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Italy plans to pull out of Iraq.

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  1. Like the Italians wanted to go to war anyway…
    None of the remotely educated ones anyway.

    The Sgrena thing was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    Of course, it’s easy to manufacture consent when most of your population is painfully ignorant of worldly affairs and when you own the major media networks. (See Berlusconi, Silvio)

    In any event, they shoulda smoked that commie piece of merda when they had the chance! We had nothing to lose!

  2. I bet if the situation was reversed, and Italian troops shot at an American journalist, we wouldn’t have pulled out of Iraq.

    I guess that’s the difference between American loyalty and Roman perfidy. 😉

  3. andy,
    You missed the point.
    Is anybody left to fight in Iraq but Halliburton?

    As a taxpayer paying the Halliburton mercenaries, would it be possible to hire cheaper mercenaries? Maybe some Chinese tired of sitting at looms all day making duds for Americans?

  4. Ruthless,

    Very good point. We should out-source the Iraq mercenaries. It could save a lot of money. Heck, we could probably get a bunch of workers from Saudi Arabia. They have millions of guest workers. I say this as a war supporter. My libertarianism not only allows, but calls for the destruction of all authoritarians. Iraq’s Baathists first, America’s Republicans and Democrats later…

  5. A year or two ago Berlusconi quiped that it was the West that always conquered the rest of the planet and would do so again if needed. I guess he didn’t mean Italy when he said the West. 🙂

  6. US troops kill an Iraqi general at checkpoint. Unlike Italy, Iraq can’t “pull out.”

  7. Kudos Italy! Premier Berlusconi, the next time our idiot government invites you to a neocon inspired war, you might want to give it careful consideration before you agree to get involved.

    “After bolstering the U.S. force to about 155,000 during Iraqs recent elections, the Pentagon is bringing some units home and expects to be down to 138,000 soldiers in a few months.”

    Only a net of 17,000? What reasonably expected result could possibly justify the further loss of American life? Time to bring them all home! Each of us should contact our representative and senators and tell them:

    http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/

  8. Rick asks:

    What reasonably expected result could possibly justify the further loss of American life?

    The fall of Syria and Iran to their people? Syria out of Lebanon? A tentative move towards elections in Saudi Arabia?

    The fact that by now any one in the volunteer force is in the service by choice despite the war?

    The fact that it will piss off the American Communists, Stalinists, and Libertarians? I’d call that trifecta alone worth the price.

  9. M. Simon,

    The fall of Syria and Iran to their people?

    Hasn’t happened.

    Syria out of Lebanon?

    Hasn’t happened.

    Neo-conservatives are apt to count their chickens before they hatch. 🙂

    A tentative move towards elections in Saudi Arabia?

    Yeah, if you call elections which don’t disturb the power structure in anyway elections a success, I guess so.

    How are things over at Breaking Wind? Still wallowing in your delusions of granduer?

  10. M. Simon,

    Or more aptly put, how are the statist scum over there doing?

  11. I await all the remarks about Italian cowardice, etc.

  12. Does this mean we have to invade Italy now?

    I nominate Rachel Ray to be our viceroy during the occupation. She knows the culture, and she can get through a day in Italy on only $40, which is considerably less than we’re spending per day in Iraq right now.

    We’ll show those damn papist wops not to go against the US! Their decadent culture seems to revolve around oil (well, olive oil) and worship of their primitive middle eastern deity. They’re just begging for an ass whooping!

  13. M. Simon,

    Let’s see … 1500+ American dead (not to mention the dead Iraqi civilians) so Egypt can have ‘true multi-party elections’? That trade doesn’t really work for me. Especially since the trend was beginning well before the war.

    ‘the trend’ = the trend of popular descent in the mid. east.

  14. Berlusconi was already talking about withdrawing troops in 2005 prior to the Jan. 30 election. Now he has an excuse to make political hay back home with it. This was just the out he needed.

    Plus, he couched the whole thing on the situation improving in Iraq, which as EVERYONE knows, is getting progressively worse:

    (From Reuters)”Asked on RAI state television when a total withdrawal would take place, Berlusconi said: ‘It will depend on the capacity of the Iraqi government to provide adequate security.'”

    Meanwhile Australia and others are increasing their respective troop strengths.

    So all in all…BFD.

  15. BLG,

    “Especially since the trend was beginning well before the war.”

    That’s quite a specious comment, please do explain…

  16. Funny, I don’t hear any of you damn fools mentioning the evidence of WMD revealed by the NYTimes last Sunday. We took out a very real threat to America, whether the weapons were handy on not. And we’re now in a better oil position so that we can nuke Mecca the next time the Islamists attack us. Democracy over there is only lagniappe.

  17. We took out a very real threat to America, whether the weapons were handy on not.

    lol — and its italians that are painfully ignorant of worldly affairs? lol!

  18. kudos to italy, for finally implementing (after much fumbling) the idealistic love of the will of the people that the neocons merely claim to elevate.

    i wonder if it changes any minds in that camp about the holiness of democracy?

  19. Hey hey hey, now, if somebody dropped a centrifuge on your toe, it would hurt!

    The “revelations” from the suddenly-reliable-again New York Times back up what everyone has known for a year, and what Howard Dean, John Kerry, and several million Americans had concluded two years ago: Iraq was years away from having WMD capabilities.

    Meaning, we had the opportunity to put the time and effort in to create a real coalition, of countries who considered this mission to be their own, not just a favor to us.

    “The fall of Syria and Iran to their people?” The popular opposition in Iran is much weaker, and much less active, than before the war. Having a hostile superpower set up shop on your border provides cover for dictatorships to clamp down on internal dissent – who knew?

  20. GM, Still no comment on the Times story? Ignorance is bliss, until your whole world is blown to smitherines.

  21. I thought the Italians were scheduled to pull out this year anyway, and that staying through September was in fact an extension of their original commitment.

    The fewer Italians there are in Iraq, the less will be paid to our enemies in ransom money anyway. Its a win-win!

  22. Oops. As I suppose the Romans would say, “caveat emptor.”

  23. Oh Jurgen T. von Arnim wore and iron-rimmed monocle

    But he couldn’t see behind him, wasn’t that ironical?

    He fought a rearguard action and he fought it very bitterly

    With booby traps and teller mines and gallant sons of Iterly.

  24. Joe, I feel sorry for the Times. After years of consistency on the story, they had to make a political decision to call themselves liars to help Kerry. Now that the election is over, they are trying to regain credibility by publishing what they believe is true. And if you thought there was any possibility for a bigger coalition you must not be paying attention.

  25. I’d rather have them get the hell out of Iraq than have them in Iraq paying ransom to terrorists who will turn around and use the money to kill us.

    Gary Gunnels – the question was “What reasonably expected result could possibly justify the further loss of American life?” not “What has happened thus far that could possibly justify the further loss of American life?” If you can look at a million people in the streets of Lebanon the other day, some of which were waving American flags in the faces of the Syrian government and screaming for a return to democracy, and say that the return to democracy cannot be “reasonably expected,” you’re not being honest – you’re changing the standards so that you can win the argument. Wow, Saudi Arabia didn’t roll over and play Democracy. No shit, and big f’in deal. Nobody said this would be easy or quick.

  26. “I thought the Italians were scheduled to pull out this year anyway, and that staying through September was in fact an extension of their original commitment.”

    Interesting. So Silvio’s statement was purely an attempt to appeal to his domestic constituents, and hurt Bush.

  27. “we’re now in a better oil position so that we can nuke Mecca the next time the Islamists attack us”

    you forgot to mention that we’re coddling the Islamists:

    “Washington has meanwhile wisely joined the international consensus on Hizbollah: that it is part of the fabric of Lebanon and possibly of a future, legitimately elected government.”

    we should be attacking Syria, crushing Hezbollah, and sending a message to Iraq’s Da’wa party clerics in Najaf and Tehran that we’ll brook no opposition; that we’ll level the place if they pull any mischief.

  28. I generally find that brooking no opposition and crushing large, organized groups I disagree with is an effective way to foster liberal democracy.

  29. And we’re now in a better oil position so that we can nuke Mecca the next time the Islamists attack us. Democracy over there is only lagniappe.

    Um, where to start? Well, I’ll try.

    1) Nuking Mecca? Are you freaking insane? A certain leader who shall go nameless but was completely insane didn’t invade the Vatican when he occupied Rome in the 1940’s but you want to nuke Mecca?

    2) Yeah, all the oil that Iraq is pumping right now will be able to compensate for Saudia Arabia. Right.

    3) So, WMD were just a cover for democracy which was a cover for having the ability to nuke Saudia Arabia? These layers of explanation sound far more elaborate than anything a conspiracy theorist could conjure up.

  30. Adam,

    Au contraire. There are lots of folks who thought it would be easy and quick. That’s why went in with such a light force after all.

  31. heh, even the FT editorial that Gary links to thinks that…

    “[A]ttacking Syria would end the insurgency in Iraq far sooner by eliminating the base. Iraqis could more quickly assume responsibility for their own security, freeing up US forces. The Syrian army would be defeated in days. Mr Assad would fall. After a short occupation, US forces could keep heading west back to the states with a relatively small residual force remaining in Iraq and Syria. Arab and Muslim troops might be brought in to help Syria’s reconstruction.

    “That this argument proved influential once before, in relation to Iraq, suggests that force could be used again…”

  32. Um, georgio, did you miss the part where the FT writer, after describing the reasoning you quote, writes, “The logical arguments against this course of action are overwhelming. Aside from an absence of legitimate reasons for war, the situation in Iraq makes taking on another enemy at this stage awkward since American forces are already heavily committed. Given Saudi Arabia’s support for Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, diplomacy is working. An attack against Syria would reverse this very positive movement and probably turn the region against us…But war, not jaw, in relation to Syria would be a tragic if not catastrophic blunder.”

    I’ll just assume the page didn’t download properly to your computer.

  33. Thoreau, Although I’m no Christian, I don’t think Roman Catholocism is at the heart of the evil we see in the world. Maybe during the inquisition, but not in 1940. However, a religion that insists its followers consider non-believers infidels, with death as punishment, doesn’t sit well with this athiest. Knowing the nuke option would piss off all of arabia, not just the Saudis, it is probably not a good idea. But I certainly don’t view Mecca as a force for good in the world, and we’d probably be better off without it.

  34. Furthermore, If the Koran says to get to heaven you must visit Mecca,and you must kill infidels, then the only way I see to stop the killing is to either eliminate Mecca, or we all convert to Islam.

  35. thoreau,

    You’ll find this line of reasoning rather common amongst hawks.

  36. Say, James, do you think we can draw any conclusions about the clash of civilizations from the Middle East’s small manufacturing sector?

  37. James at 08:19 AM:

    We took out a very real threat to America, whether the weapons were handy on not.

    What nonsense! There is no evidence at all that Iraq had either the intention or the capacity to harm America. However, the 1,500 American deaths, and the thousands of Iraqi deaths, those are very real. All for a war that was based on lies.

    James, you remind me of someone who bought a used car that keeps breaking down, yet continues to insist that he made a good deal. The idea that Iraq was a threat to America was just a neocon lie used for pretext for the war-a war that the neocons had, for years, advocated as being a good thing for the Israeli government. You don’t have to go on repeating the lie. It’s “no longer operable”.

    James:

    And we’re now in a better oil position so that we can nuke Mecca the next time the Islamists attack us.

    Knowing the nuke option would piss off all of arabia, not just the Saudis, it is probably not a good idea.

    What?? The only reason that you can think of not to incinerate tens of thousands of innocent people is because it would piss off their neighbors?! James, you’ve got to be either a child, insane, an idiot or a very malicious person.

    The 9/11 terror attacks were primarily motivated by our government’s support of the Israeli government’s occupation of Palestinian land, as well as other interventions in the Mideast. To avoid futher attacks, we need to control our own government.

    To really be in a “better oil position” we need to allow more free market capitalism determine oil production. This can be done by deregulation, opening up more lands to exploration, and reducing taxes on the production process. Also, environmental regulation has made it so that there hasn’t been a new refinery in our nation for decades.

  38. James,

    Where in the Koran does it say “to get to heaven you must kill infidels”? I don’t think such a thing is a requirement for an afterlife in Islam at all.

    How many Muslims do you suppose would believe that?

    James, are you trying to stir up religious hate?

  39. M. Simon maintains that the deaths of yet more Americans in Iraq is justified by: The fall of Syria and Iran to their people. Syria out of Lebanon. A tentative move towards elections in Saudi Arabia.

    Others have pointed out the problems with the particulars. Also, forcing Americans to support wars to over throw dictatorships, (easier said than done anyway) but not necessary for our defense, has nothing to do with our constitution and our heritage.

  40. Rick, I never advocated killing anybody. Just a place. And tell Russia, the Phillipines, Kosovo, Indonesia, Nigeria, Spain, and anywhere else, that its only about Isreal and us. I’m all with you on oil drilling and regulatory reform.
    Anyway, I hate all religions, especially the ones that want me dead. And no, the Koran probably doesn’t insist believers kill infidels to get to heaven, but there’re plenty of clerics telling that to vulnerable young muslims. Finally, When we lose ten million New Yorkers, people like you will be demanding more 911 reports wondering why we didn’t do something sooner.

  41. And my Sentra’s got 155,000 on it and I haven’t had a problem with it since I figured out you can’t park it on an incline with less than a half tank of gas. Now that I live in South LA, its never a problem.

  42. Mushroom Cloud! Mushroom Cloud!

    Man, it’s just like the good old days.

  43. Actually, I would completely endorse any government action (or lack thereof) that results in the loss of ten million New Yorkers.

  44. SR, Sorry, but this Southern Redneck can still shed tears watching the towers fall.

  45. James:

    Rick, I never advocated killing anybody. Just a place.

    So you were advocating one of those, no deaths-no injuries nuke jobs. Gosh, now I feel bad for coming down so hard on you. For future reference, the protocol on this blog when advocating a no deaths-no injuries nuke job, is to append it with the letters WPE-(With Prior Evacuation). So you should have written: “…we can nuke Mecca the next time the Islamists attack us. WPE” 🙂

    When we lose ten million New Yorkers, people like you will be demanding more 911 reports wondering why we didn’t do something sooner.

    Actually, the 9/11 report does point us in the right direction. Note that the findings of the 9/11 commission reveal:

    “Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the man who conceived and directed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was motivated by his strong disagreement with American support for Israel, said the final report of the Sept. 11 commission.”

    http://www.kentucky.com/mld/heraldleader/news/nation/9222612.htm

    Lastly, I love LA. Well, to visit anyway. I posted this on a thread a while back. (Maybe you know all of these places, or maybe it will give you some ideas):

    “And you know what foreigners say about LA? “It’s like no other city in America, yet it could be no where else but America” And what charms it has-Griffith observatory, the Getty Museum, Santa Monica, Pinks Hot Dogs, that Sci-fi pizza place on Fairfax called Nova Express.”

    “And of course there’s Book Soup and that chess park on the beach in Santa Monica, which also sports many groovy British pubs, LA’s diverse ethnic food, Retro New Wave clubs, the interesting lectures that the Skeptic folks put on at the Cal Tech campus in Pasadena, the Labreea tar pits…many more. (I just put on “Walking in LA” by Missing Persons, who were from LA.)”

  46. James,

    Whoops- Did you mean that you live in South Louisiana?

  47. Are there any rednecks in California?

  48. Missing Persons, who recorded “Walking in LA” (Walking in L-A-A! Nobody walks in LA…) are from Boston. X, who recorded the song “Los Angeles,” (Los Angelessssssss-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam) are from LA.

  49. James,

    Sorry, my bad. I made that post before I saw your: …this Southern Redneck …. That’s a funny confusion.

    joe,

    I know that Dale Bozzio is from Boston. So the rest of them are as well? But weren’t they part of the LA New Wave scene? That’s what I meant by “from LA”.

  50. joe,

    Oh yeah, I have “Los Angeles,” by X on a New Wave compilation CD. I had spaced who did that song.

  51. Of course you do, Rick. I’d expect nothing less from H&R’s own New Wave guru.

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