January 8, 2008

"Why do the Democratic candidates refuse to acknowledge progress in Iraq?"

A Washington Post editorial:
AT SATURDAY'S New Hampshire debate, Democratic candidates were confronted with a question that they have been ducking for some time: Can they concede that the "surge" of U.S. troops in Iraq has worked? All of them vehemently opposed the troop increase when President Bush proposed it a year ago; both Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama introduced legislation to reverse it. Now it's indisputable that the surge has drastically reduced violence. Attacks have fallen by more than 60 percent, al-Qaeda has been dealt a major blow, and the threat of sectarian civil war that seemed imminent a year ago has receded. The monthly total of U.S. fatalities in December was the second-lowest of the war.

A reasonable response to these facts might involve an acknowledgment of the remarkable military progress, coupled with a reminder that the final goal of the surge set out by President Bush -- political accords among Iraq's competing factions -- has not been reached. (That happens to be our reaction to a campaign that we greeted with skepticism a year ago.) It also would involve a willingness by the candidates to reconsider their long-standing plans to carry out a rapid withdrawal of remaining U.S. forces in Iraq as soon as they become president -- a step that would almost certainly reverse the progress that has been made.

What Ms. Clinton, Mr. Obama, John Edwards and Bill Richardson instead offered was an exclusive focus on the Iraqi political failures -- coupled with a blizzard of assertions about the war that were at best unfounded and in several cases simply false. Mr. Obama led the way, claiming that Sunni tribes in Anbar province joined forces with U.S. troops against al-Qaeda in response to the Democratic victory in the 2006 elections -- a far-fetched assertion for which he offered no evidence.
Read the whole thing.

76 comments:

SGT Ted said...

Mr. Obama led the way, claiming that Sunni tribes in Anbar province joined forces with U.S. troops against al-Qaeda in response to the Democratic victory in the 2006 elections

What a narcissist. Actually, the Iraqis that I know view people who opposed the surge and that want US troops out of Iraq before victory is achieved as Saddam Hussein sympathizers and possible terrorist supporters.

TROBlog said...

Acknowledge progress? They can barely acknowledge the war at all now. It's all about "change" with no definition given.

They were wrong and they know it but damn if they will ever admit it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Why do the Democratic candidates refuse to acknowledge progress in Iraq?"

Probably because they have invested the better part of the last three years claiming its a disaster and in the words of Harry Reid, 'the war is lost'. To now start touting its success would seem...well inconsistent not to mention inflame their leftwing base.

This is exactly why I can't stomach much of the Democratic party. Whether one supports the war or not, to yearn for a military failure for the sole purpose of solidifying one's hate for Bush is despicable.

froggyprager said...

The presidential candidates have been so busy campaigning they have not had time to keep up on what has been going on with the war. Their talking points are developed a while ago by political spin doctors to sound appealing to the voters who are also tired of the war and most American's do not follow the news about the progress in the war.

Richard Fagin said...

It's more than a little ironic that the Washington Post editorializes on Democrat candidates' failure to acknowledge progress in Iraq, when that paper, a number of other papers as well as most broadcast media made it a point of totally ignoring any good news at all form Iraq until it was so plain that they risked what little of their credibility remained.

One can hardly blame the Democrat candidates. They had a lot of help.

Sloanasaurus said...

It is odd. In fact, Obama did acknowledge some success, but argued that it was because of Democrats being elected in 2006. You have to pinch yourself to believe that he actually said it.

Further, Obama keeps saying that we are not safer after 6 years of Bush policies.... yet we haven't been attacked on U.S. soil again in more than SIX years. After Sept 11, the general consensus was that we would be attacked soon after again and again...

After all of the lying and fibs being told about Iraq from these Deomcrats, why would anyone beleive they are telling the truth about middle class tax cuts or that universal health care will make things better. They all lie.

TS said...

I suspect that the Dems don't discuss the progress in Iraq for the same reason GOP candidates don't mention that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes and more likely to pay their mortgages -- it just wouldn't make a hell of a lot of sense.

I assume this isn't a shock to you, or the Washington Post.

knoxwhirled said...

in response to the Democratic victory in the 2006 elections

Shameless. He gets points for creativity I guess...

TMink said...

Why do the Democratic candidates refuse to acknowledge progress in Iraq?

Same reason Holocaust deniers don't visit Aushwitz.

Trey

Sloanasaurus said...

for the same reason GOP candidates don't mention that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes and more likely to pay their mortgages

Huh? Its when an illegal immigrant commits a crime that has everyone concerned, since it would then be arguable that if the government paid more attention to the border, such crimes could be prevented.

Besides if illegals are so law abiding why would Obama support giving drivers licenses to them under the arguement that they are breaking the law and driving anyway.....

Obama also is almost total pro-gun control... he even voted for a bill that would not allow citizens to plead self defense if they shot an intruder into their own house with an "illegal" gun.

Are Democrats forgetting about this issue?

DaveW said...

Well they're basically ambushed, don't you think?

Only a year ago both houses of congress switched party control largely over the war in Iraq, or so we were told.

I was talking to my fairly liberal wife about the Dem's problem with this only this past Sunday. On one of the debates last weekend ABC flashed a poll of people that had watched and Iraq had turned up in last place out of 5 issues on the top-5 list for Dem participants.

Would you ever have thought that the war in Iraq would poll last as an important issue for Dems at this time? I wouldn't.

So everyone on that side of the debate is locked into some pretty fiery rhetoric on the subject, and nobody is going to bring it up because there isn't going to be anyone who wants their own statements thrown back at them.

Moreover, even though the war situation has (permanently? for real?) changed for the better there is an important segment of the Dem party that you better not acknowledge that around, and they are people that give money to candidates.

They're in a box. Sometime, after the nomination is sewn up and assuming the situation in Iraq continues to improve, the candidate will have to reposition on this, but that time isn't now.

Or it would be a very bold move to make now anyway. Would Obama do such a thing? That would be a real "change".

Crimso said...

"don't mention that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes"

Immigrants, maybe. ILLEGAL immigrants, not so much.

Middle Class Guy said...

TS said...
I suspect that the Dems don't discuss the progress in Iraq for the same reason GOP candidates don't mention that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes and more likely to pay their mortgages -- it just wouldn't make a hell of a lot of sense.


Um, I beg to differ about illegal aliens and crime. I do not care what so called think tanks claim. I know for a fact that they commit crimes, from the crime of coming hear illegally to everything from petty theft to murder. They commit crimes on the same level and numbers as others do.

I know this for a fact. I have real, professional and personal experience. I put too many of them in jail.

tightspotkilo said...

It is odd. In fact, Obama did acknowledge some success, but argued that it was because of Democrats being elected in 2006. You have to pinch yourself to believe that he actually said it.

I'm no supporter of any of the D candidates, but I have to admit that what Obama says has more than a grain of truth to it. If not for the political price that was exacted, if the Congress hadn't been lost in 2006, would Bush have ever moved beyond Rumsfeld and the Rumsfeld doctrine(s) in Iraq? It was the criticism that forced Bush to make the changes that led to the surge.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Same reason Holocaust deniers don't visit Aushwitz.

This is another example of Godwin's Law.

In this case, though, the observation isn't even close to being correct. For instance, Fred Leuchter is a prominent Holocaust denier and of course we know that he's visited Auschwitz. As a second example, Holocaust denier Gerald Fredrick Töben has also visited Auschwitz.

There appears to be no shortage of prominent Holocaust deniers who have been to Auschwitz.

Bob said...

1. Refusing to acknowledge progress would involve admitting that they were wrong. Bad enough in a normal human, fatal in a politician, especially since it would mean a "victory" for Bush, which must be avoided at all costs.

Doyle said...

You people are ridiculous.

You were wrong. We shouldn't have invaded. We should have left by now.

The violence declining is a good thing but if you think you deserve CREDIT for this you're absolutely nuts.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You were wrong. We shouldn't have invaded. We should have left by now.

Woulda coulda shoulda. The issue is the here and now not what we should have done.

Once you get that time machine working perhaps we can rectify the whole thing. In the meantime, why not jump in with the team and go for the big win?

Tim said...

"Why do the Democratic candidates refuse to acknowledge progress in Iraq?""

Because they are losing their war, and hope, desperately, per the comment immediately above, for their allies to somehow turn it around in time for them to have been "right."

Those chances doesn't look too good for them right now.

Roger said...

Seems to me Bob has it right--except for the last sentence re President Bush. Its really about them not being willing to admit they were wrong--always (self-perceived) to be fatal for a politician.

Doyle said...

Look folks, we've been in Iraq longer than we were involved in World War II.

Now I took a very pessimistic view of what would happen when we invaded but even I never said that violence would just keep getting worse and worse indefinitely!

At some point the killing has been done and the neighborhoods cleansed. Huzzah!

Crimso said...

"we've been in Iraq longer than we were involved in World War II."

Define "involved" please.

"At some point the killing has been done and the neighborhoods cleansed. Huzzah!"

You do understand that those of us not heavily invested in defeat see this as a desperate claim?

AllenS said...

We've had troops in Germany and Japan a lot longer than Iraq.

WWII ended. This current conflict/war might last forever.

TMink said...

"There appears to be no shortage of prominent Holocaust deniers who have been to Auschwitz."

Well, you named two, which is not enough to play poker. I declare that a shortage!

Trey

Hoosier Daddy said...

Look folks, we've been in Iraq longer than we were involved in World War II.

What's your point Doyle? Are you advocating firebombing Fallujah or 24 hour strategic bombing? Hell that would end this whole thing PDQ.

hdhouse said...

Hoosier...as to your firebombing comment...best I can tell, mud huts don't burn very well. You GEO-Pee-Rs are a pathetic lot I have to tell you.

The surge is a finger in the dike. Remove it and the place will eventually flood again as there is NO POLITICAL SOLUTION. Now Pakistan is going to blow up. Iran was a close scrap the other day in the straights, Afghanistan is back to drugs and enclaves, most of Africa is a mess, the economy is in the tank, oil is above 90 and probably forever and gas is 3.25 a gallon not to mention heating oil which you guy in 500 gallon lots...that country's debt is soaring because mr. bush has moved so much "off budget".

the hit list of ailments is a mile long and what? we are supposed to sit around and cheer mr. bush for getting something half right instead of totally wrong for a change?

face reality just once and stop being such pom-pom totting twerps.

Freder Frederson said...

Read the president's speech announcing the surge. Then please tell me what goals set out in that speech have been met. Hint: lowering the level of violence was not a goal but the means to achieving specific goals, not one of which has been met.

What happened to the reform of the de-bathefication laws? provincial elections? the oil revenue sharing laws? political reconciliation?

All the surge has achieved has been to better arm the very people (Sunni insurgents) who were on the other side in the budding civil war we were so concerned about a year ago. What do you think will happen when we reduce troop levels (as we have to whether we want to or not because we simply do not have the troops available to maintain current levels)?

Freder Frederson said...

We've had troops in Germany and Japan a lot longer than Iraq.

Please tell me last time U.S. troops in Germany or Japan were involved in a firefight with German or Japanese insurgents.

Crimso said...

"most of Africa is a mess"

While I would take issue with the accuracy of most of your statements in that comment, what does this have to do with the GOP?

Freder Frederson said...

Oh that's right, that would be 1945.

Crimso said...

"Please tell me last time U.S. troops in Germany or Japan were involved in a firefight with German or Japanese insurgents."

When was the last time shots were fired across the DMZ in Korea?

Roger said...

While the dead-enders on this thread are still parsing the surge and the results thereof, it almost everyone else has moved on: the media are now hyping the coming recession, the democrat majority in Congress, having lost 40 some odd votes to end it in congress are dropping it from their agenda, and the candidates are busy running from their opposition to it. When you are reduced to parsing "effects of the surge," from "the surge" you really grasping. Looks like our resident dead-enders need to--you know--move on!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hoosier...as to your firebombing comment...best I can tell, mud huts don't burn very well. You GEO-Pee-Rs are a pathetic lot I have to tell you.

HD! Welcome back. You ready for another go round? Actually Fallujah has more than a few steel, concrete and aluminum structures that burn quite nicely when sufficiently heated. Actually if you looked at Dresden, it was pretty much steel and concrete and well we know what happened there.

Hey, you're fun and I really enjoy the repoirtie we have going but just to raise a bar a tad, for me, I need some challenge, I am recommending the following for you.

Its only because I care. No liberal left behind and all that.

PatCA said...

Why? Because these candidates are aiming for the voter they helped create, the emotional, ahistorical, youthful anti-war voter.

Paul said...

The Dems on the wrong side of history again? Say it isn't so!

Well I guess the defeat America party will have to wait until they control the Executive branch to assure America's comeuppance.

We all know individuals who have destroyed themselves with dysfunctional self loathing. We're poised to watch this play out on a national level.

Antonio Gramsci is smugly grinning wherever he is.

Doyle said...

Paul, you have to admit it's curious that so many Americans plan on voting for the "defeat America party."

Freder Frederson said...

Because these candidates are aiming for the voter they helped create, the emotional, ahistorical, youthful anti-war voter.

It's funny that you accuse the Democrats of being ahistorical yet you are so willing to declare victory in Iraq (considering its history) based on a few months of reduced violence when none of the underlying problems have been addressed or even the president's own goals have been met. And let's not even start on the number of western nations that Afghanistan has chewed up and spit out (Russia and Great Britain multiple times).

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Trey,

Here are some other prominent Holocaust deniers who have visited Auschwitz:

David Irving
Udo Walendy
Wilhelm Stäglich
Horst Mahler
Robert Faurisson
Paul Rassinier
Germar Rudolf
Carlo Mattogono

Trey, I've now given you the names of 10 Holocaust deniers who have visited Auschwitz. That's "enough to play poker," and I've called your bluff.

Freder Frederson said...

When was the last time shots were fired across the DMZ in Korea?

I really don't understand what the point of this question is as it supports, rather than undermines, my point that the other countries where we have had a long term troop presence is not comparable to the situation in Iraq.

JackDRipper said...

The surge is the wrong metaphor. The US action in Iraq is a dam not a surge. They are attempting to dam up the surging resistance within Iraq.

It is working in the short term but how long is this human dam going to remain in place.

When the dam is removed the Iraqis/et al. will come surging through.

And Iraq be dammed.

Roger said...

With respect to Iraq and "the surge:" It seems to me most people who have some understanding of the region are most assuredly not declaring victory; rather, only limited progress--but a progress that is necessary to bring about political reconciliation. I dont believe any of the more sober observers of that part of the world have suggested we have acheived "victory." And ultimately, whatever our predictions are now, they are merely guesses--historians will have a much clearer view in 50 years.

Roger said...

Re number of holocaust deniers: And the Lord said unto Cyrus (Noah) find me 50 holocaust deniers who have visited Auschwitz and I will spare the world......

Freder Frederson said...

With respect to Iraq and "the surge:" It seems to me most people who have some understanding of the region are most assuredly not declaring victory; rather, only limited progress--but a progress that is necessary to bring about political reconciliation.

Well that's nice, but the president's goals also came with a timetable--and that timetable ran out in November. Now the "get 'er done or there will be consequences" talk has disappeared, replaced by "well wouldn't it be nice if these things could happen soon" rhetoric.

Of course, all he really cares about is running out the clock and letting the whole mess blow up in his successors face, as it inevevitably will. Break it and let some one else fix it, that has been the way George Bush has run his whole life.

MadisonMan said...

How can you tell if a surge has worked if the surge is ongoing? You can tell if it's working, I think, but
is the progress transitory or not?

When I turned on the kitchen light in my student days apartment, the cockroaches vanished. That doesn't mean they were gone for good.

dax said...

"Why do the Democratic candidates refuse to acknowledge progress in Iraq?"

BECAUSE THAT'S THE REAL INCONVENIENT TRUTH.

Roger said...

Freder: with your ability to see the future, I bet you have more than surpassed HRC's 100K in cattle futures! Drop you school program and foretell the future: much more money in that.

Your metric for Iraq then is the President's timetable? Even those of us who support the surge policy dont necessarily think his time table made any sense unless he was willing to withdraw troops.

The Maliki government clearly understands by now, this President is not going to withdraw troops and the democrats can't--they can dawdle until next November's election. And given the Arabic view of einshalla, I suspect they will. Finally, in my experience, Arabs tend not to do politics like western democracies; rather, they do politics much like marriages are made: in quiet, private, face to face discussions over tea with relatives and clan memembers, expanding those discussions until consensus is achieved. Observing the Iraqi parliament isn't going to give you any clues.

Freder Frederson said...

Your metric for Iraq then is the President's timetable?

Sorry I took what he said seriously. Every time I say Bush is a liar, you guys jump all over me. Obviously the surge shouldn't be judged by the president's own standards just like the invasion shouldn't be judged by the actual presence of WMDs.

Roger said...

Freder: you either don't understand that being wrong and being a liar aren't the same thing or you are being disengenuous. And to one of your points, no the surge should most assuredly NOT be judged by the presidents standards; it should be judged by events on the ground. I freely admit to not knowing what the future will bring--but what I do know is that many things in Iraq are looking better now. As to the future in Iraq, I have no idea.Suffice it to say, we are going to disagree on the possible effects of "the surge" which will not be knowable to either of us thereby making further discussion pointless.

reader_iam said...

I'd like to quietly note that today was the original date for another important election (now postponed to Feb. 18), one which I would have been following with at least as much interest as, and probably more than, the New Hampshire primary.

I don't consider this entirely off topic to these threads, by the way.

Freder Frederson said...

you either don't understand that being wrong and being a liar aren't the same thing or you are being disengenuous.

You are the one being disengenuous. The President clearly laid out standards by which the success or failure of the surge would be judged (and reduction in violence was not one of the standards). The reduction in violence was assumed. Not one of those goals was met. He also clearly stated that his patience with the Iraqi government was wearing thin and if they did not make political progress by this past November, there would be consequences. The apparent consequences are: take all the time you need (or at least until Jan '09) to make the progress you promised to achieve.

The reality is the reduction in violence is now being touted as the purpose of the surge (rather than the means to the ends). It will justify a drawdown in troops over the next year (because we simply don't have replacement troops). And when the violence returns, you will be quick to blame the new President for the debacle. Of course it is Bush who has broken the military because he never increased the troop strength nor funded the maintenance accounts to the level required and we simply cannot maintain the troop levels we now have in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bruce Hayden said...

The surge is a finger in the dike. Remove it and the place will eventually flood again as there is NO POLITICAL SOLUTION. Now Pakistan is going to blow up. Iran was a close scrap the other day in the straights, Afghanistan is back to drugs and enclaves, most of Africa is a mess, the economy is in the tank, oil is above 90 and probably forever and gas is 3.25 a gallon not to mention heating oil which you guy in 500 gallon lots...that country's debt is soaring because mr. bush has moved so much "off budget".

I don't deny that much of the rest of the Moslem world is in trouble. My biggest worry right now is Pakistan, as it is I suspect for the Administration. But it is a hard stretch to pin that on our incursion into Iraq. Maybe Afghanistan, but not Iraq, except for the canard that we didn't put enough troops into Afghanistan (thanks to Clinton's massive downsizing of the military, and, in particular here, the Army).

But your suggestions about Iraq are wishful thinking. There are a lot of reasons that the casualty and death tolls for December were lower than they had been for years, and only one of them involves our extra soldiers. One is how we are using our soldiers and Marines. That not only includes where they are based, but also how they spend much of their time now working with the local sheiks and leaders. Another is the switching sides and growing reconciliation of many of the Sunni Arabs. Another is the increasing competence of the Iraqi security forces, and in particular, their army.

One big difference with a year ago is that many, if not most, of the Sunni Arab Iraqis now want to participate in the government. At first, it looked like they were the only ones interested in reconciliation. But recently, many mixed communities are now working together better than they have for years, some even better than during the Saddam era. What must be remembered here is that reconciliation is working, just from the bottom up, and not top down, as we had tried to implement.

I am not suggesting that the war there is over, or even close. But a year ago, we were starting to lose. Today, we are well on the road to winning. And there are a lot of reasons to believe that we should be able to make significant drawdowns of military personnel by the end of this year.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Of course it is Bush who has broken the military because he never increased the troop strength nor funded the maintenance accounts to the level required and we simply cannot maintain the troop levels we now have in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Can someone who is serving or had served please help me out with something. Freder has banged this gong for some time now and I simply have some issues with the fact that our military, supposedly the finest in the world has been 'broken' after what amounts to a 5 year low level insurgency? (And yes Freder by historical standards it qualifies as low level).

I understand our current Afghan/Iraq committments equate to something like 200,000 troops.

What is our current force level now in terms of active (not reserve or guard) and where are they? If Freder is correct I'll happily concede the point. When I think of a broken army, the Wehrmacht, 1945 comes to mind or Napoleon fleeing from Moscow.

Freder Frederson said...

One big difference with a year ago is that many, if not most, of the Sunni Arab Iraqis now want to participate in the government.

The Sunnis are not participating in the government any more than they were a year ago (the de-baathefecation laws have not been reformed). They have merely sidestepped the national government and established regional or even local, tribal governments. Oh, plus they are much better armed and trained now, thanks to us.

How all this means that they are reconciled to being ruled by the Shiite majority (or that their Saudi and UAE sponsors will ever allow this) is beyond me. Plus, one of the reasons the provincial elections have been postponed (another of the goals that the surge was going to facilitate) is that it would have decided the fate of Kirkuk, which of course will lead to a civil war in the Kurdish regions.

Bruce Hayden said...

The reality is the reduction in violence is now being touted as the purpose of the surge (rather than the means to the ends). It will justify a drawdown in troops over the next year (because we simply don't have replacement troops). And when the violence returns, you will be quick to blame the new President for the debacle. Of course it is Bush who has broken the military because he never increased the troop strength nor funded the maintenance accounts to the level required and we simply cannot maintain the troop levels we now have in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I agree with the first, but the later doesn't work. You seem to be suggesting that the reason that violence is down is the surge, which you had just denied. But there are many more things behind it, including a much better trained military, the Sunni Arab Iraqis giving up on violence, after having seen what it did for them, then turning on al Qaeda (et al.)

The reality is that the violence mostly killed and wounded Iraqi Muslims, of the various sects. Comparatively few Americans, Brits, etc. died. And most of those killed were killed by other Muslims. And the Iraqis know this. Indeed, there are a lot of indications that many originally thought that the extent that we go out of our way to avoid killing innocent civilians was a weakness. But many have come to see it as a strength, esp. when it comes to trying to reconcile the warring factions.

We knew it would take years to rebuild the Iraqi military, almost from the ground up. The decision to originally exclude former Baathists was controversial at the time, and was invoked for a long time afterwards. But it did keep the military from becoming Sunni dominated, as it had been for centuries. And that turned out to be critical, since the army reflects the country, and not a (former) 20% of it. And, thus, is much more unlikely to try to take control of the country. The reality is that the military is moving towards competence almost as fast as expected, and Iraqi security forces have taken over security for much of the country, and took the lead in much of action over the last year. And they aren't going away, when we finally pull out.

Freder Frederson said...

I understand our current Afghan/Iraq committments equate to something like 200,000 troops.

Actually, it is 210,000 actually in Afghanistan and Iraq. Then there is at least another 40,000 or so support troops in the surrounding countries (especially Kuwait and Qatar). Then more than double that number for the troops either preparing to deploy or recovering from deployment (in a perfect world it would be triple because a unit should spend two years training and refitting for every year in the combat zone--that is simply not happening). And you can see that the 700,000 active duty Army and Marine Corps troops are spread pretty thin.

Paul said...

"Paul, you have to admit it's curious that so many Americans plan on voting for the "defeat America party."

Curious? Hardly. For decades the schools and media have been promulgating the Marxist critique. Since the late 60s radical leftist politics have entered the mainstream. And unending narrative of the flaws of Western Civilization in general and America in particular.

The current glaring example is the media's orgy of Iraq coverage when America seemed to be losing vs. the dearth of coverage now. Only brainwashees like yourself won't recognize this. The fact that you are legion, and perhaps even the majority, has no bearing whatsoever on whether you are truly brainwashed or not. Whole populations have been so misdirected in the past, either deliberately or through the momentum of an information cascade. It's nothing new.

Obama is made to order to be the candidate for the PC Multicultural Transnational crowd. He will finally get the youth vote out which no doubt thrills you. Because only fools like yourself are capable of swallowing the absurd belief that our post-adolescent youth are a repository of wisdom.

Revenant said...

I think that Clinton and Edwards, and perhaps Obama as well, would acknowledge progress in Iraq if they were already their party's nominee and were trying to attract moderate voters.

But right now they're running for the Democratic nomination, which means appealing to left-wingers, few of whom have any interest in hearing any good news from Iraq. So for the time being, the candidates are sticking to the "its all bad" approach.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Depends on your definition of "worked."

With 20 brigades we can keep a lid on. Our military has performed splendidly as usual.

If that is your definition the surge has worked.

We can't keep 20 brigades there indefinitely. So what happens next?

Bush will leave it to the nexct preident no doubt.

Revenant said...

With 20 brigades we can keep a lid on. Our military has performed splendidly as usual. If that is your definition the surge has worked.

Despite the fact that Obama said it wouldn't. Or have you forgotten that he claimed the extra troops would make no difference?

We can't keep 20 brigades there indefinitely.

Why should we have to? What's the basis for your belief that the people of Iraq have an unending lust for bloodshed that can only be temporarily suppressed?

The purpose of the surge was to give Iraqi society and government time to stabilize -- something which is difficult to do when people are constantly being gunned down in the streets. The more stable the society becomes, the easier it is for the violent minority to be held in check. The more they are held in check, the more stable society becomes, and so on. Eventually, probably in a few years, our presence will be unnecessary.

TMink said...

Cyrus wrote: "Trey, I've now given you the names of 10 Holocaust deniers who have visited Auschwitz. That's "enough to play poker," and I've called your bluff."

Hell Cyrus, that is enough for playing basketball! Forget the poker!

First, I was not bluffing, as bluffing would include lying, and while I may be wrong about holocaust deniers visiting Aushwitz, I was not trying to deceive.

Having said that, the people that I checked on your list certainly are deniers, but where do I check on their Auschwitz visits? Google was no help, what is your source for this and where did you learn so many Holocaust deniers??

Not that you are bluffing or anything.

Trey

SGT Ted said...

Of course it is Bush who has broken the military because he never increased the troop strength nor funded the maintenance accounts to the level required and we simply cannot maintain the troop levels we now have in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is horseshit. A talking point. One of many contradictory ones. Like: We're fighting the war on the cheap and it is bankrupting the country. Freder just can't admit that he doesn't know what he is talking about. He reads what he agrees with and then repeats it.

Besides, CONGRESS funds the military, not the Executive. IF what Freder posits is true, then that would put the onus on Pelosi and Reid to work for an increase in troop endstrength and more spending on maintenance. But, they won't because they don't like the Military, much less this particular mission.

But we are not short of mainrtenance items over all. in fact, we went from a parts shortage in the 90s to plenty now. I've seen this myself.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And you can see that the 700,000 active duty Army and Marine Corps troops are spread pretty thin.

With all due respect Freder and I mean that sincerely, I'm looking for someone with some military cred to opine on this.

Paul said...

"If that is your definition the surge has worked."

The surge has worked because it allowed the Anbar Awakening to take hold. It has everything to do with the Iraqis experiencing life under AQ, and rejecting it. To have Sunni muslims renounce AQ is the best PR there is and could never have happened any other way. That's the big picture, and a glaring indictment of the suicidal folly of the Democrat's stance.

Paul said...

It's called the wisdom of war, and something incomprehensible to the BOBO cafe-revolutionary set that sets the ideoligical tone for the left.

People in war are forced to make good choices. The Iraqi's chose the Americans over AQ. It was inevitable, if we could hold out against the surrender and retreat crowd.

Fen said...

freder: my point that the other countries where we have had a long term troop presence is not comparable to the situation in Iraq.

I don't even see why you are arguing it. You're smarter than this Freder. We don't fight the next war by the last war's standard. What difference does it make how many years we spent in Europe during/after WW2? Its a stupid argument.

Blake said...

Actually Fallujah has more than a few steel, concrete and aluminum structures that burn quite nicely when sufficiently heated. Actually if you looked at Dresden, it was pretty much steel and concrete and well we know what happened there.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! there Hoosier!

Are you suggesting that fire melts steel? We all know that's only ever happened ONCE in human history!

Freder Frederson said...

This is horseshit. A talking point. One of many contradictory ones. Like: We're fighting the war on the cheap and it is bankrupting the country. Freder just can't admit that he doesn't know what he is talking about. He reads what he agrees with and then repeats it.

Rather than just saying I am wrong why don't you provide some numbers to prove it. Show me how the budgets at the Depots have increased and overtime hours have gone through the roof (because of course all the wear and tear on equipment has increased the workload at our Depots). Show me how the number of people in the active duty military has increased to reflect the increased commitments over the last five years. Show me how rotation schedules are similar for career military to those experienced to
soldiers of the Vietnam era (when at the peak we had 500,000 troops on the ground.) Show me how we are paying for this war. I have certainly gone to see the Bush twins as they encouraged Americans to buy War Bonds.

And nice try trying to pawn it off on Congress. It wasn't until the Congress was in Democratic hands that the President even put the cost of the war in the regular budget. Up until this year it has been funded, dishonestly, through "emergency" funding requests.

Cedarford said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
Why do the Democratic candidates refuse to acknowledge progress in Iraq?"
Probably because they have invested the better part of the last three years claiming its a disaster and in the words of Harry Reid, 'the war is lost'. To now start touting its success would seem...well inconsistent not to mention inflame their leftwing base.
This is exactly why I can't stomach much of the Democratic party.


Actually, its one of the reasons I can't stomach much of the Republican Party and President Bush, as well as the Democrats.

The country is so poisoned by the cancer of partisanship that when a decision or dogma is reexamined by a person in a Party, or by an insecure leader anticipating his "Base's response" - they hesitate to admit error. Ultimately, we all know the eventual consequence for this imposed solidarity.
Failure.
We teach our youngest officers and managers with a simple question. What do you call a manager or officer who is too stubborn or prideful to admit error and correct mistakes before they grow and accumulate to threaten the organization or mission?
Answer: Ex-Manager. Ex-officer.

We tout our Open society and "free speech" as reasons why the Soviets failed and we succeeded. Yet we have entered a period when our Ruling Parties and President are as unwilling to admit mistake as the most doctrinaire Soviet Commissar was loath to admit the 5-year Plan failed.

The Democrats inherent inability to admit Iraq is improving. Right wing Republicans in the grip of Voodoo Economics unwilling to admit that supply side economics don't work when you cut taxes and grow goverment by 40% under the 2nd LBJ, Dubya. Who himself lets his bad decisions and fuck-ups and underperforming subordinates fester years because to correct them would expose him to charges that he is a "flip-flopper, a flip-flopper!"
A "flip-flopper" which is perhaps now one "fear of accusation" level below being accused by Soviet apparachniks of being a "deviant and reactionary" for asking who screwed up by producing 1 million extra 4th reduction gears for a T-72 tank instead of tractor spare parts which idled 25% of Soviet wheat production and forced Russia to purchase abroad.

It is cancerous, it is part and parcel of shutting down dialogue in the name of partisanship and suppressing critical thinking in favor of blind ideology.

"You're an anti Marxist reactionary! Reactionary! Reactionary!"

"The Bremer Decision was a horrific blunder. Thousands of deaths and woundings came from that. But to admit it would show I am weak and vacillating....a flip-flopper, a flip-flopper! Better just live with it, not fix it, and hope things work out. And I sure can't fire dear Rummy - my loyalty to him comes first!"

"We Dems must never admit welfare reform worked, anti-gun laws cause crime, the Surge suceeded, and 100 other errors institutionalized in Democrat PC".


I guess the all-time low in America, without going abroad and mentioning the Soviet practice of putting their best critics and process fixers in death pits or the Gulag would be the Religious Right's present treatment of candidates they convert to their side on pro-life.

"Hi Gov. Romney, Mayor Giuliani, Gov Whitman, Laura Bush, HW Bush! We would like you to think long and hard about your beliefs on embryonic stem cells and abortion and strict constructionist judges. If after you do your soul-searching, you join our side - we are eager to condemn you all as untrustworthy flip-floppers with less soul and credibility than a candidate home-schooled by Young Earth Creationists. We want you on our side, really! But we wish to continue to hold you as morally inferior to a true believer.

Please join our side!!!"

The Exalted said...

Richard Fagin said...
It's more than a little ironic that the Washington Post editorializes on Democrat candidates' failure to acknowledge progress in Iraq, when that paper, a number of other papers as well as most broadcast media made it a point of totally ignoring any good news at all form Iraq until it was so plain that they risked what little of their credibility remained.


the wapost has been and is one of the war's biggest cheerleaders since its inception, yet you feel free to post this erroneous drivel. awesome.

AJ Lynch said...

The surge success is impossible to deny if one is intellectually honest.

Frankly, I am surprised that even a single liberal commenter had the nerve to post disagreement. Alas, I was wrong.

So let me ask this...how come none of the libs here took time to lament the 1 year anniversary (last month) of the esteemed and wrong-headed Iraq Study Group? The anniversary passed as if the Iraq Study Group had never existed. I wonder why?

AJ Lynch said...

Cedarford:

I agree with much of what you just said. The voters need to "throw the bums out no matter what party" but the voters need some help to do that... correct gerrymandering and eliminate voter ability to vote the straight party ticket with one pull of the lever. We do not owe the two main parties an edge in getting votes for their minor offices.

Make candidates earn every vote for every office on the ballot- today we give an edge to the two big parties.

PatCA said...

Freder,
No one has declared victory in Iraq.

Sigh.

Carry on.

Fen said...

Rather than just saying I am wrong why don't you provide some numbers to prove it.

Uh Freder, you made the intitial unsupported claim. Its your burden to prove it, not his to disprove it.

Fen said...

the wapost has been and is one of the war's biggest cheerleaders since its inception

Compared to WHAT?

Reminds me of a funny I recently reread from Manchester - when asked about the quality of troops defending against invasion from the Nazi, the French general claimed his army was matchless... which was confirmed by the French being routed.

SGT Ted said...

Freder, you are the one saying the Miltary is broken. You need to back up your assertion. I back up my assertion by actually, you know, BEING in the military and seeing that the assertion is false on its face.

SGT Ted said...

the wapost has been and is one of the war's biggest cheerleaders since its inception

Put down the bong.