Where's George Aiken When You Need Him?

"Declare victory and get out." - Senator George Aiken (R-VT) on the Vietnam war.


The U.S. military believes it has dealt devastating and perhaps irreversible blows to al-Qaeda in Iraq in recent months, leading some generals to advocate a declaration of victory over the group, which the Bush administration has long described as the most lethal U.S. adversary in Iraq. But as the White House and its military commanders plan the next phase of the war, other officials have cautioned against taking what they see as a premature step that could create strategic and political difficulties for the United States. Such a declaration could fuel criticism that the Iraq conflict has become a civil war in which U.S. combat forces should not be involved.

Umm, I am beginning to suspect these folks do not want us to leave Iraq. . . .

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    Do not want us to leave? (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 10:00:16 AM EST
    Do not want us to leave?

    Look, jeeze.

    Just because the all of the justifications for the invasion were outright lies, and the stated goal for the invasion, the ouster of Saddam Hussein and his Ba'ath party government, was accomplished within a few weeks of the invasion, and then instead of leaving after "mission" had been accomplished Bush proceeded to begin was has become a murderous 4 year (so far) occupation that has absolutely destroyed Iraqi society, and Iraq was relatively stable for the first few months after the invasion but has continually destabilized further and further the longer the occupation, which WAS NOT a stated goal, continues, and more Iraqis have died under and as a direct result of that occupation than Japanese who were killed in both of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and all that American "help" has ever done for Iraq is make the situation worse. Continually. Never better. Only worse....

    is no reason to think they do not want us to leave, or that there were and ulterior motives.

    Is it?

    This has nothing to do with why we're actually (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by kovie on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 10:29:40 AM EST
    in Iraq, of course. Every reason given was obviously made-up, and every time one of them ceased to be plausible (e.g. no WMD, democracy didn't pan out, Saddam captured and dead, purple ink caused finger cancer), they came up with a new made-up one. The real reason always was and will be oil. And not so much so that we can get and make money off of it (although, of course, these are important secondary reasons), but so that Russia and China can NOT get and make money off of it.

    This war was launched to preempt Russia and China's ascension as superpowers who could threaten US hegemony--without mideast oil, their rise is made vastly harder. Which is why so many Dems appear to buy into the war. We are in an imperial era in US history, and both parties (save for the libertarian wing on the right and the progressive wing on the left) are in on it.

    They don't intend to leave Iraq until its oil is fully secured, at which point they'll be more than happy to let its people kill each other to their hearts' content.


    They are afraid to leave Iraq. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 10:39:54 AM EST
    They are afraid that the US economy cannot and will not continue to dominate the world economy, and will collapse, unless the US is able to dominate the energy resources of the world, and that cannot be done if the US withdraws from Iraq.

    The invasion and the occupation of Iraq was not done to deliver 'freedom and democracy' to Iraq. It was done in the hope of ensuring US economic dominance.

    What the Bush Regime portrays as a noble effort to make the world safe from terrorism and bring democracy to the Middle East is actually a vicious war of empire to deepen the U.S. stranglehold on the Middle East and Central Asia --a war that is part of a broader effort to create an unchallenged and unchallengeable imperialist empire.

    This goal is not viewed as capricious or incidental by those in charge--whether Democrats or Republicans--rather it flows from the deepest needs and drives of their system: U.S. hegemony in the Middle East and global dominance is crucial for U.S. s ongoing functioning and U.S. global power.
    So when Bush says, "Even if you thought it was a mistake to go into Iraq, it would be a far greater mistake to pull out now," he's expressing a fear -- from an imperialist viewpoint - that a U.S. pullout would leave the empire weaker. And he is saying this in opposition to other forces in the U.S. ruling class who, also coming from an imperialist viewpoint, now think it's a big mistake for the U.S. not to withdraw.

    Hopefully some Democrats will jump on this, (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Geekesque on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 10:16:34 AM EST
    especially regarding 'residual' forces.

    One would hope (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by kovie on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 10:19:32 AM EST
    The question is, HOW are they going to jump on this?

    How? (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 10:25:49 AM EST
    Just listen to Nancy Pelosi:
    I am one of the most vociferous opponents of the [Iraq] War . . .

    Yeah, I saw it too (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by kovie on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 10:34:50 AM EST
    Truly and scarily hollow. He asked her about defunding and she ducked the question entirely, instead bloviating about how they don't have the votes. Of course he didn't follow it up with the obvious point that defunding (or, properly, not funding) doesn't require any votes. But then he lives in the Village too, and Villagers don't embarrass their fellow Villagers, unless they committed the worst possible sin in the Village, having sex and then lying about it, which is punishable only by impeachment. All other offenses are forgivable.

    Truly and scarily lies. (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 10:46:56 AM EST
    She is on Bush's side. All the way. She has, and never had, any intention of using defunding power to end it.
    ...this should resolve the question once and for all: We are on our own.

    Asked about her "greatest mistake," Pelosi said Why don't you tell me? 'Cause I think we're doing just great." Remember when Georgie stumbled over a similar question and couldn't recall any mistakes? It seems Our Only President is not the only one so afflicted.

    She oddly reminds me (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by kovie on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 07:02:50 PM EST
    of substitute teachers I had in grade school--I assume that most people had the type--who could not control the classroom, and as soon as things got out of hand, started shrieking and making empty threats, like "I'm going to write you up" and "I'm calling the principal", never realizing that the reasons that things were out of hand was because the kids didn't respect him or her.

    No one respects Pelosi anymore, because she doesn't deserve it. Yet she's either cluesless about this, or doesn't care. Hee hee, I made a speech on the floor of the house, what more do you want me to do--actually show some spine? I may be from San Francisco but I'm not a hemp-wearing DFH, hee hee!


    She's represents Nancy, no one else. (none / 0) (#20)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 07:49:17 PM EST
    I imagine she got paid with something equally worthless when she sold her soul.

    Sorry, Nancy... but that's the way it looks from out here.

    Nothing lasts forever. Even your political career.

    Nancy Pelosi, Meet Your Replacement!
    (watch the whole thing - it's not what it appears to be)


    The clip on NPR this a.m.: she sounded (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 08:29:37 PM EST
    weak, even on S-CHIP override issue.  Kind of surprising, as when she was first elected Speaker she sounded strong.

    A limousine liberal (none / 0) (#22)
    by kovie on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 09:54:56 PM EST
    The left's version of the right's "country club conservative". I.e. preservers of the status quo and their privileged position within it. The MO is to say all the right things, and then do what you intended to do all along. She was born into a powerful Democratic family and tradition, so she's got to say all the right liberal things to please the base, while actually doing what ending up suiting her, just as someone like Bush was born into a powerful GOP family and tradition, and has to say all the right conservative things to please the base, while actually doing what he pleased. Forgetting about the policy specifics, the fundamental MO is exactly the same. It took me a while to figure this out about Pelosi, but it's pretty clear by now. Clearly I don't think that she's as bad as Bush. But the hearty FU to the base by both seems quite obvious now. It's HER party and majority, not ours, and representative government is not something that she believes in.

    Fine, let her have her hollow Armani throne. We need to surround her with more and more progressives, who will hopefully pressure her to do right and make her increasingly irrelevant, and eventually replace her. At 67 she can't be doing this forever. If you can't beat 'em, outflank 'em.


    She looks really good for 67; I think (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 10:54:51 PM EST
    she can keep on for awhile longer.

    Eh (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2007 at 01:05:49 AM EST
    But can she stand the stress? I'm not sure. Not from the right, but from the left. If she doesn't understand or won't respect how representational democracy works, then pressure needs to be applied to her to make sure that she does. She got it all wrong last week. We are not advocates--she's the advocate, i.e. ours. And if she can't or won't get this, then we need to make her get it. And I'm not sure if she's built to handle that sort of pressure. But perhaps I mistake her deer in the headlights expressions and stuttering speaking style for weakness.

    She isn't stressed at all by the left, just (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 02, 2007 at 01:35:18 PM EST
    imperially dismissive.

    My thoughts exactly (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by kovie on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 10:17:01 AM EST
    I heard this on NPR just now and this is just what I thought--we beat the mother of all jihadists, so let's declare victory and get the hell out. Of course, this being a neocon-inspired war, and neocons being nototious for always needing an enemy for sustenance, nothing would threaten them more than the absence of a readily identifiable threat. No doubt if we really had defeated AQI, Cheney would be on the phone to Petraeus, Hayden and McConnell demanding that they immediately begin a search for a new "grave threat to world civilization". The US simply cannot survive the absence of a grave and mortal threat. Peace is dangerous!

    Another interesting and unsurprising tidbit on the news today--on Democracy Now!--is that apparently the killers of the WaPo journalist who was gunned down a few days ago in Iraq were the very same Sunnis who are supposedly our new bestest friends in Anbar--those glorious "Anbar Awakening" Sunni tribesmen who suddenly decided that AQI wasn't such a good thing and decided to turn on them. Have none of these neocons learned a damn thing from Lebanon? You don't get in the middle of a multi-tribal, multi-ethnic, multi-religious civil war. They invariably take decades to resolve themselves, and there is nothing you can do militarily in the interim to make things better. Damn, even Reagan and Barak figured that out.

    Have none of these neocons learned a damn thing... (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by desertswine on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 10:57:13 AM EST
    from Lebanon?"

    Hegels's Paradox - Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.

    Besides there's beaucoup bucks to be made in this war.

    Oil + profit = neocon philosophy (as long as someone else foots the bill)

    Well... (none / 0) (#12)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 11:01:29 AM EST
    They appear to have learned that the country will let them get away with it.

    Yeah -- (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by janinsanfran on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 11:00:34 AM EST
    they beat the force that wasn't there and armed the forces that are there.

    I wish we could force our government to get out of Iraq, but apparently we, in the United States, can't. However, the Iraqis can and will. It is easy for us here to forget this, but the US military has no real control over what is happening in that country.

    Pelosi had better pay attention to Iraqis (none / 0) (#13)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 11:05:35 AM EST
    "All I care about is that your country has its troops in my land raping its people, raping its resources, slaughtering our children, and defiling our Holy Places. The puppet government that rode in behind American tanks cannot pass the laws their American masters so desperately desire passed and is close to collapse.... There is only one measure of progress that matters in Irak and that is the progress in chewing the invader forces into pieces and then spitting them out. Progress on that is excellent.

    They came here as predators and now they are prey. The only thing an American understands is force, we sand nig*ers know a thing or two about that."

    Saba Ali Ihsaan, Baghdad, Irak

    C. Rice will resolve Iraq war soon; soon as (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 12:16:06 PM EST
    she achieves a Palestinian state.  

    Oh good. (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 12:19:53 PM EST
    Is is safe to hold my breath? ;-)

    After he resigned Nixon thought (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 12:46:54 PM EST
    he could be remembered as the President who finally brought an end to the Vietnam war [as opposed to the crook who conspired to cover-up Watergate break-in].  Maybe Bush, even though he started the war, would like to be remembered as the Pres. who concluded it.  

    Blow (none / 0) (#17)
    by koshembos on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 06:14:19 PM EST
    If you believe that we knock out Al-Aqida, you must believe that the surge works and the whole thing is in its last throes.

    We'll get you booked into the improv any day now. (none / 0) (#18)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 06:28:41 PM EST