I'm sure there are reasons other than saving face to maintain a presence there for a while longer. Not saying that cavalierly or with disregard for the lives of our GIs. But to just say seeya-buh-bye and bolt seems wrong, politically and logistically. You make a mess, you gotta at least help get the cleanup started. And in this case, the biggest mess we made is the insurgency.<br><br>Now if the Admin could bring itself to say "Ok, we made a boo-boo, so we'll stick around 'til [date] to get such & such done, and we'll be complately off your stoop by [date]...<br><br>But when I think of Bush/Cheney admitting something, I get this image of The Fonz saying "I was wr... I was wro... I was wr..." <br><br>
You seem are always telling people you don't agree with what they think. How the f*ck would you know who their favorite politician is? You could make a good guess for George Bush. He gave Al Qaeda and other groups the perfect training ground and morale booster in Iraq and he even brought chemical weapons etc. in where there were none before. How can they not love him? He is probably responsible for killing more "terrorists" than any other president or politician, but he also inspired, gave training ground to, and armed 10 times more than he has killed at least. Good show George!<br><br>We are what we repeatedly do. -Aristotle
_________________________ We are what we repeatedly do - Aristotle
here's more (practically the whole thing):<br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p> But if American troops aren't in Baghdad, what's to stop the Sunnis from launching an assault and seizing control of the city?<br><br>Sunni forces could not mount such an assault. The preponderance of power now lies with the majority Shiites and the Kurds, and the Sunnis know this. Sunni fighters wield only small arms and explosives, not Saddam's tanks and helicopters, and are very weak compared with the cohesive, better armed, and numerically superior Shiite and Kurdish militias. Most important, Iraqi nationalism—not intramural rivalry—is the chief motivator for both Shiites and Sunnis. Most insurgency groups view themselves as waging a muqawama—a resistance—rather than a jihad. This is evident in their names and in their propaganda. For instance, the units commanded by the Association of Muslim Scholars are named after the 1920 revolt against the British. Others have names such as Iraqi Islamic Army and Flame of Iraq. They display the Iraqi flag rather than a flag of jihad. Insurgent attacks are meant primarily to punish those who have collaborated with the Americans and to deter future collaboration.<br><br>Wouldn't a U.S. withdrawal embolden the insurgency?<br><br>No. If the occupation were to end, so, too, would the insurgency. After all, what the resistance movement has been resisting is the occupation. Who would the insurgents fight if the enemy left? When I asked Sunni Arab fighters and the clerics who support them why they were fighting, they all gave me the same one-word answer: intiqaam—revenge. Revenge for the destruction of their homes, for the shame they felt when Americans forced them to the ground and stepped on them, for the killing of their friends and relatives by U.S. soldiers either in combat or during raids.<br><br>But what about the foreign jihadi element of the resistance? Wouldn't it be empowered by a U.S. withdrawal?<br><br>The foreign jihadi element—commanded by the likes of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi—is numerically insignificant; the bulk of the resistance has no connection to al-Qaeda or its offshoots. (Zarqawi and his followers have benefited greatly from U.S. propaganda blaming him for all attacks in Iraq, because he is now seen by Arabs around the world as more powerful than he is; we have been his best recruiting tool.) It is true that the Sunni resistance welcomed the foreign fighters (and to some extent still do), because they were far more willing to die than indigenous Iraqis were. But what Zarqawi wants fundamentally conflicts with what Iraqi Sunnis want: Zarqawi seeks re-establishment of the Muslim caliphate and a Manichean confrontation with infidels around the world, to last until Judgment Day; the mainstream Iraqi resistance just wants the Americans out. If U.S. forces were to leave, the foreigners in Zarqawi's movement would find little support—and perhaps significant animosity—among Iraqi Sunnis, who want wealth and power, not jihad until death. They have already lost much of their support: many Iraqis have begun turning on them. In the heavily Shia Sadr City foreign jihadis had burning tires placed around their necks. The foreigners have not managed to establish themselves decisively in any large cities. Even at the height of their power in Fallujah they could control only one neighborhood, the Julan, and they were hated by the city's resistance council. Today foreign fighters hide in small villages and are used opportunistically by the nationalist resistance.<br><br>When the Americans depart and Sunnis join the Iraqi government, some of the foreign jihadis in Iraq may try to continue the struggle—but they will have committed enemies in both Baghdad and the Shiite south, and the entire Sunni triangle will be against them. They will have nowhere to hide. Nor can they merely take their battle to the West. The jihadis need a failed state like Iraq in which to operate. When they leave Iraq, they will be hounded by Arab and Western security agencies.<br> <br>What about the Kurds? Won't they secede if the United States leaves?<br><br>Yes, but that's going to happen anyway. All Iraqi Kurds want an independent Kurdistan. They do not feel Iraqi. They've effectively had more than a decade of autonomy, thanks to the UN-imposed no-fly zone; they want nothing to do with the chaos that is Iraq. Kurdish independence is inevitable—and positive. (Few peoples on earth deserve a state more than the Kurds.) For the moment the Kurdish government in the north is officially participating in the federalist plan—but the Kurds are preparing for secession. They have their own troops, the peshmerga, thought to contain 50,000 to 100,000 fighters. They essentially control the oil city of Kirkuk. They also happen to be the most America-loving people I have ever met; their leaders openly seek to become, like Israel, a proxy for American interests. If what the United States wants is long-term bases in the region, the Kurds are its partners.<br><br>Would Turkey invade in response to a Kurdish secession?<br><br>For the moment Turkey is more concerned with EU membership than with Iraq's Kurds—who in any event have expressed no ambitions to expand into Turkey. Iraq's Kurds speak a dialect different from Turkey's, and, in fact, have a history of animosity toward Turkish Kurds. Besides, Turkey, as a member of NATO, would be reluctant to attack in defiance of the United States. Turkey would be satisfied with guarantees that it would have continued access to Kurdish oil and trade and that Iraqi Kurds would not incite rebellion in Turkey.<br><br>Would Iran effectively take over Iraq?<br><br>No. Iraqis are fiercely nationalist—even the country's Shiites resent Iranian meddling. (It is true that some Iraqi Shiites view Iran as an ally, because many of their leaders found safe haven there when exiled by Saddam—but thousands of other Iraqi Shiites experienced years of misery as prisoners of war in Iran.) Even in southeastern towns near the border I encountered only hostility toward Iran.<br><br>What about the goal of creating a secular democracy in Iraq that respects the rights of women and non-Muslims?<br><br>Give it up. It's not going to happen. Apart from the Kurds, who revel in their secularism, Iraqis overwhelmingly seek a Muslim state. Although Iraq may have been officially secular during the 1970s and 1980s, Saddam encouraged Islamism during the 1990s, and the difficulties of the past decades have strengthened the resurgence of Islam. In the absence of any other social institutions, the mosques and the clergy assumed the dominant role in Iraq following the invasion. Even Baathist resistance leaders told me they have returned to Islam to atone for their sins under Saddam. Most Shiites, too, follow one cleric or another. Ayatollah al-Sistani—supposedly a moderate—wants Islam to be the source of law. The invasion of Iraq has led to a theocracy, which can only grow more hostile to America as long as U.S. soldiers are present. Does Iraqi history offer any lessons?<br><br>The British occupation of Iraq, in the first half of the twentieth century, may be instructive. The British faced several uprisings and coups. The Iraqi government, then as now, was unable to suppress the rebels on its own and relied on the occupying military. In 1958, when the government the British helped install finally fell, those who had collaborated with them could find no popular support; some, including the former prime minister Nuri Said, were murdered and mutilated. Said had once been a respected figure, but he became tainted by his collaboration with the British. That year, when revolutionary officers overthrew the government, Said disguised himself as a woman and tried to escape. He was discovered, shot in the head, and buried. The next day a mob dug up his corpse and dragged it through the street—an act that would be repeated so often in Iraq that it earned its own word: sahil. With the British-sponsored government gone, both Sunni and Shiite Arabs embraced the Iraqi identity. The Kurds still resent the British perfidy that made them part of Iraq.<br><br>What can the United States do to repair Iraq?<br><br>There is no panacea. Iraq is a destroyed and fissiparous country. Iranians and Saudis I've spoken to worry that it might be impossible to keep Iraq from disintegrating. But they agree that the best hope of avoiding this scenario is if the United States leaves; perhaps then Iraqi nationalism will keep at least the Arabs united. The sooner America withdraws and allows Iraqis to assume control of their own country, the better the chances that Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari won't face sahil. It may be decades before Iraq recovers from the current maelstrom. By then its borders may be different, its vaunted secularism a distant relic. But a continued U.S. occupation can only get in the way.<p><hr></blockquote><p>--<br>"I am mindful that diversity is one of the strengths of the country" --president bush on 9/27/05
How about Murtha vs. Dick ("#1 chickenhawk") Cheney:<br><blockquote>Seldom overtly political, Murtha uncharacteristically responded to Vice President Dick Cheney's comments this week that Democrats were spouting "one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges" about the Bush administration's use of intelligence before the war.<br><br>"I like guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there. I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done," Murtha said.</blockquote><br>Snap!!<br><br>
Later in the day, Scottie makes a comment comparing Murtha to Michael Moore. So the cable news programs quote Scottie, then quote Michael Moore's response. Thanks Scottie, a lot more people won't think Moore is the boogeyman you've made him out to be. I'm sure he loves the fact that the administration points the spotlight on him <br><br><br>"Statement by Michael Moore on the Bush Administration's Statement<br><br>STATEMENT BY MICHAEL MOORE<br><br>Unfortunately, the President doesn't understand that it is mainstream middle America who has turned against him and his immoral war and that it is I and the Democrats who represent the mainstream. It is Mr. Bush who is the extremist.<br><br><br><br>
Loc: Syracuse, NY
He's done this before. Over a year ago he was saying the same thing. To me it is purely political. The Democrats smell blood in the water and will do whatever they need to do to further their political agenda. They could care less about our troops in Iraq. They are using them as a lever for political gain. While they offer absolutely no solutions, they cannot stand being out of power.<br><br>
"While they offer absolutely no solutions"??? What are you talking about? Your link explains exactly what Murtha's plan was and now is. Unlike Bush he changes plans with the conditions.<br><br>In Spring 2004 he advocated increasing troop strength. He believed the current conditions would create a quagmire. He has been proven right. Now he says we have to get out. That is not a flip flop. It is the only plan that will work. We have to stop being a target and the insurgency will dry up.<br><br>The only solution Bush/Cheney has is to continue this vicious mistake. Dig in their heels and never admit anything wrong. <br><br>Since when do the Democrats have the corner on the "want to stay in power" market? Cheney yesterday looked like a junk yard dog snarling at his critics in Congress while he slandered them.<br><br>Irony flows freely as Colonel Murtha is slandered by five deferment Cheney. As ironical as silver star Kerry being fastboated.<br><br>And the shame of the republicans is complete as they slash student food and loans for poor kids while they clear the table to slash even more taxes for the rich next week. Republicans who have kids who make less than 100K a year are starting to wake up. They are seeing Bush/Cheney for what they really are. Delusional for one. Because no one around them will tell them the truth. That America has turned against them. Finally.<br><br><br><br><br><br>(__*__) <-- circular sig when standing
I found this about Murtha in 2004:<br><br>"We cannot prevail in this war as it is going today," Murtha said <br><br>""We either have to mobilize or we have to get out," Murtha said, adding that he supported increasing U.S. troop strength rather than pulling out. <br><br>So it is somewhat different now ... in 2004 he favored increasing the effort... now he's for pulling out. <br><br>I think he gave it a reasonable chance. Things have steadily gotten worse and Bush ahs done NOTHING to counter that... still no plan, no new changes, just same old shiitt. <br><br>I think he has more credability then Bush or Cheney !!<br><br>David (OFI)<br><br><br>P.S. OOPS I didn't read Shooshies before I posted... well Shoosh- I agree 100% !!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by DLC on 11/18/05 08:25 AM (server time).</EM></FONT></P>
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