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Lieberman runs to the Wall Street Journal for more blind support for the Iraq quagmire. Think Progress:

Writing this morning in the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) claims Iraqi leaders want a commitment that U.S. troops will stay until whenever "the Iraqi military is capable of security the country":

And, I am convinced, almost all of the progress in Iraq and throughout the Middle East will be lost if those forces are withdrawn faster than the Iraqi military is capable of securing the country.

The leaders of Iraq's duly elected government understand this, and they asked me for reassurance about America's commitment. The question is whether the American people and enough of their representatives in Congress from both parties understand this.

The Iraqi leaders, however, have said publicly that they want the United States to set a firm timetable for withdrawal immediately. From the AP, 11/22/05:

Leaders of Iraq's sharply divided Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis called Monday for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces in the country and said Iraq's opposition had a "legitimate right'' of resistance.

The real position of the Iraqi leadership is they want a definitive timetable for withdrawal from the U.S. The question is whether Joe Lieberman will ever understand this.

Not just Lieberman, but Clinton and Warner and every other Democrat that insists that setting a deadline is somehow a sign of weakness. The Murtha plan is the best one on the table -- a definitive drawdown of forces with an "over the horizon" strike force available for special ops. Then use air power to support Iraqi ground forces.

It's quite telling that our veteran statesmen like Hagel and Murtha are leading the charge to get our troops out of Iraq. Too many others are so busy trying to look and sound "tough" that they can't see that current policy is a disaster needlessly putting our troops in harms' way.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:36 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bush fought Saddam (none)
    and Iran won.

    Sung to the tune of "I Fought the Law"

    •  Lieberman is a Bush suck-up . . . (none)
      . . . and a total disaster for the Democratic party.  John Murtha puts forward a serious proposal to extricate the US from the Iraq quagmire, and GOP Joe jumps right in to the aid of his crony Bush.

      What is wrong with Lieberman?  Is he really this deluded, or does Bush have some secret hold on him?  Lieberman is well on the way to joining Zell Miller in total lunacy, he is quite the Bush loving fool.

      Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Lieberman- all disasters for the US and the world.

      •  To be fair (none)
        He needs to lean right to win in a red state like Connecticut.

        Oh wait....

        •  Two items point to no mandate to justify presence: (none)
          1. The current leader of Iraq justified retaliation against troops, proof that a majority want us gone. Democracy is rule by majority. bush wants Democracy in Oilraq, Democracy told us to leave.

          2. The Constitutionally mandated approval vote had disparate turnout in comparison to polls and attendance monitors. We've created a sham front for a Government, and cannot get it right because the sham told us to scram.

          The same thing people in Conn need to tell JoeLie!

          They closed enough bases down there yet for people to get the hint, or are they holding that over his head just like they used base closures to renew tax cuts and defense appropriations that lacked oversight...

          JoeLie singing the same tune.

          •  don't forget (none)
            Lieberman is an Orthodox Jew (who are generally very anti-arab and palestinian) and an AIPAC whore.  This war was fought for O.I.L. (Oil Industry, Israel, Logistics of Military - Military Industrial Complex).  

            He's not Connecticut's Senator, he's Ariel Sharon's.

            When can we run a fucking primary against this douche-bag?  I'd rather have a Moderate Republican than a Rightwing religious conservative who's alleigance is to other nations.

            •  Generalize much (none)
              "Lieberman is an Orthodox Jew (who are generally very anti-arab and palestinian)"

              And blacks smell funny, and all Puerto Ricans are good in a knife fight...women are hysterical...gays are sissies...and so on...

              Generalize much?

              In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

              by Paul in Berkeley on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 10:24:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  But Women ARE hysterical! (none)
              •  i said "generally" (none)
                There are a lot of branches of Judaism.  Orthodox TEND to be very pro-Israel (which is usually NOT pro-equitable peace), view Arabs/Palestinians as primitive and child-like.  Make no mistake that Lieberman is not much different from Fallwell when it comes to zeal.

                And yes, I said "generally".  

                Howcome we can rail against Fundamentalist and Evangelical Christians for trying to turn our country into a Theocracy, but we can't call out other religions on their bullshit?  

                And you know, I've met some Fundie and Evangelical Christians who are socially libertarian.  I don't agree with them on some things, but they dont believe in Dobson's politics.

            •  How disgusting (none)
              that you involve Liebermans jewish heritage to say that he is more loyal to Israel than to the US. Revolting. There is not a shred of evidence for that.

              You may or may not agree with Liebermans positions, that's not the issue. But there is no reason to come with statements such as these.

              •  no? (none)
                Why not come with statements like these?  

                It's not his "jewish heritage" but his religious zeal.   IN GENERAL, Orthodox (and everything else to the right in Judaism) believe that Israel and all of Israel is the promised land of the jews ordained by God.  

                Dobson and his religion believe that the US is the holy land of Christians ordained by God.

                I surmise that Lieberman's retarded, delusional support of the Iraq war has much to do with his religious beliefs.  

                And I dont care if you are a Christian, Muslim or Jew, I'll call out religious BS.  More people have been slaughtered in the name of God than for any other reason.  

                Lieberman and his close ties to AIPAC are highly suspect.  

                •  You don't know shit (none)
                  The extreme Orthodox Jews are against the idea of a Jewish state because they believe that only the Messiah can bring about a Jewish state.  In 1948, they protested againt Israel's establishment.  They continue to undermine Israeli policy.  Lieberman is a Modern Orthodox Jew, the most liberal wing of Orthodoxy.  Like the American population as a whole, when the Iraq war broke out, Modern Orthodox Jews were split over the war.

                  You may want to call out religious BS, but you who needs to be called out for your religious BS.

      •  Bush's blackmail (none)
             He has a drawer full of incriminating photos of Lieberman, Blair, H Clinton with "Jeff Gannon". What else could it be?

        "Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others." Groucho Marx

        by irate on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:46:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What is wrong with Hillary and Warner? (none)

        Support the Troops - Demand the Truth!

        by annefrank on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:46:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They are imperialist fools? (none)
          Maybe they think that the USA needs to be the "superpower" that rules the world.  Their continued support for the failed Bush Iraq Quagmire is quite puzzling, many used to think that Hillary was "liberal".  She is totally off of my list for 2008, let the New Yorkers have her if they want, her militaristic approach (send MORE troops) is totally wrong and quite supportive to the Bushite scum.
        •  See my post above about women.... (none)
          as for Warner....dunno.
          •  Not all Democrats want a timed exit (none)
            I happen to be one of them.  Somebody who thinks Joementum is an idiot who's just taking it too far, but that Murtha's plan could potentially lead to disaster.  True, I agree that Murtha's plan is better than no plan, but I'd much rather that we actually accomplish something in Iraq rather than letting go of what those Americans died for and continue to die for.  Warner believes, just as I do, that rather than basing our exit on specific dates, we should base them on specific events.  When the Iraqi people's military is strong enough, when the government is in place, etc.  I know that could take a long time, but we can't leave now.  We'd loose what little credibility we have in the middle east, and it becomes a moral victory for the terrorists in Iraq.  
          •  As for Warner (none)
            Warner happens to have a point of  view that differs from John Murtha.  I still believe that's legal, right?  I'm what you may call a "Hawk Democrat" in the fact that I opposed the Murtha plan.  I think we need to build an exit strategy based on progess and events in Iraq, not dates on a calendar.  Sure, have "approximate times" when they're expected, but nothing that could destroy eveything those men died for.
      •  He's actually (none)
        an Israel suck-up. The fact that alot of Bush's foreign policy has been crafted by Republikud's just makes him LOOK like a Bush suck-up.
  •  Gotta laugh (none)
    Let Joementum list the progress in Iraq.  

    OK, Joey boy?

    •  Here is Joe's version of progress: (none)
      WASHINGTON -- Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, just back from Iraq, wants President Bush to give the American people details about the progress being made in that country - from military triumphs to the proliferation of cellphones and satellite dishes.

      Hartford Courant today:
      http://www.courant.com/...

      •  Thanks (none)
        Cellphones and satellite dishes, eh?

        Yet the middle class is fleeing the country, infrastructure is dead, all services worse than under Saddam, and zippo on security.

        What a fool Lieberman is.

  •  Joe should get real (none)
    and just move to the West Bank, where his heart is.

    Rove's plea: "I didn't do it, and it won't happen again."

    by omfreebogart on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:35:54 AM PST

  •  Jérôme à Paris (4.00)
    ... has a great analysis of this.  Awesome diary.
    •  Lieberman is sickening (none)
      You're right, Jerome's diary covers this from a slightly different angle with the FT piece contrasted with Joementum's Bush PR spin.
    •  Yes he does (none)
      Does this constitute unwarranted duplication of diaries?

      Not trying to be snide, but sometimes duplication is in the eye of the diarist, and while I understand and agree that diaries should not needlessly duplicate stories, there is sometimes value in doing so.

      "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

      by thingamabob on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:58:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not to be troll rated- but are the (none)
    Iraqi ground troops ready?
    •  Probably not, but... (none)
      ...There's absolutely no reason to think they ever will be. In all likelihood, things are only going to get worse for the Iraqi government. At this point, the two main options are Korea or Vietnem: stay there essentially forever (only with active insurgency as oppose to an armistice) or leave and allow the inevitable to occur. Militarily, the former option simply isn't realistic; we're going to run out of troops soon, and - whereas in Korea we could negotitate a stable if tense armistice - our soldiers on the ground are going to continue to die indefinitely.

      "Say what you will about Bill Clinton, we never had to worry about whether he had gone crazy." - John Aravosis

      by Ben Grimm on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:40:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are right (none)
        You are exactly right.  And this is what is scary.  This is going to be a fact that that fascist president cannot and will not swallow.  Or for that matter, that torture-loving Mussolini wannabe Cheney
    •  No, they're probably not. (4.00)
      However, I also suspect that as long as our troops are there to take most of the flak and do most of the work their level-of-effort and willingness to put forth 100% is diminished.  

      I believe that if they're given a timetable on which we're leaving the "oh, shit" factor will kick in and they will improve.  Also, more of the old Iraqi army may come out, too, so they don't have to be working under US command.

      I try to view this from the perspective of "how would I feel if another country came in to the US and removed an unlawfully elected ruler from our government, then stuck around and screwed things up."

      •  Funny (none)
        Republicans are so into personal responsibility and accountability when it comes to the poor in this country, but when it comes to the Iraqis, they'll coddle them for as long as it takes. Make the Iraqis stand up for themselves!
    •  I don't see (none)
      a poorly trained, ridden with ethnic strife and compromised Iraqi military force to ever militarily replace 150,000 well-trained US/Allied troops and state of the art military equipment.
      •  you're absolutely right (none)
        How is the Iraqi army supposed to level a city the size of Fallujah on their own?

        "we have to work... the dark side, if you will"
        -Vice President Cheney, as quoted in Newsweek

        by Leggy Starlitz on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:46:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •   a little story... (none)

        There was a fox chasing a rabbit, and the rabbit got away. When the fox was asked why he couldn't catch his quarry, he replied "I was only running for my supper, he was running for his life."

        The same thing applies here. The iraqi military will be fighting for their country, for the chance to actually have a decent place to live. They will fight very hard, when it comes down to it, or they won't, and they will reap the rewards either way.

        It is unlikely the insurgents will be as gung-ho about killing Iraqis as they are about killing US troops. In addition, the modern weaponry isn't very useful in urban combat. The result of all these thigns is that the Iraqi forces can probably do fairly well on their own, though it will surely be a bumpy ride.

        In either case, they were given a chance, now they need to seize it, or they will return from whence they came. That, is the end result of this little exercise.

        •  However, we are not training (none)
          Iraqi armies, we are training Iraqi militias. Shiites are not going to fight for Kurds and vice-versa. They'll fight for their regions in a divided Iraq. Problem with your analysis is that you are dividing parties into 3 groups-

          1. US/International troops.
          2. Iraqi Army.
          3)Insurgents.

             with 1 and 2 aligned against the 3.

             The actual alignment is-

          1. US/International troops.
          2. Kurdish/Peshmerga.
          3. Shiite forces-
             a) sadr's militias
             b) AlBadr and allied militias.

          1. Ba'athists.
          2. Al-Qaeda elements.

               1) is allied with 2) and 3). The alliance between 2) and 3) is very shaky. Sadr has absolutely no love for Kurds. None. 4) and 5) are allied together. The dynamics are wholly different than what you implied. Shiites and Kurd forces won't get ANY support in Sunni areas and likewise for Ba'athists in Northern and Southern Iraq. If it was simply Iraqi forces and people versus insurgents dream scenario, I might agree with you but ground reality is very different.

             

          •  I like your analysis... (none)
            here is the abbreviated plan and analysis I put forward last week. What do you think?

            Daily Kos

            the problem is that the Shiia are basically in control and the Sunni's don't feel like they have a stake in the government.

            Furthermore, you have the Syrians training and funding the insurgency, because they fear that a Shiia dominated Iraq aligned with Iran will overrun them in the future.

            In my view, the only way to create a half-way stable Iraq is to talk the Shiia into letting some Bathists into the government and to find a way to get the Sunni's greater representation in the government.

            Furthermore, it would be helpful if other countries like Saudi Arabia would participate in brokering a deal.

            Finally, the reason why there are so many people willing to support the insurgency or join the opposition is because they have been tortured or a family member tortured by US troops or a family member killed at a checkpoint or suffered some other form of indignity. Raw story ran a great story on this last week.

            If we are to encourage lawful behaviour and promote justice and the rule of law we ourselves must lead by example and adhere to the rule of law and act in a proper way and that means strictly adhering to the Geneva Conventions.
            Long-standing army regulations required adherence to the third convention for enemy soldiers and we should honor the protections found in the conventions.

            Furthermore, we need to try to turn checkpoints over to Iraq's and reduce our presence as much as possible and we need to bring in other middle eastern countries to try to help stablize the country as well.

            The problem I see is that we have lost the moral high ground as militias are doing their own thing and no one is really adhering to the rule of law and we have lost some credibility with the new government.

            We might be able to turn the situation around but "staying the course" is not going to get it done. It seems to me that Bush is so stubborn that he would rather go down in flames than make proper changes that would increase the probability of success. Sending out talking points to the right wing disinformation machine to scream about Dems wanting to "cut and run" does not do anything to move the debate forward.

            One other thing; I would like to see the administration support Abdul Mahdi for Prime Minister instead of that rat Chalabi. From what I have read I think Mahdi is best suited to bring everyone together. Just my observation from a distance.

            "When the government fears the people, that is Liberty. When the people fear the government, that is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

            by RichardG on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 06:40:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  That's a good question. (none)
      No troll rate from me.  I don't think there has ever been an objective assessment of the Iraqi forces' ability to handle PX runs, let alone anything serious.  We've all been kept in the dark.  The best the real trolls can offer is conjecture from somebody over at World Nut Daily or some similar RW rumor mill.  If anyone has better information than I do (which is next to nothing), I'd be happy to hear it.
    •  No but... (none)
      Everyone is ready for combat when they can call in Willie Pete to eliminate their enemies at a moments notice.  
    •  what lieberman said (none)
      Nationwide, American military leaders estimate that about one-third of the approximately 100,000 members of the Iraqi military are able to "lead the fight" themselves with logistical support from the U.S., and that that number should double by next year. If that happens, American military forces could begin a drawdown in numbers proportional to the increasing self-sufficiency of the Iraqi forces in 2006. If all goes well, I believe we can have a much smaller American military presence there by the end of 2006 or in 2007, but it is also likely that our presence will need to be significant in Iraq or nearby for years to come.

      I have no idea if this is true.
      •  Shia militia will then use US air power . . (none)
        . . to call in airstrikes on their opponents in the ongoing Iraqi civil war.  So the Iran-backed Shia militia should be able to win most battles when US air power is used to destroy anyone they want to target.  Once they're dead, they are then immediately identified as "terrorists" just like the US does now.

        So US air power will essentially be directed from Iran once the "Iraqization" of the war is completed in 2007 or whenever the Bushite scum want to pretend that they have "won" this illegal war on a small country that posed no serious threat to the US.

        •  Seymour Hersh writes about this... (none)
          ...in an excellent article in this week's New Yorker.

          It's interesting to me that Repubs have always raised tremendous hell about the possibility of our troops being under UN command (in Kosovo etc.), but in this case we may well end up in a situation where our airstrikes are being called in by Iraqis.

          •  Indeed Sy does write about this... (none)
            he says quite a bit more on the issue of US air strikes directed by Iraquis.

            For one thing, US air force generals are really, really, really (yes, really!) against this.

            Can you imagine the fallout of a missle launched from a US plane that was targeted on the ground by Iraqui forces... and the target turned out to be some hospital where "opposition" forces were holed up?

            The use of US air power directed by Iraqui generals is not going to happen... I hope.

      •  Isn't it amazing how fast the Iraqi army (none)
        has gotten to be self-sufficient?  A month or so ago, a general said that only one or two divisions were ready!  (I don't remember the general, otherwise I'd link it.)
    •  Do you mean Iraqi troops or Shia troops? (none)
      There is no Iraq, only Kurdistan, Sumer and the Sunnis.
    •  Ready for what? (none)
      In terms of combat training, they will eventually learn. But, a bigger issue is their allegiance. I don't know to what authority they will report.

      The still larger issue is the direction of the country.  Let's assume the elected government manages to stabilize the country, with representatives of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds participating. I have no idea where that coutry will be headed. Is it a good idea that the country will have a functional, cohesive army, right next to Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait? In order to police the development there, Ameria is likely to have to have permanent military presence, and this is the best case.

  •  Does he have a primary challenger yet? (none)
    It's time to get rid of him already.

    "Say what you will about Bill Clinton, we never had to worry about whether he had gone crazy." - John Aravosis

    by Ben Grimm on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:37:09 AM PST

    •  That would be no... (none)
      In fact, one dropped out (a PoliSci professor at Fairfield U) due to lack of fundraising.  Based on the amount of people angry with Joe on both this site and in my life in CT, the prof must not have been a good fundraiser.

      In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. ---George Orwell -6.63; -6.51

      by TheKickingDonkey on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:46:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  no kidding (none)
        can you imagine the outpouring of financial support if a real democrat came here or to dfa and asked for our support?

        i just posted in jerome's diary, who's running against him in the primary and how do i contribute.

        b/c even though i'm just a young single-parent who's just trying to get her income back to pre-bush levels, i'd save my pennies and eat at home for the rest of my life to get rid of joe republican.

        •  AND would fundraise in my state for him (none)
          nc doesn't have a senatorial race in 2006 and i can think of at least 100 people in my tiny little red county that would send a primary challenger money.
        •  IMHO Part of the problem is (none)
          ...that primarying Joe would be tilting at a windmill - there is almost no way to win given his impossibly high approval ratings.

          Not many politicians are willing to jump into a losing race - especially if you have future career ambitions in the CT Democratic party.

          If you are going to take on a sitting Senator in the primaries and still harbor career aspirations, you better win!

          In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. ---George Orwell -6.63; -6.51

          by TheKickingDonkey on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:11:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  are those approval ratings (none)
            from democrats?  or is it all registered voters?  i'm just curious about how much of his "base" is republican.

            and mb you need both to win (i don't know ct's political landscape) but this is the northeast and not the deep south.  i would've thought your democrats would want...well...democrats.

            but alas, i'm in nc where we have a joementum for governor and 2 republican senators.

        •  Call Chuck Schumer.... (none)
          ....he's head of the DSCC.

          OK, so Lieberman is a Bush apologist.

          Schumer's unwillingness to even go so far as to say that a primary challenge to Lieberman is a matter for the Connecticut Democratic Party marks Schumer as a Lieberman apologist, and by extension, as a Bush apologist.

          There's a large part of me that genuinely feels that Joe's goal is to insure that US Security policies are so much more draconian and savage than Israeli Security policies (as is already the case with our pro-torture interrogation doctrine, one which has already been rejected by the Israeli Supreme Court) that little things like non-judicial assassination, continuing violation of UN Resolutions, illegal nuclear, chemical and biological WMD Programs, and so forth, will be comparatively moderate and more defensible than they are at present.

          But maybe I'm wrong, and what's called for is for Joe to give a wide-ranging deposition in Syrian custody while undergoing waterboarding, beatings to the testicles and soles of the feet, and a range of enforced stress positions of the kind that he finds acceptable practice. Perhaps then we could see what kind of stuff Joe Lieberman is really made of.

      •  There is also the fact that (none)
        Lieberman is overwhelmingly popular among both Connecticut Democrats and Republicans.   He is probably has the safest seat in the Senate.  

        The guy is a total dick, but he is not going to lose.  If you are going to spend your money on a hopeless campaign, spend it on some one who opposes a candidate who votes with the Republicans all the time, instead of just a third of the time or whatever Lieberman does.  Or better yet, spend it on a competitive race.

        It takes a second to wreck it. It takes time to build.

        by lando on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:52:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Vietnam in reverse (none)
    Perhaps the normal approach of placing "advisors" into a country and then increasing our presence until we have a full-fledged "conflict" should be reversed.  This time, let's start with the full-fledged conflict and then reduce troop strengths until all we have left are advisors and trainers to help guide the Iraqis.  

    Just a thought...

  •  Yellow elephants, chickenhawks, and impotent men (none)
    They lack military creds of their own, so they try to usurp them from kids like mine...and for some, there is the added bonus of this war being like viagra to the otherwise impotent.  Ever wonder why Bush swaggers?  It's cause he gets a woody just thinkin about sending people out to crusade for him.

    Do your part for world peace - visit Iraqi Blog Count and interact!

    by Sharon Jumper on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:39:18 AM PST

  •  Welcome to 1968! (none)
    Domino theory baby.

    I am so far to the left I can almost see the right again.

    by beagleandtabby on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:39:35 AM PST

  •  Ugh (none)
    So the plan to withdraw from direct combat, lend air support to Irani death squads by dropping bombs on those financed by our friends the Saudis is the best available?

    The absolute saddest part is that yes, this is the best plan available.  Nice planning guys, please put the adults back in charge.

    •  if you believe seymour hersh (none)
      there are at least a few rational people in the military who share your concern:

      Within the military, the prospect of using airpower as a substitute for American troops on the ground has caused great unease. For one thing, Air Force commanders, in particular, have deep-seated objections to the possibility that Iraqis eventually will be responsible for target selection. "Will the Iraqis call in air strikes in order to snuff rivals, or other warlords, or to snuff members of your own sect and blame someone else?" another senior military planner now on assignment in the Pentagon asked. "Will some Iraqis be targeting on behalf of Al Qaeda, or the insurgency, or the Iranians?"

      great article, go read it

  •  Timeline (none)
    I'm not so much interested in a timeline, but a progressline. What the hell are our objectives, and when have we achieved them? When can our troops come home? At the whim of the President?

    But I don't think a timeline is nearly as bad as hawks are making it. If it really does give the insurgents a timetable to "wait us out", then great. That means they'll die down for a bit, which allows us to build infrastructure, build the government, train Iraqi troops and win hearts and minds in a violence-free time period. When the timetable is over, and the insurgents attack again, Iraq will be in a much better situation to defend itself.

    Does that make sense or is it too simplistic?

  •  Where are the forms... (none)
    to remove the D after his name? I think it's embarassing because people think he's a Democrat instead of a Dumbass. They really need more party abbreviations.

    We also can realize the dream of a world without war, but only by stubborn persistence, only by a refusal to surrender that dream -Howard Zinn

    by Jawis on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:40:55 AM PST

  •  When will the Iraqi military be capable... (none)
    ..of securing the country?

    • When the insurgents convert to Christianity.
    • When Iran takes over.
    • When Bush says they are.
    • When Saddam is returned to power.

    Why is that our soldiers are given 6 weeks in boot camp to train for active duty, but the Iraqis are still untrained after three years?

    Obviously our continued presence there has nothing to do with Iraqi readiness.

    •  Of course it does. (none)
      You certainly cannot be cynical enough to believe that we are building 14 permanent military bases for anything but training Iraqi's while we plan for a withdrawal? We are exporting freedom, and Iraq is buying, Oh Yeah!

      We also can realize the dream of a world without war, but only by stubborn persistence, only by a refusal to surrender that dream -Howard Zinn

      by Jawis on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:44:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We're Corrupt, And We Export Corrupt Freedom (none)
        Is anyone going to do a diary on the latest GAO finding, that the Air Force illegally and precipitately handed out no-bid contracts worth millions for the job of scaring up democracy in Iraq? So far, no response from the Air Force or the Pentagon. WaPo story from this morning here:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

        "That story isn't worth the paper it's rotten on."--Dorothy Parker

        by martyc35 on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:57:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Is it any wonder...? (4.00)
    Is it any wonder that progressives in Connecticut are in despair over the fact that no one has stepped forward to challenge Joe in a primary?

    The presence of Joe "What's So Bad About Torture?" Lieberman at the top of the ticket will make it difficult for the strong candidates we have for Connecticut's three Republican-held Congressional seats to speak out on the central issue of this campaign -- Iraq.

    All the Repubs have to say is, "Hey, your Senator agrees with me!"

    www.MyLeftNutmeg.com - Where Connecticut Dems Scratch That Progressive Itch

    by kellymonaghan on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:42:52 AM PST

    •  The money people support (none)
      Leiberman though and he can raise a huge warchest.  Why do you think he runs straight to WSJ when he came back from Iraq?

      He smoozes around Greenwich with all the Wall Street crowd.

  •  Aerial control will go badly (none)
    Steve Gilliard has two posts up about aerial control. The first points to Juan Cole's assessment of how Iraqis have called in US air strikes to destroy opposing factions (including civilians). Gilliard's second post covers the British use of aerial control to try and keep Iraq in 1920.

    Recent reports show strongly that a full-scale civil war has been unleashed in Iraq, and the sooner we disengage the better. The civil war is already happening. We soon must choose a side (if we haven't already) or leave Iraq. Either way it's a mess, but with us there the amount of killing increases significantly.

  •  markos, does the murtha plan (none)
    set a definitive date?
  •  the problem with air power... (4.00)
    As the Pentagon has pointed out, who calls in the air strikes?  It's one thing to do our own spotting, but are we going to have American bombs falling on targets chosen by Iraqi militias?  We could easily find ourselves providing air support for one side (probably Shia) in a civil war.

    "we have to work... the dark side, if you will"
    -Vice President Cheney, as quoted in Newsweek

    by Leggy Starlitz on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:44:24 AM PST

    •  The Real Politik in me (none)
      is suddenly asking "would that be so bad?"  The US simply picking a winner in the inevitable (IMHO) civil war in Iraq might actually save lives, as it'll convince the other side to surrender that much faster.  Especially if we did it explicit- help in winning the civil war fast, in exchange for no ethnic cleansing afterwards (with the or-else being we turn the bombs on them).

      Of course, this is the same side of me that thinks that maybe a nuclear war between India and Pakistan wouldn't be that bad of an idea as well.  Yes,  hundreds of millions would die, and the humanitarian catastrophe would be unprecedented.  But such a war would be unlikely to spread much beyond the theater, I doubt that they have enough nukes to seriously threaten either human civilization or ecocollapse (nuclear winter), unlike the US/USSR, and it'd be an object lesson in why building and using those weapons is a bad idea.  I think some world leaders (GWB, for one), having never personally witnessed nuclear weapons being used and their destruction, and not being capable of learning from history, have started viewing nuclear weapons as simply bigger bangs.  A limited nuclear war that doesn't threaten either humanity or civilization as a whole might be a valuable object lesson, and would certainly be cheaper than a larger, more general, nuclear war (US v. China, say).

      In both cases, it's not that the choice is good in some absolute sense, it's that the choice isn't as sucky as the alternative- the alternative in Iraq being a long, bloody, close-fought civil war followed by ethnic cleansing and genocide.

      "History does not always repeat itself. Sometimes it just yells, 'Can't you remember anything I told you?' and lets fly with a club." --John W. Campbell

      by bhurt on Wed Nov 30, 2005 at 08:40:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As Far As Using Air Power (none)
    If you haven't already Seymour Hersh's article UP IN THE AIR was just published d on the web yesterday and is a must read for the problems air support may create and also for how El Presidente has gone bonkers.
  •  I don't necessarily see how the two conflict (none)
    Unless the Iraqi's were more specific than "we want a time table for withdrawl" that doesn't preclude the wish of having goals such as, for example, training the Iraqi army, completed before said withdrawl.  One can read it, and I have a suspicion that this is what they mean, that they want a time table, with a clear statement of when US troops will leave (either a late, or a list of completed goals).  Saying a "timetable for withdrawl" doesn't, to me, automatically mean immediate withdrawl.
  •  Edwards Plan (4.00)
    "A plan for success needs to focus on three interlocking objectives: reducing American presence; building Iraq's capacity; and getting other countries to meet their responsibilities to help.

    First, we need to remove the image of the imperialist America from the landscape of Iraq. American contractors who have taken unfair advantage of the turmoil in Iraq need to leave Iraq. If that means Halliburton subsidiary, KBR, then KBR should go. Such departures, and the return of the work to Iraqi businesses, would be a real statement about our hopes for the new nation.

    We also need to show Iraq and the world that we will not stay there forever. We've reached the point where the large number of our troops in Iraq hurts, not helps, our goals. Therefore, early next year, after the Iraqi elections and a new government has been created, we should begin the redeployment of a significant number of troops out of Iraq. This should be the beginning of a gradual process to reduce our presence and change the shape of our military's deployment in Iraq.

    Most of these troops should come from National Guard or Reserve forces. That will still leave us with enough military capability, combined with better trained Iraqis, to fight terrorists and continue to help the Iraqis develop a stable country.

    Second, this redeployment should work in concert with a more effective training program for Iraqi forces. [did you hear that contractors are grossly exagerating success in training ratess -- on NPR ATC yesterday, more outsourcing disasters]  We should implement a clear plan for training and hard deadlines for certain benchmarks to be met. To increase incentives, we should implement a schedule outlining that as we certify that Iraqi troops are trained and equipped, a proportional number of U.S. troops will withdraw.

    Third, we must launch a serious diplomatic process that brings the world into this effort. We should bring Iraq's neighbors and our key European allies into a diplomatic process to get Iraq on its feet. It's not just in America's security interest for Iraq to succeed, but the world's -- and the President needs to create a unified international front.

    Too many mistakes have already been made to make this easy. Yet we must take these steps to succeed. The American people, the Iraqi people and -- most importantly -- our troops who have died or been injured there and those who are fighting there today deserve nothing less.

    America's leaders -- all of us -- need to accept the responsibility we each carry for how we got to this place. Over 2,000 Americans have lost their lives in this war; and over 150,000 are fighting there today. They and their families deserve honesty from our country's leaders. And they also deserve a clear plan for a way out."

    Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

    by philgoblue on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:48:00 AM PST

    •  You really like Edwards, don't you? (none)
      His plan sounds reasonable, but it doesn't strike me as being very different from what most other democrats are proposing.

      It is easier to stay out than get out. -Mark Twain

      by Bundy on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:59:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Uh .... yea (none)
        Ya caught me.   We're both economic populists, I love his biography and campaign abilities, I think he's real and comes off that way, I think he can win, and I think he's got a fantastic knowledge of the big picture (like the commons and patriotism vs. privatization and materialism).

        But on the plan I think it's realistic and would get us (at least largely) out of Iraq in 1-1.5 years.

        1. Attack on corruption.  Ding ding.
        2. "early next year, after the Iraqi elections and a new government has been created, we should begin the redeployment of a significant number of troops out of Iraq."  
          Guess what folks, that's a deadline.
          But, unlike Murtha who relies on the mythical power of the airforce against insurgents, he realistically knows we've got to have some boots on the ground for a while.
        3.  "That will still leave us with enough military capability, combined with better trained Iraqis, to fight terrorists and continue to help the Iraqis develop a stable country."
        That's the realistic part, we can give it one more year to see if we can win Sunnis over into the process and prevent a full-scale civil war and the formation of an anti-American Rump Iraq with ties to terrorists who want to kill us.

        4.  We should implement a clear plan for training and hard deadlines for certain benchmarks to be met. To increase incentives, we should implement a schedule outlining that as we certify that Iraqi troops are trained and equipped, a proportional number of U.S. troops will withdraw.
        That's a HARD DEADLINE (but still with some, but limited flexibility.

        5.  "Third, we must launch a serious diplomatic process that brings the world into this effort. We should bring Iraq's neighbors and our key European allies into a diplomatic process to get Iraq on its feet."
          Yea, diplomacy, UNization and NATOization!!
          The way we should have done it in the first place.

        Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

        by philgoblue on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:11:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is a fundamental (none)
          flaw in this plan. Iraqi forces won't be able to replace American troops militarily in short term and by short term I mean 4-5 years. they just won't considering violence has only increased over past year and has shown no sign of dwindling down. It is a good plan on paper but fails the Iraq reality test.
          •  Two Possible Answers (none)
            1.  It's all about the politics, none of this will be implimented anyway.

            2.  Word is Iraqi Army is getting a bit better as of late and it's "proportional" number not "equal" number.

            Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

            by philgoblue on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:34:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sure Iraqi (none)
              army is getting better with training but every account of training I have read and every account of numbers of troops trained I have come across tells me that they just won't be ready to take control of a 26 million strong ethnically-divided country in less than 4-5 years. Bremer fucked up when he dissolved the Iraqi army. You just can't create a well-trained army with a well-defined command structure overnight. It just can't be done and I'm talking about the best case scenario that we are actually training an Iraqi National Army and not just proxies for Shiite and Kurdish militias.
      •  yea we do like Edwards (none)
        and other Democrats (like who?) probably do say the same things Edwards says in his plan. Whats your point?
        •  I think (none)
          you're reading too much into my comment. I was talking specifically to philgoblue, who I've noticed has repeated talked up Edwards' withdrawl plans.

          I'm not trying to pick any fights here. I'm just happy that most democrats are talking about an exit strategy. The details of when and in what order seem less important since we're not in a position to implement policy anyway.

          It is easier to stay out than get out. -Mark Twain

          by Bundy on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 11:11:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Giving the farm away (none)
    With the re-emergence of Ahmed Chalabi as the Bush administration's prime player for connecting U.S. economic interest to the free flow of oil we should expect Chalabi's future commitments to the U.S. to be as duplicitous and unreliable as the "being greeted with flowers" intelligence he provided to the planners of the Iraq liberation. In August of 2005, Russian and Chinese military units conducted joint military exercises based on a scenario of injecting the coalition into a region torn by civil and sectarian violence. With the U.S. 2006 elections on the horizon, with the path of least commitment to Iraq emerging under the buzz phrase of Iraqi autonomy, the Russians and Chinese stand poised to fill any power vacuum left by U.S  If political conditions in Iraq do degenerate enough for Iraqi lawmakers to invite a coalition of Chinese and Russian troops as "peacemakers" it is highly probable that the Saudi royal family will displaced by extremists as well, further priming conditions for completely choking the United States out of political influence on oil. The entire scenario could have been avoided.  If the U.S. had simply occupied Afghanistan after 911 with the same force levels that Gen. Shineski recommended for the occupation of Iraq, the ongoing containment of Iraq would have reached its logical conclusion, and U.S. troop levels would have been sufficient to react to any development in the region that threatened vital U.S. interests.
  •  Thanks for speaking for me, Joe (none)
    After all, you earned the right to do so with your glittering performance in last year's primaries.
  •  "Veteran Statesman?" (4.00)
    See, this is exactly what I was afraid of.  Murtha is undoubtedly a veteran.  But a statesman?  From what I can tell, he's a conservative Dem who's spent his many years in DC ably representing military contractors.  He's a Scoop Jackson Dem at best, and whatever his personal virtues may or may not be, we need to separate our support for his call to withdraw fro Iraq from his long record of doing whatever the hell the military industrial complex wants him to do in Congress.

    To me, Iraq is not some weird aberration from militarism.  It's what militarism is all about:  naked grabs for power, horrendous civilian deaths and suffering, horrendous military deaths and suffering, lies, lies, and more lies, repression of civil liberties, hysterical opposition to debate, and widespread human rights abuses.  To question the Iraq War and the occupation without questioning the system and ideology into which it fits is beyond foolish.  And it invites militarists in Congress -- pretty much the entire GOP (minus Ron Paul) and the majority of Dems, I'm afraid -- to look at Syria and Iran and Venezuela and say, "THIS time, we'll get it right."

    Screw that.  This isn't about how to be a more effective military empire.  It's about whether we should be one in the first place.  The debate is long overdue, and too many people have died because we're afraid to have it out over this.

    "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

    by Pesto on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:49:44 AM PST

    •  Hear! Hear! (none)
      I really like Murtha's political work in this current struggle, but in the end I'd prefer more true progressive Dems would have got on the band wagon. Our military should be used for national defense, defeating and containing military aggression, and stopping genocide. Too many of our wars have not achieved any of these goals.

      We also can realize the dream of a world without war, but only by stubborn persistence, only by a refusal to surrender that dream -Howard Zinn

      by Jawis on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:59:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Makes me sick. (none)
    I just do not understand Dems that talk like this.  Joe is by far the worst, but christalmighty, we've got a dozen others.

    I'm a staunch Feingold fan, from day one, but if I wasn't I'd be forced to switch.  Seems to be the one and only Dem that's talked straight about this disaster from the get-go.

    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2100+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

    by Miss Blue on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:49:44 AM PST

    •  Okay... (none)
      I'm glad you have your convictions, but PLEASE don't chase moderates out of the party.  That's NOT how you build a majority, and it's DEFINITELY not how the "liberal party" wins an election.  Only 25% of the nation identifies with liberals.  The majority of people find themselves somewhere in the middle.  I understand that sometimes it makes you sick, but don't tell them that!  We'll lose their support, and give the GOP a chance to rebuild.
  •  GOOD READ AT FORWARD (none)
    Martin Van Creveld has a good article in Forward entitled "Costly Withdrawal Is the Price to be Paid for a Foolish War. At the endof the article he calls for Bush's impeachment and more! Go to www.forward.com and click on the title. It's well worth a read.

    Lieberman is showing his ignorance, again.

  •  Simply Joedascious! (none)
    I believe that the name Lieberman is German for a putz who leisurely carries water for conservatives...

    That Joe, he's such a Lieberman.

  •  Let's lose Loserman. (none)
    Can we PLEASE put someone up against this bum in Conn.?  This guy is an absolute disgrace.

    http://www.cafepress.com/turntexasblue

    by JohnStuartMill on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:53:01 AM PST

  •  Not just Lieberman.... (none)
    There's a big difference between Lieberman waxing eloquent about the blossoming democracy in Iraq, and Warner saying it's incumbent on the President of the United States to lay out his strategy and his milestones in complete detail. I completely disagree that Warner's recent statement (which Kos takes such umbrage to) amounted to, "We should stay in Iraq until George W. Bush's wildest dreams are achieved." He said that George should stop playing footsie with the American public and explain exactly what he expects to achieve, and when he expects to achieve it. That's a valuable message to promote. It might just help us get out of Iraq.

    Kos has a way of drawing a big circle around everyone with whom he disagrees and calling them "The Enemy." Enough circular firing squads. Lieberman is a fucking liar, or else he's living in a neoconservative fantasy-world, and we're all sick of him. But I'm also tired of Kos drawing up battle lines within his own party. And it's both boring and a little sick to watch Warner gradually herded into the Daily Kos Circle of Enemies. Kos needs to pick a few centrists whom he can tolerate well enough not to stab in the back, because without that wing of the Democratic Party, 51% is not going to happen for us. Ever.

    We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. - Anaïs Nin

    by Valentine on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:53:27 AM PST

    •  True...yet painful (none)
      We can't stab our own party in the back, that's the truth.  But we can't allow fighting to occur within our own party either.  Some centrists, such as Mark Warner, don't pick on the liberals, they just disagree in a friendly manner.  Joe, on the other hand, does.  And he's made a lot of enemies within his own party because of it.
  •  American Invaders (none)
    Over the horizon air strikes is something to advocate. " Hey, were still going to hold a gun to your head, brown guy, but we are going to hide behind a boulder while doing so."  Gee, no wonder everybody is hoppin on this train--it's just another lie meant to get the goods at any cost.
  •  Excuse me, Markos? (none)
    Didn't Sen. Clinton just vote for Sen. Levin's (D-Mich.) amendment, which states the following:
       (a) Short Title.--This section may be cited as the ``United States Policy on Iraq Act''.

        (b) Sense of Senate.--It is the sense of the Senate that, in order to succeed in Iraq--

        (1) members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving or have served in Iraq and their families deserve the utmost respect and the heartfelt gratitude of the American people for their unwavering devotion to duty, service to the Nation, and selfless sacrifice under the most difficult circumstances;

        (2) it is important to recognize that the Iraqi people have made enormous sacrifices and that the overwhelming majority of Iraqis want to live in peace and security;

        (3) calendar year 2006 should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with Iraqi security forces taking the lead for the security of a free and sovereign Iraq, thereby creating the conditions for the phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq;

        (4) United States military forces should not stay in Iraq any longer than required and the people of Iraq should be so advised;

        (5) the Administration should tell the leaders of all groups and political parties in Iraq that they need to make the compromises necessary to achieve the broad-based and sustainable political settlement that is essential for defeating the insurgency in Iraq, within the schedule they set for themselves; and

        (6) the Administration needs to explain to Congress and the American people its strategy for the successful completion of the mission in Iraq.

        (c) Reports to Congress on United States Policy and Military Operations in Iraq.--Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every three months thereafter until all United States combat brigades have redeployed from Iraq, the President shall submit to Congress an unclassified report on United States policy and military operations in Iraq. Each report shall include to the extent practicable the following unclassified information:

        (1) The current military mission and the diplomatic, political, economic, and military measures, if any, that are being or have been undertaken to successfully complete or support that mission, including:

        (A) Efforts to convince Iraq's main communities to make the compromises necessary for a broad-based and sustainable political settlement.

        (B) Engaging the international community and the region in the effort to stabilize Iraq and to forge a broad-based and sustainable political settlement.

        (C) Strengthening the capacity of Iraq's government ministries.

        (D) Accelerating the delivery of basic services.

        (E) Securing the delivery of pledged economic assistance from the international community and additional pledges of assistance.

        (F) Training Iraqi security forces and transferring security responsibilities to those forces and the government of Iraq.

        (2) Whether the Iraqis have made the compromises necessary to achieve the broad-based and sustainable political settlement that is essential for defeating the insurgency in Iraq.

        (3) Any specific conditions included in the April 2005 Multi-National Forces-Iraq campaign action plan (referred to in United States Government Accountability Office October 2005 report on Rebuilding Iraq: DOD Reports Should Link Economic, Governance, and Security Indicators to Conditions for Stabilizing Iraq), and any subsequent updates to that campaign plan, that must be met in order to provide for the transition of security responsibility to Iraqi security forces.

        (4) To the extent that these conditions are not covered under paragraph (3), the following should also be addressed:

        (A) The number of battalions of the Iraqi Armed Forces that must be able to operate independently or to take the lead in counterinsurgency operations and the defense of Iraq's territory.

        (B) The number of Iraqi special police units that must be able to operate independently or to take the lead in maintaining law and order and fighting the insurgency.

        (C) The number of regular police that must be trained and equipped to maintain law and order.

        (D) The ability of Iraq's Federal ministries and provincial and local governments to independently sustain, direct, and coordinate Iraq's security forces.

        (5) The criteria to be used to evaluate progress toward meeting such conditions.

        (6) A schedule for meeting such conditions, an assessment of the extent to which such conditions have been met, information regarding variables that could alter that schedule, and the reasons for any subsequent changes to that schedule.

    The quest for freedom, dignity, and the rights of man will never end. - Justice Brennan

    by jim bow on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:54:50 AM PST

  •  Edwards has the most articulated (none)
    plan so far.

    First, we need to remove the image of the imperialist America from the landscape of Iraq. American contractors who have taken unfair advantage of the turmoil in Iraq need to leave Iraq. If that means Halliburton subsidiary, KBR, then KBR should go. Such departures, and the return of the work to Iraqi businesses, would be a real statement about our hopes for the new nation.

    We also need to show Iraq and the world that we will not stay there forever.

    Read his whole op ed piece at oneamericacommittee.com:
     Edwards

    "Life is a zoo in a jungle." Peter De Vries

    by MontanaMaven on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:56:24 AM PST

  •  Thank God for Holy Joe... (none)
    Dear Leader is sinking and he tosses him a life preserver by covering his right flank!  What a brilliant political move!

    I just threw-up a little in my mouth...

    "[A] 'Sharecropper's Society' [is] precisely where our trade policies, supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, are taking us." - Warren Buffet

    by RichM on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:57:42 AM PST

  •  Errr... Umm... (none)
    The leaders of Iraq's duly elected government understand this, and they asked me for reassurance about America's commitment.

    Seems Joe's been talking to his oily buddy Chalabi again.

  •  Consider Sen. Boxer's 21 Nov 2005 statements ... (none)
    ... on Wolf Blitzer Reports -- after Rep. Jack Murtha (D-Pa.) spoke out:

    BLITZER: Do you go as far as Congressman John Murtha who says over the next six months, get those troops out of there, move them "over the horizon" to Kuwait or some other locations where they won't be targets in Iraq?

    BOXER: I think Congressman Murtha has really thought this out. And I am willing to look at what he said. I voted for the Democratic alternative, which was slightly different. Although we did say by '06 we want the Iraqis to defend themselves.

    But I think, Jack, anything he says, you have to look at, this is a man who got eight military accolades including, and I think you've said it, two Purple Hearts, one Bronze Star. I frankly believe he must have talked to a lot of people on the ground in Iraq before he said what he did, because he loves the military with all his heart.

    BLITZER: And so at this point, though, you're not ready to vote for a resolution that would call for a withdrawal over the next six months? In other words, are you ready to support a timetable for withdrawal?

    BOXER: I am ready to tell the president to come forward with what the mission is and how long it would take us to get out of there. And to start bringing the troops home as we see the Iraqis can step up to the plate. I am on the Feingold resolution, which does just that. But I'm willing to look at what Jack Murtha says. I might very well do it. I need to look at what he said.

    Now a lot of people say it's an immediate withdrawal. It was over six months, number one. Number two, it was a lot of redeploying the troops so that if we saw that our friends in the Iraqi government needed us, we would be right there.

    Are the positions of Sen. Boxer, a vociferous critic of the Iraq War, and Sen. Clinton really that different?  I don't think so.

    The important thing to remember is the following:  Sens. Clinton, Boxer, and almost all other Democrats oppose Pres. Bush's "stay the course" policy in Iraq, and oppose remaining in Iraq "as long as it takes," to quote Pres. Bush.  Sens. Clinton and Boxer and almost the entire Democratic caucus oppose the radical doctrine of unilateral, open-ended, preemptive war Clinton, Boxer, and almost all other Democrats oppose the use of military force to spread freedom and democracy around the world that Pres. Bush and the neocons espouse.  Sens. Clinton, Boxer, and most other Democrats oppose establishing permanent military bases in Iraq as Pres. Bush and the necons espouse.  On Iraq and the use of military force, there is a huge difference between Pres. Bush and Sens. Clinton, Boxer, and other Democrats.

    The quest for freedom, dignity, and the rights of man will never end. - Justice Brennan

    by jim bow on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:01:20 AM PST

  •  Strategy for Victory!?? (none)
    This phrase in the op-ed just caught my attention.  Notice anything about it?

    Does America have a good plan for doing this, a strategy for victory in Iraq? Yes we do.

    Strategy for Victory is the White House's talking point. It is the three word phrase projected on the backdrop of Bush's Pennsylvania army base speech on Veterans Day. It can't be the case that Sen. Lieberman doesn't know this. It would appear that not only is he aligning himself with the Administration but that he is signaling that by signing on to the catch-phrase. Very strange....

    There are certainly other ways of expressing the concept....

  •  Joe thinks he is on the right track (none)
    Joe's approve/disapprove rating is 69/27. Does anyone really believe he could be taken down in a primary? When monkeys fly. Still, it would be nice to see someone hold his feet to the fire, even token primary opposition is better than none.
  •  It's not totally incompatible with ending the war. (none)
    I personally have no problem with setting a deadline, but I don't have a big problem with those who are opposed to it. Opposing a public deadline is not necessarily incompatible with the idea of getting the hell out of there ASAP.

    Not that I have any patience whatsoever for Joementum at this point.

  •  Lieberman - The Harbinger of Doom (none)
    If there is one thing ol' Joementum knows - it's how to recognize a losing campaign.  I think he's drawn to them subconsciously.  Gore/Lieberman, Lieberman for Prez, and now the neo-con Iraqi adventure.  When people say somethings broke and Joe says it ain't so - you know the end is nigh.

    Seriously, Joe Lieberman is like a human divining rod for mis-managed campaigns.  He's a human "Jumped the Shark" meter.  

    He's the anti-Murtha.

    He's like a dog repeatedly drawn to rolling in piles of shit.

    He's the "Just a Flesh Wound" guy in Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail.

    Joe, come back -- recognize and use your talent for good.  Use your Joementum-juju, your Joementum gris-gris, in a positive way.  A few suggestions - Help with Tom Delay's legal defense, embrace the GOP 2006 campaign, or issue a statement of unqualified support for Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld.  Come out in support of Abramoff.  The possibilities are there Joe.  You are the anti-Midas.

  •  Conneticut..what's wrong with you (none)
    Is there something in the kool-aid up there? Consider the rest of the US Democrats think he's a looser.  Lieberman lost hands down in the primaries.  Get rid of that idiot and gain a lot of respect from the rest of the world.    

    American Engineer :== loser!

    by jnmorgan on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:05:57 AM PST

    •  Preacher, (none)
      meet the choir.

      In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. ---George Orwell -6.63; -6.51

      by TheKickingDonkey on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:08:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We're working on it, but need a candidate!!! (none)
    •  Joe (none)
      You know it's sad when our Republican governor is more liberal than our junior Democratic Senator, but Joe is too entrenched to be taken out in a primary. Maybe we need the former Republican (and former governor) Lowell Weicker, who also is more liberal than Joe, to take him on in the election to scare Joe back to the left side of the aisle.
    •  Connect eee cut (none)
      Joe gets $$$ from the insurance lobby based in Hartford and Zionist PACS in next-door NY. He's the go-to boy for pro-Israel activities. OF COURSE he's joined at the hip with Israeli causes. OF COURSE  he's in synch with neocon regime change ideas in the Middle East. To say this is not racist, it's simply true.

      To say that he cares more about Israel than the US is a little over the top, BUT he seems to believe that their destinies are entwined, therefore what's good for Israel...finish the sentence.

      Rove's plea: "I didn't do it, and it won't happen again."

      by omfreebogart on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 11:44:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  With a few significant exceptions, (4.00)
    the entire Dem leadership is charging rightward, towards unquestioning support for the Iraqi occupation and away from the base of their own party.

    Political parties have disintegrated over less.  If we can't get rid of the Liebermans and his war-mongering, corporate-coddling ilk, then I don't foresee the Democratic Party surviving this war in any viable form, except as a pale "um, me too, maybe not so much, but basically yes" echo of the Republicans.

    That's when we stage an insurrection, because at that point there will be no hope left for our current form of government.  Or we line up to take our numbers for processing at the gulags.

  •  Unlike most Joe Lieberman puts his country (none)
    ahead of his politics. I agree with Joe that we simply cannot leave Iraq in this mess even if the war was stupid. We broke it and we must fix it.

    I respect a man who can take heat from the left of the party for his convictions. It looks like moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans are gaining in strength and prestige.

    If it be so, it is good for the country.

    •  Umm. (none)
      Joe Lieberman helped break it and I've no reason to trust a vandal especially when he has yet to acknowledge his role in this affair.
    •  Two Problems.... (none)
      1.  Joe isn't making the argument that we cannot leave Iraq in this mess.  He is arguing that the Iraq war has been a success and is just in need of more promoting of that success by the administration.

      2. Your premise, "Unlike most Joe Lieberman puts his country ahead of his politics", seems to be taking a shot at all of us.  Speaking for myself only, my opposition to this war and to Joe is based on what I believe is best for this country and not the Democratic party.  And I resent the implication.

      In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. ---George Orwell -6.63; -6.51

      by TheKickingDonkey on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:18:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  we do have a responsibility... (none)
      .. to Iraq and Iraqis. We facilitated the destruction of their country and we owe them big.

      ..BUT, it is not our place to fix it.  

      Only Iraqis can do that.  As long as we're making decisions in Iraq, any progress made will not be fully owned by Iraqis, and will be regarded with contempt, skepticism, suspicion, etc.  Of course, we would own the mistakes.  This can only fuel public support for the insurgents.

      How else can the democratically empowered electorate of Iraq bring their grievances to the mighty United States?

      So, if we really want to fix Iraq, we need to orient our policies toward faciliating progress not controling it.  That means:

      1. Pull our troops out.
      2. Develop a UN recognized coalition to support Iraqi military, while providing pressure/ oversight to prevent the use of heavy-handed tactics.
      3. Withdraw the contractors and provide funds to Iraqi businesses and labor.  Focus on increasing Iraqi employment.
      4. Work with Iraqi-trusted mediators to bring insurgent groups into the political mix.
  •  Want to echo . . . (none)
     . . . the comments others have made dissenting with the conclusion of kos's post.

    The debate over what is the "best plan on the table" has, unfortunately, just begun. Murtha's HUGE contribution was to legitimize debates over plans that include relatively quick withdrawal and timetables. But as the post describing Edwards's plan reveals, there are multiple such plans. IMO folks here and around the blogosphere would do well to dig into and debate the alternatives more thoroughly. It's easy, seductively easy, to spend time belaboring the obvious idiocy of columns like Lieberman's.

    Not that the better debating isn't already beginning. There is useful discussion of the air support option following Hersh's latest piece (again, I echo the other dissents with kos's conclusion -- at this point those opposed to the air support plan, including Air Force generals, seem to be winning this debate).

    Even if we stipulate that timetables are beter than benchmarks, three issues need better plans and/or debates:

    1. If the "leaders" of Iraq want timetables, what precise timetables do they want?
    2. Should we not wait until after the election to commit to a plan? Announce now that within one month of the December election we will establish a plan of withdrawal with timetables that has the approval of Iraq's government.
    3. What is a REALITY BASED timetable for training Iraqis? Our administration lies, so this one may be really tough. But the benchmarks vs. timetables debate relies on a better answer to this qestion than we now have.
  •  Joe Lieberman (none)
    I would actually prefer to see him switch parties, a la Dick Shelby or Ben Horseshit Campbell.  It would be the honest thing for him to do.

    He's a Democrat only because it makes it easier for him to get elected in blue Connecticut.  My boyfriend's wingnut parents, who are CT residents, love him.

    What a dick.  I realize we'll never be able to vote him out of the Senate with those approval numbers, but is there any way he could be forced out of the Democratic Party?

    "Tomorrow's child is the only child." --Dead Can Dance

    by asskicking annie on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:27:31 AM PST

  •  Why is this guy a listed Democrat? (none)
    Joementum is just like his sisters Donna Brazille, Susan Estrich and his brothers Pat Cadell and Zell Miller who can't wait to get on TV or go somewhere and BASH Democrats are kiss Repug and Bush ass. I hate this guy, why is he a Democrat?

    "These guys are biggest bunch of lying crooks I have ever seen" John Kerry

    by alnc on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:49:51 AM PST

  •  Warner (none)
    I don't think Warner ever said that setting a withdrawal date would be a "sign of weakness" - he said it's "inapproriate," which is totally different.  For example, if he could believe that setting and missing a firm date (for whatever reason) could erode our credibility.  That's not the same thing as the "sign of weakness" claims of the right.
  •  Hmm (none)
    Hmmmmm, leaders who think "sounding tough" is more important than creating a policy that tries to make sense.

    Yep, after the last five years, that's exactly what I want in my next President ...... NOT!

  •  Lieberman's Admissions on Al Queda (none)
    Lieberman admitted on CNN this morning in a live interview that Al Queda moved from Afghanistan to Iraq. He used it as a reasoning for staying the course in Iraq; however, he artfully skipped over the obvious point that by beating Al Queda out of Afghanistan and creating the problem with porous borders in a fairly centrally located unregulated location by invading Iraq needlessly, we created a safe haven for AQ.
  •  I think the best option (none)
    would be to train more Iraqi troops, hand over the security of various towns and cities to these troops, and withdraw the troops that were in those cities. At least in this manner, we can withdraw without throwing Iraq into chaos.
  •  Kos gets it right again (none)
    Will Dems ever change their poll-chasing ways and show a little honest conviction?  EJ Dionne had a good column about that today -- about speaking truth instead of cowering in the face of the conventional dialogue, in the case of his column, concerning social benefits that unfettered capitalism could not produce.

    By the way, is Hillary any better than Lieberman?  At least Joe says what he thinks, and lets us all make the fair judgment that he's full of shit.  Hillary dances the tightrope, reading glasses on nose, latest poll data on hand.

  •  Dino Joe (none)
    If we could innundate the country with cellphones and dishes, we could declare victory...and leave.

    And Joe unseated Weicker because he was out of touch with his constituency....How ironic....

  •  spot on, kos. damn straight-excellent diary-thanks (none)
  •  disagree (none)
    I strongly disagree with some of this. We should not be supporting use of post withdrawal air power and "over-the horizon" forces for special ops.

    We first must block permanent bases from being any more firmly established.

    Then we need to talk about orderly withdrawal from the region and a renewed public discussion of the PNAC/Neo-con National Security Strategy that got us into this quagmire and has alientated the world.

  •  Deadlines and weakness (none)
    Jesus God. "[S]etting a deadline is somehow a sign of weakness"??? Why on earth are our leaders worried about showing "weakness" when they've already abundantly and manifestly shown "stupidity," "greed," "blindness," "arrogance," "hubris," and, my favorite, "sadism"???? Weakness would hardly make a blip on this radar screen!!!!
  •  Gore/Lieberman (none)
    is looking more like it was a bad idea.
  •  Joe will be on Sean Hannity's show today. (none)
    That says it all folks. He's selling us out at every turn.
  •  It seems to me that (none)
    The best-case scenario for Iraq is the same as  the worst-case scenario for Iraq. That would be civil war. We could send more troops tomorrow and hold a gun to everyone's head to make 'em get along but that would just piss them off and we'll lose patience after a while.

    The pre-war rosy scenario was that Saddam and cronies pay for their crimes, with happy Iraqis everywhere, dancing and throwing roses at us as our boys wave back saying "All in a day's work mates!" as the generals begin the planning for Iran and Syria.

    Well you know how that story turned out.

    So I've been trying to figure out "G.I." Joe ("G.I." as in "Gastro-Intestinal" distress) and for the life of me I can't do it.

    It's been said that his close ties with Israel are driving his stance. That certainly seems possible if not likely and I couldn't blame the guy for that. After all, Islamic Fundamentalists have no love for Joe on many levels.

    (Although one might remind Joe that the number of Islamic Fundamentalists - like Al-Qaida - living  in Iraq was near zero before the war)

    But I digress... Unless Joe's privvy to some rosy information that no one else gets (like only insurgents get bird flu and they're dieing off in droves), it's hard to reconcile what he's saying because it at least gives the appearance (whether it's true or not) that he's prioritizing Israeli security over that of the United States. How many Israeli troops are serving in Iraq? (I honestly don't know - maybe a lot maybe none.)

    But when he seemingly concludes that the war was, is and will be a good idea for Americans, I can't help wonder what he's smoking.

    Which gives new meaning to a "joint session" of Congress, doesn't it?

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