Home > Uncategorized > The Ostrich Strategy in iraq

The Ostrich Strategy in iraq

How many times have you heard George W. Bush say some variation of:

Our enemies in Iraq will make every effort to ensure that our television screens are filled with images of death and suffering. Yet over time, we can expect to see…fewer brazen acts of terror…

Well now, with the aid of the Iraqi government, we will no longer have to see the results of those pesky bomb attacks:

Iraq’s interior ministry has decided to bar news photographers and camera operators from the scenes of bomb attacks…

This follows the recent decision by the Iraqi government to no longer release civilian casualty figures. Toss in the U.S. policy of not including the victims of bomb attacks in casualty counts, and soon we will all be able to pretend that there is progress in Iraq.

Thanks to Michele for coming back on the radio today and providing us an update about the quagmire that continues to be Iraq. She’s going to post some links on this thread so you can find the original sources of her research. But the ostrich has landed in Iraq and I agree with Michele’s final thought tonight: It’s going to be a long, bloody summer over there.

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  1. Hoosier21
    May 15, 2007 at 10:50 am

    Long summer? It’s going to be a long bloody decade, and not just in Iraq.

  2. Thomas W
    May 15, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    As I was screening calls during the segment with Michelle, I was hoping that someone would call in to refute her comments, but apparently, and probably because her comments were rooted in published facts, not one naysayer called. Where are the loyal war supporters? Not much coverage was given to another subject, and that is where has all the money gone? where is the accountability?

  3. Anonymous
    May 15, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    xwell thomas and dave i cant stand that womens voise

  4. barl
    May 15, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    thomas w

    everyone called to agree with her because the only people listening to her are dave and his 60’s throwback liberal friends.

  5. Bob from San Luis
    May 15, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    Dave, Thomas: No one called in to refute Michelle, IMO, because they either knew that they could not challenge her with facts, or, they were simply afraid that she would chew them up and spit them out.

    Link here to the article that I mentioned when I called in on Monday’s show. Of all of the mems that I have heard about what it is this administration is or has tried to accomplish in Iraq, putting aside all arguments about “why” we invaded, the best explanation is that Iraq was to be an experiment in free trade, unrestricted capitalism with no government interference, no taxes on corporate income and absolutely no oversight. This was to be (pardon the pun) the “Mecca” of free trade economics. Never mind that the “free trade” type of economic policies have never worked anytime they have been tried for any real length of time. Look at what happened to America after the Civil War; unregulated capitalism over the next fifty to seventy years did bring about the industrial revolution, but it also brought the “robber-baron” ultra wealthy and the supporting working class that was in a huge majority of the population, a subservient poverty class that only worked to survive. The only thing that saved capitalism from itself after the crash of Wall Street in 1929 was “The New Deal” of the Roosevelt White House. The WPA and Social Security are two of the most important steps that gave us the middle class that made our country strong enough to step up and deliver the much needed goods and services during WWII. The comparison to Iraq is timely because Iraq at this time has no middle class. Most of those who could afford to flee the violence of Iraq have done so. Until Iraqis can get jobs to earn a living, there will be no respite from the ongoing violence which unfortunately does get directed at our soldiers. If the security forces of the private contractors would operate in responsible, respectful ways that did not anger the Iraqi population, violence towards Americans could be reduced and our military forces might not be so pushed to the breaking point. Read the article.

  6. Anonymous
    May 15, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    Bob you are such a rabid ideologue its unsettling.

  7. Michele
    May 15, 2007 at 6:57 pm

    The “See No Evil” Strategy

    Iraq to bar press from blast scenes .

    Iraq’s interior ministry has decided to bar news photographers and camera operators from the scenes of bomb attacks, operations director Brigadier General Abdel Karim Khalaf said on Sunday (local time).
    His announcement was the latest in a series of attempts to curtail press coverage of the ongoing conflict, which has already attracted criticism from international human rights bodies.
    Iraq refuses to provide civilian casualty figures to U.N. .
    BAGHDAD — The Iraqi government has refused to provide the United Nations with civilian casualty figures for its latest report on the hardships facing Iraqis, the U.N. said Wednesday, but numbers from various ministries indicate that more than 5,500 people died in the Baghdad area alone in the first three months of this year.

    The numbers, provided to The Times by employees in government ministries, could not be independently verified but were higher than those in an independent nationwide civilian death count based on news accounts. Numbers provided by employees of ministries also appear to indicate an increase in Baghdad civilian deaths in recent weeks after an ebb when a new security plan was launched in February.

    U. S. officials exclude car bombs in touting drop in Iraq violence.

    WASHINGTON – U.S. officials who say there has been a dramatic drop in sectarian violence in Iraq since President Bush began sending more American troops into Baghdad aren’t counting one of the main killers of Iraqi civilians.
    Car bombs and other explosive devices have killed thousands of Iraqis in the past three years, but the administration doesn’t include them in the casualty counts it has been citing as evidence that the surge of additional U.S. forces is beginning to defuse tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.
    (snip) Others, however, say that not counting bombing victims skews the evidence of how well the Baghdad security plan is protecting the civilian population – one of the surge’s main goals.
    “Since the administration keeps saying that failure is not an option, they are redefining success in a way that suits them,” said James Denselow, an Iraq specialist at London-based Chatham House, a foreign policy think tank.
    The Generals Speak Out

    Army Strained to Near it’s Breaking Point
    .

    “The truth is, the U.S. Army is in serious trouble and any recovery will be years in the making and, as a result, the country is in a position of strategic peril,” said retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the former four-star commander of Southern Command and a highly decorated veteran of the Vietnam and 1991 Persian Gulf wars.

    If anything, he argues, the Pentagon has masked the extent of the Army’s manpower troubles through the use of several questionable methods: involuntary “stop-loss” authority, which allows the Army to compel soldiers who reach the end of their enlistment to stay in uniform; waivers that allow in recruits who in former years would have been rejected because of poor academic performance or low scores on Army standardized tests, criminal records, or high age; keeping 10 Army brigades in combat beyond their anticipated one-year tours; the call-up of 13,000 “individual ready reservists”; an over-reliance on the National Guard as a regular-force augmenter rather than as a strategic reserve; and the use of as many as 100,000 private contractors in Iraq.

    “Despite all of those gimmicks, young battalion commanders tell me that recruiting standards have slipped terribly due to waivers; drug and alcohol abuse have increased dramatically; the word has come down not to flunk anyone out of basic training; and we’ve increased the age limit to allow 42-year-old grandmothers to enlist in the Army,” McCaffrey said. “And still there is a sense of denial of the problem in the Pentagon that I find utterly beyond belief. My bottom line is that the Army is unraveling, and if we don’t expend significant national energy to reverse that trend, sometime in the next two years we will break the Army just like we did during Vietnam. Only this time we won’t have 10 years to fix it again. There will be no time-out from the global war on terror, or from threats like North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, you name it.”

    (snip)

    “There’s been a failure at the senior, four-star level by generals who all toed Secretary Rumsfeld’s line that we didn’t need to grow the Army, despite overwhelming evidence and numerous warnings years ago that that was the right thing to do for the Army and the nation,” said retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, who served in Iraq and last year called for Rumsfeld’s resignation shortly after retiring from the Army.

    The willingness of members of the Joint Chiefs to finally speak out forcefully now that Rumsfeld is gone, he said, comes a little late. “They failed the test of senior leadership.”

    But Eaton added: “More importantly, President Bush failed to truly mobilize the nation behind the war effort.” Just compare the World War II “arsenal of democracy” with the anemic industrial output today, he said, that has failed to rapidly produce enough medium machine guns, body armor, armored troop transports, and night-vision goggles.
    “That’s a direct result of not adequately applying our nation’s resources to supporting our troops,” Eaton said. “The wartime rhetoric from the Bush administration has been great, but rhetoric is all we’ve gotten. And no senior military leaders were willing to stick their heads out the window and say, ‘I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!

    General says he needs more troops
    .

    BAGHDAD — The commander of U.S. forces in northern Iraq said Friday that he did not have enough troops to deal with the escalating violence in Iraq’s Diyala province, an unusually frank assertion for a top officer and a sign that American military officials might be starting to offer more candid and blunt assessments of the war.

    Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin R. “Randy” Mixon also said that the Iraqi government had failed to help the situation in the restive province and that it has been a hindrance at times by failing to support local army and police forces. Diyala borders Baghdad on the east, and violence in the province has grown as U.S. troop levels have been bolstered in the capital.

    Mixon’s call for help coincides with a rise in the number of sectarian death squad killings in Baghdad. U.S. officials had heralded an earlier decline in such deaths as a sign of the success of the security clampdown in the capital that began Feb. 13.
    (snip)
    Mixon, speaking Friday by teleconference from Camp Speicher, outside Tikrit, to a Pentagon news conference, said that he did not have enough soldiers to provide security in Diyala. The local government is “nonfunctional” and the central government is “ineffective,” he said.

    “I’m going to need additional forces,” he said, “to get that situation to a more acceptable level, so the Iraqi security forces will be able in the future to handle that.”

    It is rare for an officer of Mixon’s rank to publicly call for more troops. When Donald H. Rumsfeld was secretary of Defense, there was intense pressure on officers to not make such requests, even privately, according to officers who served in Iraq.

    Mixon was withering in his criticism of the Iraqi government, saying it was hamstrung by bureaucracy and compromised by corruption and sectarian discord, making it unable to assist U.S. forces in Diyala.
    (snip)

    Mixon’s comments were the first of what could be a succession of blunt evaluations by officers under Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, said retired Army Maj. Gen. William L. Nash, a veteran of the Bosnian conflict who is now an analyst with the Council on Foreign Relations.

    “I suspect the new Defense secretary has told general officers to speak their minds,” Nash said.

    “It’s going to be hard for some in the administration — suddenly they’re going to feel it from the inside. I think you’re going to see more of it,” he said.

    A Failure In Generalship .

    By Lt. Col. Paul Yinling

    America’s generals have repeated the mistakes of Vietnam in Iraq. First, throughout the 1990s our generals failed to envision the conditions of future combat and prepare their forces accordingly. Second, America’s generals failed to estimate correctly both the means and the ways necessary to achieve the aims of policy prior to beginning the war in Iraq. Finally, America’s generals did not provide Congress and the public with an accurate assessment of the conflict in Iraq.
    (snip)
    Prior to the war, President Bush promised to give field commanders everything necessary for victory. Privately, many senior general officers both active and retired expressed serious misgivings about the insufficiency of forces for Iraq. These leaders would later express their concerns in tell-all books such as “Fiasco” and “Cobra II.” However, when the U.S. went to war in Iraq with less than half the strength required to win, these leaders did not make their objections public.
    (snip)
    Given the lack of troop strength, not even the most brilliant general could have devised the ways necessary to stabilize post-Saddam Iraq. However, inept planning for postwar Iraq took the crisis caused by a lack of troops and quickly transformed it into a debacle.

    America’s view of Republicans crumbles in Iraq.

    A Military Times poll released in December revealed that only 35 percent of military members approved of the president’s handling of the war – despite the fact that 46 percent of them are self-identified Republicans (down from 60 percent in previous Military Times polls) while just 16 percent are Democrats. According to a recent Zogby survey of troops serving in Iraq, 72 percent want American forces home within a year.

    The Iraqi Refugee Crisis

    The Flight From Iraq .

    The numbers dwarfed anything that the Middle East had seen since the dislocations brought on by the establishment of Israel in 1948. In Syria, there were estimated to be 1.2 million Iraqi refugees. There were another 750,000 in Jordan, 100,000 in Egypt, 54,000 in Iran, 40,000 in Lebanon and 10,000 in Turkey. The overall estimate for the number of Iraqis who had fled Iraq was put at two million by Guterres. The number of displaced Iraqis still inside Iraq’s borders was given as 1.9 million. This would mean about 15 percent of Iraqis have left their homes.

    (snip)

    From the Iraqi perspective, the greatest loss has been the flight of the professional class, the people whose resources and skills might once have combined to build a post-Saddam Iraq.

    Iraq Reimposes Freeze on Medical Diplomas In Bid to Keep Doctors From Fleeing Abroad .
    BAGHDAD — Iraq is hemorrhaging doctors as violence racks the nation. To stem the flow, the Iraqi government has recently taken a cue from Saddam Hussein: Medical schools are once again forbidden to issue diplomas and transcripts to new graduates.
    Hussein built a fine medical system in part by withholding doctors’ passports and diplomas. Although physicians can work in Iraq with a letter from a medical school verifying their graduation, they say they need certificates and transcripts to work abroad.
    It is a common refrain among war-weary Iraqis that things were better before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Electricity in Baghdad was more reliable; sectarian hostility was rare; Iraq was safe — except for the many victims of Hussein’s tyranny. But rarely has the government embraced a policy that so harshly evokes the era of dictatorship. To some students and doctors, the diploma decision, like Iraq’s crumbling medical system, provides clear proof of the government’s helplessness and the nation’s decline.

    Miscellaneous Mess o’Potamia

    Iraqis resist U.S. pressure to enact oil law.

    U.S. Embassy employees fearful over Green Zone attacks .

  8. Michele
    May 15, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    And About that Iraqi “Government”

    — the one that American soldiers are dying to prop up? The one that is going to take all of July and August off, while American Soldiers continue to bleed?

    Raucous Iraqi Parliament Makes Little Progress.

    Iraq’s Parliament is increasingly hamstrung by sectarian rivalries.
    Shouting matches are commonplace, and there are many absences. Key legislation has yet to be debated on the floor.

    Ordinary Iraqis are fed up with the lawmakers. And U.S. officials are increasingly concerned that the legislature will fail to take action on moves aimed at ending sectarian violence. (snip)

    No major issue has yet made it to the parliament floor, from the draft oil law to the review of the ban on former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath party to amendments to the constitution.

    Procedure calls for a first reading of each bill, like in most other parliaments around the world, and that has yet to happen here.
    It’s unlikely the bills will be debated before Iraqi lawmakers break for their two-month summer vacation in June.

    The prospect of such a long holiday in the midst of political crisis, both here and in Washington, has infuriated U.S. officials and politicians.

    But Mahmoud Othman says Iraqi lawmakers are already taking off more time than members of the U.S. Congress know about.

    “Every month we work two weeks,” Othman said. “That’s another point people should know about … we are working half the time. So it’s two-to-three hours a day, two weeks a month and then there is a holiday. So it’s sort of a disaster.”

    Iraqi Parliament Misses Another Deadline.

    The 30-member committee was to present its report Tuesday – four months after it was established. Amending the constitution to address Sunni Arab concerns is one of the key benchmarks for measuring political progress in Iraq.

    But the committee was unable to agree on recommendations and lawmakers said it would ask for an extension until May 22, the next time parliament is scheduled to meet.

    By all means – let’s wave some more purple fingers around, and ignore the fact that the “Iraqi Government” is a complete fiction.

  9. Michele
    May 15, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    And About That Oil (and Electricity)

    Billions in Oil Missing in Iraq, U.S. Study Says.

    Between 100,000 and 300,000 barrels a day of Iraq’s declared oil production over the past four years is unaccounted for and could have been siphoned off through corruption or smuggling, according to a draft American government report.

    Using an average of $50 a barrel, the report said the discrepancy was valued at $5 million to $15 million daily.

    The report does not give a final conclusion on what happened to the missing fraction of the roughly two million barrels pumped by Iraq each day, but the findings are sure to reinforce longstanding suspicions that smugglers, insurgents and corrupt officials control significant parts of the country’s oil industry.
    (snip)
    The report also contains the most comprehensive assessment yet of the billions of dollars the United States and Iraq spent on rebuilding the oil and electricity infrastructure, which is falling further and further behind its performance goals.

    Adding together both civilian and military financing, the report concludes that the United States has spent $5.1 billion of the $7.4 billion in American taxpayer money set aside to rebuild the Iraqi electricity and oil sectors. The United States has also spent $3.8 billion of Iraqi money on those sectors, the report says.

    Despite those enormous expenditures, the performance is far short of official goals, and in some cases seems to be declining further. The average output of Iraq’s national electricity grid in 2006, for example, was 4,300 megawatts, about equal to its value before the 2003 invasion. By February of this year, the figure had fallen still further, to 3,800 megawatts, the report says.

    All of those figures are far short of the longstanding American goal for Iraq: 6,000 megawatts. Even more dispiriting for Iraqis, by February the grid provided power for an average of only 5.1 hours a day in Baghdad and 8.6 hours nationwide. Both of those figures are also down from last year.

    ====
    Boy, when they can’t keep track of the OIL – you know Iraq is FUBAR.

  10. golfingslo
    May 15, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    Will some one tell me why Michelle is an expert on this subject? Is she privy to information that the rest of us do not have access? When Michelle is on the radio, people loss sight of the difference between fact and opinion. Example, (this is for Bob from SLO who likes specific examples) here is the fact that Michelle states, “Iraq’s interior ministry has decided to bar news photographers and camera operators from the scenes of bomb attacks, operations director Brigadier General Abdel Karim Khalaf said on Sunday (local time).
    His announcement was the latest in a series of attempts to curtail press coverage of the ongoing conflict, which has already attracted criticism from international human rights bodies.” This is the fact, now what Michelle, Dave and Tom do is state “their opinion” based on this fact of what they think will happen, what could happen, what the ramifications of this fact will have. Then sooner or later people believe their opinions as fact and that no other out come is possible from this fact. When this happens people believe opinion as fact and that there is no other possibilities. There are infinite possibilities from any fact. People tend to believe opinions as fact when the opinion supports their way of thinking.

    This type of transference of fact and opinion goes on in all areas of life, not just the Iraq situation. We have this innate desire to be right, but remember an opinion can neither be right or wrong it is just an opinion based on past experiences, facts, beliefs, etc.

    Bob from SLO, the only part of the show that I heard, Michelle claimed two facts that were incorrect, She claimed that oil is $100 a barrel and that only 25 year olds work at the Hoover Institute. Two facts that could have been challenged. The other facts I did not hear but I would have to believe they were correct. As far as her opinion of the facts I could have called and voiced different opinions based on the same facts, but that does not make my opinion right and hers wrong or visa versa. Remember opinions can neither be right or wrong. Just because the majority of people believe in an opinion does not make the opinion right.

  11. Steve
    May 16, 2007 at 12:18 am

    Michele is smug, unpleasant, and has a very abrasive personality.
    She has a liberal progressive agenda that is almost cartoon like.
    If Dave trots this out as his praised expert on Iraq, any rational person would dismiss the segment and not listen.

  12. Michele
    May 16, 2007 at 1:54 am

    Golfingslo, I made neither of the claims that you attributed to me.

    I didn’t say oil WAS $100 a barrel – I agreed with a caller that if US Oil companies were allowed to control Iraq’s oil resources, they might find it more profitable to withhold the oil from the market until the price REACHED $100 a barrel – – as opposed to the opposite scenario, where an Iraq State Oil Company simply opened the spigots and drastically lower the price of oil.

    (anyone who pays Ca Utility bills is still paying for the LAST time the Bush Energy Cartel got a bright idea – and allowed Enron to withhold power from California until the price tripled and quadrupled. )

    For a detailed analysis of how the Iraqi Oil Law benefits US Oil companies, click here:

    Future of Iraq: The spoils of war.

    Also, I did NOT say that only 25-year-olds worked at the Hoover Institute – what I said was that a lot of the people staffing the CPA were young, inexperienced 25-year-old conservatives with good GOP credentials, but little know-how – many of whom were hired because they had sent their resumes to the Heritage Foundation. .

    from a review of the source of this statement:

    Mistakes were made.

    Micromanaging and emulating U.S. institutions was also the instinct of Jay Hallen, the clueless 24-year-old in charge of reopening the Baghdad stock market. His approach was to create one patterned after the New York Stock Exchange. (No, it didn’t work.) Nor was Hallen the only inexperienced twentysomething CPA staffer given responsibilities for which he was utterly unprepared. Six of the “ten young gofers” that the CPA had requested from the Pentagon to handle minor administrative tasks found themselves managing Iraq’s $13-billion budget. Where did the Pentagon recruit them? From the Heritage Foundation; they had sent their resumes there, looking for work in that conservative think tank.

    From an excerpt of the book itself:

    Ties to GOP Trumped Know-How Among Staff Sent to Rebuild Iraq.

    To pass muster with O’Beirne, a political appointee who screens prospective political appointees for Defense Department posts, applicants didn’t need to be experts in the Middle East or in post-conflict reconstruction. What seemed most important was loyalty to the Bush administration.

    O’Beirne’s staff posed blunt questions to some candidates about domestic politics: Did you vote for George W. Bush in 2000? Do you support the way the president is fighting the war on terror? Two people who sought jobs with the U.S. occupation authority said they were even asked their views on Roe v. Wade .

    Many of those chosen by O’Beirne’s office to work for the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran Iraq’s government from April 2003 to June 2004, lacked vital skills and experience. A 24-year-old who had never worked in finance — but had applied for a White House job — was sent to reopen Baghdad’s stock exchange. The daughter of a prominent neoconservative commentator and a recent graduate from an evangelical university for home-schooled children were tapped to manage Iraq’s $13 billion budget, even though they didn’t have a background in accounting.

    The decision to send the loyal and the willing instead of the best and the brightest is now regarded by many people involved in the 3 1/2 -year effort to stabilize and rebuild Iraq as one of the Bush administration’s gravest errors.

    (This is a great book. Please, for more on this topic, click the link and read the excerpts published by the Washington Post. )

    And as for what makes me an expert – well, I judge the strength of an argument by the supporting data presented, and by whether the arguer’s judgement has been shown by subsequent events to be worth listening to.

    Golfingslos, in my earlier posts, I gave links to back up every single assertion I made yesterday. You want to argue that the CPA WASN’T staffed by know-nothing young conservatives? Fine. Cite your source.

    Otherwise, you’re just spouting.

    And as to judgment – I have been guesting on Dave’s show since before the war began. Every single prediction I made about the war – that Saddam did not possess WMDs, that we did not have enough troops, that US would get bogged down in a volatile region, that de-Baathification and the dissolving of the Iraqi army were huge mistakes – were proven accurate by later events on the ground. In fact, if you were to put my predictions up against those of –oh, say, Dick Cheney’s – I would prove to be MUCH more accurate.

    (“Greeted as Liberators? The war won’t last six months? Last Throes?”)

    This is not to “smugly” toot my own horn as a prognosticator, but simply to show that the past research I have done on the subject of Iraq has led to conclusions that were later born out by events.

    It always amazes me, the degree of amnesia willingly embraced by the last few die-hard Bush supporters. For four years, EVERY SINGLE THING that Bush/Cheney has said about Iraq has proved false – and yet, they continue desperately drinking the kool-aid.

    If your car mechanic, (or your accountant, or your doctor,) was proven consistently wrong, over and over again, for four years– would you believe him if he said that THIS time, he really knew what was wrong with the car and how to fix it?

    Me – I’d have long since gotten a new mechanic.

    And Steve? You can dislike me all you want – no skin off my nose. But until you produce your data points to rebut the facts I stated on Dave’s show, and in the links above – you haven’t made your argument. You’ve just been personally nasty.

    How rational is that?

  13. Steve
    May 16, 2007 at 2:49 am

    Michele
    Nothing personal sunshine.Just being a critic of your phone call to Dave.

  14. Anonymous
    May 16, 2007 at 3:13 am

    Yea! Let’s hate Bush! Let’s hate Bush! Let’s hate Bush! Let’s hate Bush! god i love this blog! I can always get hate here! As a liberal nothing makes me happier than hating Bush!
    weeeeeeeeeeeeee!
    all together now!
    “we hate Bush! “we hate Bush! “we hate Bush! “we hate Bush! “we hate Bush!

    More Dave more!

  15. Marilyn
    May 16, 2007 at 3:34 am

    The topic has nothing to do with “hating” Bush.

    Bush IS a WAR CRIMINAL who should have stood trial with Cheney and the rest of the marauding international thieving bandits because the blood of millions since the beginning of this century rests on their hands.

    They plunged this whole world into a quagmire under deliberately false pretenses for corporate and strategic idiocy and greed.

    Anyone who excuses Bush’s behavior and supports his actions is either an idiot or possesses no sense of morality.

    But, NO! Let’s attack Michele instead. How many people did Michele kill and how many resources did she plunder? yet, she is attacked venomously.

    I guess it is all about power, not justice. Must be a lot of people getting their kicks by associating with bullies.

    I do not believe in the death penalty, but if I did, I would have said there should have been at least two more heads dangling next to Saddam on that day.

    The blood of thousands of American soldiers, millions of people in the Middle East, and the destruction of at least two countries is the responsibility of this administration.

    And, Michele, don’t even bother explaining things to the armchair commandos; some don’t get it, some couldn’t care less, and some are plain prejudiced. One cannot “negotiate” with hate mongers and foul-mouthed misogynists in a civilized way.

    They are part of the problem that created this cesspool in the first place by their blind support of a criminally minded elite bent on controlling the resources of the world. It is called, power and greed. But see, attacking women is their fantasy in life and they live for it. I wonder how they treat their female relatives.

    Time to impeach the crook.

  16. Marilyn
    May 16, 2007 at 4:05 am

    Since the new phase of its war on Iraq began with the March 2003 invasion, the U.S. has caused the death of at least 655,000 Iraqis–though that is only a part of the death toll from two Gulf Wars, and the decade and a half of strict economic sanctions between them. How the US Set Iraq on Fire

  17. billyd
    May 16, 2007 at 4:52 am

    sorry BOB she and YOU are blowhards you go on and on most of daves post are (cut&paste ) and your links the same there are so many things going on here at home

  18. golfingslo
    May 16, 2007 at 4:58 am

    Michelle, how do you know for a fact that the young lady was a know nothing. Who else applied for the job. Was she the best qualified of the those that applied. What were the hiring requirements. What other possible answers for hiring this young lady beside cronism (sp?)? This was the point of my post. The fact is, this young lady was hired to do a job. You can base your opinio of her on the fatcs that are known but you can not have “all” of the facts of the hiring of this person or anyone else. So by all counts your opinion is based on partial facts, beliefs, past experiences, etc. but not based on all of the facts. This was the point of my post. You claimed Saddam did not posses WMD, he did in the 1980’s fighting the Iranians. We gave them to him and the fear at the time of the Gulf war was he would use them against us, come to find out that he actually used them against his rivals in Iraq. So yes he did have WMD’s at one time. To say he did not have WMd’s is wrong, to say he did not have WMD’s in 2003, you are probably correct. But since you did not state a specific time to your assertion, then the time frame of your assertion would have to be Saddam’s life time. Now some people would say I am splitting hairs but facts are absolute and the statement of fact must be precise.

  19. golfingslo
    May 16, 2007 at 5:04 am

    Michelle, one quick question. Are you or anyone else claiming me as a Bush supporter?

  20. Dave Congalton
    May 16, 2007 at 5:11 am

    I love the striking comparison of content on this blog. People against Michele and Bob offer nothing but cheap personal anonymous shots. Meanwhile Michele and Bob offer specific links to back up all their claims.

    Amazing.

  21. golfingslo
    May 16, 2007 at 5:16 am

    Dave are you saying that if you do not post anonymously like Marilyn, it is okay to take personal shots?

  22. golfingslo
    May 16, 2007 at 6:18 am

    Michelle- relistening to yesterdays show, you said during Norm’s call at 168:35 time mark, If Iraq were able to open the oil spigit, we would have $30 a barrel oil instead of $100 a barrel oil. We have never had $100 a barrel oil.

  23. Dave Congalton
    May 16, 2007 at 7:09 am

    GolfingSLO,

    Nope, don’t twist my words, please. I notice you have a habit of doing that with others.

    I’m pointing out patterns of comments on this (and other) thread. Bob and Michele are very specific in their analysis and the reponse is largely silly personal attacks.

    Why is that Golfing?

  24. golfingslo
    May 16, 2007 at 7:21 am

    Dave, you can only twist someones opinions. So if I am twisting I must be twisting opinion not fact. I pointed out Marilyn’s personal attacks because you had missed her attacks in your observation of who is doing the attacking and who is not. Bob and Michelle do not attack but Marilyn does. Unless you count the night Bob of SLO made his bigotted comment.

  25. Hoosier21
    May 16, 2007 at 8:24 am

    Where to start. I don’t know how to sugar coat this, but I have listened to Michelle before on your show and she does not always tell the truth. I don’t know if it is due to her trying to sensationalize things or just what it is. I guess you don’t have to go far for the link on the proof, as it is in your archives, Dave. I disregard every thing she says or writes since. I won’t even bother reading it. I have little patience for those kind of bloggers. As to some of the links, many are articles on things that are not going well in Iraq. I don’t think there ever has been a war where things have gone as planned. There have been mistakes. But, it is winnable. Some links are to op eds where we are supposed to take as gospel liberal stats and figures. We could go on all day pointing to different sources on these things. Sometimes, I wish the Vietnam comparison was accurate. We left Vietnam, closed our eyes to the genocide because we had no vested interest in the area. Not so in Iraq. We have a huge vested interest in the middle east. I can not see a positive scenario if we pull out of Iraq prematurely.

    If the U.S.-led coalition forces pulled out of Iraq now, attacks in Europe would increase and troops would have to go back in two to three years, said Rohan Gunaratna, the head of the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Just look at the Arabic Mickey teaching children to hate westerners. They will come.

  26. Anonymous
    May 16, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    Michele knows her internet search results. Big f’n deal.That’s a expert?
    This is the Mt.Rushmore of hometown radio
    Bob in SL,SM Bill, Michele and Marilyn.
    It’s very pc, because both genders are represented

  27. Dave Congalton
    May 16, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    Hoosier21

    OK, go ahead and give me examples of where Michele is wrong. There isn’t a single link in your entire post. The best you guys (and I do mean GUYS) and do is offer personal, dismissive attacks.
    Happens all the time.

  28. Michele
    May 16, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    Goingslo, if you look at my words – The topic under discussion was whether, IF US companies gained control of Iraq oil, they might withhold it from the market to raise the price. So I was discussing possible future scenarios when I said “if the Iraqis opened the spigots, we would have $30 a barrel oil, rather than $100. “

    I was speaking in the conditional future tense, positing two contrasting possible outcomes depending on who ended up controlling Iraqi oil – I certainly didn’t mean to imply that oil was CURRENTLY $100 (or $30) a barrel. Obviously, I should have been clearer.

    (especially because the current price per barrel of oil is one of the things I track every day – today it close around $63.)

    On the issue of hiring for the CPA, please check the links I posted. The example you cite is simply one case out of a PATTERN of hiring “loyal Bushies”, rather than competent people. More Info below, and the link.

    Ties to GOP Trumped Know-How Among Staff Sent to Rebuild Iraq .

    Interviews with scores of former CPA personnel over the past two years depict an organization that was dominated — and ultimately hobbled — by administration ideologues.
    “We didn’t tap — and it should have started from the White House on down — just didn’t tap the right people to do this job,” said Frederick Smith, who served as the deputy director of the CPA’s Washington office. “It was a tough, tough job. Instead we got people who went out there because of their political leanings.”
    (snip)
    To recruit the people he wanted, O’Beirne sought résumés from the offices of Republican congressmen, conservative think tanks and GOP activists. He discarded applications from those his staff deemed ideologically suspect, even if the applicants possessed Arabic language skills or postwar rebuilding experience.
    Smith said O’Beirne once pointed to a young man’s résumé and pronounced him “an ideal candidate.” His chief qualification was that he had worked for the Republican Party in Florida during the presidential election recount in 2000.
    (snip)
    One former CPA employee who had an office near O’Beirne’s wrote an e-mail to a friend describing the recruitment process: “I watched résumés of immensely talented individuals who had sought out CPA to help the country thrown in the trash because their adherence to ‘the President’s vision for Iraq’ (a frequently heard phrase at CPA) was ‘uncertain.’ I saw senior civil servants from agencies like Treasury, Energy . . . and Commerce denied advisory positions in Baghdad that were instead handed to prominent RNC (Republican National Committee) contributors.”

  29. Michele
    May 16, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    Hoosier 21:
    See, this is exactly how we got into this mess. “I don’t like what you’re saying, it goes against my preconceptions, so I won’t even bother looking at any of the evidence you present – I just know I’m right!” (Which, may I say, is exactly the attitude that got us into this mess in the first place.)

    Five points here:

    1.In polite society, it is considered very bad form to call someone a liar without offering concrete proof of the “lies” they are alleged to have told. (and I assume, since this is Dave’s blog, we are IN polite society here – he usually insists on politeness.)

    2.”Some links are to op eds where we are supposed to take as gospel liberal stats and figures? I have posted 18 links in this discussion – exactly ONE was to an op-ed, the one labeled “Americans’ Opinion of Republicans crumbles in Iraq” – and that was only because it was the first place I found the statistics of the Military Times poll. However, I agree that one should use primary sources where possible: so here is the DIRECT link to the Military Times poll. You’ll see that the numbers are exactly the same as those quoted in the Op-Ed I originally linked to.

    Military Times Poll.

    I don’t know what to say about the “liberal facts and figures” phrase – you don’t refute any of them with data, and the facts and figures I quote are drawn from such left-wing organizations as Army Generals, and Official U.S. Government reports. What exactly makes something a “liberal stat and figure?” The fact that it contradicts what you want to believe?

    3. You said “But, it is winnable”. Really. How, exactly? Who do we achieve victory over? Who comes to the surrender ceremony, who disarms? Do we

    a)kill all the Sunnis, so that the Iranian-backed Shiites currently running the place can take over, turn Iraq into another province of Tehran, and set about destabilizing Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt?

    b)Do we, while killing Sunni insurgents, miraculously acquire another instant army from somewhere, and simultaneously attack all the Shiite Militias we think are too close to Iran? Great plan – except the current government of Iraq, that we claim to be supporting, is supporting those very militias. Also, we have a 400-800 mile long (depending on route) supply line between Baghdad and Kuwait – which runs through the Shiite south of Iraq that is most closely linked to Iran. IF we do start attacking Shiite militias – how do we keep the supply lines open?

    The vulnerable line of supply to US troops in Iraq

    (the author, Col Patrick Lang is former head of human intelligence collection and Middle East intelligence at the Defense Intelligence Agency.

    c.Do we kill All the Sunni insurgents, and all the Shiite militias, and then turn the country over to – WHO, exactly? The Kurds? Turkey would love that – not. The Christians? They’ve all either left or been shot.
    SO again I say – win What? Over Who? And Then What?

    4.You are absolutely right that we have a strategic security interest in the Middle East – and the war in Iraq, which has emboldened Iran and acted as a recruitment poster of Al Quaeda, has immeasurably harmed those interests.

    You said “I cannot see a positive scenario if we pull out of Iraq prematurely”. The trouble is, there are NO POSITIVE OUTCOMES that are any longer possible in Iraq – if there ever were. Most Americans, and most of our military, understand that. Now somebody just needs to make Bush see reason, so we can start carefully planning the withdrawal to mitigate the damage to the US as much as possible.

    5.You say that if we pull out of Iraq, attacks in Europe will increase. Please note that NONE of the high-profile attacks against the west have been committed by Iraqis. There were NO Iraqis on those planes on 9/11 – 15 of the high-jackers, and all of their money, came from Bush’s great love, Saudi Arabia. The attacks in Spain were perpetrated by Morrocan Al Quaeda cells. The attacks in London were carried out by Pakistani-trained Al Quaeda cells.
    And Al Quaeda, and Osama Bin Laden, are alive and well and sending us mocking videotapes from their safe haven in Pakistan – a haven we let them escape to, when we didn’t have enough troops at Tora Bora. I think there WILL be more attacks, – both here and in Europe, – because we didn’t FINISH THE JOB in Afghanistan.

    You may not like to hear all of the uncomfortable facts and figures: but that doesn’t mean they are not accurate.

    So you can keep listening to Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O’Reilly, and Dick Cheney, and everyone else who has been consistently wrong about Iraq for the last four years.

    Me, I’ll keep doing the research, looking at the facts and figures, and Listening to what the Generals and the Middle East Experts say.

    The writer of the piece below, William E. Odom, a retired Army lieutenant general, was head of Army intelligence and director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan. He served on the National Security Council staff under Jimmy Carter. A West Point graduate with a PhD from Columbia, Odom teaches at Yale and is a fellow of the Hudson Institute.

    Please, click the link and read the whole piece. It’s a realistic assessment of Iraq, by a man who knows.

    Victory Is Not an Option .

    The Mission Can’t Be Accomplished — It’s Time for a New Strategy

    By William E. Odom

    Sunday, February 11, 2007; B01

    The new National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq starkly delineates the gulf that separates President Bush’s illusions from the realities of the war. Victory, as the president sees it, requires a stable liberal democracy in Iraq that is pro-American. The NIE describes a war that has no chance of producing that result. In this critical respect, the NIE, the consensus judgment of all the U.S. intelligence agencies, is a declaration of defeat.

    Its gloomy implications — hedged, as intelligence agencies prefer, in rubbery language that cannot soften its impact — put the intelligence community and the American public on the same page. The public awakened to the reality of failure in Iraq last year and turned the Republicans out of control of Congress to wake it up. But a majority of its members are still asleep, or only half-awake to their new writ to end the war soon.

    Perhaps this is not surprising. Americans do not warm to defeat or failure, and our politicians are famously reluctant to admit their own responsibility for anything resembling those un-American outcomes. So they beat around the bush, wringing hands and debating “nonbinding resolutions” that oppose the president’s plan to increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq.

    For the moment, the collision of the public’s clarity of mind, the president’s relentless pursuit of defeat and Congress’s anxiety has paralyzed us. We may be doomed to two more years of chasing the mirage of democracy in Iraq and possibly widening the war to Iran. But this is not inevitable. A Congress, or a president, prepared to quit the game of “who gets the blame” could begin to alter American strategy in ways that will vastly improve the prospects of a more stable Middle East.

    No task is more important to the well-being of the United States. We face great peril in that troubled region, and improving our prospects will be difficult. First of all, it will require, from Congress at least, public acknowledgment that the president’s policy is based on illusions, not realities. There never has been any right way to invade and transform Iraq.

    Most Americans need no further convincing, but two truths ought to put the matter beyond question:

    First, the assumption that the United States could create a liberal, constitutional democracy in Iraq defies just about everything known by professional students of the topic. Of the more than 40 democracies created since World War II, fewer than 10 can be considered truly “constitutional” — meaning that their domestic order is protected by a broadly accepted rule of law, and has survived for at least a generation. None is a country with Arabic and Muslim political cultures. None has deep sectarian and ethnic fissures like those in Iraq.

    Strangely, American political scientists whose business it is to know these things have been irresponsibly quiet. In the lead-up to the March 2003 invasion, neoconservative agitators shouted insults at anyone who dared to mention the many findings of academic research on how democracies evolve. They also ignored our own struggles over two centuries to create the democracy Americans enjoy today. Somehow Iraqis are now expected to create a constitutional order in a country with no conditions favoring it.

    Second, to expect any Iraqi leader who can hold his country together to be pro-American, or to share American goals, is to abandon common sense. It took the United States more than a century to get over its hostility toward British occupation. (In 1914, a majority of the public favored supporting Germany against Britain.) Every month of the U.S. occupation, polls have recorded Iraqis’ rising animosity toward the United States. Even supporters of an American military presence say that it is acceptable temporarily and only to prevent either of the warring sides in Iraq from winning. Today the Iraqi government survives only because its senior members and their families live within the heavily guarded Green Zone, which houses the U.S. Embassy and military command.

  30. Newt One
    May 17, 2007 at 12:27 am

    I did not hear the segment with Michelle. I cannot stand to hear her tell so many untrue statements and get away with it.

    A while back, she stated on the blog that Algore never said that there were WMD’s in Iraq. I know I know, it is the same old thing. I provided the exact quote to show Michelle how she was incorrect in saying that everyone except Bush was saying there were no WMD’s in Iraq. Michelle and Marilyn for that matter refused to concede that they were incorrect in that very small but important fact. I provided a link to the entire speech. Even Bob from SLO claimed that I somehow took it out of context.

    Michelle, I want to know…just focus on this one very important aspect of the pre-Iraq war intelligence if you will. Explain the nuance of this for me so I can understand it.

    Algore said:

    Now, here’s another of the main points I want to make: If we quickly succeed in a war against the weakened and depleted fourth-rate military of Iraq, and then quickly abandon that nation, as President Bush has quickly abandoned almost all of Afghanistan after defeating a fifth-rate military power there, then the resulting chaos in the aftermath of a military victory in Iraq could easily pose a far greater danger to the United States than we presently face from Saddam.

    Here’s why I say that. We know that he has stored away secret supplies of biological weapons and chemical weapons throughout his country. As yet, we have no evidence, however, that he has shared any of these weapons with terrorist groups. If the administration has evidence that he has, please present it, because that would change the way we all look at this thing.

    But if Iraq came to resemble Afghanistan in its current depleted state, with no central authority – well, they have a central authority, but their central authority, because of the administration’s insistence that the international community not be allowed to assemble a peacekeeping force large enough to pacify the countryside, that new government in Afghanistan controls a few precincts in one city, and the warlords or drug lords control the whole rest of the countryside.

    What if, in the aftermath of a war against Iraq, we faced a situation like that, because we’ve washed our hands of it? What would then happen to all of those stored reserves of biological weapons all around the country?

    New Tone asks:

    Michelle….what is he talking about here? What does he mean by biological weapons?

    Algore said:

    Now, my point is, this is a Bush doctrine. This is administration policy. Given that it is administration policy, we have to take that into account as a nation in looking at the likely consequences of an overwhelming American military victory against the government of Iraq.

    If we go in there and dismantle them–and they deserve to be dismantled–but then we wash our hands of it and walk away and leave it in a situation of chaos and say, “Oh, that’s for you all to decide how to put things back together now” . . .

    (LAUGHTER)

    . . . that hurts us.

    (APPLAUSE)

    New Tone Asks:

    Isn;t that that the democrats plan now, to just leave? I thought a few months back we needed more troops, now these people who voted for the war are trying to be generals in the house and senate??

    Do you want Pelosi and Reid to be making military decisions?

    Algore Said:

    Nevertheless, all Americans should acknowledge that Iraq does, indeed, pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf region, and we should be about the business of organizing an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction. Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter, and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.

    Now let’s be clear: There’s no international law that can prevent the United States from taking action to protect our vital interests when it is manifestly clear that there’s a choice to be made between law and our survival. Indeed, international law itself recognizes that such choices stay within the purview of all nations.

    I believe, however, that such a choice is not presented in the case of Iraq. Indeed, should we decide to proceed, our action can be justified within the framework of international law rather than requiring us to go outside the framework of international law.

    In fact, even though a new United Nations resolution might be helpful in the effort to forge an international consensus, I think it’s abundantly clear that the existing U.N. resolutions, passed 11 years ago, are completely sufficient from a legal standpoint, so long as it is clear that Saddam Hussein is in breach of the agreements made at the conclusion of the Persian Gulf War.

    Michelle….what exactly did Algore mean?

    I will give you that Algore is a fool and a liar. He was a coward in office always setting in the background and afraid of Bill, and a total fear monger with his docudrama about man made global warming and energy use. Did you know he has a polluting mine on his property that gives him over 600k per year of income? Did you know that he uses private jets to fly all over? Did you know that he refuses his own pledge that he asks all of the lower class viewers of his docudrama to make? Now you do! 🙂

    Well, I won’t wait too long for your answers. I am sure I am just too vicious for you to respond to. Dave will call me hateful and refer me to counseling for believing unauthorized ideas. Bob will claim I am a sexist for attacking a woman.

    Take care, New Tone.

    Oh, here is the link for you to read the speech yourself…again.

    Washington Post

  31. Anonymous
    May 17, 2007 at 2:44 am

    Cheap shots at cheap bloggers…it’s a perfect match…
    I know this will be deleted, but i will bet any amount of money Dave is paying michele to save his blog.

    think it through…its all about advertising dollars

    as for marilyn…oh never mind

  32. Dave Congalton
    May 17, 2007 at 6:20 am

    Anonymous,

    You’re so pathetic. You’re so pathetic on every level. You’re pathetic from the way you hide your identity to your sexist attack on Michele.

    C’mon folks, don’t you just love the implication here? I mean, Mr. Anonymous wants us to believe that the ONLY reason Michele is blogging on Iraq is because I’m paying her. Yep, it’s all about advertising dollars — we can’t survive without that monthly payheck from Treeman nursery!

    I love the sexist implication here. Michele woould only blog for $$$$. She couldn’t possibly be doing it because she has an opinion or is smart or cares about her country.

    Nope, Michele is a woman, so it has to be about money.

    Don’t worry Anonymous, I wouldn’t dare delete your post. Why rob other bloggers of the chance to see such outstanding logic and reasoning?

    Amazing!

  33. Bob from San Luis
    May 17, 2007 at 7:27 am

    newt one: You left out quite a bit of Al Gore’s speech, which is understandable, given how the first 4/5s of the speech, Mr. Gore made the case that he thought the president’s plan to invade Iraq was not going to help in the “War on Terror”. I do have a bone to pick with you though on the context of one of your cut ‘n pasted paragraphs, this one:

    If we go in there and dismantle them–and they deserve to be dismantled–but then we wash our hands of it and walk away and leave it in a situation of chaos and say, “Oh, that’s for you all to decide how to put things back together now” . . .
    That paragraph was after this one:

    And when you ask the administration about this, what’s their intention in the aftermath of a war–Secretary Rumsfeld was asked recently about what our responsibility would be for restabilizing Iraq in the aftermath of an invasion. And his answer was, and I quote, “That’s for the Iraqis to come together and decide.”

    Al Gore was paraphrasing Secretary Rumsfeld! In between those two paragraphs, Mr. Gore stated:

    I vividly remember that during one of the campaign debates in 2000 Jim Lehrer asked then Governor Bush whether or not America, after being involved in military action, should engage in any form of nation building. And the answer was, and I quote, “I don’t think so. I think what we need to do is to convince people who live in the lands they live in to build the nations.”

    “Maybe I’m missing something here. We’re going to have a kind of nation-building corps in America?”

    “Absolutely not.”

    My answer to your question about the speech Al Gore gave in 2002, and why did he state that he thought Saddam had biological weapons? He had been out of government office for two years, so he could only rely on the information that White House was parsing out to the general public. He did not have any “secret” information, he was misled, just as the Congress and the American population was misled.

    newt one, this has been addressed before; what you cannot seem to wrap your head around is that President Bush and his administration is completely responsible for the situation in Iraq and your “obsession” with former Vice-President Al Gore borders on neurotic. Get a grip, man! Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter have nothing to do with how badly George W. Bush & Co. have screwed up. That is reality.

  34. Hoosier21
    May 17, 2007 at 8:09 am

    Good Morning, Dave!
    I really don’t have the time nor the inkling to go through your archives to find the specific links that I referenced. But, I will paraphrase the essence of it. (don’t have a photographic memory). On one show, she stated that “90% of those killed in Iraq would be alive today if they had the additional body armor”. This is not a true statement. I know what she meant and it is a far cry from the above. On another show, she stated that Bush had said that “Iraq was in possession of NUCLEAR weapons”. Again, this is not a true statement. Look it up. I do not wish to label Michele as a liar. I just wanted to say that sometimes she says things that are not exactly truthful.
    In a polite society, one would not be called an idiot with no sense of morality. I do believe discussions would be much better without the generic labels immediately hurled at newcomers. If you “progressives” would prefer to post columns and then congratulate each other on a nice post without discussions, I will gladly ride off into the sunset. I have to much experience to know that any of these post will change anyone’s minds or opinions. I also take personal affront to being label as “you guys” and all that I have to offer is personal, dismissive attacks. I do not believe you know anything about me Dave.
    Okay, I know you all read the leftist columns and know all the bad things that have and are happening in Iraq. Can someone from the left tell me any positive things that have happened over there? Can someone tell me what they would think would happen over there if we did pull out immediately? Michele? Marilyn? Bob?

  35. the ghost of christmas past
    May 17, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    Hoosier: Let me answer for the left. On one hand, if we pull out of Iraq, everything will bne just fine. We are creating terrorists and terrorist incidents, so if we leave, taking all of our evil contractors with us, then the Sunnis and Shiites will hold hands and sing Kum-bi-ya together living in peace. On the other hand, if we leave Afghanistan, where that dastardly Osama bin Laden has yet to be captured (Damn you, Bush, for taking our eye off the ball there!!!), then the Taliban will return, plunging Afghanistan into civil war where thousands and thousands of Afghani children will die and Afghanistan will become a safehaven for terrorists again.

    Did I get it right? I think so.

    My question is: Name me one sane reason why Iraq won’t degenerate into a full-fledge genocide? The fact is that the only thing keeping Iraqi sunnis and shiites from that genocide is the United States Army. When we leave three things will happen: 1) Sunnis will be executed to the last man, woman and child by shiite death squads, 2)Iran will invade southern Iraq and seize their oilfields, 3) al Qaida will use the open desert al Anbar province to train and stage terrorist actions.

    It is a pitty that liberals are so smug, self-righteous, and completely oblivious that they cannot see the exact same mistakes that they made during the Vietnam War are being repeated during this war.

  36. Anonymous
    May 17, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    Hey Bob,

    I think world war II had a lot more to do with saving capitalism than Rosevelt’s new deal.

  37. the ghost of christmas past
    May 17, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    To answer Dave’s question posted by this thread:

    The reason why reporting of civilian casualties are being blocked from reporting is NOT to keep the “truth” from the American people about the conditions in Iraq, although all you conspiracy-minded liberals will or have come to that conclusion already. It is to deny the insurgents and the terrorists the information on the casualty yields of their bombings they need for their metrics of tactical effectiveness. The mainstream media has been telling the terrorists, through their reporting, that the terrorists need to keep up their civilian bombing campaign every time the MSM shows the bloody messes of their murderous attacks or reports on the latest death toll from said bombings.

    Once again, the question remains: What did the United States or Bush ever do to the insurgents or the terrorists for them to think it would be acceptable for those terrorists to bomb civilian marketplaces or places of Islamic worship?

  38. Anonymous
    May 17, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    Impossible! Violence never solved anything! The only way to fight violence is with love!

  39. the ghost of christmas past
    May 17, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    Great idea, Anonymous. We’ll just “love” bomb the Jihadists to death. I just wish they would have suicide “love” bombers instead of the explosive kind. How assinine! That “make love, not war” pacifism is exactly the kind of thinking that encouraged bin Laden to attack America on our soil after the “Blackhawk Down” incident of 1993. The Jihadists have no love in their tiny hearts for anything that is not beholden to Sharia law or a devout, subserviant member of Islam. The Jihadists love, don’t get me wrong. They love to kill their own followers if they collaborate with the US. They love to kill members of other sects of Islam. They love the way children’s bodies look on TV after they blow up a bus or a school full of them. They love the propaganda that the American press gives them free of charge and the fawning adoration they receive from that group. They loved being able to show how they assassinate our soldiers on Anderson Cooper 360. They love the the weak-kneed, fearful catterwalling of the Democrats in Congress and the division they see here in America. They love watching us tear ourselves apart with self-hatred over what Bush has done “in our name”. They love watching the Democrats desperately trying to give the Jihadists the victory they are all too willing to fight, kill and die for. They love how multitudes of Americans cry “It’s too soon” before showing things like “United 93” or the fototage from September 11th. They love our weakness, our indecisiveness, our divisions, our complacency and our blindness to them in places like New Jersey and Florida and Arizona and New York City. They love the ACLU that screams bloody murder over such things as racial profiling, domestic surveillenence of known al Qaida oepratives and the denial of ‘rights’ to their fighters in G’itmo, all of which would make things infinately more difficult for the Jihadists to hit targets in America. The Jihadists are full of love. So, you can “love” them back all you want. As a matter of fact, “love” them right up to the point where they cut your f&%king head off then you will see what your “love” for them will get you. I for one would love it if they could somehow find their way out of the 6th century and join the rest of the world in the 21st century. Short of that, I would love it if they could just learn to live and let live.

  40. Anonymous
    May 18, 2007 at 1:14 am

    I think he was joking Ghost.

  41. Michele
    May 18, 2007 at 2:34 am

    Newt One, I’m sorry I didn’t respond to your last batch of Al Gore nonsense in the previous thread – I thought, since Bob had done such a masterful job of rebutting your point, there was no need for me to pile on.

    However, since the concept of “before” and “after” seems not to have stuck in your head, and you are regurgitating the same nonsense on this thread – I’ll be happy to provide some further remedial education in the concept of “linear time” for you.

    A few Historical facts:

    Al Gore was Vice President from 1992-2000, and received security briefings during that time. He did NOT receive any briefings after 2001.

    After Clinton Bombed (and destroyed) the last of Iraq’s Chemical weapons plants in 1998, UN Weapons inspectors were thrown out – and nobody knew WHAT weapons Iraq had. Some said they had them, some said they didn’t. Obviously, a point on which honest men may – then – have disagreed.

    But after Bush and the UN started getting tough with Iraq in 2002 – a move which I supported, by the way, including putting troops in Kuwait to make sure Saddam knew he had to comply – UN Weapons Inspectors went back into Iraq.

    Let’s look at the timeline, shall we?

    9/23/02: Al Gore makes the speech you reference above, in which he states his belief that Iraq may well have WMD – but vehemently opposes any unilateral action against them by Bush (the part you left out.) (Please note that he bases his statement on information available to him BEFORE Jan 2001.)

    11/27/02– Weapons Inspectors return to Iraq

    02/03/03 – UN Inspectors state that Iraq is cooperating, request more time

    02/05/03 – Colin Powell makes UN WMMD Presentation

    02/14/03 – Hans Blix Report – Iraq is offering good cooperation, we just need a little more time

    Top U.N. inspectors ask Security Council for more time on Iraq

    Inspectors Call U.S. Tips ‘Garbage’.

    (Feb 20, 2003)

    In fact, the U.S. claim that Iraq is developing missiles that could hit its neighbors – or U.S. troops in the region, or even Israel – is just one of the claims coming from Washington that inspectors here are finding increasingly unbelievable. The inspectors have become so frustrated trying to chase down unspecific or ambiguous U.S. leads that they’ve begun to express that anger privately in no uncertain terms.

    U.N. sources have told CBS News that American tips have lead to one dead end after another.

    · Example: satellite photographs purporting to show new research buildings at Iraqi nuclear sites. When the U.N. went into the new buildings they found “nothing.”

    · Example: Saddam’s presidential palaces, where the inspectors went with specific coordinates supplied by the U.S. on where to look for incriminating evidence. Again, they found “nothing.”

    · Example: Interviews with scientists about the aluminum tubes the U.S. says Iraq has imported for enriching uranium, but which the Iraqis say are for making rockets. Given the size and specification of the tubes, the U.N. calls the “Iraqi alibi air tight.”

    3/18/03– weapons inspectors forced to leave Iraq by US invasion – before they have a chance to report.

    3/20/03 – War Begins

    For an in-depth look at the WMD Iraq-war timeline, here is a great source:

    Piecing together the story of the weapons that weren’t .

    Now, if – as Newt claims – the Bush administration honestly believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction – then why didn’t they tell the UN weapons inspectors where they were, and wait for the Weapons Inspectors to find them? If they had, Bush could have gotten an authorization for force from the UN, and gone to war with the whole world behind him – as his father did.

    So WHY did Bush have to hurry up and start the war, without waiting for the UN weapons inspectors to finish and find the weapons?

    Unless – they aready knew,or strongly suspected,that the weapons didn’t exist, and had to hurry up and start the war before the UN inspectors had a chance to tell the world that.

    By the way – it was NOT President Al Gore who was responsible for this:

    British Intelligence Warned of Iraq War .

    Seven months before the invasion of Iraq, the head of British foreign intelligence reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair that President Bush wanted to topple Saddam Hussein by military action and warned that in Washington intelligence was “being fixed around the policy,” according to notes of a July 23, 2002, meeting with Blair at No. 10 Downing Street.

    “Military action was now seen as inevitable,” said the notes, summarizing a report by Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6, British intelligence, who had just returned from consultations in Washington along with other senior British officials.

    Dearlove went on, “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”

    “The case was thin,” summarized the notes taken by a British national security aide at the meeting. “Saddam was not threatening his neighbours and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.”
    (snip)

    The notes of the Blair meeting, attended by the prime minister’s senior national security team, also disclose for the first time that Britain’s intelligence boss believed that Bush had decided to go to war in mid-2002, and that he believed U.S. policymakers were trying to use the limited intelligence they had to make the Iraqi leader appear to be a bigger threat than was supported by known facts.

    It was also not President Al Gore who was responsible for this:

    Warnings on WMD ‘Fabricator’ Were Ignored, Ex-CIA Aide Says.

    In late January 2003, as Secretary of State Colin Powell prepared to argue the Bush administration’s case against Iraq at the United Nations, veteran CIA officer Tyler Drumheller sat down with a classified draft of Powell’s speech to look for errors. He found a whopper: a claim about mobile biological labs built by Iraq for germ warfare.

    Drumheller instantly recognized the source, an Iraqi defector suspected of being mentally unstable and a liar. The CIA officer took his pen, he recounted in an interview, and crossed out the whole paragraph.

    A few days later, the lines were back in the speech. Powell stood before the U.N. Security Council on Feb. 5 and said: “We have first-hand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails.”

    or this

    Report: U.S. Ignored WMD Doubts
    .

    The New York Times reported in Sunday editions that the White House claim that thousands of aluminum tubes were intended for use in centrifuges for enriching uranium was made despite warnings from the Energy Department and the State Department.

    or this:

    Iraq’s Alleged Al-Qaeda Ties Were Disputed Before War .

    A declassified report released yesterday by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence revealed that U.S. intelligence analysts were strongly disputing the alleged links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda while senior Bush administration officials were publicly asserting those links to justify invading Iraq.

    Far from aligning himself with al-Qaeda and Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Hussein repeatedly rebuffed al-Qaeda’s overtures and tried to capture Zarqawi, the report said. Tariq Aziz, the detained former deputy prime minister, has told the FBI that Hussein “only expressed negative sentiments about [Osama] bin Laden

    Hope this helps.

  42. Michele
    May 18, 2007 at 2:44 am

    Hoosier 21 – actually, no – you may NOT paraphrase me – especially as your “paraphrasing” involves putting words in my mouth that I never said

    First Issue: Body Armor

    What I DID say, on previous shows, was that, because Rumsfeld refused to plan for the occupation, from the early days of the war, American troops faced a serious shortage of both Body armor and Up – armored vehicles. You want to argue that that wasn’t the case?

    U.S. soldiers lack best protective gear .

    12/17/2003:

    The Pentagon confirms that at least 40,000 of the 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq don’t have basic Kevlar Interceptor vests or the ceramic plates needed for full protection.
    (snip)
    What came as a greater surprise was that Richard’s mother had mailed him body armor because his entire unit was issued Vietnam-era flak jackets that are designed to stop shrapnel rather than bullets. The Interceptor vest can stop AK-47 rounds moving 2,750 feet a second.

    Secondly, It was revealed in January of THIS year that the armor that DID finally show up was inadequate.

    For lack of body armor, troops die. Why the delay? .

    Members of Congress were reacting to a newly reported analysis by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner, which concluded that 80% of the fatal injuries to Marines in the study might have been prevented by additional armor coverage. Side armor, a special concern, is just beginning to arrive in Iraq.

    The armor situation fits a deadly pattern of blunders by the war’s architects. The quick invasion of Iraq happened as planned, but — as former Iraq civilian administrator Paul Bremer acknowledges in his new book — the Bush administration didn’t anticipate the widespread and lethal insurgency that followed.

    The occupying U.S. troops soon found themselves facing deadly new tactics with inadequate armor on both their vehicles and themselves
    This tragic miscalculation has had tragic consequences.
    To date, 1,510 soldiers and 633 Marines have died in Iraq, many of them killed by rifle shots or explosions in which better armor could have made a difference.

    Pentagon Study Links Fatalities to Body Armor.

    The vulnerability of the military’s body armor has been known since the start of the war, and is part of a series of problems that have surrounded the protection of American troops.

    Still, the Marine Corps did not begin buying additional plates to cover the sides of their troops until September, when it ordered 28,800 sets, Marine officials acknowledge.

    The Army, which has the largest force in Iraq, is still deciding what to purchase, according to Army procurement officials. They said the Army was deciding among various sizes of plates to give its 130,000 soldiers, adding that they hoped to issue contracts this month.

    And, of course, there’s the whole issue of why our troops are being issued outdated, heavy, fragile Interceptor body Armor in the first place – rather than the far more effective Dragon Skin armor, worn by the Secret Service, the CIA – and by elite US troops and generals. I’m sure that the fact that the company that makes Interceptor is one of the largest donors to the Republican party has nothing to do with it. For info on this, PLEASE read an NBC report on this issue.

    Are U.S. soldiers wearing the best body armor?.

    Second Issue: What Bush Said About Iraq’s Nuclear Capabilities

    I never said that Bush claimed that Iraq had developed nuclear weapons. I said that the Bush administration had spent months scaring the country with boogie tales of Iraq’s nuclear capabilities – none of which turned out to be true.

    In fact, two of these claims – the Uranium from Niger and the Aluminum Tubes claims – had been specifically debunked by the CIA before the Bush Administration repeated them – again, and again, and again. (see previous posts for links)

    Dick Cheney: 3/16/2003:

    And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. I think Mr. El Baradei frankly is wrong

    President Bush, 1/28/03

    The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production

    Vice President Cheney
    Veterans of Foreign Wars 103 rd National Convention
    August 26, 2002

    “But we now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. Among other sources, we’ve gotten this from the firsthand testimony of defectors –including Saddam’s own son-in-law, who was subsequently murdered at Saddam’s direction. Many of us are convinced that Saddam will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon.

    “Armed with an arsenal of these weapons of terror, and seated atop ten percent of the world’s oil reserves, Saddam Hussein could then be expected to seek domination of the entire Middle East, take control of a great portion of the world’s energy supplies, directly threaten America’s friends throughout the region, and subject the United States or any other nation to nuclear blackmail.

    “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.”

    National Security Advisor Rice
    September 8, 2002

    “There will always be some uncertainty about how quickly [Saddam] can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

    Secretary Rumsfeld
    September 8, 2002

    “Imagine a September eleventh with weapons of mass destruction. It’s not three thousand – it’s tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children.”

    President Bush
    United Nations General Assembly,
    September 12, 2002

    “Today, Iraq continues to withhold important information about its nuclear program –weapons design, procurement logs, experiment data, an accounting of nuclear materials and documentation of foreign assistance. Iraq employs capable nuclear scientists and technicians. It retains physical infrastructure needed to build a nuclear weapon.

    Iraq has made several attempts to buy high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon. Should Iraq acquire fissile material, it would be able to build a nuclear weapon within a year. And Iraq’s state-controlled media has reported numerous meetings between Saddam Hussein and his nuclear scientists, leaving little doubt about his continued appetite for these weapons.

    So please, by all means – tell us again about how Bush never hyped the Iraqi nuclear threat.

  43. Michele
    May 18, 2007 at 2:58 am

    Oh, and by the way –

    1. Dave is definitely NOT paying me to blog.

    (Though I do tend to stick Dave and Charlotte with the bar tab whenever I come to SLO – does that count?)

    2. Who, exactly, predicted that when we leave Iraq, sweetness and light and Kum-ba-yah will prevail?

    Not me. When we leave Iraq, a terrible, bloodthirsty mess will ensue, and America’s reputation in the region will be tremendously damaged.

    But that outcome was inevitable when Bush first invaded Iraq on false prestenses, and then didn’t send enough troops to secure the country afterward.

    The question now is – is our statying making the eventual mess better, or worse? And should the same people who made this horrible mess in the first place be trusted to extricate us from it?

    Listen, you want to stay and fight for ten years – OK, fine. Let’s have a big tax increase to pay for it, and immediately institute a draft to come up with the hundreds of thousands of troops it will take to do it.

    But if you only support the war as long as other people’s kids do the bleeding and dying, and our children and grandchildren pay the bill – then you’re not serious.

    You’re just enjoying the thrill of vicarious toughness.

    Logisitics note: since my laptop is going into the Computer Hospital tomorrow – depending on the diagnosis, I will probably be off line for a day or two.

    I’m sure Bob or Dave will slap down the more egregious fantasyland postings while I’m gone.

    (Bob – I hope YOU stick David with he bar tab, as well! )

  44. Michele
    May 18, 2007 at 3:23 am

    Just one more question –

    Since I posted on tuesday, there have been a string of postings supporting the war. We’ve had

    – irrelevant obsessions with Al GOre’s airplane flights,

    – accusations that Dave is paying me,

    – comments on my voice and snottiness

    – accusations that I am a serial liar

    – lots of Rush Limbaugh talking points about the “Evil Liberals” want, including the obligatory references to the ACLU and the “terrorists

    But not a SINGLE POSTER has answered the fundamental questions I asked in my first post:

    1. You think we can “win the Iraq war?” Great. Who do we win OVER?
    Who, exactly, is the enemy in Iraq?

    Who, exactly, ARE these “terrorists” you are so eager to defeat? Sunnis? The Shiite Militias who are supported by both Iran and the current “government”? The estimated 5% of the insurgency that is non-Iraqi? Who?

    2. If we “win” – who surrenders? Who disarms? And who runs the country after we’ve “won?”

    If you want to discuss a military campaign – but can’t answer those basic questions about the nature of the enemy – then you’re just – to use a fine old British term – wanking.

  45. Michele
    May 18, 2007 at 3:32 am

    Oh, and Ghost?

    you said

    When we leave three things will happen: 1) Sunnis will be executed to the last man, woman and child by shiite death squads, 2)Iran will invade southern Iraq and seize their oilfields, 3) al Qaida will use the open desert al Anbar province to train and stage terrorist actions.

    Actually, I think it might be worse than that. For example, the Kurds could declare themselves a republic, causing a war with Turkey. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria will step up their support for the Sunni fighters in Iraq, and the whole country could become one big killing ground.

    one simple question: would ANY of these things happen if we had NOT invaded Iraq in the first place??

    oh, that’s right – it was us “Smug Liberals” who warned, BEFORE THE WAR BEGAN, that invading Iraq was a huge strategic mistake.

    And it was you “clever conservatives” who were all for it.

    This is your war. You wanted it. You own the consequences.

  46. Dave Congalton
    May 18, 2007 at 4:09 am

    WOW!

    Great job, Michele!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. Bob from San Luis
    May 18, 2007 at 5:01 am

    What’s that sound coming from the right after that extremely well written smack down by Michele? .. … …. {crickets} …. … .. , oh yeah, silence. Maybe you guys are still reading the comments by Michele, since she had such a long comment, and, she had several links to back up her assertions. Gee, I can hardly wait to see the witty responses by the various anonymouses, newt one and the ghost of Christmas past. Good luck coming up with an intelligent response that refutes anything that Michele wrote.

  48. new tone
    May 18, 2007 at 5:28 am

    Michelle,

    In your very arrogant and petty way I appreciate your remedial lesson that you were able to give me. We just look at this from 180 degree directions. Vice President Algore was in office from 1993 through Jan. of 2001. You are just so on. I have to believe Dave that you did a great job.

    Oh, Algore did see the best intelligence on Iraq and anyone else for that matter. They started the carnivore system for internet spying.

    If they totally destroyed Saddam’s WMD’s, in the previous speech mentioned what did he mean when he stated:

    Here’s why I say that. We know that he has stored away secret supplies of biological weapons and chemical weapons throughout his country. As yet, we have no evidence, however, that he has shared any of these weapons with terrorist groups. If the administration has evidence that he has, please present it, because that would change the way we all look at this thing.

    End quote. Was he saying that he thought they had them? I know he was in office within 18 months of giving this speech, do you think he threw out the old knowledge that Saddams WMD’s were gone and was tricked by Bush? Was he saying that we should wait until we had proof that Saddam had given the weapons to a terrorist group before doing any military action? What does Michelle believe would constitute proof?

    You can go over and over again about Bush lying about WMD’s. The state of intelligence was not so good, and hopefully is getting better in the years prior to 911. Congress had made a law banning the use of bad people to get information. Problem with that is that sometimes it takes bad people to kill bad people.

    Lets just agree that yeah, everyone thought there were WMD’s. The minders of the weapons inspectors had hours of warning before they inspected any sites. Inspectors were not allowed in sites until they were clean. If you think that Hans Blix, a partisan who probably collected money from the oil for food program and was raping Iraq with France and Russia, is trustworthy and a good guy you are naive. If you think that the UN wanted the oil for food program to end, you have your head in the sand.

    Bottom line is this. We are in Iraq, for the wrong or right reasons. History will tell. The evil terrorist funded by Iran and other islamic extremists are there now, and fighting us there for Iraq. We can win this war by killing the enemy. I believe we need to unleash the military and let them do their job without worrying so much about traditions or the feelings of the enemy….Islamists. We need to follow the traditions of warfare….kill the enemy, scare them into submission, and break their will to fight. That is how we won in Germany, Italy, and Japan. Sadly, many were killed. Many many more in some battles that the whole time of this recent conflict.

    What will Michelle do and feel when or if San Fransisco is hit with a terrorist attack for being the capitol of lust and perversion in the US? What would you do if roving mobs of islamics went and made sure you did things as they see fit in your neighborhood. These attacks did not start on 911, and they will not end when we pull out of Iraq. Sometime someday, if we are going to survive as a nation, we will have to kill the enemy or be killed by beheading. That is the bottom line for me.

  49. Bob from San Luis
    May 18, 2007 at 6:50 am

    new tone: Come on man, get a clue! Give up trying to blame former Vice-President Al Gore for the so-called intelligence the administration used as justification for the illegal invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation that had not attacked us, had no capacity to attack us, and was not a threat in any way, shape or form to the well being of the United States of America.
    No, I will not agree that everyone thought Iraq had WMDs; as hoosier (I think is was) has said, nobody here is going to convince anyone else that they are wrong about their assumptions, but please stop being so dumb about flogging your viewpoint that will not change my or Michele or anyone else’s view that the administration has done everything wrong when it comes to the question of Iraq.
    Answer Michele’s question about who will sign a surrender treaty, as was done in Germany, Italy and Japan- the answer of course is no one.
    An earlier anonymous asked what will happen when we leave Iraq; Michele answered that very succinctly. What would be a better course of action is; void and cancel any and all private contracts for goods or services for every single company that has not fulfilled their obligation. Kick every single one of those companies out of Iraq, NOW, and, any of those companies who are removed have to remove their private security firms as well. Once that has happened, Iraqi firms could begin to put Iraqis back to work, and people who are employed do not take up arms. The more we reduce our footprint in Iraq, the less our troops will be attacked. As the remaining contractors finish their contracts, they pull out too, allowing more Iraqi companies to put even more Iraqis back to work. In another six to ten months, we draw down our military to support levels, on the outskirts of Baghdad, and we reduce the number of military bases to the point that we follow the request that the government of Iraq has voted on, that we leave Iraq, completely.
    Answering another point made earlier; yes WWII did help save capitalism, but if the New Deal had not been enacted prior to WWII, I have some serious doubts that we could have responded in the overwhelming manner that our country did.

  50. Michele
    May 18, 2007 at 7:30 am

    New Tone

    1. One more time. The Al Gore speech you quote is from BEFORE the UN weapons inspectors went back into Iraq – and were finding no WMD. (Before, that is, they were kicked out so Bush could start his war. )

    2. No, I will NOT agree that everyone thought Saddam had WMDs. I didn’t. Scott Ritter didn’t.

    General Anthony Zinni, the CentCom commander for the region including Iraq from 1997-2000, didn’t, and said so, loudly and publicly.

    The Bush administration “had to create a false rationale for going in to get public support.” Zinni said that “the books were cooked, in my mind. The intelligence (that supported the claims made to support the need for war) was not there.”

    The French didn’t. The Germans didn’t.

    Your post repeats all the Bill O’Reilly Talking Points – “Down with the U.N. Weapons inspectors! We Hate the French! Kill the Terrorists!” and ignores the fundamental fact that the UN weapons Inspectors – and those awful French – were RIGHT about Iraq’s WMD.

    You also really, REALLY blew the answer to the question:

    WHO IS THE ENEMY WE ARE GOING TO DEFEAT?

    You say it’s “The Iranian-backed Islamists”.

    Ok, two problems with that answer:

    1. Currently, most attacks on US forces are carried out by the secular, home-grown Sunni Insurgency – who are the SWORN ENEMIES of Iran, and see themselves as fighting to PREVENT Iraq falling under Persian (Iranian) influence.

    2. The “Iranian-backed Islamists” you think we should be defeating (AKA the Shiite Militias) are supported and protected by the very Maliki government that BUSH is propping up..

    In other words – the people you think are the enemy are the PEOPLE WHO CONTROL THE VERY GOVERNMENT OF IRAQ THAT WE ARE SUPPORTING!

    Shadowy Iraq office accused of sectarian agenda.

    Iraq’s prime minister has created an entity within his government that U.S. and Iraqi military officials say is being used as a smokescreen to hide an extreme Shiite agenda that is worsening the country’s sectarian divide.

    (snip)

    Among the cases, an Iraqi colonel in Baghdad, who had made strides in controlling the Shiite Mehdi militia, was removed from his job, the U.S. military official said.

    The official also cited the case of an Iraqi National Police commander who was detained and then fired after ordering his men to crack down on Shiite militiamen.

    The same source said the Office is working to reinstate Iraqi officers the United States had successfully removed because the officers were frequently casting a blind eye to violence carried out by Shiite militiamen.

    So, class, let’s Review:

    1. Most of the attacks on US forces – and the market bombings, etc. are carried out by the Secular SUNNIS – who are the sworn enemy of Iran, as well as the US.

    2. Most of the random murders of Sunnis, the forced evictions, etc. – are carried out by Iranian-backed Shiite Militias. The Shiites are currently not overtly attacking US forces -unless we try to arrest Mahdi Army militiamen. They are focused on killing all the Sunnis they can, hoping the US kills the rest – and planning the day when they kick us out and turn Iraq in an Iranian Province.

    US leaves militia limited security role.

    The mosque of Imam Kadhim, the most revered Shiite shrine in Baghdad, is a tempting target for Sunni insurgents. To protect it, Iraqi and U.S. troops rely on the Mahdi Army, the same Shiite militia that Washington considers a threat to Iraq’s stability.

    That cuts to the heart of a dilemma for the U.S. military three months into the campaign to pacify Baghdad: whether to risk fierce battles by confronting Shiite militiamen blamed for massacring Sunnis or to deal with “moderates” in the Mahdi Army — which the U.S. believes receives weapons and training from Iran
    (snip)

    A gunbattle between U.S. troops and Mahdi fighters.

    During the two-hour fight, some Iraqi soldiers fought alongside Mahdi Army gunmen, according to the Iraqi officer in charge of security in the area.

    He spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear for his life. But his account was corroborated by U.S. officials, who said some Iraqi soldiers took off their uniforms and tossed weapons to militiamen.

    So, to sum up:
    Sunnis – killing Americans and Shiites. Supported by Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Jordan.

    Shiites – killing Sunnis. Also killing Americans, when they feel like it. Supported by Iran. Also, running the government that the US is supporting.

    It’s this kind of simplistic analysis – “Kill the terrorists” Kill the Islamists!” That has gotten us into this mess.

    Please, New Tone, this is getting embarassing. Turn OFF Rush Limbaugh, turn OFF Fox News and READ A BOOK about the IRaq war. (I recommend “Fiasco, to start”)

  51. Hoosier21
    May 18, 2007 at 11:56 am

    Michele, I am not arguing the fact about whether we had the armor or not, just about what you said on Dave’s show. I know all about the armor. This is applicable to both items. It’s on the record.

    I believe we already won the war. The Iraqi government was toppled and army defeated. What we are trying to do now is win the peace. I don’t know if you have seen the map of the areas that are in control of the Iraqi military. It is a sizeable area. Winning the peace is possible, but may take thinking out of the box. UN troops or better yet, troops from Muslim nations. Turkey has already volunteered to send in a Peace keeping force. If they could get Jordan, Egypt, Saudi and others to do the same, it could work. Trying for peace would be much better than genicide of us pulling out. I don’t like the idea of the 80% solution. But, that would work also.
    Who cares what Al Gore says or said.

  52. ioflo
    May 18, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    I do not listen to rush and I do not listen sean and the most important thing here is, Dave. When I hear you have Michelle on I turn the station. I only see a hand full of people responding here so I must not be alone. Think about it!

  53. Michele
    May 18, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    One last post before the Laptop goes into the hospital:

    Hoosier21, you accused my of deliberatley telling lies and Daves’ show, and cited two examples of the “lies” that I had told.

    I provided evidence to prove that my statements about both body armor and the Bush adminstration pushing the Iraq/nuclear scare, were not lies, but rather, well supported by

    An official Pentagon report on the effectiveness of US body armor,

    and

    The historical record of Bush administration statements about Iraq/nuclear.

    Let’s recap:

    1. You called my a liar in two specific instances.

    2. I proved that my statements on DAve’s show were NOT lies.

    3. So your apoplogy is now due and payable.

    (I’m not holding my breath)

  54. paul
    May 19, 2007 at 1:41 am

    Michelle,
    The enemy in Iraq are the people who don’t want there to be peace there. It looks like there are many reasons, religious, political, criminal. I doubt they’re allies, but the chaos serves them all.
    We will win in Iraq. There have been way too many mistakes made but going in wasn’t one of them. We didn’t need any more reasons to go in than Saddam not keeping his part of the peace deal after the first gulf war.
    The U.N. is a worthless organization at best, it should be disbanded. There is no good reason to trust anything that comes from there. Cheers to the Iraq gov. for shutting them out.
    As tragic as any death is, when you join the military you are aware that death is kind of your line of work. The casualties have been incredibly low. That’s a good thing. Before we went in, folks were talking about 10,000 deaths.

  55. Gregory
    May 19, 2007 at 1:49 am

    GolfingSLO…lemme see if I get what you have said a few posts above.

    Since we can’t know ALL of the facts surrounding any particular incident or person…this means…we can’t then draw any conclusions or have any discussion whatever.

    Right??? Are you serious? How can anything be analyzed? How can anything get talked about?

    Hmm. Maybe you don’t want any (discussion) thing done. –G

  56. Bob from San Luis
    May 19, 2007 at 3:22 am

    Paul said: The enemy in Iraq are the people who don’t want there to be peace there. Um, how does anyone living in Iraq have a chance at peace while American and multi-national companies are there excluding Iraqis from earning a living? Certainly there are some foreign fighters there who want to sow discontent and violence among the Iraqis, but the vast majority of insurgents are trying to advance their agenda. Sunnis, Kurds and Shia have a few dissimilar goals, but one thing they all agree on is that they all want their followers to be able to make a living. While the three main factions will most certainly clash after we leave, one thing for sure is that if we are not around, all three groups will do everything they can to eliminate any and all foreign fighters. You state that we will win in Iraq; what will we win? Michele has asked this before, but again, who will sign a peace accord? My point here is that we have already won in Iraq; Saddam is gone, the army is being rebuilt, there are no WMDs, no mobil chemical labs, no nuclear program. The “war” is over, we are occupying Iraq, period. 10,000 deaths? How about the estimated 650,000 Iraqis? Not just men, but women and children- and if you mean 10,000 American deaths, just think of how many more could have been prevented if our troops had been supplied with the best armor, helmet liners and up-armored transport vehicles. Advances in medical technology most certainly has a role in our lower casualties, look at the number of injured who might have died had they not had access to the state of the art medicine. Oh, and our first mistake was invading Iraq. Read a few of the links that Michele posted and then tell me that you really believe that the Bush Administration had ample “proof” that we were justified in invading Iraq. There is no “there” there.

  57. Dave Congalton
    May 19, 2007 at 4:47 am

    Hey Ioflo,

    So you turn off the radio whenever Michele on. So? What’s your point? You’re another example of the personal attacks syndrome — you choose not to respond or counter anything Michele has to say. All you can do is suggest that I’m losing listeners because I give air time to people with opposite points of view from Rush and Sean.

    I accept that tradeoff, my friend. We will continue to welcome all points of view on my show — even yours.

  58. Billy D
    May 19, 2007 at 5:19 am

    13 people in this post!
    dave do you think you could post an anything goes post but it must be happy ,good with no bashing.
    do you think these 13 peaple can do that

  59. Hoosier21
    May 19, 2007 at 8:01 am

    Where is Ann Coulter’s book when you need it? Michele, if you had stated the things you are posting we would not be having this argument. This discussion is about what was actually said on radio. I am sure Dave has had plenty of time to look it up by now and he can gently break the bad news to you.

    So, let’s start in the beginning. If one were to say that 90% of the troops killed in Iraq would be alive today if they had the additional body armor, would that be a true statement? This is a yes or no question.
    Now, if one were to say that Bush had said that Iraq had nuclear weapons, would that be a true statement? Again, this is a yes or no question.
    Your posts do not prove any of the above.
    I do not want to label anyone a deliberate liar. I believe I said untruthful statements. I am not in your head so I have no idea what transpired you to say those things. I in no way can tell if it was deliberate, thinking to far in advance, slip up or just what it was. But, the fact remains; you said them on his show.

    Bob, I had already stated that the war has been won. To answer Marilyn, you do not sign a peace agreement if the entire government is dismantled and a new style of government is drafted and approved by the people and then officials are duly elected by the people. If this newly elected government then requests our US troop’s presence, than it is difficult to say this is an occupation. We are remaining there at the invitation of the existing Iraqi government as peace keepers. Let’s be truthful. There have been thousands of insurgencies throughout history. And what history shows us is that they all end. This too will end. We can either help shape the ending or pull out and let happen what will happen. Sometimes I have to remind myself that only 1/3 of the left believe Bush had nothing to do with causing 911.

    Now, let’s talk about the 655,000 deaths. We know how they came up with this figure (12000 demographic interviews), but to believe this would mean that
    Reuters, the Associated Press, UPI, the BBC, the New York Times, the Guardian, Robert Fisk, al Manar, al Jazeera, and every other news conglomeration in Iraq are a willful part of the largest cover-up in human history, hiding three times of the number of those killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined over the course of three-plus years. Let’s remember the timing of the release of these numbers. October, right before the election and a little too coincidental in my opinion. There are several liberal websites that have Iraqi civilian death counters and none of them are in the six figures, yet we are to believe the 655000 number. I read the news reports and I can not see 500 deaths per day anywhere, let alone an average for over three years.

    And yes Dave, I switch channels when you start bashing the Bush administration. Not when it is a planned segment. I expect it then. But, just as jabs to show your disdain that is everything Bush. On the days you don’t, I enjoy your show.

  60. Hoosier21
    May 19, 2007 at 8:40 am

    Hey Dave, I have been meaning to tell you, my brother graduated from Depauw University. I know you have a special connection with that place.

  61. Georgieboy Sorros
    May 19, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    Great job Dave and Michele! I know Marilyn is all washed up here…Nice Michele stepped up to continue our agenda the check is the mail!
    As for that bar tab! Keep drinking! It’s keep your heads fuzzy so I can keep filling it with my anyi American talking points!
    You will always be number 1 Dave…I control evrything in liberal hide aways like slo…
    Bottoms up libs! We are so close to destroying America! And my faithful puppets will be rewarded well!

  62. Newt One
    May 19, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    I do not care if I receive attacks of a personal nature from Dave and the others here. I get called a hateful person with an anger problem when Marilyn is out of line and gets called on it. It has nothing to do with her supposedly being female, but much more with her support for terrorists such as Hamas and her worship of evil people like Karl Marx. Marilyn even is against property ownership! How un-american can you even be? Just make everyone equal and have stive for the gray dismal future of CUba, China, Venezuela, or China.

    There is no way Michelle and I will every agree eye to eye. I do not need remedial education as she suggests. I would gladly stack my education, experience, and ability up to hers any time.

    I choose to remain anonymous on this blog because my ideas as expressed on this blog may not be popular with my customers. I am well known in the community and think it is enjoyable to banter political stuff on this blog. Dave and others somehow think that is wrong, at least for some. You can be Santa Maria Bill, or Michelle, but if I called in and talked on the air, or put my name as Julie from Guadalupe people would know who I am. I know too many people. I know many of the guests and sponsors of KVEC. I think that is valuable in that we really know none of the people on this blog are actually who they say they are anyways.

    Lastly, I have not listened to KVEC regularly not because of SM BIll, Michelle, or anyone else. I quit listening because it is no longer interesting. I have found it more enjoyable to do other things from. Love that KZOZ to rock out with.

    Hope I have not offended anyone personally. I would be glad to buy any of you lunch and get to know you as a person. Politics are politics and I believe some of you need to remember people are behind these ideas and consider their feelings. Dave, I know you have really low self esteem and you try and wound those who wound you. Just stop it man! Don’t let it get to you. Keep you chin up and run this radio program like the pro you are.

    Take Care, Newt One

  63. paul
    May 19, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    So these guys are blowing people up because they don’t have work? That’s a new one.
    What we will win is a peaceful, healthy democracy in the middle east.
    I’ve read most of M’s posts, what I’m saying is that Saddam broke his agreements for peace after the first gulf war and that was reason enough to go in. He also paid the families of suicide bombers. The guy was a cancer and it’s good that he is gone.
    What the world has done up to this point is tell murderous dictators “Stop! or we will tell you stop again.”

  64. Steve
    May 20, 2007 at 12:35 am

    Newtone
    Its not just the liberals/democrats, Bush and ALL the elected losers sold the taxpayer/voter out.
    This country has no leaders anywhere.

  65. Bob from San Luis
    May 20, 2007 at 3:38 am

    hoosier: Okay, we are agreed that we are not at “war” in Iraq because we already “won”; if we are not “invited” to be there, than we are occupiers. Many have tried to draw parallels between Iraq and WWII; we did invade and occupy Germany and Japan at the end of WWII, because they had either attacked us (Japan) or declared war on us (Germany). Iraq did neither, we invaded on false premises and we are illegally occupying a sovereign nation. In WWII we invested in new governments in Japan and Germany by both loaning them and giving them money directly. When those governments had their police and military forces reinstated so they could police and defend themselves, we drew down to some military bases in and around both countries, Germany more so because of the proximity to Russia for strategic value. My question for those who think this occupation is just and correct is; if either the Iraqi political leaders or the general population were to have a vote on whether or not our military should remain in Iraq, and they voted no, should we be bound by that decision?
    As for the 655,000 figure for Iraqi casualties, I do understand that this is a worst case scenario, but this figure was arrived at using (gasp!) science. I can certainly agree that the figures should be much lower, but it would seem to me that six figures is not completely out of the realm of possibility.
    newt one: I cannot speak for Dave, but the fact that you have even a screen name here does reduce your anonymity to a degree. I feel that those of us who criticize those who only use the “anonymous” feature to comment here truly are either too lazy to obtain or think up a regularly used screen name, of prefer to be as anonymous as possible so that their points will not be addressed directly back to them. As for those who comment here being who they truly say they are, Dave, Thomas W., Marilyn and Michele are who they say they are. Marilyn even has her gravatar embedded with her comments, just like Dave has, so that nobody can “punk” her here. That is the reason that I obtained my screen name so that no one will “punk” me here as well. And for the record, my first name is Robert, but I go by “Bob”. I post anonymously because I too have a business that I would like to keep apolitical. As for you being “attacked” here; don’t you think you open yourself up for behavior like that when you write: “Dave, I know you have really low self esteem and you try and wound those who wound you.“; that is a personal attack.
    paul: Unemployment in Iraq is thought to be between fifty to possibly seventy percent. Think about it; if our country were being occupied by a foreign nation and we had fifty percent unemployment, don’t you think that many would want to strike back at the occupiers? Especially if that occupying nation brought in their own countries companies to rebuild and would not use local labor.
    How can we win a democracy in the middle east? When (or if) there is a democracy in Iraq, it will not be “ours”. It will either be their country with the type of government they choose, or it is a nation occupied by a foreign government’s military, like it is now.
    Saddam was a cancer: When the U.N. weapons inspection teams went back into Iraq in 2004, we started to get the picture that Saddam was a toothless tiger concerning his ability to harm any other country. He did have some missiles that went fifteen miles more than they were allowed to, but UNSCOM never found anything remotely resembling “WMDs”. Once the news could have gotten out that Saddam did not possess the weapons he claimed he had had, once his population learned that he could only control them with regular army forces, he would have been in grave danger of being overthrown from within. Yes he was evil, yes he killed many of his own citizens, yes he had gassed the Kurds so he was a very bad leader and a despotic dictator, but it is very possible that many more have died since we invaded than he killed during his period of “leadership”. And as for “murderous dictators”, how many dictators do you suppose our country has supported in the past? Link here if you have the stomach to read what our government has done in the past, and present.

  66. Aarron (from OK)
    May 20, 2007 at 4:28 am

    listen, people, the left is always gonna have a line of experts and stories, accountable witnesses. AND the right is always gonna have a line of experts, and stories, accountable witnesses. here’s where were at, plane and simple: we went over there at THE beginning with good intentions, but now were screwed. what’s gonna happen? nothing. we will stay over thereas long as ‘need be.’ we ain’t leaving just because the dem’s got their panties in a wad. now don’t get wrong, i’m not a war supporter either. i believe there is some under the table deals, and dick and george are gonna make out like bandits. they ARE money grabbing, i wanna be better than people. i think its a WASTE of human life. as ‘humanitarians’ we SHOULD help the people in iraq. but with all the scandals, well….

    this is what we need to do: tell the irag gov, were leaving in 3 months, get your crap together, because we’re leaving. and then leave, pack up, get the fudge home.

    let’s do immigration: all this bill is, is a HUGE waste of time and money. (well, we’re gonna lose money anyway, Mexico is gonna us MORE than Iraq) When we take (or accept i should say) Mexico, it will cost us at least a trillion. now you make think i’m crazy, but this is just simply how it is. Mexico is going to be just like Puerto Rico, they get all the benefits, but pay no taxes. we’ll all be a north america union in less than 50 yrs, mark my word. alas, if if we could just run our country like a business…

    off for now, well, let’s do a little gas talk. i use to run a gas station in OK, and i eliminated the monopoly in the little town of Poteau. all the stations were owned by a couple of people. OK law (at the time i was there) said you could not sell your gas for LESS than 7 cents ABOVE cost. funny how when my station was 1.96 gallon, others were 2.24. there IS some of this going on, no question. oh, and gas there is 2.47 gallon, not 3.63.

    adios

    more later, on ho

  67. Aarron (from OK)
    May 20, 2007 at 4:32 am

    you guys have to excuse my spelling, i peck, and i’m not looking at the screen. i am edjumacated. i did get my diploma out of a cracker jack box, but i do have a BS in Criminal Justice fro NSU (Tahlequah, OK)

  68. billyD
    May 20, 2007 at 5:09 am

    (That is the reason that I obtained my screen name so that no one will “punk” me here as well. And for the record, my first name is Robert, but I go by “Bob”. I post anonymously because I too have a business that I would like to keep apolitical.) As for you
    in few post ago you sounded like you ran this post and gave
    peps, crap for bieng anonymous.
    you ser are a hiprocrit

  69. billyD
    May 20, 2007 at 5:49 am

    O and for the record my real name is bill D_____ its closer than yours bob aka robert aka ? and I to have a bus, here

  70. Hoosier21
    May 20, 2007 at 7:08 am

    Hi Bob,
    First, a minor little correction. You attributed the following to me and it was actually Newt one “Dave, I know you have really low self esteem and you try and wound those who wound you.”; that is a personal attack”.
    FYI, Saddam was responsible for 1.8 million deaths. This includes his people, Kurds, Kuwaiti’s and Iranians.
    Next, I am confused about some leftists’ rhetoric. The left claims that Iraq had nothing to do with 911 (which I agree with) and that we should get out of Iraq and fight those responsible……..Al Qaeda. Well, Al Qaeda has make Iraq the battleground and they are there and there to win (win for them is the US withdraw). So it just doesn’t seem logical to me. If Al Qaeda is the enemy and they have made Iraq the battleground, why wouldn’t we stay? I don’t know how to add links, but I am going to put the url’s to some very interesting articles. I think the left is looking at the small picture and not the bigger picture. I see the Salafi movement as extremely dangerous and growing. I think we have a different perception on what the real danger is with radical Islam.
    http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/global.php?id=988675

    http://www.inthenationalinterest.com/Articles/January%202005/January2005RabilPFV.html

    http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=264380921482583

    It is well known what they want and they have documented it.

    According to their open sources and ideology, they want to bring down 21 Arab states, 52 or so Muslim states (including the 21), replace them with a Caliphate where a strict implementation of their form of sharia (religious law) would be enforced–a sort of a super Taliban state ruling from Morocco to China, with 70 per cent of the world oil and nuclear power. Then, in a second stage, resume jihad against the infidels till world supremacy is accomplished. What we have here is a relentless, unstoppable and totalitarian agenda. It is very serious
    (Walid Phares).
    As al-Qaida’s No. 2 thug, Ayman al-Zawahiri wrote in a 6,000-word letter dated July 8, 2005: “(W)e are in a battle, and more than half this battle is in the media.” Unfortunately, they are winning the battle of the media. Just like in Nam after the disastrous Tet Offensive, a humiliating defeat for the North Vietnam regulars, it turned into a victory after the media and protest changed the way we were fighting the war.

    I would like to say a little about WMD. I have not seen a definition of what is considered WMD. A small bottle of VX could ruin New York City’s entire day. They have found shells with WMD in them. Granted, they are most likely 1980’s vintage, but I would still consider them WMD. So, to say they have not found WMD is not entirely factual. They have found the facilities, raw material and technology to produce new WMD. Just not the quantities that were expected. We may never know what happened to the documented material (by inspectors) that is no longer accounted for.

  71. paul
    May 20, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    I’m not exactly sure of how many murderous dictators we have supported in the past, but I know of one that we don’t anymore.
    Have you read Fly Boys?
    Because it seems by your logic that we should not have fought the Japanese either, or I guess the Civil War for that matter.

  72. Anonymous
    May 20, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Bob speaks on Sadaam

    Yes he was evil, yes he killed many of his own citizens, yes he had gassed the Kurds so he was a very bad leader and a despotic dictator, but it is very possible that many more have died since we invaded than he killed during his period of “leadership”.

    America worst than Sadaam? These egghead, liberal losers like Bob are a cancer for American survival.
    This idiots brain is a WMD for the muslim terrorists.

  73. paul
    May 20, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    but anonymous, how do you really feel?

    A couple blogs back Marylin was posting some translations from a report or something. It seemed to be pretty crazy, but I missed the thread of what it was about. Can somebody bring me up to speed? (Please no essays.)
    I envy her ability to translate both those languages. Good for you Marylin.

  74. Rich from Paso
    May 21, 2007 at 7:02 am

    This is now the fourth time I have tried to post on this thread. I’m getting really frustrated at my computer for shutting down when I want to post.

    Here is what I have been trying to say:

    Inadequate body armor, Michele? You’ve got to be kidding me! Obviously you are way too liberal to have actually tried the Interceptor body armor on with SAPI plates for ten minutes, let alone ten hours. It is hot, bulky and makes you even more vulnerable because your mobility is severly decreased. And your chance of a heat related injury increase dramatically as your core body temperature is around 110 degrees in the summer time. Your article saying how deltoid protectors are now mandated misses the point. You can body armor us up like medieval knights in kevlar and it will not save us from fires, IEDs, EFPs, or sniper bullets (the four leading causes of death in Iraq). By the way, where is the admission that this is the safest war America has ever fought? We have fought in Iraq for one year longer than all of WWII (so the liberals remind us) and there are 292,000 fewer casualties than during all of WWII and we liberated two continents from fascism. Even with all of the fires, IEDs EFPs and sniper bullets, there are 280,000 fewer wounded soldiers than during all of WWII… and we liberated two continents from fascism. Of course, this is an illegal war and we shouldn’t have ever gone there, blah, blah blah. Go ahead and totally ignore the facts.

    Speaking of facts. Fact: Reconstructing Germany and Japan (heretofore refered to as G&J) was easier than reconstructing Iraq. Why? Two reasons: 1) We carpet bombed the shit out of G&J for four years. We fire bombed Dresden and Tokyo. We nuked Nagasaki and Hiroshima. We utterly destroyed every major city in both G&J. I have said it four times now and I will say it again: The war is never over until the enemy agrees it is over. Since we executed the most precise bombing campaign in recorded history with our invasion of Iraq, we preserved in the process, the will of both the Shia and the Sunnis to fight us and each other. We did not deliever the “Shock and Awe” bombing campaign that Rummy promised because of liberal pressure to be nice to those poor defenseless Iraqis that had nothing to do with Saddam or his government. Those poor defenseless people are the insurgents of today. Yes, I am saying that the liberal “kinder, gentler” fighting style (yes, that was a term coined by George H.W. Bush) has created this situation. Which is worse: 100,000 killed by our bombs or 100,000 killed in sectarian violence? They are dead either way and with a carpet bombing campaign, the enemy would be dead, the will to fight would be gone and Iraq would probably be fixed and our soldiers home by now. Point 2) Both G&J are homogenous societies with long standing institutions of governance and commerce. Iraq is neither. Iraq is made up of about 8 different peoples and 7 of them were subjegated by the Sunni for 150 years. The shia feel free to lash out at their sunni oppressors; the sunni feel free to lash out at the shia in retrobution and us for aiding the shia. What this all means is what I have been saying since the first time I was on the air: we broke it, now we must fix it. It is the only morally correct thing to do.

    Side note: Bob, please give up the almost fetish like obsession with contractors in Iraq. The contractors there (nonsecurity types) all subcontract out to Iraqis. Perini, an american contractor, subcontracted the renovation of the barracks I lived in to my Iraqi friend (that’s how I met him; he is fine but frustrated like everyone else over there) who then went into Ramadi and picked up about 30 day laborers to fix my barracks. Only KBR uses non-iraqi labor and that is for security purposes. Don’t want a potential suicide bomber serving our soldiers chow, do we?

    How would we sign a peace treaty with? Well, who did we sign a peace treaty with after the Korean War? Trick question because no peace treaty has been signed, only an armistice; the world’s longest cease fire. Irrelevant, to me anyway. Fact is that we have already won, by Bob’s admission. We are now deciding if we are willing to chance our hard work, our billions of dollars and, most importantly, our 3,400 lives to be lost in vain if Iraq fails to become a stable, sucessful nation. There is no better way I can think of to sum up the debate in Congress. The Democrats are all to ready to make that wager; the Republicans and the president are not. The Democrats made that wager before at the end of Vietnam and they lost. Lost a lot more than just billions of dollars and 58,000 lives for nothing. There were easily 3 million poeple that were murdered after we left Vietnam in both South Vietnam and Cambodia. That will repeat itself again in Iraq as every single individual, real or alledged, that ever helped the United States or Britain, and their families, will be hunted down and executed if Iraq fails as a nation. EVery Sunni will be hunted down and destroyed to the individual by the Shia as well. Another 2 or 3 million people will die if the Democrats crap out on their latest wager of human lives. It is absolutely a wager because we will no longer have a say regarding the outcome when we leave. That is why we must stay. This is me, the only guy on this blog to set foot in Iraq, saying this, and I will go again if my nation calls on me to go.

    On the subject of the legality of the war: it was justified. Saddam attempted the assassination of HW Bush (yes, Clinton killed a janitor and blew up the building he was in in retrobution, but a small price for Iraq to pay for an attempt on a president’s life); Saddam’s SAMs fired repeatedly as they patroled the UN no-fly zone throughout the 90’s. All of which are legitamate reasons for attacking Iraq. Not only that, but 77 senators (29 were Democrats) and 215 representatives (81 were Democrats) all agreed with Bush that the invasion was legal and warranted. Just to be clear: once the resolution is passed and the decision has been made to attack, it can’t be undone, no matter how much Edwards and Clinton wish it to be so. That is called leadership and neither Edwards and Clinton demonstrate any with their vasalation on the Iraq issue. Only a handful of Democrat senators (to include Joe Liberman) and Nancy Pelosi have been consistent on the Iraq War issue. Even Jack “Okinawa” Murtha has flip flopped on the issue of Iraq. Hillary Clinton based her decision not on the “flawed, faulty and misleading” intelligence of the Bush Adminstration, but on the 100% accurate and flawless and truthful intelligence of the Clinton Adminstration. (Dave: Big favor here. If you haven’t already, could you ask Dawn Legg the next time she is on your show, what she thought of Hillary telling Code Pink that they were wrong to oppose the Iraq War because of the intel she saw as First Lady? Thanks in advance)

    So, there it is. Finally got it in. Night everyone.

  75. Rich from Paso
    May 21, 2007 at 7:21 am

    Please go here to Youtube to watch Hillary Clinton tell the Code Pink babes that she disagreed with them about Iraq after her 10 years of study. Fast forward to the 4 minute mark to hear Hillary totally crap on Code Pink after they gave her the Code Pink “badge of courage” so she would vote against the war.

    Hillary is a bigger, more articulate champion for Iraq than Bush is in this video and she does it to Code Pink.

    Price to see Hillary crap on Code Pink on YouTube = Free

    Getting to see Hillary dig a hole on Iraq she can’t get out of about Iraq = priceless

    Good night, again.

  76. lefty the liberal
    May 21, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    Rich do you know that Michele is a expert. She has a computer too.

  77. Bob from San Luis
    May 22, 2007 at 6:14 am

    Rich: Good to see you here again, now let’s get to it, shall we? I won’t address the body armor question that Michele raised; once her computer is back up she can come and answer you herself.

    By the way, where is the admission that this is the safest war America has ever fought?
    I don’t understand why that is even a point, although I must assume that you mean safest in the realm of low casualty count of our military forces. Perhaps improved means of transporting injured troops combined with leaps in medical technology contributes a large share of reduced fatalities, but I don’t think that the number of injured is much different when compared on a basis of percentage of troops in theater of any other recent war. The “war” in Iraq is certainly not safer for the civilians; war never is safe for non-combatants. As for the 292,000 fewer casualties and 280,000 fewer wounded than WWII, what are the ratios we are talking about here? How many U.S. troops served in WWII so we can compare the numbers of wounded and k.i.a. ?

    Which is worse: 100,000 killed by our bombs or 100,000 killed in sectarian violence?
    There is no “good” answer to that question Rich; but I for one would think it would have been far worse for us to “carpet bomb” Iraq. The hidden point of your question that should be addressed is that if the aftermath of the invasion had been better planned for (adequate troop strength for better security, guarding the weapons dumps, not disbanding the Iraqi Army, etc, etc,) and the contracts for rebuilding had been executed better, perhaps there would have not been the insurgency that has bogged us down for the last three and a half years. If the non-security contractors are using Iraqis in large numbers, I stand corrected for my assumption the high unemployment and poverty that has occurred is a root cause for much of the frustration that has caused many to turn to insurgent attacks on our troops.

    Iraq is made up of about 8 different peoples and 7 of them were subjugated by the Sunni for 150 years.
    One of the reasons that the Iraqi nation had a relative stable society was due to Saddam’s iron handed rule. That statement is not meant to justify anything Saddam did, but the country for the most part was in the process of modernizing. In my last comment post I mentioned that if UNSCOM had been allowed to finish their job and it became common knowledge that Saddam did not have the weapons that he had claimed he had, it is very conceivable that the Shia and Kurds could have risen up and ousted Saddam without outside forces being a factor. We will never know because President Bush demanded that the UN weapons inspectors leave Iraq in February 2003 prior to the invasion launched in March that year. I am still amazed that there are people who believe that we can force a nation to adopt a democratic model for their society when that society has functioned (very badly at times) for what, 4000 years? In order for Iraq to turn into a stable democracy, diplomats and statesmen would be the better means of accomplishing that goal than the barrels of our military’s weapons. True, you need a relative peace to start out with for negotiations to be successful, but why is that this administration has always viewed diplomacy as being somehow “weak”?

    We are now deciding if we are willing to chance our hard work, our billions of dollars and, most importantly, our 3,400 lives to be lost in vain if Iraq fails to become a stable, successful nation.
    In George W. Bush’s run for the presidency in 2000, he stated that America would not engage in nation building- Rich, am I to believe that the loved ones of the fallen U.S. troops all feel that to leave now will have them view their loved one’s death as any more or less in vain? I understand that you personally knew some of those who died and I cannot begin to understand exactly how you feel; by the same token I cannot understand how those whose loved one’s died in Iraq feel either. The face of your statement seems somewhat ludicrous when thought of like this: our troops will have died in vain if we leave now, so we have to stay (even though more troops will likely die) so the job can be “finished”.

    It is absolutely a wager because we will no longer have a say regarding the outcome when we leave.
    Rich, by that logic, we can never leave, period. How is a “free” country supposed to find their own self-determination, if they are always going to have a crutch (us) propping them up?

    …. but 77 senators (29 were Democrats) and 215 representatives (81 were Democrats) all agreed with Bush that the invasion was legal and warranted.
    No, that is not what they voted for. What they voted on was giving the President the authorization to use force as a last resort. …The Resolution required President Bush’s diplomatic efforts at the UN Security Council to “obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion, and noncompliance….he was also supposed to report back to Congress; he did neither. If you want to compare “flip-floppers”, how about the number of times President Bush has flip-flopped? He was against establishing Homeland Security before he was for it; he was against a 9/11 investigation before he agreed to it; he pledged in 2000 that we would not engage in nation building, look at what we are trying to do in Iraq. There are many more examples of President Bush “changing his mind” aka flip-flopping, so if you need more examples just ask or look them up.

  78. Hoosier21
    May 22, 2007 at 8:10 am

    SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

    (a) AUTHORIZATION. The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to

    (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
    (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq.

    I don’t see “last resort”. I read the whole thing and I don’t see that Bob.

    Here is what I find absolutely disgusting. Many on the far left want immediate troop withdraw. Their congressmen know that they can’t do this because any genocide that would take place as a result would lay at their feet. So, they put a timeline in the bill with certain objectives that the Iraqi government has to meet or elso we pull out. Presto, they are no longer responsible for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands because it was the Iraqi governments fault. Sly like a fox. Or cold heartless politics?

  79. Anonymous
    May 22, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    bob is poster boy for marxist scum

  80. Bob from San Luis
    May 22, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    hoosier21: Let’s read the entire text of the bill shall we, and not “cherry pick” the parts that make our own points:

    SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This joint resolution may be cited as the `Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq’.
    SEC. 2. SUPPORT FOR UNITED STATES DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS.

    The Congress of the United States supports the efforts by the President to–
    (1) strictly enforce through the United Nations Security Council all relevant Security Council resolutions applicable to Iraq and encourages him in those efforts; and
    (2) obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions.
    SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

    (a) AUTHORIZATION- The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to–
    (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
    (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.
    (b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION- In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that–
    (1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and
    (2) acting pursuant to this resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.
    (c) WAR POWERS RESOLUTION REQUIREMENTS-
    (1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.
    (2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS- Nothing in this resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.
    SEC. 4. REPORTS TO CONGRESS.

    (a) The President shall, at least once every 60 days, submit to the Congress a report on matters relevant to this joint resolution, including actions taken pursuant to the exercise of authority granted in section 3 and the status of planning for efforts that are expected to be required after such actions are completed, including those actions described in section 7 of Public Law 105-338 (the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998).
    (b) To the extent that the submission of any report described in subsection (a) coincides with the submission of any other report on matters relevant to this joint resolution otherwise required to be submitted to Congress pursuant to the reporting requirements of Public Law 93-148 (the War Powers Resolution), all such reports may be submitted as a single consolidated report to the Congress.
    (c) To the extent that the information required by section 3 of Public Law 102-1 is included in the report required by this section, such report shall be considered as meeting the requirements of section 3 of Public Law 102-1.

    So, as you reported, section 3 does authorize the use of force, and it does not say anything about “last resort”; I stand corrected. Please note that section 2 which comes before section 3 requires diplomatic efforts including a second authorization from the UN; President Bush did not do that.
    Section 3 also requires that the President furnish reports to the Speaker of the House and the Senate pro tempore; President Bush did not do that either.
    Section 4 also requires that the President report to Congress every 60 days; has he done that?
    Like the Resolution on the Gulf of Tonkin “incident” that led to the escalation in Vietnam, the “Authorization of Force” should be rescinded by Congress because every single reason the White House gave as “casus belli” has been proven to be falseand he has not performed as required by the resolution. There has to be an impetus for the Iraqi Government to “stand up”, and not having us committed to an open ended occupation is the only way to accomplish that.

  81. Rich from Paso
    May 22, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    Bob, thatnks for the warm welcome. We still need to do lunch soon. I’ll get with you about that.

    The WWII vs Iraq comparason: Your point is irrelevent. You want to look at percentages? Here you go:

    Iraq War – There have been 4 years of fighting with a yearly average “boots on the ground” number of 140,000. The total number of soldiers in Iraq in 4 years (regardless of number of rotations) is 560,000. The 3,400 deaths equates to .61% of all soldiers having served in Iraq. The 20,000 wounded represents 3.57% of all soldiers having served in Iraq.

    WWII – An estimate on a website I found says that about 13 million US citizens fought in our armed forces during WWII. 300,000 were wounded and 295,000 died. That equates to 46% of every soldier that served either died or was wounded. This, of course doesn’t discount the possibility that one soldier was both wounded and was later killed and was thus double counted, but the same holds true for Iraq. The point is that there is no way you can convince me that Iraq is this great meatgrinder of a war. With an average of 850 soldier deaths a year, we could conceivably fight in Iraq for the next 347 years before we equal the death toll on our military we incured during WWII.

    The hidden point of your question that should be addressed is that if the aftermath of the invasion had been better planned for (adequate troop strength for better security, guarding the weapons dumps, not disbanding the Iraqi Army, etc, etc,) and the contracts for rebuilding had been executed better, perhaps there would have not been the insurgency that has bogged us down for the last three and a half years.

    I think you may be right here given what I said about “the will to fight” not being sufficently broke among the populace, but that is still not a reason not to fight for what is right. If so, no wars would ever be fought and evildoers would not have the force of arms to contend with. I think you are continueing to overstate the rebuilding effort again. Keep in mind that it was that same Iraqi populace that is supposedly pissed off at the rebuilding efforts that created the mess in the first place. It was the Iraqi people that looted their own buildings and it was the Iraqi people that destroyed power relay towers to steal the copper from the wires to sell on the black markets of Jordan and Syria. Those are all facts. Furthermore, the troop level would have no impact on the ammo dumps the size of Atascadero that just sat out in the middle of the desert without a defined fenceline or anything like it. Here and here are articles that make reference to the huge numbers of weapons caches in Iraq.

    (Snip)They (buried weapons)include not only mines planted along the Iranian border but also weapons caches buried by the Iraqi military decades ago in a labyrinth of clay dunes and stone outcroppings, said MacDonald, 38, from Georgetown, Texas.

    Many of those caches were buried on Saddam’s order into order to prepare for the coming insurgency.

    Shia nad Kurds rising up on their own? The last time the Shia tried it, with no outside influence (remember why it failed– we didn’t support them the way George H.W. Bush said he would) they failed. An entire village of Kurds was gassed because of an assassination attempt on Saddam’s life. It is pure fantasy on your part to think that there was ever any chance for a successful coup against Saddam. hell, you admit that the only thing keeping Iraq’s sects together was Saddam’s iron fisted rule. Do you honestly believe that Saddam’s iron fisted rule would allow for the remotest opportunity for a coup to take place? The Iraqi people were NEVER going to be free without outside intervention.

    In order for Iraq to turn into a stable democracy, diplomats and statesmen would be the better means of accomplishing that goal than the barrels of our military’s weapons. True, you need a relative peace to start out with for negotiations to be successful, but why is that this administration has always viewed diplomacy as being somehow “weak”?

    I’ll turn Michele’s question on you: who would this negotiation take place with? al Qaida in Iraq? The Sunni insurgents that have been powerless since we invaded? Never going to happen. More Bob in SLO fantasies.

    Rich, by that logic, we can never leave, period. How is a “free” country supposed to find their own self-determination, if they are always going to have a crutch (us) propping them up?

    Bob, the truth you wish to deny is that the Democrats are not going to pull us out of Iraq anymore than Bush is. The Dems understand the realities on the ground in Iraq, but they wish to continue to destroy Bush’s power and reputation with these funding bills with timelines… which are being dropped in the latest proposal. Your assumption is that we must throw the Iraqis into the lake and tell them to swim. Did you do that with your children, too? If so, I’m no more a fan of your parenting skills than I am of your foreign policy skills. We have nurtured fledgling democracies all over the world with our military presence. South Korea is a successful democracy now even though we have some 40K servicemen still there. Japan is a world economic powerhouse now despite the 40K servicemen still there. Germany is another powerhouse despite the 50K servicemen still there. I would be willing to be a paycheck that the US has very little, if anything, to do with either one of those counties political processes. The same thing will happen for Iraq too over time.

    I’m not interested in other areas where Bush may have flipflopped as a means of you ddrawing some moral equivalancy to Clinton and Edwards changing their position on Iraq because Bush has not once waivered on his determination in Iraq. If this thread was about Homeland Security or the 9-11 commission, I would concede the point. We are talking strictly about the Iraq vote and Clinton and Edwards did in fact change their stance on Iraq for purely political reasons. Did you bother to watch the clip on YouTube? Did you see the anger Hillary Clinton showed the Code Pink babes when they tried to give her the “pink slip”? If so, you would have seen a former true believer on the need for the war in Iraq. Hillary is a typical Democrat with no soul that is willing to sell herself to any group that will further her political ambitions. She is far more dangerous to America than Bill every was. Her and the rest of the Democrat iraq War flipfloppers need to be held to their original votes and not be allowed to be fair-weather representatives of the people.

    Hoosier shut the door on your “last resort” argument, so I am done for now.

    Peace out!

  82. aaron
    May 24, 2007 at 2:52 am

    dave’s last sentence was very telling to me

    “It’s going to be a long, bloody summer over there.”

    i think maybe dave is being a ostrich on the current fight that america and the west is in with muslim terrorists.

  83. Hoosier21
    May 24, 2007 at 8:14 am

    Since it is a myth that Ostriches hide there head in the ground (only appears that way when they are eating) and they actually have very acute eyesight, excellent hearing and with the big eyes seven feet in the air, they are keenly aware of their surroundings and what is going on. I think Dave got this one right.
    We need an ostrich strategy in Iraq.

  84. the ghost of christmas past
    May 24, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    Oh, so the “people” spoke in 2006 for us to end the war in Iraq, huh? Well, looks like the Democrats didn’t hear that message either as they capitulated to President Bush and are going to approve a war spending bill without a deadline for retreat. Fact is that politics is more important to the Democrats than anything else. Democrats do not have core beliefs about anything. Third tier presidental candidate and Barack Obama hygiene expert (since he knows that Obama is “clean”), Joe Biden, said “I believe as long as we have troops in the front line, we’re going to have to protect them.” Have to protect them. Well, la-dee-da, Senator, please don’t do our servicemembers in combat any favors, why don’t ya. Have to!! You should do it because it is the right thing to do regardless of why they are in combat, Senator. I want to say that I can’t believe anyone can be so dense and so politically motivated, but I know that Biden is the norm, not exception, in the Democrat Party.

  85. Bob from San Luis
    May 26, 2007 at 8:33 am

    ghost: So if the Democrats vote to fund the troops, it is only for political reasons? How much hay would Faux Snooze make about the Democrats not passing this supplemental before the Memorial Day weekend, even though the first bill they sent to the President had more than the President asked for, and then he vetoed it? ….“I believe as long as we have troops in the front line, we’re going to have to protect them.”… So, because Democratic Senator Joe Biden said this, you think he was being political; people like you would have accused the Democrats of something, no matter which way the vote had gone. As for actually , follow that link and tell me how much the President truly supports our armed forces.
    hoosier: Okay, so the ostrich-head-in-the-sand is a myth, and they actually have very good eyesight and are keenly aware of their surroundings; you’re right, it sounds like we do need an “ostrich” strategy in Iraq. Perhaps if the leadership (President Bush and Co.) had the eyesight to to read reports, they would have been more “aware” of the “surroundings” that were going to occur in Iraq after we invaded. Too bad Donald Rumsfeld would not listen to experienced military strategists.
    Rich: While I agree with your math on the ratios of kia and injured in Iraq, your figures don’t seem to make sense for WWII. Forty six percent of thirteen million would be something like six million combined kia and injured. You mentioned figures of 595,000 combined; perhaps you moved the decimal point one too many places and the correct percentage would be 4.6%. Any comparison between the current situation in Iraq and WWII is not valid anyway when you compare how many theaters of action occurred in WWII and how much the entire population of the US got behind the war effort. Profit was illegal for companies making war goods in WWII, and entire industries were converted to making what our troops needed. There really can be no comparison to what is happening with American contractors today in Iraq. You say that I put too much emphasis on the contracting in Iraq as a reason for the insurgency; why is it that a majority of Iraqis have less dependable electrical service now, as compared to before we invaded? How is it that women in Iraq have fewer rights now than before?
    Your two links didn’t quite address the weapons/ammo dumps; the first link addressed the missing Iraqi aircraft, and the article mentioned how our aircraft had absolutely had no engagements in the air over Iraq. The second link went to an article about two decade old land-mines from the Iraq-Iran war being “harvested” by Iraqi farmers who would then sell them to insurgent groups who would in turn use them against our troops. I understand that those mines are still lethal and are responsible for many of the deaths of our troops, but I don’t see how that relates to the fact that our military planners could not convince the leadership that we should have had more troops who could perform police actions and guard duties. You asked how could it be that Iraqis would loot their own museums and steal the copper from the power lines; with the Iraqi military gone, how could the Iraqi police forces show up in uniform without thinking they would be shot or captured? With no visible law enforcement, a population that had been under iron fisted rule lashed out and took what they most likely thought they could get away with. Having Rumsfeld order the troops to stand down and not stop the looters certainly contributed to the conduct during that time.
    Do you honestly believe that Saddam’s iron fisted rule would allow for the remotest opportunity for a coup to take place? My point in raising the possibility of a coup is that if UNSCOM had been permitted to finish their weapons inspections, had the general population been able to witness the relative weakness of Saddam’s position in the region, perhaps they would have connected to military leaders who wanted to see Saddam removed. I know that is a big IF, but my point was that we will never really never know for sure.
    who would this negotiation take place with? al Qaida in Iraq?…okay, let me turn this one back on you; if leaving is surrendering, who would we be surrendering to? I mean, we are not going to see any of our troops giving up their weapons, marching with their hands up, right? Please explain how leaving is “surrendering”.
    Your assumption is that we must throw the Iraqis into the lake and tell them to swim. How is it that after nearly four years of training Iraqi troops, that is considered “throwing them in the lake …”? So how many more years do we have to train Iraqi troops before they can stand up so we can stand down?
    As for our troops in Germany, Japan, and Korea; do we really need to have our troops there any longer? We spend more on our military expenses than all other countries in the world, combined, and that was before George W. Bush doubled the military budget, even though we don’t have any more planes, tanks or ships than we did before he doubled the budget. How is that possible? What has all of that money (our money as most Republicans like to say) been spent on? Maybe some no-bid contracts?
    I’m not interested in other areas where Bush may have flipflopped as a means of you ddrawing some moral equivalancy to Clinton and Edwards changing their position on Iraq because Bush has not once waivered on his determination in Iraq. Of course you are not interested in other areas where Bush may have flip-flopped; any admission that Bush may have learned some pertinent facts that could lead to a change of mind is completely irrelevant. As for John Edwards changing his mind, at least he apologized for his earlier vote on the war powers resolution. I have not checked out the you-tube of Hillary and the Code-Pink ladies; I am not a real fan of Hillary Clinton, but I will say that if she does secure the nomination of the Democratic Party, unless there is a really exciting third party candidate, I will vote for her in 2008.
    Her and the rest of the Democrat iraq War flipfloppers need to be held to their original votes and not be allowed to be fair-weather representatives of the people. So you believe that no politician should be able to change their mind, ever? Or just on this one subject? You still don’t understand that the intelligence that Congress was given in order to inform their voting was completely controlled by the administration, who was bent on making war on Iraq, damn the “facts”. I guess you just seem to have a problem believing anything said or done by any politician with a “D” after their name.

  86. Anonymous
    May 26, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    Its great to hear from a Bob the socialist.

  87. Marilyn
    May 27, 2007 at 4:05 am

    What is wrong with socialists?

  88. Joe Stalin and Bob from San Luis
    May 27, 2007 at 5:25 am

    There is nothing wrong with socialism

  89. Hoosier21
    May 27, 2007 at 7:06 am

    Good Morning, Bob, I have read the entire 226 page intelligence report. I don’t need to read the ABC cherry picked segments. Incidently, no where does it state that this or maybe that WILL happen. This was done by analysts who from interviews and intelligence reports, tried to predict what could happen. Not what actually would happen. As it turns out, they were correct on some, wrong about some and some that turned out not as anyone foresaw.
    I found the Valerie Plame section extremely interesting. Why she isn’t in jail, I will never know.

  90. Bob from San Luis
    May 27, 2007 at 7:21 am

    Joe Stalin and Bob from San Luis said…
    There is nothing wrong with socialism

    Um, Joseph Stalin was not a socialist. He was the leader of a country that called itself the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, but Mr. Stalin was a dictator, a murder and a tyrant. The common reference to the Soviets was that they were communists, operating in a socialist manner, but the truth was that the country was run as a fascist regime that oppressed its citizens and elevated its political and industry leaders to a class of elitism. Just as our country is not technically a democracy (we are a democratic republic), Russia was not really socialist in the vein of taking care of everyone equally. Although both Russia and China are or were considered communist, they are or were not truly communist in, once again, there was or is no equality. Would I like to see America more democratic (less of a republic)? Not really, our system of voting for leaders to represent us works pretty well, or at least could work well if we could take the money out of electing our representatives. Would I like to see our country more communistic? Absolutely not. Would I like to see more socialism here in the US? Only in the area of health care. The idea that insurance companies decide what procedures that we can’t have is irrational beyond belief. I give you the preamble to our Constitution: ” We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” My reason for bringing up the preamble? Please note that Tranquility, Liberty, Posterity and especially Welfare were all capitalized, meaning that all of those were of utmost importance to our founding fathers. The more liberal of our founding fathers, if they could see the state of our country today, would be shocked at most things the present leadership has enacted or the parts of the Constitution that they have ignored or violated, and I believe that once explained to them about our current health care crisis, would be in favor of a single payer universal health care system for the United States of America.

  91. Bob from San Luis
    May 27, 2007 at 7:37 am

    hoosier: Please enlighten us about your concerns with Valerie Plame. Do you have a link? Or would you care to type in the section that caused you to believe she should be in jail. I am curious what you have read, as my understanding was that she was a n.o.c. agent that performed undercover work utilizing a fronted operation (Brewster Jennings) posing as an energy analyst while gathering information on Iraq and Iran’s quest for nuclear technology. Please educate us on how wrong my assumption or belief is. Thanks.

  92. Hoosier21
    May 29, 2007 at 5:54 am

    Good evening everyone?

    “The more liberal of our founding fathers, if they could see the state of our country today, would be shocked at most things the present leadership has enacted or the parts of the Constitution that they have ignored or violated, and I believe that once explained to them about our current health care crisis, would be in favor of a single payer universal health care system for the United States of America.”.
    Bob, I think actually you would be the one shocked at how they interpreted “general welfare”. The federalist papers, Jefferson and Madison all basically had the same opinion. See the links below

    http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj16n1-11.html
    http://www.lawandliberty.org/genwel.htm

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig3/attarian7.html
    The above one is interesting in how FDR forced the Supreme Court to a more liberal meaning of general welfare.

    If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.” – James Madison, Letter to Edmund Pendleton, January 21, 1792 _Madison_ 1865, I, page 546
    “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constitutents.” – James Madison, regarding an appropriations bill for French refugees, 1794
    “With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” – James Madison, Letter to James Robertson, April 20, 1831 _Madison_ 1865, IV, pages 171-172
    “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.” – Thomas Jefferson
    In 1827, frontiersman Davy Crockett was elected to the House of Representatives from Tennessee. During his first term of office, a $10,000 relief bill for the widow of a naval officer was proposed. Crockett rose in stem opposition and gave the following eloquent and successful rebuttal: “We must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not attempt to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right as individuals to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no fight to appropriate a dollar of the public money.”

    I think they would be shocked that “art” falls under general welfare. Just think about all the stupid studies done with our tax dollars and then think what our founding fathers would say about that. They indeed would be shocked.

    http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/iraq.html
    Bob, the above is a link to the report and views. This is 521 pages, but an interesting read. The Plame deal is in this. She gave three different answers to three different panels. This probably means she lied to at least two of them.

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