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April 23, 2007

The Real Hostage Situation

The words burn like acid. I wish I could wipe the sight of them out of my memory, out of my mind:

There are two ways to describe the confrontation between Congress and the Bush administration over funding for the Iraq surge. You can pretend that it’s a normal political dispute. Or you can see it for what it really is: a hostage situation, in which a beleaguered President Bush, barricaded in the White House, is threatening dire consequences for innocent bystanders — the troops — if his demands aren’t met.

But this isn’t a normal political dispute. Mr. Bush isn’t really trying to win the argument on the merits. He’s just betting that the people outside the barricade care more than he does about the fate of those innocent bystanders.

What I haven’t seen sufficiently emphasized, however, is the disdain this practice shows for the welfare of the troops, whom the administration puts in harm’s way without first ensuring that they’ll have the necessary resources.

But wait! There's more holier-than-thou posturing around the corner! The dashing Senator Reid is about to rescue the poor, stoopid troops from Chimpy McBusHitler and their long, national nightmare:

"In an effort to shift attention from this Administration's failed polities – and I say that in the plural – the President and his allies have repeatedly questioned whether I and my fellow Democrats support our troops," the majority leader told fellow senators. "No one wants us to succeed in Iraq more than the Democrats. We've proven that time and time again since this war started more than four years ago. We take a back seat to no one in supporting our troops, and we will never abandon our troops in a time of war.

No, Senator. You'll never abandon our troops.

You'll simply leave a sizeable contingent of them over there in harm's way without the necessary funding to do their job until 2008. And so, in the end, all the lives we've lost will have been spent for no reason. All that sacrifice, all the horror of war for nothing. Nothing gained. Nothing accomplished. What a legacy.

Because you lack political courage, you'll refuse to put your money where your mouth is and force an end to this war, which is what you say the American people have given you a mandate to do. Odd. If that is so, why not do it? What's the matter? Don't you have the votes? Isn't that what Congress does - vote on the issues and let the will of the people determine the day?

But that didn't happen, did it? Instead, you simply announced to the enemy, while our men and women are still on the battlefield, that we'd lost the war: an act of such breathtaking arrogance it doesn't seem to have a precedent in the history books I read as a child. Congratulations: another first for this Democratic Congress for the children. A unilateral surrender by another nonofficial diplomat who didn't need to be appointed by anyone. You just speak up whenever you feel like it. The Unitary Senate Majority Leader: you just assume whatever powers you wish to. How special.

But the missing piece of the puzzle is what you never seem to tell the American people, the unanswered question. What do you get out of all of this? The Democrats keep saying "no one wants us to win in Iraq more than we do". But "winning" is, somehow, never really defined for us.

Everyone: all the experts, even President Bush's harshest critics, admit several things:

1. The Iraqis aren't ready yet to take on the job of securing Iraq against al Qaeda and other outside forces trying to destabilize the region. And as stories like this graphically demonstrate, despite media-hyped lapses like Abu Ghuraib our military has been a restraining force on the Iraqis. Overall we are more trusted by the Iraqi people than their own forces. Given that this is so, just how do you think things will magically get BETTER with fewer of us on the ground to reinforce the Iraqi Army and police and continue their training? Just what end state are you envisioning here that is "better off", and for whom?

How is this "winning"?

2. The Democrats in Congress keep telling us a coalition led by the most powerful nation in the free world can't defeat what amounts to a disorganized group of terrorists from a far smaller and less technologically advanced nation. If this is truly the case, what does that say about the readiness of our armed forces? Doesn't the message this sends to the rest of the world concern you?

It should, Senator.

3. Finally, if you truly, as you say, want to "win" in Iraq, as a Marine wife I have two questions for you:

- What, precisely, is your definition of "winning"? How, exactly, are the Iraqis supposed to effect a "diplomatic and political solution" when they can't even secure their own capitol city?

- What, SPECIFICALLY, Senator, is your detailed plan for achieving the victory you say the Democrats so desperately want to see take place in Iraq?

Since you have enough prescience to tell us that a plan that is not even in place yet has already failed, we assume you must also have a better plan for "victory". Though how you can possibly know this when only 60% of surge troops are in place and your "evidence" that the surge has failed is that car bombings are still taking place when Congress was specifically informed car bombings would be one of the last elements of the violence to be addressed since the bomb factories are located in belts outside of Baghdad ) is surely one of the great mysteries of the Universe. Still, we live in hope.

This must be what you all have been so busy working on that you didn't have time to listen to the briefing General Petraeus traveled all the way back from Iraq to give Congress.

Good. Let's hear it. Because so far, what the American people have heard from the Democrats has been less than impressive:

First Democrats complained that Donald Rumsfeld was the problem. You said we couldn't win the war as long as he was in charge.

Now he's gone and we have a new Secretary of Defense. Oddly, this doesn't seem to have made you any happier.

You berated the President for not "listening to the Generals". And so you produced your own Generals, who dutifully told us we needed "more time, and more boots on the ground" in order to win this war.

The President has put more boots on the ground and asked for more time. You responded... by cutting the funding for what you asked for previously... and imposing arbitrary time limits that removed discretion from commanders in the field and forced troop withdrawals even if we were making progress. And suddenly... mysteriously ... your pet Generals vansihed. Now they are nowhere to be seen.

Where did they go? Did they do something wrong, Senator Reid?

Suddenly we have a NEW crop of Generals who appear to be championing a strategy diametrically opposed to the one you were advocating just a few months ago! The Democrats appear to be rotating pet Generals in and out as fast as their constantly shifting goalposts. Just who is using the troops as "props", Senator Reid?

You said we needed a new strategy.

President Bush completely replaced the leadership and brought in the author of the Counterinsurgency Manual, General Petraeus, who was unanimously approved by Congress (just what were you approving if you didn’t like his new strategy, Senator?) The Surge plan is a dramatically different strategy and it is having equally dramatic results. Yet the Democrats want to stop it before it has a chance to succeed. What are you so afraid of? Winning?

The Democrats say there cannot be a military solution, as though it is possible for the Iraqis to implement a political solution when they are under attack, and as though the Iraqis are not attempting anything on the political front.

But Prime Minister Maliki is implementing a political solution: for the first time, he has allowed us into the Shiite areas, into Sadr city. He has given us the Iraqi forces we need to succeed. He has made a firm commitment to go after Shia and Sunni alike if they break the law so that there will be equal justice for all Iraqis.

In al Anbar, Sunni tribal leaders plan to form a national party to oppose al Qaeda:

The announcement came after 200 sheikhs said to represent 50 tribes met in Ramadi and agreed to form a provincial sheikhs' council and hold the first convention in May of their new party, called Iraq Awakening. Sheikhs from three other provinces will attend, organizers said.

The driving force in the new party, Sheikh Abdul-Sattar abu Risha, said the tribal leaders would be pushing a slate of candidates in Anbar provincial elections later this year, as well in the next round of national parliamentary balloting scheduled for 2009.

Maliki is working on deBaathification and oil sharing agreements. He is working on modifications to the Iraqi Constitution. What are these, if not political solutions?


Congressional Democrats have said the Iraqis needed to step up to the plate.

stepping_up.jpg

It would seem the Iraqis are stepping up to the plate. They are facing IEDs and car bombs and bullets. All you are facing is re-election. And so I ask you: when is Congress going step up to the plate and support our men and women under fire?

That's what I would like to know.

Because for several months now, my husband has been over in the middle of that "lost cause" you have so cavalierly written off. Until last week, I didn't think that was anybody's business. I didn't want to politicize what I viewed as a private matter. But you just painted a target on his chest, and you just stabbed families like mine right in the back Senator Reid.

I love my husband.

There is not a day that goes by when I don't wish he was here at home with me. This year, our youngest son will get married. Our oldest boy and his wife will buy their first home and they are expecting our first grandchild. Going to Iraq won't do my husband a bit of good. He is at the end of a long career. He will probably retire shortly after he gets home next year, so there was zero advantage in going over there.

He went, quite simply, because he thought it was the right thing to do. He isn't a starry-eyed kid, someone who fails to think through the consequences. He wasn't even "sent", Senator Reid. He had to fight to go over there. Even at the last minute, the Marine Corps was, in its ineffably funny bureaucratic way, trying to mess with him. And being a warrior, he fought for the right to leave his wife and his family and do his duty. This is why I love him, and why I will always love him. And if he had the chance to come home today, though he misses me just as much as I miss him, he wouldn't take it. Your "hostage" doesn't want your "help", you see.

He renounces you utterly and everything you stand for. And so do I.

And so do these people. This is something you, the protected, will never understand.

But there is one thing we do understand, quite clearly; because contrary to the botched jokes of the Junior Senator from Massachusetts, we are both literate and well informed; the motivation that drives you:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday he plans to continue an aggressive push for an early withdrawal from Iraq and does not particularly care that Republicans will try to paint that position as a lack of support for U.S. forces.

Why? Because “We are going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war,” the Nevada Democrat predicted at a news conference.

Sitting next to him was the man charged with making that happen: Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Charles E. Schumer of New York.

“The war in Iraq is a lead weight attached to their ankle,” Schumer warned, predicting that congressional Democrats will pick up additional Republican votes for Democratic initiatives as the 2008 elections approach.

“We will break them, because they are looking extinction in the eye,” Schumer declared, making no attempt to hide his glee.

And we understand the motivation of the enemy we face:


Salafi-Jihadist groups in Iraq are not merely interested in ending the occupation and are unlikely to rest their activities if and when the occupation will eventually end. As Zarqawi has made clear before his death, his group was “not fighting to chase the occupier out or preserve national unity or keep borders delineated by the infidel intact. We are fighting because it is a religious duty, just as it is a duty to take Shariah law to the government and create an Islamic state.” Everyone who stands in the way of the establishment of the future Caliphate is a heretic—a kaffir—and must be fought. Hence, Salafi-Jihadists target not only the occupiers, but all those who resist the attempt to create an Islamist super-state ruled in accordance with the strictest Salafi-Jihadist tenets.

Despite persistent attempts to distort the truth, the roots of Ansar al-Islam in Iraq predate the Iraq war and the Bush administration. What the Democrats cannot and will not admit is that al Qaeda involvement in Iraq was a known fact and that our invasion of Afghanistan (which they claim to support) made the movement of al Qaeda into Iraq a virtual certainty. How, then, could we let them gain a foothold there?

Ansar al-Islam announced its inception just days before the September 11 attacks on the United States. One month before, leaders of several Kurdish Islamist factions reportedly visited the al-Qa‘ida leadership in Afghanistan[8] seeking to create a base for al-Qa‘ida in northern Iraq.[9] Perhaps they knew that the base in Afghanistan would soon be targeted, following the impending terrorist attacks against U.S. targets.

There were other clear indications that al-Qa‘ida was behind the group's creation. The authors of a document found in Kabul vowed to "expel those Jews and Christians from Kurdistan and join the way of jihad, [and] rule every piece of land … with the Islamic Shari'a rule."[10] The Los Angeles Times, based upon interviews with an Ansar prisoner, also corroborates this, noting that in October 2000, Kurdish Islamist leaders:

sent a guerrilla with the alias Mala Namo and two bodyguards into Iran and then on to bin Laden's camps … When teams began returning from the Afghan camps in 2001 … they carried a message from bin Laden that Kurdish Islamic cells should unite. By that time, a number of al-Qaeda operatives had left Afghanistan and moved to northern Iraq … militant leaders in Kurdistan were replicating al-Qaeda type camps on military training, terrorism, and suicide bombers.[11]

According to several reports, Ansar al-Islam was started with $300,000 to $600,000 in al-Qa‘ida seed money.[12] According to at least three journalistic sources, the group received money from a key cleric in the al-Qa‘ida network, Abu Qatada, based in London.[13] In April 2003, the Los Angeles Times reported that Italian police had wiretapped conversations with an imam from Cremona, Italy, indicating that Syria was serving as a hub for recruits.[14] Some funds reportedly came from Saudi Arabia.[15]

Yet according to Senator Reid, only by giving up to the terrorists can we "win".

Perhaps that is because his definition of winning is markedly different than that of the men and women who currently serve with honor and dignity in our armed forces. I don't know what Senator Reid wants to see happen in Iraq.

I do know what the terrorists want, and I know that by every available measure, including the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group the Democrats urged President Bush to implement just a few months ago (my, is this yet another of their shifting goalposts?), their new legislation is tailor-made to hand it to them on a silver platter. But then James Baker appears to be yet another "prop" the Democrats embraced when it appeared he could be used as a weapon against the Bush administration and then suddenly abandoned when his "advice" was no longer useful to them:

The report does not set timetables or deadlines for the removal of troops, as contemplated by the supplemental spending bills the House and Senate passed. In fact, the report specifically opposes that approach. As many military and political leaders told us, an arbitrary deadline would allow the enemy to wait us out and would strengthen the positions of extremists over moderates. A premature American departure from Iraq, we unanimously concluded, would almost certainly produce greater sectarian violence and further deterioration of conditions in Iraq and possibly other countries.

The goal of the United States should be to help Iraqis achieve national political reconciliation and greater effectiveness of their security forces, the report said, so that Iraqis can assume more of the security mission. This in turn could allow for an orderly departure of U.S. troops. An important way to encourage Iraqis to work together is to hold them to the type of benchmarks that Congress, President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have all considered. If the Iraqi government does not meet those benchmarks, the United States "should reduce its political, military, or economic support for the Iraqi government," the report said. But we did not suggest that this be codified into legislation. The report doesn't recommend a firm deadline for troop removal unless America's military leadership believes that the situation warrants it.

Nothing has happened since the report was released that would justify changing that view. Setting a deadline for withdrawal regardless of conditions in Iraq makes even less sense today because there is evidence that the temporary surge is reducing the level of violence in Baghdad. As Baghdad goes, so goes Iraq. The Iraq Study Group said it could support a short-term surge to stabilize Baghdad or to speed up training and equipping of Iraqi soldiers if the U.S. commander in Iraq determines such steps would be effective. Gen. David Petraeus has so determined.

The president announced a "new way forward" on Jan. 10 that supports much of the approach called for by the Iraq Study Group. He has since said that he is moving to embrace our recommendations. The president's plan increases the number of American advisers embedded in Iraqi army units, with the goal that the Iraqi government will assume control of security in all provinces by November. It outlines benchmarks and indicates that the Iraqi government must act to attain them. He has approved ministerial-level meetings of all of Iraq's neighbors, including Syria and Iran; the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council; and other countries.

Honor up, Senator Reid. Tell us what your plan for victory is.

Or else admit that it is you, not the President, who is holding the troops hostage to a blatantly cynical political agenda.

America is waiting for some straight answers. And we will not forget.

The comments are closed on this thread.

Posted by Cassandra at April 23, 2007 08:05 AM

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Comments

I definitely need to buy you a drink.

Some vacation.

Posted by: KJ at April 23, 2007 10:59 AM

Yeah, well. I got mad.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 11:07 AM

Don't blame you one damned bit for getting mad, Cass.

Posted by: Carrie at April 23, 2007 11:34 AM

Explain to me again why the people that want to bring the troops home are abandoning them, while the people that want to keep them on the firing line, to be shot, bombed, stabbed and generally assaulted in every way, these are the people that support the troops?

Posted by: Fred at April 23, 2007 11:56 AM

Cass--you made my day! In one short read, you've accurately summed up what the chattering class, the endless "debates", the shouting matches on TV "news" programs have failed to do.

Hand--SALUTE!

Posted by: frequent flier at April 23, 2007 11:57 AM

Why explain it to you again, Fred? Can't you read?

Posted by: daveg at April 23, 2007 12:00 PM

America is waiting for some straight answers. And we will not forget.

True, that. I fear, however, that Nevadans will, and they're the only ones that matter in this case.

Posted by: daveg at April 23, 2007 12:01 PM

This one long trip down the rabbit hole.
Check out how the NYT attempts to opine on the issue while maintaining a straight face. Bizarre.

Posted by: spd rdr at April 23, 2007 12:02 PM

I'm with you, Cass.

Let me break it down for you, Fred. The troops are, ta dah, soldiers. Fighting is what they do. And they ALL volunteered to be soldiers. Bringing them home now is abandoning them because they would be unable to complete their mission, and so all the death and pain you want to save them from would have been for effing nothing at all. Does this make any sense to you, you moron!?

Posted by: EssEm at April 23, 2007 12:07 PM

"a coalition led by the most powerful nation in the free world can't defeat what amounts to a disorganized group of terrorists"

Yep. Of course, the "disorganized group of terrorists" are highly motivated, well trained and/or battle hardened, and are fighting in their HOME, for what they percieve to be THEIR freedom.

I know, I know, it's really hard to tell when history is repeating itself...let me help:

Situations where some of the most powerful nations in the world couldn't defeat a bunch of ragtag fighters away from home:

The American Revolution
Britain in Afghanistan (1880's)
Britain in Iraq (1920's)
French in Algeria
US in Vietnam
USSR in Afghanistan
Israel in Lebanon last summer

And this is only a very short list.

It helps to keep history in mind when blathering about how traitorous someone is for reconizing reality.

Posted by: ME at April 23, 2007 12:18 PM

US in Vietnam

False, false, and false, with bullshit tossed in for good measure. The precedent for ignominious and unnecessary surrender by the poltical ass coverers in Congress is not the example you're looking for. In fact, it's the perfect example of why we need to stop them from offereing their craven and self-serving surrender this time.

Posted by: daveg at April 23, 2007 12:22 PM

Fred, you really do need to continue comprehending instead of reacting and emoting. This is what Cass said:(directly after her paraphrasing the good Sen Reid with the abandoning comment)

"You'll simply leave a sizeable contingent of them over there in harm's way without the necessary funding to do their job until 2008. And so, in the "But you just painted a target on his chest, and you just stabbed families like mine right in the back Senator Reid."

One day Fred, you'll get it! But, that day will probably be the worst day in recent western history. And, when you get it, you will be amongst the slavish horde calling for the worst kinds of terror to be rained upon the Jihadis.

Since his thoughtless remark, Reid has taken the deaths of every American and Iraqi on his very own shoulders.

Posted by: CoRev at April 23, 2007 12:22 PM

"And so, in the end, all the lives we've lost will have been spent for no reason. All that sacrifice, all the horror of war for nothing. Nothing gained. Nothing accomplished. What a legacy."

you have unwittingly summed it all up.

Thanks, George, thanks, Dick, for this stupid f***ing war.

Posted by: jvf at April 23, 2007 12:22 PM

Actually, it is widely acknowledged that we were beating the Vietnamese militarily when we CHOSE to withdraw from Vietnam because the DEMOCRATS forced us to.

And then then was wholesale slaughter. Millions were killed. And now we want to repeat that?

/self censored. That was impolite and I apologize.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 12:24 PM

And none of which addresses the good Senator's lovely remark in which he reveals his true motivation for "supporting" the troops by not funding the surge:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday he plans to continue an aggressive push for an early withdrawal from Iraq and does not particularly care that Republicans will try to paint that position as a lack of support for U.S. forces. Why? Because “We are going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war,”

Yep. Military families are just feelin' the love.


Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 12:27 PM

Nor why Congressional Democrats have reversed their earlier demands that President Bush "listen to the Generals" and "listen to the Iraq Study Group recommendations", which as James Baker points out, THE SURGE IS IMPLEMENTING:

The report does not set timetables or deadlines for the removal of troops, as contemplated by the supplemental spending bills the House and Senate passed. In fact, the report specifically opposes that approach. As many military and political leaders told us, an arbitrary deadline would allow the enemy to wait us out and would strengthen the positions of extremists over moderates. A premature American departure from Iraq, we unanimously concluded, would almost certainly produce greater sectarian violence and further deterioration of conditions in Iraq and possibly other countries.

The goal of the United States should be to help Iraqis achieve national political reconciliation and greater effectiveness of their security forces, the report said, so that Iraqis can assume more of the security mission. This in turn could allow for an orderly departure of U.S. troops. An important way to encourage Iraqis to work together is to hold them to the type of benchmarks that Congress, President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have all considered. If the Iraqi government does not meet those benchmarks, the United States "should reduce its political, military, or economic support for the Iraqi government," the report said. But we did not suggest that this be codified into legislation. The report doesn't recommend a firm deadline for troop removal unless America's military leadership believes that the situation warrants it.

Nothing has happened since the report was released that would justify changing that view. Setting a deadline for withdrawal regardless of conditions in Iraq makes even less sense today because there is evidence that the temporary surge is reducing the level of violence in Baghdad. As Baghdad goes, so goes Iraq. The Iraq Study Group said it could support a short-term surge to stabilize Baghdad or to speed up training and equipping of Iraqi soldiers if the U.S. commander in Iraq determines such steps would be effective. Gen. David Petraeus has so determined.

The president announced a "new way forward" on Jan. 10 that supports much of the approach called for by the Iraq Study Group. He has since said that he is moving to embrace our recommendations. The president's plan increases the number of American advisers embedded in Iraqi army units, with the goal that the Iraqi government will assume control of security in all provinces by November. It outlines benchmarks and indicates that the Iraqi government must act to attain them. He has approved ministerial-level meetings of all of Iraq's neighbors, including Syria and Iran; the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council; and other countries.

*CRICKETS CHIRPING*

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 12:30 PM

Continuing on this same course, the GOP are handing the Dems a veto/filibuster proof majority in Congress as well as the WH in '08.

Americans want change, serious change. Not sure why that's so lost on folks. They want timetables. They want benchmarks.

Following Bush is neat and all but over a cliff? Seems dumb to me.

Posted by: Dan at April 23, 2007 12:46 PM

US in Vietnam

It's revisionist history to suggest that we were on the verge of winning but the plug was pulled.

We are definitely NOT on the verge of victory in Iraq. Best case scenario we are treading water. Worst case, things are spinning out of control. Either way, it's not good.

Posted by: jvf at April 23, 2007 12:46 PM

Cass,

Allow me to offer some evidence of one other dimension to the nefarious efforts of Harry Reid. A senior NCO with responsibility for many dozens of junior enlisted tells me that the impact of this steady diet of democrat surrender talk is reaching the battlefield in another way. Morale is being compromised directly because the (mostly quite young) families of the junior enlisted are pressuring these folks to get out of the Army. The families feel despair because they don't hear anything about the successes (thanks to the horrible job of reporting being done), deployments have gotten longer, and now politicians with no skin in the game and no basis in fact are declaring the effort lost. I am certain that it doesn't take most who are familiar with the strains of military life to see that this combination of forces can wear down just about anyone.

Now, put that spouse on the phone on a bad day back on post and what do you think will happen? That soldier will come away from the phone in worse shape than before the call. Senior NCO's (and probably alert officers, too) now have a morale problem being exported from back home.

Harry Reid can claim to 'support the troops' all he wants. The truth is quite the opposite. In the end, it behooves those with insight into the terrible consequences of his actions to point out (as you have so eloquently done) his hypocrisy and the crass political nature of his claims. Democratic politicians of another generation would be disgusted by the spectacle we have seen in Washington, D.C., courtesy of the Senate Majority Leader. He is a small man, and his day is coming....

Posted by: Bob at April 23, 2007 12:49 PM

Fred,
Mogadishu ring a bell?

Obviously not.

Get a grip or get a life.

Or let me put it another way: Your pet causes will not have the money to support them if we support the troops by giving them what they need to finish the job they were asked to do.

So, who would you rather see get undercut? A whiny snot nosed brat who thinks they are entitled but is too lazy to get a job and is therefore a victim of some imagined slight or the Iraqi people who are finally able to know what freedom is instead of abandoning them to the tender mercies of an insurgency that will cripple them for years. A strong united STABLE country who can take care of themselves is my choice.

But that's just me. Your mileage may vary.

Posted by: Cricket at April 23, 2007 12:50 PM

And Harry Reid has another base he will alienate if he isn't careful. I know but it sounds almost strange and I nearly posted on it this morning, but decided not to because it sounded so far fetched. I don't think so now.

But who knows.

Posted by: Cricket at April 23, 2007 12:52 PM

you have unwittingly summed it all up.

Well, yeah, if you wittingly ignore the other 2000+ words of context in the post. Let's all play that game:

we were on the verge of winning but the plug was pulled.

Thanks, glad you finally see the light.

Posted by: daveg at April 23, 2007 12:56 PM

Yeah, jvf. You spend so much time there. Got it.

Bob, the biggest problem we generally have with families is morale and rumor control and you're right, jerks like Reid (and the a$$ who leaked the possible extension of tours which did NOT apply to everyone before unit commanders had a chance to tell their own troops, which was the RIGHT way to handle it) was just devastating. What an absolutely despicable thing to do to military families separated from their loved ones. But if you are a shameless political partisan you'll do anything that helps your side no matter who it hurts.

It's not as if these people wouldn't have been told. They would have. But instead they got blindsided and felt betrayed. And they were betrayed, by someone whose government thought he could be trusted with sensitive information.

Partisanship knows no bounds - these people will use military families any way they can to score points. Shameless. Just shameless.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 01:00 PM

Sorry, Bob, it is not talk of lost wars by congressional leaders that gets the families of deployed soldiers down, it is the reality of the war itself. My son is a PFC currently stationed in Ramadi. He posponed his wedding in 2006 when his deployment was moved up from December to August. They rescheduled to November of 2007 only to learn 2 weeks ago that his deployment has extended and instead of coming home in August he is coming home in November. Calling his fiance and telling her that the wedding had to be delayed again hurt his moral more than anything Harry Ried has to say. It is not the lack of "good news" coming out if Iraq than makes his future wife not want him to re-enlist, it is the news he relays to her. He now has 3 more months of snipers, IEDs RPGs, and truck bombs to survive before he is home safe. That is the reality of his life, not the so-called "good news" we do not hear about.

Posted by: carol H at April 23, 2007 01:00 PM

Carol, I've been affiliated with the military all my life.

Your son's fiancee has been doing this for how long now? I watched my Mom go through my Dad's deployment to Vietnam, so don't lecture me about how military families handle war. During WWII people were gone for years on end. It happens. War is difficult, and there is no pretending it isn't.

I've gone through several one-year deployments in my husband's over twenty-five year career. If she means to marry a Marine she needs to understand that a soldier's life is that way. That is what he signed up for. There are no guarantees, and if she is going to cry and give up every time a tour is extended, especially during wartime, their marriage will never make it.

I know mine never would have.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 01:06 PM

And by the way, the Marines for the most part have it pretty good. We rotate our guys over for 7 months vice the Army's one year tours. We make every effort to get our guys home to their families soon. But war is war. And my husband is over for longer than seven months, and I am not complaining.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 01:09 PM

carol H,

I am sorry to hear about sacrifices of this sort. It is little consolation that your family isn't the only one bearing these burdens. A colleague down the hall is rescheduling a wedding now, too. The fiance's unit is in a very difficult area. I understand and appreciate the extra burden here. It has to affect morale...and for the worse.

My point is that the shameless behavior of Harry Reid has other serious, negative consequences. It isn't his place to make such pronouncements, and I don't believe for one minute he really gives a tinker's damn about those who serve in harm's way. His own remarks damn his intentions.

Meanwhile back in the field, we have soldiers who are fighting on two fronts: one because it is their job and the other because of Harry Reid and the low-life dirtbag who leaked news of the extension.

I hope your son is home soon and in one piece. I have two sons-in-law who are OIF veterans and one of them is on his way to Afghanistan before long.

Posted by: Bob at April 23, 2007 01:10 PM

Dan, answer me this:

If the Dems truly have a mandate and the American people truly want benchmarks and firm withdrawal deadlines, then why did both houses have to lard their bills with pork to get them passed?

They ought to have the votes to get them through with flying colors, no?

Gosh. I'm so confused. Just where *is* all this mysterious will of the people?

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 01:13 PM

"Just where *is* all this mysterious will of the people?

It's been subverted by BushHitler and his minions, didn't you know that?

Posted by: Sly2017 at April 23, 2007 01:30 PM

Cass,

My informal sense is that there certainly was a time in the U.S. when a politician interested in reelection wouldn't have dared to act as Harry Reid has. Why the change in behavior?

It might be argued that politics is simply much more disgusting than it once was (I think it has deteriorated in my 52 years). I suppose that there are a host of potential reasons. I do wonder if the all-volunteer basis of the armed services plays a role in this. There are remarkably few families that actually bear the burdens of national defense. If there aren't many of them, they can be ignored by politicians who seek to be reelected.

This isn't an argument for a draft or universal service (that is a separate issue), but it is noticeable to me how few Americans actually have any skin in the game...and how easily politicians ignore their welfare.

Posted by: Bob at April 23, 2007 01:31 PM

The mysterious will of 3,000 Montanans makes a "mandate?" Hmmmm.

I am not going to argue that harry Reid is a traitor (in fact, I don't think the word has been tossed around by anyone other than those coming to the Senator's defense). I do believe, however, that sending a bill to the President that he has absolutely promised to veto, and doing so while fully aware that the veto will be easily sustained, is not leadership, but partisanship. Stop wasting time, Reid. There are lives at stake.

Posted by: spd rdr at April 23, 2007 01:35 PM

"then why did both houses have to lard their bills with pork to get them passed?"

prior Iraq war bills were also larded with pork. this is no different...

There is nothing "mysterious" about the will of the people. I don't think you realize how deeply unpopular Bush is. People in this country are really down on Bush and co. They feel that they've been sold a bill of goods as far as the war goes. As an earlier poster said, it's looking like Dems are going to get, at a minimum, veto proof majorities in both houses plus probably the White House as well. This is incredible since as recently as '05 the Republicans seemed invincible. Not now.

Posted by: jvf at April 23, 2007 01:38 PM

Then let these supposed "veto-proof majorities" that even members of your own party like Charles Rangel (that rabid Bushie partisan) admit DON'T EXIST pass a bill that ends this war.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 01:41 PM

Congress is also deeply unpopular :p Their approval rating is just about the same as the President's, and fluctuates just as wildly from week to week. I know. I track both.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 01:43 PM

It's a long way to go until Novemeber '08, jvf. I know that many AMericans don't like George Bush, but he isn't running. I wouldn't count those chickens quite yet.

Posted by: spd rdr at April 23, 2007 01:43 PM

"All that sacrifice, all the horror of war for nothing. Nothing gained. Nothing accomplished. What a legacy."

It is a mistake to sacralize a policy because people have died for it. The decision to use and military force must be based on reason and a cost-benefit analysis. If Iraq and American interests can be secured at the cost of 20,000 American casualties, that is acceptable. If those interests cannot be secured, then even 200 is a waste. But at no point can one say that apart from all other interests and calculations we must continue so we don't betray those who have already died. No war is started >for

The surge may or may not work. I know that most of the entry above addresses that issue, and the sentences I quote are just a small part. But it is a position I've seen before, and I feel must be addressed. The decisions about proceeding must be based soley on the utility of surge, not on how many lives have been lost. Harsh as it may seem, those lives are simply the cost of war, but I think most soldiers understand that.

Posted by: IanC at April 23, 2007 01:49 PM

Dan, answer me this:

If the Dems truly have a mandate and the American people truly want benchmarks and firm withdrawal deadlines, then why did both houses have to lard their bills with pork to get them passed?

They ought to have the votes to get them through with flying colors, no?


Why are you confused? The vast majority of the country is in favor of federal funding of stem cell research too but they didn't get it past the WH. This is not a direct democracy so regardless of what the people want, specific congressmen and women can ignore the will of those people.

Let me ask you something in return Cass.

Which direction do you think the voters were hoping the country would go in this last November?

The direction of Republicans or the direction of the Democrats?

Keep in mind Bush's approval rating is still at 32% and has been for some time.

Posted by: Dan at April 23, 2007 01:49 PM

I don't think you realize how deeply unpopular Bush is.

Being as we live in a representative republic and not American Idol, I don't think you realize how little that matters until November, 2008.

BTW, how popular was Clinton when we went into Bosnia, where we still have troops today?

How popular was it to have troops stay in Korea, Germany and Japan after the end of hostilities?

How hard is it to have them there today, particularly given that Korea is a remote assignment and families stay here?

When did mob-mentality popularism become the law of the land?

When did non sequitors become valid debating points?

When will I stop with the damned hypothetical questions?

Posted by: daveg at April 23, 2007 01:50 PM

Check this one out all you heroes


A Note From An Angry Soldier - Best-of craigslist

Posted by: fred at April 23, 2007 01:51 PM

The decisions about proceeding must be based soley on the utility of surge, not on how many lives have been lost.

Then is it not a little premature (or immature, I suppose) to surrender now, before the results are even in?

Posted by: daveg at April 23, 2007 01:52 PM

Fred -

I assume that you will spend the rest of your afternoon linking to letters from troops that take the opposing viewpoint.

Or not.

Posted by: daveg at April 23, 2007 01:54 PM

Sorry, I screwed up my post above. After "for", it should continue:

the soldiers, so no war should be continued for them. To think otherwise would result in no-one ever surrenduring. Pro-confederate guerrillas, for example, would still be fighting in the Appalachian hills, based on the number of predecessors who died. We certainly calculate that the "military" we face in Iraq will at some point realize that "they've lost" and will either fade away or negotiate. We hope that they do not think that they must fight until all their dead comrads are avenged or redeemed.

A thousand apologies for messing up the post...

Posted by: IanC at April 23, 2007 01:59 PM

There is nothing mysterious about the "will" of the people. It was made manifest in the last election. Sadly there is nothing new with pork laden bills.Which is why many Presidents,democrat and republican have asked for the line item veto.
As military families remember that this is a civilian led government. The military serves the will of the people and if the people decide that a given conflict is no longer something they support then so be it.
Ask members of both parties what the definition of winning means in Iraq. They will be forced to abstractions and carefully worded rebuttals instead of concrete answers that give people confidence because no one knows what to do.
You claim that Reid is motivated by politics along with Schumer. Yet this blog reflects that same cynical politics. You show total disdain for the democrat response to the war.Perhaps Reid and Pelosi are wrong but then that is an unknown. What we do know is that what has happened up to this point has been disastrous. You should be showing an even greater contempt for Rumsfeld, Feith, Wolfowitz and the American Enterprise Institute.
Stop looking to score political points and deal with the fact that there is no end in sight to this war.

Posted by: Thomas Paine in the neck at April 23, 2007 02:11 PM

Ah, polls. From the SF Chronicle, well known Conservative Talking Point Rag:

One might ask: Has House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., acquitted herself well in her nearly four months in office? Democratic partisans will, of course, loyally defend her recent trip to Syria, but Republican partisans, demoralized for so long, now have a tempting Democratic target.

Meanwhile, Americans in the middle, influenced by centrist voices such as the Washington Post's editorial page, probably think there's something a little inappropriate in Pelosi's crowding onto the foreign-policy turf of the executive branch.

How about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who has worked so hard to impose a timetable on U.S. involvement in Iraq?

Reid wanted to use congressional budget authority to oppose Bush's war plans, but instead he has gotten himself crosswise with the Pentagon service chiefs, all four of whom joined April 9 to write a "16-star" letter to Congress, warning, "Further delay in congressional approval of money to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ... will have a profoundly negative impact on current combat operations." In wartime politics, it's risky to go against the wisdom of the warriors. Yet, that's exactly what the Democrats are doing. That is, many Americans who oppose the Iraq war are nonetheless inclined to see something squirrelly about congressional attempts to "micromanage" the fighting.

So here's the bottom line: In politics, popularity is relative. The parties are judged not by themselves, but in relation to each other. The president doesn't look so good. But if the Congress doesn't look so good either -- then the president isn't in such bad shape.

Posted by: daveg at April 23, 2007 02:15 PM

You show total disdain for the democrat response to the war.

Untrue. She shows total disdain for the transparently cynical Democratic response to the war. There's a difference.

Posted by: daveg at April 23, 2007 02:17 PM

The last Congressional election was not a referendum on the war, no matter how hard you try to make it into one.

And if the Democrats want to put up a straight bill on the war and vote on it and it passes, military families will abide by it. But the Democrat leadership HAS ADMITTED THEY DO NOT HAVE THE VOTES FOR SUCH A BILL TO PASS. PERIOD. THEREFORE IT IS NOT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.

PERIOD

END OF STORY.

And it is written right into the Constitution -- one of those wonderful "checks and balances" you Dems LOVE to talk about - - that if the President wants to, he can veto any bill passed by Congress. And if the Congress HAS THE VOTES, WHICH THEY DO NOT, THEN THEY CAN OVERRIDE HIS VETO AND IT WILL BECOME LAW.

You all can parse and bullshit your way around this issue all you want to, but the fact remains: you don't have the votes to pass a bill to end the war, the Constitution says the President can veto this legislation, this is the way the Founders intended for things to operated and the President has been INCREDIBLY SPARING with vetoes.

So get over it.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 02:20 PM

daveq

Yes, describing the surge as a work in progress is a plausible position. Not a certain one, but a plausible one.

Posted by: IanC at April 23, 2007 02:23 PM

"Being as we live in a representative republic and not American Idol, I don't think you realize how little that (bush's 32% approval rating) matters until November, 2008."

Of course it matters....when you have Republican reps and sens openly defying the president, when you have the wheels falling off of the Administration, it matters. And in our time, for better or worse, it's always campaign season. So yeah, it matters.

Posted by: jvf at April 23, 2007 02:23 PM

Ian, I very much agree with you there.

And actually jvf, it doesn't really matter in the end unless y'all can muster the votes to override this veto, does it?

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 02:25 PM

Most of our guys that were killed in Vietnam were killed after we knew the war was lost. Keep up the good work guys and hope your kid is not one of the last.

Posted by: Uglycecil at April 23, 2007 02:26 PM

Pretty ugly, Cecil.
Try this: Most of our guys WHO were killed in Vietnam..."

Plus, you are flat out wrong. I suggest you pay attention in history class.

Posted by: spd rdr at April 23, 2007 02:31 PM

I was there you were probably in class.

Posted by: Uglycecil at April 23, 2007 02:32 PM

When we went into Bosnia Clinton has a 62% approval rating, as opposed to the 33% approval rating Bush has today.

Posted by: carol H at April 23, 2007 02:33 PM

What does that have to do with anything Carol?

And oh by the way, we're still in Bosnia. Just what IS our exit strategy for THAT quagmire? And now Democrat geniuses like Joe Biden are calling for us to leave Iraq so we can intervene in ... gosh, where is it? Darfur?

There's a recipe for disaster where we have NO national interest. I can hardly wait. If I were you, I wouldn't have your son plan that wedding just yet - I hear the Dems are supposed to win in '08. Yippeeeee!!!!

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 02:34 PM

Untrue. She shows total disdain for the transparently cynical Democratic response to the war. There's a difference.

So then finally let us hear the republican time frame for the war.

Posted by: Thomas Paine in the neck at April 23, 2007 02:36 PM

Cass wrote:

The last Congressional election was not a referendum on the war, no matter how hard you try to make it into one.

Thanks for that Cass. Now answer my questions cuz you seemed to have missed them.

Which direction do you think the voters were hoping the country would go in this last November?

The direction of Republicans or the direction of the Democrats?

Keep in mind Bush's approval rating is still at 32% and has been for some time.

Posted by: Dan at April 23, 2007 02:38 PM

Gosh Thomas.

I am really struggling here.

Let's just announce to the insurgents how long they need to plan for until we will pack up and leave. That's brilliant military thinking. Come to think of it, that's what we did in WWI, WWII... every war since the dawn of time. Congress voted on a hard and fast timetable going in and we published it in the New York Times.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 02:39 PM

Cass, I am glad that you have remained married to a Marine for many years but you are not everyone. My future DIL does not want my son to re-enlist because it is so difficult having him in harms way for so many months. He is in Ramadi doing very dangerous work and it is hard for all of us. When he told me about his extension he said that he wished he had chosen the Marines instead of the Army because their deployments are shorter. He says that 7 away and 6 home would be so much better than the 15 away 12 home they are looking at right now. He says that his first sargeant has been offered a very large bonus for re-enlistment but has decided not to take it. He has told my son that he lost his marriage because of all the deployments and that his neices and nephews are growing up without him and he is not willing to do that any longer. Argue against me all you want but it will not change the reality of the situation. Long deployments in war zones hurt morale much more than anything politicians in Washington have to say.

Posted by: carol H at April 23, 2007 02:39 PM

In case you weren't paying attention Dan, BUSH DIDN'T RUN IN THE LAST ELECTION. IT WASN'T A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. Did you, perchance, notice that?

Keep in mind that Congress's approval rating has been hovering at just about the same levels and has been for some time. Every now and then it pops us again (as does Bush's, I might add, briefly) and then heads right back into the toilet. And your point would be???

Yeah. I thought so. Nowhere in the Constitution does it mention opinion polls.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 02:42 PM

My future DIL does not want my son to re-enlist because it is so difficult having him in harms way for so many months. He is in Ramadi doing very dangerous work and it is hard for all of us.

I'm gonna say this 'cause Cassandra won't...

And those who spend their lives married to a deployable military man do it because it's just not as hard for them as it is for others.

/sarcasm

Posted by: FbL at April 23, 2007 02:46 PM

The fundamental problem with our adventure in Iraq is its incoherence. Who are we fighting exactly? The Baathists? Fundamentalist Sunni's? Secularists who aren't crazy about selling Iraqi oil cheap? Pro-Iranian Shia? Anti-Iranian Shia? All of the above? If there was somebody to beat up, we'd have a chance. Against chaos, all the technology simply makes things worse. We're destroying a nation for nothing at all.

Our policy has obvious analogies with the recent policies of Israel--small wonder since many of the Neocons who promoted the Iraqi war also worked with or for the right wing in Israel. In both cases, the result has been similar. A militarily terrible power pulverizes its opponents without much regard for established standards of international behavior and is then surprised to discover that there's nobody left standing who can make a deal. As the saying goes, "It's worse than a crime. It's a mistake."

Posted by: Jim Harrison at April 23, 2007 02:47 PM

The wonderful thing about the Democrats is that they have that wonderful ability to find the most obnoxious people possible to be visible. All I pray for is good health for Pelosi and Reid. By November of 2008, their puke factor should be well oiled and running true to form. That being the case, I do believe that the Dems should enjoy their majority while they have it.

If memory serves me correctly, the media was hyping how the new Dems in Congress were mostly centerist or to the right. That being the case, they should put up or shut up. Should they choose to toe the party line, someone should remind them that they have not been around long enough to build that voter loyalty incumbents have been rewarded with for so long. Remember the last time the Dems had a rather short stint of running things in the Senate? Fortunately for us all, the demographics cover more than just the San Francisco Bay area.

Posted by: RIslander at April 23, 2007 02:48 PM

Watch the video below for the perspective of a currently deployed soldier on the Iraq war.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM0E-EKasxo

Posted by: carol H at April 23, 2007 02:48 PM

As opposed to a rethug plan that seems to involve pissing away money with no oversight, not funding the troops or hospitals to the fullest, and of course 4 YEARS WITH NO PLAN!

Posted by: madmatt at April 23, 2007 02:50 PM

Carol, I agree with you. And I am very sorry.

Not everyone is suited for military life. It is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. Believe me, I know. I also happen to know that the reenlistment rates of most combat units are still very, very high.

I also happen to know that after the war, my bet is that many, many of these people will get out. That is sad. But it is a fact of life. This war has taken a heavy, heavy toll. I don't deny that. No one does.

My father in law did two tours in Vietnam. Many of my readers are Vietnam vets. Some are Gulf I vets and many have done tours in what we affectionately call Mordor.

I've attended funerals. So have my friends. It sucks.

So we don't need someone like Cecil to tell us about the cost. We know about the cost all too well. But that was a known quantity, and it is really insulting to hear politicians talk about us as though we are stupid because we don't agree with them. We're not victims. Volunteers aren't victims. Some may have made a bad bargain, but we live in a free society, Carol. And we all - all of us -- are so damned lucky. Some of us pay a greater cost than others for the freedoms we enjoy, BUT NOT ONE OF US IS FORCED TO PAY THAT COST. NOT ONE.

Those who pay, chose. One way, or the other. And it is a lie and an insult to belittle that. No one guaranteed anything, not "7 month tours" or anything else, when they signed on. People really need to stop with the victimization game. Yes, it can be hard. But the military is also a good life in many ways and we don't appreciate being patronized by people who don't understand us and what we stand for, by and large.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 02:51 PM

Carol,
First...let's address the morale issue:
http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,132079,00.html

Military divorce rates are no higher now than they were 4 years ago.

Second...reenlistment rates would be an indicator as well of morale and I believe that I've read that they are through the roof. Pretty sure that Cassandra has written about them but you could do your own research as well.

As to Cass not being everybody, my dear...neither are you.

I am sorry that your son's unit has been extended. I am very well aware of just how hard it is to have a loved one in harm's way. I hope when he comes home that he and your future DIL have a lovely wedding and a good life together.

Posted by: Carrie at April 23, 2007 02:51 PM

"No, Senator. You'll never abandon our troops.
You'll simply leave a sizeable contingent of them over there in harm's way without the necessary funding to do their job until 2008. And so, in the end, all the lives we've lost will have been spent for no reason. All that sacrifice, all the horror of war for nothing. Nothing gained. Nothing accomplished. What a legacy."

Agreed. So let's end the war now and get ALL the troops out of harm's way. Unless you think 200 people killed in one day shows we're winning.

Posted by: Alex at April 23, 2007 02:53 PM

And what is the Dem plan Matt? Approve a new General and then take away his authority and funding?

There's a winner. And by the way, CONGRESS FUNDS. AND YOU ALL ARE IN CHARGE. When we were in charge we were 'pissing money away'. Now you are in charge and there is no money, but you want to "leave some troops there".

O-kay.

*crickets chirping*

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 02:57 PM

I restate for clarity. What is the republican time frame for the war?
You have roundly criticized Reid for the democrate time frame. So what is the plan? Or are you just cynically carping for political gain?

Posted by: Thomas Paine in the neck at April 23, 2007 02:58 PM

GWB doesn't have to veto whatever funding bill comes before him - why can't he just append a "signing statement" that says he will implement the "withdrawal" part of the bill as he sees fit consistent with his Presidential responsibilities. These signing statements have been good enough for many, many other bills; why can't one be used now for the funding bill? If GWB wants the funding for the war (and I think he should have it, because it's his project), he should just take the funding bill as it is (when it reaches him, I mean), and issue a signing statement about the withdrawal, rather than holding the funding and the soldiers hostage to his dislike of the withdrawal language. Can someone tell me why GWB can't or shouldn't do that?

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 03:00 PM

carping for political gain?

Yeah...she's a Republican first and a wife second.

Christ almighty...pull your head out of your arse.

Posted by: Carrie at April 23, 2007 03:01 PM

Mark, I honestly think that with a Democrat majority if he tried that they'd try to impeach him. I don't think that's right, or that it would necessarily succeed, but why go there?

A veto is something that can't really be questioned. I think that is a legacy of the bitterness and the irresponsible rhetoric that has been employed for the past 6 years, and to answer your question, I don't think he'd hesitate to use a signing statement if the partisans in Congress hadn't pitched such a fit about Executive overrreach and signing statements in the past. Personally I think it's a perfectly legitimate tactic, but it's off the table.

Talk about unintended consequences.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 03:06 PM

And just to show you that he's been forced to it Mark, he hasn't wanted to veto legislation. That is NOT his tactic of choice.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 03:07 PM

So let's end the war now and get ALL the troops out of harm's way.

Hey Alex - I keep saying that. If Congress can muster the votes I would have to accept that and so would the President. So where is your leadership?

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 03:09 PM

"So where is your leadership?"

Counting how many Senate seats they might gain continuing down this insulting, short sighted path they are on...

Posted by: Carrie at April 23, 2007 03:11 PM

-No, Senator. You'll never abandon our troops.

You'll simply leave a sizeable contingent of them over there in harm's way without the necessary funding to do their job until 2008.


Thats kinda funny, especially when you consider the extent that the war profiteers/private contarctors are blleding the militayr dry.

Of 100 Billion spent by the Bush admin to fund the war you can certainly guarantee that AT LEAST 99.9 billion of it is going sirectly into the pockets of these criminals..


Give me a brake

Posted by: Sinnerjizm at April 23, 2007 03:15 PM

Nobody has undertaken impeachment in response to the other signing statements. If GWB would let concern about impeachment discourage him from issuing a signing statement, wouldn't that mean he's put his legacy on one side of the scale and the lives of the soldiers in the other? And what benefit would anyone receive from the unquestionability of the veto as compared to the receipt of the funding which we're hearing is so urgently needed? And "pardon my French", but screw concern about Congress and its fit-pitching - if the President and his generals make the decisions about how to conduct the war (as compared to the Congressional declaration of war), any "withdrawal" language will be advisory at best. Sure, Congress is trying to draw a line in the sand, but if the "withdrawal" language is only advisory and/or can be made only advisory with a signing statement (and let's drop the worry about "pork" - it's as ubiquitous in legislation as is bovine excrement in a pasture), then the threat to veto is a political tactic and not one essential to the safety of the troops or their mission. GWB wouldn't play politics with something as important as the safety of the troops and/or their mission, just for political tactical reasons, would he?

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 03:17 PM

If there is a supposed problem with troop morale why are the Democrats so afraid of the military vote? Dems asked for a change in how the war was being fought. When the change came, and before it could be fully implemented, they said the change was a failure. Reid even had the audacity to say the war was lost, but still, I can't call him what he actually is.

As things now stand, Clinton will get the Democratic nomination in '08. Given her overall popularity ratings, I will be cheering as loudly as the Dems on the night she receives the nomination.

Posted by: RIslander at April 23, 2007 03:17 PM

"Of 100 Billion spent by the Bush admin to fund the war you can certainly guarantee that AT LEAST 99.9 billion of it is going sirectly into the pockets of these criminals.."

Of course..you have documentation and can cite sources to show that 99.9 billion is going to them.

Posted by: Carrie at April 23, 2007 03:18 PM

"Give me a brake. Posted by: Sinnerjizm at April 23, 2007 03:15 PM"

Careful, sinner - we might take that brake and break you hear open with it.

Posted by: The Grammar Police at April 23, 2007 03:19 PM

" ... Careful, sinner - we might take that brake and break you HEAR open with it."

Sheesh! We can't even count on the freakin' Grammar Police to get things right!

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 03:21 PM

Mark..
I opted to ignore that...:)

Posted by: Carrie at April 23, 2007 03:23 PM

This blogger is a classic knee jerk partisan. I have asked several times for an answer to the question she herself does not ask. She would rather devote her energy to denigrating her political opponents than to asking the very people she voted for what is the time frame and when is my husband coming home?
Billions of dollars and thousands of lives later she will continue to attack democrats and absolve the president and his party from committing to a time frame any time frame. and if you are satisfied with the "this will embolden the enemy" response then you are the most insipid brand of partisan alive

Posted by: Thomas Paine in the neck at April 23, 2007 03:26 PM

Dems love to cite history. Fine, what happened in Southeast Asia the last time we listened to what you folks had to say? Why can't we call someone a traitor? So called celebrities can joke about killing Republicans on talk shows and there doesn't seem to be any sort of moral problem.

The only thing I have seen change with the Democratic party line is that they have learned to not publicly condemn the troops. Doing so did, rather quickly, backfire on them during the first Gulf War.

If I listened to the Democrats, I'd be believing that Communist Russia collapsed because they had finally seen the light. Hmmm, I don't think so.

Posted by: RIslander at April 23, 2007 03:28 PM

Actually, if you can't wrap your little head around the fact that putting up an artificial timeline ACTUALLY WILL embolden Al Qaeda, et al, YOU have more issues than could ever be dealt with on a blog.
Any blog.

Posted by: Carrie at April 23, 2007 03:30 PM

Time frame for ending a conflict? It's when the other guy gives up.

Posted by: RIslander at April 23, 2007 03:30 PM

She would rather devote her energy to denigrating her political opponents than to asking the very people she voted for what is the time frame and when is my husband coming home?

What do you not get an answer? Because that's a stupid question. We don't control the timeline, the enemy does. In other words, when they give up or die and things are stabilized enough for the Iraqis to handle the situation themselves, then the American military comes home.

Posted by: FbL at April 23, 2007 03:33 PM

Give me a brake

I'd rather give you a dictionary.

Posted by: daveg at April 23, 2007 03:33 PM

Heh. Good answer, RIslander. Very succinct. :)

Posted by: FbL at April 23, 2007 03:34 PM

Hey Dave..
Could you give him that dictionary sirectly?

Posted by: Carrie at April 23, 2007 03:36 PM

GWB wouldn't play politics with something as important as the safety of the troops and/or their mission, just for political tactical reasons, would he?

No Mark, I don't believe he would. And unlike you, I have met the man and looked him in the eye. More than once. And having done that, I have utter confidence that he would never do something like that.

And unlike you I've gotten up at 4 am for more than 3 years and worked my butt off to support what we're trying to do because I want a better life for my children and grandchildren. And unlike you, my husband's life literally depends on my being right. So you see I have rather a lot invested in this and so I have examined and reexamined, many times, the possibility that I could be wrong, not the least of which times have been occasioned by some of the very ugly and disturbing things you've sent me. But I didn't need those because I've seen plenty of that sort of thing on my own.

I don't need the gratuitous insults of closeminded people who assume anyone who disagrees with their narrowminded view of life can only be a deluded BushBot. Maybe I just looked at the facts and came to a different conclusion than yours. Maybe my life experience has been much, much different than yours.

It doesn't make me a "knee jerk partisan", or stupid, or immoral, or bad, or a ranting neocon fascist Jew lover or any of the horrible things I hear Republicans called all the time.

It does make me wonder why Thomas Paine can't read comments. I did answer his question. No war has a fixed end date up front. Learn to read, son. I hear it's fundamental.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 03:36 PM

Brilliant! "artificial time frame" you can't even come up with your own verbiage. OK how about an "organic time frame" will that work? It does not surprise me in the least that you find no time frame a satisfying answer. So that means never having to hold them accountable.
Do you find the militias are not currently emboldened? The suicide attacks aren't bold enough for you?
This "other guy" lives there and will never give up.

Posted by: Thomas Paine in the neck at April 23, 2007 03:38 PM

I did answer him, Fbl. At 02:39 PM. He just didn't like the answer he received.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 03:39 PM

Artificial is used as it does not reflect reality.

Could it possibly be that the militias are emboldened and suicide attacks increased because of the statements by Reid and others?

Oh no..of course not.

Silly me.

Posted by: Carrie at April 23, 2007 03:41 PM

You fight wars until you accomplish your objective, not with an egg timer, Thomas.

That you even bother to ask such an idiotic question just shows how stupid it is to involve Congress in a military matter.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 03:41 PM

And as to the matter of a non-ending war, I have also addressed that, several times. Of course you conveniently ignore that also BECAUSE YOU CAN'T GIVE ME AN ANSWER FOR MY QUESTION, WHICH I REPEAT:

So let's end the war now and get ALL the troops out of harm's way.

Hey ... - I keep saying that. If Congress can muster the votes I would have to accept that and so would the President. So where is your leadership?

*crickets chirping*

You don't have the votes.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 03:44 PM

Who will rid us of this troublesome democracy?

Posted by: Thomas Beckett at April 23, 2007 03:45 PM

"No Mark, I don't believe he would. And unlike you, I have met the man and looked him in the eye. More than once. And having done that, I have utter confidence that he would never do something like that."

you mean just like Bush looked Putin in the eye?

Hilarious.

Posted by: jvf at April 23, 2007 03:46 PM

War reaches a critical mass and begins to show a direction. All wars have a lifespan. That lifespan is built on a multitude of indicators. Among them is the will of the people supporting it. Another is the will of the people being attacked. A third is the economic hardship it creates on all parties.
To decide as a citizen of this great republic that you will engage in war without end is to bring us to our collective knees. We have done what we can for the people of Iraq. Your husband has done and is doing the best he can but it is not his or our war anymore.
The militias must stopped by their own countrymen. Al Quaeda must be routed by the citizens of Iraq. It is time your husband came home and let them decide their own fate.

Posted by: Thomas Paine in the neck at April 23, 2007 03:47 PM

It's a republic but don't let facts get in your way.

Cass, FbL..
Where did we put our thigh high jackboots and brown shirts? Our cover has been blown.

Posted by: Carrie at April 23, 2007 03:47 PM

Perhaps the comment "GWB wouldn't play politics with something as important as the safety of the troops and/or their mission, just for political tactical reasons, would he?" was a bit too snide. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa (pounding on chest with fisted hand). But I think my point is valid: let GWB accept the funding bill and issue a signing statement - that's the quickest way to get the money. Sure, Congress is trying to make a political point - but GWB can just as easily stand up to say that he rejects Congress's advisory language as a matter of law and separation of powers.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 03:55 PM

Thomas, what personal or economic hardship have YOU faced because of this war? Did your tax burden suddenly increase? Did the IRS come confiscate more of your property this year because this nation is struggling under the incredible financial burden of this war?

I am so sick of folks who have no personal investment in this war complaining about being "tired" of it. Carol has a right to complain. Cass has a right to complain. Anyone with family members or who themselves are deployed have a right to complain. The rest of this country who are "tired" of the war are really not "war weary" so much as tired of hearing about it.

Posted by: MikeD at April 23, 2007 03:55 PM

"The Iraqis aren't ready yet to take on the job of securing Iraq against al Qaeda and other outside forces trying to destabilize the region."



but...



"It would seem the Iraqis are stepping up to the plate. They are facing IEDs and car bombs and bullets."



So which is it?



"You'll simply leave a sizeable contingent of them over there in harm's way without the necessary funding to do their job until 2008."



That's a lie as the funding allows for ongoing operations and removal. They will not be left behind. They will be removed from a situation they never should have been in.



"all the lives we've lost will have been spent for no reason. All that sacrifice, all the horror of war for nothing. Nothing gained. Nothing accomplished. What a legacy."



Blame it on Bush, if that's the way you see it since he was the one who insisted the threat was real and imminent even though the UN was turning up nothing and the military, defense analysts, and intelligence professionals all said that what is happening now would happen... before it all started. You want to be sure their sacrifice has not been in vain? Get them out and then fight to ensure that no president will ever have the authority to send our forces into harm's way unless it is vital for our defense.



"the motivation that drives you"



You may want to look into Rove's speech to a bunch of GOP constituents a year before the war began, and another soon after, where he states that this war would bring long-lasting political gains for the GOP... nothing about how correct the actions were or needed, just that they would play well politically.



"Despite persistent attempts to distort the truth, the roots of Ansar al-Islam in Iraq predate the Iraq war and the Bush administration. What the Democrats cannot and will not admit is that al Qaeda involvement in Iraq was a known fact and that our invasion of Afghanistan (which they claim to support) made the movement of al Qaeda into Iraq a virtual certainty."



Lies. Zarqawi was there before the war in a protected position because he was thought useful with his anti-Iran operations. There were no established links between Hussein and Al Qaeda as noted in dozens of reports. And, since Iran is considered heretical to Al Qaeda, how would they flee from Afghanistan to Iraq? Instead they went to Pakistan, our friend, ally, etc. From there, those that went to Iraq, some old timers but mostly new recruits, came in through other old friends/allies, e.g., Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait after getting passage from Pakistan. Yes, a few may be coming in from Syria. All in all, however, very few of what we are fighting in Iraq is actually Al Qaeda. It is mostly Iraqis of varying factions who figure killing Moslems of different sects takes a backseat to the target that came in from the US.



"Honor up, Senator Reid. Tell us what your plan for victory is.



Or else admit that it is you, not the President, who is holding the troops hostage to a blatantly cynical political agenda."



As Reid has pointed out, this is Bush's war. As you and Bush and all his supporters keep whining, Congress shouldn't micromanage - their job is to approve and fund or disapprove and defund military operations. Why does he need to define victory since he didn't start this thing, hasn't been made part of the planning, and his job doesn't entail it? As with most Americans, we would love to win every time - even if we are in situations that had no real justification - but with shifting definitions of what victory is and something that is so ill-defined presently, what is it that victory we are supposed to desire? Besides that, you are calling Reid on Krugman's words.



"Yet according to Senator Reid, only by giving up to the terrorists can we "win"."



Actually, I think what Reid is saying is that by going in in the first place without a plan, without a solution, without a defined victory, without an exit strategy, and without a true justification, and staying there just to save face instead of holding the person ultimately responsible for this and passing it on to the next President, and by destroying our worldwide reputation in the advancement of human rights, and by continuously giving this President yet another chance to achieve that undefined victory in spite of a situation that has seemingly gone downhill every day, we have already lost.



Rumsfeld was fired more than two years too late. The surge is too late since calls for one hell of a lot more troops went out before it all started. Before the elections in 2004, we were told there were how many ready divisions of Iraqis ready to step up and how many more would be ready by the end of 2004 only to be told in spring of 2005 that those numbers were way off the mark and we actually had less ready then than 5 months previous? If one of the reasons for our staying is to enable the Iraqis to stand up for themselves, why did military trainers announce just over a week ago that this was not presently a priority for them? Why have the Iraqis taken up so little of the lead in the present surge?



Need more?


Posted by: bugaboo at April 23, 2007 04:00 PM

Mark,

Actually I was in support of the idea of the President signing it and asking Congress to attempt to enforce their artifical timeline. Because last time I read my copy of the Constitution ( http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html ), Congress did not have the power to deploy or redeploy troops, nor set timelines on troop deployments. And I don't really believe Congress would really want to try the current Supreme Court on which side they'd take.

But again, just because he'd be within his rights to ignore the timeline does not mean it would "play in Peoria". Personally, if they give him the same bill again, I'd take that gauntlet. But I think giving the House and Senate one last chance to send a bill without a timeline is more appropriate.

Posted by: MikeD at April 23, 2007 04:02 PM

It has been pointed out to me here that to raise the argument that my husband or wife or son or daughter or nephew or niece or whatever is not wearing cammies (sp) is to raise the chicken-hawk criticism that is invalid as against GWB, DR, RC, Condi, and others. We all have a personal stake in this. Maybe we don't all have a family member on the front lines, but we all have a friend or neighbor or fellow citizen in this fight, and the consequences down the road affect all of us, some more immediately than others perhaps, but all of us as Americans. We all are paying for this with our tax dollars (and those of our children and grandchildren and ...). Those of us without husbands, wives, etc., in the battle also have a right to complain.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 04:03 PM

I have lost two friends in Iraq. My wife and I spend time with their children. I still do not know what to say when they ask me when their daddy is coming home. Fortunately most of them are too young to know what is going on.
We all have a right to complain. We all have a duty to speak up. There is no pecking order.

Posted by: Thomas Paine in the neck at April 23, 2007 04:04 PM

I would also like to thank the moderator of the blog for allowing open comments. It is something of a leap of faith to do so these days so thank you.

Posted by: Thomas Paine in the neck at April 23, 2007 04:05 PM

"But again, just because he'd be within his rights to ignore the timeline does not mean it would 'play in Peoria'"

I don't think the current situation is playing that well in Peoria ...

But we're talking about lives here, lots of lives, lots of flesh, blood, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters. And, as some would put it, the future of our country, civilization, freedom in the world. I would hope that when these are the stakes, how anything plays in Peoria would not be a consideration.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 04:07 PM

do you call this soldier a traitor?

http://electioncentral.tpmcafe.com/blog/electioncentral/2007/apr/23/a_soldier_in_iraq_says_war_cant_be_won_his_comrades_call_it_our_vietnam

Posted by: jvf at April 23, 2007 04:08 PM

Cassandra (and most of her legionaires) are accommodating of lively debate. She and others take all this personally, as they should, but the Blog Princess generally eschews the ad hominem attack. Visitors would be well advised to do the same.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 04:10 PM

Then WHY is the 'chickenhawk' meme still seen as valid?!?!?

If one is true then so should be the other. But for some reason it's not. Why?

What percentage of the US population is currently serving in the armed forces? What percentage of them are deployed or have deployed to Iraq? I do believe that those of us who have loved ones deployed DO feel the sacrifice a LOT more acutely than those who merely have the "tax burden". And I will never argue in favor of stripping another citizen of their right to complain. It's what we seem to do best as a nation.

But it does irritate me that there seems to be a double standard regarding the 'chickenhawk' stand. So I trust Mark and Thomas will be joining me in condeming that when it occurs in the future?

Posted by: MikeD at April 23, 2007 04:10 PM

But we're talking about lives here, lots of lives, lots of flesh, blood, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters. And, as some would put it, the future of our country, civilization, freedom in the world. I would hope that when these are the stakes, how anything plays in Peoria would not be a consideration.



And that's a fair cop Mark. I do agree that politics should have no place in determinations when it comes to matters of war. But you know as well as I that it does. Harry Reid even said as much ("We are going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war").

I've already stated that were I the President, I'd sign the damn bill and then dare Congress to try and enforce their timeline. But there's a reason I'm not in the White House (along with the fact that I think you'd need to be crazy to even want the job). I'm no politician. I'm just a simple guy who does see things in fairly simple terms.

Posted by: MikeD at April 23, 2007 04:15 PM

JVF,

Who's called ANYONE a traitor in this thread? RIslander asked a question about using the term. Spd explicitly pointed out that no one on the pro-victory side here has used the term. So why are you straw manning us here?

Posted by: MikeD at April 23, 2007 04:17 PM

I will take it one step further. I do think that there should be shared pain amongst us all. The soldiers can never have too much armor. They can always use better technology. The war should be felt by us all and while we do send care packages I would happily support special war taxes to support the troops in deed and not just word. This also brings up a very important topic. The cougar is a humvee replacment vehicle http://www.forceprotection.net/news/in_news.html that is much safer and over all better for the soldiers but the funding has not been put in place to get it into the field. Tell your congressman you support the expenditure because you REALLY support the troops.

Posted by: Thomas Paine in the neck at April 23, 2007 04:18 PM

Cass, great post. You hit the nail on the head with this one.



Carol, if your son's relationship with his fiancee is threatened by a few months delay, he may want to rethink. She needs to support him unconditionally, not complain about a 3 month delay in her plans - especially to him. If she cannot do that, she would most likely have a difficult time with other aspects of military life. It's not easy. But your son is supporting an operation that is more important than anything he could do in the civilian world. He's making a difference over there and I applaud him for his choice, as an adult, to support his country. Sorry for the blunt talk, but I know what I'm talking about. My son was deployed three times, extended twice, and he lost his marriage during his second deployment. My DIL didn't have the maturity that is demanded of a military wife - it takes a very strong woman to take on this lifestyle. I can sympathize with your future DIL's disappointment over having to delay her wedding once again, but her reaction may be an indicator of things to come. Good luck.

Posted by: Deb at April 23, 2007 04:22 PM

Thomas,
I sent you an email.

Posted by: Carrie at April 23, 2007 04:25 PM

"I do believe that those of us who have loved ones deployed DO feel the sacrifice a LOT more acutely than those who merely have the 'tax burden'"

I would never for one nanosecond challenge this assertion, as I'm sure if my kids were over there, I'd feel the fear and worry nonstop.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 04:31 PM

Thomas,

I will completely support any effort to get a specific and targetted tax increase for troop protection / armament upgrades. But, I am certain that you'll agree that the greedy SOB politicians would certainly fudge up any such effort (either through greed and/or incompetence).

Let me be very clear to everyone. I am very much a Libertarian, not a Conservative nor a Liberal. My distrust is not directed at any political party, and I tend to distrust politicians as a species. But my support for this war comes from my personal beliefs brought about from personal experience and my friends and relatives who are directly involved. I do NOT believe that those who disagree with my opinion are evil or traitors. I just wish that the courtesy was returned more often.

Posted by: MikeD at April 23, 2007 04:32 PM

"So I trust Mark and Thomas will be joining me in condeming that when it occurs in the future?"

I plan to join you, but in my mortal fallibility, I sometimes slip, despite my best intentions. And I'm REALLY mad at the usual Dem targets of that jab, so II have to be more vigilant than not. So, you're gonna stop with the chicken-hawk thing too, right?

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 04:33 PM

"Harry Reid even said as much ('We are going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war')."

Apparently Turdblossom said the same thing ... so ... we're even, right, and nobody is ahead.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 04:35 PM

"I plan to join you, but in my mortal fallibility, I sometimes slip, despite my best intentions. And I'm REALLY mad at the usual Dem targets of that jab, so II have to be more vigilant than not. So, you're gonna stop with the chicken-hawk thing too, right?"

Or hawk-chicken as the case may be? Agreed 100%. And that's why I like you Mark. You're a reasonable man. I'll buy ya a beer if you ever come down to Augusta.

Posted by: MikeD at April 23, 2007 04:35 PM

Mark,
My husband has been twice to Iraq and three times if you count the year that he spent with the UN as an observer (93-94). My son is a Marine LCPL and is deploying next Spring. One of his closest friends is deploying this week to Ramadi.

There is fear, there is worry but there is also a sense of the bigger picture.
The one where my grandchildren don't fight this war too.
I'm a peaceful person really but I can't support the idea that we willingly walk away from this without winning it. We're going to go again if we do.
I can't support that.

Posted by: Carrie at April 23, 2007 04:36 PM

[at the risk of arousing the sleeping giant that is spd rdr ...]

"Spd explicitly pointed out that no one on the pro-victory side here has used the term."

But the GOP certainly makes liberal use of the epithet. Again, we're even, right? And still nobody is ahead.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 04:36 PM

"Apparently Turdblossom said the same thing ... so ... we're even, right, and nobody is ahead."

I've gotta ask... who is Turdblossom?

Posted by: MikeD at April 23, 2007 04:37 PM

Thomas said, "The soldiers can never have too much armor."

Actually, that's not true. Many, many infantry soldiers out there will tell you that the "armor issue" has led to them being told by their leadership to wear levels of armor that are exhausting them and impeding their movement on the battlefield.

Posted by: FbL at April 23, 2007 04:40 PM

Sorry: Turdblossom is GWB's pet name for Karl Rove.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 04:40 PM

"But the GOP certainly makes liberal use of the epithet. Again, we're even, right? And still nobody is ahead."

Mark, don't make me regret the beer offer. I use "pro-victory" to distinguish "pro-war". I know of no sane person who is in favor of war. Let me put it this way... I do not, and will never refer to someone as "anti-choice" or "pro-death" (or
"anti-life"). I look on the polite options for which side someone falls in for this conflict as "pro-victory" and "pro-peace". Neither is negative in connotation, and while I may disagree with pro-peace folks, that does NOT make me "pro-war".

And I'll kindly thank you to not lump me in with the GOP. I've voted for more Democrats than Republicans in my lifetime. But that doesn't make me a Democrat either.

Posted by: MikeD at April 23, 2007 04:42 PM

"I'll kindly thank you to not lump me in with the GOP"

Sorry; didn't think or mean to be doing that. The terms "pro-victory" and "pro-peace" sound antithetical to, contradictory of, each other.

Hey, if I've ever in Augusta, I'll buy you a beer.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 04:48 PM

I was addressing the vehicles. Find me a soldier that won't ride in an up armored vehicle.

Posted by: Thomas Paine in the neck at April 23, 2007 04:49 PM

So... did the Daou Report link here or something?

Posted by: Patrick Chester at April 23, 2007 05:04 PM

[at the risk of arousing the sleeping giant that is spd rdr ...]

"Spd explicitly pointed out that no one on the pro-victory side here has used the term."

But the GOP certainly makes liberal use of the epithet. Again, we're even, right? And still nobody is ahead.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 04:36 PM

Did someone mention my name?

I challenge you to find where the GOP has used the word "traitor." I'll even get you started:
Happy hunting.

I will agree with one thing, however: this is going nowhere. I wonder if that isn't what the Dems are hoping for: no progress until after November 2008. Or maybe I am just an old cynic.

Posted by: spd rdr at April 23, 2007 05:09 PM

i cannot understand this...the congress is about to send a supplemental funding bill to the white house...the white house is threatening a veto...so who is denying funding? y'all are living in the looking glass. to say that the "new" tactics are dramatically different and are leading to dramatic results is delusional. and if you don't know what the democrats plan is then you are woefully un-informed...way too un-informed to be pontificating on the subject.

Posted by: jay k. at April 23, 2007 05:18 PM

bugaboo attempted an either/or fallacy with:

"The Iraqis aren't ready yet to take on the job of securing Iraq against al Qaeda and other outside forces trying to destabilize the region."

but...

"It would seem the Iraqis are stepping up to the plate. They are facing IEDs and car bombs and bullets."

So which is it?

There are Iraqis stepping up to the plate, and they are gaining more experience and ability to protect their country. That doesn't mean they're ready to go it alone quite yet. But thanks for being so willing to cut them loose.

spd rdr: Sounds a bit like the "don't question my patriotism!" cry, doesn't it?

Posted by: Patrick Chester at April 23, 2007 05:23 PM

So educate us, jay. What were the new tactics and what are the new ones?

Posted by: FbL at April 23, 2007 05:24 PM

Funny thing is, the comment preview showed the text I quoted from bugaboo in italics. Ah well.

Posted by: Patrick Chester at April 23, 2007 05:25 PM

fbl...
your question is unclear.

Posted by: jay k. at April 23, 2007 05:27 PM

Patrick, Fallacy? You mean a zero-sum argument? In any event, why should I believe that now when we were told the same thing by the WH in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 when it wasn't true? We were recently told the Iraqis were taking the lead in many operations but it turned out to be not true. We were told that we need to stay and train the Iraqis so they can stand up and then we hear recently that training is taking a back seat and is not a focus currently.

Sorry, but that either/or is valid in light of the bunk pushed by the WH over the last four years.

Posted by: bugaboo at April 23, 2007 05:31 PM

It apppears nothing is too important to be politicked. Where, in fact, do the opponents to the Iraq War, or the GWOT in general, think this world is heading? I will cut to the chase and claim it is moving toward nuclear war in the mideast, with spilllover, God knows where.

Actually, Mr. rdr, you are right on the money concerning Dem intentions.

Earlier, Grim posted "Where Are We Going?" at B5.

http://www.blackfive.net/main/2006/08/where_are_we_go.html

The whole article is worth reading, but I will post a conclusion:

"I suspect that we will one day speak of the war in Iraq the way we speak of the Spanish Civil War -- that is, rarely by comparison to the greater war that followed it. Peace is not in the cards. Things are going to get worse. Our enemies are glad to employ terrorists, who will try to bring the war to our homes. The wise man will prepare his sword, and the arm that may wield it."

I am beginning to really loath self serving politicians and can now conclude that those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. It is 1939 in Irvine.

Posted by: Mark at April 23, 2007 05:33 PM

The first person to mention Nazis, Hitler, etc. [1939] has to leave the room, because s/he is no longer thinking.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 06:19 PM

Cass, completely off topic, but where did you get the maps? I would like to use them over at my house, and don't want to steal you bandwidth.

Posted by: CoRev at April 23, 2007 06:34 PM

All wars end. Civilizations too if they don't wise up. Sorry if my comments seem trite. This war will end someday there is only the question when and who dies last.

Posted by: Uglycecil at April 23, 2007 06:37 PM

"Earlier, Grim posted 'Where Are We Going?' at B5."

Indeed I did.

It's interesting that the Anbar (al-Anbar is the big white area on Cass's most recent map) insurgency has turned so sharply in recent months. Bill Roggio has been reporting on the situation for some time, but it is now starting to seep in to other sources that the Anbar tribes -- once the backbone of the Sunni insurgency -- have turned against al Qaeda and are increasingly signing on with US efforts.

I think they made the same calculation I did, and realized that the war is over for them. If they want to survive -- not just secure the best solution, but simply survive -- they need to get on the boat now.

What's being decided in Baghdad is who they'll be dealing with when we leave. Will it be an essentially democratic government, in which they'll have at least a minority voice? Or will it be a more radical Shi'ite government led by the worst of the militia leaders, who will view the Anbar Sunnis as an ancient enemy now finally in their grasp?

Regardless of what you think of the politics, averting the genocide has to be worth it. The Sunnis in Anbar have realized it and are increasingly signing on with us. Baghdad is the last essential element -- the part on which the end of the story hangs.

Posted by: Grim at April 23, 2007 07:00 PM

Why? Because “We are going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war,”

Yep. Military families are just feelin' the love.

Posted by: Cass

They are going to pick up seats because the kool-aid is beginning to wear off and folks are starting to see the imbecile currently squatting in our WH. The increase in seats comes from clarity and patriotism - things the rethugs do not have.

Posted by: Tom at April 23, 2007 07:14 PM

"I would also like to thank the moderator of the blog for allowing open comments. It is something of a leap of faith to do so these days so thank you."

Yeah, and comments such as these -
"This blogger is a classic knee jerk partisan....you are the most insipid brand of partisan alive." - really go a long way towards respectful commentary and debate. Were I to engage in your apparent style of debate, I would now be required to tell you that I think you're a shite-filled asshole of the filthiest kind and perhaps you should consider using more than one piece of toilet paper.
Instead, I'll answer your question one more time in case you *conveniently* skipped over the previous four or five commenters who answered. War has one timeline -- until someone wins and someone loses. Winning this war gives the opportunity for freedom in a country that has had none for countless generations as well as drive a stake into the heart of radical Islam's desire for a global caliphate -- remember, that is their stated "timeline" for winning this war. Losing this war will lead to the loss of freedom for all countries for generations to come. I choose victory. Which do you choose?

Posted by: Sly2017 at April 23, 2007 07:18 PM

The increase in seats comes from clarity and patriotism - things the rethugs do not have.

Nice.

So people who do not see things your way are "unclear" and "unpatriotic"?

Wow.

My husband has served this country since 1981. But I guess since he doesn't happen to agree with you, he is 'confused' and 'unpatriotic'.

You are a real class act.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 07:31 PM

And I guess I, also, am stupid and unpatriotic.

You know, in all this time I have not accused your side of these things. I merely argued the merits of political questions as I saw them. But you stoop to the ad hominem against people who have devoted their lives to serving this country.

To me, that says a lot. I wonder what it says to you?

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 07:33 PM

Sly,

I owe you a brew for the wrench, now I think I owe you two.

Stop by anytime.

Posted by: bthun at April 23, 2007 07:36 PM

Sly is so cool. She has my back :)

I love her. And doesn't she know it.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 07:37 PM

And for your thoughful insights Milady, and your husband's duty to country, I would be proud to serve up a dinner for you and your Col.

Posted by: bthun at April 23, 2007 07:38 PM

*eyes bug out* Wow, you don't read for a day....

*hugs Cassandra* Don't blow your top too much. No matter what stupidity you run into.

Now I'm going to go scrub my brain out with some anime....

PS- I was in the Navy, and my fiancé *is* in the Navy. We can't plan the wedding until we know when he'll be home. Do you see me being a martyr about it? We MET on a "six month" deployment that went for TEN MONTHS to Iraq. That means exactly nothing when it comes to telling those who would kill us what our plans are.

Posted by: Sailorette/Foxfier at April 23, 2007 08:02 PM

Truer words have never been spoken:

cannot understand this...the congress is about to send a supplemental funding bill to the white house...the white house is threatening a veto...so who is denying funding?

A supplemental funding bill:

That:

1. Keeps our troops in harm's way while:

(a) not accomplishing anything the surge is supposed to accomplish. Gee. Why "fund" any of it? Why not just bring everyone home NOW? If the Democrats REALLY BELIEVE, as Harry Reid and so many of today's commenters have maintained, that the surge cannot accomplish anything and the war is well and truly lost, THEN THERE IS NO REASON FOR A SINGLE ONE OF OUR TROOPS TO STAY IN THEATER ONE MORE MOMENT.

YET HARRY REID SAYS HE THINKS SOME TROOPS "SHOULD STAY". WHY???? FOR WHAT PURPOSE? WHY SHOULD THEY STAY AND DIE?

(B) denies our commanders the flexibility to make vital military decisions that could save lives. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs has already said that if this "plan" of Congress is implemented, our troops will have to re-fight to retake lost ground. This will, quite literally, kill our troops. But hey - what does Harry Reid care?

(c) sets inflexible withdrawal dates that literally tell the enemy how long he has to "outwait" us to win this war. Real smart, that. Never in the history of mankind have we voted to tell the enemy how to beat us.

But good old Give em Heck Harry has a Plan for Snatching Defeat from the jaws of looming victory.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 08:11 PM

Oh, good for you Sailorette! (Foxfier - I'm trying to get used to that!)

You'll get a kick out of this. When I first started dating the Unit, we hadn't been dating long when we sort of figured out we were pretty much in love. We discussed marriage in a roundabout fashion, whereupon he informed me I'd have to wait NINE YEARS to marry him.

[THUD]

Dear God.

It's a good thing I am a patient woman. Also a wily one :p

[shaking head...]

And they ask me why I drink. I think it wasn't long after that that I left for college and informed him I would be dating other men... :p

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 08:16 PM

It's a good thing I am a patient woman. Also a wily one :p --Cass

Heh. I thought you were going to say you got yourself knocked up. Perhaps I am projecting.

Posted by: Pile On® at April 23, 2007 08:38 PM

Surrender is not an option!

Posted by: unkawill at April 23, 2007 09:00 PM

Sailorette, is your husband in daily danger of being blow up? Perhaps he is if he is on the ground in Iraq. If he is on a ship, not so much. My son's fiance says that she could handle the deployments if he was not in so much physical danger. It is one thing to be away from loved ones, it is another thing to be in combat for a 15 month stretch. Three more months for him means 90 more days to worry. I would not worry so much if I thought that those running this war had slightest idea of what they were doing. The latest bright idea: Building walls in Baghdad that the Iraqis do not want. Those here post of the end of civilization, children and grandchildren still fighting the war, win or perish. If the condition of the world is really that dire, do you really want Bush running things? Really, in your heart of hearts, you think he is up to the task?

Posted by: Carol H at April 23, 2007 09:00 PM

"If ... the surge cannot accomplish anything and the war is well and truly lost, THEN THERE IS NO REASON FOR A SINGLE ONE OF OUR TROOPS TO STAY IN THEATER ONE MORE MOMENT."

A big "IF" - but "if" that is true, then you are right.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 09:02 PM

And furthermore to all you surrender monkey's out there, What part of "Death to America" do you not understand?

Posted by: unkawill at April 23, 2007 09:04 PM

Wow! Look what happened here. One quick comment.

I am not surprised, in the least, at Reid's viewpoint, or his comments.

I am somewhat surprised, however, that he actually came out and admitted that it would be good for his party politically. Not too bright, I believe!

Posted by: JannyMae at April 23, 2007 09:09 PM

Perhaps, Mr. On.

Posted by: Cass at April 23, 2007 09:11 PM

If I could add my 2 cents to this heated debate.

Speaking as a liberal, I can tell you what has so many of us very upset:
1. We, along with many non-liberals and members of the international community, knew that this war would be a disaster from the start because as terrible as Saddam was, his brand of tyranny was the only thing hold Iraq together as one country. We also saaw that GWB was twisting facts and flat out making things up in the run-up to the war, i.e. the war was unneccessary.

2. The unbelievably idiotic and horrendous decisions made by the admin. after the overthrow companied by the complete lack of oversight by Congress (allowing the looting, turning away the army, Bremmer walls, 10's of billions of $ lost or stolen, too few troops, firing generals who disagreed with GWB, private contractors running wild, complete lack of any shred of a political solution)

I also think that this argument is along a completely false premise: that this situation can even be won militarily. That is what the Dems are saying. There is no shame in removing the military from a situation that they cannot improve. The vast majority of the bloodshed in Iraq is not from some "enemy", it is sectarian fighting of Iraqi on Iraqi.

Now there are many possible solutions to this mess, but pretending that there is some clear enemy that can be brought down by military might if we just hang in there is not helping anything. We have a government in shambles over there and a president over here who has no idea what he is doing and refuses to deal with anybody and come up with some kind of a political solution.

If you want to see a rational-style plan offered by Dems, look at the Biden plan calling for seperate, autonamous states with power sharing and oil revenue sharing. At least it is a start, right now we are just banging our heads (or more accurately, our soldiers' heads) against the wall.

The more we tighten down, the worse the violence gets. Of course, that is the classic response from a country under occupation. The only thing more military might would do is unify the country against us. Is that what we want?

Posted by: Jeff at April 23, 2007 10:05 PM

Jeff, take a pill.

Posted by: Mark at April 23, 2007 10:10 PM

"I wholeheartedly support withholding funds… Although it is a drastic step and ties the President’s hands, I do not feel like we have any other choice. The President has tied our hands, gone against the wishes of the American people, and this is the last best way I know how to show my respect for our American servicemen and women. They are helpless, following orders. But we, we are in a position to stop this terrible mistake before it happens."

Identify the author of this quote.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 10:25 PM

and this one:

"You can support the troops but not the president."

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 10:25 PM

and this one:

"[The] President ... is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 10:26 PM

and this one:

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain the y have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy."

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 10:27 PM

and this one:

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 23, 2007 10:27 PM

Well Damn…. I must say, that was wholly Sierra Hotel.

The intensity of passion contained within the margins of your commentary, girt with indisputable corroborative clarity stands monumentally as a trenchant mockery of the Democratic Leaderships desertion and dereliction of duty. Being bereft of any principled sensibility or intention, they stand firmly in their faithless anecdotal drivel, offering up mewling apologetics to our enemies while promiscuously whoring themselves in hope of debauched indulgence of power. In stark recognition of the pendulous covenant to which they stand in bondage, they are obliged to their ceaseless subornative efforts to undermine our Nations honor and achieve failure, depending upon it to assure fulfillment of their scorned socialistic objectives.

Posted by: Esoterik at April 23, 2007 10:38 PM

Gee, Esoterik, I can forgive (or overlook) the semi-fascism of your politics, but not the horror of your prose. You are a worthy successor to the author of Eye of Argon.

Hey, you aren't the only guy girt with indisputable corrobarative clarity.

Posted by: Jim Harrison at April 23, 2007 10:43 PM

No,Jim,

I think he sounds more like George Will on acid. You know, esoterik, it would help if your string of thesaurus entries were at least semi-coherent.

Posted by: Jeff at April 23, 2007 10:56 PM

Carol-
MH was there, thee "tip of the spear". My (then) four year old daughter and I spent over 5 months (a mere pittance of time in comparison to previous wars) without any contact whatsoever from him. And if you think I didn't cry, worry, spend sleepless nights waiting for the doorbell to ring in the middle of the night, you need to go to the bank, dear, because you got another *think* coming. He came home with injuries that haunt us to this day, yet when asked, he knows in his heart that what we are doing in Iraq is right and honorable. And he is ready to go again next spring when his turn comes again. Trust me, if we didn't honestly believe that it was "worth it", we could have retired many, many moons ago and been living in Montana (Mr. Rdr.'s opinion *conveniently* over-looked.) free and easy of this turmoil and strife.
I have lived through many deployments and separations from MH and have been told by numerous friends that I "must be a strong woman". I tell them I am not. I am simply doing what MH is doing -- what needs to be done.
It is my opinion, from reading your posts today, that DiL is not going to make it as a military spouse. She simply cares more about what is happening at home than the bigger picture. And while that may suit many, it is not the *suit* that the military spouse wears.
As to your question about MH's Commander-In-Chief, yes I believe he has been more than up to the task for the horrendous hand he has been dealt during his time as President of the United States of America. That does not say that I don't think he has made mistakes and under-estimations. And, while I could try to explain the many reasons why I feel this way,...we both know that you really don't care about my answer to your question. It goes against your thought processes and therefore you, and those who think as you, do not bother to listen (or read, as it were), much less honestly consider, my opinion anyway. That is an exercise in futility. And I refuse to participate. It wastes time and energy.

Posted by: Sly2017 at April 23, 2007 11:18 PM

Answer to esoterick

Very impresive !!! You should send the "prose" to Bush he might be able to read it without mangling your insults too much.

In all your rant , excuse me prose, I did not see a word about when you guys will ...like PRODUCE other than saliva and more dead people in your so called policy for Iraq. Or to put it in other words a bit more direct that yours.... When will you pull up or shut the hell up? Sorry I am bad at prose... And hell I am from Texas.

The American people will simply have to take care of that in 08 because frankly you never pulled up, and you never shut up. In fact the smaller you get the louder you scream. I guess Republicans are kind of slow and did not get the message of '06. SO you wanted a war Sir? OK you got your war, and you'll have the war until 08, and then you and your party will be no more... SImple as that. You have to be careful what you wish for, you just might get it right?

Another observation. After four years of mistakes and counting, all the words in the word are not going to give any credibility to you or Bush.

For at the end of the day is deeds not empty words that wins wars.... Or arguments. You most know that. What do you and your side has to offer?... More of the same, more turning of corners to find a surge at the other side?.... Dear Sir do you take us for fools? You are free to be one, but please do not insult our intelligence will you?

Yours, I am sorry to say is just a bunch of high sounding words that when put together amount to nothing. A bomb just kill nine more of our soldiers today Sir.... I am sure they will appreciate the sense of "support" you and your fellow "patriots" give them. You see they are very worried now about what Sen. Reid has to say about Bush. Bush and your crowd sent them there, Reid just wants them out because after all, was it not supposed to be a surge to "support" political discurse among the Iraqi Government?.... You see any? , you see Rice trying to force one?, you see Bush trying to force one? .... Live it to the troops they have to solve that too !!!

Seriously Sir what do we pay Bush for?.... Give a B.S. speach about how much he "supports" the troops every other day?.... Man I am impressed!!

Now that we are clear on your empty rant.... Let me ask you to stop insulting Americans that in many cases disagree with you and are ten times braver than you will ever be. You see they are concerned about our soldiers in harms way in a different way you are. For us supporting our troops is to keep them safe... For you and your fellow Republicans it means to send them back again, and again and cover the ineptitude of your "boss" with their blood.

America has nothing but contempt for this kind of behavior... And there is a 70% poll out backing this statement.

Posted by: gil at April 23, 2007 11:37 PM

This pretty much sums up the whole argument as far as I am concerned:

"At the siege of Vienna in 1683 Islam seemed poised to overrun Christian Europe. We are in a new phase of a very old war.

http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/

If that sounds too religious for you, substitute Western Civilization for Christian Europe in the above statement. Not sure you can have one without the other.

Whether you are a liberal or a conservative, a socialist or a libertarian, a Republican or a Democrat, when the shit hits the fan, if the radical Muslims win, you are all fucked.

Posted by: Suds46 at April 23, 2007 11:50 PM

Cass- ;^) I'm still getting use to it, too. I haven't been Foxfier for nearly six years now.... I'm glad that things worked out in the end, though! Mostly, I thought you might need a little support. Now, it seems I've been pulled in anyways.

Carol- My future husband is in daily danger of being blown up if we are at war or not. Also in danger of being killed via steam, drowning or falling down stairwells--which, unless you've seen the insides of a ship, is a lot worse than you may guess. Go look into how our ships are built, some time. Keep in mind that if something goes wrong, there is nowhere for him to go, and maybe you'll understand the awe I have that we have as few major sea disasters as we have had.

Choose your rate, choose your fate. Same goes for your service-- or do you think your son is old enough to marry but not to figure out that being in the military means you MAY DIE? There are evil men out there. Your son's bravery in choosing to face them does not give you the slightest right to treat him like a child, or to wail at the fact that doing his job means he's going to be exposed to the scum-sucking murderous SOBs. If his lady can't take the fact that he chose a dangerous job, maybe she should reconsider her life with him.
If he was a cop, would you insist that he never be put on a beat that might have drug and gang activity? Too dangerous for your precious baby, but not for someone else's? How about the ACTUAL children your son is protecting? Do you want to abandom them to the terrorist dogs, just to protect your grown son, though he wants to protect those innocents? Protective is one thing-- heaven knows my folks were worried about me, and still are-- but undermining the reason your son's job exists is selfish and immature.

I would much rather have Prez Bush running it than some hysterical woman who does not have all the information--or even much of it--and yet believes she can both run the war better than the Prez and that she can run her own son's life for him. We overthrew Iraq in less than a month, and probably would have had an easier clean up if the imported terrorists didn't get so much help from our "loyal opposition". I much prefer a man who is actually willing to continue a fight when the bill starts coming due to one who runs at the first glance of blood. Terrorists count on us being the latter of those two, and most of the current democrats-- even some republicans-- are giving them much hope that just a few more bloody murders will make us turn tail and run.

My grandfather was part of the mop-up post WWII. The war was over, but you know what? He was over there with only letters to contact his young bride and their children. His first son was born nearly a year before he could come home. He was in much danger, and there *were* what we would now call "terrorist insurgents"-- but they didn't get too big. Why? Because their actions could only do the damage they actually did, rather than being spread across the world, amplified and re-amplified and echoed into the very structure of the government that sent him there. The news wasn't exactly on his side, but at least it didn't ignore every good thing he did and trumpet each atrocity by his enemies up to the heavens.

Posted by: Sailorette/Foxfier at April 24, 2007 12:03 AM

Cass, sorry for the profanity. I don't usually do that. At least, not in public. If you haven't already done so, go listen to Mark Knopfler and Emmie Lou Harris sing "This Is Us." I guarantee it will make you feel better.

Posted by: Suds46 at April 24, 2007 12:09 AM

Actually, my son *is* a cop.

When many people heard what he'd chosen to do with his life, they said "you can't be very happy about that".

They are wrong. I could not be more proud of my son. And I do not spend every day biting my nails off with worry. If something is going to happen to him, it will, but he will have lived doing an important job and serving his community. Protecting the helpless. That's an honorable thing to do with your life.

I can think of far worse legacies. And he could have been a garbage collector and gotten run over by a truck on his way to work one day too.

Tell your daughter in law to find something productive to do with her time. Turn the TV off. Put the newspapers down. There is a whole world out there. Don't borrow trouble. If it means to find you, it will. In the mean time, she should be proud she has found a man who is willing to stand up to the kind of men who strap bombs to teenagers and send them off to blow innocent people to smithereens. I wish we had more people like your son in this world, Carol.

I thank God for them every single day.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 24, 2007 04:46 AM

"You'll simply leave a sizeable contingent of them over there in harm's way without the necessary funding to do their job until 2008."

Um... that's precisely what Bush has been doing since March of 2003.

Posted by: Kevin at April 24, 2007 08:04 AM

"You'll simply leave a sizeable contingent of them over there in harm's way without the necessary funding to do their job until 2008."

Um... that's precisely what Bush has been doing since March of 2003.

Posted by: Kevin at April 24, 2007 08:04 AM

Please do correct me if I'm wrong, but is it not the duty of the Congress to control the money? Constitution, checks, balances, division of responsibilities, etc. notwithstanding.

And is that "since March of 2003" assertion backed up by anything other than feelings?

Posted by: bthun at April 24, 2007 08:50 AM

bthun wrote:
Please do correct me if I'm wrong, but is it not the duty of the Congress to control the money? Constitution, checks, balances, division of responsibilities, etc. notwithstanding.

Do you really expect an answer beyond the usual canned handwaving responses?

Posted by: Patrick Chester at April 24, 2007 09:29 AM

Um... that's precisely what Bush has been doing since March of 2003.

He doesn't need facts. He has truthiness.

My husband was one of many people who worked on those lists of what the military had - and needed that went before Congress. The actual fact (not that Kevin concerns himself with anything as mundane as actual facts) is that Congress had slush funds commanders could use for anything they needed that wasn't provided for. All they had to do was ask. They weren't using them, and the money went unspent.

But "Kevin" is so smart. He knows better.

Like reporters who report from cushy bar stools at the Hotel Baghdad and pass along unverified reports of mosques being "blown up" though any moron can see for 53 days that they are still quite intact, he prefers to pass along some idiotic thing he read on the Intertubes rather than 'propaganda' from people who are actually on the scene.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 24, 2007 09:36 AM

Also before some dimwit starts passing along moronic links that "prove" our guys "don't have what they need", supply chain issues in large bureaucracies have always been a problem.

Welcome to the real world. They are a function of INTERNAL management inefficiences, not White House bungling. Let me clue you in on something guys: Barney the White House Terrier is not depriving your loved ones of desperately needed supplies. The military can and does manage to screw things up all the time on its own.. and then we say "Ooops" and fix our own problems. Sometimes also they are external and then we find the problem and fix it.

Just like any corporation.

Logistics halfway across the globe ain't beanbag. Don't get your pantyhose all in a knot. Half the time there turns out to be a perfectly mundane explanation for things, but some Brite Soul has launched an email heard round the world to solve a problem that could have been solved by simply going through the chain of command.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 24, 2007 09:42 AM

"Do you really expect an answer beyond the usual canned handwaving responses?"

Ok, you got me... No, at least not an informed, fair and/or thoughtful response, but I'm feeling a little frisky today for a guy my age/mileage and was up for a little target practice. =8-}

Ahhh well, maybe I'll just go back to the garage and rebuild the tiller's carburetor or something along those lines. Milady and all the rest of you good folks have the situation well in hand.

Posted by: bthun at April 24, 2007 10:08 AM

It's interested that I started commenting on this thread by saying that Harry Reid does not undermine moral of the troops in Iraq, extended and repeated deployments do. In response I was told that my 22 year old prospective DIL is just not tough enough to be a military wife and that she should stop watching the news and get a life. She has a life, she is currently doing an internship in London. Do you think she forgets for one minute that the man she loves could lose his life this day? She was brave enough to agree to marry him but it is true, she may not be brave enough to do this for the next 20 years. My husband and I have always known that our son would choose either the miltary or law enforcement as a career, he decided to start in the military and decide which way he wanted to go. He love the Army but he would also love being a cope and that decision is up to him. Part of that decision will depend on his wife. He may decide that he cannot put her through his repeated dangerous deployments and not reenlist. This is what every soldier and prospective soldier has to decide and many will decide it is not for them. Fighting in an ill concieved, ill planned, poorly executed war of choice is not the way to recruit and retain the best and the brightest. I sincerely doubt my son even knows who Harry Ried is, much less cares about his opinion on the war. I have asked him if the political disagreements at home bother him and he says no, that they are more focused on getting through each mission with all their guys intact. The long and frequent deployments are an immediate fact of his life, though, even if those here choose to deny it.

Posted by: carol H at April 24, 2007 10:22 AM

Really sucks to be on the losing side of history, doesn't it? Senator Reid had the guts to say what your dimwitted, Crapbag-in-Chief can't say himself. We lost. It's done. We aren't einning this war any more than we were winning in Vietnam when we left there. What you ass clowns need to understand is that just saying something doesn't make it fact. The facts on the ground speak for themselves. It's over. Bring the troops home before more of them die for this idiocy.

Posted by: seamus at April 24, 2007 10:34 AM

Why what a thoughtful and fact-filled refutation seamus. You represent your side of the political spectrum so well I must say that based on your arguments alone I am completely won over. Well done.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 24, 2007 10:39 AM

Wow! Seamus is right! Why didn't I ever realize it before. "Just saying something doesn't make it a fact." Brilliant!

So I guess that means when Senator Reid says the war is lost then it isn't a fact, either. Hmmmmm?

Posted by: spd rdr at April 24, 2007 10:50 AM

Carol, who here has "denied" that frequent deployments are a fact of life in the military?

I stressed that. So did Carrie. So did Sly, another military wife. And you yourself contend your future DIL can't handle the thought of your son being in danger or having her wedding deferred... what, another 3 months?

Sounds to me as though the issue truly is that she may not BE tough enough to be a military wife. This is no slam on her. There is no need for her to BE a military wife. Military people, unlike our lovely Congressional Democrats, DON'T WANT A DRAFT. We don't want anyone to have to serve who doesn't want to with their whole heart. And no one here is slamming her for not wanting to go through this. We are just saying that it is tough and if she can't wait another three months she is probably not cut out to be a military wife. This is something YOU YOURSELF admitted up front.

On top of that, you got the exact same advice I have given my wives since my husband was a first Lt.: turn off the TV, don't read the papers, and think of something else. Stay busy. There isn't a damned thing you can do about the fact that he is in harm's way. You have two choices: make yourself miserable about it or try not to think about it and try to be happy.

You, apparently, think this is bad advice from women who have been putting up with this far longer than your daughter in law. I am confused about what you think better advice would be? Wallow in misery and resentment?

Yeah. That will help both her and him get through this deployment. You mention he was going to be either a cop or in the military. If so he would be in "danger" no matter what.

It sounds to me as though your future daughter in law had better get used to worrying about him dying. It also sounds to me as though the REAL PROBLEM HERE is not that he is in harm's way, but that neither you nor she supports what he is doing. That is OK, but let's all be very clear about the nature of the issue at hand here.
It ain't deployments, because he'll be gone a lot if he stays in whether we are at peace or at war. My husband was deployed all the time during the first 20 years we were married. He was gone literally for years at a time. War has NOTHING to do with that and you know it.

It ain't danger, because if he is a cop his life will be in danger.

It is that you personally don't like George Bush and this war. Period.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 24, 2007 10:51 AM

aseamus,
I am so totally blown away by the inherent logic in your comprehensive response that it has rendered me speechless.

Posted by: Cricket at April 24, 2007 10:54 AM

Cassandra, it is not the deployments it is the danger. Yes, they are both disappointed about the delay in the wedding, but that is not the main issue. She can handle him being gone, she just cannot handle the fact that he may die or me maimed every single day. Of course police work is dangerous, but did over 80 cops die last month? There are millions of cops in the US but only 140,000 troops in Iraq and many of those are not front line troops like my son is. Sailor's husband may hurt himself falling down the stairs but he will not have his head blown off by a sniper. Did you even read my last post? My future DIL has a life, she is still in college and doing an internship abroad, but that does not mean she is not interested in the news from Iraq. Your advice is that she stick her head in the sand and ignore the reality of that disaster, not read the papers, not watch TV. I honestly don't think she does that very often but she does not forget. I am against the war and always have been but I not know where she stand on it. She is not political like I am, she just does not want her potential husband killed. I am neutral about Bush as a person, it is his actions and policies I do not like. Even if you support the war can you honestly say that he has managed it well? I suppose you and the other 30% of the American people who still support him will say yes, but the other 70% of us know better. I have a sister who is married to a retired Navy Captain, a Viet Nam veteran. Her son is in the Army and has to Afghanistan and soon will leave for Iraq. Her daughter is in the Air Force and has been to Qtar, the UK, and will leave for South Korea next fall. We have not talked politics for over 20 years becaue I am a liberal and she is a conservative. When I told her that my son was included in the extensions I also said the bright spot was that he would be home for 12 months before he went back instead of the 10 that was anticipated on the old schedule. She said that maybe the democrats would do something by then and he would not have to go back. I was astounded, but I knew that if they had lost the support of my sister they were really in trouble.

Posted by: carol H at April 24, 2007 11:55 AM

Carol-
Here's some advice for both you and your prospective DiL: Instead of wallowing in self-pity and misery about what "might happen", may I suggest that you both readjust your outlook and cherish that which you have now for however long you have it. None of us are getting out of this world alive, and relatively few know the time and day of their departure -- it may be tomorrow it may not be for another 50 years. The difference is in how you choose to spend whatever time you have.
Over the years of deployments, three wars and just plain overseas duty, life has been scary, lonely and oh-so-very uncertain. But, I live each day knowing that I'm married to the finest man I've ever had to privelege to know and a damn fine Marine to boot. We have a beautiful little girl who has that big man wrapped around her tiny finger, and I am so very thankful that I get to be around them both for whatever time I am given. Should the day of departure come for either of us sooner rather than later, I will know that our life was worth every second, every joy, every pain....because it was a life shared in love.
If DiL and your son have found love, then maybe she should be focused on the fact that she now has him in her life (so many people in this world never have the chance at love), rather than bemoan the "coulda, shoulda, woulda's".
Besides, what future bride couldn't use another three months planning to make her special day truly a fairy tale come true?

Posted by: Sly2017 at April 24, 2007 12:07 PM

I am not really sure you can (as you seem to want to do) judge entire national events on how your sister reacts. Some conservatives have wavered in their support for the war. Some liberals, oddly enough, still support it. This is all anecdotal and their reason vary. You can find examples of this and that and it doesn't "prove" anything except that people differ in their thinking.

Unlike you, I don't think you can entirely "manage" a war when you are dealing with an intractable Congress with people like Nancy Pelosi who ups and decides to traipse over to Syria and carry messages from the Prime Minister of Israel that he didn't even send! Who the hell does she think she is? How do you "manage" that?

Answer: you can't manage people who don't understand their own damned jobs.

And not everything in war is foreseeable. In WWII there were disasters of epic proportions all the time, but of course no one wants to recall that. We lost tens of thousands of men in horrific blunders. But we didn't have Congress announcing we'd "lost" the war for us. No, that is a modern "invention" of our instant gratification society.

Your son is over there regardless of whether your future DIL chooses to upset herself or not. It was you who suggested she was getting upset over the possibility he would die or be maimed - that was the only reason I said don't watch the news. I don't care if she watches it or not. If she can handle it, great. If not, she should stay away. There is no doubt the overwhelming majority of TV news coverage of the war is negative and frightening, with little or no coverage of what we do right or progress we are making.

I don't want my husband killed either Carol. But it is not "sticking your head in the sand" not to focus on things you cannot change. It is called being practical. In fact, that's what we always try to do - be positive and focus on the positive and the things we have control over rather than the negative and things we cannot change in life. You can wear yourself out agonizing over things like the fact that your fiancee may die, or you can make plans for what you'll do when he gets home.

You tell me what the more productive course of action is?

Posted by: Cassandra at April 24, 2007 12:18 PM

CarolH, your son isn't the only one in harm's way or who has a life. That he is in physical danger should come as no shock to his fiancee, he is in a war zone.

If he is that stressed about the future of his career and multiple deployments, then he should get out. Other men and women will step up to fill the gap he left...and they have lives too.

It is part of the risk of wearing the uniform.

My husband did it for 22 years. We got married and spent our first couple of years in Germany.
Romantic? Hardly. He spent a LOT of time on the border and training. So I spent a lot of time jamming around Europe with or without him.

Our second child was born while he was deployed.
It is part of the price we paid for his commitment. He missed a LOT of birthdays and a couple of miscarriages.

IT HAPPENS.

If your son's fiancee is worried, it is natural but if she can't handle his being gone, her worrying isn't going to help him while he is over there now. She loves him, then she tells him to do his best and take one day at a time and they will be together soon.

Welcome him with open arms and a hot meal. Let him be the first to break the silence. Above all, do not express regret for his service, but gratitude for his safe return.

And if he should be KIA, celebrate a man who did his duty, a good son who had lived a good life.

Posted by: Army of One at April 24, 2007 12:54 PM

There is something I can do and am doing besides worrying about my son and all the other service men and women in harm's way. I am supporting people who will try and end this war. Unless we plan on being in Iraq forever it will have to end sometime and I prefer that in ends sooner rather than later. I support Nancy Pelosi's trip to Syria and I'll tell you who she is: The Speaker of House and the representative of the 70% of Americans who do not support this war. I predict that it will end sometime around the presidential election of 2008 because no candidate will be elected that supports it. Look at what is happening in McCain, the candidate most closely associated witht the war, his support is dwindling almost daily. I look forward to the day when I can open the paper and not read of more American deaths in that country. It will come sooner rather than later, I hope.

Posted by: Carol H at April 24, 2007 01:33 PM

I am supporting people who will try and end this war.

You're in the wrong neighborhood, in my opinion. Try Daily Kos.

I'll tell you who she is: The Speaker of House and the representative of the 70% of Americans who do not support this war.

And I'll tell you she's not: the Commander in Chief. Nor is she the PotUS. She just likes to act as if she is.

Look at what is happening in McCain, the candidate most closely associated witht the war, his support is dwindling almost daily.

Not due to his stance on the war, though. He's being abandoned by the base that don't hold with his disrespect for the 1st amendment, his hostile support of amnesty for illegal immigrants, his Gang-of-14 debacle, and his general coziness with the Left and the MSM.

I look forward to the day when I can open the paper and not read of more American deaths in that country.

And I suppose you won't be bothered at all by the thousands upon thousands of dead Iraqis that foolishly sided with us against tyranny. Well, if you're happy, I guess that's good enough for the rest of us.

Posted by: daveg at April 24, 2007 01:53 PM

First of all, the nation did not vote for Nancy Pelosi and although I have not seen nor do I care about her approval ratings, I seriously doubt that she's got a 70% rating.

Second, the fact that you support Nancy Pelosi going to Syria...a country that funds, funnels and mans groups that plant the very IED's you're so worried about wounding or killing your son defies logic.
Truly.

Citing John McCain as an example falls on it's face when you look at Joe Lieberman's 2006 Senate campaign.

Posted by: Carrie at April 24, 2007 01:53 PM

"Identify The Author Of This Quote" Game Results

"I wholeheartedly support withholding funds… Although it is a drastic step and ties the President’s hands, I do not feel like we have any other choice. The President has tied our hands, gone against the wishes of the American people, and this is the last best way I know how to show my respect for our American servicemen and women. They are helpless, following orders. But we, we are in a position to stop this terrible mistake before it happens."
---Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas

"You can support the troops but not the president."
---Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
---Sean Hannity, (aka Dillweed) Fox News, 4/6/99

"[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."
---Sen Rick Santorum (R-PA)

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain the y have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy."
---Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W Bush

"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning . . . I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area."
---Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
---Governor George W Bush (R-TX)

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 24, 2007 01:55 PM

What if you held a game and nobody played?

Posted by: The shadow at April 24, 2007 01:57 PM

I know who Nancy Pelosi is. I also don't think that 70% of the statistic is accurate. I have a nephew in this fight as well. And he wants to come home, knowing that the job is finished and he and others will not have to go back and finish, or worse, fight jihadism HERE.

Ending the war now means ending on the terms of the insurgents, not on the terms the Iraqis want.
They want to be FREE. A democracy in the ME that isn't governed by sharia law, or the whims of imams. Nancy Pelosi also went overseas AGAINST the expressed will of the President of the United States. I wish she would resign.
She is showing others that our leader is someone who doesn't need to be listened to. How disrespectful is that? Had Newt Gingrich done that during the Clinton reign of error he would have had to resign.

This is all about not just finishing what we start but HOW we finish it. I am for victory
and not for turning tail and running.

Posted by: Cricket at April 24, 2007 01:59 PM

"What if you held a game and nobody played?"

Tell me about it ... that's OK. I understand why nobody plays ....

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 24, 2007 02:00 PM

shrugs...
Naked Twister probably would have gotten more interest...

Posted by: The Shadow at April 24, 2007 02:03 PM

"This pretty much sums up the whole argument as far as I am concerned:

"'At the siege of Vienna in 1683 Islam seemed poised to overrun Christian Europe. We are in a new phase of a very old war.'
http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/

"If that sounds too religious for you, substitute Western Civilization for Christian Europe in the above statement. Not sure you can have one without the other.

"Whether you are a liberal or a conservative, a socialist or a libertarian, a Republican or a Democrat, when the shit hits the fan, if the radical Muslims win, you are all fucked."


Uh .. I guess the reality behind that prediction about the whole "Siege of Vienna" thing never came to pass. Just another hysterical prediction gathering dust on the forgotten shelves of history.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 24, 2007 02:03 PM

Where is this 70% number coming from? Is there a link to the survey of every citizen of the United States that proves this number is correct? Cause, if there is, I wasn't asked. MH wasn't asked, nor anyone under his command. There hasn't been a DoD message instructing all personnel to participate in such a survey. There hasn't been a public announcement of such a survey either. So, where are you getting this number from? Please don't tell me you are taking a "poll" of approximately 800-1000 people and using them as an aggregate to speak for a country of over 3 million people. That's like surveying elementary school kids at one or two different schools on whether or not they like spinach and then using their answers to "prove" that spinach hasn't any real healthful value and should therefore be removed from the food chain and placed with other *evils* such as smoking.

Posted by: Sly2017 at April 24, 2007 02:04 PM

"Naked Twister probably would have gotten more interest .... Posted by: The Shadow at April 24, 2007 02:03 PM"

We need to see full-body nude photos before we decide who gets to play ...

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 24, 2007 02:04 PM

"Is there a link to the survey of every citizen of the United States that proves this number is correct?"

There's a great book out there somewhere called "How To Lie With Statistics". But getting back to your point, I guess your position is that because we cannot prove anything DEFINITELY we cannot prove anything at all, so we need not consider or evaluate anything at all because it's all voodoo and witch doctors. So much for "reason", science, all those "higher" gifts that the Lord gave us to separate us from the "lower" animals.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 24, 2007 02:07 PM

Via HotAir:

Harry Reid talks about facts

So, now that the, "generals on the ground," don't agree with them, they are not worth listening too?

Let's see if I have interpreted his, "logic," correctly. Because there is still violence going on in a war zone, it means we are losing the war?

That's some logic there, Senator.

This guy is a moron. Not just a moron, but a closed-minded one. He has literally said here, "Don't bother me with the facts, my mind is made up."

Unbelievable.

Posted by: JannyMae at April 24, 2007 02:08 PM

No, Mark..
I think Sly's point is that Nancy won a house seat in a district in California..
The nation did not vote for her and until they do, she has no business running around acting like they did.

The only poll I buy into is the one on election day and I believe you citing that book means you pretty much agree with me.

Posted by: Carrie at April 24, 2007 02:10 PM

"Did someone mention my name?
"I challenge you to find where the GOP has used the word "traitor." I'll even get you started:
Happy hunting.
"I will agree with one thing, however: this is going nowhere. I wonder if that isn't what the Dems are hoping for: no progress until after November 2008. Or maybe I am just an old cynic.
"Posted by: spd rdr at April 23, 2007 05:09 PM"

Try this ...
http://www.villainouscompany.com/vcblog/archives/2007/04/profiles_in_cou.html

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 24, 2007 02:17 PM

Last time I checked the Speaker of the House was not elected to conduct diplomatic missions between us and Syria. That is not her function. We have a Secretary of State APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT, a member of the Cabinet, to do that sort of thing.

This is precisely the sort of thing Pelosi, et al have been complaining about, with the exception that Bush actually has an argument for there being Article II justification for a lot of the things he has been doing and there is NO Constitutional basis for any of the things she just did. NONE WHATEVER. Period.

You can have an honest disagreement about whether he has overextended his executive powers but even legal scholars admit this is a gray area. There is no gray area about whether the Speaker of the House was elected to conduct diplomatic missions between the US and Israel and Syria. NONE. This is what the State Department does.

Posted by: Princess Leia in a Cheese Danish Bikini at April 24, 2007 02:17 PM

"No, Mark .. I think Sly's point is that Nancy won a house seat in a district in California.. The nation did not vote for her and until they do, she has no business running around acting like they did. The only poll I buy into is the one on election day and I believe you citing that book means you pretty much agree with me.
"Posted by: Carrie at April 24, 2007 02:10 PM"

True: "The nation did not vote for her ..."

But let's not forget that she's third in line for the White House, if anything happens to GWB and RC, pursuant to our Constitution. A week or so ago, someone here at VC got on my case about the popular vote being meaningless, because elections are decided by the Electoral College, a creation of our Constitutional. So too is the place Nancy Pelosi occupies, in reference to potential residence in the WH - a creation of our Constitution.

So, while it's true that "The nation did not vote for her ...", it's also true that she's not just some broad walking in off the street, either.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 24, 2007 02:22 PM

Mark,
I didn't say that she was just some broad walking in off the street...she just isn't the Commander in Chief or the President or even the Vice President.

Going to Syria AND doing what she did....sheesh!!!

Posted by: Carrie at April 24, 2007 02:25 PM

"You can have an honest disagreement about whether he has overextended his executive powers but even legal scholars admit this is a gray area"

We could (should) make a list of the legal scholars who think GWB has overextended his executive powers, and another list of the legal scholars who don't think GWB has overextended his executive powers. I think the list voting for the "overextension" contention would be longer than the "no overextension" contention. One person on the "no overextension" contention list would not an honest disagreement make.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 24, 2007 02:26 PM

"... if anything happens to GWB and RC, pursuant to our Constitution ...."

This is why I thought my submission to the Blog Princess's "Nancy-George photo caption contest" was so hilarious ... because the untimely demise of GWB and RC would make her "queen for the remaining term".

My wife says I'm the only one who laughs at my jokes. [What does SHE know?!]

Bwahahaha ....

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 24, 2007 02:29 PM

crickets chirping

Posted by: Rosie the Riveter at April 24, 2007 02:34 PM

Actually, Carrie, what my question was asking was in reference to this:

"...70% of Americans who do not support this war."

When was this survey done? Who answered it? I didn't. I don't know of a single person who has. In my many travels up and down the western states these last four years I have not seen any indication whatsoever that this 70% number is even in the same ballpark with reality.
So, my question was (and still is) where is this survey that *proves* that 70% of Americans are against this war and the President? Show me the numbers -- all of them.

Posted by: Sly2017 at April 24, 2007 02:38 PM

But let's not forget that she's third in line for the White House, if anything happens to GWB and RC, pursuant to our Constitution.

Well, it's all relative. I figure I'm 165,953,234th in line, and you don't see me getting all uppity about it, do ya?

When and if she ascends to the throne, so to speak, she is welcome to do as she pleases within executive branch purview, but she until she does, I think she should concern herself with things in the legislative branch's bailiwick.

Posted by: daveg at April 24, 2007 02:42 PM

Dave,
neener, neener..
I'm 165,953,233th in line...

Posted by: Carrie at April 24, 2007 02:44 PM

Q:"What if you held a game and nobody played?"

A: What if someone in Irvine posted and nobody gave a sh!t?

Posted by: Gracie Lou Freebush at April 24, 2007 02:46 PM

Somebody in Irvine posted?

Posted by: The Shadow at April 24, 2007 02:55 PM

I don't know, I didn't give a sh!t.....
besides, I already gave at the office....

Posted by: Gracie Lou Freebush at April 24, 2007 02:58 PM

(sniffle)

I don't have an office.

Posted by: The Shadow at April 24, 2007 03:04 PM

Q:"What if you held a game and nobody played?"
A: What if someone in Irvine posted and nobody gave a sh!t?
Posted by: Gracie Lou Freebush at April 24, 2007 02:46 PM

Somebody in Irvine posted?
Posted by: The Shadow at April 24, 2007 02:55 PM

I don't know, I didn't give a sh!t.....
besides, I already gave at the office....
Posted by: Gracie Lou Freebush at April 24, 2007 02:58 PM

well, I care - and anybody named "freebush" should be careful about what s/he gives ...

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 24, 2007 03:05 PM

Carol, I understand your worry and fear for your son. Really, I do. My son was deployed, three times, in some of the most violent areas in Iraq, areas where he saw combat every time he went out. He was blown off his feet by IED explosions more than once. Would he go back? If his country needs him, he will reenlist in a heartbeat. Why? Because he has a very different view of the war than we have here. He's seen the progress. The renewed hope on the faces of Iraqi parents who want nothing more for their children than a better life than they have experienced under tyrannical rule. The Iraqi soldiers who are building their own better country with the training and support of our troops. My son is 23. He helped to rebuild a nation torn by war. He made a difference. I am so damned proud of him.


Do I want my son to go back? It's irrelevant. He is an adult - while his friends are graduating from college, he's already seen and accomplished more than most will in a lifetime - and he makes his own decisions. All I can do is support him as he decides. And if he reenlists at some point, he will never hear criticism from me. He will never watch me working against the cause for which he is fighting. Supporting my son and his brother Marines is the least I can do, in return for what they are doing for us.


I don't think you'll find any military parents who are in favor of war by itself. But there are times when backing down, time and time again, gets you in a place where you either fight or surrender. Tell me, what do you think would have happened if, after our Marines were killed in Beirut, after the first Trade Center bombing, after Mogadishu, after the USS Cole was bombed, we had responded forcefully? Each time we back down, each time we leave the fight unfinished, our enemies are made bolder. And the current climate, where the Dems are demanding a timetable for leaving the fight unfinished makes me very apprehensive.

Posted by: Deb at April 24, 2007 03:07 PM

"(sniffle) I don't have an office. Posted by: The Shadow at April 24, 2007 03:04 PM"

well then nothing you say matters ... ha ha ha. [jk]

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 24, 2007 03:08 PM

Ahh, but Mark, I DO have an office and I abuse it regularly because I'm drunk on my perceived power.

Everything I say matters! Everything!!

Are you looking at me? Are YOU looking at ME?

Posted by: Nancy Pelosi at April 24, 2007 03:12 PM

"Ahh, but Mark, I DO have an office and I abuse it regularly because I'm drunk on my perceived power. Everything I say matters! Everything!! Are you looking at me? Are YOU looking at ME? Posted by: Nancy Pelosi at April 24, 2007 03:12 PM"

[pitch pipe ... ]

"Sit on my face and tell me that you love me
"I'll sit on your face and tell you I love you too
"I love to hear you oralize
"When I'm between your thighs
"You blow me away.

"Sit on my face and let my lips embrace you
"I'll sit on your face and then I'll love you truly
"Life can be fine if we both sixty nine
"If we sit on our faces
"In all sorts of places
"And play till we're blown away."

Now, isn't that much better?

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 24, 2007 03:21 PM

Deb,
Well said! I sincerely hope that whatever Carol thinks about the war and we've seen good examples of it here, she is not saying those things to her son.

It's one thing for a politician to say things like that but it's yet another to have your own mother say them to you personally.
That would be cruel and we want Carol's son's head in the game so that he does come home safe, sound and ready for the rest of his life to begin.

Posted by: Carrie at April 24, 2007 03:23 PM

Tis why I love John Murtha so.
He's hot!

ARTIST: Julie Brown
TITLE: I Like Them Big and Stupid
Lyrics


When I need somethin' to help me unwind
I find a six foot baby with a one track mind
Smart guys are nowhere, they make demands
Give me a moron with talented hands
I go bar-hopping and they say last call
I start shopping for a Neanderthal

{Refrain}
I like 'em big and stupid
I like 'em big and real dumb
I like 'em big and stupid

What kind of guy does a lot for me
A Superman with a lobotomy
My fathers outa Harvard
My brothers outa Yale
But the guy I took home last night
Just got outa jail

The way he grabbed and threw me, ooh it really got me hot
But the way he growled and bit me, I hope he had his shots

The bigger they are the harder they'll work
I got a soft spot for a good lookin' jerk

{Refrain}

I met a guy, who drives a truck
He can't tell time but he sure can drive
I asked his name and he had to think
Could I have found the missing link
He's so stupid you know what he said
Well I forgot what he said, 'cause it was so stupid

{Refrain}

I like 'em big and real dumb
I like 'em big and

Posted by: Nancy Pelosi at April 24, 2007 03:31 PM

[laughing helplessly]

I really hate all of you :p

Your Suckitude... I dunno. I'm just not worthy.

Posted by: Princess Leia in a Cheese Danish Bikini at April 24, 2007 03:33 PM

Pelosi has been an embarassment to California for years. Her hold on power is as marginal as the Democrat majorities in congress. Piglosi ran Murtha for Majority Leader and Stenny Hoyer trounced him. Many democrats think Pelosi is insane. It's a shame GWB didn't use the Logan Act on the cow.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,229819,00.html

'39 in Irvine is having quite a quotefest. This is amusing. Let's take a look at what some of our esteemed leftists' positions on Iraq were and ask ourselves why the sudden change?

http://www.whosaiditiraq.blogspot.com/

This is a great site and compendium of political hypocrisy. I will post just one for laughs:

"What is my position on Iraq? Saddam Hussein is an evil dictator who presents a serious threat to international peace and security. Under Saddam's rule, Iraq has engaged in far-reaching human rights abuses, been a state sponsor of terrorism, and has long sought to obtain and develop weapons of mass destruction."
From Sen. Reid's own website as of November 7, 2005.

Run, Harry, run.....

Posted by: Mark at April 24, 2007 03:51 PM

"Piglosi ran Murtha for Majority Leader and Stenny Hoyer trounced him."

You do have a way with words, mcgilvra. no wonder you are such a respected member of the booboisie.

[http://dictionary.reference.com/wordoftheday/archive/2002/12/05.html]

Posted by: LINO In Irvine at April 24, 2007 04:20 PM

The Hoovers are at it again!!!!

*pops popcorn and takes drink orders*

Otay. I am having butter on my with a hit of salt. Whoever says butter and salt is bad for you is just jealous and prolly hasn't enjoyed conjugal relations in a while.

Posted by: Cricket at April 24, 2007 04:29 PM

Did you have your kneepads bronzed when you passed the bar, Whino in Irvine?

You just may become an internet verb.

Posted by: Mark at April 24, 2007 04:37 PM

Good grief!

I come up from the garage to check on things and what do I see?

An on-going response quoting politicians and pundits who are on all sides of issues depending on the perceived benefit derived from the opinion poll du jour, the mentioning of John McCain's run at POTUS '08, and just generally darting all over the map using the Oh, Oh Yeah!?® Tommy Smothers tactic of responding to undeniable fact as was presented in this topic. Which IMHO only confirms that the post was a timely and appropriate blast Milady.

Well done.

Now back to my tiller.


Posted by: bthun at April 24, 2007 04:43 PM

oooh - now mcgilvra is making intimations about my sexuality ... AND my orifices!!!!! whaaaaaa whaaaaaaaa whaaaaaaaaa - mommy make him stop - he's hurting my feelings and my self-esteem is shriveling up like ... somebody's neglected micturation aperture. [really, dude - what's with you and my orifices anyway?]

*********
large popcorn, please, no extra butter ...
*********

Ma chere Mademoiselle, it is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we welcome you tonight. And now we invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair as the dining room proudly presents - your dinner!

Be our guest
Be our guest
Put our service to the test
Tie your napkin 'round your neck, cherie
And we provide the rest
Soup du jour
Hot hors d'oeuvres
we only live to serve
Try the grey stuff, it's delicious
Don't believe me? Ask the dishes
They can sing
They can dance
After all, Miss, this is France
And a dinner here is never second best
Go on, unfold your menu
Take a glance and then you'll
Be our guest
Oui, our guest
Be our guest

Beef ragout
Cheese souffle
Pie and pudding "en flambe"
We'll prepare and serve with flair
A culinary cabaret
You're alone
And you're scared
But the banquet's all prepared
No one's gloomy or complaining
While the flatware's entertaining
We tell jokes
I do tricks
With my fellow candlesticks
And it's all in perfect taste
That you can bet

[All:]
Come on and lift your glass
You've won your own free pass
To be our guest

[Lumiere:]
If you're stressed
It's fine dining we suggest
[All:]
Be our guest
Be our guest
Be our guest

[Lumiere:]
Life is so unnerving
For a servant who's not serving
He's not whole without a soul to wait upon
Ah, those good old days when we were useful
Suddenly those good old days are gone
Ten years we've been rusting
Needing so much more than dusting
Needing exercise, a chance to use our skills
Most days we just lay around the castle
Flabby, fat and lazy
You walked in and oops-a-daisy!

[Mrs Potts:]
It's a guest
It's a guest
Sakes alive, well I'll be blessed
Wine's been poured and thank the Lord
I've had the napkins freshly pressed
With dessert
She'll want tea
And my dear that's fine with me
While the cups do their soft shoeing
I'll be bubbling, I'll be brewing
I'll get warm
Piping hot
Heaven's sakes! Is that a spot?
Clean it up! We want the company impressed
We've got a lot to do
Is it one lump or two
For you, our guest?

[Chorus:]
She's our guest
[Mrs Potts:]
She's our guest

[Chorus:]
She's our guest

Be our guest
Be our guest
Our command is your request
It's ten years since we had anybody here
And we're obsessed
With your meal
With your ease
Yes, indeed, we aim to please
While the candlelight's still glowing
Let us help you
We'll keep going

Course by course
One by one
'Til you shout, "Enough! I'm done!"
Then we'll sing you off to sleep as you digest
Tonight you'll prop your feet up
But for now, let's eat up
Be our guest
Be our guest
Be our guest
Please, be our guest

Posted by: Le Garcon In Irvine at April 24, 2007 04:53 PM

Shriveling up like a micturation aperture?
Good helk. Now we have wee wee probs.
I'm prostate.

Posted by: really bad bad snarky one at April 24, 2007 05:23 PM

"Now we have wee wee probs."

I think his problems are [ahem] bigger than that ...

Posted by: The Pot Calling The Kettle Black In Irvine at April 24, 2007 05:37 PM

Why am I not surprised, LINO (Does that stand for Lost Intelligence Now Obtuse?) that the best you can come up with in LaLa Land is a kids cartoon? Pardon, but your IQ is showing.......

Posted by: Snarkammando at April 24, 2007 05:42 PM

"Why am I not surprised, LINO (Does that stand for Lost Intelligence Now Obtuse?) that the best you can come up with in LaLa Land is a kids cartoon? Pardon, but your IQ is showing....... Posted by: Snarkammando at April 24, 2007 05:42 PM"

"Liberal In Name Only". Jeez Louise - so much envy from the heartland or the red states or wherever the h**l you are.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 24, 2007 05:46 PM

to Irvine: v. to spam, or say nothing in 1,000 words or more, on a blog, no less.

Posted by: Mark at April 24, 2007 05:54 PM

FWIW, I agree with Mark re: the Speaker of the House. Her job is not to jockey for position
in regard to her status as 'next in line' but to take care of the people's business. She is not empowered to do this and is not working in line with the order of things. Could it be that she
doesn't like the fact that Condi Rice is the appropriate persyn to handle such things in re:
to diplomacy?

For a party that is so committed to ethics via their mouths, their actions surely do not show this same commitment.

I just wish for once that if the Democrats were truly wanting bipartisanship they would Go Through Channels and WORK with the opposing party instead of knee jerking and assuming that
nothing is being done or will not be done.

Posted by: Cricket at April 24, 2007 05:59 PM

"I just wish for once that if the Democrats were truly wanting bipartisanship they would Go Through Channels and WORK with the opposing party instead of knee jerking and assuming that nothing is being done or will not be done."

[ROTFLMFAO] [can't breathe - sides hurt - very worried - shouldn't leave office door closed - anyone able to find me - does Maggie know CPR - would she give it to me (i would like that!!) - what about jonathan - blech! no thanks!]

You aren't serious?! It can't be a Republican saying this, can it? Oh, that's rich! Oh ha ha ha! [cough cough gasp]

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 24, 2007 06:18 PM

No, LINO, it is not envy...it is pure and utter disdain and disgust, plain and simple. Your sychophantic attempts at humor and quasi-intelligence have become boring and pathetic. And while your concern for The Princess may be genuine (the snidely sarcastic manner in which it is usually given betrays your disingenuousness), your continuous screed has long since poisoned any good-will this poster may have once harbored for you.

Posted by: Snarkammando at April 24, 2007 06:24 PM

WTF?

Posted by: A Little Knowledge Is A Dangerous Thing In Irvine at April 24, 2007 06:31 PM

*coughs* Irvine, I think that the subject is the lack of Republican critters who decided to play diplomat where they weren't authorized, on our behalf and on the behalf of an ally. I'd also hazard there's a lack of conservatives that keep annoucing the war is lost while we still have boots on the ground, for years on end.

Being a smartass *really* pissed 'em off, since it's a rather serious matter. Ya gotta time humor so it's amusing, rather than painful or malicious in effect.

Posted by: Sailorette/Foxfier at April 24, 2007 08:22 PM

Did you meanies set fire to Irvine's hair? 'Fess up!

Posted by: Mark at April 24, 2007 09:03 PM

*sigh*

I am trying to clean out my basement, a task I am *really* not at all interested in at 9 o clock at night.

YOU ARE NOT HELPING!

Posted by: Night Of The Dormant Commerce Clause at April 24, 2007 09:06 PM

"Did you meanies set fire to Irvine's hair? 'Fess up! Posted by: Mark at April 24, 2007 09:03 PM"

Hmm ... ach zo, I zee zat mcgilvra hass dreams off feuer und off zurtain oarafeces. Veddy eentaresstink caze. Must kontakt HHS in der Morgan und zuggjest involuntary kommitment order.

Posted by: Pepe le Pew In Irvine at April 24, 2007 09:14 PM

Cricket, Gingrich did carry on a shadow foreign policy during the Clinton administration and Republicans made no objection. Were you calling for him to resign when he went to China against the wishes of the adminstration?

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/04/05/gingrich_china/index.html

Posted by: Carol H at April 24, 2007 09:22 PM

Good one, Carol H. Here's something from your link, for our friends at VC:

Pelosi said what?

http://gulfnews.com/opinion/columns/region/10116167.html

In Damascus, Pelosi repeated the usual demands of the Bush administration. She called upon Syria to tighten security on the borders with Iraq and exert more efforts to prevent the infiltration of foreign fighters whom she described as "killing American soldiers".

She asked the Syrian government to halt arms shipments to Hezbollah and Hamas and facilitate the establishment of the international tribunal, which is supposed to investigate the assassination of former Lebanese prime mister Rafik Hariri.

More interestingly, she asked Syria to help release the two captured Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah, the incident that triggered the last summer's war in Lebanon.

Syrian officials asked Pelosi what the US would pay in return for their cooperation on the aforementioned issues. Pelosi's answer was ambiguous. She admitted that despite that she holds the third most senior position in the hierarchy of power in the US; she does not wield much influence on the making of US foreign policy, which falls completely in the hands of the White House.
- - Gulf News, Dubai, UAE

In other words, Pelosi didn't make her own foreign policy, and took great pains to support the Administration's positions, and she explained to foreigners who might be ignorant about the U.S. that Congressional leaders such as herself don't have the customary powers of parliamentary leaders in other countries.

It's hard to imagine a greater contrast with Newt Gingrich.

Posted by: Gadfly In Irvine at April 24, 2007 09:31 PM

Saint Nancy of Pelosi, and I never knew her..

Posted by: Mark at April 24, 2007 09:41 PM

My son knows I am and always have been against the war. He also knows that his father and I know that it is his life and he has to live it as he sees fit. Since he made the decision to enlist we have supported him unconditionally. He needed surgery before he went in and we found the best doctor in our city to do it, we are keeping his car and making the payments, we bought almost $1000 of supplemental equipment for him out of our own pockets before he left, just last month we bought a lighter vest for his body armor that helps him with the weight and heat for a cost of $400, we do everything we can to help and support his future wife, we send letters and care packages, we talk with him on the phone every week to 10 days and he knows he can speak with us about anything and he does. I sent a package today: tuna a cracker snack packs, dried fruit, candy, magazines, mailing supplies, crackers, suncreen, body lotion, insect repellent, mini model Bradley and squirt guns for fun. My husband I and work together and he called us today post-mission. He's doing great and liking his work. I asked him if the name "Harry Reid" ment anything to him and he said no. I told him that he was the Majority Leader in the Senate and he said "oh". I told him that Reid is under fire for saying the war is lost and asked what he thought about that. He said that he doesn't think the war is lost but it isn't won either and that the opinions of those who are not there do not concern him. It's the opinion of only one soldier, of course, but the statements of political leaders in Washington do not harm his morale.

Posted by: Carol H at April 24, 2007 09:45 PM

"Saint Nancy of Pelosi"

And DON'T you forget it, EVER!

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 24, 2007 09:54 PM

I'm glad Carol :p

It sounds as though you have raised a fine son. Like your son, I don't think the war is won either yet. But I also think it's absolutely ridiculous to declare it lost, and his statement was picked up and repeated on al Jazeera and the arab media. It had huge propaganda value, and not to our benefit.

However, your son sounds a lot like my husband.

I have to tell you though, that not everyone is like your son. I remember talking to a friend of mine who served three combat tours over there. The third time he was over there was when various "members" (pun fully intended) of Congress, some of them Rethugs, were holding forth in typical asshatted fashion. I swear the most dangerous place on Capitol Hill is between some of these DimWits and a television camera.

He was really, really upset about the lack of support. He had just seen several of his friends killed. His unit had been taking heavy, heavy losses. I am not sure you understand the toll something like that takes on a man, and when you see 4 or 5 of your close friends wiped out within one month and then have to listen to jerks back home saying you are fighting for NOTHING, that hurts. Yeah, he got over it. But it was like getting stabbed in the back.

So not everyone reacts the same. My husband also doesn't give a rap what Reid says.

And Mark, amazing how you skip over the fact that Pelosi carried a message the Israeli PM disavowed literally within HOURS of it hitting the press. That made the US look extremely foolish. It was a diplomatic gaffe of the first order and she had NO business doing that. And you know it. So cut it out.

Posted by: Night Of The Dormant Commerce Clause at April 24, 2007 09:56 PM

Good night Carol :)

Posted by: Night Of The Dormant Commerce Clause at April 24, 2007 10:11 PM

...Good night John-boy

Posted by: Ma Walton at April 24, 2007 10:12 PM

"And Mark, amazing how you skip over the fact that Pelosi carried a message the Israeli PM disavowed literally within HOURS of it hitting the press. That made the US look extremely foolish. It was a diplomatic gaffe of the first order and she had NO business doing that. And you know it. So cut it out."

OK - so now I look foolish ...

Yes, Mistress ...
[I must not think bad thoughts]
http://www.xtheband.com/newworld7.html
http://www.xtheband.com/morefun.html

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 24, 2007 10:40 PM

By the way, has anybody been filled in on the timeline for Bosnia? I'm sure President Clinton must have given us a definitive exit date.

Posted by: RIslander at April 25, 2007 07:50 AM

By the way, has anybody been filled in on the timeline for Bosnia? I'm sure President Clinton must have given us a definitive exit date.

I don't recall an exit date, but I suppose it might happen on or about when Europe, make that the EU, matures to the point that they can police their own back yards.

I did not have military relations with that country!

Posted by: bthun at April 25, 2007 08:18 AM

The timeline that Clintoon set was six months...think it was in 1994. Last year or the year before we finally pulled out.

About Mr. Newt: He was investigated with regard to violations of the Logan Act and found to not have done anything wrong. Nor were Senators
Sharkman (I think) and McGovern found to be in the wrong in going to Cuba in 1975.

Newt got the Chinese to the negotiating table.
Syria and Iran have a history of not being trustworthy for some strange reason.

Can't imagine why that is.

Posted by: Cricket at April 25, 2007 08:47 AM

Wasn't SFOR handed off to EUFOR sometime in 05, but NATO still hovers to assist with maintaining the peace in Bosnia? At least as I understand it, which may be all wrong.

Newt was investigated for about anything imaginable. IIRC he gave the Chinese a hands off signal regarding Taiwan during his trip, he discussed human rights with the Chinese, along with the usual stuff of the time like MFN status for the Chinese, refrain from shooting student protestors and such. Again IIRC which I must admit is not always the case, Newt was tripped up on something like a book deal from which he gave all the proceeds to a charity. But my memory ain't what it used to be.

Too old to rock n roll, too ancient history to google.

Posted by: bthun at April 25, 2007 09:15 AM

Oh yeah, didn’t Newt also mentioned that the Chinese should not be providing nuclear and/or missile technology to rogue nations? Or was that a message we sent to China via Sec of State on or about the same time that a Chinese scientist was misplacing and/or mishandling classified information at Los Alamos?

Being a former tech guy long ago and far away, I recall hearing something absurd about disc drives disappearing at the same lab too. I recall thinking at the time that security must have really slacked off since I worked with DOD in D.C.

There is certainly no shortage of material for discussion.

Posted by: bthun at April 25, 2007 09:30 AM

Security hasn't slackened at Los Alamos. In fact, it has held steady at the non-existant level for quite some time.

Posted by: RIslander at April 25, 2007 12:52 PM

Yes, the Sino American Accords were Issues I had big time problems with way back in the 80s...former Congressman Panetta and I had some intense correspondence on them. I mentioned something along the lines of North Korea getting hold of nuke technology and becoming a threat later on down the line and his response was along the lines of 'civil rights.'

IOW, the Chinese were bribed with nuke technology during the Carter years to stop abusing their people.

But hey, I digress.

Posted by: Cricket at April 25, 2007 01:28 PM

Arrrggggg...

I could have gone all day without having a thought of JC enter my mind!

arrrgggggg... oh well, it's 5 o'clock somewhere.

Posted by: bthun at April 25, 2007 01:52 PM

Cass - Sorry I am late reading this. Good post, and I value your viewpoint, as always.

Take care! {Hugs}

Posted by: Barb at April 25, 2007 02:10 PM

"I did not have military relations with that country!"

Very funny.

now, if the "withdrawal" language in the funding bill is "non-binding" (meaning it is not enforceable as law) AND GWB can issue a signing statement saying he's going to ignore it anyway, tell me again WHY it's OK for him to veto it? I thought the money was needed urgently. (i understand that if the funding bill is treated as an emergency measure, that treatment means it is ineligible for debate or something, right?).

based on the above, it seems that the funds are not really needed urgently ... not so?

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 25, 2007 08:43 PM

Mark, you are driving me nuts.

It's not just withdrawal dates. You know there's a lot of other crap in that bill that is bullshit and will get our guys killed... like mandating mandatory "rest periods" that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has said are just going to cause us to yield up ground we've already fought to take (the "hold" part of the clear and hold strategy the goddamned Democrats were bitching about last year - once again with the fucking moving goalposts). Nevermind the fact that these brilliant "strategists" ignore the fact that we HAVE ALREADY BEEN DOING THIS - WE JUST DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH PEOPLE.

And we also weren't implementing the military strategy correctly - something which has finally been fixed with the surge. So now we are doing it right and you all want to remove all discretion from the military commanders and have these assholes in Congress mandating to our commanders in the field how many men they will have at their disposal.

Bullshit. Kill it and move on.

And stop the arguments. Congress has never run wars and it never will run wars.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 25, 2007 08:56 PM

I'm sorry.

But honestly.

It is not that simple and you make it sound like it's a tit for tat, when it's not. Congress has loaded all kinds of unacceptable conditions on this funding. It's not just one thing - it will be a constant battle at home to do the things the President and military have a perfect RIGHT to do under their job descriptions. Congress has no business tying their hands this way while our men are in the line of fire.

If they want to end the war, fine. Let them vote to bring EVERYONE HOME. But they're not doing that, are they? Because they know the whole country would be up in arms. And they don't have the votes anyway.

That's all the proof you need to see this bullshit for what it is. Blackmail. They are trying to impose their UNDEMOCRATIC (because they don't have the votes) will on the President by holding up the funding and tying his hands.

Well that is garbage and I'm glad he isn't caving and so is everyone I've talked to in the military. We understand and so should you.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 25, 2007 09:07 PM

We have to figure out a way to have beers sent ala Mongol's Candy-gram.

Once we have that sorted, I will square my debt to Sly and I'll be able to spring for a couple for you too Milady in situations where your patience is being tested...

Restraint... 1... 2... 3... 4...

Posted by: bthun at April 25, 2007 09:12 PM

I apologize.

Too many nights without alcohol and without...

Well, just without :p Guess I'm a little testy. This virtue gig is really no fun at all.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 25, 2007 09:17 PM

Shush, now...

Let your silence be your strength.

Posted by: spd rdr at April 25, 2007 09:20 PM

Alcohol, at least, should be readily available. In fact, Maryland makes a very acceptable mead -- I haven't had it in a couple of years, but I recall that the winery in Mt. Airy produces a "Medieval Mead" that is quite good.

You can probably get it at the local ABC, on order if not in stock.

Posted by: Grim at April 25, 2007 09:29 PM

I am fine. Just laughing at myself a bit. Like I always say, if you can poke fun at yourself, you'll never lack for comedic fodder. I shouldn't have lost my temper.

'Nite.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 25, 2007 09:37 PM

Feet dry, ace.
I've got your six

Posted by: Robert Browning (1812-1889) at April 25, 2007 09:48 PM

As their numbers dwindle the Bushies become evermore hysterical.

Posted by: John Ryan at April 25, 2007 10:18 PM

As their numbers dwindle the Bushies become evermore hysterical.

Posted by: John Ryan at April 25, 2007 10:18 PM

That's it, John? That's all you've got? Man, I would say that your offering is merely pathetic, but I've met eunuchs that have more nuts than you.

If you would like to have a discussion on the topic, feel free to join in. If you would rather just snipe talking points from the bleachers, however, expect nothing but well deserved ridicule.

Options open, Jack. My bet is that you won't be heard from again.

And, ask anyone, I always win.

Posted by: spd rdr at April 25, 2007 10:32 PM

"It is not that simple"

That is correct. It is a pain in the neck (among other places) to read the thing [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c110:5:./temp/~c1109q7MkE:e253110:]
and find, for example, the "mandating mandatory 'rest periods' that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has said are just ...."

I understand that emergency supplemental appropriations bills always have multiple subjects, and that therefore this bill is no exception. I also understand that the "withdrawal" provisions are not binding. Surely GWB and his people can prepare the appropriate "signing statement" to carve out the "other crap" and the "unacceptable conditions on this funding".

Where is the legislative analysis of this bill? I'm looking. Were are you finding information about the things you don't like?

You say that this is "Blackmail ... and ... holding up the funding and tying his hands", but GWB can treat this like he's treated countless other bills. Like I said, he's the guy with the pen in his hand, he can sign (with or without a "signing statement") and get the money flowing, or veto, and start the process all over again.

You say the bill is "They are trying to impose their UNDEMOCRATIC (because they don't have the votes) will on the President by holding up the funding and tying his hands", but the Republicans don;t have the votes, either.

We may not like the way this is going, but it is surely democratic. And GWB has his remedies, in the signing statements.

Sure, there is politicking going on here - on BOTH SIDES - but GWB can get the money he seeks (which I keep hearing isn't REALLY needed on an emergency basis) and he WILL NOT BE BOUND by the withdrawal language, even without a signing statement.

Obviously, we disagree ... but we can still be reasonable about it, no?

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 25, 2007 10:40 PM

As far as I have been able to determine, in the few minutes I've spent looking, this:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:HR01591:@@@D&summ2=m&

is a summary of the bill.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 25, 2007 10:44 PM

*sigh*

Congratulations. That is the stupidest argument that I have ever heard about a war in progress.

Posted by: spd rdr at April 25, 2007 11:03 PM

Mark, there is a House bill and a Senate bill. This is well plowed ground. Then they go to conference and they have to work out the differences between the two, which were substantive.

I'm tired and have work to do tonight and don't have time to wade into this right now. I've already talked about it, there are a million good news articles out there about it. This is all game playing.

I'm done. I've already told you why I don't think that's a good idea. You disagree.

Coming back and repeating the same objections that I've already addressed just because you don't agree with my reasons isn't accomplishing anything. You haven't raised any new arguments - you're just repeating the old ones and I'm not going to restate my original rebuttals to them.

THE REPUBLICANS DON'T HAVE TO HAVE THE VOTES TO 'DEFEAT' THE STATUS QUO: THE PRESIDENT IS THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF AND THE MILITARY COMMANDERS GET TO MAKE MILITARY DECISIONS. WHERE YOU NEED VOTES IS IF YOU WANT TO SOMEHOW OVERRIDE THAT. AND GUESS WHAT?

NEITHER PARTY HAS THE VOTES CAPICHE?

Let it go.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 25, 2007 11:08 PM

As you wish.

Posted by: spd rdr at April 25, 2007 11:13 PM

Given that none of us (as far as I know) is in a position to do anything about this, maybe the whole argument is pointless, except as the venting of steam.

I understand that there are lives at stake, lives of people we know (for some of us, anyway). We are close to (or far from) this war in varying degrees. There are factors that none of us is aware of.

Lives have been lost, and others forever changed. More lives WILL be lost, and others changed, no matter what GWB or Congress or any of us does. The situation is out of our hands, and in the hands of GWB and his people (and to some extent in the hands of Congress - it could just drop the whole funding bill, after all [but won't]), and maybe, from a "faith" point of view, in God's hands (whose "plans" we can only hope to divine).

May God protect us and our families and the troops. That's all we can say.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 25, 2007 11:18 PM

Shit will happen; somebody will be blamed; more people will die. Sounds like just another day on planet earth. Goodnight and good luck to us all.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 25, 2007 11:21 PM

"Shut up" to all of us might be the most appropriate reaction at the moment, sir.

Posted by: spd rdr at April 25, 2007 11:22 PM

*************

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 25, 2007 11:33 PM

Screw the non-binding bullshit and the unconstitutional power grab - it should be vetoed for the reprehensible pork alone.

Posted by: daveg at April 26, 2007 08:29 AM

it is the usual pork - get over it - to deal wiht Katrina (finally), and the spinach (?) - and lots and lots and lots of $$$ for the military. do you want the frikkin money or not? it's not even a frikking emergency - that just more trumped-up bovine excrement from the suitably named TurdBlossom.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine at April 26, 2007 10:50 AM

The bill is an insult and I am not going to get over it. The pork should not have been included on THIS bill.

And I am so freakin' sick of reading your comments about Turdblossom. I don't care about Karl Rove or his eeevvvillll ways right now. I care about what just happened today in the Senate. It's disgusting.

Posted by: Carrie at April 26, 2007 01:34 PM

MarkinI,

Didn't you recently mention that you were to be wed? If so, and I know unsolicited advice is... well [fill in the blank], but when ladies tell you that the conversation is ended and they have nothing further to say, you should learn to heed that suggestion.

Happy wife, happy life.

Continue to nip after the ladies, and I may have to break a 40+ year streak and invite you to the bridge at 3:30.

Now I going back to my tiller overhaul.

Posted by: bthun at April 26, 2007 01:56 PM