July 30, 2007

"A War We Just Might Win."

Great title for an op-ed in the NYT. By Michael E. O’Hanlon and Kenneth M. Pollack of the Brookings Institution:
As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with....

Everywhere, Army and Marine units were focused on securing the Iraqi population, working with Iraqi security units, creating new political and economic arrangements at the local level and providing basic services — electricity, fuel, clean water and sanitation — to the people. Yet in each place, operations had been appropriately tailored to the specific needs of the community. As a result, civilian fatality rates are down roughly a third since the surge began — though they remain very high, underscoring how much more still needs to be done....

The additional American military formations brought in as part of the surge, General Petraeus’s determination to hold areas until they are truly secure before redeploying units, and the increasing competence of the Iraqis has had another critical effect: no more whack-a-mole, with insurgents popping back up after the Americans leave...

Another surprise was how well the coalition’s new Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Teams are working....

But there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008.
John Hinderaker writes:
These are basically the same observations that most visitors to Iraq have made lately. Yet, some think this piece is significant, because of who wrote it--two liberals from Brookings--and the fact that it appeared in the Times....

My fear, though, is that the leadership of the Democratic Party sees progress on the ground in Iraq as bad news, not good. I think many Congressional Democrats are committed to defeat, for political and ideological reasons.
I will not succumb to this fear, which depends on the belief that the Democrats are evil. I do fear, however, that those who are politically committed to ending the war will resist evidence of good news, that it will take an unusually strong dose of good news to see good news as good news.

ADDED: Exemplifying what I fear are Matt Yglesias and Talk Left.

246 comments:

1 – 200 of 246   Newer›   Newest»
peter hoh said...

Well said, Ann. Certain people on the political stage resisted evidence of bad news for too long, so one should not be surprised that the opposite phenomenon rears its head now.

Sloanasaurus said...

Yes, lots of good news will be needed to convince those who are already invested in defeat. As Hinderocker points out, however, the article is important for who wrote it. No doubt these two went over to Iraq and had a prearrangement to write an article for the Times about their trip. I wonder if the Times sponsored the trip?

Based on their last trip, the Times probably assumed that they would come back with bad news and the Times would be able to point out that Pollock and O'Hanlon are hawkish liberals - more proof that Iraq (as Thomas Ricks said last year) is "lost." Ricks, like many in the mainstream media was totally a completely wrong about Al Anbar province last fall....

The Times, I am sure, never expected that the Brookings guys would report positive news. Times readers must be very confused.

Luckyoldson said...

Yeah, everything is just peachy in Iraq. And right after the Iraqi Parliament comes back from their vacation, we'll be turning over the keys.

I think we should consider booking our own vacations in Iraq right now...you know, to beat the rush.

*Sloan...maybe you should go first and let us know...

AJ Lynch said...

That is a good outlook Ann. If more of us had your outlook, maybe we could hold our own country together.

Sloanasaurus said...

You have to admit though Lucky, sure its fine to be skeptical and that as much as you would like to see Bush placed at the bottom of every poll on who is the best President, it will be better for your life, the lives of your children (if you have any),and for the world if Iraq is a stable and peaceful place.

That is why we should all hope for success.

Jason said...

I noticed the entirety of TalkLeft's argument consisted of ad hominems against the two authors.

TalkLeft wholly avoided the substance of their findings, and instead attacked them on the basis of their historical support for the war.

The recent gains against Al Qaeda are undeniable, most significantly in Ramadi and Baquba. But some deluded fools are still trying to deny the very existence of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Apparently Fallujah was overrun in 2004 by the Rotary club.

Fen said...

I noticed the entirety of TalkLeft's argument consisted of ad hominems against the two authors.

But of course. Iraq is a "failure, total disaster", and anyone from the Left who says otherwise is a Heretic to be burned at the stake.

DKWalser said...

You don't have to believe that the Democrats are evil to believe that they want us to lose in Iraq. They may only believe that victory in Iraq is impossible, so cutting our losses is the best strategy. Or, they might believe that, on balance, having our nose bloodied in Iraq will prevent future "wars of opportunity". So, losing would be better for our country in the long run. Still another possibility is that Democrats believe that the good a Democrat Congress and Administration could accomplish would be worth the cost of losing in Iraq. They might believe that there isn't really a war against terror (that's just a bumper sticker slogan, after all), so a loss in Iraq won't be any big deal.

Whatever their motives and beliefs, the Democrats have been doing their level best to make it more difficult for us to effectively prosecute the war. Whether the war would have gone better with their active assistance is anyone's guess.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well I think politics will get in the way of seeing anything good coming out of Iraq. Way too much has been invested by the left (Code Pink, Kos, MoveOn) to emphasize that this war is ill founded and has been a disaster that nothing is going to change their minds. Iraq can become an idyllic Garden of Eden tomorrow and all we’ll still hear about is 3000+ dead, Americans tens of thousands wounded and a bazillion Iraqi dead.

When a political party has committed itself as the vehement opposition to the war as they have over the past 2-3 years, success would not only destroy any kind of credibility that they have but also vindicate Bush which would simply be unthinkable. I’m betting Pelosi and Reid would eat a sh** sandwich before they’d concede that.

Original Mike said...

"...which depends on the belief that the Democrats are evil."

No, just selfish, placing their own political fortunes above the country's. Pretty typical for politicians.

Fen said...

OT: Ann, I would be very interested in seeing you take on the Powerline boys in a blogging heads vid or shared post. I hold both in high regard and am curious what distinctions [moderate VS conservative] would be revealed re constitutional law, executive priv, SCOTUS, etc.

Sloanasaurus said...

Whatever their motives and beliefs, the Democrats have been doing their level best to make it more difficult for us to effectively prosecute the war.

True, but 25 Dem senators did vote to go to war. So some Dems must have some honorable intentions. Besides, they can always use the fig leaf of something like "Bush was lucky Petreus came along, because Bush's policies were a failure." or that the Dems withdrawl legislation motivated Bush to "change course." So then in the future we can argue as partisans on whether Bush deserves credit for the victory. I am all fine with that. Better to argue who deserves credit for victory than defeat.

Joseph Hovsep said...

it will be better for your life, the lives of your children (if you have any),and for the world if Iraq is a stable and peaceful place.

Everyone believes that and liberals and conservatives alike want Iraq to be a stable and peaceful place. The difference is whether keeping U.S. military there indefinitely helps or hinders that goal.

Whatever their motives and beliefs, the Democrats have been doing their level best to make it more difficult for us to effectively prosecute the war.

Democrats (and Republicans) are increasingly critical of the war, but opponents have had almost no practical effect on Bush's war policy. All funding remains in tact. The "surge" was implemented despite vocal opposition. I don't see how keeping quiet about our criticisms and reservations would have made prosecution of the war more effective.

Luckyoldson said...

Wishful thinking based on nothing more than a single report that makes things look better than miserable.

There were also reports last week, indicating that Iraq's government wants Petreus fired, that 90% of the infrastructure projects are not being handled effectively by the Iraqis, that they ruined billions of dollars worth of turbines, that there's less electricity available now than six months ago, that the HUGE new American embassy compound is considered yet another sign that we're never leaving, (and not BIG enough), etc.

This blog is the true Land of Delusion.

Sloanasaurus said...

Wishful thinking based on nothing more than a single report that makes things look better than miserable.

It is not a single report. There have been hundreds of reports talking about these changes. This report is only significant because it was written by liberals and appeard in the NY Times. The NY Times has been on the drumbeat that the surge is a failure. Then this report shows up in the Times.

Fen said...

Sloan, if you don't stop, Lucky is going to jam his fingers through his eardrums. Show some mercy.

Sloanasaurus said...

I know Fen, the column is a troubling report for the anti-war types. Maybe Lucky will get Lucky and a suicide bomber will blow himself up at a market place later today.

paul a'barge said...

...this fear, which depends on the belief that the Democrats are evil...

Perhaps you have an alternate definition of evil? I'd like to hear it.

Given what Liberals, and most DHIMMIcRATs are Liberals, have done recently, I would have no problem characterizing their behavior and positions as evil.

We're at war with people who have killed us in the past and who are actively trying to kill more of us. Surely these people are evil?

Well, the Democrats are actively working to subvert America in its fight against those who do evil.

Unfortunately, in any sane sense, those who subvert the war on terror are themselves evil.

hdhouse said...

"In the end, the situation in Iraq remains grave. In particular, we still face huge hurdles on the political front. Iraqi politicians of all stripes continue to dawdle and maneuver for position against one another when major steps towards reconciliation — or at least accommodation — are needed. This cannot continue indefinitely. Otherwise, once we begin to downsize, important communities may not feel committed to the status quo, and Iraqi security forces may splinter along ethnic and religious lines."

That quote is verbatim from the article from which some here draw great hope.

Just trying to be fair and balanced. Can't have 24/7 good news can we now?

Yachira said...

Ann says: "I will not succumb to this fear, which depends on the belief that the Democrats are evil."

I don't get your 'evil' thing. I say just anti-American. Oh, here's some proof:

Illustrating that point, one freshman Democrat, Rep. Nancy Boyda (D-KS) literally walked out of a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Friday because she couldn't stand listening to the good news being delivered to that committee by General Keane (Ret.). Here's the transcript of her explaining her tantrum:

And I just will make some statements more for the record based on what I heard from -- mainly from General Keane. As many of us -- there was only so much that you could take until we in fact had to leave the room for a while. So I think I am back and maybe can articulate some things -- after so much of the frustration of having to listen to what we listened to.

But let me first just say that the description of Iraq as in some way or another that it's a place that I might take the family for a vacation -- things are going so well -- those kinds of comments will in fact show up in the media and further divide this country instead of saying, here's the reality of the problem. And people, we have to come together and deal with the reality of this issue.


Dealing with the reality of this issue means acknowledging the significant progress made by American forces under the command of General Petraeus. The only way the Democrats can now avoid that, it seems, is to cover their eyes and ears--or walk out of the room.

danny said...

You all should really read Glenn Greenwald, to find out who these "liberals" are:

In reality, they were not only among the biggest cheerleaders for the war, but repeatedly praised the Pentagon's strategy in Iraq and continuously assured Americans things were going well. They are among the primary authors and principal deceivers

So, as we decide now what to do about Iraq, we should definitely look to Michael O'Hanlon to guide us. His judgment has proven to be so reliable, his reports about the war so trustworthy and credible, and the course he advocated so wise and constructive. And he is so very objective, because it isn't as though his entire reputation depends upon avoiding failure in the War he urged. He is one of our Very Serious Experts and if he says -- especially after returning from 8 days in Iraq -- that Things are Going Well and We are Winning, why would anyone doubt him?

Sloanasaurus said...

Thanks hd. We can always count on you to point out the negative. However, we all know the point of the article. Quoting the traditional caveat doesn't change the article's main point...

You could however, express some hope that the outcome will be a good one.

vet66 said...

The left wing of the democratic party wants the U.S. to lose in Iraq. This will justify their complicity in the political loss they created in VietNam after the strategic loss the North VietNamese/Chicoms/Russians suffered during Tet.

What will it take for middle America to understand that the left in this country is anti-American and anti-military. The latest example of left-wing lunacy from San Francisco involves the Blue Angels air show which follows the U.S.S. Iowa floating museum that was kicked out, and the continued violation of the Solomon ammendment regarding ROTC and military recruitment on college campuses receiving federal monies.

Clearly stated without equivication, the left wants us to lose in Iraq. If the U.S. does not lose in Iraq, the democratic party will be exposed for the defeatists they are. Our failure to obtain military victory in a speedy fashion is an indication of a failed ROE that catered to a biased MSM. Anyone remember Bill Clinton's rendition program?

A true picture of life on the streets in Iraq is found on Michael Yon's website, among others.

danny said...

And then there's Joe Klein, in Time's blog:

One thing I just realized--Pollack and Hanlon seem to have visited only Sunni areas--Ramadi, Tal Afar and Mosul, the Ghazaliya neighborhood on the west (Sunni) bank of the Tigris River. And that's where the progress, such as it is, has been made, with the tribes moving against the jihadis and toward us. But Iraq is primarily a Shi'ite country--and we're not doing so well with those guys, especially the most prominent of them, Muqtada al-Sadr.

I should also note that their optimism about the Iraqi Army might look a bit different if they went to mixed areas like Diyala province, where a corrupt Shi'ite-dominated Army is going to have to deal with a police force that is being recruited from former Sunni insurgents. There certainly are a few excellent, mixed units in the Iraqi Security Forces, but the majority of units are local, sect-specific and awful.

Luckyoldson said...

Sloanadoltus and Fen-Fen:

There were also reports last week, indicating that Iraq's government wants Petreus fired, that 90% of the infrastructure projects are not being handled effectively by the Iraqis, that they ruined billions of dollars worth of turbines, that there's less electricity available now than six months ago, that the HUGE new American embassy compound is considered yet another sign that we're never leaving, (and not BIG enough), etc.

AlphaLiberal said...

Glenn Greenwald provides substantial information showing these two to have been repeatedly and miserably wrong over the years that this war has been waged. It's truly a mystery why they continue to be published.

Greenwald's post on this is an important read for anyone reviewing that sorry op-ed.

Oh, and Atrios shows how they are peddling the White House's new "sustainable security" buzzphrase.

"Liberals," my a*s.

AlphaLiberal said...

Was this trip, also, under Pentagon auspices? Not exactly an independent review.

Luckyoldson said...

vet66 said..."The left wing of the democratic party wants the U.S. to lose in Iraq. This will justify their complicity in the political loss they created in VietNam after the strategic loss the North VietNamese/Chicoms/Russians suffered during Tet."

So, based on your opinion, since only about 35% of America supports Bush and his Iraqi policy...you feel 60% of America "wants the U.S. to lose in Iraq."

Duh.

AlphaLiberal said...

Sheer idiocy:
"We're at war with people who have killed us in the past and who are actively trying to kill more of us. Surely these people are evil?

Well, the Democrats are actively working to subvert America in its fight against those who do evil."

Good God, man. Bush has weakened America's fighting readiness, Bush allowed Osama bin Laden to roam free, al Qaeda is as strong now as when they struck us on 9/11, US worldwide influence is in the toilet under Bush. And you blame Democrats and liberals?

The people we're fighting in Iraq are NOT the ones who attacked us on 9/11. Again, for the millionth time, NO IRAQIs WERE INVOLVED IN THE THE 9/11 ATTACKS.

George Bush, himself, admitted Saddam Hussein has nothing to do with 9/11.

When the right wing is so obstinately, stubbornly in denial of these basic facts, it is YOU who are weakening this nation! You insist we keep digging this bloody hole in Iraq, even though we are losing lives and treasure and prestige. Bush and Cheney have had free reign for years to make this war work and have failed. That's THEIR FAULT, and your fault for blindly defending them.

At some point you stubborn denial of these facts strips you of all right to respect in civic dialogue.

Thousands of people are dying here as a consequence of these failed policies that conservatives continue to defend. You've failed and others pay the price.

Luckyoldson said...

AlphaLiberal said..."Sheer idiocy..."

That pretty much sums up the overall intellectual capacity of most here.

These people actually believe, that some day in the future, we'll leave Iraq a happier place than what we found going in...and they'll love America for all it's done.

Absolute delusion.

Sloanasaurus said...

There are those on the right who are also hoping for an American loss in Iraq. The general Paleocon view is that losing in Iraq would be a good lesson for America. It would leep us out of any future foreign conflicts.

I don't think all Democrats want to lose. Many just disagree (as alphaliberal does in a juvenile way) that Iraq is not the right policy to wage the war on terror.

I think Alpha is wrong of course.

Oh, btw, how is U.S. influence around the world in the toilet because of Bush. Sure you can take a pew opinion poll of european leftists, however, where is U.S. influence actually falling?

AlphaLiberal said...

And, I call "bullshit" on Ann Althouse's claim to be a liberal. The only reason we have to think she might be a liberal is her own word that she has backed Democratic candidates. Her own words and record contradict the claim.

However, on the defining issue of our day, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, Althouse has constantly boosted war advocates and attacked war critics. This is true of even broader issues not involving war and killing.

Now, here she is, in full gullibility, accepting this op-ed as correct that the surge is working. This, despite the sorry record of the two authors and the continuing violence and evidence to the contrary. What a dupe Ann Althouse is! Ugh!

The idea that this is the blog of a liberal is a sorry joke.

AlphaLiberal said...

Sloan, you liar. No-one is "hoping" for an American loss here.

We are "hoping" for American sanity to realize that this occupation is based on lies and is not going to work. You guys have had free reign for 4 years and it keeps getting worse and you keep declaring it's getting better. (See the Greenwald link showing how full of baloney these two writers really are).

You may think that failure to march in lockstep behind the President is some sort of treason. It's not, it's what America is all about, which is the freedom to disagree, loudly and publicly, with our leaders.

Whether the right wing likes it or not, this is not designed to be an authoritarian state. Too bad for you.

Sloanasaurus said...

These people actually believe, that some day in the future, we'll leave Iraq a happier place than what we found going in...and they'll love America for all it's done.

This is not the goal. The ultimate goal of the Iraq policy is to change the course in the middle east from a direction towards aggressive and violent fundamentalism towards a more modern peaceful outlook.

Proliferation of nuclear weapons is impossible to stop. It can be delayed but not stopped. Eventually more and more countries will have nukes, including those in the middle east. The current policy of containment did nothing to address the long term future of radical islam or totalitarianism in the middle east.

The Iraq war has shaken up the middle east. Right now, we have the opportunity to guide it in the right direction. We should not squander that opportunity or we will be back fighting more and bigger wars.

MadisonMan said...

I frankly think that most people here are not sufficiently cynical. The New York Times is continuously lambasted for the lies they print, then along comes an op-ed that runs counter to most of the supposed lies they print, so therefore it must be true?

We can all hope for success, yes, but we won't know for sure if we've succeeded for quite a while. Long-term goals aren't driving the political process. And the success could be a "Yes, but..." type, as in Afghanistan in the 80s.

Sloanasaurus said...

We are "hoping" for American sanity to realize that this occupation is based on lies and is not going to work. You guys have had free reign for 4 years and it keeps getting worse and you keep declaring it's getting better.

So you think that by bugging out, Iraq will then become a wonderful and peaceful place?

Sloanasaurus said...

The New York Times is continuously lambasted for the lies they print, then along comes an op-ed that runs counter to most of the supposed lies they print, so therefore it must be true?

The Times has a bias against the Iraq war and has an obvious agenda to undermine the war. Thus, when you get a contrarian statement from the Times with good news, it carries greater weight.

Sloanasaurus said...

Now, here she is, in full gullibility, accepting this op-ed as correct that the surge is working. This, despite the sorry record of the two authors and the continuing violence and evidence to the contrary.

Except that the authors point out that violence is down. They use this decline to argue that the surge is working. What evidence would you requre?

Palladian said...

How many times are we going to have this same stupid argument between the same stupid people? Why argue with the AlphaLiberals and Duncan "Atrios" Blacks of the world, who think that they and they alone define what it means to be a liberal? Memo: You don't own that word, and you aren't the inheritors of the valiant concepts behind it.

As for the New York Times, too little, too late. There is no convincing or unconvincing the convinced at this late date. Just forget it, go outside and enjoy your lives.

"Glenn Greenwald provides substantial information..."

That's like saying "there's a 1/4 carat diamond ring at the bottom of this 20,000 gallon sewage settling tank. Go get it!"

Joseph Hovsep said...

Do people here honestly believe that war critics are "evil" and "hate America"? Why is it so hard to believe that we simply think this war and the way its been planned and administered is bad policy that is not in U.S. interests? Its easier to demonize your opponents and attribute evil intentions, it makes you feel better about your own motives, but at the end of the day its a pretty bad strategy. Its untrue and unbelievable and making such assertions makes you look incredibly insecure, paranoid and/or crazy.

I bet some of the conservative commenters on this blog who so calmly demonize opponents of the war have in other comment threads attacked liberals for their unfair attribution of bigotry and evil intentions to conservative opposition to gay rights. Both are unhelpful to their respective causes and make otherwise smart people look mean and stupid.

davidc. said...

Despite all of their posturing and condemnation of the war, I don't think that a Democratic president would do much different than what is going on at present. It is a shame that our political leaders use such a tragedy to position themselves, but they consistently have through history and in every conflict.

As I see the future, I feel that regardless of who is in control they same general plan will prevail. Our forces will gradually pull into permanent bases. The overall force will be drastically cut unless we are planning to take on Iran. As time goes, our emphasis will be on securing of oil production. We will gradually let the people return to killing each other which is what they seem to live for and nothing we do will stop this. A dictator will emerge with the same ruthless rule as the previous and things will return to "normal" for that region.

dbp said...

I generally do not like to psychoanalyze the motives that are behind the views and opinions they espouse. The reason is that it doesn’t take what they are saying at face-value and can be used as an excuse to not give a fair hearing. I have thought about this problem a while and do not see a way around it.

It is natural and expected that people like to be proven right and do not like to be proven wrong. For instance, if you were to pick the outcome of a sporting event, you would like it if your prediction ends up being correct. The problem comes up when you predict that your team will loose: If Wisconsin plays Ohio where you are from Wisconsin and yet you know that Ohio has the better team, you might reasonably predict that Ohio will win. If you are very public in your prediction, then on some level you might be hoping the home team will loose.

The left has predicted failure in Iraq so long, that I am forced to believe that they are (at least on some level and to some degree) hoping their predictions come true.
This is not evil, just human nature.

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"I call bullshit on Ann Althouse's claim to be a liberal. ... Her own words and record contradict the claim."

To the contrary, even limiting ourselves to words written on this blog, her words and record disprove your thesis. What you mean is that you think of yourself as a liberal and you can't wrap your mind around the concept that someone who has a different view on some issues (particularly an issue of great importance to you) could also be a liberal. Accepting that concept would create cognitive dissonance, by revealing your views to be not inevitable and logical, but to some extent volitional and ideological. You don't like the possibility that rational people can reach views other than yours, the possibility that there is no such thing as a platonic "common sense" that dictates right- and clear-thinking people to reach the same conclusions as you. What this is really about is your own lack of self-awareness, and your inability to accept that views that you want to think rest on self-evident truth actually rests on purely subjective opinion, just like everyone else's. How illiberal to think that all liberals must think exactly alike!


"[O]n the defining issue of our day, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, Althouse has constantly boosted war advocates and attacked war critics."

(1) The Iraq war is not the defining issue of our day (abortion has a better claim on that, except Ann takes the liberal position on that, which makes it useless to your thesis), and (2) even if it were, you can't ground someone's general political views solely on their view of the war just because it's your pet issue.

AlphaLiberal said...

Sloan erects yet another strawman:
"So you think that by bugging out, Iraq will then become a wonderful and peaceful place?"

No. I never said or implied that.

I think if we were to leave now, the violence would continue at it's current pace or drop, but there would still be violence.

As was said before the invasion and occupation began, this is a society that has been brutalized and repressed for years and there's a lot of pent up up hostility. Remove the strongman, as we did, and hell breaks loose, as it did. This was all predicted by the people you and Althouse routinely attack.

However, removing foreign occupiers from this land will remove a major impetus for violence. For some reason, con's can't grasp that people fight back against foreign occupiers.

And the idea that we can "reshape the Middle East" by blowing up one of the countries (and installing our town torture and rape rooms, BTW) is just plain dumb.

knoxwhirled said...

Why is it so hard to believe that we simply think this war and the way its been planned and administered is bad policy that is not in U.S. interests?

It's hard to believe others have "U.S. interests" at heart when they don't even seem to welcome good news. How can I believe someone truly wants America to succeed when they are so quick to dismiss any reports of success?

And there has been a slow but increasingly steady stream of positive developments since the surge began. Enough that I think it's telling when people try to ignore or discount them.

However, I do agree in spirit with your comment, and I do believe that some people think the war was a huge mistake but still want America to succeed.

Henry said...

I always like it when our politicians criticize some other country's politicians. To rephrase:

"...politicians of all stripes continue to dawdle and maneuver for position against one another when major steps towards [fill in the blank] — are needed. This cannot continue indefinitely."

* * *

One of the odd things about the argument from the anti-war left is their adoption of a uncompromising standard of success. Since the U.S. entered in a war they opposed as futile, they now claim that it should have been won sooner, with fewer lives lost, and no future risks. And so the war, as they define it, is already lost.

The idea that there still might be an achievable "win" going forward -- an outcome better than the current status quo and arguably better than retreat -- is thus rejected outright.

Any flexibility in strategic thinking is rejected as a cynical ploy to avoid accepting defeat.

Any recognition that the situation on the ground is different today than it was four years ago, is rejected as a cynical ploy to avoid accepting defeat.

Defeat is the only acceptable option.

danny said...

A question for Ann and anyone else who thinks that this article and its authors have credibility:

Does the fact that these two backed the initial invasion, and the surge, but are trying to pose as "harsh" Bush/war critics give them more, or less credibility in your view?

AlphaLiberal said...

Knoxwhirled, it's not a question of "accepting good news."

It's a question of no longer accepting the bull-loney served up by people who have been saying the same, or very similar, wrong thing, for years.

According to the cheerleaders, the Iraq occupation is always getting better, but for some bizarre reason the facts are always getting worse. Go figure.

It's like Lucy and Charlie Brown with the football. How many times do you have to be fooled by this crowd before you stop believing them?

But maybe things ARE getting better. After all, the "Iraqi parliament just adjourned for August."

(Good, pointed question by Danny, I see. Let's try and address that, OK?)

danny said...

Second question for Ann, et al.:

Does the fact that these two authors have been wrong about so much in their past predictions concerning the war, and the surge, now give them more credibility, or less?

reader_iam said...

The defining issue of our day may well turn out to be our disagreement over what the defining issue of our day is. (How are we defining "our day," by the way?) That, coupled with the insistence on the "defining issue" prism, narrowly construed, to begin with.

This cuts both ways.

Yachira said...

AlphaLiberal says: "However, removing foreign occupiers from this land will remove a major impetus for violence. For some reason, con's can't grasp that people fight back against foreign occupiers."

Right AlphaLiberal, worked just like you suggest above in Yugoslavia. Real keen thinking there, Alpha!

Oh, and your rape room/torture room comment is a real intellectual winner. I guess that kind of thinking accounts for the vast numbers of Americans who have come over to the hard-Left/Angry-Leftists side of the political spectrum.

AlphaLiberal said...

Simon, I think I'm a pretty good judge of what constitutes liberal thinking, as I'm going on 30 years of liberalism.

Maybe you can provide some of the evidence of Althouse's alleged liberalism, instead of just attacking me.

The fact is that someone who cheerleads for Bush and routinely carries water for right-wing attacks on liberals has a poor basis for claiming to be a liberal. This post is Exhibit 592 in a long series of examples of Althouse doing this.

Luckyoldson said...

simon,
When you say: "you can't wrap your mind around the concept that someone who has a different view on some issues"...exactly where do you find Ann expressing "liberal" views?

AlphaLiberal said...

Yachira, the fact is that US troops in Iraq have employed rape, with their own organs or foreign objects, against detained Iraqis. The penchant for torture is well-documented (and I use the common definition of torture, not the "pain of organ failure only" definition Bush uses).

You may not be aware of all that if you exist within a right-wing media cocoon, as so many do here. Don't look to Drudge to publish such news, for example.

And, I never said anything about Yugoslavia so I don't know what you're talking about.

reader_iam said...

I, for one, can't place a whole lot of weight on what Pollack, in particular is saying.

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"I think I'm a pretty good judge of what constitutes liberal thinking...."

Apparently not!

"...I'm going on 30 years of liberalism."

Well, I don't know when Ann first came to think of herself as a liberal, but I'm betting it's longer than you've been alive. Citing longitudinal credentials buys you nothing in this context.

"Maybe you can provide some of the evidence of Althouse's alleged liberalism...."

http://althouse.blogspot.com (you'll find the archives on the right hand side of the screen, scroll down a bit).

Luckyoldson said...
"[E]xactly where do you find Ann expressing 'liberal' views?"

Why, on a blog called "Althouse," of course. Do try to keep up.

AlphaLiberal said...

I surfed away to ThinkProgress to find this excellent headline

Ken Pollack And Michael O’Hanlon: Often Wrong, But Never In Doubt

So the challenge to Althouse and other wingers is to demonstrate why these people should be believed, when they have been consistently and grievously wrong?

AlphaLiberal said...

That's lazy, Simon. Very lazy.

Luckyoldson said...

Simon,
You're merely repeating the standard inane comments found elsewhere on this blog.

And, by not providing any evidence of such you're illustrating just how full of it you are.

If you actually think Ann is a liberal you're out of your mind.

Luckyoldson said...

yachira says: "I guess that kind of thinking accounts for the vast numbers of Americans who have come over to the hard-Left/Angry-Leftists side of the political spectrum."

Well, considering 60% of Americans side with the Democrats regarding the war...yes, that's exactly the "kind of thinking" that's created the overwhelming sentiment right now.

Do you ever actually read books or newspapers?

Jason said...

Alpha Lib: Why Ann ought to give a farthing about your assessment of her purity in adhering to your whacked-out version of liberal orthodoxy is beyond me.

One could make the argument that the neo-cons are more liberal than progressives who support women's sufferage except for brown people.

Jason

Invisible Man said...

AlphaLiberal couldn't be more right. You consistently claim that Ann is a liberal, but you have no evidence other than she yelled at some crazy libertarians and she voted a couple times for Democrats. Rudy has a few liberal views, but a liberal he isn't.

Luckyoldson said...

danny asks: "Does the fact that these two authors have been wrong about so much in their past predictions concerning the war, and the surge, now give them more credibility, or less?"

Surely you jest.

Most here could care less where the information comes from, whether it can be confirmed...or backed up by other objective, unbiased parties...as long as it reflects what they want to hear.

We've been through 5 generals who do not share this view and they dismiis what they say out of hand.

B said...

The vehemence with which Alpha Liberal and luckyoldson want us to not believe the report only proves Ann's fears.

DK is right: One doesn't have to believe that Democrats are evil to believe that they are seriously mislead.

Unfortunately, the Bush hating extremists on the anti-war side
don't have to be evil to be an encouragement to our enemies to kill more of our American soldiers.

As we sadly learned from Vietnam, our antiwar left was a huge propaganda coup for stoking the North Vietnamese troops.

If you want to lower the number of American Iraq war deaths, get behind the surge and shut up for 6 months.

The antiwar left has killed enough of our brave soldiers in Iraq already.

Stop it.

Palladian said...

"Simon, I think I'm a pretty good judge of what constitutes liberal thinking, as I'm going on 30 years of liberalism."

You've deluded yourself. You're not a liberal.

Luckyoldson said...

jason says...and with a straight face: "One could make the argument that the neo-cons are more liberal than progressives..."

Yeah...and Michael Vick is up for a PETA Award.

*Where do you people come up with this insanity???

Sissy Willis said...

You don't buy "evil" for those who pray for our defeat? How about "craven"?

Tecmo Bo said...

fin

Lars said...

I think what Lucky, Alpha, Invis, et al have in mind is subjecting Ann to one of those Red Guard 'struggle' sessions where she is forced to wear a dunce cap then gets 'airplaned'.
After a 'sincere' confession of all her thought crimes she gets sent down to the countryside for some rehabilitative forced labor at an open-pit coal mine. At that level the 'struggle' sessions take place every night after work. After being purged of all her rightdeviationist thoughts she can return repentant and reborn to the Univ. scene. It worked for thousands of Chinese academics.

hdhouse said...

Sissy Willis said...
You don't buy "evil" for those who pray for our defeat?"

Who does that Sissy? Name some names? Cite some examples. What are you? Spawn of Fen or Sloanasaurus? The feckle remains of Pogo and Cedarford?

What a jerky thing to say. You should be ashamed.

hdhouse said...

It is such a joy to watch these right wing lunatics, when their Fuhrer is being flushed down the toilet of approval, when his attorney general is packing for jail, when his little house of cards is collapsing...watching them run around spouting off ... they look like ants on hot pavement.

Not a whit to them. Nary a one.

DirkDiggler said...

As a liberal I am all for success in Iraq. Many years of bad news and articles/stories of turning the corner in Iraq has diminished my view of any type of success.

Yes, I do believe that this article should be given some credence because it ran in the NY Times but one article by two liberals who supported the Iraq War initially does not necessarily equate with "winning"-whatever that means or looks like.

I generally like to read Jon Burns in the Times-he seems to give honest candid assessments of what is going on over there. Also, he stays there for months at a time which gives him a deeper picture.

Also, things seem to change rapidly in Iraq. Places that were one safe are now dangerous and vice versa. These conculsions these writers comment about could change very quickly for better or worse.

As a liberal I am interested in success in Iraq it just seems hard to quantify what that means and for how long and when we leave what will happen. I would hate to see all the loss of life, capitol and respect in the world for no tangible return to our contry. Also, I do believe that we owe the Iraqis some sort of commitment to see that they are safe. We came in and did quite a bit of damage and I believe it is our responsibility to try and fix it.

AlphaLiberal said...

Here's another critique showing the sheer mendacity of these two authors posing as Administration critics. They've given this exact same message for years, and have been wrong for years.

How long does someone have to be wrong before they are considered not credible?

Note: I provide links to real facts and records to back up my arguments. I urge Althouse and the other conservatives here to follow that.

My "vehemence" springs from the stakes here - real people are dying everyday and many more may yet. And, also because this exercise is dragging my beloved country through the mud. We have blood on our hands here- America and our generation.

Luckyoldson said...

lars,
I don't subscribe to any litmus test for Ann, other than expressing her views in an honest manner.

She does her best to represent herself as a liberal or independent, yet constantly posts comments relating to Hillary's cleavage or some other woman with big tits, standing too close to Bill....or...one of my favorites: defending the Clarence Thomas claim, as being believable, that, even as a Yale (law) graduate in 1974, he never discussed the Roe vs Wade decision of 1973. (What was HE smoking?)

*One of the most important decisions of the century and a law graduate from Yale...never discussed it...with anybody...yeah, right.

Sloanasaurus said...

How long does someone have to be wrong before they are considered not credible?

It's not the reputation of Pollock/O'Hanlon specifically, it is the fact that they are reporting facts similar to what others have also been reporting for the last few months - that things are improving in Iraq.

The momentum in Iraq is changing, and the facts are coming out about that. Public support for the war is also inching back up. The NY Times reported that polls show support is back above 40% now (they even took a second poll just to double check).

Based on the preliminary reports we have seen, Patreus is going to report in September that the security situation in Iraq has drastically improved. After this you won't see any more legislation to withdraw.

Lars said...

Lucky:
I think you should establish some ground rules for her ...let's say the 'Ten Commandments' of Liberalism.
That way I can have a good metric for
her transgressions.

Okay? Ready?
1. Thou shall not....(here's where you fill in the blanks)
2. etc...........

reader_iam said...

Pollack, with all his inside access and experience, was unable to determine correctly whether it was Rumsfeld's vision or other views within the military that had prevailed in the run up to the war. (This is important, because it directly affected not just troop numbers, and not just what constituted "victory," but also how and by whom the aftermath was planned for and organized.) He thought the "other views" had won the ongoing internal battles, not Rumsfeld (and, by extension, other people and factions within the administration and the policy establishment). He was wrong about that, and--again, given his access and background--this is inexplicable to me.

This is not my only my reason for not assigning a tremendous weight to his assessments, but it's a biggie.

chickenlittle said...

Perhaps somebody at the Times is actually worried about their credibility (not to mention their bottom line).

Throwing a bone to the editorial center can't actually hurt them at this point, and may give them more credibility in the fights on the horizon.

reader_iam said...

It's not the reputation of Pollock/O'Hanlon specifically,

Sorry, but they made that an issue, and explicitly so, in the NYT piece, and it's being used to bolster the credibility of the piece itself. So your statement, Sloan, doesn't fly with me. Depending on whom that article was supposed to reach, its authors are unfortunate messengers, given the political battlefield in this country.

***

I think we are seeing evidence of some improvements in some areas on the ground in Iraq. I think we have seen that in cycles over time, in different parts of the country. Some have proven more lasting, others not so much.

Unfortunately, timing is almost everything.

Synova said...

"jason says...and with a straight face: "One could make the argument that the neo-cons are more liberal than progressives...""

Absolutely one could make that argument. And it wouldn't even be that hard.

There are so many ways in which "progressives" have abandoned liberal ideology. The most essential element that has been abandoned, in my opinion, is the idea that human beings have a common longing for liberty. The drive for equality comes from that, doesn't it? That blacks are not less, somehow. That women are not less. That the oppression of people on the other side of the world matters. That even without talking to them we can be assured that those people genuinely want to be free of that oppression.

Liberalism would insist that people are not defined by their biology. Not by their race, gender, or anything. Yet that has been replaced by the firm belief that people are defined by their culture and that culture is sacrosanct and immutable. This exchanges the bondages of nature with bands of steel that are nothing more than nurture.

Where is the insistence that any young boy or girl has equal potential if only their *situation* is changed?

Anymore the "truth" insisted upon is that it's wrong to change the situation because it's essential to respecting who a person *is*. They *are* the situation of their birth, their culture, their inherited bigotries and social roles.

And this is why, as we hear over and over if someone tries to explain their reasoning, we can not and *never could* win in Iraq. The people there aren't flexible enough to build something good. We're tilting at windmills. It's not that it's a hard, up-hill slog through those cultural expectations, it's that it's impossible.

Or worse, that it's *wrong* to interfere.

Liberalism has always been about how it's *right* to interfere. But lately that has changed. Now we're supposed to respect cultures that oppress women, kill gays, and where a religious leader saying it probably isn't necessary to execute apostates (and they'll go to hell anyway) is big news.

When did respecting the equality of all people become respecting the oppressive cultures of all people?

When did the belief that we can make a difference, that we can change the world, become a cynical acceptance that attempting a change can only lead to utter failure because nothing can be done to change the minds of people? That people *over there* do not have the necessary flexibility in their minds to choose something other than submission to their oppressive history?

Because that's what we hear over and over. And it's Bush giving nice speeches about the value of individuals, liberty and freedom.

While the "other side" compulsively positions themselves in opposition.

Kevin said...

Based on the preliminary reports we have seen, Patreus is going to report in September that the security situation in Iraq has drastically improved. After this you won't see any more legislation to withdraw.

I think you will see more legislation if only because the 'netroots' faction of the Democrat base will squeal loudly that "something needs to be done" and "we got you guys elected". It's the squeakiest wheel gets the grease theory of legislation.

danny said...

Wow. I went away for a while and I come back and no one has answered my questions. Must be at a loss for words. Or maybe there's a credibility issue?

OK, final question for you right-wingin' commentors: If Ann is such a liberal, then why are you here, all the time, posting comments and agreeing with her?

hdhouse said...

Sloanasaurus said...
"Public support for the war is also inching back up. The NY Times reported that polls show support is back above 40% now (they even took a second poll just to double check)."

http://www.pollingreport.com/iraq.htm

I can't find your "NYTimes polls". Give us the source. I'll refrain from calling you a lying weasel until you demonstrate it. And are you at all sure of what the poll is measuring? Doubtful.

reader_iam said...

Danny:

You're not reading very closely, then.

Joseph Hovsep said...

I can't find your "NYTimes polls". Give us the source.

The first few polls listed on Polling Report's Iraq page indicate that public support has increased slightly over the past few months.

vet66 said...

old son:

You conveniently leave out the recent poll numbers that put congress' approval rating at about half that of President Bush!

People may disapprove of Bush's handling of the war but that doesn't mean they want the U.S. to lose. That would have been a good question at the recent democratic debate, by the way.

The demoracts want the power in 2008 that comes with the presidency. They will then defund the military and spend the money on make-work social programs. This will weaken us internationally and lead to attacks on U.S. soil and worldwide assets that we will be unable to address in a robust manner.

That is, in a nutshell, the motive, opportunity, and means of the democratic party's plan for ascendancy. It requires the death of our soldiers/marines/Iraqis duly documented by the MSM. The same MSM, New York Times, that printed the story in question. That is the story, not the fact that it is old news for the rest of us who get our news elsewhere.

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

dannyboy said:
Q "If Ann is such a liberal, then why are you here, all the time, posting comments and agreeing with her?"

A. She runs a good blog. What do you do sir?

reader_iam said...

Just a few things on which I have seen "right-wingin'" commenters disagree with Althouse on:

Abortion
Gay marriage
Marriage
Tenure, and the state of the academy more generally
Affirmative action (various aspects)
Free speech (topics and cases vary)
Supreme Court rulings
Various cultural issues
Religious expression
Art (various topics)
Education
Family Values
Status of children (parental rights vs. children's rights vs. state rights, etc.; depends on the subtopic)


... and etc.

Of course, I don't see lockstep agreement among the rightwingin' commenters here on this issue, either, and certainly not the moderates, for want of a better word. Or, for the most part, if you dial back the perspective and take into account all of the topic areas, the leftwingin' commenters either.

Depends on how you DEFINE all those wings, of course. Heh.

Dewave said...

The left is more blindly dogmatic about the state of affairs in Iraq than most religions are about their various theological tenets.

Moreover, the left prosecutes 'apostates' with more zeal than any major religion aside from Islam.

AJ Lynch said...

To the loitering libs:

This report is significant because it is from two significant war skeptics. It is not as significant that their report be 100% accurate or true.

Libs like yourselves fall over each other when you attempt to paint the report as bogus or propaganda or devious.

In doing so, you (Lucky, alpha, hdhouse and others) exhibit clearly your No. 1 fear: that the US military may actually succeed in Iraq. That (hdhouse especially) makes you CRAVEN and despicable.

Synova said...

Danny: OK, final question for you right-wingin' commentors: If Ann is such a liberal, then why are you here, all the time, posting comments and agreeing with her?

Me: Because I don't demand ideological purity to have a conversation with someone. I expect to agree with some things and disagree with others.

In fact, a lively discussion simply doesn't work if everyone agrees with everyone. So I read here because I *disagree* and often enough I disagree with Ann. In fact I said that in a comment just the other day about Churchill.

I don't think I particularly self-identify as "right-wing" in any case but it's just not worth it to argue the point.

vet66 said...

Sissy;

Stick to your guns! You were correct the first time. It is evil to wish for defeat thus condemning our military and their families to the prospect of dying for nothing.

Fortunately, our military doesn't depend on the moonbats to define Duty, Honor, and Country.

Neither do you, I, or many others here and there.

Invisible Man said...

Dewave,

C'mon this is ridiculous. Some Democrats were pro-war at the time of the invasion while some weren't. When things started turning badly, Republicans were pretty much in lockstep that VICTORY was right around the corner. Apart from a few Pat Buchanan and William Buckley-types, conservatives were near unanimous about us WINNING the war up until maybe the last year. Democrats have had disagreements about this war from the start. It's you Republicans that have had this WINNING ideology from the start.

danny said...

I did go back and read, looking for anyone who could answer regarding the credibility of these two authors, and no, there wasn't much there, but I did find this gem:

The antiwar left has killed enough of our brave soldiers in Iraq already.

This has to one of the funniest things I have seen on this blog, or anywhere, ever!

AlphaLiberal said...

Sloan serves up some talking points:
"they are reporting facts similar to what others have also been reporting for the last few months - that things are improving in Iraq. "

I think you forgot to put "facts" in quotes. (As in they're not really facts, but propaganda, Sloan doesn't forget to "catapult the propaganda.").

vet66 said...

Invisible;

Thanks for clearing up your leftist position. You believe we should go into a war with the hope and dedication to lose instead of winning.

That lack of a winning frame of mind kills and maims our military and innocents as it emboldens our enemy. I don't find that amusing as some (Danny) here do!

danny said...

Are the insurgents reading these comments and becoming emboldened? I better say something positive or another soldier will die!

You really are going to try that utter bullshit line about how the antiwar left lost not only Vietnam but now Iraq too? Are you that stupid? Guess so!

Like I said, that is one of the funniest things I have read anywhere!

reader_iam said...

Danny: I gave a reason for why I'm not impressed to hear from Pollack.

Invisible: Republicans, much less conservatives, were simply not monolithic about going into Iraq. Why is it so important to paint that picture?

***

Who wrote this and under what circumstances:

To President Bush, his advisors and the American People: Let's be clear: We supported the Gulf War. We supported our intervention in Afghanistan. We accept the logic of a just war.

But Mr. President, your war on Iraq does not pass the test. It is not a just war.

The candidate we supported in 2000 promised a more humble nation in our dealings with the world. We gave him our votes and our campaign contributions.

That candidate was you. We feel betrayed. We want our money back. We want our country back.

War is the most extreme action a society can take. It can only be unleashed after exploring every other road. You have not explored all the roads.

How many young American lives will be lost in this dubious war? How many more innocent Iraqis will be killed and maimed and made homeless? Haven't they suffered enough, after two decades of terrible wars and sanctions?

Among the one billion Muslims in the world there is now a steady trickle of recruits going to al Qaeda. You will turn the trickle into a torrent.

....

jackson said...

See how the rhetorical bar is forever being moved b the left? Now victory in Iraq is only real if Bagdad is transformed into a vacation spot, like Cabo San Lucas or something.

At it's core, the left is purely rationalist, eschewing experience as a source of knowledge in deference to their own conjectures. What they ultimately fear isn't a political victory for their opponents; deep down what they fear is simply being wrong. They have yet to figure out that the world and their ideas about the world are two separate, independent things. When they are wrong, well then something is wrong with the world itself. It's an existential fear.

yours/
peter.

Jason said...

The problem with progressives (well, one problem among many) is that they wouldn't recognize liberalism if it bit them on the ass.

We're in the fight of a lifetime for human rights against Islamic fascism. And progressives have gone AWOL.

reader_iam said...

Now, it is quite possible to have opposed entry into Iraq AND, once having accepted losing the debate--that is, the reality that our troops went in--to support the success of the war, to see it not done half-assed, to--YES!--win. Is this the distinction you're struggling with?

danny said...

reader_iam said...

Danny: I gave a reason for why I'm not impressed to hear from Pollack.

I know you did. But you were the only one. The usual suspects around here seem to have lost their tongues. And their credibility.

AlphaLiberal said...

Here's Althouse's hero of the day contradicting himself from last week!

O’Hanlon Contradicts His Own Research To Portray Surge As Successful

From last week!!
With what promised to be a pivotal summer now more than half over, the situation in Iraq remains tenuous at best. …

[V]iolence nationwide has failed to improve measurably over the past 2-plus months, with a resilient enemy increasingly turning its focus to softer targets outside the scope of the surge. …


Yeah, that's real reliable. What sort of gullible person would be drawn into believing such nonsense? Read for self-inflicted damage to O'Hanlon's credibility.

AlphaLiberal said...

Jason repeats a false line:
We're in the fight of a lifetime for human rights against Islamic fascism. And progressives have gone AWOL.

No, we were on board when it was dealing with the people who attacked the US. Progressives overwhelmingly supported the invasion of Afghanistan.

It's when Bush decided to start an unprovoked war against people who never attacked us that our national unity frayed.

And, we are largely agreed that this Iraq occupation is strengthening al Qaeda and weakening the US. It's making the terror situation worse. This analysis has been supported by others, such as many in the Pentagon and intelligence communities.

Just because we don't follow a failed and counter-productive strategy doesn't mean we're "AWOL." We choose not to be lemmings.

vnjagvet said...

This article for some reason has really hit a nerve among the hdhouses, alphalibs, dannys and luckyoldsons who hang out here and seem to resent the resident blogstress.

Ditto with MoveOn, Greenwald and Kos.

Why?

It's just one article after all.

Could lockstep be breaking down?

vet66 said...

AlphaLiberal;

You fail to understand the strategic importance of Iraq in the geo-politics of the Middle East. Look at a globe and observe the unique position of Iraq in relation to it's neighbors and who they are.

There is nothing we could have done that would have concentrated the situational awareness of al qaeda prime, Muslim Brotherhood, jimah Islamiya, Hamas, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel, Russia relative to the U.S./West.

If you desire a debate, let's debate where AQ prime would have struck after 9/11 had he not been forced to hide in Waziristan and had we not thrown out Saddam.

Your logic is based on wishful thinking.

Simon said...

danny said...
"OK, final question for you right-wingin' commentors: If Ann is such a liberal, then why are you here, all the time, posting comments and agreeing with her?"

As Reader_Iam said, if you think the conservative commenters here "agree[] with her" all the time, you're just not reading. Never mind not closely, not at all. I agree with Ann on some things; I disagree on others. We just don't insist on complete lockstep agreement in order to be around people, apparently your criterion. That's called "being confident in one's views." I'm sorry for you if your belief system is so fragile that you have to hermetically seal it against encountering other viewpoints by surrounding yourself with identically-minded followers and shuffling abroad to find heretics to burn. But how else to rationalize this weird idea that Ann must be a conservative since many commenters here are - what else can that be than projection?

Reader_Iam has already provided a partial list (I think she's taken far more trouble than you, AlphaLiberal and your fellow-travelers deserve, I'd have just referred you to the archives myself - and indeed did), but aside from the war and your incomprehension of her views on feminism and Valenti, I'd like to know what these issues you think she's so conservative on.

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sung Chun said...

alphaliberal:
"I think you forgot to put "facts" in quotes. (As in they're not really facts, but propaganda, Sloan doesn't forget to "catapult the propaganda.")."

Drivel. There is good and reliable independent reporting out there if you care to read it. Look up "Yon" and "Totten" for some outstanding examples. Credible evidence that the US and Iraq are winning militarily is out there.

It's one thing for you and other liberals to be skeptical--that is entirely reasonable and understandable--but it is another for you to blindly go about labelling reporters as shills and propagandists. It suggests that you don't just question the reported facts, but that you're far more vested in reinforcing your own belief that there can be no good news. And you wonder why others think that you want the US to lose?

danny said...

The reason it has struck a nerve is because of the way it is being used by the right, as evidenced by this blog and the quote from Powerline:

Yet, some think this piece is significant, because of who wrote it--two liberals from Brookings--and the fact that it appeared in the Times....

And so what has happened is, in a matter of hours, if that, the credibility of the authors has been challenged, and quite soundly destroyed.

Good try though.

Joe said...

Earlier AlphaLiberal stated: "And the idea that we can "reshape the Middle East" by blowing up one of the countries (and installing our town torture and rape rooms, BTW) is just plain dumb."

Except US action in Iraq reshaped the Middle East. (And so did Saddam's action in Kuwait and on and on.)

I happen to believe that the effect has and will continue to be overall positive, but even if you don't, you can't deny that a change has occurred.

The main failure of the left is the refusal to accept the reality as it stands now and deal with it in that context. Regardless of why we went to war and what has happened since we are where we are.

The US Revolutionary War was a near failure (without the French and opposition to the war in British parliament it would have failed) and subsequent to it the country was in near political chaos. It took years and one failed self-government before a more-or-less stable government emerged. Less than a hundred years later, the US fought an extremely bloody and vicious civil war that makes Iraq look civil by comparison. Before and since, the road has been rocky, but in the end and despite many flaws still present, we have created a great country.

Iraq has embarked on this journey. I've no doubt it will end up someplace different and am quite sure most people are under no illusion that it will be perfect. Hopefully, though, it will be a place of more freedom and civil rights. I am more than a bit disturbed that this vision is openly mocked by the left. The apparent unwillingness to even try is nothing short of astonishing.

Conversely, were the US, Britain and other allies to suddenly pull out of Iraq, is there any doubt as to the chaos that would follow? The millions of deaths? Have critics so quickly forgotten the Iraq/Iran wars of the 80s? I find it profoundly hypocritical for the left to wring their hands over Sudan but to be indifferent toward the effects of sudden US withdrawal from Iraq.

Being a critic of any country's foreign policy is easy; offering practical and humane solutions is much more difficult (sometimes even impossible.) Unfortunately, in their zeal to attack Bush, the left has almost completely abandoned all attempts at finding, let alone proposing, a solution. (Despite my dislike and mistrust of Hillary, she has demonstrated restraint and if the left thinks she'll pull us out of Iraq, they are quite mistaken.)

danny said...

Perhaps I will have to go back through the archives to find where the conservative types that post here on an all-too-regular basis (get outside every now and then!) have disagreed or taken Ms. Althouse to task for her liberal views. Because I haven't seen it.

As for confidence in one's views, Simon, I have held the belief before, during, and ... during this Iraq War that it was a mistake, a mistake, and still a mistake. I haven't had to adjust my view, I am quite confident in it. The results bear evidence. Nothing has proven me wrong.

On the other hand...well, we've all seen the other hand. The one that is wrong, and wrong, and wrong again. These seem to be the ones you pro-war types like to cite in your defense. And as this article today points out, you'll take whatever you can get to bolster your version of reality, even if it is from a not-so-credible source.

Karl said...

Clearly, Prof. Althouse needs a better class of lefty troll -- some who don't simply spew back whatever sock-puppeteer Glenn Greenwald and the Soros-funded CAP (Think Progress) put out as the troll talking point of the day.

Because such people will -- or should -- be embarassed when they learn that their trusted sources of information about O'Hanlon and Pollack omitted any mention O'Hanlon's near immediate advocacy of a large post-invasion stabilization force, later followed up by his comment that "The post-invasion phase of the Iraq mission has been the least well-planned American military mission since Somalia in 1993, if not Lebanon in 1983, and its consequences for the nation have been far worse than any set of military mistakes since Vietnam." Similarly, Ellers McEllerson and his merry band don't mention Pollock's piece in Slate in 2004 or his even more scathing assessment as recently as last December. Nor does Greenwald give his gullible sycophants any context as to the state of play in Iraq in Sept/Oct 2003 -- the time period from which at least three of the O'Hanlon's quotes were drawn.

People not emotionally invested in defeat in Iraq, with the much greater genocide to follow, ought to care about such things.

Fen said...

Danny: Perhaps I will have to go back through the archives to find where the conservative types that post here on an all-too-regular basis (get outside every now and then!) have disagreed or taken Ms. Althouse to task for her liberal views. Because I haven't seen it.

Perhaps thats because when the Right disagrees with Althouse, its in a civil and respectful manner. When the Left disagrees with her, they throw a temper tantrum.

vnjagvet said...

danny, where is your humility?

You write as if the battle in Iraq is over, and we have left already.

There is always the possibility, as history teaches, that victory may be snatched from the jaws of defeat.

Lincoln very possibly would have lost the election of 1864 had Sherman not conquered my adopted hometown.

In the spring of 1864, no Democrats and a minority of Republicans approved Lincoln's handling of the bloody Civil War.

What happened next confounded war critics and history was changed.

Getting the right generals in even belatedly can often make a difference.

I say school is still out on the ultimate outcome. Can you at least admit that?

hdhouse said...

vnjagvet said...
This article for some reason has really hit a nerve among the hdhouses, alphalibs, dannys and luckyoldsons who hang out here and seem to resent the resident blogstress."

VNJAGVET absolutely not. I have said nothing in disagreement or non-support of Ann Althouse. I frankly don't care if she is liberal, conservative or the man in the moon.

Her role is to pick footballs to toss in the middle of the field and we try with varying interest to scope them up. Problem here is that this site is populated by knee-jerk conservatives with shit for brains.

Fen said...

alpha: They've given this exact same message for years, and have been wrong for years. How long does someone have to be wrong before they are considered not credible? Note: I provide links to real facts and records to back up my arguments. I urge Althouse and the other conservatives here to follow that.

I would prefer some logic too Alpha. You are [deliberately?] confusing prediction with observation. The authors have observed firsthand that the surge is working, they are predicting it cannot be sustained.

Its ironic that you unknowingly undermine your own point. You charge them with poor analysis and prediction in the past, yet the only thing they predict in the NYTs article is that the surge will fail.

Conservatives are merely happy that someone from the Left has the integrity to go to Iraq and confirm the reports of Yon and Totten: "its still early, but the surge appears to be working"

And I think the Left is afraid the surge will work.

AlphaLiberal said...

Chung Sun:
How you describe criticisms linked to extensive quotes from the criticized authors' works as "blind" is a wonder. Esp as you're too lazy to provide any facts to back up your assertions.
----
Joe:
I'll concede the point. The Iraq occupation has changed the Mid East. Guess I thought the goal was to change it for the better. Silly me.
----
Karl,
Good work providing links to back up your points.

You forgot this one, from January:
A Skeptic’s Case For the Surge

My point remains robust, despite your efforts. O'Hanlon has consistently supported Bush's war policy, including the latest escalation. That he has also criticized the execution as terrible is to his discredit, not his credit: He's backing a terribly executed policy with no good reason to think anything will change.

And that's just nuts.

danny said...

I think I see what you mean about temper tantrums, Fen:

"I’m betting Pelosi and Reid would eat a sh** sandwich before they’d concede that."

"Maybe Lucky will get Lucky and a suicide bomber will blow himself up at a market place later today."

"Given what Liberals, and most DHIMMIcRATs are Liberals, have done recently, I would have no problem characterizing their behavior and positions as evil."

"I don't get your 'evil' thing. I say just anti-American."

"Unfortunately, the Bush hating extremists on the anti-war side
don't have to be evil to be an encouragement to our enemies to kill more of our American soldiers."

"As we sadly learned from Vietnam, our antiwar left was a huge propaganda coup for stoking the North Vietnamese troops."

"If you want to lower the number of American Iraq war deaths, get behind the surge and shut up for 6 months."

"The antiwar left has killed enough of our brave soldiers in Iraq already."

Just a small sample (this post only!) from today's calm and rational right-wing!

Fen said...

Danny: Are the insurgents reading these comments and becoming emboldened? I better say something positive or another soldier will die! You really are going to try that utter bullshit line about how the antiwar left lost not only Vietnam but now Iraq too? Are you that stupid? Guess so!

Its a strategy stated by Al Queda. Unlike you, they are intelligent enough to study history. They paid particular attention to VC Officers admitting that, while they knew they couldn't defeat the US on the FEBA in Vietnam, they could sap the will of Americans back home to force a retreat.

Its why Al Queda blows up innocents in Iraq: to sap the will of the weakest link in the American system - people like you.

Simon said...

Danny said...
"Perhaps I will have to go back through the archives to find where the conservative types that post here on an all-too-regular basis ... have disagreed or taken Ms. Althouse to task for her liberal views. Because I haven't seen it."

I think you'd find that rewarding and enlightening. And you won't have to look hard - anything relating to "affirmative action" or abortion would probably be a good place to start. As Fen, says, however, if you go expecting to find conservative equivalents of HDhouse or LOS, you're just not going to find that. With few exceptions, those who've disagreed with Ann from the right have somehow managed to do so without suggesting that she must be drunk or an idiot for having any view divergent from "ours." It's called "respect" - try it! You'll like it!

Synova said...

Danny: ...or taken Ms. Althouse to task...

I think that we can disagree sometimes without *opposing* her.

Don't you?

Fen said...

Danny: I think I see what you mean about temper tantrums, Fen:

You're being dishonest again. I said the Right is civil in its disagreements with Ann while the Left throws temper tantrums. None of those quote were directed at Ann.

Invisible Man said...

Vet66,

I feel dirty even feeling the need to counter your silly argument, but pretending your winning isn't really a good strategy in most contexts. Nobody's hoping we lose, but when you are losing it makes sense to recognize that, change tactics and try to win. By putting your ideological blinders on, you and others have allowed what little hope remained after the invasion to melt away. If some of your own would have spoken up in 2004 or 2005, maybe you could have endorsed this surge when it might have made a real difference. But instead, you buried your head in the sand and scolded Democrats while all of the sign posts pointed to chaos. If you want to look at whose responsible for why in 2007 we haven't tilted the balance in this struggle, you should look in the mirror.

From Inwood said...

Some critics of the war seem to be hoping for an American "Black Eye", but not for total defeat, of course. (Like the hypochondriac hoping to just get a “little” illness.) A little comeuppance just to teach us that we should stay out of places like Iraq, which they feel pose no threat to our existence.

Democrats, Republicans, Liberals Conservatives, Libertarians, Neo Cons, Theo cons, whatever. Heck they're Virtulicans, Virtucrats, Virtucons, Virtuelibs.

Doesn't work that way. We're there & if we get out...

But wait, they heard that before, like about 'Nam, & they laugh 'cause those simple agrarian reformers left us alone & it all worked out. The only communists left (besides those on NYC's UWS) are Castro & his epigoni. You neocon dummies, they say, the commies never attacked our vital interests & who cares about the Killing Fields; that was long ago & far away. We're all big & fat & happy, tho unhealthy.

So let these guys in Mesopotamia (NYTspeak) fight it out; the Mesopotamians hate Al Queda & never had any contact with them, never, ever, & Al Queda was never in Mesopotamia & even tho some of these people profess to hate us, understandably ‘cause it’s out of frustration with our megalomaniacal ways, they haven't the power to conquer us, except that BushHitler & CheneyBigOil are destroying the ability of our fighting forces to defend us.

And attacking their patriotism when all they know & feel is that they care deeply, madly about this country. They really do. Really. And more so than all you wingnuts on this thread. And they’re not only correct strategically: like the Viet Cong, these followers of a great religion can’t hurt us personally. What 9/11? We just gotta take precautions that 9/11 never happens again, including not letting Bush & Chaney destroy the fighting efficiency of our forces by continuing this useless irrelevant war; never again. What, Al Queda has already attacked us in the WTC? Nevermind. What we've been in Korea & Europe for 60 years. Nevermind.

They’re good & pure & motivated by the right reasons. Gosh it's hard for these virtulibs to try to save a country so obtuse as to be hardly worth their efforts, but against their better judgment, their better nature, they keep trying, tho selfish, cold-hearted idiots like those of you wingnuts on this thread are so disheartening.

Back to reality: This argument is less about reason than ever. It’s about making oneself feel good (feeeeelings, oh, oh, oh, feeeeeings) at the expense of those who aren’t as perceptive & far seeing as they, not to mention as compassionate & sensitive. Putting the unenlightened in their place.

danny said...

"I said the Right is civil in its disagreements with Ann while the Left throws temper tantrums. None of those quote were directed at Ann."

Oh, I see! So you are civil with the "liberal" Ann, but not so with the rest of the "liberals." Makes perfect sense!

"Its why Al Queda blows up innocents in Iraq: to sap the will of the weakest link in the American system - people like you."

Is that what OBL told you? Do you take everything that he says for a fact, or just cherry-pick the ones that sound good to you? Because OBL has said a lot of things that, if taken for fact, would not be something you would want to align yourself with.

Doesn't al-Qaeda want Obama for President too?

zzRon said...

For me, Synova's 1:46 comment hit the nail on the head. Most modern "progressives" have no clue as to how "libral" thought used to be defined. Also, I cant help but notice that not many lefties here have commented on what she had to say. Go figure.

Invisible Man said...

Simon and Fen,

The reason that you don't have to argue with Ann is the same reason that many of you rip John McCain a new one on a regular basis despite the fact that he probably has more conservative positions than many of the Republican commentors here. The simple fact is that you know who is and isn't on your team.

Please, don't act as though you haven't read this argument from numerous conservatives about McCain or Andrew Sullivan or others. The fact is that in the end, you know that Ann will always side with you despite singular disagreements over abortion and other issues in the exact opposite way that many of you distrust McCain because you aren't sure whether or not he is a team player(I'm sure that you've heard that before). Rudy's candidacy is even more proof of this thinking. Despite being pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-gay rights, in the end he hates Democrats and has proven that despite his differences he's with you. There is a reason that despite being opposed to probably half of the Republican platform, he's still in the lead in most Republican polls.

Fen said...

Alpha: No, we were on board when it was dealing with the people who attacked the US. Progressives overwhelmingly supported the invasion of Afghanistan.

The Taliban didn't attack the US, they allowed terrorists to operate freely within their borders, gave them government support, and refused to turn them over to the US. Kinda like Iraq and Iran.

AlphaLiberal said...

Fen:
Your observation of my observations is bullshit. I never made the distinction and it doesn't hold.

These guys, esp O'Hanlon have been observing for years that things are going well. Here, let me drop some (mostly) O'Hanlon quotes on you:

Set, 03:
"the counterinsurgency mission seems to be going well in that we are taking out a lot more people than we're losing."

"because on balance the Iraq mission is going fairly well . . . But most indicators are now favorable in Iraq . . . ."
"As for Baathist remnants of Saddam's regime, they are diminishing with time as coalition forces detain and arrest them. "

Oct 03:
"In my judgment the administration is basically correct that the overall effort in Iraq is succeeding."

"That said, on the prognosis of Iraq's future, the Bush administration is at least partly and perhaps even mostly right."

April 03:
"Whether the overall concept deserves to be called brilliant is debatable. But it does appear to have been clever in several specific ways,"

June, 03:
"Tip your cap, at least halfway, to Rumsfeld; despite his initial ideological blinders on the subject, he is keeping the postwar U.S. presence strong enough to get the job done as it becomes clear that the job will be hard."

These guys are not Bush critics. Critics don't support the policy they are supposedly criticizing.

Here's more...

hdhouse said...

Fen said...
"The Taliban didn't attack the US, they allowed terrorists to operate freely within their borders, gave them government support, and refused to turn them over to the US. Kinda like Iraq and Iran."

there you go again Fen...stupid stupid stupid....Not like Iraq. Not at all like Iran which cooperated with US in the invasion of Afghan...

More like the Saudis from which the hijackers came and from Pakistan ....George's buddy nation...where they now reside.

You are so stupid you make my skin crawl.

Fen said...

Fen: Its why Al Queda blows up innocents in Iraq: to sap the will of the weakest link in the American system - people like you.

Danny: Is that what OBL told you? Do you take everything that he says for a fact, or just cherry-pick the ones that sound good to you? Because OBL has said a lot of things that, if taken for fact, would not be something you would want to align yourself with.

Cute little strawman. No Danny, its not "what OBL told me", it comes from intelligence recovered from dead terrorists in Afganistan and Iraq - orders from AQ leadership to subordiantes.

They blow up civillian targets because they know our media will feed it back into the US and that Americans will lose their stomach for war - you are the target. Innocents are being blown up in Iraq to affect American public opinion because people like you have demonstrated to Al Queda that such tactics work. Their blood is on your hands.

danny said...

zzron, This is what Ann said:

"I will not succumb to this fear, which depends on the belief that the Democrats are evil. I do fear, however, that those who are politically committed to ending the war will resist evidence of good news, that it will take an unusually strong dose of good news to see good news as good news."

And so it wasn't a very strong dose after all. It was a lame dose of soft-focus propaganda.

And so I have been arguing that the source of this "good news" is a crock, as have many others. This a response to what both Ann said and to the article itself, which seems rooted not in reality but as a tool to prop up a bad war. And so the credibility of these authors has been effectively challenged.

What's the problem?

Fen said...

hdhouse: there you go again Fen...stupid stupid stupid....Not like Iraq. Not at all like Iran

You disagree that Iraq and Iran were harboring terrorist orgs, providing sanctuary, medical care, training grounds, logistics, finances?

Invis: The simple fact is that you know who is and isn't on your team.

Sorry Invis. I don't understand what you are trying to say there. Please try again?

AlphaLiberal said...

As to Synova's comments, I just found them bizarre.

"The most essential element that has been abandoned, in my opinion, is the idea that human beings have a common longing for liberty."

Here we are in 2007 with liberals fighting against the ultimate denial of freedom: torture (enthusiastically supported by conservatives, even of innocents).

Liberals are fighting the growing police state while conservative embrace it. (See: warrantless wiretapping, total information awareness, etc)

Liberals are fighting against conservative efforts to make gays second class citizens because cons want to dictate personal lifestyle.

Liberals are fighting for one of the most basic guarantees of freedom, habeas corpus.

I could go on and on. Basically, what this person has written is based on a right-wing caricature of liberals, not on reality.

The real betrayal is conservatives, who have embraced a police state mentality, nation-building and a permanent war. Ron Paul is a real conservative.

AlphaLiberal said...

fen:
"You disagree that Iraq and Iran were harboring terrorist orgs, providing sanctuary, medical care, training grounds, logistics, finances? "

You're saying they were doing this for al Qaeda?

You're wrong. The only camps, pre-invasion, were in the northern no fly zone, outside of Saddamn's direct control but within Kurd influence.

Jason said...

No, we were on board when it was dealing with the people who attacked the US. Progressives overwhelmingly supported the invasion of Afghanistan.

No you weren't. Die hard Progressives couldn't even get behind Afghanistan. And not just progressives of the garden-variety street thug variety, but opinion makers such as Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, who warned that the invasion of Afghanistan would amount to "a silent genocide."

Shortly after the attacks, moreover, the surrender monkeys at MoveOn.org were demonstrating their commitment to swift and decisive military action in Afghanistan by circulating a petition against any "escalation of violence."

Ah, and here's more evidence of the overwhelming progressive support for victory in Afghanistan:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,597160,00.html

Money quote: "This is a war against the poor people of the world."

More: "In whose interests is this madness? How many more people must die?" asked MP Jeremy Corbyn. "What kind of civilisation is it where the richest nation on earth finds its answers in bombs?"

Urging people to stand up for civil liberties, Lindsay German of the Stop The War Coalition said: "We now have war without end in the name of democracy."

Canon Paul Oestreicher of Coventry Cathedral, led a series of speakers. "We are the patriots. We must now build real peace and can only do that by creating a just economic system. A world where rich gets richer and poor get poorer is a recruiting ground for terrorism."

As the crowd swilled into Trafalgar Square, former MP Tony Benn raised the loudest cheers. "We have a passive parliament and a cringing cabinet that does not even demand the right to discuss Britain's involvement in the war."

As most of the crowd dispersed into the bitter cold, the meeting was claimed by the organisers to have been one of the largest anti-war demonstrations since the 1970s.


Many progressives opposed the war in Afghanistan. They were just so obviously stupid that they couldn't rally other Americans to the progressive point of view.

They are having more success now, but they are no less stupid.

But with protesters lining the streets by the thousands, and with MoveOn, Zinn and Chomsky in opposition, spare me the platitudes for progressive patriotism.

There was *never* huge support for the invasion of Afghanistan on the progressive side, and those of us paying attention at the time know that full well.

All that happened was that the progressives, acting out of their usual norm, had enough sense to shut the bleep up when the war turned out to go pretty well, compared to their doomsday predictions.

So don't try to sling that lie. Progressives couldn't even get reliably behind the attack on Afghanistan.

danny said...

"They blow up civillian targets because they know our media will feed it back into the US and that Americans will lose their stomach for war - you are the target. Innocents are being blown up in Iraq to affect American public opinion because people like you have demonstrated to Al Queda that such tactics work. Their blood is on your hands."

Wow, that's quite an accusation! It's funny how these things get turned around. By being against the war that allowed al-qaeda to infiltrate Iraq and aid the insurgency (however remotely) it is I who has blood on my hands!

I guess that takes all the responsibility off of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, and all the pro-war supporters with magnets on their cars.

How convenient.

Fen said...

Alpha: You're saying they were doing this for al Qaeda?

"terrorist orgs"

Alpha: You're wrong. The only camps, pre-invasion

Just the camps? How evasive. Alpha, did Saddam provide medical care to Al Queda? Did he have links to Al Queda through a WMD plant in Sudan? Did Saddam negotiate a non-agression pact with Al Queda?

Fen said...

Danny: Wow, that's quite an accusation! It's funny how these things get turned around.

Danny, do you not understand Al Queda has a propaganda campaign launched through our media, targeted at people like you?

Are you going to completely ignore the example of AQ borrowing tactics from the VC playbook that led to our retreat in VietNam?

Tel me why do you think Al Queda blows up innocent Iraqi civillians?

Karl said...

danny responded:
"He's backing a terribly executed policy with no good reason to think anything will change."

The US has adopted a new counter-insurgency strategy. Tribal sheiks across Iraq are dumping their support for AQI. Insurgent groups like the 1920 brigades are doing the same.

But I suppose if you ignore the facts on the ground, you could assert that there's no reason to think things are changing. But then you're just left with the ad hominem attack of the Lefty echo chamber.

Simon said...

Invisible Man said...
"The reason that you don't have to argue with Ann is ... [because] you know who is and isn't on your team. ... The fact is that in the end, you know that Ann will always side with you despite singular disagreements over abortion and other issues...."

Hilarious. Wrong, but hilarious. Side with us on what? IM, it's hardly a given that she's going to vote for the GOP candidate in '08, and try though you might to minimize the things we disagree on, these are important issues. The left's test seems to be that if you're not jumping up and down screaming "I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!" then shucks, you must just not disagree with her after all. The reason I don't have to argue with Ann is that my existence does not rest on a desperate need for everyone to agree with me. I'll set forth my view, argue my corner, and at the end of it, people will either agree or they won't. I don't expect to persuade Ann, or anyone else (although of course I'd like to), but I think reasonable people are open to being convinced by reasonable arguments, so you set forth your position as clearly as you can and see if anyone agrees. If they do, great; if not, that's okay too.

(By the way, I don't hate John McCain either. I think he's wrong on several issues, some important ones, but I don't have any personal dislike for him.)

Danny said...
"Doesn't al-Qaeda want Obama for President too?"

Al Queda wants an American government that is least-effective in prosecuting the war on terror, for obvious reasons, and one that will withdraw U.S. forces from the middle east and U.S. support from Israel. I imagine their first choice would be Dennis Kucinich, actually, but sure, Obama's in there.

AlphaLiberal said...
"The real betrayal is conservatives, who have embraced a police state mentality, nation-building and a permanent war. Ron Paul is a real conservative."

Which is hilarious, because Ron Paul would be surprised to hear it. He's a libertarian.

danny said...

"Danny, do you not understand Al Queda has a propaganda campaign launched through our media, targeted at people like you?"

I guess I haven't been watching a lot of television lately, I didn't know I was in their target demo.

"Are you going to completely ignore the example of AQ borrowing tactics from the VC playbook that led to our retreat in VietNam?"

The war went on for 16 years and cost almost 60,000 U.S. lives and THAT's why we retreated?

"Tel me why do you think Al Queda blows up innocent Iraqi civillians?"

Because the U.S. troops are there.

hdhouse said...

Fen said...
hdhouse: there you go again Fen...stupid stupid stupid....Not like Iraq. Not at all like Iran

You disagree that Iraq and Iran were harboring terrorist orgs, providing sanctuary, medical care, training grounds, logistics, finances?"

YOUR OWN PRESIDENT WOOWOO stated specifically that 9/11 attack had nothing to do with Iraq. When we invaded Afghanistan the Iran's helped us. WHAT IS YOUR FUCKIN ISSUE? Can't you read? Can't you think? You are so stupid that the god's weep.

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

I'm sorry Fen. It isn't nice to pick on the infirm. But my god man, can't you think? Can't you read? Why waste your brain with slogans and dogma?

The truly pathetic in this world are truly pathetic.

If I were still teaching and you were even able to learn I swear to god I would toss your ass out as hopeless.

John Stodder said...

Glenn Greenwald provides substantial information showing these two to have been repeatedly and miserably wrong over the years that this war has been waged.

Indeed he does, at least from his point of view. What he doesn't do, and few of O'Hanlon/Pollock's critics do is engage their arguments! It's all guilt by association. They supported the war at some point, therefore they are "Bush sockpuppets," irrespective of their subsequent views, irrespective of their expertise, irrespective of what they witnessed and discovered.

The 'emperor has no clothes' question here for the anti-war fanatics is this: Don't you hope they're right? Why do you have so much vested in discrediting them?

Contrary to how it seems to the left-wing blogosphere, this war is not taking place in their computers, nor on the evening news, nor in Washington. O'Hanlon and Pollock are not armed enemies. They're just writing what they think to be true. You don't have to blow them up. You just have to consider their arguments and either accept them, or provide facts (not innuendo, not the childish "they were wrong before" incantation) to counter theirs. That's how you're supposed to debate.

Very little of that on the left blogosphere. Probably the most intelligent criticism I've read today of Pollock and O'Hanlon was by Joe Klein, but Joe Klein is another "wanker," so the left isn't enthralled. Today was just a bad day all around for the keepers of "the narrative."

zzRon said...

Danny: I did not comment on whether Althouse is more of a lberal or more of a conservative. Frankly, I dont really care... and just dont feel the need to form an oppinion on that subject.


AlphaLiberal: I dont doubt that you and your fellow preogressives are fighting for all the causes you mentioned. Trouble is though, all the causes you mentioned only seem to pertain to the folks in this country. I have seen no evidence that you care all that much about human rights in the rest of the world - especailly in Iraq.

The whole world shoud have celebrated when Saddam was defeated. But, it didnt. The whole world should have done everything in their power to help the freedom craving Iraqi's win their struggle. But, it never happened. Synova'a comment explained a great deal as to why. To me, it wins the "best of thread" award.

Meade said...

Althouse said:
"I will not succumb to this fear, which depends on the belief that the Democrats are evil"

No it does not depend on the belief that the Democrats are evil.

That's a misreading of what Hinderaker wrote: "... that the leadership of the Democratic Party sees progress on the ground in Iraq as bad news, not good. I think many Congressional Democrats are committed to defeat, for political and ideological reason."

Not that Democrats are evil; that much of the Democratic Party leadership is evil.

And it is.

Fen said...

hdhouse: YOUR OWN PRESIDENT WOOWOO stated specifically that 9/11 attack had nothing to do with Iraq.

Uh yah. I never said Iraq had anything to do with 9-11. Thats a strawman of the Left.

hdhouse: WHAT IS YOUR FUCKIN ISSUE? Can't you read? Can't you think?

Love the irony.

Here's my question again, try to address it: "You disagree that Iraq and Iran were harboring terrorist orgs, providing sanctuary, medical care, training grounds, logistics, finances?"

Pop a pill and relax HD, a simple yes or no will suffice...

Roger said...

Ron Paul, I am sure, would be very surprised to find himself labelled a conservative--he is quite the libertarian, and for those liberals or progressives who think you would like his positions, you clearly have no concept of what a hard libertarian believes.

The use of these labels is so outudated--Edmund Burke was a conservative; JS Mill was a classic liberal--past that unless you talk issue by issue the old typeology just doesnt work any more. Its entirely possible to be progressive on some issues, conservative on some, and libertarian on others. Why do you insist on ideological purity?

Roger said...

Relax, HD--you are slobbering on yourself. All caps dont have much impact when using the typed word. How is the showdown with cedarford coming? Real men, BTW, don't use the term "actionable" when calling someone out. Too lawyerly and lacks the appropriate testosterone quotient.

reader_iam said...

Its entirely possible to be progressive on some issues, conservative on some, and libertarian on others.

Amen.

Cedarford said...

Well, it appears I can take some satisfaction from completely unhinging Henhouse.

"Lies! Lies! Lies! Brownshirts!"

I wonder if Lefties have worked out a macro key that will frame a non-thought, and reframe it in text of approved Lefty cant and ad-hominems.
I agree with other posters that Henhouse has slipped badly in his quality of posts recently.

Poor soul never checked on the Athens Olympics of 2004 and the "miracle Iraqi soccer team", never debunked the disproportionate levels of volunteering for national service that Senator James Webb has written about extensively.

He doesn't dispute that the vapid "chickenhawk" charge fails to explain the 36 year-long lack of committment to national service by certain ethnic groups and less religious, less conservative Americans. The real problem is not that 100% of conservatives aren't serving, it is that so few liberals join, even when they were railing at Reagan to save the Angolans, at Clinton for failure to "stop the genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda by sending 150,000 troops to each locale".

And failed to rebut the glee with with Lefties tout the Iraq "unendurable death toll" of Americans and "innocent Iraqi civilians" citing bogus Lancet stats that also include dead insurgents and sectarian fighters slaughtering one another as "innocent civilians."
The triumphalism of shouting "7 dead Americans today!!", I don't understand. It is utterly repugnant. It is people that appear to take glee in light casualties and a hopeful defeat in Iraq - as some sort of personal vindication that war is bad, America is evil, and they are right, and the "freedom fighters of Iraq" are, too.

It's oposition that is 100% political given 2.2 million Americans die every year, 6,000 a day, 1500 of those "tragically" with several hundred dead doing the civilian counterpart of the military jobs - risky, but indispensible jobs Americans volunteer for as truck drivers, heavy construction, farmers, loggers, miners, business travelers, heavy manufacturing, electric workers....

When is the last time a Lefty group sued so they could be photographed draped over the coffin of a truck driver in their various mourning poses to show us all that Lefties believe such American deaths are "unendurable" and if we say that risks come with a job, the Lefty puffs up and says "tell it to the trucker's family!!".

It will never happen. Because Henhouse and others only use their faux concern and outrage about soldier deaths as a selective propaganda tool. They no more care about that - than 770 farmers and ag workers died doing their indispensible, risky job in America last year.

I think I understand the Henhouse rage - which is tied to the dashing of their hopes that election of Democrats would hopefully lead to American defeat and "humbling" before the freedom fighters of Islam, the UN, and human rights groups. The Dems have slowly realized that if they pull out precipitously, the whole ME may well go up in war, forcing America back in to a much wider, greater casualty war. And some Dem candidates are now talking openly about the necessity to keep a residual force in Iraq of several tens of thousands for training Iraqi forces, finishing the job against AQ in Iraq, and as counter to Iran since Iraq effectively has no AF or Navy anymore.

And Lefties are realizing to their horror that signs America has turned the corner on the Jihadis and is succeeding with the Surge strategy likely means they will have to swallow "Bush-Lite" on Iraq - if they want the Dems to win in 2008 so they can get their activist courts in business again pushing the Left's agenda and bypassing opposition by the American public.

Poor Henhouse likely just sees the truth now - that the Hard Left will swallow another Ned Lamont sh*t sandwich one way or another. And more terrorism only adds to the perception the Left shirks national service, shirks responsibility for national security...

Poor him...

reader_iam said...

Sometimes I think people hate that position most of all.

Funny thing: I'd argue that describes Athouse rather well (except I'd throw a bit of the classical liberal, since I still think it captures some element(s) not adequately captured in the other terms).

reader_iam said...

That position referring back to Roger's comment.

Revenant said...

It is such a joy to watch these right wing lunatics, when their Fuhrer is being flushed down the toilet of approval, when his attorney general is packing for jail, when his little house of cards is collapsing...

Two points:

(1): Bush's favorability rating is at 33%, compared to 31% for Pelosi, 12% for Reid, and 26% for the Democratic Congress. Its going to be hard flushing Bush down the toilet with all those Democratic politicians clogging the pipes.

(2): When even the New York Times is forced to concede that Gonzales probably told Congress the truth, it is a safe bet that the Bush Administration isn't losing any sleep over the empty threats of Democratic senators.

Roger said...

Cedarford--when you are a lawyer in the advertising industry, you have pretty much rock bottom in terms of contributing to society.

Fen said...

As usual, great analysis Alpha. That you think Ron Paul is a true conservative only reveals how out of touch extreme Left has become. Purge Miller, purge Lieberman, purge Althouse, purge Klein ... at this rate, Hillary will be Reagan-lite...

Ron Paul attracts only about 1% support from voters in the race for the Republican Presidential nomination. - Rasmussen, July 24th.



http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/congressman_ron_paul_attracts_less_than_35_against_top_democrats

Fen said...

It is such a joy to watch these right wing lunatics, when their Fuhrer is being flushed down the toilet of approval

Huh? I'm one of the ones adding to his disapproval rating - can't communicate, Harriet Miers, Amnesty, etc. You think his negative numbers are all about the war in Iraq?

Jason said...

Danny

"Tel me why do you think Al Queda blows up innocent Iraqi civillians?"

Because the U.S. troops are there.


Right. Because everyone knows that Al Qaeda never harmed a Muslim soul before BusHitlerburtoninc. invaded Iraq.

Regular Cub Scouts, those Al Qaeda types, right, eh, Danny?

It's our fault. We DROOOOOOVE them to do it!

Roger said...

Fen's point pretty well encapsulates much of the conservative concern with the President--simply stated, it isnt a conservative on many of the issues conservatives think are appropriate--Gonzales and Meirs were cronism raised to the infinite power--lightweights both. His budget restraint is terrible, and his immigration policy is reprehensible, as is his stem cell policy. But he has done one thing: he has taken the fight to the bad guys in the national security arena--and that trumps the domestic stuff in my book.

Cedarford said...

Roger said...
Cedarford--when you are a lawyer in the advertising industry, you have pretty much rock bottom in terms of contributing to society.


Cryptic.
Are you referencing Henhouse?

Fen said...

hdhouse: If I were still teaching -

You were a teacher? What did you teach?

Assuming you've calmed down, I'll bump my question, even simplify it so you don't get confused and irrated again:

"Iraq and Iran were/are harboring terrorist groups - providing sanctuary, logsitical help, medical care, money and weapons"

True or False hdhouse?

Simon said...

Roger - I don't think stem cell research belongs in that group (from your 5:29 PM comment). There are certainly people who are unhappy with ush's position on stem cells, but in the main, conservatives are pretty happy with it. Indeed, blocking stem cell legislation is one of the few things I've been happy with Bush about. It's been one of the very few uncomplicatedly good things he's done (I say "uncomplicatedly" because while you could argue he gets credit for nominating Alito and going into Iraq, both those points have to be qualified by what went before (in the case of Alito) and what came after (in the case of Iraq)).

GeorgeH said...

"I will not succumb to this fear, which depends on the belief that the Democrats are evil."

No, it only depends on democrats being professional politicians.
A victory in Iraq would guarantee their defeat and unemployment in '08.

LoafingOaf said...

I'm only familiar with Kenneth Pollack. I have a copy of his book The Threatening Storm, which was considered the definitive case for invading Iraq back in 2002. Much of that book didn't hold up very well once we got into Iraq and were able to see better what was going on there.

So I don't know if Pollack is the most credible person.

I do think his 2002 book is some evidence against the notion that Bush lied us into war, since that book reflected the beliefs of intelligence agencies in America and abroad in the years leading up to the Iraq invasion.

I also think the main reason it was difficult to know what was going on in Iraq was because Iraq had a regime that was not being transparent with UN inspectors and was playing games.

But people like Pollack should have presented their claims about Iraq as worst case possibilities, not as proven facts. I suppose I'll take this NYT column as possibly having some truth in it, and I sure hope it does. But I'm not taking it to the bank. Been there, done that, with Pollack before, and won't again.

danny said...

"Right. Because everyone knows that Al Qaeda never harmed a Muslim soul before BusHitlerburtoninc. invaded Iraq.

Regular Cub Scouts, those Al Qaeda types, right, eh, Danny?

It's our fault. We DROOOOOOVE them to do it!"

Jason, don't be stupid. The question was "why are they blowing up innocent civilians in Iraq?" The answer is "because the U.S. troops are there." Or are you claiming that al-qaeda have been in Iraq, blowing up civilians, for years preceeding our occupation?

And I never said any of these silly things that you're babbling about, i.e., Bushhitler.

Fen said...

Danny: The question was "why are they blowing up innocent civilians in Iraq?" The answer is "because the U.S. troops are there."

Can you elaborate on your theory? You seem to be saying the presence of US troops causes Al Queda to target innocent civillians?

[and I'm assuming you are aware that AQ has been targeting civillian marketplaces. We're not talking about collateral damage from attacks against US troops]

Roger said...

cedarford: I have drawn some inferences from HD's babbling over the past couple of years.

Roger said...

Simon: point taken re stem cells--you are correct and I am in error for the first time, since, as i recall, 1947

Luckyoldson said...

Six months after Pollack's, "The Threatening Storm" was published, his book actually read much like an indictment of the Bush administration's overeagerness to go to war as it does an endorsement of it.

A more appropriate subtitle for the book would have been The Case for Rebuilding Afghanistan, Destroying al-Qaida, Setting Israel and Palestine on the Road to Peace, and Then, a Year or Two Down the Road After Some Diplomacy, Invading Iraq."

Luckyoldson said...

Fen asks:

"Can you elaborate on your theory? You seem to be saying the presence of US troops causes Al Queda to target innocent civillians?"

Well, one reason would be that Al Queda wasn't even in Iraq BEFORE we invaded.

Do you ever read anything about what's happening over there? You appear to merely make up comments or questions out of whole cloth.

DirkDiggler said...

Obviously this one article in the NYTimes proves that we are winning, the surge is working and everything else that anyone else has said or written doesn't matter.

So now, is this article by these two individuals the standard bearer for all conservatives to tout the war as a success? That seems like pretty low standards. Are these two individuals that influential? Yes, I know they are liberal but so what they are other liberals that have been supportive of the war-specifically the New Republic. What about the republicans questioning the war before during and now? What about George Will, Bob Novak, Pat Buchanan, Bill Buckley? They weren't exactly supporting of this war.

How about the republican senators now who question the continue surge? Snowe, Voinovich, Warner, Smith, Collins, Domenici, Hagel, are the all evil and traitors too?

Also, Althouse's intro about hoping that liberals/democrats are not evil opened the floodgates for every conservative on this site to debate how evil the liberals are. Nice intro in intiating the conservatives to bash liberals.

DirkDiggler said...

Also I haven't really seen any "disagreement or opposition" to anything Althouse says on this website from conservatives.

Yes, some conservative will roll out what Althouse stands for; gay rights, abortion, affirmative action which some may disagree with but for the most part the conservatives are lockstep behind Althouse in whatever she says or posts-there is nothing wrong with that that's just the way this operation succeeds. Also, Althouse knows what to say to placate the conservatives. It fairly easy start a paragraph with hoping liberals arent evil and the conservatives are putty in her hand. Althouse's words are almost controlling and premidated-similar to say Hilary Clinton's operation.

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

I am willing to actively support the first Democratic candidate who unequivocally embraces victory in Iraq.

Even if it is Hillary!

I do not share her view of the federal government's role in domestic and economic issues.

But I personally think she would sew up the general election by stopping her retreat from her decision to vote for the Iraq war, and supporting a Petraeus-led victory.

Cedarford did a good job above of putting the sacrifice of our troops into some perspective in comparison with that of some of our other citizens in dangerous occupations.

Like Nixon in China, Hillary! could go a long way towards bringing this country together again in the war against terroristic Islamic Extremists.

Some interesting questions to my colleagues on the left:

How sure are you that she will not make this move?

Is the NYT intentionally beginning to give her cover for a hard right turn on this issue?

If she makes that move, do the nutroots have the power to derail her and pull it out for Obama or Edwards (who are unlikely to make such a move IMHO)?

Just testing the waters.

Roger said...

Dirk--your world is black and white and wrong. The purpose of this blog as far as I know is not to agree or disagree with the good Professor. She posts stuff, as near as I know, to start a conversation.

Why are you so narrowly focused to think this is about Althouse? And if you think this blog is nonsensical, why are you such a twit as to be wasting your time with it? Surely you can go on DU, Kos, Hufpo, and participate in the amen corner that tags anyone with an opposing view.

At least you get to run your mouth on this blog without being banned, or worse yet, "flagged" by the faithful.

and you might want to read the responses to her post about
churchill and u of colorado. Most folks thought she was all wet and said so.

downtownlad said...

Hmmm - if I only read Powerline, I would think that Iraq has been a smashing success. In fact, can someone point to ONE post in Powerline that is negative towards the Iraq engagement, ONE post that shows things might not be going that well?

Here's a quote from John Hindraker:

"“It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.”

Please tell me one reason we should take this man seriously?

If I see good news in Iraq, I'd listen to it. But since nobody can even explain why we're still there and what the end-state is, it's really pointless trying to say how we're doing. "Success" needs to be defined first.

hdhouse said...

Well Children...the author was on NPR tonight...all things considered...lamenting how the right wing had distorted the reporting and purposefully spun their writing.

how typical.

chickenlittle said...

"do the nutroots have the power to derail her"

Did they have the power to derail Lieberman over the same issue?

Henry said...

Well, one reason would be that Al Queda wasn't even in Iraq BEFORE we invaded.

But Lucky, what about the situation the ground now? Hello?

Your every argument supports the view I've stated above, that the antiwar democrats have accepted defeat as an axiom, and no new evidence is allowed entry.

Consider that Rumsfeld is gone; the military strategy of a year ago is gone; and Bush is a goner. Problems in the Middle East won't going away, no matter who you scapegoat.

What do you do now?

Sloanasaurus said...

But since nobody can even explain why we're still there and what the end-state is, it's really pointless trying to say how we're doing. "Success" needs to be defined first.

No one wants to waste their time trying to explain it to you. You don't listen, you just ask the same question over and over again.

There are thousands of pages of documents at the dept of defense web site you can read about why we are there and what we are doing.

I will sum it up though.

We are there, so we don't have to wage the war on terrror here.

vet66 said...

Fen;

Your points are well taken. As you know, al qaeda depends on chaos to extend it's reach before sharia law is imposed. This chaos can be self-inflicted within a given country or created by al qaeda prime or one of its proxys.

Proxy is an interesting word covering many entities from terrorist organizations to 'useful idiots' overstepping the bounds of legitimate debate.

In answer to your question, Iraq supported terrorist organizations within it's country's borders. Ansar al islam was active in Iraq as far back as 2001. In 2003 this al qaeda affiliate was bombed in the northern town of Biyara by the U.S. and Iraqi Kurds.

Luckyoldson said...

Henry says: "Consider that Rumsfeld is gone; the military strategy of a year ago is gone..."

Really?

I guess that must be why the generals before our savior, General Jesus Petraeus all quit or were fired. Are you this gullible that you really think Rummy isn't still involved??

Nothing's changed...we're still trapped like rats.

Luckyoldson said...

Again: Six months after Pollack's, "The Threatening Storm" was published, his book actually read much like an indictment of the Bush administration's overeagerness to go to war as it does an endorsement of it.

A more appropriate subtitle for the book would have been The Case for Rebuilding Afghanistan, Destroying al-Qaida, Setting Israel and Palestine on the Road to Peace, and Then, a Year or Two Down the Road After Some Diplomacy, Invading Iraq."

Jason said...

Luckyoldson:

Well, one reason would be that Al Queda wasn't even in Iraq BEFORE we invaded.

Oh. I see. Zarqawi notwithstanding, and Ayman Al Zawahiri's presence as a practical houseguest of Ibrahim Izzat al Duri's in 1999 notwithstanding, and leaving aside the fact that the Clinton Administration found that Bin Ladin had worked out an escape hatch with Saddam Hussein back in 1998 (details in the Clinton Justice Department's indictment of Bin Ladin), leaving aside the presence of one of the WTC attackers from 1993 on the state payroll in Baghdad, leaving aside a Brigade's worth of Ansar al Islam whackjobs operating near the Iranian border up north (but of course the border between Iraqi Kurdistan and Iraq was hermetically sealed with special space-age forcefield technology so none of them could possibly have drawn support from Sunni areas in Iraq and what was Zarqawi trying to do anyway?) and leaving aside the 9/11 commission's conclusion that there were, and I quote: "All kinds of ties, all kinds of connections" between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, here's what I am to believe:

Al Qaeda was in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda was in Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda was in Yemen. Al Qaeda was in Jordan. Al Qaeda was in Chechnya and Moscow. Al Qaeda was in Algeria and Egypt. Al Qaeda was in Bali. Al Qaeda was in the Philippines. Al Qaeda was in Morocco, Spain, and France. Al Qaeda was in England. Al Qaeda was in Pakistan, Italy and Germany. Al Qaeda was in god-damned Hallandale Beach, Florida before we invaded.

But Christ on a crotch-rocket, by some bizaare disruption of the space-time continnuum, thanks to the Benevolent wisdom of Saddam Hussein's mindjiggles, Iraq was magically made an Al Qaeda-free zone.

Gotcha.

Do you believe in the frigging tooth fairy, too, genius?

Roger said...

it is amazing that people will ascribe to Glen Greenwald the ability to provide impartial and insightful analysis, yet reject any right wing commentators as biased. The inability to think critically and to project is absolutely breathtaking.

AlphaLiberal said...

loafingoaf observes:
"...that book reflected the beliefs of intelligence agencies in America and abroad in the years leading up to the Iraq invasion. "

Actually not true. There was a reason Cheney and Rumsfeld set up the Office for Special Plans. It was because the intelligence they received from the agencies was not what they wanted to hear. So they set up a separate shop, the OSP, to justify the conclusions they demanded.

And the rest, as they say, is history. Painful history.

Now, many of our right wing friends here will not have heard of this as the right wing media does not report unfavorable news. Or if they have heard it, they buried memory of it because it clashes with their world view.

Back in February this was covered in an Inspector General's report.

Here's some more on the OSP from TPMMuckraker.
Here's some more!

And there's loads and loads where that came from. Now will conservatives please stop saying that the intelligence agencies supported the war claims? That's just false. Suckers like Ken Pollack may have bought it, but millions of us did not and we said so then (and now).

vet66 said...

Jason;

Nothing like inconvenient facts to stop a conversation! We call that "polishing the cannonball!"

Well said!

AlphaLiberal said...

jason, do you see how I have backed up my claims? You are invited to back up yours likewise. I have backed up my claim of manipulated Intel with a Pentagon Inspector General's report and blogs containing news links.

Let's see you back up your claims. I'll bet you can't back up those wild theories. I'll bet you're peddling old discredited claims, maybe even some from the corrupt OSP.

You really seem to be saying Iraq attacked us on 9/11. They didn't.

* Not one hijacker was Iraqi.
* 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi. And a lot of the financing has been from Saudi Arabia. That's a much stronger connection right there than your flimsy Iraq-9/11 claims.
* Bush admits Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

Damn, I forgot to insult you.
----
Roger, you're the only one using the term "impartial" on this page. Remember, you and your strawman are really the same person!

Sloanasaurus said...

Al Qaeda was in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda was in Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda was in Yemen. Al Qaeda was in Jordan....etc...

Excellent point. Al Qaeda was also in 50 other countries around the world. But, apparently not in Iraq according to Lucky. That must be because Iraq was peaceful place.

Also, do we think Saddam with his $50 billion per year oil revenue would not be supporting Al Qaeda's war against us in Afghanistan? Hmmm, anyone care to speculate how much that would have sucked?

Better to fight Al Qaeda in Iraq where we have a port to supply our troops, where the local population has the resources to be a real ally in the fight, and where our technological edge can make a big difference. Also, Iraqs oil revenue is not being used against us.

If we were only fighting them in Afghainstan, which is the best place in the world to be on defense, we would have suffered more than twice the casulaties we have suffered in Iraq.

Simon said...

DirkDiggler said...
"I haven't really seen any 'disagreement or opposition' to anything Althouse says on this website from conservatives. ... [F]or the most part the conservatives are lockstep behind Althouse in whatever she says or posts...."

I think you must be reading some other website, because that sure doesn't describe this one, unless by "disagreement" you mean spitting and spluttering in inchoate anger and calling her names. If that's your idea of "disagreement," if "lockstep behind Althouse" means "disagreeing civilly when in disagreement" then sure. But I think if that's your working definition, you've got some problems.

AlphaLiberal said...

To Lucky's defense, you guys keep shifting the point of the argument. If al Qaeda was in 50 countries, then do you want to invade all 50 countries?

You do understand Lucky's point that al Qaeda is a much larger presence today than before the war. Whether it was zero or ten AQ in Iraq (northern no fly zone) before the war, that's a fact that there's a lot more now and they're much more violent.

And our military occupation of that nation is making AQ's resurgence possible. The occupation make al Qaeda stronger, it gives them a rallying cry, vindicates their rhetoric that we're there for the oil, and provides a training ground.

AlphaLiberal said...

August 21, 2006
BUSH: The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East.

QUESTION: What did Iraq have to do with it?

BUSH: What did Iraq have to do with what?

QUESTION: The attack on the World Trade Center.

BUSH: Nothing
. Except it’s part of — and nobody has suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a — Iraq — the lesson of September 11th is take threats before they fully materialize, Ken. Nobody’s ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq.

Joe said...

AlphaLiberal & Lucky,

Out of curiosity, let's concede everything you say about what happened. We'll even concede the war in Iraq was a blunderous mistake.

Now what?

Forget the past, tell us the correct path to the future.

AlphaLiberal said...

simon?

Can you back up your claims that Iraq was involved in 9/11?

Will you put up?

chickenlittle said...

House, Alpha, Lucky:
Name a war or armed conflict which didn't grow combatants on both sides, before the eventual kill-off.

Growing AQ is not the point. But perhaps you just believe AQ is the stronger horse and you're just picking the winner.

AlphaLiberal said...

joe, some other day. I want these guys to face some facts on Iraq and 9/11.

I think they dishonor the memory of our 3,000 dead from that day by continuing to misrepresent what happened and who really attacked us just so they can cover themselves and their Dear Leader.

Really, dealing with this is important to moving forward. If we continue to allow the deception and lies to fester, it will hurt us.

Please don't help them change the subject. They were telling us how Iraq attacked us on 9/11.

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