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December 05, 2005


Actually I prefer 'they want to stay and we don't'. Or maybe, 'We all want out. Details to follow'. Or even 'we have a secret plan to get out of Vietnam'. That last has a precident, at least.

I like "'they want to stay and we don't.'

How about "We have a secret plan to get out of Vietraq...load up the equipment and troops on the humvees ... drive to the airport ... load up the C130s ... COME THE FUCK HOME and WATCH THE INEVITABLE CIVIL WAR ON CNN.

That's our plan...

simple enough for you you presstitute?"

Sometimes there is something to be said for not controlling all the research apparatus, the policy committees, the planning mechanisms: makes it easier to get to NOW.

Alas, just bailing the hell out is no good solution either - just the least awful one. The only honest thing anyone in the Bush Administration ever said about Iraq was Powell's "Pottery Barn rule." We do and will bear considerable responsibility for the fate of Iraq, whether our guys are getting blown up there or not.

Still, when you're in a hole, Step One is to quit digging. I'd love to see someone just come out and say that.

-- Rick

Withdraw as fast as feasible. Yesterday Matthews characterized Murtha's plan as "get out now." It wasn't, really. Buit that is an example of press simple-mindedness. So, yes, "They want to stay forever; we want to bring the troops home as soon as feasible." Is a three-letter word too hard for them?

I mean three-syllable word. It is almost 8:00 am here, but it is 45 degrees in my little uninsulated office, as the sun is still behind the trees.

45 degrees? Balmy! I look forward to 45 degrees.

how bout we say to the iraqi's:

"you guys wait here. i'll be back in a minute."

but not to worry . we don't need a slogan anymore.

pres bush just did his version of senator ----'s (somebody help me here) famous recipe for disengaging from vietnam : "just dceclare victory and get out."

we are coming out of iraq beginning from the day of the bush "Victory in Iraq" speech. all else from the radical propaganda machine (radical = republican in america these days) is simply bonfires and noise in the night while we steal away. another pres george taught us that trick, but then he was a real soldier, commander, and patriot, not a poseur.

george aiken R-VT

Considering the fact that as every day goes by, the integrity and invincibility of the U.S. Armed Forces is further placed in question because there is no military objective, the United States faces only two choices: Either we can attempt to esca pe our predicament by escalating the war into a new dimension, where a new so-called "aggressor" is brought into play or we can de-escalate the war on the ground that the clear and present danger of a military defeat no longer exists and therefore de-escalation is necessary in order to avoid any danger of placing U.S. Armed Forces in a position of compromise.

Faced with these alternatives, the United States could well declare unilaterally that this stage of the Viet Nam war is over - that we have "won" in the sense that our Armed Forces are in control of most of the field and no potential enemy is i n a position to establish its authority over South Viet Nam.

Such a declaration should be accompanied, not by announcement of a phased withdrawal, but by the gradual re-deployment of U.S. military forces around strategic centers and the substitution of intensive reconnaissance for bombing.

This unilateral declaration of military victory would herald the resumption of political warfare as the dominant theme in Viet Nam.

Until such a declaration is made, there is no real prospect for political negotiations.

Salon (via pre$$titutes) has a good one.

It was going to happen sooner or later. The Washington press corps, unable to come up with new ways to say that George W. Bush is flailing on Iraq, has finally turned its sights on the Democrats. CNN spent much of the day Thursday tracking the Democrats' disarray on Iraq, and the Washington Post chimes in today: "Democratic Lawmakers Splinter on Iraq," the headline says.


thank you so much.

what powerful paragraphs. what a treat to read them again after thirty years and just when i need them to help in my decision making.

i'm ashamed to admit i had only remembered the punch line(sound bite).

it makes me want to go back and read sen church (iowa) and sen fulbright (arkansas) to see what other experienced voices from our national collective memory might assist us in reflecting sensibly on the present and porevent us from reinventing the vietnam wheel.

as an aside which may be generally relevant to iraq, as i recall, eisenhower, johnson, kennedy, and nixon felt they had to presist in vietnam in part because of strong domestic political pressure from the american right-wing.

There is always this oldie but goodie:

We are asking Americans to think about that because how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam?/

The best really.

"... the resumption of political warfare as the dominant theme in ( scratch "vietnam") iraq."

that's the key.

diplomacy. economic stick and carrot. military threats. international and u.n. involvement. quietly effective elimination of the leaders of the violent opposition in iraq. these are the proper tools of political warfare. they are cheaper in lives and dollars and, most importantly of all, less damaging to us as a nation.

maybe we'll gather these oldies but goodies for tomorrow.

My big question is why Democrats are falling all over themselves to take responsibility for defeat in Iraq? It's not like we have any real say in Iraq policy. We don't determine anything that goes on there, including withdrawal or staying. So, all we are doing by our posturing is playing into the hands of Republican strategists and setiting ourselves up to not be trusted as being tough enough on national security. In the latter respect, we are having a rerun of the Vietnam War.

Either we can attempt to escape our predicament by escalating the war into a new dimension, where a new so-called "aggressor" is brought into play or we can de-escalate the war on the ground that the clear and present danger of a military defeat no longer exists and therefore de-escalation is necessary in order to avoid any danger of placing U.S. Armed Forces in a position of compromise.

So, 39 years after this statement, we would face the same situation, except that, short of a very clear threat from, say, Syria or Iran, Bushco is hampered on all sides from escalating into a new dimension. Even if there is a clear threat, one which most of us would agree deserves a military response, the Administration is hampered. Proving once again that the hegemonists have deteriorated our national security since March 2003.

I sympathize with all those elite old hands now ensconced in think tanks, consulting gigs, universities or other exiles.

Because a really good Democratic stance must be more complex than just pulling out of Iraq, however we proceed with that. Iraq is only one aspect of U.S. foreign policy, and that, ultimately, is what we're talking about, umbrella foreign policy and all its links.

What's the Democratic stand going to be, for instance, on the preventive war of the Bush Doctrine? What's the Democratic stand on multilateralism? What's the Democratic view of the role of the Director of National Intelligence? What do we do as Democrats regarding the growing economic and military might of China? What kind of energy plan will make for a less aggressive foreign policy? What kind of changes do we make to improve the military aspect of our national security? What kind of policy do we adopt toward the Middle East that really promotes the kind of democratic and human rights values Bushco only uses as boilerplate to disguise hegemonist goals?

Obviously, there are going to be gargantuan splits. So I'm not suggesting a pre-election roll-out of a Democratic foreign policy contract with America or such like. If the U.S. hadn't gone into Iraq in the first place - as too few argued against at the time - we might have had the luxury of building a well-considered, bipartisan foreign policy that by now actually focused on the broad range of issues the world faces, including how to deal with the extremist thugs who are enemies of secularism, modernism and peaceful coexistence. But we did go into Iraq and that's where most of our physical, financial and intellectual resources have been focused for the past 33 months, instead of the broader world.

al-Fubar and everybody else who's said it is right, withdrawal is not a solution, only the least worst choice in this colossal screwup. There will be nasty repercussions as the whirlwind reaps its reward. But getting out is the crucial first step toward remaking American foreign policy - if we can get those exiled elites on the same wavelength.

I hate the Orange fascists
Armando and Kos

The paradigm shift needs to be that leaving Iraq is not just the best thing we can do for ourselves --- it's also the best thing we can do for Iraq.

Even here, I don't see this view taking hold. The Pottery Barn reference implies we are abandoning them. I thought Murtha's point was that the US is the raison d'etre of the violence right now.

If we talk about WHEN to stay/get out, and the choices are "right away" or "we'll stand down as they stand up", the latter sounds more responsible. If we talk about WHY to stay/get out, and the choices are "because they need us to leave" or "because we can make it better if we stay the course", the former sounds more honest.

But I don't see that shift in thinking -- from withdrawal = surrender/abandonment to withdrawal = helpful/in Iraq's interest -- happening yet.

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