Friday, June 16, 2006

Reaching critical mass in Iraq?

Both before and after we invaded Iraq, one of our problems was lack of good intelligence from inside that country. Many of our advisors were Iraqi expatriates whose information was out-of-date and not necessarily reliable, and Iraq itself seemed opaque and nearly impenetrable.

After the invasion the situation couldn't be turned around all that quickly. Iraqis were wary, and for very good reason. Why trust Americans to have Iraqis' best interests at heart or to be competent in building a new and better Iraq? Why believe that the awesome and terrible control of Saddam was no more? Why believe that al Qaeda and the foreign terrorists streaming into the country would not remain powerful forces?

But it seems that the long slow process of winning the trust of Iraqis has begun to pay off, and the more this happens, the more it will tend to happen. It's a snowball effect; small accretions build on each other, and finally some sort of critical mass is reached. It's as though the situation in Iraq immediately prior to Zarqawi's death resembled a supersaturated solution, and his demise-- and especially the resultant capture of a vast treasure trove of related intelligence on al Qaeda's working in Iraq--was the trigger that caused a host of cascading events to crystallize, which in turn appear to be profoundly weakening the terrorist network in Iraq.

The increased trust and cooperation that probably contributed to Zarqawi's end was no doubt due to a combination of factors, not the least of which was the nascent Iraqi government with its growing police force and army. And now (in the immortal words of none other than Bin Laden himself) since people tend to back a strong horse, with the killing of the hated Zarqawi and the arrest of many of his confederates, the US probably seems as though it just might be a stronger horse than previously thought.

Although there's always the possibility that the following represents some sort of psych-ops operation rather than the real deal, if we can believe the authenticity of a document reported to have been recently captured by our forces, the insurgency knows itself to be in trouble:

The document said the insurgency was being weakened by the American program to train Iraqi security forces, as well as "massive attacks and arrests," the disruption of insurgents' financial networks and the launching of a propaganda campaign that was prompting Iraqis to believe that the insurgents were acting against the public interest.

Effective anti-insurgency and anti-terrorist operations have been slow to build, but that is changing:

So far, the June 7th strike has led to over 500 more raids. There have been so many raids, that there are not enough U.S. troops to handle it, and over 30 percent of the raids have been carried by Iraqi troops or police, with no U.S. involvement. Nearly a thousand terrorist suspects have been killed or captured. The amount of information captured has overwhelmed intelligence organizations in Iraq, and more translators and analysts are assisting, via satellite link, from the United States and other locations.

Zarqawi's successor must be feeling at least a trifle edgy since his promotion, unless of course he aches for martyrdom. His identity and photo have already been posted with a speed that is still another indication of the recent improvement of our intelligence.

Does any of this mean that terrorist attacks such as this one will suddenly become a thing of the past in Iraq? Of course not, although it would be wonderful to see them begin to decrease.

And note the planned timetable for the increase in the use of Iraqi forces, mentioned in the same NY Times article that discusses Zarqawi's successor:

"There is an agreement to take over the security responsibilities from the British, Australian and Japanese forces in southern Iraq during this month," al-Zubaie said. "We hope that the Iraqi security forces will live up to their duties there. It is the dream of all Iraqis that our forces will handle security issues all over Iraq."

Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki announced shortly after taking office on May 20 that Iraqi security forces will start assuming full responsibility for some provinces and cities this month, beginning an 18 month process leading to the eventual withdrawal of all coalition forces.


None of this means things will inevitably continue to go in the right direction. But events do build on events, not only in terms of concrete information gained, but also in terms of changed perceptions. Greater strength on the part of the allies can only inspire more people to come forward with more information, which can only increase the number of terrorists and insurgents captured, which can only result in more intelligence information gained from their laptops and the like, which can only lead to more captures and more cooperation from Iraqi citizens. It's the opposite of a vicious cycle--that is, it's vicious only to those who are the hunted, al Qaeda and the insurgents.

72 Comments:

At 7:28 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger jhankey said...

you are a VERY quick learner. I would love to see your take on churchill before America was in the war.

 
At 7:28 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger TmjUtah said...

All things being equal, I see the very best mechanism for deciding when the bulk of coalition forces will begin coming coming home as being a national referendum in Iraq, with the question being put to the people.

I think, instead, the motion will originate from within the Iraqi government - after all, it is a freely elected body, representing the people -

(The people of Iraq. In the middle of the Muslim Arc. And their democratic government. We do live in wondrous times...)

- and such a request would still be the voice of the nation at one small remove.

The insurgency is on its last legs as far as being an organized threat. There will be more pointless murders, more bloody videos, and stringer-supplied photos of dead people.

The momentum is all going Iraq's way, though. Sad that the world's media can't see it, though not as sad as the same fault on daily display by our minority party and its BDS base.

 
At 8:18 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

All things being equal, I see the very best mechanism for deciding when the bulk of coalition forces will begin coming home as being a national referendum in Iraq, with the question being put to the people.

I think, instead, the motion will originate from within the Iraqi government - after all, it is a freely elected body, representing the people


With a copy of the same optimism in the nod of coalition generals and Heads of States, a referendum from the Iraqi people for coalition force to return home would be perfect – almost too perfect – I hope it can be achieved. There will be attempts on a scale not seen before to take hostage this resolve – one last “battle of the bulge”.

 
At 8:44 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger al fin said...

Iran has no intention of allowing Iraq to become even a regional success, if it can help it. I suspect that Iran's influence inside Iraq is much less than Iran would like.

Unfortunately, even if Iraq is regionally successful in democracy, that is not the same thing as freedom in the North American sense. Non-muslims will still suffer discrimination and intimidation. Merchants will still be intimidated and sometimes murdered by muslim fanatics. Honour killings of daughters and wives will likely continue. Sporadic revenge killings will take place.

Israel will remain the only nation with basic western freedoms in the middle east. Precisely because Israel is not arab, not muslim.

 
At 8:46 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

This is a Reverse Tet offensive.

What i found interesting was that Z man was trying to embroil Iran into a war with the US as a way to get the US off z man's back, and it was this Sunni using Shia, Shia using Sunni realpolitek going on here with the cloak and daggers.

Iran is using z man and sadr to get the US off Iran's back. Sadr and z man is using Iran to get the US off their back. Z man is using sadr to foment civil war. Sadr is using z man to consolidate political power. It is like a huge Byzantine Network of crazy stuff.

 
At 9:24 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Gerard said...

The withdrawl of US troops from Iraq will depend on the military's view of the need for our current bases in that country. Nothing else, in the final analysis, will count.

 
At 9:31 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Propaganda, disinformation, and the media war does count.

Just look at what PC is doing to the Marine Corps.

Death before dishonor

 
At 9:36 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Goesh said...

Al-masri won't have near the network and freedom of movement zaqawri had and the hunt is on for him already. Assets have been taken out and compromised, safe havens no longer safe for him. How nice it would be to have his head on a pike in short order - it would be the coup de grace to al qaidah in Iraq. Sadr remains a problem and I would presume at a certain stage of attained security and normalacy, he can be removed by arrest or bullet. I would hope with stability that influential Shi'ites would be willing to act against him and his detrimental presence/influence. He should have been taken out early on. Long term Iraqi security and real democracy in my opinion is contingent upon Iran having its nuclear sites destroyed by the West. The mullahs have to be drop-kicked in the groin, to use street terminology - there is no way around that.

Regarding troop withdrawals, I keep in mind that the average solider in the Republican Guards was well trained and disciplined and I suspect many of them are being integrated back into uniform with clear avenues of loyalty and commitment set before them ,with better treatment and pay to boot. The fact that Iraqi forces are making raids and doing patrols and engaging terrorists is most encouraging. I think there has been remarkable progress in 3 years. In time, our media will have to report fist fights as a sure sign that chaos and anarchy reigns in Iraq..... 'today in Iraq, 6 men were hurt in a ferocious brawl at a bar. Coalition and iraqi forces seem powerless to stop these fights. Two children were cut by broken glass and residents are afraid to leave their homes' - well, I always did have a wild imagination but I don't think I'm too far off track with it....

 
At 9:49 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Goesh said...

Yamarsakr, there is a very strong backlash building against that PC nonsense manifesting by certain elements in the Marines. Some very pointed and hostile letters and emails are being sent, more than you would think.

 
At 9:51 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

al fin said...

Unfortunately, even if Iraq is regionally successful in democracy, that is not the same thing as freedom in the North American sense. Non-muslims will still suffer discrimination and intimidation. Merchants will still be intimidated and sometimes murdered by muslim fanatics. Honour killings of daughters and wives will likely continue. Sporadic revenge killings will take place.

So sad so true -- if we could just get N.O.W. to step up to the frontline of women's rights and show us the meaning of feminist courage.

 
At 11:49 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Freedom in North American sense ain't as superior as one might think.

The more I learned about the military, the more I understood that it was neither the myth of evil Leftists see it as nor the pedestal of perfection that others treat them as.

The military, being composed of humans, is very prone to the same flaws of humanity as any other organization composed of humans. The difference is, that the military being what it is, differences and arguments are masked by the existence of the chain of command. In civilian organizations, there is transparency and media attention, so any disagreement is blown out of proportion. In the military, differences are cleaned out in house, and not aired for the whole world to see. Thus what seems like a very monolithic culture, is not a pristine and as pleasant as some might believe.

It is somewhat disappointing that the military cannot be the perfect pedestal that people look up towards, but in reality if you want perfect role models, then religion is your thing, not war.

What seems to be happening now is that some people are trying to control the military by making the military into a civilian organization, where matters are decided not based upon loyalty, honor, or ethics but based upon popularity, politics, and political favors.

It used to be that internecine battle amongst the different branches caused big mojo problems at the top, now that we have integrated the Joint Commands for all branches, the new problem is now politicians and the media and the lawyers. It is always the lawyers, it seems, who are messing things up.

The military faces a "crisis" like this every few decades or so it seems. In the 1960s, it was desertion and drugs. In the 70s, it was Vietnam and inter-service rivalries. In the Clinton years, it was funds being cut. In the Bush years, it is now PC with a vengeance.

If the warriors face the domestic enemies of the Constitution with the same nerve and verve they show towards the foreign enemies of the Constitution, then they will be just as victorious. Bush might want to authorize the military to do that however. It is not just the borders that are domestic.

 
At 12:28 AM, June 17, 2006, Blogger Boston Patriot said...

I am very proud of our military and President Bush and his team, both cabinet and military, in what has been accomplished in Iraq to date. Could it have gone smoother at times? Sure. Were mistakes made both in planning and execution? Again, sure. But, there has never been any doubt in my mind that turning Iraq into a free peoples' democracy wasn't achievable. From the beginning, America can and has achieved its goal when it puts its mind to it. We are a flexible and resilient people, drawing from many different quarters to find the talent to accomplish all types of goals throughout our history.

We also are a good people. Numerous times in our history we could have taken land and treasure. Will we get oil from Iraq? Of course, but we will not take it, we will purchase and trade for the oil. Was oil the main reason for going to Iraq? I think only to the extent that political stability is necessary in the region. Oil fuels not only our economy, but the world's economy.

Iraq is also a part of our war on terror, one of the fronts, if you will. With Afghanistan out of the picture, after our victory there, Iraq was the next logical front to open in the war on terror. WMDs or no WMDs we needed to take on Saddam and we did. There were many reasons laid out by President Bush for going into Iraq and WMDs was not the only reason. The media and the Dem's jumped on that reason, and to help get public support the WMDs were emphasized along with the UN resolutions and the terror connection by the administration. After the war started in Iraq, the media and the Democrats acted as if WMDs were the only reason we went to Iraq.

During a war, no matter what kind of plan you have, it will have to change as the situation dictates. Flexibility is key in adjusting to the ever changing circumstances during war. I believe we are at a turning point now in Iraq, with Zachari's death and it appears we are taking advantage of this opportunity. The war is far from being over and we will have a military presence there for years to come, mainly for strategic purposes in the region, as well as to be of assistance to Iraq if necessary. Our presence in Europe over the past 60 year has been a positive one on the whole, and our presence in the Middle East will be as well.

I feel the msm and the Democrats have really hampered our effort. They are helping to prolong the war with their words and deeds. They really have no shame, and I am so ashamed of them. In my opinion, one of President Bush's failures in the war on terror is the home front battle. You expect set backs on the field of battle, but the administration has perfomed below par in dealing with our own insurgency here at home. Fortunately, the majority of the people understand what's at stake. Also, it's people like neo-neocon and other bloggers, Rush and other radio personalities, that are helping to get the truth out. Yet, it would be good to see more articulate representatives of the administration taking on the battle at home. At times, it's like a tidal wave of bad press, a sheer onslaught coming down against the President and the war
effort.

 
At 12:36 AM, June 17, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Here's a taste of what a Bush counter-propaganda operation would look like.

What you see is not what you get

 
At 12:42 AM, June 17, 2006, Blogger Jason H. Bowden said...

al fin--

I agree with you completely. But things aren't always about where we stand, but what direction we are heading in. Our democracy initially didn't allow women to vote at all, and allowed people to own other human beings as property, and we're not doing too bad today. With a democratic setup, people have a frameworkw for positive change (and conservatives can peacefully resist it) without blowing each other up.

 
At 4:39 AM, June 17, 2006, Blogger Michael van der Galien said...

Liberty and Justice TrackBack

"Assuming the US to be right about this, that al-Masri indeed is AQ's new leader in Iraq and that indeed, this is an accurate picture of him, he probably is a little bit distressed right now: he seems to have tried to remain anonymous when he first came to power. Like al-Zarqawi did when he started to lead AQ in Iraq.
The US and Iraqi forces now know who to bring down. The killing of Zarqawi proved that not one terrorist leader is safe - now everybody knows who AQ in Iraq's new leader is, the manhunt can begin once again."

 
At 10:12 AM, June 17, 2006, Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Neo,

No less an authority than Michael Ledeen thinks the Zarqawi document you (and many others, including Ralph Peters) cite is an Iranian forgery:

Nonsense...


Jamie Irons

 
At 11:38 AM, June 17, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The intercepted letter from z man to al man zawahiri in Pakistan, was not a forgery. Nothing new so far has contradicted the basic Z man plan he outlined in his letter of obedience to Al Qaeda's 2nd in command.

JJA: Not really. May was one of the worst months since the fall of Saddam. Recently there’s been a dramatic increase in assaults and the number of dead innocents. Precisely the opposite of what the unnamed “leader” says.

Dude, when someone says he hit you with a nuke, that don't mean he said he caused less casualties than shooting 5,000 bullets at you. Retarded analysis. If Ledeen wants to twist words around, he should at least get rid of the facade.

“So how exactly do you figure out when something is real, and when it’s a deception?”

I was talking via my rickety ouija board with the spirit of James Jesus Angleton, the former chief of CIA counterintelligence, somewhere in the Great Beyond, concerning the much ballyhooed document found in Iraq [...] Angleton seemed much amused by the document, which he dismissed as a manifest phony.


ouija board, cia, what is this, a charades party? He tells what is real and unreal by making up stories about talking to spirits or is he rather serious? Rather counter-intuitive to determine reality in unreality.

JJA: You said it! As if organizing the killing of Americans in both countries were “big support.” And that’s only the beginning. He goes on to say that the terrorists should be “disseminating threatening messages against American interests and the American people and attribute them to a Shia Iranian side.”

To Z man, who is a fanatic about the Shia segment, Iran supporting the Shia is the same in his mind as Iran not fighting the US. Therefore Z man would prefer that Iran fight the US and prod the Shia into open warfare against the SUnnis, which Z Man controls.

JJA: ...terribly done...shockingly amateurish...unbelievable...

Which is exactly what I think, in case you’re wondering. I think the Iranians put out this sort of nonsense so that we’ll have trouble figuring out what’s real. And by the way, it wasn’t found in Zarqawi’s house, contrary to the triumphant announcement from the office of the Iraqi prime minister. So it’s certainly not a Last Testament. It’s just nonsense.


The belief that Iranian disinformation campaign is as ineffective, as ridiculous, and as weak as the document Ledeen accused of being Iranian disinformation, is a rather naive and ignorant underestimation of Iran's propaganda apparatus.

It seems Ledeen believes it is disinformation because of some spirit he is channeling in addition to the fact that he believes it is a sloppy piece of work.

That is not enough justifications to believe it is disinformation and it is not enough justification to believe what that disinformation was intended for.

 
At 11:40 AM, June 17, 2006, Blogger Elmondohummus said...

Jamie,

Due respect to Mr. Leeden, but the Iraqi National Security Advisor is definitely acting as though he considers the intelligence for real. Quote from a story:

"When asked how he could be sure the information was authentic, al-Rubaie said "there is nothing more authentic than finding a thumbdrive in his pocket.""

I'm not really sure where Mr. Leeden gets the info that the "document" was not found in Zarqawi's house, but I am willing to reevaluate it's authenticity if more information is provided. Anyone here know what Leeden is talking abouut when he says it wasn't found in Zarqawi's house?

 
At 2:55 PM, June 17, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Word on the street is that a good deal of the documentation was found on a thumbdrive in Z's pocket.

I appreciated the Ouija board dialog. For those of you not up on your intelligence history James Jesus Angleton, the legendary Agency CI specialist fell victim to the Wilderness of Mirrors syndrome that so many CI folks have a problem with.

He personally liked Kim Philby, who was a was a top man in the UK's Secret Intelligence Service SIS or MI6.When Burgess and Meredith defected and the hunt was on for the "Fifth Man" who tipped them and when all the fingers started to point to Philby, JJA felt bitterly betrayed. He also figured that if the Sovs had been able to place so many agents in UK intelligence that there had to be a deep cover mole in CIA. Eventually the suspicion and mole hunting activities in both the UK and the CIA twisted many old relationships and resulted in years of tail chasing with no result. It was until much later that the Sovs were able to place an agent in CIA and in the Ames case it was not an ideological placement.

CI work with its' doubles and triples along with the inherent suspicion necessary as "how the hell do I know if this is true, real and the McCoy, can drive you straight round the bend.

In art history there is a concept called "provenance" which traces the history of works from the artist on. We can't really know the provenance of the document in question so we can't answer the big question, "Is it Real or Is It Memeorex".

 
At 3:10 PM, June 17, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Boston Patriot......

With Afghanistan out of the picture, after our victory there, Iraq was the next logical front to open in the war on terror.



Afghanistan is out of the picture? Maybe you need a wider lens.

Afghanistan is out of control. Old Unocal Karzhai doesn't even control his own bodyguard detail and your brave marines aren't winning too many hearts and minds.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/060106B.shtml

"It was relentless. It was exactly the same as when the Russians were bombing us."

What happened to the Russians again?

 
At 3:16 PM, June 17, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Al Fun said.....

Israel will remain the only nation with basic western freedoms in the middle east. Precisely because Israel is not arab, not muslim.

9:44 PM, June 16, 2006


Providing of course you're a Jew in Israel. That would be more precise.



The US state department's annual human rights report - not a document known for being hostile to Israel - concluded that there is "institutionalised legal and societal discrimination against Israel's Christian, Muslim and Druze citizens". "The government," it says, "does not provide Israeli Arabs, who constitute 20% of the population, with the same quality of education, housing, employment and social services as Jews."

Not to mention forced deportations, confiscations and house demolitions.

 
At 4:15 PM, June 17, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-death29nov29,0,3364549,full.story?coll=la-home-headlines

 
At 4:53 PM, June 17, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I'm going to do Confud a favor, perhaps the last favor as well as the first. Here's the link to Palestinian Princess.

Link

This is where you belong, Confud, this is where you will find happiness and purpose.

 
At 5:25 PM, June 17, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

I note that she is not moderating the comments. I guess she has a lot more moral fibre than neo and all the other trollsayers here.

And there are some real sickos from your side of the asylum over there..

Are you one of the anonymouses? That particular type of sick racism sounds familiar.

 
At 5:35 PM, June 17, 2006, Blogger The probligo said...

Just so that it is clear, what Y promotes in his link earlier (Here's a taste of what a Bush counter-propaganda operation would look like.) is that Bush should "use disinformation" (code translation = "lie") in order to further the objectives and propaganda war.

Shows exactly how Y thinks. Shows just how well indoctrinated Y is that he does not realise that Bushie has been doing just that for the past six years.

As for reaching "critical mass", I wonder if the true implication of that has passed through Neo's mind.

The term originates from the mass at which nuclear fission reactions can not be controlled. Now as I see it the only thing that happens after that is an explosion that creates devestation for quite a large distance around.

I do not think, Neo, that that is the kind of picture that you would want to see happening out of Iraq. Regrettably the news this morning seems to indicate that it might well be past the point of "critical mass" and out of the control of the government... (take your pick there whether that means Iraq or US).

 
At 6:18 PM, June 17, 2006, Blogger Brad said...

confud
you have no idea at all what the term racism means. It's much to complex for your logic to tackle.

 
At 6:40 PM, June 17, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The only way out of a controlled cycle of violence is to increase the violence on one side of the equation to an uncontrollable level, such that there is nothing left but the victor. Peace then comes about. The chemical process must react until the reagents are used up, the catalyst is used up, the controlling reagent is gone. Trying to keep the reaction from going critical, is just keeping the death and war going on like in Israel and Palestine. Without the reaction going critical and spiralling out of control, then all we have is controlled, perpetual, violence. Not a good thing for the weak nor the downtrodden. Because it is the tyrants that are good at controlling violence, not the people.

The prejudice against Bush prevents people from seeing or even considering that Bush is not doing propaganda in this war on the level that Truman and Roosevelt did in previous wars. Milbloggers, the military, and the new media blogosphere have said time and again that Bush is an absolute failure on the propaganda front.

Shows exactly how Y thinks. Shows just how well indoctrinated Y is that he does not realise that Bushie has been doing just that for the past six years.

Where one is prejudiced on one account, the blindness tends to spread towards other areas of healthy tissue. I am not indoctrinated to see Bush as the end all and be all of America and the American Constitution, after all Bush means what he says and says what he means.

People who could otherwise argue reasonable and use logic, are reduced to this semi-literate state of abject misery and ethical blindness. Simply because the prejudice of the human condition unmans them.

Republicans and conservatives get accused of standing with the party line like little Nazi soldiers that are just taking orders, when conservatives defend Bush and his policies. When people like me and PunditReview radio and others criticize the President for refusing to do his duty to defend the Constitution against domestic enemies, and refusing to use every arsenal and means in his armory to fight terrorism, then the prejudicial corps start saying that we are "indoctrinated" into not seeing what Bush didn't want us to see.

In the end, their prejudices are clear. No one that disagrees with them fundamentally does so based upon an individual and honest position, it all has to do with the marching orders from Bush himself. If Bush tells conservatives to defend him, that is what the conservatives do. If Bush tells the conservatives that he hasn't been using propaganda, that is what the conservatives believe, in a rote like manner. This is the prejudice seen very clearly in the age of the new millenium, that was so unclear and formless in the 20th century. The unity of war had clouded some of the basic misperceptions of the common cause. Now it is different.

 
At 6:52 PM, June 17, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

the prob: The term ['critical mass'] originates from the mass at which nuclear fission reactions can not be controlled. Now as I see it the only thing that happens after that is an explosion that creates devestation for quite a large distance around.

That's possibly because you have a literal mind and miss the metaphor. Neo provides an alternative metaphor if you don't like "critical mass": the "supersaturated solution" -- and another one might well be "tipping point". There's a certain implication of loss of control in any of those metaphors, it's true, but that's at least part of the point. Loss of control to a virtuous circle is precisely what hastens a desired process -- a benign "explosion" in a sense.

Of course, not everyone would be delighted at such a prospect in Iraq -- obviously not the terrorists themselves, and, despite lip service to the contrary, probably not those who've become too heavily invested in the idea of a Vietnam-style "quagmire" and the political ambitions that inspires.

 
At 9:57 PM, June 17, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

At 7:18 PM, June 17, 2006, Brad said...
confud
you have no idea at all what the term racism means. It's much to complex for your logic to tackle.


Ah yes. Brad of the razor wit and paucity of debate. I would suggest that you don't like the use of the term racist because you don't like to think of your political brethren on here as racists.

However...looks like a duck ....etc

 
At 10:00 PM, June 17, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Of course, not everyone would be delighted at such a prospect in Iraq -- obviously not the terrorists themselves, and, despite lip service to the contrary, probably not those who've become too heavily invested in the idea of a Vietnam-style "quagmire" and the political ambitions that inspires.

7:52 PM, June 17, 2006

What? Like the arms suppliers and the compamies getting closed tender contracts to supply goods and services to the combatants?

Friends of the republicans in other words.

 
At 1:35 AM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Anybody want to start a Dead Pool for Fudd?

 
At 6:18 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger tequilamockingbird said...

9/11. Osama bin Laden. Al Quaeda. Taliban.

With widespread international support, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan. Within a couple of months, Osama, Al Quaeda, and the Taliban were on the ropes.

Then, suddenly, things went tragically and catastrophically wrong.

The hunt for Osama petered out in the hills of Afghanistan. There were no more high-value targets to hit. By about February '02, attention on Afghanistan started to fade; by the spring, the drums of war with Iraq were starting to beat.

A feeble, feckless, unqualified president had by then been convinced by his strong neocon Cold War advisors that the appropriate target was Iraq. Swept into power in 2000, they were finally able to implement the PNAC policies they had been advocating since Gulf War I. Obscenely, cynically, they used 9/11 as the pretext for the pursuit of their objectives.

The White House Advisory Group was formed to sell the coming war -- one which was already an inevitability, despite the mealy-mouthed insistence of the Administration otherwise -- to the American people. They rightly determined that objectives like "liberation of the Iraqi people" or "establishment of democracy in the Middle East" would never sell, and that the most fruitful course would be fearmongering and the bogeyman of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

I've read repeatedly on blogs like this that every intelligence service in the world believed that Saddam possessed WMDs. What they don't acknowledge is that those beliefs were very tentative and peppered with caveats: The fact is that they didn't know. Hans Blix's inspectors, however, were very vocal about the fact that they had serious doubts and wanted more time -- months, not years -- to establish the truth of the situation. The Administration, of course, didn't want to establish the truth: They wanted to invade Iraq and depose Saddam, WMDs be damned.

It's interesting to contrast Bush I with Bush II. Bush I was a war hero, shot down in action in the Pacific (at least that's the story, and I don't doubt it, but if he were running for office today he'd most assuredly be smeared and swiftboated); his drunken playboy son hid in the Champagne Division of the Texas National Guard. (Those of us old enough to remember those days know that the Guard was a very different institution then; your chances of seeing action in Viet Nam were precisely zero). Bush I went to considerable effort to build a true international coalition, one that included several Arab nations; Bush II scorned his allies and went it alone.

That statement needs some clarification. Many people have the mistaken notion that the Iraq invasion was supported by Britain, Italy, and Spain, for instance: not true. Anti-war sentiment in those countries ran at about 60-80%, and was demonstrated in huge anti-war rallies. The Iraq invasion was supported by Blair, Berlusconi, and Aznar, who knew which side their bread was buttered on and who cynically judged support for the American aggression to be the best course for their countries, despite the wishes of the people. Turkey's government came within a hair's breadth of passing a resolution allowing the U.S. to use its territory to invade Iraq from the north, despite the fact its people were 90-95% opposed.

The war was bungled from the beginning. All the top-notch Arabists were pulled off the legitimate Afghanistan action and diverted to the folly in Iraq. The U.S. forces drove through the Iraqi military like a knife through butter, as expected: After the destruction of the Iraqi military in Gulf War I -- and more importantly, the near-total demolition of the Iraqi infrastructure -- and a decade of sanctions, preventing the acquisition of new military hardware or materials for repairing the old, Saddam was a paper tiger who was not even feared by his neighbors. (Unlike Gulf War I, when he was definitely a regional threat; Saudi Arabia were terrified that they'd be next). But there weren't enough U.S. troops, by a factor of three or so, to maintain peace and order after the inevitable rapid initial victory.

Bush's policy in Iraq is and has been a dismal failure, and yet what passes for his plan is to stay the course -- a failed, disastrous course. 2,500-plus American servicemen and women, and tens of thousands of innocent bystanding Iraquis, have paid the ultimate price for the chickenhawks' hubristic, misguided adventure. You're doing a heck of a job, Bushie!

Does this post make me a troll?

tequilamockingbird

 
At 6:21 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

First I'd have to read it.

 
At 6:27 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger tequilamockingbird said...

I realize this post isn't exactly on topic, but it's what I wanted to say. I expect I'll be copying it (no doubt with modifications) into another, more topical, post at some future date

tequilamockingbird

 
At 6:33 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger tequilamockingbird said...

"First I'd have to read it."

Congratulations on your open-mindedness, Y.

tequilamockingbird

 
At 7:13 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger tequilamockingbird said...

The "troll" business is getting a lot of play here lately. Of course no one who agrees with the Administration is going to be regarded as a troll, no matter how loathsome their posts may be. So I'd appreciate a running tally on who considers me a troll. If you think I'm a troll so far, say so. If you come to that conclusion later on, say so then.

I just want to know where the borderline is between "troll" and "someone who disagrees with me".

tequilamockingbird

 
At 7:28 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

You know Ymar, he is like an open book. An open book that is inflames that is. Best not to rock the boat here. Btw, this is Sakar speaking, for your information. So it is S, not Y. Not at the moment anyway.

Well, Tequila, all I know is that you don't know what logic is, or if you do, you don't know how to differentiate between bad logic and good logic. You tell me what this makes you. Better hurry, Ymar might take back control and then something bad will happen. Although that is better than Ymir. Anything is better than Ymir.

 
At 7:39 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger tequilamockingbird said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Thanks, Ywhatsit, for your clear, logical, illuminating post.

I've heard of speaking in tongues, and I'm not quite sure what that means, except that it connotates gibberish; are you writing in tongues? You might find English to be more effective.

tequilamockingbird

 
At 7:51 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger tequilamockingbird said...

Ywhatsit, your devastating critique of my position has left me in total confusion. Your argument is so strong that I'll try to make amends by going out and torturing a Muslim.

(Has my sarcasm made me a troll yet?)

tequilamockingbird

 
At 8:36 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Welcome to WhackyWorld(c) comrade Tequila. Definitely a troll, indecent (I think that is this week's adjective) leftist, terrorist sympathiser and love child of Hamas/Hezbollah/Osama Bin Laden/Hitler/Chamberlain.

Hey, but you didn't need me to tell you that. I can hear all the sh1teslinging monkeys winding up now.

 
At 8:40 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...


(Has my sarcasm made me a troll yet?)


No, but you really ought to give some thought to making individual, longer posts, rather than making three short posts consecutively (and five posts of yours within a span of six total posts). That's annoying.

 
At 8:51 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Oh, and Tequila, you'll know you've hit a nerve when a chappie by the name of Obersturmfuehrer Wasp makes death threats against you.

It's all just so much fun.

 
At 8:53 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger tequilamockingbird said...

Yeah, you're right. I just write what I write spontaneously, and post it. If I have more to add ten minutes later, I write and post that.

Five out of six posts being mine -- well, it was an extended period of time; maybe at a different time of day there'd be more action. Or maybe this thread is just a dog and no one's there.

But I see your point.

tequilamockingbird

 
At 9:08 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Well, Justin, it is better than when Tequila did 25 very long posts in consecutive action by copying and pasting news articles.

Ywhatsit, your devastating critique of my position has left me in total confusion.

I try to avoid critiquing people's positions. A lot of people's positions aren't real, and are far less important than their core beliefs.

 
At 9:14 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Is it me or does Confud act like a Master demagogue at stoking up hate and prejudice?

 
At 9:23 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger tequilamockingbird said...

"Tequila did 25 very long posts in consecutive action by copying and pasting news articles."

Excuse me? Your grip on reality is getting increasingly tenuous, Yguy. Or, to put it another way, that's a lie.

Do you have anything to contribute in response to my original post? If not, of course you're welcome to blather on to your heart's content.

tequilamockingbird

 
At 9:45 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger tequilamockingbird said...

Apologies to Quantam for my quick-repeat post.

I'm getting more outraged by Yguy's lying attempt to smear me. Someone who contributed 25 long, consecutive, cut-and-paste news articles would certainly be trying to stifle debate. I have never done and would never do such a thing.

Ymarsakar, my opinion of you has never been high because your writing is so opaque, convoluted, ungrammatical and inarticulate. As far as I'm concerned, you have exposed yourself as a liar and a -- gasp! -- troll.

I'll try not to be drawn by your provocation in the future.

tequilamockingbird

 
At 10:11 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Confud or Conned provided a link, early on, to a former Neo neo con post, and when I was looking at the comments, Tequila's name came up so many times in secession at the end, that it was pretty easy to recognize the name.

Now Neo may tell us if I got the name right, because I sure didn't dream up a link provided by someone else and written by neo, our host, here.

I'll go with tequila being the name 25 times in secession, or more I really didn't count it just was long enough to overlap one full page, and you can go with some other name that you'd prefer.

Again, to use something called logic, lying is when someone purposefully says something they know isn't true and isn't something that they personally believe. Because I personally believe the name of the poster that did the 25 something comments in a row in a very old comment was Tequilamockingbird, then logically I cannot be lying about something that I believe to be true.

Perhaps you find my writing hard to understand because you pay no attention to analyzing the logic, understanding my reasoning, or do anything else that is of constructive rather than destructive in origin.

Why should I care if tequila believes that it is his duty to attack strangers on a website that he reads?

 
At 10:29 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I'm counting the odds, who wants to bet on me being right or Tequila being right?

Come on, speak up. This is like poker, who is bluffing, and how much are you willing to committ?

Although I can't find the link, I'm pretty sure I archived it on my blog, so it'll just take a moment to search it. No need for neo to spoil the fun, after all.

Oh ya, one of the above things here I said was a lie, just to do the liar's paradox.

 
At 10:41 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

There's another option, where you can go for no one being right, if I was wrong on the number of consecutive comments done by Tequila.

So you got 3 things to pick, and I'll give most people here enough time to decide before I go searching in my blog archives.

Either pick that I am right that Tequila posted 25 times in secession without a break in between by any other person, or pick that Tequila is right that I am lying and making stuff up to slander Tequila.

Or pick the third option as I described.

Enjoy the game.

 
At 10:44 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger tequilamockingbird said...

Yguy: Mea culpa. I can see where you could have drawn that conclusion.

It was the first time I ever participated in a blog, and the discussion got pretty -- heated, shall we say.

Not knowing any better, I kept returning to the same thread and posting messages -- months after the thread had passed into the archives and was no longer being visited by anyone but me.

So you're correct that I made a large number of successive posts -- to an inactive thread I didn't realize no one was reading. Some of those included cut-and-paste references, because we who endorse unpopular views are constantly challenged to back up our assertions.

I apologize for calling you a liar. (I still don't think you write worth a damn).

tequilamockingbird

 
At 10:46 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Well tequila gets points for self-honesty, but he gets a big thumbs down for ruining the "game" (spoken with a Japanese accent).

 
At 10:56 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger tequilamockingbird said...

Yguy: 47 consecutive messages, over a six-week period when I was the only participant after the thread had been archived. Here's the last one:

"Perhaps I should have been less naive; as I extend my blogging experience, I expect to keep on learning. The 160,148 that I thought was the number of visits to this site -- and I was astonished by the lack of feedback -- is in reality the number of hits on neo-neocon's home site, from which sprout a number of tentacles, of which this is one. The fact is that there's no way -- unless I'm making yet another newbie mistake -- of tracking the visits to this particular blog -- of how many visits are coming here, rather than to ne-neocon in general in all her multitudinous forms, but it's a safe assumption that not many of them are being directed here.

All right, so it's not a dialogue but an online diary; I can live with that. It's been fun".

 
At 11:03 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Not trying to annoy Justin, but here's the link, just click on the title for it.

Link

It is not in my archives, so that was the lie I said. Unlike other people, I can actually recognize a liar from someone telling a truth that they believe in, and if I lie, I will either tell you upfront that I am doing so or I will tell you after the fact. In this case, I'm doing both.

Like I said before, Justin, the 3 or 5 you see is much MUCH better than the 47 consecutive posts Tequila did in the past.

Now, see, that little detour did no one any good. Since Ymir and Ymar's locked up good and tight, there's no danger of me gloating over this little tet a tet or whatever the French called it. I told Justin something, people said it was wrong, and so I provided the evidence, and it was retracted. That's a debate, an argument, and a well that's just it.

People can draw their own conclusions. It's too bad too, because Ymir is now yelling at me that he didn't get to see Confud and Conned get conned, awrgg.

 
At 11:16 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger tequilamockingbird said...

You're as gracious as you are articulate, Yguy.

tequilamockingbird

 
At 11:38 PM, June 18, 2006, Blogger tequilamockingbird said...

After that little sideshow, any comments on my original post?

tequilamockingbird

 
At 1:33 AM, June 19, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Laugh it up guys. Neo is moving to a new server and software and trolls will be history. BTW Fudd, a Dead Poll has nothing to do with a death threat. It is like a football; real football, not that pansy stuff called soccer, you screeching ninnyhammer.

Picked out the dojo for our first and last date yet? Remember, all proceeds to the winners favorite charity. Or, we could upgrade to a cage match. You know, "Two go in. One comes out."

I remember the Drunken Bird, he's a real dingleberry.

 
At 3:57 AM, June 19, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ah wasp, you've forgotten the other page. Believe me, you aren't A nightmare let alone my worst one. The rambo act is moronic given that this is the internet and you are talking to someone who has actually travelled in the outside world (that's further away than Seattle).

Real football? That faggot's game with helmets and little padsy wadsys coz we wouldn't want to skin our kneezy weezys crap you play over there is sillier than AFL. 4 hours to play 80 minutes? Why don't they just get fit?

Soft bellied fat ar5ed excuses for men. Wouldn't last 5 minutes in a soccer match let alone rugby.

 
At 4:03 AM, June 19, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

tequilamockingbird said...
After that little sideshow, any comments on my original post?


Agree by and large with the synopsis. You will be branded a troll but troll means anyone who challenges the neocon party line.

It is tiring. They are totally uncurious and unwilling to be challenged. Facts and evidence are considered bad manners.

 
At 4:13 AM, June 19, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Here's an interesting one. Note in particular the World Bank contributions to big oil. Wolfowitz could make a large(r) contribution to the cause from there.

Neat, ain't it? Just keep banging on about the evil enemy, bringing freedom, giving democracy and justice, send your cannon fodder to die in a far off place and pocket the cash from every side.

 
At 4:14 AM, June 19, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ooops, sorry, forgot the link.

http://www.newint.org/issue361/facts.htm

 
At 4:18 AM, June 19, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

World Bank Group Releases Data on Its Extractive Industries Portfolio


In Washington:
Hannfried von Hindenburg


The World Bank Group substantially increased its support for cleaner energy, such as natural gas, in fiscal year 2005, which ended in June. Gas investments accounted for 62% of oil and gas projects. International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) private sector financing in the extractive industries was concentrated in the oil and gas sector, at 81%; of this, gas projects accounted for 53%.
World Bank Group’s financial support for renewable energy and energy efficiency rose to $748 million, more than doubling the previous year’s levels.

 
At 6:03 AM, June 19, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

If anyone's still reading this thread...

Neo, you said "which in turn appear to be profoundly weakening the terrorist network in Iraq."

I think that's a little ahead of the curve. At this point, I think it's best to say that it's well within the realm of possibility that we're getting intel and taking actions that "appear to be profoundly weakening the terrorist network in Iraq."


I know you had the qualifier "It's as though" much earlier in the sentence, but it seemed to no longer apply later in the sentence. Just being nitpicky.

"All the top-notch Arabists were pulled off the legitimate Afghanistan action and diverted to the folly in Iraq."

God, I hope so, since Afghani's aren't Arabs.

I think that statement speaks for itself.

 
At 9:23 AM, June 19, 2006, Blogger tequilamockingbird said...

Doglas, I said: "All the top-notch Arabists were pulled off the legitimate Afghanistan action and diverted to the folly in Iraq."

You said: "God, I hope so, since Afghani's aren't Arabs".

Quite right (nitpicking about plural and possessive aside). However, Al Quaeda and affiliated Islamist groups in Afghanistan were among the thousands of so-called "Arab Afghans" who streamed into Afghanistan to fight the Soviets and remained to fight the U.S.-led coalition. And the U.S. had all its top-notch Arabists on the job in Afghanistan (until the misguided diversion into Iraq).

tequilamockingbird

 
At 11:25 AM, June 19, 2006, Blogger cb said...

Tequila,

You're original post on this thread was not troll-like. In fact this neo-con might even agree with most of it, but I won't go into it with you as this troll thing still isn't resolved and this thread's about done, plus you've gotten a bit emotional, but if you wanted to know ...

 
At 11:47 AM, June 19, 2006, Blogger Brad said...

So confud,
why have I never been branded a troll? I have clearly stated several times that I don't like Bush; that I didn't vote for him; that I was completely opposed to the war in Iraq; and that I never went through any 9/11-related epiphany. Clearly, I don't agree with a lot of what is stated here. Despite this, none of the people who comment here, aside from you, have insulted me or labelled me a troll. And the same is true at other blogs where I comment, across the political spectrum.

Perhaps it is because I don't repetitively post hate-filled mockery, laced with insult and misused epithets (such as your constant misuse of the term "racist"), and inform people that I am once again laughing at them. Having spent a life time in higher ed, around people who either have strong opinions (faculty) or are developing them (students), I have learned to disagree with someone, listen to any response, and move on. You, on the other hand, have barged into a virtual room, screaming invective, shouting down dialogue, attempting to shut down the forum, and then you smugly state that they call you a troll because you disagree with them. Horse poop, they call you a troll because you are a virtual violent bully. You have some serious mental health problems.

BTW, your views have all the depth of a 20-year old student who has just realized that the world isn't fair (and all that goes with that realization), but fails to carry their crystal-clear solutions to their logical conclusions, which are always worse than the present problems. You have slipped down the slope to the depths of moral equivalency, with no regard for motivation.

 
At 12:15 PM, June 19, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Btw, just a note, but moral equivalency only works if you assume that the terroists are just animals and the West are the real enlightened folks. Otherwise, people wouldn't blame the West for using violence while saying "oh, the terroists, they just got a bad deal, that is why they use violence against the West".

The standards are not equal, the blame is all on the West, so the equivalency is a bit skewed. In this case, people believe the West's violent actions and wars are worst than the Arab terroist's, simply because they expect "better" of the West. We have to be "morally superior", because we are "enlightened" and above the "Arab masses". Or some such rot.

Gotta have clean hands you know, can't get down and dirty with sleep deprivation or "torture" like the terroists use, we are better than the terroists. That is their primarily reasoning for any moral equivalency, in order to compare our actions and theirs in an equivalent manner, they have to handicap the Arabs and give the West moral and ethical standard props.

 
At 12:49 PM, June 19, 2006, Blogger tequilamockingbird said...

cb, thanks. See you on another thread, perhaps.

tequilamockingbird

 
At 1:38 PM, June 19, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Brad,
While I agree with some of what is here, likely more than you, I don't agree with all of it. I doubt that I would be called a troll either, no matter how much I disagree.

I spent a long time in sales, and "hate-filled mockery, laced with insult and misused epithets (such as your constant misuse of the term "racist"), and inform people that I am once again laughing at them" is not the way to win people to your side. It is a way to be pseudo-superior.

It isn't their opinions that brand the trolls, it is their methods. Frankly, I found myself in agreement with them a number of times, but you have to remain in agreement not to be attacked. How sad.

Good post.

 
At 1:37 AM, June 20, 2006, Blogger EA said...

History just repeating, now though there is a chance, a chance for Humans to finally break free from the mold of enslaved minds. To many the puzzle presented is all there is, to others the puzzle is not seen at all, hidden away in the flasky shadows. Whether or not seeing reality is desired, it will some time soon be presented in truth for all to see.

 
At 5:53 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

EA said...
History just repeating, now though there is a chance, a chance for Humans to finally break free from the mold of enslaved minds. To many the puzzle presented is all there is, to others the puzzle is not seen at all, hidden away in the flasky shadows. Whether or not seeing reality is desired, it will some time soon be presented in truth for all to see.

2:37 AM, June 20, 2006


East India Company - Halliburton

Opium - Oil

BP - Texaco

British Iraq - US Iraq

British Afghanistan - US Afghanistan

 
At 1:03 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

US Revolution - British Loyalists.

 

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