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September 08, 2007

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I suspect Lindsey Graham and his Republican He-Men would need to believe that One Big Tough Hard Thrusting Will could cure all sorts of desires.

because we are not fighting the war as a way of making our soldiers feel good

sometimes it's hard to believe we're not doing it so the 101st Keyboarders will feel good. nothing soothes the soul of the impotent suburban warrior like "[picking] up some small crappy little country and throw[ing] it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business".

I don't think this is a very charitable reading of Graham's remark. It seems to me more likely that he is claiming that the surge is helping us to achieve our war aims by improving the morale of our soldiers--not that our war aim is itself to improve the morale of our soldiers. And it seems uncontroversial to claim that soldiers with better morale will perform more effectively.

Sabina's hat: I didn't say he thought it was one of the war aims; just that if it's the biggest thing the surge has accomplished, it follows that it hasn't achieved our war aims.

Besides the feel-good woollyheadedness of Graham's remark, I'm reminded of something Andrew said around here a few months ago: that how the soldiers feel about the war isn't particularly important in terms of making decisions about how (and whether) it ought to be prosecuted (except that, as Sabina's Hat points out, good morale generally means better performance); rather, soldiers may affect the decisions of government in the same way the rest of us do as citizens, either voting or by pressing their representatives.

Only lefturd moonbats deny the reality that General Petraeus has made measurable progress on the security front in Iraq. He has also cleverly leveraged local tribal politics to bring about the beginnings of a political surge on the local level. On the national level political progress has been actively sabotaged by Iran and their Iraqi Sadrist proxies. It is time to give the Iranian mullahs a foretaste of our military power by bombing Revolutionary Guard training camps for Shiite insurgents. If they don't get the message, we should launch an all-out aerial, naval and special forces assault (if necessary using tactical nukes) on the underpinnings of the Iranian mullahcracy and liberate the Iranian people from their oppressors.

I'd been wondering, but now it seems certain: "nabalzbbfr" is to be congratulated for presenting such a satirical portrait of a right-wing troll.

I'm reminded of the moment when Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee got into it during the latest Republican debate, over whether or not to withdraw/redeploy from Iraq. Paul got a very loud round of applause when he observed that he thought the real motivation for staying was not "victory," but "saving face" (he was non-specific as to whose face would be saved). It seems Senator Graham's pride is a fragile thing.

For those keeping score at home, there are exactly 500 days left until the next President takes office. All debate about Iraq needs to point to that day, because until then, there will be no change in course.

And I don't think "nabalzbbfr" is a right wing troll--just a Sunni.

Since our strategy did not change during the "stay the course" first four years period of the war, Graham's assertion that our soldiers were just riding around waiting to get shot until the more recent surge tactics says more than he meant to about how bankrupt the Iraq strategy has been until now. Not that I believe it is really getting better now either.

Since our strategy did not change during the "stay the course" first four years period of the war, Graham's assertion that our soldiers were just riding around waiting to get shot until the more recent surge tactics says more than he meant to about how bankrupt the Iraq strategy has been until now. Not that I believe it is really getting better now either.

Since our strategy did not change during the "stay the course" first four years period of the war, Graham's assertion that our soldiers were just riding around waiting to get shot until the more recent surge tactics says more than he meant to about how bankrupt the Iraq strategy has been until now. Not that I believe it is really getting better now either.

Since our strategy did not change during the "stay the course" first four years period of the war, Graham's assertion that our soldiers were just riding around waiting to get shot until the more recent surge tactics says more than he meant to about how bankrupt the Iraq strategy has been until now. Not that I believe it is really getting better now either.

And it seems uncontroversial to claim that soldiers with better morale will perform more effectively.


That claim is uncontroversial because it is simply wrong. Consider soldiers with poor morale performing a task and failing. Then we do something to lift their morale. Will they succeed? If the task involves "walking on water" or "curing cancer" or "traveling faster than the speed of light" then obviously not.


Morale is only relevant when soldiers are pursuing feasible goals. Soldiers in Iraq are pursuing goals that are anything but feasible.

Why are MoveOn such idiots? I mean, I suppose it's fun to keep all the wingnuts busy foaming at the mouth about their ad, but wouldn't it have been better to choose a headline that would have attracted attention without having all the discussion be about the outrageousness of the headline while completely ignoring the content of the ad?

Why are MoveOn such idiots?

Sometimes I think that MoveOn is funded by Rush Limbaugh. They really have a tin ear for what works and what doesn't. If they would truly move on, Republican cranks would have one less target.

I can't really think of any previous MoveOn examples like this, Jeff. They're not Cindy Sheehan. Maybe ineffective ads, but not counterproductive. The Hitler thing that the right harps on was of course nothing approved or produced by MoveOn.

Maha on the dreadful ad.

The question I have is why "kicking ass" in Iraq is a good thing.

Isn't our goal there, at this point, to be constructive rather than destructive? Isn't our purpose to foster a viable national government, one that integrates the different ethnic, religious, and political factions?

How does "kicking ass" further those goals? Whose "ass" are we "kicking"?

If our purpose in Iraq is, per (for example) Tom Friedman, to show that we can go house to house and inflict terror and violence at will, I think our mission is accomplished. Let's declare victory and go home.

If our purpose is to actually make life there better for anyone, I'm not sure "kicking ass" is going to be very useful.

I think the folks whose morale is improved by kicking Iraqi ass are not the folks who are actually there.

Thanks -

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