January 25, 2007

"We have to have the stomach to finish the task."

Dick Cheney faces down Wolf Blitzer:
BLITZER: Here's what Jim Webb, Senator from Virginia, said in his Democratic response last night. He said:

"The President took us into the war recklessly. We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable and predicted disarray that has followed."

And it's not just Jim Webb, it's some of your good Republican friends in the Senate and the House, are now seriously questioning your credibility because of the blunders, of the failures. All right, Gordon Smith --

CHENEY: Wolf, Wolf, I simply don't accept the premise of your question. I just think it's hogwash. Remember --

BLITZER: What, that there were no blunders? The President himself says there were blunders --

CHENEY: Remember, remember me -- remember with me what happened in Afghanistan. The United States was actively involved in Afghanistan in the '80s supporting the effort against the Soviets. The Mujahideen prevailed, everybody walked away. And in Afghanistan, within relatively short order, the Taliban came to power, they created a safe haven for al Qaeda, training camps were established where some 20,000 terrorists trained in the late '90s. And out of that, out of Afghanistan, because we walked away and ignored it, we had the attack on the USS Cole, the attack on the embassies in East Africa, and 9/11, where the people trained and planned in Afghanistan for that attack and killed 3,000 Americans. That is what happens when we walk away from a situation like that in the Middle East.

Now you might have been able to do that before 9/11. But after 9/11, we learned that we have a vested interest in what happens on the ground in the Middle East. Now, if you are going to walk away from Iraq today and say, well, gee, it's too tough, we can't complete the task, we just are going to quit, you'll create exactly that same kind of situation again.

Now, the critics have not suggested a policy. They haven't put anything in place. All they want to do, all they've recommended is to redeploy or to withdraw our forces. The fact is, we can complete the task in Iraq. We're going to do it. We've got Petraeus -- General Petraeus taking over. It is a good strategy. It will work. But we have to have the stomach to finish the task.

BLITZER: What if the Senate passes a resolution saying, this is not a good idea. Will that stop you?

CHENEY: It won't stop us, and it would be, I think detrimental from the standpoint of the troops, as General Petraeus said yesterday. He was asked by Joe Lieberman, among others, in his testimony, about this notion that somehow the Senate could vote overwhelmingly for him, send him on his new assignment, and then pass a resolution at the same time and say, but we don't agree with the mission you've been given.

BLITZER: So you're moving forward no matter what the consequences?

CHENEY: We are moving forward. We are moving forward. The Congress has control over the purse strings. They have the right, obviously, if they want, to cut off funding. But in terms of this effort, the President has made his decision. We've consulted extensively with them. We'll continue to consult with the Congress. But the fact of the matter is, we need to get the job done. I think General Petraeus can do it. I think our troops can do it. And I think it's far too soon for the talking heads on television to conclude that it's impossible to do, it's not going to work, it can't possibly succeed.

77 comments:

buffpilot said...

Congress will pass a meaningless resolution, but will do absolutely nothing to end the Iraq Campaign. The Democrats do not have the guts to cut off funding, something they can do, and force our surrender (by running away from the central front in the war) to the Islamic terrorists.

One time I'm glad the Dems don't have a spine.

Anonymous said...

"But the fact of the matter is, we need to get the job done."

No, that's not the fact of the matter. The "job" was bungled so many times that now it's probably not capable of being repaired, and in a last minute, dire straights roll of dice to save presidential hides now more lives are being put on the line.

Colbert was right: they get their "facts" from their gut!

Jack Wayne said...

I'd believe this if Bush hasn't consistently shown that he's not really interested in winning. He's replaying the blunders of Viet Nam all over again. He's trying not to lose.

ginabina said...

AMEN!

Simon said...

I think it's smart -- and correct -- for Cheney to point out the obvious: that this resolution is quite lame. Congress has the power to bring the war to an end, and if it chooses not to use that power, it can't very well complain when it gets ignored.

When Congress has the power to take real and binding action within its expressly-delegated powers, declines to exercise it, and instead takes only symbolic or hortatory action, I would think executive action would fall within category two of Justice Jackson's Youngstown framework, not category three.

Al Maviva said...

The first rule of confrontations, whether they are in the schoolyard, the bar, or nation-states, is you don't back away until the other guy is either (1) really, truly done fighting you, or, (2) really, truly done kicking your ass. It's how to get decked really badly by that guy, or to get abused by *everybody* next time you go into that bar or schoolyard or party of the world. Failure to fight to a victory or the bitter end, creates an impression of weakness that bullies will prey on. Nations, and people, shouldn't advertise they are 'punks.' It invites abuse.

Cheney points out that regardless of what you think of anything else, that's the type of situation we're in in Iraq - same too in Afghanistan. As has been pointed out by a lot of small wars experts, and most recently the Chief of Staff and Commandant, and Gen. Petraeus, the life cycle of an insurgency is usually around 10 years. This can be longer when the insurgency is driven by outside forces - see, e.g. Iran and funding from Salafists in the Saudi royal family, and that's the broader problem. But that's the deal.

If you take the loss of a bunch of money, and ~3000 lives as sufficient to count as a military loss on the geopolitical stage, then this country probably doesn't have any business being a nation state, and should divvy up the assets between a couple other countries willing to do the things necessary to be a nation state. The anti-war crowd constantly holds up "negotiation" as the answer to all things - Iran's nuclear and regional ambitions, the Israeli/Palestianian /Lebanon/ Iran/Syria problem, trade issues with Europe, whatever. You back out of Iraq (and you know 'get us out of Afghanistan is next') the U.S. will have zero credibility. It will be fun to bash Bush when Preznit Clinton can't seem to negotiate favorable trade standards with China or the EU or negotiate a coalition to contain Iran as it seeks to control the Mediterranean, but the loss of credibility can be prevented right now.

Be careful what you wish for. You may just get it, good and hard.

peter hoh said...

I wish the White House had had the stomach to accept Rumsfeld's resignation when it was first tendered.

Ann Althouse said...

"The first rule of confrontations, whether they are in the schoolyard, the bar, or nation-states..."

Or blogging... (My approach, anyway!)

tjl said...

"I think it's far too soon for the talking heads on television to conclude that it's impossible to do."

Cheney is right about the results of withdrawal. Cheney may be right in believing that some sort of acceptable outcome is still possible militarily. Cheney is wrong in thinking that finishing the job will find domestic political support. The tipping point has passed, as shown by the number of Republican senators jumping ship. John McCain's defense of the surge has been conspicuous by its isolation. (McCain is doing what he believes to be the right thing even though the damage to his own prospects is obvious).

The aftermath of withdrawal will be an entirely predictable bloodbath in Iraq and an immense morale boost to our vindicated enemies. But these disasters will do less harm to the nation than a replay of the bitter domestic divisions that played out under LBJ. Nothing could give greater opportunities to our enemies than the spectacle of Congress in open confrontation with the White House to force an end to the war.


Bush is now far weaker politically than LBJ. Sooner or later he will have to reach some accommodation with the Dems and withdraw the troops. And we can all brace ourselves for a reenactment of the killing fields, and worse things to follow.

RogerA said...

Buffpilot and Simon are both on it: The House of Reps with the Senate concurring, could end this war immediately--they simply dont have the stomach for it; when I hear Chuck Hagel pontificating about selling shoes and congressional courage, I want to vomit. If the democrats believe what they has said about the war then suck it up, cut of spending, and get on with it.

But they are full of sound and fury and signify nothing--on top of that they are gutless, as well as tesitical and ovaryless.

Wade_Garrett said...

Cheney is totally full of crap, and he's reached an almost Nixonian level of arrogance. He doesn't even deal with the substance of the questions, because he doesn't accept the legitimacy of anybody who questions the administration's, which is to say his, decision-making.

Futhermore, you did not address the exchange that Blitzer and Cheney had about his daughter. Its pefectly legitimate to ask a public official about the way in which he refuses to admit that his party is ever wrong about ANYTHING, including their desire to prevent his beloved daughter from ever obtaining any legal rights and protections in her personal life. Its shameful and he should be called out on it every time he appears on tv from today until the Republican party changes its position.

Anonymous said...

"We have to have the stomach to finish the task."

And we have to have the stomach to do what is necessary. I have been optimistic that the President gets it and is finally taking his hands off the ROE and will take the fight to Iran more directly. Yes, we can finish the task by being namby pamby but it will take much longer and cost much more which leads to the danger that domestic politics will remove the option to finish. Now all we can do is wait and see how Petraeus performs.

David said...

The democrats want their cake and eat it too! They voted for the war knowing full well that Saddam was on the hunt for WMD even after using the chemical component of WMD on the Kurds.

The democrats have been actively subverting the prosecution of this war from the beginning. They hate Bush so much that they risk the security of this country to protest Kerry's loss (I voted for the war before I voted against it) in 2004.

Certainly mistakes were made in the GWOT focused in Iraq. The important point is that something was attempted besides the limp-wristed handwringing proposed by the left. Had Bush gone in with a heavy footprint after Baghdad was taken the howls from the left would have been deafening behind images of collateral damage.

History is being made and the democrats will be pilloried in the future for their focus on wealth redistribution in the face of Islamic fundamentalism. The democrats remind me of the bicycle salesman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The sheriff is recruiting a posse to chase Butch and Sundance when someone in the crowd says "Are you crazy, we could get killed!" The salesman then steps up and takes the crowd away from the sheriff and talks about a future filled with bicycles.

Bank robbery? What bank robbery!
9/11? What 9/11!

Joe said...

Expanding on Jack Wayne's comment, yes, if we send additional troops and they do nothing other than what our troops have been doing, patrolling and being targets, then yes, the surge is doomed to failure. But if our troops are allowed to fight, pursue and kill the enemy, without restriction, there is a chance to succeed, in fact that is the only chance of success. Our military are not police. If they are not fighting the enemy then there is no reason for their presence.

Simon said...

Ann Althouse said...
"'The first rule of confrontations, whether they are in the schoolyard, the bar, or nation-states...' Or blogging... (My approach, anyway!)"

The burden of posessing a magnetic personality is that some people will be attracted and some repelled. ;)

Anonymous said...

Dick Cheney is a serial liar, and only the willfully ignorant would promote his arguments at this point.

vnjagvet said...

Hear, Hear Alma.

3000 deaths = One tough month in Vietnam; One tough day in WWII; Or three tough hours at the World Trade Center.

Anonymous said...

Doyle said "Dick Cheney is a serial liar, and only the willfully ignorant would promote his arguments at this point."

3 examples please.

Trey

Anonymous said...

You back out of Iraq (and you know 'get us out of Afghanistan is next') the U.S. will have zero credibility.

You poor chump. You INVADE Iraq and the US will have zero credibility. Our government told its own people and the rest of the world that the invasion was necessary when they knew perfectly well it was not. They just thought it would be a good idea!

From a domestic standpoint, they took comfort in the presence of millions of blowhards like yourself who think starting wars is always a good decision.

You people keep acting as though it will only be a disgrace if we STOP fighting the [Iraqi civil] war. As if that, more than the fact that we now know we were lied to, would be the real shame. In the meantime, you just shrug off thousands of American [and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi] deaths as the acceptable cost of feeling like a geopolitical badass.

Please stop breeding.

Joe said...

3,000 deaths = a matter of minutes in the Civil War.

MadisonMan said...

3000 deaths = a couple seconds at Hiroshima.

Pogo said...

The House and Senate Democrats know full well that their careers would be over if they actually voted against funding the troops, so they held their noses, and complained and whined and denied responsibility.

Cowards.
How Kos and the left can still support them is beyond me.

David said...

Doyle:

I would be interested in your explanantion regarding the activities of Hezbollah currently fomenting civil war in Lebanon against a democratically elected government! Also, enlighten us on the recent Hezbollah attacks on Israel on the Lebanese/Israeli border.

Add to that the Ethiopian incursion into Somalia that routed the radical islamists and I believe we have some dots to connect.

Anonymous said...

Congress will pass a meaningless resolution, but will do absolutely nothing to end the Iraq Campaign. The Democrats do not have the guts to cut off funding, something they can do, and force our surrender (by running away from the central front in the war) to the Islamic terrorists. One time I'm glad the Dems don't have a spine.

It's funny we are on a Cheney thread, (who received 5 deferrments when his country called on him to fight), and yet it's the Dems who don't have a "spine" or the "guts". 4 years later we can't even secure the road from the airport to Baghdad, and this vampire and his harpie wife have the gall to accuse his fellow Americans of not having the stomach to finish the task?

There is no plan, never been a plan. They've wanted total chaos from the start. Many more opportunities in chaos, and this is just Phase I in the neocon maniacal scorched earth policy of remaking of the Middle East.

PatCA said...

Wade,
I saw the tape of Blitzer needling Cheney about his lesbian daughter's pregnancy, and he never asked a single question about marriage. Like the Democrats, he doesn't have the guts to walk his talk. I'm a former Democrat--and as disgusted as I am by their sophomoric pacifism and liberalism, I was surprised to see them pass a non-binding anti-war resolution on the same day that the polls reported that 75-80% of the people liked Bush's speech!

They are appealing to the far left 20% with their toothless speechifying and leaving the governing to the other party. Too bad they are also playing into the hands of our enemies. But all's fair in love and politics, I guess.

vbspurs said...

3,000 deaths = a matter of minutes in the Civil War.

George Lakoff said that Republicans have successfully "framed" debates by knowing just how to put things, to be readily understood by and to resonate with the American people.

And no offence, but this, plus the other "3000" correlations in the posts above, is amongst the first reasons, of why we're losing the debate on Iraq.

I know, believe me as an historian I know, that 3000 people dead say, at the Battle of Verdun, is but a mere drop in the blood bucket, but you just can't make these types of arguments today without sounding heartless.

Does anyone think we can fight wars like we did, even a mere 30-50 years ago?

Can you light up Coventry with incendaries, pound Stalingrad and hold its citizenry captive to starve, bomb Dresden to bits, or send HUNDREDS of thousands of boys to their deaths in the matter of hours like we did in earlier wars?

No?

Of course not. It's impossible, because our standards of warfare have changed DRASTICALLY.

Then, let's not make these types of arguments.

We know it's true that 3000 dead is a near miracle for the type of war Iraq is, but the time when you can say it, is past.

Cheers,
Victoria

RogerA said...

Naked Lunch--excepting the rather silly ad hominems in your post, please explain why, if the democratic party really believe this war to be a tragic and mishandled mistake--please explain to us why they wont exercise their constitutional power to end it forthwith?

Pogo said...

Re: "Phase I in the neocon maniacal scorched earth policy of remaking of the Middle East."

Thus spake the Mayor of Crazytown.

Al Maviva said...

Okay Naked Lunch, so Cheney is a chickehawk, thus he's not qualified to comment on U.S. war politics? You want to argue chickenhawk? We can do that.

Are you in favor of finishing the job in Afghanistan, sticking around until AQ and the Talibs are finally wiped out? If so, did you serve in the military to help do that? If you want us to take your opinion seriously, why don't you go enlist, right now? Otherwise, please shut up on the topic (as well as the topic of civilian control of the military) as you have no basis to comment.

Wade - you didn't address Joe Wilson's lies, or Bill Clinton's failure to take action after the '93 WTC bombings. How you could have any credibility in any argument, after failing to address a whole range of off-topic topics, just like Ann just did, is beyond me.

And Doyle - congratulations. Thanks for bringing a little slice of the irrational, talking-points-based hatred of Democratic Underground into our daily blog browsing. It serves to remind us that Althouse and this comments section is a pretty special place, with a diverse commentariat that is generally devoid of the bile spewing that occurs in a lot of the political fever swamps elsewhere on the web.

Anonymous said...

A non-binding resolution is nothing more than legislative masturbation.

These Senators need to either sh1t or get off the pot.

Anonymous said...

if the democratic party really believe this war to be a tragic and mishandled mistake...

Is there any doubt that it is? And "mishandled" is for weasels. It was a bad idea in every respect.

One reason they might not force immediate withdrawal is that they believe things will get even worse if we do that, but that is hardly something Bush followers should be proud of.

Joe said...

The 3,000 dead references are just to offer some historical perspective. When politicians speak of Iraq as a "grinder" and our troops as "cannon fodder" they are posturing and clearly don't know what they are talking about.

Anonymous said...

Our government told its own people and the rest of the world that the invasion was necessary when they knew perfectly well it was not. They just thought it would be a good idea!

This is the weirdest criticism of the Iraq war I've ever read. Doyle, do you really live your life that way? You have what you think is a good idea, but you don't act on it, unless it's "necessary."

You must spend a lot of time in bed.

Look, I loathe Dick Cheney. I think that both he and Bush have fumbled so many things about this war, especially the politics.

But the annoying fact of the matter is: Cheney's 100 percent right.

This is not a war for glory (if such a thing ever existed.) It is a painful, ugly war, perhaps made worse by our lousy leadership, but ugly in even the best circumstances. But given what happened in Afghanistan, this country (as the West's proxy) had no choice but to insert itself into the chaos of the Middle East, and seek to gain military influence there. It's hard to see it, I know, but our actions there have had many benefits.

Someone said to me the other day that Democrats seems to think diplomacy is an alternative to military power. This is so foolish and wrong-headed, and every Democratic president before Carter knew it. You can't conduct effective diplomacy unless and until you have the strength to back up your positions, and have shown the willingness to do so. We can't "negotiate" a better day for Iraq if we're shouting from every rooftop that "if you don't stop shooting at us, we're leaving!" Why should the factions listen to us or trust us if all we're doing is begging to find a way out? We need some resolve now.

Look, as a Democrat, I open my newspaper every morning looking for a smart Democrat to tell me what we should do. A new idea. A new strategy. All I see is posturing, and a bunch of pointless finger-pointing rhetoric like Doyle's. It's a big feel-good over there. But it's not leadership.

Anonymous said...

Naked Lunch--excepting the rather silly ad hominems in your post, please explain why, if the democratic party really believe this war to be a tragic and mishandled mistake--please explain to us why they wont exercise their constitutional power to end it forthwith?

Like Pelosi can get on her satellite phone, and start directing a massive airlift of 150k troops? I honestly don't know how, or even what Congress can do, and I doubt you do either. It would be hard to fathom that the 2007 Budget hasn't been already set yet, and even if they can cut off funds, what makes you think Bush will give the Executive Order for their withdrawl? We aren't dealing with rational people. If you can lay out a plan whereby Congress can end this war, and get the troops already there, home safely, I'd love to see it.

3,000 deaths = a matter of minutes in the Civil War.

So 9/11 was no big deal then. Right?

Jacob said...

"The United States was actively involved in Afghanistan in the '80s supporting the effort against the Soviets. The Mujahideen prevailed, everybody walked away."
Yeah! The Secretary of Defense back then really dropped the ball! Oh wait...

Joe said...

"So 9/11 was no big deal then.."
A non sequitur if ever there was one. There is no reasonable response to such an inane comment.

Al Maviva said...

And no offence, but this, plus the other "3000" correlations in the posts above, is amongst the first reasons, of why we're losing the debate on Iraq.

The nature of war hasn't changed. Our inability in the west to cope with the reality of it, is what has changed.

We apparently don't want to deal with the larger questions of middle east and south asian politics, and "deal" with it by not mentioning it, by trying to 'frame the debate' in such a way that it all sounds like a series of painless choices - fish or chicken, potatoes or rice. This pretend play has resulted in the U.S. taking half-assed steps to stop our enemies, and cringing at the cost every step of the way. Babytalk about the struggle we're locked in won't make the reality go away. War isn't painless, and in pretending it is or could be rendered painless, we render ourselves incapable of making rational decisions. Heck, we can't even get to grips with the nature of the enemy we're fighting ("Let's just negotiate with them... surely they are reasonable and will recognize a good bargain when we offer it...") What makes you think Babytalk Nation is going to make the right political decisions about the war if the nature of the larger struggle we're in, is carefully hidden from them?

Richard Dolan said...

I thought Bush (and now Cheney) were both clear and persuasive. Others on this string have already elaborated on the reasons why the alternatives to perserving in Iraq result in unacceptable outcomes, and there's no benefit in repeating what they have already said.

But it's not enough for the President's policy to be right, or even vital to the security of the US and its allies. It also has to be achievable given existing realities. The argument I see for calling it quits now, as the Dems and some commenters here want to do, is the contention that it is no longer possible to achieve an acceptable outcome in Iraq. Bush gave his description of "acceptable" in the SOTU -- leaving Iraq as a functioning civil society, with a gov't capable of maintaining order and suppressing sectarian violence, such that it will not become a base for radical Islamic terrorism. That the US in conjunction with the Iraqi gov't could bring to bear sufficient force, applied over a sufficient period of time, to achieve such a result strikes me as a given. The question is not about ability, but about political will.

Despite the efforts of Bush and Cheney, the loss of the necessary domestic political will is already greatly advanced. It is all well and good to dismiss the Dem opposition -- non-binding resolutions, the fear of acting on their stated views by cutting off funding, the refusal to act responsibly, etc. -- as the opposite of a profile in courage. But the fact remains that, in a country divided 50/50, a policy requiring the commitment of American forces for the long term cannot succeed, cannot even be maintained, in the teeth of united opposition by either major political party. The Dems supported the Iraq war at the beginning, but can hardly be said to do so now. Nor is there any reason to believe that any improvement that Gen. Petraeus may be able to generate on the ground in Baghdad will be big enough, visible enough or soon enough to change their minds.

While I agree with the reasons spelled out by Bush and Cheney for the importance of persevering in Iraq, as well as the awful consequences of a failure to do so, it is hard to see how perseverance as a policy can possibly succeed given the defeatist convictions that have taken hold domestically and that are all-but-official policy with the Dems. The Senate's proposed non-binding resolutions make it impossible even for the dimmest terrorist leader to miss that reality. McCain, Lieberman and Gen. Petraeus, each in their way, made that point during the Senate hearings earlier this week, all to no avail. We are thus in the impossible position that, if the terrorists just keep doing the same thing that they've been doing in Iraq, it is only a matter of time -- and probably not that long either -- before the Americans start pulling out. To me, this means that the ability to change the political dynamic has effectively been surrendered to the terrorists themselves, in that the only event that might change the continuing loss of political will would be an act by the terrorists overplaying their hand, by undertaking major terrorist activity outside Iraq.

I hope that serious people -- both on the Dem side and the Rep side -- are planning now about how the US and its allies will deal with those awful consequences if, as seems likely, they come to pass. Instead, too many just seem consumed by the partisan infighting and bickering, focused on whatever may be of immediate political advantage.

dick said...

Interesting that the democrats are so against the war when they supported it to start with and in fact in 1998 voted to give the president - old what's his name who is not supposed to be mentioned because he is not president now so can't be blamed for all his screwups - the authority to change the government of Iraq. Now those same democrats are in full support of Saddam and what he did in Iraq and we were so wrong to change the government of Iraq. Of course it had nothing to do with that ex-president, not the one bloviating so much but the one who is married to the harpy, not having the stones to do what he asked them to give him the authority to do. Now we are supposed to believe that it was his sheer statesmanship - like sending Carter to NORK or selling secrets to the Chinese or closing his eyes to the Oil for Food scandal or laughing about that great guy, Berger, stealing the secrets from the Archives.

Now we are supposed to believe that the democrats are supporting the troops when they talk about cutting the funding or talk about negotiating away all that the troops have succeeded and are succeeding in accomplished. Why that great military genius Murtha who wants to deploy the troops in Okinawa where they will be a rapid response unit - only 10 hours and two refuelings away - makes a lot of sense, no???

I think the dems realize that if they do cut the funding then all the crap they have been spewing for the past 3+ years will be for nought as the people will turn away from them in droves. Cutting the funding will ensure another Vietnam debacle and they can't take that. They got away with it the first time because the media was supporting them and there was not one to oppose. That is no longer true and the dems had better realize that one. The people will turn out for the troops when they come back and not to spit on them and when the troops talk about what was really going on that the media won't tell us, the dems will be in deep doo doo!

Pogo said...

Re: "I honestly don't know how, or even what Congress can do, and I doubt you do either."

Well, here's a thought, Mr. Mayor: defund it. It's completely within their power to stop the war quite soon.

So, Mayor Naked and Princess of Peace Doyle, we are led to ask, if the Democrats are so against the war, why aren't they stopping the funds?

RogerA said...

Naked Lunch: What could Pelosi do--is that a serious question? Do you not understand that the Congress controls the purse? that money bills have to originate in the HR? Do you not understand that all congress has to do in the defense appropriations bill is to say that no funding authorized therein may be used to support combat operations in Iraq or where ever.

Suggestion: read the Constitution of the United States--its has all kinds of interesting stuff like that.

So lets assume that what I have told you is true--and it is--why doesnt congress do that? Its controlled by democrats, and they can do it tomorrow.

RogerA said...

Doyle: I am agreeing with you that the effort is both mishandled and has tragic consequences. Same question for you as a patriotic concerned american: the democrats won and control the legislative branch--why dont they end the war tomorrow?

Anonymous said...

Look, as a Democrat, I open my newspaper every morning looking for a smart Democrat to tell me what we should do. A new idea. A new strategy.

A new strategy? Why would we need a new strategy, John? If things had been going badly, surely the president wouldn’t have waited until after the 2006 elections [the war, you’ll recall, began in 2003] to carefully review the findings of the ISG and then separately devise his fiendishly brilliant “send about 20,000 more troops” plan. I mean what about that plan doesn’t reek of impending success?

Anonymous said...

No really Doyle, please give me examples of Cheney's lies. 3 would give me enough to check them out. Please.

Trey

Anonymous said...

Howdy,

Remember when Saddam was getting his neck stretched and people were arguing that killing him wouldn't do anything worthwhile? Well, it's not definitive proof but Instapundit just posted this excerpt:

"The wider Sunni insurgency — the groups beyond Al Qaeda — is being slowly, and surely, defeated. The average insurgent today feels demoralized, disillusioned, and hunted. Those who have not been captured yet are opting for a quieter life outside of Iraq. Al Qaeda continues to grow for the time being as it cannibalizes the other insurgent groups and absorbs their most radical and hardcore fringes into its fold. The Baathists, who had been critical in spurring the initial insurgency, are becoming less and less relevant, and are drifting without a clear purpose following the hanging of their idol, Saddam Hussein. Rounding out this changing landscape is that Al Qaeda itself is getting a serious beating as the Americans improve in intelligence gathering and partner with more reliable Iraqi forces.

In other words, battling the insurgency now essentially means battling Al Qaeda. This is a major accomplishment."

We are making progress and killing Saddam was part of that. I do wish people would spend more time listening to the soldiers on the ground rather than people trying to score political points by spinning everything as doom and gloom.

David said...

Naked Lunch;

What kind of answer is that? They end the war by cutting off funding immediately like they did to the South Vietnamese. Another alternative, already voiced by the disgraced Murtha is to transfer our troops 'over the horizon' ready to pounce at a moments notice.

Pelosi blinks so much she would have trouble dialing up the pentagon to issue the order. These weenies know that they have no plan and if they did it would turn into another rout like the fiasco in Mogadishu, the limp wristed response after WTC 93, failure to take out Osama when they had the chance, etc.

Led by the peanut farmer, Carter, ad hoc spokesman for the Saudi's, the foreign policy of the U.S. under the democrats would look like a three stooges comedy routine.

You pretend to know what is good for the flyover states under the guise of noblesse oblige! Typical French thinking with an American twist: noballs oblige!

The playbook for urban warfare is being developed. When it is implemented, people like you will puke on your Gucci loafers and Manolo Blahnik pumps. I can only hope that General Petraeus takes off the gloves, loosens the ROE, tells the civilians to vacate Baghdad through checkpoints, and send those remaining to Allah in an expeditious manner.

A few incursions into Iran and Syria would be welcome too. Al qaeda and the radical franchises that share a hatred of the west are on the run. The only hope they have is people like Doyle, Naked Lunch, and the other handwringers with no idea how to defend themselves.

Anonymous said...

Cheney's how I like my bastards: ornery.

I'm not sure the era of megadeaths in war is necessarily over. This may be a respite like the 18th century was to the 17th. Besides, the defacto historically casuality rates will change how war is perceived in other ways. The more automated it becomes... the more likely, I think. This is not good, but I don't think we've really grasped how much has changed, and what that means to the likely hood of war in the future.

Freder Frederson said...

The 3,000 dead references are just to offer some historical perspective. When politicians speak of Iraq as a "grinder" and our troops as "cannon fodder" they are posturing and clearly don't know what they are talking about.

The callous use of "only 3000 dead" Americans of course ignores the 25,000 plus wounded (and the much higher wounded to dead ratio in this war than any other which although it is a good thing conceals the true cost of this war--if wounded to dead ratios paralleled that of Vietnam we would be well over 4000 dead by now) the coalition forces and last but not least the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Iraqis who have died in this war.

MadisonMan said...

As I noted several weeks ago, the 3000 dead in Iraq cannot (well, should not) be compared to deaths in earlier wars because of great advances in wartime medicine. People who in past wars would haved died from their injuries now in Iraq survive them.

dick said...

Freder,

As well as the tens if not hundreds of thousands of bodies we have found buried by the saddam group that you apparently support. How about the Oil for Food and the weapons that would have bought and the development of other weapons that would have come after. That apparently does not matter to you. How about the hole in the ground in lower Manhattan. Apparently you just want to forget that. How about the buying and selling of the UN that you support so strongly - apparently the dems wanted to cede the US military to the leadership of that great organization.

At some point you have to decide if you want to relive the 1930's appeasement groups or if you have learned from history that appeasing the terrorists does not work. Apparently you have not learned yet. sliding by on the job your wife holds, as you so often remind us, just does not make up for the rotten policies you support.

Anonymous said...

George Bush had four years of pretty much undisputed support for the war from Congress. That was long enough for us to beat the Confederacy, Hitler and Imperial Japan, among others. He had the full ability to implement any strategy he thought would achieve any results, including a troop surge (wait a minute, we had 160,000 troops in Iraq during February 2005, with far more coalition forces than are there now-- so in fact there was a surge.)

The idea that we can 'win' Iraq is futile, and we will need to find a negotiated diplomatic settlement. That involves sitting down with our enemies and talking to them. Unlike past Presidents, George W. Bush has never met with a single hostile foreign leader, at least none more hostile than the Chinese who by now have been pretty well tamed and included in the world or negotiated a single peace agreement. Diplomacy has never been much of an option for this administration.

Democrats and others realize this. Maybe it's a good thing in a way that George Bush doesn't, because he is so incompetent and so inept at diplomacy (see last year's G-8 summit) that I'm not sure he is the guy who can lead us out of Iraq.

buffpilot said...

MadisonMan,

The 3,000 deaths are very apt AND very comparable with earlier wars. The US has suffered almost insignificant casualties by any benchmark you want. You want losses, truly horrendous losses? Lets see, how about first day (24 hours) of the WWI Battle of the Somme. The British (mostly) and French went over the top against an entrenched determined enemy. 24 hours later 56,000 British, 20,000 Frenchman, and 30,000 Germans were dead. At least double that were wounded. IN ONE DAY. We have lost so far the equivalent lost in 77 minutes of that first day.

We can last at this rate for a century or more if we have the will. Luckily the Dems do not have the will to surrender (do they have a spine to do ANYTHING???). Unfortunately, they also lack the courage to join the President in finding a way for victory?

Do all you surrender types really believe that if we up and leave all will become Roses? Do you not see Al Queda, with victory in Iraq in hand, swinging money and manpower into Afghanistan? Will you support the US fighting there for 10 years and another 5,000 losses? Or will you cut and run there also??

And what will you do when we get hit again? We will have no credible threat to invade anyone. And its coming, regardless if we had hit Iraq or not.

And can we drop all the crap about the start of Iraq? All you Dems voted for it when they had a chance (and don't tell me they had to, to keep their seats - Proof #1 of cowardice). It’s our war, not Bush's war, and we all win or lose together. Deal with it.

Al Maviva said...

Freder, how can you be so callous as to not discuss the other's hurt by Bush's war, like all the heat casualties at Ft. Benning during infantry training in the runup to deployment, the stevedores who throw out their backs loading tanks onto cargo vessels at Galveston, the clerks who lose their jobs at the post PX when the division is deployed, the strip joints and pawn shops outside the gates of the base that close when the troops are serving abroad, the poor taxpayers who have to pay for it and so forth. How can you not mention the terrible suffering of these other casualties of Bush's war?

In other words, nice collateral attack. I served and have a little understanding about casualties. The nature of military service and of nationhood is sometimes you need to put men and women in harm's way to do a job for the nation. The job of leaders in the chain of command is to get the mission done at a reasonable level of cost in human lives and material, and if people get killed, and equipment gets used up, that's what happens. It's sad, you hurt, but you move on - I think you lefties invented that MoveOn thing, right? People gave me orders to go here or there, do this or that, and I could have been killed; I had to give others orders to do the same thing and put themselves at similar risk. The fact that it's risky and costly, doesn't end the inquiry however. The measure of whether a military activity is worthwhile, is whether the goal is important to national security and other national interests, and whether the cost is commensurate to or lower than the activity's value to the nation. Casualty focus, unless you're talking about squandering lives like the Somme or needlessly killing civilians, is about the worst possible way to manage military operations because it guarantees you will focus too much on the costs, without giving fair consideration to the value of the goals and methods of achieving them.

It was always a concern to me when I served, that my life would be pissed away in some mission that a lack of political commitment turned into a fool's errand, and I always hoped that if I got killed in some craphole of a place, that Uncle Sam would at least have the courtesy to follow through on the mission so that my efforts wouldn't be in vain. Our bailout on Somalia after minimal casualties but an effective media campaign by the warlords was one of the most horrifying events of my military career, and those with whom I served at the time thought it would invite further trouble elsewhere from every rogue element with money enough for a few RPGs. Many of us said the same thing - I don't care if they send me to fight, as long as we are fighting to win. That meant piling on the national power, as much as necessary, to force a win. That's all we expected, and Somalia should teach us - if we're listening to bin Laden's words - we should know that retreating before victory or at least exacting a terrible cost on our enemies, only emboldens them and makes them think we are too weak and lack the will to win.

It's interesting - for all the military expertise of our liberal friends, I haven't heard one argument that addresses the two Clausewitzean precepts of war, 1) that it is merely an outgrowth of politics and diplomacy; and, 2) it is primarily a contest of wills.

Cheney notes that the national will is what ultimately determines the winner or loser, a lesson grasped by most terrorists, who believe if they can merely survive for long enough, they will win by outlasting nation-states. Bin Laden certainly grasps that point, and mentions it in his speeches.

Not a lot of debate on that point about national will in this post...

MadisonMan said...

Unrelated, but Ann, I'm hoping you saw the Editorial Cartoon in the Wisc. State Journal today. George Bush is saying "I'm very pleased to be here in patriotic Baraboo Wisconsin" or words to that effect and everyone in the background is chanting "U.S.A! U.S.A!"

Well, I thought it was worth a chuckle.

Anonymous said...

It's entirely disingenuous (but par for the course) for you wingnuts to be demanding that Congress stop the funding.

The escalation began last week. Bush has already been sending more troops in.

Thanks specifically to your attacks on Kerry et. al., there is no Congressman that will dare say "No more funds for troops already in Iraq."

If you want a Congress that can act reasonably, you must stop attacking Congressman that act reasonably, and you must stop calling 60% of the country and their congressmen traitors.

Ann, using Cheney's words exhorts, "We have to have the stomach to finish the task."

Kerry rebuts Ann by saying, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

I say, stomach Ann? How about kids. Why aren't you asking your children and your students to sign up? How come you aren't volunteering your services in the Green Zone? Your couch and remote are too comfy for you? Not after the Iraqi terrorists land in the United States.

Anonymous said...

I do hope Patraeus's people are keeping an eye on how their guy is being set up to be the fall guy.

Cheney mentions his name four times (the 'President' just the once).

Over here American commentators have been describing Patraeus in terms of Terminator 2 meets Sophocles meets 'I love the smell of fresh napalm in the morning' meets Kissinger. (Quite a billing.)

The morning after SOTU the American Ambassador to London was on the radio saying over and over again: We've got this guy [Patraeus] who's "putting his job on the line" over this. Oh really? His job eh, not Bush's?

A lion led by elephants it seems. Better watch his back lest he gets dumped on or trampled.

It's not his fault that he's got a name that sounds like a cross between father of his country and any number of Spartan soldiers who never knew when to quit, but it may come back to haunt him.

cold pizza said...

When will this tragic loss of life end? How can we, as a free and open society, tolerate 40K+ deaths per year with 200K+ wounded? Pull the Highway Patrol off the road NOW, they're not making any dent in the current bloodbath we face on the nation's highways! Instead, redeploy them to the border patrol where they can better be used.

The only failure is to give. Wishful thinking is not going to change the fact that we've got to deal with things as they are. We're on a hard road that has no room for politically expedient decisions, especially from a bunch of postering, pandering politicos. -cp

Joe said...

Freder, Madison, we have already established that wars cause casualties. Can we advance the discussion? The war was brought to us, if not on 9/11 then as early as 1979. Iraq cannot be separated from that wider context. As others on the thread say, it is now a matter of will. Osama says they can wear us down, and the Democrats agree.

David said...

Sidenote;

Testimony developed that Ambassador Wilson was sent to Niger by his wife on a mission that turned into a hit job on the Bush Administration.

Over the sound of crickets, I recall several on this board that railed loud and often about the outing of Plame.

Turns out Plame outed herself by sending hubby to Niger. Wilson furthered the outing by printing his oped in the NYT.

History will not be kind to these foreign policy assassins.

Anonymous said...

Jacob said...
"The United States was actively involved in Afghanistan in the '80s supporting the effort against the Soviets. The Mujahideen prevailed, everybody walked away."

Yeah! The Secretary of Defense back then really dropped the ball! Oh wait...


I can't believe you would consider this a talking point in your favor.

Did you not read the 9/11 report? The theme of that report was EVERYBODY SCREWED UP. This report was accepted by most Republicans, even though it implicated Republican leadership. Sandy Berger obviously wanted to mitigate the damage to his reputation and Clinton's, but despite that, even Democratic leaders will, on a good day, if they've had their muffin from Starbucks, admit that not everything that happened on Clinton's watch was stellar.

So, yeah, Cheney is calling BS on himself and everyone else who served in top govt roles from about 1979 on. We misread, "misunderestimated" as Bush might say, the jihad for more than 20 years. It's a good thing Cheney isn't defensive about this. (Quite a contrast to Clinton's meltdown on Chris Wallace's show, but that's another story.)

We have a lot of mistakes to learn from. But it advances the sum of knowledge not one iota if every time one of our leaders talks about the history that underpins our policy, it becomes yet another childish "gotcha" moment for the left.

Ed said...

"the war, you’ll recall, began in 2003"

No, the war began in 1990. There was a ceasefire from 1991 to 2003, and there were several conditions on that ceasefire - chief among them that Saddam Hussein allow the UN weapons inspectors unlimited access to the country to determine the status of the known weapons of mass destruction and their production facilities. It was only after 29 UN resolutions ordering Iraq to comply with the terms of the ceasefire that the war resumed in 2003.

Anonymous said...

Thanks specifically to your attacks on Kerry et. al., there is no Congressman that will dare say "No more funds for troops already in Iraq."

If you want a Congress that can act reasonably, you must stop attacking Congressman that act reasonably, and you must stop calling 60% of the country and their congressmen traitors.


Oh boo hoo. No one put a gun to Kerry's head and said "Vote for the war or else your hair gets it." And I really don't recall anyone in a responsible position who called the members of congress who voted against the war "traitors." That's a canard. Speaking for myself, I might have thought they were wrong, but I respected them for standing up for their principles.

What did happen was Senators who tried desperately to swim from one side of the pool to the other as the politics changed were made to look ridiculous. Well, that's because they were ridiculous. They still are.

There are lots of ridiculous people who are patriots. Kerry is one of them.

("Reality check's" post reminds me of the SNL parody last Saturday, easily found on YouTube, in which the Hillary character defends her vote for the war because "everybody knew it was insincere.")

Freder Frederson said...

It's interesting - for all the military expertise of our liberal friends, I haven't heard one argument that addresses the two Clausewitzean precepts of war, 1) that it is merely an outgrowth of politics and diplomacy; and, 2) it is primarily a contest of wills.

Funny, I was just thinking that our conservative friends had failed to make an argument that addressed exactly the same thing. They have forgotten about the politics and diplomacy and think that war can settle everything and also forget that in a battle of wills that people are going to fight a lot harder for their own homes and families against (perceived) foreign invaders than support a neverending war thousands of miles away, especially when the administration--even though they claim the war is an existential fight--also claims that it will require no real sacrifice, not in blood treasure or even in the interruption of day to day routine. You can't claim on one hand this is the struggle of a generation and then turn around and tell everyone not to worry about it and go shopping.

Freder Frederson said...

All you Dems voted for it when they had a chance (and don't tell me they had to, to keep their seats - Proof #1 of cowardice). It’s our war, not Bush's war, and we all win or lose together. Deal with it.

I was disgusted that more Dems did not vote against the war in Iraq or do something to stop Bush as it became more and more obvious that the reasons for invading Iraq were bogus.

And lets go over this one more time for all you morons for whom this apparently it has not sunk in with. Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11. Saddam did not have any operational ties with Al Qaeda. The Administration admits this. To claim otherwise is to rewrite history. The war in Iraq has probably hurt our efforts against Al Qaeda and certainly hindered our efforts in Afghanistan where the Taliban is resurgent. Stop trying to tie the war in Iraq to the War on Terror. The only reason it is now a part of the war on terror is because Bush's incompetence made it that way.

RogerA said...

Reality check (the ultimate oxymoron: its entirely disengenuous...what a BS comment: for the record I support the President's effort; what I am telling you is that your party CAN act--the fact that it CHOOSES not to suggests they havent got the stomach; more seriously it certainly appears they would rather continue to sacrifice soldiers for political gain--what other interpretation is there? (There is one, BTW, and probably gets to the real reason--deep down in that gut you folks call a heart is the nagging suspicion that just maybe there is a serious threat and you KNOW that cutting off funding--a quick and easy method--would be a national security mistake.)

Dont tell me what the neocons did--that's all past; your party is in control and the ball is in their court--isnt it time to MOVE ON? So far all you have done All you have done is whine, cavil and dissemble; I dont question your patriotism; it's your Courage and Principles that are sorely lacking.

Anonymous said...

Roger A:

Democrats realize (along with a lot of Republicans) that what we are going to have to do is seek a negotiated political settlement.

It is the common sense that is sorely lacking on the part of those who are still screaming about 'winning' in Iraq.

Even Richard Nixon came to the realization that there was a time to negotiate and pull the plug on America's involvement in an otherwise endless war.

Anonymous said...

What Bush is doing seems to be what chronic gamblers are known to do: Lose, lose, lose, and then when they're down thousands of dollars, refuse to leave the table and cut their losses at that point. Instead, they keep gambling, throwing down more money in the hopes that they'll be able to make recover the money they lost and come out a winner. You know what? Usually they just end up losing even worse.

1) I'd like Bush to define what "victory" is.

2) We left Vietnam and the domino effect never happened. I refuse to believe, that if redeploy to the borders and secure the country from other foreigners getting in and let the Iraqi's have the civil war they seem to so desperately want it will not be the end of the world. It may be just peeling the band aid in one quick rip instead of painfully delaying the inevitable.

3) Liz Cheney is not Chelsea Clinton during the Clinton years. She is a full grown woman of 40 something years who has voluntarily stuck her neck out into the political world - campaigned for her father, and written books speaking against the anti-gay marriage movement. She has put herself in play (I'm not talking about nailing her by any means, but she can be talked about). It's ridiclous that Cheney is allowed to hide behind this facade of "it's personal business" to avoid answering the obvious question of how he supports political policies that stand squarely against his own family's choices.

4)I don't know what Cheney is smoking when he says (to name just a couple) 1) there have been no mistakes made in Iraq; 2) Rumsfeld did a "superb" job; 3) Making incredibly speculative statements like "if we didn't invade Iraq, Iraq would be in the middle of a nuclear arms war with Iran" SAY WHAT? Where does he get that from? 4) Everything he's said about the Scooter Libby trial.

5) Surge? Does anyone notice that this "surge" of sending in 20,000 more troops is still LESS than the amount of troops we had in Iraq two years ago. This surge will unfortunately do nothing. If we want to have any chance for obtaining anything close to the US's original goal upon invading Iraq, we need to send in tons more troops. Bush is still asking us to fight this war with one hand tied behind our back - that is a losing battle, and I refuse to be a lemming and "give it a try."

6) Why does no one ever in the government - Republicans or Democrats ever talk about what to do with Sadr? Why is that guy still running around causing all kinds of mischief in Iraq? To begin with, he's in cahoots with Iran, he's in charge of countless "death squads," and its his guys that were caused the Saddam hanging embaressment and were chanting his name in the video. It seems that everyone just ignores the problem that he is.

7) Statements that make me increasingly skeptical about the success and competency of Bush (not counting New Orleans) - When he says that Americans have had to sacrifice during this war he seriously, honest to god, says that "Americans have had to sacrifice a lot - they've had to deal with disturbing images on the tv, and they've had to pay taxes." This is the "huge" sacrifice that Americans must pay in order to fight the "greatest ideological battle of our time?" Next he's going to ask me to sacrifice even more and go shopping to support our troops. Bottom line, Bush is out of touch and detached from reality, we've been fighting this war half assed at his command and for that reason we are in the mess we're in. I'm not calling for retreat - I'm calling for realistic competency. Are troops are giving it their all representing and fighting for America abroad - Our leaders owe them and the American people nothing less.

Wade_Garrett said...

They talked about it during the same interview to which Ann referred in her post. I brought it up to further illustrate how Cheney refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of any of his critics. Futhermore, it illustrates his hypocrisy. His stance on the war, like his stance on gay issues, is hypocritical, but anybody who points that out to him is, in his view, way out of line, or acting inappropriately.

Its not that his critics are wrong, its that none of them even have the right to question him. He's so dismissive, and President Bush is the same way. At least Bill Clinton and Bob Dole and Ronald Reagan acknowledged their opponents' positions, then made the case why their own point of view was better. Cheney has no time for that. Wolf Blitzer's question wasn't out of line at all.

He comes up with a lousy plan for the war, then says that anybody who disagrees with him hates our troops and gives comfort to terrorists. He supports his administration's policies towards homosexuals, but claims to love and support his daughter, whose family would benefit from a more tolerant social policy.

Maybe Dick Cheney spends so much time in a secret bunker because he doesn't like it when responsible journalists call him out for being a total prick.

Anonymous said...

Democrats realize (along with a lot of Republicans) that what we are going to have to do is seek a negotiated political settlement.

Right, but under what conditions? The surge is meant to improve the facts on the ground in the Bagdhad region so that the political settlement is most optimal to the people of Iraq.

It is the common sense that is sorely lacking on the part of those who are still screaming about 'winning' in Iraq.

Even Richard Nixon came to the realization that there was a time to negotiate and pull the plug on America's involvement in an otherwise endless war.


Richard Nixon probably started his administration with the realization that Vietnam was a pointless sideshow in the Cold War. The only reason he continued fighting that war was the "credibility" we would allegedly lose if we let the Communists win.

To carry out your Cold War-era analogy, Iraq isn't Vietnam. It's more akin to West Germany. It's a crucial arena for a host of unsymbolic reasons -- political geography, population size, oil, to name but three.

We might lose in Iraq, but we better try our damndest not to. Gen. Petreaus thinks we can succeed with a counter-insurgency strategy. For something so important, shouldn't he be given the chance to make it happen?

Jacob said...

johnstodder–
I don't think that Dick Cheney is above criticism because other people also screwed up. Certainly he didn't extend the same courtesy to, say, John Kerry when talking about some of the things he did around that time.

Marc–
Liz Cheney isn't a Lesbian, the other daughter Mary Cheney is.

Anonymous said...

Gee Wally, I am not so sure that you can negotiate with those guys over there cutting off people's head.

Sure ya can Beav. But you go talk to them first.

Trey

AST said...

What good is a resolution authorizing war, if the very people who voted for it then change their minds and spend the next three years mewling about how it's not working and we have to cut and run, and so on. Do we have to add "And we really mean it" next time?

Next time, I suggest that the Democrats put a time limit on resolutions to use force, and a disclaimer that it only applies so long as the president's polls are over 50%. That way he wouldn't bother spending all the money to send an army overseas and depose the Taliban and Saddam only to be told, that's it, bring them home now. It's not fun anymore.

A lot of these people joined the military so they could fight, because they thought, this time, we weren't going to send them off and then yank the mission out from under them.

Better yet, just close the Pentagon and disband the military. That'll keep the Congress from pulling this bait and switch with the president and the military in the future.

As an alternative, we could include a clause that says "this authorization will continue for so long as the Social Security Program continues, or until we win, whichever occurs first."

Or we could add a clause that says the president will send __% more troops than his generals request, that he'll conduct the war as directed by the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and the editorial board of the New York Times.

Otherwise, they'd better stipulate than all declarations of war or authorizations for use of force expire automatically at the end of the current Congressional term unless reauthorized by the new Congress.

Or maybe we could all vote on how to run the war, like The People's Choice Awards, so that people wouldn't get too bored with the body counts.

Certainly, when we vote for the next president, we ought to append a list of things he/she cannot do in the name of fulfilling his/her oath of office. No NSA wiretaps. No military tribunals. No financial tracking of terrorist funds. No sending our troops across borders. No nothing without UN approval. etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

ooooooooops! Serious typo.

OK, so it's Petraeus not my Patraeus. Still sounds like a patrician Spartan who should watch his back.

hdhouse said...

Was in Washington yesterday and got to read the local papers other than online..feels good to hold printed news....anyway... to Cheney:

Does anyone believe anything this fat tub of lard has to say about anything? That isn't just a Democrat getting even with darth vadar, it is a legitimate question.

Does anyone actually believe this guy? and if so, why? This is a real question. Why would you believe this ...oh I just can't call anyone in the office of the vice president what i am thinking....

Anonymous said...

HD, it is difficult to take your posts seriously when you criticize the man's ideas by attacking his waist. It makes you look like an ideological liberal who is devoid of data instead of a Democrat with points to make and facts to back them up.

Just like the Republicans who are more critical of Senator Clinton's thighs than her policy ideas. It may be a fun vent, but it certainly does nothing to persuade.

Trey

Al Maviva said...

We left Vietnam and the domino effect never happened

That's a remarkably historically ignorant statement.

I guess you missed the genocide of the Hmong? I guess you also missed the Laotian "revolution" which was a revolution in the same way that the Syrian-run Hezbollah counterrevolution in Lebanon is a revolution - led entirely by foreign (North Vietnamese) military forces. I'm guessing you also missed the millions slaughtered in the killing fields of Cambodia.

The extent to which 'dominos' fell can be debated; the fact that they fell cannot.

Freder Frederson said...

I'm guessing you also missed the millions slaughtered in the killing fields of Cambodia.

The extent to which 'dominos' fell can be debated; the fact that they fell cannot


So Cambodia was part of the "dominoes falling" from our abandonment of Vietnam? The dominoes were supposed to keep falling all the way through Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and even India. Never happened.

Oh, and by the way, do you happen to remember who overthrew the Khmer Rouge and ended Pol Pot's reign of terror? I can't quite remember which Western democracy was brave enough and had the political will to stop that genocide. Hmm, was it the Australians or the British? I'm certain it wasn't the U.S. I'm sure it'll come to me.