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Immigration Worries Readers

Two very different treatises are drawing the attention of Readers Who Comment (RWC) today: one on the absence of political progress within Iraq, the other a David Broder column suggesting that immigration and a two-Clinton presidency are potential big problems for the Democrats.

The comments on the Broder column contain the usual impolite and personal attacks that all columnists endure, but also a number of intelligent observations about the central assertions: illegal immigration is a huge issue, and some Democrats are worried about the political cost of the prospect of having both Clintons in the White House. Fair game for any columnist, especially one who has never stopped being an outstanding reporter.

The Iraq story, by Tom Ricks, says that U.S. military officials are distressed that little political progress is being made by Iraq's Shiite dominated government at time when the so-called surge has produced sharp declines in attacks on both U.S. forces and Iraqi civilians. Our RWC take this opportunity to debate again the wisdom of the war, attack the administration for starting it, attack the central thesis of Ricks's article or assert that desire for oil was the real reason for starting the war, not the promotion of democracy in the Mideast.

We'll start with the Broder column. ked22 said, "...a whole column on election politics and no mention of the Iraq Occupation. I think we know who is getting burned out."

But Brittman1 wrote, "Broder is spot on, as usual. The bigger of the two issues is immigration. The GOP will bash Latinos in '08 just like they bashed gays in '04. The Dems blew it then, and they may blow it again next year. The GOP is the party of hate, and they're ready to start spewing it again."

johnycheng1 is one of several to make this point in writing, "Even though the Clintons are sharing the power in the White House, it can not be worse than the Bush and Cheney relationship Besides,HRC has been demonstrating again and again she is independent of her husband when it comes to important decision making process."

And chuckandbecky added, "We're coming to the end of a ghastly team presidency. What's the problem with having a competent and caring one?"

cjones210 asked, "...Even if Republicans can make immigration THE issue, why would anyone believe they have the answer to the problem? They had 6 years of total control of all three branches of our government (years since 9/11) and not only did they do nothing about immigration they did little or nothing to secure our countries borders, transportation systems, ports & borders and chemical plants.."

rwamail said that "The Democrats must respond to the question...why should US citizens pay for services provided to ILLEGAL ALIENS!"

jonawebb gets the last word today, saying, "I think the question about Bill Clinton being back in the White House has been asked over and over. And yes, if Hillary gets elected he will be. OK? Also, by the way, if Hillary gets elected the last four Presidents will all have been named either Bush or Clinton. I understand this bothers some people, who probably shouldn't vote for Hillary...Could we talk about something else?"

All comments on the Iraq story are here.

All comments on the Broder column are here.

Now to Iraq and the Tom Ricks story.
JohnTovar gets my comment of the week award for this, quoted in full: "What does this mean? are we wining or not?"

danieleteodoru was one of many raising the oil argument, saying, "...Remember when Maliki dared to suggest universal amnesty for Sunni and Shia insurgents and demanded a date certain for US withdrawal? These people can't understand that they are an obstruction standing on where we want to drill for OUR cheap oil with which to fill-er-up our SUVs..."

And bulkybob questions the validity of Ricks's reporting, asking, "How can this author say the core rationale for the troop surge is to create security for political action to exist, say that security gains are being made, yet call into question the ENTIRE rationale because the political action isn't strong enough YET?..."

walkman1956 offers an often-heard suggestion, writing, "get the hell out of Iraq and quit babysitting them,let them figure their own lives out..."

losthorizon10 said, "This is why the escalation of troops, oh, excuse me-- the "surge" is not working. The Iraq government is no closer to being independent than it was a year ago..."

And BrianX9, who seems to comment on every Iraq story, said, "This was a great article. Thanks to all contributors, named and not. The overarching question is:
Who will fix Iraq? Will it be the State Department, or the military, or the neighboring Sunni Arab states? There doesn't seem to be any consideration for the idea that Iraq is for Iraqis to run, to govern, to fix..."

ocayholidays said it is "...transparently dishonest to blame the Iraqis for the destabilising of their country resulting from the unprovoked murderous invasion led by the U.S.A. It will be several generations before the resulting social and material damage is completely repaired and the utterly inept, even savage, conduct of the U.S. military is merely exacerbating the situation. No wonder that the generals are seeking to blame the Iraqis for the mess..."

The article quotes an unnamed U.S. official as saying "We've got six months because the military is leaving" and PBosleySlogthrop thinks he has spotted a trend. He writes that "...Reading that line... reminded me of the countless times I have read or heard some senator or congressman or general or diplomat or journalist or pundit say, in effect, "we've got six months" or "the next six months are critical." I did a quick and dirty Google search and, sure enough, page after page of those "we've got six months" comments going back at least to 2005..."

We'll close on this topic with beth-wade, who wrote, "...I have a nephew-in-law who has just returned to Iraq for ANOTHER tour. I am NOT a happy camper. Yes, I will send love and packages. But I cannot protect him. I hate this war, both for the Iraqis and for our troops and for our country. I'd rather see those troops fighting our government, as politically active citizens, for the freedoms we have lost."

By Doug Feaver  |  November 15, 2007; 9:51 AM ET
Categories:  Iraq  
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Clinton and Bush are different sides of the same grungy coin in my view. I did not vote for either Bush, either time. I'll be voting Republican this time, although I never have before.

Posted by: wmb | November 16, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Exactly who is concerned about a dual Clinton Presidency? Broder doesn't provide an example. His very own paper says other wise. " a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 60 percent of respondents said they "personally feel comfortable ... with the idea of Bill Clinton back in the White House, this time as first husband," in contrast with the 30 percent who said they feel "uncomfortable."

Do you see why Broder is disliked? Because he's the fool the Washington Post has chosen to give the liberal viewpoint and he fails time and time again.

Posted by: mason | November 15, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Immigration obviously worries the not just the readers of the Washington Post. The conversations permeates coffee shops, restaurants, the line at the bank and just about everywhere that it is humanly possible to interact with another human being.

In fact I have had more positive, productive conversations at the local diner over breakfast than most politicians have during the course of the month.

It seems like reasonable people want to have a reasonable discussion.

Maybe politicians are not reasonable people . The seem to be always walking on eggshells waiting for the 800 pound called the immigration debate to walk into the room.

The worst part of it is that THE MOST UNREASONABLE DEBATE happens in the comment sections of most of the forums across the country.

It must be that all the illegals who would defend themselves here if they had the time are working laborious jobs so you don't have to.

Angelo Mancuso

Posted by: Angelo Mancuso | November 15, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I wish the politicians discuss atleast the legal immigration issues being faced by the people residing in this country since last 10 years...People like me have advanced degrees,advanced skill set but cant even settle down and live the american dream..I dont see any single candidate adresing the reforms for the legal immigration pertaining to people from INDIA AND CHINA

Posted by: Dhananjay | November 15, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

This is NOT a Democrat, Republican, Independent issue. It's an American Issue.

Illegal Aliens and Immigration is NOT the same thing. 80% of the American people want an end to anarchy!

Illegal aliens are criminals, those who hire them are criminals and those who aid-and-abet them are criminals.

Illegal aliens in America have NO rights. We are required by law to arrest and prosecute, deport them. (Title 8 U.S. Code) To report illegal aliens call the DHS National Hotline 1 866 DHS 2ICE. (1-866-347-2523)

No, matter your political party affiliation, and setting aside your thoughts on issues. We all need to remember what it is to be an American Citizen. We need to make sure our elected representatives obey their Oath of Office and keep their Oath of Allegiance. See Know whom you are voting for.

Posted by: Dr Coles | November 15, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Feaver mentions personal attacks and impoliteness regarding the comments on D. Broder's Op-Ed piece.
I would point out that many Post Op-Ed writers spent eight years engaged in personal attacks on Bill, Hillary and many Clinton cronies. This paper even had the column inches available to bash Roger and Chelsea, on more than a few occasions. At that point, Chelsea was a teenager.

So, forgive my crocodile tears over the impoliteness and personal attacks visited upon D. Broder. He's a grown man, he ought to be able to take it.

CJones210, I could not agree more. Defenders of Broder (and/or Bush) ought to recall the Dubai port security deal so many neo-cons thought was such a great idea.

Posted by: CRix | November 15, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Was it only last week that David Broder said that he would refrain from commenting on the Clintons' marriage? My, how time flies. And this is a message to all reporters who are feeling tempted to comment: DON'T. WE. DON'T. WANT. TO. HEAR. IT. Write about homeless veterans. Write about suicidal veterans. Then, MAYBE, you'll win back the support of the American people after carrying water for Bush for seven years.

Posted by: EAHarrison | November 15, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Immigration worries Post readers, yes, but an even greater worry is the possibility of having to endure more muttering and drooling from the Dean (Broder) on the topic of the Clintons and their place in Washington. When will the Post be asking their Golden Ager to pull the ripcord on his golden parachute?

Posted by: H5N1 | November 15, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

"...some Democrats are worried about the political cost of the prospect of having both Clintons in the White House."

Name one.

By the way, Broder said that "Americans" are worried about that possibility. By which he meant himself, Debbie Howell, and their imaginary tea party playmates.

All this a week after he vowed to avoid the subject of the Cinton's marriage. Addiction is a sad thing to watch.

Posted by: HeavyJ | November 15, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Why would anyone worry about a dual presidency by hilary and bill clinton when we now have a dual presidency under the bush administration mr.cheney is as powerful as mr. bush is he not.

Posted by: ljm | November 15, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

It's laughable to read some in this forum who insist that the Bush Administration had six years of total control to fix the immigration problem. One need look no further than our present House and Senate (with substantially greater control numbers) to realize that such assertions are meaningless. The true force denying Congress the ability to run roughshod over America's Citizens, usurp the will of the people as it were, is the people themselves. Plain and simple, regardless of which party is in control, the overwhelming majority of America's Citizens oppose open border policies, and are now demanding our borders be secured, and our existing immigration laws enforced. There is no scenario regarding any of the problems confronting our nation whereby the concept of "more people chasing fewer resources" could be portrayed as sound economic, social or cultural policy.

Posted by: Ed Weirdness | November 15, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Anyone looking for an unusual story (and a different take) on illegal immigration should try:

Posted by: lane filler | November 15, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

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