September 20, 2009

Does Barack Obama regard our presence in Afghanistan as an "occupation" — like the Soviet occupation?

From today's "Meet the Press" transcript:
DAVID GREGORY: ... We've now been in Afghanistan for eight years.  The Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan after ten years.  Are we committed to this war for an indefinite period of time?  Or do you think, in your mind, is there a deadline for withdrawal?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I don't have a deadline for withdrawal. But I'm certainly not somebody who believes in indefinite occupations of other countries. Keep in mind what happened when I came in. We had been adrift, I think, when it came to our Afghanistan strategy. And what I said was that we are going to do a top to bottom review of what's taking place there....
Note that Obama failed to distance himself from the implication in the question that perhaps what we are doing in Afghanistan is like what the Soviets did. And his introduction of the word "occupations" seemed to let it slip that he actively makes the comparison between us and the Soviet Union. I found that rather disconcerting.

122 comments:

David said...

"Keep in mind what happened when I came in."

The Obama theme song. "Ooooh, baby, it's not my fault, oooooh, baby."

David said...

wv = lophose.

Oh, the possibilities.

Meade said...

Does anyone still believe he knows what he's doing?

CarmelaMotto said...

in 2007 2008 it was the "real front" in the WOT. 2009 It's not my fault. All those people need to keep their mouths shut....

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...actively makes the comparison between us and the Soviet Union.

Yes, but in his defense, he means it as a compliment.

CarmelaMotto said...

Meade - No. Not after the way he "dissed" Poland and the Czech Republic this week and after he has sought to protect Chavez and the anti-democratic Hondurans. No. Ukraine and Georgia are so F'd and they know it.

I honestly think he believes, very childishly, that if we dismantled our nuclear arsenal, than so would others. Then Iran and N Korea would give up the desire for them. That's not what will happen.

CarmelaMotto said...

Ignorance is Bliss...I think you are correct.

edutcher said...

Meade said...

Does anyone still believe he knows what he's doing?

I tend to doubt it. He and Pelosi characterized the A-stan campaign as, "the real war on terror". Now, he's acting as if he believes the Demo propaganda (maybe he actually does).

In any case, by throwing troops at the problem, he seems to be creating an occupation where one did not exist because he wants to recreate the surge that worked in Iraq.

A-stan was always a spec ops war (hence the nickname, "the commando Olympics") and would appear to be best handled that way. I know McChrystal may ask for more men, but I don't believe it will be in the numbers Obama wants to send.

TmjUtah said...

We won World War II based on our ability to shift from manufacturing washing machines to building bombers and the demonstrated willingness for U.S. citizens, even if conscripted, to kill the enemy.

We are plumb out of factories and the current generation of kids are waiting around for somebody else to pay for their bachelor degree.

And The Won is busy removing the deterrent to a nuclear exchange that allowed us to win the Cold War.

He makes Carter look like a statesman.

traditionalguy said...

Yes, the president is exposing his views. The charade that Iraq was a bad war required the cover of saying that chasing Ben Laden in Tora Bora or somewhere was a good war that he sincerely supported. It was all political cover. For the last four months Obama has been giving the US military enough rope to hang itself up in the Mountains and down in the valleys where they will be killed off by thousands of Road emplanted explosive ambushes set for every convoy that runs over those roads to keep our Marines and Army units going up in the mountains and down in the valleys of a useless place with no oil and no population we can help. After he runs up the troop levels to about 40,000, and the casualties to about 6000 he will reverse course and pull out. He has been head faking all along. What a master at faking we have serving to guard and defend us, or somebody, just who will only become known later.

Dave said...

"He makes Carter look like a statesman."
Hell, he makes Carter look like the genius of all time.
Surely by now no one is accepting the "brilliance" of this doofus.

David said...

Meade said...
"Does anyone still believe he knows what he's doing?"

Sadly, I do. I think he knows exactly what he is doing.

AJ Lynch said...

Obama's thinking is so rigid. He has no mental agility nor flexibility. Has his opinion or anything changed since he left college?

His answers to most questions could have been given by the most liberal members of Congress. Does Obama disagree with the Barbara Boxers and Bernie Sanders of the world on any issue?

Actually, Obama is even more radical than they are.

AJ Lynch said...

Treaties have to be approved by the Senate right? Is there a chance Obama would bring them a proposed treaty and they would refuse to sign it?

SMGalbraith said...

You might have a point, Ann, if the President, or more accurately, candidate Obama, had a history of talking about Afghanistan as some sort of "occupation" or ill-conceived action.

But he has a pretty strong record of supporting the war and, during the campaign, argued that we needed to increase our presence there.

Whether you think he was advocating that position as an attempt to show his more hawkish credentials - i.e., Afghanistan as the "good" war versus Iraq as the "bad" one - can be debated.

Of the complaints I have with this Administration, this off the cuff use of "occupation" bothers me not a bit.

LTC John said...

"We are plumb out of factories and the current generation of kids are waiting around for somebody else to pay for their bachelor degree."

I think you might change your tune a bit about the current generation, if you had lead any of them into combat ops. Many of them are just fine, thanks.

As for the CinC appreciating this theater - gosh, nice to recognize what we did for all those years before you ascended into DC. Gah!

Jason (the commenter) said...

Note that Obama failed to distance himself from the implication in the question that perhaps what we are doing in Afghanistan is like what the Soviets did.

He probably didn't notice and probably would need the implications explained to him if he did. He wasn't picked for his foreign policy experience; remember Biden is teaching him about that.

Meade said...

"I don't have a deadline for withdrawal. But I'm certainly not somebody who believes in indefinite occupations of other countries."

Can he see the contradiction in those two sentences? If he does, he's a liar. If he doesn't, he's just dim.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I think it is ridiculous for people to expect Obama to have any idea what he is doing with foreign policy; especially people like Althouse. You guys knew he had no experience, you knew he had a lot to learn.

It takes years to learn this type of thing. Since he is learning while on the job mistakes will be made, people may very well die, and America may get in some nasty situations.

I assumed that was something everyone who voted for him took into account. If you guys didn't then you are the ones who should be criticized, not Obama.

traditionalguy said...

Jason the commenter...The "he does not have a clue " defense of Obama is thin. He has been interested in re-setting our relationships with the Moslem countries since he came to the Senate seat he was given for that purpose. IMO President Obama wants to lean the weight of America in a new direction in the Middle East and in Central America and in Eastern Europe that he has just kicked out of our protective shield and told them to in effect deal with Putin on their own. He is resetting every alliance of the United States and betraying every ally as fast as he can get around to it. Now why would a sane man do that? For a goal to be named later, but not because he is a dim bulb without a clue.

Edgehopper said...

Obama has so far made only two correct moves on foreign policy. Both consisted of signing off on military operations that others planned (the anti-pirate snipers and the recent Afghanistan op). The best that can be said about his foreign policy is that at least he doesn't actively block small military operations. He may be an improvement on Carter in this small way, but that's not saying much.

Jason (the commenter) said...

traditionalguy, Regardless of whether or not you think Obama has an agenda, Obama never pretended to have foreign policy skills. Even the agenda you are claiming for him is one someone could assume from his prior behavior.

I have no problem hearing criticism by people in general towards Obama; I do have a problem with people who knew what Obama had to offer and decided to vote for him anyway NOW criticizing Obama. Especially for nuanced things, when these people are the ones who were so obsessed with nuance that they missed the big picture in the first place.

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

The real solution to our national defense problem is to reduce our active military force strength and to shut down military procurement of new or improved weapons like M1A1 tanks, etc...! Also, in place of simulated military maneuvers, perhaps Apple IIs or chalkboards could be used rather than Ft. Polk; a great cost savings too.

Of course, thanks to Obama's great powers of speech and rhetoric, other countries of the world shall praise our new peace loving stance and standing in the world.

All this shall come to pass after Obama accepts his new role as leader of the world this coming week at the UN, after he gets rid of all of the USA's nasty nuclear weapons.

WV: fluctin. As in "fluctin" eh Mac!

Synova said...

I don't see that in the quote.

It seems to me more that he's saying that the first 8 years don't really count.

Firehand said...

Ah, Traditional, "He doesn't have a clue", for most of us, isn't a defense; it's a statement or accusation.

And it's one of the reasons a bunch of us looked at friends and said "You're voting for him? Are you out of your MIND? McCain's bad enough, but THIS in the Oval Office?"

Maguro said...

Well, there were indications that he regarded our forces as rather brutish occupiers. So, no big surprise here.

Beth said...

I don't see anything in the question, or Obama's answer, to raise hackles. What else would you call our presence there, and why is "occupation" out of line?

And why is it a contradiction to say there's no deadline for withdrawal, but we won't be there indefinately? The day will come when we're out. That's obvious.

madawaskan said...

Obama is the Anti-Reagan when it comes to foreign policy.

When Reagan gave his SDI speech in 1983, around that time frame Obama-was working on his senior thesis at Columbia.

What do we know about that other than it is missing?

Well MSNBC did an interview with his teacher at Columbia-

Baron described the paper as a “thesis” or “senior thesis” in several interviews, and said that Obama spent a year working on it. Baron recalls that the topic was nuclear negotiations with the Soviet Union.

“My recollection is that the paper was an analysis of the evolution of the arms reduction negotiations between the Soviet Union and the United States,” Baron said in an e-mail. “At that time, a hot topic in foreign policy circles was finding a way in which each country could safely reduce the large arsenal of nuclear weapons pointed at the other … For U.S. policy makers in both political parties, the aim was not disarmament, but achieving deep reductions in the Soviet nuclear arsenal and keeping a substantial and permanent American advantage. As I remember it, the paper was about those negotiations, their tactics and chances for success. Barack got an A.”

Baron said that, even if he could find a copy of the paper, it would likely disappoint Obama’s critics. “The course was not a polemical course, it was a course in decision making and how decisions got made,” he said. “None of the papers in the class were controversial.”


What was the popular opinion at Columbia during the early Reagan years?
Well the critiques against Reagan had many of the same "cowboy" themes visited on Republicans today.

So controversial would have been in those environs to write a paper supporting-Reagan strategy. I doubt Obama's opinions have evolved much from there.

The support of the SDI strategy cannot be judged in a vacuum there was a chain of events that flowed from that-which we still benefit from today.

Obama has set in motion a completely new chain of events.

{And just to add irony SDI and that initiative-ultimately could be the cheapest "health care" policy you could ever ask for.}

Obama has cancelled this platform for SDI,many don't remember that he has now cancelled two of the three and of course he has given the rest of our enemies time to catch up.

Not only that but while our enemies were gathering nuclear capabilities our allies trusted us-and did not acquire their own capabilities.

Should they try to catch up and set off a new arms race?

Why not?

What has Obama wrought...

I'm not sure but Reagan's ideas had proven to be right as rain for quite awhile but then Liberals have a certain arrogance and will never admit they were wrong. And there in lies the trap for us all.

traditionalguy said...

Firehand...In my experience with opposing counsel the slow but honest shuck and jive is not a sign of mental impairment if that is exactly what is being sent as their message to the Decider of fact, being the jury. There is a fascinating thing about people who are trying to figure out who to trust on a complcated subject a little over their head...they trust the one who acts too dumb to know enough to trick them, while the smooth operator who has seems to possess greater knowledge is distrusted. You figure. The educated people seek the smartest person for help and check on his skills with friends who have used him. You expect that. But the master actor knows how to get the less educated multitudes on his side with the old "I don't know nothing, but I am just like you" charade of the Populist. Remember, he won.

Fred4Pres said...

It certainly did not start out as an occupation. Maybe that is the current problem.

madawaskan said...

And for those Liberals who feel that SDI never worked or would never-

Ask yourselves this-

If that is true-why has Russia been so intent on negotiating that away, and linking every negotiation to getting the US to back down from SDI?

madawaskan said...

Speaking of which if the Navy is going to be double covering the MED-

Japan take note...

Cedarford said...

"And his introduction of the word "occupations" seemed to let it slip that he actively makes the comparison between us and the Soviet Union. I found that rather disconcerting."

@Althouse: I'll side with Obama on this one. We have had a disconcerting disconnect between neocons and Administrations saying that we are "helping bring freedom, democracy, and modernity" to noble peoples...while the recipients of our generous "nation-building" see us as Occupiers there at the force of gunpoint who can legitimately be killed if the American's Occupation is unwelcome.

To make it work, we have to be either invited, completely side with one faction and support their effort to cleanse a common enemy (the Communist Malaysians were dealt with effectively in counterinsurgency because we armed the majority to wipe of te commmunists who were mostly ethnic Chinese - until they said "Uncle!".
Same tactics worked great in Indonesia in 1965, and Egypt in 1977 when we got the Government and Muslim Brotherhood to cleanse out Godless Communists.

The other way is to have wiped out whole cities of the enemy and wasted them so badly in the civilian population that every German or Jap in Occupation knew the price of an IED was likely the nearest village shelled or bombed until the last child and puppy dog stopped twitching.

PS - The Soviets invaded and immediately denied they were Occupiers. They were just noble humanitarians who were there to help the noble Afghans join the modern world, via Communism. The Soviets built schools, roads, hospitals. They were huge on woman's rights and educating female children. They built dams and power plants. They wanted the men's boys learning algebra vs. shooting..and put on a road to gainful jobs. They had vast experience in this from assimilating the Muslims of Central Asia into various Czarist, then Soviet Oblasts from the 18th Century onwards.
When the Afghans responded as barbarians and saw the Soviets as Godless infidels to be mercilessly slaughtered..rather than quit Afghanistan, the Russians acted with typical brutality.
The US was happy to sabotage both the Occupation and the nation-building as payback for the tens of thousands of American casualties Soviet arms and anti-air systems crews cost us in Vietnam.
=======================
I also do not understand why we sited "anti-Iranian" missile defense plans in Poland and Czechslovakia. Neither did the Russians or Europeans...since we had far better and closer locations for siting and hitting Iranian missiles. The missile tracks of any theoretical Iranian missiles headed for the USA would not pass near Poland or the Czech Republic.
What most people thought was Iran was an excuse so the US could build a radar capable of watching anything flying in the Western 1/3rd of Russia, where 85% of its people live and it's military is sited.
It seems it was the product of neocons Bear-baiting. Much as their other desires to send US troops to Georgia to fight Russian troops if need be to "save noble Georgian Freedom Lovers!!!"....and their constant urge to start a major war with Iran to "save Israel!".

madawaskan said...

While we are wondering about Obama's foreign policy experience during the campaign he admitted his inexperience and told us to take note of those he surrounded himself with-[his wording.]

In order- during his campaign this was his team of advisors-

In October 2007, the Washington Post published a list of Obama's foreign policy advisers.[13]

TheRealNews.com has a report on Obama's foreign policy advisors [12].

Former Amb. Jeffrey Bader, "President Clinton’s National Security Council Asia specialist and now head of Brookings’s China center, national security adviser" [13]
Mark Brzezinski, "President Clinton’s National Security Council Southeast Europe specialist and now a partner at law firm McGuireWoods, national security adviser"[13]
Zbigniew Brzezinski, "President Carter’s national security adviser and now a Center for Strategic and International Studies counselor and trustee and frequent guest on PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, foreign policy adviser"[13]

sourcewatch.org

Zbigniew - just a couple of days ago surmised that our control of the air space over Iraq should be used to order American pilots to shoot down the Israeli Air Force should they fly over in an effort to protect their homeland from a nuclear annihilation.

Had an advisor to a Republican President sayed something this off the rails the press would be all over it.

Instead it's just The Weekly Standard and Jake Tapper of ABC.

Synova said...

Seriously... there is a whole lot that is utterly appalling about Obama's ideas of foreign policy and relations but all I see in the quote is him saying that he hasn't decided what to do yet and that we weren't really doing anything before. So he's got to review "top to bottom" before talking about a deadline to withdraw.

It's possible, I suppose, that he'll listen to the right person and not mess this up. And he is right that Afghanistan wasn't getting all that much attention previously.

rcocean said...

If Obama thinks we are "occupying" Afghanistan - good, because that's an indication he's going to pull our troops out.

We've been their 8 years, and we're still there because....? Yeah, I know some want to be there for a 100 years - but I don't.

As for Putin, when did he become the enemy? Judas Priest, you 'conservatives' will be telling we have to invade Paraguay next. Sorry, the cold war is over.

Cedarford said...

Zbigniew - just a couple of days ago surmised that our control of the air space over Iraq should be used to order American pilots to shoot down the Israeli Air Force should they fly over in an effort to protect their homeland from a nuclear annihilation.

Of course he would say that. That is US policy as long as we control Iraqi airspace. We are supposed to defend that airspace and shoot down any nation's planes the Iraqi Gov't does not allow to overfly it on military missions.
Permitting Israeli planes to pre-emptively attack Iran, which has a mutual defense treaty with Iraq against aggressors now (thanks to Shiites in power in Iraq) - means the US would instantly be complicit in anything Israel does to Iran, in the eyes of any other nation. (And the US has been warned by allies we actually have defense treaties with - as well as Russia and China - not to roll over for the Zionists Lobby. Even in the Bush Administration, it was announced the US would not let Israeli bombs intended for Iran come through Iraq unless Israel asked Iraq leaders for permission to do so.."And the Iraqi Gov't has said Israel has not asked...."

XWL said...

I guess we're going to pull out of Okinawa, Korea, and Germany, too, now that we have a President who doesn't believe in indefinite occupations of other countries.

madawaskan said...

What we do strategically matters we cannot afford any more wars of attrition-we no longer have the numbers.

Putin may not be the enemy but he also is not to be trusted and should not be dictating US strategy or relationships that have been maintained for decades with established allies.

Sure the Cold War is over-but a de-stabilized Europe or a change of the status quo which is what the latest brings about has it's own set of problems.

Leaving Allies in the brink with about 24 hours notice, what does that bring us-now and in the future?

You cannot think what the ramifications of that might be?

No damn "back room deal" with the reliable likes of Putin or Iran is worth doing that.

WW II went down with us having to pay the "cheaper" price of low income servicemen from the Depression-because we were ill prepared.

Readiness is about all we have now-but then of course their may be a surplus of unemployed teenagers...

Speaking of which economic strife does NOT breed stability the time to be worried about aggression is when a country is less stabile.

[See the Weimar Republic]

paul a'barge said...

Just because I happen to be in favor of it does not make what we are doing in Afghanistan any less of an occupation.

It is an occupation.

It may not be "like the Soviets". Fine. But make no mistake. It's a freakin' occupation. And we have a right to be there.

madawaskan said...

XWL

Exactly.

madawaskan said...

Speaking of which I think the military strategy of protecting the public in Afghanistan is getting overblown by some critics at NRO like Andy McCarthy.

First let the Democrats wave the "we are losers" banner-but second the military is doing it in so much as they want co-operation from the public-the same way the police in Chicago want co-operation from the neighborhood when dealing with gangs.

If we set it against Chicago standards-the corrupt elections-do they really look that bad? Then when you compare it on historical terms...

Fred4Pres said...

Hmmmm

John Lynch said...

Our soldiers and marines are there whatever we call it.

Words are words, not reality.

peter hoh said...

XWL, do you think that we are involved in an occupation in Germany, Japan, or South Korea?

A military presence and a military occupation are not one and the same.

Penny said...

"Does anyone still believe he knows what he's doing?"

I do.

The United States, Russia and China are old, and often reluctant "dance partners", but we "dance" none the less.

Each country has its own, very different, internal issues right now, and I will not go into that but to say that they are WEIGHTY issues. Hefty enough issues, that if mismanaged, could lead to chaotic and uncertain outcomes for each "state".

In the meantime, this is 2009, and "dance cards" have become passe. The dance floor is quickly overcrowding with PUNKS? If only.

The United States, Russia and China know that the technology we used to hold each other at arms length with for so many years is just a stone's throw from each of our doors now.

As information sharing becomes a universal norm, so too the availability of technology, which in the wrong hands, can be totally destructive.

There's a bunch of idiots out there who can get this technology, and they don't know how to, or even care to, "DANCE"!

Look for "unusual alliances" among previously competing dancers. Afghanistan is a good place to begin.

As our current "dance instructors" get too busy to handle the load, watch for them to turn over some duties to the second tier on some extremely important "OTHER" issues like the World Bank and broad regional security.

Strange bedfellows can make for some pretty exciting times. I can't wait to hear (or see?) how this all turns out.

OK, that's it for short term goals. All in all, I have all the faith in the WORLD that these dancers will light up both the northern and southern skies, while dancing west to east...or is that east to west?

Oh well, who cares, as long as there is just enough light to see us home.

*nodding to the composers, the musicians, and all those behind the scenes*

To the leaders and their muses...two thumbs up.

Methadras said...

I've always made the contention that President Barely is an incompetent fraud. His media blitz proved it out solidly.

Methadras said...

AJ Lynch said...

Obama's thinking is so rigid. He has no mental agility nor flexibility. Has his opinion or anything changed since he left college?


Oh, you mean the rigid and stolid thinking of a community organizing college ConLaw prof? Interesting.

Revenant said...

It is hard to believe we have over three years of this nonsense ahead of us.

Penny said...

Rev? Want a megaphone? How about a pitchfork?

Eventually, we will all meet in the middle somewhere.

The "farmer" hosting said event?

New jeans in his future. ;)

Michael Hasenstab said...

"I don't have a deadline for withdrawal. But I'm certainly not somebody who believes in indefinite occupations of other countries."

Translation: "I don't have a plan for victory. But I'm certainly not George W. Bush".

My fear is that he will (a)telegraph his plans to our enemies, and (b)implement a plan that sacrifices American military lives by failing to provide the resources the military needs in order to win.

So no, I don't believe he knows what he is doing, beyond his narrow political self-interests.

master cylinder said...

rev-are you talking about about Althouse whipping up
her sad old base abetted by her new puppetmaster? Here Here that is going to be a long 3 years.

Bissage said...

It was just the other night I called careers information. They asked, "Have you got yourself an occupation?"

John Althouse Cohen said...

Scott McLellan press conference, 2004:

QUESTION: I'm changing the subject slightly. A Gallup poll says that the majority of the Iraqis want the Americans out of their country. What is your reaction to that?

MCCLELLAN: Well, a couple of things, one, I think the president talked about this in his press conference a couple weeks ago. He said no one wants to be occupied. We don't want to be occupiers. Of course the Iraqi people want to run their country.

Robert Cook said...

As, dismayingly, only a handful of persons here have acknowledged, our presence in Afghanistan is absolutely an occupation. The Afghans correctly see us as no less enemy invaders of their land than were the Russians.

miller said...

When will the YouTube video come out with some weepy guy asking us to stopping picking on the poor president?

WV: veratimp, a new protocol in place at ACORN to make sure the guy asking for a loan isn't an undercover reporter.

DaveW said...

My thinking a year ago went sort of like this;

I may disagree with him politically but at least if Obama gets elected we'll put race behind us. And anyway, when you elect a president nowadays you're electing a party to run the executive branch more than a person. And the Dems have enough adults to run the government and keep Obama from being destructive even if he has the wrong instincts - we'd be electing the Clinton crew (the Podesta's, Panetta's, etc) to run the government and they're anything but stupid. And Bill Clinton will be behind the scenes to help Obama avoid the potholes. The Pelosi's and Reid's don't really believe all that drivel anyway, they're just playing to their base, and they and Obama will find a way to finesse the politics of running the country responsibly.

Wow was I ever wrong.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Beth said...

And why is it a contradiction to say there's no deadline for withdrawal, but we won't be there indefinately?

Because the definition of indefinately is "not definite; without fixed or specified limit; unlimited". Thus, if there is no deadline, then we will, by defintion, be there indefinately.

Pogo said...

Marcus Aurelius, he ain't.

"There is no present advantage in anything that may someday force you to break your word or to lose respect for yourself, or to hate, suspect, or curse another, or to pretend to be other than what you are, or to lust after what you’d be ashamed to seek openly.” (III.7)

narciso said...

There's a couple of problems with that formulation, first it puts on the same footing as the Soviets. Second it suggests that the Taliban is the legitimate govt
and that their AQ partners, deserve
to rule, and that the Karzais are
the usurpers. It's is right in line with AQ propaganda on the subject. It echoes the teachings of Reverend Wright, and his own
statement to the Chicago Reader
the week of 9/11. All of this, was
known or could be inferred from the
campaign, some chose 'hope over
experience' and we see the result

exhelodrvr1 said...

Anyone who is surprised now is either really stupid or really naive.

And I agree 100% with LTC John. This generation is fine when they have goals and some leadership.

Issob Morocco said...

Perhaps a more troubling question is when will The One's occupation of the White House end?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

JAC-

The press conference you linked was in April of 2004. The first Iraqi election was not held until January of 2005. Surely before that election it was an occupation.

However, Afghanistan has a freely elected government, and we are there with their permission. Does that not change things?

I think the question could be best answered as follows: If the freely elected government of Afghanistan asked us to leave, would we go. If yes, then it is not an occupation.

Sloanasaurus said...

Obama is going to lose Afghanistan. Another disaster for his one-term.

Obama also supports dictatorship in Honduras. The guy is an absolute fool.

We are lucky Bush stuck around long enough to eeek out a victory over Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Now Obama is trying to "reform" 20% of the country even though a majority of America opposes the changes. All while 10% are unemployed. Obama fiddles while the country burns.

Obama's one term can't end soon enough.

AJ Lynch said...

Sloan:

That is how I view the Prez's job. He has to focus on the economy and the two wars. If he gets those right, he hets a 2nd term.

Obama does not understand this and it is so obvious to non--ideologues. Unfortunately, Obama is an ideologue. He is intent on remaking America.

Sloanasaurus said...

The war in Afghanistan puts liberals in a pickle. If Obama fails, then there are only two arguments for it 1) Obama failed or 2) Afghanistan was always unwinnable, thus it wasn't Obama's fault. If they pick #2, then suddenly Iraq appears to have been the right strategy, since it would have been impossible to ever win in Afghanistan.

I would argue its both #1 and #2. Afghanistan is still winnable, but it was always a much tougher task than Iraq (militarily not politically). It was smart for us to put most our resources into Iraq vs. Afghanistan.

Aaron said...

Democrats are apparently hoping they can lose Afghanistan without anyone noticing that during the bush presidency, they were continually insisting that this was the more important war that had to be won.

And of course hoping that AQ never strikes us from Afghanistan again.

Jesus, how many years will it take to recover from 4 years of democratic fecklessness?

Der Hahn said...

peter hoh said...

A military presence and a military occupation are not one and the same.


A lot of people are having trouble making that distinction.

knox said...

Keep in mind what happened when I came in.

This guy has no fucking shame. Is there ANY conversation in which he doesn't blame Bush?

President Obama: you wanted this job. Man up, stop whining, and do it.

knox said...

Does anyone still believe he knows what he's doing?

I don't see how. Everything he touches goes to hell.

paul a'barge said...

I guess we're going to pull out of Okinawa, Korea, and Germany, too, now that we have a President who doesn't believe in indefinite occupations of other countries.

Just for the record, technically neither Okinawa, Korea nor Germany are occupations. Any of these three countries can ask us to leave and we would. Need proof? The Philippines.

Afghanistan? A different story. Definitely an occupation.

Do the heavy lifting and use a dictionary.

G Joubert said...

Given the repetitively shown historical vagaries and difficulties outsiders encounter in pressing and sustaining military operations in Afghanistan, and given that bin Laden had scampered across the border into Pakistan where he appears to be more or less cornered, and given the tenuous and unstable political situation in Pakistan which, them being a nuclear power, is really a much bigger consideration and concern than anything going on in Afghanistan, there are very good and sound reasons why Bush de-emphasized military operations in Afghanistan. Obama and the left generally were never nuanced enough to get all that.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Marcus Aurelius, he ain't

More like Commodus; innefectual and pretty much lives with a very inflated sense of self worth.

Robert Cook said...

"If Obama fails, then there are only two arguments for it 1) Obama failed or 2) Afghanistan was always unwinnable, thus it wasn't Obama's fault. If they pick #2, then suddenly Iraq appears to have been the right strategy, since it would have been impossible to ever win in Afghanistan."

Afghanistan was always unwinnable--as the Soviets discovered before us. (What is our definition of a "win" in Afghanistan, anyway? What is our goal there?) However, it does not follow at all that "Iraq was the right strategy." Iraq posed no threat to us, had no WMD, and was not connected in any way with Al Qaeda or 9/11. What was our justified purpose in attacking Iraq?

Our invasion of Iraq was illegal, and simply compounded the ruinous waste of lives and money that commenced with our invasion of Afghanistan.

Obama, however, cannot simply point to the fact that his predecessor started it. Several Presidents continued our disastrous presence in Viet Nam, and each in turn became culpable for the pointless, wasted deaths that continued under both Republican and Democratic administrations. The war criminals' club grows with each new administration.

madawaskan said...

All he has to do is have an iota of respect for what McCrystal is asking of him.

The usual suspects are here nitpicking the details because they can't see the bigger picture-or maybe they don't want to.

It ain't pretty.

But go take a good look at the thread over at ABC-at Jake Tapper's blog where the Zbigniew -"reverse Liberty" option is being discussed-

ABC's Political Punch

There-A Thousand Anti-Semite's Bloom.

And, you think you are so above it all-some of you are wringing your hands over the supposed racism of one Congressman-Joe Wilson-from South Carolina.

Go-take a look at that thread at Jake Tapper's.

Someone a little wiser and on to the games of Zbigniew knew exactly what he was doing.

How long has that option been harbored in Zbigniew's head?

Now-have you had a look at that thread?

That's the Democratic party-and that is perhaps a good portion of it-so know you know-a wise word smith like Obama who is head of the "words matter Party", the Democrats should maybe think of what he flames up in the base when he uses the wording-

Palestinean Occupation-whoops!

occupation.

I mean you guys are the geniuses right?

The ones that have avoided serving your country more than most-don't see too many of you in the military-you could get around having to describe it in that fashion-right?

Thesaurus anyone?

Aaron said...

Paul

The fact is we should be in this to win this. We were supposed to give the regime-wide death penalty to anyone who hit us on 9-11, or were their accomplices.

What does it say if the taliban are back as the rulers?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Our invasion of Iraq was illegal

Actually it wasn't. It was debated and voted on in Congress and approved.

Now if you want to argue it was illegal because Paris, Berlin and the Hague disagreed then by all means you go ahead. That and $2 won't even get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

madawaskan said...

Paul A' Barge-

I thought the point was that Obama doesn't get that.

Perhaps he should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Still given what I read over at Jake Tapper's he could choose his words more wisely-especially sense Democrats have usually cornered us into what the meaning of words are-and not too much else.

This is the party that refused to let others use the word genocide to describe Rwanda-so you see it's all-nuance.

According to their own standards, surely this is a failure on Obama's part-or perhaps not-maybe he wishes to inflame that particular portion of his base that is raging hatred at Tapper's place.

Aaron said...

Cook (half baked)

> Afghanistan was always unwinnable--as the Soviets discovered before us.

Funny, but people do win it. By the way, I fully expect to hear a comparison to Vietnam in 3… 2… 1…

> Iraq posed no threat to us, had no WMD, and was not connected in any way with Al Qaeda or 9/11.

Sure, besides the WMD we found, and, by the way, the Iraqi intelligence agent at the meeting where 9-11 was planned. That’s all.

> Our invasion of Iraq was illegal

Bull on that. Do you know how the first war ended? With a cease fire agreement. Now, I know this is a lot of technical legal mumbo-jumbo, but try to follow along. Under a cease fire agreement, you must CEASE FIRING. If you don’t then the other side has a right to resume firing too.

> Obama, however, cannot simply point to the fact that his predecessor started it.

Actually, Osama bin Laden started it, but why mention any facts that put your country in a better light?

> Several Presidents continued our disastrous presence in Viet Nam

You know, there were other wars besides Vietnam, and we won all of them. And you know, maybe its not best to cite a war in which thousands of Americans were working against victory as an example. Ah, but then there is a similar lack of will in the democrats, here. Seriously, Andrew Jackson is spinning in his grave at what a bunch of wusses his party has become.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The fact is we should be in this to win this.

Well there are two ways to 'win' in Afghanistan. 1) Turn the whole region into glass or 2) Pick the biggest tribe and put them on the payroll to kill as many Taliban and Islamofascists as they can. Remind them that Uncle Sugar will continue to keep them bankrolled as long as they remember who holds the purse strings. Step off and we go to Mohammed and who becomes our new bestest friend.

The idea that a a nation that consists of an 11th century tribal society is somehow going to become civilized in the next 20 years when they haven't progressed in the last, oh, 6000 is a fools errand.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Obama's biggest problem regarding Afghanistan isn't whether he we lose it. He will. He lacks the character and leadership ability to see it through. No, his biggest problem is the timing. If he declares defeat during the first year of his administration, he can try to sell the same old song and dance that the loss is Bush's fault. If he waits beyond the first year, it becomes much harder to point the finger elsewhere. I would guess he's busy doing the calculus now.

madawaskan said...

Robert Cook-

First of all the US forces aren't quite comparable to the conscripted Soviet forces-with the same investment-Ripley's Believe It or Not-we've spent more on our troops proportionately than the Soviet Union did in 1979 or prior. They where there from that point to 1989?

The methods used by the Soviets to force the populace out of their homes-etc-they weren't exactly the same strategies that the US has employed.

Another place where the comparison is over simplifying things is-a good portion of the Soviet Army died in the Afghanistan conflict due to simple illness.

There were 469,685 sick and wounded, of whom 53,753 or 11.44 percent, were wounded, injured, or sustained concussion and 415,932 (88.56 percent) fell sick. A high proportion of casualties were those who fell ill. This was because of local climatic and sanitary conditions, which were such that acute infections spread rapidly among the troops. There were 115,308 cases of infectious hepatitis, 31,080 of typhoid fever, and 140,665 of other diseases. Of the 11,654 who were discharged from the army after being wounded, maimed, or contracting serious diseases, 92 percent, or 10,751 men, were left disabled.[69]

Robert Cook said...

"Sure, besides the WMD we found, and, by the way, the Iraqi intelligence agent at the meeting where 9-11 was planned. That’s all."

You need to stop confusing your comic books with the real world.

madawaskan said...

Bushman-

Could be-and with that-make Petraeus the scapegoat-after all he is discussed as a Republican presidential nominee-Bonus!

Aaron said...

Cook (half baked)

First, I think its hilarious that this is the only thing you refute is that one part.

Second, if you don’t think we found some wmds, are you mistaken. We found 700 tons of sarin gas. Not as much was we were concerned about, but there you go.

As for the AQ connection, look up Ahmed Hikmat Shakir.

Start here: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/004/357lnryy.asp?pg=2

I mean seriously, is it shocking that two entities that hate us would cooperate?

madawaskan said...

Hoosier-

Well all I'm expecting is something a little South of Chicago in the way of civilized...

Everyone seems to want to compare Afghanistan to Peoria when the hoods of Reid's North Las Vegas or Levin's Detroit will suffice.

madawaskan said...

I'm being slightly sarcastic.

former law student said...

But I'm certainly not somebody who believes in indefinite occupations of other countries.

Has everyone forgotten John McCain? Here Obama merely reminded the viewers of one contrast with his GOP opponent:

January 3, 2008, McCain told a townhall crowd of roughly two hundred people that it “would be fine with” him if the U.S. military stayed in Iraq for “a hundred years“:

Q: President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for 50 years — (cut off by McCain)

McCAIN: Make it a hundred.

Q: Is that … (cut off)

McCAIN: We’ve been in South Korea … we’ve been in Japan for 60 years. We’ve been in South Korea 50 years or so. That would be fine with me. As long as Americans …

Q: [tries to say something]

McCAIN: As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. That’s fine with me, I hope that would be fine with you, if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where Al Queada is training and equipping and recruiting and motivating people every single day.


Asked about the remark later by Mother Jones’ David Corn, McCain reaffirmed it, “excitedly declaring that U.S. troops could be in Iraq for ‘a thousand years’ or ‘a million years,’ as far as he was concerned.”

Keep in mind what happened when I came in.

This guy has no fucking shame. Is there ANY conversation in which he doesn't blame Bush?

knox on Hercules: The guy has no fucking shame. Is there ANY conversation in which he doesn't blame those fucking Augean cows?

But aaron completes the "heads I win, tails you lose" argument:

Jesus, how many years will it take to recover from 4 years of democratic fecklessness?

Zero. By knoxian logic, Obama's successor will automatically be responsible for any loose ends Obama leaves.

Aaron said...

Former

Ah, so this is part 243 of your analysis assuming that everyone who thinks obama is an idiot must agree on everything else.

As a point in fact, Obama has a right to blame anything on bush that is actually his fault. I only object to that when its invalid. And I do say that it is sounding a little whiney too. For instance, the economy. First, the reality is the government doesn’t have much to do with it. Second, it is clear by now that at best Obama is useless on the subject, at worst he is making it worse. So whoever’s fault it was that they got to that starting point, its obama’s issue now.

Second, when Bush left office Iraq and Afghanistan were in pretty good shape. Sorry, that is reality. If Obama loses both wars, it will be nothing but his own fault. And America will feel the repercussions of losing there for decades. I dare say it will be worse for America than Vietnam. Why? Because we actually tried really hard to win Vietnam. This is the equivalent of a prize fight where one side throws in the towel because he has a paper cut. They only thing that can defeat us in either country is ourselves—our lack of will. That reputation for fecklessness will be very hard to overcome. And next time we ask a people to stand up to their oppressors, and promise we’ve “got their backs” they will say, “yeah, I bet the Iraqis thought you did, too.”

National honor means something and that kind of reputation matters--more than whether the French like you or not--you wusse.

former law student said...

We found 700 tons of sarin gas.

We did? When and where?

We won World War II based on our ability to shift from manufacturing washing machines to building bombers ... We are plumb out of factories

Actually "we" shifted from making cars and trucks to building bombers and aeroengines. (Washing machine companies did shift to making bomber parts, however.) The strategic necessity of preserving the General Motors Corporation should be obvious.

Hoosier Daddy said...

knox on Hercules: The guy has no fucking shame. Is there ANY conversation in which he doesn't blame those fucking Augean cows?

Maybe someone can let us know when President Shortpants can start accepting responsibility for anything.

For those of us in who have to work in the real world, generally when you start a new job, you get to use the 'I'm new here' for about 3-4 months after which you're pretty much expected to do your fucking job.

Hoosier Daddy said...

We won World War II based on our ability to shift from manufacturing washing machines to building bombers

Actually we won it by our willingness to use those bombers to incinerate our enemies. Something we seem to be tripping all over ourselves to avoid doing today.

Robert Cook said...

"Actually it (our invasion of Iraq) wasn't (illegal). It was debated and voted on in Congress and approved."

Well, this is untrue, first of all...Congress merely voted (unconstitutionally) to cede their rightful power and responsibility to authorize use of force to Bush, essentially saying, do whatever you think needs doing.

Second of all, Congress can declare war all it wants, but if we're attacking a non-aggressive, non-threatening foreign power without approval of the U.N. Security Council (of which we're a member) it will be a violation of the U.N. Charter and thus, illegal. Moreover, under the Nuremberg Standard, aggressive war is always considered a war crime.

knox said...

you get to use the 'I'm new here' for about 3-4 months after which you're pretty much expected to do your fucking job.

Right. And most people would think you were pretty lame if you actually went around referring to the previous guy all the time.

Adults are expected to act like it; and the higher up you are, the more "The Buck Stops Here" applies. Obama set very, very high expectations. His shifting of the blame is even worse because he told us he could and would come in and change everything.

madawaskan said...

The only thing that can defeat us in either country is ourselves—our lack of will. That reputation for fecklessness will be very hard to overcome. And next time we ask a people to stand up to their oppressors, and promise we’ve “got their backs” they will say, “yeah, I bet the Iraqis thought you did, too.”

National honor means something and that kind of reputation matters.


Funny thing is that the leaders of Czech, Germany, Poland-well some of them have had to go against their own social left populations-we say an occupation is when we won't leave and that South Korea and Okinawa would not qualify under that special clause but guess what?

Ask a good portion of the locals-they want us out. Elected officals have to lead sometimes and make unpopular decisions-they have to see the future and not just go down the path of least resistance and entropy...

Obama seems to be creating a new Cross Global Alliance and it isn't the United States eith other countries it's beginning to look like a Global Left Party Alliance.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well, this is untrue, first of all...Congress merely voted (unconstitutionally) to cede their rightful power and responsibility to authorize use of force to Bush, essentially saying, do whatever you think needs doing.

Um...just a suggestion, read the resolution authorizing the use of force on Iraq and then get back to me. There is nothing unconstitutional about it.

Second of all, Congress can declare war all it wants, but if we're attacking a non-aggressive, non-threatening foreign power without approval of the U.N. Security Council (of which we're a member) it will be a violation of the U.N. Charter and thus, illegal.

Well hate to bring this up to you Cookie but our membership in the UN doesn't subrogate our soverign rights. As for non-aggressive, try again. Saddam was actively involved in hostilities in attempting to shoot down Allied aircraft patrolling the no-flight zone, part of the cease fire agreement for years. But again, don't let facts get in the way of your faux outrage.

Robert Cook said...

"We found 700 tons of sarin gas."

No, we didn't.

As for your mysterious Hikmat Shakir, here's another WEEKLY STANDARD link that discusses him but cannot draw any conclusion that he is even the same Hikmat Shakir who was an Iraqi or, if he was, that his alleged presence at an Al Qaeda planning session proves any connection between Iraq's government and 9/11.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/004/259gqzrw.asp?pg=2

The truth is Saddam Hussein always wanted rapproachment with the United States, and apparently thought it would one day happen. He did not hate us but was happy to be our client in the middle east. He was like a mid-level Mafia boss who thought he would one day be welcomed back into the fold by the top-level Mafia boss with whom he had had a falling out, not knowing he had already been marked for death.

Pogo said...

"Saddam Hussein always wanted rapproachment with the United States, and apparently thought it would one day happen. He did not hate us but was happy to be our client "

Which of course explains his attempt to assassinate Pres. GHW Bush.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The truth is Saddam Hussein always wanted rapproachment with the United States, and apparently thought it would one day happen.

Well I never credited Saddam with much in the way of intelligence but I would have thought that someone in his inner circle with an IQ higher than their shoe size would have said trying to shoot down US aircraft is probably not the best way to seek such rapproachment.

Which of course explains his attempt to assassinate Pres. GHW Bush.

To wit: See Pogo, to Mr. Cook, that's how you demonstrate trying to mend fences. It's that 3rd grade way of showing you like the girl your class by punching her in the arm during recess.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Hey Anne, I think there's a blogger widget that will automatically post for you at certain intervals. You could just set it up with a couple different versions of "Obama Baaaad baaad man!" and it could link to any random headline mentioning Obama's name. It would save you the trouble of posting and you could take more walks!

Hoosier Daddy said...

He did not hate us but was happy to be our client in the middle east.

Our client? That's funny because for someone who was supposed to be our client, who we armed to the teeth, he sure had an awful lot of Soviet equipment.

He was like a mid-level Mafia boss who thought he would one day be welcomed back into the fold by the top-level Mafia boss with whom he had had a falling out, not knowing he had already been marked for death.

Do you just make this shit up as you go or do you have some alternate reality machine you keep accidently hitting the ON switch?

Aaron said...

Former

> We did? When and where?

Jesus, even Rick Santorum talked about it. and you didn’t know?

Cookie

> Second of all, Congress can declare war all it wants, but if we're attacking a non-aggressive,

Sure, besides continually targeting our planes and trying to kill a former president, Iraq was a pussycat! Nope, sorry, they were under an obligation to CEASE FIRING. They didn’t. War’s back on.

> without approval of the U.N. Security Council (of which we're a member) it will be a violation of the U.N. Charter and thus, illegal

Actually no. Why? Because the charter is nothing more than a treaty, to be broken anytime we felt like it.

> Moreover, under the Nuremberg Standard, aggressive war is always considered a war crime.

Right. Kicking down the dictator with mass graves and a bad mustache is against the rules set in prosecuting Nazis. Oooookay.

> As for your mysterious Hikmat Shakir, here's another WEEKLY STANDARD link that discusses him but cannot draw any conclusion that he is even the same Hikmat Shakir who was an Iraqi or, if he was, that his alleged presence at an Al Qaeda planning session proves any connection between Iraq's government and 9/11.

Not quite, but nice try. And seriously, if he wasn’t involved, why invite him? Basic counter intelligence says that if you want to keep something secret, you tell as few people as possible. AQ wouldn’t have let Saddam know unless they had a reason for wanting him to know. Otherwise, saddam could have sold them down the river at any time, and for nothing.

And even passive acceptance of evil makes you participant. That is the allegation of truthers of the Van Jones variety: that bush knew exactly what was to happen on 9-11, could have stopped it, but chose not to. To them that makes Bush almost as bad as they are, if not worse, and if their crazy theory was right, he would be.

> The truth is Saddam Hussein always wanted rapproachment with the United States, and apparently thought it would one day happen.

I’ll be satisfied saying others refuted this silly “theory in blindness of reality argument” for me.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Robert Cook,
"but if we're attacking a non-aggressive, non-threatening foreign power without approval of the U.N. Security Council (of which we're a member) it will be a violation of the U.N. Charter and thus, illegal. "

So what did you think of Clinton using the military in the Balkans and in Haiti?

AlphaLiberal said...

What an idiotic comment, Ann.

We are militarily occupying Afghanistan. That is a plain fact.

By no means does that imply that we are behaving like the Soviets. There is no reason to even speculate that we are.

What a stupid conjecture.

Aaron said...

Alpha

If you don't think that liberals have used the term occupy to denegrate it, you haven't been paying attention to the conversation over iraq.

F15C said...

AlphaLiberal: "We are militarily occupying Afghanistan. That is a plain fact."

Actually, no. We have a SOFA (status of forces agreement) with Afghanistan codified by both countries. We remain in that country not as occupiers, but as a diplomatic/military force working on mutually agreed upon goals. The Congressional Research Service, in its report in June of this year, states in part:

"An agreement exists regarding the status of military and civilian personnel of the U.S.
Department of Defense present in Afghanistan in connection with cooperative efforts in response
to terrorism, humanitarian and civic assistance, military training and exercises, and other
activities.

Such personnel are to be accorded “a status equivalent to that accorded to the
administrative and technical staff” of the U.S. Embassy under the Vienna Convention on
Diplomatic Relations of 1961.

....

Although the
agreement was signed by the ITGA, the subsequently elected Government of the Islamic
Republic of Afghanistan assumed responsibility for ITGA’s legal obligations and the agreement
remains in force."


So AL, yet again, you are wrong.

And, Mr. a'barge, what you are supporting is definitely not an occupation.

Someone tell Obama.

traditionalguy said...

The winds of war over 2001 and the next 8 years are not a clear picture. The need to go after Bin Laden and his Taliban Allies was for setting an example of swift retaliation. Two years later with Afghan stable in the areas we could guard, Bush made the new Example a conquest and hanging of Saddam Hussein in Iraq which had 100 times more value to us than a guerilla war with the extremist guerilla army that still had a tacitly permitted presence in the Mountains of the Afghanistan border with Pakistan.Meanwhile in iraq, after a couple of ill advised attempts to impress the sunnis and the shiites that we were friends, we had only accomplished the drawing of 10,000 Al Queda guys into urban strongholds in Iraq. The we sent the USMC to kill them again, and the young Marines did just what their grandfathers did on Iwo Jima. They graciously helped Al Queda in Iraq sacrifice their lives for Allah. Then we got smart and paid off the Sunnis to join our surge to keep Al Queda from returning and killing their local sheiks again. Bingo...Al Queda flees back into Afghanistan and tries to lure us back there into a guerilla war that they are great at fighting in a Geography worth nothing but for its perfect setting for ambushing larger forces. We have won, provided that we don't agree to be lured into this trap. So what does the Great Leader now figure out? That our jumping into Al Queda's trap "Is a war of necessity". Nevermind that we cannot win a damn thing worth winning in that desert mountain tribal area...we can only do a bloody rerun of the Apache wars in Arizona to prove to ourselves a proud delusion that we never lose wars. But if we win nothing, the "not losing" is a farce. There is nothing there worth dying for.

Aaron said...

traditional

So much for being a traditional guy.

Nothing there worth winning. i am sure that when Mullah Omar is on TV proclaiming a restoration of his rule, we will have lost nothing.

Second, i am sorry, but it smacks of bigotry to say that we can't beat them there. oh, hell yes we can. sheesh, its always some excuse with liberals. oh, we can't beat them in the jungles of vietnam, or in the deserts. so what is your ideal terrain? light grass? cultivate fields. tell me, genius boy. and while you are at it, why don't you tell us why we can't do to them the same things they do to us?

We go into these countries with ridiculous rules of engagement and then we wonder why we can't win. you know, i am patriotic enough to say that our forces can beat them with one arm tied behinds their backs, but i am also patriotic enough to say that i don't want them to be deprived of their second arm.

This whole debate just shows that the last 5 years of hating the war in iraq and claiming that afghanistan is the good war that we must win, was clearly bullsh--. the left doesn't believe in fighting anymore, period. they think nothing is worth resisting.

And the ironic thing is that the taliban should be more appalling to the left than the right. Take gay rights for an example. the right wing opposes gay marriage. the taliban opposes gay life, as in their continued breathing. which group should be more appalled by that? Isn't it weird that you can get more people on the right to get riled up about the taliban than the left?

so why isn't the left willing to fight them? The answer is simple. Because the values the conservatives are offended by, in the taliban, run much deeper than anything the left feels threatened by.

If obama and the democrats pull out of afghanistan, i will make several predictions.

the next AQ attack will be blamed on that.

The next election will go republican.

It will take years for our nation's reputation, our honor, to recover from it.

traditionalguy said...

Aaron...Did you hear me? We can throw in another 60,000 troops and win the Afghan tribal areas. For what reason? Bush's plan left a 10,000 man force to base areas from which to launch some guerilla actions of our own to keep AQ off balance. But why change that? Why go all in on a losing hand. The history of war for 200 years has been the repeated learning the lesson of the tragic futility of attacking an entrenched force that possess firepower. You HAVE to go around them if possible. Can't we get enough Honor out of fighting and dying in battles that have a purpose? Otherwise let's just enjoy watching the NFL for spectator sports. Please study the battle Of Peleliu, and see what you learn from that great American victory by the First Marines. There were some exceptionally needed victories (Guadalcanal) and there were some total waste of lives victories (Peleliu) fought within 18 months of one another by the leadership and same Units.

jr565 said...

Beth wrote:
"And why is it a contradiction to say there's no deadline for withdrawal, but we won't be there indefinately? The day will come when we're out. That's obvious."
So then why did the democrats demand an exit strategy from Iraq based on timetables, irrespective of their feasability? It sounds like you're suggesting Obama is saying, we'll get out when it's safe for us to do so, which sounds eminently reasonable. I'm just wondering, then, why we had to hear 5 years of counterintuitive garbage from the dems that said the exact oppposite concerning Iraq?
Also, since we're beating dead horses, why isn't Obama listening to his generals who are asking for more troops? Clearly he's trying to fight the war on the cheap. This is, after all, THE GOOD WAR, the one he said he supported and he escalated. How many people will die while Obama dithers?

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
"The truth is Saddam Hussein always wanted rapproachment with the United States, and apparently thought it would one day happen. He did not hate us but was happy to be our client in the middle east."
As had been mentioned by others if Sadaam really wanted a rapproachment with us he had a really funny way of showing it. In addition to shooting at our planes (mentioned by Pogo) he consistently violated UN resolutions. Not once, not twice, but 16 times! You'd think, that if we were asking for a rapproachment and one of our terms was to show proof of verifiably disarming and not dick us around, that he wouldn't do so again and again (and again).Seriously, what was required of Iraq was not that hard, and if they were serious about disarming would not require endless subterfuge. Nor would we be required to bomb them, sanction them (to the point where there citizens are dying) pass a Liberation Act that called for the ouster of the regime. And I'm limiting myself to things done by the clintons alone.
To follow your mafia analogy, if he were in the mafia, and wanted a raproachment with the mafia boss, he wouldn't constantly be stealing from the boss, trying to assassinate the boss, and fliping the boss the bird when the boss asked for respect and to keep his crew in line.And if he expected a rapproachment after treating his boss that way, he'd have to be one major dumbass.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

""I don't have a deadline for withdrawal. But I'm certainly not somebody who believes in indefinite occupations of other countries."

Quintessential Obama answer. Next time just say: "duh".

Beth said...

t sounds like you're suggesting Obama is saying, we'll get out when it's safe for us to do so, which sounds eminently reasonable.

yes, it sounds reasonable. Are you offering a Dem version of "But Bush did it!"? If so, why bother?

Robert Cook said...

I've been busy and haven't had a chance to get back to this thread...if anyone's still reading it.

As for Saddam's hope to renew his ties to America, this was revealed by Saddam in the interviews conducted with him after his capture. I've been trying to find reference to it on the web, but so far I cannot. I do, though, remember reading this in the newspaper at the time.

As for Saddam's various offenses against us, remember, he was still the ruler of a sovereign nation. Abiding by UN resolutions did not require that he endure what he probably saw as violations of Iraq autonomy. For example, it has been reported that Iraq fired at our aircraft; has it been as widely reported that during the years in which Iraq was under UN sanctions that we and Britain continued to bomb Iraq?

http://www.globalissues.org/article/107/iraq-was-being-bombed-during-12-years-of-sanctions

http://www.democracynow.org/2001/6/25/iraqi_news_reports_british_and_american

http://us.geocities.com/iraqinfo/index.html?page=/iraqinfo/sanctions/sarticles1/dailybomb.html

Does adhering to UN sanctions require that Iraq should also have submitted to years of being bombed?

I don't mean to be an apologist for Saddam Hussein, but one has to look at the actions of all players in order to better understand the actions of each individually. Saddam reportedly liked and admired Ronald Reagan, and disliked both Bushes. He may have assumed that, once Bush II was out of office, there would be a possibility of a future renewing of ties with America. After all, such reversals of geopolitical ties--as depicted by Orwell in 1984 with the shifting of alliances and hostilities between Eurasia and Eastasia and Oceania--are not foreign to reality.

jr565 said...

Robert Cook,
Bzzt! First off,I'm not sure I trust the Guardian to report on anything. But even if we take that article you post as gospel truth note the date? 1999. You seem to suggest that for some unknown and unfathomable reason the US was simply bombing Iraq.
Go back a few months to October1998 and you'll find this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Liberation_Act

So, taking the bombings out of context it sounds like we are simply bombing Iraq out of spite, but if you recognize that 4 months earlier we passed the Iraq Liberation Act it makes more sense. And why did we pass the ILA in the first place?


"The Act found that between 1980 and 1998 Iraq had:

committed various and significant violations of International Law,
had failed to comply with the obligations to which it had agreed following the Gulf War and
further had ignored Resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.
The Act declared that it was the Policy of the United States to support "regime change." The Act was passed 360-38 in the U.S. House of Representatives [3] and by unanimous consent in the Senate. [4] US President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law on October 31, 1998. The law's stated purpose was: "to establish a program to support a transition to democracy in Iraq." Specifically, Congress made findings of past Iraqi military actions in violation of International Law and that Iraq had denied entry of United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) inspectors into its country to inspect for weapons of mass destruction. Congress found: "It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime." On December 16, 1998, President Bill Clinton mandated Operation Desert Fox, a major four-day bombing campaign on Iraqi targets."



Clearly, if we are bombing Iraq, passing resolutions against Iraq and in fact passing a law mandating the regime change in iraq predicated on the assumption that Iraq hasn't complied in 8 years since being contained, it cannot be argued that somehow Iraq was trying to get a rapproachment with the US, and if Sadaam thought that violating the US for 8 years to the point where they pass the ILA against his country and regime was a way to get in good with the US he has to be one of the biggest fools in history.

Robert Cook said...

All the justifying legalese aside, if we're bombing a country who is not an aggressor against us, we're committing war crimes. And yes, Bill Clinton was a war criminal no less than George W. Bush or, as it seems, Barack Obama.

Robert Cook said...
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Robert Cook said...

Oh, and I'm not saying Saddam wasn't a fool...that led to his downfall and was partly my point. American propaganda notwithstanding, Saddam did not intend any aggression against America; aside from Iraq's woeful military and geographic inadequacy to such a task, an inadequacy Saddam was all too conscious of, he had no reason to attack America and every reason to desire a renewal of ties. With the world's big bully America backing him, Saddam wouldn't have felt so vulnerable to his hostile neighbors, and he would have reaped the economic rewards of being allied with the big spenders in Washington.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

So do you not believe that he tried to have George H.W. Bush assasinated? Or do you just not consider that an agressive act against America?

Robert Cook said...

I've heard it reported he tried to have George H.W. Bush assassinated, but I've never tried to look further into to learn how factual the reports are.

No, I don't consider that an act of aggression against the United States, as such, (assuming it's true); I see it as Saddam's attempt to revenge himself on one man, George H.W. Bush.

Robert Cook said...

I did a little Googling to find out more about the alleged attempt by Saddam to assassinate George H.W. Bush. I came across an interesting online column that raises doubts as to the plausibility of this allegation, but the column also adds more information concerning Saddam's desire to renew his ties to America.


http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/1019-05.htm

And here's another article, from infamous lefty news organ NEWSWEEK, which also casts doubt on the assassination plot allegations.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/128620

Neither of these articles draws a definitive conclusion debunking the claim, but then, this also means we can't accept as hard fact claims that the purported assassination attempt was ever real, either.

Given the lies we know our government told about Iraq, it's quite easy to assume this is just one more.