Disclosure: I worked for the Lamont campaign doing web design and production and some writing for the official blog (from 9/5/06 to 11/07/06).

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Staying The Course

The U.S. military will likely maintain or possibly even increase the current force levels of more than 140,000 troops in Iraq through next spring, the top US. commander in the Middle East said Tuesday in one of the gloomiest assessments yet of how quickly American forces can be brought home.

Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. Central Command, said military leaders would consider adding troops or extending the Iraq deployments of other units if needed....

Late last year, military leaders had said they hoped to reduce troop levels to about 100,000 by the end of this year. But Abizaid said Tuesday that the rising sectarian violence and slow progress of the Iraqi government made that impossible.

- The AP, today.

"I support Joe Lieberman because he has consistently said we are going to 'stay the course.'"

- Lieberman supporter Sgt. James Liska at a press conference organized by the Lieberman campaign last week.

Update: Atrios reminds us of some of Joe's greatest hits from this summer:

Remember what Joe Lieberman had to say on July 6?

So I am confident that the situation is improving enough on the ground that by the end of this year, we will begin to draw down significant numbers of American troops, and by the end of the next year more than half of the troops who are there now will be home.

And then from July 19:

BRIDGEPORT — U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman believes the U.S. will withdraw a "solid' contingent of its military forces in Iraq by the end of the year because of gains made by the Iraqi armed forces.

The facts:

Joe Lieberman was wrong on Iraq in October 2002.

He was wrong on Iraq in 2003.

He was wrong in 2004.

He was wrong in 2005.

He was wrong on July 6th of this year.

He was wrong on July 19th of this year.

And, to the minimal extent that he even talks about Iraq anymore, he is wrong now.

Update 2: And just to illustrate how everyone wasn't wrong about Iraq four years ago, read Jim Webb's prescient op-ed from September 2002.
Has it been a few days yet?

[Lieberman] "needed a few more days to formulate, and properly articulate, his position on the war in Iraq"

Not that I want to hold Mr. Lieberman to an arbitrary date to articulate his most up-to-date position but it sounded like Mr. Lieberman offered a timetable on when he would respond and I would expect that Mr. Lieberman would Stay The Course™ and be true to his word. As a matter of Principle™ of course.

Maybe it depends on how many "few" is.
I hate the prospect, but if we are not going to pull back troops we better send more to help protect those there already. The status quad [hey to doonesbury] absolutely will not do the trick.

If we're not going to withdraw our troops form Iraq, then we need to reinstate the military draft. Wonder how low support for the Iraq venture will go if/when The Draft is reinstated?
Ever wonder what would happen if we ever showed solidarity on this issue. What the terrorists see of our internal discourse leads them to believe that "just one more attack and the stupid americans will bug out."
what do we need the draft for. Recruitment is up across the board. The draft turns the military into babysitters. Why should the government have to do what parents have not!!
leads them to believe that "just one more attack and the stupid americans will bug out."

Why suddenly to the terrorists get to control our policy?
Enlistment is up over 2005 totals, which were extremely low, for several reasons, not the least of which are financial. A $10,000 sign up bonus for one thing, in addition to various educational incentives. Enlistment age was recently increased for the third or fourth time since the Iraq War began to age 42. Anything goes nowadays as long as it's not the draft.
"We are in a dilemma," O'Hanlon said.
"A radical new policy may be needed, such as offering citizenship to foreigners abroad if they'll serve first"

The Army has been aiming to reorganize its combat forces in such a way as to increase the number of brigades available for deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, but thus far it is six brigades short of its goal of 42. That is one reason why the Army was forced in 2004-05 to use more National Guard combat units in Iraq than normal; at one point there were seven Guard combat brigades there

The more one looks at the specifics, it starts becoming obvious that we're seeing a classic shell game. It's easy to meet and exceed goals that aren't published until after they're "exceeded."

It's a little like pumping up the projected deficit numbers so you can say the actual deficit was lower, thus being able to trumpet "bringing down the deficit."

Enlistment is up?

Really? Note the above mentions "reorganize" not "enlarge."
They dont get to control the policy, but they sure get to react to our behaviour. The enemy always gets a vote in your war plan.
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