Sunday, January 14, 2007

"Are you guys ready? Let's roll!"

Remember where you last heard those words?
Well, that time has come again.

If you're so inclined, I urge you to sign this petition addressed to your Senators and Congressmen urging No Escalation in Iraq. You will be enabled to add your invidual comments.


  1. Yes! Signed! It should be pointed out that rejecting escalation is the preparatory step toward de-escalation.

  2. Please note your signature and comment is delivered to your representative whether or not you decide to give up your credit card ### and donate an $$$ amount to the effort.

  3. Stop the funding.
    Stop the war.
    What the else good
    Is Congress for?

  4. On the UK front, you'll be happy to note that Blair has virtually halved UK naval assets. Perhaps he's decided to diminish our Royal Navy effectiveness to bolster Bush's ego, i.e., US military can do it alone on the world stage.

    (OK, that was a tongue in cheek comment)

  5. Blair has allowed Bush to get us Americans where George has wanted us all along: alone with our backs against the wall.

  6. Good point, Geta.

    For sometime, the Ramblings of Lexington Parrot Head has been pounding on our naval build-up in the Persian Gulf. There's speculation elsewhere that Bush's tactic is to place expendable U.S. assets in harm's way there, where an Iranian attack can be construed which will justify our geographical escalation. Stephen Hadley's statement in Meet the Press yesterday,

    I think once they get in harm's way, Congress's tradition is to support those troops.

    seems to support what we have been perceiving as Bush's true 'stratergy': in order to scare the American people back in line, charge, full speed ahead. The answer to the inability to end two wars, is to start a third.

  7. BTW, speaking of Meet the Press yesterday, Russert had four senators on yesterday discussing the Bush's surge & splurge. Chuck Hagel was on with three 'stumps'; he only was able to speak twice, but he cut them off at the knees - a spectacular performance.

  8. I missed Meet the Press "live" yesterday morning, but I just finished watching the whole show on the Internet. What a wonderful tool.

    vigilante, while Hagel was well spoken, I assume you felt Lieberman's comments were of little or no value (or, perhaps even "negative" value).

    But what does happen, in your opinion (and the opinions of the other regulars here) if we leave quickly?

    What is the cost? In human lives? In sectarian violence? In the balance of political power in the middle east?

    Does Iran effectively control the bulk of Iraq? Does Turkey invade (as it is now threatening) the Kurdish portion of Iraq and perhaps annex it?

    Do the world stand by and allow the potential civil war to escalate into ethnic cleansing?

    President Clinton organized NATO to intervene to stop ethnic cleansing in Bosnia.

    Who, if anyone (not including the United States), should assist or do we allow them to "sort it all out for themselves?"

    the Wizard.....

  9. Hmmm...The answer to the inability to end two wars, is to start a third.

    POTUS is about to stage the world’s bloodiest circus in the world’s largest coloseum: Iraq (and possibly extending it to Iran) with on one side the Gladiators (Iraqis) and on the other side Bush’s Centurions under Petraeus.

    "We who are about to die salute you! Avé Dubya!"

  10. Hi Vigilate

    Got you message about sending you a Cook- sadly whilst he took high moral standards over the war, his personal life was a bit of a shambles Gaynor was his mistress for a number of years, and he dumped his wife of thirty years at the VIP lounge of Heathrow airport as they were about to go on holiday, when Blairs press meister Alistair Campbell phoned him and said he was about to be exposed in the Sunday Papers, he simply told his wife their marriage was over and left. I always had the impression he was a bombastic arrogant little twerp- were he still living I would have sent you Cooky with pleasure along with the Beckhams.
    Good night on TV tonight here ,the trial of Tony Blair on War Crime charges.

  11. Okay Wizard: let's look into that abyss.

    Let's just accept Lil'Bill's invitation to peer into the main hypothetical that apparently freezes the USA in its tracks: abyss of Iraqi civil war. I offer readers the words of Caleb Carr and Edward N. Luttwak.

    First, Carr:

    ". . . the real issue of importance for Americans with regard to any impending Iraqi civil war is: Are we morally justified in trying to prevent it?

    . . . . every time an American official tries to tell the Shiites and the Kurds (along with the many smaller minorities in Iraq) that they are not entitled to the same judgments and justice as we ourselves received and wrought from 1861 to 1865, they make civil war in that country more -- not less -- likely. Such statements reveal the blatantly paternalistic, even racist, opinion that what was necessary in the American experience is not something for which the Iraqis are ready or qualified.

    . . . . If the Iraqis wish to try it on their own, better that we allow them to use a mixture of their own militias and conventional forces -- the kind of combination that fought our Civil War.

    And now Luttwak:

    "Iraq's civil war is no different from the British, Swiss or American internal wars. It too should be allowed to bring peace."

    Thinking thusly, outside the box, I conclude the last thing we should be doing is destroying the Mahdi army. It has a semblance of a disciplined fighting unit that doesn't need our training or expertise. We are perfectly willing to help the militias re-take Somalia; why not just get out of the way of the militias in Iraq?

    And don't give me that hypothetical stuff about al Qaeda taking over in Mesopotamia: al Qaeda was drawn into Iraq by our presence and will be forced out by the Iraqi Sunni's when they no longer have a role to play as anti-American 'insurgents'.

    What do people think?

  12. I never would have suspected Guthrum of harboring such bourgeoise sensitivities.

  13. Forgive me! I feel the need to RANT! (E has inspired me!)

    This is to Blogging-for-Food: We need Congressional Leaders who are willing to speak truth to power (like Howard Dean did so consistently and eloquently in his 2004 attempt to win the Democratic nomination to run against "W"). Recently, Joe Biden stepped up to the plate and correctly pointed out that Bush is attempting to skate through until 01-20-09 when he can dump the Iraq mess/quagmire into the lap of his successor. Speaking the truth OUT LOUD was a welcome first step toward refusing to allow the Republicans to define the Democrats. But it was insufficiently fleshed out, and, sadly, publicly unsupported by other Democrats. Too often, Republicans speak with one (shrill) voice and the gullible public and sycophantic media meekly parrot the drivel Republicans spew forth. Democrats refuse to speak with one voice, choosing instead to delight in each lttle "nuanced difference" between their own position and that of their colleague. They seem to delight in "making nice", obfuscating, and pussyfooting. Thus, the many painful and/or disagreeable truths that Americans need to be told and helped to face, and to work through, remain unsaid. Sadly, it seems that the majority of Congressional members care only about keeping their jobs (and their generous healthcare and retirement benefits) instead of attending to the People's business with care, honesty, and thoughtfulness. As Rosa Brooks said in her 1/12/07 Op-ed piece in the LA Times, "The Democrats need to break out of the script the White House has written for them...They need to emphasize that withdrawal from Iraq isn't about "defeat" - it's about shifting our troops, our money and our energy to the real challenges that the Bush administration is ignoring or exacerbating."

  14. Signed. Thanks.

    "Iraq has become another Vietnam.

    We are sending troops off to die for a pipe dream. The reconstruction of Iraq has been terribly mismanaged, at great cost to the American taxpayer.

    It is well beyond time to leave.

    Throwing more troops at the problem is a frantic last ditch measure meant to protract the conflict until the President's 2nd term is over.

    I urge you to support legislation that blocks the President's escalation."

  15. Signed and forwarded.

    Bush's war will eventually draw in the entire region, and global conflict is almost certain. The opportunities to plunder and loot, figuratively and literally, are simply overwhelming. Old scores will be settled and territory and assets will be seized. Retaliation will be in order! Bush will burn us all by the time his crusade ends. If you listen carefully you will hear the hoofbeats of the Four Horsemen! In pace requiescat....

  16. Too often, Republicans speak with one (shrill) voice and the gullible public and sycophantic media meekly parrot the drivel Republicans spew forth. Democrats refuse to speak with one voice, choosing instead to delight in each lttle "nuanced difference" between their own position and that of their colleague.

    I like the nuance. I don't want them all to merge into one giant blob voice. The next time I hear the phrase "rubber stamp," I'm going to throw up.

    The focus should be on why the Republicans can't come together to oppose the war, as Frank Rich pointed out back in November:

    But most of all, disengagement from Iraq is the patriotic thing to do. Diverting as “divided Democrats” has been, it’s escapist entertainment. The Washington story that will matter most going forward is the fate of the divided Republicans. Only if they heroically come together can the country be saved from a president who, for all his professed pipe dreams about democracy in the Middle East, refuses to surrender to democracy’s verdict at home.

  17. Excellent point, M.D.! I wish I had read this in the morning when I was clashing with the unthinking and the undecideds. This kind of thinking is true with all Americans looking for an alibi to cop out on, to excuse themselves for taking individual responsibility. This is also related to the politics-as-a-spectator-sport syndrome.

    This politics is not a game between two teams with Americans sitting on the sidelines, discussing which political party is scoring more points. Speaking for myself - I tried to make this point on Wizard's site - I don't care who leads us out of the wilderness of Iraquagmire. I will follow Murtha, Kennedy, or Hagel.

    What I have no patience for, are the Kool-Aide addicts who think Bush and Cheney are reasonable men, reasonable leaders, with reasonable plans. These people are stumped. And I don't care what party these stumps belong to.

    But every damned day, I feel obliged to reach out to them. Every damn day.

  18. I heard on the BBC radio this weekend a comment by an American lady to the effect " We need to send in more troops and drop more bombs, only then can we scare them into submission" What an appalling remark at all levels:

    The use of force will not help, it has not helped in Iraq, it did not help in Vietnam so history tells us it is wrong. The whole history of colonialism (including the USA) tells us that force by an external power cannot last and has no legitimacy.

    Do we need their "submission"? Cannot we coexist peacefully together? Can there be real peace when someone has to "submit" to another?

    Does this US lady, coming from the nation I thought was THE great democracy and proponent of freedom, really want to "scare" another nation into submission. Does the use of the word scare not reveal that it is she who is scared? What does this say about US society and their current values.

    The USA is seen as an evangelical Christian nation and it is surprising to hear a US citizen voicing the idea that more killing is the way forward. It is equally hard to see how the US government can endorse this idea by sending more soldiers into the conflict area.

    And now, as if Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia aren't enough, the US provokes in the Gulf region.

    How would the US feel and what would the US do if two huge carriers were sent into the Gulf of Mexico by an enemy?

  19. That "evangelical Christian nation" thing is the root cause of a lot of our current problems Hillbloggers. The Bush gang took religion to the extreme and used it like a cudgel on their fellow "Christians." Were it not for the Bible Bangers, the extremists, Bush would not have been re-elected. I find organized religion to truly be the "opiate of the masses." Sadly, the fanatic fringe carries that one step further into the "amphetamine of the masses."

  20. So, Hillsblogger, are you predicting a nothe Bay of Tonkin incident?

  21. Now that the debate on Bush's Invasion and occupation of Iraq has finally been opened in Congress and the MSM, there is a little irrational and premature exuberation afoot. We are entering a tense moment in American politics. Even if things go perfectly - Bush and his policies are thoroughly discredited and he is hounded from office - which is unlikely - there is a downside.

    This relates to the pre-fascist residues from having had two nationally-polarizing debates over foreign wars in Vietnam and Iraq.

    Dolchstoßlegende or Dolchstosslegende, (German "dagger-thrust legend", often translated in English as "stab-in-the-back legend") refers to a social mythos and persecution-propaganda and belief among bitter post-World War I German nationalists, that lay blame for the loss of the war upon non-Germans and non-nationalists.

    Many Germans who supported, fought in, or had otherwise known people lost in the enormously costly war, believed the causes for the German/Austrian involvement in the war were justified. They had hoped it would bring a restoration of past glory and a unified German nation-state. Instead, the war caused the deaths of 1,770,000 German soldiers and 760,000 German civilians, devastated the economy, and brought losses in both territory and national sovereignty.

    In the succeeding Weimar Republic, There was a considerable amount of political tension prior to the rise of Nazism, especially due to the The imagery of a "stab in the back", and the common perception amongst political conservatives that politically hostile homefronts defeat otherwise winnable wars, the stab in the back legend is a common legend in a number of modern societies.

    In particular, the stab in the back legend is often used by conservatives to explain the defeat of the United States in the Vietnam war. In the context of the US involvement in the Vietnam War the stab in the back legend is part of the Vietnam Syndrome complex. For example, in swiftboating ranks, the Democrats are still referred to as 'POT', or the 'party of treason'.

    So all I am saying is, let's get Bush, if we can. But if we do, we'll still have to contend with the Weimarian Republicans.

  22. Thanks to Recidivist, M.D., and Mad Mike for signing the petition!

    I've been thinking that an issue which emerged in this discussion could do with more sunlight cast upon it, and anticipate posting tomorrow.

  23. Indicted Plagiarist I enjoyed your history, and particularly your comparison to "der dolschtuss" or the "stab in the back." It is true that the conservatives, a sad bunch all, still consider themselves "victims" of this phenomenon. I think they need to get over it. In this case history has NOT repeated itself.

  24. Vice President Dick Cheney is again making the talk-show rounds in defense of President Bush's latest blunder in Iraq. He ponders whether Americans and Congress have "the stomach" to see a few thousand more U.S. soldiers die in Iraq for this pathetic misadventure of a war. One must admire the boldness of a man who has never been a soldier but has the right amount of intestinal fortitude so that he can fearlessly watch as others die to perpetuate his own and Bush's mistakes and miscalculations from the safety of his famous undisclosed location. He challenges his adversaries to come up with a better solution. If he had bothered to read the Iraq Study Group's suggestions or those of his generals, he would already have one.

  25. I'm going with what Jim Miklaszewski reported a couple of weeks ago:

    administration official admitted to us today that this surge option is more of a political decision than a military one because the American people have run out of patience and President Bush is running out of time to achieve some kind of success in Iraq.

  26. More than 150,000 coalition soldiers (87 percent American) now occupy Iraq -- about six soldiers for every 1,000 Iraqis. That is a very low ratio by historic standards. Occupation forces facing concerted resistance often require about 20 troops per thousand, so if insurgency in Iraq continues to intensify, suppressing it eventually may require 300,000 troops or more.

  27. I continue to read about efforts to give the Republicans advice regarding what they should have learned as a result of the election. The only message the Republicans got from the election is that the American people are wrong. If they believed in the people, then we wouldn't be subjected to an escalation of the war. The current Republican leadership is not interested in anything the American people say, think or believe, and that includes anyone in their party who dares to speak out. The only way we as a people will have any relief from their oppressive actions is to continue to vote the GOP out.

  28. Historical note:

    In 1970, during the Vietnam war, an amendment to the military procurement authorization act introduced by Republican Mark Hatfield and Democrat George McGovern proposed that, unless President Nixon sought and won a declaration of war from Congress, no money could be spent after the end of the year “for any purposes other than to pay costs relating to the withdrawal of all United States forces.” Of course, withdrawing forces is not cutting funding for them (in fact, it might have turned out to be more expensive in the short term), and Hatfield-McGovern never got more than 42 votes in the Senate–even though, in its second go-round in 1971, 73 percent of the public supported it.

    The first time the Senate actually voted to suspend funding for American military activities in Vietnam was in the summer of 1973, two months after the last American combat brigades left, by the terms of a peace treaty Nixon negotiated. That amendment passed by a veto-proof majority–encompassing Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals–of 64 to 26.