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What will Fred Hiatt say about this?

In public, President Bush has firmly dismissed the mounting calls to set a deadline to begin a withdrawal from Iraq, declaring eight days ago that there was only one test for when the time is right. . . . But in private conversations, American officials are beginning to acknowledge that a judgment about when withdrawals can begin is driven by two political calendars - one in Iraq and one here - as much as by those military assessments.

. . . As Mr. Bush ends his Thanksgiving holiday in Texas on Monday, both his own aides and American commanders say, he will begin confronting these sometimes conflicting military and political issues, including the midterm Congressional elections in this country, part of a delicate balancing action about how and when to begin extracting American troops from Iraq.
. . . [I]t is . . . clear that Mr. Bush is under new pressure to begin showing that troop reductions are under way before the midterm Congressional elections next year.

. . . "We've moved from 'if' to 'how fast,' " said one former aide with close ties to the National Security Council. He said officials in the Bush White House were already actively reviewing possible plans under which 40,000 to 50,000 troops or more could be recalled next year if "a plausible case could be made" that a significant number of Iraqi battalions could hold their own.

. . . [S]enior officers are painfully aware that sustaining the current high level of troop deployments in Iraq risks undermining morale of those now in uniform - and already has poisoned the efforts of Army recruiters seeking to woo young Americans into military service.

So the Republicans are playing politics on Iraq, not concerned with the actual soundness of policy? What will Fred Hiatt say?

What Lieberman doesn't say is that many Democrats would view [loss of support for the Iraq Debacle] as an advantage. Their focus on 2002 is a way to further undercut President Bush, and Bush's war, without taking the risk of offering an alternative strategy -- to satisfy their withdraw-now constituents without being accountable for a withdraw-now position.

Many of them understand that dwindling public support could force the United States into a self-defeating position, and that defeat in Iraq would be disastrous for the United States . . . [b]ut the taste of political blood as Bush weakens, combined with their embarrassment at having supported the war in the first place, seems to override that understanding.

Will Hiatt criticize Bush and the Republicans for letting politics override the well being of the nation regarding Iraq policy? Hell no. Because he was and remains a son of a bitch Republican shill. McCarthyite bastard.

More on the flip.

See, while I believe Iraq was a strategic blunder, while I believe that with BushCo in charge, John Murtha is right, I also believe that if Bush and the Republicans really DO believe in staying the course, then that is what they should be arguing for, politics be damned.

Apparently politics will not be damned by Republicans. What will Hiatt say? What will JOE LIEBERMAN say? He should rip the shit out of Bush for this. Will he? You know he won't.

If the military commanders are really saying this:

Officers fear that a hasty retreat driven by American domestic politics - and not conditions on the ground in Iraq - could invite greater violence or even civil war and that the American military would carry the blame for losing Iraq.

Senior Pentagon civilians and officers say the military is following standard practice and has drafted a number of plans with a range of options for Iraq.

Anthony H. Cordesman, a military expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, warned that a hasty withdrawal before Iraqi security forces are given a chance during 2006 to "achieve enough critical mass" and stand more on their own "will end in snatching defeat from the jaws of uncertainty." The top American commander in the Middle East has, since at least July, outlined a plan that would gradually reduce American forces in Iraq toward 100,000 by next spring, Pentagon and military officials said.

Then Bush is honor bound to not play politics on withdrawal. Personally, I doubt they really are. But IF they are, then Bush must put the nation first. He never has and he never will.

And neither has Fred Hiatt and his ilk.

I question THEIR patriotism.

Originally posted to Armando on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 05:12 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A companion piece (4.00)
    to the current FP post.

    The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

    by Armando on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 05:10:34 AM PST

    •  get 'em, Armando! (none)
      Well said.  Right on the goddamned money.

      We must turn their words back on them now.  And add a few choice ones of our own.

      The GOP -- and its cheerleaders, like the shameless Hiatt -- want to have it both ways.  They want to be able to smear and slime people as traitors for merely talking about the when and how of withdrawl from the Iraq debacle.  And in boilerplate McCarthyite style, they want to ascribe the filthiest, most craven motives possible to those who question their policies.

      But then when THEY talk about the when and how of withdrawl from the Iraq debacle, they want to be lauded as strong, resolute leaders:  the proverbial grown-ups in charge.

      That shit won't play anymore.  

      If talking about withdrawl is treason, it goes double for them -- they're the ones in charge right now.  

      And you can double that yet again as you see the GOP slime merchants and the Hiatts (no difference, really) playing political games with dates and numbers, reversing everything they said as recently as last week.  It shows how unserious they are and always have been.  It's ALL politics to them.  Their one and only goal has been to grab and keep political power, no matter how many Americans and Iraqis had to be slaughtered in the process.

      Goddamned GOP traitors.

      Please keep slugging away, Armando.  What you're saying here needs to be said.  A lot.

  •  The difference between Iraq and Vietnam (4.00)
    The withdrawal strategy of Nixon (remember "Vietnamization"?) and that of the Bushies are similar.

    What is missing is the basic honesty of the Nixon Administration toward the issue.

    I wish that that statement was a joke

    The Perfect is the Enemy of the Better

    by dabize on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 05:11:50 AM PST

  •  Politics (4.00)
    I have no doubt they will play politics with the timing of withdrawal.  Afterall, this administration put politics ahead of reason when they insisted on going forward with the elections last January.  All the experts agreed, that given the security situation and the lack of Sunni participation, an election would serve to alienate and divide, rather than unite.  Bush ignored these warnings and plowed ahead because he desperately needed a symbol to claim progress.  This election served his motives, with the interests of Iraqis a distant second.

    Fast forward to the next important "milestone", the new constitution.  This arbitrary deadline that the administration imposed became a massive hinderance to reaching a fair accord.  When it was obvious that the Iraqis would be unable to reach agreement without alienation, Bush reacted by insisting on a deal, despite the obvious shortcomings.  Now, Iraqis are left with a constitution that is at odds with what the administration preaches and fails to form national unity.  Falling like a stone in the polls, the administration put poltical consideration ahead of Iraq's future.  This rushed constitution, under dubious circumstance, will come back to haunt Iraq and cause great turmoil.

    So, I see withdrawal and its political timing as another point of evidence to a logical pattern.

    Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you. Jean-Paul Sartre

    by Stevo on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 05:17:42 AM PST

    •  Of course (none)
      And it is important that Democrats say that the GOP is playing politics.

      A ND TO SHAME fRED hIATT.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 05:25:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (none)
        The thing that really distinguishes modern Bush Republicanism from previous movements in American politics is their willingness to completely rewrite history, often multiple times, without a shred of embarrassment. They will do it again if we let them. Therefore we must not let them.

        The truly disgusting and treasonous aspect of the behavior of Hiatt et. al. lies in the fact that they enthusiastically support each Bushian rewrite as if it were established fact.

        The Perfect is the Enemy of the Better

        by dabize on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 05:32:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And... (none)
        Democrats should be prepared for the self-righteous disgust from Republicans that anyone dare suggest that their motives are anything but pure.  They will play the dodge and weave and counter that Democrats are interjecting politics into the equation.  It is important they we remain consistent to blunt this tired criticism.

        Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you. Jean-Paul Sartre

        by Stevo on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 05:33:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  playing politics (none)
      "I have no doubt they will play politics with the timing of withdrawal."

      Yes.  And since the timing of the invasion itself was dictated entirely by politics, we have no reason to believe otherwise.

      Exhibit A (one of thousands of such exhibits):

      "From a marketing point of view, you don't roll out new products in August." -- White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, on why the Bush administration waited until after Labor Day to try to sell the American people on war against Iraq, "New York Times" interview, Sept. 7, 2002

  •  I am certain (none)
    the repubs will try to play politics with this. I am not sure it will help them.  If the dems were smart they would keep two issues going for the midterms:  "Do you want the truth? and Do you want GWB to have 2 more years of a complicit and compliant congress?" If a vote in congress can be successfully tied as a vote for Bush, dems might be able to use Rove's own tactic against him.  Rove used it very well in 2002 and 2004.

    "This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no foolin' around!"

    by demkat620 on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 05:22:51 AM PST

  •  Iraqis. Avoid the rush. (4.00)
    reserve your helicopter skid now.  

    The more I watch this issue the last week or so and the withdrawl debate, I think I see the attitude in the WH has shifted (although maybe not Bush's) and it appears the upcoming elections are beginning to weigh heavy on some Republican minds.

    Hell, naked unadulterated politics got us into this war, no reason to assume it won't be the catalyst to get us out.

    •  With this crew... (4.00)
      "naked unadulterated politics" is all they understand, all they see.  I'll grant that there are some republicans still operating according to principles they hold dear...but it ain't the crew in charge.  They have been nothing but opportunistic at every turn, betraying their purported beliefs whenever necessary or even merely convenient.

      So, yeah, seeing them hoist on this petard of their own making is nothing but satisfying.

      "Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering." - R. Buckminster Fuller -5.88/-5.23

      by Shadan7 on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 05:45:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They still have to be hoist(ed?) (none)
        Media shills such as Hiatt will help them get away with rewriting history if we do not stop them. Columns such as Raspberry's help with that, but we need to keep up the volume with LTEs and such.

        It's hard to believe that there are still people who give these bastards the "benefit of the doubt", but there still seem to be a few around............

        The Perfect is the Enemy of the Better

        by dabize on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 05:55:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  All this talk of withdrawal (none)
    ignores the reason we went in in the first place: oil.

    Bu$hCo. isn't just going to pull out and leave control of the oilfields to some kind of Al Qeada/Iranian alliance. For that matter, neither should we--at least not until we have a true viable non-oil based economy. As much as I hate the war, I also hate freezing in the dark.

    Any talk of a solution to Iraq that does'nt mention oil is just so much elephant manure.

    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

    by drewfromct on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 05:24:48 AM PST

    •  Well (none)
      at least not until we have a true viable non-oil based economy

      If that is the benchmark for withdrawal, I would suggest you and I will be dead long before we leave.

      Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you. Jean-Paul Sartre

      by Stevo on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 05:30:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And there is no alternative method to (none)
      obtain oil other than invading and occupying a country?

      What the hell ever happened to the free market?  Or doesn't it work for oil?  You don't win by forcing trade through the end of a gun barrel.

      Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshall

      by bronte17 on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 06:31:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "You don't (none)
        win by forcing trade through the end of a gun barrel"

        You've convinced me. Now go back in time and tell it to Commodore Perry. And to the British who started and won the Opium War with China. And to the rest of the European Imperial powers who used force to colonize what is now the third world.Tell it to the ghost of Chairman Mao who said, "All political legitimacy comes out of the barrel of a gun".

        Not defending it, just stating facts that need to be recognized. I don't believe that might truly makes right, but I acknowlege that might has a strong tendency to get its way whether its right or wrong.

        Could the US simply buy oil on the world market without seizing the source? Obviously, Bu$hCo thought not. And now they've made the bed we as a nation we have to sleep in, the mess we have to clean up, or whichever metaphor you choose. Can we simply impeach Bush and tell the world, "All better. You can trust us now"? If you were Iraq, Iran, or China, would you beleive that?

        Invading Iraq was the wrong thing to do, no doubt about it. Simply pulling out, and leaving a power vacuum to be filled by Iran, Al Queada, or Taliban-style fundamentalists could potentially be much worse. There are no easy solutions here, and quite possibly no solution at all.

        Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

        by drewfromct on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 08:37:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fine, but you ignore the results of your (none)
          gunboat diplomacy.  Have you forgotten the Boxer Rebellion or Sun Yat-sen's rise?  Perhaps there would have been another way for China other than Mao Tse-tung and the Communist Party if the foreign occupation of China had not occurred.  You cannot know for certainty that scenario wasn't possible because another path was never taken.  Other avenues are always open to pursue rather than warfare.  When you open that window, you foreclose others.

          There's always a solution.  And, per "the Imperial Temptation" of the U.S. is to act as the world's policeman, to quote Stephen Ambrose:

          ... "to intervene, punish and then just walk away from the responsibilities of victory..."

          Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshall

          by bronte17 on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 02:13:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Isn't it (none)
    NICE that it's political considerations that may force our moron-in-chief to consider withdrawal.
  •  Which is why it is great (4.00)
    that Murtha advanced a semi-withdrawal plan first, and got the GOP on record hollering about "cut and run."  

    This news does not surprise me in the least.  Of course the GOP is going to try to preserve its legislative majority, in order to live to fight another day.  A Dem majority on one house might mean no less than impeachment and will certainly feature constant investigations into the shenanigans of these past years.  I think the GOP is much more scared and desperate than they are letting on.

    •  Good point (none)
      Deborah Orin, Republican shill for the NYPost was bitching about it on Hardball.

      Since she knows what is going on in RoveWorld, I think you have a good point.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 06:16:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Of course they are (none)
      scared and desperate; if the lies and "branding" of Iraq were the only problems they had, they could probably weather it.  However, they are looking at indictments and scandal approaching very fast and in several venues. One indictment is a scandal, more than one a conspiracy.

      By election time 06 they'll be extremely fortunate if Iraq is their only albatross.  

      "If you get an outfit, you can be a cowboy, too..." : The Smothers Brothers.

      by wozzle on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 06:28:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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