“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Rufus posted a link here at the Elephant Bar referring to a pledge site that poses the following:
"If the United States Senate passes a resolution, non-binding or otherwise, that criticizes the commitment of additional troops to Iraq that General Petraeus has asked for and that the president has pledged, and if the Senate does so after the testimony of General Petraeus on January 23 that such a resolution will be an encouragement to the enemy, I will not contribute to any Republican senator who voted for the resolution. Further, if any Republican senator who votes for such a resolution is a candidate for re-election in 2008, I will not contribute to the National Republican Senatorial Committee unless the Chairman of that Committee, Senator Ensign, commits in writing that none of the funds of the NRSC will go to support the re-election of any senator supporting the non-binding resolution."

I and many others have been a critic of the conduct of this war. In many ways it appears to have been a war in search of a mission. The conduct of the war is replete with miserable political decisions. The use of the military has been Viet Nam Redux with political interference. The politics and diplomacy has been even worse. I can be as cynical as the next in criticism, but the action being taken by the Senate will force a collapse. It will confirm for another generation or two that the US is the same country that folded in support of Viet Nam, The Iranian Hostage crisis, The contra-war in Nicaragua, The Hungarian Revolution, the call to arms for the Shiite revolt against Saddam, The Cuban Bay of Pigs, the opposition to the Khmer Rouge,and the support of the Hmong.

If the Republicans want to end the war, walk down to The White House, face the President, make the call and then face the consequences, but do not kid yourself about the damage being done to the credibility of The United States of America.

I have signed the petition and urge you to do so as well, regardless of your criticisms of the conduct of this war and this Administration. Link to petition


  1. Can't be any clearer than that! It's time to stop talking and take some action. Sign the pledge!

  2. Implicit in the "Pledge" is that you will contribute if they do not vote to support an "antiSurge Resolution".

    That implied support for the GOP hinges, not upon what those Representitives do, but upon what they do not do.

    The GOP Senators are not worthy of support, financial or political. Their "Leader" has led them, without complaint, on a course to "Slow Defeat".

    Whether of not General P can succeed, I'd not donate to, nor vote for a GOPer, solely due to Party affiliation.

  3. Dems Seek GOP Support on Iraq Resolution
    By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer

    50 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats won their first major vote against the Iraq war. Now they need to get some Republicans on board.

    A resolution swiping at President Bush's Iraq war plans is headed to the full Senate as early as next week as administration officials and Republican leaders labor to keep the effort from gaining more GOP support.

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday passed 12-9 a resolution that dismissed Bush's plans to increase troops in Iraq as "not in the national interest." The vote on the nonbinding measure was largely along party lines, with Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska being the sole Republican on the committee offering his support.

  4. Just before the elections, the Democrats were saying that they welcomed the opportunity to work the President on the issue of Iraq. Apparently, they only willing to work with him on a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

  5. Who said they were going to get any money? Not from me! : )

    You're exactly right, DR!

    But still, in a small way it sends a message. Even if it's another message the Repubs ignore.

  6. > Just before the elections, the Democrats were saying that they welcomed the opportunity to work the President on the issue of Iraq.

    Democrats Rude Rebuff

    Yes, the Dems slammed the door in Bush's face for the offer he made for a bipartisan committee on Iraq.

    When President Bush called for a bipartisan "special advisory council" of congressional leaders on the war against terrorism in his State of the Union address, he had in his pocket a rude rejection from Democratic leaders. Thank you very much, said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, but no thank you...

    That could be the most overt snub of a presidential overture since Abraham Lincoln was told that Gen. George B. McClellan had retired for the night and could not see him.

  7. I agree totally with the pledge.

    Freezing the number of troops in Iraq is not Congress' business, and doing so could kill troops already in Iraq by not allowing reinforcements and not allowing new operations like Baghdad which could kill the enemy.

    It is politics and nothing more. Each Senator figures there will be commercials blaming him for any deaths among the new troops going over to Iraq. The politicians don't have the guts to face that.

    One columnist used to call Republicans politicians "the stupid party". If they help the Democrats stop the war and turn it into a disaster, all Republican politicians will lose. They are just cutting their own throats by voting for the Democrats' stuff. The Democratic Senate leader even said that this vote will be "the beginning of the end" for us in Iraq.

  8. Well, whit, if one beleives, as rufus does, that the US has avhieved it's Goals and it is "Over", over there, then every US life lost, from 7 Nov onward, is a life lost, wasted after Victory has been achieved.

    Funny how on 6 Nov 06 the President was saying the US was winning, now in Jan 07, we are on a Course to "Slow Defeat"

    I think that the "Surge" could "lock down" Baghdad, allowing for a secure enviorment.
    During the Iraqi elections we were able to manage the battlespace, so it seems reasonable we could do so now.

    But what will cause the President and the Military declare victory in June? In a word, nothing.
    The "Threat" will remain, in Iraq, whether we secure Baghdad or not.

    By not expanding the conflict, at least intellectually, to a Regional War, the threat will always be there, just over the horizon.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. “The Mexican government must begin selling off inefficient state enterprises, especially in gas and oil. It should offer greater protection of property rights and ensure title searches. Mexico must stop the old nationalist rhetoric and welcome foreign investment, create a transparent judicial system and allow land to be freely bought and sold.
    Most importantly, the Mexican bureaucracy must end endemic corruption that so exasperates foreign investors who would otherwise bring to Mexico efficient job-producing businesses.”
    “Finally, we need honesty about the problem. Mexico masquerades as a revolutionary socialist state, replete with flashy radical slogans that date back to the old days of Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa.
    In truth, Mexico City's creed is elitism and a fossilized cronyism. Its privileged few have hurt millions of their hardworking citizens who deserve far more humane treatment -- and sometimes find it only here in America.”
    How Will Illegal Immigration End?

    And, speaking of the improbable:
    ___Artificial replacement testicles for dogs
    10 Strangest Inventions
    Hmmm…Can those testicles be sized for Republicans?

  11. DR, how do you address the general issue about the US commitment to anything in the future?
    Can any leader trust a US President?

    If you were in Iraq and had to make a life changing or threatening decision that was based on US support or siding with your tribe, which way would you go?

    Like it or not, Bush put US prestige on the table. Make the wrong decision now and a whole lot of people that put their faith and confidence in The United States of America better have a good visa.

  12. Big explosion in the "Green Zone", they say on FOX

  13. > The "Threat" will remain, in Iraq, whether we secure Baghdad or not.

    The Japanese threat remained after we secured Iwo Jima. This is just a step on the way.

    > But what will cause the President and the Military declare victory in June?

    The goal of the mission is to secure Baghdad. If Baghdad is mostly peaceful, that will be success.

    More importantly Operation Baghdad is to help negotiations, which always depend on the situation in the battle field.

    It seems to already have helped by triggering negotiations with al-Sadr:

    Terms From Militia to Avoid Fight

    An Iraqi official authorized to speak on behalf of field commanders for the country’s most powerful militia has approached Western military officials and laid out a plan to avoid armed confrontation, senior Iraqi and American officials said this week...

    During the meetings, which took place on Jan. 17 and, most recently, on Monday, Mr. Daraji laid out a proposal from what he said were all the major political and militia groups in Sadr City, the senior Iraqi official said. The groups were eager to head off a major American military offensive in the district, home to two million Shiites, as the Americans begin a sweeping new effort to retake the streets of Baghdad.

    Mr. Daraji said in an interview that field commanders would forbid their foot soldiers to carry guns in public if the American military and the Iraqi government met several basic demands, mostly involving ways to ensure better security for Sadr City. He is communicating with the commanders through a Shiite politician who is close to them.

  14. Bolton cannot be regarded as a cut-and-run fellow. He is not pleased with the Iranian front.
    Bolton: U.S. following flawed Iran plan

    The remarks of State, in rebuttal, are priceless.

    H/T Pamela at Atlas Shrugs

  15. Any foreign leader that puts their faith in the Government of the US, has misplaced their faith.

    The US is a feckless ally in the 3rd World.
    Mr Diem and the Shah could each speak to the issue.

    Even in the "Cold War" the Hungarians & the Czachs, like the Shia of Iraq, were boosted in their dreams of Liberty, by US rhetoric, then abandoned by US and subsequently crushed.

    The list is long, as you say:
    the US is the same country that folded in support of Viet Nam, The Iranian Hostage crisis, The contra-war in Nicaragua, The Hungarian Revolution, the call to arms for the Shiite revolt against Saddam, The Cuban Bay of Pigs, the opposition to the Khmer Rouge,and the support of the Hmong.

    We are a feckless country.

  16. So much for Ronnie's "11th Commandment" that you do not speak ill of any Republican. Wasn't Hugh Hewitt (a supporter of this pledge) also 100% behind RINO Senator Chafee in 2006 because of the importance of keeping GOP control of the Senate? This pledge will split the party and the Pubs will be in the political wilderness for forty years.

  17. This is a critical step too. Maliki says they will reverse the sectarian cleansing, bringing Shiites and Sunnis back to the neighborhoods they were driven out of. If they really do this, it takes away the incentive for such cleansing in the future.

    Maliki: No Haven for Militants

    Maliki said Iraqi security forces would start to remove squatters from Baghdad homes they have illegally occupied since the owners fled sectarian intimidation and ethnic cleansing.

    "Today or tomorrow we will start arresting those who are living in the homes of refugees, to open the way for their return," he said.

    Tens of thousands of people, including Shi'ites, Sunni Arabs and Christians, have fled their homes in Baghdad because of violence and threats that have turned many formerly mixed districts into sectarian enclaves.

  18. "Big explosion in the 'Green Zone', they say on FOX"

    If they catch the perps and turn them over to al-Maliki, and the perps are al-Sadr militia men, expect more big explosions from the same perps a week later. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  19. Teresita, you are probably correct in your discription of the present condition of the Republican Party, but the pledge has nothing to do with it. The party coaltion was always a rejection of what was being offered by the Democrats. It will rise or recede in reaction to them.

  20. As far as the Republican Party goes, I think Ben Franklin had it right when signing the Declaration of Independence:

    > We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.

    The purpose of the pledge is to keep the Party together, to prevent it from dividing. If lots of Republicans vote for a Democratic attack on the war, it is inevitable that the Republican Party will split. We did not leave them, they left us.

    Republicans should be disagreeing with the President in private, then unanimously voting against the Democrats. The votes would have little impact on the war if only Democrats voted for them. Everyone would see it as just a political stunt.

  21. wu, if Mr Hagel & Mr Warner and another 10 or so GOPers vote with the Dems, it is no "political stunt" but a crisis of leadership.

  22. It would be a leadership crisis for the reasons the Senator says in bold below. It replaces something with nothing but lethal chaos. The Senate disagrees with commander-in-chief decisions that aren't their business, but does nothing about it.

    Sen. Richard G. Lugar, Indiana Republican, warned that the resolution could demoralize the troops and embolden insurgents in Iraq.
    "Usually, nonbinding resolutions are designed to show unity on an issue or to highlight an issue that few members know about," he told his colleagues. "In this case, we are laying open our disunity without the prospect that the vehicle will achieve meaningful changes in our policy. This vote will force nothing on the president, but it will confirm to our friends and allies that we are divided and in disarray."

  23. This just in

    A huge explosion rocked central Baghdad just before sunset Thursday, sending a massive plume of black smoke into the air along the east bank of the Tigris River.

    The blast occurred shortly after two heavy mortar shells slammed into the heavily fortified Green Zone. The public address system inside the zone, where diplomatic agencies are located, could be heard warning in English that people should take cover: "This is not a drill."

    Heavy gunfire rang out after the explosion thundered across the city and was especially heavy in the Karrada district. Sirens on emergency vehicles wailed through the region.

    Initial reports from police said two people were killed in the explosion.

  24. Wu Wei said, "Republicans should be disagreeing with the President in private, then unanimously voting against the Democrats."

    Senator Norm Coleman watched otherRepublicans lose by 20 points in Minnesocold in 2006, and he himself won his seat in 2002 by only three points. So this is an act of job-preservation.

  25. This is about saving the lives of American troops. Allen's wife will be in "More" danger if this silly-assed, traitorous, vile resolution is passed.

    So will the lives of all of the other Soldiers, and Marines over there.

    Sign the Fucking resolution. Send the WH an E-Mail, later, if you don't like the way they're fighting the war.

  26. Here is the Link

    Send the message, NOW. Use your muscles.

    We can debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, LATER.

  27. rufus,

    Thanks for your thoughtfulness.

    Without attempting to influence others, I will say the Congress has a responsibility under the Constitution to put up or shut up. A non-binding resolution will signal to the world, in my opinion, the utter failure of American political leadership. No matter how I feel about the President personally, it harms my country to bitch-slap him; proving again that American foreign policy is in the hands of bitches. Any president whose leadership is so pitiful as to call forth a non-binding resolution of "no confidence" should be replaced, as set forth in the Constitution.

  28. I won't believe that the Iraqis Sunnis have given up, as the "turnaround" article suggested, until they show signs of it.

    Just today there was heavy fighting in a Sunni zone, and the Iraqi Sunnis said it was discrimination:

    But the operation drew condemnation from a Sunni group that said it was further proof that the Shiite-led government was targeting the minority sect.

    The hard-line Association of Muslim Scholars called the Haifa Street crackdown ''a campaign of genocide'' against Sunnis and said several buildings had been damaged and people killed. It said it had not determined the exact number of casualties.

  29. The Afghan Government refusing to allow herbicide aerial spraying of the Heroin poppies.
    No agent orange for Afghanistan.

    Seems the Afghans will continue eradication by hand

  30. woo woo, That's a "Jihadist" organization; just another way of saying Al Queda.

    I hope they're crying. I'd be worried if they weren't.

  31. Woo, we gotta remember who started this mess. It's true we've got to tamp down the Shias, but we've gotta KILL a whole lot of Sunnis.

  32. The Silly Senators have not seen this film clip. Had they, the non-binding resolution would speak to RoE. Boys will be boys, especially when playing with toys.

    H/T Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler

  33. Well then, dear host, you'd damn well better hope Petraeus has a rabbit to produce. Because if he doesn't there will be worse hell to pay than a loss of credibile commitment to the bleeding heart foreign policy project of the hour.

  34. rufus,

    re: killing Sunni

    When, one fine day, the numbers are released, you will discover ten times more Saudi "foreign fighter" killed in Iraq than Iranian. Ditto, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Lebanon, etc.

  35. Why hasn’t the DoD taken a lesson from liberal US municipalities? Instead of outlawing the fighters, outlaw the guns. This makes identifying the enemy so much simpler. If it is carrying, it is the enemy; fire at will.

  36. trish,

    Why does it matter whether or not the "surge" is successful when considering the advisability of the non-binding resolution?

    The “surge” strikes me as more stunt than brunt, just as does the resolution. Neither, I fear, will speak well of the sad sack leadership with which we are stuck. Take a look at that film clip I linked. It is that sort of enthusiasm that wins any contest of wills.

  37. trish,

    Why does it matter whether or not the "surge" is successful when considering the advisability of the non-binding resolution?

    The “surge” strikes me as more stunt than brunt, just as does the resolution. Neither, I fear, will speak well of the sad sack leadership with which we are stuck. Take a look at that film clip I linked. It is that sort of enthusiasm that wins any contest of wills.

  38. Come on, allen. You should know that all newly liberated Iraqis are entitled to their home defense AK. It's an Iraqi "Right".

    DoD has little say in the matter. We transfered Sovereignty to the Iraqi and their Representitives years ago.

    So many of the prescriptions to the Iraq challenge do not take into account the previous actions that have gotten US where we are, today.

    No mulligans allowed on the Iraq Course. No redos, no bygones.

    The US was playing for all the marbles, but did not take the Game seriously. Or the President could not have morphed from "We're Winning" to "We're on the Road to Slow Defeat".
    Fecklessness both in uniform and in the White House.

  39. > Woo, we gotta remember who started this mess. It's true we've got to tamp down the Shias, but we've gotta KILL a whole lot of Sunnis.


    Through the entire war the Sunnis have been pretending that they are nice guys, while it is their Al Qaeda guests who do everything else.

    Before I believe the Iraqi Sunnis want peace, they would need to: turn against Al Qaeda, stop cheering suicide bombings of Shiite civilians, join the Iraqi Army and Police Force, stop planting IEDs...

  40. "Take a look at that film clip I linked. It is that sort of enthusiasm that wins any contest of wills."

    It is NOT a simple contest of wills.

    Allen, I've seen a lot of those videos over the years. I've heard the stories. If it were soldier enthusiasm that carried the war to decision, we'd long since be done.


    Tears of JOY were streaming down my face.

    Allah gonna have to restock them virgins. There was a BIG run on'em, today.

  42. MAN, That made me feel Good!

  43. Now, THAT would make one hell of a "Recruiting" Film.

    Not for Al Q, Though.

    Haha, Whoopee!

    A Big Ol Can a Whup-Ass!

  44. This is a pretty good article about fighting in Haifa Street.

  45. Many of the Iraqi units that showed up late never seemed to take the task seriously, searching haphazardly, breaking dishes and rifling through personal CD collections in the apartments. Eventually the Americans realized that the Iraqis were searching no more than half of the apartments; at one point the Iraqis completely disappeared, leaving the American unit working with them flabbergasted.

    “Where did they go?” yelled Sgt. Jeri A. Gillett. Another soldier suggested, “I say we just let them go and we do this ourselves.”

    Then the gunfire began. It would come from high rises across the street, from behind trash piles and sandbags in alleys and from so many other directions that the soldiers began to worry that the Iraqi soldiers were firing at them. Mortars started dropping from across the Tigris River, to the east, in the direction of a Shiite slum.

    The only thing that was clear was that no one knew who the enemy was. “The thing is, we wear uniforms — they don’t,” said Specialist Terry Wilson.

    At one point the Americans were forced to jog alongside the Strykers on Haifa Street, sheltering themselves as best they could from the gunfire. The Americans finally found the Iraqis and ended up accompanying them into an extremely dangerous and exposed warren of low-slung hovels behind the high rises as gunfire rained down.

    American officers tried to persuade the Iraqi soldiers to leave the slum area for better cover, but the Iraqis refused to risk crossing a lane that was being raked by machine-gun fire. “It’s their show,” said Lt. David Stroud, adding that the Americans have orders to defer to the Iraqis in cases like this.

  46. Austin Bay sums up his thoughts by reference to the WSJ: Austin Bay

    Talking Ourselves Into Defeat

  47. DR,

    Why of course I know that Iraqis are entitled to “home” defense. Of course, I also know that one’s home is not in the street. Moreover, a rifle is not a heavy mortar or IED. Consequently, when the democratically elected government of Iraq seeks US military aid, the US detachments are permitted to self-defense. Since the Iraq government’s survival is dependent upon American RoE, the US government has great leeway in setting rules to its liking.

    Obviously, my suggestion of banning weapons was made with tongue in cheek; however, it is doable and, when convenient to the Iraq parties, is being done.

  48. Clemenceau(?) said that War is a series of Disasters that lead to Victory.

    I'm sure this reporting was accurate in what it portrayed. I wonder what was "left out?"

    Did the bad guys take any casualties? Were the reports from the other platoons the same? Was the objective achieved.

    I look at this as part of the "Mosaic." Arabs - Sheesh

  49. trish,

    re: video link

    It is reliably reported that both Churchill and Roosevelt were avid viewers of newsreels (the good, the bad, and the ugly). From these encounters, they steeled themselves.

    Maybe a lesson to be taken from recent years is that a leader, whose first action is to look into the camera and say, "I am a nice guy", while tears well in his eyes, is not a warrior.

    Roosevelt was a killer. Churchill was a killer. Stalin was a killer. There is a lesson here.

  50. As they say in boot camp, the only way out of Hell is through the fire.

  51. rufus,

    Like you, I wonder what outcome came from the fight. One thing is certain, knowing troops, the engagement beat the living Hell out of catch and release. Sometimes, perception, in and of itself, is a powerful tool.

  52. That's the good thing about that 30 Mike Mike, Allen; you don't have to worry about "Catch and Release."

  53. Roosevelt refused to censor the disaster at Tarawa, insisting that the film be released to theatres in all its gory detail. That took nerve and a sense of personal integrity. Whatever else he may have been, Roosevelt was a man, who was a leader of men. Can you imagine what would happen to foul-mouthed George Patton in this age of PC?

  54. rufus,

    re: 30 Mike Mike


  55. I have been EXTREMELY critical of this administration. I won't even go where I would like to go with the administration.

    This administration will pass into the fog of history soon enough, but the Republic lives on. Thus, every action contemplated in the struggle against "Resurgent" Islam must be seen in that light. The United States simply hasn't the luxury of picking up its marbles and coming home. To the hyenas, a wounded elephant is a banquet waiting to happen.

  56. Just when you start to feel “seriously suicidal” about the state of the world, along comes a story that puts everything else in perspective.

    Botched Lip Implant Surgery


  57. Conclusively demonstrating the ascent of man is not without its pratfalls:

    Gun crime: Labour 'losing control'

    “There was also a rapid and unexplained increase in the number of times householders were confronted in their own homes by armed criminals.”

    Hmmm…guns, perhaps?

  58. John Lott--'More Guns, Less Crime'

  59. The Iraqi Parliament unanimously approved the Maliki security plan, including al-Sadr's group and "the main Sunni Arab and Kurdish parties".

    The prime minister, who depends on Sadr's political movement for support in parliament, has been accused of failing to crack down on the Mehdi Army, but officials in his Shi'ite Alliance say he has now accepted he must take action.

    A senior member of the Sadrist movement, Bahaa al-Araji, pledged the group's support for the plan in parliament, as did the main Sunni Arab and Kurdish parties. The parliament voted unanimously to support the plan.

    Iraqi Plan

  60. ..."The United States simply hasn't the luxury of picking up its marbles and coming home. To the hyenas, a wounded elephant is a banquet waiting to happen."...

    I'll be trishkette and say "roger that"

  61. Maliki's Speech to parliament, and the fight that ensues is described by Omar in this Article.

  62. The troops will flow to Iraq, but the extra cash requested, now that money, for Mr Maliki, is not quite the same as "Supporting the Troops".

    WASHINGTON -- Members of a Senate committee that voted against President Bush's Iraq plan said Thursday they also are wary of pouring more money into rebuilding while the security situation is so dire.

    "I want you to know that I am not inclined to support any additional funding in this area without strong assurances that this sort of mismanagement has been alleviated," said Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va.

    A day earlier the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 12-9 in favor of a resolution condemning Bush's decision to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq. ...
    ...As part of his new strategy, Bush pledged an additional $1.2 billion and said the Iraqi government designated $10 billion.

    The State Department is expanding the number of reconstruction teams for Baghdad and the western Anbar province, sending some 300 additional civilian personnel to Iraq.

    On Thursday, Republicans and Democrats told a State Department official they are concerned the extra money could fuel corruption or the insurgency.
    The department has spent nearly $15 billion on reconstruction, said Biden, D-Del., and "as you know better than I do, the results aren't pretty."

    Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, the committee's top Republican, said Congress should get more detailed reports from the administration on progress made and money spent in Iraq.

    "Overall, the results have been disappointing to the Iraqi people, to Congress, and to American taxpayers," he said about the rebuilding efforts.


    The resolution awaiting action by the full Senate says that Bush's decision to send more troops is "not in the national interest."


    "The goal is to try to salvage this situation and not send the additional troops with a message of disapproval," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., of the GOP meetings.

    McCain told reporters Thursday he is interested in drafting a resolution that would establish benchmarks by which the U.S. could measure the effectiveness of the troop increase.

    Such a resolution could have broad appeal among Republicans who want to avoid attacking the president but are concerned about sending additional troops to Iraq without an exit strategy.

    Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, said he believed the Democratic resolution could be viewed as a political attack on Bush and misinterpreted "by our enemies as abandoning Iraq." But, he added, he was skeptical that additional troops in Baghdad would be successful.

    "I have been waiting for the administration to extend an olive branch in an attempt to forge a compromise" that would make clear "we stand united as a nation," Voinovich said. "I obviously have been disappointed since that has not happened."

    Voinovich and like-minded GOP senators say they might be willing to sign on to the measure backed by Sens. John Warner, R-Va., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Norm Coleman, R-Minn., and Ben Nelson, D-Neb.

    Warner, a prominent Republican and former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, cast his measure as a milder alternative that does not use politically charged language. It leaves open the possibility of Bush's sending in a much smaller number of troops, particularly to the Anbar province, and uses language that some say may be seen as less partisan.

    Here we go
    Big John has another "Way Forward"
    Benchmarked Performance.

    Just what Mr Bush has avoided for four years, in Iraq, benchmarked performance.

  63. Same thing Ms Clinton said was needed for the Iraqi,
    Benchmarked Performance.

    Big John, if it's
    "Good for the Goose"
    must be
    "Good for the Gander"


  64. > Bush Iraq Plan is Condemned by Senate Panel

    > Senators Rebuff Bush on Troop Plan

    Those were the headlines from this week's committee vote. No matter how cleverly Republicans word their resolutions, including McCain's, the media and Democrats will still have the same headlines.

    The media are not interested in debating ideas, they want to rip Bush apart.

    Republicans need to just walk away from this. If they need to talk to the President, do it privately. Then walk out of Congress and don't vote. Make the Democratic proposal look like the political stunt it is.

  65. If the GOP cannot hold forty votes and filibuster these proposed Resolutions, they are worthless.

    The damage done, regardless of a walkout or abstentia, by weak sisters.

  66. > "I have been waiting for the administration to extend an olive branch in an attempt to forge a compromise"

    What is the compromise, I wonder? Only send half the troops so there's no chance of success? Or is it just a power struggle between the President and Congress? The important part is always the secret negotiations which we don't know about.

  67. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  68. I've not been following this blog very actively recently, but it seems things are going well over here.

    I've written enough of Roosevelt in the past, so I won't delve into writing about him. It's already late at night.

    But I say at leas this.

    There wasn't much of a man in Roosevelt. He was cheap; a cheap politician. Patton, on the other hand, seems to have been a man.

    Foul-mouthed, perhaps. But a man, and a soldier.

    That is probably why he didn't feel like befriending with comrade Stalin in the dictator's effort in destroying freedom. Didn't feel like allying with evil for personal, political gain, and doing so in secrecy.

    Unlike the other guy did--the politician.

    I'm not an expert on Patton, so I could also have been mistaken. I'd still like to believe I haven't.

  69. Read the link that rufus supplied, to the Model.

    There is no "Secret Negotiation" of any importance. The Players were all in the Room.
    The Iraqi have decided on their Course.

    The Rule of Law has little sway, there.

    Secret negotiations like secret "Master Plans" are leading US to "Slow Defeat".

  70. tp,

    My praise of Roosevelt was "qualified" for the simple reason that, to may mind, he made enormous mistakes and miscalculations. But, in the sense that he had the courage to act on his convictions, he most assuredly was a man. I expect perfection from the gods; my expectations of man are considerably more circumspect.

  71. Iraq approves security plan

    Yes, the Iraqis unanimously approved the Maliki security plan, that is their direction.

    Eventually, the tensions eased and lawmakers approved the security plan, which gives Mr. Maliki, a Shiite, more authority.

    Some of the bickering before that was make-believe for the cameras:

    Shatha al-Mosawi, a lawmaker from the leading Shiite bloc, the United Iraqi Alliance, said some of the fighting was grandstanding for the cameras.

  72. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  73. I don't think the "slow defeat" remark proves anything. Tactics need to be changed all the time. Doesn't prove that the war will be lost. As Bush said in his speech, and everyone saw, once the Golden Dome mosque was bombed, the Shiites started fighting back.

    Which is a good thing, IMO. Ever since the war started the Sunnis have been fighting a one-sided civil war, so there was no chance of peace until the Shiites started fighting back.

  74. That is eyewash for the US, wu. That vote.
    This is the reality of Course Iraq is upon:
    Roundup of violence in Iraq - 25 January 2007
    By Laith Hammoudi
    McClatchy Newspapers
    The daily Iraq violence report is compiled by McClatchy Newspapers Special Correspondent Laith Hammoudi in Baghdad from police, military and medical reports. This is not a comprehensive list of all violence in Iraq, much of which goes unreported. ...

    Baghdad. Source: MoI operation room

    -- 25 people were killed and 50 injured in a suicide car bomb exploded in Karrada neighborhood downtown Baghdad.

    -- 3 civilians were killed and 11 were wounded in 2 IEDs explosions in Baiyaa neighborhood south of Baghdad at 1 pm

    -- 2 civilians were killed and 12 were injured in a parked motorcycle explosion near Shorga market downtown Baghdad at 11:20 am.

    -- 1 civilian was killed and 12 were wounded in an IED explosion in Sadr city today afternoon.

    -- A civilian was killed and 4 others were injured when mortar shells fell in Ur neighborhood eastern Baghdad.

    -- Mortar shells fell in the Green Zone near the US embassy in the center of Baghdad today afternoon.

    -- A parked car bomb was exploded by the experts of the MOI in Karrada neighborhood downtown Baghdad this afternoon.

    -- 42 anonymous bodies were found in Baghdad today.32 bodies were found in Karkh, the western part of Baghdad in the following neighborhoods (5 bodies each in Kadhimiya, Baiyaa and Mamoon. 4 bodies each in Dora, Hay Al Amil and Al Khadraa. 2 bodies in Hurriya. 1 body each in Ghazaliya, Salhiya and Jeifer.) 10 bodies were found in Rosafa, the eastern part of Baghdad in the following neighborhoods (3 bodies in Sadr city. 2 bodies each in Shaab, Husainiya and Baghdad Al Jadida. 1 body in Selikh.)


    -- A medical source in Diyala said that morgue of Baqouba hospital received 4 bodies of young men. A security source said a group of insurgents came from Al Khrir village east of Baquba targeted the young men in the market of Wajihiya town east of Baqouba. ...

    Peace & Reconciliation
    It's in the air
    take a deeeeep wiff.

  75. Wu, I think you're right. The Sunnis who harbored the "insurgents" learned quickly NOT to fear us. But, they learned pretty quickly to fear the Shi'ite Death Squads.

  76. > But, they learned pretty quickly to fear the Shi'ite Death Squads.

    But they didn't back down. Even with holes getting drilled in their heads and hundreds dying of torture every week, neither side gave up.

    Even when Saddam killed tens of thousands of Kurds by poison gas, they kept coming and broke free of Iraq.

    If China invaded the US, I don't think we'd buckle if they shot some of us. Most people are not that weak, to just give up. Even if we smiled to the faces of the Chinese occupiers, we'd be guerrilla fighting behind their backs, maybe launching IEDs.

  77. re: foul mouthed

    “A man must be alert at all times if he expects to stay alive. If you're not alert, sometime, a German son-of-an-asshole-bitch is going to sneak up behind you and beat you to death with a sockful of shit! There are four hundred neatly marked graves somewhere in Sicily, all because one man went to sleep on the job. But they are German graves, because we caught the bastard asleep before they did.

    An Army is a team. It lives, sleeps, eats, and fights as a team. This individual heroic stuff is pure horse shit. The bilious bastards who write that kind of stuff for the Saturday Evening Post don't know any more about real fighting under fire than they know about fucking!

    Let the first bastards to find out be the Goddamned Germans. Someday I want to see them raise up on their piss-soaked hind legs and howl, 'Jesus Christ, it's the Goddamned Third Army again and that son-of-a-fucking-bitch Patton.'

    We're not going to just shoot the sons-of-bitches, we're going to rip out their living Goddamned guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy Hun cock suckers by the bushel-fucking-basket.

    I don't want to get any messages saying, 'I am holding my position.' We are not holding a Goddamned thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy's balls. We are going to twist his balls and kick the living shit out of him all of the time.

    'Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a- Goddamned-Bitch named Georgie Patton!'”

    Patton Uncensored

    Don’t miss the photo the General “pissing” into the Rhine.

  78. According to this Iraqi blogger, the Maliki / Bush plan is working with sectarian cleansing slowing in Baghdad.

    However, and despite the spike in suicide bombings there’s a good sign. The numbers of unknown bodies that carry signs of torture have decreased significantly over the last two weeks, an official in the health ministry told al-Sabah:

    The source told al-Sabah that the number of unknown bodies that are collected by the security forces and brought to the morgue has drastically decreased…the number of bodies in the refrigerators is only 35 now and was as low as 11 on one day. Through daily presence near the morgue Al-Sabah noticed a significant decrease in the number of people searching for missing relatives.

  79. > We are not holding a Goddamned thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy's balls.

    This would be useful if we ever fight the German Army again, or any other organized army. But it is failure against guerrilla groups.

    Holding ground is the most important thing in guerrilla war because whoever is holding a gun to the villager's heads wins.

    No amount of force tomorrow, including an atom bomb, beats a gun held to the head today.

  80. As Jessica says, “I donno what it is, but I wonit.”

    V10, 275 MPH, 1,175 HP Melling Hellcat

    I would take it in trade for 71 of those virgins.

    H/T Ace of Spades

  81. Do check out Wretchard, who cites some great quotes by Bill Roggio. Major West seems more interested in fighting than holding hands.
    Fighting the Borg

    “The interrogation process has been neutered due to past errors. ‘PC has filled us with false fear,’ said Major West. ‘We treat detainees better than I treated my college roommates.’"

    "‘We tiptoe around cultural issues so greatly that the Iraqi Army laughs at us,’ said Major West.”

    “Major West believes the U.S. is suffering from what he refers to as “COIN [counterinsurgency] false hope" in Anbar province, and this is impacting our effectiveness in fighting the insurgency. ‘In Anbar, the average male is our enemy, and you won't win his heart. But you can win his mind, and make him make rational decisions’ to not attack US forces and Iraqi institutions and security forces. ‘We should detain large amounts of [military age] males, not re-releasing them.’"

    "‘The way the Iraqis see it, Americans suffer from cognitive dissonance on the legal and detention issues.’"

    Why hasn’t Major West been brought up on some sort of career ending charges?

  82. 1175 HP? Gee, I Wonder What That Thing Runs On?

    Oh, it's NOT gasoline? And it's NOT diesel? Well, I'll Be; I wonder WHAT it coult Be?

  83. "The United States simply hasn't the luxury of picking up its marbles and coming home. To the hyenas, a wounded elephant is a banquet waiting to happen."

    How much longer do we have to play Wounded Elephant on the Euphrates?

    In three years, the enemy profile has not changed so much as to allow us to draw down to 90,000 troops. We are so far beyond considerations of picking up all the marbles and coming home that a permanent decrease of just 20,000 would truly be a red letter achievement.

    How many times did Casey say that the next six months would be pivotal and that he foresaw a significant reduction in forces around the corner? THAT guy made Chief, allen. How many more guys like that are there?

  84. Was it dr who said "sunny side up"?

    U.S. confirms second air strike in Somalia

    "We're going to go after al Qaeda and the global war on terror, wherever it takes us," said Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman.

    [...] Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on Wednesday said 200 soldiers pulled out on Tuesday to make way for a proposed African Union force of nearly 8,000 troops, which is still being put together.

    Nigeria said on Wednesday said it would contribute a battalion of up to 1,000 troops.

    Uganda and Malawi have also offered troops. South Africa and Mozambique are mulling participating.

    The Ethiopians had, from the beginning, stated clearly its limited objectives that they wanted to accomplish in Somalia. Covert and overt American assistance aided in the precise, decisive conveyance of limited aims backed by the resolve to inflict crippling damage to the insurgents, and demonstrated with clarity what we intended to accomplish to the Somalis.

    After close to four years in Iraq, let us hope the efforts we have invested in Iraq - coupled with the new burst of enthusiasm and spirit of cooperation with the government that the surge has brought - will convey that same message to the Iraqis: we will not abandon you, and your lives will not be lost in vain.

    Alas, the war in Iraq has taken an ironic twist: when we needed to recognise that the center of gravity were the Iraqi people to preempt the insurgency, instead we started on the wrong footing by alienating the population; now, the center of gravity has shifted to domestic support (or lack thereof) to sustain a prolonged deployment in Iraq - but public opinion remains unconvinced of the essentialist nature of our involvement that if withdrawn, would unleash events of catastrophic magnitude.

  85. It's got a small nuclear reactor in there, Rufus, you know that.

  86. A bit O/T, but this is truly bizzare:

    Don't harm the dolphins!

    Environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council, many of which have famous people like actor Pierce Brosnan to lend their celebrity to the cause, have filed a number of suits against the Navy over active sonar, both the SURTASS LFA system, and medium-frequency systems like the SQS-53 used on Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and the SQS-56 used on the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates.

    These suits have come despite the fact that there is no proof that the United States Navy has ever deliberately sought to harm whales. In fact, the Navy has halted exercises when requested to do so by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and when whales come within 200 meters of a sonar dome. The Navy also conducts aerial surveys before, during, and after exercises, looking for whales and dolphins. They never get much credit for these efforts.

    These problems led to an authorization of exemptions from provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act for the U.S. Navy's sonar testing in the 2004 Defense Authorization bill. Even though they won that fight, the Navy is planning to take steps to minimize the risk to whales and dolphins during these exercises, based on the documentation of the ranges, which will enable then to determine what steps need to be taken.

    Do we have to be reminded that the backdrop is this?

    One example of what can happen, when the training is cut back, is the incident last October involving a Song-class submarine that surfaced near the USS carrier Kittyhawk. More aggressive use of active sonar would probably have picked up that submarine before it could have gotten within range of the carrier.

  87. Leave no man behind

    I sure hope this isn't an encore performance of the "Axis of Evil" lambasting:

    A new legislation, already endorsed by the House of Representatives, calls for stopping US military assistance to Pakistan if Islamabad fails to halt the resurgence of Taliban inside its territory.

    [...] The proposed legislation urges the US president to certify that Islamabad is making all efforts to “prevent Taliban from operating in areas under its sovereign control, including in the cities of Quetta and Chaman” before releasing any funds or approving licenses for enhancing its military capability.

    The new provisions form part of the Implementation of 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act, 2007, aimed at revamping the US national security and foreign policy apparatus to address challenges post-9/11.

    Three countries have been singled out in the proposed legislation: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.
    [emphasis added]

    Pressure has to be exacted upon Musharraf, but he needs all the help he can get. Alienating one of very few allies - however transient - will only serve to hamper efforts to prevent the insurgents from establishing their forts and strongholds. We will have to deal with the Saudis, but not at this fragile juncture where we're already deploying troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, and contemplating a plausible strike at Iranian targets.

  88. From King Henry the Vth, Act IV, Scene 3:

    This day is called the feast of Crispian:
    He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
    Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
    And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
    He that shall live this day, and see old age,
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
    And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
    Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
    And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
    Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
    But he'll remember with advantages
    What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
    Familiar in his mouth as household words
    Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
    Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
    Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
    This story shall the good man teach his son;
    And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remember'd;
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition:
    And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

    I wonder what the Vile, Despicable, Cowardly, Craven, Defeat-Worshipping, Dem Ass-licking, RINO, Motherfucking, Resolution Writing, Troop Killing, Republicans that vote for that piece of shit surrender document will have to say about themselves.

  89. trish,

    re: Casey

    You are asking me?
    WAY too many!

    One of the purposes of military education (or of any bureaucracy, for that matter) is to produce "uniformity". Following, Zen's Noble Eightfold Path, bureaucracies seek especially the cultivation of "Right Understanding", "Right Thought", "Right Speech", and "Right Action".

    Occasionally, as with the WWII military leadership, a cadre of right thinking disciples is produced. At any given time, any bureaucracy will argue the "rightness" of its employees. While "right" is in the eye of the beholder (and "wrong" is never admitted), not all adherents are "righteous". Indeed, since bureaucracies eventually take self- perpetuation as the chief purpose of existence, the bureaucratic human capital produced comes to reflect this perspective. History is, consequently, unkind.

    The present military leadership is the malleable product of a bureaucracy that has been incapable of achieving a clear cut military victory since 1945.

  90. rufus,

    re: "sundry and various" Republicans

    I feel your pain.

    As you must know, everyone of them will claim to have fought at Agincourt - and heroically, as well.

  91. Well, rufus, they'll say that, through thick or thin, you'll be there. To vote for them again.

    The other option being "worse".

  92. Well, Rat, one of them is in for one hell of a surprise; because if my health holds up I will go to the state of the most vulnerable of the motherfuckers that votes for this resolution and campaign against him in every VFW, and Am Legion that I can get into.

  93. That's MY pledge.

  94. Rufus said, "I wonder what the Vile, Despicable, Cowardly, Craven, Defeat-Worshipping, Dem Ass-licking, RINO, Motherfucking, Resolution Writing, Troop Killing, Republicans that vote for that piece of shit surrender document will have to say about themselves."

    They will say, "I represent my district, which opposes sending more troops into the quagmire by two to one."

  95. "The present military leadership is the malleable product of a bureaucracy that has been incapable of achieving a clear cut military victory since 1945."

    Allen, I don't believe that victory is the point anymore. I believe victory has long since ceased to be an issue. I'm surprised anyone bothers to use the word. I certainly don't know how victory as a clear, delimiting objective can even be applied to on-going operations. I'm not sure anyone else knows that either.

  96. To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

    Theodore Roosevelt, 1918

  97. Come on Trish, most of us know a little bit about Teddy Roosevelt.

  98. And let me just add that "Support the Troops" has become the Right's version of "Do it for the children."

  99. I'm not a TR gal myself, rufus. But I appreciate the quote. I'm not a fan of Lenin, but he got off some zingers.

  100. Lenin's "Zingers"

    chuckling heard

    Now, there's a book I'm not familiar with.

  101. Come on Guys, We Gotta WIN this Damned Thing!

    Quote by: Somebody, Somewhere

  102. trish, agreed. The parameters of the conflict have broadened across boundaries far more intangible than any pre-1945 wars could have been contained within. There probably isn't any sort of chance one could adopt an all-encompassing strategy that - in the rarest of confluence of circumstances and variables - would actually constitute a clear "victory".

    I recently attended a lecture whereby the speaker asked for opinions as to when the Cold War ended. Obviously, most of the audience would have agreed with the speaker that 1989 was the marker of the end of hostilities; yet I ventured a guess: that it hasn't truly ended, but metamorphosised into a low-intensity conflict between the US and Russia. Personally, I believe that this tension between the powers has been a mainstay, and will continue to be so.

    But my suggestion drew snarky responses. What was "victory" in terms of the Cold War defined as? Not the utter annihilation of all ex-Soviet satellites, or the purging of KGB (now unofficially the FSB) agents throughout the world, or the decapitation of the Soviet Union's leadership. "Victory" was defined as a set of limited objectives in which both powers managed to avert a thermonuclear holocaust, prevent escalation of the stand-off into a bloody World War fought on multiple proxy fronts that could have led to economic debilitation on both sides (though obviously the Soviet Union first before us) and needlessly cost innocent lives in the long term.

    The speaker responded, though, with a question: "So you're saying that the War is psychological?"

    To a considerable extent, yes. I am very much convinced that this battle for "hearts and minds" - not just among Arabs, but those treasonous bastards that rufus has pointed out (that is, if they can still be convinced) - is first and foremost a psychological one. Already, our enemies have taken to narratives and netwar, fighting the propaganda front much more effectively than us, turning public opinion against the CinC.

    "Victory" is never so clear-cut, and we have to be prepared to hunker down for the long haul. Islamic terrorism (or Islamism, if you so prefer) will always be a viable threat: I believe it is in our mutual interest to do all we can to mitigate the potency of this threat so as to render it low-intensity. That will be as "victorious" as we will be able to feel. Psychologically, we must not delude ourselves into thinking that "complete victory" is easily attained through force and force alone - too high standards work as a double-edged sword: defeatocrats will always point out the failure to meet these expectations as a justification to accept defeat.

  103. Harrison,

    Cold War? The term: "Hudna" comes to mind.

  104. "To a considerable extent, yes. I am very much convinced that this battle for "hearts and minds" - not just among Arabs, but those treasonous bastards that rufus has pointed out (that is, if they can still be convinced) - is first and foremost a psychological one. Already, our enemies have taken to narratives and netwar, fighting the propaganda front much more effectively than us, turning public opinion against the CinC."

    To be perfectly fair, harrison, the CinC, through his SecDef and commanding generals, honestly earned every percentage point of lost confidence by overseeing, for 18 months, the disintegration of Baghdad - while blowing smoke up everyone's skirt.

  105. To be perfectly fair, harrison, the CinC, through his SecDef and commanding generals, honestly earned every percentage point of lost confidence by overseeing, for 18 months, the disintegration of Baghdad - while blowing smoke up everyone's skirt.

    And, to be perfectly fair, Trish, I can't disagree with a word of that.

    But, that doesn't give those sonsabitches the right to get one more American Soldier killed than is necessary. And, that shitting resolution, almost certainly, will do that.

  106. rufus, do the terms "hudna" and "taqqiya" contradict each other? Could explain the "confusing signals" from Palestine and Lebanon about ceasefires - weren't they meant to be kept in the first place?

    trish, I was referring to the present, but I do acknowledge the culpability of the CinC and DOD during the budding stages of this Iraqi venture. Feith, Bremer, Rumsfeld - I am getting acquainted with their incompetent exploits through Ricks' Fiasco, which is sobering in its commentary.

  107. It shall go forth from this day that Rufus,
    Old war horse that he be,
    Shall cry across the fruited plain
    the cause of
    freedom and victory.

    Curse the coward
    Praise the brave
    My name is Rufus.
    Fuck the knave.

  108. "How much longer do we have to play Wounded Elephant on the Euphrates?"

    dear trish, there is a Title begging for a post!

  109. Thank You DEUCE,

    I'm sitting here, Laughing.

    First time all day.

  110. I gotta have a beer on that one.

  111. Oh, Harrison, if I have it right; that is if the A rabs haven't "taqqiad" me," Hudna is a pause to regroup, disguised as a "truce," and taqqia is the noble act of misleading the infidel by lying to him.

    Or something like that

  112. It is kind of a "distinction without a difference," isn't it?

  113. Yes, it is. I'd bet trish would unhesitatingly agree.

    Nice poem there, deuce! Didn't know you were a poet at heart.

  114. That speech by Henry, leader of a bunch of Hell's Angels on Horseback, really is pretty good. Makes em all sound noble, which is what they liked to call one another.

  115. I'm a lover at heart.

    And you're writing, me, poetry?

    uh, Deuce, I don't swing that way, pard.

    Ya hear?

  116. now i need a beer. How the hell am i ever gonna get to sleep?

  117. Yeah, but I got a great idea for a tattoo.

  118. trish,

    I am not suggesting standing by George W. Bush. Right or wrong, the office and the Republic must be defended. What the Senate proposes does neither.

    If Mr. Warner and company are so exasperated with Mr. Bush, then, act against Mr. Bush. The Constitution leaves open the definition of an impeachable offense. In short, it is for the Congress to determine what constitutes cause for impeachment and removal.

    What the Senate proposes is not treasonous, merely cowardly, with the potential for doing lasting damage to the institutions and traditions of American governance and foreign policy. As usual, the Congress prefers to make theatrical gestures.

    The United States is at war across the globe. American troops are locked in mortal combat. The fate of the United States hangs in the balance. This is not a video game. Either Mr. Bush is up to the job or he isn't. It is too late for belated oversight. The Congress must stand by the President's Iraq policy or remove him from office; it cannot have it both ways.

  119. 'Energy Independence'--Charles Krauthammer--Real Clear Politics

  120. Thanks, Bob; I'll read it in the morning. I think if I have one more beer we'll probably be on our way to Victory in Iraq. I've almost got us there.

  121. You always cheer me up, Rufus, no kidding.

  122. Rufus, you better quit wearing the aqua velva when you come into the bar.

  123. Re: victory

    The public will never buy into a million inning ball game. While that may not be entirely intellectually satisfying, it is ancient reality.

  124. Jeez, another fine mess I got myself into. I find a good drinking hole, make a few friends, get to where I can run a tab; and,

    The Proprietor starts ritin me potry, and commenting on my aftershave. Shit!

  125. Deuce & rufus,

    You all must stop. A triple-shot of Jack has not cleansed the mind of the horrid picture painted. Although, I am will to try another triple-shot in the interest of science.

  126. will = willing

    Well, something did happen, but not the relief of PTSD.

  127. *decisions, decisions*

    I feel like Bush in I rak

    How Much was that Tab, Again?

  128. Only, $10.00?

    whew, I was afraid it was $15.00 or $20.00

    okay, let the fun begin. Is the beer bottle empty? yeah, okay


  129. One of Iran's top nuclear scientists--Mr. Hassanpour--has died undedr 'mysterious circumstances'. Wonder what's up there.

  130. harrison,

    I fully appreciate, within limits, the Cold War comparison. But as this war is not that war, we require a different set-up for the duration. We cannot move to a differnt set-up until Iraq is done. Additionally, we cannot get real movement in Afghanistan and Pakistan until Iraq is done. No matter how you cut it, it all comes down to getting rid of that goddamned tarbaby.

    I was reading a run-down of the Petraeus plan by Pat Lang. "Quadrillage." I never knew the French word for it. But that Baghdad plan has been under discussion in my house many times in the past. Divide the city into grid quares or enclaves, clear them out, beginning in the Sunni areas, then hold them. (In our version of it, hold them verrrrry briefly. No more than a month. Leave behind the Iraqi forces, have an official handover and exfil to the countryside. Gather your forces and begin to depart. But that's our version.) It's not a bad plan. If you're going to do it, that's the way to do it. But it may not come off. In fact, chances are better that at this late date it won't - satisfactorily anyway. Are we prepared to accept a low level of success and call it a day?

    With a US battalion equivalent in each area, we will be big-ass targets. How long do we plan on keeping that posture?

    Many of the insurgents will leave, or already have left, for foreign territories across uncontrolled borders. We can't do anything about that now. Another problem for later.

    In the end (allen mentioned "will" and I got at him for it) we have to have the will to say, "We have done what we can. Now it's your responsibility." That's a political decision. One that musn't simply be fobbed off on the next guy.

  131. Oh, thanks, that's just what we need. Another ME Mystery.

    Allen, do you have any more of that Jack?

  132. "This is not a video game."

    Jesus, allen, you don't have to tell ME that.

  133. Trish, let me posit This, for your consideration, to wit:

    It might, actually, be a Great Deal EASIER, at this Late Date, than it would have been, say, a year ago.


  134. rufus,

    re: Jack

    Sorry to say, it is falling away fast. Ah, the joy and the sorrow of whiskey: there are no empty soldiers standing to testify of overindulgence and there are no empty soldiers standing to testify of overindulgence.

    Hey, Buddy Larsen was at the BC earlier, but I didn't get to say hello.

  135. He's over at Kudlows, now.

    Beating up on some poor, deranged lefty that mistook the Texas accent for slow-wittedness. It was a bloody mess.

  136. The day being late or early, as the case may be, if possible tomorrow, take a look at a thread at TigerHawk.

    A letter to the editor on Iraq

    As DR might say, there is nothing knew, but it never hurts to consider a well phrased point of view.

  137. trish,

    re: video game

    I meant no disrespect. Assuming the public reads these posts, it did seem germane. As Ace of Spades might put it, "Do I watch coverage of the end of the world or American Idol.

  138. rufus,

    re: buddy larsen

    Proving that a good knife can quickly filet more than a fish. Or, in this case, a good knife can quickly filet a fish.

  139. Allen, from your link:

    This is a REALLY GREAT Question:

    Finally, it is interesting to see the editors apologize for their espousal of the war, because this apology gives rise to the question: If reason alone (in contrast to reason coupled with the experience of people who are confronting the realities directly) led the editors to a wrong conclusion, what basis is there to believe that, this time around, reason alone -- from people far removed from the realities of the war -- will lead to the write conclusion?

  140. You gotta watch Buddy, Allen; He'll have you filleted, before you feel the blade.

  141. "It might, actually, be a Great Deal EASIER, at this Late Date, than it would have been, say, a year ago."

    Um, no. Baghdad's whack-a-mole writ large. The mole's had that much more time to grow.

    (Remember Bill Murray and the gopher in Caddy Shack?)



    American Idol or the end of the world.

    I'll stick with King of the Hill, evenings at 6 and 6:30. All war and no teevee just makes people grumpy.

  142. Oh, yeah. The Iraqi government is kicking out their Palestinian guests.

    And on that note, it's time for bed.

  143. Yeah, me too. Whoever, closes up needs to put a few of them bud lights in the box. Somebody done drunk a bunch of them.

    Nite all

  144. Thanks to all for another great night at the Bar (though it's still bright and sunny here)!

    I'll get the lights, deuce.

  145. Harrison:
    Anytime you have another post ready, send it on over. We would love to publish it.

  146. Both poitical parties Dems and Reps are anachronisms, they do more harm than good. The famous quote about Neville Chamerlain to the effect that he had been there too long, applies to both parties.

    Nothing could make me happy about American politics except two or more new parties, with forced retirement for the entire current Congress with prohibition that they could ever run again for any office.

    Probably would not hurt to retire all the elected and appointed people in the administration, all federal judges and their staffs too. Come to think of it all civil service above say Grade GS 5 could also be dispensed with.

    Utopia!! Until new polititians replaced them anyway. Well three months of utopia, then same old s***.

    As I get older I notice that it helps to be crazy.

  147. The U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed Army Gen. David Petraeus as the next commander of U.S. forces in Iraq even though he supports a boost in American troops that many senators oppose.

    Widely regarded as one the army's brightest commanders, Petraeus, who was confirmed on a vote of 81-0, told senators earlier this week that the situation in Iraq was "dire" but not hopeless.

    Petraeus, who has already completed two Iraq tours, will be charged with implementing President George W. Bush's plan to send 21,500 more U.S. troops to Iraq in an effort to halt spiraling insurgent attacks and sectarian violence.

  148. The anti-war Democrats are already planning TV ads to attack the "surge":

    While the lawmakers negotiate, antiwar groups are launching a public relations blitz to sway Congress. A march on Washington is planned for the weekend. And a coalition of labor unions, liberal activists and Iraq war veterans, called Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, will barnstorm through Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Virginia next week to pressure wavering Republican senators.

    In each state, television advertising will show six ex-soldiers intoning: "When it comes to Iraq, America is divided. On the one hand, you've got two-thirds of the American people, a bipartisan majority in Congress, the Iraq Study Group and veterans like us, all opposed to the escalation."

    Then, one of the veterans, who is missing an arm, concludes: "On the other hand, there's George Bush, who supports escalation. If you support escalation, you don't support the troops."