Patterico's Pontifications

4/25/2007

Memo to 2008 Democrat Presidential Candidates: How We Fight Terrorism Is a Legitimate Issue, So Quit Whining and Deal with It

Filed under: 2008 Election,General,Terrorism — Patterico @ 8:48 pm



Democrats have “rebuked” Rudy Giuliani for these remarks on terrorism on the Sean Hannity show:

Here is the thing that the Democrats do not get and all these attacks and the things Harry Reid is doing and the Presidential candidates indicate. They do not seem to get the fact that there are people, terrorists in this world, really dangerous people that want to come here and kill us. That in fact they did come here and kill us twice and they got away with it because we were on defense because we weren’t alert enough to the dangers and the risks. … They want to take us back to not being as alert which to me will just extend this war much, much longer.

Leading Democrat contenders claimed that Giuliani was trying to turn terrorism into a partisan issue, by suggesting that Republicans have a better strategy for fighting terror. Also, they said, Democrats have a better strategy for fighting terror.

Here’s John Edwards arguing that it’s just wrong and partisan for Republicans to suggest that their terrorism-fighting policies are better:

Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards said Giuliani knows better than to suggest there is a “superior Republican way to fight terrorism.”

Also, Edwards noted, there is a superior Democrat way to fight terrorism, as opposed to the Republican way, which is bad and has made us less safe:

“The current Republican administration led us into a war in Iraq that has made us less safe and undermined the fight against al-Qaida,” Edwards said in a statement. “If that’s the Republican way to fight terror, Giuliani should know that the American people are looking for a better plan.”

Here’s Obama, solemnly pontificating that this should not be a partisan issue:

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama said Giuliani, who was in office on Sept. 11, 2001, should not be making the terrorist threat into “the punchline of another political attack.”

“Rudy Giuliani today has taken the politics of fear to a new low and I believe Americans are ready to reject those kind of politics,” Obama said in a statement.

Obama then turned the terrorist threat into the punchline of another political attack by suggesting that Republican policies have made us “less secure”:

“America’s mayor should know that when it comes to 9-11 and fighting terrorists, America is united,” Obama said. “We know we can win this war based on shared purpose, not the same divisive politics that question your patriotism if you dare to question failed policies that have made us less secure.”

Democrats would sound less silly if they were to get it through their heads: how we deal with the threat of terrorism is not just a legitimate issue for 2008, it’s one of the top legitimate issues. If you’re going to oppose every terror-fighting tool the Adminstration has pursued, and chastise Republicans for allegedly making us less safe, then you’re making a political argument based on terrorism, too. So don’t clutch your pearls when someone like Rudy plainly says that electing Democrats is going to put the country on defense.

If you disagree with that argument, Democrats, then by all means: attack it head on. But quit whining about the fact that it’s a campaign issue. It just is, so deal with it.

60 Responses to “Memo to 2008 Democrat Presidential Candidates: How We Fight Terrorism Is a Legitimate Issue, So Quit Whining and Deal with It”

  1. And why their comments are ironic escapse them COMPLETELY…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  2. Giuliani’s city was a sanctuary city when 9-11 happened. He is culpable for 9-11 by providing sanctuary for illegals, including terrorists. It’s like setting fire to a building then showing up with a firehose and taking credit for extinguishing the flames.

    Then when he was hired by D.F. to clean up the city, and he failed miserably.

    A bit of truth would be nice during a campaign. Conservatives want red meat, and all the GOP can give us is an unplucked chicken.

    Petit Bourgeois (375601)

  3. I agree. The GOP has botched national defense so badly, the majority of the country now side with Democrats there, too. The candidates are just lagging behind; old habits die hard.

    For a real response, see Keith Olbermann.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (a2bcbe)

  4. Leading Democrat contenders claimed that Giuliani was trying to turn terrorism into a partisan issue

    Oh the irony. That’s exactly what the Democrat Party has been doing since 5 seconds after Bush toppled the Taliban. and they have never let up since. Talk about projection.

    As Patterico says: “Deal with it!”

    Bill M (c00fa3)

  5. I love Olbermann’s real response, which could be added to the quotes in the post::

    . . . even if it is somehow acceptable to assign casualties to one party and safety to the other even if we have become so profane in our thinking that it is part of our political vocabulary to view counter-terror as one partys property and the others liability … on what imaginary track record does Mr. Giuliani base his boast?
    Which party held the presidency on Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Giuliani?
    Which party held the mayoralty of New York on that date, Mr. Giuliani?

    Spoken like a man compensating for his inadequate equipment.

    Patterico (943249)

  6. There’s a vast gulf between “this policy makes us unsafe” and “this party will make us unsafe.” In general, people making the latter argument — for either party — lose my support; people making the former argument will at least get me to listen.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  7. Well you have to admit the democrats have been pretty uniform in their mantra of FLEE FLEE!! of late.

    Taltos (c99804)

  8. Shame on those Republicans being “divisive” after all the shoulder-to-shoulder Democrat support for the war.

    [/sarcasm]

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  9. “The GOP has botched national defense so badly, the majority of the country now side with Democrats there, too.”

    This statement is laughable. Iran is a nuclear threat, and Dems offer … talk. Pakistan slides towards total Al Qaeda control and the Dems offer … talk. We are fighting Al Qaeda and Iran in Iraq (if Harry Reid is right, and we lost, then they won) and Dems offer … surrender.

    Dem policy: turn everyone in Gitmo loose or in the civil court system, with rules of evidence and jury nullification and everything else. Stop listening in to terrorist phone calls. Don’t “torture” terrorists like KSM, the 9/11 Architect and beheader of Daniel Pearl. Don’t hold any terrorists, let em go. Surrender, appease, wave the white flag. Don’t fight anywhere for anything. Be weak because weakness NEVER invites aggression.

    Dems are not even in nodding acquaintance with reality. I’d respect Dems if they said that COIN operations, special forces models, and “holding the line” in Iraq is not working, let’s have a 20 million man military, go in and simply wipe out in decisive engagements the regimes of Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi and leave them broken and destitute as an example of what happens when you pick fights with the USA. That at least plays to our strength: open decisive killing of the enemy in mass attacks where we just annihilate them.

    Rudy is correct: if lose in Iraq we give Al Qaeda and Iran the victory. Which by definition means losing in Afghanistan and being on the defensive in a 9/10 mentality. Dems want to turn back the clock to 9/10 and pretend terrorism never existed at all. 9/11 never happened or it was as Rosie says a conspiracy by GWB and the “Joooooosssssss!!!!!” (standard Dem anti-Semitic conspiracy theory).

    No the American People IMHO are not happy with Bush’s “hold the line.” Neither do they want Jimmy Carter Part Two: Abject Surrender. Decisive Patton-esque victory is what they want and some Rep will very likely give them just that.

    Jim Rockford (e09923)

  10. Terrorism is a legitimate issue. So is how we deal with it. However, it’s ridiculous to proclaim that Democrat=terrorist attack and Republican=safety.

    First, it’s more than a little arrogant to predict the future. Second, Giuliani’s assertion is false. Terrorist attacks have increased sevenfold under Bush. Even discounting Iraq and Afghanistan, fatal attacks have increased one-third in the rest of the world. So the “flypaper theory” is a load of shit. Nothing is keeping Al Qaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Republicans have increased terrorism in the recent past.

    Russell (874da3)

  11. When are you right-wingers gonna learn that the word “Democrat” cannot correctly be used as an adjective? You all sound like Bush, which is not a desirable thing.

    Pat Cunningham (156161)

  12. But Pat, Patterico gets mad when I call them “America-Haters”, so I at least have to use the nationally accepted code-word…

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  13. Obama:

    “Rudy Giuliani today has taken the politics of fear to a new low and I believe Americans are ready to reject those kind of politics. America’s mayor should know that when it comes to 9/11 and fighting terrorists, America is united. We know we can win this war based on shared purpose, not the same divisive politics that question your patriotism if you dare to question failed policies that have made us less secure. I think we should focus on strengthening our intelligence, working with local authorities and doing all the things we haven’t yet done to keep Americans safe. The threat we face is real, and deserves better than to be the punchline of another political attack.”

    The administration has done an an obscenely incompetent job and the democrats are still unwilling to play hardball on that point.
    Giuliani before 9-11 remember spent millions on a defense “bunker” above ground at the world trade center. It was a joke then and it should be one now. The Firemen and Policemen had radios that could not sync up and are still in a turf war.

    Meanwhile Tom Delay cries treason.

    AF (d700ef)

  14. Sorry, you linked to this one:
    “…failed policies that have made us less secure.”

    And they have. What has this administration done right in this war?
    What policy has succeeded? And by the way, Bush is at 28% according the WSJ.

    AF (d700ef)

  15. First, an aside:

    When are you right-wingers gonna learn that the word “Democrat” cannot correctly be used as an adjective? You all sound like Bush, which is not a desirable thing.
    Comment by Pat Cunningham — 4/26/2007 @ 4:29 am

    Would the use of the term “Democratan” be a better counterpart to the word “Republican”?

    Reasoning by logic is an important thing. Appealing to emotion is an important and appropriate thing too. It is most important
    to be aware which is which and what is in action at the moment.
    As language is an important way we communicate logic and emotion, the use of words is important. For example, “right-wingers” is a more prejorative term, hence more marginalizing, than “Republicans”. “Pro-Choice” has been the preferred term over “pro-abortion rights”.
    Some, apparently lead by President Bush, do not like to communicate the idea that being Republican is to be “Anti-democratic”, if only for a few, whether subconsciously or consciously.
    If it displays ignorance and marginalization, why does it bother you? Perhaps you will say that you are a Republican, just not a “right-winger”, and you want the Republican Party to look educated. That would be a valid argument, but I would be surprised if that is the case.

    Second:
    It would seem that if the “Dems” think the fight against terrorism is not a partisan issue they could:
    1. Say its not a partisan issue, when the Repubs make statements in a partisan way, simply remind us that “It is not a partisan issue”, and then GO to ANOTHER topic.
    OR
    2. Make a point of how the policies of the Republican Party in power have made things worse, and explain how their policies are better.

    It appears as if they “want their cake and to eat it too”. Which is mainly appealing to emotion:
    a) “we all feel this is an issue that shouldn’t be handled in a partisan way”
    b) “don’t we feel (or think=opinion) that their must be a better way to go about things, and whatever the Dems propose must be better”

    I bet if someone turned the subject of this post into a survey that revealed a person’s ability to see the irony and illogic and took it on the street, that anywhere from 50-90% of the public “wouldn’t get it”, be they Republican or Democrat. I would be relieved to be proven wrong.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  16. Would the use of the term “Democratan” be a better counterpart to the word “Republican”?”
    I’m sorry, but you can’t change the grammar of the english language by caveat. It takes time and repetition to transform an error into a rule.
    Reasoning by logic is an important thing
    And you’re off to a bad start
    Pro-Choice” has been the preferred term over “pro-abortion rights”…
    because it’s simpler. “Choice” refers the right of a woman to chose to have an abortion or not to. I doubt if anyone would complain about meaning if you wanted to replace one with the other.

    The republicans have failed. They’ve treated politics as policy:
    Lowered taxes in wartime.
    Defended market “theories” and nepotism over sound policies on issues both foreign and domestic.
    Abandoned Afghanistan after initial success.
    Ignored the fragility of the neighboring Pakistan’s military dictatorship, risking the spread of its nuclear arsenal to Islamists.
    How long a list do you want? How many references do you need?
    I’m not a fan of any of the democratic candidates, but a couple of them would do well enough, considering the electorate.
    But please, if logic is important to you you should be better at employing it.

    Argue facts. Give me numbers. I read none on this blog. Pontificating doesn’t work, except for the faithful.
    Someone complained that all I do is link. But all I read here are the personal opinions of the bitter and resentful, and resentment is not policy.

    AF (d700ef)

  17. Web Reconnaissance for 04/26/2007…

    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention….

    The Thunder Run (59ce3a)

  18. Once upon a time, there was a little boy named “Negotiation”… but a bigger, stupider boy named “War” got pissy and blew his head off.

    The End.

    Leviticus (68eff1)

  19. khan nuclear market/gone/ libya voluntary nuclear punt/iran surrounded by the baddest military might the world has ever seen/casualty rate less than 2%/ no attacks on us soil since 9/11..i mean..just sayin

    hydeysiki (943c49)

  20. Khan nuclear market/allowed for years [“they’re our friends”]/libya voluntary nuclear punt/in the works for years- the administration finally couldn’t turn it down/the only authoritan regime in the middle east that is under pressure from reformers strengthened by an American policy that has angered the vast majority of the population/number of terrorist attacks in the world increased dramatically (and still not port security)
    And by the way, we’re now funding Sunni extremists again[!!], against Iran. Brilliant. Just brilliant.

    “Just sayin”, read a god damn newspaper or maybe even a book.

    AF (d700ef)

  21. Read this thread. See? It’s an issue. So quit your whining, you pussies.

    The “negotiation” post is the capper, though. That little parable ought to be a Donk talking point it’s so perfectly what Americans think the Left believes. Negotiate!

    ROTMFFL!

    spongeworthy (45b30e)

  22. A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head.

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  23. I also want to point out how much I like AF’s use of opinion-driven statements as fact, and then demanding we use facts… Pure comedy gold.

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  24. Lowered taxes in wartime.

    Yep, and tax revenues went up. The problem isn’t the lowering of taxes, it’s that congress wastes too much money.

    Taltos (c99804)

  25. I believe you mean that “rubber stamp republican congress.”
    From The Heritage Foundation:
    Ten Myths About the Bush Tax Cuts
    [I’ll just include #1]

    “Nearly all of the conventional wisdom about the Bush tax cuts is wrong. In reality:
    The tax cuts have not substantially reduced current tax revenues, which were in fact not far from the 2000 pre–tax cut baseline and over the 2003 pre–tax cut baseline in 2006″

    And I could talk about the deficit. For more history, heres that creeeeeping communist… Brad DeLong

    AF (d700ef)

  26. Did I say anything about who was in congress? I think all congresses waste far too much money on unneccessary crap.

    You see, if you stop wasting money on peanut farmers and researching cow farts you can lower the deficit AND lower everyone’s taxes.

    If it were up to me all spending provisions would have to be put in their own seperate bill. And non-germane amendments would be ilegal.

    Taltos (c99804)

  27. AF – you might consider trying for accuracy in your comments … from the Heritage Foundation, Myth #1 is

    “Myth #1: Tax revenues remain low.
    Fact: Tax revenues are above the historical average, even after the tax cuts.”

    Still, it was good of you to give he URL so that people can go and read the supporting documentation for themselves …

    Alasdair (0c1945)

  28. Taltos: “tax revenues went up.”

    My quote from Heritage: “The tax cuts have not substantially reduced current tax revenues,”

    Your quote from Heritage: “Tax revenues are above the historical average, even after the tax cuts.””

    I also linked to Brad DeLong for context. You might want to read him (and read everyone else more carefully).

    AF (d700ef)

  29. test

    AF (d700ef)

  30. Taltos said “tax revenues went up.”
    My quote from Heritage: “The tax cuts have not substantially reduced current tax revenues,”
    Your quote from Heritage: “Tax revenues are above the historical average, even after the tax cuts.””

    I also linked to Brad DeLong for context. You might want to read him (and read everyone else more carefully).

    AF (d700ef)

  31. “When are you right-wingers gonna learn that the word “Democrat” cannot correctly be used as an adjective? You all sound like Bush, which is not a desirable thing.”

    The practice started long before Bush, as a refusal to accomodate the annoying claim of the Democratic Party to a monopoly on democratic belief.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  32. “Choice” refers the right of a woman to chose to have an abortion or not to.

    Actually, I think “choice” has wider usage than that. It’s another example of misappropriating a word to sugar-coat the real meaning. Like “Democrat” when “Socialist” would be more appropriate.

    Would you be upset if, instead of “pro-choice and anti-choice” the terms were “pro-motherhood” and “anti-motherhood”? I suspect you would be, as the loaded terms drive a decision in the uninformed, and project an aura of disrepute on the opponents.

    Me, I would like to choose not to pay income taxes and call my position “pro-choice” rather than “tax evasion.” Alas….

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  33. Sorry AF, but thats too flipping comical. Read the link you posted, it goes against your arguement.

    G (68ba9b)

  34. AF, as per your Brad DeLong link, you realize the chart he’s using is on Social Security, correct? And not tax revenue…. FYI

    G (68ba9b)

  35. (I’m having trouble making a post. Pardon please if things get sent more than once.)
    AF-
    This is the last time I plan to acknowledge any of your posts. It appears that you either purposefully twist arguments and meanings to promote confusion or in your convictions end up with such confusion. I don’t believe your twists are random or honest mistakes, which we all can do.

    But please, if logic is important to you, you should be better at employing it.
    Argue facts. Give me numbers. I read none on this blog.

    AF, I suggest you don’t take up high-stakes poker or try to bluff your way out of an armed robbery:

    Comment by Taltos — 4/26/2007 @ 12:20 pm:
    Lowered taxes in wartime.
    Yep, and tax revenues went up. The problem isn’t the lowering of taxes, it’s that congress wastes too much money.

    Comment by AF — 4/26/2007 @ 1:10 pm:
    From The Heritage Foundation:
    Ten Myths About the Bush Tax Cuts
    [I’ll just include #1]
    “Nearly all of the conventional wisdom about the Bush tax cuts is wrong. In reality: The tax cuts have not substantially reduced current tax revenues, which were in fact not far from the000 pre–tax cut baseline and over the 2003 pre–tax cut baseline in 2006″
    AF, The “conventional wisdom” about the Bush tax cuts is that they have increased the deficit. The reality is this is not true.

    Comment by Alasdair — 4/26/2007 @ 2:01 pm:
    AF – you might consider trying for accuracy in your comments … from the Heritage Foundation, Myth #1 is
    “Myth #1: Tax revenues remain low.
    Fact: Tax revenues are above the historical average, even after the tax cuts.”
    Still, it was good of you to give he URL so that people can go and read the supporting documentation for themselves …

    Comment by AF — 4/26/2007 @ 2:57 pm:
    Taltos said “tax revenues went up.”
    My quote from Heritage: “The tax cuts have not substantially reduced current tax revenues,”
    Your quote from Heritage: “Tax revenues are above the historical average, even after the tax cuts.””
    I also linked to Brad DeLong for context. You might want to read him (and read everyone else more carefully).
    And what’s your point???

    A more complete excerpt from what you have quoted (bold mine):
    Ten Myths About the Bush Tax Cuts—and the Facts
    Myth#1: Tax revenues remain low.
    Fact: Tax revenues are above the historical average, even after the tax cuts.
    Myth #2: The Bush tax cuts substantially reduced 2006 revenues and expanded the budget deficit.
    Fact: Nearly all of the 2006 budget deficit resulted from additional spending above the baseline.

    AF- You claimed lowering taxes in wartime was a bad idea, Taltos appealed to FACTS to disagree with your point, Alasdair pointed out your rebuttal was anything but. You continued to obfuscate.

    >“Would the use of the term “Democratan” be a better counterpart to the word “Republican”?”
    I’m sorry, but you can’t change the grammar of the English language by caveat. It takes time and repetition to transform an error into a rule.
    Consider time and repetition started.

    “Reasoning by logic is an important thing”
    And you’re off to a bad start
    I don’t believe I have made such derogatory statements to you. If I have, I apologize. We are here to have a meaningful discussion.

    “Pro-Choice” has been the preferred term over “pro-abortion rights”…
    because it’s simpler. “Choice” refers the right of a woman to choose to have an abortion or not to. I doubt if anyone would complain about meaning if you wanted to replace one with the other.
    I think you are wrong, but if another party has data or expert opinion on the matter I’ll be glad to listen. I assume you understand that opinion polls vary greatly depending on how a question is asked. The majority of people in the US are NOT “pro-abortion”, and it is questionable whether a majority would answer “Yes” to “pro-abortion rights”. The majority of people in the US are “against abortion”, but a significant number of those “against abortion” do not believe/feel they should “impose” that judgment
    on others, hence “Pro-Choice”.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  36. I was responding to one statement.
    And read both links please.
    —-

    And again with the inability to understand the english language:
    “pro-choice” rather than “tax evasion.”
    You can be “Pro-choice” regarding taxes but if you act on that philosophy under present law, you’ve committed a crime.
    Similarly if Roe v Wade is overturned my girlfriend will still be “pro-choice” but if she gets pregnant and has an abortion she also will have committed a crime. You see how language works? it’s not that complex.

    And in regards “pro-motherhood” and “anti-motherhood”? don’t you already have a loaded term: “pro-life?”

    AF (d700ef)

  37. Read what the chart says G.
    Read THE WORDS right above it.

    AF (d700ef)

  38. AF- “And read both links please.”

    Sorry, kinda tuned Brad DeLong out due to the fact that in the dated link you posted (December 2005) it was more on Social Security than on tax revenue as a whole, looks to me like he’s making a strawman arguement. Regardless, i’m pretty informed of the Social Security issue, and how its always been a major concern.

    But back to the heritage, Did you actually read more then the first few lines? Scroll down a little to read the “Myth” and “Fact” part. I’m sure you’d find out that you’d really like to quickly find the “edit” button.

    G (68ba9b)

  39. “Falling Income Tax Revenue (as a Share of GDP)”

    yet he’s siting a chart showing SOCIAL SECURITY.

    G (68ba9b)

  40. I’ll do this one more time, and I’ll quote from the piece where the graph originated:
    “I’m preparing a few slides for a class discussion about the US federal budget. In so doing, I produced the following picture of federal revenues and spending, excluding the Social Security trust fund.”
    And did you read what I told you. the words above the graph:
    the letters “e” and “x” with the little dot after them?
    Jesus Christ on a MF raft. read.

    AF (d700ef)

  41. AF… seriously. On your link to the heritage center, read MYTH #3…

    I’ll go ahead and put it here…

    Myth #3: Supply-side economics assumes that all tax cuts immediately pay for themselves.
    Fact: It assumes replenishment of some but not necessarily all lost revenues.

    Attempts to debunk solid theories often involve first mischaracterizing them as straw men. Critics often erroneously define supply-side economics as the belief that all tax cuts pay for themselves. They then cite tax cuts that have not fully paid for them­selves as conclusive proof that supply-side econom­ics has failed.

    However, supply-side economics never con­tended that all tax cuts pay for themselves. Rather the Laffer Curve[8] (upon which much of the supply-side theory is based) merely formalizes the com­mon-sense observations that…

    Sorry, I thought “EX” meant example, not excluding… The graph is still from before December 2005 and is incorrect on its projections.

    G (68ba9b)

  42. just sayin/russia was collapsing fer yrs/everyone knew that/casualty rate under 2%/read a newspaper..yea right/ read the congressional whatchamacallit[resolution] for war/how many times can dem change their minds,unless of course they didn’t mean it but then that would be politics/casualty rate…low

    hydeysiki (943c49)

  43. How does a thread start out about terrorism end up being mostly about taxes? There must be some correlation there…. 8)

    dubya (c16726)

  44. As to why the number of terrorist attacks have increased, it’s pretty simple. Once terrorists find out that they are on the endangered species list, they will increasingly fight for their lives rather than simply trying to intimidate the meek.

    dubya (c16726)

  45. Oh boy.
    Here we go again.
    And I guess this means you’re done telling me the graph covered soc. security

    AF (d700ef)

  46. Omar of Iraq the Model writes about the Congressional vote to withdraw the troops from Iraq:

    I am Iraqi and to me the possible consequences of this vote are terrifying. Just as we began to see signs of progress in my country the democrats come and say ‘well, it’s not worth it, so it’s time to leave’. Evidently to them my life and the lives of twenty five million Iraqis are not worth trying for and they shouldn’t expect us to be grateful for this.

    For four years everybody made mistakes; the administration made mistakes and admitted them and my people and leaders made mistakes as well and we regret them. But now we have a fresh start; a new strategy with new ideas and tactics reached after studying previous mistakes and designed to reverse the setbacks we witnessed in the course of this war.

    ***

    We must give this effort the chance it deserves and provide all the support and constructive critique, not the ‘war is lost’ empty rhetoric. Quitting is not an option we can afford—not in America and definitely not in Iraq.

    DRJ (41a330)

  47. Iraqi Public Opinion and the Occupation

    “Polls have consistently shown that a substential majority believe that the presence of US troops has increased violence in Iraq. PIPA’s September 2006 poll found that Iraqis believe, by an overwhelming margin of 78 to 21 percent, that the US military presence is “provoking more conflict that it is preventing.”

    “In 2005, a secret military poll by the British Ministry of Defence revealed that a large proportion of Iraqis (45 percent) believed attacks against US and UK troops were justified.[13] Since January, the support for attacks against US forces has increased substantially and as of September 2006 reached 61 percent, with strong majorities in support of attacks amongst both Shia and Sunni repondents.”

    AF (d700ef)

  48. Not sure public opinion polls of either Iraqis, or Americans for that matter, yield any useful information regarding how to fight any war, let alone the actual state of our military or diplomatic progress. I would argue that wartime polls reveal nothing more than how “tired” those polled are of a particular situation. Clearly, both Iraqis and Americans are very fatigued with this war, as any reasonable person would expect. Furthermore, I would argue that many Americans who are most fatigued by the war feel that way not because they (we) don’t think we should be in Iraq but because they (we) don’t think our national leadership is serious enough about getting the job done properly.

    I think Sen Lieberman made some very interesting points yesterday in his comments before the Senate as he took the democrats’ position apart piece by piece. Too bad the rest of the democrats and two republicans haven’t come to the same conclusions.

    If there’s a flaw in his logic, I’d like to hear it. Especially regarding his point that the democrats’ “plan” is nothing but more of the same failed policy we’ve already seen (and that they’ve complained about for the last two years) and that, contrary to their assertions, it is Mr Bush who has truly changed direction while they head back into failed territory.

    Nor is Sen Lieberman a Bush apologist. He and Sen McCain, among others, have argued for this direction for some time. Both have also been quite critical of Mr Bush’s decisions and his military advice. Both Mr Gates and Gen Petreus are realists who will provide the national command authority with real facts about the progress, or lack thereof, of the war. I do not believe either of these gentlemen will attempt to pump sunshine up anyone’s trousers as we have arguably seen by at least some of their predecessors.

    Finally, if we have truly “lost” as Sen Reid either said or didn’t say, depending on what day it is that you listen to his comments and “explanation”, then let’s defund the war immediately and bring the troops home forthwith. To suggest that the effort is “lost” and then to allow the troops to remain in harm’s way for many additional months seems to me to be nothing less than a craven political act of the lowest sort.

    Harry Arthur (5af33b)

  49. “both Iraqis and Americans are very fatigued with this war, as any reasonable person would expect. ”
    Your statement of the equivalence between the American Iraqi experience in this war is comically grotesque. Imagine the Virginia Tech slaughter on a daily basis in a country a little more than twice the size of Idaho.
    Pompous blather dressed up as moral seriousness.

    The Iraqi’s want us gone.

    AF (d700ef)

  50. As opposed to dismissive blather dressed up as moral seriousness, I presume. Your statement of the equivalence of the Virginia Tech slaughter on a daily basis with the conduct of an anti-insurgency operation in Iraq is worse than “comically grotesque”, it’s a complete insult to the bravery, integrity and discipline of our young soldiers. Nor does it really say all that much about Iraqis for that matter. Having read most of your previous nonsense, however, it is consistent with your typically arrogant and self-righteous attitude toward those with whom you disagree.

    Of course some “Iraqis want us gone” and it is equally true that “we want to be gone”, and our soldiers “want to be gone” first of all since the preponderance of the burden for the prosecution of the war falls on them and their families. My statement in no way stated nor implied an equivalence of the reasons for the “battle fatigue”, certainly not in any sense of moral equivalence, simply that “battle fatique” on the part of both populations was understandable and that it would certainly be reflected in any cited polling data. Perhaps we should take a poll or two in Afghanistan to determine whether we should stay there as well.

    My comment was clearly directed at the lack of utility of polling data in determining the direction of our foreign policy. Polls reflect a current set of attitudes. They are arguably of minimal if any use in determining courses of action that have long term impacts. I would further argue that they in reality trivialize an extremely difficult and important set of decisions that we as a nation are in the process of making. I expect our national leadership, of both parties, to lead based on what they truly believe to be the best course of action for our country and for the region in the long term, not to stick their finger in the wind and go in whatever direction the current wind seems to be blowing. Simply, if they wish to be considered “leaders”, then … leaders lead.

    Some Iraqis “want us gone” so their death squads can continue to exact revenge for decades of abuse by other Iraqis; some Iraqis “want us gone” so they can conduct criminal activities with fewer impediments; some Iraqis “want us gone” so they can replace the duly elected government with their own version of Sadam; some Iraqis and non-Iraqis “want us gone” so they can set up AQII terrorist training and operational bases; some Iraqis “want us gone” simply because we are foreigners occupying their homeland and they’ve had enough; and some Iraqis “want us gone” not exactly immediately but at the very instance that other Iraqis can provide them with the security to allow them to live their lives and provide for their families in relative peace. And some Iraqis and Americans for that matter, are simply mistaken in their belief that if we leave the violence being created by AQII and other foreign fighters will simply magically end. The actual set of facts is much more complex than your trite statement suggests.

    Finally, the clear context of my post was to comment upon the thread topic by offering Sen Lieberman’s comments to the Senate in the debate on the supplemental funding legislation regarding his clear disagreement with the direction in which the democrats and a few republicans want to move with this effort. I’m very disappointed that you chose to snipe about the latest polling data and my characterization of it rather than to intelligently discuss what I believe was a well reasoned and logical argument by Sen Lieberman regarding the flaws in the democrats’ “plan” for Iraq.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  51. Good Morning AF-

    I tried to post a reply to you above, as well on a previous thread, but they were long with formatting that didn’t take, and I haven’t been able to redo it, just as well I think.

    It seems to me that my arguments and person are attacked without much consideration of what was said and why. I don’t know if you realize that or plan it to be that way. I don’t find it very helpful to continue an interchange once I’ve put the urge to defend/counterattack on hold.

    A few examples of what I mean:
    One-

    When are you right-wingers gonna learn that the word “Democrat” cannot correctly be used as an adjective? You all sound like Bush, which is not a desirable thing.
    Comment by Pat Cunningham — 4/26/2007 @ 4:29 am

    Would the use of the term “Democratan” be a better counterpart to the word “Republican”?
    MD in Philly

    “Would the use of the term “Democratan” be a better counterpart to the word “Republican”?”
    I’m sorry, but you can’t change the grammar of the english language by caveat. It takes time and repetition to transform an error into a rule.
    AF

    First of all, my comment was meant to be more humorous than serious, apologies for my comic abilities. Second of all, as has been pointed out, there is reason why the word “Democrat” is used where typical usage would have “Democratic”. To get picky on the mechanics of grammar in this case is ignoring the point of substance being made. Besides, as you point out, what is accepted for word usage varies with time as the users of the language determine the rules. All kinds of new terms get into the language, “googled”; “blog”, “blogger”, and “blogged”. We even have new terms with disputed meanings (“swiftboated”).

    Second- In post #45 DRJ gives a current quote of the perspective of one well-known Iraqi “spokesman” living in Iraq. [While the view of only one, it is the surrent view of one Iraqi in Iraq with known credibility. that shoul be the kind of objective, “factual” evidence you claim to want.]
    You immediately post references to opinion polls, both of which are old, and neglect to discuss your opinion concerning the meaningfulness of polling data. Even if the polls were recent, polling can give different results concerning the exact wording of questions and how they were asked, and typically news stories don’t go into enough detail on that. For example, (empasis on example as in illustrative situation not necessarily factual) to say 50% of Americans disagree with President Bush’s Iraq policies doesn’t say whether 50% want to withdraw ASAP, or 30% want to withdraw ASAP, 15% want more agressive action, and 5% aren’t sure what they want done, but want something new triedI do know that polling data can also be apparently contradicting.

    Also, polls can be conflicting. Polls can show that 95% of Iraqi’s want less US influence in Iraq, but that 90% also want the US to stay there for the forseeable future. [I always like the polls that show over 50% of people in the US consider themselves to be “Bible-believing Christians”, and at the same time 75% of people in the US believe there are no moral absolutes. The results are logically incompatible, unless the terms don’t mean the same things to different people, in which case the poll is meaningless.]

    I would prefer to discuss issues and looking for clarity and understanding, not seeing who can “win” a debate.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  52. Polls reflect a current set of attitudes… Maybe, maybe not as MD in Philly has more than adequately demonstrated.

    Thank you MD, for the more complete discussion of the considerable problems with polling. It dramatically indicates why polls, while possibly indicating some level of current attitude (given all the caveats), are minimally, if at all, useful in informing our political leaders. I would argue that this is particularly true of polls taken other cultures, and doubly true in a country that we are currently occupying.

    This is one of the primary reasons Gen Franks wanted the smallest forces possible for both Afghanistan and Iraq, precisely to attempt at least to convince the local populations that we intended to be liberators as opposed to occupiers. It seems to me that the tactic worked fairly well in Afghanistan and, for a plethora of reasons, has not worked well at all in Iraq, at least in the aftermath of the initial combat operations.

    AF, if you’d like to entertain a civil discussion in which we both present mutually respectful arguments and where we can both learn from the other’s perspective, fine. If you’re not up to that level of maturity, then I personally don’t plan to waste my valuable time simply for your entertainment.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  53. “Second of all, as has been pointed out, there is reason why the word “Democrat” is used where typical usage would have “Democratic”.

    Further, Hertzberg wrote that “among those of the Republican persuasion,” the use of ” ‘Democrat Party’ is now nearly universal” thanks to “Newt Gingrich, the nominal author of the notorious 1990 memo ‘Language: A Key Mechanism of Control,’ and his Contract with America pollster, Frank Luntz.” While Hertzberg noted that Luntz “road-tested the adjectival use of ‘Democrat’ with a focus group in 2001″ and “concluded that the only people who really dislike it are highly partisan adherents of the … Democratic Party,” he also wrote that Luntz had told him recently that “[t]hose two letters [‘ic’] actually do matter,” and that Luntz “recently finished writing a book … entitled ‘Words That Work.’ ”

    “While the view of only one, it is the surrent view of one Iraqi in Iraq with known credibility. that should be the kind of objective, “factual” evidence you claim to want”
    You give me one person with “known credibility” well I’ll give you another

    “Polls can show that 95% of Iraqi’s want less US influence in Iraq, but that 90% also want the US to stay there for the forseeable future.
    Show me the poll.
    Here are seven.

    I don’t give a damn what you want to believe. I don’t want to believe anything. Frankly I don’t give shit one way or the other if the world blows up; but I’m sick of other people’s rationalization and delusion. Self-important pompous liberals piss me off, but what I read hear is just bizarre.

    “I would prefer to discuss issues and looking for clarity and understanding, not seeing who can “win” a debate.”

    Then think a little more and do a little research.

    AF (d700ef)

  54. The US said Mr Hadi, whose real name was Nashwan abd al-Razzaq abd al-Baqi, was arrested as he tried to return to Iraq.
    However, no other details have been released on his capture.
    A US intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the BBC that Mr Hadi had a long-standing and deep awareness of al-Qaeda’s training activities and operational planning.
    Mr Hadi, a man with a reputation for being a skilled and intelligent commander, had been in CIA custody since late 2006, the official said.
    US intelligence services were particularly interested in his activities in relation to Iran, he said.
    It believes in addition to supporting terrorist activities in Iraq, Mr Hadi was involved in “causing problems in Iran as well”, he said.

    But wait… it gets better.

    A Pakistani tribal militant group responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News.
    The group, called Jundullah, is made up of members of the Baluchi tribe and operates out of the Baluchistan province in Pakistan, just across the border from Iran.
    It has taken responsibility for the deaths and kidnappings of more than a dozen Iranian soldiers and officials.

    You’re defending idiots. You’re defending the Taliban, and Bin Ladin is laughing.
    Pat and the rest of you are talkiing politics instead of policy. Politics won’t protect the United States of America. Karl Rove won’t protect the United States of America. All he’s interested in is protecting the republican party from its “enemies” in congress. Who should accuse whom of “treason?”
    Answer me that.

    AF (d700ef)

  55. Hmm,

    I offer a hand of friendship in dialogue and receive a fist to the face.

    I don’t give a damn what you want to believe. …Frankly I don’t give shit one way or the other if the world blows up;…

    “I would prefer to discuss issues and looking for clarity and understanding, not seeing who can “win” a debate.”
    Then think a little more and do a little research.
    Comment by AF — 4/28/2007 @ 7:50

    am

    To Harry Arthur:

    This is one of the primary reasons Gen Franks wanted the smallest forces possible for both Afghanistan and Iraq, precisely to attempt at least to convince the local populations that we intended to be liberators as opposed to occupiers. It seems to me that the tactic worked fairly well in Afghanistan and, for a plethora of reasons, has not worked well at all in Iraq, at least in the aftermath of the initial combat operations.

    I agree. Meaningful discussion between Democrats and the Republicans would be nice, as “two heads are better than one”, at least when there is cooperation.

    Some reflections (if read, include the end please):
    1. We cooperated with other members of the UN Security Council and gave Saddam time (once again after 10 years of nonsense) to demonstrate his willingness to cooperate. What did we get in return?
    a. Members of the Security Council actively working to bolster Hussein’s stability, betraying the mission of the UN and the United States specifically.
    b. Time for Saddam to hide things or ship them to Syria.
    c. Still voices of complaint that we were too hasty.

    2. Before the invasion of Iraq all of the noise was about how barbaric the US was, how we were going to make the Iraqi people suffer by destroying all of their infrastructure, claims we wanted to invade and occupy for oil, etc., etc.
    So we went in small and light, consistent with the aim of assisting the Iraqi people to throw-off the tyranny of Saddam rather than coming as a conquering and occupying force. What did we get in return for that?
    a. Complaints by the Dems that we didn’t send enough troops.
    b. Complaints by the world that we didn’t maintain order well enough, resulting in museums being ransacked, etc.
    c. Complaints by others that we didn’t use sufficiently overwhelming force to intimidate our enemies, hence allowing for an insurgency down the road.
    d. Complaints that we didn’t listen to some sources of intelligence that doubted Chalabi.

    3. Furthermore, the evil, repressive, arrogant, and expansionist Americans under His Excellency, Emperor Bush, wished to promote a -cough, gasp, choke, chuckle, guffaw- form of government that was representative of the people and a self-governing, independent nation. And what did his Excellency get for that?
    a. Criticism for being optimistic and believing that the people of Iraq wanted life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness also.
    b. Second-guessing that he should have backed a US-friendly “strong man” instead of the US-antagonistic one we replaced.

    What other observations can be made?
    – It is easier to criticize the US on Human Rights issues than a murderous tyrant.
    – Open societies look worse when their mistakes are publicized while those of represime regimes are covered up.
    – That relatively few people care how corrupt and feckless the UN is.
    – Development of forbidden long-range missile systems, Hemorrhagic Fever viruses buried in the back yard of government scientists, and documents detailing the assembly of an atomic bomb don’t count as evidence that Saddam was a serious threat.
    – We can have the greatest use of smart bomb technology, operate under rules of engagement that put our own soldiers at increased risk, and minimize deaths of non-combatants in spite of “guerilla warfare”, and still get accused by the world of being warmongers…while the rest of the world, including the UN, watch the killing in the Sudan.

    What is one to conclude given these observations?
    Possibilites include:
    – Never commit to military action until we have been hit with a large enough attack to cause great enough losses that people will still be motivated to fight 5 years later, if necessary. (Also, hope that it happens under a Democrat administration, otherwise the Dems will be too busy blaming the Repubs for letting it happen to do anything about it.)
    – If commit to military action do what you want, more devastating than necessary, and as rapidly as possible. That way the war can be finished before domestic partisanship bickering takes over, and the rest of the world will complain no matter what you do anyway.
    – Surrender sovereignty to the UN, then we will be as victimized as the rest of the world and no one will need to feel guilty.
    – Discuss diplomatic options until choose to do one of the above.
    – Other suggestions?

    Obviously this analysis has been filled with cynicism and sarcasm. The worst part is, though, it appears to be consistent with the views of too many. This is not what FDR, Truman, or JFK would have done, let alone Eisenhower or Reagan.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  56. We cooperated with other members of the UN Security Council and gave Saddam time (once again after 10 years of nonsense) to demonstrate his willingness to cooperate.
    Q-What did we get in return?”

    A- He had no more WMD’s. And most of the world thought that was the case before our invasion. And they were right.

    The arguments for this absurd war started out as “realist” then switched to “idealist” when the realism was found to be based on delusion and lies. We’re supposed to be better than the schmucks we oppose. Are we going to reduce ourselves to their level?
    How many died as a result of the sanctions?
    How many died as the result of the war?
    Answer those two questions please.

    “Complaints by the Dems that we didn’t send enough troops.”
    No. Complaints by the General Shinseki, among others.

    So we went in small and light, consistent with the aim of assisting the Iraqi people to throw-off the tyranny of Saddam rather than coming as a conquering and occupying force. What did we get in return for that?
    So what did we get for our lack of planning and follow-through?
    Since the result was both predictable and predicted,
    I assume that’s what you mean.

    When you ignore basic information why should I waste my time arguing? You assert things as if we should take them on faith. And so enough of your points of ‘fact’ are so obviously wrong so why should I trust the rest? I’ve actually gotten called unoriginal on this site for sourcing my comments.
    Im sorry but that’s how discussions go in the real world.

    “It is easier to criticize the US on Human Rights issues than a murderous tyrant.”
    Bizarre. I criticize the US for supporting a murderous tyrant for 30 years. I’ve pointed to the record enough times [and ignore the photograph please, there are 22 articles on the page.]

    Did we help stabilize the region by supporting Saddam?
    Have we helped stabilize the region by supporting The Saudis?
    Have we helped stabilize the region by supporting Mubarak?
    Did we help stabilize the region by supporting The Shah?
    Have we helped stabilize the region by supporting The Israeli occupation? [and you can’t say that we’re really opposed it]

    I support none of the above and I never have (and I’m a jew).
    Make an argument and back it up. Or try to, since the data don’t support your dreams.

    AF (d700ef)

  57. And back to the original point:
    Here’s something on Giuliani

    AF (d700ef)

  58. AF,

    Maybe I need to clarify. My reply to you was simply this:

    I offer a hand of friendship in dialogue and receive a fist to the face.

    Everything else was in response to Harry Arthur, agreeing with a point of his and expounding on it.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  59. I like me a bored president.

    Ya know, like Clinton.

    After all, it wasn’t rumsfeld who drafted the plan to get us into (and out of) Afghanistan.

    How’s that for preemptively fighting terrorism?

    Miana (f65649)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.3405 secs.