Rudy: “I said it a long time ago … America is too consumed with Iraq”

posted at 3:46 pm on July 20, 2007 by Allahpundit

Thus begins the GOP presidential candidates’ inevitable withdrawal from this politically disastrous issue:

The United States has been distracted “for a while” by military setbacks and political heat surrounding the Iraq war, Giuliani said, not focusing enough on al-Qaeda’s resurgence in Afghanistan and Pakistan…

Some of Giuliani’s comments echoed critics of the war in Iraq who argue that the invasion drew attention and resources away from the battle against the home base of al-Qaeda, which carried out the 9/11 attacks. Giuliani, however, called the Iraq war “enormously important,” but he said other challenges from Islamic terrorism also demanded attention.

“I said it a long time ago … America is too consumed with Iraq,” he said. “We’ve got to be patient and committed (in Iraq), but we’ve got to multitask. We’ve got to have conversations beyond Iraq. We’ve got to talk about Iran — Iran is more dangerous than Iraq — and we have to get the job done in Afghanistan and in Pakistan.”

He said that might involve reorganizing United Nations forces, committing more U.S. resources, considering U.S.-led airstrikes on al-Qaeda targets in northern Pakistan or taking a tougher line with Musharraf — or pursuing all those steps.

This is the best a Republican can do, realistically. He’s got to be a hawk to please the base but he’s got to get away from Iraq and Bush or else he stands no chance in the general. Solution: uber-hawk, whose hawkishness is so comprehensive that it barely has time for Iraq. Presumably this is cover for a first tentative step towards the Democratic position that the “real” war on terror is elsewhere, such that we simply must redeploy to be more hawkish; if he’s seriously proposing that we keep troop levels where they are in Iraq and get more aggressive in Pakistan (uberhawk) and Iran (uber-uberhawk), then he’s dead on arrival. The trick, in other words, is to retreat while convincing Republicans that they’re actually on the march. If the fallout from withdrawal is as bad as most expect, there’ll be plenty of guilt-wracked folks eager to believe it.

Semi-related, read this thoughtful post from James Poulos at the American Scene arguing that repudiating Bush and Iraq will be the great catharsis conservatives need to return to their roots. I think he’s kidding himself in the extreme about the “great wave of relief” that will allegedly follow, whether or not some defanged contingent of troops is left in country to preside over the Hobbesian nightmare, but it’s an eloquent attempt.


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If its more important to stop supporting your president in a time of war…I don’t think you should be president. You can win and still support the war. You just have to be smart intelligent and know what the hell you are talking about.

This country is full of pussies.

tomas on July 20, 2007 at 3:56 PM

Difference is that Rudy would fight elsewhere (I think, I hope) and the Dems are blowing BS.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on July 20, 2007 at 3:58 PM

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on July 20, 2007 at 3:58 PM

I hope so. He’s already said that military action is very much on the table with Iran. Some Democrats are even calling for withdrawal from Afghanistan, which I thought was the “Real War” for them.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 4:01 PM

I don’t think he’s talking about pulling out of Iraq. Actually, I think he’s talking about expanding the WOT front.T That’d oughta go over big with Democrats…

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 4:03 PM

I think he’s kidding himself in the extreme about the “great wave of relief” that will allegedly follow, whether or not some defanged contingent of troops is left in country to preside over the Hobbesian nightmare, but it’s an eloquent attempt.

Yeah, pretty much, Allah.

Bad Candy on July 20, 2007 at 4:04 PM

I don’t think there’s a reason to go after Pakistan. Pressure Musharaff to start actually getting serious, and to let us assist in village raids – yes. Full out invasion – no.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 4:07 PM

Rudy just threw away the nomination.

Mark my words

conservnut on July 20, 2007 at 4:09 PM

Why is everyone so obsessed over Afghanistan as the “home base of al-Qaeda”?

Was it their home base in the years leading up to 9/11? Yes.

However, things have changed since then. Once the American military made it deadly to operate in Afghanistan, they moved their operations over to Pakistan, where we are not allowed to operate.

We can focus on Afghanistan until the cows come home, but that’s not going to dent Al-Qaeda operations very much at all since they work out of Pakistan now.

Why are so many people in politics focused on fighting yesterday’s battles?

JadeNYU on July 20, 2007 at 4:09 PM

I’m with amerpundit on this. If you read the next line:

We’ve got to have conversations beyond Iraq. We’ve got to talk about Iran

I dont think he is talking about withdrawal from Iraq. But heck, even if he is, withdawing all the troops from Iraq and redeploying them to Iran, i cant wait to see the Dems faces.

RiteWingFascist on July 20, 2007 at 4:11 PM

JadeNYU on July 20, 2007 at 4:09 PM

“Getting the job done in Afghanistan” doesn’t only mean killing al-Qaeda. Remember, troops are still dying there in attacks. Besides, we bombed the country, instituted a government, and have to make sure that government can sustain itself completely.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 4:12 PM

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 4:01 PM

That’s wishful thinking at the extreme.

This saddens me unbelievably because I thought he was more politically savvy than this.

The truth is that if we pull out of Iraq, that’s it. Unless he can tidal wave in a big majority in the Congress, there is no way Dems and world view will allow him to do anything in Iran or elsewhere but talk. He’d be crucified daily if he got militarily aggressive in Iran and expanded military action in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Dems would be clamouring about a preemptive war and saying we should go to the UN, where they’re all about do nothing (unless he has a commitment to send John Bolton back there).

Sultry Beauty on July 20, 2007 at 4:18 PM

Afghanistan and Iraq are backwaters. The islamic threat comes from Pakistan, but even more so from Saudi Arabia. Until a candidate actually talks about ridding the world of Saudi Arabia, it is all smoke and mirrors that achieves nothing for the global war islamic war on the west.

jihadwatcher on July 20, 2007 at 4:19 PM

Out of all of the candidates, on either side, I think Rudy has the most credibility when it comes to this issue. This is a guy who has been successfully taking on crime, in a wide variety of forms, for a few decades now. Is al Qaeda really that different from the Mafia?

Big S on July 20, 2007 at 4:19 PM

Rudy’s seems to be running out of ways to nuance the GWOT. He’s relying way too much on his 9/11 record and if this war does wind down, he’s gonna need something else to keep conservatives in his camp.

He needs to find an issue that no one is talking about that is a serious concern for conservatives that he can take the lead on.

Mitt! has his issue, but I’m still waiting for Rudy. I know he can do it, and maybe he’s waiting, so I’ll be patient and I’ll wait also.

csdeven on July 20, 2007 at 4:21 PM

Yes, troops are still getting killed in Afganistan. But what will more resources accomplish there. The bulk of attacks are coming from across the border with Pakistan and our troops along with NATO are holding the line and allowing the government to grow and get stronger.

not focusing enough on al-Qaeda’s resurgence in Afghanistan and Pakistan…

Rudy is basically taking up the lib talking points here. The base is not going to like that, Hell, I don’t like that, AT ALL.

Stick a fork in him….He’s done

conservnut on July 20, 2007 at 4:22 PM

By invading Iraq ALL we seem to have accomplished in retrospect is to have pulled out the cork in the bottle that was keeping in whole bunches of Islamos from doing in Iraq, well, doing what Islamos do best.

Islamos who were Saddam’s to handle and now seem to be our headache. Actually not ours, but our VERY MUCH over used and abused Army troop’s headache.

The law of unintended consequences. No good deed goes unpunished?

By staying we are violating Murphy’s first rule of holes, when in a hole, FIRST STOP DIGGING!!!

You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.

You’ve got to know when to surge ‘em and when to walk away.

If Republicans do not stand up to George Bush on Iraq like they did with serf master employer driven shamnesty and make him STOP this, the dims will slow bleed Republicans to DEATH on this and it will be President HildaBeast and bigger dim majorities in Congress come January 2009.

No more Roberts, no more Alitos, just Hillary’s dirty looks.

It’s a good thing, not a bad thing, when Politicians listen to public opinion [like they ended up doing on Shamnesty]. It’s only a bad thing for those who support continuing Bush’s way in Iraq because those who support continuing Bush’s way in Iraq have lost the battle for public opinion. That is very likely why the dims won in 2006. That is why, unless events intervene, they will likely win again in 2008.

The current surge strategy as designed by Freddy Kagan in the American Enterprise Institute is designed to buy time for the Iraqi government to stand on its own; to pass reconciliation legislation amongst the Sunni/Shia/Kurd as well as sharing oil revenues; the same Iraqi government that plans to take the entire month of August off because it is “too hot” and they are “tired” and continues dithering governing their own sovereign country while America does its heavy lifting.

The threat to America is AQ (The real AQ, not AQ of Mesopotamia, aka AQ in Iraq, aka AQI). America must refocus its efforts on capturing and destroying AQ, not the impossible dream of nation building between Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq.

At the very least there are many Iraq nation building tasks US armed forces should not be involved with.

One of the most significant tasks our armed forces needs to cease is training Iraqi police. I understand the sectarian problems with the IP, so send Shia IP to train in Saudi, Sunni IP to train in Kurdish areas and Kurdish IP to train in Jordan.

Ending this one nation building action would free up significant US armed forces to capture and destroy AQ.

MB4 on July 20, 2007 at 4:28 PM

I think the country has been brainwashed. I think most Americans are so busy making a living the only view they have of Iraq is the one the treasonous MSM wants them to have. “Sitting Ducks.” “Can’t win.” “Was no threat.” “Bush lied.” “Civil war,” etc. and that general theme is backed by people like Bill O’Reilly who never mention Iraq w/o calling it a “disaster” or “mistake.”

The Admin has done virtually nothing to counter these messages and therefore, understandably, most Americans now want out. I think if we had a true articulate leader who, at every opportunity, explained the true importance of Iraq attitudes would be different.

TheBigOldDog on July 20, 2007 at 4:28 PM

Now there’s Ed Koch? The big pile on is coming. Sad to say it but defeat is just around the corner. Wow, I never, ever thought I’d see my country give up again. I was wrong.

Sultry Beauty on July 20, 2007 at 4:28 PM

Sultry Beauty on July 20, 2007 at 4:18 PM

Yes, but let’s remember that Dick Durbin said that using our military to stop Iran and Syria should be looked into.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 4:30 PM

MB4 on July 20, 2007 at 4:28 PM

Do you get paid by the post?

TheBigOldDog on July 20, 2007 at 4:30 PM

Yes, he does.

tomas on July 20, 2007 at 4:31 PM

Presumably this is cover for a first tentative step towards the Democratic position that the “real” war on terror is elsewhere

As you said, the first step. Lets see where the second point is placed, then we’ll know the line. And upon the third, we’ll know the plane. I’ll wait and see for now.

I do like his willingness to say this though:

“Musharraf is important to us to the extent that he helps us remove this existential threat to him and to us,” Giuliani said.

“And to the extent that he recognizes that it’s an existential threat to us and to him, he’s valuable to us. To the extent that he doesn’t, he isn’t,” Giuliani said.

Spirit of 1776 on July 20, 2007 at 4:38 PM

conservnut on July 20, 2007 at 4:22 PM

So, you’re not worried about that? He’s not saying he’d like to pull out of Iraq, but rather that we need to do more than just focus on it in isolation. Specifically, he’s proposed increasing the size of the military to help deal with multiple conflicts, has defended the decision to go into Iraq at every opportunity, and has supported the “surge” strongly. The only reason the Democrats have been able to get away with saying that the “real” war on terror is in Afghanistan, and that we have ignored it, is that there’s a sliver of truth in the argument. I’m not saying that they’re justified in using it as a pretext to pull out of Iraq, just that the situation there is not as secure as we’d like it to be, and requires continued attention.

Big S on July 20, 2007 at 4:38 PM

Did he mention the terrorist enablers here? Specifically, the ones with “D” behind thier name?

jdawg on July 20, 2007 at 4:38 PM

Why is everyone so obsessed over Afghanistan as the “home base of al-Qaeda”?

Was it their home base in the years leading up to 9/11? Yes.

Not really. The true home of al Qaeda is Pakistan. Yea, there were a lot of training bases and the Taliban was most prominent in Afghanistan, but Pakistan is home. Pakistan is still the home of more terror groups and more madrassas than the rest of the Muslim world combined.

The bigger issue is most people don’t realize that al Qaeda is only one of many, many names the jihadis fight under. The basic ideology goes back to the Hassan al Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1920′s. The MB was a pan-Arab movement that spawned all these groups.

We don’t just need to fight al Qaeda. We need to fight against the ideology. That includes the Pakistani ISI.

JackStraw on July 20, 2007 at 4:40 PM

The Americans have spared Iraqi neighborhoods held by Sunni rebels, spared Damascus, spared Tehran, and spared Riyadh. Here is where such pity leads: expense, waste, loss, humiliation, and continual enmity. This is cruel pity, the pity of the Christians and of the post-Christian unbelievers who are still trying to prove themselves better than the Christians on Christian terms. Cruelty well-used can still bring victory and peace, but you must choose it.

Kralizec on July 20, 2007 at 4:41 PM

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 4:30 PM

“Looked into” are the essential words of Dems. It means talk, talk, talk but don’t actually do anything. You REALLY think DD is going to vote to:

…committing more U.S. resources, considering U.S.-led airstrikes on al-Qaeda targets in northern Pakistan or taking a tougher line with Musharraf — or pursuing all those steps.

???

But, I’ve calmed down and took the time to re-read it. I think I may have been a little preemptive myself. My apologizes:

We’ve got to be patient and committed (in Iraq), but we’ve got to multitask.

Sultry Beauty on July 20, 2007 at 4:42 PM

I worded my last sentence poorly.

“Ending this one nation building action would free up significant US armed forces to capture and destroy AQ.”

S/B

“Ending this one nation building action would free up significant US armed forces to work at capturing and destroying AQ. More would be better.”

MB4 on July 20, 2007 at 4:43 PM

I have a question…what are these “military setbacks” USA mentions so effortlessly in the story? Sure, there’s political setbacks in Iraq but I don’t think suicide bombers or IEDs constitute “military setbacks’.

Gettysburg was a “military setback” for the Confederacy. Normandy was a ‘military setback’ for the National Socialists but a market bombing in Baghdad? A tragedy, sure but the bar has to be set awfully low for what the terrorists are doing in Iraq to be considered “military setbacks” for us.

Of course the left is invested in the idea that we are suffering “military setbacks” on a daily basis when no such thing is happening. But hey, if it sells papers and defeat, who cares, right?

Drew on July 20, 2007 at 4:44 PM

conservnut on July 20, 2007 at 4:22 PM

Um, sorry, but al-Qaeda has been resurging. Where? In the mountain regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan.Now, unless you’re advocating invading Pakistan, the only country we’re in where they’ve resurged in that area is….Afghanistan.

The Taliban carried out an ambush in Kandahar, today, and killed 6 police. It’s believed that over 3,300 people have died due to the insurgency in Afghanistan this year.

The Taliban also kidnapped 18 South Korean Christians, today. It’s the largest abduction of foreigners since the Taliban fell in 2001.

Yesterday, 2 Germans were kidnapped, along with 5 Afghans, as they were working on a dam. One June 28, another German man was kidnapped by the Taliban.

Let’s ask the top NATO intelligence officer how dandy we’re doing in Afghanistan:

NATO’s top intelligence officer in Afghanistan, Canadian Brigadier General Jim Ferron, says the tribal nature of the dominant Pashtun population makes the Taliban insurgency difficult to contain.

Or how about Britain’s commander of international fores in Afghanistan:

Afghanistan is a good and winnable war but, at the pace we are proceeding, we need to realise that we could actually fail here.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 4:45 PM

MB4 on July 20, 2007 at 4:28 PM

Do you get paid by the post?

TheBigOldDog on July 20, 2007 at 4:30 PM

No.

I get paid by how many people I aggravate when I post.

I get paid much more that way.

MB4 on July 20, 2007 at 4:46 PM

Drew on July 20, 2007 at 4:44 PM

That’s part of the brainwashing effort I mentioned. You repeat these loaded words w/o any facts over and over to create an impression to wear down the will of a people to fight. Most people don’t have time to find the facts on their won so over time, they become brainwashed and lose the will to fight. Front runners like Bill O’Reilly are afraid being caught on the wrong side of the issue so when the wind shifts, they jump on the surrender bandwagon.

Well, from my study, I feel confident the Terrorists won’t give up. All these signs of weakness will just encourage them more and more. At some point the catastrophe will be so large America will wake up, and when they do, they will also realize they have been consistently lied to. At that point they will be out for blood.

TheBigOldDog on July 20, 2007 at 4:54 PM

I don’t see Rudy going squishy on Iraq here and I doubt the DEMs do either. It appears to me that he’s talking about confronting the source of the war and honestly that is exactly what is needed to win.

In WWII we understood that the war wouldn’t be won until we had Germany and Japan defeated and never assumed that any of the major battles were an end unto themselves but somehow since Truman sacked MacArthur we forgot how to fight a war.

I may actually rethink my voting for Rudy if he shows a sound strategy for winning the GWOT. He’s not there yet but this may be a step in the right direction.

Buzzy on July 20, 2007 at 4:54 PM

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 4:12 PM

I’m certainly not advocating leaving Afghanistan. I don’t think the job there is done.

However, I also don’t think that focusing more on Afghanistan is going to harm Al Qaeda when they’re hiding in Pakistan.

My only objection to the statement was the constant reference to Afghanistan as the home base of al qaeda. Not with a troop presence in Afghanistan or Iraq.

JadeNYU on July 20, 2007 at 4:54 PM

Big S on July 20, 2007 at 4:38 PM

He said that America is too consumed with Iraq. I agree that we need to think beyond Iraq and start thinking about Iran. I believe that Afganistan is a back water in the WOT. And I still believe that the main front in this war right now at least is Iraq. The jihadists can’t allow us to win there. So that is where they are engaging us. And that is where we kill them and drain the resourses of Iran in trying to defeat us. In case you haven’t noticed Iran is having a number of problems with resourses and money right now. Our boys in Iraq are partly at least responsible for that. That is where the battle is and Rudy needs to recognize that fact.

conservnut on July 20, 2007 at 4:55 PM

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 4:45 PM

I am not saying that everything is “peaches and cream” in Afganistan right now. I don’t believe we are losing ground there.

You know, car bombs and kidnappings are happening in a lot of places right now.

conservnut on July 20, 2007 at 5:02 PM

conservnut on July 20, 2007 at 5:02 PM

Except the Taliban haven’t kidnapped that many people since 9/11. And obviously the commander of British forces doesn’t think we’re doing great, because he says “at the pace we are proceeding, we need to realise that we could actually fail here.”. That doesn’t sound like we’re proceeding very well.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 5:05 PM

Does anyone remember the statement Bush made about terrorist states right after 9/11? He said if you weren’t for us, you were against us.

Pakistan and Iran are against us. Actively involved in attacking our troops. Iran is helping to bog us down in Iraq, yet we haven’t done anything to address those situations. Now here we are, openly discussing in the MSM, the strategies we could use to defeat the enemies of our country.

Bush either bit of more than he could chew, or he didn’t really understand what he was committing to. I remember the sentiment that we could not fight the whole world. The solution was that we would take them one at a time. Well, Iran has attacked our soldiers in Iraq and we do NOTHING except tell the world what we will do if we do anything! If we are gonna blockade Iran’s gasoline supply, then damn it to hell!!! JUST FRIGGEN DO IT and stop telegraphing our blows to the entire planet!!

csdeven on July 20, 2007 at 5:11 PM

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 5:05 PM

Look, I am not trying to convince you that we don’t still have a tough fight in Afganistan. We do and it is going to take a lot more than we are doing in a lot of areas to improve the situation. But it is not the central front in this war right now.

BTW. I am sure that the General would love some additional troops to accomplish his mission. Sqeaky wheels get the grease. I’m not saying that he is lying about the situation. But he might be embellishing a bit.

conservnut on July 20, 2007 at 5:13 PM

I think you’re reading a bit too much into it, Allah. AFAICT, Rudy has shown NO indication of backing down on Iraq. Indeed, he has one of the policy’s most eloquent defenders, all the way back to his 2006 RNC speech.

I think you’re right that he is going uber-hawk, but his logical next step is more likely going to be conflating the popular Afghan war with the unpopular Iraq war, arguing, essentially, that retreat in one arena is retreat everywhere.

TallDave on July 20, 2007 at 5:20 PM

conservnut on July 20, 2007 at 5:13 PM

Right. I agree. And I think that’s why Rudy said:

“I said it a long time ago … America is too consumed with Iraq,” he said. “We’ve got to be patient and committed (in Iraq), but we’ve got to multitask. We’ve got to have conversations beyond Iraq. We’ve got to talk about Iran — Iran is more dangerous than Iraq — and we have to get the job done in Afghanistan and in Pakistan.”

That Iran is the most dangerous, but we also have to get the job done in Afghanistan and Pakistan. If we concentrate specifically on Iraq, we’ll have problems elsewhere, like Iran getting nukes, or Jihadis getting ahold of Paki’s nukes, or the Afghanistan government falling or becoming a safe-haven for the Taliban…again.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 5:20 PM

2004 RNC speech, of course, not 2006. PIMF!

TallDave on July 20, 2007 at 5:20 PM

I don’t believe we are losing ground there.

You know, car bombs and kidnappings are happening in a lot of places right now.

conservnut on July 20, 2007 at 5:02 PM

In a case like this, simply holding one’s ground is a recipe for disaster. Witness Iraq, 2004-2006.

Big S on July 20, 2007 at 5:20 PM

conservnut on July 20, 2007 at 5:02 PM

We are losing ground.

The Taliban is a creation of the Pakistani ISI. They recruited Pashtun tribesman right out of the madrassas in Pakistan and gave them money and training. They set them on Afghanistan and helped them topple the gov’t.

It was the ISI, mind you which is chock full of jihadis. The Pakistani gov’t maintains they officially had nothing to do with them. When we crushed them after 9/11, those that survived fled back to Pakistan and the protection of the Pakistani gov’t. What’s key to remember is that there are Pashtun tribes in both eastern Afghanistan and the NW territories of Pakistan. Their allegiance is to their tribe and Allah, not any country.

Since 9//11, they have been getting stronger and stronger under the protection of the Pakistani gov’t. Musharaf made the deal to leave them alone as long as they left him alone. A brilliant strategy that has always worked.

Now, Pakistan is reaping what they sowed starting with the Red Mosque and is gaining steam. Again, don’t worry so much about the names. Taliban, al Qaeda, Hamas, etc., etc., they are all of the same seed and have the same goals and tactics.

When Bush said after 9/11 that we are in for a long war, a war that may take a generation, he was right.

JackStraw on July 20, 2007 at 5:22 PM

“Retreat, hell! We’re just advancing in the opposite direction!” Oliver Prince Smith

This article almost sounds like the above quote except we are retreating.

It is truly sad when the only option is surrendering after achieving a military victory. Sadly the American attention span is just too short nowdays. Iraq is no longer a war, it is a reconstruction of a country not a war. Time is needed establish a new government and way of life for the Iraqi people which will enhance the security of the US. We still have forces in Germany and Japan, why are we not withdrawing those forces?

BTW, war weary? Are they frakkin kidding me? What sacrifice has the avg American made? Rationing? Shortages? Please. The only ones who should be war weary are our troops and their families. War weary….that aggravates me to no end! More like weary of the Mud Stream Media and losers like Reid & Pelosi.

People die in the USA every day from gang bangers and crooks but the Mud Stream Media doesn’t cover this because it isn’t as spectacular as a IED. Where’s the outrage? I would be willing to bet the number of gang related deaths in those 3 areas far exceed the US deaths in Iraq & Afg. Anyone got the numbers on gang related murders in say LA, NY & MIA for the last 4 years? (I’m not picking on those area but….)

I’m tired of hearing the Iraqi gov’t hasn’t met certain benchmarks. Our own gov’t doesn’t meet benchmarks. Border fence anyone? Our own government is corrupt and contemptuous to each other so why should the Iraqi gov’t be any different?

VikingGoneWild on July 20, 2007 at 5:23 PM

Time to leave Iraq- Bush and his fellow incompetents sure blew that one- and get our boys to Waziristan. RUDY IN ’08!

The Sinner on July 20, 2007 at 6:01 PM

We’ve got to be patient and committed (in Iraq), but we’ve got to multitask. We’ve got to have conversations beyond Iraq. We’ve got to talk about Iran — Iran is more dangerous than Iraq — and we have to get the job done in Afghanistan and in Pakistan.

Exactly where in that statement is “retreat”?
Is the word “retreat” hiding somewhere between “patient” and “committed”?

You commenters are accepting just one possible spin senario offered by AP. Relax and look at what Rudy said. Iraq’s important, we need to win there, but that is not the only front in the GWOT. We also need to address Iran and the tribal areas in Pakistan. This is a very touchy subject — one already has nukes and the other is on the way — but is there anyone who really disagrees with this general statement?

Or are Fredheads looking into this statement hoping to see a glimmer of weakness in Rudy to bolster their confidence in their abortion lobbying, CFR loving, word parsing non-candidate?

tommylotto on July 20, 2007 at 6:13 PM

Or are Fredheads looking into this statement hoping to see a glimmer of weakness in Rudy to bolster their confidence in their abortion lobbying, CFR loving, word parsing non-candidate?

tommylotto on July 20, 2007 at 6:13 PM

I suspect that’s part of it.

Big S on July 20, 2007 at 6:20 PM

I’m with Kralizec-

You want a surgeon to cut out a tumor with expert speed and efficiency, not hack and hew at it slowly and clumsily.

The tumors are the war dogmas (suras 9:5 & 9:29030, etc.) of the Koran and their promoters, spreaders, apologists and enablers in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran, primarily.

The slower we respond to this malignancy, the more toxic and tenacious they become.

The weaker we cut at them, the more emboldened they grow.

Timidity in wartime is a crime.

profitsbeard on July 20, 2007 at 6:20 PM

When Bush said after 9/11 that we are in for a long war, a war that may take a generation, he was right.

JackStraw on July 20, 2007 at 5:22 PM

You are right, and so ws he (on that point anyway)

And I also agree that the source of all of our problems in Afganistan lie in Pakistan. So, would you invade Pakistan? I don’t believe that we are currently over extended but that would do it.

I think we should concentrate on the biggist threat right now. I also believe that Iran is it. We also would be overextended if we invaded there. But we can conduct the “slow bleed” in reverse and drain their ablitiy to fund and support terrorists all over the place.

One could argue that Afganistan is the bigger threat because they have nukes and we wouldn’t want the Taliban to take over. I would submit that we already have islamo-nazi’s in control in Iran on the verge of obtaining nukes.

conservnut on July 20, 2007 at 6:33 PM

Don’t sound like Rudy is backing away from Iraq to me. Sounds to me Rudy is trying to drive home the point we are in a GWOT not just a Iraq War hence breaking the Dems blind idiocy on Iraq souly. I think if anyone has been paying attention to the news of late, Iran of course is still a growing problem supporting chaos in Iraq & going nuclear were the window of opportunity is closing within the next year to two, and worse Pakistan’s Warizistan is looking real bad and Musharaf is looking real weak.

The biggest problem so far is that the President has been unable to explain what we are into here. On 9-12 we basically were forced into a war with 20% of a population that stretched from N Africa to the Philippines and numbers north of a billion yet no one short those that frequent the rightosphere have a clue. We cannot just stand in a holding pattern forever with the Radicals in a attrition type war.

Nearly all the violence in Afghanistan is now coming from across the border in Warizistan. A huge portion of the violence in Iraq is coming from or being sponsored from Syria/Iran. Both of those current holding actions would subside with heavy action into the other regions turning them into the holding actions or just hammering them into the stone age and buying a window of time.

You don’t win wars in Defensive positions. And Wars sure as hell don’t just end because you retreat or abandon the field.

C-Low on July 20, 2007 at 6:41 PM

You don’t win wars in Defensive positions. And Wars sure as hell don’t just end because you retreat or abandon the field.

C-Low on July 20, 2007 at 6:41 PM

Yep, you are right. But I don’t think that we have the political capital right now to do what needs to be done. Part of the blame for that goes to Bush, but the lions share goes to the libs.

conservnut on July 20, 2007 at 6:53 PM

As someone who’s always been opposed to Rudy being the nominee, I don’t see this so much a call to distance himself from Iraq but to concentrate more on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Fair enough, given that Afghanistan seems to take a distant back seat in terms of media coverage.

However, with regards to invading and/or bombing Pakistan… WHAT THE HELL WAS HE THINKING??? To make this suggestion publicly has serious potential to complicate our relationship with Pakistan, problem though it might be. Musharref is walking a tight rope, and Rudy’s irresponsible suggestion sure as hell isn’t helping his or our cause.

Hollowpoint on July 20, 2007 at 6:58 PM

And I also agree that the source of all of our problems in Afganistan lie in Pakistan. So, would you invade Pakistan?

Not unless I wanted to see WWIII. And I don’t.

Sometimes events play out without us being the catalyst. I see a couple things that are going to happen. First, I think the Pakistani gov’t is going to fall. People talk a lot about the caliphate but they always seem to forget that means toppling “moderate” Muslim gov’ts. They’ve tried in Jordan. Fortunately for Jordan, they weren’t so inegrated into the society and gov’t that they couldn’t be largely marginalized, killed or driven out. Same with Saudi Arabia which only seemed to wake up to the sword over their head after 9/11.

Pakistan has no such luxuries. As Brian’s graphic up top showed, the jihadi mindset is a significant part or the Pakistani society. They have infiltrated the military and, of course, just about own the ISI. If you were the jihadis who would you rather fight, the US military in Afghanistan or the Pakistani military, much of which is on your side? In any case, the jihad has already begun, it did with the Red Mosque. Zawahiri’s speech after the fall of the mosque, the one that concluded with

Have I not conveyed? O Allah, be my witness.

Call to jihad in Pakistan. Once the war starts there in earnest, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see Musharaf invite us to come over the border. Then, I would suggest we go into Pakistan.

The other thing that I think is going to happen soon is Israel is going to get dragged into war. I don’t think Hamas is stupid enough to attack Israel head on, but I do think Hezbollah and Syria will. That will allow Hamas to strike Israel as part of a larger war.

If that happens, all bets are off. We could be in for a full regional war, maybe larger.

JackStraw on July 20, 2007 at 7:06 PM

Conservnut

I agree and doubt Bush would have the balls or political capitol to initiate a war on Iran however I don’t doubt for a minute he would retaliate with a war on Iran.

Iran’s radical alliance is pushing hard and borderline overreaching on many fronts from Hezbollah/Lebanon, Hamas/Fatah/Israel, Syria/Israel, Iraq/Iran and of course UN.US.EU.NATO/Iran.nukes. The Radical Alliance growing moving on the offensive in front of US would not be the first enemy to overreach expecting a weak looking US to act weak but get a awoken Giant.

C-Low on July 20, 2007 at 7:06 PM

Respectfully, I think Allahpundit’s way off base with this one.

Big S on July 20, 2007 at 7:16 PM

Big S – “Respectfully, I think Allahpundit’s way off base with this one.”

Nope.

His azimuth is within 3 mils.

Fire for effect.

MB4 on July 20, 2007 at 7:32 PM

JackStraw
“If that happens, all bets are off. We could be in for a full regional war, maybe larger.”

I agree the spark will come on the Israel/Lebanon front. Israel cannot afford another war that makes them look weak. Knowing that they will hit back hard very probably rolling thunder type smash, move, withdraw truce, Syria & Bekaa valley hard. Iran will be forced to support their ally and any response by Iran on Israel will go over top Iraq or US air space. Causi Belli

Everyone in the US even the Dems short the KOSkids support Israel and don’t think throwing 5million or so 50+yr allies should be thrown on some Islamist sacrificial alter.

C-Low on July 20, 2007 at 7:34 PM

Rudy is basically taking up the lib talking points here.

conservnut on July 20, 2007 at 4:22 PM

War is the last place on earth where double talk and wishful thinking will solve all our problems. Of course if Giuliani MEANT that he intended to “withdraw” the troops into Iran, then he would have SAID that.

But he didn’t.

Instead he’s repeating the same line the moonbats and liberaltarians have been spinning since the begininning: We should have troops in pretty much every country in the world except Iraq. And now that Giuliani’s saying the same thing, what, all of a sudden it means the exact opposite?

At this point, there’s about a hair’s width of difference between Giuliani’s position and Hillary Clinton’s position. Is there any reason to suspect he’s going to get “tougher” between now and next November? It doesn’t work that way.

logis on July 20, 2007 at 8:07 PM

Some of Giuliani’s comments echoed critics of the war in Iraq who argue that the invasion drew attention and resources away from the battle against the home base of al-Qaeda, which carried out the 9/11 attacks. Giuliani, however, called the Iraq war “enormously important,” but he said other challenges from Islamic terrorism also demanded attention.

“I said it a long time ago … America is too consumed with Iraq,” he said. “We’ve got to be patient and committed (in Iraq), but we’ve got to multitask. We’ve got to have conversations beyond Iraq. We’ve got to talk about Iran — Iran is more dangerous than Iraq — and we have to get the job done in Afghanistan and in Pakistan.”

OK, you guys are insane.

Big S on July 20, 2007 at 8:32 PM

Rudy just threw away the nomination.

Mark my words

conservnut on July 20, 2007 at 4:09 PM

Rudy made a great Major.

That’s all.

The ability of being a great Major is not the same as being a great Governor, as some former Presidents have transitioned.

He is not going to be our next President.
Mark my words.

Mcguyver on July 20, 2007 at 9:39 PM

“I said it a long time ago … America is too consumed with Iraq,” he said. “We’ve got to be patient and committed (in Iraq), but we’ve got to multitask.

I think what he’s saying here is Americans still don’t see Iraq as vitally important to the WOT and that we need to view the conflict in much grander terms. It’s a risky message because the truth will scare the living hell out of most of our misinformed and uneducated.

if he’s seriously proposing that we keep troop levels where they are in Iraq and get more aggressive in Pakistan (uberhawk) and Iran (uber-uberhawk), then he’s dead on arrival.

No way. It’s the right move and the right message and that’s why he might just win it provided he commits to a gradual troop drawdown in Iraq based upon Iraqi security advances and the success of the surge. At the same time, political reform and reconciliation will need to be de-emphasized in the political debate by the Right.

It’s sad to see our military men and women being left on the sidelines of a purely political debate that completely ignores their sacrifices and successes. Really sad and it’s one of the reasons I generally loathe politicians.

But honestly, we should take our collective minds off Iraq and let our armed forces do their job no matter how long it takes. If this GWOT, including the battle in Iraq, takes 10, 20 or 30 years before radical Islam is dead then so be it.

So yes, Rudy does need to be more hawkish than Bush and not be afraid to criticize the way Iraq’s been handled. I do think that’ll make him more popular.

CliffHanger on July 21, 2007 at 12:08 AM

So yes, Rudy does need to be more hawkish than Bush and not be afraid to criticize the way Iraq’s been handled. I do think that’ll make him more popular.

That’s what I want to believe anyway…

CliffHanger on July 21, 2007 at 12:09 AM

Multitask is a euphemism for withdrawal or redeployment.
Can you spell CUT AND RUN Rudi?
Is that what this “tough leader” stands for?
No question, Rudi is a Ford-Rockefeller RINO.

saved on July 21, 2007 at 8:52 AM