In Iraq, official U.S. optimism contradicts (lack of) progress on ground

In a speech Monday to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vice President Joe Biden was upbeat about developments in Iraq, where U.S. forces have officially withdrawn from combat operations:

First, violence in Iraq has decreased to such a degree that those who last served there three or four years ago—when the country was being torn apart by sectarian conflict—would hardly recognize the place. Al Qaeda in Iraq and the Shiite extremists remain dangerous, and their attacks still claim innocent lives. But they have utterly failed to achieve their objectives of inflaming sectarian conflict and undermining the Iraqi government.

Second, Iraq’s security forces—now more than 650,000 strong—are already leading the way to defend and protect their country. We have transferred control over hundreds of bases, and many thousands of square miles of territory. Some said that our drawdown would bring more violence. They were wrong, because the Iraqis are ready to take charge. And in recent months, operations that they led, based on intelligence they developed, killed two key leaders of Al Qaeda in Iraq and purged more than 30 other top terrorists from its ranks.

Third, but no less important, is the fact that Iraqi leaders who once settled disputes through violence are at this very moment, ironing out their differences in face-to-face negotiations. The Iraqis recently held their second national election that the world all agreed was legitimate, and although it is taking a long time to form a government, I am convinced that this will happen soon.

I wish I shared Biden’s optimism, but I don’t. While the 2007 surge of U.S. troops did help improve security in Iraq, the larger goals of the surge remain unmet more than three years later. The Iraqis have yet to pass a national oil law, and they have yet to work out a power-sharing agreement among the major Iraqi sects. As a result, more than five months after national elections, no new national government has taken shape. And without progress, there is inevitably regression.

From today’s New York Times:

BAGHDAD — In one of the broadest assaults on Iraq’s security forces, insurgents unleashed a wave of roadside mines and a more than a dozen car bombings across Iraq on Wednesday, killing dozens, toppling a police station in the capital and sowing chaos and confusion among the soldiers and police officers who responded.

The withering two-hour assault in 13 towns and cities, from southernmost Basra to restive Mosul in the north, was as symbolic as it was deadly, coming a week before the United States declares the end of combat operations here. Wednesday was seemingly the insurgents’ reply: Despite suggestions otherwise, they proved their ability to launch coordinated attacks virtually anywhere in Iraq, capitalizing on the government’s dysfunction and perceptions of American vulnerability.

Tom Ricks, the author of “Fiasco” and now a contributing editor at Foreign Policy, made a similar point in an NPR interview this week. The basic questions that have dogged Iraq from the beginning have yet to be resolved, he pointed out.

“How are these three major groups in Iraq going to get along? How are they going to live together? Are they going to live together? How are you going to share the oil revenue? What’s the form of Iraqi government? Will it have a strong central government or be a loose confederation? What’s the role of neighboring countries, most especially Iran, which is stepping up its relationship with Iraq right now, even as Uncle Sam tries to step down its relationship?

All these questions have been hanging fire in Iraq for several years, in fact before the surge…. All of them have led to violence in the past, and all could easily lead to violence again. The only thing changing in the Iraqi security equation right now is Uncle Sam is trying to get out.”

The Iraq war hasn’t been won anymore than the Vietnam war was won. In Vietnam, U.S. officials simply manipulated events to allow American forces to be withdrawn under seemingly honorable conditions, and were then willing to let events take their natural course. We’re doing the same in Iraq, and in time will probably repeat the pattern once more in Afghanistan.

414 comments Add your comment

Mick

August 25th, 2010
3:23 pm

I said it before and I’ll say it again, we had our civil war – let them have theirs.

Granny Godzilla

August 25th, 2010
3:26 pm

Peace with honor, Nixon called it. Silly then, silly now.

I am truly sorry for the violence in Iraq, no matter that we all knew it was inevitable.

It is time for us to admit the error and come home.

Jefferson

August 25th, 2010
3:35 pm

Bring all the troops home, we can put the marines on the southern border and the army on the norther border.

Normal

August 25th, 2010
3:36 pm

stands for decibels

August 25th, 2010
3:38 pm

Jay, your first link is broken.

@@

August 25th, 2010
3:40 pm

Al Qaeda in Iraq and the Shiite extremists remain dangerous, and their attacks still claim innocent lives.

Joe should’ve been a bit more specific. It’s IRAN that remains dangerous. They’ll do whatever is necessary to create violence in Iraq.

2001…should’a listened to Cheney, and whacked that nutjob.

Milo

August 25th, 2010
3:40 pm

As long as we aren’t killing them, and they aren’t killing us, I don’t care what they do to themselves.

josef nix

August 25th, 2010
3:41 pm

Normal

I disagree that’s where it began… I would say here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_S%C3%A8vres

Normal

August 25th, 2010
3:41 pm

Bring the Troops home from Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany and Japan. Save beaucoup bucks…

NowReally

August 25th, 2010
3:42 pm

It will not hurt anything to let natural events play out. I’m sure the people of both countires are prepared for what should have been expected in this situation. I just hope that we have learned our lessons and stay out of what is surely to come.

AmVet

August 25th, 2010
3:43 pm

“There will be no victory or defeat for the United States in Iraq. These terms do not reflect the reality of what is going to happen there. The future of Iraq was always going to be determined by the Iraqis — not the Americans.

Iraq is not a prize to be won or lost. It is part of the ongoing global struggle against instability, brutality, intolerance, extremism and terrorism. There will be no military victory or military solution for Iraq. Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger made this point last weekend.

The time for more U.S. troops in Iraq has passed. We do not have more troops to send and, even if we did, they would not bring a resolution to Iraq. Militaries are built to fight and win wars, not bind together failing nations. We are once again learning a very hard lesson in foreign affairs: America cannot impose a democracy on any nation — regardless of our noble purpose.

We have misunderstood, misread, misplanned and mismanaged our honorable intentions in Iraq with an arrogant self-delusion reminiscent of Vietnam. Honorable intentions are not policies and plans. Iraq belongs to the 25 million Iraqis who live there”

It is the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam” ~Chuck Hagel, Republican – Nebraska

Normal

August 25th, 2010
3:43 pm

Josef,
I agree, but I meant for us…Good call though!

kayaker 71

August 25th, 2010
3:48 pm

When will we learn? When a religiously fanatic, illiterate herd of sheep elects to adopt a democratic way of life with free elections and rights, it can do nothing but fail. A lot of these people are not out of trees yet, if there were any trees in that godawful country. Democratic elections and freedom has traditionally been reserved for an educated people, with strong values that has some compassion for their fellow man. With most of the population following some chin in the air cleric with an agenda, how can we hope for something better. If it were not for the oil, we would not be there, plain and simple and we would let these goat loving idiots kill off as many of the opposition as they are capable of. Islam….. the gift that keeps on giving.

Moderate Line

August 25th, 2010
3:49 pm

Normal

August 25th, 2010
3:41 pm
Bring the Troops home from Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany and Japan. Save beaucoup bucks…
++++++++++++
Agreed. The troops in Japan and Germanant were deployed when we were threaten by Communism. What is interesting is how after the orginal threat is gone the troops remain.

I read an interesting article where Vietnam had a joint military exercise with United States in order to counter the influence of China.

Why do we let ourselves get pulled into these local issues.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 25th, 2010
3:50 pm

Marine General: Obama giving ’sustenance’ to Taliban…

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 25th, 2010
3:50 pm

US combat troops still flowing into Iraq…

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 25th, 2010
3:51 pm

WAR: U.S. Weighs Expanded Strikes in Yemen…

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 25th, 2010
3:52 pm

Official US optimism?

stands for decibels

August 25th, 2010
3:52 pm

I haven’t had a chance even to skim the articles to which Jay’s linked, but I suspect neither one points out a glaring hideousness about everyday life for Iraqis in Baghdad–they get about 2-6 hours or so of electricity per day, apparently.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2010/06/iraq-green-zone-also-to-suffer-electricity-blackouts.html

I think that’d get real old after awhile. And this has been a fact of life there for the better part of a decade now.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 25th, 2010
3:53 pm

BIDEN: ‘We’re moving in right direction’…

AmVet

August 25th, 2010
3:54 pm

“…the Bush administration is the lowest in capacity, in capability, in policy, in consensus—almost every area” of any presidency in the last forty years.” Chuck Hagel, Republican – Nebraska, November 2007

In other words, they sucked from the very beginning. And the nation had no chose but to watch as over four thousand and five hundred flag draped coffins came home, just to satisfy the ignorant, craven and incompetent who elected them…

Normal

August 25th, 2010
3:55 pm

Moderate Line

August 25th, 2010
3:49 pm

Our troops boost their economy, plain and simple. The Japanese and Germans would really hate it if we left, but meh…

Viet Nam is a fiesty nation and China had better watch. After WWII, we never should have let the French back in and we should have backed Uncle Ho, even though he was Communist. We could have controled him better and maybe saved 58,000+ young American lives.

left wing

August 25th, 2010
4:01 pm

Granny Godzilla @ 3:26 – And Nixon declared victory in Vietnam and left.

I don’t know what we were doing there to begin with, but we certainly can’t afford to stay.

Similarly, we should declare victory in Afghanistan and leave there, too.

Paul

August 25th, 2010
4:02 pm

“In Vietnam, U.S. officials simply manipulated events to allow American forces to be withdrawn under seemingly honorable conditions, and were then willing to let events take their natural course. We’re doing the same in Iraq, and in time will probably repeat the pattern once more in Afghanistan.”

Any bets if this’ll be the last time?

I bet “No.”

AmVet 3:43

I was reading and thinking, “dang, this is a thoughtful post from Amvet.” Then I saw Sen Hagel’s name. But… thanks for posting it.

Jefferson

August 25th, 2010
4:03 pm

Moderate Line

August 25th, 2010
4:06 pm

Normal

August 25th, 2010
3:55 pm
Moderate Line

August 25th, 2010
3:49 pm

Our troops boost their economy, plain and simple. The Japanese and Germans would really hate it if we left, but meh…

Viet Nam is a fiesty nation and China had better watch. After WWII, we never should have let the French back in and we should have backed Uncle Ho, even though he was Communist. We could have controled him better and maybe saved 58,000+ young American lives.
++++++++++
I agree with you but Vietnam is only using us because they need the extra weight to counter China. Vietnam has 88 million people and China has 1.3 billion.

Disgusted

August 25th, 2010
4:09 pm

It all shows that you can’t change a culture developed over many centuries in ten years or 50 years or even 100. You may call Iraq an emerging democracy if you want, but it’s still a tribal land. The refusal of the current regime to accept the results of a semi-legitimate election just puts an exclamation point on the whole mess. Unlike any government of the United States, the existing Iraqi government refuses to step down when it loses an election.

Bring our troops home and let those savages fight it out. Sooner or later, a ruthless strongman will emerge to rule Iraq. That’s the way it has always been, and that’s the way it will be for many decades to come. All those purple thumbs held up to our cameramen mean nothing. We have sacrificed the lives of more than 4,000 of our troops and ruined the lives of many more in a misguided attempt to impose democracy on a people who don’t even understand the concept. We have succeeded merely in toppling a Sunni regime and installing a Shiite one to take its place.

Moderate Line

August 25th, 2010
4:14 pm

AmVet

August 25th, 2010
3:54 pm
“…the Bush administration is the lowest in capacity, in capability, in policy, in consensus—almost every area” of any presidency in the last forty years.” Chuck Hagel, Republican – Nebraska, November 2007

In other words, they sucked from the very beginning. And the nation had no chose but to watch as over four thousand and five hundred flag draped coffins came home, just to satisfy the ignorant, craven and incompetent who elected them…
++++++++++
Compare the number of people who died under Johnson vs the number who died under Bush. I am not defending Bush but Johnson was much worse when it comes to fighting wars which achieve nothing for a high cost.

Under Johnson the cost was much higher in terms of lives and money.

I am not a fan of either.

A private sector employee

August 25th, 2010
4:14 pm

The Balkanization of Iraq is now inevitable. It may have always been inevitable. 40 years of Soviet/Communist rule couldn’t stamp out the ethnic hatred in the Balkans, and there is little evidence that U.S./Nato occupation could stamp out ethnic/tribal hatred in 7 years in Iraq.

ONE THING IS CLEAR: when you give these countries your withdrawal time line the way that Obama has, you guarantee failure. Knowing that the U.S. would withdraw, a government has been unable to form in Iraq. Knowing that the U.S will withdraw, the local populace has been unwilling to cooperate with the U.S. in Afghanistan. These wars may have always been unwinnable, but this President has guaranteed failure.

kayaker 71

August 25th, 2010
4:23 pm

Normal,

If hindsight were 20/20 we would all be geniuses. As a young man, serving in Da Nang, I didn’t seem to have the maturity that age has brought and I thought all of those war protesters were certainly not “good Americans”. The ones that spit on me, my wife and young son in the Santa Barbara airport on my return from VN didn’t endear me to their cause either. But looking back, they had every right to protest my involvement in something that they thought was terribly wrong. Well, maybe minus the spitting. As if we had a choice at the time.

Granny Godzilla

August 25th, 2010
4:25 pm

“when you give these countries your withdrawal time line the way that Obama has, you guarantee failure”

Piffle

What is the alternative?

Bomb the snot out of them?

Sneak all the troops out one night under cover of darkness making sure
to cover their tracks on the way out?

josef nix

August 25th, 2010
4:26 pm

The Kurds are getting real antsy. The results of the last election in the Arab districts were not a good omen for them. The question is, will we sell them down the river in this “mission accomplished?” There’s some real bad blood there and it will make the Sunni-Shia conflict look like a day at the beach if it blows up…have been searching high and low to hear what the current administration has in mind there and there’s an ominous silence…

getalife

August 25th, 2010
4:27 pm

They will blow each other up before Obama’s speech on Tuesday.

Who is their leader?

Moderate Line

August 25th, 2010
4:28 pm

Bush drove us in the ditch and Obama was hired to get us out. Unfortunely he can’t find the keys to the tow truck. He is to busy suing Arizona.

AmVet

August 25th, 2010
4:29 pm

Modeate, the red herring comparison of Bush vs. Johnson is of no real interest to me.

What is, is how the worst president in American history and his cabal of gutless incompetents could, in a scant 27 years, forget all about that debacle in the jungle.

Hagel alluded to their arrogant self-delusion and he was spot on. Of course, unlike them he was man of valor and courage. BushCorp learned nothing and the only thing they taught us was that neo-cons can never again be trusted with governing the nation…

Bosch

August 25th, 2010
4:34 pm

“What is the alternative?

Bomb the snot out of them?

Sneak all the troops out one night under cover of darkness making sure
to cover their tracks on the way out?”

And THAT would be why I love Mrs. G.

Bosch

August 25th, 2010
4:35 pm

kayaker,

I have to say, I would have smacked anyone who spit on me and my kids.

Southern Harmony

August 25th, 2010
4:37 pm

one of the same every since carter

Southern Harmony

August 25th, 2010
4:41 pm

agree with the bombs and after they leave afgan.
could makes afew rivers in pak.
.

kayaker 71

August 25th, 2010
4:44 pm

Bosch,

I went home and took off the uniform, complete with it’s rows of medals. packed it into a plastic garbage bag and put into the back of the closet. I haven’t opened it yet and that’s been 41 yrs. ago. I wanted to smack them very badly. I had not seen my wife and son for a whole year and had only seen them for a few minutes before this happened. I have muddled over that scene many times over the years and changed the story and the ending numerous times in my mind. But you live with that and move along. We were not the enemy but just the messenger. They should have spit on McNamara, Kennedy and Johnson. I was just fortunate to be coming home occupying a seat in the passenger compartment instead of a box in the cargo hold.

tm

August 25th, 2010
4:48 pm

there is no way we are going to bring back any of the guard units any time soon.
think what that would do to the unemployment numbers.

Granny Godzilla

August 25th, 2010
4:49 pm

Kayaker 71

They really and truly spit at you?

From the free republic of all places

Please remember don’t shoot the messenger.

JohnnyReb

August 25th, 2010
4:50 pm

Civilians cannot wrap their arms around what is winning or losing in a guerrilla war. Traditional war, the military goes in and destroys everything including civilians. Our military does not yet have a good plan for guerrilla warfare; they fight and lose their lives with their hands politically tied. Thus no one, including politicans, know if we are really winning or losing until well after the fact.

While it sounds good, bringing military not actively engaged in war back to US soil would greatly weaken our military posture. No deterent other than airstrikes; plus our allies would get very nervous.

All you guys on the Left, you did note this past Sunday one of your standard bearers, Friedman, stated the Iraqi war was important.

I will agree the single worse mistake made during the war was the Bush administration deciding to dis-ban the Iraqi military. That single decision probably prolonged the war by 3 or 4 years.

Bosch

August 25th, 2010
4:50 pm

Holy crap kayaker, that’s terrible! Well, I’m glad you came home in a seat with your family too — I mean, who else would I then have to read posts and roll my eyes. :-)

Seriously, thanks for your service.

getalife

August 25th, 2010
4:51 pm

kay is the proof the cons are looking for to back up the statement that Americans “spit on me”.

Are you going on Hannity kay?

Hillbilly Deluxe

August 25th, 2010
4:52 pm

The question is, what will things be like in Iraq, 5 years from now. The answer is, nobody knows.

Granny Godzilla

August 25th, 2010
4:53 pm

Freidman of the Freidman unit?

certainly substandard

JohnnyReb

August 25th, 2010
4:56 pm

Granny, that would be THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, columnist for the NY Times, appearing also to my disappointment each Sunday in the AJC.

Granny Godzilla

August 25th, 2010
4:58 pm

same dude…..The Freidman Unit…..substandard standard bearer.

Normal

August 25th, 2010
4:59 pm

Kayaker,
I didn’t know you were there or most likely I forgot. Welcome home.

I too, was spat on at LAX in ‘69. I was still in a whell chair at the time, but in uniform. I was headed home for convalesense leave.

I don’t agree with you about Kennedy, we will never know of course, but I think he would have taken a different tract with Viet Nam. Johnson, on the other hand, pi$$ on him.

kayaker 71

August 25th, 2010
4:59 pm

Granny,

It sure felt like it and when my wife wiped it off of her face, it was pretty unmistakable. I wonder if Mr. John Llewellyn who wrote this rebuttal was ever in the Santa Barbara airport in June of 1969. It was populated with war protesters, usually from UCSB, the ones that burned down the BOA branch in protest to their loan policy to firms that supported the war. I learned later that the organizers of the protests would scan the airline arrivals from San Francisco and LA. Anyone in a uniform was a target. No, I certainly would not shoot the messenger and I respect their right to protest. Didn’t feel too good at the time, however.

JohnnyReb

August 25th, 2010
5:04 pm

Kayaker 71 – I put in my four Air Force years 66 to 70. My time in SE Asia was in Thailand working KC-135’s and B-52’s. We refueled the fighters and bombed the hell out of them. I had a cushie assignment as compared to guys in Viet Nam. I hate how you were treated upon return; and right or wrong connect it to the California flower children. Not that any of them attacked you and family, but that bunch in California and elsewhere protesting the war and American in general have morphed into members or close contacts to the Obama administration.

Granny Godzilla

August 25th, 2010
5:05 pm

kayaker and Normal…..

I applaud and appreciate your service to our nation and your patience in not smacking the spitter….

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 25th, 2010
5:06 pm

Aahhh, kookman the al Qaeda mouthpiece, blow up innocent civilians, get a write up in the Urinal on how your side is winning.

Delightful, isn’t it?

Bud Wiser

August 25th, 2010
5:06 pm

Leave it to AmWet, the little coward, to blame Bush for everything.

Get your head out of that very dark and smelly place, little boy; having mommy buy you a GI Joe outfit doesn’t make you a soldier…or a man.

RW-(the original)

August 25th, 2010
5:17 pm

When I had a girl spit on me in 1971 while wearing my Army ROTC uniform I didn’t say anything about it for years either. After all the zillions of stories about how our troops were just a bunch of blood thirsty baby killers maybe I just believed I deserved it. The people who decided to join the anti-war effort by using their positions as news reporters to spread that filth against our troops are the ones that deserve to be spat upon.

I'm Here From The Government And I'm Here To Help

August 25th, 2010
5:20 pm

WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 2010 – A wave of attacks in Iraq today demonstrates that al-Qaida in Iraq is still capable of operating and is desperate to regain lost momentum, the top spokesman for U.S. Forces Iraq told American Forces Press Service today.

“We haven’t seen these types of attacks since May 10,” Army Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza said in a telephone interview from Baghdad. “This shows there is still capability with al-Qaida here to conduct operations. It also shows their intent or desire to try to reinsert themselves, which they have had trouble doing in the past.”

@@

August 25th, 2010
5:21 pm

Put these two statements together:

1) Biden stressed that the changing U.S. role in Iraq should be not be viewed as American disengagement. He noted that the administration is largely following former President George W. Bush’s plan for a “long-term” relationship with Baghdad.

2) The military said U.S. troops will now transition to Operation New Dawn, effective September 1. In this phase, the United States will help train Iraqi security forces until the end of its mission in December 2011.

While the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq will continue to diminish throughout 2011, the withdrawal rate will be “calibrated and adjusted based on conditions on the ground,” according to presidential national security adviser John Brennan.

And then there’s Odierno’s statement:

The general said the “insurgency is suppressed” and, despite continued violence, the overall security situation in Iraq is improving along with the ability of the Iraqi state to protect people and conduct government functions.

U.S. troops, however, could move back to a combat role if there was “a complete failure of the security forces” or if political divisions split Iraqi security forces.

MAN! that leaves a lot of wiggle room.

I’m still waiting to hear leftist outrage over the military contractors that will be put in place to protect the State Dept..

I’ll probably have to wait for hell to freeze over.

Gomer Pyle

August 25th, 2010
5:22 pm

Bud had way too much tonight. He might need a week to sleep that one off.

@@

August 25th, 2010
5:28 pm

I’ve had some of my students spit on me. Does that mean anti-war protesters are developmentally delayed?

It would appear so.

AmVet

August 25th, 2010
5:33 pm

Poor pathetic wiper. He’ still carrying a grudge, because after posting repeated, childish rants like that 5:06, I merely noted that he wasn’t qualified to even shine the boots of the cadets at the US Military Academy.

Boy howdy, did that ever send him into a slobbering rage for a few days!

Hey, things are tough all over! Poor Wingfield is reduced to insulting his bloggers. Too funny…

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2010
5:34 pm

“when you give these countries your withdrawal time line the way that Obama has”

Apparently you are unaware that the Aug 2011 “timeline” was set by Bush, not Obama. Obama just stuck to it.

JohnnyReb

August 25th, 2010
5:36 pm

@@ – there’s your sign, students spitting on you and you can’t whack the hell out of them! America has steadily gone soft. I fear for our future. The public can’t stomach a war longer than a war movie. Guys who would have learned discipline in the military don’t now because the draft is gone. People are running over what is right because they are PC correct. Patton, where are you?

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 25th, 2010
5:37 pm

I knew a guy who was spit on once by a llama at a petting zoo.

Gomer Pyle

August 25th, 2010
5:38 pm

Golly! What we need to do is to tell them people that we are going to leave on a certain date and then leave earlier instead.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 25th, 2010
5:38 pm

Doggone/GA
August 25th, 2010
5:34 pm

Just like he’ll “stick” to the Bush tax cuts.

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2010
5:42 pm

“Just like he’ll “stick” to the Bush tax cuts”

That isn’t up to him. It’s in Congress’s court.

kayaker 71

August 25th, 2010
5:43 pm

As wars go, we haven’t won one since WW2. Korea was a “police action”. Viet Nam was supposed to be a “containment”. The first Gulf war was some sort of “restoration”, this one has been “a conflict of liberation”. When Nixon pulled out of VN, it was an “honorable victory”. What kind of spin are we going to put on the next one? Douglas Macarthur and George S. Patton were right. If we are not in it to win, why do it. All of the cannon fodder expended in the last 50 or so years have a right to know.

Palin fan

August 25th, 2010
5:46 pm

The mane problem is that Obama does not have the chops to lead a war-time country. We’re screwed until 2012.

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2010
5:48 pm

“The mane problem”

horsefeathers

SOUTHERN ATL

August 25th, 2010
5:48 pm

AmVet@3:43…excellent post! Bring our troops home!!!!

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 25th, 2010
5:51 pm

Do dummycrats lose all the wars they fight?

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 25th, 2010
5:53 pm

AmVet
August 25th, 2010
5:33 pm

Insulting his bloggers or calling BS on them?

Sick of Repubs

August 25th, 2010
5:55 pm

The Leg Lamp is a “major award” much like Cynthia Tucker’s Pulitzer and Obama’s Nobel. ….man are you from Alabama?

@@

August 25th, 2010
5:56 pm

JohnnyReb:

My students ARE….errr WERE developmentally delayed, so NO, I wouldn’t have been doing no whacking. I could, and DID reduce them to tears with “the look” for which I was famous. Our Director of Education actually called a staff meeting so I could teach it to the other teachers.

I’d never laughed so hard in my life. All of them attempting “the look”. Never worked for them…maybe it’s got something to do with green eyes and wicked eyebrows.

I’m missing the little darlings…truly, I am!!!

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 25th, 2010
5:56 pm

Speaking of wars – which President’s were in office when fighting troops were sent in?

World War II – FDR, Democrat

Korean “Conflict” – Truman, Democrat

Vietnam – JFK, Democrat

Desert Storm – Bush, Republican

“Serbian” War – Clinton, Democrat

Iraq/Afghanistan – Bush, Republican

So tell me, why do libs bash conservatives about being war mongers?

Soothsayer

August 25th, 2010
5:57 pm

Iraq is basically an amalgamation of 3 ethnic groups. Arabs (Sunnis), Kurds, and Shia (Persian). Iraq’s borders were drawn by Britain after World War I from what was previously the “Ottoman Empire.” If there were not oil involved, Iraq could simply be divided into three parts: the Kurdish north (which could become part of Turkey), the west could be absorbed in to Saudi Arabia, and the south and east become a part of Persia (Iran). The “country” of Iraq would cease to exist. Will this stop these people from killing each other? I doubt it. But it might help.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 25th, 2010
5:57 pm

Sick of Repubs
August 25th, 2010
5:55 pm

No, I’m not from Alabama, but I love Alabama. It separates us from Mississippi.

AmVet

August 25th, 2010
5:58 pm

Go read it for yourself and then you tell us, mystery meat.

Andy, go ask Slick Willy about his brilliant campaign in Bosnia. Not one single American life lost. (excluding two pilots in training missions) And the bloodbath ended. I know that doesn’t compare with the spectacular and dazzling success of George of the Bungle.

Just sprayin’…

josef nix

August 25th, 2010
5:58 pm

IR/YW

“Do dummycrats lose all the wars they fight?”

WWI, WWII ring a bell?

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 25th, 2010
5:58 pm

Sick of Repubs
August 25th, 2010
5:55 pm

By the way, I’m flattered you’re so interested (or should I be “skeered”).

Sick of Repubs

August 25th, 2010
5:59 pm

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 25th, 2010
5:59 pm

AmVet
August 25th, 2010
5:58 pm

And how many innocent lives were lost on the ground due to the random bombings during Clinton’s insurgency?

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 25th, 2010
6:01 pm

AmVet
August 25th, 2010
5:58 pm

Oh yeah, and Clinton did a helluva job in Somalia, now didn’t he?

josef nix

August 25th, 2010
6:01 pm

Soothsayer…
Iraqi Kurdistan become a part of Turkey? Now that’s a good one! Do you have an idea of what would happen if Turkey even tried?

@@

August 25th, 2010
6:01 pm

Camels are notorious spitters. Pit vipers too, spittle bugs, walruses.

Anti-war protesters ain’t in good company among the lower life forms.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 25th, 2010
6:02 pm

Sick of Repubs
August 25th, 2010
5:59 pm

You need me to narrow it down for you? Okay, it’s not Atlanta. That better?

Soothsayer

August 25th, 2010
6:03 pm

josef nix: you’re right, that’s a non-starter!

AmVet

August 25th, 2010
6:03 pm

And how many innocent lives were lost on the ground due to the random bombings during Clinton’s insurgency?

Hey you’re the answer man around here. Why don’t you tell me?

Take your time. I know you are a pure research machine, but this one may take ya awhile…

josef nix

August 25th, 2010
6:03 pm

Clinton did a helluva job in Bosnia…Clinton did a helluva job north of the 35th in Mesopotamia…

Sick of Repubs

August 25th, 2010
6:03 pm

No, its Alabama…

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 25th, 2010
6:04 pm

josef nix
August 25th, 2010
6:03 pm

But the biggest mark Clinton made in any campaign was on the blue dress.

josef nix

August 25th, 2010
6:05 pm

Soothsayer
I know I’m beating the Kurdish drum today, but that IS the wild card and, quite frankly, only Israel seems to be paying attention…

Soothsayer

August 25th, 2010
6:05 pm

I’ve away for a while. Will somebody please tell me WTF and Leg Lamp is? And who won it? And why is (one of) Andy(’s multiple personalities) obsessed with it? Thanks.

RW-(the original)

August 25th, 2010
6:06 pm

Insulting his bloggers or calling BS on them?

The latter of course. That’s why that gargantuan exaggeration was made here rather than there.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 25th, 2010
6:06 pm

AmVet
August 25th, 2010
6:03 pm

55,261 civilians. That quick enough for you? Sure, Clinton wasn’t responsible for anything. Typical lunatic lib.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 25th, 2010
6:08 pm

Soothsayer
August 25th, 2010
6:05 pm

Dude, you really are out of touch, now aren’t you? Go watch the movie “A Christmas Story”. That will tell you who won it.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 25th, 2010
6:08 pm

Soothsayer
August 25th, 2010
6:05 pm

Let me ask you a “WTF” question. Who is Andy?

josef nix

August 25th, 2010
6:08 pm

“But the biggest mark Clinton made in any campaign was on the blue dress.”

There’s the campaign, and there’s the administration…overall, I give Billy Boy some pretty high marks in the latter…he was d*mned tacky with the “that woman” remark, though. He ought to have gone ahead and said, “umm hunh, sho did and man it was nice. How would you like to have to go home to Hillary?” :-)

@@

August 25th, 2010
6:09 pm

Kinda piteeful when I think about. Obama will be doing “the manly” thing
August 31st–delivering his speech on Iraq. It’s the only thing he’s got going for him.

Americans have long-since moved on and into the unemployment lines.

Helloooooooooo, Mr. President!!!! Is anybody there????