Isakson stops by AJC to talk Iraq, brings Frist along

All right, this isn’t strictly a Georgia political story, but it’s close enough. The AJC’s Jim Wooten has a piece on his blog (“Thinking Right“) about Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Bill Frist (R-TN) stopping by the AJC yesterday to tak about the current situation in Iraq, and future plans for US involvement there.

Wooten summarizes the conversation with Frist (on the call-up of reservists, the increase in troop levels in-theater, and the sectarian violence), then says:

Isakson, who had sat silent throughout the conversation with Frist, spoke up.


  1. Jace Walden says:

    Here’s a question.

    Why would anyone want to bring Senator Bill Frist anywhere? Bill Frist has been the most worthless Senate Majority leader in the long sad history of worthless Senate Majority leaders.

    It’s a good thing Wooten didn’t ask Frist about our Illegal Immigration crisis. I don’t think even the AJC is prepared to put that much bullshit into one issue.

  2. Bull Moose says:

    Johnny Isakson is a principled common sense conservative leader and is on point with most of his observations.

    As much as I think now that we went to war with Iraq based on the wrong information and the war has been mismanaged from the beginning, Johnny is right, we can’t pull out now and retreat.

    I would submit that we need to increase our presence in Baghdad and with an overwhelming force bring the area under control. Had we pushed further with a military victory, it would have been much easier now to broker the peace.

    The neoconservatives have set forth a bad policy for America and it will be freshing when we can cast them back into a minority view on America’s foreign policy. I would submit that neoconservatives are almost like imperialists.

    However the reason we got there to Iraq, we can’t leave — we’re stuck — so we must win and win convincingly.

  3. techtrack says:

    jace walden,
    when johnny was running frist came down here fro fund raisers and supported him. having heard frist and seen what ‘he’s done on the hill’. he’s underwhelming. he’s in my top five worst speakers ever.

  4. Jace Walden says:

    Johnny Isakson is a principled common sense conservative leader and is on point with most of his observations.

    Bull Moose,

    All the stale platitudes in the world don’t change the fact that neither Isakson or Chambliss have done anything since being elected to the Senate. That being said, I do agree with him on this issue. Still doesn’t change the fact that he hasn’t accomplished anything.

    “Underwhelming”–Now that qualifies as the understatement of the year!

  5. techtrack says:

    jace walden,
    isakason is a first term senator. i think he did a great job on the pension bill. he’s a class guy, that has and will continue to do georgia proud. we all wish that you could go up there and make an impact day/month/year one, but it’s not the way it works.

  6. Mad Dog says:

    The Wooten question is a loaded question. Simple enough to ask the question without using early withdrawal as the qualifier.

    Well, so what happens if we leave too soon? That’s his frickin’ idea of a neutral question to prompt intelligent discussion of the stop in Iraq?

    So why not ask what happens if we wait too long to get out? Still a loaded question.

    I think Bull Moose has a pretty good grip on reality with his response. Other than my disagreement with his point of view on who makes the best chocolate chip cookies to eat with kool aid. I don’t know nuttin’ about Isakason. Frisk will never be able to practice medicine after his video diagnosis of Terry Schiavo. Just twisting the knife in his belly. No big deal.

    Bull’s analysis just doesn’t go far enough. We broke it. We have to fix it. Comes right out of Sec. Powell’s analysis.

    But, neither one answers the what if you can’t fix it because it ain’t broke question.

    The possibility exists that current events in Iraq are NORMAL given existing conditions and past actions by various agents.

    Among the agents, The US at several points in time. Russia or the USSR at some junctures. France and Germany. Australia and the wheat for oil deal during UN sanctions.

    Saddam remains an agent but of lessor influence. Iran is now certainly an active agent. Internal political, secular, religious, cultural, civil, and other factions besides al Queda et el have varying amounts of influence/agency.

    In academic political science, state building is considered bloody.

    If the book worms are right, we’re just seeing normal state building while all these agents fight for power.

    That’s just one possibility.

    My take on Iraq has always been that it’s not connected to a victory in fighting terrorism. Going to Iraq was a desired response from bin Laden’s point of view. It may not have been his real plan, but in my analysis, bin Laden wanted the US to deploy the world’s most modern army into the middle east.

    That was the victory.

    Bin Laden type terrorism does have goals. One of these goals, and there are several possible goals, is to bleed the US like the USSR bled in Afghanistan.

    To continue the Bull Moose/Sec. Powell point of view. Yes, we must win and win really big.

    Now someone tell us what that looks like?

    Wooten, tell us on this blog, what happens if we stay to long?

  7. Bull Moose says:

    I really think that we must demonstrate to the Arab world our committment to see through the Iraq situation. If we cut and run, it will start an unprecedented level of terrorism that this country will not even think possible. We will have said that if you spook us enough, we will leave.

    Leaving Iraq unstable is not an option that should be on the table.

    In my view, those that play into the cut and run crowd, are doing so at the dire consequences of this country and it’s future. They are being immature in their view point and, I’d go so far as to say that they are playing to the crowd just to win popularity.

    Now, to address Jace’s point, Senator Isakson was a leader on the, “First secure the border” issue. He pushed a bill that the Senate rejected that called for the most common sense reform, which was to let’s first secure the border before we do anything else about immigration.

    If we do not secure the border, and simply continue the status quo, the overflow of ILLEGAL immigrants into this country will be overwhelming.

    The Senate and the House should come to agreement and adopt the Isakson proposal to FIRST and FOREMOST secure the border, then address the other problems with illegal immigration.

    This is a fight for the future of our country and an insecure border is inconsistent with protecting this country from terrorism.

  8. Jace Walden says:


    Where was Isakson on the “secure borders first” issue back before the Illegal Immigration debate became the popular topic? I agree with securing the border first. And I am against the Senate Amnesty Bill. But where were Isakson and Chambliss before this issue became a problem?

    The point is, border security is something that should have been handled years before people starting getting mad about it.

    I’m glad Isakson is doing something now, don’t get me wrong. But would he be doing something if it wasn’t such a hot button issue?

  9. kspencer says:

    Bull (and others), My problem with the situation in Iraq boils down to the perception that we still don’t know what victory looks like. We haven’t defined the objective – a measurable standard that the meeting of means we begin withdrawal.

    It’s a lot like some dinners out with friends I used to have. Everyone agreed they were hungry, so we’d pile in the car, and while driving try to decide what we wanted – which had lots of “I dunno’s” and “ewww, not that”. Hours of driving that ends up at a fast food joint down the street is idiotic – and having to refill the gas tank halfway just makes it worse. And yet I feel that’s what we’re in the midst of doing — driving around aimlessly, still trying to decide what we’re trying to accomplish beyond “going out for dinner”.


  10. Mad Dog says:


    It’s more complicated than what Kirk says. But, he’s right on in his analogy.

    If we’re thinking of “options” then we’re “assuming control” of events and outcomes.

    Since the British left India, has Pakistan been stable? What happened to East Pakistan? What’s going on in Kashmire? How many millions have died since Siam was broken up by colonial powers? What happened in Iran when the Shah was deposed? How many millions died as the USSR built itself? How stable is Israel as it fights daily for it’s life? Can it exist without US and UN support?

    Maturity? Good point to bring up. Excellent.

    Half of the Republican party seem to have been born on 9/12/2001. They might have been in mature bodies, but they had no conciousness beyond individual human necessities. Those necessities were tax cuts, abortion, gays… re-election, trips with lobbyists to play golf.

    Did the Latino’s invasion start yesterday? It seems so given some of the rhetoric.

    Where was Bush on this issue when, as governor, he was responsible for a huge section of border with another country? If the answer lies in results, what does it mean that “white folk” are a minority in Texas?

    But, immigration is off the real topic.

    We have a responsibility in Iraq. We were the agents responsible for destroying government enforced security for the average person.

    We will suffer the consequences if Humpty Dumpty can’t be put back together. Even if we didn’t know the consequences before we acted. Even if we don’t like the consequences. Those consequences are coming to our door no matter what.

    Like Sec. Powell said before we broke it.

  11. Jeff Emanuel says:

    Mad Dog, just what “government enforced security for the average person” are you talking about in Saddam’s Iraq? The security that, if you said, did, and thought the correct thing, at all times, you may — just may — be lucky enough to keep you life and limbs, and to stay out of a prison (let alone a mass grave)?

    The other bone I have to pick is with your question about whether Israel “can…exist without US and UN support.” The UN does not support Israel, and has not done so in the past. The appropriate question there, in my opinion, would be “Can Israel exist without US support?” The answer, I believe you would find, is yes.

  12. Mad Dog says:


    Don’t get so riled up.

    Before we invaded, some areas of the country were under autonomous Kurdish rule.

    Those Iraqi’s who complied with Saddam prior to the invasion of Kuwait mostly had nothing to fear. Compliance being the issue.

    To take your post to conclusion, everyone was in a mass grave, prison, or about to be under Saddam? You’re emotionally overstating your position.

    Heck, Donald Rumsfield was special envoy from Ronald Reagan (in 1983) to Saddam. Reagan et al supplied all kinds of military support to Saddam during the proxy war with Iran. Don’t tell me we ignored human rights violations, mass murders, rape, and torture.

    Oh go ahead and tell the truth. We did.

    People lived in Iraq with less fear under Saddam prior to 1991 than they do now. It’s never been a country of western norms. I’ll say that. But, it was no worse than say … North Korea, Pakistan, Iran, the USSR, Viet Nam after the fall, Laos, Cambodia, most African states, …

    You’ve put yourself in the position that Iraq was always the worst place in the world for the average person. The women I know from Iraq just don’t agree with you. They favored Iraq under Saddam over Iran and the mullahs. It’s a comparative prespective.

  13. Mad Dog says:

    Israel is a member of the UN. That in itself is a protection. UN troops are now in Lebannon AGAIN to provide border integrity, stop terrorists from attacking Israel.

    Who supervised the British pull out?

    How many times have UN troops moved in along the Israel border, in other sovereign nations, for protection… to stop inflitration … to keep the peace?

    If Israel doesn’t need the more than a billion dollars a year in direct aid the US is sending, cut it off. Cut off the indirect aid, too.

    If you say Israel doesn’t need the help….

  14. Jeff Emanuel says:

    Israel is a member of the UN. That in itself is a protection. UN troops are now in Lebannon AGAIN to provide border integrity, stop terrorists from attacking Israel.

    Mad Dog, you are incorrect.

    (1)The US is also a member of the UN — even serving as the host nation — and what does that gain us? The “world body” is as anti-US as it is anti-Israel; being a hated member is no more “in itself…a protection” than not being a member is.

    (2) Israel is repeatedly attacked; the UN repeatedly condemns Israel for responding. Right now is no different. The UN’s involvement more often than not isn’t to protect Israel, but to protect the nations around Israel from the result of her military power’s use in oft-justified defense and retaliation. Do you remember the 6-day war? The Yom Kippur war? The UN, and the nations surrounding Israel, certainly do — they have long had a healthy fear of Israel’s might as a result. However, that is fading away as the terrorists of Hezbollah and Hamas, of Arafat’s al Aqsa, etc. become more and more used to the fact that they can attack Israel, and then run for cover to the anti-Israel UN — thus reinforcing to them that the world will prevent them from ever feeling the consequences of their terrorist attacks.

  15. Mad Dog says:

    As usual, a one sided point of view about the UN.

    Not being acknowledged as a sovereign state is better than being acknowledged a sovereign state?

    How exactly does that work?

    The UN acknowledges not only Israel right to exist, but acknowledges that it does exist.

    And, don’t avoid reality. Israel depends on the US and the UN. The US welds a security council veto. You’re saying that means nothing. You’re saying the UN has never acted against terrorism or anti-Israeli terrorists? You’re saying the many ngo’s under the umbrella of the UN never provided anything to Israel or Russian Jews or European Jews that wanted help getting to Israel or other countries?

    The US did provide those cluster bombs, smart bombs, covert intelligence, and planning for the current raid into Lebannon.

    The UN provide legitimant proof that Israel has a right to exist, as a body to provide diplomacy, and the many UN organizations that provide more than just lip service.

    “Consequences of terrorist attacks?”

    Given that terrorists are willing to die as a part of their attacks, exactly what consequences are going to be imposed that are worse than death? Are we going to kill the families and friends of every whacko that blows up in Gaza?

    So you think the Korean DMZ doesn’t provide security for South Korea? Same principle in UN peace keepers. A buffer for both sides.

    Count on both sides breaking the rules, too.

    Did your world view start on 9/12? Or, do you get your programing from trash radio?

    BTW, you didn’t say if we could get our tax dollars back, the ones we’re wasting in Israel because it can exist without us….

    Now rant on….

  16. Mad Dog says:

    We might want to look at the murder rates in the US vs. Europe if we’re going to talk about security for the average person.

    That was reported today in an article on murder in South Africa and a slightly humorous story about a Rio waiter who may have saved a woman’s life. He got shot stopping a robbery. While in the hospital, the cops figured out he’s got a seven year prison sentence to serve.

  17. Know Nothing says:

    How can one say Isakson has done nothing? As a freshman Senator Isakson has gained national attention with with his admendment to S. 2611. In fact, his amendment would have made it alot easier for some sort of decent immigration bill to come out of comittee- which won’t happen in the 109th Congress.

  18. Jace Walden says:

    Know Nothing,

    I’ll ask it again. Where was Johnny Isakson on immigration before it became such a hot btton issue. If he was concerned about border security, why is he only acting now (when the national spotlight is on Congress)? Isakson hasn’t done anything. Neither has Chambliss.

  19. Mad Dog says:

    Laughing out Loud!

    Am I being invited to an ambush?

    Thanks said the fly to the spider.

    Hey, if you would like to meet a real combat vet from Israel, drop in at the Atlanta Diamond Exchange and ask for Izzy. Check out his custom jewelry while you’re there.

    He’s a very intelligent and thoughtful man. He looks like he still has plenty of hand strength. He fought on the border with Syria back in 1967. He doesn’t think ‘Arabs’ are lousy fighters, cowards, stupid, easily intimidated, lacking in tactics …

    Be advised! He’s very happy making beautiful things for beautiful people. He’s not a swaggering braggert about his past combat service. It could be very hard to get past his professional demeanor.

    I’m sure you have the tact and decency not to force an issue into a conversation.

    Feel open to email me if you really have some new information on the UN, Iraq, Israel, and international affairs.

    [email protected]

  20. AtomSmasher says:

    “real combat vet” You dumb***, the guy you’re talking to is a “REAL COMBAT VET.” You need to grow up and quit being so dumb — sorry that your college teachers are the only sourc you have for “new information on the UN, Iraq, Israel, and international affairs”

  21. Mad Dog says:

    Hey AtomSmasher,

    A bit touchy are you?

    If you pull your head out of that dark, smelly hole and read the post, you’ll notice it says a “real combat vet from Israel.”

    Too bad you didn’t learn everything you needed to know in kindergarten.

    Spin on out of here with your smack talk.

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