Patterico's Pontifications

5/26/2007

How to Win the War

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:39 am

We might have a chance of winning in Iraq — if grassroots Democrats rejected capitulation to our enemies in Iraq as strongly as they reject capitulation to Republicans.

102 Responses to “How to Win the War”

  1. who are our enemies in iraq? is it the shiites, sunnis, kurds, who? we’re in the middle of this tribal thing and there’s no end in sight. i’m old enough to remember people saying we could win the war in vietnam.

    assistant devil's advocate (957171)

  2. Yeah, well if Bush had put Karl Rove in charge of the Iraq War, the jihadis might have given up long ago. (And if he’d put Rumsfeld in charge of the elections, Dems would have 70 Senators and 300 House seats and Fox News would be calling it a great Republican Victory.) All depends on your priorities.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (863a91)

  3. “we might have a chance…”??
    What is this world coming to? Is even Patterico beginning to face reality?
    The alternative to capitulation is Bushian obstinacy and that isn’t getting us anywhere.

    A war can be won only if there are goals which are achievable. No such goals exist in the Iraqi mess.

    kishnevi (a117ab)

  4. A war can be won only if there are goals which are achievable. No such goals exist in the Iraqi mess.

    Because those stupid, savage brown people can only exist under the bootheel of a dictator, and they’re all destined to slaughter each other.

    Is that about right?

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  5. Pablo,

    We’re outspending the insurgency by a ratio of 1000:1 and we’re still losing to them.

    A good indication that the stupid people are on our side.

    alphie (015011)

  6. Patterico, formidable military prognosticator, today: “We might have a chance of winning in Iraq…”

    Patterico’s got a brilliant track record of assessing the Iraq war, of course:

    Patterico in December, 2003: “[The capture of Saddam is] the beginning of the end — as long as we stay focused.”

    http://patterico.com/2003/12/14/thoughts-on-the-capture-of-saddam/#more-995

    m.croche (5b14a3)

  7. At least we know the Democrats’ priorities quite clearly.

    And now that every Democratic presidential candidate voted against the Iraq funding bill, we know their priorities too – pandering to irrational anti-war constituents instead of supporting ongoing military operations.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  8. We’re outspending the insurgency by a ratio of 1000:1 and we’re still losing to them.

    Under this line of reasoning, the United States has “lost” to the mafia and we should withdraw from New York and New Jersy.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  9. Thanks for ripping that quote out of context, croche. Here’s the context: I mentioned “inevitable continuing bloodshed in Iraq” and continued:

    That’s right: continuing bloodshed. Don’t fool yourself. There is also a negative message in the way Saddam looked when he was captured. It’s a reminder that there is much more to these operations than the figureheads. It’s very hard to believe that Saddam was directing the “resistance” from that hole. Al Qaeda is more than Osama bin Laden, and the Iraqi “resistance” is more than Saddam.

    Therefore, we will likely see more bloodshed. When we do, it will take Howard Dean about 10 seconds to come on screen and gloat, pointing out that the capture of Saddam doesn’t mean much.

    Don’t believe him.

    As I said when the statue of Saddam fell, this doesn’t mean everything will be perfect from here on out. Of course it won’t be. That doesn’t mean it’s not a huge development. It is. It’s the beginning of the end — as long as we stay focused.

    But the Democrats like croche appear more focused on defeating the Republicans than our enemies in Iraq. Which is the point of this post.

    Patterico (eeb415)

  10. Well, Perfect Sense,

    We never bombed the cities of New York and New Jersey when we were fighting the mob, did we?

    If it doesn’t make sense to do it here, it doesn’t make sense to do it in Iraq.

    alphie (015011)

  11. Some of the Democratic base (who knows how much of it?) is pacifist and would be for pulling out regardless of whether the battle is winnable. There has always been a pacifist (and isloationist) streak in the American population, particularly in the northeast and the midwest. The GW Bush administration, like the Lyndon Johnson administration, failed to adequately take that into account. Perhaps because that tradition is not strong in Texas. FDR understood it well and was very careful not to get us into actual war prior to Pearl Harbor.

    The concept of “winning” isn’t very helpful in regard to Iraq right now, being that there are so many factions and there are different visions of what “winning” would look like. Since the Saddam Hussein government fell it has not really been a war but a contested occupation. The use of military force to pacify an occupied country isn’t necessarily a war. It’s just the use of military force to achieve an objective. It would be helpful to begin by clarifyingy (and trying to agree on) what our goals are, then assessing the cost of achieving those goals and deciding whether achieving the goals is worth their cost. It may turn out that our military goals would only be acheivable by means that are politically unfeasible, like instituting a draft and committing half a million soldiers or more. If that is the case (and it may be) it is a further demonstration that the administration did not take into account the disconnect between its ambitions and the unwillingness of the American public to pay the price for those ambitions.

    Patrick Moran (361b4c)

  12. But the Democrats like croche appear more focused on defeating the Republicans than our enemies in Iraq.

    Lame, P2.

    The Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq are going to have a showdown regardless of what we do. Our continuing presence there simply slows the arrival of the inevitable – at a cost of 3.5 American soldiers per day. And as you know, it’s not just Dems who want to get out sooner rather than later.

    For whose benefit should we remain in Iraq indefinitely?

    The Liberal Avenger (b8c7e2)

  13. Anyone making a buck off the war, LA?

    alphie (015011)

  14. I wasn’t alive during WWII but I doubt many people believed reconstruction would work in Japan – given its insular culture, history of imperial rule, and the barbarism that our troops and occupied nations/peoples suffered at the hands of the Japanese. But America didn’t have much choice. We had to engage with Japan or risk further attacks. I don’t think we have a choice here either. Whether we like it or not, the Middle East is forcing us to put up or shut up.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  15. in the land of Iraq, everyday is the 4th of July :)

    Daniel Mooney (19a4be)

  16. Andrew J. Lazarus,

    Stop licking the windows on the short bus.

    It’s good advice, I think you should consider it.

    Daniel Mooney (19a4be)

  17. Patrick Moran:

    Thank you for that thoughtful post.

    Part of the “cost” analysis much consider the cost of pulling out, i.e., how is our security impacted by that which we leave behind when we go?

    Staying has a cost, but so does leaving.

    And, leaders are elected to do what THEY think is in the best interests of the country, not simply to have their actions reflect the national consensus at any given moment.

    The uninformed opinions of 150 million citizens are relevant in the voting booth, not in the WH Situation Room.

    So, while polls about what is “right” and what is “wrong” in Iraq are entertaining to read, they are worthless when it comes to determining military and foreign policy. The opinions of 150 uniformed idiots on war policy — on either side of the issue — are as helpful as asking 150 million people whether a heart patient should have bypass surgery or an aterial stent. They’re as qualified to opine on the latter as the former.

    WLS (077d0d)

  18. What about a heart surgeon who kills every patient he operates on, WLS.

    Can “150 million idiots” take away his license to practice medicine?

    alphie (015011)

  19. The Democrats have a vested interest in losing in Iraq. No good news will ever be good enough. No news bad enough that it cannot be exaggerated. The usual lies about civil war, popular insurrection, and imperialist aggression are trotted out and repeated endless by the Democrats and the lapdog media. Iraq is not a civil war, it is currently a gang war where as thing get more and more desperate for the gangsters, they attack civilization with greater violence.

    We threw away victory in Korea. We threw away victory in Vietnam. The Democrats want to throw away victory in Iraq so they can concentrate on throwing away victory in Afghanistan. After we withdraw from the world the Democrats can then do the only thing they are good at, buying votes with tax money.

    If you want your children and grandchildren to be fighting and dying for decades to come, just vote for a Democrat.

    Ken Hahn (c96821)

  20. To K. Hahn: actually, fighting and dying for decades to come is the Bush formula.
    To win a war, you have to have a realistic goal. Acheivement of that goal is victory.
    In Iraq, there is no realistic goal possible.
    There was no realistic goal possible back when the first US soldier stepped onto Iraqi soil.
    The failure of the Bush administration to recognize that fact is the great demonstration of incompetency for which they will go into the history. Carter was right about them last week. (And why shouldn’t he be right? He’s the only other major contender for the prize of “most incompetent modern President”. If anyone knows about incompetency, he should know!)

    To throw away victory requires that victory be possible. In Iraq it is not possible.

    You talk about the insurgency. The al-Qaeda linked terrorism, although it is the one that kills the most Americans and possibly the most civilians, is not the important thing. The important thing is that the different groups in Iraq–Sunni and Shia and Kurd can not get themselves to work together. You assume that the Iraqi politics is like traditional American politics: that people recognize that working together will produce greater results, and that politics is not a zero sum game. Iraqi politics is in Iraqi eyes a zero sum game. For an Iraqi compromise is only a sign of weakness or a necessary tactical maneuver like the Communist two steps forward one step backward routine.
    That’s the way Arab (not Moslem, just Arab) culture has been from the beginning. Mohammed by our standards was a violent thug enforcing his power over everyone else. By their standards he was doing just what Arab politicians are expected to do.
    Until the Sunni and Shia exhaust themselves, there won’t be a peace (unless the Shia put all their weight behind ethnic cleansing of the Sunni). The American presence is irrelevant: at the most it hides that fact (because it gives them propaganda and a convenient excuse to commit violence)that the main conflict is between Sunni and Shia, and not between the “insurgency” and the so-called government that can, apparently, hardly govern.

    If you want a true marker of how things are going, keep an eye on the figures for violence between Sunni and Shia. If you haven’t noticed, they’ve been going up, even without the alQaeda bombings of civilians.

    kishnevi (202292)

  21. WLS–one of the main problems we have right now is that there are a bunch of idiots in the Administration right now. Idiots who started this mess in Iraq and who, either from obstinancy or an inability to face facts, don’t have any idea of what is actually going on Iraq.

    kishnevi (202292)

  22. Democrats of course want to lose, and surrender to Al Qaeda.

    Victory in Iraq is simple: deny control of Iraq by Iran and Al Qaeda, who are our sworn enemies.

    Dems are openly allied with Al Qaeda’s major funding source (Saudi boasts that they are working with and funding Dems to “stop the war”) and of course Iran, who’s interests they openly defend, to the point of arguing that Iran “deserves” Nuclear weapons and “can be trusted with them.”

    What Dems fear the most is war. Because in war, ability and merit count more than the inherited wealth, positions, power, and political correctness (“correct thought”) that Dems use to block the advance of competitors to power. Dems like all Marxists, Volk Marxists, semi-Socialists want power to continue their inherited priesthoods. OF COURSE they fear war and soldiers. Because in war people of merit and ability can move past people of nobility.

    Look at who supports the war: mostly white middle and working class people who form the bulk of the casualties and men and women serving. Look who opposes it: wealthy, privileged elites (who don’t serve) and dislike the very idea of America not to mention patriotism. “Stupid White Men” in Michael Moore’s parlance.

    This argument is NOT about Iraq, or anything like that. Ultimately it is about pre-emptive surrender to our enemies to maintain the stranglehold the inherited priesthood has (the Kennedys, the Pelosis, the Boxers, the Feinsteins, the Clintons, the Cuomos, etc) over nearly every aspect of American life, or fighting against our enemies with the knowledge that merit not birth might in some cases lead to advancement.

    This accounts for the bitter, bitter tone taken by Dems who represent the party of privilege and power: they hate the idea of their nobility being challenged. It also accounts for the desire of the troops to keep fighting (even though their lives are on the line) and the support for the war among the white middle and working classes.

    [Now I understand why China’s Court Eunuchs ordered the great fleet burned. Too much of a threat to their power.]

    Jim Rockford (e09923)

  23. Lang went to see him, he recalled during a May 7 panel discussion at the University of the District of Columbia.
    “He was sitting there munching a sandwich while he was talking to me,” Lang recalled, “which I thought was remarkable in itself, but he also had these briefing papers — they always had briefing papers, you know — about me.
    “He’s looking at this stuff, and he says, ‘I’ve heard of you. I heard of you.’
    “He says, ‘Is it really true that you really know the Arabs this well, and that you speak Arabic this well? Is that really true? Is that really true?’
    “And I said, ‘Yeah, that’s really true.’
    “That’s too bad,” Feith said.
    The audience howled.
    “That was the end of the interview,” Lang said. “I’m not quite sure what he meant, but you can work it out.”

    Read the whole thing,
    Pat the difference between you and the people at the pool parties in Vegas whom you mock is that unlike you, they know they’re shallow. You want us to respect one group of idiots and ridicule another? And which group has done more harm? You’re defending this war because you own it and won’t accept anything by victory. But let’s be clear: you blew it and thousands and thousands are dead.

    AF (4a3fa6)

  24. A “war is lost” ONLY under two circumstances. When you lack either the ability or the will to fight. The wusses, silky ponies, pink saphires and Breck girls who agitate against the war* cannot claim that we lack the ability so they are trying to undermine our will to fight. It’s that simple. I believe their motives for the most part are reflections of their personal character* but I do not doubt that some are actual traitors who have cynically chosen to support our enemies for their own self-interest.

    *Ann Coulter mentioned a much more succinct term for “wusses, silky ponies, pink saphires and Breck girls” but I don’t want to go into rehab either.

    nk (835ea1)

  25. nk,

    The blame for the fiasco in Iraq falls squarely on the U.S. military and the Bush administraton.

    Childish name-calling isn’t going to change that.

    They blew it.

    We want to fire them.

    Pretty simple.

    Only a commie fool thinks incompetents should keep their jobs.

    alphie (015011)

  26. Alphie,
    So you chide NK for childish name-calling then say “Only a commie fool thinks incompetents should keep their jobs” What does that make you?

    tmac (0c909a)

  27. Kishnevi #21, Alphie, et al,

    Here’s a few more people who authorized the use of force against Iraq.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  28. “Commie fool” vs. “silky pony” tmac?

    How many children even knows what a Commie is these days?

    Unless, of course, their job depends on a Chinese one.

    alphie (015011)

  29. And this and, of course, this.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  30. Alphie & tmac,

    No problem. I refrain from expressing an opinion either way on the conduct of the war because I am no expert. Also firing our “leaders” for a good reason, a bad reason or no reason at all is just fine with me. That’s how our system of government was designed and I would not have it any other way.

    An entirely different question, however, from showing deference or respect to defeatists or giving a scintilla of serious consideration to their mantras.

    nk (835ea1)

  31. Alphie,
    So if a child is unlikely to comprehend the meaning of a slur, it is ok by you to freely use it?

    tmac (0c909a)

  32. I don’t know, tmac.

    It would be nice if the few remaining Americans who still support the Iraq fiasco had something more than moronic slogans to back their opinion.

    alphie (015011)

  33. A Republican president, backed by a Republican House and a Republican Senate, got us into this idiotic war with too few troops, too few allies, too little justification, and no plan for victory… so now it’s the Democrats’ fault that we have no chance of winning??

    Congratulations, Patterico! You’ve even surpassed Justin Levine’s lunacy about global warming to write the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen on this blog. Happy Memorial Day!

    Oregonian (a28cee)

  34. It would be nice if the few remaining Americans who still support the Iraq fiasco had something more than moronic slogans to back their opinion.

    Like “The war is lost”, “Bush lied, people died”, “No blood for oil”, “Bushhitler”, “Chimphalliburton”? Those kind of slogans?

    nk (835ea1)

  35. Re: J. Rockford in comment 22: Victory in Iraq is impossible. Any person who had any idea of Arab politics and culture would have recognized that fact before there ever was an invasion, and if they had gone ahead with the invasion, would have taken vastly different steps (such as not disbanding the army, etc.) from day one on.

    Also, you are, from the tenor of your remarks, a Republican. Since Republicans are also semi-Socialists, you have no right to complain. The only difference between the Dems and the GOP is the interest groups to which they pander, and for whose benefity they compete to misuse tax revenues. But both accept the absolute right of the government to do what it wants with your person and your property as it wishes: the essence of socialism.
    (And therefore, DRJ, no matter how many politicians voted in favor of invading Iraq, they were all wrong. But the Bush administration bears the responsibility of initiating and planning the invasion, and they quite obviously botched in wasy so fundamental that incompetent is the kindest word.)
    And the number of non-elites who actually support this war is much lower than you think–and the proportion of elites who support it, since those elites are just as likely to be Republican as Democrat–is greater. This isn’t a matter of class. It’s just that patriotism, like almost any ideology or religion, has two great recruiting pools: the ignorant and the scoundrel. (I’m thinking of Dr. Johnson for that last one.)

    Re: nk in comment 30: your last paragraph contradicts the first. To be able to evaluate whether someone is “defeatist” implies you know enough to make an informed judgment.

    kishnevi (2dbd61)

  36. I’m sorry, nk, but I don’t agree at all. A war is lost when it becomes impossible to attain the objectives, and as I explained on another thread, we’ve reached that stage. On WMD and Saddam, the story is over. On establishing a unitary, pro-American, anti-Iranian, non-theocratic Iraq complete with repaired physical infrastructure and relative prosperity, we’ve struck out across the board. Moreover, Al Qaeda is flush with cash and recruiting successfully (our intelligence estimates say it’s grown substantially since we invaded Iraq), so it’s hard to see any possible way that the Iraq Adventure is advantageous to American security.

    And we’ve been hearing “just wait another six months” for three years at least.

    The Iraq War is not really lost in the exact same sense that Bush claimed Terri Schiavo wasn’t really dead. The victim can be kept on life support, but revival isn’t in the cards.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (863a91)

  37. I think most of those are just inventions of the right, nk. Something nice to repeat to avoid having to face reality.

    I can’t speak for others who oppose the war, but I see the funding bill Bush just signed as a $100 billion government subsidy to keep a poorly run slaughterhouse in busness for another year.

    alphie (015011)

  38. Re: nk in comment 30: your last paragraph contradicts the first. To be able to evaluate whether someone is “defeatist” implies you know enough to make an informed judgment.

    Bullshit. I know that I am not a general. So I don’t tell soldiers how to conduct the war. But I don’t have to be a general to not be a daiquiri-sipping, spineless wuss.

    nk (835ea1)

  39. On establishing a unitary, pro-American, anti-Iranian, non-theocratic Iraq complete with repaired physical infrastructure and relative prosperity, we’ve struck out across the board.

    And nothing less will be worthwhile?

    Moreover, Al Qaeda is flush with cash and recruiting successfully (our intelligence estimates say it’s grown substantially since we invaded Iraq)

    A reasonable person, faced with such an enemy, would not feel safer by turning his back on him.

    so it’s hard to see any possible way that the Iraq Adventure is advantageous to American security

    Yet.

    nk (835ea1)

  40. Fifth Column: noun: see also aphie, af, Andy J, etc.

    They’re not anti-war, they’re objectively pro terrorist, as Orwell put it.

    SDN (f7e93f)

  41. Oh, SDN, if that doesn’t get you a promotion in the 101st Fighting Keyboarders, I don’t know what will.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (863a91)

  42. …establishing a unitary, pro-American, anti-Iranian, non-theocratic Iraq complete with repaired physical infrastructure and relative prosperity, we’ve struck out across the board.

    By those standards, America didn’t “win” WW2 until about 1970 – 25 years after Germany and Japan surrendered.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  43. Iraqi insurgency? What Iraqi insurgency? That aint no insurgency. The Viet Cong, the Juaristas, the Patriots, now those were insurgencies. The Iraqi insurgents couldn’t overthrow a town council without help.

    Besides, more and more insurgents are defecting to our side because they hate al Queda more than they do us. And they’ve learned the chance of us leaving soon is better once al Queda has been crushed than of al Queda ever leaving should we leave before the job is done. Better a enemy who keeps his word than a friend who lies through his teeth.

    Alan Kellogg (6be1e5)

  44. I wonder why, in this entire discussion, why is there no discussion on infrastructure improvement. Or increasing influences of the IP’s (Iraqi Police). Or the burgeoning school system. Or increased telephone service. Those are the measure of victory. Just like Japan and Germany. However, we have become more sophisticated and do not need to completely destroy a country in order to rebuild it now.
    But Democratic pussies need simple, sound bite solutions to everything.
    Well guess what Demo-pussies. Life ain’t fair and Life ain’t easy. But we try to make it so. That’s why we have abandoned “Total War”.
    Thats why we don’t completely devastate a country, killing it’s women and children.
    I know that a clear cut black and white victory of a “Total war” would be satisfying, but then the demo-wussies would have something else to cry about.
    You don’t get to sit around the campfire and sing “Kumbiyah” until after you pitched the tents, cooked the food and cut the firewood.
    That is unless you’re the fat whiny rich kid in camp.

    In an unrelated matter:
    How many of those posting in this thread have a family member who has or is now serving in Iraq or Afganistan?
    Idle curiosity drives the question.
    Me: One Son.

    paul from fl (ae01cb)

  45. Andy, the only reward I need “is to crush my enemies, to see them driven before me, and to hear the lamentations of their women!”

    Or their lamentations, in your case; there is no difference.

    SDN (f7e93f)

  46. SDN wins the thread…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  47. I give a point to paul from fl also Scott :)

    Lord Nazh (c4715e)

  48. hmmm… Good point…

    Sorry SDN… You get second place behnd the guy who’s son is in Harm’s Way for us…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  49. Scott, I’ll yield that place gladly. The closest I’ve been to harm’s way was the series of “Faux anthrax” attacks that went around after 9/11, including Maxwell AFB where I was working at the time.

    SDN (f7e93f)

  50. Too easy for the looney left to dismiss Iraq and the mideast in general as a “Hatfields vs McCoys” thing. Too easy that is until the even loonier jihadis get a bomb from Pakistan or Russia and turn NYC into a smoking hole. (For that matter DC would be my preferred target, stinking cesspool that it is these days.)

    dubya (c16726)

  51. You know, when I see people talking about war as a test of will and calling their opponents pussies, I conclude that the Iraq Adventure is their substitute for Viagra. Wow. A hundred thousand dead so you creeps can whack off to war porn.

    As far as cognizable objectives, we haven’t improved the infrastructure in Iraq, child mortality is higher than Saddam, etc.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (863a91)

  52. Better a enemy who keeps his word than a friend who lies through his teeth.

    Words for Democrats to consider in light of Clinton, Obama, and Biden all saying “We support the troops and wouldn’t cut off funding them.” just before they vote against the war funding bill Friday.

    dubya (c16726)

  53. From a good post on the Fourth Rail…

    The Marines have referred to our conflict with Islamic fascism as “The Long War.” Bill Moyer (of whom I am no fan) has spoken of “our children’s children’s war.” The lady in Baghdad may not be able to push her daughter safely down the streets today, but do her chances of realizing that dream come closer to fruition if America pulls out?

    Make no mistake. The enemy we fight is not on a timetable. Bin Laden has not told Al Qaeda in Iraq that if they have not taken Baghdad by the end of the year, that all of his scum-sucking murderous barbarians will have to withdraw.

    People who are too caught up in BDS to realize the truth in those words are actively supporting bin Laden’s agenda.

    dubya (c16726)

  54. At least one Bush-hater has the cajones to admit that taking Saddam out was right and withdrawl from Iraq now is wrong.

    dubya (c16726)

  55. Gee, dubya, if Bob Kerrey, a guy who gladly accepted a bronze star with “stuff happens” device after a unit he commanded rounded up the civilian population of a Vietnamese village and executed them supports the Iraq War, it must be a good thing, eh?

    alphie (015011)

  56. What do ya say, we do something to combat the war on obfuscation? Reality needs some exposure. These guys have the credibility to make you pay attention. Please, please see what they have to say. There’s plenty of credentials to back up their statements.
    http://www.patriotsquestion911.com

    blubonnet (8d9f79)

  57. He’s a Democrat, isn’t he? Runs the New School now, right?

    Why are you attacking the messenger, alphie?

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  58. Patterico,

    It’s easy to label leaving Iraq as “capitulation” and staying forever (or whatever Bush’s goal is) as “victory,” but that seems ludicrous to me. We won the war part of this conflict years ago.

    Sure, al Qaeda and others would probably claim a propaganda victory if we left, but it’s infantile to just find out what your enemy wants you to do and then do the exact opposite no matter what. If we had a half-million more troops (as per David Petraeus’ manual on fighting insurgencies) we could maybe pacify Iraq. But we don’t, so we can’t. The army is nearly broken, and keeping it in Iraq just to prevent a massacre that is happening anyway is stupid.

    Russell (adc946)

  59. alphie, was that before or after he won the Medal of Honor?

    dubya (c16726)

  60. You folks don’t understand even the simplest thing.

    AL QAEDA WANTS US TO STAY IN IRAQ!!

    The longer we stay in the Iraq, the better for them in terms of propaganda, financial support, recruits, and of course wear and tear of the American military.

    So it’s very simple. Bush and those who support him are the ones who are “objectively pro-terrorist”.

    And, as far as Kerry goes, was that before he was for the war after he was against it or after he was against the war before he was for it?

    kishnevi (202292)

  61. Wrong Kerrey, kishnevi. Follow the link at 58.

    dubya (c16726)

  62. bin Laden does not want us to stay in Iraq. He wants to take over Iraq so he’ll have more substantial resources (oil) than his supporters can scrounge up smuggling heroin in Afghanistan.

    dubya (c16726)

  63. Kishnevi,

    Iran’s President Ahmadinejad agrees with you that the US is the problem:

    “They [the Iraqis] know how to govern themselves and provide their own security. The problem is with the presence of the US. Let them leave and the Iraqis will be fine.” He accused Washington of exacerbating tensions between Iraq’s deeply divided communities, saying it is “afraid of an independent Iraq”.

    “The problem is with the presence of the US. Let them leave and the Iraqis will be fine.”

    “We know that the Americans and the Britons want to leave Iraq … But they want to leave a scorched earth for the Iraqi people,” he said. “They have started doing things like creating sedition among Iraqis – Sunnis and Shia, Kurds and Shia.”

    I think Ahmadinejad is projecting.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  64. alphie is the best reason I can think of to bring back duelling… tends to provide a better manners education than Emily Post.

    SDN (f7e93f)

  65. Al Qaeda wants us all to convert to Islam or be killed.

    By refusing to do either, we are just encouraging the terrorists.

    Patterico (eeb415)

  66. Al Qaeda wants us all to convert to Islam or be killed.

    By refusing to do either, we are just encouraging the terrorists.

    Lets keep encouraging them to blow themselves to hell…

    dubya (c16726)

  67. DRJ–Ahmadinejad is projecting. When we leave the Iraqis will not be fine for some time to come, whether it’s next month or next decade.

    But–here’s the important point–how the Iraqis end up is secondary to what is the main point for us: how the US ends up. And the US is ending up, regarding its overall security, and alQaeda in particular, worse off than it was before we invaded Iraq. And the longer we stay, the worse off we will be.
    What I think Bush should have done (beyond completing the job in Afghanistan of nationbuilding) is to have selected one of the following three companies and make them the following “offers”.
    1) Syria–get out of Lebanon, cut off Hezbollah and all other terror groups, and start to liberalize. If (or rather, when) that was refused, invade as we did in Iraq, but with better planning and better execution of the after invasion portion.
    2) Iran–cut off Hezbollah and all other terror groups, and start to liberalize. As a carrot, offer peaceful nuclear power, under conditions that keep it under our control and keep them from obtaining nuclear weapons as a result of our offer. If this was not accepted, then invade, but this would have required much stronger military forces than we used in Iraq, if only because of geographical considerations.
    3) Saudi Arabia–cut off all support of jihadis and terrorism, and start to liberalize. If not, we take over the Arabian peninsula, deal with the oil fields as we see fit, and give control of Mecca and Medina to the King of Jordan (whose family, after all, did control the Hejaz until the House of Saud took it away from them after WWI). Have at least some specially constituted units composed only of Moslems–Nation of Islam, African American mainstream Islam, Moslems of Asian descent, etc.–to handle matters in Mecca and Medina, which would allay at least some backlash in Moslem countries.
    Any of these three would have made much sense in terms of fighting the jihadis. Options 2 and 3 would probably have avoided much of what’s been going in Lebanon for the last two or three years, although of course that’s not something that could have been predicted at the time. Instead we went into Iraq, whose connections to terror (even if you take everything asserted against Iraq without questioning it) were far more tenous than the connections any of the three countries I listed have with them. And there is also this: AlQaeda was claiming the US wanted to set up an oil rich client state in the heart of the Middle East, both to control the oil and serve as a military base. So what did we do? We invaded Iraq with announced intentions that almost every Moslem would construe as fulfilling AlQaeda’s claim. Not a very good way to cut down on support for AlQaeda, I should think.

    kishnevi (04ed47)

  68. Almost forgot–thank you to dubya for the correction.

    kishnevi (04ed47)

  69. You folks don’t understand even the simplest thing.

    AL QAEDA WANTS US TO STAY IN IRAQ!!

    They love that we’re there, and they adore when we kill them and take their toys. Surely, they’d miss us if we left Iraq, and left them with a secure base of operations. Yes, I’m sure they’d hate that.

    Someone has been reading St. Andrew the Incoherent.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  70. My most recent comment on this thread was apparently too vulgar for the filter. (It seems to be set on “insult liberals only”.) So I’ll try another version.

    In Iraq, as opposed to the cartoon version, the situation isn’t good. We’ve been hearing about the great progress of the Iraqi Police for at least three years. As the Washington Times reported in 2004, “Overall, more than 5,500 high-quality [Iraqi] police officers have emerged from the State Department’s Jordan Academy.” It’s been rubbish, every time. Once upon a time the hospitals may have re-opened, but one in eight Iraqi children dies by age 5, which I strongly suspect is worse than Saddam’s record even under sanctions. Electricity generation and oil production? Also no better than under Saddam. Et cetera. Al Qaeda is getting cash and recruits hand over fist. We’re wearing out our equipment at settling in for an occupation in a place we don’t even know the language and seem to have few cultural affinities—a guaranty of failure.

    We don’t seem to have brought visible improvement to the Iraqi people, and we’re hoping at this point to leave them under some sort of Iran-friendly regime that isn’t too horrible in its treatment of Sunnis, a pretty far cry from the pro-Western pro-Israel secular democracy the architects were dreaming about when they started this mess.

    It’s not surprising that with all of the apparent goals of the war (other than the removal of Saddam) off the table, the 28 percent dead-enders are talking about “will”. Goebbels wrote some very fine stuff on “will” as the Russian Front collapsed. I’m sure the Imperial Japanese Army did. I know the Confederate government did. It’s the last card in the game, after the strategy and the tactics are known to be failures. But in this case, it’s even more noxious. Just creeps dreaming (from far away) of total war and blowing shit up calling anyone who has noticed their failures a pussy. Why don’t you guys just get medical assistance when you can’t get hard any more, instead of having to kill 100,000 Iraqis?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (f37f86)

  71. Andrew J. Lazarus,

    Your last post proves that there’s no filter at this website that prevents liberals from posting noxious and vulgar insults of conservatives. Perhaps you owe Patterico an apology for suggesting otherwise.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  72. In Iraq, as opposed to the cartoon version, the situation isn’t good.

    Let’s see here. Matthew Yglesias is yammering about a cartoonist while Michael Yon is sitting in Hit, making Chris Muir’s point for him.

    Sayeth Yglesias:

    I’m pretty sure that these reconstruction projects have, in fact, largely been halted.

    Who to take seriously, who to take seriously….?

    Why don’t you guys just get medical assistance when you can’t get hard any more, instead of having to kill 100,000 Iraqis?

    It ain’t you, Andrew.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  73. …Nation of Islam, African American mainstream Islam, Moslems of Asian descent, etc.–to handle matters in Mecca and Medina,…

    That’s rich: give Mecca and Medina to Louis Farakhan! 8) That would get the jihadis over here in a minute!

    dubya (c16726)

  74. Kishnevi #66:

    “But–here’s the important point–how the Iraqis end up is secondary to what is the main point for us: how the US ends up. And the US is ending up, regarding its overall security, and alQaeda in particular, worse off than it was before we invaded Iraq. And the longer we stay, the worse off we will be.”

    I don’t understand your reasoning unless your point is that our military capabilities have been degraded. I’m not sure that’s true but, even if it is, it seems to me that we are far better prepared to defend against our enemies than we were before 9/11 or the Iraqi invasion. I’m sure you think this naive but I’d rather fight the enemy in the Middle East than here at home.

    Furthermore, I can’t imagine any 2002-2003 scenario that would make an invasion of Syria, Iran, or Saudi Arabia less dangerous than invading Iraq. Other nations that refused to fight alongside Iraq likely would have chosen otherwise if we attacked Syria, Iran or Saudi Arabia. In addition, homegrown uprisings could and still might move these nations into more favorable positions, an unlikely possibility in Iraq given Saddam’s historical success at quelling domestic rebellions.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  75. DRJ, you should have seen the comment that didn’t make it. (I suspect that mentioning the specific chemical alternative to war got it blacklisted.)

    Pablo, I don’t think Matt Yglesias can chase down all of the reconstruction projects implicated in the cartoon version, but we know that overall many projects were curtailed, or did not work, or have been damaged by violence.

    A Congressional investigation into reconstruction in Iraq found that six out of eight projects the Bush administration claimed to be a success were falling apart, throwing doubts over the long-term viability of much of the $30bn (£15bn) programme.

    The report, published today, looks at sample projects ranging from a hospital to Baghdad international airport, and finds serious failures and neglect at the heart of the reconstruction plan. Stuart Bowen, the head of the office of special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, says: “These first inspections indicate that the concerns … about the Iraqis sustaining our investments in these projects are valid.”

    Or you could visit Snopes.com.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (f37f86)

  76. “These first inspections indicate that the concerns … about the Iraqis sustaining our investments in these projects are valid.”

    OMG! The horror of it all!!! I notice that The Grauniad doesn’t link the report it cites. You wouldn’t happen to have that, would you, Andrew? Because there isn’t much meat in the story.

    Chris Muir’s point was that we don’t hear about the successes in Iraq from the media, and he noted a variety of them.

    As for his point, I’ll let Yglesias speak for himself, so as not to misconstrue whatever the hell he meant to say before he went into solving the worldwide measles problem:

    Oh man. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone make a serious effort to argue that ongoing school construction endeavors in Iraq outweigh the fact that we aren’t achieving any of our mission objectives, but apparently Chris Muir didn’t get the memo that these talking points are inoperative:

    I’m sure Saddam Hussein will be happy to hear of that fact. Chris Muir will likely be rather confused by Yglesias’ uh, interesting argument.

    Michael Yon’s point is that Anbar has become rather peaceful, and that al-Q is taking a beating from the locals in Diyala, where they’ve scurried to having been chased out of Anbar. These should be noted as very positive developments in some of the most difficult places in Iraq, yet are largely ignored.

    And your point is…?

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  77. Pablo, Muir’s “research” consisted of copying stuff from a chain letter that’s been on the Internet for over a year. (Check snopes.com .) A lot of it is obsolete, and even some of the correct statements lack context: e.g., the big number of child vaccinations was actually less than Saddam managed.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (f37f86)

  78. You know that Muir is a cartoonist, don’t you Andrew? I don’t see that he did either what Yglesias is saying he did, nor that he conducted much “research”. He drew a cartoon with an imaginary disappearing newsbabe to make a point about what we’re not being told by the media about Iraq. I don’t expect footnotes. But that said,

    A lot of it is obsolete, and even some of the correct statements lack context…

    What, precisely, are Muir’s inaccuracies? If there’s something incorrect that he’s said, you should probably point it out instead of talking about an email that circulated some years ago. And just what was it you wanted me to gather from Snopes? Is it the “Undertermined” you’re going with? I’m sure it can’t be the “There is a valid point underlying the theme of these messages…” bit.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  79. OK, Pablo, let’s take Muir’s claim that 4.3 million Iraqi schoolchildren are in primary school.

    Oct 18, 2006: Recently released statistics from the Ministry indicate that only 30 percent of Iraq’s 3.5 million students are currently attending classes. This compares to approximately 75 percent of students attending classes the previous year, according to UK-based NGO Save the Children.

    March 18, 2007: Enrollment [at one primary school], at 400 in 2003, has fallen to about 300 today. Most Shiite students have left. The school building, crumbling even before the war, has fallen further into disrepair. Windowpanes are missing. Electricity comes and goes. Light fixtures lack bulbs, and there is no heat or air conditioning.

    I’m sure many of the other cartoon claims are just as obsolete or fanciful. Yes, some of them are technically correct: there were no cellphones under Saddam, so the number of telephone subscribers has gone way up. However, Muir’s conclusion that these new users are talking about the good news in Iraq seems less likely than their checking up on each other constantly to make sure no one has been kidnapped or killed.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (f37f86)

  80. Pablo, my link-rich reply analyzing the cartoon claim 4.3MM Iraqi children are in primary school is stuck in moderation queue. Short version: that was then. Now attendance is way down.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (f37f86)

  81. You got numbers newer than last June, Andrew? From the IHT, in a rare exception to the rule:

    BAGHDAD: Enrollment in Iraqi schools has risen every year since the U.S.-led invasion, according to Iraqi government figures, reversing more than a decade of declines and offering evidence of increased prosperity for some Iraqis.

    Despite the violence that has plagued Iraq since the U.S.-led occupation began three years ago, schools have been quietly filling. The number of children enrolled nationwide rose by 7.4 percent from 2002 to 2005, and in middle schools and high schools by 27 percent in that time, according to figures from the Ministry of Education.

    The increase, which has greatly outpaced modest population growth during the same period, is a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy landscape of bombs and killings that have shattered community life in parts of Iraq. And it is seen as an important indicator in a country that used to pride itself on its education system but that saw enrollment and literacy fall during the later years of Saddam Hussein’s rule.

    What was it you wanted me to get from Snopes again?

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  82. Yes. It was Fall 2006 when the numbers cratered

    Thousands of students have been forced to stay at home due to escalating violence across the country. Attendance rates for the new school year, which started on 20 September [2006], are a record low, according to the Ministry of Education. Recently released statistics from the Ministry indicate that only 30 percent of Iraq’s 3.5 million students are currently attending classes. This compares to approximately 75 percent of students attending classes the previous year, according to UK-based NGO Save the Children.

    .

    Andrew J. Lazarus (f37f86)

  83. Yes. It was Fall 2006 when the numbers cratered

    Thousands of students have been forced to stay at home due to escalating violence across the country. Attendance rates for the new school year, which started on 20 September [2006], are a record low, according to the Ministry of Education. Recently released statistics from the Ministry indicate that only 30 percent of Iraq’s 3.5 million students are currently attending classes. This compares to approximately 75 percent of students attending classes the previous year, according to UK-based NGO Save the Children.

    .

    Andrew J. Lazarus (f37f86)

  84. Yes. It was Fall 2006 when the numbers cratered

    Hmmm…just like spring of ’04 which turned out do be another year of increases in school enrollment outpacing population growth.

    School attendance is lowest in the Baghdad districts of Mansur, Amiriyah, Ghazeliyah, Keir, Adhamiyah and Resaffa where sectarian violence is rife. Other cities plagued by violence – such as Ramadi and Fallujah just west of Baghdad, Diyala in the northeast and Kirkuk in the north – have also registered very low attendance rates.

    Baghdad is much quieter since the beginning of the surge and the Mahdi Army’s abdication of the battlespace, and AQ is being run out of Anbar, leaving the Sunni tribes to their own devices. I suspect we’ll see those numbers right back up, if they’re not already. So, what was it you wanted me to learn from Snopes?

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  85. When you find evidence that the numbers are back up, get back in touch, OK? Until then, they’re down.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (f37f86)

  86. Pablo,
    you’re an idiot:

    Schieffer: “What’s your assessment at this point, is it better, worse, or about the the same as when you left?”

    Logan: “Well, I can tell you Bob, I’ve only been gone for about six weeks and just the drive from the airport into Baghdad itself was really visually disturbing. You could sense there is a dramatic change in the feeling in the city itself. It looks like a wasteland. The drive really reminded me of something out of Armageddon.”

    AF (4a3fa6)

  87. When you find evidence that the numbers are back up, get back in touch, OK? Until then, they’re down.

    let me know when you’ve got more than one data point, Andrew. Do you have any number that tells you Muir’s number is wrong? Get back to me when you do. Until then, numbers go up, and they come down. You haven’t proved him wrong. You’ve only proved that you really want him to be wrong, which tells a story all its own.

    Oh, and be sure to let me know what it was I was supposed to learn at Snopes.

    AF, you’re not worth the time it takes to respond to you.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  88. Well, Pablo, if you’d been to Snopes.com, you’d see that Muir is taking numbers verbatim from an anonymous, unsourced, unattributed Internet chain letter of 2005.

    Why should we prefer those numbers to a sourced story from late 2006? Bias, that’s why. Your bias.

    Indeed, I’d say Muir’s source is pretty weak period, even by Internet standards.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (f37f86)

  89. Well, Pablo, if you’d been to Snopes.com, you’d see that Muir is taking numbers verbatim from an anonymous, unsourced, unattributed Internet chain letter of 2005.

    You’ve already mentioned that email. But you haven’t shown the numbers to be wrong.
    Snopes says the status is “Undetermined” and that “There is a valid point underlying the theme of these messages…”

    You tell us:

    Short version: that was then. Now attendance is way down.

    Which tells us that you believe it was true, but because it was also mentioned in an email that was circulated, it’s faulty.

    Indeed, I’d say Muir’s source is pretty weak period, even by Internet standards.

    You know we’re talking about a cartoon, right Andrew?

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  90. Andrew is a cartoon, Pablo.

    dubya (c16726)

  91. “AF, you’re not worth the time it takes to respond to you.”
    …Whatever

    AF (4a3fa6)

  92. I’ll leave you buys to bicker over cartoons and Snopes. Returning to DRJ’s comment at 74:
    I think the US is worse overall, and not only because of the degradation of our military capabilities. Our overall security is less, and alQaeda’s (or rather, the jihadi movemenet) is improved, and this is directly because of our invasion of Iraq. First off, we have forces tied down in Iraq that we are not otherwise available to meet other threats. (Just what divisions do we have with which to feasibly threaten North Korea or Iran?) Second, and more important, a lot of international co-operation is now unavailable to us that was available to us before. I’m not talking about France and Russia, but of the Islamic world. More Moslems are more inclined to favor the jihadis and less inclined to favor us than before we invaded Iraq, precisely because we invaded Iraq–the direct reverse of what needs to be done to “win” the War on Terror. Plus the jihadis are able to get greater backing and recruitment.
    You note that had we invaded Syria, Iran, or Saudi Arabia like I outlined, we would have faced very similar results to what is now going on Iraq. That may be true, although the different ethnic situations in those countries might have had a major impact on that. However, unlike Iraq, we would have been inflicting a major blow on the jihadis and the countries which intensively sponsored terrorist groups. Saddam’s support of terror in comparison to that given by Iran and Syria (and, without actual government involvement, the Saudis) was like a soap bubble compared to a passenger carrying hot air balloon (the kind you ride over the Napa Valley)–and that’s if you accept all the assertions made by pro-invasion sources. Invading those other countries would have been, in effect, taking over the jihadis house. Invading Iraq was merely taking over the house of the people who lived down the street. That difference–the direct impact on the jihadis which was not a factor in the invasion of Iraq–would have been worth the negatives. (And, since none of them have been seriously threatened by internal revolution like you suggest–not even Iran–I have to discount that factor as a reason not to invade. )

    You’ll notice that I approve of the invasion of Afghanistan, and my complaint is simply regarding lack of follow through (some of it tied directly to Iraq). The same general situation is present there as it is in Iraq (the only major difference is the apparent lack of ethnic/tribal conflict), but the negative impact it had on the jihadis is so obvious that I don’t see how anyone other than a brainwashed peacenik could dissaprove of what we did there.

    kishnevi (03a14b)

  93. Pablo, Muir’s data (of whatever accuracy it might have) is from 2005 at the latest according to Snopes, and mine is from late 2006. And mine mentions that the numbers had been much better before.

    Is there some reason to prefer data known to be obsolete? The fact the earlier data tends to support your belief that the MSM isn’t telling us good news is not a reason.

    As for the fact it’s a cartoon, well, so what?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (f37f86)

  94. Kishnevi #91,

    There’s a lot to think about in your comment. In no particular order or importance, here are my thoughts:

    North Korea is a special case. Its leader is arguably a madman and there isn’t a good way to deal with him. The best policy may be humanitarian aid and containment until he dies, hopefully sooner than later, and I submit that’s been the policy of all modern Presidents.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree about Iran. I think America’s major threat to Iran is a naval blockade and we still have that capability. In addition, because of Iraq, we now have troops and supplies based right next door. If I were an Iranian leader, I would be more worried today than when Saddam was in power.

    As for our credibility in the Arab world, I doubt many people in the Middle East liked America before or after 9/11. The Arab culture I’m familiar with is pragmatic and respects decisive action, not talk. Americans, on the other hand, like to dither about decisions until a consensus is reached or the subject is moot or exhausted. Both attitudes have pros and cons but they don’t have much in common nor do they engender mutual respect.

    I submit that, ultimately, America’s staying power and productivity can win this war. America at war is an awkward giant whose major advantage lies in logistics. Our country prevails, not through special skill or cunning (although we have our share), but by being the best supplied and thus the last one standing. Our enemies know that the best way to beat America is if its citizens believe the price is too high and decide to quit before our logistical advantages can be brought to bear. The most powerful weapon our military wields in Iraq, Afghanistan, or any country is the ability to supply and help the people rebuild their infrastructure … but that takes time in the best of circumstances.

    It’s always interesting to talk to you, Kishnevi. Sorry to ramble on but it’s been a long, fun weekend and I’m feeling mellow and philosophical.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  95. Pablo, Muir’s data (of whatever accuracy it might have) is from 2005 at the latest according to Snopes, and mine is from late 2006.

    Snopes talks about Muir’s data? I must have missed that.

    Is there some reason to prefer data known to be obsolete?

    If it’s known to be obsolete, Andrew, produce the current numbers that show it to be so. Or you could also find something else to argue with, which I notice you have not done. This is the hook on which you’ve chosen to hang your hat. Where is your proof?

    The “obsolete” data is a three year trend. Your “proof” is a single data point. Do you really need this explained to you?

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  96. Pablo, if we go by your idea of using a three-year trend instead of newer numbers suggesting a reversal-of-fortune, 1929 was a great year for the stock market and in 1943 the Germans were swaggering past the Urals. For some statistics a trend line makes sense. Results in a war zone are not of these cases.

    Now, Snopes did not study Muir. Muir worked from some version of the chain letter in Snopes. Both have the obsolete 4.3 million in primary school. They also have identical wording about universities, research centers, and police graduation. This is a pretty easy case of forensic analysis, and I repeat: unsourced, unattributed, anonymous Internet chain letter. And the first number I decided to investigate turned out to be way off compared to the most recent data. Some of the other numbers are also obsolete or misleading: last week the Chronicle of Higher Education reported

    Iraq’s Universities Near Collapse

    Hundreds of professors and students have been killed or kidnapped, hundreds more have fled, and those who remain face daily threats of violence

    I confess, I have not been able to find any statistics on Iraqi Police graduation, so those might be correct.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (f37f86)

  97. Both have the obsolete 4.3 million in primary school.

    What is the current number, Andrew?

    Some of the other numbers are also obsolete or misleading: last week the Chronicle of Higher Education reported

    What part of “20 Universities, 46 colleges and 4 research centers are also all operating” is obsolete or misleading? Yes, there is difficulty. You moght have noticed that there’s a war going on, and there’s a group pof people determined to create chaos. But the fact remains, unless you can knock it down.

    You haven’t.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  98. Pablo, the September 2006 source I already quoted gave a figure of 30 percent attendance of 3.5 million children of primary school age. That was the most recent number I could find. The twenty universities [I could only find a list of 15, but whatever] are no longer really functioning. The fact the students and faculty have fled their empty shells doesn’t fit in with the cartoon Little Miss Chirpy’s disquisition on the good news we aren’t getting, does it?

    You’re going to have to decide, Pablo. You can’t tell me that there’s all this overlooked good news in Iraq, and then justify the fact that all your good news is obsolete or fictitious on the grounds that there’s a war on.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  99. Ya’ know listening to all this blather about data points, numbers up, number down really points out whats wrong with us as a country. There can be no success unless there is incontrovertable data?!?!?
    I realize that we are a bottom line society but come on!
    I wish that the next time were faced with a situation such as this, that we can round up all the critics,bushaters, Michael Moores etc and let them handle it.
    I wonder what they would do.
    That would be worth the price of admission.

    paul from fl (ae01cb)

  100. I wish that the next time were faced with a situation such as this, that we can round up all the critics,bushaters, Michael Moores etc and let them handle it.
    I wonder what they would do.
    That would be worth the price of admission.

    …but not worth the price of cleanup.

    dubya (c16726)

  101. …You’ll notice that I approve of the invasion of Afghanistan, and my complaint is simply regarding lack of follow through (some of it tied directly to Iraq). The same general situation is present there as it is in Iraq (the only major difference is the apparent lack of ethnic/tribal conflict),…

    Not to presume to be any kind of expert on the various “stans'” ethnicity, kishnevi, but I believe you’re mistaken about that. The Fourth Rail has several interesting articles on the various tribes that make up the area and the various rivalries and vendettas that have been going on between them over the centries.

    This article, for example shows the situational decay in Pakistan… particularly interesting are the various comments on the article.

    The sad fact is that Islamist psychopaths are all over the planet and are almost all equally dangerous.

    dubya (c16726)


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