"Bin Laden Knows Nothing About Iraq…"

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"Bin Laden knows nothing about Iraq; he is an extremist who lives in caves. He lost 75 percent of his support in Iraq by making everyone who votes in elections an infidel."

That's from a Reuters story about Iraqis not voting in next month's elections. Whatever one's attitude toward the invasion of Iraq–which I personally opposed–here's hoping the speaker above is correct, especially about Bin Laden's wavering support among Iraqis. A robust turnout, including a good showing by Sunnis, would be a great thing for Iraq and for the Middle East more generally, just as it was for Afghanistan. It will also make a U.S. withdrawal–or at least a reduction of forces–easier and quicker.

Whole story here.

NEXT: Phoning It In During the Holidays (Mainstream News Edition)

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  1. “Bin Laden knows nothing about Iraq”
    — include most instant experts here. most didn’t know who was in charge of iraq back in, say 1984. just like all of those movable type experts.

    and all of them can sod off.

    hopefully john mccain’s prediction for what bin laden will be for this halloween will come true.

    “dead”.

    good one.

  2. Ruthless knows nothing about Bin Laden, but my amateurish guess is that Ossama is just trying to add a little starch to the backbodes of the Sunni clerics in Iraq as they boycott the election there.

    We librarians and minarchists should boycott US elections too!

  3. Why should librarians boycott an election? I’d think they’d prefer to vote for a bigger book-buying budget.

  4. Jennifer,
    I call libertarians librarians to shame them into going all the way to anarchy!
    But, you knew that?

  5. My friend, Waki Paki, was just sharing the joke making the rounds at his mosque:
    Only two people understand Iraq: Saddam and Rummy.
    (To go ahead and explain it: They are the only two who realize how much ruthless killing is necessary to “unite” it.)
    Waki was laughing in spite of himself.

  6. Are you saying Libertarians are just waiting to catalogue the events of a revolution?

    Even a anarcho-capitalist society needs librarians/bookkeepers.

  7. Obviously, a good voting turnout would tend to discredit OBL. Whether we’ll do what we have to do to make sure that happens remains to be seen.

  8. Wacko, I think P. Diddy’s booked.

  9. Whatever one’s attitude toward the invasion of Iraq–which I personally opposed…

    No kidding? Never would have guessed.

    Caveats like this, which every Reason editor seems to feel necessary to insert regularly, are why I canceled my Skeptical Inquirer subscription. I began to notice every article at some point had a statement like, “I am an atheist, but that doesn’t mean we should scorn Christians for being the malformed, retarded troglydytes that they are…”

  10. Juan Cole has a similar argument about how Bin Laden’s newest tape was an amazing misstep for him.

  11. >>I canceled my Skeptical Inquirer subscription. I began to notice every article at some point had a statement like, “I am an atheist, but that doesn’t mean we should scorn Christians for being the malformed, retarded troglydytes that they are…”

  12. Ruthless,

    There are a lot worse things that we could be called other than “librarians”. Of course, most (but not all) librarians do work for some level of government…Hmm, ok, now I’m offended…

  13. ‘There are a lot worse things that we could be called other than “librarians”.’

    How about “malformed, retarded, troglodyte librarians?”

  14. Yes, Rick Barton, librarians are mostly government workers, but they can’t help that, so I don’t hold it against them.
    I know many librarians because I stop by the main government library every day. There’s not one whose ass I could not whip or I could not outrun.

    The guy I know with the non-government library here–yes we have one, the Mercantile Library–could probably take me, so Rick Barton may have a point.

    Anarchists on the other hand…
    Come to think of it, the only anarchist I know for sure, David Friedman, I could probably whip AND outrun. Wait… I know another atheistic anarchist locally who is a personal trainer who could pin me faster than Frank Constanza.

    joe, I know many librarians who are indeed well-formed (not malformed troglodytes). I love them. From afar, or in/on the stacks.
    We’re not on a tangent are we?

  15. include most instant experts here. most didn’t know who was in charge of iraq back in, say 1984.

    Um, drf… twenty years is more than enough time to achieve expertise in anything.

  16. try some of the martial arts, dan.

    the basic idea holds: it (1984) only was a few years pre gulf war I. and many belived the demonization of iraq (see propaganda piece below) or of islam since then. our lack of cultural knowledge, content in our contempt, is one reason why we’ve fucked up the peace so badly. so these people need a bit more time than 20 years. and considering how many “experts” don’t know a goddamn about the region, they’d better get cracking.

    so, even though 20 years is “enough time”, you’d think, based on your wisdom, that even the fucking state dept would have a clue and know the culture backwards and forewards – something they definitely do NOT know. the lack of skilled linguists points to this “not enough time” too.

    so it might me correct, however, the pudding shows a different story (for mixing metaphors. sorry – it’s part of the low-classing of america)

  17. “so it might me correct, however”
    — “so it might be correct, however…”

    sorry about that.

    and since there were no attempts to become an expert in iraq or to develop a feel for this very different culture, my point stands. try living in japan. try china. or living in alaska. or skinny dipping with jellyfish (damn what a giveaway)

    cheers! 🙂
    drf

  18. From the Iraq’s transitional constitution:

    http://www.cpa-iraq.org/government/TAL.html

    Fundamental Principals: Article 14

    “The individual has the right to security, education, health care, and social security.”

    Article 13:

    (A) Public and private freedoms shall be protected.

    (B) The right of free expression shall be protected.

    AAAGH ! They’ve got the whole liberty idea completely assbackwards.

    I might be, coincidentally, with Bin Laden on this one.

  19. Drooling,
    Is Chalabi the Thomas Jefferson of that to which you refer?
    Or did Hillary slip in the bit about health care?

    Do they mean social securtiy in the sense of Homeland Security or a Ponzi scheme?

  20. Ruthless,

    The problem I see in Iraq’s Constitution is that it bestows vague affirmative rights to its subjects rather than constraining the power of government.

    The US Constitution’s Bill of Rights is written correctly. As in “Congress shall make no law…”

  21. the basic idea holds: it (1984) only was a few years pre gulf war I

    The basic idea remains laughable. You’re claiming that any American who wasn’t familiar with Iraq 20 years ago is an “instant expert” with no real knowledge of the area. It’s a moronic thing to believe, and you should be embarassed for yourself for saying it in public. There are tenured professors with Ph.Ds in Middle Eastern Studies who hadn’t even finished high school in 1984. Twenty years is enough time to learn anything.

    And by the way, pretending that the “demonization of Islam” began in the mid-80s is absurdly ahistorical; Islam has been a periodic bogeyman of the West for the better part of a thousand years. Hell, one of the first military actions undertaken by the United States was against Islamic aggressors. The modern fear of Islam dates back to high-profile acts of Islamic terrorism during the 1960s and 1970s — particularly the Munich Olympics and the Iranian hostage taking.

    our lack of cultural knowledge, content in our contempt, is one reason why we’ve fucked up the peace so badly.

    The claim that we “fucked up the peace” assumes that there was peace there for us to fuck up. There wasn’t, of course. Both Iraq in particular and the Islamic Middle East in general have pretty much been in a state of continual ethnic strife and denial of human rights since prehistoric times. The region’s one claim to fame is that Europe used to be worse than it have a millenium ago. If we succeed in bringing peace to Iraq, it will be a historic first.

  22. no it doesn’t.

    with apologies for the phrasing, you had all of these fucking experts going on about what saddam “wanted” in the run up to the first war.

    then you get the movable type experts flying out of the woodwork.

    you have these cleveland clinic experts running around.

    it is a symptom of fixed position arguing.

    “The claim that we “fucked up the peace” assumes that there was peace there for us to fuck up”

    and what is going on now? no peace? what a brillinat fucking war you’re for.

    but denying the fact that most people who have these high fallootin (sic) about what we should do, probably you included, are cherry picking what’s going on to win an argument.

    from your meaning of torture to defending everything the us does in this war that makes no sense…

    fine. demonization of iraq. munich was called “anti isreali”. iran maybe. but the chem weapons, etc. stop being obtuse.

    and for americans, most of whom (back to the original point) were unaware of iraq or iran or of munich or of anything like that, they believed the babies in the incubator stories, the paper shredders, etc.

    that is all. and up the dosage

  23. “A robust turnout, including a good showing by Sunnis, would be a great thing for Iraq and for the Middle East more generally, just as it was for Afghanistan. It will also make a U.S. withdrawal–or at least a reduction of forces–easier and quicker.”

    A robust turnout will in all probability mean the election of Shiite radicals and a fundamentalist Islamic government, which, as I recall, was something the liberventionists and other hawks were supposed to be worried about. As for the elections hastening our withdrawal, to what extent has our presence in Afghanistan been reduced since their much balloyhooed elections?

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