We're Winning!

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Spencer Ackerman is not a kneejerk Iraq correspondent. When he's seen signs of progress, he's reported it. When he found that soldiers weren't happy with Democratic promises to get out, he reported that. All of it makes his story on what's happening as surged forces leave the country awfully depressing.

March saw nearly 1000 civilians dead across Iraq—an increase of 30 percent over February. February, in turn, saw its own 30 percent increase in civilian casualties over January. And in January, statistics released to The Washington Independent by the U.S. military command in Iraq showed increases in insurgent and terrorist explosions and suicide attacks during the final weeks of 2006.

The trend toward increased violence in early 2008 does not rise to the level of the bloodshed Iraq experienced in mid-to-late 2006, before the surge began. But it does underscore the limits of what the surge achieved, according to U.S. government officials and outside experts, even on the security front where the Bush administration argued it was most successful. "The fact is, the ISF [Iraqi security forces] couldn't fulfill a major campaign against an insurgent group on its own," said a U.S. intelligence analyst who spoke on condition of anonymity. "I personally think that's the real story. The ISF, despite the surge, and despite the [rhetoric from the Bush administration that] 'they'll stand up as we stand down,' couldn't fulfill their core requirement."

What's it mean?

The surge was never intended to bring violence down to 2005 levels—when, it's worth remembering, violence was so pervasive that the first wave of U.S. politicians reacted by calling for withdrawal—nor to give Iraqi security forces the opportunity to skirmish with militias.

On that front, some experts say, Sadr's victory over Maliki exposed the weakness of the U.S.'s partner. "In spite of holding de jure power, Maliki can't exert territorial control over even the Shiite regions of Iraq," said Robert Farley, a professor at the University of Kentucky's Paterson School of Diplomacy. "While the surge has reduced violence, it has failed utterly to create Iraqi state capacity. The Iraqi central government is as far as ever from exerting control over other armed groups within Iraq."

reason takes on Iraq here.

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  1. nor to give Iraqi security forces the opportunity to skirmish with militias. President George W. Bush presented

    Is the end of that last sentence missing?

  2. The great “what if” here is: what if we’d made a serious effort to bring about a political settlement among the de facto powers in and around Iraq years ago? Would the consequences of our inevitable withdrawal have been any different?

    We’ll never know.

  3. I think that this needs to be said:

    Everything that’s happening right now is the fault of the idiots who led the cheer for this war. Fuck all of those blathering idiots, and may they burn in hell for the bloody chaos that they helped unleash.

  4. It’s amazing how the media let’s the Bush Adminstration spin the surge. None of the goals they claimed the surge was going to produce happened. People get tired of holier than thou assholes telling you what to do & how to live. Al-Qeada in Iraq days were numbered anyway the surge sped that process up. That’s all it accomplished.

  5. One reason I would never vote for McCain or Hillary is that they’re both Senators with access to classified intelligence. Yet both of them couldn’t predict that Iraq would descend into chaos after the invasion.

    How come I could.

  6. Travis-

    Yep. When violence declined after the surge they got to claim victory even though the violence was still at levels deemed unacceptable a few years ago. Then when the government of Iraq got into a fight with Al Sadr that was also a victory.

    I thought for sure that if we found ourselves in 1984 we’d at least know we’re there. Apparently MiniTrue is good at what it does.

    Well, I’m off to enjoy my increased chocolate ration.

    P.S. Fuck the hawks and their cheerleaders, fuck the 2004 Bush voters, and fuck the spineless opposition.

  7. One reason I would never vote for McCain or Hillary is that they’re both Senators with access to classified intelligence. Yet both of them couldn’t predict that Iraq would descend into chaos after the invasion.

    How come I could.

    QTMFT

  8. For next Memorial Day, I’d suggest every real American rounds up a posse of his neighbors, and tar and feathers a Real American? in symbolic appreciation for cheer-leading us into this mess….

  9. Doktor T for Vice President! even though he’s an evil fiziks type!

  10. “Everything that’s happening right now is the fault of the idiots who led the cheer for this war. Fuck all of those blathering idiots, and may they burn in hell for the bloody chaos that they helped unleash.” – thoreau

    Very nice – worth saying again!

    I am pissed too – and I lost no one close to me in this clusterfuck of a “war”. Summertime in the Middle East usually brings out the worst in them. I own oil futures for this reason (well, there is the Bush deficit spending surge too).

  11. Fuck all of those blathering idiots, and may they burn in hell for the bloody chaos that they helped unleash.

    Paging RC Dean….paging RC Dean…..

  12. “The surge was never intended to bring violence down to 2005 levels — when, it’s worth remembering, violence was so pervasive that the first wave of U.S. politicians reacted by calling for withdrawal”

    Be honest, now. US politicians have called for withdrawal daily and consistently since March 20, 2003, no matter how pervasive violence might be at any given time. According to them, there’s no sacrifice small enough to make the liberation of Iraq and the restoration of its peoples’ freedom worthwhile. So judging the level of violence in Iraq by how frothingly Democrat Party propagandists rail over it is probably a mistake.

    “Everything that’s happening right now is the fault of the idiots who led the cheer for this war. Fuck all of those blathering idiots, and may they burn in hell for the bloody chaos that they helped unleash.”

    As I recall, the initial invasion of Iraq had something like 75% popular support. That’s a lot of people to damn, Thoreau.

    “One reason I would never vote for McCain or Hillary is that they’re both Senators with access to classified intelligence. Yet both of them couldn’t predict that Iraq would descend into chaos after the invasion.”

    Or perhaps they had access to ‘classified intelligence’ that suggested chaos was preferable to leaving Iraq as a hard point, WMD depot and general base of supply for international terrorism. I could see that – still can! and I just wonder why Hussein (B.) couldn’t.

    That being said, I understand why Hill’s walking her decision back now. It’s hard to risk your life as a soldier. But it’s even harder to send soldiers into combat and bear the responsibility for their deaths, even if you know the cause is worth the sacrifice. I expected that support for Operation Iraqi Freedom would decline over time as the courage of its original supporters failed, and I’m not surprised at all that Hillary is trying to weasel out of her responsibility for the sacrifices our soldiers have made for victory. President Bush has not failed; he has borne this crushing weight unfailingly and shown true moral courage beyond that of any front-line soldier, and I salute him.

  13. “””Well, I’m off to enjoy my increased chocolate ration.”””

    It’s the victory gin for me.

  14. “””there’s no sacrifice small enough to make the liberation of Iraq and the restoration of its peoples’ freedom worthwhile.””””

    It’s waaaaaaay past small sacrifices, we’ll be paying for years to come.

    Is there any sacrifice too great?

    “””As I recall, the initial invasion of Iraq had something like 75% popular support. That’s a lot of people to damn, Thoreau.”””

    Yeah, back when the Bush admin described the war as a matter of weeks, not months, and would be paid for by Iraqi oil money. How much support did the war have once we figured out it wasn’t true?

  15. “It’s waaaaaaay past small sacrifices, we’ll be paying for years to come. ”

    But my point is that the people who complain about sacrifices started complaining when the first gallon of gas went into the first transport ship’s tank. Which is why it’s ridiculous to judge ‘2005 levels of violence’ – much exaggerated, by the way, just as the current violence is blown out of proportion by the objectively pro-terrorist media – by how much the whining cowards whined that Iraqi freedom wasn’t worth the effort.

  16. Which is why it’s ridiculous to judge ‘2005 levels of violence’ – much exaggerated, by the way, just as the current violence is blown out of proportion by the objectively pro-terrorist media – by how much the whining cowards whined that Iraqi freedom wasn’t worth the effort.

    Though your “objectively pro-terrorist media” indicates you’re a bit nuts, I’m genuinely curious if you’ve lost any loved ones who were fighting for Iraqi freedom.

  17. You should focus less on whiny people and more on the government that’s been BSing you the ENTIRE way.

  18. Les, my bet is on a Rush O’Hanity wired brain.

  19. “Though your “objectively pro-terrorist media” indicates you’re a bit nuts, I’m genuinely curious if you’ve lost any loved ones who were fighting for Iraqi freedom.”

    Though I have not had that honor, I hope that, should it occur, I’d have the courage to celebrate, as well as mourn, their noble death and continue to support the cause to which they gave the last measure of devotion.

    One woman sent forth her sons, five in number, to war, and, standing in the outskirts of the city, she awaited anxiously the outcome of the battle. And when someone arrived and, in answer to her inquiry, reported that all her sons had met death, she said, “I did not inquire about that, you vile varlet, but how fares our country?” And when he declared that it was victorious, “Then,” she said, “I accept gladly also the death of my sons.”

    Another was burying her son, when a commonplace old woman came up to her and said, “Ah the bad luck of it, you puir woman.” “No, by Heaven,” said she, “but good luck; for I bore him that he might die for Sparta, and this is the very thing that has come to pass for me.”

    — Plutarch, “Sayings of the Spartan Women”

  20. ithaqua, that’s romantic and all, but why is Iraqi “freedom” worth the blood and misery of people you’ll never know? And are you there now? If so, where? If not, why?

    Where, in your opinion, should American soldiers go next to suffer and die in order to bring freedom? Sudan? North Korea? Tibet? Burma?

  21. Over a thousand Iraqi soldiers left their posts during the Basra operation. They are neither cowards nor traitors, but somehow attacking their own people at the behest of a government backed by a foreign occupier doesn’t sit well with many of them.

    The problem with Iraq is that many of these soldiers don’t have a definite feeling that their fellow Iraqis are their enemies, and that the U.S. occupiers are their friends.

    Bush always uses the phrase “the enemy”, but for the Iraqis it is not that simple. Therein lies the dilemma.

  22. Why is it never pointed out that because Al Queda in Iraq is a Sunni orginization, and in a civil war the Sunnis would be outnumbered 3 to 1, they would be on the loosing side of a civil war? The Irony here is that our presence prevents a war that would probably see our real enemies defeated.

  23. ithaqua,

    Sparta was one of the more barbaric polities ever created by human beings. That it (once the Thebans had defeated them and they sunk into decline) became an anachronistic tourist hotspot during Roman times, a comical oddity for people to visit that is, is just what it deserved.

  24. “Where, in your opinion, should American soldiers go next to suffer and die in order to bring freedom? Sudan? North Korea? Tibet? Burma?”

    Wherever a good Republican President leads them. I trust George Bush, and I trust his judgment that liberating Iraq was more important than any of the above.

    “Why is it never pointed out that because Al Queda in Iraq is a Sunni orginization, and in a civil war the Sunnis would be outnumbered 3 to 1, they would be on the loosing side of a civil war? The Irony here is that our presence prevents a war that would probably see our real enemies defeated.”

    Letting Muslim terrorists – and the Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias are agents of a terrorist state as well – win a victory anywhere sets a bad precedent.

    “The problem with Iraq is that many of these soldiers don’t have a definite feeling that their fellow Iraqis are their enemies, and that the U.S. occupiers are their friends.”

    Do you still think, then, that Bremer made the wrong decision when he disbanded the Iraq Army? Iraqi’s feelings are all well and good, but we really do have to purge their military and government of anti-American influences, if we don’t want a ready-made base of support for the next Hugo Chavez type tinpot dictator or Talibanesque theocratic revolution.

    “Sparta was one of the more barbaric polities ever created by human beings. That it (once the Thebans had defeated them and they sunk into decline) became an anachronistic tourist hotspot during Roman times, a comical oddity for people to visit that is, is just what it deserved.”

    Go and watch “300” before you embarrass yourself further 🙂

    Seriously, and to be fair, all of Greece was a backwater during Roman times; Athens was a more impressive backwater, because it had spent the tribute it exacted in its glory days on self-aggrandizing public works and monuments, but in terms of political and economic power it declined just as pathetically after the Macedonian conquest.

    And as for the barbarism: human beings are barbaric in nature; every nation must have people willing to defend it; and those nations who fail to make a virtue of necessity and (like modern liberals) consider lives lost in battle to be contemptible and shameful will not long survive against ethically stronger nations.

    “Roman matrons used to say to their sons: “Come back with your shield, or on it.” Later on, this custom declined. So did Rome.” – Robert A. Heinlein

  25. These Spartans are crazy.

  26. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, eh ithaqua?

  27. ithaqua,

    Seriously, and to be fair, all of Greece was a backwater during Roman times…

    Being a tourist attraction doesn’t make one a backwater. The eastern portion of the empire (which included Greece) was its economic backbone, which in part explains the balance of payments problem between the east and west. It also proved to be a dominant force in the development of Roman culture, etc.

    …every nation must have people willing to defend it…

    Some nations aren’t worth defending, Sparta being one of them.

    “Roman matrons used to say to their sons: “Come back with your shield, or on it.” Later on, this custom declined. So did Rome.”

    Rome was at its height long after the decline of the soldier-farmer. If that were indeed the issue behind Rome’s decline it would have happened in sometime in the 2nd or 3rd century BCE.

  28. ithaqua,

    BTW, I can’t say that I’ve ever met anyone (be they a modernliberal or any other ideology) who viewed lives lost on a battlefield to be per se shameful, etc. As with most things judgments about the worth of said action depends on how one views the particular conflict.

  29. It’s amazing how the media let’s the Bush Administration spin the surge.

    Even the word ‘surge’ in this matter is a spin away from the historically defined term ‘escalation’.

  30. the liberation of Iraq and the restoration of its peoples’ freedom

    I’m mystified as to why someone would, at this point in time, believe that was the goal. These guys have never been shy about what their game plan was. Freedom? WMDs? Terrorism?

    “Indeed, the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein”

    PNAC Document p.14 (pdf)

  31. New movie coming out in heaven (if you believe in that) with Chris Farley (George Bush) and John Candy (Dick Cheney) called “National Insecurity”.

    Adolf Hitler was to play Dick Cheney, but Hitler was busy in Hell.

  32. Go and watch “300” before you embarrass yourself further 🙂

    Jean Bart, is that you?

  33. ooh, anon, that’s good! I was figuring this newest creature was the latest incarnation of EDWEIRDOOO, EDNA, KNEEL, etc.

  34. Though I have not had that honor, I hope that, should it occur, I’d have the courage to celebrate, as well as mourn, their noble death and continue to support the cause to which they gave the last measure of devotion.

    This sounds better in the originial Palestinian.

  35. Go and watch “300” before you embarrass yourself further 🙂

    Are you fucking kidding me? You’re referencing a Zack Snyder ultra-stylized movie as historical record?

    What next, watch Sin City to understand what living in Manhattan is like?

  36. I just read ithaqua’s 9:06pm comment… I threw up a little in my mouth and have been unable to continue reading.

    Seriously, that was puketastic.

  37. Bronwyn,

    No worries, I just added his/her email address to the DNC mailing list. Should I hit Air America too?

  38. “Wherever a good Republican President leads them. I trust George Bush, and I trust his judgment that liberating Iraq was more important than any of the above.”

    That confirmed we are dealing with a fool.

  39. Dude’s just yanking your chain.

    It’s not even trolling; more like performance art.

  40. In that case: BRAVO!!!!!!!

  41. As I recall, the initial invasion of Iraq had something like 75% popular support. That’s a lot of people to damn, Thoreau.”””

    Yeah, back when the Bush admin described the war as a matter of weeks, not months, and would be paid for by Iraqi oil money. How much support did the war have once we figured out it wasn’t true?

    Weeks? Months? I’m pretty sure we are dealing with years. We are also dealing with –

    Four thousnad+ American servicemen deaths.
    Tens of thousands of Iraqi civilian deaths.
    Trillions (that is not a typo) of dollars just flushed down the fucking toilet.
    Worldwide indignation over an arrogant, misguided attempt to remake the Arabian Peninsula.
    A president who views the law with less respect than Richard Nixon.

    Everything that’s happening right now is the fault of the idiots who led the cheer for this war. Fuck all of those blathering idiots, and may they burn in hell for the bloody chaos that they helped unleash.

    Thanks, thoreau.
    I am so angry at the shitstains that initiated this crime against humanity, my normally obscene comments are temporarily inoperative.

    Only temporarily. I’ll be back to unload later.

  42. Which one of you HnR regulars is going to fess up to playing the role of “ithaqua”? I know that the 28%’ers are a fairly disgusting and, in their own perverse way, entertaining lot, but, c’mon…

    “Wherever a good Republican President leads them”, “Hussein” Obama, the Spartan fetish… we are SO being put on.

  43. But TallDave LOL’d at me when I suggested the Surge wasnt doing dick…

    I’m confused. His LOLs are an assurance of total and absolute confidence. Who should I believe? Him, or facts?

  44. Do you still think, then, that Bremer made the wrong decision when he disbanded the Iraq Army?

    Yes.

    Ready to take any arguments to the contrary and slay them en masse like Leonidas at Thermopylae

    How the fuck did you get on that tangent anyway?

  45. Definition:

    “liberating Iraq” = power-gap clusterfuck, regional strategic disaster, trillion dollar nightmare, 2+ million refugee humanitarian wreckage

    ‘Flypaper strategy’ was a great analogy. If only the OTHER guys were the flies, and not the US military.

  46. But TallDave LOL’d at me when I suggested the Surge wasnt doing dick…

    I’m certain that many H&R osters are on record predicting that “The Surge?” would not accomplish its stated goals. The neocons will deny this. Anyone who continues to support the war in Traq is insane.

    That’s right, I said you were insane. Rational people recognize reality.

  47. Traq? Fuck me. Iraq, of course.

  48. On that front, some experts say, Sadr’s victory over Maliki exposed the weakness of the U.S.’s partner.

    Right, Sadr’s people, rogue and otherwise, successfully incurred around 100 casualties per day, then heroically ran out of ammunition and victoriously retreated indoors while the defeated Iraqi Army was forced to occupy the streets of Basra — the dispute over which the whole conflict was based.

    Meanwhile, yesterday, thousands of Iraqis lined up to join the defeated forces and share in their humiliation.

    http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Iraq/ss/events/ts/082701iraqplane/im:/080401/ids_photos_wl/r553295461.jpg

    But TallDave LOL’d at me when I suggested the Surge wasnt doing dick…

    And let me LOL again. The polling and stats in Sunni areas continue to show it achieved its goals. There was no surge in Basra, where the recent violence was focused.

    The surge was primarily aimed at Sunni areas and was much more than a numbers game. It was a tactical change which was designed to bring the people onto our side by creating lots of little local combat outposts form which we could support friendly locals, and it worked spectacularly. Attacks in Anbar have dropped 90%, AQ has beend driven out, and polling shows Sunnis feel far safer.

  49. Who should I believe? Him, or facts?

    Here are the facts:

    http://www.brookings.edu/saban/~/media/Files/Centers/Saban/Iraq%20Index/index20080403.pdf

    Look at the graph on page 4. These are not 2006 or 2005 levels of casualtes, these are close to the lowest levels of the entire conflict.

    Another fact:
    http://www.abcnews.go.com/images/PollingUnit/1060a1IraqWhereThingsStand.pdf

    Last August, in Anbar and Baghdad alike, no respondents felt they could live where they wanted without persecution; today 86 percent in Anbar, and 46 in percent in Baghdad, feel they can.

  50. FACT

    you love the old polling when it meets your preconceived definitions, and dismiss it when it doesnt

    Polling shows regular drops in Iraqi support for US presence since 2005, surge be damned

    I sent you the links last time and am not bothering to do it again.

    Also, check polls for soldier support for the mission over the same time period. Or US citizen support. Your story starts to fall apart dude. But dont let me stop you from cherry picking.

  51. It’s probably worth pointing out too that even with the recent confrontation with Sadr, U.S. casualties for the last four months are also the lowest of any 4-month period of the occupation.

    This is, of course, because we now have 444,000 ISF of varying proficiency (p34).

    http://www.brookings.edu/saban/~/media/Files/Centers/Saban/Iraq%20Index/index20080403.pdf

    Benchmarks have been passed; there is a budget, amnesty law, and provincial elections are scheduled.

    Oil revenue and oil production are at record levels. (p39) Electricity production is twice what it was four years ago when private generation is included. (p40)

    Perhaps all this is why even Barack Obama’s primary Iraq adviser is saying we should keep 80,000 troops there through 2010 — because we can succeed.

    http://www.nysun.com/politics/obama-adviser-calls-troops-stay-iraq-through-2010

  52. and by “succeed” you mean, make our failures/problems to date less costly?

    Do you think we’ve got what we strategically paid for, customer?

  53. you love the old polling when it meets your preconceived definitions, and dismiss it when it doesnt

    Well, if you believe that perhaps you can strive to do better than me.

    Polling shows regular drops in Iraqi support for US presence since 2005, surge be damned

    Yes and no. The number who want us to leave eventually is of course high. The number who want us to leave immediately was last polled at 38% iirc.

    Also, check polls for soldier support for the mission over the same time period. Or US citizen support.

    It goes up and down; I believe it was trending up as of late. If you have links, I’d be happy to look at them.

  54. The polling and stats in Sunni areas continue to show it achieved its goals.

    Goals being, “making room for political reconciliation”

    And the current intra-party fighting in the majority shiite bloc was part of that ‘goal’ clearly.

    Making Maliki look like a fool and making the Basra offensive end only when Sadr waved his wand was clearly part of our effort.

    We have this ongoing thing about changing our ‘goals’ whenever shit hits the fan, dont we?

  55. Do you think we’ve got what we strategically paid for, customer?

    When I see Iraqis voting, reading a free press, and having a free debate about their politics, I cannot believe it was wrong.

    Was it worth the millions of deaths, U.S. and otherwise, and billions of dollars spent on the Korean peninsula for South Korea to be the jewel of freedom and prosperity it is today rather than part of the nightmare of poverty and oppression to their north?

  56. Making Maliki look like a fool and making the Basra offensive end only when Sadr waved his wand was clearly part of our effort.

    When Maliki doesn’t fight the Sadrists, he is called a sectarian and a tool of the Iranians. When he does fight them, he’s causing violence, and when Sadr takes huge casuallties and surrenders the streets of Basra he is alleged to be in control.

    Apparently for some no matter Maliki does he is in the wrong, and no matter what Sadr does he wins. This cannot be called realism, however.

  57. TallDave | April 4, 2008, 12:39pm | #

    When I see Iraqis voting, reading a free press, and having a free debate about their politics

    as in, ‘shooting each other in the streets over oil smuggling revenues’, giving Iran leading leverage on the # of guns in the street in the south…

    I smell the freedom

  58. Was it worth the millions of deaths, U.S. and otherwise, and billions of dollars spent on the Korean peninsula for South Korea to be the jewel of freedom and prosperity it is today rather than part of the nightmare of poverty and oppression to their north?

    No. How are US deaths ever justified when the US in not in direct danger?

  59. Was it worth the millions of deaths, U.S. and otherwise, and billions of dollars spent on the Korean peninsula for South Korea to be the jewel of freedom and prosperity it is today rather than part of the nightmare of poverty and oppression to their north?

    and the continued threat of ‘sea of fire’ that they face today…

    goddam you’re not a military historian are you.

  60. as in, ‘shooting each other in the streets over oil smuggling revenues’, giving Iran leading leverage on the # of guns in the street in the south…

    That was happening before as well, and at much greater levels, and with none of those freedoms. It’s a huge improvement.

  61. Sadr takes huge casuallties and surrenders the streets of Basra…

    right.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/04/world/middleeast/04iraq.html?scp=1&sq=basra&st=nyt

  62. Dave,

    Your whole thing reminds me of John Keegan’s “The Iraq War”, published in 2003

    Basically, the more detail you omit, the rosier the picture

  63. When I see Iraqis voting, reading a free press, and having a free debate about their politics…

    it makes it easy to step over the bodies.

  64. More Than 1,000 in Iraq’s Forces Quit Basra Fight

    Yep, “The Surge?” is working.
    How fucking stupid do you have to be to believe that any good is going to come out of our adventure in Mesopotamia?

  65. Color me shocked that the NYT focuses on the negative.

    Yes, a thousand probably did desert, but that has to be placed in context: Sadr lost many more than that to desertion, and the ISF deserters were mostly police, long understood to be less reliable (and, in their defense, lightly armed).

    All accounts agree Sadr took heavy casualties and ordered his forces indoors, off the streets they had been contesting.

  66. How fucking stupid do you have to be to believe that any good is going to come out of our adventure in Mesopotamia?

    Most Iraqis still say it was the right decision.

  67. Of course, when anyone else cites “most iraqis”, TallDave will dismiss any data that he cant cherry pick and cite out of context himself.

    2006
    http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/brmiddleeastnafricara/275.php?lb=brme&pnt=275&nid=&id=

    2007
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/19_03_07_iraqpollnew.pdf

    2008
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/14_03_08iraqpollmarch2008.pdf

    Q20 = Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose the presence of Coalition forces in Iraq?
    Mar08
    Strongly Support
    7
    Somewhat Support
    19
    Somewhat Oppose
    31
    Strongly Oppose
    41
    Refused/don’t know
    1

    Q21 =As you may know, the United States has increased the number of its forces in Baghdad and surrounding provinces in the past six months. For each item I name, please tell me if you think this increase of U.S. forces has made it better, made it worse, or had no effect.
    Security in the areas where these forces have been sent
    Mar08
    Better
    36
    Worse
    53
    Had No Effect
    10
    Refused/don’t know
    1

    Q22 How long do you think US and other Coalition forces should remain in Iraq? Should they leave now, remain until security is restored, remain until the Iraqi government is stronger, remain until Iraqi security forces can operate independently, remain longer but leave eventually, or never leave?
    Mar08
    Leave now
    38
    Remain until security is restored
    35
    Remain until the Iraqi government is stronge r
    14
    Remain until the Iraqi security forces can operate independently
    10
    Remain longer but leave eventually
    3
    Never leave
    1
    Refused/don’t know

    ———

    There’s lots of other stuff. Dave, you could cherry pick 1-2 things out of these studies and make an isolated case that things are “better” = SOME of the data ticks up. but not in any way that is particularly meaningful when the majority of other data trends down.

    “better” is not “good” by any stretch, and your starry-eyed claims about the will of Iraqis are total bullshit. Reading all 3 of these things in detail doesnt do your case any fucking good at all. It looks like what it is = a clusterfuck.

    Forget polls of Americans… because, hey, what do we know. It’s only our money. And some people’s (not yours) kids, friends, parents, relatives, getting killed.

    But keep hope alive. Maybe the next trillion will produce meaningful results.

  68. please, dont focus on the negative. Look over there!

  69. You don’t need to cherry pick. Look at the numbers you just cited: Less than half of Iraqis want us to leave immediately. Most want us to remain.

    And that 36% number on whether things have improved is way up from the previous number. In fact, just about every indicator in that poll has improved.

    It’s too bad you refuse to accept reality. I’ve laid out the facts, but as they say, you can only lead a horse to water.

  70. No. How are US deaths ever justified when the US in not in direct danger?

    So liberating Europe was also a mistake?

    What about occupying Germany and Japan, and all the troops who died because we would only accept unconditional surrender? They wanted to sue for peace late in the war, you know.

  71. I wonder how many Kurds vs Sunnis and Shias. If you need a pretty picture, make the poll Kurd heavy.

    Check out my link to the Cheney interview in 1994 from my earlier post. It’s almost as if he had a crystal ball to see the future.

  72. It’s too bad you refuse to accept reality.

    Unfortunately, AlternateDimensionDave, I’m not the only one who sees things as they are =

    Since the NYT is too partisan for you, try the Economist.

    http://www.economist.com/world/africa/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10979883

    “If anyone has emerged from the affair with his authority enhanced, it may be Mr Sadr. He had been struggling to get his fractious movement to respect a ceasefire and was very likely enraged by an offensive that could have wrecked all his efforts. The young cleric appears to have decided that his movement’s future lies not as a loose association of armed gangs but as a disciplined political movement.”

    And that 36% number on whether things have improved is way up from the previous number. In fact, just about every indicator in that poll has improved.

    Absolute bullshit, Dave.

    How about the few I mentioned? Almost every one is DOWN from 2004-2005.

    Between 2007 and now, there are some slight upticks, but thats NOTHING when everything is significantly worse over the last few years.

    Quality of life, jobs, safety, electricity, confidence in the government, future of the country. trust of the Americans, success of the government – etc.

    All well down over the years tracked. Steadily down.

    A 2 point difference up from 2007 IS NOT an improvement over a 10-15 point fucking drop over 4 years. Many other areas show basically no change from cumulative 70-80 point negatives.

    In short, either you’re willfully ignorant, or you genuinely dont know what fucking data says. Either way, you have absolutely nothing backing up your bullshit.

    back to the first poll question I posted = #20

    total support of US troops now = 26% – Up from 21% in 2007!!

    Yay!

    Down from 40% in 2004!

    There’s a reason I posted the 2006 study as well, number monkey. So you can see the whole series of same Q&A back to 2003.

    Good like finding the pony in their my “realist” friend.

    also, where’d you get your experience in research? I know some good programs. I train junior analysts.

  73. After looking at this poll (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/14_03_08iraqpollmarch2008.pdf) from Gilmore I found some interesting things.

    65% say the availability of things for the household are very or quite good. Yet, 68% say the availability of clean water is very or quite bad, and 88% say the supply of electricity is very or quite bad. I’m not sure as to what things mean. It also shows that 50% say the US invasion was some what or absolutely wrong vs. 49% saying the opposite.

    The more interesting item is that only 4% polled thinks corruption and bribery is a problem.

  74. ps.

    In addition to the national sample, oversamples were drawn in Anbar province, Sadr City, Basra city, Kirkuk city and Mosul to allow for more reliable analysis in those areas. Population data came from 2005 estimates by the Iraq Ministry of Planning. The sample was weighted by sex, age, education, urban/rural status and population of province.

    Since every time you face #s that make you looks stupid, you resort to casing doubt on the sampling methodology…

    There’s a thing called *weighting*

  75. “” Less than half of Iraqis want us to leave immediately. Most want us to remain.””

    I believe that. After 3 of 4 years of training Iraqis to stand up, the Iraqis know they can’t, and if we leave caos will follow. That’s not a check for the win column.

  76. The more interesting item is that only 4% polled thinks corruption and bribery is a problem.

    Because under Saddam, corruption and bribery could keep you safe, the power running, the water flowing, send your kids to schools, etc. To them, it’s far more effective than voting

    Notice the trendline in their interest in democracy. I think it was in the 2007 study. The combined interest in either totalitarian govt, or theocracy is at an all time high.

    They stopped asking that question in 2008 i think.

  77. Since every time you face #s that make you looks stupid

    Ok, for that I apologize. I get mad typo-tastic when I’m steamed. (wiping egg from face)

  78. TrickyVic | April 4, 2008, 4:31pm | #

    “” Less than half of Iraqis want us to leave immediately. Most want us to remain.””

    I believe that. After 3 of 4 years of training Iraqis to stand up, the Iraqis know they can’t, and if we leave caos will follow. That’s not a check for the win column.

    More than that – the police and the military are completely untrusted outside of tribal regions they belong to. They’d much prefer we shoot/get shot at by rivals than have to do it themselves.

  79. as a further P.S. –

    I’d like to add i’m no bleeding heart peacenik who weeps for Iraqi dead or cares desperately about the fractiousness of the middle east.

    What gets up my ass is that OBL and his crew blew a huge hole in my hometown and killed people I knew, and meanwhile we’re spending a trillion bucks babysitting a civil war in the wrong fucking country.

    People seem to forget that part. Nobody in Afghanistan/Pakistan tried to kill GWB’s dad though. So much for keeping your eye on the ball.

  80. I couldn’t agree more.

  81. To paraphrase Seinfield: “thus ends the great regime change experiment”.

  82. Wow, he’s with the University of Kentucky, he must know a lot about the mid-east.

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