PDA

View Full Version : Cohen: Just What the Founders Feared: An Imperial President Goes to War


|Zach|
07-23-2007, 09:01 PM
The nation is heading toward a constitutional showdown over the Iraq war. Congress is moving closer to passing a bill to limit or end the war, but President Bush insists Congress doesn’t have the power to do it. “I don’t think Congress ought to be running the war,” he said at a recent press conference. “I think they ought to be funding the troops.” He added magnanimously: “I’m certainly interested in their opinion.”

The war is hardly the only area where the Bush administration is trying to expand its powers beyond all legal justification. But the danger of an imperial presidency is particularly great when a president takes the nation to war, something the founders understood well. In the looming showdown, the founders and the Constitution are firmly on Congress’s side.

Given how intent the president is on expanding his authority, it is startling to recall how the Constitution’s framers viewed presidential power. They were revolutionaries who detested kings, and their great concern when they established the United States was that they not accidentally create a kingdom. To guard against it, they sharply limited presidential authority, which Edmund Randolph, a Constitutional Convention delegate and the first attorney general, called “the foetus of monarchy.”

The founders were particularly wary of giving the president power over war. They were haunted by Europe’s history of conflicts started by self-aggrandizing kings. John Jay, the first chief justice of the United States, noted in Federalist No. 4 that “absolute monarchs will often make war when their nations are to get nothing by it, but for the purposes and objects merely personal.”

Many critics of the Iraq war are reluctant to suggest that President Bush went into it in anything but good faith. But James Madison, widely known as the father of the Constitution, might have been more skeptical. “In war, the honors and emoluments of office are to be multiplied; and it is the executive patronage under which they are to be enjoyed,” he warned. “It is in war, finally, that laurels are to be gathered; and it is the executive brow they are to encircle.”

When they drafted the Constitution, Madison and his colleagues wrote their skepticism into the text. In Britain, the king had the authority to declare war, and raise and support armies, among other war powers. The framers expressly rejected this model and gave these powers not to the president, but to Congress.

The Constitution does make the president “commander in chief,” a title President Bush often invokes. But it does not have the sweeping meaning he suggests. The framers took it from the British military, which used it to denote the highest-ranking official in a theater of battle. Alexander Hamilton emphasized in Federalist No. 69 that the president would be “nothing more” than “first general and admiral,” responsible for “command and direction” of military forces.

The founders would have been astonished by President Bush’s assertion that Congress should simply write him blank checks for war. They gave Congress the power of the purse so it would have leverage to force the president to execute their laws properly. Madison described Congress’s control over spending as “the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.”

The framers expected Congress to keep the president on an especially short leash on military matters. The Constitution authorizes Congress to appropriate money for an army, but prohibits appropriations for longer than two years. Hamilton explained that the limitation prevented Congress from vesting “in the executive department permanent funds for the support of an army, if they were even incautious enough to be willing to repose in it so improper a confidence.”

As opinion turns more decisively against the war, the administration is becoming ever more dismissive of Congress’s role. Last week, Under Secretary of Defense Eric Edelman brusquely turned away Senator Hillary Clinton’s questions about how the Pentagon intended to plan for withdrawal from Iraq. "Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq,” he wrote. Mr. Edelman’s response showed contempt not merely for Congress, but for the system of government the founders carefully created.

The Constitution cannot enforce itself. It is, as the constitutional scholar Edwin Corwin famously observed, an “invitation to struggle” among the branches, but the founders wisely bequeathed to Congress some powerful tools for engaging in the struggle. It is no surprise that the current debate over a deeply unpopular war is arising in the context of a Congressional spending bill. That is precisely what the founders intended.

Members of Congress should not be intimidated into thinking that they are overstepping their constitutional bounds. If the founders were looking on now, it is not Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi who would strike them as out of line, but George W. Bush, who would seem less like a president than a king.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/23/opinion/23mon4.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

ChiefaRoo
07-23-2007, 10:59 PM
The Congress has already authorized the President to use force in Afghanistan and Iraq. I suggest the Dems. defund the troops if they feel so strongly. In fact, if you think the American people are so strongly on the side of the Dems. then de-funding them shouldn't be a problem right? Go ahead Harry Reid and Nancy I dare you. We'll see where the American people line up if that happens.

Cochise
07-23-2007, 11:04 PM
So this is what the founders intended, for struggles over funding to determine course. It seems that the Democratic Congress has the keys in their hand.

So what is the constitutional crisis?

Taco John
07-23-2007, 11:10 PM
I think congress should defund apple pies! If the American people are so fimly behind them, then what's the problem? Defund apple pies! I dare them!

wazu
07-23-2007, 11:21 PM
The Congress has already authorized the President to use force in Afghanistan and Iraq. I suggest the Dems. defund the troops if they feel so strongly. In fact, if you think the American people are so strongly on the side of the Dems. then de-funding them shouldn't be a problem right? Go ahead Harry Reid and Nancy I dare you. We'll see where the American people line up if that happens.

Be careful what you wish for.

ChiefaRoo
07-23-2007, 11:26 PM
Be careful what you wish for.

I don't wish for it and the Dems don't have the desire to do it, not because they wouldnt' but because they know better. If the Dems did they would be committing political suicide as the population isn't interested in the politics of all this when it comes down to supporting the guys and girls over there. If they were stupid enough to do that they would hand a huge '08 election issue over to the Republicans.

Logical
07-23-2007, 11:52 PM
So this is what the founders intended, for struggles over funding to determine course. It seems that the Democratic Congress has the keys in their hand.

So what is the constitutional crisis?

Gee I don't know, Congress cuts off funds but the President will not bring the troops home. That sounds like a potential Constitutional Crisis in the realm of the possible.

ChiefaRoo
07-23-2007, 11:54 PM
Gee I don't know, Congress cuts off funds but the President will not bring the troops home. That sounds like a potential Constitutional Crisis in the realm of the possible.

Bring it!

Logical
07-24-2007, 12:00 AM
Bring it!

I think it is more likely they will slowly starve the war, not completely cutting off funds but only providing enough for a lesser effort. Then cut it back a little at a time every 3 months. At least that is how I would handle it. Then if Bush vetos the funding he will be the one cutting off the troops funding.

ChiefaRoo
07-24-2007, 12:03 AM
I think it is more likely they will slowly starve the war, not completely cutting off funds but only providing enough for a lesser effort. Then cut it back a little at a time every 3 months. At least that is how I would handle it. Then if Bush vetos the funding he will be the one cutting off the troops funding.

They can try it but it'll be all over talk radio, the Internet and Cable news 24/7. Even the big three networks would probably point it out. It would be a loser issue IMO.

wazu
07-24-2007, 12:05 AM
Gee I don't know, Congress cuts off funds but the President will not bring the troops home. That sounds like a potential Constitutional Crisis in the realm of the possible.

It shouldn't be a problem to bring the troops home. We aren't at war since congress never declared it. Cutting funding shouldn't mean much more than a few less peacetime cruises to the Mediterranean.

ChiefaRoo
07-24-2007, 12:06 AM
It shouldn't be a problem to bring the troops home. We aren't at war since congress never declared it. Cutting funding shouldn't mean much more than a few less peacetime cruises to the Mediterranean.

Bring it! I dare Harry "the turd" Reid and Nancy "strech" Pelosi to do it.

Logical
07-24-2007, 12:19 AM
They can try it but it'll be all over talk radio, the Internet and Cable news 24/7. Even the big three networks would probably point it out. It would be a loser issue IMO.
The Iraq war is already losing support amongst the conservative talk show heads. I think Lavin is the only one still strongly supporting it.

ChiefaRoo
07-24-2007, 12:25 AM
The Iraq war is already losing support amongst the conservative talk show heads. I think Lavin is the only one still strongly supporting it.


Give me a break

jAZ
07-24-2007, 12:29 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitary_executive_theory

Logical
07-24-2007, 01:03 AM
Give me a breakJust reporting what I am hearing on all of them.

headsnap
07-24-2007, 05:48 AM
I think congress should defund apple pies! If the American people are so fimly behind them, then what's the problem? Defund apple pies! I dare them!
when did the media start telling us that we are against apple pies?

headsnap
07-24-2007, 05:49 AM
Just reporting what I am hearing on all of them.

you listen to ALL of them?!?!?!



WOW, you have less of a life than I thought! :p

BucEyedPea
07-24-2007, 07:32 AM
Yup! President Cheney...oops I mean, Bush is the president Madison warned us about.

Cochise
07-24-2007, 07:36 AM
Gee I don't know, Congress cuts off funds but the President will not bring the troops home. That sounds like a potential Constitutional Crisis in the realm of the possible.

The point is academic, because the Congressional Democrats are not going to cut off funding anyway.

BucEyedPea
07-24-2007, 08:06 AM
The point is academic, because the Congressional Democrats are not going to cut off funding anyway.
I wonder if they really support it afterall but I'm inclined to believe they'll be turned out in the next election as well as a turnover in the Chief Executive branch.

Warrior5
07-24-2007, 08:27 AM
I think congress should defund apple pies! If the American people are so fimly behind them, then what's the problem? Defund apple pies! I dare them!

I'm firmly behind strawberry-rhubarb pie.

If anyone touches my strawberry-rhubarb pies....I'll kill 'em.

Chief Henry
07-24-2007, 10:28 AM
Hey Jiz and Co. What happens if the surge WORKS ?

ChiefaRoo
07-24-2007, 10:37 AM
Hey Jiz and Co. What happens if the surge WORKS ?

He and the rest of the irrational Bush haters will be crestfallen but they will pretend that they are happy. You know, just like John Kerry would do.

BucEyedPea
07-24-2007, 10:41 AM
"If" the surge works?
It isn't. This is going to require a political solution to get out of and that's going to require swallowing some pride and negotiating with Iran, even Syria. We did a guns/hostages deal before...we can do something again. It is vital.

patteeu
07-24-2007, 10:43 AM
So this is what the founders intended, for struggles over funding to determine course. It seems that the Democratic Congress has the keys in their hand.

So what is the constitutional crisis?

Exactly. This is much ado over nothing. And by ado, I mean whining.

patteeu
07-24-2007, 10:57 AM
Gee I don't know, Congress cuts off funds but the President will not bring the troops home. That sounds like a potential Constitutional Crisis in the realm of the possible.

:rolleyes: And if Nancy Pelosi declares GWB and Dick Cheney to be under arrest and announces that she is assuming control of the Government as the next in line for the Presidency, it might bring on a constitutional crisis too. Neither of these things is at all likely.

patteeu
07-24-2007, 10:58 AM
I think it is more likely they will slowly starve the war, not completely cutting off funds but only providing enough for a lesser effort. Then cut it back a little at a time every 3 months. At least that is how I would handle it. Then if Bush vetos the funding he will be the one cutting off the troops funding.

That's probably the way Osama bin Laden would design it too.

jAZ
07-24-2007, 11:00 AM
Hey Jiz and Co. What happens if the surge WORKS ?
What does "works" mean? The only solution to the problems in Iraq are political ones. The bench marks that weren't met were the only ones that really mattered to anything "working" in Iraq.

The surge, at best, reduces violence in Baghdad. It doesn't negotiate oil revenues.

patteeu
07-24-2007, 11:05 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitary_executive_theory

ROFL Here is the first line on that wiki page:

In American political and legal discourse, the unitary executive theory is a controversial theory of Constitutional interpretation that negates aspects of the separation of powers.

In fact, the UET does just the opposite. It strengthens the separation of powers by arguing against the notion that Congress has the power to micromanage the executive branch.

patteeu
07-24-2007, 11:07 AM
"If" the surge works?
It isn't. This is going to require a political solution to get out of and that's going to require swallowing some pride and negotiating with Iran, even Syria. We did a guns/hostages deal before...we can do something again. It is vital.

Capitulate now, before it's too late!!

Cochise
07-24-2007, 11:17 AM
Capitulate now, before it's too late!!

When you have Democrats calling the surge a failure before all the manpower was even in place, it's not hard to predict that they will see failure no matter what happens.

patteeu
07-24-2007, 11:18 AM
What does "works" mean? The only solution to the problems in Iraq are political ones. The bench marks that weren't met were the only ones that really mattered to anything "working" in Iraq.

The surge, at best, reduces violence in Baghdad. It doesn't negotiate oil revenues.

This is idiotic. Political solutions don't just descend from heaven and come to rest on people who have unilaterally beaten their swords into plowshares.

The solutions in Iraq, whether we stay long enough to be a part of them or not, will come as a result of both military action and negotiation.

Theoretically, if you are willing to go to near-genocidal extents, a military-only solution is always possible. OTOH, there is no diplomacy-only solution possible short of complete surrender, even in theory. Blood will be shed until enough people on both sides tire of bleeding.

Signs that some members of the Sunni insurgency are getting tired of seeing their people bleed are appearing as a result of our surge strategy. Concessions are being made to these local groups of Sunnis. This kind of "small politics" matters right now just as much as the big politics of revenue sharing.

Cochise
07-24-2007, 11:20 AM
I think we need to demand political solutions to all issues of contention from our Congress; they can't agree on anything any better than the Iraqi Congress can.

Stinger
07-24-2007, 11:29 AM
"If" the surge works?
It isn't. This is going to require a political solution to get out of and that's going to require swallowing some pride and negotiating with Iran, even Syria. We did a guns/hostages deal before...we can do something again. It is vital.


:hmmm:

W W P D? What Would Patton Do?

<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/xyUX6wV1lBQ"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/xyUX6wV1lBQ" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

And on a totally unrelated note ... Does any one know why when you type wwpd in CAPS on here this phrase "Can I help it if I am a dipshit?" takes it place?

StcChief
07-24-2007, 11:34 AM
I think we need to demand political solutions to all issues of contention from our Congress; they can't agree on anything any better than the Iraqi Congress can.
but I'm sure they could follow suit and take August off.

Adept Havelock
07-24-2007, 11:35 AM
:hmmm:

W W P D? What Would Patton Do?
[/SIZE]

Be foolish enough to agitate to take on an enemy that outnumbered us 25 to 1 in heavy armor, 50 to 1 in artillery, and 20 to 1 in infantry before we even knew if we had a working nuclear weapon?

:p

BucEyedPea
07-24-2007, 12:03 PM
Be foolish enough to agitate to take on an enemy that outnumbered us 25 to 1 in heavy armor, 50 to 1 in artillery, and 20 to 1 in infantry before we even knew if we had a working nuclear weapon?

:p
:thumb: You're my man on military stuff.

I think foolish macho bravado is a bad policy myself.
Ever see angry men get something positive done? I haven't.

Adept Havelock
07-24-2007, 01:30 PM
:thumb: You're my man on military stuff.

I think foolish macho bravado is a bad policy myself.
Ever see angry men get something positive done? I haven't.


Thank you kindly, but please remember my knowledge is academic, based off studying and discussions with the real experts on this stuff...those that have spent time in the line.

I'll certainly agree bravado is a lousy policy. I've got to say sometime anger can be a good thing, as long as it is channeled and used productively. Example A: The anger of the Founding Fathers. ;)

Cochise
07-24-2007, 01:36 PM
I'll certainly agree bravado is a lousy policy. I've got to say sometime anger can be a good thing, as long as it is channeled and used productively. Example A: The anger of the Founding Fathers. ;)

Buncha neocon demagogues.

Logical
07-24-2007, 01:54 PM
:rolleyes: And if Nancy Pelosi declares GWB and Dick Cheney to be under arrest and announces that she is assuming control of the Government as the next in line for the Presidency, it might bring on a constitutional crisis too. ....
But I must admit this sounds really appealing.;)

go bowe
07-24-2007, 02:23 PM
yeah, me too.... :shrug:

jAZ
07-24-2007, 02:34 PM
This is idiotic. Political solutions don't just descend from heaven and come to rest on people who have unilaterally beaten their swords into plowshares.

The solutions in Iraq, whether we stay long enough to be a part of them or not, will come as a result of both military action and negotiation.

Theoretically, if you are willing to go to near-genocidal extents, a military-only solution is always possible. OTOH, there is no diplomacy-only solution possible short of complete surrender, even in theory.
Not only is your post here wrong headed as I'll get into, but it's possibly the worst conceived post you've ever made from a purely rhetorical perspecive. Your assertions not only fail to make your case, but they basically prove the case for everyone who disagrees with you (the anti-war crowd).

The fact is that the notion of "security" (the justification for a surge) being key to successful negotiations is a joke.

In fact, as you point out... it's exactly the OPPOSITE that's true.

This statement is your "downfall".
Blood will be shed until enough people on both sides tire of bleeding.
Yep. That's exactly right.

It's why people have been saying for a long time now, that the only solution is to leave and let the civil war run it's course.

It's also why the notion that bringing "security" to Bagdahd would be the missing link to splitting up the oil revenues and everything else that keeps the government from being a government.... is such a fraud.

It's the threat of that violence resulting from a pull out forces people to make concessions.

It's why timelines put pressure on people to move negotiations forward.

It's why escellating the American directed violence at those in the civil war ("Sunni insurgency are getting tired of seeing their people bleed ...as a result of our surge strategy") only serves to position America as the enemey.

BucEyedPea
07-24-2007, 02:42 PM
Thank you kindly, but please remember my knowledge is academic, based off studying and discussions with the real experts on this stuff...those that have spent time in the line.
Sometimes those on the ground don't have the larger view but have only the close-up view. It's one view. So there's something to be gained by both.

I'll certainly agree bravado is a lousy policy. I've got to say sometime anger can be a good thing, as long as it is channeled and used productively. Example A: The anger of the Founding Fathers. ;)


I agree. Force intelligently applied is a good mix.
Now I'd like to see some of that congressional outrage used productively.

patteeu
07-25-2007, 06:22 AM
Not only is your post here wrong headed as I'll get into, but it's possibly the worst conceived post you've ever made from a purely rhetorical perspecive. Your assertions not only fail to make your case, but they basically prove the case for everyone who disagrees with you (the anti-war crowd).

The fact is that the notion of "security" (the justification for a surge) being key to successful negotiations is a joke.

In fact, as you point out... it's exactly the OPPOSITE that's true.

This statement is your "downfall".

Yep. That's exactly right.

It's why people have been saying for a long time now, that the only solution is to leave and let the civil war run it's course.

It's also why the notion that bringing "security" to Bagdahd would be the missing link to splitting up the oil revenues and everything else that keeps the government from being a government.... is such a fraud.

It's the threat of that violence resulting from a pull out forces people to make concessions.

It's why timelines put pressure on people to move negotiations forward.

It's why escellating the American directed violence at those in the civil war ("Sunni insurgency are getting tired of seeing their people bleed ...as a result of our surge strategy") only serves to position America as the enemey.

Almost everything you write here is wrong. The surge isn't just about wrapping Baghdad up in a cocoon of soft cuddly protection. It's also about doing damage to insurgent networks and militias who have been terrorizing the neighborhoods. And about driving a wedge between the factions within the insurgency and coopting those who have already grown tired of the bloodletting.

There is some truth to the idea that the threat of a pullout could put pressure on people to make consessions, but the problem with that approach is that there isn't a fallback position if the pressure doesn't achieve your objectives. Your left with the option of actually following through and pulling out (which is no less than a surrender of Iraq to our enemies) or reversing our course and staying despite the stated threat to leave (which damages our credibility when we make threats in the future). I prefer a more straightforward approach to the counterinsurgency. Your approach is the hail mary of warfighting. Militarily speaking, there's no reason for us to be that desperate.

But I give you credit for backing off of your foolish statement about the only solutions in Iraq being political ones. I don't blame you for trying to wiggle away from that position.

ChiefaRoo
07-25-2007, 08:59 AM
Not only is your post here wrong headed as I'll get into, but it's possibly the worst conceived post you've ever made from a purely rhetorical perspecive. Your assertions not only fail to make your case, but they basically prove the case for everyone who disagrees with you (the anti-war crowd).

The fact is that the notion of "security" (the justification for a surge) being key to successful negotiations is a joke.

In fact, as you point out... it's exactly the OPPOSITE that's true.

This statement is your "downfall".

Yep. That's exactly right.

It's why people have been saying for a long time now, that the only solution is to leave and let the civil war run it's course.

It's also why the notion that bringing "security" to Bagdahd would be the missing link to splitting up the oil revenues and everything else that keeps the government from being a government.... is such a fraud.

It's the threat of that violence resulting from a pull out forces people to make concessions.

It's why timelines put pressure on people to move negotiations forward.

It's why escellating the American directed violence at those in the civil war ("Sunni insurgency are getting tired of seeing their people bleed ...as a result of our surge strategy") only serves to position America as the enemey.

If we have to we should stay in Iraq for the next 100 years.

jAZ
07-25-2007, 11:27 AM
Almost everything you write here is wrong.
ROFL

I said...

"The fact is that the notion of "security" (the justification for a surge) being key to successful negotiations is a joke." --jAZ
When rolling out the surge to the public, Bush said...
"The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security, especially in Baghdad. Eighty percent of Iraq's sectarian violence occurs within 30 miles of the capital. This violence is splitting Baghdad into sectarian enclaves, and shaking the confidence of all Iraqis. Only Iraqis can end the sectarian violence and secure their people.

...

Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents.

...

The Iraqi government will deploy Iraqi Army and National Police brigades across Baghdad's nine districts. ... These Iraqi forces will operate from local police stations -- conducting patrols and setting up checkpoints, and going door-to-door to gain the trust of Baghdad residents."

You've reached the point of arguing with the President to defend the President's policies.

:shake:

Mr. Kotter
07-25-2007, 12:04 PM
The Imperial Presidency arrived with Theordore Roosevelt, and ascended to a place of honor under FDR. Under LBJ, and then Nixon, it grew to ridiculous heights. Although a constant target of criticism, the Imperial Presidency is an unfortunate political reality.

The ONLY question is when Presidents step outside the law....and to prove criminal activity and violation of law, can be very difficult--and to at least some extent, a politically motivated and partisan venture.

Law is subject to interpretation, so unless there is a "smoking gun" (eg, the Nixon tapes, Lewinski's blue dress, etc.) and clear cut and indisputable evidence of wrong-doing (to suffice as "beyond reasonable doubt,) the Imperial Presidency will survive....the exercise of power under the Imperial Presidency will continue to frustrate partisan critics of whatever administration it is that we wish to talk about.

Anyone who thinks otherwise, frankly, has not studied history and politics of America in the 20th Century. Or if they have studied it, they aren't too bright.

banyon
07-25-2007, 12:12 PM
(paraphrase) The status quo is great. There is nothing we can do about it except to occasionally scowl disapprovingly [/Kotter]

Radar Chief
07-25-2007, 12:15 PM
(paraphrase) The status quo is great. There is nothing we can do about it except to occasionally scowl disapprovingly [/Kotter]

I didn’t get a harrumph out’a that guy.

Brock
07-25-2007, 12:15 PM
OMGZZ bush is palpatine

What are people going to get hysterical about in 18 months?

Mr. Kotter
07-25-2007, 01:31 PM
(paraphrase) The status quo is great. There is nothing we can do about it except to occasionally scowl disapprovingly [/Kotter]

Nothing in what I said, could be in ANY way, accurately....described to characterize, or to convey....my approval of it; and certainly, there is no characterization of it as "great." Nothing.

I'm merely stating the facts.

Try again, sir. :rolleyes:

banyon
07-25-2007, 01:41 PM
Nothing in what I said, could be in ANY way, accurately....described to characterize, or to convey....my approval of it; and certainly, there is no characterization of it as "great." Nothing.

I'm merely stating the facts.

Try again, sir. :rolleyes:

Oh, I didn't intend to paraphrase just that post. I was trying to paraphrase 95% of your posts. Obviously the "great" was intended sarcastically and not literally.

Mr. Kotter
07-25-2007, 01:59 PM
Oh, I didn't intend to paraphrase just that post. I was trying to paraphrase 95% of your posts. Obviously the "great" was intended sarcastically and not literally.

You know what banyon? I would LOVE to see politics change. The problem is, I've seen enough and been around long enough to have serious doubts that it will ever happen. Not when I see politicians on BOTH sides of the isle doing the "same ole, same ole."

Democrats promised "bipartisanship" during the Reagan years. Ha! Clinton promised "change" when he ran for, and won, the Presidency. What a joke. Republicans in Congress said in the "Contract" in '94...."things will be different." Wrong-O! Bush promised more "bipartisanship" and being a "uniter." How lame. Pelosi and the Dems promised "reform" to replace the "culture of corruption"--and, while the jury is still out, it looks like same shit, different day.

You can only watch the bastards cry "wolf" a half a dozen times or so, before you realize every one of them is full of shit. So until guys like Obama and Paul.....actually win elections, and more importantly, LIVE UP TO their rhetoric....only naive folks like you will expect anything more out of the ilk we keep sending to Washington.

Wake up, and smell the coffee....man. :rolleyes:

Taco John
07-25-2007, 02:23 PM
If we have to we should stay in Iraq for the next 100 years.




Hahahaha! ROFL

You and I have very different ideas about America. If I may, your vision of America sucks elephant balls.

|Zach|
07-25-2007, 02:33 PM
You know what banyon? I would LOVE to see politics change. The problem is, I've seen enough and been around long enough to have serious doubts that it will ever happen. Not when I see politicians on BOTH sides of the isle doing the "same ole, same ole."

Democrats promised "bipartisanship" during the Reagan years. Ha! Clinton promised "change" when he ran for, and won, the Presidency. What a joke. Republicans in Congress said in the "Contract" in '94...."things will be different." Wrong-O! Bush promised more "bipartisanship" and being a "uniter." How lame. Pelosi and the Dems promised "reform" to replace the "culture of corruption"--and, while the jury is still out, it looks like same shit, different day.

You can only watch the bastards cry "wolf" a half a dozen times or so, before you realize every one of them is full of shit. So until guys like Obama and Paul.....actually win elections, and more importantly, LIVE UP TO their rhetoric....only naive folks like you will expect anything more out of the ilk we keep sending to Washington.

Wake up, and smell the coffee....man. :rolleyes:

I am writing this not as a cotrarian or someone looking to stir shit...I mean that.

But you seem to be a prime example of someone that is enabling our system to never ever change. You have a set of beliefs and you always trade them in or compromise the ones that have anything to do with change. Every time someone throws out some kind of idea...whether you agree with it or not...if it isn't something thats always been done you don't get behind just for that reason. It has never done.

You will look down on me and talk about how idealistic I am. Thats fine, and probably right. I understand you can't throw revolutions out all the time and change happens slowly. But looking at the way you go about things. Not what you believe, but the way you go about it. It seems folks like you are one of the biggest problems. Intelligent, politically and historically literate, active. Yet at every turn you back what is safe, and has always been done, and accept the way things are. If it supports what you believe or not. Always whittling things down to the lowest common denominator.

You talk a lot but do nothing to live the change you want to see in the world.

ChiefaRoo
07-25-2007, 06:13 PM
Hahahaha! ROFL

You and I have very different ideas about America. If I may, your vision of America sucks elephant balls.

You don't understand or appreciate what kind of stability that America has given the world in the past 100 years. I've traveled the world extensively and have seen first hand how American military and economic power has been used to liberate millions of people around the world. One example. South Korea would be a miserable hole with millions mired in poverty and misery if it wasn't for the sacrifices and the determination of our people and our soldiers to keep them out from under the heel of oppression. Truman made the right decison then and Bush is making the right decision now. It's our reponsibility to give the Iraqis time to build their society.

banyon
07-25-2007, 09:59 PM
You know what banyon? I would LOVE to see politics change. The problem is, I've seen enough and been around long enough to have serious doubts that it will ever happen. Not when I see politicians on BOTH sides of the isle doing the "same ole, same ole."

Democrats promised "bipartisanship" during the Reagan years. Ha! Clinton promised "change" when he ran for, and won, the Presidency. What a joke. Republicans in Congress said in the "Contract" in '94...."things will be different." Wrong-O! Bush promised more "bipartisanship" and being a "uniter." How lame. Pelosi and the Dems promised "reform" to replace the "culture of corruption"--and, while the jury is still out, it looks like same shit, different day.

You can only watch the bastards cry "wolf" a half a dozen times or so, before you realize every one of them is full of shit. So until guys like Obama and Paul.....actually win elections, and more importantly, LIVE UP TO their rhetoric....only naive folks like you will expect anything more out of the ilk we keep sending to Washington.

Wake up, and smell the coffee....man. :rolleyes:

I pretty much agree with Zach's post above, which should come as no surprise to you since I'm his intellectual retard soulmate or whatever it was. Anyway, I don't think your utter lack of faith in our politicians to get anything done is merited by a review of recent history. Plenty of good things have happened in the last 35+ years that were the result of able and competent representation. The Clean Air and Water Acts have significantly changed our environment for the better. The Family and Medical Leave Act has been a good bipartisan bill. The Americans with Disabilities Act has given the disabled improved access to society in a very good way. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and similar bills have given people some meaningful protections against harassment. Congress acted competently in the wake of the 9-11 attacks in its cooperation with efforts in Afghanistan.

Most of those efforts were not done with a single phone call, letter, or internet post. For any issue that's important, basically you'll need a critical mass of people behind you to get the legislators pushed in your favor. That's what's been happening over the last 15+ years for universal health care and the last 4 for the Iraq War. I'm not sure either has reached that mass, since Dem's could act significantly on both issues, but it would appear they want to save those issues for the 2008 campaign. But that's not unusual, most administrations only pass the significant legislation in years 1,3 and 5 (if they reach it) becase of the election cycle.

I'm sorry If I picked on you today, I generally enjoy your presence on the board even if I don't agree. i guess I felt that your posts had accumulated to a point of critical mass in my memory where I felt the need to call you on it.

listopencil
07-25-2007, 10:32 PM
I'm firmly behind strawberry-rhubarb pie.


I can not fully support strawberry-rhubarb pie or apple pie. I desire a third alternative pie. Perhaps a custard.

Adept Havelock
07-25-2007, 10:34 PM
I can not fully support strawberry-rhubarb pie or apple pie. I desire a third alternative pie. Perhaps a custard.

Custard? Never! We Athiestic Hedonists will only accept Ze French Silk!










Though we might also consider a nice Key Lime.

patteeu
07-25-2007, 10:50 PM
ROFL

I said...

"The fact is that the notion of "security" (the justification for a surge) being key to successful negotiations is a joke." --jAZ
When rolling out the surge to the public, Bush said...
"The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security, especially in Baghdad. Eighty percent of Iraq's sectarian violence occurs within 30 miles of the capital. This violence is splitting Baghdad into sectarian enclaves, and shaking the confidence of all Iraqis. Only Iraqis can end the sectarian violence and secure their people.

...

Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents.

...

The Iraqi government will deploy Iraqi Army and National Police brigades across Baghdad's nine districts. ... These Iraqi forces will operate from local police stations -- conducting patrols and setting up checkpoints, and going door-to-door to gain the trust of Baghdad residents."

You've reached the point of arguing with the President to defend the President's policies.

:shake:

I'm not even sure I know what you mean here. I'm not arguing with the president at all.

The political solutions won't come until one side beats up on the other side to the point that they are either dead or ready to give up the fight and compromise (ie agree to a political settlement). If we leave, we will be eliminating any influence we have on which side is the beater and which side becomes the beaten. Iran, Saudi Arabia, and al Qaeda will be among those left behind to fight for control. If we stay, we continue to be the most significant external influence on the outcome.

Among other things, our surge strategy is intended to provide security in Baghdad, but it's not supposed to do so by using our military as a giant human shield. It's supposed to do so by coopting those who can be coopted and driving the rest of the insurgency and the militias if necessary (especially al Qaeda) out.

If this doesn't clear it up for you, I need you to be more clear about what you think it is that I'm arguing with the President about.

jAZ
07-25-2007, 11:23 PM
I'm not even sure I know what you mean here. I'm not arguing with the president at all.
You asserted that I was wrong to say...

"..."security" (the justification for a surge)..."

The President's address to the nation demonstrates that my statement is correct and your statement is false. And in disputing me, you are disputing the President himself.

Getting back to your original statement...
Blood will be shed until enough people on both sides tire of bleeding.
Again, this statement (in all of it's accuracy) goes directly against the justification for the surge.

That is, in order for the new Iraqi government to be able to successfully negotiate the political differences between the warring factions (ie, oil revenue) the city of Baghdad must be made more secure.

Your statement, again one that I think EVERYONE would agree with, suggests that overwhelming conflict, rather than a constrained peace, will be the catalyst for change. When the pain of war becomes greater then the pain of political sacrifice, the negotiations will progress.

patteeu
07-26-2007, 09:45 AM
You asserted that I was wrong to say...

"..."security" (the justification for a surge)..."

The President's address to the nation demonstrates that my statement is correct and your statement is false. And in disputing me, you are disputing the President himself.

No I didn't. I said that almost everything you wrote was wrong. This part of what you wrote is only partially wrong. Especially the part where you called it a joke.

patteeu
07-26-2007, 09:52 AM
Getting back to your original statement...

Again, this statement (in all of it's accuracy) goes directly against the justification for the surge.

That is, in order for the new Iraqi government to be able to successfully negotiate the political differences between the warring factions (ie, oil revenue) the city of Baghdad must be made more secure.

Your statement, again one that I think EVERYONE would agree with, suggests that overwhelming conflict, rather than a constrained peace, will be the catalyst for change. When the pain of war becomes greater then the pain of political sacrifice, the negotiations will progress.

Again, you're wrong. Security doesn't come from passively garrisoning troops around the city. It comes from a combination of diplomatic overtures to the factions within the insurgency that may already be tired of bleeding and from aggressive counterinsurgency activities against the rest to either kill them or break their will. My position is consistent with the President's rationale for the surge strategy. I think the problem here is that you don't understand the surge.

Security doesn't mean a unilateral ceasefire on our part and the expectation that the presence of our troops will deter the insurgents.

Dave Lane
07-26-2007, 02:11 PM
Yup! President Cheney...oops I mean, Bush is the president Madison warned us about.


Amen or wait I guess that should be Ramen (in FSM terms)

Dave

Mr. Kotter
07-26-2007, 11:50 PM
I am writing this not as a cotrarian or someone looking to stir shit...I mean that.

But you seem to be a prime example of someone that is enabling our system to never ever change. You have a set of beliefs and you always trade them in or compromise the ones that have anything to do with change. Every time someone throws out some kind of idea...whether you agree with it or not...if it isn't something thats always been done you don't get behind just for that reason. It has never done.

You will look down on me and talk about how idealistic I am. Thats fine, and probably right. I understand you can't throw revolutions out all the time and change happens slowly. But looking at the way you go about things. Not what you believe, but the way you go about it. It seems folks like you are one of the biggest problems. Intelligent, politically and historically literate, active. Yet at every turn you back what is safe, and has always been done, and accept the way things are. If it supports what you believe or not. Always whittling things down to the lowest common denominator.

You talk a lot but do nothing to live the change you want to see in the world.

Zach, I truly do appreciate the sincerity and honesty of your post. I'll try to answer it in kind--with the respect and dignity it deserves.

Enabling the system? Well, that's one way of looking at it. I prefer to view it as having my Eyes Wide Open. I've become a realist; a pragmatist. Compromise, in our democracy, is underrated; and ideological extremism, in my view, is over-rated.

I do tend to shy away from things I've "seen" before, that didn't work--especially when, in most instances, I've seen it more than once. What's the saying? Fool me once? Shame on you. Fool me twice? Shame on me. Well, I damn well ain't gonna be fooled a third time.

I don't look down on you; I swear (contrary to my jabs, and my silly insults I lob at times.) Revolutions definitely have their place; contrary to the passion though, we are nowhere NEAR a revolution, IMHO. We are much too complacent and apathetic, as a nation, to even ponder that possibility though. And can you really blame us; we got it pretty darn good, if you just stop to think about it for a moment. Despite our problems, and our warts....we are still, the land other folks are dying (literally) to "come to."

Are conservatives, like me, who refuse to get too excited ... about what we consider, partisan silliness and ideological naivete', REALLY the problem? Or is it the failure of politicians, on both sides of the isle, to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk....to establish real credibility (which, next to electability, is most important to candidates, IMO) that is the problem? I suggest it's not the former, but rather the latter. JMHO.

I "back what is safe" because I believe in working within the system; over time, it's proven effective. Slow change is usually better than revolution; ask the dozens of countries who have had more than a couple "revolutions" in the past couple or three decades. I'm not "accepting" the way things are done, I'm realizing "it is, what it is." I'm certainly not accepting the lowest common denominator---I'm simply looking beyond what some are willing to accept as the most politically expedient and opportunistic solutions to problems (despite the long term ramifications of THAT, truly--if you want to talk about compromises--unfortunate compromise.) I aim higher.

I'm awaiting the day. The time. The opportunity. When we have folks in politics who really WILL walk the walk. For folks who won't cave in to the "lowest common denominator." And for folks who will return this country to the people to whom it belongs---not government, but THE STATES, AND THE PEOPLE.

In the meantime, I'll continue voting for folks who will at least PRETEND that....that ought to be our goal.

;)

jAZ
07-27-2007, 07:32 AM
No I didn't. I said that almost everything you wrote was wrong. This part of what you wrote is only partially wrong. Especially the part where you called it a joke.
So you agree that the public justification for the surge was to bring security to Baghdad. And that the supposed purpose for security was to enable the waring sides to make the necessary political concessions outlined in the benchmarks.

Correct?

jAZ
07-27-2007, 07:40 AM
Again, you're wrong. Security doesn't come from passively garrisoning troops around the city. It comes from a combination of diplomatic overtures to the factions within the insurgency that may already be tired of bleeding and from aggressive counterinsurgency activities against the rest to either kill them or break their will. My position is consistent with the President's rationale for the surge strategy. I think the problem here is that you don't understand the surge.

Security doesn't mean a unilateral ceasefire on our part and the expectation that the presence of our troops will deter the insurgents.
As much as you work to avoid it, the point is both unmistakable and unavoidable.

The politcal concessions outlined in the benchmarks require great pain to be agreed upon.

The surge's goal of security is antithetical to the actual human cognitive trigger for concessions.

That trigger is pain. Pain that is greater than the pain of concessions.

The surge were it successful, would be successful because we caused the pain... not because we removed it.

Outright civil war could also cause that pain. But the civil war comes with the benefit of keeping us (the US) from having a giant target on its back. I guess having us as the common bad guy has it's "benefits" when it comes to striking a deal between the warring sides. If we cause them greater pain than they cause each other... they will strike a deal in order to target us jointly.

Creating enemies like that, however, doesn't address our stated purspose of winning the hearts and minds or invading Iraq to increase our national security.

patteeu
07-27-2007, 10:06 AM
So you agree that the public justification for the surge was to bring security to Baghdad. And that the supposed purpose for security was to enable the waring sides to make the necessary political concessions outlined in the benchmarks.

Correct?

The public justification for the surge is the importance of victory in Iraq. A step along the path toward that victory is bringing an increased sense of security to Baghdad. Obviously, if a substantial portion of the surge went into Anbar Province, bringing security to the capital city wasn't the only objective.

patteeu
07-27-2007, 10:17 AM
As much as you work to avoid it, the point is both unmistakable and unavoidable.

The politcal concessions outlined in the benchmarks require great pain to be agreed upon.

The surge's goal of security is antithetical to the actual human cognitive trigger for concessions.

That trigger is pain. Pain that is greater than the pain of concessions.

The surge were it successful, would be successful because we caused the pain... not because we removed it.

Outright civil war could also cause that pain. But the civil war comes with the benefit of keeping us (the US) from having a giant target on its back. I guess having us as the common bad guy has it's "benefits" when it comes to striking a deal between the warring sides. If we cause them greater pain than they cause each other... they will strike a deal in order to target us jointly.

Creating enemies like that, however, doesn't address our stated purspose of winning the hearts and minds or invading Iraq to increase our national security.

I think I've already explained why this is wrong. Part of your mistake is that you appear to believe that every Iraqi wants to fight on. I don't think this is a reasonable assumption at all. For the people who are already at the point where they've bled enough, security will give them the opportunity to divorce themselves from the militias and insurgents who have been their only/primary source of protection. For the militias and the insurgents who aren't ready to make peace yet, more pain may be necessary. The surge is aimed at providing both.

But perhaps the dumbest part of your theory is the apparent underlying assumption that *any* political settlement between the parties is a good one. It's not. We don't want the non-radicals to feel enough pain that they offer an unconditional surrender to the radicals. That type of political solution is not worth having, but it's much more likely if we withdraw from the conflict.

jAZ
07-27-2007, 10:56 AM
The public justification for the surge is the importance of victory in Iraq.
"The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security, especially in Baghdad. ..."

Mr. Kotter
07-27-2007, 10:57 AM
"The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security, especially in Baghdad. ..."

...which is key to any possible victory in Iraq.

Duh. :rolleyes:

patteeu
07-27-2007, 11:09 AM
"The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security, especially in Baghdad. ..."

So what? I didn't contradict that. Here's a link (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/01/20070110-7.html) to what GWB said about the surge. Read it and you shouldn't have any more questions about what the "public justification" was.

jAZ
07-27-2007, 11:13 AM
...which is key to any possible victory in Iraq.

Blood will be shed until enough people on both sides tire of bleeding.

patteeu
07-27-2007, 11:26 AM
...which is key to any possible victory in Iraq.

Blood will be shed until enough people on both sides tire of bleeding.

You do realize that we are shedding blood as a part of this surge don't you? Thankfully, most of it is coming from al Qaeda and others who seek to prevent our success.

The security mentioned by the President is security for those with whom we can work, not for al Qaeda and the other belligerents.

I mean really, is this concept too difficult for you to grasp?