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September 11, 2007

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I don't disagree with your final paragraph. Let me just note, though, that it is sick, sick, sick on the part of anyone to prefer the deaths of our soldiers to 'victory' by the 'moonbats.'

Let me just note, though, that it is sick, sick, sick on the part of anyone to prefer the deaths of our soldiers to 'victory' by the 'moonbats.'

yes, but it's something you can find on plenty of righty blogs, any day of the week.

"Deaths of our soldiers" equates to noble sacrifices for the cause of freedom. Thus they are acceptable.


Those sacrifices are almost equivalent to all the calluses on the fingers of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders.

"The administration has long since recognized that they’ve lost the public on Iraq -- not to mention virtually all Democrats."

One would like to think there is substantial overlap between those groups.

Publius, you've nailed it. Before reading your post, I had just looked at Paul Richter's analysis in the LATimes -- he describes how Petraeus and Crocker are handmaidens in the "legacy" building process.

But as well as Bush's personal interest, "Bush's approach also gives some support to Republican allies on Capitol Hill who have been anxious about entering the 2008 election season carrying responsibility for the war. Now the Republicans will be able to claim that the war is winding down and the troops coming home, even if fewer than 20% are scheduled to return in the next year."

"At the same time though, they recognize that Democrats lack the numbers to stop them (particularly veto-override numbers)."

Nope. It only takes 41 senators to stop funding, which would stop the war. The Democrats have that number.

One of the things missing in the whole equation of public opinion vs. political will visavis "The War In Iraq" that we had in "The VietNam War" is the attitude of the people that were going to have to fight it. Aside from the draft card burners/evaders, many many of the ones inducted were of such an incorrigible nature that the whole discipline of the Army was corroded including the voluteers (me,'66-'69). Added to that, the war lasted long enough that the disenchanted veterans could become part of the political dialog (e.g Kerry). This was a major major fracture in the schemes of the Military Industrial Complex which brought about the "All Volunteer Army". There may be dissenters here and there, but I'm sure there's nowhere near the open hostility in the ranks that there was during Viet Nam, which is the only way to put the fear of God into them. So, my suggestion, to preserve our way of government, is to get a draft going.

Publius, you've nailed it. Before reading your post, I had just looked at Paul Richter's analysis in the LATimes -- he describes how Petraeus and Crocker are handmaidens in the "legacy" building process.

Agree 100%, and this is probably the most important point on understanding these events -- re-assuring the base and preserve the legacy so that leaving (which equals losing to Bush) cannot happen on the Bush watch.

It is a narcissistic adventure, and Petraeus is on board with that program. It cannot be said he "really" believes since his current position is in sharp contrast to his testimony pre-surge as to its goals and intentions. The surge is a failure if it is not providing the security to allow political reconciliation, and even if it allegedly was providing that level of security, there is no evidence that it is having any effect on reconciliation.

Petraeus willing participation in a numbers game in which the underlying numbers are kept classified is further proof of his lack of character.

Even more cynical is the "draw down" that happens to coincide with the end of combat tours for which there are no replacements. Just another Orwellian double speak from the Bush crowd to add to the pile.

And Petraeus needs to be labeled as the brown-noser that he is. I could care less about how earnestly he holds his warped beliefs. He has demonstrated a lack of honor by putting careerism in front of honor.
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Armando's point about the unintended bad consequence of the all volunteer army cannot be over-stated. We now have a political class that is willing to deploy American troops like mercenaries since they and their supporters in the body politic have no expectation of sharing in the suffering of the decision to go to war. That political class is dominated by Republicans, but there are Dems of the same stripe. All of the pretense in the world about supporting the troops means nothing when, like the Romney family, you would not go yourself nor recommend that any loved one do so.

It is another toxic legacy of the Viet Nam war -- a leadership class like Bush and Cheney that believes it is exempt from the sacrafices of the wars they advocate.

"but, but, Bush just announced he is going to pull out 30K troops by next summer!"

Conditioned, of course, on "progress". So what's new? The administration has been saying this for years. Jeez, if things went swimmingly, all the troops would be home already, except for any permanent bases. Most of us here think progress, whatever that means, is not in the cards; thus by this measure the troops will never come home.

Unless the Republicans crack, I see no way to stop our participation in the killing. Per Publius, Bush has made the same calculation, so you can expect that he'll say whatever is necessary to stall until 2009. Why this Kabuki uncritically makes the front page is a mystery to me, unless I let my cynicism take over.

Don't the 30,000 have to come back anyway? The surge isn't sustainable. That's why it's a surge. So Bush is just trying to spin the inevitable return to pre-surge levels as somehow an indicator of progress.

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