Foreign Policy

For Those Still Concerned with Iraqi Hearts and Minds…

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….it's time to go!

Past surveys have hinted at this result, but a new poll in Iraq makes it more stark than ever: the Iraqi people want the U.S. to exit their country. And most Iraqis now approve of attacks on U.S. forces, even though 94% express disapproval of al-Qaeda.

At one time, this was primarily a call by the Sunni minority, but now the Shiites have also come around to this view. The survey by much-respected World Public Opinion (WPO), taken in September, found that 74% of Shiites and 91% of Sunnis in Iraq want us to leave within a year. The number of Shiites making this call in Baghdad, where the U.S. may send more troops to bring order, is even higher (80%). In contrast, earlier this year, 57% of this same group backed an "open-ended" U.S. stay.

By a wide margin, both groups believe U.S. forces are provoking more violence than they're preventing—and that day-to-day security would improve if we left.

Full account, from Editor and Publisher. Link thanks to Jim Henley.

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  1. Like what they think will make any difference to the administration. Caring about Iraqis’ desires was never anything more than a rhetorical tool.

  2. Bring the troops home. It won’t be the first war without a real objective that we lost, would it?

  3. I can’t believe that the Iraqis might prefer us to leave them to the extremists.

    “They’ve got to be protected,
    All their rights respected,
    ‘Till somebody we like can be elected”

    😉

  4. We believe in democracy. That’s why we’re occupying your country against your will.

  5. Caring about Iraqis’ desires was never anything more than a rhetorical tool.

    Indeed.

    But this can be used as a rhetorical tool by the anti-war folks looking to exit.

  6. I’ve always wondered how they do these opinion surveys in Iraq. Do most Iraqis have telephone service? I doubt it.

  7. “I’ve always wondered how they do these opinion surveys in Iraq. Do most Iraqis have telephone service? I doubt it.”

    Actually, they do “body on the street” interviews.

  8. I think others have mentioned it before, but if the administration had just set up a list of 3 or 4 easy-to-obtain objectives, they could save so much face by meeting those simple objectives and then pulling out of Iraq. It may be totally transparent if we (by which I mean our idiotic leaders) did something like that, but at least we could claim “victory” and get the hell out of there. As it is, it’s a place for our service men/women to get maimed and killed, which is simply unacceptable (at least to me).

  9. Why bother with objectives? We overthrew an, ahem, threatening regime, we gave democracy the old college try – certainly a kind gesture on our part!! – and we’re sorry that that didn’t work out. Thanks for playing along, good luck with everything, we wish you the best.

    Sounds like victory to me.

  10. method – and that’s fine, too. We could even come up with a wish-list from before the war started that would probably have enough things on there that we’ve actually done (get rid of Saddam – check!, have elections – check!) that we could trot out and say “See, we’re victorious, see ya’ll later!” or something along those lines. It doesn’t have to be sincere, just enough to let us save some face.

    ‘Course, if things go to absolute shit after we leave, we’re still screwed, but staying over there isn’t helping, either.

  11. But if we leave, who can the world blame for the continued carnage? Will the region’s troublemakers suddenly look inward and admit, “Shit, we’ve really fucked up this place! Let’s take a break and try to get along, shall we?”

  12. Hudson: Let’s just bug out and call it even, OK? What are we talking about this for?
    Ripley: I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.
    Hudson: Fuckin’ A…
    Burke: Ho-ho-hold on one second. This installation has a substantial dollar value attached to it.
    Ripley: They can *bill* me.

  13. Cellphones are common Iraq. Ditto sattelite dishes for internet and television.

    Anything that requires a landline is rare and unreliable.

  14. What a freaking nightmare this fiasco has become — and it just keeps getting worse. The only good news is that apparently more and more Iraqis want us to split — thus when the really bad shit goes down, the US can say ‘We wanted to stay, but we were told to leave.’ But then again, will the Iraq *government* ever ask us to leave? I tend to doubt it, since those in power are in such need of protection. . .

  15. madpad, I loved that movie!

  16. “”””Bring the troops home. It won’t be the first war without a real objective that we lost, would it?””””

    In the long run Vietnamn turned out Ok on its own dispite our loss. It it likely Iraq will too, 20 or 30 years down the road.

    “””Why bother with objectives? We overthrew an, ahem, threatening regime, we gave democracy the old college try – certainly a kind gesture on our part!! – and we’re sorry that that didn’t work out. Thanks for playing along, good luck with everything, we wish you the best.

    Sounds like victory to me.”””

    Bush blew that one too. If he didn’t keep changing the “goal” or definition of “victory” He could have said, Saddam gone, Iraq is now yours, Thank you, and good night.

    Hudson: Game over man, game over!!

  17. Yeah J sub…one of my favs too. It’s amazing how many quotes on IMDB are relevent. To whit

    ————————————
    Ripley: These people are here to protect you. They’re soldiers.
    Newt: It won’t make any difference.

    ————————————

    Hicks: Remember: short, controlled bursts.

    ————————————

    Hudson: You maybe haven’t been keeping up on current events but we just got our asses kicked, pal!

    ————————————

    Hudson: Well that’s great, that’s just fuckin’ great man. Now what the fuck are we supposed to do? We’re in some real pretty shit now man… That’s it man, game over man, game over! What the fuck are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?
    Burke: Maybe we could build a fire, sing a couple of songs, huh? Why don’t we try that?

    ————————————

    Bishop: I’m afraid I have some bad news.
    Hudson: Well that’s a switch.

    ————————————

    Ripley: HUDSON! This little girl survived longer than that with no weapons and no training.
    [to Newt/nancy Pelosi]
    Ripley: Right?
    [Newt/Nancy Pelosi apes a salute]
    Hudson: So why don’t you put her in charge?

    ————————————

    Ripley (Westmoreland): Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away?

  18. “””Hudson: You maybe haven’t been keeping up on current events but we just got our asses kicked, pal! “”””

    That’s the best one.

  19. I’d forgotten about this:

    “Freedom in Afghanistan, say goodbye Taliban
    Free elections in Iraq, Saddam Hussein locked up
    Osama’s staying underground, Al Qaida now is finding out
    America won’t turn and run once the fighting has begun
    Libya turns over nukes, Lebanese want freedom, too
    Syria is forced to leave, don’t you know that all this means

    Chorus
    Bush was right!
    Bush was right!
    Bush was right!

    Democracy is on the way, hitting like a tidal wave
    All over the middle east, dictators walk with shaky knees
    Don’t know what they’re gonna do,
    their worst nightmare is coming true
    They fear the domino effect, they’re all wondering who’s next

    Repeat Chorus

    Ted Kennedy – wrong!
    Cindy Sheehan – wrong!
    France – wrong!
    Zell Miller – right!

    Economy is on the rise kicking into overdrive
    Angry liberals can’t believe it’s cause of W’s policies
    Unemployment’s staying down, Democrats are wondering how
    Revenue is going up, can you say “Tax Cuts”

    Repeat Chorus

    Cheney was right, Condi was right,
    Rummy was right, Blair was right
    You were right, we were right, “The Right” was right and
    Bush was right
    Bush was right”

  20. Maybe they could steam that carrier back in with the “mission accomplished” sign on it and Bush could have a one-man victory signing.

    And then a band and parades!

  21. well, according to Max Boot, swine like Elliot Abrahms, and no doubt our own John, we “lost” Viet Nam, and left our (gag) “democratic allies” in the lurch in Central America, etc, because we didnt kill ENOUGH local peasants. . (Boot today is a profile in psychopathy)
    We just havent killed ENOUGH of them, you gutless doubters…..Cheney & his Flying Monkey are on the right path here.
    really. Hey, they are all volunteers, right? I aint got no kin there…..and theres a buck to be made! The market will decide. Lets see: what else. Oh, yeah: the Invisible Hand has all SORTS of triggers to pull, & to stop now would interfere with market forces. AND Cindy Shehan is ugly. John, please fill in what Ive missed, Im sure its a lot…..

  22. Joe, what the HELL was that? Please tell me it wasn’t the lyrics to an actual non-ironic song.

  23. “Please tell me it wasn’t the lyrics to an actual non-ironic song.”
    Yup. Actual lyrics to non ironic victory tune. Heard it on Hannity.
    Must be true. What? you prefer “Kumbaya” the surrendermonkey anthem??

  24. Ya’ll are why the LP will never be viable. The middle East needs work. Iran, Syria and Palistine will never permit a peace that won’t result in the eventual destruction of an American city. Yesterday’s assisination proves that Baker and his boy’s appeasement plan is fatally flawed, as Michael Young wrote in Yesterday’s WSJ.I hope Bush will reject the idea that will only forestall the carnage, and increase the violence to the point that we can tell Iran and Syria “YOU’RE NEXT!”.

  25. Michael Young is the most wrong person I have ever read.

    Go back through the archives for Mr. Young’s posts, and read his predictions. It’s astounding; the man’t like a south-pointing comopass.

  26. In the old days, 600,000 dead Iraqi’s would be cause for a parade. Now days, we’re losing because so many of our enemy has died.

  27. I hope Bush will reject the idea that will only forestall the carnage, and increase the violence

    Forestall? No carnage has been forestalled, you ass.

    In the old days, 600,000 dead Iraqi’s would be cause for a parade. Now days, we’re losing because so many of our enemy has died.

    This comment pretty much sums up how folks like you got us into this situation. Your ignorance and sheer stupidity, Ard, are mindboggling.

    We’re losing because people on our side have died. And their remaining families have either joined militias to protect themselves or are trying to leave.

    No one disputes that the Middle East was a mess long before we waded in. But we’re in it and we’re losing not because NBC is liberal. We’re losing because Bush is a fool.

  28. You make my point, madpad. In your opinion, losing three thousand soldiers in four years means we’re losing the war. You and your ilk’s politically motivated low threshold for death has handicapped the effort and made it nearly impossible to win. I may be stupid, but at least I write complete sentences.

  29. I guess the second to last sentence is complete after all, sorry.

  30. I’ve just glad the hawks have given up on their pretense of giving a damn about Arabs.

    Ah, the old days.

  31. Thank you, James Ard, for the latest in 12th century thinking.

    If I may offer a modest piece of 18th century thinking:

    “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

    I was under the impression that the signers were referring to all mankind, not just citizens of what would become the USA.

    Silly me.

  32. James Ard-

    I’m pretty sure that madpad was referring to dead Iraqis. Many of the Iraqis are or would be receptive to the establishment of a liberal republic with free elections, free trade, the rule of law, and religious freedom. However, madpad was saying that they are being killed by internal forces who prefer chaos, and our incompetence at dealing with the situation has not endeared us to anybody.

    When a few hundred thousand Iraqis are dead because of chaos that we clumsily created (partly by incompetent decisions in the early days of the occupation, partly just because the presence of a foreign occupier is inherently inflammatory), the survivors seek the protection of militias, not the foreign occupiers.

    The only way to do this right would have been to make some key decisions early on, leave some power structures intact, turn security over to Iraqi elements as early as possible, and get out. All of this, of course, would have required skillful and carefully timed decisions by bureaucrats, with very little margin for error.

    When the only way that a project will work is if bureaucrats make skillful and carefully timed decisions with little margin for error, that’s another way of saying that we shouldn’t embark on the project.

  33. You and your ilk’s politically motivated low threshold for death has handicapped the effort and made it nearly impossible to win.

    You don’t know squat about me or my ilk. You don’t appear to know much about politics or warfare, either.

    Thanks to thoreau, BTW, for ‘splainin’ my post to Ard. You hit that one dead center.

    Leaders, by defnition, lead. They achieve by gaining consensus, involving their political opponents and rallying forces around a common goal. This has practical, as well as political benefits. FDR, Reagan and Bush Sr. all knew this and used it to their advantage.

    Bush and the soon-to-be-former Republican majority, by contrast, froze out and sidelined their political opponents from day one and embarked on a fools errand.

    They now are paying the price. Blame politics if you like, but failure to play the game well can hardly be blamed on the Democrats. And failure to frame a politically and militarily achievable goal is not the fault of the MSM or the liberals.

    That you and your ilk can’t accept responsibility for you own failures pretty much makes you a pathetic loudmouth

    But hey, if you have such a high threshold for death, why don’t you go on over there and make sump’n happen?

  34. Come to think of it, why shouldn’t we freak out over 3,000 US casualties? IIRC, the death of 3,000 Americans on 9/11 made it politically feasible for Bush to wage a pre-emptive/preventive/whatever war in Iraq. Say what you will about the precise rationale for the war (what is it this week? I haven’t gotten the latest memo), but 9/11 prompted the focus on national security, terrorism, and the Middle East that made the war in Iraq politically possible.

    If 3,000 dead Americans were sufficient reason for our nation to launch a disastrous war, alienate allies, and forfeit liberties at home, surely 3,000 dead Americans should be sufficient reason to, at the very least, change course in Iraq a bit.

  35. Thoreau, Usually you make good points. But are you trying to equate three thousand unsuspecting, innocent civilians dead in hours to three thousand paid warriors dead over four years? And I’m open for changes in direction, but what is your plan when the Iran/Iraq axis decides to annex Kuwait? And how hard do you think Iran is going to try to keep their nukes from getting into the hands of terrorists?

  36. madpad, I realize politics never ended at the water’s edge. Especially after watching Democrats fighting like hell to insure the success of their glorious worker’s paradise in the Soviet Union. But it seems to me the most recent batch of power hungry Democrats take the cake in bad-mouthing America for political gain. I’m glad Democrats swept the elections, and I hope Hillary takes the presidency, because then finally we’ll have a chance to execute a war without all the fucking naysayers.

  37. But are you trying to equate three thousand unsuspecting, innocent civilians dead in hours to three thousand paid warriors dead over four years?

    No. Hence the response I called for is something far less radical than our response to 9/11.

    And I’m open for changes in direction, but what is your plan when the Iran/Iraq axis decides to annex Kuwait?

    There wouldn’t be an Iran/Iraq axis if we hadn’t invaded.

    I say we withdraw our troops from hostile parts of Iraq, put a few of them in far more friendly Kuwait, a few in Kurdistan, and send the rest home.

    And how hard do you think Iran is going to try to keep their nukes from getting into the hands of terrorists?

    The crazy figurehead who holds the powerless elected office, or the guys who have managed to hold power, keep the oil flowing, and keep collecting oil money for 27 years?

  38. the most recent batch of power hungry Democrats take the cake in bad-mouthing America for political gain.

    Can you provide some examples of what you’re talking about? Except for a few fringies, I can’t.

    Pointing out how Bush & Company have failed and screwed up on so many fronts does not equate to bad-mouthing America.

    And when the very same elitist loonies that came up with the cockamamy(sp?) plan in the first place are turning their back on you (see Richard Perle, et al), Rush Limbaugh is back pedalling for ‘carrying water’ for idiots, the Pentagon has made it clear it despises you and everything you stand for vilifying the Democrats is…well, stupid.

    Bush and the neocons buried themselves through astounding acts of incompetence. People have to actually work, study and plan to be as stupid as these fools have demonstrated themselves to be.

    I don’t know where you’re coming from Ard. You obviously haven’t learned anything from the past 3 years and blaming democrats (“worker’s paradise”???) is not only inaccurate, it’s an anachronism.

  39. “In the old days, 600,000 dead Iraqi’s would be cause for a parade. Now days, we’re losing because so many of our enemy has died.”

    Right. Because the iraqis are our enemies, including the women and children.

    Lets kill another 600,000 of those sick evil bastards then maybe they will cry uncle and live under our boot like the brown bitches they are.

    Don’t listen to the dems. The republicans will kill arabs, the democrats are too wimpy and can’t stand the thought of killing brown people. We republicans love to kill brown people. If you want dead brown people leave it to us.

  40. “brown people…”, “We republicans love to kill brown people…”, “Democrats can’t stand the though of killing brown people…”

    What happened to good, old fashioned hatred of black people? Somewhere along the way our racial hatred has been watered down. I don’t like this new fangled world where it is not clear who to hate. Pretty soon we will have to embrace the Irish!

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think the Democrats are at the root of this downward spiral in the focus of racial hatred.

  41. It would be interesting to see such a poll taken after the US withdraws. That won’t happen of course, because polls won’t be allowed.

    After the US does withdraw and the dust settles and the next set of brutes assumes control in Iraq, then the Iraqis can comfortably resume their subjocated postions under the heel of Saddam II, and the world will once again be in harmony.

  42. malcontent, I don’t care if they are white, brown or purple. And the actual number is around 150,000, not 600,000. The women and children of Dresden probably weren’t technically our enemy, but we killed plenty of them. And I don’t recall any of them being brown skinned.
    madpad, Dick Durbin is the fringe? And all the Dems parroting the saying that the war was based on a lie. If WMD was a lie, it was Bill Clinton’s lie to begin with.
    Not supporting our war effort isn’t the cause of the problems we’re facing, I admit Bush made plenty of blunders. But if the Dems cause us to pull out now, they certainly will be the cause of us losing the war. Declaring defeat prematurely will have devastating long term consequences. Hopefully now that the liberals have some of their God-given power back, they will rethink their position.

  43. But if the Dems cause us to pull out now, they certainly will be the cause of us losing the war.

    So…the war in Iraq is still winnable. All it will take is killing half a million more people and it’s a done deal, cause that’ll show the insurgents, the terrorists, Iran and Syria that we mean business. Right?

    There might have been an opportunity for that 3 years ago. But that ship has sailed. And it’s not about whether the Dems are pussies.

    The political will is not there anymore from anyone supporting the president let alone the citizens of the U.S. Further, Our military is behind on training, personnel and equipment by at least 18 months.

    Our allies in Europe and the Middle East have had enough and our largest competition for resources, China and India, are driving prices up in oil and copper.

    The situation, as it is, has reduced our market power and given our enemies (Iran, North Korea) and our competition (China, Russia, India, E.U.) leverage with allies (Saudi Arabia) and fence-sitters (Every other country).

    Moreover, most of our competition is carrying most of our debt AND an increasing portion of our outsourced productivity.

    We’ve only got so much muscle left to flex. Going your route would leave the U.S. and Isreal as bankrupt pariahs.

  44. If WMD was a lie, it was Bill Clinton’s lie to begin with.

    Well, I guess that makes it alright then?

    But if the Dems cause us to pull out now, they certainly will be the cause of us losing the war. Declaring defeat prematurely will have devastating long term consequences.

    Well, then, when should we pull out?

  45. Historically, insurgencies take about ten years to squash. How about we try at least half that length of time before calling for withdrawl.

  46. madpad,

    I don’t think you completely understand the politics of partisanship as they relate to starting this war. You wrote that the Republcians “failed” to create meaningful support among the other half of the country in the runup to the war, as if they gave it shot, but lacked the concentration and competence to pull it off. That’s not what happened at all.

    The Republicans deliberately and purposely crafted a political policy of using security and war as wedge issues in the aftermath of 9/11. Karl Rove gave a speech while the fires were still burning in NYC outling exactly that strategy, and it was implemented ruthlessly for the next five years. They didn’t want Democratic support for this war; they worked very hard to alienate as many Democrats as possible – in classic Tom Delay “Any votes over 51% are wasted” style – so they could run against Democratic “softness.” Look at how they turned the dispute over whether DHS employees (like in FEMA, for instance) should be political appointees or civil service employees, into an accusation that Democrats “don’t care about the security of the American people.” And they did the same thing on the international level, with their arrogant yammering about “the chocolate makers” in “old Europe.” When the Iraq War was a glorious success, the reasoning went, the Democrats and the liberals and the French and the Canadians sure were going to look like a bunch of idiots. America would be the unchallengeable leader of the world, and the GOP would have a permanent majority in the U.S.

    They looked at the unprecidented unity in this country after 9/11, and they purposely destroyed it for partisan gain. They did this with our troops engaged in battle, and during the period when a reponsible government would have been building as much national unity as possible so there would be a solid foundation in case the war went badly. They ripped this country in half, thinking that they’d get the slightly larger half, and it worked in 2002 and 2004. And now people like Mr. Ard have the temerity to denounce the Democrats – the Democrats! – for engaging in partisanship that undermines the war.

    What’s the plan for handling future crises, James Ard? Making sure people with intellectual and moral failures like yours aren’t anywhere near the levers of power.

  47. Successful counter-insurgencies don’t look like this half-way through.

  48. Historically, insurgencies take about ten years to squash.

    Historically? Another brilliant ‘factoid’ pulled out of your wazoo with no basis or facts to back it up.

    But just for giggles, name one where the victor was an occupying force rather than an internal government. ‘Historically’ insurgencies chase occupiers out or the occupiers leave when other conflicts drain there resources. I’m thinking France-Vietnam-Algeria, Russia-Afganistan-U.S…I could go on.

    And if you’d read the piece, you’d know that the insurgency is no longer the only issue…it’s that the citizenry wants us gone.

    The problem with your analysis, Ard, is that you keep thinking it’s a simple equation of forces winning on a battlefield. And it’s that simplistic thinking that’s pretty much canned us over there.

    Warfare is not the only tool of diplomacy nor is it the only one that will work over there.
    Aid, economic tools (other than sanctions – which have worked so goddamned well), leaning on Isreal (which has gotten reckless, sloppy and provacative because of Bush’s unwillingness to intervene) and plain old negotiations with the side players (Iran, Syria) would gofurther and have more solid long-term effect than amping up a war to satisfy a shrinking base of Big Stick types like yourself.

    It’s one thing to not be a pussy…it’s another thing entirely to be a belligerent fool.

  49. I don’t think you completely understand the politics of partisanship

    I do understand it, joe…in much the same way you very ably laid it out in your post.

    If you read my post at 11:23am you’ll find that I wrote: “Bush and the soon-to-be-former Republican majority, by contrast, froze out and sidelined their political opponents from day one…” The political opponent of course, being the Democrats.

    Your post goes into much more detail but I essentially was going for that same line. I’m not sure which post you’re pulling from but I can’t find where I referred to Bush’s failures as giving that issue a short shrift.

    I did mention Bush’s failures in terms of overall incompetence. Maybe you’re mashing the two.

    It’s cool…we’re on the same side with this issue.

  50. I didn’t pull ten years out of thin air. A guy who did three imbeds in Iraq said ten years this morning on cspan. I’ve heard this before many times. I believe examples include the Phillipines and Indonesia, and we might get to see how long it takes in Afganistan. Not likely in Iraq though, to the detriment of many.

  51. Nice to sidestep the issue, Ard since you examples were internal struggles that involved coups and dicatorships rather than democracies and occupying forces.

    Not likely in Iraq though, to the detriment of many.

    You’ll pardon if I observe crocodillian in the tears you shed for the detrimentees…seeing as how you’d so blithely kill 600,000 people.

  52. The fact is that the casualty rate in this war is no higher than in wars past. Why is our will to persevere so much lower than before? My guess is that the constant drumbeat of failure, provided by the Bush-haters, has given today’s instant gratification crowd of baby boomers the perception that success is hopeless. I’m sorry, I still don’t buy it.

  53. Anybody remember the reports of us in a “quagmire in Afganistan”?, three weeks into the campaign. Or, “bogged down in the desert”, a week into Iraq? There is just no way a Republican will ever win a war for this country again.

  54. Why is our will to persevere so much lower than before?

    When we met with repeated failure during the first year of the American Civil War, Lincoln fired McClellan. Failures occured, but so did incredible successes. Four years after it began, The American Civil War was over.

    World War 2 also had numerous failures but also astounding successes. Thousands of Americans died but so did comparable numbers of the enemy. We regularly gained ground and less then 1 years after the largest offensive of the war, the Germans were conquered by us and our allies.

    The point is, blame the naysayers all you want, but the truth is, Bush set us up for failure from the start because he’s a moron.

    Ill concieved notions of victory married with unrealistic plans for occupation further compounded by a stubborn unwillingness to plan for the occupation or to change tactics and strategy when the need for such was obvious.

    Why can’t you see that this is a failure on so many different fronts? You can’t sum it up to one thing – or if you could it would be a lack of vision and intelligence from Bush Jr.

    Blaming the ‘Bush-haters’ is the pussy’s way out. You broke it. The public was with you long until and after it was obvious something was dreadfully wrong. The Democrats aren’t to blame for your side’s failures. You are, you pathetic weeny.

    These failures are your sides and your sides alone. You’re a pathetic coward to blame anyone but your miserable selves for this boondoggle.

    I have nothing but contempt for the lives and goodwill you’ve wasted pissing up a rope in the name of U.S. superiority. You’re an infantile, juvenile ass. And a delusional one at that.

    Somehow you and your ilk have gotten it in your thick heads that beating allies and enemies alike in line is the way to get things done. Now you’re paying the price along with the rest of us.

  55. I believe the reason Bush and Co. were able to gain so much initial public support for the war was because they implicitly promised it would only be a short occupation. Almost 4 years in with no end in sight they broke this promise. Even after 35 years memories of Vietnam are still fresh – the American public has little patience with expensive, drawn out colonial wars.

  56. Anybody remember the reports of us in a “quagmire in Afganistan”?, three weeks into the campaign.

    Considering how things are going for the Canadians and other NATO forces in Afghanistan against the resurgent Taliban right now I don’t think “quagmire” is a stretch at all. Only now we’ve dragged our allies into it.

    Mind you, maybe if Bush and Co had concentrated on finishing up there before going of on his new glorious adventure things might be looking better.

    Or, “bogged down in the desert”, a week into Iraq?

    Frankly, “bogged down in the desert” is a pretty apt metaphor for exactly what’s happening in Iraq right now.

    Bush has not only managed to fuck up foreign policy in ways the Clintonites could never manage at their worst but he has managed to squander all of the international sympathy and goodwill and national unity that 9/11 generated.

    It will be a long time before we will be able to depend on our allies the way we could after 9/11

  57. You can’t be infantile and juvenile at the same time you fucking idiot. And might I suggest a class in English. You write like a third grader, but I’m supposed to listen to your wisdom on foreign policy?

  58. Isaac, Even if that is the case now, is it really appropriate for CNN and the New York Times to be reporting this crap in the first month of battle?

  59. Bob, Please provide evidence of this implicit promise. In fact, Bush went to great lengths to warn the public that it could take a long time. I agree with your second point.

  60. You can’t be infantile and juvenile at the same time you fucking idiot.

    No comment.

  61. You can’t be infantile and juvenile at the same time you fucking idiot.

    I don’t know…you seem to be able to do it. But then again, maybe you’re alternating between the two.

    You write like a third grader,

    I know you are but what am I? I’m rubber you’re glue…

    I’m supposed to listen to your wisdom on foreign policy?

    You’re not supposed to do anything. No one’s holding a gun to your head (as attractive as the prospect may be).

    It’s certainly no worse than listening to you avoid issues, dodge points and ignore facts while making belligerent, idiotic statements that defy reason, common sense and experience.

    For all the wisdom in your posts…well, there really is no wisdom in your posts. Just style-less nonsense cheerleading policies that go nowhere.

  62. “Why is our will to persevere so much lower than before?”

    It’s not. See Afghanistan, Complete Absence of Calls to Withdraw from War That Has Gone On Longer than Iraq. If we actually had a legitimate cause in this war, or if we were achieving something beneficial for our country, people would continue to support the war.

    Now that the public is not longer with them, the Iraq hawks have decided that the American people are lazy, irresponsible cowards with short attention spans. The idea that the public has rejected the war on principle, and is capable of weighing costs and benefits, must never be acknowledged.

  63. Well said, joe…persevering is not equal to repeating the same mistakes over and over.

  64. Isaac, Even if that is the case now, is it really appropriate for CNN and the New York Times to be reporting this crap in the first month of battle?

    I for one do not believe the terrorists have won because people who have contrary opinions express them.

    History is on the side of those who think that anyone who gets involved in Afghanistan has his work cut out.

    Many of us who supported the War in Afghanistan (and continue to) did so in spite of the hazards not because we believed they did not exist.

    Some of us who believed that Saddam Hussein had to be dealt with believed that war was too risky and that other means should be employed.

  65. You don’t see a call for withdrawl from Afganistan because we only have a few thousand troops there and plenty of help from allies that supposedly hate us. Why would anyone want us to bail out of Afganistan now?

    If someone can explain to me how we benefit from engaging Iran in an Iraq solution, I’m willing to listen. But all I can see is a short term face-saving at the cost of boosting the biggest threat in the region. I expect Bush will tell Baker to go kick sand. Anybody wan’t to deny that Iran has WMD programs?

  66. James,

    If we could trade the cost and casualties in Afghanistan for those in Iraq, I would still support the war against the Taliban/Al Qaeda, and I would still oppose the war in Iraq.

    “If someone can explain to me how we benefit from engaging Iran in an Iraq solution, I’m willing to listen.”

    The Iranian state, as dangerous as it is, is quite a bit less dangerous to us than the stateless jihadist groups who would set up in the Sunni triangle if Iraq turns into a failed state.

    Yup, Iranian influence over an Iraqi government, or over a 1/3-of-Iraq-i government, is going to suck. Please keep this outcome in mind the next time you find yourself tempted to agitate for a needless war in the pursuit of a Really Big Idea That Can’t Possibly Go Wrong.

  67. Bob, Please provide evidence of this implicit promise. In fact, Bush went to great lengths to warn the public that it could take a long time.

    Bush, Rumsfeld, etc. have always been very careful to never give any definite statement about how long (or short) the occupation might be. But “implicit” mean “suggesting without clearly stating”. I believe that their statements circa early 2003 were carefully designed to suggest (without explicitly stating) that a large occupation force would have to maintained for only a couple of years.

  68. Ripped from a 2003 USA Today story.

    Dig the quotes:

    Four weeks ago, it was Myers who spoke with reporters about “a short, short conflict” against an Iraqi force that was “much weaker” than it was in the 1991 Gulf War.

    Other top officials, including Cheney and Rumsfeld, said the war would last “weeks, not months.”

    Kenneth Adelman, a Reagan administration official who serves on a Pentagon advisory board, said in a Washington Post column in February that the war would be “a cakewalk.” Richard Perle, who chaired that board until last week, predicted in July that support for Saddam, even within the Iraqi military, would “collapse after the first whiff of gunpowder.”

    * Feb. 7, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to U.S. troops in Aviano, Italy: “It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.”

    * March 4, Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a breakfast with reporters: “What you’d like to do is have it be a short, short conflict. . . . Iraq is much weaker than they were back in the ’90s,” when its forces were routed from Kuwait.

    * March 11, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars: “The Iraqi people understand what this crisis is about. Like the people of France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped-for liberator.”

    * March 16, Vice President Cheney, on NBC’s Meet the Press: “I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. . . . I think it will go relatively quickly, . . . (in) weeks rather than months.”

  69. You got to it first, joe.

    Love the Iraq hawk revisionists who seem to forget all the rosey prospects and “the insurgency is on it’s last legs” garbage right up to the 2004 election.

    The dorks need to admit they screwed up and quit trying to put a fresh coat of paint over the b.s.

    Seriously though, I’m getting tired of wasting time on dinguses like you, Ard. For all your complaining about my writing, you can’t seem to produce more than a couple of paragraphs of poorly researched, out-of-context nonsense with anything approaching a fact, a date or an original thought. For example…

    If someone can explain to me how we benefit from engaging Iran in an Iraq solution, I’m willing to listen.

    You’re not willing to listen to dick. You’re just another sanctimonious, close-minded troll aping the same “it’s all liberal’s fault’ victimology. For all my occassional mispellings, at least I’m not desperately living in denial.

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