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Top US commander says no timetable to leave Iraq should be set

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I thought all the girls wanted Pelosi, for speaker of the house. What happened with that ? She was supposed to be the best choice, wasn't she ? Hoyer hasn't been mentioned ONE time by any of your talking heads, and NOW, he's the better choice. Nice flip-flop Mr. Kerry.

Earth to TJ. Nancy still is the speaker. Hoyer is the new majority leader. Nancy has Hasstert's old position and Hoyer has Delay's old position.

Edited by west20th

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Earth to TJ. Nancy still is the speaker. Hoyer is the new majority leader. Nancy has Hasstert's old position and Hoyer has Delay's old position.

:lol: I read the story wrong. Apologies, I move to strike the previous statement. My mind IS actually somewhere else at this moment. I shouldn't be worrying about this stuff right now. I read it as Hoyer being top dog for some reason. I re-read it, and knew I was fixin' to get hammered. :P:blush::lol: oh well. Pelosi doesn't have her cronie next to her, that is priceless.

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Answer to your questions: Yes, I do think they have done a good job.

Rizpekt.

2) I think the Dems. won because they got more votes.

I'll bet U $1000 you weren't saying that in the 2000 Presidential Election, were ya? :lol:

All cheekyness aside, why do U think voters were more inclined to vote Dem than Rep this time?

Start a new thread if you want to talk about congress, and the balance of power. The scandals in Washington have nothing to do with timetables in Iraq.

The scandals affected the voters' state of mind, which in turn affected the balance of power in congress, who in turn will affect the policies toward the timetables in Iraq.

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I think Gore will be back. A lot of dems aren't sure if Hillary is capable of ever getting over the high '40s in a general election. Gore seems to be the only one that could beat her in the primaries.

Gore won't run. He's too busy making residuals from inventing the internet.

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I'll bet U $1000 you weren't saying that in the 2000 Presidential Election, were ya? :lol:

I'll take that bet, The Electoral College decided the Presidential election, as it ALWAYS HAS. That is the way the voting is set up, and you didn't see any crying or yelling of FOUL by Republicans when we lost in 1992, nor did you see it after this mid-term election. No lawyers rushing to "recount", no crying over "bad voting booths", or "hanging chads". These races were some of the closest in history, and yet you don't see any "Boo-Hooing" over any of it.

As far as why do I think more Dems. got out to vote ? I think they bought the Dems. lies about "We have a different direction for Iraq. And, we will get the troops out NOW !" Everyone wants the young men and women out of there, for sure. But the reality of it all is that you can't just grab your ball and go home on this one. The Dems. have been disillusuoned by their leadership, and they are gonna be in for a heartbreak, when they are told the exact same thing that is being said now by the Republicans, that we have to see this thing through , and we cannot indeed "cut and run". Then they will get mad, and won't know where to turn at that point, because they don;t like what the Republicans have told them, and now they feel the same about their own leadership.

Edited by TJones

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Please, it's a non-story. Forgotten by everyone but Murtha in a few days. Hoyer was the better choice.

I really have to agree, Hoyer is a better choice. I believe Steny Hoyer to be a fair man and will not be Pelosi's lackey, for what she was shooting for with "Abscam" Murtha.

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I'll take that bet, The Electoral College decided the Presidential election, as it ALWAYS HAS. That is the way the voting is set up, and you didn't see any crying or yelling of FOUL by Republicans when we lost in 1992, nor did you see it after this mid-term election. No lawyers rushing to "recount", no crying over "bad voting booths", or "hanging chads". These races were some of the closest in history, and yet you don't see any "Boo-Hooing" over any of it.

As far as why do I think more Dems. got out to vote ? I think they bought the Dems. lies about "We have a different direction for Iraq. And, we will get the troops out NOW !" Everyone wants the young men and women out of there, for sure. But the reality of it all is that you can't just grab your ball and go home on this one. The Dems. have been disillusuoned by their leadership, and they are gonna be in for a heartbreak, when they are told the exact same thing that is being said now by the Republicans, that we have to see this thing through , and we cannot indeed "cut and run". Then they will get mad, and won't know where to turn at that point, because they don;t like what the Republicans have told them, and now they feel the same about their own leadership.

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

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:lol: I read the story wrong. Apologies, I move to strike the previous statement. My mind IS actually somewhere else at this moment. I shouldn't be worrying about this stuff right now. I read it as Hoyer being top dog for some reason. I re-read it, and knew I was fixin' to get hammered. :P:blush::lol: oh well. Pelosi doesn't have her cronie next to her, that is priceless.

Can I do a victory dance and spike my mouse now? :lol:

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By JOHN TIERNEY

Published: October 24, 2006

An American in Iraq has finally gotten it almost right.

J. D. Thurman, the major general who is the senior commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, has figured out the obstacle to America's dream for Iraq.

''Part of our problem is that we want this more than they do,'' General Thurman told The Times's Michael Gordon, alluding to American efforts to unify Iraqis. ''We need to get people to stop worrying about self and start worrying about Iraq.''

That's a refreshingly candid alternative to the usual lines we hear about the Iraqi people's patriotism and resolve. General Thurman predicted that Americans will keep struggling unless Iraqis put aside their differences. Quite right -- and quite depressing, because they're not about to do it, no matter what timetable the U.S. tries to impose.

But what's stopping them is not selfishness. When General Thurman talked about the conflict between serving oneself and serving one's country, he was applying an American template to a different culture. Rampant individualism is not the problem in Iraq.

The problem is that they have so many social obligations more important to them than national unity. Iraqis bravely went to the polls and waved their purple fingers, but they voted along sectarian lines. Appeals to their religion trumped appeals to the national interest. And as the beleaguered police in Amara saw last week, religion gets trumped by the most important obligation of all: the clan.

The deadly battle in Amara wasn't between Sunnis and Shiites, but between two Shiite clans that have feuded for generations. After one clan's militia destroyed police stations and took over half the city, the Iraqi Army did not ride to the rescue. Authorities regained control only after the clan leaders negotiated a truce.

When the U.S. invaded Iraq, American optimists invoked Germany and Japan as models for their democratization project, but Iraq didn't have the cultural cohesion or national identity of those countries. The shrewdest forecasts I heard came not from foreign policy experts but from anthropologists and sociologists who noted a crucial statistic: nearly half of Iraqis were married to their first or second cousins.

Unlike General Thurman and other Westerners, members of these tightly knit Iraqi clans don't look on society as a collection of individuals working for the common good of the nation. ''In a modern state a citizen's allegiance is to the state, but theirs is to their clan and their tribe,'' Ihsan M. al-Hassan, a sociologist at the University of Baghdad, warned three years ago. ''If one person in your clan does something wrong, you favor him anyway, and you expect others to treat their relatives the same way.''

These allegiances explain why Iraqis don't want to give up their local militias. They know it's unrealistic to expect protection from a national force of soldiers or police officers from other clans, other regions, other religions. When the Iraqi Army ordered reinforcements to go help Americans keep peace in Baghdad, several Iraqi battalions deserted rather than risk their lives defending strangers.

Instead of trying to transform Iraqis into patriots and build up national security forces, the U.S. should be urging decentralization. The national government should concentrate on defending the borders and equitably distributing oil revenue, ideally by distributing shares of the oil wealth directly to citizens.

Most other duties, including maintaining law and order, should devolve to autonomous local governments: one for the Kurdish north, one for the Sunni Triangle, one for the Shiite south, plus coalition governments in Baghad and the multiethnic region around Kirkuk. The result would hardly be peace. There would still be murderous religious conflicts in Baghdad and fierce interclan battles in towns like Amara.

But the local leaders -- elected officials, police officers, sheiks, clerics -- would be in a better position to provide security and negotiate truces than would a national government. It's no accident that the most stable part of Iraq is also the most autonomous: Kurdistan, where two rival clans have negotiated a relatively peaceful coexistence.

It wouldn't be easy for Iraqis in other regions to work out their differences, but the local leaders would have one crucial advantage over any Iraqis or Americans giving orders from Baghdad. They would realize their neighbors are not going to suddenly embrace national unity. They would know you make peace with the citizenry you have, not the one you want.

-----------------------------------------------------------

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Don't think so. There's going to be a lot of outside interference no matter what we do. Iraq is Arab territory or Islamic territory and people are going to fight over which one it is.

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J. D. Thurman, the major general who is the senior commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, has figured out the obstacle to America's dream for Iraq.

''Part of our problem is that we want this more than they do,'' General Thurman told The Times's Michael Gordon, alluding to American efforts to unify Iraqis. ''We need to get people to stop worrying about self and start worrying about Iraq.''

Just had an epiphany.

This is right on so many levels. If the Iraqis honestly cared about removing Saddam, they would have done it themselves. But they didnt.

They mus have been complacently satisfied with how things were going. And now theyre bitchin'.

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This is right on so many levels. If the Iraqis honestly cared about removing Saddam, they would have done it themselves. But they didnt.

They did try and hoped we would help. Bush let them down right after the First Gulf War due to UN pressure.

Saddam slaughtered them.

That's one of the war crimes he was recently convicted of.

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I saw this interview last night and found it online today. It's PBS's Charlie Rose interviewing Retired General James l. Jones, NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.

Pretty informative. An hour long.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2...35535&hl=en

Edited by lockmat

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Since I've moved back to the Houston area in September, I have hardly kept up with the news except for whatever is on the Chronicle.

Is it me or has news on Iraq drastically declined?

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Once the military started making progress, the liberal press stopped reporting as much.

The H. Chronicle shouldn't be anyone's sole source for news. Try the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post for excellent Iraq coverage.

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Once the military started making progress, the liberal press stopped reporting as much.

The H. Chronicle shouldn't be anyone's sole source for news. Try the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post for excellent Iraq coverage.

Surprise Surprise, right? I've just been lazy about keeping up with it. How sad our media is.

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Iraq Seeks F-16 Fighters

WASHINGTON -- The Iraqi government is seeking to buy 36 advanced F-16 fighters from the U.S., say American military officials familiar with the request, a move that could help reduce its reliance on U.S. air power and potentially allow more American forces to withdraw from the country than had been proposed.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1220565038...p_us_whats_news

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Okay.

And your point is?

I think that it is quite reasonable for them to build their military.

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