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September 29, 2006

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Thanks for providing us this excellent analysis, DemFromCT. People need to know how many have been killed and maimed, but the idea that a certain number is the tipping point depends, as the authors argue so very cogently, on what the perceived mission is. Self-defense against an implacable enemy - the Japanese, the Germans - is rightly perceived as an all-objections-be-damned affair: We have no choice. It's blood, sweat and tears until victory or obliteration.

As the authors note:

Thus, defeating terrorists who want to kill us is a goal worth paying the costs, and success is indeed vital.

This, of course, as the authors say, is the continuing problem we have with the Bush Regime's framing, not just with the rationale for the human casualties in the war/occupation, but also of more "intangible" casualties associated with dismantling the Constitution in the alleged effort to protect us from terrorists.

Our advantage, as DemFromCT has been saying now for more than a year(?) - based on a reading of the polls - is that Americans increasingly don't believe the regime. Hence the lack of any substantial polling bounce from the boatload of pre-9/11 anniversary speeches.

Still, I am not so sure Mister Bush and his mentors are quite so institutionally hamstrung in Iran because of Iraq. I don't think they will do anything militarily before November 7, but I'm guessing about this as much as anyone else. And, despite all the generals who have told Mister Bush NOT to move against Iran, despite everything that has happened in Iraq, I wouldn't bet my mortgage that he won't give the order for at least a smash-and-run attack on some critical infrastructure simply because of the fear that post-election this may be more difficult to accomplish.

We can push the press to handle iran as more than a back page story.

We can. But so far, alternative press aside, I haven't seen much challenge to Mister Bush's take on Iran.

Nice job, Dem! I really think the civil war is the issue that too many have overlooked. I suspect the Democrats could create more unity among themselves if they 1. talk about the civil war and 2.form a common policy that address one basic question: what can the US do to prevent a civil war in Iraq?

"what can the US do to prevent a civil war in Iraq?"

There is a civil war. What can the US do to deal with the civil war in Iraq? The curfew was rumored by NBC news to be a putative military coup. unsubstantiated, but you get the point.

Yes there is an insurgency.
It is directed toward the US.
It is directed toward Democracy.
It is directed toward a Shia led government.
It is directed toward anything on a particular day.

Yes there is a Civil war as Sunni's and Shia kill and revenge kill for grievances for present and past.
The war is cleric, and the war is secular.

And there are criminals, and opportunists, and even businessmen competing ruthlessly.

You in this forum as in many forums both Liberal and Conservative are splitting hairs. Counting the militant angels on dancing on the heads of pins. Over intellectualizing.
You are out of touch with those that will and might vote Republican. And likewise will and might vote Democratic. And really out of touch with those that may not vote at all.

My own family is a case in point in conflict about this war.
My oldest brother was in Afghanistan, but out of the active military now. He railes against losing the momentum there.
My next brother has been in Kuwait, Afghanistan, and is now going back to Iraq. He says we have to have more troops to have a chance to make it worthwhile. He is tired of taking the same ground over and over.
My father is depressed over the wounded. He extended to take care of them.
My mother is on medication trying to live through all this.

I worry about what comes next.

That is what you must address. Fighting a war, but not being on a war footing. Having you cake and eating it too. Losing men near 3000 dead, near 30,000 wounded, untold others scarred by what they have seen and had to do. Not all this Philosophy. Or you are wasting time and words and deserve to win no more than the Republicans.

Where are your leaders. Where are the Democrats. Whether they are for and against the war they should be counted. Instead they are no better than the Republicans trying to finely judge what the points in a poll might do for any one actions.

Jodi, when you get down to it, you are not taking responsibility for who and what got us there. Trying to understand that is part of the process of getting us out. It's called planning, and this WH did none of it.

Here are the facts: what you agonize over is real, yet we didn't have to be in iraq and could have and should have finished the job in Afghanistan. There's only one party responsible for that. And those decisions are the ones made by the CiC; the rest follows. This is an accountability election. You're running away from that. Bush and the GOP are failing your family and other Americans, just like they did during Katrina.

"Where are the Dems?" Only the WH sets foreign policy. The Dems are in the minority in both houses and don't run the WH. If you want them front and center, you'll have to elect them.

DemFromCT,

you might remember I said I voted for Bush 2000, and for Kerry 2004. Don't think I like either. I don't paint the best of a rotten barrel of apples as "great."

The problem I see is that the Democrats aren't saying that they want to do a better job because then the liberal/left bloggers would say they are warmongers because they are saying get out immediately.
So the Dems are sitting on their hands with their heads bent back beneath the apple tree waiting for a "fresh" fruit [office] to fall in their mouths.

Leadership isn't reading the polls, it is taking the initiative and stepping up. Dean, perhaps misguided, showed leadership. And some you lose and some you win, but if you are too careful, you are never in the game.

jodi sounds like a concern troll to me

I fail to see how the Clinton reference is relevant to the pryor crimes, but jodi made the conection on another thread

aint this terrible, but the democrats are just as bad, ain't they jodi

and george bush is always right

we've heard it before

trolls are a good sign

shows we're causing concern

Dem, you're quite right about the civil war, I meant "full scale civil war." The story about the attempted coup is disturbing because it's quie plausible. And Juan Cole says the curfew caught some US officials by surprise.

You might remember I said I voted for Bush 2000, and for Kerry 2004. Don't think I like either.

I do remember! And I don't fault those who dislike Kerry (he's not Clinton re leadership) for dithering. Sometimes you vote for the least worst alternative. And Senators don't always make great leaders, which is why Governors tend to win the WH.

I do think you've got to feel guilty for 2000, though. The better man was not declared the winner.


But now, this is beyond 2000. Bush and republicans in congress now have responsibility for the Iraq mess. Giving the keys to the driver that put us in the ditch is just dumb. But the dynamic of an off-year is that there's no opposition standard bearer who acts as leader for the oppo party. Therefore, you get to harbor whatever prejudices the ad campaign from the last election suggests.

I would say to you that what you've seen is not "no plan" but "many plans" from Dems, as well as a willingness to relook at everything without insisting on old assumptions (clearly not something the WH is capable of). That is sufficient to make a choice.

Grear stuff Dem. Thanks.

The Bush administration has allowed the terrorists to win. They quit Afghanistan and allowed OBL to survive. They then destroyed Iraq to create a new training ground for him. GWB is handing the middle East to terrorists. That's the frame.

By the way, when was the deal to let OBL live cut between the Sauds and the Cheeney administration? Seems clear to me and many others I speak with that this was done at some point.

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