Give the People What They Want: More Casualties!

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Some people think the elections reminded the Bush administration of the need to change course in Iraq. It actually looks like it reminded them how useful it was, in 2003, for the Congress to cede war powers to the executive with a smile and a high five.

President George Bush has told senior advisers that the US and its allies must make "a last big push" to win the war in Iraq and that instead of beginning a troop withdrawal next year, he may increase US forces by up to 20,000 soldiers, according to sources familiar with the administration's internal deliberations.

Mr Bush's refusal to give ground, coming in the teeth of growing calls in the US and Britain for a radical rethink or a swift exit, is having a decisive impact on the policy review being conducted by the Iraq Study Group chaired by Bush family loyalist James Baker, the sources said.

This is in the Guardian and not widely reported elsewhere, so take it with the necessary amount of salt.

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  1. The Democratic Congress should respond by formally declaring war on Iraq and Afghanistan and authorizing Bush to send up to 500,000 soldiers to the two wars. Maybe have females start registering with Selective Service at the same time to show some seriousness. Along with the 500,000 troop authorization should come a Congressional timetable. One that ends the occupation for good and all on election day 2008. Should be doable with half a million ablebodied Americans!

    The Democratic Party should be giving Bush more rope, as much as he wants, in the 2006-2008 interim. That way next time there is a wartime presidential race, the Democratic candidate won’t have to dress up in his Navy whites and “report for duty.” The party will go from being perceived as soft on terrorism to being the “get er done” party.

    Of course, the 500,000 probaly won’t win the war, but the key is to make George W. Bush himself say that as C in C. I propose that my new law be called the Pelosi-Clinton Get ‘Er Done Act Of January 2007 The Year Of Our Lord. Time for Democrats to stop being losers and get the tiger by the tail here. Besides, having women register like men do is a simple matter of gender equality, which is a positive value that the Donkey Party has long embodied (to its credit).

    I don’t think “The Decider” would send 500,000 over. Sometimes in politics, as in poker, you have to call the other guy’s bluff. I don’t think The Decider would institute a draft if there were insufficient volunteers willing to go, but that is his problem. Whatever happens in Iraq, leave The Decider the most aggressive options on the table and let him speak as voice of restraint for a change. This would basically blow out the whole counterproductive red / blue divide thing that has been so disaterous for the Democrats. The worst that is going to happen is the US will suffer 5,000 more casualities, and when you are talking about two wars, that is tiny. Can’t let that bleeding heart get in the way. It is exactly that tendency that seems to have spooked voters for decades (at least when serious foreign policy issues are in play).

    I mean it is not like this is a war were very many soldiers are dying compared to other wars. It is also not like the soldiers voted Kerry when they had the chance. But, ultimately, Congress needs to make it clear that the call is the Chimp’s, they are merely allowing him a full range of options to excercise as he sees fit, despite the fact that the duck is lame.

    A long time ago, Colin Powell compared Bush to a shopper at pottery barn. Bad analogy. he is a dog who made a poop on the rug with the eager help of his soldier friends and now they need their collective nose rubbed in that poop so that this type of bad outcome never happens again. Hearts and minds of American voters are what I want the Ds to go after here, and my preferred startegy is the only one likely to change those organs.

    (Previous draft posted at DAR’s fine blog)

  2. I will blow to completion the first poster who can post a definition of “win the war” that is both (a) anywhere near any tradiional definition of “winning a war” as commonly understood and (b) realistically achievable with 20,000 more troops.

    I have the utmost confidence that a mouthful of jism will not be on my menu anytime soon.

  3. ***tweeeeeeeeeeet!!!***

    Word count foul on Sam Franklin! Ten yards and three hail marys!

  4. I will blow to completion the first poster who can post a definition of “win the war” that is both (a) anywhere near any tradiional definition of “winning a war” as commonly understood and (b) realistically achievable with 20,000 more troops.

    Nukes. Now get that head down.

  5. Why is there no talk about the creation of permanent American bases in Iraq, a la Germany? That might allow our forces to leave the country to its own whim, while staying readily available for rapid strikes if (when) things go horribly wrong again. It would also allow them to leverage their Cold War thinking and resources to contain Iran and Syria.

    The one big downside is that it would create some very tidy and convenient targets for Iran’s new toys.

  6. Seems the meme that we must do either more or less, and perhaps more and then less has been circulating widely of late. Certainly if more troops is what it takes to “win”, then there’s a good argument for it regardless of some obvious downsides. Of course the biggest downside is that my conditional is false and it wouldn’t work. And why would it work? How can we ever defeat an enemy we can’t actually find? Or is that not the case? Do we have any actual offensives in this “war” against the enemy? If we can’t find them, all more troops can hope to do is keep the sectarian combatants relatively quiet until we leave. Then what’s to stop the civil war then? Am I missing something? Well, I guess there’s the idea that Iraqi security forces will be able to take over, but that doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen for a long time…

  7. Henry, the war is already lost, and has been for some time. Lucky for you, as I planned to donate my winnings to my local assisted-living facility.

  8. I got back from my 13 months in Vietnam toward the end of 1969. It was pretty obvious by then that the US was going to get out pretty much any way it could. Naturally, once I was out of there, I lost a great deal of my emotional feelings about “winning or losing.”
    It has just struck me recently though: How many years AFTER 1969 did it take for the US to finally get out? How much more American blood was shed during this hopeless period? Was the final conclusion any more “honorable” as a result of the several YEAR delay?

  9. Was the final conclusion any more “honorable” as a result of the several YEAR delay?

    No, but it made republicans look like the party of hawks and Democrats look like the party of doves. This helped Republican Reagan in 1980 when the US had hostages in Iran. this hurt Democrat Dukakis in whatever election he tried to campaign in a tank in. This helped GWB in 2004 where Vietnam, especially the Republican phase of the war was a big deal still somehow for reasons that remain obscure to me.

    Those late to Viet Nam troops did not die in vein. They died demonstrating to the American voter which party was tougher. the lesson lasted decades. Teaching important lessons to voters is a plenty noble reason to die for your country, isn’t it?

  10. Ruthless:

    I’m surprised that a Vietnam Vet is such an anarchist as you. You are not an armchair expert (you should have nailed me).

    We need to start planning our withdrawl NOW. There is nothing to win and only lives to lose.

  11. Sam Franklin,
    I’m pretty sure Buckshot would join me in favoring partying hardy, but dying for a party?
    Get real.

  12. but dying for a party?

    It woulda been 8 years of Carter!

  13. “Teaching important lessons to voters is a plenty noble reason to die for your country, isn’t it?”

    It’s been pointed out to me before that sometimes my Ironimeter needs tuning. You are being ironic, right?

  14. I have a cunning plan. Build permanent bases in Kurdistan (did I mention that part?), with the understanding that the Kurds need to try to reach an accommodation with the Turks in exchange for getting our military protection and that the rest of Iraq is off limits to the other countries in the region. If we don’t like what happens in Iraq, we’ll go south, topple the new government, and go hide in Kurdistan when we’re done.

  15. It’s been pointed out to me before that sometimes my Ironimeter needs tuning. You are being ironic, right?

    Now you remind me of me from back when the Band Aids were purple.

  16. The sheer military ignorance on display in these comments is stunning. Talk of permanent bases in Iraq or Kurdistan as some kind of solution is nonsense. Talk of victory through nukes is even more absurd. The American presence in what was Iraq is not going to be tolerated. One way or another, we’re getting the boot. Only a hopeless civilian can’t realize that.

  17. Talk of victory through nukes is even more absurd.

    I wasn’t suggesting that the US actually use nukes on Iraq. That free blowjob guy didn’t ask what the US should do in Iraq. He asked a different question and “nukes” was the correct answer to the question he posed. Yet my tallywacker is bone dry somehow.

  18. Stick To Something You Know,

    Try sticking to something you read. Neither of your “civilians are so stupid” examples was put forth as a genuine solution. Sam Franklin’s nuke proposal was so obviously a jest that technically but not really met the criteria of the “bet” and my mention of bases was curiousity of why it hasn’t been touted and musing on how it might be better than the current situation, not an assertion that it would be a genuine solution.

    As to who has military expertise and who doesn’t, try sticking to something you know.

  19. my mention of bases was curiousity of why it hasn’t been touted and musing on how it might be better than the current situation, not an assertion that it would be a genuine solution.

    For one thing, how would such bases be supplied? It isn’t a matter necessarily of civilians being stupid. It’s more a question of civilians sounding off about military matters without even considering such basic issues as logistics.

    I don’t tell someone how to deal with stomach cancer because I’m aware I don’t know enough about medicine to say anything useful. Analogously, I know enough about military affairs to not do something silly like make glib, half-assed comments about something as serious as a war, not just a war, but the worst defeat in American history.

  20. StSYK,

    Try to stuff the ad hominem shit and say something useful.

    Why do you think that the current logistics scheme will fail if the US forces stop patrolling the country and largely restrict themselves to established bases around airstrips and ports? Yes, I know that supplying exclusively by air is not economically practical for even the medium-term, but why do you think that the trucking supply scheme in place now will suddenly fail when US forces aren’t patrolling the Baghdad suburbs?

    As an aside, why do you think that this is the “worst defeat in American history”? How is this worse than the burning of Washington? No, wait a sec, that might not be the best example….

  21. “He is a dog who made a poop on the rug with the eager help of his soldier friends and now they need their collective nose rubbed in that poop so that this type of bad outcome never happens again.”

    Uh, I’m fairly sure the Army wasn’t real enthusiastic about the war. We just follow lawful orders and when the political echelon said conquer Iraw, we did. When the political echelon said don’t worry about an occupation, we didn’t.

    We’re paying for the mistakes of the political echelon in ways no civilian ever will. Please don’t drag us into the recriminations.

    Trust me, you don’t want an Army more politicized than it already is.

  22. Sticky,

    The decision about whether or not to maintain a presence among our Kurdish allies is a question of neither military strategy, nor of tactics. It is a question of politics, and the years you’ve spent obediently doing what you’re told by your superiors don’t make you any more qualified to answer such questions than any civilian. If that is what our country commits to do, you are either going to figure out a way to keep those bases supplied, or we’re going to find a smarter jarhead. Are we clear on that?

    You also don’t seem to know very much about our country’s relationship with the Kurds, or the decade+ we spent as their sole defense against the depredations of Saddam’s regime.

  23. You also don’t seem to know very much about our country’s relationship with the Kurds, or the decade+ we spent as their sole defense against the depredations of Saddam’s regime.
    gee, Joe, that goes two ways. Im sure a lot of Kurds havent forgotten how we betrayed them to the Shah, either. the southern Shia, too, for that matter. As for the notion of perm,anent bases, and the US forcing the Kurds to some deal with the Turks? I dont think so. For the Turks, the Kurds only option is the same one the Isrtealis give the Palestinians- disappear, vanish, go away.
    No rocket science on this thread…….

  24. Trust me, you don’t want an Army more politicized than it already is.

    No, I want an army politicized in the opposite direction from what is was in 2003-04. I am getting it, too.

  25. MUTT,

    The Kurdish government has funded a series of ads in American media, touting Kurdistan as “The Other Iraq,” where they’re just like us.

    They also used their peshmerga in direct cooperation with Special Forces and Airborne troops during the war.

    I don’t think I’m off my rocker for suggesting that they’re glad we stopped Saddam from massacring them for a decade, or that they want to maintain good relations with us, or that they are willing to cooperate with us militarily to defend their autonomy.

  26. Joe: you wrote…. I don’t think I’m off my rocker for suggesting that they’re glad we stopped Saddam from massacring them for a decade, or that they want to maintain good relations with us, or that they are willing to cooperate with us militarily to defend their autonomy.
    i think they remember being set up, & betrayed, massivly. I think they remember Hussien was our client, using technology & precursors suppled by us, the Hun, & the Brits when he gassed them.
    I think they remember this, & see our support as strictly situational, and apt to vanish, like before, if it “profits” the US.
    In short, I dont think they arte stupid.

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