Hillary Clinton

Clinton-Bush '08

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The Heritage Foundation set up a lunch with Washington Examiner reporter/author Bill Sammon, whose new tome The Evangelical President reports that 1)Bush believes Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee (not among history's boldest predictions) and that 2)the Bush White House has personally appealed to both party's candidates to "modulate" their rhetoric and be ready to sustain our presence in Iraq.

"It looks now like Democrats are coming around on Iraq," Sammon said. "Both Clinton and Obama came out against the surge and said it was doomed to fail–people forget that. Earlier in the year Clinton was saying that she'd immediately end the war when she became president. But in the last debate you saw both of them say they'd keep troops in Iraq."

Following up on Radley Balko's column of last week, I asked Sammon if Bush was more interested in electing a Republican successor or a successor who would stay in Iraq to win it.

When you look at Hillary now, it's gradually dawning on the Democratic base that she will not end the Iraq War, that she will continue to prosecute this war in some fashion. There's some amount of buyer's remorse there already. But Bush probably feels that a Republican would be more aggressive prosecuting the war he wants it to be prosecuted.

If you look at the Republican candidates there's not a lot of daylight between President Bush and them on the Iraq War. They've all criticized the misteps by the administration and I think Bush has acknowledged those misteps. But if you look at McCain–people talk like McCain got hurt because he was out front and the biggest backer of the president's Iraq policy, and that's why he imploded. That's total nonsense. Although McCain was the earliest advocate for the surge, there really wasn't any daylight between Bush and Romney, Bush and Rudy, on the prosecution of the Iraq War. Obviously, what happened to McCain is that conservatives disagreed with him on a host of other issues and those chickens came home to roost. If anything the Iraq War was what kept what little support that he had.

"This is an audacious president," Sammon said. "The candidates know there's no way we'll have less than 100,000 troops in Iraq by the time they take over. Bush has basically been able to perpetuate his policy past the end of his term."

NEXT: Travis Shrugged

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  1. So, what happens if Turkey sends a major force across the border?

  2. As support for the war has collapsed, the hawks have found it to be in the interest to blur the distinctions between the two parties on the war.

    Look at the shady language Heritage has to employ to try to do so:

    Earlier in the year Clinton was saying that she’d immediately end the war when she became president. But in the last debate you saw both of them say they’d keep troops in Iraq. Hillary Clinton said, two weeks ago, that she would withdraw troops and end Bush’s war upon being sworn in. What she has said is 1) this drawdown will be gradual, and 2) there may be some forces in place conducting residual operations.

    So Hillary cuts troop levels from 130,000 in January 09 to, say, 50,000 in the Spring of 10, to less than 10,000 in 2012. She has also sponsored legislation to forbid the use of tax dollars to build permanent bases. In other words, no substantial troop presence beyond the short term, and the abandonment of the objectives for which the war was launched. Does that sound like George Bush’s strategy to you?

    In 2005, when the war still had majority support, hawks like those at Heritage called John Murtha a coward, cutting and running to surrender to terrorists, for advancing a plan like this. Today, they assert the continuity between George Bush’s vision for the Iraq War and that very same policy.

    They are doing this for the same reason political parties always try to blur issues when their position is widely unpopular – because planting confusion in the public’s mind is the best way for them to be able to hold onto power and continue their policy.

    If you want to see us pull out of Iraq, don’t let them fool you.

  3. Turkey will make the Kurds turn Chicken.

  4. Here, look at this: The candidates know there’s no way we’ll have less than 100,000 troops in Iraq by the time they take over. Bush has basically been able to perpetuate his policy past the end of his term

    According to this logic, if Hillary Clinton inherits a mission with 100,000 troops in Iraq in January 2009, and immediately orders them home, so that there are 20,000 troops in the country by June 2009, this will represent the perputation of George Bush’s Iraq policy.

  5. All Bush is trying to do is extend the timeframe of the war so the ultimate collapse happens well enough into someone else’s presidency. And the Dems are taking the bait.

  6. It tells you a lot about Sammon that he thinks that Bush’s policy, which has cost $500 billion and thousands of lives to get us to square zero, and which will cost us another $500 billion and thousands more lives to get us back to square one, is a good thing. With any luck, in another ten years, life in Iraq, some parts of it at least, will actually better than it was under Saddam! And Osama will probably be dead! From natural causes, to be sure, but still, dead! Maybe!

  7. http://www.firedoglake.com/2007/10/15/breaking-news-hillary-pledges-to-end-war-immediately-upon-taking-office/

    The date on that statement is 10/15/2007. Not “earlier in the year,” not before the Surge.

    After the surge, about a week ago.

  8. joe,

    Get used to disappointment.

  9. October 23, 2007 1:53 PM EDT

    BAGHDAD – October is on course to record the second consecutive decline in U.S. military and Iraqi civilian deaths and Americans commanders say they know why: the U.S. troop increase and an Iraqi groundswell against al-Qaida and Shiite militia extremists. Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch points to what the military calls “Concerned Citizens” – both Shiites and Sunnis who have joined the American fight. He says he’s signed up 20,000 of them in the last four months.

  10. Americans commanders say they know why: the U.S. troop increase Which cannot be sustained

    and an Iraqi groundswell against al-Qaida and Shiite militia extremists

    Attacks by Shiite militias are up during that period.

  11. I’m against the war, but to imply that Hillary Clinton has been straightforward abouther position on the war is fooling themselves.

  12. Can anyone explain the phrase “no daylight between…”. I’ve never seen that before. From the context I’m guessing it means “not any difference between a and b”, but I still don’t understand how to get “no difference” from “no daylight”. Is the metaphor that they are one continuous night rather than two separated by daylight? Something about it just doesn’t look right, if anyone can explain it I would be very happy.

  13. Everyone,

    Please name for me a single action Ron Paul has taken to end the war since the Nov 06 elections that Hillary Clinton has not also done.

    I can tell you that Hillary sponsored a bill forbidding the use of tax dollars to build permanent bases. Has Paul done that?

  14. deedee,

    They’re standing so close together than light doesn’t shine through the crack.

  15. Bush has basically been able to perpetuate his policy past the end of his term.”

    That’s true of most Presidents (despite the desire of newly elected President to distance him or herself from the previous administration).

  16. Thanks, joe. That makes more sense!

  17. Ed: “Turkey will make the Kurds turn Chicken.”

    No whey.

  18. I wish educated people would stop perpetuating shallow lies about Clinton’s stance on Iraq. She has vowed many times to end the war. This does not mean she will immediately withdraw every troop the first day she takes office. A lot of nuanced, and probably not very likely to succeed, work will need to be done to prevent as much bloodshed as possible. This may take years. That’s not the same thing as saying she wants to keep the war rolling. I just hope Americans keep the blame where it belongs, whatever happens.

  19. Unless you believe that everyone wants to just hang out in Iraq and kill people, how is her position any different than anyone else’s short of Ron Paul?

    The next President is going to be handed an improving situation in Iraq and probably 100,000 or so people still on the ground. You have to remember Hillary Clinton is a Senator and doesn’t get her news about the situation in Iraq from Joe. She knows what is really happening there and knows how to put her finger to the wind. Her position on the war has changed as the facts on the ground have changed. When it looked like everything was going to hell, her position was to get out immediately. Now that things have changed her position is that she will slowly wind down the war. If she ever actually is President, it is a hell of a lot better for her to win the war and take credit for it than to have the whole thing end in disaster and risk getting blamed for it. When it looked like things were so bad, she could cut and run and just blame Bush and not take any blame for it that was her position. Now that it looks like things are better and she can’t really cut and run and better yet might be able to take credit for success, her position has changed. It is not very hard to figure out.

  20. “It looks now like Democrats are coming around on Iraq,” Sammon said.

    Of course they are! That’s because they’re expecting to win the White House next year. They don’t want to be seen as hypocrites when they initiate invasions of Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. If they thought they were going to lose in 2008, they would still be doing Kucinich impressions.

  21. Yeah stephendedalus on the neocons, the repubs, and their democrat enablers. I imagine that we will be leaving Iraq like we left Korea.

  22. I for one believe Clinton when she says she’ll end the war. But there’s still no chance I’m voting for her, I just may accept the inevitable and go out partying on Election day. One last drink and smoke before nanny Clinton takes away my toys.

  23. John,

    I know you’re hoping the Iraqi’s get tired of killing each other, but never underestimate the power of the middle east to surprise and I think by February, we’ll see an upswing in violence again as the holiday season comes to a close.

  24. The question of what our withdrawal policy should be once Commander Guy is out of office is an important one.

    Full and immediate bug-out, damn the consequences, like Ron Paul says?

    Full and immediate bug-out, with lots of “waging peace,” like Dennis Kucinich says?

    Medium-speed but complete withdrawl, along with a diplomatic push, and no residual missions, like Bill Richardson says?

    Medium-speed withdrawal with limited residual missions, like Obama says?

    Medium-speed withdrawal with more open-ended residual missions, like Hillary and Biden say?

    Because of the hawks and the isolationists (left, right, and libertarian) spinning so furiously to convince the public that there are no meaningful distinctions between anyone to the right of Ron Paul, from Obama to McCain, the media, Reason included, there has been far to little discussion of what a withdrawal policy would actually look like.

  25. “Of course they are! That’s because they’re expecting to win the White House next year. They don’t want to be seen as hypocrites when they initiate invasions of Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. If they thought they were going to lose in 2008, they would still be doing Kucinich impressions.”

    Very true. You look at it differently and I respect that. I look at it as responsibility tends to sober people up. It is real easy to do Kucinich impressions and play to the KOS crowd when you are out of power and nothing you say means anything. Once you get into power, positions tend to moderate. That is because sollutions are hard and complex. It is not so simple as to just go home from Iraq and hope everything turns out well.

  26. Does that sound like George Bush’s strategy to you?- joe

    HRC and a few of the other Dems, notably Biden, remind me of how Richard Nixon sold himself as the “peace candidate” back in `68. His Vietnamization policy eventually reduced the US ground troop from the peak of half a million under LBJ to 40,000 support troops, but it took more than a full presidential term to get to that point. That’s not counting US air assets, whether based in Vietnam, Thailand or on US Navy carriers, of course. Various plans to keep troops “over the horizon” and available for use in Iraq, if not actually “in country,” smack of the Vietnam pull-out, also.

    Depending on the makeup of the 111th Congress, there might not be support to keep troops at whatever level the 44th President deems necessary.

    Don’t forget Ron Paul’s Marque and Reprisal Act of 2007 (HR 3216).

    Kevin

  27. John,

    Unless you believe that everyone wants to just hang out in Iraq and kill people, how is her position any different than anyone else’s short of Ron Paul?

    She will adopt a policy of withdrawing from Iraq, including the renunciation of permanent bases, and try to make that work.

    The Republicans will adopt a policy of staying in Iraq, using a large American troop presence on permanent bases as a tool to further their goals of maintaining a client state in Iraq from which to launch further imperialist adventures in the region.

    I think that’s a pretty big distinction – about as big as the distinction between our containment policy circa 2001 and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

  28. “Reason included, there has been far to little discussion of what a withdrawal policy would actually look like.”

    Well Joe, that is because to do that you have to admit that there are consequences to withdrawal. If the consequences are good, then that means the US won the war and God knows it is going to kill people to admit that. If the consequences are bad, well that means that maybe we shouldn’t withdraw.

    In reality, if the Republicans win, there will be a slow drawdown and everyone will argue forever about whether it was worth it and whether Iraq circa 2012 is really better than it was under Saddam.

    If the Democrats win, the war will continue with a slow drawdown and they are going to tell the world how they fixed everything and won the war.

    The only difference between the two will be that if the Democrats win you will be on here agreeing with me how everything is great. The only difference will be that you will claim that Hillary fixed everything that Bush broke, which is fine with me. I just can’t wait to help you with the talking points.

  29. John,

    Responsibility may sober someone up, but I think if we sat down and ran through a cost benefit analysis of war in Iraq, we’d find that leaving them to their own destruction/rebuilding would be more beneficial to us in the long run than remaining in their quarral. Sure, many more Iraqis would die in the resolution, but then we wouldn’t be spending billions of dollars trying to keep our soldiers alive in a hostile environment.

  30. John,

    Several million dead iraqi’s may argue with you in (name the year this shitfest is resolved)

  31. Joe,

    Hillary Clinton and Obama would not commit to having all US forces out of Iraq before the end of their term in 2013. If that is not a permanent presence what is? Further, what do you think Hillary wants if not a stable Iraq that is allied with the US? Does she really want Iraq to be a client state of Iran? I don’t think so.

  32. If I thought there was any possibility that the recent proclaimations of success in Iraq were going to prove any more reality-based than the ones we’ve been hearing for the past six years, John, I might find your argument more plausible.

    But let’s remember – Hillary Clinton made her opinion of Patraeus and the rest of the Good News Choir quite clear last month. I don’t think anybody, outside of the truest of true believers, still buys into the Victory in Iraq stories.

  33. “This is an audacious president,” Sammon said. “The candidates know there’s no way we’ll have less than 100,000 troops in Iraq by the time they take over. Bush has basically been able to perpetuate his policy past the end of his term.”

    Well, lessee here. Clinton gave us NAFTA. Is he perpetuating his policy passed the end of his term? And the Dems were just livid about the S-CHIP NOT being expanded and extended into the next presidency. So it’s not audacious, it’s business as usual. Suck it up. If you don’t want to deal with the unpleasantness of an interventionist war, don’t run for President.

  34. If the consequences are good, then that means the US won the war and God knows it is going to kill people to admit that. If the consequences are bad, well that means that maybe we shouldn’t withdraw.

    Let’s run this through the translator.

    I’m going to seize on whatever happens in Iraq as proof that I was right.

    Every hear the phrase “falsifiable theory,” John? If there are no set of circumstances whereby your theory can be disproven, it isn’t really a theory. It’s just a statement of faith.

    In reality, if the Republicans win, there will be a slow drawdown This, I think, is the key point – the Republicans have, for the most part, given up too, and have come over to the Kerry/Murtha/Dean/Gore/Clinton position that we need to withdraw.

    On the off chance that a Republican wins the next election, he’s going to have to find some pretty language to explain why he didn’t REALLY flip-flop, and caving into the Out of Iraq Caucus isn’t really a renunciation of his previous position.

  35. “I know you’re hoping the Iraqi’s get tired of killing each other, but never underestimate the power of the middle east to surprise and I think by February, we’ll see an upswing in violence again as the holiday season comes to a close.”

    This sounds like something you wish for.

    It’s worth noting that the holiday season of Ramadan (historically the worst terror season) just ended with lower casualties than in previuos years.

    But I guess we should be gracious and hope your wish comes true.

  36. Here’s another one of the talking points the hawks are trying to use to cover their butts.

    Hillary Clinton and Obama would not commit to having all US forces out of Iraq before the end of their term in 2013.

    Think about the difference between 150,000 troops and a couple hundred, or even a couple thousand.

    Think about the difference between forces occupying towns and cities among a hostile population, and trying to put down an insurgency, and forces stationed within a friendly population on a defensive mission.

    Think of the difference between building and sitting on permanent bases in another country, and ending the construction of those bases.

    Think of the difference between a Marine garrison at an embassy and several divisions fighting on ongoing insurgency.

    For John’s spin to have any real-world accuracy, one must believe that there are no differences between any of these scenarios.

    You have to hind behind semantics, John, because your argument can’t stand on its merits.

    Further, what do you think Hillary wants if not a stable Iraq that is allied with the US? Does she really want Iraq to be a client state of Iran? I don’t think so. I don’t think that’s the difference – of course Hillary, and everybody else, thinks that an ideal world would include a peaceful, stable, democratic Iraq allied with the US.

    The difference is, are they willing to stay the course with Bush’s Iraq policy to bring that about.

  37. Rasmussen says here that Hillary is more vulnerable to Ron Paul than any other Republican in 2008.

  38. RP supporter,

    Maybe you can help me out. Since the Democrats took Congress, what has Ron Paul done to end the war that Hillary Clinton has not done?

    Nobody could give me an answer the last time I asked.

  39. “Several million dead iraqi’s may argue with you in (name the year this shitfest is resolved)”

    SEVERAL MILLION???

    Well, I guess if I spent all day on Hit & Run, I wouldn’t have time to read a newspaper either.

  40. Well, Andrew, he was talking about this happening in the future.

    Patience. If we stay the course, we can get there.

  41. Andrew,

    My wish is that US foreign policy changes. I don’t wish any iraqi’s dead, but if it takes more death to get it through these thick neocon skulls that agressive wars are dumb as shit, so be it.

    And you can interpret whatever you want as far as the holiday season (ours, theirs, Australias), but the point is that I see this downturn as a fluke and I think by early next year we’ll realize that.

  42. His Vietnamization policy eventually reduced the US ground troop from the peak of half a million under LBJ to 40,000 support troops

    And in the process bombed 2 more countries – Laos and Cambodia. That’s what I think of whenever I hear these comments about Iran and ending the Iraq escapade.

  43. She has vowed many times to end the war.

    The question is, on what terms.

    There isn’t a single “pro-war” person who wouldn’t gladly end the war with an American victory.

    The question is, just what is Hillary willing to sacrifice in order to “get the troops home.”

    Also, lets not kid ourselves that withdrawing American troops will “end the war.” After all, isn’t this supposed to be a bitter sectarian civil war? If so, why would it end when we leave?

  44. Andrew,

    Yeah, I was really high.

    But I don’t apologize for being wrong. 10’s of thousands is enough as it is.

  45. Andrew I think he was referring to the fact that by the time we withdraw there would be that number of dead. There are estimates currently that 1 million+ Iraqis have died since we started the war. And the fact that our military leaders have stated that we don’t do body counts makes me inclined to believe that estimate is fairly close. We need to cut our losses and get the fark out.

  46. R.C. Dean,

    Also, lets not kid ourselves that withdrawing American troops will “end the war.”

    It will end our involvement in it.

    …isn’t this supposed to be a bitter sectarian civil war?

    Yes, which we apparently inadvertantly aided in its instigation.

  47. I just think we need to end this war so that we can get on to the important work of invading Iran. I’m sure the Iranians will welcome us with flowers and candy in the streets. Plus, we could merge Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan into one big country called “Arab Land” so we don’t have to remember so many weird names.

  48. Maybe you can help me out. Since the Democrats took Congress, what has Ron Paul done to end the war that Hillary Clinton has not done?

    I’m not sure what you expect a marginalized congressman to do, other than give speeches about what a clusterfuck the war is, and he’s done that.

    I think what you may be missing is that we (at least me) don’t like Ron Paul so much for anything he’s done (’cause lord knows he ain’t done shit), but more for fact that he’ll say when the emperor has no clothes.

  49. R.C. Dean,

    There isn’t a single “pro-war” person who wouldn’t gladly end the war with an American victory.

    BTW, at this point how is this even about the U.S. anymore? The war is largely about Iraq and concerns Iraqi issues. It basically stopped concerning the U.S. a few years ago.

  50. I say we make a deal with Turkey. They agree to leave Kurdistan alone, we hand them the rest of Iraq. . .along with its oil. Problem solved, and my secret goal of restoring the Ottoman Empire is achieved.

    Politics and bloodshed aside, this war is costing us too damned much money.

  51. RC,

    If, as our intelligence agencies have told us, the American occupation is the primary driver of the Sunni insurgency, which has become an anti-government insurgency, then our withdrawal might create the political dynamic that makes reconcilliation possible.

    In Northern Ireland, it was the Brits’ announcement that they were withdrawing the military that jump-started the peace deals there.

    In addition, let’s keep in mind that this civil war didn’t arise spontaneously. Foreign jihadists carried out a campaign of anti-Shiite terror for years before the Shiites took the bait. One does not have to buy into the “those people have been killing each other for centuries, it’s just how they are” theory to recognize the civil war. This civil war happened because of foreigners and their politics, not Iraqis by themselves.

  52. Maybe you can help me out. Since the Democrats took Congress, what has Ron Paul done to end the war that Hillary Clinton has not done?

    I dunno, besides voting against it.

    Truthfully, I’m on his bandwagon simply for ending the WoD and closing the Department of Fatherland Security. Removing ourselves from Iraq is an added bonus.

    If these topics can be broached by mainstream politicians in public after Dr. Paul’s campaign I will consider him a winner and a true american hero.

    I’m pretty sure Senator Clinton will go with the status quo in regards to WoD and DoHS.

  53. Warty,

    I’m not sure what you expect a marginalized congressman to do, other than give speeches about what a clusterfuck the war is, and he’s done that. Well, he could vote in favor of a bill mandating withdrawal on a timeline – which he did, along with Senator Clinton. When that failed, he could vote against the follow-up bill that funded the war without such conditions – which he did, along with Senator Clinton.

    I’m not running Ron Paul down. I trust that he is genuinely doing his best to end this war. His actions make that quite clear.

  54. Pro Libertate,

    A good question is whether we are willing to “bear any burden” or “pay any price” for “victory” in Iraq?

  55. I say we make a deal with Turkey. They agree to leave Kurdistan alone, we hand them the rest of Iraq. . .along with its oil. Problem solved, and my secret goal of restoring the Ottoman Empire is achieved.

    Woodrow Wilson’s body just hit 5,000 rpms!

  56. Nah, they’d just take Kurdistan, and put up a condon sanitaire against the Arabs.

  57. This is all Wilson’s fault in the first place, the racist bastard.

    S of S,

    I think our meddling in the Middle East as a whole is unnecessary. We can continue to fight the terror threat to the U.S., but I think being the arbiter of all things Middle Eastern is an unfortunate legacy of the British Empire and the Cold War ending. Let them sort it out amongst themselves. We can certainly provide moral support and make public noises about the advantages of the western political and economic model, but that’s about it. Israel can handle itself, too, without our direct continued support.

  58. “A good question is whether we are willing to “bear any burden” or “pay any price” for “victory” in Iraq?”

    Count me in.

  59. One program I’m sure Ron Paul would be against is a national drive to develope some other kind of power source besides oil for a large percentage of our society. Take the money spent on the war and do a something similar to the manhatten project and take oil out of the foreign policy equation.

  60. Andrew,

    So, if the price were say significant curtailing the First Amendment’s protections would you be willing to pay that?

    Pro Libertate,

    Don’t forget French meddling.

  61. Crankenstein: I support this Manhattan Project for Free Energy, on the condition that it also gives me a pony.

  62. Yes.

    Because that’s such a strawman (you have no rights when dead) when in real life, this very East Germanesque BS is already happening in America and it has nothing to do at all with the war.

    Volunteer radar gunslingers nail speeders:

    http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20071023/a_radargun23.art.htm

  63. Andrew,

    It isn’t a ‘strawman.’ To be frank, I am trying to figure out exactly what your boundaries are.

    …this very East Germanesque BS is already happening in America and it has nothing to do at all with the war.

    Actually, it has a lot to do with the ‘war,’ if one accepts the claim that the WOT includes the war in Iraq.

  64. Yes, them, too. How about we offer to let them be the great power in the Middle East? That would make France feel so much more relevant in world affairs.

  65. Pro Libertate,

    The French are sitting pretty these days, punching above their weight more than usual.

  66. “Actually, it has a lot to do with the ‘war,’ if one accepts the claim that the WOT includes the war in Iraq.”

    It’s not about the WoT, it’s about speeders.

    “I am trying to figure out exactly what your boundaries are.”

    I have none. Pre-determined boundaries are for intellectually weak.

  67. “the”

  68. I’m a jackass who has very little to add to a reasonable discussion, but I’d like to point out that this

    Pre-determined boundaries are for intellectually weak.

    was a great sentence to have a typo in.

  69. Dammit, beat me. Jackass.

  70. Yes. It’s all about typo-free input.

  71. Oh, and name calling.

  72. Warty,

    🙂

    Someone left out a definate article I think.

  73. Andrew,

    Pre-determined boundaries are for [the] intellectually weak.

    So how can you possibly complain about “very East Germanesque BS?”

  74. “So how can you possibly complain about “very East Germanesque BS?”

    Because I read the story, gave it due consideratuion, and drew one. That’s how it works!

  75. “consideratuion” Oh lordy! Another typo!

  76. Wow, I never knew joe loved Hillary so much.

    The war is basically a tool that Party A uses against Party B and vice versa. When Party B is in power, Party A is against the war and complains about massive casualties and spending. Party B talks about heroics and saving the world and says Party A is unpatriotic. Their opinions reverse the moment either one of them wins an election.

    Hawkish foreign policies and anti-war sentiment are tools used by both parties to further increase their power, and they don’t give a damn about consistency or ideals. Like Aliens vs. Predator, whoever wins, we lose.

  77. Like Aliens vs. Predator, whoever wins, we lose.

    Yeah, that movie fucking blew.

  78. I don’t care what Clinton (almost certainly our next President) says about Iraq. Why? For the same reason I don’t care about advertising slogans and movie taglines: because it’s nothing but a carefully focus-grouped message designed to appeal to the masses. The message is backed by exactly as much conviction as any ad exec feels when pimping his latest product.
    Let’s make this clear: Politics is a game. The object is to manipulate you and gain power over you. Nothing a politician says should be viewed as anything other than an attempt to gain votes. Those who still have faith in their “leaders” deserve everything they get.

  79. “Like Aliens vs. Predator, whoever wins, we lose.”

    How hopeless. Perhaps you should buy a gun and eat it.

  80. Andrew,

    I’m sorry, but I don’t see how your statement addresses my question.

  81. Captain Chaos won the thread.

  82. Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan into “Arab Land

    I hope you never mistakenly call a Persian an “arab” in real life!

  83. bill sammon has a bit of a credibility problem

  84. “They’re standing so close together than light doesn’t shine through the crack.”

    No. I think the “one continues night” thing was better.

  85. “consideratuion” Oh lordy! Another typo!

    The fingers you have used to type are too fat. To obtain a special typing wand, please mash the keyboard with your palm, now.

  86. The “jackass” was directed at myself, Andrew. See the previous post where I call myself a jackass. Jackass.

  87. joe:
    Maybe you can help me out. Since the Democrats took Congress, what has Ron Paul done to end the war that Hillary Clinton has not done?

    He voted against it from the beginning. That’s noteworthy in itself.

    He proposed to the House that they declare war on Iraq. He was laughed at.

    He proposed a bill to sunset the AUMF of 2002.

    There you go. There may be more, that’s all I came up with off the top of my head. Simply that he voted against the notion of aggressive war against a non-threat from the get-go says plenty. I know you’re trying to buff the raw corners off Hillary, but honestly–do you think you have any reliable data on what she’ll do as President? Not that she’s that much different than the other candidates on that score.

    You may not like some of what Ron Paul believes. That’s fine. But I think you’re mistaking wishes for facts as to Hillary’s intentions.

  88. Anyone watch Frontline tonight?

  89. After joe’s confession of faith in the Vast Right Wing/Libertarian Conspiracy to make it look like Hillary and Bush share a lot of positions, he’s not allowed to make fun of people who think Saddam Hussein was in league with al-Qaeda.

  90. Anyone else think Hillary voted for authorization in 2002 because she thought Bush/Rummy/Cheney would conquer Iraq easily?
    And if she had voted against it, it would lousy for her, y’know, after the bouquets were thrown at our troops as liberators?

  91. Anyone watch Frontline tonight?

    Yes, but I already knew that the policy of the US (Dem and Rep) is regime change. Whether they say it’s nukes, EFP’s, hanging gay teens, etc., the casus belli is that the Iranians won’t get with the program. The program being that there’s only room for one alpha male in the ME, and from our perspective, Iran isn’t it.

  92. RE: “There isn’t a single “pro-war” person who wouldn’t gladly end the war with an American victory.”

    EXACTLY how would these pro-war folks end the war and how would they define an American victory. Folks keep lowering the bar on victory but, landing on a carrier with a new banner doesn’t count as a victory.

  93. the American occupation is the primary driver of the Sunni insurgency, which has become an anti-government insurgency, then our withdrawal might create the political dynamic that makes reconcilliation possible.

    That’s a hell of a gamble to take, joe. Let the radicals believe they have driven out the Americans, strip away the best security protections the current government and civil society has, and that somehow is a recipe for peace and reconciliation? Not the way I’d bet.

    EXACTLY how would these pro-war folks end the war and how would they define an American victory.

    Of course it begs the question of what counts as victory, but this whole discussion is an exercise in question-begging.

  94. rho,

    I agree, Ron Paul was miles better than Hillary Clinton a few years ago. Hillary Clinton pretty clearly used to support this war.

    But we’re talking about what she would do in 2009. A lot of people have changed their minds about this war over the last few years.

    I know you’re trying to buff the raw corners off Hillary, No, I don’t really have any use for Hillary Clinton. I’m going to vote against her in the primary. It just so happens, however, that the Big Lie the hawks are using to try to pull one over on the American people targets her. I’d rather be having this fight about a better candidate, too, but this is the strategy the Iraq Forever crowd has chosen, so this is where the battle needs to be fought by those of us who want out of the quagmire.

    but honestly–do you think you have any reliable data on what she’ll do as President? Like Sammon and Weigel, I’ve got her words and her actions. Why, pray tell, aren’t you asking the same question of them?

  95. After joe’s confession of faith in the Vast Right Wing/Libertarian Conspiracy to make it look like Hillary and Bush share a lot of positions, he’s not allowed to make fun of people who think Saddam Hussein was in league with al-Qaeda.

    Oh, no, crimething, you misunderstand! I don’t the libertarian doves are part of the conspiracy.

    I think you’re just being duped. A good con man tells you what you want to hear.

  96. RC Dean,

    All we’ve got are gambles. In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve lost 4000 chips staying the course.

    It’s all gambles, RC. You’re still betting money when you leave the bet amount alone on the “slot” machine.

  97. I think you’re just being duped.

    I’ve thought (and written) that Hillary combined the worst aspects of Democrats and Republicans for years now, long before the war became unpopular enough for hawks to see any advantage in comparing her to Bush. But thanks for your estimation of my capability for independent thought. :-\

    A good con man tells you what you want to hear.

    Very true, joe. Now, think about how that applies to Hillary’s alteration of her position on the Iraq war, and your reaction to such.

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