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March 29, 2007


Karl Rove

Very well said Jubal.


I'm not sure I wouldn't have waited a while longer before passing these resolutions. I don't think the surge will work but it would eliminate the charge that people didnt give it a chance. And there is a remote chance(probably about as good as me winning the lottery)things will turn around.

But Jubal, we're not in the business of being an occupying empire. The country doesn't want it and in a democracy, "I know what's best, damm the people," works until the next election and then its a ride across the River Styx. Occupying empires don't always win---much if it is simply a matter of time----the Roman Senate or Emperors didn't pass Reid-Pelosi type resolututions to withdraw from Gaul or Judea; the Empire decayed and the Romans were eventually defeated by people who would never give up fighting the Romans. Speaking of the Phillippines, how long do you think we could have held on to that territory had we had the will to keep it?

Same here---the cost of the soldiers killed and wounded and the financial costs are simply not justified in most American's minds. Victory, in the sense I think you are using it, is not going to happen, at least in our lifetime. Victory in this context is a strategic withdrawl that brings in regional and international forces to try and stop Iraq from further sliding into chaos. But plenty of people warned that if you took out madman Sadaam, you'd get chaos. You reap what you sow.

Occupying empires and countries lose the "will" to continue the occupation when the cost-benefit analysis doesn't warrant the expense in human life and economic resources that occupying conflicts cause to be spent. The relevancy of how we got into the war to the issue of the publics "will" is that once a public is lied to in order to get the country to support an invasion, it will give little weight to the arguments of the liars to continue the occupation.

I'm with you on the danger of sending a signal to the wackos of the world that we've turned the clock back to the 1920-40 Fortress America period. We can't do that. I just don't agree that continuing with the present strategy in Iraq is the right message and certainly not worth the cost. The people who are the biggest supporters of us staying are Muslim fanatics who are using our misadventure to recruit a whole new generation of zealots committed to the destruction of the US.


"History is clear: occupying powers always win -- provided their will to prevail doesn't fail. "

I agree with this post, except for this line. Much our county's history and success has been a result of occupying powers being beaten (Revolutionary War, WWII Germany) and I dont believe we won those wars due to a lack of will to win by our enemies, but simply they were strategically and tactically mismatched for that particular conflict.


Giving up has become the new signature of America. Work is too hard, I give up. Takes too long to get mine, I give up. The hurt me, I give up.

War is death, always has been, and always will be. America was formed by people who did not give up, regardless of the odds, the death, the pain, and thankfully there was very little press reporting on the absurdness of the war, or they might have given up.

If you quit before your done, you throw all the sacrifice of those sent to war away. 1 life or 20 lost does not make a war better or worse. For 1 is as important as 20, or 500, or 10,000.

America may wish to get out, that's fine. Take them all out now, commit to failure, and leave. No need to take 18 months, just leave now. But, everyone who wishes America out, had better be ready to be responsible for any, and all consequences. And we as a people will be responsible for happens after we leave, if the job is not finished.

But it is easy to reconcile yourself to defeat, that it is not my problem, not my fault, it is their problem, they don't want us, they don;t need us, the are different, they are the wrong religion, they are bad people, we were wrong, we should not have gone, it is our fault for going........ the excuses are endless.

But as has been said, with great power comes great responsibility, and either we will be a great nation, or a poor wannabe, who goes down in history as such.

I am sure that every word out of congress is being spread to all the terrorist of the world, saying, see , they have no power, they are easily beaten, all we have to do is make them tired, then the lazy ones will go hide and take the others with them. We can beat them for they are weak and fight among themselves, they deserve to die, let us go kill them.

It is easy to see why America is hated, not because we are bully's, but because we have no morals, no endurance, and we have no will.


"History is clear: occupying powers always win -- provided their will to prevail doesn't fail. "


Iraq is now one of the three longest shooting wars this country has ever fought. Both of the other two fights also involved a global superpower acting across an ocean against less-well armed locals. In both the Revolutionary War and the Viet Nam conflict, the vastly more powerful nation eventually packed up and went home.

Also note that the British and French government hold sway over less territory than they did 60 years ago. That's because those "occupying powers" stopped occupying.

If history isn't your cup of tea, take a cue from pop culture. Did you notice what happened to the "occupying power" in 300?

An open ended commitment is not strategy.


ice wrote:
"It is easy to see why America is hated, not because we are bully's, but because we have no morals, no endurance, and we have no will."

That's not what the hundreds of non-Americans I have spoken with across three continents in the last several years say. Where do you travel, ice?

Just last Tuesday night a couple recently back from living abroad was explaining how uncomfortable it had become to be in a foreign country because of the increase inanti-Americanism they faced over Iraq, and especially Gitmo. The country in question? Australia. Even the Aussies, who fought so well beside us in Viet Nam and have experience terrorist attacks themselves are cheesed-off over our handling of this war.

Few are calling for end to the war an terrorism. However getting out of our losing position in Iraq strikes me as a good start towards winning the war.


On Wednesday, the Saudi king charged that "in beloved Iraq, blood is being shed among brothers in the shadow of an illegitimate foreign occupation and ugly sectarianism threatens civil war."

On Thursday, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani charged that the US-led invasion of his country four years ago had turned into an occupation with dire consequences for Iraq.

Talabani, a member of the Kurdish minority which has been largely insulated from the violence and devastation visited on other parts of the country since Saddam Hussein fell, was addressing the Arab summit in the Saudi capital.

"The decision to turn the liberation of Iraq into an occupation ... with the dire consequences this had internally and the fears (it aroused) in Arab, regional and international arenas, all this was contrary to what Iraqi parties and national forces were planning at the time," he said.



I'd suggest history isn't your cup of tea.

In the Revolutionary War, the Americans and their French allies defeated the British on the battlefield and convinced the British that holding onto to the 13 colonies was no longer worth it.

In Vietnam, we fought a hundreds of thousands of well-armed, organized and equipped guerrillas and regulars -- whose lines of supply we didn't interdict until late in the conflict. by the time we adopted a strategy that could reduce the level of conflict in Vietnam to a level the South Vietnamese government could handle, the American government -- more precisely, the Congress -- lost the will to prevail.

Two devastating World Wars had enervated the British and French empires. They lacked the will and resources to hold on to the Empires. By and large, they were not ejected by native insurrection but gave up their colonies. Do you think the course of the British and French empires would have been the same if WWI hadn't shattered the supremely confident, prosperous and vigorous European civilization that existed antebellum?

Finally, you might ask the Gauls if the share your opinion of my statement.


Tyler, the Persians under both Darius and Xerxes failed to demonstrate that all important "will to prevail." If only they had it! No disasters at Marathon, Salamis, and Mycale. But then the Persian Empire was an autocracy - the King of Kings made all the decisions and everybody else, out of deference, cowardice, or fear just went along for the ride. The King's advisors and satraps simply flattered and fawned over him, outdoing themselves in sycophancy.

Oh. Wait a minute.


"Finally, you might ask the Gauls if the share your opinion of my statement"

Um, just out of idle curiosity where would tylerh find a Gaul?


My point exactly.

Thomas Gordon

"This war is not worth the spilling of another drop of American blood" said braindead Harry Reid as he voted to send more cash and allow more Americans to die for his parties political gain.

If he was even half serious, he would cut funding today and demand they come home today.

He cares less about our brave troops than he does about our countries future.


This argument seems too one dimensional for me. It assumes that all the fighting we are doing in Iraq is against terrorist, however, much of the fighting is now cival Iraqi fighting.

True, terrorists are fanning the flames, however, if we use the Bush administration's policy of taking the fight to the bad guys, lets take it to Afghanistan where they are still training. Using the same logic, all the bad guys come running over to the fight in Afghanistan, where we have an established tactical and strategic advantages.

Kill the bad guys where it is easier to kill them. Draw them out of urban Iraq and blast them away in the hills of Afghanistan. I don't believe it is a defeatist attitude to thin out in Iraq, just a better move in the larger war on terror.

Okie Sooner

If we leave Iraq before the job is finished I predict it will go down in our nation's history as our biggest mistake. If we show the world that we do not have the will to finish our battles, especially after Vietnam, every terrorist wacko with access to weapons will target America and Americans. Whether we like it or not, we must finish the job we are pursuing. We did not choose this battle, it was brought to our shores in the most horrific event ever witnessed by mankind. While the cappuccino sipping liberals want to pretend that nothing happened to cause our response,and that we are the evil ones, as a Christian I have a clear picture of right versus wrong. We must stand up to terrorists because they DO HAVE THE WILL to fight and they don't care if they die. We must recognize the enemy for who they are and always do the right thing.

Two final thoughts. We are not at war in Iraq, we won the war. If we didn't, why then do we have control of the Country? We are battling for stability against a few hundred terrorists with car bombs and who abide by no defined rules. I'm tired of the media referring to it as the Iraq War!

Second, please tell Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer to stop saying that they are speaking for the American people when they don't. I would be hard pressed to identify one person I know who would say either of these foolish women speak for them.


Okie -- Iraq didn't attack us on 9/11; Al Qaeda did. Going after them in Afghanistan is the right thing to do.

Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer do speak for me here. Elections have consequences. The American people no longer support the effort in Iraq. The president is hovering around a 28 percent approval rating.

Matt -- it's not fair to take the reasons why we went to warin Iraq off the table. It was a big screw up by people who should have known better. The NeoCons and the Project for the New American Century share much of the blame.

The vote on the Iraq spending bill supports wounded veterans, buys adequate equipment and makes sure only soldiers trained go to Iraq. It uses timetables set by the President himself in a speech he made in January.

Defeatist to leave? No. Not at all. The first thing you do when you realize you're in a hole is stop digging.

But if you support the president and the war, by all means enlist and volunteer for duty there.


Holy mackerel, Jubal. The historical example you cite of successful occupation(Romans in Gaul) lasted over 500 years. I hope that's not prophetic.


Well said, Jubal.

There seems to be a certain kind of hysteria abroad in the land (and the Democrat party) that the insurgents are unbeatable in some mythic, powerful Eastern kinda way. (It's also racist, but that's another story.)

We finally have the right general and the right strategy. Yes, I wish Bush would have changed leaders three years ago, but I'll give them the same amount of time we occupied Germany and Japan before I give up.

The biggest--maybe the critical failure--so far has been the lack of rallying from the President, IMO.

Read a history of the Copperheads in the Civil war, and you will see this resolution is politics, politics of the lowest order, and a repeat of recycled, feel-good defeatist claptrap.

The Mechanical Eye

During the Philippine War, the Filipino guerrilla army closely followed the 1900 presidential election between incumbent President William McKinley and anti-war Democratic nominee William Jennings Bryan. Bryan's lopsided defeat was a major blow to the desire of the Filipino guerrillas will to fight on, and American forces brought the war to a close by 1902. (I don't advocate employing the brutal examples of our tactics during that conflict over in Iraq -- we couldn't even if we wanted to. I'm simply using the Philippine War as an example to illustrate my point).

I don't want to push the "imperialist" argument here, but, notably, all successful campaigns against insurgents cited by the war's dwindling supporters (like Jonah Goldberg and his references to a Malyasian campaign by the British) both involved a) a lot of time and b) brutal methods that wouldn't strike the public as "American" anymore.

And, like the war in the Philippines, it'll be written that they didn't attack us - we attacked them. Iraq has been one long distraction on the War on Terror, and if our will is sapped to win, I'd rather blame the GOP collectively for mismanaging the war than on the public the GOP sold the war to.

If terrorists think we are weak, we have the GOP to thank. As a Republican myself, I think we've collectively lost credibility on warmaking decisions.


Okie Sooner

Dan C: Elections Have Consequences, nice line. Are you paying royalties to Barbara Boxer for that one? By the way, why weren't you using that line when Republicans were kicking your butts all the time? All I heard then from Democrats was how stupid the American people were for voting Republican. Well, guess what, your margins are razor thin and I predict the Dems will soon be out of power...again. Your policies don't mesh with America. The only reason you won is because Republicans have forgotten their base and have ignored the issues that matter to middle America. It wasn't about the war....sorry, but the media is wrong. Secondly, Iraq may not have attacked us but they were one of the staging grounds for terrorists (let's see, who was paying the families of bombers who killed Israelies?) Anyway, our war is with the radical muslims that we are now fighting in Iraq. Unfortunately the media and Democrats don't seem to understand or care about the significance or importance of what we are engaged in. Too bad, our very Democracy is at stake but you are unwilling to fight to protect it.... Oh wait, you will send the ACLU out to "protect" our civil liberties because they mean so much to you, but you won't support our troops who are the ones who are truly protecting our liberties.

P.S. On the good news front, Barbara Boxer's days are numbered. Either she retires after her current term or Arnold sends her packing in 2010. I am marking down the days on my calendar.

Have not followed it in a while

From a historical perspective, how successful have occupaying forces been in bringing peace to waring religious sects.

Is it a function of the US Military to put American lives at risk to try to stem the violence of a sectarian civil war?

Why did April Gillespie say that the US does not have an opinion on Arab disputes giving Sadam a green light to invade Kuwait if in fact we had an agreement with Kuwait to defend it?

Morning Coffee

I wish I had the historical knowledge that some of you have so I could be more "eloquent", but I don't, so I'll just stumble forward in my simplistic way. I never bought into the idea of invading Iraq and I agree it has become the best terrorist recruiting tool out there. I agree that Bush has squandered the good will we had in the rest of the world after 9/11. That being said, just take a look at our more recent history.

We negotiated peace in Vietnam, which is nothing more than code for- we left. We backed the Moujahadeen in Afghanistan, against the Russians, then left them to hang out to dry. We invaded Afghanistan, made serious promises to those people, then left to attack Iraq. Now, we've created a disaster in Iraq and many of "our leaders" are urging us to, once again, walk away. We got into all these "wars" because our elected leaders allowed it, in the name of helping to establish democracy, around the world.

At what point do we, as a nation, have to take responsibility for the messes we create? How long do we stay in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else we've created chaos? How long is long enough to fix the mess? I don't know, but my big question is- will we ever hold those responsible for this string of bad decisions accountable? We seem to keep electing the same idiots, or the same type of idiots, over and over. Yes, Iraq will go down in history as a huge mistake, but it will have plenty of company.


Okie -- might want to check your poll results again. It's the Republicans out of step with most of America. Just google the lastest Pew Research results. The vast majorty of Americans no longer support ongoing war in Iraq. President Bush's approval ratings are in the high 20s. I venture to say the majority of the country believes my take more than yours.

And yes, elections have consequences; look what re-electing Bush in 2004 has done. As for razor thin margins, that's what the GOP had twice but you governed as though you had a massive mandate from the American people when you didn't. And now, the GOP is whining about how the views of the minority party aren't being respected.

Iraq was not the staging ground for Al Qaeda before we invaded, but it is now. I believe it was the Saudis and not the Iraqis paying families of terorists, but they are such good friends with the Bush administration. And I do support the troops -- the bill passed by Congress and the Senate provides for adequate funding, care for wounded vets and a timeline to withdraw based on guidelines provided by the president. I don't support the troops?! Then I boxed all those Girl Scout cookies to ship to Iraq for nothing...

Thomas Gordon

"if you support the president and the war, by all means enlist and volunteer for duty there"

That like saying, If you believe in global warming, sell your car and walk.

Or by the same logic you use, Pelosi does not support our troops because she has not enlisted and had a tour of duty.




While fun, these history lessons don't matter because the US already has set a deadline to began a stand down in Iraq: Jan 20, 2009. Given that ongoing Iraqi policy has caused a 40 point drop in the polls for the current occupant of the White House, how do you see any possible victor of the 2008 election continuing W's Mesopotamian policies?

The argument isn't about *if* the US will stand down. That was decided on November 7, 2006 unless W can stage a dramatic turnaround, soon. Even the President's choice of language, the "Surge," admits that the number of US troops in Iraq is slated to decline. The debate has moved on to the timing and manner of the coming standdown.

However, since we both love this historical stuff, I'll point out that the Roman History strongly supports my side of the argument. The Romans coveted the land between the rivers even before they had Caesars, but failed to hold Mesopotamia multiple times. Not even Hadrian could hold translate military victories along the Tigris into governable provinces.

Okie Sooner

Dan C: Yes, boxing Girl Scout cookies for our troops is really showing support. My friends who are serving and who are on the other end of your cookie shipments tell me that they prefer the letters of support they recieve as opposed to the cookie shipments from anti-war hippies who want to claim they are supporting them. The troops tell me that it's nice to know that when you put your life on the line day in and day out, that your country appreciates your efforts. Thin mints are nice, real support is much nicer.

Continue to live in your fantasy that the American people love the Democratic Party and their agenda because you will soon be sadly disappointed once more. The Democrats election had to do more with the Republicans lack of leadership on issues such as immigration, healthcare reform etc. and their corruption scandels than it did with the American public's love of the policies of the Democratic Party. Once the Republican base returns (after Bush), the Democrats will be hard pressed to keep their gains. Your liberal polcicies are out of step with America, and two years will be enough.

By the way, I am also very angry at our President and his poll numbers are reflective of how I feel as a Republican. However, it doesn't mean that I do not support the war. Don't make the mistake of misreading the numbers. Enjoy attending your Barbara Boxer fundraisers while our troops are dodging bullets in Iraq.

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