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Greg

I find it interesting, and albeit hypocritical of your characterization of Harry Reid saying the war is lost, and your lack of context in others who have said the same. Let's examine this without the partisan slant you seem to give it.

The fact is that one of Bush's and Cheney's own regular war advisers, Henry Kissinger agrees with Reid, you seem to fail to mention. The former Secretary of State, the same man who helped engineer the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, said earlier this month that the problems in Iraq are more complex than that conflict, and military victory is no longer possible.

Along those same lines there is retired Gen. Wiliam Odom, head of Army intelligence and director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan. In an essay he wrote entitled "Victory Is Not An Option", he concluded pretty much with the same line of thought. The essay can be read here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/09/AR2007020901917_pf.html

Then there is General Tony McPeak, who served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the first Gulf War:

"The war in Iraq isn’t over yet, but surge or no surge, the United States has already lost. Even if we had a million men to go in, it’s too late now. Humpty Dumpty can’t be put back together again."

The most important fact in all of this is that Kissinger, Odom, McPeak, and Reid have a feeling that the mission in Iraq has changed. We are now in the middle of a civil war to which there is no military solution, only a political one. The most important thing that Reid said, that was failed to be mentioned by many is that "there is still a chance to change course, and we must change course."

Peg

I tried several times to comment on this yesterday - with no success. Let's see what happens today.

Either I failed to make myself clear or you misunderstood. I have no problem with people thinking we should change course, or thinking that the war is OVER, etc.

Just do it in PRIVATE and do not broadcast it to the world. Our war plans should be secret; not told to the enemy before every move.

B.T.W. The people you mention are not part of the government today. A big difference in private citizens (even ones with much experience) voicing their opinion, and the leader of the Senate doing it.

Greg

I was not aware that Harry Reid broadcast any war plans to the world. I think if he would of, he would be brought up on treason charges. So this claim of your is incorrect.

Since we do not want to deal with double standards and hypocrisy, let's some of the things many Republican's voiced out loud, and in public when Bill Clinton was the President. You point out that people in the government should not be voicing their differences with the President or the war effort in public. So I am sure it must of drove you crazy in the 90's when Bill Clinton was President, and Republican's did that same things. Let's examine some of the things many Republican's voiced out loud, and in public when Bill Clinton was the President, and we had troops in Bosnia.

You can support the troops but not the president." --Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years." --Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?" --Sean Hannity, Fox News,

"[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."--Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy." --Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W Bush

"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning . . I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area."-Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

"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" --Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
--Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

Peg

Voicing all these opinions PRIOR to going into war is one thing, Greg. Once we're there - another story.

Discussing exit strategies - like GWB mentioned in your last quote - another issue altogether. I have no problems with anyone discussing when we should go (as in "theoretically, when should we go"), nor in what makes sense, etc.

All of what you describe, however, is of a completely different nature than stating "we have lost."

The last quote of Tom Delay's comes close to being inappropriate. Still; Delay is asking questions and wanting answers. Again; different from "we have lost."

Greg

Here is something different than "we have lost"

“I believe … that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything, as is shown by the extreme violence in Iraq this week. I know I was the odd guy out at the White House, but I told him at least what he needed to hear … I believe the war at this stage can only be won diplomatically, politically and economically,

It is funny how after people pointed out what Reid actually said the AP changed its headline to “Reid: U.S. Can’t Win Iraq Military Fight.” After that Reid said the following

“And as long as we follow the President’s path in Iraq, the war is lost. But there is still a chance to change course — and we must change course.”

Far different than the "we have lost" you focused on.

BTW. The quote I used were not PRIOR to the troops going into Bosnia, it was while they were there.

Peg

Hmmm. I don't recall anyone ever voting for Sean Hannity.

That being said - if you think that I am supportive of everything Republicans do or say, you are sadly mistaken, Greg.

I have NO PROBLEM with someone of either party being highly critical of a war, the president, etc., while in private meetings. I do not, however, think that they should be claiming that our troops have lost during public discussion. And sorry, Greg "I believe this war is lost" sure sounds like "we have lost" to me. No matter how you spin it.

Greg

Mistaken, I do not think so. I cannot recall you once ever saying anything negative any Republican has done. If so, it is very rare, and not very often. Bob Ney, nothing. Duke Cunningham, can't remember any outrage there. How about Tom Delay, Mark Foley, Katrina, or the U.S. Attorney's? Hardly a peep. So with a track record like, it is not hard to believe you will not say anything negative about Republicans. But let me not stray far from the point I was trying to make.

The point I was making was the hypocritical means you use to make a point. You criticize Harry Reid, yet the words given by a former Secretary of State, the same person Bush and Cheney regularly discuss this very matter with, you simply dismiss. I would believe that in many circles around the world, Henry Kissinger has a little more clout in arena of foreign affairs and policy than does Harry Reid. Perhaps that is the reason why Bush and Cheney used him as a consultant. So if they valued his insight and knowledge on this matter, why do you so quickly discount it?

General Tony McPeak, former member of the Joint Chief of Staff, what does he know? Could he possibly have more military insight into the situation in Iraq, and other issues of war than Harry Reid? If we were to take your point to it's illogical direction, that would be a No. You seem to act as if he would have know knowledge in the areas of war and military affairs. He only served on the Joint Chief of Staff, I think he has some pedigree on this issue.

So I ask you, who are these people that claim that Iraq can still be a success? Could it be the same people who claimed that Iraq was a threat to us? Or the same people that said it would be quick and easy. Or perhaps the same people who claimed that the war would pay for itself. I wonder are these the same people who said they knew exactly where the WMD's were? Can you tell me anything the Bush Administration has claimed about Iraq that has proven to be true? They have been wrong at every step, and yet I am supposed to believe them now?

So I ask you, what exactly are you saying is going to happen in Iraq? Are you saying that somehow we are going to pull Iraq back together? Are you saying that somehow the Shia and the Sunni are going to start co-existing peacefully? Do you see the Sunnis stop fighting even though they are not represented by the government? How about the issue of the oil, is everyone going to share the oil equitably without concern for their own sects? How about this, do you believe that the Shia in Iraq are not going to work with the 90% Shia population in Iran, and that democracy will flourish in Iraq just like George Bush promised us?

I don't believe that anyone actually believes that fantasy. Not even the hardest right-wing man on the planet is that deluded. I think you and others are now just arguing for the sake of arguing. No one in their right mind believes we are going to be able to put Iraq back together soon, or in the time frame that the American people find acceptable. So, Harry Reid was the first to say that, latest poll numbers suggest the majority of American people believe that way too.

In my honest opinion I don't even think President Bush believes this too much anymore. But then again it is hard to gauge him, since he believed Alberto Gonzales did well in front of Congress the other day (and that is truly delusional). I believe he is looking for a way to drag this out till he leaves office, so it when we do leave Iraq, it will be on someone else's watch. It is also my belief that the majority of Republicans are now trying to figure out a way to pin the defeat on the Democrats. Their strategy is to pretend we could have won if the Democrats didn't make us pull out. They think that strategy worked in pinning fault on the Democrats in Vietnam, so they're trying it again.

For the record it was a Republican president, a Republican administration, a Republican Senate, a Republican House and entirely Republican government that started and lost the war in Iraq. They screwed this thing up, and it is their fault.

With that I am done with this debate. Anything else would be just a rehashing of the same old tire points, and after the weekend I just had, I think I am going to stay away from the fray of political debate for the next few days.

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