Thursday, June 22, 2006

Let's keep goin'!

In considering today's debate on Kerry's resolution to pull-out of Iraq by the end of the year I'm fighting a mix of frustration and sadness. Once again we've had a high-profile example of the fact that there are just too few grown-ups in government or, for that matter, the media.

Speaking for the majority Republicans Karnack (aka Bill Frist) said the following:

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, for his part, said Democrats backed "cut and run" plans for surrender. "The Senate defeated a bad policy that threatens our national security and poses unacceptable risks to Americans," Frist said.

Cut and run.

Here is the text of Kerry's amendment calling for cut and run:

(a) Redeployment of Troops From Iraq.--
(1) SCHEDULE FOR REDEPLOYMENT.--For purposes of strengthening the national security of the United States, the President shall redeploy, commencing in 2006, United States forces from Iraq by July 1, 2007, in accordance with a schedule coordinated with the Government of Iraq, leaving only the minimal number of forces that are critical to completing the mission of standing up Iraqi security forces, conducting targeted and specialized counterterrorism operations, and protecting United States facilities and personnel.
(2) CONSULTATION WITH CONGRESS REQUIRED.--The President shall consult with Congress regarding the schedule for redeployment and shall submit such schedule to Congress as part of the report required under subsection (c).
(3) MAINTENANCE OF OVER-THE-HORIZON TROOP PRESENCE.--The President should maintain an over-the-horizon troop presence to prosecute the war on terror and protect regional security interests.
(b) Iraq Summit.--The President should work with the leaders of the Government of Iraq to convene a summit as soon as possible that includes those leaders, leaders of the governments of each country bordering Iraq, representatives of the Arab League, the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, representatives of the European Union, and leaders of the governments of each permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, for the purpose of reaching a comprehensive political agreement for Iraq that engenders the support of Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds by ensuring the equitable distribution of oil revenues, disbanding the militias, strengthening internal security, reviving reconstruction efforts and fulfilling related international economic aid commitments, securing Iraq's borders, and providing for a sustainable federalist structure in Iraq.
(c) Report on Redeployment.--
(1) REPORT REQUIRED.--Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall, in consultation with the Secretary of State, submit to Congress a report that sets forth the strategy for the redeployment of United States forces from Iraq by July 1, 2007.
(2) STRATEGY ELEMENTS.--The strategy required in the report under paragraph (1) shall include the following:
(A) The schedule for redeploying United States forces from Iraq by July 1, 2007, developed pursuant to subsection (a)(1).
(B) A schedule for returning the majority of such redeployed forces home to the United States.
(C) The number, size, and character of United States military units needed in Iraq after July 1, 2007, for purposes of counterterrorism activities, training Iraqi security forces, and protecting United States infrastructure and personnel.
(D) A strategy for addressing the regional implications for diplomacy, politics, and development of redeploying United States forces from Iraq by July 1, 2007.
(E) A strategy for ensuring the safety and security of United States forces in Iraq during and after the July 1, 2007, redeployment, and a contingency plan for addressing dramatic changes in security conditions that may require a limited number of United States forces to remain in Iraq after that date.
(F) A strategy for redeploying United States forces to effectively engage and defeat global terrorist networks that threaten the United States.

This is a call for planned redeployment not withdrawal. It calls for "the minimal number of forces that are critical to completing the mission of standing up Iraqi security forces, conducting targeted and specialized counterterrorism operations, and protecting United States facilities and personnel.

By even the liberalist of interpretations could Kerry's proposal be considered cut and run. It actually appears quite moderate and pretty well thought out. Obviously that makes it a poison pill for Republicans.

I long for the day the grown-ups will come back to Washington and issues like our troop deployment overseas in hostile environments would actually be considered legitimate topics for discussion by congress. With Republicans in charge that day will never come.

I must be crazy to be in a loony bin like this.

After spending much of this morning reading through righty blogs such as Instapundit to get their take on the Sanitorum/ WMD's Found non-story I've once more reaffirmed something that's become a central tenet of my beliefs over the last several years.

Conservatives are insane.

I'm not talking about mildly insane either, but total batshit crazy insane. The kind of insanity that can't be medicated away but requires shock therapy to treat. Not the mild phobia that would keep someone from stepping on a crack in the sidewalk while walking down the street or insisting that thier toothbrush sit in the holder just so but the kind of deep, encompassing madness that causes someone to be so completely delusional that they dress up like Teddy Roosevelt or use a spatula to carve strange symbols onto their arms or put a bullet into a major rock star on a jaunt through the park with his wife because there can't be two catcher's in the rye in the world. Bonkers. Nuts.

Take this smathering of comments from the righty website Austin Bay.

Has everyone been under a rock? I’ve heard a lot of reports in the past three years about a number of loaded shells being found. Some of the older blogs covered it but the antique MSM ignored it as usual. It should be of no surpise to anyone since Saddam had the capability to make all kinds of WMD but no capability to destroy any of it, other than what was used to kill any number of people. If the people of this country don’t wake up and quit listening to the cowards on the left from turncoat politicians to out and out communist with an eye on controlling this country they will wake up some morning and find half the country destroyed. People like Hanoi John and Murtha have no one’s interest at heart except their political power. Time to turn them all out to pasture or drag them out and shoot them. I prefer the latter. - Scrapiron

(One could imagine Scrappy literally frothing at the mouth while typing this.)

There were tons of stockpiles. If you can dig through the many reports from the first weeks of the war, the Army encountered many tons of barrels that tested positive for nerve agents. It was only later that the CIA would come in and declare that “no, these are tons and tons of insecticide; nothing to look at here.” Even though these thousands of barrels of “insecticide” were found buried at Saddam’s military bases, we were told that the Army’s tests were all false positives. Now who was it at the CIA in charge of WMD? Plame something or other?

(Plame something or other had already been outed by Cheney by the time we began searching for WMDs in Iraq so she was no longer in charge of jack. That, and she was working on IRANIAN WMDs. That's Iran. With an "n.")

Anybody with more than 2 functioning braincells can logically understand that Saddam was trying to reconstitute his WMD program after the 1991 Gulf War. To believe otherwise is — as Austin Bay puts it — “to put you in league with goof(y)… - Urbangrounds

(I'm not quite sure how he's able to qualify this since he doesn't appear to meet his own minimum standard.)

It just goes on and on but perhaps my favorite comments of the batch are these by Jim Sweet-

If this report is true, it IS a major find in the context of potential terrorist operations against this country. As the Aum Shin Rykyo incident showed, it takes only small quantities of nerve agents to launch highly disruptive attacks on civilian populations. Since these concerns were key, if not predominant, reasons for the invasion of Iraq, they will be a major embarassments to critics of the Bush Admin action against Iraq.

(Conversely since it's not true, at least as far as relevant WMDs go, it'll be a major embarassment to supporters of the Bush Admin action against Iraq. Right? Right?)

Even aged artillery rounds contain enough agent for multiple such attacks. We shouldn’t let the inevitable spin from those critics obscure the fact that Iraq could have been a major clandestine instigator of such attacks. It matters little whether Saddam had 500 or 5 or 5000 of these rounds. He was prohibitted from owning even 1 and in skillful hands, 1 is enough. Even now, there is NO guarantee that these weapons haven’t already found those hands. That might explain Bush’ reticicence to publicize this.

(Sounds logical except for one teensy, weensy little bitty thing. Insurgents mount daily attacks in Iraq against our troops and Iraqi civilians. NONE OF THEM HAVE UTILIZED CHEMICAL WEAPONS!)

War isn't Hell. War is war, and Hell is Hell. And of the two, war is a lot worse.


is going to breed a shitstorm on the conservative blogs if it finds it's way out of Oregon.

MADRAS -- The father of the Madras soldier tortured and then killed in Iraq said Wednesday that his son's captors probably were retaliating for alleged U.S. abuses in Iraq.

Though he honors his son's service and condemns the way he died, Wes Tucker acknowledged that war breeds atrocities on all sides.

"They were doing a job, and they probably overstepped the bounds of the job they were supposed to do, just like the ones in our military overstepped the jobs they were supposed to do," Tucker said in some of his first public comments since his son, Tom, was killed.

God bless Wes Tucker for using his moment in the spotlight to say something. What he did honors his son and the others that've died in this war far more than any ceremony.

The reason we don't torture or abuse our captive enemies is not because we don't think he's not a evil son of a bitch. The reason we don't do awful things to prisoners is because it gives them carte blanche to do the same (or worse) to our boys when they're captured.

(P.S. - Don't you love the framing by the author? My favorite bit is the strange caveat "though he honors his son's service...." before describing the father's comments on the tit for tat of torture. Thanks for the editorial, Schmuck.)

(P.P.S. - If you're interested in the MASH quote above here is the whole exchange:

Hawkeye: War isn't Hell. War is war, and Hell is Hell. And of the two, war is a lot worse.
Father Mulcahy: How do you figure, Hawkeye?
Hawkeye: Easy, Father. Tell me, who goes to Hell?
Father Mulcahy: Sinners, I believe.
Hawkeye: Exactly. There are no innocent bystanders in Hell. War is chalk full of them - little kids, cripples, old ladies. In fact, except for some of the brass, almost everybody involved is an innocent bystander. )

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

(You weak minded fool. He's using an old Jedi mind trick.)

There's really very little outrage left among progressives over the lies of Rush Limbaugh. It's become so commonplace that it'd be just as useful to get upset about him lying as it would that the NBA is fixed or that the earth orbits around the sun. It's simply a given at this point.

Just the same his latest fib; that the left is happy about the torture of execution of the two kidnapped soldiers, is truly disturbing when you consider it's playing over Armed Forces Radio via his program.

Filling the minds of young, well-armed men with political pollution can't possibly end well.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Lex, my mother lives in Hackensack.

It never ceases to amaze me the lengths this administration goes to in order to make the United States look weak-

The United States has moved its ground-based missile defense system from test to operational mode and is considering the option of intercepting North Korea's long-range missile if launched, the Washington Times reported Tuesday.

Unless we have a mole in the North Korean missile program that will plant homing devices on their test missile there isn't a chance in hell we could shoot down this Korean missile with the program we currently have in place at Alaska.

The administration is either dangerously delusional and drunk on their own rhetoric when it comes to missile defense or they think they can bluff through a round without having to show their cards. Korea will call them.

As in Iraq where the these guys went out of their way to show the limits of U.S. military force (hint: isn't particularly effective against an insurgency) they've put us in a situation where if we DON'T try and shoot down the Korean missile we look weak and if we DO try and shoot down the missile we look weak because the technology isn't at the level necessary for it to be effective.

I pity the fool who goes out tryin' a' take over da world, then runs home cryin' to his momma!

Atrios writes:

"There will be no early withdrawal as long as we run the Congress and occupy the White House." - Bush's extraordinarily blustery red-faced speech last night.

The thing the Kleins and the Friedmans and the Bayhs and just about everybody else don't seem to understand is Bush equates leaving with losing. There will be no significant withdrawal from Iraq, if any, as long as Bush is in office. All of these people accusing some Democrats of "defeatism" because they want to encourage Bush to start pulling out troops seem to not understand or care that what they're doing is ensuring that we have the status quo until January 2009 at the earliest, almost 6 years after the start of the war.

I believe we'll call that length of time "one Bush."

What's strange is I can almost understand Bush's position. Those of us who were against the war before it started recognized that the long ethnic/ religious rivalries that were contained under Saddam's brutal regime would be ungovernable once he was pushed out of the way by a U.S. invasion. In this sense the war was lost even before boots were on the ground in Iraq.

As dense as Bush is he at least recognizes that a withdrawal from Iraq and the consequent ethnic unrest that will result will be a tacit admission that critics of the war were right. He's too small a man to let that situation arise, even if it means the deaths of more of our troops.

I still think we should get out as quickly as possible and should do so under the auspices of some sort of arab-centric international peacekeeping force. That's why the failure of Kerry to win the presidency, despite his own many weaknesses, was a true tragedy for the world.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Don’t listen to that guy. He’s trying to lead you down the path of righteousness. I’m gonna lead you down the path that ROCKS.


I just wrote a very long post complete with linky and quoty thingies and everything as it went into spell-check hell.

I'll sum it up-

There were two messages that came out of Iraq last week.

The first was reported by the Christian Science Monitor and described an Al-Qaeda memo (To: all insurgents From: Zarqawi Re: Misc. Items. Order 3" post-its and staples, brew another pot of coffee if you drink the last cup and blow up a bus) which purportedly described a deteriorating situation for the insurgency in which they were becoming less and less safe by the day. They warned that if they didn't get help they wouldn't be long for Iraq.

The other was a memo that the Washington Post got hold of from the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq describing a deteriorating situation in which they, and Iraqi workers at the embassy, were becoming less and less safe by the day. They warned that if they didn't get help they wouldn't be long for Iraq.

Right-wing radio personalities, chickenhawk conservative bloggers and blowhard congressional Republicans were faced with a dilemma. Do they believe the word of our mortal enemies; the Al-Qaeda terrorists, or do they believe the word of our own representatives in Iraq?

They go with the terrorists, of course.