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Old 06-15-2006, 02:48 PM   #1
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Mission Accomplished, again

[q]Posted at 08:29 AM ET, 06/14/2006
Mission Accomplished, Again

When President Bush said to Iraq’s new leaders yesterday that "the fate and future of Iraq is in your hands," he meant: I want the future to be in your hands, that despite all of the talk of America keeping its word, despite U.S. support for Iraqi democracy, despite terrorists who are in Iraq and able to regularly travel from country to country in the region, the desire of the Bush administration is to withdraw U.S. forces and turn "security" over to Baghdad, mission accomplished, again.

American withdrawal might not be imminent, and Bush and military insiders might not even foresee a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces as the eventual outcome, but does anyone not see what is really going on here, that the White House is urging Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki to get on with it, to "seize the moment," as the President said, to ask the United States to leave, mission accomplished, again.

Ever since the administration published its “National Strategy for Victory in Iraq” late last year, the policy has been clear: The United States military is no longer in Iraq to “win” the war, to defeat the terrorists, to put down the insurgency, to stem a civil war. It is there holding the line, training Iraqis and waiting, waiting for the day when it can honorably withdraw, problem turned over to a new Iraqi government, army, police, and secret service, mission accomplished, again.

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/early...ain.html#22101

[/q]



so, in addition to changing justifications for going to war like underware, is the administration altering what "victory" will look like in order to suit the reality of Iraq as well as suit their political objectives for 2006?
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Old 06-15-2006, 03:15 PM   #2
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Bush should withdraw the troops from Iraq!

No, wait, Bush shouldn't withdraw the troops from Iraq!

Double-edged sword, this is...
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Old 06-15-2006, 03:24 PM   #3
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Re: Mission Accomplished, again

or are critics of the war adjusting what defeat will look like in order to suit their political objectives for 2006 or 2008?

Its seems that staying in Iraq until every single terrorist committing violence was killed or in prison would recuire the coalition to remain in Iraq for potentially the next 100 years. Terrorism, like crime, could pop up at any time for an indefinite period. It would seem rather unnecessary to have coalition troops fighting and doing other task in Iraq that could be handled by the Iraqi's alone. In some ways, the withdrawal of coalition troops may make it easier to deal with the terrorist taking away the infidel arguement that they probably use to help in recruiting.

Would US/NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo signal defeat in those area's, or that conditions there had developed to the point that such forces were no longer needed, which in that case could only be regarded as a victory?
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Old 06-15-2006, 03:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by nathan1977
Bush should withdraw the troops from Iraq!

No, wait, Bush shouldn't withdraw the troops from Iraq!

Double-edged sword, this is...


agreed.

prediction: Bush will withdraw troops when he can make a case that Iraqi forces are able to handle "security" in their own country.

so the Civil War will be Iraqi's problem, not ours.

(presidenting isn't that hard, is it?)

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Old 06-15-2006, 03:28 PM   #5
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Re: Re: Mission Accomplished, again

Quote:
Originally posted by Maoilbheannacht
or are critics of the war adjusting what defeat will look like in order to suit their political objectives for 2006 or 2008?



i can't speak for others, but this critic of the war based much of his criticism in the inability of anyone to provide a reliable explanation of what "victory" would look like -- there was no army to kick out of Kuwait, or treaty to sign, or clear-cut objective to be completed.

it was all as nebulous as the reasons for invasion.



[q]Its seems that staying in Iraq until every single terrorist committing violence was killed or in prison would recuire the coalition to remain in Iraq for potentially the next 100 years. Terrorism, like crime, could pop up at any time for an indefinite period. It would seem rather unnecessary to have coalition troops fighting and doing other task in Iraq that could be handled by the Iraqi's alone. In some ways, the withdrawal of coalition troops may make it easier to deal with the terrorist taking away the infidel arguement that they probably use to help in recruiting.[/q]


this sounds like an anti-war position!

question: how confident are you in the Iraqi security forces given their high level of infiltration by Shiite militiamen?



Quote:
Would US/NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo signal defeat in those area's, or that conditions there had developed to the point that such forces were no longer needed, which in that case could only be regarded as a victory?


Bosnia, yes. Afghanistan, not yet.
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Old 06-15-2006, 03:49 PM   #6
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Re: Re: Re: Mission Accomplished, again

Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




this sounds like an anti-war position!

question: how confident are you in the Iraqi security forces given their high level of infiltration by Shiite militiamen?



Bosnia, yes. Afghanistan, not yet.
Is withdrawing forces from a conflict that are no longer needed there really an anti-war position?

I'm confident the Shiite's militiamens loyalty to fighting a Sunni insurgency will of course continue. The problem may be when or if the Sunni insurgency is defeated or gives up the fight, will the Shiite militiamen remain obedient soldiers of Iraq, or begin making trouble in some way for the new government.
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Old 06-15-2006, 04:06 PM   #7
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Mission Accomplished, again

Quote:
Originally posted by Maoilbheannacht


Is withdrawing forces from a conflict that are no longer needed there really an anti-war position?


actually, this is quite a provocative question given recent events.

Bush wants to withdraw the troops, and i guarantee we're going to see some come home before the November elections.

i suppose the question is whether or not the troops are "needed" and determining the abilities of the Iraqi troops and if they are adequate enough -- it seems as if this question is less about being pro- or anti-war and more about when that determination will be the most politically advantageous.

my anti-war position remains the same -- the invasion should never have been carried out in the manner in which it was in the first place, and the costs have not been worth what has been gained. i do not see 2 elections in an Arab country as evidence of an embrace of liberal Western democratic values. i do think the Arab world will gradually move towards democracy, but i don't think the invasion of Iraq has helped that cause, and it has probably created a permanent sense of suspicion towards the United States that will last a generation and make foreign policy that much more difficult.

and there's also Iran.
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Old 06-15-2006, 04:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
prediction: Bush will withdraw troops when he can make a case that Iraqi forces are able to handle "security" in their own country.

so the Civil War will be Iraqi's problem, not ours.

(presidenting isn't that hard, is it?)

Are you suggesting we remain in Iraq until there is no possibility of internal struggle?

If the Democrats do not take the House this year, it won't be due to a change in definition victory. It will be the complete lack of alternatives presented to a situation.
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Old 06-15-2006, 04:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


Are you suggesting we remain in Iraq until there is no possibility of internal struggle?



i don't think i've offered a suggestion of what to do -- what i am suggesting is that military actions in Iraq are completely inextricable from the domestic political situation, and probably have been so since the beginning.

at this point, it does not appear as if the Iraqi army will be capable of maintaining order over an internal struggle -- the current progress right now is largely due to Maliki's rather shrewd siezing of the moment of finally filling out the cabinet positions, the death of Zawaqari, and yesterday's "crack-down" on the capital.

how long this can sustain is anyone's guess, but i fear the departure of American troops will cause ethnic tensions to resurface, which might be better or worse than having the crusaders/infidels on their homeland.

it's a very difficult situation, and one with no good answers, as much as we might like to try to find one.


Quote:
If the Democrats do not take the House this year, it won't be due to a change in definition victory. It will be the complete lack of alternatives presented to a situation.

which is precisely the Rove strategy -- make it about the party that's not in power, not the (corrupt, overspending, warmongering) party that is in power.

this has been a tremendous opportunity for Republicans to seize control of the narrative of the elections -- to make it all about Iraq now that we've had good news coming out of Iraq for the first time since March 2003.
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Old 06-15-2006, 07:46 PM   #10
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The Democrats have been trying to make Iraq the centerpiece for the election by suggesting a lack of progress (according to whose timetable?) makes this GWB's quagmire.

I think you've highlighted the primary missing ingredient to the discourse on Iraq - the lack of better solutions (assuming they exist). The ratio of complaints to solutions is so far out of whack that the complaints are becoming white noise. It is hard to demonstrate a need for leadership change when there is no evidence of better leadership.

Over time, we will see better control by the Iraqis. If al Qaeda sees it, then my guess it is working.
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Old 06-15-2006, 09:06 PM   #11
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It's going to be hard for Democrats to use Iraq effectively in the election because they aren't speaking with one voice. You have Hillary getting booed at that leftie conference last week, because she doesn't agree with a Murtha-style withdrawal. You have Democrats divided by Kerry legislation for a U.S. withdrawal by year end. There's not a strong reason to vote Democrat if they support the status quo. And on the other hand, the majority of Americans don't agree with immediate withdrawal either. Maybe this issue isn't a winner for either party??

I think Democrats should be rooting for a few more Bernacke interest rate hikes and $3.50 gasoline. That will get them some seats in Congress.
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Old 06-18-2006, 09:56 AM   #12
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Rep Marty Meehan

"Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding and thank him for his leadership and for making sure that our men and women in uniform get everything that they need.

This is an unfortunate day in the House of Representatives, the people's House, where Members of this body were told we could have a debate on Iraq. Surely it is time to have a discussion of our misguided policy in Iraq. But rather than give us a debate on Iraq, we see a resolution that comes from the Republican leadership that was drafted by political experts on spin.

We all support our troops. We merge the war on terror with the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq so that we can cloud the debate and make the debate about whether and who supports the troops.

Surely we can do better than that. 2,500 Americans have been killed; 19,000 brave men and women have been injured. And there is no accountability on the part of this Congress to the mistakes that have been made.

``They will welcome us when we get there.'' We had a window of opportunity, and we missed it. We didn't send enough troops in to secure the peace in Iraq. General Shinseki warned us, and they ignored him and sent him out to pasture.

We didn't vet Saddam's army so we could secure Baghdad. Mistake. Mistake. We have less oil production now than we did when Saddam was in power. The Iraqi people have lost their opportunity. They have 3.9 hours of electricity in Baghdad and we are talking about things getting better? In a time of war, this administration and this Congress has an obligation to tell the truth about what is happening in Iraq.

We also have a responsibility to provide the oversight so we correct mistakes, we get our troops into the background because we are sitting ducks up there because we have an occupation that our own State Department polls say is unpopular by 85 to 90 percent of the Iraqis.

I hear them talk about the terrorists and how we are fighting al Qaeda. Al Qaeda was not in Iraq until this President stood before the world and said, ``Bring it on. Bring it on.'' Well, they brought it on and now 10 percent of the insurgency are actually terrorists. When we leave Iraq, they will leave Iraq.

We ought to listen to what the State Department told us in advance. We should look at our own investigations and analysis by the State Department that tell us we cannot win this war militarily. You don't beat an insurgency with military conflict; you beat an insurgency through making the right planning decisions, by making the right decisions to give the Iraqis what they need to be upfront to keep their own security in that country. You give the Iraqis what they need to make their own determination of what their future is. The time has come for the United States to move into the background and bring our men and women home."
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Old 06-18-2006, 10:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
We ought to listen to what the State Department told us in advance. We should look at our own investigations and analysis by the State Department that tell us we cannot win this war militarily. You don't beat an insurgency with military conflict; you beat an insurgency through making the right planning decisions, by making the right decisions to give the Iraqis what they need to be upfront to keep their own security in that country. You give the Iraqis what they need to make their own determination of what their future is. The time has come for the United States to move into the background and bring our men and women home."
Right except for withrawing now this is exactly what is being done - training and the political process are a function of resources and time.

Murtha raised an apt comparison
Quote:
MURTHA: The thing that disturbed me and worries me about this whole thing is we can't get [the administration] to change direction. And I said over and over in debate, if you listen to any of it, in Beirut President Reagan changed direction, in Somalia President Clinton changed direction, and yet here, with the troops out there every day, suffering from these explosive devices, and being looked at as occupiers — 80 percent of the people want us out of there — and yet they continue to say, "We're fighting this thing." We're not fighting this. The troops are fighting this thing. That's who's doing the fighting.
Yes a situation of US forces involved in a Muslim country where withdrawl vindicated the opinion that America was weak a decadent paper tiger could be beaten back to make way for the "true" Islam
Quote:
"After leaving Afghanistan, the Muslim fighters headed for Somalia and prepared for a long battle, thinking that the Americans were like the Russians," bin Laden said. "The youth were surprised at the low morale of the American soldiers and realized more than before that the American soldier was a paper tiger and after a few blows ran in defeat. And America forgot all the hoopla and media propaganda ... about being the world leader and the leader of the New World Order, and after a few blows they forgot about this title and left, dragging their corpses and their shameful defeat."
The concequences of premature withdrawl do not constitute a casus belli, the 20 justifications offered in the House Joint Resolution Authorizing Use of Force Against Iraq does that. If the few Democrats that do want to run on a platform that advocates immediate withdrawl these comparisons and expectations should disincline people to take them seriously.

Bin Laden put the bloody incident in his 1996 fatwa declaring war on America for occupying Arabia
Quote:
"But your most disgraceful case was in Somalia; where- after vigorous propaganda about the power of the USA and its post cold war leadership of the new world order- you moved tens of thousands of international force, including twenty eight thousands American solders into Somalia. However, when tens of your solders were killed in minor battles and one American Pilot was dragged in the streets of Mogadishu you left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat and your dead with you. Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge , but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal. You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew; the extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear. It was a pleasure for the "heart" of every Muslim and a remedy to the "chests" of believing nations to see you defeated in the three Islamic cities of Beirut , Aden and Mogadishu."
It's good that he was so wrong in reading the West.
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Old 06-19-2006, 04:32 PM   #14
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How can there be a controversy regarding the policy in Iraq when the loyal opposition has not offered an alternative policy?
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
How can there be a controversy regarding the policy in Iraq when the loyal opposition has not offered an alternative policy?



the present policy isn't working.

there's no course to stay on, even.

but there is room to paint the lack of (coherent) alternative as a "choice," a false one, between "finish the job" and "cut and run."

which is the overarching narrative the Republicans are trying to create for the 2006 election, and all this while they have already quietly given up on Iraq and are going to slowly bring troops home in time for the fall by grossly inflating the capabilities of the new Iraqi government and it's army.
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