Sunday, November 20, 2005

Criticizing the war critics

Cathy Young responded to yesterday's post of mine about Iraq with a post of her own, from which I've excerpted the following:

Now, there is another argument being made: that critics of the war, should they succeed, will be responsible for the death and misery and will befall the Iraqi people...I myself strongly oppose a pullout before the Iraqis can defend themselves, but I think that the "their blood will be on your heads" argument is a below-the-belt tactic that should be off-limits in civil discourse. True, the Anchoress's ire is ostensibly directed at those who talk about a quick pullout, but how many war critics are really in that category?...

What's more, the "blood on your heads" argument is too easily turned around. There is little doubt that at present, the war in Iraq has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis who would have been alive had the war not taken place. Yes, of course other Iraqi lives were saved from the killing machine that was the Hussein regime...


Cathy devotes most of her post to the Anchoress's comments rather than mine, so I'll leave it to the Anchoress to respond if she cares to.

But I wanted to clarify something for Cathy (and others) about my own post: I am not talking about war critics in general. I was speaking of one thing only: those critics who want to leave Iraq before it is ready to defend itself. Those critics who want to set a timetable for that pullout. Those critics who, like Tom Hayden, truly do consider the Vietnam abandonment by the US as something of which they are very proud, and who've been planning almost from the start to attempt a repeat in Iraq.

In my post I offered some links: to two previous posts of my own as well as an article about the end of the Vietnam War and a piece by Tom Hayden. I can't speak to whether Cathy Young has read them or not. But in case she hasn't, I suggest it. They're long, I know. But I don't think yesterday's post of mine can be understood without reading them.

My main point is quite a simple one: advocating a pullout--or even a timetable for a pullout--without understanding or recognizing the probable consequences of such action is utterly irresponsible. And it is an irresponsibility that ought to be familiar to those who remember what happened at the end of the Vietnam War. I can't really understand what would be "below the belt" and uncivil about saying so.

When I wrote yesterday's post, I fully expected that my argument--which was actually more about "blood on your hands" than "on your heads"--would be turned around and directed at war supporters. My answer? Yes, indeed, there's enough blood to go around. There always is in war; wars involve blood on everyone's hands, including pacifists, who are responsible for some of the blood involved in feeding the crocodile.

The important question is: how much blood is on whose hands, and to what end? To me, it seems clear that a pullout would be the greater of two evils, as I have come to believe it was in Vietnam. If eggs have already been broken, you better try to stick around till those omelets have been made.

60 Comments:

At 10:45 AM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Promethea said...

Listening to the drone of Daniel Schorr on NPR this morning, I am reminded once again of just how uneducated is this pundit and his ilk.

If one knows the smallest amount of American history, one knows that Daniel Schorr's little verbal rant about Iraq and Vietnam was complete hogwash. The reason why the current antiwar people will never feel shame is that they know nothing about nothing. It's all a lot of hot air.

Have to run now, or I would refine this comment and add examples.

 
At 10:56 AM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

Yeah...sure...I think you're quite right about these subsidized defeatist pinkocrats at NPR and PBS: they're surely in cahoot with neo-Wahhâbist sheikh Usama Bin Laden and his Caribbean commie comrade-in-crime Fidel Castro!!

After all, great leaders such as Reich-marshall Hermann Goering and Vice-Marshall Spiro Agnew held similar views: “these shameless pinko propagandists on the home front are de facto allying themselves with our enemies on the Eastern front” be it on the shores of the Volga river, the Mekong or the Euphrates! It’s Hanoï Jane Fonda and Tickrit Ramsey Clarke dejà vu all over again!

;-))

 
At 11:49 AM, November 20, 2005, Blogger kcom said...

It's a common ploy of those opposed to the war to take a specific criticism focused on a single thing and broad brush it into some blanket statement bordering on absurdity.

My favorite example is the good news/bad news example. Whenever someone in favor of the action in Iraq complains that the press goes out of its way to report the bad news and almost completely ignores any good news from Iraq the anti-war people, and especially the journalists (same difference?), almost immediately respond with something along the lines of "What do you want us to do? Just report on good things and completely ignore all the bad things that are happening? That's not realistic and not fair to our readers."

Of course, no one ever said they should ignore the bad things. That's just their way of trying to weasel out from giving an honest answer to the question. Of course, it's not an either/or situation. It's possible to report the good things and the bad things in the very same newspaper and let us judge their relative importance. We have brains out here. We can think for ourselves. What's not fair is for them to withhold half the story from us. Why do they find it so difficult to get their mind around that concept?

The same thing with your criticism, Neo-con. They take a specific criticism about a specific thing and try to generalize it to the point of absurdity.

As another recent example goes, saying a specific statement by a specific person is unpatriotic magically turns into any criticism of the war is unpatriotic. No one ever said that, meant that, or intended that. It's just their attempt to create smokescreen to obscure the specific issue involved.

 
At 12:01 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Mezzrow said...

Sure, Dr.V... Another logical and well-reasoned response. Congratulations for the two-fer - Hanoi Jane AND Nazi refs in the same comment. (Clarke and Agnew just null each other out...) Brilliant!!
/sarcasm

For a look at the utopia your dreams lead to, please read my comment at the base of the previous thread. We'll have plenty of time to see that there's no property to get in way of the perfection of your interior world...

 
At 12:48 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger David said...

I don't think Cathy's criticism is valid. Irue that if someone *after careful deliberation and a serious attempt to understand the realities* came to the conclusion that it would be better for the world for us to withdraw than to fight it out, then it would be unfair to talk about "blood on their hands"...as you point out there will be plenty of blood in any case. But most of those calling for withdrawal don't fit the above model. They are motivated by political gain, or by rage at Bush and at American society, or by a desire to establish identification with what they think are the superior social classes.

And yes, if someone bases their opinions on matters of life-and-death on factors such as the above, then I do think it's fair to talk about blood on their hand--or on their heads.

 
At 2:04 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger dus7 said...

My first impression re the site and nick neo-neocon was, 'Ooh, attention-grabbing! Deliberate?' Then I remembered how the drive to make liberal a pejorative term was largely successful for a long time.

Disparaging [promethea] Daniel Schorr without citing his 'objectionable' message is unproductive. Even with the departure of Tomlinson we can expect the influence of the CPB to push PBS further to the right.

I think it's too easy to conflate the arguments about the war in Iraq with the actual issues involved. All arguments will be skewed -- this is politics, hello? And to examine the underlying realities, we will have to do the legwork ourselves. MSM will not help a lot with the latter, but research online is good. There's http://www.juancole.com/, Murtha's actual speech is in many places, video of the House uproar is in several places, etc.

Choosing a side is divisive and less productive than being an independent thinker (voter) IMO.

I consider the war an unjustified debacle from start to no-end-in-sight. Ditto for the current administration.

 
At 2:28 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Promethea said...

dus7 . . .

Daniel Schorr was talking about how a President tried to hide the bad news from the American public so they wouldn't turn against the war. He then revealed that this President was not Bush...but Nixon! Us listeners were supposed to shake our heads sadly at the wise parallels--Bush equals Nixon, Iraq equals Vietnam.

Of course, Schorr conveniently forgot how Sainted President FDR lied through his teeth about EVERYTHING. If the decadent wussie newspapers of today had reported the news in WWII, FDR would have been impeached and convicted in the first or second year of the war.

dus7...I don't feel like writing an essay here--I would have to check my history books for sharp details to convince a hard-to-convince person like yourself--but I urge you to read some basic info about the isolationists of the 1930s and what it took to overcome their boneheaded views. Not a pretty sight.

 
At 2:41 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Promethea said...

Apropos of nothing...I had an amusing moment at the pharmacy counter this morning. A customer found that he had to go to the pharmacist to get Phisohex. (Can you make crystal meth from Phisohex?) We discussed that maybe he should just try soap. He and his wife then started piling on Bush, and the pharmacist joined in too.

I kept quiet, thinking that maybe calling these people ignorant buffoons would spoil the friendly moment, but...sheesh...it's Bush's fault that someone has to go to the pharmacist for Phisohex? Where does he get the time, what with arranging Katrina to drown New Orleans black people, raising the price of oil, then lowering it, beating up Sunni car bomb makers in a Shia prison, causing the sun to shine hotter and the sea level to rise.

Bush is quite a genius, isn't he. Even Leonardo da Vinci or Albert Einstein probably couldn't do all those things. I wonder if Bush is responsible for the French carbeques and the Asian bird flu. I wouldn't put it past him.

 
At 3:45 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ dus7 we knew your last paragraph before you'd finished your second. You might want to hang around and actually witness subtle and well-defended arguments here rather than assuming they don't exist. Congratulating yourself for being an independent thinker is unlikely to win many supporters here. You might try demonstrating it instead.

As every possible military policy has lives in the balance, every possible advocacy for any policy has lives in the balance as well. Everyone should be commenting only with fear and trembling, cognizant of their responsibility. It may well be that there are those criticising the war who are making that awful calculation as best they can and speaking accordingly.

I admit there are those supporting the war who don't appear to be making that deathly calculation, either.

But I have an overwhelming impression, and can cite evidence if needed, that the critics of the war very seldom go through that intellectual and moral exercise. When the case against the war makes the calculation of the dead and wounded only on one side of the balance pan, then it is clearly not the deaths and wounds, but merely the politics, which is driving the comments.

I find that frankly contemptible. We may be oversimplifying when we accuse the war critics of having blood on their hands, but we can at least say that they ignore some blood while pointing triumphantly at other. It is hard to do the horrible cost/benefit, risk/reward analysis with a dishonest person.

As O'Rourke's book reminds us that all actions have consequences: Peace Kills.

 
At 3:57 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Steve J. said...

There always is in war; wars involve blood on everyone's hands, including pacifists, who are responsible for some of the blood involved in feeding the crocodile.

A LITTLE REMINDER:

Colin Powell to Bush: "You break it, you own it."

 
At 4:00 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Steve J. said...

I am reminded once again of just how uneducated is this pundit and his ilk.

THIS is uneducated:

We have no idea what kind of ethnic strife might appear in the future, although as I have noted, it has not been the history of Iraq's past.
WOLFOWITZ, FEBRUARY 27, 2003

http://tinyurl.com/exk73

(Except for the last 5,000 years)

 
At 4:03 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Steve J. said...

I was speaking of one thing only: those critics who want to leave Iraq before it is ready to defend itself.

Iraq can defend itself right now.

 
At 4:11 PM, November 20, 2005, Anonymous strcpy said...

Haha, I'm not a free thinker, I follow the administration lock step because I suppoprt the war. Too bad I can't be a Free Thinker.

Anyway, this whole thing (including the free thinking post) happens because of several reasons. I personally do not believe that the anti-war pullout-now people do not understand the consequences of thier actions. It's like a murderer who says "Well, I just pointed the gun in your direction and pulled the trigger, not my fault you didn't dodge it, if you hadn't of just stood there you would have been uninjured so it's your fault". No one believes that truly, or if they do they are so far out of touch with reality that thier opinion is worthless anyway.

It's simply a political move that happens when one is focused on one single issue (getting thier way) and be damned averything else. It may not even "be damned" but just the blinders on so tight that everything elses doesn't exist. When you point that out you are breaking into their nice little world and they lash out with either direct insults or passive agressive insults ("If you were a free thinker and payed attention you would understand I'm brilliant" with no suppporting evidence).

*sigh* it's just blaming everyone else for the consequences of your own actions.

 
At 4:43 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Steve J. said...

one knows that Daniel Schorr's little verbal rant about Iraq and Vietnam was complete hogwash.

I wouldn't say that:

1) Both were started over lies (Gulf of Tonkin incident, WMD)
2) Both fought in cultures we have little understanding of
3) Both justified by the same spurious reasoning (Domino theories)
4) In both, the actual state of affairs on the ground was hidden
from the American public
5) In both, the civilian leadership botched the war and refusedto admit mistakes
6) In both, we lost the hearts and minds of the native civilians.

 
At 5:32 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Brad said...

Steve J.
Please stop the spamming. I realize that you are an extremely erudite person, and your blog shows you to be a true thinker, but your informational spam is overloading the circuits of us shallow folk.

 
At 6:02 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

In addition to your spamming Steve J., your post doesn't even reflect a serious comprehension of the Gulf of Tonkin history. Your other points are equally anemic, reflecting more of a Chomsky-like, conspiracy mindset than something which would hold up under even relatively mild scrutiny.

 
At 6:41 PM, November 20, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you support Iraq liberation you are deemed a stupid sheeple brainwashed by an idiot genius Nazi chimp who eats babies and the poor for breakfast, BUT never question that patriotic declaration with anything 'below the belt'. Ever.

Free speech is only for reserved only for the purpose bringing America down otherwise you are just a jingoistic nationalist whose sheeple pride is ruining utophia.

I hate Big Brother PBS and NPR groupthink, shoot me if your think you can.

 
At 6:41 PM, November 20, 2005, Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

I don't want anybody to think I made this up. It would be dishonest. But I can't think of where I read it.
The point is that, when dealing with adults, we should presume intent.
The most likely result of a given course of action should be presumed to be the intended result.
The result of a course of action which is complete, if it were the result which was most likely, should be presumed to be the desired result.
If the actor claims differently, we should presume he lies.

It is possible to have blood on one's hands even though you don't want anybody to think you do.
Young is incorrect.

Any course of action includes costs, some of which are bloody. In the dark ledgers of war, said another good writer I can't recall, all the entries are in red.

An immediate pull-out would result in massacre, tyranny, and worse long-term results in the war on terror.
We should presume that adults calling for an immediate pull-ouut want this to happen.
Reason: Not my job. But I'd speculate that BDS would lead some to desire a catastrophe so they could say of Bush's war that it was all for nothing, the same scam used about the treachery we pulled on South Viet Nam.
If the war succeeds, Bush looks good. Can't have that.
Speculation: A bloody reverse from time to time keeps the US from getting too adventurous and a too-adventurous US is a Bad Thing.
I am not interested in arguing reasons.
I presume the likely result is the desired result. The reason somebody wants this is irrelevant.

Those of us who support the war have blood on our hands and made that calculation early.
The question is how to have the least effusion of blood. Some now, less later. None now, far more later.
As we have noted before, stopping the Germans in 1936 would likely have saved millions of lives.

The statement that the war in Iraq was started on a lie (WMD) is itself a lie, as the liar knows.
Unfortunately, the liar probably thinks there's somebody on this board who doesn't know better, so he lied and got caught.
Bound to happen.

 
At 7:08 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Eric said...

I think the US had 'blood on our hands' when we changed over from Desert Shield to Desert Storm, made a bunch of liberal humanitarian claims about helping the Iraqi people, BUT THEN, left Saddam in power and sanctioned the country. Worse, when Iraqis believed in us and acted, we stood passive as they were slaughtered. Worse, we effectively became active conspirators with Saddam in oppressing the Iraqi people through the 90s until OIF in 2003. Worse, we all but admitted that the sanctions and containment regime was a failure by 1998, yet we were content to continue enforcing the policy in perpetuity.

Someone accuses us of the blood on our hands for OIF? The LIBERAL in me is outraged at that statement. Whoever said it should take care not to look down and see all the Iraqi blood on our hands for our irresponsibility and selfish callousness we practiced in Iraq from 1991-2003.

 
At 7:24 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

Speaking of the results of pacifism, I was just wondering - how would history have been changed if the Left and the Media had not convinced Americans to end our involvement in Vietnam. What would have happened if we'd won that war?

If the Soviet Union had begun its collapse years earlier, we might never have developed the strategy of using the Islamists to fight Communism.

Americans wouldn't have spent the late seventies wandering around in an anti-war self-hating funk. We might have easily crushed Khomeini and his 'revolution' and we might not have put up with so much garbage from the Saudis and OPEC during the oil crisis.

Without Khoemieni, the Iraq/Iran war might never have happened. The Iranians would never have provoked the conflict in Mecca, the Saudis might not have responded by becoming more "Islamic" and funding madrassas around the world; the Middle East wouldn't not be such a mess, Africa wouldn't be infested with Islamists, they would have been spared several wars, the Sudan would be a pleasant place and bin Laden would be a harmless, disillusioned millionaire.

Millions of Cambodians would still be alive, Vietnam wouldn't be an economic wasteland, disco might never have been invented and the world would have been spared the revival of brown, orange and avacado polyester shirts with flare pants.

There's no doubt - the world would be a better place.

 
At 7:33 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Steve J. said...

I was just wondering - how would history have been changed if the Left and the Media had not convinced Americans to end our involvement in Vietnam. What would have happened if we'd won that war?

10 million more Vietnamese dead.

 
At 7:34 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Dale St. Clair said...

Eric, I read it all different that you. Bush senior did what your side is always saying Bush junior should have done: formed a broad-based coalition. That coalition didn’t want Saddam deposed & Iraq occupied. It wasn’t Bush senior’s decision, it was a coalition/UN decision, a condition of the coalition. Canny old Bush senior might have also known that a Saddam deposed is a difficult nation-building effort guaranteed. I wonder if there’s anything in his book about it.

I guess I’m not understanding the gist of the rest of your comment, the “conspirators with Saddam” statement & the anger about the 1991-2003 time period. Perhaps you could elaborate.

 
At 8:04 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

10 million more Vietnamese dead

with optimism like that, no wonder the Left has accomplished so much.

What have they accomplished, anyway?

 
At 8:15 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

When it comes to the Neocon propaganda factory, old Marxist/Trotskyite habits die hard…

In many ways, this Abu Musa Al-I don’tknowwhatawi is the Emmanuel Goldstein of our age : just like the famous character from Orwell’s novel, the Jordanian-born “Super-Terrorist” started an organization known as "The Brotherhood", dedicated to the fall of the sole superpower…

In “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, comrade Goldstein is the main character of the "Two Minutes Hate," a daily information video clip shown on “The Telescreen”- the ancestor of Fox News and the TeX-Aviv Broadcasting Company…

Sounds familiar??

 
At 8:16 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

Statistics Of Vietnamese Democide

And aptly enough, Mark Steyn today: Senate Adopts 'Exit Strategy' from Reality

h/t American Future

 
At 8:49 PM, November 20, 2005, Anonymous strcpy said...

"Eric, I read it all different that you. Bush senior did what your side is always saying Bush junior should have done: formed a broad-based coalition. That coalition didn’t want Saddam deposed & Iraq occupied. It wasn’t Bush senior’s decision, it was a coalition/UN decision, a condition of the coalition. Canny old Bush senior might have also known that a Saddam deposed is a difficult nation-building effort guaranteed. I wonder if there’s anything in his book about it."

There is more to it than that. To put it short, I agree with both you and the person you are replying too.

Bush Sr fully expected Saddam to fall through an internal revolution. Our diplomatic arm had, in a roundabout sort of way, promised our help. We did this mostly outside of the coalition.

The next part is that the military arm was never informed of this. I've heard Swartzkopf (no way in heck I can get that right outside of sheer luck - you know who I mean) give a fairly long talk about it (in his own words it is the largest mistake of his career). Basically Washington assumed some things that were not true on the ground. The generals in Kuwait only really knew thier theater and not much else. So, when Saddam started asking permission to do things during the cease fire Swartzkopt allowed it as long as it didn't enter his immediate theater - not even knowing *anything* about the attempted revolution. Things such as allowing anything to fly outside of the no-fly zones, arming the rest of his republican guard, lots of things.

In Washington it was assumed this wouldn't happen, in Kuwait Swartzkopft didn't care as long as Saddam stayed away from him. In the end, why should he have? From the military viewpoint we achieved everything we wanted and had a contained defeated army - what harm in letting them play soldier at home? None to our troops.

This lead to what happened - one arm saying "Yea, we will help - go for it" to the resistance, the other arm saying "Yea, go stomp 'em out" to the govt.

Essentially we helped Saddam rout out much of his ardent objectors. If we had simply allowed him to fly without the diplomatic end saying what it did, or not allowed him to fly as the diplomatic end said, I would fully agree with you. But, as it stands, we (and that is the US entirely in this case) caused the deaths and torture of many thousands. Many of whom would be a *great* help during and after Iraqi Freedom.

It also directly relates to how long it has been taking for the Iraqi's to trust us - what they heard from us at the end of Desert Storm was much more unified and ended with most of his opponents dead/tortured It's also why this talk of cutting and running is so hard on *this* particular campaign. I can hardly expect the Iraqi's to trust us, though thankfully they seem too Bush and the people on the ground over there.

 
At 9:59 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Pancho said...

the Iraqi blood on our hands for our irresponsibility and selfish callousness we practiced in Iraq from 1991-2003.

And let us remind ourselves just who was the president during the bulk of this time.....

Hint: WJC

 
At 10:02 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

They're long, I know.

What do you mean they were long, they looked pretty short to me.

which was actually more about "blood on your hands" than "on your heads"

it is funny that you bring up heads as the Arabs tend to like a bloody head, including infants. Here is the Video, not for the weak of heart.

The idiots probably didn't realize that getting blood in your eyes is a sure fire ticket to death in a duel with swords.

They sure are blind, but nevermind.

THere's a lot that can be learned from one's enemies. Even if Saddam never much liked Osama or vice a versa.

Regardless of whether white supremacist and fascist Germany ever actually liked xenophobic and militarist Japan, they still learned much from the other.

Like Hitler said, focus on one opponent at a time, hammer him, don't give him any credit, and that is how you will defeat him. Bush is going to be a target for a long while. I wonder if Hitler ever wrote down the counters to his propaganda techniques....

Of course, it's not an either/or situation.

It is to the journalists. To the journalists, reporting any good news from the Pentagon is tantamount to going to the mat for "America" this foreun nation that they only work in.

A weird and very disturbing identity problem.

I can hardly expect the Iraqi's to trust us, though thankfully they seem too Bush and the people on the ground over there.

One of the weird things about Arab culture is their focus on the patriarchy and hence the tribal extension. In Kuwaitt, you have a tribe inheriting the Presidency, and it actually seems to work?!

So I don't think the Iraqis trust America, us, so much as they trust BUSH. Inversely proportional to how they trusted his father, that is.

In Kurdland, the most hospital to America, they have pictures of Bush senior on their vehicles.

Which is... not PC ya know.

Sometimes the underdogs do get a break, after all.

The small country cannot contend with a great country, still true, still true.

This lead to what happened - one arm saying "Yea, we will help - go for it" to the resistance, the other arm saying "Yea, go stomp 'em out" to the govt.

The State Department dudes are a bunch of lying fracking idiots dosed in kerosene oil waiting for a firelighting ceremony to raise them to Godhood.

Talk about domestic enemies.

A great nation, like a great man, keeps his word. Because that is the only standard of honor and "moral high ground" that may ever exist in this world of ours.

The thing with Bush and his read his lips thing, along with not helping the Iraqis, along with (insert internationalist fluff here) stuff really cashiered him.

This is compared to Reagan that in the end kept his word to the Eastern Europeans that they would get support, help, a hope that the oppression would end.

 
At 10:10 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

Steve J's amusing. It's comforting to know that we have the unequivocal assurances of a noted military security expert that Iraq is ready to defend itself, and as a bonus, an estimate that we were on track to eliminate about 70% of the remaining population of North Vietnam.

He's been studying under Dr. Vic, methinks.

 
At 10:59 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Steve J. said...

Steve J's amusing. It's comforting to know that we have the unequivocal assurances of a noted military security expert that Iraq is ready to defend itself

When we leave, the terrorists will dry up and wiher away. The Baathist die-hards can be dealt with by the Kurds and the Shiites.

 
At 11:05 PM, November 20, 2005, Anonymous strcpy said...

"A great nation, like a great man, keeps his word. Because that is the only standard of honor and "moral high ground" that may ever exist in this world of ours."

I fully believe in this case we intended too. It just, didn't quite work out. It sounded good at the time and by the time we figured out it wasn't going to work - too late. Not dishonesty but gross incompetance (not sure which is better though - but in the end sorta irrelevant).

I can see both sides, I don't share your view of the state department - there are some good, smart, and caring people there. They just live in thier own little part of the world.

Military people assuming diplomats knew what was going on and diplomats assuming military people knew what was going on was the problem. With those two sides *extra* communication is key - they come from such different fields of view that is what each assumes is vastly different. Both were correct within thier knowledge base - unfortunatly thier knowledge base was woefully inadequate (though given that this sort of thing is the state departments responsibility the vast vast majority of the blame should lay there - can't blame the tool because the hand didn't direct it to the right place).

It's having someone who plays fast and loose with words/meanings telling someone who is very strict what to do in a vague (even for the state department) way. They just do not meet and make correct conclusions.

As for the Iraqi's trust - I think they trust those on the ground also. Though W has to rank pretty high with them too. It's us nebulous stateside people who they don't really know that they do not. Given that thier main view of us is the MSM it's not too surprising, but I think that the soldier on the ground are giving them a more accurate view of what we are like - at the very least they are giving one hell of a counterpoint. It just takes time and I think we are doing fairly well right now.

 
At 8:51 AM, November 21, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When we leave, the terrorists will dry up and wiher away. The Baathist die-hards can be dealt with by the Kurds and the Shiites.

I suspect Western blog contributors' speculation on the Iraqi factions is woefully uninformed, but hats off to steve j. for differentiating between them. We really can't know, but it's clearly important -- what percentage are the so-called 'Islamofascists'? What percentage are 'Islamo' but not 'fascist' (following defensive jihad, with no post-occupation agenda)? What percentage are Baathist? And, rather critically, what percentage are nationalists or revenging family death (apparently a cultural convention)? etc. etc.

According to the London Times, the first time USA forces met with representatives of the coalition of 'resistance' groups, the other groups didn't even take the Baathist demands seriously.

According to the British MoD poll (see below) this is your enemy:

"The report profiles those likely to carry out attacks against British and American troops as being 'less than 26 years of age, more likely to want a job, more likely to have been looking for work in the last four weeks and less likely to have enough money even for their basic needs'."

As for the Iraqi's trust - I think they trust those on the ground also. Though W has to rank pretty high with them too. It's us nebulous stateside people who they don't really know that they do not. Given that thier main view of us is the MSM it's not too surprising, but I think that the soldier on the ground are giving them a more accurate view of what we are like - at the very least they are giving one hell of a counterpoint. It just takes time and I think we are doing fairly well right now.

strcpy, Iraqis get their news from Al-Jazeera, by faaaaar the most popular news outlet in the Arab-speaking world. That network's culture is suffused with a sense of superiority towards Western media, btw. They genuinely believe they are less biased than the Western MSM, and presumably that feeling is shared by their audience. To judge for yourself, you'd have to follow their coverage. Their website is translated.

As for the Iraqi's trust, check out the British DoD poll of Iraqi opinion, leaked in late October:

• Forty-five per cent of Iraqis believe attacks against British and American troops are justified - rising to 65 per cent in the British-controlled Maysan province;

• 82 per cent are "strongly opposed" to the presence of coalition troops;

• less than one per cent of the population believes coalition forces are responsible for any improvement in security;

• 67 per cent of Iraqis feel less secure because of the occupation;

• 43 per cent of Iraqis believe conditions for peace and stability have worsened;

• 72 per cent do not have confidence in the multi-national forces.

 
At 10:33 AM, November 21, 2005, Blogger TalkinKamel said...

Steve J.:

More vietnamese died in "Re-education" camps after the conflict officially ended, than in all the years of combat---not to mention all the boat people who died trying to escape this people's paradise. And yet you accuse Americans of being the ones wanting to kill the Vietnamese people?

You might want to take a trip to a Little Saigon some time, talk to the people there, and ask them how much they loved their communist overlords, and how they appreciated being saved from evil Amerikkka!

(Yeah, they appreciated it so much, they came here, to the homeland of their alleged oppressors, rather than live under their Vietnamese brothers.)

Or, you might want to read some memoirs written by those who suffered under the kindly and benevolent Vietcong and Khmer Rouge.

(I'm afraid you're right, Neo-neo Con; the Left is never going to admit their culpability in Vietnam. They'd have to: A.) Admit their own guilt, and B.) Confess they're fallible, just like the rest of us mere mortals. This, I fear, they will never do.)

 
At 11:29 AM, November 21, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

When we leave, the terrorists will dry up and wiher away. The Baathist die-hards can be dealt with by the Kurds and the Shiites.

Uh, no.

Shiites like al Sadr, most likely funded by Iran - are 'the terrorists.' They've infiltrated the police force in Basra and they've destroyed several Iraqi towns. Their goal is to create an Islamic state in Iraq under sharia law.

Like the 9/11 bombers who were financed by Saudi money and supported by the Saudi people, the terrorists in Iraq are also Saudi. Most of the suicide bombers in Iraq are Saudi, and most of them have been sent into Iraq, through Syria, by the Saudi government. These terrorists target Iraqi civilians and the Iraqi economy. Their goal is to create an Islamic state in Iraq under sharia law.

Like Iran, Ba'athists in Syria (and Ba'thists like Saddam) support(ed) Islamist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. Hamas and Hezbollah's goal is to create an Islamic state under Sharia law.

Of 'secular' Ba'thists, Professor Joshua Landis says:

The whole notion of a “secular” Ba`th [the main political exponent of Arabism and Arab nationalism. L-N,] needs correcting. Ba`thism is often referred to as a secular movement and non-religious version of Arab nationalism, but this just isn’t true... Ba`thism [...] is a transcendent faith [i.e. a secular form of Islam, L-N]. Both the founders of Ba`thist thought, Michel `Aflaq (Greek Orthodox Syrian) and Zaki al-Arsuzi (Alawite Muslim), discovered early in their careers that their party would never appeal to the broad masses of the Sunni heartland without making it perfectly clear that Ba`thism was not secular or based on earthly truths. They both insisted that Ba`thism was part and parcel of the Islamic worldview embraced by most Syrians. `Aflaq was so adamant about placating Muslim and religious sensibilities that he became known among his friends as Muhammad `Aflaq (and indeed he converted to Islam before his death). His genius lay in his ability to align Ba`thism with Islam.

Sunni Islamists and Ba'athists have all participated in ethnic cleansing campaigns against the Kurds. Shiite Islamists, Sunni Islamists and Ba'thists have also participated in ethnic cleansing campaigns against Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians and other minorities. Gee, it's almost as if they have something in common.

This genocidal campaign is called 'Arabization', it's supported by anti-war activists on the right and the left (see Juan Cole and David Duke) and if we leave Iraq we'll be giving it a green light to go ahead.

 
At 11:36 AM, November 21, 2005, Blogger kcom said...

From the esteemed Steve J.

1) Both were started over lies (Gulf of Tonkin incident, WMD)

- You're already getting off on the wrong foot, Steve, when you can't tell the difference between a lie and incomplete information. The next time you make a mistake and you're wrong about something I want you to send yourself to your room for being a liar. Oops, now that I think about it you probably don't make any mistakes.

2) Both fought in cultures we have little understanding of

- You might have little understanding of them, but that doesn't mean we all do. I would also wager to guess we had little understanding of Japan, by your definition, when we fought and beat them and made the world a better place for both of us.

3) Both justified by the same spurious reasoning (Domino theories)

- I've never heard a domino theory argument made for Iraq. That's just one more false Vietnam equivalency you've dreamed up. Maybe you heard that one in your "reality-based" community somewhere. You should let them know that the '60s actually ended more than 30 years ago because it seems they haven't caught on to that fact yet.

4) In both, the actual state of affairs on the ground was hidden
from the American public

- Why the media is hiding the actual state of affairs on the ground from us is one of the biggest mysteries of this whole situation. What kind of conspiracy have they agreed on to not tell us the whole story? It's like the media has its own talking points that no amount of contradictory information is allowed to penetrate. If you can get them to cover the whole story, not just the anti-American parts, more power to you.

5) In both, the civilian leadership botched the war and refused to admit mistakes

- As someone mentioned above about FDR, you won't find a single war that was prosecuted without mistakes. The point is, do you use the mistakes to correct the situation and successfully finish the war (FDR) or do you use the mistakes as an excuse to throw up your hands and run away (anti-Vietnam types)? If you believe in the second course, that's why we have very little respect for your position. Constructive criticism is one thing, using criticism as an excuse to run away is another. Compare how many Vietnamese and Cambodians died when we ran away to the number of South Koreans who lived and prospered when we didn't and you'll see why some of us say "Not in our name" to that course of action.

6) In both, we lost the hearts and minds of the native civilians.

- Prove that. Seriously. I know it's easy to say, but go ahead and prove it. Of course, it's a broad, meaningless generalization but somehow you'll reconcile it with your position in the "nuance-based" community, I'm sure.

 
At 11:47 AM, November 21, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm coming late to this party, but I would like to respond to something said way up thread.

When I hear the phrase Independent Thinker I hear someone who is expressing an elitist point of view. I get it a lot when I am asking people to engage in partisan politics. The term is one of a number of all purpose cop outs that my fellow citizens use.

Most people who know me have learned not to express, "Somebody should do something about that!" statements around me because they know they will get my answer.

Reasonable moderates and Independent Thinkers have abandoned the field to the opportunists and the ideologues.

The talk here is very interesting and, usually, indicative of good minds at work. May I ask how many of you have made just one overt partisan political action this week to advance your point of view at your local level?

"All politics is local", Tip O'Neill said. His politics aside, no one ever made a more astute observation about American politics. How about it? One overt political action at your local level? Just one....

Are those crickets I hear...?

 
At 11:56 AM, November 21, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

When I hear the phrase Independent Thinker I hear someone who is expressing an elitist point of view

LOL. As a perfect example of overblown elitist pomposity mixed with a complete lack of self-awareness, I'd offer a person who berates others for not taking local political action while posting as 'Anonymous'.

 
At 12:28 PM, November 21, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

6) In both, we lost the hearts and minds of the native civilians.

- Prove that. Seriously. I know it's easy to say, but go ahead and prove it. Of course, it's a broad, meaningless generalization but somehow you'll reconcile it with your position in the "nuance-based" community, I'm sure.


The British DoD poll results, posted a little higher in the thread, pretty much make that case.

 
At 12:33 PM, November 21, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

When I hear the phrase Independent Thinker I hear someone who is expressing an elitist point of view

..maybe the above response was too harsh. sorry. but as an independent voter who disagrees with both parties on the "war against terrorism", I believe that moderates and independents should consistently express their own point of view. Voting for your own point of view, not cheering for the Republican or Democratic teams, right or wrong, is the point of a Democracy.

 
At 1:29 PM, November 21, 2005, Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

When it comes to the Neocon propaganda factory, old Marxist/Trotskyite habits die hard…

In many ways, this Abu Musa Al-I don’tknowwhatawi is the Emmanuel Goldstein of our age (Jeff no pun intended!): just like the famous character from Orwell’s novel, the Jordanian-born “Super-Terrorist” started an organization known as "The Brotherhood", dedicated to the fall of the sole superpower…

In “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, comrade Goldstein is the main character of the "Two Minutes Hate," a daily information video clip shown on “The Telescreen”- the ancestor of Fox News and the TeX-Aviv Broadcasting Company…

Sounds familiar??...

------------------------------------
...Post-PS: Zarqawi's fate, updated, redux:

We’re now told that “in Beijing, China, a stop on President Bush’s trip to Asia, National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones discounted the prospect of al-Zarqawi’s death.
The report is highly unlikely and not credible” [sic] he said

Guess Abu Musab Al- Idon’tknowwhatawi will “live to fight another battle” as they say in Koranic/Neocon circles…

Too bad his “ancestral tribe” back in Jordanistan disowned him three times…kind of just like Saint Peter and the man they call Christ…the Madison Avenue-trained gurus at the PR and Public Disinformation section of our embassy in Amman are simply too brilliant!

Abu Musab père surely couldn't stand the thought of his son going postal on full jacket jihad in Ayyraq…but rest assured the Mohammedan Emmanuel Goldstein of our age will (once again!) lick his wounds and bounce back blah blah blah Zzzzzzzzzzz…..

Stay tuned my dear fellow citizen/dupes for the born-again Abu Musab will be reappearing soon in a Fox News premiere and/or a White House press conference theater near you!

 
At 1:32 PM, November 21, 2005, Blogger Andrew Scotia said...

..maybe the above response was too harsh. sorry. but as an independent voter who disagrees with both parties on the "war against terrorism", I believe that moderates and independents should consistently express their own point of view. Voting for your own point of view, not cheering for the Republican or Democratic teams, right or wrong, is the point of a Democracy.

Expressing your point of view is not action. Voting for your point of view when it is not to be seen on the ballot is merely another form of consumerism. Helping to make public policy may be similar to making sausage and best not observed too closely but it is the stuff of Democracy not standing on a soapbox in Comments. At least pass out voter registration cards after your soapbox and engage people face to face with your views and invite them to make common cause with you and your friends.

You may have heard another cliché, "If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem." I'm a Ripon Society/Rockefeller moderate Republican or what the current crop of party apparatchiks call a RINO roundly loathed by both sides. I have been one for well over forty years.

No opinion poll has ever overturned the power balance on a County Central Committee. Only directed, focused political activity at all levels of the process will bring political change out of stasis and gridlock. I'm sorry if I seem self righteous to you but I see your raised skirts and dainty mincing to avoid the mud as elitism. I've heard harsh before and you don't measure up to that level. I've heard every psychological defense mechanism in the book used to avoid political reality. None are unique.

This time I have checked the correct box and I remain, yours in struggle,

Andrew Scotia

 
At 2:14 PM, November 21, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

Expressing your point of view is not action. Voting for your point of view when it is not to be seen on the ballot is merely another form of consumerism. Helping to make public policy may be similar to making sausage and best not observed too closely but it is the stuff of Democracy not standing on a soapbox in Comments.

I was apologizing for using unkind terms to describe 'anonymous' - not for disagreeing with him.

Thanks for providing a name and a link, but given the continued uninformed huffiness of your response, I may have apologized too quickly.

In fact, I have participated in local politics, very actively during the last election and recently during a protest in front of the Iranian mission in New York. Still, the fact that I participate in these events when I can doesn't give me the right to boss everyone else around, and it doesn't make me an authority on all things political. If they want to participate by just voting, that's fine. If they want to participate by commenting here, why complain? A blog like neo-neocon's reaches thousands of people a day - more than any local action could.

Blogs are a very useful form for expressing opinions that aren't expressed by elected officials or the press.

These opinions are not just read locally, they're read worldwide. A local NJ blogger, Jane at Armies of Liberation, is currently affecting and enraging the Yemeni government. They're currently 'trashing her blog'. She's appeared on al Jazeera, and the Yemeni newspapers are writing about her. You can't get that kind of response by handing out flyers in front of the A & P.

 
At 3:05 PM, November 21, 2005, Blogger Andrew Scotia said...

maryatexitzero: Yes, I have been following the Yemenites vs. Blogospere at Jane's. I sent links to OSM, Wretchard and Instapundit about an hour ago. Giving the Yemenite power structure a hot foot is a Good Thing.

But, you are still not getting it. If you see this as "bossiness" or "huffiness" than you own the problem not me. The post about "Independent Thinkers" was not necessarily aimed at you. It was aimed at the concept and its' effects on the political process.

I applaud your local political work and action telling Iran it does not exist in a bubble. It was not my intent to guilt trip you specifically. But, that being said, someone once said that the twin engines of Western Civilization were, "...double entry bookkeeping and mother guilt."

 
At 3:38 PM, November 21, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forums such as this, where participants debate with (hopefully) open minds, are oxygen for a healthy democracy.

 
At 5:58 PM, November 21, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

I sent links to OSM, Wretchard and Instapundit about an hour ago. Giving the Yemenite power structure a hot foot is a Good Thing.

That's great. Jane has been working on the Yemeni problem for a long time. Their over-the-top response is encouraging lots of people to look at the problem.

I don't agree with the POV of the original self-proclaimed "independent thinker" in this thread, but politics as a team sport has always bugged me. It's good to give everyone a chance to speak their minds, however they choose.

 
At 7:05 PM, November 21, 2005, Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

Back to that poll, in which we apparently come off so badly. Gateway Pundit reviewed it in detail on 11/11, and I recommend the reader there.

In summary: Sean Rayment, who reported the poll, has a history of outrageous claims from anonymous sources. In the current poll, the following information is missing:
-the number of people polled.
-the time of the day the polling was done.
-what areas the polling was conducted.
-the dates the polling was conducted.
-the exact questions asked
-how respondents were selected

The poll is not quoted by any other source.

It contradicts every other previous poll. Absent further information, the poll should be disregarded. The fact that prominent Democrats are using the results in public statements would be challenged by any honest media.

You will notice that Steve J does not actually respond to any criticism, but merely makes more assertions without basis. Richard Aubrey and others make reasoned, step-by-step arguments, and Steve J's next post amounts to "Oh yeah? Well what about THIS?" and steps sideways.

I think it's good exercise for us to practice making arguments in simple form. But don't lose sleep over it.

 
At 4:36 AM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Eric said...

john moulder said: "I guess I’m not understanding the gist of the rest of your comment, the “conspirators with Saddam” statement & the anger about the 1991-2003 time period. Perhaps you could elaborate."

Sorry for the late response. Here's an article that fairly well goes in depth providing context for my anger about the pre-OIF UN/US mission in Iraq.

Iraqi Sanctions: Were They Worth It?
LINK: http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0401b.asp

One reason I support OIF is my opinion of the US/UN Iraq policy that preceded it.

 
At 7:30 AM, November 22, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok avi, that poll looks pretty dubious, indeed. I'll no longer refer to it -- thanks for pointing out the criticism.

I hope you'll reconsider saying it "contradicts" every other poll. Consider the
USA Today Poll
, in which 57% of Iraqis say they want the 'US Out Now.'

 
At 3:31 PM, November 22, 2005, Blogger wyok said...

I want to know why these discussions seem to be based on either pulling out now or pulling out when Iraq can defend itself? Iraq taking over its own defense is a good thing and this will help avoid the bloody aftermath of Vietnam. But it seems to me that democracy in Iraq is primarily a tool by which we are trying to make the US more safe, and happily it is also a good thing for the people of Iraq. Iraq is part of the WOT. Establishing democracy is to demonstrate an alternative to obsessively hating and blowing things up. It seems like it is working. How do we accomplish our objective by pulling out, even if the Iraqis can do it by themselves, or even whether they want us there or not? Shouldn't we be staying there to try to establish or encourage democracy in other countries, from our base in Iraq? I would like to know.

 
At 6:38 PM, November 22, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One obvious problem is the US presence in Iraq acts like a shit magnet.

 
At 7:23 PM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Obviously someone has never worked in a zoo. Shit magnets would be very popular there.

 
At 9:37 PM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Dale St. Clair said...

I’m in the process of moving & will be off-line the next few days.

I’ve been behind the war from the beginning because I believed America would be safer with Saddam’s removal. That has been done, although I don’t think Saddam’s continued neutralization by imprisonment or execution is guaranteed if the US pulls out of Iraq before the trial ends. We’ve accomplished the main goal by Saddam’s removal but once the US is gone anything could happen, including Saddam ending up back in power again. The “pullout now” folks in Congress need to realize that.

Once you have defeated & destroyed an enemy government I believe you must make every possible effort to get the defeated country back on its feet, which means at least able to defend & police itself.

I’m troubled by the polls that have been discussed. From the beginning of the war I expected a third of Iraq to be anti-coalition. During the American Revolutionary War, a 3rd of the population was pro-British, a third pro-revolution & a third didn’t care one way or another. However, if an overwhelming amount of the Iraqis want the coalition out, it may soon be time to begin to leave.

It’s not that I think the opinion of the Iraqi population necessarily must dictate US policy decisions, I really don’t care too much what the Iraqi population thinks in the same way that I wouldn’t have cared much about German opinion during the occupation after WW2. US security came first then & it comes first now but I think it becomes difficult to hold things together militarily if a great number of the population is extremely hostile. That number might be even greater than 57% & from maybe 2 or 3 polls I trust.

If chaos followed a coalition pullout & Iraq fell into civil war maybe we could send Gallup in there to see if the Iraqis still wanted us gone:-) Seriously, if a government belligerent to the West ended up in control the coalition might be forced to go back in to bring down yet another belligerent Iraqi leader.

A West-friendly non-terrorist-harboring democratic government in Iraq & Afghanistan would be great but the US & the coalition may have to settle for the first 2 conditions.

However, a non-belligerent relationship where there is absolutely no harboring or sponsorship of terrorism are mandatory conditions. If a hostile, terror-sponsoring government(read jihadist or hostile Ba’athist) were to come into power I would be in favor of another war.

But I’m also very suspicious of the discussed polls because they contradict the environment rendered by the dispatches from Michael Yon & most of the military blogs I’ve come across. Those sources give the reader the sense that although there has been steady improvement in Iraqi military & police capability & US military/Iraqi civilian interaction that for now the military & police still need coalition forces around. I would be very interested to know what Michael Yon thought of these polls. At any rate I would have to know much more about the polls than mere quotes from them. Maybe more will be known by the time I get back in a blogging mode. In science experimental findings must be independently verified & duplicated before they are generally accepted. That may also be a good rule for polls & surveys.

May the discussion continue.

 
At 2:16 AM, November 23, 2005, Anonymous strcpy said...

John, I hope you get to notice this at some point, hope it is still front page when you get back. If you look at the poll you have little reason to worry - it isn't turning south.

"But I’m also very suspicious of the discussed polls because they contradict the environment rendered by the dispatches from Michael Yon & most of the military blogs I’ve come across."

You will note that the linked article is from 4/29/04 - over a year ago. The poll in question was taken at the time of the Falluja uprising, massive rolling blackouts, a time when Iraqi's didn't believe we would allow them to vote. In short not anything like Iraq of today. And - as even the article states - it was the lowest point in the whole thing for the US. Even with all the doom and gloom 61% said it was all worth it.

You will note current polls VERY much contradict these numbers - the shift happened once they figured out that we were going to let them vote, and did let them vote. I highly highly suspect that if the question "Do you think the US will allow you to vote and be a sovereign nation" was asked in this poll a VERY high percentage would have said "no" - what we have done since then has had a HUGE change. I also highly suspect that not only would there be a high correlation but a high causation between not thinking that we will allow them to govern themselfs and the attitude for us to leave right then.

You will also note that the military bloggers have changed since then. During the time of the poll the talk was of winning minds, killing the bad guys, bringing order and infrastructure (such as electricity). No where was the current optimism present (other than they felt it was an achievable goal).

If someone is using polling numbers that old there is going to be a reason. Maybe Anonymous didn't notice, maybe it fit with his/her idealism and didn't care, maybe there is something else. In any event you can't use a poll that old for anything on public attitude - especially not in someplace as rapidly changing as Iraq. That anonymous cites it as "proof" is a hit against them - if the stuff they show as strong proof that they base thier beliefes on is that non-current it's hard to take the rest of thier conclusions as very much - garbage in garbage out.

I'm sure if Anonymous thought for a moment about what they read they could have figured out that a poll over a year and a half old taken during shellings and blackouts isn't viable now. If not, then there is little reason to discuss anything with them - simply point out the idiocy and let them bury themselfs.

 
At 9:05 AM, November 23, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

strcpy, why be so coy? If you'd rather I didn't post here, why not just tell me to fuck off?

From yesterday at Informed Comment

Murtha pointed out that a recent poll indicated that 80% of Iraqis want the U.S. out. This poll, a secret British defense ministry survey conducted in August 2005, is consistent with earlier polls and several facts: the fact that most slates in the January 2005 election -- including the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), which won the election -- had in their platform the demand for a timetable for the withdrawal of occupation forces from Iraq; a U.S. military poll in February that found only 23% of urban residents supported the presence of coalition troops, compared to 71% opposed; the statement of 126 members of the Iraqi National Assembly, including a majority of the 140 MPs of the majority UIA, demanding "the departure of the occupation force"; and the request made repeatedly by the National Sovereignty Committee of the Iraq National Assembly for a withdrawal timetable for "occupation troops."

 
At 2:09 PM, November 23, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

IRIS blog is referencing some other polls, some key excerpts follow:

"... 47% of Iraqis polled said their country was headed in the right direction, as opposed to 37% who said they thought that it was going in the wrong direction. And 56% thought things would be better in six months. Only 16% thought they would be worse."

"... 64% of military officers are confident that we will succeed in establishing a stable democracy in Iraq. The comparable figures for journalists and academics are 33% and 27%, respectively."

"Although both the Army and the Marine Corps are having trouble attracting fresh recruits — no surprise, given the state of public opinion regarding Iraq — reenlistment rates continue to exceed expectations."

"... the Brookings Institution reports that per capita income has doubled since 2003 and is now 30% higher than it was before the war. Thanks primarily to the increase in oil prices, the Iraqi economy is projected to grow at a whopping 16.8% next year."

 
At 5:27 PM, November 23, 2005, Anonymous strcpy said...

"strcpy, why be so coy? If you'd rather I didn't post here, why not just tell me to fuck off?"

Possibly because that's not what I think? If I wanted you to "fuck off" and never post here again I would have come straight out and said so - if you note I tend not to pull punches and say what I mean to say (and, like the sarcasm below, it's so strong there is no "coy" about it). But if it makes you feel better, then go ahead and believe what you need too. I am an Evil(tm) conservative and we are all out to get you and you are the nicest person there is on the planet. Personally I prefer you to post, I prefer to have people who say pretty much the anti-war line in a forum where it can be easily disputed instead of places where there is no dissenting voice (such as nearly all leftist and anti-war blogs).

And you still quote secret polls and old ones that contradict current ones. At least the Brooking institute stuff (after searching) has a few newer, but the majority of it cites the exact same polls as have been gone over here (and doesn't bother to mention that they are secret and unverifiable). The newest polls leave out that they are Baghdad only but are represented as Iraq as a whole (I'm sure that was simply an oversight - not intentional) - in a handfull of plces it says "Urban only". Again - something you you would not accept from a right-wing think tank but expect everyone to take for gospel from a left-wing think tank. You are citing the same polls over and over through different institutions and do not even seem to realise it.

Of course, as I said, I knew this would be the case. At some point there is little reason to go over things again. The information has been given and, at this point, even those who are "undecided" have all the information needed and I can only give the same stuff over again.

 
At 11:29 PM, November 23, 2005, Blogger Steve J. said...

- I've never heard a domino theory argument made for Iraq.

After the failure to find WMD or a collaboration with Al-Queda, the justification became "spreading democracy in the Middle East."

 
At 11:34 PM, November 23, 2005, Blogger Steve J. said...

The point is, do you use the mistakes to correct the situation and successfully finish the war (FDR) or do you use the mistakes as an excuse to throw up your hands and run away (anti-Vietnam types)?

The point is that Bush is incapable of admitting a mistake and Rumsfeld is borderline psychotic.

 
At 4:47 PM, November 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"if you note I tend not to pull punches and say what I mean to say"

Yeah, I noticed that.

 
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