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Old 07-14-2008, 12:42 PM   #601
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Continuously claiming that the removal of Saddam from power by the US military is the worst foreign policy mistake in US history and that it has made the United States less safe.
Like I said, if you want to be taken seriously, you may want to avoid the drama queen antics of calling this "mourning".

Even conservatives are now seeing this war was a foreign policy mistake. Are they all mourning?

It was a colousal mistake, I agree. But I'm not mourning anything. It also doesn't mean I'd prefer him in power.

1 + 1 does not = 3. Yet you stick with your fuzzy math.
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Old 07-14-2008, 12:51 PM   #602
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Caught Between Iraq and a Hard Base

Obama's position has been overtaken by events.

by Noemie Emery

07/21/2008, Volume 013, Issue 42


Back in the heady days of late 2006--when Barack Obama decided on his run for president--Democrats had a foolproof plan to gain power: Use the "disastrous" war in Iraq to split the Republican base off from the center, force Republicans in Congress to desert the president, defund the war effort, and compel withdrawal. Declaring defeat in advance, and even embracing it, they tried to cripple the surge before it started. Nancy Pelosi in the House and Harry Reid in the Senate led a chorus of Democrats who declared the war lost.

Even after the surge began, they hoped that pressure would cause mass defections among Republicans, and pressure was duly poured on. Reid is "lashing out at top commanders while putting the finishing touches on a plan to force a series of votes on Iraq designed exclusively to make Republicans up for reelection in 2008 go on record in favor of continuing an unpopular war," Politico reported on June 14, 2007. "By September," Reid hoped, "Republican senators will break with the president."

The left planned an "Iraq Summer," with antiwar groups spending millions on grassroots campaigns. In May 2007, the Washington Post reported on plans to spend up to $12 million on demonstrations, phone calls, and ad campaigns to pressure Republican lawmakers. Tom Matzzie, head of the activist pressure group Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, visited the offices of Politico to unveil his grandiose plans. "Democrats and the antiwar movement had the GOP 'by the balls,' Matzzie argued. .  .  . 'We're going to smash their heads against their base, and flush them down the toilet,' " he said. Late in July, Congress adjourned, with Democrats convinced that when they returned in September, Republican lines would be shattered. But the only sound one heard last fall was that of a toilet not flushing.

What happened to change things? The proverbial facts on the ground. At the end of July, longtime Bush critics Kenneth Pollack and Michael O'Hanlon, Democrats allied with a center-left think tank, returned from Iraq having found not chaos but "a war we just might win," as the headline on their New York Times op-ed proclaimed. Within weeks, three Democrats who had been to Iraq over the recess also jumped off the antiwar caravan, citing progress sufficient to make them more "flexible" when it came to demands for rapid defunding. These were not the defections Harry Reid had planned on.

Though Democrats did their best in advance to discredit the testimony to Congress in early September of Ambassador Ryan Crocker and General David Petraeus (whom they had called to testify months earlier, when they were certain there would be nothing to report but more failure), their measured accounts of modest but marked improvements everywhere in the country checked the course of debate, and then started to change its direction. Public opinion, which had aligned with the Democrats' base at the height of the violence, began to drift back towards the center. A slight uptick in the polls stiffened the spines of beleagured Republicans. The lines held, the rebellion was stymied, and Bush got his way on his war funding measures. "Iraq Summer" turned into the summer that things began to turn around in Iraq.

And so it is that this summer the Democrats and their nominee find themselves caught between an undeniable change in conditions and a dogmatic, intransigent base--in other words, in the very same spot the antiwar left had hoped to put Republicans in. "The politics of Iraq are going to change dramatically in the general election, assuming Iraq continues to show some hopefulness," O'Hanlon told the New York Times last November. "If Iraq looks at least partly salvageable, it will be important to explain as a candidate how you would salvage it. .  .  . The Democrats need to be very careful with what they say, and not hem themselves in."

Boxing their candidate in is, of course, what the Democratic base wants and insists on. So far, the line has been that the surge is a success but the war is a failure--"whipped cream on a pile of fertilizer," as Time's Joe Klein puts it, "a regional policy unprecedented in its stupidity and squalor." But even this hasn't quite caught up with events. Saddam is gone, Al Qaeda in Iraq is on the run, the Sunnis are with us, the Shia are turning against their militias, and the Washington Post is suggesting that "Iraq, a country with the world's second largest oil reserves and a strategic linchpin of the Middle East, just might emerge from the last five years of war and turmoil as an American ally, even if its relations with Iran remain warm." In other words, the operation was a failure, but the patient has survived, and is somehow becoming healthier by the day. Seldom has failure appeared quite so good.

"What do the Democrats do if--yes, if, if, if--the surge appears to have succeeded?" Michael Crowley wrote in a New Republic blog last November. "If Iraq somehow stabilizes and even incrementally improves, doesn't that affect the presidential campaign?" Crowley wondered "whether the Democrats have been preparing for that possibility--and what their contingency plans are if the Iraq debate tacks substantially back the GOP's way."

In their innocent way they hadn't prepared in the slightest, which is why they are caught between a public that would rather not lose a war and a base of Bush-hating, antiwar supporters to whom the idea of giving up on losing would feel like the worst loss of all. On the one hand, the former is most of the country; on the other, for the past five years or so all of the zest, oomph, zeal, pizzazz, and certainly most of the cash in the party has come from the latter. The problem was summed up nicely last week in the Washington Post, where on Tuesday the more centrist editorial board praised Obama for moving away from the "strident and rigid posture he struck [on Iraq] during the primary campaign," while on Monday the liberal columnist E. J. Dionne had warned Obama he had to stay as strident and rigid as ever, or else he would lose the "high ground" and "dull the enthusiasm (and inhibit the campaign contributions) of the war's staunchest foes." Meanwhile, the netroots are bitching, and Obama's online donations have begun to drop off.

Throughout 2007 and into this year, the Democrats portrayed the surge as Bush's attempt to kick defeat down the road to his successor, but that line, too, has been overtaken by events. Vietnam was seen as lost when Lyndon Johnson handed it off in 1969 to Richard M. Nixon, and Nixon was not blamed for the -failure. But Iraq now, by almost every metric, is on the way up. Bush's successor will have to work hard to lose it, and do so against the loud public protests of the troops who have done so much to win it. This is where Obama's prior pronouncements would lead him, and surely he knows it. His base may still want him to lose "Bush's War," but the rest of the country would never forgive him. Or it.

Noemie Emery is a contributing editor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD
Caught Between Iraq and a Hard Base
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Old 07-14-2008, 12:56 PM   #603
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Show me where the Iraqi government and the Bush administration have in any way ever supported the idea of withdrawing coalition forces from Iraq without first insuring that Iraq is stable and secure and that the Iraqi security forces will be able to handle and take over from any US combat brigades that are withdrawn?


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U.S., Iraq Scale Down Negotiations Over Forces
Long-Term Agreement Will Fall to Next President

By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 13, 2008; A01

U.S. and Iraqi negotiators have abandoned efforts to conclude a comprehensive agreement governing the long-term status of U.S troops in Iraq before the end of the Bush presidency, according to senior U.S. officials, effectively leaving talks over an extended U.S. military presence there to the next administration.

In place of the formal status-of-forces agreement negotiators had hoped to complete by July 31, the two governments are now working on a "bridge" document, more limited in both time and scope, that would allow basic U.S. military operations to continue beyond the expiration of a U.N. mandate at the end of the year.

The failure of months of negotiations over the more detailed accord -- blamed on both the Iraqi refusal to accept U.S. terms and the complexity of the task -- deals a blow to the Bush administration's plans to leave in place a formal military architecture in Iraq that could last for years.

Although President Bush has repeatedly rejected calls for a troop withdrawal timeline, "we are talking about dates," acknowledged one U.S. official close to the negotiations. Iraqi political leaders "are all telling us the same thing. They need something like this in there. . . . Iraqis want to know that foreign troops are not going to be here forever."

Unlike the status-of-forces agreements between the United States and countries such as South Korea and Japan, where large numbers of U.S. troops have been based for decades, the document now under discussion with Iraq is likely to cover only 2009. Negotiators expect it to include a "time horizon," with specific goals for U.S. troop withdrawal from Baghdad and other cities and installations such as the former Saddam Hussein palace that now houses the U.S. Embassy.

The fixed dates will likely include caveats referring to the ability of Iraqi security forces to take over from U.S. units, but without them, U.S. negotiators concluded that Iraqi acquiescence was doubtful.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his political allies have come under intense domestic pressure to reject any perceived infringement on Iraqi sovereignty. Maliki, who last week publicly insisted on a withdrawal timeline, wants to frame the agreement as outlining the terms for "Americans leaving Iraq" rather than the conditions under which they will stay, said the U.S. official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because U.S.-Iraqi negotiations are ongoing.

The idea, he said, is to "take the heat off [Maliki] a little bit, to rebrand the thing and counter the narrative that he's negotiating for a permanent military presence in Iraq."

The most contentious unresolved issue is the legal immunity of U.S. troops and Defense Department personnel from Iraqi prosecution for any alleged crime. "We're trying to come onto the same page," a second U.S. official close to the negotiations said. "But with U.S. forces in potential combat situations, we have some real bottom lines.

"But even on that question, it's one thing on immunity if in the Iraqi mind it's an agreement for U.S. troops forever," he said. "It's another thing if these immunity arrangements are temporary because U.S. forces are temporary."

Largely cosmetic compromises have been made on other difficult questions, such as the formation of joint U.S.-Iraqi commissions to oversee all unilateral U.S. combat and detainee operations and provide a veneer of Iraqi control. Washington has acquiesced to Iraqi refusal to grant immunity to private contractors, an issue that is controversial because of incidents in which American security contractors have killed Iraqi civilians.


in short, the Iraqis would not do anything without a clear timetable for withdrawal.
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Old 07-14-2008, 12:57 PM   #604
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quoting op-eds from The Weekly Standard isn't going to do much to get you taken seriously.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:02 PM   #605
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Like I said, if you want to be taken seriously, you may want to avoid the drama queen antics of calling this "mourning".
I'm glad you consider it that because it would fit in with the basic level of discourse in this forum especially when discussing Bush.


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Even conservatives are now seeing this war was a foreign policy mistake. Are they all mourning?
Saddam would still be in power right now if the United States had not invaded the country and removed him from power. If one repeatedly expresses sadness, regret, or anger over the Bush administrations decision to remove Saddam from power in 2003, then yes it can be described as mourning.

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It was a colousal mistake, I agree. But I'm not mourning anything. It also doesn't mean I'd prefer him in power.
If you want to defend the idea that the United States and the world would be safer today with Saddam still in power in Iraq, be my guest.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:13 PM   #606
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If you want to defend the idea that the United States and the world would be safer today with Saddam still in power in Iraq, be my guest.
You need to learn how to read people's post, and stop inferring.

Myself and others have listed 1,441 reasons why we believe this war was a mistake, and not one of them was we thought the world would be safer if Saddam was still in power.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:14 PM   #607
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in short, the Iraqis would not do anything without a clear timetable for withdrawal.
Again, where does it say in the above article that both the Iraqi government and the United States want a time based withdrawal with NO CONDITIONS OR PREREQUISITES for Iraqi stability, security, and Iraqi military capability?

The key difference which you keep missing is that the Bush administration and the Iraqi government have always been for a withdrawal subject to conditions on the ground and the capability of Iraqi security forces. Obama's position has always been to start withdrawing immediately, with no conditions or prerequistes, and to have all US combat brigades out in 14 to 16 months. There are light years of difference there, but if Barack Obama wants to later admit that the surge worked when he said it would not and refine is policy of withdrawal from one that is strictly time based to one that is FIRST conditions based, then that would be great.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:18 PM   #608
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quoting op-eds from The Weekly Standard isn't going to do much to get you taken seriously.
Well, certainly not with liberals who can't acknowledge progress and still try to find ways to pretend that the surge is a failure.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:27 PM   #609
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Since you are hellbent on continuing your 1 + 1 = 3 logic I'll paste a post I made earlier since you may have not seen it the first time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strongbow
He believes the world is safer without Saddam in power in Iraq in stark contrast to Barrack Obama.


Do you really believe these kinds of statements?

Strongbow, do you believe the world will be safer without Chavez or Kim Jong-Il?


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Old 07-14-2008, 01:27 PM   #610
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You need to learn how to read people's post, and stop inferring.

Myself and others have listed 1,441 reasons why we believe this war was a mistake, and not one of them was we thought the world would be safer if Saddam was still in power.
Thats certainly not the opinion of everyone who opposed the removal of Saddam including Obama who claims that the United States is less safe because of his removal.

But I'll rephrase what I said, if you want to defend the idea that removing Saddam was not a necessity given what Saddam had done to the region and his failure to cooperate with the international community, and that his removal has NOT greatly benefited the security of the region and the United States, be my guest.

You continue to oppose the only way that Saddam realistically could have been removed from power.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:32 PM   #611
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Since you are hellbent on continuing your 1 + 1 = 3 logic I'll paste a post I made earlier since you may have not seen it the first time.
How many countries has Kim Jong Ill and Chavez invaded and attacked? How many countries have they used WMD on? Do their countries sit geographically close to much of the planets energy supply? Have they ever engaged in actions that threaten to cut the planet off from such energy supply?

One should first learn why the removal of Saddam was a necessity before making such apple and oranges comparisons.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:34 PM   #612
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including Obama who claims that the United States is less safe because of his removal.
Please show me where he said this.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:41 PM   #613
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Please show me where he said this.
Obama has consistently said that the invasion of Iraq has made the United States "less safe".

Iraq war has left US less safe, says Obama - Yorkshire Post
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:44 PM   #614
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United States is less safe because of Saddam's removal.

DOES NOT EQUAL

United States is less safe because of the Iraq War.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:49 PM   #615
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United States is less safe because of Saddam's removal.

DOES NOT EQUAL

United States is less safe because of the Iraq War.
Why did the United States invade Iraq? Has it made the United States less safe as Obama claims?
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:50 PM   #616
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Again, where does it say in the above article that both the Iraqi government and the United States want a time based withdrawal with NO CONDITIONS OR PREREQUISITES for Iraqi stability, security, and Iraqi military capability?

again, you've misunderstood the situation.

it says that without a specific timetable for withdrawal, there would have been no progress. it affirms the Obama position which has always been a timetable with respect to certain conditions on the ground. there was always flexibility, there was always conditions. *everyone* knows this. this is the nuance that you can't seem to wrap your head around. it's as if you're slowly becoming aware of the fact that you don't have any argument whatsoever and that the Obama position is now the Bush position. a withdrawal, on a timetable, but with common-sense provisions, conditions, and precautions. it's the open-endedness of the Bush/McCain plan -- 100 years, 1000 years -- that prevents progress from happening.

what you don't get, and what's so exasperating, is the fact that under the big umbrella of WITHDRAWAL is room for much flexibility. the important thing is to send the message that American troops will not be there for 100 years, 1000 years, etc. when you begin a withdrawal, you send a message to the Iraqis that there actually is an end in sight that provides a political impetus for progress.




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The key difference which you keep missing is that the Bush administration and the Iraqi government have always been for a withdrawal subject to conditions on the ground and the capability of Iraqi security forces.
did you even read the article? have you been listening to Maliki? where have you been for the last 6 years? do you listen to McCain?

his position is exactly the same as it was in 2003, 2004, etc. he wants to keep supplying indefinite soldiers, resources, whatever it takes, in order to stay the course in Iraq. he's on record saying "100 years." his "CONDITIONS AND PREREQUISITES" are the establishment of "a peaceful, stable, prosperous, democratic state." just what does that mean? what are the measurements of such vague characteristics? this means that, hopefully, Iraq will become stable, and hopefully the Iraqis will make peace with each other, and hopefully all will go well, but if not, we'll still pour money into the situation.

if he doesn't want "100 years," it is incumbent upon him to say just how long he is willing to continue. what if these "CONDITIONS AND PREREQUISITES" aren't met in 5 years? in 50 years? in 500 years? do we keep pouring money down what is obviously a sinkhole? McCain hs said that after this war without end is over, US troops will remain in Iraq for generations in the way that they are in South Korea. when are we withdrawing from South Korea?

the issue is that McCain doesn't have a policy other than to toss out words like VICTORY or DEFEAT or other silly red-blooded jingoistic terms that obviously fool readers of the Weekly Standard.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:54 PM   #617
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Why did the United States invade Iraq?
Depends on who you ask. Some will say because of 9/11, some will say the war on terror, some will say we had satellite footage of WMDs.


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Has it made the United States less safe as Obama claims?
There is something to be said about it being a recruitment tool. Something to said about weakening relationships globally. And there is definately something to be said about exhausting a military that was never set up for nation building.
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:03 PM   #618
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Depends on who you ask. Some will say because of 9/11, some will say the war on terror, some will say we had satellite footage of WMDs.


while there are multiple reasons, there is no question, whatsoever, that it was about the WMDs and their supposed threat to Americans. the idea that Saddam would give Al-Qaeda a bomb and they'd float it up the East River and flatten the Upper West Side.

*that* was the case that was presented to the American people.

and let's not forget that we removed Saddam 5 years ago. just what have we been doing ever since? cleaning up a huge mess which we created, one that did not exist -- there was never, ever AQ in Iraq -- before we invaded.
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:38 PM   #619
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it says that without a specific timetable for withdrawal, there would have been no progress.
There was no specific timetable for withdrawal. The Iraqi's have said they want a timeline for certain things to happen within, but it is not a timeline without prerequisites and conditions for Iraqi security and Iraqi military capability! Iraq's national security advisor already outlined what he was thinking about, and it is not even remotely similar to what Obama has proposed with the biggest differences being that the most important issue for any withdrawal plan is that it be conditions based.

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it affirms the Obama position which has always been a timetable with respect to certain conditions on the ground.
Obama has never had any conditions or prerequisites to begin withdrawing US troops from Iraq and to having all US combat brigades out in 16 months. Obama has NEVER required that the Iraqi military reach a certain level of capability prior to any US withdrawal.

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there was always flexibility, there was always conditions. *everyone* knows this. this is the nuance that you can't seem to wrap your head around.
You show me one place, anywhere, where Obama has said that he would ONLY withdraw US troops if conditions warrent it. Show me where Obama said that US withdrawal from Iraq was conditional based on the specific capability of Iraqi military forces?

Quote:
this is the nuance that you can't seem to wrap your head around. it's as if you're slowly becoming aware of the fact that you don't have any argument whatsoever and that the Obama position is now the Bush position.
Where is the nuance in stating that you will IMMEDIATELY begin withdrawing US troops from Iraq with the goal of having all US combat brigades out of Iraq in 16 months with no prerequisted for conditions on the ground and the capabilitiy of Iraqi forces?

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it's the open-endedness of the Bush/McCain plan -- 100 years, 1000 years -- that prevents progress from happening.
Massive progress has happened because the current civilian and military leaders of this country followed a sound strategy over the past few years which you were strongly opposed to. No one has any plans for staying in Iraq longer than is necessary which is why the Bush administration had plans to have half of US troops out of Iraq by the summer of 2004 prior to the invasion.


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what you don't get, and what's so exasperating, is the fact that under the big umbrella of WITHDRAWAL is room for much flexibility. the important thing is to send the message that American troops will not be there for 100 years, 1000 years, etc. when you begin a withdrawal, you send a message to the Iraqis that there actually is an end in sight that provides a political impetus for progress.
There is no real flexibility under Obama's plan. There are no prerequisites to starting a withdrawal, its just a move to start withdrawing regardless of conditions on the ground and then having all US combat brigades out in 16 months which by the way is something that many logistical officers in the military is unlikely to be possible.

Progress on the ground has occured because the United States has remained engaged in rebuilding the country and fighting the insurgency and reducing the violence instead of doing what Democrats recommended doing years ago. The Surge reduced violence substantially when Barack Obama claimed that it would increase violence. The Iraqi military and government have made massive progress over the last 18 months because of the continued work of the US military and diplomatic corp on the ground there, progress that would not of happened if the United States had yanked all of its combat brigades out of the country in between January 2007 and March 2008 as Barack Obama clearly stated that he wanted to do.


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did you even read the article? have you been listening to Maliki? where have you been for the last 6 years? do you listen to McCain?
You should ask yourself those questions.

Quote:
his position is exactly the same as it was in 2003, 2004, etc. he wants to keep supplying indefinite soldiers, resources, whatever it takes, in order to stay the course in Iraq. he's on record saying "100 years." his "CONDITIONS AND PREREQUISITES" are the establishment of "a peaceful, stable, prosperous, democratic state." just what does that mean? what are the measurements of such vague characteristics? this means that, hopefully, Iraq will become stable, and hopefully the Iraqis will make peace with each other, and hopefully all will go well, but if not, we'll still pour money into the situation.
McCain's position on the war and any possible withdrawal is not the fabricated rubbish that the left likes to make up.

Its the same as his position on Afghanistan. McCain wants to continue to rebuild the economic, political, and security structures within Iraq to the point that US ground forces are no longer required for their continued development and keeping internal security in the country.

There are specific levels of capability that Iraqi military forces have to reach before they will be able to take over from a US combat brigade in a given province in providing security. The government has to make progress in a number of area's in order for the country to move foward, as outlined by the benchmarks. These are NOT vague characteristics but are conditions, factors, structures and capabilities that can be measured as they have been in other nationbuilding operations around the world.

This is not just a humanitarian effort, US national security is at stake here. The United States does not have the option of just picking up and leaving if it thinks things are not working out without endangering its security.


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if he doesn't want "100 years," it is incumbent upon him to say just how long he is willing to continue. what if these "CONDITIONS AND PREREQUISITES" aren't met in 5 years? in 50 years? in 500 years? do we keep pouring money down what is obviously a sinkhole? McCain hs said that after this war without end is over, US troops will remain in Iraq for generations in the way that they are in South Korea. when are we withdrawing from South Korea?
McCain never said that! He did say that US forces COULD remain in Iraq under peaceful circumstances in a status of forces agreement similar to what the US has with South Korea. He never said that the United States WOULD DEFINITELY stay in Iraq under such a condition though.

Bush, McCain, and the US military have already stated how long they plan to continue, as long as conditions on the ground warrent keeping US forces there to prevent development from stopping and security and stability from falling apart. Any withdrawal is based FIRST on conditions on the ground. That is something the Iraqi's and the Bush administration agree on, but differ with Barack Obama.

Quote:
the issue is that McCain doesn't have a policy other than to toss out words like VICTORY or DEFEAT or other silly red-blooded jingoistic terms that obviously fool readers of the Weekly Standard.

I suggest you take some time to listen to these men on the ground in Iraq and what their thoughts on the withdrawal plans of Barack Obama.



The Bush administration, McCain, the Iraqi government, the US military all continue to insist on sustainable security and having the proper conditions on the ground prior to any withdrawal, Obama does not.
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:48 PM   #620
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Depends on who you ask. Some will say because of 9/11, some will say the war on terror, some will say we had satellite footage of WMDs.
Yet, the Bush administrations central case for removing Saddam was not 9/11, the war on terror, or satellite footage of WMD's, but Saddam's failure to verifiably disarm of all WMD, his behavior and non-compliance on multiple issues in regards to other UN resolutions and the collapse of the sanctions and weapons embargo designed to help contain him.


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There is something to be said about it being a recruitment tool.
Oh, and the US invasion of Afghanistan is not a recruitment tool?

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Something to said about weakening relationships globally.
Well, then how is it that the largest US led alliance for the first time in history is involved in military operations outside of the continent it was set up to defend. Such a multi-lateral enterprise would not be possible between countries with significant weakening relationships.


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And there is definately something to be said about exhausting a military that was never set up for nation building.
What would you call what the US military has done in both Bosnia, and Kosovo and is doing now in Afghanistan?
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