Time To Get Up Off The Floor

Yesterday the number 2 al-Qaida man in Iraq was captured leading to the death of 11 top scumbag operatives and to the capture of 11 more mini-scumbag lightweights. The al-Qaida leadership there is now practically non-existent.

So, aren’t we now winning the peace there too?

A scant 8 months ago, the new Iraq government was fighting amongst itself for political survival as Kurds, Shia and Sunni all jockeyed for political muscle.

A scant three months ago, the new government was solidified, and the process of nailing down everything necessary to create a new government began after three decades of tyrannical rule .

Barely two months ago the Iraqi security forces (non-existent two years ago by the way) rolled into Baghdad and one month later, helped by US forces, things appear to be getting drastically better.

Even General Casey now says that US forces can see an end game, perhaps leaving in 12 to 18 months.

Thus my fears of partition as an alternative are now shelved.

Not only did we win the military portion of this war in a nano-second, but now, after a few hair-raising months of tottering back and forth between civil war and oblivion, this nascent government finally has a giant leg up on things and the successful end to Battlefield Iraq is in sight for this portion of World War III...the war against Fascist Islam..and Terror.

It's time to spread the word...we won the peace too....and we have exactly 8 weeks until the mid-terms to beat this drum.

By year's end, Iraq will be in a far better place than it was one year ago.

Spread the word.

Posted by Sicilian Eagle at September 3, 2006 8:43 AM
Comments
Comment #178983

But not as good as it was before we started this mess…beat THAT drum before the election.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 3, 2006 8:57 AM
Comment #178985

Yes my high flying friend. We are winning and will win this war in spite of the naysayers.

A hardy THANK YOU to all who are helping us fight this war.

Posted by: tomd at September 3, 2006 9:08 AM
Comment #178987

SE
What world do you live in?

” This is probably the most complex conbat environment wh have seen since the war Began”
~ Rear Admiral William Sullivan(top strategic planner for JC of S)

-“New assessments of Iraq are pretty sober”
-May -August attacks on civilians are up 15%
-Iraqi casulaties are up 51%
-sectarian blood letting “is gradually spreading north to Diyala Providence and Kirkuk as Sunni, Shi’a and Kurdish groups compete for provincial influence”

~From Pentagon in a report issued Friday

Beat that drum as well

Posted by: 037 at September 3, 2006 9:16 AM
Comment #178988

More than 3,200 Iraqis died in sectarian violence in the month of July, SE. And August’s figures are not going to be much improved.

The good news is that the violence now exists in centralized areas like Baghdad. But, the bad news is, the sectarian violence and the hatred of the U.S. occupation by the Iraqi people is growing.

It is best not to rely to heavily on the reports coming out of the White House and Pentagon. They have a vested interest in promoting the propaganda war, thus tainting the information they provide. The Pentagon is asking for 20 million dollars from the Congress to accelerate the propaganda war to make progress in Iraq appear to be the dominant news.

Buying perceived reality to cover up actual reality is not how one achieves victory. At some point, real life results must match the propaganda. We are still a long way from realizing that match.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 3, 2006 9:40 AM
Comment #178989

Dirty Harry Callaghan said in a movie, “A man has got to know his limitations.” The same can be said of nations. Failing to understand one’s limitations leads to failure without understanding. Iraq is in a state of civil war between Shia and Sunnis, and that puts the occupying U.S. forces in precisely the same situtation they found themselves in Viet Nam.

More Sunnis and Shia than ever before now want the U.S. to butt out of their affairs. That portends increasing attacks on U.S. troops in addition to increasing sectarian violence. McCain said it best. We are playing Whack a Mole, where everytime we knock one down, another pops up in another location. The answer, militarize the entire nation of Iraq and put it under martial law. Humm… precisely what Saddam Hussein did to achieve civil order. Ironic, isn’t it?

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 3, 2006 9:48 AM
Comment #178990

Here’s the point: The MSM has led us to believe that we have lost this war when in reality we have accomplished something at warp speed, especially in this day and age.

A lot of good is being accomplished by the new government in Iraq…yet day in and day out the headlines are replete with nothing but bad news.

Yes, the militias have to be disarmed..and yes to a lot of other things to,and yes there were a million mistakes made.

But guess what? Despite the screw-ups, corruption and incompetence, an ally is being born…right in front of our eyes.

It’s time to comptemplate that our own nation of 13 colonies was created in a time period LONGER than Iraq.

Mull that one over.

Posted by: sicilian eagle at September 3, 2006 9:48 AM
Comment #178992

Oh great here we go with the islamic fascist crap again. They are fundamentalist is that to close to home for the repubs?
All this is is election cycle propaganda for Herr Bush and his group of fascist.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 3, 2006 10:01 AM
Comment #178993

I have said it befor and I will say it again:

Fox News, WSJ, Christian Science Monitor, Rush Limbaugh, etc..etc etc.. Why arent these people filling the air waves/print with all the good that is happening in Iraq if its only the MSM who does not see the great strides being made? How do you explain the Pentagon report from Friday? It was NOT full of great news on the progress being made. In fact it said we are “staying the course” when it comes to loss of life.

Mean while in the real war on terror, in Afganistan, opium production up 64%, thank to a resurgence of the Taliban in the south.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,140822,00.htm

Posted by: 037 at September 3, 2006 10:01 AM
Comment #178994


turning the corner

oh look a light at

the end of the tunnel

heh…

Posted by: donkey at September 3, 2006 10:04 AM
Comment #178995

A lot of good is being accomplished by the new government in Iraq…

Posted by: sicilian eagle at September 3, 2006 09:48 AM

than you won’t mind listing a few of

the good things the government

is doing

Posted by: donkey at September 3, 2006 10:09 AM
Comment #178996

SE,

You people really have to stop screaming “Mission Accomplished” before the mission is over! Yes, there have been a great many successes in Iraq. And there’s a never-ending stream of #2 guys being captured, too… usually just in time for an election somewhere. But there’s still a long way to go. Telling the American people that we’re almost done is just going to make us more impatient than we already are.

Now, you want real success? You REALLY want to claim “Mission Accomplished”? Then BRING ME THE HEAD OF OSAMA BIN LADEN!

j2t2,

Technically, SE’s fascist comment was correct. He said:

the war against Fascist Islam..and Terror.

Saddam is a fascist, NOT a terrorist. Meanwhile, Bin Laden is a terrorist, NOT a fascist. So “Fascist Islam” and “Terror” are two different things.

In other words, we took a break from the “War on Terror” in order to fight a “War on Fascist Islam”. Too bad… I thought the War on Terror was more important. Obviously some people disagree, which is why SE isn’t glowing about our progress in Afghanistan….

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 3, 2006 10:22 AM
Comment #178997

Eagle-
You are right about the short frame of time that the new Iraq is taking to become a new country. The Brits were still attacking the country in 1812. The Spanish, English, and French were trying to take the country in 1865. Fortunately, these three countries were all stopped in Mexico, before they could get to the US. This included a famous battle against the French on May 5 (cinco de Mayo). These three countries were trying to take advantage of the fact that we were in a civil war. The civil war was something that really tested wether the country would stay together. About 100 years later and still trying to keep it together. The Iraqis will go through growing pains, but they will receive what the US and other countries have gained. Frredom.

Posted by: JoeRWC at September 3, 2006 10:31 AM
Comment #178998

About Bush being a fascist—
The neo-libs fit the definition better. They will censor what you say, think, and do. Poltical correctness is the invention of the neo-libs. They impose racial quotas and demand universal health care on businesses. They impose their religion on students in schools with books like “Bobby has two mommies.” The only way a neo-lib can point out a fascist is when he is introducing a friend to you.
P.S. I must apologize to the libs. When I mentioned “they,” I was making generalizations. When I mentioned “he,” it should have been he/she. And I will also give you the Nazi salute, in a show of good will.

Posted by: JoeRWC at September 3, 2006 10:47 AM
Comment #178999

JoeRWC,

“The Iraqis will go through growing pains, but they will receive what the US and other countries have gained. Frredom.”

But they already have freedom, they are their own country.

Did you mean freedom from the occupiers?
That would be us wouldn’t it?

SE,

When will the people of Iraq be allowed to make their own mistakes?

Posted by: Rocky at September 3, 2006 10:51 AM
Comment #179000

“But not as good as it was before we started this mess…beat THAT drum before the election.”

So it is not as good as when Saddam was in control?
The rape and torture rooms were better?
Members of your family disappearing without a trace was better?
Limited contact with family out of the country was better?
Why would neo-libs say that?
Do they miss Mao Tse-Tung?

Posted by: JoeRWC at September 3, 2006 11:01 AM
Comment #179001

rocky-
I agree with you that we gave Iraqis their freedom, but if we dont help them out, they may not keep it for too long.

Posted by: JoeRWC at September 3, 2006 11:04 AM
Comment #179002

The Iraq and Iranian Governments are allying with each other. Was that an intended consequence of the Bush administration?

HaH! Many historians will refer to the Bush administration as the American period of unintended consequences, almost all bad for America’s future, like the national debt, the illegal immigration - porous borders issues, and erosion of civil liberties which cost America her hallmark, “the land of the free”. Freedom of movement, freedom of travel, freedom of communication, freedom of assembly, and freedom from fear of attack, have all been eroded by the Bush government. Freedom is something a growing number of Americans are beginning to look back on nostalgically. That is the state of the union as we enter the November 7 elections.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 3, 2006 11:06 AM
Comment #179003

JoeRWC,

There are already elements within the Iraqi government that are alligning themselves with Iran.
Do we give them the freedom to do that also?

Posted by: Rocky at September 3, 2006 11:08 AM
Comment #179004

“The rape and torture rooms were better?”

yes

no us soldiers were involved

and recomended sentenced to death

by the us military

Posted by: donkey at September 3, 2006 11:10 AM
Comment #179005


freedom to do what

stand in king bushs free

speech zone

heh…

Posted by: donkey at September 3, 2006 11:13 AM
Comment #179006

About McCain-
Being, himself, a military man, he understands battle tactics. He understands artillery positions, forward reconaissance, and whack-a-mole.
It is true that whack-a-mole tactics are used where terrorists, who wear no uniform, attack and retreat into civilian areas. The biggest whaack-a-mole was Tora Bora and we are waiting for the biggest mole, Osama, to pop up his head and get whacked by a .50 cal. sniper round.

Posted by: JoeRWC at September 3, 2006 11:15 AM
Comment #179007

Rocky

Very soon. As the security forces get further vetted, the militias will ultimately be disarmed.

Remember,the security forces lack that crucial mid-level officer corps vitally necessary to succeed, but every day they are getting there.

Our problem as a microwave society is that we want everything done NOW,instantly. Thus every mistake,mis-step is magnified by the MSM to such a point that people think we have lost the war.

David R. Reemer

Actually, the Pentagon should have been spending 20 million on propaganda 2 Years ago,EVERY MONTH. The Bush administration crapped out on the PR component of this war,for sure. The enemy is ‘net savy and photo-shops every picture to squeeze out every bit of PR it can. We suck in this department.

Robb Cottrell
I am not screaming Mission Accomplished…far from it…I have been screaming that World War III has started,but you people have been so busy screaming propaganda for politicial reasons that you fail to see it.

Earlier this year it was all about Scooter Libby. Now, the NYT and WP both say that Yellowcake Wilson is at fault (we all knew that) and that Fitzgerald was snookered.

Months ago we said Murtha was a joke. Those Marines in Haditha killed in cold blood,he said “No question”. Well,screw him. That bunch of bullshit has gone up un smoke,hasn’t it? He lied then,just as lied 2 decades ago as an unidicted co-conspirator on ABSCAM.

The worse things for the Democrats is for ANY good news to come out of Iraq at this point. Let me put it another,terrible way: Those valiant kids that are dying every day…those hereos…their deaths are now political fodder for the likes of Kerry,Gore,Edwards,Clinton.Dean,Pelosi,while good guys who get it like Joe Lieberman get throw under the bus ,no questions asked.

Posted by: sicilian Eagle at September 3, 2006 11:18 AM
Comment #179008

rocky-
The iraqi people can align themselves with whoever they want. The new government has political parties. Saddam would have BTK’d peolple like that.

Posted by: JoeRWC at September 3, 2006 11:20 AM
Comment #179009

SE,

“Remember,the security forces lack that crucial mid-level officer corps vitally necessary to succeed, but every day they are getting there.”

The security forces also lack that sense of urgency that would have them move about the country.
Why do we still hear of Iraqi troops that refuse to travel outside of their home area?
For a country that longs so for their freedoms, they don’t seem all that interested in taking the bull by the horns, so to speak.

BTW, have we finished that “Taj Mahal” of embassies yet?

Posted by: Rocky at September 3, 2006 11:30 AM
Comment #179010

Reemer-
There are no unintended consequences. The problems we have today are not Bush’s fault, they are the faults of Congress. The Dems policy is too make sure that, anything that helps the country never passes, to make Bush look bad. The Reps are too cowardly to do anything about it. Write your congressman and tell him that the country is more important than making Bush look bad.

Posted by: JoeRWC at September 3, 2006 11:30 AM
Comment #179011

Why doesn’t anyone see that our presence in Iraq is to help solidify the current gov. If we leave now the “civil war” will create instability which in all likelyhood create a vacuum that would encourage the Bin Laden’s that are hovering around like vultures, just waiting for the US to back out. The current gov. would not last one month before being over run. Is this what those against the war want? Not only do we have to stay to help the new gov., but we also have to consider thier nieghbor Iran. They will not hesitate to expand thier borders into Iraq.

Instead of thinking with emotions and feelings, Liberals need to think logically at the whole picture.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 3, 2006 11:31 AM
Comment #179012

Dwayne-
Liberals have big hearts and little brains. You are asking too much.

Posted by: JoeRWC at September 3, 2006 11:35 AM
Comment #179013

Eagle,
Everything is beautiful??? Hardly. Even the Pantagon is pessimistic:

Pentagon officials sketched out a bloody landscape Friday of sectarian violence spreading beyond Baghdad and execution-style assassinations and terrorist bombings by increasingly entrenched private militias and death squads
even with the establishment of an elected Iraqi government under a new constitution, chaos and bloodshed have only increased, driving growing numbers of families from their homes and jobs
n the period covered by the assessment, roughly mid-May through mid-August, weekly attacks on civilians rose 15 percent over the previous three-month period, while Iraqi casualties shot up 51 percent.
the Pentagon assessment says sectarian bloodletting “is gradually spreading north into Diyala Province and Kirkuk as Sunni, [Shiite] and Kurdish groups compete for provincial influence.”
he Iraqi government has difficulty prosecuting cases because of a shortage of about 750 judges and because of intimidation of judges and prosecutors.
the number of national police battalions able to lead operations has dropped from six battalions to two since spring. Officials could not immediately explain why.
[Attacks on civilians] rose from an average of more than 400 per week in the spring of 2004, before an interim Iraqi government took over, to almost 800 this summer
Oh yeah, everything is beautiful - if you’re a terrorist. Thanks, Dubyah. Great job.

Eagle, at this rate, I expect your next argument to be “we had to destroy the country in order to save it”


All,
“Islamo fascist” is a MARKETING term, made up by Bush League PR flacks to try and make the war in Iraq more palatable by making it sound like WWII. Islamic fundamantalists are no more fascists than Christian fundamentalists. Saddam’s government was secular, so Iraq was not an “Islamic fascist” regime any more than Nazi Germany was a “Christian fascist” regime.

Posted by: ElliottBay at September 3, 2006 11:37 AM
Comment #179014

We won the peace? Cool; can we leave now?

Posted by: Gerrold at September 3, 2006 11:39 AM
Comment #179015

I’m sorry. Sometimes I get carried away and forget that I’m not copassionate enough.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 3, 2006 11:39 AM
Comment #179016

Dwayne,

“Instead of thinking with emotions and feelings, Liberals need to think logically at the whole picture.”

The “whole” picture is that there is already a civil war taking place.

Logicly, we should be much further along in the “war on terror” than we are. The violence that is taking place has little or nothing to do with outside forces (except us).

How many more hundreds of billions of dollars and American lives must be spent before we begin to see a return on our investment?

Posted by: Rocky at September 3, 2006 11:41 AM
Comment #179017

ElliottBay-
Islamic fascist is a term that differentiates between terrorists and the good people that follow the Koran. Would you lump them together?

Posted by: JoeRWC at September 3, 2006 11:45 AM
Comment #179018

Elliotbay,

You are correct, Fundimentalism is not facist. It’s fanatisism that is and that is the core of the debate that has been raging in this country for the past five years. I think it’s time we stop this stupid war of words in this country because all it does is fuel the fanatics flames of terror.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 3, 2006 11:45 AM
Comment #179019

Joe RWC,

The problems we have today are not Bush’s fault, they are the faults of Congress. The Dems policy is too make sure that, anything that helps the country never passes
Sorry, nice spin, but that’s simply untrue. The Republicans control all three branches of government, so they can pass whatever they want. This is a Republican war. You guys wanted it, and you ran roughshod over the rest of the country to get it. But now that it’s turning out badly, you’re desperately trying to blame everyone else. I thought you guys were the ones who said that people should take responsibility for their actions? I guess you really meant that OTHER people should take responsibility, not you, eh?
Liberals have big hearts and little brains
As opposed to conservatives, who have no hearts, little brains, and teeny tiny little … consciences.

Posted by: ElliottBay at September 3, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #179020

Rocky,

That is why we need to stay. As I said earlier, the civil war will cause a vacuum that can and will be filled by undesirables.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 3, 2006 11:49 AM
Comment #179021

Joe RWC,

The term that distinguishes between the terrorists and the good people that follow the Koran is … TERRORISTS.

Posted by: ElliottBay at September 3, 2006 11:50 AM
Comment #179022

rocky-
Logically, we should understand that, there are a great many variables in life and in war. Your heart is telling you that it should all be over by now, but life just does not work that way. Someone once said that a plan is only good until the first round is fired.

Posted by: JoeRWC at September 3, 2006 11:50 AM
Comment #179024

ElliottBay-
What terms should we use, then, when we are talking aboult Al Qaeda and the IRA. If you libs dont like labels, stop calling me a Mexican-American.

Posted by: JoeRWC at September 3, 2006 11:57 AM
Comment #179025

JoeRWC,

Islamic fascist is a term that differentiates between terrorists and the good people that follow the Koran. Would you lump them together?

I wouldn’t lump them all together, but I wouldn’t call them “fascists” either — because they’re not. Fascism is a specific governmental system that has nothing to do with Al Queda, Hezbollah, or any other terrorist organization. It would be just as inaccurate to refer to Middle Eastern terrorists as “Islamic Communists” or “Islamic Republicans”, because they’re not communists, and they’re not republicans. And they’re not fascists.

ElliotBay,

In the strictest sense of the term, the only Fascist government was in Italy during WWII. But a broader use of the term, as used by most political scientists today, would include Hitler’s Germany, Franco’s Spain, and Hussein’s Iraq. Per Mirriam-Webster:

fascism: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

Political scientists would add anti-communism and anti-liberalism to this as well, as Fascism sprung from a strong anti-communist movement in Europe.

Al Queda would NOT qualify as fascist. Nor would Hezbollah and Fatah.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 3, 2006 12:01 PM
Comment #179026

SE,

If World War III has started, then WE started it. We were attacked by ONE organization — Al Queda — and used it as an excuse to attack someone completely unrelated — Iraq.

Besides, if you’re using such a loose definition to describe a World War, then this is World War IV, and the Cold War was World War III.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 3, 2006 12:04 PM
Comment #179027

JoeRWC,

“Your heart is telling you that it should all be over by now, but life just does not work that way.”

Sorry, it’s my brain that is telling me that we should be much further down the road than we are.

“Someone once said that a plan is only good until the first round is fired.”

You assume we had a plan past the fall of Baghdad.
We assumed “hearts and minds”, remember that?
We went in light, and assumed too much.

“Stay the course” isn’t a plan.

In a war of choice you take the time to plan for everything, then you execute that plan until it’s proven wrong, and then you come up with a another, smarter, plan, and continue to do so until something works. Then you continue to refine the plan.

Our strategies in Iraq are a failure, and it starts at the top.

Posted by: Rocky at September 3, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #179028

Now… I think I can sum this entire argument up into two statements:

THE DEMOCRATS SAY: “Why does the Administration insist on ignoring all the BAD things going on in Iraq. Can’t they ignore the GOOD things, like we do?”

THE REPUBLICANS SAY: “Why does the Media insist on ignoring all the GOOD things going on in Iraq. Can’t they ignore the BAD things, like we do?”

Did I miss anything?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 3, 2006 12:07 PM
Comment #179029

Logic, They speak of logic, they say now is the time to use logic, I say the time for logic has long since passed. They have used propaganda, lies, half truths,and ideology in lieu of logic for far to long.
Before logic can apply itself we need truth, we need reason, we need character. Lets ask why did we go to Iraq, why are we still there, do we truely need to still be there, and who has the strength of character to resolve the conflict in a way most benefical to all. It is obvious the current policies have failed, the current ideology is a false one, and the current administration has not the character required to lead the nation in the “war on terror”. Lets get real, then perhaps logic will be of value in this matter.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 3, 2006 12:10 PM
Comment #179030

Rob,

Look, If you really want to get technical about it WWIII would have been Korea, WWIV is vietnam, WWV is the cold war along with our little skirmishes throughout the world, and the war on terror would then have to be WWVI. Oh and one more thing, We did not start this. Did you forget 9\11?

Posted by: Dwayne at September 3, 2006 12:11 PM
Comment #179031

Rob Cottrell-
Islamic Fascism: a political movement that exalts Islam above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic group headed by Osama bin Laden, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible supression of opposition.
Al Qaeda does not have a central government, but it does have leadership. And, it does not have a country, which makes it more dangerous. Fascism is just more severe than communism and liberalism.

Posted by: JoeRWC at September 3, 2006 12:14 PM
Comment #179032

SE,
At the end of the comments in the Blue Column, under “Putting Up a Front,” I made comments and provided a link. I will not repeat my comments, but once again here is the link:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/09/03/wirq03.xml

The current Iraqi government is done. It is over. Stick a fork in it. Al-Sistani was our ace in the hole, the only one of four Grand Ayatollahs willing to engage in politics; he was a force for moderation and the force for creating a democracy, and he has thrown in the towel.

A recent battle in Dawaniyah may have decided the course of the war. Al-Sadr ended the battle with a phone call.

We need to do two things:

1) Throw our full support behind Al-Sadr

2) Announce immediate withdrawal

Al-Sadr detests the US and detests Israel. However, he represents the youth of Iraq. He is a nationalist who will keep Iraq unite. Al-Sadr is the future. He is the natural, organic result of the current political turmoil. Better to back this horse, rather than have no horse in the next race. Because we are entering the next phase, and it will be extremely rough.

The collapse of the current government, the US backing of Al-Sadr, and the announcement of withdrawal will scare the living daylights out of the Sunnis, and Iran will throw its full force behind Hakim, the Badr Brigades, and SCIRI.

The final act for Iraq approaches: full scale civil war. With Al-Sistani out of the picture, it is just a matter of picking our poison, and the least objectionable of possible outcomes.

The least objectionable is US withdrawal, and scaring the Sunnis & Kurds into backing Al-Sadr v the Iranian-allied Hakim faction.

Posted by: phx8 at September 3, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #179033

SE
Dream On.

Posted by: mark at September 3, 2006 12:32 PM
Comment #179034

JoeRWC

“Facism is just more severe than communism and liberalism”.

Too bad it is not more severe than neoconservatism.

Posted by: mark at September 3, 2006 12:37 PM
Comment #179035

JoeRWC, your comment: “Liberals have big hearts and little brains.” violates our policies for participation. Comply with our policies or lose your privilege to participate here.

Posted by: Watchblog Managing Editor at September 3, 2006 12:42 PM
Comment #179036

mark

Not a dream, reality, I think. My job now is to convince people like you that you folks have been brainwashed by folks seeking power, something I intend on continuing to do.

phx8

Your still one of my favorite posters,but me thinks you are off base here.

First off, the Iranian-Iraq Shia connection is overblown. Two decades ago, these two groups annalihated each other. We are talking Persian-Arabs. Two different races. Right now,the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” thing is very much in play here,but in the final analysis,no way the Arabs will kwow-tow to the Persians in the long run.

Rather, what I’d like to see is a Koran-based challenge to these nit-wits. A verse by verse rebuttal of what they have said. The Koran has been twisted beyong recognition by these master manipulators and we have done squat to combat this.

I would love to challenge the Iranian president to a dbate using only the Koran as referance. By the time I’m thru with him,he’d be a Catholic.
:)

Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 3, 2006 12:46 PM
Comment #179037

Eagle,

Here’s the point: The MSM has led us to believe that we have lost this war when in reality we have accomplished something at warp speed, especially in this day and age.

Then why did the president and Rumsfeld suggest the war would be over so quickly initially and send in so few troops? Certainly seems like they thought this would be over a lot faster. Furthermore, this war is long by any account. We’ve already been fighting in Iraq longer than we fought the real Nazis.

But guess what? Despite the screw-ups, corruption and incompetence, an ally is being born…right in front of our eyes.

I don’t know what news you have been reading, but all my sources say exactly the opposite. More and more Iraqis choose to side against the United States every day. The violence continually escalates. Sadly, many Iraqis simply do not want democracy. They don’t want modernity of any kind. They want to return to the stone age. You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t force him to drink.

Posted by: Max at September 3, 2006 12:54 PM
Comment #179038

SE,

I really doubt that either party would even think about a debate. Also, they have one demostrable thing in common, The destuction of Isreal. You are correct in stating that they twist the Koran to meet thier needs. All religions have followers that have done that.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 3, 2006 12:54 PM
Comment #179039

Max,

I have to ask you, Do you know anyone from Iraq? Or have you gone over and taken a pole of Iraqis? I really think that these claims cannot be made unless you have some sort of proof. I just happen to work with an Iraqi who also still has family in country. From what I’m told, We are loved by the common people. They want a Democracy. It really upsets me to think that people can read a news report and take it as fact when even reporters have a hard time telling the story correctly.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 3, 2006 1:01 PM
Comment #179040

JoeRWC wrote asked Remer: “Write your congressman and tell him that the country is more important than making Bush look bad.”

I am doing one better. I am working for Vote Out Incumbents Democracy.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 3, 2006 1:07 PM
Comment #179041

David,

I agree, There are incumbants on both sides of the isle that need replacing.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 3, 2006 1:12 PM
Comment #179042

Rob,

Al Qaeda’s roots are in facism. Many of their intellectual forebears (such as Q’tub) openly praised the Nazis and sympathized with their war against the Jews. Fascism, totalitarianism, communism, all have markedly different goals, yet are recognizably similar. They share the belief that a disenfranchised “chosen” people are being kept from creating heaven on earth by a dirty, unclean group of people who must be destroyed.

However, while I agree with Rumsfeld that the terrorists are like facists in many respects, I do not agree that those who criticize the war are like Chamberlain appeasing the Nazis. I consider Iraq to be a sinkhole, a money and resource pit that has seriously impaired our ability to fight terrorism.

Posted by: Max at September 3, 2006 1:22 PM
Comment #179043

Notably the extreme right and lefties and those who use fear of the other side to motivate their voters. If the republicans win we will lose all our freedoms and live in an authoritarian tyranny! If the Democrats win gays will marry! The family will be destroyed! What a load of dung. Another thing-anyone convicted of taking bribes, etc. should be thrown into jail for a very long time. Preferably with a large cellmate convicted of, say murder. No mercy for those who betray the people’s trust.

Posted by: Silima at September 3, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #179044

SE,

I sincerely hope you are right. I’m dubious however becausse of the dearth of good news coming from Iraq. I don’t hold with the notion that the MSM is a liberal infested counter measure to the administration. The Major Networks are owned by huge corporations all of which are decidedly republican in their thinking and support. And of course, Fox News under the watchful eye of Rupert Murdoch is almost an extension of the adminstration’s press office.

While no one bemoans the removal of Saddam. I most certainly believe the continued loss of US soldiers involved in what is essentially a sectarian matter must be stopped immediately. I do not understand why one more US soldier has to die to attempt to convince, Sunnia and Shia to stop killing each other. US soldiers (nor any other soldiers from the west for that matter) should not be involved in an internal matter. We won the military portion of this. We will not “win” the peace. If we really think that we can pacify two religous groups that have been at war since the time of Saladin, we’re fooling ourselves and have no historical context of the region. This area has been a mess because of western influence since the end of World War I.

We do not belong there and need to be quit of the place as fast as possible.

Posted by: Dennis at September 3, 2006 1:51 PM
Comment #179045

Rob Cottrell,
My point was that Iraq may have been a fascist state, but because it was secular, it was not an “Islamic fascist” state. Calling it such would be no more accurate than calling Italy a Catholic fascist state (or calling Germany a Christian fascist state).

Dwayne,
Sorry, but a vast majority of Iraqis do want us out. You need to check your facts.

Posted by: ElliottBay at September 3, 2006 1:56 PM
Comment #179046

Elliotbay,

The info I recieve is from someone who still has family and friends in Iraq. He also saw first hand the way Saddam dealt with people who disagreed with the way he ran the country. My friend came to this country to escape the death and destruction and secure a better future for himself and his children.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 3, 2006 2:05 PM
Comment #179047

Dennis
Do you think for one minute that the president or defense secretary want to keep our troops there even one second longer than necessary?

It is precisely because of those heroes who died for our country or were wounded in her service that we couldn’t leave,say one year ag when Murtha et al were doing their bleeting.

NOW an end game is visible. Now nearly 300,000 Iraq security personnel are getting their collective feet wet, NOW the old whack a moleys are being replaced by newer-less experienced whack a moleys who are much more prone to made decisive mistakes than their vastly experienced predecessors….this was always a war of attrition….us with unlimited money,resources,power…them with religious zeal and battle experience..except now,those battle-hardened zealots are now rotting in graves,and the Jihadist equivalent of the Hitler Youth coming into view very soon.

We kicked their ass. We kicked the living shit out of them. We pounded them right back to the 10th century where they belong. Now we are going to roll up the rest of the scum…rest assured of that.Our intelligence is light years ahead of where it was 4 years ago. We can speak their lingo now.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 3, 2006 2:05 PM
Comment #179049

JoeRWC,

Islamic Fascism: a political movement that exalts Islam above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic group headed by Osama bin Laden

Are you suggesting that all Islamic terrorists are united under Osama bin Laden? That Saddam Hussein was part of a “group headed by Osama bin Laden”? Or are you only applying the “Islamic Fascism” label to Al Queda?

And, it does not have a country, which makes it more dangerous.

Yes, and which also makes it NOT FASCISM! Fascism is based upon extreme Nationalism, which you can’t have without first having a NATION! Fascism puts nation above everything else — usually even race and religion. That describe’s Saddam’s Iraq perfectly — he rejected theocratic rule and Kurdish identity in favor of loyalty to Iraq first.

Dwayne,

Look, If you really want to get technical about it WWIII would have been Korea, WWIV is vietnam, WWV is the cold war along with our little skirmishes throughout the world, and the war on terror would then have to be WWVI.

I’m assuming that, as a minimum, a “world war” requires participation by a large portion of the World. Thus, Korea and Vietnam weren’t “world wars” — they were just fronts in the “world war” that was the Cold War.

Oh and one more thing, We did not start this. Did you forget 9\11?

No, I didn’t. But, again, Iraq didn’t attack us on 9/11. People who use 9/11 to justify a war with Iraq are the ones who are forgetting.

9/11 started a war against a single terrorist organization — Al Queda. This didn’t become a “world war” until WE attacked someone completely unrelated to 9/11 or the participants thereof.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 3, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #179050

Sicilian Eagle,

I think most Americans want success.

However, we have already failed, because we started a war based largely on bad intelligence.

However, now that we made a huge mistake, we should help make Iraq safe.

However, how will we prevent civil war if that is what they want to do ? The instant we leave, they will most likely “go at it”. They are already “going at it” while we are there, now.

Is that civil war our fault ?

Maybe, in part.

Of course, it’s a good thing Saddam is gone, but could it have been done a different way? Eventually? Especially, in light of the absence of WMD and links to terror ?

At any rate, whether we should leave soon, or stay to make it safer, we have blundered terribly in many ways, because tens of thousands of Iraqis, thousands of Americans, and many ally troops have died, that would not have, had this war never begun.

Even if Saddam had WMD, it was a highly debatable action. But, since there was none, it can only be chaulked up as either one (or both) as:

  • an intentional and planned, using trumped up and exaggerated reasons.

  • as severe incompetence due to extremely negligent, unverified, old, and incorrect (false), and inaccurate information.

Take your pick. It was probably a little of both.

As an American, I wish is wasn’t true, but it is.

But, one (or both) must be true.

And, neither will NOT make us safer.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 3, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #179051

Why is it that people forget that there were terrorist training camps in Iraq.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 3, 2006 2:20 PM
Comment #179052

Dwayne,
Yes, a few. There a far more in Indonesia.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 3, 2006 2:21 PM
Comment #179053

The civil war in Iraq is not our fault. It has been going on for the better part of the last century. The only reason we have not heard of it until recently is because Saddam had suppressed the warring factions.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 3, 2006 2:25 PM
Comment #179054

Dwanyne,
We have terrorists in the U.S. too.
They are everywhere.
The only place that truly warranted an attack because the terrorists were also government sponsored was Afghanistan.
There have never been any links between Iraq and 11-Sep-2001. Even Bush admits that, now.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 3, 2006 2:25 PM
Comment #179055

To quote the President: “Nobody has ever suggested that the attacks of September 11 were ordered by Iraq.”

Bush has done more damage to this country than Bin Laden. We are divided at home, hated abroad, and trillions of dollars the worse for him.

Posted by: Max at September 3, 2006 2:26 PM
Comment #179056

Dwayne,
That’s true about the civil war.
That is why I wonder if U.S. soldiers should die trying to stop it?

Posted by: d.a.n at September 3, 2006 2:27 PM
Comment #179057

Answering a question about Iraq, Bush reflexively invoked Sept. 11, leading a reporter to interrupt him.

“What did Iraq have to do with that?” the reporter asked.

“Nothing,” Bush said irritably.

So why does he bring it up all the time?

Posted by: Max at September 3, 2006 2:30 PM
Comment #179058

Bush is irritated that people have caught on to that tactic.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 3, 2006 2:40 PM
Comment #179060

This is the problem that the west faces, there are many countries with differing views about Islam and what the Koran says. Much like christianity, there are divisions due to inturpretation. Unlike this country, people in the middle east have to abide by the local cleric and what he teaches. Freedom of religion is not a luxery enjoyed by those living there. Because of religion, there will always be a need for a presence from a stabilizing force, whether it be the UN or EU or the US. With Iran seeking the bomb and pakistan and india already in possesion of weapons the mid east is becoming center stage for the unthinkable. whether or not that we like being there now or if we should have gone in the first place, we would still have to deal with the growing problems the region is causing the rest of the world. So it doesn’t matter if a democrate or a republican is in the white house, the mid east is going to give whoever is pres. quite a few grey hairs.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 3, 2006 2:47 PM
Comment #179061
So it doesn’t matter if a democrate or a republican is in the white house, the mid east is going to give whoever is pres. quite a few grey hairs.
No doubt, but bullying and invading them without provocation is not the solution. Posted by: d.a.n at September 3, 2006 2:51 PM
Comment #179062

d.a.n.,

The terrorists in this country are few and dont’ have the financial backing of whole countries.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 3, 2006 2:51 PM
Comment #179063

Dwayne,
Agreed. The point is, attacking a nation because terrorist are within it is not sufficient reason (in response to your statement that terrorists were in Iraq).

Posted by: d.a.n at September 3, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #179064

Or, I should say, possibly not sufficient reason. It depends on whether the nation where they reside are protected or in-league with that government. Even then, that may not justify invasion of that nation. Afghanistan is an example of a completely justified invasion. Iraq is not, but might have been had there actually been WMD and many government sponsored terrorists within Iraq, and even then, it was highly debatable.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 3, 2006 2:59 PM
Comment #179065

And, that is also based on Iraqs predisposition (track-record) of attacking other neighboring nations.

However, the massive negligence and/or intentional exaggeration of WMD in Iraq was a huge blunder, and was followed by many subsequent blunders. It was also preceeded by several blunders. We need to start taking a serious look at our own government instead of trying to fix everyone else’s.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 3, 2006 3:03 PM
Comment #179066

d.a.n.,

I agree that attacking a whole country may not be the best solution. The things we have to consider is that Saddam was against us from the begining. The UN has been a paper tiger for 50+ years and when Saddam went against UN resolutions as well as harboring terrorist, not only the US, but the rest of the UN council should have taken action alot sooner. Yes, there is no evidence of weapons of mass destruction, and the Bush admin. should have done their homework. In the end I still feel that we did the right thing by going into Iraq. This has shown the rest of the mid east that we are not afraid to go after those who endanger our way of life.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 3, 2006 3:03 PM
Comment #179067

Max,

Praise for the Nazis, by itself, does not make one a fascist. Sure, Al Queda has a lot in common with the Nazis, and the Nazis had a lot in common with the Soviets… but that doesn’t make Al Queda or Russia fascist.

I think too many people confuse Fascism with Racism. The Nazis were both.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 3, 2006 3:04 PM
Comment #179068
Dwayne wrote: d.a.n., I agree that attacking a whole country may not be the best solution.
It was for Afghanistan. Few would argue that. But, not for Iraq. Debatable at best, even.
Dwayne wrote: The things we have to consider is that Saddam was against us from the begining. Yes, he was a total nut case, and dangerous. No doubt about it. But, it appears that he was limited but sanctions. Those sanctions would have been more effective had it not been for other nations and corruption with the U.N. that undermined the sanctions.
Dwayne wrote: The UN has been a paper tiger for 50+ years and when Saddam went against UN resolutions as well as harboring terrorist, not only the US, but the rest of the UN council should have taken action alot sooner.
Agreed. The U.N. itself needed some house cleaning. Corruption within it was why the sanctions on Iraq failed.
Dwayne wrote: Yes, there is no evidence of weapons of mass destruction, and the Bush admin. should have done their homework.
Yes, they should have, and that is a very huge mistake.
Dwayne wrote: In the end I still feel that we did the right thing by going into Iraq.
I tried hard to feel the same way, but with all the facts, lies, and/or incompetence that has been revealed, it’s just too hard for me to believe that way.
Dwayne wrote: This has shown the rest of the mid east that we are not afraid to go after those who endanger our way of life.
Dwayne, Respectfully, I can’t agree. What we have show them and the rest of the world is a terrible blunder, because there was no WMD. We screwed up. That is not building confidence or creating allies. In fact, we have alienated allies. Even our strongest allies have valid reasons to be upset about the inaccurate and/or intentionally exaggerated intelligence. Especially when there now seems to be a very suspicious pattern and misleading statements that led up to all of it. We have not creaeted fear and respect. Our blunder has created hatred. And, if the inaccurate intelligence about WMD was intentionally misleading and accurate, that hatred is justified. Believe me, as an American, I hate it that our nation has blundered, but I’m not going to try to sweep it under the rug now.
Posted by: d.a.n at September 3, 2006 3:19 PM
Comment #179071

Here are some hard facts about this World War:

Al-Qaida/Qaeda started it with 9/11.

We retaliated by invading the supporters.

The Iranians have elections.

North Korea and Iran fight with UN on nukes.

Venezuela is allying with our enemies “to finish off the ‘U.S Empire.’”

Russia and China giving our enemies arms.

Cuba getting a new dictator.

Europe and Australia battling their Muslim citizens.


Here was our plan: Since Al-Qaida isn’t national, we had to take out sponsers. Afghanistan is where Osama was known to reside, the Taliban regime was cruel, and we had Pakistan to help us.

Now came a hard decision: Iran or Iraq? Even though the Iranians didn’t directly support Al Qaida, they were a threat. There were 3 major powers in the Middle East: Iran, Iraq, and Israel. Iran and Iraq had the same goal. Iran wanted to conquer Iraq, destroy Israel, and control the Middle East to cripple the West. Iraq had the same goal. The Arabs and Hebrews don’t want to be ruled by Persians or Babylonians, so we would be doing them a favor too. We knew that we could invade one of them and topple the government. It was easy. We are the superpower. We also knew that if we took one out, the other would gain strength and try to drive us out for the takeover. We chose Iraq.

Why Iraq and not Iran?
It was about the Islamic world. The Taliban is a religious fanatical militant government. So was the Iranian government. Saddam was religious, but did his things for economic purposes. If we were to invade Iran, the Ayatollahs would scream, “It’s the Crusades all over again! Defend the Muslim world!” Muslims worldwide might believe that. Iraq would be easier because we have the WMDs as an excuse, but Saddam hid them because he had 14 months to do so. (If you had 14 months to hide something, would you?) Read the second-to-last sentence in the previous paragraph. Which would be worse: a growing Iraq with WMDs, or a growing Iran developing WMDs?

Al Qaida is becoming increasingly irrelevant. They are dirt beneath our feet. After 9/11, they aren’t a threat. They are a nuisance. When we take Osama out, Al Quaida will cease to exist. It is Iran we need to watch out for. They have agents in Iraq. They are arming the Shia Iraqis. They are shelling northern Iraq and massing their military at the border (pg 8 of NYT). They are preparing for the takeover when our politicians abandon the war like in Vietnam. If we do that, in less than 3 weeks, they will take over Iraq.

Posted by: stubborn conservative at September 3, 2006 3:29 PM
Comment #179074

Dennis
Do you think for one minute that the president or defense secretary want to keep our troops there even one second longer than necessary?
———————————-

SE, yes I do. I believe they mean to keep a presence in the region for some time to come. I form this opinion by reading recommendations from their advisors, I.Lewis Libby and Paul Wolfowitz among others, who wrote “Rebuiling America’s Defenses” in September of 2000. The report is a defense readiness review sponsored by the Project for the New American Century. In particular, this passage:

pg 17 of the report: “Over the long term,
Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S.
interests in the Gulf as Iraq has. And even
should U.S.-Iranian relations improve,
retaining forward-based forces in the region
would still be an essential element in U.S.
security strategy given the longstanding
American interests in the region.”

I believe this president, vice-president, sec-def and state are playing chess with US Soldiers lives. This ill-advised gambit of Iraq has proven every expectation of the administration wrong, starting with: We would be greeted as liberators and with flowers, “The war may last 5 hours, 5 days, but certainly not longer than 5 months” (Don Rumsfeld), “We will stand down as they stand up” (George W. Bush). “The rebuilding of Iraq will be paid for through Iraq’s oil revenues” (Paul Wolfowitz.

SE, this adventure is a failure. You have substituted a vile and despicable dictator for religious zealotry which is even more incented (through their ridiculous religious fanaticism) to see Israel attacked. As the Shia majority in Iraq consolidates power, they will align closer and closer to Iran. It is entirely likely that the Shia will continue to move more towards a theocratic rule of law than one that is secular in nature. This doesn’t bode well for the Iraqi populace at large.

The only way this doesn’t happen is if there is a long-term US or western presence in the region to counter balance the movement towards theocracy. If that is the case, and I expect it will be, then look for US presence permanently encamped in the region.

Posted by: Dennis at September 3, 2006 3:43 PM
Comment #179075

ElliotBay:

It was Hitler that said “The greatest blow to the progress of mankind is the religion of Christianity.”

Posted by: stubborn conservative at September 3, 2006 3:43 PM
Comment #179076

Is the Administration now trying to pave the way for some aggression to Iran? IMO, that would be a big mistake, even if Iran had a nuclear weapon, because Iran has not established the track-record that Iraq did. Iran is not likely to attack the U.S. or Israel with nuclear weapons. It would be suicide for Iran, because a heavy bombing or a nuke dropped on Tehran (the capital and largest city; a metropolitan of over 14 million), Bahktaran, and Tabriz would just about wipe out 70% of the population. Most of the nation’s industry is in Tehran, including their weapons factories and oil refineries. Unfortunately, we can’t run around attacking every nation that might be a threat. Especially when they have no track record as bad (or worse) than Iraq.

Also, Iran is not likely to invade Iraq. Iraqis would not allow it, and Iran would find out how very hard it is to control a nation of 21 million people. Especially if the U.S. is helping Iraq defend against Iran.

A better approach with Iran is not to try to bully that nation, but to educate their people (the average age in Iran is about 28).

On 29-AUG-2006, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (appointed by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei; Supreme Leader is selected by the “Assembly of Experts” of Iran; a congressional-like body of 86 members who are elected with 8 year terms) invited George W. Bush to an open televised debate on his plan to have a peaceful nuclear program in place. The invitation was promptly rejected by the White house. That, I would like to have watched.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 3, 2006 3:57 PM
Comment #179077

Stop counting and adding the numbers. Look at the bigger picture and know that we are winning the Long WAR. Believe and help or your happy way of life will be over before you can reply with some off the mark comment.

Posted by: Howie at September 3, 2006 4:01 PM
Comment #179078

Dennis,
You nailed it.

As the Shia majority in Iraq consolidates power, they will align closer and closer to Iran. It is entirely likely that the Shia will continue to move more towards a theocratic rule of law than one that is secular in nature.

That is unfortunate, but not an absolute failure. Over time, perhaps, that can still change? Especially if their populations grow more diverse?

Posted by: d.a.n at September 3, 2006 4:07 PM
Comment #179079

Howie

Your fearmongering will not stop true believers in democracy from doing their patriotic duty. We will speak out against attacks on our freedom, we will criticize our government when they make mistakes, we will vote poor leaders out of office when they do not deserve to be there.

Posted by: mark at September 3, 2006 4:10 PM
Comment #179080

d.a.n.,

Iran will change. All countries do. Ironically, the significant change comes from within and not from some external military force. China is a prime example. Iran’s population is young and mostly secular. They’ll eventually throw off the mantle of Islamic Fundamentalism.

If we can simply stay the hell out of there, the Iranians will resolve their own problems.

Posted by: Dennis at September 3, 2006 4:11 PM
Comment #179081

Dennis,

Unfortunatly the military has been used by nations throughout the ages to conquere, intimidate, and influence other coutries for many reasons. Some for good and others for self gain and power. The US is not a nation that uses it’s military to conquere but to defuse volitile situations that are in our best interest. The best part is that all members of the military are volenteres that know when they sign up that they may be used to influence a nation. Maybe to create a democracy and help the people of a particular nation to stand up for their rights as human beings to live without fear from their gov.. Yes, we may be there for a long time. But for the sake of national security and the knowledge that we can without the fear of being attacked by those in Iraq who hate us and our way of life, becoming a permanant fixture in the region may not be a bad thing.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 3, 2006 4:15 PM
Comment #179082

The US is not a nation that uses it’s military to conquere but to defuse volitile situations that are in our best interest. The best part is that all members of the military are volenteres that know when they sign up that they may be used to influence a nation. Maybe to create a democracy and help the people of a particular nation to stand up for their rights as human beings to live without fear from their gov.. Yes, we may be there for a long time.
————————————

Dwayne, a couple of observations.

I’m not sure the majority of volunteers who join the Army believe they will be “nation-building”, nor did they sign up for that. Most are looking for a way to pay for college, a good job and some indeed have a sense of service and want to protect us. I honor those people and wish them safety.

As to the American notion of altruism you describe, I might be more convinced of that if we sent as many troops to Rwanda in 1994 or to the Sudan (Darfur) today as we did to Iraq. It’s well known that Iraq was no threat to us, yet we’ve spent over $300B on this idiotic campaing. Had Clinton had the foresight to invest as much money in the Congo and Rwanda, over a million people might still be alive. Had George W. Bush had the foresight to do the same in Darfur, we may have stopped another significant genocide that will haunt the world for a long time.

I think we send military into conflicts when our Economic interests are threatened. I consider that an insult to our soldiers.

Posted by: Dennis at September 3, 2006 4:23 PM
Comment #179083

The Bush Administration tried to ‘poison the well’ of information stemming from the media prior to his last election. It is a common, and, sadly, obvious ploy - not wanting the people to know the truth. Many totalitarian regimes simply forbid the media from saying anything but what they want. Is this what Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Rove are suggesting? should we ignore the casualties, the pentagon reports, the eyewitness testimony and the casualty list in favor of a ‘everything’s coming up roses’ view.
To blame the media for reporting the truth is the scariest part of the Bush Administration - and should be to all of us. They want to censor the press, to forbid the leaking of corruption or criminal acts by the Administration and its employees. This is not the behavior of a Democracy but the kind of behavior they had in Iraq BEFORE Sadamm was removed. The very fact that they keep comdemning the press, the media, and any and all who speak the truth and report the facts, should put a shiver through our spines.
There is a minority (like there was in Iraq with Sudam) of ultra-opinionated right-wing bordeline fascists which would simply love it if every level of democratic government were removed and Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Rove could simply rule as they pleased. At that point we would realize the great wall that will be built in the South will be for keeping us in, not others out.
The fact is WE ARE NOT SAFER than we were. Never forget that the 9-11 hijackers were reported to their superiors at the FBI but those ABOVE them on an Administration level told them to ignore it.
We need some NSA surveillace..what we need more is for the Bush Administration to be made to simply respond to one simple question..How many American’s phones are currently being monitored. Not who, not where, simply how many. This will tell us once and for all whether the Bush Administration is monitoring any who don’t like them (that would keep them busy), or those who might really be a threat to democracy. There is a big difference between those that believe Bush is waiting for a big event in order to assume total control of America without having to answer to anyone. Are those the people whose phones are being tapped?

Posted by: robin at September 3, 2006 4:35 PM
Comment #179084

Dennis,

Economical interests can also be considered part of national security. Although that is not the sole reason we entered into this conflict. It is part of it, I’ll give you that. Of course it will never be admitted to because that would not go over well in the international community. As far as insulting our soldiers I don’t feel that it can be considered as such. They may have signed up for a career or collage tuition, but in the end they know that they may have to sacrifice to do what is asked of them. When they sign up they recite an oath to protect and serve the country from enemies both foreign and domestic. They do this willingly, I did this willingly, and when told to do their duty, they do it knowing that they do it for us and whomever they are helping in any country in the world.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 3, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #179086

First off,thank all of you for your comments today. The debate on both sides has been intelligent,articulate and non-hostile…which is what Watchblog is all about.

I have been in Europe for eight weeks, and I noticed many new posters today in addition to the “usual suspects” that intellectualy duel with me from the other side…Welcome!

That being said:

In Europe I re-read Bob Woodward’s book on the run-up to the Iraq invasion. Bob has been around a long time…as a young writer he made his bones with Watergate,as we all know. Reading between his lines, nowhere in his book does it come across that the president or anyone else for that matter intentionally misled anyone. If anything, people forget that the president was getting slammed for INACTION for 6 weeks by the NYT,the WP,and the LA Times as well as the Democratic left prior to the invasion.

Same with Rummy. That guy broke Tommy Frank’s chops time and again asking countless questions and probing the military leadership. This book is worth re-reading by all to put the run up to the war into perspective yet again. Another book that I re-read (for the third time now) is No god but God by Reza Aslan. This book puts the Islamic mind in picture perfect view for me…and will for you too. My comments are not off the hip,nor am I an apologist for my party.

Hindsight is 20-20…especially in such a highly charged environment, but the fact remains that Iraq is on the cusp of something that has been non-existent in the Mid-east since the creation of Isreal 4 and a half decades ago.

Democracy.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 3, 2006 4:54 PM
Comment #179087

Dwayne,

Thank you for your service. What branch were you in? Are you still active in the reserves?

Posted by: Dennis at September 3, 2006 4:54 PM
Comment #179088

The S.E. is right that we have won in Iraq and that the end is in sight.

Others have suggested that those outside of the MSM have not been trumpeting the good news. May I suggest that those who suggest that have not been listening to Limbaugh, et al. I heard Rush allow a caller who was in the Navy explain why he, a man of 40, was willing to go back to Iraq for another tour of duty. The sailor had nothing but good to say about Iraq and about his tour there (on the ground, not on a ship).

I read several stories in the VFW publication about those who served in Iraq over a year ago. Some of the first-person stories were negative (that is reasonable). But most of the stories were loaded with extremely positive events. Most of the soldiers had found that the Iraqi’s love them being there.

When you rely upon the MSM stories or the “Made-for-media” stories for your information on how we are doing in Iraq, you are going to get what you paid for. If you want the real scoop, read the first-person stories.

Most of the first-person stories I have read recently are more upbeat and positive than they were a year ago. The men and women with boots on the ground in Iraq are seeing positive changes in the society there. They are finding more people than before are expressing their thankfulness for the American troops.

Stop looking at the spin, start looking at the truth. The truth is very exciting.

Posted by: Don at September 3, 2006 5:00 PM
Comment #179089

Dennis,

I was in the Navy for 4 years, (20 years ago). Reserve statis has long since expired. Thank you for asking. I didn’t mean to toot my own horn, I sometimes get on a roll that just flows while I’m writing.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 3, 2006 5:02 PM
Comment #179090

I agree with Don. The first person accounts are what should be brought to the forefront. These people have been there and can tell the real story.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 3, 2006 5:06 PM
Comment #179091

Don,

Stop looking at the spin, start looking at the truth.

I’d love to. I try to as much as possible. But, unlike most of you, I don’t have a Party to tell me which is which — I have to figure it out for myself.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 3, 2006 6:34 PM
Comment #179092

Dwayne,

Despite the U.S. having made a terrible blunder, it is honorable that the U.S. is trying to make Iraq safer now. The Iraqis may choose to fight a civil war anyway, but we don’t want that.

But, the decision to stay is difficult.
Should American soldiers die to limit or stop (or merely delay) a civil war in Iraq? Isn’t it about time we give notice that we are pulling out? Those intent on civil war may just be waiting anyway. We can’t stay forever. We can help them prepare to prevent it, and deal with it, but should more Americans be endangered for that? I don’t think so, because that’s not a good enough reason to risk life and limb of any U.S. soldier. Nation building is not our job, and that now appears to be what it has become.

By the way, any harsh criticism of the reasons used to invade Iraq is in no way a reflection upon our brave and competent military and troops.

Dennis,
Yes, change will come one way or another, eventually in Iran. Yes, it will be better if it comes from within. How did we do it in the cold war? With information (mostly). The people of the Sovient Union, while somewhat isolated, saw how it was outside their nation. Eventually the people of the Soviet Union finally decided they have had enough, and change came from within. And, it was without massive loss of life or a world war.

We should keep a close eye on Iran and N.Korea, but leave them alone, because they pose no great threat to the existence of the U.S. Unless they provide a very justifiable reason to take action against them, we should leave them alone. But, N.Korea’s days are numbered. We don’t need to do anything but wait. Kim Jong Il has a very brainwashed population now, and we have little hope of changing that anytime soon, but it will not be possible for Kim Jong Il to oppress them forever. They are starving. Wait until they find out who is helping to feed them. They will eventually find out what is happening outside their imposed isolation, and they will begin to question it. Likewise in Iran. Currently Iran’s government is trying to eliminate dissenting voices and web-sites and news papers. Iran is not N.Korea. They have tasted freedoms. They are not all in lock-step. The Iranian government has their work cut out for them trying to oppress speech and the internet.

But, if the U.S. bullies Iran now, that will change to more hatred for the U.S. Especially when we have thousands of nukes of our own. Doesn’t anyone else see the hypocrisy of that?

Now, if Iraq attacks other nations, that could provide a justifiable reason for action against Iran, and that does not seem likely that Iran would play right into that trap and conveniently provide the justification (justification that some in the U.S. would love to see happen).

If the U.S. attacks Iran, unprovoked, we will have proved to the world that we are a dangerous super-power that is out of control. With power comes responsibility. Power corrupts, and we have seen it growing. This is a dangerous time. Our biggest enemies may not be outside the U.S., but from within.

If this administration tries to make a case for war against Iran, it’s going to have to be very convincing. No flawed or questionable intelligence is going to cut it. Just the talk about the secret plans and scenarios being studied to attack Iran make me nervious, because there is no way Iran can defeat the U.S., and therefore is disturbing.

Perhaps I’m being too niave, or unduly concerned, and calmer heads won’t let that mistake happen? Doesn’t anyone else find that disturbing?

Posted by: d.a.n at September 3, 2006 6:38 PM
Comment #179096

Crazy Carl,

I am not a liberal. Go cherry-pick your quotes from someone else.

Posted by: ElliottBay at September 3, 2006 7:03 PM
Comment #179097

Crazy Carl, sounds like you don’t approve of how WB is run. We can accomodate you in your effort to find another web site to post your critiques, if you like.

Posted by: Watchblog Managing Editor at September 3, 2006 7:14 PM
Comment #179098

Elliot Bay, your comment: “As opposed to conservatives, who have no hearts, little brains, and teeny tiny little … consciences.” also violates our policy. Comply with the Rules of Participation of lose your privilege to participate here.

Posted by: Watchblog Managing Editor at September 3, 2006 7:23 PM
Comment #179101

Don

Unfortunetly the first person stories that count the most cannot be heard. Those people are no longer alive.

To claim we have won when thousands are still dieing every month is asinine.

Anyone who thinks they are getting an unbiased account while listening to Rush is extremely gullible.

Posted by: mark at September 3, 2006 7:50 PM
Comment #179102

SE-
Regarding “warp speed”, the best comparison is historical: Within a year of our invasion of Normandy, we had peace and control in half of Europe. Within three and a half years of Pearl Harbor, we were victorious.

Ah, but after our one year war in Europe in the First World War, we had sown the seeds of a future war. We solved that the next time by a multi-year occupation.

Speed is good in war. War is expensive to protract, and it’s difficult to keep people favorable about bloody mayhem that doesn’t make progress. Hint, hint.

If the results we see right now are what were intended all along, Then I truly fear for our country under Bush’s leadership. You cannot tell me that when Americans were told about building a western-style Democracy that a thousand dead a month in vicious partisan violence would constitute success. Dominance of anti-American Shia Radicals was not what we had in mind either.

If what we did in Iraq is supposed to strike a blow against that mythical enemy your folks call Islamofascism, then even by your own definitions, things are crap right now. Your forces have empowered the very kind of folks that we would reasonably expect a successful campaign to marginalize and defeat.

In my opinion, it’s no good to defeat the Kaiser just to set the stage for Hitler. The more bloody unrest we leave behind, or worse, have to leave behind, the more we will pay for it later.

As for disarming the militias? First, you have to hope that the security forces and the militias actually have some measure of difference in personnel, second, you have to hope that the security forces have the will and the manpower to demand that.

On the subject of books, it’s problematic to rely on single books for information. Plan of Attack is a fine, insightful work, but the problem is that it’s very administration-centric with a Reporter who may be too close to his subject. Read Ron Suskind’s The One Percent Doctrine To get a better picture of the other side of things. If you only had Woodward’s book, you wouldn’t hear about all the times people forwarding information from the CIA and taking information out of it were overruled and frustrated by the White Houses internal intelligence-sifting operations.

I think Bush was dishonest. I think there was a lot of plausible deniability put between him and the appearance of outright lies, but the administration as whole essentially told people that our agencies are giving us this picture, even as those organizations fowarded them information contradicting their conclusions. They B-teamed the hell out of things, then blamed the A-team for the fiasco that followed.

Same thing with the war. You might read the Franks section with admiration for Rummy, but Rumsfeld was wrong. Had Franks and the other generals felt free to contradict Rumsfeld’s all too rosy outlook, (which they didn’t after they lame-ducked Shinseki) we might have been able to honestly say “Mission Accomplished” on that aircraft carrier. Instead, we are now faced with the consequences of their haste and stinginess. Another good book to read on this subject is The Assassin’s Gate by George Packer. He gives an account of things that neither denies the good intentions of those who started this war, nor spares them a thorough critique of their strategies and justifications.

This was never a war of attrition, really. It was a war of conquest, to be politically incorrect about it: take and hold territory. Only this administration never wanted to admit to that, despite the obvious assumptions Arabs and Muslims would have about a full-scale invasion and regime change. We should have treated it like what it was, and applied our full efforts. We can’t get a second chance at it now. Now we have to sit back and let the Iraqis, who have been engaged in three years of civil strife, stewing in resurgent religious radicalism and anti-American sentiments take over.

And that’s just the thing. Bush, though he denies the utility of timetables now insisted on handing over sovereignty on one, and now we can’t take it back. Now he wants to sit there until things calm down. We might be sitting there indefinitely, despite your hopes, if that is his plan. Or he might just be looking for the excuse to declare victory (an old, bad habit of his, as I recall) and thereafter cut and run, saying once more that we’ve won.

Ultimately, my sharp-taloned friend, if you filter out all the spin and just remember our original goals, you will be forced to conclude that this war not only has failed its original goals, but in fact never could succeed, given the disconnect between this administration and reality. We cannot disarm someone already disarmed. We cannot vanquish a terrorist presence that isn’t there. We certainly could not do so by destroying the barriers to one being created anew. We cannot win a war against terrorism and radicalism by sowing further seeds of such.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 3, 2006 8:01 PM
Comment #179103

Watchblog Manager,

My apologies. I’ll try not to respond in kind to insults in the future.

Posted by: ElliottBay at September 3, 2006 8:24 PM
Comment #179104

It was Hitler that said “The greatest blow to the progress of mankind is the religion of Christianity.”
Posted by: stubborn conservative

Just goes to prove that even a broken clock is correct twice a day.
by the way Jefferson said “The priests of the different religious sects … dread the advance of science as witches do
the approach of daylight, and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subdivision of the
duperies on which they live”
The Savage

Posted by: TheSavage at September 3, 2006 8:35 PM
Comment #179105

Mark said -

“Anyone who thinks they are getting an unbiased account while listening to Rush is extremely gullible.”

Did you even read my post? I was responding to a series of former statements. I was only saying that they were wrong and gave proof.

AND - my statement was not about Rush… it was about a caller to Rush’s show. Rush takes calls from Liberals and Conservatives. He usually allows them to speak their minds, as long as they stay focused and don’t go “wacky.” If you listen to the callers ONLY you can get a balanced view. (Everybody knows that “Rush is RIGHT.”)

HE ALSO SAID—
“Unfortunetly the first person stories that count the most cannot be heard. Those people are no longer alive.”

No, that’s not true. They can’t tell you how things are changing on the ground in Iraq. They can’t tell you what is going on NOW. That is what this discussion is about…What’s going on now.

Posted by: Don at September 3, 2006 8:38 PM
Comment #179108

Stephen Daugherty

It’s nice hearing from you again my left column compadre. I knew that sooner or later we would once again engage in discourse….David R. Reemer welcomed me above….now all who is missing is our other friend American Pundit,and then we can have a column for the ages.

I assume that you know that I read more than one book this summer,right Stephen? I also assume that you know that I did substantially more than twidle my thumbs too in Europe,right?

Believe me,old friend, the tide had most definately turned…watch the good news that will stream from Iraq within the next sixty days or so.

This issue has always transcended the president,Stephen…something that I sometime feel people on the left column don’t properly understand. In this play, the president was no more than a facilitator for a short time….a very short time ….especially when you consider that since the 10th century the forces of the Prophet have attempted to spread to the West.

However,that fight won’t come for a few years,I think. Right now,the Islamic Reformation has to play itself out. The religion is in the throes of an enourmous struggle between moderate and fanatical forces…and we need to help the former in order not to have a real war of the cultures down the line.

However,the situation,I think,is much better now than it was at the beginning of the summer.

Wait for the Guilianni administration,Stephen…be patient. :)

Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 3, 2006 8:47 PM
Comment #179123

SE,
In case you have any doubts about just how powerful Al-Sadr has become:

The Brits abandoned a base in Maysan province in southern Iraq. They took 17 mortar hits and left the next day, leaving $300,000 in equipment. The “looters” included members of The Mahdi Army.

“Armed looters ransacked an abandoned British base in southern Iraq on Friday as Iraqi soldiers guarding the camp stood by and watched, heightening concerns that Iraqi troops are still ill-equipped to take control of security from U.S.-led coalition forces.

A crowd of as many as 5,000 people, including hundreds armed with AK-47 assault rifles, attacked Camp Abu Naji and hauled away window and door frames, corrugated roofing and metal pipes, despite the presence of a 450-member Iraqi army brigade meant to guard the base.

“The looters stole everything — even the bricks…”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/25/AR2006082501315.html

And, if you are familiar with politics in the UK, you know Blair is in serious trouble for backing Bush on Iraq and, more recently, Lebanon:

” Tony Blair will be served notice to quit Downing Street at a meeting of the Cabinet next week when senior ministers plan to confront him over his refusal to commit to a departure timetable.”
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article1325433.ece

Now that Al-Sistani has stepped aside, there is nothing left for southern Iraq to do other than figure out who rules. The outcome appears likely to be Al-Sadr.

Earlier I mentioned that the US should find a way to back Al-Sadr, to find a way of being on the side of the winner. I am not sure that is possible. Al-Sadr is extremely anti-American.

Is a religous fundamentalist dictator better than Saddam Hussein? That is where we are going, like it or not. About the best we can say for Al-Sadr is that he dislikes Iranians almost as much as he hates America & Israel.

Meanwhile, we will be privileged to pay $257 million per day in order to benefit from this outcome. Four American soldiers died today. Dozens of Iraqis died too.

Al-Sadr will push for an Islamic state and Sharia law. Well. I guess it could be worse. At least Al-Sadr will end kleptocracy in Iraq.


Posted by: phx8 at September 4, 2006 12:10 AM
Comment #179125

phx8,

I would suppose the enemy of my enemy is my friend. If this Al-Sadr dislikes Iranians as much as the US and Isreal, his being a fundementalist may not be as bad as all that.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 4, 2006 12:25 AM
Comment #179127

Dwayne,
“… His being a fundementalist may not be as bad as all that.”

Yes. But. It is all a matter of creating expectations.

Right now it is hard to see a positive outcome for Iraq. Withdrawal sucks. Staying sucks.

What makes it even worse is that the Bush administration does not seem to have any plan, no shred of creativity, no ability to adapt.

Talking about islamic fascism does not help at all. We should be so lucky as to see an islamic fascist bring back stability to Iraq.

Most likely the Brits will leave southern Iraq sooner rather than later. SCIRI/Dawa/Badr Brigades/Hakim will contest Al-Sadr/The Mahdi Army for supremacy among the Shias. The winner will turn on the Sunnis. The blood will flow in rivers.

As I mentioned earlier, it is all about creating expectations. The US should announce its withdrawal, to be implemented in a relatively short period of time, and we should announce backing for the Shia faction most likely to win. This backing will include arming the Iraqi military for real, once and for all, and that means providing air power, logistical infrastructure, turning over state-of-the-art US bases, and so on.

It is about creating expectations. That is the way to win a victory. If the Sunnis realize the US will withdraw soon, and that they will soon be at the mercy of some very vengeful Shias, the attitude of the Sunnis will change overnight. The insurgency will end.

Is there a way to prevent a bloodbath? At least, a worse one than is already occurring?

The Shia Death Squads and their gory executions are bad enough. Imagine those same militias with Cobra Helicopters, cluster bombs, and accurate artillery just aching to do a little “shake and bake” in Sunni towns; imagine those Shia militias with no compunction whatsoever about turning Anbar Province into a parking lot.

This day is coming. If the Sunnis see it coming tomorrow, they may concede, and negotiate for whatever peaceful outcome they can manage.

Preventing a bloodbath will require the US to show some creativity. For example, we could offer to foot the bill, and relocate populations; basically, facilitate a peaceful ethnic cleansing.

It would be expensive, but Iraq is already expensive, and the trends are bad, as the latest Pentagon report indicates…

Posted by: phx8 at September 4, 2006 1:23 AM
Comment #179128

phx8,

The other problem that will need to be addressed is that it will not matter who comes to power, the Kurds are going to suffer. Neither faction wants them around. I agree that no matter what happens, there will be blood spilt. Unfortunately we will have to pay the price one way or another.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 4, 2006 1:44 AM
Comment #179131

SE-
I wasn’t saying you only read one book, or that you were twiddling your thumbs (do Eagles even have them?) I’m saying you seem to be depending on one person’s book to define this situation.

I don’t mind optimism, but to engage in it, I need to see the way out first, or at least get the sense of something sub-surface that’s about to facilitate a breakthrough, despite appearances. I think the reasons why you’ll find it hard to convince us that victory is around the corner is that the little boy who cryed wolf in the White House has been saying victory is around the corner for the last three and a half years. In WWII, that was how long it took us to retake the pacific. Western Europe took less than a year. Each was successfully rehabilitate, and violence was minimal from the conquered territories. We brought peace, security and stability to the regions involved. Can we say we’ve done that here? Not with triple digit weekly murder rates in Baghdad.

The ironic thing is, we were supposed to have this thing won in spring of 2003. Instead, we’re still fighting what should have been the short mop-up phase. This should have never been the war. Bush’s words about the end of major combat operations should have been the truth, instead of wishful thinking.

The divide in this war is of Bush’s own making. Bush and Cheney applied the one percent doctrine of the title to this war, so for them, mere suspicion that Saddam might be creating new weapons and giving them to terrorists should have been good enough for the rest of us, according to his point of view. To him, it may be a waste of time to criticize the terrible case, because he would argue that in Post 9-11 America, you don’t wait for the case to shape up.

Experienced professionals in the intelligence fields, though would differ. The real world presents itself all at once, in pieces, some of which are only held to be true because the purveyor is lying to get money or the foreign policy shift from us that benefits them. Figuring this out properly is not a waste of time. What is a waste of time is strategy decided upon bad intelligence. This war is undeniably that: there were no weapons, there were no al-Qaeda terrorists camps set up in substitution for the ones destroyed in Afghanistan. There wasn’t even a working relationship.

We should not forget why we started this war: A belief that not only had Saddam sought to rearm himself, but that he had suceeded, and that he had harbored our enemies in hopes of having them strike at us at some later date. This was the justification for the war, and it’s strategical value: pre-emptive defense. We would not wait to be attacked again.

Without something to pre-empt, this war becomes about cleaning up a mess we created. Unfortunately for us, we were not even granted the chance to do that right, as the military plan was not only not focused on an occupation (Chalabi and the exiles were supposed to take over based on popular appeal), but didn’t even include such plans.

You do not want to find out your keys are in the car after you’ve locked the door, nor that you lack a plan to occupy a potentially hostile nation after you’ve invaded. The clock was ticking from the moment we passed the Kuwaiti border. From the minute we started peeling back Saddam’s control, we were faced with the task of asserting law and order in his absence. This was not merely an incovenience for a fighting force that sought to be more nimble, it was as handicap to an invading force that wished to gain control of the territory.

This was a failure of leadership. We were not prepared to take a new direction when the old one was invalidated by circumstances. If they are allowed, military planners will introduce many contingency plans to the mix, ensuring our soldiers are not left out on the battlefield without a plan. This administration deprived hem of this, in the name of not encouraging defeatism; that is to say, they consider the forward movement of their own plans to be the measure of success in a war.

While it must have reassured the egos of the leadership at the White House to see the plan perpetually applied, it did little to improve the situation. Instead of backing away from a mistake and taking a different approach, the Bush administration continued this approach, like an amateur mechanic forcing a part that doesn’t fit.

Belief cannot reshape reality to fit a plan. The plan, or lacking for that, the improvised response, must confront the reality, or else things become snarled in a confused web of inappropriate responses.

One inappropriate response would be settling for a ineffectual or tyrannical government in the place of a true, robust Democracy. If these are the conditions that constitute your “victory”, then the forces of radical Islam have handed us a defeat, and your side either doesn’t want us to see that, or it doesn’t want to see it themselves. Go back in time and watch your President’s speeches. Remember what he promised, and what this country wanted out of this war.

I still think there’s a hope of winning, but I don’t think we can entirely erase the negative consequences of this war, and I’m saddened and angry that we’ve been burdened with such on account of one leader’s stubborn resolve to keep his own council and play the hero.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 4, 2006 7:51 AM
Comment #179134

On a cost/benefit analysis (a favorite of Republicans when it comes to government) do you think it’s worth the $2 billion a month in the Iraq war and over 2000 US dead, est. over 50,000 Iraqi dead? Because after we leave you have:
1) Shiite controlled government alligned with Iran,
2) Rampant anti-American sentiment throughout the MidEast
3) Largest US deficit in history
4) A humbled US military that can’t win a war

I would argue that you Republican Iraqi War promoters have done the worst disservice to the USA since Reagan lost 300 Marines in Lebanon. More than ever, the USA looks weak, isolated, hated and left holding a huge fiscal debt. And for what? Democracy and freedom in the MidEast?

Well democracy in those countries means allowing the people to elect governments that reflect the majority sentiment of the population there. Why does the USA support Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, etc. where the ruling elite confound any democractic movement. If those countries held open elections, the governments would be totally anti-USA. It is this hypocracy in US policy that the people in the MidEast see. We aren’t in Iraq for peace and democracy, we are there for oil and the world knows it.

If the US wanted to establish peace and democracy, then it should have started with Israel and Palestine. And don’t blame dead Arafat for that failure. We allowed Sharon to storm the Temple Mount, then Bush just gave up. Now we have Hamas and Hizbollah the heroes of the MidEast.

Gee, the Republican success story just gets better and better. And we have just touched on foreign policy in the MidEast. Next we’d have to look at Venezuela, China, Russia, and then to the domestic issues close to our heart: health and education.

But let’s keep the US citizen more worried about Islamic Empire building, dirty bombs, Muslim cells, bearded foreigners, etc. It worked for Germany in the 1930s (well, their semite scapegoat was a little different) so it probably will work for Bush and Rove.

Posted by: Acetracy at September 4, 2006 9:18 AM
Comment #179139

Acetracey,

“4) A humbled US military that can’t win a war”

It’s not as if we aren’t capable, it’s just that we seem unwilling to commit the resources to close the deal.
The American people love a winner. Our American leaders have a tendency to talk big, and then wimp out when it comes to actually following through on our commitments.
Bush had a chance to win in Afghanistan, and got distracted. Bush also had a chance to win big in Iraq, but didn’t seem to have a strategy past the overthrow of Saddam.

How can we possibly be Nation builders if we can’t sway world opinion in our favor when we hope to do the right thing?

Posted by: Rocky at September 4, 2006 10:08 AM
Comment #179141
The MSM has led us to believe that we have lost this war when in reality we have accomplished something at warp speed, especially in this day and age.

The only thing we have accomplished at warp speed is completely destablilize a region that has always been on the brink of chaos. That’s not really much of an accomplishment, even if you would for some reason consider it a good thing to do. Hitler and Tojo managed do do the same thing to a far more stable region in just a little more time. So what is this fantastic accomplishment you’re crowing about SE?

Posted by: Crazy_joe_divola at September 4, 2006 10:42 AM
Comment #179142

Don:

The S.E. is right that we have won in Iraq and that the end is in sight.

What is your proof that “we have won” and “the end is in sight”? A few first-person accounts from perhaps .0001% of the population involved in the conflict? That’s not much proof.

Posted by: Crazy_joe_divola at September 4, 2006 10:49 AM
Comment #179145

Acetracy,

“If the US wanted to establish peace and democracy, then it should have started with Israel and Palestine. And don’t blame dead Arafat for that failure. We allowed Sharon to storm the Temple Mount”

I do believe that Israel has sovereignty over the Temple Mount. Sharon had every right to inspect the grounds. He just happens to be the only one in the Israeli gov. that wasn’t noodle kneed about going there. The goal of the Palestinian gov. was and always will be to wipe away any evidence of an Israeli presence so they can claim the land as well as the Temple Mount.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 4, 2006 11:07 AM
Comment #179148

d.a.n.,
It is worse than you think. We spend almost $2 billion per week on Iraq, not per month. It has fueled a kleptocracy which literally exceeds our ability to comprehend.

For example, $8.9 billion disappeared from the CPA interim government. Republican Pat Roberts prevented any meaningful investigation of the disappearance. The largest movement of cash in US history involved moving $2 billion from the Federal Reserve to Iraq by an aircraft. I often wonder what that aircrew talked about on the flight over! The $2 billion was distributed from the backs of trucks in “bricks,” without formal accounting. Last year, $500 million disappeared from the Iraqi Defense Department between January and August. The Iraqi Defense Minister and his cronies disappeared. As far as I know, none of this was ever recovered.

In order to stay in Iraq at current levels until the midterm elections in November, the US will commit to the following:
@ $15 billion in spending
@ 50 US soldiers dead
@ 500 US soldiers wounded

During that time, roughly 6,000 Iraqis will die, most of them blindfolded, tortured, and shot by Shia Death Squads.

The torture involves cigarette burns, beating, and electric drills inserted into the knees, face, and eyes.

Posted by: phx8 at September 4, 2006 1:16 PM
Comment #179151

SE:

Nice to see you back, and that you have read a few books. So you resume being the cheerleader for our uninspiring, misunderestimated Liar-in-Chief.

People of all walks of life, many of them prominent Republicans, say that Iraq was a huge mistake and we must get out. But the Republicans have no positive achievement they can boast about. So they fill the airwaves with talk about how Republicans are strong on defense - we’re winning in Iraq.

This is pure propaganda. Nothing else.

The Republicans have so corrupted our system of government and have hurt ordinary people and ruined our reputation around the world, that we must vote the bums out!

Posted by: Paul Siegel at September 4, 2006 2:02 PM
Comment #179153

Eliotbay posts a link to back up his saying “Dwayne,
Sorry, but a vast majority of Iraqis do want us out. You need to check your facts.” DUDE that link is from 1-29-05. really… Have you heard Jimi Hendrix died?

Posted by: JayTea at September 4, 2006 2:21 PM
Comment #179154

phx8,

Pardon, but Acetracy wrote $2 billion per month (not me).
But, I agree. The estimated cost (to date) since 19-March-2003 $312 billion ($7.8 billion per month over last 40 months).

  • U.S. deaths in Iraq: 2646.

  • U.S. wounded in Iraq: 19890.

  • Coalition troop deaths: 230
  • The Iraqi dead are estimated (Aug-2006) at 41639 to 46307 (on average, that’s about 36 per day, but recently, it has grown to about 100 per day).

Can we stop a civil war in Iraq?
Should more Americans risk life and limb trying to stop it?
Is that fair to our troops? Our allies?
How much will it cost (lives and money)?

Posted by: d.a.n at September 4, 2006 2:24 PM
Comment #179157

Some quotes from soldiers:

A 34-year-old Marine reservist from Detroit, Maj. Brent Lilly, leads the civil affairs team. A practicing Muslim who speaks some Arabic, his goal is to improve the city’s ailing infrastructure, show the Iraqis that the Americans can be trusted and pick up some useful intelligence along the way.

“Over all, they just tolerate us,” he said. “We’re here, and they have no other recourse but to tolerate us. The great majority want us to go home.”

Staff Sgt. Ryan Poetsch, who did a previous tour in Baghdad and serves in Specialist Potocki’s platoon, acknowledges that he does not always have the big picture. But he does have a view from the streets in Hit and questions the strategy.

“As a soldier, I am going to do whatever we got to do,” he said. “As a personal opinion, I don’t think we need to be in this city, period. How much money and how many soldiers is it going to take when these people don’t want our help? They just don’t. We don’t even know who we can trust.”

Sergeant Poetsch thought the United States was doing the right thing by toppling Saddam Hussein. But the Army, he says, does not have nearly enough troops to patrol the city effectively, and he says Hit’s residents, unlike the people he encountered during his previous tour in Baghdad, do not want to have much to do with the Americans.

“At the beginning, I was all for it,” he said. “Saddam Hussein was not a good guy, and I always felt good that he is gone. But somehow it seems it seems that we lost direction. It is just hard for guys here to understand what we are doing.”

“No one understands why we are here and what our mission is,” Sergeant Kahlor added. “This war is lost. We aren’t helping these people. We are just dying and getting injured.”

“We are here for each other to make it home,” said Sergeant Poetsch. “That’s what our motto is. After Potocki went down we sat the platoon down and talked about that even if you don’t believe in what is going on, at least we fight for each other. That is how we are going with it now.”

You can’t ram democracy down the throats of people that don’t want it. There are simply too many Iraqis that do not want us in Iraq and do not want to give democracy a chance for us to ever succeed. Forcing democracy on people is a losing proposition.

Posted by: Max at September 4, 2006 3:14 PM
Comment #179161

This is my first time at this website and I’m very impressed. Good job to sicilian eagle for his honest article about the progress in Iraq. Nation building isn’t a task that can be completed overnight. But unfortunately for Iraq al-Qaeda believes that from Spain to Pakistan (and I assume that eventually the rest of the world) should belong to Islam, as declared by Ayman al-Zawahiri. To win the war against Islamic terrorists to include Hamas, Hezbolah, and al-Qaeda, America and freedom loving nations around the world must develop a plan to punish intra-national terrorists, deal with nations that support terrorists (such as Iran and Syria), and promote a moderate Islamic interpretation of the Quran.

And a word to the liberals…when you try to politicize national security the end result is bad for the country and it’s bad for the Democratic party.

Posted by: Cyntino at September 4, 2006 3:34 PM
Comment #179160

This is my first time at this website and I’m very impressed. Good job to sicilian eagle for his honest article about the progress in Iraq. Nation building isn’t a task that can be completed overnight. But unfortunately for Iraq al-Qaeda believes that from Spain to Pakistan (and I assume that eventually the rest of the world) should belong to Islam, as declared by Ayman al-Zawahiri. To win the war against Islamic terrorists to include Hamas, Hezbolah, and al-Qaeda, America and freedom loving nations around the world must develop a plan to punish intra-national terrorists, deal with nations that support terrorists (such as Iran and Syria), and promote a moderate Islamic interpretation of the Quran.

And a word to the liberals…when you try to politicize national security the end result is bad for the country and it’s bad for the Democratic party.

Posted by: Cyntino at September 4, 2006 3:34 PM
Comment #179159

This is my first time at this website and I’m very impressed. Good job to sicilian eagle for his honest article about the progress in Iraq. Nation building isn’t a task that can be completed overnight. But unfortunately for Iraq al-Qaeda believes that from Spain to Pakistan (and I assume that eventually the rest of the world) should belong to Islam, as declared by Ayman al-Zawahiri. To win the war against Islamic terrorists to include Hamas, Hezbolah, and al-Qaeda, America and freedom loving nations around the world must develop a plan to punish intra-national terrorists, deal with nations that support terrorists (such as Iran and Syria), and promote a moderate Islamic interpretation of the Quran.

And a word to the liberals…when you try to politicize national security the end result is bad for the country and it’s bad for the Democratic party.

Posted by: Cyntino at September 4, 2006 3:34 PM
Comment #179162

Cyntino

when you try to politicize national security the end result is bad for the country
So why was it OK for the Republicans to do it during the Clinton administration?

Posted by: ElliottBay at September 4, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #179163
when you try to politicize national security the end result is bad for the country

We wouldn’t be in this mess, and would be doing a much better job fighting terrorism if Bush hadn’t done exactly that. I couldn’t agree with you more.

Posted by: Max at September 4, 2006 4:01 PM
Comment #179166

There are 1.5 billion muslims in the world.

What percentage do you think we have made enemies of? 10%? 5%? 2%? …1%?

What percentage of 1.5 billion is 22?

Posted by: RGF at September 4, 2006 4:27 PM
Comment #179167

d.a.n.,
Is Iraq in a civil war? Depends on the definition of “civil war.” The situation meets some definitions, and does not meet others. The debate over terminology is politically motivated. Calling it a “civil war” makes staying in Iraq seem useless. Calling it “sectarian violence” makes staying seem worthwhile. My opinion is that it is a civil war. Agreed?

There is a danger that the civil war could become a regional one. Kurdish communists are already fighting Iranias along that border, and Turkey is fighting Kurds too. Conflict centering around the Kurds will occur regardless of what we want.

Another danger is regional war between Sunnis and Shias.

I was opposed to going into Iraq because I thought Bush #41 made the right call in the First Gulf War. Iraq is ungovernable. Iraq created Saddam Hussein, not vice versa. For some reason the current Bush administration completely ignored the wisdom behind the decision of Bush #41. I never have been able to understand how the current White House could have been so delusional about Iraq.

I think we should withdraw. Agreed? It makes no sense to stay in a bad situation. It is a case of throwing good money after bad, of wasting lives and treasure on a lost cause. It was a mistake. Perhaps the Iraqis will create their own happy ending. I wish them luck. It is clearly beyond the means of the United States to deliver them a happy ending on a silver platter.

Posted by: phx8 at September 4, 2006 4:33 PM
Comment #179168

Cyntino

Nobody has politicized national security more than GWB and Co. Liberals, Democrats, Moderates, no one comes close. George is the one playing the fear game.

Posted by: mark at September 4, 2006 5:01 PM
Comment #179169

Weary Willie sez:

I’m not saying there have not been mistakes made in this war. I will not say the battle for Iraq is a mistake… I cannot say initiating the battle for Iraq was a mistake.

Well, at least now we know what you’re not saying. What exactly are you saying?

George H. W. Bush stopped before going into Bagdad. He recognized the vacume would split the country and he did not remove Hussien from power.

Yes, someone famous once said “Discretion is the better part of valor”? GHWB was right and he was smart. Too bad his son couldn’t have learned something from him.

An interesting scenerio to play out would be if George W. Bush stopped just short of Bagdad at the behest of the Kuwait government. Call it a little tit for tat. Take control of one third of Iraq from the shores of the persian gulf and up the rivers to the outskirts of Bagdad and call it Kuwait.

Of course you neglect to explain exactly how and why it would have been in the USA’s best interest to protect the Kuwaitis, spending our dollars and our soldiers’ lives and for what?

But that’s long past. An opportunity missed.

Not at all. It was, rather than an opportunity missed, a smart move to roll the Iraqis back to the previous border and get the heck out of Dodge. If only we had also bailed out of Saudi Arabia at the same time.

The next mistake was to remove Sadam’s government with a lightning strike assault and not have the forces needed to secure and replace the government.

Gee, you think so? What do you think all of us non-Bushbots have been saying since practically day one?

Many say that the American forces destroyed the infrastructure but it is not true. The Iraqi people themselves dismantled the infrastructure during the looting that following.

Uh, no. The infrastructure, i.e. power, water, comunications, etc. were taken out by the much-vaunted “Shock and Awe (TM, Bushco Inc.)”. Th Iraqis did do some superficial damage, but virtually none compared to our blitzkrieg air war.

Rummy wanted his 150,000 troop shock and awe. Fine and dandy for taking out a government with an inferior military. We did it in Panama.

OK, now you’re engaging in blatant revisionism. Gen. John Shaliskashvili wanted about this many troops to conquer and maintain the peace. Wolfowitz, on the other hand, called this number “Wildly off the mark”, and the good general was shuffled off to early retirement. But the funny thing was that we’ve got about as many troops engaged over there now as the good general had requested. And Wolfy was promoted to head the World Bank.

It was thought the Iraqi people would rise up and grasp the golden ring. A mistake. Expecially since our support was nowhere to be found when they did stand up. A little “Fool me once…” there.

On a side note. The support may not have been there because of the agreement made post Gulf War concerning the use of helecopters. Schwartzkauf said he was “snookered” into allowing the Iraqi government access to helecopters to conduct business. Saddam used helecopters to quell the uprisings that followed the Gulf War.

More revisionism. I seem to recall a few of the Bushies claiming we would be greeted with flowers (Wolfy) and that the war would pay for itself with oil revenues (Rummy) but never heard we expected them to try and overthrow Saddam. Maybe you could post a link. But you’re probably right about the “fool me once…”: we might not be in this position at all if GWHB hadn’t hung the Iraqi dissidents out to dry after the original Desert Storm.

Or not. I’m not sure.

Anyway.

Indeed. Good to know. I sort of suspected it to begin with but thanks for confirming.

Some 400,000 troops are needed to successfully subdue Iraq.

How did you arrive at this 400K number?

Along with the massive amounts of economic aid required to pacify the population. None of that was forthcomming after the invasion and that has put us in our current situation.

Oh please. We are pumping more aid into Iraq now than we have into the areas devastated by Katrina. That is unbelievably wrong on many levels, but you seem to think we need to dump more money into Iraq???

Unlike my first scenerio that describes a lost opportunity, the second set of mistakes can be rectified by doing it over. If at first you don’t succeed then try, try again.

I know! I can just see you guys smacking your foreheads and exclaiming, “Ignorance!”, “Pie in the sky!”.

You are so right. What are you suggesting, that we leave Iraq and invade them again, including “Shock and Awe (TM, Bushco Inc.)”???

I sympathize with you! Now, no one would condone throwing good money after bad. Now, no one would consider sending more people into the battle. We are tired of this and need a commercial break so we can go potty.

You know, this might almost be funny if you weren’t joking around about, first and foremost, this country having wasted nearly 3000 US soldiers’ lives several 10s of thousand other soldiers quality of lives; and (a distant) second literally billions of US treasure. You should be ashamed, sir.

We have been discussing the mistakes enough.

Here’s the thing about discussing past mistakes: it is the only way we can come to understand how the mistakes were made; it’s the same thing as will happen regarding that jet that crashed after attempting to take off the the too-short runway in Lexington KY. I know Repugs and Cons are absolutely adamant about just pretending you made no mistakes, that it’s all just bad PR, but it’s not. It just a fantasy world that Repugs and Cons live in, where they never do anything wrong, it’s just the way it’s reported by the liberal media.

Here’s a solution we should be talking about. Send in another 250,000 troops!

The thing about this is that the military is already having to pull people who have already served their full term back into additional tours, because no one in their right mind would join the military under a Repug president with neo-con advisors. So, apparently you are advocating a military draft. Is that correct? Because if you aren’t advocating a draft, you’re going to have to explain where these additional 250K troops are going to come from.

Make food and water plentiful. Build infrastructure and provide jobs. Do what we should have done to begin with.

Gee, you think so? What do you think the military has been trying to do for the last approximately 3 years? I don’t see that it has really made much difference in the levels of the sectarian violence, which, by the way, even the military is saying is getting worse, not better.

Posted by: Crazy_joe_divola at September 4, 2006 5:18 PM
Comment #179170
phx8 wrote: My opinion is that it is a civil war. Agreed?
Yes, I’d call it civil war. Not all out, but what they are now calling low-grade. The current 103 deaths per day is now above the average deaths per day (36) from Mar-2003 to Aug-2006.
phx8 wrote: Iraq is ungovernable
That is probably one of the saddest, but most important realizations we must accept (as we finally did in Vietnam).
phx8 wrote: I think we should withdraw. Agreed?
Yes, we should leave. Yes, going there was a huge blunder, because there was no WMD. I now believe that invading Iraq was a trumped up excuse, and/or a sad demonstration of massive incompetence. I also believe 9/11 was in part a result of severe government incompetence (ignoring FBI reports about terrorists using planes as missiles, ignoring warnings to secure cock-pit doors, ignoring warnings about Bin Laden, ignoring warnings about airport security, ignoring open ports and borders, etc., etc., etc.). You would think we could be much better from our government for $2.2 trillion per year in tax revenues (that is a criticism of our irresponsible elected government, not our brave and competent military service people). But, when terrorists really do lay their hands on WMD, there will be nothing to stop them from walking right across our wide-open borders, already over-flowing with illegal trespassers.
  • Posted by: d.a.n at September 4, 2006 5:22 PM
    Comment #179171

    Paul Seigal

    Thank you for the welcome back. As usual,I have a lot of work to do straightening out your thought processes…but hey…that’s what a compassionate conservative is all about! I am sure that as we continue to exchange ideas that with time you will come around! :)

    RFG
    I will do the math for you….something for you to mull over: Roughly 10% of the world’s Muslim population adhere’s to a fundamentalist philosophy…..10% of 1 billion is 100 million people…..100 million people who want us dead….a larger population, by the way than Nazi Germany….mull that over for a while….

    Crazy Joe

    Just wait,partner….way to early yet…just returned from Europe remember?….plus…I want you to keep tuning into Watchblog!

    Ace Tracy

    Great name.
    Other than that, I kinda think your’re off base on just about everything you wrote but still a nice post!

    Consider:
    You said:
    1) Shiite controlled government alligned with Iran,
    I say:
    Study history a bit and you will find that for CENTURIES the Persain and Arab cultures have soaked in more blood than perhaps any two other cultures. Any cooperation that they may have is short lived. Arabs are Arabs. Persains are Persains. Period.

    You say:

    2) Rampant anti-American sentiment throughout the MidEast.

    Been that way since well before the 1967 War when Isreal kicked the crap out of everyone. OBL declared war on the US in 1991,remember? The Iraq war started nothing. If anything,it killed a whole lot of bad guys, and a whole lot more will still be killed. It’s war, remember?

    You say:
    3) Largest US deficit in history
    I say:
    Freedom cost money. Plus the economy has created hundreds of thousands of jobs during this presidency…jobs that pay taxes which pays fom freedom…it’s all connected,you see?
    You Say:
    4) A humbled US military that can’t win a war
    I say:
    Bullshit. Never forget this: Our military forces are the world’s best. They cower to no one. If the generals had their way, Baghdad would be a beach right now…and Iraq would be back in the 10th century. Our military is the finest in HUMAN HISTORY. Period.


    Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 4, 2006 5:30 PM
    Comment #179172

    The left is so heavily invested in our defeat in Iraq that they can let no good news get out from there. The doomsday drumbeat from these natterring nabobs of negativity is too much. Please, libs—let the U.S. military win this thing.

    Posted by: nikkolai at September 4, 2006 5:35 PM
    Comment #179173

    SE:

    Crazy Joe

    Just wait,partner….way to early yet…just returned from Europe remember?….plus…I want you to keep tuning into Watchblog!

    Way too early for what? All I asked you to do was describe this fantastic accomplishment that invading Iraq produced… Did coming back from Europe make you forget?

    Posted by: Crazy_joe_divola at September 4, 2006 5:36 PM
    Comment #179174
    And a word to the liberals…when you try to politicize national security the end result is bad for the country and it’s bad for the Democratic party.
    To label it as mere politicizing is extremely unfair and overlooks the true concern many Americans have about our troops being maimed and killed. It is not mere politicizing, and to even suggest that it is , without any example or reference to others’ statements.
    Cytino wrote: Nation building isn’t a task that can be completed overnight.

    We are not supposed to be nation building in the first place. That is not the proper use or purpose of our military.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 4, 2006 5:42 PM
    Comment #179175

    Nikkolai:

    The left is so heavily invested in our defeat in Iraq that they can let no good news get out from there.

    Where’s your evidence for this?

    Are you actually trying to get anyone to believe that “the left” (whatever that is) is somehow blocking the fiber optic cables, the cell phones, the satellite uplinks, in short all physical avenues of communication out of Iraq which are trying to carry the news of just how great everything is over there? You know, I’ve worked in telecom for over 15 years and I’ve got to say it’s just not possible, what you’re describing.

    If there was all this great news happening over there, it would be getting out SOMEHOW. 15, 20 years ago, yeah it was possible that could happen. But now, the communications paths are simply too diverse for anyone - left, right or center - to stop the passage of information.

    Actually, since most communication paths are owned by big business, it would seem more likely that the right-wingers would be doing this than the lefties. Not too many lefties own cellular spectrum, fiber optic cables or satellites.

    The doomsday drumbeat from these natterring nabobs of negativity is too much.

    Are you saying that the people who report that things are not going well in Iraq are lying? Prove it. The funny thing is that a lot of the military is saying the same thing and I think you’d be hard pressed to put them in the lefty category.

    Please, libs—let the U.S. military win this thing.

    Sir, this has to be the most hilarious posting I’ve read today - anywhere - and it certainly ranks right up there as one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever read. Let’s see if I’ve got it straight - the liberals are somehow stopping the military from winning in Iraq, is that right????

    Oh my goodness, your message is just breathtaking in its ridiculousness. I’m sure you are a fine person, but your message is simply beyond hilarious.

    Please explain how it can possibly be true the liberals are somehow stopping the military from winning in Iraq, by any stretch of the imagination.

    To be sure, I am about as classically conservative (not Republican, not neo-con) as they come, but if I thought liberals could accomplish something as seemingly difficult/impossible as stopping the miltary from winning a war, I would become a liberal just because it would make me so much more powerful than I am as a mere, lowly classical conservative.

    So please, help me understand.

    LOL

    Posted by: Crazy_joe_divola at September 4, 2006 5:56 PM
    Comment #179176

    It is not mere politicizing to question what Cyntino so aptly and correctly called “nation building”, or Nikkolai calls the “doomsday drumbeat”.

    Those accusations are sad (and weak) attempts to minimize the numerous blunders of our government (not just Republicans; Democrats too, and Demopubs, and Republocrats, and DINOs, and RINOs, or whatever the [explicative] you want to call them … most (if not all) are irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians that care more about their cu$hy, coveted seats and incumbency than the nation; hell, while our troops are risking life and limb, congress is voting on rampant pork-barrel and cu$hy perk$ and raises for themselves).

    Hopefully voters won’t merely let both parties continue to keep taking turns being irresponsible, and will finally do the one simple, common-sense, non-partisan, peaceful, responsible thing that voters were supposed to do all along, always:

      Don’t re-elect irresponsible incumbents.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 4, 2006 6:08 PM
    Comment #179177

    Yea we won the peace, now bring the troops home so no more US service members get killed better yet, let bush go there and say that we won the peace, but let the Iraq’s and the rest of the world know when he is going.

    What bs

    Posted by: KT at September 4, 2006 6:27 PM
    Comment #179178

    Nikkolai,
    “… Let the US military win this thing.”

    If this were a matter of national security, we would institute a draft & deploy 400,000 troops to Iraq. It this were recognized as a matter of national security, substantially everyone would be behind it, just as almost everyone was and still is behind the effort in Afghanistan.

    Unfortunately, Iraq is not a matter of national security. It is a matter of political security for Republicans. They made a mistake. They lied to convince the US to go to war, there was no plan, and since then they have continually lied with lines such as “last throes” and “dead-enders” and “turning the corner.”

    Nikkolai. That is enough. The time is rapidly coming when people sharing your beliefs will be held accountable at the ballot box. Make your case. No more lies. No more exaggerations. Clearly explain why Iraq is worth $257 million a day, & why it is worth all the death and destruction. Do not blame it on liberals. Do not trumpet the capture of another #2 terrorist, because that horn has been blown one too many times, and no one but Sicilian Eagle will even bother to notice it.

    If this is a matter of US national security, and not just Republican political security, it should be easy to clearly, concisely explain why.

    Posted by: phx8 at September 4, 2006 6:48 PM
    Comment #179180

    And for the “Not Getting it at all” award…

    It’s Siiiicililian Eeeeeagle!

    So, then, SE…what percentage of the 100 million who want us dead is 22?

    Posted by: RGF at September 4, 2006 6:56 PM
    Comment #179181

    Hey SE, what is that that you’re on man? That’s no ten dollar baggie.Where can I get some of that?

    On another vein, (pun not intended!) I’ve just had a eureka moment! Must be the stuff I’m takin - good afghan stuff, the kind you couldn’t get until recently, wonder why?? I have the solution to all of the problems in Iraq!!!!!

    There’s this guy in jail over there, and all that’s needed is for the US to break him out, and pop him onto the local throne and give him a little help to get up and running. He’d have the place pacified in a New York minute. His CV ( sorry that’s what we call his resume over here) is truly stunning. In his previous job where he ran an administration, there was hardly a peep of opposition to him. In fact, I remember seeing news features of him surrounded by fans, all offering their lives and their blood for him. He’d be just the ticket. Well come on, don’t all rush together, this is the real deal. And no doubt this time, he would toe the party line and dance the puppet jiggle. Ladies and gentleman, I give you……DA DA DA Da DAHHHHHHHHHHHHH……………President…………..Sad Am Hus Sein!

    Posted by: Paul in Euroland at September 4, 2006 7:23 PM
    Comment #179182

    PS, if the name is a problem, we could always change it, and maybe a little cosmetic surgery would make it all a little more palatable. Hell, even SE would like that, given his buddy Berlusconi recommends it.

    Posted by: Paul in Euroland at September 4, 2006 7:30 PM
    Comment #179187

    In addition to national security, there is one possible argument for staying in Iraq: a moral obligation to ensure order.

    Since national security will not fly, this is really the only viable argument for remaining. Withdrawal might result in even worse chaos, a bloodbath, the collapse of the government, and so on.

    The problem with this argument is that the US has a lot of moral obligations. Saddam is gone and a new government is in place. Because the new government is a puppet government, and because it came into being as a result of a foreign invasion, it seems doubtful the Iraqi government will succeed. There are no circumstances under which Sunnis will accept being ruled by Shias. For all practical purposes, the Kurds took a walk a long time ago.

    The mistakes have been made, and there is no do-over. I see no reason to stay.

    Posted by: phx8 at September 4, 2006 8:38 PM
    Comment #179190
    The mistakes have been made, and there is no do-over.

    I agree. However, the mistakes must be analyzed to ensure they are not repeated in the future, and those people who made the mistakes must be held accountable. Thanks to the secrecy and fantasy of this administration, the mistakes have not been analyzed and no one has been held responsible. This is unacceptable in our system of government.

    I see no reason to stay.

    I agree.

    Posted by: Crazy_joe_divola at September 4, 2006 9:16 PM
    Comment #179193

    JoeRWC:

    I agree with you that we gave Iraqis their freedom, but if we dont help them out, they may not keep it for too long.

    Oh, really? Can they walk down the street without fear of being shot or blown up? Can they speak against the government, the USA or the Shiites or Sunnis without fear orf reprisal? Can they bear arms? Can they publish papers not sanctioned by the government, the USA, the Sunnis and the Shiites?

    What freedom do they have that we’ve given them? You forgot to mention one.

    Posted by: Crazy_joe_divola at September 4, 2006 9:35 PM
    Comment #179195

    Whoops, the third link should have been this:

    A reminder of what happens on the Faux News site when someone realizes 64% increase in Afghanistanian opium production is not what the RNC wants you to hear

    Posted by: Crazy_joe_divola at September 4, 2006 9:51 PM
    Comment #179200
    phx8 wrote: In addition to national security, there is one possible argument for staying in Iraq: a moral obligation to ensure order.

    Hmmmmm … maybe, since there was no WMD? Are American limbs and lives worth it? That is a failure of the Executive branch and the “slam dunk” CIA (Central Incompetence Agency). Not our soldiers. Can we ensure order in Iraq? Can we stop civil war? At what cost? As you said earlier (above), “Iraq is ungovernable”.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 4, 2006 10:41 PM
    Comment #179209

    I’m going to try to respond to everybody’s remarks and if I don’t just post it again and I will.

    I’m not sure exactly what percentage of Muslims we’ve made enemies. Probably only 2% are committed to taking an act of aggression against America or other nations in the world. It’s hard to estimate because the U.S. maintains strong relationships with predominantly Muslim nations such as Turkey (NATO member), Pakistan, and Jordan.

    President Bush doesn’t play the fear game. Since 9/11 there have been significant terrorist’s attacks in England, Spain, Indonesia, India, Russia, Pakistan, Israel, and the Philippines to name a few. Often intelligence is shared among the CIA, MI6, Mossad, and other intelligence agencies around the world. Are they all playing the fear game?

    As for the threat that Iraq posed to the U.S. prior to the 2003 war…there was no question about WMD’s before the invasion. Even generals inside the Iraqi Army declared they had them. Google Georges Sada. As for the al-Qaeda connection there is empirical evidence that a group called Answar al-Islam did operate in the north eastern part of the country and pledged allegiance to Hussein and Osama. Google them too. But wait! How could this be? Sunni and Shiite Muslims working together against a common enemy? Just ask Hezbollah and Hamas or Iran and Syria how they do it against Israel.

    I’m not sure why people think the U.S military shouldn’t re-build nations especially if it leads to a safer America. Has anybody ever heard of MOOTW (military operations other than war)?

    And to be fair it’s not a good thing when Republicans politicize national security either. But I respectfully disagree with the individuals who think the liberals would do a better job. Would a Democratic president withdraw our troops when the going gets rough like President Clinton did in Somalia? Or would he continue pointless negotiations like President Carter did with the Iranians?

    To sum it up…Iraq is a central front in the War on Terror and mistakes were made, but mistakes were made during World War II. Such as thinking that negotiations can work with dictators (Hitler wasn’t content with Poland after all). Somebody should forward this to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the President of Iran…

    Posted by: Cyntino at September 5, 2006 12:36 AM
    Comment #179213

    Cyntino,
    You write: “President Bush doesn’t play the fear game.”

    Yes. He does. Remember the recent Red Alert? Did you know the purported hijackers did not have airline reservations? That they did not have the ingredients for their explosives? That some did not even have passports? In addition, the group had been monitored through an informer for over a year. The Brits did not let the Bush administration know until a few weeks beforehand, because the Brits did not trust the Bush admnistration to use the information responsibly. The Red Alert was a classic example of fearmongering. There was no imminent danger of an attack. None. And the administration knew this perfectly well.

    Cyntino, Georges Sada had not worked for the Iraqi military since 1991. He is not a credible source.

    President Bush commissioned the CIA to produce the Duelfer Report. This is the official findings of the CIA on this topic:

    “It should be noted that no information from debriefing of Iraqis in custody supports this possibility. ISG found no senior policy, program, or intelligence officials who admitted any direct knowledge of such movement of WMD. Indeed, they uniformly denied any knowledge of residual WMD that could have been secreted to Syria….

    Based on the evidence available at present, ISG judged that it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place.”

    According to the same Duelfer Report, Iraq had not produced any WMDs since 1991, and destroyed the last of the WMD in 1996.

    Who do you believe? Sada, the right-hand man Allawi, a man who had not been in the Iraqi military since 1991? Or the CIA, who interviewed extensively, investigated onsite, and possessed every investigative means at its disposal, including tremendous incentives to those with proof?

    You do know Answar-al-Islam operated in northeastern Kurdistan, which was beyond the control of Saddam Hussein, right? No group would pledge allegiance to both Hussein and bin Laden, because Hussein was a secular Baathist who persecuted islamic fundamentalists, people such as… well… bin Laden. There is a good reason so many members of SCIRI view Iran favorably. Many lived in Iran. They fled to Iran because Saddam Hussein persecuted islamic radicals.

    Is nation building a valid activity for the US? I would argue for it. But the moral obligation behind nation building can turn into a hall of mirrors. What is the nature and extent of the moral obligation? Should it take precedence over domestic concerns? For how long? For how much money? Suppose a nation resists occupation and rebuilding? At what point does the moral obligation become their responsibility?


    Posted by: phx8 at September 5, 2006 1:28 AM
    Comment #179221

    Hokay, I don’t have the time or patience to read 150 responses, so I’ll just get to my point.

    About a month ago there was an excellent, albeit depressing, article in Time by Aparisim Ghosh, detailing his recent trip to Baghdad. According to his report, Iraq is in complete turmoil, Sunnis killing Shiis, Shiis killing Sunnis, and everyone with the means either leaving the country or fleeing to the Kurdish north. The police belong the the militias, the Iraqi army is toothless, and the members of the government are either in the pocket of one or the other of the sects, or are powerless nobodies elected as wishy-washy “compromise candidates”. In a nutshell, Iraq isn’t sliding into a civil war, it’s already in one.

    This is all well and good, but what followed this article was what really caught my attention. Not two pages later, there is an interview with Secretary of State Condi Rice concerning both Iraq and the conflict between Israel and Hizballah. Let me give you some examples of what she had to stay.

    “(there is) a chance, at least, of being a Middle East in which there is a democratic, multiethnic Iraq where people solve their differences by politics, not by repression.”

    “Where was the military threat? It was from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. I don’t think you’re going to see that from this new Iraq.”

    And most telling

    “I don’t think Iraq is going to slide into civil war.”

    So either Mr. Ghosh is horribly mistaken or a liar, or Condi is. What do you think?

    L

    Posted by: leatherankh at September 5, 2006 2:25 AM
    Comment #179242

    I’m wondering just how many of these “armchair generals” on this blog have actually seen any combat. From some of the remarks I’d say very few.

    I will let the leaders that WE elected and who have access to superior information than I do run the war.

    Posted by: Tom D. at September 5, 2006 3:55 AM
    Comment #179245

    Eagle,

    Good to see you around, but you’re kidding, eh?

    Sheesh, “the nation’s [Iraq’s] most influential moderate Shiite leader has abandoned attempts to restrain his followers, admitting there is nothing he can do to prevent the country sliding towards civil war.”

    And, “a coalition of 300 mainly Sunni tribal leaders has demanded the release of Saddam Hussein so that he can reclaim the presidency. They also called for armed resistance against US-led foreign forces.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/leading-shiite-says-militancy-is-winning/2006/09/03/1157222010820.html

    Also, the Kurds are threatening to secede:

    http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/news/1157367355261170.xml&coll=2

    Yeah, it’s almost over! We’re in the last throes! Mission accomplished!

    I understand that desertion is common among Iraqi troops but also often forgiven for one main reason: there is no trustworthy banking system in Iraq! The Iraqi soldiers generally get paid every 30 to 90 days (quite often less than promised) and the only way to transfer the money to their family is to deliver it by hand.

    Again, it’s good to see you around, but try just a bit less of the red kool-aid, OK?

    KansasDem

    Posted by: KansasDem at September 5, 2006 4:37 AM
    Comment #179246

    Tom D,

    “I’m wondering just how many of these “armchair generals” on this blog have actually seen any combat. From some of the remarks I’d say very few.

    I will let the leaders that WE elected and who have access to superior information than I do run the war.”

    If the display is flashing on my alarm clock it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the power went off.

    Anyone that has played the game “Risk” could have done a better job.

    Posted by: Rocky at September 5, 2006 6:57 AM
    Comment #179247

    Well Tom D, answer your own question, have you served. I am retired Army and spent 21 1/2yrs in. Now talking about arm chair quarterbacks, well I think Dummy rummy and george both fit that.

    Bush plays the fear card all the time, especially when him and his cronies have screwed up and want to cover it up.

    Iraq is NOT the front against terror. It is a country that should have never been invaded and now we are bogged down in the middle of a civil war. No matter how long we are forced to stay there, we will never be able to make it a secure country, because once we leave the different parties will go at it. All it is doing is getting US service members killed, and a waste of billions of dollars that could be spent here in the US, fixing the infrastructor.

    The front to the war against terror should be hunting down Osama in Afganistian/Pakistan, but if we found him, then what would george the worse do to keep sending money to his friends.

    Posted by: KT at September 5, 2006 8:27 AM
    Comment #179248
    I will let the leaders that WE elected and who have access to superior information than I do run the war.

    Oh, like no WMD ?
    Ummm … what happened there … with that superior information ?
    Or, these other blunders ?
    As for who WE elected … WE did a bad job by re-electing the very same irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians, over and over, that put the nation and voters very low on their list of priorities. While our troops risk life and limb, irresponsible politicians are voting on pork-barrel, graft, and corporate welfare … while some troops go without body armor and medical care. WE elected them, so WE are culpable too. That is why WE should not re-elect any irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbents.

    Not to mention our congress persons other dismal handi-work.

    That goes for both Republicans and Democrats.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 5, 2006 9:29 AM
    Comment #179249
    KT wrote: Iraq is NOT the front against terror.

    KT, You are right, and it is very irresponsible and dishonest for Bush to say it is.

    If terrorists had WMD, they would use it.
    With our wide-open ports and borders, when terrorists finally do get WMD, there will be nothing to stop them. They can walk or drive right across the borders with the other thousands that trespass our borders daily.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 5, 2006 10:05 AM
    Comment #179250

    PHX8,

    Good comments I appreciate when people can debate intelligently about a topic they disagree on without resorting to name calling as is the case with some other blogs.

    Now for my response…I believe the red scare you’re referring to is the U.K. terror plot to blow transatlantic flights out of the sky between the U.K. and the U.S. If that’s the case that wasn’t a very good example of President Bush playing the “fear game.” Here is a link to an article from cnn.com I want you to notice a few things: first, the Secretary of Homeland Security said “I want to reiterate: flying is safe (no exactly scary is it?)”, and next I want you to notice how many arrests have taken place around the world prompting several nations to include the French to raising their terror alert levels to imminent, finally, I want you to read the section where it said the U.S. knew of several calls between the terrorists in the U.K. and people in the U.S. That is important because the FIFSA court authorized wire-tapings for this incident.

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/08/11/terror.plot/index.html

    Now a couple of other issues I must address. I’m not sure why you think a dictator is better for Iraq than a democratic government. Saddam wasn’t too good at controlling Iraq either just ask the thousands of Kurds he used chemical weapons on to maintain “control of his country.” But it’s ridiculous to think he would allow a Kurdistan to exist in northern Iraq without his approval. I’m including another link to the Global Security website about Ansar al-Islam (this can be found on other websites but this is one of the few websites without a political agenda). Their allegiance was to Saddam and Bin Laden. It doesn’t make ideological sense but during war alliances are made…like Stalin and FDR, or Iran and Syria (Shiite and Sunni).

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/para/ansar_al_islam.htm

    Just a few more things to sum this rebuttal up…
    President Bashar al-Asad is a secular Baathist parts too. The exact Baathist party that Saddam was a part of as well. That’s important because secular Baathists and fundamental Shiite Muslims can work together against a common enemy. Just like al-Asad and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (President of Iran). Just so there is no room to disagree the first link is to the profile of Bashar al-Asad and the second link is to his political party.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bashar_al-Assad

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baath_Party


    You write intelligent entries but I think I got you on this one. Just please cut and paste the internet addresses and see for yourself.

    PS. The U.N. found WMD’s in 1998 prior to the organization leaving. Please don’t make me send a link for that too.

    Posted by: Cyntino at September 5, 2006 10:19 AM
    Comment #179252

    I’ve been enjoying my weekend and won’t bother to read the 156 replies so far but:

    The MSM has led us to believe that … Posted by: sicilian eagle at September 3, 2006 09:48 AM
    we all know that the instant the (r)wingnut buzzphrases come out the argument about to be posted is without merit. Besides, isn’t this the third or fifth #2 we’ve caught or killed this year?

    Posted by: Dave1 at September 5, 2006 10:54 AM
    Comment #179255

    Dave:

    Whenever we catch a high ranking terrorist, it is good news. I don’t care what their “number” is. We also know that nature abhors a vacuum and organizational charts abhor one too. So when a number 2 is captured, usually the number 3 guy moves up to number 2. If he is then captured, then, yes another number 2 has been captured. And it is a good thing.

    I think we can agree on my comments…can we not?

    Posted by: joebagodonuts at September 5, 2006 12:54 PM
    Comment #179257

    SE,

    If, God forbid, the USA lost its number two guy, plus a handful of his cohorts…would the war in Iraq stop? Just how many number two guys does al Qaida have? Your post makes no sense…

    Posted by: Marysdude at September 5, 2006 1:08 PM
    Comment #179258

    JBOD,

    You know, that brings up a good point:

    These guys are only ranked in importance in retrospect AFTER we have romoved or eliminated them. When they are active, they are ‘earning’ their importance in whatever group they are involved with: The Taliban, Al Qaeda, the followers of Muqtada al Sader, etc. What number they have is only important to us, and even then, that number becomes irrelevent the moment they are captured or eliminated.

    So we got 22. You ‘Bushies’ aren’t really trying to say that signals success, are you?

    The reality is, you are grasping at straws for some kind of positive affirmation of the war. It doesn’t exist. Not there.

    We have created CHAOS in Iraq. We have garnered the enmity of far more than we can possibly catch or kill. Call them what you want, but when an otherwise reasonable and normal muslim kid sees his family killed, maimed or tortured in Abu Ghraib, wrongfully killed in a ‘mistake,’ made homeless or made to live on the edge of destitution or starvation…
    That kid is likely to fill the ranks of those taking up arms against our troops no matter how ‘righteous’ we think our cause is. That is the nature of war. That is why even righteous causes earn violent enemies. That is the reality that is not getting through to Bush supporters.

    How many times do have go through this basic lesson: WAR IS HELL (see also: violence doesn’t solve anything).

    Posted by: RGF at September 5, 2006 1:29 PM
    Comment #179263

    So, JBOD,

    As for agreeing with your comments…

    What you are saying is essentially irrelevent.

    Capturing or killing someone we consider to be a high ranking terrorist only causes another to fill his shoes…

    while at the same time creating the circumstances that fill the ranks of the entire organization of those waiting to fill his shoes.

    That someone will necessairily be someone that we know far less about, so the whole process of hunting and finding and gaining information about the new guy continues in a never ending cycle.

    we got 22. How many more are waiting to move up? How many are we generating? How many of our own are we losing?

    When does this insanity stop?

    Posted by: RGF at September 5, 2006 2:18 PM
    Comment #179264

    JBOD,

    Yes. It is a good thing when we capture a “high ranking” member of the enemy. And, yes, there will be more to replace him. Unfortunately, SE’s enthusiasm doesn’t mean squat to the enemy. He sees it as sheep food to justify keeping the GOPers in DC in power and continuing the Bush dictatorship.

    def’n: dictatorship
    n : a form of government in which the ruler is not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc…


    Posted by: Dave1 at September 5, 2006 2:41 PM
    Comment #179270

    Cyntino-
    The scare tactics come when the time comes for election day, and the Republicans are saying that handing things over to the Democrats and withdrawing from Iraq will mean more terrorists attacks over here. The scare tactic is not in the acknowledgment of the danger or the reassurance about security. The scare tactic is linking, with no proof forthcoming, defeat in the war on terrorism on the defeat of Republicans and the frustration of Bush’s continuation of his policy.

    As for Saddam, I think he tolerated groups that could serve a thorns in his enemy’s side, but I think there’s no evidence of a real al-Qaeda presence or of a working relationship between the two.

    On the subject of WMDs, I’m afraid the president’s pre-emptive justification for war essentially leaves us no breathing room on that. The WMDs had to be working, they had to be present, and they had to be ongoing programs to make new ones. We were not alleging intent. That could have never justified a war. Plenty of leaders intend bad things, but do not have the means or the opportunity to do them.

    So, you cannot justify an invasion on rusted, unusable weaponry, nor can you justify it on intentions already thwarted by the means at our disposal at the time.

    Moreover, this wasn’t merely hindsight. There were good indications that Saddam’s program was pretty much kaput at the time we invaded, and in the months before. Unfortunately, our Administration was focused on finding proof to satisfy their suspicions and support their plans, not evidence to indicate the state of things. They got ahead of themselves, and plunged us into a war where our credibility and ability to fight other wars was on the line.

    You talk about the central front in the war on terror, but you neglect that Ansar al-Islam was the only group we found when we invaded, and only 300 people at that. We could have simply taken an airstrike to them and destroyed them once and for all. Meanwhile, over in Europe, we’re seeing unrest and radicalism. In Afghanistan, our enemies are rebounding from the defeat we gave them. Elsewhere in the world, it seems like radical Islamists are not having a problem maintaining their reign of terror.

    Central front in the War on Terror? How about the biggest distraction one could conceive of. A successful defense against terrorism is not going to necessarily be a big glamorous, expensive war.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 5, 2006 4:16 PM
    Comment #179271

    Dave1:

    When you denigrate someone’s information as “sheep food”, you denigrate anyone who might agree with the information. I have thought for a long time that Iraq was not in as bad a shape as has been presented. That’s not to say there are not problems—-there certainly are.

    But when an election in Iraq and the signing of a Constitution in Iraq garner no more than a day or two of news coverage before a return to the salaciously negative headlines, then something is wrong. There must be a balance and it is easily recognizable that Iraq has both good and bad going on.

    The media is driven by bad news—its part of the medium. No headline will be written about a day with no bloodshed, or a day with no traffic accidents, or a day with no tragedy. Headlines are written about days that contain bad things.

    Surely you can see that much of Iraq is in good condition, while specific areas still have major bloodshed and problems. To see this, one must have the ability to see the entire picture…I think you have that ability.

    I could in turn call your information, or anyone DISagreeing with SE, traitorous or cowardly. But name calling isn’t the right way to go about things. Calling people sheep is a pejorative way of saying you disagree. There certainly are people who follow the crowd mindlessly, but most of them are not able to write coherently on a site like Watchblog.

    I won’t go down that road. I’d enjoy it if you’d join me on the higher road.

    Posted by: joebagodonuts at September 5, 2006 4:31 PM
    Comment #179274

    Bush, Colin Powell, Rice, Cheney, a majority of congress (Republicans and Democrats) told the American people Iraq had WMD, trumped up ties to terrorists, and exaggerated the links between Al-Qaida and Iraq. All those people, and many others in the admininstration, all together, seemed credibile.

    Many Americans believed them.

    Now we know there was no WMD.

    And, there is no evidence that it was there, and moved elsewhere. Not a trace. Some of these things would leave some forensic evidence. And, this administration would, no doubt, go to great lengths to prove the existence of WMD, had it really existed. So, Blix was right afterall.

    Also, had there been any WMD, terrorists would have used it. Saddam probably would have used it. Someone in Iraq would have used it.

    So, we’ve been had. Americans have been misled (either by accident, or intentionally).

    It was either:

    • a lie

    • Or, bad intelligence, and massive negligence and incompetence (certainly no “slam dunk”).

    Take your pick. A lie or incompetence.

    Which is worse?
    Either way, tens of thousands are dead, and it continues.

    If you were Bush, how could you cope with the possibility that you have made one of the worst blunders ever (not to mention these other 98 blunders)?

    Or, do you suppose Bush is still firm in his belief that he did the right thing?

    Or, do you suppose Bush understands the mistake, but hopes that success in Iraq will justify all of it ?

    Therefore, Bush is either:

    • too prideful to ever admit a mistake, because it would be too difficult to ever admit a mistake of such magnitude and loss of life caused by him and his administration’s incompetence

    • Or, it was all intentional (i.e. planned), and conscience was never a factor.

    Many (like myself) have tried for a long time to not believe it … but Bush and his incompetent administration, all in lock-step, have made a terrible mistake that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths.

    Some will keep trying to rationalize and justify the invasion of Iraq, but it was quite simply a monumental blunder.

    To make things worse, we are now stuck with a moral obligation to try to make Iraq safe, and that will cost more lives.

    And, while all of this was going on, while our troops risk life and limb, irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians are voting on pork-barrel, graft, and corporate welfare … while at that same time, some troops go without body armor and medical care.

    It is a shame that so many people have to die because of the incompetence of only a few within government. It is a shame few in government (not even Powell) stood against it, and questioned the accuracy of the “slam dunk” intelligence.

    Now, we are hearing how it is making us safer. Who really buys that anymore? Calling it the front on terrorism is a farce when we know it is mostly civil war … a civil war that may have never occurred had we not invaded Iraq (not to mention the tens of thousands now dead).

    A lot of Americans want to believe so badly that we didn’t do the wrong thing, but it’s damn hard. Many can’t go along any more. The lack of WMD and pathetic condition of the Iraqi military now make the case to invade Iraq extremely weak. Wars should not be started on such weak , irresponsible, inaccurate information.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 5, 2006 6:50 PM
    Comment #179297

    jbod,

    I never said SE was “sheep food”.

    What I said was that he viewed the data he was presenting in the context of “we have exactly 8 weeks until the mid-terms to beat this drum.”

    It was his claim that “the peace was won” and the news had to spread in time to keep the GOP in charge. He also tried to discount media reporting with my phrase “(r)wingnut buzzphrases”. The whole world says it’s really really really bad in Iraq right now, not just the media.

    You can believe that things are “going great” and that “peace accomplished” is a legitimate claim. You can believe SE presented supporting data.

    But 3000 murdered Iraqi’s a month doesn’t seem to me to be “going great” or “peaceful” or even close to anything positive. Also, his “data” isn’t “data”, it is opinion used to combine the gaps between individual datum. He makes connections between disparate details and creates an unsupported picture. Unsupported, that is, except for people who already believe, or want to believe, the picture. That is where “sheep food” comes from.
    I apologize for the insulting nature of the phrase and will try to be more polite.

    Posted by: Dave1 at September 5, 2006 10:19 PM
    Comment #179304

    David1
    If it means anything, I really love lamb chops!

    Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 5, 2006 10:51 PM
    Comment #179327

    Bravo phx8!!! Truly excellent posts in this thread.
    You wrote:
    “The mistakes have been made, and there is no do-over. I see no reason to stay.”

    Exactly. Nor do I.

    PS. Welcome back Sic Eagle. Nice trip I take it? I can see you’ve been keeping yourself very well hydrated with plenty of red kool-aid.

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 6, 2006 12:57 AM
    Comment #179378

    Red kool-aid and rose-colored glasses (or blinders) in the rose-colored column !

    : )

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 6, 2006 11:00 AM
    Comment #179381

    Paul in Euroland

    Now, now now,my French friend. Deiscuss the message, not the messanger…you know that.

    This last decade, I have spent half my time in Europe…living in Sicily and Holland, travelling every place else. I am as qualified as any to render an opinion ther, I think.

    However, your views are prejudiced somewhat by the French media and television that sets your point of view. You should be thanking me for presenting an opposing viewpoint, Paul, not mocking me. Before you make an informed decision about anything, a glance at least on the other side is necessary.

    By the way,the shots on the president are unwarranted. This pieces has nothing to do with him.

    Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 6, 2006 11:07 AM
    Comment #179433

    SE,

    Bush has everything to do with Iraq. He was the “decider”, this is his mess.

    Here’s an article that completely refutes your supposition that things are great and the danger is past:
    Speaker warns Iraq has months to avert collapse This article also quotes “senior U.S. military spokesman Major General William Caldwell told journalists on Wednesday that Suaidi had actually been in custody since June 19”
    Yup, things are just freakin’ great in Iraq. Hell of a job Bushie.

    Posted by: Dave1 at September 6, 2006 4:46 PM
    Comment #179676

    Sic Eagle:
    “Paul in Euroland
    Now, now now,my French friend.”

    Paul in Euroland is an Irishman.

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 7, 2006 5:44 PM
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