Americans siding with Democrats on Iraq policy Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by Albert, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2007 at 5:03 pm
As the Democrat-controlled Congress and the White House clash over an Iraq spending bill, with President Bush vowing to veto it because it contains withdrawal deadlines, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that a solid majority of Americans side with the Democrats.
In addition, a nearly equal number believe that victory in Iraq isn't possible, and about only one in eight think the war has improved in the three months since Bush called for a troop increase there.
"They don't see the surge working," says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Neil Newhouse. Instead, they are saying "we need to get out."
With those opinions, it's perhaps not surprising the poll also shows that the Democratic presidential front-runner who opposed the Iraq war from the start — Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. — has gained ground on Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., who voted to authorize the war and hasn't apologized for it, despite her increasingly antiwar rhetoric.
And the candidate whose fortunes seem to be tied the most to the situation in Iraq — Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. — continues to trail former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani by double digits.
Bush has no right to continue the war in Iraq when an overwhelming majority of the American people oppose his war. Unless he terminates this war immediately, the Congress must remove him for office. A majority of the American people now support the impeachment of Bush and Cheney and the Democrats must follow their lead.
Posted by Moran, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Apr 26, 2007 at 7:11 am
These Bushies, almost to a man (or woman), did not serve in combat. I am daily aware that they are classic bullies, bemoaning "trial lawyers," but quick to sue you (or simply declare you an "enemy combatant" and slap you in jail) if you badmouth them; growling at "rogue regimes," but quick to send in the Marines simply to prove their muscle; fast at accusing you of treason for questioning their motives, but perfectly happy to question yours.
And then my thoughts turn dark, and I wonder just what would happen if John Yoo were held in a cell for several weeks, subjected to hypothermia, and forced to endure physical pain in intensity up to but not including organ failure? Would he consider it "quaint?" Would Dick Cheney be tough under a beating of rubber hoses filled with ball bearings, which don't break the skin, but do pulp the bones underneath, but certainly don't bring you to "organ failure" nor do they kill you? Would Alberto Gonzales hold out long stripped to his underwear, tied to a chair, with snarling dogs snapping at his genitalia after having been kept in solitary for several weeks? Or would he consider that "obsolete?"
Perhaps it is uncharitable of me. Perhaps it is my residual anger at having these people hijack my constitution and my country and the laws that I live by and the principals that have governed my country-and indeed Western civilization-for hundreds of years. Perhaps it is simply the desire for revenge. I don't know. I daily wonder how "vague" President Bush would find Article 3 if he were put it in a hood with electrodes on his hands and forced to stand barefoot on a metal plate, at the mercy of Shiite militants.
Posted by Jeff Derman, a resident of Portola Valley, on Apr 26, 2007 at 7:38 am
I am a Vietnam vet and I am certain of one thing more than I've ever been certain of anything in my life:Bush, Cheney, and Co. ought to be tried as war ciminials and sent to jail for the rest of their lives.
If our country can't get its act together to impeach Bush (and impeachment is too mild a punishment for what he's done anyway), maybe the world needs to make a statement and put these people on trial.
Posted by Fred, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Apr 26, 2007 at 7:48 am
If Bush, Cheney and Co. are tried in the World Court in absentia and convicted, I believe that the US government, having ratified the geneva Convention, would be obligated to extradite them. I’m not an international law attorney, but I believe that if a country ratifies Geneva, it becomes the law of the land. What keeps me going in these dark days is the notion of Bush, Cheney and Co. spending the rest of their lives in jail after they leave office.
Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford, on Apr 26, 2007 at 12:14 pm
Why the "polls" get it so wrong, so often.
The following is a list of questions asked in the the "approval rating of president" polls. ( Still looking for the questions on the poll that this Thread is reporting as support of a timeline.
If you were to ask me my answer to any of these "poll" questions, in all honesty I would have to answer "disapprove". Or, in the case of "direction" questions we see elsewhere, I would have to say "wrong direction".
It is ridiculous to assume this means that I think Bush or our country should move closer to the Democrats. IN fact, I mean just the opposite.
I am willing to bet that this is true for a lot of the people who answer these questions.
THAT is why media and politicians are so shocked when they don't read the "polls" right.
I am still looking for the actual questions in the "poll" reported in the news today.
Posted by A Boomer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 26, 2007 at 12:21 pm
As a practical matter, Shrub and Company will be with us until January 20, 2009, much to my regret. The political strategists behind the scene of the Democratic Party know that the best way to win big in November 2008 is for Shrub to be right where he is, and for Congress to exercise as much damage control as it can in the meantime.
I have never witnessed a group of people holding executive office in this country who are so unprincipaled and so politically tone deaf at the same time. They clearly care not one wit about US public opinion or how we are regarded in the rest of the world. Their policy justifacations, specious as they are, for the Iraq effort have changed so many times, they seem to have trouble keeping ahead of those who point out the folly of their rationales. The way they have treated our military personnel and its leadership--not following advice on the size and type of the invading force, not providing a clear military mission, not taking steps to deal effectively with the political part of the Iraq solution, neglecting injured and returning soldiers medically in both Army and VA venues--shows an appalling disregard for the people they purport to support unhesitatingly.
The litany can go on and on, the Shrub folks do seem to have an uncanny knack for stepping into new piles of "deep doo-doo" just about weekly at this point.
We should all just remind ourselves at this point that the Shrub Administration is not the United States, their neocon ideology has cearly been a failed experiment, the level of damage they have foisted on this country is unprecedented, but we can soon put this era completely behind us, and limp back to a place where we take proper care of ourselves and return to our rightful place as a part of the global community.
And keep our fingers crossed that they don't do any more really stupid things in the next 20 months.
Posted by Albert, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Apr 26, 2007 at 1:51 pm
bush and cheney could care less the vast majority of the publica has turned against them and the iraq disaster. bush doesn't care because he believes that god is speaking to him and tells him what to do and therefore he is answerable only to a 'higher father'. cheney doesn't care because he is totally contemptuous of everybody accept the extreme right wing of his party and because of his war profiteering. my great fear is that in the 20 months they have left they will do something really crazy, and the only thing i can think of is a nuclear attack on iran. they don't have the troops or money to invade iran, so they have only the nuclear options left.that's why i don't think we have the luxury of letting just wait the clock to tick away. they must be impeached, removed and jailed.
Posted by Robert Justin, a resident of the Palo Alto Hills neighborhood, on Apr 26, 2007 at 2:41 pm
As we speak, Congress is snarling and growling and nipping away at every flank of a Presidential legacy that may likely be exposed as a cabal and its members, criminals. This paranoid little band of clever, messianic evildoers has contaminated every facet of our relationship with all other global inhabitants and the President’s “what me worry” stance is the poison.
When history looks at Abu Ghraib under the long lens of crimes against humanity (and it will), Bush may even get a pass because he's so intellectually stunted, NO ONE would believe he's read or even misunderstood Plato, Hobbes, Nietzche, Heidegger or the hardly-seminal Leo Strauss. Oh sweet irony – that this nation of immigrants, initially gathered to seek tolerance, is acting out a vision perfected in the very cauldron of history that drove Leo Strauss from the Vaterland to Paris in 1932.
In Richard L. Rubenstein’s towering and radical essay "The Cunning of History", he proposes that Nazism was not an aberration but a predictable manifestation of a pathogen lurking in the very bloodstream of Western Civilization. When I first read that work, my concern was that our nation not be victimized. How sophomoric I was in my refusal to imagine that America might not someday become the perpetrator.
The President and a few feckless, titular appointees at Defense and State, appear as Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern in a yet another deadly drama that religious and ideological zealots have instigated from the Crusades right up through Nazi Germany. There are a couple of perilous “n” words in play here. NeoCon is surely one of them!
How will you feel when hundreds of thousands die in a civil war and a dictator, probably a puppet of Ahmadinijad, is put back in? How will you feel when any opposition to the new dictator is slaughtered? How will you feel when there are more attacks on American soil because Islamofascists know we have no stomach for fighting back and WINNING? They know that our Democrats are committed to American defeat, and won't let us fight back with full force and WIN. They have seen it before, and they are seeing it now.
When are you going to stop letting your blinding hatred of Bush blind you to the big picture of islamofascism being on the rise. The fascist ideals of forcing a certain ideology on people is being used to justify attacking ALL people, EVERYWHERE, and is frankly more responsible for the deaths of innocent Muslims than anything else.
Give a solution to stop the growth of fascism other than fighting, and we will all be grateful.
Posted by A Boomer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2007 at 10:19 am
Blind support of Shrub is no better than blind hatred of Shrub.
To suggest that there only are two options--stay the course or get out of "Dodge"--is disingenuous.
There is a strategic objective on which I think most people will agree: we need to disable and as much as possible eliminate the terrorist elements that threaten the way of life of peaceful people worldwide.
I believe that many of these people we call terrorists are actually just thugs, like Tim McVeigh, but there is an element there from which the likes of Bin Laden and Company have come. Those are really bad guys, and we need to apply the objective to that element.
It would be much easier to support Shrub if he and his minions had actually stay focused on that objective after 9/11. Instead, they seemed to use it as an excuse to hide behind a vendetta against Saddam Hussein that stemmed from Shrub's father's days as President. The flimsy, constantly changing reasons for going after Saddam, and the awful consequences of entering and occupying Iraq as the US did, and the taking the eye off the ball of the above stated objective to impose some half baked ideological theories about democracy on a so-called country and region with a long history of sectarian differences are what I find particularly objectionable.
I still am not hearing clear coherent arguments from anyone (possible exception Joe Biden) about how to get the US out of internal sectarian disputes in Iraq and get our resources re-directed to an enemy that I think most people want us to fight. We are not fighting a "war on terror" in Iraq, but there are terrorists and thugs in the country right now.
I question how our current approach can enable us to distinguish between sectarian fighting, thuggery and true terror. Admittedly, it is not easy to make such distinctions in the best of circumstances, but the present course of action so ardently, albeit poorly, fostered by Shrub and Company is not making that any easier.
Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford, on Apr 27, 2007 at 11:30 am
It is not blind support of Shrub, but "blind" support of any who fight pro-dictatorship ideology. I believe in one person, one vote as an inherent human right. I believe in the inherent human right to self determination, but not the inherent human right to determine what others do.
Again, please tell us what more we can do than we are already doing to defeat fascist ideology.
I support one more action we can take, but it simply never gets off the ground, anywhere. And that is for all democracies to stop buying any oil from any country that isn't a democracy. To do that, all we have to do is drill in our OWN country, while developing non-fossil fuel alternatives.
Stop funding dictatorships, and they fall. At the same time, support the liberal forces within each country, and they rise.
Posted by A Boomer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2007 at 12:10 pm
In Iraq, Shrub picked the wrong battle if going after fascist ideology was the goal. For example, Mugabe in Zimbabwe, the late Mobuto in the former Zaire, among others, are just as bad as Saddam, but none have a fascist ideology that they are espousing or attempting to export. They are brutal dictators, hunkering down in their own countries. Did the US invade those countries? Should the US have done so? Methinks not. Saddam's Iraq was more like these places than it is like Taliban Afghanistan or current Iran.
I have some mis-givings about the so-called Islamo-Fascist ideology concept. I don't think many, if any, people want to be subjected to such rule, and Iran and the Taliban in Afghanistan, which have attempted to rule that way, rule on very shaky ground, indeed. I am not convinced that such regimes in all cases must be dealt with militarily, although that certainly was the case with the Taliban. Shrub seems to think that military might is the only tool in the shed, and his use of it is poor. But he overlooks other means this country has at its disposal to take out these types of bad guys. Remember Reagan and the Evil Empire?
And dealing with non-statist bona fide terrorists, of which Al Qaeda is one, presents a whole host of challenges which are very different from anything we have experienced before in world history. That is among the reasons I am so disgusted with the Shrub people, they are mired in a sectarian, thug laden domestic debacle of their own making in Iraq instead of dealing with this truly evil rerrorist element.
I commend you to read Tom Friedman of the New York Times, if you are not already doing so. He makes a very strong case along the lines of what you point out around oil revenues and oppressive, backward thinking regimes. The more oil money they have, the worse they treat their citizens, and the less willing they are to adapt to more democratically oriented forms of governance. He has a series of ideas on how to get oil dependence down, which he posits can do more than a military force to improve conditions in places that are still under the thmbs of oppressive rulers.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2007 at 8:07 am
The US does not go after all brutal dictators, just those who have invaded neighbor countries and earned the united condemnation of the majority of the worls powers. Mugabi and other African despots were empowered by the removal of colonial moderators before native leaders and democratic cultures could be developed. One man, one vote, one time I believe it was caused. Note that the Philipeans made the transition into self rule, as did India after initial conflict. Most of the people in most of the African nations agree they were better off under colonialism.
Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford, on Apr 28, 2007 at 8:24 am
Walter, I would also add that the US risks its volunteer military on deposing dictators as you stated, and in addition when there is actually hope of some sustainable result that is beneficial to our allies and/or ourselves.
Strategic interests count. For example, I remember Clinton getting a lot of flak for going into Bosnia from the same kind of people as now. But, not only could we no longer tolerate the genocide of ( in that case, Muslims), we knew we could stop it, AND we knew that once we went in, Europe would develop some spine concerning its back door neighbor and start to pull some weight. Which was good for Europe's back door, and thus ours.
Posted by A Boomer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2007 at 8:43 am
The US invasion of Iraq by this Bush Administration has been justified for many reasons, most subsequently shown to be unfounded, but invading another country (Kuwait?) is not one of them. That was Bsuh the first, this war is not a trip down memory lane.
It would be an interesting and different thread to discuss the impact of colonial rule and its subsequent impact on countries after they gained independence. Not the topic here, except to help illustrate the larger points.
My main point in my last postings is that there is a legitimate foreign policy and military objective to eliminate the genuine terrorist element that threatens global stability. And that the Shrub administration, in its myopic zeal to take out Saddam Hussein, has taken its eye of that ball.
And that as long as the US resources are directed toward dealing with a long standing history of sectarian warfare in a country that was artifically establsihed, (Colonial Britain) part of a region with these same schisms, and expending these same US resources on thugs who have no idelology, let alone designs on foisting themselves on the rest of the world, we cannot focus on going after the key bad guys to meet that objective.
Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford, on Apr 28, 2007 at 9:01 am
Thankfully you are free to believe and state whatever you wish.
Thankfully I am free to learn as much as I can, and know that you are wrong.
Been down this far too many times to repeat it now. You clearly want to believe what you say is true. Fine.
And, frankly, I no longer care. That was then, we are dealing with now and the consequences of decisions made now.
Once the Bushhatred dies down and honesty can make its way back into the news/historical accounts,the truth will come out. Your children will be learning what you still don't see about the past, and what you are trying to bring about in the future.
Posted by Red Herring, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2007 at 2:47 pm
According to Wallis
"Most of the people in most of the African nations agree they were better off under colonialism."
Is there any factual support for that statement?
According to Wallis "The US does not go after all brutal dictators, just those who have invaded neighbor countries and earned the united condemnation of the majority of the worlds powers." That doesn't quite square with Grenada, Panamana, Serbia, and the Bay of Pigs.
Can you tell me what victory in Iraq means? No WMDs; no Saddam, then we won! Right? Can you tell me why the US is there if the majority of Iraqi's want us out?
Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford, on Apr 29, 2007 at 3:15 pm
Same old, same old.
Read the multitudes of other threads.
Please find the actual poll, and poll question, with number of people asked, from what part of Iraq, to support your belief that the majority of Iraqis want us out.
The last actual poll I read, about a year ago, ( I will look for it), had about 30% of Iraqis who want us out NOW, ( I wonder what they want instead?), with the remaining wanting us out ONCE THEIR GOVERNMENT WAS ABLE TO DEFEND THEM. They saw us as a necessity to completing their transition to a free Iraq. They weren't happy we were there ( who would be happy with having foreign military in their country?) but recognized that we were necessary until they were on their own feet.
Their biggest gripe was that there weren't enough of us to actually defend them as they learned how to care for themselves.
I will look for the actual poll, though I keep hoping to find a repeat of it done NOW. As soon as more than 55-60%, surveyed accurately, across all types of Iraqis, want us out NOW, then I switch my side and vote to stop funding right away.
Or, as soon as our military stops volunteering to go back. Whichever comes first.