Home > Uncategorized > Republican Strategy in Iraq

Republican Strategy in Iraq

Several people have been tossing this theory my way these last few weeks — that the Republicans are merely trying to forestall the inevitable in Iraq until after the 2008 elections so it doesn’t cost them the White House.

Rosa Brooks, writing in the LA Times, tries to make the case. What do you think?

“IF YOU THINK the growing similarity between Iraq and Vietnam is tragic but inadvertent, you’re not being cynical enough.

During the first years of the Iraq war, any resemblance to Vietnam was the result of the Bush administration’s disastrous miscalculations. But today, the Iraq war is looking more and more like the Vietnam War because that’s exactly what suits the White House.

It’s clear that Bush knows perfectly well there’s no possibility of “winning” anymore, so apparently he’s seeking in Iraq exactly what Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger sought in Vietnam before the 1972 election: a face-saving “decent interval” before the virtually inevitable collapse of the U.S.-backed government.

By 1971, Nixon and Kissinger understood that “winning” in Vietnam was no longer in the cards — so they shifted from trying to win the war to trying to win the next election. As Nixon put it in March 1971: “We can’t have [the South Vietnamese] knocked over brutally … ” Kissinger finished the thought ” … before the election.” So Nixon and Kissinger pushed the South Vietnamese to “stand on their own,” promising we’d support them if necessary. But at the same time, Kissinger assured the North Vietnamese — through China — that the U.S. wouldn’t intervene to prevent a North Vietnamese victory — as long as that victory didn’t come with embarrassing speed.

As historian Jeffrey Kimball has documented, Kissinger’s talking points for his first meeting with Chinese Premier Chou En-lai on the topic of Vietnam included a promise that the U.S. would withdraw all troops and “leave the political evolution of Vietnam to the Vietnamese.” The U.S. would “let objective realities” — North Vietnamese military superiority — “shape the political future.” In the margins of his briefing book, Kissinger scrawled a handwritten elaboration for Chou: “We want a decent interval. You have our assurance.”

The “decent interval” strategy worked. By declaring that “peace was at hand,” Kissinger took the wind out of antiwar Democrat George McGovern’s sails, and Nixon won reelection. And though Nixon himself later fell to the Watergate scandal, the Republican Party successfully used the “decent interval” to cast the Democratic Party in the role of spoiler.

In December 1974, tired of hemorrhaging funds to prop up the failing South Vietnamese government, the Democrat-controlled Congress finally pulled the plug on further U.S. financial support. The following April, Saigon fell, just as Kissinger and Nixon had privately predicted. But enough time had elapsed for Republicans to pin the blame on South Vietnamese missteps and, most important, on the perfidy of the Democratic Party.

In the end, the Vietnam War was a terrible tragedy for the both the U.S. and the Vietnamese — but it was a great success for the Republican Party. Nixon and Kissinger’s “decent interval” created the myth of the Democratic Party as weak and anti-military and helped keep the White House in Republican hands for all but 12 of the last 30 years.

Bush’s “surge” is the “decent interval” redux. It’s too little, too late, and it relies on the Iraqis to do what we know full well they can’t do. There is no realistic likelihood that it will lead to an enduring solution in Iraq. But it may well provide the decent interval the GOP needs if it is to survive beyond the 2008 elections.

The surge makes Bush look, as Goldberg suggests, like he really wants to win, even as he refuses to take the necessary and honest steps to mitigate the terrible damage we’ve already done. The surge buys time — and meanwhile, the Democratic Party is placed in the same untenable position it was in during the last stages of the Vietnam War.

If it backs Bush’s feckless plan, it loses credibility with the voters, who hate the war. But if it opposes the escalation, it will be attacked for undermining the military. Ann Coulter offered a preview last week: “Democrats want to cut and run as fast as possible from Iraq, betraying the Iraqis who supported us and rewarding our enemies — exactly as they did to the South Vietnamese.”

At this point, the Republicans win by losing in Iraq — as long as they can blame the loss on the Democrats. And unless they find a way to refuse to play the game, the Democrats will just lose.”

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  1. JerryDinAZ
    January 15, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    LA TIMES COLUMNS? CONSPIRACY THEORIES?
    BUSH HATING?

    1) THEIR ARE NOT MANY PAPERS MORE LIBERALLY SECULAR PROGRESSIVE AND BUSH HATING THAT THE LA TIMES…REALLY DAVE! COPY-N-PASTE FROM A REPUTABLE SOURCE! NOT ONE THAT IS IN THE TANK WITH ADVERTISING RATES PLUMMETING AND READERSHIP DROPPING OFF AT A RECORD PACE!

    2) THE DUMBOCRATS INVENTED THE CONSPIRACY THEORY! GET OVER IT! I WOULD BET YOU THINK GEORGE BUSH IS AN ALIEN FROM AN UNFRIENDLY PLANET OUT THERE SOMEWHERE!

    3) BUSH HATING. IT’S GETTING REALLY REALLY OLD. HAVE YOU NOTHING BETTER TO OFFER? HAVE YOU NO ORIGINAL THOUGHTS?

    IF THIS BLOG WAS BALANCED…AND THE RIGHT WAS ALLOWED TO CUT-N-PASTE ARTICLES, YOU WOULD SEE A SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT SIDE TO YOUR HATE EVERYTHING REPUBLICAN IDEOLOGY!

    THROW US A BONE DAVE! HATING BUSH, CONSPIRACY THEORIES AND LEFTY RAG GARBAGE JUST AIN’T CUTTIN IT ANYMORE.

  2. Anonymous
    January 16, 2007 at 3:03 am

    How about a post on the new Dakota Fanning movie where she is in sexual scenes as a 12 yr old and even in one scene where she is raped!
    Let’s protect the children if we can’t do anything else!
    This is outrageous Dave! Will you not say anything about that?
    Kids..Children! where do you stand on that?

  3. Lloyd
    January 16, 2007 at 3:29 am

    Dave may or may not like children, thats not the point. Don’t go to the movie!

  4. JerryDinAZ
    January 16, 2007 at 4:36 am

    NOW DAVE…THIS IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF A GREAT COPY-N-PASTE ARTICLE THAT SHOULD BE DISCUSSED IN DETAIL.

    The Looming Democratic Party Civil War

    Iraq is not the only place that is threatening to dissolve into the anarchy and bloodletting of a civil war.

    It’s about to happen to the Democratic Party.

    Reacting to Bush’s planned “surge” in troop strength, the Democratic leaders in Congress, savoring their victory, are contemplating taking only symbolic steps to protest Bush’s war policies, a timidity that will highly displease their leftist boosters.

    The liberal activists who funded and impelled the Democratic victory in 2006 did not focus on winning a congressional majority so that it would take merely symbolic action. Symbolic action would have been appropriate for a minority party, but the backers of a party in the majority expect something more.

    So the Democrats are about to form their customary firing squad — a circular one — and begin again the battles that ripped their party apart in the late 1960s. The battle lines are the same: The new left vs. the party establishment. Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid are about to squander their credibility with their supporters on the left by failing to cut back, or cut off entirely, funding for the war.

    The Democratic Party’s left wing is not to be trifled with.

    It is a massive force, fully mobilized, and led by aggressive online organizations such as Moveon.org. It has plenty of political leaders — like Ted Kennedy and John Kerry — who are more than willing to articulate fundamental differences with the party’s congressional leadership and are not shy about doing so.

    The congressional leaders’ plan is to give Bush all the rope he needs to hang himself by increasing troop strength in Iraq. They are deeply skeptical about whether more soldiers will accomplish anything besides increasing casualties. But they are not about to take the rap in front of the American people for seeming to sell out our troops by cutting their funding and forcing the administration to retreat. Nor are they ready for a constitutional confrontation with the commander in chief over his wartime powers.

    So, instead, they are going to hold hearings during which a parade of former generals will voice their misgivings and air their disagreements, past and present. It will be like one of Bob Woodward’s books enacted on a congressional stage. But this theater is not going to appease the left.

    They did not elect Democrats to Congress so they could hold hearings.

    They expect laws not shows. Their frustration will become increasingly apparent as the Cindy Sheehans of the world react to the increased troop commitment in Baghdad.

    The left will launch campaigns of civil disobedience, public marches and protests, online petitions, and the like.

    It will be the 1960s all over again.

    As long as the Democratic Party could be counted upon to represent the left on Iraq, protests against the war were channeled through the political process and were aimed at electing a Democratic Congress. But now that the Democratic leadership has, in the eyes of the leaders of the left, “betrayed” them, look for protest to overflow the bounds of partisan politics and go into the streets.

    One can expect candidates in the Democratic primaries to run to the left seeking to capitalize on the frustration of peace activists at the passivity of the party’s congressional leaders in the face of Bush’s determination to add to troop strength committed to Iraq.

    Moderate candidates like Barack Obama, John Edwards, and even Hillary Clinton may find themselves outflanked by those more willing to run to the left like Al Gore and John Kerry.

    Until now, we have had a two-party system in our post 9/11 debates.

    Now a new entrant is in the field: the new left.

    Copyright Eileen McGann and Dick Morris 2006.

    NOW THAT IS WORTH DEBATING! WHAT SAY YOU?

    PS: DICK MORRIS WAS A KEY ADVISOR TO YOUR BOY BUBBA. HAS HE ANY CREDIBILTY WITH Y’ALL?

  5. JerryDinAZ
    January 16, 2007 at 4:53 am

    TY FOR BRINGING THAT TO MY ATTENTION ANNONYMOUS!

    AS FOR LLOYD,
    IT’S NOT ABOUT NOT GOING TO SEE A MOVIE WHERE A 12 YEAR OLD ACTOR IS IN A RAPE SCENE!
    IT’S ABOUT PROTECTING OUR PRECIOUS CHILDREN!
    THEY BROKE THE LAW LLOYD…DOES THAT MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU? OR ARE YOU LIKE THE ACTIVIST JUDGES IN VERMONT LETTING PEDOPHILES GO WITH NO JAIL TIME?

    HERE: READ IT FOR YOURSELF

    Title 18 of the United States Code governs child pornography. See Chapter 110, Sexual Exploitation and Other Abuse of Children. 18 U.S.C. § 2256 defines “Child pornography” as:

    “any visual depiction, including any photograph, “FILM”, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where –

    (A) the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
    (B) such visual depiction is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
    (C) such visual depiction has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
    (D) such visual depiction is advertised, promoted, presented, described, or distributed in such a manner that conveys the impression that the material is or contains a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct . . .”

    IT’S THE LAW!

  6. Bob from San Luis
    January 16, 2007 at 4:58 am

    Re: Bush hating. The right throws out the charge for absolutely anyone who criticizes or even questions anything President Bush does or says. Please remember the words of our founding fathers, “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.” (Benjamin Franklin) The patriotism of the founding fathers was not toward our government. They didn’t trust our government or any government since government is the seat of power and power corrupts. George Washington: “ “Government is not reason. Government is not eloquence. It is force. And, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” My point here is that is not hate that motivates dissent directed towards the policies of the Bush Administration, but a genuine desire to point out how badly the results are turning out to be from the actions of this President.
    Getting back to the article, I can see SoS Rice stepping down within the next few months, possibly in preparation for a presidential run. Her “new” assistant, John Negroponte, who will step up to take her place will most likely state sometime in early 2008 that “Peace in Iraq, is at hand”, or some other similar statement. All of this will of course will echo the rhetoric of the 1972 election, in an attempt to maintain a Republican White House.
    A conspiracy theory is only that if it doesn’t come true.

  7. Dave Congalton
    January 16, 2007 at 8:25 am

    I can’t comment on the Dakota Fanning movie because I haven’t seen it and know very little about it. I did read that Fanning’s mother campaigned for her to get the part in hopes of an Oscar nomination. That part sounds pretty strange.

    But I’m also old to remember Jodie Foster as being about 13 or 14 when she did “Taxi Driver” and she was incredible in that movie.

    So I’ll reserve an opinion at this point.

  8. Anonymous
    January 16, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    So it seems that along with fighting the insurgents in Iraq they will also be fighting the insurgents in America. Maybe as it should be.

    in·sur·gent
    1)Rising in revolt against established authority, especially a government.
    2)Rebelling against the leadership of a political party.

    The issue of Iraq will spilt the democtats for sure. A party that is already fragmented without a plan for anything except trying to grab the white house in ’08 with either a lesbian or a born again muslim. Yep! that’s a slpit that will tear for 2 years.

    Where is the “soul” of the dems party? What in fact do they really stand for? Raising the min wage? but exempting their corporate buddies at Starkist? Stem cell research which will be vetoed? Seems all they have going right now is hate for anything republican. That well be the end to them as we know them.
    Lieberman may well be onto something here. A 2 party system where the radical left is left in it’s dust.
    It will be interesting to watch.
    Certainly their first 100 hours was a huge bust.

  9. Anonymous
    January 16, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    Here’s the Bush plan

    1.Initiating War: the crime against peace
    2.Crimes Against Humanity – targetting civilians; destruction of basic services
    3.War Profiteering and privatizing of national resources
    4.Cultural genocide, systematic looting of art, archives and cultural institutions
    5.Mass detentions, random roundups, & torture
    6.Violating Iraqi sovereignty
    7.Using prohibited weapons including cluster bombs and depleted uranium weapons
    8.Stealing trillions from social services
    9.Policy of Endless War targetting: Haiti, Palestine, Philippines, Korea, Cuba
    10.False testimonies, lies and fabrications to the public, the media, the United Nations and Congress
    11.Inciting bigotry, racism and a climate of fear.

  10. Otis Page
    January 16, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    The programmed castigation of President Bush by Democrats and the supporting liberal press undermines the long term security, commercial and cultural interests of the United States.
    It is extremely important that citizens lay aside their transparent near term political zeal, past disappointments and personal bias in objectively assessing the complex cauldron of militant terrorism in the Middle East and the very serious long term consequences if the United States fails there.

    The recent Congressional election was a confirmation on dissatisfaction on the progress in Iraq and not a mandate against the war! It was not a mandate to “bring the boys home”.
    Consider the background on why we invaded Iraq : the threat posed by Syria , Iran , Iraq and the Islamic terrorist manifestation called Al Qaeda as exemplified in the following events:

    *Iran Embassy Hostages, 1979;
    * Beirut, Lebanon Embassy 1983;
    * Beirut, Lebanon Marine Barracks 1983;
    * Lockerbie, Scotland Pan-Am flight to New York 1988;
    * First New YorkWorld TradeCenter attack 1993;
    * Dhahran, Saudi Arabia Khobar Towers Military complex 1996;
    * Nairobi, Kenya US Embassy 1998;
    * Dares Salaam, Tanzania US Embassy 1998;
    * Aden, Yemen USS Cole 2000;
    * The incessant suicide bombing threat in Israel;
    * New York World Trade Center 2001;
    * Pentagon 2001.

    These incidences may appear to be random happenings, but in the total context of the politico Islamic Jihad, they were coordinated and financially supported throughout the Middle East – including key princes in Arabia .

    Even though Iraq was not directly implicated in these occurrences does not mean that Iraq through Saddam was not involved in some way – financially or indirectly. There is substantial proof of Saddam’s cooperation with terrorist elements financially supporting suicide bombings in Israel – and in harboring Al Qaeda officials in Iraq .

    It is also important to understand the main reason why we invaded Iraq was not WMDs. The President and all government leaders in the Senate and Congress believed, the world believed, and Saddam wanted us to believe, that he had WMDs. Saddam in fact gassed thousands of Kurds.

    But the reason for invading Iraq was strategic and tactical with the objective of compromising and defeating Saddam as a part of the total threat posed by the militant terrorism manifested in Al Qaeda, Afghanistan , Iraq , Syria and Iran.

    The main issue curtailing our moving on Saddam’s record of hostility was the bribes through the Oil for Food Program of key officials in France, Germany, Russia and the UN! Saddam believed the “oil for food” fraud would stop the invasion because of these bribes. He was wrong. And he and his sons have paid the final penalty for their obsessive exploitation of Iraq’s Shiite and Kurdish populations!
    The reality of Iran ‘s enmity towards the USA has never been doubted since 1979. Iran and Syria have been the major source of terrorism directed at Israel .
    Syria channeled Iran’s terrorism through a cooperating Iraq . Iran’s potential nuclear capability has been long forecasted. This threat includes the serious and consequentially devastating implication for the destruction of Israel and use of nuclear bombs for terrorist uses.

    Today the edge between Shiite and Sunnie cultures has resulted in serious Islamic conflicts that continue today within Iraq. It is a fact that Iran is supporting the insurrection in Iraq with the clear objective that their de facto theocracy be the governing discipline in Iraq and not a democracy.
    Syria is under heavy scrutiny for its conduct channeling Iran ‘s resources to Hezbollah in Palestine and Hamas in Lebanon. Iran and Syria have been the major source of terrorism directed at Israel .
    It is a fact Iran has an avowed commitment to destroy Israel as exemplified by the Palestinian/Hamas conflict and Hezbollah’s presence in Lebanon.

    We now have Iran juxtaposed with military bases by our invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq . These military bases severely compromise the Iranian threat. Are we to surrender these strategic military resources and “bring the boys home’?

    All citizens of all political persuasions must understand the “name of the game” is to change the Middle East so as to protect the United States commercial and security interests at home and in the Middle East.

    To not do so has long term disastrous cultural and political consequences for the United States. Christians may have problems with Islam, but secular progressives will lose all the freedoms they have gained over the past fifty years with the encroachment of the Islamic cultural and religious initiative in the United States if Iran succeeds.
    In summary, these are, I believe, the reasons why we must prevail in Iraq:

    the establishment of a major secular democracy in the Middle East;

    Iraq ‘s strategic location – as confirmed by history – as the “center piece” of the Middle East;
    Iraq’s secular propensities and potential for democracy despite the conflict that exists today;
    and the military and terrorist threat posed by Iran.
    Because the Iranians understand the political anti-war, anti-Bush political climate in the United States, Iran is confident that it can grasp victory. Should we let them? Absolutely not!

    The United States must endure and succeed in Iraq and the whole Middle East ! If we do not endure our progeny in the long term will suffer as a result of the United States experiencing a humiliating defeat.
    We must support the President on this matter and prevail in the Middle East .

  11. Rich from Paso
    January 16, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    Otis, I agree with you and you are 100% right in everything you have said. However, what you have said is what JerryDinAZ and myself had said on countless occasions only to fall on the deaf ears and hardened hearts of those that hate Bush, hate this war and hate those that support it. Welcome to the club of those wiser than the libs but drowned into silence with their anger.

  12. JerryDinAZ
    January 16, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    WOW! OTIS IS A BREATH OF FRESH AIR SNIFFED SWEETLY THROUGH THE FOG OF HATE AND SECULAR PROGRESSIVISM!
    KUDOS OTIS.
    WRITE MORE…
    WRITE OFTEN…
    MAYBE THESE HATE HARDENED HEARTS CAN BE WARMED WITH THE REALITY OF TRUTH. SOMETHING THEY NO LONGER VALUE. SAD BUT TRUE.
    BUCK UP DEMS, AND SHOW THE TERRORISTS THAT THEY MAY TEST OUR WILL, BUT THEY WILL NEVER BREAK OUR SPIRIT AND RESOLVE.

  13. ben
    January 16, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    otis sounds like he’s on heavy meds.
    get the code, bush is running the country into the ground.
    neocon fools will kill us all.

  14. Marilyn
    January 16, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    Folks,

    We are still talking about all the good we have done in the Middle East as the region and the rest of the world drift into chaos. We went into Iraq to control the region and its resources and people. Period. All the other stuff is just drivel.

    I say, impeach the criminal and his original gang of marauding bandits who have cost the world thousands of lives so that some delusional sect of ideologues can have their way where they do not belong.

    If you want things to change, you have to actually DO something. You can go to http://www.impeachbush.org/site/PageServer and register your name.

    The following analysis is by Paul Craig Roberts.

    Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan
    administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal
    editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is
    coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at:
    paulcraigroberts@yahoo.com

    http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts01152007.html

    January 15, 2007
    Bush Must Go
    Only Impeachment Can Stop Him

    By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

    When are the American people and their representatives in Congress and
    the military going to wake up and realize that the US has an insane war
    criminal in the White House who is destroying all chances for peace in
    the world and establishing a police state in the US?

    Americans don’t have much time to realize this and to act before it is
    too late. Bush’s “surge” speech last Wednesday night makes it
    completely clear that his real purpose is to start wars with Iran and
    Syria before failure in Iraq brings an end to the
    neoconservative/Israeli plan to establish hegemony over the Middle East.

    The “surge” gives Congress, the media, and the foreign policy
    establishment something to debate and oppose, while Bush sets his plans
    in motion to orchestrate a war with Iran. Suddenly, we are hearing Bush
    regime propaganda that there are Iranian networks operating within Iraq
    that are working with the Iraqi insurgency and killing US troops. (Read more at……..)

    http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts01152007.html

    Marilyn Farhat.

  15. David A
    January 16, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    nice post Marilyn
    excellent reading
    remove Bush now!!!
    go Obama go!!!!

  16. golfingslo
    January 16, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    Since the next Democratic President will be inaugurated in about two years and a week. I have some predictions to make that will occur during the next Presidential term. We will still be in Iraq and other parts of the world and the next President will not bring our troops home. We will have some type of terrorist activity here at home. We will still have Muslims trying to kill us. There will still be genocide in Africa. There will still be problems with green house gases. There will still be unethical behavior from Congress.

    When all of these predictions come true, which they will, they will be blamed on President Bush by the same people that are defending the past Democratic administrations and President Bush will be defended by the people who are blaming are current situation on the past administrations.

    But my main prediction will be that we will still be a divided nation of I am right and you are wrong mentality and that is where are elected politicians want us, divided. If we remain a divided nation we cannot change and that keeps the two party system happy because remember, it does not matter who is in power, there are a lot of Democrats making a lot of money under the Bush administration and there were a lot of Republicans making a lot of money under the Clinton Administration.

    So quite being lead by the ring in your nose by the sound bite, crisis or problem of the day. See the forest amongst the trees.

  17. JerryDinAZ
    January 16, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    SEE? I TOLD THERE WAS GOING TO BE A DEMOCRAT CIVIL WAR…AND “MARILYN THE MUSLIM” JUST MADE MY POINT CRYSTAL CLEAR…

    THIS CIVIL WAR WILL TEAR APART THE PARTY…JUST STAY TUNED

  18. JerryDinAZ
    January 16, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    GOLFINSLO?
    WHEN DO THE LIL BLACK HELICOPTERS ARRIVE? WHERE ARE ALL THE MEN IN BLACK SUITS AND WHITE SHIRTS, TALKING INTO THEIR WRISTS?

    OH! PLEASE TELL US!

  19. Marilyn
    January 17, 2007 at 12:00 am

    Golfingslo,

    You are right. Both Democrats and Republicans are benefiting from this war at this time. In fact, most politicians from both parties are in Israel’s pocket.

    However, this it is through the administration of G.W. Bush that the Zionist Neo-Cons were able to further their policies in the Middle East. What Bush Junior did was surround himself with the likes of Wolfowitz and Pearle, staunch advocates if Israeli hegemony in the Middle East.

    In fact, the Neo-Cons and the Israeli lobby were pushing hard before the invasion and occupation of Iraq to make Iran the first target after Afghanistan. There was not “made-up” evidence to support an Iranian invasion at the time and the invasion of Iraq went ahead.

    Israel is getting ready for another go-around in Lebanon. We still do not know what can happen in Iran. Ultimately, it is our men and women in uniform and the children of the Middle East who will pay the price of all military intervention.

    “Terrorism” cannot be eradicated by war. War fuels all kinds of problems. Terrorism is abated by eradicating its causes, not killing people. If wars were a cure to injustice, humanity would not have been plagued with them across time and generations. War is a scam to keep those in power IN POWER. We are the herd that enables it to continue.

    You are absolutely right, the two party system is a scam and both Republican and Democrat elite are lining their pockets and futures with wealth stolen from you and I and the rest of the world. What we need are more independent politicians and a push towards doing away with the two party system. I used to vote Democrat because I thought they were the lesser of two evils where civil rights and the welfare of the poor were concerned. But I will not do that any more.

    What is needed in the U.S. is a political and social revolution of ideas, one that gives voice to everyone, not just Republican or Democrat.

    And you are correct again, the divisions keep us busy bickering, but that is the nature of the world. There are many people who thrive on drama and conflict and you find them in politics and in your community. Some of them become peace activists and some of them become Fascists and war mongers and everything inbetween. Many become our rulers.

    I do not know what to say as to how this can be changed aside from the fact that it is up to every one of us to make an informed choice to vote for others that are not sitting on the fence. Republicans and Democrats are so similar in their international politics, but they differ slightly on domestic issues.

    I voted for Kucinich but many of my fellow Democrats said they would never vote for him because he was too far from the “center.” He was not “electable.” Well, which is it? Do we want change and therefore, do we vote for people who are different and who embody our beliefs, or do we continue to vote for the same war mongers?

    We are a nation of apathetic citizens. The few bloggers that frequent these websites are the exception, not the rule. Most people are busy working two jobs just so they can pay the mortgage and raise their children. We live in a society that values the macho and tough, where people are forced to work overtime every other day to their personal and family detriment because our politicians will not address shortages in the health care system, where patients are suffering from overcrowding, lack of psychiatrists, lack of nurses, and where health care providers are assaulted on a daily basis, many seriously and with permanent disabilities. But those stories are not worth mentioning in this ongoing “War on Terror.” We have terrorism here, and it is inflicted by us on each other every day, but life goes on as long as people acquiesce and as long as we continue to vote for the same criminals, and as long as we continue to live for consumption and working 80 hours a week. How can a person who works 80 hours a week find the time to get involved in politics and stay informed anyway? Maybe that is part of the plan to keep us all too busy to pay attention and we are played with sound bites while we continue to down antidepressants, drugs, and alcohol.

    We are the MIGHTIEST nation in the world. We are the the nation with the most FREEDOMS. We have the “baddest ass” weapons that can incinerate the whole planet and all we can come up with is SUPPORT THE TROOPS and ISLAMOFASCISTS and TERRORISM while our young people are robbed of their futures in the servitude of those in power either in the form of consumers of big business products and cannon fodder for the wars created by those big businesses.

    When are the 80% of eligible voters in America going to really start hitting the polls to exercise their “freedoms” guaranteed by the Constitution, or does freedom only apply to the freedom to drink and watch porn and buy stuff that 10-year old girls spent 14 hours a day making in some warehouse on some island no one has heard of for 10 cents an hour?

    We need to have a heart and bring these troops home so they can be with their families (those of them that do have families—- remember the foster kids who join to get away from poverty?). We need to stop this war because of the increasing mental problems it is creating among the soldiers and the traumatized civilians in the Middle East.

    The world is turning into a cesspool for the rich and powerful who trek across the globe on their “fact finding missions” and “business deals” and “arms sales conventions” while they sip champagne and eat lobster and shrimp, as they discuss and gloat over which areas of the world their weapons are going to be used in next and as they smile at the cameras and say “it is good for business and we are hopeful that there are good prospects.”

    Marilyn Farhat.

  20. Marilyn
    January 17, 2007 at 12:29 am

    Actually Jerry, you made MY point and Golfingslo’s point . There are those who enjoy “stirring the pot” and you find them among Republicans and Democrats. You certainly are one of them. You really do not care about human beings, Americans, or our soldiers. All you care about is beating up on “Liberals,” “seculars,” “Democrats” and “Muslims.” Your behavior shows you are NOT an American patriot worthy of advocating for our troops just because you send them lollypops, but a prejudiced, misogynistic, and people bashing war monger. You certainly have shown that you really have no grasp of the Constitution and the intents of checks and balances in a Democracy. Yours is a fascist approach to eradicating what YOU do not like.

    But, I guess we have grown accustomed to people like you. The world is a sorry state because of behavior like yours. It is people like you who do not back off when asked to do so that cause the problems.

    And you can definitely and most certainly QUOTE me on that.

    Marilyn Farhat.

    Marilyn.

  21. Anonymous
    January 17, 2007 at 12:33 am

    I think Marilyn wins the award for most disconnected rambling post ever. She managed to tie in drinking, eating shellfish and watching porn to the war in Iraq. Amazing.

    Hey Marilyn, you forgot to talk about how all of the flatulence from the shellfish eaters was causing global warming.

  22. Marilyn
    January 17, 2007 at 12:41 am

    Mr./Ms. Last Anonymous,

    Do you have anything to refute or disclaim what I said or are you just throwing a tantrum?

    I guess you probably did not see the video footage of all the businesses that were gloating about going into Iraq because of the war. And they were drinking champagne and eating lobster.

    That happens when a democracy is asleep at the wheel.

    Marilyn Farhat.

  23. Proud american
    January 17, 2007 at 12:49 am

    Marilyn?
    If you hate America so much…our politics so much…If you have such a low opinion of our people and our way of life…WHY ARE YOU HERE?
    You seem to be making Jerry’s point that you are a Hezbollah plant here to doing the work of a modern day “Tokyo Rose”.

    we know you work for the state, but please don’t rub it in with 1200 word diatribes all day long!
    Some of us actually do work when we are at work!

    Dial it down “Hezbollah mari”. This is America and we don’t take kindly to having those from other countries and terrorist faiths coming here to reap the benifits all the while tearing us down!

  24. JerryDinAZ
    January 17, 2007 at 12:56 am

    MARILYN,
    WHO HURT YOU SO DEEPLY THAT YOU CARRY IT AROUND ON A DAILY BASIS LIKE AN ANCHOR? WHO DID IT TO YOU? WHO WOUNDED YOU SO DEEP THAT ALL THAT IS LEFT IS HATE AND ANGER AND DENIAL?
    WE CAN HELP YOU. WE HAVE RESOURCES. LET GO OF THE PAIN, SEEK HELP. DAY BY DAY AND STEP BY STEP THERE IS HOPE! JUST TAKE THE FIRST STEP AND WE WILL BE SURE YOU ARE MEDICATED AND TREATED FOR YOUR DEEP EMOTIONAL WOUNDS.
    TELL US…WHO HURT YOU SO DEEPLY? CONFESSION IS THE FIRST STEP TO HEALING!
    TAKE A BREAK, GO TO THE BEACH, WALK IN THE PARK, READ SOME POETRY THAT ISN’T ABOUT HATE AND KILLING JEWS AND CHRISTIANS.
    WE ARE ALWAYS HERE FOR YOU…TERRORIST OR NOT. WE STAND READY TO HEAL YOUR HUDDLED MASS.

  25. Conscience of the GOP
    January 17, 2007 at 1:13 am

    jerry, are you talking to yourself again?

  26. Conscience of the GOP
    January 17, 2007 at 1:22 am

    there’s much truth in what marilyn says, if you get past the angry tone.

    indeed, much truth.

    thanks, marilyn

  27. Bob from San Luis
    January 17, 2007 at 1:22 am

    Rich: As far as I know, you are the only veteran who comments here so a question for you: Do you support the right of Marilyn to question our government, our leaders, our President? Nobody who comments here but Rich has identified himself as a veteran so I am not interested in whatever any keyboard kommando here has to say. Rich, should Marilyn be allowed to question or do you think she should be forced to go to Lebanon? I respectfully wait for your answer.

  28. Marilyn
    January 17, 2007 at 1:24 am

    Proud American and Others,

    You guys need to dial down your personal attacks. If you have things with which to rebut what I say, say it. You are also welcome to provide sources for your argument. This is the last time I am going to respond to any of your hate-filled, accusatory, and unsubstantiated comments.

    Dave C.

    Minorities and women find it hard to post on this blog because of such behavior. I am hoping this will change.

    Others again,

    I live in SLO. It is my right to participate. I did not bring up the issue of me working at the STATE. All the so-called patriots who were “prompted” by Jerry to google my name did. I never talk about the STATE in my posts. But, since I work in the health care field, I have insight into the problems that plague it and it is perfectly fine to talk about them. Do we live in a fascist state (not yet maybe)? Instead of focusing on me all the time, maybe you should pay attention to what people are saying. If you do not like it, you can always go elsewhere. Your rants about me and Hezbollah are getting old. I rarely talk about them anyway. It is all in the minds of the “obssessed.”

    You guys are really reaching because you have nothing but contempt for your fellow citizens who may not look like you but who are looking to make some sense of this messy world. You cannot go around verbally bullying people and expect them to be thankful for it and just go away.

    If you want to know what is really going on in the world, please make the effort to look at what is not apparent and investigate the secret wars conducted behind the sound bites we are given. But I forget that sometimes justice is not that important to some. Power is.

    And since we are on the topic of Iraq, NOT ME AGAIN, here is an article from the Independent:

    “Blood and oil: How the West will profit from Iraq’s most precious commodity”

    The ‘IoS’ today reveals a draft for a new law that would give Western oil companies a massive share in the third largest reserves in the world. To the victors, the oil? That is how some experts view this unprecedented arrangement with a major Middle East oil producer that guarantees investors huge profits for the next 30 years

    Published: 07 January 2007

    So was this what the Iraq war was fought for, after all? As the number of US soldiers killed since the invasion rises past the 3,000 mark, and President George Bush gambles on sending in up to 30,000 more troops, The Independent on Sunday has learnt that the Iraqi government is about to push through a law giving Western oil companies the right to exploit the country’s massive oil reserves.

    And Iraq’s oil reserves, the third largest in the world, with an estimated 115 billion barrels waiting to be extracted, are a prize worth having. As Vice-President Dick Cheney noted in 1999, when he was still running Halliburton, an oil services company, the Middle East is the key to preventing the world running out of oil.

    Now, unnoticed by most amid the furore over civil war in Iraq and the hanging of Saddam Hussein, the new oil law has quietly been going through several drafts, and is now on the point of being presented to the cabinet and then the parliament in Baghdad. Its provisions are a radical departure from the norm for developing countries: under a system known as “production-sharing agreements”, or PSAs, oil majors such as BP and Shell in Britain, and Exxon and Chevron in the US, would be able to sign deals of up to 30 years to extract Iraq’s oil. (read more……..)
    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2132574.ece

    Marilyn Farhat.

  29. Marilyn
    January 17, 2007 at 2:08 am

    Conscience,

    You betcha I’m angry. How much killing is it going to take before we say enough when there is another way to solve problems? I wish we could hear more on this blog from more articulate people who value life and who have respect for others.

    The conflict has been going on for 6 years now and we see no tangible improvements here or across the globe in the midst of the indefinite “War on Terror.” The economy is going down the tubes and we are borrowing like there is no tomorrow. We are also draining our human and economic resources on this war.

    We also neglect to mention that people all over the world are personally and culturally traumatized by the onslaught of invasions, occupations, suicide bombings, assassinations, and deceit. We are immune from that here, really. You would really have to live it for a prolonged period of time to know what it is like.

    Criticism of our government should never be regarded as unpatriotic. It is the right thing to do in such times. That is what the checks and balances of democracy are all about. People all over the world do it and they do not even live in democracies.

    It is sad to realize that our children and their children may be embroiled in this long after we are gone. That is wrong. You would have thought we learned our lesson in Vietnam and you would have thought that we would have become wiser to the double speak of the push to war.

    I only hope our children are wiser.

    Marilyn Farhat.

  30. Anonymous
    January 17, 2007 at 2:23 am

    Mr Obama could change the world

  31. Dave Congalton
    January 17, 2007 at 4:41 am

    I have to agree with Marilyn’s observation aobut the increasing personal tone of the attacks on her. Please stick to the issues, or I’ll have to go back to deleting offensive comments.

    Sadly, this reminds me of the reception Michele used to get when she first started appearing on my show.

    What is it aobut conservative men that you can’t handle a strong woman with an opinion?

  32. JerryDinAZ
    January 17, 2007 at 4:57 am

    WHAT MANY OF THE CALLERS HATE ABOUT MARILYN AND MOST BLOGGERS IS THAT THERE IS AN ARROGANT TONE IN HER DIATRIBES AND EPISTLES.

    IT SHOWS WHERE HER LOYALTIES ARE. SHE IS LOYAL TO HEZBOLLAH AND LEBANON YET SHE IS HERE FOR SOME REASON…A REASON UNCLEAR TO ALL OF US.

    SHE HATES:
    BUSH, HIS POLICIES, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, THE REPUBLICANS, NOW THE DEMOCRATS, LARGE US CORPORATIONS AND A VERY LONG LIST OF OTHERS.

    MARI THE MUSLIM HATES THE USA! IT’S THE THREAD THROUGH HER BLOGS HERE AND THE MANY SHE BLOGS ON DAILY!

    NEWSFLASH! WE ARE IN THE WAR ON TERROR AND WE ARE NOT LEAVING UNTIL WE HAVE WHAT IS IN OUR BEST INTEREST AND THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ’S BEST INTEREST.

    MARI HATES THIS…BECAUSE SHE KNOWS WHAT IRAQ CAN AND WILL BECOME, AND SHE KNOWS HER TERRORIST GOVERNMENT OF HEZBOLLAH IN LEBANON WILL BE BROUGHT TO ITS KNEES IN TIME. SHE WANTS HER COUNTRY LED BY HER BUDDIES IN HEZBOLLAH TO BE THE TOP DOG IN THE MIDDLE EAST BUT THAT QUITE SIMPLY WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

    THE TERRORISTS OPEN THIS CAN OF WORMS. WE WILL MAKE SURE THAT NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN AND SHE IS CRAZED ABOUT THAT…ALLAH’S PLAN HAS NOT COME TO FRUITION.

    SO SHE RANTS AND RAVES AD NAUSEAM TRYING TO GET SOME SUPPORT TO GET THE U.S. OUT OF THE MIDDLE EAST SO HER FRIENDS CAN FINISH TERRORIZING THE WORLD!

    BUT IT ISN’T GOING TO HAPPEN! SO QUIT YER BITCHIN AND DIATRIBES AND GO BACK TO THAT ARM PIT OF A NATION AND BLOG ABOUT HOW THEY SUCK FOR KILLING WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN THE NAME OF A DEAD GOD, ALLAH! SEE HOW LONG YOU STAY FREE OR ALIVE.

  33. golfingslo
    January 17, 2007 at 5:02 am

    Dave,
    I am glad you used the word “opinion” because that is all that I have ben reading “opinions”. Opinions are neither right or wrong they are only opinions, the problem arises when people “believe” their opinions are right and others are wrong. That is one of Michele’s drawbacks, she states her opinion as though it was fact, like most of the posters here on your blog.

  34. JerryDinAZ
    January 17, 2007 at 5:05 am

    WHAT’S WRONG? NOT A THING! WE SEE RIGHT THROUGH THE BS TO THE TRUTH AND SPEAK IT SO THE OTHER POLITICALLY CORRECT SECULAR PROGRESSIVE PUPPETS CAN SEE IT ALSO.
    “STONG WOMAN WITH AN OPINION”?
    LOLOL!
    THAT STRONG OPINION WAS CUT AND PASTED FROM “MOVEON.ORG” & HEZZBOLLAH’S MIEN KAMPF.

  35. Dave Congalton
    January 17, 2007 at 6:18 am

    Golfingslo,

    In terms of Michele, she is always quick to back up her opinions and analysis with specific citations and documents.

    So if you think differently, I guess I’d turned the tables on you and ask you to indicate where Michele has been wrong.

    Obviously no one speaks the gospel in terms of current events, but I think Michele is pretty thorough in her research.

  36. Rich from Paso
    January 17, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Voltaire was the one that said “I disagree with every word you said but will fight to the death for your right to say it.” I agree with that sentiment…doesn’t mean I have to like what marilyn says. I think that Marilyn has the right to say whatever she wants within reason. I also think that everyone who disagrees with her has the right to say whatever they want within reason. If they want her to go back to Lebannon, that is their right to say it. IF shouting down Ann Coulter is free speech then everyone yelling, hollering and screaming at Marilyn is free speech too. So, Bob, don’t get all macho and think that Marilyn is somehow in need of protection. She is a big girl and can take care of herself.

  37. Bob from San Luis
    January 18, 2007 at 5:33 am

    Rich: Thank you for your well thought out response. I have no interest in trying to protect Marilyn, she is a grown up. My point here was to illuminate to all of those who are trying to shout down Marilyn is that she has every right to express her opinion here, as does anyone else. For anyone to suggest that she go “back” to Lebanon means that they have no other argument to make to her so they will lash out at her in a very ugly near-racist response.
    I would like to think that I would never try to shout down Ann Coulter if I ever had the unpleasant experience of seeing her in person; I would, given the chance, attempt to engage her in a philosophical discussion to see how she would respond to a debate without shouting. As for Jerry, Otis and any spineless anonymous commenter who wants anyone who questions President Bush or the Republican agenda to “love it or leave it”, please, grow up.

  38. JerryDinAZ
    January 18, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    BOB,
    ANNE COULTER WOULD SHRED YOU INTO LITTLE PIECES! AND SHE WOULD HAVE FUN DOING IT!
    ALL YOU “SLO’ITES” LIVE IN A COCOON WITH 87% WHITE POPULATION. IF YOU EVER ENCOUNTERED A MULTIRACIAL ENVIRONMENT YOU WOULD CRUMBLE IN YOUR SHOES. CASE AND POINT IS YOUR COMMENT ABOUT ENGAGING PEOPLE IN A “PHILOSOPHICAL DISCUSSION”.

    WAKE UP BOB! THIS IS THE REAL WORLD. PHILOSOPHY IS FOR THOSE THAT DON’T KNOW WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON AND DON’T WANT TO COMMIT THE TIME TO REALLY FIND OUT.

    THE “LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT” ARGUMENT HAS BEEN ALIVE FOR DECADES! THIS IS AMERICA! IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT THEN EITHER INVOLVE YOURSELF IN THE PROCESS AND MAKE A CONTRIBUTION OR PACK IT UP AND HEAD BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM.

    MARILYN’S TWO FACED APPROACH ONLY SHOWS HER REAL AGENDA! HER BELOVED HEZBOLLAH IS KILLING MANY WOMEN AND CHILDREN DAILY AND ON PURPOSE; ALL THE WHILE SHE CONDEMNS THE U.S. FOR DOING THE SAME THING WHEN, IN FACT, OUR SOLDIERS ARE TRYING TO PREVENT THE TERRORISTS FROM THAT SAME ACT.
    IF SHE IS GOING TO POST SHE’D BETTER BE GROWN UP ENOUGH TO STAND THE SCRUTINY! BECAUSE THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT SHE IS GOING TO GET, FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD THAT DOESN’T LIVE WITH THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND.

  39. Bob from San Luis
    January 19, 2007 at 3:55 am

    Jerry: Ann Coulter would not “shred” me to pieces if she were to have a real debate with me. I mentioned a debate, not a shouting match, something I don’t believe Ms. Coulter is capable of. Her “points” usually start with a demeaning comment about anyone who has a differing viewpoint, followed by either questioning their sanity or patriotism or both. A follow up will usually include an insult of a personal nature with a smug smile she’ll flash as if to show how pleased she is with herself. Juvenile at best, racist and hate/war mongering at worst. A prime example of someone who has some intelligence but chooses to focus on a partisan approach every single time. That is more time than I ever want to spend discussing Ms. Coulter, and I will not speak of her again.

  40. JerryDinAZ
    January 19, 2007 at 6:11 am

    YES YOU WILL BOB! EVERY TIME YOU THREATEN NOT TO DO SOMETHING YOU ALWAYS DO IT AGAIN…TYPICAL NO SOUL LIB!

  41. golfingslo
    January 25, 2007 at 7:26 am

    Why do we only hear the Republican Strategies and never Democratic Strategies? Is it because the Democrates have no strategies, only complaints.

  42. Rich from Paso
    January 25, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    Golfinslo, the reason why you never hear Democrat Party plans is because the Democrat Party is intellectually bankrupt and is philosophically more aligned with the old Soviet Union than they are with the founding principles of the United States of America. The Democrat Party exists solely for the purpose of gathering unto themselves and their acolytes as much power over sheepish average Americans for their own self-agrandizment. We have to lose in Iraq for Democrats to win more power over the ability to wage war, what “National Defense” is defined as and where power lies when Americans are stupid enough to elect a Republican (or any other party for that matter) President. The modern Democrat party is completely removed from Thomas Jefferson, FDR, Harry Truman and JFK. Were it not for the robust propaganda apparatus of the mainstream media, the passive nature of average Americans and the total corruption of our institutions of learning, Americans would have knowledge of the truth about basic economic theory and why things work. But for the Democrat Party, ignorance is power.

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