March 25, 2007

"The biggest question is how far can Democrats go in opposing this president?"

Adam Nagourney assesses the Democrats in Congress:
“Democrats have an advantage because you are looking at a 33 percent president,” said Rich Galen, a Republican consultant, referring to Mr. Bush’s popularity rating. “You can get away with a lot,” said Mr. Galen, who served as a senior aide to Newt Gingrich, the House Speaker when Republicans battled the Clinton White House in the 1990s.

Alan Abramowitz, a political science professor at Emory University, said: “They can push pretty hard on this stuff — especially testimony. There’s no trust right now in the Bush administration and the White House.”...

As they try to figure out what they can and can not do, the Democrats are looking back to Mr. Gingrich’s House. Republicans exercised their power with gusto, peppering the Clinton White House with subpoenas and, of course, bringing impeachment proceedings. Then came the five-seat loss.

“We got so focused on impeachment that voters got sick of it,” said Mr. Galen, recalling his experience in 1998. He said he thought Democrats had so far avoided the trap that snared Republicans, but warned of the price of coming across as doing little more than fighting. “The danger comes if there becomes this sense that they are being truculent for the sake of being truculent,” he said.
For what it's worth: I'm sick of them.

107 comments:

vrse said...

Yes Ms. Althouse, let's "raise the level of discussion around here."

Mindsteps said...

I know I am going out on a limb here with my speculation, but would I be wrong to suggest that Ms. Althouse's 'sickness' began well before the Dems became the majority in Congress. As for intervention, should we treat the symptoms or the cause?

Freder Frederson said...

"Repulsive" and "sick of them" are not rational arguments, they are nothing but gut feelings. Why are you repulsed and sickened by them? What should the Democrats be doing?

Hasn't anything the administration done over the last six years bothered you in the least? The torture, the secret prisons, the signing statements, the skirting and ignoring of laws? How about the simple competence in office?

And now we find out that Gonzales lied about his involvement in the firings. Doesn't that bother you at all? If not the Congress, who is supposed to reign in this Administration.

Pogo said...

I voted for a Democrat in the last election -Tim Walz- my first vote for a Dem in 7 years. I was disgusted with his Republican predecessor's support of pork and overspending.

I hoped he'd vote against pork, as he'd promised.
I figured he would support the troops, as he served in Iraq.
I hoped he would avoid the far left's siren song for relentless obstructionism.
I was wrong.

Bissage said...

I thought it remarkable that next to the article was a link to "The Tale of Harry Potter and the Naked Role."

Well, there must have been some pre-production debate about Mr. Radcliffe’s dingus and how much dingus would be insufficient dingus, and how much dingus would be just right, and how much dingus would be too much dingus. Stands to reason.

So now, the question is how much dingus the Congressional Democrats can show before they’ll have shown too much dingus the same as the Congressional Republicans?

It’s kind of true, in a sad way. Politics really is show business for unattractive people.

Thank God these preening jackasses are competing more for prestige than for real power.

Freder Frederson said...

I figured he would support the troops, as he served in Iraq.

Wanting to get the troops out of the middle of an unwinnable civil war is supporting them.

TMink said...

Freder asked: "What should the Democrats be doing?"

A fair question. For a start they could avoid acting just like the Gingrich congress! I opposed that then and do now. It does not matter which party is doing it, turning the congress into the View is despicable.

How about stopping the corruption of pork? The last vote was monstrously corrupt with pork. A rich diet like that will lose your party the Congress. Maybe even the Presidency.

And how about voting with integrity? Instead of the slow bleed strategy, how about voting to defund the war today.

Remember how different the Pelosi congress was going to be? Same tactics, same pork, different goal.

Trey

Ghlade said...

Professor Althouse,

Given that you described yourself as depressed about the Democrats' victory within a week of the election, how much is your current frustration with them "worth" now?

I know you said that your depression was rooted in concern that Americans were showing weakness to insurgents in Iraq and terrorists abroad. At the same time, might your very early disposition against a Democratic majority be coloring your views about their current performance?

Pogo said...

Re: "Wanting to get the troops out of the middle of an unwinnable civil war is supporting them."

It is. And there's a difference between victory and surrender, and what the Democrat's embrace of defeat will cause in the long run.

Mindsteps said...

ghlade wrote: I know you said that your depression was rooted in concern that Americans were showing weakness to insurgents in Iraq and terrorists abroad."

If ghlade was accurate in his/her presentation of your malaise, Professor Althouse, maybe you can help me with my 'illness'.

If pulling out of Iraq shows weakness, going into Iraq showed our foolhariness, and staying in Iraq shows inanity...what can I do to help myself?

Too Many Jims said...

For what it's worth: I'm still sick of the incompetence and deceitfulness of the Bush administration.

Doug said...

While it is easier to push around an unpopular President than one with a 65% approval rating, it is more difficult to push anyone around if Congress has a crappy rating itself.
The people who have assumed power in the House are not the type to inspire a lot of people. Pelosi is pretty icy, Conyers is flakey, and Murtha is a corrupt clown.

Krumhorn said...

What should the Dems be doing?

At the same time, might your very early disposition against a Democratic majority be coloring your views about their current performance?


Precisely, what is it that they ARE doing? They have passed no legislation whatsoever. They have addressed none of the much vaunted 'issues' that 'plague' the nation.

Instead, they want show trials so that they can question a political advisor to the President (a person the libs are slavering...just itching...to get into a hot seat) about the exercise of a presidential prerogative. They have failed at every step to do the lefties' bidding in defunding the war. No minimum wage. No social security. No medicare reform. Really...just a lot of nothing. But lots of noise.

The one single event has been a stab-in-the-back bill from the House, heavily laden with pork that tells our Marines and soldiers fighting for our safety that they can continue to stay in jeopardy....but without the support of DemocRats.

Now, THAT is something of which to be very proud.

Professor, you are right. I'm sick of them too.

AJ Lynch said...

Yeah I agree with Doug. Our elected leaders in Congress are generally dopey and disgusting people. For example, think Conyers, Pelosi, Delay, Kerry, Durbin and on and on.

As to the NYT and the rest of the chattering class, why do they consistently focus on the "inside baseball" aspect of it all? How about for once they write a five- part series on the fairest, smartest and best way to fix social security? or Medicare or school funding?

Mindsteps said...

Let us do a thought experiment. Where would we be right now if the Republicans were able to hang on to their majority in Congress?

However, I resent those who try to paint a picture of one party serving the people any better than the other party. What is worse, cancer in your right lung or in your left?

Curtiss said...

Well, the ability of the Democrats to overreach can never be overestimated.

Fen said...

Wanting to get the troops out of the middle of an unwinnable civil war is supporting them.

No, its not. The troops on the ground don't see your hyperbolic unwinnable civil war. They want to finish what they started, so they don't have to go back to Iraq in four years and start all over again from scratch.

The surge is working. Already, violence is down 20%. The Dems in congress voted for Petraeus and his plan, and then stabbed him in the back with this treacherous bill.

Thats the growing perception across America - the Dems don't want our troops to succeed in Iraq because that would vindicate Bush. We will see worse behavior from the Left as Iraq gets better. They will try to sabotoge the hard work of our military to gain political points. Thats not supporting the troops.

Ghlade said...

"Thats the growing perception across America - the Dems don't want our troops to succeed in Iraq because that would vindicate Bush."

I support our continued involvement in Iraq at this point because I believe we have an obligation to the Iraqi people. But at least I am willing to admit that I am in the clear minority on this point!

Do you have some evidence to back up your belief in this "growing perception" among Americans?

Freder Frederson said...

The troops on the ground don't see your hyperbolic unwinnable civil war.

How do you know what the troops on the ground think. There are 150,000 in Iraq and another 50,000 odd in support roles in surrounding countries. Don't presume to know what they are all thinking or that they are a monolithic block that is 100% behind this war.

Whether or not they agree with the mission, they are sworn to do their job and will carry it out to the best of their ability. Just because they are professionals doesn't mean they think the goals (whatever the hell they are) will be achieved.

Nobody has performed a comprehensive poll of the troops to find out whether they think the war is winnable and nobody is going to. To pretend you know what they think about the war is plain arrogance.

ShadowFox said...

What we have here is someone rattling the pots and pans in the kitchen, pretending to be cooking what is actually a month-old take-out pizza. Pardon the "bachelor" humor, but that's about the most positive spin I can put on this resolution.

Ann, I hope by "them" you mean the pundits and other commentators. If the only thing that sickens you about this situation is the Dems, you're rapidly losing your credibility, not to mention the sense of humor.

gj said...

Ann has said that she is going to be more aggressive about deleting comments from trolls. Maybe she's decided to take on the roll of troll herself, and doesn't want any competition.

These single-line inflamatory comments about Democrats would certainly count as trolls if they happened inside a discussion thread, rather than at the start of one.

Fen said...

[via Don Surber]

Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito:

“Today, the House missed an opportunity to have a straight up-or-down vote on whether to provide the funding needed for our troops who are in harm’s way. Instead, we were presented with a bill that gives the enemy our playbook while adding billions of dollars of budget-busting spending that has nothing to do with providing for our troops.

“By giving our enemy a date-certain timeline for withdrawal, we are simply asking them to duck into the shadows and wait for us to leave. Such timelines hog-tie the hands of our commanders in the field and essentially hand our enemy a roadmap to victory.

“This bill should have provided funds to our men and women in harm’s way — without strings and pork-barrel spending attached. By bloating this emergency troop funding bill with billions of dollars in unrelated spending — such as $50 million for a power plant, $75 million for peanut storage, and $25 million for spinach farmers — the majority party has placed special interest payments on the backs of our troops in order to secure the votes needed for this bill’s passage.

“Congress has the power of the purse, but it should not micromanage this war or any war by making decisions best left for those on the battlefield. I want our troops to come home, but I want that decision to be made by our commanders who are basing their decisions on the conditions on the ground and in what is best for the security of our nation.”

Tim said...

"I support our continued involvement in Iraq at this point because I believe we have an obligation to the Iraqi people. But at least I am willing to admit that I am in the clear minority on this point!"

Well, that's awfully generous of you, but the point of supporting our efforts in Iraq isn't because of the Iraqi people, but because of us.

No one can make a coherent, intelligent case as to why losing in Iraq is in OUR best interest. No one can make a coherent, intelligent case as to why losing in Iraq improves our prospects of winning the larger war on militant Islamic Fascism. No one can make a coherent, intelligent case as to why losing in Iraq is good for our military, retention and morale. No one can make a coherent, intelligent case as to why losing in Iraq is good for our ability to develop and maintain alliances, when our word will have proven hallow and insincere, just as they were in April 1975. No one can make a coherent, intelligent case as to why losing in Iraq would persuade moderate Muslims and moderate Arab governments that the U.S. is a steadfast ally in the fight against militant Islamic Fascism. No one can make a coherent, intelligent case as to why losing in Iraq does not empower al Qaeda, validate its strategy that we are weak and have no stomach for protracted war, and enhance its recruitment of terrorists. No one can make a coherent, intelligent case as to why losing in Iraq makes it easier for us to deter the Irans and North Korea's of the world.

No, we need to win in Iraq because it is in our best interest. That it benefits the Iraqis too is good, but not necessary. Not that the Dems in Congress care about either. They'd happily lose to al Qaeda in Iraq if they could forever embarrass George Bush.

Mindsteps said...

"Curtiss said...
Well, the ability of the Democrats to overreach can never be overestimated."

I just don't get it. How can anyone say with confidence that one party overreaches further than the other? Do we have some sort of objective, scientific ruler that measures these things?

While the blogs seem to reflect the right/left polarization that seems to get so much play on television and radio, what I love about many of these blogs is their capacity to ferret out b.s. whether it is of the democrat or republican variety. And from my vantage point they continue to support my observation that neither party has a monopoly on corruption or hypocricy. The converse is the case as well....I do not believe the case has been made the one party is consistently more competent or more honest than the other.

Ann Althouse said...

gj: I get to say whatever I choose here, just as every commenter has the power to run his own blog and say what he wants. I have restrictions for guests. They can either meet them or leave. I will avoid hypocrisy by following your rules for guests if I chose to comment at your blog. I cross whatever lines I want when I decide to here. It will not be a cue for you to do the same or to complain that I've done it. My blog is exactly what I want to make it, and I have readers who enjoy what I do, here on my blog, where you better believe I have special privileges.

Mindsteps said...

Professor Althouse wrote: My blog is exactly what I want to make it, and I have readers who enjoy what I do, here on my blog, where you better believe I have special privileges.

Professor Althouse, my twelve year old daugther is currently making a career out of finding examples of her parent's hypocricy. Do I have your permission to show her your comment? I've tried to tell her - "I don't have to follow the rules, I make the rules"..but she's continues to have problems accepting this proclamation! Like you, I believe that people in power are exempt from certain rules of conduct.

Andy said...

Thats the growing perception across America - the Dems don't want our troops to succeed in Iraq because that would vindicate Bush.

This is nonsense. I also support our troops remaining in Iraq. But there will never be a "success" that will "vindicate" Bush. Both sides of this issue are so dug in that neither will ever admit defeat. "Success" in Iraq isn't going to come on Bush's watch, and it may not come before 2012 either. At this point, "success" is largely defined as a negative: if the violence drops below a certain level, AND the government doesn't seem to be in imminent danger of being violently overthrown or of being politically commandeered by (a) another dictator equal to Saddam, (b) a religious party with an America-hating platform, or (c) both. In other words, victory is defined as anything that we can live with. Moreover, whatever we get is likely to be extremely unstable. Whether we withdraw now or in 2012, things may look good for a couple of years and then completely collapse again.

The only thing that would vindicate this war would be the discovery that Saddam did in fact pose the kind of threat to the United States that administration alleged back in the run-up to the war.

That's not an argument for withdrawing now - which strikes me as not only immoral but also an incredibly stupid political gamble. If we pull the troops out now, and Iraq becomes a bloodbath, and we wind up with something worse than we had before, the Democrats will be blamed for everything. Of all the Dems, Hillary seems to be the only one that realizes this.

P. Rich said...

FF

"Don't presume to know what they are all thinking or that they are a monolithic block that is 100% behind this war."

Positing a general state of mind is not the same as presuming 100% concurrence on any topic by any large group. Yours is a specious argument.

"Nobody has performed a comprehensive poll of the troops to find out whether they think the war is winnable and nobody is going to."

Perhaps, but a number of people, not all right wing fanatics by any measure, have been to Iraq and sampled troop opinions on the ground over extended periods of time. Their feedback has been remarkably consistent (see Fen). You are choosing to ignore or belittle that information because apparently it does not support your personal opinion.

Mindsteps said...

Andy wrote: If we pull the troops out now, and Iraq becomes a bloodbath, and we wind up with something worse than we had before, the Democrats will be blamed for everything. Of all the Dems, Hillary seems to be the only one that realizes this.

Andy-here is my question for you, Hillary, and everone else who asserts we cannot leave now. If things do not improve in Iraq, they stay the same, or get worse, should we ever leave? And I will use a term employed by Rumsfield, if we, at some point should decide to leave a chaotic Iraq at some point in the future, what metrics should be used to determine the appropriate time to pull out?

Freder Frederson said...

Perhaps, but a number of people, not all right wing fanatics by any measure, have been to Iraq and sampled troop opinions on the ground over extended periods of time. Their feedback has been remarkably consistent (see Fen).

The question "Is this war winnable" (which is what we are discussing in this thread) is rarely asked directly and is an entirely different question than the more personal, "Do you feel you are making a difference here?" or "Are you succeeding in your mission?", which is the type of questions the troops are generally asked in the field. The most likely answer you are going to get to the first question if it is asked of some E4 or O2 is "That is way above my pay grade."

hdhouse said...

Fen said...
"They want to finish what they started, so they don't have to go back to Iraq in four years and start all over again from scratch.

The surge is working. Already, violence is down 20%. The Dems in congress voted for Petraeus and his plan, and then stabbed him in the back with this treacherous bill.

Thats the growing perception across America - the Dems don't want our troops to succeed in Iraq because that would vindicate Bush. We will see worse behavior from the Left as Iraq gets better. They will try to sabotoge the hard work of our military to gain political points. Thats not supporting the troops."


1. They don't have to go back in 4 years Fen. With the current status, they will have about 8 months between redeployments.

2. Actually Fen, the Dems DIDN'T stab anyone. They gave full funding and support. They just told Bush to figure out a way to win in the next 1.5 years and get everyone home. What could be plainer? You've had 4 years..now we will give you another 1.5 and all the money you need. Go do your thing.

3. "the Dems don't want our troops to succeed..."

Now Fen, thats just the kind of comment that Ann doesn't want on here. You know that's not true. In fact you know you are making it up as you go along because you have no arguments..just quicksand.

It's ok FEN. We know you don't believe the crap you write and the illogic you use. You can admit it. Go ahead.

Naked Lunch said...

Since when do we tag our military with wins and losses on the basis of how another country or government conducts itself on it's own free will? If with-drawl is a "loss", then you're blaming our military for that loss - and that makes you quite ignorant actually. About as ignorant as holding the military responsible for Iraq's future 10-20 yrs from now.

Tribeca said...

I think the Democrats are doing a brilliant job of pointing out the hypocrisy and lies of this administration.

They are undertaking exactly the right tactic, focusing on scandals for the next two years. This is exactly what Dick Morris predicted they can and should do immediately following the election (not that he favored it). It will make the Republicans look like they they are nurturing a culture of corruption.

And they're not going to impeach this President - so there will be no backlash.

Bush has already promised to veto all of their bills - so the Democrats are doing exactly the right thing in having Congress finally exercise some oversight of the corrupt executive branch.

vrse said...

If Eric Cartman had a blog, I wonder what his comments policy would look like. HA!


South Park Episode #10: Cartman's Party

CARTMAN: You son of a bitch! (leaps on Kyle) You were supposed to get me the Red Megaman! Now I can't make Ultra Mega Megaman! You dirty cheap ass piece of crap!
KYLE: They were all out of them, dude!
CARTMAN: I hate you! I want you to die! That's it! My Party is over! Everybody go home! (turns party switch off).

al said...

1. They don't have to go back in 4 years Fen. With the current status, they will have about 8 months between redeployments.

Would you be happier if they were in theater for the duration + 6 months?

2. Actually Fen, the Dems DIDN'T stab anyone. They gave full funding and support. They just told Bush to figure out a way to win in the next 1.5 years and get everyone home. What could be plainer? You've had 4 years..now we will give you another 1.5 and all the money you need. Go do your thing.

Full funding with pork attached and a timeline is not full funding and support. The Dem's told the enemy that in 1.5 years we're done. That works in R&D when your goal is fixed but when people want to kill you and are willing to wait you out - thats aiding and abetting.

EnigmatiCore said...

I sure would like to hear what the Democrats and the Republicans think we should do about Iran.

I really hope that we do not have to wait for the pattern to repeat itself-- the pattern of the Democrats waiting to hear what the Bush position is and then criticizing it as wrong. Both parties have campaigns going on. Let's hear from the candidates on both sides what they suggest our approach to Iran should be. Let's see who advocates what, and find out who is sensible, who is capable of leading, and who has the best interests of America rather than their own party at heart.

I won't be holding my breath that we will see that discussion. Too many risks for the candidates.

Freder Frederson said...

The Dem's told the enemy that in 1.5 years we're done.

Actually, so has the president. Which is why I can't understand why he is so pissed off. Look at his budget. He is only asking for half as much for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for next year and nothing at all in FY 2009 (which starts Oct 1, 2008). So he must believe that the war will be over in both countries at precisely the same time as the Congress wants to withdraw from Iraq. Even the Congress doesn't want to "cut and run" from Afghanistan which the President apparently plans to do.

EnigmatiCore said...

Vrse,

You see inconsistency. I do not. I see someone who has tired of constant rank partisanship.

Like me.

And if the polls are to be believed, like most Americans.

We'll see if the Democrats have anything beyond the rank partisanship. If they don't, then they won't get my vote in the next elections. If they do, then they might.

The Mechanical Eye said...

Sorry, but I have to agree with the sentiment above: I don't get the passive-agressive, Instapundit-like one-word commentary from Althouse this weekend. It's designed to inflame.

But no, the Democrats aren't very impressive, and for straightforward reasons: they were voted in to oppose the war, and they dawdle with their time. It's the same ineffective, self-destructive carping that got the GOP in trouble during the Clinton impeachment.

This isn't entirely their fault, though; this war is confused and murky. For you who talk about this as "victory vs. defeat:" oh, were it only that simple! As your sainted Petreaus understands, the end will come through political and diplomatic compromise, not by military means.

The Iraqs need us, but they resent us; the current situation is a holding pattern that can't sustain itself.

DU

Patrick said...

"It's the same ineffective, self-destructive carping that got the GOP in trouble during the Clinton impeachment."

I thought that was exactly what Professor Althouse was saying, bouncing off of Mr. Galen's comment. The Dems are in the same trap, not avoiding it.

EnigmatiCore said...

"they were voted in to oppose the war"

Were they?

Or were they voted in to punish the GOP for the culture of corruption?

Or were they voted in to punish the GOP for pork?

Or were they voted in to punish the GOP for 'arrogance'?

Or were they voted in to punish the GOP for misplaced priorities?

Or were they voted in because the voters blamed the GOP for the rank partisanship?

Or were they voted in for a whole bunch of reasons?

Maybe you are right that they have not done enough to live up to their anti-war rhetoric. But that is just a drop in the bucket.

They have not ended the culture of corruption. They have embraced it.

They have not ended pork. They have embraced it.

They have not turned away from the arrogance of power in their conduct of debate in either chamber. They have embraced it.

They have not changed the priorities of what is being addressed in Congress. They have embraced the same priorities, only from the other direction.

They have not ended the rank partisanship that has poisoned our politics. They have embraced it.

So far their tenure has been a failure. They have time. The only saving grace for the Democrats is that we Americans have little faith that the Republicans have learned their lessons from getting spanked last November. If they show that they have, then we might turn around and put them right back in power.

But more likely, we are just going to be disappointed in both parties, as usual. That Congressional approval rating is probably as high as it is going to go for the foreseeable future.

Cedarford said...

Freder -

"Wanting to get the troops out of the middle of an unwinnable civil war is supporting them."

Pretty much the same line the Copperhead Democrats were spouting 1863-65. Civil Wars are ugly, and one reason this war has dragged on so long is we didn't do enough killing, and didn't let the enemy factions do enough killing of one another. In the American Civil War, it took killing 1/3 military age Southern white males, and leaving a good portion of the rest fighting in rags and barefoot to win. It took the willingness to interrogate Conferderate insurgents with brutality, hang spies, and when a civilian from age 12 up took a shot at troops, they were hunted down as bushwackers entitled to no mercy and killed with a round, rifle butt, or bayonet - sometimes right in front of their families.

The power of the Left, the courts, Euroweenies, and ACLU-type Anti-American NGOs is strong enough to block us from winning that way in Iraq.
Bush's idea of democracy doesn't work well with Arab Muslims, so the non-bloody solution failed.
What remains is Muslims getting as sick of this as we are. They are now showing signs they do not want their version of Europe's 100-year war - as well armed factions of Islamoids in total rage and blood feud face off, and no one stops them.

We are only a few years off from Iran having nukes, which will drive Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria to seek nukes themselves. Then Turkey. We stopped Saddam's nuclear and chem/bio capacity in the Gulf War, destroyed his stockpiles during the US led enforcement of sanctions years, then stopped Saddams plan to reconstitute his WMD program as soon as the UN was bribed enough to end sanctions.

The military is right. If we don't stabilize Iraq, unchecked bloody civil war will break out and the butchery will be 100X worse than present levels Lefties blubber about so "heartfeltly". Leaving the region means Iran, then KSA, Egypt, Turkey, Syria will be home free without the threat of the US to stop them to add nuclear weapons alongside their far less deadly nerve gas and biowar stockpiles.

The Iraq War and insurgency was incompetently led by Bush, disgustingly run in complete fiscal recklessness...but with very light casualties as wars go, despite Lefties moans that 3200 dead and 25,000 casualties are "inendurable, beyond human limits".

If we leave, the military warns the Left and the Democrats could set the US up to have to fight a far bloodier war 5 years from now. An existential region-wide war in which we know mass killings with modern weapons and use of WMD are unavoidable. Then the Democrats will have to explain how their actions stemming from rabid Bush hatred at the expense of the country's vital interests set up the major war. Why they were forced to restart the Draft.

The Euroweenies will have to explain how the unrealistic do-gooder standards they tried imposing on the US, the ME, the world - failed - as tens of millions die. The ACLU will have to explain why 100's of thousands if not millions of Israelis died partially due to the ACLU's love of enemy civil liberties and rights.

Major War.

Meaning wars that kill millions, not the very light casualties the US took since 9/11, until the Democrats elected to "pay the butcher later" .

Andy said...

what metrics should be used to determine the appropriate time to pull out?

It's not that we lack metrics, we just can't quantify them. The metrics are violence, political stability, and type of government. Obviously they are inter-related.

Unfortunately we can't lay out in advance what would constitute an acceptable time to pull out, such as "100 terror-related deaths per million" or "moderate sharia coalition government, favoring democracy, but with only 35% chance of survival of first term." Or, on the flip side, "death or maiming of 200,000 American troops."

We don't know what's going to happen in the future. It's a complex situation and as such it requires a certain amount of room for improvisation and playing it by ear. I know that sounds callous when our soldiers are getting their limbs and skulls blown off on a routine basis but you have to have room for flexibility when you are in the middle of anarchy.

You ask "if things get worse, should we ever leave?" That will depend on the way in which things get worse. We may decide at some point its better to beat a retreat and live to fight on another field. Or not. It kind of depends on what exactly happens.

aquariid said...

Back in the fifties, when I was a little boy of about five, I asked my mother "Why do the good guys always win?" I was puzzled by the apparent consistancy of history but also deeply concerned that it might not be true. I don't remember her answer, it was probably vague and reassuring. That was about the time I started getting a reputation for being too "philosophical". A lot of negatives go along with that. Naive, idealistic, over analyzing, indecisive, too soft, too forgiving, unfocused daydreaming underachiever, lazy dilettante, unwilling to take sides. But I like to think of myself as an optimist with a simple talent for keeping cool in a crisis. I am optimisitic that we'll get out of this mess in Iraq. Probably sooner rather than later. I never got an answer to my question but it seems that it's true, eventually the good guys win. So all we have to do is make sure that we keep being the good guys. You want a detailed plan for successfully ending the Iraq war? Wait, it's coming, and you'll know it when you see it. And my advice to the troops is "Follow Petraeus, keep your head down, stay alive and wait for the dust to settle".

Ann Althouse said...

Mindsteps said.."Professor Althouse wrote: My blog is exactly what I want to make it, and I have readers who enjoy what I do, here on my blog, where you better believe I have special privileges.' Professor Althouse, my twelve year old daugther is currently making a career out of finding examples of her parent's hypocricy. Do I have your permission to show her your comment? I've tried to tell her - "I don't have to follow the rules, I make the rules"..but she's continues to have problems accepting this proclamation! Like you, I believe that people in power are exempt from certain rules of conduct."

Yes, on one condition: You must inform her sternly that every person in the entire world is authorized to come into your house and discipline her whenever she's bad. Or you're a hypocrite.

gj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
johnstodder said...

I think the Democrats are doing a brilliant job of pointing out the hypocrisy and lies of this administration.

They are undertaking exactly the right tactic, focusing on scandals for the next two years.


I think the Democrats are doing a brilliant job of aping the hypocrisy and lies of the previous Republican Congress.

They are undertaking exactly the wrong tactic, focusing on scandals for the next two years, instead of using the next two years to demonstrate in words and deeds why Democratic control of all three branches of government would be a very good thing for America. They won themselves a great opportunity in 2006. At the rate things are going, however, their reign is going to be a blip.

Up to a point, of course, they have to focus on the scandals and stupidity of the Bush years. That's Congress' role, and the "rubber-stamp" Republicans abdicated it. But they've got to start educating people on the things they would propose for America, and that they would get passed if the President was of their party. This is more or less what the Democrats did in 1990-92, and it succeeded.

As things stand now, I predict voters will put another Republican in the WH in 2008 to counter the Democratic Congress that will probably survive the next election, just barely.

Freder Frederson said...

The power of the Left, the courts, Euroweenies, and ACLU-type Anti-American NGOs is strong enough to block us from winning that way in Iraq.
Bush's idea of democracy doesn't work well with Arab Muslims, so the non-bloody solution failed.


Let me see if I understand you correctly, Cedarford. We haven't been able to "win" in Iraq because cock-sucking, terrorist loving, Anti-American, troop-hating leftists like me won't let fine upstanding real he-man Spartan-Americans like you rain the wrath of God on the barbarous Islamoids. We need to spread mass death and destruction, torture and collective punishment to teach them to appreciate democracy and the rule of law.

You say that if we don't get this right we will have to go back later and "fight a far bloodier war 5 years from now." But your version of getting it right seems to be fighting that far bloodier war now, instead of five years from now.

EnigmatiCore said...

"But your version of getting it right seems to be fighting that far bloodier war now, instead of five years from now."

Let's stipulate for a moment that this is his point. Yours seems to be to fight that war five years from now, rather than today.

Why your preference for later, when nuclear proliferation might make five years from now considerably more deadly?

What is your plan for Iraq?

What is your plan for Iran?

What is your plan for the entire region?

Freder Frederson said...

What is your plan for Iraq?

My best friend got married in the hills above Berkley. After the reception we were driving back to the hotel on the narrow winding roads that lead back into Oakland and Berkley. In front of us a car was driving erratically, weaving all over the road. We couldn't believe it. If the driver went off to the road to the right she (we later found out it was a woman) would plunge a couple hundred feet, to the left was merely a ditch about seven or eight feet below grade with tall grass. We lost sight of her as she rounded a switchback.

When we rounded the bend, she had disappeared. We noticed the grass to the left had been plowed down. So we stopped and got out of the car. Sure enough, there was the car in the ditch. We crawled down the embankment to the car. The woman and the car were completely unharmed. She was drunk off her ass and apparently believed she could back up onto the road and continue. But she couldn't. She was in high grass and the car was stuck (she couldn't even get the door open), all she could do was spin her tires. Furthermore, since it was early November, the grass was very dry, and if she continued to let the engine run and spin her tires in a hopeless attempt to extricate herself from a hopeless situation which was entirely due to her own poor judgment and personality flaws she might cause a fire.

So I did the only thing that was reasonable under the circumstances. I reached in through the open window, turned off the engine, took her keys and assured her help was on the way. Then my friends and I called the police and went and sat by the side of the road until they showed up.

chickenlittle said...

That's not a plan, that's an anecdote

Cedarford said...

Freder - Let me see if I understand you correctly, Cedarford. We haven't been able to "win" in Iraq because cock-sucking, terrorist loving, Anti-American, troop-hating leftists like me won't let fine upstanding real he-man Spartan-Americans like you rain the wrath of God on the barbarous Islamoids.

Yeah, that's pretty much it. You added the cock sucking part on your own read of your situation, I guess.

***************
Though enemy-lovers holding the military back are but one reason.

No one thought the Iraqi factions outside the Kurds could be so irrational and self-destructive.

The postwar was badly bungled. The lack of a postwar plan was inexcusable. The mass firing of the whole military and civil service with the idea that secular democracy would quickly fill the power vacuum was one of the stupidest decisions in recent history.

Just as the Iraqis were self destructive, we had Americans with their own nihilistic failure in the Bush years. We had an oblivious Republican Congress bent on complacency, massive corruption. We had a Democratic Party so dominated by hate Bush insanity and a cult of loving enemy rights and fear of what the Belgians and Russians thought that they appear glad to wreck vital American interests as a price they are happy to pay to harm the Bush-Hitler, and make the Belgians approve..We had a President who has been a miserable failure in explaining the stakes involved with radical Islam, loss of American competiveness under globalization. Who has himself damaged America mainly from failure to lead and from holding his tax cuts for the rich and his nutty radical conservative ideolgies above the national interest.

Plenty of blame to go around. But those who have always hated the military, strive to undermine them in defeating the enemy and seek to recreate the Vietnam defeat as the pinnacle of the Left's glory years endanger America. The same people who obsess over terrorist civil liberties are definitely part of the problem, not the solution.

EnigmatiCore said...

So your plan for Iraq is to wait for the police to show up?

You do realize that there are no police in this situation, don't you?

And what is your plan for Iran, and for the entire region?

Is it to wait for the Dream Police to show up there as well?

Or do you just want to be able to sit on the sidelines, throwing spitballs at whatever we do so you can escape blame?

I want more from the candidates for President. If they don't have the guts to explain their plans in detail, if they want to say "it's not my job; my job is to take the keys and wait for the cops," then I am going to vote for someone who has a plan for being the cops, or for creating the cops, or for finding a way to fix the situation without the cops.

Freder Frederson said...

So your plan for Iraq is to wait for the police to show up?

I think you missed the point of the allegory. The point was the first step is to take the keys away from the incompetent self-destructive, incompetent boob who got us into this mess in the first place. Another important part of the story was how we were powerless to do anything as she careened drunkeningly down the road to almost certain disaster. All we could do was follow and hope she didn't kill herself and keep our distance.

Once she was in the ditch it is hardly fair to blame me for her reckless behavior (after all, I had never seen the woman before in my life) and then say, "well now tell us how you would fix this".

But since you want concrete solutions, I think we should fully implement the suggestions of the ISG as a start.

Freder Frederson said...

Yeah, that's pretty much it. You added the cock sucking part on your own read of your situation, I guess.

Gee, you spew so much bile, you forget the insults you hurled at me just a couple days ago.

P. Rich said...

A couple of late points:

The federal budget is multi-year, but it is done annually. Out-year funding estimates can and do change every 12 months. There is also a reluctance for a sitting President in his last term to extend commitments beyond the end of that term.

The conflict in Iraq is not "the war." Iraq is one combat area in a theater (Middle-East) in a global war. We didn't start the real war, and we cannot stop it by Congressional fiat so long as people exist who want us dead or subjugated. And there are many of them.

To the "get out now" crowd:

Focusing on short term issues in Iraq is a myopic blunder of epic proportions. If you want that immediate conflict to end, you'd better have a superior strategy for the entire war other than some vain hope it will disappear while you stand blissfully with your head buried in the sand. Keep that up and somebody sporting a colorful keffiyeh and toting a trusty AK-47 will soon be using your butt for target practice.

reader_iam said...

Now Fen, thats just the kind of comment that Ann doesn't want on here.

Is that true? I don't think she was being that specific or particular, myself. I think the highlighted statement is maybe an overinterpretation.

Could be wrong about that, of course.

The Exalted said...

freder,

atm, you are debating with a pyschotic, racist moron who is throwing the behavior of the "civil war copperhead democrats" at you - your only recourse is similarly inane and ridiculous arguments.

cedarford -- the GOP opposed our involvement in World War II -- defend their pro-Nazi platform or please, please, stfu.

The Exalted said...

Ms. Althouse,

What is it that you are "sick" of? Oversight?

EnigmatiCore said...

OK, so you have deferred to the ISG. I will accept that as your plan for Iraq, although I am skeptical it will work, since it relied a bit on Iran. But you said "as a start." What comes after the start? Is the entire platform of your ideal candidate and/or party to implement the ISG's recommendations?

And what is your plan for gaining Iran's cooperation, since the report did not really explain how that was to happen? And what is your plan for handling Iran's nuclear ambitions, and their seizure of British sailors?

These are the types of questions and answers I want from the candidates, both for President and for Congress. I want to hear concrete plans, not platitudes. I want to hear why they think their plans would work.

When people won't go into those details, I can only assume that they either don't have those details or they fear making them public. That is not likely to gain my support.

boston70 said...

As a "moderate" and "independent" you really seem to be disgusted by democrats. Sick of them now, you were depressed when they won in 2006.
I am suprised a moderate and independent isn't sick of anything that the Bush administration has done over the past 6 years.

Secret prisions? Abu Ghraib? Rumsfield? Cheney? Gay Bating? Katrina? Competence and management of the war? Walter Reed? Gonzales? Brownie? Anything Miss Moderate, Independent, anything????

You remind me of Fake News constantly saying they are "fair and balanced". There is nothing wrong with being biased and tilting one way or the other but your constant need to make sure everything knows you are a "independent and moderate" is ridiculous.

I guess I will be banned now.

boston70 said...

I am also sick of hearing and seeing Bush. Call me deranged, fine. I fall in the Jonathan Chait category. The way he walks, talks, poses, looks like a monkey, is an embarassment, it not intelligent.

Yes, I admit it I hate him.

reader_iam said...

They are undertaking exactly the wrong tactic, focusing on scandals for the next two years, instead of using the next two years to demonstrate in words and deeds why Democratic control of all three branches of government would be a very good thing for America. They won themselves a great opportunity in 2006.

I'll second that. (But I don't necessarily agree that they'll be a blip if they don't take advantage of the opportunity. In fact, I tend to think that they're betting that this is the case.)

Remember, I'm one of those irritating "registered no party" folks, never affiliated with either party. I can and do swing both ways, and always have. It really does matter, for voters such as I, what goes down over the next 18 months in Congress, collectively and in terms of the specific politicians for whom I will be eligible to vote for or against.

Also, I'll spare you all the "nth" rendition of my "I Hate All Second Term Presidencies, And Their Corollaries, Without Exception" rant, except to say that my views therein are, regrettably and deplorably, once again being validated.

I wish it were not so.

Freder Frederson said...

i?And what is your plan for gaining Iran's cooperation, since the report did not really explain how that was to happen? And what is your plan for handling Iran's nuclear ambitions, and their seizure of British sailors?

What constantly baffles me is that everyone who questions the president is always held to a much higher standard than the president himself. What exactly is the president's plan? He talks about success and winning but when exactly has he laid out what exactly that is. Has he ever set timelines and goals for Iraq? When on earth will we know when we have won. He has plainly said he won't have to worry about it, all he has to do is run out the clock and hand the whole mess over to his successor.

reader_iam said...

Secret prisions? Abu Ghraib? Rumsfield? Cheney? Gay Bating? Katrina? Competence and management of the war? Walter Reed? Gonzales? Brownie? Anything Miss Moderate, Independent, anything????

Boston70: How long have you been reading Althouse, and how closely? This is not an attack, but a serious question. Because there are a number of items on that list where I think it's relatively easy to discern Althouse's position. There are a number which she has addressed, though maybe not in the style you would prefer or choose to use yourself.

Cedarford said...

All the debate on Iraq is occuring in the context of a gathering storm of radical Islam in Pakistan/Afghanistan and the collosion course the world is on with Iran.

It has passed completely without comment by the anti-West Left that Iran is openly refusing to comply with the Geneva Conventions. Not a single "red rag" in the UK has bitched that 15 of their countrymen, captured by Iran in uniform - are supposedly going to be charged with espionage - a death penalty offense.

Iran is perhaps hoping that they can once again find a Jimmy Carter to grovel to them in a hostage crisis and give the Islamists more power in the process. But the verdict on Carter was he erred badly in allowing the Islamists to stand up to and humble the West, entrenching them for the last 30 years. These 15 Brits may be lost, because Iran will not get away with another Grand Hostage Crisis.

Much of what passes for Western progressivism is nothing more than reaction: a kind of mindless attachment to Marxist dogma of the 1960s. And that is why, for example, the Geneva Conventions, have become hindrances rather than the helps to civilized warfare.

The original idea of the Geneva Conventions was to provide incentives to conduct civilized or humane warfare, to the extent possible. But today the "progressives" have actually made it a reactionary document by interpreting it to protect those who practice barbarism in war and thereby mindlessly achieving the opposite of its intent.


As Pope Benedict and others have stated, the insistence of the Left on according full rights and privileges to Muslims who give Westerners none is a self-defeating strategy. There must be reciprocity. Just saying, well, we must be noble and comply with treaties that the enemy breaks so some future foe will be better disposed to us is flat out stupid. If we do nothing to incentivize law-breaking Islamoids who violate Geneva and all laws of war to comply with law, they will persist. If we insist they are free to operate outside all law but the Qu'rans - but we ourselves must dogmatically follow an ACLU lawyers wish list of maximum terrorist rights and civil liberties - why would any future enemy expect different treatment. They are free to do as they please, but we are unilaterally bound? That violates the very reason why the Geneva treaties were established. It is only legally binding and in force when both sides in a war agree to comply.

What has happened so far since 9/11 is the lull before the major war that is coming with the Islamists of Iran and perhaps Pakistan unless the rest of Islam wakes up fast and stops the runup to a clash of civilizations that also must account for the Saudi's spread of Wahabbism.

The whole "debate" about who was to "blame" for decisions 4 years ago, the "intolerable" light casualties the US has taken, the idea that if we only get out of Iraq our "children in uniform" will be back safe with their mommies is all besides the point.

Radical Islam is the aggressor, not us, and it is not yet checked.

hdhouse said...

al said...
"....money you need. Go do your thing.
That works in R&D when your goal is fixed but when people want to kill you and are willing to wait you out - thats aiding and abetting."

No Al. You are wrong. Mr. Bush's problem is that he has never had a timed test. The sense of time is lost on him. He simply doesn't care how long and that's not patience or perserverance..its that he 1. can't plan and 2. can't finish. He never has.

What is unfair about giving him a set amount of time to accomplish his goal. He has never told us and you can look that up, how long this is going to take..so we are telling him.

vnjagvet said...

I suspect that the disgust Ann expressed in her Post is reflected in the latest polls on Congress's approval ratings.

28% approval rating is not too good.

hhttp://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/electioncentral/2007/mar/20/poll_approval_rating_of_dem_controlled_congress_sinks_to_28"

chickenlittle said...

Cedarford:
Why did the NYT choose to bury the story about 14 pages deep today? I detect a small conspiracy on the part of MSM to downplay this one.

chickenlittle said...

Boston70 said:

"I guess I will be banned now"

I hope not. But your subsequent comments blew any chances for credibility in my book.

gj said...

Ann, sorry if I wasn't clear. I wasn't criticizing you for trolling, I was just pointing it out. If anything, I was criticizing the commenters for taking the bait and feeding the troll, as they say.

Freder Frederson said...

As Pope Benedict and others have stated, the insistence of the Left on according full rights and privileges to Muslims who give Westerners none is a self-defeating strategy.

Good thing the western allies didn't have that attitude about the Germans when the Pope was manning his little anti-aircraft gun, the good little Hitler Youth he was.

Patrick said...

What's interesting to me about your last comment Freder is that one of the most important Christian theologians of the last 50 years, Jurgen Moltmann, was in fact a Hitler Youth, anti-aircraft gunner for the Germans. His best friend was killed by a bomb blast right next to him during the firebombing of Hamburg. He survived without being hurt. But the burning of Hamburg was particularly gruesome. Lots, and lots, of Germans were killed by methods we wouldn't even dare think about now.

Moltmann's theology is completely based on coming to terms with the evils of WW2, as caused by all sides, but especially the German side. When he got out of a prisoner of war camp in 1948 (three years after the peace) he went to seminary, having been completely changed.

I doubt anyone, anywhere, would suggest we firebomb any town like we did to the Germans. We treated them rather, rather poorly. Though they did fully deserve it. And it stopped them, and changed them, so that Germans now have little of the martial fervor Germans kept up for the last 2000+ years.

I don't know if this is entirely relevant to the present discussion, but you reminded me of the guy.

tiggeril said...

George Will link incoming!

No wonder Americans are infatuated with anger: It is democratic. Anyone can express it, and it is one of the seven deadly sins, which means it is a universal susceptibility. So in this age that is proud of having achieved "the repeal of reticence," anger exhibitionism is pandemic.

There are the tantrums -- sometimes both theatrical and perfunctory -- of talking heads on television or commentators writing in vitriol (Paul Krugman's incessant contempt, Ann Coulter's equally constant loathing). There is road rage (and parking lot rage when the Whole Foods Market parking lot is congested with expressive individualists driving Volvos and Priuses). The blogosphere often is, as one blogger joyfully says, "an electronic primal scream." And everywhere there is the histrionic fury of ordinary people venting in everyday conversations.

Many people who loathe George W. Bush have adopted what Peter Wood describes as "ecstatic anger as a mode of political action." Anger often is, Wood says, "a spectacle to be witnessed by an appreciative audience, not an attempt to win over the uncommitted."

Wood, an anthropologist and author of "A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Now," says the new anger "often has the look-at-me character of performance art." His book is a convincing, hence depressing, explanation of "anger chic" --of why anger has become an all-purpose emotional stance. It has achieved prestige and become "a credential for group membership." As a result, "Americans have been flattening their emotional range into an angry monotone."

Wood notes that there is a "vagueness and elasticity of the grievances" that supposedly justify today's almost exuberant anger. And anger is more pervasive than merely political grievances would explain. Today's anger is a coping device for everyday life. It also is the defining attribute of an increasingly common personality type -- the person who "unless he is angry, feels he is nothing at all."

chickenlittle said...

tiggeril:

Good grief, what's next, mass displays of bargaining, depression, and then acceptance?

What are all these folks grieving?

EnigmatiCore said...

"What constantly baffles me is that everyone who questions the president is always held to a much higher standard than the president himself."

I can understand your bafflement, but in my case (at least) it can be easily dispersed.

George W. Bush is not going to be running for anything in any election that comes up. This makes him a lame duck but it also means that he does not really have to explain his plan for what he will do in 2008 and beyond, since he will not be in power in 2008 and beyond.

In the next set of elections, I will be choosing between Republicans and Democrats for Congress and for President. I want to have them differentiate themselves from each other. I want to know their plans for 2008 and beyond, so I can decide if I want them to be the ones who get my vote for power.

Being "not George W. Bush" is not much of a differentiator, as not a single candidate in 2008 will be George W. Bush. All of them will be "not George W. Bush."

You presumably want me to vote in a manner that would empower who you would like to hold power. You need to make that case, and not the case against the one guy who won't be on the ballot.

Freder Frederson said...

I doubt anyone, anywhere, would suggest we firebomb any town like we did to the Germans.

I bet Cedarford would.

Simon said...

Fen said...
"The surge is working. Already, violence is down 20%."

Down from previous levels, or down from seasonmal norms? I seem to remember hearing on NPR that in previous years, violence has abated somewhat about this time of year anyway.I have no idea if that's true or not, but it's an interesting caveat to consider.

"[There's a] growing perception across America ... [that] the Dems don't want our troops to succeed in Iraq because that would vindicate Bush."

That's precisely right, as I've said many times before here. In November, for example:

"When are people going to get past this idea that the Democratic Party wants us to succeed in Iraq? This is a party that has nailed the balance of their political fortunes to the proposition that Iraq is a catastrophic failure. Success in Iraq would repudiate everything that Democrats have been saying for the last two years. Hence, their political goal is to transform that criticism into a self-fulfilling prophecy, without the blame falling upon themselves. Withdrawal from Iraq will make the situation worse, which is what they want, but if they force withdrawal themselves, then they might be blamed for the mess. No, they only have one option: they have to keep pushing Bush to withdraw the troops, and hope that the average joe on the streets has no better an understanding of the Constitution's checks and balances than does Doyle, and thus will not realize that if they really wanted the war over, they could do it themselves."

lewsar said...

Patrick said...

I doubt anyone, anywhere, would suggest we firebomb any town like we did to the Germans.

the US was not directly involved in the hamburg fire raids, that was the british (who used US weaponry).

the firebombing of japan was much worse, and that was indeed the US, as were the nuclear weapons used on hiroshima and nagasaki.

< /nit>

lewsar said...

bah. i was thinking of dresden, not hamburg. sorry, the US was indeed involved in the bombing of hamburg.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Hamburg_in_World_War_II

The Exalted said...

I like how this idiot Nagourney says that the GOP persecuted Clinton to their detriment, because they lost a whopping 5 seats. In exchange for those 5 seats, they scared Al Gore away from running on his record and lost him the 2000 election. I think they would make that trade any day of the week.

And, Clinton was a genuinely popular president who was impeached. Bush is a genuinely unpopular president who is not getting impeached, his aides and cronies are facing oversight. And in the former situation, only a 5 seat loss. I'm sure that precedent has the Dems quaking in their boots -- wWhat a hacktacular article.

Cedarford said...

the exhaled - cedarford -- the GOP opposed our involvement in World War II -- defend their pro-Nazi platform or please, please, stfu.

You don't know much about history, do you? The WWII Republicans AND Democrats were split between internationalists and isolationists. The only way FDR was able to get Lend-Lease and the covert naval war past Congress was to lie about it to both Congress and the people. Before the war started, every phone call or telegram leaving or entering the USA/Canada was monitored. That is what helped make FDR a great President. He knew the enemy, he was willing to do what it took to end them.

He welcomed all but a few isolationists as being men of principled opposition. And once the war started, they did not undercut FDR, but supported him as CinC.

As for isolationists, they far exceeded the average level in volunteering for military service. The American Lefties who defended Germany and Stalin's war when they were allies out of loyalty to Communism of course turned on a dime and became the biggest proponents of the US entering the war against the Nazi betrayers of dear old Joe Stalin. Even with their favorite nation in dire straights, American communists and Lefties had as low a rate of volunteering to risk their butts as pacifist religious groups, mainland Japanese Americans.
(The highest rates of volunteering were by Native Americans, Scots/Irish Appalachins, Polish Americans)

*****************

chickenlittle said...
Cedarford:
Why did the NYT choose to bury the story about 14 pages deep today? I detect a small conspiracy on the part of MSM to downplay this one.


Because as you know, the enemy-loving, anti-American NYTimes is selective in it's outrage. If America or the UK had done it to uniformed Iranians, it would be page 1 and denounced as a reckless, insane, provocative evil deed rising to an actual act of war and one outside the Geneva conventions. Because their allies the Islamoids did it, the Times is forced not to use hateful or humiliating language like - reckless, evil, insane - words the Times, Hollywood, and wealthy ACLU lawyers and backers have reserved for Bush-Hitler and Blair-Hitler.

******************
Freder also shows his ignorance of history:

Good thing the western allies didn't have that attitude about the Germans when the Pope was manning his little anti-aircraft gun, the good little Hitler Youth he was.

In the runup to WWII, Japan and the Soviets foolishly refused to sign - rejecting the 1929 Protocols so they could better liquidate Chinese and Christians, respectively. Which led to war on the Eastern Front and America-Japan war in the Pacific where quarter was an option, not an obligation. On the Western Front Germany and the Allies both followed Geneva Conventions. But that wouldn't have shielded any German kid from being shot if they were a threat, no problem at all. We slaughtered tons of them, in fact, we preferentially targeted any line held by kids as the weaker place to destroy with less losses to our side.

*******************

Patrick and Freder (once again Freder shows how clueless on war he is)

[I doubt anyone, anywhere, would suggest we firebomb any town like we did to the Germans.

I bet Cedarford would.]

The whole Cold War that you two spent most of your clueless lives in was predicated on if you nuke a few of our cities, we will nuke some or all of yours. MAD. It worked to keep the piece. Again, even after incinerating cities was added to Geneva as a no-no, it is still a reciprocal treaty, not a unilateral one. Which is why we still have nukes enough to destroy any enemy ready to launch in 10 minutes...and why Islamoids and crazy NORKs cannot be given the power the 5 Security Council members now have with their nuclear arsenals.
What Pakistan now has is bad enough.

Nor did 1949 Geneva say the force needed to prevail had to be so anally proportionate (as Lefty anti-Americans believe) that if an enemy shoots at you, you can only fire back in a proportionate amount of bullets or warheads or nuke warheads. Nor anything about only being defensive, not offensive in war.

And nothing about being bound by any law in a war that becomes existiental.

F15C said...

Our military leaders would rightfully be thrilled if our enemy would pass a bill proclaiming exactly when they plan to stop fighting the war and leave the area.

With victory assured, strategy and tactics would change to focus on the period after our enemy abandons the area. With the time and newly free resources provided by our enemy's defunding of their military committment, we would be free to develop and execute our plans for the nation that would soon be handed over to us.

hdhouse said...

hdhouse said...
Coming soon to a theater near you...the sublime, the rascally rascal, Alberto "They call me Pedro Partner" Gonzales. Under oath! Under pressure! Soon to be under foot! Yes Al's got some talkin' to do and we will bring it to you live, up close, in every sweat dripping, palm whiping detail...Geraldo is just panting as he anticipates the drawn and quartered Big Al begging and whimpering...loosing is mind and his train of thought..."I was just defending kids"....

A trademark film. Brought to you by Texans for keeping Bush in Texas. Produced by Harriet (speak again Beaner and I'll slit your throat) Miers with special effects by Darth Invader, and a truth and fact check squad led by Scooter "Chaingang" Libby.

He's bold. He lies with a straight face. See the torture man spin...April 17 on a C-span near you.

Seven Machos said...

Number of insults hurled in hd house's most recent post in this thread: seven

Patrick said...

Cedarford, just cuz my comment got roped in by another doesn't mean I joined in with the other comment. I was talking about a theologian, for goodness sakes. You're a little on edge... shooting friendly fire at me.

sheesh. Everyone is on edge around here. Breathe everyone. Breathe.

Take a couple minutes. Stare at a tree. Listen to the bird. Feel the anger washing away. Breathe in, breathe out. Let peace out.

Okay, there. Now we're ready to discuss again.

Fen said...

To pretend you know what they think about the war is plain arrogance.

I know that the troops do not support your "support". They'd rather you get out of the way.

Fen said...

What is your plan for Iran?

And while we're all here, can we get the Left on record admitting that Iran has a WMD program? None of this yes -- no wait I was fooled -- Bush lied nonsense all over again. Will the Lefties here grant that Iran is trying to develop nukes?

Revenant said...

I find it interesting that Congress' approval rating is right down there with Bush's. That made sense when the Republicans controlled Congress, but now that the Democrats are in control I would have thought the numbers would improve. They haven't, or at least not much.

It would appear that the American people are just sort of generally fed up with the nation's entire leadership -- both parties.

al said...

No Al. You are wrong. Mr. Bush's problem is that he has never had a timed test. The sense of time is lost on him. He simply doesn't care how long and that's not patience or perserverance..its that he 1. can't plan and 2. can't finish. He never has.

It's President Bush.

War is not a timed test. I'm assuming that by points 1 and 2 that you're in on high level cabinet discussions and therefore know more than the rest of us exactly whats planed. Or maybe you're just relying on the 'facts' as presented by the MSM.

What is unfair about giving him a set amount of time to accomplish his goal. He has never told us and you can look that up, how long this is going to take..so we are telling him.

If Congress votes to give the President a deadline to accomplish something that puts America's finest in harms way - in my opinion that deadline should be classified top secret till the deadline passes. Anything else is helping the enemy.

Justin said...

boston70 said...

...it not intelligent.

heh

monkeyboy said...

Al;
"We will pay any price, bear any burden to defend democracy."*

*This offer good for a limited time only, then you can die for all we care, this offer not valid if a Republican benefits, this offer does not extend to funny talking brown people.

Feder;

The Pope was not a "good little nazi", far from it. Once again, you may want to do a little research before you open your mouth.

RogerA said...

Why is anyone surprised the dems are doing what the republicans did? It's nice to know there is still some idealism left, but anyone who thinks that somehow the dems would keep the election promises and take the high road simply fail to understand the joke that is our congress--whichever party is in control.

The democratic strategy is pretty straight forward: keep investigating to keep republican issues in the limelight until the 2008 elections; try to get out of Iraq prior to then, so a possible democratic president wont have to make hard decisions, and hope to consolidate their positions in congress so they can come up with a veto proof majority.

What else was any one else really expecting?

And yes: a cynic is a wounded idealist.

Freder Frederson said...

The Pope was not a "good little nazi", far from it.

Don't put things in quotes that I never said. I called him a Hitler Youth, not a Nazi. Which, if you check the link you provided, is true.

Usually, I don't judge Germans who lived through the war so harshly. But in Ratzinger's case, I make an exception. He has consistently made statements and espoused a theology that holds people, even youth of the age he was during the war, responsible for their actions and places upon them an affirmative duty to resist and battle evil.

His actions during the war fall far short of the standards he has set for others. Rather than resist, he did what he needed to to get by.

Fen said...

an affirmative duty to resist and battle evil.

Was the Hitler Youth really evil? Or from their perspective, more like our Boy Scouts? Honestly asking, I'm ignorant on that topic.

I called him a Hitler Youth, not a Nazi.

I would have said was a member of the Hiltler Youth instead, becasue the Left invokes Godwin all too often. Its not unreasonable to wonder how you meant it. You tend to label peeps with the broad definition of a term, then attack them with the narrow [like "war criminal"]

Freder Frederson said...

Its not unreasonable to wonder how you meant it,

A fair enough objection. What I was disputing was monkeyboy attributing a quote to me ("good little nazi") that I never made.

monkeyboy said...

Feder;

Apologies for misquoting you. No excuse.

The exact quote is "the good little Hitler Youth he was" which is different by degrees. The link still shows that while he was in the HJ as required by law, he delayed as long as possible, rarely attended meetings, and was drafted onto the flak gun.

If your goalpost is that he should have been more of an active resistor than a passive one and ended his days on a meathook, be more percise.

Joshua said...

*This offer good for a limited time only, then you can die for all we care, this offer not valid if a Republican benefits, this offer does not extend to funny talking brown people.

This offer not valid in most parts of the world.

Freder Frederson said...

If your goalpost is that he should have been more of an active resistor than a passive one and ended his days on a meathook, be more percise.

Those aren't my goalposts, those are his. "Good little Hitler Youth" is hyperbole. According to his accounts, he was a reluctant participant in the Nazi war machine. However, by the standards he has set for others, he should have actively resisted the Nazis rather than gone along, however reluctantly, even if the effort had been futile and ended in his execution.

Cedarford said...

Patrick - You take exception to being lumped in with Feder, arguing that you were just espousing moral theology when you said:

I doubt anyone, anywhere, would suggest we firebomb any town like we did to the Germans.

What you are arguing is "Milksop" Christianity, which is the mainstream liberal variant of turn the other cheekism that is thankfully being replaced like crazy in most of the world - those elite liberals still get press coverage, but preach to emptied churches.
Much of the "war is never right, enemy civilian lives are as precious as your own, any response must be completely proportional" drivel was formulated in the Post-WWII era and was unworldly and unrealistic from the start. The Red Army was not stopped by English ministers or apologetic to anyone Catholics - but from fear the USA, Britain, and France would nuke the Red Army and a good part of the Communist Block if the Soviet tanks began rolling through the Fulda Gap.
It was a justified fear. We were fully ready to nuke if necessary.

I worry the the Islamoids believe that Milksop Christians actually control the West and that they can win easily over the turn-the-other-cheekers.

I am one who was once part of America's nuclear deterrant. Are similar forces today ready to push the button and firebomb towns on a scale vastly worse than what was ever done to a German or Japanese City? Yes. Hoping like crazy NOT to, but yes. And NOT in the strictly proportional way the Milksop think is the moral limit. You deter by promising the enemy far worse than you got, and convincing them that you have complete willingness to do so.

If they miscalculate our weakness as the Milksops and Lefties say it is ...and do WMD to us anyways - nuke Denver or Paris - anthrax Kolcuta or Rotterdam - you definitely send off a "disproportionate" number of nukes to whack the enemy so they know you were not just bluffing. You do it to prove you have the Will and Means to roast millions more Islamoids if they try again. And let them know a 2nd attack and they will be bending their butts up 5X a day facing a crater safe to enter and do haj to in about 200 years.






Freder on his "Hitler Youth" slams on the Pope and denial that he was lumping Ratzinger in with Nazis:

Usually, I don't judge Germans who lived through the war so harshly. But in Ratzinger's case, I make an exception. He has consistently made statements and espoused a theology that holds people, even youth of the age he was during the war, responsible for their actions and places upon them an affirmative duty to resist and battle evil.

His actions during the war fall far short of the standards he has set for others. Rather than resist, he did what he needed to to get by.


It doesn't sound like a denial, Freder, but an affirmation that you hold the Pope, back when he was a 15-year old, responsible for supporting Nazis.
As for Leftist idiots like you never judging Germans harshly, the Left makes a fixation of only claiming the Nazis were evil while giving the far more bloody and murderous Communists a pass. If any Lefty moron admits the Communists were premiere butchers, they try to spin the slaughter as "good intentions, poorly implemented" or try to pin it all on Stalin.
At the time the Pope as a boy was put in defense of his nation, it was just another occasion like in most nations at the time in Europe when schools were emptied and students put to work on planting, harvest, dealing with disasters. Being invaded by the Soviets and Allies counts as a reason why boys were asked to volunteer to defend their nation.
Many stepped up. You mischaracterise the Pope as a youth for being responsible for defending the Nazis by assuming he knew his actions were wrong at the time. I see none of that.

If there is any blame, it should lie with authorities that sent brave untrained kids to slaughter.

Conclusion? Feder is just doing a variant of the Godwin Nazi smear and got caught at it.

Fen said...

"Good little Hitler Youth" is hyperbole.

I agree with Monkey and Cederford - you used Hilter Youth to imply he was a good little Nazi. Poor form.

monkeyboy said...

He has consistently made statements and espoused a theology that holds people, even youth of the age he was during the war, responsible for their actions and places upon them an affirmative duty to resist and battle evil.

Focused too much on the HJ comment.

Where has the Holy Father said that we all need to be Father Kolbe? or conversly, that he is blameless for his actions?

Freder Frederson said...

Where has the Holy Father said that we all need to be Father Kolbe? or conversly, that he is blameless for his actions?

Well, here is where he says the Church must fight immoral governments:
"Concretely this means that the Bishops, Clergy and Laity must be involved on the area of politics when moral and Gospel values are at stake (cf. PCP II 344). The Pope says “the Church wishes to help form consciences in political life and to stimulate greater insight into the authentic requirements of justice.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: “It is part of the Church’s mission to pass moral judgments even in matters related to politics, whenever the fundamental rights of man or the salvation of souls requires it”"

As for him apologizing or atoning for being a very small cog in the Nazi war machine, I can't find any evidence of it.

I am one who was once part of America's nuclear deterrant.

More than anything Cedarford has ever written, this disturbs me the most. Why do have a suspicion that what you are really concerned about is the Islamoid's "conspiracy to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids."

monkeyboy said...

Feder, we probably don't want to start a discussion on Catholic doctrine. Suffice to say that I remain unconvinced that the Pope is a hypocrite, and I cannot convince you he is not.

I at least hope to convince you that even if he didn't do enough to fight the nazis, he didn't support them either as a "good" member of the HJ.

Revenant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hdhouse said...

proving once and for all if Cedarford was "once part of the nuclear deterent" we are in a heap of trouble.

if someone gave Cedarford a security clearance for anything other than polishing urinals in the parking lot outside 3 mile island he was nuts. Cedarford is nuts. A complete psycho.

Bring it on you slimeball.

catnapping said...

I'm sick of Democrats, too.

I'm sick of them letting Bush and his Nazi Henchmen ride roughshod over our country...

Why haven't they hauled HIS ass in front of congress and made him tell us UNDER OATH why he's got rape rooms in Iraq...why he's torturing Muslims around the world...and why he's murdering children in the middle east...