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  Topic: Can the Republican Party
Recover from Iraq?
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Can the Republican Party
Recover from Iraq?

Wall Street Journal, by Peggy Noonan

Original Article

Posted By:tisHimself, 3/23/2013 10:10:30 PM

The air has been full of 10th-anniversary Iraq war retrospectives. One that caught my eye was a smart piece by Tom Curry, national affairs writer for NBC News, who wrote of one element of the story, the war´s impact on the Republican Party: "The conflict not only transformed" the GOP, "but all of American politics." It has, but it´s an unfinished transformation. Did the Iraq war hurt the GOP? Yes. The war, and the crash of ´08, half killed it. It´s still digging out, and whether it can succeed is an open question.


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Reply 1 - Posted by: otronome, 3/23/2013 10:15:49 PM     (No. 9240853)

What´s an iraq?

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Reply 2 - Posted by: fhancock, 3/23/2013 10:26:16 PM     (No. 9240862)

Somebody tell Peggy that GW has not been President for over 1,500 days

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Reply 3 - Posted by: noparallel, 3/23/2013 10:31:25 PM     (No. 9240869)

Didn´t she retire?

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Reply 4 - Posted by: absalom, 3/23/2013 10:35:10 PM     (No. 9240872)

Talleyrand remarked; "It was far, far worse than a Russian military catastrophe; it was a mistake. And great nations cannot make such mistakes and remain great." Iraq was a mistake of the first magnitude and wholly owned by the biggest buffoon to sit in the WH in 100 years; the consequences of which will reverberate for generations.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: EnsignO´Toole, 3/23/2013 10:39:48 PM     (No. 9240875)

Peggy Noonan is so yesterday. Ms. Noonan hasn´t gotten over the fact that Republicans aren´t panting over what she thinks.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: bmoc, 3/23/2013 10:40:14 PM     (No. 9240876)

The so called ´Crash of ´08´ was triggered purposely by George Soros to slow the sudden burst of popularity of the McCain/Palin ticket. McCain played his hand so poorly in that September time period that he never got the chance to win in the November election. His further inability stop those members of his own staff from taking very loud and very vocal potshots at Palin during a running campaign finished the barrage and then sunk him.

I understand that George W. Bush went wobbly and wandered, almost pandered to the left in his last three years, but my biggest problem was that he or members of his team, lead by Karl Rove, never ONCE stood up and called the traitorous left out for the series of outright lies they told about him. I know he signed on to many things that furthered Agenda 21 and lots of other bad things but never once did I ever question his love for America. I question every motive, every word, and every thought that emanates from this administration.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: Hazymac, 3/23/2013 11:01:34 PM     (No. 9240889)

#4 forgets (or, more likely, conveniently ignores) that going into Iraq was very much a bipartisan decision with the explicit support of, for instance, both Clintons, John Kerry, Al Gore, Harry Reid, and a cast of hundreds of prominent Democrats. (Only the Occupy Wall Street types didn´t support the war.) Most of the world´s intelligence agencies thought (correctly, in hindsight) that Saddam Hussein, who had used lethal gas on the Kurds, killing thousands, had an active WMD program, the contents of which were spirited over the border into Assad´s Syria just before the bombs fell in 2003. If Baby Assad is using poison gas on his own population now, he´s probably using some of Saddam´s old stock.

And speaking of the sadistic Saddam, he had in recent years invaded Iran, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, and was a clear and present danger to any kind of peace or stability in that vital region. Iraq, because of its location and proximity to so many neighbors (the "keystone state") in the region, had a murderous ruler who had to be put down. So he was.

It´s only ignorance--carefully cuiltivated by the MSM and people like #4--that places sole responsibility for the Iraq war on the Republicans. The war wasn´t prosecuted properly until the surge that won the war, but the war was won. If the strategically inept--if not actively treasonous--actions of Obama reverse tha gains, the onus will be on him where it belongs.

The USA gave Iraq, which has superabundant natural resources (oil, gas, gold, arable land, etc.), an opportunity to become a wealthy and independent nation. Whether or not Iraq achieves that won´t be known for several years. But at least they have a chance.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: doctorfixit, 3/23/2013 11:06:41 PM     (No. 9240892)

I will go to my grave loathing the Democrat party for trying to have me shot in the jungles of Viet Nam. The reservoir of hatred for warmongers is vast and deep. I do not hate W, I pity him. He was weak minded and allowed the neocons to manipulate him. He was not actively evil, like LBJ. But nonetheless he was amazingly effective at destroying the GOP.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: bogeegolf, 3/23/2013 11:12:56 PM     (No. 9240895)

thank you #7

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Reply 10 - Posted by: Black Knight, 3/23/2013 11:13:55 PM     (No. 9240896)

Peggy, your insights engine is running in reverse on empty.

The GOP is flailing because its RINOS are panicking in everyone for themselves mode as the nation transitions to a taker-enabled tyranny over the makers.

You scamper after the billowing chaff without recognizing the wheat.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: smcchk, 3/23/2013 11:57:40 PM     (No. 9240917)

It seemed to me that we had stabilized Iraq and established a strategic presence in the Middle East. That seemed to be a victory or at least, progress. Perhaps, if we had not given it all up, Iran would not be so threatening today.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: danvillebill, 3/23/2013 11:58:27 PM     (No. 9240918)

This woman´s relevance ended several decades ago.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: msjena, 3/24/2013 12:01:00 AM     (No. 9240919)

What is wrong with this woman? Iraq was a major success for America--not just the Republican Party. A brutal dictator who was hostile to the US and who had nuclear ambitions was replaced with a democratic government. That is more than can be said of half of Europe after World War II!

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Reply 14 - Posted by: St. Pitbull, 3/24/2013 12:06:19 AM     (No. 9240922)

Peggy Noonan is nothing but a well-off bag lady that rides buses around NYC saying the rosary (really!).

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Reply 15 - Posted by: TheMotherCO, 3/24/2013 12:14:12 AM     (No. 9240923)

Noonan is just sore because GW did not hire her and Reagan had long since tired of her and rarely talked with her. As for GW - strong and steady and was the first president to have to deal with a deadly attack on the USA. Noonan was on TV with someone prattling about how wonderful she is and how she did all of the work. Nonsense and so is the troll that trashed GW.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: ColoWapiti, 3/24/2013 12:24:42 AM     (No. 9240929)

Wow. If #4 thinks W was the biggest buffoon, I cannot imagine what words they would have to be use for the current occupant of the White House. Maybe they would start with "biggest enemy".

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Reply 17 - Posted by: rocket scientist, 3/24/2013 12:30:29 AM     (No. 9240932)

Maybe a better question would have been, "Can the Republican Party recover from Karl Rove and the Establishment Repubs/RINOs?"

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Reply 18 - Posted by: BcdErick, 3/24/2013 1:16:47 AM     (No. 9240945)

This little rant is stupid and beyond irrelevant. By all signs Peggy Noonan is, or soon will be, senile. She´s "calling for debate"? Give me a break. Who could possibly care? She voted for Obama in 2008. And she fawned over him like a love struck teenage girl in the run-up to the election. You can look it up. Is Iraq better off today than it was under Saddam? The Iraqis think so. Obama has tried for 4 years to grab defeat from the jaws of victory. But he´s just too stupid to pull it off. He doesn´t care about Iraq. He´s more interested in destroying America.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: steveW, 3/24/2013 2:01:55 AM     (No. 9240958)

The justified removal of Saddam Hussein was exploited mercilessly by the loathsome MSM as an ax with which to split open the head of the GOP. It was their best chance since Vietnam to show that it was they, the loathsome MSM, who were "anti-war" and Republicans who heartlessly rejoiced at the deaths of brown-skinned "freedom fighters". The loathsome MSM succeeded magnificently in this campaign of lies.

To discuss "...the war´s impact on the Republican Party" as Peggy Noonan and others are doing now, with little regard to the MSM dirty tricks that poisoned world opinion - the actual heart of the problem, not the Iraq war itself - is worse than counterproductive. Had the removal of a terrorist-supporting arab dictator with potential to spread WMDs been led by a Democrat president, we all know how "anti-war" the loathsome MSM would have been then, and how many times Abu Ghraib would have been headlined (zero times, instead of hundreds). We see this hypocrisy even now, as not one single "grim milestone" has blanketed the airwaves since Dear Leader began his White House occupation.

W made many mistakes, but prosecuting the war like a true commander in chief was not one of them. The issue here, Peggy, is not Republican policy on national defense. It is the false image and hateful attitude intentionally conveyed by the loathsome MSM about Republican policy on national defense. If you can´t separate the two, you are not a clear thinker. W did more for world peace than any person alive today, and is ruthlessly scorned for it. The moral coward of a Marxist fraud gets the Nobel Peace Prize, and the world cheers. Analyze that, and you´ll understand the actual threat to the party so much better.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: flatwater, 3/24/2013 4:05:06 AM     (No. 9240983)

Can Peggy Noonan get through an entire morning without cracking open a second box of wine?

Go to hell, Peggy.

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Reply 21 - Posted by: flatwater, 3/24/2013 4:09:07 AM     (No. 9240984)


my sincerest thanks for clarifying things for our fact-free posters. Refreshing, hearing the truth told clearly and succinctly.

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Reply 22 - Posted by: mws50, 3/24/2013 6:04:42 AM     (No. 9240994)

The Iraq war went exceptionally well, and was over in 3 weeks. The occupation, after the war was won, failed. We forgot to make the occupation painful, decisive, and final, then backing out and letting Iraq rebuild for themselves. We got all PC, to show the world and our idiot media we care. Dumb idea.

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Reply 23 - Posted by: tulipwood, 3/24/2013 7:33:28 AM     (No. 9241078)

I think its time for Peggy to write a Christmas book... or maybe take up knitting.

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Reply 24 - Posted by: AltaD, 3/24/2013 7:40:20 AM     (No. 9241092)

#7 and #19 should be writing for the WSJ in place of Ms. Noonan.

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Reply 25 - Posted by: Malia2012, 3/24/2013 10:28:07 AM     (No. 9241292)

Peggy Noonan is well past her expiration date and no one but Joe Skarborring pays any attention to her. Amen #7, and #19 and all other intelligent posters here today.

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Reply 26 - Posted by: Dragonslayer2, 3/24/2013 11:45:08 AM     (No. 9241404)

Well said, #22. The invasion of Iraq was justified and well done. What puzzles me is the aftermath. What made us think that the Sunnis and Shiites, suddenly given freedom from tyranny, would not fight for supremacy, having been at odds since the Seventh Century? I have found that difficult to comprehend.

We could have left the country in a shambles and let them fight it out, but al Qaeda would have lept into the gap and taken advantage of their partisan idiocies. Tactically, perhaps we should have acted like conquerors and kicked one party or both into submission before leaving. That might have provided a level of stability to prevent the insurgence of al Qaeda, but it is not our style.

I don´t pretend to know how it should have ended, but I never have doubted the necessity of unseating Saddam. Let´s try to differentiate the two issues before discussing the cost of Iraq. I believe the Iraqi invasion saved us from a nuclear, Saddam -aided holocaust.

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Reply 27 - Posted by: absalom, 3/24/2013 1:04:45 PM     (No. 9241525)

Having spent two decades in the Middle East, allow me to share a little reality w/the arm chair von Clausewitz´s. After Schwarzkopf drove the Iraqi´s from Kuwait, the USAF imposed no fly zones in the Kurdish north and Shiite south,´killing´ anything that moved and gradually strangling Baghdad. Our drone and manned tech, owned the Iraqi air. Yet Bush opted for a land war which Tommy Franks executed brilliantly, via a helo/tank blitz through the Euphrates and Tigris Valley storming Baghdad in less than 100 days. That was the decisive moment to impose order and bend Iraq to our will; so where was the plan??? THERE WAS NO PLAN! Bush fantasizing about Arab Democracy; w/Baghdad as Paris ´44, and Iraqi´s showering our troops w/candy, flowers and kisses; NEVER HAD A PLAN, and the results were catastrophic. In fact, 99.4% of our casualties were sustained after the collapse of Baghdad. Most tellingly, Iraq remains an unstable, ungovernable and violent cauldron of religious and sectarian hatred now moving rapidly into the orbit of Iran w/the political ascendance of the Shia. The usual suspects will eternally carry water for Bush, no matter what. A example is their WMD canard, a thoroughly discredited fantasy, they repeat endlessly to excuse Bush´s incompetence. Also, for the record, the gas Saddam deployed against the Kurd was Phosgene; first used at Ypres in 1915 and it´s not a WMD. So I guess Talleyrand was wrong and mistakes like this don´t matter after all. So be it. Bush is the core reason Obama sits in the WH today.

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Reply 28 - Posted by: Sunhan65, 3/24/2013 1:54:51 PM     (No. 9241589)

Since I often agree with #4 on things domestic, I approach our disagreements on foreign policy with caution. We simply see things differently. Here´s how I see it: The Muslim terror attacks on New York and Washington showed the world how easy it is to kill an American city. They also invalidated a central premise of post-World War II national security: Mutually Assured Destruction. We cannot deter terrorists who want to die; we cannot rely on MAD to stop madmen. We can only kill them before they kill us. Regimes that seek the intersection between terrorist delivery systems and genocidal intent are a clear and present danger to the American republic and must be eliminated. Iraq was such a regime and is no longer.

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Reply 29 - Posted by: oh-heck, 3/24/2013 2:32:57 PM     (No. 9241633)

Time will compare the success of the Iraq intervention to the Afghanistan intervention. Bush won and quietly shipped out thousands of tons of yellow cake that Hussein had accumulated. Just for contrast, last year insurgents slipped onto a US air base and destroyed 8 Harrier jump jets and killed the American commander. Give me Bush any day.

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