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Via The Next Hurrah: UK, US to withdraw Iraq forces by early '07:

[Link] The United States and Britain are planning to pull all their troops out of Iraq by the spring of 2007, two British newspapers reported in their Sunday editions, quoting unnamed senior defense ministry sources.
The Sunday Telegraph said the planned pull-out followed an acceptance by the two governments that the presence of foreign troops in Iraq was now a large obstacle to securing peace.

Hard to say if this is accurate. But a complete bail out a year from now--a full blown cut and run stampede as opposed to a facade draw down timed for the upcoming midterms this November--is consistent with what several military experts on various cable news channels have opined for some time now; that the US can't sustain the troop levels and mix of specialties in Iraq for much longer. Not without a significant change in recruiting numbers or military commitments elsewhere. Or a draft.

Two observations if this does play out: 1) Murtha was right, 2) The Republicans Lost the War. Remember that last point when the GOP/Rove machine cranks up to blame the ensuing chaos in Iraq on Democrats or administration critics. It really says it all.

And of course, if Iraq is the central front in the War on 'Terra' as the brigades of chicken hawks and legions of screaming harpies have been howling for three years now, then the Republicans Lost the War on Terror. Hopefully, future progressive and moderate candidates won't be afraid to say it that bluntly.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:05 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well... (none)
    Took them long enough.  Pretty embarrassing for Bush, though.
    •  We'll see (4.00)
      It might be embarassing depending on how successful they are at spinning it.  Having said that, given all the distractions they've been dealing with I'm not sure they'll have the focus to pull that off.  The line they will put forward is that the Democrats cost us the war because they kept criticizing.  That we helped the enemy or what have you.  We'll see how well it sticks come November 2006.

      --- If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head

      by sterno on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 06:10:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What Can They Say (4.00)
        With any credibility? That the:

        Elected officials would have formed a secular government if it wasn't for democrats?

        That the Sunnis would just give up power if it wasn't for democrats?

        That the Shia would have forgot about revenge killings if it wasn't for democrats?

        That the Jihadis would have packed up and gone home if it wasn't for democrats?

        That the Abu Graib dogs never would have bitten anyone if it wasn't for democrats?

        That the neo-cons could have privatized everything as planned if it wasn't for democrats?

        etc, etc...

        Pigs don't fly.

        "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

        by talex on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 07:16:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, right. Like we withdrew from South Korea (none)
          is it 50 years ago now?

          And those permanent bases built in Iraq?

          I think it will be a "show" withdrawal, with troops left guarding Halliburton's oil interests.

          A highly-placed neocon military contractor said to me during the build-up of the propaganda for the Iraq war, "We'll be in Iraq for ten years."

          At the time I thought he was crazy because the media line was how short brief this war would be, but the neocons, and those connected to oil interests and the military contractors getting fat, all knew what the score was and is.

          So no matter what's been fed to the press, and us, I doubt that a complete withdrawal will happen. Although Bush may announce that it will in time for the elections.

          •  That sounds about right (none)
            About like Nixon's 1968 campaign promise -- a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam.  

            They'll announce it with lots of fanfare and a slight drawdown of the number of troops in the months and weeks before the election.  Then next winter they'll stop the drawdown and maybe even find an excuse to send some of the troops back, all while blaming it on the Democrats that everybody wasn't home already.

            We're all pretty crazy some way or other; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is just a setting on my dryer.

            by david78209 on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 09:42:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  They'll claim victory (4.00)
        Just watch.  They have too much gall to admit defeat in anything.

        They'll claim that their primary objective was to oust Saddam Hussein.  That much they did.  And they're going to repeat it over and over.

        They'll say that their secondary objective was to set up a democratic form of government in Iraq.  They'll say that the form is now in place.  They'll justify any troop withdrawals as being at the request of the sovreign Iraqi government and that they respect the decisions of sovreign governments.

        Then once things inevitably go to shit there, they'll say that it's up to the sovreign Iraqi government to deal with and they don't meddle in the affairs of democratically elected sovreign governments.

        And once our troops are out of there, our media won't report what's going on.  They'll be looooong gone.  (Hell, it's dangerous enough for them NOW with our troops providing security; imagine what it'll be like with the Iraqis in charge)  The civil war there will be page 20 news and will be irrelevant to American electoral politics.  

        Once America stops paying the freight and our soldiers stop dying, the American taxpayer will stop caring.

        "I intend to live forever. So far, so good." Steven Wright

        by gsbadj on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 07:28:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They cannot spin this (4.00)
        and if anybody tries around me, I will be up their nose about the whole 'cut & run' thing until they run away to mommy ;)

        We're gonna explode?! I don't wanna explode! 宁静

        by TalkieToaster on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 08:15:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  dont believe the hype.... (none)
        bush and blair had EVERY intention of pulling significant numbers of troops out of iraq THIS YEAR...in time to tout the return home of our brave soldiers in the mid term election campaigns....

        that plan had to be totally scrapped due to impending civil war....

        so instead we get convenient leaks, at the moment BUSH and BLAIR are losing ground in all polls due to the failure aka the iraq war, of secret plans (ha) to pull significant troops out of Iraq next year.....

        this smells of rendon group to me <shrug>  perfectly timed hopeful goodnews...a desperate effort to salvege rove's 06 strategy to run on terrorism and success in Iraq....

        i think this is the best they can come up with to try and neutralize american anger with the war and trump democrats using Iraq against gop incumbants in the mid term campaign

        "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

        by KnotIookin on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 10:54:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well... (none)
      ...I think most people viewing the situation would say that the Iraqis will be ready to take over there in 12 months.  That's the best thing at this point.  I hope they start to regain a normal life and put an end to the violence.  Putting politics aside, I hope they seize their chance to build their country.
    •  Denied by US Military in Iraq (none)
      Unsurprisingly:
      BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Media reports that America and Britain plan to pull all their troops out of Iraq by the spring of 2007 are "completely false," the U.S. military in Iraq said on Sunday, reiterating there is no timetable for withdrawal.
      Two British newspapers reported in their Sunday editions that the pull-out plan followed an acceptance by the two governments that the presence of foreign troops in Iraq was now a large obstacle to securing peace.

      But a spokesman for the U.S. military in Iraq reiterated previous statements by U.S. and Iraqi officials that foreign troops will be gradually withdrawn from the Arab country once Iraqi security forces are capable of guaranteeing security.


      Linky
    •  nope... (none)
      Military denies withdrawal plan

      BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The U.S. military in Iraq said on Sunday media reports that America and Britain planned to pull all troops out of Iraq by spring 2007 were "completely false," reiterating that there was no timetable for withdrawal.

  •  I think if Jonah Goldberg had enlisted (4.00)
    Lucianne's little dough boy could have turned the tide.

    Maynard G Muskievote

    by calipygian on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:09:26 PM PST

  •  I'll believe it when I see it (none)
    Presidents have proclaimed that they are withdrawing troops with one hand, while the other silently replaces, or even increases them.
    •  indeed (none)
      i'll believe when i see it

      i can't believe Bush will declare failure and go home.  though there should be a withdrawal, it won't happen until Bush's brains decide that they can credibly declare "victory" and go home.

      why didn't they do that back in '05?  before Murtha's big splash?

      i'll bet many many of 'em are asking themselves that right about now.

      •  Agreed! We'll see what the Thugs say on MTP (none)
        and the other Sunday BS sessions tomorrow!!!

        This is obviously a big deal, and they all will be denying the story full force!!!  Should be fun to watch!!

      •  Nixon pulled this crap (3.57)
        A lot of good Americans, and countless good Vietnamese, were killed because Nixon played politics with the Vietnam war. Plenty of people died after Nixon's so called secret peace talks didn't hit paydirt until it was too late for lots of fine American troops.

        Playing politics with the deadly serious business of war is disgusting. And GW is most disgusting example of this since Hitler.

        •  Comparing Bush to Hitler (3.57)
          I somewhat agree with everything you said UNTIL you tried to equate George Bush with Hitler.  One of the most usually valid theorums of American political rhetoric is that whenever one side in a dispute resorts to comparing their opponent to Hitler, that's a sure sign they've lost their way and the upper hand in the argument.  In part, that's because most people know that figures like Hitler or Stalin are so over-the-top sinister psychopaths that nearly any other modern Western figure's lies, crimes, and incompetencies seem petty by comparison, even if they're a pretty big, serious deal considered on their own terms (as Bush's are).  In part, it's because even if there are loose parallels in some aspects, the analogy still doesn't seem to comfortably fit to most people's senses.

          At heart, I think Bush is more like Russia's Putin at heart, and the real danger is the creep toward an Orwell-lite kind of society and government, but one run by business oligarchs instead of the communist party.

      •  they will put out this story (4.00)
        before the elections then do whatever they want after the elections.

        An election does not make a democracy.

        by seesdifferent on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 06:47:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds like a trial balloon (4.00)
      Wouldn't surprise me if this were some sort of trial balloon, maybe for British internal consumption, maybe planted by the Busheviks to avoid domestic blowback.  (We don't care about what the Brits report anyway, it seems.)

      But yeah, a dishonest election-year plan for a "troop withdrawal" followed by a quick redeployment after the election is certainly a possibility.  It wouldn't be hard to produce local Iraqi political and "insurgent" developments to orchestrate such a scam.

      -4.50, -5.85 Lies are the new Truth.

      by Dallasdoc on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:21:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Darksyde's title needs a question-mark (4.00)
        because there is nothing certain about this. For many months the Blair government has been floating stories like this about a withdrawal of British troops, always about a year away, and always with the caveat (backdoor) that things may change in the meantime, nixing the alleged plan. And the leaks always depend on the say-so of a single source.

        It's hard to know what's going on with any of these. It could be trial balloons, or even an attempt to build pressure on Bush with British public opinion. Each time the leak of this 'breaking' news has come at a time that Blair has been extremely embarrassed over domestic politics.

        That is true this time as well. yesterday it was revealed that Blair's close friend and Cabinet Minister, Tessa Jowell, whom Blair had cleared of serious corruption charges (with a much derided inquiry that didn't actually inquire into the facts), was in deeper muck than anybody had supposed. Her husband had Italian mob connections, whom he'd been working with. The canned "inquiry" now has the potential to make Blair look like a real schmuck.

        So the release of this teaser story could just be a way to distract attention. On the other hand, it has to be said that the Telegraph report is much more specific than any earlier such leaks.

        •  I agree (none)
          it's a big question mark. But the title of the story quoted and linked has no question mark. Adding one could be construed as editing a headline in such a way as to change what the writers are intending to convey in regard to their source or article, without notice or permission, and that could be criticized on a lot of fronts as well.

          Read UTI, your free thought forum

          by DarkSyde on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:56:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Will not happen (none)
          There will be some troop reductions in the coming months for strickly political reasons--to help Republicans in the coming election. That new report base on an unamed source allows for easy deniability.

          Among the many reasons Bush along with most Democrats and Republicans went to war on the people of Iraq has to do with oil.  Because that reason still exist, there is no real plan to get out-- even Democrats have no plan to get out. Other reason for war was for profits to be made by the entire military industrial complex and by the politicians who pocket $millions from the war lobby--this keeps them in office. All those pro-war forces and their thinking also has not changed.

          The pro- war coalition includes racist, right-wing religious zealots in America and Israel who have strange interpretation of their holy books. Most Democrats whent along with the war because they thought that an anti-war vote could have shortened their careers. Staying in office is their only priority.

          The main trust of the propaganda for the troop reduction will be one that claims victory. Only the real nuts will blame the liberals for war problems--blaming them will mean acknowledging a  defeat. The removal of Saddam and the creation on an alledged new Democracy will be their key talking points.

          Peace.  

      •  You are right about that (none)
        quote from Dallasdoc
        ----------------------------------------------
        "Wouldn't surprise me if this were some sort of trial balloon, maybe for British internal consumption, maybe planted by the Busheviks to avoid domestic blowback.  (We don't care about what the Brits report anyway, it seems.)"
        -------------------------------------------------

        It is evident that we do not pay any attention to what comes out of the British media as the Downing Street memos are a case in point.

        The coverage by the MSM on those explosive memos was shameless. I certainly hope that they are given their rightful due when the impeachment hearings start in January 07.

      •  Sounds About Right (none)
        And then there is this last sentence in the story: "However, the Telegraph, quoting a defense official, said that if civil war were to break out, it would likely cause the withdrawal plan to be put off." SOunds like civil war might be even more likely considering that criteria.

        Keep your eye on the permanent bases in Iraq. Until we hear they are being abandoned, we are not going anywhere.

        Truth has liberal bias...and has gone on a war footing!

        by Wahrheit on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 11:16:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  the catch (none)
      I read a article on another blog, and at the bottom was the disclaimer. If Civil Was erupts, there will be no pull out. Duh.

      -8.63 -7.28 When Bush is in your face, may the wind be at your back.

      by OneCrankyDom on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:25:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds like Cut and Run to me (none)

      Coffins. The biggest growth industry in Iraq.

      by steelman on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:50:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But what about the 14 permanent bases? (4.00)
       Unless we are giving those bases to the Iraqi army or converting them to civilian use then I am indeed very sceptical.

       I do not believe that Bush has any intention of ever leaving Iraq. He will not give up the opportunity to control a segment of mid east OIL.

        Does anyone really believe that the Iraqis are really in charge of the oil? I sure don't.

      •  Nope. (none)
        Anyone with a match can torch a pipeline.  

        The Iranians have a better idea about how to co-opt dissent by giving stock options based upon oil futures to the lowest 1/3rd of the country. This scheme effectively holds the family fortunes hostage against the good behavior of their young. Screw up by torching a pipeline, and your whole extended family does not get their options realized.

        Such a scheme would never work in Iraq, because we intend to use the oil we eventually squeze out of Iraq to 1)pay off Iraq's Russian and other foreign debt 2)pay war reparations to Kuwait 3) maybe a little to Iraqi restoration 4)the oil goes to American oil companies, not Brits or others, and the Americans want it cheap - so no Iraqi ownership. Paul Bremmer's plan did not even let Iraqis own things like insurance companies - that type of business was to go to Europe. Maybe that plan has changed by now. I hope so.  

        “A nation may lose its liberties in a day and not miss them in a century.” Montesquieu

        by sailmaker on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 11:29:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  EXACTLY! (none)
        Anyone can see that when you build 14 bases (including friggin movie theaters and Subway's for example), you have no intention of leaving for a LOOOONG time. PERIOD.
  •  Bailing out on wars (none)
    That's Rumsfeld's claim to history, isn't it?

    First 'Nam now 'Raq.

    Wow, what a mensch.

    It's not that they don't know Jack. It's that they don't know him on a first-name basis. :)

    by cskendrick on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:11:56 PM PST

  •  We're going to be left with (4.00)
    "Strong" Dems saying we should stay in Iraq while the Republicans pull out. Then the democrats will get the blame for the "failure" of the war as well as the anger from activists who have wanted out the entire time. This could turn out to be quite a play for Republicans if the spin is right.

    "To any sheriff or peace officer of the State of Texas; Greetings: You are hereby commanded to arrest: Thomas Dale Delay" -Warrant for Tom Delay

    by who threw da cat on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:12:33 PM PST

    •  Like a chessgame... (none)
      Lots of ways to win a chessgame.

      You know why Bush uses the word strategy and strategic (or as Bush sez it -- "shhtratregric") so much lately?  I think it's because those around him are using it.

      They've got CONTINGENCY PLANS and lots of them.  Maybe it's a con within a con within a con.  Whatever, they always have the media and the spin, so TIME IS ON THEIR SIDE.

      Until we come up with a strategy to compete with that and deal in the same time zone so to speak, the GREATEST PART OF THE American POPULATION will always find out too late, too late, AFTER THE CON IS COMPLETED.

    •  They had nearly five years to get it right (none)
      And failed.  They can't blame the Democrats since they had no power.

      The Republicans lost the War on Terror due to ineptitude, plain and simple.

  •  The "War on Terra" really sums it up (4.00)
    I like the phrase "War on Terra".  It's more accurate than you realize.  Terra isn't just a mispronunciation of "terror", it's also Latin for "Earth".
  •  luckily... (none)
    early 07 would be just-in-time for an invasion of Iran. So the military would save money on that round-trip.

    (-9.13, -8.10) Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

    by Florida Democrat on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:13:38 PM PST

  •  re (none)
    Fucking Cut & Runners...

    "Save me Showtime! Save Me! " - Steve Holt

    by cookiesandmilk on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:14:33 PM PST

  •  If true, it's very good news (4.00)
    First of all, it's obviously good because it's the right thing to do. But politically, it's good for the Dems. I was worried that the Dems would have to be the ones to pull the troops once they regained power, which open the door for "the Dems cut and run, and if the GOP had stayed in power, they would have finished the job" and so on... It's much better if this whole package -- the buildup, execution, and pullout is a GOP product.

    But it also allows the Dems to take credit for applying enough pressure to get the GOP to do the right thing in the end. So I see it as a kind of eat-your-cake-and-have-it-too scenario.


    "Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right." - Salvor Hardin

    by Zackpunk on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:14:44 PM PST

  •  Those Bastards! (none)
    Cutting and running...Cutting and running...Cutting and running...Cutting and running...Cutting and running...Cutting and running...Cutting and running...Cutting and running...Cutting and running...Cutting and running...Cutting and running...Cutting and running...Cutting and running...Cutting and running...Cutting and running...Cutting and running...

    "This machine kills fascists"--words on Woody Guthrie's guitar

    by Old Left Good Left on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:19:32 PM PST

    •  Please. (none)
      Obviously the war was the biggest success in the history of the USA.  We stayed until the job was done, and done right dammit.  You should thank our greatest president ever that you even have the right to say "cut and run".  Liberals would have never had the courage to spread freedom to the middle east, while protecting our national security.  Pussy. <snark>
      •  Ann.... Ann...Ann... (none)
        Cabin Boy Ed is waiting for you in his basement with Bill.  This time you bring the Scotch and the loofahs.

        dougymi spartan'79

        "We ought never to do wrong when people are looking." Twain

        by dougymi on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 06:16:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It all depends where the troops... (none)
    ...are withdrawn to.

    If they are withdrawn back to home base, then great.

    If they are redeployed in Khuzestan, not so much.

    "It's not selling out if you don't get paid, okay? We're not whores. When you do it for free, that's just slutty." -Wonkette -6.38/ -4.21

    by wonkydonkey on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:21:30 PM PST

    •  Disagree. Withdrawal to the perimeter seems (none)
      to be prudent.  We owe at least this to the Iraqi people.  We can not let this great, ancient civilization devolve into the next Somalia, Sudan, [insert name].
      •  This 'great, anchient civilization' (4.00)
                          was destroyed by this illegal/immoral invasion which allowed for the destruction of museums and archiological sites and generalized looting.

        All the 'greatness' is now just in the momory of a few.

        Kind of like the "Bill of Rights".

      •  Khuzestan is on Iraq's... (none)
        ...perimeter.

        "It's not selling out if you don't get paid, okay? We're not whores. When you do it for free, that's just slutty." -Wonkette -6.38/ -4.21

        by wonkydonkey on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 06:12:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Didn't catch that. Are you saying the Iranians (none)
          are inviting us to station troops there?  Now, that would be front page material.  Thanks for the geography lesson.
          •  Iran's repressed Arab minority... (none)
            ...who are cousins to Iraq's Shiia, and supposedly chafe under the dominant Persian's rule might be more "inviting" according to the Neocon wet dream.

            "It's not selling out if you don't get paid, okay? We're not whores. When you do it for free, that's just slutty." -Wonkette -6.38/ -4.21

            by wonkydonkey on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 07:40:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I certainly hope that is not his plan (none)
            Can you imagine the disaster that would be created if delusional ush also decided to invade Iran?

           The world leaders had better step up and stop him and not mollycoddle him as they did in the leadup to the Iraq war.

      •  I don't think (none)
        they'd do this.  It's what Jack Murtha proposed, and they'll be damned if they'll take advice from a Democrat.
  •  I'll believe it when it happens (3.50)
    Bushco is very good at switching topics when they are down in the polls.  This just smacks of more spin.  Lets go to India and strike a deal, talk tough about "not afraid of terrorists and murderers" by going to Pakistan, then leak that we plan to pull out of Iraq.

    1. Iraq's unpopular
    2. UAE deal is killing Bush
    3. domestic spying is killing Bush
    4. Plamegate is killing Bush
    5. Abramoff is killing Bush
    6. Rethugs going to prison for accepting bribes is killing Bush
    7-2,993,374 are too depressing to list

    So forgive me if I see an ounce of truth in something "positive" coming out of the lips of liars.  Especially since they have just begun their spin campaign on the latest round of Iraqi violence as being created by the media.

    My fear?  We stay just long enough for outright civil war to erupt, then a brazen group of whatever-u-wanna-call-ems decides to start targeting US troops which makes Bushco anxious to stay and prove that the might of the US fist will not be cowed by a ragtag group of ill-trained natives.  Just my fear.  

    Other than that, I hope we do pull out.  I hope we do win back Congress later this year.  I hope we put more deserving rethugs, like Tom D, behind bars.  I hope I win the next powerball drawing, too...but I'm tired of expectations, now I'm all about the proof, especially when it comes to Dubya and his merry gang of rabid hypocrits.

    •  You are right on. I spoke with my Bush voter (none)
      mom two days ago.  When I mentioned his name, she said "that jerk!"  I then asked her the last time Bush had a good week.  She responded, "9/11".
      •  fucking sick ain't it? (none)
        Bush's great triumph was our nation's greatest tragedy
      •  I have always wondered why it was thought (none)
          that Bush did anything great in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 that any other president would not have done.

          I mean Al Gore could have stood at the twin towers site with a bullhorn and been just as effective as Bush. The only difference is he probably would have got there sooner.

          Let us not forget that president Clinton managed to fly back from Australia, on a special approved flight, and got down to the armory, where the relative were gathered, a full day before Bush made it to New York.

         So what exactly did he do on 9/11 that any other president would not have done just as effectively.

        One thing is for sure, Al Gore would not have been sitting in a classroom reading a story about a pet goat!

  •  I doubt it (none)
    1. They wouldn't say this to the enemy...it will give the insurgents lots of morale in the interim. That's over a year of IEDs.

    2. A rumor like this is pure politics I think, intended to deflect the quagmire mentality they think is their ball and chian, but note that it's only after the elections that the withdrawal is promised for.

    People ought to believe it when they see it.
  •  Bush wants to get out, Democrats want to stay! (none)
    Democrats vote not to filibuster Alito, Patriot Act,
    or even provide clean drinking water for our troops.

    To name just a very few.

    Democrats are better, why?

    Paging Rahm, Shumer, Hillary, anyone?

    Now about torture and rendition....ANYBODY???!

  •  Conservatives have started to turn on each (4.00)
    other but they will very shortly blame it on liberals and Dems. They will use the same bs as they did about VN, that the war was lost at home.
    Liberals must keep say they went in without proper number of troops, armament,mission statement. occupation or exit plan and that the problem  was their poor planning or lack thereof coupled with a lousy execution.
    Bush's numbers if Dems are smart haven't seen their lows.
    •  Sort of (4.00)
      I think liberals must say that we should not have gone in, there was no honest case made for war, there was no necessity for war.  The republicans made a faulty case for war, either through duplicity or incompetence, they drug the country into war at a time of their own choosing using the best military that the world has ever seen and caused a terrible civil war that has inflamed the hatred of millions of people.  They have abandoned laws and morals that we have had for all the long generations of our nation, cost us the respect of much of the world,

      They started a war that was wrong, they waged the war poorly, they lied about how the war was going, they lost the war.  They need to go, they have been here too long and destroyed too much.

      "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

      by NearlyNormal on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:45:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  small nitpick: (none)
        ...and caused are trying to cause a terrible civil war...

        I think a deliberately fomented Lebanon-style sectarian based civil war and balkanization of Iraq into weak puppet mini oil states has been the main Bush/Neocon plan for Iraq ever since Bigoil's "just put Saddam's mustache on a new dictator" plan went out the window soon after the fall of Bagdad in 2003. The trouble for Bush is the Iraqis know this too, and they are resisting being baited into unleashing Shia/Sunni retaliations in response to the coordinated horrific and provocative shrine/bombings and sectarian-targeted death squad attacks.

    •  Bill Kristol said it for us. Paraphrase: (none)
      "We have not run an energetic war."  Anyone know the exact quote?  I am too lazy to look it up.
  •  It's a coalition.... (none)
    of the National Guard and the Army Reserves.

    Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann

    by Kayakbiker on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:25:01 PM PST

  •  I remember when the crazy ass racist b!tch fluffed (none)
    "..To retreat before victory would be an act of recklesseness and dishonor, and I will not allow it...." ~ W

    http://michellemalkin.com/...

    ~~~

    She's gonna unhinge something fierce if her hero cuts and runs.

  •  The Summer Plotline (4.00)
    It is no mistake that both Will and Friedman floated the "we should not coddle the Iraqis" meme this week. The key right-wing enablers of both Washington Post and New York Times have begun suddenly claiming that protecting Iraqis is "infantilizing them".

    The same people who lead America into this red rout are now paving the path towards an ignoble retreat. The argument will be that Iraqis have only themselves to blame for the civil war. They "asked for it" by not accepting the gift of the US occupation with humility and grace.

    Watch Bush pivoting from "Iraq is the central theatre of War on Terror" to "Iraqi people must refuse sectarian violence... or the bastards deserve to be massacred".  

    Too cynical? Please - the only way Rove can spin this gory mess is to blame the victim. He will brand the Iraqis as craven appeasers for terror... he will make Bush bow down his head in noble regret as he orders the troops back, leaving the islamist extremist in charge... and he will try to blame the Democrats for allowing this to happen.

    Any Democrat Senator that allows the "Iraqis must accept responsibility" meme to flourish is a fool or worse. The idea that Bush can dictate what Iraqis must do is an abomination. He created this maelstrom of blood - it belongs to him and nobody else.

  •  I'll believe it when I see it. (none)
    nt
  •  Cynically depressed ... (none)
    "Remember that last point when the GOP/Rove machine cranks up to blame the ensuing chaos in Iraq on Democrats or administration critics."

    Until proved otherwise, I'll bet they get away with it.

    What will be, will me?

    by Kay Sera on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:27:15 PM PST

  •  Here they go again :) (none)
    Last summer it was 'beginning in spring' of 06 troop draw down. Then it was for the elections.

    Way I see it, it will happen when it happens.

    If these two have come to agreement that their contiued occupation is making things worse, why wait till 07?

    Do it now before more bad things happen.

    For myself I am always very wary of these kinds of leaked stories, disinformation leaks are common with these two governments.  Kind of like attempting to keep the people on a see saw-- give a sense of 'hope' here and there--plant some kind of an 'end in sight'.

    I don't trust either of these governments for anything else and I don't trust them now.

    Of course they have known that Murtha and all the others are right, this was always a 'lost cause' but that's not why they did it, it was an ideological invasion and occupation for the neo conservatives 'Project for a New American Century".

    Even neo cons are now proclaiming the ideology was wrong, Iraq is lost.

    Call me a skeptic, but it will happen when it happens.

    •  Plausible (none)
      The only reason this might be believable is that it is the best timing they can get. Afew troops out before November '06 with a sort of 'we are handing things over things over to the Iraqis' tone to it -- hoping to eke through the mid-term elections with that.

      Then bail on it quickly after the elections, leaving room for it to be old news by '08 so they can get a semi-maverick like McCain or Hegal or someone not associated with Washington at all elected President in '08 anyway.

      They know it is lost. It might be the best they can do.

      The only other scenario I can see is to hold some islands of territory (bases) and let the Iraqis exterminate each other for a couple of years all around them. I just don't see that going down very well come '08 if it is still raging.

      They (Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice) must know by now that it is all a pretty dismal mess. Bush may have no idea what is going on.

  •  This cloud must have a black lining somewhere (none)
    Let's see,

    A) As "Florida Democrat" pointed out, the timing is right for the invasion of Iran.  Just think, Dubya will get a chance to try out his new "bunker busting" tactical nukes.

    B) We will, of course, keep our permanent bases in Iraq so that we can use them when dumping our secret political prisoners into Iraqi prisons.

  •  If you believe this bull shit (none)
    I have a dog turd to sell you.

    It's 2006 and in November we have mid term elections.

    The story broke in the UK and is now available to be repeated by USA news organizations.

    Wow, are you really going to believe this cheap bull shit?

  •  At this point (none)
    I'm willing to concede to the GOP whatever political advantage they believe this (if true) gives them, so long as we pull out of this fucking mess.  It's time...

    It's past time.

    Why is that some Democrats seem to think losing will make them look tougher than will winning? ~Atrios

    by GOTV on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:31:45 PM PST

  •  And leave behind the new permanent bases? (none)
    I suspect this is a ploy to energize the die hard war supporters, if there's and substance to it..

    Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else. --Will Rogers

    by groggy on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:31:48 PM PST

  •  The Capitol Hill Blue of Blogs. (4.00)
    The Next Hurrah is not a credible source.
  •  This is the kind of story (4.00)
    that makes me wonder what it would be like if the new policies of explaining anonymous sources really worked:
    • The source, who declined to be identified because he is only floating a trial ballon...
    • The source, who declined to be identified because he is a neocon trying to create a firestorm and make  serious pullout proposals more difficult...
    • The source, who declined to be identified in our estimation because he is lying...
    • The source, who was willing to be identified but will not be, because no one following politics believes a word he says and our story would look weaker...
  •  Wow, What Convenient timing! (none)
    Just in time for the 2006 elections!  

    Except, I think after the election is over, and Diebold Scamming gives them another win (hey, this time they'll even win California!), the Bushites will figure out a way to do as they please anyway.

    If they REALLY meant it, it would happen BEFORE the election.  It's just a con.  There's nothing BINDING in making an announcement like this.  Purest politics.  

    Feel neither relieved nor vindicated.  Come 2007, please save yourself from feeling duped.

  •  Prediction (none)
    Bush's announces the 2007 pull-out, "declaring victory" just before the November election in an effort to take the Iraq issue away from the Dems. in the Fall.  But because it will happen in 2007, the ramifications will not be felt until after the elections.  
  •  But Vietnamization is going well... (none)
    The Iraqis will be able to handle security by then.

    If the "real" story of Iraq is told by the MSM only after the mid-term election, it's absolute proof its bought and paid for.

    I feel so, so bad for the military in Iraq.  They're simply being used to bring the various factions together in opposition to the US in an effort to delay the civil war that's coming for a more politically opportune time for the Republicans.

    Madam, if you were my wife, I would drink it.

    by gavodotcom on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:39:05 PM PST

  •  THE #1 talking point (4.00)
    The Republicans lost the war.
    The Republicans lost the war.
    The Republicans lost the war.
    The Republicans lost the war.
    The Republicans lost the war.
    The Republicans lost the war.

    Say it over and over again.  There is no better "talking point" for us this year than that one.

    "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." -Gandhi

    by midvalley on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:39:18 PM PST

  •  Looking Back: (4.00)
    In August of last year, Timmy had four generals on MTP. When asked for a prediction, three of them coughed up a rosey scenario. One of them didn't. Let's see what he said:

    August 2, 2005:

    MR. RUSSERT: I want to give you each a minute and explain the best you can, based on all your experiences and judgment, what Iraq will look like one year from now.

    GEN. CLARK: Continuing political disagreements, strong insurgency, strong terrorist movement, a drawdown in U.S. forces, an administration that claims success, continuing concerns about the Islamization of the political process in Iraq, growing encroachments on Iraqi sovereignty from neighboring states and continuing efforts as the United States starts to pull out, other nations start to go in. Iraq's on the fault line between Shia and Sunni Islam. And we can't fix that. We've got to help fix it and we won't. I don't see this administration making the diplomatic effort required. So what I see is they're doing a minimalist job trying to put a papier-mache government together and use that with the training of forces and then try to pull out forces here in time for the 2006 elections. I think, you know, the question is five years and 10 years down the line. This would be a government that we won't be--it'll be a state that we won't necessarily be proud of having created.


    Hmmm? It was strange moment, as everyone at the table paused to hear what Gen. Clark had to say. Of course the last line is the most important one: "This would be a government that we won't be--it'll be a state that we won't necessarily be proud of having created." The politicalization of war to effect domestic politics is nothing short of criminal.

    The American People want their security protected, and they also want a Constitutional government with checks and balances-Wes Clark

    by Donna Z on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:41:58 PM PST

  •  Early 2007 (none)
    Sure sounds like a predetermined timetable to me.  
  •  Question: Do YOU believe Iraq is the... (none)
    ...cental front in the 'War on Terror'?

    I don't believe you actually do (nor do many rational souls).

    So wouldn't it make one a cynical hypocrite (you know, Karl Rove incarnate) to jump up and down pointing the finger at Republicans and saying "you lost the war on terror" if they never believed Iraq had anything to do with 'terror' in the first place?

    Just a question.

     

    •  No (none)
      I don't, but by their definition it is. So, using their own definition, they would have lost the war on terror. Pretty simple. They can either reverse years of bullshit and whine it they were wrong, at which point they look less than competent and more like murdering idiots. Or they can stick to their guns and get hung with that designation. Doesn't matter which way they go, they're fucked.

      Read UTI, your free thought forum

      by DarkSyde on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:51:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As I told my husband today, (none)
    the best thing George W. Bush could do for the WoT is to get out of it.
  •  Feingold's crystal ball correct once again (4.00)
    And he has correctly predicted that A. not only would the war be a failure (voting against it), but B. We NEED to set a timetable for withdrawal (and was the first senator propose so)

    and it's more than just that... NSA wiretappings, Patriot Act, NAFTA, Telecommunications Act, NCLB, etc. etc. etc.

    Clearly we need to send him to a higher office.

    •  Feingold for President sounds good to me (none)
       
        He appears not to be intimidated by the Republicans and even speaks truth to power.

       I find a Democrat like that very refreshing and he would be the Republican's worse nightmare in 2008 for, unlike some of the Democrats, he voted as a good Democrat should, especially regarding Iraq and the Patriot Act.

       Because of his voting record he would not have to be explaining his votes. They stand as is because they are consistent and I would think that along with the Democratic base he would appeal very much to independents.

  •  This assumes that President Hastert will... (none)
    follow through & complete the pullout.

    "I'm having trouble with my boy." -- George H. W. Bush, 2004

    by Shiborg on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:49:14 PM PST

  •  ...WALTER CRONKITE ARE YOU LISTENING??? (none)
    PLEASE HELP US!!!...

    "We have met the enemy and he is us"-- from the comic strip "Pogo"

    by thedoughboybugler on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:52:55 PM PST

    •  Can this be?---- (none)
                 ---"cut and run"?

      Or will it be that plus an "Iran adventure"?
      To be called Devistation part II.

      bush is a 'war pResident', and that doesn't mean he has to actully go there or win there. He still has a lot of troops in the region and bringing them home will cost money.
      The theme is 'dead troops don't need VA benefits'.

  •  Note the caveat in last sentence of Reuters piece: (none)
    However, the Telegraph, quoting a defense official, said that if civil war were to break out, it would likely cause the withdrawal plan to be put off.

    Fooled ya!

  •  I have no doubt... (none)
    for all the rhetoric they are going to leave soon.  They will also be ready to hit the US public with all kinds of rationalization for how they did not lose the war.  Or if they did it was because the liberals gave the enemy comfort.  Or whatever
  •  money quote (none)
    However, the Telegraph, quoting a defense official, said that if civil war were to break out, it would likely cause the withdrawal plan to be put off.

    Withdrawl is long overdue. But seeing is believing.  (Could just be the same ole bushit lies cloaking the miserably unpopular 'stay the course' rhetoric which has been a bloody disaster, and they know and we all know that they cannot support these troop levels and it's making things worse over there.) Yes, Murtha wa right. We'll see if they actually pull the troops out of there.

    Get the hell outta dodge. Bring em home. Now.

  •  People still fall for this crap? (none)
    If they are leaving next year, then Bush and Blair should just say so.  This is just a way for Bush to please both sides by saying the troops will remain until the job is done, but giving some fake hope that the troops are going to be pulled.  Bush will not pull the troops on his watch.  If they leave in '07, it will be after his resignation or impeachment.
  •  This would be the end of an occupation (4.00)
    that resluted from an illegal invasion of a soverign country that had done nothing to justify military action against it. I can not find  a declaration by Congress of war on terror or Iraq. How do we end a war that was undeclared except to eventually leave the scene of the crime.

    What I want Democrats to do is take the lead on identifying the root causes of Muslim hatred and resentment directed toward Americans. They certainly don't "hate us for our freedoms" anymore than the Republican's who are doing their usmost to destroy those freedoms. I believe the answer may be as simple as treating  Arab counties and and Muslims with simple respect, ending the self righteous lectures about what those countries should do to gain our approval, and honestly ask them "What do you need from us?"

    I have no way of knowing if our leaving will hasten a civil war in Iraq or will lead to the people living there finding a solution to their differences but I am absolutely certain that we can not impose our beliefs upon them. Our presence there is not helping. We should leave immediately and let them get on with determining their futures.

    Whatever form of government Iraqi's choose and whomever they choose to run it, Democratic leaders must engage them in dialogue treating them honestly and prepared to redress the grievances they are sure to present for our reckless and ruthless invasion of their country.

    At the same time Democrats must be ready to restart the effort that should have resulted from the bombing of the Trade Center and all the attacks that proceeded it. This time Americans should engage our minds in identifying and solving the root problem and leave satisfying our balls for more pleasant purposes.

    On second thought I think the Republicans really do hate us for our freedoms but we still need to figure out what's pissing off the Muslims.

  •  SUURE they are moving them out of Iraq (none)
    But first they are secretly moving SPOOKY and SPECTRE gunships back into Iraq.
  •  i could easily see them announcing before (none)
     the elections in Nov., then right afterwards saying that the Iraqis aren't ready yet, so we're staying.

    And what others have said--what about the big permanent bases?

  •  not a chance (none)
    No way Bushco would admit defeat before the midterms. Unless of course Bushco has insider info from say - Sistani that they will be asked to leave by then, and Bushco wants to pretend it was his idea to leave, therefore avoiding egg on his face.
  •  The big bug out's coming soon, followed (none)
    by 20 years of Dolchstosslegende from the likes of VICTOR . . . DAVIS . . . HANSEN!
  •  We have no idea if this is disinformation. (none)
    Why would the regime who can admit no mistakes suddenly decide something so sensible? They have something up their sleeve.

    Cheney lied--you can see it in his eyes.

    by lecsmith on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 07:22:23 PM PST

    •  the story's from the Brits (none)
      and not the yanks. Keep that in mind as you sift through it.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 07:26:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •   UNNAMED Brits (none)
        Honest Brits, like those who relased DSM and DSMII, usually are not afraid to give their names.

        If these "unnamed senior defense ministry sources" ever identify themselves and the source of their info, I will take this story more seriously.

        •  your opinion won't matter (none)
          or mine. I'm interested to see who else, if anyone, picks this up.

          The DSM took weeks, of course.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 07:56:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  oh, and as far as 'unnamed', the names that (none)
          matter are reuters and telegraph.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 07:57:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually it was Sunday Mirror and theTelegraph (none)
            that  received the story from the "unnamed senior defense ministry sources".  Reuters was just repeating their stories as hearsay.
            •  reuters is what will be read here (none)
              the Telegraph might be; the Mirror won't.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 08:25:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Other names that matter (none)
            are Guardian and the London Times.
            •  Yep (none)
              at this stage, I'm interested in the story and its political fallout.

              The actuality remains to be seen. No one will believe it until then.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 04:31:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Links please (none)
              Do those two papers indicate their reporters gathered the stories you mention directly from the unnamed (or named?) senior British defence officials directly or do they say they are  'repeaters' of the Telegraph and Mirror stories, as the Reuters story that forms the basis of Darksydes blog is?
      •  I agree that stories from British and other (none)
        foreign newspapers are frequently excellent sources of real information that we don't get here. It is just that I have read a lot lately about the Pentagon having a department that is explicitly involved in spreading disinformation internationally for various reasons.

        Cheney lied--you can see it in his eyes.

        by lecsmith on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 08:50:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (none)
          And one of the good things about the UK press is that practised readers can tell when they're being manipulated or spun. These "withdrawal" stories, sourced to the MoD, have been appearing with a degree of regularity since before the 2005 Iraqi elections - and the troops are still there at the same basic level of 8-9,000 that has been on the ground for some time now. I'd also like to point out that stories citing MoD sources suggesting that British forces "may" be drawn down rarely cross the Atlantic.

          This time, US forces are mentioned too - so the story is going to get recycled in the US. It's a game of perception management, where the carrot of withdrawal is dangled on the near horizon; and people tend to forget that this carrot has been dangling for quite some time now, yet it is still no closer to our grasp.

  •  I wouldn't get all that worked up over this... (none)
    ...especially given this article in the Baltimore Sun.  

    Remember, folks, even given the latest Gallup poll that says most Americans want our troops out, the neocons have no plan to leave.

    Ever.

    •  I wouldn't either (none)
      but I'm most interested in how it impacts Bush's base to hear this discussed and in the news. They're shaky enough on the port deal.

      Blind loyalty meets inflexibility. What happens?

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 07:31:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It has to be... (none)
        ..on the Bush "base" TVs before they even start to think about it - and then only on Fox News for it to even begin to sink in.

        Watch for there not be a peep about any of this on the Sunday talking heads shows.  It's going to be All Oscars All the Time - a wonderful opportunity for the Bush watercarriers in the "librul" media to keep such upsetting news from the Bush cultists and war-niks.

  •  Why I hate Joementum (none)
    and all of the other fools who let themselves get suckered here.  Actually, Joementum is more of a 5th columnist, while HRC and Biden are fools.

    They're bugging out.  Sooner rather than later.  When they do, they will spin it to benefit themselves and hurt the Dems.  They will stick it to the Dems who went along w/ them in the process.

    It pains me to say this, but Michael Brown has more street smarts than a lot of the Dems have.  They turned on him, so he's protecting himself now.  I wish that the war Dems realize that what happened to so many others will happen to them as well when the time comes.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 07:43:53 PM PST

  •  What I think this means (none)
    is that we're gonna pull out of Iraq (for the most part, overtly) and simultaneously get set up to head into Iran sometime (by the first half of 2008 maybe?) with ground troops to support the air strikes that Sy Hersch wrote & spoke about!
  •  Withdrawing troops (none)
    only so they can send them somewhere else... like Afghanistan, Syria, or Iran?
  •  Permanent Bases? (none)
    My guess is that any 'withdrawal' will be cosmetic only. Troops used for patrolling or peacekeeping missions will come home, leaving the super-bases now under construction (and the billion-dollar embassy) fully populated and permanent. These will be accesed and supplied via our air power. No need for the troops to ever drive on an Iraqi street, much less set foot in an Iraqi town.
    •  not a chance (none)
      That might work in South Korea, Japan or Germany, where there aren't people lining up to mortar your bases every day and attack your road-based logistics support systems; it doesn't work in Iraq - where the US military is not going to entrust the security of their very expensive aviation assets to poorly-equipped, insurgent-infiltrated Iraqi security forces whose loyalties lie with Iranian-friendly political parties.

      It's just about conceivable that the US could draw down to about 80,000 personnel in Iraq ( although it would mean withdrawing from most of Anbar province and ceding territroy to the insurgency ) but once you get below that level, the position becomes acutely perilous.

  •  If so... (none)
    won't they just be turned around to deal with Iran?

    "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

    by kredwyn on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 08:21:52 PM PST

  •  I said it in December (none)
    No one cuts and runs ... (none / 0)

    like chickenhawk Republicans gettin' ready for an election. Just wait and see.

    by Appalled on Fri Dec 23, 2005 at 12:32:47 AM EST

  •  Sorry (none)
    There is no way in hell this is happening.  Under no scenario will all troops be pulled out.  We don't pull out forces, especially in the middle east, unless we are forced too. Never, never, never happen.
  •  Just in time... (none)
    For those same troops to invade Iran.
    =my2c
    BC
  •  facade? (none)
    "a facade draw down"

    Be sure to always check your spell checker's substitutions. :-)

  •  There's one more thing to add. (none)
    The real political losers will be the pro-war Democrats who did not show courage, did not support a strong Democrat like Murtha, and refused to acknowledge the validity of the arguments of the Left.

    The Republicans can spin this to say, 'we made some mistakes but we tried to do what we thought was right to defend the country.'  They will argue that is better to have someone who will shoot first and ask questions later rather than someone who won't shoot at all.

    The Left will be fully vindicated and will gain converts because of their demonstrated ability to get it right on an important issue.  

    If Hillary walks into the 2008 primary and doesn't acknowledge that the war was a mistake, then she will look foolish and weak.  

  •  Pathological liars cannot be trusted/ (none)
    There is no truth, or substance, legitimacy, credibility, or veracity in any word spewed out the Bush government totalitarian dictatorship.   Every word is the product of pathological liars, concocting and emersed in a morass, or web of lies.  

    Nothig, - not one word spewed out of any Bush government official holds any credibility, legitimacy, or veracity.  

    All the people are given are lies upon lies compounding lies, and tales told by idiots and pathological liars full of sound and fury, signifying  nothing.  

    We are on our own.    The political system is irrepairably broken.  The judicial system constists of JUST US justice, - or - a system wherein the ;people get-the-justice-they-can-afford.   The craven sychophants and complicit parrots in the socalled MSM are disinformation warriors, propagandists, sloganeers, and slime miesters on the Bush government payroll, and absolutely no help to the American people.
     Christianity has been hijacked by charlatans, snake oil salesmen, obscenely rich televangilist, and rapturist fanatics who  betray and pervert the teachings of Jeshua ben Joseph,

    The people are alone with no right to petition the government for redress of grievances, no representation, no voice, and power.  

    Our only power is mass.    And until and unless the mass of the American people stand up, voice our stern rejection of repugnance towards the Bush government fascist imperialist policies and machinations - we (the American people) are nothing but sheeple being led to the slaughter.  

    Baaaa Baaaaa Baaaaah!
       

    •  Right on (none)
      Break up the Rubber Stamp Congress.
      This Admin. should a good lesson for all future history students:  what REALLY happens when you mix Religion and Polictics.

      What happens when you follow like sheep.  What happens when you are apathetic etc. (The blind faith syndrome)

      What happens when Corporations are considered "Citizens" and laws are written: for, of and by the Corporations, instead of WE the People and our elected Reps.

      Vote Dem. or at least break up one branch either the house or senate in mid-terms and then in next Nov.  to stop the madness of one party rule of all branches.  Just slow it down, or turn it around.

    •  Heh, good rant. (none)
      We also need Clean Money. The only way to take back our government from the Corporations is to buy it back! Public financing of campaigns-- the politicians can be bought and paid for by us, not by the corporations.

      In California, AB 583 has passed the Assembly. State Senate considering it http://www.caclean.org . I'm gung-ho on this, big time. It needs more visibility, and it will probably also need to overcome a veto from the Governor too. People are just sick and tired of corporate-owned government-- this is the only way out AFAICT.

      There is a bill in the Congress to do Clean Money too, I think. If there isn't one in your state, start one.

      Power to the people, indeed.

  •  IRAN (none)
    BEWARE!
    PEACE!
  •  Folks, don't believe everything you hear. (none)
    I would take this with a grain of salt. We have heard a lot of talk about the Pentagon initiating plans to draw down troops; however, we have not seen any kind of actual withdrawals taking place. I have even heard reports saying we would even be In Iraq at present levels through the next 12 months.

    As soon as they actually start drawing down troops there, I will start to believe it.

  •  This is why they went ape-shit on Murtha (none)
    Because he stole their strategy! They were going to announce this withdrawal "all of a sudden" and take credit for "winning" the war. They'd go from "stay the course" to "we're outta here" with no warning, and all Democrats would be able to do is whine. Fuck whining. Instead, we stole their PR thunder. We got ahead of them. We pointed to the left field fence. They will hit it over there. We did the part people will remember: call for bringing the troops home. Gotcha!

    But I'm not too enthusiastic about this because I agree with the posters who are mumbling "Iran".

    My brother-in-law is an LTC in the Army. His "MOS" is logistics and supply. He was in Kuwait for a year before the Iraq invasion. Guess where he's been all last year? Qatar. Across the gulf from Iran. Yep. Be afraid, be very afraid.

    Those troops are coming home... for a few months. Then they'll all be shipping back out to Qatar or whatever the staging point will be for invasion of Iran.

    And no, those permanent bases aren't going away. There won't be 130,000 soldiers in them, but there is no way in hell after spending hundreds of billions of dollars on this that we're just going to pack up and go home. Not gonna happen, ever. Those things are going to be Fort Apache, Iraq, forever.

    •  ...Murtha simply brought Capt. Fischbach's (none)
      plea public six months after Captain Fischbach reported things that mde this an illegal war.

      Remember you educated gentlmen that right history live simultaneously with under educated Americans that live history with you...sound confusing? Then dig deeper. An illegal war existed until Fischbach walked in Murtha's office.

      So in 20 years if Mc Cain and Murtha get mention on college campuses in classes for the torture and draw down of troops I miht not know but presently I know they waited 6 months to do that.

      Count the dead and wounded 6 months back from Murtha's first Press conference on announcing a plan.

      "We have met the enemy and he is us"-- from the comic strip "Pogo"

      by thedoughboybugler on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 02:44:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  heh (none)
    October - pull out of Iraq (right before the election)
    Immediately after the election in November - IRAN!
  •  I am not afraid to stand up and say it: (none)
    The Republicans led by the worst President to ever hold office lost the war.

    A war which there was no basis for starting.

    The Republicans did that.

    They wasted over two thousand lives for nothing.

    The Republicans did that.

    Worse than that...they killed over one hundred thousand Iraqis for nothing.

    It was the Republicans who insisted we do that.

    Worse than that...well there really is no worse than that, but...

    They have destroyed our ability to influence events in the world for good.

    The Republicans did that.

    They have demonstrated to the world that Americans are brutal racists intent on imposing their hegemony on all the other peoples living on this planet solely for their own greed and lust for power.

    Republicans were responsible for that.

    But we who are not Republicans are responsible for something more...

    If we, the people of the United States do not demand that Bush and his cabal of criminals are hailed before the International Criminal Court and tried for their crimes then we are not fit to say we are a free people.

    Indeed, we are not fit to insult the world by existing in it. We will be a stain the history of humanity.

    It is past time to act.

    Drive the ReThugs into the sea!

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."

    by Nestor Makhnow on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 11:53:37 PM PST

  •  a few thoughts (none)

    1. we don't get to say when the war is over, as if the other side had nothing to say; there are 100,000+ innocent Iraqi victims whose blood cry out for revenge; the war will not be over because America decides unilaterally, like Basil Fawlty, that "my wife" made a mistake. Either we will buy peace on generally and mutually accepted terms or the war will go on until many inncent Americans pay with their lives for the egregious actions of their government.

    2. as long as there is oil under the sands of Iraq and other great powers (Russia, India, China) lurking about, the "blood for oil" gambit will never be broken with all its resulting fatalities.

    3. the true frame of the debate is that America Lost (Again). What finally shook the Argentinians into finally getting rid of their hateful military regime was the clear, undisputed realization that Argentina had lost the Falklands War. Anything short of a full acceptance of that -- such as the "stab in the back" theories popular in Germany after WWI or in America when discussing Viet-Nam -- are recipes for further disasters. America Lost is the only acceptable frame that can lead to us learning from our mistakes.
    •  Consider Afghanistan (none)
      Americans don't even know what the fuck is happening in Afghanistan now.  It is too dangerous for western reporters to go there, so there is no coverage, and so the vacuum is filled with tales of democracy and freedom.  And the public believes them.

      The same could happen in Iraq.  If all Americans hear about Iraq after well pull out is related to elections, then they'll think we won - even if ethnic cleansing ensues.

      If a Civil War happens, but no American media corporations report on it, did it really happen?  Not to the American public.

      -7.38, -5.90 | "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." - Carl Sagan

      by Subterranean on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 03:14:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  UK Troops (none)
    Should have pulled out as soon as the Bush administration started telling the press that both the UAE and Britian are both equal allies and can't be treated differently, as it relates to the ports deal.  Let the UAE put in some troops in Iraq.
  •  Learn to read, please! (none)
    The article is talking about "withdrawl" of US and Uk troops from Iraq only in the sense of withdrawl to their bases!!! There is no talk of a real, complete withdrawl...

    "The Sunday Telegraph understands that coalition forces, comprising troops from 24 countries, will begin to reduce their presence on the ground markedly over the next few months.

    They will withdraw to their bases, where they will in effect become a garrison force to be deployed only in emergency."

    we're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression

    by Lepanto on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 02:39:33 AM PST

    •  Re-read Article (none)
      "Learn to read, please! (none / 0)

      The article is talking about "withdrawl" of US and Uk troops from Iraq only in the sense of withdrawl to their bases!!! There is no talk of a real, complete withdrawl...

      "The Sunday Telegraph understands that coalition forces, comprising troops from 24 countries, will begin to reduce their presence on the ground markedly over the next few months.

      They will withdraw to their bases, where they will in effect become a garrison force to be deployed only in emergency."

      I suggest YOU re-read the article. The withdrawal to "their bases" is to take place immediately in preparation for the formal withdrawal from the country. The White House spin will really be as specious as the spin for the invasion.

  •  This could work well (none)
    If Rove can spin this right, Bush will be able to declare victory and get the fuck out, and Americans will believe it.  They'll believe it first because they want to believe that 'Murika wins wars (we kick ASS), and secondly because Iraq will be too dangerous for any media, so the public will never know the truth.  MSNBC, CNN, FOX, will all report on the latest elections in Iraq, declare it a functioning democracy, and move on.

    Politically, this could turn out to be a brilliant strategy for the GOP.  McCain would easily slip into the White House, and the GOP would likely control congress.  8 more years of hell - by which time America will have ceased to exist as we know it.

    I guess I just have a very low opinion of the American public; they are stupid, easily duped, and care only about themselves and their next SUV purchase.  

    My HD is filled with info on emigrating to New Zealand if such measures are necessary.

    -7.38, -5.90 | "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." - Carl Sagan

    by Subterranean on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 03:04:04 AM PST

  •  Well I wonder (none)
    Since Peter Pace, JCS Chief is on Timmeh's show today, whether Timmeh will have the balls to ask him this AND THEN follow up, or  whether we'll just get more of the rosy rosy rosy time scenario?

    (actually I don't really, the question's rhetorical)

  •  Troop withdrawal '07 (none)
    ROFLMAO!!! Of course the troops will be withdrawn by the spring of '07. Upcomming elections in both Britain and the U.S. will be the determinant in Adios Iraq Get Real!!!!!
  •  The Experts (none)
    You wrote "several military experts on various cable news channels have opined for some time now; that the US can't sustain the troop levels and mix of specialties in Iraq for much longer."

    In case anyone has any doubts, I made two blog entries of press clippings which back this point up:

    http://radamisto.blogspot.com/...

    http://radamisto.blogspot.com/...

  •  US Officially Denies Report (none)
    U.S. military denies reports of spring 2007 withdrawal plan

    and how they deal with the fallout is the story.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 05:09:18 AM PST

    •  MSNBC (none)
      will deny report on air. That makes everyone (well, all 346 MSNBC viewers - doubt more watch) aware of the story.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 05:22:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Darksyde or other FPer should update diary and (none)
      correct the record, by including that MSNBC story.

      U.S. military denies reports of spring 2007 withdrawal plan

      "This news report on a withdrawal of forces within a set timeframe is completely false," Lieutenant Colonel Barry Johnson said of the stories in Britain's Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Mirror, which quoted unnamed senior defense ministry sources.

      "As we've said over and over again, any withdrawal will be linked to the ability of the Iraqi security forces to maintain domestic order on behalf of a representative Iraqi government that respects the rights of all its citizens. This is an ongoing assessment and not linked to any timeframe," he said.

      •  here's your British name (none)
        LONDON (Reuters) - Britain plans to pull out nearly all its soldiers from
        Iraq by the summer of 2008
        , with the first withdrawals within weeks, a top military commander said in an interview published on Tuesday.

        Lieutenant General Nick Houghton, Britain's most senior officer in Iraq, outlined a phased two-year withdrawal plan in an interview with the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

        "There is a fine line between staying too long and leaving too soon," he was quoted as saying. "A military transition over two years has a reasonable chance of avoiding the pitfalls of overstaying our welcome but gives us the best opportunity of consolidating the Iraqi security forces."

        Britain has given no firm timetable for the withdrawal of its 8,000 troops in Iraq, based in and around the southern port of Basra.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 09:46:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not going anywhere (none)
    My stepson's cousin (who considers me his Aunt) is a Marine.  He has been to South Korea once and Iraq twice.  He suffered a motorcycle accident while on leave in between the two Iraq tours - so he cannot do foot patrol anymore but stays at the base.

    Anyhow, he just got home from Iraq a few weeks ago (stationed at a base right outside of Falluja) and is scheduled to return to Iraq next January.

    He came over a few days ago and is trying to get another military assignment because as he told me, "I don't want to go back there, I don't want to go back to Iraq."

    He also told my husband (who is/was pro-Bush) that what we see on TV about Falluja here in the States - well it is worse than what we see.  (Made my semipro-Bush husband think twice).

    Now that does NOT sound like a pull-out to me.

    BTW, it is too dangerous for Reporters to go into Falluja now - which is why we don't see much coming out of there anymore.

  •  THE ONLY WAY OUT... (none)
    A timetable for withdrawal is the only way Iraqis will settle their problems...

    Right now the US military IS the problem...and acts as a unifying force that ALL Iraqis can hate.

    A TIMETABLE WILL MOTIVATE THE IRAQIS TO FIGURE THINGS OUT...

    A full scale civil war is unlikely, since no side really wants to rule the other,...they just want to seperate from the other!  

    It would be like a US Civil War wherein the North agreed that the South should leave, and the North wanted out of the agreement as well!

    Do the Shia want to rule in Baghdad?  Or the Kurds?  Perhaps only with the US Army gaurding their backs!  But of course they will always cash our checks!  Just like the "exlie groups" did!

    Yes, there will be "ethnic cleansing" just like we allowed in Kosovo and the former Yugoslavia!

    Perhaps the Kurds will allow a permanent US base in the new independant Kurdistan...to gaurd the beloved oil wells...(and make sure women can vote!  LOL)

    A time table for withdrawal will allow the Iraqis to figure out What Comes Next.  The country will divide, or perhaps not.  New leadership will evolve and within a year we'll know who to write our oil import checks to...

    And yes, they will still be against Israeli annexation of Palestinian Land!  SORRY NEOCONS!

    http://gloomanddoom.blogspot.com

    More Content, Less Chat: gloomanddoom.blogspot.com

    by BALTHAZAR on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 05:28:46 AM PST

  •  just because they were wrong.... (none)
    doesnt make basking in their defeat correct.  Most democrats wanted this war as well.  If the Democrats are truly trying to unite the country instead of pointing and laughing and saying we told you so why not take this opportunity to give a different path.  Talking shit about others failures is a pretty good way to act the exact same as the republicans.  

    The only democrat candidate for president that totally opposed the war, Dean, wasnt even nominated by the Democrats.  

    Also there are a lot of regular people in Iraq that are going to suffer immensly when and if we pull out of Iraq.  That is a fact.  People are going to die whether we are there or whether we leave.  Acting happy is a disrepect to human life.

    "Global deaths due to hunger in one year= 8,760,000"

    by Sausalito on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 05:32:22 AM PST

    •  NO (none)
      most democrats did not want this they wanted the war they were told about.  The one where the oil would pay for it. The one where we'd be greeted as liberators. The one where Saddam had nukes and was going to give them to bin Laden, the war the Republicana said existed, but the one that turned to be based on neocon pipe dreams and WH bullshit. That's what dems wanted, that's what the American people wanted. And that's why we the people have turned against it.

      Read UTI, your free thought forum

      by DarkSyde on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 06:48:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been thinking for some time --- (none)
    --- that Bush would withdraw all or nearly all of the troops from Iraq this year, in an effort to save his party in the fall elections. He will spin that as a victory.

    Democrats need to get on board and call for complete withdrawal this year, to make sure Bush doesn't get all the credit for it.

    Our spin should be: "We know Bush is going to withdraw the troops this year, in response to the unpopularity of the Iraq War. He's afraid to admit he is planning to do that. We Democrats are not."

    Also: "We will let the Iraqi people fight the insurgency there. After all, it's their country. We will have more forces to concentrate of smoking out bin Ladin."

    BTW, I'm a recovering Liebermanoid. This is a defining moment for me.

  •  I wish it worked that way, DarkSyde (none)
    but I am absolutely sure that this will play badly for us.

    I like your take on it, and believe you are right (because Rs lost Iraq they also lost the illusory War on Terra), but only Blue-friendly analysts are going to see it the same way we do.

    Rpugs will say anything in an election year.  They have finally caught on to the idea that the war is unpopular, so they need something to say on the campaign trail.

    But if Rpugs win big this Fall (gasp, please God no) Bush will see it as a mandate to stay the course in Iraq and then march on to Iran and whereever else the neoconmen want to go.

    OTOH, if Rs lose big this Fall (o please o please o please God please) they will pull out the troops and then proceed to blame the Democrats.  They will float the meme that Dems cut and run, because by then we will be in power!  they'll tell the brainwashed on Faux News that if they had elected more Republican candidates the war would have been "won" before the troops came home.  Then no one in the corporate-controlled media will remind anyone that it was the Rs themselves who "promised" to pull the troops in 2007, implying they would do so whether they won the election or not.  but of course they lied, and who should be surprised when they lie?  they lie when their lips move!

    This is a no-win situation for us politically, but personally because I have family serving I will be happy when the troops come home regardless of who brings them home and regardless of the political fallout for the D party.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D. IMPEACH

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 05:51:13 AM PST

  •  Can you Say permanent super-bases? (none)
    Good article From TomDispatch:
    A Permanent Basis for Withdrawal? Can You Say "Permanent Bases"? The American Press Can't.

    At least 4-5 very large strong point super-bases each being 10-20 square miles in size are being/have been constructed in Iraq.

    n the case of Iraq, nothing could be more concrete

    -- though less generally discussed in our media -- than the set of enormous bases the Pentagon has long been building in that country. Quite literally multi-billions of dollars have gone into them. In a prestigious engineering magazine in late 2003, Lt. Col. David Holt, the Army engineer "tasked with facilities development" in Iraq, was already speaking proudly of several billion dollars being sunk into base construction ("the numbers are staggering"). Since then, the base-building has been massive and ongoing.

    In a country in such startling disarray, these bases, with some of the most expensive and advanced communications systems on the planet, are like vast spaceships that have landed from another solar system. Representing a staggering investment of resources, effort, and geostrategic dreaming, they are the unlikeliest places for the Bush administration to hand over willingly to even the friendliest of Iraqi governments.
    ...
    Thomas Ricks of the Washington Post paid a visit to Balad Air Base, the largest American base in the country, 68 kilometers north of Baghdad and "smack in the middle of the most hostile part of Iraq." In a piece entitled Biggest Base in Iraq Has Small-Town Feel, Ricks paints a striking portrait:

    The base is sizeable enough to have its own "neighborhoods" including "KBR-land" *(in honor of the Halliburton subsidiary that has done most of the base-construction work in Iraq); *"CJSOTF" ("home to a special operations unit," the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force, surrounded by "especially high walls," and so secretive that even the base Army public affairs chief has never been inside); and a junkyard for bombed out Army Humvees.

    Good article. Imo, the only way the Bushco Neocons will leave Iraq is by being dragged out screaming [visual image of William Macy car dealer character at the close of "Fargo"] as they dig their greedy desparate fingernails into the oily Iraq dirt.

  •  We're NOT Leaving (none)
    Iraq. forget it.

    as was posted upstream and which has been often repeated by bushco (and a few democrats):

    foreign troops will be gradually withdrawn from the Arab country once Iraqi security forces are capable of guaranteeing security.

    the recent destruction of the mosque in Samarra and the resultant shockwave of gangster-style killings leading to the death of hundreds of Iraqis is a clear indicator there's little to no chance of "guaranteeing security". and it's an indication of just how easy it is to stir up sectarian violence.

    besides, what "security" exactly is bushco referring to here? the answer is the security of Iraq's oil reserves and oil production infrastructure.

    it's ALWAYS been about that and nothing else.

    "Fundamentalists in America like to vote for President Bush, but elsewhere they're violently opposing him." Maureen Dowd

    by Superpole on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 06:43:10 AM PST

  •  I don't believe it (none)
    may the UK troops, the US troops, I don't think so. Listen to what General Clark said this morning. There are apparently even reasons, Democrats would bring forward to keep troops there. Have no idea yet how to understand the whole thing. Very difficult to judge and understand, IMO.

    A country is not only what it does - it is also what it puts up with, what it tolerates. - Kurt Tucholsky

    by mimi on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 06:47:06 AM PST

  •  sources not so credible? (none)
    The wire report quotes Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Mirror. Aren't these both Murdoch rags, the kind of papers that print titties on page 3?

    Would be good news if true though.

    •  Telegraph is much more credible (none)
      than the Mirror as a general rule.

      No one takes the pull-out seriously until it happens. But the facts aren't the story as much as the suggestion and the Bush Administration response.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 07:20:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  $250 billion with nothing to show? (none)
    You can be sure that the United States military plans on a quasi-permanent deployment in Iraq.  They continue to build bases on multi-year contruction contracts worth billions.

    There will be no peaceful exit from Iraq for US forces.  The only way we will be totally out of there is if we are forcefully evicted.  Of course, this would require a stable national government, hence the incentive to promote "sectarian" violence.  I find it curious that where ever Negroponte goes, death squads and drug smuggling follow.

    A little off topic, but I wonder how much Afghanistan opium/heroin traffic passes through Dubai, UAE?  If that port deal goes through, the junkies on the east coast can look forward to cheaper and more pure heroin courtesy of the "War on Terror".

  •  What bullshit. (none)
    There will be a minor, cosmetic troop withdrawal, with the balance withdrawing behind the Green Zone and the megabases we're constructing in Iraq.

    More to the point: There will be a major withdrawal of embedded reporters, so that not even they will be around to report on the increasing amount of anarchy and American carnage from the air.

  •  Sports column eye-view (none)

    Win          Lose        Tie

    Revolut-
    ionary War
    War of 1812
    Civil War
    Spanish-American War
    WWI          
    WWII
                             Korea
    CIA war
    in Nepal
                 Vietnam
    El Salvador
    Panama
    Granada
                 Lebanon
                             Bosnia Peacekeeping
                 Somalia
    Gulf I

                 Gulf II

    In many of these that were won, the winner did something to upset conventional strategy.

                                 

    •  That's Grenada, Baby (none)
      Operation Urgent Fury vets need a little love. For those of us who fought the Cold War, you can at least get the name of the country we invaded correctly.

      I've always been a bit conflicted about this, and we may want to take a step back and look at the microcosmic parallels.

      Let's see, tyrannnical state engaging in killing its own citizens, check. Completely made-up justification for invading to cover up a broader agenda to justify the use of arbitrary force without international agreement, check. Run roughshod over the wishes of our allies, check (in that case, the Brits, who were opposed strongly to our intervening.) Bogus coalition, check (a sham force of OAS troops.) Swift ostensible military victory but one which had far too many casualties for the size of the operation due to extremely poor pre-war planning, check. Mission to create Democracy: well, it maybe sort of succeeded partially in Grenada, but it's unclear as to what would have happened without an intervention. The danger of a Soviet client state was perhaps a bit more real than Sadaam having WMDs and sharing them with terrorists. That's why I've always been ambivalent in the end about this episode. It's a real poser in the ends-justify-the-means debate, and in some ways it has proved an unfortunate model for subsequent US conduct with respect to the use of force in trying to shape the political destinies of smaller countries.

      There was no counter-insurgency in Grenada, but there was a counter-revolution of sorts under democracy, and the socialists took power again after the Americans were long gone. Since then the government has changed peaceably. The moral of the story was we didn't stay long enough to become targets.

      I'm saddened thinking about this because I'm unsure about what the 19 American battle deaths accomplished in the end (plus the SEALs who died who weren't ever officially counted). I'm sure some reading this may think it's small potatoes compared to the toll in Iraq, but not if you're the mother of one of the kids killed there. We need to remember and honor all of our war dead, and in particular by being stingy in offering the lives of our young people in optional wars.

      By the way, you're missing quite a number of extralegal US interventions on your list, not all of which turned out so well. Phillippines counter-insurgency following the end of the Spanish war is a very close parallel, plus Nicaraguan intervention in the 1930s. I'm not sure why El Salvador is on the list because we never sent any troops there. And if you want to start counting CIA involvement in proxy wars, you'd have to count 'victories' in, say, Greece in the 1940s and Afghanistan in the 1980s.

      And, counting a "Civil War" as a win is kind of bogus. The "winning" side in any Civil War is the one that survives in power, but it's not a foreign war.

      War of 1812 should be considered a loss or a "tie", as our stated war aims were not accomplished and the British managed to destroy several of our major cities and sack our capital.

      Lebanon was ostenisbly a peace-keeping operation, and there was no active US force involvement in the ongoing civil war. It was a badly-planned affair with nebulous political purpose, and the horrific barracks bombing now has a nasty sense of foreshadowing. That was a truly purposeless intervention, made all the more so that we were seen to cut and run, which has produced in part both the willingness of the suicide bombers to try to dislodge us and the stubborn attitude that leaving Iraq under any circumstances would be a form of cut and running.

      Frankly I'm very dubious about the report that fostered this thread, as it suggests a level of coordination and planning that has been utterly absent in the whole sorry affair to date. It's also neither militarily or politically effective to plan a 100% withdrawal 12 months or more ahead of events. If there's any truth to this at all, I suspect at the bottom it's just one of many contingency plans that are being discussed (as they should be).

      Is "doing the best that you can" the best you can do?

      by TheCrank on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 11:04:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's Grenada, Baby (none)
      Operation Urgent Fury vets need a little love. For those of us who fought the Cold War, you can at least get the name of the country we invaded correctly.

      I've always been a bit conflicted about this, and we may want to take a step back and look at the microcosmic parallels.

      Let's see, tyrannnical state engaging in killing its own citizens, check. Completely made-up justification for invading to cover up a broader agenda to justify the use of arbitrary force without international agreement, check. Run roughshod over the wishes of our allies, check (in that case, the Brits, who were opposed strongly to our intervening.) Bogus coalition, check (a sham force of OAS troops.) Swift ostensible military victory but one which had far too many casualties for the size of the operation due to extremely poor pre-war planning, check. Mission to create Democracy: well, it maybe sort of succeeded partially in Grenada, but it's unclear as to what would have happened without an intervention. The danger of a Soviet client state was perhaps a bit more real than Sadaam having WMDs and sharing them with terrorists. That's why I've always been ambivalent in the end about this episode. It's a real poser in the ends-justify-the-means debate, and in some ways it has proved an unfortunate model for subsequent US conduct with respect to the use of force in trying to shape the political destinies of smaller countries.

      There was no counter-insurgency in Grenada, but there was a counter-revolution of sorts under democracy, and the socialists took power again after the Americans were long gone. Since then the government has changed peaceably. The moral of the story was we didn't stay long enough to become targets.

      I'm saddened thinking about this because I'm unsure about what the 19 American battle deaths accomplished in the end (plus the SEALs who died who weren't ever officially counted). I'm sure some reading this may think it's small potatoes compared to the toll in Iraq, but not if you're the mother of one of the kids killed there. We need to remember and honor all of our war dead, and in particular by being stingy in offering the lives of our young people in optional wars.

      By the way, you're missing quite a number of extralegal US interventions on your list, not all of which turned out so well. Phillippines counter-insurgency following the end of the Spanish war is a very close parallel, plus Nicaraguan intervention in the 1930s. I'm not sure why El Salvador is on the list because we never sent any troops there. And if you want to start counting CIA involvement in proxy wars, you'd have to count 'victories' in, say, Greece in the 1940s and Afghanistan in the 1980s.

      And, counting a "Civil War" as a win is kind of bogus. The "winning" side in any Civil War is the one that survives in power, but it's not a foreign war.

      War of 1812 should be considered a loss or a "tie", as our stated war aims were not accomplished and the British managed to destroy several of our major cities and sack our capital.

      Lebanon was ostenisbly a peace-keeping operation, and there was no active US force involvement in the ongoing civil war. It was a badly-planned affair with nebulous political purpose, and the horrific barracks bombing now has a nasty sense of foreshadowing. That was a truly purposeless intervention, made all the more so that we were seen to cut and run, which has produced in part both the willingness of the suicide bombers to try to dislodge us and the stubborn attitude that leaving Iraq under any circumstances would be a form of cut and running.

      Frankly I'm very dubious about the report that fostered this thread, as it suggests a level of coordination and planning that has been utterly absent in the whole sorry affair to date. It's also neither militarily or politically effective to plan a 100% withdrawal 12 months or more ahead of events. If there's any truth to this at all, I suspect at the bottom it's just one of many contingency plans that are being discussed (as they should be).

      Is "doing the best that you can" the best you can do?

      by TheCrank on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 11:09:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  elections (none)
    To the American people: come on, already.

    How many times does this administration have to promise they're gonna change and then turn around and smack you?

    The withdrawal is conveniently timed for after the 2006 US elections. I'll tell you right now how it's going to play out:

     1. they publicize the hell out of this promise
     2. a small-scale drawdown takes place: maybe ten thousand soldiers (out of 150K) come home to much fanfare. you won't be able to turn on the TV without seeing giant parades for the victorious heroes.
     3. goodwill is generated among those who want us out of Iraq but aren't really paying attention
     4. the GOP does better in the election than they would otherwise
     5. immediately after the election, the drawdown stops. No fanfare for that.
     6. maybe we continue with a smaller force, maybe we ramp back up again. I'd pessimistically expect a ramp-up followed by another fake draw-down in 2008.

    No way does the Bush administration pull out of Iraq entirely. Just literally no way. Their buddies are the oil industry, huge contractors like Halliburton, and the defense industry. As stupid as it is, being in Iraq is like funneling money directly into the pockets of all of their friends. They're not going to stop.

    I'm so tired of this shit.

    The world won't get no better if we just let it be.

    by drewthaler on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 10:44:41 AM PST

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