You Wanted the Surge? You Got It!

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The president just made an anti-Iraq supplemental funding statement from the Rose Garden, which—little known fact!—is located behind the looking glass.

Last November, the American people said they were frustrated and wanted a change in our strategy in Iraq. I listened. Today, General David Petraeus is carrying out a strategy that is dramatically different from our previous course.

This really isn't true at all. The election exit poll had 57 percent of voters straight-up "disapproving" of the war. Polls before and after the election pegged troop withdrawal or timetables for withdrawal as the most popular Iraq policies; support for sending more troops came in below 25 percent. Joe Lieberman, the most pro-war politician who survived the midterm culling, packaged his Iraq position as "bringing our troops home." Check out his TV ads and find one that suggests he'd send more troops to Iraq.

It's not really ideal that the two big parties have moved into opposing pro-war and anti-war camps. But that was useful from the perspective of a 2006 voter. If you voted GOP, you knew you'd buck up the president's war policy with a Congress that would accede to what he wanted. If you voted Democratic, you knew you were voting to get the hell out. The president's approach to the resulting situation—a Democratic Congress that wants to get the hell out—is a total rip-off of Alexander and the Gordian Knot.

UPDATE: Ah, those TPM guys got this. With video.

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  1. I’m beginning to think that GWB is not a great president.

  2. “I also made it clear our troops should not be caught in the middle of that discussion…I strongly believe that the Democrats’ proposal would undermine our troops… if the Democratic leaders insist on using the bill to make a political statement, they will leave me with only one option: I will veto it.”

    Good thing he’s against the troops being caught in the middle of a political discussion.

    I want $100 billion and a helicopter to Belieze, or the troops get it.

  3. Oops, my bad. Replace “helicopter to Belieze” with “no timetable for withdrawal”

  4. C’mon, David, aren’t you glad to see a politician take an unpopular stand and refuse to pander to the public?

  5. He means Belize, the country formerly known as the British Honduras.

    If Bush were smart, he’d tell Iraq to do exactly as we say or we’ll shoot this dog.

  6. C’mon, David, aren’t you glad to see a politician take an unpopular stand and refuse to pander to the public?

    The queer thing is he’s pretending that he’s taking a popular stand. It’s like he’s pandering to an alternate universe where Superman is evil and tofu makes you fat.

  7. If I were Bush, I’d also use the phrase, “Surge-i-cal Strike”. Over and over again. With that little leer he does.

  8. If that is not really true Dave, then why isn’t the Democratic Congress just cutting off funding now and letting the troops in Iraq die on the vine? If it is so popular to pull out, the sollution for the Democrats in Congress is to cut off funding now. If they are really lucky they can cut off funding so quickly they can get a nice helicopter leaving Bahgdad shot. Of course they are not doing that. They blinking like crazy and are going to end up with a funding resolution with some non binding advisory deadlines crap. Are the Dems in Congress just stupid and don’t want to get the votes or perhaps do they know a few things that Weigel doesn’t?

  9. I’m beginning to think that GWB is not a great president.

    But is he just not a great president, or not the greatest president?

  10. If nobody comes down here and establishes liberal Iraqi democracy in the next hour, I’m gonna club this baby seal. That’s right. I’m gonna club this seal to make a better Middle East. You know I’ll do it, too, ’cause I’m crazy.

  11. If that is not really true Dave, then why isn’t the Democratic Congress just cutting off funding now and letting the troops in Iraq die on the vine?

    Is it possible that, while withdrawal of the majority of our troops over, say, 6 months is a good idea, withdrawal of every one of them overnight Bob Irsay-style is a bad idea? Because I don’t remember anybody proposing the latter.

  12. Just as long as Washington Politicians don’t try to tell the generals on the ground how to run the war. This is a job best left to silver-spoon legacy Yalie “jet fighter jocks from Texas.”

  13. Bush does live in alternate universe.

    One where “get the hell out” means “escalate hostilities”. A magical fairy tale land, a Bushiverse, where there is a god and his collection of ancient babylonian fairy tales are true and factually correct in every detail.

  14. If that is not really true Dave, then why isn’t the Democratic Congress just cutting off funding now and letting the troops in Iraq die on the vine?

    One could claim that they’re simply giving the President the resources required to conduct a pull-out in a managed fashion, acting as a compromise in lieu of what they actually want.

    I think it’s just that they’re chickenshit, like you say John. But my proposed argument at least has some rational basis.

  15. I Belieze. I Belieze. It’s silly but I Belieze.

  16. Funny how Bush keeps saying he is letting the Generals on the ground from the war. When he finally wanted the surge, he went through a couple of generals who didn’t want to do it b/c they knew it wouldn/t work. He just found one that was willing to do his strategy. That really isn’t letting the Generals decide.

  17. I’m not sure that comparing George W. Bush to Alexander the Great really furthers the point of this post.

  18. highnumber,

    Wasn’t Bush at my alternate universe bachelor party? Man, what a cokehead!

  19. All right, no coke jokes about W, please! Let’s keep it clean.

  20. Pro L,

    Alt-Bush might be a cokehead, but he’s a hell of a dancer.
    That whole thing with him and the broomstick was just too weird, though. I finally shoved it up there and broke it off just so he would shut up and stop begging us to do it.

  21. Alt-Bush’s low point was when he stole Nick’s jacket. Whoa.

  22. I belieze I can flieze.
    I belieze I can flieze.

  23. You think that was his low point?
    How about when he started drinking the vomit as it spewed from Dan T’s mouth?

  24. Whose poll are you going to believe? There are so many of them, you can pick and choose the one you want, the one that “proves” your point. For example, here’s one that says “Americans were against the war in Iraq, but 68% said they opposed shutting off funds to fight it, and 60% said they would oppose Congress’s withholding funds necessary to send additional troops.” [http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/bminiter/?id=110009688]

  25. I want to lose weight.

    I don’t want anyone to slice off my love handles with a carving knife.

    These are not contradictory statements.

    Did you know that 99.9% of Americans don’t want the Iraq War ended through the use of atomic weapons against American troop formations?

    Geez, the polls are so contradictory. Does the public want the troops withdrawn, or not? It all depends on which day it is, I guess.

  26. highnumber,

    Yuck.

  27. joe,

    Do you have poll numbers to support your assertion that Americans don’t want to nuke our own troops? Anecdotally, I believe that Americans will nuke anything for a laugh.

  28. Depravity is its own reward.

  29. Do you have poll numbers to support your assertion that Americans don’t want to nuke our own troops? Anecdotally, I believe that Americans will nuke anything for a laugh.

    Dude! I hadn’t even thought of that. Anybody got access to the button?

    This is gonna be soo cool!

  30. Did you know that 99.9% of Americans don’t want the Iraq War ended through the use of atomic weapons against American troop formations?

    I made a modest proposal over at Henley’s yesterday. I say we should allow troops in Iraq and Afghanistan the choice to go home with an honorable discharge immediately, but only if they give up any med care, pension, pay and/or other economic benefits that would otherwise be owed to them.

    The the troops can decide whether they want to cut’n’run. We would also know that the troops that stayed *really wanted* to be there.

  31. Depravity is its own reward.

    Alt-Bush kept repeating something like that. His exact words were, “I RULE! SUCK IT PEOPLE! SUUUUUUUUUCCCCKKKKK IIIIIIIIITTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!”

  32. I also made it clear our troops should not be caught in the middle of that discussion

    Riigghhhttt. Far better to be caught in the middle of a civil war and out of the minds of people who sent them there.

    Whenever Bush opens his mouth, all I hear is Fleetwood Mac: “Tell me, tell me, tell me lies”

  33. Just as long as Washington Politicians don’t try to tell the generals on the ground how to run the war. This is a job best left to silver-spoon legacy Yalie “jet fighter jocks from Texas.”

    LBJ was never a jet fighter pilot and did not attend Yale. Perhaps you should review your presidential history.

  34. Guy,

    That show you put on with Alt-Bush was quite impressive. Are you still sore?

  35. highnumber,

    That was alt-Guy.

  36. Does the LBJ reference absolve Bush of prosecuting a war cooked up by intellectuals at the Pentagon? Many of LBJ’s mistakes have been repeated by Bush, which is probably worse than the original mistake. At this point, cut and run is better than duck and cover.

  37. alt-Shelby,

    No, that was this Guy. He made the trip with us.

  38. highnumber,

    I don’t remember him on the Planet of the Salma Hayeks, though.

    “Damned dirty babes!”

    “It’s a cathouse!”

  39. Oh yeah, Alt-guy was actually in this universe at the time, posting about how awesome his AMC Hornet was.

  40. “Does the public want the troops withdrawn, or not? It all depends on which day it is, I guess.”

    It usually depends on how the questions are phrased.

  41. I liked the alternate universe where the only difference was that Penn was mute and Teller spoke. Strange that it took a whole ‘nother universe to accomplish that feat.

    Incidentally, given Penn’s regular references to Hit & Run on his now defunct (in this universe, anyway) radio show, I am now convinced that one of the Hit & Run regulars is, in fact, Penn Jillette. Any theories on which one of us it might be? It isn’t me, I’m pretty sure.

  42. Anyone suspiciously not posting during certain Las Vegas shows or certain television appearances? Any poster who stands out as particularly atheistic or nondrinking? Any jugglers? The clues are out there, I’m certain.

  43. Hooked on Innuendo?
    Dave W?
    Grand Chalupa?

    Actually, I can take credit for Penn reading H&R. Honestly. I almost always listened to the show on Podcast, but one day I happened to be listening live and he was listing all the news sources he reads regularly. He listed, among other things, Reason and Hammer of Truth and some other libertarian blogs. I sent an email:

    Penn reads Reason, but not their blog, reason.com/hitandrun ?
    Unbelievable!
    Playboy calls it “the best libertarian blog.”
    Read it!

    Moments later, on the air he said, “Somebody wrote that I should check out Reason’s blog. I will add that to my favorites.”
    H&R still owes me for that.
    If you want to verify part of my story, the show was originally aired 10/05/2006. I sent my email at 1:08 PM CT.

  44. Did you know that 99.9% of Americans don’t want the Iraq War ended through the use of atomic weapons against American troop formations?

    That number sounds a little high to me.

  45. “Is it possible that, while withdrawal of the majority of our troops over, say, 6 months is a good idea, withdrawal of every one of them overnight Bob Irsay-style is a bad idea? Because I don’t remember anybody proposing the latter.”

    Ron Paul does. In his latest article in Anti-War.com, he says, “We just marched in, so we can just march out”.

  46. The sooner the troops leave, the sooner the War Crimes tribunal will be convened.

  47. You Wanted the Surge? You Got It!

    hier

    errr. make that “Serge”

  48. Someone on this blog with more Half Japanese records than me?!?!? Sobering thought.

  49. Let the Iraqi people vote. Purple thumbs up or purple middle fingers up. Then do as they ask and the devil take the hindmost.

  50. “It usually depends on how the questions are phrased.”

    The difference between “cut off funding for the troops now” and “withdraw the troops by next summer” is not one of phrasing.

    The public is not being confusing, they are being consistent – by a 2:1 margin, they want us to end the war, and virtually all of that super-majority wants it done in a responsible, deliberate manner.

  51. highnumber,

    I thought it was Jennifer, but her secret identity was recently revealed. Not Penn.

  52. I don’t think he’s a commenter here. Penn’s 6’6″ and 300 pounds. If he were here, he’d stick out like a sore thumb!

  53. Any poster who stands out as particularly atheistic or nondrinking? Any jugglers? The clues are out there, I’m certain.

    Well, I’m certainly not an atheist, but I don’t drink and I do juggle.

  54. He’s in mufti, of course.

    Heck, I’m 6’2 and 200 pounds, and I’m trying to figure out how one could tell that without me revealing it. Do I type like a tall guy?

    thoreau,

    It can’t be you–Penn would never pretend to be a theist. Everyone knows that you’re Murray Gell-Mann, anyway.

  55. Pro L,

    We’ve established that he was not reading it prior to October last year. If he is a commenter (which I doubt – he’s way too busy even if he isn’t blessing us with his daily hour of radio happiness), he’s someone relatively new.

  56. highnumber, you ignorant slut. He used you to cloud his identity in this forum. Don’t be naive. We’ll root him out like a rabid raccoon. Who are you, Lance Burton?

    Could it be Jean Bart, et al.?

  57. Juanita?

  58. Did you just call me an “ignorant slut”?

    Well, I never!*

    *Yes, I have.

  59. Your October start date is possible, though trickery from a professional deceiver cannot be discounted. And I agree that he couldn’t be a frequent poster.

    smacky?

  60. Is this your card?

    3?

  61. Okay, I don’t know this “Jean Bart” that people speak of. I have been very confused by all these mentions of a French privateer. So I google through the archives and I find this.
    Was this Gary Gunnels/Jean Bart controversy ever resolved? Are either of them still commenting here under another name? Someone dish for me.

  62. I’ve been assuming that Grotius was the latest iteration. Am I wrong?

    And is he Penn?

  63. Really?

    Gary Gunnels called someone a c-word on that thread. Grotius wouldn’t do that, would he?
    Penn would.

  64. Croesus, Jean Bart, the Crow, Gary Gunnels, Grotius, Lepidopteris Philatelist…

  65. He became kindler and gentler somewhere during his Jason Bourne period.

  66. All the same?

  67. I believe so.

  68. I figured that “Phileleutherus Lipsiensis” and Grotius were the same, but I had no idea about his sordid past. He seems so nice now. I’ll attribute it to my calming influence. I once got a grizzly bear to…um, never mind. I’ll save that for a different website.

  69. We have a calming influence on many posters. Little known fact: joe is Charles Manson.

  70. (High# is exaggerating. It was Mr. Crane dressed in a bear suit.)

  71. . . .VM is Michael Palin.

  72. I thought this was VM.

    or maybe

    this

  73. orly…

    (but I do know where ‘Outdoor and More’ is)

  74. I thought he might be a llama salesman with Llama-Fresh Farms Ltd.

  75. voice of ProL

    (ProL sacked me for “poor” opening credits)

  76. I had him down to one geeky reference in two days. He’s backsliding. Moose, it’s your fault.

  77. highnumber,

    I just asked Grotius on the New at Reason thread if he’s Penn. He denied it.

    Maybe it’s VM! AHA!

  78. I asked him if he’s Michael Goudeau.
    Heh heh heh.

  79. and Teller.

    Poor guy’s gonna be so confused.

  80. How about Norman Borlaug?

  81. You think Norman Borlaug is really Penn Jillette?
    That would make him way cooler than Jesus.

  82. That would explain a few things.

  83. “That would make him way cooler than Jesus.”

    and it’s less creepy to shake his hand.

  84. VM,

    Hey, that’s a cheap shot. Come give your savior a hug.

  85. Don’t do it! He wants your soul!

  86. Oh, come on, guys. I’m not a zombie, per se.

    Free wine! A nice place in Heaven! I mean, does a zombie offer such things? I think not.

  87. I just busted this out for Easter. I guess the lesson didn’t stick.

  88. Someone on this blog with more Half Japanese records than me?!?!? Sobering thought.

    Take it from a 1/2 Jap elitist – you only need the early records up to and including Charmed Life… plus any David Fair solo stuff, of course…

  89. highnumber,

    I forgive you.

  90. Dammit! That’s just like you.
    Can you see which cheek I’ve turned?

  91. A couple of points:

    1. Setting foreign policy decisions on the results of public opinion polls is incredibly stupid.

    2. Congress does not have the constitutional authority to dictate military strategy and tactics. The executive has sole powers there. You may not like that the president’s has the authorityfrom

    3. The only legitimate power the legislative branch can exercise is to cut off funding. Why they are not doing that when they supposedly have such a clear mandate from the voters? It suggests that the Dems know that it would be a wrong decision, but they need to put a show on before their constituents that they are trying to do something, even if they do not have the power do it.

  92. 3. The only legitimate power the legislative branch can exercise is to cut off funding. Why they are not doing that when they supposedly have such a clear mandate from the voters? It suggests that the Dems know that it would be a wrong decision, but they need to put a show on before their constituents that they are trying to do something, even if they do not have the power do it.

    Actually, since 1974, the Congress has had all budget power. The legitimacy of the anti-impoundment and the anti-deficiency acts is can be debated, but it is the law for now.

  93. “the american people did not vote for failure.”

    except in 2000 and 2004, when they did.

  94. Polls also found large majorities saying it was important to win in Iraq. So, basically polling says people don’t know what they want. Thanks, pollsters!

    But before we abandon the country with the world’s second-largest oil reserve wealth to Al Qaeda and Sadrists, we might pause to remember that Saddam used his oil money to build the world’s 4th-largest military.

  95. Oh, and I hate to be the one to break this to all the antiwar types, but we’re still stuck in the same moral quagmire we have been since Congress decided in 1991, by one vote, that we weren’t going to let Saddam take back Iraq’s “lost province,” and we’re no more able to leave now than we could completely abandon the country to mass genocide after the first Gulf War (not that we did much to prevent it in the south anyway). As soon it becomes clear the alternative to occupation is being responsible for Iraqi death tolls beggaring anything we’ve yet seen and the probable emergence of an oil-fueled Qaedist ministate, turning a tough situation into a true strategic disaster, the Dems’ politically opportunistic house of cards is going to collapse.

    Leaving just isn’t an option. It was possible to abandon the Vietnamese, but Communists hadn’t knocked over the World Trade Center, with promises of worse atrocities coming, and a lot of people managed to buy the idea the NV were just agrarian idealists.

    On the plus side, we’ve genuinely liberated the Kurds to build a prosperous and peaceful society, and there’s now a small chance, instead of the zero chance under Saddam, that the rest of Iraq could follow.

  96. “but Communists hadn’t knocked over the World Trade Center”

    Neither did Saddam Houssein

  97. On the plus side, we’ve genuinely liberated the Kurds to build a prosperous and peaceful society, and there’s now a small chance, instead of the zero chance under Saddam, that the rest of Iraq could follow.

    NEO-CON!

    You can go over there and fight a war all you want. Don’t be sending my military on nation building exercises.

    And you have no way to gauge the chances of freedom for Iraqis without US intervention. Please don’t act like you can.

  98. What about me? I voted for failure in Iraq. I just didn’t expect so much of it.

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