Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Politics, War on Terror — Rick Moran @ 8:08 am

After three years of carping, harping, caterwauling, criticizing, not to mention spinning ever more outrageous and fantastical conspiracy theories about the war, it is time for the Democrats to stand up and do what they say they’ve been sent to Washington to do; get us out of Iraq.

Now is the time we find out whether the Democrats are a bunch of gutless cowards whose political calculations about “supporting the troops but not the mission” has any meaning beyond the sound bite culture of Washington and political campaigns. Now is the time we discover whether Democrats have the courage of their convictions and truly believe that the war is a lost cause, necessitating the immediate withdrawal of our forces.

Not “redeployment” or other weasel words that the Democrats have used in the past in attempting to hide from the gales of history that are blowing ever more fiercely through the Middle East and beyond, but the physical withdrawal of our troops from the fighting. In other words, a halt to combat operations, an admission that the war was not only ill advised, ill considered, and carried out with spectacular incompetence but also that we have lost the conflict and that the terrorists, jihadis, and murderous thugs in the Sunni insurgency have won.

Along with this admission of total failure must come an acknowledgement of success by our enemies. This is the nature of war. One side comes out the winner. The other, a loser. And if the Democrats had any balls at all they would be just as loud and obnoxious when complaining about al-Qaeda’s “victory” against us as they are when complaining about everything else having to do with the war.

They won’t do it, of course, It might lose them a few votes. So despite the fact that they believe the war a failure, that Bush an incompetent fool, that our men are dying needlessly in Iraq, that civilians are being butchered in a lost cause, that there is nothing we can do to stem the tide of victory by al-Qaeda and the jihadis, they will sit back on their over fed, overly ample haunches and kibitz like a bunch of old maids at a bridge game, maintaining a high moral tone while abjectly failing to act in a moral fashion.

For if the Democrats really believed all they say about Iraq - and there should be no doubt that they do - then the only morally defensible position to take is to cut our losses and bring our troops home. Not in 6 months. Not in three months. There should not be one more American soldier who dies or is wounded because of what they see as the illusory notion that there is any kind of victory to be had in Iraq.

But no. The Democrats want to have it both ways. They want an “out” just in case the security situation really does improve as the result of our sending an extra few thousand men to Baghdad. They don’t want Republicans to take political advantage of their moral stance regarding the withdrawal of our troops. They want to be able to claim that they “succeeded” in making Bush change direction in policy - especially if their is a significant improvement in the security situation.

Frankly, I don’t know what they’re so worried about. The chances that an extra 20,000 troops will make a difference in the long run are slight indeed. Three times that many and there may have been a chance to alter the cycle of sectarian violence that now claims far more lives every day than al-Qaeda terrorists or Sunni insurgents. As it stands, the extra troops are little more than a symbolic gesture by the President, a sign to his supporters and the Iraqis that he is still committed to achieving some kind of “victory” - whatever that means.

And lest you think I am any more satisfied with the Administration’s plans than I am with the stance of cowardly Democrats, think again.

The President has been saying for three years that we cannot fail in Iraq, that it is absolutely vital to our national security and to the future of our country that Iraq be seen as a success in the War on Terror.

If this is so, why has he been so lethargic in defending his actions? Why hasn’t he answered his critics with anything except platitudes and rosy scenarios that bore little relation to the reality of what was actually happening on the ground? Why did he resist any review of his strategy for so long, even after it became clear that we were failing in Iraq? And why for the love of God has he dithered for more than 4 months as the violence, already severely disrupting Iraqi society by making more than half a million refugees and record numbers of civilian dead, reached new heights of savagery and brutality?

George Bush is a failure on many levels as President but he has reached the zenith of incompetence as a moral leader. His apocalyptic rhetoric about the consequences of failure in Iraq has not been backed up by the kind of leadership that would have given the American people a stake in this conflict beyond the families of our soldiers who have born the entire burden of sacrifice in this war. This has meant that support for his policies was bound to deteriorate if things went south in Iraq. And, like the moral cowardice of the Democrats who refuse to take their rhetoric about the war to its logical conclusion by advocating an immediate withdrawal, the President has demonstrated his own moral laxity by opening a huge chasm between what he says the stakes are in Iraq with his actions.

For if, as the President contends, these stakes are so high, why not call up every National Guard member and every reservist we have? If our equipment is being slowly ground down by overuse in the hot, desert-like conditions of Iraq, why not ask for a crash program to have American industry turn out new equipment? Why not constitute a new “War Production Board to prioritize and order American manufacturers to turn out what is needed to prosecute the war to a successful conclusion? Despite the loss of much of our manufacturing base, you can’t convince me that this couldn’t be done - if there was the will and the leadership to do it.

Why not rationing? Why not raise taxes? Why not put his cherished domestic agenda on hold while the American government bends every effort and concentrates almost exclusively on winning the war in Iraq?

How unrealistic am I being by hearkening back to the domestic tactics we used in World War II that successfully gave every American a stake in our victory or defeat? Obviously, very little of what I proposed above would be possible or even practicable. But I listed those actions because they illustrate a point; that the President has not tapped the enormous reserves of patriotism nor the deep, traditional well spring of self sacrifice that the American people have demonstrated they are capable of if they believe the stakes are high enough. And this President has failed miserably in doing that.

Because the President lacks the political courage to take these kinds of actions that would unite us in a common cause and call forth our best effort, we are losing the war. And now, at this late date, the best we can do is send a paltry 20,000 more men to a failing state that is in danger of falling off a cliff and turning into another Somalia - a haven for roving gangs of thugs with guns and terrorists to plan and train for their next mission against the United States.

The time for evasion by all sides is over. What we need is an up or down vote in the House and Senate on continuing this war. Either we decide to do everything in our power to prosecute the war to the fullest extent possible in order to achieve even a limited victory (defined as a stable Iraqi government in charge of its own streets) or we begin the immediate withdrawal of our forces and let the Iraqis stew in the mess we have made. Move some troops to Afghanistan where at least there is a fighting chance for success. But get them out of Iraq and allow the regional players who have done their best to undermine our efforts there to pick up the pieces themselves. We will just have to deal with their success as another aspect of the general War on Terror.

The aftermath will not be easy to overcome. But if we decide enough is enough, we will have to face the consequences of our failure and move on from there. And if we decide to do whatever it takes to win through to a limited victory, then it’s time to make the President responsible for his rhetoric.

Whatever the decision, no more straddling, no more evasions, no more hiding behind political doubletalk. For both the President and the Democrats, half measures won’t cut it. It’s time to stand up and be counted - no matter what side you’re on.



    It’s time to stand up and be counted – no matter what side you’re on.

    Trackback by The Absurd Report — 1/10/2007 @ 11:03 am

  2. You nailed it.

    I wonder who will flinch first, the Prez or the DEMS? Which one really believes in their position?

    Alas, politics will probably rule the roost.

    Comment by Kurt — 1/10/2007 @ 11:32 am

  3. Web Reconnaissance for 01/10/2007

    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

    Trackback by The Thunder Run — 1/10/2007 @ 12:57 pm

  4. I see we have the same thing on our minds today. I blogged about this, too, but of course your post is much, much better!

    Comment by Karen — 1/10/2007 @ 1:34 pm

  5. Rick,
    Why do you feel the need for a government mandated sacrifice? Oh how socialist. Americans were stoic after 9/11, building the 4th leg of any military operation by increasing the size of our economy by $3 trillion, they went to work everyday, rode trains, flew in planes. The burden of this struggle rests with the American people. When Americans have the audacity to pretend they don’t have the responsibility for our military actions, and call the interests of the United States Bush’s War, they have failed in their responsibilities as citizens. President Bush has been the only player in this struggle that has not fallen in his resolve. The disingenuous opposition has been allowed by wimpy Republicans to sour the publics stamina, shame on them. Every Republican should recognize their duty to firmly stand behind the President’s decision, calling on fellow Americans to support the success of this mission, sending a clear signal that the United States stands behind those Iraqi moderates willing to fight for their freedom. The only reason we face this insurgency is because the tactic works. We show our resolve, they will never use it again.

    Comment by Fritz — 1/10/2007 @ 2:37 pm

  6. Insofar as you mean that the Democrats should suit their actions to their rhetoric I agree with you, Rick. The problem, however, is, if we withdraw our troops from Iraq, then what? Bush’s answer, lousy as it is, is that we’re not going to withdraw from Iraq.

    No one else seems to have much of any answer at all.

    One of the things I hoped to start in my little colloquium a while ago was a discussion of that very question. That was one of the many things I didn’t accomplish: those whom I could get to participate agreed that we shouldn’t leave.

    Comment by Dave Schuler — 1/10/2007 @ 3:36 pm

  7. It’s kind of unfair to talk about “Democratic cowards” when you see Ted Kennedy standing up for his position already being called “a hostile enemy”, and with Mark Levin, who is so deeply ignorant as to talk about “Iraninan islomanazis and their Al-Qaeda friends”, calling Kennedy all the names, and accusing him of wanting the genocide, which is especially insulting given Kennedy’s Bangladesh experience.
    Don’t you feel that some part of the Right went beyond shameless in their Civil War against “inner enemy”?

    Comment by Nikolay — 1/10/2007 @ 4:38 pm

  8. Davebo:

    Your comment was deleted for being insulting to the host. If you have something to add to the debate sans the insults, be my guest.

    Comment by Rick Moran — 1/10/2007 @ 5:47 pm

  9. I’m with #5 Fritz. It’s ridiculous to talk of rationing, the War Production Board, etc. What we do need is strong support for the President, but too many people are ankle-biters, trying to bring him down.

    The problems faced in Iraq are twofold: (1)the primitive tribal nature of Iraqi society, and (2) the aid to the killers (aka terrorists or insurgents) from Iran, Syria, and other places (Russia? Saudi Arabia?)

    President Bush seems to be trying to work with the Iraqis, as they are presently constituted. A war with Syria and Iran might help, but maybe not. That’s for the military and the Bush administration to figure out, not the armchair pundits. I think it’s way too early to give up on Iraq.

    Comment by Promethea — 1/10/2007 @ 5:56 pm

  10. Of course it’s ridiculous to talk about the War Production board and rationing.

    I said so in the next sentence - if you bothered to read it.

    My point was that if Bush wants the support of the American people, he has to give them a stake in the outcome. Platitudes and gimmicks won’t cut it. His rhetoric has failed to match his actions.

    Comment by Rick Moran — 1/10/2007 @ 6:02 pm

  11. Your comment was deleted for being insulting to the host. If you have something to add to the debate sans the insults, be my guest.

    Hey, it’s your blog. Me, I’d say that a public display of such civics ignorance is insulting to the host.

    But what can ya do?

    Comment by Davebo — 1/10/2007 @ 6:25 pm

  12. I agree that Bush has been a disappointment is the ways you list. I have no idea why. He has puzzled me for years, and I’m sure he gets good advice. Despite his bully pulpit, he never uses it.

    Comment by bird dog — 1/10/2007 @ 7:01 pm

  13. Weasel words?

    You know who used Weasel words?

    John Murtha, decorated Marine combat veteran.

    Once again, a war cheerleader attacking a veteran.







    If you want everyone to have a stake in this democracy, maybe we should pass laws that levels the playing in election costs. Every last Representative and Senator is a millionaire.
    How about bring back the draft and don’t allow people like Dick Cheney to get out of serving his country five times. Or perhaps each of us should own the same stock equities that the war profiteers own. If they get rich by invading, why shouldn’t the rets of us? It’s being paid out of our taxes.

    But the thing that really kills me Rick, is how disrespectful you are to Democrats.

    After all, the Democrats were right about Iraq.

    And those on your political end of the spectrum have been utterly, woefully wrong

    I mean that’s what it boils down to. People like me were completely utterly right, and people like you…..well I think all war supporters must feel some of the pauil out of the same wounds.

    Comment by epicenter — 1/10/2007 @ 7:08 pm

  14. One mor ething

    They won’t do it, of course, It might lose them a few votes. So despite the fact that they believe the war a failure, that Bush an incompetent fool, that our men are dying needlessly in Iraq, that civilians are being butchered in a lost cause, that there is nothing we can do to stem the tide of victory by al-Qaeda and the jihadis, they will sit back on their over fed, overly ample haunches and kibitz like a bunch of old maids at a bridge game, maintaining a high moral tone while abjectly failing to act in a moral fashion.

    Go ahead. Pat yourself on the back for this MORAL war. I mean come on.

    again, we killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, brought our own troops into harm, and yet, you’re calling this a MORAL action.

    jesus h christ on a cracker

    good thing we didn’t try an IMMORAL invasion

    Comment by epicenter — 1/10/2007 @ 7:12 pm

  15. I thought the original vote to go to war was supposed to show “where everyone stood” on the subject. What makes you think this vote can’t be rationalized like all the rest of the congress’ votes? Afterall, they are all innocent, misinformed people only trying to do the “people’s business”. Scene two in the comedy of errors…the congress.

    Comment by Judith — 1/10/2007 @ 7:28 pm

  16. “again, we killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people,”

    Um, we did what? Lefties just cannot hide their contempt for our military. That is such a lie. The Iraqi’s are killing each other with the help of Iran. Iran is encouraging the violence. Our soldiers and marines are dying because they have to fight a PC war and so-called Americans like you accuse them of killing hundreds of thousands. That is beyond contempt. You disgust me.

    Comment by bubbaj — 1/10/2007 @ 7:28 pm

  17. Rick,

    I thought you had a rule about bad language. I consider using the Lord’s name in vain offensive language. Don’t you?

    Comment by bubbaj — 1/10/2007 @ 7:31 pm

  18. Bad language is subjective, of course, but since I do take the lords name in vain on the blog, I have defined it as what might loosely be termed “The 7 words you can’t say on TV.”

    Comment by Rick Moran — 1/10/2007 @ 7:34 pm

  19. yes, we did kill hundreds of thousand sof innocent iraqis

    I know the right wing can’t accept it or face it

    I gues syou feel if we skirt around the facts of the cae, then that will somehow be ‘respectin the military’

    if you respected the military you would ask to bring the troops home

    as Americans , we all have blood on our hands

    as rigthwing war cheerleaders, you have even more blood on your hands

    keep in mind: the military thinks this war is lost already, how many on this blog give a damn about what actual military experts say?

    I mean, bubbaj, I understand that no actual veteran knowsn more about foreign policy than you do

    go play RISK with someone else’s lives

    Comment by epicenter — 1/10/2007 @ 7:39 pm

  20. The American people aren’t abandoning their support because we don’t have a ’stake’, we’re doing so because (1) we don’t think we’re ‘winning’ and (2) we don’t think ‘winning’ will do much to protect America. While we’re willing to sacrifice, we need to see the benefit of doing so. And while I doubt this was Bush’s reason for not doing so, had he insisted Americans sacrifice in some way, support would have dried up a lot faster (imagine the outcry had there been a draft or a tax hike).

    But I totally agree with you that Bush’s leadership in this area has been one of complete failure. I started to list the ways in which he screwed up and got tired of typing after just nine. But I guess we really shouldn’t be surprised as his list of failures as President greatly outnumbers his successes.

    And as for me, I would yank the troops out as fast as I could get planes to fly them out. I’d destroy and leave our armor and other material as it would be cheaper to simply replace it than to stick around in Iraq long enough to move the stuff out. Then again, I never would have kept them in Iraq longer than it took to capture/kill Hussein and verify whether Iraq had any WMDs. Having our soldiers get killed to keep Iraqis from killing one another is one of the more ridiculous things I have ever heard. In fact, had I not known better, I would have thought that was something a Democrat would have thought of.

    Comment by steve sturm — 1/10/2007 @ 7:51 pm

  21. “yes, we did kill hundreds of thousand sof innocent iraqis”

    Proof please. And don’t cite Lancet. It has already been thoroughly discredited by even liberals.

    “keep in mind: the military thinks this war is lost already, how many on this blog give a damn about what actual military experts say?”

    Surprise! Another lefty lie. The Joint Chiefs and General Abizaid testified before congress that we cannot cut and run from Iraq for reasons that have been repeated over and over and on this blog and others and in major newspapers all over the country.

    I mean, epicenter, I understand that no actual Joint Chief or General Abizaid knows more about foreign policy than you do.

    Comment by bubbaj — 1/10/2007 @ 7:54 pm

  22. Rick, I did read your sentence. You criticize Bush because you don’t think he’s convinced the American people that their stakes in the conflict are high.

    Bush is not a rousing speaker. However, at this point, the reason Americans don’t understand the conflict is because the Democrats and the mass media have failed them. Most people don’t follow the news carefully. They usually just respond to headlines and soundbites.

    Comment by Promethea — 1/10/2007 @ 8:13 pm

  23. That it!

    W din’t lose the war.

    The Democrats out there and the media lost it.

    It wasn’t W’s decisions, it was we all didn’t clap loud enough


    Comment by epicenter — 1/10/2007 @ 8:18 pm

  24. Rick,

    What was your threshold for language again?? It’s pretty high, I guess.

    The Lancet article has been debunked. Okay, so which is it 600,000 like Lancet says or 115,000, or 190,000. Make up your mind. They all can’t be right. The point is you said we have killed hundreds of thousands. It’s still a lie because WE didn’t kill them all. The Iraqi’s are killing each other. It’s a civil war remember. Isn’t that what NBC declared it? Isn’t that what the Democrats have been screaming for months? You say you support our troops. Well, why don’t you tell them that they have killed 600,000 Iraqi’s and see what kind of response you get.

    For every military leader you quote who says this war is not winnable, there is one who says it is.

    Comment by bubbaj — 1/10/2007 @ 8:44 pm

  25. Open Letter to GWB

    Right Wing Nut House, sort of coincidentally, covers some of the same territory in

    Trackback by Wry Mouth — 1/10/2007 @ 8:56 pm

  26. we caused the war

    we marched in and promised everyone we would stop a murderous tyrrant from murdering his own people and instead transformed the country into an endless, pointless bloodbath, a full scale civl war with neighborhood fighting positions dug in and shias and sunnis lobbing mortars at each other

    78 percent of Iraqis living in al anbar province recently told pollsters that it was better under saddam

    we caused it because we failed to secure he country because we fired the one general who thought we couldn’t do it on the cheap

    don’t you see, we are not just guilty for killing innocent people, we are guilty for putting a mcth on gasoline, that everyone from arab neighbors to european allies said would cause a horrible sectarian civil war.

    we caused it

    we might not have killed each and every one of them. but we caused all their deaths with this completely botched “democracy” exercise

    but for you to just poo poo our role in this is typically rightwingnuthouse material

    no, like I said, I worked at the Pentagon. I know

    and you don’t

    most of the high command in the US arm ed forces think this is over

    we’re not talking abou who the AEI can pay to sell a point of propaganda, we’re taling about most of the military is against this

    yes, I support our troops by telling the truth

    how do you support our troops?
    send them into a quagmire , a full scale civil war with little or no body armor?

    the America is Always Right Crowd is always wrong

    now go on and pontificate all day on the Wah On Terra

    Comment by bibbleman — 1/10/2007 @ 9:23 pm

  27. what bibbleman said…

    Comment by epicenter — 1/10/2007 @ 9:26 pm

  28. Open Letter to GWB

    If you’re going to try for Lincolnesque conclusions, though, you may want to back that up with Lincolnesque leadership (see below). One without the other comes off as rather more comical than you intend.

    Trackback by Wry Mouth — 1/10/2007 @ 9:32 pm

  29. Worked at the Pentagon…is that like I worked at the CIA? or the state department, or justice? Yeah, a leading authority. I’ll bet your one of those that said we had it coming on 9/11. Or are you one of those who state this war is by “choice” (what war isn’t, roll over and submit)or is it illegal (from whom do we need permission to wage war?) Working for the government does not make one an “expert” on anything. The Generals from Iraq that “testified under oath” said the war could be won, we needed different strategies. I take it the “expert from the pentagon” did observe the testimony (not the edited version the media put out) on c-span?

    Comment by Judith — 1/10/2007 @ 10:08 pm

  30. I thought President Bush’s speech tonight was quite reasonable. I doubt that we ever promised the Iraqis unicorns and rainbows when we invaded them, just that Saddam was a WMD threat (yes, it’s true) and that we would try to help them set up a democratic government.

    For those of you who have never read Belmont Club’s “Three Conjectures,” now would be a good time google it, read it, and think about it.

    Comment by Promethea — 1/10/2007 @ 10:21 pm

  31. According to Brigadier General Mark Scheid, chief of the Logistics War Plans Division after 9/11, during the planning stage of the Iraq invasion Rumsfeld threatened to fire anyone who even mentioned planning for the occupation phase of the invasion.

    Does anyone seriously think that Rumsfeld would take such a position without the approval of President Bush?

    This war was lost before it ever started, when the planning for the occupation was completely ignored because it would cost too much and use too many troops.

    General Shinseki’s professional opinion was that several hundred thousand troops would be needed to occupy Iraq, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz both publically disageed with that estimate and said it was much too high.

    General Abizaid has since said that Shinseki’s original estimate was in fact correct.

    Place the blame for this debacle where it really lies, on the highest levels of the civilian leadership, President Bush, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz.

    Comment by Jonathan — 1/11/2007 @ 6:48 am

  32. How unrealistic am I being by hearkening back to the domestic tactics we used in World War II that successfully gave every American a stake in our victory or defeat? Obviously, very little of what I proposed above would be possible or even practicable.

    If we did it in WWII why is it not possible nor practical to do it today?

    I’d be on board with the Iraq war if I thought the administration was truly serious about winning it. We should have called for a draft, rescinded the tax cuts and implemented many of the measures you mentioned in your OP at least two years ago when it was clear that we were losing in Iraq. But that would have been unpopular and would have threatened Republican chances of hanging on to power so it wasn’t even considered.

    If the administration is truly serious about their “Clash of Civilizations” rhetoric, why then have they told the general public to “just go shopping” and not called for some serious sacrifices from the American people?

    When I was about eight years old we moved into a house that happened to have a huge stack of old National Geographics in one of the closets, left over from the previous occupants. I read every one cover to cover and I can recall vividly that the magazines from the years of WWII had several articles in every issue about the war effort, including photos and reporting on combat in all the theaters of the war. I was fascinated by those war era magazines and learned a lot about WWII in my very early years.

    The reason the American public is not on board for the Iraq war is that the administration has made it quite clear by it’s actions that it isn’t really serious about winning this so called global clash of civilizations. Actions speak louder than words and as long as the actions do not match the rhetoric the administration will never be able to get the public on board for a war that was sold as a “cakewalk”, that I doubt it will last six months”, that it was a “slam dunk” that Iraq had WMDs, that we would be greeted as liberatorsand that “Oh, no, we’re not going to have any casualties.”.

    Comment by Jonathan — 1/11/2007 @ 9:34 am

  33. Ooops, I missed the link for “it was a slam dunk that Iraq had WMDs”

    Comment by Jonathan — 1/11/2007 @ 9:39 am

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