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Previewing the President’s Speech

I’m on the road and not sure I’ll have time to “live blog” the speech tonight.   So let me offer the wise thoughts of long-time GP commenter, V the K, who emailed me earlier today.

First, there is something deviously Rovian about the surge strategy.

The Surge strategy boxes in the Democrats, since they have only three alternatives: 1. They can reluctantly fund the surge, thus betraying their anti-war base. 2. They can oppose the Surge, but fund current levels, in which case critics can legitimately accuse the Democrats of leaving our troops in Iraq without giving them the resources to win. 3. The Democrats can force a withdrawal, and be rightfully blamed for losing the war.

Of course, there is a fourth option, the Democrats can put forth a strategy for winning the war. But this will not happen because Victory is not in the Democrat vocabulary.

Second, the Pentagon should re-think US military strategy in the aftermath of Iraq, with the understanding that due to media opposition to all US military action, and the opportunism of whatever political party is out of power in wartime, the US military must be prepared to win every war decisively within two years of the start of conflict: two years being the maximum amount of time public support can be relied upon.

If Bush had gone into Iraq in 2003 knowing that he had to do as much as he could and get out by 2005, the war would have been conducted in a very different way. Muqtada al Sadr, for example, would have been killed when he was still a small problem instead of allowed to metastasize into a big one. Iraqi military control would have been more quickly stood up, as another example.

I absolutely, completely, wholeheartedly agree with everything VdaK wrote.  That’s why I took the lazy way out and copied/pasted rather than write something original.   Joe Biden I’m not…. I give credit where its due!

[Related Stories:  What IS the Democrats’ Plan to Win the War on Terror?   Jules Crittenden and Sister Toldjah have separate thoughts.]

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

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20 Comments

  1. [...] ADDED: From a Gay Patriot commenter: First, there is something deviously Rovian about the surge strategy. [...]

    Pingback by Infidels Are Cool » Blog Archive » Tool Of War — January 10, 2007 @ 5:59 pm - January 10, 2007

  2. The “mistakes” in the war, I mean the real ones (not the baloney ones made-up by the Left), essentially come down to our military not killing enough. I hate to say it!

    But yeah… they should have killed Mookie in 2004… and done Fallujah in spring 2004, rather than November… and on and on. Just been very tough and made it clear they had to give up their weapons and play ball peacefully – or else.

    What I will be listening and hoping for tonight is:

    1) Real determination to win.
    2) Loosening the ROE. (rules of engagement, for you lefties)
    3) Doing something about Syria and Iran.

    But I expected to be disappointed on at least 2 of the 3.

    Comment by Calarato — January 10, 2007 @ 6:05 pm - January 10, 2007

  3. (“they” == the factions)

    Comment by Calarato — January 10, 2007 @ 6:08 pm - January 10, 2007

  4. Sad to say, the war can’t be “won” in any meaningful sense of the word at this point. 21,500 more troops aren’t going to make that much of a difference in the long run (and there won’t be more than that …. the Pentagon is already saying that this strategy could “break” the military for a year or two following the final withdrawal from Iraq). Rather, this has all the appearance of an act of complete political ass-coverage for the White House. Tragic, really, because more young Americans will die because the WH is trying to push the democrats into a political corner. Nice one, GWB.

    It’s a civil war now, folks, and part of a larger Sunni/Shi’a regional conflict that’s coming. No need for our young men and women to be in the middle of that for the long term.

    Comment by Novaseeker — January 10, 2007 @ 6:45 pm - January 10, 2007

  5. Thanks for the nod, GP.

    It’s very harmful to US interests in the long-term that both political parties have now learned that undermining support for a war when the other party is in power is an effective electoral strategy. I guess putting the interests of America ahead of one’s political power is too much to ask.

    I also have no doubt that current troop levels would be sufficient to wipe the floor with the Sunni and Shia terrorists … if only political correctness allowed them to.

    Comment by V the K — January 10, 2007 @ 6:50 pm - January 10, 2007

  6. #3 – Umm… Why can’t it be won? Seems like a rather huge assumption on your part.

    If U.S. forces and the Iraqi forces together simply turn on the different militias… that one action itself, right there, IS victory. Because it means the democratic government of Iraq has a monopoly on force within its territory. (One definition of a viable native government, and hence, victory.)

    Also, in case the media didn’t tell you, in the last 6-9 months the Sunni tribes have finally turned on al Qaeda in Iraq. So the extermination of al Qaeda in Iraq (Anbar province) is well within reach. (Another definition of victory.)

    And now what I came back to say: I wanted to leave for the evening on a positive note. How about… al Qaeda being completely routed in Somalia?

    A particular important victory in the worldwide information / psych war… because al Qaeda can no longer say “Remember how we drove the Americans from Somalia?” :-)

    Comment by Calarato — January 10, 2007 @ 6:55 pm - January 10, 2007

  7. ” 3. The Democrats can force a withdrawal, and be rightfully blamed for losing the war.”

    Sorry, but Bush and company did that when they decided to essentially stop looking for Bin Laden and invade Iraq. This was doomed from the start.

    Comment by Kevin — January 10, 2007 @ 7:13 pm - January 10, 2007

  8. I think it telling that V the K’s and GayPatriot’s concerns about the President’s “new” plan are primarily about its political impact on the GOP. Not whether sending more troops is a militarily feasible strategy for winning in Iraq. So much for “Supporting the Troops”. And blaming a loss in Iraq on the MSM is strictly laughable. Sorry, but as much as you want to make the MSM the primary cause of losing in Iraq, (and losing last November) they simply don’t have that much power.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-boot10jan10,1,3592996.column?coll=la-news-columns

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — January 10, 2007 @ 7:25 pm - January 10, 2007

  9. “If U.S. forces and the Iraqi forces together simply turn on the different militias… that one action itself, right there, IS victory. Because it means the democratic government of Iraq has a monopoly on force within its territory. (One definition of a viable native government, and hence, victory.)”

    But how do you suppose that would happen? The US will be allowed by Al-Maliki and the Iraqi government to take on the Shi’a militias? Highly doubtful, since Al-Sadr has folks in said government.

    The Iraqi military will take on the Shi’a militias? Uhhh … I don’t think so. Haven’t done much so far.

    The divide and conquer idea is a nice idea, but it assumes that the Iraqi government would want one side to take on the Shi’a militias, which it doesn’t. It wants the Shi’a militias to win, and it wants the US to help it do that.

    Comment by Novaseeker — January 10, 2007 @ 7:32 pm - January 10, 2007

  10. Unfortunately, Gryph, the source you cited admits that the media has deliberately engaged in “sensationalism”, has provided “biased, slipshod” news stories, and has “too much emphasis on American casualties and American abuses, both of which are low by historical standards”. But then it whines that that’s OK, because now the war has “caught up to media portrayals of it”.

    Now why on earth do you think the media would feel the need to deliberately bias their coverage in that fashion, Gryph?

    And do you think it might be possible that al-Qaeda and the other leftist groups that you support have figured out how to exploit that media bias to their own advantage — just as the Viet Cong exploited your Presidential candidate John Kerry and other Democrats to which he was playing like Jane Fonda?

    And finally, I seem to remember Gryph whining many moons ago that, when it was anti-Bush to do so, we needed more troops in Iraq, because that would help us quell the insurgency. Now, when it’s anti-Bush to say the opposite, he says the opposite.

    That’s why Cindy Sheehan and the rest of the left love people like Gryph; they know they can easily manipulate him into supporting anything, even if it’s supplying cash and support to terrorists, as long as it’s anti-Bush.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 10, 2007 @ 7:38 pm - January 10, 2007

  11. #7 – Gryph doesn’t get it. Nothing new there.

    Comment by V the K — January 10, 2007 @ 7:58 pm - January 10, 2007

  12. #5:

    I also have no doubt that current troop levels would be sufficient to wipe the floor with the Sunni and Shia terrorists … if only political correctness allowed them to.

    Just for once I wish you and the others who beat around the bush on this point would be honest and admit that you want a policy of scorched earth, saturation bombing and collective punsihment unleashed upon Iraq. All war crimes of course on the part of an occupying power but then might makes right, right? So come on, quit being wishy washy and show your true stripes.

    Comment by Ian — January 10, 2007 @ 8:29 pm - January 10, 2007

  13. And finally, I seem to remember Gryph whining many moons ago that, when it was anti-Bush to do so, we needed more troops in Iraq, because that would help us quell the insurgency. Now, when it’s anti-Bush to say the opposite, he says the opposite.

    Spot on. And true of many others. Give NDT a prize.

    Comment by Calarato — January 10, 2007 @ 9:38 pm - January 10, 2007

  14. #25:

    It worked in Berlin, Dresden, Munich, Bremen etc. I say go for it. I guess it would only be a war crime if a Republican ordered it.

    First, the massive bombing of Germany did not in and of itself do the job. Second, the US as an occupying power is in a distinctly different position in Iraq than the allies were in during WWII. I am not aware of any massive bombings, scorched earth tactics or collective punishment meted out to Germany or Japan while they were under Allied occupation. Third, it would be a war crime regardless of the political affiliation of the perpetrator but your nervous use of snark is duly noted.

    Comment by Ian — January 11, 2007 @ 8:52 am - January 11, 2007

  15. I don’t want the U.S. to commit war crimes in Iraq. I do want the U.S. to fight and win, killing on the battlefield sectarians and terrorists who actually slaughter the civilians of Iraq.

    If you don’t know the difference Ian – boy, are you lost.

    Nor do you know squat about Iraq, if you happen to think our military has had ROE that let them engage the terrorists and militias effectively enough, up to this point.

    Finally, I can’t find the comments where anyone advocated “scorched earth, massive bombing or collective punishment tactics”, other than TGC in #25 alone. Another figment of your fevered imagination?

    Comment by Calarato — January 11, 2007 @ 9:59 am - January 11, 2007

  16. NDXXX at #10 writes: “I seem to remember Gryph whining many moons ago that, when it was anti-Bush to do so, we needed more troops in Iraq, because that would help us quell the insurgency. Now, when it’s anti-Bush to say the opposite, he says the opposite.”

    You nailed ti exactly, NDXXX –I remembered that political useful positioning by our resident BlameAmericaFirster, also.

    Gryph, predictably, challenges with: “I have said nothing of the sort.”

    Problem is Gryph, over at Evangelical Outpost as early as 2 yrs ago, you WERE supporting the notion of more boots on the ground to quell the insurrection. You suggested that more troops were the reason why Bosnia was such a success.

    You wrote: “… while there has been a great clamor for security from the Iraqi people, there has been no great clamor for more foreign troops on their soil. It would probably just make things worse. The only real option might be to increase the numbers of US troops, while at the same time continuing the course of getting the Iraqi’s to take care of their own security. But it may be too late for more US troops to do any good at this point.”

    You then went on to slam Rumsfeld as a failure and pointed out the success of NATO in Bosnia was due to the presence of a sufficient military force of 500k troops on the ground.

    Sort of sounds exactly like the President’s current Plan, eh?

    Gryph, I can cook that crow for you rare, medium or well done. Or will you be the usual coward, ignore the post and NDXXX’s correctly callinng you out? Maybe the word “liar” was a projection on your part?

    And the silliness about slamming Bruce on post deletions… come on Gryph, you’re no raj-baby or QueerPat or CowBoyBob or Mr Moderate. Step up to the plate, admit your error, resend the “liar” attribution you tried to smear NDXXX with and apologize to Bruce for being imprudently zealous.

    ANd while you’re at it, did you want that crow on silver or silverplate?

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — January 11, 2007 @ 10:07 am - January 11, 2007

  17. For those with poor reading comprehension: the insurgents are committing war crimes and Saddam did commit them. In the latter case he paid the price and so should those insurgents who are committing them now.

    Bull, Ian.

    If Saddam was indeed committing “war crimes”, why did you and your fellow leftists do everything in your power to perpetuate him for years, including voting AGAINST military action for his invasion of Kuwait (Barbara Boxer, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy), pushing to REMOVE sanctions 9all of the above), getting rid of weapons and human rights inspectors when there was ample evidence that Saddam was stonewalling and hiding things (all of the above and the Clinton administration), deliberately slanting news coverage away from his atrocities to preserve “access”(Eason Jordan) and deliberately covering up evidence of Saddam’s brutality, such as his imprisonment and torture of babies and toddler-age children of political dissidents (Scott Ritter)?

    Better yet, why did you stand idly by and allow the corrupt UN to accept BILLIONS of dollars in bribes to ignore Saddam, as well as leftist European governments and their nationalized countries to illegally supply him with forbidden technology and parts?

    And now that Saddam’s insurgents and al-Qaeda terrorists are committing even more war crimes on a daily basis, what are you doing? Trying to prevent the US military from effectively dealing with them by using the slanted leftist media to portray US troops as baby-killers, calling any military action against them “war crimes”, and trying to stop the reinforcement of and cut off funding for US troops.

    For example, if American troops were to enter a neighborhood that they knew housed terrorists and supported terrorists, if they are killed by an IED or sniper, you whine about the horrible loss of life. But if we use our technology to eliminate the problem — the rat’s nest of terrorists and their supporters — you whine about those poor, poor terrorists.

    In short, you’re still mad your petty thug was taken out of office — because the UN diplomats and leftist governments to which you suck up are now deprived of one of their best and most desperate customers, who was willing to pay them literally billions to overlook his crimes. And as a result, you’re going to do everything in your power to sabotage US actions and try to win back your leftist friends.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 11, 2007 @ 12:31 pm - January 11, 2007

  18. #32: For previous war crimes suggestions, here’s scorched earth, here’s a suggestion that America is not butch enough, here’s a suggestion for collective punishment and we all have been reading unhinged wingnuts such as is described here calling for the commission of atrocities. And yet none of the conservatives here sees fit to decry the suggestion that the US should commit war crimes as part of official policy. Why is that? Well, I think it’s because you all support such a policy although only one of you that I can see has had the gumption to actually admit it while one other risably claims that “lefties” are forcing the US to adopt such a policy.

    Comment by Ian — January 11, 2007 @ 3:48 pm - January 11, 2007

  19. #47: Just for your information, the German GDP increased in every year of the war through 1944. The bombing of population centers did not destroy the productive capacity of the German war machine. A change in bombing tactics in 1944 – to concentrate on disrupting the German transportation system did begin to seriously impede war production. Still, it took a lot of hard slogging on both fronts with troops on the ground to finally vanquish the Nazis and they were still able to mount significant counter-offensives (e.g. Battle of the Bulge) as late as December 1944.

    Comment by Ian — January 12, 2007 @ 10:53 am - January 12, 2007

  20. Of course we can, Ian. All we need is for you and your fellow leftists go overseas and serve as human shields for the families of Iraqi police and military officers, the members of the Iraqi government, and our soldiers.

    Have any objections to that plan?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 14, 2007 @ 7:29 pm - January 14, 2007

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