January 14, 2008

"This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen."

That is, the whole Democratic Party's view of the surge, snarks William Kristol, adopting Bill Clinton's line.

104 comments:

Simon said...

It's always problematic for a political party to bet the farm on the hope that America is going to fail. It's not something you can sell, so you have to hope it really does work out that way, and it seems as though the "surge" is working. Which essentially vindicates those (i.e. everyone not in the administration) who'd been calling for troop increases for some time (including McCain).

On the other hand, the GOP candidates have been quiet about it, which I guess means that they're frightened that the situation is fragile, and knowing that the public are generally against the war would prefer to keep quiet about it lest the gains come to naught.

Simon said...

By the way, in case it wasn't clear in the previous comment, I disagree with Kristol's closing line. The surge hasn't been under Bush's leadership, it came about under McCain's leadership, and came to pass only because Bush gave in to what he'd refused to do for at least two years, viz. significantly increase troop levels. Kristol's correct to lambast the dems, but gives too much credit to Bush in doing so.

Doyle said...

Anyone who thinks Bill Kristol is in a position to "snark" about the Iraq War is just being willfully stupid.

Doyle said...

Hey Simon, remember when Bill Kristol said it was nonsense that the Sunni and Shia wouldn't be able to get along?

That was funny, in retrospect, right?

rcocean said...

A pretty mediocre column. A few more like this and he'll be the Conservative Bob Herbert. I'm conservative, but I think Kristol is an average, unoriginal, writer and commentator. I assume he's on TV due to his position.

I'll doubt he'll last beyond 2008. OTOH, does the NYT really want an interesting, effective, truly conservative columnist? Doubtful.

peter hoh said...

Kristol commenting about fairy tales? Well, I'm glad that he is finally willing to reflect honestly about his past predictions about . . . . Never mind.

Tim said...

"Obama, for example, told Larry King that he didn’t believe additional U.S. troops would “make a significant dent in the sectarian violence that’s taking place there.” Then in April, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, asserted that “this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything.” In September, Clinton told Gen. David Petraeus that his claims of progress in Iraq required a “willing suspension of disbelief.”"

The record is exceedingly clear the Democrats have fought for defeat in Iraq since late 2003, even to the point of declaring the war lost; Kristol's commentary only points out what everyone knows, even as we continue to disagree over the cost of losing.

Simon said...

Doyle, since you've still not answered the questions, you're in no position to try to take the moral high ground. This is a millstone that is going to hang around your neck until you answer them. Here's another shibboleth for you: instead of attacking Kristol, why don't you try disproving his theory by admitting you were wrong about the surge and calling on dem leaders to admit that they were wrong, too?

Middle Class Guy said...

The only issue the progressives have is the war. That is their number one complaint and their number one platform. Oh, they blather about economics and social justice, but it takes a willing suspension of belief to give them credibility. Especially when every other word out of their motuhs is end the war.

If the war ended tomorrow, peace broke out in Iraq, and little Sunni and Shite children walked hand in hand through the streets, where people were judged on the substance of their character versus the sect of their religion, the progressives would scoff and claim- this whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.

Doyle said...

Yes, Tim, that must be the reason why the invasion and occupation have taken so long. It's not because it was a horrible idea with no justification at all. It's because the Democrats didn't clap loud enough!

AlphaLiberal said...

No-one has been more "consistently wrong" on Iraq than Bill Kristol. (Yes, it's a cartoon, for those with a cartoonish world view).

"The surge" is a fairy tale of success. Violence is still high and reductions have been made through ethnic cleansing and deals with those who have killed American troops (and probably will again). But this topic is simply ignored in the MSM and by the right wing.

"One in five Iraqi refugees in Syria has been tortured or suffered from other violence, and more than a third fled their homeland between July and October, at the height of the U.S. troop buildup that was intended to quell sectarian violence in Baghdad, preliminary data from a new United Nations study show."
Survey: Many Iraqis in Syria fled during U.S. troop buildup

Was the goal of the surge to drive millions of Iraqi's from their homes and their country? No, but that's the result, scrupulously ignored by hawks like Kristol and Althouse.

Whatever peace they have is the peace of the graveyard.

goesh said...

I think General Pratraeus was given full assurance from Bush that politicians and the Cabinet wouldn't meddle in counter insurgency operations. I think Rumsfeld's head on a platter was the 'blood token' given General P. and it is working. From tech driven shock and awe to cultural awareness and manipulation, success is measurable by any parameter set. Our military has adjusted, adopted and adapted, implemented, policed itself, scrounged, went without, sacrificed and overcome unheard of obstacles. The high retention rate of combat troops and met quotas of general enlistment shows they believe in what they are doing and see the mission as successful. This is a hard pill for the Dems to swallow given the strong, anti-war plank they built for themselves.

Doyle said...

We should have taken our troops out of Iraq years ago, if we couldn't have had a president who knew better than to go in in the first place.

If we had done that, Iraq would be in better shape today, and we would have saved a lot of American lives and dollars. So Bush, Petraeus, and Kristol can still kiss my ass.

AlphaLiberal said...

I see the con's are trotting out that old shibboleth that those who want an end to the failed occupation want failure.

That's such a crock of... It's like a family with a gambling addict who tries to get the addict to stop and the addict says "you just want me to fail."

This is hurting our country badly. It's time the country wake up and deal with reality, not hide behind talking point slogans and a failed plan to bomb Iraq into democracy.

It's also time to face the facts that ethnic cleansing occurred under the surge, that the occupation is a terribly corrupt and incompetent mess. It's hardly patriotic to gloss over these serious problems or the waste of blood and treasure.

Middle Class Guy said...

Doyle said...
So Bush, Petraeus, and Kristol can still kiss my ass.

Ah, when you cannot make a logical coherent argument, you go right to the gutter of progressive persuasion.

Simon said...

Doyle said...
"We should have taken our troops out of Iraq years ago, if we couldn't have had a president who knew better than to go in in the first place. If we had done that, Iraq would be in better shape today...."

If we'd done that, the result would have been total chaos and bloody civil war. Instead we did what we should have done some time ago: increased troop levels, which has had exactly the effect predicted: an immensely improved security situation on the ground. Like all those who preach surrender and retreat (or, just as bad, setting a timetable for surrender and retreat) you're in denial of reality.

And Democrats in Congress obviously agree, given that the only reason we're still in Iraq is because they agreed to keep funding it. They just don't want to admit that to their base.

Doyle said...

Ah, when you cannot make a logical coherent argument, you go right to the gutter of progressive persuasion.

Whaddya mean? I explained why the Surge is besides the point. Even stipulating that it has made things better than they would have been had it not been implemented (which I think relies heavily on correlation/causation blurring), it still leaves us in a less desirable position than we would be in had we not invaded Iraq and stayed there for 5 years.

The "kiss my ass" part was just for emphasis.

AlphaLiberal said...

"From tech driven shock and awe to cultural awareness and manipulation, ..."

"Shock and awe is another word for "terror".

Do you realize you're calling for the US troops to terrorize the Iraqi population? Do you think beyond what your words mean for real people beyond your sterile and detached language? Clearly not.

Because our media censors coverage of body bags, injured civilians and more, the truth of what Bush has done is hidden.

And Patreaus works for a civilian government that sets war policy. We need to put an end to this idea that the civilian government serves the general in the field. We're not that type of country.

peter hoh said...

Simon, implicit in the surge is a critique of the Rumsfeld plan -- or lack thereof -- for the post-invasion stage of this war.

I'm not sure the surge would have happened without the midterm elections. Remember that just before the election, Bush restated his support of Rumsfeld. Might have cost the GOP control of the Senate, but that's what you get with great presidential leadership.

AlphaLiberal said...

"the result would have been total chaos and bloody civil war."

Congratulations. You've mastered herdthink.

Even though the Iraqi people overwhelmingly say that occupation forces are a cause of violence, even though violence dropped after the British troops were pulled out, people stubbornly cling to this assumption.

The facts be damned. Talking points must prevail!

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"I see the con's are trotting out that old shibboleth that those who want an end to the failed occupation want failure."

Um... "Failure" is the opposite of "success." If you surrender and retreat before achieving success, more or less by definition you've failed. So if you demand the adoption of a policy of surrender and retreat before the achievement of success, you're demanding failure.

And even on a normative level, of course you want failure. Your side wants to see this country brutalized and punished for its hubris in attacking the peace-loving people of Iraq, as a lesson against future intervention. Total failure and humiliation in Iraq will cow the public into benign isolationism, resistant to future military intervention. You want us hurt and humbled the better to deter the use of force in the future, and as a prerequisite to going hat-in-hand to the world community and requesting readmission to the human race. There's several words to describe this, some of which are defined in Article III.

peter hoh said...

Simon, is there a difference between preaching surrender and defeat and preaching that success is just around the corner, and we don't need to increase troop levels?

Your 9:33 comment would be a lot more honest if you would admit that it was President and his supporters who stood in the way of increased troop levels for much of the time we were involved in this war.

AlphaLiberal said...

Interesting that surge supporters ignore the facts of massive displacement of Iraqis and ethnic cleansing that occurred under the surge.

Reminds me of my brother when we were kids "I'm not listening!!!!" as he kept his fingers in his ears.

And that is an appropriate caricature of the occupation supporters. They think other countries should enjoy being occupied by our troops. Very distorted "thinking."

Ah well. I have work to do.

Doyle said...

Whatever Simon. You clearly think that Americans are Surrender Monkeys for wanting this disaster to end. That's fine. I just take comfort in the fact that there are fewer and fewer people who see it that way.

AlphaLiberal said...

simon:
"Your side wants to see this country brutalized and punished for its hubris in attacking the peace-loving people of Iraq, as a lesson against future intervention."

Your insult has no basis in reality. You are the last person to speak with any authority what "my side" wants.

You guys continue to ignore reality, like the massive Saddamesque death, destruction, torture and maiming that has occurred directly and indirectly from Bush's invasion and occupation.

The latest facts you ignore are the dislocations of people from their homes into refugee camps, the ethnic cleansing that occurred under the surge and failure of the Iraqi state.

Come back to reality.

AlphaLiberal said...

simon, please also address the ongoing corruption from the occupation, the billions of US taxpayer dollars gone "missing", the completely botched job of our new massive embassy and the failure of all of this spending to provide jobs for Iraqis. (instead, they bring in foreign and cheaper labor to boost profits for occupation contractors).

Really, try and make an intelligent post without parroting a right wing (dead ender) talking point.

Simon said...

Peter hoh said...
"Simon, implicit in the surge is a critique of the Rumsfeld plan -- or lack thereof -- for the post-invasion stage of this war. I'm not sure the surge would have happened without the midterm elections."

I don't disagree with that at all. And let's not forget, it wasn't just the Rumsfeld plan - it was the Bush plan. That's the necessary consequence of the unitary executive theory: "Executive branch actors are intermediaries for the executive power, and surrogates for the President in whom that power is vested by the Constitution. The Bush administration has tended to focus on the power side of the coin, correctly pointing out that the pyramidal executive structure mandated by the Constitution allows the President to direct all Executive branch activities. But they have forgotten (or at least soft-peddled) the other side of the coin: the corollary form of the point I made here is that "in an executive branch that is shaped like a pyramid, all authority flows down from the top, but all responsibility equally flows backup to that pinnacle." "[W]e all know Truman's famous sign that used to sit on the Resolute desk: 'the buck stops here.'" To the exact same extent that Article II gives the President control over his surrogates, it makes him responsible for their actions. That's fundamental to the concept of the Unitary Executive, and underlies unitarian doctrines like Chevron. The captain of a ship, as Captain Kirk noted, is responsible for the conduct of his crew. Bush cannot blame Rumsfeld for Rumsfeld's failed strategy - it was Bush's failed strategy. He was responsible for it. Rumsfeld's mistakes are his mistakes.

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"simon, please also address the ongoing corruption from the occupation, the billions of US taxpayer dollars gone "missing", the completely botched job of our new massive embassy and the failure of all of this spending to provide jobs for Iraqis. (instead, they bring in foreign and cheaper labor to boost profits for occupation contractors)."

You seem to assume that I have to defend those things, as if one must be in favor of corruption, nepotism and mistakes to support our continued presence in Iraq. I don't have to support or defend them, and I don't.

"Really, try and make an intelligent post without parroting a right wing (dead ender) talking point."

I may say many dumb things, but I've never consciously "parrot[ted] a right wing (dead ender) talking point" in my life. When the talking points happen to line up with the facts, they're welcome to parrot me if they so choose.

"You guys continue to ignore reality, like the massive Saddamesque death, destruction, torture and maiming that has occurred directly and indirectly from Bush's invasion and occupation. The latest facts you ignore are the dislocations of people from their homes into refugee camps, the ethnic cleansing that occurred under the surge and failure of the Iraqi state."

We don't ignore those things, we disagree with you that those realities counsel surrender and retreat instead of actually facing the problems and dealing with them. This isn't a new theme - in the fall of 2002 and early 2003, I found myself completley agreeing with the anti-war talking point that Saddam was our creature, that we'd supplied him with all manner of weapons, but what bemused me is that people thought that was an argument against getting rid of him, whereas it seemed to me completely obvious that it made it incumbent on us to do precisely that. In any event, your idea of reality seems to be that if only those evil Americans would leave, Iraq would be just peachy. If that's your idea of reality, you're in no position to call anyone to come "back" to reality.

Middle Class Guy said...

Doyle,

Ah, now I understand. Emphasis. I see. Thank you for edgimikating me on the proper way to emphasize.

AlphaLiberal said...

Simon sez:
"You seem to assume that I have to defend those things, as if one must be in favor of corruption, nepotism and mistakes to support our continued presence in Iraq. I don't have to support or defend them, and I don't."

Well, if these matters continue to go unaddressed, and they receive a sliver of media attention as compared to false claims of surge "success", then why should we think things will change for the better?

And, again, you (like Ann Althouse and other hawks) ignore the ethnic cleansing that occurred under the surge.

Simon sez:
"I've never consciously "parrot[ted] a right wing (dead ender) talking point" in my life."

Perhaps you were dead earlier this morning when you said:
"You want us hurt and humbled the better to deter the use of force in the future, and as a prerequisite to going hat-in-hand to the world community and requesting readmission to the human race. There's several words to describe this, some of which are defined in Article III."

Treason, failure, etc are all right wing talking points that attack occupation opponents rather than deal in reason. You're busted.


Simon sez:
"We don't ignore those things, we disagree with you that those realities counsel surrender..."

No-one is advocating "surrender" and that's not the choice. Declare victory and withdraw if you like, as Nixon did. But giving peopel their own country back from armed occupation is not "surrender" except in the deluded "fantasy world" of the modern right wingers.

Besides, you guys keep moving the goal posts. First the goal was to get rid of Saddam, then it's to set up a new government, then it's to increase troops presence to have political reconciliation.

Now, "victory" is just a matter of keeping our troops in their country. Make up your mind.

tightspotkilo said...

The most that can be said is that McCain had it right, and he certainly is entitled to make that claim, but he doesn't get the credit for making it happen. He had little to do with that. Bush still gets the credit, along with whatever criticism is due for what preceded it.

If you don't remember, even before 9/11, Rummy was hell-bent on retooling the Pentagon, remaking it into a lean fighting machine for the 21st century (earning the enmity and overall hostility from deadwood senior brass). Iraq then presented Rummy with the opportunity to put his theories into action, and he was determined to do the war on the lean, something he stubbornly stuck by, stubborn to a fault. Bush gave him 3 years worth of loyalty, weathering all kinds of criticism along the way, but by 2006 that was strained to the breaking point. Clearly Bush told Rummy that whatever the people decided in the 2006 elections was the way he was going to go. And the rest is history. I don't see McCain in that calculus, other than having been right about needing more troops. That's worth something. It's worth a lot in fact. But it's not the whole enchilada.

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"And, again, you (like Ann Althouse and other hawks) ignore the ethnic cleansing that occurred under the surge."

As I said in my previous comment, it's not that we ignore those things. Your problem is that you see a problem and assume that your conclusion as to the appropriate policy response is not only the only possible policy response, but that you conclusion is self-evident in the nature of the problem itself. A problem requires no thought or analysis on your part or on anyone else's - to percieve the problem is to perceive the obvious solution that springs ex visceribus res, and any attempt to analyze the problem (or worse yet, propose alternative solutions) is obviously obfuscation, is obviously to deny the obvious rightness of your proposed solution. This is a flaw that seems to infect every aspect of liberal thought - since I was just quoting The Calculus of Consent last week, I should repeat, since it seems apropos: many on the left (certainly everyone who buys into Obama's rhetoric) misconceive the political process "as the means of arriving at some version of 'truth,' some rationalist absolute which remains to be discovered through reason or revelation, and which, once discovered, will attract all men to its support. The conceptions of rationalist democracy have been based on the assumption that individual conflicts of interest will, and should, vanish once the electorate becomes fully informed. We do not deny the occasional validity of this conception, in which rules of political choice-making provide means of arriving at certain 'truth judgments.' However, we do question the universal, or even the typical, validity of this view of political process." Buchanan & Tullock, THE CALCULUS OF CONSENT (1962).


"Treason, failure, etc are all right wing talking points that attack occupation opponents rather than deal in reason. You're busted."

There's no inconsistency. Your actions in undermining our efforts and trying to impose artifical deadlines and withdrawal dates provides the enemy with both aid and comfort. That's a fact. And as I said, when the facts happen to line up with GOP talking points, they're welcome to parrot me if they so choose. But I steer my own course. I would have thought that was self-evident by now for someone who's been commenting here alongside me for as long as you have.


"No-one is advocating 'surrender' and that's not the choice."

I thought you wanted to withdraw troops from Iraq? If you don't actually want to withdraw troops and you do in fact support our continued efforts there, I apologize for misunderstanding you.

B said...

It is obvious that supporters and opponents of the war in Iraq are talking past each other in most cases: there is a basic set of "world views" regarding American intervention and the "war on terror" that each side has that the other will not even begin to acknowledge and agree with.

My sincere question(or confusion):

The latest facts you ignore are the dislocations of people from their homes into refugee camps, the ethnic cleansing that occurred under the surge and failure of the Iraqi surge.

What do you mean by "ethnic cleansing"?

Are you saying that "ethnic cleansing" is a goal of American forces?

Are you saying that American forces are killing Iraqis specifically because of their ethnicity to accomplish this?

AlphaLiberal said...

Simon sez:

"As I said in my previous comment, it's not that we ignore those things. "

Then please show me examples of you or any other occupation supporter addressing the ethnic cleansing. Your weird rambling response here is completely nonresponsive.


And why do you continue to define "success" as keeping US troops in Iraq? That makes no sense, it's never been a publicly stated goal of the occupation -- simply to sustain the occupation.

And it's hypocritical to accuse occupation opponents of undermining the effort while being completely silent on the role of ramnpant corruption and incompetence. Do you really think that helps?

peter hoh said...

Simon, yes, the Bush plan and the Rumsfeld plan are one and the same. It's just easier to talk about the Rumsfeld plan instead of talking about the second Bush's first plan.

AlphaLiberal said...

b, what I mean by "ethnic cleansing" is people being killed or forced from their homes and communities due to their ethnicity.

That has happened under the surge, and before. That's a fact. You can see a map of the ethnic changes in Baghdad here. (Follow links to source documents, some of which are PDFs).

I have not said US troops have participated, but the command (General David Patreaus) must certainly know about it, unless he’s very badly informed. We do know US forces built walls to separate ethnic neighborhoods in Baghdad.

I am not saying the US troops have taken part in ethnic cleansing and that is not a reasonable conclusion from my words.

Again, the occupation hawks, including occupation supporter Ann Althouse, are silent on these inconvenient facts.

Trooper York said...

Once upon a time there lived a very happy king and somewhat dour queen who ruled over their subjects in never never land. The king was very popular although he always seemed to be getting into scrapes. The queen was much less sympatric as she was very mean to the servants, firing the royal trip planners and mocking the household guard. But the king made a big mistake when he let a chambermaid tend to the royal hose in a way that was just not appropriate. This unfortunate fact came to the attention of the town crier and almost led to the king being deposed. However he weathered the storm not least because of the support of the evil queen.

AlphaLiberal said...

Ha-ha. Conservative pussy Bill Kristol is caving in on his efforts to have the editors at the New York Times tried for treason.

"Kristol refuses to comment on call to ‘prosecute’ NYT.

After The New York Times hired Weekly Standard editor William Kristol as a columnist last month, ThinkProgress noted that Kristol had previously questioned whether the paper “should be prosecuted” for revealing a secret Bush administration program to monitor international banking transactions. New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt writes today that Kristol “refused to talk” to him about his comments or the controversy over his hiring, which Hoyt calls “an odd stance for someone who presumably will want others to talk to him for his column.”"

Back down much, Bill?

Link

TROBlog said...

We should have taken our troops out of Iraq years ago, if we couldn't have had a president who knew better than to go in in the first place.

If we had done that, Iraq would be in better shape today, and we would have saved a lot of American lives and dollars. So Bush, Petraeus, and Kristol can still kiss my ass.


Follow the party line right off that cliff. How can you expect the Dem leaders to admit it when the average liberal won't? BDS knows no common sense.

hdhouse said...

Tim said...
"The record is exceedingly clear the Democrats have fought for defeat in Iraq since late 2003, even to the point of declaring the war lost; Kristol's commentary only points out what everyone knows, even as we continue to disagree over the cost of losing."

Really Tim? You have ANYTHING to back that up besides Rush Limbaugh?

When i read that column this morning I just knew that if Ann referenced it that the entire right wing lunatic fringe would pounce on it. Why then, Tim, do the vast majority of Americans view this war as a misadventure and disaster happening and more waiting to happen. Why is that Tim? Are the majority of Americans stupid? Is that your point?

You did read of course that George may not bring troops home...but we are winning right Tim? So if we are winning, why are all the troops still there? How is that Tim?

This explanation will be a doozie I'm sure.

Trooper York said...

When the happy king’s term was over he was replaced by a man he considered a village idiot, but who was shrewd enough to remain king for eight long years. Now the evil queen has decided to make a play for the throne and will let nothing stand in her way. But a handsome young prince is also vying for the title. The evil queen has tried everything to sully this fine young man. She spread rumors that he was addicted to grog. That he went to a peasant school that practiced a strange and dangerous religion. She just wanted to send over a poisoned apple to get rid of him like she did with that nasty snow white. But the prince was black, so he didn’t eat apples.

Roger said...

The invasion of Iraq and its aftermath is still playing out in both Iraq and the wider Mid-
East. We simply will know the results for many years to come.

Did the invasion cause excess deaths is Iraq? without question, whichever study one selects; has there been graft and corruption? again, without question, but that is a problem through out most of world with the notable exceptions of Europe and North America: baksheesh, la mordida, kickbacks and the like are the rule. Iraq is certainly no exception.It takes to build a civil society. Has there been sectarian violence? yes, but given some 700 years of on-going sunni-shiite antipathy, that should not have been unexpected. the full blown civil war that was widely anticipated has not materialilzed the last I looked. Infrastructure, horror stories notwithstsanding, is being restored.

Would pulling out of Iraq be surrender? not necessarily in Iraq, but I believe withdrawl of US forces would be perceived in the Mid East as surrender to the forces of Islamic terrorism. That seems to be a lesson we as a nation keep forgetting: Viet Nam, Beirut, and Somalia all come to mind.

If a functioning democracy or republic can be established in Iraq, I think the mid-east will continue to undergo important changes. A pull out, or other US policy which leads to what could be perceived in the Mid East as the collapse of Iraq into complete disorder, would be a long term loss for US interests in the region.

AlphaLiberal said...

More cutting and running from occupation supporters over the fact that ethnic cleansing occurred under their glorious surge. Not one can address it. (OK, Roger - not sure if he's an occupation supporter though - did tiptoe around it by dismissing it.)
------------------
But I came back to share this news that the New York Times' Public Editor believes that conservative pussy Bill Kristol, who does not believe in freedom of the press, should never have been hired.

"Publication of the article was controversial -- my predecessor as public editor first supported it and then changed his mind -- but Kristol's leap to prosecution smacked of intimidation and disregard for both the First Amendment and the role of a free press in monitoring a government that has a long history of throwing the cloak of national security and classification over its activities. This is not a person I would have rewarded with a regular spot in front of arguably the most elite audience in the nation."

Read more here....

AlphaLiberal said...

I'm amazed that people think that things in Iraq are good and a credit to our nation.

Incredible.

Trooper York said...

Since she couldn’t send over the apple, she thought of the way she had got rid of troublesome people before. There was the “suicide” of one of her former barristers. The “carriage accident” of the minister of travel. Even the rumors she fostered that forced one of her closest minions to resign a post in the village school even though they were supposedly best friends. How would she eliminate this troublesome prince. Finally, she came up with a plan. She would leave a glass slipper out on the steps of the palace. She would have her minions spread the word that whoever fit in this slipper would be the rightful ruler of never never land. That should do the trick.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I will say this, the next time someone asks "why do we support these dictators?" all I will do is point to Iraq. That's what happens when there is no 'strong horse'.

I do find it fascinating that the traditional racist-conservatives actually believed that those brown skinned Arabs and Kurds who chafed under Saddam's brutal regime all those years would actually rejoice at the chance for freedom after his removal.

And to think that the liberals were right that 'certain cultures' when presented with freedom would rather resort to settling scores based upon centuries of religious and ethnic strife.

Irony knows no bounds it seems.

Bruce Hayden said...

"The surge" is a fairy tale of success. Violence is still high and reductions have been made through ethnic cleansing and deals with those who have killed American troops (and probably will again). But this topic is simply ignored in the MSM and by the right wing.

Wishful thinking on your part, but no. Ethnic Cleansing is down thanks to the Surge, and in particular to the local embedding of security forces and significant reduction in the ability of extremists/ terrorists on both sides to hide. Yes, the Sunni terrorists who set off the Shia ethnic cleansing of Sunnis were the main target, but the Shi'a terrorists have also been sucessfully targeted.

"One in five Iraqi refugees in Syria has been tortured or suffered from other violence, and more than a third fled their homeland between July and October, at the height of the U.S. troop buildup that was intended to quell sectarian violence in Baghdad, preliminary data from a new United Nations study show."
Survey: Many Iraqis in Syria fled during U.S. troop buildup


A lot of misinformation in there. Yes, it is plausible that the Sunnis who had fled the country as a result of the Shi'a pushing them out (IMHO for good reason) were tortured during the Surge build up. But so what? You are saying there that a lot of Sunni Arab Iraqis were pushed out of the coutry pre-surge and that before the Surge got underway fully (i.e. during the build up, when the troops were still being staged), the exodus continued.

But note that offensive actions were not initiated until the troops had been emplaced, and that all those figures cited were cleverly from before that time, but the assumption you are supposed to derive from it was that the Surge failed, based as it were, on bad pre-surge conditions.

Was the goal of the surge to drive millions of Iraqi's from their homes and their country? No, but that's the result, scrupulously ignored by hawks like Kristol and Althouse.

Except that the millions of (primarily Sunni Arab) Iraqis left before the Surge, are now returning, as the ethnic cleansing is markedly reduced thanks to the Surge.

In Jan. 2007, it was estimated that at least 2 million Sunni Arabs had fled the country, and maybe another million more had left their mixed neighborhoods for the security of Sunni only areas. And it was further estimated that another million would leave by the end of the year. By that time, approximately half the Sunni Arabs in the country had left - primarily to the neighboring Sunni Arab countries where they were apparently tortured. But what is significant is that they are now returning.

Violence is significantly down. Ethnic Cleansing is down even more. U.S. casualties were somewhere around 20% what they had been a year before (, despite U.S. troops being much more exposed (due to their now being locally embeded). What you have to look at is the status in December, 2007 versus a year earlier (23/105 killed, and 144/644 wounded), and not compare, say, March 2007 versus a year earlier (75/30 and 637/475) when the Surge military operations had not started yet.

AlphaLiberal said...

trooper york, in full self-parody - outright spins fairy tales. (Though ignoring problems of ethnic cleansing under US surge - maybe con's like ethnic cleansing but just won't admit it. They seem to think it's a sign of "success").

"he king was very popular although he always seemed to be getting into scrapes."

i.e., "It's his fault we relentlessly attacked him over fabricated issues."

"...firing the royal trip planners..."

Exhibit 4,203 in manufactured attacks upon Clintons: An administration fired holdovers from the previous administration, who may have been leaking travel plans to hostile parties. Oh, the horror. . .

zzzzzzzzz.....

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"I came back to share this news that the New York Times' Public Editor believes that conservative pussy Bill Kristol, who does not believe in freedom of the press, should never have been hired."

He also reproduces some reactions from people like you advocating physical violence towards those at the NYT who made the decision to hire Kristol, and points out that Kristol's hiring is no big deal. Selective focus, much?

Roger said...

Alpha: Occupation supporter is a value laden term. We were occupiers until the end of the provisional authority. At this point, the US position is that if the duly elected government asks us to leave, we will. I endorse that position.

Should we have a continuing presence in Iraq? Again, if the duly elected government asks us to yes; otherwise, we have sufficient bases in the region and can project power if needed.

Hope that helps.

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"And why do you continue to define 'success' as keeping US troops in Iraq? That makes no sense...."

Not only does it make no sense, it doesn't reflect anything said by supporters of the war. Keeping troops in-country with no artificial deadline for withdrawal is a prerequisite to success, not success in and of itself.

AlphaLiberal said...

Bruce:

Thanks for addressing the ethnic cleansing report. But I have to say, simple denials are not persuasive.

I posted links to US government reports showing that the ethnic makeup of Baghdad changed dramatically under the surge/escalation. Some of those links indicate the escalation may have accelerated the ethnic cleaning.

Your response is "did not," but you have no data, just assertions.

Nice try, though.

Roger said...

And Alpha: I join Bruce Hayden's post re ethnic cleansing. Did it occur? yes. Was it a good thing? No. Did it occur because of the invasion? yes (of course, it was also practiced by the Sunnis when Sadam was in power, but two wrongs etc). Please note that since the surge, Moqtada al Sadr's influence has waned, Sunni's are returning, and some of us (OK, me) see the glass as half full.

AlphaLiberal said...

"At this point, the US position is that if the duly elected government asks us to leave, we will. I endorse that position"

When have they voted on the proposition? Perhaps I missed that.

Actually, the position is that the President has ceded his responsibility to set war policy to the commander. As John McCain said just last week, Republicans believe Petreaus and only Petreaus should make that decision.

Republicans seem to prefer a more martial government with less of that messy democratic control. Major decisions of war and peace made by unelected military men.

This is a real stain upon our nation and an affront to our historic values.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AlphaLiberal said...

Well, I'm working late anyway, so here's another example of hypocrisy.

Most of the hijackers (15 of 18, as I recall) were from Saudi Arabia and most of their funding as from Saudi Arabia (no Iraqis were involved). Saudis have also been arming the Sunni's who have been attacking US troops in Iraq.

So, here's Bush pushing for a $20 billion arms sale to this hostile nation. The Mid East doesn't have enough weaponry, apparently. How much of that will find it's way into Iraq?

Roger said...

Alpha Liberal--When have they voted on the proposition? Perhaps I missed that.

When has WHO voted on that? The Iraqi government has not raised the issue for vote. And I have no doubt we would pull out if the Iraqi's wanted us to.

No matter what spin you want to put on it, you assertion about General Petraeus making the decision is ridiculous. General Patreus will make recommendations through his superior, the Secretary of Defense, to the President. (Theater CINCs are under the OPCOM the SecDef).

Roger said...

With respect to the Saudis (and the Pakistanis): both are perfidious and in a perfect world we wouldnt deal with them. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect, and this point, it is a question of real-politik. I am not a person who believes that morality should be the sine qua non of a nation's foreign policy.

Der Hahn said...

If you want to talk about fairy tales, how about going to MTP from Sunday...

Hillary "...That is only now beginning to happen, and I believe in large measure because the Iraqi government, they watch us, they listen to us. I know very well that they follow everything that I say. And my commitment to begin withdrawing our troops in January of 2009 is a big factor, as it is with Senator Obama, Senator Edwards, those of us on the Democratic side. It is a big factor in pushing the Iraqi government to finally do what they should have been doing all along."

Somehow I doubt that the entire Iraqi government is waiting with bated breath for every pearl that drops from the junior senator from New York's lips, and formulating policy accordingly.

This is ranking up there with corkscrew landings under fire to visit Kosovo with Sinbad and Chelsea.

Plenty of people have likened Hillary to Nixon in a pantsuit. Uptil now her campaign was more reminsisent of Al Gore circa 2000, but now we're pulling into John Kerry magic-hat territory.

Middle Class Guy said...

AlphaLiberal said...
This is a real stain upon our nation and an affront to our historic values.


They found a little blue dress in Iraq? I must have missed that one.

Trooper York said...

Finally the day came when all the claimants to the throne tried on the slipper. First came the handsome Prince Charming from Carolina. He had worried the queen because his willowy beauty might let him fit into the slipper. But he had moisturized his skin to such a degree during his daily pedicures that cost $400 that his foot kept slipping out of the slipper. The queen was very relieved.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Actually, the position is that the President has ceded his responsibility to set war policy to the commander. As John McCain said just last week, Republicans believe Petreaus and only Petreaus should make that decision.

Well I think Iraq policy has always been to establish stability and peace by defeating the insurgency and Al Qaeda. In terms of how that is done from a military standpoint, it seems reasonable that it rests with a military commander.

This is a real stain upon our nation and an affront to our historic values.

Nonsense. I suggest you read some Catton and see how our 'historic values' defeated the South. Or how our 'historic values' imprisoned 100,000 Japanese-Americans on charges based upon nothing but their ethnicity.

Everyone is entitled to thier own opinion but ones made for rhetorical effect with no basis in fact do get under my skin.

AJ Lynch said...

This just in from Scrappleface:

Hillary says there are too few blacks in fairy tales...

Althouse assigns Trooper York to fix this inequity.

Middle Class Guy said...

Hoosier Daddy…
Or how our 'historic values' imprisoned 100,000 Japanese-Americans on charges based upon nothing but their ethnicity.

Who did that again? Let me get the fog and cob webs out of my brain. I got it. FDR, the true saint of the Democratic Party. The saintly name that Hillary Clinton has been throwing around as a great hero of the party.

BTW, he also imprisoned Italian and German Americans because of their ethnicity.

The Democrats demanded FDR get a monument. The Democratic progressives have the nerve to criticize GITMO.

Middle Class Guy said...

Der Hahn said...
Hillary "...That is only now beginning to happen, and I believe in large measure because the Iraqi government, they watch us, they listen to us. I know very well that they follow everything that I say.

When Bill made that fairy tale comment, do you think we all misunderstood? Could he have been talking about Hillary?

Middle Class Guy said...

Alpha…
“An administration fired holdovers from the previous administration, who may have been leaking travel plans to hostile parties.”

Do you just make this stuff up as you go along or do you do any research beyond Wiki or the back of Kool Aid packs? The people in the travel office were career employees. The director was smeared and his career ruined when Hillary had her minions accuse him of fraud. He was cleared a very long time later. BTW, he had to hire very expensive lawyers and no one donated millions to his defense fund.

What hostile parties? Proof, verification, facts, beyond Wiki or Hillary’s bio, or Bill saying it is so. What hostile parties? Was there a Secret Service investigation and arrests and indictments? Were there convictions?

Bruce Hayden said...

How many here who are riduling Kristol actually read the article? And of those, who wants to contest his facts, one by one? Or is it sufficient to argue that he is a right wing hack?

Trooper York said...

Then the young black prince tried the shoe on for size. But he couldn’t get it on. It was a complicated strappy sandle and he didn’t have the experience to get it on properly. That was the evil queens plan. She knew the shoe wouldn’t fit. So she stepped up to put it on for once and all to become queen of all the land.

Bruce Hayden said...

When doing as AL does, and comparing March 2007 or so against a year earlier, in order to determine whether the Surge is working, what must be remembered is what has gone on over the last year militarily.

Many of the surged troops were used as blocking forces. They had to be in place before offensive operations were initiated. Then, the main thust was clear and hold. The major difference from previous campaigns was the hold portion. That is where the embedding of American troops with Iraqi troops and police, and now working with former enemies who have turned on al Qaeda comes in.

But what happens to the enemies pushed out of the cities and towns being cleared and now held? In the past, of course, they would just move to other friendly cities and towns, and then filter back in, once we were gone. But we were now holding, so... And that is where the blocking forces came, ultimately working to force al Qaeda affiliated terrorists into smaller and smaller areas with a rapidly diminishing ability to find a safe haven.

So, no surprise that the blocking troops didn't have an effect as they were being placed last spring, since the enemies were still fat, dumb, and happy in the cities and towns where they had sought refuge. It was only when all the blocking troops were in place, somewhere around the first of June, that offensive operations were initiated, and the Surge began to have an effect.

Roger said...

Bruce Hayden: regretably, positions on the war, I fear, are so set in concrete now that many will never consider any new facts. The Iraq war will take its place in history alongside the Spanish civil war, Truman's decision to drop the bombs,
Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs, and the Viet Nam war as a litmus test for one's set of larger political values. It really isnt worth arguing about any more. Very few people will ever change their minds.

Middle Class Guy said...

hdlouse
…right wing lunatic fringe…? Once again, Mr. Stupid Putz, you revert to the typical progressive tactic of demonizing, insulting, and humiliating those who disagree with you. It must have something to do with your lack of nutrition as a child or being dropped on your head.

“…do the vast majority of Americans view this war as a misadventure and disaster happening and more waiting to happen.” A majority of Americans may think the war was a mistake, but they do not think it is a disaster happening and more… or a misadventure. Another progressive tactic; the use of histrionics to get a point across.

This last is my favorite Mr. Stupid Putz; “So if we are winning, why are all the troops still there?” You really should get out more. You need a dose of reality. We are still there because the job is not done. To use a sports metaphor- you do know something about sports don’t you?- the game is not over yet. If it is half time and the Patriots are winning, do they just take the football and go home? If it is the fifth inning, and the Red Sox are winning, do they just walk off the field?

It must be nice living in the fairy tale world of progressive politics.

Have a nice day, do not forget to take your meds, eat your veggies, take your vitamins, and don’t forget to say your prayers.

Trooper York said...

Just as the evil queen was about to step up, a stir began in the back of the crowd. A huge ugly mishappen green orge stepped forward. “I demand the right to try on this shoe,” said the bald headed monster.”I am Rudy the VIII I am, I am. I demand the chance to try on this shoe.” He ripped the slipper off the stand and shoved his huge gnarly tootsie right in. He deftly tied the straps and stood up to look at the assembled multitude. “Look it fits. I knew it would. It's my size, 911.”

AJ Lynch said...

I really like hdhouse's name..Mr. Stupid Putz..heh.

Middle Class Guy said...

AJ Lynch,
It goes back a couple of posts. Ya hadda be there.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

Well the evil queen wept and the evil queen wailed. She demanded a refit. She claimed that the tongue of the shoe was hanging and it wasn’t a proper fit. But the judges of never never land ruled that Rudy the VIII was the rightful king. So now the carriages run on time. The tavern wenches can no longer give lap dances. The homeless beggars were swept off the streets and forced clean the stables. There was a problem with the kings sidekick, a shifty donkey named Bernie but it blew over. So what if the king married a new wife every few months. The people were uneasy, but they realized that sometimes you need a monster to keep the kingdom safe. So everyone lived warily ever after. The End.

Middle Class Guy said...

All this drivel and blathering about Kristol? Mr. Kristol is an editorial writer, an opiner; just like most of us here are. He has a right to his opinions, as do we. We may agree or disagree. Just because he is paid more than most of us for his and he gets th prestige of writing for the Old Gray Hag, people want to attack him or his opinions.

There is an old military maxim:
Opinions are like anal sphincters. Everyone has one and they ALL stink.

krylovite said...

Why in the world does anyone bother to read what Kristol writes anymore, and even worse, why would anyone bother to cite him?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Who did that again? Let me get the fog and cob webs out of my brain. I got it. FDR, the true saint of the Democratic Party.

Quite right. See the problem that I have with many who spout all the ‘unprecedented actions Bush has taken to undermine our nation’ is that it seems their knowledge of history goes back as far as where went out for dinner last week. Compared to what Lincoln, Wilson and FDR did during a time of war, Bush hasn’t even made a thumbprint on the Constitution mush less trashed it as some believe.

I agree wholeheartedly with Roger in that minds are pretty much set in stone in terms of the Iraq war and not much will change it. When Harry Reid says it’s the worst disaster since Vietnam (3000 KIA vs 50,000 KIA, millions dead subsequently and millions more fleeing in boats not to mention ceding SE Asia to communism for the next 30 years) I think the point where coherent adult conversation on the topic is pretty much over.

John said...

We know now that Nixon's Vietnamization worked. The Viet Cong were destroyed and the North Vietnamese were left with their military and infrastructure in a wreck and forced to agree to peace after the Christmas bombings. Had the US given aid to South Vietnam and Cambodia like it had to South Korea before it, there wouldn't have been a Khmer Rouge or a fall of Saigon. Only after the Democratic Congress cut off aid and Ford in 1975 announced that the US would never return to Vietnam, did the North Vietnamese, after rearming themselves in violation of the Paris accords invade what amounted to a defensless South Vietnam in 1975. Vietnam is not an example of a successful insurgency. The final conquest of the South is an example of a good old fashioned invasion and conquering by a conventional Army.

Why did the Democratic Congress cut off aid to South Vietnam even though the war was over and the US ended its large scale presence in 1973? It certainly wasn't to end the war. It was because the Democratic Congress in 1975 could not bear to have Nixon achieve lasting success in Southeast Asia. Better to cuttoff aid and kill millions than have the US win a victory or worse yet Nixon get a legacy or have to admit Vietnam was a worthwhile cause.

We are now in Iraq about where we were in 1974. The surge has worked and violence is begining to wind down. All it will take now is the slow disengagment of US troops and support for the Iraqi government and the jhihadists of Al Quada and the Mullahs of Iran will have suffered a humiliating defeat. Knowing that fact is what drives the likes of Obama and Alpha Liberal to great lengths. Iraq simply must be a failure. Millions must die and the US must be humiliated, lest the evil George Bush get credit for something. People like Alpha liberal simply have too much emotional investment in failure in Iraq for it to be any other way. AS a result expect Iraq to be the new South Africa or Israel piriah state. Everything in Iraq must be horrible and the government must be oppressive. Iraq simply must fail and be in chaos or worse oppression than it was under Saddam. Any other outcome is simply unacceptable to the left, emotionally and spiritually. There is really no point argueing facts or reality with them.

Synova said...

I suppose this comment thread itself shows just how robust the failure doctrine is.

We were failing before we started.

We were failing after we started.

We were failing before Iraqi elections.

We were failing after Iraqi elections.

We failed for lack of troops.

We failed for having enough troops.

We failed without cooperation from tribes.

Cooperation from tribal leaders is proof of our failure.

We will fail no matter what.

There is no alternate plan for victory because there is no victory.

We fail because the Iraqi legislative body acts like a democratically elected legislative body.

We fail even when that body passes legislation that we required them to pass.

Because those fighting each other in Iraq listen to every word from our junior Senators and congresspersons... except when they publicly declare the war lost, or state that the government in Iraq are puppets of the US.

And the rest of us ignore the cost of war or the presence of corruption or any possible negative impact... we must, or we'd be against it, too.

Or maybe we just don't think that any action is without cost... such as the very real cost in human life from abandoning allies.

Which is apparently cost-free.

There is only one actor on the human stage and that is America?

The whole d*mn world is America?

No one acts unless we act. No one hates unless we hate. No one fights unless we fight.

It's not a *fairy tale*.

It's Unassailable Ignorance.

Synova said...

I beg to differ, Hoosier Daddy.

There were not millions dead in South East Asia. We KNOW that leaving never causes harm. How can it cause harm when we're not there to cause it? Huh?

See, LOGIC.

If we were logical instead of haters the world would be a better place.

Middle Class Guy said...

Trooper,
You are a pistol!

hdhouse said...

simon...you need to have a talk with middleclass guy. is he really cedarford?

Doyle said...

BTW, you know why Bush went with the Surge?

Because the ISG supported phased withdrawal, and the petulant Boy King didn't want to do what his dad's people told him to do. Any "success" of the escalation should thus really be attributed more to luck than foresight.

Synova said...

Doyle... if Bush made his decisions upon a Lucky 8-ball and what he decided was *working*... does it matter?

Or are you one of those purity of purpose people who'd dump out good results and demand disaster and human suffering because you disapprove of Lucky 8-balls?

Silly me... I answer myself.

You disapprove of Bush and nothing else matters.

Middle Class Guy said...

Doyle said...
BTW, you know why Bush went with the Surge?

Spell Check please.
He went with the serge because he always liked blue serge suits. They go well with the crisp white shirts and his tie collection.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

Simon and Peter,

I agree...

Bush and Rummy screwed it up and Bush was too loyal too long with Rummy.

Rummy's DoD re-engineering carried to its logical extreme would have gutted the Army except as ground based forward observers for those high tech USAF weapons. Rummy saw no need for boots on the ground... just useless mouths to feed.

I think McCain gets credit for three things.

1. being a consistant proponent of more boots on the ground in theater.

2. going to Iraq often and talking to the leaders and the troops, far more than any other leader in or out of the administration.

3. making it clear that "winning the war" was more important to him than "winning the White House".

I dislike a number of McCain's positions on issues, but I like the guy's priorities and attitude.

AJ Lynch said...

Doyle:

ISG - wow I have not heard about them for a long time.

Did anyone in the MSM take note of the one-year anniversary of the ISG report? It came and went very quietly last month.

Or how the ISG report was wrong?
Because I think you just said the ISG was wrong.

Revenant said...

The success of the surge prevents the Democrats from using Iraq has a weapon to attack the Republicans. That much is true.

However, a large majority of Americans think it was a mistake to ever invade in the first place. The best Republicans can hope for, in the short term, is for Americans to see Iraq as a mistake that didn't turn out as badly as Democrats said it would. In other words, the best-case scenario for Republicans is for the American people to simply not care about Iraq during the '08 elections. If things stay the way they are now, or keep improving, this will probably be the case.

This election will probably end up focusing on economic issues. Hillary's already promising a three-month moratorium on foreclosures, which is economically moronic (of course) but probably good politics.

Roger said...

re the ISG: IMO, their recommendations were moronic and failed to come to grips with the real threat to US interests in the region and the world. That Bush stiffed them is to his everlasting credit, and I really don't care why he did, as long as he did.

AlphaLiberal said...

Roger said this:

"Alpha Liberal--When have they voted on the proposition? Perhaps I missed that.

When has WHO voted on that? The Iraqi government has not raised the issue for vote. And I have no doubt we would pull out if the Iraqi's wanted us to. "

When has the Iraqi government voted on keeping the US forces in their country?

If they don't even take it up for a vote, you can hardly say they're supportive.

Personally, I think it's a puppet government. They will never take that question up.

Roger said...

Alpha--You are welcome to your beliefs; My belief is when they ask us to leave, we will--and if they are a puppet government, they damn sure arent following orders very well.

AlphaLiberal said...

"Middle Class Guy" my comments on the travel office were based on memory.

I very highly doubt that the White House travel office employees were civil service. Because, you know, it's the White House and they decide who works there, that whole "serve at the pleasure of the President". The firings were lawful unless you have some legal case to point to.

Frankly, the whole controversy never made much sense as a "scandal" and makes much less sense now that Repubs are defending the "right" of the White House to fire US Attorneys who have refused to engage in partisan prosecutions.

Middle Class Guy said...

alphaliberal,
They were not civil service, but they were career employees, as many of the White House staff are. Some had been there for many years. There are some who have spent their whole government career in the White House.

These employees are people who actually do things versus play politics. In the case of the travel office- getting people from one place to another via the fastest and cheapest means possible.

The scandal was not the firings, but how they were done- a pwoer play. Similar to the recent US Attorney firings. They to served at the pleasure; the method of their firings left something to be desired.

rcocean said...

Trooper:

Bravo! A fractured fairy tale, with a happy ending.

downtownlad said...

And how about Kristol's brilliant first paragraph of his first column where he declared Hillary finished.

What a moron.

Isn't this the same Kristol who said that no extra troops were needed prior to the surge? He is a lapdog. And as someone who has Israel's interests ahead of America's, he is a traitor.

Trooper York said...

Lap dog lap dog where you gonna go?
If I put you out in the rain and snow
If I put you out in the rain and snow
Where the sun dont shine and the cold wind blow

Lap dog lap dog who you gonna see?
When you look in the mirror and you dont' see me
When the face in the mirror just makes you cry
On the corner as the cars go by...

Someone you can rely on
Someone you can rely on
Someone you could be there with
Someone you could do that with
Someone like me

Lap dog lap dog you should come home
A little lap dog wasn't meant to roam
A little lap dog was meant to lay
By the fire and sleep all day
These lyrics were found at ActioNext.com.
(Rickie Lee Jones)

downtownlad said...

He's just boring to read. Why didn't they pick a conservative who can actually write, like Pat Buchanan?

Cedarford said...

Alpha Liberal - And Patreaus works for a civilian government that sets war policy. We need to put an end to this idea that the civilian government serves the general in the field. We're not that type of country.

Maybe you can get R Paul Bremer over there again to reassert that Washington lawyers know best and should make all the macro and micro-decisions instead of the military field commander in charge of the conflict.

And bring back the days of Green Zone Glory where free market ideologues settled in and issued orders about police being more polite to female drivers, privatizing many state agencies in the hands of Chalabi's exiles. And signed billions of dollars away in contracts for construction and rebuilding they were afraid to leave the Green Zone to supervise progress on, and woke up one day to learn the contractors fled to Syria, no work done, and money was in personal pockets or fueling the insurgency.

The long-term solution is that the President and other policy-makers should set policy and delegate the mission to the military field commander - including that component that is civilian in nature. Other federal agencies designate people who must help the mission, but they should report to and be evaluated on work by that commander, not a distant bureaucrat at Commerce Dept, Justice Dept, or the Houston Fire Chief.

In certain countries where the President has an Ambassador that is a competent leader able to handle executive management of military and civilian missions that is also a good reporting path. But few ambassadors are trained in managing military missions.

Cedarford said...

The surge hasn't been under Bush's leadership, it came about under McCain's leadership, and came to pass only because Bush gave in to what he'd refused to do for at least two years, viz. significantly increase troop levels.

The media and the Democrats favorite Republican was not the leader that created the Surge. McCain's leadership on Iraq is mostly of broken record photo ops & talking points - where for years the dimbulb was making his near-monthly junkets carping about the lack of troops McCain voted to cut in the 1st place under Bush I and Clinton to get a "peace Dividend", and saying the troops were nevertheless heroes all and making steady progress with the troops they had.

He was over there a lot more when there was media in Iraq to cover him. Then he cut back and resumed once he started running for President.

But the McCain who supported the Maximum War Leader is the Mccain that hailed the Bremer Decision and hailed the birth of democracy and freedom and hailed markets he visited as "perfectly safe".

McCain is like his fighter jock comrade Dubya, normally reserving his betrayal and treachery for domestic items - other than his bitching about the lack of troops he voted to create the problem of to start with, and belief in the magic elixer of body armor (a flyboy like his Nancy Pelosi civilian counterparts doesn't quite understand adding excess armor to light forces components means you lose the ability to scout fast enough to avoid many attacks, to pursue the enemy with the extra weight dragged, and is readily defeated when the enemy upgrades to more powerful weapons like Iranian EFP).

The Surge came not from McCain, but from within the military as the alternative that Rummy should have ready if his Plan "A" failed. It survived neocon attacks through John Warner, who wanted Plan "B", with Petraeus at the lead - ready to implement and Warner led efforts to have it funded in the planning stage. McCain, between his photo ops and his POW stories to his fawning media to renew his total moral authority - actually endorsed the Surge between talks of insufficient troops and his co-worship of soldiers...

I hate almost every policy Hillary stands for. But she would make a far better President than McCain. Who is stupid, old, erratic, wraps himself in the flag to avoid criticism, and rather than intergity, has a 25-year history of untrustworthiness and bootlicking service to his donors.

AlphaLiberal said...

MiddleClassGuy,

"Career employee" just means they had a career, which took a change. These people were hired under a Republican Administration and White Houses tend to clean house when a new President starts.

Should the firings have been handled better? Sure. Doesn't mean it qualifies for an independent counsel investigation which was part of the Starr chamber witchhunt.

And there's realy no comparison to the USA scandal, which invovled deep, anti-democratic, Banana Repblicanesque abuses of the public trust i trying to use our Justice department as a tool to persecute Democrats for being Democrats and shield lawbreaking Republicans.

josil said...

Well, it was less the surge than the change in strategy (and generals) from conventional warfare to anti-insurgency tactics. Of course, the surge helped but Petraeas helped more. Military experience is not the only area in which people adjust slowly to changed circumstances. So, the only blame that seems reasonable attaches to those who insist they were never wrong; e.g., politicians and journalists.