al-Qaetch-22

I just got off a McCain campaign conference call in which senior foreign policy advisor Randy Scheunemann and former CIA Director Jim Woolsey addressed this Washington Post story.

"Al-Qaeda will have to support McCain in the coming election," said a commentary posted Monday on the extremist Web site al-Hesbah, which is closely linked to the terrorist group. It said the Arizona Republican would continue the "failing march of his predecessor," President Bush.

Schneuemann and Woolsey attacked the paper for selectiveness and unfairness, listing supportive things said by American enemies like Ghadaffi about Obama that the Post never covered. Plus, according to Woolsey, there's no way a serious Al-Qaeda blogger could support McCain.

This individual knows that an endorsement by him is a kiss of death, figuratively. He is not trying to help John McCain.

The first question: If this was a bad faith comment meant to hurt McCain, how do we know comments from Ahmedinijad about Obama aren't meant to hurt the Democrat? Woolsey:

Any major organization, itself, will not take the risk to depart from the party line.

Woolsey explained that if someone like Zawahiri said something like what that blogger did, you could assume if was part of a new sarcasm initiative. "But if you take an individual blogger... if you take this literally it's hard to conclude he supports John McCain." He chuckled into the receiver. It was just too self-evident that terrorists want the man who opposed the surge to beat the man who pushed for it.

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  • ||

    It was just too self-evident that terrorists want the man who opposed the surge to beat the man who pushed for it.

    Twentieth century mindset meeting 21st century security challenge.

    John McCain will punch the water in the pail harder than anyone else.

  • gmatts||

    "a serious Al-Qaeda blogger"

    This beats Joe the Plumber as 2008's best political moniker.

  • Mike Laursen||

    If we stopped poking the Middle Eastern beehive, Al-Qaeda could still find lots of fun intra-Islamic conflicts to get involved in.

  • ||

    "a serious Al-Qaeda blogger"

    4114h 4k84r!

    4114h 4k84r!

    *hits "post"*

  • ||

    I've always kind of figured that the terrorist are smart enough not to endorse the person they actually want to win. They aren't stupid, even though they are, well, brown, you know? Pro-Obama chatter unambiguously means they want to fight. But then it doesn't really matter even when Obama wins - they will bloody his nose quickly, and he will have to hawk it up as a response. Obama will end up to the right of McCain on Iraq and Afghanistan within the first 6 months of his presidency.

  • Mosby||

    I gotta agree with domo here. If we get hit Obama will feel like he's got to do something serious or the skeptics will have been proven right.

  • krumble||

    Mujahid The Plumber?

  • TallDave||

    It was just too self-evident that terrorists want the man who opposed the surge to beat the man who pushed for it.

    Obviously.

    There are other differences, too -- as governments rather than terrorist organizations, Iran, Venezuela, and other anti-American regimes that favor Obama have a harder time playing the game of publicly supporting a candidate they don't like as a "kiss of death." They have their relations with their people to consider.

    Anyways, I doubt it matters. The MSM is going to drag Obama across the finish line no matter what.

  • ||

    Vote Hussein!

  • TallDave||

    If we get hit Obama will feel like he's got to do something serious or the skeptics will have been proven right.

    He won't overturn regimes. He'll just go back to the Clinton model of talking tough and throwing some missiles around.

    Anyways, in a few years Iran will have nuclear weapons, possibly Syria as well. Obama's not going to stop them, and after that they'll just laugh at the idea of retaliation.

  • Saddam Hussein||

    Ha, I'd like to see Barack Hussein get anywhere near my 99.9% margin of victory.

  • MAX HATS||

    Of course McCain would kill all the terrorists. Of course!

    And Obama would surrender to them!

    There is a penis! It is in my mouth!


    Hey TallDave - have you at all noticed the last eight years? There's nothing theoretical about this. We know how republican administrations deal with Al-Qaeda. Osama is just fine, his old enemy Saddam has been deposed, and America is bogged down in two wars while our finances tank. Death wish, indeed.

  • ||

    It said the Arizona Republican would continue the "failing march of his predecessor," President Bush.

    What is exactly is "failing" about driving AQ out of Afghanistan, and crushing the AQ offensive into Iraq?

    Is AQ more powerful or less powerful than it was in 2001? I don't see how you can say they have gained ground.

    Of course, the opportunity to lose Afghanistan and Pakistan is very real, but as things stand today, I would have to say that Bush has put a pretty good ass-whipping on AQ. It cost, sure, but there it is.

  • MAX HATS||

    Followup - Hey TallDave -

    Why do you think Al-Qaeda endorsed John Kerry? Was that their honest preference? And if so, how come when they "chatter" they prefer republicans in charge, but when they make an official endorsement it's invariably democrat? Isn't that a little backwards, if they really do want a democrat in charge?

    Al-Qaeda wants a weak America. They know they are hated in America. And they believe they know who will make America weaker. They play the game accordingly.

  • MAX HATS||

    What is exactly is "failing" about driving AQ out of Afghanistan. . .



    Have I got news for you-

  • That Dude||

    If Al Queda endorses Obama, that means Obama's bad, unless Al queda's smart enough to know that endorsing Obama will elect McCain BUT if they realize that endorsing Obama will make people think they want John McCain then IN FACT Obama is the guy they actually don't want. Al Queda, however, IS ALREADY AWARE OF THIS! This means that they would actually endorse the person that they actually don't like because they know that I know that that would make me vote for the guy that they actually want but possibly reconsider, after I think about it.

    You see?

  • ||

    We should have nominated a Sicilian.

  • krumble||

    Pizza!

  • ||

    "I would have to say that Bush has put a pretty good ass-whipping on AQ. It cost, sure, but there it is."

    RCDean - I disagree. According to the rules of insurgency, all that is required to win is to avoid losing. However many AQ have been killed, they plainly have not lost. Moreover, the economic cost to us is astronomically higher, even when adjusted for resources available.

  • Zubon||

    We should have nominated a Sicilian.
    No land wars in Asia?

  • ||

    land war in asia?

  • ||

    Zubon beat me to it - damn...

  • UBL Speaks||

    This tape is basically a Bin Laden "f-you Bush" and a ringing endorsement for four more years of the same. From Reuters:

    We had no difficulty in dealing with Bush and his administration because they resemble the regimes in our countries, half of which are ruled by the military and the other half by the sons of kings. . . . They have a lot of pride, arrogance, greed and thievery.

    http://www.americablog.com/2004/10/bin-laden-endorses-bush-for-four-more.html

  • tarran||

    Goerge Bush has been the greatest recruting sergeant Al Queda could have wished for.

    Prior to 9/11 Al Queda was cash rich and people poor. They bought of the Taliban so they'd have a place to stay. They had to make do with pretty crappy foot soldiers who were minimally competent.

    9/11 did not bring in the flood of recruits. Rather it was the U.S. reaction to 9/11, particularly the attack on Iraq, covered with gory thoroughness by arabian journalists.

    Without the Iraq invasion, without the subordination of military policy in Afghanistan to the War on Some Drugs, Al queda would be in very bad shape.

    Every society has crazies. We have the guy who founded the Aryan Nations, planning oon overthrowing the Zionist Occupied government. The guy had a terrible time attracting recruits becasue to the average man ont he street, his rantings seemed like that of a nutcase.

    Osama bin Laden would be in the same boat if it weren't for the fact that U.S. military policy appears to conform to his paranoid rantings.

    Al Queda's strategy is to entice the U.S. government into carrying out expensive and unpopular military actions. McCain would, of course, be the president who enables them to execute this strategy. Obama less so, although he would face incredible pressure from other politicians to show that he is tough.

    The notion that Al Queda fears a McCain presidency is laughable. Sun Tzu had Mccain's type pegged when he wrote:

    12. There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general: (1) Recklessness, which leads to destruction; (2) cowardice, which leads to capture; (3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults; (4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame; (5) over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble.



    McCain is reckless, prone to fits of anger, and holds grudges. He would make a crappy wartime leader (actually he'd make a crapppy leader period).

  • strFellowHawke||

    Indeed, the only thing that's clear from Scheunemann's & Woosley's comments is that they believe their interpretation of the motives of any given individual is THE ONE AND ONLY correct interpretation of those motives. Despite the fact that it's actually impossible to know for certain what another person is thinking.

  • AQ FTL||

    However many AQ have been killed, they plainly have not lost.

    Are you kidding? By their own estimate, they have lost Iraq and discredited their cause by the methods they employed there. In 2001, Sunni Iraqis supported Al Qaeda; now they spit at the very mention of their name and gladly accept America help in driving them out of their lands.

    And if they hated Saddam Hussein, who offered Bin Laden asylum (!), why did they only start blowing up Iraqis after we got there? They seem to have been allies of convenience, an informal Molotox-Ribbentrop pact.

    In 2001, AQ ran Afghanistan; now they hide in caves.

  • Osama bin Laden||

    Look, Family Guy isn't funny. The humor is based on pop-culture references that have nothing to do with the plot. Family Guy stinks.

  • TallDave||

    9/11 did not bring in the flood of recruits. Rather it was the U.S. reaction to 9/11, particularly the attack on Iraq, covered with gory thoroughness by arabian journalists.

    And they promptly alienated the entire Arab world with their tactics, and were soon despised by the people they claimed to be fighting for, who called for American help.

    It's also largely forgotten that Iraq was an even better recruitment tool for our side: we now have 500,000 Iraqis fighting extremists -- not just Al Qaeda, but also Shia extremists like the Mahdi Army. Just yesterday, Iraqis arrested 7 Iranian agents.

    http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/10/iraqi_forces_detain_1.php

    It's hard to imagine any other way we could have armed and trained half a million Muslims to fight Islamic extremists.

  • ||

    Silicon Valley, March 11: Al-Qaeda is stronger than it was earlier thanks to President Pervez Musharraf's decision in 2006 to cut a ceasefire deal with Islamic militants in the region bordering Afghanistan, US intelligence agencies said.
    With the Pakistani security forces staying out of the region, al-Qaida militants were able to resettle and even re-establish some training camps in the area, says Michael Leiter, acting director of the National Counter terrorism Center.

    "I think that safe haven has made al-Qaida stronger today than it was two years ago," Leiter told the National Public Radio in an interview on Monday. "That has allowed it to recruit, train, and deploy individuals in plots against Western Europe and potentially the homeland or, the United States," he said.

    The US National Intelligence Director Michael McConnell shares the assessment and agrees that having survived the global war on terror, al-Qaida is again a centrally directed network with military capabilities.

    "They have the leadership that they had before, they've rebuilt the middle management, the trainers," McConnell told the CNN recently, adding "And they're recruiting very vigorously." Before 2006, al-Qaida was arguably on the run, under attack, its mid-level leadership decimated. Osama bin Laden and his associates were still able to inspire Islamic militant groups in Africa and the Middle East - but they could not direct them.

    The assessment is in complete contrast with the opinion of the US President George W Bush, who last month told a conservative conference "The Taliban, al-Qaida and their allies are on the run." Army Maj Reid Sawyer, of West Point's Combating Terrorism Center, agrees with the intelligence agencies and says al-Qaida's central leadership, securely based in Pakistan, is once again taking charge.

  • ||

    Right wing bloggers, high-level American intelligence officials - oh, I don't know who to believe!

  • high-level American intelligen||

    Don't worry, we know there are WMD in Iraq.

  • ||

    I'll see your Joe Biden gaffe and raise you an Al Queda blogger.

  • ||

    actually qaddafi is our ally now. he switched sides when he saw how easily bush took out saddam.

  • Stuck In 2006||

    What the hell is "the surge?"

    I thought we all agreed the war was lost.

  • ||

    high-level American intelligence officials | October 22, 2008, 1:29pm | #

    Don't worry, we (redacted) there (redacted) (redacted) (redacted) WMD in Iraq.


    There, TallDave, I fixed that for you.

  • MAX HATS||

    Because if there's one word that describes Iraq, it's "stable!"

    I was just there. The place is a pit. Iraqi on Iraqi violence is everywhere. Warlords and Sheiks are the real centers of power. Criminality is law. But hey, attacks on convoys are rare - so we won!

  • Zeb||

    There are no winners in war.

  • ||

    "In 2001, Sunni Iraqis supported Al Qaeda; now they spit at the very mention of their name and gladly accept America help in driving them out of their lands."

    Like a good neo-con you subconsciously support the idea that AQ had anything to do with Iraq before the war. They were drawn in there, and were defeated by their own mistakes. Moreover, the argument I presented is as true for Sadr's army, Saddam loyalists, and Iranian agents as it is for AQ.

    As far your apparent delusion that the taliban is in retreat in Afghanistan, you really need to read some newspapers or something.

  • Who To Believe?||

    Al Qaeda's senior leadership has lost confidence in its commander in Iraq and views the situation in the country as dire, according to a series of letters intercepted by Multinational Forces Iraq earlier this year.
    ....
    "The letters confirmed our assessment that Al Qaeda has suffered significant damage and serious reverses in Iraq, including widespread rejection of [al Qaeda in Iraq's] indiscriminate violence, extremist ideology, and oppressive practices," General David Petraeus, the Commander of Multinational Forces Iraq said. "Even Zawahiri recognized that [al Qaeda in Iraq] has lost credibility in Iraq."

  • Mike Laursen||

    Anyways, in a few years Iran will have nuclear weapons, possibly Syria as well. Obama's not going to stop them, and after that they'll just laugh at the idea of retaliation.

    Presumably they would use these nuclear weapons on Israel, no? They wouldn't fear retaliation from Israel?

  • Abdul||

    Al Quaeda endorsement for McCain?

    I'm still waiting to see who the Aryan Nation, Aum Shuriko, and Bader-Meyerhoff endorse before I make any decisions.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Zeb,

    Tell that to Caesar!

  • TallDave||

    Like a good neo-con you subconsciously support the idea that AQ had anything to do with Iraq before the war.

    No, I said Sunnis supported them, and polling supports that. They had quite a bit of Sunni support across the region. It's also worth noting, as above, that Saddam offered Bin Laden asylum, contrary to this idiotic antiwar notion that they were sworn enemies or something. I could also bring up Saddam's funding of Al Qaeda affiliate Abu Sayyaf, but it's really not important to the point anyway.

    As far your apparent delusion that the taliban is in retreat in Afghanistan, you really need to read some newspapers or something.

    I compared their strength to 2001, as the question was whether Bush had been good or bad for them, not how they've been doing since Musharraf ceded them western Pakistan.

    Maybe you should learn to read, or something.

  • ||

    In 2001, Sunni Iraqis supported Al Qaeda

    No, in 2003, and 2004, and 2005, and part of 2006, some Sunni Iraqis supported al Qaeda in Iraq.

    There was no al Qaeda in Iraq before we invaded. There was no support for al Qaeda, or for al Qaeda in Iraq, among Iraqi Sunnis prior to our invasion.

    Which is why some of weren't surprised when their brief affinity ended at the Iraqi Sunnis turned on them, while some of you were.

  • George Tenet||

    It's a slam dunk!

  • ||

    Who To Believe? | October 22, 2008, 1:44pm | #

    Why not believe both? Observing that Sunni Iraqis reverted to their pre-Iraq War hostility towards international jihadists (as Patraeus did) is completely consistent with observing that al Qaeda has returned to it's pre-9/11 strength since we took our eye off the Afghan/Pakistan/Taliban/al Qaeda ball (as the American intelligence apparatus has).

  • ||

    What's a slam dunk?

    'It' is a pronoun, George. What does "it" refer to?

  • ||

    Does anyone really doubt that Osama supports Obama? The Islamic world views Obama as a Muslim - his father was a Muslim, his first, middle, and last names are all traditional Muslim names, he has Muslim siblings, etc.

    An Obama win would be trumpted by the radical Islamists as a massive victory, a complete capitulation of America to Islam, a la Spain.

  • ||

    Honest query. Not trolling.

    What is the libertarian position on democracy by force and other so called anti terrorist actions conducted by the U.S.? Do the Muslims have a fundamental human right to run their country as a theocracy if the people are okay with it?

  • TallDave||

    Presumably they would use these nuclear weapons on Israel, no? They wouldn't fear retaliation from Israel?

    I doubt they would nuke Israel, but Israel has had nukes for some time and you may have noticed a LOT of Iranian missiles have been landing in Israel anyway, courtesy Hizbollah and Hamas. If Iran has a nuclear deterrent, it's reasonable to assume they will increase that sort of thing.

  • ||

    Rockton, yet Obama is a self professed Christian. That would certainly make him a beloved first son to all muslims, especially the hardliners.

  • ||

    """He won't overturn regimes. He'll just go back to the Clinton model of talking tough and throwing some missiles around."""

    What crystal ball told you that story?

    """"we now have 500,000 Iraqis fighting extremists""""

    Really? You got a source for that claim?

    """It's hard to imagine any other way we could have armed and trained half a million Muslims to fight Islamic extremists.""""

    It was called the Iraq-Iran war. Saddam did that very thing with respect to Iran, albeit we did provide Saddam with military aide to help his anti-Iran endevors. Saddam has done far more than we have to defeat Iran.

    So far us invading Iraq has made Iran stronger. I'm suprised that you didn't know that many of the Shia are pro-Iranian and greater shia control allows for a greater Iranian influence. No, I'm not really suprised. Everytime I hear of Iranians operating in Iraq I wonder which back channel in the Iraqi government gave the go ahead.

  • ||

    The Islamic world views Obama as...

    I defy you to provide the name of one Muslim who has expressed any of the thoughts about Barack Obama that you attribute to them.

    One.

  • ||

    Come on, George, don't you remember?

    You said something was "a slam dunk." Don't you remember what it was?

    I can remind you if you'd like.

  • ||

    "Sunnis supported them" Aliance of convenience gone bad. pretty typical of that part of the world, and hardly illuminating of your point which seems to be that somehow the war in Iraq has rallied muslims to the side of america.

    About AQ/taliban. My original point is basically this: saying that they are weakened might be right, but it's irrellevant. They don't have to increase or maintain strength - just live to fight another day. Which they did, and they are. Meaning they are winning/not losing.

  • gmatts||

    "In 2001, AQ ran Afghanistan; now they hide in caves."

    Isn't running Afghanistan and hiding in caves the same thing?

  • TallDave||

    Really? You got a source for that claim?

    It's not exactly a secret.

    http://www.brookings.edu/saban/~/media/Files/Centers/Saban/Iraq%20Index/index.pdf

    I believe p34 is the one you're looking for.

    It was called the Iraq-Iran war.

    We didn't arm Saddamist Iraq. Were you under the impression we make MiGs, Hinds, and T-72s?

  • gmatts||

    "Everytime I hear of Iranians operating in Iraq I wonder which back channel in the Iraqi government gave the go ahead."

    I'm gonna go with PM Maliki and his al-Dawa party. You know, the party that Iran sheltered, funded and trained for years and eventually blew up our embassy in Kuwait.

  • TallDave||

    I'm gonna go with PM Maliki and his al-Dawa party. You know, the party that Iran sheltered, funded and trained for years and eventually blew up our embassy in Kuwait.

    They have different goals now that Saddam (their common enemy) is out of the picture. They just spent 6 months crushing Iranian-backed militias.

    Hell, by that logic, Al Qaeda is working for the U.S. government.

    Wait a sec... OMG fire doesn't melt steel!

  • ||

    Anyways, I doubt it matters. The MSM is going to drag Obama across the finish line no matter what.

    Yeah, because the MSM is going to vote him into office all by themselves..... oh, wait.

    You have to be one dumb@ssed "conservative" faker to not see how ironic it is that the conservative movement is now deep into Marxist "False Consciousness" territory.

  • ||

    >>The Islamic world views Obama as a Muslim.

    >I defy you to provide the name of one Muslim who has expressed any of the thoughts about Barack Obama that you attribute to them.
    >
    >One.

    --

    Joe, 5 seconds of googling and you could have found one yourself.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojgJuxD87FU

    Is it really so hard to believe that the Muslim world claims Obama as their own?

  • ||

    "We should have nominated a Sicilian."

    Naw. A Russian. Sicilians are far too...melodramatic.

  • MA X HATS||

    Malaki represents an Iranian-backed militia too, you fucking simpleton. We just saw an inter-Shiite conflict, not some sort of good guys versus bad guys freedom is on the march bs. Fuck.

  • MAX HATS||

    correction: intra-Shiite conflict. I done messed up words and stuff.

  • ||

    "We didn't arm Saddamist Iraq. Were you under the impression we make MiGs, Hinds, and T-72s?"

    The United States actively supported the Iraqi war effort by supplying the Iraqis with billions of dollars of credits, by providing U.S. military intelligence and advice to the Iraqis, and by closely monitoring third country arms sales to Iraq to make sure that Iraq had the military weaponry required. The United States also provided strategic operational advice to the Iraqis to better use their assets in combat... The CIA, including both CIA Director Casey and Deputy Director Gates, knew of, approved of, and assisted in the sale of non-U.S. origin military weapons, ammunition and vehicles to Iraq.

  • ||

    They just spent 6 months crushing Iranian-backed militias.

    ...with another Iranian-backed militia.

    Hooray.

  • ||

    Rockton,

    I can't stream video. Please, transcript?

  • gmatts||

    "They have different goals now that Saddam (their common enemy) is out of the picture."

    I'd imagine that they share the goal of a Shia dominated Iraq. And what better bulwark against threats to this goal of a Shia dominated Iraq than a neighboring country full of Shia's that has proved to be of use in the past, like when they wanted to blow up the US embassy.

  • TallDave||

    The United States actively supported the Iraqi war effort by supplying the Iraqis with billions of dollars of credits

    Lots of countries loaned them money. We didn't object to two awful regimes fighting each other. Also, Saddam was also butchering Iraqi Kurds with WMD around this time and was horribly repressive anyway, so arming him would have been morally dubious at best. Our support was fairly minimal and included very little arms or training, esp. relative to what we're doing for the new Iraqi elected government -- which has very different goals and is far more liberal.

  • ||

    if this is what they spend time discussing, then it's no wonder that they are about to, as balko phrased it, get their clocks cleaned in the upcoming election. Get a brain morans!

  • ||

    Don't forget Reagan's Special Envoy, Donald Rumsfeld, domoarrigato.

    He gave Saddam targetting information on Iranian troop formations, which was used to coordinate gas attacks.

  • TallDave||

    I'd imagine that they share the goal of a Shia dominated Iraq.

    Shrug. Shia are 60% of the country. They can have that democratically.

    With control of Iraq's oil revenues, Dawa doesn't need Iran anymore, and is largely at cross-purposes with them at this point. Iran now wants a weak, violent, poor Iraq, where it can dominate with proxies like it does in Shia Lebanon. Dawa wants a strong, prosperous Iraq where it can continue to win elections.

  • ||

    TallDave | October 22, 2008, 2:05pm | #

    We didn't arm Saddamist Iraq.


    snip


    TallDave | October 22, 2008, 2:23pm | #

    Lots of countries loaned them money. We didn't object to two awful regimes fighting each other...Our support was fairly minimal and included very little arms or training


    So now we've got "we armed them less."

    As far as minimal, that's a relative term. Rumsfeld did brag during his aborted presidential run that his aid missions to Saddam convinced him to agree to re-establish full diplomatic relations with us, so the support clearly counted for something in his eyes.

  • TallDave||

    Malaki represents an Iranian-backed militia too, you fucking simpleton.

    Maliki was elected by Iraqis, and leads the nonsectarian Iraqi Army. If you don't even know this much...

    Welcome to the filter of useless people. Say hi to joe while you're there.

  • ||

    We didn't arm Saddamist Iraq. Were you under the impression we make MiGs, Hinds, and T-72s?

    THANK YOU!!

    I knew "Bowling For Columbine" was crap when I saw the clip of Iraqi forces with a caption saying "1991: Iraq invades Kuwait using US-supplied weapons" AND EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF HARDWARE IN THE PICTURE WAS SOVIET MADE!

    The Soviets supplied something like 95% of all Iraqi foreign military assistance. We were something like 0.5%.

    Every party has their pleasant fictions that they like to tell themselves. "We armed Saddam" and "We created the Taliban" are two of the lefts.

  • ||

    Where'd you do, George Tenet? I swear, that guy's got ADHD.

    To remind you, you told the president, when he asked if he'd be able to convince the American public that Iraq had WMDs, that selling the public on that idea was "a slam dunk."

  • ||

    ...the nonsectarian Iraqi Army...

    HA ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!

    That's awesome!

  • ||

    If "we were something like 0.5%" of the arming of Iraq, then "we armed Iraq" is not a fiction.

  • TallDave||

    Dawa wants a strong, prosperous Iraq where it can continue to win elections.

    Also, keep in mind "Iran-backed
    is a nasty slur that get tossed around a lot in today's Iraqi politics. Iraqis feel no fealty to Iran's theocrats, whatever Dawa might have owed them. And Dawa has to stand in elections.

  • TallDave||

    THANK YOU!!

    Always glad to help.

    EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF HARDWARE IN THE PICTURE WAS SOVIET MADE!

    Heh, no kidding. Well, for the most part Moore's fans don't know an AK from an M-16, let alone an Abrams from a T-55, so you can see why they wouldn't notice a little detail like that.

  • ||

    Sicilians were spawned by niggers.

  • gmatts||

    "Also, Saddam was also butchering Iraqi Kurds with WMD around this time and was horribly repressive anyway, so arming him would have been morally dubious at best"

    We gave/sold Saddam things like helicopters, duel-use technology, provided him with satelitte imagery - it's the same thing as arming him. And Reagan also removed him from the State Dept. list of sposnors of terror, even though it was know that he was using WMD.

  • ||

    TallDave,

    But you equivocate. You started by saying we didn't arm Iraq in the Iran/Iraq war. I provided evidence to the contrary. (that quote was actually from an NSC staffer under inquest)

    Now you seem to be saying "well, we did, but we are providing them with more military assistance now." Stop the migraine inducing nonsense. We armed Saddam's Iraq. This is not really a debatable point, nor is it the most important point. You think that the war in Iraq is a success because it's got the terrorists on the run. I say they are barely on the run, and besides, it's still a failure because we can't eradicate them, and it's unsustainable economically.

  • MAX HATS||

    Testimony of Larry Diamond to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

    At least four political parties represented on the Governing Council do have some basis of support in the country. The problem is that two of these are the ruling parties of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, the PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) and the KDP (the Democratic Party of Kurdistan), and their influence largely ends at the borders of that region, while the other two forces, SCIRI and Da'wa, are backed in various ways by the Iranian regime and, despite the moderation they have evinced in Baghdad, appear to favor one or another form of Islamic fundamentalist regime. Each of these four parties has its own militia with probably at least 10,000 fighters, and in the case of the two Kurdish Peshmerga forces, maybe each several times that number.

  • ||

    I haven't killed anyone since 1975!

  • MAX HATS||

    the nonsectarian Iraqi Army



    You know nothing about Iraq.

  • TallDave||

    Every party has their pleasant fictions that they like to tell themselves.

    True. Repubs have "gay marriage will destroy civilization!" and "marijuana is a dangerous drug!"

    It's also sort of amazing anyone still thinks the IA is sectarian. They have something like 90% approval from Iraqis and the American soldiers that train them have been very careful to weed that sort of thing out. I guess it might be possible to believe that if you've never heard from any actual military trainers.

  • ||

    "The Soviets supplied something like 95% of all Iraqi foreign military assistance. We were something like 0.5%. "

    No, maybe 95% of their materiel was of soviet origin. This is not remotely the same thing. Since the US's actual expenditures remain classified, there is literally no one on the thread that can thrown %ages around as far as who actually paid for/arranged/financed it all. Our involvement was clearly more than 0.5%. Much more.

  • TallDave||

    You started by saying we didn't arm Iraq in the Iran/Iraq war. I provided evidence to the contrary. (that quote was actually from an NSC staffer under inquest)

    We didn't. The vast majority of arms were not provided by us (less than 1% by most estimates). We did very little training. The difference betweem then and now is not a difficult one to grasp.

    Sorry about your migraine. I know assimilating facts that don't fit your worldview can be painful.

  • MAX HATS||

    They have something like 90% approval from Iraqis



    I'm just back from Iraq, and that is certainly news to me.

  • ||

    Kissinger on Iran/Iraq war - "too bad they can't both lose"

  • MAX HATS||

    I guess it might be possible to believe that if you've never heard from any actual military trainers.



    This? This is irony.

  • ||

    So, MAX, what is it that you do for a living?

  • MAX HATS||

    I have a dull job with a well known company in civilian life, and I'm also a marine reservist, and have consequently spent the last two years of my life effectively active duty. I had a good mission, allowing me to see a lot of Iraq up close and personal, though I am not and have not trained any Iraqi forces.

  • TallDave||

    BTW, if anyone wants to talk to military trainers, I'd encourage you to join the Bloggers' Roundtable. The military hosts these events just about every day. We get a lot of PRT stuff for Iraq right now and more soldiers from Afghanistan due to that area heating up, but I'm sure Iraqi trainers will cycle through again soon.

    http://www.defenselink.mil/blogger/index.aspx

  • ||

    his father was a Muslim, his first, middle, and last names are all traditional Muslim names,

    WTF, Barack is a traditional Muslim names??? Ever heard of this guy?

  • ||

    If "we were something like 0.5%" of the arming of Iraq, then "we armed Iraq" is not a fiction

    By that logic, if the CRA and lending money to poor black people is responsible for even 0.5% of the Mortgage meltdown then you must think it's ok for the GOP to ignore the people who are 95% responsible and pin the meltdown on the poor black folks who are 0.5% responsible.

    Or do you only use that logic when it suits your pre-chosen positions?

  • gmatts||

    "The vast majority of arms were not provided by us (less than 1% by most estimates)."

    2 questions:
    1) Are helicopters considered "arms"?
    2) Does supplying some arms, no matter what bullshit % you throw out, mean that no arms were supplied?

    "The difference betweem then and now is not a difficult one to grasp."

    But to you the difference between some arms and no arms is apparently too challenging a concept to wrap your head around.

  • ||

    To me the question is tough yet simple.

    Is Al-Queda playing a single mindgame, double mindgame, or no mindgame at all?

    In a single mindgame you play against what you expect your opponent to do. In a double you play against what you expect your opponent will do given that your opponent expects you to play a mindgame.

    No one ever plays a triple mindgame. That would be rediculous.

  • ||

    When Osama bin Laden said Iraq was the central front in the war on terror, Republicans kept trumpeting that quote to validate the invasion of Iraq. But when Al Qaeda says it's supporting McCain, the Republicans argue that the intended effect is to elect Obama. If the Republicans are supposed to be so tough on terrorism, why do they give credence to anything the terrorists say?

  • ||

    "We didn't. The vast majority of arms were not provided by us (less than 1% by most estimates). We did very little training. The difference betweem then and now is not a difficult one to grasp."

    Even if your 1% estimates are right - you ignore financing, intelligence sharing, and the fact that... We did!

    The difference between then and now is of no consequence to me as I never stated otherwise.

    Your "facts" are debateable, and your view on Iraq bears a very close resemblance to Cheney's talking points/bedtime story.

  • ||

    http://www.defenselink.mil/blogger/index.aspx

    Government web site, and the message supports the government's line?

    Shocking.

  • ||

    By the way - why is it that when ex military people go into politics lately the flyboy's who never had to point a gun at someone up close and personal or spent their whole tour in the guard end up in the GOP column, and the boots on the ground go Democrat?

  • ||

    Also, Saddam was also butchering Iraqi Kurds with WMD around this time and was horribly repressive anyway, so arming him would have been morally dubious at best.

    Help me out talldave, when Rummy was cuddling Saddam in this picture, was he asking him to stop being repressive and stuff?

  • ||

    By that logic, if the CRA and lending money to poor black people is responsible for even 0.5% of the Mortgage meltdown...

    Except it's not. The CRA is responsible for 0.0% of the mortgage meltdown. By squeezing less responsible lenders out of the market in poor neighborhoods, by making more responsible lending from real banks more available, the CRA worked to reduce foreclosure rates. Sadly, the effect was too minute to make a difference, since loans in low-income neighborhoods are such a tiny percentage of the lending universe, and an even tinier percentage of the value.

    I'm just fine with logic; I just happen to be familiar with the term GIGO. No matter how flawless your logic, if your facts are wrong, you're going to get incorrect results.

  • ||


    No, maybe 95% of their materiel was of soviet origin. This is not remotely the same thing. Since the US's actual expenditures remain classified, there is literally no one on the thread that can thrown %ages around as far as who actually paid for/arranged/financed it all. Our involvement was clearly more than 0.5%. Much more.


    Actually, NO, it really is that the Soviets supplied sommething like 95% of the total value of Iraqi foreign military assistance. Your counter-claim has much more "truthiness" than "truth" behind it.

    Look, I'm not trying to excuse the aid we gave him. In fact, I will give you the following - although the dollar value of the aid we gave Saddam was quite low compared to that coming from Warsaw pact countries, our aid was invaluable because it covered things that the Soviets didn't, such as satellite recon that can be worth many times its $ value in tanks, as well as Chemical weapons.

    This is a moral stain on us and I'm not trying to white-wash it.

    My point is that most of the people I talk to about this have a seriously distorted picture of the truth - largely because of simplistic claims like "We armed Saddam" and "We created the Taliban". They think that we were the primary suppliers of Saddam and that he was our puppet - when really he was much more of a Soviet man and we just helped him so long as he was fighting our enemy. They think that the Mujahideen of the 80s were "The Taliban" rather than the much more complicated truth. They think these things because of people who spout simplistic slogans without regard to context or the whole picture.

    The problem is that your criticism of this country still is based on the biggest American lie of all - that America is at the center of everything important in the world. We're not. We didn't cause everything, and We can't we fix everything either.

  • ||

    Claims of fact are simplistic and usually easy to prove or disprove. Claims of causation are harder and usually impossible to prove - though occasionally possible to disprove.

    I say we provided material help - that's really it, so I'm glad we agree. I didn't say anything about the Taliban. I considered making that point, but didn't because I didn't feel like getting into the distinction between taliban and mujahedeen.

    I do kind of take issue with: "We didn't cause everything, and We can't we fix everything either." I say we did cause a lot of things, mostly unintentionally. We sure as hell can't fix everything - though that's not likely to stop us from trying, and in the process, causing more problems.

  • ||

    Except it's not. The CRA is responsible for 0.0% of the mortgage meltdown

    You may be able to say GIGO but you obviously don't know what it means in practice because saying CRA loans were 0.0% of the problem is to claim that CRA loans had a 0.0% rate of foreclosure - and that is some serious GARBAGE IN!

    Yes, CRA loans foreclosed at LESS than the national average, but they still had foreclosures and those foreclosures added up to a VERY TINY FRACTION (but still > 0) of the total foreclosures.

    My point is that this very small fraction is so small as to be essentially neglible but then you had to go and drink the kool-aid by claiming that CRA loans had "0.0%" .... Jesus.

    I'm trying to be reasonable and you still fuck it up by saying dumbass and provably false things.

  • ||

    Would anyone be surprised if sadam entertained rumsfeld by letting rumsfeld waterboard a few little kids at one of his palaces?

  • ||

    Would anyone be surprised if sadam entertained rumsfeld by letting rumsfeld waterboard a few little kids at one of his palaces?

    Yes. I'll bet Rumsfeld does even have the integrity to torture anyone himself.

    Rumsfeld and Cheney are the kind of pathetic bitches who like to play "tough guy" from a distance but ultimately want other people to be the ones with blood on their hands.

    I mean, Cheney "hunts" cage-raised quail with clipped wings. 'Nuff Said.

  • ||

    saying CRA loans were 0.0% of the problem is to claim that CRA loans had a 0.0% rate of foreclosure

    No, it's not. It's saying that CRA loans have a lower rate of foreclosure than there would have been absent the CRA - which is true. Loans made in those same neighborhoods by non-CRA-covered institutions have higher foreclosure rates, because they are a lot more likely to be unaffordable to the borrowers, and involve "innovative" gimmicks like balloon ARMs.

    Foreclosure rates are lower because of CRA; ergo, 0.0% of the mortgage meltdown was caused by CRA.

  • ||

    In fact, liberbarian, there's a CATO white paper from a few years ago arguing that we should do away with the CRA on the grounds that institutions like Countrywide and EastWest were selling all sorts of groovy mortgages in low-mod neighborhoods, and the CRA-covered banks were taking business away from them.

  • ||

    From wiki

    [T]he United States actively supported the Iraqi war effort by supplying the Iraqis with billions of dollars of credits, by providing U.S. military intelligence and advice to the Iraqis, and by closely monitoring third country arms sales to Iraq to make sure that Iraq had the military weaponry required. The United States also provided strategic operational advice to the Iraqis to better use their assets in combat... The CIA, including both CIA Director Casey and Deputy Director Gates, knew of, approved of, and assisted in the sale of non-U.S. origin military weapons, ammunition and vehicles to Iraq. My notes, memoranda and other documents in my NSC files show or tend to show that the CIA knew of, approved of, and assisted in the sale of non-U.S. origin military weapons, munitions and vehicles to Iraq.[10]

    The full extent of these covert transfers is not yet known. Teicher's files on the subject are held securely at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and many other Reagan era documents that could help shine new light on the subject remain classified. Teicher refused to discuss details of the affidavit with the Washington Post shortly before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[11]

    About two of every seven licenses for the export of "dual use" technology items approved between 1985 and 1990 by the US Department of Commerce "went either directly to the Iraqi armed forces, to Iraqi end-users engaged in weapons production, or to Iraqi enterprises suspected of diverting technology" to weapons of mass destruction according to an investigation by House Banking Committee Chairman Henry B. Gonzalez. According to the investigation, confidential Commerce Department files also reveal that the Reagan and Bush administrations approved at least 80 direct exports to the Iraqi military. These included computers, communications equipment, and aircraft navigation and radar equipment. Many of these exports were made before Iraq's eight-year war with Iran ended in 1988, a period in which Washington maintained an official policy of neutrality toward the combatants but vigorously worked to block foreign military purchases by Iran.[12]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._support_for_Iraq_during_the_Iran-Iraq_war

  • ||

    Page 34 also said this about the data on page 34.


    "NOTE ON IRAQI SECURITY FORCES ON DUTY TABLE: *As of November 2007, figures on Iraqi Security Forces are provided by Iraq's Ministries of
    Defense and Interior and not Coalition figures. Due to this, the figures now reflect the number of authorized and assigned personnel as opposed to those successfully
    trained by Coalition forces. Care should be taken when evaluating the quality of MOI forces as there have been various reports of Iraqi police units dominated by
    sectarian interests."

    I think the figure is still good enough to show why we CAN leave Iraq.

  • ||

    """We didn't. The vast majority of arms were not provided by us (less than 1% by most estimates). """

    Classic!!
    We didn't provided arms, we provided less than 1%

    You really can't talk about anyone elses problems with reasoning if you don't understand the contradiction in your own statement.

  • GILMORE||

    Guys, come on.

    TallDave feels that the iraq war is a stunning victory that was necessary and well managed and a continuing source of world admiration for the effective use of American power and public influence lighting a beacon of hope for downtrodden peoples of the world.

    Dont ruin it for him by getting all 'reasonable'.

    He reads military 'trainer' blogs. IN YOUR FACE.

    (note: dave nevertheless manages to maintain a disregard of other people with military experience who think Iraq is a clusterfuck at best. Throw a rock if you need to speak to one)

  • Kolohe||

    well way late to the party but this caught my eye:

    joe | October 22, 2008, 2:32pm | #

    If "we were something like 0.5%" of the arming of Iraq, then "we armed Iraq" is not a fiction.



    joe, one of your favorite stats in the last few weeks is how since Fannie/Freddie was only about 15% of the market, they're not too important in the big picture.

    you can't have it both ways.

  • Deep Thunk||

    For what it's worth from an anonymous guy on the Internet, the Intelligence Community is largely convinced, even the FoxNews fans, that Al Qaeda is trying hard to get McCain elected. They want an antagonistic prez to help recruitment.

  • WTF?||

    Does anyone really doubt that Osama supports Obama?

    Richard Clarke does. I do. Our adopting a less warlike foreign policy that respects civil liberties--by not bombing, incarcerating and torturing innocent people, for starters--threatens to dry up al Queda's recruit base. Plus, fighting wars against the wrong enemy is expensive, and McCain loves him some wars. CIA concluded that Osama was a Bush supporter in 2004, and it makes sense he'd hope for the even-more-neoconservative McCain.

    But if that's not convincing, consider this: does Osama really want an American leader that generates crowds of thousands of foreigners (to us) waving American flags that aren't on fire? I reckon a popular American president is not in al Queda's best interest.

  • Kolohe||

    By the way - why is it that when ex military people go into politics lately the flyboy's who never had to point a gun at someone up close and personal or spent their whole tour in the guard end up in the GOP column, and the boots on the ground go Democrat?

    Duckworth is a flyboy (girl acutally) who was in the ANG (or maybe reserve) who has gone into Democratic politics in Illinois.

  • ||

    Kolohe,

    And I have never made a single statement that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae had nothing to do with the mortgage mess.

    So...what was your point?

  • ||

    Don't worry, the Democrates will fix the mess of the last administration just as they always do.
    Everything will be okay.

  • ||

    Ah, Democrates. He was very influential on Plato.

  • ||

    I was under the impression that the terrorists want to draw the US into a broad Middle East vs. the US showdown. Which candidate is more likely to get drawn into such a conflict?

  • Fallucination||

    Uh, FYI, Al Qaida is made up of crazy people. Undoubtedly their commentary on either candidate is irrelevant - who cares what they want, one way or another? It's not like they have any special insight into the potential policies of McCain or Obama enough to know that one or the other would be better for Al Qaida.

  • REAL American||

    DOMO states..."They aren't stupid, even though they are, well, brown, you know?"

    Thanks you racist asshole- it's bottom feeders like you that have turned indies away from McCain. Christ.

  • ||

    Putting Lamar and Fallucination together, I'm reminded that bin Laden wanted to draw us into a war in Afghanistan, where we would inevitably be cut up and defeated in the "graveyard of empires."

    So, let's not get too far in front of ourselves imputing strategic brilliance to those particular cultists.

  • peter||

    Umm, Ghaddafi is not considered an enemy of America any longer. Condi Rice was over in Libya recently to speak with him. Does the McCain campaign understand anything?!?

  • ||

    TrickyVic, you need to work on your own reading comprehension:

    The vast majority of arms were not provided by us does not equal We didn't provided arms

    It does however, equal we provided less than 1%.

    Oh, and joe'z Law.

  • TallDave||

    Heh, this reminds me of back in May when the loonies told us "things are about to get a lot worse" because Al-Sistani was going to lead a new insurgency. Of course, anyone not wearing a tinfoil hat knew this was ridiculous and casualties quickly fell to a new low.

    Apparently the new tinfoilism is that the Iraqi Army is just another militia, a meme even most leftists abandoned when Maliki proved he would go after Shia extremists as well as Sunni. The Sunni parties were impressed enough to rejoin the government, but apparently nothing will convince the true believers.

    Anyways, Vic, the original argument made was that by arming Saddam in the Iran-Iraq War, we struck a blow against Islamic extremists. That argument makes no sense if we only provided less than 1% of the arms, even if we ignore the fact supporting a brutal Baathist regime doesn't advance American ideals of freedom and democracy the way training and arming defenders of the new Iraqi democracy does.

  • ||

    """TrickyVic, you need to work on your own reading comprehension:"""

    Why do you say that? Someone was making the claim that we didn't and we did in the same sentence.

    If we did supply 1% then it is not true that we didn't supply them.

  • ||

    Maybe there greater context helps

    domoarrigato | October 22, 2008, 2:37pm | #

    TallDave,

    But you equivocate. You started by saying we didn't arm Iraq in the Iran/Iraq war. I provided evidence to the contrary. (that quote was actually from an NSC staffer under inquest)


    """TallDave | October 22, 2008, 2:46pm | #

    """You started by saying we didn't arm Iraq in the Iran/Iraq war. I provided evidence to the contrary. (that quote was actually from an NSC staffer under inquest)"""

    We didn't. The vast majority of arms were not provided by us (less than 1% by most estimates)."""""""""

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