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The Big Question Democrats Are Ducking

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,268
4
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Nice little Op-Ed about the Democrats tendency to attack the Bush policy without offering any solutions of thier own. Pretty much what those of us on the right have been saying in every thread about Iraq.

Highlights:
"No matter how you slice it, the National Intelligence Estimate warning that the Iraq war has spawned more terrorism is big trouble for President Bush and his party in this election year. It goes to the heart of Bush's argument for invading Iraq, which was that it would make America safer.

Many Democrats act as if that's the end of the discussion: A mismanaged occupation has created a breeding ground for terrorists, so we should withdraw and let the Iraqis sort out the mess. Some extreme war critics are so angry at Bush they seem almost eager for America to lose, to prove a political point. Even among mainstream Democrats, the focus is "gotcha!" rather than "what next?" "

"This should be the Democrats' moment, if they can translate the national anger over Iraq into a coherent strategy for that country. But with a few notable exceptions, the Democrats are mostly ducking the hard question of what to do next. They act as if all those America-hating terrorists will evaporate back into the sands of Anbar province if the United States pulls out its troops. Alas, that is not the case. That is the problem with Iraq -- it is not an easy mistake to fix."

"An example of the Democrats' fudge on Iraq was highlighted yesterday by Post columnist Dana Milbank in his description of retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste's appearance before the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. Senators cheered Batiste's evisceration of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld but tuned out Batiste's call for more troops and more patience in Iraq, and his admonition: "We must mobilize our country for a protracted challenge."

"Here's a reality check for the Democrats: There is not a single government in the Middle East, with the possible exceptions of Iran and Syria, that favors a rapid U.S. pullout from Iraq. Why? The consensus in the region is that a retreat now would have disastrous consequences for America and its allies. Yet withdrawal is the Iraq strategy you hear from most congressional Democrats, whether they call it "strategic redeployment" or something else."

Go read it for yourself:
The Big Question Democrats Are Ducking
 
Feb 10, 2000
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The irony, however, is that the very men who made this war happen, who have visualized and wanted it for at least a decade (principally Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz) have ensured we can't win it, through their wholesale unwillingness to commit adequate troop strengths there. This is similar to (but distinguishable from) the way they have so neglected Afghanistan that it has reverted to being a largely Taliban-controlled cauldron of violence. At this point we won't and can't "win" the war in Iraq, since they have prevented it - all we can do is very slowly lose.

If the goal is to win the war, we need a draft and a greater financial and troop-strength commitment. If that can't happen for political reasons (which appears to be the case), I think there's a real argument we're better off withdrawing sooner rather than later, and letting the inevitable slide into wholesale civil war happen without further loss of American life and cost to our taxpayers. The way we're fighting the war now ensures this will happen at some point, regardless of when.
 

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,520
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It IS a good point, but there is another one made that you righties are IGNORING in every thread about Iraq. Read the piece again, see if you can pick out the language. Go ahead...have you spotted the point you guys keep ignoring? Here is a hint, it's the phrase "it [Iraq] is not an easy mistake to fix." Bush and Co screwed up royally. First by invading when they didn't have to, then by not even bothering to do a competent job of the invasion. The Dems are ALREADY a few points ahead for that alone, even if the Dems and the Republicans had exactly the same plan for Iraq.

But here's the thing, they DON'T have the same solution (using the term rather charitably in both cases). Dems are taking the questionable position of pulling out of Iraq by a set date, which is an ok idea except that the date is usually close enough that we're going to be leaving Iraq a mess. And the article is right, pulling out of Iraq probably WOULD be a bad idea in terms of regional stability. But while everyone is busy howling about the Dems' plan, they seem to have failed to notice the Republican plan...which boldly consists of...nothing. Their plan is to just leave US troops in Iraq, trying to clean up the latest mess as it springs up, without any sort of plan to reach the point where they aren't needed any more and Iraq is a stable democracy. Perhaps those last two goals will be reached through some sort of military/democratic fusion, where the simple presence of armed Americans will turn Iraqis into Arab versions of our soldiers, ready to take up the jobs and defend democracy themselves. But I'm a little suspicious, especially because it's through this no-plan plan that we've reached the point we're at now, when following an ACTUAL plan from day one might have prevented all these problems in the first place.

So, to sum up our choices, we have the Dems who want to leave Iraq to turn into a total mess, and probably even more of a breeding ground for terrorists than it is today...and we have the Republicans, who want to boldly continue "staying the course", "the course" being the no-plan approach that has been so helpful in giving us our current mess, with probably very similar results...the only difference being that American troops will be smack in the middle of the whole mess. All else being equal, I'd rather stick with the "plan" that doesn't involve a lot more soldiers dying..."support the troops" and all that.

Actually that's not quite true, all else being equal I'd like to see leaders that are willing to do what it takes to actually WIN in Iraq. Who are willing to admit we've made errors, convince the people in the US and Iraq that we're going to make sure they actually end up with a real democracy with real freedom, but that it might be a little painful for a while, and then come up with a solid plan to get that done. It will probably require a lot more troops, but I think a good leader could talk Americans into the idea as long as he doesn't pitch it in the context of some indefinite war like President Bush has done and as long as he has a plan for achieving victory. And more importantly, a leader (or leaders) who is willing to push for bringing in real experts, the people who the Republicans have made a top priority of ignoring. Someone, or some group, like that could bring the mood of the American people around long enough to win, and actually make sure we DO win. Sadly, I don't think that's either party at the moment...so I'll have to made do with the better of two bad plans.
 

jackschmittusa

Diamond Member
Apr 16, 2003
5,979
1
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No good will ever come of our Iraq adventure. The only options are bad and worse. We went on an impossible mission. Nobody but Bush and co. want to throw any any more blood and treasure into that rat hole, but I think most Americans feel that we owe the Iraqis something now, and no one can figure out how to do it.
 

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,520
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Originally posted by: DonVito
The irony, however, is that the very men who made this war happen, who have visualized and wanted it for at least a decade (principally Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz) have ensured we can't win it, through their wholesale unwillingness to commit adequate troop strengths there. This is similar to (but distinguishable from) the way they have so neglected Afghanistan that it has reverted to being a largely Taliban-controlled cauldron of violence. At this point we won't and can't "win" the war in Iraq, since they have prevented it - all we can do is very slowly lose.

If the goal is to win the war, we need a draft and a greater financial and troop-strength commitment. If that can't happen for political reasons (which appears to be the case), I think there's a real argument we're better off withdrawing sooner rather than later, and letting the inevitable slide into wholesale civil war happen without further loss of American life and cost to our taxpayers. The way we're fighting the war now ensures this will happen at some point, regardless of when.
If only there were experts, both in uniform and out, who suggested such things before the first soldier stepped foot over the Iraqi border in 2003. It's really too bad there weren't experienced generals, expert civilian analysts, and numerous studies suggesting those very things in the run up to the war. An estimate of how many troops to send, how to quickly restore order, how to deal with the government officials still in place in Iraq, all those things would have been very helpful for the pre-war planning, it's really too bad that NONE of that stuff existed. But you can't fault Bush and Co, clearly their half-assed, seat of the pants train wreck approach was the best they could come up with, they just didn't have the tools necessary to do any better...we can't blame THEM!
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
67,833
2,929
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The Republicans have offered no solutions, why all the hating on the Dems for having no solutions?
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,268
4
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Once again you guys are attacking what we are doing in Iraq without offering any solutions. We don't need attacks we need solutions.

and Jack... 61% of Iraqis still think that getting rid of Saddam was worth it "Thinking about any hardships you might have suffered since the US-British invasion, do you personally think that ousting Saddam was worth it or not"

Check out my companion post:
The Iraqi Public on the US and the Future of Iraq
Polling data of what the people of Iraq think.
And my prediction of what will happen.
 

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,520
0
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Once again you guys are attacking what we are doing in Iraq without offering any solutions. We don't need attacks we need solutions.

...
I find it interesting that you demand things from the Dems that you don't require of your own party...the Republicans have no "solutions" either, expect to spend more blood and treasure and hope that the magic victory fairy hands us a peaceful Iraq on a silver platter. Compared to that, pulling out and letting Iraq hash itself out seems like a BRILLIANT strategy.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,268
4
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Originally posted by: sandorski
The Republicans have offered no solutions, why all the hating on the Dems for having no solutions?
Not 100% true. You can say the Republican solution is to keep on doing what they are doing now. Might not agree with it, but it is thier solution.
It is the Democrats that complain without offering any solutions.

 

Aisengard

Golden Member
Feb 25, 2005
1,558
0
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No you see, a vague interpretation of some mythical 'victory' where Iraq becomes a utopia of free ideas and tolerant society is Bush's plan. Hoping for or realizing or planning anything less is either 'treason' or 'naive' or 'cowardly' or any other word of the day Bush and Co. come up with to describe their detractors (about 65% of the American people, and most elected officials).

Don't you see? Bush already HAS a plan. This one. The Democrats don't have his plan, so they don't have any. It's all very simple.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
67,833
2,929
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: sandorski
The Republicans have offered no solutions, why all the hating on the Dems for having no solutions?
Not 100% true. You can say the Republican solution is to keep on doing what they are doing now. Might not agree with it, but it is thier solution.
It is the Democrats that complain without offering any solutions.
Like I said, they have no "solution". Unless making things worse is "victory".
 
Feb 10, 2000
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Once again you guys are attacking what we are doing in Iraq without offering any solutions. We don't need attacks we need solutions.
I already told you the solutions - you pick:

a) We commit adequate troop strengths to win the war. This requires a draft.

b) We cut our losses and leave ASAP.

I think a would be in our long-term strategic interest, if we assume it's possible to win the war (the jury is still out on that). Otherwise, I suggest b. Unfortunately your heroes in the Pentagon and the White House will do neither, and we'll have the liabilities of the war and none of the benefits. Seems like the worst of all worlds to me, but I imagine you see it differently, hard as that is for me to believe. Hail to the chief!

 

Todd33

Diamond Member
Oct 16, 2003
7,842
2
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We typically don't post op-eds here, there are 3+ daily so why bother, they are just opinions. Are you going to post the other 20 that were critical to Bush this week alone?
 

WHAMPOM

Diamond Member
Feb 28, 2006
7,630
181
106
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: sandorski
The Republicans have offered no solutions, why all the hating on the Dems for having no solutions?
Not 100% true. You can say the Republican solution is to keep on doing what they are doing now. Might not agree with it, but it is thier solution.
It is the Democrats that complain without offering any solutions.
Just what problem are they solving? Those Repubs? Some one needs to state it. Just so we may see if the solution fits.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,268
4
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Originally posted by: Todd33
We typically don't post op-eds here, there are 3+ daily so why bother, they are just opinions. Are you going to post the other 20 that were critical to Bush this week alone?
I see your point Todd, but since almost every Iraq thread evolves into a blame Bush thread I thought this was an interesting and relevant op-ed.
 
Feb 10, 2000
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: Todd33
We typically don't post op-eds here, there are 3+ daily so why bother, they are just opinions. Are you going to post the other 20 that were critical to Bush this week alone?
I see your point Todd, but since almost every Iraq thread evolves into a blame Bush thread I thought this was an interesting and relevant op-ed.
It's only "interesting and relevant" if you accept that the Republicans have a viable strategy for OIF, when in fact I'd submit, as I have above, that their "strategy" is on its face the dumbest one possible. I only ever made it through Squadron Officer School, but it seems quite evident to me that all we're doing is slowly losing the war, thanks to the "leadership" in the Pentagon and the White House. I maintain, as I have for years now, that OIF is both the dumbest, worst-thought-out major foreign policy action taken in American history, and our least-well-thought-out military action, ever.

von Clausewitz said war is a continuation of politics. OIF is politics conducted through military force, against the advice and counsel of the military itself, and it's a good illustration of what happens when the suits consistently ignore the men and women in uniform. "Support the troops," indeed.
 

TheBDB

Diamond Member
Jan 26, 2002
3,176
0
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Originally posted by: sandorski
The Republicans have offered no solutions, why all the hating on the Dems for having no solutions?
So true. At least the Dems admit there is a problem.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,991
2
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Once GWB&co. invaded Iraq---and screwed up winning the peace---there are no viable solutions. Even if the democrats had 100% opposed invading Iraq---the republitrats
would have pushed it through.

Now that its now apparent to all that we are in a no win situation----we still have to blame GWB&co. first and formost.

Then we have to impeach GWB & co. on a bi-partisan basis---and then we have to figure out how to get out of Iraq without totally destabalising the mid-east---again on a bi-partisan basis.

But that plan is sequental---step one is to impeach GWB&co.---who quite clearly can't manage anything.---and until that step is taken---any progress is doomed.
 

nageov3t

Lifer
Feb 18, 2004
42,826
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the longer we stay in iraq, the more terrorists we create. the more terrorists we create, the longer we stay in iraq.
 

PELarson

Platinum Member
Mar 27, 2001
2,289
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Interesting thing is that the question keeps being answered by Democrats, Murtha etc..
 

randym431

Golden Member
Jun 4, 2003
1,270
0
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This thread is so lame.
Bush would not listen to ANY demo before he went to Iraq. In fact, he lied to get the votes to support invading "IF", if, the UN failed in getting Saddam to comply. But before the UN could do anything, Bush let all hell go and invaded (which was his plan all along).

Sooooo, now THEY have screwed up so bad there and want the democrats to fix it????

Give us a break...
 

Ryan

Lifer
Oct 31, 2000
27,518
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Voters are screw with both parties - they either choose the party with no answer, or the party with the wrong answer.
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
33,276
2,973
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Originally posted by: dmcowen674
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Nice little Op-Ed about the Democrats tendency to attack the Bush policy without offering any solutions of thier own.
No offer of a solution needed, just don't do the crap to begin with. :confused:
rofl....you call that an answer...lol...hahahaa...rofl......hahahaaa
 

randym431

Golden Member
Jun 4, 2003
1,270
0
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Democrats have an answer... DONT DO STUPID THINGS in the first place GW.

Wasnt it their own man who said "you break it, YOU own it".

He wasnt talking to democrats with that statement.
 

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