retrained, and reequipped) half of the Clinton drawdown.

I see, Its Clinton's fault. Problem is, its been almost four years since we went to war with "the Army we have, not the Army we want". Yet Bush and Rumsfeld have not done one thing to increase the size of military of even ensure that the equipment that is on hand is maintained properly. Our Depots, especially the ones that overhaul the tracked vehicles, have a serious backlog. The Bradleys and the M1s were designed for a ground war in western Europe, not the desert of Iraq. Their engines, especially the turbines on the M1s, and tracks wear out much faster than anticipated. Plus they were never designed to perform convoy duty as they often do now.

This year the Army refused to sign off on the budget Rumsfeld gave them and told him they needed $25 billion more (41%) just for maintenance and to replace worn out and destroyed equipment.

So I agree with you 100%, if we are serious about this war we need to increase the size of the military.

Unfortunately, from day one it has been obvious, that in spite of all his tough talk and rhetoric, the President has been unwilling to really do any hard work or make any real sacrifices to do what is necessary to win this war. And now it is obvious that he hopes he can maintain the status quo for another two years and let his successor fix the mess he has created.

Derve said...

But not everyone regards that as the main issue at stake this election season.


Tell me something I don't know. :)

(You might consider dropping the arrogance level just a bit. And the labeling too. Turns out, you're wrong more often than you're right!) (lol)

Derve said...

the Dhimmicrats can do tremendous harm

You really have no clue, do ya?
Again, good luck!

Revenant said...

When you live and work, raise and educate your children in economically and ethnically integrated environments, you learn to look past color and judge on actions, content of character.

Good idea. Democrats should seriously consider doing that someday. Of course, they'd lose the black vote, since black Democrats rely on people voting for them because of their skin color.

This is white people in four of the five income quintiles prefer Republicans -- the only white economic group Bush lost in 2004 was people making less than $15,000 a year. Democrats back candidates and policies that favor non-whites over whites. Republicans favor color-blind, non-racist laws, which is what white people generally want.

Why do those with the most always seem the angriest, or least content?

If they seem that way to you it is probably because you hate them and like to view them in a bad light. In reality people's anger and discontent tend to decrease with increased material wealth. It isn't "anger" that causes a middle-class white voter to vote against Democrats picking his pocket -- it is simple enlightened self-interest.

Fenrisulven said...

Yet Bush and Rumsfeld have not done one thing to increase the size of military of even ensure that the equipment that is on hand is maintained properly.

Rumsfeld rushed body armor [which turned out to be another MSM hoax] and up-armored Hummers to the field. So "not one thing" is just more exagerration.

Yet another lie. I don't know why you guys bother to even post, I don't believe a thing you say about Iraq anymore. I think you're just making stuff up. Can't even get you to list specific mistakes - just alot of unsupported generalities like "incompetent mismanagement" etc.

Revenant said...

And how are [Arabs and Iranians] going to enforce peace keeping any better than we can?

Well, history shows us that neither the European political elite nor the domestic left gives a shit when Arabs and Iranians butcher each other. Its when white people get deployed to the area and start participating in the killing that body counts actually start to matter to them.

So the way that an Arab/Iranian occupying force could resolve the problem is simple -- slaughter everyone connected with the insurrections. That's how such matters have traditionally been resolved in the area. We can't do that because people actually hold us accountable for killings. Iran or Syria can.

Ti-Guy said...

Do I have to remind you once again that I've been a lifelong Democrat? I would like to be able to vote for what was my party, but I am opposed to them on what they have made their defining issue. I fail the litmus test.

You didn't leave common sense...it left you.

What psychotropic drug is responsible for that is, quite frankly, none of my business.

Fenrisulven said...

You didn't leave common sense...it left you.

Democrat common sense: Like Parisans, looking the other way as 100 autos are torched every night for a year by "youths".

Maybe she doesn't want to suffer 3rd degree burns from a bus torching, after your leadership ignored the threat. "Shocked! Shcoked I say that passengers we're burned alive this time around"! said Nancy Pelosi.

Freder Frederson said...

Rumsfeld rushed body armor [which turned out to be another MSM hoax] and up-armored Hummers to the field. So "not one thing" is just more exagerration.

I said not one thing to increase the size of the military, which they haven't done. As for body armor and up-armored humvees. I don't know enough about body armor to comment, but up-armoring humvees is a fool's game--again it causes them to wear out that much faster. We should be buying armored cars. There is an armored car that the army is buying that has a "V" shaped belly which deflects IED blasts, not flat like the humvee, yet it has only purchased a thousand. The Army has been begging to increase the contract but it has fallen on deaf ears. How's that for a specific mistake. If the U.S. manufacturer couldn't make enough there are plenty of other countries (e.g., Britain, France, Sweden, South Africa) in the world that make fine armored cars we could purchase (we also currently use a six wheeled German Armored car, and have since the mid-nineties for our Chemical units).

Derve said...

Fen really wants us to intervene in France, it seems.

Democrats should seriously consider doing that someday.
If your fear doesn't hold you back, let me know when you want to come visit. People in lots of places live like that, though generally not in the more elite areas where economic segregation is more likely to stymie efforts.

Freder Frederson said...

Well, history shows us that neither the European political elite nor the domestic left gives a shit when Arabs and Iranians butcher each other.

Oh, like the Reagan administration got all upset when Saddam was gassing his own people and the Iranians in the '80s. In fact, we did everything we could to keep Saddam in power and the Iran-Iraq war going. Bush Sr. only turned on Iraq when he went too far and invaded Kuwait.

Derve said...

If they seem that way to you it is probably because you hate them and like to view them in a bad light.

No, trust me. They're not happy with all the "things" purchased at the price of their freedoms. They tend to sneer at those with less and overplay what they have, as compared to others who tend to value more what they can do.

Joe said...

Freder, your comment that "In fact, we did everything we could to keep Saddam in power" is utter nonsense. It was, in fact, France and Russia that were keeping Saddam in power. Witness the weapons the Iraqi army was using for one. And follow the money trail.

Even then, it wouldn't have made much of a difference since Saddam, like Castro and many other dictators was remarkably adept at staying alive (mainly by killing anyone he perceived to be a threat.)

Doyle said...

Boy where does that Kerry get off insinuating (or not) that the undereducated risk getting stuck in Iraq?

Oh.

Righteous Bubba said...

It would be an extreme betrayal for us to leave.

To whom? The 6 in 10 Iraqis who think attacking US troops is a good idea? Or the 7 in 10 who want the US out? Or the 78% who believe the US is provoking more violence?

The Jerk said...

Seems like neither party has much of a plan to undo Bush's mess. Certainly Fenrisulven and co. haven't offered any of the solutions they are constantly requiring of other commenters here. We can at least vote for the people who are least likely to create further messes in the future. Plus they don't have nuts like the Save Terri! crowd, which is a nice bonus.

Revenant said...

If your fear doesn't hold you back, let me know when you want to come visit

I live in the most racially and ethnically mixed state in America, you silly little man. I just don't share the Democratic belief that some races deserve better treatment than others. I prefer a non-racist society, which is one of the reasons I'm a Republican-voting libertarian.

Your belief that Republicans are motivated by "fear" is precisely why the Democrats needed an Iraqi quagmire to have *any* chance at power, and why you'll be out of power again in 2008. Your policies aren't popular; you don't understand America. You achieve majorities only when people get sick of Republicans.

No, trust me. They're not happy with all the "things" purchased at the price of their freedoms.

I haven't lost any freedoms. I have, on the other hand, saved thousands of dollars in taxes that otherwise would have been swiped by Democrats and used to buy votes for them.

Revenant said...

"Well, history shows us that neither the European political elite nor the domestic left gives a shit when Arabs and Iranians butcher each other."

Oh, like the Reagan administration got all upset when Saddam was gassing his own people and the Iranians in the '80s.

I simply pointed out that the left would stop caring about Iraqi bloodshed once we weren't involved. I never said that the right cared in the first place.

A case in point is Palestine and Jordan. Jordan dealt with the PLO through wholesale slaughter, and has since been relatively free of problems. Israel tried dealing with them the way we're dealing with Iraq, through a mix of military and diplomatic action aimed at minimizing civilian casualties. Forty years later they're no better off than they were when they started. Meanwhile, Jordan's got a better international rep in European and left-wing circles than Israel does.

The same would work in Iraq. If the Iranians simply went in and butchered the Sunnis wholesale until they were too broken and crippled to put up a fight, nobody would care. Well, you'd probably get a few editorials about how the whole thing was America's fault somehow, but by and large it wouldn't draw much comment. If we did that, we'd never hear the end of it. Sheesh, we're still hearing about the fucking Indians, and that was a hundred years ago and more.

Revenant said...

Boy where does that Kerry get off insinuating (or not) that the undereducated risk getting stuck in Iraq?

That's funny, Doyle -- just last week you were saying how it was a total lie that Kerry had meant anything of the sort. Does your posting of that link mean you've gotten back in touch with reality?

Of course, now that I look at the link I see that it has nothing to do with uneducated people being sent to Iraq. So I guess that's a "no".

Old Dad said...

Doyle,

Don't be a dope. The Kerry meme is that the troops are like you, dopey. He could care less if the shameless hucksters in uniform are gulled into serving Chimpy. He only needs them to be stupid, as do you. So where's the rub?

Of course, we might consider the evidence before smearing the troops, but that's impossible because the data argues that the troops are way above average in every regard.

Oh, they may not be as average as you and your smart ass college buddies. In fact, I'm sure that they took your girl friends, or maybe not, and kicked sand in your pasty white faces.

So there.

Doyle said...

Does your posting of that link mean you've gotten back in touch with reality?

No, although I expected you all to conclude as much. I still don't believe that Kerry was, as much as it sounded like it, referring to the troops as dumb.

I'm just saying that obviously some Army recruiters are under the impression that students/would-be troops might buy that the war is over.

Doyle said...

He only needs them to be stupid, as do you.

No, don't you get it? It's the recruiters that need them to be stupid, or at least hope they are.

I don't believe that enlisted men and women are stupid, or more stupid than the average American. I have a lot of respect for those who question the war and still do the exceedingly dangerous jobs they swore to do. I have less respect for those that enlisted because it affords them the chance to blow away some ragheads, but I know they're a minority (so to speak), and on the whole I Support The Troops. I just think don't think they should be left in Iraq much longer.

Mark said...

Derve wrote:When you live and work, raise and educate your children in economically and ethnically integrated environments, you learn to look past color and judge on actions, content of character.


That's a laugh. Liberals like Derve work with middle-class blacks who know that when in mixed racial company they need to put on an agreeable front. It's sure not the black underclass he's talking about - just go on down to a majority-black underclass neighborhood some evening and see how much harmoniousness you experience. (Just got back from the Borat movie where in one brief clip as Borat is driving through black urban Atlanta, a black man on the curb steps out to spit on Borat's car as he passes.)

And if you'd like to know what black middle-class people really think about whites, go to one of the many black community web sites on the internet - sites which, I would point out, are explicitly race-oriented - and read the bulletin boards where black people let down their hair (so to speak) and talk freely with other blacks about the issues of the day. See if, after that, you still think that people who live in integrated communities are "over" race.

Poor white liberals. I mean really. You are pretty much the only group in the country that actually believes race means nothing. And you aren't reproducing at a replacement rate. I don't think there are going to be any white American liberals by the end of this century. The realities of trying to live in a country where they are a racial minority will have beat all the idealism out of them. Just like the white South African anti-apartheid writers who have been leaving the country and moving to places like Australia because it has become too much of a dangerous nightmare for them.

Old Dad said...

Doyle,

"No, don't you get it? It's the recruiters that need them to be stupid, or at least hope they are."

Pathetic. So magic recruiters gull hapless minorities and white trash into enlisting--those heartless bastards! Preying on the stupid!!

But then these dregs of humanity become--extraordinarily competent. Those recruiters aren't hucksters, they're gods.

Think it through, pal. The data proves that the troops are smart. Ergo, it makes perfect sense to recruit morons? One of us doesn't get it. You choose. America will choose tomorrow.

chickenlittle said...

Here's something off topic:
The only Dem I'm thinking of voting for tomorrow is Jerry Brown for CA attorney general. Anybody wanna a make a case against him?

Doyle said...

But then these dregs of humanity become--extraordinarily competent.

Or they become--amputees, or dead, or messed up psychologically. I feel safe saying, without impugning the honor or intelligence of the troops, that being an American soldier in Iraq is a decidedly shitty job. It's one that the president says has to be done, and they serve at the pleasure of the president. But one reason soldiers command so much respect is that they're doing something most of us don't want to do.

Doyle said...

One of us doesn't get it. You choose. America will choose tomorrow.

I believe, but am less sure than I'd like to be, that America will choose you as the one of us that doesn't get it. As it happens that question is actually on the ballot in 13 states.

Old Dad said...

Doyle,

There are "troops are idiots" initiatives on thirteen ballots tomorrow?

Simon said...

The Jerk said...
"[The Democrats] don't have nuts like the Save Terri! crowd"

That's right, they have nuts like the Save Roe! crowd instead.

Ti-Guy said...

Democrat common sense: Like Parisans, looking the other way as 100 autos are torched every night for a year by "youths".

What are you talking about, you Southern Fat Pig?

salvage said...

>It would be an extreme betrayal for us to leave.

And yet you're cool with the betrayal that landed America there, y'know the lying liars? WMD? Is that irony or something else I wonder?

And if pulling out improved Iraq would you be in favor of it in that case? Because some folks, some of them who saw this debacle coming, say that pulling out would help.

They may be right or wrong, personally I doubt there is anyway to avoid further bloodshed in Iraq. There is no right choice when you've driven off a cliff, you can just hope that the airbag somehow helps.

But I suspect you'd be against anything that smacks of defeat because it's not about Iraq, Freedom or anything else. It's about hubris and nationalism for you. It's about USA! USA! USA! isn't it?

You want your victory / vindication parade and you don't care how you get it.

Well it's not going to happen Althouse, Iraq will go down in modern history as not only as a bloody blunder but one that was chosen by people just like you.

Fenrisulven said...

And yet you're cool with the betrayal that landed America there, y'know the lying liars? WMD? Is that irony or something else I wonder?

The irony is that you're the one lying. Using the tired old "Bush Lied" lie.

Fenrisulven said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Righteous Bubba said...

The irony is that you're the one lying. Using the tired old "Bush Lied" lie.

Oh yeah, he's been completely forthright and clear about what his aims were. What were those aims again?

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