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Archive for Monday, July 21, 2008

Obama arrives in Iraq to confer with war commanders, troops

July 21, 2008

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Other developments

¢ Presidential candidate Barack Obama pledged steadfast aid to Afghanistan in talks Sunday with its Western-backed leader and vowed to pursue the war on terror "with vigor" if elected, an Afghan official said.

On the second day of an international tour designed to burnish his foreign policy credentials, Illinois Sen. Obama and a pair of colleagues held two hours of talks with President Hamid Karzai at his palace in the capital, Kabul.

¢ A fixed timetable for withdrawing U.S. combat troops from Iraq could jeopardize political and economic progress, Adm. Mike Mullen, the Pentagon's top military officer said Sunday.

— A U.S. Embassy official said Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama arrived in Iraq today where he will meet with commanders and troops in a war he has long opposed.

Obama was expected to meet Gen. David Petraeus as well as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki while in the country, although aides provided few details, citing security concerns.

Obama arrived as part of a congressional delegation that also included Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., following stops in Kuwait and Afghanistan. The delegation met Sunday in Kuwait City with Kuwait's emir, Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, and other senior officials, the Kuwait News Agency reported.

All three are longtime critics of the U.S. involvement in the war in Iraq. Obama has called for withdrawing American troops at the rate of one or two brigades per month, and an end to combat operations within 16 months. He has said he favors leaving a residual force in the country to provide security for U.S. personnel, train Iraqis and counter attacks by al-Qaida.

The delegation arrived amid controversy over al-Maliki's published comments in a German magazine that appeared to endorse Obama's 16-month timetable. The Iraqi leader's aides have since said his remarks were misunderstood, and he is not taking sides in the U.S. election.

Obama's trip occurred less than four months before the presidential election. It is Obama's second trip to Iraq, but conditions are quite different from when he visited in January 2006. Obama's first tour was treated as a footnote, while the country was caught in a growing Sunni insurgency and was moving toward a flood of sectarian violence. But the bloodshed has declined significantly since Bush sent thousands more troops last year to help quell the rising violence.

Sen. John McCain has been critical of Obama's position on Iraq, saying the decision to pull out should be determined by progress, not a timetable.

The presumed Republican candidate supports the war, and has been critical of some aspects of its handling. But he was a vocal supporter of the decision to send in more troops.

McCain's foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, said Obama "is stubbornly adhering to an unconditional withdrawal that places politics above the advice of our military commanders, the success of our troops, and the security of the American people."

"Barack Obama is wrong to advocate withdrawal at any cost just as he was wrong to oppose the surge that has put victory within reach," Scheunemann said in a statement.

U.S. commanders have begun withdrawing some of those additional troops and Obama argues they should be sent to Afghanistan, which he says is the "central front" in the fight against terrorism, to reinforce efforts there against a resurgent Taliban and to control spiraling violence.

McCain also supports sending troop reinforcements to Afghanistan.

"There's starting to be a growing consensus that it's time for us to withdraw some of our combat troops out of Iraq, deploy them here in Afghanistan, and I think we have to seize that opportunity. Now is the time for us to do it," Obama said in a CBS News interview broadcast Sunday after a two-hour meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Comments

scott3460 6 years, 2 months ago

Do any of them know how to use the word "biased?" Geez, you'd think you'd figure out how to use a word before purporting to criticize others for not knowing what it means.

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scott3460 6 years, 2 months ago

"The messiah has had a wonderful time and is looking forward to meeting the leaders that he will be working with the next "8 to 10" years. I guess the messiah thinks the he is going to change terms from 4 years to 5 year terms for president."Well.......when you consider it will be 9 months or so before he is sworn in to his first term, and then he will carry on for several months as a lame duck after the end of his second term, it is very easy to see 9 years of working with the leaders. Then if you consider his role helping during President Clinton's first term, his active involvement on the world's stage could easily fall within the 8-10 year range. Where's the gaffe in that? When are you fools going to learn to stop and try to understand what this Harvard Law grad has said, rather than assuming that you've "caught" him.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

I don't claim any particular bias, other than being against any thinking or policies or actions that are ignorant or erroneous or irrational, which is why I oppose nearly everything BushCo does-- their nearly unbroken record of arrogant ignorance, stupidity and incompetence is just too hard to ignore. I would think that anyone who is a true conservative would be offended by their claims to conservatism.

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Satirical 6 years, 2 months ago

bozo..."That you can't see or acknowledge the extreme damage BushCo has done, in so many areas, mocks you, not me."This is entirely out of leftfield and irrelevant to the discussion. It would be like me bringing up global warming someone wanted to talk about anything. We could discuss global warming but it is not relevant to the discussion. Get over it.

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chet_larock 6 years, 2 months ago

Madmike also hates America and funnels money to terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

Barry-- let us know when you have a thought that has managed to climb out of the primordial soup.

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Satirical 6 years, 2 months ago

bozo..."Interesting that you take exception to my comment to Barry"I don't find it interesting because I don't pretend to be non-biased. I am a conservative and seek to illustrated liberal posts and posters when they are being illogical and have ignorant or erroneous opinions.

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chet_larock 6 years, 2 months ago

Talk about your derangement syndromes! The Obama Derangement Syndrome looks like it will put BDS to shame before the man even gets inaugurated!

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Satirical 6 years, 2 months ago

Bozo:"There's plenty of them here, satirical."Is this one example? "Barry- let us know when you have a thought that has managed to climb out of the primordial soup." - bozo

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ndmoderate 6 years, 2 months ago

McCain had a wonderful time in Iraq as well, barry -- remember him, strolling idly down the market street in Baghdad, buying cheap rugs, laughing, flanked by 100 US soldiers?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"Probably more of you twisting what I say, "You do a pretty good job of twisting your own words.

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chet_larock 6 years, 2 months ago

You'll probably be waiting a while, du. These people don't know which end is up.

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monkeyspunk 6 years, 2 months ago

"The Commander-In-Chief should order his field officers and enlisted men to refuse to speak to Hussein Obama and immediately court-martial any officer or enlisted man who refuses the order."He is a sitting Senator. Are they not allowed to speak to Hagel and Reed either?Silly Marion. =P

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Satirical 6 years, 2 months ago

Bozo:"I don't claim any particular bias:"You may not claim any, but it is clear to any objective person that you are clearly a liberal.The other problem I have with your posts are that you keep referring to Bush even when it is totally irrelevant, which is why I mock many of them. Bush isn't a true conservative, I agree, now we can get over this issue and get back on topic?

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Satirical 6 years, 2 months ago

Bozo...Let us know when you learn how to make arguments rather than personal attacks, or labeling of arguments without given evidence to support your reasoning.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

From the article--"McCain's foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, said Obama "is stubbornly adhering to an unconditional withdrawal that places politics above the advice of our military commanders, the success of our troops, and the security of the American people.""----------------------------------------------Who is Randy Scheunemann?"A well-connected lobbyist and political insider who serves as an advisor to Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) presidential campaign, Randy Scheunemann is the founder and president of the public relations firm Orion Strategies 1 and was an active supporter of advocacy groups aimed at building support for the invasion of Iraq. His firms have represented various military contractor and oil interests. Along with neoconservative figures like Robert Kagan and William Kristol, Scheunemann served as a director of the now-defunct Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a letterhead group that played an important role in building support for the Iraq War and an expansive "war on terror." 2 He also headed the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI), a post-9/11 advocacy outfit that pushed for war in Iraq. Like PNAC, CLI played a key role forging a coalition of Beltway figures who supported a Middle East agenda that had at its core toppling Saddam Hussein. 3 CLI members included McCain and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT). 4"http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/1347.htmlClearly, with Scheunemann heading McCain's foreign policy, what we'll get is McBushCo.

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chet_larock 6 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, duplenty. Far too many to count or list here, but somehow, Obama's inconsistencies are more important because... there's some funny logic comin' from them dang ol' right-wingers lately. I'm thinking they'll be some heads exploding soon. What comes around goes around.

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Bossa_Nova 6 years, 2 months ago

does anybody know what obama plans to do when he's potus? has he said what he plans to do? theres no doubt in my mind that he'll be potus, but i'm clueless as to what he plans to start working on once he's in. would somebody please tell me? marion and bea, please be nice to one another. both of you bring interesting comments to the table but when you two start squabbling you arent posting your interesting comments . sorry for sounding like a turd

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chet_larock 6 years, 2 months ago

"yes, I hold Obama personally responsible for that ad"see my 11:51.

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Satirical 6 years, 2 months ago

Duplenty:Here we go again:let me guess how this will turn out. Probably more of you twisting what I say, just like you did in this post."I didn't ignore what you posted (why is it that I have to refer to anything you post? "You did ignore my arguments against Obama, by fallaciously focusing on a single sentence about McCain which was not my main argument. I never stated you had to refer to anything I post, but when you DO, and you choose drop the majority of my argument it is clear you can't counter that argument. Of course you would claim you don't feel like it, a.k.a. I am unable to.I could go on explaining how McCain's alleged flip-flops you cited are really not flip-flops or are changes in position due to changing circumstance not due to political expediency (unlike Obama) but that would be pointless since like I said Obama's flip-flops are much more detrimental to him.

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Satirical 6 years, 2 months ago

bozo..."If BushCo had decided that dressing all the troops up in pink frilly lace was the "key to victory," you'd all be declaring it a "success,""The only reason Bush decided to dress the troops up in pink frilly lace is to give the Americans a softer image around the world. It also has the advantage of being lighter, increasing troop mobility and decreasing the rates of heat exhaustion compared to the heavy uniform they previously wore. Bush's decision to dress the troops up in pink frilly lace was the right think to do given our needs in the Middle East and around the world.

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Flap Doodle 6 years, 2 months ago

The names of long-dead kings are going to be spelled in different ways, marioni.And there's nothing you can do about it!

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BigAl 6 years, 2 months ago

barrypenders (Anonymous) says: The messiah opposed the surge before he supported it.Thanks to the surge, the messiah is able to visit the middle east.***********You are almost right. Obama opposed the war in the beginning. For some reason, he thought we should actually go after the people that attacked us.

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chet_larock 6 years, 2 months ago

"yes, I hold Obama personally responsible for that ad"Wow.

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Satirical 6 years, 2 months ago

bozo..."BushCo's incompetence is irrelevant to a discussion of the quagmire they created in Iraq?"The discussion is what we do about Iraq going forward, not why we were there in the first place. Please learn to read.

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beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

It is important that he visit Iraq to see the mess he will be left to clean up. Of course, seeing as how this is more than five years after "Mission Accomplished" was celebrated, everything is going perfectly smoothly, the war continues to pay for itself, Americans continue to be greeted as liberators, we have dismantled all of the WMDs, and ... Obama for President!

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chet_larock 6 years, 2 months ago

Where'd you hear that "quote", barry?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

There's plenty of them here, satirical. Just because you are unable to successfully counter them doesn't mean that your declarations of their non-existence have any validity.

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scott3460 6 years, 2 months ago

"Good. Good plan, Mr. Bush, Bozo likes. Wait, since by "bribing" you mean "given jobs, given a stake in regional security, and given a stake in the Iraqi government," and you think that was foolish,"Or maybe he meant bush taking my tax dollars and using them to bribe the warring factions in Iraq to quit fighting long enough for him to claim victory. As opposed to say using our tax dollars on the betterment of American lives.

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Satirical 6 years, 2 months ago

chet_larock...Obama's flip-flops are more significant for him, please refer to my argument at 8:45 and 9:40.

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chet_larock 6 years, 2 months ago

Right, nd. BTW, where'd barry hear that "quote"? Faux Noise, Limbaugh, Hannity?

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chet_larock 6 years, 2 months ago

Ms. Nancy, why do you hate America? Why are you supporting the terrorists?

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chet_larock 6 years, 2 months ago

barry, you're either a liar or you cannot comprehend what you see and/or hear. obama never said he was "having a wonderful time in iraq".

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

Interesting that you take exception to my comment to Barry, a comment that sums up his posts pretty succinctly, I think, but not to Barry's posts.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

If you're ignorant of the past, you're doomed to repeat it, satirical. Denial of BushCo's incompetence, especially with one its prime architects being McBush's main foreign policy adviser, only increases the likelihood of having the disaster of McBushCo inflicted on us for the next 4 years.

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Satirical 6 years, 2 months ago

Obama's flip-flops are more important than McCain's for two reasons (1) Obama tries to sell himself by claiming he is the candidate of change (political outsider going to change Washington) and has good judgment. When we realize he is just another politician, and changes his stance on issues due to political expediency, it is clear he won't really bring any change other than socialist ideals. McCain does not purport to be a political outsider, but has over the years attempted to do a great deal to change Washington including limiting the influence of money can buy with politics (which Obama obviously opposed by rejecting public financing). (2) Since Obama is inexperienced no one really knows what he stands for, so when he constantly changes his positions it makes people leery of voting for a candidate who makes decisions based on public opinion polls. However, everyone knows where McCain stands on the issues given his long political track record. When people realize Obama is a typical politician, has poor judgment (like opposing the surge) and has no real experience, it is clear he not the best candidate.

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Satirical 6 years, 2 months ago

bozo..."If you're ignorant of the past, you're doomed to repeat it, satirical."Ok, so apparently according to your logic Bush is relevant to every discussion no matter what the topic is really about. Therefore so is global warming, the war of 1812, and the Bay of Pigs fiasco is also relevant to every discussion.

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Satirical 6 years, 2 months ago

Obama's two talking points are that he is the candidate of change (not a typical politician), and that he has the necessary judgment (since he lacks the experience). Obama is definitely the candidate of change, he changes his position on almost every issue. He changes his position due to political expediency.Obama's lacks judgment as well. He was wrong clearly about the surge. McCain supported the surge and Obama opposed it. If Obama had his way Iraq would would have decended into a civil war with ethnic cleansing the likes of Darfur. It is now clear the surge has worked and if things continue to improve we can start bringing the troops home to a victory banner!Obama lacks the experience, is typical politician, and lacks the judgment to be Commander-in-Chief, Leader of the Free World, and President of the United States of America. Why would anyone vote for this guy?

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Satirical 6 years, 2 months ago

duplenty...Thanks for reinforcing the reason I don't normally respond to you. You have no concept of what an argument is, or how to counter one, and only know how to fallaciosly respond.

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chet_larock 6 years, 2 months ago

Ok, barry. I'll spell it out for you - what publication, what network, where in print, did Obama say he was having a "wonderful time in Iraq"?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"You may not claim any, but it is clear to any objective person that you are clearly a liberal."Is that "libral" with a sneer, ala Fox News or Limbaugh?"The other problem I have with your posts are that you keep referring to Bush even when it is totally irrelevant, which is why I mock many of them."That you can't see or acknowledge the extreme damage BushCo has done, in so many areas, mocks you, not me."Bush isn't a true conservative, I agree, now we can get over this issue and get back on topic?"Then on what basis do you support his warmongering?

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beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

Marion: Little John's parents used an alternative spelling when they carved his name into the stone tablet. Take it up with them. Your lack of support for Obama isn't racist, but your insistance in constantly using "Hussein" as a fear tactic against the non-White "other" is. You are a racist. Deal with it.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

The surge didn't work-- ethnic cleansing "worked;" bribing Sunni tribal chiefs to fight al Qaeda "worked;" a unilateral ceasefire by the Mahdi Army "worked."But despite all this success, the economy and infrastructure are still in shambles. One out of five Iraqis is still a refugee. The Iraqi army and police are still nothing but auxiliary forces for the US military, at best. The political structure of the country is still completely fractured and unable to address even the most basic needs of the Iraqi people.But what's the single most unifying theme within Iraq, and has been since March of 2003? That the Americans should leave. Most Americans agree. The time is now. Bring em' home.

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jmadison 6 years, 2 months ago

Senator Obama is gaining valuable experience since when he is President Obama, he will be dealing with Middle East leaders for the next 8-10 years, per his quote from an interview on CBS. I guess this means he hopes to repeal the 22nd Amendment.

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Satirical 6 years, 2 months ago

What a surprise, duplenty ignores my argument about Obama.

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beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

Racism and hatred for fellow Americans is here rampant today! Hey Marion, did you know that John "Nebeckanezer" McCain is 71 years old, and will be 72 when Obama is sworn in as President.

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beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

hey bossa-nova, mind your own business. just kidding. Obama intends to seriously work on bringing some level of healthcare to all, he intends to get us out of Iraq asap and focus on Afghanistan where the "bad guys" have been all along, he intends to not ignore science and will lead the country in the search for alternative fuels and not ignore global warming, etc.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

There are no great ideas w/regards Iraq-- that was made impossible at the time of the invasion. In the last six months, the general course of events has been somewhat less negative than in the previous years, but that is likely very temporary. Ethnic cleansing helped separate groups that were killing each other, but it created a refugee problem that is wholly un-addressed, by anyone.Most Sunni tribes never liked al Qaeda, and if they were part of the insurgency, they ran their own operations. They mostly see al Qaeda as meddling outsiders. For now, they are taking American money while they rid themselves of this annoyance. Once they are gone, if the money isn't good enough, the Americans will again be their major annoyance.Al Sadr and the Mahdi Army have their own agenda, and it has nothing to do with what the Iraqi or American governments want. They still largely control their areas within Iraq, and for the moment, they are happy just maintaining that. If that control is ever challenged, expect them to open things up again. BTW, when Malicki attacked Basra, 1000 of his army defected, and only US air support saved his a$$ from total disaster.I have no plans for Iraq. Not my job. I merely note that of all the horrible options BushCo created for us all, withdrawing US troops ASAP is an integral part of the least horrible of those options.

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acg 6 years, 2 months ago

Bozo, you're going to be waiting an eternity for that to happen.

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Godot 6 years, 2 months ago

Why didn't Obama personally meet with Petraeus when he was in Washington last spring? Was it because he was too busy working with moveon to get that "General Betrayus" ad placed in the NYT?Note how Obama responds to unfavorable publicity. He punished The New Yorker by not allowing their reporter to be a part of his entourage for this trip. Yet Petraeus is actually going to meet with the man (yes, I hold Obama personally responsible for that ad) who publicly accused Petraeus of betraying America.Obama, small, petty, insecure, totalitarian; Petraeus, a giant of a man.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

If BushCo had decided that dressing all the troops up in pink frilly lace was the "key to victory," you'd all be declaring it a "success," and branding anyone who said anything otherwise a surrender monkey.

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Satirical 6 years, 2 months ago

duplenty..."I'd very much like you to "go on" and explain how "McCain's alleged flip-flops you cited are really not flip-flops"."Apparently I can't since "(I've) made no argument"

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"This is entirely out of leftfield and irrelevant to the discussion."BushCo's incompetence is irrelevant to a discussion of the quagmire they created in Iraq?To quote, chet, "Wow!!"

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jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

I do apologize that I couldn't cite impartial observers like Pelosi, Reid, Murrtha, or Olberman. But I reckon it could be Maddow from Air America and there would still be vitriol from our resident pessimists.Personally, I've always maintained that sending troops into the Middle East was a bad idea. Too much sectarianism, too many tribes and in-fighting that's been raging for centuries. I've always believed that such actions would only stir up a hornets nest. But like it or not, we did and we are there. It's like Charlie Wilson said after he helped the Afghani's defeat Russia, 'we fought a noble cause and then screwed up the end game' (loose quote). I'd prefer we don't do the same here. Unfortunately, too many ala Bozo et al. love to throw out "mission accomplished" without any perspective. Did you really believe that we could oust a genocidal dictator, his regime and system of government, and replace it all with functioning infrastructure in 6 months? A year? 5 years? Considering there's a nation being basically re-organized from the ground up, it seems that reaching the progressive marks that have been achieved thus far is fairly remarkable. I don't want to be there forever, but stranding the Iraqi citizenry like we did after Desert Storm would be criminal.There will definitely come a time when we need to kick this bird out of the nest, no matter how painful those left in power are to find it. Lord Mountbatten said to Gandhi concerning England's departure from rule over India, "But if we leave it will be chaos" and Gandhi replied, "Yes, but it will be OUR chaos." I don't think that time is far off for us, but I do think a premature withdrawal is sensless. Let's not have expended all we have for nothing.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

No, screed, more amused that bored. Jaywalker thinks that repeating the question over and over again makes some sort of point. What point, you may ask? None that I can detect other than proving that he's a drama queen with no real point that he can even make, much less support.But that pretty well describes you, too, doesn't it, screed?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"Exactly how much oil have we imported from Iraq thus far, Bozo?"Your point being? Perhaps that the whole plan was so whacked out that it couldn't succeed? If so, I believe you may have a good point. "And how many bases have we 'permanently established' to date?""This must be the part where you demonstrate your willful ignorance.

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jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"I think I covered this, no?"No.

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beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

barrypenders: "Bring the troops home and have them do what? Police ciggarette butts at Ft. Bliss?"Is this how little you think of the people fighting for this country? Don't you realize that they have lives and families and other interests to pursue outside of fighting wars? How pathetic. That may be the most hateful thing aimed at the brave men and women who are fighting for our country I've ever read. I'm even more surprised that your fellow conservatives haven't called you on this. Pathetic.

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jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"The surge didn't work- ethnic cleansing "worked;" bribing Sunni tribal chiefs to fight al Qaeda "worked;" a unilateral ceasefire by the Mahdi Army "worked."But despite all this success, the economy and infrastructure are still in shambles. One out of five Iraqis is still a refugee. The Iraqi army and police are still nothing but auxiliary forces for the US military, at best. The political structure of the country is still completely fractured and unable to address even the most basic needs of the Iraqi people"Aaaaah, Bozo. As usual your post is ridiculously biased and devoid of fact. But what I appreciate most is how you paint this horrible picture, describe how ineffective and messed up the entire country is supposed to be, in your little mind, and your solution is to........GET OUT!!! According to you the country is in shambles, so let's leave. Brilliant.

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jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

(cont.)...Within Iraq, AQI operatives are still seeking aggressively to re-establish bases from which they can launch more substantial operations in the future. They are failing because of the continuous pressure American and Iraqi forces are putting on them from Baghdad to Mosul. If that pressure is relaxed, they will begin to succeed again.The Iranian leaders responsible for Iranian policy in Iraq - principally Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and Brigadier General Qassim Soleimani, commander of the Qods Force - also remain determined. They are retraining and re-equipping thousands of fighters who fled the most recent Iraqi and Coalition operations in Basra, Baghdad, and Maysan Provinces.Past patterns suggest those fighters will return to Iraq and attempt to restart attacks against Coalition Forces in time to disrupt Iraqi elections and to affect America's voting. Their attacks are likely to be more spectacular, but less effective at disrupting Iraqi government and society.If America remains firm in its commitment to success in Iraq, success is very likely. The AQI and Shiite militias at present do not have the capacity to drive Iraq off course - unless both the U.S. and the Iraqi government make a number of serious mistakes.The most serious error would be to withdraw American forces too rapidly. That would strengthen the resolve of both al Qaeda and Iran to persevere in their efforts to disrupt the young Iraqi state and weaken the resolve of those Iraqis, particularly in the Iraqi Security Forces, who are betting their lives on continued American assistance.The blunt fact is this. In Iraq, al Qaeda is on the ropes, and the Shiite militias are badly off-balance. Now is exactly the time to continue the pressure to keep them from regaining their equilibrium. It need not, and probably will not, require large numbers of American casualties to keep this pressure on. But it will require a considerable number of American troops through 2009.Recent suggestions in Washington that reductions could begin sooner or proceed more rapidly are premature. The current force levels will be needed through the Iraqi provincial elections later this year, and consideration of force reductions makes sense only after those elections are over and the incoming commander in Iraq, Gen. Ray Odierno, has evaluated the new situation.(cont.)....

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jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"Exactly how much oil have we imported from Iraq thus far, Bozo?"Bozo: "Your point being? Perhaps that the whole plan was so whacked out that it couldn't succeed? If so, I believe you may have a good point.""And how many bases have we 'permanently established' to date?""Bozo: "This must be the part where you demonstrate your willful ignorance"What...mmm..huh? You blather that this was all about commandeering Iraq oil fields, I ask how much oil we've imported, and you ask what my point is? Which word didn't you understand?'Wilfull ignorance' you say? Answer the questions! How much oil have we imported and how many permanent bases have we established in Iraq? These are YOUR contentions, any chance this one time you might actually be able to back up the garbage you serve up?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

The invasion and occupation are, were and have been about something-- the same thing since it's inception-- the projection of American imperial power, the seizing of Iraq oilfields, and the establishment permanent bases to facilitate military control over other oil producers in the region, and pumping up the already over-inflated egos of those who planned it. This has never been about WMD or the after-thought democratic window dressing thrown out to dupe the willingly ignorant masses.Empires fail. They always fail. Let's pull the plug on this one before it takes us all down with it. Bring the troops home.

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jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

(cont.)...The benefits to the U.S. from seeing the fight through to the end far outweigh the likely costs. For one thing, Iraqis have shown their determination to increase their oil output, currently averaging 2.5 million barrels a day, as fast as they can - something that can only happen if their country is secure.Far more important is the opportunity in our hands today to work with a Muslim country in the heart of the Arab world to inflict the most visible and humiliating defeat possible on al Qaeda. Success in Iraq also makes it possible to establish a strategic partnership with a legitimate, democratic majority-Shia state that is aligned with the U.S. against Iran.Recent comments by some Iraqi leaders about the current negotiations for a status-of-force agreement - made in the context of an increasingly heated election season in Iraq, and with the desire to improve Iraq's bargaining position in the negotiations - do not call the U.S. partnership into question. As we recently found in Baghdad, even the most outspoken advocates of rapid American force reductions strongly insist on a strategic partnership with America that helps Iraq stand up to Iran. Most of Iraq's military leaders are unequivocal about the need for a continued U.S. force presence.The Iraqi government and people - whose surging anti-Persian feeling is more obvious every day - have already shown their willingness to push back against Iranian intervention. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's attack on Iranian-backed forces in Basra, followed by Iraqi-led operations in Baghdad, central Iraq and Maysan, is proof of Baghdad's willingness. Helping Iraq to succeed is our best hope of finding a way of resolving our differences with Iran over the long term without coming to blows.It is time for Americans to recognize it's a whole new ballgame in Iraq. The civil war is over, American troops are not an "irritant" fueling the unrest, and far from becoming dependent upon us, the Iraqi government and the army show more determination every day to run their country and to protect it. But they continue to want and need our assistance.While victory in war is never certain until the war is over, the odds are strongly with us for once - provided we do the right thing. That is to stand by our best ally in the war against al Qaeda, and the struggle to contain Iran.Mr. Kagan is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Ms. Kagan is president of the Institute for the Study of War. Mr. Keane is a former vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army. All have just returned from their most recent visit to Iraq.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

Of you really need me to answer your questions, jaywalker, you are, indeed, willfully ignorant.But here's a hint. If you make an honest attempt to educate yourself, given your history of sycophancy on this issue, you won't like the answers you find.

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bearded_gnome 6 years, 2 months ago

Seems your mindless support of W bores any of the thinking people of the world. That is the 72% who don't blindly follow W.and, 91% of americans are disgusted with the democrat reid/pelosi congress that does nothing except endanger our safety. ***very nicely done Screedy! I'm impressed. don't mind bonzo, he imagines himself an expert in so many things: traffic safety; death investigations; iraq intertribal politics; military history; the list is endless. if it were only true! delusions of grandeur. and, he has a pathological resistance to admitting that GWB might have done something right! when GWB leaves office, poor bonzo will wander, bereft, forelorn, without being able to blame everything wrong on GWB. he/she/it is a very sad case, very sad. and, Scott~~~~~~ thinks he has some secret intelligence about how we're handling the Sunni tribesmen? the height of pride of these nutbag liberals! amazing.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

Oh yes, a little fluff piece by whom, jaywalker? None other than Robert Kagan, co-founder of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC,) the neocon architects of the Iraq War. Sure glad he still has the greatest of all neocon traits-- never admit it when you've f*cked up. When your plans blow up in your (and everyone else's) face, just keep on keepin on.

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chet_larock 6 years, 2 months ago

"I'm even more surprised that your fellow conservatives haven't called you on this. Pathetic."I'm surprised that you're surprised, Bea. Have they called Coulter, Hannity, OReilly, Limbaugh, Ingraham, etc on the ridiculously inane comments they make? I think you know the answer to that :)

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jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

Titled 'A New Reality In Iraq' by American Enterprise Inst. and two other contributors after recent visit to Iraq, full by-line and info at end of piece."As far as the civil war is concerned, there have been virtually no sectarian killings recorded for the past 10 weeks. Violence is still perpetrated by organized groups, but AQI, the remnant Sunni insurgents and Shiite fighters are now focused on attacking their own members who have defected to our side. This is a measure of their weakness. The Iraqi population is increasingly mobilizing against the perpetrators of violence, flooding American and Iraqi forces with tips about the locations of weapons caches and key militant leaders - Sunnis turning in Sunnis and Shia turning in Shia.The fighters have not simply hidden their weapons and gone to ground to await the next opportunity to kill each other. The Sunni insurgency, as well as AQI, has been severely disrupted. Coalition and Iraqi forces have killed or detained many key leaders, driven the militants out of every one of Iraq's major cities (including Mosul), and are pursuing the remnants vigorously in rural areas and the desert.The Shiite militias have also been broken apart, sending thousands of their leaders scurrying for safety in Iran. Iraqi forces continue to hammer Iranian-backed Special Groups and elements of the Sadrist Jaysh al Mahdi that have been fighting with them in Sadr City, Maysan Province and elsewhere. At this time, none of these networks can conduct operations that could seriously destabilize the Iraqi government. But both al Qaeda and the Iranians are working hard to refit their networks.The larger strategic meaning of these military and political advances must be kept clearly in mind. Iraq remains a critical front in al Qaeda's war against the U.S.Discussions in the American media about whether AQI is "really" al Qaeda are puerile. AQI's leadership, largely foreign, is part of the global al Qaeda network operating in support of Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden and his lieutenants in Pakistan and around the world send support (including foreign fighters) to Iraq and closely follow the situation there, as their repeated public pronouncements show no less than their actions. Al Qaeda's central leadership is not prepared to lose in Iraq, and has been seeking ways to regain lost ground.(cont.),,,,

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jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

Bozo, You have to be absolutely kidding. Nothing? You can't answer your own simple contentions....simple minded contentions? That's twice you skirt the issues that YOU raised and attempt to paint me as the ignorant one? I can't believe I'm even surprised by this, taking account of who I'm talking to, but THAT's the best you got? Wow, that's really, really bad, even for you.How much oil, bozo? How many bases in Iraq, bozo? C'mon...c'mon.......Yeah, that's what I thought.

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jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"....the willingly ignorant masses."Yeah, yours is the voice of reason...."the projection of American imperial power, the seizing of Iraq oilfields, and the establishment permanent bases to facilitate military control over other oil producers in the region and pumping up the already over-inflated egos of those who planned it"While I can't argue with the first statement, and your last is nothing more than your usual hate-filled rhetoric, the middle two points of your rant are less than conjecture. Exactly how much oil have we imported from Iraq thus far, Bozo? And how many bases have we 'permanently established' to date? Ummm, ...zero on both counts, yes?Now, personally, I wouldn't mind a little oil when this is all said and done, but we never were nor will be taking over the Iraq oil fields, and saying so is beyond ignorant even for your standards. And I wouldn't be surprised to see a permanent base set in the Kurdish area of Iraq, but it won't be to 'facilitate control over other oil producers'. Look at a map. It would be a fairly strategic location set between the U.S. and Israel's two biggest threats in the area, Iran and Syria.And we're not an 'empire', bozo. 'Empire' signifies that we commandeer countries, colonialize, and govern them entirely.

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scott3460 6 years, 2 months ago

"and, Scott~~~~~~ thinks he has some secret intelligence about how we're handling the Sunni tribesmen?"It has been widely reported in the press that the way the US has handled the Sunni tribesmen has been to pay them to be temporary allies (about a quarter of a billion of our dollars a year.) Not surprisingly they have been willing to take the money. Meanwhile, the population of the former country has shifted in a massive internal migration and the US military has assisted in the de facto segregation of the country in to three ethnic blocks. We are instructed by the corporate media to see this as progress that will continue after our bribes cease. Meanwhile, the three warring factions are simply waiting us out and preparing for the struggle to come. Unfortunately, bush does not seem inclined to allow that day of reckoning to occur on his watch. In a stunningly honest statement of this administration's fiscal stewardship of our tax dollars, Gen. McCafferty has stated re: the above bribery policy: "Money isn't even a factor we ought to take into account." I am sure none of us will be surprised when, as inevitably it will be, it is revealed at some future date that there have been "unforeseen irregularities" in the handling of the bribery program and several billion dollars go missing. To review:bush invades a country without justification, unleashes a centuries old struggle between three ethnic factions, makes a complete mess of things for several years, at the cost of thousands of American lives, evenually decides to bribe the warring factions in to enough of a truce to allow him to declare progress. Meanwhile, our domestic economy has been driven to recession as a result of bush's deeply flawed economic policies. So, at the cost of billions and billions of dollars we have accomplished....nothing. 20% of the American public, apparently too stupid to realize the horror of what has actually taken place, or perhaps dulled in to submission by the relentless propaganda of the ever-present corporate media, cheer the Abuser in Chief on to new heights of arrogant malfeasance.

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jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"...with no real point that he can even make, much less support."Excellent posting of self-awareness, bozo. No real points, and the garbage you've spewed you are unable to or refuse to back up. Oh, and FYI, brain trust, screed was accurately stating that YOU were boring ME. Readin's fundamental, my supreme Village Idiot in Chief. And I'm well aware that repeating the question is useless when waiting for a response from you, but considering your juvenile retorts I figured I might as well talk down to your level. "None that I can detect" ? Shocker!To every other reasonable poster on any of these threads I sincerely apologize. Today I allowed myself to foolishly be pulled into pointless 'conversations' with bozo and duplenty. Someone must have spiked my OJ with thorazine this morning, I promise to try and not let it happen again, it only wastes yours and my time.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

Are you asking us to interpret your dreams, janey?

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meggers 6 years, 2 months ago

Be careful with those magic mushrooms, janeyb.BTW, did anyone see Obama make a three-pointer when he was hanging out with the troops? A friend told me about it, said someone threw him a basketball and it was completely spontaneous. Apparently, everyone in the room was pretty amazed.

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jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

Dupe says:" a common nutjob tactic (ala satirical) - first, say something foolish, ridiculous or unsupportable"I did not 'say' anything; I posted a report that was written by three people: a former Army chief of staff, the President of the Institute for the Study of War, and a scholar from the AEI. I received the report from my father, a retired Army LTC, who received it from his good friend, a retired two star General, who was advised of the report from General Odierno, second in command and in line to take over from General Petraeus if and when he steps down.The reason I don't feel you 'covered' this already, dopey, is because this report actually came from people who were in Iraq and have made several fact finding trips there. I'd be willing to bet that noone from Moveon.org has actually gone to Iraq, though I don't know that for a fact. Until you and bozo went beserk, I didn't know Kagan's background, but after reading the report I don't see how your whining applies. Seems like a fairly well written and fair document to me and follows along the same lines of many other reports we've been getting in the news lately. As far as conversatons with yourself and bozo being pointless, I'm certain there are many on these threads that feel my pain. I'd even be willing to bet that neither of you read the article, just saw a name to villify and smear. As far as the article being 'unsupportable', three contributors from different angles supported the article themselves, not to mention I fully trust and respect my father and his good friend of 25+ years and the military information they're still privy to. If you don't like it and don't feel it's truthful, then that's your cross to bear and find info with which to dispute.Or you can continue with your childish rants, per priore, ad nauseum. Screed summed up ya'lls game plan fairly simply above. "Good job, jaywalker"Thank you, dupedaplenty.

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temperance 6 years, 2 months ago

"His image works in America, but he looks so young and out-of-place in a foreign affairs setting."Funny. He looked darn presidential to me. Even psycho-con Bernard Goldberg thinks his trip will boost him in the polls.But do you know who looks really out-of-place? The old man talking about The Google. The old man "misspeaking" about Iraq's border with Pakistan. The old man referring to a country that ceased to exist 15 years ago. The old man droning on, incoherently, in front of a bland green background. . . president of the AARP, maybe, but not the 21st century leader that we need.

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jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

dupedaplenty whimpered:" and then complained about people who posted biased material"Where and when did I complain about anyone posting biased material? Cite it, dopey, just one instance. I answered your childish post from last night with my personal reasoning for why I find the report valid. I challenge you to offer up disputable evidence to support your rants and contradict the article, and your response is to call me 'slow' and 'dim'. And you wonder why I said conversations with you are pointless. Now, answer one of your unsupportive accusations, just once, .... where and when did I complain about someone posting biased material? C'mon...c'mon.....Yeah, that's what I thought.

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janeyb 6 years, 2 months ago

Try as I might when I watched Obama arriving in Iraq I pictured a boy dressed in a sailor's suit (knickers), holding a big lolly pop, skipping down the boarding ramp-- the male African-American Shirley Temple. His image works in America, but he looks so young and out-of-place in a foreign affairs setting. Like he was sitting there next to Gen. Petraeus, but the chair was too big and his feet weren't touching the floor.

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