A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

My Photo
Name:
Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

UPDATED: "Only Vice President Cheney still insists that the earth is flat."

"This President was in denial. He hitched his wagon to the ideologues who surround him, filtering out those who disagreed, including leaders of his own party and the uniformed military. The result is a long litany of misjudgments with terrible consequences.

"The administration told us we’d be greeted as liberators. They were wrong.

"They told us not to worry about looting or the sorry state of Iraq’s infrastructure. They were wrong.

"They told us we had enough troops to provide security and stability, defeat the insurgents, guard the borders and secure the arms depots. They were wrong.

"They told us we could rely on exiles like Ahmed Chalabi to build political legitimacy. They were wrong.

"They told us we would quickly restore an Iraqi civil service to run the country and a police force and army to secure it. They were wrong.

"In Iraq, this administration has consistently over-promised and under-performed. This policy has been plagued by a lack of planning, an absence of candor, arrogance and outright incompetence. And the President has held no one accountable, including himself.

"In fact, the only officials who lost their jobs over Iraq were the ones who told the truth.

"General Shinseki said it would take several hundred thousand troops to secure Iraq. He was retired.

"Economic adviser Larry Lindsey said that Iraq would cost as much as $200 billion. He was fired.

"After the successful entry into Baghdad, George Bush was offered help from the UN -- and he rejected it. He even prohibited any nation from participating in reconstruction efforts that wasn’t part of the original coalition – pushing reluctant countries even farther away.

"As we continue to fight this war almost alone, it is hard to estimate how costly that arrogant decision was. Can anyone seriously say this President has handled Iraq in a way that makes us stronger in the war on terrorism?"

No. And thank you Senator Kerry for telling us so. I hope by now someone is listening.

UPDATE #1: Senate Republicans join in the chorus of criticism:

Republicans Criticize Bush 'Mistakes' on Iraq
By Randall Mikkelsen Reuters

Sunday 19 September 2004

"Washington - Leading members of President Bush's Republican Party on Sunday criticized mistakes and "incompetence" in his Iraq policy and called for an urgent ground offensive to retake insurgent sanctuaries.
In appearances on news talk shows, Republican senators also urged Bush to be more open with the American public after the disclosure of a classified CIA report that gave a gloomy outlook for Iraq and raised the possibility of civil war.

"The fact is, we're in deep trouble in Iraq ... and I think we're going to have to look at some recalibration of policy," Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

"We made serious mistakes," said Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican who has campaigned at Bush's side this year after patching up a bitter rivalry.

"McCain, speaking on "Fox News Sunday," cited as mistakes the toleration of looting after the successful U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and failures to secure Iraq's borders or prevent insurgents from establishing strongholds within the country.

"He said a ground offensive was urgently needed to retake areas held by insurgents, but a leading Democrat accused the administration of stalling for fear of hurting Bush's reelection chances.

"The criticisms came as Bush prepared this week to host Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and focus strongly on Iraq after stepped up attacks from Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry."


UPDATE #2: The President goes to the United Nations and replies:

"Today, the Iraqi and Afghan people are on the path to democracy and freedom. The governments that are rising will pose no threat to others. Instead of harboring terrorists, they are fighting terrorist groups. And this progress is good for the long term security of us all. The Afghan people are showing extraordinary courage under difficult conditions. They are fighting to defend their nation from Taliban hold-outs, and helping to strike against terrorist killers.....

"Today, in this hall, the Prime Minister of Iraq and his delegation represent a country that has rejoined the community of nations.....A democratic Iraq has ruthless enemies - because terrorists know the stakes in that country. They know that a free Iraq in the heart of the Middle East will be a decisive blow against their ambitions for that region. So a terrorist group associated with al-Qaida is now one of the main groups killing the innocent in Iraq today - conducting a campaign of bombings against civilians, and the beheadings of bound men. Coalition forces now serving in Iraq are confronting the terrorists and foreign fighters, so peaceful nations around the world will never have to face them within our own borders."

You pays your money, you takes your choice, I guess.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO: Joseph Marshall
RE: More Lies and Jest?

"The administration told us we’d be greeted as liberators. They were wrong." -- Senator Kerry, as cited by Joseph Marshall

We were greeted as liberators. Or did Kerry miss that part? If so, can we really afford to have someone this 'uninformed' be our commander-in-chief? Or, even worse, if he's lying....

As for the fighting. Yes. There is fighting. The die-hard Baathists and such in Falujah are fighting to get back their top cat position they lost with Saddam Hussein's collapse. Najaf? Sure. There are other power groups that want to set up their own totalitarian regime.

Which do YOU support?

RE: Looting?

"They told us not to worry about looting or the sorry state of Iraq’s infrastructure. They were wrong." -- Senator Kerry, as cited by Joseph Marshall

There were two big stories of looting in Iraq after teh liberation. The biggest was about the history museum. As it turned out, the care-takers of the relics looted that themselves, as I understand it.

Then there is the other story, the one about the people who looted the former nuclear research facility of it's 55-gallon barrels. The ones that used to hold yellow-cake. And how they were dying of radiation sickness after re-using the barrels for storing food.

RE: Enough Troops

"They told us we had enough troops to provide security and stability, defeat the insurgents, guard the borders and secure the arms depots. They were wrong." -- Senator Kerry, as cited by Joseph Marshall

We used to play a game at the Infantry Officers' Advanced Course (IOAC). It was called Bid a Mission. "I can accomplish that mission with a reinforced infantry-heavy team."

A town the size of Fallujah, 100K, can be contained and controlled by a brigade sized unit. Considering that there are only a few 'regions' that are causing all the trouble, I'm sure we have enough troops on the ground there to deal with those areas.

What are they? Fallujah, Najaf, Tikrit and bits and pieces of Baghdad.

The question becomes, so why do we have so many troops there if all we need is a reinforced division? I think I've addressed that elsewhere. I think we're getting ready for the next campaign in the War on Terror. The question is, which will be the area of operation?

I used to think it would be Iran. However, indicators are surfacing that Syria is a serious contender. I say this because of the recent reports of Syrian use of WMDs in Sudan. Where did Syria, another Baathist regime GET the WMDs? Three guesses. First two don't count.

Then, today's report that Syria is redeploying it's forces in Lebanon, back to toward their home country. I think they think they're going to need them soon.

RE: Ahmed Who?

"They told us we could rely on exiles like Ahmed Chalabi to build political legitimacy. They were wrong." -- Senator Kerry, as cited by Joseph Marshall

He's history. Right? So why mention him, as if he were an going concern?

RE: Rebuilding

"They told us we would quickly restore an Iraqi civil service to run the country and a police force and army to secure it. They were wrong." -- Senator Kerry, as cited by Joseph Marshall

The civil service is working. The police and army may take a bit longer. After a generation of repression, it's not easy to instill in people the moral courage to defend themselves.

RE: The Retiring Sort

"General Shinseki said it would take several hundred thousand troops to secure Iraq. He was retired." -- Senator Kerry, as cited by Joseph Marshall

Never cared much for the guy in the first place. In my opinion, he was a Clinton Yes-Man. A bad legacy that Bush put up with. As he did in the FBI and CIA until he had people in place he could promote into the lead position and a reason to retire the legacy guy. It's a pretty good system, that.

Can't speak to Lindsey. Didn't notice him much. Not my area of expertise.

RE: The UN

"After the successful entry into Baghdad, George Bush was offered help from the UN -- and he rejected it." -- Senator Kerry, as cited by Joseph Marshall

No one in their 'right' mind would want the corrupt, degenerates of the UN involved in nation building. Their track record todate is abysmal. A travesty of failures and human suffering. Do we need to bring up how the UN's 'peace keepers' in Bosnia allowed all the men and boys of a small town to be hauled away and massacred? How the UN's peace-keepers are traffiking in human misery in Kosovo? Do we need to remember how the UN failed the Tutsis in Rwanda? How the UN is FAILING the christian minority in Darfur? Now they're cooking with GAS!!! GAS!!! GAS!!!

Senator Kerry, is at it again. All he does is complain about whatever he thinks will gain him leverage. And yet he offers no details on what he would do differently. This isn't a statesman. It's a consumate politican. The Democrats SHOULD be able to do better than this. I'm very disappointed. And unless they can turn themselves around in the next couple of years, they, as a political party, are history....at this rate.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Still, a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.]

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. The latter-day flat earth society meets at Skeptics, once a month.

12:40 PM  
Blogger MWS said...

Wow, I didn't know things were going so well in Iraq. I guess I've just been reading that corrupt, biased liberal media. I guess Kerry is crazy; really, everybody loves us in Iraq. And, oh, I guess I must have missed that announcement about finding all those weapons of mass destruction there after all.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO: MWS
RE: Going Well

"Wow, I didn't know things were going so well in Iraq. I guess I've just been reading that corrupt, biased liberal media." -- MWS

Could be. Maybe you missed the admission, just recently, that CBS uses forged documents to get its point across.

As for going well in Iraq, as I mentioned to Joseph about some Kerry speech, where Kerry reports that there are whole regions of Iraq in the hands of the insurgents, what is a 'region'? Sadr City is a region in Baghdad where a lot of Baathists hang out. But it's not the entire country. Not even 1% of it, geographically speaking.

RE: A State of [Mental] Health

"I guess Kerry is crazy;" -- MWS

Could be. I can't think of many rational reasons why someone would change his 'position' from one day, or one speech, to the next so frequently.

RE: Love and Kisses

"....everybody loves us in Iraq." -- MWS

Everybody who doesn't have an axe to grind because their party (Baathist) is out of power or because they want to institute another totalitarian regime (al-Sadr et al).

That makes about, what, 80% of the population loves US?

RE: WMDs Anybody?

"And, oh, I guess I must have missed that announcement about finding all those weapons of mass destruction there after all." -- MWS

What's this? Did you seem to miss the use of a binary chemical munition against a US convoy? It was a munition of Iraqi (Saddam Hussein era) manufacture. Then again, please re-read the recent revelations about Syria using chemical weapons in Sudan, against the people in the Darfur region. Where do you suppose they got them? [By the way, Syria is another Baathist regime. Kissing cousins with the one Saddam headed.]

Regards,

Chuck(le)

5:22 PM  
Blogger Shawn said...

I couldn't help but notice how that first part of the speech sounded like Zell Miller's speech at the RNC, what with the "They were wrong's" at the end of each point.

7:30 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home