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« Before and after | Main | Been there done that »

Aug 04, 2006


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Considering that 60% of the American population came to this conclusion ahead of Friedman, what does this say about his much-vaunted insight?

Jim Caserta

Now is the time for plan B? You plan for bad things to happen BEFORE they happen, so you are READY or PREPARED! Weren't any of these guys Boy Scouts? What got me was this exchange:
Senator McCain: “You said there’s a possibility of the situation in Iraq evolving into civil war. Is that correct?”
General Pace: “I did say that, yes, sir.”
Senator McCain: “Did you anticipate this situation a year ago?”
General Pace: “No, sir.”

A civil war should have been planned for BEFORE we invaded, the fact that with the situation deteriorating we still did not anticipate it possibly happening just one year ago, TWO years into the war is inexcusable.

In life, you hope for the best and plan for the worst. Hoping and planning for the best only only gets you into trouble...


In general, the peace effort before the war argued that this was a possible outcome. If I'm not mistaken, the possibility of civil war was also a reason Bush the first did not invade Iraq. At any rate, being right about this in advance is no comfort, not with at least fifty thousand dead. By the way, I see Friedman as a recycler of received opinion and not very insightful at all.


Secretary Rice interviewed today is more frightening - so removed from the disaster in Iraq and holding onto the delusions that led Tom Friedman to support the war. Now 3 years later Tom has an moment of wisdom - not really - I think he is parroting the conclusions that most Americans have reached.

I lost interest in Tom's opinions many years ago when he donned the rose colored glasses and drank the neo-con kool aid.

Samuel Spagnola

Guess you won't be writing any military news stories anytime soon, will you Lex? No, you're not biased...

Samuel Spagnola

Can someone answer the question as to how many Democrats in Congress voted to use force in Iraq?


Sam, wasn't getting thrashed here in front of thousands of readers enough to make you find a different blog to hang out at? Would be for me. Why do you want Ed to be your friend?


Sam: It's irrelevant. Even if 100% of the Democrats voted for the use of force, that doesn't excuse the administration from using that force ineptly.

Samuel Spagnola

Okay, Champion. You're right. I should go somewhere else that isn't a liberal blog. It's pretty clear that such liberal open minds as yourself don't really want to hear anything that doesn't reinforce your beliefs. Get rid of me. Get rid of all dissent. What hypocrisy. Nothing new, I've known that about your type for years- you talk a good game about tolerance- but it's B.S.

As far as Ed goes- I am not going to condemn everything Ed says simply because I've had disagreements with him and don't particularly care for the tone of some of his remarks. When he's right, I'm big enough to point it out regardless of what transpired before- that's called being tolerant and having an open mind and not automatically discounting everything that comes from people opposed to you. You should go study the concept. I also think that any objective person who followed my recent debates with Ed would disagree that I got thrashed. In fact, it's quite apparent that the opposite occured since Ed eventually came around to admit that questioning whether Mel Gibson's statements were affected by his alcohol intake combined with other factors was worthy of consideration even if he still refuses to admit it. Just go back and look at his comments. Quotes don't lie. Many of my disagreements with Ed are more about structure and form of arguments rather than the substance of issues, even though I rarely agree with him on substance either. But when I do agree, I'm not going to act like I don't just to remain politically and ideologically pure. That's quite idiotic and small minded if you ask me.

In any case, I am not attempting to make Ed my friend, but I won't make him my enemy either. I've had much more heated discussions and verbal spars about politics with other people that I consider my friends. Perhaps if you weren't so narrow minded and were as forgiving and tolerant as liberals claim to be, you would understand that.

Regarding Potato's comment- I understand the premise of some of the posts on this thread to be that we shouldn't have gone in without preparing for a civil war. That is a valid premise. However, to lay that on Bush and excuse Congressional oversight, including the Democrats who voted for the use of force, is an act of partisanship. Are they not accountable as well for approving force without examining the details and questioning BEFORE they voted what the exit strategy was and what could be expected? This is just like the WMD issue- Congress saw the same data Bush did (not to mention the British and other foreign governments)- they believed they were there. When we didn't find any, suddenly it's all Bush's fault. Bush lied, etc. You lose credibility when you resort to partisanship rather than sticking to the original premise. There are plenty on the Right who MIGHT agree that there are problems with the war plan, but all they hear is noise when you turn it into partisan Bush bashing when the fact is the decision to go to war was bipartisan.


"Sam, wasn't getting thrashed here in front of thousands of readers enough to make you find a different blog to hang out at>"

I love some peoples' alternate reality scenarios.

It's the old "declare victory despite the record" technique. It seems to be a common thread.

Getting ganged up upon on this or any blog does NOT constitute "defeat" on those who are the recipients of the gang up technique.

Ed Cone

I never came around to a different view of your argument, Sam. I objected to it then, and I object to it now.

I never doubted that alcohol loosens the tongue, and I versify on the topic in my column tomorrow.

I did not feel, and I do not feel now, that the excuse of being drunk made much difference in the case of Mel Gibson.

I posited that the relevant issue behind his anti-Semitic remarks was his anti-Semitism.

I regard his anti-Semitic remarks as important, despite my general lack of interest in Hollywood stars, because of the enormous cultural uproar surrounding The Passion (at which time I wrote that I saw no direct evidence of Gibson's anti-Semitism), and because Gibson's remarks came at almost the same time as the Seattle shootings, which lent urgency to discussions of anti-Semitic rantings.

I objected to your proposed rationalization of Gibson's statements and apparent downplaying of his beliefs when you offered them, and I object to them now.

I would have objected to them if they were made by my Mom.

I disagree with people all the time at this blog, and people disagree with me, too, and then on the next post or issue we find ourselves in agreement. That is normal and healthy.

Ed Cone

Lex, why do you and Tom Friedman and General Abizaid and General Pace hate America?

Jim Caserta

Not one Republican voted against.
6 republicans voted against, 81 dem for 126 against.

Sam - who I was describing as inexcusable was Gen. Pace. There were military commanders - Shinseki for one, Colin Powell as another - who wanted more troops. They were not listened to, and that was not a bipartisan decision. What do you think the vote would have been if the phrase, "100,000+ troops will be in Iraq 4 years from the beginning of action."? Knowing that, many republicans would not have voted for it. The planning and execution of war falls on the Commander in Chief - you would have chaos if you let 100 people try to decide how to fight a war. They just decide the "if we fight".

The million, no billion, dollar question is what do we do now? When the answer is "trust me, I know what to do" or "just stick with the original plan," when it has been proven out that 1. the original plan was flawed, 2. proper planning and preparation for adverse situations was not undertaken. How do you not want something different? To dismiss criticism as partisanship is just BS.

Samuel Spagnola

Ed, we will continue to disagree as to what I actually said and what you think I said on the Gibson thing and whether or not you contradicted yourself at the end. I never offered his beliefs (that's a new one not supported by the record) nor have I ever once defended Mel Gibson because I too have a general lack of interest in Hollywood stars that I pointed out. I can't imagine anyone out there is interested in this anymore, but if they want to read what I initially wrote and decide whether it was a "pathetic rationalization" or simply a suggestion worthy of debate, they can look it up, just as they can look up your responses- the final ones in particular and determine if there is a similarity. The record is out there for the reader to decide.

In any case, that's done.

Regarding Lex, Tom, et al hating America-

One flawed line of logical thinking goes something like this:

If you are against gay marriage, you therefore hate gays.
If you oppose any part of the war, you hate America.

Wonder where this kind of thinking came from?

Ed Cone

The "why does x hate America?" line is a long-standing joke, mocking the rhetoric of folks like O'Reilly and Coulter.

Samuel Spagnola

Very similar to all the "hate speech" rhetoric from the Left. If you disagree with us, you hate people. Mocking the rhetoric of folks like Al Franken, Jesse Jackson, and a lot of people on this blog.

Samuel Spagnola

Jim, I guess Democrats in Congress were under no obligation to investigate the war plan before they voted. Didn't we fight a war in Iraq in 1991? How many years did we/they have to study the issue before 2003? You can complain about the direction of the war, and that's fine. But the original criticism you presented was what we should have know BEFORE we used force. To me that is a bipartisan issue to deal with.


Sam, with as many government leaks as there are, I wouldn't think the people planning the war would make information that specific available to Congress before the war began. I could be wrong. Does anyone actually know how those things are usually handled? Does Congress get to be in on the details of the war plans before they vote?


Wow, Sam's the new Bubba? I didn't even see the job listing. I might have applied, except I don't have nearly enough free time and I don't get off on showing my ass in public.

Samuel Spagnola

Greendog, what do you think you are doing right now?

Samuel Spagnola

More evidence of the bipartisan nature of the war dilemna from the NYT:

"The war has proven divisive for Democrats as they head into midterm elections this fall, as antiwar forces have demanded repentance from members of Congress who supported the October 2002 resolution authorizing Mr. Bush to go to war if Saddam Hussein failed to comply with United Nations’ demands."

Jim Caserta

OK, Democrats didn't do their job, but their job was to review the plan, not to make it. If the CEO screws up, who shoulders more blame, him or the board of directors?

There was nothing more disappointing to me than Kerry's voting record re:Iraq. No on 1991 War, Yes on authorizing force, No on supplemental funding. :( I would have voted the opposite way each time. Many democrats are very upset about being labeled, "against the troops" or "soft on terror" or "giving aid and comfort to the enemy" when many of their apprehensions have borne true. Their anger, while maybe not helpful, is definitely understandable.

No one had the balls to ask some simple questions: -About how long do you expect this to take - best and worst case? Give estimated troop strengths?
-How much will this cost - again b. & w. case?
-What is the worst thing that might happen, and how are you prepared for it?

The first q. is the kicker. If they paint an overly rosy picture, then they are on the record as being way off about how the war has gone. If they paint a realistic picture than many isolationst tending republicans could not vote for it. So if you're stuck, just don't say anything!

My point has always been that they have never really given the public a plan, at any point. You revise your plan as the situation changes - at least us in the real world have to do that. If I mismanage a project for 3 years, my boss will either take over himself or assign the project to someone else.


"I might have applied, except I don't have nearly enough free time and I don't get off on showing my ass in public."

Could've fooled me.

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