February 19, 2007

"If we debate the surge, we lose"

Jonathon Chait writes:
"As I noted in this space last week, conservative foreign policy consists increasingly of abstract notions divorced from reality. In preparing for last week's House debate over the Iraq troop surge, the Republican leadership instructed its members in a memo: The debate should not be about the surge or its details. This debate should not even be about the Iraq war to date, mistakes that have been made or whether we can, or cannot, win militarily. If we let Democrats force us into a debate on the surge or the current situation in Iraq, we lose."

Very true. Because the fact is that we are in a no-win situation in Iraq, and trying to play politics with the troops is simply a distraction from the very important issue of how we begin to extricate ourselves from a situation which was a disasterous course of action from the beginning.

At the risk of being cliche, "When you find yourself in a hold, the first rule is, stop digging" applies here just as much as ever.

Yet Republicans, even some commenting here, continue to trot out the old horse, "If Democrats want to end the war, then they must end all funding for it and bring all the troops home immediately."

Or the even more fanciful, "If we don't keep sacrificing all our money and lives over there, why, the Mooslums will surely invade us!" (as if they wouldn't and couldn't have already.) This particularly ridiculous argument is also disgusting, in that it demands that already over-stretched troops continue to be fed into a no-win death trap in Iraq. A very strange way to "support the troops" indeed.

And is Rudy Giuliani the big, tough, macho guy Republicans can invest their Rambo dreams in? Jonathon Chait suggests that Giuliani doesn't live up to his hype as some sort of foreign policy expert.

Chait explains here.

10 Comments:

At 2/19/2007 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Turning hide and running is not the proper response. We should stay with our troops and finishe the job! Go America. Down with the peacenicks!

 
At 2/19/2007 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another conservative bright light heard from. Lord.

Foreign policy by slogan and old movies.

 
At 2/19/2007 6:08 PM, Anonymous RI Republican said...

The Democrats need to get a backbone...this 'non-binding resolution' is standard politics as usual.

Talk, Talk, Talk and - DO NOTHING! -

If the Democrats want out of Iraq, what they believe that they were elected to do, why on earth don't they just defund the war and bring 'em home.

If the Democrats are not willing to win the war, then get us out. Otherwise - shut your mouths and win the dam war!

Standard Democrat politics - say one thing, do another and then take credit whatever the results.

 
At 2/19/2007 6:17 PM, Blogger Scott said...

It is kind of depressing that we couldn't even debate a non-binding resolution in the Senate. Thank you the people of Connecticut for giving us Joe Lieberman.

 
At 2/19/2007 6:30 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

RI Republican... do you think war is a comic strip?

Do you think we can somehow just "win" in Iraq? How? Bombing the entire country to glass?

You're views aren't even reality based.

First of all you say that the Dems should just pull all the troops out and bring them all home instantly if they oppose the war.

News flash. No major Dem has any desire to suddenly yank every soldier out of the Iraq theatre.

But they do share the belief of a clear majority of your fellow Americans that some sort of strategy or plan for eventual withdrawal should be at the very least DISCUSSED, not to mention implemented.

What is so hard to understand about someone opposing a plan to, rather than draw down the troops, to actually increase their numbers, even when the army is stretched to the breaking point, and when most experts both in and out of the military feel that the surge isn't big enough to accomplish anything lasting at all and is therefore a huge mistake?

It's a mistake, OK? The alternative to taking mistaken course isn't to suddenly reverse course. It's simply to NOT follow the mistaken course.

If Dems oppose a "surge", then that's sensible. No one says a surge is going to somehow "win" this mess except Bush and apaprently you.

A surge is nothing more than a deadly way for Bush to kick the can down the road until he can dump the mess in someone else's lap.

The time to stop playing stupid political games to continue what has been a miserable failure for FIVE YEARS is now.

The time for you and SOME Republicans to stop throwing money, material, and lives into this fruitless and endless quagmire is now.

We clearly need to change course. The years long mess where Bush has essentially had no plan is not working.

It's years past time to figure out how to extricate us from the area, and we've gone along long enough.

Enough is enough.

Being an armchair general and sending thousands of American lives into battle is easy.

Having the courage to face facts and attempt to cut losses is not.

The fact remains that it will still be incredibly difficult, complex, deadly, and costly to try to avoid the entire region from exploding.

American troops will be in the mideast for generations to come.

And for all of this, we can thank George W. Bush and his gang of neo-con hawks who lead us into disaster based on their 'theories' which have been so thoroughly blasted and proven false and unworkable as to be pathetic.

The day I see you manning a gun on the first Hum-vee into the battle zone is the day I'll support a surge.

 
At 2/19/2007 6:37 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Actually, thank the tens of thousands of Republicans who put Joe in office, including many who donated thousands of dollars to his campaign.
And don't forget old Dubya who endorsed him as well.

 
At 2/21/2007 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Democrats won the 2006 elections based on their opposition to the Iraq war.

Rightfully so, as the effort in Iraq is not what it needs to be.

However, debating troop surge, is silly - if we buy the premise that they ran on in 2006 (against the war) the issue is either - increase the efforts or get out.

This 'debate' against the troops surge is foolishness. The Democrats need to grow the balls to stand up for what they ran on - getting out of Iraq.

Anything shy of this is pathetic Democrat pandering.

What are the Democrats debating troop surge for - are they for the status quo - same efforts? NO, they are against the war - so do something about it you chicket**** politicians and the fools that follow you.

 
At 2/21/2007 7:46 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

If it's so "silly", then why are the Republican leadership scared to death of it?

 
At 2/22/2007 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dope, why do you run from an intellectual debate?

1. The Dem's ran in 2006 'against the war in Iraq.'

2. The Dem's gain control and their only action is a non-binding resolution against a tropp buildup.

3. Why are they not dealing with the issue that they ran on?

4. Why do the Democrat faithful, those of you who are against the war and put them into power, not demanding that they do something really simple - like perform on what they ran on?

This is not meanspirited.
This is not partisan.

I am just confused as to why we allow our politicians to jerk us around so much - and this is a clear example on the Democrat side.

WHY DO YOU SIT BY AND SAY NOTHING DOPE?

WHY ARE YOU NOT INCENCED BY THEIR DO-NOTHING ATTITUDE ON THE PRIMARY ISSUE THAT THEY RAN ON?

 
At 2/22/2007 1:03 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

OK, you're "meanspirited" in that you accuse me of "running" from this debate when I've already responded.

This tells me that it must be Mowen, who absolutely refuses to listen or respond to any argument which debunks his arguments.

Why do you run from my response?

The Democrats TRIED to do what they felt they could accomplish, namely a non-binding resolution express opposition to the surge.

As it turned out, the Republicans blocked even that in the Senate.

Yet you don't see concerned about the fact that the Republicans issued a memo saying that if the issue were debated "we lose", meaning the Republicans or exactly WHY it's best for the country to refuse to even debate a surge and the war strategy which has been a failure for over 5 years now.

Why do the Republicans want to run from THAT debate? Answer that.

It's not because they think that it doesn't go far enough, is it?

This bullshit about voting to cut off the war and bring the troops home is a stupid red herring and you know it. Nothing but a political stunt.

Would you support or strongly condemn any effort to try to block the surge by using funding or other means?

Answer that. Don't run away from that debate. (of course you'll ignore it)

This stupid ploy is designed to force the Democrats into doing what you feel you can then dishonestly mischaracterize as somehow leaving our poor sainted troops vulnerable and short of equipment while they're in harms way.

Sorry. Even a child can see through that.

And the fact of the matter is that the Republican congress and this administration for over 5 years has CONSISTENTLY done just that, sending them into a meat grinder with no apparent plan, without proper armor for either themselves or their vehicles. Families have had to buy armor with their own funds and ship it to Iraq!

Yet you have the nerve to suggest that the Dems would be leaving them without the equipment they need if they voted to withold funding specifically for this surge?

Clearly you have no sense of shame and are utterly immune from realizing just how hypocritical your views are.

Your goofy premise suggests that the Dems are somehow trying to avoid letting anyone know that they are against this surge and wish to begin some plan which would gradually withdraw our forces from Iraq.

I think that's pretty well established. The Dems are NOT running away from that position in the slightest, and several candidates as well as other Dem politicians have strongly stated their views on that issue without reservation.

The only reason you demand that the Dems go after funding is so that you can immediately distort the issue and try to suggest that they want to "lose" and that they're practically sending our troops to certain death and an endless stream of lies and distortion, all designed to continue to squander billions of dollars and thousands of lives.

The fact of the matter is that Republicans represent the interests which are making millions and billions from this continued disaster in Iraq.

THAT is why you are so vigorously in favor of not only continuing an effort which the entire planet can see will never suceed, and why you distort and lie about your motives.

The interests which have an amazingly profitable stake in this dissaster would do anything to keep it going. To them this surge is like a check for a few extra millions.

And Republicans are the ones they've bought and paid for to ensure it goes on.

And you're the lemming which swallows the goofy premises and arguments they put out to ensure it continues. So you're a useful tool when it comes to war profiteers.

So we have to intensify the number of lives lost, bodies mangled, minds destroyed, and billions spent in one last mad attempt to somehow "win" in Iraq? Even the military and soldiers who have served there realize that this surge isn't sufficient in numbers to accomplish anything remotely like a victory.

Yet you're willing to sacrifice all that money and blood just to try to salvage Bush's ego and put a few more billions in profits into corporate hands?

The argument for the surge simply makes no sense, and a vast and growing majority in this country as well as near unanimous opinion around the world recognizes that.

Why don't you?

And why do you support this surge.

Or will you run away from that debate?

I'd bet money that if you respond to this, you won't address even one of my points specifically.

 

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