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bascule

August 31st, 2008

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That's the Iraq withdrawl date set by the US Senate in a recently passed bill:

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2044498,00.html

 

The bill passed by a narrow 50-48 margin.

 

It's pretty clear Bush will veto. After all, he doesn't want Congress to have any input, err, to "micromanage" the war

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Bush has promised to veto, and I doubt the dems will be able to muster enough support to override it. A good thing, IMO.

 

We don't want to be in Iraq forever, obviously, but you can be sure that, if we pull out of August 31st, then you'll see an big rise in "insurgent" activity on september 1st.

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Bush has promised to veto, and I doubt the dems will be able to muster enough support to override it. A good thing, IMO.

 

We don't want to be in Iraq forever, obviously, but you can be sure that, if we pull out of August 31st, then you'll see an big rise in "insurgent" activity on september 1st.

 

 

If we pull out August 31st, 2020, there will be a big rise in "insurgent" activity on september 1st. I bet the shia will be more heavy handed in their approach to the sunni after we leave. Like Sherman through the south.

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The idea is to give the Iraqi armed forces enough time to gather enough power to be able to control the insurgents on their own.

 

By setting a deadline, we ignore the fact that the situation is flexible. The Iraqi government isn't going to be strong just because we want it to be. We have to take active steps to ensure it is so. Besides setting an arbitrary date for withdrawal.

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Their argument is that setting the date IS the step needed to force them to prepare, since there's no pressure if they think the U.S. will stay to babysit them indefinitely. Agree or disagree, but it's not irrational.

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I have mixed feelings on a "pull out date" that is in stone, but I think it has come about due to a lack of measure, reflect, and improve upon what we do while we are there.

I think this is largely due to the administration's inflexibility, so a date to get out is a last ditch effort to put some sort of reins on the matter.

What would be ideal, is if strategy was reviewed, had expectations, was criticized, and then its phases of success measured and failures held accountable. It wouldn't mean someone "gets fired" if their strategy idea fails, but it sure as heck would mean things need to be reexamined.

 

The administration is so afraid of looking bad that they're afraid to criticize themselves, instead choosing to stick to a "we are doing it right, its just a tough job" approach. The issue of who was initially right or wrong about strategy is miniscule compared to the importance of doing a better job now, but the issue is still being dealt with as political instead of strategic.

 

The irony, is that the administration, being so certain in going with what they think is right instead of pandering to public opinion (reasonably noble ideal in of itself), is now stuck unable to admit it needs to change its strategy exactly because its afraid of how that will look in the court of public opinion.

 

Since the Administration has not allowed any serious input to date, or post mortems of their enacted strategies, really there isn't much left for the Senate to do other than try the last ditch withdrawal bill.

 

Its just sad that its all so un-ideal, because political ramifications seem to be more important all round than the strategic ones, when decisions are finally made.

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Well, wait a minute, what happened to listening to the experts? Mokele and others have pointed out, during GW debates, that scientists are the experts and we layman should listen to them. That having an "opinion" is rather insulting.

 

Well, the military experts do not recommend a withdrawl date. So why aren't you all listening to them? Why are you discussing opinions on this matter? You aren't experts on warfare.

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Well, the military experts do not recommend a withdrawl date. So why aren't you all listening to them? Why are you discussing opinions on this matter? You aren't experts on warfare.

 

The bipartisan Iraq Study Group recommended a phased withdrawl. You may or may not have seen the New York Post's response to the ISG report:

 

monkeys.jpg

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Can I just check on something?

Bush is saying he will veto a decision, made by the representatives of the US population, to withdraw the troops who are meant to be there to bring democracy.

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Can I just check on something?

Bush is saying he will veto a decision, made by the representatives of the US population, to withdraw the troops who are meant to be there to bring democracy.

 

Is it representative though?

 

 

Espeically since there's about 20 billion dollars in the bill that are going to random things that are unabashfully going towards buying senate votes. Things like peanut storage, whitehouse tours, which have nothing whatsoever to do with the Iraqi war. Way too much pork in the bill for my tastes.

 

The bill stinks to high heaven of a political manuvre, and nothing to do with a accurate representation of what's best for the military or the Iraqi people.

 

And as for the commitee that studied Iraq... who the hell is even in it, and why should anyone care what they think?

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Can I just check on something?

Bush is saying he will veto a decision, made by the representatives of the US population, to withdraw the troops who are meant to be there to bring democracy.

 

:D

 

According to that great American patriot Rumsfeld resistance in Iraq is "no more than a couple thousand malcontents and criminals".

 

He failed to mention they are ZOMBIES! Somehow those couple thousand don't stay dead. :eek:

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Is it representative though?

 

 

Espeically since there's about 20 billion dollars in the bill that are going to random things that are unabashfully going towards buying senate votes. Things like peanut storage, whitehouse tours, which have nothing whatsoever to do with the Iraqi war. Way too much pork in the bill for my tastes.

 

The bill stinks to high heaven of a political manuvre, and nothing to do with a accurate representation of what's best for the military or the Iraqi people.

 

And as for the commitee that studied Iraq... who the hell is even in it, and why should anyone care what they think?

It's odd that Bush made a big deal about that. Bills with such stakes are often Christmas tree bills, IIRC.

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Can I just check on something?

Bush is saying he will veto a decision, made by the representatives of the US population, to withdraw the troops who are meant to be there to bring democracy.

 

 

No... we were there to overthrow Hussein. Mission accomplished!

 

Seriously, though, a veto is part of our democratic process. *shrug*

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When you are damned if you do, and damned if you don't, the smart option is to look for a third way.

 

If the US leaves, thousands will die from unrestrained insurgent action. If the US does not leave, thousands will die from unrestrained insurgent action.

What is the third way?

 

I don't know for sure. However, I would say that the smart thing to do right now is to start making friends with Iraq's neighbours, including Iran. If the US leaves, you want someone else to assist.

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I don't know for sure. However, I would say that the smart thing to do right now is to start making friends with Iraq's neighbours, including Iran. If the US leaves, you want someone else to assist.

 

I think making deals with a nation so openly hostile towards us and the rest of the western world is the worst idea proposed by the left wing anti-war activists.

 

If Iran gets more control in the middle east, the conflicts will continue to escalate into a world war, IMO. Not to mention starting a conflict with Israel... which will drag the US back into the conflict anyway.

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I think making deals with a nation so openly hostile towards us and the rest of the western world is the worst idea proposed by the left wing anti-war activists.

 

If Iran gets more control in the middle east, the conflicts will continue to escalate into a world war, IMO. Not to mention starting a conflict with Israel... which will drag the US back into the conflict anyway.

 

I think they like it because it will satisfy the cut and run mentality. They're really not concerned at all about the lives at stake or the responsibility our country has for those lives - it's all about getting out. Selfishness and ignorance.

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It seems to me that they really should have thought about how they were going to pull out before they went in.

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It seems to me that they really should have thought about how they were going to pull out before they went in.

 

What makes you think they didn't? It's you guys that want them to pull out. The military folks (the experts in war) say they're not ready to pull out. Sounds to me like they have quite the idea of how to pull out, and it isn't time yet.

 

Maybe you should consider someone other than yourself...like the Iraqi people. I thought liberals were always fighting for the little person. I thought liberals despised the "selfishness" of conservatives. I guess that's only when money is involved. People are expendable?

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I want to correct the OP, with intended respect to the original poster because passage was exactly what was signalled on Tuesday (it just wasn't actually passed then, as stated in the OP). And I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I think it's fascinating the misunderstandings that this vote caused in the general public and the media.

 

As I understand it, what actually happened on Tuesday was that the Senate was debating the bill in question, which is an emergency spending bill intended to fund the war (and tons of pork mainly to get older Democrats on board, oddly enough), which includes an attachment that calls for the removal of troops on a timetable. The only aspect of this that the Senate voted on on Tuesday was whether to remove that attachment. That vote is the one that failed 50-48 (as mentioned in the first post of this thread). Not even enough to avoid a filibuster, if this were a normal vote on a normal bill (which it was not).

 

In other words, the bill itself was not voted on, and so the bill itself had not "passed" (as reported in the OP). It was not yet on its way to the White House for presidential signature/veto. (It finally did pass just this (Thursday) afternoon, though it still has to be reconciled with the House bill and then voted on AGAIN before it goes to the White House.)

 

But look how it was reported:

Reuters and the various news services, Wash Post, NYTimes, etc:

Senate Backs Iraq Pullout Deadline

US Senate backs troop withdrawal from Iraq

Senate backs Iraq pullout date

 

Those headlines DO imply that the bill had passed and was on its way to the White House for veto or signature. Which did not happen for several more days. (In fact the Guardian article linked in the OP actually states (erroneously) that the bill actually passed on Tuesday.)

 

There were, however, these somewhat more accurate headlines, from CNN and Fox News:

Withdrawal timeline survives Senate vote

Senate Signals Support for Iraq Timeline

 

Again, not trying to say anything bad about the original poster -- my reaction on Tuesday/Wednesday was exactly the same as his; that's what I thought had happened (the bill had passed). A totally understandable misunderstanding, given the way it was reported.

 

Bizarre, isn't it?

 

I think what happened is that the signalling on Tuesday took so many political observers by surprise, and the newsies wanted to jump on that story. Every single pundit and politico that I read or saw over last weekend predicted a total shutdown in the Senate. I was very skeptical of that -- it seemed to me that passage was actually quite likely, and I was surprised at the predominence of that sentiment. Not that I'm any great predictor of congressional voting, but it seemed odd to me.

 

At any rate, sorry about the hijack, I just thought the whole meta-story on this issue this week was fascinating.

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It seems to me that they really should have thought about how they were going to pull out before they went in.

 

When has a war ever gone according to anyone's plan?

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Thank you for the cordial post Pangloss, and indeed, the way the story was reported was not accurate, and the bill that passed was not the one I reported passed, nor the one the media reported passed, at least when I posted it.

 

Oh well.

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What makes you think they didn't? It's you guys that want them to pull out. The military folks (the experts in war) say they're not ready to pull out. Sounds to me like they have quite the idea of how to pull out, and it isn't time yet.

 

Some probably did predict a difficult war, but they were laughed at after we steamrolled into Iraq. I think the plan was that after the battle, we would be welcomed as liberators. I don't think they actually thought they would have such a difficult occupation.

 

Maybe you should consider someone other than yourself...like the Iraqi people. I thought liberals were always fighting for the little person. I thought liberals despised the "selfishness" of conservatives. I guess that's only when money is involved. People are expendable?

 

Maybe they have borrowed from the compassionate conservatism ideal. You know, stand on your own two feet, expect more from people, teach people instead of doing everything for them. Maybe a faith based initiative would be a better approach, government just sucks - can't do ANYTHING right!

 

I am starting to think we should outsource the training. Our military probably can't imagine not having all the technology they enjoy.

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