Violence in Iraq

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From today's Wash Post:

"Definitely, violence is getting worse," said a U.S. official in Baghdad, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "My strong sense is that a lot of the political momentum that was generated out of the successful election, which was sort of like a punch in the gut to the insurgents, has worn off." The political stalemate "has given the insurgents new hope," the official added, repeating a message Americans say they are increasingly giving Iraqi leaders.

Whole thing here.

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  1. “the successful election, which was sort of like a punch in the gut to the insurgents, has worn off.”

    The “punch in the gut” was like the punch in the gut to the condom biz by the election of the new Pope, Ratso.

    In the immortal woids of Olivia Nude John: Let’s get physical and maybe even, serious.

  2. Did you mean Olivia Neutron Bomb?

  3. Um, hmm. Violence is “escalating sharply”, but there are no numbers of consequence anywhere in the article.

    “It’s my strong intuition…” isn’t news – it’s opinion. This is not a new article – it’s basically propaganda.

    I know the folks who were absolutely positive that nothing good could come out of a pre-emptive attack on Iraq are resisting the deluge of indications that they were wrong. But these are the same folks who shouted “quagmire!” over both Afghanistan and Iraq, who decried the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis that would be killed in the invasion, who claimed that Iraq was not secure enough to hold an election…

    So, in the face of all kinds of positive news in Iraq, plus Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, Libya giving up its nuclear program, Egypt taking baby steps towards liberalizing elections, and much more, the best the WaPost can do is claim some anonymous bureaucrat in Iraq has an “intuition”. All in an article written by a bunch of guys no one knows who all just happen to have Islamic surnames. Is this what the once-great Washington Post has sunk to?

  4. Hey, Bizarro joe,

    “I know the folks who were absolutely positive that nothing good could come out of a pre-emptive attack on Iraq are resisting the deluge of indications that they were wrong.”

    Have you done a little cost-benefit analysis?

    I’ve commented before how the hawks have hawk eyes on the goofy doings here.
    They may swoop, but what is the “reality on the ground?”

  5. Joe Bonforte,

    The news is covering Iraq again this week, so things must be getting worse.

    That being said, it’s unclear whether this past week’s coordinated insurgent offensive will be sustained, or whether things will quickly drop back down to the level of violence seen for most of this year after all the bombs in the current salvo have been unleashed. They definitely seem to be testing the new government out a bit, and taking advantage of the pre-constitution power vacuum to try to spark a wider sectarian divide.

  6. “Um, hmm. Violence is “escalating sharply”, but there are no numbers of consequence anywhere in the article.”

    “The U.S. official said this week that overall attacks had increased since the end of March. Roadside bombings and attacks on military targets are up by as much as 40 percent in parts of the country over the same period, according to estimates from private security outfits.”

    —-From the Washington Post article linked above

    “It’s my strong intuition…” isn’t news – it’s opinion. This is not a new article – it’s basically propaganda.”

    By your own definition, your own comment is basically propaganda. Link to some statistic or move out of that glass house of yours.

    “I know the folks who were absolutely positive that nothing good could come out of a pre-emptive attack on Iraq are resisting the deluge of indications that they were wrong. But these are the same folks who shouted “quagmire!” over both Afghanistan and Iraq, who decried the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis that would be killed in the invasion, who claimed that Iraq was not secure enough to hold an election…

    Who shouted quagmire about Afghanistan? I’m not saying that no one did, I’m just not aware of anyone who shouted quagmire about Afghanistan. Do you have a link?

    …If you’re talkin’ about someone you know personally, well, I know of a guy who lives under a pier and shouts to everyone that the world is about to end. …So what?

    “So, in the face of all kinds of positive news in Iraq, plus Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, Libya giving up its nuclear program, Egypt taking baby steps towards liberalizing elections, and much more, the best the WaPost can do is claim some anonymous bureaucrat in Iraq has an “intuition”. All in an article written by a bunch of guys no one knows who all just happen to have Islamic surnames. Is this what the once-great Washington Post has sunk to?”

    Attacking the messenger, nice move.

  7. It is kinda funny that their stats on the increased violence are balanced with an overabundance of weasel words though. I mean c’mon, they say “as much as 40 percent”, “in parts of the country”, and “according to estimates” to describe the increase. I don’t really doubt that violence has increased, but the facts at hand sound rather precarious to rest an article on.

  8. The possibility that the US government is behind the Sunni attacks on Shia mosques should be explored.

  9. Why does an anonymous U.S. official hate America?

  10. …or that the US government is totaly responsible for those attacks.

  11. Maybe violence is getting worse, but it does not follow that this is a bad thing. US casualties in April are gonna be slightly higher than March, but way lower than in most of 2004, as shown in lunaville blog:

    http://www.icasualties.org/oif/

    Maybe violence is getting worse because the Baathist / Jihadi alliance is testing how well the new Iraqi government will fight them. Maybe violence is getting worse because the inflow of intelligence tips from an Iraqi populace tired of the Baathist / Jihadi terrorism is allowing the coalition and Iraqi forces to assume the offensive.

    It is a little hard to know the truth in an environment where US military and Iraqi army / police /civilian casualties are publicized to max and (I am guessing) most of the Baathist / Jihadi deaths are counted as “civilians.” Violence ?escalating sharply” may just mean 100 more dead jihadis. To which I say “Party on, Iyad”

  12. I don’t see how an increase in insurgent attacks could possibly be a good thing.

    Even if the increase in insurgent activity isn’t a function of the stalemate in negotiations; even so, the stalemate’s an issue. I hope they come to terms soon. But…

    …What do the Sistani and al Sadr contingents have to gain by giving up anything? …and when I’m talkin’ about giving up something, I’m talkin’ about givin’ up something to the Kurds.

    …What do the Kurds have to gain by giving up anything? They’ve ruled themselves without having to concede anything to anyone…why would they want to make concessions now?

    I’m still not convinced that there won’t end up being a two and a half state solution.

  13. I should a little hard to know the truth in an environment where US military and Iraqi army / police /civilian casualties are publicized to max by the MSM. BUT, if one takes the trouble to look for information from the many blogs by US military personnel involved directly in the war, one can see we are winning this thing and that is a good thing.

  14. The attacks give the US government an excuse to stay in Iraq indefinitely, which is part of the design.

  15. Buck:
    most of the Baathist / Jihadi deaths are counted as “civilians.”

    counted by whom? or we honoring the neocons tradition of making shit up. Since the US military doesn’t “do body counts,” if you are really interested in iraqi civilian deaths, something I highly doubt, you might want to check the Iraq body count list here.

  16. Ken,

    An increase in violence is not necessarily the same thing as an increase in insurgent attacks. Look at the Lunaville graph here:

    http://icasualties.org/oif_a/Lunaville.htm

    You can see a rise in casualties in April of 04 – that is the insurgent attacking. There is also a rise in December of 04 – that is the Marines settling the score and them some. Most of the MSM reporting from Iraq blur the distinction between the two events.

    Sorry for the typos in my previous post. I shoulda said:

    I should add it is a little hard to know the truth in an environment where US military and Iraqi army / police /civilian casualties are publicized to max by the MSM. BUT, if one takes the trouble to look for information from the many blogs by US military personnel involved directly in the war, one can see we are winning this thing and that is a good thing.

  17. “I know the folks who were absolutely positive that nothing good could come out of a pre-emptive attack on Iraq are resisting the deluge of indications that they were wrong.”

    You’re arguing against a phantom (or is is straw man?). Actually, I think most anti-war people would have said that *something* good might come of it, namely that Saddam would be gone. The problem is that along with the good is too much bad to make it worth all the cost in lives and dollars, not to mention that in principal we didn’t have a good enough basis for invading another country. Contrary to what the hawks want everyone to believe, most reasonable anti-war people would like to see a peaceful and speedy recovery for Iraq. A good outcome doesn’t change the fact that something as serious as invading another country should not be taken so lightly that its causes don’t matter.

  18. a,

    Who do you think has killed more Iraqi civilians?

    1. Us military and Coalition forces
    2. Michael Moore’s minutemen i.e. the baathist insurgents and the jihadis

    Als, which side has intentionally targeted Iraqi civilians? The iraqis know the answer to this question and if you are following their blogs and reporting you would know it too.

  19. “The attacks give the US government an excuse to stay in Iraq indefinitely, which is part of the design.”

    We’re gonna have to agree to disagree on that Rick. I think that the longer the insurgent attacks go, the sooner we’re pulling out. Think the American Revolution, Vietnam, etc. In a battle of wills, the invadees–not the invaders–have the most to lose.

    …I think there’s a limit to the amount of casualties the American people are willing to suffer, and I think there’s a limit to the price the American people are willing to pay in taxes too. An insurgent loss, on the other hand, means utter annihilation for them.

    P.S. Can anyone think of a good reason why Sunni insurgents would want to lay down their arms?

    P.P.S. It will be interesting to see what effect the trial and possible execution of Saddam Hussein will have on the insurgency and its support.

  20. So, are the parallels to that 1968 Vietnam election starting to pile up?

  21. “An increase in violence is not necessarily the same thing as an increase in insurgent attacks. Look at the Lunaville graph here.”

    That very well may be true; regardless, in spite of the insurgency, we need to get a government in place.

    “…if one takes the trouble to look for information from the many blogs by US military personnel involved directly in the war, one can see we are winning this thing and that is a good thing.”

    I’m not sure that the blogs of US military personnel is the best place to look see if we’re winning. In my opinion, winning means that we did something worth the sacrifice of American troops, and my opposition to the war is based on the fear that what we’ve won isn’t worth the sacrifice. It’s a marginal analysis, mind you.

    …There’s an argument to be made from the right that says that the lives of American troops are too precious to sacrifice soley for pipedreams like bringing democracy to where it isn’t. I don’t know of anyone on the right making that argument, but then I don’t know of many on the right who are willing to listen to that argument either.

    …Maybe that’s because of the Vietnam era culture war? I know lots of liberals who are pefectly willing to use government force for the pipedream of improving the standard of living within our borders–these same people are against doing this with the military beyond our borders. Why? …I think they’re culturally attached to opposition to Vietnam, and they just can’t conceive of themselves supporting a foreign war.

    …Work the same equation from the right, and you have people who are culturally wedded to supporting any war beyond our borders because not to do so would make them seem (in their heads) like a bunch of spitting hippies.

    By the way, I don’t think anyone here is going to argue that America winning the War in Iraq isn’t a good thing.

  22. Buck,Your pathetic attempt of avoiding my question, I’m afraid, won’t fly. Do you have any evidence for the claim you made earlier or are you making it up?

    Buck:

    Who do you think has killed more Iraqi civilians?
    1. Us military and Coalition forces

    I don’t know. The US military, according to T. Franks, doesn’t do body counts.
    In any case, civilian deaths are the ultimate responsibility of the occupying force.

  23. “In any case, civilian deaths are the ultimate responsibility of the occupying force.

    By the way, that’s the rest of my opposition to the war. Yes, if the price in American lives wasn’t worth what we got, then it was a bad war; add to that the cost in civilian casualties and the cost/benefit analysis just gets worse.

  24. an argument to be made … that says that the lives of American troops are too precious to sacrifice soley for pipedreams like bringing democracy to where it isn’t. I don’t know of anyone on the right making that argument, but then I don’t know of many on the right who are willing to listen to that argument either

    That is exactly the argument that Pat Buchanan is making. I don’t know why you are bring right and left into this. The question before us is the level of violence in Iraq, who is instigating it, who it is directed against, and whether that is good or bad. If you think America winning the War in Iraq is a good thing, then you must understand that it is going to require our military increasing the level of violence in Iraq until we kill enough Baathist insurgents and jihadis to achieve victory.

  25. Buck,Your pathetic attempt of avoiding my question, I’m afraid, won’t fly. Do you have any evidence for the claim you made earlier or are you making it up?

    deja vu.

    don’t know. The US military, according to T. Franks, doesn’t do body counts.
    In any case, civilian deaths are the ultimate responsibility of the occupying force.

    Double deja vu.

    I don’t have anything to say about Iraq that I haven’t said many times before, so I’ll just watch the fur fly. But something about the post I cited sounds familiar to me…

    Apologies if I’m wrong.

  26. civilian deaths are the ultimate responsibility of the occupying force.

    That is a ridiculous statement. Is every murder the responsibility of the police? No, the police cannot stop murder. They can only attempt to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators

    The insurgents pay to have the execution of an Iraqi election worker filmed on Haifa street.

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2004/12/22/executions/index_np.html

    Look at that picture. On the left is one of Michael Moore’s minuteman. The gun is pointed and about to fire at (and murder) an Iraqi election worker. Who is the bad guy? Is it the fault of Tommy Franks and John Abizaid?

  27. “If you think America winning the War in Iraq is a good thing, then you must understand that it is going to require our military increasing the level of violence in Iraq until we kill enough Baathist insurgents and jihadis to achieve victory.”

    No blank checks. Self defense is priceless, everything else can cost more than it’s worth.

    If the Administration is afraid that, should it leave it now, it would leave a terrorist Sunni mini-state behind, then it should ‘fess up. If the Administration is afraid that, should it leave now, the Shiites might be just as inclined to invite the Iranians in to put down the insurgency, then it should ‘fess up about that too.

    If the Administration is afraid that we’re gonna have to keep troops over there ’til kingdom come or the cows come home or the insurgents decide that they’re better off as a minority in a state dominated by their enemies, then it should ‘fess up about that too.

    …Surely, if the American people decided they’d had enough, you wouldn’t advocate keeping troops over there without popular support?

    P.S. Thoreau, just because you’ve said it before doesn’t mean everyone else has heard it.

  28. Who shouted quagmire about Afghanistan? I’m not saying that no one did, I’m just not aware of anyone who shouted quagmire about Afghanistan. Do you have a link?

    NY Times columnist R. W. Apple was sure we had a quagmire in October 2001, days before 10 or so US special operations soldiers toppled the most oppressive regime in the world:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F60C17FE39540C728FDDA90994D9404482

  29. we’re gonna have to keep troops over there ’til kingdom come or the cows come home or the insurgents decide that they’re better off as a minority in a state dominated by their enemies

    Substitute Nazis for insurgents and that is what happened in Germany.

  30. “That is a ridiculous statement. Is every murder the responsibility of the police? No, the police cannot stop murder. They can only attempt to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators.”

    When we decided to bomb, invade and occupy Iraq, we knew that there would be a certain amount of civilian casualties. We tried to minimize those casualties, and we didn’t target civilians on purpose. …But that doesn’t mean that those people’s lives weren’t a cost of the war. They were, and our leaders decided that those civilian lives, and the lives of our troops, were worth whatever it was that they thought we would gain.

    …I don’t have a problem with that argument per se–I mean, I don’t have a problem with the suggestion that it’s possible that the freedom and security of American citizens could be worth more than a certain level of foreign, civilian casualties. However, I have a big problem with the suggestion that those civilian casualties aren’t a cost or shouldn’t be a consideration or weren’t worth anything.

    …I lack whatever gene it takes to think of civilian casualties as worthless. We decided to pay the price in civilian casualties when we went to war. Those casualties are our responsibility.

  31. I have no interest in debating the whole “Should we have gone there?” issue again, at least not today.

    But on the narrow issue of whether some of the opponents of the Iraq war cried “quagmire” before Afghanistan: Undoubtedly some did. Others didn’t. Those who cried quagmire have certainly suffered a loss of credibility. But a lot of opponents of the Iraq war did not cry quagmire before Afghanistan, and there’s no reason to tar them with guilt by association. Refute their arguments about Iraq by debating the merits of Iraq. Don’t go after them for statements that many of them never made.

  32. lack whatever gene it takes to think of civilian casualties as worthless

    So do I. The people that think civilian casualties as worthless are the ones our military are fighting, bravely and brilliantly, in Iraq.

  33. “Substitute Nazis for insurgents and that is what happened in Germany.”

    I did this argument in another thread, so I’ll give you the abreviated response and the link.

    An alliance is among the most effective means of self-defense. There are things that are okay in self-defense that wouldn’t be okay otherwise.

    We wouldn’t have won the Cold War as we did without our allies, and our allies probably wouldn’t have behaved as they did–think Reagan’s Pershing program–without our contribution to the alliance in World War II.

    That is, Germany was a war of self-defense. Japan was a war of self-defense. Afghanistan was a war of self defense. Wars of self-defense are priceless.

    …Iraq, on the other hand, was not a war of self-defense, so it isn’t comparable to a self-defense war like Germany in World War II.

    https://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2005/04/beyond_minimali.shtml

  34. The people that think civilian casualties as worthless are the ones our military are fighting, bravely and brilliantly, in Iraq.

    Buck, I think what confuses me most is that while the military inarguably takes precautions to prevent civilian casualties, at the same time, the same military refuses to even try to count the civilian casualties. How to describe something you don’t even bother to count, besides “worthless?”

    I’m not concluding that military folks look at Iraqi civilians as worthless, but military policies sure seem to.

  35. To those of you who say that all of the people killed by the “insurgents” are the responsibility of the USA because that wouldn’t have happened had we not invaded: I will concede this point if you admit that everyone killed under Saddam are the responsibility of all those who opposed the war.

  36. Buck:
    That is a ridiculous statement.

    Well, it is not for you or me to decide, it is the law. I have highlighted the relevant segment:

    http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/iraq/ihlfaqoccupation.htm

    An occupying power has a duty to ensure public order and safety in the territory under its authority. Under customary international law, this duty begins once a stable regime of occupation has been established. But under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the duty attaches as soon as the occupying force exercises control or authority over civilians of that territory — that is, at the soonest possible moment (a principle reflected in U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10).

    Military commanders on the spot must prevent and where necessary suppress serious violations involving the local population under their control or subject to their authority. The occupying force is responsible for protecting the population from violence by third parties, such as newly formed armed groups or forces of the former regime. Ensuring local security includes protecting persons, including minority groups and former government officials, from reprisals and revenge attacks.

    BTW, I see that you didn’t provide any support for yuor earlier statemnet, so I guess you made it up.

  37. When the number and severity of attacks decreases, the hawks trumpet the news as proof that we’re winning. Then they increase, they come out with excuses why that, too, shows we’re winning.

    If four guys in ski masks shot Allawyi in his office and declared themselves on the television to the be the new chief executive, Joe Bonforte would explain that it just shows that they’re getting desperate.

  38. so a=jason bourne=jean bart=merovingian=gary gunnels=pat buchanan?

  39. I suspect insurgent attacks are up due to nothing else being in the news today. (kind of like how one case of suspected mad cow disease ended the purported flu epidemic last year)

  40. I will concede this point if you admit that everyone killed under Saddam are the responsibility of all those who opposed the war.

    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/

  41. Fuzzy-
    Ok, so Donald Rumsfeld is responsible for those deaths because he met with Saddam in the 80’s and supported him (as a lesser evil compared to the Ayatollah), and he’s responsible for any deaths due to deposing Saddam? So you are officially arguing that you should be damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Ok, you win. Now what do you think should be done? This is one of those questions where you can’t invoke having a time machine and doing something different in 1979. What would you do NOW?

  42. It’s always fun to rehash the war, but there is little new in the recent news. Insurgents are not going away soon, if ever. But that doesn’t mean Iraq cannot become stable. Is Northern Ireland stable? or the UK in general? What convinces me Bush was right is the fact that we still haven’t had the devastating attack here that could wreak the economy and bring us to our knees. If you don’t think al Quida has been diverted from planning American attacks you must have blinders on.

  43. Well, it is not for you or me to decide, it is the law. I have highlighted the relevant segment:

    http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/iraq/ihlfaqoccupation.htm

    Deja vu.

    BTW, I see that you didn’t provide any support for yuor earlier statemnet, so I guess you made it up.

    Man, what a flashback!

    Quick, somebody blame the French for something and see if we get a reflexive response. Or just mention Little Round Top and the 20th Maine.

    I apologize to a if I’m wrong.

  44. James,

    If the Bush administration had invaded Iraq with the stated intention of distracting Al Quaeda from attacking the U.S. mainland, then he might have been right. But he invaded Iraq with the stated intention of destroying WMD’s that didn’t exist and a working relationship with Al Quaeda that didn’t exist.

    The fact is that we have no idea what Al Quaeda is planning or how many members it has or where its leaders are. Bush himself said he didn’t care where Bin Laden is (after, of course, it turned out that he’d slipped through our fingers).

    Arguing for the necessity of the war isn’t unreasonable to me. Arguing that Bush et al executed the war with honesty and competency is unsupported by the facts.

  45. What would you do NOW?

    Dave, for starters, I would remove those that propped up the dictator in the first half of their career and now removed him by force in the second half of their career. Its been pretty well established on these boards that career beaurorats are purely self serving. Why should foreign policy be any different than market regulation? When you do too much for too long, everything gets fucked up via unintended consequences, mostly because you will never admit to doing anything wrong in the first place. Hopefully my answer wasn’t too anticlimatic since I don’t have the answer for getting out of a quagmire.

  46. When the number and severity of attacks decreases, the hawks trumpet the news as proof that we’re winning. Then they increase, they come out with excuses why that, too, shows we’re winning.

    I agree with joe here. FWIW, I think there are good arguments to be made in favor of what we’re doing, and good arguments for why an increase in violence is just a storm that we can weather.

    But when people try to explain that an increase in violence has a silver lining, or even that it is all part of the Master Plan, well, that’s just crazy talk. Do the more eloquent hawks a favor and shut up.

  47. “I apologize to a if I’m wrong.”

    Apology accepted.

  48. Sorry, a. I guess I’m just missing Gary, so any time I read something that bears even a small resemblance I think it might be him.

  49. Les, When you have to reach for terms like “working relationship” we know you’re splitting hairs to avoid being called a liar. The jury is still out on Iraq/al Quaeda connections. I’m still wondering why Terry Nichols was bunking up with Iriqi agents in the Phillipines. And ask the Checks about their Atta intelligence. There were plenty of non-al Quaeda terrorists living in Baghdad. The next attack here may not come from bin Laden anyway. But claiming Saddam had no working Relationship with al-Quaeda is only admitting there may have been some sort of relationship.

  50. “I will concede this point if you admit that everyone killed under Saddam are the responsibility of all those who opposed the war.”

    Is the United States resposnible for everyone who dies anywhere in the world under an authoritative regime or is there something special about Iraq?

  51. And who’s to say that Sandy Berger’s document didn’t show a connection? The fact that the 911 commission based its report partly on testimony from Clinton cronies tells me it is partly bogus.

  52. Is the United States resposnible for everyone who dies anywhere in the world under an authoritative regime or is there something special about Iraq?

    Mugabe is all your fault Ken!

  53. “But claiming Saddam had no working Relationship with al-Quaeda is only admitting there may have been some sort of relationship.

    That’s part of my preliminary criticism of the war, by the way. Some people, in spite of the evidence to the contrary, believe that Iraq was collaborating with al Qaeda; surely anyone who heard Colin Powell’s testimony before the U.N. thought we went into Iraq to disrupt al Qaeda operations. We now know that Iraq/al Qaeda ties were way overblown before the war.

    …But what’s perfectly clear is this. Before the war, if al Qaeda was operating in Iraq, it wasn’t operating to the extent that is now. That is, we went there to disrupt al Qaeda operations; but, now that we’ve invaded, al Qaeda seems to be operating with impunity.

    When our leadership leads us into an action to protect us from danger but their action only exacerbates the problem, isn’t that what we’re talking about when we talk about incompetence?

    …Of course the dust hasn’t settled yet. Iraq may yet bloom into a terrorist free paradise under the leadership of the al Sadr and al Sistani factions–I sure hope that’s what happens.

  54. “Mugabe is all your fault Ken!”

    I knew it!

    …and I’d like to take this opportunity to personally apologize to all the good people of Zimbabwe and a bunch of other African nations, Myanmyar, Cuba, North Korea, the Sudan, China, Vietnam, Nepal, the Ivory Coast, myraid former Soviet Republics, a number of nations in Central and South America too as well as anyone I didn’t mention.

    It’s all my fault. I’m against bombing, invading and occupying your country unless it’s done is self-defense. But don’t worry–there’s a new breed on the rise, and they won’t let a little thing like self-defense get in their way. They’ll bomb the daylights out of your country–they think it’s worth the sacrifice in civilian casualties.

    I apologize.

  55. Ken, I don’t give a shit about al-Quaeda operations in Iraq, except to the extent they hurt our troops over there. And our soldiers know what they got into when they signed up, as do the contractors. I just don’t see how we’ve exacerbated the problem. The problem being the risk of an attack on our shores that disrupts or destroys our economic system. Are al-Quaeda operations in Iraq making such an attack more likely? I doubt it.

  56. James, the reason I used the word “working” relationship is because we would have needed a defense against that. Again, while the need to bring down Hussein is arguable, the reasons stated by the Bush administration at the onset of the war have been thoroughly debunked.

    The fact that the 911 commission based its report partly on testimony from Clinton cronies tells me it is partly bogus.

    Why do you think Clinton cronies are less honest than Bush cronies? I mean, cronies are cronies, are they not? Do you actually think that the Republicans are more honest than the Democrats? (I ask the opposite question of my liberal friends.)

  57. I haven’t noticed any Bush cronies getting busted stealing and destroying secret documents.

  58. ” All in an article written by a bunch of guys no one knows who all just happen to have Islamic surnames. Is this what the once-great Washington Post has sunk to?”

    “The fact that the 911 commission based its report partly on testimony from Clinton cronies tells me it is partly bogus.”

    Utter and complete, ad hominem at its finest!

    …Tell me, did you and Joe Bonforte go to the same school?

  59. James, are you suggesting that one incident (and I’m glad he got busted, too, btw) demonstrates that the Bush administration is more honest than the Clinton administration or that Republicans are more honest than Democrats?

  60. Les-

    Democrats only have to steal documents to cover their crimes when there’s no Democratic President to cover for them. Some day, former Bush administration officials will have to steal classified documents. And the usual suspects will explain to us that it’s somehow different this time around.

  61. “Democrats only have to steal documents to cover their crimes when there’s no Democratic President to cover for them. Some day, former Bush administration officials will have to steal classified documents. And the usual suspects will explain to us that it’s somehow different this time around.”

    So if I understand this properly, what you’re saying is that if Kerry had been elected, it would have been much worse?

  62. I knew the resident physicist would understand. I wonder if there are undiscovered laws of nature regarding politics and corruption. Perhaps the proximity of citizens (C) to power (P) combines to decrease integrity (I) at a rate relative to the scope of influence (SI). Now, to work on my equations!

  63. Les-

    Perhaps the proximity of citizens (C) to power (P) combines to decrease integrity (I) at a rate relative to the scope of influence (SI). Now, to work on my equations!

    You might want to call this the Self Preservation Theorem.

  64. Les, All politicians are corrupt, but I believe the Clintons are more corrupt. The number of jailed friends indicates to me the Clintons weren’t your run of the mill corrupt politicians. To the wealth of evidence you can add the upcoming Cisneros report, and its implications of IRS manipulation.

  65. James, why are “run of the mill corrupt politicians” more trust worthy than jailed, corrupt politicians? I agree that the Clinton administration was horrible, but since they’re no longer in power, it seems reasonable to focus on the dishonesty of the present administration. How many blatent falsehoods have been perpetuated by the Bush administration? How many is too many? Two? Twenty?

  66. The reason I jumped on the Clintons is because their influence on the 911 commission is obvious. And since the attack had been planned way before Bush took office, the idea of focusing on the present administration is idiotic. Now, name some “blatent falshoods”, and I’m not talking about repeating intelligence that both administrations believed.

  67. Now, name some “blatent falshoods”

    It’s blatently false that we have captured or killed 75% of Al Queda leadership. It’s false to say it because we don’t know how many Al Quaeda leaders there are.

    It was blatently false that we found the WMD’s as Bush announced. It was blatently false that Hussein never let inspectors in, as Bush claimed.

    It was blatently false that the aluminum tubes could only have been used for nuclear purposes, as Rice claimed, despite reports she’d received from the DOE that they weren’t right for nuclear purposes.

    It was blatently false that Bush had said he’d only allow a deficit in times of war, recession or national emergency. Gore said that. But even after Bush was told that Gore had said it, he repeated the lie that he had said it.

    It was blatently false that “Blue-Chip economists” forecast substantial economic growth if Congress passed the president’s tax cut, as he claimed.

    When Bush claimed that the IAEC had reported that Iraq had a nuclear weapons program, he omitted the fact that the report was describing conditions in Iraq in 1990. That’s called a lie of omission, I think.

    It is blatently false that the last recession began before Bush took office as he claimed in 2002.

    Bush’s description of his relationship with Enron and Ken Lay was blatently false.

    It was blatently false that Bush was never arrested after 1969 as he told a reporter.

    These are just the ones I came up with in the last five minutes. If you’d like, I could make a short list of Ari Fleischer’s lies. But don’t think I’m accusing the Bush administration of being more dishonest than other administrations (Clinton’s would, indeed, be tough to beat). I’m just accusing the Bush administration of being blatently dishonest.

  68. Now now, Les, let’s not forget that Bush and his administration have been extremely careful to wrap their statements in careful weasel wording, rendering most of them to slide in under the wire as “technically accurate.”

    Not to mention, the people who pressured the CIA to issue more hawkish analyses, set up a shadow intelligence agency when they didn’t get what they wanted to hear, and rephrased highly ambiguous reports as confidence, definitive statements were just the passive recipients of bad data.

  69. Damn you, Joe! When will you stop defending this administration?! Have you no shame, sir? At long last…?

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