On Iraq: What Matters Now

Chris Bowers thinks Bill Richardson has the right focus now on Iraq. I think he has a selfish and unproductive focus now. Richardson says:

All the major Democratic candidates say they are eager to end this war, and they all say they don't believe there is a military solution in Iraq. Why, then, do they maintain that we must leave an indefinite number of troops behind for an indeterminate amount of time to work hopelessly towards a military solution everyone says doesn't exist? It is time to get a straight answer from all the other candidates: how many troops would you leave behind? For how long?

Excuse me Governor Richardson. Excuse me Chris Bowers. Some of us want the candidates to focus on the REAL issues of September, which are not Richardson's self-serving question. The real issues for September, indeed for the rest of the Bush Presidency, are how we get out of Iraq and how can a Democratic Congress accomplish this.

The real question for September Governor Richardson is who will insist on a date certain for ending the Iraq Debacle DURING the Bush Presidency. Who will say 'this will be last funding for this Debacle President Bush?'

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    It's hard to take Richardson seriously (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 02:55:01 PM EST
    when he fibs like this:
    they maintain that we must leave an indefinite number of troops behind

    Imagine Richardson in 1936: "How many does President Roosevelt intend to allow to remain in poverty?!"

    Richardson is shallow (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:10:09 PM EST
    nothing of a candidate.

    Perfect for some apparently.


    A paper tiger--all resume, no (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Geekesque on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:13:40 PM EST
    actual substance or leadership behind it.

    Richardson is equally shameless and clumsy (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Geekesque on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:04:48 PM EST
    in his pandering.

    The man claims to be a fan of the Red Sox and Yankees.  He's like Mitt Romney on an infinitely short time cycle.

    Well I do not mind pandering (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:08:50 PM EST
    but not on this and not in this way.

    Bowers post astounds me frankly.


    I find rhetorical pandering offensive (none / 0) (#10)
    by Geekesque on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:11:36 PM EST
    and dishonest at best, if unaccompanied by a will to act along those lines.

    Does anyone really believe that Richardson would pull every single last troop out of there, come hell or high water?


    The concept (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:12:13 PM EST
    does not even make sense.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#44)
    by talex on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:51:46 PM EST
    The concept does not even make sense???

    But that is what you want - all the troops out. So how can you disagree with Richardson's personal call for pulling all the troops out? It doesn't make sense that you would disagree with what you want.

    Just to clarify if he had the chance he would not just be able to flip a switch and have them out. But over a reasonable period of time an organized and safe withdrawal is what he is saying he would do.

    You disagree with that?


    Go bug Kos (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:55:43 PM EST
    He wrote a post you'll hate.

    Naw (none / 0) (#56)
    by talex on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:06:46 PM EST
    Practically everything he writes I don't like.

    So what? You can't answer a simple question? What are you soupset with Richardson about when you both want the same thing. Or are you just being disagreeable with him even if you contradict yourself in doing so?


    2009 vs 2007 (none / 0) (#62)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:15:44 PM EST
    But I have told you in the past I will not engage you and that has not changed.

    Maybe Kos will.


    Waving The White Flag? (none / 0) (#64)
    by talex on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:30:35 PM EST
    Whatever. I can have a one way conversation just fine. It's simpler that way really and I get to be right every time.

    Well anyway I find it interesting that you disagree with someone who agrees with you in Richardson. Must be an opinion of convenience or something like that.

    Frankly while I find his petition a good campaign move to accent the contrast between him and the others - on a personal basis I find it a disingenuous question to ask. Who in the hell would know how many troops they would need to leave until they take charge and see what the situation is at the point in time.

    BTW Bowers, while I don't agree with all his views on Iraq, I think is much closer to dealing with Iraq on a practical basis than many people I read. wink wink.


    Great sig. line: (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:43:42 PM EST
    Whatever. I can have a one way conversation just fine. It's simpler that way really and I get to be right every time.

    RedSox and Yankees ... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Maryb2004 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:28:50 PM EST
    A man who can't pick a baseball team should not have the ability to launch nuclear weapons.

    Heh (none / 0) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:34:10 PM EST
    That was funny, and as a Yankee fan, hard to fathom, but Whizzer White was the disqualifier for me.

    Petty petty (none / 0) (#48)
    by talex on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:55:52 PM EST
    The guy may not be Presidential material as we think of what is Presidential material - whatever that is. But he is for damn sure a smart guy with the ability to connect one on one in some difficult situations and get results. That is more than we have in the WH now.

    Romney wouldn't accidentally (none / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:07:13 PM EST
    say that he would appoint justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

    Or William Brennan. eom (none / 0) (#16)
    by Geekesque on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:15:57 PM EST
    My fear all along is that both politicians and, (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Geekesque on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:10:00 PM EST
    more importantly, the general public are generally in favor of the idea of getting out but are unwilling to admit that failure is inevitable there by pulling the trigger on a measure to force withdrawal.

    Democrats should have been pushing the idea that this is not a 'war' or something that can be 'won' a long time ago.

    Harry Reid was a bozo by saying using the win/lose frame.  His leadership has been anything but.

    A fair point (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:11:10 PM EST
    and worht discussing.

    But Richardson's crap so steams me that i am in no mental condition to discuss it.


    How does he continue to improve his (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Geekesque on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:12:54 PM EST
    polling numbers?

    Are Democrats really that .. . never mind, I fear for my own answer.


    Oh that is a mirage (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:17:28 PM EST
    He spent money on ads.

    HE is not a serious threat.

    I think yuu should be heartened as I think most of his support will likely go Obama's way. And yes, I am being somewhat insulting there but it is still good news for your guy.


    Eh. I really don't think anyone other than (none / 0) (#23)
    by Geekesque on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:32:11 PM EST
    Hillary has much of a shot at all.  Most Democrats think of the 1990's as the good old days, and I suspect that "turning back the clock" has more appeal within the party than does "turning the page."

    The great majority of Democrats believe that Republicans and Republicans alone are the problem.  Hard to beat Hillary under those circumstances.


    I will say this for Hillary (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:36:00 PM EST
    if she wins the White House and gets reasonable majorities in Congress, we'll see more and better legislation than we have since Johnson was President.

    If I had to make a case for Hillary, that would be it.


    We had reasonable majorities in 1992. (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Geekesque on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:48:26 PM EST
    To paraphrase Jack Nicholson from The Departed, I don't want a President who'll be a product of the political environment, I want a President who'll make the political environment a product of themself.

    JFK got almost nothing done (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:09:43 PM EST
    Johnson gave us civil rights and great society.

    I believe that Hillary learned from her healthcare experience, and that she now knows a thing or two about getting legislation through the Senate.


    Johnson gave us Gulf of Tonkin (none / 0) (#45)
    by Geekesque on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:54:01 PM EST
    and welfare dependency, if that's the way one wants to look at it.

    Hillary is very problematic in that she does not believe in limiting the authority of the government.


    I'll go with Gulf of Tonkin (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:00:53 PM EST
    but welfare depency is repeating GOP talking points. And you do not take into account the fact the US poverty rates were never lower.


    Welfare dependency is more than (none / 0) (#73)
    by Geekesque on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 06:02:52 PM EST
    a rightwing bogeyman, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan would tell you if he could.

    Perhaps... (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by rashomon on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:08:42 PM EST
    but you could make the case that Obama has shown much more ability in shaping difficult legislation than Hillary.  Hopefully the Clintons learned something from 1993-4...but I'm afraid it's the wrong lesson.

    Also, I think Hillary will be terrible in the Bully Pulpit.  But she could prove me wrong...


    BTW (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:11:39 PM EST
    I sent you an e-mail. did you get it?

    Just responded. eom (none / 0) (#15)
    by Geekesque on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:15:37 PM EST
    Good (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:17:44 PM EST
    Didn't Kerry do That? (none / 0) (#52)
    by talex on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:59:54 PM EST
    I think he did with his calling terrorism a police action issue and not a military one. Problem was that other than with the base he had a hard time getting the media to deliver that message. Or maybe not - he almost one had it not been for the crap in Ohio.

    How quickly we forget.


    I guess this means (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Maryb2004 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:27:17 PM EST
    you DON'T want us to sign the petition.  Yet another Bowers action alert that I will be ignoring.  

    Richardson is grandstanding because this is the only way he'll get attention during a debate.  He's trying to take a page from Edwards' book when Edwards and Obama put Clinton on the spot about the lobbyists.  Yet another fake issue.

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:32:45 PM EST
    Sign if you want. You know what my question is.

    He's not grandstanding (none / 0) (#54)
    by talex on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:03:28 PM EST
    He is using the petition as a device to bring light to the difference between his stance on Iraq and the others. It's not a bad thing he is doing from a campaign point of view.

    If we don't have a major (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:50:49 PM EST
    military presence in Iraq no troop is staying behind to set up housekeeping.  Ask Angry Rakkasan, ask any soldier at DK who has been there on the ground and they will tell you that when troops on the ground are attacked the only thing that makes the difference is air support.  There is a poster over there that I think is also an Iraq veteran posting as Claude.  They will tell you the same thing.  We can't maintain air support without a substantial military presence in Iraq like we have now.  Even now landing at Baghdad is a cookie tossing death spiral to the tarmac to hopefully avoid any possible enemy fire.  The argument Richardson is making doesn't exist in reality.  If troops start drawing down in Iraq there isn't any place where stashed American troops can stay all by themselves except Kuwait and Kuwait isn't Iraq and Kuwait already had an American troop presence and that's okay with them.

    Well my point was (none / 0) (#77)
    by talex on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 06:42:53 PM EST
    about campaign politics which doesn't have much if anything to do with troops in Iraq really.

    But your point about air support is true. Anyone who reads the news knows that air support accounts for almost all insurgent deaths and gets our guys out of trouble most often.

    There is one other area that we can have some troops somewhat safely and that is up north in Kurdistan. The Center for American Progress just came out with a new report called "How to Redeploy" and suggested some troops up there.

    All the talk now by Richardson and the others is just campaign talk in my opinion. It means nothng until one of them becomes President and then they will have to determine the situation and get good military advice and listen to it to deal with the issue as it stands at that time.


    What you point out (none / 0) (#85)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 05:51:27 AM EST
    that the Center for American Progress suggests in Northern Iraq is the second reason why I feel like Richardson is doing nobody any sort of service by putting his argument out there.  If we can sanely place troops somewhere where they have a chance of stopping a genocide why wouldn't America do that?  This is where Iraq War purity could get people killed who could live through this mess.  Richardson is playing on progressives fears that the other Presidential candidates designs on Iraq could be secretly imperialistic, and if the other candidates counter Richardson by imitating his stand they tie their own hands in being able to act as humanists down the road without breaking their word.  What I don't want anymore in a President is someone who risks people's lives purely for political purposes.  I have that now, I have had six years of that and my husband pops Zoloft and our teenage daughter inspite of counseling starting during her father's first tour in Iraq can't take the pressure either that this heinous President and likewise most of the Republican presidential candidates are foisting on my family all for political purposes and nothing tangible.  I don't want that sort of President anymore.  I know what those kinds of sociopathic politicians can do to people and families and I wish them on nobody else.  Richardson has proven himself to be cut from that fabric though.  In my opinion Richardson has displayed that he is not smart enough and his own conscience is not connected well enough to the smarts he has to be the next POTUS.

    Is it just me, or is there an obvious frame? (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by rashomon on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:44:54 PM EST
    While I wholeheartedly agree with setting a "date certain" and then just not funding beyond that, it sure seems like there's an obvious opportunity for some Democratic candidate to frame this as necessary before Bush breaks our military.

    It's an indisputable fact that we're going to run out of troops early next year, such that we will be FORCED to start a drawdown regardless of what anyone wants.  That would be a horrible cirumstance...because it would essentially signal to our enemies that we have very little ability to react to any new crisis.

    So I'm giving a gold star to the first candidate who says something along these lines:  "I'm for beginning a withdrawal today with a fixed end date before this President recklessly breaks our military and leaves America less safe.  If we wait any longer, we will be forced to drawdown on our enemies terms...not ours."

    Of course, the Bush Administration plan to deal with this is to start a war with Iran, on the assumption that we can solve the problem by bombing Iran into the Stone Age.

    I agree with you (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:49:29 PM EST
    Get Obama to do it.

    I'll switch my endorsement . . .


    Unlike Charles Barkley... (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by rashomon on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:04:13 PM EST
    I don't have Obama in my speeddial...yet.

    Heh (none / 0) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:13:47 PM EST
    I really hate it when (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:18:00 PM EST
    War in Iraq Purity Trolls help keep the War in Iraq going by diverting the debate and resources into all sorts of unbeneficial to those living and dying right this moment in Iraq ways ;(

    Well put (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:22:50 PM EST
    Thank you.

    Harvard Review: Foreign Policy/ NMGov Richardson (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by stephenfox on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 08:55:14 PM EST
    Please read Bill Richardson's recently published article on how we must reconfigure the entire US Foreign Policy, printed in Harvard International Review, yet has hardly been noticed by any mainstream media. You could conclude that Bill Richardson is changing the nature of the debate between the Democrat candidates and improving the international focus of their dialogue, not to mention being the strongest candidate to speak for ending the Iraq war immediately. I hope you can share this important document with your friends, colleagues, and readers. It is a very important international policy breakthrough and deserves to be read and considered by all Americans, the entire diplomatic community from every nation, as well as your insightful readers! I am not officially connected to his campaign, but as a private citizen, I recognize the value and importance of this statement enough to send it to you!
    Thank you, Stephen Fox

    New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson's International Policies, from Harvard
    International Review

    "New Realism: Crafting a US Foreign Policy for a New Century"
    Governor Bill Richardson, Redacted from Harvard International Review

    US foreign policymakers face novel challenges in the 21st century. Jihadists and environmental crises have replaced armies and missiles as the greatest threats; globalization has eroded the significance of national borders. Many problems that were once national are now global, and dangers that once came only from states now come also from societies--not from hostile governments
    but from hostile individuals or from impersonal social trends, such as the consumption of fossil fuels. The piece does a credible job of laying out the problems before us and arguing that the Bush Administration has not taken the appropriate measures to deal with them.

    The highlights of Richardson's plans:

    First and foremost, the United States must repair its alliances. US leaders also must restore commitment to international law and multilateral

    Promoting expansion of the UN Security Council's permanent membership to include Japan, India, Germany, and one country each from Africa and Latin America.

    Ethical reform at the United Nations so that this vital institution can help many underdeveloped and destitute member states meet the challenges of the 21st century.

    Expanding the G8 to include India and China.

    The US government must join the International Criminal Court and respect all international treaties, including the Geneva Conventions."

    On environmental issues, the United States must be the leader, not the laggard, in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by embracing
    Kyoto Protocol on global warming, Lead the world with a man-on-the-moon effort to improve energy efficiency and to commercialize clean, alternative technologies.

    Stop considering diplomatic engagement with others as a reward for good behavior.

    Various efforts including ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

    The United States needs to start showing, both through its words and through its actions, that this is not, as the Jihadists claim, a clash of
    civilizations. Rather, it is a clash between civilization and barbarity.

    Closing Guantanamo

    The United States also needs to pressure Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and other friends in the Arab world to reform their education systems, which are incubators of anti-US sentiment.

    Spend more to develop first responders and to drastically improve public health facilities, which, five years after 9/11, are not ready for a
    biological attack.

    The United States needs to lead the global fight against poverty, which is the basis of so much violence.

    Encourage rich countries to honor UN Millennium goal commitments.

    Lead donors on debt relief, shifting aid from loans to grants, and focus on primary health care and affordable vaccines.

    Promote trade agreements, which create more jobs in all nations and which seriously address wage disparities, worker rights, and the environment.

    Pressure pharmaceutical companies to allow expanded use of generic drugs, and encourage public-private partnerships to reduce costs and enhance access to anti-malarial drugs and bed nets.

    Promote a multilateral Marshall Plan for Middle East and North Africa.

    I look forward to your reply,
    Stephen Fox

    Two great issues that taste great together (none / 0) (#2)
    by roy on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:03:51 PM EST
    If the real issue is how we "get out of Iraq", it's at least relevant to ask whether the plans offered do, in fact, get us out.  Since they don't, maybe we should have asked sooner.

    Plainer, if the issue is "how can a Democratic Congress get us out of Iraq", the answer is not "by allocating funds to spend on operations against members of al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations in Iraq".

    Plainer still: the real issue is not "how can a Democratic Congress get us out of Iraq", as evidenced by the fact that the Democratic Congress is not trying to get us out of Iraq.

    (Note: I'm playing fast and loose with quotation marks to make my meaning clear, and I apologize if I've distorted others' meanings)

    Excuse me (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:09:42 PM EST
    So ask about TODAY's plans. Not 2009's.

    Richardson doesn't want to be held accountable (none / 0) (#17)
    by Geekesque on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:16:41 PM EST
    even vicariously for what happens regarding Iraq between now and 2009.

    Well (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:24:18 PM EST
    Ok. That makes no sense but maybe in Richardson world it does.

    Honestly, I think he is a big phony on Iraq.


    Just like you can be both a Red Sox fan (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Geekesque on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:33:44 PM EST
    and a Yankee fan, you can be advocate an immediate, absolute, and recklessly fast withdrawal from Iraq without being bothered to do something about it for the next 18 months.

    Well put (none / 0) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:34:41 PM EST
    I didn't used to think that about him (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:14:37 PM EST
    but I am now.

    I'm causing trouble again Tracy (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:17:00 PM EST
    But I will be darned if I cna just siut there and let THIS MOMENT be hijacked by a selfish hack trying to score phony points.

    Now is the time to pressure Congress not play silly games. He can play his silly games again a couple of months from now.

    Not now. Not with what is at stake in the next month.


    Markos too now (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:24:12 PM EST

    Uh Oh, you know how it goes when and if (none / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:27:27 PM EST
    Kos says something that isn't "seemly" even when he's right.  We may have to get the raingear out and hose off later ;)

    Did he write something (none / 0) (#51)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:58:22 PM EST

    I liked his last post.


    I read it differently (none / 0) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:56:29 PM EST
    Seems to me he is calling them to account.

    How did I misread it?


    See the one below that (none / 0) (#58)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:09:57 PM EST
    on Richardson.

    See my (none / 0) (#63)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:16:17 PM EST
    repsonse to Mary.

    Hmm (none / 0) (#65)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:31:28 PM EST
    Not sure I see that big of a difference: he's endorsing Richardson's quixotic goal.

    OT: did you see my email just now?


    People are living and dying by our debates (none / 0) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:25:31 PM EST
    so only a true patriot would cause trouble when some trouble needed causing.  A draw down in Iraq needs to start happening now.  As we leave we can maintain troops in forward operating bases that will aid our withdrawing troops and can help end mass genocides that may spring up in this withdrawl year.  Stay the course gets us more of the same, responsible redeployment gets us the above and not a perfect goal but an attainable goal that will allow all to reap the rewards of America ending her military influence in the region one step at a time.  It is time for success in Iraq.  It is time we had an attainable goal that could lead to some stability in the region down the road and we may even be able to save a few lives and relocate a few people in the responsible redeployment process.

    The process of withdrawal starting (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:57:48 PM EST
    is the key.

    Whether there are residual troops in 2009 or not is simply a silly and irrelevant question.


    About 2009 (none / 0) (#68)
    by roy on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:54:28 PM EST
    Let's say Reid-Feingold passes and is implemented as envisioned.  The troop presence is drawn down to the "residual" level necessary to fight international terrorists and train the Iraqis.  Then Hillary -- the current front runner -- becomes president and implements her plan:

    So I think we have a remaining military as well as political mission, trying to contain the extremists.


    But what we can do is to almost take a line sort of north of, between Baghdad and Kirkuk, and basically put our troops into that region -- the ones that are going to remain for our antiterrorism mission; for our northern support mission; for our ability to respond to the Iranians; and to continue to provide support, if called for, for the Iraqis.

    And how is it you can claim the Dems are trying to get us out?


    We won't be keeping troops in country (none / 0) (#71)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:58:05 PM EST
    to take on Al Qaeda in Iraq if they grow into a full blown supporting Osama Al Qaeda branch.  We will handle them mostly from the air and from bases in Kuwait and Turkey.

    Under whose plan? (none / 0) (#75)
    by roy on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 06:21:38 PM EST
    Clinton contradicts you: she specifically refers to troops in Iraq as "the ones that are going to remain for our antiterrorism mission".  Has she changed her plan?

    If some other candidate plans on keeping an anti-terror mission while switching to air strikes, it's news to me, but I haven't seen anything that contradicts you.


    Your post makes no sense to me (none / 0) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 05:56:43 AM EST
    Hillary Clinton is troop smart and military smart.  For a girl who has never been in uniform that I know of she knows the ropes fairly well in this department. Link to her words on this so that I can read them with the exact wording and context they were said in?

    link (none / 0) (#87)
    by roy on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 09:35:49 AM EST
    It's from an interview with the NY Times in March.

    The followup question is "So what you seem to be suggesting if I understand is a policy of maintaining American forces in Iraq, but redeploying them out of Baghdad and keeping them let's say in areas where they could protect against Iranian infiltration, or stabilize Kurdistan, or possibly put them in Al Anbar -- I don't know if that's part of your plan."

    Her response: "Well it is."

    As best I can tell, she wants to keep saying "withdrawal" with the caveat that it's really only a partial withdrawal.


    Did you mean to (none / 0) (#88)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 09:43:56 AM EST
    link to this article in the NY Times or are you talking about a different article?

    no (none / 0) (#89)
    by roy on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 10:00:33 AM EST
    I linked where I meant to, to the transcript.  I'll read the article you linked later this morning and let you know if anything in there jumps out at me.

    Your link takes me to (none / 0) (#90)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 10:02:01 AM EST
    the New York Times log in page, not to a transcript.

    I found the transcript (none / 0) (#91)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 10:32:48 AM EST
    Now taking into consideration that the surge was just beginning to be acted on, and that five months down this Iraq War road is almost a lifetime of its own in terms of where we are now and where we were then, and sectarian violence has flowed along steadily and troop deaths have grown, and the building up of some insurgencies along with the hyped suspected possible dismanteling of others, and given that this was her first ANSWER in the interview

    Q. If you were to be elected president, what specific steps would you take to try to bring a close to the conflict?

    SENATOR HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: Well obviously I've thought a lot about this. And of course the choices that one would face are neither good nor unlimited. We're in a very difficult situation that has been made worse by the failures of the administration. So what will be inherited is not completely clear, but likely to be:

    How can you attempt to paint her as a secret advocate of stay the course, or endless war in Iraq, or permanent bases in Iraq or whatever it is you are attempting to pin her with?


    rats (none / 0) (#92)
    by roy on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 11:49:56 AM EST
    I had a nice, long, gloriously nit-picky post put together.  Then I thought about your "five months" point, and found a more recent speech from Clinton.

    The 2009 plan she advocates now is a real effort to end the war and bring all the combat troops home, with only enough caveats for ordinary politician CYA.

    Thanks for setting me straight.


    Sounds lovely doesn't it (none / 0) (#93)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 09:06:56 PM EST
    Now all we have to do is remember Big Tent's philosophy of a good politician is a pressured politician, they aren't born or made into one, just pressured into one ;)  It is the only philosophy I have run across so far that fits my life experiences now where politics are concerned.

    Even the Great Ronald Reagan (none / 0) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:55:03 PM EST
    wasn't so far gone he thought he would attempt to keep stashing American troops some place that they weren't wanted in the Middle East. Once the withdrawl starts we are on our way out completely, until the withdrawl starts it's just another for everyone in Iraq in the meat grinder.

    It gets worse (none / 0) (#43)
    by Maryb2004 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:47:54 PM EST
    Read the next thing he wrote.  

    The longer we keep sending 5-6% of our national income down the Iraq sinkhole, the more likely it becomes for the Iraq war to destroy us. We need to get these votes, but it is a task I am not particularly optimistic about at this time. Another blank check it probably on the way. Perhaps a better strategy is to figure out how, in 2008, to punish those who allowed it to happen, and end the working conservative majority.

    So, continuing to appropriate money for Iraq will "destroy us" but it's not worth fighting to stop it.  Better to just wait so we can say "we told you so" and get people to vote for our candidates.  Who will then, under his logic, be trying to save a country that very well might already have been destroyed.

    This is a far dumber post than the one on Richardson.

    Meanwhile at the Big Orange (none / 0) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:54:46 PM EST
    Kos writes a good one.

    First he agrees with Bowers (none / 0) (#55)
    by Maryb2004 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:03:59 PM EST
    and Richardson then he writes a fairly good rant about Congress?   Hard to tell where he's coming from.

    Democrats promised to get tough in September. They promised it time and time again.

    They better deliver.

    Or ... what?  I hate rants that don't actually have action attached or at least a specific threat.  


    Reading it (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:14:05 PM EST
    and not to be a Kos apologist, but it is really presented in an entireoy different way than Bowers does.

    To Bowers it is the most important question in the history of the Earth.

    to kos it is sort of "just answer tht efrwaking question" thing.

    Kos misses how stupid the question itself is of course, but he does not agree imo that it is a question that much matters.

    On the whole, Kos beats Bowers hands down.


    I missed the Bowers/Richardson rant (none / 0) (#57)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:09:07 PM EST
    Oh well, I guess I'll go look at that one.

    I was classifying the latest (none / 0) (#59)
    by Maryb2004 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:12:48 PM EST
    one on Congress and funding as the rant.  A lot of anger at Congress with no statement about what they (or more importantly WE his readers)are actually supposed to DO.



    Kos (5.00 / 3) (#61)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:14:48 PM EST
    is never that great on the details.

    I am implying that he wants MY details.



    Kos lover (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 06:15:19 PM EST
    Kos schmoozer ;)

    Fun with metaphors (none / 0) (#70)
    by roy on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:56:37 PM EST
    David announces that he's going to slay Goliath with his sling.  Then he aims at Goliath's kneecap.

    Someone says, "Hitting him in the knee won't kill him.  Let's aim for his head.  Why are you aiming for his knee?".

    Big Tent Israelite tells us that the process of killing Goliath has started, that whether there is some "residual" aliveness in Goliath after being hit in the knee is a silly and irrelevant question.

    Whaaaaaat? (none / 0) (#72)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:58:37 PM EST
    HEh (none / 0) (#76)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 06:29:09 PM EST
    You have to admit it was pretty funny.

    Maybe "fun with poorly chosen metaphors" (none / 0) (#79)
    by roy on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 07:02:28 PM EST
    David = the bulk of the Congressional Democrats

    Goliath = the Iraq war

    Goliath's aliveness = the continuation of the Iraq war

    slaying Goliath = withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq

    hitting Goliath in the knee = reducing our presence in Iraq

    aiming at Goliath's head = trying to withdraw US troops from Iraq

    aiming at Goliath's kneecap = trying to reduce our presence in Iraq

    someone = Richardson

    "Hitting him in the knee won't kill him" = Richardson's implication that the other candidates' plans won't lead to a real end to the war

    "Let's aim for his head" = "... complete withdrawal of ALL troops. No excuses. No delays. No troops left behind."

    "Why are you aiming for his knee?" = "Why, then, do they maintain that we must leave an indefinite number of troops"

    Big Tent Iraelite = Big Tent Democrat

    BTI's comments = this BTD comment


    And, finally, the point = A: The Congressional Dems' plans belie claims that they're trying to end the war.  B: That's the sort of thing we should look at if we're trying to end the war.  C: BTD appears to advocate that we should ignore A, or that A is false because of some surely brilliant feat of deduction that I can't seem to find anywhere.


    I got it Roy (none / 0) (#81)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 08:33:46 PM EST
    I do not agree with it but I got it.

    I had meant to address that to MT (none / 0) (#83)
    by roy on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 09:51:01 PM EST
    And I appreciate your good humor.  Incidentally, if I bring out this "they say they're ending it, they're really just reducing it" dead horse again any time soon, feel free to smack me down.  I should probably have not even harped on it again today.

    Now I know my metaphors are in sad shape.  I'm harping on a dead horse.


    talking about Iraq and putting pressure on the candidates to take a stand on specifics of how they mean to end the Debacle. He even almost made it through the entire post without talking about the political mileage aspects for 2008. Credit where credit is due, eh?

    Meh (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 08:32:59 PM EST
    On a cocktail all his own.

    You've got to wonder (none / 0) (#84)
    by Alien Abductee on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:52:06 PM EST
    if all the Dems heard out of the netroots was a solid wall of Get us out of Iraq now if it would really make any difference.

    I rolled my eyes about half a dozen times reading that post. Instead of treating it as a transparent positioning ploy by Richardson he wants to make a distinguishing policy issue out of it? I've been looking at that particular issue as just something they have to give themselves wiggle room on, not knowing what situation they might inherit in 2009. Can there be any more significance to it than that at this point?