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Republicans call House session to ask Dems if the want immediate IRAQ withdraw!

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Republicans call House session to ask Dems if the want immediate IRAQ withdraw!

Old 11-19-05, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
I believe if you set a time-table for withdrawal, redeployment, or whatever you want to call it you send a signal to our allies, enemies, and potential enemies that will have undesirable consequences for U. S. foreign policy.
That's only true, from where I sit, if you think that the terrorists believe we will be in Iraq *forever*. We have to leave at some point. We can't react to what they think, because then we're fighting the war reactively. That's how to lose.

RS
Old 11-19-05, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by MartinBlank


The ability of the human animal to rationalize away it's behavior is limitless.
Is that the best you can do? Really? Do you have any actual response, or should I just make a habit of ignoring your Hannity-isms from here on out?
Old 11-19-05, 05:32 PM
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That's only true, from where I sit, if you think that the terrorists believe we will be in Iraq *forever*. We have to leave at some point.
Agreed but the question is how we leave and what condition we leave the country in. The driving factor behind determining when we leave should be getting the Iraqi security forces up to snuff.
Old 11-19-05, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RMSpuhler
That's only true, from where I sit, if you think that the terrorists believe we will be in Iraq *forever*. We have to leave at some point. We can't react to what they think, because then we're fighting the war reactively. That's how to lose.

RS
I'm not just speaking of terrorists.

What message do you believe this would send - say to Saudia Arabia?
Old 11-19-05, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by RMSpuhler
Is that the best you can do? Really? Do you have any actual response, or should I just make a habit of ignoring your Hannity-isms from here on out?

"We need to pull the troops out NOW!!"

"What, we have to vote on it.....crap!"

votes NO

"We need to pull the troops out...um....six months from now! Yeah, that's it, six months!!"

A little intellectual honesty is all I ask. If you think we should not be there, then vote for it...403-3, LOL. Like I've already asked: How EXACTLY did he lie???

Last edited by MartinBlank; 11-19-05 at 05:42 PM.
Old 11-19-05, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by nemein
Agreed but the question is how we leave and what condition we leave the country in. The driving factor behind determining when we leave should be getting the Iraqi security forces up to snuff.
They do need to be up to snuff, but we have two ways of doing that:

1) "We will leave when they are up to snuff," or
2) "We will leave in six to twelve months. In that time span, we will do (a), (b) and (c) to get you up to snuff."

The latter is the far better option, from where I sit. When has anyone ever worked his/her hardest and not been under a deadline?

RS
Old 11-19-05, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
I'm not just speaking of terrorists.

What message do you believe this would send - say to Saudia Arabia?
I'm not all that bothered by it, really. We did what we said we would do, we worked to help start Iraq down the path of democracy. In a year, with a decent strategy for training and some competence, Iraq should - I believe - be able to fend itself.

RS
Old 11-19-05, 06:02 PM
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2) "We will leave in six to twelve months. In that time span, we will do (a), (b) and (c) to get you up to snuff."

The latter is the far better option, from where I sit.
To be practical/realistic though that needs to be turned around. We are going to do a b and c to get you up to snuff and there will be periodic assessments/milestones along the way. From where I sit setting a definate time table is the absolute wrong thing to do.

When has anyone ever worked his/her hardest and not been under a deadline?
When they are driven by a desire to have a safe country free from an occupying army.
Old 11-19-05, 06:03 PM
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In a year, with a decent strategy for training and some competence, Iraq should - I believe - be able to fend itself.
I agree and once we reach that point then (and only then) is it appropriate to start talking about leaving.
Old 11-19-05, 06:06 PM
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I'm very much concerned about what a U. S. withdrawal would mean to the area with much of the known oil reserves in the world.

I don't know the course we should follow in Iraq. I am reasonably certain of two things:

1. An immediate withdrawal would have disastrous consequences. A timetable for withdrawal is also unacceptable.

2. The 'stay the course' line that Bush preaches simply won't cut it. A majority of the American people are tired of hearing 'just stay the course.' They perceive that things are not going swimmingly in Iraq. They want to see a plan that will produce tanglible results in Iraq - at least what the American public perceives as tanglible results in Iraq.
Old 11-19-05, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by nemein
To be practical/realistic though that needs to be turned around. We are going to do a b and c to get you up to snuff and there will be periodic assessments/milestones along the way. From where I sit setting a definate time table is the absolute wrong thing to do.
Isn't that what we're doing right now? And aren't we way behind on every projection? Were we not promised more Iraq forces up and running by this point?

Originally Posted by nemein
When they are driven by a desire to have a safe country free from an occupying army.
How's that working thus far?

I wish you were right. I wish we could leave it open-ended. But at this point, no one over there has shown to be in any sort of rush to get the job done.

RS
Old 11-19-05, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
I'm very much concerned about what a U. S. withdrawal would mean to the area with much of the known oil reserves in the world.

I don't know the course we should follow in Iraq. I am reasonably certain of two things:

1. An immediate withdrawal would have disastrous consequences. A timetable for withdrawal is also unacceptable.

2. The 'stay the course' line that Bush preaches simply won't cut it. A majority of the American people are tired of hearing 'just stay the course.' They perceive that things are not going swimmingly in Iraq. They want to see a plan that will produce tanglible results in Iraq - at least what the American public perceives as tanglible results in Iraq.
Well, we certainly agree on #2.

And make no mistake, I am not advocating an "immediate withdrawl." But a timetable will force the Iraquis to really get down to business - and hopefully help us to focus on what's important - in a way that we have not been focused to this point.

RS
Old 11-19-05, 06:20 PM
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I guess it all depends upon which side of the story you believe. According to the commanders on the ground there are over 200k trained (at various levels of course) Iraqi forces that are participating in the effort w/ the coalition forces. Awhile ago there were accusations of fluctuating numbers and what not but it's been awhile since I've heard any of those (maybe I've just missed it). In this latest round of raids/attacks the Iraqi forces are being left behind as security so we don't have the situation where we are clearing something, leaving to go elsewhere and then having to go back again.


One just has to look at the headlines these days to see progress is being made. A year, or maybe even 6-9 months ago the headlines were all "US forces do something" now it is usually "US and Iraqi forces do something"

US and Iraqi forces fight off rebels in Ramadi
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20051118...i_051118113319

U.S., Iraqi Troops Raid Building in Mosul
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051119/...ea/iraq_raid_1

Iraqi Special Operations Forces
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/hts.../20051117.aspx

U.S. and Iraqi Forces Kill 30 Guerrillas
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051116/...q_051115190936


Another common thread from the critics seems to be developing in the sense of trying to make light of the progress that is being made and the sacrifice the Iraqies themselves are making to try and make this work
Old 11-19-05, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by RMSpuhler
Well, we certainly agree on #2.

And make no mistake, I am not advocating an "immediate withdrawl." But a timetable will force the Iraquis to really get down to business - and hopefully help us to focus on what's important - in a way that we have not been focused to this point.

RS

What makes you think they aren't already getting down to business


http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Dail...005110827.html
US general says Iraqi security forces making great progress
Iraq-USA, Politics, 11/8/2005

The Iraqi security forces have made "huge progress" in the past year and half in developing their capacity to fight insurgents, according to the US general formerly in charge of their training.

"Here's the bottom line," Army Lieutenant General David Petraeus said in Washington November 7, "they're in the fight, and they're increasingly leading it." He said "huge progress" has been made during the past 15 months to 17 months.

Petraeus was the first dual commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq (MNSTC-I), as well as the NATO Training Mission-Iraq, positions he held from June 2004 until last September. Army Lieutenant General Martin Dempsey since has assumed both commands.

Petraeus said the combined number of Iraqi Interior Ministry and Defense Ministry forces has risen to 211,026; he predicted that figure will rise to about 230,000 by the time Iraq holds elections for a permanent government in December.

"There's... about 15 battalions, combat battalions... of the police and the army that are in training right now, a number of which will be out of training well before that and into the force and helping with those mid-December elections," Petraeus said.

The general stressed that the goal of the MNSTC-I is similar to that of T.E. Lawrence, known as Lawrence of Arabia, who played a pivotal role in helping organize the Arab revolt against Ottoman rule in World War I.

"Our tasks were to help the Iraqis, and we underscored the word 'help' because we very, very much believed in what Lawrence of Arabia wrote back in... 1917, when he was out helping Arabs, where he discussed about helping them, rather than doing it for them," he said.

The way that the multinational force is helping the Iraqi security forces is by providing organization, training, rebuilding and equipment, Petraeus said.

With regard to organization, the general said, MNSTC-I is drawing up tables of organization that spell out who gets what weapons, who gets how many vehicles, what radios and all of the elements that make up a unit.

"There is now in fact a very well defined force structure for the short term, the midterm and the long term," Petraeus said.

He said the equipping effort has resulted in the delivery of "tremendous quantities" of weapons, vehicles, ammunition and other goods.

With regard to rebuilding, the general said that the multinational forces have rebuilt hundreds of border forts, hundreds of military bases, police academies, military academies, military training centers, ministry buildings, and battalion, brigade, division ground forces headquarters, and "all the pieces and parts that link them together."

Regarding military training, Petraeus highlighted what he called "a very important program" involving placing 10-man adviser teams to work with Iraqi military units at various levels.

"They are with every single battalion, brigade headquarters, division headquarters, ground forces headquarters, even in the ministries, the joint force headquarters and so forth, and they're helping enormously," he said.

Petraeus said that increasingly the multinational training effort is focusing on raising the institutional capacity of the interior and defense ministries, "so that soldiers are paid on time, contracts are paid,... equipment is purchased in accordance with the right requirements, and so forth."

The general said that military trainers are paying attention to what he called "the intangibles," factors that are critically important but less easy to measure, such as ethics and values.

"I can tell you that anybody who's been in the brotherhood of the close fight knows that this type of intangible is crucially important," Petraeus said.

The general said that a fatwa, or religious ruling, issued by some Sunni Arab imams in Iraq that it was the duty of Sunni Arab males to serve in their country's military forces has been "enormously" helpful to the recruiting efforts.

Much of the Iraqi insurgency is based in the center and west of the country known as the Sunni triangle. The Shi'a and Kurdish segments of the Iraqi population have been more supportive of the new Iraqi government than the Sunni minority, which dominated the country during Saddam's rule.

Petraeus said that the work of ensuring diversity in the Iraqi forces is not done yet but he said there is recognition of the problem and a commitment to solving it.
Old 11-19-05, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by nemein
What makes you think they aren't already getting down to business


http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Dail...005110827.html
Interesting. That's a far cry from what was being said six weeks ago:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...092902085.html

RS
Old 11-19-05, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by RMSpuhler
Interesting. That's a far cry from what was being said six weeks ago:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...092902085.html

RS

Not by much if you bother reading beyond the headline
Although Casey said the number of troops and overall readiness of Iraqi security forces have steadily increased in recent months, and that there has not been a "step backwards,"
...
"Over the past 18 months, we have built enough Iraqi capacity where we can begin talking seriously about transitioning this counterinsurgency mission to them," Casey said. Military figures show that there are about three dozen army and special police battalions rated at Level 2 or above, meaning they are taking the lead in combat as long as they have support from coalition forces.
IIRC (according to talking heads on CSPAN) the issue about the whole "level 1" readiness is based on not having the logistical support/infrastructure in place for sustained operations. Certainly something that needs to be addressed but there again it's not like nothing is being done about it.
Old 11-19-05, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by nemein
Not by much if you bother reading beyond the headline


IIRC (according to talking heads on CSPAN) the issue about the whole "level 1" readiness is based on not having the logistical support/infrastructure in place for sustained operations. Certainly something that needs to be addressed but there again it's not like nothing is being done about it.

[Edited - Unfair. My apologies.]

Certainly something needs to be addressed there - so address it so we can get out of there. That's why we need the timetable - if they know they have to get this all put together in 6-12 months, there will be an edge to their prep that there wouldn't be otherwise.

RS
Old 11-19-05, 06:48 PM
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Certainly something needs to be addressed there - so address it so we can get out of there. That's why we need the timetable - if they know they have to get this all put together in 6-12 months, there will be an edge to their prep that there wouldn't be otherwise.
I agree we should address it, and it sounds like they are. From where I sit though this is not the situation in which you want to set a firm time table. If the situation was more under control there then it would be. Setting one (especially a firm one) now just sends the wrong message to everyone IMHO. It tells the Iraqies we don't think they are worth investing more time in, it tells the insurgents just wait for awhile and then you can do as you please, it tells the troops we're letting politicians/political pressure run the war instead of the commanders/situation on the ground, it tells the rest of the world we're not willing to stand by our word/committments. Sure it would feel good to have a firm date by which we know our troops will be out of harms way, but to let the date drive the circumstances instead of the other way around will put more people at risk later IMHO.

Last edited by nemein; 11-19-05 at 06:51 PM.
Old 11-19-05, 07:19 PM
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I guess it all depends upon which side of the story you believe. According to the commanders on the ground there are over 200k trained (at various levels of course) Iraqi forces that are participating in the effort w/ the coalition forces.
nemein,

But then the question is how well are they trained and how much are they contributing to the effort?

It's one thing to have 10 divisions who have been 'basically trained.' It's quite another thing to have 10 divisions who have advanced infantry training - concentrating on basically an urban warfare situation.
Old 11-19-05, 07:52 PM
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But then the question is how well are they trained and how much are they contributing to the effort
According to the articles above and the press briefings from the commanders that they play on CSPAN the Iraqies are contributing more and more every day. Unless of course there is some cover-up/conspiracy going on Certainly they aren't ready to take over things or else I think there would be a conversation going on about scaling back troops. I'm sure the admin wants the troops out of there before the 06 elections as much as anyone else. Fortunately it seems they are not willing to play politics and pull them out before the situation warrants it.
Old 11-20-05, 12:50 AM
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This might be OT but I do believe Bush will call Iraq a success before next year's mid-term elections, thereby satiating wandering conservatives who are getting itchy about the troop occupation. Troop withdrawal will probably be started just before the elections next year. Democrats may have seen this coming and they forced Republicans to get themselves on record, thereby making it very difficult during next year's elections to counterargue their stance this November.
Old 11-20-05, 03:34 AM
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Originally Posted by nemein
I agree we should address it, and it sounds like they are. From where I sit though this is not the situation in which you want to set a firm time table. If the situation was more under control there then it would be. Setting one (especially a firm one) now just sends the wrong message to everyone IMHO. It tells the Iraqies we don't think they are worth investing more time in, it tells the insurgents just wait for awhile and then you can do as you please, it tells the troops we're letting politicians/political pressure run the war instead of the commanders/situation on the ground, it tells the rest of the world we're not willing to stand by our word/committments. Sure it would feel good to have a firm date by which we know our troops will be out of harms way, but to let the date drive the circumstances instead of the other way around will put more people at risk later IMHO.
See, instead I would think that setting a date to unilaterally withdraw would help stem the resistance fighters that our presence spawns now. Kinda like in 'nam when a lot of the vietnamese thought they were fighting for freedom against US imperialism, when we were kinda trying to do good...it seems there are Iraq resistance fighters that think the same thing here.

By setting a timetable and plan to leave, and I mean REALLY leave (including not setting up permanent bases and other establishments that would help promote the idea of a puppet democracy), we say to the borderline Iraqi resistance "See, we are just throwing out a dictator and establishing order for you to run things yourself. Not taking over, see?". Reassuring the folks that might not quite believe us, and maybe helping to draw support away from the resistance, or help slow recruitment.

Too bad you can't poll the resistance fighters for their opinion.

Not that we would anyway. . They are "insurgents" and "terrorists" and must be destroyed (the old black 'n white worldview).

Last edited by GreenMonkey; 11-20-05 at 03:43 AM.
Old 11-20-05, 06:07 AM
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See, instead I would think that setting a date to unilaterally withdraw would help stem the resistance fighters that our presence spawns now.
Of course it would stem the resistance... right until the point we leave then it'll kick it full gear again.

(including not setting up permanent bases and other establishments that would help promote the idea of a puppet democracy),
I hear a lot of people who are against the war talking about these permanent bases but those are the only people I hear talking about it. Is there anyone from the admin (either ours or theirs) on record about these or is that just another cover-up?


Not that we would anyway. . They are "insurgents" and "terrorists" and must be destroyed (the old black 'n white worldview).
It's also a black and white view IMHO that leads one to conclude we can just set a date and leave and everything will turn out ok.

Last edited by nemein; 11-20-05 at 06:09 AM.
Old 11-20-05, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by CRM114
I don't recall anyone in the house calling for immediate withdrawal but John Murtha. Am I missing the big victory here?
And which way did Murtha vote again?
Old 11-20-05, 11:29 AM
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Yahoo

Reuters


Bush tries to cool tempers over Iraq
By Steve Holland




U.S. President George W. Bush on Sunday all but apologized to a hawkish Democrat who the White House had called a liberal like American moviemaker Michael Moore for demanding an immediate U.S. pullout from Iraq.

Bush, dogged by questions about Iraq during a week-long Asia tour, tried to cool partisan tempers in Washington that flared over the withdrawal demand by Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record). One Republican had called Murtha a coward.

"Congressman Murtha is a fine man, a good man who served our country with honor and distinction as a Marine in Vietnam and as a U.S. congressman," Bush said.

He did not repeat the White House accusation that Murtha was from the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party like Moore, the "Fahrenheit 9/11" filmmaker who is a liberal celebrity loathed by American conservatives.

"I know that the decision to call for an immediate withdrawal of our troops by congressman Murtha was done in a careful and thoughtful way. I disagree with his position," Bush said.

Many Democrats have called on Bush to present a plan to end the war and an estimate of when U.S. forces can start to be withdrawn based on conditions on the ground. Only a few have called for a set timetable for withdrawal.

Murtha has said Iraq cannot be won militarily and the United States must withdraw to send a signal to Iraqis that they are "free from the United States occupation."

Murtha's opposition broadened a partisan divide in Washington and prompted the Republican-led House of Representatives to engineer a vote on Friday on a resolution to pull U.S. troops immediately from Iraq.

It was defeated nearly unanimously in what Democrats called a political stunt.

A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll this week said 63 percent of Americans oppose Bush's handling of the Iraq war, and 52 percent say troops should be pulled out now or within 12 months.

Bush said a premature withdrawal would have "terrible consequences," but that he recognized Iraqis would like to defend their country on their own and he looked forward to that day.

"As the Iraqi security forces gain strength and experience we can lessen our troop presence in the country without losing our capability to effectively defeat the terrorists," Bush said.

"A reduced presence of coalition force would clearly demonstrate to the Iraqi people that we have no ambition to occupy their country. As I've often said we'll stay as long as necessary but not one day more," Bush said.

Bush, speaking to reporters after talks with Chinese leaders, said no one should question Murtha's patriotism and that it was his right to express his opinion.

"People should feel comfortable expressing their opinions about Iraq," he said.

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