Conspiracy Theories

Government Puzzled by Iraq Situation, Seeks Conspiracy Theories

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From a Washington Post report today on the surging violence in Iraq:

As President Bush told an Ohio audience that Iraq was returning to "normalcy," administration officials in Washington held meetings to assess what appeared to be a rapidly deteriorating security situation in many parts of the country.

Maliki decided to launch the offensive without consulting his U.S. allies, according to administration officials. With little U.S. presence in the south, and British forces in Basra confined to an air base outside the city, one administration official said that "we can't quite decipher" what is going on. It's a question, he said, of "who's got the best conspiracy" theory about why Maliki decided to act now.

NEXT: What Kind of American Will They Ask Next?

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  1. I’m going to go out on a limb, and postulate that Maliki decided to act now, because Sadr’s militias took over the second largest city in Iraq.

    That, or Jack Ruby.

  2. Not to shill for the hawks, but I had heard this was purposefully given to the Iraqis as the first “test” of their security forces.

    Now, my source (the radio, I think) was likely biased to the hawks, and say of the WaPost what you will, but I wouldn’t assume things are suddenly spiraling out of control.

    Since it’s clear the anti-war crowd will not have a say this November, our best bet is to wish for things to improve.

    But as Jayne Cobb says, “if wishes were horses we’d all be eating steak.”

  3. Well, I don’t pretend to have the inside track, but my buddy Stevie Crown (trenchcoat, Dick Tracy watch, porkpie hat) has been dispatched to the Middle East (he leaves Sunday) so, apparently this is quite serious. Last time his security clearance came up he wanted to give my name to the fibbies–I said yeah, right.

    On another note, if they’re looking for conspiracy theorists, man, they just need to look at the fringe libertarians. We have good ones.

    Here’s one:

    Why are we paying a trillion bucks for the war and still paying a trillion dollars a gallon for gas. Wait, that’s a question.

  4. I still believe the chaos in Iraq can be traced to one player.The people of Iraq.They do not seem capable of behaving in a civilized manner.Many think Arabs in general need a repressive government to keep them in check.This does not bode well for the region.

  5. MP, substitute “The people of the U.S.” for “The people of Iraq” and I’m right with you.
    You think there’d be this kind of chaos absent the U.S. invasion? There might be a whole lot of other nasty problems there, perhaps some even worse, but I imagine the country would be a lot less chaotic right about now.

  6. There might be a whole lot of other nasty problems there, perhaps some even worse, but I imagine the country would be a lot less chaotic right about now.

    If internal stability was your goal, then Saddam was your man, no question about it.

  7. President Bush told an Ohio audience that Iraq was returning to “normalcy,”

    That’s “normal,” in the SNAFU meaning of the word, I imagine.

  8. Winter is over. I expect the violence in Iraq to increase and the war is going to be a big (pivotal?) issue come November. Feel free to call me on this prediction in seven months.

  9. Yeah, as violence increases in Iraq (which seems to be happening), it will be more important in the Presidential race. A big part of who becomes president will depend on how many car bombs explode in Baghdad in late October and early November.

  10. I’m going to go out on a limb here and speculate that when a country’s infrastructure is bombed to shit, and then the country is occupied by a military force whose members can’t speak the natives’ language, AND a power vacuum is created at the top of the country, AND the occupying force keeps making oopsie mistakes like killing the civilians it’s supposedly there to protect, this might result in a bit of instability.

    I’m also going to go out on a limb and speculate that a person who drinks water heavily spiked with LSD will be an unreliable eyewitness to anything which happens an hour or so later.

  11. Taktix? | March 28, 2008, 10:18am | #

    Not to shill for the hawks, but I had heard this was purposefully given to the Iraqis as the first “test” of their security force…

    This makes sense, and also explains the determination of the admin to claim “they have nothing to do with it”

    The reason being, we’re siding with the Fadilla party/Badr organization when in theory we are supposed to be a neutral moderator.

    I wouldnt be surprised if the campaign was negotiated with the sunni camps – that if Fadillah could neutralize/marginalize Sadrs organization, they’d be more willing to work together with the government. WIth Sadr holding so much power in the south, they are basically forced to be an opposition group, since the Sadrists are the ones they see as wanting to ‘ethnically cleanse’ baghdad and take total power over the oil resources in the south.

    This can only work politically if seen as a cooperative effort between Iraqi interest groups (to destroy/marginalize the most ‘fanatical’ camp)… if seen as an American-coordinated scheme, no one internally, especially the sadr city bagdhadites, will swallow it.

    that said, the effort seems to be failing, and US warplanes were called in today.

    Or, I could be totally wrong, and it’s just a powergrab by the Badr types to retake the oil-smuggling business away from the gangsters in Basra

  12. oh, and P.S>

    Hey, TallDave, …. hows that Surge working for you?

  13. Michael Pack | March 28, 2008, 10:30am | #

    I still believe the chaos in Iraq can be traced to one player.The people of Iraq.They do not seem capable of behaving in a civilized manner.

    Dont let anyone accuse you of oversimplifying things.

    I mean, 10 years of us bombing their country to shit wouldnt have ANYTHING to do with it. Nope, they’re just a bunch of animals. Dont know whats good for them.

  14. I still believe the chaos in Iraq can be traced to one player.The people of Iraq.They do not seem capable of behaving in a civilized manner.Many think Arabs in general need a repressive government to keep them in check.This does not bode well for the region.

    The cool thing about this theory is that if you change just one or two words, it works equally well to explain why certain of America’s inner cities are crime-ridden hellholes.

  15. The flare up is orchestrated to show instability so the voters in the U.S. will dislike Mr. hundred years Mccain. Since the dems are throwing away a sure thing, the “insurgents” have to make a little chaos to scare the american public back to the dems that promise to get out fast after occupation of the white house.

    The good folks of Iraq see how we all fiked up america and they rightfully want to be responsible for fikin up Iraq in their own special way.

  16. Jennifer | March 28, 2008, 11:27am | #

    “”I still believe the chaos in Iraq can be traced to one player.The people of Iraq.They do not seem capable of behaving in a civilized manner.Many think Arabs in general need a repressive government to keep them in check.This does not bode well for the region.””

    The cool thing about this theory is that if you change just one or two words, it works equally well to explain why certain of America’s inner cities are crime-ridden hellholes.

    How about replacing “Iraq/Iraqis” with “africa/africans”

    It really is the one-size-fits-all explanation

  17. Brother ben =

    That might make sense if the people fighting down there were what you call “insurgents”

    aka ‘foreign fighters’/exbaathists/al q in Mesopatamia, etc.

    they’re not. They local tribesmen who snatched the port of basra for themselves and have been making a load of loot smuggling oil exports.

    They’re in some cases connected to Sadrs militia, but in other cases are ‘renegade’ guys basically out for themselves.

    Maliki’s crew is by contrast the Badr brigade guys who have been fighting the Sadrists for control of Basra and other cities farther north where there are major oil reserves.

    So the idea that this was coordinated to influence the american voters…? Makes no sense. Maliki needs to US to prop him up. He doesnt want to do anything that will speed our departure. He’d rather have left these guys in place if that were the case. No, he’s probably doing this at the encouragement of US forces. The basra situation has deteriorated so badly over the last 3 months that unless something was done it was going to *require* us forces to relocate down there, or redeploy the brits, neither of which are politically feasible.

  18. brother ben

    Your theory, however, may apply to the recent increase in attacks on the green zone. Also, if there is an uptick of major car bombings, etc. that would make sense.

  19. LOL Who are these anonymous “officials?” I suspect they are interviewing the White House head janitor.

    http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/03/iraqi_security_force_11.php

    The current Iraqi offensive has been in the works for some time. The Iraqi Army and police have been massing forces in the South since August 2007, when the Basrah Operational Command was established to coordinate efforts in the region. As of December the Iraqi Army deployed four brigades and an Iraqi Special Operations Forces battalion in Basrah province. The Iraqi National Police deployed two additional battalions to the province

  20. the chaos in Iraq can be traced to one player

    I’m thinking of a name…

  21. Also, it’s interesting that the other political factions are so fed up with Sadr they don’t even want to talk about compromise, calling it a “law and order issue” and refusing to attend talks aimed at ending the confrontation.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/iraq;_ylt=AvizBpHdC8tADs7BRClierBX6GMA

    In political developments, the main Shiite bloc in parliament said it would not attend an emergency session called for Friday to find ways to end fighting between government forces and militiamen in southern Iraq. Deputy parliamentary speaker Khalid al-Attiyah, also a member of the United Iraqi Alliance, said the events in the south are a law and order issue, not legislative. The bloc has been in contact with its Kurdish allies for them to boycott Friday’s session too, which would prevent a quorum, he said.

    Heh. Reap the whirlwind, Moqtada.

  22. One theory I saw floated out there is that the US is tired of Maliki and want him to fail so they are secretly supporting the elements of the uprising.

    That way the Iraqi people will lose confidence in him and the US doesn’t have to bring him down in any way that can be directly tied back to them and it wont look like they are pulling the strings.

    I don’t believe this thery though

  23. We bribed the Sunnis to stop fighting against us, so maybe we bribed Malaki to start fighting for us.

  24. Heh. Reap the whirlwind, Moqtada.

    There you go. Sit at your computer and howl “Bring it On.”

    Hey, Turks! You asked for it, now we’re REALLY going to land in force on that penninsula! You guyz are soooooo dead…

  25. One correction to above

    It’s not Fadilah and Badr brigards working together…

    It’s Badr/SCIRI/and Dawa (Maliki’s party) ganging up against Sadr/Fadilah groups.

    Also, it’s interesting that the other political factions are so fed up with Sadr they don’t even want to talk about compromise

    This should be expected. Sadr played hardball with everyone else since day one since he had the largest bloc and the most people on the streets with guns. It’s just gotten to the point where enough people are fed up with him that they can work together.

    It should be clear though that he’s not entirely in control at all of the groups they are fighting. The papers sort of vacillate between describing the fighters as “his army”, but then pointing out he’s got no influence on these particular chappies.

    More than anything, it’s tribal and it’s about regional power, not some religio-sectarian thing that people try to cast it as… these are all different shiite power groups fighting, not ‘insurgents’ or terrorists etc.

    They might use some of the same tactics, but it’s far less about fighting the “occupiers” and more about controlling their territory for their own tribal enrichment and power.

  26. I forgot, what was it again that Iraqi civil war has to do with US National Security (other than the in-country troops)?

  27. Tbone | March 28, 2008, 1:05pm | #

    I forgot, what was it again that Iraqi civil war has to do with US National Security (other than the in-country troops)?

    teh terrorists.

    if seeking more detail, ask TallDave

  28. The cool thing about this theory is that if you change just one or two words, it works equally well to explain why certain of America’s inner cities are crime-ridden hellholes.

    Well, why are some American inner cities crime-ridden hellholes? Something about “racism” and “lack of opportunity”, I suppose. Nothing to do with the people that actually live in these places.

    Strangely enough, after we bombed Germany and Japan to smithereens, they didn’t devolve into violent chaos, religious and ethnic in-fighting and civil war. Of course, this cannot have anything to do with the “German people” or the “Japanese people” or their respective cultures.

  29. Well, why are some American inner cities crime-ridden hellholes? Something about “racism” and “lack of opportunity”, I suppose. Nothing to do with the people that actually live in these places.

    My guess would have something to do with a combination of perverse-incentive welfare-state tactics combined with a police force so intent on pursuing (and often fraiming people for) victimless drug crimes that, on the rare occasions police want to investigate an actual crime crime of the robbery-rape-murder variety they find to their utter shock that the residents of said neighborhoods harbor a distrust of them. Gasp.

    But commenter Michael Pack might say instead the problem with inner-city denizens is that they, like Arabs, “need a repressive government to keep them in check.” They have not yet evolved the necessary freedom DNA, you see. And it DEFINITELY isn’t a case of merely a few bad apples allowed to run rampant over a peaceful majority due to a police force that’s either non-existent or simply doesn’t give a shit.

  30. No doubt the U.S. presence exacerbates the violence in Iraq, but…

    “If there were no Americans, there would be no fighting,” said Abu Mustafa al-Thahabi, 38, a senior Mahdi Army member.

    …this is still one of the least convincing statements I’ve heard in a long time.

    Nothing to do with the people that actually live in these places.

    I’m not well-versed in the art of rhetoric. What’s it called when a person tries to make his or her oversimplified hypothesis seem more acceptable by sarcastically stating its equally oversimplified negation?

  31. Jennifer

    DNA schmee n a,

    We all knows that its cause them islams, they aint got the Christ. DUHHHH

  32. any other questions for me?

  33. How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie-roll center of a Tootsie Pop?

  34. If you want to understand why some inner city areas are “crime ridden hell-holes,” read Jane Jacobs “The Life and Death of Great American Cities.” It’s about economic migration and “scientific,” suburbanist urban renewal.

    The War on Drugs, welfare dependency, occupying (as opposed to protective) police and the other usual suspects all came later.

    Seriously, first came welfare then came poverty? There’s nothing about that formulation that strikes you a little funny?

  35. Who gives a sh*t any longer? Gas up the trucks, toss all our equipment in, and convoy south to Kuwait. Ta ta, have a nice day.

  36. How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie-roll center of a Tootsie Pop?

    Three.

  37. Strangely enough, after we bombed Germany and Japan to smithereens, they didn’t devolve into violent chaos, religious and ethnic in-fighting and civil war

    Uh. They didnt have any religious or ethnic differences in either case.

    Plus, we’d just NUKED one. They werent looking to up the ante.

    And in the case of der germans, most people in the country were more scared of the russians than allied occupiers, so were perfectly hospitable to their new anglo-american overlords.

    I mean, come on. You’re talking Apples Kiwis and fucking Kumquats. Almost none of the examples are remotely comparable.

  38. combined with a police force so intent on pursuing (and often fraiming people for) victimless drug crimes that

    It is not only for victimless drug crimes they try to frame people. (Sadly in Chicago these are not isolated incidents anymore)
    From this story:

    In October, three years after his arrest, Robinson, 26, was acquitted. Having him home has been “heaven,” Patricia Robinson said.

    Now, mother and son are demanding justice from the two Chicago Police detectives who they say beat and framed Robinson by falsely claiming he confessed to the murder of a child. One of the detectives then harassed his wife by telephone, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court.

    The allegations in the lawsuit were backed up in rulings by the judge who acquitted Robinson. According to Robinson’s attorney Andre Grant, Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan said in court he believed Robinson was beaten while in police custody and that Robinson never gave a confession. Further, he said he believed Humphrey, the detective who said Robinson had made an oral confession to the murder, had “hit on” Robinson’s wife after his arrest, according to transcripts released by Grant.

    “My God,” Gaughan said in the transcripts. “There’s a conflict of interest there. For the lack of a better word, he’s hitting on Mrs. Robinson at a time when he’s the one saying that her husband made an oral confession.”

  39. The problem, ChicagoTom, is that the Cook County government is not repressive enough to keep the bad people in check.

  40. POG

    What’s it called when a person tries to make his or her oversimplified hypothesis seem more acceptable by sarcastically stating its equally oversimplified negation?

    i think you’re talking about a “reductio ad absurdum”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum

    pretty common in daily usage. Like,

    “Oh, so you libertarians want to like, put a toll booth on every corner and have corporate police charging us when they stop us from getting mugged…”

    You could also be talking about an “appeal to consequence”

    “But if we leave Iraq, it will lead to chaos and anarachy!!”

    And one scratches one’s head and goes, “yeah…but we’re staying… and…we’ve already got chaos and anarchy?”

    Or maybe thats “begging the question” – or a reverse form of it, where their conclusion is ignoring the present state where that conclusion is already true.

    Like, “if we make contraception more accessible, teens will go on a sex spree and it will lead to disease and unwanted pregnancies and…”

    … sorta the same thing. The argument ignores that lack of contraception already produces their ‘unwanted’ result.

    I never can get these things exactly right. they may overlap in some cases.

  41. “””MP, substitute “The people of the U.S.” for “The people of Iraq” and I’m right with you.
    You think there’d be this kind of chaos absent the U.S. invasion?”””

    I agree with Michael. Sure we could talk about context, and situations. But it is Iraqi v. Iraqi fighting. They could have peace if they want it. It is up to them, not us.

    It’s sort of like the homeless guy who doesn’t want to work or engage in society, then blames his choices on society.

  42. The Surge did nothing to change the underlying conditions in Iraq.

    Without a change in the underlying conditions, a return of 2006-2007ish violence in inevitable.

    This is one of those points, like the problem with the Sunnis boycotting the 05 elections, that is so obvious as to seriously call into question the judgement of those who denied it.

  43. GILMORE

    The “appeal to consequenses” fallacy is about evaluating the truth or falsehood of a descriptive proposition. Talking about the consequenses of implementing a certain policy is not a case of commiting that fallacy*.

    eg:

    Saying “We should not lower the speed limit on the I-95 to 1 mph because it will take way too long to get anywhere.” is not a fallacy even though it talks about consequenses.

    However, consider saying “Its impossible for us to be almost out of this antidote; because we have a ton of poisoned people here and if they find out there is not enough we might have chaos break out as people fight eachother to get some of the remaing treatment.” The question of what people will do if they find out has no bearing on whether or not it is true that there isn’t enough antidote to go around. Thats why that would be an example of the fallacy.

    I’ll explain “begging the question” in my next post.

    * – Although the specific examples of arguments you cite do have problems, which you go on to describe.

  44. This is just an example of our Iraqi allies standing up so we can stand down. The Surge is working, surrendercrats. Deal with it. Victory is just around the corner. Stopping now would be like surrendering to Germany in WWII after we crossed the Rhine. We’ll be in Berlin soon!

  45. “Begging the question” is typicaly described as “assuming the point in contention”. Two people are debating point A; and they ultimately disagree about it because they disagree about point B. One person makes an argument in the form of “Since we already know that point B is true, let my show you how that proves that point A also must be true.”

    Example: I am a DA prosecuting a murder case with a victim who was shot in the head. The defendant claims not to be the shooter. I get up in front of the jury and say: “Since we know the defendant pulled the trigger, I intend to present evidence that pulling the trigger of a loaded gun causes a bullet to be projected at very high velocity. I further intend to prove that having a bullet in such motion go through his skull is the cause of the victim’s death.”

    But it can be more subtle than that.

    Its “begging the question” (I take it) because its like saying “Please just agree with me so that I can win the debate”.

  46. Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll talk a little about Iraq (although I think this thread might be dead).

    It is true that violence has decreased in recent months, with significantly fewer casualties amoung the coalition and Iraqi civilians and security forces. That is certainly a good thing but we are not out of the woods yet. There is no garauntee that the security improvements will continue or remain permanent.

    A major factor in the improved security, is the changing sides of major Sunni insurgent groups. They’ve been cooperating with the coalition to fight the common enemy of Al Qaeda in Iraq, but they have not become fundementally pro-American.

    It is necessary to offer some type of long-term reconcilliation/power sharing plan that they will accept. Otherwise there is no assurance they won’t go back to fighting the coalition after Al Qaeda is demolished to their satisfaction. A timetable for witdrawal, or some other detailed explicit exit plan, might eventually be a useful concession in such an agreement.

    They may also need similiar diplomacy between competing shiite factions, if they are going to avoid having outbursts of violence like this every few months.

  47. “There is no garauntee that the security improvements will continue or remain permanent. ”

    There was no guarantee after the Battle of the Bulge that violence would decrease either but victory was ours in the end. This is it. The Mahdi army is in its last throws.

  48. “”There was no guarantee after the Battle of the Bulge that violence would decrease either but victory was ours in the end.”””

    We didn’t care a rats ass if after that battle the Germans decided to fight themsleves, that would have saved us work.

    That’s a difference between a war and a police action.

  49. Trickyvick this isnt a war? It isn’t? Because it sure looks like one to me. Its a war that started on a Tuesday morning in September, and it won’t end until Islamofascism is whiped from the face of the Earth. Iraq is one battle in this larger war. Either you want victory, or surrender to the forces of darkness. Which is it?

  50. The troll lives

  51. I was surfing the net and i came up on this resetamaerica.com website. the candidate Michael Jingozian said that we should prosecute the bush administration for warcrimes well i dont know if that is going tooo far but i do think based on tghe speech and reality that we should drug test them and prosecute for stupidity. I agree with the Jingo guy its time to reset the war and a whole lot more

  52. Frank are you a traitor? I guess you would’ve prosecuted FDR and Truman for “war crimes” too? Guess what, war is hard. Some people will die. Get over it.

  53. Neil

    I don’t know whether or not I should expect a detailed answer with point-by-point analysis but,

    What is your proposal for endgame in Iraq?

    Do you have an exit plan in mind? And what conditions would have to be met before you determined that the mission is complete? Do you have any ideas on how to expedite reconcilliation between factions? Should the coalition take out the PKK on their way out to placate Turkey? (And can they do that without getting kurdish authorities all riled up?)

  54. Is it a question of difficulty or length? All war is hard, sure. But the ones we won were relatively short. The longer it drags out the more likey we will not win. We defeated the Japs and the Germans in less time then our endevours in Iraq.

    But what is war other than killing their army and taking their land?

    We’ve done plenty of missions in the past where we tried to protect the population of a foreign land from other members of that same land, or their neighbors. There’s another name for that.

    “”Either you want victory, or surrender to the forces of darkness. Which is it?””

    “We also have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will. We’ve got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world.” – Dick Cheney (source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/vicepresident/news-speeches/speeches/vp20010916.html)

    I thought we were the dark side.

    Neil, Jesus told me he doesn’t love you.

  55. “What is your proposal for endgame in Iraq? ”

    A stable, democratic and prosperous Iraq who is an ally in the War on Islamofascism and a model for the rest of the region. Namely, victory.

    “Do you have an exit plan in mind?”

    There is no exit plan. We will probably have bases there for a very long time (i.e., Germany, Japan, Korea). Whats wrong with having a large base in a very violent region of the world that we may have to again pacify at some point?

    Its not difficult to reconcile the factions. After all, North and South reconciled after the Civil War it shouldn’t be anymore difficult in Iraq. Its only the Islamofascists (Al Qaeda+Iran) who are stirring up sectarian violence, most Iraqis want peace, democracy, and freedom.

  56. We’re very close to victory and all you defeatists will have egg on your face. The Mahdi Army is in its last throws, Al Qaeda in Iraq is on its way out, and soon peace and democracy will reign.

  57. BG =

    Why do you assume we are somehow responsible for ‘reconciliation’

    what makes you think our presence in fact is an enabler as opposed to an obstacle?

  58. Talking about the consequenses of implementing a certain policy is not a case of commiting that fallacy*.

    BG

    OK. But what about when the consequences described arent different than the consequences of doing nothing?

    My point above re: contraception being a common one.

  59. Now your turn BG.

    Is Iraq better off now than it was under Saddam Hussein?

  60. GILMORE

    I don’t think the success or failure of reconcilliation is going to depend completely, or even mostly, on what the coalition does. However, there may be some things they can do to assist that process.

    And I don’t know if there is a name for the type of fallacy you describe. Maybe something about “false difference” or “false contrast” but I’m not sure.

    Neil

    I don’t know. And I’m not too sure how I would start to answer that question. I do think that it was/is pretty badly fucked in either case, just in different ways.

    But lets suppose, for the sake of argument, that from here on out things improve dramaticly in a way that they would not have if not for the invasion. And suppose further that the end result is “A stable, democratic and prosperous Iraq who is an ally in the War on Islamofascism and a model for the rest of the region”. Would that prove that the invasion was the right decision? I’m not sure it would. One could reasonably argue that the ends don’t justify the means. And of course, there were all those unintended consequenses along the way.

    But as for this:

    There is no exit plan. We will probably have bases there for a very long time (i.e., Germany, Japan, Korea). Whats wrong with having a large base in a very violent region of the world that we may have to again pacify at some point?

    Its not difficult to reconcile the factions. After all, North and South reconciled after the Civil War it shouldn’t be anymore difficult in Iraq.

    Well given the attitude of many Iraqis towards indefinate US military presence, keeping a large base there might be why we would have to again pacify it. The structure of Iraqi society, in which leaders of tribes and local militias often command sufficient loyalty to raise an army and make war, make this unlike Germany, Japan, or Korea. Its even very different than what the structure of society was within a typical confederate state.

  61. “””Is Iraq better off now than it was under Saddam Hussein?”””

    It’s stupid to ask an American that question. How the hell would we know. Try asking an Iraqi.

  62. I’m sure a lot of white Southerners didn’t want us occupying them in 1865. Tough luck. They’re better for it.

    TrickyVick polls of Iraqis consistently show not only do they want us to stay but they’re better off.

  63. Well, post a link.

    “””I’m sure a lot of white Southerners didn’t want us occupying them in 1865. Tough luck. They’re better for it.”””

    How do you know?

  64. “But lets suppose, for the sake of argument, that from here on out things improve dramaticly in a way that they would not have if not for the invasion. And suppose further that the end result is “A stable, democratic and prosperous Iraq who is an ally in the War on Islamofascism and a model for the rest of the region”. Would that prove that the invasion was the right decision?”

    Did the firebombing of German cities mean the ends of WWII didn’t justify the means? What about the burning of Atlanta that helped end slavery? War is hell, deal with it. Sometimes the ends DO justify the means.

  65. From 2006
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/26/AR2006092601721.html

    From 2008
    http://abcnews.go.com/sections/world/GoodMorningAmerica/Iraq_anniversary_poll_040314.html

    But there is something interesting in the ABC poll that claims

    U.S.-led invasion: All Arabs Kurds
    Was right 48% 40% 87%
    Was wrong 39 46 9

    Liberated Iraq 42% 33% 82%
    Humiliated Iraq 41 48 11

    Presence of coalition forces:
    Support 39% 30% 82%
    Oppose 51 60 12

    Attacks on coalition forces:
    Acceptable 17% 21% 2%
    Unacceptable 7 8 74 96

    Of the Arabs in Iraq 60% oppose our presences. 48% say we humiliated instead of liberated the country. If it was right or wrong is closer, but more said it was wrong than right.

  66. Damn, it didn’t hold my spacing.

  67. “”””But lets suppose, for the sake of argument, that from here on out things improve dramaticly in a way that they would not have if not for the invasion. And suppose further that the end result is “A stable, democratic and prosperous Iraq who is an ally in the War on Islamofascism and a model for the rest of the region”. Would that prove that the invasion was the right decision?””””

    I might agree to that if you will agree, that for arguments sake that if things get worse, and stay worse, it would prove that it was a bad decision.

  68. What democracy doesn’t what the occupying force to leave?

  69. Why won’t Hit&Run remember my information? Why do I have to re-enter the comment fields if it takes me longer than thirty seconds to write a post?

  70. GILMORE, BG, thanks.

  71. Art-P.O.G.

    You’re welcome.

    Neil

    I probably should have responded sooner but,

    Did the firebombing of German cities mean the ends of WWII didn’t justify the means? What about the burning of Atlanta that helped end slavery? War is hell, deal with it. Sometimes the ends DO justify the means.

    While I think the fight against the axis powers was a just war, I do not think the firebombing of Tokyo or Dresden were necessary or justified.

    While the fight against the axis powers was justified on both self-defense and humanitarian grounds, justifying the Iraq war only seems possible on humanitarian grounds. But while Saddam had massive genocidal atrocities, his barbarism reached its peak years ago. At the time of the invasion, his regime’s rate of human rights abuses had gone back down to near ordinary levels. So when one weighs the amount of humaitarian damage that should have been expected from the war against the humanitarian benefit from getting rid of Saddam, it is far from clear that invading was the right decision. The bang for the buck – so to speak – was less with this war than what it was with the war against the axis powers.

    And of course, there are other factors to consider in evaluating the decision to go to war. We could ask for example “To what extent would this make (the party engaging in war) directly responsible for causing harm ot innocents?”, as opposed to merely failing to prevent such harm. We should also consider intent and level of effort taken to avoid negative unintented consequenses.

    This is just a broad overview of some of the things to think about when evaluating a decision to go to war. If we were satisfied with saying “War is hell, deal with it. Sometimes the ends DO justify the means”, we would have a hard time ever ruling out a military action as long as any type of benefit could reasonably be expected from it.

  72. Neil is a fucking idiot and there is no reason to reply to his one-dimensional soundbytes

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