March 24, 2007

Repulsive.

Exulting.

102 comments:

Freder Frederson said...

I have no idea what you mean by this post. Are you repulsed by the Congress using its Constitutional powers to mandate a withdrawal date for the troops from Iraq. After all it dovetails nicely with the President's budget projections, so I don't understand why he is so upset.

Face it Ann, most of the country has decided that this is an ill-conceived badly managed war. We have also come to the conclusion that even if this war was winnable, the Bush administration is completely incapable of achieving victory. It's time for him to stand aside at let someone else clean up the mess he has created. Not in two years, but now before thousands more die unnecessarily.

Tim said...

Indeed. Surrender does us all proud, and shortens the war too.

Gotta go - the muezzin is calling me to prayer from the minaret.

Bissage said...

If politics is show business for unattractive people, then I guess that’s a curtain call.

I find it repulsive, too.

MikeinSC said...

So, the Dems who ran promising to not do what Republicans did in power --- did EXACTLY what the GOP did when it was in power.

Well, there is a reason why more Americans support the President than the Democratic Congress.
-=Mike

JSF said...

Every action must lead to an Endgame. The Democrat Party has plans for the "Global Warming" scare rather then dealing with Terrorists. OK Reality check, hdhouse and Freder, what will happen to the Middle east when we leave? Will the terrorists just take their toys and go home? OBL made plans for 9/11 when we couldn't keep faith with the soldiers in Somalia or Haiti (retreat, retreat). What are the Democrats plans for dealing with the terrorists?

http://valley-of-the-shadow.blogspot.com/2007/03/endgames.html

Dust Bunny Queen said...

they won it using age old political tactics developed to a fine sheen in this country

Yes they did. Larding a bill with pork barrel projects that have nothing to do with the bill. Bribery and corruption at its best. Using the lives of the military as pawns in a politcal game of gotcha and heaping more burdens on the tax payer for really important things....like peanut storage.

Spinach growers got $25 million because the fall E. coli scare depressed sales. The shrimp industry received $120 million for Hurricane Katrina losses. Federal support for peanut storage, due to expire after 2006, was extended one year at a cost of $74 million. Shellfish producers were compensated $5 million for losses from a disease, viral hemorrhagic septicemia.

"Spinach, shrimp, peanuts and shellfish?" said Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.). "That's not a war funding bill, that's the salad bar at Denny's."



Congress has no shame.

Omaha1 said...

The Dems "support our troops" they say
At least til August of next year
Three months before election day
We hear their message, loud and clear

Saddam Hussein is now deceased
At soldiers' cost, "not in our name"
Purple fingers, Middle East
But, "Abu Ghraib!" Have you no shame?

Though Congress may have voted for
Our use of military force
They say Iraq is Bush's war
They'd rather beat a new dead horse

Boomers, Vietnam deja-vu
They've got an exit plan to push
Though nine eleven still haunts you
"Never forget!" to hate George Bush!

SteveR said...

I'm sure the shrimpers and spinach farmers are happy (not to be confused with the victims of spinach farmers). You can always tell when the congress knows they have the broad support of the American people, when they throw a few million at some peanut farmers.

We've debated the war and the Bush Administration's handling of this issue for a long time around here, does this make anyone happy? American soldiers are dying right now and if its so wrong for them to be there fighting a losing cause, vote to end it now. Does this accomplish what you want Freder? How? What does this do for the soldiers RC?

Fritz said...

Leftists have done a good job souring the public on the importance of Iraq, but it is not settled. The cowardliness of the House not to truly end the war will come back to haunt it. Remember all the potential Presidential candidates that followed the Gulf War 1 polls? The US is going to prevail in Iraq, the results to the Democratic Party defeatists will be devastating. Three words that will live in infamy; "Bush was right."

SGT Ted said...

Talk about a coalition of the coerced and the bribed.

As a soldier, this bill does nothing for me or my troops, except to confirm to Al Quaeda and other Islamofascists that Bin Laden was right when he said that America can't stomache a fight and that there are those in our own government who willingly undermine public support of the war who are defacto assisting AQ efforts on the ground by voting for such bills.

Not to mention the useful idiots who will vote them into office and actively oppose the fight.

It is a kick in the balls to the Armed Forces and a lift to jihadis everywhere.

This won't become law. Thank God.

With this kind of "support", I prefer rocket and mortar fire on the battlefield. At least there, I can fight to defend myself.

Omaha1 said...

Here's a less poetic comment. This is disgusting and cowardly on the part of Congress. If they are so "principled" in their opposition to the war why not defund it now, instead of pushing this pork-filled abomination that cuts off funding just in time for the new national elections? Like the former Republican "leadership," the Pelosi-led majority has birthed a new generation of disappointed cynics.

Simon said...

Freder Frederson said...
"Not in two years, but now before thousands more die unnecessarily."

I thought that the House bill called for withdrawal of troops within two years, not "now." So all you folks who are opposed to the war must hate this bill, right? You don't want this bill, but one that brings home the troops "[n]ot in two years, but now before thousands more die unnecessarily."

Naked Lunch said...

What's repulsive is your constant validation of failed policies and your magnetism to small dicked men that have no courage to do the right thing themselves. Maybe you're too frightened to tell a two-bit country what the hell our plans are after 5 yrs, but fortunately most people aren't.

Simon said...

Come to think of it, Freder, if you're serious about your desire for "[Bush] to stand aside at let someone else clean up the mess he has created," you must be in favor of impeachment, right? If it's so imperative that someone else "clean up" the "mess," since Congress can't play that role (and clearly wouldn't even if it had that authority), then that means a new President ASAP, right? Sure, let's do it: let's impeach Bush and Cheney concurrently, and make Nancy Pelosi the first female President. Hell, I'll get on board with that project just to see the look on Hillary's face.

The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

Tim said...

"What's repulsive is your constant validation of failed policies and your magnetism to small dicked men that have no courage to do the right thing themselves."

I don't recall that Ann is a big fan of Congress. When did that change?

Omaha1 said...

Yes, let's impeach NL's "small-dicked" men, and put Pelosi in charge! That is, after all, why we elected a Democrat majority (according to our media overlords), in spite of the inconvenient truth that many of the Democrats who replaced Republicans were moderate, non-anti-war types. I don't think that this would be better for our nation, but a small, vindictive part of me would like to see them try to succeed in Iraq without making us an international pariah, or the overseers of sectarian mass murder.

ron st.amant said...

I don't think this piece of legislation was the best idea, however I'm not sure what would be at this point.

I will say however that for so long the right criticized the left for not having 'a plan', then they hand them 'a plan', whether it is flawed or not' and the right then criticized them for micromanaging the war, or in other words coming up with 'a plan'.

I'm certainly not 'exulting' at what Iraq has become. I'd hoped at the beginning that the removal of Saddam would usher in a better life for the whole of Iraq, and it may still one day happen. But I don't see where the woeful performance and massive incompetence of the administration will get us there.

The disconnect seems to be the President, and his most ardent supporters, see the world not as it is, but as they wish it to be.

Seeing the world as you wish it to be is a good thing when it is matched with a healthy bit of reflection.

Seeing the world as you want it to be had led to some of the great feats, bold experiments, and bravest actions.

Yet sometimes, even the best intented feats, experiments, and actions go awry. And when they do, it is imperative to step back, reassess, see what is wrong and attempt to change it.

Nixon during the Cold War, Reagan and Thatcher with regard to failed aspects of the welfare state come to mind.

There will always be those on the fringes of the political divide who will hold to the fundamental 'truisms' of their particular belief- both right and left. Neither helps to solve problems, because they don't see the problems within their own political 'faith'.

A healthy investment might be to re-read Madison's Federalist #51.

Simon said...

Omaha1 said...
"...in spite of the inconvenient truth that many of the Democrats who replaced Republicans were moderate, non-anti-war types."

Even if they claimed to be "non-anti-war types," that impression doesn't survive reading the vote count for this bill. If they claimed to be "non-anti-war types," they lied.

Jim Hu said...

Nice to see Freder starting off the comments with a lie:

I have no idea what you mean by this post.

You know exactly what she means. Whether or not Congress has the legal authority to do what it did, and whether or not the polls support the ends are irrelevant to whether or not the action is repulsive to Althouse (and to others, including me).

Omaha1 said...

Simon, I don't know that this vote falsifies their claims of being "non-anti-war". With this "carefully-crafted" legislative abomination, they can still claim that they support the war (they are continuing the funding!), and at the same time, support bringing the troops home (by cutting it off next year!). Clever, isn't it?

Fritz said...

Ron,
For those like you that have a Six Sigma 20/20 hind-sight intellect, Iraq is reflective of an incompetent Bush Administration.

Let me ask you how you would have handled the situation in Iraq:
The Department of State rejects DOD's plan to install a US friendly dictator that will transition to democracy. We then are confronted with a well planned insurgency & AQ sponsored groups that will attack coalition forces with IED's and ferment old sectarian feelings. Force strength could be increased but doing so would require a reinstatement of the draft. No matter what steps are taken, ultimately Iraqi forces and Iraqi political institutions would need to take hold.

I don't want to hear we shouldn't have gone, we are there.

Mark said...

What is repulsive is that Steve Colbert's reference to Bush "he believes the same thing on Wednesday as he did on Monday no matter what happened on Tuesday" is apparently applicable not only to Bush but to most of his supporters. There is literally nothing that may happen on the ground that would cause Bush's supporters to change their mind on this disastrous war.

The Exalted said...

what, exactly, is repulsive, o Moderate Centrist One? are you too pithy to tell us? 2/3 of Americans don't find it repulsive.

AJ Lynch said...

Great idea reality check - let's just make decisions, change course if necessary and run the country using the results of the latest polls.

But don't complain when polls indicate 55-65% of the country is against same sex marriage. And don't forget the approval ratings for Congress are lower even than the president's.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Wow. There can be no loyal opposition. Half the people in this country apparently "hate America."

So, Reality Raincheck, the question is, Which half?

Harry Eagar said...

I'd like freder or some like-minded person to say what the positive policy of the Pelosi-ites is.

Withdrawing from Iraq does not appear to address any issue that Muslims have with regard to the United States.

chickenlittle said...

Let's take poll.

Chime in if you agree with Ann's sentiments.

I agree

ron st.amant said...

Fritz writes:
Ron,
For those like you that have a Six Sigma 20/20 hind-sight intellect, Iraq is reflective of an incompetent Bush Administration...
The Department of State rejects DOD's plan to install a US friendly dictator that will transition to democracy. We then are confronted with a well planned insurgency & AQ sponsored groups that will attack coalition forces with IED's and ferment old sectarian feelings. Force strength could be increased but doing so would require a reinstatement of the draft...I don't want to hear we shouldn't have gone, we are there.


Let's takes your points one by one...
An installed dictatorship- I'm really not trying to be saracastic when I ask when has THAT worked in the past? Also, to claim that we need to remove a dictator to then install another dictator?? Authoritanism as a stepping stone to Democracy?? That's what the Bolshevik's preached.

'a well-planned insurgency'- There were apparently many voices in the administration BEFORE the invasion that predicted an insurgency if Baghdad was occupied. In fact, it was one of the many reasons given that Bush41 chose not to continue the Gulf War and take Baghdad. But lets grant for the moment that you're right and the insugency hit them totally out of the blue. There was, it would appear, no dramatic shift in combat force structure for quite sometime, and for years (nearly four), in the face of this 'well-planned insurgency', the administration told us the situation was improving and the insurgency was 'in its last throes'.

The point is, Fritz, that it shouldn't be my '20/20 hindsight' you should be worried about but the lack of hindsight within the administration which month after month refused to admit the situation on the ground was deteriorating.

Planning an invasion requires you to take into account BEFORE the battle begins of the multiple scenarios that might occur, this is what they train for, this is what the Pentagon is supposed to do. But from the beginning, Secretary Rumsfeld believed that his way was the only way.

I completely diasgree with your assertion that a draft was needed to send the proper force strength at the beginning of the invasion.

As a not so small side note, Fritz, I've never said we shouldn't have gone into Iraq. In fact I was a very vocal suppoter of the invasion. I believe, and still do, that Hussein should have been removed. But that doesn't mean that I support each and every action thereafter by this administration in the way it has handled the occupation.

Finally I want to agree with something you wrote:

No matter what steps are taken, ultimately Iraqi forces and Iraqi political institutions would need to take hold.


Yes. And as ham(pork)handed as this piece of legislation passed by the Congress is, it is at least making actual demands that the Iraqis do that very thing.

Whatever our differences may be, I trust we both want the same things: Our soldiers home safe, Iraq free, and peace in a desperate part of the world.

Tim said...

"Yes. And as ham(pork)handed as this piece of legislation passed by the Congress is, it is at least making actual demands that the Iraqis do that very thing."

No, it doesn't. It says the U.S. surrenders on August 31, 2008, no matter what the facts on the ground are; it says the Iraqis are on their own as of September 1, 2008, no matter what the facts on the ground are; it is, in kind and in detail nothing more than Saigon April 1975 Redux. Should it ever become law (very doubtful - rendering it an exercise in extreme cynicism, since the Dems don't have the balls to do what they actually want to do - surrender today), it is nothing more than capitulation, albeit in slow motion.

Tim said...

Worse yet, the Dems are saying "Men must die between the time we deem this war lost and the time we actually surrender to the enemy."

God spare all us from friends who support us the way Dems "support the troops."

Hazy Dave said...

Come on, people, this thread has a ways to go before it sets a world record in the Ratio of Comments to Original Post Length category!

Simon said...

From the story: This is an unfortunate pose by Pelosi, given the procliivity of her supporters to call her opponents "brownshirts."

Freder Frederson said...

Come to think of it, Freder, if you're serious about your desire for "[Bush] to stand aside at let someone else clean up the mess he has created," you must be in favor of impeachment, right?

Absolutely, I think a very solid case for impeachment and even criminal prosecution after removal from office can be made for both Bush and Cheney along with a few others in the administration (Stephen Cambone from the Pentagon is I believe the architect of, and responsible for the torture that occurred in the military).

Freder Frederson said...

From the story: This is an unfortunate pose by Pelosi, given the procliivity of her supporters to call her opponents "brownshirts."

Calling Pelosi a Nazi is ironic coming from you, considering you are such a fan of the unitary executive and don't think the legislature has any right to question the actions of the president. It seems like your side is the one arguing for an enabling act.

Pastor_Jeff said...

the whole "no loyal opposition" they "are just on the other side" crap that you and Ann have been spouting for five years.

That's quite some projection. You may want to check on those assumptions.

Then again, maybe not. That would require effort, and not seeing everyone to the right of Clinton as a brownshirt.

Just stick with hate-filled scorn and baseless assertions. That must be working for you at some level.

Fritz said...

Ron,
We knew about the minor insurgents, most of them that would battle head on with our forces were eliminated by early summer of 2003. The IEDs were the big surprise and have lead to most casualties. Saddam was the Imelda Marcos of weapons and he trained 10,000 people to make IEDs. Our initial safety issue was to secure areas of WMD, fortunately there weren't any to be used against our troops but unfortunately that allowed weapons depots initially to go unguarded.

I think Rumsfeld and JCS correctly didn't escalate like in Vietnam, moved to Iraqitize and worked on troop protection to buy time for the political dynamics we see today. I do not think it has been good the signals being sent to the democratic forces in the region. This legislation doesn't strengthen our hand. Our moderate friends in the region are very conscious of our cut and run reputation. We end it here, our forces will never face an insurgency again.

It has taken longer than we may have liked, but history may have a different assessment down the road. I think the Pentagon is given too little credit and the domestic politics has more to do with hating Bush than what is good for the United States.

Pastor_Jeff said...

considering you ... don't think the legislature has any right to question the actions of the president.

Yep, that's what Simon believes, all right.

Omaha1 said...

This is slightly off-topic, but I think that the most repulsive "meme" to have surfaced lately is the notion that our foreign policy should be dictated by opinion polls. The suggestion is, that if a military action is deemed "unpopular" it should be abandoned, regardless of the impact on our allies or our stature on the world's stage.

I always thought that once military forces had been committed, that we were obligated to see OUR (the United States') mission through to the bitter end. "Mistakes were made" in every war we ever engaged in, but we never just gave up and quit, except possibly in Vietnam.

I feel a bit disillusioned now, since the conventional political wisdom dictates that the "popularity" of a war should govern the way in which it is executed. It no longer seems to matter whether we as a nation support the war's objectives, or strive toward its successful conclusion.

Simon said...

Reality Check, you're an idiot; if you click on the link in Ann's post, scroll down to the third photo (captioned "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., second from right, accompanied by fellow House Democrats,...") and click on "full image." That is the link I provided.

Anthony said...

The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole.

Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile.

To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.

~ President Teddy Roosevelt

Pastor_Jeff said...

Uh, okay, then, I guess. Whatever you say...

(backs slowly away)

Too Many Jims said...

Goodness the level of discourse here is idiotic these days.

johnstodder said...

The reason Congress' vote yesterday should be seen by everyone on this thread as "repulsive," regardless of how you feel about the war, is this:

There is no policy in this vote. No plan. No real choices; in fact, no analysis of the options.

Pull out in September 2008, how? By winning? By reinforcing the surge with more troops to ensure different facts on the ground by the chosen date? By partitioning Iraq? By "negotiating?" If so, using what leverage? What carrots, what sticks, and what are we willing to settle for? Factor in the cutoff date as part of the negotiation, by the way. I'm not questioning anyone's patriotism by pointing out the obvious fact that the other side knows, if this vote stands, one thing we won't do is fire a shot in anger after September 2008. Or should we even bother negotiating, since we're leaving anyway? Adios, Iraq. Have a nice life. Is that what the Democrats think we should do?

They didn't specify any of that in the vote. And yet they exult, as if they've won something, when they don't even know, or seemingly care, about the real outcome of their decision.

The phrase that comes to mind is "the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind." They're like kids who think if they don't tell their parents they've got homework, that means they don't have to do it.

Of course I could be wrong. The Democrats might have a plan. If they do, I'll bet it starts like this: First, let's take a poll.

Joe said...

The article quotes Pelosi as repeatedly speaking for the American people. All I can say is, not in my name, Pelosi. This bill is a disgrace and those who voted for it are a disgrace. And those who support the enemy in the name of domestic politics are not in fact a loyal opposition, they are traitors.

Simon said...

Freder -
"I think a very solid case for impeachment and even criminal prosecution after removal from office can be made for both Bush and Cheney"

Great! So what're you waiting for? Stop talking about it and do it! Get impeaching already! Or will this join the long list of ambitions that the Democrats just don't seem to be able to find time for - such as amending the Clean Air Act to force the EPA to regulate CO2, repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell, actually ending the war, actually governing, and so forth?


"[Simon] [c]all[ed] Pelosi a Nazi"

I didn't call her a nazi, I said that was an unfortunate pose to be captured in when you stand at the head of a movement that likes to use nazi comparisons against its opponents.

"[It's] ironic coming from you, considering you are such a fan of the unitary executive and don't think the legislature has any right to question the actions of the president."

Find one example where I have argued that the legislature has no "right to question the actions of the president," Freder. Bring forward any example of a comment I've made -- here, at SF, at Volokh, prawfs, anywhere, it's all a part of one contiguous chain of thought -- even implying that Congress lacks the right or authority to question the actions of the President. You're big on making snarky accusations and big statements, Freder, but if you don't have some examples or evidence to bring forward, you're showing yourself to be a joke.

And while you're looking for those examples, explain to me what the unitary executive theory has to do with anything here. The liberals on this board keep throwing "unitary executive theory" at people in contexts where it is so stunningly inapt that I have to wonder if you actually understand what the theory is.

johnstodder said...

Tell us too about the "free speech zones" at the Republican conventions...

Reality Check,

Being an informed person such as yourself, you're presumably aware that the first "free speech zone" was implemented for the 1988 Democratic convention, and that the last two Democratic conventions also had "free speech zones" for protesters, blocks away from the convention centers and away from where any delegates or media would see them.

So you decided to pin the creepy and fascist "free speech zone" idea on the Republicans alone, because you thought telling only part of the story would somehow assist your case.

I assume that only because you claim on all these threads to have great stores of knowledge. At all costs, you don't want to look like a complete idiot. I assume. You'd rather just hope no one exposes your lack of truthfulness. Well, sorry.

Simon said...

Re the Russian story that Reality Check linked to - I haven't read the opinion yet, but I'm sure that Russian judges - being hip to virtue of quoting foreign court opinions - found great comfort in their ability to rest their ruling on dicta from a comparable recent case of the Supreme Court of the United States:

"Where, in the performance of its judicial duties, the Court decides a case in such a way as to resolve ... [an] intensely divisive controversy[,] ... its decision has a dimension that the resolution of the normal case does not carry. ... [But we call on] the contending sides of a national controversy to end their national division by accepting a common mandate rooted in the Constitution."

Daryl Herbert said...

In the meantime, you may wish to have your petard checked.

Maybe you could help check my petard?

Just get on your knees and I'll stand in front of you.

You do know what a petard is, right?

Simon said...

"reality check" said [at 2:31 PM]...
"Stop lying Simon. What you quoted was not from the story. There was no story you linked to, only a pose."

And then "reality check" admitted [at 2:53 PM]...
"Fine Simon, your cheap shot was a photograph from Ann's link."

You're an idiot.

ron st.amant said...

Fritz there are definitely pieces of your argument with which I can agree in broad brush strokes.
I do agree that our reputation for not sticking it out has indeed emboldened terrorists...but to be intellectually honest you would have to include Ronald Reagan in the 'cut and run' since it was our exit from Lebanon following the Marine barracks bombing that seemingly gave rise to that belief among Islamic radicals.

But I don't single Reagan out, unlike many on the right try to do with Clinton. The truth is that domestic pressures have played in a part in long-term foreign policy decisions involving potential casualites far beyond any individual act or person.

So the left believes it is our occupation that emboldens terrorists, and the right believes it is our leaving that emboldens terrorists.

How about the idea that terrorists need no emboldening beyond their tragically warped ideology?

What we have in complete uncertainties no matter what decision we make.

By the way, to be perfectly clear, I do not, and have not favored a withdrawal. I was merely, in my initial comment, trying to point out the dishonesty in the right wing attack (to restate: the GOP attacks the Dems for not offering a plan, then attack them for offering a plan- in other words, attack the plan but don't decry the fact they are 'micromanaging' the war).

What I find intellectually dishonest from the right is the claim that 'we'll step down when they stand up' but when the left asks them to 'stand up so we can stand down' they are accused of surrendering, emboldening and the various other epithets hurled.

I find things equally intellectually dishonest on the left (for instance the idea that Saddam was ever going to willingly chasten himself before the international community).

The extreme voices in our country on both sides, have hijacked the debate, creating a Manichean paradigm.

The war on terror will never be won by us alone. It will never be won militarily. It most certainly will never be won at the hands of a fundamentalist mindset.

The only way to end Islamic radicalism lies ultimately in the hands of the vast moderate Islamic world.

Instead of debating what does or doesn't embolden radical elements, perhaps we should spend more time asking what we can do to embolden the moderate elements. How and what we do to achieve this? I don't know, but it should be a focus of our discussion, here and abroad.

Fritz said...

Delusional Check,
Unwarranted cynicism, aka Bush Derangement Syndrome, do not present alternative views for debate.
If most Democrats in leadership, not Hoyer, were asked if Bush leaving office at 70% approval rating with Iraq stabilized, or Iraq a mess, they would choose the latter. That is not reflective of a healthy democracy.

Naked Lunch said...

God spare all us from friends who support us the way Dems "support the troops."

Like committing our entire military indefinitely on an endless clear-leave-comeback mission without the things they need there or when they come back, with no plan or signs for political reconciliation to ensure all the surges aren't a waste- against the pleas from our military and will of the American people? That kind of support?

Omaha1 said...

"against...the will of the American people." That kind of makes my point.

Fritz said...

Ron,
I agree about Lebanon, but that was at a time our military was broken and Vietnam was fresh in our minds. Exit strategy was the rule of the day. It has cost us dearly.

I don't believe the left believes there is such a thing as a ideological threat. US in Iraq or not. The only plan Democrats could offer is support of the mission to build public support and patience. That would benefit Bush so they don't. Like the vote for Petreaus simply boggles the mind.

You wrote: The only way to end Islamic radicalism lies ultimately in the hands of the vast moderate Islamic world.

Agree, but if we don't see this through, the moderates will have no choice but to join the radicals, they will never trust US again.

Elizabeth said...

For those who argue that withdrawing is surrender, what terms have to be met for you to support our withdrawal? Saddam is out, tried and executed; the WMD threat was bogus and there's nothing left for us to do with that; the Iraqis have an elected government, and have had a succession of elections. What's left? When is it time for the Iraqis to step and up and take care of themselves? If we don't set timetables, will the Iraqi government ever become self-sufficient? I see alot of abstracts thrown around here, but no real plan or strategic goals articulated by the "let's stay" crowd.

Fritz said...

Naked,
If I am chosen for membership on a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Iraq, I don't want your thanks, but I do want your support for success in my mission. I, like all in Iraq are there voluntarily and would be doing the same things as any NGO you support around the world. Why because of Bush should it matter?

Fritz said...

Elizabeth,
The November election was our country's 109th election, look how difficult Democrats have had in moving legislation. Iraq has had it's first election for a government and you demand utopia. Just think how little trust Democrats have for Bush; multiply that mistrust among Iraqis by 10 fold.

Gahrie said...

What's left? When is it time for the Iraqis to step and up and take care of themselves?

Frankly, I don't know.

But I do know we've given the Germans and Japanese 60 years, and the South Koreans 50.

We had a vital strategic self interest in protecting those countries then, and we have a similar strategic self interest in protecting Iraq now.

boston70 said...

I think we just need to put our trust in the President and Cheney regarding the decisions in this war.

Questioning their judgment is unpatriotic.

If we don't fight them over there we will be fighting them in Harvard Square and then I won't be able to go to my fabulous shoe store to get my Prada slip-ons and my kiehls replenishing body moisturizer.

The democrats slow bleed is disgusting. Cut and running is absolutely despicable.

And as Bush said we all sacrifice for this war when we turn on the television and have to see all the fighting and as Laura said the one bombing a day that ends up ruining everything.

I agree with Cheney when he says we are in the last throes over there.

As Tom Friedman has said the next 6 months are extremely important and will determine our future.

Also, supporting our blogger is also patriotic. Ann is not a conservative she is an independent and moderate. Her disdain for the democrats at this moment is understandable.

Lastly, as Sam Johnson said, we would of won the Vietnam War if it weren't for the cut and run democrats and the american population turning on our valiant efforts.

We should be grateful that we have such a decisive competent president leading our country during these dangerous times.

If it wasn't for Clinton none of this would of ever happened.

David53 said...

RC said, "And what will they accomplish? and followed it with several links.

Excuse me, I stayed up too late last night drinking Jim Beam and blasting javelinas with my 44 automag so I am still a little groggy. Exactly WHAT did it accomplish since Bush said he was going to veto it if it gets to his desk?

HazyDave---I hear those voices also but where do I go to see the monkeys?

Fen said...

Larding a bill with pork barrel projects that have nothing to do with the bill. Bribery and corruption at its best. Using the lives of the military as pawns in a politcal game of gotcha and heaping more burdens on the tax payer for really important things....like peanut storage.

Echo. Dems had to be bribed to vote for this. Repulsive.

Fen said...

For those who argue that withdrawing is surrender, what terms have to be met for you to support our withdrawal?

The Iraqi military has be strong enough to protect the new nation from insurgents, terrorists, and Iranian/Syrian proxy mercs. "Withdrawal" also means we'll leave behind some air support and trainers. "Surrender" means we'll abandon everyone to another Cambodian-like holocaust.

Fen said...

Mark: There is literally nothing that may happen on the ground that would cause Bush's supporters to change their mind on this disastrous war.

Hey Mark, how about describing what is disastrous about this war? Specific details please. And don't worry, I no longer question your patriotism. So c'mon, defend your assertion - what about it has been disastrous?

Fen said...

ron: What I find intellectually dishonest from the right is the claim that 'we'll step down when they stand up' but when the left asks them to 'stand up so we can stand down' they are accused of surrendering,

Thats not a fair account. Its more like this:

[board room of major company]

Ron: Okay guys, our proposal is falling behind standards and is not getting the job done. I'm open to new ideas on how to accomplish this mission. Anyone?

Leftist: We should quit.

Fen said...

Hey Fen, you owe Ann a new keyboard, she just spit her afternoon chardonnay all over it.

In other words, you can't explain what has been disastrous about this war.

Next victim?

Donna said...

I know there's somewhere around 100,00 troops in the Middle East. Anyone have an idea about how many spinach, peanut and shrimp farmers there are who will benefit from this bill?

Freder Frederson said...

But I do know we've given the Germans and Japanese 60 years, and the South Koreans 50.

What a bullshit comparison. We were out of the business of performing internal security in all three countries within a few years. We were only there to protect them from external threats. We are stuck in the middle of a civil war.

Hell, almost ten percent of the population of Iraq has left the country. Another million are expected to leave this year. If the Iraqis are abandoning their own damn country, perhaps we should take their lead.

Pastor_Jeff said...

I don't delete because people disagree; I delete trash from trolls who aren't interested in having an actual adult discussion.

So, yes, I delete "comments" from poo-flinging monkeys.

Palladian said...

RC, perhaps Pastor Jeff sees what you have done to the comments section of this blog (basically destroyed it) and doesn't want the same to happen to his.

Kirk Parker said...

Elizabath

Gahrie (at 3:51 PM) has your answer, but I doubt you'll like it.

Gahrie said...

We were only there to protect them from external threats. We are stuck in the middle of a civil war.


A "civil war" in which one side is being supplied with weapons by Syria and Iran, and whose fighters come from all over the Islamic world.

Nope no external threat there.

And you completely ignore the fact that it is in our strategic interest to defend Iraq, just as it was in our interest to defend Germany, Japan and South Korea. We aren't doing it only for the sake of Iraq, we are doing it do defend our people and cities.

Christy said...

I see this as about as important as Ned Lamont's win in the primary. Won't matter in the long run. Except maybe come election time for those blue dogs who voted for it.

Cutting off funding is not a plan for dealing with those who would gladly kill your grandmother and your babies. I want to hear alternate plans for dealing with terrorists and I'm not hearing them.

And don't talk to me about Afganistan. Engaging the enemy only in that mountainous region was never a viable option. We had to widen the battlefield.

How do we keep the terrorists from blowing up our cities? What other plans are there?

Elizabeth said...

Fritz, I didn't demand utopia. When you feel like responding to me without distorting my words, have at it.

But I do know we've given the Germans and Japanese 60 years, and the South Koreans 50.

That's a lousy comparison. We spent decades in Germany because the Russians were just across the wall, likewise with Korea and the North Koreans. All those countries have been internally at peace, governing themselves within a couple years of ending military conflict.

Freder Frederson said...

A "civil war" in which one side is being supplied with weapons by Syria and Iran, and whose fighters come from all over the Islamic world.

Will you give it a rest. The foreign contingent has never been more than ten percent of the insurgency (maybe as little as six percent). And that was a couple years ago. Most of the weapons are still coming from the depots that we didn't bother to secure because we didn't have enough troops.

Freder Frederson said...

In other words, you can't explain what has been disastrous about this war.

2 million Iraqis have fled the country, another 1 million are expected to leave this year, another 2 million are internally displaced. Somewhere between 50,000 and 600,000 Iraqis have been killed outright. Electricity, Oil, and Water production are all still below pre-war levels. Sewer and water treatment systems are still a shambles. Refined oil products need to be imported.

And that is just part of the reason it has been disastrous for Iraqis.

Shall I go on?

Freder Frederson said...

Find one example where I have argued that the legislature has no "right to question the actions of the president,"

Of course, you take hyperbole and present it as though I mean it literally. I'm sure you never said such a thing. If the president ordered that Nancy Pelosi be hauled out of the House and whipped on the steps of the Capitol by the Secret Service I am sure you would admit that Congress could question that action.

Paco Wové said...

"Of course, you take hyperbole and present it as though I mean it literally."

If you want people to take you seriously, maybe you should cut back on the hyperbole.

Patrick said...

"2 million Iraqis have fled the country, another 1 million are expected to leave this year, another 2 million are internally displaced."

This is always a weird argument for me. Isn't this Mexico's problem too?

Apparently, displaced persons are a good thing. Provides labor in other countries doing jobs their own citizens won't do. Everyone wins!

Ann Althouse said...

Reality Check: You are on notice that you are not to post here again. I am deleting all your comments here. I'm not interested in talking about why I am doing this. No one should respond to Reality Check again. I may not be able to get rid of all of his comments, but it is my policy now that I am deleting everything of his that I notice. Go away and never come back. And don't ask why. Just go.

Simon said...

Freder, you charged that I "don't think the legislature has any right to question the actions of the president," that I am "a fan of the unitary executive," and that in view of the foregoing, it was "ironic" for me to "[c]all[] Pelosi a Nazi" (I didn't, in fact, as explained above). When asked to provide any example to support the former charge or explain the relevance of the latter, you fail to produce a shred of evidence to back yourself up. Worse yet, when called on your bullshit, first you toss the utterly lame "why do you insist on taking my words literally" defense, and conjoin it with yet more unsubstantiable snark and sarcasm.

As I said above, "[y]ou're big on making snarky accusations and big statements, Freder, but if you don't have some examples or evidence to bring forward, you're showing yourself to be a joke." You don't get to be self-righteous when people assume that you meant what you wrote. I think the words you're looking for are "I'm sorry and I concede the point."

Joe said...

Congress authorized military action in Iraq based on the same information the administration had. They do not have the power to manage the war, that is a constitutional function of the commander in chief. If they think the war should end they have the power to defund it. They refuse to do so because they will not take responsibility for the ensuing disaster. So this bill is mere political posturing which disheartens our allies, emboldens the enemy and backstabs our troops. It is disgraceful and utterly revolting. Given the names they call the president, I have no problem calling their behavior treacherous.

Fen said...

Will you give it a rest. The foreign contingent has never been more than ten percent of the insurgency (maybe as little as six percent).

Again, Force Multipliers. Numbers are irrelevant - I know a recon team of six that could bring the city of Los Angeles to its knees. Just look at how a few terrorists blowing up one mosque affected the shia-sunni strife.

Freder Frederson said...

"a fan of the unitary executive,"

Are you saying you are not an advocate of the unitary executive?

Simon said...

Freder Frederson said...
"Are you saying you are not an advocate of the unitary executive?"

No, I am -- in much the same way that I'm an "advocate" of the sun rising in the east and the theory of gravity -- but I'm saying that you either don't know what that theory is, or play ignorance in the blogosphere very well. You use the term in the way the left uses the term "neocon" - oblivious to its actual meaning, you've hollowed it of its actual content and turned it in to a slur against people you don't agree with. And as such, when you hurl the chrage at Freder, it has no valence because you deploy it in contexts which are so spectacularly disconnected from its actual meaning that you come across as a total buffoon. It's as if you were walking around accusing me of adhering to the euclidian theory of economics.

Anthony said...

Joe said...

Congress authorized military action in Iraq based on the same information the administration had. They do not have the power to manage the war, that is a constitutional function of the commander in chief. If they think the war should end they have the power to defund it. They refuse to do so because they will not take responsibility for the ensuing disaster.


Wait, isn't this what they did? They just said that it won't take effect for another year and a half.

Jesus, the fact that people are mad about the idea that we might pull out in 2008 is scary. How many years does this thing have to go on for?

Let's not leave until we set the record for 'longest American war'? I say, with all that's happened, we at least need to break some sort of record.

Fen said...

Let's not leave until we set the record for 'longest American war'?

Leave? We're not leaving for several decades. Nation building is not jiffy-pop. We need to learn patience, or radical Islam will outwait us and destroy us with our complacency.

Fen said...

That's a lousy comparison. We spent decades in Germany because the Russians were just across the wall, likewise with Korea and the North Koreans.

I notice you didn't contest our 60 years in Japan.

Regardless, using your logic, can I assume you would support a US presence in Iraq if say "Persia" was developing nukes with the intent to overrun the Middle East?

hdhouse said...

I refrained from posting here until I felt that the uberright had trotted out all the tired and non-applicable cliches. As there seems to be in inexaustible supply I guess its time.

One that I particularly love is leaving troops in Iraq because we left them in Korea and in Japan and in Europe. Truly mesmerizing logic there. I was looking it up on line and I can't find any reference whatsoever to the Japanese, Korean or European religious civil war (particularly the German Civil War of 1939 which must have been a humdinger). You rightwing elves care to post a cite? NO? Oh.

The Congress's vote was horrifyingly overdue and actually Bush and his war mongers should welcome it. DID YOU EVER THINK that it constitutes full fledged support? It said to Bush:

"OK (I'll leave out the default word Bozo) here is your money. You have a year and a half MORE to win". So instead of that, the GOP jumps on this as a signal of defeat. Are they admitting that after 4 years and with a guaranteed 1&1/2 more (total 5.5) the GOP can't figure out how to win? Even when it sets its own definition of winning?

IS the GOP really just admitting that President WooWoo and Darth Invader can't figure out how to win in 5.5 years with unlimited funds and with the best army in the history of the planet? Is that the conclusion.

Where in the world is the honor in that? Frankly I think President WooWoo's military acumen ranks right up there with another 20th century dictatorial wannabe.

hdhouse said...

AJ Lynch said...
...the country using the results of the latest polls. But don't complain when polls indicate 55-65% of the country is against same sex marriage."


Ahhhh AJ, I don't know what goes on in your bedroom but the sex practiced in mine is hetro and non-fatal and no one has to wear body armor and in particular, I don't worry or even think about what happens in other people's bedrooms and what in the world does this have to do with a religious civil war in Iraq in which our guys and gals are killed and maimed daily so President WooWoo can be the "war prez-e-dent" and "the decider in chief"?

Huh?

JSF said...

Hdhouse, I had such faith in your clear, civil and lucid posting in the other comment line, that I am unsurprised you went down into the mud here. I brought this up earlier in the post, maybe if you can be civil and lucid, maybe you can enlighten me here Hdhouse.
What is the endgame for the Democrats on the War on terror? Do you think the terrorists ensconsced in Iraq will take their weapons and go back to Syria and Iran? By retreating (as history shows we did in Somalia and Haiti thus inspiring OBL for 9/11), how will that help the Middle East and stop any future attacks?

hdhouse said...

JSF: Haiti? Haiti? While you are at it we retreated out of Beiruit too and we didn't leave a force in Granada.

1. We can't occupy to the extent needed to referee a civil war in an Iraq. We don't have the resources. We can barely scrape together a surge. Our problem in Iraq is that we seek no solution other than a body count and body counts don't solve a civil war until one side reaches zero. One thing you should know about these religiously motivated combatants is that they don't quit and go home and raise chickens.

2. We went into Afghanistan to ride the place of the Taliban who was giving sanctuary to EQ/OBL. We kinda drove out the Taliban but now they are getting ready for a Spring attack that the British (who have some experience in the area) clearly see and have redeployed their Iraq based troops THERE. Again, these are relentless religiously motivated fighters who simply never will give up but they aren't OBL. They are enablers and will enable anyone who they think can rid them of us.

As I said previously, the congress has given President WooWoo a 1.5 year gift of money and support. Go win the war ...and again..however you define winning...just win it and end it and move on. But the last thing I or a substantial majority of Americans want to hear is more of the same.

Fen said...

I was looking it up on line and I can't find any reference whatsoever to the Japanese, Korean or European religious civil war (particularly the German Civil War of 1939 which must have been a humdinger).

There's not a civil war in Iraq. Thats an exageration pushed by the Left.

"A new Pentagon report said some elements of the war in Iraq fit the definition of civil war, but the term "does not adequately capture the complexity of the conflict."

The war in Iraq has been characterized by fighting between the majority Shiite Muslim sect and the minority Sunni Muslims, who were in power under Saddam Hussein's regime.

But the report also cites Shiite-on-Shiite violence; al Qaeda and Sunni insurgent attacks on coalition forces; and "widespread criminally motivated violence" as features that complicate the designation of civil war.

The quarterly report, mandated by Congress, said attacks and casualties documented for the last three months of 2006 are the highest since the war began four years ago.

The document, dated March 2, was released on Wednesday.

The congressional report cites declassified parts of the recently released National Intelligence Estimate in discussing the question.

It defines "the hardening of ethno-sectarian identities and mobilization, the changing character of the violence, and population displacements," as characteristic of civil war.

The report says warfare in Iraq has morphed from a "predominantly Sunni-led insurgency against foreign occupation to a struggle for the division of political and economic influence among sectarian groups and organized criminal activity." (Read about earlier Pentagon report)

It said the numbers of "attacks on and casualties suffered by coalition forces, the ISF [Iraqi security forces], and Iraqi civilians for the October-December reporting period were the highest for any three-month period since 2003."

The report said the attacks were concentrated in Baghdad and in Anbar, Salaheddin, and Diyala provinces, with a record 45 attacks a day in Baghdad. Compared with Baghdad, levels of attacks elsewhere were low.

"Coalition forces continued to attract the majority of attacks, while the ISF and Iraqi civilians continued to suffer the majority of casualties. Casualties from these attacks decreased slightly in January, but remained troublingly high."

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/03/15/iraq.main/index.html

Fen said...

IS the GOP really just admitting that President WooWoo and Darth Invader can't figure out how to win in 5.5 years with unlimited funds and with the best army in the history of the planet? Is that the conclusion.

No, we're saying that artificial timelines and congressional micromanagement of the war will destroy any chance of success in Iraq, which is exactly what the Dems want [witness Murtha].

JSF said...

Hdhouse, read this:
"During the first Gulf war, it appears that the central element of Saddam's strategy was to keep his forces in place during the air war and wait for the ground attack, when, he believed, they would be able to inflict massive casualties and therefore cause the United States to give up. "Saddam Hussein clearly believed that his greatest chance of success lay in inflicting the maximum number of casualties on coalition forces through close combat."33 In the 2003 war, the apparent Iraqi plan to draw the coalition into an urban battle in Baghdad seemed to have presumed that the Iraqi army would cause unacceptable U.S. casualties. The guerrilla-style war that (at this writing) still continues in Iraq, whether representing the organized resistance of remnants of the former regime or external terrorist groups, also seems based on the premise that simply inflicting casualties on American forces will break the will of the American public and thereby lead to withdrawal.

"The supposed American glass jaw with respect to casualties is often connected to the battle in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, in 1993. In another incident that seemed to reinforce this point, Haitian thugs prevented the USS Harlan County (LST 1196) docking and offloading troops in Port-au-Prince just a week after the battle in Mogadishu.34 Osama Bin Laden was to cite Somalia as a reason to expect to be able to force the United States to withdraw from the Middle East. In his 1996 declaration of war on the United States, Osama Bin Laden dismissed the idea that the United States would be able to sustain support for a military response if it suffered casualties"

This is where the citation is from:
http://www.army.mil/professionalwriting/volumes/volume2/march_2004/3_04_2_pf.html

It seems most of the Left likes war when it is waged by a Democratic President. When Charlie Rangel reopens the draft under a Democratic President in 2009, will you protest?

Simon said...

Interesting that "reality check" gets banned and all of a sudden his doppelganger HDhouse appears to fill the void.

Elizabeth said...

Fen, there's nothing to add about Japan. Again, no civil war, no need for U.S. troops, other than for our own benefit in having a foothold there. I got a laugh from "Persia," though. Clever. So, are you offering yet another item to the never-ending, always-changing list of why we had to invade Iraq?

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

its ok Elizabeth...I think Fen supported my point pretty well..I just don't think he realized it.

A Persian goodbye? How about an Oklahoma hello! Now watch the rightwingdings try and figure that out.

hdhouse said...

JSF belched: "The supposed American glass jaw with respect to casualties is often connected to the battle in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, in 1993."

Actually JSF I think it was when Ronnie Raygun "cut and run" after the marine barracks were blown up 10 years prior....? Remember?

One thing about history, JSF, it doesn't stand selective revision. The middle east mess is a long time in the making. the US has chosen well and chosen poorly but it has never chosen with understanding. Never.

Now you have a President who can barely find it on a map, had to be told that there were religious issues afoot and has a military telling him there is no military solution..only a political solution.

Do you believe in Santa? Well you better because that is your only chance of someone delivering up a way out of this mess ... and all the time President WooWoo is leading you deeper into the swamp with his compass up his ass.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Will Parker! Oh, foot! I'm goin' off with that peddlar-man, Ali Hakim. [played by Eddie Albert of "Green Acres."]

What can I say? I cain't say no.

JSF said...

Hdhouse, you are a child who cannot talk in civil conversation. An Anecdote: I despised President Clinton and his wife for their policies, Tiberian destruction of the political class, and their cult of personality. Yet....I met them at a fundraiser through a Democratic friend from NYC. What did I say when I met Clinton? "Pleased to meet you, Mr. President," Shook hands and moved on. HdHouse, you don't have the capacity to understand differences of opinion or respect of institutions. I will answer you when you can act civil.

hdhouse said...

JSF gushed: "answer me when you get civil"?

Gosh JSF, I would rather thought you would answer me when you can think of an answer. At this point I'll simply assume you cut and ran, surrendered, left the field of honor, ... all that and you gave me a timetable marking your withdrawal.

The parallels are so apropos...when worlds collide.

AND RUTH....
Yes, It's time for the old gypsie to hit the open road....(i bet you were the only one on this board to know the prior...good catch)