“Iraq is Lost” and Democratic Courage

Folks, this is courage as the Democrat Leadership understands it.  The courage to stand proudly in public, weeks before the majority of the “Surge” will even be in full swing, and admit to the world that you would rather fail than actually be bothered to try.

This is an unmitigated disgrace.  Harry “yes I nuked them” Truman and John F. “we will pay any price, bear any burden, for liberty” Kennedy have got to be rolling in their grave.

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  1. Mike

     /  April 20, 2007

    Yeah, this is pretty spineless. But not surprising, after all they have to posture for the fringe much more than the conservatives do (in my opinion anyway).

    Nice choices on Old-school Dems. It is funny, but have you ever noticed how selective the currect Democrats are on “remembering” these two? Truman is hardly ever mentioned anymore by anyone in the Democratic party. When I bring him up as a type of Democrat I would vote for, I notice I get some uncomfortable silences from the current “progressive” crowd. Were I a betting man, I would say it is because his party has changed so much and also the fact that he stood up to (gasp) Communisim, which of course is terrible. JFK “an Armed Force to fight 3 Wars” is also something that the current crew hates to even think about.

    Of course if the Democratic party actually produced leaders like this maybe they wouldn’t be having such a time now.

  2. Alex

     /  April 20, 2007

    This is all current politics as usual. Just as current democrats forget old-school “conservative” democrats – current republicans forget old-school liberal republicans. The party of Lincoln indeed. Problem is now the Repubs are in the clutches of the bull-headed neo-confascists and the Democrackheads are under the control of “peace at all cost, man” types who don’t understand the real world at all. If roles were reversed right now – say Democrats having started the war and Republicans being in the minority, you would hear the senior Republican senator making the same charges.

    Both parties are too busy posturing for their fringes to develop true leaders, or even politicians that when called upon, will do the right thing rather than the re-electable thing.

  3. Mike

     /  April 20, 2007

    I dunno. I don’t think the Republicans would be so down on a war even if the Democrats started it. They didn’t want to pull out of Somilia in 1993. They would be against an open-ended peacekeeping mission run by the UN though (given how long, inept and worthless these things usually end up being I can’t disagree. A NATO mission though seems to work better).

  4. I agree with Alex on this one. Remember the scorn the Repubs levied at the concept of “nation building” when it came from Clinton’s mouth (Kosovo)? Such scorn is no-where present now that they’re trying the same thing with Iraq. The only explanation I can find for the 180 from statements like “nation-building is an oxymoron” to statements like “we must and will succeed” is that it’s now Repubs in the Oval Office.

  5. ALTHOUGH…. that’s not quite so much a party issue as it is a deep and serious realists-vs-Wilsonians crack within foreign policy circles. Remember the Powell Doctrine? Seems so quaint nowadays…

    “Neocons” exists as a term for a reason… all the liberals who flouted party orthodoxy in order to hold onto Wilsonian interventionist ideals.

  6. Mike

     /  April 20, 2007

    Well, I was going more for the “Nation-building” versus “Warfighting” in my example. I would argue that Iraq was a danger that needed to be removed (given what we knew at the time) versus Bosnia or Kosovo which were a “who cares” senario.

    Having said that, I realize that sounds pretty callious. But by putting in UN troops, it usually ends with an open ended commitment that is sloppily run by the UN and after 30 years nothing gets done (7 years to agree on trial rules for KR war crimes suspects?).

    And simply put, the UN didn’t move in until after the shooting stopped. Same as in Bosnia, same as in Rwanda (well they had men there, but wouldn’t let them do anything). We (the US) tend to move in and try to STOP the shooting, which no one was even trying to do in Iraq, Somolia or Kosovo. The Democrats now seem to be the “we can negotiate a peace if we can just find someone to talk too”, and don’t get that sometimes you need to cap a couple of people to get your point across and then talk. Republicans are the swing, they tend to be more of the “forget the talk” and start shooting first. That is an age-old problem which will flip given time.

    Bush never told us when we were going to leave Iraq. Clinton said “One Year” for Bosnia. Try 10.

  7. I think my problem with the Iraq albatross is simply that we went in there with false “political will”, lied to do it, and then played stupid “hold the line” for 2 years.

    Personally I don’t think Iraq was or will be “quickly winnable” in the way we occupied Japan.

    First off, stop with the Haliburton, the billions-dollar embassy, and the class distinction. Use those billions to emply farmers, ranchers, build industry (oil, and otherwise) and employ every single capable man. Second, start exporting fruits, veggies, oil and anything else onto the market.

    You can’t win in the tribal system – but you can make bread-winners and build industry from families.

    If people start living, they’ll stop fighting.

  8. I agree with the “nation-building” vs. “warfighting” distinction. Saddam did have to go, and probably should have been removed sooner; it’s specifically the mind-set transition that this then implies a Kosovo-esque commitment afterwards that I find weird. Let them figure out whatever the heck they want to do, and if they get too far out of line, then let the regional powers sort it out. And if they can’t or wont, if our interests are affected, then we remove the next stooge too. But, just as with what the Repubs claimed in Kosovo, pumping a bazillion dollars into the coffers of corrupt locals simply doesn’t work. Not to turn it into a debate on the main issue so much, but on the more focussed question: why have the Repubs suddenly dropped this stance in favor of “we can rebuild them better, stronger, faster — we have the technology”?

  9. Mike

     /  April 20, 2007

    Because they think they can get the Dems onboard by using their own retoric?

  10. Alex

     /  April 20, 2007

    I’m voting for rank incompetence and ineptitude. Things being implemented now should have been in place 3 years ago.

  11. Bremer definitely has some things to answer for, I’d agree. But I don’t think incompetence is quite right: were the Dems still playing by a “politics stops at the water’s edge” rulebook, as opposed to “The Democratic Party has its own foreign policy,” we’d be in MUCH better shape.

    Oddly enough, one of the ways for us to succeed in Iraq might be to let the Dems take over, so at least they’d be the guys in power and not therefore constantly trying to sabotage their own operations.


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