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Thread: Winning Ugly

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Post Winning Ugly

    I guess everyone's considered it, but the editor of Roll Call came out and said it. A potential "Plan B" for Iraq would be to allow the civil war to bloom, and force the Sunnis into a realistic appraisal of their position through the process of death, death, and more death. I don't think this is a good idea, as it will position us as the primary western backers of Shiism (a role I don't think we desire).

    Roll Call is subscription-only, but the entire article appears to be reprinted here.

    Apparently Kondracke is considered a liberal, but I have no idea if this proposal is generally accepted among the Dems. Frankly, I haven't heard a realistic assessment from the Dems yet as to how they would go about disentangling our nation from Iraq. As per the article I referenced in an earlier thread, the choices we face once we decide to get out go from bad to ugly to catastrophic. I know politicians don't want to show those sorts of options to voters, but I really wish the Dems would grow a spine and tell it like it is. The President is unable or unwilling to do so, and it would be a refreshing change if somebody would be honest about Iraq. Perhaps I'm expecting too much from our craven political parties.

    Kondracke's proposal is cold-blooded and immoral, which is not to say that it wouldn't work.

    Excerpts:

    The 80 percent alternative involves accepting rule by Shiites and Kurds, allowing them to violently suppress Sunni resistance and making sure that Shiites friendly to the United States emerge victorious.

    No one has publicly advocated this Plan B, and I know of only one Member of Congress who backs it - and he wants to stay anonymous. But he argues persuasively that it's the best alternative available if Bush's surge fails. Winning will be dirty because it will allow the Shiite-dominated Iraqi military and some Shiite militias to decimate the Sunni insurgency. There likely will be ethnic cleansing, atrocities against civilians and massive refugee flows.

    On the other hand, as Bush's critics point out, bloody civil war is the reality in Iraq right now. U.S. troops are standing in the middle of it and so far cannot stop either Shiites from killing Sunnis or Sunnis from killing Shiites.

    Winning dirty would involve taking sides in the civil war - backing the Shiite-dominated elected government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and ensuring that he and his allies prevail over both the Sunni insurgency and his Shiite adversary Muqtada al-Sadr, who's now Iran's candidate to rule Iraq.

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    Filthy Rich Member Odin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    according to the idiot Bush, We've already won (wasnt that what he said on the aircraft carrier?).

    Seriously, at this point I dont think its going to matter if we leave now, or a year from now, or five, there is going to be violence. Islam hasnt reconcilled its schisms, so the Dems have my support mainly because they want to pull out. (well truth be told they want a reasoned withdraw, leaving forces to train Iraqi army/police, but thats so unattractive to say).

    Sometimes the devil you know is better then the devil you dont, at least when saddam was in we knew a bit about the person who was doing the violent oppression.

    Any dossier's floating around on Sadr?
    There are few things more annoying than some idiot who has never done anything trying to say definitively how something should be done.

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    Islam hasnt reconcilled its schisms, so the Dems have my support mainly because they want to pull out. (well truth be told they want a reasoned withdraw, leaving forces to train Iraqi army/police, but thats so unattractive to say).
    Well, according to their rhetoric, the Republicans want out too ("as they stand up, we will stand down," etc.). It's just a question of timing.

    Everyone accepts that we will leave forces on the ground. Everyone accepts that we will also perform some sort of partial withdrawal. The two parties are closer than they sound, once you get past the rhetoric and look at the positions.
    Last edited by Lemur; 05-11-2007 at 21:54.
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    Hand Bacon Member ShadeHonestus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    Dems have my support mainly because they want to pull out. (well truth be told they want a reasoned withdraw, leaving forces to train Iraqi army/police, but thats so unattractive to say).
    Actually, they like many, are having problems with either staying or withdrawing. They want to force a withdrawl while Bush is in office, but if we are still in Iraq when and if the dems take the white house they'll be hard pressed to own the withdrawl. In fact I personally see them keeping the status quo on Iraq. As untenable a situation as the Republicans have, the Dems have a very serious political catch 22 looming. Ted Koppel had something very well thought out and intelligent to say on this matter.

    I'm looking for a strong Democrat to own both a withdrawl and continuation policy not pigeon holing us to one strategy or the other. Until that happens I'm going to continue to look for the strongest Republican to get my vote.
    Last edited by ShadeHonestus; 05-11-2007 at 19:16.
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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur
    ....and making sure that Shiites friendly to the United States emerge victorious....
    Doesn't this remind you of what happened before almost every arab stated turned into a tyranny 30 years ago? This simply wont happen. One of three things will happen:

    1. The shiites will be friendly for a year or two, then turn hostile.
    2. They will stay loyal to the US until they are overthrown by some other strong man, who hates the US(a new saddam).
    3. They will remain both in power and friendly to the US, but they will not have the support of the populace, and so have to transform into a police-state in order to stay in power(pinochet).
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    I think our strained relationship with the Saudis might break if we condoned the slaughter of Sunni Muslims in Iraq for the purpose of the creation a somewhat strong and independent power as its neighbor.

    If this slaughter is required let it happen after the US has left, I don't want to be part of a military that allows the soldiers it trains to exacts genocide on another country's minority commmunity.
    Last edited by spmetla; 05-11-2007 at 19:19.

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by spmetla
    I think our strained relationship with the Saudis might break if we condoned the slaughter of Sunni Muslims in Iraq for the purpose of the creation a somewhat strong and independent power as its neighbor.
    Excellent, excellent point. That alone torpedoes Kondracke's modest proposal, I believe.
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    Filthy Rich Member Odin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur
    Well, according to their rhetoric, the Republicans want out too ("as they stand up, we will stand down," etc.). It's just a question of timing.

    Everyone accepts that we will leave forces on the ground. Everyone accepts that we will also perform some sort of partial withdrawal. The two parties are closer than they sound, once you get past the rhetoric and look at the positions.
    Thats just it Lemur, in the republicans case Im not sure its rhetoric at all, I think a lot of them believe the war was justified, its just a matter of political survival at this point to be "anti bush" no matter the issue.

    The Democrats well, what exactly is thier position (and Im not being cute or trying to play on a popular anthem of the right). Considering thier majority and the propensity of the media to lean left, I would think thier position on Iraq would be crystal clear, even through the meyer of party rhetoric.
    There are few things more annoying than some idiot who has never done anything trying to say definitively how something should be done.

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    Filthy Rich Member Odin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadeHonestus
    Actually, they like many, are having problems with either staying or withdrawing. They want to force a withdrawl while Bush is in office, but if we are still in Iraq when and if the dems take the white house they'll be hard pressed to own the withdrawl. In fact I personally see them keeping the status quo on Iraq. As untenable a situation as the Republicans have, the Dems have a very serious political catch 22 looming. Ted Koppel had something very well thought out and intelligent to say on this matter.

    I'm looking for a strong Democrat to own both a withdrawl and continuation policy not pigeon holing us to one strategy or the other. Until that happens I'm going to continue to look for the strongest Republican to get my vote.
    Excellent observation, Shade.
    There are few things more annoying than some idiot who has never done anything trying to say definitively how something should be done.

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    The Democrats well, what exactly is thier position (and Im not being cute or trying to play on a popular anthem of the right). Considering thier majority and the propensity of the media to lean left, I would think thier position on Iraq would be crystal clear, even through the meyer of party rhetoric.
    I expect there are two reasons we can't figure out what exactly the Dems intend with Iraq:
    1. They can't see a painless path to a better situation.
    2. Presenting the voters with the full range of ugly options would be political suicide, or so they believe.

    Neither party has the guts to admit publicly how bad our choices are. It's too bad, because the American people would be better off knowing the real score. Of course, I'm not up for any sort of election to anything, so it's easy for me to say that. Much harder for someone with an office to lose.
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    Filthy Rich Member Odin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur
    I expect there are two reasons we can't figure out what exactly the Dems intend with Iraq:
    1. They can't see a painless path to a better situation.
    2. Presenting the voters with the full range of ugly options would be political suicide, or so they believe.

    Neither party has the guts to admit publicly how bad our choices are. It's too bad, because the American people would be better off knowing the real score. Of course, I'm not up for any sort of election to anything, so it's easy for me to say that. Much harder for someone with an office to lose.
    Well that strikes me as logical in its application to the political situation of the future ( IE 08 president), in the end someone has to bite the bullet. Its not always easy being the majority....
    There are few things more annoying than some idiot who has never done anything trying to say definitively how something should be done.

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    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    I honestly think the dems are so strong in their rhetoric just because they want to deal with Iraq as little as possible if they win the presidential election. I think they realize that if no major withdrawal happens before they get elected into power then whoever the president will be, will like Nixon realize that immediate withdrawal is not feasible. Bear in mind that part of the reason Nixon was elected was because he promised to end the war in Vietnam.
    Last edited by spmetla; 05-11-2007 at 19:41.

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    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    I'm surprised we have 15-20 people in this country who are actually trying to win the 2008 presidential election. Screw the perks, whoever wins is going to be stuck with an hopeless situation, and will be reviled no matter what their Iraq policy turns out to be. I foresee a one-termer coming up, unless he/she can walk on water, turn water to wine, raise the dead, AND balance the budget. Some of the younger candidates should probably sit this one out, let one of the older guys fall on this sword.
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    Filthy Rich Member Odin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by drone
    I'm surprised we have 15-20 people in this country who are actually trying to win the 2008 presidential election. Screw the perks, whoever wins is going to be stuck with an hopeless situation, and will be reviled no matter what their Iraq policy turns out to be. I foresee a one-termer coming up, unless he/she can walk on water, turn water to wine, raise the dead, AND balance the budget. Some of the younger candidates should probably sit this one out, let one of the older guys fall on this sword.
    Ah true, but lest we forget Mr Bush will still be about the public speaking circuit and an easy mark for blame. I think its safe to say Bush is going to carry this baggage for a long long time, and his successor would be wise to capitalize on it.
    There are few things more annoying than some idiot who has never done anything trying to say definitively how something should be done.

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    Ah true, but lest we forget Mr Bush will still be about the public speaking circuit and an easy mark for blame. I think its safe to say Bush is going to carry this baggage for a long long time, and his successor would be wise to capitalize on it.
    I don't think "it's all Bush's fault" will carry much political weight after the '08 election. There will be hard choices to make, and the absolute worst one will be to change nothing. I think drone is right. The '08 presidency will most likely be a poison chalice, and if we didn't have 15-20 blindly ambitious people, we wouldn't have a 44th commander-in-chief.
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    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin
    Ah true, but lest we forget Mr Bush will still be about the public speaking circuit

    Sorry, I just had visions of Bush doing public speaking. That concept just seems hilarious.

    True, 44 will always be able to blame Bush for getting us into this mess. What we really need though is someone who doesn't care about re-election, and just does the best thing for the country. Not going to happen, but maybe after six months on the job, he/she will realize that their political career is over, and just do what needs to be done. Regardless, the Prez will have to fight a divided Congress, with each party desperately trying to lay blame on the other for the inevitable fiasco. Not a good situation for him/her, or us either.
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    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur
    Neither party has the guts to admit publicly how bad our choices are. It's too bad, because the American people would be better off knowing the real score.
    "People always love victories brother."

    The American people don't want to know how bad it is. The American people don't go about their daily lives worrying about the safety of US service members. The American people want what the president wants (in Iraq), they just want it now.

    Very few people care about what they don't hear on the news. Most people are busy living their lives and don't want to be reminded about the ugliness of the world; and there's nothing wrong with that. If this problem was solved in an ugly manor most people wouldn't care in less they were reminded about it.

    Yea, sure I just took a snipet out of your post but it's a point I feel strongly about.
    Last edited by Vladimir; 05-11-2007 at 21:08.


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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    It might be irrelevant anyway , the mandate is up for renewal soon and the Iraqi government has tabled a bill to remove all coilition forces from the country .

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    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur
    Kondracke's proposal is cold-blooded and immoral, which is not to say that it wouldn't work.
    Add stupid to cold-blooded and immoral and you'd have the current default Democrat "strategy" of full withdrawal. At least Mort's saying we should back a winner that we can live with. The only coherent position the Democrats present is withdrawal. There would still be untold slaughter, the main difference would be that we're not backing a winner we can stomach under this plan (which is more a lack of a plan than a plan). Additionally, Mort thinks that the surge should be given time to succeed or fail on it's own merits- Democrats don't seem to be open to that either as many want to see a withdrawal begin this summer.

    I often disagree with Kondracke, but he seems less blindly partisan than many on both sides today and I'm usually interested in hearing what he has to say. He's a regular panelist on "Special Report" and I usually find his comments much more interesting than the right-winger Fred Barnes, who typically comes off as a by-the-talking-points shill.
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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiahou
    Add stupid to cold-blooded and immoral and you'd have the current default Democrat "strategy" of full withdrawal.
    You are better-informed than I am, 'cause I don't think I've heard any coherent strategy from the Dems. Even people who advocate "full" withdrawal know that we're going to have an ongoing presence. I'm doing my best to ignore what seems to be empty rhetoric from both parties, so I don't really pay attention when a Republican bloviates about "stay the course" or a Democrat yammers about "immediate withdrawal." Neither position is even remotely reality-based.

    General Petraeus seems to be a realist and a good man, so let's hope he can apply the basic tools of counterinsurgency and have enough time and resources to improve our choices.
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    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    I'm sure you noticed the quotes around "strategy". I agree, they really don't have one- the only common thread they have is get out quickly. They ignore all of the repercussions and consequences of this and offer no accompanying plan of their own about how to manage the aftermath- some even go so far as to say that everything will become rosy just as soon as US troops leave. Regardless of what you think about Bush's prosecution of the war, their plans are just plain irresponsible on the whole. At least if they presented an alternative plan- like Kondracke has, we'd have another plan to choose from. As is, they offer nothing. None of their politicians are willing to put forth a plan or talk about it's consequences because they're trying to maintain a tenuous hold on the support of varied interest groups- some of them being quite irrational on the subject of war.
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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    I think you're largely right, Xiahou. (Pun intended.) I outlined why I think they're refusing to present a real plan in post #10.

    What would be interesting, though, is to find out what the Dem frontrunners really plan to do if they win the executive. Let's not even pretend that Clinton and Obama haven't taken a cold, hard look at what they may inherit.

    For that matter, it would be equally enlightening to know what the Republican candidates intend. Just ignore cmpaign promises and rhetoric for now -- what does President Romney or President Giuliani plan to do with this mess?
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    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Well, the Dems may be pushing their "strategy" in an attempt to bypass the problem altogether. If they can force a withdrawal (or at least start one) by the time January 2009 rolls around, a Democratic President won't have to worry about it.

    If this is their plan, I wonder how they plan on spinning the death toll from the ensuing civil war (the all-out, no question about it, genocide type of civil war, not the one already going on). Might cost them some seats in the mid-terms, maybe they are counting on the short attention span of the public. Without the troops in Iraq, the MSM will go back to reporting on celebs and sex scandals. Oh, wait, nevermind.

    I'd love to hear real plans from the candidates, they are the only ones with a chance to do anything. The Bush administration could miraculously pull a workable, sensible plan out of it's , and it would have no chance of getting implemented in the current environment. The Dem's plan seems to be to show up Bush (not that it's really necessary) and kill the GOP's chances for 2008, regardless of the consequences to the nation, the military, or the Iraqis.
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    Filthy Rich Member Odin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by Tribesman
    It might be irrelevant anyway , the mandate is up for renewal soon and the Iraqi government has tabled a bill to remove all coilition forces from the country .
    Ahhh thank you tribesman you've presented an alternative in 08, This might be a nice out for the next president, not only can they blame Mr Bush for going in, but they can blame the Iraqi's for kicking us out.

    Dont tell Mr McCain though, id rather like to see him own part of this political baggage. Its a crap situation because no matter how it ends no one falls into this pile of dung and smells like roses.

    least of all the sods left on the streets of Iraq to deal with the death squads once we do finally leave.
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    Hand Bacon Member ShadeHonestus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    I really believe that our course of action in Iraq is not going to be the deciding issue in '08. I believe that our decision in '08 will decide our path but there are some very large elephants in the room which I believe might decide our fate over there. Democrats allowing the tax cuts to expire is one that comes to mind...what is it? 8 million people not previously paying will be forced to file, the 10% bracekt being bumped up to the 15% bracket all the while the rate of new and higher tax registration has grown in record numbers under those cuts. Forget about winning ugly in Iraq, winning or losing we will take our lumps there, while winning or losing ugly at home.
    Last edited by ShadeHonestus; 05-11-2007 at 23:15.
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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Could you elaborate on that, SH? How will the expiring tax cuts decide what happens in Iraq?
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur
    I don't think "it's all Bush's fault" will carry much political weight after the '08 election. There will be hard choices to make, and the absolute worst one will be to change nothing. I think drone is right. The '08 presidency will most likely be a poison chalice, and if we didn't have 15-20 blindly ambitious people, we wouldn't have a 44th commander-in-chief.
    Well, it really isn't all Bush's fault, as I read it. Cheney has a very big hand in this, and again (if my reading is correct) was pretty much the sole reason that the CIA 'determined' that there were WMD's in Iraq. Supposedly, Cheney sat in on all high level meetings and purposefully pushed for the worst possible outcome or conclusion, a few high level CIA types who bit the bullet during the post-invasion fallout cried foul on this.

    The American people don't want to know how bad it is. The American people don't go about their daily lives worrying about the safety of US service members. The American people want what the president wants (in Iraq), they just want it now.

    Very few people care about what they don't hear on the news. Most people are busy living their lives and don't want to be reminded about the ugliness of the world; and there's nothing wrong with that. If this problem was solved in an ugly manor most people wouldn't care in less they were reminded about it.

    Yea, sure I just took a snipet out of your post but it's a point I feel strongly about.
    Strongly disagree. My family and friends talk about this regularly, and we all agree that the situation is horrible, and we should be out of there soon. I t comes up every so often at work and we discuss it. I overhear people talking about it when I go out to do random stuff like errands or eat. It's definitely in the forefront of American's minds right now, esp. more so for those who have friends or loved ones stationed over there. My dad and I seem to see eye to eye on this which is a first, he's more deeply republican (though thankfully not a christian nutcase) than I am.

    We still think "peace" in Iraq is a farce, mainly because of religious (and cultural) differences. We are dealing with centuries, if not millenia, of hatred and loathing, coupled with a willingness to use violence to achieve ends... equals an impossible situation. No, I'm not saying all Iraqis are like this at all, or that it's only Iraqis who are causing the mayhem, but there does certainly seem to be a much higher level of radicals, violent-minded, and "separatist" individuals and groups who are willing to pursue ends such as those. "Peace" may be possible, but probably only under a similar type situation that Iraq was in during Saddam, where you have a totalitarian regime that rules with an iron thumb. Democracy just isn't going to work, as far as we can tell. Thus why we think we should withdraw very very soon, as the goal of implemented a democratic government is doomed to fail. So is the "win ugly" strategy.


    "Justice is the firm and continuous desire to render to everyone
    that which is his due."
    - Justinian I

  28. #28
    Hand Bacon Member ShadeHonestus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur
    Could you elaborate on that, SH? How will the expiring tax cuts decide what happens in Iraq?
    Sure Lemur...

    Its one of the elephants in the room that I believe will decide the election. I personally pray that our populace will not try and decide the election on the war and that's not just my Republican side speaking the elephants trumpet in both directions. For anyone to think that given what we've seen and heard they will somehow vote the Iraq war out of existence or vote it into hugs and kisses acceptance is doing our process a disservice. Therefore the rest of the issues will indirectly decide what happens in Iraq.
    "There is a true glory and a true honor; the glory in duty done and the honor in the integrity of principle."

    "The truth is this; the march of Providence so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often only see the ebb of the advancing wave. It is history which teaches us to hope."

  29. #29
    Second-hand chariot salesman Senior Member macsen rufus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    After reading the title I was a little disappointed this wasn't a thread about British babes...

    but even so, I do believe that Iraq will have its full-blown civil war, the only question is when, and how many foreign (ie non-Iraqi) troops get caught in the crossfire. Sectarianism is an ugly thing, and will only lay down and learn to cooperate once the various parties get heartily sick of fighting. Amazing as it may be at this stage, it still seems some Iraqis still have an appetite for further violence. I'm sure the majority are ready to let bygones be bygones and get on with a normal life again, but of course its what minorities are doing that's the problem. I'm not claiming any great similarities, but ultimately it wasn't due to British military presence that the Irish troubles seem to be entering an end-phase now. BOTH sides - UK govt and the Republican movement accepted that there was no "military win" possible.

    I don't really like the idea of this "ugly win" -- backing one side in the hope that it will serve the interests of an outside party. That's partly how Saddam become so entrenched in power. Back in the days of the Iran-Iraq war, lest anyone forget, certain outside parties (and I'm not just pointing at the US here, France and Britain were in there too) were happy to prop up Saddam and sell weapons etc when it looked like he was, if not our friend, at least our enemy's enemy. If anything, the "ugly win" is just resetting the clock on another disastrous "long-timescale lose". Better to let the local shake-down happen, withdraw any external scapegoats the locals can use to justify their sectarian violence, and see what emerges from the dust. I strongly suspect it won't be "Iraq" anymore, though.

    Last edited by macsen rufus; 05-12-2007 at 11:40.
    ANCIENT: TW

    A mod for Medieval:TW (with VI)

    Discussion forum thread

    Ancient TW2: Eastern Empires is under development again

    Featuring: Rise of Persia, Alexander's Conquests, Wars of the Diadochi

  30. #30

    Default Re: Winning Ugly

    Ahhh thank you tribesman you've presented an alternative in 08, This might be a nice out for the next president, not only can they blame Mr Bush for going in, but they can blame the Iraqi's for kicking us out.
    Yeah but theres more ,the Badr boys are changing their parties name to reflect the situation as they see it .
    Apparently there is no longer any need for an islamic revolution to make the State how they want it , they got it already .
    I suppose thats what happens when you rush through writing an important document to meet a deadline and leave all the really important bits out . The really important bits are never going to be written now .

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