Patterico's Pontifications

5/3/2007

Democrats Cave on Timetable for Withdrawal

Filed under: War — Patterico @ 6:22 am

The Washington Post reports:

President Bush and congressional leaders began negotiating a second war funding bill yesterday, with Democrats offering the first major concession: an agreement to drop their demand for a timeline to bring troops home from Iraq.

This is a positive sign.

123 Responses to “Democrats Cave on Timetable for Withdrawal”

  1. Pussies.

    Oh, well… What else is new?

    Leviticus (43095b)

  2. I think we should get out of Iraq. This interminable occupation is the wrong use of combat troops. They are for kicking ass, not whiping noses.

    TCO (4c403f)

  3. Democrats: “We have to get out of this war – it’s the will of the American people!”

    Bush: “Vetoed”

    Democrats: “Oh… okay. Never mind.”

    I guess they have short-term memory loss when it comes to what the “American people” really want.

    Leviticus (43095b)

  4. Yeah, but the repubs appear to be caving on the earmarks attached to the vetoed bill. Feh.

    Ms. Judged (becd1d)

  5. How is that a positive sign? Oh, you mean for Maliki.

    semanticleo (2f60f4)

  6. Today will be an entertaining day on DKos, DU, and Huff.

    aunursa (1b5bad)

  7. #3″I guess they have short-term memory loss when it comes to what the “American people” really want.”

    From a follow-up question for a CBS poll:

    IF BUSH VETOES FUNDING-TIMETABLE BILL, DEMOCRATS SHOULD.

    56% – Fund war anyway
    36% – Withhold funding until Bush sets timetable

    What the American people want, eh?

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  8. Aunursa wrote:

    Today will be an entertaining day on DKos, DU, and Huff.

    You and I seem to have different ideas on what constitutes entertainment. :)

    Dana (3e4784)

  9. This may hold some interest…

    Sean (103cdd)

  10. What the American people want:

    “If President Bush delivers his promised veto of the bill, most Americans think Democrats should go ahead and allow funding for the war, even without a schedule for a troop withdrawal in place. Fifty-six percent say Democrats should continue funding the war without a timetable.

    But given the choice, Americans would like to see the U.S. set a timetable to begin withdrawing troops sometime in 2008.This view is even more prevalent than it was two weeks ago.

    I’m sorry scott, if the words I’m writng aren’t original enough for you, but simple saying that you’re full of shit whouldn’t be enough. I have to supply the link to the poll you clipped your quotes from.

    AF (d700ef)

  11. The Third Book of Moses wrote:

    I guess they have short-term memory loss when it comes to what the “American people” really want.

    Perhaps it’s because they are less interested in what the people want than they are in having the war as an election issue in 2008. Why do you think that they were trying to set the withdrawal date so close to the election in the first place?

    Dana (3e4784)

  12. Pelosi, Reid, et al, were on a suicide mission as far as the defunding/get out of Iraq Free card was concerned. It was a bone tossed to the left-wing,anti-war group of the democratic party so Pelosi could say “We tried!”

    Time to “Move-On” so to speak. The interesting part now is to watch how the rabid anti-war/anti-American lefties handle the defeat. My money is on “Shooting themselves in the foot” as their vision is blurred by the foam emanating from their mouths!

    vet66 (c78b90)

  13. But given the choice, Americans would like to see the U.S. set a timetable to begin withdrawing troops sometime in 2008

    AF, they don’t have that option. It’s off the table. You and yours seem to have an extra ‘goto 10′ line in your code. Move on, bubba. Move on.

    Timetables won’t happen. Thus they need to fund the war. I’d like to see the funding bill NOT include the pork the last one did, but I’m too much a realist/cynic to think it will conform to Shari Law…

    Ya see what I did there? Ain’t I a stinker?

    Again, yes, if they were given a choice Americans would like us out of Iraq. *I* would like us out. I don’t want us out if it means Iraq ends up imploding or getting absorbed by some other country.

    Thus fund the war.

    Or cowboy up and actively defund it.

    I’ll not hold my breath for that though.

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  14. I wouldn’t hoist the tattered “Mission Accomplished” banner just yet.

    I’ve read the next bill will be tied to benchmarks for the Iraqi government to meet.

    Or…the Demos might just decide not to pass a funding bill at all.

    alphie (015011)

  15. Alphie, do you really think that the Dems dislike having congressional seats?

    Really, you think they wouldn’t get voted out in a heartbeat if they just up and refused to fund/defunded the war? If they think they would survive the fallout, why haven’t they simply done it already?

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  16. The pro war crowd can’t go the Sally Struthers/starving soldiers in Baghdad route when the funds are tied to the Iraqi government meeting benchmarks, can they?

    I can’t even think up a way to spin that one…can you, Scott?

    alphie (015011)

  17. Well, it all depends on the handsome Harry Reid. As Majority Leader, he could simply refuse to bring any spending bill to the floor for a vote. Or, he could allow the Democrats to filibuster it, meaning that they’d need only 41 votes to prevent any FY2008 appropriation for the war — thus forcing withdrawal on 30 September 2007.

    That strategy has it’s risks, though: Senator Lieberman could tell the ever-popular Mr Reid, sorry, but you just became Minority Leader, if he tried that.

    Dana (3e4784)

  18. It will be very interesting to see if Obama, H. Clinton, and Dodd end up voting for the final product of these negotiations. Will they vote for the compromise bill to fund the war without a definitive timetable and thus risk driving the rabid anti-war activists in the party over to Edwards; will they vote against the final compromise and say that it was because it lacked a firm withdrawl plan; or will they somehow find a way to be absent for the final vote?

    My betting dollars are Hillary votes for the compromise, Dodd votes against it, and Obama suddenly finds out he has scheduled a minor surgical proceedure on the day of the final vote and has to absent himself.

    JVW (bcc29b)

  19. Gee, I forgot about Biden. He’ll vote for the compromise.

    JVW (bcc29b)

  20. That strategy has it’s risks, though: Senator Lieberman could tell the ever-popular Mr Reid, sorry, but you just became Minority Leader, if he tried that.

    I would build a shrine to Lieberman if he did that.

    But only if he did the following:
    1 – talk very politely to Mr Reid about the bill/vote, getting Reid to say “I’m the Majority Leader”
    2 – hand him a sealed envelope
    3 – videotape Reid’s reaction when he reads the letter saying the Lieberman was formally joining the Republican Party.
    4 – send me a copy of the tape so I can see the face Reid makes before the anurism hits…

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  21. Ahhh, Mr Jacobs, it is a lovely fantasy, but I suspect that’s all it will ever be.

    Dana (3e4784)

  22. One thing Sen. Lieberman knows is that all signs point towards the GOP losing even more seats in 2008. It’s not so clear what advantage he would get from switching—even if he did, it wouldn’t affect the House.

    I’ll say one thing about this thread, though. It confirms that a lot of Yellow Elephants are much more animated in their attacks on the Democrats than on Al Qaeda. I attribute it to the fact so few Democrats have scary stuff like guns.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  23. How the hell do you conclude that Andrew? With the Dems losing this round on the war funding, it looks good that the trend of improvements in Iraq will continue.

    I would suspect the people who insulted the military and said we were losing and the plan was a failure to do rather poorly when it comes to election time…

    And if your logic of “yellow elephant” is correct (I don’t think it is, but lets pretend), then you have some hella-warmongering Dems. They keep attacking the military… :)

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  24. Lazarus,

    Ahh – the “chickenhawk” argument. I’ll say to you what I say to all idiots who raise this ridiculous argument. I served. My sister currently serves. I have a ton of good friends still serviing.

    B/c I am not a “yellow elephant” or a “chickenhawk”, and because I actually served, the logic of your argument dictates that you must now obey every opinion I have on the subject, else you are a complete hypocryte. Are you a hypocryte or do you now support the War and oppose Harry Reid?

    Choices, choices. Or, do you mean to say that we are only allowed to support the president in this if we served – but those who did not serve can oppose it all they want? Is that the new gold standard of intelligent argument?

    Great Banana (aa0c92)

  25. sidenote/cowboy up story/ are the democrats John Wayne cowboys or kevin costner cowboys? answer;neither, they’re billy crystal cowboys

    hydeysiki (943c49)

  26. COWBOY UP? Those folks ride sidesaddle.

    Mike Myers (2e43f5)

  27. Apparently that WaPo story is false. Greg Sargent contacted Pelosi and Reid’s offices and they said they are still negotiating what will be in the new bill and haven’t decided on anything yet.

    Russell (13a51a)

  28. I dunno. aPo stands by the story, and the writer hasn’t been told different by Pelosi or Reid…

    And I’m not sure what they say publicly is the truth any more. The louder they get, the less I believe these days…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  29. Counterinsurgency Funding: the Good, the Bad, and the Weird…

    The Washington Post has a window into the negotiations ongoing between the Bush administration and the Congress anent funding our troops in the field (hat tip to Patterico, of all people). Good news… According to the Post, the Democrats have……

    Big Lizards (5ca406)

  30. TCO saod: “I think we should get out of Iraq. This interminable occupation is the wrong use of combat troops. They are for kicking ass, not whiping noses.”

    You’re right! And, we should apply good, tested management techniques here to ensure a satisfactory result; ie, first in, first out.
    Withdraw our troops from:
    1- Germany;
    2-Japan;
    3-Great Britain;
    4-Italy;
    ….well, that kind of takes care of WW-2 ….
    5-Korea;
    6-Bosnia;
    7-Kosavo;
    …are there any odds-and-ends I’ve forgotten about?… AND FINALLY …
    8-IRAQ!

    Of course, there are still some critics of the War of Northern Aggression who would like to see Federal Troops removed from the South.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  31. Scott, where do you get the idea that anything is actually improving in Iraq.
    Unless and until there is a government in Iraq that can manage to impose some sort of order, the US can not “win” in Iraq. And as long as US troops are in Iraq, no “government” of Iraq has any incentive to do so, because it’s easier both logistically and politically to depend on the US to do it for them.
    And any “government” that could exist in Iraq while US troops are there, won’t last without US troops there, because it will be inexorably marked as a US creation.
    Bush refuses to recognize this, for the good reason that to admit this is to admit that it was the inevitable consequence of the US invading Iraq and therefore should have been foreseen before any US troops ever stepped foot in Iraq. For the Iraqi politicians, an unending US occupation that will do the security work and take the blame for everything that’s wrong is the second best result. The best result is for the particular clique they belong to, to come out on top once the US troops leave. And since none of them can be assured their clique would be the winner (and therefore be assured that the usual consequences of not being a winner in Iraqi politics won’t happen to them), they’ll gladly settle for the second best result.

    So it’s up to those outside the Administration and the Iraqi political elites to get the US out of Iraq. Meanwhile Iraq implodes and the US Army is slowly losing its ability to meet real threats to US security, and Afghanistan becomes Talibanistan again, this time with Pakistan for company.
    And then there’s the Iranian nuclear production, which can proceed with near impunity because the Bush administration has made sure that not only can we not go it alone in facing Iran, but that no one else really wants to go with us when it comes to facing Iran.

    kishnevi (202292)

  32. No, Great Banana, you are mistaking the logic of my argument.

    The Democrats’ position here is being criticized not only on the grounds that it is a mistake, that it will damage American security, but also because it’s insufficiently aggressive. On this thread alone, subsequent to your own comment, we have “Billy Crystal cowboy” and “rides sidesaddle”. Of course, I could find much more in like vein at this site or any other where conservatives comment.

    If you’ve served, it doesn’t mean that your insights into Iraq are better (many vets, as you know, support the Dems on this issue), but at least you have the props to insinuate your opponents are cowards. The Yellow Elephant hero-wannabes don’t. Indeed, their support for the President’s position seems based more on trying to see themselves as stronger and braver than the Democrats than the situation on the ground in Iraq.

    Speaking of which, did anyone click to see Jon Stewart’s montage of Bush announcing progress in Iraq—over and over again, reaching all the way back to 2003? Stewart didn’t do Senator Lieberman, but Glenn Greenwald did. Holy Joe, in November 2005: “I have just returned from my fourth trip to Iraq in the last 17 months and can report real progress there.” By December of 2006, Joe had come to his senses, a little bit: “The American people are justifiably frustrated by the lack of progress…”

    Pres. Bush himself has given up on any sort of secular, democratic Iraq; he’s just hoping for a (temporary) reduction in sectarian killings that will make it look like his expensive folly has acheieved something. As for you and your progress, now I understand why people are still falling for the Nigerian bank scams.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (530937)

  33. Kish, I get it from listening to soldiers (enlisted and commishioned) who are currently in Iraq and who have seen improvements over the last several months.

    Why do you get your info that it isn’t improving? People who USED to be there?

    Scott Jacobs (e3904e)

  34. I’ll say one thing about this thread, though. It confirms that a lot of Yellow Elephants are much more animated in their attacks on the Democrats than on Al Qaeda.

    Oh, brother. Here we go with the “chickenhawk” chickenschtuff again.

    Your stupid link says what most of the Michael Moore and other Murtha-Furtherers do on the topic of war supporters who are not in the military or never served, i.e., demand they shove their offspring into the military.

    Tell you what, Mr. Lazarus — I’ll roll away the stone, so you can wake up and smell the reality: You must be an adult to enlist in the military. As an adult, you make your own decisions. YOUR PARENTS CAN’T MAKE YOU GO IF YOU DON’T WANT TO GO. And it’s unfair to cast aspersions on a parent if their child will not choose to serve.

    But even GOP sons who freely choose to enlist don’t get a break. George P. Bush, the photogenic nephew of the President, enlisted in the Navy Reserve in March. That earned a post in the blog, but commenters weren’t impressed: “If this kid had any balls, he’d be enlisting to go to Iraq…Where are Jenna and Non-Jenna? when are they enlisting?” Another: “Navy reserve? Didn’t they mock that on the Simpson’s (sic) saying they were the 32nd in line to defend this country between the league of women voters and the boy scouts?”

    And as always, people like yourself don’t confront why you long for the days of Bill Clinton, who was determined to be Commander-in-Chief despite describing himself as someone who “loath[ed] the military.” And while I didn’t spend enough time on the site to see what it says about Hillary, I presume that she is spared inquiries about why Chelsea is working at a hedge fund rather than going to boot camp because, after all, she’s a Democrat.

    Bottom line is this: If folks like you wanna keep on blathering about people who support war not serving or fighting it, be consistent: support a Constitutional amendment that would bar anyone who hadn’t served from being elected into national office. That way, your problem would be solved — nobody who hadn’t put on fatigues him or herself would be voting for war.

    But you would never support anything like that. That would mean people like Dennis Kucinich and Barbara Lee, who don’t believe in war at all, could never run for Congress or beyond — only veterans would have votes.

    “Yellow Elephant?” More like “Red Herring.”

    L.N. Smithee (d1de1b)

  35. Scott, where do you get the idea that anything is actually improving in Iraq. –kishnevi

    Here’s one place where you can get that idea.

    dubya (c16726)

  36. Here’s another.

    dubya (c16726)

  37. Since one of the errors in our Iraq Strategy is too few troops, isn’t it very, very possible that insurgents simply leave where they may be confronted by the commenters’ friends in the military to go somewhere we can’t reach? I believe this game is called Whack-a-Mole.

    Mr “Smithee” is directed to comment 32 for correcting his misunderstanding of what I wrote.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (530937)

  38. Yeah, because what would the want with Al-Anbar or the big B?

    Or, on the other hand, wouldn’t them leaving those places be good, regardless of the reason?

    Or how about we try and recall the message of an leader of the insurgents, telling them to ONLY attack US forces (that’s worked like a charm eh?). Wouldn’t they then wish to, you know, go where there are US troops?

    Oh, wait… Logic… Sorry, I’ll use words and ideas that you’ll understand….

    duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh *drool*

    There ya go.

    And Dub, thanks. I also like Badgers Forward and Acute Politics.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  39. Mr “Smithee” is directed to comment 32 for correcting his misunderstanding of what I wrote.

    Mr. Smithee has read comment 32. No correction is necessary.

    You didn’t expound on your own personal definition of what a “Yellow Elephant” is in your initial comment, you simply linked to the blog. Now all of a sudden, you say what the blog says and what you mean are two different things. Sell it elsewhere. I am not buying.

    L.N. Smithee (2b3bf6)

  40. Scott, I read the blogs you mentioned. The improvement is that local Sunnis are now trying to kill unlocal jihadis. They are welcome to kill all the unlocal jihadis they want–that’s totally irrelevant to the real problem, which is Sunnis killing Shia and Shia killing Sunnis. And that hasn’t improved. It’s gotten worse.

    Also remember that those bloggers have a psychological investment that most of us don’t have. If you had friends and comrades killed, and were being shot/IED’d at almost every day, wouldn’t you? I don’t expect “impartial” reporting from them. In fact, I respect them because they aren’t trying to be “impartial”–what they are trying to be is honest and accurate about what they see and feel, which is not the same as being impartial.
    But we aren’t there, and it’s up to us to be impartial, and to apply what we know of Iraqi culture, society and politics to the situation at hand.
    However, if you don’t want to do that, you’ve got good precedent. That’s what Bush didn’t do before invading Iraq, and why we’ve got the mess we have right now.

    kishnevi (da26af)

  41. I’ve linked to it before, so I”l just repeat it now:
    There is a strong arguement to be made that by staying in Iraq we’re only driving the sunni nationalists closer to Al Qaeda.

    AF (d700ef)

  42. You don’t have a psycological investment in the US winning, or in our Soldiers surviving?

    Yeah, you can go fuck off right now. Swear to god, I’m not an overly violent person, but I’d punch you in your god damn face right now.

    So the soldier there are lying, but the politicians aren’t. Ried and Hillary and the rest of the fcuktard-nation are all 100% right and how dare I listen to anyone besides them…

    Ya know what, you and AF can feel free to move your asses to Canada… I’d suggest France, but they’re about to get a leader who actually likes America. That seems to be a sticking point with you two…

    It sure as hell isn’t my job to be impartial. I am – oddly enough – pro-America. I’m 100% rooting for the good guys. Yeah, we’re the good guys.

    The only people who are supposed to remain unbiased are the people reporting on the way, and that sure as hell isn’t happening.

    And dear old AF. How is it that with tribe after tribe leaving AQI’s camp and activelt fighting against AQI we’re driving them into their arms?

    Your “strong argument” is 100% the OPOSITE of observed fact. How the HELL do you wrap your warped little mind around that? seriously, how?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  43. Scott, there you are. You asked some questions about 9-11, and I left some links with clips for you to watch over on the Tenet-Fisking thread. I’ll catch up with your perspective on it later. Thanks

    blubonnet (8d9f79)

  44. How about this: They will do anything to prove the US government had a direct hand in 9/11

    They found thermite. Fascinating. Do you know what ELSE thermite is used for?

    Cutting and welding steel. Gee, whatever would it be doing in a place where the cutting of steel was taking place?

    And no, termite isn’t used in explosives. It’s used INSTEAD of explosives. It burns uber-hot, destroying whatever it’s on (WWII found it used to disable artilary without explosives).

    Did you see a guy on the grassy knoll too?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  45. Nice try, Scott, but a psychological commitment to the survival of our soldiers ≠ psychological commitment to the strategy being pursued by the Bush Administration. In fact, we’re so committed to the survival of our soldiers, we want them out of Iraq. You and Bush want them to remain in the middle of a Civil War, making continual progress (although never enough progress to leave, and in truth, never enough progress to look like progress) towards some vague “winning”. On this topic, Olbermann hit another home run. Watch the montage of “progress”. Watch the montage of turning points—three different elections, three different Iraq Prime Ministers. And watch the montage of changing goals of the Iraq War. WMD. Free and democratic Iraq (which Bush claimed we had achieved). Now it’s down to less sectarian violence, violence that didn’t even exist when we started this folly. Why, you would almost think Karl Rove didn’t want this weapon against the Democrats war to end!

    All this support the troops is just the latest variation on Patriotism, Samuel Johnson style.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  46. You think Olberman does good reporting? Yeah, I’m done listening to anything you have to say…

    If you are commited to the survival of our soldiers, how about you get yer boy and girls on the hill to stop denegrating their CinC, their commanding officers, and their mission/purpose/stratagy. Moral is one of the biggest, most important tools any army has. You want our soldiers to do well? then let them do well, and shut the god damn hell up.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  47. Olbermann’s montage is Bush et al. in their own words. Don’t like it? Too bad.

    It must be very demoralizing to be on the nth surge for the nth time on the nth rotation in the same place for a war that was supposed to be over by Xmas 2003 (30,000 US troops in Iraq). Probably more demoralization than anything we could say.

    Me, the Democrats, and the American people are tired of being told that to keep up morale, we shouldn’t bring attention to or try to correct your guys’ screw-ups.

    Interestingly enough, yours was also the cadence of Neville Chamberlain’s attempt to remain as Prime Minister after the fall of Norway. You may think you’re Churchill 1938 trying to save the world, but I’d say Chamberlain 1940 trying to save your own political asses is more like it.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  48. Yeah, way more demoralizing than members of congress calling troops ‘cold-blooded killers’, or hearing that their mission is completely lost, or seeing banners at rallies that hope the troops die.

    Yeah, how could we top that man?

    Idiot.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  49. Scott, unlike you, I don’t make the mistake of thinking Bush’s Iraq policy is in the best interest of the US. My loyalties are to truth and this country, in that order, and not to any political party. In fact, I think invading Iraq was the worst possible thing we could have done. It gives solid evidence to the jihadis that the US really does want to set up oil rich client states. It gives them yet another focus for propaganda. If I were a moderate Muslim, I would have very little incentive to give even silent support to the US right about now.
    And if the moderate Muslims don’t support us, that means the jihadis have won the most important battle of the war on Terror–the fight to make Islam a real religion of peace, one that really accepts the right of others to live as they wish, the fight that only Moslems can fight.
    I don’t want the troops to die. Even more, I don’t want them to die uselessly. Which is the result of Bush’s policies.
    And, btw, I didn’t say the soldiers are lying. I said (in comment 40) “what they are trying to be is honest and accurate about what they see and feel”. Which is rather the opposite of saying they are lying. But they are seeing only part of the war and they have a psychological interest in depicting the war as being won, because to do otherwise would mean admitting their comrades have died in vain and they are in daily danger for no good reason. To make that sort of admission is something most people don’t do easily, and many don’t do at all. But I don’t see that as a flaw in the milbloggers; I see it simply as one of the factors to be taken into account when reading their witness.
    Reid was right: this war is lost. It was lost the day we started bombing Baghdad, because the current situation was inevitable and easily foreseable, and only an idiot or a Bush would not realize that the current situation was inevitable. If you’re going to be angry, be angry with the person who made this mess for no good reason–Bush.

    kishnevi (da26af)

  50. “The war is lost”. Weasel. Use the indicative, not the passive. Tell us who lost and who won.

    nk (db0112)

  51. There’s no such thing as a “moderate Muslim”. Islam is necessarily an extremist religion. Jihad, conversion by force, is the basic tenet of the faith. There are Muslims in name only who do not subscribe to that madness, mainly from European countries like Albania and Bosnia, but they are not “moderates” — they are apostates.

    nk (db0112)

  52. in answer to comment 50: Bush lost it.
    As to who won it–which bunch of Iraqis will actually come out on top remains to be seen.
    in answer to comment 51: first of all, how does it feel to be in agreement with Osama bin Laden? Because, after all, that’s exactly what he thinks.
    Second, by saying there are no moderate Muslims, you are allowing the jihadis to fight the war on their terms, on their terrain. In other words, you are saying they should win.
    Third, the practical implication of your idea is that we should kill every Moslem in the world if they don’t abandon Islam. I think the usual term for that is genocide. It also implies conquering and depopulating every Moslem country in the world. Do you seriously think that is a practical idea?
    Fourth, as a matter of fact, there are moderate Moslems–believers who don’t think that conversion by force is a basic tenet of the faith, and do accept that others have the right to live as they wish. To say otherwise is simply a sign of ignorance

    kishnevi (202292)

  53. in answer to comment 50: Bush lost it.
    As to who won it–which bunch of Iraqis will actually come out on top remains to be seen.

    So, it’s over enough to say Bush lost it, but not enough to say who won? What if the Iraqis that come out on top are the democratically elected government and those who participated in the democratic process? Did Bush still lose?

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  54. “What if the Iraqis that come out on top are the democratically elected government and those who participated in the democratic process? Did Bush still lose?”

    And those people who win under such a democratic process will want the US and US bases out of their country immediatly.
    So the answer to your question is yes, Bush will have lost.

    AF (d700ef)

  55. So, it’s over enough to say Bush lost it, but not enough to say who won? What if the Iraqis that come out on top are the democratically elected government and those who participated in the democratic process? Did Bush still lose?

    Yes, although I wouldn’t give the same answer as AF. First, we might be careful about using “democratic” for a government whose police arm includes drill-wielding death squads. But more to the point, the Iranian government is at least partially democratic—and we aren’t very happy with it. When we invaded, we expected to set up a government that was pro-American and secular. (Even, our favorite con man Chalabi hinted, pro-Israel!) That outcome is so off the table now. We are a team that has lost and been eliminated from the playoffs, but admittedly we can (at great cost) influence which of the other teams gets to win.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (3079b7)

  56. So the answer to your question is yes, Bush will have lost.

    What is it you think a Bush an American victory would look like, AF?

    But more to the point, the Iranian government is at least partially democratic—and we aren’t very happy with it.

    Thanks from me and the Mullahs, Andrew. I needed a laugh, and they need useful idiots to say things like that in their defense.

    When we invaded, we expected to set up a government that was pro-American and secular.

    We did? Oh yeah! And there were going to be rainbows and unicorns! I remember now. All of that, and a democratic ally against jihadism. With rivers of chocolate.

    What is it those damned Sunnis don’t get? How dare they work with the US and within the political process when we’ve got a war to lose to them?!? Damn those self-interested bastards to hell! What say we send them a note telling them how awful Bush is and why they should go back to chasing the infidels out of Iraq with their glorious headchopping brothers?

    We are a team that has lost and been eliminated from the playoffs, but admittedly we can (at great cost) influence which of the other teams gets to win.

    Don’t look now, but we’re still in the game. And don’t tell Hillary, now that she’s decided that not being in the game is the focus of her campaign.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  57. Pablo, you are a fool. You could at least spout nonsense with a little more research and a little less enthusiasm.

    There’s been a certain amount of pop sociology in America … that the Shia can’t get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There’s almost no evidence of that at all. Iraq’s always been very secular.”

    That’s the crap key pro-Bush pundits were spouting on the eve of the war, and their perspicacity hasn’t improved since.

    As far as Iran, they at least still go through the motions of elections and they still have a Parliament where limited opposition is tolerated. You should probably assimilate this unquestioned fact, lest you misunderestimate the support the mullahocracy would have after, say, American military action against Iran.

    We have, literally, stopped budgeting for infrastructure reconstruction in Iraq, leaving them with about as much electricity as they had under Saddam. What we did reconstruct is broken. We are not playing he game to have a better Iraq. We are still playing, mostly, to give the dwindling American supporters of this war cover for the retreat from their “Mission Accomplished” fantasies.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (3079b7)

  58. Iraq under Saddam, North Korea, Venezuela… They all go through the motions.

    The motions don’t mean anything if the outcome is pre-determined.

    Here is the true disconnect in your head. The visuals are everything. In reality when the outcome is fixed, thus the process is meaningless.

    You don’t think that having no funding might be affecting construction projects?

    Gods you lot are morons.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  59. Scott, I did not say there was no money available for reconstruction (because of Reid and Pelosi). I said the Bush Administration is stopped asking for it. It is no longer one of the projects we are engaged in; note that story is from January 2006 under the Republican Congress. We poured several billion dollars down the reconstruction rathole, to the benefit of contractors (and, I suppose, some corrupt Iraqis). We failed utterly.

    It would be nice (although evidently unrealistic) if pro-war commenters would follow the actual progress, or lack thereof, of the enterprise. Instead we have a knee-jerk (or maybe a little above the knee) reaction that we must continue the Bush Human Sacrifice Plan because otherwise we are weak.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (3079b7)

  60. Pablo, you are a fool.

    That’s a mighty persuasive argument, Andrew. But your mother wears combat boots, so there. And Greenwald is a lying hack, well dissected around these parts, so if a link to him is the best argument you’ve got, you are indeed a fool. A really, really exceptional fool.

    Thank you, btw, for completely ignoring the facts on the ground. It makes for a wonderful object lesson in your ignorance and devotion to blind partisan ideology.

    As far as Iran, they at least still go through the motions of elections and they still have a Parliament where limited opposition is tolerated.

    Saddam would be proud, no?
    My country tis of thee, sweet land of going through the motions of liberty, of thee I sing! Land where my father’s limited opposition was tolerated, land where his excess opposition got him murdered, let insignificant nods to the notion of freedom ring!

    You can use that, if you like. :)

    We have, literally, stopped budgeting for infrastructure reconstruction in Iraq, leaving them with about as much electricity as they had under Saddam.

    We haven’t ended reconstruction and I don’t recall it being incumbent upon us to bring Iraq’s infrastructure beyond what it was before we got there. Our mission has been to leave them able to improve their own lot, and we’ve gone well beyond that. Also, we haven’t left them with a lack of electricity, the terrorists that continually attack the infrastructure have done that. It seems that any lack of power should be ascribed to those who are attacking the grid and not to those who are building it. But I know, you’d rather blame us because that is who you are and that is what you do. And that makes you a fool.

    What we did reconstruct is broken.

    Gee, let’s have a look.

    The United States has contributed to the fund, but the fund has mostly been supplied by the European Commission with contributions from Japan and Canada. It is operated by the World Bank and the United Nations.

    That’s the same United Nations that isn’t in Iraq, and that did such a bang up job with Oil for Food, right? It’s a good thing that the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq is budget dust compared to what we’ve done. And after all, this is the mission.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  61. Instead we have a knee-jerk (or maybe a little above the knee) reaction that we must continue the Bush Human Sacrifice Plan because otherwise we are weak.

    That’s a pretty odd thing to hear from the pro-chaos/Iran/al-Qaeda crowd. It’s almost as if you have absolutely no idea who’s killing all those innocent Iraqis, and what side of the conflict they’re on.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  62. Please stop the name-calling (“fool” and “morons” and such).

    Patterico (5b0b7f)

  63. I would remind the “we’ve lost” crowd of the words of one of their new-found heros:

    “You break it, you own it.” — Colin Powell

    Reconstruction and retraining money is indeed down but not because of anything Bush chose to do. It’s down because of the delays due to Defeato-crats “sending a message (of disrespect) to Bush” and delaying funding for 3+ months that forced the administration and military to divert Iraqi troop/police training and reconstruction funds to logistics and supply of OUR troops.

    dubya (c16726)

  64. Dubya: try checking the chronology again. The Bush Administration started winding down reconstruction in January 2006, of their own volition. The Democrats (who hadn’t yet won the election) had nothing to do with it.

    Pablo: The reconstruction is winding down. (If you click the link I supplied before, it says June 07 for the end.) As for its failure, instead of the web site of the people doing (or trying to do it), why not check out the people evaluating the results. Failure. And George Bush did promise the Iraqis an infrastructure. (Can you imagine how much less the Iraqis would have cooperated if we promised to leave their land in ruins?)

    Patterico: I’ll try. Basically, it can be hard to deal with unreality.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (9fd5fc)

  65. Yeah — evaluate 8 projects (out of how many thousands?), declare 7 failures because the Iraqis fail to maintain them, then declare the whole program a failure. Sounds like you have little trouble dealing w/ unreality.

    dubya (c16726)

  66. Pablo: The reconstruction is winding down. (If you click the link I supplied before, it says June 07 for the end.) As for its failure, instead of the web site of the people doing (or trying to do it), why not check out the people evaluating the results. Failure.

    Andrew, why not argue with the completed, up and running and currently under construction projects? Yeah, why would you bother to check with the people actually engaged in doing the work? As for those evaluating:

    A report by the federal office overseeing US reconstruction in Iraq says that of eight rebuilding projects, costing some $150 million and previously declared successes, seven are now in disrepair or have been abandoned.

    You realize that $150 million is a drop in the reconstruction budget, don’t you? And did you read the subhead?

    A government inspector report finds sectarian violence, corruption major factors in the disrepair.

    You call that an American failure? This is who you are and this is what you do.

    Basically, it can be hard to deal with unreality.

    You seem to do it with extraordinary ease.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  67. And here’s all that budgeting we’re not doing.

    Thoughts, Andrew?

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  68. Pablo, your own link shows no budgeting past mid-2007. Now re-read comment 64. We are in agreement in terms of onward funding: it is winding down and not being renewed. (See here, page 39)

    Pablo and Dubya, in my view, the reconstruction effort is a failure if it doesn’t reconstruct Iraq. It really doesn’t matter in deciding the question of success or failure the proportion to which sectarian violence, Iraqi corruption, US contractor corruption, etc. should be assigned the blame. And while you can cavil that I only linked to the very latest report showing that we were unable to deliver the goods on reconstruction, which relied on a (likely quite representative) sample, the broad picture is also bad. Electricity generation: at pre-war levels. (Same link, p. 37) Water and sewerage: at pre-war levels (p. 45). I don’t see an entry for number of schools painted. That’s the drop in the bucket.

    As for why I prefer the assessment of the inspector general to the splashy website of the party charges with doing a good job, I’ll tell you, I’m old enough I don’t rely on the NEA for an assessment of public schooling, and I bet you don’t either.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (9fd5fc)

  69. They didn’t budget anything because the budget hadn’t been PASSED yet. You know, the ones the Dems stalled on for months and added stuff that 100% guarenteed a veto?

    Lordy…

    And honestly, if you’re definition of “win” in the reconstruction is what you state, we won it a while ago… Their infrastructure under Saddam was pretty crappy.

    We’ve built schools, rebuild buildings for Govt work, upgraded their oil-infrastructure (thanks to Haliburton, because no one else could have done it).

    I know Pat doesn’t want us throwing insults, so I’ll just ask if it would be possible to remove your head from outta yer butt.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  70. Hey, Scott: oil production and exports still below Saddam levels. Page 35 of the Brookings link. Great job Cheneyburton must have done there.

    As I read the Brookings chart, there has been no new appropriation for reconstruction since June 2005. Lots of opportunities for more supplementals. I’ve linked repeatedly to stories from January 2006 that, for the Bush Admin, the reconstruction phase is over.

    The Bush administration has scaled back its ambitions to rebuild Iraq from the devastation wrought by war and dictatorship and does not intend to seek new funds for reconstruction, it emerged yesterday. [emphasis added]

    The Washington Post also reported, in 2006, [again, my emphasis]

    The Bush administration does not intend to seek any new funds for Iraq reconstruction in the budget request going before Congress in February [2006], officials say. The decision signals the winding down of an $18.4 billion U.S. rebuilding effort in which roughly half of the money was eaten away by the insurgency, a buildup of Iraq’s criminal justice system and the investigation and trial of Saddam Hussein. Just under 20 percent of the reconstruction package remains unallocated. When the last of the $18.4 billion is spent, U.S. officials in Baghdad have made clear, other foreign donors and the fledgling Iraqi government will have to take up what authorities say is tens of billions of dollars of work yet to be done merely to bring reliable electricity, water and other services to Iraq’s 26 million people…

    And against this, you somehow believe that the problem with no more reconstruction funding lies with the Democrats and their 2007 appropriations measure. Unreal: unrelated to facts. Is there anything bad the Democrats aren’t responsible for, that might be on the head of Fearless Leader?

    Now, whose head is up an ass here??? [emphasis added]

    Andrew J. Lazarus (9fd5fc)

  71. Hey, Scott: oil production and exports still below Saddam levels.

    I can’t imagine why, with workers and equipment being attacked. Add to that the fact that the profit sharing from the oil sales will soon be in place (the bill is almost signed into law). I would imagin that oil production will shoot up at that point.

    And your proof that there were no more funds requested is a piece from January ’06? Don’t you think you might have looked a little more recent?

    I believe the answer to your last question would be “Andrew J. Lazarus”…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  72. When Saddam was in power, the Iraqis managed their oilfields so poorly that it will take years to repair the damage and return to earlier production levels:

    “One major challenge in maintaining, let alone increasing, oil production capacity, was Iraq’s battle with water cut, especially in the south. In 2000, Saybolt International had reported that Iraq’s Northern Oil Company (NOC) and Southern Oil Company (SOC) were able to increase their oil production through use of short-term techniques not generally considered acceptable in the oil industry (i.e., injection of refined oil products into crude reservoirs). The Saybolt report now appears to have been largely accurate. In addition, a U.N. report in June 2001 said that Iraqi oil production capacity would fall sharply unless technical and infrastructure problems were addressed. Others have pointed to the need for water injection in order to maintain pressure and to avoid reservoir damage in the southern fields. U.N. oil experts have estimated that some reservoirs in southern Iraq have been so badly managed that their ultimate recovery rates might be only 15 percent-25 percent, well below the 35 percent-60 percent usually seen in the oil industry.

    Assuming the damage can be repaired, it will take years and I question the ability of the Russian and Chinese oil companies (that were awarded Iraqi contracts) to do the repairs.

    DRJ (c6d1df)

  73. Things have changed and the oil law bogged down in disputes but as to what the law itself represents here’s Pepe Excobar in The Asia Times Feb 28th

    On Monday, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s cabinet in Baghdad approved the draft of the new Iraqi oil law. The government regards it as “a major national project”. The key point of the law is that Iraq’s immense oil wealth (115 billion barrels of proven reserves, third in the world after Saudi Arabia and Iran) will be under the iron rule of a fuzzy “Federal Oil and Gas Council” boasting “a panel of oil experts from inside and outside Iraq”. That is, nothing less than predominantly US Big Oil executives.

    The law represents no less than institutionalized raping and pillaging of Iraq’s oil wealth. It represents the death knell of nationalized (from 1972 to 1975) Iraqi resources, now replaced by production sharing agreements (PSAs) – which translate into savage privatization and monster profit rates of up to 75% for (basically US) Big Oil. Sixty-five of Iraq’s roughly 80 oilfields already known will be offered for Big Oil to exploit. As if this were not enough, the law reduces in practice the role of Baghdad to a minimum. Oil wealth, in theory, will be distributed directly to Kurds in the north, Shi’ites in the south and Sunnis in the center. For all practical purposes, Iraq will be partitioned into three statelets. Most of the country’s reserves are in the Shi’ite-dominated south, while the Kurdish north holds the best prospects for future drilling.

    The approval of the draft law by the fractious 275-member Iraqi Parliament, in March, will be a mere formality. Hussain al-Shahristani, Iraq’s oil minister, is beaming. So is dodgy Barnham Salih: a Kurd, committed cheerleader of the US invasion and occupation, then deputy prime minister, big PSA fan, and head of a committee that was debating the law.

    But there was not much to be debated. The law was in essence drafted, behind locked doors, by a US consulting firm hired by the Bush administration and then carefully retouched by Big Oil, the International Monetary Fund, former US deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz’ World Bank, and the United States Agency for International Development. It’s virtually a US law (its original language is English, not Arabic).

    In other news:

    “Assuming the damage can be repaired, it will take years and I question the ability of the Russian and Chinese oil companies (that were awarded Iraqi contracts) to do the repairs.”
    You question the ability.. based on what now?

    And pablo your knowledge of Iran is impressive… in it’s absence.
    Read up a little before you spout off. And your comments about Oil For Food are a rip. What’s the data for fraud for the UN in Iraq vs the US occupation. Gimme numbers.

    AF (d700ef)

  74. Well, is the Iraq reconstruction a success, or is it a failure with really good excuses? You guys do see a difference, don’t you? Hint: with electricity, oil, water, and sewerage all at or below Saddam levels, it’s not a success. If you want, we can start discussing the quality of the excuses, although, in a conflict to save Western Civilization, excuses are inferior to results. And the “oil law” will join a list of literally fifteen or twenty failed “turning points”, such as the various new Constitutions and elections, whose promised positive results never materialized. Doubtless the excuses for these new failures are already prepared.

    So far, I’ve presented a chart from the current Brookings report showing no appropriations since June 2005. I show two articles saying that as of January 2006, the Bush Administration will no longer ask for reconstruction aid. This isn’t enough to shock Scott out of his belief that the Democrats must be to blame for the end of reconstruction appropriations. Somehow it devolves, in his world, on me to provide even more evidence!

    This is ass-backwards, Scott. Where is any evidence since January 2006 that the Administration has asked for more reconstruction aid and been thwarted by the Democrats? We both know there isn’t any such evidence, because it didn’t happen. (If you think it did happen, let’s make a large cash bet, OK?) It’s just a question of whether you can come up with more clever rhetoric to disguise the fact you were mistaken about the history of reconstruction funds.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (9fd5fc)

  75. AF – Wow… Fen 28th… How recent!

    AJL – I dunno, did you even look? Or did you just take the first sign that we failed as the best there was?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  76. Pablo, your own link shows no budgeting past mid-2007. Now re-read comment 64. We are in agreement in terms of onward funding: it is winding down and not being renewed.

    How much of that appropriated money sits unspent and unbudgeted, Andrew? Billions. The money has not dried up and the spending is not winding down. And speaking of ignorance, you’ve got some reading to do about available reconstruction funding, and those damned capitalists and their filthy private investment.. Then you can come back and tell us again what an awful failure America is. That is, after you addresses those lying bastards that are actually doing the work and their reporting as to what has already been accomplished. Something more than brushing it off because they’re actually doing the work would be nice.

    Pablo and Dubya, in my view, the reconstruction effort is a failure if it doesn’t reconstruct Iraq.

    Does that include the kite flying fields and the rivers of chocolate? How about palaces? Is it a failure if we don’t put all of the palaces back the way they were? What about statuary? That could take a while.

    Man, this really is going to be hard. That Andrew J. Lazarus sure is a tough customer.

    “I WANT PERFECTION RIGHT NOW! ANYTHING LESS IS A FAILURE!”

    How do you sleep with that enormous pea under your bed, Princess? Were you aware that there’s been a war on in Iraq?

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  77. Does that include the kite flying fields and the rivers of chocolate?

    THAT is why I love a Pablo-post…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  78. Thanks, Scott. But sadly, I’m no Pepe Escobar.

    They’ve won. They got their war against Afghanistan (planned before September 11).

    Maybe Pepe can enlighten us on the virtues of the Iranian government and it’s status as a bastion of democratic liberty when he gets done explaining how the Iraqi government decided to hand over all of Iraq’s oil to Halliburton.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  79. sadly

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  80. Maybe I am engaged in wishful thinking but I wonder if the Democrats strategy is to keep offering up new alternatives which shows them to be flexible while our petulant little spoiled boy President keeps demanding everything be done his way. ( as if his way is such a smashing success!!)
    You know how this will go..
    Bush will veto the bill and then with the help of the right wing media will convince voters the Democrats are responsible for HIS veto which cut off the funds!
    Dont lose faith in the Democrats. Not just yet. I admit they lacked backbone in the past but things are changing. Who knows. Maybe even Rush Limbaugh will join now that the enlistment standards have been lowered!!

    Charlie (55cd2b)

  81. Ha ha! Pablo Regular comedian..comparing the failures in Iraq to a pea under a bed.. THE STORY IS ABOUT A PEA UNDER A MATTRESS PABLO..NOT A BED!!

    Charlie (55cd2b)

  82. You haven’t answered my question on the Fraud at the UN vs US Iraq reconstruction. No answer on the make-up of the Iraqi oil law.
    Remember the United Fruit Company? And here we go again.

    “Maybe Pepe can enlighten us on the virtues of the Iranian government.”

    Maybe you could Pablo. Scott?
    Tell us all about Iran.

    AF (d700ef)

  83. The virtues?

    Ummm…

    I’m not living uder it… Is that a virtue, or just my good luck?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  84. Details son, details. Vices too: the good the bad and the ugly.

    And WaPo has filed a correction
    The democrats haven’t caved, at least not yet.

    AF (d700ef)

  85. You haven’t answered my question on the Fraud at the UN vs US Iraq reconstruction.

    That seems to be your hobby horse, AF. If you want to ride it, saddle up. You know where Google is. And I’ll even give you a head start.

    Remember the United Fruit Company? And here we go again.

    Remember Apollo 11? Here we go again. What any of this has to do with the Middle East, I have no idea.

    Maybe you could Pablo. Scott?
    Tell us all about Iran.

    Well, it’s a country with a theocratic government controlled by a Islamic Supreme Leader and the Council of Guardians he appoints. It elects legislators and its President from a slate of candidates selected with the approval of the Council of Guardians, and it’s current president believes that the Holocaust did not happen and he wants to do it again. They have a history of support for Islamic terrorism, lots and lots of oil, and a significant number of smoking hot Persian women. Oh, and they have Sharia law, an aggressive nuclear weapons development program, and a policy of exporting weapons to and fomenting violence in Iraq.

    Anything else you need to know, AF?

    THE STORY IS ABOUT A PEA UNDER A MATTRESS PABLO..NOT A BED!!

    WOW, CHARLIE!! I HAD NO IDEA ABOUT THAT STORY!!! YOU SURE GOT ME THERE!! YOU ARE SOOO SMART!!one!

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  86. Details, son, details. The correction:

    While Democrats are no longer pushing a firm date for troop withdrawals, party leaders did not specifically make that concession during a Wednesday meeting with Bush at the White House.

    And what was that you said?

    The democrats haven’t caved, at least not yet.

    Uh huh. Well, at least the French have. Or have they?

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  87. Scott, you still have it backwards. You are asking me if I have looked for evidence backing up your statement that it’s the 2007 Democrats fault there is no more reconstruction money. How about if you supply some evidence—so far, we have an unsupported assertion. I’m willing to put some money on this question, if it will inspire you. I’ve shown that in January 2006, the Bush Administration announced it would not seek any more reconstruction funding from Congress. Your turn. Enough with the transparent rhetorical gimmicks. Show us some facts.

    Pablo: the Brookings chart shows that we have disbursed all but the last $3B. Your link that the Iraqi government is even less capable of reconstruction than we are doesn’t much re-assure me.

    Both of you: no results, lots of excuses. I don’t know how many rivers of chocolate Saddam had, but I do know how much electricity, oil, water, and sewerage he provided, and (we seem to agree) our reconstruction results are no better than his in any of those categories. Is chocolate a euphemism for the rivers of sewage? So four years isn’t enough, it’s wanting “instant” results?! Hey, we made specific predictions about what the level of reconstruction would be by now. (They’re in the Brookings report.) We just didn’t attain them.

    The failure of our reconstruction efforts (as I do not subscribe to the belief that failure is just success that hasn’t happened yet) doesn’t prove that the Iraq War was a mistake. But the fact-free, increasingly absurd, insistence that a complete lack of effective results is a great victory is the sort of the-emperor-does-too-have-clothes folly that guaranteed whatever good could have come out of the war didn’t. Loyalty to Naked Emperor George Bush entails ignoring reality.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (9fd5fc)

  88. Pablo: the Brookings chart shows that we have disbursed all but the last $3B. Your link that the Iraqi government is even less capable of reconstruction than we are doesn’t much re-assure me.

    Available reconstruction funds, Andrew. Lots and lots of available reconstruction funds. Reconstruction continues. Your complaint is hollow. And frankly, I don’t care how assured you are.

    but I do know how much electricity, oil, water, and sewerage he provided, and (we seem to agree) our reconstruction results are no better than his in any of those categories.

    No, we don’t agree on that. And Saddam didn’t have a war on, with people incessantly attacking Iraqi infrastructure. He also didn’t deliver services to those who did not meet his favor, a problem we’re correcting.

    Hey, we made specific predictions about what the level of reconstruction would be by now. (They’re in the Brookings report.) We just didn’t attain them.

    Well, we’d best get a refund on our National Crystal Ball, then. What war do you know of that ever went according to plan? You do know there’s been a war on, don’t you, Andrew?

    Loyalty to Naked Emperor George Bush entails ignoring reality.

    What about ignoring this reality? It looks like Bush Derangement Syndrome to me.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  89. “Anything else you need to know, AF?”
    A lot more.
    here
    here
    here
    here
    here
    here
    From the fourth link

    When Ciamak Morsathegh chose to take up a position as the medical boss of Sapir hospital, he did not regret the “big opportunities” he was giving up in an already high-flying career. “This hospital is part of our identity as Jews,” he says. “It is the practical point of interaction between us and non-Jews in Iran. We help anybody. We don’t ask them their religion.”

    The pictures on opposite walls in Dr Morsathegh’s office tell their own story. The stern features of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, father figure of Iran’s Islamic revolution, glower down from above the desk, as they do in almost every office in the country. Facing the desk is a painting of Moses, Aaron, and a tablet bearing the Ten Commandments.

    At more than 20,000, Iran remains home to the largest Jewish community in the Middle East outside Israel, despite post-revolutionary emigration that saw tens of thousands leave. Those who remain say emigration has slowed and those who have stayed are unlikely to change their minds.

    Sapir Hospital is a venerable institution of Iranian Jewish life. Founded 60 years ago as a charitable body, it provides free and heavily subsidized care for people in its working class neighbourhood. In some ways, it continues a medical tradition in which Jewish physicians have been celebrated in Iran for centuries. Only a few staff are Jews – most Jewish doctors in Tehran run their own practices – but it is funded by Jewish donations.

    Now tell me about the Jews in Bandar Bush’s Saudi Arabia? Tell me about the feminist and reform movements there. Tell me why we’re funding Sunni terrorists with the links to the Taliban to attack Iran. Tell me why the dictators Mubarak in Egypt and Musharraf in Pakistan are “our friends.” Tell me about Saudi financing for the insurgents in Iraq

    And how many Kosher butchers are there in Tehran?
    Six.
    How many in Riyadh, bubbuleh?

    AF (d700ef)

  90. “What about ignoring this reality? It looks like Bush Derangement Syndrome to me.” – Pablo

    Hey Pablo –

    How about THIS reality? Your nifty report on Iraqi reconstruction “progress” represents a complete and utter WASTE OF MY TAX DOLLARS.

    And if you weasels are doing so good, how about leaving up to a vote (remember those purple fingers?) of the Iraqi people as to whether we stay or go?

    I’ll leave it to them. Have you got the courage to do the same?

    FYI: That requires a “Yes” or “No” answer. I’m not interested in any twisted, fiction-based logic.

    Brent Mack (ca66f3)

  91. Pablo, this is getting repetitive. Despite your slick link (the ad for the emperor’s clothes, I guess), aggregate results for the reconstruction program are nowhere near predictions. You think you have a great all-purpose excuse, that there is a war on. There isn’t really much point discussing the program, if the continuation of the war means any outcome would be acceptable to you.

    A few last things you might think about: if we had delivered the reconstruction on time, how many fewer Iraqis would be participating in the war against us? And, if the war meant that the $20B spent on reconstruction was going to accomplish so little, shouldn’t the money have been spent on something else?

    I’d offer a bet on the status of Iraqi electricity twelve months hence, but I imagine you’d use the presence of Democrats in Congress to weasel out of the result, which we already know in our hearts: electricity generation in March 2008 will be just as low as it is now.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (9fd5fc)

  92. Tell ya what Andrew… Next time you decide to build a home or something, I’ll wait for the builder to give you an estimate for when it will be done, an dthen every couple of days I’ll tear down a couple of walls or yank out all the wiring or plumbing.

    Then we’ll see how well they do on that estimated time table…

    And I bet my point here is just out of your reach…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  93. And if you weasels are doing so good, how about leaving up to a vote (remember those purple fingers?) of the Iraqi people as to whether we stay or go?

    I’ll leave it to them. Have you got the courage to do the same?

    We already have left it to them, Brent. Remember those purple fingers? This, for better or worse, is the government they elected to run their affairs. They want us to stay, at least until they can get their act together.

    Andrew,

    Despite your slick link (the ad for the emperor’s clothes, I guess), aggregate results for the reconstruction program are nowhere near predictions.

    Not meeting predictions = utter failure. Brilliant!

    I hope you don’t have kids, Andrew. But we could have used you around here a few years ago.

    A few last things you might think about: if we had delivered the reconstruction on time, how many fewer Iraqis would be participating in the war against us?

    Good question. What do you think the Anbar Salvation Council would be up to? Do you really think Iraqis who want a stable society are stupid enough to blame the people who are building the infrastructure over those who keep blowing it up, when they’re not slaughtering their families?

    You do know there’s a war on, don’t you, Andrew?

    I’d offer a bet on the status of Iraqi electricity twelve months hence, but I imagine you’d use the presence of Democrats in Congress to weasel out of the result, which we already know in our hearts: electricity generation in March 2008 will be just as low as it is now.

    Your heart is mistaken. From that nasty, evil, slick, Bush loving link, aka The Army Corps of Engineers:

    Electrical Generation Update…Completed Gulf Region Division generation projects have provided an additional 1,420MW of potential generation capacity to Iraq’s national grid. At the end of the program, the projects will have added 1,879 MW of potential generation capacity, which can serve an estimated 1.7 million homes. All USG agencies’ projects will add or restore a total of 2,555MW at the end of the program.

    But what the hell do they know, what with them being on the ground actually building this stuff?

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  94. Why budget for building or rebuilding stuff until you’ve exterminated the termites who eat it as fast as you build it? Lets just get on with putting money into the exterminators instead of pissing and moaning over how long it’s taking.

    dubya (c16726)

  95. “Assuming the damage can be repaired, it will take years and I question the ability of the Russian and Chinese oil companies (that were awarded Iraqi contracts) to do the repairs.”

    AF#73: “You question the ability.. based on what now?”

    Because they aren’t as good as western oil and gas companies at repairs or extraction. If you think Lukoil is as competent as Halliburton or ExxonMobil, I have a bridge for sale that might interest you.

    DRJ (c6d1df)

  96. Pablo, Bushbots have been posting comments about “just about to come online” electricity for a long, long time. Here’s a slick 2004 press release boasting with newly opened generators that electricity would now be above Saddamite levels. It isn’t. (And, IIRC, there was much less of a war then.) You can find a funny (sort of) compilation of Arthur Chrenkoff’s Good News from Iraq on electricity compared to the situation on the ground here. End result: same as before.

    I’ll bet $100 that average daily electricity generation for Jan-Mar 2008 is not more than 110% of the Jan-Mar 2007 level as measured by the Brookingsa report. The catch is: no excuses. Doesn’t matter if there’s a war on. Doesn’t matter if terrorists or incompetence ruin the press releases. We’ll do it like the sports section: outcomes.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (9fd5fc)

  97. To Pablo –

    And if you weasels are doing so good, how about leaving up to a vote (remember those purple fingers?) of the Iraqi people as to whether we stay or go?

    I’ll leave it to them. Have you got the courage to do the same?

    “We already have left it to them, Brent. Remember those purple fingers? This, for better or worse, is the government they elected to run their affairs. They want us to stay, at least until they can get their act together.”

    I really thought that Pablo would be more creative than simply sidestepping the question. But I believe we got your answer loud and clear. You WON’T trust them with another round of voting.

    ONLY al-Qaeda and the Neo-cons want a continued U.S. military presence in Iraq.

    It’s you and al-Qaeda, baby! You’re the Siamese Twins of Evil. Two sides of the same coin.

    Now that just leaves us with one question: Why aren’t you over there??? I’ve seen grandmothers dying for your cause. So get your ass over there, NOW!

    Brent Mack (ca66f3)

  98. Andrew, do you understand the word “Completed”? I even bolded it so you’d notice it. But I see you’ve added 10% to your prediction of 131 minutes prior to this last one. Things are looking better already, eh?

    PROPAGANDIST!!!

    Doesn’t matter if there’s a war on.

    Um, actually it does. Because in sports, if people show up and start killing the players and blowing up the stadium, they call the game off and there is no outcome. Oh, and it isn’t press releases the terrorists are ruining, it’s lives you prick.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  99. You WON’T trust them with another round of voting.

    Yes, Brent, I wholly support continuing Iraqi elections. I supported the last ones, and I will support the next one, according to the rules of governance that they’ve developed and approved for themselves. I don’t support holding elections whenever Brent Mack would like to see them, because that would be idiotic. But I do support you spending some time here.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  100. You WON’T trust them with another round of voting.

    Yes, Brent, I wholly support continuing Iraqi elections. I supported the last ones, and I will support the next one, according to the rules of governance that they’ve developed and approved for themselves. I don’t support holding elections whenever Brent Mack would like to see them, because that would be ridiculous. But I do support you spending some time here.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  101. “They want us to stay, at least until they can get their act together.”

    Pablo, why are you still lying about that?

    AF (d700ef)

  102. Probably because the majority of Iraqi’s DO want us to stay…

    Just because you don’t like what he has to say doesn’t mean he’s wrong…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  103. ONLY al-Qaeda and the Neo-cons want a continued U.S. military presence in Iraq.

    …whereas if you bring the US military home, then…

    …the civilians being blown up by al Queda will be American…

    dubya (c16726)

  104. “Probably because the majority of Iraqi’s DO want us to stay…”

    We’ve had this fight before and I’ve linked to polls showing otherwise. Now it’s your turn: show me the data that says you’re not talking out your god damned ass

    AF (d700ef)

  105. This is an existential fight Lefties, not a political fight…

    Since you think that fight shouldn’t be in Iraq, then you need to show us your plan to eliminate these vermin who avow daily their intention to enslave the world to their twisted ideology and who demonstrate daily their willingness to kill everyone who disagrees with them. Simply yelling about the past mistakes of an administration you loathe and spinning propaganda to your defeatist “we’ve lost it” agenda won’t cut it.

    Give us a better idea, not bullshit-flinging negativism.

    dubya (c16726)

  106. AF, feel free to point to anything that shows the Iraqi government has asked us to leave. That is, after you get done with your Oil for Food vs. Iraq reconstruction analysis.

    Brent,

    You WON’T trust them with another round of voting.

    I wholly support continuing Iraqi elections, and the rule of law. I supported the last ones, and I will support the next one, according to the rules of governance that they’ve developed and approved for themselves. I don’t support holding elections whenever Brent Mack would like to see them, because that would be ridiculous. But I do support you spending some time here.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  107. AF, feel free to show me where the Iraqi government has said anything other than that they desire our continued presence.

    You realize that if you can’t do that it will be you who is exposed as a liar, don’t you?

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  108. And AF, try and not make it some 2004 article saying they want us gone…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  109. 37% want us out within 6 months. That not being a majority, I guess AF is lying to us.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  110. Pablo, if you follow the link to the Chrenkoff demolition, you’ll see: we have been boasting about various completed projects since late 2003 and no matter how many of these projects we say we complete, somehow the total amount of electricity generated—you can find the numbers in the Brookings report—stays roughly the same, even goes down. That’s an easily-verified statement of fact, and it’s more important than all of the self-congratulatory press releases. If you’ll accept my bet based on less than 100% you pay me, more than 110% I pay you, in between is neutral, I’ll take that. The statistics have a certain random noise that shouldn’t overwhelm the overall trend. But the truth is, you don’t really believe that electricity will be better, just that admitting the truth is a defeat. You already have the “war” excuse ready for the fact you’re expect to lose the bet. You can’t argue at the same time that electricity will be much higher and that the anti-American groups’ sabotage excuses the fact electricity won’t be higher at all.

    You know, if we had faced the problems in Iraq squarely, instead of turning up the rhetorical volume (e.g., “prick”) to drown out everyone who clues up on the situation, we wouldn’t be in such a mess.

    To chip in on AF’s subthread, here’s the most recent I could find on a general Iraq opinion poll.

    In September 2006, a World Public Opinion poll conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland confirmed the conclusions of the State Department poll.[5] According to the poll, 71 percent of Iraqis wanted their government to ask for the withdrawal of foreign forces within a year or less.[6] Compared to previous polls, Iraqis’ urgency for withdrawal had grown and support for an open-ended presence had dropped considerably.[7]

    Do you have any contrary evidence, or is this another example of facts against gut truthiness? What the Iraq government says is not so relevant; after all, just in time for the 2004 election the leader of the Iraq government gave a dog-and-pony show here in the United States giving a speech conveniently written for him by Bush’s speechwriters.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (957ccb)

  111. That’s just priceless, Pablo. You mention that “only” 37 percent of Iraqis want us out within six months (that is, by two months ago since the survey was Sept 2006). You left out the very next sentence, that another 34 percent wanted us out within a year, which would now be within four months.

    I’m sorry, Pablo, but that is completely dishonest.You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (957ccb)

  112. Hey Dubya How about this for a start on the war on terrorism.. Impeach Bush,.show the world we really care about ideals of democracy and world peace and that we dont tolerate those that prefer lies and torture and the rule of men as opposed to that of laws. Show the world Bush and Cheney are not representative of the USA and that we have much higher ideals than that represented by these two.
    We will then at least be able to slow the recruitment fever that serves the terrorists to enlist the help of millions of others willing to die for the cause. It also would be outreach to other nations that dont want to deal with us now because of the negative factor that associating with Bush brings to them at home. Now then we could also implement the recommendations of the 9/11 commission instead of substituting empty platitudes and empty photo ops for real action and effort.. Maybe Bush is spending too much time on those 90 books a year he says he reads!! Does anyone seriously believe that he can read so many books and still be asking ” Is our children learning?

    Charlie (55cd2b)

  113. Keep avoiding around the issue, Lefties. Keep throwing out statistics supporting your “failure” conclusion.

    Keep ignoring what the real issue is: we’re fighting al Queda in Iraq.

    Tell us how cedeing all that OIL to al Zawahiri and bin Laden will make the world more to your liking.

    dubya (c16726)

  114. Pablo, if you follow the link to the Chrenkoff demolition, you’ll see: we have been boasting about various completed projects since late 2003 and no matter how many of these projects we say we complete, somehow the total amount of electricity generated—you can find the numbers in the Brookings report—stays roughly the same, even goes down.

    That’s a grid problem, which is susceptible to and impeded by that problem you’d like to take out of the equation: morons blowing the transmission lines up. The generation capacity is there, distribution is the problem.

    A little technical thing you might not be hip to: There’s no point in generating a whole lot more electricity than you can deliver. It really doesn’t keep well. So, do you deal with the people who keep attacking the grid, or do you run away?

    Don’t bother answering, I already know.

    That’s just priceless, Pablo. You mention that “only” 37 percent of Iraqis want us out within six months (that is, by two months ago since the survey was Sept 2006). You left out the very next sentence, that another 34 percent wanted us out within a year, which would now be within four months.

    I’m sorry, Pablo, but that is completely dishonest.You should be ashamed of yourself.

    No, Andrew. You should learn a thing or two about public opinion. See the Jan 2006 which says pretty much the same thing. And when they do it again in a few months, they’ll get the same thing again.

    Meanwhile, I’m going to have to settle for being ashamed of you.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  115. Hey folks here is a real interesting quote

    “I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today”-

    SOUNDS LIKE SOME NASTY ANTI BUSH POSTER.. BUT SURPRISE IT WAS TOM DELAY OF TEXAS TALKING ABOUT CLINTON IN BOSNIA..

    But of course Republicans are a species of elephant known for its short memory now arent they?

    And Dubya the real issue is why you insist on telling us that we are fighting Al Quida in Iraq when every intelligence agency says we are only strengthening Al Quida and others by our presence..As far as the oil goes..which I take it is your lastest justification now that no WMDs have been found, no connection to international terrorism and now the failure of the Iraqi people to act like a nation and now a collection of warring tribes..well as far as oil goes, if we had taken the money we spent on this useless war and spent it on alternative energy, fusion power being my hunch, we would be able to tell the oil producing states to shove it! Or perhaps we could get really creative and quote Dick Cheneys words on the floor of the Senate a few years ago..Go…yourself. Hey Pat is it ok to quote our beloved vice-Presidents actual words..I mean he is the vp and represents the family values party..

    Charlie (55cd2b)

  116. So we built a new school and that is progress..for a trillion dollars I hope it has a good size pool!

    Charlie (55cd2b)

  117. Let’s see, Pablo, the first half of your posting is repetition of a lie—both polls show only a minority of Iraqis support the USA staying—and the second half is just another excuse for why Iraqis don’t have any more electricity than under Saddam.

    Coulda, woulda, shoulda—this way lies failure and defeat. Congrats.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (957ccb)

  118. Let’s see, Pablo, the first half of your posting is repetition of a lie—both polls show only a minority of Iraqis support the USA staying…

    37% is not a majority. Reading is fundamental, Andrew. So is math. Lying is not.

    Coulda, woulda, shoulda—this way lies failure and defeat. Congrats.

    Whereas cutting and running? Can’t, shan’t and won’t? A total winner, that.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  119. Pablo, it’s 37+34.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (3f13d5)

  120. When the jihadis get to San Francisco, they won’t be wearing flowers in their hair. Sticking daisies in their rifle barrels won’t keep your head attached to your neck, either.

    Where have the hard-hat Democrats gone? Drowned out by the ‘shroomed-out’ hippies who’ve been propagandizing their kids since they went into academia rather than the military, I guess.

    dubya (753723)

  121. “There’s no such thing as a “moderate Muslim”. Islam is necessarily an extremist religion. Jihad, conversion by force, is the basic tenet of the faith. There are Muslims in name only who do not subscribe to that madness, mainly from European countries like Albania and Bosnia, but they are not “moderates” — they are apostates.

    -nk

    I have a lot of respect for you, nk, but that is a load of bullshit. To argue that a Muslim who condemns Jihad isn’t a real Muslim is like arguing that a Christian who doesn’t stone homosexuals isn’t a real Christian, or that a non-polygamist Mormon isn’t a real Mormon. It doesn’t hold.

    Leviticus (68eff1)

  122. Pablo, it’s 37+34.

    No, it isn’t, Andrew. “Yeah, but not just yet” is not “Get the hell out.” And you know this.

    Leviticus, you’re almost right there. Except that Christianity doesn’t call for stoning gays and Mormonism doesn’t call for polygamy.

    But there are nominal Muslims who don’t buy the jihad, and there are many of them. If there weren’t, we’d have just leveled Iraq. But there are.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  123. The Old Testament calls for the execution of homosexuals (I understand what you’re seeing, insofar as the New Testament being the basis for Christianity – arguing that “Christianity calls for the execution of gays” is a admittedly disingenuous in its own rite… but that’s the point).

    As for the ever-transient book(s) of Mormonism, well… whether or not Joseph Smith saw fit to put his endorsement of polygamy on paper is irrelevant. It was a church practice for many years, and is now prohibited. The example holds.

    Leviticus (b987b0)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.4352 secs.