Dodd Leads On Iraq Now

The "much anticipated" Petraeus Bush Report on the Surge will be presented in a few weeks. Senator Chris Dodd said:

Despite the exemplary performance of our troops, we are coming off the bloodiest summer of this misguided war and it should be clear that there can be no military solution in Iraq.

It is useless to argue the merits of a specific tactic when the strategy itself is failed.

In fact, debating over military tactics when there is no military solution only undermines efforts by those of us who believe that we must change course in Iraq now and begin to immediately redeploy US combat forces so that Iraqi leaders will have the impetus to find a political accord.

(Emphasis supplied.) Senator Dodd is leading on Iraq now. He does not believe, as most of the other candidates seem to, that we must wait until 2009 to change strategy on Iraq. More.

This attitude and approach, of waiting until 2009 to change course on Iraq, appears to have become the default position of the Netroots
and Democratic activists. Jerome Armstrong wrote:

[W]e will pull out of Iraq as soon as possible when gaining the control of the Presidency, but not a day before Bush is gone will we gain an inch. . . . I have also thought about what would occur if a Democratic candidate won the Presidency in 2008, but then did not follow through on pulling out of Iraq completely as soon as feasible. . . . I was struck by this strongly after viewing the back and forth between Richardson and Biden, and the follow-up from the frontrunners (and their acquiescence with Biden). . . . I don't think the time for beginning that process is the middle of 2009; by then, we should be out of Iraq. . . . Bill Richardson seems to be the only Democratic candidate that understands the importance of that happening as soon as possible, and drawing that out in as black and white terms as possible. . . .

(Emphasis supplied.) As soon as possible, according to Jerome and apparently, Bill Richardson, is 2009, a year and a half from now. Jerome says that Richardson is the "only candidate that understands the importance of that happening as soon as possible."

Actually, what this demonstrates is just the opposite. That neither Richardson nor the candidates not named Dodd, nor the Netroots nor the Democratic base understand that the time to press for a change of course in Iraq is NOW, not a year and a half from now. Jerome has it exactly backwards on Iraq, as has the Netroots throughout 2007. If the DEMOCRATIC Congress does not set a policy of redeployment and withdrawal during the Bush Presidency, then the next President, Democratic or Republican, will be mch less likely to move quickly on redeployment in Iraq. Bill Richardson's position and the position espoused by much of the Netroots, endorses an abdication of leadership on Iraq now. And I am certain that their acquiescence on this point now will insure uncertain leadership on Iraq even if a Democrat wins the Presidency.

Chris Dodd is the candidate leading on Iraq now. Dodd is the candidate that will lead on Iraq in 2009 if elected President. And to put it in the horsrace terms the Netroots seems to understand best, a Chris Dodd candidacy in 2008 will highlight the contrast of the parties on Iraq, leading to a smashing Dem victory. Armstrong is counting his chickens in 2008 and focused on 2010:

Regardless of whom the Democratic presidential candidate is, if we have a strong distinction to run against the Republicans over the issue of ending the occupation of Iraq, we will win. If the Democrats end the occupation as soon as possible in 2009, and not occupy Iraq a day longer than necessary, the party will be rewarded with gains in 2010. . . .

Jerome seems not to consider that Democrats might be punished for being a capitulating Congress in 2008. I think he best heed the leadership of Chris Dodd and fight hard for a Congress that works to end the Iraq Debacle NOW, not in 2009. That is the type of leadership we will need from our next President.

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    This is a crosspost (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 09:21:27 AM EST
    of my weekly FP post at MYDD in support of the Chris Dodd Presidential candidacy.

    Very interesting, intense discussion (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 02:13:36 PM EST
    going on there.  

    don't they all (none / 0) (#48)
    by taylormattd on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 04:47:20 PM EST
    say they the troops need to start coming home? What does Dodd have to say about defunding?

    He hasn't, as far as I know, (none / 0) (#49)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 05:07:36 PM EST
    gone on record for defunding in any other way than that he voted against the supplemental in May. Which is a pretty good way of going on record.

    And the groundwork that Bush (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Maryb2004 on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 10:07:21 AM EST
    is currently laying (comparing Iraq to Vietnam) is, imo, not only intended to keep us in Iraq through his presidency but is partly intended to make it more difficult for the next President to pull out of Iraq in 2009.   It's the Nixon 1968 problem that you've already discussed here.  

    Dodd is right that it needs to be taken care of now, before the next election. In fairness, I believe that is Edwards' position too.

    The Real Comparison is the Domino Theory (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by cybervigilante on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 06:23:45 PM EST
    The reason we were given for staying in Vietnam was the Domino Theory. If we suddenly abandoned left, all SE Asia would fall to the Communists. Well, we suddenly left, via helicopter from the top of the embassy, and the Dominoes didn't fall. And disaster didn't befall the US, either. We did quite well after Vietnam, except for the poor, injured and insane vets.

    We are just getting a rehash of the Domino Theory via the White Man's Burden. Those silly Arabs will all let their nations fall to Al Quaida if we leave, or they'll all go to war at once. Phooey. They will probably handle things Better after we leave and stop stirring the pot. The nation most likely to start another war in that region, after us, is our ally Israel.


    jarober (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 11:20:58 AM EST
    You do not get to call us traitors.

    You know this. I will delete yor comment every timer you do.

    This isn't 1864 or 1944 (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 11:21:27 AM EST
    It is 2007 and the people who attacked us are still on the Afghan Pakistan border, not Iraq.

    Of course (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 11:24:01 AM EST
    But my objection is not to jarober's stupid remarks, it is to his invocation of a convicted traitor, Valladigham, in comparison to us.

    He knows it is not allowed. I have always deleted such comments and I will contine to do so.


    I've been called a traitor from both (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 11:33:24 AM EST
    sides so often now it doesn't register anymore if I wanted to stay in the debate ;)  But as a blog rule that is also the only SANE thing to do.  Funny though how I never think that Americans who disagree with me are traitors, they just disagree with me.  If there is one fine thing about America, she is a diverse creature but everybody is American in America.

    I won't be called a traitor (5.00 / 7) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 11:38:56 AM EST
    on my own blog.

    and I won't let someone whose spouse is putting his life on the line to defend us be called one either.


    Thank You BTD (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 11:40:37 AM EST
    Does Dodd have much of a chance? (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by robrecht on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 11:50:08 AM EST
    Either in Congress now or in becoming the Democratic nominee?  Of course I hope he can define the issues properly but even there he doesn't seem to be succeeding.  Not enough members of Congress, not even enough Democrats, really want to end this war.

    We have four fairly prominent (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 11:57:51 AM EST
    Senators in the race for Prez, if Dodd starts breaking out and breaking ahead on this............who knows......all I know is that if he doesn't nothing will change.  As for Dodd being able to snag the nomination, it is early, anything is possible and Hillary leads on name recognition.

    Oculus (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 01:53:57 PM EST
    If you type this: [ http://www.talkleft.com TalkLeft ] into a comment box, without the spaces after the opening bracket and before the closing bracket, it should produce this when you preview or post: TalkLeft

    Thanks. (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 02:11:31 PM EST
    You're welcome. (none / 0) (#39)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 02:37:01 PM EST
    Does it work?

    This is a test. (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 02:58:07 PM EST
    Cool! (none / 0) (#41)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 03:06:26 PM EST
    Try putting the title of the article in, instead of just "NYT"

    Lets not unnecessarily complicate (none / 0) (#43)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 03:22:06 PM EST
    things just yet!  

    P.S.  I used a different suggestion:

    [LINKurl], placed directly in comment box.  Still not sure what the link box does here.  


    link (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by squeaky on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 03:44:21 PM EST
    Still not sure what the link box does here.  

    I was doing my links manually until one day I accidentially figured out the link box.

    First copy a link and have it ready to paste. Then highlight a word (or words) in the comment box. Next press the link button and paste your link in the link box.  Press OK and it is done.


    And keep trying it till it works? (none / 0) (#47)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 03:47:10 PM EST
    Either way works (none / 0) (#44)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 03:34:00 PM EST
    [ Talkleft http://www.talkleft.com ]

    is the same as

    [ http://www.talkleft.com Talkleft ]

    Without the spaces after the first bracket and before the last bracket, they will both produce Talkleft

    In your test above, do exactly what you did, but replace NYT with the article title.


    Yet another reason (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Alien Abductee on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 02:32:55 PM EST
    why it's important to work to end the war NOW instead of in 2009 or after is to prevent the attack on Iran that the radical right-wingers are lusting for and that is virtually promised to occur before Bush leaves office if we are still in Iraq then.

    Without the excuse of Iranian provocations in Iraq, it's much more difficult for the Bush Administration to make a case for what is essentially an unprovoked attack on yet another nation. Even if Congress has made it easier for them legally to do this the case still has to be made for public opinion, which Dems are failing to lead on as well. The neocons want their "creative chaos" which will either lead to democratization in the Middle East if it works or at least produce military setbacks to the enemies of Israel if it doesn't.

    An attack on Iran also would have other attractions for Bush in terms of the Iraq Debacle, his legacy, and the fortunes of Republicans in 2008:

    "Blaming Iran serves a purpose of partially, or even mostly, from the perspective of hard-liners in Washington, making the situation look better."

    The media may be wising up a bit though:

    "There is a rush to judgment [against Iran today], and this should be questioned, given the past and the outright dissembling that occurred [in 1988] when it was convenient to accuse the Iranians because the American ally Iraq was doing something totally embarrassing to the Reagan administration," says Joost Hiltermann, author of the recently published "A Poisonous Affair: America, Iraq, and the Gassing of Halabja."

    "These people have learned the lesson that this kind of lying works and will do it again," says Mr. Hiltermann, the Istanbul-based Middle East director for the International Crisis Group.

    The charge against Iran took root so effectively in the media - this newspaper also published notable, unattributed examples of "good intelligence" that cited Iran's role - that until recently, references to the "Iraqi" gassing of Halabja yielded letters of complaint from readers, pointing out the Iranian role, and offering US government documents as proof.

    The Halabja case suggests "an exceptional attempt at naked deception," says Hiltermann in his study, noting that 18 tons of Iraqi secret police and intelligence documents seized in northern Iraq in 1991 make frequent reference to Iraqi use of chemical weapons, but none about any chemical use by Iran.

    It seems to me that if the U.S. attacks Iran before the election, anyone betting on Dem gains had better make darn sure Bush doesn't succeed in making his case with the public that Iranian malfeasance is the cause of America's Iraq disaster and that an attack on Iran is the way to rescue Iraq.

    Functioniing brains (2.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 10:18:42 AM EST
    are becoming a very rare commodity these days. Nice to see that Dodd and a handful of others still have some.

    Dodd has it backward. (1.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Gabriel Malor on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 10:29:18 AM EST
    Dodd is letting his desired outcome shape his views of the facts. He's already decided that "there is no military solution." Therefore, any military solutions offered by General Petraeus will be dismissed out of hand.

    That's exactly the opposite of logical reasoning. He has essentially stuck his fingers in his ears and started yelling, "Lalala, I can't hear you!"

    It's shameful.

    You can disagree (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 10:35:31 AM EST
    but your accusdation is shameful. IT is Dodd's view and that of many people. Her may be wrong, bt he is not engaged in wishful thinking.

    As usual now, you deliver the Right Wing nonsense, the typical McCarthyite claptrap.

    Unfortunately, this is what I expect from you now. I used to expect better.


    Good Character (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by squeaky on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 10:44:48 AM EST
    Whatever anyone says about you, it is clear that you are a very generous person. I was amazed, and quite surprised by the patience and openess you have shown.

    Clearly Dodd is a serious threat otherwise the wingnuts would not be spinning, as GM is clearly doing.


    Several Generals (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 11:03:39 AM EST
    and several assorted true experts all agree that there is no military solution for what ails Iraq.  Dodd didn't just make that up.

    They are all wishful thinkers (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 11:22:10 AM EST
    dontcha know.

    No military solution (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 12:00:49 PM EST
    There isn't one.  Never has been.  Before this war started, there were many free Americans who used their freedom to study up on Iraq.  It became clear to any sentient being who had engaged in that study that a disaster was looming, one in which the majority Shiites were going to seek revenge on their former oppressors the Sunnis.  In other words, that a bloodbath was going to ensue if we chose to go in militarily as we did.

    Those free Americans have been proven right time and time again.  Those who supported this war and continue to have been proven wrong time and time again.

    You have no track record in this debate.  You won't even face reality: that a war begun for the illegitimate reasons this one was -- in a place like Iraq, with its specific history, with our wretched history there -- could not possibly have resulted in anything but failure for the foreign invader.  We can wish and dream and spill our milk to get attention, none of it will change the FACT that Iraqis will determine their own fate, on their own, and only when we are long and gone.

    Had we left Vietnam alone sooner, had we responded to Ho Chi Minh's impassioned letters, when he was begging us for help before he went to anyone else, quoting from our most cherished documents, perhaps Vietnam would be further along the path to freedom and free expression.  Had we granted the Iraqis a realistic and intensely magnanimous chance to do the same, perhaps we could've avoided the real mass murder with which we've replaced Saddam.  


    Don't watch this video. (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 12:13:45 PM EST
    This is what is being done in Iraq in your name, while Republicans continue to support George W. Bush and the Democrat controlled Congress refuses to stop funding and put an end to George W. Bush's occupation of that country:
    This video is ugly, savage and without a doubt not for the kids or the squeamish... But it is what George W. Bush and his 'Rubber Stamp Republican Party' are doing in the full light of day. Send a link to this to anyone you know who thinks the 'Surge' is working or that, in fact, the people 'running' this brutal, illegal occupation have any fu*king idea what they are doing. And I do mean any idea at all.
    Don't watch this video. It's shameful...

    Horrible isn't it? (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 12:26:31 PM EST
    Who knew that "Iraqi Freedom" meant summary executions.

    The ::idea:: is to (none / 0) (#30)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 12:53:05 PM EST
    "liberate" Iraqis even if they have to kill millions of them to do it, I guess...

    That video... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by desertswine on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 02:20:59 PM EST
    is an exellent illustration of the Bush "legacy:"
    death, corruption, and misery.

    Their specialties... (none / 0) (#37)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 02:29:49 PM EST
    It's what they do, no?

    It really makes you neocons nervous (none / 0) (#17)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 11:27:06 AM EST
    when people do subversive things like use their brains, doesn't it?

    It's exactly the opposite of logical reasoning. It's essentially covering your ears and yelling, "Lalala, I can't hear you!"

    It's shameful.

    'The Surge Is Working!' Isn't Working

    Because it's whole purpose is simply to try to save face for Bush and buy him time to leave office office without having to change his mind.

    Bush knows it. Petraeus knows it. Crocker knows it. I know it.  

    Even Pelosi and Reid and Levin and Lieberman and everyone except all the rest of the in denial wingnuts knows it.

    Well... even in denial wingnuts know it. They just keep lying to themselves, since no one else is buying.


    There's always a reason to go slow and it always (none / 0) (#3)
    by jerry on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 10:08:12 AM EST
    seems the right thing to do to protect your seat in Congress or your second term as President.

    I absolutely agree that we need to ramp up pressure and build momentum and commitments now.

    If anyone needs any proof of that let them examine the 2006 Election and Congressional approval ratings now.

    The same is true with civil liberties legislation, restoring to the people what Bush/Cheney hath taken away.  Don't support any candidate that doesn't commit to rolling back Bush/Cheney.

    I also don't want a POTUS (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 11:12:55 AM EST
    who feels that placing America's national security at risk by literally destroying her military is okay to do until 2009.  We really did get hit on 9/11 just not by Iraq and sadly the branch of Al Qaeda that hit us has rebuilt and reinforced itself inspite of all of our military technology.  Dodd may not be able to end the Iraq War during the Bush presidency but I don't want much to do with any president who didn't fight for what was sane verses safe and weak kneed politic.

    then Dodd is your candidate (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 11:21:29 AM EST
    Well yes, but Edwards isn't (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 11:23:21 AM EST
    exactly out of the race on this is he?

    Of course not (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 11:24:45 AM EST
    Edwards has taken the right stances. But Dodd is leading in the body where it counts now - Congress.

    He does seem to be putting himself (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 11:38:32 AM EST
    out front and unafraid on the issue which scores extra brownie points with me.  Ari Fleischer is making pro Iraq commercials.  Dodd is making redeployment from Iraq commercials and Edwards is making ?

    I think Edwards will join the fight (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 11:39:37 AM EST
    and I expect to give him high praise when he does.

    You're going to be very impressed then when (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by jerry on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 12:52:28 PM EST
    Gore / Clark announce.  They are going to announce any day now, I just know it.

    (Okay, it's just a fantasy, and I have no idea how they would actually stack up on these issues.)

    (I will say this however, months ago, everyone but me was laughing at the notion of Giuliani getting the nomination, while I was saying that if push came to shove, all the religious groups would eagerly get behind Giuliani, but today one of our blogger pundits (Yglesias?) is realizing how strong Giuliani would be against Hillary.  Gore, Clark 2008.)


    I would like be selfish (none / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 01:38:08 PM EST
    and request that Clark keep himself available for Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense.  The two are constantly at war with the world now almost interchangeable thanks to Bush.

    Edwards is worried about who (none / 0) (#45)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 03:39:29 PM EST
    gets to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom.  

    No Military Solution? (none / 0) (#28)
    by squeaky on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 12:47:55 PM EST
    How about a political solution achieved by military force aka a coup?:

    "There is serious talk of a military commission (majlis `askari) to take over the government. The parties would be banned from holding positions, and all the ministers would be technocrats, so to speak. . . [The writer indicates that attempts have been made to recruit cabinet members from the ranks of expatriate technocrats.]

    The six-member board or commission would be composed on non-political former military personnel who are presently not part of the government OR the military establishment, such as it is in Iraq at the moment. It is said that the Americans are supporting this behind the scenes.

    The plan includes a two-year period during which political parties would not be permitted to be part of the government, but instead would prepare and strengthen the parties for an election which would not have lists, but real people running for real seats. The two year period would be designed to take control of security and restore infrastructure.

    . . .[I]t is another [desperate plan], but one which many many Iraqis will support, since they are sick of their country being pulled apart by the "imports" - Maliki, Allawi, Jaafari et al. The military group is composed of internals, people who have the goal of securing the country even at the risk of no democracy, so they say. "

    Juan Cole

    I am sure that the new government will demand protection from American troops. How could they refuse?

    I've had similar thoughts.... (none / 0) (#42)
    by jerry on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 03:09:20 PM EST
    Also that it might behoove any of the candidates to pre-announce their intention to place Clark in that position.

    Since this seems like such an obvious and wonderful idea, I can only conclude that since it hasn't happened, it is a sure indicator that we're going to see that Gore / Clark ticket.

    Deadocrats and Rabbits (none / 0) (#50)
    by cybervigilante on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 06:08:43 PM EST
    2025 (AP) - in his fifth term under Martial Law, President-for-Life Bush declares that the light is at the end of the tunnel in Iraq.

    Seriously, the Dems think they were elected for all those nifty social programs, but they were elected to stop the war. By not doing so, or even standing up much, they will be seen as gutless frauds by Independent and swing voters. There is Enormous disappointment regarding their inaction on the war. I've been a Democrat all my life and I'm plumb sick of the quaking bunnies we have in Congress. So don't expect a Dem victory if they keep being Deadocratic rabbits.

    Heck, the Dems even voted more money for Iraq, and they'll probably vote more for Iran when Bush invades that nation under some created pretext.

    As for Dodd, he caused a lot of havoc by leading the charge for financial deregulation, and by obstructing some of Clinton's attempts to rein in the money madness. This then led to Enron, et al. It's nice that he's speaking out against the war now, but his pro-corporate history ain't that great.

    Too busy twisting Bernanke's and Paulson's arms (none / 0) (#52)
    by B on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 09:35:14 PM EST
    Twisting Fed Chairman Bernanke's and Treasury Secretary Paulson's arms to lower interest rates to bail out his corporate cronies probably leaves Dodd with no time to update his Senate website and detail his leadership on Iraq. According to his website, "Senator Dodd continues to call on the Bush Administration to provide the American people with a plan and timetable for getting the job done in Iraq."  Bush has already stated that he is leaving it up to the next president.