March 2, 2007

"Do you think that a majority of Democrats in Congress would like to see us lose in Iraq for political reasons? Yes... 84%."

Right Wing News polls the right blogosphere with button-pushing questions and gets answers a passionate lefty would predict.

121 comments:

R2K said...

That is insane.

George said...

Junk.

I got a call from Zogby a few weeks ago and spent about 10 minutes re: a survey on Americans' attitudes towards Muslims, particularly Muslim Americans.

If only I'd had a tape recorder because I can't remember the exact questions, many of which were written in a laughably biased way.

It seemed clear that whoever was paying for the poll wanted to try to figure out how to improve Muslims' PR image. There were many questions along the lines of "Would your opinion of American Muslims be affected if you knew that they were:

a) Police officers
Very much, somewhat, not at all, etc.
b) Firefighters
Very much, somewhat, not at all, etc.
c) Loving parents
d) Government officials
e) School teachers

My guess is that we will soon see TV shows and movies featuring such Muslim characters.

Many other questions dealt with Muslim's loyalty to the US and whether Islam's teachings were peaceful, particularly when compared to Christianity and Judaism.

The best question came at the end, when I was asked "Do you primarily consider yourself a citizen of a) your town or city; b) of the United States; or c) of the Earth.

I told the lady that my father was of the Earth, but I am of the universe, and you know what it's worth.

Anyway, I've now received several on-line polls from Zogby. I've told them that I'm a low-income widowed Jewish man and that I'm a NASCAR-loving lesbian Republican.

Hope it's useful to you, Zog!

Mortimer Brezny said...

I've told them that I'm a low-income widowed Jewish man and that I'm a NASCAR-loving lesbian Republican.

Are you making fun of my parents?

hdhouse said...

Question #9: Where do you get your news or what is your source for news?

Now wouldn't that seem to be the next logical question?

As to the results: This demonstrates the power and absurdity of certain news sources. No democrat has ever come out for "defeat" in Iraq. Never ever yet someone has put out the urban myth that it is all about loosing for political reasons.

Now how does shit like that happen?

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

Now how does shit like that happen?

Because it doesn't take a genius to figure out that if in the middle of a fight you walk away, you lose.

Keep telling yourself we won in Vietnam too.

Pogo said...

Re: "Now how does shit like that happen?"
By observing Democrats in Congress every day.

By reading Kos, Salon, the NYTimes, WaPo, Newsweek, Time, watching CNN and MSNBC, and glancing at the 'Current Politics' shelf at the bookstore.

Other than that, I haven't the foggiest.

ShadyCharacter said...

Somebody clue me in. Is the fact that most democrats want us to lose in Iraq in order to give the Bush administration a black-eye and humble the United States one of those things everyone knows but you're just not supposed to voice?

We're supposed to believe that these relics in the House and Senate that speak with pride of our loss in Vietnam simply would never be trying to relive their "glory" days, even though they increasingly use the same rhetoric now that they did then?

Let's see, the Democrat line is:
"The war was based on a lie." "Relatively, Saddam wasn't so bad." "Arabs are fundamentally incapable of sustaining a liberal democracy." "We should redeploy all of our troops to Okinawaw."

In the words of Murtha: "our plan is to slow-bleed the war effort."

But do they want us to lose? Nah! Couldn't be!

MadisonMan said...

Next Poll question: Do you think that a Majority of Republicans in Congress obtain money illegally from lobbyists? We'll ask that of Kos readers.

When a biased question is asked of people who are biased, is anyone really surprised at the result?

ShadyCharacter said...

And I'm sure we can all picture hdhouse turning up at the eventual victory parade in his home town, waving an American flag...

ShadyCharacter said...

But just to be clear, I'm not questioning anybody's patriotism!

=)

MadisonMan said...

I'm sure we can all picture hdhouse turning up at the eventual victory parade in his home town,

What will that victory look like, and when will it happen? I'm curious about your opinions on that.

hdhouse said...

I rest my case. Faux and Fiends is over kiddies. time to get on with your day...Rush will have updates for you all day long so you won't be without your daily dose of lies and the lying liars who tell them.

Pogo said...

"the eventual victory parade"

Given the Democrat's serious attempt to creat Vietnam Redux, I expect nothing less than spitting-on-soldiers, disco, cocaine, Carter, and a severe recession.

I didn't say it'd be a fun parade.

And hdhouse, cut with the nosebleed stuff. You tossed up a big ol' fat softball to swing at, on purpose, and pretend to sniff at the result.

Face it. Democrats are the party for losing in Iraq. It's what they want. it's what they talk about every day. What should be shameful makes you proud, so drop the condescension and smile. Your side will snatch their beloved defeat from the jaws of victory yet.

Tim said...

"No democrat has ever come out for "defeat" in Iraq."

Nor has any Democrat, save Sen. Lieberman, ever come out for victory in Iraq. Given that the outcome is a classic zero-sum game in that we either win or we lose, the fact that no Democrat but Sen. Lieberman has come out for victory in Iraq informs us that they do in fact support defeat in Iraq.

They just haven't the courage of their convictions and the basic honesty to admit that to the rest of us.

Tim said...

"No democrat has ever come out for "defeat" in Iraq."

Additionally, not one Democrat or Liberal commenting on this post can provide a link to any plan by any Democrat (who isn't Sen. Lieberman) in either house of Congress or running for President on how to win in Iraq. Nor can any Democrat or Liberal commenting on this post provide a link to any recent (2005 and on) statement by any Democrat (who isn't Sen. Lieberman)in either house of Congress or running for President on the importance of winning in Iraq. Nor can they point to any statement by any Democrat (who isn't Sen. Lieberman) in either house of Congress or running for President of their personal commitment to working for victory in Iraq.

Not one.

Tim said...

"No democrat has ever come out for "defeat" in Iraq."

No Democrat has ever worked for vicory in Iraq either.

MadisonMan said...

Tim, let me put this directly. Blow it out your ass. I know quite a few Democrats who have pulled tours of duty in Iraq. Your ignorance is breathtaking.

Too Many Jims said...

No one has worked harder than this Administration to create the conditions for defeat in Iraq. It is hard work to plan for a war without adequate regard for the history of the region. It is hard work to conduct a war without giving the military the appropriate resources.

Face it, this administration has done more to create a hospitable environment for Al-Qaeda in Iraq than Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden combined.

Given that this administration has been so wrong about just about everything in the region, I can't believe they will get it right this time.

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

MM,

While undoubtedly true and nice to know, it doesn't refute Tim's assertion. Dem's in the national arena have failed to put forth any plan other than various forms of GTFO

Pogo said...

Re: "I know quite a few Democrats who have pulled tours of duty in Iraq."

You're right on that, of course, MadisonMan. But I believe Tim is pointing out something unrelated to whether or not soldiers vote Dems or GOP.

The Democrats, while not saying "let's lose", they are not saying "let's win, and here's how."

Instead, they talk about defunding and slow bleeds. What message is that meant to convey, if not defeat? War isn't a Bright Eyes song, where one can say, "If you walk away I'll walk away."

As for too many jims, your point was made, many times over. The elections went to the Dems. So shut up and do something. What will the Dems do? What do they stand for? Will they be the party that won or lost the Iraq war? It's now long past time to bitch about where we've been. We get it. You believe Bush screwed it up. Fine. Now the ball's in your court. Act. Move.

ShadyCharacter said...

MadisonMan, that's simply a dodge. No one, not even me, is claiming that rank and file democrats are uniformly opposed to winning the war. The question is one of elected democratic officials in Congress and crazies on the fringe like hdhouse and the kossacks.

It might be a matter of damning with faint praise, but I have no doubt that you or Elizabeth, Liberman, any number of my Democrat family members or Ann are pulling for an American victory (even with doubts about the ultimate liklihood of such an outcome) and would be celebrating a victory once it occurs.

However, such an outcome would cause heartburn to those like hdhouse ideologically invested in American defeat and humiliation or those like Kerry or Murtha or Pelosi who are politically invested in American defeat.

RogerA said...

I think Madison Man hits the nail on the head with his question re "what is victory and when."

I will take a shot at it" tactical victory in Iraq will come when Iraq is politically stable and violence in Iraq is generated primarily a small number of criminals or a small number of separatists (think Northern Ireland--clearly not perfect, but for the most part a civil society).
This could also take the form as three different states in some loose confederation or even along the lines of the old Yugoslavia. (that situation has taken 10 or more years and is still evolving--but moving toward some stability).

Strategically, the diminution of tribally controlled states in the middle east and a rise in democracy characterized by what would like like our bill of rights freedoms. Generations for that to happen, if at all.

But ultimately, I think we need to remind ourselves of MM's question constantly--otherwise we have no guiding objective.

buffpilot said...

Victory? easy, Iraq looks like South Korea in 1963 in 2013, and we still have 50K troops in Iraq. (just like we still have troops in Japan, Germany, and South Korea etc). Same for Afghanistan but push the date to 2020 with say 5K troops.

The loony left just doesn't get the time element involved - It will take a LONG time.

Defeat is easy - we leave Iraq and Al Queda declares victory (rightly so). Expect us to leave Afghanistan shortly thereafter (another defeat) and a resurgent islamic jihad coming at the rest of our troops and nationals throughout the ME and the world. Expect hundres of thousands (if not millions) to perish in the convulsions that follow, but since most will not be Americans that's OK with te left (just like in Vietnam).

But making Bush look bad, getting domestic legislation passed, is far more import for our average leftist.

Cedarford said...

Why oh why do they even bother with Kos, Red State Ranter, Bill O'Reilly viewer polls??
They're crap and reveal nothing about what the actual American public is thinking.

I don't believe ALL Democrats crave defeat, America put in it's place as the Chinese & French wish, and Vietnam Redux. But a significant part of the Democratic Left DOES! From the post-communist progressives that see America as the main enemy of the world, to seditious enemy rights lovers, to the main moneymen of the Democratic Party - from Holywood all the way over to George Soro's Swiss Chalet.

Hopefully, the Democrats will take a moment soon and join Hillary, Webb, and others that ARE looking ahead and seeing the consequences of a US defeat followed by the ME in flames, a global depression, and terrorism allowed to operate freely as disastrous.

It's NOT "all about Iraq". Despite Bush's pathetic job performance and inability to present a coherent alternative to the "Internationalists and Transnationalists", it is really about a world trying to work out new international structures to deal with Asia's rise, Europes relative decline, overpopulation&resource shortages, WMD technology being fungible, religious fanaticism, and globalization of the means of production vs. the nation-state.

The Bush vision of the US military like the Roman legionaires imposing order on the world was a stupid and stillborn idea. His nation-building has failed so far.

But the Democrats have to be exceptionally wary they do not be seen as people who relish terrorist rights, America's defeat and humbling. Because all that will get them is 30 more years of post-Vietnam like reputation as the Party of weakness, socialism, doubtful patriotism in the eyes of many Americans.

Radical Islamists will strike again, and woe be the the Democrat that stands on the ruins and blames America for it for failing to send enough ACLU lawyers to GITMO and refusing the terrorist detainees TV sets.

Tim said...

"Tim, let me put this directly. Blow it out your ass. I know quite a few Democrats who have pulled tours of duty in Iraq. Your ignorance is breathtaking.

Madison Man, blow it out of your own ass, idiot. Any reasonable reading of my comments would indicate I was writing of Democrats in Congress or running for President.

I know more than one Democrat who supports victory in Iraq - and outside of Sen. Lieberman, none are in Congress.

Which, as I recall, is the subject of the polling question posed to conservative blogs - NOT rank and file Democrats in America.

Moron.

Bruce Hayden said...

buffpilot

I agree with your victory part, but al Qaeda is not about to actually win in Iraq simply because it represents a small and rapidly declining percentage of the population there. But maybe you are correct that their saying they won is what is important in determining our loss, regardless of the reality.

The problem is that al Qaeda has pushed the majority into ethnic cleansing of their minority through their indiscriminate mass murder of innocents. In particular, the Shi'a Arabs who have spent hundreds of years, if not a millenia, living side by side with their Sunni brethern around Baghdad, to the extent of often intermarrying, now, thanks to al Qaeda, can't afford to leave many of them in place.

So, maybe another indicia of losing could be the real opening of the spigots on the ethnic cleansing.

Serenity Now said...

hdhouse: No democrat has ever come out for "defeat" in Iraq. Never ever yet someone has put out the urban myth that it is all about loosing for political reasons. Now how does shit like that happen?

Leftist Democrats would never root for America or its allies to lose a war:

James Webb - "Denial is rampant in 1997, but the truth is this end result [South Vietnam's defeat] was the very goal of the antiwar movement’s continuing efforts in the years after American withdrawal. George McGovern, more forthcoming than most, bluntly stated as much to this writer during a break in taping a 1995 edition of cnn’s 'Crossfire.' After I had argued that the war was clearly winnable even toward the end if we had changed our strategy, the 1972 presidential candidate who had offered to go to Hanoi on his knees commented, 'What you don’t understand is that I didn’t want us to win that war.' Mr. McGovern was not alone. He was part of a small but extremely influential minority who eventually had their way." [emph. added]

Serenity Now said...

ShadyCharacter: In the words of Murtha: "our plan is to slow-bleed the war effort."

Apparently those aren't "the words of Murtha". They might reflect what he intends, but he didn't actually say them.

Bruce Hayden said...

The usual response to my friends infected with a bad case of BDS is not that we should lose in Iraq, but that we have lost. Or, they do what we have seen here and divert into either the causes of our entry into Iraq or the cost (and always mention that Bush didn't raise taxes to cover them, as if they would go down afterwords, and even from a Chicago trained MBA, ignoring the Laffer effect).

When I ask about why they think that we have lost already, it is inevitably about the levels of violence, irrespective of who is killing whom. When the level goes down, it is ignored, but when it goes back up, ah ha, we have lost.

One other thing that those I talk to with severe BDS refuse to discuss is what happens if we just leave right now. No discussion of the moral effect of that on our power and security around the world. And a refusal to discuss what will happen to the innocent Iraqis left unprotected.

But this should come as no surprise. During the last presidential election, we saw repeated references to the testimony by Kerry to Congress where he asserted that there wouldn't be a bloodbath if we abandoned the South Vietnamese. After all, Uncle Ho was everyone's uncle down there, and the NVA would be welcomed by all as saviors. And, of course, no recriminations (no reeducation camps, no revenge killings, etc.)

Doyle said...

Unbelievably deceptive title, Ann, as usual. A casual reader would think that was a poll of normal people, instead of a bunch of cave dwellers who were a perfect 59 for 59 on denial of human-caused global warming.

hdhouse said...

On "victory in Iraq"...

It's ok MadisonMan...these guys won't ever learn.

ohhhhh and by the way: Would someone care to show me where George Bush has "come out for victory" aside from mouthing the slogan? Can someone show me his "plan"?

Tell ya' what....demonstrate to me how bush has been just short of the disaster for the ages in Iraq - and I'll refute every claim you have of "doin' good". When we are done with the "Decider in Chief", then we can tackle your problems with the democrats...real and imagined.

Up to then, you have been handed the pissbucket by the rightwing media and you drank until you burst.

Fen said...

I think its noteworthy how Joe Lieberman's name keeps cropping up as the exception: name one Dem besides Lieberman....

If Democrats in Congress wanted us to win, Joe wouldn't be an outlier.

Fen said...

Apparently those aren't "the words of Murtha".

Murtha posted something on a website [MoveOn?] about how his bill was intended to handicap our efforts in Iraq and force the war to a close. I no longer have the quote b/c I lost the link - can anyone help?

Doyle said...

If Joe Lieberman hadn't guzzled down everyone's share of neocon Kool-Aid, he wouldn't be an outlier either. But he did so he is.

Naked Lunch said...

Barking Moonbat Early Warning System?

Great centrist non-partisan poll.

Next up - David Duke and the Aryan Nation Webring poll on Hmong relations.

Bruce Hayden said...

A casual reader would think that was a poll of normal people, instead of a bunch of cave dwellers who were a perfect 59 for 59 on denial of human-caused global warming.
"is right, but rather that at least some solar causation has been perculating around quite a bit lately. Of course, I am open to refutation by you in your own words w/o reference to any "models" that we can't personally get our hands on...

Bruce Hayden said...

Unbelievably deceptive title, Ann, as usual. A casual reader would think that was a poll of normal people, instead of a bunch of cave dwellers who were a perfect 59 for 59 on denial of human-caused global warming.

Looks to me like arguing through ad hominum attacks and straw men. Arguably the least effective argument of the thread.

Bruce Hayden said...

Let's try that one post again:

A casual reader would think that was a poll of normal people, instead of a bunch of cave dwellers who were a perfect 59 for 59 on denial of human-caused global warming.

National Geographic Wed. had an article titled: Mars Melt Hints at Solar, Not Human, Cause for Warming, Scientist Says.

I am not suggesting that this article is definitive, but rather asking whether Doyle wishes to refute it without invective or reference to authority stemming from use of "models" we can't independently verify.

Doyle said...

My "attack" on Ann was not ad hominem. I was criticizing the way she presented the poll (of cave dwellers).

And where is the straw man? Right wing bloggers don't require one.

hdhouse said...

I have a poll I almost can't believe. Sent out 4 pollsters on centre street in manhattan. we asked for occupations..just occupations...we got 9 federal judges and 21 government attorneys or staff, 43 litigators and, you won't believe this, almost 100 (97) who had lost their jobs due to a criminal conviction of an arrest. I was amazed.out of a couple hundred interviews we got 161 potential criminals and ony 9 judges. as soon as i use the rest room in the courthouse i'll complete the data.

Doyle said...

Bruce -

Will the well of alternate theories for global warming ever run completely dry? No. As long as there are people who hate the idea of environmental regulation, there will be theories about Mars getting warmer too or whatever.

I'm not a scientist, but I've read enough to be convinced that there's a positive correlation between carbon emissions and global warming. And, in turn, a positive correlation between global warming and our planet getting much less inhabitable.

But hey, you guys do your thing.

Fritz said...

Of course leftists want defeat for America. I don't question their patriotism, they never had any for America. Did Kerry really botch a joke? Why did he show up on 1-30-05 on Meet the Press with his sour face?

TM Jims,
Nothing but hypotheticals you can never prove. If we have a hard time keeping 150k troops, please explain how we could have maintained a force of 400k? The Pentagon wanted to install a strong man Chalibi, then transition to democracy. State Department & CIA gave us what we have had to endure the past 5 years. Rumsfeld will be vindicated in history, the long slog was inevitable, he didn't make the Vietnam mistake. He immediately Iraqized the conflict. All the dynamics are now in place, the surge is going to work. Like the wise al-Anbar sheik said, they defeated the US in Vietnam and 30 years later they are still poor. I would rather lose to the Americans to end up like Germany, Japan, and South Korea.

RogerA said...

Who wants to be the first to break the sad news to Doyle about the difference between correlation and causation. The only thing you have said right so far, Doyle, is that you are no scientist. You proved it in a single post! meep meep!!

buffpilot said...

Bruce,
Islamic fundamentalist, of which Al Queda is a part, will win if we leave Iraq. Al Queda will declare victory they cannot push us out, but we may leave on our own (BTW - when is the Democratco Congress going to get us out? Any day now right?), which would be the victory they want and could trumpet around the world (correctly I believe).

The Philipine Insurrection lasted 14 years and we won there. Ask me again how we are doing against the islamists in 2015.

Too Many Jims said...

Pogo said...

"As for too many jims, . . . shut up"


because it is only the Lemmings that are supposed to be talking. Just listen and get in line.

There is nothing that Dems can "do" other than speak and try to persuade. The President is commander-in-chief and he will order the troops where he wants (as he should). And they will follow (as they should). Doesn't mean the rest of us have to "shut up" if we think it is a bad idea.

MadisonMan said...

Bruce, the data for Mars is for only three years (3 Martian years, I think, though the paper doesn't explicitly say so). Three years means very little to a climate scientist. It's an interesting factoid -- but that's about it.

Ice caps melt for two reasons, by the way: warm temperatures, or dry conditions (since these are CO2 sheets, less CO2 in the Martian atmosphere). It's not clear to me from the article how the two effects on Mars can be monitored.

Fen said...

Great centrist non-partisan poll

Oh please. Its not like you get centrist non-partisan polls from CNN/Time either.

Fen said...

I'm not a scientist, but I've read enough to be convinced that there's a positive correlation between carbon emissions and global warming.

Then please explain why we had global warming before the Industrial Revolution?

Doyle said...

What I said was not wrong, Roger. There is a positive correlation. I didn't bother explicitly adding that it was also a causal relationship, and could thus be expected to continue in the future, because I thought it was so obvious.

Historical correlation (the earth is both warmer and has more CO2 emissions) has never been in question, and it's now clear that causation isn't in doubt either.

Doyle said...

fen -

There are natural factors at work, too. But they have been overwhelmed by the tons of carbon we've put up since the Industrial Revolution. Hence the "hockey stick" chart of avg. temperature.

Henry said...

And, in turn, a positive correlation between global warming and our planet getting much less inhabitable.

I dunno. I'm fine with the evidence of global warming, but the doomsday predictions are a different matter. Personally I'm looking forward to the Norse colonizing Greenland again.

RogerA said...

Doyle--point taken! (except for the last part :) )

Naked Lunch said...

The Pentagon wanted to install a strong man Chalibi, then transition to democracy.

The CIA knew Chalibi was a fraud and a liar, and the DoD chose this ill-begotten plan over the objections of the CIA and 8 yrs of serious planning by people that actual study this stuff. He fled Jordan in a trunk of a car wanted for bank fraud. Think about that. The people that wanted Chalibi were a small group of neocons that were duped by an Iranian spy [Chalibi] that turned the easiest occupation in history to the worst military debacle of all time, that has increased jihadi attacks worldwide

Nice to know that Dick Cheney is funding Sunni terrorists covertly around Congress though.

This plan is working beautifully.

Fen said...

Hence the "hockey stick" chart of avg. temperature.

But that research has been discredited. Mann used two different data sets [tree rings vs and melded them into one conclusion and ommitted data that disagreed with that conclusion.

Mann’s revolutionary temperature history culminates in 1998’s record high, attained when he splices the observed temperature history onto the end of the reconstructed history (somewhat of a dubious practice).

http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2004/04/02/bending-the-hockey-stick/

Perhaps the Medieval Warming period was due to all those heretics being burned at the stake?

In 2003, Stephen McIntyre, a Toronto minerals consultant and amateur mathematician, and Ross McKitrick, an economist at Canada's University of Guelph, jointly published a critique of the hockey stick analysis. Their conclusion: Mr. Mann's work was riddled with "collation errors, unjustifiable truncations of extrapolation of source data, obsolete data, geographical location errors, incorrect calculations of principal components, and other quality control defects." Once these were corrected, the Medieval warm period showed up again in the data.

This should have produced a healthy scientific debate. Instead, as the Journal's Antonio Regalado reported Monday, Mr. Mann tried to shut down debate by refusing to disclose the mathematical algorithm by which he arrived at his conclusions. All the same, Mr. Mann was forced to publish a retraction of some of his initial data, and doubts about his statistical methods have since grown. Statistician Francis Zwiers of Environment Canada (a government agency) notes that Mr. Mann's method "preferentially produces hockey sticks when there are none in the data." Other reputable scientists such as Berkeley's Richard Muller and Hans von Storch of Germany's GKSS Center essentially agree.


http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110006314

Canadian scientists Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick have uncovered a fundamental mathematical flaw in the computer program that was used to produce the hockey stick. In his original publications of the stick, Mann purported to use a standard method known as principal component analysis, or PCA, to find the dominant features in a set of more than 70 different climate records.

But it wasnt so. McIntyre and McKitrick obtained part of the program that Mann used, and they found serious problems. Not only does the program not do conventional PCA, but it handles data normalization in a way that can only be described as mistaken.

Now comes the real shocker. This improper normalization procedure tends to emphasize any data that do have the hockey stick shape, and to suppress all data that do not. To demonstrate this effect, McIntyre and McKitrick created some meaningless test data that had, on average, no trends. This method of generating random data is called Monte Carlo analysis, after the famous casino, and it is widely used in statistical analysis to test procedures. When McIntyre and McKitrick fed these random data into the Mann procedure, out popped a hockey stick shape.


http://www.technologyreview.com/Energy/13830/

The problem with tree rings is that their variations reflect more than just year-to-year climate differences (temperature and/or precipitation). As the trees age, the tree-ring production changes and introduces a spurious trend in the tree-ring series. That aging effect differs among tree species, as well as within species depending on the growing conditions (soil type, elevation, slope aspect, etc.). Therefore, it becomes very difficult to separate trends due to aging effects from trends due to climate.

Various research groups have developed different techniques to attempt to account for this problem, but since the ground truth (the true temperature) is not known, no one can be sure whose technique is the best.


http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2004/04/02/bending-the-hockey-stick/

Doyle said...

Fen -

By way of rebuttal:

It's gettin' hot in herre [so hot!]/ So take off all your clothes!

MadisonMan said...

fen: (Thank you, by the way, for shortening your moniker :) )

The research has been discredited in the Opinion Pages of the Wall Street Journal. You should instead believe something from the Journal of Climate. And what do actual Climate Scientists think about the Wall Street Journal? Admittedly, such scientists may have a reason for pursuing their point of view. Just like anyone else.

Re: Tree Rings. It is difficult to separate out the sometimes contradictory trends of growth, drought, and heat. But not impossible. Your argument implicitly seems to accept this, as you note that no one agrees which technique is best. The inference being that they are good.

Revenant said...

Here are the *actual* percentages, which illustrate that it is impossible to tell anything about right-wing blogs from this poll (other than that they don't like responding to email polls):

Do you think the surge should go forward?

Yes: 25%
No: 1%
No Response: 74%

Do you think that a majority of Democrats in Congress would like to see us lose in Iraq for political reasons?

Yes: 22%
No: 4%
NR: 74%

Etc, etc... statistically speaking, this poll is crap. The opinions of a self-selected group of 63 people tell you nothing about the larger population.

Fritz said...

Mad Man,
.....drum roll please.....
What is missing from the catastrophe models? Precipitation effects. Like one scientist said, global warming is like a theory on monetary policy leaving out the Federal Reserve Bank.

N Lunch,
There you have it, Mother Jones and Seymour Hersh. The papers of record.

Nikolay said...

buffpilot,
The loony left just doesn't get the time element involved - It will take a LONG time.
Well, that makes Rumsfeld a loony left.

Defeat is easy - we leave Iraq and Al Queda declares victory (rightly so).
So the question is who _declares_ victory, right? A PR problem?
It's obvious that Al-Qaeda wouldn't be able to hold ground in Iraq were US to withdraw. They are a tiny minority of a minority group. There are many more or less reasonable grounds for staying in Iraq, like preventing genocide, but you can's say that getting out would validate AQ's strategy, because staying in Iraq is totally in Al-Qaeda interests, whose strategy is about draining US treasury on the cheap. As soon as US gets out, AQ gets embroiled in a _serious_ civil war which will have them fight a losing battle and, most probably, bury this movement forever. Hundreds of thousand of innocents would probably die, but it will be AQ's defeat.
Anybody with enough understanding to know the difference between Shia and Sunni sees this.

RogerA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

fen -- egos in meteorology are just as big as egos elsewhere. There are people who live to show how smart they are by putting down colleagues in public. Anyone presenting something like a catastrophe models (your word, not mine, so I'm not exactly sure what you're talking about) would be laughed out of a Conference Presentation if the model lacked something fundamental.

RogerA said...

NL: for another view of Sy Hersh's latest effort look here third para from bottom.

Fritz said...

We have been told that the great coral reefs are dying because of global warming. The earth was warmer 700 years ago, Where is fossil evidence? Oh I get it, like the Theory of Evolution, the missing link is simply missing, but the theory is absolute!

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

toomanyjims said: "There is nothing that Dems can "do" other than speak and try to persuade."

Wrong. They could cut funding like they did in Vietnam. So get on it, already. Cut the funding and stop the insanity.

P.S. Your use of ellipsis to "quote" me was dishonest. So I'll return the favor:

toomanyjims said: "...only the...Dems can...speak and...order the troops...to "shut up".

Daryl Herbert said...

Of course Democrat politicians want us to lose. They've already taken the position that we need to pull out.

If we stay and win, it will be incredibly embarrassing to them, and more swing voters will vote for Republicans.

The opposite is obviously true! If things go worse in Iraq, the Dems benefit. Why is it so fucking hard to turn that simple concept 180 degrees?

Kellen said...

"a bunch of cave dwellers who were a perfect 59 for 59 on denial of human-caused global warming"

That's a misrepresentation. The question to which you refer was "Do you think mankind is the primary cause of global warming?"

freelunch said...

Kellen, even if you include the loaded question, the answer by these people shows a lack of comprehension or subtlety. Human activity is the primary cause of changes in the atmosphere over the past century+.

The only way they are correct is if they are trying to include all causes over all time.

AJ Lynch said...

Madison Man:

You are a smart guy. Do yoiurself a favor and read that National Geo article, then google the guy who is referred to as a climate scientist. Then tell me if he has a Phd, etc or is possibly just a lowly assistant researcher at Wisc.edu?

ShadyCharacter said...

freelunch, explain then why temperatures declined in the first half of the 20th century, when industrialization was ramping up - to the point that in the 70's it was the "scientific consensus" that we were in for catastrophic global cooling.

Also, please let us know the method by which our pollution is being transmitted to Mars - as it is "obvious" that human activity is the only explanation for planetary warming...

crickets...

You people who are so totally buying into the global warming myth are going to look like such IDIOTS 10 years from now as we exit the recent period of high solar activity (which is cyclical) and the professional doomsayers in the environmental movement start droning on again about the dangers of man-made global cooling.

I can hear Gore now: "The polar ice caps are going to expand and suck up all the water in the oceans as the glaciers sweep down and destroy civilization. The only answer is to reduce our carbon footprint, which the scientific consensus proves is the cause of global cooling..."

Remember when leftists prided themselves on being skeptics? Now they just bitch about people not being sheeplike enough...

MadisonMan said...

freelunch, explain then why temperatures declined in the first half of the 20th century, when industrialization was ramping up

I'm not freelunch, but I'll answer. Aerosols. Industrialization spews a whole lotta aerosols into the atmosphere. They reduce the amount of solar energy hitting the Earth.

hdhouse said...

Yo POGO....you love the war. You obviously love President Woowoo. This is your friggin war. You go tell him he is out of his mind. While you are there, go down the hall to Darth Vader's office and tell him that he is insane.

Doyle said...

Man-made global cooling? Is it even worth bothering with this fellow?

Of course not, but let me just point out that the professional doomsayers include just about every climate scientist who isn't on the API's payroll ($10k per skeptical article is the going rate, apparently).

Also, isn't the consequence of taking scientists seriously and doing something about global warming and then learning it was a false alarm better than not doing anything and realizing they were right?

Revenant said...

Where is fossil evidence? Oh I get it, like the Theory of Evolution, the missing link is simply missing, but the theory is absolute!

You know, it would be a lot easier to be a global warming skeptic if there weren't all these ignoramus Creationists on my side too.

ShadyCharacter said...

"this is your friggen war"

yep, no doubt about it, hdhouse is a true american patriot!

No, that's not sarcasm. Why would you think that? I wouldn't dare question someone's patriotism. That would be unamerican, just ask any leftist!

Pogo said...

hdhouse
Occasionally you
make sense, but I disagree with your arguments. But the rest of the time, like in your most recent comment, you just sound nuts.

Watch out for the squirrels.

ShadyCharacter said...

Don't you just know that 10 years from now these gullible anonymous posters like hdhouse and freelunch are going to deny deny deny that THEY ever believed in global warming.

Revenant said...

Of course not, but let me just point out that the professional doomsayers include just about every climate scientist who isn't on the API's payroll

Of course, when you turn around and exclude those climate scientists who are affiliated with environmentalist organizations and/or government regulatory agencies (both of which benefit enormously from global warming scares), the ratio of skeptics to non-skeptics improves considerably.

Furthermore, while most climate scientists believe that humans are causing the globe to warm, nowhere *near* "just about all of them" believes this will be catastrophic.

Revenant said...

You obviously love President Woowoo. This is your friggin war. You go tell him he is out of his mind. While you are there, go down the hall to Darth Vader's office and tell him that he is insane.

You know, insulting nicknames kind of lose their power when people can no longer figure out who the heck they are. "Woowoo" is presumably Bush, but who the heck is Darth Vader?

Doyle said...

I don't buy that all those thousands of scientists are fudging their data for the grant money. Peer review would make that very difficult, and it's a lot more paranoid than attributing the few dead-ender skeptics to oil interests, which have a lot more money than the EPA.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

Of course, when you turn around and exclude those climate scientists who are affiliated with environmentalist organizations and/or government regulatory agencies (both of which benefit enormously from global warming scares), the ratio of skeptics to non-skeptics improves considerably.

You're dramatically overstating the change in ratio, in my opinion, but there's an excellent article that addresses biases in Global Warming here, written by a Curmudgeonly Emeritus Professor.

hdhouse said...

yes it is your war. you love it. you promote it. you defy all reason and logic. you think that you have some hidden truth, some light in a bucket that shines only for you and your ilk...so fine. don't ask for our help here. go solve the mess yourselves. you've had more time in Iraq than my dad did in the Pacific in WW2 but don't let that stop you.

And when you figure out that Bush and his cronies are about as effectual in fighting anything but a hangover than Brownie was with Katrina, maybe, just maybe you will save some American lives.

What is more telling is the outrageously stupid argument about global warming entered into here as what? a ploy to get the moronic rightwing some relief from an obviously silly poll?

are you kidding? do you really think there is NO global warming? do you really think it is "just one of those things"? that man has nothing to do with it whatsoever? is that your stance? is that your position? God the trickster up to no good?

Why are facts, reality, truth and all that so hard for you to face? What does it take? You make stuff up out of thin air to make yourself feel better, you have zero grasp of science or the scientific method, you can't figure out that this war is mostly political yet you try and solve it with a hammer...its just so stupid and moronic as to make me weep for the future.

and if you wonder why no one will mind if the door slams into bush's ass in two years...well go figure.

Fen said...

Madison: Anyone presenting something like a catastrophe models (your word, not mine,

Lost me there. I don't recall using the term. Maybe you've got me confused with another?

Fen said...

Peer review would make that very difficult

Mann's Hockey Stick hoax made it through peer review, so its not all that difficult.

Revenant said...

I don't buy that all those thousands of scientists are fudging their data for the grant money.

Scientists don't have to deliberately fudge their data for their own personal biases to affect the results. Psychiatrists "knew" that homosexuality was a form of mental illness for decades -- not because their falsified their data, but because virtually all of them, like virtually all people in general, were homophobes.

When virtually all of the people charged with determining if humans are endangering the planet either already *believe* humans are endangering the planet or work for people whose salaries depend on the belief that humans are endangering the planet, it is hardly a surprise that they find that humans are endangering the planet.

In any case, you're already declared that who a person takes money from determines how trustworthy they are by citing the API. You don't get to backtrack now and express skepticism at the idea.

Peer review would make that very difficult

Not if the people reviewing it suffer from the same biases and self-interest.

If it turns out that global warming isn't a problem, a large percentage of the people working in climate science are going to lose their jobs, and the departments and organizations they work for are going to lose a lot of money. When your livelihood depends on discovering that something is true, you tend to discover that it is true.

You see the same thing in the war on drugs -- hundreds of thousands of law enforcement personnel claim it is (a) working and (b) necessary, despite a complete lack of evidence for their position. Why? Because in the absence of hard evidence one way or the other, they choose to believe the option that lets them keep feeding their families.

and it's a lot more paranoid than attributing the few dead-ender skeptics to oil interests, which have a lot more money than the EPA.

Just a hint -- if you're going to repeat the fifty-year-old "Big Oil is hiding the truth" canard, you might want to refrain from calling *other* people paranoid.

MadisonMan said...

fen -- oops, sorry, that was Fritz I was responding to. I must've just clued in on the 'f' :)

ShadyCharacter said...

Hdhouse, a translation:

blah blah blah blah blah "YOUR WAR" blah blah. Translation: "I don't identify with America."

blah blah BUSH blah CRONIES blah BROWN blah blah KATRINA blah blah. Translation: classic BDS gibberish.

blah blah GLOBAL WARMING blah MORONIC RIGHTWING PLOY blah. Translation: inability to follow a thread leads hdhouse to overlook that global warming was introduced onto the thread by a dyspeptic left-winger [Doyle, no less] in a slam on the poll participants.

You really think there is NO global warming? I'll actually answer this one. Yes, there may be global warming going on today. There was global cooling at some points during the last century and global warming in others. There will be global cooling periods in the future and global warming periods. Far enough in the future there will be ice ages and periods when the poles have rain forests... Strangely enough, you are simply an IDIOT if you believe that but for the actions of man there would be no temperature fluctuations. Man didn’t cause the little ice age in the middle ages, the cooling period in the first half of the 20th century and there is NO PROOF, only conjecture based on computer models that can’t even accurately account for past temperatures when fed past data, that man is AT ALL responsible for the current warming period.


blah blah “you have zero grasp of science or the scientific method” blah blah STUPID blah MORONIC. Translation: The scientific method means looking at the current scientific consensus, accepting it as gospel, discounting contrary evidence and painting those presenting alternative evidence as ipso facto evil tools of big business. I swear you global warming fetishists make the creationists look like tolerant and open minded!

“and if you wonder why no one will mind if the door slams into bush's ass in two years...well go figure. Translation: When President Romney and VP Gingrich are sworn in, I’m going to curl up in a ball and sob my eyes out!

Doyle said...

The API is known to pay scientists for skeptical papers. It's not paranoid as much as it's true.

Harkonnendog said...

are we responsible for Mar's global warming too?

Fen said...

hdhouse: What is more telling is the outrageously stupid argument about global warming entered into here as what? a ploy to get the moronic rightwing some relief from an obviously silly poll?

hd, the outrageously stupid argument about global warming was brought up by your fellow Moonbat, Doyle, to get the moronic leftwing some relief from an obviously silly poll..

The rest of your argument is just as confused, so I won't bother with a fisking.

Pogo said...

hdhouse
When you can convince the Dems you've elected to immediately defund the war and stop the insanity, I'll listen.

Me? I want to win. That's pro-victory, not pro-war. Everyone hates war; that's not saying much. I hate death, taxes, and TV shows with Baldwins in them. But there they are.

hdhouse said...

no one elected the dems to "immediately defund the war". we have never said that.

we might put some fiscal responsibility into congress. now that would be a first but no one will vote or even contemplate voting for anything that hurts the troops.

so President Woowoo should get his sorry ass away from hiding behind the troops and take his meds.

hdhouse said...

ohhhhh shadycharacter you little rascal you...

i knew you were a fool after the first blah blah blah....the rest was just reinforcement.

ShadyCharacter said...

ZING!

What a comeback! I bet you were [are?] the terror of the school yard.

Doyle said...

Everybody hates war... but not everybody loves winning?

Naked Lunch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

The API is known to pay scientists for skeptical papers. It's not paranoid as much as it's true.

The API is not "the oil industry". The API is an organization funded BY the oil industry. The oil industry might be richer than the environmentalist industry, but the API -- which does not have a blank check to spend all of the oil industry's profits -- is not.

You're using the fact that the API *hypothetically* could have access to the full resources of the oil industry to argue that it is more lucratively funded than the global warming industry is, when in fact the exact opposite is the case.

Pogo said...

Re: "Everybody hates war... but not everybody loves winning?"

Slight correction: Not everyone loves a winner.
Hence anti-American feeling since 1861.

Pogo said...

Re: "no one elected the dems to "immediately defund the war". we have never said that."

Gosh, no anti-war madate?
Then why'd you elect these guys anyway? What was the point? And what's Murtha doing? And why are Pelosi, Kerry, and hell, even Hillary bitching about Iraq if they aren't going to do anything about it? And why aren't you calling for their heads if they don't defund the war tomorrow?

ShadyCharacter said...

What's funny is you can quote a leftist saying explicitely, "I hope we lose the war. That'll knock Amerikkka down a peg."

And if you accuse that leftist of favoring defeat all the other leftists will circle the wagons to say "nuh-uh."

Naked Lunch said...

Man where do you guys get this shit?

Somebody tell me you are cracking up when you're writing this.

Democrats want to lose because George Bush can't win? 5 yrs later we can't secure the road from the airport to Baghdad, and you're blaming Democrats. Some great wingnut logic there, and sadly typical.

Doyle said...

Yeah Shady seems intent on challenging Fritz for the title of "Most Embarrassing Commenter." But maybe worse because Fritz, with his photo of W. embracing that little girl, is somehow endearing. Pogo has his moments, but doesn't have the consistency to rank higher than third.

BTW, if quoting a "leftist" saying that is so easy, then why don't you just do it, rather than transcribing the "leftist" voices in your addled head.

hdhouse said...

its ok Doyle, they know not what they do.

on a serious note, if you look at lil'Pogo, he takes the classic tactical of it all:

"Pogo said...
Re: "no one elected the dems to "immediately defund the war". we have never said that."

Gosh, no anti-war madate?
Then why'd you elect these guys anyway?"

first he tries to blur "anti-war" with "defund the war". tsk tsk.

more than anything, POGO admits that the Republicans are and were too spineless, too chickenshit to take on President Woowoo and Darth Vader and put some contraints on them....now they whine and squeal for the democrats to save them from their own stupidity and laziness.

wie schade.

Fen said...

hdhouse: more than anything, POGO admits that -

Nope. You're fabricating. Pogo asked:

why are Pelosi, Kerry, and hell, even Hillary bitching about Iraq if they aren't going to do anything about it?

Though I'm not surprised you evaded the question.

Again, if Dems in Congress wanted us to win in Iraq, Joe Lieberman would not be standing alone.

Revenant said...

BTW, if quoting a "leftist" saying that is so easy, then why don't you just do it, rather than transcribing the "leftist" voices in your addled head.

Okay.

That took all of ten seconds on Google.

Out of curiosity -- do you now plan to start agreeing that the left favors defeat? No, right? So what's the point of asking for the quotes, again? Isn't it intellectually unserious to ask for evidence if you've no plans to allow evidence to sway your beliefs?

MadisonMan said...

That took all of ten seconds on Google.

The speaker -- roundly and rightly criticized by just about everyone -- was then an Asst. Prof at Columbia. He still is listed as an asst. prof -- I wonder if he'll get tenure?

Tim said...

"Again, if Dems in Congress wanted us to win in Iraq, Joe Lieberman would not be standing alone."

Yes. After being gone all of the day, I've noticed no Democrat or Liberal attempted, even half-heartedly, any effort to answer my earlier questions:

" Additionally, not one Democrat or Liberal commenting on this post can provide a link to any plan by any Democrat (who isn't Sen. Lieberman) in either house of Congress or running for President on how to win in Iraq. Nor can any Democrat or Liberal commenting on this post provide a link to any recent (2005 and on) statement by any Democrat (who isn't Sen. Lieberman)in either house of Congress or running for President on the importance of winning in Iraq. Nor can they point to any statement by any Democrat (who isn't Sen. Lieberman) in either house of Congress or running for President of their personal commitment to working for victory in Iraq."

They do not answer because they cannot answer - yet they do not have to honesty or the courage to admit their Democrat representatives in Congress and running for President do not support victory in Iraq.

MadisonMan said...

Additionally, not one Democrat or Liberal commenting on this post can provide a link to any plan by any Democrat (who isn't Sen. Lieberman) in either house of Congress or running for President on how to win in Iraq.

Neither can a Conservative of Republican. Therein lies the problem. What, for example, is Olympia Snowe's plan for victory? What's Senator McCain's? Or Trent Lott's? Paul Ryan's?

Staying in Iraq, or a surge, or whatever you want to call it, is not a plan to win. It's a plan not to leave and to hope for the best.

Naked Lunch said...

Tim
It's really, really easy to explain. There is no win, just a slow, ugly with-drawl pretty much no matter what we do. Iraq's government is already in place, unless you want to topple it, or take a side on the civil war, there isn't much we can do. If you seriously think the world is on pins and needles awaiting the outcome, or if this country is going to rewarded with [another] victory speech I'm sorry you'll be disappointed.

Democrats haven't a whiff of this war policy from the beginning. Zero. No input whatsoever. They, along with everyone else knew little about the policy because the was zero oversight. You should blaming Bush, not "the left", which by your definition is roughly 3/4 of this country.

The "win" you keep talking about is a sad fiction story from the Right to keep your hopes up for '08. Sorry.

freelunch said...

They do not answer because they cannot answer - yet they do not have to honesty or the courage to admit their Democrat representatives in Congress and running for President do not support victory in Iraq.

It appears that you would like me to call the other party the Republic party. Fine, I don't care how illiterate you are, what I do care is that you have created a false dichotomy. This is not and cannot be whether people 'support victory in Iraq.' Your simplistic attack shows why we have bogged down in Iraq.

The President, Vice-President and Sec. of Defense went in and easily accomplished the initial goal, overthrow Saddam. Was that victory? Apparently not, since our troops are still bogged down there and Iraq, which we made ungovernable with our approach to our conquest, is still not governable. It appears to me that there is no longer a reasonable definition of victory available for us to try to accomplish. If you can provide one, I'm quite willing to listen to how it can be accomplished. If not, remember that the Republicans controlled all of the levers of power in the US while disastrous war happened.

Too Many Jims said...

If Republics in Congress wanted us to win in Iraq, they wouldn't have turned a blind eye to the incompetence of the administration for the past 3 plus years. If Republics cared about winning the war Hagel and Warner would not be standing nearly alone. But Republics don't care about winning, they want to lose with the most American blood lost as possible.

Just to be clear, I think a "surge" could work but I think the number of troops and the amount of resources needed would be so great that not even this administration could withstand the pressure to not pursue the strategy. (For example, Kagan was talking about 80,000 additional troops in December. And I don't think the current surge plan reflects the "substantial" increase in troops suggested by Kristol and Lowry 5 months ago.)

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't think that the majority of Democrats in Congress would like to see us lose, but rather figure that since the country wasn't pacified w/i six weeks of our invasion, that it is lost.

Maybe a bit of an excageration as to the time frame, but looking down through the comments from the left in this thread, it is clear that the prevelant meme on the left is that we have already lost (and of course, it was the fault of Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Bush, probably in that order).

The problem with the meme is that it is wrong. The only real metric I saw above was by BuffPilot. Oh, and the guy who put all his eggs in the fact that the road from the airport to the Green Zone wasn't safe, as if the terrorists didn't know where the reporters were and went. Of course they do - they watch CNN more avidly than we do, and the attacks there are aimed at just that - CNN.

But the meme is wrong. It is far from accurate. We aren't losing, and we haven't lost. We are mostly winning, but it is taking time, money, and lives, to win.

Things were looking good until late last summer, when the Shi'a started to strike back at the Sunnis who had been indiscriminately killing innocent Shi'a for a long time. But it is becoming ever more evident the reason for this surge of sectarian violence, and you just have to look to the east. Yes, Sadr's Mahdi Army is closely aligned with Iran (and indeed, there are rumors that he has fled there in response to our "surge"). And they are even arming the Sunni.

Why? Two reasons. First, to counter our pressure on them to halt their nuclear weapons program. And secondly to counteract their own internal domestic problems and the fact that the Iranian rulers are becoming ever more unpopular.

But why do I say that we are winning now? Well, the big thing has always been for the Iraqi security forces to stand up and take control over their own security. Since it was necessary to dump the Baathist Sunni leadership of the military, we have had to build the military and police from the ground up. And that takes time.

But it has been happening, despite all the news stories to the contrary. The amazing thing is that there are still waiting lines to join, despite some police units having casualty rates similar to those we had during the Battle of the Bulge. Nevertheless, the Iraqis control the security in most of their provinces now, and are working hard on Baghdad and Anbar.

So, two indications last week that the flow was in our direction. First, there was a firefight between the police and al Qaeda in al Anbar province, where upwards of 70 or so terrorists were killed at a loss of a couple police. Not the army, but the police. And notably, al Qaeda had come into town to terrorize the populace into supporting them, and instead of rolling over, they called for help and got it. That they would even ask for it is remarkable. But most of the Anbar tribes have now signed on with the government.

Secondly, the murder rate in Baghdad in Feb. was less than half that of Dec. and Jan. Apparently, if you are willing to go through countless checkpoints, it is far safer now for the Sunnis to travel into Shi'a areas than it has been for six months or so. Both the Sunni terrorists and the Shi'a militias (notably the Mahdi Army) are under significant pressure right now, and it is coming more from a "surge" of Iraqi than U.S. forces there.

Can we see the end of the tunnel yet? I don't think so. But are we moving in the right direction? I think most evidence says yes.

Tim said...

"Neither can a Conservative of Republican. Therein lies the problem. What, for example, is Olympia Snowe's plan for victory? What's Senator McCain's? Or Trent Lott's? Paul Ryan's?"

Most Republicans, like McCain, support the surge to win. Your other examples do not prove your point. Also, you should read up more on the surge to better understand what it means before you write about it, as it is apparent you have no idea what it means.

"Iraq's government is already in place, unless you want to topple it, or take a side on the civil war, there isn't much we can do."

Thus the same for Afghanistan. Al Qaeda is in Iraq; Al Qaeda is in Afghanistan; neither government is stable without U.S. military support - so why aren't any Democrats calling for surrender in Afghanistan as they are from Iraq? The relative conditions are the same - al Qaeda wins in both cases; we lose in both cases; the enemy is emboldened and empowered; America is shamed as an irresolute and faithless ally; moderate Muslims, their nations and their governments realize militant Islamic fascism is ascendant and make additional accommodations to them rather than the West. The larger war gets longer, bloodier, and the outcome less certain. That is the outcome of your surrender.

"Apparently not, since our troops are still bogged down there and Iraq, which we made ungovernable with our approach to our conquest, is still not governable. It appears to me that there is no longer a reasonable definition of victory available for us to try to accomplish."

I know the authoritarian instinct amongst the Left is irresistible; but do you really think WE made Iraq ungovernable? Or that Iraq can only be governed by a murderous thug? I know the Michael Moore depiction of flying kites in Hussein’s ever-so-bucolic Iraq is a compelling fairy tale, but really. Please tell us, which murderous thug do you want to govern Iraq? We all want to know. As for "a reasonable definition of victory," yes, under your terms, it probably isn't possible or preferable for us to leave a murderous thug el presidente para la vida. Sorry about that.

"If Republics cared about winning the war Hagel and Warner would not be standing nearly alone. But Republics don't care about winning, they want to lose with the most American blood lost as possible.

Three points: execution of war has always been the domain of the executive; yes, Congress has appropriate oversight responsibilities, but that does not include micromanaging the war. It is completely tendentious to ascribe the failure of Congressional Republicans to provide better oversight (they did some) as them not wanting to win in Iraq. As for Hagel and Warner are political weather vanes, craven to the core, vain and irresolute. They serve your purposes, but not the nation's. Finally, illiteracy isn't what you think it is.

"Just to be clear, I think a "surge" could work but I think the number of troops and the amount of resources needed would be so great that not even this administration could withstand the pressure to not pursue the strategy. (For example, Kagan was talking about 80,000 additional troops in December. And I don't think the current surge plan reflects the "substantial" increase in troops suggested by Kristol and Lowry 5 months ago.)

Fair enough, although I think the punditry, especially those you reference, what with their extensive military careers and resumes of successfully fought wars are somewhat suspect "experts" any of us should be careful of citing. That said, the "surge," properly understood, is a change in strategy and tactics; it came about in an effort win rather than lose; because of that it is broadly supported by Congressional Republicans and those running for president and opposed by Congressional Democrats and those running for president, who, as we all know but are not all prepared to admit, favor defeat. Sure, it might fail (wars are funny that way); but surrendering without trying to win does us no favors – but it sure helps our enemies.

Bruce Hayden said...

Too Many Jims

We don't have 80,000 more troops, and haven't since the Clinton erea "Peace Dividend" that slashed our military, esp. as to deployable troops to situations like this (for example, by deactivating half our Army divisions we had when he took office). Not necessarily blaming Clinton, since everyone thought that we could demobilize after the Soviet Union fell.

The sad truth is that we have been running at about the maximum level we could since our incursion into Iraq. Soldiers are on their third deployment to the Sandbox right now. And our reserve component is really suffering. If we surged 80,000 troops now, next year we would only be able to have maybe 40,000 or so there.

But the problem is not temporarily pacifying Baghdad, but rather getting to the point where the Iraqis can do it all by themselves. And that is a gradual process, but is proceeding almost as quickly as could reasonably be expected. But remember, we had to build it from the ground up. The alternative was to leave the Sunni Arabs in charge of security (as they were the former officers fired during de-Baathification), and that ultimately would have meant that the military could/would have been used to reimpose Sunni Arab rule.

Bruce Hayden said...

Tim,

Let me suggest that, long run, al Qaeda is much more of a threat in Afganistan than in Iraq. The difference is the demographics. al Qaeda is (primarily Wahhabi) Sunni. Afganistan is majority Sunni. The Sunni Arabs were only 20% of the Iraqi population when we invaded, and may have dropped to 15% since, and some have projected 10% by years end. The vast majority of the Iraqi population (80-85%) are the Shi'a and the Kurds, neither of which have any sympathy for al Qaeda.

But what is significant is that some, if not many, of the Sunni Arabs in Iraq are now turning on al Qaeda, as evidenced by that shootout this week in Ahmed al-Falluji in Anbar Province between the police and al Qaeda where upwards of 70 terrorists were killed at a cost of a couple of police lives. Last I knew, some 3/4 of the Anbar tribes had signed on with the government to work together to suppress the foreign jihadists. Not good for al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

MadisonMan said...

Most Republicans, like McCain, support the surge to win.

I note that you assume the surge will lead to victory (which I'm not sure is very clearly defined, as others have noted). Fair enough. I'm not so sure.

Fen said...

Tim on "redeployment": the enemy is emboldened and empowered; America is shamed as an irresolute and faithless ally; moderate Muslims, their nations and their governments realize militant Islamic fascism is ascendant and make additional accommodations to them rather than the West. The larger war gets longer, bloodier, and the outcome less certain. That is the outcome of your surrender.

Nicely done. I would only add our troops lose faith in American will and leave the military in droves

Tim said...

"I note that you assume the surge will lead to victory (which I'm not sure is very clearly defined, as others have noted). Fair enough. I'm not so sure."

Yes; or, more to the point, more likely to lead to victory than the previous strategy. Your doubts are warranted and fair - and I understand them. My primary points though, as should be clear, are that it really is in our national interest to win in Iraq rather than lose; the price of defeat/failure is (probably) much higher than those advocating withdrawal/surrender/defeat believe or acknowledge; because it is in our national interest to win AND the enemy's central war strategy is to wait for our will to fail, we would all be better served if both parties devoted their energies to winning. To date, only one side has. I think the Democrats, if they were to take victory in Iraq as imperative as, say, abortion rights or affirmative action, would have a much different approach toward Iraq than they do. I generally don't believe all Democrats in Congress or running for president to be stupid, so I believe their failure to work for victory is about their values and priorities (although, as stated above, I think they misappreciate the likely consequences of failure/surrender/defeat for the long-term prospects of waging the war, and the practical realities of waging that war [weak, irresolute allies with de minimus capabilities, an international community long on talk and anti-American animus that will, at best, grudgingly support any of our efforts, and moderate Muslims and Arab nations deathly afraid of allying themselves with us, only to be abandoned when the going gets tough]).

Bruce:

Yes, I am familiar with your points; my point regarding Afghanistan related to the nature (not so much the capability) of the enemy and that because there are similarities with Iraq, the argument for failure/withdrawal/surrender/defeat is not much different. In both cases, it is much more a matter of will to win rather than capability to win - our need for time and the political will to sustain that time to win are, ultimately, more important than our tangible assets. And yes, I would agree (if that is one of your points), the military, especially ground forces, needs to recover much of the size it lost during the '90's.

hdhouse said...

Bruce Hayden belched...
I don't think that the majority of Democrats in Congress would like to see us lose, but rather figure that since the country wasn't pacified w/i six weeks of our invasion, that it is lost.

COMMENT: I think we began to loose some hope after the first couple years. When we hit 1000 days after "mission accomplished", we knew something was up. Question is what gives you hope?

Bruce spews on: "Maybe a bit of an excageration as to the time frame, but looking down through the comments from the left in this thread, it is clear that the prevelant meme on the left is that we have already lost (and of course, it was the fault of Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Bush, probably in that order)."

Comment: "of course it was the fault of Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush" YOU GOT THAT RIGHT.

I am amazed that you right wingers are so down on our military. Why do you berate it all the time? Why do you blame our administration?

It is so sad.

TMink said...

Doyle wrote: "If Joe Lieberman hadn't guzzled down everyone's share of neocon Kool-Aid, he wouldn't be an outlier either."

Lieberman is a social liberal. Pro-choice, pro gay marraige, pro big government. He is with the conservatives on one issue. If that is the neocon Kool-Aid, they have certainly changed the flavor.

Trey