TCS Daily

Why Intellectuals Love Defeat

By Josh Manchester - November 13, 2006 12:00 AM

James Carroll, recently writing in the Boston Globe, wondered if America could finally accept defeat in Iraq, and be the better for it, comparing it to Vietnam:

"But what about the moral question? For all of the anguish felt over the loss of American lives, can we acknowledge that there is something proper in the way that hubristic American power has been thwarted? Can we admit that the loss of honor will not come with how the war ends, because we lost our honor when we began it? This time, can we accept defeat?"

To be frank, no. In Mr. Carroll's fantasyland, the United States is deserving of defeat, and through some sort of mental gymnastics, that defeat is honorable, because it smacked of hubris to ever have fought in the first place.

I contend instead that the ultimate dishonor will be to leave hundreds of thousands, and perhaps millions, of Iraqis to violent deaths; and that this is far too large a price to pay for Mr. Carroll to feel better.

In his book The Culture of Defeat, the German scholar Wolfgang Schivelbusch described the stages of defeat through which nations pass upon losing a large war. He examined the South's loss of the Confederacy, the French loss in the Franco-Prussian War, and the German loss in World War I. He saw similar patterns in how their national cultures dealt with defeat: a "dreamland"-like state; then an awakening to the magnitude of the loss; then a call that the winning side used "unsoldierly" techniques or equipment; and next the stage of seeing the nation as being a loser in battle, but a winner in spirit. Schivelbusch expanded upon this last as such:

"To see victory as a curse and defeat as moral purification and salvation is to combine the ancient idea of hubris with the Christian virtue of humility, catharsis with apocalypse. That such a concept should have its greatest resonance among the intelligentsia can be explained in part by the intellectual's classical training but also by his inherently ambivalent stance toward power."

Who knows whether Mr. Carroll has had classical training, but should Schivelbusch meet him today, would he not recognize this idea of defeat as moral purification?

The only problem for those such as Mr. Carroll is that we have not yet lost. It is difficult not to conclude that there is a class of well-intentioned individuals in the United States like him who don't merely feel as they do upon witnessing a defeat, but instead think this way all the time. Like it or not, this mentality of permanent defeat plays a large part in the Democratic Party. It is now up to President Bush and the new Democratic congressional leadership to see that it does not become dominant.

How to do so? A charm offensive is not quite what is necessary. Instead, perhaps a combination of sobering events that will impress upon Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid the gravity of our current situation would do the trick. Why not invite both Pelosi and Reid to the White House every morning until the new Congress is sworn in - and ask them to listen with the President to his Presidential Daily Brief, describing what Al Qaeda has cooked up of late? Or, why not invite them along with the President to one of his private sessions with the families of those who have paid the ultimate price overseas? Speaking of those overseas whose lives hang upon American policy, Pelosi and Reid could be participants in the next conference call that Bush has with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki.

The point of all of this would be to create a true bipartisan consensus on Iraq that does not leave the Iraqis and US credibility to disaster. The Iraqi blogger "Sooni," who describes himself as a "free man" living in Baghdad, recently was asked what would happen if the US partitioned Iraq. "Just imagine it this way [sic] partitioning Iraq will create a small Iran in the south of Iraq and a small Afghanistan in the middle of it!"

Leaving Iraq will be worse than leaving Vietnam, not necessarily in terms of bloodshed, though that will be no comfort to those who will be slaughtered, but because the jihadist threat today is more dangerous than the Soviet threat then. Despite lacking - so far - in similar capabilities to the Communists, our enemies more than make up for it with an insatiable bloodthirsty ruthlessness. The honor that Mr. Carroll sees in defeat will soon be forgotten should Al Qaeda establish a caliphate in Anbar Province and begin a healthy trade in the export of mayhem throughout the West. The Furies that will visit us from such a redoubt will engender much more than a little longing that we had stayed.

Josh Manchester is a TCSDaily contributing writer. His blog is The Adventures of Chester (



Moral offense and collapsing under the weight of indifference
The idea that the federal government's record determines America's conscience makes no sense to me. Is the state its nation's moral agent? How can one affirm this claim while tasking the state to kill one's enemies?

I suspect the news media pushes such nonsense to create demand for the melodramatic vomit intellectuals of every stripe splash across their editorial pages. More importantly, if the record of government action determines America's conscience, then the news media determines America's conscience by determining what to report and how to report it. Isn't it true that this is exactly the kind of power the news media likes? Finally, I can't help noticing that a secular man replaces God and Book of Life with the state and the daily rag in his bid to explain why life is actually fair or could be if “we”, that is, the state only does x, y and z.

Let’s get back to reality, shall we? When a law loses its moral character, it also loses its capacity to order people’s conduct on the basis of their beliefs, instead relying on force to achieve its ends. Similarly, when a state takes on a morally repugnant character, it loses its capacity to govern its people on the basis of their beliefs, instead relying on force to govern. Now, just because intellectuals of Carroll’s ilk enjoy the opportunity of burdening the rest of us with their wildly skewed moral characterizations and beliefs doesn’t mean they speak for the rest of us or have come anywhere close to winning us over to their worldview. Rather, they’ve mostly offended us, which is why the print media is slowly collapsing under the weight of indifference.

"doesn’t mean they speak for the rest of us"
Base upon the recent election results, they apparently do speak for the rest of us.

The Hangover...
Even though I hate polls I read one today that was interesting.

Even though the American people voted in the Democrats they a majority of them are worried that the Democrats will waste time in investigations, mishandle Iraq, and not take security seriously.

To these people I say: what the **** did you expect?

Even now the Democrats are warming up the engines to pull out of Iraq and are sharpening the knives. Pelosi's backing Murtha as leader and now the fun begins. It ain't going to be pretty.

Why conservatives love incompetence
It's a perfect way to pour government money into the pockets of corrupt contractors: any time someone tries to blow the whistle, they can bring out the stock response: "you are aiding our enemies by telling our citizens about this."

hubris and sand
That good old American hubris is in full display in John Manchester's post. James Carrol writes that America has been thwarted in Iraq, which John does not believe. So John, rather than rebutting James' points, psychoanalyzes James (with no information) and concludes that James loved defeat (some German nutcase said so). Well, I don't James wants to lose Iraq any more than John McEnroe loved to lose in tennis, but it happens.

Does John think the US is accomplishing its mission in Iraq, bringing stable democracy? Not even Rumsfeld says that anymore. Wanting to win is not the same as winning. A first start would be making real sacrifices (freedom isn't free) -- raise taxes, revive the draft, ... . Dear John, put up or shut up.

It's the same old story
The military option has already met with defeat, both in Iraq and in Afghanistan. We have been throwing everything we have in terms of men, materiel and money at the problem-- and it only grows worse by the month. At present any talk of increasing troop strength is moot. We have no battle ready reserves that are not already deployed. It's a classic case of imperial overstretch, where we cannot maintain the positions we once conquered due to a popularly based insurgency. Plus, of course, our inability to replace chaos with control in terms of forming a viable government.

The problem lies only in admitting it and moving on. But if we choose, we could do what we did in Vietnam and prolong the agony for another five years-- just to make sure we're not getting anywhere.

But now the Realists are in place. Let's see what they have to say.

Moral authority vs track record
The government's record does not depend on reporting that you presume is biased, or on statements of mere opinion like that of Mr Carroll. The government's record is the government's record. And our record on foreign military interventions is 0-2-1. One draw, in Korea. Two losses, in Vietnam and Iraq-Afghanistan (counting them as one). Spin has nothing to do with the historical record. We are now busily slipping backward on the slope.

Against a track record of failure you would put our insistence on moral rectitude. So that by knowing we are in the right, we have caused the deaths of 650,000 Iraqis. While in being a total bad guy, Saddam managed to kill only an estimated 300,000. Plus, it took him seven times as long to do his damage. We've done ours in only 3-1/2 years, and destabilized the place so that an untild number of additional deaths will have to occur before the damage is undone.

That's not a very good brief for moral values over reality, is it?

Regime change at home
If you haven't noticed, the conduct of the war effort has been handed over, not to the Democrats, but to James Baker, Robert Gates and the "realist" team. Let's see how they do, and place the blame or credit for their decisions where it is due.

roy your lies are verging on treason
We never lost one battle in vietnem and we have never lost one battle in Iraq or Afganiland.

we withdrew because of liers like you roy boy, traitors like you.

If we DO lose, it will be the fault of cowards and liers like you, you *******.

The reality will be the middle east will revert to the status quo of the '80s.

Islamists will be emboledened and the US will try to arrest those who attack us instead of killing them.

And the reality will be that stability is more important than liberty.

Wanting to win is the first step to winning.
Clinton exhibited the example of paralysis of analysis while Reagan had a vision, defeat the USSR, and succeed.

That's why morality and character are important.

Close enough ( not PC)
An intellectual and a realist are told that in the middle of the room is a beautiful woman just waiting to be made love to by them.
The rules are that upon entering the room, they can only advance half the distance every 10 minutes. The intellecutual looks dejected and quits because he knows he can never reach the center of the room.
The realist on the other hand is eager to proceed because he knows he will get close enough for all practical purposes.

Liberal shoe salesman
After arriving in his new sales territory, the liberal shoe salesman calls the home office saying he is returning on the next flight home. "The people don't wear shoes!"

After arriving in his new sales territory, the conservative shoe salesman calls the home office saying he plans to retire here. "The people don't wear shoes!"

Nice language
We didn't lose the battles, silly. We lost the wars. I know this is too subtle for you, but you have to win over hearts and minds. If you don't do that, the more people you kill just makes them all hate us more.

How do you suppose a continuing unpopular occupation is going to increase stability? Doesn't that just mean we have to stay there forever? As soon as we step away, our figurehead government collapses and the party that hates us the most takes over.

There's more to being the leader of the world than just creating an empire based on fear and violence. Just what do you think the goal is? A thousand year reich, where anyone who opposes the Americans is shot by security forces?

Three observations
Those who would trade security for liberty deserve neither.

No one can explain why we have troops in Germany and other places who deserve the opportunity to organize and implement their own defense. If they choose to maintain an elaborate welfare state-well, thats their choice and they should die with it. I see know reason for us to be there now. The enemy is carries the crescent, not the hammer and sickle.

Notice the furious backpedaling from Pelosi and the rest of her fellow travellers. They aren't going to do anything about Iraq, because they don't have a plan for Iraq, other than to raise the minimum wage.

The status quo of the 80s
You know, if we were to withdraw from Middle Eastern affairs, they wouldn't be able to return to their old status quo for very long. They would have to start working out their own problems. The way things have been, they've stopped thinking about anything except the interference we've set up.

Old, fossilized dictatorships like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria would crack and fall apart. They would have to invent new structures to govern. And I'm afraid a necessary step in all those places would be an Islamic republic. Only after they've finally achieved that condition would they be able to evolve beyond it.

IMO anything we do there is just trying to hold back the tide. And our troops are tired, and their equipment worn. Ask the generals.

What kind of realist...
What kind of "realist" would believe that kind of hooey in the first place?

Give me a break
Trial Lawyers were providing the real ammo for this election: MONEY, while LEMMING and the bloghards provided hot air.

Just yesterday, hometown political blowhard former Scranton mayor "my city is distressed but I have a cute flower corsage" Jim McNulty felt compelled to have as his guest, a local TRIAL LAWYER on to discuss incoming PA Senator Bob Casey.

Check the FEC filings people, the dems are owned, lock stock and barrel, by slip and fall parasites, peddling their wealth as the general welfare, teachers unions, universities and others.

Blaming Democrats already?
Planning for the endgame of this debacle is being done now by the Iraq Study Group-- not by Nancy Pelosi. Let's see what they suggest, and how their plan fares.

Also, "Those who would trade security for liberty deserve neither."

Under the current leadership, our liberties have been greatly reduced and we still do not have security. Why are you so sure they haven't been rowing in the wrong direction?

you mean the same "realists" that enabled Saddam in the first place? You mean those who wish to pursue a "realist" approach to Iran and Syria the way we approached Saddam?

By all means, if Bush allows those idiots to repeat history then he deserves the titles the liberals have been calling him all these years.

In case you didn't notice, the Democrats are already gearing up to cut and run. It is something they will pursue no matter what side of their faces they talk out of.

Don't worry, I will lay the blame were it is due but don't act like the Democratic majority is not gunning for failure in Iraq. They have a vested interest in it. If Bush backs down then I will be the first in line to waste electrons ranting about his spineless attitude.

An old favorite...
The ol' "military-industrial complex" that rules all of the world. Truly a monument to economic ignorance.

Moral authority...
is knowing the difference between tyranny and the abolition of tyranny. Once again your love of (false) numbers and American failure over-rides any sense of right and wrong.

BTW: Your numbers are so completely off. If you use the Lancet as a source then you are the complete liberal tool I pegged you to be.

south korea, Germany, Japan
nuff said.
face it roy, you continualy choose the other side.
not one person here on this board thinks you want the USA to win, your compatriots in leftism share your obvious desire for a weakened America.
Your philosophical stance is one of horror at a strong America, you are not a patriot.

All the D's fault
Your tirades against the evil Democrats is pointless. It will not be they who determine the conduct of the war. It will be the Iraq Study Group, after listening for once to the generals who've been putting lives on the line to defend a failed strategy.

If you want to assign blame for what has happened to date, it's all on Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney. If we try something new and that fails, it will be on the heads of the ISG. But at least we will have tried an alternate approach.

If I had to guess, I would assume they'll begin by abandoning our political goals in Iraq. By turning it over to regional players like Jordan, Iran and Syria they will at least get our troops out safely. Whatever happens after that can just be a regional concern.

Id like to trade some blows over this one
"Those who would trade security for liberty deserve neither."

So where do you draw the line super?

At having policemen in our towns, is that were we lose freedoms by having security?

Or is it at the gates of the gated community?
Do THOSE poeple in wealthy gated comunities lose freedoms?

Or is it having a military at all, do we lose freedoms by having a military that is capable of acting on American soil?

Or is it at the level of walls, those pesky walls that keep our families safe at night, geez must be them that limits our freedoms to walk where that darned freedom stealing wall is now.

where do you draw the line at freedom VS security?

Defining the problem
Whether or not roy_bean "wants" the USA to win doesn't amount to a fart in a sandstorm. The point is, victory has been defined as the prevalence of an American POV and American influence in Iraq. And to that degree, the occupation is unwinnable.

The limitation of the military approach is that it has to stop when there is no more military opposition. And we reached that point on April 9, 2003. Since then we've been trying to win the peace. And we've been failing badly.

Let's see how the Iraq Study Group handles this.

BTW in WWII, Japan and Germany were traditional armed forces. We defeated them militarily, their nations gave in and offered no resistance, and that was it. Entirely different than the case in Afghanistan and Iraq. And Korea ended in a cease fire, not a peace. We are technically still at war there.

your mindlessnes is showing roy
"Whatever happens after that can just be a regional concern."

what is going to keep them over there roy, and what is going to keep them from interfering with our energy sources?

I'll tell you royboy, NOTHING!

Your plan for this is worse then the republican plan for pacification. It's a nothing plan, in idiots plan.

It's the same stupidity that made China retreat from the world when she was on the verge of owning it a hundred years befor Columbus.

If you want the USA to become isolationest, you better start lobbying pilosi for 100% complete domestic drilling rights.

The Replacement of Church with State
Peruse the writing of Jon Carroll and you will find a cradle Catholic who became morally offended with the imperfections of the Church. He and people like Roy Bean form a large cadre of people who have transferred their desire for the perfectibility of humans and their institutions to the state. Hence, the nanny state, hence, the breast beating mea culpa's for past policies. This is purification of the soul in a political context.

It is part of the post-modern project to undermine the civic and spiritual life of the Western world, showing moral disdain for the tapestry of institutions that form it, and replace it with the perfect State.

Totalitarian Symbols
Whether the enemy uses a bent cross or a hammer or a star or a crecent moon or a donkey, they all represent totalitarianism.

That is the enemy of liberty.

The easiest way to keep a garden free of weeds is to pick them while the are small.

Leftist Schizophenia
Then which is it.. remove the armed forces or send more..

I can't keep up with the various dispatches from the opposition, one week its we don't have enough, another its withdraw..

Why would they?
"They would have to start working out their own problems."

They have been happy to stay in stone ages for centuries.

"they" speak for a slim majority of us.

De-Militarizing Iraq
“…you have to win over hearts and minds”
The key element is control. Iraq will be violent until it is demilitarized and its borders sealed to infiltration of hostiles and ordinance. If the US departs before workable security is established, a civil war is likely. And the faction that prevails will do so as a result of military control, not winning “hearts and minds”. A new Iraqi Dictator, supported by allies outside of Iraq, is the near certain outcome of a civil war in Iraq. This of course assumes that a wider war does not result…at best a 50/50 proposition.

“…our figurehead government collapses”
The government of Iraq was ELECTED…it is NOT a figurehead, and is certainly not “OUR”s. It would have an excellent chance for success IF it had come to power in a militarily stable environment. The current state of insecurity is our fault.

“…creating an empire based on fear and violence.”
It is the Jihadists (believers in a one world, one religion dictatorship) that desire an empire based on fear and violence. The US “goal” was an independent Iraq at peace internally and externally. The current situation in Iraq is a failure of execution, not intent.

Corrupt Contractors are Audited by the government
So how can they be corrupt?

The government issued the contract, why didn't the government ensure compliance?

Did the nuclear attack on Japan have anything to do with Japan's surrender? Are you aware that the Japanese populace was prepared to wage an unsurgency against the anticipated invasion of U.S. forces? In WW2, we demonstrated that we would do everything in our means to win. This was not demonstrated in Korea and Viet Nam, nor in Iraq and Afghanistan. Herein lies the fallacy of limited warfare. But you do get one fact of history correct -- we are still technically at war with North Korea, just as we were still technically at war with Iraq from 1991 through early 2003.

You really like to showcase how out of touch you are. On one hand it's "regime change" and on the other it will have no influence on Iraq or the war on terror. I guess it all depends on what point you are currently peddling.

Never have I called the Democrats evil. They are massively ignorant and more worried about political gains than the safety of Americans. Like you, they don't have the basic understanding of our situation but will not fail to act on that lack of understanding.

So the Dems asking for troop withdrawl in 4-6 months, which seems to be the buzz right now, will have no effect on Iraq policy? Nor will having Mutha, Mr. Okinawa, in charge of that push have any effect? How about the talk of holding up funding?

Not to mention the overall war on terror. Repeal the Patriot Act, give US citizen rights to terrorists, stop surveillance on terrorists, etc. All of these things have been floated by several Democrats. Which ever ones float to the top will be detrimental to the defense of this nation.

It's completely understandable with the way you and the liberals talk why Maliki is attempting to gain favor with Sadr. If you surrender Iraq to Iran, Syria, and Jordan as you suggest that maniac will be his new overlord.

It is amazing that you believe this is just a "regional concern". It is stupidity like this, engaged in by Carter, Bush Sr. and Clinton, that has led to this mess in the first place.

Considering your highly inaccurate, or blatantly wrong, portrayals of Iran, Hizbollah, the Palestinians, and pretty much everything else in the Middle East, it gives me no comfort to consider that those who believe are now in control of Congress.

ABSCAM.. I need say no more... except
You are such an ass!

"Ask the generals."
Why do we bother to keep military? If we ask the generals, what do they want? Soldiers and shiny new weapons to play with? Or do they want a mission, an objective to apply those tools?
Some generals are garrison generals and some are combat generals. Combat generals get the job done with what they have. Garrison generals play political games for promotion.

What does the one general commanding Central Command say?

"The most important weapon in CENTCOM’s arsenal is our people. The majority of CENTCOM forces are deployed forward in combat zones. Consequently, quality of life enhancements for deployed forces and families such as Combat Zone Tax Relief and Imminent Danger Pay are important and contribute significantly to our service members’ quality of life and morale. The Rest and Recuperation Leave Program continues to be a major success, serving over 290,000 troops to date. Special Leave Accrual has been important to our long-deployed service members. The increase in the Serviceman’s Group Life maximum coverage to $400,000 and the death gratuity increase to $100,000 for combat zone deaths contribute to the well-being of our service families.

We continue to focus on policies that attract talented personnel to our headquarters and reward joint tours. We support full joint credit to qualified officers who serve a one year deployment to a CENTCOM joint task force headquarters. Additionally, to provide a more efficient environment for our Headquarters staff, we are working with the U.S. Air Force and DoD to conduct necessary refurbishment and expansion of our Tampa facilities.

CENTCOM is coordinating with force providers to address high demand personnel requirements across the theater. As noted above, in 2006, we will continue to experience a significant shortage in intelligence specialties, linguists, and CI/HUMINT experts. Additional funding for contract support might meet immediate requirements in these areas. However, there is an enduring need for greater service school generation of such specially trained personnel who play a vital role in counterinsurgency and counterterrorist operations throughout the theater."

He doesn't sound tired.

History Huckster
You can pick and choose pieces of history to support your phony arguments all you want, but it doesn't mean jack. Your argument is like the "Hockey Stick" curve -- it works only if you filter out all contrary data.

Wow!! Lawyers! That's just so scary!!!
I hadn't realized lawyers were the reason why billions and billions dollars meant for reconstructilon and military purposes have vanished in Iraq. But maybe if you capitalize lawyers and repeat it ten or twenty times it will sink in.

defeat,real and imagined
The United States is far from defeated in Iraq, and no,Liberal Goodman,(and Charlie Rangel) we don't need another draft to keep the troops strong.
The comparison of Iraq to Vietnam is a false one-The United States lost 50,000 in that war and many vets I've spoken to over the years don't mind saying they fought bravely and were doing the right thing. We have not been in Iraq for nearly as long,and msm doesn't carry the good news of how many terror plots have been folied nearly as much as they report opinion polls of "lagging support for the war". WE did capture the primary war criminal which is why we were there.
There are also some who don't care that Carter granted Amnesty to evaders(not "dodgers", a cynical term used by sunshine patriots)or that John Kerry exorcised demons by throwing away his medals and opposed the war when he came home.Combat is a harrowing experience, though many never see action and serve honorably and intelligently.
The real defeat for the US has been that war criminal Abu minyar "colonel"Gaddaffi of Libya has not been taken into custody or forcibly removed from power though he has ordered more deaths and destruction, abductions overseas, jailed dissenters, etc. and has thus far gotten away with it, though Saddam Hussein has killed far fewer and a democracy in Iraq wouldn't necessarily bring peace and stability there anyhow.(Notice the Hamas victories in OT)The real defeat occurred in 1998 when my candidacy for US Congress, 4th Federal district NY State on Repub and RTL lines was destroyed despite my experience, intelligence and successes in fighting Arab Terrorism. I predicted that the "moslem mafia" would fly planes into the WTC since they tried to blow it up in 93,and I read the paper about how the moslem numbers were growing, but I was not sworn in in 1999, and working on The House International Relations Office or Intelligence Committees to help stop another massacre of Americans. I have already provided the leadership in getting the indicted suspects for the Pan Am Bombing to trial,assisted with passing laws for millions of dollars in aviation security reform,billions of dollars in sanctions against Iran,Libya and Syria, and brought peace to the Middle East on my sabbatical there in 1996. You would all do well to share in cyberspace, radio, television, newspapers, magazines etc. my candidacy for the US Presidency 2008,gather signatures on petitions,walk the precincts, raise funds, etc. on Repub,RTL, Libertarian,Constitution Party, Natural Law Party and possibly also Reform Party lines. Thanks in advance for your time and cooperation, and I look forward to serving you honorably again. In Freedom, Dan Tobin

Senator Robert Byrd
Why doesn't WV have the best economy in the world? Byrd has made sure billions of taxes are spent there every year.

Check the record
I'm not abstractly talking about a military-industrial complex, I'm talking about billions and billions of dollars vanishing in Iraq.
Here's one story

And then we have the Republicans trying to shut down the auditing agency that's finding these thefts:

And that's why the GOP just tried to shut down the auditing office
It really doesn't get any more blatant than this.

US stops audit of Iraq rebuilding

A US government agency that has exposed corruption in Iraqi reconstruction projects will close in 2007.
Washington lawmakers have reacted with shock at the discovery that an obscure clause in a military spending bill will terminate the work of the auditor.

The Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction has embarrassed the US administration with its reports on corrupt practices.

Critics of the government claim this is what lies behind its sudden closure.

But how did this happen?

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Democratic and Republican senators are working on legislation to reverse a provision killing the U.S. agency overseeing reconstruction money spent in Iraq.

According to The New York Times, the provision closing the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction as of Oct. 1, 2007, was tacked on at the last minute to a complex military authorization bill by staffers of Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, chairwoman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, said it's a "mystery" how the provision became part of the final conference committee version.

But I guess you're all in favor of this - I mean, audits are part of big government, right?? And government is always wrong. So we should just trust the companies to do the right thing.

That's all you have to say
And ABSCAM looks like a pimple compared to the latest iraq thefts.

We're all Spaniards now
Can we count on the democrats to put up a stiffer resistance against islamic jihad? With the exception of Senator Lieberman, there is no evidence for this. With the election of Ellison in Minnesota, and the accompanying proclamations of "allah akhbar" and the ullulations of their female chattel, we may glimpse the future of America. The irony of Al Qaida's celebration of the Democrat swing and capitulation in Congress, and abroad, is practically unbearable.

But no Repubican Senator ever tries to get pork, nossir!!!
Maybe I can sell you a big expensive bridge to nowhere in Alaska...

Better check under your bed, prospector
Make sure none of those darn jihaddis are hiding there.

to a certain point you are correct,a liberal point only.
"The point is, victory has been defined as the prevalence of an American POV and American influence in Iraq. And to that degree, the occupation is unwinnable. "

The definition is THE problem roy, your liberal allies own the media and thus frame the definition.

I’ve never heard of victory being described so, was that what happened in the case of Germany or Japan? NO. We won NOT because we won over a single heart or mind, we won because we KILLED so many hearts and minds that the rest decided it was best to co-operate instead of die.

Your definition is flawed, but I believe you already know that.

"The limitation of the military approach is that it has to stop when there is no more military opposition. And we reached that point on April 9, 2003. Since then we've been trying to win the peace."

This is your philosophical failure roy, and the typical liberal failure to correctly identify the goal. Maybe I’m just being too nice and in reality you DO understand the goal and simply care for another, like USA failure.

Simply because the other side(s) cant afford tanks & planes you assume there is no more military opposition. This stance insists our troops act like policemen instead of military and this is doing NOTHING positive, it restricts our ability to win and puts our troops in harms way unnecessarily. It makes our troops fight with one & a half arms behind their backs and you freakin idiot libbies seem to think this is correct and also seem pretty hot to put our guys in court over normal battle field actions.

Bush failed in the first days of this war by listening to PC soaked assholes that thought the republican guards "melting away" was a positive thing, and let them go.

If he had killed the bulk of them off then, while IN UNCONTESTED WARFARE mode, a thousand American troops would not have died, a hundred thousand Iraqis civilians would not have died. We cannot deal anything like this now like we would have (successfully) in WWII because your liberal buddies in the UN and the ACLU would harass everyone involved for decades as war criminals.

The problem here was that BUSHCO is PC infected and incapable of telling you libbies to screw off while he REALLY won this war, ever single step of the way liberal jackoffs have prevented efficient prosecution of the enemy, insistence on "multilateralism" while Turkey stalled & allowed saddam to hide (read: ship to syria) or destroy his WMD programs.

If you compare this war to WWII, we have NOT used even 10% of our powers to accomplish what we did 60 years ago and you libby freaks would have tried to have the president thrown in jail if he wasn’t your pet libby FDR.

Does not negate your...
assitude, nor the equal corruption of the democrats.

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