Hating America, and Otherwise

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The BBC's Arabic-language site often provides its readers an opportunity to weigh in on issues. On the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it invited readers to address anti-Americanism. Omar at Iraq the Model has translated about a dozen of these comments. "I decided not to translate any of the offensive comments which you can find almost everywhere," he writes. Because Arab support for the US is rarely reported, however, he's reproducing those postings for his readers.

Obviously, these remarks come from a self-selected group, and from a region where, for many, online access is limited to Internet cafes. (Not to mention that we don't know who these posters are.) Reasonable people can disagree over the representativeness of these views.

Nevertheless, there is now an audible debate in the region over the legacy of historical Arabism and the future of democratic reform, and it is probably best to read these remarks as part of that continuing interchange. As a reader who identifies himself as a Najafi writes, "The false slogans of Arab nationalism that emerge here and there calling people to hate America are all against the interests of our people. We followed these slogans for decades and look what we've ended up with; poor countries ruled by dictators. We must head to the other side and hopefully we can find our goal there and put an end to the poverty and oppression that are ruining our nation."

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  1. Some of blogs like Healing Iraq, Iraq the Model are pretty good at providing anecdotal evidence of what is going on over there – good and bad. Belmont Club is another blog that provides good analysis (some times I think they are too optimistic, compared to what the MSM reports)

    It seems to be an established fact on this forum that Iraq is vietnam (or worse) already. I should be glad the anti-war LP folks are only a teeny fraction of the population 🙂

  2. It seems to be an established fact on this forum that Iraq is vietnam (or worse) already.

    Not at all. Some people hang on to that view to justify their opposition to it, but the notion is patently absurd on its face. The American social and political climate of this new century has almost nothing in common with that of 1969. The war itself is no longer in full swing, and is instead a series of guerilla attacks by groups who haven’t realized they lost, and that there is no number of non-Flip hostages they can take that will convince any state involved to withdraw. The opposition is being treated as common criminals, and contrary to what the left wants you to believe, the opposition doesn’t have the traction to incite a civil war. Arab society is still a few hundred years behind the times. The people get riled up, burn a few flags, maybe Bush in effigy, but then go home, because they were mainly protesting to placate their desert god in the first place. They’re not going to pick up a gun and fight in any kind of protracted sense, because the mullahs know there are no giant spiders to protect them.

    I know there’s the propaganda-specter of, “We took out Hussein to fight terrorism,” which might in more flexible minds translate to “We’re taking out North Viet Nam to fight communism,” and to those same little minds, communism and Hussein may seem to be the same red herring. The difference is in the history; Viet Nam was a military escalation anew as part of the cold war; the fall of Iraq was the conclusion to a drawn out war that initially only ended in the media, on the floor of the U.N., and in your minds — essentially, everywhere but on the battlefield. The failure was in not finishing off Hussein in 1991, and that failure belongs to the U.N. and the vaunted “international community,” but because there were no blogs and no CNN.com, the voices that asked, “what about Hussein?” were successfully muffled in favor of creating the oil-for-bribe money machine.

  3. Charles Paul Freund,

    Well, since they were not randomly sampled, etc., you have no way of determining whether they are representative or not, so what you end up with is at best anecdotal evidence. I don’t think that there really is an argument there.

  4. rst,

    The war itself is no longer in full swing…

    Of course it doesn’t have to be for guerilla groups to make Iraq into a nightmare to govern; as they have (this is evidenced enough by the recent shifting of funds by the Bush administration).

    …and is instead a series of guerilla attacks by groups who haven’t realized they lost…

    Oh no; you’re going to tick off Shannon now. 🙂 The fact is that as long as they can successfully engage in a significantly large insurgency campaign they have not lost. The goal of an insurgency such as this, where asymetrical warfare is the modus operandi, is generally never to actually defeat the opposing military in a head to head conflict, but to force them to withdraw via attrition.

    …and that there is no number of non-Flip hostages they can take that will convince any state involved to withdraw.

    It was good enough for the Phillipines.

    They’re not going to pick up a gun and fight in any kind of protracted sense, because the mullahs know there are no giant spiders to protect them.

    You know, long ago we went past the 5,000 dead-enders Rumsfeld talked about. A significant proportion of the Iraqi population is apparently more than willing to fight in the insurgency.

  5. so what you end up with is at best anecdotal evidence.

    It’s all anectdotal; These news stories are of specific events and never capture the general sense of the country or its people. One haphazardly forms an opinion of the general conditions in Iraq from the stories and pictures of a few people burning flags and whatnot. We have kidnappings and murders and flag burnings and protests and prison beatings and whatnot every day in this country. Minus the car/roadside bombs and the ransom demands I don’t see much that’s blowing up my skirt.

  6. zorel,

    It seems to be an established fact on this forum that Iraq is vietnam (or worse) already.

    I don’t that’s a true statement; I certainly don’t think that the analogy fits well (and never have), and I opposed the war. I find more interesting analogies – at least from the perspective of the military campaign itself (as opposed to the justifications and arguments behind the campaign itself) – can be found in the US assault and occupation on the Phillipines, or more generally in various 19th century campaigns by Europeans outside of Europe (e.g., France in Algeria, Britain in the Sudan, etc.).

    I should be glad the anti-war LP folks are only a teeny fraction of the population…

    Opposition to one war hardly makes one “anti-war,” as in pacifist.

  7. rst I don’t see why you have to mock “Arab society” as backward and homogenous. As far as disrespecting people’s religion by dismissing their faith as appeals to a “desert god”, well, you should not underestimate the power of deep religious faith, tribal bonds, and history. The history of the Middle East proves that people are willing to spill blood in the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands on occasion when they find a cause.

  8. rst,

    It’s all anectdotal…

    That may be the case, but that hardly detracts from my comments.

    We have kidnappings and murders and flag burnings and protests and prison beatings and whatnot every day in this country. Minus the car/roadside bombs and the ransom demands I don’t see much that’s blowing up my skirt.

    Hmm, let’s see, large parts of Iraq have been abandoned to guerilla groups that oppose the new Iraqi regime. Many of the hostages are beheaded. Mortar attacks by the insurgents on Baghdad and other cities are now common, and quite deadly (I mean, when was the last time some mortar attacked NYC and killed 60 people?). Oil pipelines are blown up daily over there (when was the last time that someone purposefully blew up a oil refining facility in the US, or a natural gas pipeline?); and this has led to significant stoppages in oil flow, and even power outtages. Etc.

  9. The fact is that as long as they can successfully engage in a significantly large insurgency campaign they have not lost.

    Crediting it as an “insurgency campaign” implies alliances and coordination that has not even remotely been demonstrated to exist.

    It was good enough for the Phillipines.

    Hence, “non-Flip.” Tucking tail and running is good enough for any coward.

    but to force them to withdraw via attrition.

    Do you imagine any kidnapping that would convince the United States to withdraw from Iraq? They operate under the delusion that there is such a kidnapping, or a series thereof.

    A significant proportion of the Iraqi population is apparently more than willing to fight in the insurgency.

    Define significant, i.e., how far past the 5,000 are we? Has there been a recent census? And is there a significant difference between 5,000 and 10,000 dead-enders in a country of millions? The difference there is a tiny fraction of a percent. Moreover, I’m not sure how much more credence I’d give to a clueless movement based on how many clueless, anachronistic, poverty-stricken, Allah-fearing Shiites are ensnared by it. It’s not like they have anything better to do, and all it takes is for some Mullah to tell them they’ll go to hell if they don’t.

    And to what extent is the insurgency fighting? Blowing up cars? When and if they engage in numbers, maybe you can call that fighting. But it doesn’t take much, and doesn’t return much, to put a bomb in a car.

  10. rst,

    Crediting it as an “insurgency campaign” implies alliances and coordination that has not even remotely been demonstrated to exist.

    So its just a bunch of random actors? Clearly there are co-ordinated groups; and clearly they are undertaking co-ordinate actions.

    Hence, “non-Flip.”

    I see; is that some sort of ethnic epithet?

    Do you imagine any kidnapping that would convince the United States to withdraw from Iraq?

    Well, you said stated “any state” earlier; now your changing the locus of concern.

    Define significant, i.e., how far past the 5,000 are we?

    Far more than the 5,000 Rumsfeld mentioned. Hell, the US has killed more than 5,000 insurgents as it is.

    Moreover, I’m not sure how much more credence I’d give to a clueless movement based on how many clueless, anachronistic, poverty-stricken, Allah-fearing Shiites are ensnared by it.

    History is replete with such movements beating back invading armies.

    And to what extent is the insurgency fighting? Blowing up cars? When and if they engage in numbers, maybe you can call that fighting. But it doesn’t take much, and doesn’t return much, to put a bomb in a car.

    Apparently you fail to grasp the nature of asymetrical warfare.

  11. I don’t see why you have to mock “Arab society” as backward and homogenous.

    Probably for the same reason the Bible Belt is mocked in the same way. Not espousing the Holy Tenets of Darwinism is apparently a great sin. But blowing up a car because “Allahu Akhbar”…I should just chalk that up to “the power of deep religious faith, tribal bonds, and history” right? Here you get your panties in a bunch when somebody puts a rock in a courthouse that has an inscription you find offensive because it creates the perception of a government espousing a religion (as though you couldn’t gather the same impression from looking at the back of a $1 bill). But I’m supposed to afford some kind of special respect to significantly more extreme, “Allah-based” rage, and not mock it in the same manner?

    The history of the Middle East proves that people are willing to spill blood in the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands on occasion when they find a cause.

    And who gives them that cause? Who stands up and delivers the message that tells them they should fight? Didn’t we blast the Catholic church for running a war like this? We called them “The Crusades”, I think. And we have no shortage of vitriol for them, or for the beliefs we will instinctively and a priori write off as insane.

  12. “But it doesn’t take much, and doesn’t return much, to put a bomb in a car.”

    It certainly doesn’t take much, but I’d say that the returns have been fairly impressive so far. Wasn’t it just the other day that fifty or so Iraqi police-in-training were killed by a car bomb? Even if it were a suicide bomb, that’s pretty damned effective, even in a narrow military sense, for an insurgency. But what’s even better is that it deprives the people of any faith that they might have in their government or Americans to protect them. It’s an easy way to create chaos, and as you said, it really doesn’t take all that much.

  13. And to what extent is the insurgency fighting? Blowing up cars? When and if they engage in numbers, maybe you can call that fighting. But it doesn’t take much, and doesn’t return much, to put a bomb in a car.

    Pretty much. I’d say that the aim of the “insurgency” is to shake the people’s faith in their new government more so than it’s aimed at a war of attrition against American forces. This will in turn derail Coalition efforts at successfully building democracy in Iraq ? if the people have no confidence in their government?s ability to provide for the common defense, then what realistic chance will that government have?

    Iraq is not a quagmire, nor is it an astounding success. Only time will tell the true result. But we do know that immediate withdrawal is certain to produce an incredible defeat for the Coalition, while there still remains a fairly good chance (IMHO) at “victory.”

    And BTW, I don’t think that the shifting of reconstruction funds from long-term projects to the more immediate needs of increased security is an abandonment of the hawks’ pre-war policy of democratizing Iraq. It’s really a quite logical reaction to the current poor security environment, and a reasonable action considering that secure polling places will be first required before elections can be held.

    At the very least it?s good that the politicians are reacting to the changing, and in some cases worsening, situation; although I will concede that when one finds himself ?reacting? rather than ?acting?, it?s not a good sign.

  14. Clearly there are co-ordinated groups; and clearly they are undertaking co-ordinate actions.

    Logically, that’s just a bit backwards. Because their actions are similar, they must be coordinated?

    I see; is that some sort of ethnic epithet?

    Yes. Skip the finger wagging, I’ll say what I like.

    Well, you said stated “any state” earlier; now your changing the locus of concern.

    The goal is total withdrawal, and American troop presence dwarfs that of any other nation so much so that operationally the troops of some of these countries might not be missed at all. Even if every other nation left, it would barely make a dent in the overall occupation force, and would serve only to extend said occupation.

    History is replete with such movements beating back invading armies.

    If so, then history runneth over with such movements being completely crushed. Their greatest achievements have been thus far to endanger the lives of their own people, and guarantee an extension to the occupation. The invasion is done, and the vestiges are in place; what “invasion” exactly would this movement be beating back? There is no concept in the government of this being something that can be “lost,” only delayed.

    Apparently you fail to grasp the nature of asymetrical warfare.

    No, I grasp it just fine, thanks. You and those who agree with you call it “warfare” because with the label there comes a context that allows you to couch the whole thing in terms of a “war,” and intend for such a classification to be taken at face value. You give it too much credit because every once in a while in history a tiny well prepared or appropriately desperate army has beaten a large unprepared army. Like I said, there’s no indication that this is anything more than multiple instances of Saturday School buddies who know where the CNN cameras are. There is no tactical advantage gained by these actions; the only result is to increase the cost and duration of the occupation to which the United States is already committed. Its intent is irrelevant when discussing its overall effectiveness, only its effect matters. Occupation is essentially a non-debatable issue: it is, it will be, and will not end until the White House is done with it.

  15. I wish I believed these were representative of anything approaching 20% of the middle eastern population.

  16. “I wish I believed these were representative of anything approaching 20% of the middle eastern population.”

    Jason,

    You’re right, it would be nice. The question is, though, how do we get it so that it’s the vast majority of the middle eastern population?

    Nobody said this was going to be easy, but I’m afraid that everyone’s well-being depends on this…

  17. rst,

    Even the US admits that co-ordinated attacks occur in Iraq. However, even if I admit that they are not co-ordinated, does it matter? Especially since you appear to even admit that they “appear” to be so. Co-ordinated or not, they create chaos.

    Yes. Skip the finger wagging, I’ll say what I like.

    Yes, you can say what you like, and so can I. And I can call you a bigot; which you are. You appear to think that you have the right to write in a vacuum.

    If so, then history runneth over with such movements being completely crushed. Their greatest achievements have been thus far to endanger the lives of their own people, and guarantee an extension to the occupation.

    America was always set to keep military bases in Iraq whether there was an insurgency or not.

    There is no concept in the government of this being something that can be “lost,” only delayed.

    I see; so its an inevitability? Need I lecture you on the silliness of determinism now? There is no inevitability to the situation there.

    You and those who agree with you call it “warfare” because with the label there comes a context that allows you to couch the whole thing in terms of a “war,” and intend for such a classification to be taken at face value.

    Those others would of course be the US military; who train to fight against asymetrical warfare tactics, or with them (as the individual case requires).

    You give it too much credit because every once in a while in history a tiny well prepared or appropriately desperate army has beaten a large unprepared army.

    Every once and a while? It has happened on numerous occasions, and against very well prepared armies. Indeed, guerilla war – which is the more common term for asymmetric warfare – has been used repeatedly throughout human history to defeat far larger military forces.

    Examples of recently successful (meaning the last two hundred years or so) guerilla campaigns:

    * Algeria

    * Yugoslavs against the Germans

    * First Boer War

    * Indonesia

    * Anglo-Irish War 1919-1921

    * Balkan campaigns of the 19th century, which successfully resisted the Turks

    * Peninsular campaign against the French

    * General Francis Marion’s campaigns (The Swamp Fox) in the Revolutionary War

    There is no tactical advantage gained by these actions; the only result is to increase the cost and duration of the occupation to which the United States is already committed.

    Well, actually that’s the entire point, and what guerilla movements are best at doing; making the burden not worth carrying.

    Occupation is essentially a non-debatable issue: it is, it will be, and will not end until the White House is done with it.

    Well, at base this is an unproven assumption, and is essentially your sole argument; that the insurgency won’t work because the US won’t leave. I am not so confident in this unsubstantiated presumption.

  18. “and guarantee an extension to the occupation. The invasion is done, and the vestiges are in place; what “invasion” exactly would this movement be beating back?”

    The Iraqi insurgency are not under the same illusion you are under that the US will eventually withdraw. To the insurgency (and many Iraqis), the US is there to stay (e.g., permanent military bases, controlling the oil flow, etc.). Hence, the insurgency’s aim is to distrubt these plans.

    As for equating the crusaders to the Iraqi insurgency: the Iraqi insurgency is not fighting in NYC trying to force americans to accept Allah as their savior. So where is the similarity? equating the US army with the crusader is far more apropriate.

  19. rst: “And who gives them that cause? Who stands up and delivers the message that tells them they should fight?”

    So, if a Martian army invaded your backyard, and said they’re gonna install Martian Law, because it’s based on the supreme cosmological truth, you rst would just cower, and put your tail between your legs, and go skulking home in agreement with your new master. You really are a coward.

  20. Hey, joe! Remember a couple weeks ago when you called my post “bullshit” because Zinn & Chomsky supposedly hated Democrats? Check out today’s Alterman column in The Nation:

    “Among the seventy-four members of the “113-person Nader 2000 Citizens Committee” who’ve signed a statement urging support for Kerry/Edwards in all swing states this year are: Phil Donahue, Jim Hightower, Susan Sarandon, Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich, Howard Zinn and Cornel West.”

    Oh my, that is sweet!

  21. Most importantly, if history is “replete” with examples, but it “runneth over” with counter-examples, which are we obligated to heed? C’mon, history, pick a side!

  22. been, uh …. thinking about it much over the past few weeks, ZM? joe isn’t even on this thread!

  23. So, if a Martian army invaded your backyard, and said they’re gonna install Martian Law…

    That’s absurd, and somebody’s been watching too much Sealab.

    …You really are a coward.

    Yeah that’s reasonable. Tell me what I would do in the event of a Martian invasion and then call me a coward for it.

    equating the US army with the crusader is far more apropriate.

    I didn’t equate the mechanics, only the motivation.

    making the burden not worth carrying.

    And at what point does this happen? At what point would you imagine that the United States will cut Iraq free and watch them flounder right next door to a soon to be nuclear Iran?

  24. Trainwreck,

    So what about those Martians? What if, say, my country was North Korea and they invaded us first. In fact, these Martians replace the Communist regime with a semi-autonomous, quasi-liberal regime and claim that they would in the future support a new North Korean government?
    I assume from your opinion that you would fight against those evil, occupier Martians for the sake of Beloved Leader, Kim Jong-Il! I will avenge his honor by killing and destroying anything that is controlled by the capitalists!!! Or instead, mabey you would support the new firebrand preacher of Korean Christianity who calls himself the second coming of Christ and so proclaims that the Americans and their “Japanese spies” must be executed for the coming Rapture, Hallelujah! Trainwreck, I must be a coward for not supporting such noble patriots!

    There is opposition in Iraq to us (SCRI, Dawa, etc), but they recognize that the US is at minimum allowing rights Saddam would never have dreamed of. Are they cowards to blow off a chance for a country that’s at least Saddam free? I don’t think they agree that resistance to the US includes blowing up your country’s infrastructure and killing innocent civilians. In fact, wouldn’t you agree that supporting people who saw off other people’s heads to show your love for Allah/Saddam just might be the wrong type of patriotism?
    Of course, just by saying this you must’ve realized that I’m a no-good, Trotskyist, neocon-Jew, so QED, I must be a chickenhawk to even have thought that sometimes not all occupations are that bad and…gasp! that it might even be good to work with occupiers if that would give my country a better life. Hail Strauss!!!

  25. Is RST for real?

    Holy christ.

  26. c,

    The point is that rst has absolute certitude that the US will triumph in Iraq; I do not. He/she is a determinist and I am not.

    The historical record is indeed a good gauge for such things; where insurgencies have triumphed (generally) is where they have been created by or work against the the actions of a foreign invader. Its more rare for an insurgency to triumph against a native regime, as was the case in Cuba with the rise of Castro; that’s why Che Guevara’s theories on insurgencies tend to be viewed as a crock of shit. China and Nicaragua are two other examples of such, but again they are far more rare.

    In any case, guerrilla tactics allow a relatively small force to tie down a generally larger and often better supplied opponent for long periods of time (e.g., Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eamil); and that is the benefit of their strategy. That doesn’t mean they will win, but it also points out that such tactics are far more deadly and effective than rst is willing to admit.

  27. Frank: My ridiculous martian analogy was just to illustrate a point that it’s natural to resist an invasion…please don’t try to take it any further.

    Have you ever been to Idaho? There’s a popular bumpersticker, often seen on late model pickup trucks in logging country, which says:

    Welcome to Idaho. Now go home.

  28. ZM, I don’t think Joe is at “work” today! (unlike myself…)

  29. Trainwreck,

    Thank you for the clarification. I assumed wrongly that you making a lewrockwell.com/michael moore rant about how the insurgency was and is the only true response Iraq should have to our invasion.

    I agree with the people of Idaho, people want other people to stay out of their lives. But that is not what the majority of Iraqi’s want, they want the US out of Iraq soon but not right now, meaning that our occupation has at least a majoritarian justification by the people of Iraq.
    If you still think the insurgency still is justified by the US occupation, remember who the leaders of it are: the Baathists/Sunni tribes who want to retain what little of the old power they had via Saddam, the fanatical Shiite/Al-Qaeda fundamentalists who want an Iraqistan, and the nucleus of criminals Saddam let loose before we came in. Regardless or whether the US is right or wrong, all of these guys have gone ape-shit against their own people in order to “further their cause”. Who or what reason can justify that kind of rebellion?
    I’m sorry if these leader are tapping into deep and profound religious, cultural, and/or patriotic roots of Iraq, but IMAO, they are not a true resistance but a bunch of rat-bastard, power-hungry thugs who the US has a right to exterminate in order to keep the peace for the rest of the Iraqis, as is their responsibility in support from the Iraqi majority. So when you talk about resistance to the US, remember that from the fundamentalists of SCRI to the Iraqi Communists (who of all people should planting bombs against our troops in hope of the Revolution!) support our “puppet” government, but still opppose our occupation peacefully.

    Sorry for taking this further, but you still are making excuses for these assholes for tearing up their country since its “natural” for them to do so.

  30. I miss Idaho.

  31. Frank:

    “Our occupation has at least a majoritarian justification by the people of Iraq.”

    First, you shouldn’t use the word ‘occupation’ (remeber you are liberators), otherwise old Zell will lash at you 🙂
    Second, who says that the occupation supports the US occupation. Obviously you have been listening to too much Chalabi sales pitch.

    “US has a right to exterminate in order to keep the peace for the rest of the Iraqis”

    Going by the number of groups you want to ‘exterminate,’ there won’t be any Iraqis left after the extermination to enjoy the peace.

    “Sorry for taking this further, but you still are making excuses for these assholes for tearing up their country”

    You are such a sweet heart Frank. You care more than Iraqis about their country.

  32. “Yeah that’s reasonable. Tell me what I would do in the event of a Martian invasion and then call me a coward for it.”

    That’s pretty funny.

  33. Frank,

    All of this crap is predictable. Not justifiable, not excusable, but just plain old predictable. When you go bust apart a society, even one that is rotten, you better expect it.

    The thing is Frank, once you break apart whatever it is that holds a given society together, you can pretty much expect chaos, violence, insurgency, etc. especially in those parts of the world where tribal and ethnic differences are deeply rooted.

    That’s why an occupying force is responsible for providing security. There’s plenty of blame to go around.

  34. c, bigbigtslacker, you’re right, joe ain’t spoken here; and yeah, I’ve been thinking about it ever since he slagged me.

    I figured joe reads all the threads anyway, and I was just so pumped to serve up that great big slice of ohyeah that I couldn’t resist.

    Anyway, if you see joe, please point him here, and please, let him know he’s full of bullshit.

    So very, very sweet.

  35. JDM, how do you feel about Rather coming clean now? Will truth out?

  36. I don’t think Rather will ever come clean, never have. I’m still pretty sure CBS will, and that Rather’s days are numbered. You’re right that it gets less likely with each passing day, though.

  37. Shouldn’t we just back off from the big guns and move on toward the little ones? Instead of us invading nations, how about assassinations? Every time a terrorist, imam, mullah, Egyptian journalist, leader of a nation, etc. calls for “death to the Americans and the Jews,” we should assassinate them. They are the real shit disturbers. They’ve made it plain that we are their enemy and they want us dead. I’m sure this would get the populations of these countries hopping mad, but after we’ve killed 100 or more, I bet we’d have them running scared. Yes, yes, yes I know that the “international community” would get all upset, but we could just say that we’re tired of killing innocent civilians, so we’re only targeting those that are targeting (or inciting others to target) us.

  38. “There is no tactical advantage gained by these actions; the only result is to increase the cost and duration of the occupation to which the United States is already committed.”

    That is a tactical advantage.

    “Like I said, there’s no indication that this is anything more than multiple instances of Saturday School buddies who know where the CNN cameras are. There is no tactical advantage gained by these actions; ”

    My friend, that is a tactical advantage.

    “Occupation is essentially a non-debatable issue: it is, it will be, and will not end until the White House is done with it.”

    The delusion you suffer is debatable. The occupation is a farce, a lead in to bigger and better things. We have occupied the middle east since 1945. We just change locations. Turmoil there is to our advantage, we just happen to be in a particularly violent cycle. The idea that the White House has any control over this is absurd. The lack of knowledge on the use of the word “tactic”, proves you are the uneducated, big word slinging, brown nosing, taking your 3 year old to a political rally your diametrically opposed to, troll!

  39. JDM, I would love to be proved wrong, but jeez, CBS Evening Dan ignored the issue again tonight.

    And intelligent lefties like Alterman, Charles Pierce, and Ward Sutton accept the memos. They’re advocates, not at all interested in truth. They serve a “higher” truth, I guess.

    CBS is going to bull through it. By Monday, nobody will remember the faked memos.

    Aaargh!

  40. Gary,
    “you have no way of determining whether they are representative or not”

    That’s true, of course. But you probably underestimate the number of ME liberals. For all the talk of fanatics, I bet there are plenty of educated folks who are sick of mullahs determining their lives, but are reluctant to speak up for obvious reasons. Heck, considering that the Dixie chicks are now reluctant to talk about our esteemed Prsident these guys are doing OK 😉

  41. I thought everyone knew that invaders from the Fourth Planet would be doctrinaire Marxist totalitarians. Proof here:

    http://www.lastgasp.com/d/972/

    Kevin

  42. [blah blah blah] would serve only to extend said occupation.

    I really like this thinking. I mean like in the sense that it makes me laugh.

    Basically, any signal of failure in our approach is a reason to extend said approach. This is the same kind of brilliant thinking that funnels billions into failed entitlement programs that conservatives (used to?) hate so much.

    Interestingly, it is the same charge of unfalsifiability that they were so skilled at levying that applies in this case.

  43. The lack of knowledge on the use of the word “tactic”, proves you are the uneducated, big word slinging, brown nosing, taking your 3 year old to a political rally your diametrically opposed to, troll!

    What is this obsession with trolls and “proving” things? We’re on a weblog, there is no proof of anything. For all they know I’m you and you’re crazy.

    And I didn’t use the word “tactic”. I used the term “tactical advantage”. To what extent is it a tactical advantage when both parties will spend until they’re done? You’re not getting off the government spending spree no matter whom you elect. Iraq looks partisan because it’s an election year, but get comfortable because no matter which jackass wins, our armed forces are there for a while.

    So where does the tactical advantage come in? That we’ll have to throw another $20 billion at it and rotate in another round of troops? Do you not think such appropriations will survive the Great Apathy? We have plenty of leisure to distract us from that sort of thing.

    And since when does edumacation have anything to do with a weblog anyway? Did I miss the sign that said “academia only”? For the record I am educated, I just had better classes to spend my money on than the liberal arts crap that might help one to become an esteemed blog poster. Ooooh.

    The delusion you suffer is debatable.

    Either its debatable, or its a delusion. But if you really need me to be specific at every juncture for you, then consider it this instance of occupation, not overall American occupation of the Middle East. In a sense, we occupy everybody that has a McDonalds.

    Basically, any signal of failure in our approach is a reason to extend said approach.

    The alternative is something that neither the democrats nor the republicans will ever accept. They’re not going to heed your complaints of “singal[s] of failure”. Whether it’s a good reason, who knows.

    Is RST for real?

    Absolutely. Don’t worry, I don’t make policy.

  44. “I thought everyone knew that invaders from the Fourth Planet would be doctrinaire Marxist totalitarians.”

    Marxism worked somewhere?

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