First, let’s get the depressing bullcrap out of the way. Here is what the Democrat Party thinks of the progress and success accomplished by our men and women of the United States military in Iraq:
[ … ] The president said that last year, particularly at the end, “has become incredibly successful beyond anybody’s expectations.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., took issue. “It is a failure of leadership when our president calls 2007 incredibly successful beyond anybody’s expectations when the Iraqi government has done so little to achieve stability and it has been the most lethal year yet for American troops,” they said in a statement.
But, do not forget, they ‘support the troops’ and we should never, ever question their patriotism.
Of course let us not forget what the Democrats were saying about the plan for Iraq last year:
“It’s interesting. We have had, this week, the colonel in charge of Anbar Province say that it’s a civil war; it’s been lost.”
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
September 13, 2006
“I oppose an escalation of U.S. troops, which I do not believe will contribute to long-term success in Iraq.”
Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
January 18, 2007
The article referenced below outlines exactly what I’ve been saying over the past two years — “We haven’t been defeated militarily but we have been defeated politically — and that’s where wars are won and lost.”
Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)
Quoting a Washington Post Article
September 11, 2006
“The violence in Anbar has gone down despite the surge, not because of the surge. The inability of American soldiers to protect these tribes from al-Qaida said to these tribes, ‘We have to fight al-Qaida ourselves.’ It wasn’t that the surge brought peace here.”
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
September 4, 2007
But, again, don’t you dare question their patriotism or their faith in and support of the United States military.
But anyway, now on to some analysis from people who do not have their heads shoved firmly and snugly up their effing asses…
Gateway Pundit: SURGE SUCCESS!!… Anbar Province Will Be Handed Over In March
Gateway Pundit: Iraqi Newspapers Go On Attack Against Al-Qaeda
Gateway Pundit: 64,000 Iraqis Return Home From Syria
Jules Crittenden: Fixing Potholes
Michael Yon: Moment of Truth in Iraq
[ … ] There’s only a small group of writers who honestly spend enough time in Iraq to make serious claims based on firsthand accounts. But I’ve seen the Iraqi Army with my own eyes. I’ve done many missions in 2005 and 2007, in many places in Iraq, along with the Iraqi Army: please believe me when I say that, on the whole, the Iraqi Army is remarkably better in 2007 and far more effective than it was in 2005. By 2007, the Iraqis were doing most of the fighting. And . . . this is very important . . . they see our Army and Marines as serious allies, and in many cases as friends. Please let the potential implications of that sink in.
We now have a large number of American and British officers who can pick up a phone from Washington or London and call an Iraqi officer that he knows well — an Iraqi he has fought along side of — and talk. Same with untold numbers of Sheiks and government officials, most of whom do not deserve the caricatural disdain they get most often from pundits who have never set foot in Iraq. British and American forces have a personal relationship with Iraqi leaders of many stripes. The long-term intangible implications of the betrayal of that trust through the precipitous withdrawal of our troops could be enormous, because they would be the certain first casualties of renewed violence, and selling out the Iraqis who are making an honest-go would make the Bay of Pigs sell-out seem inconsequential. The United States and Great Britain would hang their heads in shame for a century.
[ … ]
Throughout most of 2007, as I’ve watched General Petraeus’ strategy being implemented, I have observed the impact his change in strategy was having on our soldiers, on Iraqi security forces, and most importantly, on Iraqi people including some who were formerly our avowed enemies. I have seen how our own military morphed into something much more agile, and I came to see how American commanders tended to be the most trusted voices in Iraq for many Iraqis.
To be sure, the “Anbar Awakening” and other signs of progress were underway before the massive strategy overhaul occurred, and nobody can track and trace all the factors involved in this fantastically complex war, but one thing was certain: the momentum was shifting in favor of a stable Iraq for the first time. The institutional knowledge reservoir was becoming vast, and success was touted and shared. It may have been true that Americans knew very little about Iraq before the invasion, but it was for certain that American commanders had now developed an intimate understanding of the goings-on. It can be said with confidence that as a group, no non-Iraqis know more about Iraq than the US military.
Michael Totten: The Rings on Zarqawi’s Finger
For all the hatred in the Middle East, there is also forgiveness, and moderation. Where are the moderate Muslims? ask many Americans. I find the question bizarre. I meet them every day in Iraq, and everywhere else in the Middle East, too. The problem is they have a hard time getting attention in newspapers and magazines that wallow in sensationalism.
“What happened before, happened,” said Omar, returning to the discussion of the American invasion with the Iraqi Police. “One mistake was committed, but it’s gone. Let’s just close it and not keep analyzing the same problem again. According to our analysis, American troops are now here to help Iraq.”
Sheik Abdul Sattar Abu Risha made similar points, a bit more eloquently, to Johns Hopkins University Professor Fouad Ajami: “Our American friends had not understood us when they came. They were proud, stubborn people and so were we. They worked with the opportunists, now they have turned to the tribes, and this is as it should be. The tribes hate religious parties and religious fakers.”
“We have promised to work with the Americans against Al Qaeda,” Ahmed continued. “And that’s it. That is all we are allowed to say about politics. But I can say that I feel the sincerity in the American support for the Iraqi civilians here. I am not going to say any bad words about Americans. I can feel that they really are eager to accomplish that mission.”
Bill Roggio: Operation Phantom Phoenix Targets al Qaeda Havens
Despite the recent success in reducing the violence in Iraq, the fight against al Qaeda in Iraq and the Shia extremist terror groups is not over. Coalition and Iraqi forces have launched Operation Phantom Phoenix, a new operation targeting the terror groups throughout Iraq.
The scope of Phantom Phoenix is nationwide. The operation is “a series of joint Iraqi and Coalition division- and brigade-level operations to pursue and neutralize remaining al-Qaeda in Iraq and other extremist elements,” Lieutenant General Ray Odierno, the commander of Multinational Corps Iraq stated. “Phantom Phoenix will synchronize lethal and non-lethal effects to exploit recent security gains and disrupt terrorist support zones and enemy command and control.”
The specific geographical locations targeted during Phantom Phoenix were not identified. Iraqi and Coalition forces will “pursue al-Qaeda and other extremists wherever they attempt to take sanctuary,” Odierno said.
Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive: Blackfive TV- Surge Anniversary & Big Bombing Day
John McCain and Joe Lieberman: The Surge Worked
Rudy Giuliani: War on Terror Conversations: Rudolph Giuliani [Video]
Deebow at Blackfive: Why am I only hearing about this now?
Subsunk at Blackfive: The Finest Ambassadors
[ … ] But it is a lesson which we need not have learned over and over again over the course of the last 7 years in our endeavors to change the radical Islamic approach to coexistence (“Good Muslims rule and Infidels and Apostates die” might be the simplest way to put that).
The Finest Ambassador from America will always be a United States Soldier with a rifle in one hand and candy in the other. No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy is a philosophy which is known and understood throughout the World. Even by Islamofascists.
“While we will move swiftly and aggressively against those who resist, we will treat all others with decency, demonstrating chivalry and soldierly compassion for people who have endured a lifetime under Saddam’s oppression.” Got that?
Although imperfectly executed sometimes over the intervening years (as Mike Yon points out), you can plainly see that the underlying strategy involved in winning over our enemies has not changed one iota since the war began. Give a decent American soldier a chance to set the example, and the whole world will eventually beat its way towards your line of thought.
Any more talk of Defeat and Retreat merely means the Dhimmicrats and cowardly Rethuglicans of the same stripe don’t care if they undo everything the American Fighting Man has done over the last 6 years. More blood doesn’t mean a thing to them as long as they get reelected. Men will insist the War be Won and brought to an end the only way it can end. With a Victory.
Matt Burden at Blackfive: Operations Continue…
Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard: They Can’t Handle the Truth – The Democrats and the Surge
And finally, hear from the Man of the Year himself, GEN David Petraeus [via Steve Schippert at NRO THE TANK]: One Man Caucus: 7 Questions for Gen. Petraeus
In what is an excellent interview published at Foreign Policy, Italy’s RAI asked David Petraeus seven questions. His answers are very informative and easy for average Americans to wrap their heads around, sans often wonkish and technical counterinsurgency lingo that so often loses many right out of the gate in such discussions.
General Petraeus even somewhat dispels the title of the interview, “Seven Questions: Gen. David Petraeus on Winding down the Surge.” He notes that it is proper to be more precise and note that it is a draw down of American forces in ‘The Surge,” but that with increasing Iraqi roles, “The Surge” will continue.
Once again, I encourage you to get all your military news and analysis of military matters from MILBLOGS. Journalists, politicians, political pundits and bloggers really do not know what they are talking about when it comes to military matters. They all speak about military matters through a political or ideological anti- or pro-military bias. If you want the best objective analysis, go visit the MILBLOGS.
Imagine Rudy Giuliani’s great tax plan coupled with this plan to reduce government spending by Fred Thompson. Should be music to the hearts of all fiscal conservatives: Thompson Plan to Reduce Federal Government Spending
In 2007, the federal government’s spending rose to an astounding $2.8 trillion — the equivalent of $22,000 per household. Growth in federal government spending, however, rarely translates into better services for the American people. Solutions for many public policy problems are best found in the private sector, and then at the State and local level — not in Washington, DC. Indeed, the federal government loses billions every year due to ineffective programs, poor management, waste, and fraud. And, the problem is getting worse. Within the next five years, federal spending is expected to reach more than $3.2 trillion, or about 20 percent of our economy; more than half of this amount is mandatory spending for entitlements. Increasing government spending is not the answer to our country’s problems. It is time to get it under control with better solutions and better management of our federal government.
Go to the link to read the details of Fred Thompson’s plan.
Is it time to take another serious look at Rudy Giuliani for the GOP Presidential nomination? This is a very convincing argument for those of us who are fiscal conservatives: Rudy’s New Tax Plan Unveiled
As Rudy’s campaign manager told me the other day in New Hampshire, Rudy Giuliani has a strategy to stay relevant between now and February 5th. Today he unveils his tax plan — and boy what a plan it is!
Here are a few of the things Rudy’s plan would do:
… Make permanent the bush tax cuts NOW… not in 2010
… Permanently index the alternative minimum tax (AMT) and then eliminate it when practical (no timetable).
… Get rid of the Death Tax
… Lower the capitol gains and dividend rate to 10% and index to inflation. (Here is where he could go further and actually eliminate the capitol gains tax).
… Lower corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%.
… Trio of tax free savings accounts – Roth style – available to ALL income classes.
… Tax simplication strategy – one page tax return
… Three rates – 10% (40k), 15% (150k), and 30% (150k).
It’s an optional tax plan. You can pick it or the current tax code. Unlike Thompson plan, you can opt in and out any year. For major deduction remain:
* State and Local taxes
* Child tax credit
According to one economic expert I talked to: “This plan would be huge. It would be 4% of GDP. By comparison, GWB tax cut was 1.3% of GDP. Reagan’s was 1.9% of GDP.”
In my opinion, Rudy Giuliani is wrong on abortion, wrong on the homosexual agenda and wrong on the 2nd Amendment. He is also wrong on illegal immigration, a BIG no-no when it comes to my vote.
BUT… this is something that will make me take a serious 2nd look at Rudy Giuliani and weigh the pros and cons of him leading the Republican Party. I’m still not convinced, but what would be highly intriguing would be a Thompson/Giuliani ticket. That would be pretty, strong in my opinion.
CLIVE, Iowa — The New Hampshire co-chair of Veterans for Rudy resigned Saturday amid video remarks in which he suggested Giuliani would deal with the “rise of the Muslims” and that the United States should “defeat or chase them back to their caves”.
John Deady made the comments in a video interview to The Guardian newspaper last weekend, while attending a Giuliani house party at the home of Manchester, N.H., Mayor Frank Guinta.
“He has got, I believe, the knowledge and the judgment to attack one of the most difficult problems in current history, and that is the rise of the Muslims,” Deady said in the video interview, posted Dec. 27. “Make no mistake about it, this hasn’t happened for a thousand years. These people are very, very dedicated. They’re also very smart in their own way, and we need to keep the feet to the fire and keep pressing these people until we defeat them or chase them back to their caves, or, in other words, get rid of them.”
Deady later confirmed he made those comments in an interview to Talking Points Memo, adding that he did not believe there were good and bad Muslims. “They’re all Muslims,” he said.
Reached at his Bedford, N.H. home Saturday, Deady would not say whether he was pressured to resign. “This is not going to go any further with me,” he said. “I’m way beyond my depth with you people,” before suggesting reporters contact the campaign’s press office.
State Chairman Wayne Semprini said in a campaign statement Saturday that Deady resigned from his volunteer position.
The comments come at an interesting time for Giuliani, who has been actively courting support from veterans in recent days. He held three events for veterans in earlier this week in Florida before traveling to Iowa Friday.
Deady told TPM his comment to “get rid” of Muslims did not refer to genocide. “What I was referring to is, stand up to them every time they stick up their heads and attack us,” he said. “We can’t afford to say, `We’ll try diplomacy.’ They don’t respond to it. If you look into Islamic tradition, a treaty is only good for five years. We’re not dealing with a rational mindset here. We’re dealing with madmen.”
Here are my comments:
“There may be moderate Muslims, but Islam itself is not moderate”
This is what I believe. There are many Muslims who really aren’t practicing Islam according to the tenets of Islam. Because Islam itself is not moderate at all, then all Muslims should be radical. But, since we know they’re not, this means that most Muslims are ‘moderate’.
Kinda like there are people who claim to be Catholics, but who have promiscuous pre-marital sex, support homosexuality and support/have abortions. Those views are in direct opposition to Catholic teaching and the Catholic stance. In my opinion, you cannot be a part of a religion, if you live your life in direct opposition to the teachings of that religion. Just find a different religion if you want to live a different way.
I was raised Catholic, but I don’t call myself a Catholic anymore, since I don’t live my life by Catholic teachings. I have had pre-marital sex, I have used ‘birth control’ methods and I have stopped going to church. In short, I don’t believe in many of the teachings of the Catholic Church. As such, I cannot call myself Catholic anymore, since I am not. I am still a Christian, however, since I believe in Jesus and God, etc.
Getting back to Muslims, I see the same thing. Moderate/Westernized Muslims are not really following the tenets of the Koran, Hadith and teachings of Mohammad. Thus, they aren’t really Muslims following Islam, they are basically following a reformed version of Islam, selectively choosing what they want to follow and what they want to dismiss.
The problem is, no leader wants to come out and say this, because we all saw what happened when the Pope recently stated some truths like this. There was rioting, deaths and Muslim groups all over the world denounced him as attacking Islam. Well, yeah, he was, but he was not attacking all Muslims, just the ones who were following Islam, not the ones following the ‘reformed Islam’.
I was not going to vote for Rudy anyway, so this incident does not really affect my vote. However, it would have been nice to have Rudy, or any candidate for that matter, come forth with some kind of leadership on the issue of Islam. We were not this weak and stupid on the issue of Naziism and Shintoism.
I posted this in response to Jake’s post, Anybody’s Race to Win.
Here is the Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll History numbers to which I was referring in my comment.
What is interesting is if you look at the shift in the last two weeks (since DEC 14), we have this:
I don’t really care about these polls, since I don’t decide my vote based on what some Idiots Out Walking Around in Iowa are deciding, but…
I’m no polling expert, but just looking at those shifts in the last two weeks, it seems like people are not liking the fighting going on with Romney and Huckabee, the more they each reveal about each other in the attack ads, and so are giving another look to McCain and then looking at Thompson, now that he has put more ads out there (since the mass media and most political blogs are ignoring him, except to say he’s ‘lazy’ and say ‘he has no shot’).
Rudy Giuliani has stayed pretty much the same, because people have known his pros and cons for months/years now, so there is really nothing new to discover about him. The Conservative base does not like him, since they know he is an unabashed liberal on many policies and they are probably hoping to find a Conservative alternative, so they don’t have to vote for Rudy in the general. The problem is that if the Conservative base does not find a candidate around whom to rally, this Primary may end up like the 1992 general election. Rudy may end up winning by default, as Bill Clinton did, since the Conservative vote is split among Fred, McCain and Romney.
It is really a shame that Conservatives are more concerned with beating Hillary rather than voting on Conservative principles. The onlyCconservatives in the race are Fred and McCain. But McCain betrayed Conservatives throughout the past 4 years with McCain-Feingold, the Gang of 14 and leading the charge for Amnesty (and completely insulting anyone who was against his Amnesty). Not to mention his position on “torture” is weak and in line with liberal Democrats. So that leaves Fred Thompson.
For me, the choice is easy. But for everyone else, it seems that they keep harping on this “whoever can beat Hillary” nonsense. I recall Republicans making fun of Democrats about their “Anybody but Bush” campaign in 2004, during which Democrats nominated John Kerry, not because he was whom they wanted, but because they felt he was “electable”. Well, golly gee, now the Republicans are doing the exact same thing. The sad truth is that the Republican voters have now become their worst enemies. They are now as unprincipled as Democrat voters were in 2004.
It’s sad and pathetic to me.
And I have lost a LOT of respect for people in politics such as political bloggers and such, because I have learned that they are not principled people at all, they simply are “the ends justify the means” people.
Sad state of affairs in our country right now and it has nothing to do with the Democrats. I see one of our greatest weaknesses coming from the Republican Party voters, who are more intersted in “electability” than principle.
I don’t mind people nominating Rudy or Romney or McCain or Huckabee or whomever. However, as Rush Limbaugh says, don’t redefine Conservatism in the process to try to say your candidate is a Conservative. Conservatism does not need redefining. The only true Conservative in the race is Fred Thompson. In addition to that, he has charm, is quick witted and is very knowledgeable about the role of Federalism in government. He could run rings around any Democrat in debates.
I just don’t see why people are so reluctant to support him.
I will also add that another thing I am looking for in a President is someone who will defend himself from attacks by the Democrats and the media. I am sick of defending the President and Republicans from lies by Democrats, the mass media and the Left, only to have the Administration do nothing to defend themselves. The only two people among the Republican field that I can see being like that are Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson. However, Rudy also defends himself bodly when he is being rightfully attacked on his corruption and bad policies. I don’t want that either.
So that takes me back to Fred Thompson again. And the only criticism he gets is that he is ‘lazy’. Only this criticism is coming from Republican voters. Funny, Ronald Reagan was attacked with that label as well. This is not to say Fred Thompson is Ronald Reagan. No one will ever be Ronald Reagan. But it is interesting to see the attacks of the Left now becoming the attacks of the Right… on their own people.
Sad state of affairs… when the Republican base decides to vote “electability” over principle.