Full Circle on Iraq

1st the Nov Elections & now the Dixie Chicks are sweeping the Grammy's. My how times change. Oh, the Doors are getting something .. I'm hearing "The War is Over." Where is Country Joe & the FISH Cheer?

Hey doesn't anyone care about this tidbit?...http://www.thecitizen.com/node/14215

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Richard Hobbs's picture
Submitted by Richard Hobbs on Tue, 02/13/2007 - 7:05pm.

Copperhead Democrats are like the kids we take on Vacation.

"ARE WE THERE YET? ARE WE THERE YET?" They whine and whine always complaining, but being unable to drive the car themselves, they do their best to complain the entire way to their destination.

Democrats want the WAR to be over with, regardless of how long the road is. They want to know "IS THE WAR OVER YET? IS THE WAR OVER YET?"

So sometimes the public gets so frustrated that instead of reaching into the back seat and smacking the @#%^ out of the kids, they get tired and just turn the car around and go home. The American Public has the attention span of a typical teenager, i.e. none. They don't want to address these problems with maturity, they just want the conflicts and fighting to be over.

As Col. Jessup once said,
"You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to."

Basmati's picture
Submitted by Basmati on Thu, 02/15/2007 - 1:34am.

The authoritarian mindset associates obedience with maturity.

JeffC's picture
Submitted by JeffC on Wed, 02/14/2007 - 12:03am.

Mr. Hobbs, thank you for your explanation of Copperhead Democrats, I was hoping I might be one (really cool name) but it turns out that I don't think I am. However, by the time you read this, I hope that The Citizen will have printed my LTE which actually suggested a solution, or at least a suggestion of a resolution, to the Iraq war. In all seriousness, I would like your response to my suggestions which I will consider and which I will be looking forward to possibly debating with you. I hope that you will take into account the fact that space is limited in a LTE and that I have done my best to significantly condense my ideas, albeit that I submitted a two page letter. I'm sure you will get the gist of it though. However, since you are my favorite antagonist right now, I hope you will not mind my pointing out that you entitled the section of your post: "GROW UP, THIS IS THE REAL WORLD" and then followed it up with the quotes of a fictional character from a movie. I sincerely believe that both you and I are concerned with the reality of the war. Rebutting your points and observations (which are admittedly consistantly wrong) sharpens the focus of my arguments. I hope that likewise, my comments might provide some small intellectual stimulus for you. As I have said before, I enjoy the debate and I believe you do too. Let us meet here in a couple of days and resume!

Richard Hobbs's picture
Submitted by Richard Hobbs on Wed, 02/14/2007 - 2:24am.

Actually Jeff, I must admit your keen wit got me there. I am quite fond of Col. Jessup, and when I get a chance to quote him, I sometimes forget the context of my earlier comments. Touche to you for pointing out this literary faux pas.

I agree that I enjoy the tit for tat from time to time. Although I do not like the personal attacks. Mind you, politics, like religion is very emotional and I'm as guilty as the next, but I still don't like it when we can't enjoy a "good argument" (Monty Python) without the name calling. (This was a general criticism of debates, although, there are some on this blog who I routinely ignore for that one reason.)

As to your LTE, well, I'd love to respond sometime soon, but I have but a few brief days left before I must sojourn down into the depths of the Eastern Caribbean. So I don't know if I'll have the time. Besides, my comments are not predicated upon any Ivy League classes or studies that I've taken, but are merely my opinions on what I've read and contemplated in my short 46 years on God's wonderful warming planet. Oops, I forgot, I'm an atheist, strike that.

Our debates would be even more methodical and enjoyable if we had an online forum to use, but the only one I'm aware of that is local tends to be intolerant of speech that fails to pass their "debate" test.

So, I'll consider my time between now and when the ship sails. My better half has demanded I leave the laptop at home. (Its hard to sneak it into the luggage.) If I can't find the time before the ship leaves, I'll wait until I return.

I hope your letter isn't a statistical nightmare of facts and figures, which are often useful, but hard to keep up with. (I ended that one with a preposition, so don't point it out to me.) If we do take this to the next level, then I suggest as an encore, we go after your dear comrade in the socialist world of the Democratic Party, Al Gore, and openly discuss this new theory called MAN MADE Global Warming. I don't know if you've heard of it, but apparently, this Gore fellow has had allot of free time since his last job, and he as studied so very much as to be able to prove that our entire world is in danger of dying from the warming of the planet. You might have read about it in the newspaper today. It seems their first meeting in D.C. was cancelled due to an unusually cold and blistering snow storm.

Will engage with you later, and perhaps not at 2:20 a.m. (insomniacs run in my family)

JeffC's picture
Submitted by JeffC on Wed, 02/14/2007 - 11:57am.

A short blog for your trip…

I just returned from Mexico where the temperature was in the 80’s so I am envious of your trip.

Statistics were relegated to the first paragraph.

I believe we can end sentences with prepositions now if we want to. My recollection is that they changed it when they made “hopefully” a word.

Al Who?

Hope you got your wife flowers for Valentine’s Day. She surely deserves them for putting up with you this last year; and yes I got flowers for mine.

Have a nice trip!

Richard Hobbs's picture
Submitted by Richard Hobbs on Wed, 02/14/2007 - 12:18pm.

I appreciate your respectful comments, but my name is Richard. Unless, I'm your senior by many, many years, please call me Richard.
(And no derivative therein.)

As to my wife's flowers, I loathe these events, ergo, I try to provide her with flowers when she least expects it. Which is not as often as I should but more than the average joe.

As to this Al fellow, I'd recommend to you that you read up on him. It seems he is going to being sharing something with your father too. He's been honored for his politically correct speech with a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Like President Carter, its the politics and not the person that gets those prizes. So you should read up on the wonderful things he is saying and how tolerant he is of those that disagree with his new theory. If I'm not mistaken, one liberal columnist has called many of us non-believers as akin to holocaust deniers. So the left takes this matter seriously, such that they will try their best at stifling the debate, as they are used to. (see congressional resolution to stop the troop surge)

Can't wait to go Seahorse Scootering underwater in St. Thomas.

JeffC's picture
Submitted by JeffC on Wed, 02/14/2007 - 1:10pm.

I believe that I am older, so Richard it is. As for Al and the Prize, many are called but few are chosen. I have vaguely followed the issue but spend the vast majority of my time studying war and generally focus on the one topic. However, maybe Al will get an Oscar! That would certainly be politically correct.

Ah, liberal columnist. Please disregard them. Yesterday in the Washington Times, Frank Gaffney used a fake quote from Abraham Lincoln as a basis to call for people like me to be arrested, exiled, or hanged. The article, "Truly inappropriate behavior" was made even funnier in that the quote he used for his Moonie paper article was originally fabricated in another Moonie outlet: Insight Magazine.

As to stifling debate on the troop surge, here is the text of a Republican memo sent to GOP House members from GOP Reps. John Shadegg and Peter Hoekstra:

We are writing to urge you not to debate the Democratic Iraq resolution on their terms, but rather on ours.

Democrats want to force us to focus on defending the surge, making the case that it will work and explaining why the President's new Iraq policy is different from prior efforts and therefore justified.

We urge you to instead broaden the debate to the threat posed to Americans, the world, and all "unbelievers" by radical Islamists. We would further urge you to join us in educating the American people about the views of radical Islamists and the consequences of not defeating radical Islam in Iraq.

The debate should not be about the surge or its details. This debate should not even be about the Iraq war to date, mistakes that have been made, or whether we can, or cannot, win militarily. If we let Democrats force us into a debate on the surge or the current situation in Iraq, we lose.

Hmmmm... Well I found it interesting.

Have a good trip.

Basmati's picture
Submitted by Basmati on Wed, 02/14/2007 - 12:55pm.

Richard Hobbs showed an excellent grasp of revisionism when he wrote "they will try their best at stifling the debate, as they are used to. (see congressional resolution to stop the troop surge)"

Most people capable of independent thought will immediately recognize the sheer and utter falsehood of the above statement. It was, of course, Mr. Richard Hobbs' cowardly Republican brothers-in-arms in the United States Senate that stifled the troop surge debate by invoking filibuster procedures.

This filibuster successfully prevented a formal vote in the Senate on the Presidents' conduct of the war and allowed the Crawford Coward to duck responsibility once again for his failed policies.

Jiminy "Basmati" Cricket
Official Temporary Conscience for ArmyMajPinnochioRetired

Basmati's picture
Submitted by Basmati on Tue, 02/13/2007 - 7:36pm.

You remember how in the second act of the play Peter Pan, Tinkerbell drinks some poison that Peter is about to drink in order to save him? And then Peter turns to the audience and he says, “Tinkerbell is going to die because not enough people believe in fairies. But if all of you clap your hands real hard to show that you do believe in fairies, maybe she won’t die.”

Richard Hobbs and his fellow Tinkerbell Republicans want you to clap loud and long for President Wartime Deserter and they can make believe things are all better.

Do YOU believe in fairies?
Jiminy "Basmati" Cricket
Official Temporary Conscience for ArmyMajPinnochioRetired

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Tue, 02/13/2007 - 8:10pm.

I'm just not that quick with the wit, but after a few days in Ri de Janeiro, yes! I absolutely do believe in fairies. It is interesting that a certain lawyer I'm not on speaking terms with (not to be confused with an Army officer you are'nt on speaking terms with) whistled right past the lines of information provided by Jeff Carter, on the reluctant warrior republicans of 1993. I won't attack them as cowards, because they may have been right. But they are HYPOCRITS. Many of them are the same gung ho fight everyone at once republicans who are attacking democrats while ignoring some 30+ republican legislators plus the majority of Americans who feel it is time to scale down the current conflict; not escalate. I generally thought lawyers did great research, took copious notes, and understood the full breadth of an argument before launching in. But judging by the failure of "some" to ever acknowledge the bipartisan wave opposing continued status quo or escalated operations in Iraq, I am apparently giving the profession, as a whole, too much credit.

John Boehner said today that if we leave Iraq the terrorists will "certainly" follow us home. WHAT? Why do they wait? Why don't they come now while we are tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan? If they can come here, how will they do it? Noone ever answers that one. Could it be a glass of rhetoric that is half-empty?


Kevin "Hack" King

JeffC's picture
Submitted by JeffC on Wed, 02/14/2007 - 12:29am.

You question how they terrorist are going to get here??? They are from Iraq and Persia. Obviously they are going to ride their majic carpets! I cannot believe you missed this obvious answer!

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Wed, 02/14/2007 - 10:19am.

Give us volumes upon volumes of counter-air, basic fighter maneuvers (BFM), and air combat maneuvering (ACM) tactics to defeat magic carpets up to and including 45X100 foot, 50 count, medium weight varieties. Even with their proven sustained turn performance, their completely exposed riders are no match for our Zell Miller spit ball cannons. Do not worry of these carpets, my friend. Do not worry you.


Kevin "Hack" King

Basmati's picture
Submitted by Basmati on Wed, 02/14/2007 - 10:38am.

Cockpit Recording, Voicemike 1, 13FEB07 14:21:00
(VM1) = Cockpit voice mike 1 (Pilot)
(Bullpen)=Centcom Flight Air Traffic Controller, Tikrit
(Begin transmission excerpt)
(VM1):"You dropped a bomb on me, baby, you dropped a bomb on me!"
(Bullpen): Nightmare 1, say again?
(VM1):Bullpen, Nighmare 1, uh, random cockpit noise
(Bullpen): Can the chatter, Hack.
(VM1):Roger, Bullpen. (low grumbling sound) Damn you Basmati!
(Bullpen): Nightmare 1, you're breaking up, what was that last transmission?
(VM1): Uh, nothing Bullpen...WOW! Bullpen, Nightmare 1! Bogie at 3 o'clock bearing 1 mile. No IFF. Request ID soonest!
(Bullpen): Roger Nightmare 1...do you have visual contact?
(VM1):Bullpen, that's a roger..uh, object is approximately 4 meters in length...uh, Bullpen, it appears to be a...
(Bullpen):Nightmare 1! report contact!
(VM1):Bullpen, it's a ....it's a flying carpet.
(Bullpen): Nightmare 1, please repeat.
(VM1):It's a (expletive deleted) flying carpet!!
(Bullpen): a...flying...carpet?
(VM1):Roger that. Permission to engage, Bullpen?
(Bullpen): That's a negative, Nightmare 1. Abort mission. I repeat, abort mission.
(VM1):Roger, Bullpen.
(Bullpen):Report to flight surgeon soonest, Hack.
(VM1):Roger, Bullpen.

(End transmission)
Jiminy "Basmati" Cricket
Official Temporary Conscience for ArmyMajPinnochioRetired

ArmyMAJretired's picture
Submitted by ArmyMAJretired on Sun, 02/11/2007 - 10:15pm.

on your way to Canada if you what the whole experience dude.

Now get the tivo ready for the scene that will rock your world, helicopters from the US Embassy and a million killed by the victorious enemy.

Buy your Iranian flag to put next to your NVA flag patriot.

Basmati's picture
Submitted by Basmati on Mon, 02/12/2007 - 3:19pm.

Wow, you disagree with this poster so you question his patriotism.

Isn't this exactly what you claimed you DIDN'T do, as recently as last week?

With every post you make, Herr Major, you bring disgrace to your family name, dishonor to the uniform you once wore, and disgust to your fellow countrymen.

ArmyMAJretired's picture
Submitted by ArmyMAJretired on Mon, 02/12/2007 - 3:28pm.

I simply noted that if he wanted to go down memory lane, to REALLY go down memory lane and relive the 60s as he cheered the defeat of the US.

Now if you want to call that unpatriotic, YOU are making that judgement. I even called him a patriot for his courage and use of free speech.

Up your meds rice boy. Keep up mit der Deutsch, that makes you look so mature, just like Howard Dean.

You've got huevos pointing findgers at anyone, especially with yur cute picture. Now go back to sleep and let the grown ups talk.

Basmati's picture
Submitted by Basmati on Mon, 02/12/2007 - 5:38pm.

Most people with an IQ over room temperature (which I realize excludes you and your immediate blood relations) would recognize this statement

"Buy your Iranian flag to put next to your NVA flag patriot."

for what it is: a crude attempt to smear someone's patriotism.

Squeal like a pig, Herr Major, you're busted once again. Try and bluster it out, splutter indignently like you usually do.

You are a man without honor.

Submitted by bladderq on Sun, 02/11/2007 - 10:34pm.

Don't worry, now that we are getting the Frat-boy Scrub & Co. out and letting the adults run the show...we'll make nice w/ the Iranians. I predict they will erect a statute to the man who saved them the last go 'round. Wait, we helped the Sad-am, no we helped the Iranians. I guess we don't know who we helped.
Don't tell me you are still not trying to fight that other civil war we tried to "police action" and decide the outcome? I haven't seen where the NVA sailed any junks in SF Harbor...they sure knew better than try to git thru TX while Lt. Bush was "flying"

Alway remember: War is the Failure of Diplomacy. Choose your diplomats well.

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Mon, 02/12/2007 - 10:11pm.

ArmyMaj, you know me. I'm not one to pull punches, and I understand your point. I won't say you are dishonoring your uniform, because you are not. I must say that you are wrong, though, in suggesting that Iran or Jihaadists "win" if we leave Iraq. Iraq is a self-sustaining sectarian conflict that no country or non-state entities will be able to magically tame.
On the lighter side, our President (and this is not a criticism, but an observation) has proved so willing to use military force with little provocation, that Mahjmoud Admadenijad is actually making nice. I'm sure that behind the scenes, the Mulas are saying "ixnay with the etoricray." I truly think that they are scared we're about to open up a can on them. Democrats are called paranoid when they draw ties between the run up to Iraq and the current "proof" of Iranian envolvement in Iraq, but the net result is Mr. "the holocaust never happenned" now is saying, "We seek diplomacy. We can work as friends." I thought that was funny as hades! Cheers Army, Bladder, and Basmati

Kevin "Hack" King

Basmati's picture
Submitted by Basmati on Tue, 02/13/2007 - 2:21pm.

During the Clinton years, America was not permitted to engage our enemies by obstructionist Republicans who felt that a weakened America was acceptable if it allowed them to score political points against an elected President.

Clinton was nonetheless able to work with the United Nations to alleviate a famine in Somalia, overthrow a military junta in Haiti and remove the fanatical dictator Milosovic from power in Kosovo.

Contrast those actions to the "ready, fire, aim" philosophy of the current Commander in Chief, President Wartime Deserter. Under the Crawford Coward's watch, 3,000 Americans lost their lives on American soil. He began a war to topple the government of Afghanistan, but later ceded all of the country with the exception of urban Kabul back to opium growing warlords. His entirely voluntary war against Iraq made America essentially a pariah on the world stage.

Iran knows America cannot and will not have sufficient military force to use against it because the vast majority of American forces are tied down in Iraq. The calculus changes immediately should a Democrat be elected, because a Democrat will not be beholden to continuing a failed Republican foreign policy in Iraq. Leadership by example will return.

Always good to exchange opinions with you.

ArmyMajRetired is on my ignore/do not enable list. His passive agressive rants have been over the top for a while, now I think he has truly lost it. I attempted to engage him in meaningful debate this morning, perhaps not surprisingly, he rebuffed my efforts.
Jiminy "Basmati" Cricket
Official Temporary Conscience for ArmyMajPinnochioRetired

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Tue, 02/13/2007 - 6:34pm.

It does seem that while our foreign policy follows a ballistic path affected more by momentum and chance than by calculation and control, the "W 04" crowd talks in grand, vague phrases like "victory in Iraq" without defining it, and of "killing all jihadists" as if we have a clue who "all jihadists" are. Sadly, in the mean time, NATO commanders have been begging for help against the Taliban comeback in Afghanistan. We are finally learning as a nation, that the human resource is not a bottomless well of flesh. We simply cannot staff all of the conflicts some would wish us to fight.
I do think that as Congress remains paralyzed as if having been bathed in botox, you are going to see the will of the American people swell against the enablers of an endless Iraqi occupation. Some one, at some point, is going to have to ask, "WHEN IS IT LONG ENOUGH?" "When do we get our brothers and sisters, husbands, wives, sons, and daughters BACK?" How many years will it take for the people who think we can't leave until Iraq is stable, to support either a draft, or a tax hike to pay for the endless operation, or BOTH?

At some point, maybe we might get back to addressing the trade deficit and other domestic issues that seem so tertiary right now.


Kevin "Hack" King

ArmyMAJretired's picture
Submitted by ArmyMAJretired on Tue, 02/13/2007 - 12:22pm.

During the Clinton years, America did not decisively engage our enemies. This is a to the death struggle, because jihadists are NOT giving up until we are all converted or dead.

Clinton turned tail in Somalia, attacked Hati and Kosovo. What the heck kind of threats were they. He also shot several cruise missles into the desert.

Our current Commander in Chief had helped liberate two countries and if the Iraqis can get their act together, will be an example of freedom for the many Iranians that desire freedom.

Iran knows America can and will use force. Of course if Hillary/Obama get elected, get ready for more aggression with no fear of retaliation. Leadership by polls will return.

Always good to exchange opinions with you.

basmati is on my ignore/do not enable list. His passive agressive rants have been over the top for a while, now I think he has truly lost it.

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Tue, 02/13/2007 - 5:54pm.

post. Just when I get that slight buzz one military man gets when making a mental connection with another, along comes the bleeding hemorrhoid to ruin my high. D@#N! Leave it to the voyeur patriot (patriot pedestrian who is brave as an onlooker but not as a participant) to cast aspersions on my statements as he attempts to restate my beliefs. We always forget that Ronald Reagan showed us in Beiruit, that it is sometimes advisable to break off a fight in a foreign land that is not a direct national interest. We often forget that during my combat days, the late 90s, republicans talked of a worn out and overextended military in Kosovo, Bosnia, and the former Yugolsavian regions. Mind you, these complaints came in a conflict that saw two downed fixed wing aircraft, three AH-64 crashes, but NO COMBAT FATALITIES OF US FORCES. As John Boener tried to show modern democrats as being cowards for offering only non-binging resolutions on Iraq, Tim Russert "reminded" him that he himself voted affirmitive on a Non-Binding resolution opposing sending 20,000 US troops to Bosnia. Army, why are some of your political allies' memories soooo poor? Why are cruise missiles hitting a terrorist camp by Clinton bad, but a WAR to rid Iraq of WMDs they DIDN"T HAVE....good?

Last tidbit, friend (and I do consider you one). You said our CC helped liberate two countries. Iraqis, when asked, do not feel at all secure right now. Brian Schwetzer (Montana Governor who speaks Arabic) asked Iraqis to contrast pre-invasion Iraq to post invasion Iraq. Their reply was, under Saddam, their homes were safe, but they did not have political freedom. Now, they said, they have political freedom, but they are not safe at home or in the streets. First and foremost, they said, we must feel safe.
Commanders in Afghanistan are begging for reinforcements. That, as a certain partisan lawyer will have to admit, is a conflict that the overwhelming majority of dems and repubs supported. Yes, there are fights that democrats desire be completed at all cost. They have more to do with OBL and Al Qaieda than Iraq's civil war.

"..if the Iraqis can get their act together, will be an example of freedom for the many Iranians that desire freedom."

Your above quote says it all. IRAQIS have to get their house in order. That has nothing to do with us. We hinder their progress as we take responsibilities that Iraqis should be shouldering. But in the mean time, some Republican legislators are more concerned with Speaker Pelosi's airplane, a plane requested by the House Sgt at Arms, than they are about the lives of our soldiers and the will of this nation.

As I have offered others, I will gladly join you here in a year to discuss how effective the comming surge was in ending sectarian violence in Iraq. I hope we don't continue a bottomless, limitless, open-ended commitment of our men and women with no exit in sight.

"Kevin "Hack" King

JeffC's picture
Submitted by JeffC on Tue, 02/13/2007 - 5:52pm.

Mr. Hobbs, I looked in Wikipedia and did not find a reference to “Copperhead Democrats.” It sounds intriguing. Please post a link for me. Thanks.

ArmyMajor, Your post, “Clinton turned tail in Somalia” is revisionists. Clinton and Kerry both supported staying in Somalia in the face of a massive Republican campaign to withdraw.

Following are the full excerpts providing the factual support for this analysis:

GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, speech on the Senate floor October 6, 1993

I supported our original mission, which was humanitarian in nature and limited in scope. I can no longer support a continued United States presence in Somalia because the nature of the mission is now unrealistic and because the scope of our mission is now limitless. . . . Mr. President, it is no small feat for a superpower to accept setback on the world stage, but a step backward is sometimes the wisest course. I believe that withdrawal is now the more prudent option.

GOP Sen. Dirk Kempthorne, speech on the Senate floor, October 6, 1993

Mr. President, the mission is accomplished in Somalia. The humanitarian aid has been delivered to those who were starving. The mission is not nation building, which is what now is being foisted upon the American people. The United States has no interest in the civil war in Somalia and as this young soldier told me, if the Somalis are now healthy enough to be fighting us, then it is absolutely time that we go home. . . It is time for the Senate of the United States to get on with the debate, to get on with the vote, and to get the American troops home.

GOP Minority Leader Sen. Robert Dole, Senate speech, October 5, 1993

I think it is clear to say from the meeting we had earlier with--I do not know how many Members were there--45, 50 Senators and half the House of Representatives, that the administration is going to be under great pressure to bring the actions in Somalia to a close. . . .

GOP Sen. Jesse Helms, Senate floor speech October 6, 1993:

All of which means that I support the able Senator from West Virginia--who, by the way, was born in North Carolina--Senator Robert C. Byrd, and others in efforts to bring an end to this tragic situation. The United States did its best to deliver aid and assistance to the victims of chaos in Somalia as promised by George Bush last December.

But now we find ourselves involved there in a brutal war, in an urban environment, with the hands of our young soldiers tied behind their backs, under the command of a cumbersome U.N. bureaucracy, and fighting Somalia because we tried to extend helping hands to the starving people of that far-off land. Mr. President, the United States has no constitutional authority, as I see it, to sacrifice U.S. soldiers to Boutros-Ghali's vision of multilateral peacemaking. Again, I share the view of Senator Byrd that the time to get out is now.

President Clinton's speech, on October 8, 1993, arguing against withdrawal

And make no mistake about it, if we were to leave Somalia tomorrow, other nations would leave, too. Chaos would resume, the relief effort would stop and starvation soon would return. That knowledge has led us to continue our mission. . . .

If we leave them now, those embers will reignite into flames and people will die again. If we stay a short while longer and do the right things, we've got a reasonable chance of cooling off the embers and getting other firefighters to take our place. . .

So, now, we face a choice. Do we leave when the job gets tough or when the job is well done? Do we invite the return of mass suffering or do we leave in a way that gives the Somalis a decent chance to survive? Recently, Gen. Colin Powell said this about our choices in Somalia: "Because things get difficult, you don't cut and run. You work the problem and try to find a correct solution." . . .

So let us finish the work we set out to do. Let us demonstrate to the world, as generations of Americans have done before us, that when Americans take on a challenge, they do the job right.

Sen. John Kerry, Senate floor speech, 10/7/93, supporting Clinton's anti-withdrawal position

But, Mr. President, I must say I have also been jarred by the reactions of many of our colleagues in the U.S. Senate and in the Congress. I am jarred by the extraordinary sense of panic that seems to be rushing through this deliberative body, and by the strident cries for a quick exit, an immediate departure notwithstanding the fact that what we are doing in Somalia does not bear any resemblance to Grenada, to Panama, to Iraq, and most importantly, to Vietnam. . . .

We must recognize that any decision that we make about Somalia is not just a decision to get our troops home. It is not just a decision about looking out for the interests of the United States. There are extraordinary ramifications attached to the choice that we make in the next days in the Congress and in this country. . . .

Mr. President, we are in a situation now where withdrawal would send the wrong signal to Aidid and his supporters. It would encourage other nations to withdraw from the U.N. effort in Somalia and no doubt would result in the total breakdown of the operation and possibly the resumption of the cycle of famine and war which brought the United States and other members of the international community to Somalia in the first place.

Rightly or wrongly, the Bush administration committed us to this operation. We, as a nation, have accepted this responsibility. We should not panic and flee when the going gets rough. If we are going to withdraw, we have an obligation to do so in a responsible manner, in a way that does not undermine the operation or leave the Somali people to a worse fate. I think the President's plan, as currently outlined, will allow us to step aside responsibly.

New York Times article, October 6, 1993, by then-reporter Thomas Friedman

As hundreds of additional United States troops with special weapons and aircraft began heading to Somalia, a wave of hostility toward the widening operation swept Congress.. . . But Mr. Aspin and Mr. Christopher were besieged by skeptical lawmakers, who scorched them with demands for a clear road map for an exit from Somalia, coupled with bitter complaints that the policy goals were unclear or unrealistic.

It is not clear whether the critics can assemble sufficient votes to pass a law requiring Mr. Clinton to stop the operation. But Congressional anxiety, already high, has been fueled by a wave of constituents' telephone calls reflecting outrage over the prospect of a new hostage crisis, and television pictures of Somali crowds dragging a dead American servicemen through the streets. . . .

Mr. Christopher said the United States wanted to withdraw its forces when possible, "but not before our job is done of providing some security."

New York Times, October 6, 1993

A wave of hostility toward the military operation in Somalia swept Congress today, forcing the White House to send two Cabinet secretaries to Capitol Hill to try to calm critics and plead for additional time to formulate a new policy.

"It's Vietnam all over again," said Senator Ernest F. Hollings, Democrat of South Carolina, who is in a group of conservatives calling for quick withdrawal from Somalia. . . .

Mr. McCain, a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War, said of Mohammed Farah Aidid, who has been blamed for attacks on United Nations peacekeepers: "We should tell Mr. Aidid that we want the Americans back. Otherwise he will pay sooner or later. Then we should come home."

I apologize for the long post.

Submitted by bladderq on Tue, 02/13/2007 - 6:45pm.

but that's another historical argument.


Irag is not a country. It was never a country. It was a creation in the minds of some colonial functionaries with financial aims in mind and drawn on a map.

I vote we give AnBar Province to our Saudi "allies" so they can take care of their Sunni breathern and fellow tribesman.

Now, Iran on the hand is a country and has been a country for longer than most of those found in Europe. It was called Persia.

Richard Hobbs's picture
Submitted by Richard Hobbs on Tue, 02/13/2007 - 7:01pm.

Like Senator Dodd who used to be for the War before he was against it.

He is sounding more and more like the senator Dodd from the Vietnam years. Yep, he wants to cut and run like all good bed wetting liberal Democrats.

But I'd remind you of one thing he did say and what history did in response.

We were leaving Vietnam and many wanted to help the Cambodians. But like most Democrats, they didn't want to worry about any other country, they just wanted to get it over with. But he couldn't just say Cut and Run, he said he wanted to give them PEACE.

Two quotes from Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut--originally a supporter of the Iraq war, now one of the most impatient advocates for retreat--that drive home this point. The first is from March 12, 1975, and it appears, ironically enough, on the personal Web site of Sen. Jim Webb, an antiwar Democratic colleague of Dodd's, who used it in a 2000 op-ed in The Wall Street Journal:
The greatest gift our country can give the Cambodian people is not guns but peace. And the best way to accomplish that goal is by ending military aid now.

What happened the following month:

On April 17th, 1975 the Khmer Rouge, a communist guerrilla group led by Pol Pot, took power in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. They forced all city dwellers into the countryside and to labor camps. During their rule, it is estimated that 2 million Cambodians died by starvation, torture or execution. 2 million Cambodians represented approximately 30% of the Cambodian population during that time.

The second Dodd quote comes from Sunday's "Face the Nation" (PDF, see page 4) on CBS:

Well, it can't be any worse than it is today.

Dodd is not exactly consistent in this view; moments before he characterized Iraq as "getting worse by the day." But in any case, given Dodd's track record, wouldn't it be fatuous in the extreme to trust his assurances that things wouldn't get worse if we followed his advice and deserted Iraq?

The from a wonderful website the best of the web, www.theopinionjournal.com

Submitted by bladderq on Tue, 02/13/2007 - 7:08pm.

Al Sadr leaves Irag for Iran. Intelligence says several weeks ago.(ABC News)

Democrats win. Irag leadership sees writing on the wall (meaning US will be goin' home soon)and "gits" w/ it.

I didn't vote for either Sen. Dodd. Your point is?

Richard Hobbs's picture
Submitted by Richard Hobbs on Tue, 02/13/2007 - 1:04pm.

I have a dear friend who is also a Major Retired, so as a new dear friend, I want to thank you for your posts.

However, I rarely engage certain posters to this web log due to the insanity of trying to explain the most rudimentary truths. Sometimes they accidentially stumble across these truths, as Fighter jock guy did, and loudly shout how "unbiased" and "truthful" they are but they will quickly reassemble their forces, and start their propaganda machine again.

The truth has little to do with those who have already made up their minds.

The fact is a Free Iraq greatly helps our National Security, but if we leave Iraq, we will embolden the Terrorists and help them do that which they have sworn to do. Destroy the West and force Islam upon the world through terror.

At some point a line has to be drawn in the sand. I'd rather do it now, while we are the biggest kid on the block. If a Nuke goes off in an American City, then many more Americans, and Iranians, Syrians, North Koreans are going to be paying the price. I don't want our President to be leading by following the POLLS as Clinton did. I want him to do what is right for the American People. A Terrorist Free Iraq is in our best interest regardless of what these liberals think.

So keep up the good work, but don't expect anything from these Copperhead Democrats. (See wikipedia.org for what that is.)

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Tue, 02/13/2007 - 4:14pm.

You seem to be promoting Crusade # 3 ? It has been about 800 years since the last one.
The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.
911 had NOTHING to do with IRAQ. A few idiots in Afghanistan (not even Afghanistanis) set up a camp to blow up some stuff everywhere.
We wiped them out and started looking for the ones already trained. We would have found them by now if we hadn't decided it was a good time to attack Iraq, a crazy place.
We will pay and pay, and pay for that for many, many years.
Now we start rumors about others in that area helping certain factions in Iraq. Of course a few nuts are doing that. There is money in it.

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