Who Says the Surge Is Working?

Weak-kneed Democrats, that's who.

The surge is smirking.

When it comes Iraq, neoconservative true believers have been allowed to set the bar of "success" below ground level. In this, they're aided by media siding with power instead of challenging it, all while congressional Democrats cower in their cloak rooms.

Approaching the fifth anniversary of "mission accomplished," we are a few improvised explosive devices away from the moment a 4,000th young American will die on some desert roadside.

As that new level of tragedy looms, far too many Democrats remain frightened by their "weak-on-defense" Cold War shadows, apparitions raised not just by the no-time-to-surrender bluster of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, but by the neocon-lite faction of the Democratic Party itself.

"Third way" Democrats lost their national security minds somewhere around 1985, when the World War II generation played the role of swing voters. Promoting "progressive internationalism"—interventionism by another name—Beltway-based operatives like those at the Democratic Leadership Council hallucinate a political center of "Reagan Democrats," who in reality disappeared with the Berlin wall. The middle of the electorate is now made up of generally anti-war Baby Boomers, who came of political age in the 1960s and Vietnam.

It's difficult to report on a debate not taking place, especially when an influential rump group of the "opposition" colludes instead of opposes. Except for a few pieces in left-liberal journals and blogs, Democrats have simply allowed neoconservative propagandists to define the terms of what has become a one-sided monologue about "victory," voiced by elective warriors who employed deception about phantom weapons of mass destruction to market a multi-trillion dollar travesty; claimed a paper tiger thug was our enemy, when the real culprits of the 9/11 attacks still hide in caves, not spider holes; imagined Iraqi embrace of pluralistic democracy, in a tribal culture with no indigenous movement for it; and fielded an imperial American occupying force, drawing jihadists to Baghdad while fomenting civil war that raged outside a surreal "Green Zone," as our puppet government dithered.

Instead of making a case against the war, congressional Democrats shift their poll-driven attention to "the economy, stupid." Democrats like Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who provided initial anti-war leadership, muzzle themselves with half-hearted statements like one she made on television February 10. "The purpose of the surge was to create a secure time...to bring reconciliation to Iraq. They have not done that." But then, she hastened to add: "The troops have succeeded, God bless them." So which is it, failure or success? Democratic "leaders" try to have it both ways, reminiscent of John Kerry in 2004.

The "liberal" newspapers which could have challenged the surge have used it either to justify their own support for the war, or have averted their eyes. The Washington Post's befuddled neocon editorial page engages in tortuous revisionism, pointing a finger at everyone except itself for failures of the war it helped cheerlead.

The New York Times, theoretically anti-war, fails even to attempt rational argument against the surge's "success," and yields precious column space to an architect of the war and editor of its propaganda organ, Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard.

Taking cues from the neocon play book, cable-babbling correspondents and print reporters ask simple-minded questions of squishy Democrats, phrased something like this one from CNN's Joe Johns at January's Democratic debate in South Carolina: "Now that the surge is succeeding, how are you going to counter John McCain's case for the war?"

So the war rages on. Weak-kneed Democrats fail to stand against it, and Republicans act like the jilted lover in British singer Dido's "White Flag," taking comfort in denial: "I will go down with this ship. I won't throw my hands up in surrender. There'll be no white flag above my door. I'm in love, and always will be."

The neocons will never give up their love affair with a fatal fantasy. And they'll take the rest of us down with their ship, as long as timid Democrats and a compliant press let them.

A former DNC press secretary, Terry Michael directs the non-partisan Washington Center for Politics & Journalism and writes opinion at his "libertarian Democrat" blog, terrymichael.net.

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  • ||

    Does it come as a shock to anyone that Bush's enablers, the Democrats who supported the war in the first place, have failed to raise the bar on the Iraq issue? Those with even a modicum of intelligence and a slightly larger grasp of Iraq's political realities could have predicted the war's outcome back in 2002. Yet very few Democrats in Congress had the courage to oppose the war then out of fear of voice an unpopular opinion because very few could articulate cogent reasons for opposition in the face of the Bush Administration's jingoism and obfuscation. Here we are five years later and it should come as no surprise that the "opposition party" raise barely a whimper while Bush-in-McCain clothing and the remnant neo-cons continue to spin "we're winning the war" tales just as the generals and the Johnson administration did in December 1967. Apparently what has been lost on the Democratic Party braintrust is that this country's economic malaise is directly related to the trillions of dollars that are continuing to be poured into Iraq as we speak. Yes, "it's the economy, stupid." It's also the Iraq War.

  • Douglas Gray||

    Here's how well it's working from those who must live there:

    Professor S Abdul Majeed Hassan, an Iraqi university faculty member wrote the following:

    "The year of 2007 was the bloodiest among the occupation years, and no matter how successful the situation looks to Mr Bush, reality is totally different. What kind of normal life are he and the media referring to where four and a half million highly educated Iraqis are still dislocated or still being forcefully driven out of their homes for being anti-occupation? How can the people live a normal life in a cage of concrete walls [she is referring to concrete walls being erected by the Americans around entire Baghdad neighborhoods], guarded by their kidnappers, killers and occupation forces? What kind of normal life can you live where tens of your relatives and your beloved ones are either missing or in jail and you don't even know if they are still alive or, after being tortured, have been thrown unidentified in the dumpsters?

    What kind of normal life can you live when you have to bid farewell to your family each time you go out to buy bread because you don't know if you are going to see them again? What is a normal life to Mr Bush? If we're lucky, we get a few hours of electricity a day, barely enough drinking water, no health care, no jobs to feed our kids ...

    Little teenage girls are given away in marriage because their families can't protect them from militias and troops during raids. Women cannot move unescorted anymore. What kind of educations are our children getting at universities where 60% of the prominent faculty members have been driven out of their jobs - killed or forced to leave the country by government militias? Is it normal that areas [on the outskirts of Baghdad] like Saidiya and Arab Jubour are bombed because the occupation forces are afraid to enter the areas for fear of the resistance? It is always easier to control ghost cities. It becomes very peaceful without the people."

    Mohammad Mahri'i, an Iraqi journalist, writes: "The problem with Bush is that his people believe him every time he lies to them," he writes. "His reconstruction teams are invisible and I wish they could show me one inch above the ground that they built."

    Maki al-Nazzal, an Iraqi political analyst from Fallujah who has been forced to live abroad with his family, thanks to ongoing violence and the lack of jobs or significant reconstruction activity in his city, which was three-quarters destroyed in a US assault in November 2004, offered me his thoughts on the Western mainstream coverage of Iraq.

    "The media should not follow the warlords' and politicians' propaganda. It is our duty to search for the truth and not repeat lies like parrots. The US occupation is bad and no amount of media propaganda can camouflage the mess inside occupied Iraq. We are ashamed of the local and Western media [for] marketing the naked lies told by generals and politicians. Comparing two halves of 2007 is ridiculous.

    Bush and his heroes, [head of the Coalition Provisional Authority L Paul] Bremer, [secretary of defense Donald] Rumsfeld and now Petraeus always lied to their people and the world about Iraq. US soldiers are getting killed on a daily basis and so are Iraqi army and police officers. Infrastructure is destroyed. In a country that used to feed much of the Arab world, starvation is now the norm. It is ironic that Iraq was not half as bad during the 12 years of sanctions. Our liberation has pushed us into a state of unprecedented corruption"

  • ||

    The Democrats seem to believe that the reason they lost so many presidential campaigns after LBJ was because they opposed the Vietnam War (which they were right to do) so now they think the way to stay in power is not to oppose the Iraq War even though it's been a clear mess since the insurgency took off...which is the exact opposite approach to the one they should be taking if they want to press their advantage.

    Seriously, is it any wonder that Republicans for decades have been using the word "liberal" with such contempt? Unpardonably ignorant economic beliefs, horrible leadership, an inability to face down even a massively unpopular and incompetent Republican president...honestly, what is it about the Democratic party that stupidity and cowardice are its traditional hallmarks? The only reason that they were able to get one of their own into office for two terms in the last 40 years was because Bill Clinton basically hijacked Republican issues and pretended to be somewhat conservative. And the only reason the Dems took over Congress in 2006 is because the recent GOP leadership of chirpy Jesus freaks and scam artists screwed the pooch by acting like Democrats.

    Honestly, watching the Dems and Republicans do battle and hoping for somebody to figure out a smart approach is almost as tiresome as having to watch chick flicks and hoping to see a real fight scene:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlhAqFKBEBs&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlhAqFKBEBs&feature=related

  • The Chimp||

    Here are the results of a recent poll in Iraq:

    "Iraqis of all sectarian and ethnic groups believe that the U.S. military invasion is the primary root of the violent differences among them, and see the departure of "occupying forces" as the key to national reconciliation."

    So McCain wants to stay there 100 yrs.??

    I don't care what party wins the Presidency, I would just like to see some faint signs of intelligent life in the White House.

  • Meaty Ochre||

    Dear Reason investigative reporters:

    More please on the actual banner itself. Forget the blue dress, "mission accomplished" is the sho-nuff genuine historical artifact. where is it now? who made it? who paid for it? who hung it from the ship? who took it down? where did it go from there? who asked that it be made? when was it made? were more than one made? etc. etc.

  • Gus||

    Who writes this screedy crap?

  • Ashley||

    …we are a few improvised explosive devices away from the moment a 4,000th young American will die on some desert roadside.

    Strictly speaking, we hit that milestone in the more generic War on Terror over nine months ago on 5 July 2007.

  • ||

    See what happens when Terry Michael gets published here? Not only does he cause all sorts of physiological reactions to his violently purple prose, but he also drags in all of these "the war is all that matters" demagogues.

  • economist||

    Pro McCain: Against medicare expansion
    Con McCain: Supports 100 yr. occupation of Iraq
    Pro McCain: pro-free trade
    Con McCain: Anti-free speech
    Pro McCain: Understands there is something seriously wrong with the policies pushed by the central authority in Washington
    Con McCain: Doesn't realize it's as much his fault as anyone else's, that "bipartisanship" is not the answer, and thinks the previous two "Cons" are good things.

  • ||

    Maybe I'm just dense. I would like to see the strong argument Terry Michael claims is not being made by politicians. I'm against the war, but I've got to have an argument when you say you have one.

    Read the article once, and skimmed it a second time. Maybe I just missed something. Hope someone can clear this up for me.

  • Terry Michael||

    Re, Al Huston and: "Maybe I'm just dense. I would like to see the strong argument Terry Michael claims is not being made by politicians."

    The argument against the surge is the argument aganst the war, which I summarized, I think quite clearly and succinctly, here:

    "...Democrats have simply allowed neoconservative propagandists to define the terms of what has become a one-sided monologue about 'victory,' voiced by elective warriors who employed deception about phantom weapons of mass destruction to market a multi-trillion dollar travesty; claimed a paper tiger thug was our enemy, when the real culprits of the 9/11 attacks still hide in caves, not spider holes; imagined Iraqi embrace of pluralistic democracy, in a tribal culture with no indigenous movement for it; and fielded an imperial American occupying force, drawing jihadists to Baghdad while fomenting civil war that raged outside a surreal "Green Zone," as our puppet government dithered."

    Unfortunately, the following paragraph was cut (by Reason editors) for space, which addressed the fallacy of a surge "working," by analogy:

    "Those who took us to the wrong war in the wrong place at the right time seek redemption by claiming their surge is working. That's as rational as placing a few dozen more cops on urban street corners and declaring victory in the self-defeating war on drugs."

    Letting proponents of the war assert that we're now "winning" because their "surge" has temporarily tamped down some of the violence is letting them narrowly proscribe the terms of the debate.

    The case not being made by Democrats allegedly opposing the war is that the surge should have nothing to do with the decision to stay or go. The whole flawed war policy from its outset and its disastrous consequences comprise the reason to leave, now.

  • ||

    Wow. This is one of the most content-free articles I've ever seen since reading Reason. Reads like a stream-of-consciousness blog entry.

    Michaels appears to have substituted liberal use of the word "neocon" in place of an argument.

    Please don't publish this fellow again.

  • ||

    Why the hell would reason have edited out that follow up paragraph "for space". This isn't a print edition story, is it? WTF?

    Good article without it, anyway. I wish that there were a few democrats like you in elected office. Maybe we wouldn't be having this discussion.

  • ||

    Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel and Ron Paul were summarily dismissed, remember? Clearly, no one is prepared to address the truth, and ending war is way down on the list.

    Tell us more about the evil doers who hate freedom, the war on terror, free health care, hope, change... give it a break, will ya?

    More bullshit is the mandate, truth and peace be damned.

  • TallDave||

    It's nice to see a "libertarian" is so committed to freedom for Iraqis and Afghanis. I guess concern for liberty stops at the border.

    Free and fair elections for 50 million. Some vague semblance of freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly. No more executions for wearing your beard too short or criticizing the gov't.

    Do those not matter?

    Are people still arguing Iraqis and Afghanis were better off under Saddam Hussein and the Taliban? An average of 7,000 people a month died under Saddam. Even before the surge it was never that bad.

  • TallDave||

    The "liberal" newspapers which could have challenged the surge

    On what basis is anyone going to "challenge" the surge? Is there some argument by which vastly higher casualties and ceding control to the most vicious and violent groups, including Al Qaeda, is a good thing? Please, enlighten us.

  • economist||

    TallDave,
    Since when were people under Saddam Hussein being killed for having short beards? "Free and Fair" elections can be a bad thing if they produce a somewhat Islamist Parliament more interested in pissing around and airing old grievances than in protecting their citizens from murderers. And how does it promote "freedom" to run up a massive war debt that either we (or, if I'm lucky, someone else's kids) will have to pay higher taxes to finance?

  • Not as tall Dave||

    It's nice to see a "libertarian" is so committed to freedom for Iraqis and Afghanis.

    More than anything, it sounds to me like Michael is committed to a little intellectual and moral honesty. That, and attempting to hold the feet of those jackasses on both sides of the aisle to the fire.

  • ||

    It's nice to see a "libertarian" is so committed to freedom for Iraqis and Afghanis. I guess concern for liberty stops at the border.

    Free and fair elections for 50 million. Some vague semblance of freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly. No more executions for wearing your beard too short or criticizing the gov't.

    Do those not matter?

    Are people still arguing Iraqis and Afghanis were better off under Saddam Hussein and the Taliban? An average of 7,000 people a month died under Saddam. Even before the surge it was never that bad.

    @TallDave

    First off, the 7000 dead civilians a month figure under Saddam is innaccurate. It was high, but not nearly as high as it has been since the beginning of the occupation.

    Second, the Iraqi people do not enjoy the liberties you mention. Local governments throughout Iraq rule with an iron fist backed by thugs within the official Iraqi army itself.

    Third, voting doesn't mean anything if your choices are tyrants.

    Fourth, Iraqi women are being raped and murdered for having jobs.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/oct/08/iraq.peterbeaumont

  • ||

    I didn't mean to repaste TallDave's comments in my post. Sorry.

  • ||

    Third, voting doesn't mean anything if your choices are tyrants

    This is debatable.

  • Marian Kechlibar||

    I do not think that citing a Guardian article from October 06 to discuss situation in March 08 is OK for Iraq. The situation in the country changed a lot since then, though it is hard to get serious, unbiased reporting from there.

    I have some confidence in Michael Yon, Michael Totten and a few Iraqi bloggers (some of them bitterly anti-American), who actually see the situation with their own eyes. I do not have any confidence in op-eds written from within the Green Zone, or 4000 miles away.

    Tommy J: I do not think that most of the elected Iraqi politicians are tyrants a la Muqtada Sadr. Certainly this cannot be said about the president Jalal Talabani, and I would also defend the PM al-Maliki a bit, though Maliki may be weak and/or corrupt. Overall, I do not think that most Iraqi MPs are any worse than Western MPs, only their culture is more lenient towards bribery and nepotism. Still a far cry from Saddam and his family.

    The thing I am worried about is how these people in power can protect ordinary Iraqis from sectarian violence. It seems that this ability is quite limited. Some people will, no doubt, claim that it is zero; I do not think so, since, in such case, Muqtada et al would not probably agree to a ceasefire, and the bloodshed in Baghdad would be orders of magnitude greater (think of Bosnia 1995, and that is much less populous country); the US troops, in their current numbers, would not be able to prevent this without significant Iraqi police + army + Sahwa help. So, some dedication to law and order seems to be present in ranks of the official armed structures.

    However, the current drop in street-level violence is a good thing. I am not sure whether it will last, but the longer it lasts, the more reluctant will the people be to start fighting again.

  • Marian Kechlibar||

    BTW, one good thing. The excesses of the religious militias might have undermined support for political Islam in the Iraqi population.

    Well, the Iranian population also does not believe in the Islamic Republic anymore.

    The difference is that in current Iraq, Iraqis may be able to establish a secular state without major bloodshed, while Iranian mullahs will never give up their power while alive.

    I am only afraid that secular Iraqi politicians will turn out no better than the religious leaders - corrupt, too, and dishonest. Which would erode popular support for secularism again.

  • Pottsy||

    However, the current drop in street-level violence is a good thing.

    Sure, it's pretty easy to keep the peace if you're walling off neighborhoods and creating "allies" by paying them off

    We're getting the best prelude to an inevitable civil war that a trillion dollars can buy, that's for sure.

  • Marian Kechlibar||

    Pottsy: In history, nothing is inevitable and for sure. There are just various degrees of probability. And, unlike you, I do not see civil war in Iraq to be close to 100% probable. My guess would be about 50%. Of course, neither of us is an expert on Iraq and we both probably make our conclusions on information that we get through unreliable media.

    At the end of the day, it depends on the willingness of Iraqis of different sects to suppress their own extremists and coexist.

    I am not sure whether they can succeed in this. However, this current relative calm gives them a chance. If they decide to go on with the killing, well, their decision.

    But they still have a chance to decide otherwise.

    Without the current relative calm, they would not have that chance, because the extremists would be firmly in power. Now they have to contest it with the more moderate elements, and they cannot use their most powerful method - Kristallnacht methods.

  • ||

    http://www.cindyforcongress.org/

    ……Congress, under the Speakership of Ms. Pelosi has done nothing but protect the status quo of the corporate elite and, in fact, since she has been the Speaker, the situation in the Middle East has grown far worse, with Congress' help, and recently more of our essential freedoms were given to BushCo by Congress. That is not what we elected them to do!

    A great majority of citizens in California's 8th Congressional district believe Ms. Pelosi has lost touch with the people of this district and America and it's time for our reps that aren't doing their jobs by upholding their sworn oaths to the Constitution to receive a wakeup call!

    I agree that with over 45 million American uninsured, we need universal health care….. I agree that the people in the administrative branch are corrupt, as are many members of Congress…….

    Cindy Sheehan

  • Pottsy||

    The modern state of Iraq has been a house of cards since the British mandate after WWI, when three distinct regions of the former Ottoman Empire were united. There is no reason, aside from Western arrogance or naivety, to believe that they can, or even should, "coexist."

  • Marian Kechlibar||

    Pottsy, you are right that Iraq is not a nation-state.

    However, by co-existence, I mean the ability of different sects and tribes to live in the same location without resorting to sectarian bloodshed.

    Baghdad has been place of such, albeit not always stable, coexistence since times of ancient Babylonia, under very various sovereigns and regimes.

    That is why I do not see genocide and ethnic cleansing as somehow inevitable.

  • B||

    This is the most retarded bunch of bullshit I have ever read on this site. Since when did this site act as a mouthpiece for deranged political partisans? Are you gonna have Cindy Sheehan give us some similarly "brilliant" pontification about how the war was really done at the behest of Israel? Frankly the shit she writes is more fucking sane that what I just read. Hey Terry, I think you need to head to Walgreens to refill your lithium prescription, you fucking nutcase.

    It never ceases to amaze me when stupid fucks like this claim that the surge is not working. For christ sake, how many metrics of success need to be provided before stupid assholes like this shut the fuck up? How many verifiable numbers showing the drops in deaths have to be shown before insignificant washed up political hacks quit droning on about the horrible neo-conservatives? Evidently the latest story about how Petraeus is going to tell Congress, yet again, that the surge is working is just more bullshit lies that only real "we support the troops even as we daily tell them they are failing and secretly hope the surge doesn't work" patriots like Terry Michaels and Ron Paul can see through.

    And just when you thought it couldn't get anymore fucking lame, just when you thought the denial couldn't get any thicker we have stupid fucking commenters here who claim that the evidence of the surge's success is actually evidence that a civil war is inevitable; in other news, photos from space showing that the earth is round actually bolsters the arguments of the Flat Earth Society. Talk about trying to have it both ways. That's fine by me though. That way you can be proven wrong twice. It amazes me that these fuckers seem to actually want this effort to fail. Go Ron Paul.

    As for the ignorant asshole that claims Ron Paul and Mike Gravel were summarily dismissed, give me a fucking break. Get your fucking head out of your ass. Nobody fucking voted for Ron Paul, you dumb fuck. He was not "dismissed" by a behind-the-scenes cabal of war profiteers. His bullshit "rEvolution" was rejected because the fucker was a bigoted nut and the huge, huge (yes, it was necessary to use the word huge twice to convey the point) majority of voters saw him as the black-and-jew-hating, truther-embracing, my-newsletters-would-make-Julius Streicher-blush kook that he was. Good fucking riddance.

    Every time I read some dumb fuck's claim that Ron Paul was "dismissed" or some such other bullshit, I write a check to his primary opponent for the TX congressional election. Hopefully we can flush the turd for good.

  • VM||

    (Announcer's voice over)

    Ladies and gentlemen, you now have witnessed what happened when we substituted B's Sanka with Folgier's Extra Caffeine Plus.

    Fascinating.

  • tarran||

    Every time I read some dumb fuck's claim that Ron Paul was "dismissed" or some such other bullshit, I write a check to his primary opponent for the TX congressional election.



    Why would you send money to Peden? The primary is in the past, he's lost.

  • ||

    "I agree that with over 45 million American uninsured, we need universal health care…"

    And do we also need universal food care and housing care, to go with the universal education care we already have?

    Sorry, but "universal" appears to be only a code-word for "socialized." True universal health care would entail a system that let people afford and pay for routine health care just as they now afford and pay for routine food and clothing, shelter, transportation, etc. Why is the debate seemingly restricted to examining only variations on socialist approaches? We must escape the situation, in which it is perfectly natural and reasonable to consider "being uninsured" as equivalent to "having no access to healthcare."

  • ||

    What a waste of time. Please be sure future articles contain some facts. It makes them more interesting.

  • economist||

    B,
    You're satirizing, right?

  • TallDave||

    First off, the 7000 dead civilians a month figure under Saddam is innaccurate. It was high, but not nearly as high as it has been since the beginning of the occupation.

    It's completely accurate; the Saddam years overall were far, far worse than the post-2003 occupation. Two invasions of neighboring countries, two civil wars, 12 years of semi-occupation, semi-war before 2003, crippling sanctions due to the regime's refusal to cooperate, deliberate withholding of food and medical supplies to elicit sympathy for ending sanctions, day-to-day police state brutality ... it adds up to about 2 million over 24 years.

    Second, the Iraqi people do not enjoy the liberties you mention.

    In fact they do. The elections were judged free and fair, there are hundreds of independent media, people openly criticize the gov't.

    There are also thousands of private generators, more than twice as many cars, one HUNDRED times as many cell phones, internet cafes...

    These things should matter to libertarians.

    Of course Iraq still has a long way to go, but Iraqis are far, far freer than before -- and fewer, not more, people are dying.

  • TallDave||

    TallDave,
    Since when were people under Saddam Hussein being killed for having short beards?


    That was Afghanistan, the next place we'll presumably be abandoning since the occupation is supposedly so much worse than the prior regime.

  • TallDave||

    Oops meant to add this. Lots of facts and figures:

    http://www.brookings.edu/saban/iraq-index.aspx

    Also, if you'd like to ask our troops if they think they're making Afghanistan and Iraq worse for the people living there, you can sign up for the Bloggers' Roundtable. The DOD hosts conference calls with commanders on the ground.

  • TallDave||

    http://www.defenselink.mil/news/dodnews.aspx

  • e||

    In TallDave's world, the more Iraqis you kill through the sanctions regime, the more you get to kill when you liberate them in a subsequent war - nice how that works out. If only Saddam had cooperated with the sanctions and destroyed his weapons of mass destruction like he said he would, we wouldn't have had to starve and sanction a half a million Iraqis to death like we did, and we wouldn't have had to invade and kill a half million more!

  • JohnD||

    I don't know which is worse, the article itself or the comments of some of the morons that frequent this site.

  • ||

    How is it that you guys are so baffled by Michael's article?

    The point of the article is what weak wuss-bags the Democrats are for not putting up any kind of opposition to the war.

    I don't think that his intention is to prove to you in detail whether or not the "surge" is working.

    Obviously, you're thinking the article should be about one thing and it is not what you expected.

  • ||

    I must agree with Mr. Michaels. Look at the war progress on a scale of -10 to +10. The first 3-4 years brought progress down to -10, as everyone would agree. All the surge has accomplished is to bring progress back to perhaps a -7 or -6. We've slightly mitigated our overall failure, at best. Who could be possibly happy with that?
    I must laugh (or else I'd cry) at anyone who accuses either democratic candidate of not being prepared for the presidency. Who could think of a better poster child for presidential unfitness and unpreparedness than George W. Bush?

  • fish||

    I don't care what party wins the Presidency, I would just like to see some faint signs of intelligent life in the White House.

    Yeah...good luck with that.

  • ||

    Thank you B !!!

    I know EXACTLY how you feel, but I'm constantly biting my tongue because I just want to try and get along with some of these...people.

  • ||

    Here are the results of a recent poll in Iraq:

    Here are the results of another recent poll in Iraq:

    You can note that there seems to be strong agreement among Iraqis that the situation has improved since last August. In August, 43% said that their local security situation was good, now 62%. Then, 39% said their own life going well, now 55%. Then, 23% thought that things would get better in the next year, now 46%.

    Actually, that may be the same poll. Most Iraqis would like the US to leave, and avoid giving direct credit to the US and the surge for the improvements in security that they themselves seem to note. At the same time, two-thirds of Iraqis oppose an immediate withdrawal. It seems very conflicted.

    So McCain wants to stay there 100 yrs.??

    I weep for reading comprehension when I read this comment. Of course politicians are always taken out of context, but it's fairly ridiculous. He made the perfectly sensible observation that the number of years of troops remaining in a country is a particularly stupid metric compared to the level of violence and whether the foreign government and its people want us there. How is this controversial? Surely most people who opposed the war or the occupation would agree that 4 years in Iraq has been worse than the last 40 years in South Korea or Japan, despite the latter occupation time periods being ten times longer and the occasional (and sensationalized) crime committed by US soldiers.

    Of course, if you're the type of person who intensely advocates for all troops to come home from Japan, South Korea, and Germany, then the problem is lessened. But I suspect that even so, most feel that occupying Iraq has been a bigger mistake than ongoing troops and bases in South Korea, Germany, and Japan, despite the latter being there longer.

  • ||

    I must agree with Mr. Michaels. Look at the war progress on a scale of -10 to +10. The first 3-4 years brought progress down to -10, as everyone would agree. All the surge has accomplished is to bring progress back to perhaps a -7 or -6. We've slightly mitigated our overall failure, at best. Who could be possibly happy with that?

    Everyone would agree, karmel? Odd that in that recent poll I linked above, 49% of Iraqis said that it was right for the US to have invaded. Even with questions about the survey, they've asked the same question many times, and this is up from the last survey. Certainly they'd like the US forces to leave, but Iraqi opinion is hardly monolithic on the subject, and I think that their opinion has to be given some weight.

  • ||

    As for the ignorant asshole that claims Ron Paul and Mike Gravel were summarily dismissed, give me a fucking break. Get your fucking head out of your ass. Nobody fucking voted for Ron Paul, you dumb fuck. He was not "dismissed" by a behind-the-scenes cabal of war profiteers.

    Ron Paul was dismissed by the voters, as was Gravel and Kucinich. You injected the "cabal" conspiracy theory during your little rant. It has nothing to do with what I wrote.

    Let me spell it out for you... the voters, when they dismissed the only three candidates who were being truthful, sent a message; we are not interested in the truth.

    Some of them will even rant and rave and attack anyone who dares tell them the truth, spewing meaningless blather, punctuated with profanity, to show just how passionately and sincerely they are opposed to it.

    Yet, the truth remains.

  • Jacob||

    "Some of them will even rant and rave and attack anyone who dares tell them the truth, spewing meaningless blather, punctuated with profanity, to show just how passionately and sincerely they are opposed to it.

    Yet, the truth remains."

    Excellent retort, sir.

  • Nike Dunk Low||

    is good

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