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Monday, December 05, 2005

Howard Dean - An Embarrassment to America

Howard Dean is an embarrassment to the United States of America. That he is not an embarrassment to the Democratic Party can only be explained by concluding that many democrats must agree with him.

In a radio interview in San Antonio, Dean stated that the "idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong."

Now there's a guy who inspires confidence! I bet our troops (whom I am sure Dean claims to support) will be really excited to hear that the Chairman of the National Democratic Party says they have no chance to win.

I'm often asked by those who don't really follow politics, "What's the difference between Democrats and Republicans?" Maybe I should add the following to my answer: "Democrats believe in America's failure; Republicans believe in America's success." I know that sounds like an absurdly partisan answer, but what other conclusion can we reach when we hear statements like this out of the mouth the leader of the Democratic Party?

Note to Howard Dean: This kind of statement is just one more reason that the idea that democrats are going to start winning elections is an idea that is just plain wrong.


Blogger Champurrado said...

Mr. Ålexander:

I would just reference my comments below under the Murtha link and ask whether anyone can really define what it means to "win" this conflict.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous C Lowe said...

I agree with Mr. Alexander's assessment of the difference between Republicans and Democrats. I think I would also add another difference. The Republicans represent a forward-looking optimistic view of America and the world, while the Democrats continually look backward, presenting no hopeful future, no plans for bettering anything and pessimism abounding. There is nothing uplifting about the Democratic party right now, except that they seem to be so looking in the wrong direction that they may soon implode.

And to answer "champurrado's" question...I believe that "winning" this conflict in Iraq can be defined as leaving Iraq better than we found it, with hope for a brighter future, power in the hands of the people as part of a democratic society, and the knowledge that they will no longer be deprived of their basic human rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by a sadistic dictator named Sadam Hussein. I would say we are well on our way to winning.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Champurrado said...

All right Mr. Lowe, fair enough. Let’s take for granted for a moment that these rosy, optimistic republicans can overcome the grim realities of thousands of years of bleak history in the region by merely intentioning them away. If a mere point of view is powerful enough to cause spontaneous democracy then what’s the hold up here? Shouldn’t the Iraqis be experiencing some substantive benefit of this forward-looking optimism by now? I won’t for a second step up to defend the democratic party here, mind you but the republicans better pony up a little more than happy thoughts if their elected members hope to lever themselves out of this situation. I will say that democratic pessimism could be the result of the woeful set of facts we all face right now as regards our soldiers in Iraq and not a result of some character flaw. I don’t want to read the casualty numbers every morning any more. I can guess that you agree with me on that small note.

I admire your hopes for Iraq. Wouldn’t it be great if it worked out as you envision; I mean that sincerely. This is a different conflict than earlier, familiar ones however, and I worry that our elected officials, by using invasion, threats, pressure and good wishes will merely lead the horse to water.

1:02 PM  
Blogger A Christian Prophet said...

We do well to pray for Howard Dean, the entire Democratic Party, and their news media allies. Pray they begin to see clearly. According to the Holy Spirit's message on The Christian Prophet blog, the U.S. has already achieved great spiritual victories in Iraq. We only need to pray that those who cannot see spiritually begin to see the light.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous C Lowe said...


Thank you for responding in a rational and respectful manner. Not all bloggers do, and your attitude is appreciated!

I think that we do indeed agree that the road to winning the war is going to continue to be difficult and I think that you might even agree that a great deal of the success will largely depend on the determination of the people of Iraq to become and remain truly free from dictatorship.

I realize that my views are "rosy and optimistic", I can't really help that, I'm just that type of person. I am not blind to the realities however. I do know that this war will not be won without the blood of many soldiers and innocent Iraqis first being shed. It breaks my heart to hear the stories of those who have been killed each day. However I think that as long as the Iraqi people continue to show that they want to be free (by voting despite the very real dangers, by fighting along side the U.S., and by continuing to train their own people to defend their country), then the U.S. needs to stay the course and do all that we can to help.

I understand your concern regarding the long and volatile history of Iraq. I admit to not having done a lot of study on the Middle East and Iraq in particular. I too, share your concern that in the end, despite our best efforts, the Iraqi people may not be truly willing to fight hard enough for their freedom. I don't know if, in the history of Iraq, any other country has ever tried to help the people sort out their differences and found a new government. If not, then perhaps what the U.S. is trying to do will be the beginning of a new chapter in Iraq's history.

I do not want to be overly optimistic, but neither do I want to have a defeatist attitude (and I don't think you do, by the way, but some prominent democrats definitely do). I sincerely hope that the Iraqi people soon become more involved in governing themselves and that our troops can come home again, but I think it would do us all a lot of good to remember that nothing worth fighting for is easy. A new government, a new way of thinking, new-found freedoms, and finding common ground among varying political parties is something that takes time, patience and determination, just like it did here in the early days of American democracy. The Iraqis face many different challenges than the founding fathers, but the basic realities remain the same.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous rose kennedy said...

I share Mr Lowe's optimism because the people of Iraq have demonstrated an exemplary determination to participate in the democratic process, despite the danger involved.

And Mr Lowe, I've seen your name on other pages in the characteristic "blue" of a blogger. I checked, and was disappointed that you have no blog site. A person of your obvious mental skills should share his thoughts, so I encourage you to develop your own blogsite. Maybe your wife could help you, unless ofcourse she is garrulous and long-winded. And if you're not married, maybe we could meet for lobster bisque?

7:36 AM  
Blogger Champurrado said...

C Lowe:

Always prefer to use respect and rationality. I’ve found over the years that people tend to listen more carefully. That said, you really hit the nail on the head by isolating the issue of the role of the local population in the eventual replacement of our guys. Let’s be honest, nobody likes being ruled by some crazy-assed tyrant. Had they enough freedom to say so, I’m sure the people of Sadam’s Iraq would have preferred a friendlier leader. The Iraqis will probably not change this point of view. But that raises the logical next question: what’s going to fill the void created by Sadam’s extraction?

As I see it, there seems to be lots of different religious, regional, quasi-governmental and US picked groups piled into the scrum waiting to break into power. The sanctioned groups may or may not be successful in holding their position against the splinter non-sanctioned types. This is a huge obstacle in the way of the orderly transference of, what, democracy. I think a lot of conservatives (please forgive me for using the label – it’s a one-time only noun here), have an unrealistic expectation of the way it will look in Iraq after the course has been successfully stayed. Baghdad is not going to look like Main Street in Disneyland like in Mr. Bush’s happy dreams if this all works out.

While it may not be an autocracy, the resultant form of government may be a very, very peculiar set of regionally based bits and pieces. This is going to happen regardless of whether the course is stayed or the course is thwarted. This could all go to hell, by the way, should there be even a sneeze in the region after the troops return home. Is this realistic? Yes. Is it a "rosy and optimistic" outcome? No.

I worry about the long-shot nature of a stable Iraq. It’s so easy for politicians to attach the label of success to circumstances that really shouldn’t be so labeled (e.g., Mission Accomplished). One of the possible scenarios I foresee is pulling the troops out after setting up a weak government and watching as the whole shebang slowly circles the bowl, as it were. This is not what I want to happen but, given the realities, could occur.

Having already entered into this whole adventure, there really isn’t much purpose in hashing over the basis for starting it up (i.e, did he lie, were there WMD’s, was there a 9/11 connection, etc.). But, since the politicians made the critical decision to go forward with the adventure and have offered up their constituent’s sons and daughters to achieve their political purposes, they better get it right.

You need a genuine noble cause to exercise the executive decision to shed the “blood of many soldiers and innocent Iraqis.” The bottom line is that time will tell whether the politicians blew it or not.

Historically, Iraq hasn’t had a lot of experience with external forces coming in to help. On the contrary, its history is filled with unsuccessful periods of attempted conquests and failed leadership. The US has a very long row to hoe here.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Bryan Alexander said...


First, thanks for visiting my blog. It's good to have people who may not necessarily agree with me on the issues express their opinions. Unfortunately, too many times when people disagree, they resort to irrational arguments and name calling. You haven't done that; your comments are thoughtful, and I appreciate that.

As to your question about what it means to win this conflict, I think victory in Iraq can mean nothing less than a free Iraq. I don't think that means necessarily that an Iraqi democracy would look just like the American democracy. But Iraq must become a place where its citizens can live without fear of their own government. It must also become a place where the Iraqi military and law enforcement can make Iraqi citizens reasonably secure from terrorist attacks.

When the U.S. first bombed the Taliban in Afghanistan, I remember hearing terrorists claim that if we kill bin Laden, ten more bin Laden's will rise up in his place. I suspect that's true. It's probably also true of Zarqawi, and of every other terrorist leader you can name. You can't stop terrorism simply by killing one, ten, 100, or 100,000 terrorists. Certainly that has to be part of the war on terror. But if that's all we do, we're in trouble because while we're killing the terrorist, little kids are being indoctrinated in the terrorist's philosophy.

That's why the political part of this war is so important, and that's why I say that a free Iraq must emerge from this conflict. Democratic societies do not produce too many terrorists.

Can a democracy be established in Iraq? I believe it can. Will it? None of us knows for sure. But there are positive signs, such as the incredibly high Iraqi voter turnouts and the 3,500 new police officers being trained every ten weeks - in spite of the fact that these officers are prime targets for terrorists.

Iraqis, I think, have clearly shown their desire for freedom, but that shouldn't surprise any of us. I think we can all agree that all humans desire freedom. I see no reason this cannot be achieved in Iraq or any place else.

P.S. - c lowe,
Thanks for your comments. I always appreciate your insight.

9:40 AM  

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