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Old 08-22-2008, 04:26 PM   #136
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except that it has and does. everyone knows this but you. so ... keep on trying!!!

hmmmm, he did not mention it in the Foreign Affairs article in the Spring of 2007, and there was certainly no plan for staying in any of the spending bills he voted for in 2007 which would have required the President to begin immediately withdrawing regardless of conditions on the ground.

I think it would be great if he did have a plan for staying to insure that Iraq is rebuilt and can handle things on their own, for that has been the Bush administrations plan since the begining, to stay as long as necessary to get the job done. If Barack Obama is for "as they stand up, we'll stand down", thats great, but if thats the case, he is a recent convert.
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Old 08-22-2008, 04:28 PM   #137
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hmmmm, he did not mention it in the Foreign Affairs article in the Spring of 2007, and there was certainly no plan for staying in any of the spending bills he voted for in 2007 which would have required the President to begin immediately withdrawing regardless of conditions on the ground.

I think it would be great if he did have a plan for staying to insure that Iraq is rebuilt and can handle things on their own, for that has been the Bush administrations plan since the begining, to stay as long as necessary to get the job done. If Barack Obama is for "as they stand up, we'll stand down", thats great, but if thats the case, he is a recent convert.

hmmm ... if you pay attention you'll see that he wants to begin a withdrawal, and have a policy of withdrawal, but how fast that withdrawal happens will be determined by conditions on the ground!, which is what the current plan is.

McCain wants to occupy for as long as he wants.

Obama wins again!
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Old 08-23-2008, 03:28 AM   #138
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hmmm ... if you pay attention you'll see that he wants to begin a withdrawal, and have a policy of withdrawal, but how fast that withdrawal happens will be determined by conditions on the ground!, which is what the current plan is.

McCain wants to occupy for as long as he wants.

Obama wins again!
Does Obama have any conditions or prerequisites that first have to be met before he would start withdrawing any troops? Nope

Once again, the Bush administration wanted to withdraw from Iraq as early as December of 2006 if conditions on the ground permitted it. The situation changed because of the insurgency. Bush administration policy has consistently been to defeat the insurgency, rebuild Iraq's security, economic and political structures so that the country can handle any future problems without needing help from US ground forces.

That has not been the Democratic party's strategy on Iraq or Obama's strategy on Iraq. As you say so yourself, their only goal is to leave, regardless of what the conditions are on the ground.

In here, I've consistently maintained that there should not be any pre-mature withdrawal of US forces from Iraq, with you and others arguing against that.

Why would Obama vote for a spending bill that would force the President of the United States to start immediately withdrawing troops regardless of conditions on the ground, if he was really always only for a conditions based withdrawal?

The funny thing is, your arguing now that he was always for what has been Bush administration policy from day 1, "as they stand up, we'll stand down".

Now Obama has selected Joe Biden to be his VP. Everyone should know that in January of 1991, Joe Biden voted against the use of military force to remove Saddam's military from Kuwait. This was a military action that even the French actively supported with ground troops, and that so many touted as the Bible on how to handle an international crises of that magnitude. But, Biden and other Democrats chose to vote the same way that Yemen and Cuba voted in the Security council, against the use of military force to remove Saddam from Kuwait.

I'm sure the Iraqi's will also be thrilled to learn that the United States might have as its next Vice President, a Senator who wanted to essentially divide Iraq into three seperate countries.

Some famous qoutes by Biden on the Surge in Iraq:

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“If he surges another 20, 30, or whatever number he’s going to, into Baghdad, it’ll be a tragic mistake, in my view
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“I mean, the truth of the matter is that, that the — America’s — this administration’s policy and the surge are a failure, and that the surge, which was supposed to stop sectarian violence and — long enough to give political reconciliation, there’s been no political reconciliation... The reality is that, although there has been some mild progress on the security front, there is, in fact, no, no real security in Baghdad and/or in Anbar province, where I was, dealing with the most serious problem, sectarian violence. Sectarian violence is as strong and as solid and as serious a problem as it was before the surge started.”
Not that Biden has been wrong in everything he has voted for or supported over his career. He has some votes and views that actually are the opposite of the man that selected him to be his VP.
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:27 AM   #139
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it's getting kind of funny how the fundamentals of a policy are avoided at all costs.
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Old 08-23-2008, 03:34 PM   #140
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it's getting kind of funny how the fundamentals of a policy are avoided at all costs.

What are the fundamentals of Bush administration policy on Iraq? To defeat the insurgency, rebuild the country and develop Iraq's political, economic and security structures to the point that they can handle their own internal security and political environment without the need for US ground forces, and not to withdraw pre-maturely before that mission is complete as Barack Obama has proposed and tried to force President Bush to do.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:15 AM   #141
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Iraq says U.S. sought troop presence to 2015
Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:37am EDT

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The United States asked Iraq for permission to maintain a troop presence there to 2015, but U.S. and Iraqi negotiators agreed to limit their authorization to 2011, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said.

"It was a U.S. proposal for the date which is 2015, and an Iraqi one which is 2010, then we agreed to make it 2011. Iraq has the right, if necessary, to extend the presence of these troops," Talabani said in an interview with al-Hurra television, a transcript of which was posted on his party's website on Wednesday.

U.S. officials in Baghdad were not immediately available for comment.

Details have been slowly emerging about negotiations for the bilateral security pact, which U.S. and Iraqi officials say are close to conclusion.

The agreement will provide a legal basis for U.S. troops to remain in Iraq after a United Nations mandate expires at the end of this year.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said that, while overall negotiations continued, the two sides had accepted the end of 2011 as an end date for the presence of the approximately 145,000 U.S. troops stationed in Iraq.

The emerging points of agreement reflect the increasing assertiveness of the Maliki government as it seeks to define the future of the U.S. presence in Iraq.

They also reflect the political pressures that Maliki faces at home more than five years after the U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.

U.S. officials stress that no final agreement has been made. A final deal will need to be approved by the Iraqi parliament.
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:18 PM   #142
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An independent Iraq
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:25 PM   #143
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An independent Iraq


if by "independent" you mean "controlled by Iran, in a Soviet fashion" then i guess i agree.

but this is what victory looks like!
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Old 09-09-2008, 12:43 PM   #144
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the Bush administration continues to slowly, slowly come around to the Obama position on Iraq:

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8,000 Troops to Leave Iraq Next Year
By THOM SHANKER

WASHINGTON — President Bush has accepted the recommendation of his senior civilian and military advisers to reduce the number of American troops in Iraq by 8,000 in the early months of next year.

The reduction will begin with a Marine Corps battalion set to leave this fall from Anbar Province, once the center of the antigovernment insurgency.

Mr. Bush announced his decision on future force levels in Iraq, which includes withdrawing a full brigade of combat troops in the first few weeks of 2009, in an address on Tuesday to the National Defense University here. The text of his speech was released late Monday by the White House.

Neither the Marine battalion nor the Army brigade will be replaced, leaving the American combat force in Iraq at 14 brigades. After other support and logistics units are withdrawn under the new orders, the American troop levels in Iraq would drop to about 138,000 by March, still several thousand more than were there in January 2007, when Mr. Bush announced the “surge” that brought the total over 160,000.

“Here is the bottom line: While the enemy in Iraq is still dangerous, we have seized the offensive, and Iraqi forces are becoming increasingly capable of leading and winning the fight,” Mr. Bush said in the speech. “As a result, we have been able to carry out a policy of ‘return on success’ — reducing American combat forces in Iraq as conditions on the ground continue to improve.”

Mr. Bush accepted a consensus set of recommendations presented last week by Gen. David H. Petraeus, the senior Iraq commander; Lt. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, acting commander of the military’s Central Command; Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, according to Pentagon and White House officials.

Mr. Bush also announced a decision to increase American force levels in Afghanistan by about 4,500 troops.

“The president’s decision paves the way for us to get even more troops out of Iraq this year and into Afghanistan,” said Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary. “So the progress our forces are making in Iraq continues to pay big dividends for the commanders in Afghanistan."

A Marine battalion that was scheduled for service in Iraq will instead enter Afghanistan by November. And in January, an Army combat brigade that had been scheduled for service in Iraq will deploy instead to Afghanistan.

The president’s speech also highlighted decisions to vastly increase the size of the Afghan National Army, which will grow from its current size of 60,000 troops to 120,000, beyond the 80,000 goal of previous plans. If the progress in Iraq continues, he said, additional reductions would be possible in the first half of 2009.

Mr. Bush said that an order shortening combat tours for Army forces in Iraq to 12 months, down from 15 months before, will “ease the burden on our forces, and make life easier for the military families that support them.”

Democrats in Congress criticized the steps as too meager. “I am stunned that President Bush has decided to bring so few troops home from Iraq and send so few resources to Afghanistan,” the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, told The Associated Press.

In the House, Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri, the chairman of the Armed Services Commitee, told the news agency, “The President’s plan to reduce force levels in Iraq may seem to signal movement in the right direction, but it really defers troop reductions until the next administration. More significant troop reductions in Iraq are needed so that we can start to rebuild U.S. military readiness and provide the additional forces needed to finish the fight in Afghanistan.”

it also strikes me that the timing of this -- early next year -- is doing exactly what many of us predicted Bush would do: foist this onto the next president. and it also gives the impression of doing what we need to do, while still leaving the next president with a force in Iraq that's unsustainable, levels of violence that are reduced but still dramatic, and virtually none of the factors that could easily lead to more apocalyptic violence like we saw in 2006/7 removed. so, again, we have no actual decisions made by Bush who's clearly more worried about his legacy than effective policy.
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Old 09-09-2008, 12:55 PM   #145
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the Bush administration continues to slowly, slowly come around to the Obama position on Iraq:




it also strikes me that the timing of this -- early next year -- is doing exactly what many of us predicted Bush would do: foist this onto the next president. and it also gives the impression of doing what we need to do, while still leaving the next president with a force in Iraq that's unsustainable, levels of violence that are reduced but still dramatic, and virtually none of the factors that could easily lead to more apocalyptic violence like we saw in 2006/7 removed. so, again, we have no actual decisions made by Bush who's clearly more worried about his legacy than effective policy.
Malaki and his Shia friends are pretty much in control of the Iraq situation.

Most U S Troops will be out, in what 3 years ?


What this has done is taken the Iraq War of 2005 and 2006,
that was a good advantage for Obama and the Democrats off the table.


McCain / Palin does seem like the better team to oversee Iraq 2008, 2009 +

Obama got the surge wrong and his plan would have let the extremists win the day.

Biden's solution, which for the record I probably supported, would have been a complete disaster. To invade Iraq, and then partition it into 3 states.
That would have blown the region into kaos and more wars.


This may happen down the road, under the Iraqis, but at least it will not have been imposed by the U. S.


So these days, the current Iraq situation favors McCain.

and works against Obama / Biden.
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Old 09-09-2008, 01:37 PM   #146
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the Bush administration continues to slowly, slowly come around to the Obama position on Iraq:
Has Bush proposed withdrawing troops from Iraq pre-maturely and regardless of conditions on the ground as Obama has proposed? Nope.

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it also strikes me that the timing of this -- early next year -- is doing exactly what many of us predicted Bush would do: foist this onto the next president.
The withdrawal is based on conditions on the ground. General Patreus felt that a withdrawal of 1 brigade might be possible early next year.

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and it also gives the impression of doing what we need to do, while still leaving the next president with a force in Iraq that's unsustainable
You have been claiming the force in Iraq is unsustainable for over four years now. Clearly that is not the case, as would be clear to most people who objectively look at total US force structure. The United States Army has 44 Combat Brigades, The US National Guard has 32 combat Brigades, the Marine Corp and Marine Corp Reserve has 4 Marine MEF's. The United States currently has 12 Army Brigades and 1 Marine MEF in Iraq. That force level can be sustained indefinitely, especially when you add in the use of National Guard Combat Brigades. The comfortable spot the Army likes to be in is to have at least 2 brigades at home for every 1 brigade deployed. The Army is at that point even without considering the 32 combat brigades of the National Guard.

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levels of violence that are reduced but still dramatic
Well, lets take a look at violence levels just before the Surge you and Barack Obama opposed and said would make violence worse in Iraq:

February 2007 3,014 civilians and Iraqi Security forces killed: 71 US troops killed by hostile fire.

August 2008 311 Iraqi civilians and Iraqi Security forces killed: 12 US troops killed by hostile fire.

Those are 90% and 85% reductions in casualties thanks to policies you and Barack Obama opposed and claimed would make such figures worse.

Plus lets look at this claim that violence in Iraq is still "dramatic". Violence in the USA takes nearly 1,500 lives a month. The USA is roughly 10 times the size of Iraq in population. So, Iraq would have roughly an equal murder rate to the United States with 150 deaths per month. In August there were 311 deaths, so adjusting for the size of the United States, there were roughly twice as many deaths in Iraq than the United States in August 2008. If you were to look at murder rates in US cities such as Washington DC, Detroit, and Atlanta, you would find those murder rates to be well above the murder rate seen in all of Iraq in August 2008.

The situation in Iraq is improving to the point where withdrawals are possible.

Quote:
and virtually none of the factors that could easily lead to more apocalyptic violence like we saw in 2006/7 removed.
large numbers of Al Quada cells have been disrupted and destroyed.

large numbers of Sunni insurgent cells have been disrupted and
destroyed.

Sadr's militia has been weakened and is now in the process of becoming a purely political organization with only a small military component.

Strong economic growth continues with Iraqi oil production going ahead of pre-war levels.

The Iraqi government has made significant progress on 15 of the 18 benchmarkes that the US congress set down for it.

The Iraqi military is much larger and more capable than it was just a year ago and is now in charge of security in 11 of Iraq's 18 provinces. Its also in negotiations to buy 200 M1A1 tanks for several Billion dollars from the United States, something the United States was unwilling to consider selling Iraq just two years ago because of the level of instability in the country and the level of development of the Iraqi military at that time.


Iraq's increased military, economic, and governmental capabilities means sectarian violence on the level seen in 2006 is much less likely to happen. The fact that the situation is still fragile simply means that the United States must continue to stay there at force levels large enough to insure relative stability as the Iraqi's continue to develop their ever growing capabilities in order to one day fully take over all security and development tasks from the United States and its allies.

As I have always said, provided that the United States does not withdraw pre-maturely from Iraq, it will succeed in helping Iraq develop its political, economic and security institutions to the point that coalition ground forces will no longer be needed.

Relative to Barack Obama who decided it was better to leave Saddam in power in 2003, and who claimed the surge would increase violence in Iraq, the Bush administration has been very successful in its Iraq policies.
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Old 09-09-2008, 03:20 PM   #147
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I expected nothing less, Sting. Like clockwork.
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:02 PM   #148
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Anyone have an idea what Bob Woodward was talking about on 60 Minutes last night? The secret strategy/weapon the U.S. has been using to wipe out insurgent leaders?
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:05 PM   #149
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I'll need to search for the link (may have been on metafilter), but I think Woodward is reporting in his new book that they basically have al Maliki and much of the Iraqi government's power structure under "covert surveillance" aka wiretapped.
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:12 PM   #150
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I'll need to search for the link (may have been on metafilter), but I think Woodward is reporting in his new book that they basically have al Maliki and much of the Iraqi government's power structure under "covert surveillance" aka wiretapped.


yes, it's something to do with surveillance. it's all classified, so he can only hint at it, no details.
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