March 18, 2007

"Striking resilience and optimism" among Iraqis.

The Times Online reports:
DESPITE sectarian slaughter, ethnic cleansing and suicide bombs, an opinion poll conducted on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq has found a striking resilience and optimism among the inhabitants.

The poll, the biggest since coalition troops entered Iraq on March 20, 2003, shows that by a majority of two to one, Iraqis prefer the current leadership to Saddam Hussein’s regime, regardless of the security crisis and a lack of public services.

The survey, published today, also reveals that contrary to the views of many western analysts, most Iraqis do not believe they are embroiled in a civil war....

The poll highlights the impact the sectarian violence has had. Some 26% of Iraqis - 15% of Sunnis and 34% of Shi’ites - have suffered the murder of a family member. Kidnapping has also played a terrifying role: 14% have had a relative, friend or colleague abducted, rising to 33% in Baghdad.

Yet 49% of those questioned preferred life under Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, to living under Saddam. Only 26% said things had been better in Saddam’s era, while 16% said the two leaders were as bad as each other and the rest did not know or refused to answer.

Memeorandum notes the discussion of this article.

119 comments:

monkeyboy said...

Only 26% said things had been better in Saddam’s era

Scarlett O'Hara liked it better before the war as well.

AJ Lynch said...

Ann:

You blogged about this to get the ire of your regular lib nitwits, didn't you? I can almost picture you maniacally rubbing your hands together like a seasoned fisherman who just baited his hooks and cast his lines..."Come & get it fishies".

babuilder said...

I'm with AJ. This will be a record setting ADS event. I'll be working in the yard while this one is going on.

reality check said...

So just what does a 59% get you in a U Madison Law class?

I mean, jeez, 41% of the people think the US is as bad or worse than Saddam?

And we paid for this with 3200 American lives, 35000 wounded, an unknown number of contractors dead and wounded, 200 coalition dead, between 50,000 and 700,000 Iraqi dead, and by destabilizing the region and the world, increasing terrorism, ransacking our treasury, breaking our Army, worsening the nuclear situation in Iran and NK, destroying habeas corpus, restricting civil rights in the United States, advancing a unitary executive theory that demolishes checks and balances, and splintering the US People.

And we're about to see the Althouse groupies defend that? Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations, moral relativism, and situational ethics.

Woohoo!

Doyle said...

I am pleasantly surprised at how few Iraqis think things were better under Saddam Hussein, and how few believe there is a civil war going on (although those numbers are probably much higher than if you ask people in most countries that question).

But the relative safety and political stability those numbers would suggest (as opposed to the liberal media's overly dire portrait) would seem to argue for the withdrawal of our forces rather than against them. You can't claim "mission accomplished" while still insisting our totally non-occupying troops have to stay.

Which brings us to the poll that somehow landed on Ann's cutting room floor:

Some 53% of Iraqis nationwide agree that the security situation will improve in the weeks after a withdrawal by international forces, while only 26% think it will get worse.

Isn't the likelihood of things getting worse kind of the pillar of the argument for staying?

reality check said...

It must be interesting to listen to Ann teach "fruit of the poisonous tree" and other civil rights issues when she is such a fervent believer in "ends justify the means."

Peter Palladas said...

Another Voice

"Here we come to the end of 2006 and I am sad. Not simply sad for the state of the country, but for the state of our humanity, as Iraqis. We've all lost some of the compassion and civility that I felt made us special four years ago. I take myself as an example. Nearly four years ago, I cringed every time I heard about the death of an American soldier. They were occupiers, but they were humans also and the knowledge that they were being killed in my country gave me sleepless nights. Never mind they crossed oceans to attack the country, I actually felt for them.

Had I not chronicled those feelings of agitation in this very blog, I wouldn't believe them now. Today, they simply represent numbers. 3000 Americans dead over nearly four years? Really? That's the number of dead Iraqis in less than a month. The Americans had families? Too bad. So do we. So do the corpses in the streets and the ones waiting for identification in the morgue."

boston70 said...

I thought the NYTimes was the enemy-we can't trust this poll can we?

Speaking of the NY Times Frank Rich (I know secular progessive, hate me) had a great editorial today regarding Marie Antonette I mean Barbara Bush's comments at the beginning of the Iraq War:

Barbara Bush tells Diane Sawyer on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she will not watch televised coverage of the war: “Why should we hear about body bags and deaths, and how many, what day it’s going to happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it’s, it’s not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?”

Body Bags and deaths not relevant-lovely.

Still no in depth post on the attorney firings-just a quick couple of words and let the vultures attack. I am suprised. It this blog they are many postings about "legal stuff" but not even an opinion regarding the current situation that has been in the news all week. You should feel comfortable-no republicans are overtly supporing Gonzales. Oh I forgot this was something that the Bush admin did-never mind, nothing to see here.

Let's get back to Hilaryland and Obambi feuds!!!!

Doyle said...

No, Ann's not needed as a lawblogger right now. You see, the legal system has been rendered obsolete by 9/11, and our president, chosen by God, has all affairs of state well in hand with a keen eye towards the terrorist threat.

What the world needs now is another right wing blogger to get the good news out about Iraq, because people are under the impression it has gone badly.

Ann Althouse said...

"So just what does a 59% get you in a U Madison Law class?"

Since a curve is imposed, on my exam, probably a B+.

Ann Althouse said...

Boston: I read the Frank Rich piece and felt horrified all over again by that Barbara Bush quote. She's really a piece of work.

George said...

We're going to be the prime mover militarily, politically, and, hopefully, economically, in the Middle East and the Muslim world for the next century or two, so we might as well get used to it.

None of the Democratic Pres. contenders are going to weaken our military position in Iraq, because they know it would only worsen our strategic position in the region. Abandoning Iraq means chaos. Staying and fighting means giving its people a chance to create some kind of peaceful democratic government. The Democratic candidates are pandering to the left-wing of their party to get the nomination. Nothing more, nothing less. Very cynical.

It will take another 10-15 years to stabilize Iraq, says Petraeus. Pray that Egypt or Saudi Arabia don't combust during that period. Or that the Iranians don't attack us to shore up their own increasingly rickety regime.

As for President Bush, he is our Lincoln. Actually, he'll be remembered in the Middle East as their Lincoln--the man who cared enough to do his damndest to free people from monstrous dictators. That's one of the reasons why the Iraqis have "striking resilience and optimism."

Freder Frederson said...

It will take another 10-15 years to stabilize Iraq, says Petraeus.

Actually, according to the President's budget, we will have half as many troops in Iraq in Afghanistan in FY 2008 and they will all be out by FY 2009. So I don't know where Patraeus gets this crazy idea that we are going to be there for the next 10-15 years, let alone the centuries you envision.

Now, who were you saying was serious about this war?

Doyle said...

Or that the Iranians don't attack us to shore up their own increasingly rickety regime.

Yes, I think the overwhelming effect of an Iranian attack on the United States would be to "shore up" the incumbent regime. Although it's not really the actual, clerical regime that's rickety. It's Ahmedinejad.

As for President Bush, he is our Lincoln.

I'm inspired, but slightly confused. Whose Lincoln was Lincoln, then?

I agree that we should rid the world of mostrous dictators, which is why I support chimpeachment.

monkeyboy said...

Whose Lincoln was Lincoln, then?

That Lincoln belongs to another group of wogs who had no tradition of democracy and were better off in the relative safety of bondage. Another group that, according to the Democratic party, weren't worth the life of a single soldier, and whose freedom was never put forth as an original war aim.

Doyle said...

Ah yes, the modern day Republican Party: Sons of Lincoln!

hdhouse said...

do the math. do the percentages and weigh them regarding the makeup of the population.

numbers don't lie. liars lie with numbers.

and you neocons....who think this is a bait.....i want you all to call george bush and tell him he is doing a great job and send more troops over at once to bask in the victory obviously unfolding....send some of your kids too ok...

major combat is over! hurrah!

ShadyCharacter said...

So are the sane commentors going to cede the board to Glenn Greenwald posting under his 6 screen names?

That's probably fine. Rational people can read the poll results and realize that things aren't as bad as the lefties have hoped they would be since the war started (how galling for them that there's fewer US casualties so far than in a bad day in WWII. And now it turns out that there are some Iraqis who prefer dangerous freedom to dangerous tyranny? What a bummer!) Let's give HDhouse and doyle et all time to finish giving each other high fives about how badly the war's going on this fine Sunday afternoon.

reality check said...

59 / .88 = 67 = Top Grade on an exam?

Doyle said...

things aren't as bad as the lefties have hoped they would be since the war started

There was a time when I would have been fazed by the malicious dishonesty of wingnuts like these, but since this war started four years ago I've had plenty of time to build up a tolerance.

Sure, they're pathetic, servile creatures who are totally unaccountable for their lunatic theories, but they've squandered all the political capital they could wring from 9/11, and are on their way out.

Meade said...

"...the poll that somehow landed on Ann's cutting room floor:

Some 53% of Iraqis nationwide agree that the security situation will improve in the weeks after a withdrawal by international forces, while only 26% think it will get worse. "

Is it possible that the poll's 53% who agreed that security will improve read the question as withdrawal by international forces because the insurgents and terrorists will have quit in defeat" while the 26% equated withdrawal by international forces with cutting and running?

michael a litscher said...

So are the sane commentors going to cede the board to Glenn Greenwald posting under his 6 screen names?

It's too nice outside to waste time teaching pigs to sing.

Besides, who are you going to believe? American leftists, or the Iraqi's lying eyes (who are obviously under the spell of Rovian mind control)?

Patrick said...

I don't get how that's dishonest. A poll is posted that says Iraqis don't think it is as bad as others in the world think it is, and then the whole comment thread is filled with a few folks saying how much worse it is, and people are stupid, and I'm stupid, and everyone is dumb, and stupid, and blind, and silly.

Then pointing that out is dishonest?

A post that seems to have a bit of positive news in it is instantly trashed by people for absolutely no other reason than it seems to have positive news.

That's a really weird mindset to me. I bet you're really great in hospitals when people are given ambiguous news.

"Ooooh, a 60% chance to live, that's a D chance buddy. You better just give up now, and your friends are idiots if they have any hope for you."

Weird, weird mindset. Hope this is true only for this Iraq issue. Otherwise that's a pretty miserable existence.

Doyle said...

Imagine you had been told four years ago that over 3,200 American soldiers would be killed in a prolonged guerrilla war, the "self-defense" rationale for war was erroneous, and, for our troubles, 49% of Iraqi's would consider the current government preferable to Saddam.

Would you think, back then, that the only reason to criticize that war would be a desire to see Americans killed?

The accusations of treason are the last refuge of the ethically and intellectually bankrupt wingnut, as anyone who watched Tom Delay on MTP this morning could tell you.

dick said...

Doyle,

We were told 4 years ago that at a minimum 10,000 GI's would be killed in the initial battles and thousands more later. I would think that telling people that 3,200 would die over 4 years of terrorist activity would have been considered a blessing.

Doyle said...

Well I guess one man's humanitarian disaster is another man's blessing.

Freder Frederson said...

We were told 4 years ago that at a minimum 10,000 GI's would be killed in the initial battles and thousands more later.

By who?

Peter Palladas said...

Polls eh?

"A new survey paints a pessimistic picture of Iraqis' confidence in their own government and in coalition forces.

Only 18% of Iraqis have confidence in US and coalition troops, while opinion is almost evenly split on whether to have confidence in Iraq's government.

About 86% of those questioned expressed concern about someone in their household being a victim of violence.

More than 2,000 people were polled for the study, which was commissioned by the BBC, ABC News, ARD and USA Today.

The survey was conducted by D3 Systems.

The latest findings contrast strongly with the outlook among Iraqis in 2005, when respondents to a similar survey were generally hopeful about the future."

monkeyboy said...

Well Ted Kenndy for one.

According to Kennedy, a war on Saddam might also cause an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with an estimated 900,000 refugees, a pandemic and an environmental disaster as Saddam lit the oilfields on fire. Kennedy even quoted General Joseph Hoar, who warned that when urban warfare broke out in Baghdad, the U.S. could run through “battalions a day at a time” and that the fighting would look like “the last fifteen minutes of 'Private Ryan.'”

Surely you remember the name "Baghdadgrad" and how the US troops were ill prepared to fight in the desert heat.

Steve Donohue said...

Wow- this post has really sent a couple of folks into a tizzy.

PatCA said...

P, this explains the weird, weird mindset better than I ever could:

http://www.marxist.org.uk/htm_docs/comm12.htm

LoafingOaf said...

Some 26% of Iraqis - 15% of Sunnis and 34% of Shi’ites - have suffered the murder of a family member. Kidnapping has also played a terrifying role: 14% have had a relative, friend or colleague abducted, rising to 33% in Baghdad.

That's extremely chilling stuff and I certainly didn't foresee so much sectarian violence. It's hard to imagine that much violence going on all around you.

That with all this horrible sectarian and chaotic violence a majority would still take it over the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein ought to highlight for everyone just how extremely evil the genocidal Baath regime was, and just how wrong those who were advising to leave him be and let him off the hook were.

Shame on the world for not toppling that regime during Gulf War 1, making it all the more painful and difficult for Iraq to have a new and brighter future today. And shame on anyone who would support abandoning Iraq before the new and brighter future is secure.

No, I don't think Bush has waged this war very well, but it is a just war and thankfully he has the spine to stick it out. We are morally obligated to.

reality check said...

I don't see anyone here happy or eager for the Iraqi situation to become worse.

Everyone here wants a good outcome for the Iraqis, the Americans, and the world.

It is a sign of your bad faith and your lack of a coherent argument that leads to your having to attack your opponents in this manner.

It's pretty despicable to believe or to say that your fellow Americans are so eager for a bad outcome.

We who have been right this entire time do not have to prove our bonafides.

If anyone has to prove their bonafides it is those people that have been on the wrong end of it this entire time and backed an ill-thought out, unplanned for, illegal war that has had such disastrous consequences on everyone.

LoafingOaf said...

In answer to some people, if I knew in 2003 what I know now, I would still support toppling the genocidal Baath regime, just as I supported doing so all the way back to Bush Sr.'s presidency and felt so again when Clinton geared us up for Operation Desert Fox.

When I first learned about Saddam Hussein, it was when Saddam had just invaded Kuwait. Reading about him back then made me ashamed of America for having played a role over many decades (all the way back to JFK) in allowing him to become the genocidal evil, terrorist sponsor, and international threat he was. Since we played a role in making him, we had a duty - on top of self-interest - to help get rid of him.

So, I would still support doing so today, though I'd obviously first demand that Bush get some more competant people, because he's made an awful lot of miscalculations and strategic errors. Some miscalculations and errors are a part of any war, but it's been at an unacceptable level with Bush's team. I wish Giuliani had been prez instead.

Badger 6 said...

When it comes to Iraq most Americans are forming their opinions from poll numbers and what Jon Stewart says in his paradoy of the news.

those of us that are here know that we are rolling back the enemy, and in Al Anbar province that enemy is Al Queda. Remember the folks who flew the planes into the buildings? Yes them.

Furhtermore, Al Queda is doing as much as it can to fuel the sectarian violence. What really set it off was the destruction of the big Shia mosque last year.

People who want us to leave early, particularly those based on the events of 2002-2003 are driven only by their hatred of the PResident. Those issues are moot ar this point. We leave now and even more Iraqi's are going to die. So much for the extreme left's concern for people.

We are doing well and we are being successful here. It's war; it's ugly; but we can win.

dave™© said...

Oh, good - more rightwing propaganda endorsed by the Queen of the Moderates!

ZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

LoafingOaf said...

Everyone here wants a good outcome for the Iraqis, the Americans, and the world.

Yeah...you can try and sell that somewhere else, liar. There are people in bad faith everywhere we turn - particularly on the Hard Left. They are scum of the lowest order. It's really funny when they get mad when people notice what they openly are.

dave™© said...

We are doing well and we are being successful here.

Where you posting from, soldier?

Badger 6 said...

Where you posting from, soldier?

Ar Ramadi, Iraq.

reality check said...

Okay LoafingOaf, you're the lawyer, it should be easy for you to find some of the sentiments you've described in the people posting in this forum.

Go ahead, find it, or recant it.

You bring nothing but bad information and smears to the table.

A perfect lawyer.

Pogo said...

Re: "Everyone here wants a good outcome for the Iraqis, the Americans, and the world."

Because of the NYTimes, WaPo, CNN, the BBC, CNN International, MSNBC, John Kerry, Jon Stewart, Ken Olbermann, Garrison Keillor, Kos, Michael Moore, Jimmy Carter, Paul Krugman, Al Franken, and here, with commenters like reality check, I don't buy that for a second. Not anymore.

Instead, I now believe they are agitating for the worst possible outcome for the US and Iraq.

madawaskan said...

The comment arose during a Good Morning America interview with the couple who were formerly President and First lady, George H.W. Busg and Barbara Bush. the interview was conducted by Diane Sawyer in Houston scant hours before the couple's son, President George W. Bush, delivered a televised ultimatum to Saddam Hussein to step down from power and leave Iraq or face U.S. -led military action. The chat with the senior Bushes aired the following morning, 18 March 2003. the remark in question occured in the three-way conversation, following a line of query directed at Mrs. Bush regarding whether she found herself studying her son for verbal or visual signs of how well he was holding up under the pressure. Mrs. Bush replied that she looked for such indications in all five of her children and remarked on the family's propensity for having hair that turns white earlier than is the norm. An additional query about whether the senior Bushes, who do not normally watch a grreat deal of television, found themselves watching more TV during this period than was their usual custom fetched from Mrs. Bush the quote that has since earned a measure of notoriety:

I watch none. He [former President Bush] sits and listens and I read books, because I know perfectly well that, don't take offense, that 90 percent of what i hear on televison is supposition, when we're talking about the news. And he's not, not as understanding of my pettiness about that. But why should we here about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it's going to happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that? And watch him suffer.

Read within the context of the full interview, it is a tiny bit more clear that Mrs. Bush's "beautiful mind" statement referred to her desire not to become mesmerized by the pre-war media speculation of what ssuch an invasion would mean, what sorts of weaponry ans defenses U.S. troops might well be walking into, which troops would be committed and when they would be deployed, how long the war would last, and how high the body count might be. Prior to the commencement of activities such matters were the subject of endless supposition by various news pundits. While maybe not "90 percent" of what was filling the airwaves was guesswork rather than hard news, Mrs. Bush's point that news of that moment was much more about what could or Might happen rather than what was happening was valid. Her comment was not meant as a dismissal of actual deaths or suffering (troops had not yet been engaged at the time of her remark), but of news coverage that amounted to one expert after another making predictions about what they saw as likely to occur.

Barbara Mikkelson

snopes.com

The way I remember it most of the pornostication [yes I do mean porn...] was done by Saddam himself and "his rivers of blood" and "thousands of body bags by the third day" comments were being blasted all over American airwaves.

If you had people that you cared about going over there you were pretty pissed off that Saddam was getting such great access to the American public to make his predictions or to be real about it- bloody threats.

Ya but Barbara via Frank Rich is the one everyone loves to bitch about. That's soooo much easier.

How dare she confront the press and Saddam's threats!

No one gets to knock down the media. There is always a reporter there to defend their "nobility", and they made sure she paid for it, didn't they?

reality check said...

Same deal Pogo, find someone that posts here that makes statements like that or recant and shut up.

Beth said...

Instead, I now believe they are agitating for the worst possible outcome for the US and Iraq.

That's absolute bullshit, Pogo. And it's been your standard line since 2003--any criticism of the conduct the war, the rationale for the way, means, to you, that we're all just thrilled, thrilled!, at the prospect of failure and disaster. But I haven't read, or written, anything that roots for disaster. I don't see it here in the commenters you despise, or in the news sources you cite.

Pogo said...

Re: "But I haven't read, or written, anything that roots for disaster. I don't see it here in the commenters you despise, or in the news sources you cite."

Sorry, Elizabeth. I have read those things. I am not going to lay it out for you; it's trail is thousands of words long, spread over years. And I feel no need to try to convince you, and I don't think I would succeed anyway. But no matter, the defeatists have largely won. They should be happy now. Why are you mad? You won. My argument did not prevail. Nothing I write will convince you that people on my side view the 6 year unbroken stream of venom as a demand for defeat. But what do you care what I think? You don't. The left doesn't give a damn what I think.

I look at it another way. Point out 5 Democrats who say these words, and I'll admit that I am wrong. "We need to win in Iraq." Withdrawal is not victory. It's defeat. No matter how you intellectualize it, the enemy will know it's a defeat. Another Vietnam, which is what the left wanted all along. Now we just need Jane Fonda to pose with Al Qaeda soldiers to cap it off.

I believe my comment provokes your ire because the idea that the left is largely defeatist in orientation is a shameful one. And it should be. But defeat is what they are going to get. Again. Don't blame that one me.

And RC, no. For the same reason. It 's like trying to explain 300 to a leftist. They hate it, and cannot understand why I like it. Why bother? Look, RC, your side won. We're going to lose in Iraq, and lose big. Enjoy it!

reality check said...

First Pogo, your whining hystrionics aside, you can't find those comments in Althouse's blog, because they don't exist and you know.

Second Pogo, apart from the past three months, the right has firmly been in control this entire time. And in the past three months, the left still has not been able to pass anything that would end your war. So own it dood. It's your war. If it succeeds it is to your credit. And if god forbid it fails, and if god forbit it makes us worse off, than goddamn, you stand up and take your responsibility like a man. Own it. It's yours.

Your pussy whining does nothing for you except make your cowardice clear.

madawaskan said...

RC-

Ya Pogo is suppose to wade through your vile mile of crap.

Your reaction speaks volumes...

Do you hear your own heart beating under the floorboards?

Ba Boom Ba Boom Ba Boom....

Tim said...

"If it succeeds it is to your credit. And if god forbid it fails, and if god forbit it makes us worse off, than goddamn, you stand up and take your responsibility like a man. Own it. It's yours."

Wrong. If you are an American or British, it is your war, win or lose. Democrats and Liberals believe the war is Bush's and those who support him alone; they do NOTHING to bring about victory.

The Democrats work on behalf of the enemy, running political campaigns and passing resolutions validating the enemy's strategy. They plot ways to defund the war and deliver victory to the enemy without their paternity for defeat being known. They have redefined craven cowardice to a new low; faithless to their country, working overtime for its defeat, and lacking the courage to let all know what too many of us already know - they will not work for victory; they will not plan for victory; they hate the thought of victory and all it means.

Think otherwise?

Then tell us where is the Democrat plan to win? Where is the Democrat resolution calling for victory? Where is the Democrat plan articulating why victory in Iraq matters for the U.S.?

They cannot be found because they do not exist.

Seven Machos said...

Speaking of wading through a bunch of zany far-left crap from months ago, how come we are still in Iraq and there is increased funding for the military and there is no notion of a notion of a possible notion concerning a deadline for when troops might leave? Why is that? Isn't that what all you crazy nuts wanted from the new Democratic Congress?

What happened?

Cedarford said...

It is a bad poll because it polls like Iraq is a unified nation. Not that Iraq has basically 30% that would like to kill an American if they could, 70% that don't care much...With 20% happy Saddam is gone so they can kill and cleanse Sunnis.

Despite the near treason of the Left begging for us to lose the war and doing everything in their power to help in that - bottom line is the Bushies and neocons had no clue in the postwar and screwed it up massively.

But those on the Left that think the defeat if it comes will be a wonderful thing as the enemy rights lovers and terrorist liberties defenders they are just do not grasp how bad the future will be with an American defeat in Iraq. They are way out on a limb, and when things get bad - people will remember it was the anti-military defeatists of the Democratic party that seized on Bush's ineptitude and instead of correcting his mistakes, embraced them as a way to get back in power...

And the Left is anti-military. No doubt about it. The only member of the military they truely love is a dead one and they eagerly look forward to "death milestones" where they can blubber and fake-moan about how much they all loved the dead troops and want to rescue the other "children" over there and "keep them safe" by cut and running.
As long as they see the soldier as a hapless stupid victim, of course they "support the troops" and love their 2000 dead! 3000 dead! agitprop, ignoring 3200 now is just a bad day's losses in other critical wars like the Civil War or WWII.

Bush will be gone in under 2 years. But with that great victory over the inept Chimpy - the real war with radical Islam is just beginning. With Europe declining, America a debtor nation with collapsing social services systems, and the so-called peaceful Muslims mostly hostile to infidel nations. Add Rising China and an authoritarian Russia that murders it's dissidents lately back in the mix.

Historians have called this the most dangerous and divided time America has faced since the 1850s.

3200 dead will seem like a pittance in 10 years. If not us, then as the casualties pile up in other massive unrestrained conflicts. And the question, as after Vietnam, will be can liberals that brought about defeat be trusted with our national security.

You are way out on a limb with enemy rights love, terrorist liberties defenses, banning military recruiting and ROTC from liberal left-dominated towns..

After your hated Bush is gone and the next act of war far worse unfolds, the sound of sawing will be heard..

Synova said...

It's worth it Cedarford, because if we win there will be nothing to restrain America's rush to Empire.

Empire, you know. What is human suffering compared to Empire? And human suffering caused by other people is, firstly, not our fault, and secondly, can't really be that bad since it's carried on by people who are relatively powerless compared to the huge and hungry USA which must, above all else, be humbled in the world for fear that unrestrained we'll march forward into Empire.

Oh, I already said that Empire thing, didn't I.

But the defeat of the true evil in the world will lead to peace, you know, because if we just stop throwing our weight around everyone will start to like us again.

Synova said...

"It's your war. If it succeeds it is to your credit. And if god forbid it fails, and if god forbit it makes us worse off, than goddamn, you stand up and take your responsibility like a man. Own it. It's yours."

As our war and no part of yours, if we win, your side loses politically. If we lose, your side wins politically.

Yet we're supposed to believe that, not doing ONE DAMN THING to help us win, your side wants us to win?

Our war, not yours, no responsibility for encouraging the enemy, no responsibility for idiot politicians eroding public confidence and insulting our allies, no responsibility for anything at all.

So what possible indication can you show that anyone on "your" side hopes that we win? I see two issues; constant undermining of the effort to win (while washing your hands of the consequences) while playing political patty-cake with the radical anti-war crowd, and the simple motivation proved by the deliberate disassociation that failure will be a political windfall.

If anyone on "your" side wanted us to win they'd make at least minimal effort to improve our chances of winning. Yet if a Democratic candidate so much as suggests that we need to do what is necessary to win in Iraq they get clobbered politically. And they have demonstrated, again and again, that they will *not* say anything that can be construed as supporting a victory in Iraq.

What do you think wanting us to win means? Standing in a corner with your fingers in your ears going "la la la la la I really care about the Iraqi people la la la la la I hope we win la la la la la la la can I look now? Is it over?"

Peter Palladas said...

John Simpson BBC 19.3.07. A Normal Day's Despair

"A couple of days ago I went back to Haifa Street. It has recently been the scene of a series of battles, with Sunni gunmen being winkled out of their positions by the Americans and the Iraqi army.

It is difficult for an unarmed Westerner to go there now, and I had to travel in an unmarked van with dark curtains at the windows and two British security men to protect me.

The shopkeeper I had met four years before had long gone. There was no-one to ask: all the other shops in the row had closed down as well.


Early next day, I went to film at a big city hospital. During the hour I was there, six bodies, found in the streets that morning, were brought in. All had obviously been tortured, and one had had his feet sawn off. It was just a normal morning.

After Baghdad fell, I would satellite reports back to London about attacks in which one or two people were killed. It was big news in those days. Last Thursday, a bomb exploded near the end of the street in central Baghdad where the BBC has its office. Eight people were killed and 25 injured, and we had rather good pictures of it.


But I did not ring London to offer a report about it. To get on the news, or the front page of the newspapers nowadays, a lot of people have to die. I would say the current figure is 60 or 70; and it certainly wouldn't be the lead.

This is not because editors do not care; it is because it happens so often it scarcely seems like news."

hdhouse said...

new poll just released (bbc, abc, usatoday and ARD commissioned)...

18% of iraqis have confidence in occupation troops
86% concerned that someone in their household will be a victim of violence
and a major split between sunnis and shiites with sunnis being the more pessimistic.

margin of error 2.5 percent

Al Maviva said...

Ann, what was this post for? To demonstrate the evils of de-institutionalization?

I haven't seen this much steamed froth since the barista at Caribou inadvertantly left the milk on the steamer at while she took a smoke break.

Ahh, to be on the left these days... It's all about cheap moral grace. Defend freedom - unless it involves anything resembling actual national defense. Save the embattled peoples of the world in Tibet, and Darfur - places we'd never go. Pretend that tyrants in the middle east and communist nations simply don't exist - insert fingers in ears and go "LALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

In the past, holding the moral high ground often involved something like fighting for it. Today, if you can mouth a couple meaningless platitudes ("Save Tibet! For the children!") you get it for free...

Pogo said...

Re: "...it happens so often it scarcely seems like news."

Peter, that's what I mean exactly. Like in the article, the entire news slant is anti-war. The Times piece is virtually identical to an AP report, even down to the term "resilience". Words like "robust" and "optimism" characterized the insurgents in both articles. Who needs Lord Haw-Haw when the newspapers do your propaganda for you?

Ever notice that the BBC and CNN never carry any enemy death tolls? Why is that not strange to you? It is left out because it's not part of the script. A reader might begin to wonder, "Whose side are these people on?" Like with hdhouse's survey, all continued violence is evidence for chaos and failure, and defeat is what the left demands. Good example, hdhouse.

And that's a point isn't it? They aren't on the side of the US or British military, that's plain to see.

Whatever happened to the English people that survived the blitz? They are sitting on a huge Muslim population that is slowing making their adoptive nation their own. But Islamists are not arriving to become Englishmen; they're coming to establish sharia. Over you.

Your nation is making great efforts to ferret out terrorists. Yet curiously it is unable to see that we are, like it or not, in World War 4. Walking away is not an option any longer. As I see it, the left offers nothing but surrender. But I want none of such appeasement.

Jennifer said...

And yet Yahoo news, CNN, and others I'm sure lead with the two polls commissioned by news agencies and with less than half the number of respondents that say pretty much the opposite of this poll.

Interesting how the news agencies managed to solicit an incredibly negative response while the independent (and respected) British market research firm managed to solicit the opposite. Interesting.

MadisonMan said...

Interesting how the news agencies managed to solicit an incredibly negative response while the independent (and respected) British market research firm managed to solicit the opposite.

This is why George Bush doesn't listen to polls.

The Exalted said...

Ever notice that the BBC and CNN never carry any enemy death tolls?

its because our own military made a conscious decision to not record enemy death tolls, you maroon.

Freder Frederson said...

So what possible indication can you show that anyone on "your" side hopes that we win? I see two issues; constant undermining of the effort to win (while washing your hands of the consequences)

You talk about your effort to win (since apparently because I hate this war and thought it was wrong and diverted attention from the real war in Afghanistan from day one my and my wifes personal sacrifice mean nothing), yet where is this "effort to win"?

What has the Administration done other than the bare minimum to "win" this war. It certainly hasn't demanded or even asked for any sacrifice from the American people. It hasn't even made the war a centerpiece of military recruiting. No, the administration just relies on the volunteer force to fight this war and pretends everything else is just fine.

More tax cuts (unprecedented in a time of war, not only in this country but probably for the entire history of man) are apparently more important than winning the war.

The Exalted said...

accusing political opponents of treason, equating saddam with al-queda -- what a civil, non partisan, moderate chat!

The Exalted said...

Another Vietnam, which is what the left wanted all along.

uh, there is a difference between "correctly foreseeing" and "wanting" -- not that a non-reality based ideologue like yourself could discern it

Fen said...

I hate this war and thought it was wrong and diverted attention from the real war in Afghanistan

And when Al Queda fled from Afganistan into Iraq? What then? Would you have preferred a Vietnam-like battle, where we can't follow the enemy past an imaginary line?

uh, there is a difference between "correctly foreseeing" and "wanting" -- not that a non-reality based ideologue like yourself could discern it

No, the Left has been stretching any Viet Nam analogy they can find to wrap Iraq in. North Vietnamese General Giap wrote in his 1985 memoir that if it weren't for organizations like Kerry's Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Hanoi would have surrendered.

Vietnam was lost b/c of the Left back here at home. How many millions of Cambodians were slaughtered because the Left needed to feel self-righteous about "peace in our time"?

The Left wants us to lose, to give Bush a black-eye and to undercut what they claim is empire-building. And they could care less if another 3 million die as a result. Hell, they still won't own up to their consequences of their actions during the "Peace" Movement during Viet Nam.

Pogo said...

Can you imagine what the New York Times would have looked like if it had had a similar anti--war format back during World War II? When you read the papers from then, one can actually figure out what was occurring on the ground overseas. But with current script, the meme of unwinnable chaos is the only story told.

All I can think of is "cheese eating surrender monkeys" whenever I read such articles. This would be laughable if it weren't so dangerous. And frankly, I am tired of their fifth-column efforts to undo the US. Its a disservice to our citizens and our fighting men and women in combat, and should be looked back upon as a shameful time for our media.

Fen said...

"There is something profoundly wrong when opposition to the war in Iraq seems to inspire greater passion than opposition to Islamist extremism." - Senator Joe Lieberman

Naked Lunch said...

Cedarford
Reading your posts is like taking a huge slug of sour milk. "The left" is George Bush's only hope for any semblance of progress in Iraq by forcing them to get their shit together by using the only leverage we have left. They've been playing this Mutt and Jeff routine on the Iraqis since Democrats took power, unbeknownst to you apparently. What an insult to the military to suggest that if we left the military would be responsible for what we left behind. As if they lost this war to untrained barefooted ragtag groups using a WWI device made from house appliances as their most effective weapon. I used to enjoy debating conservatives because they were usually good with facts - nowadays it's one big collective Insta-brain mush of sweeping hyperbole where straw-liberals are needed in abundance to blame for their legendary and epic fuckups.

Pogo said...

Re: "I used to enjoy debating conservatives ..."

Heh.

Fen said...

/ via Powerline - from Sergeant Thul and Lieutenant Nichols regarding the Appeal for Courage:

"Day after day we see and hear our elected leaders in Washington telling us that the war is already lost or that it is not winnable. Nothing could be further from the truth. The essence of the military mission here is really quite simple. Train the Iraqi army and police to do the job that we are currently doing, give them the reins, and then take our leave. It is a slow job, but steady progress is being made. Already entire provinces of Iraq are under Iraqi military control. In more than 70 percent of the country, the Iraqi army and police are in the lead.

Do calls for retreat back home harm the troops here in Iraq?

Of course they do. The enemy, particularly Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), see these calls as proof their strategy is working and increase their attacks. Iraqis who would otherwise help us hear these calls and choose to stay in the background, fearing that they will be targets if we withdraw prematurely. And yes, we believe it affects our morale. The perception of a lack of support for our mission by members of our own government has created a sense of frustration for many soldiers.

AppealForCourage.org is a means for those soldiers to send a message to Congress that they want to stay in Iraq until the mission is complete. With no formal advertising it has already garnered over 1,500 signatures in less than a month, over half from troops who have served in theater. These currently serving military members want victory in Iraq and are respectfully asking Congress to halt calls for retreat that hurt their mission and increase the risk they face. This large response in such a short time indicates that opponents of the war do not represent the majority of the military actually fighting it.

Opponents of the war are being intellectually dishonest because they say they want to withdraw our troops but refuse to acknowledge the consequences. It is widely acknowledged that a premature withdrawal will mean an Iraq returned to dictatorial rule-after much more horrific violence than what we’ve seen- as a puppet state of either Al-Qaeda or Shiite extremists. Extremists will have access to wealth and a stable base to expand their power. It is highly na├»ve to assume they wouldn’t use this power to attack the democracies which threaten their way of life, particularly America. No one is pro-war, but we should be pro-victory. There is a difference between ending the war now by abandoning our Iraqi allies, suffering a humiliating defeat that will encourage future attacks on the American people we’ve sworn to protect, and ending it gradually with a stable democracy capable of defending itself.

What will victory be like? Iraq will not be a serene la-la land with children skipping down the street. It may be just as violent as today, though that’s unlikely. Victory is when the fight is led by the Iraqi military and police, not by the Coalition. Once the Iraqis are able to do the job we are currently doing, we can leave with honor, knowing we’ve helped bring freedom not just to one country, but an entire region.

We don’t all have the "big-picture" of what victory will be like, but we see the progress all around us. We hear that we’re losing the war, or the somewhat bizarre claims we’ve already lost it, and we look around us and say “What are you talking about?” We’re working to build up the Iraqi army, convincing opposition tribes to join us, building up the Iraqi police, clearing caches. Creating a professional army and a police force takes time, but the Iraqis continue to make steady progress. They have created the foundation of manpower and are now developing logistics and learning command and control. It seems like claims we’ve already lost get more frantically insistent the more progress we make. To say we are losing and should leave is as wrong as saying we’ve finished our mission and should leave.

The service members who have signed AppealForCourage.org are saying we want victory in Iraq. Yes, there is violence happening every day, and there will be many bad days ahead, but we will win this, given time. We will win because we have a plan for victory, and the enemy does not, short of hoping that we leave. We are saying we would rather go home later with victory than today in defeat. We are saying we want the war to be run by the military commanders on the ground.

Finally, we are respectfully asking Congress to support our mission. For the sake of all who have worked and sacrificed to get us this far, we hope they will listen."

LT Jason Nichols, Baghdad, Iraq
SGT Dave Thul, Al Asad, Iraq
AppealForCourage.org

http://powerlineblog.com/archives/017069.php

Freder Frederson said...

And when Al Queda fled from Afganistan into Iraq?

Excuse me, and when exactly did that happen?

Can you imagine what the New York Times would have looked like if it had had a similar anti--war format back during World War II? When you read the papers from then, one can actually figure out what was occurring on the ground overseas. But with current script, the meme of unwinnable chaos is the only story told.

Yeah well, I'm sure if George Bush were in charge back then, it would have been a story of unwinnable chaos as he would have cut taxes, refused to expand the military, encouraged Americans to go shopping, and plastered a "Mission Accomplished" banner on the superstructure U.S.S. Enterprise for the photo-op as he declared the "battle for the Pacific" over.

Freder Frederson said...

as a puppet state of either Al-Qaeda or Shiite extremists.

With all due respect to LT Nichols, the current government of Iraq is trending towards the Shiite extremists and it is already a reality in the southern part of the country. This seems to be the compromise we are willing to accept in order to say we have "won".

Freder Frederson said...

and plastered a "Mission Accomplished" banner on the superstructure U.S.S. Enterprise for the photo-op as he declared the "battle for the Pacific" over.

That should read:

and immediately after the Battle of Midway plastered a "Mission Accomplished" banner on the superstructure U.S.S. Enterprise for the photo-op as he declared the "battle for the Pacific" over.

Pogo said...

So Freder, I'm still waiting for the great Democrat battle plan for victory in Iraq.

But from where I sit, you have to work with what you got. Like it or not, he's President. Quit bitching. Solve the problem. Win the war. Bring them home soon. But STFU for awhile about how much you hate GWB. It's a bore.

Freder Frederson said...

So Freder, I'm still waiting for the great Democrat battle plan for victory in Iraq.

Actually you're not, since by your definition anyone who has a plan which is different from the president's is a traitor and undermining the war effort.

As for me personally, I think we should adopt the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group.

Cedarford said...

Actually Naked Lunch, the huge slug of sour milk you are tasting is that Democrats put national security absolutely secondary to defeating the hated Bush-Hitler. To that end, advocating for terrorist rights, making a death cult of the very limited (as wars go) casualties suffered, and attempting to undercut the hapless President at every oportunity in Iraq has finally paid dividends. You got Congress and have marginalized the Exec.

Now you own national security. Success or failure in Iraq. Responsibility for what to do with your Freedom Fighters and their "sacred Constitutional Rights" if you close Gitmo. What to do with China and with the new authoritarian Russia. Iranian nukes. Darfur.

Ball's in your court. No more carping. You carry the ball, now.

Yep, that is one big, sour slug of milk for Lefties to swallow.

Fen said...

Freder: I think we should adopt the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group

You think we should enter into peace talks with Syria and Iran? Already? Feh.

Pogo: But with current script, the meme of unwinnable chaos is the only story told.

Yup. And here's yet another example of that:

U.S. military deaths in Iraq have apparently declined by about 20% since the "surge" began. It would be a caricature of MSM behavior if the New York Times, instead of simply reporting this potentially good news, first constructed some bad news to swaddle it in, right? [bad news follows..]

http://www.slate.com/id/2161611/&#nytsurge3

The only information brokers I trust these days are mil-bloggers and the troops I know on the ground.

Freder Frederson said...

You think we should enter into peace talks with Syria and Iran?

Gee, I didn't even realize we were at war with either country.

Synova said...

No, Fred, we are.

The "loyal opposition" has refused to do anything but tear down and it's simply not true that deviating from Bush's plan gets someone called a traitor. In fact, last presidential election people were "voting for Bush while I held my nose" and would have been pleased as punch to vote for someone else who had a plan to win in Iraq that made any sense at all, but instead you gave us John Kerry on the anti-war ticket.

Where the heck was the pro-victory ticket?

It's dishonest (to yourself if nothing else) to say that the "loyal opposition" was quite prepared to offer plans for victory but was prevented by those who say it's Bush's way or no way.

There have been no plans for victory presented by the "loyal opposition".

Victory talk gets your guys attacked by the Mama Sheehans of the world. Victory talk is forbidden.

Talk of defeat, that's another story. That's brave, and intelligent, because it makes you feel so smart for being right all this time. All the plans are for defeat. Maybe, best scenario, for how to lose while causing the least additional damage.

Pro-victory people *wanted* an alternative to Bush in 2004.

You screwed up.

Synova said...

No, Fred, we ARE WAITING FOR YOUR PLAN TO WIN.

Freder Frederson said...

To that end, advocating for terrorist rights, making a death cult of the very limited (as wars go) casualties suffered

What on earth are you talking about? U.S. casualties are well over 30,000, hardly very limited. Even the most conservative estimates of deaths for Iraqis peg it at well over 50,000 to the high estimates of over 600,000. 2 million people have fled Iraq and another 2 million are internally displaced.

To claim that this war involves "very limited casualties" ignores the realities on the ground and discounts the suffering of the Iraqi people.

Freder Frederson said...

In fact, last presidential election people were "voting for Bush while I held my nose" and would have been pleased as punch to vote for someone else who had a plan to win in Iraq that made any sense at all

Really, what is Bush's plan for victory? Because according to his budget, our commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq will cost half as much in FY 2008 and nothing is budgeted for 2009. So apparently, the drawdown will start in the fall.

I am ridiculed for not having a plan for victory, but this administration has never had one. Just a bunch of empty rhetoric and throwing troops into the breach to avert complete failure. In the meantime they have underfunded the military and not maintained either the materiel or the readiness of the force.

There are over a thousand M-1's parked at the Anniston Army Depot (the only overhaul facility for tanks) awaiting overhaul. Yet the Depot is still working on a peacetime footing: one eight-hour shift a day with no overtime. And you say this administration is serious about winning this war.

MadisonMan said...

Oh, we're back to the Where's your plan? shouting. What's the Republican Plan again that's been working so well for these past 4 years?

I personally like to think that violence is down now because of the efforts of my nephew, who's been over there (doing whatever it is he does) for about a month now (even though I know it's because the militias are sensibly lying low during the surge -- the proof comes after the surge recedes).

Re: The Poll results. Given that the majority sect of Iraqis were suppressed under Hussein, should anyone be surprised that a majority are glad he's gone?

Pogo said...

Re: "Oh, we're back to the Where's your plan? shouting."

Sort of. Freder brought up The Most Excellent But Unadopted Dem Plan, i.e., running away (but calling it something else).

I think you may be right about your nephew's efforts. But you won't read about it at all in the NY Times. Hence my calling their newspaper traitorous defeatists. Their refusal to report the news increases the risks to soldiers manyfold. Worse still, the NY Time knows this and does so anyway.

What conclusion should a soldier draw from the fact that a major US newspaper seems to be serving as Lord Haw Haw for Iran and Syria?

Freder Frederson said...

What conclusion should a soldier draw from the fact that a major US newspaper seems to be serving as Lord Haw Haw for Iran and Syria?

What conclusion should a soldier draw from the fact that they are on third or fourth tour when their fathers (and a good number of our career military are the children of career soldiers), whose military career spanned the entire Vietnam War, generally did two tours in Vietnam (with about three years rest between tours in the combat zone), unless of course they actually volunteered for extra tours in Vietnam.

monkeyboy said...

On Army tours:
The Navy has been doing 6 months out and 12 back for centuries.
The "Mission Accomplished" banner, in many ways was for the entire blue water Navy. With the end of the no-fly zones, we ended our (and the Air Force's) battle against Hussein. With 8-10 month carrier deployments and most of the time in between working up for the next one, it was intersting decade.

The Army has basically been in garrison for fourty five years.

Oh, and I want to acknowledge the absolutely perfect way in which Badger Six owned Dave upthread.

Freder Frederson said...

The Army has basically been in garrison for fourty five years

You're a twit. At it's peak, we had half a million troops in Vietnam. Our serious commitment of combat troops lasted over seven years.

Freder Frederson said...

Sort of. Freder brought up The Most Excellent But Unadopted Dem Plan

The ISG was a bipartisan group commissioned by the president. He chose to ignore its recommendations.

madawaskan said...

Fede

Ya- terrorists *honor* nation state borders.

The Iranians wouldn't dare move in if we left and you are damn sure they don't send supplies over there because the military says that they do-yet your religious leaders The New York Times pulptologists tell you differently.

Wake up- the terrorists aren't playing by YOUR "rules".

zzRon said...

"Pro-victory people *wanted* an alternative to Bush in 2004."


Yes, we certainly did! I am one of those people who held their nose as tightly as possible while pulling the lever for Bush. John (I served in Vietnam) Kerry WAS NOT an option for me, since I was very aware of what he had stood for back in the late 60's and early 70's. IMO, the Dems could have won the WH fairly easily if they had run a pro-victory candidate.

madawaskan said...

freder-

You can't even get your Vietnam facts right.

My father did three tours with only a weekend off in between. We lived in Green Heights Tokyo at the time. The written rules might have said otherwise but as always, like now there are work arounds.

You Liberals don't know a damn thing about the military-yet you hate them. Why when an election is close is your party always so sure the military is voting against them? In Seattle they challenged military votes, in Florida 2000 [it's become a pattern.] The military community is starting to wake up to that fact.

The only time that liberals get excited about the military is when they can use the military death tolls as a tool in their propaganda war.

It's always about Liberals and YOUR wants and your ilk never give a damn about what the guy that died would have wanted. His value system is foreign to you and your "kind".

I can tell you the vast majority of the time he would NOT have wanted HIS death to be used to stab the guys still out in the field in the back.

And that is exactly the Democratic War Plan.

What are Reid and Murtha trying to do?

Cut off funds?

Decide troop levels and rotations from the confines of The House?

What do you think that does to the guys out there right now?

You could give a damn about those people.

It's all about YOUR war with The President.

That is the Democratic priority, and standing for such a narrow value is what makes the Democratic leadership truly disgusting.

Hell you aren't even Americans anymore you are Liberals first and you are ashamed to be Americans and call yourselves that.

Synova said...

Bait and switch, Fred.

You said that alternate plans for victory were unwelcome. That anything that was different from Bush's plan was unwelcome.

That's untrue. There's been a strong disapproval of Bush ongoing and particularly during the last presidential election when it was at least appropriate to consider a change of leadership. Voters were given no pro-victory options. There was no alternate plan for victory to reject.

It's a simple fact that Democrats, with appallingly few exceptions, have wasted the time they may have promoted alternate or parrallel measures to promote victory in Iraq for a policy of maintaining a rhetoric of defeat.

Because that's what their base prefered to hear.

The side squashing alternate plans for victory weren't the Bush-bots.

Freder Frederson said...

My father did three tours with only a weekend off in between.

Your father did three back-to-back tours, and didn't volunteer for the last two? That is highly unusual. My father-in-law was career Marine Corps (1954--1978 E-1 to E-9 and O-1 to O-3 from a battlefield commission in Vietnam) and he only did two tours. And if you look at the service records of the General staff of fifteen or twenty years ago (when Vietnam experience predominated) you will find that two tours in Vietnam was pretty much the norm.

You Liberals don't know a damn thing about the military-yet you hate them.

You know, I cast aspersions on Uncle Jimbo yesterday before I bothered to find out about his background and apologized when I found out he was former special forces. I wonder if you are man enough to do the same.

I worked as a civilian for the Army at both the Pentagon and at the base level in Germany for five years. Furthermore, my wife is in the Army (an O4 in the AGR). She has already done two tours in Kuwait and was told last week that she will probably be going to Iraq or Afghanistan for another year sometime this summer.

So don't presume to tell me I hate the military or know nothing about it. I am deeply concerned about the military and what this President has done to it.

Freder Frederson said...

That anything that was different from Bush's plan was unwelcome.

I still haven't heard from you exactly what Bush's plan is. According to his proposed budget, all troops will be out of both Afghanistan and Iraq by the beginning of FY 2009 (October 1, 2008). I just want to know where Bush has articulated plans for achieving this.

Pogo said...

Re: " I am deeply concerned about the military and what this President has done to it."

But that seems to be the only sensible paragraph I have ever come across from you, Freder. The rest is merely interchageable with daveyoubrownshirtfucks and Doyle and reality check and the rest of the godwehatebush crowd.

So damn it brother, bring it down. Tell us how the real Democratic agenda is to defeat the Syrians and Iran in Iraq and win this battle and go home. Because all I'm hearing from you and the rest is "we'll just leave".

Freder Frederson said...

Tell us how the real Democratic agenda is to defeat the Syrians and Iran in Iraq and win this battle and go home.

If you think this is the key to "winning", then you are seriously deluded. By "Syrians and Iran", I assume you mean foreign terrorists and insurgents. Even at their peak, they were less than ten percent (maybe as little as six) of the insurgency. All sane people agree that foreign participation in the current violence is even much lower now. To blame the Syrians is also not quite correct. Although the incursions came through Syria, most of the actual fighters were citizens of our so-called allies like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Yemen.

Fen said...

Fen: You think we should enter into peace talks with Syria and Iran?

Freder: Gee, I didn't even realize we were at war with either country.

And thats why I don't take you seriously when you discuss foreign policy. You really have no idea whats going on over there.

Freder Frederson said...

And thats why I don't take you seriously when you discuss foreign policy. You really have no idea whats going on over there.

I have no idea what's going on over there and you are saying Syria and Iran are at war with Iraq or us (I'm not sure who you meant was at war when you said we enter "peace talks"). That's rich.

Fen said...

You want us to follow the recs of the Iraq Study Group. One of their recs is that we "negotiate" with Syria and Iran to help provide "stability" in Iraq. Both are supplying terrorists, arms, and logistical support to defeat us in Iraq. Thats what half the "negotiation" would be about - inducements to encourage them to stop aiding the terrorists in Iraq.

Pogo said...

Re: "All sane people agree that..."

You had briefly veered into the reasoned argument lane, but quickly careened back towards oncoming traffic, using the tactic of suggesting that disagreement is insane.

Why bother engaging in such a tainted discussion? Feh.

monkeyboy said...

You're a twit. At it's peak, we had half a million troops in Vietnam. Our serious commitment of combat troops lasted over seven years.

Well 2007-1986= 39 so I wasn't that far off. I admit to talking out my butt, but the total army in 1968 was 1,477,019 with 333K in Vietnam, five divisions in Germany and two in South Korea.
link

The Army has decreased teeth to tail in the 90s drawdown. The difference is that the Army didn't pay the price the Air Force and the Navy did, because the Army sat out the war between 91 and 03.

Freder Frederson said...

You had briefly veered into the reasoned argument lane, but quickly careened back towards oncoming traffic, using the tactic of suggesting that disagreement is insane.

Sorry, but anyone who believes that foreign fighters have ever been more than 10% of the problem or that they aren't much less than that now (or thinks that eliminating every single foreign insurgent would result in victory), is insane, or worthy of no more argument than those who believe that the WTC was brought down by controlled detonations.

Naked Lunch said...

Freder - It's nice to know you don't hate your wife and are probably praying for her safety. I also don't hate my brother in-law who is headed soon from Fort McCoy as a "recovery specialist" to Baghdad on his first tour. It would be nice if they have a plan, or could develop a plan to go alongside the surge for solving Iraq's government which is why they are fighting to begin with, wouldn't it?

How pathetic was it seeing an American President offering up the Executive Sword and asking Democrats 'Whats your plan!?' wimpishly translating to 'No you do it. I can't!' this 4 years into a war that he is in charge of with a million plus under his command. That's what I call sending a message to the troops.

Freder Frederson said...

Well 2007-1986= 39 so I wasn't that far off.

Man, you're really bad at math too. That is 19.

Fen said...

Freder: anyone who believes that foreign fighters have ever been more than 10% of the problem... is insane

Freder, do you understand the concept of Force Multipliers? If so, please demonstrate.

Freder Frederson said...

Freder, do you understand the concept of Force Multipliers?

Fen, if you or Pogo really believe that the problems in Iraq are caused by foreign agitators, then there is no point in further discussion. There is no serious evidence that this is so. Even Al Qaeda in Iraq, which arguably was the greatest foreign actor, has been pretty much been turned on by the Sunnis in Anbar. The new Al Qaeda is pretty much a homegrown, Iraqi-led phenomenon.

As for the Iranians. Well, that's a tough one. They really don't have to do much since the government we support owes its very existence to the Iranians considering most of the Shiite leaders of government spent a good number of their years in exile in Iran. Of course if Perle, Wolfowitz et. al. had had their way and Chalabi had been installed immediately after the overthrow of Saddam, things would be infinitely worse. He was nothing more than an Iranian puppet and agent.

Pogo said...

Freder, where does the insurgency gets its funding and weapons?

Fen said...

Fen, if you or Pogo really believe that the problems in Iraq are caused by foreign agitators, then there is no point in further discussion

But I never said that. You're shifting the debate rather than address my questions.

You said you wanted to follow the recs of the Iraq Study Group.
I asked if that also meant peace talks with Syria and Iran outlined in same report.
You said you were unaware that Syria and Iran were at war with us...

Back to Force Multipliers, a few examples: Iranian missiles that down our blackhawks, shaped-IEDs that down our armor, terrorists with advanced comm and combat engineer skills passed through Syria, the bombing of the Shia Mosque by a handful of Al Queda that forces us to divert manpower and resources to quell a civil war.
Force multipliers all.

Freder Frederson said...

Iranian missiles that down our blackhawks, shaped-IEDs that down our armor, terrorists with advanced comm and combat engineer skills passed through Syria

Iranian missiles downing our helicopters? That's a new one on me. Last I heard, small arms fire, the occasional RPG (btw we--the CIA--were the ones who taught the mahujadeen in Afghanistan to shoot down helicopters with an RPG, a trick they first turned on us in Somalia), and maybe some Russian missiles are what's bringing down the helicopters. As for the shaped-IEDs, it is really questionable how many of those are actually being used and how they are getting into the country (e.g., whether the Iranian government is involved or whether it is just good old fashioned gun-running for profit).

As for "Syrian-trained" terrorists. That is really a bit of a stretch. There are all kinds of people in the middle east training people in advanced tactics with a lot more money than the Syrians and who have a lot more to lose from a Shia dominated, Iran friendly Iraq (our good friends Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are two that immediately come to mind). In fact we have caught a lot more Saudi and Jordanian citizens fighting in Iraq than we have Syrian. To say we are even figuratively at "war" with Syria or Iran is self-defeating.

As for "Al Qaeda in Iraq", it means a whole lot of things. The one thing it is not is a cohesive organization. Elements of it are indeed made up of foreign agitators. Other groups that claim to be "Al Qaeda" are simply homegrown Iraqi Sunni insurgent groups who have absolutely no international ambitions at all other than expelling the Americans and punishing the apostate Shiites. Some are a hybrid of the two. I don't think anyone knows which particular group was responsible for the bombing of the Golden Mosque.

Beth said...

Pogo, you should let Neal Stephenson explain 300 to you; he takes down both leftist and rightist views on it quite effectively.

You equate withdrawal from Iraq with defeat. Why? When will you be willing to say we've done what we came to do and now it's up to the Iraqis to govern themselves?

Freder Frederson said...

Freder, where does the insurgency gets its funding and weapons?

Most of the Shiites are getting their funding directly from the government by siphoning off oil revenues and corruption especially since most of the Shiite base is in the oil-rich south. A considerable (if not most) of the redevelopment aid is going missing. I would imagine a lot of the so-called "security" cost of reconstruction is protection money so the projects don't get blown up but something else does. Iran probably kicks in a few bucks too.

The Sunni insurgents are probably financed by our good friends the Saudis, the UAE, Kuwait and the other oil rich states.

So in other words, oil is funding the civil war and the insurgency. So you and I are paying for both sides. We pay for the U.S. side in taxes and the insurgency when we buy gas.

Pogo said...

Beth,

I read it. I don't think there'a single correct interpretation of the lessons of 300. Frank Miller, the author, certainly thinks differently. But seeing who is pissed off by the movie tells me my interpretation is pretty damn common.

I equate withdrawal with defeat because that's the interpretation the enemies will have of such a move. We can call it Victory!!! all we want. But the enemy will doubtless see it as their victory and our loss. Ask any gradeschool kid who lost when one schoolyard fighter walks away.

Duration? I don't know. But you can be damn sure that a timetable demanding a future date certain for withdrawal will simply be used as the start date for another phase of the war.

I just don't get any sense that the left has the slightest idea what we are up against. This is a worldwide battle. And the left wants to quit, right now. Hell, they don't even agree we are even in a worldwide war. Criminey.

Freder, I agree about the funding. We should be cutting them off and we aren't. Our nation is being quite pusillanimous that way. Any discomfort and we cry for relief.

Freder Frederson said...

Freder, I agree about the funding. We should be cutting them off and we aren't. Our nation is being quite pusillanimous that way. Any discomfort and we cry for relief.

And that is the problem with our president and his non-plan for victory. Except for the active duty military, nobody has been asked to sacrifice for this war that is supposedly so all-fired important. He won't even ask the chemical manufacturers in this country to secure their plants.

Freder Frederson said...

I don't think there'a single correct interpretation of the lessons of 300. Frank Miller, the author, certainly thinks differently.

It shows the level of intellectual discourse in this country when we are reduced to interpreting a freaking comic book movie and lauding a comic book author as some great revealer of ultimate truth.

I haven't seen 300 and don't plan to, because I saw Sin City and it was repulsive.

Pogo said...

Re: "...we are reduced to interpreting a freaking comic book movie ...as some great revealer of ultimate truth."

This kind of storytelling has enthralled mankind since language was born.

But as I said, I could tell its simple message rang true precisely because of who it pissed off the most. Imus was reuced to sputtering this morning when Evan Thomas of Newsweek said the creator is conservative, and that the heroes in the movie are white and believe in freedom. More, Thomas called it a "beautiful film". Heh.

The Exalted said...

sin city was quite good. much more entertaining and coherent than the "we're at war with iran and syria" nonsense from the halfwits here.

Fen said...

the "we're at war with iran and syria" nonsense from the halfwits here.

No, I said "Syria and Iran are at war with us". There's a difference. And its a proxy war.

Fen said...

It shows the level of intellectual discourse in this country when we are reduced to interpreting a freaking comic book .. as some great revealer of ultimate truth.

No. 300 resonates because it reminds Americans of a Spirit they have lost. So its no wonder that the deconstructionists and "blame America" crowd hate it. Look at you - you can't even mask your contempt for a mere comic book. Obviously, its significant even to you.

Naked Lunch said...

Nobody is "blaming America" for anything aside from a small pack of wingnuts who are blaming Americans for losing this war.

monkeyboy said...

Well 2007-1986= 39 so I wasn't that far off.

Man, you're really bad at math too. That is 19.

Darnit! A good point ruined by dyslexia. I meant 1968 of course. Which should have been obvious from the rest of post.

MadisonMan said...
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