January 13, 2007

"Say you're an average congressman. How do you react to President Bush's Iraq speech?"

William Kristol channels congressional thought processes:
You suspect, deep down, that he's probably doing more or less what he needs to do. We can't just click our heels and get out of Iraq--the consequences would be disastrous. And the current strategy isn't working. You have said so yourself. Last fall you called for replacing Rumsfeld. You've complained that there weren't enough troops. What's more, you've heard good things about General David Petraeus from colleagues with military expertise. So now Bush has fired Rumsfeld, put Petraeus in command, and sent in more troops. Maybe this new approach deserves a chance to work?
Is that what they really think? I'd guess they were thinking this new approach doesn't deserve a chance, because it's not going to work. In Kristol's account, the members of Congress go on to undercut the President's efforts for little reason other than their own political advantage.


Fritz said...

Ann Wrote: In Kristol's account the members of Congress go on to undercut the President's efforts for little reason other than their own political advantage.

That would sum it up for me. Like the Sunnis, Democrats & RINOs have their own interests above country. If the plan was requested by Iraqis, drawn up by Generals Abizaid, Casey and Petraeus, two of whom they spent an entire week praising; it seems quite disingenuous for them to reject it out of hand.

Anonymous said...

I'd guess they were thinking this new approach doesn't deserve a chance, because it's not going to work.

The antiwar base of the Democrats reasserted itself over the past several years, reminding their like-minded politicos that there is no song that goes "All we are saying, is give war a chance."

Look, what happens when one starts from an endpoint (oppose Bush) is that one looks continually for arguments to make the case, and minimizes arguments in the other direction. Even if one started from the cynical, political position of reflexive opposition, eventually one is persuaded to really believe by one's own one-sided arguments.

I believe that many opponents of the war now truly believe that we cannot win, at least if President Bush is President. I believe that the process of how many, if not most, of them came to this view is how I described above.

Posted at my blog as well.

hdhouse said...

Of course this is the same nitwit who predicted that since Sunnis and Shites get along pretty well there would be no sectarian violence in the aftermath.

What is shown here is the classic Neo-con strawdog choices.

Want more troops: Yes. If we commit enough. Not some token sum. But it may be that the days that could work are long gone. So we just send in a few with big bullseyes on their backs and pray?

Patreus is in command by default because the others said NO. So Bush canned them. Patreus may be a great military leader but his stint at "training" fell flat. He is in charge because he saluted and said "yes sir Mr. President". It is a win win for him. No one expects anything and that is a golden opportunity.

Rumsfeld? He should be hanged and then shot.

Bush deserves no more "chances". He is a fool on a fool's errand.

I don't suspect "deep down, that he's probably doing more or less what he needs to do"...only what will buy him 2 more years of death and debt until he can retire to Crawford and cut brush for the rest of his natural life.

Joe said...

"....their own political advantage." This is how they have viewed the war from day one. No surprises here.

Anonymous said...

See what Kristol, Limbaugh, Hannity, Fox News, and disingenuous bloggers like Althouse has done to the country?

Fritz and joe: Democrats and RINOs are traitors to the country.

But its lefty bloggers and nasty anonymous commenters that bring the discourse in the country down.

Note to enigmaticore:
P: The majority of the country (2/3rds!) oppose the war.
Q: "many opponents of the war now truly believe that we cannot win, at least if President Bush is President"
R: America needs to win her wars
S: America is more important than one President

T: The President has lost the ability to lead the country.

P,Q,R,S => T

What should the President do?

DBrooks said...

I would just like to point out for historical perspective that hdhouse finally came close to using the term "Neo-con" correctly. Bill Kristol's father, Irving Kristol, can be accurately labeled a "Neo-con," and is recognized by many as the founder of neo-conservatism. Neo-conservatism was a political movement that arose in the late 50s and early 60s, and strengthened throughout the 70s. The term was used to identify former liberals who had come to embrace conservatism after being "mugged by reality." After witnessing the utter failure of well-meaning, but feckless liberal policies, and becoming increasingly disturbed by the Left's coddling of Communists and Socialists, these former liberals started a new conservative movement based on lower taxes, a strong but inobtrusive government, and a foreign policy based on protecting our national interests. For people like hdhouse, it has come to mean anything Republicans do that he doesn't like--BUT, at least this time he got close to the mark as Bill Kristor is Irving Kristol's son. Well done, hdhouse, you little pissant.

Fritz said...

Like I said before, you should work for Senator Boxer. The Generals you claim said no, wrote up the plan. The best counter insurgency General to carry it out, sounds like an obvious winner.

Anonymous said...

In a media world that rewards integrity, foresight, and admissions of error -- mongrels like Kristol would be relegated to cleaning pools or stabbing littered cans on the sides of highways for their living.

Here is an alleged Foreign Policy Expert that advocated throwing away 10 years of serious war planning in the Pentagon with decades of experience, from both parties; and entrusted it to a man that once fled Jordan in the trunk of Buick for bank fraud, who faces 17 years should he enter Jordan again, who turns out was working for Iran, who got less than 1% of the vote in Iraq. Even ordinary Iraqis knew Chalabi was a charlatan, except neocons like Kristol, and cheer leaded by reckless liberal hawks like Tom Friedman. What's their punishment? Continuous fawning, more lavish contracts, more mansions, and zero scrutiny.

Bill Kristol accurately predicted _____________.

I double dare anyone to insert something there that he was correct about on Iraq. Except of course that we are in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Members of Congress aren't stupid.

They know that in 1999, an exercise simulating the occupation of Iraq was carried out by the Pentagon, and it recommended an initial occupation force of 400,000 would be necessary to prevent an insurgency from starting.

They know that when General Eric Shinseki, citing the 1999 exercise suggested a 400,000 man occupation force, he was forced to retire by Rumsfeld.

They know that a message like that is pretty clear, so no one who wants to keep their job will speak out against the administration (though plenty of retired Generals have felt free to do so, and have done so.)

They know that the President's plan will only increase U.S. force levels to 160,000 which is the same as it was in February 2005; that level of troops then failed to quell the insurgency.

They know it is less than half of the numbers the 1999 exercise recommended, and that was just to prevent an insurgency-- in fact, prevention is less expensive than cure (whatever you are talking about) so even 400,000 troops probably would be insufficient today. So in other words, the Bush plan is over 200,000 troops too little, and four years too late.

The know that the Baker-Hamilton commission, which the President himself commissioned, has said that the present strategy is not working and that we will need to conduct negotiations to get out of Iraq, and specifically addressed the issue of a troop surge and concluded that it would not work.

They also know that giving the President what he wants is not a 'free pass.' If he fails (and the preceding outlines why he will) the price will be paid in more American lives.

Therefore, following this chain of logic, if I were a Congressman, I would have no choice except to oppose the plan.

Anonymous said...

We can't just click our heels and get out of Iraq

Am I crazy or his he depicting war opponents as Dorothys?

vbspurs said...

Am I crazy or his he depicting war opponents as Dorothys?

Really? I think of clicking of heels, and immediately elegant but blustery Prussian militarism comes to mind.

Or did you mean, he implied war opponents are Friends of Dorothies, instead? ;)


hdhouse said...

dbrooks and fritz the cat..

you guys are laugh riot i'll say! you move your bed flush to the wall, roll out on the right side of it every morning striking your head and loose consciousness for the rest of the day and you do it day after day don't you. so every day is the same. ohhh and dbrooks, wikipedia lover that you are, neo-con roots may be embedded in the cold war (long since over) but the morph to islamic terrorism deserves a new appraisal of the term. i'll just use it to describe all manner of insane bootjacks who have no concept of patriotism or constitution but instead are frustrated schoolyard whimps now looking to beat up the bully now that they have money and guns.

We can beat the crap out of the insurgencents but there is still a civil war to contend with..what say you to that or don't you see the difference?

We can prop up that Iraqi government until the camels come home but it won't help in disarming the militias and we still can't go into certain neighborhoods in Baghdad.

As a congressman I would say to President Bush that he has had his 15 minutes of fame and his time is up. We will be paying for his blunders years from now when he is writing his memoirs on colored paper with a crayon.

Justin said...

Hm. Ann just passes over the fact that people don't think its going to work, as a reason for opposing it?

Wow, um. Um....

Nope, that's all I've got.

Kirk Parker said...


"They know that ... General Eric Shinseki ... was forced to retire by Rumsfeld."

Actually, they don't know that, since it's simply not true. (You have to scroll down to the end of the linked section to find the words, "Contrary to Democratic candidate John Kerry's claim, in the first debate of the 2004 presidential election, Shinseki was not 'retired' for his testimony before Congress. His official term as Chief of the Army ended four months later and he retired as scheduled.")

Anonymous said...

Read the whole thing, Kirk:

In April 2002, 14 months before Shinseki was due to retire, The Washington Post reported, quoting "Pentagon officials", that his replacement had already been selected. "In another unusual move, Rumsfeld has tapped Army Gen. John Keane, the No. 2 officer in the Army, to succeed the current chief of that service, Gen. Eric Shinseki, whose term runs out next year. Selecting a successor for the current chief so far in advance is highly unusual." [9] This marked departure from precedent, if true, was seen by some as in some way undercutting Shinseki's authority within the Army. However, it has never been established where this report came from, or whether it had any basis in fact; in the event, Shinseki's successor was not Keane, but Peter Schoomaker.

Big D said...

So basically he was on the outs with Rumsfeld and was "fired" about a year in advance of his testimony. I mean I knew Bush and Rummy were evil but I never knew they would even break causality to get somebody. That's just pure evil.

Big D said...

BTW, Here's factcheck.org's take on the same thing


Bottom line is they probably weren't listening to him but they didn't fire him, well if you accept causality.