July 23, 2008

Joe Klein's scurrilous meltdown.

Time's Joe Klein openly reviles John McCain for saying:
This is a clear choice that the American people have. I had the courage and the judgment to say I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign.
McCain basically added a sharp twist to one of his usual statements. The usual statement is touting his own aptitude and honor. The twist is to accuse Obama of the opposite.

Here's Klein:
I can't remember a more scurrilous statement by a major party candidate. It smacks of desperation. It renews questions about whether McCain has the right temperament for the presidency. How sad.
I can't remember a more scurrilous statement by a major journalist. It smacks of desperation. It renews questions about whether Klein has the right temperament for Time Magazine. How sad.

Whatever.

Here's what I see. Klein is trying to generate a big outrage to distract us from McCain's solid point. McCain said we had to win the war, he pushed for the surge, the surge worked, and now we will have that victory that he would not give up on. Obama said the war was hopeless, we'd have to accept loss, and the surge would only waste more lives.

That is a huge, huge difference. And that is what McCain was referring to. It could have been put even more sharply.

If Klein wants to get all outraged about something, he should get outraged retrospectively about how Obama and many Democrats were ready and even eager to embrace defeat. If Klein wants to worry about who is unsuited for the presidency, he ought to recognize that if Obama had been President two years ago, we would have suffered a humiliating defeat in Iraq that would have repercussions for decades.

And Klein thinks it's "desperation" to urge us to face that crucial reality, which is what McCain did? Desperation — which is recklessness arising from the utter lack of hope — is what Obama had about the Iraq war.

Klein updates his post:
The reality is that neither Barack Obama nor Nouri al-Maliki nor most anybody else believes that the Iraq war can be "lost" at this point.
The point is that Obama's judgment would have led this country to jump headlong into defeat. We now must decide if we want this man making choices about things that will arise in the future. Why is it necessary to spell it out again and again that we need to use past judgments to predict future judgments about new matters? I feel like an annoying pedant saying this again. But the reason it's necessary is that journalists like Klein are covering for Obama.

Talk about "sad." That's sad.
The reality is that no matter who is elected President, we are looking at a residual U.S. force of 30-50,000 by 2011 (a year ahead of the previous schedule). The reality is that McCain should be proud that he helped salvage a disastrous situation by pushing the counterinsurgency plan. It's something to run on. But, at this point, McCain must sense that it's not a winning hand. Obama, the poker player, has drawn to an inside straight: the Iraqis favor his plan over McCain's long-term bases. That must be galling. But it's no excuse to pop off the way McCain did. It was, shockingly, unpresidential.
Oh, stop your idiotic gasping, Klein, and see what you just did! You reinforced McCain's point. You see the campaign for the presidency as a game to be won and the war as something to play with. McCain would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. If his insistence that we win the war now brings him defeat, while the man who chose defeat in the war wins the presidency, that is what McCain saw all along. To think, wow, he must really be pissed off about the way that played out is to show how you think, Klein.

Note: I am only reading McCain's statement and have not seen the video or heard the audio. Perhaps he's yelling and carrying on in a way that would justify Klein's use of "meltdown" and "pop off" and "shockingly unpresidential." But Klein's text emphasizes the "statement" and has no description of his tone of voice, facial expression, or gestures, so I am assuming it's all based on McCain's words.

ADDED: Confirming the assumption I just made, here's the video (via Americablog):



There is absolutely nothing angry or out-of-control about this statement. As for the line, which seems scripted, it's a strong line. I can see why Klein and his ilk are trying to scare McCain out of using it.

AND: McCain uses the line in this video. (Via Gateway Pundit.) This is a long segment in which Katie Couric interviews Obama and then McCain and does a nice job of crisply defining the two men:

189 comments:

MadisonMan said...

The point is that Obama's judgment would have led this country to jump headlong into defeat.

I'm not sure how this statement can be proven, no matter how you define defeat.

Obama's judgement would have changed the course of things in Iraq, yes. Would there be more bombing in Iraq now had his judgement been followed? I think that's likely, but definite? No. Would the ultimate look of Iraq in, say, 30 years, be different? How can anyone know that?

Ann Althouse said...

Obama insisted that the war was lost, that it was hopeless, like Vietnam, and the sooner we faced it and cut our losses the better. Yes, you can say, how do we know whether Iraq would have gone to hell as badly as Vietnam, and thank God, we didn't have to find out. But the spectacle of our accepting defeat and leaving after all our efforts would have had an impact on everything we attempted to do later.

Meade said...

Obama and his supporters have never been interested in seeing Iraq progress toward becoming a stable, secure, self-sustaining democratic ally of the United States. They, Joe Klein, and the New York Times editors don't even want to imagine what that might be like. Their primary desire is to see the defeat of the president of the United States, George W. Bush, even if it requires the military defeat of their own country.

Yes, I question their patriotism.

Roger J. said...

There is, of course, no way "proving" what would happen if the surge never took place. Suffice it to say, Obama made some very clear and incontrovertible statements about the consequences of the surge, and to date, he has been spectacularly wrong. We can, indeed question his short term judgment.

As to the consequences of the war in Iraq, starting from the 2003 invasion and going forward. We will not know for a generation whether the blood and treasure expended was worth it from a strategic perspective. My concern is that Obama shows every tendency to take the short view for what I believe are purely partisan reasons (McCain's point) and has thus far shown very little ability to evaluate the long term consequences of his prescriptions on American foreign policy.

Klein? he's a f**king idiot.

El Presidente said...

The first rule of Italian race car driving:

"what is behind you, she doesn't matter"

McCain's successful 'surge' strategy is what has made it possible for Obama to become the Democratic Presidential Nominee, and will make him President of the United States.

Obama now has the ability to talk about Afghanistan without worrying about how the strategic importance of Iraq. The American public remembers Vietnam well enough to remember that the US doesn't want to loose a war. Obama is essentially saying "Move along, nothing to see here."

fcai said...

Joe "Kneepads" Klein is once again proving how wrongheaded he is when it comes to this nation's security. Grow up Joe, not everyone in this country loves al Qaeda as much as you do...

MadisonMan said...

I'm just saying that as bad as Obama's judgement was re: the Surge, history might not have been unkind. Yes, it's good -- for now (who knows about the future?) -- that we don't have to play that out.

The goal should be a quasi-stable Iraq with a government that is not hostile to the US (Can one expect an openly friendly govt there given the state of the mideast now? I think not). I think that at some point a presence in Iraq of US troops will not help. The difficulty is knowing when that point occurs. Clearly, last year was not that point.

I'm not buying the US Would have been defeated line, however. Call me an optimist.

El Presidente said...

Ann,

You were there but you don't remember the Vietnam War very well. When South Vietnam was overrun the US had almost no combat troops in country. Military aid, general funds and the US air force were promised to South Vietnam to induce their signing of the Treaty of Paris. The 'Waterbaby' congress cut off all of these and the US and South Vietnam lost by default. The US is in about the same strategic position as Vietnam, circa 1974 (post Treaty and pre-pullout).

My only question, 'Is there a helicopter landing pad atop the US Embassy in Baghdad?"

oldirishpig said...

I think Ann's got this right: The Dems don't actually care about anything other than getting the Presidency. Like the Romans, they've come to believe that the only important thing is to hold power; everything else is a joke.
Besides their socialist redistribution schemes, one more reason to keep them very far away from power.

AJ Lynch said...

Just the other day Joe Klein claimed McCain would not get too many points with the voters for his correct support for the surge. Because it was too small and nuanced of a point for the public to recognize.

Or maybe it was Dick Polman of the Inquirer who said it, Those two peas in a pod are easy to confuse.

Anyway I could not find a link to suppport my memory. Sorry but I am not making it up. I swear.

AJ Lynch said...

BTW it's fun to watch middle of the road Madison Man trying to defend this far-left writer and his far-left Dem nominee.

Also everyone here remembers how the MSM was on a kick for a while about getting GW to admit he was wrong about even one single decision?

Looks like Obama has trouble admitting when he was wrong too. Heh.

KimH said...

Bravo to Ann for not mincing words here.

Obama is taking credit for a Maliki-blessed withdrawal timetable -- made possible only because we ignored Obama's earlier "judgement," which was spectactularly and disastrously wrong.

This has to be one of the most cynical ploys I've ever seen in American politics.

Meade said...

"I'm not buying the US Would have been defeated line, however. Call me an optimist."

How about I just call you a dreamer.

Trevor Jackson said...

"in which Katie Couric interviews Obama and then McCain"

Also in which selective editing of McCain's interview leaves out his dishonest claim that the surge was responsible for the Anbar Awakening.

Simon said...

So far as I can see, Klein's post is really just a verbalization of that noise you here when a really solid punch connects with its target. He's supposedly writing "I can't remember a more scurrilous statement by a major party candidate whine whine whine whine," but all I see is one of those comic sound VFX you used to see in the "Batman" TV series: "THWACK!" "BIFF!" &c.

AlgonquinS said...

Off topic:

I clicked on the premium ad featuring Pamela Anderson, expecting to see breasts, only to discover she was talking about chicken breasts. Deceptive advertising!

Steve said...

Ann Althouse, it is you who is melting, melting, melting...

Why do you even pretend to be "cruelly neutral" when it is so predictable that you will eventually make a big deal of feeling betrayed by Obama and announce your support of McCain just before the election. You are so transparent.

McCain was saying that Obama was betraying his country in order to win a presidential campaign. That is what is so scurrilous about his remark and it is a point you completely ignore. Do you believe Obama and other Democrats who wanted us out of this war are traitors?

You supported the war from the beginning so you feel the need to justufy your support by claiming we have "won" something. But what have we "won"? We sacrificed thousands of lives and billions of dollars to destabilize the region, hand power over to Iran and give al Qaeda a chance to rebuild itself. Meanwhile, we may indeed have lost the war in Afghanistan. And we let the perpetrators of 9/11 get away. That's victory?

We all know you will end up voting for John McCain because he will make you feel like you weren't wrong when you believed the President's lies that the war in Iraq had something to do with the war on terror. You ache to be vindicated. We know that ultimately this election will be all about you. So spare us the silly dance.

Ann Althouse said...

Steve, I call them as I see them, and I think my readers trust me to tell the truth. I stake that reputation on the assertion I am making now: I do not know which candidate I will vote for, however, I have been leaning toward Obama. If I had to put a percentage on my tendencies right now, I'd say there is a 70-30 chance I'll vote for Obama.

P. Rich said...

If Klein wants to get all outraged about something, he should get outraged retrospectively about how Obama and many Democrats were ready and even eager to embrace defeat.

It isn't just Klein. The Times is deeply in the tank for Obama. It's airbrush time, media style. Good article, Althouse.

Judgment

McCain 1

Obama 0

Roger and Denise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dix said...

All Obama needs is the new meme to form, which I've seen the beginning of in few places (The Economist for one), that it wasn't the surge or the US military that turned the tide, it was that the Iraqis finally came to see that Al Qaeda and terrorists are really bad guys. It was inevitable that AQ would fail in Iraq. Kind of like how the fall of Communism had nothing to do with Reagan. Russia just decided they didn't like it anymore.

The Drill SGT said...

What Roger said :)

Trevor said...Also in which selective editing of McCain's interview leaves out his dishonest claim that the surge was responsible for the Anbar Awakening.

"The Surge" is really shorthand for two things.

1. A change in tactics from sweeps and raids from large operating bases to one of "clear, hold, engage, pacify" with small units spread throughout the country.

The basis of this strategy was the doctrine written by General Petreaus and a Marine 3 star (whose name escapes me). The doctrine (play book) was the Field Manual 3-24 on Counter-insurgency operations. The Marine left the doctrine job to Petreaus and was assigned to Anbar before Petreaus got back to Iraq. So yes, the Anbar awakening, was based on the new doctrine, but preceded the surge.

2. the actual troop increase allowed the new doctrine to succeed by providing the troop strength to hold more ground.

Roger J. said...

Steve: I do not believe any one said Obama is betraying his country--withdrawing from Iraq may cause us to lose the longer war in Iraq, but will hardly bring about the end of America--And reasonable people can certainly argue that the Iraq was terrible policy. That certainly does not--and should not--bring their patriotism into question. What is in question, is Obama's judgment.

I would just like to see some continuity on the part of Obama's policy proposals--what I am seeing is a politician who will say nearly anything to get elected--which, is ultimately, McCain's point. YMMV.

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

Calling it the way we see it.

And what we see is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to defend the notion of “Obama for President” on any substantive grounds.

And the reason is because the guy has basically done nothing substantive to which one can cite or point.

The woulda, shoulda, coulda stuff isn't sufficient to build a case for being given the presidency. And the more time transpires in this race, the more it looks, unfortunately, like Obama’s only real attribute is that he can get crowds to show up and cheer.

But that is fad and fashion born of flattery of the masses; that’s not substance.

I really think that he's about 15 years undercooked, and he needs to go back into the oven of the Senate or a governorship.

But he really wants to go up, up, up, now, now, now. And with some people, there’s no stopping their ambitious drive and impatience.

The Emperor said...

"the surge worked"

American military deaths in June 2008: 29 (from this site: http://www.icasualties.org)

Congratulations on this great success! 29 deaths per month is certainly something to celebrate. And all thanks to the surge.

The Drill SGT said...

Steve said...Meanwhile, we may indeed have lost the war in Afghanistan.

at some level the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable. NOBODY in recorded history has been able rule Afghanistan. Certainly no outsider. Ask the Russians, or the Brits, or the Moguls, or the Mongols...

It is a harsh hostile land of tribes. Tribal identity, blood feuds, and corruption are the natural order.

I have a theory, I call it the "theory of sheep". The toughest, hardest warriors are sheep herders by nature. Scots, Afghans, Turks, come to mind. Folks who live on marginal land, only fit for herding sheep. and sheep herders have little to do, except practice their weapon skills and dream of plundering the farm vilage of its loot and women (I repeat myself).

You don't rule those sheepherders, you dominate them. They come down from the hills and loot a village, you go back up and apply retribution to teach them a lesson for a generation. That's how the Brits of the Raj handled the Hindu Kush (e.g. Afghanistan )(Killer of Hindu's). by off leaders, set tribe against tribe and leave them alone.

We have a good shot at turning Iraq into a model of democracy (by ME standards), I'll settle for Afghanistan to end up like the other "Stans" corrupt little places that don't export terrorism. We'll be there a long time with predators, and SF teams, playing one warlord off against another and punishing the Taliban types.

Steve said...

Roger, saying that Obama sacrificed the good of his country for his own political ambitions is saying that he betrayed his country. He was questioning Obama's patriotism by saying he put himself ahead of country. That's what is so scurrilous about McCain's remark.

Ann, I'll believe it when I see it. But every post you have made in the last few months reads like a set-up for your pirouette to concluding that you must vote for McCain, even if you are deluding yourself and your readers that that is not what is ultimately going to happen.

Quayle said...

"The Emperor", I certainly hope you aren't one of those people that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Meade said...

The Emperor said...
"...Congratulations on this great success! 29 deaths per month is certainly something to celebrate. And all thanks to the surge"

Thank you, Mildred Gillars.

MadisonMan said...

How about I just call you a dreamer.

We all know what happens to people who can't dream.

Rich B said...

I agree with Simon. Loud squealing is a sign that the target has been hit. What is astounding is that Obama, in his stumbling explanation, effectively admitted that his opposition to the surge was a political calculation and was uaffected by its eventual success or failure.

downtownlad said...

Please show me the quote where Obama said the war was "lost"?

He said the war was started on false premises, which it was. And was that was proven, it was time to leave - which was true then and it is still true now.

Two weeks ago Ann was berating Obama for wanting to leave in 16 months. Now that even the Iraqi President agrees with us, the only response for the wingnuts is to say that the war is won. When exactly in the last two weeks did this glorious "victory" occur? Or are you still sticking with your 100 year occupation plan.

A war started over lies. 400,000 Iraqis dead. 2 million Iraqis refugees. $140 a gallon oil. Osama Bin Laden still alive. The war in Afghanistan is still raging. Ethnic cleansing in Iraq has been completed.

Some funny definition of victory you have. Woo hoo! But whatever - you're right. We won. Can we leave now????

Randy said...

Steve, I don't believe that Obama is a traitor or would knowingly sacrifice the good of his country for political gain, but his opposition to the surge and his predictions of its failure are undeniably well-documented. IMO, these things reflect a serious error of judgment and his subsequent actions and statements on the subject demonstrate an appalling rigidity of mind.

downtownlad said...

Tuesday 22 July: 8 dead
Baghdad: 3 bodies.

Tameem
Dibis: 1 body found.

Ninewa
Mosul: gunmen kill 2.

Wassit
Suwayra: 2 bodies.

Monday 21 July: 23 dead
Baghdad: 1 body found.

Diyala
Al-Bowashi: gunmen kill 1 Sahwa member.
Abu Saida: gunmen kill sheikh on his way to reconciliation meeting.
Sadiya: tractor bomb kills 7.

Tameem
Kirkuk: gunmen kill journalist; roadside bomb kills police chief.

Ninewa
Mosul: gunmen kill 2; 2 security contractors killed by suicide bomber; 1 body found.
Tal Afar: 3 policemen killed during clashes.

Wassit
Kut: gunemn kill 1.
Suwayra: 2 bodies found dismembered.

Sunday 20 July: 23 dead
Baghdad: bomb stuck on car kills 1, Adhamiya; roadside bomb kills 1, Karrada; car bomb kills 1, Damascus intersection; 3 bodies.

Diyala
Wajihiya: roadside bomb kills 2 policemen.
Bani Saad: roadside bomb kills 3 policemen.

Ninewa
Mosul: 4 killed in drive-by shootings; sniper kills policeman; 2 killed by suicide car bomber.

Salahuddin
Baiji: US forces kill son and nephew of Salahuddin governor in early morning raid.

Basra
Basra: body of young woman found.

Wassit
Suwayra: 2 bodies found floating in river.


Ahhhh, Victory.

Roost on the Moon said...

Victory? Only if you ignore not only our original mission, but also of all the underlying problems still present. The day-to-day violence was symptomatic. (I say "was", though it's not as if it's gone.) We've suppressed it with a massive military presence, but McCain & company have bought us a hornets' nest for years to come.

It's counterproductive to make public pronouncements about how we've "lost" the war. We're doing all we can. We're making the best of a bad situation.

To that end, declaring victory now is strategically a good thing to do, and I agree, we should say we won. That doesn't make it's true. Lets not start really believing that Iraq has been fixed by our courage. It's not fixed, and it wasn't courage.

Looking at in terms of binary winning and losing is infantile, and in terms of courage and cowardice is even worse. it's pure electoral politics. To call it "McCain's solid point" is to mainline the kool-aid.

Henry said...

It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign.

I think the phrase "in order to" implies that Obama opposed the surge because he wanted a bad outcome in Iraq.

That is a scurrious accusation and one I don't think at all correct.

I think Obama embraced defeat in Iraq without any consideration of personal benefit.

Dingo said...

By what standard has the surge "worked"? Certainly not by any of the standards mentioned when it was first proposed. It has not led to the political solution of problems in Iraq. It has not led to the reduction of US forces in Iraq.

What has led to a decrease in violence in Iraq is (a) bribing warlords to leave us alone, and (b) the completion of ethnic cleansing. Neither of these things are the result of a "surge," in fact, arguably, the "surge" should have made the former unnecessary and prevented the latter. It did not.

The surge was a failure. The Iraq War is a stupid unnecessary waste of lives, money, and power. It cost us our international reputation and it may have cost us Afghanistan, too.

The whole premise -- that the surge "worked" -- is fault.

Freder Frederson said...

Yes, you can say, how do we know whether Iraq would have gone to hell as badly as Vietnam, and thank God, we didn't have to find out.

Don't count your chickens before they hatch Ann. What exactly have we won in Iraq. The surge succeeded militarily but not politically (where are the provincial elections that were supposed to take place almost a year ago), mainly because we armed the Sunnis we were fighting a couple months before hand.

Now Maliki is going to make us leave and we will have a country that is extremely friendly to Iran on the border of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and a Kurdish region making trouble for the Turks.

And remember, there are still 4 million (almost 1/6 of the population) displaced Iraqi citizens, half of them outside the country.

If I had to put a percentage on my tendencies right now, I'd say there is a 70-30 chance I'll vote for Obama.

I'll take those odds. For someone who is leaning towards Obama, you have precious little good to say about him.

downtownlad said...

You're wrong Roost the Moon. We've killed 400,000 BROWN people. What could be better than that? Maybe 1 MILLION BROWN people killed. But we need an Iran war for that. And only John McCain can bring us to the promised land.

It is truly amazing how much the wingnuts LOVE war. John McCain certainly does. That's all he knows.

AllenS said...

Screw the brown people, where's the oil. It's all about the oil. Where's my share?

Where'd I put my waterboard?

Roger and Denise said...

Point of order: I think both Iranians and Iraqi's are Caucasian with most Iraqi's primarily semitic. I guess if its people of color we should be whacking, we should be intervening in Africa a la Susan Rice.

Ann Althouse said...

I've said it before: I consider the polemical use of the term "brown people" to be racist. You imagine that it's not because you intend to be anti-American, but I say it is, and your anti-Americanism is not the virtue you imagine it to be.

gophermomeh said...

It’s been my understanding that Obama has wanted to leave Iraq in a responsible manner. That, that was his primary stand in the matter. Not to win or lose, but to get out - again, responsibly.

He took a position that didn’t support the surge – maybe it worked, maybe it didn’t – I’m no expert, but from what I’m hearing it’s only a small part of the turn around over there. Nothing ever happens in a vacume. Personally, I’ll wait to see what history says.

The entry "what is behind you, she doesn't matter" is quite true. With the quick turnaround in news cycles and with the attention moved to Afganistan, his decision to not support the surge may have little impact. It’s like a hockey fight – the ref never seems to see the instigator, only the last punch. It might not be fair, but who said life (hockey) was fair.

As for getting all lathered up about Klein – relax – his stands are pretty transparent. You usually know what you’re getting. Anyone with any smarts won’t rely on one source or one point of view. You’re giving him too much cred.

downtownlad said...

I go back to my original point. Obama should concede that he was wrong. Admit that the war is now won. And ask for the troops to go home TODAY.

Crimso said...

Wow. So we really have lost in Iraq, eh? All of the wingnuts are simply in denial. Reminds me of the old joke about the mother who was praising her son's performance in the marching band, noting with pride that he was the only one in step. The question is, between the wingnuts and the moonbats, who is the son and who is the rest of the band?

The Deacon said...

I remember hearing two years ago about how the Repubs were drawing out the war so they could declare victory in '08 and run on their astounding success "despite the traitorous Democrat party quitters" instead of running on their "economic and social achievements." Imagine that. It's happening before our eyes right now. Much like how reasons for the war constantly mutate and how the department of homeland security mysteriously released all those terrorist alerts whenever it was politically expedient for the Republicans to remind everybody why they should be scared enough to forgive anything the government did. It's so funny how that works and still somehow the Democrats are the craven politicians. Come on.

Roost on the Moon said...

Downtownlad,

Being offensive for it's own sake is toxic. Bad for your heart. I don't have much else to say, but I should at least correct you: Iranians aren't brown.

Meade said...

Although he showed the good sense to repent the next day, Obama sacrificed the good of his own two children for political gain. Why should he be trusted with the security and well-being of his nation?

Mark said...

What a sad, pathetic post. I absolutely agree with Steve. I'm one of your long-time readers, Ann, and frankly, I think that you've been extremely unfair to Obama on several occasions. Just because you sometimes criticize McCain doesn't hide the fact that your posts about the war are extremely one-sided. I agree that it's probably because you need to justify in your own eyes your support for this misguided war.

Moving on to the substance, Klein has it absolutely right. It's scurrilous to suggest that Obama would rather lose the war than lose the election. Where's any support for this, besides McCain's self-serving words? Also, where's any support for the statement that McCain would rather lose the election than lose the war? Any fair observer would notice that in January 2007 support of the surge was McCain's only choice to keep any authority on national security issues. Throughout 2003-2007, he's been fully supportive of Bush's failed strategy in Iraq, even if he occasionally criticized Rumsfeld. By January 2007, the war was so unpopular that something had to change for McCain to have any chance to win even Republican primaries, to say nothing of general election. So, McCain doubled down on Iraq by supporting the surge. To claim now, as he does and as you do, that it somehow demonstrates that he'd rather lose the election is the height of hypocrisy! It's a blatant distortion of history and you know it. Shame on you for doing that.

Now, it is true that the surge was probably one of the factors that helped to bring some stability in Iraq. Although the main credit has to go to the changed strategy on the ground, to bribing sheiks, to Iraqis own tiredness of bloodshed, to the fact that ethnic segregation has more or less run its course, and to the dumb luck.

But to claim that McCain's position on the surge demonstrates his putting the country first while Obama's position is to the contrary, is scurrilous, low, and disgusting.

McCain has been deadly wrong on the most important national security issue facing the country since 2001: the Iraq war. He was the cheerleader and the enabler of Bush's policies. But surely you will never admit that because you yourself supported the same wrong policies.

Freder Frederson said...

I consider the polemical use of the term "brown people" to be racist.

Gee Ann, it always amazes me that you scold the lefties on this blog for the sarcastic use of racist epithets (of course we mean "brown people" to be racist), but when your fans spew real vicious nazi-level racial hatred (e.g., Cedarford), you let it pass without comment.

The point is that we (the people of the U.S.) don't seem to care about how many Iraqi citizens have been killed in this war. Fen in particular, thinks the entire purpose of invading Iraq was to draw AQ there, where they would be easier to fight. He by definition, could care less how many brown people get in the way of our God-given mission as long as we don't have to fight them here.

Meade said...

Barack Obama said, "I have no idea what would have happened had we applied my approach,” but he will not allow it to happen again.
“I think that we got carried away in the moment,” the Illinois senator and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee told CBS News's Katie Couric Tuesday. “We were having a birthday party, and everybody was laughing. And suddenly this thing cropped up. I didn’t catch it quickly enough. I was surprised by the attention it received.”

P. Rich said...

AA said: I'd say there is a 70-30 chance I'll vote for Obama.

Please keep us informed on that unfortunate emotional condition. Would flowers help?

O Pechanga said...

If Obama was President

Saddam, Uday and Kusay Hussein would still be alive, the French would still be going around the oilf for food embargo and suiciders' families would be getting $25,000 checks.

Mark said...

O pechanga, right, because the choice was only between Bush's war and doing nothing. Pathetic.

Hoosier Daddy said...

A war started over lies.

Am I the only one who ensvisions DTL as Frau Farbissima when he gets on his 'lies' rant? LIES! ALL LIES!!!!

You're wrong Roost the Moon. We've killed 400,000 BROWN people. What could be better than that? Maybe 1 MILLION BROWN people killed. But we need an Iran war for that.

That's all? With all that hi-tech gadgetry all we could do was snuff out 400,000 in 5 years? WTF kind of incompetents do we have in our military anyway? The fucking Hutus took out 800,000 Tutsi in like 3 months using machetes. Not only can't white boys jump, they can't conduct a decent genocide either.

Oh and DTL, Iranians aren't exactly what one would call brown people. Hell I'm Polish and am darker than Achmed Armageddonjad.

We all know you're not the brightest light out there but do try and keep up.

jdeeripper said...

downtownlad said...You're wrong Roost the Moon. We've killed 400,000 BROWN people.

Well, Iraq is basically an oven. It's about 120 degrees in the shade so everybody gets cooked brown after a while.

The 400,000 number is obviously rhetorical excess.

When Iraq loses all its oil, gas and water. When it no longer is within missile launch of Israel and no longer shares a rebellious ethnic minority with NATO member Turkey and is no longer just north of the world's biggest oil reserves and no longer borders a nation of 70 million ruled by genocidal anti-semitic religious psychotics THEN the US will pull out.

But not before. See that's the difference between the real world and a US college campus or nutroots convention.

Meade said...

mark said...
"O pechanga, right, because the choice was only between Bush's war and doing nothing. Pathetic."

You're right - pathetic. Because doing nothing was the option Obama offered to "Bush's war."

Meade said...

Read Obama's own words to Katie Couric: "I have no idea..."

The Drill SGT said...

Here again is Maliki's view on whether the war was worth it: (note 100k, not 400k)

SPIEGEL: Mr. Prime Minister, the war and its consequences have cost more than 100,000 lives and caused great suffering in your country. Saddam Hussein and his regime are now part of the past. Was all of this worth the price?

Maliki: The casualties have been and continue to be enormous. But anyone who was familiar with the dictator’s nature and his intentions knows what could have been in store for us instead of this war. Saddam waged wars against Iran and Kuwait, and against Iraqis in the north and south of his own country, wars in which hundreds of thousands died. And he was capable of instigating even more wars. Yes, the casualties are great, but I see our struggle as an enormous effort to avoid other such wars in the future.

William said...

Obama is graceful in his moves and fluent in his language. He really does look handsome and purposeful when he moves across the tarmac. McCain? He is an old man with stiff moves and a baseball cap pulled low across his face. Elections are more about semiotics than position papers. Obama will not win the argument based on his superior judgement of the facts but on his being judged superior in his physical appearance. Ann will not be the first person in the history of the world to have charisma interfere with their reckoning of true north and the way home......Downtownlad: When the agrarian reformers, i.e. Commies, took over in S Vietnam they ethnically cleansed more than one million Chinese from the country. Amerasians were not allowed to enroll in school. Members of the bourgeoise were sent to labor camps to be "re-educated" for the crime of being bourgeoise. A great proportion of them died there--more so than at, for example, Gitmo. These crimes passed unremarked by the left. Do you think that it is possible that their idealogy distorted their judgement?

vbspurs said...

Ann wrote:

McCain would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war.

Yes.

At almost every turn, McCain has shown that he's willing to play a very quixotically honourable game to win the Presidency.

I personally think this is a mistake, that Obama IS vulnerable to criticism and that many Americans are yearning for a credible attack (like anti-Hillary voters wanted someone to go after her, which Obama did successfully).

But McCain won't, or at least, hasn't to date.

It could be that he believed if he went against him very strongly and too early, that journalists would cover Obama's flank for him.

And from what we've seen from Ed Klein, McCain and his staff were right.

Cheers,
Victoria

Alan said...

Steve has Ann figured out. But it's not just Iraq. She's also finding a way to escape her pro-choice brethren. It's the rhetoric. If only they'd acknowledge they're killing babies. If they can't, than the choice must be laid in the hands of the GOP.

Steve Stein said...

P.Rich: It's airbrush time, media style.

So what's your take on CBS's literal airbursh of McCain's interview with Couric? Would any network creatively edit Obama to cover up major misconceptions about Iraq? I don't think so.

MadisonMan said...

When it no longer is within missile launch of Israel

So the withdrawal date is measured in geologic time now? I'm pretty sure Iraq and Israel are on the same crustal plate, so this could be 100s of millions of years.

JAZ said...

Trevor said:

Also in which selective editing of McCain's interview leaves out his dishonest claim that the surge was responsible for the Anbar Awakening.

Hey Trevor how about this for selective editing. The Obambi camp makes much of the fact that the Anbar Awakening started in 2006.

But the Obambi camp fails to explain how Sen Obambi "failed to anticipate" the Anbar Awakening in 2007 if as they say it started in 2006.

Obama says to Couric: "There is no doubt that the extraordinary work of our U.S. forces has contributed to a lessening of the violence, just as making sure that the Sadr militia stood down or the fact that the Sunni tribes decided to flip
and work with us instead of with al-Qaeda - something that we hadn't anticipated happening."

The Sunnis "decided to flip and it was something we didn't anticipate it happening."

Can somebody ask Sen Obambi how and why he missed this very important fact which existed in 2006 BEFORE his votes against the surge in 2007?

Could it be because Sen Obambi was willing to lose the war to win the nomination?

Checkmate and thank you Huffington Post for bringing the timeline to our attention.

Thanks Ann for a great post.

Simon said...

Hey, everyone! I found a photo of Mark and Steve!

Mark said...

Simon, you're usually better than that. Pretty cheap.

Randy said...

Obama is graceful in his moves and fluent in his language. He really does look handsome and purposeful when he moves across the tarmac.

If you avoid TV like I do, you miss out on the former and realize that transcripts demonstrate, time and again, that the latter is simply not true.

integrity said...

What a bunch of liars, morons and frauds.

Iraq is lost and will remain lost. When you have to stay in a country to keep their own people from killing each other, you have LOST!!!

When you have to stay in a country in order to keep Iran from exacting further influence, you have LOST!!!

Ann and Victoria may be two of the biggest morons on the planet, a combined IQ or 50 if they were lucky.

Watching the corrupt establishment folks try to lie their way out of what they did to Iraq and millions of innocent people is breathtaking.

BTW, right-wing female morons like Ann and Victoria can only get away with saying this stuff because it is illegal for sane men to punch them in the face and kick their teeth down their throats.

Ann, as always I continue to meditate that you will receive a brutally nasty comeuppance. Hopefully your flight to my hometown will go down in flames. You are an effing liar!!!

Sean said...

Ann, great post. But I cannot believe you have ever or are now considering for voting for Obama.

This guy is an empty suit.

Sean said...

When you have to stay in a country in order to keep Iran from exacting further influence, you have LOST!!!

By that standard we must have lost World War II.

Why is the left so historically illiterate?

And why do all their arguments eventually degenerate into ad hominem attacks?

Why, it's almost as if they are....unhinged.

Randy said...

BTW, right-wing female morons like Ann and Victoria can only get away with saying this stuff because it is illegal for sane men to punch them in the face and kick their teeth down their throats.

As if further proof was needed about the link between violent misogyny and leftist ideology.

garage mahal said...

It's only July and McCain calls Obama a traitor and implies he's flip flopped on genocide while visiting a holocaust museum. Nope, no desperation there! In one week McCain demonstrated he doesn't know the timeline of the surge, where the countries are located on a map, or who the people are that live there. And foreign policy is his strong suit. Oy.

Mark said...

Integrity, judging by the level of your post, your IQ doesn't seem to be paerticularly high. You are no better than wingnuts. Please stop discrediting people who disagree with this ill-conceived war.

Sean said...

And foreign policy is his strong suit. Oy.

I know, huh? It's about as bad a Obama wanting to bomb Pakistan.

JAZ said...

Hey Garage Mahal it is Obambi who missed the memo on the Anbar Awakening in '06 and '07. It's Obambi who says he only recently realized that the Afghan and Paki border is really, really mountainous.

And this is only the first half of his week abroad. Sheesh!

vbspurs said...

As if further proof was needed about the link between violent misogyny and leftist ideology.

I needed no more further proof than being in Lincoln Rd the other day, and walking past an Obama troupe of about 4 or 5 handing out bumperstickers etc.

When one twenty-something man came up to me, with his cargo pants and knotted up red-hair (an attempt at dreadlocks, I'm guessing), I strangely didn't say "No thanks" and smile as I usually do.

I came out with "Sorry", putting up my hand like a traffic guard (a good 3 feet away from him).

"Don't put your hand in my face, you rich b*tch!!"

He kept going on and on as I walked away, "Your days are numbered, rich b*tch!".

I looked back in horror, noticing no other campaigner (two women included) stopped him from bizarre misogynist rant.

It was scary to see the Obama cult in action, but I'm sure Mrs. Clinton could've told me that.

Cheers,
Victoria

Alan said...

You nailed it, Sean:

"I know, huh? It's about as bad a Obama wanting to bomb Pakistan."

It makes no logical sense to go after al-Qaeda in regions where they have sanctuary.

Sean said...

Great moments in American foreign policy:

“Well let me be absolutely clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s”

Barack Obama
July 22, 2008

Hoosier Daddy said...

Garage I must say its refreshing to see that you have finally come up for air from Hillary's bosum to defend Obama from McCain's vicious attacks.

Why is the left so historically illiterate?

Well considering for most of them history starts from the time they came screaming into the world it's really not hard to guess.

And why do all their arguments eventually degenerate into ad hominem attacks?

Cause it's easier than actually having a thought process.

Sean said...

It makes no logical sense to go after al-Qaeda in regions where they have sanctuary.

No, it doesn't when it is a sovereign country and an ally.

Should the Paks do more in the Northwest provinces? Hell yes.

But as of today, and for the foreseeable future Pakistan is an ally.

That's the kind of nuance one would expect a Harvard grad to understand.

The more nuanced point to the post is that Obama is not-ready-for-prime-time.

Sean said...

Cause it's easier than actually having a thought process.

Thanks Daddy, now I get it. New campaign slogan:

Vote Obama - It's easier than thinking.

I am going to make bank on these bumperstickers.

Randy said...

In one week McCain demonstrated he doesn't know the timeline of the surge, where the countries are located on a map, or who the people are that live there.

As you've so fallen in love with his opponent it's no surprise that you haven't bothered to notice the repeated similar faux pas by your beloved within the past week, including what was either a self-serving distortion or proof of remarkable ignorance of that timeline. Perhaps I missed your outrage over Obama's earlier statements that he would violate Pakistan's territotrial sovereignty in the hunt for bin Laden, and support an undivided Jerusalem, irrespective of the desire of those who reside there.

Your candidate is on the record, BTW, as claiming both that he is the most qualified candidate WRT foreign policy because he lived in Indonesia from age 6 til 10 AND after just over 2 years in the United States Senate:

I'm on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where I serve with a number of Senators who are widely regarded as leading experts on foreign policy -- and I can tell you that I know as much about foreign policy at this point as most of them.

Oy indeed.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Good morning everyone!

McCain's handlers who came up with that line about Obama preferring to win an election over a war are pulling the same stuff that Rove et al pulled in '04. Blah.

As if Obama, if faced with the black-and-white choice between winning the election or "winning" in Iraq (whatever that means), would honestly and unapologetically choose winning the election, without any concern for thousands of lost lives and billions of dollars.

Call Obama out on poor judgment, maybe, but to make it seem as if he deliberately chose to sacrifice American lives and success for his own selfish reasons is deplorable.

Of course, at the same time, the McCain campaign has repeatedly accused Obama of having poor judgment on Iraq already...so which is it?

Once again, the McCain operatives prove how stupid they are by trying to have it both ways. You can't have it both ways. Is he a calculating traitor or a novice with no experience? None of the labels they throw at Obama work because they don't know which one to stick with. Idiots.

chuck b. said...

"I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign."

Were we winning the war before the surge?

Because the surge happened after some Republicans lost political campaigns, right?

Bush was against the surge before he was for it.

Despite criticisms that troop levels were too low for years, the administration carried out a plan that hardly looked like winning.

Obama could counter that Bush only wants to win the war in order to stop losing political campaigns.

But Obama's not campaigning against Bush (or is he?) and I don't know McCain's position on troop levels before the surge.

In the end, only winning matters--whether political campaigns or wars. Many winning sides of both performed poorly in the beginning.

Alan said...

Prolonging and maybe even losing the war in Afghanistan by letting Al-Qaeda have sanctuary in regions of Pakistan makes perfect sense to you? Sorry, that's a RW talking point that illustrates Bush and his RW supporters incompetence.

Randy said...

Alan, it sounds like invading a nation that possesses nuclear weapons, and the capability of sending them great distances, does not concern you in the least.

Sean said...

Call Obama out on poor judgment, maybe, but to make it seem as if he deliberately chose to sacrifice American lives and success for his own selfish reasons is deplorable.

Zach, to be honest, I don't think Obama actually makes the mental connection between his political goals and the life of a 19 year-old infantryman in Helmand province.

To me, he is more full of willing ignorance than outright evil.

And that's really the point. Obama has consistently demonstrated via his public comments that he hasn't thought through the second and third order effects of what he wants to do. That's my issue with him. In the (much ridiculed) phraseology of Donald Rumsfeld, Obama doesn't understand the "known unknowns and the unknown unknowns."

And that, my friend, most definitely impacts the life of a 19 year-old infantryman in Helmand province.

I agree with your general tone here that Obama is taking positions he personally believes are in the best interest of the nation. But every time he opens his mouth, especially on foreign policy issues, he reveals his deep ignorance of how the world actually works.

...and so do his foreign policy advisors.

Trumpit said...

I tend to agree with the concept of winning a war that you start, even one that was begun with malice aforethought, like the Iraq war was. Winning is generally better than losing. Obama, the anti-war candidate, was probably right to oppose the war in the beginning, but wrong to take a defeatist position later. I agree with Ann Althouse 100%. The Vietnam war was just one tragic and notable exception, though. (The Iran-Iraq conflict killed a million people and accomplished squat.) In spite of what Cederford believes, a nuclear war of the future would be a big loser for all of mankind and the planet formerly known as Earth.

Chip Ahoy said...

If Klein has any thing at all to say it should be, "What took so long for McCain to point this out? Is the man off his game or what? Can a man this slow to respond really suitable for POUS?"

Joe Klein, Time(tm) VVV -10.

Althouse, I'm amazed you have the patience to spell it out for the idiot child. Again. You know you'd get farther carefully explaining things to a brick. I'm so tired of having the same conversation and never making progress my impulse now is to ignore.

Sean said...

Prolonging and maybe even losing the war in Afghanistan by letting Al-Qaeda have sanctuary in regions of Pakistan makes perfect sense to you? Sorry, that's a RW talking point that illustrates Bush and his RW supporters incompetence.

That's not what I am saying. But it was your side of the political fence, Alan, that raised holy hell when Nixon was in Cambodia. That was illegal (but arguably necessary) then.

So violating the borders of a sovereign state was illegal then but legal now? Why? Because it's your guy that want to do it?

How consistent.

The point here is that the foreign policy world isn't as simple as Obama has been making it out to be.

And enough with the RW talking point lingo. I don't work for the RNC. Nor does Karl Rove telepathically download daily marching orders into my brain. If it were me I'd cut U.S. Special Forces loose in Pakistan and to hell with what the government of Pakistan wants. But I am not running for President either.

Obama needs to consider the wider impact of his words, and so far, he's demonstrated an inability to do so. That is the point. Foreign policy is not as simple as he seems to think it is.

Randy said...

Zach: It seems to me he's a novice with no experience. That is not a disqualifier for me, but a concern. What is a disqualifier for me (at the moment) is his persistent claims, and apparent belief, that he is neither a novice nor lacks credible experience. That's not a recipe for international success, I fear.

Sean's answers above were particularly apropos, I think.

Sean said...

What is a disqualifier for me (at the moment) is his persistent claims, and apparent belief, that he is neither a novice nor lacks credible experience.

Exactly.

Crimso said...

"It's only July and McCain calls Obama a traitor"

Must have missed that.

"Nope, no desperation there!"

Just as there's no desperation in people repeatedly claiming McCain said something he didn't. Then again, if you're taking fire, you're probably over the target...

Randy said...

Were we winning the war before the surge?

Sure didn't look like it.

Because the surge happened after some Republicans lost political campaigns, right?

True. Because some Republicans lost political campaigns, the surge happened.

Bush was against the surge before he was for it.

You got that right!

Despite criticisms that troop levels were too low for years, the administration carried out a plan that hardly looked like winning.

Many thought it was too late. (I was among those, but I'm obviously not a military strategist.)

Obama could counter that Bush only wants to win the war in order to stop losing political campaigns.

He could try, but that would probably be a tough sell. It might remind more and more people, though, of things Obama said, and predictions he made, in 2006 and 2007 that he'd prefer everyone forget.

But Obama's not campaigning against Bush (or is he?) and I don't know McCain's position on troop levels before the surge.

Of course he is, just like Bush ran against Clinton in 2000.

Roost on the Moon said...

"Obama could counter that Bush only wants to win the war in order to stop losing political campaigns."

That's another udicrous thing about this post.

It didn't take political courage to stand by the war. All of the GOP* candidates did! It was the only path to the nomination. Given that McCain has changed his position on nearly everything else in the run up to this year, political courage is an odd explanation for any of his actions.












*You're going to count Ron Paul?

The Drill SGT said...

A reasonable response from Trumpit.

reminds me of a McCain statement from 2003.

"We're in it, we've got to win it"

Alan said...

Sean, you have me confused with a lefty. Although I wasn't old enough to vote for Nixon, my family supported him. My father even took us to Andrews to wave goodbye when Nixon resigned. When I became old enough to vote I voted Republican. This fall, for the first time in my life I plan to vote for the Democratic ticket. Whether it's the war, economic issues, or social issues the Right has driven me away from the Party.

Pervy Grin said...

Steve said...
McCain was saying that Obama was betraying his country in order to win a presidential campaign. That is what is so scurrilous about his remark and it is a point you completely ignore.


Typical of lefties like Klein and Steve to be outraged about what somewhat said but not deal with the substance of the statement. It's not scurrilous if it's true.

Do you believe Obama and other Democrats who wanted us out of this war are traitors?

I for one believe that most Democrats do want to lose the war for several reasons: 1)Because it was Bush's idea; 2) Because they feel more allegiance to the "Global Village" than to the USA and think that losing the war would be good for the GV; and 3) Because if we lost, we would be less likely to try something like that again. Does that make them traitors? Depends what the definition of "traitor" is. I don't think they actually want to destroy the USA, but they really do not mind if we are seriously injured, as long as it furthers their larger goals.

Blue Texan said...

The point is that Obama's judgment would have led this country to jump headlong into defeat.

One, that's totally unknowable, and two, just what exactly have we "won"?

exhelodrvr1 said...

How many times have those on the left, including their highest-ranking leaders, claimed that this was a war which was aimed at personal financial gain for the Republican leadership and their friends (via oil)? Where was Klein when those statements were made?

Sloanasaurus said...

People need to start questioning Obama's judgment about Afghanistan. Obama's track record is one of poor judgment. Now Obama wants to increase troops in Afghanistan. He said he wants a surge there. He is really doing this to distinguish himself from Bush and Mccain. However, Obama is sorely mistaken about Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a different place. Unlike Iraq, Afghanistan really does have the potential to become another Vietnam. The idigenous population there is so poor, they will never be able to fend off funded terrorist groups. Afghanistan has no natural resources to help them combat terrorism on any strategic level. There is no port there for us to rely on for supplying any large troop presence. Afghanistan is bordered by great powers (Russia/China) who are not or never will be our allies.

Our strategy in Afghanistan should be to keep Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups from reconstituting. Increasing troop levels there will only make things worse.

Dewave said...

I think the phrase "in order to" implies that Obama opposed the surge because he wanted a bad outcome in Iraq.

You fail at reading then. It implies Obama opposed the surge because it was politically popular to do so, and supporting the surge would have turned his loony anti-American base against him.

And this is a completely accurate statement, and a very strong indictment of Obama's shockingly poor judgment in the matter. No wonder Klein and the rest of the shamelessly biased and in the tank for Obama media is shrilly screeching about it in the attempts that McCain will stop using it.

Obama has worse judgment even than Bush: it took Bush far too long to implement the surge, but at least he finally did. Obama didn't even get that right.

Randy said...

Hard Questions for Seantor Obama:

1. Why does Senator Obama advocate a surge of troops in Afghanistan though he considers a surge of troops in Iraq to have been a mistake?

2. Why is a stable Afghanistan crucial to US interests while a stable Iraq is not?

3. How long does Senator Obama expect to keep troops in Afghanistan?

4. Why is an open-ended commitment in Afghanistan manageable while the same in Iraq is not?

5. How much does Senator Obama expect to spend rebuilding Afghanistan?

6. Why is rebuilding Afghanistan affordable while rebuilding Iraq is not?

7. Why does Senator Obama consider the ethno-sectarian issues in Iraq to be nearly intractable while in Afghanistan they are something we can overcome?

8. If leaving Iraq will make the Iraqi government behave more responsibly, how will an increased presence in Afghanistan affect the Afghan government?

9. Why does Senator Obama advocate a "surge in diplomacy" and multilateralism in Iraq while simultaneously advocating unilateral action in the Pakistani tribal areas?

10. How large of a "residual force" will be left in Iraq and for how long?

Crimso said...

"One, that's totally unknowable"

We could construct computer models and make predictions about how things would have stood in the year 2100. If you (not necessarily you personally, Blue Texan) believe in the approach for climate, certainly it could be done with Iraq.

Paddy O. said...

This fall, for the first time in my life I plan to vote for the Democratic ticket. Whether it's the war, economic issues, or social issues the Right has driven me away from the Party.

Really? This Fall? For the first time? Is that because of some curious about face Republicans have made on the war, economic issues, and social issues in the last 4 years?

I can understand being dissatisfied with the leadership over the last years, but can't see anything that would be a sudden change that makes you switch this time around.

You made it through the whole Christian Right led by Falwell scene and the war in Iraq part 1 in 1991 and the four years of Bush's first administration in total agreement but the changing landscape has forced you to see that while you supported all of those the Party of those things in the past it's now the Democrats who better represent your political leanings?

Wasn't there a web push some time ago suggesting people make a big deal about saying "I never voted Democrat before, but I am now"?

dualdiagnosis said...

Amazing how short the memories are, does anybody remember when the left hailed the insurgents and the forces fighting the US in Iraq as just like our Minutemen?

They were hailed as righteous patriots that were fighting the Great Satan's Imperialism and protecting the citizens of Iraq from genocide against "the brown people".

The party that chose to portray us as the enemy must be kept out of leadership in this country.

K T Cat said...

Great post, Ann. Now I have a question for Joe Klein and the foaming-at-the-mouth Obamamaniacs in the MSM.

Are you secure, stable and sustainable? Looking at your hysterical reactions and then at your recent financial statements, I'd have to say, "No."

EDH said...

Ann,

It's just this war and that lying son of a bitch, Johnson! I would never hurt you. You know that.

Randy said...

I saw this story and the thought occurred to me that a number of people around here may need once again to revise and extend their prior comments here and elsewhere:

Obama says nuclear Iran poses "grave threat"

Obama told reporters during a visit to Israel that if elected, he would take "no options off the table" in dealing with the Iran issue and said tougher sanctions could be imposed.
(Emphasis added)

davod said...

I apologize if someone has alredy made this commet but I did not want to read all 100 comments.

Th more important part of the Couric video is where Obama basically says they needed to set themselves apart from the Bush policy and that is why he opposed the surge.

Pure politics.

Off topic but relevant. He has just told the Israelis he believes in one Jerusalem (Just like he told AIPAC). Just wait until he gets to the Arabs.

P. Rich said...

SS said: Would any network creatively edit Obama to cover up major misconceptions about Iraq? I don't think so.

Greater media coverage of Obama is creative editing, writ large in the selective omissions and comissions, with fawning editorials thrown in for flavor. Perhaps you live so far on the left that the NYT looks like an evil conservative tool.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Afghanistan is a different place. Unlike Iraq, Afghanistan really does have the potential to become another Vietnam

Afghanistan broke the back of Russia and they didn't have to go halfway around to world to be defeated.

Initially Soviet deployment of the 40th Army in Afghanistan began on August 7, 1978. The final troop withdrawal began on May 15, 1988, and ended on February 15, 1989. Due to the interminable and inconclusive nature of the war, the conflict in Afghanistan has often been referred to as the Soviet equivalent of the United States' Vietnam War.

If Obama thinks he can accomplish, without the will of the people, what the totalitarian government of Russia could not, he is even more delusional than we fear.

Trevor Jackson said...

Why do you want us to lose in Afghanistan, DBQ?

Sean said...

Wow, even the WaPo throws the BS flag on Obama today.

Yet Mr. Obama's account of his strategic vision remains eccentric. He insists that Afghanistan is "the central front" for the United States, along with the border areas of Pakistan. But there are no known al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan, and any additional U.S. forces sent there would not be able to operate in the Pakistani territories where Osama bin Laden is headquartered. While the United States has an interest in preventing the resurgence of the Afghan Taliban, the country's strategic importance pales beside that of Iraq, which lies at the geopolitical center of the Middle East and contains some of the world's largest oil reserves. If Mr. Obama's antiwar stance has blinded him to those realities, that could prove far more debilitating to him as president than any particular timetable.

To paraphrase Bill S. Preston, Esq., "Strange things are afoot at the WaPo."

engineer said...

Arguing current Iraq is a mess is meaningless without considering pre-war Iraq. Saddam's secret police were killing tens of thousands a year to keep him in power. Sanctions were killing tens of thousands of kids a year since Saddam's government was hijacking the medical supplies. Saddam was still selling oil on the black market and using it to bribe UN, French, British, and Russian officials. Saddam had an active ballistic missile promised and told his interrogators that he planned to restart the full range of the WMD programs as soon as sanctions would be lifted. Saddam was subsidizing international terrorism (bonusses for martyrs) and training a wide range of terrorists within Iraq.

Today's Iraq is groping toward a democracy, is friendly to the US, has a far lower level of internal bloodshed than in Saddam's day, and will be opening up its oil reserves to western development and expansion that will eventually boost production.

fred said...

I am not at all sure what all this posturing is about. What was the point of the surge? To send enough troops to stabilize things till Iraq miliary ready to replace Americans and take over. If the surge has indeed worked, then get the hell out of Iraq and go to Afghanistan, where troops are needed.
McCain: stay till things ok "on the ground." What does that mean? Stay and stay.
And Obama then gets charged with trying to use his own judgement about things rather than listening to and taking advice from the Military. Well that is what Lincoln did and won the Civil War. That is what Truman did when he told McCarthur to buzz off and we were not bombing China.

The war is won when there is political settlement and stabilioty and infrastruce gets back and two million refugees return.
Now I can not speak for you, but a war that is not going anywhere and has put us into major deficit and with no real end in sight is not what we ought to be doing or what the Am public wants. I would tell my sons to leave their country rather than fight for this war based on Bush madness. I want us to win in poppy-ridden Afghanistan,where the Taliban has made major return.

garage mahal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
slarrow said...

Just a point of clarification for those who claim that this "scurrilous" remark is to accuse Obama of being a traitor: in making his statement, McCain doesn't have to be understood as saying that Obama necessarily is trying to lose the war. A more generous reading (and, I think, the correct one) is that Obama's love of country (which does exist) is less strong than his love of his own political fortunes. McCain is strongly stating that love of country is first for him but that he doesn't think it occupies first place in Obama's worldview.

I frankly think this is always a legitimate question when it comes to political leaders; that is, it shouldn't be assumed that love of country is "always" first and that it's disgraceful to even ask the question. People don't seem to have any problem believing that CEOs (or heads of nonprofits, these days) will put their own benefit and perks ahead of those they serve. Do we really think politicians are more upright as a class?(Besides, people have no problem thinking President Bush fought a war to make his astronomically rich oil buddies even richer. People are clearly used to thinking in those terms; is this simply a case of whose ox is being gored?)

garage mahal said...

Randy
I've not once praised or defended Obama, ever. He's not my beloved, or my candidate. I will probably vote Bob Barr if he's on the ballot here in Wisc. But concern noted!

Joe Klein is village royalty, the fact that he isn't falling for McCain's wink and smile after ridiculous statements and guffaws is pretty remarkable though. McCain is lucky nobody in the press was paying any attention to him after that two week stretch he had.

mschaff said...

Democrats do not care about war, peace, lives, policy or anything else for that matter.

It's about party, power and expanding public dependency to perpetuate their power.

Their principles shift according to the necessities of acquiring power.

Simple.

engineer said...

How and why we stay is important. The current plan is to draw down to 2-3 brigades on "strategic overwatch" and keep training formations in country. The residual force is essentially to make sure that any invasion of Iraq means war with USA, the same as we did in Korea, Germany, or Japan fifty plus years ago to deter another fight where we had already fought and spilled blood once. Its also there to keep a lid on violence in the country, train the Iraqi military, and chase out any AQI that try to destabilize the government. McCain buys into that, Obama wants to get everyone out as soon as he can.

Alan said...

Yeah, Paddy O, I'm a seminar caller.

P. Rich said...

Randy

Excellent, well-thought-out set of questions. Responses from Obama, his legion of handlers, his wide-eyed adoring worshippers or liberal media supporters will, I suspect, not be forthcoming any time in the immediate millenium.

zefal said...

Maliki qualified his timeline based on continued improving conditions. If Obama's timeline is set in stone, which it is, then it's is just a campaign ploy meant to appeal to red diaper babies like Klein.

So the question Obama needs to be asked is if his timeline could change based on conditions in Iraq.

If he says "yes" then there's no point for him to set such a rigid timeline in the first place.

If he says "no" it will show everyone what his motivation is: that it has everthing to do with electioneering and nothing to do about the welfare of Iraq.

Randy said...

Garage: Point taken. Apologies for mistaking you for someone else.

Engineer: Obama wants to get everyone out as soon as he can.

as soon as he can leaves him plenty of wriggle room to basically follow the same route as McCain while keeping the true blue believers convinced that once he is elected, everyone really will be out in 16 months no matter what.

P. Rich: Yes, they are, aren't they? Wish I'd thought of most of them myself.

Crimso said...

"If the surge has indeed worked"

I would maintain that it is still too early to say "worked," but that it does appear to be working.

"And Obama then gets charged with trying to use his own judgement about things rather than listening to and taking advice from the Military. Well that is what Lincoln did and won the Civil War."

Lincoln and Grant differed on how to bring the war to its conclusion. Grant got his way. Lincoln very graciously admitted that Grant was right and he was wrong. I doubt Obama would have done so.

"I would tell my sons to leave their country rather than fight for this war based on Bush madness."

Bush haters keep forgetting (or never knew to begin with) that Congress gave Bush the go-ahead. There appears to be a great deal of confusion on such issues, as I actually heard John Kerry back in 2004 refer to Viet Nam as "Nixon's war." One would suspect that he knew better, and was lying to fool the rubes.

Original Mike said...

I find Obama's claim of superior judgement deeply ironic. It's premised, of course, on his (riskless) opposition to entering Iraq. His claim is, at best, arguable. As Obama himself pointed out the other day, we don't get to rerun history to see what would have happened on the road not taken. It looks like (knock on wood) that we are going to emerge with a Democratic Iraq as opposed to a dangerous dictatorship run by Saddam, so it is at best, arguable, that we would have been better off without this war.

Less arguable is the poor judgement he displayed in arguing for retreat rather than the surge. (mind you, I'm not claiming my judgement was any better, but I'm not the guy running for President or claiming superior judgement.)

And most troubling of all, IMO, is his apparent need to compensate by proposing to send more troops into Afghanistan. Maybe this can be done to good effect, but as has been pointed out upthread, the Russian experience highlights the danger of this strategy. I fear his real motive is to demonstrate his toughness.

All things considered, I don't buy his claim of possessing good judgement. I see the reverse.

MadisonMan said...

Democrats do not care about ...

You're being unnecessarily specific.

The Drill SGT said...

Sean said...To paraphrase Bill S. Preston, Esq., "Strange things are afoot at the WaPo."

The WaPo isn't the leftist tabloid that the NYT has turned into.

Though the news sections are reliably liberal, the editorials are much closer to a balance. They savaged Obama over reneging on Campaign Finance for example and it would not surprise me if they wrote a pro-surge editorial. They certainly pointed out a number of times that the Dems were in denial over the surge success.

Liberal, but adults, not complete idiots.

another good quote from the piece: What if Gen. Petraeus and Iraqi leaders are right that this goal is not consistent with a 16-month timetable? Will Iraq be written off because Mr. Obama does not consider it important enough -- or will the strategy be altered?

Michael McNeil said...

MadisonMan said:
I'm pretty sure Iraq and Israel are on the same crustal plate, so this could be 100s of millions of years.

Iran and Israel are not on the same geological plate. The same geologic rift — the East African Rift — which has riven the Arabian peninsula from Africa (which it was once part of), runs right up the Gulf of Aqaba, Wadi al-'Arabah separating Israel from Jordan, the Dead Sea, Jordan River, and the Sea of Galilee. Another plate boundary separates Arabia from Iran.

engineer said...

Looking at recent history, I think the US forces in Japan, Korea, and western Europe have been mutually beneficial in keeping the peace. In Korea, we pulled out after WW2 and saw the DPRK roll in. In Vietnam, we rationalized not abiding by the Paris Peace Accords because the Saigon government was corrupt and abandoned South Vietnam to an aggressive neighbor. In the Philippines, we pulled out over a period of several years and helped keep things from blowing up a couple of times while the people sorted things out.

One might hope that an Obama administration might follow the Philippine example where withdrawal is prudential, but my personal estimate is Iraqi policy would look more like Vietnam from 1973 to 1975. Remember also, that we didn't finally commit to leave the Philippines until a volcano exploded and devastated Clark Field.

JBlog said...

"A war started over lies."

Source, please.

A real source, actually -- not some psycho-leftwing-nutjob Romper Room Web site.

Please point to a reliable, verifiable, legitimate source that logically concludes and proves the administration deliberately misled anyone.

Thanks.

Simon said...

Mark said...
"Simon, you're usually better than that. Pretty cheap."

You can't ask the reply to pay more than the comment is worth, Mark, and when your comment is just cookie-cuttetr anti-althousiana, what can you expect? "Althouse has been extremely unfair to Obama"? I must have missed that while reading a bunch of posts where - at least in my own opinion - she pushed the limits of reason in order to rationalize things Obama has done. I respectfully disagree with Ann's apparent take on Obama, but the idea that she is somehow dealing under the table against him is patently absurd.

Michael McNeil said...

I suggest that “Integrity” needs banning.

Eli Blake said...

It's not just a matter of this particular attack.

As I wrote elsewhere this morning,

Pay attention to the candidates for a week. One of them is laying out ideas and plans for the future, talking about what needs to be done both in America and around the world and what he will do.

The other candidate is mainly talking about his opponent....

while Senator Obama has refrained from more than a passing mention of Senator McCain most of the time, he certainly has surrogates (as does McCain) out there doing the job for him. The difference is that it is ununsual for the candidate himself to get out in front on this issue.

It also says volumes about McCain's lack of anything meaningful to say. His plans for the economy and continuing to stay in Iraq are virtually the same as George Bush's, a President who if he were running today would lose in a landslide. He's praised Bush's Supreme Court appointments and said he would appoint the same kind of judges. I wrote a post three months ago pointing out that McCain's website never even mentions the words "social security" one time. I went back there the other day and it still doesn't. The man is devoid of new ideas, other than to continue the present path of the Bush administration on virtually everything. So I understand why he doesn't want to talk about any of that, so what's left is to attack Obama.


McCain is attacking Obama because he really has nothing else to run on.

Sloanasaurus said...

If the surge has indeed worked, then get the hell out of Iraq and go to Afghanistan, where troops are needed.

The surge wasn't just about more troops, it was a complete change in strategy. Sending more troops to Afghanistan without a purpose will do nothing but get the troops killed.

Afghanistan is a wholly different problem than Iraq. Iraq has always had the potential to stand up on its own to be a force for both stability and good in the world. It has both the natural resources and the people resources to accomplish that. On the other hand Iraq has the potential to be very deadly. It is much more important strategically than Afghanistan.

Afghanistan does not have such potential, at least not for many decades. We need to be realistic about what we can accomplish in Afghanistan. Our goal should be to maintain a large enough presence there to keep the terrorists and the Taliban from taking any strategic power in the region. That means we need to have a small presence there for decades.

OldGrouchy said...

Katie is being booted out of the MSM Corps and the video of her two infamous interviews is being sent to the scrap heap.

Mary Mapes said it ever so aptly of Katie: "J'accuse!" The rest is phony baloney history!

OldGrouchy said...

Only one campaign has ever successfully worked in Afghanistan and that was over 2300-years ago. Alexandria didn't stick around long enough to make that conquest long lastly either.

Another much more valid point is that neither Joe Klein nor Barry Obama have a clue about which they speak. However, Obama's lack is much more frightening as we can always completely ignore that Klein bum whereas we ignore Obama at our peril.

Brad Williams said...

"It’s been my understanding that Obama has wanted to leave Iraq in a responsible manner. ... Not to win or lose, but to get out - again, responsibly."

Wars are won or lost. Therefore, "getting out" is just a euphemism for choosing defeat -- which is, therefore, what Obama has called for, to an enthusiastic audience on the left. This is the fact McCain has identified.

RJ said...

Klein's outrage is quite understandable. As in most religions, criticism of the messiah is considered blasphemy. Even if it's true. Scratch that - *especially* if it's true.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Maybe this can be done to good effect, but as has been pointed out upthread, the Russian experience highlights the danger of this strategy.

It was my understanding that one the main reasons for the Soviet failure in Afghanistan was that they had basically zero expertise in counter-insuregency warfare and insisted on fighting the mujahadeen as if they were conventional NATO troops.

That being said, I have little hope that Afghanistan will emerge as a stable country in this century or even the next one. When a 'nation' still consists of tribes whose culture and social structure is essentially indistinguishable from the 15th century I doubt we can instill much sophistication. I think the best we can do is essentially pick the stronger of the lot and keep them on the payroll.

In my alternate universe I'd just take off and nuke the site from orbit.

Michael McNeil said...

Blogger William said:
Obama is graceful in his moves and fluent in his language. He really does look handsome and purposeful when he moves across the tarmac. McCain? He is an old man with stiff moves and a baseball cap pulled low across his face. Elections are more about semiotics than position papers. Obama will not win the argument based on his superior judgement of the facts but on his being judged superior in his physical appearance. Ann will not be the first person in the history of the world to have charisma interfere with their reckoning of true north and the way home......

During the really old days (the early medieval Franks, say, or Viking age Scandinavia), kings were expected to be perfect in form, as well as bad-ass warriors — to such an extent that if a warrior-king were to be disfigured or maimed (however successful in battle), he was considered no longer fit for office.

Considering that McCain’s “stiff moves” derive from just such battle wounds — not to speak of enemy torture — it’s nice to know that so many Americans have arrived at an equivalent level of political sophistication as illiterate medieval Viking peasants.

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

A real source, actually -- not some psycho-leftwing-nutjob Romper Room Web site.

Perhaps, to save time, you could write down a list of acceptable websites.

Shan said...

Both candidates are half right:

McCain was wrong to support the war, correct in backing the surge.

Obama was correct in not wanting to go to war in the first place, but wrong to not back the surge.

If you're making decisions just on this, how do you choose one over the other? They're both wrong (and right) half the time.

Original Mike said...

Hoosier. Be quiet! Those orbital nukes are a secret!

Shan said...

I'll also add that you don't really address Klein's claim that this is unpresidential.

McCain said that Obama would lose the war to win the election. This is an accusation of treason, isn't it?

By this post, you are defending that statement (what you call "McCain's solid point"); is that what you really believe?

If so, can we finally put to rest claims of your "cruel nuetrality?"

vbspurs said...

McCain was wrong to support the war, correct in backing the surge.

With faulty premises, you get faulty conclusions.

How about this?

McCain supported the war. It became chaotic. He then supported the surge, which stabilised Iraq.

Obama didn't support the war, though he wasn't a Senator at the time. It became chaotic. He then didn't support the surge, which stabilised Iraq.

Taking away the judgementalism from each of the premises, you then get to be judgemental in one's conclusions:

Do you (A) prefer the guy who supported his country's efforts to go to war, and when he saw it wasn't doing well, didn't back off, but instead doubled-down, and supported a solution -- which was successful?

Or (B) do you prefer a guy who didn't support his country's efforts to go to war, and when he saw it wasn't going well, decided the best course was giving up the fight, which would've assured defeat?

Cheers,
Victoria

Simon said...

Shan, that assumes a dubious premise: that McCain was wrong to support the war. If one thinks that he was right to support the war, and that problems that have arisen come from an incompetent administration rather than inhering in the war enterprise, Obama was wrong twice and McCain was right twice.

vbspurs said...

Simon said what I said, only quicker and clearer.

Korla said...

Ann, you're exceptionally intelligent. And you know the facts. You also know how much is at stake in who gets elected, and what an empty suit Obama is. I'm no fan of McCain, but what logical reason could there possibly be to vote for Obama? It would be a disaster. Do you have any insights into anything he actually stands for (for real) that you agree with?

Richard Dolan said...

Ann's post is a Rorhschach test, dividing those who will definitely vote for McCain vs. Team O. (Count me as a member of the McC team.) Those in this thread who take umbrage at McC's remarks won't vote for him, and probably have never voted for the Rep team. Those who think McC understated the matter would never have voted for Team O, and probably have never voted for the Dem team.

So it worked perfectly, and how people reacted to Ann's take-down of Klein will correlate closely with how they eventually vote. Except, that is, for the test's author who writes one way but (apparently) is still leaning the other. Go figure. Performance art can be quite mysterious at times.

rightwingprof said...

"Please keep us informed on that unfortunate emotional condition. Would flowers help?"

Now that's funny. I estimate that there is about a zero percent chance that I will vote for Obama. Of course, that could change if he disavows all of the old, tired 70s socialism that is the whole of his platform, and convinces me that he is sincere, and not just trying to get votes.

Fen said...

What was the point of the surge? To send enough troops to stabilize things till Iraq miliary ready to replace Americans and take over.

For starters, people who think the surge was just about sending in more troops don't really understand the topic...

If the surge has indeed worked, then get the hell out of Iraq and go to Afghanistan, where troops are needed.

... and fail to understand that Afganistan is a rally point for AQ, having been driven out of Iraq.

No doubt, if Afganistan is stabilized and AQ is driven into Pakistani sanctuaries, these same people will be clamouring for us to abandon Afganistan and invade Pakistan. Then back into Iraq if we defeat them in Pakistan...

At least we get to preview the Left's "plan" to marginalize radical Islam - Wack a Mole.

Original Mike said...

Ann, you're exceptionally intelligent. And you know the facts ... what logical reason could there possibly be to vote for Obama?

My guess is that Ann's head says McCain. Her heart says Obama.

Scott Colom said...

I think you missed the point on this one. My issue with McCain's statement is it assumes Obama said the surge wouldn't work for purely political reasons. As if he really thought the surge would work but decided to say it wouldn't because he wanted to win the nomination or the presidency. This is pure baseless political speculation. McCain knows that many people, including Republicans and people in the military, thought the surge would not work. Obama almost surely really believed the surge would not work, just as McCain believed it would. History has proved Obama wrong and McCain deserves credit for risking his political future on this point. But to suggest Obama is less patriotic for being wrong is unfair and plain untrue. Klein's right, McCain must have been desperate to go to this level. It's probably, unfortunately, a sign of bad things to come from the Republicans.

fcai said...

Using your heart to make decisions is about as effective as using your brain to pump blood.

How any logical, educated, sentient human being could think that Obama would make a good president is beyond all reason. He is not qualified for the job he is currently ducking.

gurbach said...

Afghanistan has no oil. Let the EU fight that war. We should worry about protecting the flow of oil from ME, and such silly things as global economy.

Its scurrilous that no one is addressing the obvious national interest associated with Iraq and the golf oil.

Fen said...

But to suggest Obama is less patriotic for being wrong is unfair and plain untrue.

Funny, because the Left has always insisted that Bush wasn't just wrong about WMDs - they insist he deliberately lied. And they continue to peddle that myth.

Now, back to your strawman: the point isn't whether Obama was wrong about the surge, its about wehether he opposed it on purely political grounds. And it underscores the pattern and history of the Left in this country: party trumps nation, power at any cost.

The Drill SGT said...

Victoria said...Obama didn't support the war, though he wasn't a Senator at the time. It became chaotic. He then didn't support the surge, which stabilised Iraq.

Victoria, you missed the time in 2004, when Kerry was running and Obama flipped to pro-war, covering for Kerry. Here is a quote, I think there is MTP video as wll:

“On Iraq, on paper, there's not as much difference, I think, between the Bush administration and a Kerry administration as there would have been a year ago. […] There's not much of a difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage. The difference, in my mind, is who's in a position to execute.”

— Chicago Tribune, 07/27/04


That statement would tend in my mind to negate the points Obama wants to put on the board for being right in not wanting to go to war. He was anti-war when he wanted to appeal to Chicago anti-war types (2002),pro-war when it was a state-wide office and the war went well, then anti-war when things turned bad and he needed the democrat left again, now he straddles again, reaching for the middle as the war looks better.

so which came first, does he vacilate because of the audience or waffle because of the changing chance of victory?

The Drill SGT said...

Scott said...History has proved Obama wrong and McCain deserves credit for risking his political future on this point. But to suggest Obama is less patriotic for being wrong is unfair and plain untrue.

OK, follow this logic.

1. Can we agree that there is some portion of the electorate that is afflicted with BDS and also thinks that America is the biggest threat to world peace, needs to be brought down a peg, etc, etc... think "Code Pink"

2. Can we agree that those folks are on the Left of the spectrum for the most part and power to some extent the "NetRoots" of the Democratic party?

3. Would you agree that folks who want the US to be defeated in war are unpatriotic?

4. Are they Obama's natural core constituency? after all, can you envision any one of those folks voting for a guy like McCain?

5. Are they the folks that Obama has had to make nice with for the last 15 years to win successive offices, from Dohrn and Ayers in 1995 to Kos today?

6. Is it possible that Obama shares these views?

vbspurs said...

Wow, Drill SGT. That quote merits more exploration. Thanks!

D said...

Please, the liberal media AND Barry Obama wanted us to lose this war. The thing is they believed it would have been better for us to lose it. Better for them. Better for the country. Better for the world. It's not that they are unpatriotic. It's that they have a very warped view of patriotism - they love America the way they want it to be, not the way it is. And if that means losing a war, fine with them.

Darren Duvall said...

Let the EU fight that war"

Right. They'll scrape a few guys off flag corps duty and get right back to you.

The EU does not fight wars, there are more US Marines than there are soldiers in any European army. They should do what they do well, which is to talk and make pastries.

'Tis a shame, there was a point in time where telling a commander that they were getting a battalion of armed Germans meant something other than all the paperwork being properly filled out. I'm sure they'd do a good job if they were ever allowed to unshoulder their arms, but that is apparently politically impossible for the modern EU.

Scott Colom said...

Drill Sgt:

I disagree with most of your points and, furthermore, don't think they logically connect to each other.

1. There are probably a small portion of Americans that believe America is the biggest threat to world peace. There is also a small portion that believes Elvis is alive. I disagree with both groups.

2. This small group of Americans may or may not be on the left side of the political spectrum. I’ll agree that this is the perception. Yet, I don’t know why you would say they are the “NetRoots” of the party. MoveOn is stereotypically considered the “NetRoots” of the Democratic Party and in no way do I believe they want us to lose in Iraq. They strongly disagree with Bush’s foreign policy, but that in no way makes them unpatriotic.

3. Yes, anyone who wants us to lose in war is unpatriotic.

4. No. Because a group is more likely—a point that could be disputed—to support Obama doesn’t mean they are his core constituency. Some would probably say people homophobic are more likely to vote for McCain, does that mean they are his base?

5. Obama has had to make nice with a lot of people to win the Democratic Nomination, including, take a deep breath, Republicans!

6. There’s nothing to support that.

Also, my friend, Vikas, pointed out that McCain was running in the Republican primary when he supported the surge, and all the other Republican candidates supported the surge. Supporting the surge most have been popular with Republican votes, so why do we assume McCain was not doing this to gain their support and the nomination.

purpleslog said...

"The basis of this strategy was the doctrine written by General Petreaus and a Marine 3 star (whose name escapes me)."

The would Be James Mattis. He is now Commander of the US Joint Forces Command.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_N._Mattis

Blue Texan said...

1. Can we agree that there is some portion of the electorate that is afflicted with BDS...

Bush has a 26% approval rating. So that's a pretty big hunk of the electorate.

OldGrouchy said...

TDS: Just for the record, I agree with each of your six points. Go Army.

Also, the Joe Klein's of this country are the ones who. whether they say it or not, want this country to lose. They are still trying to emulate the moral defeat and actual they caused back during Vietnam. That's when people like Uncle Walter Cronkite intentionally distorted the reports from the war zone into tales of our military's defeats or misbehaviors. We certainly had problems with idiots like Lt. Calley and his captain but in no way did we militarily lose that war. It was the Democrat controlled congress after 1974 and the Democrat presidency of LBJ and his sycophants that caused this country to lose.

Yes, Joe Klein is acting in a scurrilous manner and not simply because of his misstatements about Johnny Mac but because of his being part of a group of people who are trying, intentionally or not, to bring down this society.

The 2008 election is IMHO a watershed year, one that will make or break our society. However, I do not accept that they will succeed in tearing down our societal norms this time.

section9 said...

Look folks, take it from a Republican, the only reason why Obama and the Defeatocrats wanted to lose in '06 was because Bush and the Rethuglicans were in power.

Trust me about this: put a Democrat in the White House and Liberals in power, and you'll have two things.

1. The Draft, eventually, masquerading as "National Service".

2. "Expeditionary Human Rights Campaigns" that will just so happen to coincide with the financial interests of major Democratic Party Campaign Contributors.

Why should the Republicans get to play the Halliburton game? There are plenty of Billionaire Democrats.

Liberal Democrats with power become Progressive, statist, and militaristic. Eventually, they figure out that it's nice to Organize the Masses. Wilson and Roosevelt both did this. Wilson used much more fascistic methods (such as the American Protective Leagues, for example), while Roosevelt used guile and manipulation, backed up by force and extraconstitutional methods (all those Nisei locked up in Manzanar).

The bottom line for liberals is this: war and the waging of it is fine as long as it's conducted by liberals. Democrats have no problem with war as long as it's being conducted by one of them: they have skin in the game that way. That's what no one here gets.

If the Iranians say, sink an American carrier during the Barack Administration, Obambi will unleash unholy, unshirted hell on them. Indeed, he will use atomic weapons. You heard it here first.

And the Left will cheer him on, simply because they have political skin in the game. People like downtownlad and Frederson will be the first to buy War Bonds. Keith Olbermann and Joe Klein will praise The One's towering war leadership, and urge people to volunteer to Serve.

Remember, Liberals are only Peace Activists when a Republican is in power. Follow that rule, and you will understand how Obama exercises power.

vbspurs said...

they love America the way they want it to be, not the way it is.

Yes, I'm going to be blogging about this kind of patriotism in the coming days.

For me, the thing with Iraq and liberals is that "Bush" cannot be seen to have been right, even a little, in liberating Iraq.

I use scare quotes because of their demonisation of the man, rather than concentrating on the administration. They hate him, especially, because he and others like him stand in the way of the America they want.

Politics, to ideologues of both left and right, is a zero-sum game.

You win. I lose.

And since the surge is working, in their warped minds this equates to Bush is winning.

Actually, Iraq is winning. Given the geopolitical goals we have in the region, that means we all are winning.

It's frightening that people can't acknowledge that.

Cheers,
Victoria

Randy said...

It's frightening that people can't acknowledge that.

That is not a personality trait unique to partisan liberal Democrats. Ample evidence exists that partisan conservative Republicans have the same problem when someone mentions either Clinton.

Andre said...

So the surge has reduced violence to the levels it was in what, 2004? What were we hearing in 2004? Oh yeah, the Freedman unit that in another 6 months, things would get better. Were we declaring victory?

The only reason the surge is "working" is becasue we are still surging. The drawdown of troops will result in more troops being in Iraq than before the surge. The only true measure of success is what happens after we leave, which is why the supporters of the surge/escalation/what have you, are in no hurry to see that happen.

You can claim to have stemmed the flood by keeping your finger in the dyke, but that's a long way from having fixed the problem.

vbspurs said...

Ample evidence exists that partisan conservative Republicans have the same problem when someone mentions either Clinton.

Randy, I concur.

But when Clinton decided to bomb Dar-Es-Salam, or to go into Bosnia, I don't think many Conservatives burnt the US flag, spat on troops, and stopped supporting their country.

That is the difference.

Cheers,
Victoria

Sloanasaurus said...

So the surge has reduced violence to the levels it was in what, 2004? What were we hearing in 2004? Oh yeah, the Freedman unit that in another 6 months, things would get better. Were we declaring victory?

You obviously aren't paying attention. At some point liberals like yourself will be forced to recognize that we have won the war. And that going into Iraq and winning has made the world far safer than leaving Saddam in Iraq with $140 oil.

The only true measure of success is what happens after we leave, which is why the supporters of the surge/escalation/what have you, are in no hurry to see that happen.

I guess we are still waiting to measure success in Germany and Japan. Dope.

Sloanasaurus said...

1. The Draft, eventually, masquerading as "National Service".

You make a good point Section. IN fact Obama has been trying to make the case that we need to come together as we did during World War II to solve domestic Crises like health care, poverty, etc.. Obama is arguing for a permanent war economy - full collectivsm/fascism all in the name of Yes "we" can.

It's sickening. Obama has never understood the concept of the founding - individual liberty.

One thing Bush never did was to demand service to the government from the people at the moment of crisis. In that respect, Bush waged a conservative war.

michaelbuddy said...

I don't understand why McCain got the military montage in his interview? Looked pretty uneven. I mean let's overlay what he's saying with some shots of the military, and pictures of him with petreus. Let's put obama in some sort of temple / church isolated. What exactly is the point? Or was it that the interview with McCain was cut up? I heard it was, and CBS covered up some mistakes. Pretty sad. Fact is, we can't afford the war, gas prices are higher, economy shows possibility of tanking and tax payers are now paying to bail out the companies that they've been paying all along. And the new bailout has a little add-in where IRS will monitor all credit card purchases. Yeah I think I have no respect for any of the establishment. To hell with them.

JBlog said...

"Perhaps, to save time, you could write down a list of acceptable websites."

The fact that I would have to explain to you what constitutes a legitimate source says a lot all by itself.

But specifically, I would expect something that represents a comprehensive investigation and review of all the facts, written by named and known authorities who are actually accountable for what they wrote.

Something along the lines of, say, the Duelfer Report or the Senate Intelligence Subcommittee Report on Prewar Intelligence in Iraq.

(BTW, I've read those, and you won't find what you're looking for in them -- their conclusions were that no one in the administration intentionally misled anyone. In fact, they concluded that virtually all the prewar intelligence pointed to the conclusions drawn by the administration).

RW said...

If Klein thought that was scurrilous, wonder if he welcomed John Edwards' claim that if you voted for Kerry/Edwards, people like Christopher Reeve would get out of their wheelchairs & walk?

Korla said...

>...John Edwards' claim that if you voted for Kerry/Edwards, people like Christopher Reeve would get out of their wheelchairs & walk?

Well, that's true with Obama today. There would be lots of dead people in the ballot count, thanks to ACORN.

Michael McNeil said...

Andre sez:
The only reason the surge is "working" is becasue we are still surging. The drawdown of troops will result in more troops being in Iraq than before the surge. The only true measure of success is what happens after we leave, which is why the supporters of the surge/escalation/what have you, are in no hurry to see that happen.

You can claim to have stemmed the flood by keeping your finger in the dyke, but that's a long way from having fixed the problem.


Wrong. It's not a matter of constantly “keeping your finger in the dyke,” but rather of clearing and consolidating an area from enemy fighters, then turning the region over to Iraqi police who handle the situation from there, while the U.S. and Iraqi military move on to the next trouble spot.

Thus the “surge” vigorously goes on, even though the additional surged forces by now have been mostly withdrawn.

This is well illustrated by on-site blogger Michael Totten's reporting from places like Fallujah (a few years ago the most dangerous place in Iraq) earlier in the year, such as this fascinating piece.

As Totten observes, writing half a year back:

“At the end of 2006 there were 3,000 Marines [the bulk of a brigade] in Fallujah. Despite what you might expect during a surge of troops to Iraq, that number has been reduced by 90 percent. All Iraqi Army soldiers have likewise redeployed from the city. A skeleton crew of a mere 250 Marines is all that remains as the United States wraps up its final mission in what was once Iraq's most violent city.”

Moreover, as he notes, within that residual American force, occupied with training the Iraqi police, no one has so much as been wounded — in Fallujah! — for months.

Read all of Totten's reporting from Al Anbar province earlier this year, it's quite eye opening.

Carm said...

The point is that Obama's judgment would have led this country not to invade Iraq in the first f*cking place.

Ann Althouse said...

"The point is that Obama's judgment would have led this country not to invade Iraq in the first f*cking place."

Yes, that is another relevant data point.

BTW, I never argued in favor of invading Iraq either.

Korla said...

> The point is that Obama's judgment would have led this country not to invade Iraq in the first f*cking place.

Yes, a point not lost on the now-free Iraqis.

Saddam would have loved Obama, the dropping of sanctions, the abandonment of the no-fly zones, the death of the Kurds, the reinvigoration of his WMD programs, and $140 oil to fund it all.

Sweet. Rape rooms and children's prisons for everybody!

Korla said...

>> The point is that Obama's judgment would have led this country not to invade Iraq in the first f*cking place.

And even after 6 years of debate on the topic, I have never heard a single word on other options that any democrat would have preferred we take to the course Bush followed, including the consequences thereof.

They only want to pretend the topic wouldn't exist, outside of Bush's "lies."

Or is the official stand of the antiwar crowd "It's none of our business what goes on in other countries, even when we're talking about mass graves, torture and state sponsorship of terrorism all on top of the looming threat of WMDs?

Oh, wait; I know: an ad hominem attack instead of an answer! Sounds good.

blake said...

Actually, if I'm not mistaken, the surge is over--ended last month--if we're speaking in terms of numbers of troops. We're now down to the pre-surge level, possibly lower.

Tactically, of course, the surge continues. Give the army something to do, and they will do it.

I was not for it, and I didn't vote for Bush (either Bush, in any of three Presidential elections), but I think it will turn out to have been the brilliant strategic move of the decade.

Had we focused on Afghanistan, where would we be? Losing in Afghanistan after seven years. AQ would be stronger than ever, probably, and the crazy Muslims fanatics would be crowing about victory. The left would be talking about quagmire and failure, still, but it would be about Afghanistan and it would be true.

Plus, we'd have a vastly richer and more powerful Saddam to worry about.

Iraq allowed us to fight those who were inclined to fight us in favorable territory, in as favorable conditions as could be mustered in the Middle East, and to both reveal them for the terrorists they are and kill them.

Some Bush insider wrote in the WSJ the other day that everything other than invading Iraq was considered, and I tend to believe that. It was probably the only thing to do, and probably saved lots of American lives.

As for Iraqi lives, I believe Saddam averaged killing about 50K of them every year he was in power. If we only killed 100K versus the 250K, then there should 150K grateful Iraqis right now.

If it's casualty calculus that's your motivation, that is.

생계란 said...

The point is that Obama's judgment would have led this country to jump headlong into defeat. We now must decide if we want this man making choices about things that will arise in the future. Why is it necessary to spell it out again and again that we need to use past judgments to predict future judgments about new matters? I feel like an annoying pedant saying this again. But the reason it's necessary is that journalists like Klein are covering for Obama.

You know, you're right. If Obama had been the one to decide things we wouldn't have gone into Iraq the way we did... that's enough for me to vote for him!

Korla said...

> You know, you're right. If Obama had been the one to decide things we wouldn't have gone into Iraq the way we did... that's enough for me to vote for him!

Yes, but like the typical lib response, you offer no alternative. Your guy has no "plan" except for retreat. What would Obama have done _instead_ of war? Answer: apologize to the UN and Saddam about how "imperfect" this country is, and how we have failed to bend over for our European betters.

No answers. Only empty sound bytes. Even after nearly a decade of whining, and all the hindsight you could ever need to map out what the perfect plan would have been, there is still no better idea offered by the antiwar zealots.

The implied answer is that they were from the beginning in favor of victory for Saddam and the terrorists, and neverending misery for everybody else. A very shallow and callous world view, all for petty political power gains.

I had been told that when Congress won a majority, then we could count on them to drop the anti-American nonsense and join as full partners in protecting this country and its ideals of democracy and justice, that all they wanted was to have the majority. Well now they have it. They have run Congress for two years now, and they are just as defeatist as every.

Because to get that power back, they had to appeal to the most rabid lunatics. And now they have painted themselves into a corner of surrender and internationalist bootlicking.

That might explain their 9 percent approval rating. Spare me any mockery of Bush's. He is relatively popular, and history will vindicate his Administration. His classless adversaries will be a footnote of disgrace and cowardice.