Saturday, November 26, 2005

Preparing for withdrawal from Iraq

Republicans went nuts after John Murtha called for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, and I myself do not favour immediate withdrawal, but it already looks as though the Pentagon is preparing for withdrawal:

Even as debate over the Iraq war continues to rage, signs are emerging of a convergence of opinion on how the Bush administration might begin to exit the conflict.

In a departure from previous statements, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said this week that the training of Iraqi soldiers had advanced so far that the current number of U.S. troops in the country probably would not be needed much longer...

The developments seemed to lay the groundwork for potentially large withdrawals in 2006 and 2007, consistent with scenarios outlined by Pentagon planners. The approach also tracks the thinking of some centrist Democrats...

Of course, the tide has turned. The Bush Administration, which has flip-flopped so often on everything to do with the Iraq War that nothing it says is credible, is trying to "relieve enormous pressure by war opponents".

So the latest "story," already told by Rice and soon to be pushed by Bush himself, is that the Iraqis are almost ready to defend themselves. Are they? Maybe. We'll have to see. (I suspect that the Iraqis are far from ready.)

But you can see what's going on, can't you? The Bush Administration is trying to set up a win-win situation for itself. If Iraq succeeds, with success defined broadly as stable self-governance that is more or less democratic, Bush can take all the credit (the war was worth it, see?). If Iraq fails, with failure defined as civil war and/or anarchy, Bush can blame the Iraqis themselves (the war was worth it, but those good-for-nothing Iraqis let us down, see?). And Iraq ends up somewhere between success and failure, which seems likely, Bush can spin whatever story makes him look good and helps him stick it to his opponents.

Don't get me wrong. I hope Iraq succeeds. But don't let Bush define the terms.


Joe Gandelman gets it right at The Moderate Voice: "The Bush administration has insisted that setting any kind of even nebulous date for a withdrawal encourages the enemy to hold out and get even bolder. Translation: it has insinuated that by setting a timetable more American military could be killed. And it turned this into a partisan jihad, going after one political party when even some members of the GOP are voicing increasing doubts."

For this White House, it's all political, isn't it?

See John Cole at Balloon Juice (with whom I've had my differences but who is one of the more thoughtful conservatives out there): "While drawing down 40k of 160k troops over the next year is certainly not cutting and running, I think it is pretty clear this decision is being based on domestic political considerations rather than facts on the ground. Which, of course, makes this administration no better than the cynical Democrats who have been using this issue for their own political reasons. Worse, some might argue, since this adminstration led us into this war, and now seems unwilling to win it."

Here's John Aravosis at AMERICAblog: "So, basically, in order to save his political behind, Bush will put even more US soldiers in danger by trying to split the baby in half. And, within days of Dick Cheney suggesting anybody advocating a troop pull out is a coward and emboldening the terrorists (even though most of the folks we're fighting in Iraq aren't terrorists, but are actually Iraqis we've pissed off), Bush is now proposing the same thing."

And Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo: "What we have is posturing and positioning over the political consequences of withdrawal. The White House and the president's partisans will lay down a wall of covering fire, calling anybody who considers withdrawal an appeaser, to allow the president to go about the business of drawing down the American presence in Iraq in time to game the 2006 elections."

And Justin Gardner at Donklephant: "The Roveian way of doing things is to double the PR budget and forget about what’s right or wrong, because history is written by the winners. My grave fear, though, is while we may seem like the winners to some right now, the Iraqis will end up losing so much."

See also Eschaton, The Heretik, Middle Earth Journal, Rising Hegemon, The Mahablog, and Just a Bump in the Beltway.


I just have one word for how the Bush Administration is handling all this: DISGUSTING.

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  • The honorable Senate Democrats
    in the United States are doing an
    honorable investigation to find out
    exactly what happened to cause
    me to lose my country, and until
    these honorable Senate Democrats
    in the United States get every one
    of their questions answered about
    the manipulation and the distortion
    of the intelligence -- and of course
    all of the lies about my having weapons
    of mass destruction; all this before
    my country was invaded -- I can't
    get a fair trial, until all these questions
    are answered by the Senate Democrats.
    And after these Senate Democrats get
    the answers that we all know are out
    there, I, Saddam Hussein, would argue
    that I never had any weapons of mass
    destruction, and whatever bad intelligence
    was generated by a cowboy, fratboy
    president and his indicted staff, who
    have poisoned world opinion about
    me and my government, and as such,
    I can't get a fair trial anywhere -- and
    I want my country back. I'm going to
    make this trial about George W. Bush,
    and I'm going to be calling as witnesses
    people like Dick Durbin and Ted Kennedy.
    I'm going to call Chuck Schumer.

    I would call Senator Jay Rockefeller
    as a witness, if I were Saddam Hussein.
    I'm serious, folks -- and I wouldn't be
    surprised if his defense lawyers pick up
    on this at some point. If I were Saddam
    Hussein I would never, ever get off the
    line of attack of Senate Democrats. I
    would "want answers." I would accuse
    the lying President Bush of manufacturing
    evidence and spreading propaganda to
    a bunch of gullible reporters like Judith
    Miller of the New York Times and who
    knows who all at NBC, and say that there
    exists a massive conspiracy just like Hillary
    Clinton said; a massive right-wing conspiracy
    to prop up a failed presidency, and to distract
    the world from the damage the Bush White
    House has done to the world's environment,
    the world's workers, the world's unions, the
    world's teachers -- and most of all the world's
    children. If I were Saddam Hussein, I would
    be making this case, and I would say, "I'm
    following the lead of these great honorable
    Senate Democrats of the United States Senate
    who have the guts and the courage to have
    the temerity to get to the bottom of all of this."
    I would follow them down the path they're on.

    I, Saddam Hussein, would say that the Senate
    Democrats are on the way to proving that
    President Bush has led a false war,
    permanently screwed up children all over
    the world as to how you solve problems.
    My country is Muslim. We are very
    different from western countries, and
    that scares stupid, evangelical cowboys
    like George Bush.Why, Prince Charles
    even had to go tell Bush, "You misunder -
    stood Islam," the other day. I'd call Prince
    Charles as a witness! So what does this
    cowboy Bush do when his oil baron buddies
    can't have my oil for themselves? Well, they
    start a war on false pretenses because every -
    body knows that this war was about nothing
    but oil and that's why all the intelligence was
    trumped up, and that's why all of the lies
    were told and that's why everybody was told
    and agreed that I had weapons of mass
    destruction, is because the world wants my
    oil led by the cowboy Bush, and I thank God --
    I thank Allah daily -- for the Senate Democrats,
    the Democrats of the United States Senate
    who are leading this courageous effort to
    prove what a liar and a disaster on the world
    stage George W. Bush has been. I can't get
    a fair trial, and until I get a fair trial -- which
    is not possible -- I demand my country back.
    All of this that has happened has been based
    on lies. The world can't sleep at night.

    If the world can do this to me, a man with
    nothing but benevolence and love in his heart
    for his people, what will they do next? Who
    will they do it to next?

    The cowboy Bush -- Cheney, Libby, Rove --
    they must be stopped, and it's the Senate
    Democrats in that great institution, the
    United States Senate, who are leading the way.

    If I were Saddam Hussein, I would say,
    "I have no hope for a fair trial."

    What I'm saying is being said by
    elected members of the United States
    Senate. As I listen to the elected
    senators, Democrats of the United
    States Senate, as they pursue this
    honorable investigation of George W.
    Bush, I say to myself, "This is what
    I said to the UN.

    This is what I said to the weapons
    inspectors." This is what I said to
    the world when I was confronted
    with what everybody now knows
    (thanks to the Senate Democrats)
    are bogus, fake and trumped -
    up charges.

    Bush is a liar! He lied about the
    reasons for and the need to invade
    my country, and I want it back.

    He hires liars. It is George Bush
    who should be impeached and
    convicted in his own country and
    then tried at The Hague in my place.

    Not me. I had nothing to do with
    9/11. Yet I'm the one paying the
    price. You may not like me; I am
    Saddam Hussein.

    You may not agree with the ways
    of Muslim leaders in the Middle
    East, but does that give you the right
    to invade my country? No! The
    United States Senate Democrats
    obviously agree with me. They
    are honorable people. The world
    should align behind the Democrats
    of the United States Senate who
    are trying to wrong one of the most
    terrible injustices in the history of the
    world. It is George W. Bush who
    must be brought to justice by the
    brave and honorable members of the
    Democratic Party in the United States
    Senate. Because leaders of the world
    and people of the world, I, Saddam
    Hussein, say to you that it is the
    senators, the Democrat senators
    in the United States Senate are all
    that stand between peace and
    bloodthirsty imperialism by the
    United States. May Allah bless
    the good and decent truth -
    tellers in the Senate who will
    not let George Bush continue
    his lies to his country and to
    the world! George Bush hides
    behind his faith, but he's a liar
    just like these Senate Democrats
    are saying.

    I, Saddam Hussein, from the
    bottom of my sizable heart,
    thank the Democrat senators
    in the United States and all
    of the websites that support
    them, and all of the Hollywood
    Democrats who are asking
    the Senate Democrats to
    continue this investigation.
    I thank all of the American
    media, because I think the
    American media is one of
    the last bastions of honesty
    and trustworthiness second
    only to the Democrats of the
    United States Senate. So I
    want to thank the mainstream
    media of the United States.
    I want to further point out
    that if my trial is not post -
    poned -- if I can't get a
    postponement and if I
    can't get a dismissal of
    the charges, and if I don't
    get my country back --
    if there is a trial, I demand
    that I be brought to the
    US for trial, in a United
    States civilian court. I
    can't get a fair trial in Iraq
    because it's Bush cronies.
    I can only get a fair trial in
    the United States where
    liberal Democrats run the
    court system. They're
    the ones doing the great
    work, the work of Allah,
    in order to maintain the
    lies of Bush and the
    distortions of the war.

    I want my country back.
    The United States does
    not recognize, the US
    court system doesn't
    recognize the Geneva
    Conventions; they don't
    recognize the due-process
    rights of illegal combatants
    like me or those held at
    Guantanamo Bay. John
    McCain and the Democrats
    wanted them tried under
    our justice system, and if
    illegal combatants are to
    be afforded with such
    treatment -- if you're
    going to give real
    terrorists the opportunity
    to be tried in your court
    system -- I, Saddam
    Hussein, demand to be
    tried in your court system
    because I am covered
    under the Geneva
    Conventions, and I
    should receive better
    treatment. And, by
    the way, I wish to
    point out -- and I
    know many people
    in the American
    ACLU will agree
    with me on this --
    I, Saddam Hussein,
    was not Mirandized
    by the soldiers who
    captured me. I was
    denied a speedy trial
    as compelled by the
    Bill of Rights in the
    US Constitution.
    The charges ought
    to be dismissed. They
    did nothing but point
    weapons to me in that
    foxhole. They didn't tell
    me my rights! They didn't
    tell me I had to shut up;
    they didn't tell me anything
    I said could be used against
    me. I was lied to not only
    by Bush but the by the whole
    US military, by Rumsfeld.
    I was lied to by Condoleezza
    Rice. I can't even count on
    Colin Powell anymore because
    he was part of the original
    cowboy cabal that kicked
    me out of my country.

    If I get my trial in the United
    States of America as I so
    rightly deserve, I, Saddam
    Hussein, would like to call
    Dick Durbin as a witness
    because he would be able
    to testify that US troops are
    like Nazi storm troopers. He
    would be able to testify that
    US troops are no different
    than the murdering thugs of
    Pol Pot and the gulags of Stalin.

    I would next call Senator Kennedy
    who would be able to testify
    that US troops are no better
    than Hussein's thugs -- my thugs.
    I would call Michael Isikoff of
    Newsweek magazine. He would
    be able to testify how US troops
    mistreat prisoners by flushing their
    Korans down the toilet at G'itmo.
    I would do my best to get rid of
    Rush Limbaugh for turning Club
    G'itmo into Club G'itmo. It's not
    a joke what's happening there,
    and it's not a joke what's
    happening to me. I would
    also call Ambassador Joe
    Wilson, of course. He would
    be my star witness, because
    Joe Wilson would testify that
    I was not a bad guy; I was
    not somebody that posed a
    danger. I never once sought
    uranium from anywhere,
    because I didn't have any
    weapons of mass destruction,
    and Joe Wilson knows it and
    his wife, Valerie Plame, knows
    it. And so, my friends, I,
    Saddam Hussein, throw in
    with the Democrats in the
    United States Senate. They
    are my allies, and until they
    finish their great and glorious
    work for Allah in uncovering
    the truth about the lies and the
    distortions of the cowboy
    Bush, I demand these trials
    of me be postponed and the
    charges dismissed -- and I
    get my country back.

    By Blogger Videos by Professor Howdy, at 9:15 PM  

  • Hmmm. I guess I'll let that last comment stay up. Whatever the claims to humour, it's awfully obnoxious. But such, it seems, is what the right-wing is all about.

    Care to debate the actual issues? No, of course not.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 9:39 PM  

  • Oyun oyunlar oyun oyna gibi kelimeler toner kartuş konuları yer almakta bedava oyunlar
    2 Oyunculu Oyunlar - Yetenek Oyunları - Dövüş Oyunları - Aksiyon Macera Oyunları - Nişancılık Oyunları - Spor Oyunları - Yarış Oyunları - Zeka Hafıza Oyunları - oyun çocukta doğuştan gelen bir tabiat ve Allah'ın onda yarattığı bir içgüdüdür. Bunun temelinde çocuğun fiziksel gelişiminin mükemmel bir tarzda gelişimdirMotor Oyunları - Mario Oyunları - Savaş Oyunları - Strateji Taktik Oyunları - Yemek Pişirme Oyunları - Dekor Oyunları - Boyama Kitabı Oyunları - 3 Boyutlu Oyunlar - Hugo Oyunları - Sonic Oyunları - Webcam Oyunları - Peri Güzellik Oyunları - Battleon Oyunları - Süper Oyunlar - İlizyon Oyunları - Komik Oyunlar - Teletabi Oyunları - Giysi Giydirme oyunları - Makyaj yapma oyunları -çocuğun en özenli işidir. Yetişkin için iş ve kazanç ne ise onun için de oyun odur... Dış dünyanın kavranılması öğrenilmesi ve hayata hazırlanmanın en ... Kız oyunları - Çocuk Oyunları - işletme oyunları - varmısın yokmusun - Bebek Oyunları - Oyun - Animasyon - Oyun Oyna - Oyunlar - Oyun Cambazı - Bedava Oyunlar - motosiklet dergisi - animasyon - renkli toner tozları - fotokopi toneri - kartuş - toner - boş toner - boş kartuş - toner dram - toner chip - toner tozu - toner dolumu - kartuş dolumu - kartuş dolum malzemeleri - kartuş dolum makinesi - renkli toner dolumu - Bedava Oyun - Kral oyun

    By Blogger cicicocuk, at 5:19 PM  

  • By Blogger mirckeyfi, at 11:46 AM  

  • By Blogger mirckeyfi, at 1:52 PM  

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