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Boilerplate pessimism
Posted by: McQ on Friday, February 24, 2006

John Murtha at HuffPo:
I've said for the last few months it's a civil war and our troops are targets caught in the middle. If we had 100 Iraqis and seven Americans killed in the last couple days, that's just an indication of how bad things have gotten: we've lost the hearts and minds of the people.

They now have elected officials, it was their election, we've got to let them know we're going to get out, we're not going to be occupiers, and they have to settle this themselves.
A) when did we ever have their hearts and minds and B) when did we ever say we intended to be occupiers and never leave?

Look, hearts and minds are a wonderful thing if you're trying to occupy a nation indefinitely or you plan on fighting an insurgency to the bitter end. But we're planning neither. This is just chuckle-headed nonsense.

Hello, PA? The ball is in your court in November.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Murtha may not be the most articulare spokesman, but at the core of his position, there is something to be considered. The argument seems to me is this: The role the US is playing is to keep the lid on an internal conflict while Iraqi police and troops are being trained and the necessary political compromises to form a government are worked out. The question is whether our presence at this point is an impediment to deal making among the parties. Murtha says yes, and that if we start to leave it will force the Iraqi parties to come to a resolution of the political stalemate. I disagree, at least at this point, because I think the threat of our leaving gives Khalizad a potent bargining chip to force necessary compromises. To that extent, Murtha may be doing the Administration a favor by making the withdrawal threat more real. There will come a time (my timetable is about six months), however, that if no gov’t is yet in place, we will have to call the bet. As the poker saying, "If you don’t know who the rube at the table is, it’s you." We’re approaching the point where we find out.
Written By: Steven Donegal
URL: http://
I guess I’m not very "articulare" either. :}
Written By: Steven Donegal
URL: http://
STEVEN, I dont disagree with you, but I think that that was always the administrations plan, I have been hearing about troops starting to leave in second half of ’06 for some time now. However, I think we will keep a permenent presence there. (not that I like it)
Written By: kyle N
..., but I think that that was always the administrations plan,...
Well, then. It’s good to know that everything is going as planned. (snark)
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
I agree the key is standing up the government and the sooner the better, but I’m not sure that threatening to pull out is necessarily the right strategy now (as you note). Perhaps 6 months is a fair timeframe and I may be joining you to call for the Iraqis to put up or we’re gone as well.

But unlike you, I don’t see Murtha’s nonsense as even a little helpful. Although its a bit of a change from his "the Army’s broken and living hand to mouth" nonsense it still paints an overly pessimistic picture. It’s as though he believes that it should be all sweetness and light, rose petals and little lambs in a war torn country who’s not had the opportunity for self-rule in almost a century. It’s hard bloody work that takes time.

Because of that there are going to be deaths since, shock of shocks, we’re in combat over there. And for every soldier killed or wounded they’re taking out 2 to 3 times the numbers of insurgents. That’s called war, something Murtha should be able to identify 2 out of 3 times at least (and especially since he voted for this one).

What Murtha wants isn’t reality over there. And because it isn’t he wants to quit. And he’s decided on a decidedly emotional appeal based in a false premise to do that. I don’t find that useful at all.
Written By: McQ
This is a weird critique. Murtha suggestion that we had the hearts and minds would seem to be praise of Bush, not criticism. I think there was a very brief time when we had their hearts and minds. I think that many Iraqis did believe that things were going to much better with Saddam gone - briefly.

Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
I certainly don’t think Murtha is trying to help out the Administration. My point was that a threat needs some credibility. Given the Administration’s "If we leave, the terrorists win" rhetoric, an Iraqi could be forgiven for not taking a threat to leave very seriously at this point. There is a point at which our presence only abets the status quo. Murtha thinks we’re there. McQ, you and I don’t agree. But if we’re still having this debate in six months, then I’m going to say Murtha was right and I’m wrong.
Written By: Steven Donegal
URL: http://
Murtha thinks we’re there.
We’re seeing this from two different views, Steven.

Murtha doesn’t care if we’re "there". He just wants us out. That’s a huge difference. IOW, he doesn’t give a rat’s ass what happens to Iraq ... and you and I (and those doing the duty there) do.

I understand your point and agreed with it above, but I see nothing happening over 6 months, to include nonresolution of the government problem, to have me agreeing that Murtha was right.
Written By: McQ
We had a debate several months ago about how a time line for withdraw would hurt us. That when the ’bad guys’ figured out we didn’t have the will to stick it out that things would get worse.

Well, we made our foot print smaller (as we should) and gave the ’bad guys’ a chance to poke thier heads above the sand. Now that we can see them lets go back in full force and take care of business. After, we make our footprint smaller again and see what else pokes it’s head up.
Written By: SkyWatch
URL: http://
I didn’t really say that well,

What I meen is like it or not Iraq is a conquered country. They where just conquered by nice guys. So when stuff like this crops up we need to show that the US is in charge. It is only when they at least try to play nice we allow them to.

I know that sounds bad like we want to rule them for always. I know as well as any honest person that Yes we do want them as allies but NO we do not want to rule them always.

But the fact is they are a conquered country that is in the process of being rebuilt. So let’s act like it.
Written By: SkyWatch
URL: http://
Call me a kook but I think the administration has been planning for a civil war in Iraq all along. Hopefully it is a controlled one (reasonable people prevail) but if not then, oh well (shia have a claim to be angry). Let them work it out to a balance (they are the only ones who can). Lastly I don’t believe the Iran + Iraq axis of evil (just doesn’t make sense). Why would an oil rich nation sell out to Iran (Just no need). Iran has nothing to offer. Sorry a little off topic, Murtha is just workin the politics, I believe he truly doesn’t give a $hit as long as he keeps getting elected.
Written By: Coaster
URL: http://
Look, hearts and minds are a wonderful thing if you’re trying to occupy a nation indefinitely or you plan on fighting an insurgency to the bitter end. -McQ
Like the poor occupied Palestinians for over 57 years?
Written By: ohio
URL: http://
Like the poor occupied Palestinians for over 57 years?
For the first 19 of those years, the national occupier of the West Bank and Gaza was Jordan.
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Nitpicky little point: Jordan only occupied the West Bank. Egypt occupied Gaza.
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
Yes, of course. Thank you.
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Not to worry ... it’s our local anti-Semite, "Book Adams" in another disguise who’s whining about the poor palestinains.
Written By: McQ

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