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Solving Our Iraq Problem

Loyal reader Kane asked this morning: "Is Iraq just too hot for you to handle? I would really like to hear your thoughts there. Ok, how about just Syria, Iran, or NK?" Here was my answer:

Mr. Kane, as for my opinion on Iraq, it's not that it's too hot to handle, it's that I'm not sure my opinion on Iraq would add a great deal to the debate. Just between us, I think Iraq represents the greatest blunder by an Administration since Vietnam. [Tell no one!] I thought Bush 41 and Powell created a rather immaculate template for a military campaign with Desert Storm, which had very specific and obtainable objectives. Neocons hated the fact that they left Saddam in power, but Bush 41 and Powell seemed to know that the worst thing you can do when you are sending American troops into battle is to have no firm grasp of how the war might end. [Other than, "Democracy sweeping across the Middle East like a wildfire."] It was bad enough that [in this latest war] WMD turned out to be essentially a hoax; but to send in troops, contractors, state department folks etc. without giving them the resources or the blueprint for success was reckless. That's what I think, very briefly. But you can read that almost anywhere. I have no special expertise on this subject. I'm not even sure I have as much expertise as the average person reading this blog. In general I don't do a lot of politics because the blogosphere is so heavily saturated in politics. I dislike that echo-chamber feel of blogs that are camped on the Left or the Right: I'd rather have a blog where all sorts of people wander in and out, from all political persuasions, and if they get in a big fight, all the better.

I didn't want to hide that answer in the comments section. I am sure there are readers who disagree on many counts, and they are free to post objections. Obviously this is primarily a humor blog (that dares to be not actually funny!) rather than a political blog. I think dot.com will soon add a full-time political blogger, ideally someone who, unlike me, knows the names of the senators from states like Idaho and Manitoba. If you want to read a political blog, there are zillions of them out there. Just for starters, you could try Tim Noah or Andrew Sullivan or Wonkette or Garance Franke-Ruta or David Corn or Virginia Postrel or Marc Cooper.

By Joel Achenbach  |  June 13, 2005; 11:20 AM ET
 
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Comments

You have chosen a few words that are pretty active.... referring to the WMD claims as "essentially a hoax." Given a dime store definition of hoax as a fraud; something intended to deceive; deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage...

I wonder what we all might think of Bolton's position in the administration as he appears to be a player in the big hoax?

Furthermore, I wonder what you and the other Achenbloggers feel about the continuing of the hoax and the position that the press finds itself as it attempts to "tail" the story at what often appears to be an unnoticable distance?

There seems to be a "talking point" that the press somehow turned into something that it shouldn't be during and after the Watergate Process. We have heard this from Post/Newsweek writers.

I personally agree with your choice of the word hoax. But for the fact that the war/occupation has lead to so many deaths, it would, in my book, be just unseemly and representative of poor civic character. To me, the whole WMD affair and all of the sidebar stories that intertwine with the lives of so many public officials and reporters makes this a serious offense of the highest national order.

Should the press have any claws left? Should they be scratching a bit harder?

Or is it the responsibility of the public to say that this ain't right?

To me, something stinking around here and I don't think that it is any over-zealous post-Watergate reporting.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | June 13, 2005 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Wait just a minute! A person without an expertise admitting to such and not just freewheeling an opinion without any basis?!?! How un-American of you!!!!!

And to Dolphin Michael: I read the first paragraph of your comment and skipped the rest. You don't even understand what you are saying, do you?

Posted by: Joel | June 13, 2005 11:59 AM | Report abuse

It took the press here in the States, including the Post, well over a month to print anything of substance about the Downing Street Memo. Now we have new revelations about a briefing paper prior to the meeting discussed in the Downing Street Memo. These are reported today, but limited to the British complaints about the US's lack of planning for post-war Iraq. The London Times article includes revelations about the British concern that a war to effect regime change would be illegal and outlining some steps that could be taken to get Saddam to do something to justify the invasion. This is pretty much either ommitted or de-emphasized in the US coverage. You would think that Karl Rove was writing the stories for US publication.

Posted by: Andy F | June 13, 2005 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Joel, you are so right. I don't understand even a piece of what I am saying. I try to stay in the dark ... where it is cooler in DC.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | June 13, 2005 12:09 PM | Report abuse

No one knows who the senator from Manitoba are
because they were party hacks appointed to vote
the party line and ignored in the toothless
uppper house.
Let's proclaim a republic (as Manitoba once was
during the Riel years) and drop the bicameral
idea.
Senators don't even have to be residents.

Sharon Carstairs, Janis Johnson
Maria Chaput, Mira Spivak, Terry Stratton,
List with date of forced retirement at:
http://www.parl.gc.ca/common/senmemb/senate/isenator.asp?sortor
d=N&Language=E

Posted by: Mario Dumont | June 13, 2005 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"Joel" is not me, by the way, Mr. Dolphin Michael. Some other Joel. A wannabe, perhaps.

Posted by: Achenbach | June 13, 2005 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I'm not sure what's funnier: the joke about one of the Canadian provinces being a state, or the fact that used the same gag in the posting about your daughter's school program. I do this all the time. My dad taught me how to recycle good lines. But sometimes I slip and I can see it someone's eye: "Doesn't this idiot know he already told me that joke? And he's trying to pass it off as spontaneous. Pfft." Then I go to the corner and cry.

Posted by: lynch | June 13, 2005 12:27 PM | Report abuse

You should be more careful to frame our current problems in the context of realistic alternatives. In the words of Christopher Hitchens, Iraq was always going to be a horrible mess. Iraq may soon enough turn out to be the least of our problems in the region.

Posted by: C2TBF | June 13, 2005 12:30 PM | Report abuse

"primarily a humor blog (that dares to be not actually funny!)"!

That's precious.

Posted by: Tom fan | June 13, 2005 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Joel, no problem!!! I also know that you don't pay any attention to anything I write unless it has to do with information about alien abductions or questions about whether crop circles spin the other way from here in Australia. I can handle Hoax Joels, but I DO have a problem blogging with logical expressions like |. Logical expressions make me feel somewhat inferior--how can one counter what they say?

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | June 13, 2005 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Manitoba? You can have it. That'll show those big shots in Winnipeg a thing or two.

Posted by: byoolin | June 13, 2005 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Joel,

You think you're the only one named Joel?

Joel

Posted by: Joel | June 13, 2005 1:05 PM | Report abuse

The real nugget somes from Pincus' reporting on Sunday: "That memo and other internal British government documents were originally obtained by Michael Smith, who writes for the London Sunday Times. Excerpts were made available to The Washington Post and the material was confirmed as authentic by British sources who sought anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter?"

What is the size of the cache of British documents that London Times reporter Michael Smith has?

What is the date of "originally obtained" as relates to Smith?

When were Smith's "originally obtained" documents "made available" to the Post?

Will Pincus be filing more articles on this cache of Smith documents that have been leaked?

Who confirmed the material as authentic with anonymous British sources--Pincus or the British Smith?

What does it take to topple Tony Blair--the David Kelly affair, the revelations by parliamentary ombudsman Ann Abraham over the Powderject controversy and Paul Drayson, the Downing Street memo?

Who in the British goverment traveled with Tony Blair to Crawford, Texas, on April 5-7, when Blair and Bush met at his ranch?

When did Matthew Rycroft leave Blair as his secretary?

Who is Britain's 'Deep Throat?'

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2005 1:13 PM | Report abuse

To debate the argument regarding the Iraq WMD matters and the presumed liberal based opinion of the anti-war "No blood for oil" crowd requires the line to be drawn firmly in concrete... not sand.

This debate goes beyond the inability to find the missing WMD that Saddam's son-in- law provided with documentation (and loss of life). The UN inspectors were stymied time and time again... arriving at the front entrance and observing the disputed materials and knowledge base exiting out the back gate.

This debate is a political one. It is based on those who felt the recent presidential elections were stolen in 2000, and outright misrepresented in 2004. Yet, you look at the efforts of the Clinton regime and you fail to acknowledge it was their desire to replace Saddam through the presented argument for "regime change." As the cruise missiles fell on Saddam's palaces during Clinton's period of government reign not one word was spoken by those supporters who would ultimately lose the future grip of power in the '00/'04 elections.

The bottom line is we are definitely there now! I suggest you look beyond the casualty rates which are very small in comparison to earlier wars... (much smaller than that of our Vietnam efforts)
and look at the gift of freedom bestowed upon the Iraqi people.

We will be in Iraq 60+ years.

Posted by: Alvin Arnold, MSgt USAF (Ret.) | June 13, 2005 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Greatest Blunder since Vietnam? How about the idiot who was in office when some nutcase started bombing embassies and US military ships and instead of acting when we knew better where the nutcase was receiving mail this idiot's primary concern was how much he got on her blouse? Seems like that was a bigger one to me.

FWIW, there have never been enough resources in any war, nor have there been many wars where the blueprint was completely successful. Maybe Rome salting Carthage is one that worked out really well since Carthage wasn't much of a problem after that, but even so I'm hard pressed to come up with many that didn't have "unexpected" consequences.

Dessert Storm was a failure in that regard... if it was successful, then we wouldn't be in a "war" today, an unexpected consequence! Not to mention that we left our troops in Sauidi Arabia and some nutcase (the same one mentioned above) didn't like that, I'd call that an unexpected consequence too. I mean, the WTC towers aren't there anymore, did you expect that? I sure as heck didn't.

But by your standard, which is having a "specific and obtainable objective", and since the goal of the war was to remove Saddam from power and to end the WMD program, this war has been very successful. Remember to install democracy was an afterthought after the WMD hoax, a 20-20 hindsight justification! WMDs and removing Saddam were the main goals. Well, Saddam is no longer in power. And since there wasn't much of a WMD program, so that was a very easy objective I think. So, Mission Accomplished! :-) Using "specific and obtainable objective" as a guideline is not a great standard, especially since the very Powell you mentioned is the same Powell who presented some silly WMD case to the UN, or can't you remember? Or was democracy his big theme?

But at least it's nice to know your views on Iraq are as cloned as the rubber stamp is from those neocon senators in Idaho. But the one's from Manitoba we need not worry about, since we haven't annexed it yet.

Posted by: terry | June 13, 2005 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I say it is a lack of will and critical thought that allows oneself to rely on the "well, we're there now" excuse for continuing with our poorly planned (no plan), poorly executed (save for the initial invasion), and poorly managed adventure into Iraq is the biggest tradgedy of today. How many granite walls will we have to fill up this time?

Freedom for the Iraqi people was clearly reason number 6 for going and was only used when it was clear that the onion of PSYOP lies used to garner support had been peeled by the truth. I suggest you ask one of the 1700 families if Iraqi freedom is worth their son's or daughter's life. Being a veteran does not excuse one from the hypocrisy and jingoism of armchair patriotism and fist shaking.

Overlooking HOW we got into this mess is a convenient way to deflect from the judgment of those you but your trust in via your vote in 2004. Cognitive dissonance and rationalization are no strangers to those who bought into the lies and snake oil sales of those who have sent our fellow soldiers to their deaths on an ideological pipe dream that has not worked since Bush "declared victory" some 1500 soldiers ago.

It is now clear that:

- There was no WMD - a fact stated by weapons inspectors who you feel were shut out (yet got it right)
- There was NO terrorist connections
- There was NO plan for occupation
- There is NO plan to get out
- 1700 dead soldiers
- 12000 seriously wounded
- Possibly 100000 dead civilians
- Iran infilitration into Iraq
- Wahabi Sunnis in Iraq
- Worldwide disgrace and anger at our actions which rival many of those we are trying to fight

And....

THERE HAS BEEN NO ACCOUNTABILITY.

I guess values for the right are of the cafeteria variety.

War, what war? No draft, massive deficits to pay because we can't tax anyone, fraud, profiteering, waste, recruitment shortfalls, lowering of standards. Yeah, this country is at war. Hell, most wouldn't give up so much as a NASCAR race or a half an hour of reality TV for this war.

And, we haven't even begun to plan for the aftermath of our actions in the long run. VA costs will rise. Mental health of our veterans will be comprimised, our fighting ability is ALREADY comprimised and our ability to influence the world will be severly comprimised.

It's clear that the American people are begginning to realize that all the glowing words and spin will not gloss over the blood of our soldiers, the corruption of our politicians and the short-sighted thinking of our leaders.

I'm sorry that the person you but your trust in to lead this nation has betrayed you, but sticking your head in the sand will not make it go away or turn mistakes into success. The Republicans have been given absolute power and the results are clear. I'm sorry your party let you down.

Posted by: Mike MAJ - Afghanistan Veteran | June 13, 2005 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Had we not gone into Iraq, Qadaffi could have just as easily cut a deal with Saddam than with us, if you want to contemplate bad outcomes. Even if we pull the plug on Iraq relatively soon, we're still better off, and the new Iraq would still have a fighting chance to succeed.

Americans died in untold numbers in the 19th C and Europeans in the 20th on the way to our current happy polities. You might as well blame God himself for a lack of accountability for all the problems in Iraq.

Posted by: C2TBF | June 13, 2005 2:47 PM | Report abuse

A. Vet, well said.

I guess you were one of the few chasing the BAD GUY in Afghanistan... possibly when we got sidetracked by the desire to "finish" what we had failed to do in Iraq 1.

Now it looks like "maybe" causing instability in Iraq could be a bad thing to do, afterall--as suspected during the end game to Iraq 1. (your reference to Iran's new presence in Iraq).

I am also curious about whether you think that our ability to get bin laden was adversely impacted by the efforts in Iraq--necessarily or otherwise.

Finally, I am chagrined that anyone would consider looking at what we--as the American public--finally having know about the lead-up before the attack as 20/20 hindsight. My point is that the White House had most, if not all the info at their disposal and either mis-read or chose to ignore it (and share it with Congressmen). To be clear, again, this intel was in the hands of the CIA/Pentagon/ and the White House. It is just now, that we are becoming aware. That is very different than 20/20 hindsight.

I appreciated the fact that you pointed out that the UN team does not agree with the assumptions of some of the posters here.

Thanks to you and our other vets for participating!

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | June 13, 2005 3:11 PM | Report abuse

If you went into a dealership and were told that the car they wanted to sell you was great looking, extremely crashworthy, seats six adults, has neck snapping performance, and gets 50MPG, you'd be tempted, wouldn't you? What if after you signed the contract they brought out a Honda Insight? You might protest "This is not what I was led to expect!" Their answer-"But it does get 50MPG!"
This country took the extraordinary step of initiating a war with another country based on a number of premises which have since proved to be without basis- WMD, threat to US, links to Al Quaeda, etc. The problem was blamed on faulty intelligence, and those individuals most responsible were given cushy new jobs and Medals of Freedom.
When I get the "Would you rather have Saddam still in power?" line, I usually answer "Would you like to have the 1600 GIs still alive, the 13,000 wounded still whole, and the $500 billion unspent? How about having Osama under lock and key or taking a dirt nap?" What are our priorities? What kind of freedom and democracy are we giving to the Iraqis and at what cost?

Mostly I would like to think that I live in a country where my vote counts as much as anyone's and my leaders speak the truth. The last dozen years or so, that has been too much to ask.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | June 13, 2005 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Joel!

I believe you made a factual mistake in this column. Manitoba is not a state in the United States, but a state in Mexico, I believe.

I'm sure you will do better research next time.

Rick

Posted by: Rick Wiedman | June 13, 2005 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey Joel -

Gee whiz, it was just a dare! In fact, Iraq was #4 on my topic list. I didn't think you'd actually take the bait and step into the quagmire, so to speak. And do you really mean to tell me that you didn't watch the whole Spurs game last night? Maybe I am one of the 15 or so citizens that really love the Spurs. And one of the 15 that read this blog, apparently? Hmmm ... pretty small cross-section.

I really do appreciate your opinion on Iraq, however. Thank you. I am a vet, and think the Iraq war will be vindicated over the long run (in spite of the frustrating blunders). But I am fascinated that many friends / fellow vets think like you do that the effort is a mistake. Maybe they are right, or maybe they are more risk averse. My pals were perfectly comfortable with the state of half-war with Iraq that existed during 1992-2001, whereas I thought that was a pointless quagmire, breeding resentment in the region.

The only point I find curious is your essential concern that the U.S. has no exit strategy, a term that was never in the lexicon until the Bosnia debate in 1993 (check Lexis-nexis). WW2 had no exit strategy, thank goodness. I like to think we are in a world where we don't pre-nup every relationship, foreign or domestic (except maybe with blog commenters who ramble).

As for being the "greatest blunder ... since Vietnam," that's a bold claim. Such a rich cornucopia of blunders to choose from. Don't you remember the Dingell-Norwood bill?!?

(wasn't that Gore's rallying cry in the alpha male debate in 2000?)

Posted by: Kane | June 13, 2005 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Sigh.

All these debates on Iraq come down to one issue, and that is political. If you like Bush, you tout the new freedom of the Iraqis. If you hate him, you carp about WMDs. Even which side of the political spectrum is "winning" seems to ebb and flow with events over there...

Meanwhile, the enemy is winning by using he same playbook they did in Vietnam - keep up the carnage until we soft Americans give up and go home.

Freeing the Iraqis is in concept a noble cause. Saddam was our enemy (no one seem to remember that we clashed with the Iraqis on a daily basis during the whole Clinton administration - or where those missles in the no fly zones just mirages?). However, the cause for selling the war was flawed (WMDs), and apparently it has not been won quick enough for the American 10 second attention span (We have a verdict in the Jackson trial!). Not to mention this administration has claimed victory a few times to early already...

If we can make Iraq "work", the world will be a better place. If we can't, it will be much worse. AND that, my friends, is the bottom line.

Posted by: Marks | June 13, 2005 3:53 PM | Report abuse

This war in Iraq and all its consequences is like a tic tac toe gone wrong. You know the ones that no one wins.

Posted by: fdg31 | June 13, 2005 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I thought the greatest blunder was getting involved in a landwar in Asia.

Wow, is this a World's Strongest Point competition? It seems like everyone's tryign to make the same point, only longer.

Besides, I don't think Iraq is any hotter that Texas is right now, it's 98 here!

(PS. The person of Fitz does not condone nor acknowledge the actions or beliefs of the state or country of Texas. He only resides there. His heart still lives in Maryland: "America's Gun"
-probably my favorite snippet from a quote of a guy down here as he found out i was from the Old Line State. It went, "Yeah, I liked it up thar in Muralyn(I could only assume he said Maryland), it's a fine state, America's Gun. You should be proud." Needless to say the irony was only found in my head.

Posted by: Fitz | June 13, 2005 4:00 PM | Report abuse

How refreshing: someone in Washington AND employed by what the Washington Star's EAR columnist used to call the OP saying his opinion is not necessarily worth a pound of gold. Watch out--they may kick you out of Montgomery County, if that's your residence. I'm serious, though: I think we should start a movement: Let's take ourselves less seriously. How about a newspaper that did not have an editorial page? How about people losing their party identities? How about saying, when you encounter a political argument: You certainly have a point there. I babble, but my point is that the vitriol in our political debate makes me want to move to ...Manitoba. Eh?

Posted by: chrismad | June 13, 2005 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I was the last person on the planet to anticipate supporting Bush pre-9/11, but despite the hysteria at the BBC, "normalization" of political Islam is the only long-term solution to the major problems we face, and so far so good for the Bushies.

What does the Downing Street memo prove other than that we've got a forward-looking team in the White House? Wolfowitz quite straight-forwardly told us WMD was only the easiest bureaucratic reason to afix to going into Project Iraq. What could be more truthful than that? Keep being shocked at how not shocked we are about the DSM.

Let the Iranians gain influence in Iraq. Let the Brotherhood run in the Egyptian elections. Let Hizballah do for the Palestinians what Abbas cannot. When the big ticket comes up, i.e. the s--- hits the fan in Saudi, there will hopefully already be a pan-Arab Islamist _normal_ political party in place. Before gasping, think of bastards we've have been doing business with over there for decades already; the Mubaraks and Saudis are just the tip of the iceberg.

Put another way, read Rhiz Khan's op-ed in today's WSJ to get his reasons for moving over to Al Jazeera. He's right. When Al Jazeera becomes "normalized," so will public opinion on both sides of the global cultural divide and so will its influence on the politics of the region. In any event, Al Jazeera will most likely beat the BBC in the race to modernity, so we do have that going for us.

Posted by: C2TBF | June 13, 2005 4:19 PM | Report abuse

HOAX!~Well, good for you! Particularly in coining (if you did) the world "HOAX" regarding the WMD assertions by Bush and Company. Why
hasn't that linear, perfect, expository word been the standard. Should be.

Posted by: Gene | June 13, 2005 4:23 PM | Report abuse

In Iraq we violated the rule that America should never go to war with a country that has a straight line in its border. A straight line in a border indicates that there's nothing there worth fighting for.

Posted by: Curvy | June 13, 2005 5:40 PM | Report abuse

J.A.-

1. "...WMD turned out to be essentially a hoax.." That's an interesting statement. Care to back it up? ["Hoax n. An act intended to deceive or trick"]. Here's a direct quote:

"High Confidence:
Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding, its chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions...Iraq possesses proscribed chemical and biological weapons and missiles." NIE: Key Judgements, October 2002.

Was the I.C. part of this hoax, too? Tony Blair? Bill Clinton (ie operation Desert Fox)? Our General's (who ordered our troops to dress in NBC suits in the Iraqi desert)?


2. "Neocons hated the fact that they left Saddam in power, but Bush 41 and Powell seemed to know that the worst thing you can do when you are sending American troops into battle is to have no firm grasp of how the war might end."

Interesting. You left out the Post-Gulf-WarI Iraqi civil war that killed over 100K shite and kurds. Oh, and then there was the UN sanctions regime. Suggest readers go back and read "Deadlier Than War", Walter Russell Mead, WaPo, 3/12/2003.
From Mead's piece:

"Saddam Hussein is 65; containing him for another 10 years condemns at least another 360,000 Iraqis to death. Of these, 240,000 will be children under 5...Those are the low-end estimates. Believe UNICEF and 10 more years kills 600,000 Iraqi babies and altogether almost 1 million Iraqis."

Joel, these problems were directly or indirectly a result of the "immaculate template for a military campaign... which had very specific and obtainable objectives."


3. "I have no special expertise on this subject..."

I don't either. But then again I don't write for a major newspaper in the Nation's Capital. We should expect better.

Disappointed but not surprised.

Posted by: Reg | June 13, 2005 5:46 PM | Report abuse

All things aside, I'm glad that we have the FREEDOM to blog and talk about issues that are near and dear to us.

Posted by: JW | June 13, 2005 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Joel, having taken the names of 2 Canadian provinces in vain (think venial sin) your penance is that the US must take all current and former Canadian politicians for a period of not less than their lifetimes.

We have secret weapons of mass destruction too!

Posted by: Alberta | June 13, 2005 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Reg, the point is, I don't blog a lot about Iraq because I don't have any special expertise, but since citizen Kane asked directly, pointedly, I thought I might as well answer him (her?). "We should expect better," you say, and fortunately we do have better -- lots of reporters, from the amazing Rajiv to Pincus and Gellman and Pulitzer Prize winner Shadid (among many others).

Posted by: Achenbach | June 13, 2005 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey! I'm the only JW 'round these here parts! This blog ain't big enough for the two of us!

Posted by: jw | June 13, 2005 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Iraq was a big boo-boo. No matter how detestable the Congress considered Saddam Hussein I doubt that it would have supported an invasion of Iraq without WMD. I don't know if American intelligence failed or was abused by the Bush administration or both. It's all water under the bridge as far as Iraq is concerned. When it became apparent there were no WMD and the scale of civil conflict in Iraq was realized then two questions emerged: how did we get into this mess and what do we do now? Bush should have been sacked in 2004 but the voters missed their opportunity. Now they must deal with the second question, what do they do now. You can't sweep Iraq under the rug or hide it somewhere in the mountains and simply forget about it. The second question breeds a ton of answers and doubts that the Bush administration can find and implement the right policy. The Iraqi blunder casts serious doubts on the President's political judgment on Iraq and other topics. The rising cost in lives and money is turning the President into the whipping boy of the electorate. It will only rise even further when people realize that there is no quick exit from Iraq.

Posted by: DTL1951 | June 13, 2005 8:44 PM | Report abuse

"Bush should have been sacked in 2004 but the voters missed their opportunity."

Nope. The Democrats missed their opportunity, not the voters. Bush could have been beaten, but not by the nitwit nominated to oppose him.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2005 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Ooops,

I'm the nitwit who posted the above message without attribution.

Posted by: InvestiGator | June 13, 2005 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Let's parse the headline for this particular blog of Joel's:

"Solving"
Can anything in the Iraq situation be solved? How long will it take to train Iraqi forces? Once a constitution is put in place, will the next round of Iraq elections solve anything? There are three tribal factions that have fought against each other for hundreds of years--imposing a democracy from the top down by an occupying nations--will that solve anything? How do we solve that our fingerprints were on every ministry in the provisional government? How do we solve Ahmed Chalabi? How do we solve Curveball?

"Our"
Who owns this problem? We, the United States? We, meaning the United States and Britain? What about Australia, or the rest of the "coalition of the willing?" What about Palau? What about our 30 other coalition partners?

"Iraq Problem"
Problem? Oh, how euphemistic! "The War Aftermath" would be more like it! How do we solve the physical destruction we have created, the instability, the insurgency, the loss of thousands of Iraqi lives, the emotionally scarred, especially children? How do we win hearts and minds of those who hearts and minds were destroyed by bombs and bullets? How do we solve Guantanamo Bay and prisoner abuse and torture? How do we solve the fact that there is no accountability in the current administration for any of these "problems?" How do we solve the huge budget deficits caused by egregious spending on this war? How do we solve our own domestic problems when so many tax dollars flow to the military or military contractors who charge an arm and a leg to perform formerly military support functions in Iraq? How do we solve cronyism at the highest governmental levels?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2005 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Heh. I like the word "cronyism." It just looks funny. How the y hangs down like a little...fulcrum. Or something. I am the real jw!

Posted by: jw | June 13, 2005 10:28 PM | Report abuse

More fulcrums: http://multimedia.honda-eu.com/accord/index.html

Posted by: jw | June 13, 2005 10:29 PM | Report abuse

What if we just went back to isolationism? If we had done that after the end of the Cold War, I think we would be a lot better off. How could anyone hate us if all we do is keep to ourselves? Of course, I realize that since we've gone and already involved ourselves, we can't just drop things and go home at once.

Just maintain a deterrent capability: if anyone attacks us, destroy their entire military-industrial complex. No occupying them or any of that up close and personal stuff. No one with any sense would ever attack or threaten us.

I don't like tyrrany in other parts of the world, but if we don't involve ourselves, then we don't get blood on our hands either.

Posted by: Navy Vet | June 13, 2005 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Fitz: Maryland is "America's Gun"? please explain.... Frankly I think of Texas anytime guns and statehood are mentioned within the same vernacular.

Agree wholeheartedly with the 9:47PM post, Bush coulda been had but the Dems blew it. They can start winning POTUS elections again when they distance themselves from their fringe constituency (you know who I mean...).

Posted by: 8 hrs from the beltway (and thankful) | June 13, 2005 11:54 PM | Report abuse

re: "America's Gun", never mind, it hit me early this morning. The Chesapeake Bay state is geographically shaped like a gun. Aye caramba.

Posted by: 8 hrs from the beltway | June 14, 2005 8:16 AM | Report abuse

FYI: There were WMDs in Iraq, just not any nuclear ones. Take a closer look at the reports made public by the Iraqi Survey Group.

Posted by: Iraq vet | June 14, 2005 8:24 AM | Report abuse

FYI: There were WMDs in Iraq, just not any nuclear ones. Take a closer look at the reports made public by the Iraqi Survey Group.

Posted by: Iraq vet | June 14, 2005 8:24 AM | Report abuse

FYI: There were WMDs in Iraq, just not any nuclear ones. Take a closer look at the reports made public by the Iraqi Survey Group.

Posted by: Iraq vet | June 14, 2005 8:24 AM | Report abuse

WMDs in Babylon, true, witness the gassing of the Kurds.

Posted by: 8 hrs from Beltway | June 14, 2005 8:44 AM | Report abuse

"..no "gotcha" journalist got the goods on the biggest story of our time: the false intimations of incipient mushroom clouds peddled by American officials (Hello, Condi!) to sell a war that now threatens to match the unpopularity and marathon length of Vietnam."

--columnist Frank Rich
Sunday New York Times

Given that distant cousin Alfred Lee Loomis did everything in his power and enlisted the financial aid of high-power Wall Street friends and associates to build the Berkeley cyclotron, which led to the development of the atomic bomb and the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, I find it disgraceful that members of the Bush administration, particularly National Security Adviser Coondoleeza Rice, would "sell" the premise of Iraq having nuclear weapons to the American public. National intelligence was ginned up, fabricated and sold lock, stock and barrel to the American public. American citizens were duped.

Posted by: Linda Loomis | June 14, 2005 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Sigh. (Typed sighs are so unfulfilling.) I miss the humor of the Achenblog. The humor is why it is my homepage at work. It gets me through my workday.

And I agree with InvestiGator--it wasn't the voters who messed up, it was all the geniuses who got together and said, "John Kerry. He's our man."

Posted by: Sara | June 14, 2005 9:46 AM | Report abuse

We DEFINITELY need a new topic. How do I know? Linda Loomis finally found a way to irrelivantly tie a distant relative to the topic of conversation. Double-sigh.

Posted by: jw | June 14, 2005 10:06 AM | Report abuse

How about this:
"Katie Holmes Embracing Scientology!"

Posted by: Tom fan | June 14, 2005 10:13 AM | Report abuse

By the way, I missed Linda. We hadn't heard from her in awhile. I thought she'd disappeared forever. I'm glad she's back.

Posted by: Tom fan | June 14, 2005 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Marketing Iraq: Why now?
September 12, 2002 Posted: 7:50 PM EDT (2350 GMT)
By William Schneider
CNN Senior Political Analyst

To those who say, we want more evidence that there's a real threat, the Administration says, we can't wait for a smoking gun to turn up. "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud," National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice said on CNN's Late Edition recently.

****
Condoleeza Rice's Doublespeak

by Juan Cole
published by Informed Comment

The transcript of the Rice/Boxer exchange is worth reading in full. Rice's performance is breathtakingly bad, and Boxer has all the quotes and facts at her fingertips. The issue is that Condoleeza Rice engaged in demagoguery before the Iraq war. She invoked the image of a mushroom cloud over the United States. But George Tenet had told her the evidence was weak in that regard. The State Department Intelligence and Research division thought the whole nuclear bit was far-fetched. But Rice kept on saying these alarmist things nevertheless.

Posted by: Linda Loomis | June 14, 2005 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, where was Linda? Doing more geneology? Heh heh. I think it's kind of cool that she can (tangentally) connect her family to pretty much everything we end up discussing. Although, I suspect that a last name like "Loomis" is on the unusual side, so it's a little easier to keep up on relations.

Just to prove what a dork I am, I stole a coworker's copy of "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" and there it was in the index, "Loomis, Alfred." Three mentions. Good job Alfred!

Posted by: jw | June 14, 2005 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I just love the way we're all connected on this blog. Several weeks ago, an Achenblog poster was talking about banana slugs in northern California and happened to mention that this was "Linda Loomis' old neighborhood." I thought that was nice.

Posted by: Dreamer | June 14, 2005 11:16 AM | Report abuse

You're forcing me to do this. Here's the story: There are now three of us in the immediate family diagnosed with a very rare genetic disorder of the endocrine system that impacts how our bodies use calcium. It is a dominant gene disorder that tests confirmed have been passed down on my Loomis father's side of the family.

My grandfather moved the family to California in 1921 and all the family stories were lost because my grandfather Loomis passed away before I was born. I went looking for information as to who might be the dominant-gene carrier of the disorder. Raised as a Californian, I never intended to run into so much early American history. Then I ran into a whole bunch of European history...and genealogy! (Sorry for momentarily taking over your blog, Joel. Sorry, sorry, sorry.)

But I find myself connected to 10 Downing Street in the most unusual, historical way:
***

They were a class of promising young men, a class of nine who graduated from Harvard's first class, the class of 1642, that fine early fall morning in New England. The commencement speaker was John Winthrop (Sen. John Kerry's distant great-grandfather), and after the ceremony, the graduates stepped from a small clapboard building in Cambridge, Mass., onto a small public green ringed by apple trees, cow pastures and woods. Among the academic young men in the class were my distant great-grandfather, John Wilson, Jr., and George Downing.

It was something of a miracle that my distant great-grandfather John Jr. had made it to Harvard at all. John Jr. had been born in London in 1621, the son of John Wilson, the first minister of the First Church in Boston, and grandson of William Wilson, doctor of divinity and prebendary of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. William Wilson's wife was the niece of Archbishop of Canterbury Edmund Grindal. Rev. Cotton Mather wrote that Wilson, "when a Child, fell upon his head from a Loft four stories high, into the Street; from whence he was taken up for Dead, and so battered and bruised and bloody with his Fall, that it struck Horror into the Beholders."

And the graduates of that first class at Harvard also survived the horrors caused by the first headmaster of the school, Nathaniel Eaton, a graduate of Trinity College and an administrator with a penchant for punishment and penury. Not one to spare the rod and spoil the child, Eaton not only beat his young scholars excessively, but also his staff. Eaton's wife gave the students short shrift at mealtime, serving nothing but porridge and pudding, although the tuition paid by the scholars' families would have provided for a more well-rounded diet. Eaton was tried before the General Court, fined and banned from teaching within the colony, thereafter sailing for England.

Seven of the graduating class also returned to England. It had been difficult for Gov. John Winthrop to convince his sister Lucy who had married Emmanuel Downing in April 1622, to emigrate to the Massachusetts settlement. (Another one of my distant great-grandfathers, the Rev. Thomas Hooker, was acquainted with Emmanuel Downing, having attended a meeting in July 1629 in Sempringham, Lincolnshire, with the Revs. John Cotton and Roger Williams, Winthrop and Downing to establish the Massachusetts Bay Company in New England as a godly commonwealth.) The Downings' son James came in 1630, and his sisters Mary and Susan arrived in 1633, all residing with the Winthrops in Boston. The Downings and their family eventually made the Atlantic crossing in 1638, although they returned to England within a few years.

John Wilson Jr. was to make his mark in the colony; George Downing was to achieve fame and fortune back on British soil. The junior Wilson was admitted to the First Church in Boston in March 1644 and made a freeman in May 1647. After preaching for several years, the Rev. Richard Mather invited the young Wilson to assist him in his church in Dorchester, Mass. A large number of the original settlers of Dorchester had migrated to form the new community of Windsor, Conn., where the Loomises settled in 1639 on property that had been the first Dutch trading post on the Connecticut River and was taken over by the Plymouth Trading Company. After preaching in Dorchester for two years, Wilson moved deeper into the interior of Massachusetts, settling in Medfield in 1651, where he served as minister for more than 40 years, as well as acting as the town's physician and schoolmaster. Wilson's wife was Sarah, the youngest daughter of Rev. Thomas Hooker of Hartford, Conn. Wilson died at Medfield on Sunday, August 23, 1691.

Once Downing arrived back in London, he got caught up in the civil war taking place and fought with the Parliamentarians. Rev. William Hooke, minister in the Massachusetts colony, was a kinsman of the increasingly more prominent parliamentary leader and general Oliver Cromwell, and even served as Cromwell's chaplain in England. Cromwell became acquainted with the stubborn and ambitious young Downing and appointed him as his ambassador to The Hague, not a popular choice on either side of the Channel.

But Downing had a gift of being able to navigate political currents. Cromwell died in 1658. Charles I had been publicly executed outside Whitehall Palace in January 1649, while Holland had harbored the young Charles II at the time his father was killed. In 1652, the first war between Britain and the Dutch Republic began. Charles II was eventually welcomed back to England, arriving on his 30th birthday, and was crowned 13 months later on April 13, 1661. By the time Charles II had been restored to the throne, his younger brother James had achieved quite a reputation as a soldier, having served in the French and Spanish armies.

Five months after Charles II's coronation, Downing's cousin, John Winthrop Jr., sailed for London via Amsterdam, having departed via New York City rather than Boston. At New Amsterdam (later to become New York City), the young Winthrop received a full military salute at both his arrival and departure. During the almost two weeks' time that the gregarious Winthrop spent in New Amsterdam, he was treated as a head of state, while deceptively taking pages of notes on the settlement, troops and fort. Winthrop sailed into Amsterdam and from there traveled to see his cousin George Downing at The Hague in September 1661. Soon thereafter, British government officials began to share detailed maps of New Amsterdam's defenses. Winthrop stayed in London through the fall and winter and was eventually awarded a charter for a Connecticut land grant, extending south from Massachusetts to Virginia-including the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam, and as far west as the Pacific Ocean.

Downing was to play his part in the international drama from his offices in The Hague. Downing wanted to unravel the Dutch monopoly on trade in the Indian Ocean, in Japan, and their encroaching moves on West Africa and the growing slave trade. Downing foresaw that the Dutch's Atlantic Rim possessions were ripe for plundering, although his words to Dutch officials were diplomatic and pacifist. Downing sold the idea of launching military raids against the Dutch not to Charles II, who was indebted to the Dutch for housing him in The Hague, but to Charles II's militaristic brother, James.

As told by author Russell Shorto, in his 2004 book, The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America: "Downing then took the lead in arguing for a master plan involving the whole Atlantic Rim. Reading the letters, minutes, and military instructions surrounding this evolving plan, it's remarkable to comprehend that so much history-the changeover of Manhattan Island, the consolidation of the American colonies, the ramping of the of the slave trade into an epoch-changing institution, the transformation of West Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and North America-was quite calculated and stemmed from a series of meetings among a rather small group of men in London in the years 1661 and 1662."

James, as head of the Admiralty, ordered Richard Nicolls in April 1664 to set sail with four gunships and 450 men for New Amsterdam, with Nicolls commanding his flagship, the Guinea. (The first British offensive in the early 1660s against the Dutch was not taking over New Amsterdam, but establishing control over the Dutch slave trading ports of Africa, particularly those in West Guinea, as well as the area's gold. Charles II and the Royal Mint introduced the guinea coin in 1663, named for where the gold was mined--the coin surviving far longer than the slave trade.) Having stopped in Boston, Nicolls sailed into Manhattan harbor in late summer 1664, with John Winthrop on board to act as negotiator. What resulted was the bloodless takeover of New Amsterdam by the British. Once ashore, Nicolls hoisted the English flag and renamed the peninsula in honor of his patron, the Duke of York and Albany.

Downing had been knighted and later became a member of Parliament. The avenue in London, off Whitehall (The present street of Whitehall takes its name from the former Whitehall Palace, burned down in 1698, and otherwise known as York Place, because it was the London residence of the archbishops of York, including that of distant great-uncle, Edmund Grindal, who served as archbishop of York before being named archbishop of Canterbury.) and in Westminster, where George Downing had built his home, had come to be known as Downing Street by 1660. Downing had made improvements to his own street by 1680, four years before his death in 1684. The Crown acquired the now well-known No. 10 in 1732 which, since that date, has served as the residence of British Prime Ministers, whether or not each Prime Minister has chosen to live there. Britain's current Prime Minister, Tony Blair, now resides there with his wife and family.

Posted by: Linda Loomis | June 14, 2005 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Ha! That is fantastic! I wish I could amass that kind of rich family history, but I don't even know where I would start. I bet we all have facinating brushes with greatness in our family trees.

Posted by: jw | June 14, 2005 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"Is everyone a mystery? Is everyone an enigma? They most certainly are."
-- Ramtha

"I am greater than I think I am. I can be even greater than that."
-- William Tiller, Ph.D.

[From the film "What the Bleep Do We Know!?"]

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2005 11:51 AM | Report abuse

IMHO this whole Iraq thing was intended as a message to countries that harbor or support extremists that the US would not be hesitant to bring down governments or bulldoze countries if it feels threatened.

WMD and (belatedly) freedom for the Iraqis were convenient premises to implement this new tough guy policy.

We now know there were no WMDs to speak of. A fact that could have been established, albeit slowly, through peaceful means.

Restoring the freedom of the Iraqi people is a little more complicated. Most Americans think that life under a dictatorship is so different, and inferior from theirs. Well, it is and it isn't.

Looking back on my life where I spent 18 years living under a dictatorship and 14 living in the United States I came to the realization that life wasn't really that different in both societies.

While the intellectuals and opposition members were marginalized under the dictatorship. The average citizen on the street went on with their lives and the quality of that average life did not differ greatly from that of the average Joe's in America. Other than the fact that we did not have someone like Bill O-Reilly screaming on our TVs, life was more or less ok. :)

One of the first things that struck me about America was how few people voted. I realized these were the same type of people where I came from who just wanted to live their lives and weren't too concerned about politics.

Our dictator was not quite as bad as Saddam but he employed similar techniques (don't they all?). While he did not gas villages he would make people disappear every so often.

Did we hate the dictator? Sure we did. Did we want to see him thrown out? You bet(he was eventually). Did we want democracy? Of course! But would we have wanted him out at a cost of 100,000+ dead, the destruction of our country, economy, and occupation by foreign troops? Nah. We'd rather do it at our own pace.

Most occupied people cannot recognize the fact that the menacing soldier screaming at , frisking, and sometimes accidentally shooting their children, parents, neighbors, or friends at a checkpoint is actually a nice farm boy from Iowa who would otherwise share bowl of grits with you in his home under different circumstances.


But that is what we are now faced with in Iraq. We have come to realize that Iraq needs to be managed with a heavy hand. Something Saddam understood. Something our military is now doing. Something that the next leader of Iraq will have to do if he is going to make any difference at all for his country.

So all this talk about new-found freedom for the Iraqi people is great to listen to but won't likely make that much of a difference to the average Iraqi.

So let's see this thing for what it really is. US self-interest comes first and I believe Bush achieved is true policy objective. Those those other countries will now think twice about messing with the US.

Posted by: bojims | June 14, 2005 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Joel, it will come as no surprise that I disagree. Especially with "hoax." Also with "blunder." And how does one "plan" for a future set of circumstances that depends on a wide array of variables?

For one with your sense of history, I would have expected something else.

Posted by: Doug J. | June 14, 2005 11:12 PM | Report abuse

The Character of a Happy Life

HOW happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another's will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!

Whose passions not his masters are;
Whose soul is still prepared for death,
Untied unto the world by care
Of public fame or private breath;

Who envies none that chance doth raise,
Nor vice; who never understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise;
Nor rules of state, but rules of good;

Who hath his life from rumours freed;
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make oppressors great;

Who God doth late and early pray
More of His grace than gifts to lend;
And entertains the harmless day
With a religious book or friend;

--This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise or fear to fall:
Lord of himself, though not of lands,
And having nothing, yet hath all.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 15, 2005 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Want a long term solution...get off the crack...the oil.

We wouldn't give tow rat's asses about the Middle East and they would have no money to expend on extremist if we didn't kiss the butts of Big Oil.

Every action has a reaction and the more we kill in the name of peace, the more generations of enemies we create...this is doubly true when you engage in a PREEMPTIVE war for reasons that then turn out to be false.

We have neither the will or resources to "kill them all" and the only thing we've proven in Iraq is that we can take ground...not hold it. Our actions have emboldened our enemies, and not just the Islamist. China, India, Pakistan, South and Central America now know that we are basically incompetent in our foreign policy and our economics. They are collectively beginning to ignore us if not openly challenge us.

And, who is to blame? THOSE IN POWER! PERIOD. And that isn't just Bush, but all of the THEOCON Republicans who don't have the balls or the intellect to stand up against ideological stupidity. Bush and the Republicans need to stop blaming everything and anyone and they need a mirror so they can start looking at who's to blame.

Since most here haven't as much as put a magnet on their car or paid more in taxes to support the war, I can rest comfortably in the knowledge that you all to easily waste the resources of this country in order to doggidly defend a choice in government that not only has turned out to be disasterous but a direct commentary on your own ability think critically and look beyond your own selfish needs.

Like those who couldn't and can't cope with our mistakes in Vietnam, you will spend the rest of your life blaming the media, liberals, the world for our failure of judgment and competence once we made a decision.

One need only look at the fellow B-school graduates of Bush et al that have run companies into the ground to see the complete lack leadership and competence that were produced.

Be angry at my post all you want, but it would be best to spend your energy preparing your life, your family and your business for the pain that is ahead of us.

Posted by: Afghanvet | June 15, 2005 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Joel, it will come as no surprise that I disagree. Especially with "hoax." Also with "blunder." And how does one "plan" for a future set of circumstances that depends on a wide array of variables?
For one with your sense of history, I would have expected something else.
----

Every assumption is a risk. Risk are to be analyzed and mitigation planned for. It is clear that NO risk analysis was done and NO planning was done past initial invasion. THIS is a lack of competence and leadership. Those that tried to plan accordingly we summarily dismissed or ignored.

How quickly we forget. ALL of this is a failure of leadership that starts at the top. Do NOT mistake rhetoric and bravado and activity for critical thought and accomplishment.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 15, 2005 2:04 PM | Report abuse

WMD and NBC are two different things. Furthermore, the amount of NBC found was negligible given the intelligence that was stated as fact.

The conclusions of the investigating organizations say it all. Research programs were ongoing, but all practical capabilities were destroyed...BEFORE we invaded. PERIOD. You can reach back for earlier documentation all you want, but the facts will NOT change.

Even with a research program, the ability to weaponize and utilize would be greatly constrained. And, since Saddam's biggest fears were internal and with Iran AND he had NO substantive ties with GLOBAL terrorists, the threat of his PROGRAMS was minimal.

If getting rid of despots with ties to terrorists were important, the Republicans wouldn't have blocked an investigation of Uzbekistan (sp?) and wouldn't be pussyfooting around with Pakistan, the country that BUILT the Taliban and is probably housing the one guy who attacked us.

Cognitive dissonance and cafeteria style morality and ethics is a wonderful thing.

Posted by: Afghanvet | June 15, 2005 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Joel, were all those CAPITALS yours?

Hoping not, Doug

Posted by: Doug J. | June 15, 2005 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Joel, were all those CAPITALS yours?

Hoping not, Doug

Posted by: Doug J. | June 15, 2005 10:49 PM | Report abuse

hello again!
I love this blog Joel and i do so love to engage in debate about the world today..heck this is the first BLOG i have actively particpated in.
That aside...reading what everyone has to say, i am encouraged that there is a debate. However, looking at this war from a veteran's p[erspective..that is the best determinate as to whether things are truthfully going the way the Bush adminstration is saying it is. As somebody who works in politics for eight hours and spends most of her time after that living and breathing it, i realize that the adminstration does somtimes keep info to themselves. Nevertheless, I am worried. I just read an article that talked about a bid by the chinese government to buy an oil company and they outbid Cheveron, the biggest oil producer by two billion daollars. That is a pretty huge margin. What people do not understand is that the Bush adminstration does not have the prescription to properly address the major concerns of this country and its position in the world today.

-We are dead last in education and the production of engineers and scientists.

-We are currently outsourcing so many of our manufacturing jobs that the unions are falling apart at the seams.

-pensions are being lost
-corporate fraud is not being punished in such a way where people can feel that justice is truly being served.
-recruitment for the army is at an alltime low, and furthermore, the marines, who have never had a problem with recruitment has suffered int hat area as well.
As a result of this you and me or your kids, i am 24 years old, will end up in Iraq or somewhere else fighting a war that no one truly. And the real reason for all of this turmoil is running around the mountains of Afghanistan terrorizing the people who help the Americans and killing our brother, our cousins, our families.
The truth of the matter is, we are spreading ourselves too thin, we are losing our place on the market, and China is waiting in the wings to take over. Talk about scary..think about that when your cheer Republican Politics or talk about the necessity of this war.
I must insist that people realize where this country is going and recognize the disatser looming ahead if somethin is not done. I am trying from where i am but for right now it doesn't look good.

Posted by: kuuks | June 27, 2005 5:20 PM | Report abuse

another thing...
I have a question for afghanvet...how bad was it? i have a cousin in Iraq and i am hearing terrible things about afghanistan...do you have to go back? Thank you for doing what most people could not, fight for the well-being of others even though it seems the world is agianst. Please know that i bear you no ill-will, i just hate war and hate it even more when it is all about a lie.
Thank God for courage and hopefully he will spread some tolerance among his humans on earth.
True blue Democrat thanking God? yep Contrary to popular belief we dems do believe in God.

Posted by: kuuks | June 27, 2005 5:32 PM | Report abuse

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