Balkinization  

Monday, July 09, 2007

Handy Guide to Possible Iraq-Related Legislation

Marty Lederman

Spencer Ackerman has published this incredibly helpful post summarizing the various expected legislative initiatives on the Iraq War. I only hope that Spencer keeps it updated and provides links to the bills when they are introduced (hint, hint).

One minor possible tweak:

Spencer writes of Senator Clinton's bill that would revoke the 2002 congressional authorization for the Iraq invasion that "President Bush would then -- presumably -- feel pressure to return to a hostile Congress to seek authority for the war if he wants to keep troops in Iraq through the remainder of his term in office."

Of course that depends on precisely how the Clinton bill were to be drafted. But if it's merely a revocation of the 2002 Iraq AUMF, I highly doubt the President would be inclined to seek further authorization. He would, instead, claim (i) that he has constitutional authority to retain the troops in Iraq; and (ii) that, in any event, taht in continuing to appropriate funds for the war, Congress has implicitly continued to authorize the troops' deployment, just as the Clinton-era DOJ argued with respect to the hostilites in Kosovo.

Comments:

Mrs. Clinton sure does have a lot of baggage on her way to Iowa and New Hampshire . . .
 

not as much as mitt, rudy or fred.

if she gets the demo nomination, she's our next president.

anyone who gets the next demo nomination will be the next president. even a BLACK man. who saw that coming.

barack really did come out of nowhere.
 

Charles said...
Mrs. Clinton sure does have a lot of baggage on her way to Iowa and New Hampshire . . .

1:52 PM


Not nearly as much baggage as the idiots who continue to defend this war.
 

in fact, he'd be and is posing as A Real Feel Good Story for a nation that is looking for one.

personally, i prefer Edwards, but i am ready to be impressed by obama.

he's running a smart campaign.
 

At least none of "war defenders" were married to the former President who established the legal precedents Bush will use on everything from the war to "signing statements". Again, good luck with that.
 

Whoa, are you saying Nancy Reagan isn't a war defender?
 

At least none of "war defenders" were married to the former President who established the legal precedents Bush will use on everything from the war to "signing statements". Again, good luck with that.

# posted by Charles : 2:11 PM


It wouldn't matter if she was married to Bin Laden. Iraq will dominate the election.
 

No, PMS, I'm saying that Hillary's married to Bill who (check out the thread topic) set the legal precedent on running the war without Congressional approval.

Bartbuster:

Do you also think "Iraq dominate[d] the last election"? All I recall hearing about was Jack Abramof and Mark Foley.
 

Do you also think "Iraq dominate[d] the last election"? All I recall hearing about was Jack Abramof and Mark Foley.

# posted by Charles : 2:29 PM


If you weren't hearing anything about the war, it was only because you had your fingers jammed into you ears.

It definitely dominated the last election. The next one will be even worse.
 

No, PMS, I'm saying that Hillary's married to Bill who (check out the thread topic) set the legal precedent on running the war without Congressional approval.

Actually, I think that was Harry S Truman in Korea. :-)
 

When, not if, Mrs. Clinton gets the Dem nomination, I will put a C-note on whoever the GOP nominates.

I have never seen a nomination front runner with nearly the negatives of Clinton. Almost half of all voters in multiple polls say they would never vote for her. If there is any Dem who could get the grumpy GOP voters out, it is Clinton.

If she tacks to the center, she loses the left. If she tacks left, someone like Giuliani will sit in the middle and end up with a landslide.
 

If she tacks to the center, she loses the left. If she tacks left, someone like Giuliani will sit in the middle and end up with a landslide.

3:39 PM


Yes, we all saw how Giuliani dominated the race for the NY senate seat against Hillary... Oh, wait...

If there are 140,000 troops in Iraq in 2008, the Dems win in a landslide. Period.
 

Can anyone ever remember another time in history where one of the political parties in the United States actively and publicly plotted compel our troops to surrender in a war?

Was it this blatant during Vietnam?
 

Bartbuster said...

If there are 140,000 troops in Iraq in 2008, the Dems win in a landslide. Period.

Do you recall a couple chaps by the names of McClellan and McGovern?

Do you ever recall a Presidential candidate winning an election by calling for surrender in a war?
 

Do you ever recall a Presidential candidate winning an election by calling for surrender in a war?

# posted by Bart DePalma : 3:53 PM


No one is going to call for surrender. The Dems are going to call for getting out. If the Republicans don't force Bush to get out before 2008, which appears to be close to happening, the Dems will win in a landslide.
 

Do you also think "Iraq dominate[d] the last election"? All I recall hearing about was Jack Abramof and Mark Foley.

It's people like Charles who are working to ensure a Democratic victory in 2008. The Republicans could clean up their act and be competitive, but instead they persist in believing that 2006 was just some kind of fluke. More power to Charles, I say.
 

McClellan called for retreat and defeat in the Civil War as did McGovern during Vietnam.

While it does look like retreat and defeat is a recipe for electoral landslides, the landslide usually buries the retreat and defeat candidate.
 

While it does look like retreat and defeat is a recipe for electoral landslides, the landslide usually buries the retreat and defeat candidate.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 4:29 PM


Bart, I have no doubt that if Dumbya starts the retreat in a desperate attempt to salvage the 2008 elections, you will be the loudest advocate of that decision.

If he doesn't start the retreat, the Dems win in a landslide.
 

Actually, there probably isn't anything that Dumbya can do now to save 2008. Iraq is a disaster, and there is no good way out.
 

Bart,

Yes, and you were the one who was so sure the Republicans would win the Congressional elections in 2006.
 

Eisenhower ran and won on getting the troops out of Korea. And even Nixon claimed he had a secret plan for peace in Vietnam.
 

jslater:

Neither Eisenhower or Nixon ran on surrendering Korea or Vietnam to the enemy. Eisenhower ran as a general who won wars and Nixon ran as an anti communist. Thus, the implication was that these men would force the enemy to the peace table to negotiate a peace which would preserve South Korea and South Vietnam. Eisenhower succeeded in this while Nixon failed.
 

Bart:

Please cite which leading Democrats are calling for surrendern. How would you reconcile the calls for "surrender" from Democrats with, say, Hagel's recent comments and advocacy for withdrawal?
 

Bartbuster said...

Bart, I have no doubt that if Dumbya starts the retreat in a desperate attempt to salvage the 2008 elections, you will be the loudest advocate of that decision.

If you have not been keeping track, the surge is working militarily. The US has largely pacified the so called Sunni Triangle in Anbar province and is doing the same thing in Baghdad and Diyala provinces. al Qaeda is getting its ass kicked with Iraqi Sunni help and the Shia militias have backed off the retaliatory sectarian killings.

There is no sign of the so called "civil war" between Iraqis which the Dems keep whining about. al Qaeda is mostly foreign and it is doing the vast majority of the killing.

I fully expect us to start pulling some troops out by Spring 2008 because we will have finished clearing most of the Sunni areas of Iraq where al Qaeda was based and handed much of it over to the Iraqis as we have done in the Sunni Triangle.

However, here is the dirty little secret the Dems will not tell their anti military base - the US is going to have a sizeable military presence in Iraq for the foreseeable future as we did in Korea no matter who is in the White House. There is simply no way to fight al Qaeda from long distance as Murtha and those strategic know nothings on the NYT editorial page argue. Only the most brain dead Dem would completely pull out and allow al Qaeda to operate out of Iraq the way they did from Afghanistan in the 90s.
 

Mike said...

Bart: Please cite which leading Democrats are calling for surrendern.

Nearly all of them, except for the redoubtable Joe Lieberman and Hillary every other day depending on who she is lying, er... speaking to on that day.

How would you reconcile the calls for "surrender" from Democrats with, say, Hagel's recent comments and advocacy for withdrawal?

I do not make distinctions based on party. If a politician advocates surrender when my brother and friends are over there fighting, he is worse than useless and needs to be run out of DC on a rail.

Maybe that is not completely true. I expect surrender proposals from "the party of retreat and defeat since 1968." However, members of the party of national defense should know better. I hold them more accountable and they should be run out of my party.
 

Bart: I hold them more accountable and they should be run out of my party.

and

Bart: OK, let me tell you where I am coming from...I am a black and white ideologue, not a partisan.

So, despite my general feelings that you are beneath notice and contempt, I find myself wondering, which is the lie, that you have a party which people should be run out of or that you aren't partisan, you cowardly, lying cheat.
 

"and they should be run out of my party"

I'm willing to bet quite a lot that not too many other people think Bart owns the GOP.

Do eliminate all the people that think Iraq is a disaster that we should get out of as soon as possible, and pretty soon there won't be a party -- maybe not even enough people left in the GOP to hold a decent seance to try to get guidance from the ghosts of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.
 

There are people in institutions who aren't as delusional as the 7:11pm post from Bart. He seems to literally think that he can create his own reality by asserting whatever imaginary facts might support his argument.
 

If you have not been keeping track, the surge is working militarily. The US has largely pacified the so called Sunni Triangle in Anbar province and is doing the same thing in Baghdad and Diyala provinces. al Qaeda is getting its ass kicked with Iraqi Sunni help and the Shia militias have backed off the retaliatory sectarian killings.

I have been paying attention. So is the rest of America, according to the polls. Military success is exploding all over Iraq. Your idiotic war is circling the drain.

There is no sign of the so called "civil war" between Iraqis which the Dems keep whining about. al Qaeda is mostly foreign and it is doing the vast majority of the killing.

Sure it is. Too bad no one is buying this lie any more.

I fully expect us to start pulling some troops out by Spring 2008 because we will have finished clearing most of the Sunni areas of Iraq where al Qaeda was based and handed much of it over to the Iraqis as we have done in the Sunni Triangle.

This is the 4th year in a row that you've predicted that we'll be removing troops from Iraq "next year". I suspect that the 4th time is a charm. We will be removing troops, but it will have nothing to do with any kind of success in Iraq. Quite the opposite, actually. I know you scumbags are going to try and sell it as success, but I don't expect anyone to believe you.

There is simply no way to fight al Qaeda from long distance as Murtha and those strategic know nothings on the NYT editorial page argue. Only the most brain dead Dem would completely pull out and allow al Qaeda to operate out of Iraq the way they did from Afghanistan in the 90s.

I see. First we're pulling troops out because we've defeated Al Qaeda, then we need to keep troops there because Al Qaeda isn't defeated. How do you sleep at night?

In any case, you don't have to worry your pretty little head. Once we're out of Iraq, the Iraqis will deal with any Al Qaeda that are left.
 

Bart:

I guess I will have to again ask for names of anyone advocating surrender. Dems or otherwise. Assuming arguendo your surrender language applies, to whom are we surrendering? How are we surrending given that major combat operations ceased some time ago (or so we were told)? How do you differentiate re-deployment of troops with surrender--other than if it's your team that is doing the "re-deployment"?

Also, you claimed quite some time ago that al Qaeda had already been routed in Iraq. According to one of your most recent posts, we are only now cleaning them out. So which story is it, because the ones you are spinning are mutually exclusive.

There has also been extensive testimony that the majority of killing is sectarian, with only the car bombings/suicide attacks being perpetrated by a foreigners. How does this reconcile with your statement that al Qaeda is doing most of the killing (especially when 30-50 bodies regularly turn up in Baghdad morgues on a daily basis)?
 

Well, Marty has acknowledged that this memo exists. Now, when will we finally see Marty take on the lawless Clinton-era DOJ? Surely he can't be a defender of the memo--not after the braying we've heard over the last few years.

My guess is we won't hear another word about it.

But I'd love to be surprised.
 

Mike said...


Bart: I guess I will have to again ask for names of anyone advocating surrender. Dems or otherwise.

Name a single Dem leader which has ever offered a plan for victory from the outset of the war. If you do not plan to win, you plan to lose.

Name a single Dem leader who thinks the US military can defeat the roughly 20,000 enemy in Iraq. If you do not think that the military can win, you withdraw and surrender.

Name a single Dem leader who does not think that our miltary is "broken" after taking as many casualties over 4 years as we took in a few hours on Omaha Beach. If you do not believe our troops can fight and win after taking very light casualties, how can you believe they can win any war?

Name a single Dem leader who is not calling for the withdrawal of our troops from and the surrender of the Iraqi battlefield to the enemy.

How do you differentiate re-deployment of troops with surrender--other than if it's your team that is doing the "re-deployment"?

I do not differentiate the retreat of our troops from the surrender of the Iraqi battlefield to the enemy.

I would pull our troops out as then win. You would cut and run completely because you believe our troops have lost. This is the difference between coming home after VE Day and withdrawing for home after D-Day.

Also, you claimed quite some time ago that al Qaeda had already been routed in Iraq.

I did not. I stated that al Qaeda was being slaughtered, not that they had been finished off. However, we have finally developed a strategy that both kills the enemy and clears them from the territory. Mao once said that guerillas swim and a sea of people. However, if you take away that sea, the guerillas die like fish out of water.

There has also been extensive testimony that the majority of killing is sectarian, with only the car bombings/suicide attacks being perpetrated by a foreigners.

Only?!? Guess what type of terrorist attacks kill the vast majority of Iraqis? I do not know how you can miss the carnage caused by the al Qaeda campaign since that is all our media reports while it is largely ignoring our soldiers' successes against these same al Qaeda in Anbar and now Diyala.

BTW, they take bombing victims to morgues too.
 

Bart DePalma, July 9, 2007:There is no sign of the so called "civil war" between Iraqis which the Dems keep whining about.

Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, July 9, 2007:We explain to them the dangers of a speedy withdrawal and leaving a security vacuum, and the dangers vary from civil war to dividing the country or maybe to regional wars...some people might disagree with this assessment, but in our estimation the danger is huge.

I would modestly propose that there cannot be any danger of civil war if there is no sign of it. One side of the equation must be wrong.
 

Bart,

If there is no sign of a civil war in Iraq, if sectarian hostilities have come to an end, if virtually all Iraqis are on our side and the only problem is some 20,000 foreign jihadis hated by the entire population, then why can't the Iraqis defeat Al-Qaeda on their own?
 

Name a single Dem leader which has ever offered a plan for victory from the outset of the war. If you do not plan to win, you plan to lose.

Baghdad Bart, you're not really in a position to demand that the Dems have a plan for getting you out of the hole you have dug. In fact, the Dems do have a plan. Stop digging.

And don't you find it a bit strange that 20 million Iraqis are not capable of defeating a foreign army of no more than 20 thousand Al Qaeda?
 

pms:

This is how the equation works in Iraq.

Iraq has a brand new government of limited effectiveness still learning what democracy is all about, a series of armed militias including al Qaeda and a population largely cowed after decades of living under a terrorist government.

Minus al Qeada, there is little chance of a civil war between Iraqis.

Al Qeda's strategy is to mass murder the Iraqi Shia and compel them to retaliate against the Iraq Sunni, artifiically creating a civil war. al Qeada figures that the Iraqi Sunni will turn to them for protection and al Qaeda gains a base population from which to operate. This plan succeeded for a few months in 2006.

However, al Qaeda made a massive strategic error when it turned its mass murder against the Sunni in an attempt to take over Anbar province. The Sunni then turned to the US instead of al Qaeda for protection.

While our military has made a number of errors over this war relearning the art of counterinsurgency the hard way, they hit upon a winning formula by clearing and holding Sunni territory with Sunni help and then taking the risk of arming the Sunni to help hold their own areas.

As a result, al Qaeda was routed out of Anbar and the local Sunni stopped attacking our troops for the most part. We are duplicating this success in Baghdad and Diyala province right now.

Without our direct intervention clearing and holding the territory, al Qaeda could very well have ruled large swaths of Sunni territory through terror.

Something you need to realize is that Iraq's population is largely cowed after decades of living under Saddam's terror. The Iraqis I met were very passive and would often decline to protect themselves.

If I may be permitted an anecdote, when my unit was on occupation duty in southern Iraq waiting for the generals to hammer out the Persian Gulf War ceasefire, we provided assistance to a local village. Refugees from Saddam's slaughter of the Shia to our north were trickling in with truly horrific stories. The locals knew that they were next if we left.

When we told the local population we were going home, they were literally terrified and turned white. They asked helplessly what they would so when "Saddam's army comes." All I could suggest was that they take up the arms laying around the desert from the war and defend themselves. The did not seem to comprehend that this was even an option.

I would suggest that the Sunni to a large extent are of the same mind set. If we leave now and abandon them, al Qaeda will return and many areas will submit to their terrorist rule rather than fight back on their own. We need time to develop a local military so we can leave safely. This process has been under way for less than a year and needs time.

If we withdraw, al Qeada returns and will capture bases from which to restart a full blown bombing campaign against the Shia.

With us out of the way, the Shia militias and perhaps the government Shia dominated military will retaliate and purge the Sunni out of the areas where they live next to the Shia. This will force more Sunni to turn to al Qaeda.

If the purge of the Sunni gets bad enough, the US will be politically forced to distance itself from the Iraqi government and the Sunni neighbors may start to intervene on behalf of the Sunni.

This may compel the Shia Iraqi government to turn to Iran for assistance and you have your nightmare scenario.

The NYT editorialized that we could stop all this by remote control through negotiations. However, after abandoning all our allies in Iraq, why would anyone listen to us anymore? We would have zero credibility as the "weak horse" which al Qeada always claimed we were.

The anti war crowd argues that we ought to negotiate with Syria and Iran to bring peace to Iraq. Why? Because Syria and Iran are sponsoring terrorism in Iraq. This is their chip in the game. Our chip in the game is our willingness to use our military in Iraq. If we withdraw, that chip is gone and the Syrians and Iranians have no reason to talk with us seriously.
 

Baghdad, that has to be the most delusional pile of crap I have ever read. The insurgent prisoners we capture are overwhelmingly Iraqi. They are clearly not too cowed to be fighting against us. The idea that they are too cowed to fight Al Qaeda is completely absurd.
 

This may compel the Shia Iraqi government to turn to Iran for assistance and you have your nightmare scenario.

Welcome to your nightmare. I hope you like it. We tried to warn you idiots that an invasion of Iraq would help Iran.
 

Bart: I guess I will have to again ask for names of anyone advocating surrender. Dems or otherwise.

Name a single Dem leader which has ever offered a plan for victory from the outset of the war. If you do not plan to win, you plan to lose.

Name a single Dem leader who thinks the US military can defeat the roughly 20,000 enemy in Iraq. If you do not think that the military can win, you withdraw and surrender.

Name a single Dem leader who does not think that our miltary is "broken" after taking as many casualties over 4 years as we took in a few hours on Omaha Beach. If you do not believe our troops can fight and win after taking very light casualties, how can you believe they can win any war?

Name a single Dem leader who is not calling for the withdrawal of our troops from and the surrender of the Iraqi battlefield to the enemy.


Bart,

You didn't answer the question.

To answer your implicit claims:

The Bush administration did not plan to win the peace; in fact, they explicitly failed to accept plans that would have secured the country after overthrowing Saddam. Since you have unequivocally supported the Bush plan, you are supporting failure.

20,000 al-Qaeda in Iraq? Please cite a source. We do know one thing--before the invasion you supported, there were no al-Qaeda in Iraq, so you are supporting al-Qaeda.

Comparing casualties of WWII vs. current casualties is a disingenuous tactic, which forgets simple things:
1) we are not fighting a conventional army with conventional tactics--we are occupying a conquered country.
2) we are essentially fighting a war with a peactime army

You have a fixation on "surrender". You claim we did it in Vietnam; by your logic, we surrendered the South, the Phillipines, Mexico, Japan, Germany, etc., by not continuing to occupy them after we defeated them in war. I mean, we had most of Mexico, but then surrendered it back to them, and even paid them for the privilege of winning the war (but losing the peace, as their citizens are still invading us today). They even stuck us with Texas, and we all know how well that turned out....
 

You can't win on Bill O'Reilly's show because you and Bill aren't members of the same community and thus he feels no compunctions about cutting your mic or other such tactics to keep from losing face.

Likewise you can't beat spammers so long as you accept email from strangers...just as you can't block junk mail from your U.S. Postal box.

Bart has been spanked and sent packing so many times it has ceased to be sporting. But he keeps coming back for more, at least in part because he has nothing to lose. He's not a member of the community, and thus he has no compunctions about lying or stonewalling or simply running away to another thread to avoid losing face.

This is partly because there is in fact no community for him to be a member of. But there could be. Like the regulars at Cheers, we are hostage to the good will and continued success of our hosts. And we likewise can build a community. The sooner we do the sooner we can start robbing vandals like Bart of their passive aggressive power to divert and disrupt and maybe even start the more valuable work of inviting legitimate opposing views for sincere exploration and mutual edification. Until then, the more of our time Bart can get us to waste on his vandalism the less time and energy we each are spending getting the word out where it can do some good.

$.02
 

Bart:

Actually, you quite explicitly stated that al Qaeda had been dealt a devastating defeat in Iraq. You are changing your tune now in a big way.

So I guess the next question is what was the Bush plan for the occupation? Flowers and oil funding the reconstruction? Splendid work.

By your logic, once troops are committed, absent a formal cessation of hostilities, any re-deployment is a surrender? Lovely.

By the way, you think that Shiite Iran is funding Sunni al Qaeda? Really? They may be funding Shiite militias, but of course, that does not play into the narrative you are giving us now.

And yes, I did say only with reference to car bombs. The bodies showing up at the morgue easily equal the car bombing victims--and that's just in Baghdad. For the record, while I am sure the records are not 100% accurate, if bodies are counted once at the bomb site, they are not then counted again at the morgue. Stated differently, it's absolutely clear that the bodies being referenced as showing up in the morgue are not bombing victims.
 

Fraud Guy said...

FG: I guess I will have to again ask for names of anyone advocating surrender. Dems or otherwise.

BD: Name a single Dem leader which has ever offered a plan for victory from the outset of the war. If you do not plan to win, you plan to lose.

Name a single Dem leader who thinks the US military can defeat the roughly 20,000 enemy in Iraq. If you do not think that the military can win, you withdraw and surrender.

Name a single Dem leader who does not think that our miltary is "broken" after taking as many casualties over 4 years as we took in a few hours on Omaha Beach. If you do not believe our troops can fight and win after taking very light casualties, how can you believe they can win any war?

Name a single Dem leader who is not calling for the withdrawal of our troops from and the surrender of the Iraqi battlefield to the enemy.

FG: Bart, You didn't answer the question.


I had you answer your own question. Given that you correctly cannot name a single Dem leader which ever planned to win in Iraq, the answer is that every single one of them plan to surrender.

To answer your implicit claims:

The Bush administration did not plan to win the peace; in fact, they explicitly failed to accept plans that would have secured the country after overthrowing Saddam. Since you have unequivocally supported the Bush plan, you are supporting failure.


Exactly what plans did the WH reject which would have "won the peace" (i.e won the guerilla war following the defeat of the Iraqi Army)?

The plan for the deployment of 500,000 troops was never a real plan because we have not had 500,000 troops to deploy since the post Persian Gulf War drawdown. The generals who proposed this "plan" knew this and were in reality posing a block to going to war.

The plan for allowing the Sunni Baathists to remain in power in the government and maintain control over the army was insane. That would have been the same as allowing the Nazis to remain in power and to control the Wehrmacht after WWII. Just like de-Nazifiaction was the proper course in Germany, so was de Baathification in Iraq.

The Bushies should have deployed another division into the theater to secure Iraq for a total of maybe 170,000.

Unfortunately, our intelligence services had no idea that Saddam had formed a large guerilla force with propositioned arms and money to start a second war. Therefore our military was not prepared for this eventuality. Such is the fog of war.

20,000 al-Qaeda in Iraq? Please cite a source.

We have multiple enemies in Iraq. That 20,000 covers them all. al Qaeda makes up maybe 2000 of that total. They are the bloodiest because they have the best weapons.

We do know one thing--before the invasion you supported, there were no al-Qaeda in Iraq, so you are supporting al-Qaeda.

Actually, this is completely incorrect.

Our SF and the Kurds engaged approximately 1500 al Inasr/ al Qaeda in northern Iraq during Operation Viking Hammer. Many of these enemy were preiously routed out of Afghanistan. See Linda Robinson, Masters of Chaos.

Captured Iraqi documents show that the Iraqi intelligence services were training foreign jihadi on suicide tactics for the purpose of attacking "US interests" in the years leading up to the war and Zarqawi, the Jordanian leader of al Qaeda in Iraq was in the Sunni Triangle recruiting Iraqis to fight our troops in Afghanistan long before the liberation of Iraq.

Comparing casualties of WWII vs. current casualties is a disingenuous tactic, which forgets simple things:
1) we are not fighting a conventional army with conventional tactics--we are occupying a conquered country.
2) we are essentially fighting a war with a peactime army


The comparison is perfectly apt. Murtha & Co. claim that our troops are combat ineffective after taking casualties over 5 years which are the equivalent of an hour during D-Day where our troops won. This is patent nonsense. Our troops in Iraq are winning every battle in which they engage. Count the enemy dead and tell me the Army is combat ineffective.

There is nothing "peacetime" about this Army. They are the most combat seasoned in the world, with veterans of multiple wars and campaigns.

You have a fixation on "surrender". You claim we did it in Vietnam; by your logic, we surrendered the South, the Phillipines, Mexico, Japan, Germany, etc., by not continuing to occupy them after we defeated them in war.

Hardly.

I would bring our troop home after we have won.

You would bring them home before the battle is won and thus surrender the battlefield to the enemy.

There is no comparison between our surrender of South Vietnam to North Vietnam and bringing our troops home from those other countries after we had won.
 

I would bring our troop home after we have won.

Muslims have been fighting over who is Mohammed's successor for something like 1400 years. How long do you think it's going to take us to win that war for them? And whose side do you think we should take?
 

Bart:

What is your response to the notion that there is not a military solution to the conflict? Which is of course what is being said when they say this "can't be won." How do you respond when it is the military leaders themselves that are making such claims?

Working from the assumption that US forces are a catalyst for chaos in Iraq, why is it that a draw down or a re-deployment is not a viable solution?

Given that there will never be a formal cessation of hostilities, at what point won't it be surrender to have the troops come home?

How can 2000 al Qaeda terrorists take over the entirety of Iraq?

How can 20000 "enemies" take over the entirety of Iraq?

So then exactly what would we be surrendering again?
 

Our SF and the Kurds engaged approximately 1500 al Inasr/ al Qaeda in northern Iraq during Operation Viking Hammer. Many of these enemy were preiously routed out of Afghanistan. See Linda Robinson, Masters of Chaos.

Captured Iraqi documents show that the Iraqi intelligence services were training foreign jihadi on suicide tactics for the purpose of attacking "US interests" in the years leading up to the war and Zarqawi, the Jordanian leader of al Qaeda in Iraq was in the Sunni Triangle recruiting Iraqis to fight our troops in Afghanistan long before the liberation of Iraq.


You will find no better evidence that Baghdad Bart is a lying scumbag.
 

How can 2000 al Qaeda terrorists take over the entirety of Iraq?

How can 20000 "enemies" take over the entirety of Iraq?

So then exactly what would we be surrendering again?

# posted by Mike : 12:00 PM


If we are decimating Al Qaeda in Iraq, shouldn't these numbers be decreasing instead of increasing?
 

Mike said...

Bart: What is your response to the notion that there is not a military solution to the conflict? Which is of course what is being said when they say this "can't be won."

Clausewitz correctly observed something along the lines that war is politics by other means. Our generals are applying that dictum by using both military and political tools in Iraq. They go hand in hand. Those who wish to cut and run would remove one of those hands.

Working from the assumption that US forces are a catalyst for chaos in Iraq, why is it that a draw down or a re-deployment is not a viable solution?

Your presumption is demonstrably wrong. Violence is always higher where our troops are not present in Iraq.

Given that there will never be a formal cessation of hostilities, at what point won't it be surrender to have the troops come home?

You do not need a peace treaty to win and end a war. When the enemy withdraws and stops fighting, we have won. If we withdraw and stop fighting, the enemy has won.

How can 2000 al Qaeda terrorists take over the entirety of Iraq?

No. I never said they could. However, if they have bases in Iraq, the region and the US will be attacked from those bases as they were from Afghanistan.
 

Bart:

So it is your belief that if there were no invasion and/or continued presence in Iraq, violence would escalate and that this escalation would be long term and more/less permanent?
 

You do not need a peace treaty to win and end a war. When the enemy withdraws and stops fighting, we have won. If we withdraw and stop fighting, the enemy has won.

The "enemy" lives there, you imbecile. They are not withdrawing. Nor, clearly, do they ever intend to stop fighting.
 

No. I never said they could. However, if they have bases in Iraq, the region and the US will be attacked from those bases as they were from Afghanistan.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 12:52 PM


They already have bases and lots of support in Pakistan. Why would they need haes in Iraq?
 

haes = bases
 

It seems that the Kosovo war and the wars described in the Clinton DOJ memo are inapposite to the current (hypothetical) situation that would occur of Congress voted to "de-authorize" the war in Iraq. In each of those other wars, the continuing appropriations suggested thst Congress continued to approve of the war. But, in those cases, Congress did not pass any legislation to revoke its implied sanction, and (according to the Clinton DOJ) it was permissible to infer that Congress continued to approve.

If, however, Congress made clear its disapproval of this war by "repealing" the AUMF, then it would defy sense to infer the opposite based only on continuing military appropriations.

In any case, the Clinton DOJ memo deals with the War Powers Resolution. I am quite sure that the Administration (the VP, at least) believes that the Resolution is unconstitutional and not binding on the President.
 

Bart, the sheer quantity of misinformation to which you have subjected readers of this thread is appalling. Time permits me to dwell on just one of your recent whoppers:

Violence is always higher where our troops are not present in Iraq.

This statement is false. What's more, a person with knowledge of the matter could reasonably be expected to know it to be false. Where does that leave you?

Without bothering with a review of all the statements by military authorities and experts, let's skip right to the numbers:

If you look at the 2006 Lancet mortality study, you will see that the highest number of violent deaths per capita occur in areas where US troops bear the principle responsibility for ensuring security.

Though challenges to the credibility of this study have come from such intellectuals as George W. Bush. The UK MoD's own chief scientific adviser said the study represented "close to best practice," and the method is widely viewed as robust.

http://www.thelancet.com/webfiles/images/journals/lancet/s0140673606694919.pdf
 

Eugene S said...

BD: Violence is always higher where our troops are not present in Iraq.

Without bothering with a review of all the statements by military authorities and experts...


That is par for the course. The press has been yammering for months how the enemy is simply moving away from our troops and attacking civilians in other areas. Go read any reporting on Baghdad for the past 3-4 months to hear this theme over and over.

let's skip right to the numbers:

If you look at the 2006 Lancet mortality study, you will see that the highest number of violent deaths per capita occur in areas where US troops bear the principle responsibility for ensuring security.


Let us ignore for the moment the fact that the Lancet "study" is pure fiction based on polling taken by unknown Iraqi stringers of enemy neighborhoods during a war. No one can confirm actual deaths anywhere near the numbers fabricated in this poll.

The fact that a murder occurred within the general US zone does not mean that there were US troops in the area.
 

Bart wrote:Our chip in the game is our willingness to use our military in Iraq. If we withdraw, that chip is gone and the Syrians and Iranians have no reason to talk with us seriously.

There's an interesting point to discuss. If we removed ourselve entirely from Iraq, what might the effect on the political theater be?
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Violence is always higher where our troops are not present in Iraq.

What Baghdad Bart really means is that there is usually less violence immediately after US troops have killed everyone in sight. What he ignores is the initial violence directed at US troops, and the long-term violence which results from US troops killing everything in sight. It's not by accident that Baghdad ignores these things. He's a lying scumbag.
 

Violence is always higher where our troops are not present in Iraq.

I think I'd consider reporting biases very carefully before making sweeping statements about where violence occurs.

Furthermore, I don't see how "violence is higher where our troops are NOT" is consistent with McClellan and DePalma's repeated assertion that "we fight them there, so we don't fight them here." If "they" are the ones responsible for the majority of the violence, why aren't we fighting them where they are? If they mean to target Americans, shouldn't violence be higher where our troops ARE? And if they don't mean to target Americans, then tell me why fighting them there is such a good idea again.

These pithy summations are nifty for mobilizing the base, perhaps, but they suck eggs for representing on-the-ground reality. Far better to cite a study that supports your position, but acknowledges the difficulties and realities at play, rather than denying them in a haze of pro-Administration, giddy rhetoric.
 

Blah blah blah. More blather from the oxygen-deprived right. Modern Iraq is, and always was, a legal fiction; an oil protectorate established and propped up by the West in the ashes of WWI: an uncomfortable amalgam of long-time rivals Sunni, Shia and Kurds...all forced to cohabit a nation held together by strongmen. It's as if a madman in London with a crayon drew arbitrary boundaries and said, "here, put aside 1000 years of hatred and tribal competition, and be one happy nation." (Silly, but not too far from the truth).

When we destablize the area, and remove the strongman, how in god's name is anything going to result OTHER than civil war? To call this civil war a result of the destabilizing influence of 20k fighters is not just intellectually dishonest, it ignores history, fact and reason.
 

Der Schatten: It's as if a madman in London with a crayon drew arbitrary boundaries and said...

"...Look how well it's working for us in Israel! We'll never lose the Suez..."

B^) (admittedly playing fast and loose with temporality, but you get the point: realpolitik remains king.)
 

PMS_Chicago said...

BD: Violence is always higher where our troops are not present in Iraq.

I don't see how "violence is higher where our troops are NOT" is consistent with McClellan and DePalma's repeated assertion that "we fight them there, so we don't fight them here. If "they" are the ones responsible for the majority of the violence, why aren't we fighting them where they are?


You are confusing the actions of our military with the actions of the enemy.

Our military is engaging and destroying the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As a result, the surviving enemy's ability to do anything more than conduct local suicide attacks against unprotected civilians has been seriously degraded.

Perhaps you might understand a football analogy. While your team is on the field and on offense, the opposing team is on defense and cannot drive into your end of the field and score.

If our war with al Qaeda was a football game, al Qeada held the field for most of the 1st Q (the 1990s) and scored a couple FGs and a long bomb TD (9/11). However, things turned around by the 2d Q, when our team went on offense and kept scoring at will, piling up a big lead. Now some think that half time is actually the final whistle and want to quit the field before the game is over.

If they mean to target Americans, shouldn't violence be higher where our troops ARE?

Violence in general is higher where our troops are hunting down the enemy. The enemy is dying by the dozens every week.

However, the original discussion which started this string of posts is which enemy group is killing the most Iraqi civilians and where. When our troops are in control of an area, terrorist murders of civilians go way down. The enemy targets unprotected civilians.
 

As a result, the surviving enemy's ability to do anything more than conduct local suicide attacks against unprotected civilians has been seriously degraded.

You've been saying that for 4 years now. Isn't 4 years of looking like a fool starting to get old?

Violence in general is higher where our troops are hunting down the enemy. The enemy is dying by the dozens every week.

And yet you have claimed their numbers have increased from 2,000 to 20,000. 4 more years of this kind of "success" and they'll outnumber us.
 

In fairness to Bart, he didn't claim an increase from 2,000 to 20,000--just that al Qaeda is a 2,000 member subset of the 20,000 "enemies".

Along your point however, is the notion that if they are dying by the dozens or more each day/week, why is violence stagnating (or even esacalating) and why are the numbers of "enemies" stable?
 

The plan for the deployment of 500,000 troops was never a real plan because we have not had 500,000 troops to deploy since the post Persian Gulf War drawdown. The generals who proposed this "plan" knew this and were in reality posing a block to going to war.

As Bart would say, ::sigh::! If we didn't have enought troops to secure the country, maybe it would have been a good idea STAY THE HELL OUT! Or if this war was all that important, to build up a larger army first. Granted, that would have taken a few years, but, after all, there was no particular urgency about it. We did okay with Saddam in power for 12 years after the first Gulf War, we could wait two or three years more.

Incidentally, you will probably blame Clinton for the shrinking of our army, which is fair enough. But George Bush has had 7 years now to do something about it. I'm waiting.

Unfortunately, our intelligence services had no idea that Saddam had formed a large guerilla force with propositioned arms and money to start a second war. Therefore our military was not prepared for this eventuality. Such is the fog of war.

The presence of a foreign army does not always lead to guerrilla warfare, but it happens often enough that armies should routinely expect and prepare for it. Certainly many opponents of this war foresaw it.

Speaking just for me, I am not old enough to have any meaningful memory of Vietnam, but I do remember Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon. The Shiites of southern Lebanon greeted them with flowers and candy because they were driving out the hated PLO. But when the Israelis were still there a few months later, things began going down hill. End result: Hezbollah. That was what I was afraid of when we started this war.
 

Unfortunately, our intelligence services had no idea that Saddam had formed a large guerilla force with propositioned arms and money to start a second war. Therefore our military was not prepared for this eventuality. Such is the fog of war.

Actually, the CIA warned the idiots who got us into this mess that an insurgency was likely. They chose not to believe it. Fog of war had nothing to do with that decision.
 

Kimberly Kagan, an affiliate of Harvard's John M. Olin Institute of Strategic Studies and executive director of the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, reports from her tour of Iraq:

From 2004 to 2006, al Qaeda established safe havens, transport routes, vehicle-bomb factories and training camps in the rural areas surrounding Baghdad, where U.S. forces had little or no footprint. Al Qaeda used these bases to conduct bombings in Baghdad, to displace Shia and Sunni from local towns by sparking sectarian killings, and to force Iraqis to comply with the group's interpretation of Islamic law. Shiite death squads roamed freely around Baghdad and the countryside. The number of execution-style killings rose monthly after the Samarra mosque bombing of February 2006, reaching a high in December 2006. Iranian special operations groups moved weapons across the borders and into Iraq along major highways and rivers. U.S. forces, engaged primarily in training Iraqis, did little to disrupt this movement.

Today, Iraq is a different place from what it was six months ago. U.S. and Iraqi forces began their counterinsurgency campaign in Baghdad in February. They moved into the neighborhoods and worked side-by-side with Baghdadis. As a result, sectarian violence is down. The counterinsurgency strategy has dramatically decreased Shiite death squad activity in the capital. Furthermore, U.S. and Iraqi special forces have removed many rogue militia leaders and Iranian advisers from Sadr City and other locations, reducing the power of militias.

As a consequence, execution-style killings, the hallmark of Shiite militias, have fallen to the lowest level in a year; some Iranian- and militia-backed mortar teams firing on the Green Zone have been destroyed. Equally important, U.S. and Iraqi forces have restricted al Qaeda's bases to ever smaller areas of the city, so that reinforcements cannot flow easily from one neighborhood to another.

Many in Washington say the Baghdad Security Plan has just pushed the enemy to other locations in Iraq. Though some of the enemy certainly left Baghdad when the security plan began, this metaphor is inaccurate. The enemy has long been located outside of Baghdad and was causing violence from suburban bases. What has changed is the disposition of U.S. forces, which are now actively working to expel the enemy from its safe havens rather than ignoring them.

To accomplish this, Gens. David Petraeus and Raymond Odierno have encircled Baghdad with a double cordon of U.S. and Iraqi forces. They have been preparing the cordons patiently since February, as the new "surge" units arrived. The surge was completed only in mid-June, and the first phase of the large-scale operations it was intended to support began only on June 15. Since then, U.S. forces have begun blocking major road, river, and transportation route around Baghdad. They are also deployed in critical neighborhoods around outskirts and the interior of the city.

On June 15, Gens. Petraeus and Odierno launched a major offensive against al Qaeda strongholds all around Baghdad. "Phantom Thunder" is the largest operation in Iraq since 2003, and a milestone in the counterinsurgency strategy. For the first time, U.S. forces are working systematically throughout central Iraq to secure Baghdad by clearing its rural "belts" and its interior, so that the enemy cannot move from one safe haven to another. Together, the operations in Baghdad and the "belts" are increasing security in and around the capital.

U.S. and Iraqi forces are thereby attacking enemy strongholds and cutting supply routes all around the city, along which fighters and weapons moved freely in 2006. Coordinated operations south and east of Baghdad are at last interdicting the supply of weapons moving along the Tigris River to the capital. U.S. and Iraqi forces are operating east of Baghdad for the first time in years, disrupting al Qaeda's movement between bases on the Tigris and in Sadr City, a frequent target of its car bombs. North of Baghdad, U.S. forces recently cleared al Qaeda from the city of Baqubah, from which terrorists flowed into Baghdad. They are clearing al Qaeda's car bomb factories from Karmah, northwest of Baghdad, and its sanctuaries toward Lake Tharthar. These operations are supported by counterinsurgency operations west of the capital, from Fallujah to Abu Ghraib. U.S. forces are now, for the first time, fighting the enemy in the entire ring of cities and villages around Baghdad.

 

Baghdad, you have been insisting that we are winning for the last 4 years, and yet the carnage continues. No one is listening to you any more.
 

To get a grunt's eye view of the Surge Operation Arrowhead Ripper to clear al Qaeda from its occupation of Baquba and the al Qaeda massacres which our soldiers found, I would strongly commend independent reporter Michael Yon's internet dispatches:

Operation Arrowhead Ripper - Day One

Baqubah Update

Bless the Beasts and Children

Second Chances

Very little of this was reported in our press. I wonder why?
 

Very little of this was reported in our press. I wonder why?

# posted by Bart DePalma : 10:05 AM


I told you why. We've been hearing you clowns talk about our military "victories" for the last 4 years. No one is listening any more.
 

Today's Los Angeles Times has a reasonable assessment of the escalation. Link.
 

Bart,

This Kimberly Kagan:

Dr. Kagan's current research addresses historical empires and contemporary international relations. She has edited The Beginnings of Empires, a collection of new essays that explore the process by which powerful states have become empires. Its chapters discuss Athens, Rome, Britain, Russia, early modern China, and the historical and contemporary United States.

...

Her next book, Rome and America: Grand Strategic Lessons for Global Powers, is under contract with Encounter Books. It draws lessons from Roman history that policy makers can apply to contemporary United States foreign policy. Dr. Kagan has also been writing a book exploring the origins, development, and changes in Roman grand strategy from the late second through the fifth centuries A.D., tentatively titled Grand Strategy of the Later Roman Empire. In support of that investigation, she published an article, "Redefining Roman Grand Strategy," in The Journal of Military History in April 2006.

From the Olin Web Page.

Now from Yale:

Yale history professor Kim Kagan '93, Robert Kagan's sister-in-law

...

Therein lies the crux of the Kagan school of thought: both conservatism rooted in an America-first attitude and an impartial historical perspective meant to provoke others to rethink their preconceived notions.

http://www.yaledailynews.com/articles/view/15352

Does she have a pro-empire bias?
 

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