November 15, 2006
Won't Say "We Told You So," But...
Long, long ago (I mean last Saturday), we posted the speech that we hoped -- and thought -- President Bush would be making some time in December or January. The essence was this (this is supposed to be Bush speaking):
I always said that when it came to waging wars, I would always listen first to the professionals who actually have the responsibility for victory. After having consulted extensively with the commanders on the ground, and with both the new leaders in Congress and also those of my own party, I have concluded that I was wrong, and the critics were right. We sent enough troops to overthrow Saddam Hussein and win the war. But after major combat operations ended, I did not leave enough troops in Iraq to secure the peace.
So tonight I am announcing that I have decided to send an additional 75,000 troops to Iraq. The command staff shall submit a report as soon as possible detailing exactly how many more personnel of each service we need and where we need them.
Specifically, we pointed to three major goals that we simply had to achieve in order to win in Iraq:
- "Secure Iraq's borders with both Iran and Syria;"
- "Secure the Iraq frontier, primarily in the province of Anbar;"
- "Secure the capital city of Baghdad, where more than 20% of the entire population of Iraq lives."
The consensus around the blogosphere (both hemispheres) was that the Democrats -- many of whom ran on a Murtha-esque "yank 'em out now" or Sen. Carl Levin's (D-MI, 100%) "Murtha Lite" -- had thereby painted themselves into a hole: they would have to push for some species of withdrawal, whether it was total or just a draw-down. (To remind you, Levin is the senator whose spectacles are superglued to the bulb of his proboscis.)
But now, a whole new paradigm has burst forth, like whoever it was from the other fellow's brow; and it's being argued by none other than the New York Times, epitome of left-wingwallowing, with a headline that gives away the plot twist... Get Out Now? Not So Fast, Experts Say:
One of the most resonant arguments in the debate over Iraq holds that the United States can move forward by pulling its troops back, as part of a phased withdrawal. If American troops begin to leave and the remaining forces assume a more limited role, the argument holds, it will galvanize the Iraqi government to assume more responsibility for securing and rebuilding Iraq....
But this argument is being challenged by a number of military officers, experts and former generals, including some who have been among the most vehement critics of the Bush administration’s Iraq policies.
If this sounds familiar, it's because you read it here first (or at least "earlier"). For example, Big Lizards:
Certainly there is no consensus of the American people to give up, to surrender, to withdraw and leave Iraq to be dismembered by Iran and Syria. Americans aren't Spaniards.
Rather, Democrats were elected on a considerably more nuanced platform: they promised only a "change of course" in Iraq, mostly because they couldn't agree among themselves: John Murtha never convinced Anthony Zinni, and Eric Shinseki never persuaded Harry Reid.
The New York Times:
Anthony C. Zinni, the former head of the United States Central Command and one of the retired generals who called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, argued that any substantial reduction of American forces over the next several months would be more likely to accelerate the slide to civil war than stop it....
Instead of taking troops out, General Zinni said, it would make more sense to consider deploying additional American forces over the next six months to “regain momentum” as part of a broader effort to stabilize Iraq that would create more jobs, foster political reconciliation and develop more effective Iraqi security forces.
I would hate to think that the Times was taking its cue from Big Lizards for the proper response to win the Iraq war! If so, then why can't I get above 2,000 visitors a day "circulation?" (Of course, all the drive-by media may be headed down where Big Lizards is; maybe we'll pass them on the way up?)
John Batiste, another one of the "anti-Rumsfeldians," has chimed in supporting the Zinni proposal:
“The point of the proposal is to force the Iraqis to take hold of the situation politically,” Mr. [Carl] Levin said.
But some current and retired military officers say the situation in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq is too precarious to start thinning out the number of American troops. In addition, they worry that some Shiite leaders would see the reduction of American troops as an opportunity to unleash their militias against the Sunnis and engage in wholesale ethnic cleansing to consolidate their control of the capital [Baghdad].
John Batiste, a retired Army major general who also joined in the call for Mr. Rumsfeld’s resignation, described the Congressional proposals for troop withdrawals as “terribly naïve.”
“There are lots of things that have to happen to set them up for success,” General Batiste, who commanded a division in Iraq, said in an interview, describing the Iraqi government. “Until they happen, it does not matter what we tell Maliki....”
Indeed, General Batiste has recently written that pending the training of an effective Iraqi force, it may be necessary to deploy tens of thousands of additional “coalition troops.” General Batiste said he hoped that Arab and other foreign nations could be encouraged to send troops. [Fat chance, unless by "Arab and other foreign nationals," he means Syria and Iran -- who would be overjoyed to send armies into Iraq!]
And what exactly should be the goals of these new American forces? Rather, "Coalition" forces... assuming there are any countries left in the West besides us who can actually fight. The Times answers that question:
- Reduce Iraqi unemployment;
- Secure Iraq's borders with both Iran and Syria;
- "Enlist more cooperation" from tribal sheikhs -- in the Iraq frontier, primarily in the province of Anbar;
- Weaken or crush the militias -- which primarily plague "the capital," i.e., Baghdad.
Finally, Kenneth M. Pollack, a Brookings Institution guy, argues that pulling out now will make a bona-fide civil war inevitable; as Wikipedia puts it, "the Brookings Institution is a center-left think tank, based in Washington, D.C.... currently headed by Strobe Talbott."
This is precisely the fig leaf the Democrats can use, if they choose, to turn on a dime and give a nickle change. Especially if the Iraq Study Group (the Jim Baker commission) recommends a troop increase, as I suspect they will, instead of a pull-out: then the momentum for sending in a bunch of troops to secure borders, borderlands, and Baghdad will become irresistable.
At least, let's keep our fingers crossed: not only will it make the war infinitely more winnable than if we were to pull out prematurely (like Onan did) -- which is the most important consideration -- but secondarily, it will enrage the nutroots and cause them to go all-out to force a Kossack wack-job on the party as the 2008 presidential nominee. I don't know if they'll succeed... but I like the idea of la bataille royale within the Democratic Party for the next two years!
One more thing; take a look at the last line from our previous post:
By the way... if I'm right, and the Democrats are willing to go for a change in this direction instead of insisting on that direction, then I predict they will also go ahead and confirm Robert Gates as SecDef.
And compare to Sen. Harry Reid's (D-Caesar's Palace, 100%) "top priority" that we quoted from an AP story yesterday:
[110th Congress Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid told The Associated Press that a top priority for the remainder of the lame-duck session will be confirming Robert Gates as defense secretary, succeeding Donald H. Rumsfeld. "The sooner we can move it forward the sooner we can get rid of Rumsfeld," he said.
The Democrats might surprise me and prove more stubborn and mulish in their demand for an American defeat than I imagined. But on the other hand, don't be too surprised if next month, or else at the beginning of the new year, you hear Bush give a (better written) version of the speech from our ancient post of four days ago.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, November 15, 2006, at the time of 4:42 AM
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» When Politics Trumps The Truth from Joust The Facts
The NY Times, now that their dissembling and deceit has been successful, gently lets the cat out of the bag in a story this morning. Should we be leaving Iraq, either abruptly or on a planned timetable? Not so fast, [Read More]
Tracked on November 15, 2006 12:37 PM
» That Was Then; This Is Now from Big Lizards
The headline says it all: Democrats Reject Key 9/11 Panel Suggestion Specifically, one of the most important findings of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (a.k.a., the 9-11 Commission), from chapter 13 of the final rep... [Read More]
Tracked on December 1, 2006 4:55 AM
The following hissed in response by: Robert Schwartz
NYTimes says: Get Out Now? Not So Fast, Experts Say:
Excuse me while I roll on the floor contorted with laughter. Now they tell us this. They knew it a month ago. Why didn't they tell us then [no question mark, it is a rhetorical question only].
The following hissed in response by: Big D
Ha ha ha!
I heard Levin (the idiot) on the radio the other day, saying that he was very interested to hear what the generals would say now that the election as over. I found the comment beyond insulting - suggesting that the generals were lying at the behest of the White House.
Surprise surprise, the generals are saying exactly the same thing after the election, but it is the Democrats that are changing their tune. maybe we need some investigations?
The Democrats never had a plan. They promised all things in Iraq to all people in order to win an election. How many times have we seen Democrats wishful thinking collide hard with reality?
You think the Kossacks are going to go ape? How about the Jihadis, that were pinning their hopes on the Democrats heading for the exists?
I can't help but note that the Iraq survey group started their work long before the election, at the behest of Bush. But Bush, he's inflexible you see.
Democrats sputter on, but there are small signs of them growing up a bit. Just in time.
Wait till the next election. You'll top 2k per day easy.
The following hissed in response by: Terrye
I linked to this on a couple of blogs. I think Dafydd should be getting lots more traffic, he is very smart.
I wondered if something like this would happen, but I did not think the Democrats would be so brazen. Today they are slapping Abizaid around. What a bunch of phonies.
The above hissed in response by: Terrye at November 15, 2006 11:25 AM
The following hissed in response by: Cousin Dave
More troops? Whether it's a good idea or not is, in the final analysis, immaterial. Why? Because the Dems will never fund it. That would mean cutting Medicaid, don't you see? Majority-Leader-To-Be-Crowned John Murtha is already making noises about how the DoD budget needs to be raided to pay for more social spending.
The following hissed in response by: Dede
Please tell me this is only a nightmare! Times do not allow for any mistakes in the middle east. This election could spell doom for us and the non Muslum world. Be careful and thoughful Democrats, our lives may depend on you!
The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith
Excellent work, Dafydd. I hope you're right, and you just may be. Excerpted and linked.
The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith at November 15, 2006 10:27 PM
The following hissed in response by: jp phish
We are seeing scene two of a play written months ago:
- Scene one ~ Rummy Gate
- Scene two ~ Murtha Eaten By Retired Generals
- scene three ~ Pelosi falls for General
- scene four - Enter Baker
- scene five ~ Pelosi falls for Baker
- scene six - General and Baker decline proposal from Pelosi
- scene seven ~ Baker falls for General
- scene eight - Baker's Plan Revealed
- scene nine ~ General falls for Baker
- scene eight ~ Baker, Super Hero
The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith
The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith at November 15, 2006 11:26 PM
The following hissed in response by: Big D
jp phish ,
Dude, I have no idea what that post was, except funny.
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