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View Diary: 2008 Dems and Iraq (215 comments)

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  •  Do you notice (none)
    You notice that pretty much every single one of those people, besides Feingold, have what amounts to the same plan:

    We need a timetable with goals and benchmarks by which we can grade progress, and withdrawl troops based on that progress.  (Biden's comment up there doesn't sound like that, but what he said on MTP Sunday goes along with that).

    And I think that's the right approach.

    •  Zactly (none)
      It's all in how you say it.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:24:09 AM PST

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    •  Oh, come on... (4.00)
      Have you read today's papers on Iraqi troop readiness?

      The situation on the ground is just as Odom and Murtha have described it.  We are training militia-style death squads, nota standing national army.

      All this talk about "benchmarks" and "goals" is just more hocus-pocus designed to obscure the harsh realities of the situation.

      Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

      by Bob Johnson on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:24:49 AM PST

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      •  Saying that (none)
        The Iraqy army is doomed to failure because a few soldiers are doing whatever is like saying the US army is doomed to failure because of Abu Gharib.
        •  It's the entire Ministry of the Interior (none)
          not just a few bad apples.  The MinInt and the "commandos" are now all Badr Brigade.

          See NYT today.

          Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

          by philgoblue on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:30:26 AM PST

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          •  He won't bother to read the articles. (none)
            ...

            Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

            by Bob Johnson on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:32:39 AM PST

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            •  Well (none)
              the New York Times article doesn't say that it's anything but "a few bad apples," while the Ministry of the Interior claim is made by someone who has a serious ax to grind (Allawi).

              The Star Tribune actually seems to make the case that it's a "few bad apples" by saying "Shiite Muslim militia members have infiltrated Iraq's police force and are carrying out sectarian killings under the color of law"  meaning that this isn't a problem of the Iraqi security forces in general, but of a small group which joined up with the intent to do this.

              In anycase, is this an issue of "they're gonna do it, no matter what" or a failure of management and oversight?

              •  Who cares? (none)
                Do you really expect this administration to get it right?

                What makes you think they'll start now?

                Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

                by Bob Johnson on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:45:31 AM PST

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                •  That's a rather irrelevent point, isn't it? (none)
                  Whether or not Bush would actually do it or not certainly doesn't seem to deter people from holding a "pull out now" position, so why should it prevent me from holding a "we need a timetable with benchmarks" position?
                  •  There you go again... (none)
                    Black and white.  "Pull out now" or stay.  That';s it with you.  You are so pathetically disingenuous in your argument.

                    The reason for arguing FOR a withdrawal timeline is to force incumbent Republicans to defend this train wreck at a time when Americans are rapidly turning against it.

                    Biden's nonsense about "benchmarks" and "goals" just provides cover to Bush and the Republicans.  His stated position is now Bush's stated position.  There is no advantage in that.

                    Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

                    by Bob Johnson on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:55:21 AM PST

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                    •  if you didn't notice (none)
                      Every single person up there is arguing for a timetable.  Now, that timetable may not be "pull out by date X" and I don't think it should be.

                      Having a timetable for goals that should be achieved before we leave accomplishes the same goal. "We want to accomplish goals A, B, C, and D and once those are achieved, we'll leave"  

                      Now, it probably wouldn't be as simple as that, and in reality probably should be a combination of completion of goals and time (we don't want to be there forever if the goals are never achieved, but we do want to give them the chance to actually achieve the goals).

                      Perhaps something like set troop withdrals at "completition of goal A or 6 months.  Completion of goal B or 1 year. Completion of goal C or 2 years. Completition of goal D, or 3 years, etc, whichever comes first"  And set the time requirement significantly past the time when that goal should have been completed.

        •  Boy, you sound like the Bush administration on (none)
          ... Abu Ghraib:  "It's just a few bad apples."

          Maybe you ought to read the cited articles before you make such a statement.

          Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

          by Bob Johnson on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:33:46 AM PST

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      •  Sorta (none)
        We'd have to take the training of Iraqis away from the contractors and give it to our NATO allies.

        Yes, we'd have to finally negotiate with the Sunni in good faith and make some compromises and then force them on Sistani (who it was foolish to back in the first place).

        But, you've got a point about the harsh realities.  Of course, agreeing with Armando, this is all just politics and nothing of this will be forced on Bush.

        Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

        by philgoblue on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:29:30 AM PST

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        •  Right (none)
          Bob seems to want the "easy way out" if you will, to me.  Since doing it is going to be hard, and more lives will be lost, then heck, lets just give up.

          However, I don't think he has any basis to say that progress is impossible to achieve.

          And, as you said, Armando is right.  This, ultimately, comes down to political menuvering.  

          I think a "pull out now" position is a loser in every way, both politically, and just because of the reality of the situation.

          It's a mistake to think that a poll that says "a majority of americans think the war is a mistake" is equivilent to saying most Americans want us to leave now.  I think the war is a mistake, but that doesn't mean I think we should just pull everyone out immediately, and I have the feeling that this is the case for most people who think that going in was a mistake.

          And when it comes to reality, one almost guarantees the worst possible situation if we pull out now.  If we at least try to set some goals and try to accomplish them (theoretically if Bush were to do that, which he won't), it, at the very least, won't guarantee the worst possible situation.  It may not be a good situation, but there is a good chance that it will be a better situation.

          anyway, i'm ranting again.

          •  Are you really this ignorant? (none)
            Bob seems to want the "easy way out" if you will, to me.  Since doing it is going to be hard, and more lives will be lost, then heck, lets just give up.

            However, I don't think he has any basis to say that progress is impossible to achieve.

            I am not saying "give up." Quite the contrary.

            Odom correctly points out that NATO, the UN and the Arab League want nothing to do with Iraq as long as we are still on the ground there.  It's our train wreck and they do not want the blame for the mess we've made.  They want to be heroes, not part of the problem.

            They will not move to to help until we vacate the premises.

            You are living in some dream world where the Bush administration will suddenly become competent, give up the contracts for training they've awarded to their crony firms and do the right thing.

            And that is a dream world...

            Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

            by Bob Johnson on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:51:12 AM PST

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          •  Risk of a worsening situation if we stay (none)
            There are risks on both sides.  You make a sensible argument that things will get worse if we leave, but if our army disintegrates under the stress of what is in effect a prolonged Stgalingrad, the strategic situation of the United States will be much worse.  Iraq is not the only potential problem on our plate.  A ruined volunteer army with no stomach for a draft among the American population is an invitation to disaster.  You have to stop thinking of this as a purely Iraq problem.  It is a problem for our military position overall.  That is why the brass want to get us out of there ASAP.  We can survive mud on our face from military defeat in Iraq.  We can't survive the destruction of our land army.
        •  Odom is right on this. (none)
          He has said over and over that NATO, the UN and the Arab League won't step up to help until we're out.

          The advantage of arguing for a withdrawal timetable is that it forces incumbent Republicans to defend this train wreck at a time when Americans are rapidly turning against the war.

          I would follow Odom's advice and make that the Dem talking points on this.

          Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

          by Bob Johnson on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:36:05 AM PST

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    •  You all need to look at the BIG picture! (none)
      Yes.....all the Dems( except Lieberman) are on the same page -- it's been planned that way, as well as speeches, articles, outbursts and so forth in order to keep Iraq front and center in the eye of the American public.

       As the minority party, the Dems know they don't have the power to change the course in Iraq, but what they can do is "hold Bush's feet to the fire". The only thing that is going to convince Bush/Cheney to change course is Karl Rove watching the poll numbers.

      IMHO

      In Jan 2009 it will be the "Wes Wing"

      by Best in Show on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 05:11:04 PM PST

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