Why Do Our Troops Hate Our Troops?

Speaking of Rep. John Murtha, the Associated Press has a report from Murtha's southwest Pennsylvania district that finds numerous Iraq veterans agreeing with the congressman's bleak assessments.

In Murtha's southwest Pennsylvania district, however, many share the war critic's views.

At a welcome home ceremony this week for Myers and other troops from the Johnstown, Pa.-based 876th Engineer Battalion, the crowd cheered when a Murtha aide welcomed the troops on the congressman's behalf.

Myers said he backs Murtha, an opinion echoed by a number of other troops and their families. Several share his frustration with the conflict.

"I'm not sure we're doing a whole lot of good," Myers, 46, said of the U.S. presence in Iraq. "Everybody thinks we are. We're trying to, but we're not going to change what they want to do, and if they don't want to change, they're not gonna."

Said Sgt. 1st Class George Wozniak, 36, of Murtha: "He's definitely for a strong military and he definitely supports the troops."

The AP quotes a Quinnipiac University poll on what to do in Iraq, but it looks like they got the numbers wrong. The May 12 poll showed 43% of voters in southwest PA want the US to "remove all its troops from Iraq," while 21% wanted at least to reduce troop levels. When Murtha's Republican challenger Diana Irey claimed she was getting support from 48 states for her keep-troops-in-Iraq-forever campaign, maybe the subtext was "everywhere but this district." (Here's the district in question, a hideously gerrymandered snake that slithers past Pittsburgh and borders on West Virginia.)

This is a funny election we're about to have. Democrats running against scandals that voters don't care about; Republicans running on a war that voters don't support.

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  • ||

    When will we talk about "mission creep"?
    Our troops are dying because the US mission has not just crept, but trotted way off the original goal.
    What was the original goal, BTW?

  • ||

    We can only wish the Dems would run on a platform of "The costs exceed the benefits" about the war. It's easier to approach moderates/centrists (and most of America is) with a rational, reasonable argument: "Saddam was a pussy-ass bitch, but never a threat - even with WMDs. No matter how hard we try, democracy at the point of a gun doesn't work in the middle east, etc. . ." but nooooo. . . . it's all about "the oil", "Haliburton", "just FOLLOW THE MONEY!!", "hegemony" (cue JMJ), and whatever latest rants come from the Koz Kids.

    I've convinced more people against the war with skepticism rather than conspiracy.

  • Jennifer||

    What was the original goal, BTW?

    Something about making sure Saddam Hussein didn't nuke Britain. Then something about improving the lives of Iraqis, and making sure they no longer had to undergo horrors like the recent massacre at Haditha.

  • ||

    Democrats running against scandals that voters don't care about

    I don't know if I'd use a story about a weak demoratic challenger in a solidly GOP district written by a solidly republican writer for a solidly conservative website as evidence that voters don't care about GOP scandals.

  • ||

    Breaking: MUST CREDIT THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    "Elisted men have been discovered to gripe about their mission, superiors, chickenshit rules and the food. (800 words, moving for AM papers)"

  • ||

    "Something about making sure Saddam Hussein didn't nuke Britain."

    I thought it was to stop the anthrax-filled remote-controlled airplanes that Hussein was going to fly over Washington, D.C.?

  • lunchstealer||

    I thought it was to stop the anthrax-filled remote-controlled airplanes that Hussein was going to fly over Washington, D.C.?

    That was his original plan, but he couldn't afford Anthrax, so he spent some time trying to acquire Slayer from Nigeria, then finally gave up and became a minor backer of a WASP/Lizzie Borden double-bill tour.

    There was some suspicion that he also allowed Winger to opperate within Iraq, but no solid evidence of that has come to light.

    Now we've just got to make sure that Iran doesn't develop speed-metal technology.

  • ||

    As one of those "troop-hating troop" OIF vets, I loved that hedline. Good bumper sticker fodder. I see CafePress written all over it ...

    When will we talk about "mission creep"?

    Everytime we discuss George Bush, we've discussed this mission's creep ...

  • ||

    You left off the part about Republican leadership defending Democrat corruption, and Democrat leadership accused of racism for disciplining said Democrat crook.

  • ||

    Now we've just got to make sure that Iran doesn't develop speed-metal technology.

    If they get speed-metal technology, it could result in Megadeths.

  • ||

    Now we've just got to make sure that Iran doesn't develop speed-metal technology.

    Too late:
    http://www.boingboing.net/2004/08/18/iraqi_heavy_metal_ba.html

    There was also a feature story about an Iraqi hard rock group in the Wall Street Journal in the Summer of 2004, right before I hit Fallujah.

    There are quite a few Middle-East Metal Heads. Unfortunately, Status of Forces Agreements prevented my joining in on any jam sessions.

    Brings new meaning to the AC/DC album title, Blow Up Your Video ....

  • ||

    Golly -- for a blogger who's purportedly writing for a libertarian magazine David Weigel makes an effective promoter for Democratic candidates. In less than 24 hours he's had two posts about Rep. John Murtha, a Democratic running against the challenger Diana Irey in Pennsylvania's 12th district. First he criticized a certain well-known pundit for blogging about the long-shot candidate. Then he announced that ?numerous? Iraq war veterans agree with the congressman?s bleak assessment. He helpfully linked to a 41 day old poll supporting his contention for readers who missed it.

    Pot = Kettle, right Dave?

  • ||

    Johnstown is the worst place on Earth. God keeps trying to destoy it, but it just keeps coming back and sucking.

  • ||

    What was the original goal, BTW?

    Something about making sure Saddam Hussein didn't nuke Britain. Then something about improving the lives of Iraqis, and making sure they no longer had to undergo horrors like the recent massacre at Haditha.

    Comment by: Jennifer at June 21, 2006 12:10 PM


    Haha, yeah.
    I mean, if we avoided this whole MESS-O-Potamia, then everything would just go right back to normal:
    -thousands of children a year dying every year of hunger
    -the Oil-For-Food plan would still be the most corrupt organiztion in existance
    -our troops would still be based in Saudi Arabia and mainting one of the key gripes of bin Laden that infidels should not be in the Holy Land of Islam/Suadi Arabia
    -Saddam would be sending millions of dollars to the "martyrs" in Palestine
    -Saddam could still throw around the threat of maintaining a WMD stockpile, which EVERYONE believed before OIF
    -we would still be technically at war with Iraq via the no-fly zones
    -Kurdistan would not be the emerging, economic powerhouse it is today
    -the arab/islamic world would still be pissed off at us for supporting Israel, being mainly Xians, or for just being the US in general
    -etc, etc, etc

    So yes, let us run rejoicingly back to those simpler times of corruption, US-sponsored starvation, and the powerful presence of the pan-Arabian dictator who stood up to the world's only Superpower and lived...
    It 'twas a magical time...

  • Jennifer||

    thousands of children a year dying every year of hunger

    I thought the "sanctions killed thousads each year" had been debunked? At any rate, I'm not sure if children dying from bombs and bullets is an improvement.

    the Oil-For-Food plan would still be the most corrupt organiztion in existance

    What's the current "most corrupt organization in existence"--KBR?

    our troops would still be based in Saudi Arabia and mainting one of the key gripes of bin Laden that infidels should not be in the Holy Land of Islam/Suadi Arabia

    Now that our troops are based in Iraq, Bin Laden has stopped complaining, I take it?

    Saddam would be sending millions of dollars to the "martyrs" in Palestine

    So the "martyrs" have stopped? Israel will be relieved when they find out.

    the arab/islamic world would still be pissed off at us for supporting Israel, being mainly Xians, or for just being the US in general

    Did the Arab-Islamic world stop being pissed off at us for those things? Hooray! That means the War on Terror is over and we won! So let's bring the troops home.

  • ||

    David Weigel writes "the Associated Press has a report [...] that finds numerous Iraq veterans agreeing with the congressman's bleak assessments."

    The article names two, one who says he backs Murtha's views on the war, while the other just says Murtha "supports the troops".

    Perhaps Mr. Weigel should get a better editor next time.

  • Jennifer||

    David Weigel--

    Perhaps you should post a link to some Iraq War veterans saying "Murtha's full of shit and we're gonna win this war, hoo-ah!" That might help polish your badly tarnished libertarian credentials.

    Ron Paul is the only member of government libertarians can post about without being disapproving.

  • Jennifer||

    David Weigel writes "the Associated Press has a report [...] that finds numerous Iraq veterans agreeing with the congressman's bleak assessments." The article names two . . . Perhaps Mr. Weigel should get a better editor next time.

    I work for a newspaper, and even when I write something like "several voters criticized the proposed budget" I only have room to quote, at most, three actual voters. But I swear on my honor as a low-paid journalist: even though a story of mine might only quote two or three voters who criticize a budget, that does NOT mean there were only two or three people against it.

    In fact, the budget failed the referendum by a no-to-yes vote margin of 5 to 1.

    But tell me, Another Mark-- how many people do YOU think need to be quoted in a story about a given opinion? Do you think that if only two people are quoted, those are the only two people in the world who feel a given way?

  • ||

    Jennifer, please correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you the person who once posted in this forum that based on another poster's political views, you wished that they "or someone close to them" would be killed? Or was that another Jennifer?

  • ||

    Jennifer-You became a journalist? Are you crazy, woman? For god's sake, flee back to your real job!


    And no, that's not a joke.

  • Jennifer||

    Jennifer, please correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you the person who once posted in this forum that based on another poster's political views, you wished that they "or someone close to them" would be killed? Or was that another Jennifer?

    I do recall at least one situation where one poster was explaining why the [innocent] citizens of country X could be killed to further our war aims, and I made a remark to the effect of "I hope you live long enough to see America become the kind of country whose citizens are considered expendable by the bigger, more important countries." Is that what you meant?

    And again, how many quotes does a story need for the word 'numerous' to apply?

    Number 6--
    I know, I know. But for all its flaws, this is the first job I've had in YEARS that I didn't despise. Beats the hell out of writing bald-faced lies about how spiffy some product or service is. Though I think our paper would have a much higher circulation if my editor would forget the whole "family newspaper" bit and let me be myself. Seriously, which sounds better: "Ann Coulter is a controversial author" or "Ann Coulter is a human zit oozing pus over the face of American political discourse?"

    I don't even have to ask you which statement my editor would let me print.

  • ||

    Jen,

    thousands of children a year dying every year of hunger

    I thought the "sanctions killed thousads each year" had been debunked? At any rate, I'm not sure if children dying from bombs and bullets is an improvement.
    Hmmm, good point...
    However, wikipedia's been known for bs in it's time, but here's it's summary on the effects:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_sanctions
    The sanctions crippled the Iraqi economy during the time they were imposed; much of Iraq�s infrastructure ran into disrepair from lack of materials and Iraq's capacity for aggression was all but destroyed. The initial purpose of the sanctions, and of all diplomatic sanctions, was to force Iraq's hand in cooperation with the United Nations and possibly cause a change in its previously aggressive foreign policy and abuses of human rights.
    Critics of the sanctions say that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, disproportionately children, died as a result of them, [2] although certain skeptics claim the numbers to be less. [3] [4][5] UNICEF has put the number of child deaths to 500,000.[6] The reasons include lack of medical supplies, malnutrition, and especially disease owing to lack of clean water. Among other things, chlorine, needed for disinfecting water supplies, was banned as having a "dual use" in potential weapons manufacture. On May 10, 1996, appearing on 60 Minutes, Madeleine Albright (then U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations) was presented with a figure of half a million children under five having died from the sanctions. Not challenging this figure, she infamously replied "we think the price is worth it," though she later rued the comment as "stupid."[7]
    Denis Halliday was appointed United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Baghdad, Iraq as of 1 September 1997, at the Assistant Secretary-General level. In October 1998 he resigned after a 34 year career with the UN in order to have the freedom to criticise the sanctions regime, saying "I don't want to administer a programme that satisfies the definition of genocide". Halliday's successor, Hans von Sponeck, subsequently also resigned in protest. Jutta Burghardt, head of the World Food Program in Iraq, followed them. According to von Sponeck, the sanctions restricted Iraqis to living on $100 each of imports per year


    Does that settle it, no. But when the anti-war side just acts like so many who died under our containment was something to be brushed off and forgotten, that undermines the moral integrity of the antiwar position when it cannot be denied that our containment ceratinly put it a HELLA load of hurt on Iraq while Saddam prospered. That clearly is a HUGE injustice and cannot be swatted away like some pestering midge...
    As for woman and children casualties, that is something that my side must deal with itself too because war is hell...
    And yet, the arguement can be made that until the sanctions that Saddam was a relativly liberal strong-man, with his actions post-Gulf War I of Islamicizing his government and increasing his brutality and oppresion in order to keep the populace accepting his rule while the country fell to pieces...




    the Oil-For-Food plan would still be the most corrupt organiztion in existance

    What's the current "most corrupt organization in existence"--KBR?


    Can't really argue with the skullduggery of KBR-Halliburton, but seriously Jennifer, do you really think KBR/Halliburton has world-wide scope and magnitude of effects that the Oil-for-Food scam created? KBR effects many industries closely connected to the US government and other OIF allies, but Oil-For-Food went all the way up to the son of Koffi Annan if not the man himself! France, Russia, Syria, the US, and a whole slew of other nations either directly participated in that scheme or turned a blind-eye to that cancer. Because no body is higher than the UN, the nation states, the manin actors in this injustice, will NEVER be brought to bear for this crime while there is a possiblity that KBR under a Democratic Executive/Legislative branch might get to put some justice on KBR and at least take them off the primary position for government contracts...






    our troops would still be based in Saudi Arabia and mainting one of the key gripes of bin Laden that infidels should not be in the Holy Land of Islam/Suadi Arabia

    Now that our troops are based in Iraq, Bin Laden has stopped complaining, I take it?


    No, but it does undermine one of his points about the illegitmacy of the Saudi regime.
    Is the Saudi regime illegitimate itself as an authoiritarian theocracy? Who boy, that's a whole 'nother ball of yarn. But since you seem to accept some realist foreign policy principles, it is better to undermine our direct enemy than our nominal friedn, the Saudis...




    Saddam would be sending millions of dollars to the "martyrs" in Palestine

    So the "martyrs" have stopped? Israel will be relieved when they find out.

    :)
    Yeah, that was some fancy-shmancy rhetoric on my part.
    But, addam was a HUGE contributor to the Palestinians. One example was in Iraq where he helped out well-connected Palestinian familes, such as helping the internet-famous Raed Jarrar family of raedimthemiddle.com fame. His patronage was huge, and so I say that eliminating one source of funding for suicide bombers is a plus to diffusing tensions between the Palestinians and the Israelis...



    the arab/islamic world would still be pissed off at us for supporting Israel, being mainly Xians, or for just being the US in general

    Did the Arab-Islamic world stop being pissed off at us for those things? Hooray! That means the War on Terror is over and we won! So let's bring the troops home.

    :)
    Another part of my rhetoric you nicely dissected ;)
    I was mainly poking fun at the usual response that we created even more emnity in the region when even when if stopped supporting Isreal.
    However, a major source of that emnity is pan-Arabism itself. By destroying one of the last regimes that supports pan-Arabism, we weaken at least one part of the illiberal mindset that stranagles the mid-East. Furthermore, it exposes the fact that the pathology of pan-Arabism and Islamism favor the sacrifice of their Iraqi "brothers" to kick out the Occupation and destroy the "Occupation-puppet government"


    I am sure that you find every arguement I have to be total, neoconish bs.
    I think it's important to realize that, contrary to Jim Henley's opinion, there was NO winnable option regarding Iraq that IMAO would preculde war with Iraq:
    -Unilaterally leaving the Mid-East (a fav of isolationist libertarians), including the halting of our funds to Israel/Egypt/the PA/etc, would destroy Israel certainly (Holocaust 2, The Extermination-of-The-Jews-Boogaloo) and would weaken our nominal friends (Mubarak/Abbas) for our outright enemies (Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas).
    -Maintaining stability, including containment of Iraq and/or supporting Israel, means that ALL of the underlying causes of the pathology of the Mid East remain since our friendship with all those tyrranical regimes implicate us in their despotic ways AND those same regimes are VERY deft in deflecting the hatred cause by their savagery into "acceptable" forms of thought, including fostering Islamist.
    -PLUS, those two options would not definitivly settle whether Saddam had no WMD's. All the reports did show no WMDs, BUT Saddam did plan to restart production of WMDs once the sactions were over which almost definitly occur because without our making threats of war the sanction regime was losing strenght daily in favor of normalizing relations with one of a nation with one of the largest reserves of oil on the planet.
    AND, almost EVERYONE in the MidEast, ALL of them rivals to Saddam because of his millitancy, believed he had WMDs.
    AND, Saddam had used WMDs in the past against the Iranians/Kurds, had attempted to assassinate Pres. Bush, and had ties to international terrorism via Abu Abbas/Nidal and the 1993 WTC bombing. He was a threat, period.
    Not in the apocolyptic USSR-USA M.A.D., but if he was desperate enough and believed that he was crafty enough adn wouldn't be caught, I don't see why he couldn't "launder" say some chemical or biological weapons to Al Qaeda via some of his known terrorism connections.

    Furthermore, almost ALL of the liberalizing trends in the Mid East have OIF as a major part of their success by endogenously destabilizing the status quo via everyone realizing that the Strong Man is not invincible and that we too should be free-er like the Iraqis, while allowing us to maintain our current levels of physical support to the tyrranies while asking them to follow the liberalizing trends that are occuring, vis-a-vis Lebanon and Egypt.

    Is OIF and the Occupation THE PERFECTEST SOULTION IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!!! :) :)
    Hell no. It is a bloody, demoralizing thing that saps the US of $ and vigor and means that people in Iraq will be killed outright by bullets rather than diarrhea.
    Nevertheless, that is the better of the shitty options we had. That's why I still suppor it...

    And now for Jennifer to use her rapier wit and razor-sharpe toungue to tear me a new one ;)

  • ||

    Sorry for the novel...
    Just wanted to shoot off some of my brain farts on OIF...

  • ||

    Sorry for the my novel-post...
    Just wanted to shoot off some of my brain farts on OIF...

  • ||

    :X


    Damn, double posts

  • ||

    David Weigel writes "the Associated Press has a report [...] that finds numerous Iraq veterans agreeing with the congressman's bleak assessments." The article names two . . . Perhaps Mr. Weigel should get a better editor next time.

    I work for a newspaper, and even when I write something like "several voters criticized the proposed budget" I only have room to quote, at most, three actual voters. But I swear on my honor as a low-paid journalist: even though a story of mine might only quote two or three voters who criticize a budget, that does NOT mean there were only two or three people against it.

    In fact, the budget failed the referendum by a no-to-yes vote margin of 5 to 1.

    But tell me, Another Mark-- how many people do YOU think need to be quoted in a story about a given opinion? Do you think that if only two people are quoted, those are the only two people in the world who feel a given way?

    Comment by: Jennifer at June 21, 2006 03:53 PM

    From what I can tell though, is that a LARGE majority of OIF vets, who are milbloggers, do indeed dislike what Murtha is saying, because from the milblogs that have I read do think Murtha's option of cutting and running is bad policy and believe that if the US is given more time in Iraq that a stable and relativly democratic government can form around the unifying factor of an effective, national Iraqi army.

    However, I have not been able to read all milblogs, nor have I seen a poll on milblogging, so what I know of milblogging is rather limited.
    Also, it can be argued that the pro-OIF milbloggers opinion on that we can win in Iraq are anecdotal evidence and are biased because a "failure" in Iraq makes their efforts a failure and so would presumably try to make sure that they are not implicated in said "failure".

    Still, I have not read about any major clashes in the milblogger community over Iraq policy, so I can reasonalby assume that the majority of major milbloggers support the war and our efforts in the occupation, not small potatoes when discussing about what exactly is happening on the ground in Iraq and what is the likely outcome of our policy.
    So, if most of my assumptions and observations of milbloggers are correct, most support the war and think Murtha's wrong...

  • ||

    "...our troops would still be based in Saudi Arabia and mainting one of the key gripes of bin Laden that infidels should not be in the Holy Land of Islam/Suadi Arabia"

    Once upon a time, Iraq hawks used to argue AGAINST basing our foreign policy on appeasing Al Qaeda. But then, this is hardly the only ideological gymnastics they've been forced to perform in the past few years.

    Also, "a large majority of OIF veterans are bloggers?" I never would have guessed that.

    I wonder, if a politically-active veteran wishes to start a blog, and he is politically conservative and wishes to spend his time arguing in favor of the war (and repeating phrases from RNC strategy meetings like "...strategy of cut and run..." ahem ahem), if there are any kind souls who might be willing to help him out. In the private sector, or even the public.

  • ||

    joe,

    "'...our troops would still be based in Saudi Arabia and mainting one of the key gripes of bin Laden that infidels should not be in the Holy Land of Islam/Suadi Arabia'

    Once upon a time, Iraq hawks used to argue AGAINST basing our foreign policy on appeasing Al Qaeda. But then, this is hardly the only ideological gymnastics they've been forced to perform in the past few years."


    Appeasement? This is not appeasment to Al Qaeda in the slightest since we did not do this according to thier demands but accoridng to our better strategic position in Iraq with a friendlier government to boot (or at least until they tell us to move, which I hope our goverment will do or they will lose the last remaing scraps of the dregs of any semblence that they came as to support an independent Iraq).
    This move was a positive collateral benefit to our movements against Al Qaeda, and I would hope you would appreciate that we undermined one of bin Ladenist key demands of Al Qaeda.
    Now, the new-and-imporved Zarqawi Al Qaeda is another story infortunatley...


    "Also, "a large majority of OIF veterans are bloggers?" I never would have guessed that.

    I wonder, if a politically-active veteran wishes to start a blog, and he is politically conservative and wishes to spend his time arguing in favor of the war (and repeating phrases from RNC strategy meetings like "...strategy of cut and run..." ahem ahem), if there are any kind souls who might be willing to help him out. In the private sector, or even the public."


    joe, the left blogosphere has created a HUGE community, where Atrios, FDL, and Dailykos DOMONIATE the blogosphere. If they cannot support and propel their own milbloggers, which would be shown in activating intra-milblog arguing on Iraq, then all this bluster about the military being against the war looks false by the evidence of no liberal/anti-OIF milblogger community.
    If I am wrong on this count, please provide me some milbloggers who are liberal and/or against OIF, and then I can see by their stats where they stand...

    Not to mention, just to give an example that does not confirm to your world-view, here's one of the best, biggest, and most respected milbloggers out there (and I found out about him from RNC hack GLenn Reynolds!), Michael Yon:
    http://www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/of-words.htm

    "Since posting a reminder of that dispatch, I have been subject to some interesting attention. I�ve been shunned by radio interviewers and dropped from planned television appearances; I�ve been called so many contradictory things that I have to chuckle. Of course there have been the obscene and threatening communications, along with others pointing out that when I say �civil war� certain media will use my statements to push for early withdrawal, and so I should refrain from saying the truth. That will not happen. My readers deserve and expect the good, the bad and the ugly from me.

    I do not report this because I harbor animosity for the current administration, or to magnify any mistakes it has made, but only so that the American people, and readers around the world, can be presented with at least one set of eyes and ears that are reasonably politically color-blind and tone-deaf. If the truth helps the administration, so be it. If the truth damages the administration, so be it. More important is to provide information people can use in their own decision cycles. Whether or not anyone agrees with the reasons for starting this war, we invaded Iraq, and should complete the mission, and that needs to be defined clearly as a stable and democratic Iraq, and not as a date on a calendar. We have to stop treating the truth like a work in progress or a lump of clay that we can shape into an image or icon.
    �ll say it as clearly today as I said it more than a year ago from my perch in Baquba: the civil war is real. It is not abating, it is growing. And it�s growing in part because we have been spackling over the truth about where much of this violence derives, and not addressing the true nature of the enemy.
    ...
    There is a human tendency to ignore certain information while magnifying other information. We all know this. It�s not a disease that infects only people of certain parties or professions, it�s in our nature. In this complicated world, in this excruciatingly complicated world, we must make hard decisions as individuals and collectively as nations. When it came to invading Iraq, as persuasive as I found those official statements about WMD, I also knew some things that the average American would not be in a position to know. Every Iraq-experienced Special Forces veteran that I spoke with before the latest invasion of Iraq�every one of those veterans�opined that Iraq would devolve into chaos and civil war. But when I asked those same veterans if they thought the former regime was a threat to world security, they all agreed that it was, for they knew well the evil of the former Iraqi regime. Tough choices.
    ...
    Ask average Americans and Europeans if Iranians are coming to Iraq and fighting, and most seem to believe they are. But I crisscrossed Iraq on numerous occasions and never found an American or Iraqi military commander who agreed that Iranians are coming in. Surely foreigners have come to fight in Iraq�I have been there at times when some were captured�but on the balance, foreign terrorists are a small fraction of the problem in Iraq.
    ...
    When I said that the situation was a civil war over a year ago, it did not generate the controversy that repeating it now is doing. What has changed since then is that the scope and magnitude of the civil war have grown, making it next to impossible to deny. What is also new is that in the absence of better reporting of the complex situation on the ground, good and bad, Americans are increasingly turning against this mission. They are not ignoring poor media but are rewarding it by paying attention to it. The people are not ignoring the poor media, but they are doing something far worse: they are ignoring our troops!
    Pressure is mounting to end our engagement prematurely. This would be disastrous, but worse is that we were warned by people whose expertise should have given us pause. In his report to the Senate, not only did General McCaffrey detail the complex nature of the enemy, he issued a clear challenge to our civilian leaders:

    �We must continue to level with the American People. We still have a five year fight facing us in Iraq.�

    I think Barry McCaffrey was being optimistic by saying five years, but he was prodding top leadership to tell the Americans the truth. Americans can take the truth, but they abhor lies, and they can smell lies a mile away.

    When people were told a year ago that the insurgency was in its dying embers, or when they were told that the same people who failed to show up for the rose petal parade our troops were expected to receive, would now show up and build a democracy overnight, those statements were retorts to the growing reports of Iraqi on Iraqi violence. The gloss over�s were meant to assure us that what was being reported as a growing threat to the stability of the region was actually a miss-read of the facts.

    Our top civilian leaders, the ones with their hands on the cockpit controls, predicted swift and easy victory. The failure of that promise, coupled with the bargain basement reporting that substituted nightly body counts and recycled car bomb footage for insightful coverage, is what has made the statements I made a year ago suddenly reach so many ears with so much controversy.
    What frustrated me then and still does now is that the false promises were not necessary: at least one path to stability was working in Mosul, a Sunni enclave, something that few people on any side of the debate seemed to realize at the time. During heated fighting in Mosul, I went against the grain and predicted its success, based on what I was seeing with our forces on the ground, the emerging local Iraqi leadership, and the Iraqi citizens in Mosul. I made those predictions for success even while the fighting was intense and American and Iraqi blood was spilling in the streets. I took serious criticism for it. I had no good metrics, or any fancy academic definitions upon which to base anything, just my gut feeling and what my eyes and ears were telling me. But we did win in Mosul. And, the victory is holding.
    It is that same gut feeling that tells me can win in Iraq, but I am not going stretch that far out on the limb as to say that we will win. I certainly hope we do. I was correct about the civil war more than a year ahead of the academic and media pack. I was right about Mosul. But I am not sure about Iraq as a whole. The fine points of emerging governments are abstractions to people who cannot worship without a very real fear that their holy places are no longer safe havens. Having been beaten in Mosul, and pushed out of Tal Afar, and long since driven from the Kurdish strongholds in the North, the enemy is clearly concentrating efforts in the capital city area.

    We are not getting the truth through our media, or our civilian leadership. Yes, Iraq is in civil war, but there is no doubt in my mind, not the slightest doubt, that the new Iraqi security forces are becoming stronger all the time. It�s not certain if they are strong enough to hold back the enemy on their own or if we need to increase the efforts of our military in a coordinated measure. But the fact that an American general recently invited me to see that progress is an indicator that our top military leaders are confident. An Army general would not have invited me back to Iraq to see a fiasco, and the mere fact of his invitation is a ray of hope."





    As you can see, he's not even close to a RNC-hack, and he's one of the best milbloggers out there and he can rataionally and independently think out of his own knowledge/experience that we can win.

    So, joe, any rethinking that the biggest of the milbloggers are just hacks for the RNC...

  • Jennifer||

    do you really think KBR/Halliburton has world-wide scope and magnitude of effects that the Oil-for-Food scam created? KBR effects many industries closely connected to the US government and other OIF allies, but Oil-For-Food went all the way up to the son of Koffi Annan if not the man himself!

    I can never, ever, ever keep straight whether the UN is this pathetic, worthless and impotent organization that we shouldn't even bother wasting our money and prime Manhattan real estate on, or the dark Trilateral Illuminati who could destroy American autonomy in a flash if it wanted to. Fear the powerful Kofi Annan, America.

    On the other hand, even if the sanctions really were as bad as the worst-case stories say, I'm not sure why the only two options America had were "make Iraqis miserable with crippling sanctions" or "make Iraqis miserable with urban warfare where they live." This war is bad for Americans and Iraqis alike, so whether I'm thinking from a 'those poor Iraqis' perspective or a 'keep America strong' one I oppose the war and I always have.

  • ||

    do you really think KBR/Halliburton has world-wide scope and magnitude of effects that the Oil-for-Food scam created? KBR effects many industries closely connected to the US government and other OIF allies, but Oil-For-Food went all the way up to the son of Koffi Annan if not the man himself!

    I can never, ever, ever keep straight whether the UN is this pathetic, worthless and impotent organization that we shouldn't even bother wasting our money and prime Manhattan real estate on, or the dark Trilateral Illuminati who could destroy American autonomy in a flash if it wanted to. Fear the powerful Kofi Annan, America.

    On the other hand, even if the sanctions really were as bad as the worst-case stories say, I'm not sure why the only two options America had were "make Iraqis miserable with crippling sanctions" or "make Iraqis miserable with urban warfare where they live." This war is bad for Americans and Iraqis alike, so whether I'm thinking from a 'those poor Iraqis' perspective or a 'keep America strong' one I oppose the war and I always have.

    Comment by: Jennifer at June 21, 2006 07:00 PM

    As for the UN, consdering that the world uses it as a forum for diplomacy and legitmacy, it is important while at the same time weak because the Security Council has impunity that the other members can't afford.

    On the moral basis of the war...
    Yeah, creating moral calculus based on how high the stacks of bodies are is weak and pathetic.
    Nevertheless, it is necessary metric on whether or not there is benefit to one option or another out of a collection of BAD options. Since our hands are already bloody, we might as well do something to give us the space to eventually clean them...

    As a war hawk, I believed that the benefits outwayed the costs for us AND the Iraqis since at least they have the potential for full self-determination without the use of a totalitarian strong man and we got rid of a guy who had a grudge against us who in the future without OIF had a great possibility of making a comeback. Can you imagine what would be the outcome in the MidEast if pan-Arabism made a comeback via a rejuvanted, Islamist-friendly (he would need allies in say weakening the rival regime in Syria or Saudi Arabia) Baathist regime? IMAO, the consequences would be even worse than now...and talk about high gas prices, I can just see $4 and $5 per gallon because Saddam just has to have that delectable piece or real estate in Saudi Arabia...

    So Jen, my question for you is this, what would you do for Iraq instead of OIF that would prevent all the pain and suffering that has occured before/because of OIF?
    Status quo pre-OIF?
    Better diplomatic pressure/containment of Iraq?
    Funding for local Iraqi insurgents against Saddam?
    Supporting one of Saddam's rivals, say Syria or Turkey?
    Just what could we do to prevent the tragedy that was/is Iraq?

    And, I know I can't change your mind on the legitimacy of this war, but hey, I just love the silky sound of my own voice expounding my genius...yes, I am full of shit ;)

  • ||

    Frank A,

    "Appeasement? This is not appeasment to Al Qaeda in the slightest since we did not do this according to thier demands but accoridng to our better strategic position in Iraq with a friendlier government to boot...
    This move was a positive collateral benefit to our movements against Al Qaeda,"

    Then why bring up bin Laden's feelings?

    "...and I would hope you would appreciate that we undermined one of bin Ladenist key demands of Al Qaeda."

    I don't give a rat's ass about undermining bin Laden's looney, ideological, millennialist demands. I'd rather drop a daisy cutter on the bastard. Actual injustices that harm our reputation, absolutely. But the complaints about infidels in the land of the two cities is the Arab equivalent of flag burning.

    BTW, Frank A, when I first read this, "This is not appeasment to Al Qaeda in the slightest since we did not do this according to thier demands but accoridng to our better strategic position..." I thought you were quoting John Murtha.

    The difference being, the "strategic position" you were interested in was avoiding upsetting radical Islamists, while the strategic position Murtha is interested in was allowing our troops, and those of the new Iraqi government, to be in a better position to defeat Al Qaeda militarily.

  • ||

    "joe, the left blogosphere has created a HUGE community, where Atrios, FDL, and Dailykos DOMONIATE the blogosphere."

    That's funny, because the blogs that get the most press attention, and are used to define political activity on the internet, are Instapundit and Time Magazine's Blog of the Year, Powerline. But anyway...

    "If they cannot support and propel their own milbloggers, which would be shown in activating intra-milblog arguing on Iraq, then all this bluster about the military being against the war looks false by the evidence of no liberal/anti-OIF milblogger community."

    I don't know what "bluster about the military being against the war" you're referring to. I've seen some stories about some people in the military being against the war, or its execution, or other aspects of this president's policy. But the only bluster about how "the military" feels about the war is the constant refrain about all Da Troops being good Republican hawks - a longstanding narrative which, your enthusiasm demonstrates, is falling apart in the public consciousness because of accurate, neutral stories about disagreement.

    BTW, that the anti-this-war veterans choose to run for office instead of starting blogs doesn't concern me in the least. But then, I'm not the one making any grand claims about uniform political opinions in the military.

  • ||

    I'm going to go back to Frank A's argument in favor of appeasement.

    Frank, I don't think you support this war because you support a policy of appeasement towards Al Qaeda. I don't think that the appeasement you mentioned - avoiding ticking off the fanatics who can't stand non-Muslims in the Middle East - is even something you care about.

    But you clearly got the idea (maybe from the same place you got "policy of cut and run?") than people who oppose this war are motivated by a desire to appease Islamist fanatics. And for a political operative to fall for his own propaganda like that - well, it's like a drug dealer who gets hooked on his own stash. Sad.

  • ||

    I"m sorry, I can't help it.

    "KBR effects many industries closely connected to the US government and other OIF allies, but Oil-For-Food went all the way up to the son of Koffi Annan if not the man himself!"

    Yeah sure, who are Dick Cheney and the Pentagon? The real power and money are with Kofi Annan's son (if not no The Man Himself) in Turtle Bay.

    BTW, when referring to Kofi Annan, I think we all call him The Man Himself or for short, TMH.

  • ||

    Frank A,

    "Appeasement? This is not appeasment to Al Qaeda in the slightest since we did not do this according to thier demands but accoridng to our better strategic position in Iraq with a friendlier government to boot...
    This move was a positive collateral benefit to our movements against Al Qaeda,"

    Then why bring up bin Laden's feelings?

    "...and I would hope you would appreciate that we undermined one of bin Ladenist key demands of Al Qaeda."

    I don't give a rat's ass about undermining bin Laden's looney, ideological, millennialist demands. I'd rather drop a daisy cutter on the bastard. Actual injustices that harm our reputation, absolutely. But the complaints about infidels in the land of the two cities is the Arab equivalent of flag burning."

    joe,
    Simply put, bin Laden's gripes reflect the gripes of the fanatics of Islamism, then you need to re-evaluate why we are fighting the War on Terror.

    Look, I know Jennifer, so I was just being bitchy at what I perceived to be cheap shots at what we are doing in Iraq because I thought I could just give her a little nudge at what I think were cheap shots by her at our millitary.
    However, on second reading I can see where I sound like a huge jerk to anyone reading the post at June 21, 2006 03:25 PM.
    So Jennifer, if you are still reading this, I apologize for my cheap shots at you.


    In spite of my spitefulness, the rhetoric of that post does nothing to change the fact that the genius of bin Laden is that he took many of his gripes against the Saudis and translate them into a succesful, most importantly, well-known franchise of terror.
    Unfortunaly, like Communism, this movement is mature enough and has enough roots (the Muslim Brotherhood, Jamaa Islamiya, etc) that bin Laden's death while would be a success in the war, it will not dismantle the worldwide network of Islamist terror that can function without bin Laden.

    This is EXACTLY why I believe that even marginal gains agaisnt any part of the Islamist legitimacy, as seen in my snippy comment, are victories by demolishing the legitimacy of, at least, the bin Laden brand of Al Qaeda.
    True, we strenghtened a little-known branch of Al Qaeda via Zarqawi. However, his ascension has done much to discredit Al Qaeda as a movement by his ruthless slaughter of civillians has revealed that Al Qaeda will slaughter more of the faithful than of the infidel in its goals.
    Zarqawi could've been more moral by attacking only the Allied Forces or the direct agents of the Iraqi government, but his decision to attack civillains, and especially MUSLIM civillians, has done mush to tarnish Al Qaeda's name in the eyes of the Muslim population.



    And to tell you the truth, the best thing for the US would be to get out of Iraq because the major foci of the terrorism in Iraq are nationalist and former Baathist elements fighting the Occupation, and so obliquely Murtha is syaing the right thing.
    However, where Murtha goes wrong is that WE cannot have a timetable, the Iraqis should give us one.

    Namely, Iraq is a soveriegn nation, I think the best thing to do would for the Iraqi government to hold a plebiscite on whether the Iraqi population whether the Allied Forces should stay or go NOW.
    If they vote, yes, then the Iraqi people have spoken and the Iraqi government should negotiate a time-table on when to leave.
    However, poll after poll has shown Iraqis to want us to stay for the time being because we are the only force strong enough to prevent a full-blown Yugoslavia civil war and we prevent Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia from outright interference or, especially in Turkey's case, an invasion into Iraqi territory. Not to mention that we are also the main force that is trainging their military (which is doing a much better job) and police (which is still crap and we need to change what we are doing and FAST) and without us the Iraqi army is still not ready enough to protect their country from external or even internal enemies...yet.

    Luckily though, even the politicians in Iraq who want us to train Iraqis want us out eventually so we will be going when the time is necessary, or in a 2008 Democratic Presidency...

  • ||

    "joe, the left blogosphere has created a HUGE community, where Atrios, FDL, and Dailykos DOMONIATE the blogosphere."

    That's funny, because the blogs that get the most press attention, and are used to define political activity on the internet, are Instapundit and Time Magazine's Blog of the Year, Powerline. But anyway..."

    Umm, look at the Truthlaidbare.com, their numbers show that the lefty blogosphere is DOMINANT, such as Atrios and dailykos have been on the top for a LOOOOONG while now topping the very old standard of Instapundit's numbers.
    Also, when Atrios' defininf feature is calling people wankers and proclaiming open threads every 2 hours while kos says "screw them" to Americans who died in Iraq, it's not exactly suprising why took so long for people to officially notice them...



    "'If they cannot support and propel their own milbloggers, which would be shown in activating intra-milblog arguing on Iraq, then all this bluster about the military being against the war looks false by the evidence of no liberal/anti-OIF milblogger community.

    I don't know what "bluster about the military being against the war" you're referring to. I've seen some stories about some people in the military being against the war, or its execution, or other aspects of this president's policy. But the only bluster about how "the military" feels about the war is the constant refrain about all Da Troops being good Republican hawks - a longstanding narrative which, your enthusiasm demonstrates, is falling apart in the public consciousness because of accurate, neutral stories about disagreement.

    BTW, that the anti-this-war veterans choose to run for office instead of starting blogs doesn't concern me in the least. But then, I'm not the one making any grand claims about uniform political opinions in the military."

    Yeah, I FUBARed my own arguement, typed too fast before my brain caught up (kicks pebble). Sorry.
    So yes, I did go off on a wild tangent about imaginary numbers of vets being against the war.
    However, yes, I can claim with certainty that the troops are mainly Republican, as poll-after-poll demonstrates.
    And, you claimed this:
    "I wonder, if a politically-active veteran wishes to start a blog, and he is politically conservative and wishes to spend his time arguing in favor of the war (and repeating phrases from RNC strategy meetings like "...strategy of cut and run..." ahem ahem), if there are any kind souls who might be willing to help him out. In the private sector, or even the public."
    That statement reads as if the major milbloggers are just RNC hacks, but there is a palpable difference between just being a Republican and being a RNC water boy...

    My reasoning that have not descended into hackery is that Michael Yon, IMHO, was a pretty good proponent against the hackery that did occur after the Samarra bombing. So, I assume that he would do the same if other milbloggers turned/are turning to hackery since I trust Yon's independence.


    And as for the whole thing about vets running for office, huh? (looks sheepishly like the fool I am) O man, I can't even remeber which part I argued about that, do you mind jogging my memory on that? That's what you get wehn you write so much you can't even remember your own arguements...

    As for my belief that soldiers=Repub/pro-OIF,
    No, I do not believe that in the slightest.
    For my judegment, I've used both previous polls and the milblogger population as gages as to how the troops feel about Iraq, and if my extrapolations from that data/anecdotal info are correct (which they may not) then I can reasonably believe that the majority of the troops do, at least, support the war and are Republicans.

  • ||

    I'm going to go back to Frank A's argument in favor of appeasement.

    Frank, I don't think you support this war because you support a policy of appeasement towards Al Qaeda. I don't think that the appeasement you mentioned - avoiding ticking off the fanatics who can't stand non-Muslims in the Middle East - is even something you care about.

    But you clearly got the idea (maybe from the same place you got "policy of cut and run?") than people who oppose this war are motivated by a desire to appease Islamist fanatics. And for a political operative to fall for his own propaganda like that - well, it's like a drug dealer who gets hooked on his own stash. Sad.

    Comment by: joe at June 21, 2006 10:08 PM

    I just finally read this part of the thread...several times... and what the hell joe?!!?!??
    Look in my earlier days being more conservative I am sure that I made some of those same bogus arguements that if you are against the war that you want to appease the Muslim fanatics.
    But now?
    Dude, where the hell did I say that? Did I implicate that?
    I sure as hell wouldn't consciously maintain that bullshit after I've seen both thoreau and Jennifer provide ample amounts of valid policy points proving that a different set of values/first principles would lead you to a different conclusion on Iraq...

    Now, am I guilty of being a bit of a dick on this thread?
    Yes, I have been a bit snarky in my responses to you and Jennifer about this issue and I apologize to Jennifer for coming out of the blue and dissing her post, but Jesus H Christ man how the hell did I turn into a political operative????

    If I am, then where the hell is the money, the power, the stupid blonde Republo-bots to give me headjobs and porkchop dinners, and where the hell is my network of stooges to back me up on this thread when it would be great to distract the both of you with mindless personal attacks??????
    Furthermore, why would I waste my time as an operative to debate either you or Jennifer instead of just posting some bullshit comment about how the both of you are moonbat, Dumbocrats who want us to become dhimminis like those Frogs in Europe blahblahblah...LFG...michelle malkin...USA uberalles!

    Feh!

    Not to mention, do you even remember a couple of months ago that we actually had a rather pleasent debate on Iraq and even seemed to agree-to-disagree? I was actually proud of that, and was stupidly coasting on that thinkng that a little snark here and there in a debate between people in good faith would just spice it up a touch.
    But when did I lose that good faith? Was there some agreement that if I metnion point a of topic b on vets and OIF being Repubs that I have automatically become a Republo-bot?
    Great to have a moment when you and I could talk reasonably tossed aside like so much garbage...


    And just to make sure I didn't get the message that there's no reason to debate with this stupid wingnut:
    "I"m sorry, I can't help it.

    Yeah sure, who are Dick Cheney and the Pentagon? The real power and money are with Kofi Annan's son (if not no The Man Himself) in Turtle Bay.

    BTW, when referring to Kofi Annan, I think we all call him The Man Himself or for short, TMH.

    Comment by: joe at June 21, 2006 10:31 PM


    CONGRATULATIONS JOE P BOYLE!!!!
    You just found a point in my debates that was weak! Job well done, snark accomplished, glibness perfected, etc, etc, etc.
    Please, have this celebratory cookie from this operative courtesy of RNC, Rove LLC. on a job well done...

  • ||

    And what a month and a half can do to make me turn from a hawk joe wished he had more of into an operative of the RNC:
    http://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2006/04/steaming_dougla.shtml#comments

    Frank A, I wish more hawks were like you. You have a capacity to face hard facts, admit setbacks, and respect dissenting viewpoints that has been sorely missing over the last three years. Those are not just personal virtues, but they also foster better policy decisions and operational management than we've seen.

    When we last met, you were dissing my statement that intrusive inspections, backed by a credible threat of force, both with a UN mandate, would have served us better than this invasion. You based this on two planks - we can't trust the UN, and we couldn't credibly threatan Saddam into backing down.

    As far as the first point goes, we weren't in a position of having to take anyone with a blue beret at his word - our intelligence agencies, and those of our allies, had access to the data gathered by the Blix team. Hell, the team largely consisted of our people. You argue about the UN as "them," but when we're talking about the forces enforcing the Iraq armistice, "them" is mostly "us."

    As far as the ability to make Saddam back down, I'll point out two data points: Operation Desert Fox, which convinced him to thoroughly dismantle his WMD programs; and the return of the UN inspectors prior to this war. We don't have to speculate about whether Saddam would back down in the face of the US, fresh from routing the Taliban, with a bad attitude and a UN mandate. We know, for a fact, that he would, because he did.

    Comment by: joe at April 2, 2006 05:01 PM

    I was actually proud of this moment.
    If I have turned into a hack, then where did I turn?

  • ||

    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x11379.xml?ReleaseID=927

    Ya might wanna lookit Quinnipac University's latest poll of the 12 th district. Released 21 June, 2006.

    In many cases, the numbers are substantially different than they were in May.

  • ||

    Frank,
    Here are the rankings from the ecosystem in TLB:

    1.Instapundit.com (4362)
    2.Michelle Malkin (3526)
    3.Daily Kos: State of the Nation (3281)
    4.Power Line (2532)
    5.lgf: frogmarching into the future (2420)
    6.Captain's Quarters (2389)
    7.TPM: by Joshua Micah Marshall (2165)
    8.Hugh Hewitt (2016)
    9.Wizbang: Explosively Unique... (1985)
    10.Mudville Gazette (1980)

    Atrios isn't even a Higher Being.

    I don't think you are an operative. As for how to get rid of Saddam, I was always partial to my uncle's solution, send in a SEAL Team and assasinate him*.

    * BTW, what ever happened to the army of Saddam look-alikes that supposedly made this impossible.

  • ||

    I don't think you're from the RNC, Frank A. I think you're adopting their talking points all on your own.

    Now, to business:

    "joe,
    Simply put, bin Laden's gripes reflect the gripes of the fanatics of Islamism..."

    Those who are already Islamist fanatics aren't the problem. They're annoying, and can potentially mount terrorist attacks, but they're not really a threat to our survival. What's important are the vast numbers of Muslims who aren't Islamist fanatics. They are the one who will, or won't, determine how this war turns out. They will either give their backing to the Islamist fanatics who promise to address real grievances and who put those grievances into a compelling political narrative, or they will reject Islamist fanaticism. Flago-burning issues like bases in Saudi Arabia only resonate with this large population when they already have gripes that the fanatics can exploit and incorporate into their political narrative.

  • ||

    "...but there is a palpable difference between just being a Republican and being a RNC water boy..."

    The question I asked, the one you quoted, was, "I wonder, if a politically-active veteran wishes to start a blog, and he is politically conservative and wishes to spend his time arguing in favor of the war (and repeating phrases from RNC strategy meetings like "...strategy of cut and run..." ahem ahem), if there are any kind souls who might be willing to help him out."

    This is a question about politically-active people starting out on their own and receiving support from like-minded institutions. Please stop distorting my arguments.

  • ||

    "And to tell you the truth, the best thing for the US would be to get out of Iraq because the major foci of the terrorism in Iraq are nationalist and former Baathist elements fighting the Occupation, and so obliquely Murtha is syaing the right thing.
    However, where Murtha goes wrong is that WE cannot have a timetable, the Iraqis should give us one.

    Namely, Iraq is a soveriegn nation,"

    Oh, please! The new PM of Iraq said he wanted the US out. The only thing stopping this plebescite from happening is that the United States refuses to allow one. Have you ever heard even the slightest indication from anyone in the White House or the Republcian Party saying we would leave Iraq if the Iraqis want us to?"

    "However, poll after poll has shown Iraqis to want us to stay for the time being " No, they don't. Less than 1% of Iraqis surveyed in a recent poll say they trust the American military to protect their personal security. We scored below tribal militias, the Iraqi military, the Iraqi police, and the insurgents. Yes, the insurgents.

  • ||

    Jennifer: Is that what you meant?

    No, perhaps I am thinking of another poster.

    Jennifer: I work for a newspaper

    Thanks for the heads-up. I'll try to stick to using smaller words then.

    Jennifer: when I write something like "several voters criticized the proposed budget" I only have room to quote, at most, three actual voters.

    I don't think you understand. I'm not criticizing the original newspaper article. It's headlined "*Some* Troops Back From Iraq Echo Murtha". I might choose to - but won't - criticize the article for purporting to focus on the opinion of "troops" when it quotes more non-troops "echoing" Murtha's comments than troops; or for failing to report how many people attended the "welcome-home" ceremony that is the article's basis, or what proportion of attendees "echoed" Murtha - though we are given a clue by the headline's use of "some".

    No, my criticism is of David Weigel, who either mistakenly or deliberately frames a linked article about "some troops" that actually quotes just one (or two, depending on how one interprets the quote used) as if it describes a massive groundswell of support for Murtha's opinions by US troops, in his use of "numerous," and in the post's headline. I would imagine that, as a newspaperperson, you would be aggrieved if such a similar bastardization of intent was inflicted upon one of your pieces as Mr. Weigel attempts here.

  • ||

    Frank,
    Here are the rankings from the ecosystem in TLB:

    1.Instapundit.com (4362)
    2.Michelle Malkin (3526)
    3.Daily Kos: State of the Nation (3281)
    4.Power Line (2532)
    5.lgf: frogmarching into the future (2420)
    6.Captain's Quarters (2389)
    7.TPM: by Joshua Micah Marshall (2165)
    8.Hugh Hewitt (2016)
    9.Wizbang: Explosively Unique... (1985)
    10.Mudville Gazette (1980)

    Atrios isn't even a Higher Being.

    I don't think you are an operative. As for how to get rid of Saddam, I was always partial to my uncle's solution, send in a SEAL Team and assasinate him*.

    * BTW, what ever happened to the army of Saddam look-alikes that supposedly made this impossible.

    Comment by: Mo at June 22, 2006 09:18 AM


    Ah, but there's the rub!
    Take a look at unique hits dailykos has been blowing Instatpundit out of the water, http://truthlaidbear.com/ecotraffic.php where kos is making over 400,000 hits a day to Reynolds 100,000+. In those term kos is beating the tar of Reynolds, but I was wrong on Atrios because I swear that his traffic had beaten Reynolds at one point...sorry.
    Of course, this includes guys like Fark out on top of everyone...
    To tell you the truth, it's a bit confusing on whether links or blog traffic should be the gold standard...

    As for assassinating Saddam, what then?
    Uday and Qusay both had the will to power and neither were his clear successors, and while I saw Qusay as being of the mold of the brutal bureaucrat similar to Stalin, Uday was just plain batshit crazy and seemed to not give a damn about the consquences of fulfilling his desires.

    The struggle between them would be VERY bloody, and hey the US might try to do another little bit of cheap political theatre like we did at the end of Gulf War I where we "support" the indigenous rebellions in Kurdistan and the Shiite south, then we would probably see the repeat of the slaughter of the resistance that occured after Gulf War I...

    Also, consideing that we humiliated Iraq and their father for over 10 years, I don't see why they would try to follow in Saddam's footsteps and do the same things: support international terrorism, create WMD program, start a "glorius" invasion of another country in the name of Baathism, etc...

    So, IMAO, assassinating Saddam had TOO many drawbacks (namely the power struggel between Uday and Qusay) to be effective as policy.

  • ||

    Who knew in 1983 what to do to make the Soviet Union fall?

    You keep your head, you don't do anything stupid, you intelligently take advantage of your opportunities when they come along, and you don't try to force things.

    We were in a great position in late 2002/early 2003. Maybe it was a good move to spend some of the immense political capital we had at that time (remember that? When we were popular even as we were conducting large anti-terrorist operations around the world? That was sweet).

    We could have led an effort to fix the sanctions regime, making it more humane while keeping Saddam in his box. We could have rattled our saber and rammed a coercive inspections/security team back into Iraq, as we successfully did, but chose to piss away. We probably could have established the same no-drive zone in the Shiite areas that we had in Kurdistan.

    But those things would have required us to operate mulitilaterally, and would have commanded far too much bipartisan support to make effective wedge politics. So instead, the White House and the civilians in the Pentagon organized this war, because once we toppled Saddam and turned Iraq into Minnesota, boy wouldn't the UN and the liberals and the French look stupid?

  • Jennifer||

    Can you imagine what would be the outcome in the MidEast if pan-Arabism made a comeback via a rejuvanted, Islamist-friendly (he would need allies in say weakening the rival regime in Syria or Saudi Arabia) Baathist regime? IMAO, the consequences would be even worse than now...and talk about high gas prices, I can just see $4 and $5 per gallon because Saddam just has to have that delectable piece or real estate in Saudi Arabia...

    Frank, I'll admit I haven't read through every word of yours and Joe's last several posts, so maybe this was already covered, but. . . you do realize that the only reason there's any danger of Iraq being overcome by pro-Islamic fundie forces is because of the power WE created by the invasion, right?

    And where exactly did "We had to invade Iraq before Iraq invaded Arabia" come from? That was the justification for the first Gulf War, not the second. But whichever one of the ever-shifting justifications for Iraq you use, things are going horribly wrong over there and there's little chance they'll get better from our continued presence over there. I'm sure you've heard of the memo our own embassy leaked a couple days ago admitting that life in Baghdad was horrible.

    And of course we've gotten so distracted that we've COMPLETELY forgotten the putative purpose of these wars to begin with--getting Bin Laden. Remember him? The guy who, unlike Saddam, actually was responsible for the 9-11 attack?

    Maybe we should have another nice photo-op purple-fingered election, so that everybody who still supports this bullshit war can use it distract themselves from things like a country descending into militia-conotrolled anarchy, the rise of Islamic fanaticism, the massacre at Haditha, the hideous way two of our own soldiers were tortured to death. . . no, wait, that last one is probably going to be trotted out as another reason why we need to stay the course until we Turn the Corner (again) so that Freedom Is On The March (again).

    Still, though, another election would be nice. "Baghdad is only getting a couple of hours of electricity each day, and women can't leave their homes without fear of rape and murder, and the Islamists are taking over, and our own Marines are snapping and murdering baby civilians, and we now run a despised occupation army, but hey! Purple fingers! Boy howdy, you never would have seen that if Saddam were still in power!"

  • Jennifer||

    I would imagine that, as a newspaperperson, you would be aggrieved if such a similar bastardization of intent was inflicted upon one of your pieces as Mr. Weigel attempts here.

    So you're saying the actual purpose of that news article was to demonstrate that the majority of the troops still think being in Iraq was a great idea?

    Thanks for the heads-up. I'll try to stick to using smaller words then.

    Oooh! SLAM! Good one! That was brilliant, Another Mark! "I'll have to use smaller words." See, you cleverly implied that I am too stupid to understand big words, which in turn implies that anything I say is stupid, which naturally leads to "if the two of us disagree, of COURSE I must be wrong." Because of the whole small-words thing, y'know.

    You should be the professional writer, not me. The brilliant way you use the English language to eviscerate--whoops, I mean "gut," a nice small word--your opponents demonstrates that.

    But of course, the use of small words is the main source of your bitching here, is it not? An article says "some" troops agree with Murtha, and you apparently think "some" is the polar opposite of "numerous," so when Weigel used that word he was naturally being dishonest and sneaky.

    "Use small words." Holy shit. Brilliant. Any other witty arguments you haver to prove the righteousness of your case?

    By the way, in the post where you insulted my presumptive lack of language skills, I noted several grammatical errors on your part. Which ordinarily wouldn't matter on an Internet forum, but you know what they say about people who live in glass houses.

  • M. Simon||

    If the war is so unpopular why are so many Dem Congress critters afraid to vote against it?

    Do they know something you don't?

  • Jennifer||

    If the war is so unpopular why are so many Dem Congress critters afraid to vote against it?

    If the War on Drugs is such a failure why are so many Congresscritters of both parties afraid to vote against it?

  • Jennifer||

    Do they know something we don't?

  • M. Simon||

    Jennifer,

    You are so right. By killing about 30,000 men, women, and children a year Saddam kept the jihadis at bay.

    Now that Iraqis can vote on who should govern them they are vulnerable.

    And the fact that Saddam had outsourced his nuclear ambitions to Libya was nothing to worry about.

    So what do you think the odds are of bringing Saddam back to straighten out the mess? What is your estimate of the butchers bill for Saddam to restore order?

  • ||

    I don't think you're from the RNC, Frank A. I think you're adopting their talking points all on your own.

    Praise Jeebus, I've been saved!
    This totally clears my name of RNC branding that your previous statements blatantly suggested, especially that wonderful piece of shit about me being similar to a pusher who swallowed his own junk. Such a lovely comment that I will always treasure...
    Just loved how you couldn't even face the fact that earlier I was a model hawk, and now that I supposedly drank the KoolAid, by your standards you made a BIG mistake in even admitting that I could be dealt with honorably...

    Also, not to forget, pot calling kettle! If you can claim that I parrot RNC tlaking points, then look in the mirror.
    Suggesting that the larger milbloggers compromise their integrity by "support" from private or public means is the same sort of "astroturfing" arguement driven by Media Matters, David Brock's propaganda arm for the Democrats.
    Hey, I'm not suggesting that Media Matters is buying your support out, heavens no, you're just swallowing their load, that's all, no big whoop.

    Those who are already Islamist fanatics aren't the problem. They're annoying, and can potentially mount terrorist attacks, but they're not really a threat to our survival. What's important are the vast numbers of Muslims who aren't Islamist fanatics. They are the one who will, or won't, determine how this war turns out. They will either give their backing to the Islamist fanatics who promise to address real grievances and who put those grievances into a compelling political narrative, or they will reject Islamist fanaticism. Flago-burning issues like bases in Saudi Arabia only resonate with this large population when they already have gripes that the fanatics can exploit and incorporate into their political narrative.

    joe,
    The fanatics not a threat to our own survival? Are you even on the same planet where a national symbol and THE FREAGGIN' PENTAGON were hit by a bunch of fanatics? You're dame straight they are a threat.
    For flag burning-issues being a load of crap in your estimation, if the US government just disappeared today and say a bunch of anti-war people started burning US flags out of spite for old US injustices, you don't think that conservatives won't try to kill every last one of them do you?
    You've certainly aruged in the past that many brands of conservatives are bloodthirsty, and since Islamism promises 72 black-eyed virigns in the afterlife for detonating a bomb on your person, those exact flag-burning issue can be the ones which send a guy over the edge.
    Gavrillo Princep would know this exactly since riding around in Sarejvo was a provocation against Serbian naitonalist honor, and so WWI happened because the nationalists got a hissy fit. It can happen...


    This is a question about politically-active people starting out on their own and receiving support from like-minded institutions. Please stop distorting my arguments.

    Dude, you cut out that part of "In the private sector, or even the public." And gee, can't that be interpreted in a number of ways, such as that you obliquely hint that there might be a payoff, isn't that what it means when you combine the words 'private' and 'sector'.
    You want me to stop "twisting" your arguements, then lay off the snark and be more clear.



    Oh, please! The new PM of Iraq said he wanted the US out. The only thing stopping this plebescite from happening is that the United States refuses to allow one. Have you ever heard even the slightest indication from anyone in the White House or the Republcian Party saying we would leave Iraq if the Iraqis want us to?"

    Uh huh, and with us gone post haste, he would become Prime Minister of NOTHING considering that we are the glue that prevents the Shiites from going ape shit and carving up territories according to their millitias (a Dawastan there, a Badrbrigadastan there, Sadrland right here...) and also preventing Turkey from coming in and occupying Kurdistan and very likely Kirkuk, and even a Shiite would give a damn when possible goverment income is being illegally expropriated by a foreign invader.
    And as for the US having so much control over Iraq, then why haven't we finally serve the arrest warrant on Sadr and put his ass in jail?
    Not to mention, Maliki is a powerful guy in the SCIRI, he's got the Badr Brigades to watch his back (if he follows SCIRI party line).
    It would be great if we had such overarching power in the government (which even you have conceded tht part of our failure in Iraq is that we can't even control it), but considering that we can't even fulfill the basics of justice in Iraq on Sadr, how can we stop a plebiscite from occuring that would be popularly supported and Iraqi government approved?
    Once it was publically known something like this would occur, the Iraqi public would be all over it and any last remaining shred of the dregs of lsightest bit of legitimacy for our presence in order to help establish democracy in Iraq will be rightly demolished.
    The reason it hasn't occured, IMAO, is that the militias would never hold allow their political parties hold a plebiscite for the fact if we won, then the whole basis for an exogenous militia outside the Iraqi army (and for "security agaisnt American violence") starts to evaporate away by popular demand. They will not allow it to happen for the fact that they could lose too much and that the militias control the ground, not the US.

    If there was one failure that I supported in early-to-mid OIF that bit me on the ass and is raping me over the kitchen table is my support for total de-Baathification of the army. I still think the Baathist influence still hovers over the army like the Nazi influence hovers over the German army today, but our fast deBaathification was too much, too fast and so we had to support the millitias out of necessity and stupid idealism.
    If there is one thing that could doom OIF to full civil war, it is the militias, and that does stain what we have done there...


    "However, poll after poll has shown Iraqis to want us to stay for the time being " No, they don't. Less than 1% of Iraqis surveyed in a recent poll say they trust the American military to protect their personal security. We scored below tribal militias, the Iraqi military, the Iraqi police, and the insurgents. Yes, the insurgents.

    That is pretty damning. I based what I knew from previous polls, so if you send me the link to the poll, I can change my opinions directly.
    If it's Brookings or another "neutral" group, then the US has a MAJOR problem that only occured since Brookings has done a smash-up job of accuratley assesing our role in Iraq, successes and failures included. Murtha would be justified in his stance and I certainly would need to change my stance.
    I would still have trouble accepting the fact that the whole population is forgetting that we are the barrier seperating them from full civil war or foreign invasion/direct interference, but if it has gotten that bad, then we do need to get out sooner than later...

    However if it's Al Jazeera, I am going to have a hard time accepting it as factual since that whole network is run by fellow travellers of pan-Arabism and Islamism.

  • M. Simon||

    Yes Jennifer I do know something you don't.

    Congress critters vote for what will get them re-elected, especially when it comes to hot topics.

    Of course I understand your disconnect. You are probably a political consultant to the Libertarian Party.

  • Jennifer||

    M. Simon, surely you can do better than "if you think things are going horribly wrong right now, that means you liked how things were under Saddam."

    Seriously. I think that may be even worse than your arguing, on a libertarian forum, "if things are so bad how come the government keeps supporting it? Do they know something we don't?"

  • Jennifer||

    Of course I understand your disconnect. You are probably a political consultant to the Libertarian Party.

    Considering how many times I've been slammed on this forum for criticizing the LP, that's funny.

    So far, your arguments boil down to an ad hominem, an implication that I supported Saddam, and an argumentum ad governmentum. Got anything better in your arsenal?

  • ||

    Who knew in 1983 what to do to make the Soviet Union fall?

    You keep your head, you don't do anything stupid, you intelligently take advantage of your opportunities when they come along, and you don't try to force things.


    I know we had this exact conversation bfore and I still respect you ahella lot for having the guts to support M.A.D. when Dems at the time were mainly anti-nuke. So fair point.


    We were in a great position in late 2002/early 2003. Maybe it was a good move to spend some of the immense political capital we had at that time (remember that? When we were popular even as we were conducting large anti-terrorist operations around the world? That was sweet). We could have led an effort to fix the sanctions regime, making it more humane while keeping Saddam in his box. We could have rattled our saber and rammed a coercive inspections/security team back into Iraq, as we successfully did, but chose to piss away. We probably could have established the same no-drive zone in the Shiite areas that we had in Kurdistan.

    joe, if I recall correctly this was your arguement when we debated in early April. It was a respectable position then, it's a respectable position now and I tried to make it clear that while we seriously differed on how the Cold War should've been fought, that was certainly not appeasement and I can/still respect a different foreign policy than mine since everyone has different first principle/conclsions.
    What made you think I suddenly turned and thought you were some appeaser, I will never know...


    But those things would have required us to operate mulitilaterally, and would have commanded far too much bipartisan support to make effective wedge politics. So instead, the White House and the civilians in the Pentagon organized this war, because once we toppled Saddam and turned Iraq into Minnesota, boy wouldn't the UN and the liberals and the French look stupid?

    And following up to your lsat comment with this one, that's a good strategy but it has too many drawbacks IMHO. And not only that, the arguement devolved down to the effectiveness of the UN inspections, deja vu.
    To my detriment, I have not read up on Hans Blix and his conclusions to truly rebut your arguements, so you got a win there.
    It will be interesting what occurs from the latest revelation of WMDs though.
    Unfortunatley, I've gotten cynical enough to much of the "good news from Iraq" that I would rather wait until the whole document is declassified before rushing to judgement on this whole thing. Otherwise, it's another useless taling point that will fail to bolster support for the war. Huzzah.

    Unfortunately, the Bush administration's stupid tin ear will most likely have them never declassify the rest since that would be too mich effort, so this whole revelation is too little, too late to change anything, but if michelle malkin and LGF want to trumpet WE WON THE WAR ALLELUJA! then that can make asses of themselves for all I care...

  • ||

    By killing about 30,000 men, women, and children a year Saddam kept the jihadis at bay.

    Simon,
    That has to be the most dishonest anti-Saddam statement that getsthrown out. Most of those civilian were killed when we were arming Saddam against Iran and when Bush stabbed the Kurds and the Shiites in the back. How many civilians did Saddam kill after the No Fly Zones were implemented?

  • ||

    First off, I made a good ass of myself by saing SCIRI had Maliki's back. Dawa's got his back. Glad to see I can keep things in my head so well and be so damn convinving with the encyclopedic storage of knowledge I do poses... (sigh)



    Jen,

    Frank, I'll admit I haven't read through every word of yours and Joe's last several posts, so maybe this was already covered, but. . . you do realize that the only reason there's any danger of Iraq being overcome by pro-Islamic fundie forces is because of the power WE created by the invasion, right?
    Fair point, on both counts.
    My mother the former English teacher has always gotten on how I take 5 pages to explain what should be one sentence. Sorry for the wordiness...
    As for Islamism running the government, that's a major point that is hurting all hawk arguements since Sadr (who shoulde be jailed for murder right now) almost controlled the entire Prime Minister selection. Bad news. :(
    Luckily, Sistani has been a blessing, especially in moderating the sectarian Shiites when he countered Sadr/asked Jafaari to step down as PM. His vision of Islam in goverment is more similar to the Christian Democrats in Europe than to Iran, but unfortunatley, his vision of Islam in government is still far far away from the European Christian Democrat model
    Still, he has been a force that prevents Shiites from carving up Iraq, from Sadr overrunning the government (while ensuring that he is politically unable to spark another revolt), and from being a stone around the governments neck since he always comes in to favor unity of Iraq over Shiite extremism.

    And where exactly did "We had to invade Iraq before Iraq invaded Arabia" come from? That was the justification for the first Gulf War, not the second. But whichever one of the ever-shifting justifications for Iraq you use, things are going horribly wrong over there and there's little chance they'll get better from our continued presence over there. I'm sure you've heard of the memo our own embassy leaked a couple days ago admitting that life in Baghdad was horrible. And of course we've gotten so distracted that we've COMPLETELY forgotten the putative purpose of these wars to begin with--getting Bin Laden. Remember him? The guy who, unlike Saddam, actually was responsible for the 9-11 attack?

    Yeah, I think I need to tone down my rhetoric even further.
    Yes, it was a far-off distance that I was seeing about Saddam, but I think it's reasonable that a guy who could open his oil spigots to the highest bidder when the sanctions would end (and they were weaking year by year, and everytime the price of oil increased), and would have huge windfall that he could "invest" in his old ways.
    I don't think a guy who got his hide tarred by the Iran-Iraq War and then who survived our assault on him for 10+ years will fear the consequences if he invaded another country after he's flushed with oil-bought weapons.

    As for our presence, we certainly need to get out, but only when the Iraqi army can fend for itself. It is not even logistically operational so how can we leave now or in the near future when the Iraqis can't even provide themselves a reliable supply of bullets in battle. We leave now, Iraq is finished because their troops would eveutally attrition themselves to death, militias would move in for more power, and maybe Turkey might want to settle the score with the Kurds.
    I also say that if the Iraqis want us out NOW, not after we completed the building of their army, then we should leave them to their fate of civil war and more foerign occupation.

    As for Baghdad getting worse, first the comparisons to Baghdad are almost always in comaprison to before the war for Baghdadis, meaning that was during the time Saddam used it as his Potemkin village as a display of his might and to quell one of the largest concentrated populations in Iraq. Second, our operations in Anbar and the continuing stability of the Iraqi government has forced the insurgents to focus their attacks now in Iraq. Third, we have majorly FUBARED training of the Iraqi police, and need to change our training measures post haste. Fourth, corruption and sabotage are a major part of Iraqi politcal pathology, there is little we can do about that for that really is an intrinsic problem and outside intervention will do little.

    All these things do make Baghdad worse, but we have to make adjustments in our evaluations.
    -Kurdistan is beocming a major economic player in the region after Saddam leveled it's governates numerous times in spite of our no-fly zones via it's tanks. They are now a model of stability and relative freedom in the region, and are creating a vibrant middle class, which is essential for a more liberal Iraq
    -The other provinces that were utterly neglected under Saddam during the occupation are now finally being recognized as existing and are making improvements in their standings, such as having electricity and clean water after its absence of many years
    Saddam more-or-less used Baghdad in Iraq similar to a cancer, it gobbled up all the other places resources for it's own purposes.


    Now for bin Laden...
    So what then about him? Would you send the necessary boots on the ground to scour the triabl areas of Pakistan, which would surely spark a civil war between Musharraf/his supporters vs the rest of the country over our "occupation" of Pakistan. Special Forces are a limited option since we need GOOD intellegence (which we may or may not have since all that stuff is clssified), IMHO, since bin Laden can easily hide in the tribal areas with no fear of being sold out to the US or the Pakistani government.

    Not to mention, I just had a novel, a short story, and a tome of debate with joe regarding bin Laden's place in the Islamist movement.
    Shorter arguement, he is important but Al Qaeda is a collection of terrorist movements so the mantle of leadership could easily pass to another member. Best example of this was Zarqawis growing popularity among Islamists against bin Laden since bin Laden has been sitting on his ass for several years. I mean, where is his counter-offensice against the US for us cleaning out his base in Afghanistan.
    Furthermore, the Islamist movement like Communism is bigger than just bin Laden, and maybe the Muslim Brotherhood will step up to the plate for the new terrorist leadership for Islamists. We will score a major victory if/when we kill bin Laden, but his death is just one man out of a sea of people wainting to die for Allah and that kind of zeal always produces new leadership. We got many years to go, and we have to discredit/demoralize Islamism before it can even be slowed down...





    Maybe we should have another nice photo-op purple-fingered election, so that everybody who still supports this bullshit war can use it distract themselves from things like a country descending into militia-conotrolled anarchy, the rise of Islamic fanaticism, the massacre at Haditha, the hideous way two of our own soldiers were tortured to death. . . no, wait, that last one is probably going to be trotted out as another reason why we need to stay the course until we Turn the Corner (again) so that Freedom Is On The March (again). Still, though, another election would be nice. "Baghdad is only getting a couple of hours of electricity each day, and women can't leave their homes without fear of rape and murder, and the Islamists are taking over, and our own Marines are snapping and murdering baby civilians, and we now run a despised occupation army, but hey! Purple fingers! Boy howdy, you never would have seen that if Saddam were still in power!"

    Ha ha. Funny, funny.
    I assume this,
    "Baghdad is only getting a couple of hours of electricity each day, and women can't leave their homes without fear of rape and murder, and the Islamists are taking over, and our own Marines are snapping and murdering baby civilians, and we now run a despised occupation army, but hey! Purple fingers! Boy howdy, you never would have seen that if Saddam were still in power!"
    is supposed to be me.

    Well in that case Jennifer, please, let's get the hell out NOW so that the ethnic cleansing can begin post haste! I'm sure that Turkey will love the addtion of the oil-rich Kurdistan provnice! Oh, and this may or may not truly cause a Mid East battle between Iran/Syria/Iraqi Shiite proxiesvs. Syria!/Saudi Arabia/Sunni proxies where Iraq will even be shittier than it is now.
    Really Jennifer, why not earlier just tell me, "Fuck off warmonger scum!"
    It would have saved you the cost of the bandwidth and the cost of a headache arguing with me...

  • Jennifer||

    Frank, I say this in all sincerity: have you considered the possibility that sometimes we simply CANNOT have what we want?

    I would love it if Iraq, and every other hellhole in the world, became a place as safe and free as what most Americans enjoy. But how exactly are we to do that? Seriously--how? Yes, if Saddam were still in charge there's be all sorts of human-rights violations to complain about over there.

    But guess what? There still are. AND we have the additional problem of knowing Americans are being killed, and our worldwide reputation as a beacon of justice and liberty is being replaced by a reputation for invading sovereign nations and operating prison camps and massacring civilians, AND we're spending a crapload of money we don't actually have, AND we're allowing ourselves to get distracted from Bin Laden, the ostensible reason this whole thing got started.

    Well in that case Jennifer, please, let's get the hell out NOW so that the ethnic cleansing can begin post haste! I'm sure that Turkey will love the addtion of the oil-rich Kurdistan provnice! Oh, and this may or may not truly cause a Mid East battle between Iran/Syria/Iraqi Shiite proxiesvs. Syria!/Saudi Arabia/Sunni proxies where Iraq will even be shittier than it is now.

    I'm not calling you warmonger scum, but I WILL point out that all these bad possibilities you mention, of Turkish invasions and ethnic cleansing and so forth, would probably not even be an issue if not for the power vacuum we created when we invaded. So that argument is basically "We have to stay there to prevent the problems caused by our being there."

  • Jennifer||

    In all sincerity: I don't recall the date, but not long after the invasion, I actually made posts here to the effect of "I never supported this invasion, but now that we're there I suppose we should stay and fix things before we leave." I think I made some comparison to an interior decorator forcibly entering someone's home, ripping up the floors and cabinets and such until the home became unlivable, and then saying "Shit! Bad idea! Guess I'd better leave and let the homeowner fix things up."

    Why have I changed my mind? Because I don't think we CAN fix things. All we're doing now is making everything worse, and even Iraqis who may have supported us before want us the hell out of their country. It's a false dichotomy, to say our choices are "leave and watch the country go to hell," or "stay and make the country nice." No, it looks like our choices are "leave and watch the country go to hell" or "stay and watch the country go to hell while we, as the occupying force, get blamed for it."

  • ||

    I'm not calling you warmonger scum, but I WILL point out that all these bad possibilities you mention, of Turkish invasions and ethnic cleansing and so forth, would probably not even be an issue if not for the power vacuum we created when we invaded. So that argument is basically "We have to stay there to prevent the problems caused by our being there."
    Comment by: Jennifer at June 22, 2006 01:03 PM


    Look, I am sorry ofr being a prick earlier, I am glad you don't think I am a warmongeing scum. Thanks for clarifying that for me.
    Friendsies :D

    Frank, I say this in all sincerity: have you considered the possibility that sometimes we simply CANNOT have what we want?

    I don't think we can agree on this subject, so I gotta let drop before I say something stupid again.
    However, I'll say this and stop, and then the floor is all yours and joes...

    I see many things positive in Iraq than either you or joe. I see a nucleus of a proto-democratic government in place of a totalitarian society when so many said it should've fallen apart earlier.
    I see the Iraqi army becoming more inclusive, decisive, and effective and has the possibilty of becoming THE unifying institution in post-Saddam Iraq. Baghdad, Anbar, and other places are bad, but Kurdistan is paving a path of riches, and most improtantly, middle class success, the key to liberalizing Iraq.

    Are all of these things illusory and will evaporate once the US presence is gone, and all of that money, sweat, and blood wasted for nothing but more war and death...That is what I dread, that just may occur, and I will have to deal with that if it comes...but it hasn't happened yet...

    So I support us being there until the Iraqi army is operational, which I believe is the main pillar of national strength that will pull Iraqis out of the quamire themselves, and that's the water-line for me...


    This thread proves I cannot convince either one of you what I see is real or has any merit.
    So I stop here

  • ||

    Jennifer: So you're saying the actual purpose of that news article was to demonstrate that the majority of the troops still think being in Iraq was a great idea?

    That is an incredible (and willful?) misread of my comments.

    I think the actual purpose of the original article was to visit homecoming troops in a Congressional district whose Congressman has been in the news a lot lately due to his controversial opinions. The article reports that "some" of these troops agree with the Congressman's opinions.

    Again, my criticism is of David Weigel's attempt to portray the article as saying something it does not: that lotsa troops agree with the Congressman (and Weigel).


    Jennifer: Oooh! SLAM! Good one! That was brilliant, Another Mark! "I'll have to use smaller words." See, you cleverly implied that I am too stupid to understand big words

    ...or maybe I was giving your "I work for a newspaper" comment a gentle ribbing.

    In any case, since you then capriciously chose to go on a frothing, moderately coherent, rant for a couple of hundred words - accusing me of things that no reasonable reader would find, even implied, in my comments - I have no choice but to wonder again if maybe you were the poster I recalled wishing death on another forum poster. Based on this limited exposure to your posts, I have to hope that the normal yardstick of "turn the nuttiness up a couple of notches for an online persona" applies in your case.

  • M. Simon||

    Yes Jennifer I do know something you don't.

    Congress critters vote for what will get them re-elected, especially when it comes to hot topics.

    Of course I understand your disconnect. You are probably a political consultant to the Libertarian Party.

  • M. Simon||

    Just checked tradespot.

    Santorum down by 6.

  • Nanci||

    This is the first time I checked out this blog. What a waste! Jennifer, Frank and Joe have this argument that doesn't go anywhere.

    You are all set in your ways and you can't seem to accept any comment(s) other than your own. So what do you hope to accomplish?

  • ||

    Comment by: Nanci at June 23, 2006 12:29 AM

    Well sorry Nanci, since none of us are your puppets that do as you command, in the kindest sense, please eat me :P

    Also if you actually pulled your head out of your ass, you might see that I at least conceded that they had fair points, which is a step above the usual Freeper/DU fare of "teh otehr side sux barrs rolf we are teh h0x0r!1!1!1111"
    But I'm sure that I can provide you cheese with your whine...

    And wonder of wonders! I will concede another thing! The heavens must be sundering themselves from the Earth, the lamb must be lying down with the lion, and the eschaton will imminize but not be televised...

    So, as for claims I was wrong, here are the latest stats on hwo the troops lean in many stats:

    http://www.mysterypollster.com/main/2006/06/update_ii_milit.html
    Turns out my claim that a majority of soldiers were conservatives was bunk.
    Actually, a PLURALITY is consevative (at 42%), but they are still outnumbered by moderates and liberals (combined at 58%).
    So Nanci, I hope it was as good for you as it was for me...kisses...

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