Barack Obama

Wasted! Youth!

|

Here's more fodder for the "which pundits believe their own bullshit" debate: pro-war blogs (and a bunch of Fox News shows) fomenting scandal over Barack Obama saying "over 3,000 lives of the bravest young Americans" were "wasted" in Iraq. Michelle Malkin's got the most comprehensive carp, but the excellent racism on this Little Green Footballs thread [UPDATE: It's been deleted.] pushes it into the winner's circle.

So, 3000 wasted, yo, O'bomba, about the Buffalo Troops who went after the uncivil war out west with Gen. Sherman, your "Black History" studies did it include the facts of the Apache babies who were taken by the heels by said troops and the scull cracked on the rocks of the fire pits,and the women raped and then set on fire.

No e-mail address, though, so it's not clear where John Edwards should send the application.

Obama changed the "wasted" wording when a reporter asked him about it, demonstrating why Republicans fear him more than they ever did John Kerry. But I don't get it: Why do the Hannities and Malkins et al sweat this stuff? Around half the country has given up on the war; about 1/4 is waiting to see if the surge can work. If* it doesn't, by November 2008 you could take all the people who don't think the thousands of lives lost in Iraq were "wasted" and fit them in a Des Moines rec center. It'll be fun! They can reminisce about March 2003 and field calls for book deals and columnist gigs.

*hah!

NEXT: One Surge Glory

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I gotta disagree David,
    Truly excellent racism is at least somewhat comprehensible. That guy is just off his meds.

  2. The ad hominem attack might be a logical fallacy, but it is the bread and butter of the far right.

  3. And a shout out for more obscure Meat Loaf/Steinman titles. We need them now. More than ever.

  4. “If* it doesn’t, by November 2008 you could take all the people who don’t think the thousands of lives lost in Iraq were “wasted” and fit them in a Des Moines rec center. It’ll be fun! They can reminisce about March 2003 and field calls for book deals and columnist gigs”

    aybe you are right. Maybe everyone who ever sacrificed anything for this cause is a sucker and fool. Who knows. But do you have to be so damned happy about it? America will suffer its worst defeat in 40 years, raving lunatics will be running the largest and most important country in the middle-east. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Iraq will be murdered or left as refugees. There will be failed state five times the size and importance of Somalia. The forces of Islamism will be emboldened world wide by their perceived defeat of America. Yeah that will be real fun and certainly sometime worth gloating over. It will be the best thing that has happened since the Khmer Rouge. We are all going to have a great time. Screw the world, lets just hope Dave can have fun and score political points. Let’s not loose sight of what is important here. Is Weigel really this loathsome or just that stupid?

  5. John, I get your point, but I tend to point the finger at George W. Bush. He lost this war when he decided to start it. Just like Vietnam demonstrated, wars cooked up by Pentagon intellectuals are rarely a good idea.

  6. The hawks are so unable to argue a substantive position that they have to fall back on being the language police.

    The problem with doing this is that all your target has to do is change his phrasing, and you’re left with a busted hand.

  7. The ad hominem attack might be a logical fallacy, but it is the bread and butter of the far right.

    Looks like it works pretty good here too.

  8. Attacking Obama for that statement is silly. Nothing could be more obvious.

    But, am I the only one that finds it disingenuous to call out LGF’s for something a commentor wrote 211 comments down? Am I missing something?

  9. But do you have to be so damned happy about it? America will suffer its worst defeat in 40 years, raving lunatics will be running the largest and most important country in the middle-east.

    Actually, I will be happy about it, because it’ll probably guarantee we won’t be involved in another such fiasco for another 40 years, at which time I’m not bloody likely to be around to worry about it. Raving lunatics have been running any number of countries in the middle-east, and elsewhere, for centuries. So what?

  10. John,

    If it makes you feel better, I’m not happy about what’s about to happen. I’m furious, and ready to pull the full Mussolini on the people who brought us to this position.

    BTW, people who turn “their lives were wasted” into “Maybe everyone who ever sacrificed anything for this cause is a sucker and fool” don’t get to lecture anyone about scoring cheap political points.

  11. John,

    Getting back to the original topic of this thread, I think the take home point is that it’s absurd that politicians can’t call wasted lives “wasted” without inviting crazed ad hominem attacks.

    I suppose the same thing could be said about your comment. Is it such a crime to point out that this war was an error? We’ve been accused of treason, defeatism, etc. And now that it’s pretty clear that the “surrender monkeys” are right, it’s “gloating and stupidity”? One day you’ll appreciate open debate and dissent — hopefully before the next disastrously naive foreign intervention.

  12. LGF eats the babies.

    Oh Reason, why, with the above statement, did you sink so low as to enter an endless bickering carpfest with LGF. My word, since it’s Weigel’s thread, we must blame him.

  13. Just like Vietnam demonstrated, wars cooked up by Pentagon intellectuals are rarely a good idea.

    I think a good rule of thumb is, if you have to spend a lot of time building a case for war, chances are it’s not a good idea.

    FDR didn’t have to go on a road show after Pearl Harbor to convince the American people that Japan was a threat.

  14. Lamar,

    I think ultimately Iraq was going to breakdown one way or another. Eventually Saddam would have died or someone would have got to him and killed him. When that happened, no way do his sons take over. There is a reason why they were caught so quickly, everyone hated them. Once that happened, the bloodbath would have been worse than anything we have seen so far. Imagine a full fledged Shia revolt with no U.S. or foreign troops around to keep things under any semblance of control. Yeah, there is a bombing every day in Baghdad, but Iraq is not Rwanda or even Bosnia circa the early 1990s. Once Saddam finally went, God only knows what Iraq would have been. True, we wouldn’t have been involved but I think it is a decent bet that a real humanitarian crisis in a post Saddam Iraq probably would have drug us in. We will never know, but the more I think about it, the less I can see how things were going to end well for Iraq once Saddam was gone, be that through natural causes or U.S. invasion.

  15. Actually, John, I think the problem is your complete and utter lack of perspective.

    But, you know, go ahead and believe that the people who think Iraq is, at this point, an utterly unsalvageble failure are happy about it. If it makes you feel better to think posts like Weigel’s are gloating, go ahead. There’s a fat difference between mocking pro-war pundits for their idiocy and feeling good that a bunch of people are dead or that the region is likely to spiral into chaos. You know, I’m sure all the anti-war Reason staffers are just yukking it up about that. I can just see Balko and Weigel and Gillespie sitting on a throne of skulls, worshiping Satan, chortling to themselves about all those dead folks. Totally, makes perfect sense. Fuck off. And learn to spell, you illiterate douchebag.

    Also, before you go getting on your troll-horse, you should know a few things:

    1) I supported the Iraq thing from the outset up until six or eight months ago when I was finally convinced it was all going totally pear-shaped.

    2) Grown-ups admit their mistakes and try to learn and/or mitigate the damage from them. Children bitch and keep trying the same crap until they either get their way or end up sent to bed without dinner.

  16. But, am I the only one that finds it disingenuous to call out LGF’s for something a commentor wrote 211 comments down? Am I missing something?

    Corn syrup kills teh children!

    There, I just discredited Reason.

    You know, for a magazine called ‘Reason’ they sure do have a lot of crazy comments!

    Drink!

    🙂

  17. First I’m with Cab, because it’s not like Reason is free of embarrassing, cringe-worthy comments. It would seem more fitting to point out that just about every post on that board honestly believes that anti-war is a guaranteed loser’s stance come election time.

    Second, I agree with Chris S. I’m really not stomaching any attack on semantics right now. Not when we’re still trying to recover from a war, and frankly an administration, that was crippled by a fear of speaking up. Right now, I’m willing to err towards the side of listening to anything disgusting or foolish thing people want to say, if it means that people are at least talking and asking questions.

  18. Wasted? Those lives were spent giving Iran a shattering strategic victory it never could have pulled off itself.

  19. Gee, John, I guess I missed the gloating. Perhaps you could point to it?

  20. Let’s not forget, the Shia didn’t start doing squat to the Sunnis in Iraq until Al Qaeda had been carrying out its anti-Shia terrorist provocation campaign for months.

    Al Qaeda, which didn’t exist in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, and which came into that country for the express purpose of fighting us.

    I knew the “idealistic” war supporters were going to morph back into “those people have been killing each other for centuries.”

  21. I’m having a little fun at LGF’s expense. Blogmaster Charles Johnson is a big believer in the “by their comment threads ye shall know them” principle – see here and here, or just search for “daily kos.”

  22. True, we wouldn’t have been involved but I think it is a decent bet that a real humanitarian crisis in a post Saddam Iraq probably would have drug us in. We will never know, but the more I think about it, the less I can see how things were going to end well for Iraq once Saddam was gone, be that through natural causes or U.S. invasion.

    But the U.S. wouldn’t have received the blame for said humanitarian crisis.

  23. Here’s a question, in response to John’s statement: “Once Saddam finally went, God only knows what Iraq would have been.”

    How far back in the archives do you think I’d have to go to find John calling someone a racist and terrorist-enabler for making this point? Six months? Four?

  24. I just fear H&R may one day be judged by it’s commentors. After all, I am one. That doesn’t bode well for you.

  25. “Totally, makes perfect sense. Fuck off. And learn to spell, you illiterate douchebag.”

    Wow joy rapture. Great moments in the reason oratory. Timothy can we all be as smart and reasoned as you? Please. Please tell us all how to spew fourth obscenity laden tirades all who stand in your way. You are so smart. Also it is like noon, shouldn’t you be in 8th grade right now? Where is your mother?

    “Let’s not forget, the Shia didn’t start doing squat to the Sunnis in Iraq until Al Qaeda had been carrying out its anti-Shia terrorist provocation campaign for months.”

    The fact that the U.S. knocked the hell out of the Mahdi army in Najef had something to do with that. Further, do you really think there would have been a peaceful Shia revolution had Saddam fallen on his own? We will never know but it would be the first one of its kind and nothing short of a miracle.

    “I knew the “idealistic” war supporters were going to morph back into “those people have been killing each other for centuries.”

    I recall you saying that every time someone says there can be a democracy in Iraq. I don’t think saying that a ethnically divided society that was the victim of totalitarian murderous regime dominated by the minority ethnic group would end in a bloodbath once said ethnic group was deposed is hardly saying “they have been killing each other for centuries”.

  26. “Here’s a question, in response to John’s statement: “Once Saddam finally went, God only knows what Iraq would have been.”

    Look all you want Joe. I have said since the first day I saw the place that Iraq was a completely broken society and that the U.S., myself included, totally underestimated the damage done to Iraq by 40 years of Bathism. There wasn’t a civil society to build on. The society and the culture was in ruins and everything from the cop writing parking tickets on up is going to have to be rebuilt. I have never changed in that view. I still support the war, but have no illusions about the nature of Iraqi society post Saddam.

  27. I only reason with the reasonable, John. You’re not worth trying to persuade, buddy, you’re an unthinking partisan hell-bent proving it. Anyway, excuse me, I have to go get a friend to pass a note to Susie Perkins in study hall, I heard she has a crush on me but I’m too embarrassed to ask her out. Man, 8th grade sure is rough!

  28. “I only reason with the reasonable, John.”

    The rest you wow with your obscenity laden juvenile rants. Wow. I am so impressed. Might there be a bit of projection going on there? Let’s see, might thinking that everyone who disagrees with you is “an unthinking partisan hell-bent proving it” and calling them obscene names in response be a bit oh partisan? Just a thought. Not that I want to upset the 8th grade free thinking paradise you have going on there.

  29. Was the Mahdi Army carrying out attacks against Sunnis pre-Najaf? The answer is “no.”

    Look, even George W. Bush admitted, in his State of the Union Address, that al Qaeda’s terrorist campaign to provoke the Shiites into attacking Sunnis had worked.

    “Further, do you really think there would have been a peaceful Shia revolution had Saddam fallen on his own?” I don’t know what would have happened. There was certainly the potential for conflict, as there was clearly a fault line, but not all conflict necessarily turns into the horrific slaughter we’re seeing, and which is likely to turn worse.

    “I recall you saying that every time someone says there can be a democracy in Iraq.” You recall wrong, as I have pointed out to you every time you self-servingly misstated my comments over the past three years.

    I believe there will be democracy in Iraq someday, and I’ve long posted very explicit explainations of why this war was never going to be able to bring it about. But since you’ve never had a response to my argument, you’ve just been pretending I’ve been making a different argument.

    Just to show you how it’s done, here goes:

    You are right, attributing the violence and the failure to achieve a peaceful, liberal order to the political and security situation is not at all the same thing as attributing it to their culture or history. I have seen a lot of former war supporters fall back on this racist trope, but I agree, you have not.

    Now, your turn. Once again, as you have so often done over the last few years, you have accused me making that racist statement, because it allows you to ignore what I have been saying about the political and security conditions we created making peace and liberal democracy impossible. I think you should apologize.

  30. No e-mail address, though, so it’s not clear where John Edwards should send the application.

    That was nifty, by the way.

  31. Joe, I don’t think you are racist, I just thing you are wrong. Just like you think I am wrong. History, unfotuneatly will probably prove us both wrong. It has a bad habbit of doing that.

  32. No, that’s not good enough.

    You have been deliberately misstating my position to make me appear racist.

    You have been accusing me of saying that Iraqis are unfit for democracy, and of believing that they have to be ruled by a tyrant, for three years. Whenever I have written that this war could not produce democracy in Iraq, you have responded with the same slander.

    Saying that you don’t consider someone who you accuse of believing Middle Easterners are unfit for democracy is dishonest weaselling.

  33. “…to be a racist…” should have appeared somewhere in that last sentence.

  34. …but the excellent racism on this Little Green Footballs thread pushes it into the winner’s circle.

    TWEeEeEeEeEeEeEeEeET!
    Personal Foul
    Guilt by association
    David Weigle

    Hey, I’m always up for a good finger wag. And racists are always worthy targets. But finding a racist comment in some other blog is hardly post worthy.

    I mean, Hit & Run is the ultimate achievement of civilization as far as I’m concerned, but I wouldn’t want to be judged by the most asinine asshat comment one could find with even a few minutes of digging.

    BTW it appears LGF has deleted the offending remark. I actually consider that a defect. What makes H&R so great IMHO is how accommodating the comments section is. The answer to bad speech yadda yadda yadda.

  35. I love* the asterisks in the Weigel posts!

    *Then why don’t I marry them?

  36. Why does a libertarian blog get so emotionally worked up over food fights between the left and right? What the hell has either side done for us, lately?

    I understand discussing the policy issues, but getting wrapped up in how the argument between Team Red and Team Blue is conducted is pointless for libertarians. This entire thread is “blogging about blogging.” And the sad thing is that I’m actually taking time to post this.

  37. But, am I the only one that finds it disingenuous to call out LGF’s for something a commentor wrote 211 comments down?
    No, not at all.

    You have been deliberately misstating my position to make me appear racist.

    Joe, you’ve already stated in no uncertain terms that you’re a racist and that you support racist policies and programs, so why pretend otherwise?

  38. The discussions about the inevitability [or not] of failure in Iraq and the parsing of who knew what would fail when aren’t really the point of the thread.

    The point of the thread is by equating “the lives were wasted” with “everyone who went to Iraq is a sucker and a fool” John has lined up with Malkin, LGF, and their lies. This isn’t a matter of perspective, because no one’s perspective can be that warped. It has to be a matter of deliberate misrepresentation.

    Frankly, the more noble and the less foolish and the more sincere the motives and mindset of the soldiers in Iraq, the MORE their lives were wasted. These were good men, and the Bush administration pissed their lives away.

  39. Mr. Lemur,

    You don’t even warrant John-level discussion.

    Piss off troll.

  40. Congratulations, John, you’ve won the Gary Gunnels Memorial Tone Deafness Award. It’s given annually to the poster least capable of evaluating context, meaning to the one who only considers each post without a coherent picture of the whole.

    You’ve won for your inability to calculate that maybe my calling you a douchebag has more to do with your long-term behavior than anything else. Feel free to examine any number of threads for me having real, live conversations with other posters including those I disagree with. Your prize will arrive in 4-6 weeks, void where prohibited, not valid in Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico.

  41. John =

    Rather than fume over David’s view (that the war has been a mistake since the beginning)… why not argue AGAINST this view, and point out the fantastic successes brought about by current policy?

    Your analysis =

    America will suffer its worst defeat in 40 years, raving lunatics will be running the largest and most important country in the middle-east. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Iraq will be murdered or left as refugees. There will be failed state five times the size and importance of Somalia. The forces of Islamism will be emboldened world wide by their perceived defeat of America.

    ..is pretty on-point.

    What do you propose we should all do to change whats already happened?

    Very interested
    JG

  42. aybe you are right. Maybe everyone who ever sacrificed anything for this cause is a sucker and fool. Who knows. But do you have to be so damned happy about it? America will suffer its worst defeat in 40 years, raving lunatics will be running the largest and most important country in the middle-east. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Iraq will be murdered or left as refugees. There will be failed state five times the size and importance of Somalia. The forces of Islamism will be emboldened world wide by their perceived defeat of America.

    And the funny thing is, even though you’ll share a portion of the blame for supporting it even though many, many very credible people told you all along that it couldn’t work, you’ll still never admit it.

    I mean really, anyone want to bet that five years from now John here’ll be talking about “The Backstab” and how if only we anti-war morons had shut up a little harder we could have won in Iraq?

  43. Once Saddam finally went, God only knows what Iraq would have been. True, we wouldn’t have been involved but I think it is a decent bet that a real humanitarian crisis in a post Saddam Iraq probably would have drug us in. We will never know

    This is rich. Alternate universe analysis. “If we hadnt done what we shouldnt a done, it woulda been worse…see, look in this here crystal ball.”

    Reality is harder to deal with.

  44. But I don’t get it: Why do the Hannities and Malkins et al sweat this stuff?

    Short answer: Because they are attention whores.

    Long answer: Because they want to get their 15 minutes of fame. They keep digging up all they can find, blowing up a shitstorm around everything, because they are smart enough to have realized that statistically, there is a small chance they find a diamond in all that dirt. Little Green Footballs was lucky once, when it uncovered the photoshoped images from Lebanon, and since then (and to a lesser extent before then) the bloggers have spent all their time and effort to uncover yet another big story (remember Malkin’s trip to Iraq recently to find an AP source?). Given the structure of blogs – the right-wingers are more solitary and egocentric – each affair gets blown out of proportions on numerous almost identical blogs. Left-wing blogs have their own witch hunts, but because they tend to be a little more communal, the number of blogs that leads the latest charge is usually very limited, with the rest of the blogs simply tagging along.

    All that said, I still think pro-war blogs provide some really great entertainment, and I love reading them.

  45. hey Lamar…not to mention the beer & skittles of the far left.

  46. “I’m furious, and ready to pull the full Mussolini on the people who brought us to this position.”

    And just how, exactly, would you pull this often, given that you’re a gun prohibitionist?

    Just curious, is all.

  47. I’m not a gun prohibitionist, any more than a supporter of drivers’ licenses and speed limits is a car prohibitionist.

  48. Are the H&R administrators going to add one of those filters like volokh.com has so you can hide a particular post writer or am I going to have to give up on visiting this blog?

  49. History, unfotuneatly will probably prove us both wrong.

    Your side has already been proven wrong on pretty much every assertion you made regarding Iraq. No need to wait for history or while you try to push the same propoganda to attack Iran.

  50. But, am I the only one that finds it disingenuous to call out LGF’s for something a commentor wrote 211 comments down? Am I missing something?

    No Cab, you’re not. That was the thrust of my comment just before yours.

  51. Pig Mannix

    “because it’ll probably guarantee we won’t be involved in another such fiasco for another 40 years,”

    Optimist.

  52. joe-

    I’m being completely sincere when I say that you should be careful about saying those sorts of things. I like your comments, I’d hate to see you in trouble for a crime.

  53. This entire thread is “blogging about blogging.” And the sad thing is that I’m actually taking time to post this.

    Quiet, ChrisO. You trying to blow the lid off the great blogosphere circle jerk?

  54. “What do you propose we should all do to change whats already happened?”

    No. I wouldn’t change what has happened. But you have to be realistic about the reality before the war and potential realities had the war not occured rather than just whininga about how everything was wonderful before the war. Moreover, since you can’t change what has happened, why does it have any baring on what will happen? The point is where do we go from here and I don’t see a pullout as a good option.

    Joe,

    You don’t beleive Arabs are inherently unfit for Democracy do you? I don’t think you do. If I implied you did, I was wrong. I am not sure what else you want?

    Gilmore,

    No shit reality is hard to deal with. What is your plan for dealing with it other than pretending everything was wonderful before the war?

  55. “I’m not a gun prohibitionist, any more than a supporter of drivers’ licenses and speed limits is a car prohibitionist.”

    Ah yes. Well, glad to see that you think everyone’s permits and papers should be in proper order before you commence to shoot the bastards.

  56. Implied?

    ]”John | January 19, 2007, 11:34am | #

    “You want to “care” about people, RC? Start caring about Darfur.”

    I care about Dafur Joe, but let me ask you this. If Iraq is unfit for Democracy and better off under a murderous thug, why isn’t Venezuela the same way? Perhaps Chavez is a good idea. Maybe we should work with him to ensure that he provides a stable authoritarian government for the people down there.”

  57. John,
    I tend to think that the rest of the Sunni world would have stepped in and propped up a Sunni regime in Iraq after Saddam. Of course, I might just be projecting a European value onto them (e.g., like the Russians coming to the aid of Slavic people).

  58. “I care about Dafur Joe, but let me ask you this. If Iraq is unfit for Democracy and better off under a murderous thug, why isn’t Venezuela the same way? Perhaps Chavez is a good idea. Maybe we should work with him to ensure that he provides a stable authoritarian government for the people down there.”

    I still would like to hear the answers to those questions Joe. No where in that statement do I call you a racist, I merely point out where the logic of “Iraq was better of under Saddam” gets you if you apply it to the rest of the world. If it doesn’t apply to the rest of the world why not? Unless you believe that some people are better off under someone else’s thumb, you have to admit that the Iraqis are better off now with at least a chance at something better.

    That said, the chance only lasts so long. It is interesting how things seem to work. There is nothing Congress can do to end the war until 2008 and a different President. I can’t imagine a scenario where the U.S. pulls out before the spring of 2009. By that time it will have been six years since the invasion. The Iraqis will have had billions in aide and 1000s of American lives spent to help them get their act together. At that point, even I will admit that maybe it is time to go home. We can’t stay there forever regardless of how bad the consequences of leaving are. Moreover, at some point the Iraqis themselves do bear some responsibility for their country and if they want to turn it into a genocidal hell, even the U.S. can’t stop them forever. Will they have their act together by 2009? I think they will enough to at least keep fighting on with our aide but no longer need 10s of thousands of American troops, but I am an optimist.

  59. “I tend to think that the rest of the Sunni world would have stepped in and propped up a Sunni regime in Iraq after Saddam. Of course, I might just be projecting a European value onto them (e.g., like the Russians coming to the aid of Slavic people).”

    That is what they are saying now. The Saudis have said that they will go into Iraq to protect Sunnis if the U.S. leaves. If they would have, would that have been a good thing? One big regional land grap with the Turks getting payback against the Kurds in the North, the Saudis and Gulf states trying to protect the Sunnis in Baghdad and Iran grabbing the South and its oil. Kind of makes the daily car bombs in Baghdad seem pretty good.

  60. John,

    You accused me of thinking that Iraq is “unfit for democracy and better off under a dictator.” As you’ve been doing for years, every time I pointed out that this war has utterly failed.

    My answer, btw, was “I don’t accept your premise.”

  61. Doesn’t the writer of that comment know Obama isn’t “black”. His father didn’t come to America until 1952 and his mother is white. Your only “black” if your descended from west african slaves.

  62. Oh, I didn’t realize this was the website for “The Nation”.

    BTW David, that picture of the young couple you linked to yesterday has been floating around the Internets for years. You are an amazingly gullible boy!

  63. ‘Oh, I didn’t realize this was the website for “The Nation”.’

    It’s so cute the way war supporters still think they’re the majority.

    Yes you ARE more than a quarter of the population! Yes you ARE!

  64. John,
    I think we’ve accepted that a bloodbath will occur whether our G.I.’s are in the way or not.

  65. “Just like Vietnam demonstrated, wars cooked up by Pentagon intellectuals are rarely a good idea.”

    True, but really only if you lose. World War 1 being the biggest “waste” of American lives last century.

  66. I still support the war, but have no illusions about the nature of Iraqi society post Saddam.

    So, why exactly did you support it? It sounds like you don’t think that it could ever have been won, so what was the point?

  67. Huh,

    Weigel didn’t post the picture. Balko did.

    How exactly does posting a picture that’s been around for years make you gullible for posting it now?

    And how, exactly, did a photograph of a wedding that happened in October of 2006 get into the webbernets years ago? Did the Stargate team take it back through a wormhole to 1968? Cause you do realize that’s just a show, right? There aren’t any wormholes, and there isn’t any time travel.

    Tard.

  68. “So, why exactly did you support it? It sounds like you don’t think that it could ever have been won, so what was the point?”

    Because the other options are even worse. Moreover, I think we would be in worse shape today had the invastion not occured. Sometimes there are no good options. There hasn’t been a good option in Iraq since Saddam went insane in invaded Kuwait in 1990. Keeping 1000s of troops in Saudi Arabia for ten years while conducting a defacto war on Iraq and its population for 12 years wasn’t exactly a great situation either.

  69. Was that a reference to LA hardcore or Meatloaf?

  70. “It’s so cute the way war supporters still think they’re the majority. Yes you ARE more than a quarter of the population! Yes you ARE!”

    For the record, I do not now nor have I ever supported the war. But then, thinking someone does solely because they point out that David should make an honest man of himself and apply for a job at The Nation, demonstrates your commitment knee-jerk, gleeful ignorance.

    A couple of years ago I used to come to this site to interact with Libertarians. There were lots of them here. But they’ve all gone away. So now this site has devolved into a Lib vs. Con piss-fest. It didn’t used to be this way. How truly sad.

  71. Why do so many trolls have such difficulty telling Weigal and Balko apart?

  72. Sorry for the post length. I would feel a lot more sanguine about the viability of a democracy in the MidEast/S. Asia if there were any examples besides Israel and now Gaza(Rick Barton’s protests to the contrary). Moreover, I’m not sure an Arab democracy is in the U.S. interest, given the antipathy of the man in the street to the US. Hamas is a majority in Gaza and Hezbollah is a significant minority in Lebanon.

    If I recall correctly, we were sold this war for two things:

    1) Saddam had WMDs and was either going to use them against the West himself or give them to folks who would use them &

    2) Our invasion would bring about a flowering of democracy through the region. We were going to have “Switzerland on the Tigris”, which would spread like a virus throughout the region.

    #1 didn’t turn out true. Either the WMDs were destroyed or they’re in Syria. In either case they’re not threatening the US at the moment.

    #2 supposes that you can bring democracy at the point of a gun to someone, in an environment 10,000 miles away, surrounded by nations that would like nothing more than for your experiment to fail. Think the Saudis, Gulf states, Iran, the Stans, etc… were all that excited to see democracy bloom?

    In any event, that’s all blood under the bridge. So what do we do now? The current Iraqi goverment can’t even keep militiamen out of Saddam’s execution; too many Iraqis have loyalties to the tribe/religion and not to the idea of being an Iraqi. It bears unsettling resemblance to Yugoslavia immediately post-Tito. Like many of the commentors here, I see the fledgling Iraq republic imploding into a three-way partition: Shia south, Sunni central & west, Kurd north. You’ll see violence on par with the 1947 partition of India.

    I don’t see 21,000 additional troops helping matters. 210,000 might. Or perhaps a smaller army would work, if they spoke Arabic and acted as ruthlessly as Saddam’s. I don’t want to pervert our armed forces that way; I’d rather see them go home. I definitely do not want to see them strike Iran.

    Iran is trying to get the bomb. Who will they threaten with it? The US? Does anyone think that the US won’t kill people on a Mongol-like scale in Iran, Pakistan, N. Korea—anyplace that could have putatively made the device—if a nuke goes off here? It’s far more likely they’ll threaten Israel with it, but then isn’t it Israel’s problem? Why should the US do their dirty work?

    Again, sorry for the length.

  73. A couple of years ago I used to come to this site to interact with Libertarians. There were lots of them here. But they’ve all gone away. So now this site has devolved into a Lib vs. Con piss-fest. It didn’t used to be this way. How truly sad.

    Eric Dondero, you may refer to this as ironic.

  74. In all that blathering, I didn’t offer any solutions. Here they are. God is in the details, of course.

    Encourage the partition of Iraq. Bring the troops out of Iraq. Give green cards and bring to the US any Iraqis we feel will be butchered as collaborationists by the succesor regimes. Hunt Al Qaeda over the globe; treat them as pirates. Try the prisoners at Gitmo as John suggested much earlier.

    In short, I feel Iraq is a unfixable loss. I will be happy to be proved wrong by Petraeus.

  75. Give green cards and bring to the US any Iraqis we feel will be butchered as collaborationists by the succesor regimes.

    Yeah, but how will we fit every single Iraqi into the US?

  76. Give green cards and bring to the US any Iraqis we feel will be butchered as collaborationists by the succesor regimes.

    Yeah, but how will we fit every single Iraqi into the US?

    Easy. Have you seen Nevada? It’s largely empty, looks a lot like Iraq, and has a lot of U.S. military jets flying over it night and day. They’ll feel right at home.

  77. Keeping 1000s of troops in Saudi Arabia for ten years while conducting a defacto war on Iraq and its population for 12 years wasn’t exactly a great situation either.

    I’ll grant you that. But we’ve now lost more troops to the Iraq war than the 9/11 guys managed to kill. I can’t imagine that the number of people who died in Iraq is LOWER than would have died in a continued containment situation (although I will grant you that most of the BUSH IS TEH EVIL REPUBLICAN crowd never realized the toll that the economic embargo was taking on the civilian population).

    So we’ve got more dead now than we would likely have had alternatively. DPRK is now a confirmed nuclear power – albeit with possible semi-dud nukes, and Iran may be next. We’ve spent 400 billion in Iraq and doubled our GWOT casualties. We’ve killed (or allowed to be killed) more Iraqis than would have died in a containment scenario, at least YTD. Al Qaeda has a strong foothold in both Iraq and northern Pakistan. We’ve got a serious recruiting problem. We couldn’t respond to another military crisis of any size, as our ground forces are stretched to the breaking point. Our guard-and-reserve forces have had several extended deployments. Animosity from all over the world at our percieved recklessness and hubris, straining our relations with Europe, Russia, and the Arab world. And if we had to, we couldn’t do a surge in Afghanistan, because we’re too tied down in Iraq.

    And the downsides of continued containment would be: 10k troops on the Arabian Peninsula, Maybe another terrorist attack. Hussein still alive. Maybe the short lived democratic revolution in Lebanon didn’t happen (but that’s kinda moot now too). Maybe Lybia takes longer to seek renewed relations with the West.

    I just can’t see how that’s a worse scenario than what we face now. I didn’t think the war was a good idea, but in ’04 and ’05 I certainly thought we might have pulled it out and made it work. But now, I’m pretty sure we gambled and lost on this Iraq policy. If Al Qeada’s goal on 9/11 was to draw the US into overreacting and commiting to a more direct confrontation with the Umah, they got their wish in spades.

  78. Like it or not if the US doesn’t ‘win’ in Iraq, those 3000 troops dead are ‘wasted’. what winning means though has changed since 2003. The war itself was won when the US caught Saddam. In hindsight, which is always best, the US should have left then. Now the best option is the flatten large swaths of the country, install a strongman and repeat as needed when the new guy gets out of line. Find a competant Iraqi general and wish him luck.

  79. BTW: who was the idiot broad (Michelle somebody – no, not Malkin) shreiking about illegals on Cavuto tonight? What a maroon…

  80. I used to think it was racist to think that Iraqis are not fit for democracy. Now I think that’s the simple truth. Just look at the “facts on the ground”. It’s not a coincidence that virtually all Arab and Muslim countries are dictatorships/monarchies/theocracies. Democracy is not part of Arab or Muslim culture, and their overwhelming allegiance to tribe, extended family and relig?ous affiliation – and their penchant for political violence – makes it all but impossible to institute.

  81. Green Mamba,

    The facts on the ground are that we turned the country into a warzone, allowed thousands of terrorists to enter the country and slaughter many thousands of civilians, while eliminating the security forces that had held the country together and arming one side of an ancient rift. All while occupying the country with a foreign army, as the economy ground to a halt.

    There are far more plausible explanations for why the populace has come to support violent militias than Muslim culture.

  82. No. I wouldn’t change what has happened.

    Thats gracious.

    John, the tactic of claiming people who disagree with you arent in touch with ‘reality’ is patronizing and a straw man.

    I come from a military family, and my dad is a war historian. I was in the camp that opposed the invasion not for some BS ‘no blood for oil’ nonsense, but from analysis of what a large scale commitment in Iraq would play out as. The scenario we’ve seen since 2003 was much expected but little commented upon by the ‘saddam must go at any cost’ camp. The ‘reality’ which you carefully avoid yourself is that the current sets of choices the US has in Iraq are Bad and Worse. Worse, in my view, is pretending our current approach can substansively affect the Sunni/Shia conflict. The ‘terrorist safe haven’ we fear developing is already there. When we leave it wont become more significant. In fact, with the US gone, the locals have just as much reason (and more capability) to hunt down and kill the ‘foreign jihadists’ who have wrought so much chaos for the iraqi citizenry. Pretending that without US presence that the country will become IranII is ignorant of history. Iraqis arent and have never been welcome hosts of international terrorist organizations.

    I think we would be in worse shape today had the invastion not occured

    This is fanciful. Do you actually care to explain the reasons behind this assumption?

    re: “What would *I* plan to do about it?”

    (throwing my unanswered question back at me, in a sort of rhetorical, ‘i know you are but what am I?!’)

    Redeploy to Afghanistan, invade baluchistan and kill al qaeda, osama, and eradicate the real CURRENT haven of international terrorism.

    Oh, but that probably isnt “REALISTIC” enough for you, right? Actually going after the organization that produced the terrorists that blew up the biggest building in my hometown is not as important as fighting a long slow defeat to the ‘realists’, apparently

    JG

    JG

  83. “Why do so many trolls have such difficulty telling Weigal and Balko apart?”

    Coke / Pepsi

  84. I think Coke and Canfield Cola taste alike. Pepsi and R.C. are also similar to each other.
    Coke like Pepsi? Not so much.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.