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Old 07-16-2008, 09:29 PM   #676
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and too bad that Obama said the following in October of 2006:

I already addressed this earlier. Its not evidence that Barack Obama was always for Bush's strategy of "As they stand up, we'll stand down". There is nothing here that suggest that Obama would wait until the Iraqi military forces had reached a sufficient level of capability to replace US forces before he would start withdrawing US combat brigades.

Obama still has the same withdrawal plan he wanted to implement back in January 2007 which would of had all US combat brigades out of Iraq by March 31, 2008. He opposed the Surge in US troops which has dramatically lowered the level of violence across Iraq, helped the Iraqi military improve its capabilities, helped the Iraqi government make substantial progress on 15 of the 18 benchmarks, and allowed the Iraqi economy to start growing again with oil production returning to pre-war levels.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:43 PM   #677
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and the success of "the surge" makes it impossible to leave?




it would have gone to one of the boys, who would have faced a coup, and it would have fallen into the hands of another strongman.

there's be violence. but not 6 bonecrushing years of it.
Pretending that there would be nothing to worry about if coalition had just left Saddam and his regime in power is absurd. Again, look at the history of what this regime had done to the region already, its continued defiance of resolutions vital to the security of the region, the still relatively large size of its military, especially when compared to the smaller Gulf States, the collapse of the sanctions and weapons embargo regime to try and help contain him, and the fact that we now know of the things Saddam continued to hide from inspectors that were in violation of the Gulf War Ceacefire agreement right up to the start of the invasion in March 2003.

It was a necessity that Saddam be removed despite the needs of the war in Afghanistan which by the way continues to be the most successful occupation in the landlocked country's history. The United States does not have the luxury of picking and choose which national security issues it can work on, one at a time. Multiple issues may require action at the same time as in this case.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:25 AM   #678
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Barack Obama has consistently stated on his website, in the foreign affairs article that he would "immediately begin withdrawing troops from Iraq" without listing any prerequisites for that withdrawal to begin such as security levels on the ground or the capabilities of Iraqi forces. Barack Obama has never stated that he is willing to stay in Iraq until Iraq has developed sufficient military capabilities to replace any US troops that are withdrawn. Barack Obama's strategy is to get out of Iraq period, not stay in Iraq to first insure that it can stand on its own and then leave. I have consistently stated that the United States must first help secure Iraq and develop its security forces to a level that they can replace US forces on the ground before those forces can start withdrawing. That has been the Bush strategy all along. To qoute Bush, "As they stand up, we'll stand down". That line got mocked a lot in here and I don't see where Obama has ever suggested his strategy is in line with that.

But, if you can show me where Obama has specifically made any US withdrawal conditional on the security situation in Iraq, and the capability of the Iraqi forces, please post it here. If it exist, which I'm sure it doesn't, it would only mean that his strategy for Iraq is in line with the strategy that Bush has had for the past 5 years.

Oh, and saying that you would suspend the withdrawal if Iraq achieves all of the political benchmarks is definitely not the same as having a prerequisite to starting a withdrawal or having a plan that starts withdrawing US combat brigades only when there are Iraqi forces capable enough to replace withdrawn US Brigades.
. . . .and, bingo.

Called it!
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Old 07-17-2008, 03:12 AM   #679
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BARACK OBAMA yesterday accused President Bush and Sen. John McCain of rigidity on Iraq: "They said we couldn't leave when violence was up, they say we can't leave when violence is down." Mr. Obama then confirmed his own foolish consistency. Early last year, when the war was at its peak, the Democratic candidate proposed a timetable for withdrawing all U.S. combat forces in slightly more than a year. Yesterday, with bloodshed at its lowest level since the war began, Mr. Obama endorsed the same plan. After hinting earlier this month that he might "refine" his Iraq strategy after visiting the country and listening to commanders, Mr. Obama appears to have decided that sticking to his arbitrary, 16-month timetable is more important than adjusting to the dramatic changes in Iraq.

Mr. Obama's charge against the Republicans was not entirely fair, since Mr. Bush has overseen the withdrawal of five American brigades from Iraq this year, and Mr. McCain has suggested that he would bring most of the rest of the troops home by early 2013. Mr. Obama's timeline would end in the summer of 2010, a year or two before the earliest dates proposed recently by members of the Iraqi government. The real difference between the various plans is not the dates but the conditions: Both the Iraqis and Mr. McCain say the withdrawal would be linked to the ability of Iraqi forces to take over from U.S. troops, as they have begun to do. Mr. Obama's strategy allows no such linkage -- his logic is that a timetable unilaterally dictated from Washington is necessary to force Iraqis to take responsibility for the country.

At the time he first proposed his timetable, Mr. Obama argued -- wrongly, as it turned out -- that U.S. troops could not stop a sectarian civil war. He conceded that a withdrawal might be accompanied by a "spike" in violence. Now, he describes as "an achievable goal" that "we leave Iraq to a government that is taking responsibility for its future -- a government that prevents sectarian conflict and ensures that the al-Qaeda threat which has been beaten back by our troops does not reemerge." How will that "true success" be achieved? By the same pullout that Mr. Obama proposed when chaos in Iraq appeared to him inevitable.

Mr. Obama reiterated yesterday that he would consult with U.S. commanders and the Iraqi government and "make tactical adjustments as we implement this strategy." However, as Mr. McCain quickly pointed out, he delivered his speech before traveling to Iraq -- before his meetings with Gen. David H. Petraeus and the Iraqi leadership. American commanders will probably tell Mr. Obama that from a logistical standpoint, a 16-month withdrawal timetable will be difficult, if not impossible, to fulfill. Iraqis will say that a pullout that is not negotiated with the government and disregards the readiness of Iraqi troops will be a gift to al-Qaeda and other enemies. If Mr. Obama really intends to listen to such advisers, why would he lock in his position in advance?

"What's missing in our debate," Mr. Obama said yesterday, "is a discussion of the strategic consequences of Iraq." Indeed: The message that the Democrat sends is that he is ultimately indifferent to the war's outcome -- that Iraq "distracts us from every threat we face" and thus must be speedily evacuated regardless of the consequences. That's an irrational and ahistorical way to view a country at the strategic center of the Middle East, with some of the world's largest oil reserves. Whether or not the war was a mistake, Iraq's future is a vital U.S. security interest. If he is elected president, Mr. Obama sooner or later will have to tailor his Iraq strategy to that reality.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:32 AM   #680
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McCain is for sending troops to Afghanistan, but not at the expense of reversing progress that has been made in Iraq.

can't wait for NATO to cough up those troops!
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:17 PM   #681
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If he called his wife the c word in public is that irrelevant too? Sometimes it quacks like a duck. He needs to step into 2008 in terms of womens issues-and from everything I've read about his record and his view he hasn't-one reason among others that I can't vote for him. Yes I care much, much more that he voted for covering Viagra and not female birth control (and can't even answer a question about that), but I also don't want a President who possibly jokes about rape- if that makes me dumb so be it. Just like I don't want to read rape jokes on Interference, and I have.

That "joke", if real, is just one part of the puzzle about him that I don't care for.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:38 PM   #682
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I already addressed this earlier. Its not evidence that Barack Obama was always for Bush's strategy of "As they stand up, we'll stand down". There is nothing here that suggest that Obama would wait until the Iraqi military forces had reached a sufficient level of capability to replace US forces before he would start withdrawing US combat brigades.

no, you're right, and yet you're wrong because you continue to misunderstand the entire situaiton. what it is evidence of is the fact that Bush and McCain are now coming around to Obama's plan of withdrawing forces and using those in Afghanistan.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:39 PM   #683
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Multiple issues may require action at the same time as in this case.


which is why allies and alliances matter.

gosh those NATO troops would be helpful right about now ...
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:40 PM   #684
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If he called his wife the c word in public is that irrelevant too?

yes, of course it's irrelevant.

now, Pastor Wright's speeches, *THOSE* matter.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:58 PM   #685
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I just really have to wonder what the reaction would be if, in some bizarro world, Sen Obama had similar "humor".

politico.com

McCain's humor often backfires

Ben SmithThu Jul 17, 5:34 AM ET

Ever hear that joke about waterboarding? How about the one about killing Iranians? And why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?

If you aren't familiar with those witty japes, then you've missed out on John McCain's lighter side. Rooted in a time before there was political correctness, and before there was the "South Park" backlash against political correctness, McCain's wisecracking persona is cutting at times, self-deprecating at others, and always amused by the political process swirling around him. Even in his pursuit of the White House, the candidate has — sometimes to the dismay of his handlers — managed to keep his sense of humor.

As he campaigns through the densest media thicket in American history, it's become clear that McCain hasn't acquired the layer of polish that produced, for instance, Ronald Reagan's gentle, oft-repeated jokes and Bill Clinton's colorful, folksy yarns.

McCain's humor, by contrast, makes him the political counterpart of the radio host Don Imus (whom he has defended): It's sharp, unrehearsed and, at times, way, way over the line. This cycle, he's drawn winces, and worse, for everything from a joking reference to domestic violence to a now-notorious little ditty about bombing Iran. Earlier in his political career, the Arizona press reported that he'd cracked a rape joke that would now probably end any politician's career, a joke his aides then and now say he doesn't recall making.

To McCain's friends and supporters, the humor is a mark of his authenticity. To his detractors, some of the jokes are offensive and out of touch with contemporary mores. What's undeniable, though, is that the humor, with its political risks and, to some, its charm, is intrinsic to John McCain. He is a man of a certain generation, with a machismo forged from his experience as a Navy pilot and an aviator, a candidate who is more comfortable in his own skin than with a teleprompter.

"If you know the difference between a Navy and an Air Force pilot, you get some of this — he's a Navy pilot," said former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey. "He has a healthy irreverence for the stuffy, politically correct, 'You can't say that, You can't say that.'"

Irreverence in the abstract is one thing. But McCain's specific jokes can be harder for some to stomach. Liberal bloggers have recently revived what is by far the most offensive of McCain's reported jokes, one that his aides say he doesn't recall telling, but which was reported in the Tucson Citizen, an Arizona paper, during his 1986 Senate campaign:

"Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, 'Where is that marvelous ape?'"

His spokeswoman said at the time he didn't recall telling the joke, something his current spokesman, Brian Rogers, reiterated to Politico.

The president of the National Organization for Women, Kim Gandy, however, suggested that a series of McCain jokes about women, the rest uncontested by the campaign, suggest a serious lack of respect.


"Some people can't tell the difference between a joke that is really off color and one that is off-the-charts offensive, and clearly some of John McCain's 'jokes' fall into that category," she said.

Outside the contested rape joke, the most notorious of McCain's gags about women's looks came in 1998, when Chelsea Clinton was 18.

"Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?" he asked guests at a Senate Republican fundraiser. "Because her father is Janet Reno."

McCain's other jokes don't induce cringes quite as widespread, but Gandy said they were still likely to alienate women.

"The French remind me a little bit of an aging actress of the 1940s who is still trying to dine out on her looks but doesn't have the face for it," McCain told Fox News a few years ago.

And earlier this year, McCain responded to a question with the line, "And I stopped beating my wife just a couple of weeks ago," provoking a round of tut-tutting for his reference to the old classic example of a leading question.

Women are far from his only target. Another favorite has been the elderly. He has recalled groveling for forgiveness when, during his 1986 campaign, he referred to a retirement community called "Leisure World" as "Seizure World."

In 1999, in the course of apologizing for his joke about Clinton — which he called "insensitive and stupid and cruel" — he recalled for reporters another bad joke: ''I said, 'The nice thing about Alzheimer's is you get to hide your own Easter eggs.'" (Earlier in the 2008 campaign season, he reworked that joke to make himself the target.)

McCain hasn't toned down the jokes, which often play better with the audiences at his town halls than when snipped out and recycled on YouTube, as was the case in an incident in which he — in jest — referred to a young man who asked about his age as "you little jerk," before telling him, "You're drafted."

McCain's political allies also sometimes feel the sting. He has jokingly threatened staffers with waterboarding (a practice he condemns as torture). After former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm, a close McCain adviser, dismissed talk of a bad economy as mere psychology, McCain told reporters he planned to make Gramm — who had been seen as a prospective Treasury secretary — ambassador to Belarus.

McCain was also recently condemned by the government of Iran for suggesting that increasing U.S. cigarette sales to Iran could be "a way of killing 'em."

"We condemn such jokes and believe them to be inappropriate for a U.S. presidential candidate," said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini. "It is most evident that jokes about genocide will not be tolerated by Iranians or Americans."

Iranian criticism, though, is more or less a badge of honor for presidential candidates of both parties. And McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said McCain's humor is, more broadly, central to his appeal.

"He's long said that he's said and done things in the past that he regrets," Rogers said. "You've just got to move on and be yourself — that's what people want. They want somebody who's authentic, and this kind of stuff is a good example of McCain being McCain."

But while voters say they want authenticity, McCain's campaign may test how much of his raw humor Americans can take.

"The world has changed," former Sen. Kerrey said. "It's a lot harder to tell jokes than it used to be."
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:17 PM   #686
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can't wait for NATO to cough up those troops!

Well, lets do some basic math here:

number of Active Army combat brigades in the US Army: 44(rising to 48 by end of 2009)

number of Army National Guard combat brigades: 34

number of Active Marine combat brigades 9

number of reserve Marine combat brigades 3



Current Deployment in Iraq:

13 Active Army combat brigades
2 Active Marine combat brigades

Current Deployment in Afghanistan:

2 Active Army combat brigades
1 Active Marine combat brigade

Current Deployment in South Korea:

1 Active Army Combat Brigade

Current Deployment in Kosovo:

part of 1 Army National Guard Combat Brigade




Deployed US combat Brigades around the world:

Active Army 16 Brigades
Army National Guard .5 Brigade
Active Marine 3 Brigades




US combat Brigades not currently deployed to a conflict zone:

Active Army 28 Brigades
Army National Guard 33.5 Brigades
Active Marine 6 Brigades
Marine Reserve 3 Brigades



Provided that equipment levels for National Guard brigades are fully restocked and restrictions on the use of the National Guard lifted, the United States does not have to look to NATO for more troops although it would indeed help.
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:24 PM   #687
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no, you're right, and yet you're wrong because you continue to misunderstand the entire situaiton. what it is evidence of is the fact that Bush and McCain are now coming around to Obama's plan of withdrawing forces and using those in Afghanistan.

Actually, it is you who continues to misunderstand things. Obama wants to withdraw from Iraq regardless of the capabilities of the Iraqi military or the general situation in the country. Bush and McCain are for withdrawing forces from Iraq when conditions on the ground warrent it and would be willing to send such forces to Afghanistan, but not at the expense of the continued progress in Iraq.

So, no, no one is coming around to Obama's position with the key difference on Afghanistan being that he supports sending more troops there regardless of the situation in Iraq, while Bush, McCain and the US military will only send more troops to Afghanistan provided that it does not come at the expense of the progress that has been made in Iraq.
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:38 PM   #688
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which is why allies and alliances matter.

gosh those NATO troops would be helpful right about now ...
Nearly 30,000 non-US NATO troops are on the ground in Afghanistan at the moment. NATO's largest and only deployment outside of Europe in the 59 year history of the Alliance. In Iraq dozens of nations like South Korea, Japan, Ukraine, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Poland, Georgia, Australia, Azerbaijan, The Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Honduras, Nicaragua, Thailand, Slovakia, Philippines, Moldova, have sent troops over the past 5 years.

Despite the claims of Bush's opponents, Allies and Alliances have mattered over the past 7 years and have played significant roles in both conflicts.

But the majority of Democrats voted against Bush Sr's coalition to remove Saddam from Kuwait in 1991, with John Kerry claiming that it was not a real coalition, so its not a surprise to see Democrats claiming the same thing about W and the coalitions that he has built.
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:39 PM   #689
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Provided that equipment levels for National Guard brigades are fully restocked and restrictions on the use of the National Guard lifted, the United States does not have to look to NATO for more troops although it would indeed help.

maybe you should run this by the McCain campaign:

Quote:
On Tuesday, McCain proposed sending at least three brigades of troops to Afghanistan. His advisers said later they should be an unspecified combination of U.S. and NATO forces.

"Thanks to the success of the surge, these forces are becoming available, and our commanders in Afghanistan must get them," McCain said in Albuquerque, N.M.

as well as Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen.


so, altogether now: McCain is following Obama on Afghanistan, and yet without any troops because he's against pulling any out of Iraq (or is he? he's not quite sure how to spin this surge thing). so ... save us NATO?
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:55 PM   #690
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Actually, it is you who continues to misunderstand things. Obama wants to withdraw from Iraq regardless of the capabilities of the Iraqi military or the general situation in the country. Bush and McCain are for withdrawing forces from Iraq when conditions on the ground warrent it and would be willing to send such forces to Afghanistan, but not at the expense of the continued progress in Iraq.

are you going to continue with this? even after all the bru-ha-ha over Obama "refining" his plans? have you read McCain's recent statements on the need for a "surge" in Afghanistan? and how he's now decided that perhaps conditions have suddenly improved enough so that he can withdraw troops? which is exactly what Obama wants to do?




Quote:
So, no, no one is coming around to Obama's position with the key difference on Afghanistan being that he supports sending more troops there regardless of the situation in Iraq, while Bush, McCain and the US military will only send more troops to Afghanistan provided that it does not come at the expense of the progress that has been made in Iraq.

Obama has been saying for a year that more troops are needed in Afghanistan. McCain responded (until a few days ago) that this wasn't true and that it was Iraq that was more important, it was Iraq that was the central battle ground in the war on terror.

the difference is that they are following Obama's position on Afghanistan, and yet McCain's plan is utterly unfeasible -- he wants to surge in Afghanistan without reducing US presence in Iraq all while balancing the budget by 2013.

and how? without NATO -- who were, if you remember, willing to send troops in 2001/2, but mighty Rumsfeld resisted back then. currently, leaders from Canada, the Netherlands, and the UK are under political pressure to reduce their military presence in Afghanistan.
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