Stephens: Iraq Is Obama’s Mideast Pillar

Bret Stephens has a good piece in the Wall Street Journal, with a question for Barack Obama: Iraq Is Obama’s Mideast Pillar.

So what are you going to do about the one bright spot on your map — an Arab country that is genuinely democratic, increasingly secular and secure, anti-Iranian and, all-in-all, on your side? So far, your only idea seems to bid to it good luck and bring most of the troops home in time for Super Bowl Sunday, 2010.

That’s a campaign promise, but it isn’t a foreign policy. Foreign policy begins with the recognition that Iraq has now moved from the liability side of the U.S. ledger to the asset side. As an Arab democracy, it is a model for what we would like the rest of the Arab world to become. As a Shiite democracy, it is a reproach to Iranian theocracy. As the country at the heart of the Middle East, it is ideally located to be a bulwark against Tehran’s encroachments.

There was a time when American strategists understood the role countries could play as “pillars” of a regional strategy. Israel has been a pillar since at least 1967; Iran was one until 1979. Turkey, too, is a pillar, but it is fast slipping away, as is Egypt.

Within the Arab world, Iraq is the only country that can now fulfill that role. For that it will need military and economic aid, and lots of it. Better it than futile causes like Palestine, or missions impossible like winning over the mullahs. With Saturday’s poll, Iraq has earned a powerful claim to our friendship.

Yes, you’d rather look elsewhere on the map for a Mideast legacy. But Iraq is where you’ll find it. Don’t miss your chance.

One missed chance, coming up.

Jump to bottom

139 comments

1 Raven1  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:10:47am

Well, we might see Jimmah Carter all over again.

2 subsailor68  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:11:33am

Oh, and yes Mr. Obama, while you’re at it, you might want to write former President Bush a nice thank you note.

3 lawhawk  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:11:35am

It’s not a missed chance. It’s actively seeking out the failed policies of the past and replicating them on a grand scale.

4 monkeytime  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:11:38am

Bush handed him the ball - he better not drop it.

5 Jetpilot1101  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:11:41am

re: #1 Raven1

Well, we might see Jimmah Carter all over again.

I just hope it’s not with the whole hostage crisis.

6 _RememberTonyC  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:11:46am

this is where the republicans in obama’s cabinet have to stand up and be the adults.

7 Honorary Yooper  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:12:04am

re: #1 Raven1

Well, we might see Jimmah Carter all over again.

Might? At this rate, BHO is doing his damnedest to be just like James.

8 pre-Boomer Marine brat  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:13:45am

Count on Bambi to follow his own path … until Biden’s prediction comes to pass.

Bambi will probably learn, but what will it cost?

9 Desert Dog  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:14:11am

Hey! Wait just a minute. Iraq is the biggest blunder in the history of the USA. It is an inescapable quagmire that cannot be solved. Those people do not want democracy. We made a terrible mistake. They were better off with Saddam. blah blah blah blah

/


NOW, after Bush leaves, Iraq is an ASSET? Why, just a few weeks ago, it was a giant LIABILITY. Amazing how a few weeks can change this around. I wonder what has happened over those few weeks?

10 Raven1  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:14:29am

re: #7 Honorary Yooper

Well, The big O has not pulled the plug yet. Give him time, I know.

11 Racer X  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:14:37am

Who is the British bloke covering for Rush today?

12 Desert Dog  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:15:00am

re: #11 Racer X

Who is the British bloke covering for Rush today?

Mark Steyn

13 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:15:16am

re: #11 Racer X

Who is the British bloke covering for Rush today?

Winston Churchill.

14 Eowyn2  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:15:21am

He’s going to give it back to the terrorists.

Pull our troops out, put them in afghanistan and watch all the terrorists flee to Iraq where they will surely punish the peoples who have voted in the past two elections.

15 Pianobuff  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:15:55am

Still waiting for O to say the “V” word.

/better get a softer cushion as my butt’s getting numb

16 Oh no...Sand People!  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:16:13am

Swing and a miss. Miss and a swing. Swing, swing, swing…miss.

N’ You’re Out!

/I have a feeling he will have enough strikes to cover the next future president even.

17 [deleted]  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:16:22am
18 Opinionated  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:16:23am

Frankly, I don’t know what is the best we can hope for from Iraq.

So they vote, so what? Where we are concerned it’s more important how they vote. If they side with us where it counts. If they are less hostile to Israel and more hostile to Iran.

I’m not particularly optimistic particularly having a belief that Obama’s policies will cause the worst possible results.

19 Occasional Reader  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:16:26am

Iraq is a pillar, but unfortunately Obama thinks he’s Samson.

20 Oh no...Sand People!  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:16:47am

re: #9 Desert Dog

Hey! Wait just a minute. Iraq is the biggest blunder in the history of the USA. It is an inescapable quagmire that cannot be solved. Those people do not want democracy. We made a terrible mistake. They were better off with Saddam. blah blah blah blah

/

NOW, after Bush leaves, Iraq is an ASSET? Why, just a few weeks ago, it was a giant LIABILITY. Amazing how a few weeks can change this around. I wonder what has happened over those few weeks?

Change…?
/

21 [deleted]  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:17:02am
22 Catttt  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:18:05am

History books, decades from now, will reflect (and I have, yes, said it before) that President George W. Bush done good.

I hope, for our own good, that President O doesn’t wind up looking more like a Carter/Nixon meld.

23 lifeofthemind  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:18:12am

The Jesuits had a name for the Democrats,

Invincible Ignorance

24 Occasional Reader  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:18:52am

re: #21 buzzsawmonkey

The flagon with the Dagon has the brew that is spew.

“Bitter swill”, dude.

25 Catttt  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:19:32am

re: #15 Pianobuff

Still waiting for O to say the “V” word.

/better get a softer cushion as my butt’s getting numb

I’m going to try to be satisfied with Zombie’s V Day in Iraq. Zombie for President!

26 [deleted]  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:19:34am
27 Eowyn2  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:19:35am

re: #14 Eowyn2

He’s going to give it back to the terrorists.

Pull our troops out, put them in afghanistan and watch all the terrorists flee to Iraq where they will surely punish the peoples who have voted in the past two elections.

it reminds me of whack a mole.

28 marge45b  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:20:39am

re: #11 Racer X

Who is the British bloke covering for Rush today?

Check out Steyn’s web site here here.

29 Pianobuff  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:20:49am

True story…. Had dinner with a group a month ago and a Chinese woman was telling me that her grandmother (who has no political beliefs) did a full blown Chinese horoscope on Obama some time back last year.

Her reading?

2008 - Unbelievably lucky year!
2009-2010 - Bad fortune coming……

30 Oh no...Sand People!  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:20:51am

re: #26 buzzsawmonkey

Assuming there are history books, and that they are not all written by Obamanoid Democrats—or Islamists.

The newly appointed tax dodger to the Ministry of Truth will ensure that the History books are there.

/

31 Catttt  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:20:55am

re: #26 buzzsawmonkey

Assuming there are history books, and that they are not all written by Obamanoid Democrats—or Islamists.

Oh, I am. I’m thinking the Dems will become sane in the meantime. Hope springs eternal.

32 [deleted]  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:21:15am
33 Eowyn2  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:22:04am

re: #26 buzzsawmonkey

Assuming there are history books, and that they are not all written by Obamanoid Democrats—or Islamists.

It may be up to us to write and teach the real histories. I’m guessing we are maybe, maybe, five years away from an Islamic History Month. Celebrating diversity. Naturally, with Islamists hitting the shores long before Columbus, it should only be natural.

34 Catttt  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:22:45am

re: #21 buzzsawmonkey

The flagon with the Dagon has the brew that is spew.

You are exceedingly, yet subtly, clever as all get out. :D

35 NYCHardhat  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:22:55am

Great read.

36 abaleh  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:23:10am

Not that I’m trying to support the Messiah, but didn’t the Iraqi parliament insist that the US withdraw its forces?

37 FrogMarch  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:23:25am

The left do not grasp the importance. They only see through the prism of what they can “get” politically. the left only care about their tired conspiracy theories as they foolishly cling to the only thing that animates them - their endless hatred of President Bush. oh and - the fast push to a socialist utopia. Hating George Bush is the left’s religion. it follows that anything that George Bush accomplished must be abandoned and thrown to the wolves.

Democrats hate the Iraqi people.

38 avanti  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:23:31am

re: #18 Opinionated

Frankly, I don’t know what is the best we can hope for from Iraq.

So they vote, so what? Where we are concerned it’s more important how they vote. If they side with us where it counts. If they are less hostile to Israel and more hostile to Iran.

I’m not particularly optimistic particularly having a belief that Obama’s policies will cause the worst possible results.

The early news looks good.

39 faraway  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:23:41am

re: #12 Desert Dog

Mark Steyn

White American males are even shut out by Rush.

40 ThinkRight  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:24:03am

re: #29 Pianobuff

True story…. Had dinner with a group a month ago and a Chinese woman was telling me that her grandmother (who has no political beliefs) did a full blown Chinese horoscope on Obama some time back last year.

Her reading?

2008 - Unbelievably lucky year!
2009-2010 - Bad fortune coming……


I heard an astrologist say the same thing on a talk radio show
And it sucks for us
His bad fortune is our misery
Misery Index time

41 Racer X  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:24:31am

re: #28 marge45b

Check out Steyn’s web site here here.

Thanks!

42 Occasional Reader  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:24:36am

re: #32 buzzsawmonkey

Ah, yes…when will someone come out with Bitter Swill Beer, so we can all get O-bombed?

I can’t give you that, but I can give you “Bitter Dregs”. (AKA A Serenade From the Laughing Spaceman)

43 lifeofthemind  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:24:40am

re: #21 buzzsawmonkey

The flagon with the Dagon has the brew that is spew.

The pellet with the poison is in the vessel with the pestle, the chalice with the palace has the brew that is true.

44 mikeymom  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:24:45am

re: #32 buzzsawmonkey

Ah, yes…when will someone come out with Bitter Swill Beer, so we can all get O-bombed?

isnt there already an ‘arrogant bastard ale’?

45 lawhawk  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:25:02am

re: #9 Desert Dog

Stephens wasn’t one of those folks in the media who dinged Bush at every turn… he’s one of the good guys.

46 ThinkRight  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:25:03am

re: #39 faraway

White American males are even shut out by Rush.


He needs Ann Coulter to sub for him

47 Opinionated  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:25:08am

If hypothetically they had a referendum in this new Mideast “Pillar” on the proposition(s)

1. Do you hate the United States?

2. Should Israel be destroyed?

What do you think the vote for be?

My bet hating the US and destroying Israel would both win.

48 lifeofthemind  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:25:18am

re: #11 Racer X

Who is the British bloke covering for Rush today?

Canadian, Mark Steyn

49 Occasional Reader  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:25:21am

re: #39 faraway

Um…. what?

50 Pianobuff  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:25:29am

re: #40 ThinkRight

I heard an astrologist say the same thing on a talk radio show
And it sucks for us
His bad fortune is our misery
Misery Index time

I’m not even superstitious and my heart still sunk.

51 NYCHardhat  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:25:30am

I don’t think Obama is stupid enough to leave Iraq prematurely. Is he?

52 opnion  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:25:46am

Obama will never treat Iraq as a success, no matter what happens.
The whole predicate for his election was that Bush was a failed president & McCain would be Bush II. Exhibit number 1, the Iraq War.
His supporters rabidly cheer for our failure in Iraq, & Obama will not go the other way.

53 Kragar  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:26:10am

I have complete faith and trust in the President’s ability to fuck this up beyond comprehension.

54 faraway  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:26:16am

Has anyone noticed that Obama had to bring Republicans into his Cabinet since he couldn’t find any Dems without tax troubles.

55 Nevergiveup  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:26:23am

US ‘profoundly concerned’ by Iranian satellite
Published: 02.03.09, 19:00 / Israel News
State Department Deputy Spokesman Robert Wood said that the United States was “profoundly concerned” about the Iranian satellite launch, which took place in the Tuesday morning. (AFP)

Did ya hear that? The State Department is “Profoundly” concerned. I feel better. How about you?
/

56 lawhawk  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:26:26am

re: #44 mikeymom

Yes… and porkslap pale ale

57 joncelli  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:26:31am

re: #51 NYCHardhat

Prematurely? Ask Michelle about that.

58 MandyManners  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:26:36am

re: #39 faraway

White American males are even shut out by Rush.

HA!

59 Guanxi88  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:26:45am

So, anyone making book yet on what the One will do?

Will he cut Iraq loose, and let it lapse into a slightly better-armed version of Iran?

Will he cut Iraq loose, and let it devolve into a 3 or 4 way civil war, with regional powers carving off little bits for themselves?

Will he do the right thing, continue the policies that are working, and claim credit for turning Iraq around?

Or what?

60 Rexatosis  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:26:50am

Not only is Iraq an Arab democracy that is becoming increasingly secular (by Islamic standards) it is basically at the geographic center of the “Middle East” and Islamic worlds. This is why strategically the Iraq campaign was so important, success there could foreshorten the struggle between radical Islam and the West by decades as opposed to a peripherial campaign like Afghanistan. Failure in Iraq, especially on the cusp of victory, will cost much more in blood and treasure in the long run than the short term savings of abandonment as envisioned by the left. Great leaders understand the far-reaching consequences of their actions and put such policies in place even at the cost of short-term popularity or party ideology (Washington, Lincoln, Truman).

61 Eowyn2  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:27:13am

re: #47 Opinionated

If hypothetically they had a referendum in this new Mideast “Pillar” on the proposition(s)

1. Do you hate the United States?

2. Should Israel be destroyed?

What do you think the vote for be?

My bet hating the US and destroying Israel would both win.

3. Do you fear the US more than you hate her?

Thats the question that must be answered YES.

62 ThinkRight  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:27:14am

re: #51 NYCHardhat

I don’t think Obama is stupid enough to leave Iraq prematurely. Is he?


If it helps him politically he will pull out on Thursday

63 Catttt  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:27:17am

re: #36 abaleh

Not that I’m trying to support the Messiah, but didn’t the Iraqi parliament insist that the US withdraw its forces?

IIRC, they came up with a plan, after fierce, typically democratic debate. They had to, because the UN mandate for the troops to be there was set to expire at the end of 2008.

64 pre-Boomer Marine brat  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:27:26am

re: #51 NYCHardhat

Is he?

? indeed

65 subsailor68  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:27:28am

re: #55 Nevergiveup

US ‘profoundly concerned’ by Iranian satellite
Published: 02.03.09, 19:00 / Israel News
State Department Deputy Spokesman Robert Wood said that the United States was “profoundly concerned” about the Iranian satellite launch, which took place in the Tuesday morning. (AFP)

Did ya hear that? The State Department is “Profoundly” concerned. I feel better. How about you?
/

Well, I supposed it’s better than “mildly perturbed.”

But not much.

66 Desert Dog  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:27:40am

Iraq is an asset….and now this: More amazing news

I find it very odd that everything Bush was aiming for in Iraq and against AQ has come to be. If we stay on his course in Afghanistan and Pakistan, things will turn out well too. Funny how none of this good news was around during the election.

I am going to predict that history will be kinder to GWB than it will be to BO…

67 kynna  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:28:52am
One missed chance, coming up.

I’d call you psychic, Charles, but that’s an easy one.

I feel like my running mantra these days is “Are you f*cking joking?”

68 faraway  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:28:54am

re: #49 Occasional Reader

Um…. what?

Have you noticed the Missing Straight White Male Syndrome on TV?

69 lawhawk  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:29:11am

OT:

Developing story from Pakistan. Taliban have cut the Khyber Pass again, and destroyed a major bridge along the route.

Islamist militants blew up a bridge in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, cutting a major supply line for Western troops in Afghanistan in the latest in a series of attacks on the Khyber Pass by insurgents seeking to hamper the U.S.-led mission against the Taliban.

A NATO spokesman in Afghanistan confirmed that supplies along the route had been halted “for the time being,” but stressed the alliance was in no danger of running out of food, equipment or fuel.

Underscoring the insecurity that plagues many parts of the country, authorities said they were questioning 15 people in connection with the abduction of an American U.N. worker John Solecki in the southwest of the country.

This is the crisis facing the US, and thankfully President Bush had negotiated supply deals via Russia and the Central Asian states to bypass Pakistan altogether.

Pakistan can’t contain the Taliban threat, and they’re running wild all over the frontier provinces and into places like Swat. The Zardari government is even more incapable of dealing with the Islamists than Musharraf. Bad jobu all the way around.

70 _RememberTonyC  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:29:51am

With the economy doing poorly, is the military doing much better recruiting-wise? Seems to me that one way to create useful jobs is to promote the military as a great career path. It is actually money we can spend to create permanent jobs and strengthen the country.

71 Desert Dog  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:29:57am

re: #40 ThinkRight

I heard an astrologist say the same thing on a talk radio show
And it sucks for us
His bad fortune is our misery
Misery Index time

It doesn’t matter we will all die on December 21, 2012 anyway.

72 MandyManners  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:30:04am

re: #49 Occasional Reader

Um…. what?

A reference to the O’Reilly thread yesterday.

73 Guanxi88  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:30:10am

re: #29 Pianobuff

True story…. Had dinner with a group a month ago and a Chinese woman was telling me that her grandmother (who has no political beliefs) did a full blown Chinese horoscope on Obama some time back last year.

Her reading?

2008 - Unbelievably lucky year!
2009-2010 - Bad fortune coming……

Yes, there’s a whole thing with the number of his presidency, 44. Ask any Chinese about what 4 means, and you’ll hear nothing but bad things. Doubling it, as in 44, just makes it worse.

74 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:30:20am

re: #72 MandyManners

A reference to the O’Reilly thread yesterday.

What!

75 Occasional Reader  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:30:33am

re: #68 faraway

Have you noticed the Missing Straight White Male Syndrome on TV?

Well, Mark Steyn is neither gay, nor “of color”, nor female, nor on TV.

76 Occasional Reader  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:30:58am

re: #74 Walter L. Newton

What!

Maisey, get away from Walter’s computer.

77 Desert Dog  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:30:58am

re: #70 _RememberTonyC

With the economy doing poorly, is the military doing much better recruiting-wise? Seems to me that one way to create useful jobs is to promote the military as a great career path. It is actually money we can spend to create permanent jobs and strengthen the country.

Unfortunately, the ONLY government spending Obama plans on cutting is the military. Guns are bad, you know.

78 lawhawk  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:31:10am

re: #66 Desert Dog

Iraq is an asset….and now this: More amazing news

I find it very odd that everything Bush was aiming for in Iraq and against AQ has come to be. If we stay on his course in Afghanistan and Pakistan, things will turn out well too. Funny how none of this good news was around during the election.

I am going to predict that history will be kinder to GWB than it will be to BO…

I’m not nearly as optimistic, not with the way the Taliban and their coreligionists are taking the fight to the Pakistanis. AQ is morphing into something else, and the Taliban are showing that they are more than willing to go after Pakistan.

The US has to continue its UAV strikes, but it has to do much more than that… especially with Pakistan teetering.

79 RightKlik  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:31:32am

Obama thinks he’s going to keep his promise to pull out of Iraq in 16 months. This is the one campaign promise that Obama must keep if he wants to retain the loyalty of his base, but this is the one campaign promise he must BREAK if he wants to stay politically viable.

80 Guanxi88  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:31:36am

re: #71 Desert Dog

It doesn’t matter we will all die on December 21, 2012 anyway.

Sorry, I thought our Reptilian Overlords would return on that day, overcoming the ET’s from Nibiru and consolidating forever their hold over the people of the earth.

81 ThinkRight  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:31:40am

re: #71 Desert Dog

It doesn’t matter we will all die on December 21, 2012 anyway.


Yeah but why do we have to put up Hussein Obama till then
/

82 Kenneth  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:31:46am

re: #47 Opinionated

I don’t know about their opinion on Israel, but the US is well regarded in Iraq, except in the shrinking segments which still support the Shia militias. Among the Kurds, the US is hugely popular, especially President Bush. In fact, Bush scored higher in popularity in Iraq than in the US.

83 Desert Dog  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:31:46am

re: #73 Guanxi88

Yes, there’s a whole thing with the number of his presidency, 44. Ask any Chinese about what 4 means, and you’ll hear nothing but bad things. Doubling it, as in 44, just makes it worse.

I’d say we are about 444444444444.44 on the “We’reFucked Scale” then

84 faraway  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:31:47am

re: #75 Occasional Reader

Well, Mark Steyn is neither gay, nor “of color”, nor female, nor on TV.

Don’t want it to spread to radio you know.

85 MandyManners  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:32:17am

re: #74 Walter L. Newton

What?

86 Desert Dog  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:32:31am

re: #81 ThinkRight

Yeah but why do we have to put up Hussein Obama till then
/

It will be a slow torturous and painful death then, won’ it?

87 faraway  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:32:40am

re: #71 Desert Dog

It doesn’t matter we will all die on December 21, 2012 anyway.

What happens to my 401k? Will I be taxed?

88 ThinkRight  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:33:22am

re: #86 Desert Dog

It will be a slow torturous and painful death then, won’ it?


Looks that way
Damn

89 The Optimist  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:33:28am

Obama will not admit that we won in Iraq. Even worse, Obama still thinks he can make the U.S. lose big in Iraq. In this way, Obama can become friends with all the Arab countries.

Obama, you are welcome to leave the U.S. anytime and go live in any Muslim country. Your pick. You most likely will be someone’s slave in Saudi Arabia, or have your family killed with little reason other than girls going to school, or be forced to pray daily in a way dictated by that government, or become an unwilling martyr, or learn hate forever rather than forgiveness.

Obama, do not apologize for my country.

90 Occasional Reader  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:33:46am

re: #84 faraway

Don’t want it to spread to radio you know.

And Mark Steyn on the radio is neither gay, nor “of color”, nor female; so even given your premise for the sake of argument, I’m still not sure what the heck you’re talking about.

91 Desert Dog  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:33:51am

re: #87 faraway

What happens to my 401k? Will I be taxed?

You can avoid that tax, I would recommend Tom Daschle’s accountant, he got Tom all sorts of tax breaks.

92 faraway  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:34:37am

re: #91 Desert Dog

You can avoid that tax, I would recommend Tom Daschle’s accountant, he got Tom all sorts of tax breaks.

Does that come with TurboTax?

93 Guanxi88  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:34:42am

re: #83 Desert Dog

I’d say we are about 444444444444.44 on the “We’reFucked Scale” then

Certainly true, I fear. Still, my attitude toward this numerological/astrological stuff falls in line with my boss’: “No, I don’t believe in it, but a lot of foolish people do, and it’s true anyway.”

94 Guanxi88  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:35:10am

re: #87 faraway

What happens to my 401k? Will I be taxed?

The 401K will long since have been seized; and yes, you will be taxed.

95 Opinionated  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:35:25am

re: #82 Kenneth

I don’t know about their opinion on Israel, but the US is well regarded in Iraq, except in the shrinking segments which still support the Shia militias. Among the Kurds, the US is hugely popular, especially President Bush. In fact, Bush scored higher in popularity in Iraq than in the US.

The Kurds are an exception- they have always been pro-American.

96 MandyManners  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:36:04am

re: #90 Occasional Reader

And Mark Steyn on the radio is neither gay, nor “of color”, nor female; so even given your premise for the sake of argument, I’m still not sure what the heck you’re talking about.

Yesterday’s O’Reilly thread.

97 Occasional Reader  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:37:27am

re: #91 Desert Dog

You can avoid that tax, I would recommend Tom Daschle’s accountant, he got Tom all sorts of tax breaks.

Accountant? No, Tom, like Tim just went with the Steve Martin plan:

You.. can be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes! You can be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes! You say.. “Steve.. how can I be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes?” First.. get a million dollars. Now.. you say, “Steve.. what do I say to the tax man when he comes to my door and says, ‘You.. have never paid taxes’?” Two simple words. Two simple words in the English language: “I… forgot!”

98 Occasional Reader  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:38:03am

re: #96 MandyManners

Yesterday’s O’Reilly thread.

No, apparently not. See #84.

99 abaleh  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:40:55am

re: #63 Catttt

IIRC, they came up with a plan, after fierce, typically democratic debate. They had to, because the UN mandate for the troops to be there was set to expire at the end of 2008.

Thanks, just read the wikepedia entry on the Status of Forces Agmt. According to the agreement the withdrawel was to be completed by 2011.

Regardless, I’m afraid I don’t share the overwhelming optimism here about Iraqi democracy. Out of 16 Arab countries (I’m counting the UAE as one country), not a single one has had a real democracy for any lengthy period of time, and in Iraq you have three ethnic groups that distrust and hate each other. I hope I am proved wrong.

100 MandyManners  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:41:17am

re: #98 Occasional Reader

No, apparently not. See #84.

I think it, too, references that thread.

101 Rexatosis  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:44:40am

Re: #22 Catttt

Nixon should not be lumped in with Carter on foreign policy. Nixon issued in an age of Detente with the Soviet Union converting what had been a tense military face off that nearly brought the world to nuclear armeggedon under Kennedy to primarily an economic confrontation while opening up the Soviet economy to more Western goods which helped weaken the resolve of the Soviet populace to pay the draconian price needed to keep the Soviet military on a par with NATO under Gorbachev. Nixon opened the door to China. Nixon cauterized the festering wound of Vietnam while preserving the security arrangements the United States had through the rest of Southeast Asia (Thailand, Singapore) while limiting the damage created by great power retreat (compare the US exit out of Vietnam and USSR competition with China over that area with the Ottoman retreat from Eastern Central Europe being replaced by Russian v. German hegemony). Nixon ushered in a stable tri-polar (Washington, Moscow, Peking) world system that provided relative peace for over a quarter-century until broken on 9/11 by a non-state entity. Nixon (and Kissinger’s) foreign policy should rightfully be compared with that of Metternich and Bismarck in its results.

102 kynna  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:46:55am

re: #71 Desert Dog

It doesn’t matter we will all die on December 21, 2012 anyway.

I think that every time the clock strikes 12:01 a.m., too. It’s exhausting!

103 Pianobuff  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:48:41am

Breaking on Fox News….. Daischle has withdrawn his nomination!

104 pre-Boomer Marine brat  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:50:01am

re: #101 Rexatosis

Very true. Nixon will be far-better remembered in the history books (albeit, with mixed reviews, and rightly so) than most people realize.

105 Ontheleftcoast  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:50:07am

Obama has already ordered Petraeus to prepare a detailed plan for withdrawal from Iraq in 16 months. (A bit different from over the summer when the headlines touted Obama’s new realism.) Note the lede about Obama “facing down” his senior officers.

Many of the top level posts are filled with reasonable people. The same isn’t true for the people below them. If this is any guide to the future, it looks as though Obama is going to set up, say, Gates, Petraeus and Odierno to fail or be forced to resign, at which point one of the hard leftists in the #2 or 3 slot (civilian agencies) or a general willing to go along will take over, because “Well, we tried it the more moderate way, and it failed.”

From UPI:

[Link: www.upi.com…]

U.S. President Barack Obama faced down his three top military officials in a policy confrontation during his very first day in office, U.S. military sources have told UPI.

On Wednesday, the president met with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen and Central Command commander four-star Gen. David Petraeus. Gates, supported by Mullen and Petraeus, vigorously argued that the president should back away from his campaign pledge to withdraw all U.S. combat forces from Iraq within the next 16 months and space out the withdrawal over a longer period of time. However, the president instructed the three officials to prepare a plan that would still implement the 16-month withdrawal period, Pentagon sources said.

The discussion between the president and the three officials was friendly and respectful. However, the president’s determination to implement his stated policy took the officials by surprise, one of the sources told UPI. Petraeus, in particular, had expected the recommendation to extend the period of the withdrawal timetable to be accepted, several sources said.

106 tigger2005  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:50:25am

That focused geopolitical strategy stuff is like, so cynical and old-fashioned. Vague hopenchange is the wave of the future!

107 Throbert McGee  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:51:04am

re: #23 lifeofthemind

The Jesuits had a name for the Democrats,

Invincible Ignorance

Heh!

But just to be pedantic, the excellent phrase “invincible ignorance” is not actually a synonym for “incurable stupidity,” as it seems to be — it refers to a rejection of Christ and His Holy Catholic Church that is not rooted in sinful motives.

Basically, the doctrine of Invincible Ignorance implies that if you die as a non-Catholic — or even a hardcore unrepentant atheist! — you can still get into heaven if God (in His Omniscience and Infinite Mercy) determines that your failure to embrace Catholicism was “not your fault.” Keep in mind, however, that this is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for non-believers — since it’s impossible to fool God, and He will know with infallible certainty the true motives for your lack of belief.

(And “I would’ve converted, but Catholic Masses are incredibly boring” is not a valid excuse under the I.I. doctrine — sorry!)

108 jwb7605  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:52:05am

Just got back, Fox News is flashing that Daschle has withdrawn.
So, all problems are solved. Move along.

109 Globular Cluster  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:56:18am

All our effort in Iraq will be squandered because Berry will never bring himself to acknowledge the prescience and good judgment of his predecessor.

(Was that a run-on sentence? You decide!)

110 [deleted]  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:58:40am
111 Lincolntf  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:59:07am

Buh-bye, Daschle.

112 thefallingman  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:02:04am

Well, there’s one unclenched fist. Somehow I don’t think there will be an outstretched had from the Obama administration.

113 debutaunt  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:07:14am

re: #108 jwb7605

Just got back, Fox News is flashing that Daschle has withdrawn.
So, all problems are solved. Move along.

Check this out: • General Motors offering buyouts to all hourly employees.

114 jemima  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:07:20am

muslims. What can ya say. They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

115 HippieforLife  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:07:20am

re: #53 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

I love the smell of HOPE in the morning! LOL!

116 Throbert McGee  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:09:35am

re: #107 Throbert McGee

the doctrine of Invincible Ignorance implies that if you die as a non-Catholic — or even a hardcore unrepentant atheist! — you can still get into heaven if God (in His Omniscience and Infinite Mercy) determines that your failure to embrace Catholicism was “not your fault.”

In other words, God peers into your heart and says, “I can tell you’re such a spiffy person that you most assuredly WOULD HAVE become Catholic if only someone had explained it to you properly at some point in your unfortunate life — so welcome to Heaven!” Or possibly, since this is a Catholic doctrine, God says: “the express elevator to Purgatory is just down the hall; We look forward to welcoming you to Heaven in ten billion years.” But still, Purgatory is finite in duration, so it beats the heck out of Hell (which is eternal) if you happened to die as a stubbornly unsaved heathen.

I’m pretty sure that outside of Catholic circles, some Christian theologians use the phrase “Implicitly Saved” (or something close to that) in making a very similar argument — it’s the same general concept as Invincible Ignorance.

117 HippieforLife  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:11:33am

re: #108 jwb7605

The O really has a great batting average with his cabinet appointments!

I can almost feel sorry for the O. NOT!

118 Raven1  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:13:54am

I have no pity for Dashole. He wants to raise everyone elses taxes and avoid paying his own. Typical hypocrite democrat a-hole.

119 smokefire  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:14:03am

……………did’nt the ONE, just yesterday say that he was 100
% behind Daschle?


There goes another one under the bus.

120 smokefire  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:15:38am

I have a nomination for HHS.

Chris Dodd……………..or How about this blast from the past,

Bring back Joceyln Elders

121 wiffersnapper  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:16:32am

I always get a good chuckle whenever I read “Shiite democracy” and think something else…

Still terrific news for Iraq, every day keeps getting better for them.

122 [deleted]  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:19:17am
123 Raven1  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:19:41am

Shouldn’t Geitner withdraw also?

124 wingleader  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:22:06am

Of course the Obama is behind Daschle. It’s much easier to push someone under the bus when you are 100% behind them

125 Raven1  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:22:51am

And Dashole thought being a democrat meant never having to say you’re sorry.

126 [deleted]  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:30:22am
127 Dustyvet  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:43:50am

re: #4 monkeytime

Bush handed him the ball - he better not drop it.

He’s already dropped the ball after he took the oath on January 20th, and before he took the oath office with his PANDERING!

128 Dustyvet  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:52:31am

Rami Nashashibi - Chicago Protest 1.9.09

129 solergic  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:06:21am

Whatever you think about Iraq, you have to be amazed by our service men and women. I think their professionalism is really what won the war. Outstanding people. Some of whom I have the honor to count among my friends.

130 nikis-knight  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:11:51am

re: #122 Iron Fist

Scary thought; if we leave and that causes disaster, it will be said, and possibly widely believed, “Whew, we got out of there just in time!” rather than “Dang, we could probably have prevented that.”

131 DisturbedEma  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:17:01am

re: #130 nikis-knight

Scary thought; if we leave and that causes disaster, it will be said, and possibly widely believed, “Whew, we got out of there just in time!” rather than “Dang, we could probably have prevented that.”

True that…

132 morning star  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:59:05am

He’s not on our side.

133 Rancher  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 1:14:26pm

Like Vietnam, funding for Iraq will be cut while Iran redoubles its efforts. Charlie Wilson, the Congressman who kept the mujahideen of Afghanistan funded and armed with stinger missiles to fight the Russians, had a constant battle against those who wanted that money to go towards “good works” in the US. We lost Vietnam, almost lost the cold war, and I fear loosing Iraq because of a penny wise pound foolish mentality.

134 Amer-I-Can  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 1:21:37pm

Too late, he’s already checked out of Iraq mentally so that he can concentrate on the “Real War on Terror” in Afghanistan. Maybe he will slip in a quick invasion of Pakistan while we are over there.

“The war is lost, the war is lost…. oh crap, they voted!”
Harry “Dingy” Reid

135 big L  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 1:32:03pm

Want to see the missed chance, check out
powerlineblog.com where Frank Gaffney’s article references
Bill Gertz saying that Obama made secret contact with Al Queda-before the election to work out a deal to be nice to USA if USA leaves Afghanistan. And that secret talks have gone on since election.If true as Powerline says it is a big mess and treason etc.

136 big L  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 1:46:35pm

I think that it is going to be hard to get rid of Obama. Due to Acorn and all the worship, plus Cong Serrano D-NY, introducing legislation to repeal the 22nd amendment, he is planning to stay.
1. It will pass the two Houses.
2. I will be ratified by most of the states very quickly. I know that it takes 3/4 ths. but after 60% there will be hue-and-cry to declare it unanimous. Or put pressure on the remaining.
but if these secret contacts with al-Queda, declared terrorist enemy of USA are true….out he goes.

137 code red 21  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 1:46:54pm

Allot of people are going to die because of our president’s stupidity. It makes me sick to think about what that fool is going to do to our country and the world.

138 big L  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 1:50:18pm

59 Guanximaybe he will ignore Iraq, being really busy with sinking the USA which seems to be the current plan. Therefore Iraq will chug along dependin’ on what the Cong does.

139 descolada9  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:11:56pm

Much like Clinton before him, Obama is going to be given cleared ground and past successes for him to bolster his image with, but he will probably make a mess of things and cost us big time.

If Iraq ends up backsliding into terrorism or dictatorship because of Obama’s ill-conceived notions, I am going to be really, really upset with him, possibly enough to protest across from the White House (I usually wonder about protesters who sit across from the White House, don’t they have jobs?)


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