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I don't want Giffords to return the money, I want her to donate it to one of the many organizations that support the military such as the Fisher House. Sending the money back to MoveOn would just give them more money to spend spewing their hatred.

Grijalva took money back in 2002.

Too bad MoveOn and the Michael Moore crowd doesn't hate the people trying kill us as much as they hate George Bush and the military. We could easily win the war on terror if they did.

That money will not be kept by GG, you can guarantee that.

Joe, is that based on the current actions or those of the past? She accepted the money last year and has had ample opportunity to return it. The politics of moveon is no secret and the current action should be of no surprise, why should she return the money and feign a sense of distance AFTER her successful campaign and the benefit received?

I loved Ros-Lehtinen's stunned looked and comment after Abercrombie smacked her down. She really didn't expect that.

As noted on other blogs, the self-righteous hypocrisy coming from the Red Staters is stunning.

When you question the patriotism of Democrats who served their country honorably (John Kerry, Max Clelland) it's simply rough-and-tumble politics.

When a liberal (not a Democratic Party) organization questions the truthfullness of a report issued by an administration that has lied repeatedly - and has been caught repeatedly in its own lies - they're a bunch of America haters.

You usually are better than that, Greg.

In addition, why won't some self-righteous Republican note that Fred Thompson, one of your presidential candidates, worked on behalf of Libyans who were charged in connection with the the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbee, Scotland?


Yes, Chad, that's exactly it. We haven't been able to the staunch the blood flow of over a thousand years of world history because of Michael Moore and MoveOn.org.

Oh, Morgan Spurlock, if only you had done "Shia Size Me"... [sigh]


I do not, in any way, agree with what the Swift Boat group did to Kerry. I think it was disgusting. However, I think the ad on Patraeus pushed the level of disgust to a whole new level. Surely you see the difference between attacking a presidential candidate's war record when he has made his military service an issue in his campaign and smearing an acting officer for doing his duty? Neither is right, but one is dirty politics, while the other is just . . . dirty.

I sent the following fax to her offices:
Ms Giffords:
All Arizona is watching:
1.Disavow the MoveOne.org NY Times ad @ GEN Partraeus
2.Apologize to the soldiers at Fort Huachuca and the Air Force folks at Davis-Monthan AFB for insulting them by your association with MoveOn
3.Give the $5000.00 to wounded heroes

You should have given her an "OR ELSE", with the "else" being "or we'll nominate another crazy right-wing nut job and let you skate to re-election".

That'll learn her some democracy!

It's simply amazing to me the way the Republican Party has been gripped by war hysteria for the past 5 years. This is the same Republican Party whose leading members spent much of the 1990s attacking Clinton for deploying forces in Bosnia, and for bombing the Sudan and al Qaeda bases. In fact, leading spokespeople for the Republican Party referred to a number of Clinton's military forays as "wagging the dog". I also recall a Republican Party whose right wing spent much of the 90s castigating Attorney General Reno for perceived civil liberties excesses.

Now, 9/11 changed some things. But we're not children here. 9/11 did not change THAT many things.

General Shinseki went before Congress in 2002 and told the representatives that it would take 400,000 troops to hold and occupy a country of 25 million. For that he was sacked. Well, the Republican Party got the war it wanted by selling it on the cheap - Rumsfeld: days, "certainly not months".

Americans were probably foolish to believe what they were told, but they supported it, told by this administration - that troop levels would be down to 30,000 with 18 months of the invasion in March 2003.

That has not happened. It's not MoveOn.org's fault. That's this administration's fault - Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Powell.

But now we're getting this "stab-in-the-back" story. It's the same story we got after Vietnam, the laughable proposition that a bunch of 20-something hippies brought an end to that war, and not the frustration and exhaustion of an American people who, in that case as well, had been misled about how easy it all would be.

the MoveOn ad is nothing compared to the Swift Boat attack ads. The Move On ad is mere name-calling. the Swift boat ads were blatant lies. Isn't it disgusting that both get excused as "just politics."

with regards to Irag, who cares if the surge has been mildly successful. That should not be a rational for leaving our troops there to be killed and maimed. Until someone can tell us there are signs of a political solution, a temporary reduction of violence is meaningless. So far, none are apparent.

What was disgusting was the media playing blatantly fake documents against Bush in its attempt to elect Kerry.

Who were the Swiftboats? Men who had served or shared the same dirt with Kerry.

What did the Swiftboats do? Read Nick's posts on the 9/11 memorial story, but it comes to replaying Kerry's own words and reading Kerry's own diary, something liberals don't want to admit.

What is sad is the Democrat party appears to be run by fringe groups like MoveOn. The only responsible person in the Democrat party was Lieberman, and he was voted out of the party for putting his country above partisanship.

Quoting ABC:
"9/11 did not change THAT many things."

That about sums up the problem with the Democrats.

I guess it takes more than mass killing thousands, attacking the Pentagon, and pile-driving men, women and children into an open field to move a Democrat to war.

Oh, wait! They were moved - until the polling data changed and elections were in the balance.

Interesting story and thread, but sorry, pretty much moot.

If you're going to do something, do it right.

President Johnson, a Democrat, flubbed Vietnam.
President Cheney, a Republican, flubbed Iraq.

In both cases, the party pays. 2008 will make 1968 look like a tea party.

If you think this ad has the slightest impact on the CD-8 election, change what you are smoking, drinking, or thinking.

That explains your penchant for hyperbole.

So what about 9/11 changed the fact that Army counterinsurgency doctrine http://www.acq.osd.mil/dsb/reports/2004-12-DSB_SS_Report_Final.pdf
has consistently reflected the view that an occupying force needs 20 troops per 1,000 inhabitants to maintain security? That's 400-500,000 troops for Iraq.

I am not a Democrat. But MoveOn.org is the least of this country's worries. If you're angry that this war has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster, you need only look at the Bush administration who sold the war on the cheap.

RE: Swifties vs MoveOn
When will John F* Kerry release ALL, rather than selected, military records to prove the Swifites are wrong? Answer - never because the release will prove the charges.

Tell you what:

I'll make John Kerry release his military records if you'll make George W. Bush release his unredacted military records and explain why he missed his physical, and then we'll all hop in the wayback machine and re-live the 2004 election.

SonoranSam - let me make this clear - if you are a democrat and support this attack on Petraeus or support MoveOn, Harry Reid, Dennis Kucinich or Dick Durbin then I DO question your patriotism. Your side’s feeble justification that dissent is an act of patriotism now falls on deaf ears. Dennis Kucinich should be charged and punished for treason. So should the leader of your party, Harry Reid. The sedition from your side has one purpose and that is to ensure the loss of the war so that Republicans are blamed and Democrats can increase their power. It is despicable and it is time for all good Americans to start calling these traitors what they are!

"Your side’s feeble justification that dissent is an act of patriotism now falls on deaf ears."

*Now* falls on deaf ears? Any dissent, no matter how minor, was never listened to, never considered permissible.

All this talk about sedition and treason is just white noise at this point. It's like reading Kim Du Toit hanging liberals from lamposts. Yawn.

Generals have always been political targets, from Marines stranded in the Phillippines referring to MacArthur as "Duckout Doug" or Westmoreland in Vietnam or even going back as George McClellan in the War Between the States... so cry me a river.

Klute I knew you would be the first one to chirp in and I expected everything you said. However, a few years ago I wouldn't have dreamed of calling the leader of the Dem party or one the Dem candidates for President a traitor. I couldn’t even imagine accusing them of being unpatriotic.

Now I do it with pride because I believe they truly are traitors. And I don’t give a damn what your side's retort will be or what crocodile tears you side will produce. You can only play your dissent card so many times before it becomes a wolf cry. And we are there now. I also know that I am not alone. I am hearing the same accusations against the left from respectable talk radio hosts who have never once made such accusations throughout their career.

If you want to defend treason then that's your choice but I no longer want to restrain myself from the accusation and I am sure millions will agree with me. You may not care but I do - I hate honestly believing that one of our two major political parties is under the leadership of honest to God traitors.

And just so long as you keep it to the voting booth and online, we're 5x5. Once you start mixing ammonium nitrate with racing fuel, we've got a problem.

Which I'm convinced someone out there is going to hear this irresponsible "traitor" rhetoric and take it too far, either with an assassin's bullet or something far worse (or at least farther than whatever right-wing whackjob did with the anthrax). The only difference between the 9/11 hijackers and McVeigh or Rudolph was intelligence and committment.

And when it happens, I guess we'll get more wacky-fun columns from Ann Coulter about how her only regret about the bullet didn't target Markos Moulistas or the bomb the New York Times.

Amazing - Klute you laid out all the reasons why your side's seditious rhetoric is so dangerous.

So, are you actually suggesting that when Harry Reid or Move On or random internet blogger says something, we're supposed to apologize and say "Huh. Our bad." when right-wing idiots decide that murder in the form of OKC, Olympic Park, Anthrax '01 is an acceptable form of political retort?

Ballot box. Talk radio. Internet. Running for office. Those are your options.

But if you want to be an apologist for murder, go right ahead.

"Harry Reid said something bad about General Petraeus, so what else could I do but blow up that building and kill hundreds of innocent people."

No matter if the criticism is legit or not, it's pretty scary when a whole political system in a country of 300 million people totally eschew ANYONE who happens to criticise someone who may happen to have a military uniform on.

And before any chickenhawk tries to 'call me out', I come from a military family, even born in a Naval hospital.

Many other generals have called Petreus a sycophant. GASP, there's NONE of THAT in the military, huh?

Mark, I question your patriotism.

Because I feel like it.

You know, re-reading Mark's comment:

"Klute you laid out all the reasons why your side's seditious rhetoric is so dangerous."

Why? What's the context here? "You'd shut up if you know what's good for you"?

As if the assassination of Markos Moulistas would or if someone drove a truck bomb into the New York Times would be their respective faults, rather than the person behind the rifle or who skulked away from the truck... Sorry, no. This isn't primitive times where Og decides to unseat Thak as head of the cave by crushing his skull with a rock.

And if that's an element that has a loud enough voice in today's conservative movement, then political movement heal thyself.

Like I said and will say again - your justifications of sedition now falls on deaf ears. And Klute I am saying that when a politician commits treason he needs to be charged and punished for it. And I am saying that your defense that Reid or Durbin or Kucinich are being patriotic because of their dissent is a joke. It worked for a while but no longer. There was a time, not but a short while ago, that you could squash Republican assumptions of treachery by playing that card. That time is over. Tim go question yourself. I will not be cowed from calling traitors traitors out of fear of having my own patriotism questioned. And my hope is that the Republican Party realizes they can no longer stay quiet and allow these few Democrats continue to promote the loss of this war and the death of our soldiers. And don't think for a second that the enemy hasn't been aided by the rhetoric and comfort they have received from men like Reid. His statement that the war is lost directly led to the death of our fighting men and women, not to mention innocent Iraqi civilians.

Oh, god, drama queen much, Mark? Geeez. Get. A. Grip.

This country is based on free dissent. If you don't like that, then perhaps you could apply for Saudi, Egyptian, or Chinese citizenship.

Btw, the war is lost. It's done. Toast. See ya!

I followed the thread to see if anyone would be able, or care, to address the traitorous essence of MoveOn.org's ad. Gen Petraeus is an honorable member of the active military who has done what duty called upon him to do. I do not accept MoveOn.org as any sort of informed group, let alone expert, in how to fight an insurgency nor can their naked partisanship be ignored when they try to opine on the success of our country's efforts in Iraq. For Liberals to succeed politically in the U.S., they must foment discord and disbelief in those who know the most - on the ground fighting the fight. Shame on MoveOn.org and shame on those who seek success in MoveOn.org's wake.

So it's treasonous to oppose a war in Iraq, but not treasonous to oppose deployments in Bosnia, Haiti, and bombings of the Sudan in the 1990s, as the Republicans did in the 1990s.

Go figure.

Listen to the mouth-breathing cultists howl. Apples and oranges, you morons.

To The War is Lost crowd:

The Patriotic Right is still fighting, surging, winning and governing.

Is it lost on anyone else besides the above that George Bush is president, Petreaus is General in Charge, and the Democrats in Congress are too busy finger pointing and name-calling to even succeed in the smallest of their own goals? They are not running either this country or this war.

Why are we paying attention at all to these re-run radicals? It is a little disappointing that conservatives are paying attention at all to the flacid fingerpointers and marching maniacs.

The Do Nothing Democrats in Congress are busy proving that they are not willng to do anything except be hateful and run in front of cameras.

The facts are that the Right is in charge, the country is doing well, the war is under control and moving forward and the Democrats are doing nothing but talking. Everything is not perfect - that isn't in dispute. It's just better than if the Left were in charge.

You have to be patriotic to have your patriotism questioned. That isn’t the case here. These MoveOn.org types are rooting for the other team.

Thanks for the laugh, Mark! It's always easier to believe that they aren't being serious, because if they were, then it's the picture-perfect definition of pathetic.

I think the reason why so many people are pissed about this ad, especially conservatives, is because the President Bush brand is dead. It's meaningless, it's destroyed the GOP. No one in their right mind is going to explicitly support Bush at the present time. Cheney? Nope. Gonzo? Gone. Condi? Irrelevant.

Patraeus is all they have to shore up their views towards the war. Soon, his brand will be just as bad as Bush's. Too bad he got the job because he was the sole general out of many willing to tote the Administration line.

No Tim - people are not disgusted by this ad for partisan reasons. It's only the partisans who ignore all objectivity and create foolish justifications for their treacherous rhetoric and apologies. People are pissed about this ad because it is a clear example of sedition with no objective justification.

Tim there are scumbags out there who believe that the war is lost regardless of what we Americans chose to do. They are defeatists and they have aligned their worldview to defeat. That means if things go well in Iraq they are shown to be fools. So they cannot allow themselves to be proven wrong and when good news comes out of Iraq, as it clearly has, they must pervert that news, lie about that news, create propaganda and attack the very soldiers risking their lives so that they don't have to admit they were wrong.

Instead of celebrating success on the front in Iraq they must promote defeat even if it leads to aiding and comforting the enemy and a greater loss of life. Such behavior is called treason.

Tim if you had been alive during the Revolution, a Yankee during the Civil war or an adult during WWII would you have promoted defeat? All three wars are examples where the US did not have great military success until the latter half of the war. In 1943, there were military experts who predicted our loss to Japan in the Pacific. How many generals did Lincoln have to go through? How man defeats did Washington suffer? How many lives were lost in single battles? Now, would you have given up or promoted surrender or claimed victory was impossible?

BTW, please tell me - were Washington, Lincoln and FDR good presidents?

Okay, you know the thread is dead when Dubya gets compared to FDR, Lincoln, and Washington.

And these Bush GOPers wonder why they, their president, and their war aren't taken seriously by anyone anymore. It would be hilarious if real people weren't being killed and maimed every single day.

Admiting defeat again Netroots? I never compared Bush to those Presidents. I simply asked if they were good Presidents (in light of their obvious war problems). You made the association while refusing to answer the question. Looks like a Freudian-slip to me.

If I may just chime in here... All those generals fired for that there gross incompetance: we can criticize them without being called unpatriotic, right?

Because I've Grover Cleveland's presidential time machine here, and I'm itching to critize a general, but I'm worried about the consequences.

(note: there are 2 Adult Swim references in this post)

Klute - I don't get your comparison. What military campaign failing is Petraeus being critized for?

You are absolutely amazing at the strawman, btw. Hat off to ya.

You see it becomes sedition when the sole purpose of the criticism, which has no objective basis, is to seek greater political power by trashing a 4 star general and promoting defeat during wartime.

Clearly motive matters, not that you don't already know that. The fact that Reid, Murtha, Kerry, Gore, Kucinich, Durbin, Pellosi, and Hillary also know that is why I am comfortable calling them traitors.

"What military campaign failing is Petraeus being critized for?"

EXACTLY. No one knows what the mission is.

At first it was weapons of mass destruction. OK. Accepting the fact that the Bush administration didn't know that Saddam didn't have weapons of mass destruction, we went there, found they didn't have them, took out the regime that might have produced them. Mission Accomplished, let's go home.

But then it was the idea of nation building. We've got to build a stable Muslim democracy in the region, because if we do, we'll be able to provide a bulwark against the terrorists and we'll liberalize the repressive regimes of the region - forgetting that we back up some of the most repressive (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan [where we overlook that Musharraf seized power in a military coup], Kyrgyzstan). Funny how that didn't come up in Bush's recent speeches, and how everyone from Chris Matthews to Bill O'Reilly talks about putting a strongman in like Allawi. So, mission failed (or on the cusp of failing).

Then it became Iraq was a central front in the War on Terror. Fight them there so we don't fight them here. Tell it to the victims of Madrid. Of London. Of Beslan. Bali. Theo Van Gogh. What could have happened in Edinburgh if the terrorists hadn't been totally retarded. We're fighting a hydra but we're not bringing a torch. You can't win a war against terror anymore than you can against drugs because to win those types of wars you have to take away the impetus to partake in those concepts - and by being in Iraq, we're making it beyond east to radicalize a population. Baghdad is fourth only to Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem in importance to the Muslim world (imagine a brigade of UN peacekeepers at the Alamo). We're not winning the war because we're bringing guns to a meta fight.

Pacifying Iraq so the all the above concepts can meld into a giant gelatin mold of happiness. Is Petraus succeeding? Petraeus doesn't know if Iraq is making American safer from terrorism. The White House's own report says Iraq isn't meeting its own benchmarks! The American death toll has gone up this year, we're making up more of the security forces (but thanks for that troop New Zealand!)... I read Free Republic, Townhall, National Review... The good news is overwhelmed by the bad.

I don't think Petraeus is doing a terrible job - and we're debating a pedantic word choice (as a friend of mine said "Way to go, Move On. Was 'Petrae-ASS' to obvious?"). If Petraeus can create a stable Arab democracy next to one of America's deadliest enemies, beat back the running dogs of theocratic facism, and restore Baghdad's power system to function more than 3 hours a day, hell... I'd give the nomination speech for him at the Republican National Convention myself, because if he can do that, fixing America will be a dance around the maypole.

But the simple fact of the matter, this war, which we were told would be a cakewalk, that they'd be throwing roses and kisses, that there would be a grand square named after GWB within a year has gone on LONGER than WWII - probably longer than the Civil War (I'm not going to pause the rant to check Wikipedia). And when we did win in Germany, Japan, and the South, they stopped shooting and killing us pretty quickly (unless, of course, you were Black in the South).

If you've made it this far - and I ask this in all seriousness - when do we win? When do we get a clear deliniation of victory? I'm not asking for Osama bin Laden to surrender on the deck of the Reagan in the Straits of Hormuz, but I'm not going to accept "we'll know when we know", because I'm not going to play Calvinball with lives of 45 million Iraqis, 300 million Americans, and on a more personal level, my cousin, who "doesn't know what the f*** we're doing in Iraq" (his exact words).

My cousin being an active-duty sailor in the US Navy, whose mission seems to creep daily from being an engineer to providing perimeter security for "something".

The right is not interested in answering the questions that Klute raises because the right - at least as it's represented in the comment thread here - is just interested in throwing out cliches like "support the troops" and "9/11 changed everything" and in using opposition to this war as a cudgel.

In addition, various commenters on this thread don't know very much about the actual circumstances in Iraq.

For instance, there was no link between 9/11 and Hussein and no al Qaeda in Iraq before the invasion.

The invasion was launched with about 1/3rd the troops required under Army doctrine to occupy a country of Iraq's size and population.

The surge was predicated on the idea that political progress required security. But there's been no political progress in the past year. And there's only been added security where the 30,000 additional troops have been stationed, which is to say a few neighborhoods.

You can't listen to Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity and expect to know what you're talking about when it comes to this war.

abc - you’ve got have some nerve posting what you did in light of the fact that Klute didn't answer my questions. They were simple questions looking for a simple answer. Instead, we got a 1000 word diatribe about everything but the questions I asked. I have bought Klute a straw hat to wear when he posts because he is so good at the strawman. Why is it the left will only debate on their terms? Why are you afraid to answer our questions?

The problem with you leftists is that so much of what you say simply isn't true. Example - "For instance, there was no link between 9/11 and Hussein and no al Qaeda in Iraq before the invasion." Of course there was a link - check your facts. Was Saddam responsible for 9/11 - no but to deny the link is beyond foolish. In fact, it's reprehensible. Iraq was a state sponsor of Islamic terror, were they not? (Note: that was a question I'd bet money that you won’t answer)

Another example: "The surge was predicated on the idea that political progress required security. But there's been no political progress in the past year. And there's only been added security where the 30,000 additional troops have been stationed, which is to say a few neighborhoods."

No political progress in the last year? Take your head out of your bum. What kind of progress do you call it when leading Sunni governors, chieftains and sheiks turn against Al Qaeda and join with our troops and the Iraqi government? Huge sums of money have been sent to rural regions - I think I read $70 million to Anbar province just this week. I guess that doesn't fit in your definition of political progress?

And let’s correct the left's new talking point. The purpose of the surge was to lower sectarian violence so that Iraq could stabilize at a faster pace. By all indications, the surge has been successful on this front. Have they not?

Klute - you act like only you were alive 5 years ago and none of us have memories. The justification for the war was that Iraq had repeatedly violated its ceasefire agreement with us thus causing the resumption of hostilities. We were in a state of war with Iraq before we invaded. It didn't matter that Saddam had transferred his WMDs to Syria or buried them in the desert, all that mattered was that we didn't know the whereabouts or status of his WMD operations because he violated the very ceasefire agreement to which he had signed. He also violated 19 UN resolutions. He also shot at our airplanes patrolling the no fly zone, another violation of the ceasefire. All of this was explained in detail by the Executive Branch, which is why so many Democrats voted for the war, including Hillary! President Bush said on numerous occasions that this would be a generational struggle and that the war would be anything but easy. But now you play your little games with the truth - No Republican ever said this would be a cakewalk - Sen. McCain made that clear from day one as did Joe Lieberman. Hell even Rumsfeld made that clear.

Of course, the Germans and Japanese didn't bother with their insurgencies as long as the Iraqis - they didn't have American Democrats giving them aid and comfort. The islamofacsists know all they have to do is hold on until the Democrats win the White House and they will have victory - so they endure. In WWII, we were a vastly different nation; the minority party actually defended this country during wartime with both its rhetoric and votes. The minority party didn't use the war for partisan gains. The minority party wasn't lead by honest to God traitors back then. Our resolve was steel and the world knew it!

You liberals love to play the part of the blind coward, which is why our enemies felt so empowered to strike us on 9/11.

Klute I asked you one simple question and after reading for 10 minutes the closest I could find to an answer was, "I don't think Petraeus is doing a terrible job". I understand why you buried that response because, basically, it means you acknowledge that the Left has NO justification for their treasonous attack on Patraeus.

Well hell, that's what I have been saying all along!

P.S. I don’t want to hear another whiny liberal attack the Iraqi Parliament until the majority party in this country passes comprehensive immigration reform and social security reform. Lead by example!!!


Yet you've raised the dilemma inherent here.

If opponents deplore the invasion without an al Qaeda presence, is it wise to call for withdrawal now that aQ is there?

I thought I answered your question, but let me try again.

"And let’s correct the left's new talking point. The purpose of the surge was to lower sectarian violence so that Iraq could stabilize at a faster pace. By all indications, the surge has been successful on this front. Have they not?"

No, they haven't. Is the Iraqi government meeting the benchmarks set for it by the White House? According to the White House, no. General Petraeus is there to take the pressure of terrors attacks off of the Maliki government in order to meet those benchmarks. So either the military situation isn't something that can ameliorated in order to allow this, or it can, and he's executing his mission poorly. I believe it's the former, so given the situation, I *don't* think he's doing a terrible job trying to win a war that he can't win.

Sadr just bolted the government today. The death toll for US Soldiers is up significantly. Power's still out most of the time. Civilian death counts are being juggled to show progress when there is none (did you know that if a bullet was shot through the back of the skull it's a sectarian killing - when it's through the front it's recorded as non-sectarian criminal act?). All the talk about Anbar is useless - Petraeus was there to take the pressure off of Baghdad. The Sunnis going the government - the top sheikh who met with Bush was assassinated 10 days later.


The reason why the "werewolf" insurgency of the Nazi regime failed was because it had no popular support, not because the minority Republican party of the time wasn't criticizing FDR/Truman (which they did - mercilessly I might add).

The "cakewalk" quote was from Ken Adelman, assistant to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from 1975 to 1977, and arms control director under President Ronald Reagan.

"The idea that it's going to be a long, long, long battle of some kind I think is belied by the fact of what happened in 1990," he said on an Infinity Radio call-in program. "Five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that." - Donald Rumsfeld, November 15, 2002

"My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. . . . I think it will go relatively quickly, . . . [in] weeks rather than months." Dick Cheney, March 16, 2003

"It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months." —to U.S. troops in Aviano, Italy, Donald Rumsfeld, February 2003

And before you say "Well, they were talking about the actual war, not the insurgency!" - BZZZZT! Post conflict insurgency is part of war, so they were either too arrogant in their belief that everything would go peachy-dandy, or willfully ignorant in taking lessons from the last 5000 years of world history.

And let's not be so naive to say that just because Bush didn't say it was easy, the talking point brigade wasn't trying to sell the war as easy for him. That's like saying the levees weren't breached, they were overtopped. Both result in water pouring into the streets.

I don't consider Sunni tribal leaders in Anbar (which represents 5-6 percent of the total Iraqi population) switching sides and killing al Qaeda to be political progress.

1. Political progress has always been defined by this administration to be the creation of a unified and democratic central Iraqi government. Al Anbar's relative calm (until this past week) began before the surge arrived (Petraeus was talking about Anbar in his hearings in February). In addition, it represents the strengthening of sectarian Sunni local warlords against the central government in Baghdad. So not, it's not progress.

2. Throwing money at the Sunni tribes, which is being used by them to buy weapons that today are being used against Al Qaeda, but tomorrow will be used against the U.S., is not what I'd call political progress.

3. I'm not a liberal. I'm a Goldwater conservative.

4. And like Barry Goldwater, who said that if we were to get into Vietnam, the best resolution was to bomb it from 20,000 feet and get out, I'm for getting out of Iraq.

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