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August 22, 2005


Good post again DemfromCT. I think we may be seeing the ocean liner as it begins to make its turn. I think part of the problem for the Democrats, and perhaps the American people as well, is that no one seems to know how a withdrawal will improve American security. Almost every sceanrio for withdrawal is a tacit admission of defeat. For example, Juan Cole has a post today on a 10 point plan for a phased withdrawal. His most compelling argument is that it is the best way of avoiding a civil war. That could be the best outcome at this stage, but it doesn't "sell" well.

If it is possible for the Democrats to make a convincing case that withdrawal will make us more secure, they would win this debate.

The worth of leaving Iraq is an easy argument to make on a dollar basis - take the hundreds of billions from Iraq and put it into nuclear material acquisition, port security, industrial (chemical plant) security, first response readiness in local communities....AND have money left over for other things, more effective smaller-scale military readiness and intelligence, and maybe fuel efficiency credits of some kind, etc.

It can be tied together.

no one seems to know how a withdrawal will improve American security

1. More American soldiers will be alive.
2. National Guard will be available at home for disaster and emergency readiness.
3. Money will be available at home to protect ports, borders, and major cities.

See DH's post above for the way out. there will be no point instaying to "finish the msision" if the Iraqis want dissolution or a theocratic state with no rights for women. At that point the Centrist Dems can say that the course is so twisted that we can't "stay" it even if wew wanted to. The enterprise has gone bad from mismanagement by Bremer and the CPA and it is now not wirth stayiong except to station enough troops outside populated areas and elsewhere in the ME to protect against invasion from Iran.

To think that by staying we can prevent a civil war is the height of folly. We can't pacify an insurgency, so how could we stop a war? Without taking sides and getting ourselves in the same problem we had in Leabanon? Whose side do we fight on?

If these reports out of Iraq are valid, things look very, very bad and the Dems' "stay the course" has a very big fallacy at its heart, just like Bush's.

Just read Juan Cole's 10 point plan -- what a tangled web. . .! Somewhere in the middle, after saying we have to get US troops out of the cities, he says we should be protecting the Iraqi government ministers from assassination. How, I ask?

Democratic "leaders" will get around to calling for withdrawal when popular opposition forces them too. The real question is whether they'll be so cowardly and tone-deaf that they manage to lose the leadership on withdrawal to the Republicans. At the moment, Chuch Hagel is leading the charge.

Feingold's trial ballon doesn't cede the high ground to Hagel, nor does Hagel speak for Republicans. All is not lost.

The danger is that by being timid, they allow someone else to be bold. Want to not look like a wimp? Be bold. There's a tide in the affairs of men, and all that. If the argument is when are we at high tide, well, there's room for disagreement and maneuvering.

In the end, the war supporters are going to have to cede the point that their vote was -gasp- wrong. Blame Bush for misleading them as they swallowed their partisainship for the sake of the country, and move on.

I agree with most of the response to my comments, but unfortunately,I think I inadvertently conflate 3 different ideas in my comments on finding an argument that withdrawal will make us more secure. 1. morally, withdrawal is the proper course and pragmatically, it will be best for the army; 2. tactically, finding a good "security" argument (even as a cover) would make it easier for Biden and HC to change their position; 3.in electoral terms (or in terms of Democratic brand name), a security argument makes it easier to make withdrawal sound a lot less like a retreat. Hardly anyone felt less secure after Saigon fell but the image of a civil war in Baghdad, even in the absence of US troops, will hardly be reassuring.

Perhaps Crab nebula is on to something: the best thing to say is that we need to withdraw, refit the Army and use our resources for new challenges.

I've always been maddened by the DLC's one-dimensional interpretation of the Democratic party's fall after LBJ. The Vietnam war was a fiasco for the entire party, not just the peacenik wing, because it was a LOSING effort, and everyone was tarred with it. BY 1968, people wanted the war over -- it's why they voted for Nixon and his secret plan. The reason Nixon trounced McGovern four years later was not because Americans had become pro-war again in the interim -- it was because Nixon had neutralized the war as an issue (Kissinger's "Peace is at hand"), and, more important, because McGovern was associated with both the cultural radical elements in the country and the post-Civil Rights black power movement. (As Judis and Teixeira document, Nixon essentially inherited the '68 Wallace vote in toto)

Reducing all that to "we have to support any military engagement, no matter how foolish or unpopular" is profoundly limited thinking that is singularly inapplicable to another era of a vastly unpopular war.

Never heard so much Bullshit in one Post.
You want a course of Action?
1.Get the Barbarians out of Iraq.
2.Apologize to the World and the People of Iraq.
3.Rebuild and compensate Iraq for the Wrong done to them.
4.A nuremberg trial with max Penalty for the Guilty in
Washington and Tel Aviv.
5.Now behave yourself and get in line with the rest of the
Nations to buy Oil,if you got any Money left.
Don't think for a moment that you can muscle your way past the rest of the world incl.your Allies,to get Oil to run your obnoxious SUVs and supply you War Machinery!!

But a politician's greatest skill is avoiding responsibility for that which they supported but went wrong. It's an art form

If Walter "Freedom Fries" Jones (R-NC) can do it, the liberal to moderate hawks can, too.

Oh, and for that matter, I'm trying to find a transcript of Joe Biden on Don Imus in September/October of last year. Biden said something along the lines of "If I knew Bush and company were going to screw it up so bad, no, I wouldn't have voted for the war."

Newsie, I have confidence they can do it. It's one of the few things they're all really good at.

Dear G-d, knee-jerk anti-Israel sentiment on this blog!! The Israelis were not involved in fighting the war, so cannot be tried for war crimes.

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