Biden: Iraq surge success a 'fantasy': The Swamp
 
The Swamp
-
Posted November 28, 2007 1:32 PM
The Swamp

by Rick Pearson

DES MOINES—Democratic presidential candidate Joseph Biden says any talk that the U.S. troop surge in Iraq is working is "fantasy" since its goal was to lead to a fully functioning unity government in the war-torn country.

The Delaware senator, speaking to the Iowa State Association of Counties at a downtown hotel today, also joined his rival and Senate colleague, Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, in calling for a massive investment in the nation's infrastructure—its roads, bridges and sewers—to make up for a longtime lack of upgrading public works.

Biden, the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said one key to helping counties and other municipal governments deal with federal mandates is to help free up some of the money now used to fund the Iraq War.

Amid reports that the U.S. military surge has helped to stabilize insurgent attacks in Baghdad and a recent Pew Research Center poll that found 48 percent of Americans now believe the U.S. military effort in Iraq is going well, up from 30 percent in February, Biden said, "This whole notion that the surge is working is fantasy.

"The surge was to provide breathing room. Breathing room for what purpose?" he asked the officials assembled from Iowa's 99 counties. "To work out a coalition government to end this civil war."

Biden said there is "let me emphasize, no political progress among the major factions" in trying to govern Iraq. Biden has long supported a decentralized federal government system for Iraq.

Dodd, who appeared earlier before the counties' organization, portrayed himself as a political conciliator and appeared to take a shot at a major rival for the nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, by referencing the campaign slogan—turn up the heat—that her campaign unveiled earlier this month.

"You understand as I do that we weren't elected to squabble. We're elected to produce results on behalf of the people we represent," Dodd said.

"Some people talk about turning up the heat, firing up the crowd, making people angry and convincing people how strong a fighter you are," Dodd said. "I think the American people would like to tone down the heat, tone down the rhetoric and they'd like to see us get together and start solving problems for the people of the states. The fighting needs to stop. Producing results is where we need to be as a country."

Like Dodd, Biden, a former county official in Delaware, said there was a desire by the American public to get results, not partisan rhetoric.

Biden said that watching a national budget surplus turn into a deficit during the past decade was not "any one person's fault" and was a "national problem," not one for Democrats or Republicans to place blame or resolve.

"American people are neither liberal or conservative. The American people are pragmatic," Biden said. Saying the need to upgrade infrastructure is not an "ideological" issue, he contended, "there are pragmatic answers to every one of the problems we face."

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Comments

Unfortunately, the real goal was to keep our troops there as long as there is money to be made for Haliburton and the Carlyle Group. In that scenerio, it's been a sucess.


I recall a discussion on Meet The Press, where he talked about how he was more conserned about a terrorist docking a dinky boat in NYC harbor with a dirty bomb then what they were uo to overseas. That aired Sept. 9th, 2001.

& it's Republicans, like Gulianni walking through the twin towers rubble, that claim they know better on how to fight the war on terror.


The so called "surge" was meant to give time to the Iraqi govt to reconcile and all they are doing is giveng W. and Cheney the middle finger.

So, we are left occupying a country that doesn't want us there, proping up a govt that can't leave the "green zone" for fear of being killed by the freedom loving Iraqi citizens

Afganistan has become a mess again.

Turkey is poised to invade the Kurdish north of Iraq.

Pakistan (a Nuke country) is being ruled by an American backed dictator wannabe and is on the verge of collapse....and Dick Cheney and the gang of Neocon fools at the White House continue to intimdate and threaten Iran.

Some of our troops will be coming home in Jan/Feb not because of some great victory (whatever that means) but because W. has broken the military and these troops will be required to come home from their already over extended deployments.

I'd like to see a draft come up for a vote and then we would really see how unpopular Bush's wars are.


Continued denial by the Dems. All their eggs are invested in defeat.


it's Republicans, like Gulianni walking through the twin towers rubble, that claim they know better on how to fight the war on terror.

Posted by: RomanB | November 28, 2007 1:44 PM


Roman,

Rudolph Giuliani did a couple of photo-ops and TV interviews on 9/11 and now the Republican drones are calling him the King of fighting terror. The guy is George Bush part 2.


The surge will be declared a success when the U.S. is able to pull all of its troops out of Iraq, not before.
The decrease in violence certainly can be attributed, in part to the surge.
However, there is the fact that al-Sadr has decided to take control of Iraq via means other than combat. Probably he realized that he could not beat the U.S. militarily.
He is now taking over the schools, etc. in Iraq. He is in the process of imposing Islamic law in the country. Women's rights are disappearing. Religious freedom is disappearing.
If you define success in Iraq as simply stopping the violence, you have come a ways from the original definition of success as presented by the Bush Administration. Remember the Bush dream of an American style democracy in Iraq? What happened to that definition of success in Iraq?
Have we lowered the bar again?


John D-

Are you claiming that ther IS progress on substantial government reform and reconciliation in Iraq?


The surge IS a success.

It has given the administration, and it's supporters, another diversionary tactic to hide behind.

As long as Americans can continue to push for benchmarks with measurable goals, the administration will continue to be shown as the failure that it is when it comes to this war.

The "goals" have constantly changed. Remember the nuclear weapons, the WMDs, the overthrow of Saddam, we stand down when they stand up, the 18 benchmarks for the Iraqi government, and on and on.

John D., Jerry White, Bruce and others come here repeating the neocon claptrap but still can't tell us WHY Bush says the safety of the US is dependent on a "win" in Iraq.

The Bush Quagmire is still running true to form. I'm just waiting for their NEW goal.


John E., when you copy and paste someone else's opinion from DailyKos or wherever, at least have the decency to cite the real author. Try forming your own opinion in your own words, because no one is going to waste time arguing with a parrot.

As for Biden, I think it is unfortunate that he doesn't distinguish between the strides our military is making, which we do have control of, and the ineptitude of the Iraqi Govt., which we have little control of. Biden is on record as wanting to decentralize the Iraqi Govt. It should be a surprise to no one that he is sticking by his guns, and his opinion that a strong national govt. is an unreasonable goal. I respect Biden's opinion about the decentralized govt.; I don't know whether that would work or not. I just wish he would have a little more tact, in that we have troops fighting and dying in the surge, and he is basically saying they are dying for nothing. This after he voted to confirm Petraeus, knowing full well of his surge plan. Then again, tact has never been Biden's strong suit.


I wondered how long it would be before someone rolled out the tired old phrase, "Democrats invested in defeat." What the ditto-heads don't want to acknowledge is that Iraq was a huge mistake. All the happy talk in the world won't change that. Even if it ended tomorrow, it won't change the fact that it was a war built on lies, a war who's end-game will never be an American-style democracy, a war who's cost has been and will continue to be exponentially greater than any possible future benefit. If anyone is in denial, it's Dyslin. As San Miguel pointed out, the Bush administration is now reduced to calling a drop in violence as "success", yet Americans and Iraqi civilians are still dying, $10 billion a month is going down the Iraq sink-hole, no political progress is being made. That was worth it, Johnny D. Now a democrat will inherit the thankless job of trying to fix the Bush/Cheney Co. mess.


John E., when you copy and paste someone else's opinion from DailyKos or wherever, at least have the decency to cite the real author. Try forming your own opinion in your own words, because no one is going to waste time arguing with a parrot.
Posted by: Herbie H. | November 28, 2007 2:43 PM


Herbert the Stupid,

That's my opinion you dope and yes, I also wrote it on Daily Kos too (Jeff Y) where I'm a proud contributer, thanks for noticing you Republican tool.


Will Rogers said many decades ago "I don't belong to an organized political party, I'm a Democrat." Getting people to agree to a set of principles must be easier for others.


and he is basically saying they are dying for nothing. This after he voted to confirm Petraeus, knowing full well of his surge plan. Then again, tact has never been Biden's strong suit.

Posted by: Herbie H. | November 28, 2007 2:43 PM


Herb Alpert,

Most sane people (not Republicans) have been saying that we have troops over there fighting and dying in this pre-emptive, uncalled for war for nothing ever since 2003 you drone.


BUSH ADMINSTRATION - REPUBLICANS

Spying on Americans
Lying to Congress
Waging an Uncalled for Pre-Emptive War
Torturing Prisnors
Operating Secret Prisons
Ignoring Pre-9/11 Warnings

GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS

Mission Accomplished - Herbie!


Herbie-

What exactly do you think our troops are dying for at this point. The stated point of the "surge" was to give the Iraqi Government rooom to act. The Iraqi goverment refuses to act. So what do tyou see these deaths accomplishing?

Or is it that you just want Biden to brush reality under the rug.


Senator Biden is right. He's one of the few who really want what's best for Iraq, America and the region. We need someone like him in office.


"(2007-11-24) — As the number of murders in New York City reached a 40-year low, Democrats in Congress introduced a measure calling for an immediate and total pull-out of law enforcement personnel citing the high cost of fighting crime, the risk to those in uniform and “lack of political progress” in the city.

In a typical Congressional maneuver, Democrats attached the redeployment measure as an amendment to an unrelated bill, sponsored by Republicans, which would provide senior citizens with a taxpayer-funded MediCare prescription golf benefit.

Official statistics show the Big Apple’s murder rate is now less than a quarter of what it was in 1990, but Democrats in Congress say the reduction has nothing to do with the actions of the New York City Police Department or the policies of the last two Republican mayors.

“The dip in the murder rate is certainly temporary,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, “and it presents us with a window of opportunity to safely extract our brave men and women in uniform before the slaughter returns to normal levels.”"

from scrappleface.com


A Swamp Change (apologies to Sheryl Crow)

Ten years living in a paper bag
Crazy John Devola, he’s a flipped out cat
He’s a platinum canary, drinkin’ Falstaff beer
Murano rule, and his Mommy dear
Bottom feeder insincere
Prophet propane pioneer
Sell the house and go to school
Get a young boyfriend, Foley's jewel

A change would do you good
A change would do you good

The Swamp's little gift is on the rag
Poster bruce serving up his latest nag
MSM and Jekyll and Hyde
Every one's plotting for the other side
Dope of Des Plaines, aging boob
Dinner’s at six, wear your cement shoes
We thought you were whinin' your heart out for free
But your lips were syncing for the RNC

A change would do you good
A change would do you good

Chasing dragons with plastic swords
Jack off Jerry, of Springfield lore.
Limpbaugh blaring through his basement door
And Terry's calling Reagan on the Ouija board
James has been thinking ’bout catching a train
Leave his phone machine by the radar range
Hello it’s me, I’m not at home
If you’d like to reach me, leave me alone

A change would do you good
A change would do you good
Hello, it’s me, I’m not at home
If you’d like to reach me, leave me alone

A change would do you good
A change would do you good


Official statistics show the Big Apple’s murder rate is now less than a quarter of what it was in 1990, but Democrats in Congress say the reduction has nothing to do with the actions of the New York City Police Department or the policies of the last two Republican mayors.

“The dip in the murder rate is certainly temporary,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, “and it presents us with a window of opportunity to safely extract our brave men and women in uniform before the slaughter returns to normal levels.”"

from scrappleface.com

Posted by: Bruce | November 28, 2007 3:32 PM


RNC Bruce,

Rudolph Giuliani takes credit for a downturn in crime in NYC when in reality crime was down all over the USA because of the good economy during the Clinton administration. It had NOTHING to do with Giuliani and his thug pal Bernard Kerik arresting all of the scary brown and black people.

From TPM - ELECTION CENTRAL

Did Rudy Really Tell Three Whoppers In One Sentence?
By Greg Sargent - November 6, 2007, 4:27PM

Rudy appears to have hit a trifecta of sorts: He may have told three lies in one sentence.

In an interview with the Associated Press yesterday, Rudy defended his appointment of embattled former top cop Bernie Kerik as follows:

"There were mistakes made with Bernie Kerik. But what's the ultimate result for the people of New York City? The ultimate result for the people of New York City was a 74 percent reduction in shootings, a 60 percent reduction in crime, a correction program that went from being one of the worst in the country to one that was on '60 Minutes' as the best in the country, 90 percent reduction of violence in the jails."
"Sure, there were issues, but if I have the same degree of success and failure as president of the United States, this country will be in great shape," Giuliani said.


Rudy is very clearly saying that these statistical crime drops occurred on Kerik's watch. So let's take these one by one.


Ready?

(a) The claim that under Commissioner Kerik there was a 74% reduction in shootings. Kerik was New York's police commissioner from August 2000 through the end of Rudy's term in December 2001. That's a year and a half. As best as we can determine, neither the FBI crime stats nor police comstat statistics measure the amorphous category of "shootings."

So we turned for help to a recent study that was done by the Vera Institute of Justice, with cooperation from New York Police Department top brass. It found that between 1999 and 2002 -- a time period that includes Kerik's tenure but was actually significantly longer -- the number of shooting victims in New York City fell a mere seven percent -- a far cry from the 74% Rudy claimed. While this is remotely feasible mathematically, it's virtually certain that it didn't happen, since crime fell steadily through Rudy's whole tenure.

(b) The claim that there was a 60 percent reduction in crime on Kerik's watch. According to FBI crime stats, in 2000 there were 288,368 police-recorded crimes. In 2001, there were 263,764. Comparing these is actually overly fair to Kerik, since he started half way into 2000. So here we see a drop of roughly 8.5% percent -- hardly the 60 percent Rudy claimed.

(c) The claim that Kerik's prison system was hailed on '60 Minutes' as the best in the country. This has to be a reference to Kerik's tenure as commissioner of the Department of Correction. We did an exhaustive search, and we could only find one program resembling this: A "60 Minutes II" episode in January 2001 that talked about Kerik's success turning around one jail, Rikers Island, not the whole system. Nowhere did the episode describe the system as the 'best in the country." If someone can find the episode Rudy's referring to here we'll gladly post it.

So what happened? Rudy very well may have been talking about the statistical drops in crime that occurred over his entire tenure. The 60 percent number has been thrown around by some news orgs at times to describe the whole crime drop Rudy presided over. But even if this is the case, in a way it amounts to an even bigger whopper that even more clearly demonstrates Rudy's willingness to pluck "facts" out of the air.

Because if that's what happened Rudy was very clearly applying long-range stats to Kerik's tenure that he knew Kerik had very little to do with as commish for a mere year and a half. Here Rudy would be compensating for the devastating stories about Kerik by inflating his role in the crime drop to an almost comical degree.

Recall that the last thing Rudy wants is for his first commissioner, Bill Bratton, to get any credit for this accomplishment. And Rudy knows no one outside of New York knows the finer points of who served and when. So Rudy now blithely tells America that the crime drop was largely the work of Kerik -- leaving us, again, with what seems to be three whoppers in one sentence.


Great comments, thats all I read now because news is opinion and if I want opinion I 'll get it from the american people. Go Joe, reporters are a joke.


Herbert the Stupid,

That's my opinion you dope and yes, I also wrote it on Daily Kos too (Jeff Y) where I'm a proud contributer, thanks for noticing you Republican tool.

Posted by: John E | November 28, 2007 3:00 PM

john E, jeff Y or whatever - This cracked me up... you got busted!

Merry Christmas!


Most people that pay attention to details realize that Biden is a fool.

Now he makes details avalable against which he and those who support him will be held accountable for their loser approach to our nations future.


Biden wants to fund the repair of domestic infrastructure from the money we shouldn't be spending on Iraq? Oh, no, we can't do that!

The money we're not going to spend on Iraq has already been earmarked by Hillary and Barak to fund their universal health care plans. What was this guy Biden thinking?


Continued denial by the Dems. All their eggs are invested in defeat.

Same with the republitards.


john E, jeff Y or whatever - This cracked me up... you got busted!
Merry Christmas!

Posted by: heartburn | November 28, 2007 4:55 PM


Busted for what, you tool?

I'm still waiting for you two fruitcakes to answer my above post i.e. Iraq that I posted here and on Kos.

That's the problem you can't...

Merry X-Mas - heartburn:
http://www.amishrakefight.org/gfy/


A Tribune report states that "(n)early 6,000 Sunni Arab residents joined a security pact with American forces Wednesday in what U.S. officers described as a critical step in plugging the remaining escape routes for extremists flushed from former strongholds."

For months I've been calling this the KEY to US success in Iraq.

Finally the administration gets it. Side with the Sunnis and the Shia will negotiate in good faith.

We are now on the road towards peace in Iraq. It should happen by June of next year.

If it doesn't, then we may be in a bigger ditch than I realized.


The only success in the surge is the consistent rise in gas prices. Believe me "the surge" was just a ploy for Bush/Cheney and their gang to buy more time to make more money for Halliburton and others. Wait and see -after B and C leave office, there will be a hefty check from Halliburton and others for their services.

Incidentally, Iraq was built on a tribal society, so the idiocy of this administration in thinking they could bring democracy to such a society just affirms their stupidity.

As God is in His Heaven, I hope that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, and all those neocons pay for their war crimes against humanity and for the lives of the 4,000 young American soldiers who died honorably, but unfortunately for the wrong reasons - that being to line the pockets of the industrial/war complex. If a Democrat wins in 08, that person should investigate the previous administration's actions in this whole fiasco.

An apt punishment for Bush and Cheney is to strip them of their assets and give the money to the families of the 4000 soldiers who died for these egomaniacs.


Math WHiz,

Remember, it was the left that killed the draft back in the 70's.

The dems are vested in an American defeat in Iraq, as the tide is turning, this is nothing but bad news for the dems:

http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/2007/07/are-wheels-coming-off-democrats-iraq.html

Also, the weekly reminder of who was quoting what on WMDs in Iraq:

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm

Were there WMDs in December, 1998 when President Clinton order the bombing of Iraq?

What happened to the WMDs between Dec, 1998 and Mar, 2003?


Trickle Down Terry,

1) The Surge can't last because W. and the Republicans have over extended and broken the military - violence, as predicted, will return.


2) NO POLITICAL SOLUTION = NO CHANGE IN IRAQ


3) Only a commited dead-ender Republic freak like you would still be beating the drum about these so-called WMD's being in Iraq, also Bill Clinton wasn't dumb enough to invade and occupy Iraq, end of story.


4) About the draft, again Terry, this isn't the 60/70's and it's the rightwing gasbags like you who don't want to talk about a draft this time because that would stop the Republican warmongering machine dead in it's tracks, no more money for Halliburton, Blackwater....no more tax cuts for rich Republican white guys (you).


5) This all leads us 360o back to where we started, little Terry. Violence is down a little in Iraq but since the miltary is broken like it is, it won't last and it's like putting a band-aide on a gaping head wound.


The RNC puts out the "we are winning in Iraq" propaganda and the meathead Republics like little Terry start jumping up and down and shouting "Mission Accomplished"....again.


Unfortunately, the real goal was to keep our troops there as long as there is money to be made for Haliburton and the Carlyle Group. In that scenerio, it's been a sucess.

Posted by: Cheryl | November 28, 2007 1:39 PM

Hard to argue with that Logic. John D I would put to you that it is the Bush Administration that is invested in keeping us there as long as possible. Iraq is a big money SCAM!!!

Wake up.


Terry...about those WMD's and who was quoting what:

(eriposte)

On the June 15 [2003] Meet the Press, Wesley Clark offered an intriguing thought about those AWOL WMD:

RUSSERT: Was there an intelligence failure? Was the intelligence hyped, as Senator Joe Biden said? Was the president misled, or did he mislead the American people?

CLARK: Well, several things. First of all, all of us in the community who read intelligence believe that Saddam wanted these capabilities and he had some. We struck very hard in December of ’98, did everything we knew, all of his facilities. I think it was an effective set of strikes. Tony Zinni commanded that, called Operation Desert Fox, and I think that set them back a long ways.

George Tenet in a report to Congress in Feb. 2001 (from raw story):

We do not have any direct evidence that Iraq has used the period since Desert Fox to reconstitute its WMD programs...

Tenet also continued that sentence with "...although given its past behavior, this type of activity must be regarded as likely." But the basic point is that even if Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs or WMD programs in 1998, Clinton's 1998 bombings of Iraq's WMD facilities destroyed them at that time (which would require the need to "reconstitute"). So, using the "same" intelligence from 1998 to go to war in 2003 would be the most blatant form of fraud.

George Bush, 10/11/00:

We don't know whether he's developing weapons of mass destruction. He better not be or there's going to be a consequence should I be the president.

Colin Powell, 2/24/01:

...the fact that the sanctions exist -- not for the purpose of hurting the Iraqi people, but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein's ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they are directed toward that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was ten years ago when we began it. And frankly they [the U.N. sanctions] have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq...


And what about Scott Ritter's version of events? Ritter, who Bush's people tried to discredit, is an ex- Marine who fought in the Gulf War. He went on to become an intelligence specialist and U.N. inspector. By his account, over the seven years of the program, he and other inspectors were able to confirm that Iraq's chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs were effectively destroyed.


Wow, what a crappy blog audience. I can't believe you folks and your ad hominem attacks.

I trust Biden's assessment of the surge more than anyone's at this point. He's not afraid to say what he means and boy, I need an honest assessment of the situation.


John E.,

This article ran in the L.A. Times in the fall of 2003. It seems even more prescient today as the cons try to tell us Vietnamistan is a roaring "success."

http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0926-05.htm

Logic Prisoner,

The other obvious reason Bush wants to keep us in Iraq... he knows it's un-winnable. By passing it off to his successor (a democrat), he can blame the fiasco on him/her, similar to how they blame Clinton for all their failures of the past seven years. I can hear it now, "If only the Democrats had stayed the course for four more years, we most certainly would have prevailed. Damn defeatocrats!"

Lori...I know we suck, but the Swamp droogs made us do it (you know who you are).


Chalk one true statement up for Biden.

Few Americans seem to realize that the great bleeding gash in the Middle East that Bush has created will take decades and decades to heal.

And it may not heal properly even after that time, leaving a great ugly scar in the region, a source of constant trouble and instability.

Always impatient in foreign affairs, much the way they are about a late pizza delivery, Americans are always ready to embrace a new fantasy, a new false hope for a quick fix.

Failure comes with attempting the wrong successes. In foreign affairs that's preety much the story for American over the last half century or so.


Brucie is reduced to quoting a satirical "Onion"-type article to catapult the propaganda today. Really really weak, even for the Brucebot.


"... one key to helping counties and other municipal governments deal with federal mandates is to help free up some of the money now used to fund the Iraq War."

"Free up" what money? We don't have it - we're borrowing it.


dts,

Please let us all know with facts to support what happened to the WMDs between Dec 1999 and Mar 2003.

If, as you assert, the bombing of Dec 1998 destroyed the WMDs, why weren't the democrats jumping up and down and shouting this to the world?

Please show me the proof of Ritter and Blix that there were no WMDs.

Also, according to UN resolution 1441, who had to provide the proof that the WMDs were destroyed?


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- Chris Matthews, MSNBC (12/10/07)
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I say let us elect Rudy and keep Mr. Cheney again. This would create the 'super team' needed to continue to spread the war on terror bringing freedom and prosperity to all!


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