Monday, June 26, 2006

Quick, Hand Me the Ducktape!

Well, the Democratic slight of hand, as predicted, continues. The Washington Post, in an article today titled Democrats Site Report on Troop Cuts in Iraq, heavily quotes Dem spokesmodel Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif). She says (get ducktape out now and begin wrapping your head):

"That means the only people who have fought us and fought us against the timetable, the only ones still saying there shouldn't be a timetable really are the Republicans in the United States Senate and in the Congress,"....... "Now it turns out we're (the Dems) in sync with General Casey."

So, let me see if I understand her correctly. The Dems are the true force behind success in Iraq, and they and our military are reading off the same sheet of music. Man, I hope this ducktape holds. There is a reason why there are phrases like "flies in the ointment", "zits on the ass of progress", "sunshine patriots", "useful idiots" and "lambs to the slaughter". Let me add a new one; sheep in foxes' clothing. Some folks just seem intent on falling all over each other competing to become the next poster child for these sayings. Neville Chamberlain, Charles Lindbergh and Benedict Arnold please step aside.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Republican stance, bolstered by the votes of significant Democrats , was and simply is that we shouldn't telegraph our exit, or any other plans for that matter. You know....the old hold your cards close to your chest thing when playing a serious game of high stakes poker. Yes, we have a plan to leave, and the insurgents don't need to know it. So, it turns out, if Boxer's spin is to be believed, the NYTs' exposure of classified information about proposed troop reductions published over the weekend was really an even a deeper revelation of classified super-duper secret plans by the Democrats to win the war...not to mention the chummy Vulcan mindmeld they have with higher ups in the military. Rumsfeld is no doubt instituting a kristallnacht purge over at DoD even as we speak.

Sarcasm aside, the disengeniousness of this blither is transparent. Dems and lefties love to tell us what things "mean". Do they think we're stupid? We're at war. You don't ever telegraph your intentions, movements and capablities to the enemy. EVER. Boxer and the Dems are not in sync with General Casey. The Republican victories last week, courageously aided by centerist Democrats, were not rebukes of an Iraqi exit timetable, but simply affirmations of American resolve in the face of a resolute foe married to a common sense recognition that these bastards don't need to know the who, what, where or when of what we're up to. The fledgling Iraqi government needs to know we're there for the long haul, the GIs must know that their efforts are to good purpose and the enemy needs to know we aren't going anywhere soon. Get in sync with that Senator Boxer.

I like to give credit where credit is due, and an article on the frontpage of today's NYTs allowed me to loosen the ducktape around my head a little this morning while sitting at my favorite coffee shop, Hyperion Espresso. Amid Iraqi Chaos, Schools Fill After Long Decline, though it has the predictable spin leavening the piece enough to appeal to the palate of its core lefty readers, manages in spite of itself to tell some good news and speak of the plan that a previous posting of mine referred to. I love this quote:

"Despite the violence that has plagued Iraq since the American occupation began three years ago, its schools have been quietly filling."

The telling rhetoric comes from the use of the word "occupation". Couldn't use the word "liberation" now could we. At anyrate, go read it. And while you're at it, go read this piece from the Washington Post about another war zone, Washington, DC, where schools are emptying at an alarming rate. The story is about two friends who bucked the odds. How did they do it? Hint, it involves the word fathers.


Rob W said...

Um, the Administration leaked that report to the NY Times. Not the Democrats. That was a purposeful leak on the part of Bush to try and win back independents and Republicans who have broken with Bush. Don't blame Democrats. You have no evidence they leaked anything. Instead you blame them for pointing to a news story which had its origin in the Bush administration.

The timing is just too coincidental. The Republicans play hawk for two weeks and then at the end the WH leaks the exit plan to the press. The GOP gets their base on board, and Rove moves towards the middle. Note that the GOP is not angry at the leak at all and if you read the original story you see that Administration officials discussed the story with the Times.

Bush is going to pull out of Iraq.

Bush is doing right on the banking thing. Bank records are public records. Look for his own party to desert him on that issue though.

Synova said...

robw, you have no evidence that the Administration leaked the report. The "timing" is not evidence.

Also, there is a non-trivial difference between a Senate or House resolution to withdraw on a set time table and a stated expectation of future drawdowns in troop strength.

One is "we want you to make a promise" and the other is "this is what we expect."

Rob W said...


You are correct that I am surmising that the original leak came from the administration. But it is an educated guess taken from the surrounding evidence. If you read the article, there are many quotes from senior Administration officials which do not deny the story. Here in D.C. that is usually code for "the same official" which spoke about the briefing.

I think its pretty clear from the briefing that did occur, that we are pulling out of Iraq, sooner rather than later. I think Bush will try and maintain a few bases there, but we are going to get out of the business of policing the bulk of the country pretty fast. We will stay on in Anbar and other tough regions for some time.

This is a political decision for Bush, driven by his need to stop losing support amongst the American people, who, every single poll shows, have turned against the war. They, like me aren't sure how fast and in what manner we should get out, but essentially over 60% think it was a mistake. Some of the polls show that number even higher. The country is essentially against this war as it is being run. As well they should be. We were told the end of major combat operations had occured three years ago. It hasn't. There have been horrific miscalculations, starting with the initial one to invade.

Synova said...

And the news today included a report of yet another Iraqi faction announcing the intention to stop fighting and join the government process.

Every single good news report for three years has included an "in spite of" clause and people think it was a mistake?

I wonder why?

Rob W said...

There's an expression out there now called a Friedman. A Friedman is six months. That's because literally, Thomas Friedman of the NY Times, who supported the invasion of Iraq, has said multiple times over the last three years that Iraq was going to turn the corner in six months. He's still wrong.

What we haven't had in the last three years is a "fighting has stopped good news" moment. Did you know that attacks against American and Iraqi troops are up this year?

Also, there were two Democratic resolutions, one supported by the leadership, and one not. From the Houston Chronicle on the 24th of this month:
"The majority-GOP Senate defeated, 60-39, a resolution by Democratic senators Carl Levin of Michigan and Jack Reed of Rhode Island that calls for gradual withdrawal of troops from Iraq beginning this year, with no specific timetable.

A proposal by Democratic senators John Kerry of Massachusetts and Russell Feingold of Wisconsin, that would have required most troops to be out of Iraq by July 2007, was defeated 86-13."

That's right, the Democrats called for a stated expectation of future drawdowns in troop strength. The one sponsored by the party? Why the "this is what we expect" one. Why aren't you cheering on that resolution that you are so eagerly panning?

If your interested in what is going on in Iraq, from the viewpoint of an Iraqi, go here:

Salam Pax is an Iraqi who became famous for blogging the invasion. He was opposed to Hussein, but the authorities knew nothing of blogging, or really the internet, and didn't go after him despite his "Democracy in Iraq" graphic on his blog, Where is Raed?

Now he has another blog, and this is what he said about life in Baghdad early this month:
"In the 80s Kanan Makia wrote a book about Iraq under Saddam called The Republic of Fear. Today Saddam is in prison and we Iraqis are constantly being told that we have been liberated but when I look around I still see a Republic of Fear.

Life seems to have lost its value and we are shutting up and shutting down because of fear. This is about how when everyone came to destroy what was wicked they killed what was good as well."

"I have newly found out that I should avoid getting out of Baghdad through a certain road to the south because the Iraqi Army battalion situated there really hates my family name. People driving through that route towards the city of Hilla have been arrested just because they have that name.

The reasons people are killed for are absurd to the point of being funny. On the top of my list is wearing shorts. Teenagers in my neighbourhood have been killed for that unforgettable crime and probably it is the reason why two sportsmen who play for the Iraqi Tennis team and their trainer have been murdered."

"Before I started shooting for this video blog I was talking to one of my uncles about this whole death and value of life thing. He told me that today our lives are as valuable as an empty bullet casing left on the road after a shooting. Absolutely worthless.
I found a couple of empty rounds on the street the other day, I keep them in my backpack with my camera as a reminder"

That's the real Iraq. And the problem is more than insurgents. Its the government itself. They are allied with Iran, oppose us on our policy towards Iran, and want Iran to have the bomb. You can look it up. Why? Because the two main Shia parties, the ones we are supporting SCIRI and Dawa, were created, financed and backed by Iran for 20 years. Iran still gives these parties money and their militias weaponry. These are our allies.

The fact is that it is all messed up over there. There can be no denial of that. And how long must we wait before it gets better? Do you think that we are going to outlast people in their own country? The bad guys on both sides of the ethnic divide there have nowhere else to go, no place to where they can retreat. They are not going anywhere, ever.

We need an international conference where we get Iraq put back together. We need to get the Europeans and the Iranians (yes, there will be no permanent solution without them, hard as that is to take), back on board and fully invested in this effort. And we have to decide if we are staying or going. If we are staying, Bush has to bite the bullet and get more troops in there to actually win and create a plan to win. If we are going, we need a plan to get out that is best for America and Iraq.

countrygirl said...

~ sigh ~

I don't know if ducttape is strong enough sometimes; the force of banging your head against the wall can do mighty damage!

We are at war. I am forever grateful to those who are aware of that and act accordingly. Thank you and bless you, M D Fay, for all your efforts on behalf of the rest of us. Each patriot who replies here has my goodwill and gratitude. (The rest of you have the satisfaction of knowing I read your posting, but that's all.)
Semper Fi!

Rob W said...

Let me explain clearly my position on the War on Terror as opposed to the War in Iraq.

I am for getting every terrorist out there who is attacking the U.S. and Israel. In fact, I feel this Administration isn't doing that, because they broke off the hunt for bin Laden, the guy who actually attacked us in order to go after Saddam, who didn't attack us. Saddam is an evil man, but it isn't the U.S. job to attack every evil strongman in the world. North Korea anyone?

Now we are stuck in Iraq. The only reason there are terrorists there is because we went there and they are chasing us. The rest of the insurgency (the vast majority, from what I read) is made up of Sunnis who don't want to live in a Shia-dominated Islamic state, but want a return to the Saddam days, or some sort of secularist state of some kind, where the Sunnis, with their wealth, would dominate.

We have to fight them because we are in the way of the Sunnis regaining power.

So why are we there? bin Laden is in a different country. These terrorists coming from outside Iraq are coming from elsewhere. Yet we don't strike them at their home countries or force those countries to go after them. Why not?

Its not that I don't think we shouldn't be attacking people, I just think we are attacking the wrong people and creating more terrorists by doing so. Simple.

Kris Battles said...

Rob W-

About this false distinction between the War on Terror and the War in Iraq:

For those who understand the strategic scope of the War, to hear people say that the War in Iraq is not part of the War on Terror is the equivalent of having someone in 1944 separate the war in Europe from World War II, or like saying we shouldn’t have attacked Germany because it took us away from the justified war against Japan, who attacked us December 7.

We also hear a lot about a timetable for Iraq pullout, which is also as absurd and disconnected as hearing someone in WWII ask for when we were going to pull out of the Italian campaign.

Congress gave Roosevelt a free hand to prosecute the war on fascism, and they never asked him for a plan—they knew it wasn’t their right to micro-manage the constitutionally appointed commander-in-chief.

Victory was the plan, and all of the details were carried out by the Executive and the Pentagon, keeping Congress and the nation informed to the extent appropriate.

World War II was an open-ended war with no timetable (as all wars are, by nature).

Every war we’ve ever fought has been the same.

I honestly don’t understand who taught the Left their history or their strategy.

EdoRiver said...

Why continually look for the things to disagree with? Isn't it much better to look for things, ideas, proposals that fosters a realistic meeting of the sides? Why not look for Congressmen who are trying to form bridges between Your side and the other side? Why not support them with blog attention?
You gave me a recommendation of a site to read, the ??? Manefesto. I was somewhat surprised and impressed.
I saw nothing that empahsised differences. We all look for something to believe in that is positive. to continually attack what someone else surely believes in, gets us, me, you, the right, the left the center, no where.

I am sorry, but in my limited experience I have NEVER MET anyone who changed their position because someone attached their ideas over and over again. Have any of you(plural?). Do you think ideas are bullets and with enough firepower you can kill them, take them prisioner with your superior logic?
What planet do you come from????

Have any of you studied debate in school? So many of us (myself included at this point ;-) I wanted to be on the high school debate team but I didn't have the time. So I occasionally try to relive that fantasy of being on the Wm and Mary Debate team...But time and time again, I have failed to find someone who changed their position because I assailed them with superior knowledge and quotes from my favorite author. Maybe you have found success. Please tell me the situation that has encouraged you to continue seeking other....victims/converts??? I want my share too ;-) ;-) ;-)

mdfay said...

Dear edoriver, please take note of my strong recommendation in a previous post to make a donation to the senatorial re-election campaign of Sen Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn) I have advertised the Euston Manifesto on several occasions and have highlighted the writings of Christopher Hitchens and Victor Davis Hanson, two very erudite centerist writer/thinkers.

I am infact a centerist myself and in listening keenly to both sides since 9/11, find the voice of the Left/Liberal/Progressive/DemocraticParty to be shrill, mean-spirited, stereotypical, narcassistic, borderline deranged with conspiracy theories, and filled with cowardness in an inability and unwillingness to confront the evil currently plaguing the world. That elected American officials would publicly declare the US a greater danger to mankind than Iran or North Korea, as Congressman John Murtha did last week in Florida, is simply unconsionable, that a free press would freely choose to betray national security is toxic irresponsiblity, and that those who champion liberal ideas couched in the rhetoric of human rights and dignity with their words and ideas, and yet are loathe to put their blood and treasure behind these same ideas is hypocritical pervesity. At top of the last list I would but the National Organization of Women.

Whatever failings that the Bush administration demonstrably possess pale in comparison to the ongoing abject failure of the Left in the face of the current struggle with Islamofascism to remove it's collective head from it's butt, see the light of day and smell the roses. For the sake of my comrades-in-arms I can not stay silent in the face of the now predictable intellectual weakness and depravity rampant on the Left.

countrygirl said...

Great story on the two boys in D.C. who changed their little corner of this world - thanks for the inspiration!

I've been reading "The Terror Network" written by Claire Sterling in 1981. Fascinating insights into today.
Saddam Hussein was providing safe haven, training and funding for international terrorists (of EVERY political stripe) at least as far back as 1981. Baghdad was a nest of terrorists, arms and instructors by then. So why do I keep hearing that Iraq is the wrong war, and we should have been going after bin Laden, not Hussein? Just because he wasn't directly behind 9/11 does not mean he wasn't attacking us. He's been attacking us and our allies for at least 30 years. And news reports in the last couple of years have stated that Osama and/or his henchmen had been in Baghdad, conspiring with Saddam, in the last decade.
The stated aim of every terror group is to bring down the free, democratic governments of this world. Don't folks understand that that makes the US their number one target? Just because they haven't been able to strike us on our own soil like they've been terrorizing Europe for the last 40 years doesn't mean they don't want to. (And thank our military, CIA, FBI, border patrol, etc, and maybe geography, for that!) Some say that our going into Iraq only stirred up the terrorists and may have created more of them. I say to that - hogwash! There were hoards of terrorists waiting for their chance to strike at America. 9/11 showed us their intent but made it harder for them to be able to duplicate that success. We didn't want to sit around wondering when they might succeed in getting through next. So we took it to them. We threw a party and they showed up already dressed for it, presents wrapped well in advance. And now their numbers are actually dwindling (thank the USMC and our soldiers for that one!).

Someone spoke on here earlier of the need for building bridges of understanding.
If you want bridges, rally behind the American military!
They're the greatest bridge builders in the world today (not to discount our worthy allies - but we all know there are more of ours over there). How do you change the minds of folks whose only education about America has been to be told that we're the Great Satan? How do you prevent them from accepting money offered to go shoot an RPG at American troops, or plant an IED where the Americans will drive by, or strap explosives to themselves and go blow themselves up near Americans, or learn to fly so they can fly whole planeloads of Americans into American buildings? I think some of the best ways are being played out on the ground every day, as we sit here theorizing self-righteously about it. I read a blog today about a group of soldiers who have collected 200 high-quality wheelchairs for Iraqi children with disabilities. There are US military doctors who spend more of their time treating Iraqi civilians than they do military personnel. There are Army units who have moved heaven and earth to get Iraqi children to American hospitals for specialized medical care. I could go on and on, and I'm sure I don't know the half of it either. Our humanitarian efforts are staggering. But don'tcha think that when the brothers and sisters of those children who got mobility from a wheelchair provided by American soldiers, or the family members of someone whose life or body functions were restored by American doctors, or folks who got clean, fresh water piped into their home so they don't have to carry it anymore and don't have to suffer frequent dysentery anymore - don't you think that maybe those folks might see us differently than they used to? Maybe, when the rabid dogs in men's clothing try to get those folks to get on board the "hate America and all she stands for" bandwagon, they just might think for themselves, and realize that that's not the America they know?
This war is not just about exterminating the terrorist leaders and subduing their minions, and liberating a country or two that were terribly oppressed; this war has to destroy the terrorists' ability to win the hearts and minds of the people who can shelter them and from whose population they replenish their ranks. Our Marines and soldiers are doing an admirable job of that in two of the countries where it is most needed, under the most miserable and dangerous of conditions. How can you improve on that?

Rob W. said...

You know, I don't like being called depraved. I'm a regular guy, go to work, watch sports, drink beer. Somehow, because I politically disagree with you, I am depraved. I love my country as much or more than you do. Because I love it, I am disappointed in the turn it has taken. I think the majority of Americans agree with me.

What I don't understand is that if you want me to support the current war, why do you call me names? If you are eager that the American public put themselves 100% behind this war, why do you continually insult those who disagree with you? Seems like you are more interested in feeling righteous than actually convincing anyone of anything.

It seems that your position is that as long as the country is at war, no person should speak out against that war or the way it is being conducted, no matter what.

I think that that statement is wrong. I think the best example of why that is wrong is Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was a congressman at the time of the Mexican War. Like many of his contemporaries, (including Robert E. Lee and Grant, both of whom fought in the war), Lincoln saw the Mexican war as a great injustice against Mexico and an act of agression on the part of the U.S. When President Polk called for a resolution halfway through the war saying that his actions were right, Lincoln stepped up and gave a long speech against Polk. He said "It is a fact, that the United States Army, in marching to the Rio Grande, marched into a peaceful Mexican settlement, and frightened the inhabitants away from their homes and their growing crops." So do you feel that the greatest political leader the world has known and our greatest president was a traitor? I certainly do not.

For a funny look at the idea that those on the left are somehow depraved, go here:

A couple of other points. I'm told that my argument that we ought to take out bin Laden because he was behind the September 11 attacks is like saying that we shouldn't have gone after Germany when Japan was the real culprit.

A little look at history puts the lie to that assertion. Germany and Japan were allies. We did not declare war on Germany initially, only Japan. Germany declared war on us on December 11, 1941. We only declared war on Germany after they declared war on us. Furthermore, bin Laden and Saddam were not allied at all. They were opposed to one another because Saddam was a secular state socialist dictator who persecuted Islamofacists in his own country becasue he saw them as a threat to his own rule. Bin Laden wanted to overthrow governments like Saddam's.

I have just read that the Iraqi insurgents have offered to stop attacks in exchange for us leaving in 2 years time. I think we should explore that deal. Its an opening we need badly.

Kris Battles said...

Rob W

You didn't really answer my assertion that you're not seeing the campaign in Iraq as part of the war on Terror.

It doesn't ultimately matter that Germany and Japan were allies -- the point was that no one was calling for Roosevelt to pull out of one theater to address the other-- they understood the multi-front nature of the war. They got on board and fought alongside the President on all fronts.

The nature of Saddam and Osama's relationship has been the biggest straw man put up by dissenters.

President Bush didn't attack Saddam only because he was allied with Al-Qaida, just as Roosevelt didn't only attack Germany because it was allied with Japan. He fought Germany because Hitler was also a huge threat to world liberty and peace ( Saddam was also, because of his links with Al-Qaida and OTHER TERRORIST GROUPS.)

The left always points to the idea that Saddam wasn't involved with AL-Qaida (not true, BTW), and therefore he shouldn't be attacked. This ignores the fact that it was Saddam's link to terrorists OF ANY STRIPE that made him dangerous! Pres. Bush never claimed he would ONLY fight Al-Qaida! (Truncated view on the war, put up by the Left to make their points.)

My point was that the Left was not seeing the big picture on the war on Terror, and some of the arguments you put forth only prove that point.

Rob W said...


On the contrary, I think I see the big picture where the Right does not. During the Clinton Administration, a think tank called the Project for a New American Century was created. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle and other leading neocons were all members. They begged Clinton to invade Iraq, long before September 11. Cabinet member (Treas. Sec.) Paul O'Neill said in the Price of Loyalty that the Administration was working on plans to invade Iraq from day one, before September 11.

Fact is that the Administration did try to claim that Iraq was involved in 9/11, relying on the bogus claim of a meeting in Prauge between Iraqi intelligence and Mohammed Atta. We now know that meeting never occured. There is tons of evidence Atta was in Flordia training to fly jets at the time. See the 9/11 Commission report for more.

You speak of connections between Saddam and al-Qaeda. Where are these? Please cite.

In a way, Bush did create some terror in Iraq. Foreign fighters did come to Iraq to fight us once we invaded. But they were not there when we invaded. The fact is that the insurgency is generally made up of Sunni Baathists, not terrorists.

But that was terrorism that Bush's war created instead of supressed. If we hadn't invaded it would have never occured.

But the main problem in Iraq is civil war, not foreign fighters. In fact the insurgents today asked to be armed to wipe out the foreign fighters. It is ethnic violence that threatens our work in Iraq. That and the long-standing ties between those running the Iraqi government and Iran.

You say that the two wars are connected to a greater war on terror. I say they are largely separate. Yesterday we learned from MSNBC and Washington Post reports that the government is closing down the CIA station designed to hunt bin Laden. Does this seem like a good move to you? It doesn't to me.

We had a great chance to win the war on terror by staying focused on Afghanistan. We lost that chance and all of the goodwill we had from our great response during the first few days of 9/11.

Maybe its only because I live in a city which Al Qaeda has actually hit, but I think Iraq has been a distraction and that we need to get the bad guys who committed 9/11 first. They are the ones who long term will hurt us.

Please show how the War on Terror and the Invasion of Iraq are connected.

Yossarian said...

Rob- You will never overcome their sophistry with logic. As Mike says over and over again "Damn the torpedoes, full speed [anywhere]". It all has to do with the battle within. If the mission is to take a bullet for George Bush they are winners. If it is to defend the Constitution the overheated barrel is just so much wasted energy. Lots of good people in and out of the military know it. It's a hard lesson to learn and to bear. Only the truly courageous can win that battle within. We can only hope that when they revisit the issue in 30 or 40 years, they are not too hard on themselves. In the meantime you might just stop pissing into the wind.

mdfay said...

Yossarian-sophistry...Yikes! Here, let me uncurl my hand from around the overheated barrel of my rifle and go find a dictionary. Hey, here's an idea...let's attack the terrorists with big words and even bigger ideas! Grab your thesauruses and college notes lads, the gooks are in the wire! You can lead the way.

30 or 40 years from now I'll be dead and hopefully you won't be speaking Arabic and will still be enjoying the benefits of our Constiutional rights....which apparently your fearless inner world of abstraction is keeping well protected for the rest of us.

When you get done spelunking in Plato's cave please feel free to join the rest of us out here in reality. Now, if you'll excuse me I have to take another bullet for Bush.

Yossarian said...

Easy gunny, easy. Sorry about the big words. Blame it on the Korean War and the GI Bill that followed.Take a deep breath. You've got studying to do and maybe a physical to take. I don't know about talking Arabic, but I do know my Veterans for Peace banner was made in Vietnam. You will still be around in 30 years, unless you get a coronary when you step out the gate. In the meantime keep your ditty bag in your left hand and your brushes dry.

Rob W said...

Mr. Fay,

I'm suprised that a person with your military experience beleives that somehow, the terrorists are going to force us to speak Arabic in 40 years. How exactly, when they resort to terrorism because of their weakness, will they take over America? Do they have Aircraft Carrier Battlegroups? My Naval Aviator co-worker informs me they do not, and that the idea that they could somehow invade this country is preposterous. They can't just walk here.

Terrorists attack us because they are weak. They lack the industrial and technical base to invade us.

The only possiblity is that somehow we will completely cave in for no apparent reason. Poppycock. I guess I have more faith in America than you do.

David said...

Good evening.
I don't agree with all your points of view. But I respect them. I was moved to write because your drawings and paintings are powerful--they capture individuals and moments in a way that photographs don't. And we all need to be remiinded that this war---like it or not-- is going on and our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, are doing their best, in harms way.

Thanks for your work.