November 19, 2005

"I won't stand for the Swift-boating of Jack Murtha."

Senator Kerry employs a coinage that stirs up old feelings of pity.


XWL said...

First, why are you up?

Second, Rep. Murtha dropped a big stinking mound of stupidity on the carpet and the Republicans had the good sense to rub his (and most of the Democratic Party's) nose in it (and no, you shouldn't do that to dogs in real life).

His status as a veteran has nothing to do with his ability to process information and make decisions regarding the current conflict.

I hope that 30 years from now these chickenhawk accusations won't be flung about (Murtha attacked Vice-President Cheney for his 5 deferments this week).

Sen. Kerry just proves every time he opens his mouth how wise the voters of this nation truly are.

Ann Althouse said...

Yes, It's rather frightening to be up and thinking about John Kerry before 5 a.m.

ALH ipinions said...


I agree that Murtha debased his distinguished military record and his position on Iraq by citing deferments of those who disagree with him. (And, Kerry provided little cover for him in this political fox hole.)

But it was equally debasing when Republicans distorted Murtha’s amendment, which called for a phased withdrawal of troops, by drafting a “Murtha” resolution calling for “immediate” withdrawal (cut and run) and then making sanctimonious speeches against their own resolution.

After all, Iraq’s VP Chalibi himself has called for a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops (and other provisions) consistent with Murtha’s amendment.

Last night's debate amounted to a pox on both their houses...

37921 said...

But Murtha did call for an immediate withdrawal. Here's what he said in a press conference a few days ago: "The United States will immediately redeploy — immediately redeploy. No schedule which can be changed, nothing that’s controlled by the Iraqis, this is an immediate redeployment of our American forces because they have become the target."

Immediate, immediate, immediate. And this is certainly the way the press reported it too. CNN Headline: "Representative John Murtha Calls for Immediate Troop Withdrawal."

Now Murtha and the Dems are shocked ... shocked that the Republicans had the audacity to take them at their word.

wildaboutharrie said...

Murtha's actual resolution:

Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of American in Congress assembled, That:

Section 1. The deployment of United States Forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date.

Section 2. A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S. Marines shall be deployed in the region.

Section 3. The United States of America shall pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy.

"Murtha" resolution

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.

1 Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.

wildaboutharrie said...

I'm not defending the resolution or his rambling statements, but a debate on his actual written resolution would have been worth something...

Ann Althouse said...

So then, Murtha said one thing to the American people in an effort to stir them up but wrote something more moderate in his resolution. Why was it wrong for the Republicans to respond to what he said in the political debate? That's where the real fight is. Congress can't really withdraw the troops by passing a resolution like this. The whole thing is just a way of speaking to the people. Why shouldn't his opponents latch on to the way he is actually speaking to the people?

wildaboutharrie said...

He also said six months would be a reasonable timeframe. That's his definition of "immediate". Why not put that in the resolution? It would have been a more substantive debate, I imagine.

AJ Lynch said...

Kerry is so lame isn't he?

Re the Swift Boats, they simply banded together and said what they collectivey observed and felt ..that Kerry was a glory-hungry, lame poser.

And in the interest of full disclosure, that's the best $25 I ever spent to support the Swift Boat Vets.

Re the "debate" yesterday, I believe the country will be very eager to embrace a McCain presidency as we are sick of the regular sideshows in Congress.

Finn Kristiansen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ALH ipinions said...

I suppose this all depends on how immediate is immediate.

But with all due respect, anyone who regards this debate as more than a partisan polemical exercise must infer that Murtha meant the six months timeframe wildaboutharrie cited (backed-up by redployment "on the horizons" - whatever that means).

Indeed, the 403-3 vote is dispositive that only 3 members of Congress supports the immediate (ie. Now!; not over some reasonable time) withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Finn Kristiansen said...

Rep. Murtha and the Democrats are engaged in a rather cynical game.

They know good and well that the administration will likely draw down troops next year. While violence remains, Iraqi troops are rapidly absorbing more of the "hits" from terrorist/insurgent/Baathist groups.

What the Democrats are trying to do is manipulate the public into believing they will be responsible for the troops coming home. You do this in two ways:

First you insist that President Bush has no plan to bring troops back (despite the fact that we are clearly lining up events to do just that, one political step at a time, and as more Iraqis are trained to take on various tasks).

Second, you get out front now and vocally demand those troops home (in effect taking credit for an inevitable event). It's akin to demanding that the sun rise the next morning.

They are trying to recast any possible troop homecoming into defeat for Bush, rather than as a sign that certain stages in our Iraq situation have been completed.

Hence, the troops will be coming home due to failure of Bush policy, not success, and the Democrats will line up to say "We brought our boys home."

Further, if the situation deteriorates in an unexpected way (and frankly, nearly everything that has happened shouldn't be remotely suprising in terms of trying to hold and rebuild a huge country divided on religious lines), the Democrats, around 2007 or 2008 will be saying to the American people, "See how we saved the lives of our boys?"

All rather ugly.

(This is a correction on previous post,largely for spelling corrections)

Starless said...

ALH ipinions said...
I suppose this all depends on how immediate is immediate.

For a force the size we've got in Iraq, six months is pretty immediate.

I wonder if Rep. Murtha is also taking into account the very large civilian contractor force we have in Iraq. Should we leave them there unprotected? Diplomacy and, "A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S. Marines shall be deployed in the region," isn't going to do much to prevent them from being kidnapped or blown up with a car bomb.

Buck Pennington said...

...stirs up old feelings of pity.

Pity? For Kerry? SELF-pity on Kerry's part, perhaps, but there's certainly no pity here. Kerry got what he deserved.

Mark said...

First, I am not sure I agree 100% with Murtha. I think that troops definitely should come back soon, maybe within a year. 6 months may not be enough time, but if in 1 year, the situation in Iraq does not substantively change, i.e. violence doesn't abate, the troops must be brought back. And I am very pessimistic that the situation gets better in 1 year; if anything, it's more likely to get worse, based on current trends.
That said, Republicans missed a good (for them!) opportunity to demonstrate the Democratic split on Iraq. Had they put for a vote the original Murtha resolution, Democrats would have been split, maybe 50/50 while Republicans would have presented a unified front. But because Republicans overplayed their hand and introduced a fraudulent resolution which was a caricature of what Murtha had proposed, it backfired on them. What do we have now: the resolution was defeated 403 to 3; Republicans were forced to say what a great guy Murtha is; Democrats got plenty of ammunition to accuse Republicans of playing politics with national security. I fully expect Republican poll numbers to drop even further in the wake of the events. Why in the world they did not simply introduce Murtha's resolution is beyond stupidity.

Mark said...

And I fully agree with Andy Sullivan's characterization of Republicans in reference to that congresswoman from Ohio who indirectly accused Murtha of being a coward:

She later withdrew her remarks from the record. But those words linger as a reminder of what these Republicans have become. For the record: Murtha served 37 years in the Marines, and has Purple Hearts to his name. He visits wounded soldiers at Walter Reed every week. Three years ago, he won the Semper Fidelis Award of the Marine Corps Foundation, the highest honor the Marines can confer. Every time you think these Republicans can sink no lower, even after their vile smears against Kerry's service last year, they keep going. They make me sick to my stomach.


Mark said...

starless said,

"I wonder if Rep. Murtha is also taking into account the very large civilian contractor force we have in Iraq. Should we leave them there unprotected? Diplomacy and, "A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S. Marines shall be deployed in the region," isn't going to do much to prevent them from being kidnapped or blown up with a car bomb. "

As if US troops protect them now! Murtha is right that the US troops is precisely what antagonizes Iraqis. Wake up, people, most Iraqis, even those who are against the insurgency want us to leave! We are the destabilizing factor. 50% of Iraqis approve of attacks on US troops precisely because we are viewed as occupants.

wildaboutharrie said...

Starless, why not debate the actual resolution to show up its strengths and weaknesses?

alh Murtha aimed low on Cheney. The cynical side of me wonders why he didn't hang back and let someone else do the dirty work. It would have happened.

Mark, I agree, they could have taken the high road and come out ahead. Murtha would have spoken his concern for the soldiers, everyone would have joined in, honoring their sacrifices, but the resolution would have been defeated.

The timing of a sudden interest in an ethics probe on Murtha is also poor.

Mark said...

I am not sure I agree that Murtha aimed low at Cheney. I don't know if I would have said it, but the fact is that Cheney and Bush are chickenhawks: they did everything they could not to serve while they are perfectly happy to send others to fight. And then they have the audacity to smear people who actually fought, like Kerry, Murtha, etc!

Mark said...

Wow, if you ever needed more evidence of Republican hypocrisy when it comes to questioning the President's motives, take a look at this:

Rep. Dick Armey, GOP Majority Leader

"The suspicion some people have about the president's motives in this attack [on Iraq] is itself a powerful argument for impeachment," Armey said in a statement. "After months of lies, the president has given millions of people around the world reason to doubt that he has sent Americans into battle for the right reasons."

Rep. Gerald Solomon (R - NY)

"It is obvious that they're (the Clinton White House) doing everything they can to postpone the vote on this impeachment in order to try to get whatever kind of leverage they can, and the American people ought to be as outraged as I am about it," Solomon said in an interview with CNN. Asked if he was accusing Clinton of playing with American lives for political expediency, Solomon said, "Whether he knows it or not, that's exactly what he's doing."

Sen. Dan Coats (R - IN)

Coats, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement, "While there is clearly much more we need to learn about this attack [on Osama bin Laden] and why it was ordered today, given the president's personal difficulties this week, it is legitimate to question the timing of this action."

Sen. Larry Craig, U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee

The foregoing review of the Clinton Administration's prevarications on Kosovo would not be complete without a brief look at one other possible factor in the deepening morass. Consider the following fictional situation: A president embroiled in a sex scandal that threatens to bring down his administration. He sees the only way out in distracting the nation and the world with a foreign military adventure. So, he orders his spin-doctors and media wizards to get to work. They survey the options, push a few buttons, and decide upon a suitable locale: Albania.

The foregoing, the premise of the recent film Wag the Dog, might once have seemed farfetched. Yet it can hardly escape comment that on the very day, August 17, that President Bill Clinton is scheduled to testify before a federal grand jury to explain his possibly criminal behavior, Commander-in-Chief Bill Clinton has ordered U.S. Marines and air crews to commence several days of ground and air exercises in, yes, Albania as a warning of possible NATO intervention in next-door Kosovo. . . .

Not too many years ago, it would not have entered the mind of even the worst of cynics to speculate whether any American president, whatever his political difficulties, would even consider sending U.S. military personnel into harm's way to serve his own, personal needs. But in an era when pundits openly weigh the question of whether President Clinton will (or should) tell the truth under oath not because he has a simple obligation to do so but because of the possible impact on his political "viability" -- is it self-evident that military decisions are not affected by similar considerations? Under the circumstances, it is fair to ask to what extent the Clinton Administration has forfeited the benefit of the doubt as to the motives behind its actions.

GOP Activist Paul Weyrich

Paul Weyrich, a leading conservative activist, said Clinton's decision to bomb on the eve of the impeachment vote "is more of an impeachable offense than anything he is being charged with in Congress."

Wall St. Journal Editorial Board

"It is dangerous for an American president to launch a military strike, however justified, at a time when many will conclude he acted only out of narrow self-interest to forestall or postpone his own impeachment"

Sen. Trent Lott, GOP Majority Leader

"I cannot support this military action in the Persian Gulf at this time," Lott said in a statement. "Both the timing and the policy are subject to question."

Rep. Gerald Solomon (R-NY)

"Never underestimate a desperate president," said a furious House Rules Committee Chairman Gerald B.H. Solomon (R-N.Y.). "What option is left for getting impeachment off the front page and maybe even postponed? And how else to explain the sudden appearance of a backbone that has been invisible up to now?"

Rep. Tillie Folwer (R-Fla)

"It [the bombing of Iraq] is certainly rather suspicious timing," said Rep. Tillie Fowler (R-Florida). "I think the president is shameless in what he would do to stay in office."

Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum

First, it [intervention in Kosovo] is a "wag the dog" public relations ploy to involve us in a war in order to divert attention from his personal scandals (only a few of which were addressed in the Senate trial). He is again following the scenario of the "life is truer than fiction" movie Wag the Dog. The very day after his acquittal, Clinton moved quickly to "move on" from the subject of impeachment by announcing threats to bomb and to send U.S. ground troops into the civil war in Kosovo between Serbian authorities and ethnic Albanians fighting for independence. He scheduled Americans to be part of a NATO force under non-American command.

Jim Hoagland, Washington Post

"President Clinton has indelibly associated a justified military response ... with his own wrongdoing. ... Clinton has now injected the impeachment process against him into foreign policy, and vice versa"

Byron York, National Review

Instead of striking a strong blow against terrorism, the action [launching cruise missles at bin Laden] set off a howling debate about Clinton's motives. The president ordered the action three days after appearing before the grand jury investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair, and Clinton's critics accused him of using military action to change the subject from the sex-and-perjury scandal -- the so-called "wag the dog" strategy.

Wall St. Journal editorial

"Perceptions that the American president is less interested in the global consequences than in taking any action that will enable him to hold onto power [are] a further demonstration that he has dangerously compromised himself in conducting the nation's affairs, and should be impeached"

Ann Althouse said...

Buck: I think he's pitiful.

Ann Althouse said...

Mark: You should credit Kos for that.

Starless said...

Mark said...
As if US troops protect them now!

They do. Not on an individual basis, but they provide convoy escort, area patrols, raids on terrorist strongholds. Imagine how many contractors would be blown up or have their heads cut off if we withdrew our forces now?

Murtha is right that the US troops is precisely what antagonizes Iraqis. Wake up, people, most Iraqis, even those who are against the insurgency want us to leave! We are the destabilizing factor.

Of course the US is the destabilizing factor. That was the whole point: destabilize a dictatorial regime and terrorist ideology to make room for democracy. One of the results of doing so, which should have been obvious to all including Democrat politicians who voted in favor of the invasion, was that Muslim extremists and terrorists would punch back.

50% of Iraqis approve of attacks on US troops precisely because we are viewed as occupants.

Who's claiming this number? Zogby?

wildaboutharrie said...
Starless, why not debate the actual resolution to show up its strengths and weaknesses?

It's been debated (not the specific resolution, I realize that). Democrats have been bitching and moaning about this for quite a long time, the formal resolution just gave the GOP a reason to tell them to put their money where their mouth is. It may have been "nicer" for the GOP to give some time for debate, but since when has the GOP been known for being nice?

wildaboutharrie said...

Ugh, I was wrong, Murtha didn't aim low. I missed that it was in response to Cheney implying Murtha had lost his backbone.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mark said...


Yes, this is from one of the commenters' on Kos blog. However, the policy there is that one is free to reproduce the content. But I will include specific links in the future. The fact remains that those were the actual quotes by Republicans during the military conflict(s) when Clinton was the President. And I don't recall Democrats accusing them of being unpatriotic. ;)

Here are some more quotes from Republicans:

"President Clinton is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be
away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."

-Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)

"No goal, no objective, not until we have those things and a compelling case is made, then I say, back out of it, because innocent people are going to die for nothing. That's why I'm against it."

-Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/5/99

"American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy."

-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy."

-Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of presidential candidate George W. Bush

Why did they demoralize our brave men and women in uniform?

"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning...I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area."

-Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

"You think Vietnam was bad? Vietnam is nothing next to Kosovo."

-Tony Snow, Fox News 3/24/99

"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years"

-Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"I'm on the Senate Intelligence Committee, so you can trust me and believe me when I say we're running out of cruise missles. I can't tell you exactly how many we have left, for security reasons, but we're almost out of cruise missles."

-Senator Inhofe (R-OK )

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarifiedrules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our overextended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"

-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"I don't know that Milosevic will ever raise a white flag"

-Senator Don Nickles (R-OK)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"

-Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

Why didn't they support our president in a time of war?

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."

-Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

"This is President Clinton's war, and when he falls flat on his face, that's his problem."

-Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)

"The two powers that have ICBMs that can reach the United States are Russia and China. Here we go in. We're taking on not just Milosevic. We can't just say, 'that little guy, we can whip him.' We have these two other powers that have missiles that can reach us, and we have zero defense thanks to this president."

-Senator James Inhofe (R-OK)

"You can support the troops but not the president"

-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"My job as majority leader is be supportive of our troops, try to have input as decisions are made and to look at those decisions after they're made ... not to march in lock step with everything the president decides to do."

-Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

For us to call this a victory and to commend the President of the United States as the Commander in Chief showing great leadership in Operation Allied Force is a farce"
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

Why did they blame America first?

Bombing a sovereign nation for ill-defined reasons with vague objectives undermines the American stature in the world. The international respect and trust for America has diminished every time we casually let the bombs fly."

-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Once the bombing commenced, I think then Milosevic unleashed his forces, and then that's when the slaughtering and the massive ethnic cleansing really started"

-Senator Don Nickles (R-OK)

Clinton's bombing campaign has caused all of these problems to explode"

-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"America has no vital interest in whose flag flies over Kosovo's capital, and no right to attack and kill Serb soldiers fighting on their own soil to preserve the territorial integrity of their own country"

-Pat Buchanan (R)

"These international war criminals were led by Gen. Wesley Clark ...who clicked his shiny heels for the commander-in-grief, Bill Clinton."

-Michael Savage

"This has been an unmitigated disaster ... Ask the Chinese embassy. Ask all the people in Belgrade that we've killed. Ask the refugees that we've killed. Ask the people in nursing homes. Ask the people in hospitals."

-Representative Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"It is a remarkable spectacle to see the Clinton Administration and NATO taking over from the Soviet Union the role of sponsoring "wars of national liberation."

-Representative Helen Chenoweth (R-ID)

"America has no vital interest in whose flag flies over Kosovo's capital, and no right to attack and kill Serb soldiers fighting on their own soil to preserve the territorial integrity of their own country"

-Pat Buchanan (R )

"By the order to launch air strikes against Serbia, NATO and President Clinton have entered uncharted territory in mankind's history. Not even Hitler's grab of the Sudetenland in the 1930s, which eventually led to WW II, ranks as a comparable travesty. For, there are no American interests whatsoever that the NATO bombing will
either help, or protect; only needless risks to which it exposes the American soldiers and assets, not to mention the victims on the ground in Serbia."

-Bob Djurdjevic, founder of Truth in Media

This is from Crooks and Liars; I have no idea why the html address appears truncated.

Ann Althouse said...

Mark: I know they encourage reuse, but I think you should give credit.

DaveG said...

Murtha said:

"I like guys who got five deferments and [have] never been there and send people to war, and then don’t like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done," referring to Vice President Cheney.

The chickenhawk argument is ludicrous. Is he saying all Senators and Congressman that haven't served should recuse themselves from any vote concerning the war? That remark was beneath the dignity of a Marine officer.

The Whitehouse responded:

Scott McClellan made a parallel between Murtha and anti-war filmmaker Michael Moore.

"Congressman Murtha is a respected veteran and politician who has a record of supporting a strong America. So it is baffling that he is endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party," McClellan said.

Democrats Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan and Jack Reed of Rhode Island on Friday blasted McClellan's comparison.

Levin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, called it "totally inappropriate" for the White House to "try to smear Jack Murtha" and went on to say that every veteran and family member of veterans should "resent that comment ... there's no excuse for attacking Jack Murtha like that."

So the White House is accused of "smearing" Murtha by saying Murtha is a respected veteran and politician who has a record of supporting a strong America? How dare they!!

Or was Levin referring to the White House accusing Murtha of "endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party?" Is there a problem with that, Senator Levin? I mean, isn't he? Aren't you??

And by the way, when exactly did Micheal Moore become persona non grata with Levin's party? They seemed so close in 2004, but now being accused of "endorsing" his policies is a smear.

Note: quotes from

37921 said...

Wow, now the lefties are against civilian control of the military!

Isn't that what the "chickenhawk" comment implies?

If only veterans could decide when to deploy troops, do you think we'd have more wars, or less?

wildaboutharrie said...

DaveG, Murtha was responding to Cheney's implying that he (Murtha) had lost his backbone when he issued his proposal on ending the war. I wish Murtha had taken the high road, but given the provocation, I don't judge him.

Just curious - are you a marine?

XWL said...

All you Dems under the age of 32 better hurry up and join the military if you ever hope to have a political career.

If you are already too old and haven't served then start working on your excuses now.

Guess they all read Starship Troopers and thought military service as a requirement for enfranchisement is a good idea.

If they raise the enlistment age to 42 like they are currently studying then many more of you can look forward to calling your Republican colleagues chickenhawks in the future.

Kerry's involvement with Winter Soldiers spreading outright lies about the military lasted longer and had far more impact than his service to our country.

In my opinion (and it would seem, the opinion of many voters) that fully negates the positive regard he might have accrued by serving.

My comment to Mark must suffice with, what he lacks in thought he makes up for in volume.

As far as those 'wag the dog' comments from '98. That's what happens when a president doesn't share his intelligence or follows through with his plans. Lobbing a few cruise missles to topple a dictator or catch a ruthless terrorist was a pitiable and laughable strategy that was looked at with dismay by many within the intelligence community (if Anonymous is to be believed).

Not only that, Osama himself stated clearly that those actions were examples of American weakness and lack of fighting spirit.

He had declared open warfare on us, and all we had for him were a few bombs. The 1st WTC bombing deserved more than a court case. The embassy bombings deserved a real response. By the time the U.S.S. Cole happen you can easily see why Osama laughed at us.

The giddiness of victory and the end of cold war along with the false prosperity of an economic bubble (has anyone studied how much of the wealth generated during Clinton's administration was bubble related?) left everyone blind to the coming of the next war.

Not enough congress-critters demanded we declare all out war in '98. They were too afraid to lose their jobs (had 9/11 never happened they would have sounded nuts). Not enough intelligence was being collected. Not enough pressure was being put on countries that harbored terrorist.

Hindsight is so much better than normal vision that maybe more people should try and use their rectums as their instrument of collecting visual datum.

Okay one more comment on Mark, just cause I enjoy sharing the love. Mark's rectum is so amazingly versatile that he both sees through his, and talks through it as well, to bad that makes it possible for him to use it as designed cause he would seem to have a large volume of waste product backing up and infecting his thought process.

DNR Mom said...

Regardless, it's just plain embarrassing to have Dub-ya's minute intellect trying to lead us and the free world. No wonder Congress gets confused.

Buck Pennington said...

DNR Mom sez: Regardless, it's just plain embarrassing to have Dub-ya's minute intellect trying to lead us and the free world. No wonder Congress gets confused.

I think it was night before last during Leno's monolog that JL said (paraphrased): "Democrats are always going on about how dumb Bush is. Now they're all screaming about how he fooled them! What does that say for their intelligence?"


And yeah, Ann, you're right. Kerry is pitiful.

Aspasia M. said...

Murtha, according to rumors in the news, was speaking for military in the Pentagon who disagree with Rummy.

Seems probable to me. We've lost a brigade of soldiers to death and serious wounds. Soldiers are on their thrid rotations. The Bushies won't institute a draft because it's a political disaster.
So the military brass is worried. Enter Murtha.

Aspasia M. said...


In regards to your latest comments about Mark.

Mark has been nothing but civil and articulate in his comments.

Shame on you.

XWL said...

First, this gives me an opportunity to fix the end of my screed cause somehow my eyes failed me and I didn't catch my own typo.

that last overly intricate and overlong sentence should read (changes bolded):

Mark's rectum is so amazingly versatile that he both sees through it, and talks through it as well, too bad that makes it impossible for him to use it as designed cause he would seem to have a large volume of waste product backing up and infecting his thought process.

With that out of the way let me respond to Geoduck2.

Mark is spamming this thread with the waste product of Kos threads, that's not thoughtful debate, and it's not even typing, it's [control]c followed by [control]v. He has spammed other threads in this manner whenever the topic of the war on terror has come up. He's not swaying anybody, he's just wearing out people's fingers as they have to abuse their scroll wheel to get past his cutting and pasting. Had he stucked to his first 4 comments and laid off the recycled Kos-ism than I wouldn't have been inspired to suggest that he uses his ass in ways that aren't for fun or in its design.

It is my opinion that he is using hindsight to justify his opposition which is unfair. And he is full of waste product up to his eyeballs, as is anyone else who engages in that type of sophistry.

You dislike what I say and how I said it only cause you disagree with me. I suspect if I was slamming the President with similar invective you would have cheered me on.

I feel no shame in using humor, or colorful language to make a political point. It's a tradition that stretches back to Ancient Greece and shouldn't be suspended now.

ATMX said...

I'm sure there are military officers who disagree with Rummy and Bush. There were military officers who disagreed with Lincoln. There were miltary officers who disagreed with Roosevelt and Truman. No doubt there were military officers who disagree with the civilian leadership of this country at times of war. But it seems to me that there are plenty of military officers who think otherwise.

Aspasia M. said...

Dear xwl,

I haven't been reading this blog for long. But what I have read has impressed me with its civility.

Mark did quote a lot of other people. More commentary & less quotes are a good point from you. Calling him names is rude and not interesting.

You are quite wrong when you say that I'm OK with personal attacks on commenters because I agree or disagree with someone's politics. If you had described the rectum of a politican, I would have though it gross, but much less rude then attacking Mark.

(It's the difference between saying - "hey, I don't like our senator and his policies and now I will make fun of him and his rectum" and "hey, you kid, you got shit for brains.")

I don't know if I disagree with you about our entrance/ strategy/ policy in the Iraq war, because I don't know what you think about our foriegn policy. (For example: Increase troops; don't change anything; stay for 10 years; leave in one year? Why do you disagree with Murtha? Do you hate all of it? Do you think in five years a quick response force would be a good idea in the region?)

And I know is that you don't like Murtha's recent speech and proposal. But in terms of specific policy, I have no idea what your thoughts are.

For the record:

I have no idea what to do about Iraq. I do believe that Rummy tried to fight this war on the cheap and a war is not the moment to cut corners on troop strength. Soldiers are on their third rotations. The people running this war are going to have to figure out how to sustain troop strength if they want to stay in for the amount of time it will take to subdue an insurgency.

But mark my words, the Bushies will start to pull out before the 2006 elections. They will let Iraq go up in flames because politics trumps policy for this White House. And that's a damn shame.

I think Murtha knows this. I think Murtha is concerned about the troops and he's been seeing troop injuries up close. I don't think this was a political ploy on his part.

I do think he was being sincere. That's why the House blew up last night when Rep. Schmidt called him a coward. They know that he is a sincere man in terms of his care for both the wounded soldiers and those fighting in-country. Rep. Ford didn't run across the aisle yelling as a planned political ploy. He was furious, as were many other people who believed Murtha's proposal was sincere. The anger in the House last night on the floor was genuine, and, appropriate.

Mark said...

Dear geoduck2,

Thank you for your comments. I, too, haven't been on the blog for very long, but I usually enjoy both the posts and the comments. With very few exceptions, commenters here are civil and smart, even though I disagree with the majority of them. While I realize that most people here are right wing, I very much appreciate what they have to say and try to add a different perspective and question my own views.

The only reason for me quoting this long list of Republicans was to point out the hypocrisy (in my opinion) of their criticizing Murtha ("a big stinking mound of stupidity", "debased his distinguished military record," "cynical game" etc) for calling for a change to Bush's policies in Iraq. I wanted to demonstrate that Republicans thought that it was perfectly OK to criticize Clinton during war for not having an exit strategy, using military actions to deflect from domestic problems, etc

In fact, we had a very good discussion on the subject of patriotism and dissent during war a week or so ago; while I doubt that anyone's mind was changed, it was still very productive and thought-provoking, at least to me.
And noone, absolutely noone, was rude to me. So, xwl's comments today are a sad exception.

Mark said...

Oh, and by the way, I completely agree that Bush will start withdrawal of the troops next year. In fact, there's already a plan prepared for Pentagon calling for a phased withdrawal starting in early 2006. While it has certain criterias to be met, the criterias are vague to a point of being almost meaningless (i.e. "successful elections". What the heck does it mean? If elections go well in Shiite and Kurdish parts and bad in Sunni parts, are they successful?). It is clear to me that this war has been about politics since very beginning. Therefore, Bush must start withdrawing troops before the November elections because the war is very unpopular. I have no doubt whatsoever that he will start doing it by declaring that their mission has been largely achieved and try to make the case that it's been his plan all along.
There was a great article in the WaPo some time in August about the constantly changing definition of "victory". The US has already greatly lowered its goals in Iraq. Why do you think it happened?

I think that broadly speaking, Murtha is right; we either need 500,000 troops to have any chance of really winning this war or we need to cut our losses and leave. Since the increase in troops there is completely out of question for a variety of reasons, the only plausible option is to start withdrawing. It's not a good way out but other ways are even worse. It's not defeatism, it's realism.

Aspasia M. said...


I liked your comments on the Alito post. It was an interesting discussion that I read too late to join in.

I agree with you -- we should put the recommended 500,000 troops in-country or get out. (And this time please give them all body armor.)
I'm a little confused about your question of "why do you think this happened?" Do you mean why the administration lowered their goals? In that case, I think that some of them actually thought we would be greated as liberators. (Am I being too gullible?)

I think they didn't talk to a historian about the British in Iraq. (or Algeria.) (or even a historian who could explain the difference between France in WWII and Iraq.)

The entire operation has been run by such incompetence and stupidity by those civilians in charge that I am literally amazed. This administration's foriegn policy is like a bad dream.

I mean, I thought Rummy would do a bad job, but I didn't think it would be this bad. Too, too late the Reconstruction civililan "idealists" were replaced by some self-named "realists" in Iraq. They may have made those changes too late to make a difference. And frankly, we don't have the troops to keep this up much longer. (unless we keep rotating soldiers back in for more then three periods of service in-country.) Ultimately, I do not think this administration is willing to put the soldiers or money into Iraq that would be needed to defeat the insurgency.

Colin Powell's ex-chief of staff made some interesting remarks a few weeks ago about the admin., Iraq, and foriegn policy. Also remarks by Brent Scowcroft. Steve Clemmon's links to them on his blog _Washington Note_.

Last night watching the House debate was fantastic. I thought for a few minutes that I was watching the House of Commons.

Maybe "why do I think this happened?" can be summarized in one word - Hubris.

XWL said...

Geoduck2: since you pretend to care, here you go.

There has never been a more successful military exercise than the invasion of Iraq. It was an amazingly well coordinated attack across hostile territory during a once in a century sandstorm.

The subsequent occupation and building of an Iraqi democracy has also happened at a lightning pace compared to all previous attempts at such an enterprise.

Germany and Japan were still complete basket cases up through the mid 50s and both were in danger of having communist agitators take over their governments during the first ten years after WWII.

When should we leave Iraq, ask the same question about Germany and Japan.

Iraq will be our friend in SW Asia while the current worldwide conflagration continues to burn. The Sunni will either fall in line or be marginalized, the Shia and the Kurds are on our side and they both value their autonomy within a unified Iraq. The bombs haven't shaken their resolve and it shouldn't shake ours. Iraq will be a useful ally and base of operation for decades to come, get used to it.

We are in the midst of a conflict much like the cold war which will have some shooting conflicts, but mostly will be a matter of pressure and diplomacy against the forces of Islamo-fascism. It's a conflict that won't be definitively won or lost for another 30-50 years, and victory isn't a forgone conclusion, just as it wasn't during the Cold War, no Reagan, no victory.

President Bush is currently reviled by many just as President Reagan was. History will show that he was right, though, just as those who still aren't blinded by their past hatred give Reagan a tremendous amount of credit for the final collapse of the Soviet Empire.

President Bush has created the framework from which Islamo-fascism can be defeated. It can not be defeated through disengagement, or containment. It can only be defeated by draining the swamps. The dictators that cause the conditions that make nihilistic self-negation an attractive political movement must be thrown into the dustbin of history.

Saddam was the first, he won't be the last.

The administration and their agents can't say what I said cause it would freak people out. But I believe the underpinnings of the efforts they are engaged in are based in thoughts much like mine.

Now go ahead and tell me that I'm crazy and full of crap. I don't care. It doesn't hurt.

If you'll notice my very first comment set a tone that was somewhat scatalogical. Rep. Murtha has behaved idiotically this week and the Media that pretended that his statements were fresh were being disingenuous.

I can't help but feel that the anti-Iraq occupation crowd are really just anti-any use of the U.S. military in any capacity crowd, cause they often resort to the rhetoric of the America hating Chomskys and Moores and Ward Churchhills of the world.

Before you tell me how wrong I am take a good long look at who agrees with you and who the loudest voices are in opposition to President Bush.

(and if I haven't already tried your patience enough go here for more of my thoughts about all this)

Aspasia M. said...


I hope you are right. I want Iraq to be a Japan, not a Algeria.

I think you're right about Bush's goals of wanting to put a democratic republic in the middle east. The admin. went into Iraq because they thought they could create a democratic republic. I hope they can.

But so far, I'm very worried that we just created the conditions for civil war, a base for terrorists, and/or anarchy. I hope we don't end up with a theocracy allied with Iran. I hope we don't end up with another Afghanistan. And I hope one day you can tell me that I was wrong.