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Old 08-24-2006, 04:40 PM   #16
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Originally posted by Irvine511




i think Iran was much more afraid of Iraq in the 1980s than they are of the USA in the 2000's.


In terms of military power, your saying that Iraq in the 1980s was more powerful than the United States in the 2000s?



I think everyone in the US military is prepared and ready to deploy to Iraq for the combat there which compared to past wars is rather light. I think National Guard and Reserve Units train for several months before they deploy to Iraq.

As far as those having already served, I'm not sure how technically relevant that would be, except that there are now a lot of people in the military who have important experience in Iraq which is positive rather than a negative in terms of what they add to the mission there. I believe in World War II, soldiers served without any breaks until the war was over.

In any event, the United States has several million men and women in the armed forces, and while many of them may not have a direct combat role, its obvious that the United States does not have all the forces it could put into Iraq in Iraq currently.
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Old 08-24-2006, 05:30 PM   #17
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In terms of military power, your saying that Iraq in the 1980s was more powerful than the United States in the 2000s?



no. i am saying the threat posed by Iraq was greater than that posed by the US currently.





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In any event, the United States has several million men and women in the armed forces, and while many of them may not have a direct combat role, its obvious that the United States does not have all the forces it could put into Iraq in Iraq currently.

you're right. from the beginning, it's always been just enough troops to loose. but, at this point, can you see Bush ordering 450,000 troops into Iraq?

we don't live in a dictatorship. the president can't expect to make such a momentous military decision that would affect the lives of millions of Americans and not suffer politically.
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Old 08-25-2006, 03:09 AM   #18
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no. i am saying the threat posed by Iraq was greater than that posed by the US currently.








you're right. from the beginning, it's always been just enough troops to loose. but, at this point, can you see Bush ordering 450,000 troops into Iraq?

we don't live in a dictatorship. the president can't expect to make such a momentous military decision that would affect the lives of millions of Americans and not suffer politically.
The greater the military strength, the greater the capacity to threaten another country. If Iraq was not as military strong as the United States today, how could it be a greater threat to Iran?

The President is the Commander and Chief and has broad powers to send large amounts of US forces around the world, or in fact launch nuclear weapons if the President feels such action is required. He does not need the approval of Congress to do these things.

George Bush's father sent over 500,000 US troops to the Persian Gulf in the early 1990s over just a few months and was ready to send them into combat without congressional approval if necessary.

We do not live in a dictatorship and President Bush is the elected President of the country and has many powers to act in the country's defense as he sees fit. Unless congress were able to get enough votes to cut off funding for a war, or impeach and remove the President, there is little they can do.

In terms of suffering politically, the President has already been elected to a second term and cannot run for the office of President for a third term.
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Old 08-25-2006, 09:52 AM   #19
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Originally posted by Maoilbheannacht


The greater the military strength, the greater the capacity to threaten another country. If Iraq was not as military strong as the United States today, how could it be a greater threat to Iran?



Iraq was far more likely to use their military to attack Iran than the US is -- and Iran knows this, and knows that the US, currently preoccupied with Afghanistan and Iraq (two of Iran's old enemies now out of the picture) it is far less likely to use it's military capacity against the regime in Iran.


[q]The President is the Commander and Chief and has broad powers to send large amounts of US forces around the world, or in fact launch nuclear weapons if the President feels such action is required. He does not need the approval of Congress to do these things.[/q]

of course he has the power, but he also would pay a political price of sending Americans into battle without any threat to the homeland -- can you see this happening especially post-WMD fiasco? simply because it is possible to do doesn't mean that it will happen.


[q]George Bush's father sent over 500,000 US troops to the Persian Gulf in the early 1990s over just a few months and was ready to send them into combat without congressional approval if necessary.[/q]

Bush 1 made an effective case to the American people in 1990 about the necessity for action and was able to assemble a credible international coalition. none of these things are available to Bush 2 in 2006.


[q]We do not live in a dictatorship and President Bush is the elected President of the country and has many powers to act in the country's defense as he sees fit. Unless congress were able to get enough votes to cut off funding for a war, or impeach and remove the President, there is little they can do.[/q]

see above. just because a president can do something doesn't mean he will do it because there are costs to every decision made.


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In terms of suffering politically, the President has already been elected to a second term and cannot run for the office of President for a third term.
it's widely believed that the Iraq War is a huge political liability now in 2006 that it wasn't in 2004 and the Republicans are expected to suffer during the mid-term elections. we've see what support for the war can do to Democrats in CT. do you really think Bush would win a nationwide election in 2006?
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Old 08-25-2006, 03:27 PM   #20
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Iraq was far more likely to use their military to attack Iran than the US is -- and Iran knows this, and knows that the US, currently preoccupied with Afghanistan and Iraq (two of Iran's old enemies now out of the picture) it is far less likely to use it's military capacity against the regime in Iran.






it's widely believed that the Iraq War is a huge political liability now in 2006 that it wasn't in 2004 and the Republicans are expected to suffer during the mid-term elections. we've see what support for the war can do to Democrats in CT. do you really think Bush would win a nationwide election in 2006?

Good points especially on the the threat Iran feels from its potential enemy's.

How often over the past century has their actually been a direct threat to the US homeland? A direct threat to the US homeland does not seem to be the primary rational in sending or stationing US forces overseas. Its the threat to US interest overseas that has been the primary motivation for US involvement in most of its wars since the start of the 20th century.

The President is not up for re-election and the only serious political cost the President can suffer is impeachment and removal or a cut off of funding by congress, both are very unlikely.

Lets not forget that Bush 1 barely got approval from congress to launch the military invasion against Saddam in 1991. I think the it only passed by a one or two votes. Bush 2 by comparison got approval by a massive landslide. The Democrats as I recall claimed Bush 1's coalition was not credible at all back in 1991. Its not a surprise that they don't find Bush 2's coalition credible either. They oppose the policy and will say anything poltically to bring it down. Politics in 1991, Politics in 2006.


A better question to ask would be who do the Democrats have that could beat Bush at the moment? Bush is the only target in the media at the moment. Bush's current political position would actually improve if he had a single political target he could fire back at. Gallup poll right now has Bush at 42% approval, but that would likely rise a little more if all the focus was not on him and someone else had some more of the spotlight and mud thrown at them.


The Democrats only represent 1/3 of the electorate, and in such a liberal state like CT, it would have been a disaster if the Democrats were unable to defeat Leiberman in their own primary. Things may be a little different when the rest of CT besides just the Democrat zealots vote in the election this fall.

We'll soon find out if the war is really the liability everyone claims it is. If we wake up November 8 with the Republicans still in control of both houses of congress, then all this hoopla would have been much a do about nothing.

Perhaps its better to say that the war in Iraq is a liability for Democrats who support it, especially when it comes to their primary's.
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Old 08-25-2006, 04:08 PM   #21
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Originally posted by Maoilbheannacht
How often over the past century has their actually been a direct threat to the US homeland? A direct threat to the US homeland does not seem to be the primary rational in sending or stationing US forces overseas. Its the threat to US interest overseas that has been the primary motivation for US involvement in most of its wars since the start of the 20th century.



well, WW2 involved a pretty direct to the US homeland, and both Korea and Vietnam were understood in the larger framework of a Cold War with Soviet missiles aimed direct at the US homeland. it's really only in recent decades that the US military has been applied to achieve what might be understood as humanitarian goals, and with mixed results (Bosnia, Somalia). the first Gulf War had a specific objective -- Iraq out of Kuwait -- and never once called for the wholesale occupation of another country.





[q]The President is not up for re-election and the only serious political cost the President can suffer is impeachment and removal or a cut off of funding by congress, both are very unlikely.[/q]

the President has an agenda that extends far beyond military policy, and damage to his credibility in one area greatly weakens his credibility in other areas. look at all the northeastern republicans running from him and seeking to break with him on issues such as stem cells, as well as right-wing Republicans breaking with him on immigration. if Bush could simply do whatever he wants without any consequence, you'd see fewer Republicans seeking to break with his agenda in such a public manner.


[q]Lets not forget that Bush 1 barely got approval from congress to launch the military invasion against Saddam in 1991. I think the it only passed by a one or two votes. Bush 2 by comparison got approval by a massive landslide. The Democrats as I recall claimed Bush 1's coalition was not credible at all back in 1991. Its not a surprise that they don't find Bush 2's coalition credible either. They oppose the policy and will say anything poltically to bring it down. Politics in 1991, Politics in 2006.[/q]

i'd have to go back and look at the two resolutions, but we're forgetting the context of the vote in 2002 -- to authorize the president to use force if necessary wihth 9-11 as a backdrop. i also don't agree with your understanding of the Democrats assailing the coalition of 1991. in fact, Jim Baker was widely credited for his diplomatic skills in getting not just the traditional European powers on board (UK, France) but Muslim nations as well (Jordan, Egypt, Pakistan).

what we have in 2006 is nowhere near as credible as in 1991.


[q]A better question to ask would be who do the Democrats have that could beat Bush at the moment? Bush is the only target in the media at the moment. Bush's current political position would actually improve if he had a single political target he could fire back at. Gallup poll right now has Bush at 42% approval, but that would likely rise a little more if all the focus was not on him and someone else had some more of the spotlight and mud thrown at them.[/q]

which gallup poll was that? most recent polls have him in the lower 30's and with huge disapproval ratings at nearly 60%. i agree that a direct one-to-one comparison might help Bush, as it did help him defeat Kerry in 2004



[q]The Democrats only represent 1/3 of the electorate, and in such a liberal state like CT, it would have been a disaster if the Democrats were unable to defeat Leiberman in their own primary. Things may be a little different when the rest of CT besides just the Democrat zealots vote in the election this fall.[/q]

agreed that Liberman will probably still win in the Fall, but the message is out there loud and clear, especially for Democrats, but increasingly for Republicans as well. look at Nancy Johnson and Chris Shays, both Republicans and both from Connecticut.

there are times when i am proud to be from Connecticut.


[q]We'll soon find out if the war is really the liability everyone claims it is. If we wake up November 8 with the Republicans still in control of both houses of congress, then all this hoopla would have been much a do about nothing.[/q]

as we've discussed before, i think this is as much a political statement than an assessment of reality. you're participating in the Republican spin by stating that anything less than a total rout is a failure (which is kind of like Hezbollah saying that anything less than its complete annhiliation by Israel is a victory). it's true that most of the polls and media reports show the Democrats winning big in November, akin to the Republicans in 1994, but i'm not buying into that narrative just yet. i think the system hugely favors incumbancy, and many districts have been so extensively gerrymandered by both parties as to reduce any meaningful run-offs bewteen members of different parties.


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Perhaps its better to say that the war in Iraq is a liability for Democrats who support it, especially when it comes to their primary's.
at this point, this is probably the only definitive conclusion we can draw, though i would again point to Republicans in blue states like CT who are running away from Bush as quickly as they know how, and not just on the war -- many voters who had voted GOP in the past (and this includes many independents) are repulsed by the party's current domination by Christian evangelicals who regard stem cells, gay marriage, abortion, and anti-science education as the most important issues facing the country.
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Old 08-25-2006, 05:10 PM   #22
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[q]A better question to ask would be who do the Democrats have that could beat Bush at the moment? Bush is the only target in the media at the moment. Bush's current political position would actually improve if he had a single political target he could fire back at. Gallup poll right now has Bush at 42% approval, but that would likely rise a little more if all the focus was not on him and someone else had some more of the spotlight and mud thrown at them.[/q]

which gallup poll was that? most recent polls have him in the lower 30's and with huge disapproval ratings at nearly 60%. i agree that a direct one-to-one comparison might help Bush, as it did help him defeat Kerry in 2004




Its this Gallup taken from August 18-20. Go to www.gallup.com Then click "The Gallup Poll" icon. Then look at the chart in the lower right hand corner. It has three different polls flashing one after the other and one of them is the Presidents approval rating. The August 18-20 is the latest one and the W is now at 42%.





As for the 2006 congressional elections, if the Democrats can't gain 15 House Seats, then they do not have the political strength that is so often sited in polls and the media. If the Republicans still control both houses of congress, regardless of the reason, then you can only look at it as a victory for the Republicans. The Democrats will still be in the semi powerless position that they have been in since 2000.


The only time since 1900 that the United States homeland has been specifically and directly threatened or attacked was by Japan in World War II and Al Quada on 9/11. All the other wars and conflicts did not actually involve a direct threat to the US homeland. Germany never really threatened the US homeland in World War II.
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