The National Security Battle

The Democrats unveiled their plan:

Emboldened by President Bush’s declining approval ratings, Democrats unveiled a national security platform yesterday for the midterm elections that stresses renewed focus on capturing Osama bin Laden, reducing the U.S. presence in Iraq and stepped up protection at home.

The new strategy, which comes after months of deliberations and several false starts, aims to neutralize the advantage Republicans have held on national security and terrorism issues, that Democrats acknowledge were critical in the GOP’s midterm gains in 2002 and in Bush’s reelection victory over Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004.

Flanked by former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright and retired Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark, Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi vowed that Democrats could do a better job of defending the country than the administration has done since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The rest of the story is more of the same old, same old. The Democrats claim the GOP is reckless, Cheney responds that the Democrats are pussies. Yada, yada, yada.

How will this play with voters? Beats me.

‘Getting Osama’ isn’t so much a plan as it is a goal, but the public is fatigued by American presence in Iraq, so this might work in November. I would think the issue that would play the best would be the domestic security issue, and that would explain why the Democrats were so eager to freak out over the Dubai Port Deal- it was simply the warm-up for this.

Just as a side note- I am not sure how terrifying Osama is anymore. Other than a few video tapes and the like here and there, he has been relatively silent for a while, so I am not sure if he carries the same sort of fear factor as he once did (although the Republicans did a pretty good job of branding Osama into a generalized threat, so I may be wrong).

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65 replies
  1. 1
    John Cole says:

    I don’t know how you could write this you fascist right-winger. Why are you attacking the Democratic plan?

    You are only supposed to just simply accept it at face value, and are not even allowed to examine it. Anything other than ‘sounds great’ proves you are a right-wing nazi red state racist bigot homophobe.

    I am now going to misread this in the most odd way possible and then spend the day flaming you and demanding that you answer hundreds of questions about the dumbest things I can think of that are only tangentially if at all related to this post, and your failure to respond immediately to every tedious question will be taken as proof that you have no answer.

    There- I saved all you Eschaton and FireDogLake readers the time and just did it myself.

  2. 2
    p.lukasiak says:

    The dems needed to have something on paper, just to have a response to the wingnut claims that “the Democrats don’t have any ideas”.

    Nobody is going to read it….from about page 3 on, the text might as well be “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” repeated endlessly for all that it matters.

  3. 3
    p.lukasiak says:

    There- I saved all you Eschaton and FireDogLake readers the time and just did it myself.

    you obviously didn’t learn anything from the previous thread….

    We’re not ready to make nice!

  4. 4
    SomeCallMeTim says:

    The whole WOT is a sham, and sooner or later we’ll realize that. But at the moment, I think the spectre of Osama Bama Bo-Bama is likely to scare the marginal idiot who voted for Bush more than the idea of Iraq as a failed state. I think the marginal idiot’s perception is wrong, but I hope that his dunderheadedness will work for the Dems this time.

  5. 5
    Slide says:

    Well, as someone from the progressive end of the Democratic party, let me just say I was underwhelmed by the Democratic security “plan”. But I am also of the opinion that the Dems don’t have to offer a point by point alternative to Republicans. I think the election is not going to hinge on who has a better plan or not but who the public will think will be more compentent in implementing any plan.

    The Dems would be wise to really hit home the competency issue. Its an issue the ties together Iraq, Social Security, the Medicare prescription bill, out of control spending, Harriet Meyers nomination, the Dubai port fiasco and of course Katrina. These are not ideological differences with the GOP but rather one of governance and competence.

    Another issue that should be pounded home time and time again is the corruption of the GOP. Tom Delay, Bill Frist, Abramhoff, Chris Cunningham, Scooter Libby, Carl Rove and the slew of other GOP politicians are are believed to be on the brink of being indicted during this election year. Tie that with Halliburton, the UAE ties to Bush family, corporate greed, medicare prescritpion bill, etc etc.

    The Dems should NOT get into having a specific point by point plan for Iraq. It only gives the GOP something to shoot at. They do not run the executive office. They do not run the Pentagon. They do not run the Senate. They do not run the House of Represenatives. The GOP is in firm control of this country. How many Americans are happy with where this country is and where it is going.

    The Dems have a unique opportunity here to take back at lease one body of congress. With that they get committee chairs and subpoena power. That must make the thieving republicans wet their beds at night.

    I would hope the

  6. 6
    Stormy70 says:

    I like the part where they want to double special forces, like they can simply be ordered off of a fast food menu. What is the plan to train these special forces quickly? Are they really wanting to invade a nuclear nominal ally willy nilly to find Osama, who even Harry Reid thinks is dead? Umm Ok. A three page plan to deal with National Security? Good plan, Dems.

    Al Qaeda is now in Iraq. Should our military flee the field where are enemies are congregating, so we can play footsie with a dead man in the mountains of Pakistan? We already have troops doing this, anyway.

    I see the plan, but how are they going to implement it? I need actual info, not quick soundbites.

  7. 7
    Edmund Dantes says:

    Wow. You really have become whiny. It’s sad.

  8. 8
    Steve says:

    What’s amusing about Osama is that people like Jeff Goldstein have started to make the case that not only is he no big deal, but it would actually be counterproductive to martyr him, yadda yadda. To me, uh, it’s pretty obvious that the only reason they’re making this argument is that Bush failed to get the job done. If we had actually killed Osama then Bush would be the hero who avenged us, and so forth.

    It’s not like anyone believes you just kill Osama and the terrorist threat goes away, or anything like that. It’s a lot more basic. Someone murders 3000 Americans, you make them pay, period.

    It’s like a punch to the gut thinking that here we are, the most powerful country in the world, and we still haven’t been able to get this guy. I’m not willing to let him sit out there laughing at us because some politician thought it was expedient to write him out of the agenda.

  9. 9
    Stormy70 says:

    I don’t know how you could write this you facist right-winger.

    John, did you receive your decoder ring in the mail?

    Best Wishes,
    The Facist Right-Winger Club

  10. 10
    Stormy70 says:

    Osama is DEAD. Otherwise, his ass would be on TV taunting the Great Satan while holding up a current newspaper. Dude is DEAD.

  11. 11
    Davebo says:

    Geez Perfessor,

    Take a valium already.

    You’re becoming a caricature of a caricature of yourself.

  12. 12

    Honestly, right now I’d like a party which stood up and talked about security without promoting fear.

    Neither side is really doing this, although the Democrats are a lot closer than Republicans.

  13. 13
    Davebo says:

    Someone murders 3000 Americans, you make them pay, period.

    No, you use it to freak people out, buy ductape, and hide under their bed making idiotic posts about “The Osama’s of the Left”.

    But I assure you that should Osama get a blow job they’ll be on him like ticks on tits.

  14. 14
    KCinDC says:

    Hey, at least the Democratic plan is a lot more detailed than Instapundit’s.

  15. 15
    gunga says:

    Ha!

    Not only are you a “right-wing nazi red state racist bigot homophobe”, but you are a “right-wing nazi red state racist bigot homophobe” who can’t spell fascist!

    I expect Ezra Klein will be commenting shortly on this outrage!

  16. 16

    I can no longer read dKos.

  17. 17
    Stormy70 says:

    After 4 1/2 years after 9/11, I was expecting a little more. But then, this is the Democrats we are talking about.

    Does this plan address military recruiters being allowed in the hallowed halls of Academia, where the best and brightest are supposedly located? I would want some of my special forces to have a fast start in the education field. Somehow, I don’t think this will be happening soon.

    Are the Dems planning on kissing up to the French, and getting them involved with helping us militarily again? They do have all those violent youths sitting around unemployed.
    Maybe they can bribe the French, just like Saddam did, and France will be our friend again. I am sure the Dems will use the money they want to cut from our defense budget.

    This plan is cracking me up! LOL

  18. 18
    Blue Neponset says:

    There- I saved all you Eschaton and FireDogLake readers the time and just did it myself.

    Thanks man.

    I think Balloon Juice is close to entering Shark Jumping territory. I hope you take a break before you actually get there Mr. Cole.

  19. 19
    Kirk Spencer says:

    I think – not know, but think – that the “Get Osama” line has an important secondary resonance with the dominant subtheme of the plan. That subtheme is basically that the current administration and GOP have failed to do what needed done.

    Osama is one of two specific examples of administration shortcomings in the GWOT (or whatever it is now). “We will get Osama bin Laden, dead or alive, but we will get him” morphed to “he’s just a person and if we get him, fine, but he’s not that important” to… to an impression of, “Osama who?” As Stormy said, the man is probably dead. But that actually makes it worse for the president because the only real way to neuter that clause is to get him now. Note – reality says OBL is probably not that important anymore. But he’s the symbol, and symbols are important.

    FWIW, the other shortcoming is the post-combat operations in Iraq. While it’s harder to put into words, and it’s not something that can be done now, it’s worked into that mind-numbing document as well. But “Get Osama” resonates.

  20. 20
    Pb says:

    Wow, I almost agree with Stormy here. Osama is dead. At least until the mid-term elections. Except this time, the Democrats might try to exhume the body as well. But after that, he’ll go back to being dead. At least until the Presidential elections…

  21. 21
    Steve says:

    From the last Osama tape, we know he was alive as recently as November. If you have some information that he’s dead since then, hey, share with the rest of us.

  22. 22
    Jim Allen says:

    From the last Osama tape, we know he was alive as recently as November. If you have some information that he’s dead since then, hey, share with the rest of us.

    Steve, you have to make sure the little point on the top of your tinfoil hat is aimed in the right direction. I’m sure Stormy would be happy to share the coordinates with you.

  23. 23
    Ancient Purple says:

    Al Qaeda is now in Iraq.

    Courtesy of George W. Bush.

  24. 24
    Steve says:

    Steve, you have to make sure the little point on the top of your tinfoil hat is aimed in the right direction. I’m sure Stormy would be happy to share the coordinates with you.

    Uh, what? Are you one of those “the CIA faked the bin Laden tape” people?

  25. 25
    Jim Allen says:

    Uh, what? Are you one of those “the CIA faked the bin Laden tape” people?

    Nope. Just letting you know where you can become as informed as Stormy.

  26. 26
    Stormy70 says:

    Courtesy of George W. Bush.

    Yes, where our military is killing them. I know, tough concept, actually killing the enemy. Unlike Yale, who likes to admit them over qualified American students.

    Osama on audiotape? Not good enough. I need to see his dead ass on video.

  27. 27
    Steve says:

    I enjoy how it has now become accepted gospel on the right that Harry Reid says bin Laden is dead, the sole proof being a statement by Reid last November that “I heard today that he may have died in the earthquake that they had in Pakistan.”

  28. 28
    Steve says:

    Osama on audiotape? Not good enough. I need to see his dead ass on video.

    This is where we play the game of “Sure, the CIA authenticated the tape, but because the CIA screwed up [anecdote X], therefore the CIA is probably wrong and I am right!”

  29. 29
    Pb says:

    Steve,

    The last alleged Osama tape crossed the line from probable fake to ridiculous farce:

    the tape appeared to promote a book by William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower. Bin Laden claimed that “If Bush carries on with his lies and deception it may be useful for you to read the book “The Rogue State.””

    All that’s left now is for al-Qaeda to start an Osama book club.

  30. 30
    Brian says:

    Maybe it’s better to have OBL alive. Have the world see him repoting from secret hideouts or caves, and never able to enjoy the freedoms that the Great Satan does. It’s a fabulous contrast.

  31. 31
    Jim Allen says:

    All that’s left now is for al-Qaeda to start an Osama book club.

    He was going to start a magazine, but “O” was already taken.

  32. 32
    Steve says:

    That sounds like a great anti-death penalty argument in general, Brian.

  33. 33
    capelza says:

    Pb Says:

    Wow, I almost agree with Stormy here. Osama is dead. At least until the mid-term elections. Except this time, the Democrats might try to exhume the body as well. But after that, he’ll go back to being dead. At least until the Presidential elections…

    C: I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, my lad. ‘E’s dead, that’s what’s wrong with it!

    O: No, no, ‘e’s uh,…he’s resting.

    C: Look, matey, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.

    O: No no he’s not dead, he’s, he’s restin’! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn’it, ay? Beautiful plumage!

    C: The plumage don’t enter into it. It’s stone dead.

    O: Nononono, no, no! ‘E’s resting!

    C: All right then, if he’s restin’, I’ll wake him up!

  34. 34
    Mac Buckets says:

    ‘Getting Osama’ isn’t so much a plan as it is a goal,

    They have a plan. It’s on Kerry’s website.

    Just as a side note- I am not sure how terrifying Osama is anymore.

    That level of decay can be pretty scary. Ask George Romero.

  35. 35
    Mac Buckets says:

    To me, uh, it’s pretty obvious that the only reason they’re making this argument is that Bush failed to get the job done.

    Except that some of us have been making this argument for 4 years and change. I’ve always assumed that we’ll never know when Osama buys it, because it serves our interests that the guy be thought of as a cave-dwelling, impotent has-been rather than a martyr.

  36. 36
    Slide says:

    Iraq has WMD

    Iraq has a nuclear program

    Iraq oil will pay for the war

    Iraq will greet us as liberators

    It will be a cakewalk

    Saddam had ties to al Qaeda

    We will draw down to 30,000 troops by the end of 2003

    the war will last six days, maybe six weeks but no more than six months

    and we know where the WMD are.. they are in the area around Tikrit….

    Mobile bio labs

    unmanned drones capable of spreading bio weapons on USA

    uranium from Niger

    We are safer with the war in Iraq

    Iraqis are better off with the war in Iraq

    and now this group of morons who have been wrong about EVERY FUCKING THING are lecturing us about Osama bin Laden being dead? lol…. fuckin precious, just fuckin precious. Guys, a little hint, you have NO CREDIBILITY. NONE. ZIPP. NADA, NYET. ZERO. Forgetaaboutit.

  37. 37
    SeesThroughIt says:

    He was going to start a magazine, but “O” was already taken.

    PotD so far.

  38. 38
    jg says:

    I am not sure how terrifying Osama is anymore.

    We’ll hear from him again when we start to pull out our troops.

  39. 39
    tzs says:

    John, it’s the incompetence on both sides that gets me. The Republicans-in-power have managed to demonstrated magnificently their total, complete CFitude in every issue they have handled. The Democrats wring their hands, release policy reports and demonstrate the cartiliginious structure of Cyaneidae.

    And nobody seems to be addressing the following issues: the slow erosion of the checks and balances among the three branches of power, the increasing national debt, the fact that we seem to have been breaking our military, the hollowing out of our economy (if anyone has historical evidence of a stable economy that didn’t have manufacturing anywhere, please show it to me), our absolute derangement when it comes to energy policy…on and on it goes. And the only thing our politicians can do is sit around and play “gotcha!” politics, egged on by the media (who I also consider to have fallen flat down on what they are supposed to be doing. Life isn’t a football game and Mama Nature doesn’t give a damn about PR.

  40. 40
    TBone says:

    I like the part where they want to double special forces, like they can simply be ordered off of a fast food menu. What is the plan to train these special forces quickly?

    Your point is absolutely correct – SF troops don’t just suddenly spawn; they are grown. Wonder of wonders: The plan is already in place! And guess what? The Bush administration initiated it. So it looks like the Dems are up to their usual tricksy ways (my precious) trying to pawn off someone else’s ideas as their own. Do a search for “MOS 18X” and read about the current program designed to increase the ranks of Special Operators. And what is this bullshit about capturing Osama? Give me a break. How are they gonna do that? Close Guantanamo, stop questioning detainees, leave Iraq, and then offer to give him a backrub is he gives up? I guarantee a Dem administration isn’t going to be half as aggressive about capturing bad guys as the current one. Dems make me laugh when they try to pretend to be tough on terrorism. They should stick with themes they are good at, like hugging trees and saving whales.

    Honestly, right now I’d like a party which stood up and talked about security without promoting fear.

    If one needs security from something, I imagine that “something” might be a little scary…otherwise, why do you need security from it? Whacky jihadists crashing planes into buildings seems a little frightening if you ask me. If something is scary, then people should have fear. Fear is a natural response designed to save us from bad things. Telling it like it is, doesn’t mean the teller is fear-mongering. Some folks need to hear about the threat more than once for it to really sink in, lest those warnings get drowned out by more important things like the next episode of “Lost” (which is damn cool BTW).

  41. 41

    Pb,

    The last video tape I saw of Osama, I believe there was a Nascar driver in the background drinking a Coca-Cola.

    So yeah, I have to agree the commercialism of the whole Al Qaeda thing is just out of control.

  42. 42
    jg says:

    Telling it like it is, doesn’t mean the teller is fear-mongering.

    Saying I can protect you but the other guy can’t is fear mongering. Doesn’t matter if there really is a threat or in this case wildly exagerrated.

    Then again I’m just a spoof so what do I know.

  43. 43
    Mr Furious says:

    The Osama point is really all about reminding everyone that Bush let him get away/never caught him. Not much more or less.

    I was callling for Kerry and others to be hammering this point a couple years ago to negate the gloat from Bush if he was actually caught…it would have allowed for them to say “It’s about fucking time.”

  44. 44
    Stormy70 says:

    more important things like the next episode of “Lost” (which is damn cool BTW).

    Hell to the Yes!

    Naveen comes through again. I am really loving his story arc. I am sure the female contingent of Balloon Juice will back me on this. Oh my!

    That is all I will say, no spoilers here for those who have not watched last night’s great episode.

  45. 45

    Well you know how in your job there are annual goals and objectives? “Getting Osama” was one of Bush’s goals and objectives, and for 4 years he and Republican Party have totally f-cked that up. The Dems are trying to say, “Hey, if *they* can’t get Osama, then *we* can! So vote for us!” They’re basically rubbing W’s face in something he’s oddly avoided for 4 years (with all those background rumors about how they let Osama slip out of Tora Bora, fer example).

  46. 46
    jg says:

    I just can’t get into LOST. I try. I like the episodes that I watch but its doesn’t get to the point where I’m tivoing to make sure I don’t miss it. I am developing an addiction to HOUSE though.

  47. 47
    TBone says:

    You’re right, we haven’t captured Bin Laden. I suppose you can blame that on Bush’s lack of effort right? I suppose you’re suggesting that we just forgot about him and haven’t tried to track him down, eh? One has to be really stoned to believe that. Hello!! Ever look at the military presence around the globe and wonder what they are doing? Oh…I forgot…they are trying to enrich Halliburton and steal candy from babies. What was I thinking?

    “Getting Osama” doesn’t mean merely “getting Osama”. Osama’s capture doesn’t make the story end happily. His capture would be a significant soundbite, but it wouldn’t mean the end of Al Qaeda. We have smacked Al Qaeda pretty hard in the last four years. It’s still game time folks, and if you look at the overall record of supporting pro-military legislation I’d say the Democrats have a pretty crappy track record. (Don’t make me start researching the congressional record folks.)

    If the Dems want to come up with a plan, I’d suggest they come with a little more substance and a little less politics.

  48. 48
    jg says:

    His capture would be a significant soundbite, but it wouldn’t mean the end of Al Qaeda.

    No one said it would.

    We have smacked Al Qaeda pretty hard in the last four years.

    Maybe. Its a loose structure so we may have just picked up regular folks. Doesn’t matter though, the ones we want, Al Zwahiri, Mullah Omar and OBL are the masterminds and we want them.

    If the Dems want to come up with a plan, I’d suggest they come with a little more substance and a little less politics.

    But republicans saying the dems are soft on security or military is everything but politics.

  49. 49
    Pb says:

    TBone,

    “Getting Osama” doesn’t mean merely “getting Osama”.

    Brush up on your English, man. “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Meanwhile, “getting Osama” still means precisely what it says.

  50. 50
    John S. says:

    If the Dems want to come up with a plan, I’d suggest they come with a little more substance and a little less politics.

    That’s rich coming from a guy supporting a political party that is ALL politics and ZERO substance.

  51. 51
    Steve says:

    I suppose you’re suggesting that we just forgot about him and haven’t tried to track him down, eh? One has to be really stoned to believe that.

    Sigh.

    Q Mr. President, in your speeches now you rarely talk or mention Osama bin Laden. Why is that?…

    THE PRESIDENT: Deep in my heart I know the man is on the run, if he’s alive at all. Who knows if he’s hiding in some cave or not; we haven’t heard from him in a long time. And the idea of focusing on one person is — really indicates to me people don’t understand the scope of the mission.

    Terror is bigger than one person. And he’s just — he’s a person who’s now been marginalized. His network, his host government has been destroyed. He’s the ultimate parasite who found weakness, exploited it, and met his match. He is — as I mentioned in my speech, I do mention the fact that this is a fellow who is willing to commit youngsters to their death and he, himself, tries to hide — if, in fact, he’s hiding at all.

    So I don’t know where he is. You know, I just don’t spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you…

    Q But don’t you believe that the threat that bin Laden posed won’t truly be eliminated until he is found either dead or alive?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, as I say, we haven’t heard much from him. And I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don’t know where he is. I — I’ll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him, when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban.

    Of course, these remarks were widely reported as a gaffe by the President, a gaffe, of course, being the term for when a politician accidentally tells the truth. So the revisionists got to work:

    BUSH: Gosh, I just don’t think I ever said I’m not worried about Osama bin Laden. It’s kind of one of those exaggerations.

    Of course we’re worried about Osama bin Laden. We’re on the hunt after Osama bin Laden. We’re using every asset at our disposal to get Osama bin Laden.

    This also leads us to one of the best Daily Show clips ever, where Bush says they work every day on capturing bin Laden and Porter Goss is in the background making an expression like “Are you shitting me?”

  52. 52
    p.lukasiak says:

    gotta love the John Coles of the right….

    They think its absolutely critical that we find out who disclosed that that Bush administration was illegally wiretapping American citizens….

    But bringing the guy who was responsible for the murder of 3000 Americans… not a real high priority…

  53. 53
    DougJ says:

    John, this is just one more reason for you to keep voting Republican. Not only is the Democratic plan not tough enough, but it will sound even sillier when it is screamed in its entirety by Howard Dean. Just imagine “We’re gonna get Zarqawi, then we’re gonna get Osama wheeee!”. That’s reason enough to vote Republican for the rest of your life right there.

    And catching Osama? That’s pre-911 thinking right there. Iraq is now the central battle front in the Global War Against Terror.

  54. 54
    DougJ says:

    If the Dems want to come up with a plan, I’d suggest they come with a little more substance and a little less politics.

    Here, here. This president has shown that voters care far more about substance than about politics.

  55. 55
    Perry Como says:

    Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Osama Pakistan wgah’nagl fhtagn!

  56. 56
    ppGaz says:

    I am not sure how terrifying Osama is anymore

    Uh, John? Your President already told you what to thing about this. We went after him to “bring him to justice,” not because he was “terrifying.”

    Well, until things started to go south for the little alcoholic prick, and then OBL became scary again. But not until we had this:

    “I am really not that concerned about him.”
    — GWB Spring 2002

    So you need a scorecard to keep up, granted, but for a guy in the communications racket, that should not be a problem, eh?

    I’m thinking, why not an OBL Color Code?

    Red — OBL has been spotted flying a jet airplane near Orland Florida.

    Orange — OBL has stated that if Democrats are elected, people will die.

    Yellow — OBL has been interviewed on Larry King and said that Bush is Satan.

    Mauve — OBL may be having health problems.

    Green — OBL has been hired as a Fox News commentator.

    etc.

  57. 57
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    While I would dearly love to get my hands on the son of a bitch (and even more on Al-Zawahiri, who I take for granted has actually been in charge for some time now, while bin Laden is an invalid), I regard this as being as dangerous a distraction from our REAL central goal — preventing nuclear terrorism — as the Iraq War was. Neither party still seems at all serious in really thinking about the problems of national security, any more than either British party was in the late 1930s.

  58. 58
    tBone says:

    I don’t post much here anymore, but I just wanted to note that the clueless, condescending TBones of the Right are not the mostly-lurking, rarely-posting tBones of the Mushy Middle.

  59. 59
    Pooh says:

    Uhm, fellas, I feel fairly safe in stating that John’s good humor has mostly returned, and his “whining” is more like him having a little fun with us. Or that could just be me misintentionally unreading him.

    And this is about as much analysis as we need of the ‘plan’

    The rest of the story is more of the same old, same old. The Democrats claim the GOP is reckless, Cheney responds that the Democrats are pussies. Yada, yada, yada.

    I think they make provisions for a pony in there somewhere, but as the VP points out, Ponies are for girls (and ppGaz). Yawn.

    I’m not sure it’s incumbent on the party not in power to have a point by point plan, because of all the things that We Don’t Know That They Know (ooga-booga).

  60. 60
    RonB says:

    Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Osama Pakistan wgah’nagl fhtagn!

    The Bushwich Horror!!!!

    fnord

  61. 61
    Tractarian says:

    The best part about the Dems’ “plan” is this: “to implement in full the recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission”

    This is something they could actually do rather quickly if they gain power. Unlike, say, doubling special forces or capturing bin Laden.

  62. 62
    searp says:

    I just listened to Biden on Hardball, and it seemed to me that he had a very good strategy for Iraq. May not work, but it seemed to me to be a better approach than “staying the course”:

    (1) Guaranteed division of oil revenues, Sunnis get ~20%
    (2) Federation, centralized foreign affairs, money, etc., but maximal autonomy for regions, implicitly assumed to be Arab Sunni – Kurd – Shia.
    (3) We maintain just enough force, somewhere, so that terrorists/jihadis/Al Qaeda cannot occupy territory. Biden suggested a brigade and mentioned 30,000 soldiers, which didn’t compute, but the intention is clear.

    This essentially pragmatic approach is a breath of fresh air after all the freedom is on the march mumbo jumbo.

  63. 63
    Steve says:

    That does make a lot of sense to me, but the problem with (1) and (2) is the same as the problem with Bush wanting Jaafari out as prime minister; there’s a fundamental issue of sovereignty here. We can certainly make suggestions, we can do our best to bring everyone to the table and broker a compromise, but we’ve already been trying to bring everyone to the table. It’s hard. And we simply can’t impose these ideas by unilateral fiat, no matter how much sense they make, not if we want to pretend like the Iraqis have self-determination.

    (3) is basically Murtha’s idea, the part the Republicans don’t want you to hear about.

  64. 64
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Osama Pakistan wgah’nagl fhtagn!”

    “That is not dead which can eternal lie.” Including, unfortunately, the Republican Party.

  65. 65
    CJ says:

    You guys keep misspelling the acronym for the war against terror: It’s spelled T.W.A.T.

    Frankly, the current administration is not particularly interested in TWAT and that concerns me.

    CJ

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