Home / We Quit from Iraq, Play the Vietnam Card, and America Becomes the World’s Joke

We Quit from Iraq, Play the Vietnam Card, and America Becomes the World’s Joke

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All the Democrats have to do is sit back and watch as Senators destroy American policy for the next twenty years. This morning, Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA) and John Warner (R-VA) had offered two of five competing resolutions on how to stop the president from sending additional troops to Iraq.

Late this afternoon, Specter and Warner, stepping out of a Las Vagas Wedding Parlour, announced they had wed their two resolutions.  Of course they support our troops.  Of course they support the president.  They just think the troops and the president don't a have a clue what to do.

Not to be outdone, President-I-Hope-To-Be-Elected Barak Obama (D-IL) last night actually set a firm date by which he wants U.S. forces out of Iraq.  According to a source with no credibility whatsoever, Obama threw darts at a bulletin board and came up with March 31, 2008. 

What's so frustrating is that Bush has put people, who are alleged to have brains instead of straw in their heads, in an intolerable position.  Lying about starting the war, castrating our efforts in Afghanistan, not sending in enough troops in the beginning, having no concept or plan to win the peace, being led around by the diplomatic nose by Iran, totally failing to understand the lengths to which some Shiites and Sunnis will act against their own best interests — if that's not enough for Impeachment and Conviction, it should be.

But what liberals, conservatives, libertarians, and Lithuanians seem to continually forget is the effect an American pullout would have on our reputation around the world.  And, as someone used to say, make no mistake about it, we ain't gonna win this war in 2008, which means we're going to have the moral equivalent of helicopters rescuing the last Americans from Hanoi, totally destroying any Nixon/Kissinger myth that we'd achieved peace with honor.

Osama bin Laden was encouraging the U.S. to invade Iraq before the invasion.  Wouldn't you think an intelligent person would ask why?  Like taking pressure off the Afghanistan/Pakistan border?  Trapping the Americans in a tribal quagmire created by Europe after World War I and never resolved?  Creating a single focal point for the recruitment and training of more lunatic Arabs who'd give up this life for 17 virgins? 

He actually predicted exactly what has happened.

Vietnam was different in one critical way.  It was an evil, stupid, useless war that had no geopolitical value.  Someone–Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, should have just said, enough's enough.  We apologize for trying to recreate the French myth of Indochina.  Here's a couple of billion for reparations.  We're going home.

Thanks to the unbelievable stupidity of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, we have put American credibility on the line in Iraq in ways that will come back to haunt us.  Which of these young Arab loonies (which means there are Arabs who aren't loonies just in case someone missed the grammar there) is ever going to be afraid of the U.S. again.  We alienated our long-time allies through our belligerance and arrogance.  We convinced most of the world what our enemies have been saying for decades:  America is a power-hungry, decadent culture that seeks to dominate the world.

Sending Karen what's her name on her globe trotting tours?  Isn't anyone else so insulted by this most magnificent of bonehead moves that they're furious.

I'm sorry.  We cannot leave Iraq.  I was against the war from the beginning, but we're in a position where our very future could be compromised by blowing this.  We need to send in more troops, flood the country, train the Iraqis (with modern equipment, not donkey carts), set measurable goals for the Iraqi government, and define win in a way that others will understand it:

  • When America takes the field, we don't leave until we've won the battle.
  • When we leave, we've established the grounds for the country to begin a rebirth.
  • We have no desire to rule the world.
  • We never threaten.  We act.

Bush hasn't gotten one of those right.  Whatever one's political point of view, the damage caused to this country is too great to find some slick political maneuvering to get us out.  The Morons of Congress have to stop putting their political future in the way of one of the most important foreign policy issues in our history.  And Americans have to stop wearing blinders about the rest of the world, and understand what we can — and cannot — do. 

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About Mark Schannon

Retired crisis & risk manager/communications expert; extensive public relations experience in most areas over 30 years. Still available for extraordinary opportunities of mind-numbing complexity. Life-long liberal agnostic...or is that agnostic liberal.
  • By all accounts, Gen. Petraeus really knows what he’s doing when dealing with terrorists and insurgents. He wrote or rewrote the book on counterinsurgency tactics. He might do well in the next couple of months with the terrorists reportedly already in a state of disarray and popular sympathies in Iraq very much against them.

    BTW, what have you got against Karen Hughes? She seems like a nice, relatively competent person.



    We already blew it.

    Cut our losses.


    PS: It’s astonishing that you would [rightly] equate Iraq with Vietnam, and then conclude that we must stay.

    It’s hypocritical and contradictory.

    You might wanna go back and imagine this is say, 1964 or so:



    Try again.


    re: “America Becomes the World’s Joke”

    I’m so tired of hearing this childish, irrational appeal to cheap emotions.

    In reality, you’re saying we’ll gladly sacrifice 3000+ Americans to save face on the international playground.

    This is such a bullshit point. It’s another media/pundit ABSTRACTION that is meaningless in the larger scheme of things.


    1) America became the “world’s joke” when we re-elected George Bush.

    2) We’ve been the “world’s joke” before; many times. But people forget jokes as often as they forget punch lines.

    3) Who cares what “the world” thinks of us?

    4) And if one does care, here’s a way to restore a HUGE amount of American credibility among the international community: impeach Bush, send his entire administration staff to Guantanamo, and ‘legally’ torture them by playing Kanye West CDs at 4,000 decibels while flushing Bibles down their toilets.

  • Bliffle

    Karen Hughes? What a two-faced twerp! After 911 she gives a belligerent speech telling every US citizen they have to stick to their jobs and work hard to defeat terrorism, then she quits HER job because she prefers Texas to DC! Apparently, the DC private schools for her over-privileged sprat are not good enough! Everything she’s done since then demonstrates her ignorance and arrogance.

    She’s a political appointee who’s done nothing to earn her luxurious pay.

  • troll

    come up with a alternative energy approach allowing the developing countries of the world access and you won’t have to worry a whole lot about reputation

  • Bliffle

    Mark is channeling Nixon, methinks.

    Next, from beyond the grave comes the “secret plan” for “peace with honor”.

    Mark is not a crook.

  • troll

    Nixon was a bourbon drinker wasn’t he – ?

  • Nancy

    Shark’s got it right, IMO. No more American blood for Bush’s ego & Cheney’s ambitions. Appealing to our collective macho pride over our macho-shithead military rep is cheap Bush-shit Rovian tactics. Bush/Cheney have already proven they don’t care how many Americans die as long as they (B/C) achieve their goals – which have NOTHING in them for the common people of the US or anywhere else. They’re just cannon fodder for BushCo.

  • Bliffle

    If Mark wants truth he should switch to wine.

  • Here’s what I have against Karen Hughes: she is largely responsible for creating the Bush mythology–“compassionate conservative”, “not a nation-builder”, “a uniter, not a divider” and all the rest of the lies and spin that helped lead too many down the garden path. She is guilty of putting her personal ambition, politics and party ahead of principles, the American people and patriotism, to the detriment of the country and world.

    What to do with the Middle East? A land war in any part of Asia is doomed to fail, and our convential forces–far from home–can have only very limited and temporary success against guerilla-style fighters defending their home territories. My suggestion is to start fighting their fanatical religious views and inherently violent culture in Iraq and throughout the Middle East by offering them something new to think about–western ideas and popular culture. Let’s take 10% of the billions lost there, according to auditors, by waste and graft and spend it on CDs and DVDs and players for every family. Let’s give them some Elvis, Beatles, 50s & 60s rock ‘n roll, Doobie Brothers, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, jazz, blues, Gershwin–you name it. (They’re probably not ready for metal, disco, or rap yet). Let’s give them some DVDs of the best films and TV shows of the last 30 years, that have the power to touch human feelings, and make people think. Let’s saturate their medieval thinking with something different–plant some seeds of humanity and weed out their cultism and hatred. Seriously, unless we can get some fresh ideas and modern outlook into that region with a CULTURAL revolution, we’re just going to be fighting the same battles there and world-wide forever. Negative propaganda is a powerful tool; why not try some positive propaganda? It might work better–and be safer and cheaper– than bombs and bullets. Honestly, do we have anything to lose?

  • Nancy

    Part of the problem IS the perceived American culture – unfortunately, it’s the American trash that gets exported: the MTV videos, the bottom-feeding TV shows like Sex & The City, the violent & sex-ridden movies, etc. not to mention the incessant & pervasive advertising & “product placement”, which is what they object to, & I don’t blame them because I loathe it, too. Turn on the TV and on just about any channel except Sesame Street all there is is sex & violence, weapons, crime, & explosions. Everybody is thin, beautiful – and RICH. All the characters wear nice clothes, live in nice houses, & have loads of “Things” including fast expensive cars. Compared with the standard of living of most of the rest of the world, is it any wonder they think we’re all pigs? TV & movies portray us all as nothing but. Watch TV with a judicious eye & tell me the image you get of the average American is not one of someone well-off, spoiled, materialistic, selfish, hedonistic, violent,& no mental or spiritual qualities to speak of – or someone who’s a total idiot. We’ve already exported American culture worldwide, thanks to our ever-greedy multinational corporations & MSM “entertainment” channels. So no one ever sees the good side of Americans, or that most of us do NOT wear designer dresses & Manolo Blahnick 6″ high heels, weigh 110 lbs, & have exciting high-paid jobs & fast cars, or live in McMansions & carry guns under our jackets all the time.

  • Bliffle, I’m shocked that you’re shocked. Channeling Nixon–good one. And I do have a secret plan but I’m not sharing.

    Shark, you missed part of what I was saying, which isn’t unusual for you. Have you ever just had a conversation with someone, on a civil basis, without letting your 13 year-old’s testosterone get the better of you?

    RE: Vietnam, just as there are similarities with Vietnam, there’s a huge difference. Everyone in the world except some Americans knew Viet Nam was a joke/nightmare; With Iraq, there really are terrorists out there who want your balls for breakfast. Define strategically what it means to cut our losses, and then let’s look at it. If what you mean is you’re tired of war, then your argument holds little weight.

    But that would require some thought, and I haven’t seen much of that from you.

    Oh and Bliffle–I drink lots of wine, so there –but me heart’s in the old country.

    Nancy, did it sound like I was talking bullshit macho pride as the reason for not just packing up? It’s not a matter of pride, it’s a matter of power and influence–and if you don’t think those are important in the world today…we’re on different ones, I fear. I do agree with you that America’s marketing of itself through the media is a big part of the problem.

    Dave, Petraeus does seem better than most of the baloney sandwiches we’ve sent over there, and I hope he can figure out a way to win this thing. I was referring to people, such as the other one’s commenting, who are so pissed at Bush for involving us in this mess (and I share their anger) that they can’t see beyond that.

    As for Hughes, any friend of Bushes ain’t no friend of mine…well, no, it’s just that she has no qualifications or expertise for her new role. I didn’t attack her but the notion that she has the slightest knowledge of public diplomacy. She certainly was a political wizard with Busher.

    Actually, Lee does a good job of explaining my disenchantment with the Hughes announcement. I don’t think it’s going to do anything in the short run, but it’s a better long-term approach than we’ve ever taken.

    Phew. For Bliffle,

    In Vino Veritas

  • Then start with Sesame Street; begin somewhere, anywhere to bring them out of the grasp of perverted religious, educational, social and political systems, into a cultural marketplace where things like this CAN be discussed and debated.

  • Nancy

    first we’d have to bar or restrict negative trash from being beamed out, & that won’t happen.

  • Then, Nancy, what WILL happen, I’m afraid, is multiple 9-11s in the West for years to come. To keep doing the same thing that doesn’t have a chance of working is Bushism at its finest.

  • dee

    Mark – what are you waiting for, go sign up at your local recruitment office and go over to Iraq and get blown up. Give me a break with your “I’m sorry we can’t leave Iraq” bullshit. Our presence their MAKES IT WORSE so I opine, we have to leave, and we have to leave right now. If you didn’t support the war in the beginning as you claim, then you can’t support staying there a day longer and supporting a war that you didn’t support in the beginning. We’re screwed either way because what he have done is install a pro-Iranian regime. Was that our goal? To install a regime that is closer to our arch enemy. What a joke this war is. What a disaster. Circumstances are similar to WWII, Germany is Iran, and Iraq will soon be Austria Hungary, get ready for the real war that is coming soon.

  • Baronius

    Mark, there’s so much in this article that I disagree with. But your conclusion is sound. In any war, you fight to win or you don’t fight at all.

    I’m not surprised that Specter is making a politically expedient, dumb move. Warner surprises me.

  • Baronius, even I don’t agree with me. I hate that position, but merge diplomacy and foreign affairs with outrage and you create a worse disaster.

    Impeach & convict Bush — the new prez could pull us out in 5 minutes. But given the realities on the ground — not what we want, but what is — we’re choosing between two evils.

    That’s what makes this so awful. It’s easy to see the world as simply as Shark, Dee, and Bliffle. But they’re making a tragic logical error: You have a choice — you know the consequences of one option and you don’t like them so you select the other. That’s not what I’d call real smart. What are consequences of the second option? Which are worse in all their manifestations? But that requires too much thought and controlling anger, which some people are incapable of.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Martin Lav

    There’s only one way out of this mess IMO


    Apologize to the world and ask for their help and support.

  • Clavos

    Apologize to the world and ask for their help and support.

    Good one, martin!

    Funniest line I’ve seen on these threads in a long time!

  • Martin Lav

    I know it sounds oh so…..pacifying liberal… but BUSH 1 succeeded quite well with IRAQ 1 and I think even the ISG recommended this course.

    1. Impeach BushCo.
    2. Create a true coalition
    3. Engage the Iranians
    4. Increase Troops Dramatically

  • Bliffle

    BushCo is now playing the hand of a bad bluffer, pushing all his own chips into the pot and begging to borrow from other people. He cannot call because he has a busted hand, he cannot check because his play is premised on a bluff, so he must try to raise the pot to avoid being called. But it’s hopeless since the twitches and sweating underneath his bullying attitude belie the fake boldness he tries to bludgeon the other players with. He is lost, probably will be hounded from office and scorned in public life, like Nixon. Hopefully, Cheney will disappear with him, just like Agnew.

    Don’t bet your personal welfare on Bushes continuing ability to bluff. He’s no better at bluffing than he was at running an oil company.

    Don’t bet the nations welfare on Bushes ability to bluff. Just because he fooled us gullible, hopeful Americans for a few months doesn’t mean he can fool anyone else.

  • Bliffle

    Mark: put down that glass of Kool-aid and have a nice glass of Bandol instead. It’ll clear your head.

    This is uproarious: “Dave, Petraeus does seem better than most of the baloney sandwiches we’ve sent over there, and I hope he can figure out a way to win this thing.”

    Petraeus has been in charge of training the Iraqi Military for a couple years, and now they’ve become even better at bombing Iraqi hospitals, impersonating soldiers with stolen US uniforms, and killing US soldiers. In no way has he developed a competent loyal Iraqi corps.

    Are you sufficiently deluded by unwarranted hope that you are ready to put your money on this horse? I assert that your desperate hope is engendered by the usual Bushco method of repetitive lies. What accomplishment of Petraeus can you point to? What famous battle?

    This is the same General who wrote the “C.I.” book and said it will take 120,000 troops to pacify Baghdad and vietnamese the government there. Now, apparently for a 4th star and improved retirement benefit, he has bowed to the Bush-mandated 20,000 to be achieved only by extending service stays.

    If Petraeus is the Moses to lead us out of this desert why wasn’t he put in charge 3 years ago? Why not 4 years ago? Why was he passed up then? Was it his disagreeable estimate of 120,000 troops? Did he get “Shinsekied”?

    Do you think a General who meekly accepted the imperative of a bunch of untrained civilians (proven failures) to cut his requirements by 80% is brave enough to standup to Shiite and Sunni insurgents?

    If Petraeus had held his ground against BushCo don’t you think he would already have been Shinsekied?

    Looks to me like just another BushCo opportunist gettin’ a battlefield promotion while the gettin’s good.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    Your enemy is not Iraq – and it never was. Your enemy is Saudi Arabia, and the network of terror it has spawned – using the money you spend to fill up your car with gasoline.

    The answer is not to sit in Iraq for ever and ever. Pull out of Sunni-land and let the bastards stew in their own juice, nuke Riyadh and occupy Saudi oil fields.

    Then, ditch Bush, Cheney and any other bastard from the CFR you want, shoot the assholes, and get on with the business of speaking softly and beating the shit out of everybody with your big nuclear stick.

    Follow my strategy and you’ll have the Persians shitting in their pants, the Russians thinking very carefully about whether they really want Moscow and St. Petersburg to be nuclear glass, and the Chinese asking if they can buy any more dollars from you.

    You want to be a great power, then sometimes you have to act like a great power and be a brutal, murderous double-crossing son of a bitch – just like your government has been to us for the last 35 years.

    Otherwise kids, hang up your balls and let the Chinks run the world… They can’t wait.


    Schannon: “Shark, you missed part of what I was saying, which isn’t unusual for you. Have you ever just had a conversation with someone, on a civil basis, without letting your 13 year-old’s testosterone get the better of you?”

    As usual, your reaction to my reaction is an overreaction. I didn’t insult you;

    I made a very valid point (but you missed part of what I was saying):

    SHARK: “it’s astonishing that you would [rightly] equate Iraq with Vietnam, and then conclude that we must stay. Imagine it’s 1964…”

    Here’s some data to ponder about VIETNAM:

    American Troops Killed In action = 1,864
    American troops in Vietnam = 26,500

    American troops KIA = 58,169
    American troops in Vietnam = 440,000

    Geopolitical Result = NADA, Nothing, zip, zilch, doodly-squat

    Had we left in 1964, we could have SAVED some 57,000 AMERICAN LIVES.

    They died for nothing — except maybe for a few Presidents to avoid becoming “the World’s Joke”.

    And Schannon, AT THE TIME, millions of people were saying the same shit you’re saying here.

    They were wrong then.

    You are wrong now.


    My second point, said without any “13 year old testosterone”, was this:

    “..In reality, you’re saying we’ll gladly sacrifice 3000+ Americans to save face on the international playground. This is such a bullshit point. It’s another media/pundit ABSTRACTION that is meaningless in the larger scheme of things…”

    IE. “Saving face” on the international stage — especially at the cost of American lives — is a ridiculous, meaningless ABSTRACTION.

    Comprende, comrade?


    Schannon, I’m also implicitly making the point that you should use yer head once in a while, Question The Status Quo, try not to replay shit you heard on TV or read in the news.

    Try, every now and then, to think some original thoughts.


  • dee

    Mark – Please, I’m offended that you think I’m such a simple man, I don’t have the blinders on, I know the world is a complicated place, nothing pisses me off more that someone who feels the need to tell me I don’t get it, I get it.. Let me be clear, I think our presence feeds the fire, therefore if we pull out, I think things would get better, 70% of Iraqis think its OK to kill Americans, how can you defend staying there with that statistic? Its not that I don’t like the idea that if we stay more will die for sure, I honestly think that we being there is the major problem, inciting violence. I believe if we left it would get better, there would be a winner in the civil war, and either way will have created an Iranian ally. We can disagree about consequences if we stayed or left but please don’t question my intelligence. Also, what do you base your opinion on what would happen if we left on? I hope your not listening to what Bush has said, “if you think its bad now, if we pulled out now” bullshit.. this man has been wrong on pretty much every aspect of this war, he thinks it would get worse if we left, I would bet on the opposite given his track record so far… its a no brainer…

  • Marcia L. Neil

    The United States once again becomes the ethical standard, using brain scans to match both sets of soldiers as carriers of historical baby palm tree data lodged in the area of the brain which stores plant images — ‘Special Forces’ who should have been weeded out from tour assignments before they traveled overseas. If not fighting, instead floods, earthquakes and tsumanis? We have the psychological tools to prevent such calamity.

  • Bliffle

    Mark, “It’s easy to see the world as simply as Shark, Dee, and Bliffle. ”

    It doesn’t appear simple at all. In fact, it’s always seemed complex, nuanced, even, though the very idea was roundly ridiculed by BushCo and various BC sycophants. They believed they had simplified everything and eliminated all nuances with Brute Force. But what they have discovered, on their On The Job Training (OJT), is that even Brute Force works better with planning, forethought, and a Real Strategy.

    Had Bushco employed the thoughtful, foreward looking analysis of many others, they would have realized the danger of playing Bull to the AQ/Iran matador: the bull seldom wins.

    But the onrushing Bush cannot change his pitiful ‘strategy’, which is no strategy at all, but an ill conceived ideology born not of study and thought but of naivete and laziness. Indeed, his adherents celebrate their heedlessness and single-mindedness.

    This is how it will end: frustrated by his increasing failures in Iraq and increasing insolence of Iran, Bush will look to his one success: his domination of the cowardly US Congress, afraid to upset the applecart because they imagine losing the nourishing teat of easy government corruption. The flaccid congress will spread it’s cheeks again and accede to suspending the 2008 elections for National Security reasons.

    Or perhaps BushCo will simply kick the responsibility down the road to the next administration, in their usual irresponsible way. Just like the enormous deficits that will severely hobble the US government (as their beloved guru, Grover Norquist, intended) so that even the traditional glamorous defense industry becomes too much burden to finance.

    Emboldened by the successes of his war against the USA even as he loses in Iraq, BushCo will command B2 bombers to fly constant readiness flights over the ME, particularly Iran. Irans leadership, not willing to show timidity in the face of US demands, will start to ‘paint’ the B2 targets. An uneasy balance will prevail for some period of time, then some trivial event will upset the balance and Iran will shootdown a B2. Or, perhaps a B2 will fire a tactical nuke ‘in self-defense’. Whatever. Massive incineration by nukes will occur quickly on several continents.

    I will be quickly vaporized, since I live in the bullseye of every maniacs favorite nuke target. Probably by a containerized nuke in the wonderful Oakland port where importing cheap WalMart goods from China is too economically important to slowdown with inspections. We can die happy knowing that the Sam Walton estate maximized its net asset value right up to the moment it was vaporized. There’s a silver lining in every mushroom cloud.

    Goodbye cruel world. Thank you, I had a good time and I hope to never return.

    Where will YOU be?

    Will you survive? Think carefully where you want to be, for the living shall envy the dead, as they say.

    Am I wrong to consider such a possibility? Is it a downer? Do you think it would sap The Troops willingness to die for whatever they imagine they are fighting for, for whatever reason they’ve been given?

    Gee, it just sounds like the scenarios we used to chase out to their conclusion when I worked in Electronic Counter Measures 40 years ago in defense thinktanks. We informally shared the conceit that the more thorough our considerations the more intimidating our ECM and the more intimidated the commies would be. Because we had an advantage over the commies: we were free enough, and bold enough, to consider scenarios that the commies could not because they were not PC in their orthodoxy. Boldness shall make you free. Boldness of thought.

    But these days it is the US defense strategists who are severely constrained by PC orthodoxy. It is our strategists who have been Shinsekized to tame their bravery and chain them to the yoke so that they may more quickly and accurately “go to the mark” as Wolfowitz might say.

    Have a good day!


    Marcia L. Neil: “…brain scans to match both sets of soldiers as carriers of historical baby palm tree data lodged in the area of the brain which stores plant images…”

    Wow. Great stuff! Sounds like it’s right out of my favorite book, Maldoror!

    If I didn’t know better, I’d swear the late, great Isidore Ducasse had access to the internet.

  • MCH

    “We need to send in more troops, flood the country, train the Iraqis (with modern equipment, not donkey carts), set measurable goals for the Iraqi government, and define win in a way that others will understand it…”
    – Mark Schannon

    Hey Schannon…any chance of seeing you over there?

  • Wow, nice paranoid fantasy spinning back there in #28. Did that all come to you in a dream or did an angel reveal it, bliffle?


  • Martin Lav

    By the way Dave…….what makes you think the Iranians are any more of a threat than Iraq was/is?

  • What an ugly mess this comment thread has turned into. We all consider ourselves rational, intelligent, thoughtful people (some of us are incredibly good looking to,) but we can’t discuss, all we can do is let our anger be our guide–and I throw me in that mess with the rest. It’s odd, we tend to think that the more angry we are, the more we’re not just parroting “the establishment’s message.”

    So…I will try to walk my talk.

    First of all, my position, over the past few days, has shifted. Check out the Washington Post today, front page story on national intelligence report, and then Charles Krauthammer (I don’t know how you spell it)op ed.

    Those two articles have got my brain spinning. I find it hard to believe we don’t have people with the intelligence to map out a realistic withdrawal or engagement policy. Maybe we do and Bush et al. crush them like they did the intelligence estimates about WMD.

    I also worry — a lot — about having strengthened Iran & Syria through this stupid war, not to mention creating a new training ground for terrorists in Iraq. I don’t think Bliffle’s #28 is all paranoid fantasy — it’s a little paranoid, but sometimes paranoids are right.

    The ultimate problem is Bush — we can spout off all we want, but his unbelievable ability to pick the wrong people for the job never ends. But given that we’ve got to live with him, what does a coherent exit strategy look like?

    I don’t think he or his people have the ability to do it without damaging this country for decades, but that’s an awfully dumb reason for staying there, I admit.

    The trouble is I can sketch out my own paranoid fantasy if we leave as clumsily as I’m sure Bush would. Bliffle, I live about 2 miles from the CIA, so we can go merrily together when we go…

    Worse, I can see an exit strategy without Bush, but, not being a military expert, I can’t see a winning strategy for staying. Trouble is I can’t see a viable exit strategy with Bush.

    Anyway. My apologies to all for letting my own anger control my brain. Comments, anyone?

  • troll

    to come out of this with anything resembling a positive result we need to completely change the game – hence my recommendation that we turn away from military options…America can be great without them if that is the concern

  • JR

    Mark Shannon: Trouble is I can’t see a viable exit strategy with Bush.

    This is the key truth the nation has to face. We need to get rid of Bush.

    Here’s what we should do: We put Clinton back in office, as he is the only man alive to have successfully served two terms as president. He gets the office only for the remainder of Bush’s term, and he can’t run or serve for any additional terms. We give him the same authority to use force in Iraq as was given Bush; but if he decides he needs to send troops into another country, he has to go to Congress.

    Clinton can appoint whomever he wants, with the exception of any present or future candidates for the 2008 presidential election. Since the express purpose is to find a solution to the Iraq crisis and not to shift the political balance of power on domestic issues, it will be agreed that Clinton will not introduce or promote any domestic legislation. Domestic bills that do come up must be approved by two-thirds of the Congress before being signed into law by Clinton.

    At the end of two years, either he will have come up with a plan that is working and can be continued by the next president, or that person has a shot at resolving the issue.

    The important thing now is to hand power over to someone, anyone, who at least has a chance of getting us out this mess. It is clear now that Bush is not that person.

  • Martin Lav

    I don’t think we have any choice, but to impeach him and I don’t say that out of anger.

    I think we have to vindicate our American values, by being able to admit we are wrong and by excercising our democratic system and changing our leader mid-stream.

    This event can show the world that our system works and makes sense.

    We employ the best in American advertising and we “sell” a exit strategy to the world.

    We work with other nations to create a true global coalition of peace builders and rebuild the infrastructure of Iraq.

    Let all those participating, recieve future rights to cheap oil and guarantee’s on their investment.

    Bring in Iran and Syria.

    Get Israel to abide by their agreements.

  • troll

    remove both B and C and P is the P…I’m not sure that I could take the never ending caught in the headlights smile

    and as I’ve written before the short term solution to the war is to privatize it (even more than it is already)

    let well paid mercs (500,000 of ’em might be enough) make the streets of Basra and Baghdad safe at big oil’s expense

    the US could then spend its treasure on alternative energy r&d and freedom from the bullshit

  • Martin Lav

    Pelosi or whomever……our current President has ZERO credibility with 70% of the US and about 90% of the rest of the Globe.

    We have to remove him, to get anything started.

    We should have in ’04, but too many chickenhawks/shits went for the bait and didn’t watch the debates.

    Anyways……we have to stop putting so much emphasis on our Presidents position, I mean how much power does one man need? (Chavez exempted).

  • troll

    sedition alert – (avert your eyes if you don’t want to be tarnished)

    impeachment is a long drawn out process…you will need to find some other means –

  • Martin Lav

    Well if he had any common decency he would resign as he has spent all the “capital” he thinks he earned after his last election.
    He has rendered himself useless and the only right thing to do would be to step down and therefore he will have finally done something for his:


  • Alas but troll is right. Impeachment & Conviction is long and drawnout–as it should be, except when you want to move quickly, LOL.

    JR, interesting idea, but I think you run into mountains of constitutional issue. The only way to get Clinton in the mix is, Busher resigns; Cheney appoints Clinton VP (not sure if that’s constitution–Pres. are only allowed 2 terms.) Then Cheney resigns & Clinton is Pres.

    This is where some goo PR/Public Diplomacy might help — radical Shiites killing less radical Shiites? I mean, do we share any DNA with these people at all. Could be embarrass them — tentative answer. We couldn’t, E.U. probably couldn’t, Arab world probably could…like that’s about to happen.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • JR

    A president can be persuaded to resign if he is convinced that he faces criminal charges and that by resigning he can avoid going to jail. This worked for Nixon. However, there is the problem with this president of getting him to recognize the reality of his situation. Who would have thought somebody would come along and make Nixon look completely sane?

    Hmmm,… what does it take to have the president committed?

  • Baronius

    ‘We employ the best in American advertising and we “sell” a exit strategy to the world.’

    Surrender is surrender. The world isn’t stupid. If we walk away, as Mark said (or used to say), we’ll be perceived as weak. Never mind perception; we’d be weak. I find it disingenuous to claim that we can spin our way out of a war.

  • The administration spun it’s way into it, but with all their incompetence I highly doubt they could extract U.S. the same way.

    On the matter of world perception, especially in the Middle East…it just can’t get much worse than it is…we are already perceived as weak and a paper tiger, rightfully so…Taliban on the rise, and the entire mess in Iraq…even N Korea thumbing their little noses at U.S.

    That is the “Bush Legacy”, the diminishing of U.S. in terms of the worlds view on our “power”

    the Tao of D’oh

  • Martin Lav

    ” I find it disingenuous to claim that we can spin our way out of a war.”

    – Baronius

    Why not we spun our way into it….

    – Martin Lav

  • MCH

    Re #31 by Vox Populi;

    “Wow, nice paranoid fantasy spinning back there in #28. Did that all come to you in a dream or did an angel reveal it, bliffle?”
    – Dave

    Maybe it was the same angel who gave you permission to forge Vox Populi’s name, ehe Nalle…?


    I really don’t see any problem with just up and leaving Iraq;

    re: civil war — big deal. shiites killing sunnis killing shiites; sounds like a win-win to me; besides, these ancient tribal things have to work themselves out. NO OUTSIDE pressure [short of a huge international peacekeeping force] can stop one of these things. People either get tired of the slaughter and madness — or they kill off one side.

    re: “losing face” with the world – that’s just an abstraction meant to sell you something using guilt and pride; I really don’t think it’s a REAL ‘thing’ — but only an empty concept. And as D’oh says, “Can the perception of the US get much worse?” I actually think a mea culpa and a seeya later to the entire Middle East could boost the world’s view of USA. And it would really help if we would get rid of Bush; he is loathed and disrespected almost universally, from the Middle East to our European “pals”.

    I keep thinking this face-saving shit is really some meaningless, immature, high school-kinda sentiment; like some guy’s whippin my ass on the playground, and even tho I’m losing teeth, my friends keep saying, “Stay in and fight; keep at it! You don’t want to appear weak!” — at some point, I don’t give a shit HOW I APPEAR, unless my appearance greatly affects my ability to chew my food. Ya follow me?

    [Personal anecdote warning: I’m kinda gettin’ old — and I’m lucky enough to be at an age when I DON’T CARE what people think of me. It’s all about being comfortable and pragmatic. And America is over 200 years old, so y’know…]

    re: A terrorist headquarters/training ground – we’re currently providing that, ala Afghanistan circa1980s — so again, I don’t know if it can get worse. Best Case in a bad case sense: Iraq turns into a taliban-like hotbed, they strike US citizens, we can prove it, and we end up with a “state” to go after as opposed to some slippery dudes in the mountains of Pakistan.

    And jeesus, I wish people would stop tossing out these abstract concepts without thinking of the reality of the situation: Islamic terrorists have about a gazillion ways they can fuck with the U.S., and it really doesn’t take a ‘headquarters’, “training”, massive input from Iran/Syria, etc. etc. A relatively smart person could cripple a major US city by tinkering in his garage.

    We’ve also lost sight of the fact that “police” and intelligence work is STILL the best way to stop terrorists; see England for more. [btw: Bush, et al tainted the “police” thing early on — painting Kerry, Dems, liberals, et al as pussies for not sending in the fuckin’ Marines every time a Cartoon network set up a marketing campaign.

    Here’s a thought: WHY NOT TRY “PULLING BACK” FROM IRAQ? See what happens.

    I really don’t think we’ll see a big difference; we just remove ourselves from the equation, and quite frankly, I’d love to see what an interesting equation would evolve. A civil war among Arabs could be a really good thing on some levels.

  • troll

    worth repeating – SHARK says – *We’ve also lost sight of the fact that “police” and intelligence work is STILL the best way to stop terrorists*

  • On “civil” wars

    Just for SHARK, Here’s the lyrics for the entire album, you want the song “Right in Two”…but the lyrics for “Vicarious” are VERY apropos to the entire situation…

    Just for you Sharkie-poo, anybody else I make look shit up.


  • Baronius

    D’oh and Martin, you used the same comeback, but neither of you addressed the point I was making. You don’t spin your way out of a war.

  • Will you posit that we spun into the invasion?

    And yes, you can get out of a war with diplomacy and the same kind of marketing techniques that were used to get in.

    Do I think that’s the best answer? Probably not, but it IS possible.

    Since day one, NO ONE has laid out definitive “victory conditions”, and W has stated repeatedly that Iraq was something the next president would have to deal with.

    So, what are we going to call “victory”? How much are we willing to spend on it? The current $10 million an HOUR is unsustainable, and has left Iraq worse than when we got there.

    Today’s intel report shows things as MUCH worse than we have been lead to believe, so what needs to be determined is what our our goals framed by security and national interests, OURS!

    Until that has all been settled, any talk of “victory”, or even a proper end to all this shit, is premature at best and delusional at least.

  • troll

    Baronious – SOP is when you loose you surrender

    you imply that there is a winning strategy – did I miss your plan – ?

  • JR

    Baronius: I find it disingenuous to claim that we can spin our way out of a war.

    Martin Lav: Why not we spun our way into it….

    I suspect Iraq is more like a pregnant woman than like a light bulb.

  • “Pres. are only allowed 2 terms.”

    Or 10 years.

  • Baronius

    D’oh – look up the word “posit”.

  • Baronius

    Troll – look up the word “loose”.

  • Baronius – here you go.

    posit – 1. To assume the existence of; postulate. See Synonyms at presume.
    2. To put forward, as for consideration or study; suggest: “If a book is hard going, it ought to be good. If it posits a complex moral situation, it ought to be even better” (Anthony Burgess).
    3. To place firmly in position.

    Your point?

  • troll

    thanks for the correction…I meant luz of course

  • Since day one, NO ONE has laid out definitive “victory conditions”, and W has stated repeatedly that Iraq was something the next president would have to deal with.

    Eternal war HAS no victory conditions. It goes on forever and becomes the central focus of society.


  • Ah, so it is your contention that we are entered into eternal warfare? Or are you just being snarkier than usual?

    for you, Dave.

  • MCH

    “Eternal war HAS no victory conditions. It goes on forever and becomes the central focus of society.”
    – Dave Nalle

    Did you steal that from Vox Populi?

  • Clavos

    emmy’s so thrilled he’s learned a phrase in Latin he can’t stop repeating it usque ad nauseam.

    de asini umbra disceptare, emmy.

  • MCH


    No, just pointing out the hypocrisy of Nalle for trying to get away with an alias, after condemning others for the same thing.


    Dear D’oh,

    Please read my comment about your new YouTube obsession in “No One Died In Iraq Today.”



    PS: Nalle, I really think you’ve lost it lately. Maybe a nervous breakdown? Seriously, you don’t sound good, dude. Maybe you should take some time off the internet.

    I really like you as an opponent, but lately, you’re sound like a hallucinating street preacher.

  • Bliffle

    Shark: Dave hasn’t changed, but the positions he’s forced to defend have become more untenable. As GWB advances his Full Spectrum Global Control agenda the possible rationales become more absurd. Once plausible policy defenses become laughably implausible.

    The USA has few options left to save the situation. Continuing BushCo policies just paints us into a smaller, more perilous, corner. It’s best to take action sooner rather than later. Impeachment CAN be a slow clumsy process, especially since the whole team must be fired, but it must be contemplated. But that may cause Bush supporters to lose too much face (and ‘face’ seems to be of supreme importance to those folk, along with a few other mysterious notions) and they would rather invoke a mutual death spiral than admit personal failures.

    Scapegoating is a time-honored way to solve a mismanagement problem like this. Heap all the blame on one guy then fire him and his cohorts. Anyone who’s been through a big corporate shakeup knows that this is a wonderful opportunity to dump all the failings of the corp on the guy, fire all the ‘failures’, even if they’re just personal enemies, take a big one-time loss on the financial statement, and assert a new hopeful strategy for the future. Some companies, like airlines, do this every few years. It becomes routine housekeeping.

    An honorable man would scapegoat himself, as Eisenhower did on D-day (preparing his written mea culpa in advance) and the U2 incident (where it would have been easy to exculpate himself, he had thorough Plausible Deniability).

    But, lacking Honor, an alternative is to hound a defective manager from office. We’ve all seen this in various companies we’ve worked within. Some guy earns the enmity of an important person and forever after is blamed for everything that goes wrong until he voluntarily resigns under the burden of hatred and guilt. Nixon is a good example. So is LBJ. Sometimes responsibility has to be stretched a lot, sorta the way we stretched 911 to blame Saddam Hussein.

    Of course, if the malefactor dies from natural causes or otherwise, all the blame can be heaped on him posthumously. E.g., Krushevs denunciation of Stalin allowed K to radically alter failed policy and divert blame from communism to a Personality Cult. He learned from the Bolsheviks, who did the same to the Csar and Romanoffs.

    Obviously, we cannot expect GWB to fall on his sword. That would be the honorable thing to do. He did not have the advantage Ike had of losing badly (at Casserain, to Rommel) and having to redeem himself. GWBs dad rescued him so he wouldn’t have to pay the consequences. A big mistake, though understandable.

    No, I’m afraid the only solution is to hound GWB and cohorts from office, and quickly. Part of that effort has to be to stop using quibbles and outright lies to defend these jerks. And we have to stop subverting the legal system in defense of characters who don’t deserve such extreme defense.

    Gee, this reminds me of the Nixon collapse, when more and more crookedness was uncovered, and more and more Nixon supporters peeled away and abandoned The Cause, not because they were intimidated, but because they were disgusted, finally.

  • Ah, so it is your contention that we are entered into eternal warfare? Or are you just being snarkier than usual?

    I’m increasingly convinced that we’re engaged in a war which has been going on without us being consciously aware of it for thousands of years. I think the war actually predates Islam and goes back to the wars between the Persians and the Greeks. There have been long periods of relative inactivity, but the basic cultural differences which have motivated the war never really go away and the long-term resentments are carried over from generation to generation. Perhaps not so much on our side in the war – which is a characteristic of our culture – but certainly on the opposing side. One of the reasons so many today don’t realize that this eternal war exists is that our culture constantly reinvents itself, while the culture of the east constantly looks backwards. We think we’re involved in a conflict which originated with territorial reallocation in the aftermath of WW2. They think they’re avenging the Siege of Acre and a thousand other wrongs done by people we don’t even realize they think we’re the successors of.


  • Hmmm…

    Sixty comments ago I pointed out where your real enemy lies – the Wahhabi and their spore. If you want to get rid of cancer, you go for the actual root of the metastasis, and you don’t waste your time on side issues.

    It ain’t original, but it is the truth. But you guys in America don’t want to even think about the truth, you’re so busy with the bullshit that you’re being fed, and the bullshit that you are tossing in each other’s faces.

    Look, kids. Three thousand casualties over four years is not that much, especially compared to the millions you all have in the States.

    From my neighboring village of ‘Eli, three people died fighting in Lebanon – not that much – until you figure out that for every Israeli there are fifty Americans. So the little village down the road lost – in terms of America’s population, 150 dead. We lost, when compared to the bunch of blind wusses in the States, 100 casualties of our population – 5,000 dead when compared to America’s population. And we lost them all in three fuckin’ weeks, not four years.

    Man, not only are you all soft, you’re also blind not to see who your real enemies are.

    Have a good week…

    May G-d open your eyes.

  • Sheesh Ruvy, don’t point out the statistical realities of the world. That’s the next best thing to genocide from the point of view of the radical lefties.


  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    Aside from you, it appears that nobody has noticed either comment #67 or comment #24. I would also point out troll’s comment #39.

    He provides a clear clue as to strategy for “regime change” – the kind that is truly needed in America; I provide the strategy for saving your butts from your own corporate thieves.

    I’m talking here not as an Israeli – my proposed policies do not necessarily benefit Israel, and can be worked to her detriment as well. But a true “regime change” in America will inspire one here as well. And Israel and America both badly need “regime change”.

  • D’oh

    Ruvy – could be due to the fact that most consider nuking anywhere to be nonsensical, and mass slaughter of innocents that come with such actions to be reprehensible.

    Now, tell me I am soft and blind.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    OK, D’oh,

    Do you have a better solution for getting rid of Riyadh than nuking it? Do you have a better solution for getting rid of the head of the Saudi snake that will not involve billions of dollars and thousands of soldiers for purposes of occupying a big city?

    If you do, do tell…

  • D’oh

    Ruvy – if required, a single bullet can do more than megatons of explosion and no innocents die.

    You make the assumption that something needs “getting rid of”.. and I do understand why, but just as good a case can be made about getting rid of Jerusalem, and how much good that could do the world.

    I wouldn’t advocate doing that either.

  • D’oh

    Just to clarify.. i meant the actual physical city of Jerusalem…NOT the people.

    Just for you, Ruvy…

    the Tao of D’oh.


    Dave Vox: “Sheesh Ruvy, don’t point out the statistical realities of the world.”

    Pathetic. Transparent. Cynical.

    Nalle is stroking Ruvy now that Dave Vox needs an ally and/or supporter. How far he’s fallen~

  • Ruvy, in America regime change isn’t necessarily policy change, especially where Israel is concerned. Unless we elect Pat Buchanan and he decides to nuke Israel just for fun, almost anyone we elect is going to continue more or less the same general kind of policy in the region. They may drop more bombs and spend more money while sending fewer troops, but so long as there’s a big Jewish voting block they’re not going to take a hard line with the Israeli government.


  • Lumpy

    I saw an interview yesterday with a former CIA mideast analyst who was positive that if we pull out of iraq then israel will almost immediately hit iran with several of their 200 plus nukes. How do we like that scenario?

  • Won’t the Iranians just reply with massive chemical/biological weapons and maybe a couple of nukes they bought somewhere that we don’t know about?

    The ensuing conflagration might solve a lot of problems for the US, but at a pretty horrid cost.


  • MCH

    “Won’t the Iranians just reply with massive chemical/biological weapons and maybe a couple of nukes they bought somewhere that we don’t know about?”
    – Dave (Vox Populi) Nalle

    I’ve seen figures similar to the ones Populi quotes.

  • MBD

    #75 — Dave Nalle:

    “Unless we elect Pat Buchanan and he decides to nuke Israel…”

    Buchanan nuke Israel?

    I watch the McLaughlin Group which has Buchanan on as a regular. I never heard him say anything to support what you say here.

  • That was in the nature of a kind of a joke, MBD. Bushanan does have an established reputation for being strongly anti-zionist and making some rather intemperate statements on the subject. He probably wouldn’t actually nuke Israel and he’ll never be president. The point was that more mainstream figures are unlikely to change our policy towards Israel.

  • MBD

    My take on Buchanan is that he is opposed to neo-conservatives. Is that what makes him anti-zionist?

  • buddyd

    I hate to tell you all but America is already the World’s joke. The size of the blunder that Bush has made is quite staggering. Post 9/11, America was the most sympathized-with Country in the world. Every rational human felt badly for America and was on their side.

    I have to say, the moment I knew we were fucked was about a week after the bombings when Cheney/Bush spoke. They had an opportunity in front of them. They could have told people, use this feeling of togetherness for positive change, help each other out, volunteer, show the terrorists that we’re a kind, compassionate people and that their bombings have had the opposite effect on our country, it’s better now than it ever has been.

    What did they say instead? Shop. Don’t forget to go to the malls, they’re safe…keep spending everyone!

    But the moment that Bushco started lying about WMD and the ‘dangers to the homeland’ from Saddam. feelings towards America changed from the world’s perspective…and they’ve done nothing but spiral down since.

    To those who don’t think that America needs to be favored in the eyes of the world, obviously you people have no understanding of history and how EVERY OTHER Empire crumbled…nor do you have any understanding of economics.