The View From 1776

Dead Wrong

Relying on Senator Biden’s foreign policy judgment is risky.  Both he and Senator Obama backed the wrong horses in Iraq.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/24 at 10:23 PM
  1. Mr. Brewton, your infuriating and phenomenal misstatements lead one to conclude that you are totally blinded by your bias.

    You say Obama "famously campaigned on a pledge to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq immediately."

    In point of fact, Obama has consistently argued (argued until the cows come home, it seems) that we should pull the troops out in 16 months, exactly what the Iraqi government has demanded and now, close to what the Bush administration has agreed to. The only two people left on earth who are opposed to withdrawal time tables are John McCain and you.

    You repeat the hoary Republican line that, "He has since failed to acknowledge the effectiveness of the Surge, a denial that demeans the superior performance and valor of our troops."

    Obama has consistently praised the dedicated performance of the troops. What he has said about the so-called surge is self evidently obvious (except to the hard right), which is that we are all glad that violence has been reduced in Iraq. But while the increase in troop levels may have played a part, it cannot be denied that a majority of the decrease in violence has came from our arming of the Sunii in Anbar Province (the so called "Iraqi Awakening") and our new practice of putting thousands of insurgents on the US payroll. We now pay them not to attack us. It is a simple policy of "money talks."

    In addition, our concrete barriers have divided Baghdad into sectarian neighborhoods (A la Biden) so there is less killing between sects.

    I suppose focusing attention on the purported surge success is vital to the conservatives because every other aspect of the Bush administration has been such a dismal and pathetic disaster.

    Throw them a fish.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  08/25  at  05:08 PM
  2. Mr. Henrie:

    Senator Obama's legislative proposal of January 30, 2007 would effectively have required an immediate start to troop withdrawal at the rate of at least one combat brigade a month. A miracle would have been required to pass his bill through both houses of Congress quickly enough to begin withdrawals by his deadline of May 1, 2007. All combat troops were to have been removed by March 31, 2008.

    His bill established a timetable for withdrawal of all combat troops over 11 months, not 16 months.

    Senator Obama's assumption was that, once we had announced defeat and had begun our retreat, all fighting among Iraqi factions would cease and those groups would begin working together to craft a unified and effective central government. No Iraqi at that time supported the Senator's wishful thinking.

    Had we actually followed Senator Obama's plan, it is doubtful that any combat troops could have remained in Iraq until March 31, 2008. Having announced to the world and to Al Queda in particular that we had lost the war and had decided to cut and run in defeat, we could expect a redoubling of the number and intensity of Al Queda attacks. As the number of our troops dwindled, it would become increasingly difficult to avoid encirclement and massacre by Al queda forces. As any military officer will tell you, retreats are among the most difficult and dangerous of military operations.

    Once Senator Obama's retreat had commenced, there also would have been a high probability of civil war breaking out, with Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds scrambling to establish territorial hegemonies. Our troops would have been caught in the middle of that disaster.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  08/26  at  12:36 AM
  3. From the horse's mouth:

    "My first step would be to call in the joint chiefs of staff, the military commanders who are on the ground and most familiar with the situation there. I will assign a new mission, which is that we are going to begin a phased redeployment. It is going to be responsible. It will be conducted at a pace that will ensure the safety of our troops and give us time to fill the diplomatic void that the president has left, in both Iraq and in the region. It will provide us the time to engage in the humanitarian activities that are going to be necessary because the humanitarian crisis that is projected for withdrawal has actually already occurred. Based on the conversations we have had internally as well as external reports, we believe that we can get one to two brigades out each month. At that pace, the forces would be out in approximately 16 months from the time that we began. That would be the time frame that I would be setting up. That also gives us time to make sure that we are strengthening the Iraqi forces."

    The time table, above, suggested by Obama (which he has said will be tempered by advice from commanders on the ground) would have most of the troops out more than two years from now, or more than SEVEN years since brother Bush started this ill advised disaster. US participation World War II was essentially over in four years. Why is it so hard to conceive of the mightiest army on earth being able to essentially wrap up an "occupation" of a small, third world country in seven years?

    The only political weapon the Republican Party has left in its quiver of ideas is the concept of perpetual "fear." From "red alerts" to "duct tape and plastic" to Islamo-fascist terrorists under every bush, we must be afraid - be very afraid - and vote for the war party!
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  08/26  at  11:16 AM
  4. If as a letter in your columns stated that Joe Biden and Barack Obama backed the wrong horse, so how come you Americans voted a Jackass into office?

    The Jackass I speak about is your present leader George W. Bush. But I now withdraw my statement, because I do not want to insult a dumb animal, by calling George W. Bush a Jackass.

    Take a good around you people of America, and see the irreparable damage that has been done over eight years of Republican insanity.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  08/29  at  08:30 AM
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