Why did Romney react so harshly to news of Iraqi withdrawal?

Last week, after President Obama’s announcement that U.S. troops would leave Iraq by the end of the year, GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney responded with a particularly harsh attack:

“President Obama’s astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women. The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government. The American people deserve to hear the recommendations that were made by our military commanders in Iraq.”

To many ears, the outburst seemed overwrought and tone deaf. From the beginning of our negotiations with Iraq dating back to the Bush administration, the most difficult stumbling block has been the guarantee of legal immunity for U.S. troops stationed in that country. The Bush administration wanted to ensure that if our men and women in uniform were charged with doing something wrong during their time in Iraq, they would be tried by American authorities, under American law. Because they couldn’t overcome Iraqi resistance to that provision, President Bush was forced to sign an agreement in 2008 committing the United States to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.

Upon taking office, President Obama and his team confronted that same resistance in attempting to extend the withdrawal deadline. And as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki made clear over the weekend, that wasn’t going to change:

“When the Americans asked for immunity, the Iraqi side answered that it was not possible. The discussions over the number of trainers and the place of training stopped. Now that the issue of immunity was decided and that no immunity to be given, the withdrawal has started.”

Given Iraq’s intransigence on that critical issue, what alternative course would a President Romney have taken? Would he have surrendered to Iraqi demands and exposed our troops to Iraqi law, which under Iraq’s constitution is based on Islamic law? Under President Romney, would our men and women in uniform be stripped of their constitutional rights as Americans and be subject to arrest by Iraqi authorities, subject to trial in Iraqi courts, and subject to punishment in Iraqi prisons?

Or would President Romney simply keep our troops in Iraq without permission of the Iraqi government? That would have been quite an ending to a war ostensibly fought for Iraqi freedom, and in fact labeled “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” The irony would have been compounded by the fact that we would be in defiance of international law, the very charge we used against Saddam Hussein to justify our invasion. We would reveal ourselves to be conquerors, not liberators, just as our worst critics claimed.

However, the overly emotional response from the Romney camp becomes a little easier to understand, if not defend, once you look at the team of foreign-policy advisers assembled by the former Massachusetts governor to advise him.

It includes Eliot Cohen, who had advocated a U.S. invasion of Iraq for a decade prior to Sept. 11. Cohen was a founding member of the Project for a New American Century, a group of neoconservatives dedicated to a much more aggressive and militaristic posture by the United States. In fact, Romney selected Cohen to write the forward to his campaign’s foreign-policy “white paper,” titled “An American Century.”

Ten years ago, in December 2001, Cohen wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal headlined “Iraq Can’t Resist Us: The Gulf War was a cakewalk. The enemy is even weaker now.” He began pushing the line that, as he told CNN, “we do know that there is a connection with the 9/11 terrorists. We do know that Mohamed Atta, the ringleader of the 9/11 terrorists, met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague.” He also dismissed the silly notion that an invasion might risk a breakout of ethnic violence in post-invasion Iraq.

Even now, Cohen argues that the chief lesson of Iraq is not that we should not attempt such things in the future; the lesson is that when we do it again, we should do it more competently.

Other members of the Romney foreign-policy team have equally deep roots in the Iraq adventure and the neoconservative movement that pushed it. Cofer Black, a former CIA official, served as vice chairman of Blackwater USA from 2005 to 2008, a fact not mentioned in the biography provided by the Romney campaign.

Robert Kagan was a co-founder, along with Bill Kristol, of the Project for a New American Century and a longtime vocal advocate of invading Iraq. Eric Edelman served as a national security assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney in the early years of the Bush administration.

Dov Zakheim was also a charter member of the Project for a New American Century and had been part of the team assembled by Cheney to update then-candidate George Bush on foreign policy. He served as undersecretary of Defense under Donald Rumsfeld. Andrew Natsios served as head of USAID in the Bush administration, memorably promising the American public that total reconstruction costs in Iraq would come to no more than $1.7 billion

Paula Dobriansky, another neoconservative and PNAC signatory, was also a staunch advocate of using military force to remake the Middle East, as was Vin Weber, a former GOP congressman and PNAC signatory. Robert Joseph, a National Security Council adviser under Bush, arranged to smuggle an allegation that Saddam was seeking uranium into Bush’s 2003 State of the Union Address, a claim that later had to be withdrawn. And Meghan O’Sullivan and Dan Senor were top aides to Paul Bremer, the man who badly mismanaged the Coalition Provisional Authority in post-invasion Iraq. As Bremer’s spokesman, Senor in particular became infamous for insisting that great progress was being made, even as everyone else saw it all crumbling around their ears.

These are the people who dominate Romney’s foreign policy team. These are the people who would have his ear if he were to become our next president. Once that is understood, the reaction of the Romney team to Obama’s announcement becomes not only understandable. It becomes a warning.

– Jay Bookman

458 comments Add your comment

marc

October 25th, 2011
10:29 am

I wonder what’s worse for GOP supporters….hating Obama or knowing they have’nt come up with anyone who can beat him??…..it must be very frustrating.

I hope Hillary and Biden trade spots for 2012……

Bosch

October 25th, 2011
10:29 am

“MacArthur did not ask the Japanese to grant his troops immunity”

Maybe that’s because we just blew about 10,000 of it’s citizens to smithereens and they were a country of rubble.

ragnar danneskjold

October 25th, 2011
10:29 am

Dear Jay @ 10:27, I tell the President of Iraq – behind closed doors – that American troops will not be prosecuted for anything. I remind him that overwhelming force deposed the previous government of iraq, and that we will do it until Iraq gets its head straight.

Jay

October 25th, 2011
10:29 am

Yes, Ragnar, this does benefit Iran. But that was baked into this cake a LLLOOOONGG time ago, from the very beginning of this farce.

TaxPayer

October 25th, 2011
10:30 am

I’m not buying his “I kept my campaign promise” claim.

Your words, Peadawg, and given that we now know that you did not vote for him, your “not buying his campaign promise” was carried out via your not voting for him so who cares what you think about it now. It’s rather moot.

Adam

October 25th, 2011
10:30 am

I’m saving kayaker’s citing of polls for when Obama wins re-election. Along with any self righteous “NOBAMA” posts.

fear in the left

October 25th, 2011
10:30 am

I think Romney’s point was after 3 years of negotiation no progress was made, nor was an orderly transition put in place to protect US security interests in the area.

Peadawg

October 25th, 2011
10:30 am

Adam @ 10:27

Again, he “kept” it ONLY after he almost didn’t. You won’t here him admit that in a campaign speech though. Again, not telling the entire truth is the same as lying. Didn’t your parents teach you that when you were 8?

Paul

October 25th, 2011
10:30 am

Bosch – USinUK

That 10:26 and 10:27 (not yours).

Got popcorn?

Zedd

October 25th, 2011
10:30 am

From Adam – “USinUK: I find that whole “Libya hates us” thing is ridiculous. For obvious reasons. We didn’t even go in there, we stopped the rebels from being trounced and let them do their thing and they are GRATEFUL. I know a Muslim country that LOVES America is just MIND BOGGLING to the conservatives who hate Muslims crowd, but it looks like that’s what we got.” – Guess you missed that whole burning Hillary’s image in the streets thing huh?

TaxPayer

October 25th, 2011
10:31 am

Ragnar must be Bill Kristol in real life. :lol:

ragnar danneskjold

October 25th, 2011
10:31 am

Dear Jay @ 10:29, with strong leadership nothing is “baked into the cake.”

Adam

October 25th, 2011
10:32 am

ragnar: Dear Jay @ 10:27, I tell the President of Iraq – behind closed doors – that American troops will not be prosecuted for anything. I remind him that overwhelming force deposed the previous government of iraq, and that we will do it until Iraq gets its head straight.

And then he tells you to shove off. Same result. Well at least you were a pigheaded Texan about it before you were FORCED to leave instead of leaving of y our own choice. So there’s that.

Peadawg

October 25th, 2011
10:32 am

“so who cares what you think about it now.” – Ah, so b/c I didn’t vote for him it doesn’t what I think about him. Got it. :roll:

“I hope Hillary and Biden trade spots for 2012……” – I hope Hillary and OBAMA trade spots for 2012.

Jay

October 25th, 2011
10:32 am

Ah, so President Ragnar would make it clear that we had conquered Iraq and had no intention of leaving and no intention of letting the Iraqis govern their own country.

Anybody else up for that approach?

Jm

October 25th, 2011
10:33 am

I will say the general election is going to be riveting…..
More interesting than even the primary

Welcome to the occupation (Trotsky)

October 25th, 2011
10:33 am

ragnar: “At risk of noting the obvious, MacArthur did not ask the Japanese to grant his troops immunity. Strong leaders do not have to ask. We do not have a strong leader, rather we have one who leads from behind.”

Is this a joke?

What about Reagan’s withdrawal from Lebanon? Was that the action of a strong leader?

And George W. Bush was widely scorned around the world, and not particularly feared. Our options were narrow by the end of his second term. Was he a “strong leader” ?

mm

October 25th, 2011
10:33 am

Ragnar,

“We thought this question had been put to rest months ago, but there are still people in the media and on the liberal left who are obsessed with the question of Barack Obama’s birthplace.”

Perry admitted he “likes to poke at him”. How very mature. And ignorant. I guess Trump convinced him he will rise in the polls if he starts up this foolishness.

Adam

October 25th, 2011
10:33 am

Zedd: Guess you missed that whole burning Hillary’s image in the streets thing huh?

Because she is a woman, not because she is American/ Guess you missed the waving of American flags and the people who thank America to reporters. And thank reporters.

ragnar danneskjold

October 25th, 2011
10:34 am

Dear Taxpayer @ 10:31, your apology for the “birther thingy” is accepted

Paul

October 25th, 2011
10:34 am

“Anybody else up for that approach?”

Scout?

ragnar danneskjold

October 25th, 2011
10:35 am

Dear Jay @ 10:32, that’s about right. One either wimps out and surrenders the gain, or one protects one’s interest. There is no “other.”

Jay

October 25th, 2011
10:35 am

Peadawg, I think that if Obama had succeeded in keeping a few thousand troops in Iraq solely for purposes of training Iraqi personnel — and in the end, that is what they were negotiating — that too would have qualified as getting our troops out. A training mission is a very different thing than a fighting mission.

Bosch

October 25th, 2011
10:35 am

So President Ragnar threatens world leaders with annihilation if he doesn’t get his way. Nice. I wonder if that’s how President Romney plans to work.

mm

October 25th, 2011
10:36 am

“Dear Jay @ 10:27, I tell the President of Iraq – behind closed doors – that American troops will not be prosecuted for anything. I remind him that overwhelming force deposed the previous government of iraq, and that we will do it until Iraq gets its head straight.”

Typical wingnut. We will tell you how to run your country and you will damn well like it!

What they never consider is if we were the weaker country. Would you put up with some country telling us what to do?

Bosch

October 25th, 2011
10:36 am

Paul,

:)

In these parts, this time of year, we eat kettle corn!

getalife

October 25th, 2011
10:38 am

willard’s response to the housing crises is let it fail.

That is the gop response to our economy.

Let it collapse again.

ragnar danneskjold

October 25th, 2011
10:38 am

Dear Trotsky @ 10:33, good morning. The withdrawal from Lebanon proved to be a long-term disaster. Conservatives learn from mistakes.

As to your silly comments re: Bush 43, he was not particularly liked but he was certainly feared. The world looked at him as a bit crazy, Reaganesque in that sense. Iran briefly discontinued its nuclear program after the Iraq invasion; the late Libyan turned over a new leaf, one that held until Chauncey’s world-wide apology tour.

Adam

October 25th, 2011
10:38 am

Obama has the perfect political position. The other side hates him so much they will oppose whatever he proposes, so all he has to do is read the polls and say he supports whatever more than 60% of the people support, so that the Republicans will be loudly and firmly AGAINST that position. Is this what they call Populist?

Peadawg

October 25th, 2011
10:38 am

Jay @ 10:35

A few thousand? Um…not just no…but hell no. That’s a sad attempt to give Obama a pass. We shouldn’t be over there any longer, PERIOD.

kayaker 71

October 25th, 2011
10:39 am

Bosch,

You wouldn’t know “relevancy” if it hit you over the head. These figures reflect a very disappointed and pissed off electorate. Lowest strongly approval rating….. and only a year from the election. 61% of voters want a simpler tax code. And you don’t think that Cain’s or Perry’s tax plans are not going to resonate with voters? Neither of these plans would survive Congress intact but they are at least a start….. something that we have not had in 75 yrs.
Unemployment still over 9% after throwing nearly a trillion dollars at the problem without success….. highest foreclosure rate that this nation has ever seen….. 30% of Democrats wanting another candidate for 2012….. 66% of Democrats saying that this country is on the wrong track.
How much “relevancy” do you need?

Adam

October 25th, 2011
10:40 am

Peadawg: That’s a sad attempt to give Obama a pass.

Ah come on man, you say that like you WOULD give him a pass on ANYTHING

Peadawg

October 25th, 2011
10:41 am

“Ah come on man, you say that like you WOULD give him a pass on ANYTHING” – What should he get a pass on, Adam? He’s been President for almost 3 years now. He doesn’t tell the entire truth in his speeches (and the sheep follow which even more sad/funny). What exactly should he get a pass on?

Adam

October 25th, 2011
10:42 am

20% of blog posters strongly approve of kayaker’s posts. 40% strongly disapprove. The other 40% think the statistics are all made up.

TaxPayer

October 25th, 2011
10:42 am

Ragnar,

You might want to have a sit down with Rove and splain Perry’s position to him since it looks as though your own party members are having trouble following Perry’s comments as well:

Karl Rove blasted Perry on Monday for not giving a straight answer on the birther issue and therefore associating himself with a “nutty fringe group.”

Then again, if only Perry had demonstrated an ability to use English while in school. A grade above a C would have been nice. You Republicans really know how to pick ‘em.

Jm

October 25th, 2011
10:42 am

Obama is going to lose

Get used to it libs

See David Brooks column for more info if u need it

Which u do

Paul

October 25th, 2011
10:43 am

ragnar

“or one protects one’s interest. ”

What is our interest in Iraq and is it different before we invaded?

Adam

October 25th, 2011
10:43 am

Peadawg: What should he get a pass on, Adam?

I rest my case.

BTW, I am saving that post for any time you pretend like you would vote Democrat.

kayaker 71

October 25th, 2011
10:43 am

Adam,

Denial is a wonderful thing….. and Google is your friend.

ragnar danneskjold

October 25th, 2011
10:44 am

I was hoping for an essay today on the Senate’s disconnect from reality last week, putting the taxpayer on the hook for home mortgages up to $750,000. That is the lunacy that carried us into the last housing bubble. Georgia has the distinction of being the only state with two Republican Senators who voted with the lunatics.

Peadawg

October 25th, 2011
10:44 am

“I rest my case.” – Without answering the question of course…

“BTW, I am saving that post for any time you pretend like you would vote Democrat.” – I’ve said many many times I would vote for Hillary over Obama and any candidate the GOP has to offer. So save away.

Paul

October 25th, 2011
10:45 am

and those goalposts, they just keep a’moving -

Adam

October 25th, 2011
10:45 am

Jm: Obama is going to lose

Get used to it libs

Saved.

Adam

October 25th, 2011
10:47 am

Peadawg: I don’t have to answer your faux-outrage questions if I don’t want to. The question itself indicates no answer I give you would be acceptable, and you will have a ready retort for anything I might say to answer it. So forget it.

getalife

October 25th, 2011
10:47 am

rag,

The gop plan on our economy is to let it collapse again.

Just ask willard.

He will never be President.

Jm

October 25th, 2011
10:48 am

Bank system collapsing again
Thank Europe and Obama

TaxPayer

October 25th, 2011
10:48 am

And Ragnar, you can call my 10:42 an apology if you want. It makes no difference with me given your propensity for living in your own little rabbit hole where up is down, good is bad, etc. And say hi to Scout for me, would ya.

Peadawg

October 25th, 2011
10:49 am

“So forget it.” – Ok, punkin.

Since you’re not answering any of my questions, can I assume your parents didn’t teach you that not telling the whole truth is the same as lying? (question from 10:30)

Jm

October 25th, 2011
10:50 am

Ragnar
Johnny is bought by the housing industry

stands for decibels

October 25th, 2011
10:50 am

GOP, bring out the “Mittens”!

or the latex gloves, as the case may be…

ragnar danneskjold

October 25th, 2011
10:51 am

Dear Taxpayer @ 10:42, I approve of Taranto’s analysis. It would have been nice if Perry deflected the crazed-journalist with humor, but his deflection was appropriate nevertheless. Rove needs a chill-pill.

Dear Paul @ 10:43, fair question, “What is our interest in Iraq and is it different before we invaded?” Our pre-invasion interest was different, that Iraq was the most evil government in the world. A simple humanitarian interest would lead any thoughtful person to perceive the need to depose Saddam, for the sake of humanity, and America always seems to have to do the heavy lifting. Certainly the Russians did not care if Saddam occasionally slaughtered thousands.

Saddam’s sole virtue, and I infer the reason Bill Clinton left him alone, was that he was the counterweight to Iran. As Kissinger famously said of their 1980s war, “it is a shame that they both cannot lose,” although I suppose both did. On removal of Saddam, our interest in Iraq did change, more to the “nation-building” so magnified by Clinton in Bosnia and loathed by Bush (amusing how attitudes change with circumstances.) Iran is now the greatest threat in the world, and removing the American force from the Iranian border does not make the world safer.

USinUK

October 25th, 2011
10:53 am

“See David Brooks column for more info if u need it”

:lol:

if you’re looking to David Brooks, you really ARE desparate for validation

Common Sense isn't very Common

October 25th, 2011
10:53 am

Republicans learn from their mistakes??? WTF

Trickle down economics were a failure under Reagan (give me a checkbook I don’t have to balance and I will give you the illusion of prosperity).

This has been the GOP mantra since (deficits don’t matter).

Tax cuts alone don’t work. (tax cuts plus 2 unfunded wars thats the winner).

kayaker 71

October 25th, 2011
10:53 am

And now Bozo wants us to believe that forcing the lenders to relax the rules on lending would lead to more people being able to re-finance their homes. According to CNN Money, in 2008, there were 1.1M homes in foreclosure nationwide. Imagine what it is now. Fannie and Freddie are broke. That’s like telling a lender to back the sale of a 2,000 dollar car with a 3,000 guarantee. Or like Cash for Clunkers costing the tax payer 8$ for every dollar saved. Man, this Bozonomics is going to be the death of us yet.

Bosch

October 25th, 2011
10:54 am

Pea,

Do you honestly think politicians tell the whole truth? You are gloriously naive.

ragnar danneskjold

October 25th, 2011
10:54 am

Dear jm @ 10:50, good morning, agree. That does not explain Saxbe.

TaxPayer

October 25th, 2011
10:54 am

I think it is a darn good idea that Republicans came up with for paying their mortgages — using 401k money to make mortgage payments. Now when will Tom Graves and his buddy start paying off that 2.2 million dollar loan.

Jm

October 25th, 2011
10:55 am

Usinuk
LOL. Brooks is as liberal a conservative as you get
When he says Obama is done,
Obama is done

Bosch

October 25th, 2011
10:55 am

stands,

LOL! That photo is creepy.

ragnar danneskjold

October 25th, 2011
10:55 am

Dear common @ 10:53, “Trickle down economics were a failure under Reagan.” Studies economics at culinary school, did you?

Peadawg

October 25th, 2011
10:56 am

“Do you honestly think politicians tell the whole truth? You are gloriously naive.” – So b/c others do it, it’s ok for Obama? When are we to expect politicians to change? Never?

getalife

October 25th, 2011
10:56 am

This issue is finally over and our President kept this promise.

Our President is coming out swinging fighting for jobs for vets.

The gop said to let them fail because that is their plan for the economy.

You cons will vote for that and lose.

Corey

October 25th, 2011
10:57 am

Jay, thanks for providing us with insight into why Mr. Obama is committed to Mr. Bush’s Iraq withdrawal timeline. The main stream broadcast media has failed us in that regard. All we see via the media is Republican presidential candidates attack the POTUS for his decision. I guess its easier to shove a microphone in someone’s face while on camera and have them bark their disapproval than provide the American people with the facts behind the POTUS’s decision.

Jm

October 25th, 2011
10:57 am

Ragnar
Saxby just probably went along with Johnny in return for something else

Maybe these guys think this is the right policy
But if so, they’re way wrong

Bosch

October 25th, 2011
10:57 am

“When are we to expect politicians to change? Never?”

Uh, yeah, that’s about right.

stands for decibels

October 25th, 2011
10:58 am

See David Brooks column for more info if u need it

hmm. Read Bobo Brooks, or jab knitting needles into my eyes? decisions, decisions.

also too this, from fabulous Matt Taibbi.

Brooks was actually saying that he was rooting for the rich against the poor. If he keeps this up, he’s going to make his way into the Guinness Book for having extended his tongue at least a foot and a half farther up the ass of the Times’s Upper East Side readership than any previous pundit in journalistic history…

Only a person who has never actually held a real job could say something like this. There is, of course, a huge difference between working 80 hours a week in a profession that you love and which promises you vast financial rewards, and working 80 hours a week digging ditches for a septic-tank company, or listening to impatient @ssh0les scream at you at some airport ticket counter all day long, or even teaching disinterested, uncontrollable kids in some crappy school district with metal detectors on every door.

Most of the work in this world completely sucks balls and the only reward most people get for their work is just barely enough money to survive, if that. The 95% of people out there who spend all day long shoveling the dogsh#t of life for subsistence wages are basically keeping things running just well enough so that David Brooks, me and the rest of that lucky 5% of mostly college-educated yuppies can live embarrassingly rewarding and interesting lives in which society throws gobs of money at us for pushing ideas around on paper (frequently, not even good ideas) and taking mutual-admiration-society business lunches in London and Paris and Las Vegas with our overpaid peers.

Brooks is right that most of the people in that 5% bracket log heavy hours, but where he’s wrong is in failing to recognize that most of us have enough shame to know that what we do for a living isn’t really working. I pull absolutely insane hours in my current profession, to the point of having almost no social life at all, but I know better than to call what I do for a living work. I was on a demolition crew when I was much younger, the kind of job where you have to wear a dust mask all day long, carry buckets full of concrete, and then spend all night picking fiberglass shards out of your forearms from ripping insulation out of the wall.

If I had to do even five hours of that work today I’d bawl my f##king eyes out for a month straight. I’m not complaining about my current good luck at all, but I would wet myself with shame if I ever heard it said that I work even half as hard as the average diner waitress.

Then again, maybe I’m looking at this from the wrong perspective. Would I rather clean army latrines with my tongue, or would I rather do what Brooks does for a living, working as a professional groveler and flatterer who three times a week has to come up with new ways to elucidate for his rich readers how cosmically just their lifestyles are? If sucking up to upper-crust yabos was my actual job and I had to do it to keep the electricity on in my house, then yes, I might look at that as work.

so in conclusion: Eff David Effing Brooks.

Jm

October 25th, 2011
11:00 am

We need a balanced budget amendment badly…..

deegee

October 25th, 2011
11:01 am

We should have had a “trip wire” in the former South Vietnam? What for? I just bought a pair of pants that were made in Vietnam. I buy seafood that is raised in Vietnam. My brother is working on a natural gas exploration project off the coast of Vietnam. The US would have been the only people at risk of tripping over that “trip wire.”

Do we really need a “trip wire” in South Korea? The Chinese control Asia, and the North Koreans can’t even feed themselves.

I know that career military people like to keep their numbers up, but can’t we be reasonable?

Peadawg

October 25th, 2011
11:02 am

“Uh, yeah, that’s about right.” – Fantastic. That says a lot about you.

And no, I’m not naive. I have no problem calling them out on it when they lie. I don’t give them a pass either and pretend that all is ok.

ITS ALL BUSHS FAULT

October 25th, 2011
11:03 am

When even Karl Rove is a non believer your toast …HAHAHA ….GOP LOSERS……

USinUK

October 25th, 2011
11:04 am

“Brooks is as liberal a conservative as you get
When he says Obama is done,
Obama is done”

really??? when he decrees it, it is so??? like Yul Brenner in The Ten Commandments?

Not quite. this is also the guy who said that Obama wouldn’t win because he didn’t have the “common touch” like McCain???

the phrase “don’t make me laugh” springs to mind.

Stevie Ray

October 25th, 2011
11:04 am

PAUL:

Thanks for the BYU video. I watched it twice. I appreciate his viewpoint which offers a more balanced assessment and acknowledgement that climate science is very complex and the ability to reproduce the past is imperfect at best. I do agree with his conclusions but as previously mentioned, being actuarially minded, the data issue makes my BS meter flare. In any other analysis involving trillions of dollars, comparing algorithmic data to post 1800’s data is not acceptable. Fair to say the climate has warmed and not by completely natural causes…but we certainly don’t know with any credibility if the tip of this iceberg is 10% or 1% of what prior 1800 data suggests. He also mentioned that his god will not protect us regardless of the outcome…strange but true.

From a data analysis POV, check out 2011 article: http://www.climate-skeptic.com/category/warming-forecasts

Paul

October 25th, 2011
11:05 am

deegee

“I know that career military people like to keep their numbers up, but can’t we be reasonable?”

’s why Air Force said before people could be drone pilots, they had to receive a couple million dollars’ training by going thru pilot training, getting certified in a particular aircraft, fly it for a number of years, then get a $100,000 bonus to stay in…. then they could fly drones.

Army and CIA had a different view.

But there is no waste in the DoD budget, don’tcha’ know?

ITS ALL BUSHS FAULT

October 25th, 2011
11:06 am

CAIN , i am against abortion no i mean a woman has the right , no wait ……please stop…

Bosch

October 25th, 2011
11:06 am

“Fantastic. That says a lot about you”

Yes, Pea, it does. It says that I’m not naive enough to think that politicians will change until they are not bought by corporations — a fact of life in which they all are.

I’m not naive enough to be idealistic anymore — you are young, you will learn as you get older.

And good for you calling them out — I’m sure that will change their entire outlook and attitude if some young guy from Athens, GA, who sits in a cubicle all day calls them a liar.

stands for decibels

October 25th, 2011
11:07 am

oh dearies, where are my manners? forgot the linkee:

http://trueslant.com/matttaibbi/2010/04/10/brooks-let-them-eat-work/

And as penance, I’ll include his concluding graf about Saint Bobo of the Imaginary Salad Bars…

David Brooks actually enjoys his chosen profession. In fact, he strikes me as the kind of person who even in his spare time would pay a Leona Helmsley lookalike a thousand dollars to take a s### on his back. And here he is saying that the reason the poor and the middle classes are struggling is because they don’t work hard enough. Is this guy the best, or what? Does it get any better than this?

ITS ALL BUSHS FAULT

October 25th, 2011
11:07 am

Perry, I think anyone who doesnt help illegals get free education is heartless….oops….

Adam

October 25th, 2011
11:08 am

Peadawg: No, not telling the whole truth is not lying. There are almost always degrees of truth, and this is one of those. Much like how the stimulus was not a total success, and in the black-and-white world that means it was a failure, so too does any argument you have that not telling the whole truth = lie. It isn’t that simple. Sure, if you want to say the President tried NOT to keep his promise, but ended up keeping it, and then advertised the keeping of the promise, that’s a legitimate argument to make. However, it is wrong to say that he lied.

Bosch

October 25th, 2011
11:08 am

Gee stands, did Brooks kick that guy’s dog or something?? ;)

ITS ALL BUSHS FAULT

October 25th, 2011
11:09 am

Rommeny , we should never have gone into IRAQ , we should never have withdrawn from IRAQ …..really.. were do you get these guys…….

Peadawg

October 25th, 2011
11:09 am

“I’m sure that will change their entire outlook and attitude if some young guy from Athens, GA, who sits in a cubicle all day calls them a liar.”

Someone has to do it. I don’t expect you, Adam, Jay, or anyone else to do it. Until someone starts speaking out about it, we’ll just keep getting same sh*t over and over. Obama’s no different than any other President before him. The fact that some liberals put him on a pedestal and talk about him like he’s the best thing since sliced bread is sad.

getalife

October 25th, 2011
11:10 am

The mic wanted to stay to keep wasting our money.

The President said no.

He did the same on Afghanistan to end both losing occupations.

We will nation build our country while the gop want it to collapse again.

If you want to lose wars and collapse our economy again vote gop.

If you want to win vote four more years.

Adam

October 25th, 2011
11:10 am

Peadawg: Don’t get me wrong. Aspiring to the truth and towards a more harmonious and “perfect” society is great. But given how few of us actually agree on all the parameters, it is nonsense to insist upon the either-or approach.

I will give you a quote to ponder, but one I don’t personally believe. But it does make you think, if you care to try:

“I never tell the truth because I don’t believe there is such a thing.”

TaxPayer

October 25th, 2011
11:12 am

And for all y’all Republicans out there interested in expanding your horizons beyond right wingnut talking points, try this on for size. Education. It does a body good.

Stevie Ray

October 25th, 2011
11:12 am

JAY:

So is it really surprising that the Democrats say white and the Republicans respond with black. Funny the shoe was on the other foot and back again over history. Bush’s withdraw time was criticized when announced and Obama assumes same timetable and here we are.

Dem’s criticized Bush’s withdraw as too long. He gets “credit” for OBL getting killed on his watch but doesn’t credit the fact that the hunt to get him began long before his term and no way we get him without prior efforts.

Fact is, neither Bush or Obama have any true leadership skills. When Reagan and Clinton were in office, everyone knew who was in charge for better or worse. With Bush, we didn’t really know if he, Cheney, lobbyists or his savior were in charge. With Obama, we don’t really know if he, 8% congress, lobbyists he has his own Rasputin in the closet. Blame congress all he wants but lack of leadership is why Guantanamo remains open, financial reform is stalled, his healthcare bill may be unconstitutional, among other things.

We need to fill leadership void….Obama Carter???

Adam

October 25th, 2011
11:12 am

Peadawg: Someone has to do it. I don’t expect you, Adam, Jay, or anyone else to do it.

We all call out people for telling half truths all day. Things like stimulus = failure, vouchers = end of medicare, manmade vs man-assisted, etc. You seem fixated only on Obama right now, so I guess if you miss all of these other half truths while you have those particular blinders on for the moment, it’s sort of understandable.

Bosch

October 25th, 2011
11:13 am

“Obama’s no different than any other President before him.”

And he’s no different than any other President will be after him. Hopefully he won’t invade Norway or some other country for no damn reason, and he seems to be well liked globally, but in terms of telling half truths, no, your poutrages are in vain.

“The fact that some liberals put him on a pedestal and talk about him like he’s the best thing since sliced bread is sad.”

True. But I’ve never seen any here.

Peadawg

October 25th, 2011
11:13 am

“No, not telling the whole truth is not lying.” – Hhmmmm…..I’m speechless on this one lol. I think most people, parents especially, would disagree.

Paul

October 25th, 2011
11:13 am

Stevie Ray

I think you’re the only person on this blog (besides me) who had a going-in skeptical view who actually watched the whole thing. Not to mention watched it a couple of times.

I’m good with knowing our actions have caused climate changes that will likely have deleterious consequences. I’m not so much concerned with N%or whatever is the most accurate number (I’ve a daughter in law, actuary, advanced degree in statistics so I understand where you’re coming from), it’s enough for me to know we’re doing unhealthy things and need to change.

Like you, I appreciated his “God will not protect us from whatever we do’ viewpoint. I think that’s spot on.

As Dr. Long said in his address, it’s a shame the issue has become so politicized that they can’t just discuss the science of it. Must be mystifying to someone of his standing.

Adam

October 25th, 2011
11:14 am

Stevie: but doesn’t credit the fact that the hunt to get him began long before his term and no way we get him without prior efforts.

“We will finish the job” pretty much qualifies as giving credit to the start of the effort, imo. Not that it says much about the people who started it and couldn’t finish it, but thems the brakes.

Bosch

October 25th, 2011
11:14 am

“I never tell the truth because I don’t believe there is such a thing.”

Adam,

Goes with my philosophy that the only two truths are that one day you were born, and one day you will die. The rest is all perspective.

Gator Joe

October 25th, 2011
11:14 am

Jay:
Romney’s response like that of most Republicans smacks of what can be called “Chickenhawkedness” because he, nor his children, are affected by keeping our troops (our children in uniform) in places where they are in danger and don’t belong. If you didn’t serve, and don’t have children serving, please don’t advocate for keeping someone else, or someone else’s children, in harms way.

TaxPayer

October 25th, 2011
11:15 am

Peadawg,

One of the local churches posted a sign that read, “A half truth is still a lie,” so if you do not post the whole truth in each and every one of your posts… well. Are you absolutely sure that you post the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.

getalife

October 25th, 2011
11:15 am

Why is our President having to work without corrupt congress cons?

Adam

October 25th, 2011
11:16 am

Peadawg: I think most people, parents especially, would disagree.

Parents say that so kids won’t lie and think they haven’t lied on technicalities. And so that their kids will not get the better of them. Moral teachings like that help shape the idea that truth should be told when possible. But even parents would say it’s ok to lie if you would be killed for telling the truth, or in certain other specific circumstances, which opens the idea that maybe it’s not so binary after all.

Peadawg

October 25th, 2011
11:16 am

“manmade vs man-assisted” – I called people out on that one yesterday when we were talking about climate change.

Today, we’re talking about Romney, Obama, and the Iraq withdrawal. I twitch when someone says Obama kept his campaign promise.

USinUK

October 25th, 2011
11:16 am

Peradawg – ““No, not telling the whole truth is not lying.” – Hhmmmm…..I’m speechless on this one lol. I think most people, parents especially, would disagree.”

do you honestly think that ANY President tells the WHOLE TRUTH??

they can’t

they know too much. heck, I’d even say that for Bush – even when they can tell the truth about a situation, they can’t give us all the details because of security.

grow up.

1811/0311

October 25th, 2011
11:17 am

USinUK and Bosch:

“It’s “their” country. Why are we there?”

“for the same reason we SHOULD have been in Rwanda – because innocent men, women and children are being butchered and systematically raped>

Oh, you mean like Sadam did to the Kurds ????

Peadawg

October 25th, 2011
11:18 am

“technicalities” – There’s that funny word again.

” If you didn’t serve, and don’t have children serving, please don’t advocate for keeping someone else, or someone else’s children, in harms way.” – Obama did just that when he tried to keep troops over there. Did you miss that?

Adam

October 25th, 2011
11:18 am

Peadawg: I twitch when someone says Obama kept his campaign promise.

OK, but don’t equate that emotional reaction to the absolute necessity to call it a lie. HONESTY means knowing it wasn’t a lie, and saying as much, and making your argument without labeling it as such. You still can do so, and you’d be right. It’s the fact that you are calling it a lie that derails your argument.