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Old 05-26-2004, 09:46 AM   #1
Lurikeen
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Default Bush speech alarms even war enthusiasts

By Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle

Washington -- Even the staunchest supporters of President Bush's Iraq enterprise were less than cheered by his speech to the nation Monday night outlining the path forward, some describing the administration as being in a state of panic.

In particular, the neoconservatives who provided the intellectual argument that an invasion of Iraq could provide a template for democracy in the Middle East are expressing open alarm that this effort is dangerously off course.

"There's no question the administration has been in total panic mode, and they don't need to be, because Iraq is salvageable," said Danielle Pletka, vice president of foreign and defense studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank that has been a hotbed of support for the war. "But I think there is still so much indecision about what to do that it's going to be hard for them to do the right thing."

Many administration hawks were drawn from the neoconservative intellectual ranks, notably deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz, the chief architect of the idea that the United States could make Iraq a democratic beacon.

Their dismay comes as some Republicans in Congress fear that Bush's Iraq policy has become unhinged, given the relentless bad news coming out of Iraq: a multiheaded insurgency among Shiites and Sunnis, the assassination of the president of the Iraqi Governing Council, the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and the steady rise in U.S. casualties.

Others on the political right, as distinct from their more interventionist neoconservative colleagues, have begun openly attacking the administration. Wall Street Journal contributing editor Mark Helprin called Abu Ghraib "a symbol of the inescapable fact that the war has been run incompetently, with an apparently deliberate contempt for history, strategy, and thought." He asked why the administration was trying to occupy Iraq with current troop levels, "even as one event cascading into another should make them recoil in piggy-eyed wonder at the lameness of their policy."

Some of Bush's supporters concede the administration has committed blunders over the past year. Many suggest a sharp change in course -- such as adding thousands of troops, or moving up elections or forcefully quashing insurgents -- which they contend Bush did not promise Monday.

"It was important for Bush to remind the American public of the cost of failure," said Michael Rubin, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute and another neoconservative war supporter. "Basically, Bush was letting us see the forest through the trees."

However, he said, "the devil's in the details, and with the stakes so high, we can't ignore the details."

Yet while criticizing the administration for failures of execution, few neoconservatives have abandoned their belief that the war was a good idea or that it is intimately linked, as Bush insisted Monday, with fighting terrorism.

Joining the neoconservatives in support of the basic war effort are Democratic hawks such as Rep. Tom Lantos of San Mateo, the ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee.

"Iraq is clearly waiting to see if we will help develop a more open society or whether we will tire, declare a Pyrrhic victory and leave," Lantos said, urging persistence and greater international involvement.

"Nobody is admitting defeat, and if anything they are taking an even harder line," said Charles Pena, head of defense studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, which opposed the invasion and urges a speedy withdrawal.

Some contend that neoconservatives resemble the communists they once ridiculed, blaming the failures of communist ideology on the Kremlin's execution.

"It's an argument that shows that they didn't understand the problem to begin with, that you just cannot use military force to dictate outcomes everywhere in the world," Pena said. "It's based on this presumption that somehow we have to turn Iraq into a democracy, that that will somehow make us safe, which presumes Iraq was a threat to begin with."

War supporters have been emphasizing the bright spots in the occupation, such as the relative calm in some parts of the country.

Many compare the current situation in Iraq with the darkest moments of World War II, when rampant despair clouded victories that lay ahead.

Neoconservatives warn, however, that the administration seems headed on a dangerous course. Pletka charges the administration with "subcontracting" the political process to the United Nations. Many are particularly worried by the decision to enlist a former Republican Guard general to pacify Fallujah, site of a bloody Sunni insurgency last month. Handing over security to factional militias is a recipe not for elections but for civil war, they contend. They urge instead a crackdown by U.S. forces.

"The truth is it wouldn't take much actually to turn this around, not that they necessarily will," said Gary Schmitt, executive director of the Project for a New American Century, a leading neoconservative think tank. "There are a lot of very positive trends going on in Iraq, and I think if you take care of the security situation and the political trend lines toward real elections, in fact I think Iraq is more than salvageable."

But their critics say the hawks' predictions have nearly all gone awry. The weapons of mass destruction used to justify the war were never found, and the war's cost, rather than being self-funded from Iraq's oil revenues, has reached $170 billion with no end in sight.

Neoconservatives widely predicted an easy occupation followed by an immediate peace, followed by "a flourishing democracy which would cause a domino effect across the region creating democracies elsewhere," said Peter Singer, a national security fellow at the Brookings Institution. "And then the very first foreign policy position taken by this new democratic Iraq, run by their exile friends, would be to recognize Israel, and that would somehow end the Arab-Israeli conflict, and bunnies would dance in the streets, and we would find life on Mars."

Singer said the plan was "incredibly ambitious to the point of absurdity, and of course reality stepped in, and that's where we are now."

Neoconservatives contend they predicted no such thing.

"I'm on the record as saying the occupation would require several hundred thousand troops and the process would take five to 10 years," said Schmitt. "So you didn't get the cakewalk stuff from us. That said, the administration made it harder on itself because, frankly, they planned a military campaign that was quite efficient at getting rid of the government but didn't plan on getting rid of the regime, and the result allowed a lot of Baathist Republican Guard and other insurgents to get their feet under them and create the insurgency we face today.

"I'm willing to say policy was still correct, but I'm not willing to take the blame for people's inability to carry it out in an effective fashion."

E-mail Carolyn Lochhead at clochhead@sfchronicle.com.

Reprinted from The San Francisco Chronicle
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Old 05-26-2004, 10:34 AM   #2
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George never made the right kinda note in the stuff a good U.S. Prez does. Mandate handled by Supreme Court.. what sort of mandate to govern is a court decision anyway. Public office is elected by popular vote, not dictated to the electorate by executive officials.

In my book George has lost his return to office with or without a mandate - he simply isn't impressive enough to fondly reminisce over this 1st term all through a 2nd.
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Old 05-26-2004, 11:01 AM   #3
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Mandate handled by Supreme Court.. what sort of mandate to govern is a court decision anyway. Public office is elected by popular vote, not dictated to the electorate by executive officials.
Wow..someone needs to go back to highschool and take a few lessons in US election law and politics. Bush was not elected by the Supreme Court..he was elected by the electoral college..as have the past 30+ presidents. He was elected by a state majority of electoral votes. Mandate in place and justified. Read, learn, and comprehend before you post. We elect presidents by the Electoral College..not popular vote, and thank God we do.
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Old 05-26-2004, 11:37 AM   #4
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You don't need a universal definition of 'Democracy' or an electoral roll for those registered U.S. voters then. The U.S. system sounds fucking special.

Might pay to check my location, for the millionth time I am Australian. Never went to high school in the U.S. go figure.
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Old 05-26-2004, 11:57 AM   #5
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"There's no question the administration has been in total panic mode, and they don't need to be, because Iraq is salvageable," said Danielle Pletka, vice president of foreign and defense studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank
You and bumble are scoring bigtime this week with those great sources. BTW this is an OP-Ed, its not covering an event its just rhetoric form nobodies.
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Old 05-26-2004, 12:00 PM   #6
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In Lurikeens defense, he never said it was anything at all just cut and pasted. That said, its an obvious attempt to stir shit on the boards and Chuk you fell into it ! You must be bored.
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Old 05-26-2004, 12:03 PM   #7
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Of course im bored, i wouldnt ever respond to those 2 idiots and their retarded threads if i wasnt.
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Old 05-26-2004, 12:41 PM   #8
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Chuck didn't "fall into it", he has been wallowing in it since the day America Under Attack was created.

BTW, "Mr. OP-ED Professor"... I could careless if an article is op-ed or not. It is YOU and others on this board who, when faced with facts contained in op-ed or other news sources, get your little silkies in a knot and denounce the entire article on a shallow basis.

Why don't you try gleaning some good information from the sources and if you find that the "op-ed" is opposed to your view point; rather than cry about it, refute it?

So, now that you quoted a vice president of a concervative think tank, why don't you show us, from your immense knowledge, that Danielle Pletka is incorrect?
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Old 05-26-2004, 12:55 PM   #9
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Its not possible to prove someones opinion is incorrect. Its their opinion duh.
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Old 05-26-2004, 01:08 PM   #10
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Chuck, do you really believe that someone becomes a VP at a conservative think tank while knowing nothing at all from which to ground their comments?

If you disagree that the Bush administration is not in panic mode, then how about giving some good reasons to back up your assertion?

Oh, that's right, you're just bored at work so you decided to grace us with your witicism. Aren't we all just so blessed by your participation.
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Old 05-26-2004, 01:13 PM   #11
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Chuck, do you really believe that someone becomes a VP at a conservative think tank while knowing nothing at all from which to ground their comments?
A think tank is just a pretty word for armchair quarterback. I dont give a shit what some nerds playing starcraft in their mother's basement think is going on, i go with the people who's job it is to prove these things instead of fantasize about them.

Oh, that's right, you're just bored at work so you decided to grace us with your witicism. Aren't we all just so blessed by your participation.
Yes indeed, least now you finally decided to accept me as your superior and better.
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Old 05-26-2004, 01:24 PM   #12
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The Bush Administration is in a panic, but it was also in a panic on 9/11/2001. Being in a panic doesn't always end in a negative result. Some of the greatest ideas, greatest inventions are done out of necessity, done to quell a problem.
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Old 05-26-2004, 02:03 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by chukzombi
A think tank is just a pretty word for armchair quarterback. I <snip> go with the people who's job it is to prove these things instead of fantasize about them.
In other words, you are a loud mouth with no facts to support your assertions, just like your baseless assertions above.

Of course, you could support your contention that a think tank is "just a pretty word for armchair quaterback"? Nah, you can't, since you haven't a clue.

Yes indeed, least now you finally decided to accept me as your superior and better.
On the contrary, I was pointing out what a worthless turd you are, and you proved it with your mistaken statement above. How nice!
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Old 05-26-2004, 02:07 PM   #14
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Some of the greatest ideas, greatest inventions are done out of necessity, done to quell a problem.
Yeah...great example of that is the invention of condoms!
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Old 05-26-2004, 02:07 PM   #15
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Just like your OP ED Lurequeen, the previous post is just your opinion, who gives a fuck? Even though you slipped up and acknowledged me as your hero, now you're just trying to cover it up with childish insults. Its ok i know how you really feel junior.
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Old 05-26-2004, 04:58 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by chukzombi
Just like your OP ED Lurequeen, the previous post is just your opinion, who gives a fuck? Even though you slipped up and acknowledged me as your hero, now you're just trying to cover it up with childish insults. Its ok i know how you really feel junior.
Chuk, I know you just l-o-v-e to fling shit. You are a prime example of that link humans have with simians.
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Old 05-26-2004, 09:39 PM   #17
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It is incredibly amusing to watch c0Nz bash the think tanks that have been so influential in the Bush Administration's policy. AEI and PNAC as armchair quarterbacks?!?!?!?? ROFL!!!! These guys dropped a quarter in GWB's ass and pressed play!
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Old 05-27-2004, 02:34 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Vireil
These guys dropped a quarter in GWB's ass and pressed play!
OK monitor cleaning time, lmao
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