Gone 'Til November

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Raise your hand if you're surprised by this:

On the military front, Petraeus told members of Congress in the private meeting that he had seen some "tactical momentum" since infusing Baghdad with additional U.S. soldiers.

Petraeus' deputy in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, later told reporters he would need beyond September to tell if improvements represent long-term trends.

"In order to do a good assessment I need at least until November," he said.

November, not the September we've been talking about since… oh, January. We were told in March that the troop surge was starting to have an impact. We were told this month that, no, the troop surge just started in earnest and was starting to have an impact.

Facts on the ground change, of course. Expectations change. But Rep. Wayne Gilchrest wasn't wrong when he said "The goalposts are moved on a regular basis. This football field isn't 100 yards. This football field has gotten about 3000 yards long."

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  1. Just be patient, David. The next 6 months are crucial.

  2. Notice that Petraeus did not say that he needed until November. He said he needed until “at least” November.

  3. You know i see real possibilities if we devote the greater part of the next decade to this endeavor, maybe into the next generation. It may precipitate the ruin of our own nation, but thats a small price to pay for stabilizing a small, increasingly marginalized section of the world (see peak oil). Or we could endeavor to succeed where the British failed and create a colonial outpost in Iraq. That’s got to be good for our national outlook.

  4. Why again did we* vote the Democrats into Congress?

    Of course, they know we* won’t hold them accountable, because they’re the lesser of two evils (for the time being).

    *The American Public

  5. I really can’t believe there’s anyone who buys any of this any more.

    It’s like these people have never been “stalled” before. That’s the only excuse I can see.

    Anyone who has ever been involved in even a rudimentary workflow should recognize stalls when they hear them. You should have a basic ability to know when someone is fucking with you to buy time for the sake of buying time, but it seems like pro-war forces in Congress just don’t have one.

  6. I’m surprised. I thought they would shoot for February, then give a glowing report around the first of the year claiming the successful report is “ahead of schedule.”

  7. No more blood for oil.

  8. Can I take my hand down now?

  9. The entire Kagan family is like a south-pointing compass.

  10. I’m pretty sure he means November of 2008.

  11. The goalpost analogy seems flawed. It implies that we’re actually getting somewhere, but that the distance we need to travel keeps lengthening.

    A better football analogy might be that we keep giving ourselves more downs. (or more time on the clock, but that seems too literal)

  12. Looks like Operation Dump It On The Next Guy is going according to plan.

  13. Mr. Weigel, can we please avoid using the words “on the ground,” especially when preceded by “the situation?” It’s extremely manipulative language that politicians use to show that they are savvy to the realities of the military. How is “on the ground” any different from “in Iraq” other than it has a condescending tone and implies that there is all kinds of information you, the retarded public, don’t know, and that this is why we have to allow Lord Petraeus to take however long he feels like?

  14. I am sick to death of this shill Petraeus already.

    Even his quasi-Latinate name (yeah, I know his Dutch ancestry) makes it sound like he should be leading a Roman Legion.

    That is somewhat fitting, I guess.

  15. Just to be clear, it wasn’t Petraeus who made the “at least November” comment, it was his lieutenant.

  16. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow,
    You’re always a day away…

  17. “Just to be clear, it wasn’t Petraeus who made the “at least November” comment, it was his lieutenant.”

    Yes, I am sure he was just giving his own viewpoint.

    Maybe when the big fucking shill himself was on with Hugh Hewitt he should have said something?

    Now the fuck is it EVER appropriate for a general to appear in such a forum and hawk administration policy? This guy is a fucking disgrace on that basis alone.

  18. The goalposts are moved on a regular basis. This football field isn’t 100 yards. This football field has gotten about 3000 yards long.”

    That would make sense if we were playing football.

    Hit and Run is getting to sound more and more like a KossKids offshoot. At least the political analysis is about as sophisticated.

    I know, I know, things haven’t gone the way you demanded originally so piss and moan the rest of the way to the finish. Meanwhile, let the adults carry the responsibilities and burden and all that entails.

    If there was serious humanitarian or political concern here, the realities of a quick withdrawal from Iraq would hopefully temper all the demands for one but obviously mass death and the international fallout for the US don’t count for much.

    LIbertarianism used to have some appeal to me but if Hit and Run represents the standard worldview of the philosophy, its doomed to a small sector of theorists who will never be trusted by the masses to actually gain political control.

  19. Reinmoose –

    an excellent deployment of language. Just as a snow plow on the front of an Abrams tank, your laser-like pinpoint accuracy really put the boots of recognition on the ground. House to house examination.

    [head explodes after reading EB’s post – absolutely too many drinking references. love the “let the adults” style. How precious! But “eb” really got the drinking started early]

  20. Some adults.

  21. LIbertarianism used to have some appeal to me but if Hit and Run represents the standard worldview of the philosophy, its doomed to a small sector of theorists who will never be trusted by the masses to actually gain political control.

    Libertarians don’t want political control. We want less government.

  22. Oh wow, so that’s what we’ve had for the past six years–“adults” who’ve lead us into, and created, the fucking shithole that is now Iraq. Yes, please, let’s have more of this great adult leadership. And it only costs $12 billion a month–what a bargain!

  23. Meanwhile, let the adults carry the responsibilities and burden and all that entails.

    eb, if I’m reading you correcly, you just volunteered to pay for the war (well, you and the rest of “the adults”).

    Johnny, show him what he’s won.

  24. Remember when the “adults” though it was terribly clever and urbane to reply to the objection that invading Iraq would destablize the Middle East with “Oh, no! Not THAT! Har har har!”

    Some adults.

  25. “I know, I know, things haven’t gone the way you demanded originally so piss and moan the rest of the way to the finish. Meanwhile, let the adults carry the responsibilities and burden and all that entails.”

    No, dumbass. The whole point is that we want the “adults” to put the fucking burden down and walk away. I want you to bear the moral responsibility, but you don’t care about that anyway so I assume it’s not a big deal.

    And forgive me if I laugh a little bit when you tell me about the “burden” poor Mr. Bush is bearing. The guys being brought back for their fifth tour are bearing a burden. No politician is.

    And you’re absolutely right in that a big part of the issue is that the war is not proceeding as it was originally sold. If the war had lasted a few months and had been paid for out of oil revenues and had cost very few casualties, I would have given you a pass on it. But if you’re saying that you get to sell the public a war on that basis, and then when every claim you’ve made about the war’s costs turns out to be false no one gets to object, well – tough. Produce the war you promised, or get the hell out.

  26. Produce the war you promised, or get the hell out.

    Uh…OK. The Central Front on the war on terror has now moved to Liechtenstein. You will have the promised short war.

  27. Maybe Judge Pearson can sue the Federal Government for 2.7 trillion dollars for false advertising.. at least it would be a more legit lawsuit than the one he’s been pursuing, and what a payoff!

  28. I’m no fan of the war either, but I am glad we have trained military professionals at Reason who can ably comment on these matters for us. They surely no better than anyone what is needed to insure an acceptable outcome in this theater, or any other for that matter. Bravo.

  29. “I’m no fan of the war either, but I am glad we have trained military professionals at Reason who can ably comment on these matters for us. They surely no better than anyone what is needed to insure an acceptable outcome in this theater, or any other for that matter.”

    OK, we’ll just sit hear silently like good little citizens and let the philosopher kings in charge continue with their brilliant record of leadership.

    Ass.

  30. VM’s laser like attack threw me off balance for a second. I would respond but what with the exploded head and my heavy drinking, there wouldn’t be much to talk about.

    And you’re absolutely right in that a big part of the issue is that the war is not proceeding as it was originally sold. If the war had lasted a few months and had been paid for out of oil revenues and had cost very few casualties, I would have given you a pass on it. But if you’re saying that you get to sell the public a war on that basis, and then when every claim you’ve made about the war’s costs turns out to be false no one gets to object, well – tough. Produce the war you promised, or get the hell out.

    So people were right, this was all about the money. Plus convenience!

    Produce the war you promised, or get the hell out.

    This is where my reference to “adults” comes from. Waaaaah! Cry me a river. The arguments here would demand that the US remove itself from every military conflict its ever been involved in except for Grenada and I’m not sure that would even pass muster.

    It seems to be beyond some people’s comprehension but this isn’t Bush’s war, it is America’s war and the country as a whole will suffer a quick pullout.

    It seems that people are chomping at the bit for somebody to tell them “I was wrong and you are right.” It seems that for some people, that is more important than the consequences of pulling out of Iraq. It seems that some people really don’t care about what every thnking person knows will happen.

    But the reality is that whatever your beliefs about the war before, the US has to make decisions based on what is best for everybody in this country.

    Of course you can always take Kerry’s position as stated in the previous post that there were no real negative consequences of our pullout from Vietnam. You would be lying to yourself but maybe it will allow you to sleep at night.

  31. *opens up can of grape nehi.

  32. “But the reality is that whatever your beliefs about the war before, the US has to make decisions based on what is best for everybody in this country.”

    Yes, THIS country–thank you. So that means I am not going to have to hear any more lectures in morality about the consequences to IRAQIS from the same crowd who created this fucking mess to begin with, right?

    It’s amazing how the Bill Kristols and Rich Lowrys of the world can cry a river of tears about some uncertain prospective bloodbath, but I have never shown one iota of conscience over the nightmare their ilk so actively cheered on all these years. But they’re “adults”, right?

  33. “THEY have never shown one iota of conscience”

  34. It seems to be beyond some people’s comprehension but this isn’t Bush’s war, it is America’s war and the country as a whole will suffer a quick pullout.

    No, it is not America’s war. And I could care less about the consequences of a pull out. The consequences are going to be the same whether we pull out today or ten years from today. We have stabilized that country about as well, or poorly, as we are capable of. No other countries are going to join us, so unless we can clone another 5 million soldiers and eradicate everyone who is “the enemy”, we aren’t going to turn Baghdad into Miami, ever.

    Where we are now is as good as we’re going to get it. The longer we sit there, the more troops we lose, and the more money we waste. That’s all we accomplish.

    Looks like Operation Dump It On The Next Guy is going according to plan.

    That is exactly what is happening. As long as Bush maintains “the surge” he can maintain the appearance of evading responsibility for the real disaster that will inevitably follow the pullout. Unfortunately it will take a real leader to face those consequences.

  35. Bill | July 20, 2007, 11:01am | #

    I’m no fan of the war either, but I am glad we have trained military professionals at Reason who can ably comment on these matters for us. They surely no better than anyone what is needed to insure an acceptable outcome in this theater, or any other for that matter. Bravo.

    You ought to hear the mofos mouth off about eminent domain. Like any of them has planning experience!

  36. Yeah, ed, every thinking person. Sort of like every thinking person knew we had to protect ourselves from Saddam Hussein’s WMDs. And how every thinking person knew Saddam and al Qaeda were allies. And how every thinking person knew that our troops would be greeted at liberators, and Iraq would become a democracy, and set off a wave of democracy throughout the Middle East, and terrorism would be reduced, and the liberals, French, and UN were going to look like idiots, and the capture of Saddam was going to end the insurgency, and there wouldn’t be any civil war, and the elections were going to be the start of political stability in Iraq…I’m just going to stop, because I could fill a three subject notebook with all the discredited wishful thinking you people have indulged in.

    You people haven’t made a single accurate prediction about this war, and now you want to pretend that only the people who have been wrong about every single disputed question about this war can possibly know what will happen after we leave.

    Sorry, bub, we’ve got a record going back five years on which to judge the ability of Iraq hawks to consider the effects of our actions on Iraq, and we’re not buying anymore.

    Damn right we need to think about the effect of our policy on America. That’s why the country is putting you neocons out to pasture – not because we don’t care about keeping the country safe, but because we do. Five more years of leadership from your ilk, and we’ll all be speaking Iraqi.

  37. “You people haven’t made a single accurate prediction about this war, and now you want to pretend that only the people who have been wrong about every single disputed question about this war can possibly know what will happen after we leave.”

    The fucking chutzpah of these clowns is almost breathtaking, isn’t it?

  38. “””It seems to be beyond some people’s comprehension but this isn’t Bush’s war, it is America’s war and the country as a whole will suffer a quick pullout”””

    This country will suffer very little if any when we pull out. How bad did we suffer after pulling out of Korea or Vietnam? Iraq will bear the consequences, but I can’t claim that’s a bad thing. Iraqi’s are killing Iraqis for the most part. It will be ugly but what’s wrong with saying they should accept the consequences of their actions? If they don’t like it, they should stop fighting each other and focus on securing their own nation from what little foreign fighters are there.

    The “boogieman is coming if we leave” is propaganda to trick people into supporting the war out of fear. That’s a tactic for tyrants, not democracies or republics.

    “”””Sorry, bub, we’ve got a record going back five years on which to judge the ability of Iraq hawks to consider the effects of our actions on Iraq, and we’re not buying anymore.”””

    You know Joe, one would think that by now you wouldn’t have to point that out. Not to mention the fact that few if any have actually admitted they were wrong, well they gladly say someone else was wrong.

    I would also like to point out that the ones looking to protect us from WMDs didn’t give a rats ass about protecting our troops from Iraqi conventional weapons that were stockpiled. Those weapons have killed more Americans than any so called Iraqi WMD or Iranian supplied weapons. Good post Joe.

  39. At least people are being honest about their concerns, or lack of I should say. Vile maybe but honest to some degree.

    Having said that, the predictions before the war by the anti-war crowd were as inaccurate as possible but of course nobody remembers that. Nobody remembers their favorite anti-war politicians that voted for the war and now want to walk away now. Of course nobody remembers a lot that is inconvenient. Convenient seems to come up a lot here.

    I’ll trust libertarians to work on eminent domain, drug policy and other convenience issues but thank god you guys have no effect on defense policy.

    To those that are complaining about a lecture or yelping about neocons…blah, blah, blah. How about coming up with something to call me more fresh than overused terms you can’t even define or whining because somebody dared to challenge your tender sensibilities.

  40. “””At least people are being honest about their concerns, or lack of I should say. Vile maybe but honest to some degree.”””

    One can’t really hold honesty in high regards, if they support the Bush admin. To them honesty is relative.

  41. Ed, is it a lie when Bush tells the American public Rumsfield is here to stay when he has already planned to dump him? Is not the definition of a lie tell someone something you know not to be true?

  42. The administration keeps moving the goal posts. Well, I just hate it when the enemy doesn’t follow the plan promised to congress. Why won’t the enemy cooperate?

    In for a penny, in for a pound. Did you actually expect a war that would follow a time table?

  43. Having said that, the predictions before the war by the anti-war crowd were as inaccurate as possible but of course nobody remembers that.

    Apparently you don’t remember either, since you can’t cite any specific examples. In any case, just because some anti-war folks were off in their predictions doesn’t give me any incentive to trust you guys either.

    Nobody remembers their favorite anti-war politicians that voted for the war and now want to walk away now.

    I don’t think you’re likely to find too many fans of Hillary, Edwards, Biden, etc. around here, if that’s who you’re referring to. Going to war in Iraq was as popular in 2002 as it is unpopular now, so politicians with their fingers in the wind went from supporting to opposing it. Big surprise. Again, this doesn’t add to your credibility one bit.

  44. *prints out screed by “eb” to save for this evening’s BATIN.

    eb: you’re a twaddlenock.

    there. you’ve never been called that one before.

    MillerTSmith, esq
    tee hee. you fucked up your war. And your prez never gets head in the oval office.

  45. VM cleverly posts seemingly clever thoughts like people used to do 5 years ago. Is twaddlenock from Harry Potter? I guess you don’t understand the concept I was getting at…that perhaps people can argue without name calling. Sorry I didn’t clearly state that.

    And I like they way you giggle over a debate on war. Exactly the kind of lack of seriousness I’ve alluded to.

    Predictions by the antiwar crowd? 700,000 civilian dead, hundreds of thousands of US dead. Dead from Saddam’s use of WMDs by the way. Cheap oil. OIl we would steal and now I am paying $3.20 a gallon. What happened to blood for oil? And on and on and on.

    Do you really not know these simple things? Do I have to go on?

  46. You just accused everyone who doesn’t agree with you of not caring if there is a mass slaughter in Iraq and not caring if terrorists attack the United States, and you’re whining over having been called a neoconservative?

    700,000 civilian dead, hundreds of thousands of US dead.

    Hmm…Howard Dean? Dennis Kucinich? Ron Paul? Al Gore? I’m trying to remember exactly who projected American casualties in the six figures.

    Oh, wait, now I remember…your ass!

  47. Joe,

    speaking of asses, in response to your assertion that I’m accusing everybody that blah, blah, blah…I’m not accusing, people are stating blah, blah blah. Perhaps you’d like to review the above comments again.

    And I don’t even know what to make of your comment on my projection that you evidently pulled from the ether. It is simply a figment of your imagination.

    As far as being called a neoconservative, I’ve yet to see anybody here actually step up and state what they mean by that term. Some people use it to refer to jews. Maybe you can enlighten us with your definition of “Neoconservative”.

  48. He said he needed until “at least” November.

    Keep in mind the start of the fiscal year. Wouldn’t want to harsh the mellow of the appropriation process.

  49. Predictions by the antiwar crowd? 700,000 civilian dead, hundreds of thousands of US dead.

    Real tough pulling that projection from, um, the comment immediately above mine.

    As for a definition of neoconservatism, I think Wikipedia gets it about right.

    Neoconservatism is a political movement that emerged as a rejection of liberalism and the New Left counter-culture of the 1960s. It coalesced in the 1970s and was influential in the Reagan administration, George H. W. Bush administration, and George W. Bush administration…The etymology of this type of conservatism is based on the work and thought of Irving Kristol, cofounder of Encounter and its editor from 1953 to 1958,[4] Norman Podhoretz,[5] and others who described themselves as “neoconservatives” during the Cold War…According to Irving Kristol, the founder and “god-father” of Neoconservatism, there are three basic pillars of Neoconservatism.[13]

    [edit] Economics
    “One of these policies, most visible and controversial, is cutting tax rates in order to stimulate steady economic growth […] It is a basic assumption of neoconservatism that, as a consequence of the spread of affluence among all classes, a property-owning and tax-paying population will, in time, become less vulnerable to egalitarian illusions and demagogic appeals and more sensible about the fundamentals of economic reckoning.”

    [edit] Domestic affairs
    “Neocons do not like the concentration of services in the welfare state and are happy to study alternative ways of delivering these services. But they are impatient with the Hayekian notion that we are on ‘the road to serfdom.’ Neocons do not feel that kind of alarm or anxiety about the growth of the state in the past century, seeing it as natural, indeed inevitable… Neocons feel at home in today’s America to a degree that more traditional conservatives do not. Though they find much to be critical about, they tend to seek intellectual guidance in the democratic wisdom of Tocqueville, rather than in the Tory nostalgia of, say, Russell Kirk.

    “But it is only to a degree that neocons are comfortable in modern America. The steady decline in our democratic culture, sinking to new levels of vulgarity, does unite neocons with traditional conservatives–though not with those libertarian conservatives who are conservative in economics but unmindful of the culture. The upshot is a quite unexpected alliance between neocons, who include a fair proportion of secular intellectuals, and religious traditionalists. They are united on issues concerning the quality of education, the relations of church and state, the regulation of pornography, and the like, all of which they regard as proper candidates for the government’s attention. And since the Republican party now has a substantial base among people who consider themselves to be ‘religious’, this gives neocons a certain influence and even power. Because religious conservatism is so feeble in Europe, the neoconservative potential there is correspondingly weak.”

    [edit] Foreign policy
    “First, patriotism is a natural and healthy sentiment and should be encouraged by both private and public institutions. Precisely because we are a nation of immigrants, this is a powerful American sentiment. Second, world government is a terrible idea since it can lead to world tyranny. International institutions that point to an ultimate world government should be regarded with the deepest suspicion. Third, statesmen should, above all, have the ability to distinguish friends from enemies…

    “Finally, for a great power, the ‘national interest’ is not a geographical term, except for fairly prosaic matters like trade and environmental regulation. A smaller nation might appropriately feel that its national interest begins and ends at its borders, so that its foreign policy is almost always in a defensive mode. A larger nation has more extensive interests. And large nations, whose identity is ideological, like the Soviet Union of yesteryear and the United States of today, inevitably have ideological interests in addition to more material concerns.

    “Barring extraordinary events, the United States will always feel obliged to defend, if possible, a democratic nation under attack from nondemocratic forces, external or internal. That is why it was in our national interest to come to the defense of France and Britain in World War II. That is why we feel it necessary to defend Israel today, when its survival is threatened. No complicated geopolitical calculations of national interest are necessary…The original neoconservatives were a band of liberal intellectuals who rebelled against the Democratic Party’s leftward drift on defense issues in the 1970s. At first the neoconservatives clustered around Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson, a Democrat, but then they aligned themselves with Ronald Reagan and the Republicans, who promised to confront Soviet expansionism…Historically, neoconservatives supported a militant anticommunism [15], tolerated more social welfare spending than was sometimes acceptable to libertarians and mainstream conservatives, and sympathized with a non-traditional foreign policy agenda that was less deferential to traditional conceptions of diplomacy and international law and less inclined to compromise principles, even if that meant unilateral action.

    There is a widespread impression that domestic policy does not define neoconservatism[citation needed]- that it is a movement founded on, and perpetuated by, an aggressive approach to foreign policy, free trade, opposition to communism during the Cold War, support for Israel and Taiwan and opposition to Middle Eastern and other states that support terrorism.”

    It takes a real intellectual hero to manage not to know the defition of one of the most common terms in contemporary political discourse, so he can play the race card.

    I hope Irving Kristol didn’t offend you with his Jew-hating.

  50. Wow, great job of cutting and pasting. And great job of analysing my every political position and applying that label simply because I support the war (christopher hitchens will appreciate the tag). Since you oppose the war I guess by using that same logic, I can assume you are a left wing nutter. But I wouldn’t do that because I don’t do those things. That would be incredibly shallow of me.

    Perhaps there is a misunderstanding in the conversation we are having. I never projected 700,000 deaths. I listed that as a number presented before the war by the anti-war crowd in response to a demand that I name one thing that the anti war crowd got wrong. In fact I intentionally underreported what was said back in the good old days. The numbers thrown around went into the 8 digits (1,000,000!!!) since you are counting digits. In any case, the reality has fallen so short that now the numbers are artificially inflated for political purposes.

    But of course the number of deaths has no real relevance in this crowd since Iraq deaths (genocide etc. yawn) should not play any role in deciding our future actions.

  51. One prediction joe did have ere the war began:

    “win the war. mismanage the peace”

    that was oft heard in the lead up.

    It’s funny how you got pwnd hier, and the faux “that’d be shallow” really exposes how insecure you are. Interesting.

    Based on that, we shall assume that you are too young to remember the first Gulf War, let alone the “It’s Morning in America”.

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