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May 21, 2007

Comments

hilzoy,

Even though I felt the surge was only PR gloss from the beginning (since adding such a small number to the forces therecannot be expected to do anything useful), I am actually in favor of doing this if (and only if) there are a significant number of Republicans in Congress who are saying privately that we have not given the surge enough time to succeed, but if there are no positive results by September 1, they will vote with the Democrats to withdraw. This would present an appearance of bipartisanship in pulling out, and therefore increase the pressure on the President to go along. Not sure this overrides the flaws in continuing the war, but it is a politcal consideration in favor of it.

Dantheman: true. But only if they sign affidavits to that effect in blood and place them in the keeping of some mutually trusted third party, to be turned over to the media in the event they welsh.

An excellent post marred by the b.s. about potential Bush "blackmail" at the end.

Bush, the president who committed the very impeachable high crime of diverting $700 million appropriated by Congress for the Afghan war to planning and prepping for an invasion of Iraq?

Quit letting Bush hold the troops hostage and do what needs to be done to get them home. The petulant "blackmail" scenario would be the worst politics possible, and would hurt the very pig-headed Republicans who've kept this war going.

Ditch your caution and improve the morality and politics of this post.

    You worthless passel of cowards. They're laughing at you. You know that, right?

    The national Democratic Party is no longer worth the cement needed to sink it to the bottom of the sea.

oh wait, that was over something else. maybe this time we'll mean it.

I think this has really gotten you pissed, based on this

Let's divide this into two parts: first, what's right, second, what's politically smart, and third, the one thing that makes me hesitate.

Not that it shouldn't, mind you.

Oops... will update. Thanks ;)

that while some strategic genius might manage to save the day, George W. Bush will not

Hm. Well, the President is no strategic genius, but that's not exactly a surprise. Come to think of it, we probably haven't had a strategic genius as president, ever. Probably as close as we've come is Washington, although Lincoln was pretty advanced in that he recognized that McClellan needed to be fired.

Then there's Eisenhower. A man with some smarts, but probably didn't rise to genius.

I'm thinking we're going to have to leave the warfighting, and planning thereof, to the Pentagon. Alarming, I know.

Speaking of genius, though:

Some buttrflys wings have spots. The buttrfly wings are smicob. I love buttrflys.

Well, maybe not. But pretty decent for just getting out of kindergarten. "Smicob" means, for those of you who aren't parents of small children: symmetrical. And yes, she knows what that means.

She's been screened for gifted, and is being subjected to a more rigorous testing in a few weeks.

Slarti - May her gifts blossom smicobly.

Slarti -- let us know what happens -- and say hi from me. Not that she has any clue who I am, or anything, but maybe it's the thought that counts.

"Come to think of it, we probably haven't had a strategic genius as president, ever."

Aside from the others you mentioned, while I also would hesitate to call FDR a "strategic genius," I would at least note that he did a pretty good job, overall, of supervising the running of our part of a global war.

There's an argument that says that the odds of the Germans getting the A-bomb were so low that the massive amounts of money and effort we spent on the Manhattan Project would have been better spent on more conventional arms, more bombers and tanks and fighters and so on, but I think that's an argument that's really only makeable in hindsight.

Having read van Crefeld's Fighting Power I'd say an army reform would have been a far better investment. Some problems of then still haven't been dealt with and Rummy&Bush even turned the clock back in certain aspects.

It seems now pretty clear that, while the "Uranium Project" went nowhere, the SS worked quite successfully on a different route that would have led them in the end towards a fusion bomb (though an immobile one due to weight and size). It's still hotly debated, whether an actual test was carried out in spring 1945 (The Russians still refuse to release the material that could finally prove or disprove it).

Let's forget about the troops for a second: shouldn't Democrats be asking Bush what exactly he is doing and planning to do to bring about a political compromise/deal/arrangement between the Iraqi factions?

Why you ask?

1.) The partisan angle: he doesn't seem to be doing anything in this regard. He's all about troops and victory, but there is not even a glimpse of a possible political initiative on the horizon. So blame him for that.

2.) It's actually important. While there is the old hen and egg problem, no deal without security and vice versa, it seems illusionary to believe that with time US troops can pacify/stabilize Iraq to a greater extent than they are now. While I still think that the US troop presence there is preventing even worse things, the factions will just keep on doing what they are doing now and there's not much the US can do about it unless a political deal is reached.

Slarti: I'm thinking we're going to have to leave the warfighting, and planning thereof, to the Pentagon. Alarming, I know.

Yes, given that the Pentagon's strategic genius has allowed about 850 000 Iraqis to be killed, over 3000 US soldiers to be killed, and left two million Iraqis as refugees because their own country is unsafe to live in. That this utter disaster is all down to the Pentagon's planning/warfighting, because the White House left all planning up to them, should alarm you.

If true. I confess, this assertion that the White House have left planning the war in Iraq entirely to the Pentagon, with no interference whatsoever from - for example, Dick Cheney - is news to me.

And, OT: She's been screened for gifted, and is being subjected to a more rigorous testing in a few weeks.

Your child's butterfly-love is admirably expressed: let us know how it goes.

It is late May, 2007.

The Republicans on the Hill have floated September as the end of their patience.

Three, four months from now.

Meanwhile, not all of the 30,000 troops (up from 21,000, or 18,000, but who's counting) are even in Iraq yet. The Surge is a slow-drip on a fast-track to a seeping gut wound.

Meanwhile, there is no political settlement between Shi-ites, Sunnis, and Kurds in sight.

Three or four months.

The Bush Administration is a criminal enterprise with blood on its hands and the city dump is full. The next 800,000 dead Iraqis will need to be buried upstate.

The Democrats can't or won't or don't know how, but show me one person who does.

In September or October, the usual suspects among the Congressional Republicans will tour another market in Baghdad wrapped in kevlar, cootchy-coo the baby in the baby carriage which has a wire running to a small nuke nearby. They will look into the American people's eyes via satellite and smile the ghastly death's head smiles of the well and truly f----- who just figured out that the pin they hold in their hands is not attached to the grenade.

Leave or stay, the pin is pulled.

JT: "Leave or stay, the pin is pulled."

In a long history of great lines, this may be your greatest.

john miller: seconded.

Hell, no, indeed!

If they are going to do this, then I hope they at least have the sense to say, loudly and at every opportunity, that the only reason they did it was political, to avoid Republican stab-in-the-back accusations. Sure, they'll sound like the worthless cowards they apparently are, but at least they won't sound like they think this thing will WORK. Fer the luvva Mike, at least TRY to give those 100,000 idiots in Ohio some grounds on which to differentiate the parties!

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