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IS BUSH SURRENDERING?
andrewsullivan.com ^ | Friday, May 24, 2002 | Andrew Sullivan

Posted on 05/24/2002 11:20:22 AM PDT by ThePythonicCow

IS BUSH SURRENDERING? Dreadful news today that the president may be wavering in his intent to destroy the Iraqi regime. If true, then those of us who have supported the war on terror need to revise our assessment of this president. He told the German press yesterday that there is no plan to invade on his desk. He said it almost proudly. His military leaders, in a sign of their determination to risk nothing and achieve nothing, are now leaking to the Washington Post that they have all but scotched a serious military option in Iraq. The arguments they are using sound like they might come from a Gore administration. After all that this president has said, after all that he has asked, a reversal on this central question would be nothing short of a staggering betrayal of trust, a reversal of will and determination. Of course, there should be no peremptory, rushed or botched war. Of course, all options should be examined. But the signs are unmistakable. This president, having begun as an improvement on his father, is showing signs that he could end up as something even worse. It's time he heard from his supporters that this is a critical matter on which there can be no compromise. If he balks, it will be worse than his father's betrayal on taxes. It will be a betrayal of the very security of the American people.


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bush; iraq
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Mentioned on RushLimbaugh earlier today ... I hope the forces of liberal appeasement haven't gotten to Bush.
1 posted on 05/24/2002 11:20:22 AM PDT by ThePythonicCow
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To: ThePythonicCow
I was hoping the desk comment meant that it was either already approved, or it was in a filing cabinet.
2 posted on 05/24/2002 11:22:43 AM PDT by Ingtar
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To: ThePythonicCow; Poohbah; Miss Marple
Much depends on what else goes on right now, IMHO.

Bush seems to be trying to see what happens, and quite frankly, our military needs to rebuild a lot of the stocks a war with Iraq would need.

JDAMs don't exactly grow on trees, you know.

3 posted on 05/24/2002 11:23:59 AM PDT by hchutch
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To: ThePythonicCow
Naw .. From all accounts that I have seen , The president is simply carrying out his plan . We can only do so much at 1 time with the tools that we have . I hardly consider the President capitulating .
4 posted on 05/24/2002 11:24:20 AM PDT by Ben Bolt
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To: ThePythonicCow
I think this ballyhoo about Bush's diplomacy in Europe is much ado about little. Bush has ruled out a major military invasion as far as I know...he hasn't ruled out overthrowing Hussein in other ways...covert, INC, arming Kurds, strategic limited missiles, assassination, using dissenters in his military, air power, whatever.

The fact of the matter is, he's said Hussein will be dealt with. He hasn't given a timetable ever, as far as I know.

So now he says "I haven't got a timetable yet" and everyone thinks he's gone soft. Good Lord. Be patient, people. We're at war. Only a fool rushes into battle. A wise man considers the battle beforehand to help assure victory.

5 posted on 05/24/2002 11:25:36 AM PDT by Recovering_Democrat
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To: ThePythonicCow
More likely, the forces of economic reality. There ain't no money.
6 posted on 05/24/2002 11:25:48 AM PDT by SteamshipTime
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To: ThePythonicCow
Well, we never invaded the Soviet Union either but we still won the cold war.
7 posted on 05/24/2002 11:25:48 AM PDT by jlogajan
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To: ThePythonicCow
I think Bush is wise to tone down the threats, play for time while we build up our military further, and lull Saddam into a false sense of security.

I was never comfortable with all the sabre rattling and talks about what we might do, and what our time table might be. Better to keep everyone in the dark, change the subject, and strike when it best suits us.

At least, that's what I hope is going on.

8 posted on 05/24/2002 11:25:53 AM PDT by Maceman
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To: hchutch
Don't bother telling that to America.

Our problem is that we're the Instant Nation. We drink instant coffee, watching instant news from the other side of the world, gripe about the fact that our microwave breakfast takes 2 minutes to cook because we didn't thaw it out last night, send two Instant Messages to our buddies to gloat about our Fantasy Baseball results...

The problem is that we have lost the virtue of patience.

9 posted on 05/24/2002 11:26:32 AM PDT by Poohbah
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To: Ingtar
Most likely it is both with several revisions along the way as things change . I dont doubt at all that there is at least several plans to boot .
10 posted on 05/24/2002 11:26:55 AM PDT by Ben Bolt
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To: ThePythonicCow
Like I've been saying for months, there is no way we going to be taking out Saddam Hussein any time soon. Maybe when the 25 million doses of anthrax vaccine the government just ordered are on hand, say a year or two from now -- but probably not even then. Bush is going to try to squeeze him out, but there will be no invasion. Everybody who thinks Saddam Hussein would have sponsored an attack on the scale of 9-11 without building cast-iron back-end security into the plan is simply dreaming, I'm afraid. Reality doesn't work like that.
11 posted on 05/24/2002 11:31:34 AM PDT by The Great Satan
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To: Maceman
"I think Bush is wise to tone down the threats, play for time while we build up our military further, and lull Saddam into a false sense of security."

Totally and 100% agree!

12 posted on 05/24/2002 11:33:12 AM PDT by Freedom'sWorthIt
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To: Recovering_Democrat
The fact of the matter is, he's said Hussein will be dealt with. He hasn't given a timetable ever, as far as I know.

Good post. Thanks.

Taking out Saddam some other way may be better. I would be happy to see him go without having to put our troops at risk, if that's possible.

The important things for us to do now is to pray, stay united, and to understand that we cannot be briefed on everything. What we're told, our enemy is told.

13 posted on 05/24/2002 11:35:27 AM PDT by alnick
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To: Recovering_Democrat
Maybe some people wanted him to say, "The invasion of Iraq will began at 7:19, Tuesday...."
14 posted on 05/24/2002 11:35:57 AM PDT by bybybill
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To: ThePythonicCow
Strategery at work...
15 posted on 05/24/2002 11:36:51 AM PDT by TADSLOS
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To: ThePythonicCow
If true, then those of us who have supported the war on terror need to revise our assessment of this president.

Andrew Sullivan doesn't have a good handle on disinformation. By the way, Andrew, would it make you feel better if Gore were president?

16 posted on 05/24/2002 11:37:01 AM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
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To: ThePythonicCow
This sort of thing is so laughable. Since when must war-planners show their cards just because someone in the press asks them to? The President, IMHO, is doing exactly what he should be doing -- utilizing the element of doubt and uncertainty. Only by exploiting that do you get that time-honored advantage called "the element of surprise." I think sometimes what some of these nitwits want is for Mr. Bush or Mr. Rumsfeld to announce the date, time, and location for the first attack so we can make certain the enemy is fully prepared to knock us out of the sky.
17 posted on 05/24/2002 11:38:48 AM PDT by JennysCool
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To: ThePythonicCow
As I told A.S. when I emailed him last night, he's pulled a LeBoutillier and gone off the deep end.
18 posted on 05/24/2002 11:40:08 AM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Poohbah; Miss Marple; Howlin
I swear, Bush just ought to tell the parable of the old bull and the young bull - unedited - in a Saturday radio address. Maybe that will get the point across to a lot of people out there.
19 posted on 05/24/2002 11:42:41 AM PDT by hchutch
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To: The Great Satan
IMHO, a most reliable recurrence with this administration is that Bush is consistently underestimated. The fact that no one is expecting him to topple Saddam any time soon may be a good indication to the contrary. Just my two cents...
20 posted on 05/24/2002 11:43:19 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: JennysCool; Excuse_My_Bellicosity; TADSLOS; bybybill; alnick; Freedom'sWorthIt; The Great Satan...
Thanks y'all for the words of encouragement. Time will tell. Certainly, Bush is the man for this job. But the forces of liberal appeasement are everywhere.
21 posted on 05/24/2002 11:43:25 AM PDT by ThePythonicCow
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To: hchutch
I am reminded of his comment in an interview, during the campaign, to the hand-wringers in DC. "Some of these folks jump out of the foxhole at the first shot. Don't worry, I know what I'm doin'."
22 posted on 05/24/2002 11:47:22 AM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: bybybill
Maybe some people wanted him to say, "The invasion of Iraq will began at 7:19, Tuesday...."

Maybe some people want a national referendum on it.

Did Ike discuss D-Day with the press? :-)

23 posted on 05/24/2002 11:47:41 AM PDT by Howlin
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To: hchutch
For those like me who didn't know this parable, from Stangian X-Day Report 7-10-98 , slightly edited:
24 posted on 05/24/2002 11:51:35 AM PDT by ThePythonicCow
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
Sullivan voted for Bush.
25 posted on 05/24/2002 11:52:41 AM PDT by Howlin
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To: JennysCool
I remember one of Rumsfeld's press conferences when one of the reporters said, "We're having trouble getting information out of the DOD."

Without batting an eye, Rumsfeld said, "You are? Great. Glad to hear it."

They are DOLTS.

26 posted on 05/24/2002 11:54:06 AM PDT by Howlin
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To: Alamo-Girl
Saddam dies and New York and DC are history. That's what the anthrax letters mean. We are in a MAD posture w.r.t. Iraq. That's why we've been getting the run around for seven months on the origin and significance of those letters. That's why Bush rattles his saber at Iraq, but an attack is off the table. This is so obvious, a child could figure it out. All you have to do is set aside foolish pride, put down the rose-tinted spectacles, and look at the facts in the face. Something nobody in the commentariat, with the possible exception of Krauthammer, seems willing to do, apparently.
27 posted on 05/24/2002 11:55:21 AM PDT by The Great Satan
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To: ThePythonicCow; hchutch
LOL.......I knew it, but I loved reading it.
28 posted on 05/24/2002 11:55:35 AM PDT by Howlin
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To: Recovering_Democrat
If, and I repeat, IF what Rush and Sullivan think turns out to be right, then I will be the first Bush critic. But there are several things at work. First, in case everyone hasn't noticed we aren't through in Afghanistan yet and I think it sensible to ensure that everything there is cleaned up first. We also have troops/advisors in two other fronts: the Philippines and Yemen. Can we reasonably add yet another major campaign? I doubt it.

Second, I wouldn't be surprised if Bush and Putin were not talking about more than oil. A US/Russian joint force to take out Iraq is not out of the question.

Third, I don't think the military is fully rebuilt yet, although I disagree with the piece that says the Pentagon hasn't dealt with a restructuring. For ex., I don't think we need Crusader, but can put that money into other things. I think we need tanks, but not as heavy a concentration as we did during the Cold War.

Finally, although I think Bush is tremendously honest, I wouldn't be surprised if he was lying through his teeth about these war plans. There is no reason to tell these evil people what we are up to, and a little smokescreen is a good thing.

29 posted on 05/24/2002 11:58:44 AM PDT by LS
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To: Howlin
Live, from the Pentagon Press Room, it's THE RUMMY SHOW!
30 posted on 05/24/2002 11:59:13 AM PDT by Poohbah
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To: ThePythonicCow
Never forget, the duo of President Bush&Karl Rove, are smart as a fox. Don't believe this Andy Sullivan BS!
31 posted on 05/24/2002 11:59:20 AM PDT by Reagan Man
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To: LS
Second, I wouldn't be surprised if Bush and Putin were not talking about more than oil.

You misspelled "awl."

32 posted on 05/24/2002 12:00:17 PM PDT by Poohbah
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To: Howlin
I've noticed that Bill Gertz has had few front-page stories, too. It's good news, IMHO.
33 posted on 05/24/2002 12:01:46 PM PDT by hchutch
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To: ThePythonicCow
I have said this before, it's time for the Republican Party to inform Bush if he wants to run again it will have to be as a Demokrat or Independent. The party needs to select another candidate for 2004.

Actually, wouldn't Hitlery have a fit if GWB switched parties and ran as a RAT?

34 posted on 05/24/2002 12:05:02 PM PDT by CWRWinger
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To: ThePythonicCow
I voted for Bush ... but only once. He let the farm bill slide thru, he granted amnesty to illegal aliens, now he's wavering on his hard line position on Iraq and terrorism. Maggie Thatcher, at a conference in Aspen, told Bush's father not to go wobbly on her, as she was prepared to take a hard line against Saddam shortly after Iraq attacked Kuwait. The Iron Maiden knew Bush Sr. well ... it seems his son may have the same problem.
35 posted on 05/24/2002 12:06:06 PM PDT by BluH2o
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To: ThePythonicCow
Clinton apologists like Alan Coombs like to point out that since the war in Afghanistan was so successful, Clinton did not really undermine the military so badly. Afghanistan was a sandbox exercise compared to Desert Storm, and Clinton's gutted military can not mount another operation of that size and scope at this time. Clinton did reduce our military's readiness, capabilities, logistical depth, and morale, in ways and degree that is much worse than Ford/Carter did. If Rush's opinion is correct, and members of the Joint Chiefs are pushing back any invasion date, this is why. Woe to us if Saddam gets the bomb, and gets it in a ship, container, plane, or missile to our country before we can counter his threat.
36 posted on 05/24/2002 12:20:27 PM PDT by Richard Axtell
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To: BluH2o
If the next election came out even closer than the last, and it came down to one vote, in your state, to decide the result, and that vote was yours, and you could either vote for Bush again and put him in office, or vote any other way, including abstaining, and put the Democrat in office, what would you do?

Obviously, elections don't work this way. We never know if we are the "deciding vote" until long after we've cast our ballot. But I like to ask myself something like the above "thought experiment" before each election day.

What would you do?

37 posted on 05/24/2002 12:25:02 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: BluH2o
If I remember correctly, Bush41 prosecuted a successful war over Iraq and Saddam Hussein. Without Bush41 and massive US military force, there would have been no great victory, against the forces of evil back in 1991. Throwing up an unsubstantiated comment by Lady Thatcher and connecting Bush43 with Bush 41 in the manner you have, is pure nonsensical rhetoric.

OTOH, the farm bill was pork barrel corporate welfare, but in the end, may have been a stroke of political genius on President's part. I didn't support 245i, but it wasn't a blanket amnesty and applied to maybe 200K immigrants caught up in a terrible system.

If you look at the entire record on Bush, you would see a preety good picture, so far. Kyoto is dead, the ABM treaty is history, a NMDS is becoming reality, Bush said NO ICC for the USA, Bush says RKBA is fully constitutional, Bush told Cuba/Castro the embargo stays and Bush has given working American's, two tax cuts. Along with winning the war on terrorism, Bush is doing a great job for America and the American people.

Who do you support, Algore or may be Hillary Rotten?

39 posted on 05/24/2002 12:29:51 PM PDT by Reagan Man
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To: ThePythonicCow
This sickens me. He's a fool, if this is true.
40 posted on 05/24/2002 12:29:58 PM PDT by Nonstatist
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To: Nonstatist
I rarely have anything good to say about Dubya but, if true, he is right on this one. An invasion of Iraq would like to hopeless quagmire and draw us even further into that most screwed up part of the world. As it is, we have already been drawn (contrary to the wishful thinking of freepers) into a protracted guerrilla war in Afghanistan and an endless, and futile, campaign of nation building (shades of Haiti). Such is the end result of the conservative social engineering project to police every knook and cranny of the planet.

BTW, "nonstatist" it would also dramatically increase the power of the state. Have you forgotten that "war is the health of the state?"

41 posted on 05/24/2002 12:34:21 PM PDT by Austin Willard Wright
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To: ThePythonicCow
If true, then those of us who have supported the war on terror need to revise our assessment of this president.

It looks like we've been screwed. There's not going to be an invasion of Iraq...and there will be new terrorist attacks. We look weak, ambivelent, confused and stupid...like ripe terror targets, in other words. The administration doesn't know what it's doing. I was hoping their mishandling of the Arab/Israeli conflict was just a fluke...guess not. Hope like hell I'm wrong.

42 posted on 05/24/2002 12:37:46 PM PDT by pgkdan
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To: Recovering_Democrat;hchutch;Poohbah ;JennysCool;Miss Marple;Howlin
Did Roosevelt formulate a plan on December 8th, 1941 where he would deny that he was going to retaliate against the Japanese only to launch his own sneak attack a year or more later?

I didn't think so.

Wars require that you prepare your people for the sacrifices ahead. If my government says its going to attack another country, I don't expect to get a detailed list of what going to happen and on what date. When Rumsfeld tells me that there is going to be NO invasion, and Bush is telling the Germans that he has NO war plans, there is going to be NO war!! If we are going to attack Iraq anyway, any benifits of this super stealth is outweighed by the lack of mental preparedness of the people for the sacrifices they must make, and the morale loss from the nagging feeling that our leaders have betrayed us.

43 posted on 05/24/2002 12:40:58 PM PDT by rmmcdaniell
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To: rmmcdaniell
Point taken.
44 posted on 05/24/2002 12:42:38 PM PDT by Howlin
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To: ThePythonicCow
Too hot to send in troops until after Labor Day. Two or three weeks prior to November elections if Karl Rove gets his way.
45 posted on 05/24/2002 12:45:54 PM PDT by AmusedBystander
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To: The Great Satan
Saddam dies and New York and DC are history. That's what the anthrax letters mean

I think you have nailed it.

We cannot at the same time:
(1) retaliate massively against terrorist regimes,
(2) provide a reasonable degree of protection against terrorism within the US, and
(3) continue our current P.C. policy of no profiling and open borders.

So we seem to be choosing for now to discard (1) and keep the other two.

46 posted on 05/24/2002 12:48:11 PM PDT by Charlotte Corday
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To: Austin Willard Wright
BTW, "nonstatist" it would also dramatically increase the power of the state.

I am not interested in "nation building" I am interested in effecting a change in regime, in the interest of securing our protection from unalloyed use of weapons of mass destruction. I have no stake in perpetual governorship of Afghanistan, Bosnia, or elsewhere.

I just don't believe the bilge that says Hussein is not threat to us, does not collude with terrorists, does not trade in terrorist weaponry, does not live outside the reining rules of civilized behavior. If theres one reason to have a state at all, it is to protect and secure the liberty of its citizenry.

47 posted on 05/24/2002 12:48:47 PM PDT by Nonstatist
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To: AmusedBystander
It seems like when ever I go on vacation, some big event happens. I will be on Vacation in October, so maybe the war will break out then :)
48 posted on 05/24/2002 12:59:51 PM PDT by Bugbear
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To: rmmcdaniell
But at the same time, did he ever explain details of the plan to go after each of the Axis? Did he say up front, "we're going to bomb Tokyo" or say where we would attack?

A balance is needed, and quite frankly, with CNN and other 24-hour news networks, and the fact that a lot of the reporters are not as patriotic as they used to be. Back then, we could delay confirming that we had lost ships - not today. Times change. No military uses pikes and crossbows any more, and any that did ought to think of committing whoever made the decision to procure them to a mental institution.

49 posted on 05/24/2002 1:02:45 PM PDT by hchutch
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To: ThePythonicCow
He told the German press yesterday that there is no plan to invade [Iraq] on his desk

We didn't invade Afghanistan either. We sent in a few thousand guys, and collapsed the regime, and sent the survivors into hiding, and erected a new government, and began training a new army and police force, but we didn't invade.

Maybe we aren't going to invade Iraq either.

50 posted on 05/24/2002 1:03:44 PM PDT by marron
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