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So why is the rhetoric over Iraq getting so heavy now?

Old 11-18-05, 10:19 AM
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So why is the rhetoric over Iraq getting so heavy now?

It seems like in the last couple of weeks (and esp the last couple of days) the rhetoric over Iraq has definately stepped up a notch or two. I'm curious as to why this is happening now, as opposed to waiting until we see how the election goes next month? I guess on the one hand there's been several things that have just come together recently (various reports, the Libby indictment [which while not directly related is certainly part of the overall "attack" by the Dems on the admin], etc) but it just seems to be odd timing IMHO with the election so close. Is that part of the strategy? I mean are the Dems afraid the election might swing things around so by getting the ball rolling now it'll have a life of it's own by the time the election comes around. Are they somehow trying to influence the election in Iraq (not sure how/what the goal would be to this though)? Are they just being the loyal opposition and there's nothing peculiar about the timing of this? What do people think?
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Old 11-18-05, 10:30 AM
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Simple answer: Opinion Polls

Accept it or not, but Bush's popularity polls are continuing to drop, and everyone is jumping off a sinking ship. Its no longer a strong political move to follow the president (as it was when Bush was popular amoung voters). They want to ensure a re-election, and one way to do that is to remove themselves from the sinking ship that is the Bush Administration.
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Old 11-18-05, 10:31 AM
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Why - because the Democrats are seizing on an issue which they believe (correctly if the polls are to be believed) that they have a issue on which the president, and maybe the Repubs in general, are vulnerable on.

It's rather smart politics to seize on a such an issue.

Rest assured - if things are perceived by the American people as going well in Iraq, the Repubs will take advantage of that.
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Old 11-18-05, 10:31 AM
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They also want to pave the way for the 2006 elections.
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Old 11-18-05, 10:34 AM
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You guys are probably right... it just seems damaging to the overall process IMHO to not wait until we see how the election in Iraq goes. W/ about a month left I strongly suspect those who want to derail us in Iraq will try to capitalize on this situation as well. Not that I think the Dems are purposefully trying to do this, I just think they have their own (completely valid) agenda but aren't taking the "bigger picture" into consideration. Maybe there is a "bigger picture" they know about that I'm missing though...
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Old 11-18-05, 10:36 AM
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If the election in Iraq is shown to be successful (and the media plays it that way), the president's poll numbers will rise a little.

However, it's the people's perception of overall success in Iraq that will ultimately account. That perception is currently that things are not going all to well in Iraq.
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Old 11-18-05, 10:37 AM
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I can think of a good political reason to do this before the Iraq election: If it turns out badly, the Dems have already laid the groundwork to blame Bush. And if it turns out well, the Dems hope to minimize the praise the administration is sure to get for it.
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Old 11-18-05, 10:41 AM
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It's escalated because FINALLY - after 2 years of the "lies" BS - the Republicans have started to fight back.

Too little, too late imho... They let public perception on Iraq be determined by the media & Democrats for 2 years. It's going to be a long uphill battle now.
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Old 11-18-05, 10:42 AM
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That perception is currently that things are not going all to well in Iraq.
I guess that's another question/debate though about whether or not that perception is correct. Listening to the media/rhetoric from the left it would seem things are not going well. Listening to people who are over there/recently returned/rhetoric from the right it is going as well as can be expected at this point. I suspect the truth is somewhere in between but I'm also not sure we are ever really going to know that truth at this point
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Old 11-18-05, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by mosquitobite
It's escalated because FINALLY - after 2 years of the "lies" BS - the Republicans have started to fight back.

Too little, too late imho... They let public perception on Iraq be determined by the media & Democrats for 2 years. It's going to be a long uphill battle now.
Do you really believe that for the past 2 years the Democrats determined public perception on Iraq?

If so - why isn't it President John Kerry? Why aren't the Democrats in control the the Congress? All the polls showed that the Republicans were more trusted in the area of national defense and fighting terrorism.

To quote one of your favorite sayings - 'elelctions have consequences.'
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Old 11-18-05, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by mosquitobite
It's escalated because FINALLY - after 2 years of the "lies" BS - the Republicans have started to fight back.

Too little, too late imho... They let public perception on Iraq be determined by the media & Democrats for 2 years. It's going to be a long uphill battle now.
You can't be serious.

The administration (I think the GOP no longer speaks with one voice on this) is being forced to defend its position because American kids are still dying, the Iraqis seem no closer to being able to run things on their own, indictments were just handed down in a trial that's related to this issue, and enough cracks have appeared in President Bush's armor on unrelated things (Katrina, gas prices, etc.) so that everything the administration has done is open to greater scrutiny.

With regards to that great right-wing bugaboo, "the media", after being cowed by the administration for four years, most of the major papers have finally decided to start criticizing policy. It's about time.
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Old 11-18-05, 11:06 AM
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It doesn't help when the administration says one thing about how many Iraqi divisions are trained; and, the next week reduces that number.
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Old 11-18-05, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by nemein
I guess that's another question/debate though about whether or not that perception is correct. Listening to the media/rhetoric from the left it would seem things are not going well. Listening to people who are over there/recently returned/rhetoric from the right it is going as well as can be expected at this point. I suspect the truth is somewhere in between but I'm also not sure we are ever really going to know that truth at this point
The question should not be how well the War in Iraqi is going - different people have different opinions on that. The question should be, could it have been/be run better, and right now, it is an overwhelming yes.
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Old 11-18-05, 11:13 AM
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People generally want to believe in our President and government, especially in wartime. People are discovering, finally, that this one is inept and dishonest.
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Old 11-18-05, 11:17 AM
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How many terror attacks have happened on US soil? That to me is a measure of the success in Iraq.

As much as the 2000 deaths in the Iraq war are sad and unfortunate, can we put them into perspective?

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

2 years is not a long war. How long did WW1 last? WW2? Vietnam? The civil war? How long were we in Serbia?

If you don't believe the media is the cause of perception for the failure of Iraq, well I don't know what to tell you.

Where were the cries for an "exit strategy" with Serbia?
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Old 11-18-05, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by mosquitobite
How many terror attacks have happened on US soil? That to me is a measure of the success in Iraq.
I hate to give my stock answer AGAIN, but...

Just as the fact that there were no attacks from foreign terrorists on US soil from the '93 WTC bombing til 9/11 wasn't a ringing endorsement of Clinton's anti-terrorism programs, the fact that there hasn't been a foreign terror attack on US soil since 9/11 isn't necessarily a ringing endorsement of Bush's anti-terrorism programs.
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Old 11-18-05, 11:29 AM
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<b>mosquitobite</b>, regarding Bosnia/Kosovo, the number of deaths of UN peacekeeping troops, <b><i>in all missions combined</b></i>, is less than the number of US troops killed so far in Iraq. In terms of public perception the two are not even remotely comparable. How's that for perspective?

Regarding the number of terrorist attacks on US soil, that's an odd rubric, since, AFAIK, no Iraqis have ever been involved in any terrorist attack on US soil, ever. You might as well use the number of Canadian Geese migrating across our various borders as a measure of success, given the degree of relevance between the two.
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Old 11-18-05, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mosquitobite
How many terror attacks have happened on US soil? That to me is a measure of the success in Iraq.
Agreed. Remember all those Iraqi-sponsored terror attacks on U.S. soil before the war?

Wait...what?
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Old 11-18-05, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Mammal
People generally want to believe in our President and government, especially in wartime. People are discovering, finally, that this one is inept and dishonest.

Yep. I was in the anti-war minority in the months leading up to the war, and my reasons for being so have stood the test of time. It took several years for many of the carbon blobs to wake up and smell the coffee. I predicted this would happen.
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Old 11-18-05, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by mosquitobite
As much as the 2000 deaths in the Iraq war are sad and unfortunate, can we put them into perspective?

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm
You can't possibly be serious.
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Old 11-18-05, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mosquitobite
As much as the 2000 deaths in the Iraq war are sad and unfortunate, can we put them into perspective?

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

Now please post a relevant table - how about a preventable or needless deaths table.
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Old 11-18-05, 11:47 AM
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Just as the fact that there were no attacks from foreign terrorists on US soil from the '93 WTC bombing til 9/11 wasn't a ringing endorsement of Clinton's anti-terrorism programs, the fact that there hasn't been a foreign terror attack on US soil since 9/11 isn't necessarily a ringing endorsement of Bush's anti-terrorism programs.
You're wrong. US Embassies around the world are US soil.
About time that the admin is fighting back against the "Bush lied" charge.
Around 90% of the "journalists" in the media were against the war from the beginning and they have continually slanted the coverage negative to drive public opinion against the war.
Could the post war planning have been better? Yes. But, even if it was planned better, the post war phase still might not have gone better.
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Old 11-18-05, 11:50 AM
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Now please post a relevant table - how about a preventable or needless deaths table.
No need for a table, the military was expecting around 5,000 dead just in the invasion phase.
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Old 11-18-05, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Jason
You can't possibly be serious.
Why not?

Before I go further, let me say that I fully recognize how easy it is for the make the following statements since I have no family in the military; having lost my brother suddenly and unexpected earlier this year I know how difficult it must be for the family of the servicemen and servicewomen killed in Iraq.

That said, I'm with mosquitobite here. In the grand scheme of things, 2000 deaths is a very very small amount. Twice as many people die in auto accidents in the US alone each month; in Vietnam we lost roughly 50,000; in previous wars a hell of a lot more and even in individual battles of the Civil War deaths were far greater than what we've seen in the last couple of years total in Iraq.

Believe me, I'm not trying to marginalize the sacrifice of our troops and their families. I'm just trying to bring some perspective to the whole issue of "OMG!!! 2000+ troops have already died".
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Old 11-18-05, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
So before the war you knew that, 1) there were no WMDs, and 2) that a couple of years afterwards we would have daily suicide bombings?

If so, you're a genius.

#1 is exactly what I said. As for #2, I didn't say that, but I expected the American public to sour on this war if went on for more than a couple years. And no I'm not a genius.

I guess you weren't around in the "I need more proof" days.
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