Tinkerbell Died

Glenn Greenwald has his finger on the growing Iraq meme in the rightwing blogosphere – Iraq failed because the lefties didn’t clap loud enough.

Hear that, moonbats? Criticizing the president has consequences. To wit, it’s your fault if the negative consequences that you predict turn out to be true.

Via Atrios, an excerpt from Bremer’s book that suggests that even Iraq itself may have helped to kill the president’s buzz:

The President’s directions seem to have been limited to such slogans as “we’re not going to fail” and “pace yourself, Jerry.” In Bremer’s account, the President was seriously interested in one issue: whether the leaders of the government that followed the CPA would publicly thank the United States. But there is no evidence that he cared about the specific questions that counted: Would the new prime minister have a broad base of support? Would he be able to bridge Iraq’s ethnic divisions? What political values should he have? Instead, Bush had only one demand: “It’s important to have someone who’s willing to stand up and thank the American people for their sacrifice in liberating Iraq.” According to Bremer, he came back to this single point three times in the same meeting. Similarly, Ghazi al-Yawar, an obscure Sunni Arab businessman, became Bush’s candidate for president of Iraq’s interim government because, as Bremer reports, Bush had “been favorably impressed with his open thanks to the Coalition.”

The president wasn’t the only Republican not feeling the love (Knight-Ridder 6/30/05, links dead):

The coalition government relied heavily on a revolving door of diplomats and other personnel who would leave just as they had begun to develop local knowledge and ties, and on a large cadre of eager young neophytes whose brashness often gave offense in a very age- and status-conscious society. One young political appointee (a 24-year-old Ivy League graduate) argued that Iraq should not enshrine judicial review in its constitution because it might lead to the legalization of abortion. A much more senior Iraqi interlocutor (a widely experienced Iraqi-American lawyer) became so exasperated with the young man’s audacity that he finally challenged him:

“You must have thoroughly studied the history of the British occupation of Iraq.”

“Yes, I did,” the young American replied proudly. “I thought so,” said the Iraqi, “because you seem determined to repeat every one of their mistakes.”

Clearly we also failed to give sufficient applause to the inexperienced ideological hacks put in charge of important aspects of Iraq’s reconstruction.

You can bet folks will respond to Glenn and my posts with the old ‘rooting for failure’ dodge. Why not? The natural consequence of the tinkerbell argument is that the entire country consists of two high school cheerleading squads. One roots for Team A, which is the president, and the other roots for Team B, which is evil. The Left, in all its composition-y goodness, obviously roots for B.

Call me crazy if you like but here’s an alternative model. Discounting nutbars like A.N.S.W.E.R. (righties who want to discount violent terrorists such as Operation Rescue can simmer down) the few who opposed Iraq basically said that the neocon objectives were unrealistic and likely to fail. After neocon objectives proved unrealistic and began to fail the same folks, shockingly enough, said ‘told you so.’ In a fair world one earns intellectual credibility by correctly forecasting the likely outcome of events that haven’t yet taken place. If so, and I’m looking forward to the arguments against, then the few prewar critics who correctly forecast what would happen, Howard Dean among them, have immense credibility on the issue and the rosy-scenario crowd has little to none.

It isn’t hard to imagine why somebody would point out that they have credibility on the Iraq issue. The war is an ongoing problem and people who regularly got it right maybe have a more realistic sense of what to do than the people who got every single thing wrong. The long-term question hasn’t worked itself out yet, true ehough, but the folks whose short-term projections proved so inept (WMD, AQ links, we’ll be greeted as liberators, reconstruction will pay for itself, bureaucracy will go back to work right after the war, candy and flowers, drawing the troops down to 30k within months, ‘last throes,’ no sectarian problems to worry about) will have a hard time convincing most people that their long-term vision is on the money.

The ‘rooting for failure’ stuff won’t stop anytime soon; when you’ve got a meme giving you that warm feeling of escaped responsibility you’ll flog it until maggots take the bones. Just bear in mind that they can’t pound the law, and they can’t pound the facts, so they’re pounding the table.

384 replies
  1. 1
    Richard Bottoms says:

    >The ‘rooting for failure’ stuff won’t stop anytime soon;

    Precisely why I’ve always to John, as recpectfully as possible since it’s his blog, that we don’t need or want his vote. Those of us dems who get it, understand that there is no compromise with the right. If you play the sad old tune of “I’d vote for you if only you weren’t so shrill” you get written off.

    The right is going down and this time we’re to kick them while the are down. Square in the nuts as hard as we can so that these bible thumping idiots don’t gain power again.

    Something we should have done when we won in 1992.

    I was right.

    You were wrong.

    And now is the time to pay the price.

  2. 2
    Steve says:

    30 years later, some people still believe that the Left cost us victory in Vietnam. Why should they refrain from playing this card now?

  3. 3
    ats says:

    Who DIDN’T see this coming! The old stab-in-the-back routine.
    Antiwar.com predicted this as much as two full years ago.

  4. 4
    Davebo says:

    The cause of the failure, beyond the obvious grand ambitions of it, is and will be the Iraqi people.

    But since pointing that out would be racist I blame Michael Moore.

  5. 5
    Davebo says:

    Hear that humming sound?

    It’s the sound of thousands of computers humming away photoshopping Jane Fonda in with Zarqawi.

  6. 6
    Richard Bottoms says:

    BTW, I’ll take that apology to Michael Moore now.

  7. 7

    […] Clap Louder! By Doug Tim F. over at Balloon Juice has a good post entitled “Tinkerbell Died.”  He expounds upon the growing Iraq meme among righties noted by Glenn Greenwald: “Iraq failed because the lefties didn’t clap loudly enough.” (All this talk of Tinkerbell and clapping alludes to a scene in Peter Pan where Tinkerbell is dying but will survive if enough people believe in fairies. In the play the characters make a plea to the children watching to sustain her by clapping.) […]

  8. 8
    HankP says:

    I’ve come to realize that there is no greater sin in modern american politics than to be correct in prdicting the outcome of a policy.

  9. 9
    Alexandra says:

    Well said!!! It is so aggravating to have one’s opinion discounted because one was correct from the beginning!

    I remember before the war started, my family hectoring me about how “persuasive” Colin Powell’s evidence was. Without being able exactly how to articulate why I wasn’t persuaded, I told them I didn’t believe it. I mean, what was his evidence? Some grainy snapshots taken from the air? It just didn’t pass the smell test, and the actions of these people already seemed quite suspect. And yeah, right I was, and so I guess I’m not entitled to have an opinion about this–only “honest conservatives” like John McCain are allowed to speak to thisissue.

  10. 10
    gratefulcub says:

    Do we get extra points for predicting this right wing reaction when our prediction of chaos in Iraq turned out to be true?

    This reaction was as easy to predict as it was to predict that there would be a violent insurgency.

  11. 11
    Rusty Shackleford says:

    from Nicholas Kristof’s column today:
    http://select.nytimes.com/2006.....istof.html

    A new poll to be released today shows that U.S. soldiers overwhelmingly want out of Iraq — and soon.

    The poll is the first of U.S. troops currently serving in Iraq, according to John Zogby, the pollster. Conducted by Zogby International and LeMoyne College, it asked 944 service members, “How long should U.S. troops stay in Iraq?”

    Only 23 percent backed Mr. Bush’s position that they should stay as long as necessary. In contrast, 72 percent said that U.S. troops should be pulled out within one year. Of those, 29 percent said they should withdraw “immediately.”

    While the White House emphasizes the threat from non-Iraqi terrorists, only 26 percent of the U.S. troops say that the insurgency would end if those foreign fighters could be kept out. A plurality believes that the insurgency is made up overwhelmingly of discontented Iraqi Sunnis.

    So what would it take to win in Iraq? Maybe that was the single most depressing finding in this poll.

    By a two-to-one ratio, the troops said that “to control the insurgency we need to double the level of ground troops and bombing missions.” And since there is zero chance of that happening, a majority of troops seemed to be saying that they believe this war to be unwinnable.

  12. 12
    Trent says:

    When did this become a liberal site? I’m confused…

  13. 13
    RonB says:

    This reaction was as easy to predict as it was to predict that there would be a violent insurgency.

    The way we went about it, you’re right. A more subtle presence slowly moving up the country might have been more apropos, and definitely some of the early errors of the occupation have set the conditions for our failures today.

  14. 14
    Tim F. says:

    When did this become a liberal site?

    If by ‘liberal’ you mean unfriendly to the president, Schiavo.

  15. 15
    gratefulcub says:

    The way we went about it, you’re right. A more subtle presence slowly moving up the country might have been more apropos, and definitely some of the early errors of the occupation have set the conditions for our failures today.

    Sorry, I must disagree. The current situation was the only end game ever available. Iraq was an artificial nation. There were no moderate political structures or parties to take over. There was no way a legitimate government could represent all the factions in the country. This was a crazy liberal pipedream that had zero chance of success. No one thanks their conquerors and occupiers, ever.

  16. 16
    Mr Furious says:

    I was reading the post, thinking it was John’s. About halfway down I began to wonder if “John” was going to give Dean his due…as soon as he did I had o scroll back up because I was sure at that point, I had to be reading TimF.

    When the John Cole’s of the world step up and admit what that Tim is right, It will be a slightly better day.

  17. 17
    Mr Furious says:

    Something tells me John’s going to have too much “catching up” to do to weigh in on this thread.

  18. 18

    When did this become a liberal site? I’m confused…

    When Republican policies became such miserable failures.

  19. 19
    Brian says:

    http://ownedbycats.blogspot.co.....fault.html

    Balloon Juice links us to the people who caused trouble in Iraq. You might have guessed…it’s me.

  20. 20
    RonB says:

    Sorry, I must disagree. The current situation was the only end game ever available. Iraq was an artificial nation. There were no moderate political structures or parties to take over. There was no way a legitimate government could represent all the factions in the country. This was a crazy liberal pipedream that had zero chance of success. No one thanks their conquerors and occupiers, ever.

    That’s fine, there’s plenty of room for us to reasonably disagree on this, but I think with a little bit of imagination and not so much haste we could have helped our image alot. We have tons of money and people in Special Forces and Marines trained to work in small groups with friendly elements.

    Ultimately, the problem was that reconstruction and nation building was the last thing on Secretary Rumsfeld’s mind.

  21. 21
    Otto Man says:

    The war is an ongoing problem and people who regularly got it right maybe have a more realistic sense of what to do than the people who got every single thing wrong.

    This is the key point. As much as I’d love to have the phrase “I told you so” tattooed on my forehead, this isn’t about gloating over who was right back then. The important thing is making sure we start doing it right from here on out.

    And, yes, I think we might want to listen to the people who didn’t have their heads in a fantasyland and instead understood what would happen. They saw clearly then, and hopefully they can see a clear path for us now.

  22. 22
    Otto Man says:

    P.S. I told you so.

  23. 23
    Sam Hutcheson says:

    Harping on his being wrong three years ago won’t do anything to make him join the right team now. And yes, in order to salvage this mess, those of us who were right way back in 2002 still need the John Cole’s of the world on our side in 2006.

    But righteous indignation feels oh so cathartic, doesn’t it children? Righteous fury? The certainty of your own convictions? Want to know who that makes you act and sound like?

  24. 24
    Jorge says:

    This is a clear example of why you can’t distinguish between the sentiments behind an action from the actions themselves. From the beginning, the dream of us invading Iraq and the country suddenly becoming this democratic Eden in the middle east seemed ignorant and conceited. Yet another version of the White Man’s Burden.

    So, when you start off with an ignorant and conceited viewpoint, you are more than likely going to go about taking conceited and ignorant actions in order to make it a reality. Hopefully the liberalism-idealism reborn as neoconservatism hogwash will give way to realism again as it did after Vietnam. Isn’t it ironic that the same young men who refused to serve in Vietnam were the ones who repeated the mistake 40 years later?

  25. 25
    Jorge says:

    Um Sam,
    Are you trying to convince people to not act like jerks by demeaning and insulting them? Interesting tactic. :)

  26. 26
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Rusty Shackleford: Why are the troops advocating cutting and running, setting artificial timetables for withdrawl, and generally acting rather French? Have they all become Defeat-o-crats, DemocRATS, and godless commies or what?

    Seriously, though, it’s nice to have been proven right, but I wish it didn’t cost thousands of lives to do so. Of course, if you go to the Bizarro World blogs like blogsforbush, you’ll learn that Iraq is a shining success, nobody in the administration ever predicted we’d be greeted as liberators, nobody in the administration ever said anything about the war being relatively cheap and largely funded by Iraqi oil revenues, and, for good measure, Hitler was a radical leftist. Seriously, these are the things they claim over there. It’s rather disturbing that there is this segment of the population that would much rather be pathetically loyal and wrong than correct. But that’s Bush’s “base” for you.

  27. 27
    Jorge says:

    By the way, Andrew Sullivan has found the new refuge for those that supported the ideology behind the war.

    http://time.blogs.com/daily_di....._iraq.html

    We really went over there just to make life better for the Kurds. To be fair to Andrew, that isn’t exactly what he is saying. But I’m sure that the right wing machine is going to go all Kurd all of the time. If you add that to the spin that it is the fault of the Iraqi government for not taking charge, you have all the out these folks will need.

  28. 28
    Ross says:

    the folks whose short-term projections proved so inept (WMD, AQ links, we’ll be greeted as liberators, reconstruction will pay for itself, bureaucracy will go back to work right after the war, candy and flowers, drawing the troops down to 30k within months, ‘last throes,’ no sectarian problems to worry about)

    Let’s not forget this gem: “We’re fighting the terrorists over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.” Riiight. And if Iraq does break out into full-scale civil war – why, that’ll protect us from civil war here on American soil.

  29. 29
    gratefulcub says:

    That’s fine, there’s plenty of room for us to reasonably disagree on this

    That is a rational, reasonable attitude that is often lacking in here.

    I agree that we could have done much better. But, these guys couldn’t have done much better. They have admitted to not planning for an insurgency. So, their grasp of reality was not firm. Even if you believe in your ‘gut’ that we will be liberators, you still have a contigency plan for an insurgency.

    You also have to say, “If I were Saddam/terrorist/Republican Guard/Etc., how would I fight back?” The obvious answer is to melt away and fight a guerilla war. But they didn’t plan for that.

    Personally, I just never could imagine how iraq could function as a democracy that we created. It takes a great deal of hubris to believe that the US is so great and powerful (and good to everyone else’s evil) that we can destroy a country, only to have it spring up as the greatest ME nation ever. We aren’t that great, we aren’t that powerful, and our moral compass failed.

    Yes, it is great that Saddam is gone, but is anyone better off? Did the administration even run through the probabilities? It is perfectly acceptable to overestimate the chances of things going well, but they never considered the chances of disaster. The worst case scenario:

    Iraq fragments into civil war between Shia and Sunni Arabs

    Kurds move towards independence, including the ethnic cleansing of Arabs and Turkmen from Tikrit

    Iranian, Turkish, and Syrian kurds gain support from the Iraqi kurds rich with Tikriti oil money

    Shia Arabs and Persians join forces to fight the Sunni Arabs of Iraq.

    4 countries destabilized with small scale civil unrest due to Kurdish independence.

    It goes on and on. That is the worst case. If you don’t recongnize that possibility, how can you make an informed choice?

    Clap louder, put your fingers in your ears, ignore reality, and talk to God.

  30. 30
    gratefulcub says:

    RonB,
    None of the ‘you’s above were directed at you.

  31. 31

    Interesting, because splitting the country up into Kurdistan, Shitistan, and Crapistan is exactly what I thought they should do to begin with. Rather then encouraging this violence by forcing them together.

    Everybody together… clap louder!

  32. 32
    Lee says:

    I’m calling bullshit on Andrew’s post.

    From what I understand Northern Iraq was already free of Sadam’s rule (if I am wrong someone please correct me). Granted it did not have the prosperity it does now, but who is to say it would not reached this level just at a slower pace.

  33. 33
    gratefulcub says:

    Interesting, because splitting the country up into Kurdistan, Shitistan, and Crapistan

    Crapistan has no oil

    Shitistan would be too oil rich and close to Iran

    Kurdistan won’t be accepted by the other Arab and Persian nations in the region.

  34. 34
    RonB says:

    Personally, I just never could imagine how iraq could function as a democracy that we created.

    And I agree with you, this was probably a reach. But we could’ve helped it, which would be the only liberal argument that makes any sense if you wanted to see the invasion/occupation succeed. You should’ve seen the state the border town of Safwan was in, Cub. Those people were like human rats, their town was blackened and burnt like nothing Ive ever seen. If we couldn’t help those people and get them to be happy we came, then I will agree with you, the whole thing was a fool’s errand. But there was opportunity. Those people were hungry and needed someone’s goddamn help. But we just passed through.

    What I’m basically outlining is the oilspot strategy, favored by some British commanders. We ate the whole sandwich instead of taking Iraq bite by bite. It’s not like a fierce perimeter of Army couldn’t have easily kicked the ass of any Saddam forces coming down to push back while we did some real good for Safwan.

    But as I said, the administration didn’t really give a shit about reconstruction, they were hoping they could get in, get out, and leave the shit work to the international community. When they called our bluff, voila! Welcome to today.

  35. 35
    Pooh says:

    All I wanted for Christmas was peace in Iraq. And a pony. But then, being a (half) jew I had to fight this war on Christmas, so my happy thoughts were not sufficient to bring it about at the time. I humbly apologize and accept whatever censure I might be due.

    That is all.

    To repeat, my bad.

  36. 36
    Davebo says:

    Harping on his being wrong three years ago won’t do anything to make him join the right team now. And yes, in order to salvage this mess, those of us who were right way back in 2002 still need the John Cole’s of the world on our side in 2006.

    Hey, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t force it down his throat.

    John’s made it clear that nothing could happen to make him change teams. But he’s also signaled his intention to sit out 2006 if I recall correctly and that’s just fine by me.

    If he chooses to stay home and burn Cindy Sheehan in effigy on election day come November I say more power to him.

  37. 37
    Pooh says:

    FWIW, I tend to agree with Ron, though from my armchair general’s vantage point, I might suggest that the real error we made was failure to ensure physical security of both the populous and the important infrastructure. Bremer’s decision to lop off the top 4 levels of Baathists was debatable, but when combined with the lack of planning and resources for us doing that technocratic work, it borders on criminal negligence.

  38. 38
    danelectro says:

    so glenn is saying, in addition to not being able to predict the iraqi insurgency, the bush administration *also* failed to predict that their lies about the rational for this war would be found out, and this would be the fatal blow to the whole effort?

    what, exactly were these guys right about?

  39. 39
    Don Surber says:

    Iraq failed.

    hmm

    By failure you mean a freely elected people with their own constitution

    Sometimes you lefties are so obvious in your hatred of teh democratic process that I do not even have to point it out

    But there it is

    I do not want a government run by elites who know better than me. Sorry

    Iraq has problems? OK. But it also has something it did not have three years ago: HOPE

    And that is just eating the heck out of every lefty

    Toinkerbelle? Must make y’all Cap’n Hook

  40. 40
    OCSteve says:

    You can bet folks will respond to Glenn and my posts with the old ‘rooting for failure’ dodge.

    You are discounting the fact that people like to be right. Being able to say ‘told you so’ and earning ‘intellectual credibility by correctly forecasting the likely outcome of events that haven’t yet taken place’ are desirable things to most people.

    You will, consciously or not, root for the outcome you have forecast. Some aspects of this are subtle, like being quick to accept and promote news and opinion that support your predictions while being just as quick to reject and ignore that which does not. It is not immoral – it just is. People like to be right. It’s as simple as that.

    But when your predictions and forecasts are negative, it’s hard to say you are not rooting for a negative outcome. Certainly (I hope) in the front of your mind that is tempered by a genuine desire that you are wrong, that things work out OK – but it doesn’t change the fact that you want to be right for those other reasons. You see this most often with the pattern, “I hope I’m wrong about this BUT, I predict bad thing A, bad thing B, world goes to hell…”. Unfortunately it also manifests in the other common pattern – “Well maybe that sounds like good news, BUT it’s really not that great besides all this other bad shit happened too…”

    So I would say that in that situation, you are hoping to be right for all the normal reasons, but that hope does lead you naturally to look for and promote evidence supporting your predictions – and it certainly does give the appearance of rooting for failure to others.

    It’s not like anything is different on the other side – you just expect people to root for success.

    You also can’t discount that when the media falls into that category and acts much the same way – it does have consequences. It has undeniable consequences on the ultimate outcome.

    I will lump 95% of those I would put in the ‘rooting for failure’ column into the above framework. But there is a disgusting and morally offensive 5% that genuinely want America to fail, to “put us in our place” or some such nonsense. To get such a bloody nose we roll up in a ball and withdraw from world affairs beyond what the UN asks of us. Some people will lump you all together.

  41. 41
    Jorge says:

    Lee Says:

    I’m calling bullshit on Andrew’s post.

    From what I understand Northern Iraq was already free of Sadam’s rule (if I am wrong someone please correct me). Granted it did not have the prosperity it does now, but who is to say it would not reached this level just at a slower pace.

    Why do you hate freedom? :)

  42. 42
    Pooh says:

    I do not want a government run by elites who know better than me.

    See, that’s where you lose. Expertise, not faux news “expertise”, but real, concrete knowledge is how stuff gets done. But if you want the reconstruction to run on the theocon prophylatic plan (hope, rhythm and prayer) who are we reality-based people to talk you out of it?

  43. 43
    RonB says:

    I might suggest that the real error we made was failure to ensure physical security of both the populous and the important infrastructure.

    It definitely became a HUGE problem when the insurgency realized that the best way to get at America was to show it powerless to provide safety for ordinary Iraqis. At this point, most of our units are engaged in force protection, as I understand it-we have realized the futility of cleaning out a town, as some commander said, it’s like punching water. They just go start shit elsewhere, and it’s easy to do because we really have made regular Iraqi life more difficult and dangerous, so why the fuck should anyone want to help us find insurgents?

  44. 44
    Otto Man says:

    Sometimes you lefties are so obvious in your hatred of teh democratic process that I do not even have to point it out

    But thank God you did, Don. Otherwise, we might have forgotten all the undemocratic things that liberals have done these past few years — purging the voter rolls in Florida in 2000 and refusing to have a full recount; setting up a system in the House of Representatives where the minority party is shut out of decision making, dropping bills in for a vote before anyone has a chance to read them, and then holding open 15-minute votes for three hours in the middle of the night; eating out of the hands of Republican lobbyists and doing their bidding, and not the people’s; installing GOP-friendly Diebold machines with no paper trail; putting new voting restrictions in place in Georgia to disfranchise poor and minority voters; forcing a mid-decade redrawing of congressional districts to benefit Republican candidates in Texas; etc. etc. Man, those liberals really do hate democracy.

    You know, Don, I really think this post was your Gettsyburg Address.

  45. 45
    RonB says:

    By failure you mean a freely elected people with their own constitution

    Don, turn on the tv, ok? Get back to us later.

  46. 46
    RonB says:

    But it also has something it did not have three years ago: HOPE

    You’re insane. I’m sorry. I’m afraid it’s you who is the only one doing the hoping.

  47. 47
    gratefulcub says:

    Ron,

    I think we agree on much more than we disagree on.

    What about ‘Shock and Awe’? We spent a month destroying the infrastructure. I know we were supposed to be only destroying ‘military targets’, but we know better. How does the shock and awe of having everything destroyed turn us into liberators? Seems to be another piece to your puzzle. How many troops would it have taken to do it your way? I like your way much better, but it seems like we would have needed 250 – 400 thousand troops for an extended period.

    And, we would have to stay until the new government is legit. Decades?

    I am feeling more confident about Iraq already, Don Surber is clapping loud enough for all of us. How about that freshly painted school!!!!!!! The professor was murdered, but it has fresh paint!!!!

  48. 48
    Mr Furious says:

    Don, turn on the tv, ok? Get back to us later.

    No need. All the BushBorg drones are getting a direct feed.

  49. 49
    Davebo says:

    Don Surber is happy so why isn’t everyone else?

    He obviously thinks that spending a half trillion dollars or so and a few thousand US troops to create a fractured mid east country that is a destabilizing factor in an already unstable region is a good thing.

    That watching the Iraqi majority form a theocracy that is all but implicitly beholden to Iran is reassuring.

  50. 50
    Faux News says:

    Crapistan has no oil

    Shitistan would be too oil rich and close to Iran

    Kurdistan won’t be accepted by the other Arab and Persian nations in the region.

    Spot on analyst Mr. Cub. You have just given us the scenario of the Country formerly known as “Iraq” will become. Think of the former Yugoslavia. In fact it’s amazing the artificial borders of Iraq drawn after WW1 actually lasted this long.

    Oh as for Kurdistan? You Neocons like Don Surber do know that Turkey has NO intention of letting them become an independent country. So what do we do when an ally of ours attacks/invades Kurdistan? I’m sure some 24 year old Fundy Christian, Texas A&M drop, out already has this figured out.

  51. 51
    gratefulcub says:

    I do not want a government run by elites who know better than me.

    I don’t care if they are elites, but I hope they know better than you.

  52. 52
    chopper says:

    But it also has something it did not have three years ago: HOPE

    yeah, as in ‘hope i don’t get killed in the civil war.’

  53. 53
    RonB says:

    Nice post, OCSteve, I have thought about that sometimes, that nagging “but what if I’m wrong? I hope not because Im out in public saying this but…wait, am I hoping Iraq fails by thinking this?” I know in my heart I don’t want Iraq to fail- I cried with a family when I left them because I was worried about them-with my M-16 over my shoulder I tried my best to sign to them saying “Amrikis…love Iraq. Iraq OK.” with hand to heart, but heaven knows it would be a blow to all of my senses of prescience and critical thinking skills to find I have blown the call.

  54. 54
    Perry Como says:

    Don Surber is now writing material for DougJ.

  55. 55
    Davebo says:

    To get such a bloody nose we roll up in a ball and withdraw from world affairs beyond what the UN asks of us. Some people will lump you all together.

    In other words, to emulate George W. Bush circa 2000 eh?

    Well, he did warn of us this I suppose. And he has thoroughly bloodied our nose.

    So now we’re all like Dubya. But unfortunately it’s the “old Dubya” so that’s a bad thing.

    Geez, can I get a freaking program here? It’s gotten nearly impossible to keep score!

  56. 56
    Faux News says:

    Iraq has problems? OK. But it also has something it did not have three years ago: HOPE

    Even DougJ is quietly seething with envy at this brilliant post!

    As for me, I am sitting here at my desk with tears running down my face, due to the powerful truth of Don Surber’s post. I hope my coworkers don’t notice.

  57. 57
    Don Surber says:

    Oh the “Faux News” line

    It shows libs have no ear for puns. Not clever. It it pronounced “Foe” and has nothing to do with the sound of Fox

    Sort of like when Kerry said W stands for wrong. The ear heard Rong and wondered if Kerry had lost his mind

    BTW, I watch things other than Fox and read things other than the Stars and Stripes. Really. Seriously.

    But y’all sit there putting Iraq down. 30 years from now you’ll be driving an Iraqi made car

  58. 58
    Faux News says:

    Oh the “Faux News” line

    It shows libs have no ear for puns. Not clever. It it pronounced “Foe” and has nothing to do with the sound of Fox

    Sort of like when Kerry said W stands for wrong. The ear heard Rong and wondered if Kerry had lost his mind

    BTW, I watch things other than Fox and read things other than the Stars and Stripes. Really. Seriously.

    But y’all sit there putting Iraq down. 30 years from now you’ll be driving an Iraqi made car

    It’s ok Don, I still love you.

    By the way I call Stormy “Vixen News” when she posts here. Is that better than “Faux”?

    You could have driven a Yugo about 20 years ago too :-)

  59. 59
    RonB says:

    What about ‘Shock and Awe’? We spent a month destroying the infrastructure. I know we were supposed to be only destroying ‘military targets’, but we know better. How does the shock and awe of having everything destroyed turn us into liberators?

    I don’t know, man, some bombing of command and control was a good idea but no doubt shock and awe terrorized Iraqis and shitted up some of their infrastructure.

    How many troops would it have taken to do it your way? I like your way much better, but it seems like we would have needed 250 – 400 thousand troops for an extended period.

    It depends. It might have been possible with what we have now, our ojectives and our elements were simply not chosen to help the Iraqis at the start. No momey, no admin, no nothing. So I can’t say what could’ve been. By securing an area and restoring it,leaving a requisite number of soldiers experienced in civil affairs it would have proven easier to leave it while we moved on to the next hot spot.

    However, I guess we were concerned with the oil fields being set ablaze, and so we would have needed to definitely get that done at the same time we moved into Southern Iraq-not to mention probably having to protect the Kurds which Turkey would not let us do. Shit, Cub, it was a toughie. But just because my vision fails doesn’t mean someone in charge couldn’t have fucked this chicken properly.

  60. 60
    Pb says:

    Don,

    Iraq failed.
    hmm
    By failure you mean a freely elected people with their own constitution

    Tell it to Bill Buckley, maybe he’ll be more patient with you.

    Sometimes you lefties are so obvious in your hatred of teh democratic process that I do not even have to point it out
    But there it is

    No, it isn’t–Don, you’re delusional again, get back on your meds.

    I do not want a government run by elites who know better than me. Sorry

    In that case, I guess you wouldn’t want to live either here or in Iraq. Good luck with that.

    Iraq has problems? OK. But it also has something it did not have three years ago: HOPE

    Hope: an ancient Greek word meaning sectarian violence? Literally hundreds of civilians being killed every day, many shot execution style, and you’re bringing them HOPE? My god Don, your prognosis looks grim, I don’t know if your brain can be saved…

    And that is just eating the heck out of every lefty

    It’s called ‘projection’, Don, look it up. Now keep your neuroses to yourself, it’s embarrassing.

    Toinkerbelle? Must make y’all Cap’n Hook

    Wow, way to miss another reference. Here’s a hint–next time, if you don’t know about something, either look it up, or shut up, and save us the time of telling you that you don’t know the first thing about it, and should have shut your pie hole already.

  61. 61
    Pooh says:

    Don, I’m not saying Faux News because I think it’s pronounced the same, I’m saying it because I prefer accurate descriptors. Please return to your regularly scheduled rant about how Reader’s Digest will be publishing one of your puns.

  62. 62
    Don Surber says:

    Pb:
    “Don, you’re delusional again, get back on your meds.”

    Yawn

    Another personal attack. Once again, you cannot sustain an intelligent argument and so you try these personal attacks

    Once again, by attacking me, you cede the point

  63. 63
    Steve says:

    Once again, you cannot sustain an intelligent argument and so you try these personal attacks

    Are you seriously complaining about personal attacks? The man who said lefties care not a whit for the people of Iraq or of any other country, the man who said lefties cheer the razing of mosques and smile at the chaos in Iraq, is complaining about someone getting “personal”?

    A personal attack would be “fuck you.” But I wouldn’t want to get personal.

  64. 64
    jaime says:

    I guarantee if we got a collection together to send Don to Iraq for a week, he would refuse to go to such a hell hole. It’s funny the ones most likely to believe Iraq is swell are the least willing to actually see for themselves.

    The closest Ann Coulter will ever get to Baghdad is 3rd Avenue.

  65. 65
    gratefulcub says:

    I don’t know, man, some bombing of command and control was a good idea but no doubt shock and awe terrorized Iraqis and shitted up some of their infrastructure.

    I hear ya. And, I am going to stop acting like I have an inkling of an idea about what should or should not be done in a war. I just watched on TV night after night and thought “Damn, if I lived in Baghdad, I would be scared shitless, and pissed at whoever was dropping the bombs.” Especially when the temp hit 110 and I didn’t have any electicity.

    Shit, Cub, it was a toughie. But just because my vision fails doesn’t mean someone in charge couldn’t have fucked this chicken properly.

    First of all, I know it was tough. But, I only know in the sense that you have to be an idiot not to know war in the desert in a foreign land is tough.

    I hold those like you in very high regard. Regardless if it was a good idea or not, you obviously cared about what you were doing and did what you could to make it successful.

    Your vision didn’t fail. The Bush vision failed, but it was doomed from the start. Maybe with a plan like yours that cared more for the iraqis, you would have had a shot. We can agree to disagree about that; there is no certainty on that topic (excluding Surber).

  66. 66
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Once again, by attacking me, you cede the point

    And all those people who proved your point wrong did what, exactly?

  67. 67
    gratefulcub says:

    Once again, you cannot sustain an intelligent argument and so you try these personal attacks

    OK, let’s argue your ‘ideas’ then.

    Iraq failed.

    Correct

    By failure you mean a freely elected people with their own constitution

    No,by failure, I mean the sectarian violence that has followed 3 years of an increasing level of insurgency. A government that was elected but has no legitimacy within it’s own country.

    Sometimes you lefties are so obvious in your hatred of teh democratic process that I do not even have to point it out

    No personal attacks Don, that’s your rule.

    But there it is

    Classic, “I won’t do it, but I just did” Burn!!!!

    I do not want a government run by elites who know better than me. Sorry

    I don’t get it. What do you mean by elites? not wealthy white republican elites?

    Iraq has problems? OK. But it also has something it did not have three years ago: HOPE

    Yes, they do hope to live to see another day.

    And that is just eating the heck out of every lefty

    You got us. We are, at the same time, cheering on civil war with glee, while it is tearing us up inside that things are going so well.

    Toinkerbelle? Must make y’all Cap’n Hook

    blah

  68. 68
    D. Mason says:

    I do not want a government run by elites who know better than me. Sorry

    And with this one simple statement Don brilliantly sums up the entire republican party.

  69. 69
    RonB says:

    I like Don. He’s punching above his weight, but I think he means well.

  70. 70
    Pb says:

    Don Surber,

    you cannot sustain an intelligent argument

    Au contraire, I tried to have an intelligent argument with you once already, and you couldn’t handle it. So now I’m just telling you. Hey, it’s not like you have contributed any evidence, information, insight, or value to these discussions whatsoever. You don’t get something for nothing, Don–shape up or piss off.

    and so you try these personal attacks

    That wasn’t a personal attack, that was personal advice. Really, man. Delusional. That’s what they call it when you see things that aren’t there.

    Once again, by attacking me, you cede the point

    Wishing doesn’t make it so, Don.

  71. 71
    Otto Man says:

    Are you seriously complaining about personal attacks? The man who said lefties care not a whit for the people of Iraq or of any other country, the man who said lefties cheer the razing of mosques and smile at the chaos in Iraq, is complaining about someone getting “personal”?

    You beat me to it. Maybe Don meant that we all hate democracy and freedom in a good way?

    My response to you may have been sarcastic, Don, but it was full of examples of how Republicans claim to love democracy abroad but display a stunning contempt for it here at home. Feel free to respond to that.

    Once you’re done doing the important work of telling us why “W” can’t stand for “Wrong,” of course. I guess “Hooked on Phonics” really did work for you. Perhaps too well.

  72. 72
    Steve says:

    Don doesn’t like to be ruled by elites who know what’s good for him. I wonder if the Iraqis, those noble savages who had no hope but for that which we brought to them, feel the same way.

  73. 73
    Perry Como says:

    I wonder if the Iraqis, those noble savages who had no hope but for that which we brought to them, feel the same way.

    Republicans don’t understand irony.

  74. 74
    Richard Bottoms says:

    But righteous indignation feels oh so cathartic, doesn’t it children? Righteous fury? The certainty of your own convictions? Want to know who that makes you act and sound like?

    The people who were right all along?

  75. 75
    Richard Bottoms says:

    And yes, in order to salvage this mess, those of us who were right way back in 2002 still need the John Cole’s of the world on our side in 2006.

    No we don’t We just need him to stay home. And even if he doesn’t and he slinks back to the polls and votes Republican again, so what?

    The only people that matter are those who are Democrats who voted for Bush and independents. Screw the rest. This is a 51% country and I’m fine with that.

    Get this: We are through bring knives to a gunfight.

  76. 76
    Lines says:

    RonB:
    I took some time away, my response to you was heated. I do feel, however, that the constant “liberals think this” meme needs to go away in debates. It destroys every bit of credibility of your argument and is just an attempt to incite your targets. Count me as one that you incited.

    However, I will admit that many of your other points in these threads has been in agreement with the stances I myself hold, so I won’t throw you in the “Don Surber Clone” bin yet.

  77. 77
    LITBMueller says:

    Let’s seeee….. Less electricity, worse septic systems, crappy drinking water, a government that can’t seem to get its act together, death squads and torture prisons run by the Interior Ministry, armed gangs running the streets, militia-infiltrated armed forces, religious and sectarian violence, living with the fear of being blown up while trying to get the groceries, 50% unemployment, thousands dead, destroyed infrastructure that is not being rebuilt, city roads with military chekpoints and broken up by conrete barriers all ringed with barbed wire, destroyed mosques, millions in reconstruction funds pilfered by government officials and Western companies….

    Yep…sounds hopeful to me!!!

  78. 78
    Lines says:

    Wow, look at how happy Jane is about the civilian deathtoll in Iraq!

    The WaPo reports that the death toll in Iraq from sectarian violence has topped 1,300 since the mosque in Somarra was bombed. There were 57 deaths today alone in Baghdad, after a string of bombings, according to the NYTimes.

    I mean, once you get by the factual way she makes that statement, its clear that she’s going to have a party to celebrate all the innocent death and destruction.

    I blame the liberal media and fat-ass Michael Moore.

  79. 79
    Mac Buckets says:

    If “we lost” the war against Saddam, we’d better let him know. He can ask for a do-over on the whole spider-hole thing.

  80. 80
    Lines says:

    If “we lost” the war against Saddam, we’d better let him know. He can ask for a do-over on the whole spider-hole thing.

    yes yes, I’m sure that if Kerry had been elected in 2004 that he would have returned Iraq to Saddam and said “hey, sorry about that whole trying to kill you thing. No hard feelings, right?”.

    Are you this ignorant in person, Mac?

  81. 81
    Lines says:

    Oh, and Mac, it would be impossible to lose in Iraq, since we’ve never actually had any goals publically explained, other than “bring Democracy”. Well, they’ve voted, we can go home now! We won, right?

  82. 82
    Davebo says:

    The only possible upside to the mess in Iraq is that the GOP won’t be trusted with another “pre-emptive war” for at least 30 years.

  83. 83
    Steve says:

    If the war was against Saddam and “we won,” we would have had the troops home years ago after Saddam was defeated. Next argument, please.

  84. 84
    Mac Buckets says:

    Are you this ignorant in person, Mac?

    I’m not so ignorant as to pretend I had any point about John Kerry (????), if that’s what you and your strawman friend are suggesting.

  85. 85
    Mac Buckets says:

    Well, they’ve voted, we can go home now! We won, right?

    Of course, there were publicly-stated goals, one of which involved training Iraq’s security forces while keeping the government intact, and that’s why we’re still there now. That’s Iraq 101, and you still don’t get it? Is there a remedial Iraq class for the Donks?

  86. 86
    Mac Buckets says:

    If the war was against Saddam and “we won,” we would have had the troops home years ago after Saddam was defeated. Next argument, please.

    Stop changing the argument, guys. I’m not saying “we won” — it’s you guys rejoicing that “Bush lost!”

  87. 87
    RonB says:

    I do feel, however, that the constant “liberals think this” meme needs to go away in debates.

    That’s fair, Lines, but occasionally that shoe does fit. And I certainly am not trying to incite anyone, I’m not much into trolling.

    Now I just insulted you in another thread, and I am sorry, because I do want to have a normal discussion. I’ll follow up.

  88. 88
    Steve says:

    It’s not about who “won” or “lost.” I don’t see any winners. What I do see is people who were right and people who were wrong, people who accurately observed the facts and people who consistently denied the facts.

    As public opinion continues to be shaped by the inescapable facts on the ground, it’s kind of sad to see the last few dead-enders clinging to Bush’s pants leg. We did a good thing in getting rid of Saddam and that’s sadly about the only good thing we did. Time to face the facts and move on.

  89. 89
    Pb says:

    Mac Buckets,

    I’m not saying “we won”—it’s you guys rejoicing that “Bush lost!”

    You know Mac, I’m going on a zero tolerance policy for this bullshit, I’m just telling you, and Don Surber, and all the rest of you, up front. Since you don’t know one goddamned thing about us, and everything out of your mouth is the stupidest sort of uninformed and misplaced bile, I’m going to attempt to inform you, just this once. And when you inevitably fuck up again and pretend to be an expert on fuck-all, I’m going to call your disingenuous ass out. You’ve been warned.

    Now, here goes:

    * We aren’t ‘rejoicing’.
    * Bush ‘won’.
    * Because of people like you.
    * America lost.
    * We told you he was fucking up.
    * You wouldn’t listen.
    * We told you Iraq was a bad idea.
    * Bush ‘won’ again.
    * Because of your denial.
    * Iraq lost.
    * Are you happy now?
    * We aren’t.

    FYI.

  90. 90
    Richard 23 says:

    Uh oh, RINO Alert!

    John Cole gets into the act with this gem:

    Clearly we also failed to give sufficient applause to the inexperienced ideological hacks put in charge of important aspects of Iraq’s reconstruction.

    Great, John. And your solution to the “problem” in Iraq is………..???????

    I helpfully pointed out that “T-i-m-F” does not spell John Cole.
    But facts should never get in the way of a good “RINO” attack.

  91. 91
    RonB says:

    Of course, there were publicly-stated goals, one of which involved training Iraq’s security forces while keeping the government intact, and that’s why we’re still there now

    Maybe so Mac, but they have done a shitty job of it and have lied about the progress constantly. “Training Iraqi security forces” requires the Iraqis to show up and not infiltrate and kill within its own ranks, something that has proved difficult. Furthemore, Mac, it doesnt take 150,000 troops to train the security forces, thats left up to a select thousand or so.

    We trashed the talent pool of the Iraqi Army. We are now starting at the bottom up, with many less capable leaders than we need.

  92. 92
    Richard Bottoms says:

    As public opinion continues to be shaped by the inescapable facts on the ground, it’s kind of sad to see the last few dead-enders clinging to Bush’s pants leg. We did a good thing in getting rid of Saddam and that’s sadly about the only good thing we did. Time to face the facts and move on.

    No, it’s a binary choice. You can either be glad Saddam is gone or you’re his best buddy.

    Some of us ex-military are the most surprised at how we came to this current state of affairs.

    We knew Sadam had a weak marshmellow center and could be defeated militarilly. Never any doubt of that. Furher many of us were ambivalent about going in to Iraq to take him out. A brutal guy he was, but no pressing case was ever made that a man who had lost control of over 1/3 of his country through no fly zones was any lind of a threat.

    Fine, if you want to take him out no one would cry to many tears. But to take him out and then lose the war through lack of planning and stupidity, well that’s a whole other thing.

    You break it. You own it. Kiss my entire ass.

  93. 93
    Mac Buckets says:

    I don’t see any winners.

    You can’t be serious.

    We did a good thing in getting rid of Saddam and that’s sadly about the only good thing we did. Time to face the facts and move on.

    So we succeeded in the main effort, but I’m supposed to feel depressed about the war in Iraq? I freely admit that I don’t get that sentiment in the least.

  94. 94
    Mac Buckets says:

    You’ve been warned.

    I’m absolutely shaking.

    Iraq lost.

    They never had it so good with Saddam in charge, right? Stop pretending to speak for people you’ve never been within 3000 miles of, you pretentious, arrogant ass. Your kind make me puke, you weed.

    Are you happy now?

    Sure, why not?

  95. 95
    jaime says:

    Hold on Mac…

    stop pretending to speak for people you’ve never been within 3000 miles of, you pretentious, arrogant ass.

    Ever been to Iraq?

  96. 96
    Mac Buckets says:

    Furthemore, Mac, it doesnt take 150,000 troops to train the security forces, thats left up to a select thousand or so.

    And I never said it did, but I did clearly point out that we are not just training, but also performing those security activities until the Iraqis can do it themselves.

    We trashed the talent pool of the Iraqi Army.

    Wait, wait, wait. Did you just note the infiltration of the new Iraqi army by Baathists and Sunni terrorists, and then turn right around and bemoan that “we trashed the talent pool of the Iraqi Army?” Do you think there were no Baathists and radical Sunnis in Saddam’s Army?? “Talent pool,” my arse. They were terrorists-in-training. We were right to “trash” them, and the Shiite majority in Iraq is glad we did.

  97. 97
    stickler says:

    Fine, if you want to take him out no one would cry to many tears. But to take him out and then lose the war through lack of planning and stupidity, well that’s a whole other thing.

    Remember, before Team Bush “took him out,” they had managed to lose a public relations battle with Saddam. Just before the war started in 2003, Bush realized he couldn’t get the votes in the UN. Remember how our UN team was trying to strongarm countries like Guinea for their vote? That, to me, was pretty telling.

    These fools couldn’t win a struggle of perception — against Saddam Hussein. That was unfathomable, but they did it.

  98. 98
    jaime says:

    Mac Buckets?

  99. 99
    SeesThroughIt says:

    We won, right?

    I thought we won a couple years back. You know, mission accomplished and all that.

  100. 100
    srv says:

    The only people that matter are those who are Democrats who voted for Bush and independents. Screw the rest. This is a 51% country and I’m fine with that.

    In a world w/o gerrymandering and an electoral college, you’d be right. But alas, they will probably find an issue to bring the wingnuts out.

  101. 101
    Mac Buckets says:

    Ever been to Iraq?

    And I’ve not spoken one single word for them, because they don’t need me to… although I’ll be happy to point you to polls saying that they are glad Saddam is gone and that they want democracy (imagine that — they dont’ want to live under brutal oppression!). But I’m certainly not saying that they “lost” in this war, or that they had it better under Saddam, like some idiots are.

  102. 102
    Lines says:

    Sounds like 1700 people (just in the last 3 days) did have it better under Saddam, eh?

  103. 103
    Mac Buckets says:

    These fools couldn’t win a struggle of perception—against Saddam Hussein. That was unfathomable, but they did it.

    Unfathomable? It was the UN! That stuff was 100% economic self-interest, this was pretty well explained when Saddam’s bribe-lists and the oil-for-fraud swindle hit. It’s not that these countries believed Saddam — it was all about what checks he was willing to cut them for their lip-service.

  104. 104
    Pb says:

    Mac Buckets,

    They never had it so good with Saddam in charge, right?

    I’m sure some were doing fine under Saddam, and others were doing horribly, but the fact remains, Bush fucked it all up, and you cheered his dumb ass on. I guarantee you that more Iraqis have *died* in the past three years thanks to you and your ilk than would have had Saddam stayed in power. Think about that for a second, if you can. There have been more Iraqi civilian casualties in the past few days alone than there have been American military casualties in the past year. That’s what you’re cheering.

    Stop pretending to speak for people you’ve never been within 3000 miles of

    I’m not pretending shit, Mac, I’m telling you what I think–but unlike you, I can back it up. You’re the one pretending you know what people in your own country think, and you’re even wrong about that!

    you pretentious, arrogant ass

    Don’t flatter yourself.

    Your kind make me puke, you weed

    Cheers, asshole.

  105. 105
    Pb says:

    Lines,

    The tally is up to 1700 people? Damn. Revise my above statement to Mac… There have been more Iraqi civilian casualties in the past few days alone than there have been American military casualties in the past *two* years.

    :(

  106. 106
    jaime says:

    Mac buckets. Was that a no? You’re defending an answer you haven’t given.

    Just say “No, I’ve never been to Iraq”

    and I’ll say, “Then Mac Buckets, PB’s opinion is as valid as yours since neither of you have been to Iraq.”

    although I’ll be happy to point you to polls saying that they are glad Saddam is gone

    Please do.

    or that they had it better under Saddam

    Well, they did have Jobs and Running water and no fear of being blown up.

    You’re very answer is a perfect example of what Glenn Greenwald is saying. You were caught admonishing someone for speaking without a certain knowledge, but you feel compelled to do so yourself. When you were caught, you were too much of a coward to even admit it, you didn’t even say “No. I’ve never been to Iraq, either”, you just went on along making excuses.

    You are everything you hated about Clinton.

  107. 107
    Steve says:

    Stop pretending to speak for people you’ve never been within 3000 miles of, you pretentious, arrogant ass.

    And what did America do, exactly, when we invaded Iraq to bring freedom and democracy to its people? Did we not claim to know what they wanted? Do people like Don Surber not argue that hey, we may have broken some eggs, but it’s all good because in 30 years Iraq will have a nice omelette? The same people who see Iraq and its people as a grand experiment want to scream bloody murder when anyone suggests that they may not have wanted this.

    Is it more arrogant to state an opinion about what someone wants, or invade them on the belief that you know what they want?

    I really can’t get over Mac’s argument that it was really all about taking out Saddam, and everything that has happened since 2003 was just the bonus round. Like I said, it’s sad to see what the dead-enders have been reduced to.

    Ghazi al-Yawar, an obscure Sunni Arab businessman, became Bush’s candidate for president of Iraq’s interim government because, as Bremer reports, Bush had “been favorably impressed with his open thanks to the Coalition.”

    I acknowledge that we Bush-haters alternate between portraying Bush as evil tyrant and as unwitting pawn. But does anyone else get the sense that certain people basically sold Bush on this war by telling him that streets in Baghdad would be named after him?

  108. 108
    DougJ says:

    The tally is up to 1700 people?

    Freedom is messy.

  109. 109
    DougJ says:

    You may not like Bush, moonbats, but would you rather live under Saddam?

  110. 110
    JWeidner says:

    How long does it take to train Iraqi security forces? I mean, it’s been, what, 3 years and we’re still there, claiming we’re training them to provide their own security, police themselves, etc.

    Damn! We can put US Marines through basic training in 13 weeks, but it apparently takes YEARS to train Iraqis.

  111. 111
    chopper says:

    Damn! We can put US Marines through basic training in 13 weeks, but it apparently takes YEARS to train Iraqis

    iraqi forces have a bad habit of asploding before two weeks on the job is through.

  112. 112
    Richard Bottoms says:

    It’s the last days in the Berlin bunker and they know it.

  113. 113
    RonB says:

    Wait, wait, wait. Did you just note the infiltration of the new Iraqi army by Baathists and Sunni terrorists, and then turn right around and bemoan that “we trashed the talent pool of the Iraqi Army?”

    Yes, I did. Professional soldiers and militants are two different entities. Many in Iraq were Ba’ath just for the job, Mac.

    They were terrorists-in-training. We were right to “trash” them

    The entire Iraqi army were terrorists in training. Fascinating. I’m not going to fuck with you like the others do, but I have to say you make it rather difficult to have a discussion when you say things like that.

  114. 114
    Pb says:

    DougJ,

    You may not like Bush, moonbats, but would you rather live under Saddam?

    That depends–are we living in America, or in Iraq? Remember, Bush is destroying Iraq there, so he doesn’t have to destroy America here. As much. Hey, at least he’s distracted. Stupid petty war-mongering oil-obsessed failed tyrants from the desert trying to seize power…

  115. 115
    Richard Bottoms says:

    >You may not like Bush, moonbats, but would you rather live >under Saddam?

    I don’t know. Is he running in 2008?

    And is my choice limited between him and Bill Frist or Lindsey Grahmn. Cause it might be hard to choose.

  116. 116
    DougJ says:


    Check this thread out.

    It’s like an all-star team of whack jobs over there. You’ve got Defense Guy, Tall Dave, and some others who make those two look reasonable.

  117. 117
    Richard Bottoms says:

    >iraqi forces have a bad habit of asploding before two weeks >on the job is through.

    What was the deal with lining them up on the street every few weeks to get shot or car bombed?

    Did it never occur to them to do recruiting in a soccer stadium with metal detectors ate the doors or something?

  118. 118

    You may not like Bush, moonbats, but would you rather live under Saddam?

    That depends.

    Will I have to pay Income taxes?

  119. 119
    Pb says:

    Richard Bottoms,

    Oh, it isn’t over yet–you might be interested in Bush’s next bold front in the war on terror: he’s going to personally lead 5,000 personnel including snipers, commandos, and U.S. marines, using helicopters and rocket launchers. He’s going into new territory, hostile territory, fraught with Islamic militants. He’s breaking new ground, taking bold steps to keep us safe. He’s going to fight them over there, so we don’t have to fight them over here. He’s going to secure New Delhi, with help from Laura Bush. She’s apparently there to make sure he doesn’t make any jokes about sandwiches.

  120. 120
    Steve says:

    I’d forgotten about Defense Guy. Did we run him off? He was a decent guy, kinda like Mac.

  121. 121
    Pb says:

    Steve,

    Nah, Defense Guy was closer to a decent guy than Mac has shown himself to be, at least IMO. But maybe I’m just being nostalgic…

  122. 122
    DougJ says:

    DG is a lunatic now. I hope it isn’t our fault.

  123. 123
    jaime says:

    I love trolling these sick fucks.

    Islam is coming. The West can demure comment, much less action, all it wants. Islam is coming.

  124. 124
    jaime says:

    There’s this too:

    If the liberals had gotten behind this war instead of stabbing the president and the troops in the back, the insurgency would have been crushed months ago.

  125. 125
    jaime says:

    ANd this:

    I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: a civil war could be good for Iraq. Freedom is messy. At some level, sectarian strife is merely the exercise of freedom. After 15 years of totalitarianism under Saddam, it is hardly surprising to see a little mayhem now.

    In the end, we will prevail in Iraq as long as the Republicans stay in power. It may take 5 years, it may take ten. Iraq may be one country by the end. It may be three. But we will prevail.

    Freedom is on the march.

  126. 126
    DougJ says:

    Islam is coming. The West can demure comment, much less action, all it wants. Islam is coming.

    That’s the best one, since it’s not clear what it might possibly mean and the commenter is clearly proud of himself for using the word “demure”.

  127. 127
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Geez, DougJ that thread is quite impressive in the level of crazy it exhibits. That’s certainly more than the typical crazy. BTW, are you posting as “marianne” in that thread? If that poster is real, then that’s pretty fucking scary.

  128. 128
    Blue Neponset says:

    I thought Defense Guy was a decent fellow. I am sorry he hasn’t participated here in a while.

  129. 129
    Mac Buckets says:

    I’m sure some were doing fine under Saddam, and others were doing horribly, but the fact remains, Bush fucked it all up

    If that’s the kind of conjecture and uninformed opinion that passes for “fact” in your world, then I’m glad I live in the real one.

    There have been more Iraqi civilian casualties in the past few days alone than there have been American military casualties in the past year. That’s what you’re cheering.

    Cheering? Whatever. Braver people than you once said “Live free or die,” dude. The majority in Iraq are in a struggle for liberty against a small group of terrorists who want a return to minority rule. Surely that hasn’t escaped your nuanced eye. Or are you a “better to live in chains” kind of guy? Sounds like it, which is why I hope you nutty lefties float this “I Dream of Saddam” meme high and proudly — it’s a loser, because it argues for dictatorship over freedom, and Americans won’t buy it.

    I’m not pretending shit, Mac, I’m telling you what I think—but unlike you, I can back it up.

    What a load of infantile bullshit. When you say “Iraq lost” in the war, you are speaking for people you’ve never met, and never will meet, and you can’t back up your silly opinions about Iraqis feelings with fact, because you are dead wrong. It’s the dumbest kind of arrogance the lefties have to offer, and you display it in spades. The brown people don’t need your help, whitey, to tell them how great they must’ve had it had it under Saddam. How did the Ba’ath party do in those elections, genius?

  130. 130
    DougJ says:

    You think Marianne is the most whack one? I really think the person who brought up the possibility that the Saddam-loving left might take up arms against the rest of the country was the biggest lunatic.

  131. 131
    Mac Buckets says:

    “Then Mac Buckets, PB’s opinion is as valid as yours since neither of you have been to Iraq.”

    Yeah, who needs the opinion of actual Iraqis when we have American nutjob lefties to tell us how things really are over there! The little brown people always need the left’s help to articulate their situation, don’t they?

    Jaime, you continue to make Pb and Lines look like geniuses by comparison.

  132. 132
    Steve says:

    Braver people than you once said “Live free or die,” dude.

    Wise words to remember in these days of the unitary executive. They are a brave code to live one’s life by, but considerably less bravery is involved in imposing them on others as a binary choice.

    Iraq in 30 years could be a pleasant democracy, for all I know. But if it gets there, I believe it will be in spite of the actions of the US, not because of them. There’s such an abundance of arrogance in claiming that the only way Iraq could get there, given decades to chart its own destiny, is with our help.

  133. 133
    Richard 23 says:

    Thanks for cluing me to Protein Idiocy:

    Hell, France today is belligerent towards the US.

    I believe that military action against France would be justified. It wouldn’t be wise, but it would be justified.

    Yeah! Get those Frenchies!

  134. 134
    Mac Buckets says:

    And what did America do, exactly, when we invaded Iraq to bring freedom and democracy to its people? Did we not claim to know what they wanted?Is it more arrogant to state an opinion about what someone wants, or invade them on the belief that you know what they want?

    Steve, you are usually quite reasonable. I’m almost certain you are DougJ-ing here, but I’ll respond anyway.

    I can’t believe that I have to argue with you that Iraqis weren’t fond of their minority dictator and his oppressive regime. If you are seriously suggesting that the 80% majority of Iraqis wanted to live under Saddam’s oppression rather than to be free, you’d better be prepared to back it up with something — anything. Did huge election turnouts under threat of death mean nothing? Do polls upon polls of actual Iraqis mean nothing? What do you guys need? Do you guys need John Kerry or Michael Moore or Whoopi Goldberg to come out and admit that freedom is kind of good in order to believe it?

    Rest assured, the majority of Iraqis want democracy and freedom. They say it in polls, they say it at the polls — and the ones who don’t are a small, militant minority who lost their undeserved power.

    It’s not arrogant to give people their freedom (and I can’t believe I have to write that sentence to a human adult). If you don’t get that, you probably don’t get why you guys keep losing election after election.

    I really can’t get over Mac’s argument that it was really all about taking out Saddam, and everything that has happened since 2003 was just the bonus round.

    I don’t think I ever said that, but if you need help with something I posted, feel free to be more specific about what you don’t get.

  135. 135
    jaime says:

    So you’ve never been to Iraq, Mac Buckets? You still haven’t answered the question. Do you know any real Iraqis? I’ll answer that for you. No you don’t.

    I love how the right wing, who applauds calling Islam a “death cult”, a “false religion”, calling muslims “ragheads”, Moozie’s, Camel Jockeys, Mohammed a child rapist, and advocates for muslim internment camps are picking up this new talking point of liberal anti-Arab racism. You hate everything they believe and stand for and know in your Jesus lovin’ heart that they will eternally burn in damnation, but you don’t hate them because they are brown. Please.

    They just got the cue from Rush and his buddies in the administration to play the race card over the ports, and scumbags like Mac Buckets haven’t quite figured how to assimilate that talking point into their stale failures of arguments.

  136. 136
    Mac Buckets says:

    They are a brave code to live one’s life by, but considerably less bravery is involved in imposing them on others as a binary choice.

    No one is imposing freedom on Iraq anymore. At any time, they can vote the Baathist dictators back in. Think they will? Of course not. It seems that for some reason they aren’t as fond of Saddam as the Democrats are.

    Also, you also miss the crucial point that the violence over there now is between Iraqis. The Shiites are making their choice to live free agianst those who seek to dominate or kill them. The small percentage of terrorist Sunnis can’t get it through their domes that the Shiites are not going to be cowed by terror anymore.

    Iraq in 30 years could be a pleasant democracy, for all I know. But if it gets there, I believe it will be in spite of the actions of the US, not because of them. There’s such an abundance of arrogance in claiming that the only way Iraq could get there, given decades to chart its own destiny, is with our help.

    Who said it was the only way? No one. It was the most expedient way for us, dealing with what two administrations had portrayed in terms of the threat Saddam posed.

  137. 137
    jaime says:

    It’s not arrogant to give people their freedom

    This child got the shit freed out of him. I guess you can’t make a freedom omelette without breaking some innocent baby civilian casualty eggs.

  138. 138
    SeesThroughIt says:

    You think Marianne is the most whack one? I really think the person who brought up the possibility that the Saddam-loving left might take up arms against the rest of the country was the biggest lunatic.

    Yikes. I didn’t see that post. I only read for a little while, then just started skimming because I was afraid if I kept reading, I’d throw up all over myself. But Marianne was the one who seemed most content to mindlessly chirp Bush-style platitudes (how many times did she say, “freedom is on the march?” C’mon–that is so six months ago!) and consider that a well-reasoned argument.

    I love how the right wing, who applauds calling Islam a “death cult”, a “false religion”, calling muslims “ragheads”, Moozie’s, Camel Jockeys, Mohammed a child rapist, and advocates for muslim internment camps are picking up this new talking point of liberal anti-Arab racism. You hate everything they believe and stand for and know in your Jesus lovin’ heart that they will eternally burn in damnation, but you don’t hate them because they are brown. Please.

    They just got the cue from Rush and his buddies in the administration to play the race card over the ports

    I’ve noticed this, too. It’s really freaking weird. All of a sudden, the right wing is playing the race card? I know a lot of stuff the present right wing does defies logic, but that one’s really a whopper. Where the fuck does that even come from? And yet it quickly gets accepted as concrete fact in that nutty 33 percent that loves Bush no matter what. It’s so fucking bizarre.

  139. 139
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Braver people than you once said “Live free or die,” dude.

    Yes. Then they joined the Army to back it up instead of cheerleading the way from the safety of their homes.

    I am sure I can find the address of the nearest military recruiter to you and all the other war promoters who have not yet served.

  140. 140
    Mac Buckets says:

    So you’ve never been to Iraq, Mac Buckets? You still haven’t answered the question. Do you know any real Iraqis? I’ll answer that for you. No you don’t.

    Listen closely. I have never been to Iraq. What your pea-sized cerebrum keeps missing, though, is that I HAVEN’T BEEN SPEAKING FOR THE IRAQIS IN MY POSTS LIKE OTHERS HAVE BEEN. I let the Iraqis do their own talking with their opinions and their deeds, and believe it or not, I think the Iraqis know more about life under Saddam, the invasion, and the current situation than you do. I know that’s mind-blowing for most of you arrogant know-it-alls. Perhaps you’d like a minute to adjust your entire mindset.

    They just got the cue from Rush and his buddies in the administration to play the race card over the ports, and scumbags like Mac Buckets haven’t quite figured how to assimilate that talking point into their stale failures of arguments.

    Wow, abruptly changing the subject, AND pretending to argue my part for me! How could I have ever thought you were a nut?

  141. 141
    Mac Buckets says:

    I guess you can’t make a freedom omelette without breaking some innocent baby civilian casualty eggs.

    You know, arguing with you just makes us all that much dumber. By the way, I heard that some innocent children died in the American Revolution and World War Two. Get your placard ready! We march tomorrow!

  142. 142
    Mac Buckets says:

    Yes. Then they joined the Army to back it up instead of cheerleading the way from the safety of their homes.

    I am sure I can find the address of the nearest military recruiter to you and all the other war promoters who have not yet served.

    Please, the chickenhawk stuff? The last refuge of the brainless.

  143. 143
    Steve says:

    But it’s not just a choice between Saddam and Lollipop Land. It’s a choice between Saddam and what they have now, which is best described as a mess.

    You can take the long view like Don Surber and say that in 30 years they’ll be a thriving power like Germany or Japan. My point is that we can’t claim credit for that. In 30 years they could have gotten there without our help, for all anyone knows. They could have done far better. People have a way of making progress, and you don’t get to inject chaos into someone’s culture and then play the game of “post hoc ergo propter hoc” whenever something good happens 30 years later.

    As the world’s leading nation, we can do a lot of good around the world, and as an old-school liberal I often wish we would do more. But overthrowing wicked regimes at a cost of thousands of lives and leaving everyone to pick up our pieces isn’t the way to go about it.

    No one seriously believes that our new foreign policy is that the US will pay any price to bring people freedom, as nice as that sounds in my idealistic, liberal world. Why not start with Burma instead of Iraq, if that were the case? Heck, why not start with Cuba?

    We all know the reason why Iraq had anything to do with our national interest (unlike Burma) is because of terrorism and WMDs. Well, the link to terrorism was weak, and the WMDs went missing. And so now those of us who oppose the war see the moral arguments that “Saddam was evil! Iraqis deserve freedom!” true though they may be, as what they are – fallback positions. And we get sorta annoyed at the people who latch onto those fallback positions, claim they were the prime motivating force all along, and lash out with righteous indignation against all those who don’t acknowledge their validity. Because if you really, truly believe that getting rid of Saddam and spreading freedom were sufficient reasons for the invasion, in and of themselves, then onward to Burma.

  144. 144
    StupidityRules says:

    Faux News said:

    You have just given us the scenario of the Country formerly known as “Iraq” will become. Think of the former Yugoslavia.

    If Iraq actually turned out like former Yugoslavia then it would be a good thing. Slovenia has joined the EU, Croatia has started accession talks with the EU. While there were brutal fighting in Bosnia and Herzegovina a decade ago it has cooled down. Obviously they still have problems and so does Serbia too, and Macedonia has trouble with the economy.

    This would be a future to wish for in Iraq.

  145. 145
    srv says:

    No one is imposing freedom on Iraq anymore. At any time, they can vote the Baathist dictators back in. Think they will? Of course not. It seems that for some reason they aren’t as fond of Saddam as the Democrats are.

    The Sunni wanted to vote some Baathist back in. Their parties/slates weren’t allowed in the vote. When Iraq is partitioned, the Sunni will quite readily elect Baathists back into power.

    And then the little Hitlers will be called our allies again.

  146. 146
    srv says:

    Wow, DougJ, I think I’ve had my protein take for the rest of the year.

    Objectively, the insurgency does gain by the division in the US. But it really doesn’t matter in the long run. The longer we stay, the longer the insurgency will last. The AQ part of it would evaporate pretty quickly, as they really can’t operate for long without the tacit allowance of Sunni tribal elders, etc. For every Arab, there are arguably 10-20X as many Sunni insurgents. If anyone disagrees, show us some data.

    Even if everything were hunky-dory right now, Iraq is still going to be a mess in the future. I submit:

    1) How long until the Kurds mess with Turkey. Or Iran (perhaps at our behest)?

    2) What possible interest do Saudi Princes (just one prince of 6000 could probably fund the insurgency now) have with a Shia Republic on their northern border? You don’t think that would give Shia in SA any bad ideas? Guess where all those Shia in SA live? Over the oil fields.

    3) What possible interest do the Sunni have accepting minority status? Because they want to be fair? Sheesh.

    I don’t see anyone talking about this stuff now, we aren’t even at that stage. But it’s far easier to blame someone else for your lack of planning, just like it’s easier to blame the left for Cambodia.

    Like bombing and actively destabilizing the Cambodian government wouldn’t have consequences…

  147. 147
    Mac Buckets says:

    But it’s not just a choice between Saddam and Lollipop Land. It’s a choice between Saddam and what they have now, which is best described as a mess.

    Where’s your poll that most Iraqis preferred Saddam to what you have deemed to be a “mess?” Iraqi polls have suggested the reverse, so without anything to counter, your argument is kind of weak.

    My point is that we can’t claim credit for that. In 30 years they could have gotten there without our help, for all anyone knows.

    Possibly, but seriously, what are the odds of that? After Saddam died, Uday would’ve been dictator. He was more brutal than his old man by half. Also bear in mind the dearth of organic democracy in that region. The ruling parties over there don’t play around like in the West, tending to brutally repress any sort of opposition.

    Your argument is a lot like the people who can’t get into Columbus Day, or Martin Luther King Day, because “if it wasn’t them, it would’ve been someone else, probably.” We still give credit to the guys who did the stuff.

    And we get sorta annoyed at the people who latch onto those fallback positions, claim they were the prime motivating force all along, and lash out with righteous indignation against all those who don’t acknowledge their validity.

    I didn’t say that Iraqi democracy was the primary motive (although all the folks on the left spouting on about PNAC certainly believe it was primary), I said that that putting Saddam out of power was what it was all about. Of course, along with that comes: What do we leave in his place? What were we going to do, leave Iraq to Uday? Where’s the improvement there? So to try to separate the democracy motive from Saddam’s ouster is kind of a fool’s errand. Bush made clear in every speech in the walk-up to war that Iraqis must be freed from Saddam’s minority rule. This wasn’t something that, when the WMD went missing, the Bushies were left scrounging to find another reason why ousting Saddam was still a good thing.

    Because if you really, truly believe that getting rid of Saddam and spreading freedom were sufficient reasons for the invasion, in and of themselves, then onward to Burma.

    I’ve never really been a big fan of the “If you can’t do everything, then you must do nothing” argument. It’s kind of lazy. Either things are right or they are wrong. As far as “Why Iraq?” the oil aspect of Iraq can’t be forgotten.

  148. 148
    jaime says:

    I let the Iraqis do their own talking with their opinions and their deeds, and believe it or not,

    So the answer is no, you’ve never been to Iraq and, no, you don’t know any Iraqis. If the answer is no to both how could you possibly know that they wanted us to bomb, invade, and occupy them? Hm? Did they ask us for this?

    And the chickenhawk charge is enormously valid, because this war is a direct product of a whole entire group of draft dodging cowards who wouldn’t dare put themselves in any harms way but are cavalier about declaring war. The dead enders who still support Bush on this war are more apt to be veterans of Civ III than any actual armed conflict.

  149. 149
    Mac Buckets says:

    The Sunni wanted to vote some Baathist back in. Their parties/slates weren’t allowed in the vote.

    I stand corrected. But the point is, the majority could’ve elected an all-Sunni government under whatever banner to repress them and it would’ve stopped the insurgency…and returned the brutality and oppression. But there are some nuts here who are seriously arguing that they should do just that.

  150. 150
    srv says:

    Either things are right or they are wrong. As far as “Why Iraq?” the oil aspect of Iraq can’t be forgotten.

    I respect that at least you’re alot more honest than JeffG is about that.

  151. 151
    The Other Steve says:

    Check this thread out.

    It’s like an all-star team of whack jobs over there. You’ve got Defense Guy, Tall Dave, and some others who make those two look reasonable.

    I think I just got myself banned for telling Tawanda to quit whining.

    My God, the way he’s going off he’d better watch himself. He’s about two feet away from a nervous breakdown. I’ve never seen someone have to distort reality so bad for himself to make sense of it.

  152. 152
    Steve says:

    Saddam out of power was what it was all about.

    This doesn’t really address my point. Why was “Saddam out of power” in our national interest? Like I said above, after terrorism and WMD, you don’t have a whole lot left. You’re right to include oil, of course, although I think we all understand why they left THAT out of the speeches.

    But “Saddam out of power so the Iraqi people can be free” is really just a shorter version of the “spreading freedom” argument I made above. It’s a fallback position to say that’s why we took him out, and I’m being serious when I say the righteous indignation gets tiresome.

    I’m not really making the “if you can’t do everything, you must do nothing argument.” I am saying that the idea of invading a non-Iraq dictatorship is pretty much a nonstarter with everyone, and not just because our forces are tied up at the moment. In any event, you have to weigh the national interest involved, and the moral imperative, against the cost. Gulf War? Easily worth it. Kosovo? Very limited national interest, but low cost, so worth it. If it had cost 2000 US deaths to intervene in Kosovo, as opposed to 0, I sure think that would affect the analysis. I certainly wouldn’t be telling anyone who felt that was too high a price that they were objectively pro-Milosevic.

  153. 153
    John S. says:

    So to sum up…

    Some people think that Iraqis prefer to the smell of horse shit to the taste of cat piss, while others insist that this isn’t a valid comparison because one involves taste while the other involves smell. Others merely point out that they are both simply offensive to the senses while a few even contend that if they really did prefer the taste of cat piss they would have voted for it.

    I prefer neither horse shit nor cat piss, but I suppose if I had to choose I would surmise that it is better to be free to smell horse shit than be forced to taste cat piss.

  154. 154
    Slide says:

    wow… just been catching up and reading the thread, is MacBuckets the biggest fuckin idiot or what?

  155. 155
    Richard 23 says:

    The “spreading democracy” excuse for invading Iraq is a central theme for the Trotskyite neoclowns. Neoconservatives are basically misguided idealists with a Leninist streak and an unclouded “moral clarity.” Just substitute “democracy” for “socialism” or “communism.”

    Anyone not supportive of the party and the world revolution which they espouse is to be denounced as traitors to the cause.

  156. 156
    Krista says:

    As far as “Why Iraq?” the oil aspect of Iraq can’t be forgotten.

    My hat’s off to you, Mac. You’re the first righty I’ve encountered who actually states honestly that oil was a factor. We’d probably disagree on how big a factor it was, but that’s only to be expected, I guess.

    Part of the reason we lefties have been so irritated is because we’ve figured all along that oil was a factor — otherwise, why not some other brutal, repressive regime? There are certainly enough to go around, right? But any time it was brought up in debate, anybody who supported the war would vehemently deny that oil was even a minor consideration – they just kept denying it until they were blue in the face. It was just such a blatant, bald-faced, intelligence-insulting lie, and only served to further polarize the two sides of the debate.

  157. 157
    Richard 23 says:

    DougJ, was this the lunatic to which you referred?

    What worries me, a little, is that we may not be able to keep this war to only 2 fronts, and this may so unglue some members of this country that they decide to raise arms against their fellow countrymen. Hell, they can’t even really decide which side they are on now.

    That one was by Defense[ive] Guy.

  158. 158
    Ancient Purple says:

    Where’s your poll that most Iraqis preferred Saddam to what you have deemed to be a “mess?” Iraqi polls have suggested the reverse, so without anything to counter, your argument is kind of weak.

    Where are your polls showing that the Iraqs wanted Western-style democracy?

    You have been clamouring on about how the Iraqis wanted what we have, but you have put it on a grand false dichotomy. Are you so naive to think that the only forms of government available to people are brutal dictator or American republic?

    You couldn’t possibly have any evidence AT ALL that the Iraqis wouldn’t have wanted an oligarchy or a benevolent monarchy or something resembling the old city-states or even some form of small “c” communism.

    You just assumed that since the American model works for us, it just has to work for them.

  159. 159
    Slide says:

    Glen Greenwald said it best today:

    As pretty much everyone (including the Father of Modern Conservatism himself) now recognizes, the pet neoconservative project of invading and bombing Iraq in order to transform it into a pro-U.S. beacon of peace, stability and freedom is a wholesale disaster, an abject failure on virtually every level. The cost of our little adventure is incalculable and will be with us for a generation, at least – the destruction of American credibility; the indescribable weakening of our military which leaves us vulnerable to real threats and enemies; and the staggering cost in both money and lives. And in return for these incomparable harms, we have installed pro-Iranian Shiite theocrats in one of the Middle East’s most strategically important countries and have brought that region to the brink of full-scale sectarian war. A more destructive and complete disaster is hard to imagine.

    and this from Negroponte:

    A civil war in Iraq could lead to a broader conflict in the Middle East, pitting the region’s rival Islamic sects against each another, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte said in an unusually frank assessment Tuesday..

    “If chaos were to descend upon Iraq or the forces of democracy were to be defeated in that country … this would have implications for the rest of the Middle East region and, indeed, the world,” Negroponte said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on global threats.

    Negroponte tried to focus on progress in Iraq, but he acknowledged a civil war would be a “serious setback” to the global war on terror.

    “The consequences for the people of Iraq would be catastrophic,” he said. “Clearly, it would seriously jeopardize the democratic political process on which they are presently embarked. And one can only begin to imagine what the political outcomes would be.”

    Saudi Arabia and Jordan could support Iraq’s Sunnis, Negroponte said. And Iran, run by a Shiite Islamic theocracy, “has already got quite close ties with some of the extremist elements” inside Iraq, he added.

    While Iraq’s neighbors “initially might be reluctant” to get involved in a broader Sunni-Shiite conflict, “that might well be a temptation,” Negroponte said.

  160. 160
    DougJ says:

    Yes, it was, Richard. I got the feeling he was being serious. I hope I’m wrong.

  161. 161

    […] Tim F. over at Balloon Juice has an abosolute gem of a post regarding the current right wing meme that the failure of Iraq is the left’s fault. (Why the right would ever take responsibility for anything in and by itself would be shocking): The war is an ongoing problem and people who regularly got it right maybe have a more realistic sense of what to do than the people who got every single thing wrong. The long-term question hasn’t worked itself out yet, true ehough, but the folks whose short-term projections proved so inept (WMD, AQ links, we’ll be greeted as liberators, reconstruction will pay for itself, bureaucracy will go back to work right after the war, candy and flowers, drawing the troops down to 30k within months, ‘last throes,’ no sectarian problems to worry about) will have a hard time convincing most people that their long-term vision is on the money. […]

  162. 162
    ppGaz says:

    It’s not arrogant to give people their freedom

    Without doubt, the most dishonest and stupid thing you have ever said here. And that is saying something.

    It is nothing but arrogant to dismantle a country, no matter how dysfunctional, and assume, without knowing, and without proper planning, that you can put it together again and make it work when no strategy in history has ever produced the desired result. It is nothing but arrogant to assume that you will be greeted with flowers in the street, when it wasn’t true. It is nothing but arrogant to pimp the need for the war by selling a threat that did not exist. By deliberately massaging widespread misunderstanding about the connections between Iraq and 911. By failing to take the time and do the due diligence to confirm the threat, or lack of it, and explore alternative policies in the region. By cynically leveraging shock and fear over a recent attack into political advantage and using the ginned up war as an instrument in that manipulation.

    At every turn, on every key point, behind every closed door, arrogance, arrogance, arrogance, arrogance, arrogance, arrogance and more fucking arrogance.

    And there you are, three years and zillions of billions later, and piles of bodies later, and nobody has been “given their freedom” unless you think that turning a bird with two broken wings and one blind eye loose in a room full of cats is called “giving the bird his freedom.”

    Fuck you, man. Fuck you and horse you rode in on and every dishonest piece of shit post you make here.

  163. 163
    CaseyL says:

    Efficacious. The war in Iraq isn’t efficacious. It can’t ever be, because when you get right down to it, the people of Iraq didn’t chose this war. They didn’t chose the invasion, or the occupation, or any of the aftermath.

    How do you “free” anyone by taking their choices away? By not involving them in your decisions, in your actions?

    Anyone who says “Well, things might be fine in 20 or 30 years” is an idiot. In 20 or 30 years, Saddam would’ve been gone anyway; most of his thugs would’ve been gone anyway. His sons? – were just brutal, weren’t canny, couldn’t have held the rest of the thugs together like Saddam had. If the timeline we’re talking about is 20 or 30 years, odds are the Iraqis would have had the chance to decide their fate for themselves. And maybe in the process their country would not have become “terrorist flypaper,” would not have seen their infrastructure destroyed and their national treasures looted; and maybe in the process we would not have sold our national soul down the river, nor become distrusted and loathed by one-third of the world.

    A timeline of 20-30 years justifies nothing. It doesn’t justify the price we made the Iraqis pay, and it surely doesn’t justify the price we paid. The losses – in lives, in shattered families, in physical and mental wholeness, in money, in national reputation, and above all in the poison unleashed in our own political institutions and discourse – are entirely out of synch with the result. We paid too much for too little, and we’ll still be paying the price long years from now.

    Bush did that to us; Bush, and his supporters.

  164. 164
    Perry Como says:

    DougJ, that thread is awesome. It looks like alot of the right wingers from here decided to move over there since Bukkake Logic will protect them from the evil libruls. I wish I had the time to read the entire thing.

    It’s unsurprising that some people still need to read a dictionary:

    “Saddam removed, historically minimal casualties, Iraq a reasonable approximation of democracy = success.” — TallDave

    25,000 is minimal?

    At least it’s not…manimal.

  165. 165
    DougJ says:

    This is a good one, too, from a guy named Big Bang Hunter

    TW: The once proud standard of love of liberty of the Democratic party has been killed by the prevayors of Theism….

    Now I make as many typos as anyone, but “prevayors”? And what the hell could he possibly be talking about?

  166. 166
    Perry Como says:

    Is there a blog that blogs about blogs? If not, there should be.

  167. 167
    ppGaz says:

    Intelligence agencies warned about growing local insurgency in late 2003
    By WARREN P. STROBEL and JONATHAN S. LANDAY
    Knight Ridder Newspapers
    WASHINGTON –
    U.S. intelligence agencies repeatedly warned the White House beginning more than two years ago that the insurgency in Iraq had deep local roots, was likely to worsen and could lead to civil war, according to former senior intelligence officials who helped craft the reports.
    Among the warnings, Knight Ridder has learned, was a major study, called a National Intelligence Estimate, completed in October 2003 that concluded that the insurgency was fueled by local conditions – not foreign terrorists- and drew strength from deep grievances, including the presence of U.S. troops.
    The existence of the top-secret document, which was the subject of a bitter three-month debate among U.S. intelligence agencies, has not been previously disclosed to a wide public audience.
    The reports received a cool reception from Bush administration policymakers at the White House and the office of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, according to the former officials, who discussed them publicly for the first time.
    President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld and others continued to describe the insurgency as a containable threat, posed mainly by former supporters of Saddam Hussein, criminals and non-Iraqi terrorists – even as the U.S. intelligence community was warning otherwise.
    Robert Hutchings, the chairman of the National Intelligence Council from 2003 to 2005, said the October 2003 study was part of a “steady stream” of dozens of intelligence reports warning Bush and his top lieutenants that the insurgency was intensifying and expanding.
    “Frankly, senior officials simply weren’t ready to pay attention to analysis that didn’t conform to their own optimistic scenarios,” Hutchings said in a telephone interview.
    The office of Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte declined Tuesday to comment for this article.
    The NIC is the intelligence community’s foremost group of senior analysts, and as its chairman, Hutchings presided over the drafting of the October 2003 report and other analyses of the insurgency.
    Wayne White, a veteran State Department intelligence analyst, wrote recently that when it became clear that the National Intelligence Estimate would forecast grim prospects for tamping down the insurgency, a senior official “exclaimed rhetorically, `How can I take this upstairs?’ (to then-CIA Director George Tenet)”
    White argued forcefully in inter-agency deliberations for a more pessimistic description of the insurgency, and his views eventually prevailed. White is now an adjunct scholar at the Washington-based Middle East Institute.
    Revelation of the intelligence warnings come as religious and ethnic violence has escalated in Iraq after last Wednesday’s destruction of a revered Shiite Muslim mosque in the city of Samarra.
    In Congress on Tuesday, Army Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testified that the insurgency “remains strong, and resilient.”
    Maples said that while Iraqi terrorists and foreign fighters conduct some of the most spectacular attacks, disaffected Iraqi Sunnis make up the insurgency’s core. “So long as Sunni Arabs are denied access to resources and lack a meaningful presence in government, they will continue to resort to violence,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
    That view contrasts with what the administration said as the insurgency began in the months following the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion and gained traction in the fall. Bush and his aides portrayed it as the work primarily of foreign terrorists crossing Iraq’s borders, disenfranchised former officials of Saddam’s deposed regime and criminals.
    In August 2003, with concerns about the insurgency growing, Bush told reporters: “There are some who feel like that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is bring them on. … We’ve got the force necessary to deal with the security situation.”
    On Nov. 1, 2003, a day after the National Intelligence Estimate was distributed, Bush said in his weekly radio address: “Some of the killers behind these attacks are loyalists of the Saddam regime who seek to regain power and who resent Iraq’s new freedoms. Others are foreigners who have traveled to Iraq to spread fear and chaos. … The terrorists and the Baathists hope to weaken our will. Our will cannot be shaken.”
    As recently as May 2005, Cheney told a television interviewer: “I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.”
    White, who worked at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, said of the administration: “They’ve gone through various excuse phases.”
    Now, he said, “The levels of resistance are pretty much as high as they were a year ago.”
    Hutchings, now diplomat in residence at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, said intelligence specialists repeatedly ran up against policymakers’ rosy predictions.
    “The mindset downtown was that people were willing to accept that things were pretty bad, but not that they were going to get worse, so our analyses tended to get dismissed as `nay-saying and hand-wringing,’ to quote the president’s press spokesman,” he said.
    The result, he said, was that top political and military officials focused on ways of dealing with foreign jihadists and disaffected Saddam loyalists, rather than with other pressing problems, such as growing Iraqi anger at the U.S.-led occupation and the deteriorating economic and security situation.
    A former senior U.S. official who participated in the process said that analysts at the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department’s intelligence bureau all agreed that the insurgency posed a growing threat to stability in Iraq and to U.S. hopes for forming a new government and rebuilding the economy.
    “This was stuff the White House and the Pentagon did not want to hear,” the former official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They were constantly grumbling that the people who were writing these kind of downbeat assessments `needed to get on the team,’ `were not team players’ and were `sitting up there (at CIA headquarters) in Langley sucking their thumbs.'”
    The October 2003 report on “violence and instability in Iraq” was requested not by the White House but by the U.S. military’s Central Command, whose area of responsibility includes Iraq, current and former officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
    White said that when analysts from various intelligence agencies first met in mid-2003 to prepare the report, almost all of them argued that the insurgency could be contained. He was the sole exception, he said.
    Over the following three months, through five drafts of the report, analysts’ views darkened as the insurgency gained steam.
    If the original, more optimistic draft had survived, White said, it would have been as embarrassing as the now-discredited October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Saddam’s alleged weapons of mass destruction.
    Even so, he said, the study offered some rays of hope, saying the insurgency might be tamped down if Iraq’s economic condition improved. “Little did anyone know that we would be so, so unable to affect that,” he said.
    Hutchings said that one theme that ran through intelligence analyses as early as 2003 was that there were “signs of incipient civil war.”
    “The invasion and occupation opened issues for which the Iraqi people had no answer,” he said, including the role of religion and relations among Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.

    Since a certain idiot named Mac doesn’t know what arrogance looks like, here’s a snapshot.

  168. 168
    Richard 23 says:

    Is there a blog that blogs about blogs? If not, there should be.

    I often check out The Blogometer, which summarizes political blogs across the spectrum every weekday. They even mention balloon juice and perhaps even bukkake wisdom!

    Any other good bloggy blogs?

  169. 169
    DougJ says:

    The Daou report is good.

    I’d like to start a blog that blogs about blogs that blog about blogs.

  170. 170
    DougJ says:

    Random but I liked this:

    “What’s the difference between one dollar and one thousand? It’s all dollars,” Senator Burns said. “Just like you rob a bank down here. If you get a thousand you go to jail, and if you get a million you go to jail.”

    Always a good idea to compare yourself to a bank robber.

  171. 171
    Mac Buckets says:

    But “Saddam out of power so the Iraqi people can be free” is really just a shorter version of the “spreading freedom” argument I made above. It’s a fallback position to say that’s why we took him out, and I’m being serious when I say the righteous indignation gets tiresome.

    I still deny that my “ousting Saddam” motive is the same thing as the spreading democracy motive (especially since you’re adding the “so they can be free” part — it was clear at the time that we were ousting Saddam because we thought he was a threat), and here’s why: If Saddam had been found in a bunker full of anthrax with a eightball of ricin in that spider-hole, we’d still have to replace his ousted government with a new Iraqi democracy. So even if we had gone into Iraq solely on correct WMD suspicions and didn’t really care one whit about spreading democracy, we’d still have had to do it. So a “fallback position” was never needed — doing what we said we were going to do was going to result in a free Iraq, whether the WMD deal panned out or not. It’s an esoteric point, but since you’re one of the two or three on your side of the argument who has a prayer of understanding it, I thought I’d lay it out there.

  172. 172
    GOP4Me says:

    What was wrong with that PW thread? It seemed pretty reasonable to me, other than the massive infusion of left-wing trolls from this site.

  173. 173
    stickler says:

    I still deny that my “ousting Saddam” motive is the same thing as the spreading democracy motive (especially since you’re adding the “so they can be free” part—it was clear at the time that we were ousting Saddam because we thought he was a threat), and here’s why: If Saddam had been found in a bunker full of anthrax with a eightball of ricin in that spider-hole, we’d still have to replace his ousted government with a new Iraqi democracy. So even if we had gone into Iraq solely on correct WMD suspicions and didn’t really care one whit about spreading democracy, we’d still have had to do it.

    Yeah, well, there is this one little thing here: he didn’t have the WMD we citizens were all told — repeatedly — he had. So in reality we didn’t have to “do it” and we didn’t have to rebuild it.

    “It was clear at the time that we were ousting Saddam because we thought he was a threat.”

    But he wasn’t. Was he?

    So the entire premise of the invasion, occupation, and counterinsurgency campaign (such as it is), is crap. We were whisked into a war on the wings of crap.

  174. 174
    GOP4Me says:

    I still deny that my “ousting Saddam” motive is the same thing as the spreading democracy motive (especially since you’re adding the “so they can be free” part—it was clear at the time that we were ousting Saddam because we thought he was a threat), and here’s why: If Saddam had been found in a bunker full of anthrax with a eightball of ricin in that spider-hole, we’d still have to replace his ousted government with a new Iraqi democracy. So even if we had gone into Iraq solely on correct WMD suspicions and didn’t really care one whit about spreading democracy, we’d still have had to do it. So a “fallback position” was never needed—doing what we said we were going to do was going to result in a free Iraq, whether the WMD deal panned out or not. It’s an esoteric point, but since you’re one of the two or three on your side of the argument who has a prayer of understanding it, I thought I’d lay it out there.

    That’s an excellent point, Mac Buckets. Thank you for laying it out so concisely.

    I can’t wait to see the moonbats refute it with ad hominems directed at you, in keeping with their traditional lack of substantive argument.

  175. 175
    GOP4Me says:

    So the entire premise of the invasion, occupation, and counterinsurgency campaign (such as it is), is crap. We were whisked into a war on the wings of crap.

    Looks like they’ve beaten me to the punch, Mac. Curse my slow computer! They’ve been merciful in not calling you anything yet, though, just sticking with the old meme about Bush being a liar.

  176. 176
    Steve says:

    I get what you’re saying, but there’s a difference between rebuilding Japan because you beat the hell out of them in a war, and rebuilding them just because you feel like you could make their country a better place. The first is a no-brainer, the second is a tough sell as far as explaining why it’s in the national interest of the US. Let’s take a step back for a second.

    Assume, for the sake of argument, that everybody knew in 2002 what we know today (no WMD’s, no collaborative relationship between Saddam and al-Qaeda). It’s hard to even talk about the idea of invading Iraq in this context, because it’s obvious that as a political matter it never would have happened. But beyond that, you can make the case that we should have done it anyway (freeing the Iraqi people, etc), but you’d have to explain why it’s significantly different from liberating Burma, or any of the other things we’d never consider doing even though they would have some good effects (like a free Burma).

    Anyway, I think your argument basically boils down to “maybe we screwed up on WMD’s, but we still accomplished a good thing while being there.” Setting aside the point that I don’t think the good thing, standing alone, was worth the cost, it really burns me up that the administration didn’t at least do it right. You know the things I’m talking about, the failure to plan for the post-war phase, the failure to put enough troops in place to secure the country, the failure to control episodes like Abu Ghraib that ended any chance of proving to the Middle East that we were the good guys. I accept that you probably disagree with some or all of these criticisms but we’ve been over them a thousand times, I’m not looking to have the argument again now. I’d add to this the point that the administration never asked the public to sacrifice anything for the war, indeed they continued to push tax cuts, ensuring that our kids and grandkids will pick up the trillion-dollar cost of this adventure.

    Other things burn me up about this blunder as well: the squandering of all the capital we had with the international community after 9/11, the diversion of resources from more important targets in the war on terror, and particularly the failure to get bin Laden. God, I know taking out bin Laden doesn’t end the threat of terrorism, but it still just kills me that this guy perpetrated a mass murder just down the street from me and the most powerful country in the world hasn’t been able to bring him to justice for it, over four years later. No man should be beyond our reach if we truly make it our priority, I just feel this as a matter of national pride, I hate that he’s out there laughing at us.

    I hope that explains some of where I come from on this whole ordeal. Frankly, as far as the decision to go to war, I’d be willing to completely drop the issue of prewar intelligence if we could somehow declare a cease-fire between the “Bush lied” faction and the “liberals are pro-Saddam” faction. The thing is that I really didn’t enjoy watching the last election become a referendum on a war that we fought 30 years ago, and 30 years from today I don’t want to see our country still divided over the goddamn stupid Iraq war.

  177. 177
    Richard Bottoms says:

    WASHINGTON – A civil war in
    Iraq could lead to a broader conflict in the Middle East, pitting the region’s rival Islamic sects against each other, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte said in an unusually frank assessment Tuesday.

    “If chaos were to descend upon Iraq or the forces of democracy were to be defeated in that country … this would have implications for the rest of the Middle East region and, indeed, the world,” Negroponte said at a
    Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on global threats.

    link

    You know an updated version of The Omen hits the theaters on 6/6/6.

    I’m just sayin’.

  178. 178
    ppGaz says:

    New York Times
    March 1, 2006
    Editorial
    Iraq on the Brink

    Iraq has moved perilously close to civil war. Everyone who knows anything about the tortured history of that country, cobbled together from disparate parts by British colonial officials less than a century ago, has always dreaded such an outcome.

    Fear of civil war stayed the hand of the first President George Bush, when he turned back American troops and left Saddam Hussein in power. It generated much of the opposition to the current President Bush’s invasion in 2003. Yet many critics of the invasion, including this page, believed that the dangers from civil war were so dire that American troops, once in, were obliged to remain as long as there was a conceivable route to a just peace.

    The only alternative to civil war is, and has always been, a national unity government of Shiites, Sunni Arabs and Kurds. Unless these mutually suspicious groups can work together, the United States will be faced with the impossible task of trying to create a stable democracy that Iraqis have refused to create for themselves.

    The chances of putting together such a government grew much smaller with the bombing of a major Shiite shrine in the largely Sunni city of Samarra last week, an attack that literally blew the lid off the simmering animosity between Iraq’s two main religious factions. That hatred and distrust had been heated to a high boil by the sharp-shouldered and small-minded maneuvering over the formation of a new government.

    To millions of enraged Shiites, all Sunni Arabs suddenly seemed indistinguishable from the Samarra bombers. Seeing that the weak-willed and poorly disciplined Iraqi security forces had utterly failed to protect their revered mosque and shrine, Shiites looked instead to the vicious and brutal sectarian militias run by leading Shiite political parties. They promptly unleashed a torrent of bombings and killings directed against Sunni mosques, mullahs and terrified civilians.

    Those bloody reprisals have so far killed hundreds of people. They confirmed Sunni fears that the Shiite-led government would not lift a finger to protect their lives, families, property and mosques from a reign of terror inflicted by militias affiliated with the leading government parties.

    The desperately dangerous situation that now prevails in Iraq could never have been created by Sunni terrorists alone, or by the dithering ambivalence of Sunni political leaders, who seem unable to decide from one day to the next whether they are ready to engage in the give-and-take of parliamentary politics. Much of the blame must also go to ambitious and revenge-minded Shiite political leaders, who, for the past year, have thwarted constitutional compromises and given members of their party militias key posts in the government security forces and Interior Ministry prisons. To this day, they continue to resist the formation of a broadly inclusive national unity government.

    Some of the worst offenders on this score include the incumbent prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who has just been nominated for another term; his crucial ally Moktada al-Sadr, the rabidly anti-American cleric, politician and militia leader; and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, who heads Iraq’s most powerful Shiite party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

    If Iraq can still be saved from its consuming hatreds, at least some of these major Shiite leaders will have to rise to the moment and abruptly change their ways. Kurdish leaders can help by pledging to withhold their support for Mr. Jaafari’s renomination unless he agrees to a broadly representative national government. And Sunni leaders will have to embrace and take part in such a government, accepting the fact that they are a minority in the population and must get used to playing a secondary, though still significant, role.

    If civil war broke out, innocent Shiite and Sunni civilians would suffer first, but the repercussions could spread far beyond Iraq’s borders. The Shiite south would be further propelled into the political orbit of Iran, and Kurds in the north would claim independence, probably drawing in Turkey. The oil-free western and central Sunni area would be left impoverished, a potential no man’s land that could become a home base for terrorists operating around the globe.

    Iraq’s elected leaders can still save their country. They must now prove that they want to. Time is rapidly running out.

  179. 179
    Mac Buckets says:

    It is nothing but arrogant to dismantle a country, no matter how dysfunctional, and assume, without knowing, and without proper planning, that you can put it together again and make it work when no strategy in history has ever produced the desired result.

    Sigh….As you re-write history for the hundredth time, you would do well to remember that rebuilding Iraq wasn’t our prime concern. Two administrations’ worth of WMD threat analysis was, so arrogance hardly came into play. And, “dysfunctional” is a funny euphamism for brutal military dictatorship.

    It is nothing but arrogant to assume that you will be greeted with flowers in the street, when it wasn’t true.

    Sorry, but I saw it with my own eyes. We didn’t expect Saddam’s party to greet us as liberators, since, ya know, we were liberating Iraq from them. Maybe that’s where you’re confused.

    It is nothing but arrogant to pimp the need for the war by selling a threat that did not exist.

    It may have been inaccurate, but it was not arrogant. Nothing was pimped, as Commission after Commission has indicated. Also, your history lets you down in a couple of cases, but I know you don’t care about facts when you’re being all unhinged.

    And there you are, three years and zillions of billions later, and piles of bodies later, and nobody has been “given their freedom”

    Fortunately, the majority of Iraqi people don’t care a whit about your nonsensical ramblings. They know better than you.

    Fuck you, man. Fuck you and horse you rode in on and every dishonest piece of shit post you make here.

    Come on. Your juvenile, vitriolic ravings have zero effect on me, ppg. You should know that by now.

  180. 180
    Mac Buckets says:

    So the entire premise of the invasion, occupation, and counterinsurgency campaign (such as it is), is crap. We were whisked into a war on the wings of crap.

    In hindsight, of course, you could make that case. The question is, did (and if so, how did) the international intelligence community, numerous foreign governments, and two politically-opposed US Administrations all have “crap” intel for 8 years?

    The other question is, can something net positive come from what may have been a war we didn’t need to have, and I’m saying of course. Ousting Saddam and replacing his military dictatorship and at-least-latent WMD programs with a functioning democracy will be a net good for the US in the longterm.

    And who screwed up the board layout?

  181. 181
    demimondian says:

    Mac Bukakke — you write:

    Sorry, but I saw it with my own eyes. We didn’t expect Saddam’s party to greet us as liberators, since, ya know, we were liberating Iraq from them. Maybe that’s where you’re confused.

    When were you in Iraq? There’s no evidence that you ever were, so all you ever saw were carefully staged demonstrations.

    The question is, did (and if so, how did) the international intelligence community, numerous foreign governments, and two politically-opposed US Administrations all have “crap” intel for 8 years?

    The answer to the first question appears to be “no, they did not” — despite your posturing over Jamie Gorelick, who you will no doubt respond to this by misquoting. That makes your second question a nice piece of rhetoric, but nothing more.

  182. 182
    Mac Buckets says:

    Nice post, Steve, and I agree with a lot of it, and I respect what I disagree with.

    I get what you’re saying, but there’s a difference between rebuilding Japan because you beat the hell out of them in a war, and rebuilding them just because you feel like you could make their country a better place.

    I hope you’re not suggesting that we are rebuilding Iraq just to “make it a better place.” It’s to rebuild it from years of sanctions, dictatorship, and warfare, and to make it a place without WMD labs, clandestine programs, rape rooms, and a government that supports terrorism. We didn’t send the Home Makeover people to pick out snazzy new drapes.

    Other things burn me up about this blunder as well: the squandering of all the capital we had with the international community after 9/11

    Don’t sweat over that, since the goodwill never existed — in October 2001 the French were publishing domestic best-sellers on how Bush and the Israelis did 9/11 and Old Europe was into Saddam’s pockets up to their elbows while their intel said that he had WMD. With goodwill like that, who needs badwill?

    God, I know taking out bin Laden doesn’t end the threat of terrorism, but it still just kills me that this guy perpetrated a mass murder just down the street from me and the most powerful country in the world hasn’t been able to bring him to justice for it, over four years later.

    But we both must suspect that when someone (coughOctober 2008cough) finally declares that he’s captured or dead (or more likely, been captured or dead for some time), the “So What?” chorus will ring out from the left just like it did for Saddam.

  183. 183
    Steve says:

    But we both must suspect that when someone (coughOctober 2008cough) finally declares that he’s captured or dead (or more likely, been captured or dead for some time), the “So What?” chorus will ring out from the left just like it did for Saddam.

    Well, of course, just as the folks who have said “bin Laden’s not really that important” will suddenly proclaim it the Biggest Win Ever. But in truth, on the day bin Laden’s head goes up on a pike, anyone who tries to minimize it will sound very silly.

    Anyway, moot point, as Michael Ledeen swears he’s dead already, and who am I to question?

  184. 184
    Ancient Purple says:

    It’s to rebuild it from years of sanctions, dictatorship, and warfare, and to make it a place without WMD labs, clandestine programs, rape rooms, and a government that supports terrorism.

    Yes. And never mind those pesky death squads or the sectarian violence or the torture in prisons or the fact that the Shiites will ally themselves with Iran once they are in firm control.

    I guess that is “rebuilding” … in a very twisted sense of the word.

  185. 185
    Mac Buckets says:

    Where are your polls showing that the Iraqs wanted Western-style democracy?

    For all the loons who have hidden their heads in the sand for so long that they think Iraqis hate their own freedom and MUST think everything is horrible in Iraq (just like the New York Times says every day!), read the Iraqi opinion polls.

    Here’s the latest poll I could find. The poll was taken in November 2005, and recently published a few weeks ago. Even the deliberate oversampling of Sunnis (why? seriously, the oversampling skews every one of the questions, as their opinions about the direction of Iraq are exactly the opposite of the majority — surprise!) from this survey group couldn’t distort the overall support of Iraqis for the new direction.

    From Page Ten: Is Iraq going in the right direction? 64% Yes, 36% No (over 75% from both Shiites and Kurds).

    Was ousting Saddam “worth it?” 77% Yes, 22% No (over 90% for Shiites and Kurds).

    Again, that’s oversampling the Sunnis by at least a factor of two from what I could figure, and STILL 77% say it was worth it. Now, tell me again how they are wrong, and the lefties thousands of miles away know better.

  186. 186
    Mac Buckets says:

    The answer to the first question appears to be “no, they did not”

    If the 8 other international intel agencies and the Clinton administration weren’t wrong, then where are the WMD? Syria?

  187. 187
    Steve says:

    Wow, after we’ve had the WMD argument for the 1000th time, maybe we can solve the abortion issue!

    My bottom line, for whatever it’s worth: Of course everyone believed Saddam had WMD’s. The nukes, though, and the aluminum tubes, complete BS. Basically, in my book, these guys knew they were going to do it, all they cared about was building the strongest case they could, and they went about it with reckless disregard for the truth. They figured when the WMD’s turned up none of the other stuff would matter, but they got burned. That’s my take, your mileage may vary.

  188. 188
    Pooh says:

    Steve, your post of 12:26 was one of the best things I’ve read on this or any other blog in a long time. Do you mind if I repost it?

  189. 189
    Pb says:

    Mac Buckets, oversamples are often used to get more accurate results for sub-populations. That doesn’t mean that the numbers aren’t then weighted to account for demographic factors–I’m sure they are. PIPA is a reputable polling organization, at least, so thank you for contributing something of value to the discussion. Here’s an earlier Gallup poll (and a rather large one too), that asks a lot of good questions, and thus should give you a better picture of what went right and what went wrong.

    Incidentally, those poll numbers don’t sound as rosy to me as they apparently sound to you. However, what they do say to me is that John Kerry would have done a much better job of handling this, and that Jack Murtha had the right idea as well. Timetable good, stay the course bad, etc.–but since when did Bush listen to any of us civilians, Iraqi or American, who didn’t already agree with him. And obviously the Shia and Kurds are happier with their new government, due to their representation in it, but they still don’t seem to be that thrilled with us, for obvious reasons.

  190. 190
    Steve says:

    Go nuts, Pooh. Thanks for the compliment.

  191. 191
    Pooh says:

    Vickie D. Hanson has apparently received the memo. Why do I hate our past-their-sell-by-dates historians?

  192. 192
    Richard 23 says:

    In reading about the neo-clown philosopy I came across this tasty tidbit:

    In their view, peace is to be distrusted, and peace processes are inherently suspect. ”Peace doesn’t come from a ‘process’,” wrote ‘Wall Street Journal’ editorial writer Robert Pollock last year in a column that denounced the 1990s as a ”decade of appeasement”.

    In this view, war is a natural state, and peace is a utopian dream that induces softness, decadence and pacifism, embodied by Bill Clinton whose ”corruption of the national mission, combined with the myth that peace is normal, produces a solvent strong enough to dissolve the strength of our armed forces and the integrity of our political and military leaders”, Ledeen wrote in 2000.

    I guess so. Nothing quite like a perpetual war hardon.

  193. 193
    Otto Man says:

    Vickie D. Hanson has apparently received the memo. Why do I hate our past-their-sell-by-dates historians?

    Does Victor Davis Hanson ever get tired of being wrong all the time?

    And what in his training as a scholar of ancient Greek military strategies is supposed to qualify him to talk about contemporary issues of global war and terrorism? What insight does he have? If Bin Laden delivers a giant wooden horse to Boston Harbor, we shouldn’t accept it?

  194. 194
    ppGaz says:

    Your juvenile, vitriolic ravings have zero effect on me, ppg

    I guess the long, detailed post in which you lay out even more of your shortcomings, logical errors, and intellectual failures, thereby exposing yourself to yet another ass whipping at the hands of your rhetorical betters, is your idea of “no effect,” then.

    In that case, noted.

    I think your approval rating is actually below Bush’s at this point.

  195. 195
    Richard 23 says:

    Beware terrrrists bearing gifts.

  196. 196
    ppGaz says:

    In hindsight, of course, you could make that case.

    Some were making the case before the war. They just were not being listened to.

    The question is, did (and if so, how did) the international intelligence community, numerous foreign governments, and two politically-opposed US Administrations all have “crap” intel for 8 years?

    The question is why crap intel won out over due diligence, good judgment, and patience, when there was no reason to rush into a huge mistake. The question is why we could track truckloads of contraband oil being sold by Saddam, but couldn’t figure out what the WMD situation was well enough to judge the extent of a threat to our security. The question is why the judgment and the predictions of the people in our government have proved out to be wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again, and then why people like you can sit here and be essentially nothing but discussion obstructionists when faced with the facts.

    The question is why we have an inept government, yet we have you here talking as if it’s the best we can do.

  197. 197
    Ancient Purple says:

    Where are your polls showing that the Iraqs wanted Western-style democracy?

    For all the loons who have hidden their heads in the sand for so long that they think Iraqis hate their own freedom and MUST think everything is horrible in Iraq (just like the New York Times says every day!), read the Iraqi opinion polls.

    Thanks for taking my question out of context there, Mac.

    I specifically put that question in the context of “you gave them a false dichotomy of either having a brutal dictatorship or an American-style republic.”

    So, I will ask you again: where are your poll number showing disdain for other forms of government. Here: to make it easy for you, let me list some key words you can search Google for to find those Iraqi polls which asked them about options other than Saddam or Parliament:

    communism (note the small c)
    oligarchy
    monarchy
    city-state
    theocracy

  198. 198
    Mr Furious says:

    ppGAz, the post in question as one of the best, quick, hard-hitting smackdowns I’ve read around here in a while. Nicely done.

    I can relate to the feeling that led up to the “fuck yous” at the bottom. they do nothing to add or detract from the truth of the rest of the post—or their effect on the likes of Mac Buckets. they can point to it and yell “vitriolic”, if you left ’em off, the rest of the post would roll right off just the same.

    Steve, also some really great work in this thread.

  199. 199
    Lee says:

    The question is, did (and if so, how did) the international intelligence community, numerous foreign governments, and two politically-opposed US Administrations all have “crap” intel for 8 years?

    None of them went to war based on this knowledge. When you cherry pick your information you tend to make bad decisions.

  200. 200
    Mac Buckets says:

    The nukes, though, and the aluminum tubes, complete BS. Basically, in my book, these guys knew they were going to do it, all they cared about was building the strongest case they could, and they went about it with reckless disregard for the truth.

    I disagree with “reckless disregard for the truth” because of the longstanding intel on Saddam’s WMD. The WMD consensus, including the nuke program intel, were Clinton-era claims, so let’s not pretend that they were an invention of Bush. There were 8 years of intelligence suppored by two politically-opposed parties that indicated that Saddam had WMD, so that was the truth as the vast majority in Washington on both sides of the aisle knew it.

  201. 201
    Jay C says:

    Otto Man:

    Victor Davis Hanson is one of the right-wing’s favored Serious Historians (which supposedly gives his political commentary Serious Historian weight) mainly because he A) IS a Serious Historian; B) is realiably conservative-leaning in his writings; and C) (most importantly) will lend his Serious-Historian chops to promoting whatever rightwing party-line needs to be taken in his writings.
    Especially where Iraq is concerned: for quite a while now, VDH has been pontificating on the same old theme: The Iraq campaign was a work of military genius, and the occupation/”democratization” is going great guns, but the Whiny Defeatists At Home Who Just Don’t Get It are going to screw up the whole thing by clinging to their Whiny Defeatism (and not listening to the learned and eurudite wisdom of a Serious Historian like Prof. Hanson). Feh.
    You’re right: VDH really ought to stick to Ancient Greece.

  202. 202
    chopper says:

    The question is, did (and if so, how did) the international intelligence community, numerous foreign governments, and two politically-opposed US Administrations all have “crap” intel for 8 years?

    The question is why crap intel won out over due diligence, good judgment, and patience, when there was no reason to rush into a huge mistake. The question is why we could track truckloads of contraband oil being sold by Saddam, but couldn’t figure out what the WMD situation was well enough to judge the extent of a threat to our security. The question is why the judgment and the predictions of the people in our government have proved out to be wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again, and then why people like you can sit here and be essentially nothing but discussion obstructionists when faced with the facts.

    truth is, a lot of the intelligence on WMDs *was* crap. a lot of our intelligence in the middle east has always been crap because the US didn’t have (and still doesn’t) many inside resources in the middle east. we have trouble infiltrating al qaeda for the same reason. we still don’t have enough arabic translators. hell, in 1998 the way the US got information about saddam’s WMD capabilites was to fill the ranks of the UN inspection team with CIA.

    in iraq, most of our intelligence came from two sources, iraqis who have an agenda, and flyovers and satellite data. the first is of course inherently questionable, and the second can only show so much; satellites can’t see into bunkers after all.

    clinton had similar intelligence, but never invaded. i of course don’t know what he was thinking, but i assume that he wasn’t sure that he’d destroyed everything in operation desert fox. that of course doesn’t mean that there was anything left either, just that he couldn’t be absolutley sure one way or the other, like a doctor who has cut out the cancer but isn’t sure if he’s gotten all of it. since hussein is a nutball, the assumption was that maybe he has something left, so let’s keep an eye on the dude and see if he makes any sort of move. but none of the intelligence showed cause for concern that hussein had any notable amount of the crap left, any sort of threat.

    when bush came in, things changed. suddenly, the eyewitness testimony of curveball and other agenda-driven iraqis became ‘rock solid proof.’ satellite pictures of buildings and small trucks evolved into ‘mobile weapons labs’ and ‘WMD factories’ because someone squinted when they looked at the pictures.

    intel that up til then didn’t pass the smell test was suddenly proof positive because the bush administration held their nose closed.

  203. 203
    Davebo says:

    A serious question Mac.

    If your doctor did a physical exam and said you had a brain tumor I assume you’d seek an MRI or Xray right?

    And if the Xray and MRI techs looked at your brain for say, a couple of months, and could find no signs of a brain tumor, would you still have the doctor perform brain surgery?

  204. 204
    Mac Buckets says:

    Mac Buckets, oversamples are often used to get more accurate results for sub-populations.

    How is oversampling more accurate than having that sub-population polled in proportion to their population weight? Why not oversample the Kurds, then, too?

    Incidentally, those poll numbers don’t sound as rosy to me as they apparently sound to you.

    Remember, this was in response to folks like yourself saying that “Iraq LOST” in the war, and how dare we free those poor people who are now suffering through the “mess” we created. How did the Iraqis lose, if 77% of Iraqis ( 91% of the Kurds and 96% of the Shiites) think it was worth all the hardships to get rid of Saddam? How did they “lose” if 2-to-1 they say Iraq is headed in the right direction now?

    Predictably, you slough off those numbers and post that what you take away from those numbers is, “Kerry would’ve done a better job(???)” That’s desperate, desperate strawgrasping, dude (and miles off-topic).

    Do you withdraw that “Iraq lost,” finally? Or are you sticking by the “American lefties know better than they do about how they should feel?”

  205. 205
    chopper says:

    The WMD consensus, including the nuke program intel, were Clinton-era claims, so let’s not pretend that they were an invention of Bush. There were 8 years of intelligence suppored by two politically-opposed parties that indicated that Saddam had WMD, so that was the truth as the vast majority in Washington on both sides of the aisle knew it.

    this whole ‘clinton had the same intelligence’ deal is all wet. obviously, clinton didn’t think that the intelligence defined a credible enough threat to the united states to warrant him ordering an invasion. bush did. who was right?

    there’s a difference between having intelligence on your desk and believing enough of it to act on it.

    and even then, given the overall lack of quality of the intelligence, due diligence was in order. hence the UN inspections. of course, once the inspections started to show a lack of WMDs, bush invaded anyways, preferring satellite photos and the word of chalabi to the far superior inspection process. those of us who pragmatically asked for the UN inspection process to continue to its conclusion to once and for all make a determination of saddam’s real WMD program or lack thereof turned out to be correct in our patience.

  206. 206
    Mr Furious says:

    Davebo-

    Let me fix that typo for you…

    And if the Xray and MRI techs looked for your brain for say, a couple of months…

  207. 207
    Mr Furious says:

    Chopper-

    There were elections to win and political factions to marginalize, we don’t have time for no stinkin’ patience

    BTW, two really good posts…

  208. 208
    demimondian says:

    Mac Bukkake repeats the Bushie’s favorite lie: that there was a consensus that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. In fact, there was no such consensus, there was widespread belief that although Hussein wanted to rebuild his WMD program, that he had no active program after the end of 1998. That consensus, being fact-based but not truthy, turns out to have been correct.

    I’m afraid that the people in the hot-stovepipe Bush league simply need to come to terms with the fact that they made the rest up.

  209. 209
    zzyzx says:

    The thing that drove me crazy in the run up to the war is that Bush confused the war in Iraq with the fight against the terrorists. He spent political capital willy nilly on this issue, which would have been fine if defeating Hussein was the ultimate goal. Since it wasn’t, the net result of invading Iraq on questionable intelligence is to make it that much harder to invade Iran or anywhere else that might endanger the US.

  210. 210
    Mr Furious says:

    From Steve’s strong post upthread:

    “…cease-fire between the “Bush lied” faction and the “liberals are pro-Saddam” faction.

    Fine. Cease fire. But I’m not meeting anyone in the middle on that dichotomy. Bush DID lie*, and I have still never read a single thing from anyone that I would consider even remotely pro-Saddam. Plenty of pro-“leave him the fuck alone and keep him isolated/under surveillence/inspection,” but never, “Saddam is a good guy, just misunderstood, and we wronged him.”

    While I agree Steve’s post is really good, and it’s magnanimous to offer the truce, giving up a position of truth and fact to meet a complete fabrication and ad hominem in the middle is more than I’m willing to do.

    “Meeting in the middle” implies that somewhere therein lies the truth. It simply ain’t there.

    * Lied or didn’t tell the whole truth, picked his own truth, whatever you want to call it. At best he was negligent, incompetant and WRONG, and then changed rationale for the war so many times even HE can’t keep his story straight. But, yeah, he pretty much lied his ass off.

  211. 211
    Mr Furious says:

    I don’t know why the asterisk and footnote became a bullet point, but that’s my definition/explanation of the “Bush DID lie”

  212. 212
    Andrew says:

    I’d like to start a blog that blogs about blogs that blog about blogs.

    Wow. You, sir, are a mouthful!

  213. 213
    Mac Buckets says:

    I specifically put that question in the context of “you gave them a false dichotomy of either having a brutal dictatorship or an American-style republic.”

    AP, I understood your question, and I deny the premise that the democracy in Iraq is “American-style” — at best it’s a east-west hybrid. Nonetheless, the democracy that the coalition have engineered there led to the poll numbers I cited above (2-to-1 Iraq is going in the right direction, and 77% say ousting Saddam was worth all the hardship).

    Directly to your point, democracy wins a majority of responses in all the Iraqi polls I’ve seen on what type of government to have in Iraq, like this one from ABC/BBC (who seemed stunned that Iraqis were in such good spirits, which should tell them something about their own reportage, but obviously won’t) a couple of months ago:

    Overall, as noted, 57 percent of Iraqis prefer democracy to either strongman rule or an Islamic state.

    Are you with me now, that Iraqis really wanted democracy rather than living under oppression, and that they aren’t sitting in sackcloth bemoaning their plight since the war?

    A funny thing: As you would imagine under heavy propaganda blitzes, Iraqis consistently report (like in this poll and Pb’s USAToday poll he linked) that they themselves are doing well, but their neighbors are doing terribly — while those neighbors are reporting that they are doing well, but their neighbors are doing terribly. Being bombarded by only bad news by the media makes you believe that only bad things are happening, but they must be happening to everybody else, since they aren’t happening to you!

  214. 214
    chopper says:

    lie: that there was a consensus that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. In fact, there was no such consensus, there was widespread belief that although Hussein wanted to rebuild his WMD program, that he had no active program after the end of 1998. That consensus, being fact-based but not truthy, turns out to have been correct.

    exactly. as we now know, there was quite a bit of analysis by the CIA which cast doubt on much of the intel being touted by the administration. the head of the CIA and the bush administration soundly ignored it.

    congress of course was given the intelligence that the executive branch wanted them to see and nothing more. all the footnotes based on CIA analysis saying “yo, this dude isn’t trustworthy” or “check this, G: the pictures could just as easily be an ice cream truck” were scrubbed from the documents.

    the UN was so convinced that saddam had WMDs that they called for *inspections*. that isn’t ‘convinced.’ that’s ‘skeptical.’

  215. 215
    chopper says:

    Overall, as noted, 57 percent of Iraqis prefer democracy to either strongman rule or an Islamic state.

    Are you with me now, that Iraqis really wanted democracy rather than living under oppression

    i think its a bit disingenuous to use a poll from two months ago to prove what type of government the iraqis ‘wanted.’ i’d use it to prove what type they want *now*.

    at the time the US invaded and overthrew saddam’s regime, what was the consensus among iraqis? did they want democracy at the time we invaded to bring it to them?

  216. 216
    Mac Buckets says:

    this whole ‘clinton had the same intelligence’ deal is all wet. obviously, clinton didn’t think that the intelligence defined a credible enough threat to the united states to warrant him ordering an invasion. bush did. who was right?

    Very, very lame argument. Clinton did not doubt his intelligence that Saddam had WMD, right up to the point Clinton left office, and even after. That he was unable to pull the ultimate trigger (but was willing to bomb Iraq in 1998-1999 and pass the Iraq Liberation Act calling for Saddam’s ouster) tells you more about him than it does about Saddam.

    due diligence was in order. hence the UN inspections.

    Your faith in the UN is as cute as it is naive, IMHO. UN Inspections have proved to be a joke over and over — they only work if the country in question wants them to work. Iran is making fools of the UN inspectors now. The UN inspectors gave Libya a clean bill of health on their “non-existent” nuclear program. Whoops!!!! Feel free to continue to put your faith in the same UN that gave us Saddam’s bribe-lists and the Oil-for-Food swindle. Go right ahead.

  217. 217
    Mac Buckets says:

    when bush came in, things changed. suddenly, the eyewitness testimony of curveball and other agenda-driven iraqis became ‘rock solid proof.’

    It was Clinton’s CIA director who said “slam dunk.” I think it’s silly to pretend that Clinton’s lack of definitive action (in the face of his own proclamations that Saddam had WMD and the Iraq Liberation Act that called for Saddam’s ouster) had anything to do with anything besides Clinton’s own domestic political instincts.

  218. 218
    Mac Buckets says:

    And if the Xray and MRI techs looked at your brain for say, a couple of months, and could find no signs of a brain tumor, would you still have the doctor perform brain surgery?

    This might be the Worst Analogy Ever, but no, I wouldn’t. Now go ahead — pretend that this exteremly simplistic tale has anything to do with Iraq.

  219. 219
    Mac Buckets says:

    Mac Bukkake repeats the Bushie’s favorite lie: that there was a consensus that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. In fact, there was no such consensus, there was widespread belief that although Hussein wanted to rebuild his WMD program, that he had no active program after the end of 1998.

    Which version of The Democrats’ Revised History is that from? I must be a couple of editions behind.

  220. 220
    Mr Furious says:

    It was Clinton’s CIA director who said “slam dunk.”

    Now, I’m not trying to be cute here, this is a serious question…

    When Tenet said “slam dunk” I thought he was referring to using the intel to make an effective case for War. i.e: “If we use intel that shows Saddam has a nuclear arsenal ready to unleash the case for war is a slam dunk…”

    OR

    Did he actually say “This intel is airtight, iron-clad, a lead-pipe cinch. It’s a slam dunk.”

    There is a big difference. Is there a question of context here, or am I recalling things wrong? A little help here…

  221. 221
    chopper says:

    That he was unable to pull the ultimate trigger (but was willing to bomb Iraq in 1998-1999

    clinton bombed iraq in 1998 because back then saddam did in fact have WMDs. afterwards, clinton did not invade. as it turns out, pragmatically not pulling the ‘ultimate trigger’ was a good idea.

    and pass the Iraq Liberation Act calling for Saddam’s ouster)

    the iraqi liberation act has nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction. the iraqi liberation act called for congress to support the iraqi opposition.

    due diligence was in order. hence the UN inspections.

    Your faith in the UN is as cute as it is naive, IMHO. UN Inspections have proved to be a joke over and over—they only work if the country in question wants them to work.

    well, given that the UN inspectors who said that iraq didn’t have any substantive evidence of WMDs turned out to be completely correct, i’d reconsider such an opinion.

    inspections are only as effective as the country being inspected allows, this is true. in 1998 iraq was playing games with the inspectors, so clinton pulled them out and dropped a sh1t-ton of bombs. in the case of the 2003 inspections, the UN team stated that iraq was cooperating and that they were not being precluded from doing their job.

    Feel free to continue to put your faith in the same UN that gave us Saddam’s bribe-lists and the Oil-for-Food swindle. Go right ahead.

    i for one don’t conflate UN inspectors with the rest of the UN. hell, the abramoff scandal doesn’t prove that the CIA is worthless, why does the oil-for-food scandal prove that UN inspectors are?

  222. 222
    Mac Buckets says:

    i think its a bit disingenuous to use a poll from two months ago to prove what type of government the iraqis ‘wanted.’ i’d use it to prove what type they want now.

    at the time the US invaded and overthrew saddam’s regime, what was the consensus among iraqis? did they want democracy at the time we invaded to bring it to them?

    When you guys run out of straws to grasp, let me know. You must be towards the end, since this one is so obviously ridiculous.

  223. 223
    chopper says:

    It was Clinton’s CIA director who said “slam dunk.”

    so what?

    I think it’s silly to pretend that Clinton’s lack of definitive action (in the face of his own proclamations that Saddam had WMD and the Iraq Liberation Act that called for Saddam’s ouster) had anything to do with anything besides Clinton’s own domestic political instincts.

    if he did invade he would have been accused of ‘wagging the dog’ anyways. the dude can’t win.

  224. 224
    Mac Buckets says:

    clinton bombed iraq in 1998 because back then saddam did in fact have WMDs.

    LOL — link? Not according to the Duelfer Report, he didn’t. According to Duelfer, Saddam was out of the WMD business since Gulf War I. I know you’d love to pretend that Clinton was right about Iraq making WMD and Bush was wrong — maybe in your next Revised History, you can make the necessary changes!

    the iraqi liberation act has nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction.

    LOLOL! So Clinton was ousting Saddam because he didn’t like the mustache?

    the abramoff scandal doesn’t prove that the CIA is worthless, why does the oil-for-food scandal prove that UN inspectors are?

    Iran and Libya prove it perfectly, though. Why’d you ignore those? I wonder…

  225. 225
    chopper says:

    When you guys run out of straws to grasp, let me know. You must be towards the end, since this one is so obviously ridiculous.

    so a poll in 2005 proves what iraqis felt in 2003? interesting.

  226. 226
    Mr Furious says:

    Yeah, Mac, and he fact that there is still crime in the U.S. renders the police worthless…

  227. 227
    Mac Buckets says:

    When Tenet said “slam dunk” I thought he was referring to using the intel to make an effective case for War. i.e: “If we use intel that shows Saddam has a nuclear arsenal ready to unleash the case for war is a slam dunk…”

    Tenet was saying it was definite that Iraq had WMD, even though Bush was skeptical of the evidence.

    Woodward: Tenet told Bush WMD case a ‘slam dunk’

    …As the war planning progressed, on December 21, 2002, Tenet and his top deputy, John McLaughlin, went to the White House to brief Bush and Cheney on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, Woodward reports.

    The president, unimpressed by the presentation of satellite photographs and intercepts, pressed Tenet and McLaughlin, saying their information would not “convince Joe Public” and asking Tenet, “This is the best we’ve got?” Woodward reports.

    According to Woodward, Tenet reassured the president that “it’s a slam dunk case” that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.

  228. 228
    demimondian says:

    Which version of The Democrats’ Revised History is that from? I must be a couple of editions behind.

    Which part of “it turns out to be the truth, in spite of the lies we we fed” are you having trouble with, Bukkake?

    In this case, it turns out that the European powers (including Britain) all thought that Iraq had no WMD program any more. The UN inspectors draft reports all said what the final report said: “You destroyed Hussein’s WMD programs, and, although he will restart one if sanctions are lifted, he does not have one now.” The CIA said the same thing from 1998 on.

    That’s not revisionist history, that’s what the facts showed once they were all out. It’s not as truthy as the more romantic story you’re selling, but, regretably *for us all*, it’s the truth.

  229. 229
    Mac Buckets says:

    so a poll in 2005 proves what iraqis felt in 2003? interesting.

    You might’ve heard that Saddam was in power in 2003. Pollsters weren’t so keen on asking questions in Baghdad back then (mass graves).

    You’re right, though. They probably LOVED Saddam and preferred to live under brutal minority rule. It was only after the war that they changed their minds and decided freedom might be OK. Now, over 90% of Kurds and 95% of Shiites think it was worth everything to oust Saddam, but in 2003, they loved the rape-room-running tyrant!

    It’s a mystery why you guys don’t win every election, with minds like this on you side.

  230. 230
    Ancient Purple says:

    Overall, as noted, 57 percent of Iraqis prefer democracy to either strongman rule or an Islamic state.

    Are you with me now, that Iraqis really wanted democracy rather than living under oppression, and that they aren’t sitting in sackcloth bemoaning their plight since the war?

    Mac, I understand the poll you cited, but you are missing the big picture. We didn’t give the Iraqis a choice. We toppled Saddam and then hoisted upon them a parliamentary system without knowing if that was, out of all other forms of government available, what they really wanted.

    You cite a poll that says “Choose democracy or totalitarianism (in any form).”

    Now, add to the poll choices like monarchy or confederacy or the like and see what happens.

  231. 231
    Mac Buckets says:

    In this case, it turns out that the European powers (including Britain) all thought that Iraq had no WMD program any more.

    Again, which Edition is that from? Provide a link, please, so I can get up on my Democrat History. So Tony Blair thought Iraq had no WMD? You should tell him about your fascinating take — he’ll be glad to know.

  232. 232
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Basically, in my book, these guys knew they were going to do it, all they cared about was building the strongest case they could, and they went about it with reckless disregard for the truth.

    That’s exactly it. Most people base their decisions on facts. In this case, the Bush administration attempted to fix facts around the premade decision. I find that to be pretty reprehensible.

  233. 233
    Mac Buckets says:

    Yeah, Mac, and he fact that there is still crime in the U.S. renders the police worthless…

    A more correct analogy would be that it’s foolish to take a stroll in Crack Alley at 3AM, trusting that the police will keep you safe (even though they will help in identifying your body).

  234. 234
    RonB says:

    I tell you what. I think if you polled the Iraqis right now they’d say democracy can take a flying fuck at a rolling donut until the security situation improves.

  235. 235
    chopper says:

    clinton bombed iraq in 1998 because back then saddam did in fact have WMDs.

    LOL —link? Not according to the Duelfer Report, he didn’t. According to Duelfer, Saddam was out of the WMD business since Gulf War I.

    show me where it said that in the duelfer report. cause back in 1998, UN inspectors found, tagged and destroyed WMDs.

    here’s a link: http://www.mideastweb.org/iraqwmd.htm

    To February 1998, UNSCOM destroyed or supervised the destruction of:
    38 537 filled and empty CW munitions
    480 000 litres (690 tonnes) of CW agents
    3000 tonnes of precursor chemicals
    8 types of delivery systems
    The al-Hakam BW production facility
    48 Scud missiles
    6 operational mobile launchers
    28 operational fixed launch pads
    32 fixed launch pads under construction
    30 chemical warheads
    14 conventional warheads
    Other related equipment

    who’s the historical revisionist now?

    clinton bombed iraq in 1998 because iraq stopped working with inspectors and UNSCOM wasn’t done yet.

    LOLOL! So Clinton was ousting Saddam because he didn’t like the mustache?

    lol! maybe it was because he was an a$$hole dictator?

    the abramoff scandal doesn’t prove that the CIA is worthless, why does the oil-for-food scandal prove that UN inspectors are?

    Iran and Libya prove it perfectly, though. Why’d you ignore those? I wonder…

    the aforementioned CIA has screwed up plenty of times. i guess they are completely worthless and we shouldn’t believe a single word any of them say.

    spin it however you want, but the UN inspectors were dead on about iraq.

  236. 236
    Mr Furious says:

    Mac,

    Thanks for the direct answer (and link) on the Tenet/Woodward “slam dunk.” I would say that there is still a question as to whether or not Tenet referred to “convincing Joe Public” as a slam dunk or the fact that they were slam dunk-sure that Hussein had WMDs. But that hinging on Woodward’s version of events (dubious at best), and perhaps I am really splitting hairs…

    If Tenet meant that the intel was slam dunk, he’s a fucking fool. Nobody in the Agency was taliking like that. Either way, it doesn’t take Bush off the hook. And the fact that Bush later awarded Tenet a fucking Medal means it didn’t matter to Bush whether Tenet was right or wrong.

    And WHO appointed Tenet is irrelevant, especially since it wasn’t Clinton who gave him the highest non-miltary honor possible.

  237. 237
    Mac Buckets says:

    You cite a poll that says “Choose democracy or totalitarianism (in any form).”

    I don’t think I did. It asked them what they wanted, and there were about eight answers listed.

    Now, add to the poll choices like monarchy or confederacy or the like and see what happens.

    You seriously doubt that democracy would win out? I don’t, and I’m still waiting for a poll from anyone saying that Iraqis ever during any stretch have had anything else but democracy as their preference. If you have such a poll, let’s see it, and we can judge.

    Of course, they want to be free, and they want to vote, and the majority are happy with it. I’m sorry that this offends some of you.

  238. 238
    chopper says:

    You might’ve heard that Saddam was in power in 2003. Pollsters weren’t so keen on asking questions in Baghdad back then (mass graves).

    there were plenty of polls in iraq after saddam fell. in 2003. look em up. here’s an example of one: http://www.channel4.com/news/2....._poll.html

    That does not mean YouGov’s respondents want to put off the day when the Iraqis once more rule themselves. As many as 71 per cent want power handed over within 12 months. But what kind of government do the Iraqis want? Our poll offered six choices.

    The most popular is western-style democracy with competing parties. This was chosen by 36 per cent. But 50 per cent opted for one of the five variants of Islamic, presidential or single-party rule.

    wow, so i guess your 57% number is way off. way to go, mac.

    You’re right, though. They probably LOVED Saddam and preferred to live under brutal minority rule.

    yeah, cause that’s exactly what i said. strawmen are your specialty, aren’t they.

    It was only after the war that they changed their minds and decided freedom might be OK.

    we’re talking about the iraqis wanting democracy vs other forms of government here. how do you know that after the fall of saddam a majority of iraqis didn’t want an islamic repulic? who are you to tell us what a bunch of people 3000 miles away that you’ve never met think?

    Now, over 90% of Kurds and 95% of Shiites think it was worth everything to oust Saddam, but in 2003, they loved the rape-room-running tyrant!

    again, what the hell does this strawman have to do with the percentage of iraqis who wanted a democracy in 2003? you’re getting hysterical. take a valium.

    It’s a mystery why you guys don’t win every election, with minds like this on you side.

    and it’s a mystery why you guys can’t run an occupation, with minds like yours.

  239. 239
    Mr Furious says:

    As for your crack alley analogy, I think it works even better when you apply it to Iraq… Bush succeeded in turning the entire country into a 24/7 crack alley. Heckuva job.

  240. 240
    Slide says:

    Is Bucket boy STILL making excuses for this War? Is that possible? Is he still trying to put lipstick on this pig. The Iraq War will go down in history as one of the most horrendous blunders in foreign relations for this country. It is an abject failure. A dangerous disaster that will have consequences for decades to come. Bucket boy and his ilk have been totally and profoundly WRONG on every aspect of this misadventure and now he lectures US that were against this war? What hubris. What arrogance.

    Abe Lincoln once said, “you can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” Well, we are at that point. Bush approval 34%. Bush approval on Iraq 30%. DICK “last throes” Cheney at 18%. The house of cards is coming down. They naive simplistic neocon hope of US military dominance of the middle east has been shown to be completely idiotic. They had their chance. They had a moron for a president that was just itching to show he wasn’t a “wimp” like his daddy was called. This 40 year old failure that was drunk for the first 40 years of his life didn’t need much convincing to go to war. Little weak minded bullies never are. And the neocons took advantage of the boy emperor and here we are with a HUGE FAILURE. A foreign affairs debacle of huge significance.

    oh… but bucket boy is still talking about WMD and Clinton and. yada yada yada… give it up, its over. Not even Bill Buckley and Bill Kristal are believers anymore.

  241. 241
    Pb says:

    Mac Buckets,

    How is oversampling more accurate than having that sub-population polled in proportion to their population weight?

    It’s more accurate because it ensures that you have enough samples for your results to be statistically significant. And, as I said, I’m sure the results properly controlled for their population weight.

    Why not oversample the Kurds, then, too?

    Sure, why not. I’d guess that there are enough Kurds in Iraq to make their sample size work, possibly also because their results were consistent enough that there was no need to question more of them.

    Remember, this was in response to folks like yourself saying that “Iraq LOST” in the war, and how dare we free those poor people who are now suffering through the “mess” we created.

    More like, how dare we kill them. I see that you skated right past that point, still clapping with blood on your hands…

    How did the Iraqis lose, if 77% of Iraqis ( 91% of the Kurds and 96% of the Shiites) think it was worth all the hardships to get rid of Saddam? How did they “lose” if 2-to-1 they say Iraq is headed in the right direction now?

    Have you seen Iraq lately? Heck, I won’t even require that you personally go there. Turn on the TV, even. I bet that ‘right direction’ poll would look a bit different now…

    Predictably, you slough off those numbers and post that what you take away from those numbers is, “Kerry would’ve done a better job(???)” That’s desperate, desperate strawgrasping, dude (and miles off-topic).

    No, it’s one of my conclusions–and a pretty obvious one too–based on the other results of the poll that you chose not to mention, due to the Iraqi responses, Kerry’s proposed policies, and Bush’s wildly unpopular policies. If I thought you were at all interested or acting in good faith, maybe I’d try to spell it out for you–slowly.

    Do you withdraw that “Iraq lost,” finally? Or are you sticking by the “American lefties know better than they do about how they should feel?”

    No, and no. And I’d advise you to not put words in my mouth either. I already know you’re a disingenuous asshole, but you don’t have to prove it with *everything* you write–let us hold out a little hope for you at least.

  242. 242
    Mac Buckets says:

    If Tenet meant that the intel was slam dunk, he’s a fucking fool. Nobody in the Agency was talking like that.

    Nonsense. They’d been talking like that for 6 years, which is why for six years, we’d been treated to John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, the Clintons, et. al., telling us that Saddam had WMD and would definitely use them again.

    And WHO appointed Tenet is irrelevant,

    It only demonstrates the complete consistency of two politically-opposed administrations both coming to the same conclusion based on similar raw intel: Saddam had WMD. There are those who would deceive the gullible into thinking that Bush invented the WMD “lies,” when Clinton and the Democrats had (incorrectly, according to the Duelfer Report) started the WMD chorus in 1997.

  243. 243
    Otto Man says:

    It’s a mystery why you guys don’t win every election, with minds like this on you side.

    Yeah, how stupid can we’s be?

  244. 244
    Slide says:

    if soooooo many Iraqis want freedom and democracy why don’t THEY fight for it. Its a country of 25 million. If the VAST majority of Iraqis want something they certainly don’t need the help of 130,000 americans do they? Lets get the fuck out and let the VAST MAJORITY of Iraqis take over and have their Jeffersonian democracy, it seems we are just stirring things up with our occupation.

  245. 245
    Pb says:

    Slide,

    These are the people who cheered the smearing of a sitting President through 8 years of peace and prosperity. Now we have sat through 6 years of them cheering on a sitting President from the opposite party, enacting the opposite policies, with predictably disastrous results. But they apparently can never admit that they were entirely wrong for all these years, that they might bear some *responsibility* for all of this mess.

  246. 246
    Otto Man says:

    Clinton and the Democrats had (incorrectly, according to the Duelfer Report) started the WMD chorus in 1997.

    Yeah, it was Clinton and company who dreamed up the whole issue of Saddam and WMDs. Are you really this stupid?

    The PNAC people were pushing this steadily in the 1990s, beginning when they were all working under Cheney at Defense in Bush 41. They pushed it hard through the late ’90s, issuing their big report in Sept 2000, shortly before they all rejoined the government as part of Bush 43’s administration.

    Clinton was responding to the constant whining and congressional pressure from the neocons with his acknowledgement of the WMD issue and the 1998 responses. If he’d been as convinced as you claim he is over this, then why didn’t he invade in ’98?

    The Saddam Has WMDs chorus came directly from the neocons. Period. Now that they realize how stupid they were and how costly it’s been to follow their advice, they — and apparently you — want to pawn ownership of their crap to other people. Sorry, ain’t gonna happen.

  247. 247
    Slide says:

    Saddam had WMD. There are those who would deceive the gullible into thinking that Bush invented the WMD “lies

    you are so full of bullshit bucket boy one doesnt’ know where to begin, but lets try with this:

    Ex-CIA Official Faults Use of Data on Iraq
    Intelligence ‘Misused’ to Justify War, He Says

    By Walter Pincus
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, February 10, 2006; A01

    The former CIA official who coordinated U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until last year has accused the Bush administration of “cherry-picking” intelligence on Iraq to justify a decision it had already reached to go to war, and of ignoring warnings that the country could easily fall into violence and chaos after an invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

    Paul R. Pillar, who was the national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, acknowledges the U.S. intelligence agencies’ mistakes in concluding that Hussein’s government possessed weapons of mass destruction. But he said those misjudgments did not drive the administration’s decision to invade.

    “Official intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs was flawed, but even with its flaws, it was not what led to the war,” Pillar wrote in the upcoming issue of the journal Foreign Affairs. Instead, he asserted, the administration “went to war without requesting — and evidently without being influenced by — any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq.”

    “It has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between [Bush] policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community’s own work was politicized,” Pillar wrote.

    Pillar’s critique is one of the most severe indictments of White House actions by a former Bush official since Richard C. Clarke, a former National Security Council staff member, went public with his criticism of the administration’s handling of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and its failure to deal with the terrorist threat beforehand.

    It is also the first time that such a senior intelligence officer has so directly and publicly condemned the administration’s handling of intelligence.

    Pillar, retired after 28 years at the CIA, was an influential behind-the-scenes player and was considered the agency’s leading counterterrorism analyst. By the end of his career, he was responsible for coordinating assessments on Iraq from all 15 agencies in the intelligence community. He is now a professor in security studies at Georgetown University.

    White House officials did not respond to a request to comment for this article. They have vehemently denied accusations that the administration manipulated intelligence to generate public support for the war.

    “Our statements about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein were based on the aggregation of intelligence from a number of sources and represented the collective view of the intelligence community,” national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley said in a White House briefing in November. “Those judgments were shared by Republicans and Democrats alike.”

    Republicans and Democrats in Congress continue to argue over whether, or how, to investigate accusations the administration manipulated prewar intelligence.

    Yesterday, the Senate Republican Policy Committee issued a statement to counter what it described as “the continuing Iraq pre-war intelligence myths,” including charges that Bush ” ‘misused’ intelligence to justify the war.” Writing that it was perfectly reasonable for the president to rely on the intelligence he was given, the paper concluded, “it is actually the critics who are misleading the American people.”

    In his article, Pillar said he believes that the “politicization” of intelligence on Iraq occurred “subtly” and in many forms, but almost never resulted from a policymaker directly asking an analyst to reshape his or her results. “Such attempts are rare,” he writes, “and when they do occur . . . are almost always unsuccessful.”

    Instead, he describes a process in which the White House helped frame intelligence results by repeatedly posing questions aimed at bolstering its arguments about Iraq.
    The Bush administration, Pillar wrote, “repeatedly called on the intelligence community to uncover more material that would contribute to the case for war,” including information on the “supposed connection” between Hussein and al Qaeda, which analysts had discounted. “Feeding the administration’s voracious appetite for material on the Saddam-al Qaeda link consumed an enormous amount of time and attention.”

    The result of the requests, and public statements by the president, Vice President Cheney and others, led analysts and managers to conclude the United States was heading for war well before the March 2003 invasion, Pillar asserted.

    They thus knew, he wrote, that senior policymakers “would frown on or ignore analysis that called into question a decision to go to war and welcome analysis that supported such a decision. . . . [They] felt a strong wind consistently blowing in one direction. The desire to bend with such a wind is natural and strong, even if unconscious.”
    Pillar wrote that the prewar intelligence asserted Hussein’s “weapons capacities,” but he said the “broad view” within the United States and overseas “was that Saddam was being kept ‘in his box’ ” by U.N. sanctions, and that the best way to deal with him was through “an aggressive inspections program to supplement sanctions already in place.”
    “If the entire body of official intelligence analysis on Iraq had a policy implication,” Pillar wrote, “it was to avoid war — or, if war was going to be launched, to prepare for a messy aftermath.”

    Pillar describes for the first time that the intelligence community did assessments before the invasion that, he wrote, indicated a postwar Iraq “would not provide fertile ground for democracy” and would need “a Marshall Plan-type effort” to restore its economy despite its oil revenue. It also foresaw Sunnis and Shiites fighting for power.

    Pillar wrote that the intelligence community “anticipated that a foreign occupying force would itself be the target of resentment and attacks — including guerrilla warfare — unless it established security and put Iraq on the road to prosperity in the first few weeks or months after the fall of Saddam.”

    In an interview, Pillar said the prewar assessments “were not crystal-balling, but in them we were laying out the challenges that would face us depending on decisions that were made.”

    Pillar wrote that the first request he received from a Bush policymaker for an assessment of post-invasion Iraq was “not until a year into the war.”

    That assessment, completed in August 2004, warned that the insurgency in Iraq could evolve into a guerrilla war or civil war. It was leaked to the media in September in the midst of the presidential campaign, and Bush, who had told voters that the mission in Iraq was going well, described the assessment to reporters as “just guessing.”

    Shortly thereafter, Pillar was identified in a column by Robert D. Novak as having prepared the assessment and having given a speech critical of Bush’s Iraq policy at a private dinner in California. The column fed the White House’s view that the CIA was in effect working against the Bush administration, and that Pillar was part of that. A columnist in the Washington Times in October 2004 called him “a longstanding intellectual opponent of the policy options chosen by President Bush to fight terrorism.”

    Leaked information “encouraged some administration supporters to charge intelligence officers (including me) with trying to sabotage the president’s policies,” Pillar wrote. One effect of that, he said, was to limit challenges to consensus views on matters such as the Iraqi weapons program.

    When asked why he did not quit given his concerns, Pillar said in the interview that he was doing “other worthwhile work in the nation’s interest” and never thought of resigning over the issue.

    Pillar suggests that the CIA and other intelligence agencies, now under Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte, remain within the executive branch but “be given greater independence.”

    The model he cites is the Federal Reserve, overseen by governors who serve fixed terms. That, he said, would reduce “both the politicization of the intelligence community’s own work and the public misuse of intelligence by policymakers.”

  248. 248
    chopper says:

    Clinton and the Democrats had (incorrectly, according to the Duelfer Report) started the WMD chorus in 1997.

    again, show me where in the duelfer report it says that iraq had no WMDs after the gulf war. cause the UNSCOM team found and destroyed chemical weapons between 1991 and 1998.

  249. 249
    Otto Man says:

    if soooooo many Iraqis want freedom and democracy why don’t THEY fight for it. Its a country of 25 million. If the VAST majority of Iraqis want something they certainly don’t need the help of 130,000 americans do they?

    They are fighting for freedom. It’s just that they’re doing it in the same honorable fashion as the Keyboard Kommandos here at home. You know, hiding in their Mom’s basement and rooting for the people doing the actual fighting-fighting.

  250. 250
    Mac Buckets says:

    wow, so i guess your 57% number is way off. way to go, mac.

    Yeah. “The most popular is western-style democracy with competing parties. This was chosen by 36 per cent.” It was only a plurality in that 2003 poll that chose “Western-style democracy.” You sure showed me! Thanks!

    again, what the hell does this strawman have to do with the percentage of iraqis who wanted a democracy in 2003?

    By your own survey, a plurality of Iraqis wanted democracy over even a modern Islamic state in 2003. A majority want it now. What in the hell could you possibly be whining about?

    Look, I know you guys are pissed that Iraqis are hopeful and pleased with their improved situation. It goes against your whole cocktail-napkin philosophy of “nothing ChimpHitler does can ever be for the good.” I sympathize with your dilemma. I know that you guys would love to continue pretending, like your media outlets, that Iraqis are miserable and pining for Saddam or theocracy and hating the “mess” that the New York Times and CNN have convinced you that Iraq has become (see upthread for those opinions, which seem to have miraculously disappeared!). It’s just not happening. I don’t know how to tell you any more plainly.

    So stop whining about how terrible and arrogant it was to free Iraqis. It’s silly, and it’s vote-repellant to Americans. Bush gives you plenty to work with, but arguing that the people of Iraq were better off before we arrogantly messed everything up for them is not one of them. Move on.

  251. 251
    Slide says:

    Look, I know you guys are pissed that Iraqis are hopeful and pleased with their improved situation.

    you know I’m not even going to comment. I’m just going to let bucket boy’s words hang out there for all to see.

  252. 252
    Pooh says:

    Mr. Furious and the rest of the “blame America First” crowd. A simple question regarding “Bush lied.”

    Were you there when is supposedly happened?

  253. 253
    Mac Buckets says:

    I’d guess that there are enough Kurds in Iraq to make their sample size work,

    The Kurdish population is about the same as the Sunni population, so I don’t get why they’d oversample one, but not the other, but no matter.

    More like, how dare we kill them.

    Unless you are a Sunni terrorist, you’re using “we” incorrectly. In case you haven’t gotten it yet, they do the huge chunk of the killing in Iraq.

    I bet that ‘right direction’ poll would look a bit different now…

    I’ll bet it wouldn’t.

    No, it’s one of my conclusions—and a pretty obvious one too—based on the other results of the poll that you chose not to mention

    Oh, so you were changing the subject because Iraqis don’t agree with your dire assessment of their plight! I get it. Why didn’t you say so? Yeah, I’d love to hear all about Kerry’s plan (it was on his website, I hear!) that would’ve made more than 96% of the Shiites glad we 86’ed Saddam. I mean, there’s not much room for improvement there, but I’m sure Kerry’s Plan (it’s on his website!) would’ve done the trick.

    And I’d advise you to not put words in my mouth either. I already know you’re a disingenuous asshole,

    Dude, I blockquoted your post. You put those words in your mouth. You wrote “Iraq lost,” and you won’t come off of that, even in the face of Iraqi elections and polling data that destroys your pathetic, partisan, fantasy-land assertions from thousands of miles away? Look up disingenuous and get back to me.

  254. 254
    ppGaz says:

    ppGAz, the post in question as one of the best, quick, hard-hitting smackdowns I’ve read around here in a while. Nicely done.

    I can relate to the feeling that led up to the “fuck yous” at the bottom. they do nothing to add or detract from the truth of the rest of the post—or their effect on the likes of Mac Buckets. they can point to it and yell “vitriolic”, if you left ‘em off, the rest of the post would roll right off just the same.

    Steve, also some really great work in this thread.

    ‘kew.

    I always use the FU construction deliberately, I never care what anyone thinks about it. Buckets can kiss my ass if he doesn’t like it.

    Unfortunately, Mac has turned into the new Darrell now.

    He is just going to sit here and say things that the world has moved on from long ago, like “Iraq had WMD.” They did at one time or another, to one extent or another.

    The relevant question is whether Iraq represented a threat to this country which justified a war, as of early 2003. The answer is that no, it did not. Failure to understand that is the reason why we blundered into the war.

    If Mac wants to address that point, fine. If not, fuck him, nothing he says here is of any value. He is now the Righty Spammer On Duty and if ’twere up to me, I’d ignore him completely from here forward.

    The world is not going to benefit from more “debate” on issues like that. That ship has sailed. The war was a mistake. Some people knew it three years ago. Some have figured it out since. And then there are some who just want to stick their heads in the sand and shout “B-b-b-but Clinton” and to those people I say, get the fuck out of here. You are wasting space.

  255. 255
    chopper says:

    wow, so i guess your 57% number is way off. way to go, mac.

    Yeah. “The most popular is western-style democracy with competing parties. This was chosen by 36 per cent.” It was only a plurality in that 2003 poll that chose “Western-style democracy.”

    and 50% (50 is also larger than 36, mac) wanted an authoritarian government. so a majority of iraqis in 2003 *did not* want a democratic government.

    to summarize:

    36 is less than 57.

    there were in fact polls taken in iraq in 2003.

    a poll in december 2005 does not equate to the feelings of iraqis in 2003.

    and yes, i sure did show you.

    oh yeah, and you can’t admit when you’re wrong.

    again, what the hell does this strawman have to do with the percentage of iraqis who wanted a democracy in 2003?

    By your own survey, a plurality of Iraqis wanted democracy over even a modern Islamic state in 2003. A majority want it now. What in the hell could you possibly be whining about?

    don’t be disingenuous.

    a majority wanted something other than democracy, notably an authoritarian government. (a majority is greater than a plurality, mac) so not only is your 57% figure way off, the number of iraqis who wanted democracy isn’t even close to a majority. if the poll offered 10 different choices, 1 was democracy and 9 were authoritarian regimes of some kind or another, and it went 12% democratic and 88% the rest, you’d be crowing about how that 12% was a ‘plurality’ and therefore they wanted democracy.

    Look, I know you guys are pissed that Iraqis are hopeful and pleased with their improved situation. It goes against your whole cocktail-napkin philosophy of “nothing ChimpHitler does can ever be for the good.” I sympathize with your dilemma. I know that you guys would love to continue pretending, like your media outlets, that Iraqis are miserable and pining for Saddam or theocracy and hating the “mess” that the New York Times and CNN have convinced you that Iraq has become (see upthread for those opinions, which seem to have miraculously disappeared!). It’s just not happening. I don’t know how to tell you any more plainly.

    man, you should open a strawman factory. you pump these fsckers out *fast*. you don’t know me. you don’t know what i’m pleased or hopeful about. hell, i’m happy as a pig in sh1t that the iraqis got out from under saddam. i’m not happy that it cost 40,000 lives and a brewing civil war, as well as half a trillion dollars. and i’m not happy that the president made up the reasons to go in.

    and i don’t think you’re very good at basic arithmetic.

  256. 256
    Mac Buckets says:

    Clinton was responding to the constant whining and congressional pressure from the neocons with his acknowledgement of the WMD issue and the 1998 responses. If he’d been as convinced as you claim he is over this, then why didn’t he invade in ‘98?

    Yeah, Clinton only said that Saddam had WMD and would use them again…and bombed Iraq…and passed the Iraq Liberation Act…because of whining from his political opponents.

    This is the Funniest…History…Lesson…Ever!

    The Saddam Has WMDs chorus came directly from the neocons. Period.

    Yes, neocons… like John Kerry, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Madeline Albright, Tom Daschle, Carl Levin, Jay Rockefeller, Richard Gephardt, Nancy Pelosi, Robert Byrd, Henry Waxman, etc. etc. etc.

    Those neocons had better get a bigger hall for their next meeting!

    Either you are ignorant of history, or desperately rewriting it, or beyond pathetic in your willful disassociative disorder. Whatever. Thank Allah you are irrelevant in the scheme of things.

  257. 257
    Slide says:

    bucket boy:

    You wrote “Iraq lost,” and you won’t come off of that, even in the face of Iraqi elections and polling data that destroys your pathetic, partisan, fantasy-land assertions from thousands of miles away? Look up disingenuous and get back to me.

    more pathetic, partisan, fantasy-land assertions. This time from William Buckley:

    “I can tell you the main reason behind all our woes — it is America.” The New York Times reporter is quoting the complaint of a clothing merchant in a Sunni stronghold in Iraq. “Everything that is going on between Sunni and Shiites, the troublemaker in the middle is America.”

    Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans. The great human reserves that call for civil life haven’t proved strong enough. No doubt they are latently there, but they have not been able to contend against the ice men who move about in the shadows with bombs and grenades and pistols.

    The Iraqis we hear about are first indignant, and then infuriated, that Americans aren’t on the scene to protect them and to punish the aggressors. And so they join the clothing merchant who says that everything is the fault of the Americans.
    One of these postulates, from the beginning, was that the Iraqi people, whatever their tribal differences, would suspend internal divisions in order to get on with life in a political structure that guaranteed them religious freedom.

    The accompanying postulate was that the invading American army would succeed in training Iraqi soldiers and policymkers to cope with insurgents bent on violence.

    This last did not happen. And the administration has, now, to cope with failure. It can defend itself historically, standing by the inherent reasonableness of the postulates. After all, they govern our policies in Latin America, in Africa, and in much of Asia. The failure in Iraq does not force us to generalize that violence and antidemocratic movements always prevail. It does call on us to adjust to the question, What do we do when we see that the postulates do not prevail — in the absence of interventionist measures (we used these against Hirohito and Hitler) which we simply are not prepared to take? It is healthier for the disillusioned American to concede that in one theater in the Mideast, the postulates didn’t work. The alternative would be to abandon the postulates. To do that would be to register a kind of philosophical despair. The killer insurgents are not entitled to blow up the shrine of American idealism.

    fuckin partisan leftists

  258. 258
    Mac Buckets says:

    Buckets can kiss my ass if he doesn’t like it.

    It’s not that I don’t like it, Ppg. I just don’t care about your little tantrums one way or the other, aside from being a little embarrassed for you. They are empty to me. Carry on.

  259. 259
    Ancient Purple says:

    You seriously doubt that democracy would win out? I don’t, and I’m still waiting for a poll from anyone saying that Iraqis ever during any stretch have had anything else but democracy as their preference. If you have such a poll, let’s see it, and we can judge.

    Of course, they want to be free, and they want to vote, and the majority are happy with it. I’m sorry that this offends some of you.

    Nice try, despite how dishonest you are here. You cite polls but cannot come up with one that gave other forms of government as choices for the people. Then, you demand a poll that I say doesn’t exist to prove that they were given a choice.

    No one is offended. I am asking a legitimate question that you seem to want to avoid because in your zeal to tout democracy as the panacea for the people you can’t fathom the possibility that what you want may not be what others want.

    You state that they want democracy now. Fine. Then what is the harm in allowing the Baathists back on the election ticket, or the person who wants to establish a monarchy?

    Except, of course, that your ego would be bruised.

  260. 260
    ppGaz says:

    I just don’t care about your little tantrums one way or the other

    Nobody cares whether you care or not.

    What matters is that you are basically a clay pigeon here at this point. We say pull, and somebody blows you away.

    Let us know when you get tired of the game, or actually have something to say.

    Do you really want to be the last guy here defending this stupid war?

    Well, you probably do, yes.

    And you will probably get your wish.

  261. 261
    chopper says:

    Nice try, despite how dishonest you are here. You cite polls but cannot come up with one that gave other forms of government as choices for the people. Then, you demand a poll that I say doesn’t exist to prove that they were given a choice.

    even better, after dishonetly citing a poll from 2 months ago trying to prove what iraqis wanted back then, and after having it pointed out that actual polls back then showed a majority of iraqis *against* a democratic government, he still tries to spin it as if they wanted democracy. yeah, 36% is a majority all right.

    it’s almost comedy!

  262. 262
    Steve says:

    Well, the discussion kinda seems to have gone downhill, but we did have a good debate at one point. Anyway, one problem with the legitimacy of the Iraqi democracy is that there’s not a lot of protection for minority rights. The Shiites are the majority, and they’re generally pretty happy about this deal, but at the end of the day we have a made-up country where the British squashed three different religious and ethnic groups together once upon a time, and there’s no real imperative for them to coexist.

    All sovereign governments derive their power from the consent of the governed. When we formed our own country, no state was subject to the Constitution until it democratically agreed to join up. In Iraq, though, provinces that totally didn’t want to be part of the new Iraq got dragged along. That’s not going to do wonders for the legitimacy of the Iraqi democracy down the road – although I’m pretty sure that the Shiite majority will continue to love it, ensuring that you can always find a majority of Iraqis who just love the new paradigm!

    Specifically, you might recall that the only way the Iraqi constitution could be rejected is (a) if it failed to get a majority nationwide, or (b) if 3 of the 18 provinces voted “no” by a two-thirds majority. Let’s just say that’s a set of rules designed to worry less about legitimacy and more about being able to say you ratified something.

    How did the vote turn out? Two of the provinces voted “no” by a greater than 80% margin, but guess what, since they didn’t get a third, bang, they’re part of the new Iraq. It’s as if North and South Carolina had voted 80%-20% against joining the United States and the rest of us had said tough luck, you’re part of our nation now. That’s more conquest than democracy.

    One of the provinces, al-Anbar, had 97% “no” votes on the constitution. 97 percent of al-Anbar’s voters didn’t want to join the new Iraq, but they were forced to join anyway. In what sense is that democracy? It’s as if we declared Canada the 51st state and said that they will become subject to our laws if 50 of the 51 states agree.

    So there’s a very basic problem with the sovereignty of this new Iraqi state we’ve set up. To make matters worse, it’s awfully hard to sort it out through the political process because the Sunnis are guaranteed to be a permanent minority. As long as Iraqis self-identify along religious lines, and there’s no reason to think that will ever change, the Shiites will be permanently calling the shots. Now, majority rules is how a democracy functions, but that’s only acceptable if everyone agreed in the first instance to be bound by the principle of majority rules. When 97% percent of a province says they don’t want to join a majority-rules system, and they get forced to anyway, that’s a very fundamental problem that you can’t ignore by saying “too bad, the majority of people are happy.” A majority of people in the Soviet Bloc were fine with Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, too, but that’s because they were Soviets!

    It seems to me that we really pushed the Iraqi constitution through because, quite frankly, it was the only post-war milestone we were in a position to achieve. And so we got a document ratified, but the legitimacy problem won’t go away. Provinces that don’t want to be part of this nation we formed shouldn’t be forced to, period.

  263. 263
    Mac Buckets says:

    and 50% (50 is also larger than 36, mac) wanted an authoritarian government. so a majority of iraqis in 2003 did not want a democratic government.

    First of all, that poll was only in Baghdad, and admittedly was not very scientific. A Baghdad-only poll would overrepresent Sunnis by almost double, which would account for the lukewarm numbers toward democracy. The polls I cited were countrywide, so they represent a better sample.

    Even so, that poll says no such thing about 50% wanting an authoritarian government. Second place was “Islamic rule, but tempered to modern ideals of justice and punishment.” Modern ideas of justice and punishment would preclude authoritarian oppression.

    So again, you guys have nothing to bitch about with regards to the plight of the Iraqi people — they say they’re doing well and are being governed the way they want now. They like to vote, and are hopeful for and confident about their future. Bitch about the other stuff that’s more valid.

  264. 264
    Slide says:

    polls? polls? what is this about polls all the time. Watch your TV screen. No need to read about polls when all the evidence you need for the abject failure of the Bush policy in Iraq is in front of your eyes. Remember Rumsfeld had planned for their to be 30,000 US troops in Iraq by the end of 2003.

  265. 265
    RonB says:

    Look, I know you guys are pissed that Iraqis are hopeful and pleased with their improved situation.

    I’m just gonna go bang my head against the wall, because I can’t possibly have really seen these words.

  266. 266
    Mac Buckets says:

    more pathetic, partisan, fantasy-land assertions. This time from William Buckley

    Buckley is as free to be wrong as you are. He doesn’t know better than the Iraqis, either. I don’t know if he’s even been there. The Iraqis say they are better off. That’s the final word. Any Americans who want to disagree with them about their lives and the direction they want are just plain wrong to do so, whether it’s Buckley, Bush, or you.

  267. 267
    chopper says:

    Even so, that poll says no such thing about 50% wanting an authoritarian government. Second place was “Islamic rule, but tempered to modern ideals of justice and punishment.” Modern ideas of justice and punishment would preclude authoritarian oppression.

    first off, you can have ‘modern ideas of justice and punishment’ and still be an authoritarian system. any system based directly on the koran is going to be an authoritarian system, ‘tempered’ or not.

    you may be confusing ‘authoritarian’ with ‘totalitarian’.

    from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authoritarian

    Authoritarianism is distinguished from totalitarianism both in degree and scope, authoritarian administration or governance being less intrusive and, in the case of groups, not necessarily backed by the use of force. For example, the Roman Catholic Church can be accurately described as authoritarian, because in modern times it does not use force to enforce its edicts and thus is not a totalitarian establishment.

    i think if the RCC can be called authoritarian, an islamic government would be as well. i doubt that you would consider the RCC to be less authoritarian than an islamic state.

    either way, it’s tangential to the discussion. a majority of iraqis did not want a democratic system back in 2003.

    tho it is entertaining watching you continue to squirm and spin otherwise. you can’t even back it up, but you won’t admit being wrong. *clay pigeon* is right.

  268. 268
    RonB says:

    The world is not going to benefit from more “debate” on issues like that. That ship has sailed. The war was a mistake. Some people knew it three years ago.

    You said a mouthful, PPGaz. All of this has been an insane distraction from today’s reality, which is that Iraq is a disaster and many things we have done ever since we set foot there have only served to make things worse than it was before. Elections and nebulous ideas of freedom don’t mean shit when people are killing each other by the scores daily because of their religion and ethnicity, and we don’t have enough people there to do anything but sit there and cover our own ass. And I don’t know what Mac is watching or reading that says that none of this is happening. All he has to do is turn on the television and see that Iraq is about to collapse into a civil war. But I guess when you believe the “MSM” lies 24/7, it’s easy to dismiss anything you don’t want to hear.

  269. 269
    Slide says:

    Buckley is as free to be wrong as you are. He doesn’t know better than the Iraqis, either. I don’t know if he’s even been there. The Iraqis say they are better off. That’s the final word. Any Americans who want to disagree with them about their lives and the direction they want are just plain wrong to do so, whether it’s Buckley, Bush, or you

    yes… we are all free to be wrong. You have demonstrated that conclusively around a dozen times in theis thread alone but you inferred that those of us that have come to the conclusion that the Iraq policy a failure were making, “pathetic, partisan, fantasy-land assertions.” Thats what gets people pissed at you, and the right wing in general. Anyone that says something you disagree with MUST be partisan. Buckley proves that wrong and is why I quoted him. This is NOT PARTISAN. George Bush Sr, Brent Skowcroft, James Baker, Generals Zinni, Clarke, Shenseki, the CIA, the State Dept all PREDICTED this outcome. Not partisan. Your boy fucked up. Big Time. And now we all have to live with the consequences of haveing a boy emperor cheered by his court jesters, most notably today, MacBuckets.

  270. 270
    ppGaz says:

    That’s right, Mac. The future is clear. It’s 2007, and Iraq is a slightly downscale version of Palm Springs. Iraquis are sipping on Starbucks and shopping at the Gap, and listening to Howard Stern. James Dobson is recruiting new Focus on the Muslim Family members in Baghdad.

    Americans agree that the war was a good idea, and you are strutting around here going, “I told you so!”

    Yeah, that’s how this plays out.

  271. 271
    RonB says:

    In case you haven’t gotten it yet, they do the huge chunk of the killing in Iraq.

    Your narrative is a little stale, Shi’a death squads and torture camps are operating, and the Mahdi Army is comandeering the streets again.

    Turn. On. The. TV. No. Not Fox. CNN.

  272. 272
    RonB says:

    The Iraqis say they are better off.

    There they go again! The words that no one could possibly put together! I’m getting scared now. Oh, doctor?

  273. 273
    Mac Buckets says:

    again, show me where in the duelfer report it says that iraq had no WMDs after the gulf war.

    Ask nicely, and ye shall receive.

    “Duelfer said Hussein hoped someday to resume a chemical weapons effort after U.N. sanctions ended, but had no stocks and had not researched making the weapons for a dozen years.”

    “Duelfer concluded that his team ‘uncovered no indication that Iraq had resumed fissile material or nuclear weapons research and development activities since 1991.'”

    “Duelfer’s report is the first U.S. intelligence assessment to state flatly that Iraq had secretly destroyed its biological weapons stocks in the early 1990s.”

    “But the survey team said Iraq had “probably” destroyed any bulk quantities of germs it had at the height of the program in the late 1980s and early 1990s.”

    “Duelfer’s report said that no chemical weapons existed and that there is no evidence of attempts to make such weapons over the past 12 years.”

    In fact, the long-awaited report, authored by Charles Duelfer, who advises the director of central intelligence on Iraqi weapons, says Iraq’s WMD program was essentially destroyed in 1991 and Saddam ended Iraq’s nuclear program after the 1991 Gulf War.

    The U.S. official said he believes Saddam decided to give up his weapons in 1991, but tried to conceal his nuclear and biological programs for as long as possible. Then in 1995, when his son-in-law Hussain Kamal defected with information about the programs, he gave those up, too.

  274. 274
    Slide says:

    lol…. buckets still fighting the WMD battle.

  275. 275
    Pb says:

    Mac Fucker,

    Look up disingenuous and get back to me.

    You put quote marks around something I didn’t say, now fuck the fuck off you idiotic hypocritical cretin.

  276. 276
    Mac Buckets says:

    yes… we are all free to be wrong. You have demonstrated that conclusively around a dozen times in theis thread alone but you inferred that those of us that have come to the conclusion that the Iraq policy a failure were making, “pathetic, partisan, fantasy-land assertions.”

    Slide, once again, you can add nothing to a thread but wild-eyed disinformation.

    The “fantasyland assertions” to which I referred were not regarding the war as a whole, but were restricted to the left’s portrayal of Iraqis as having “lost” this war because they are forced to live in the “mess” we created. In fact, I’ve shown virtually without rebuttal that Iraqis themselves say they are better off than before the war, that they want democracy, that they are confident in their future, and that all their hardships over the last 3 years were “worth it” to them.

    Again, just stay out of the thread if you can’t get the simplest thing right.

  277. 277
    Nikki says:

    Has no one mentioned the 72% of US soldiers in Iraq who want to get out now?

  278. 278
    Mac Buckets says:

    All of this has been an insane distraction from today’s reality, which is that Iraq is a disaster and many things we have done ever since we set foot there have only served to make things worse than it was before.

    Another lefty who knows better than the Iraqis about their lives post-war! 91% of the Kurds and 96% of the Shiites say whatever hardships they suffered were “worth it.” Over 75% of both groups say Iraq is headed in the right direction.

    But all we’ve done is make it worse than it was under Saddam. Riiiiiight. Sorry to disagree with you — after all, you are a commenter on a blog and all. That trumps people who live in Iraq!

    Listen. To. The. Iraqis. Not CNN. The. Iraqis. Know. More. About. Their. Lives. And. Their. Country. Than. Than. Wolf. Blitzer.

  279. 279
    RobR says:

    Any Americans who want to disagree with them about their lives and the direction they want are just plain wrong to do so, whether it’s Buckley, Bush, or you.

    I’m glad to hear you say that. I would like my life to go in a direction that includes a Ferrari, hookers and blow. I would therefore appreciate it if you would drop everything and come by with a cashier’s check or money order.

    Oh, and since a Ferrari’s a carjack target, I’d like it an awful lot if you’d quit your day gig to ride around with me as security.

    C’mon, Mac! Write that check and pick up a gram on your way over! After all, it’s the direction I’d like my life to go in, and you’d be plain wrong to disagree with me by not agreeing to foot the bill.

  280. 280
    ppGaz says:

    you can’t get the simplest thing right

    And Iraq had WMD, right?

    I’d vote we get rid of you and get a government that can get the simplest things right.

  281. 281
    chopper says:

    Ask nicely, and ye shall receive.

    blah

    buckets, i didn’t ask for the washington post and cnn’s interpretation of the report.

    where does it say it in the report itself?

    i’d like to see exactly where duelfer disagrees with the UNSCOM team’s statements on the record regarding what they found and destroyed and why, or if its just a mistake in the duelfer report.

  282. 282
    Pb says:

    Since we’re on the topic, here’s a classic from The Onion.

  283. 283
    RonB says:

    I’ve shown virtually without rebuttal that Iraqis themselves say they are better off than before the war, that they want democracy, that they are confident in their future

    All of which is in direct juxtaposition to the reality of Iraq at this moment in time. The TV. In the corner. Put it on. Come back in a few hours. Tell us what you think about Iraq being in any sort of good way. Your narrative is not current.

  284. 284
    RonB says:

    Another lefty who knows better than the Iraqis about their lives post-war!

    Mac!Mac! Your poll is out of date! Turn the TV on!

  285. 285
    Steve says:

    I have a favorite from The Onion as well.

  286. 286
    Mac Buckets says:

    What matters is that you are basically a clay pigeon here at this point. We say pull, and somebody blows you away.

    There’s nothing more juvenile than the Intertron scorekeeper. Funny how his side always wins! Let the players play, while you sit in long pants and a sweater-vest, keeping the clipboard. Pathetic.

    If you have something important to say (any more hilarious gems like “no one’s been given their freedom?”), I’ll let you know, ppg.

  287. 287
    chopper says:

    Listen. To. The. Iraqis.

    except in the following situations:

    1) the don’t want a democratic government
    2) they want US troops to go home

    otherwise, yeah, listen up. and oh yeah, forget about the half a trillion dollars we’re spending and the thousands of dead soldiers, kurds and shiites think it’s worth it! i’m sure the 40,000 dead iraqis also think its worth it.

  288. 288
    RonB says:

    Listen. To. The. Iraqis.

    Ok. I will. I do. How about you do the same? Here, I’ll start you off.

    We heard that a mosque in Hurriya was destroyed in an explosion early this morning, right after a National Guard unit had cleared the area according to residents, and the Dhat Al-Nitaqain mosque in Baghdad Al-Jedida was attacked last night at prayer time, killing 4 civilians and injuring over twenty. Some one blew up a mausoleum in Tikrit, where Saddam’s father, Hussein Al-Majeed is buried. Other news of tit-for-tat mosque explosions and attacks. It’s the latest fashion these days, and I wonder when they will start blowing up each other’s houses.

    The Forensic Institute (main morgue) in Baghdad is now reporting over 1300 Iraqis killed in the violence since last Wednesday.

    Saddam’s insignificant trial went on today. I didn’t hear anyone mentioning it on the street. Why do they bother keeping up that charade? I would have cared if some other people today were standing trial. There was an arrest warrant issued for a certain young cleric, which the official Al-Iraqiya TV is now calling ‘His Eminence, Sayyid Muqtada Al-Sadr, may Allah preserve his glory,’ during newscasts.
    I guess I am just sick and disgusted of it all.

    By the way, I have been there, pal. That makes me a teeny bit more aware of Iraqi reality than you.

  289. 289
    Slide says:

    the guy that said this:

    Iraqis are hopeful and pleased with their improved situation.

    Incredibly also said this:

    Again, just stay out of the thread if you can’t get the simplest thing right

    lol…. I hear Thorizine may be good for delusions.

  290. 290
    Mac Buckets says:

    Steve, I’ve gotta go, but as one of the few sane ones, you deserve a response to another reasonable, thoughtful post.

    Well, the discussion kinda seems to have gone downhill, but we did have a good debate at one point.

    Well, we can’t keep out the miscreants forever.

    Anyway, one problem with the legitimacy of the Iraqi democracy is that there’s not a lot of protection for minority rights.

    Sure there are, in the very second chapter of their constitution. But majority rules, of course.

    and there’s no real imperative for them to coexist.

    Except that the polls say even the Sunnis want to stay one unified Iraq. But your point is understood.

    In Iraq, though, provinces that totally didn’t want to be part of the new Iraq got dragged along.

    Don’t confuse wanting over-representative power with not wanting to be part of Iraq. They just want undeserved power, as they’ve had for decades.

    It’s as if North and South Carolina had voted 80%-20% against joining the United States and the rest of us had said tough luck, you’re part of our nation now. That’s more conquest than democracy. 97 percent of al-Anbar’s voters didn’t want to join the new Iraq, but they were forced to join anyway.

    But, unlike your brand-new-nation example, the Sunni provinces are already part of Iraq, and they knew they weren’t going to be cut out. This made them free to vote against the Constitution, either as a protest or to win political points. Again, polls show that Sunnis want one Iraq — they just want to still run it.

    So there’s a very basic problem with the sovereignty of this new Iraqi state we’ve set up. To make matters worse, it’s awfully hard to sort it out through the political process because the Sunnis are guaranteed to be a permanent minority.

    At least they, unlike our minor parties, are guaranteed a disproportionate number of power positions.

  291. 291
    Mac Buckets says:

    I hear Thorizine may be good for delusions.

    More unfounded, unsourced assertions…nothing of value… mindless attempts at ridicule…inability to admit he was dead wrong… It must be Slide!

  292. 292
    Slide says:

    have there been any polls of Iraqis since the destruction of the Golden Dome of the Al-Askariya Mosque ? Just wondering? Or was the last poll cited by our resident miniBush taken just after the elections?

  293. 293
    RonB says:

    Where are you going, Mac? I have some more Iraqis for you to listen to!!!

    The last few days have been unsettlingly violent in spite of the curfew. We’ve been at home simply waiting it out and hoping for the best. The phone wasn’t working and the electrical situation hasn’t improved. We are at a point, however, where things like electricity, telephones and fuel seem like minor worries. Even complaining about them is a luxury Iraqis can’t afford these days.

    The sounds of shooting and explosions usually begin at dawn, at least that’s when I first sense them, and they don’t really subside until well into the night. There was a small gunfight on the main road near our area the day before yesterday, but with the exception of the local mosque being fired upon, and a corpse found at dawn three streets down, things have been relatively quiet.

    She said relatively quiet. Wow.
    Anyway:

    Yesterday they were showing Sunni and Shia clerics praying together in a mosque and while it looked encouraging, I couldn’t help but feel angry. Why don’t they simply tell their militias to step down- to stop attacking mosques and husseiniyas- to stop terrorizing people? It’s so deceptive and empty on television- like a peaceful vision from another land. The Iraqi government is pretending dismay, but it’s doing nothing to curb the violence and the bloodshed beyond a curfew. And where are the Americans in all of this? They are sitting back and letting things happen- sometimes flying a helicopter here or there- but generally not getting involved.

    Mac! Where are you going? We should keep listening to more Iraqis!

    Mac?

  294. 294
    Slide says:

    I’m dead wrong? lol… lol.. hey bucket boy… go into the archives and check my posts on Iraq… go WAY back and check my posts on Iraq… I said it was a disaster then. I say its a disaster now. And guess what? Its a fuckin disaster. And slowly.. very slowly… EVERONE who is rational is coming to that same conclusion. Right, left, liberal, conservative…. its only a matter of time till the general consensus catches up to where I have been all along.

    and you bucket boy? big supporter of going to war with Iraq. And try as you might to spin this, the war in Iraq is a HUGE BLUNDER. A MONUMENTAL DISASTER. You just dont’ know it yet.

    So, tell me bucket boy, lets get it on record, where do you think Iraq will be six months from now? a year from now? how do you see this unfolding? I’m curious to see how your mind works. Please educate us all.

  295. 295
    RonB says:

    Why doesn’t he want to listen to the Iraqis anymore? Maybe they’re liberals. That must be it.

  296. 296
    ppGaz says:

    There’s nothing more juvenile than the Intertron scorekeeper

    .

    “Saddam had WMD.”

    That’s pretty adult, Mac. That’s your legacy here.

    “Hey — Saddam had WMD!”

    You’re done, man. Give it up.

  297. 297
    chopper says:

    he’s still trying to figure out how to make 36 look like more than 50. probably going to listen to jimi hendrix’s “if 6 was 9” for some inspiration.

  298. 298
    RonB says:

    Somehow, just because we don’t have Bush apologia memorized chapter and verse, that completely discounts what we say in his head.

  299. 299
    Slide says:

    Bucket boy keeps referring to polls of Iraqis which is all well and good but rather irrelevant. Is our foreign policy determined by the opinions of foreigners? Is that the determination as to whether or not the Iraq policy is a sucess or failure? You know bucket boy, I’m a bit more interested in what AMERICANS think about the Iraq war… want to look at those poll numbers? Lets:

    CBS Poll Feb 22-26
    “Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation with Iraq?”

    Approve 30% Disaprove 65%

    “Do you think the result of the war with Iraq was worth the loss of American life and other costs of attacking Iraq, or not?”

    Worth it 29% Not worth it 63%

    “Do you think removing Saddam Hussein from power was worth the loss of American life and other costs of attacking Iraq, or not?”

    Worth it 41% Not worth it 54%

    “Looking back, do you think the United States did the right thing in taking military action against Iraq, or should the U.S. have stayed out?”

    Right thing: 41% Should have stayed out 54%

    “How would you say things are going for the U.S. in its efforts to bring stability and order to Iraq? Would you say things are going very well, somewhat well, somewhat badly, or very badly?”

    Somewhat well/very well: 36%
    somewhat badly/very badly: 62%

  300. 300
    Pb says:

    Slide,

    I’m dead wrong? lol… lol.. hey bucket boy

    The Boy In The Plastic Bucket.

  301. 301
    RonB says:

    With two shovels attached to the handle on each side of his pointed head.

  302. 302
    Mac Buckets says:

    I’m dead wrong? lol… lol.. hey bucket boy… go into the archives and check my posts on Iraq… go WAY back and check my posts on Iraq… I said it was a disaster then. I say its a disaster now.

    You know I said you were dead wrong in misrepresenting my post about Iraqi’s opinons, you disingenuous lightweight. You know you were busted, so you try (twice) some fifth-grade attempt at misdirection rather than manning up. Not surprisingly, your “where’s the ball, doggy?” trick only worked on your fellow lightweight idiots, but I’m way, way too smart for it. Better luck next time, hack.

  303. 303
    RonB says:

    He likes you, Slide.

  304. 304
    Steve says:

    But, unlike your brand-new-nation example, the Sunni provinces are already part of Iraq, and they knew they weren’t going to be cut out. This made them free to vote against the Constitution, either as a protest or to win political points. Again, polls show that Sunnis want one Iraq—they just want to still run it.

    This is a valid point, but the nation the Sunni provinces are part of isn’t one they chose to form. It’s a country that was arbitrarily cobbled together by the British and held together by a totalitarian dictator. At no point did the Sunni provinces actually agree to be part of this nation, so the nation doesn’t become legitimate through the argument that “they were part of it all along.” In the case of our own Constitution, we didn’t try to tell the states that since they were part of the British colonies all along, they were in the Union by default. Until each state agreed to become part of the new, democratic nation, they weren’t bound by the Constitution.

    I don’t know what polls you are citing to that say the Sunnis want to be part of Iraq, but I would note (1) elections > polls; (2) I wonder if they are polling the specific Sunni provinces that were overwhelmingly against the constitution, or if it’s a nationwide poll of Sunnis; and (3) even if the Sunnis want to be a permanent minority, it kinda seems like the Kurds don’t:

    In January 2005 the Iraqi Kurds held an informal referendum. More than 80 percent turned out to vote. 98.7 percent of those voted to secede from Iraq.

    I just don’t see any legitimacy, or democracy, in telling a permanent minority that they are bound to obey a set of rules they never agreed to at any point in history. But yes, I will stipulate that the permanent majority is thrilled with the new state of affairs.

  305. 305
    Lines says:

    clap harder, buckets, tink is dying and you’re just not doing enough.

  306. 306
    Pb says:

    You know […] my […] disingenuous lightweight […] fifth-grade attempt at misdirection […] trick only worked on […] idiots, […] I’m […]a[…] too (sic) […] time […] hack.

    What’s the difference between me and Mac Buckets? I can actually quote what he says.

  307. 307
    RonB says:

    He’s more of a Ferrous Cranus than Darrell.

    Ferrous Cranus is utterly impervious to reason, persuasion and new ideas, and when engaged in battle he will not yield an inch in his position regardless of its hopelessness. Though his thrusts are decisively repulsed, his arguments crushed in every detail and his defenses demolished beyond repair he will remount the same attack again and again with only the slightest variation in tactics.

  308. 308
    Mac Buckets says:

    I don’t know what polls you are citing to that say the Sunnis want to be part of Iraq,

    All you have to do is ask. ABC/BBC/Time Magazine poll from December:

    There are positive political signs as well. Three-quarters of Iraqis express confidence in the national elections being held this week, 70 percent approve of the new constitution, and 70 percent — including most people in Sunni and Shiite areas alike — want Iraq to remain a unified country.

    This poll also notes that:

    Despite the daily violence there, most living conditions are rated positively, seven in 10 Iraqis say their own lives are going well, and nearly two-thirds expect things to improve in the year ahead.

    Don’t tell the American Left! They are the only true voice about Iraqi living conditions!

    The BBC News website’s World Affairs correspondent, Paul Reynolds, says the survey shows a degree of optimism at variance with the usual depiction of the country as one in total chaos.

    The findings are more in line with the kind of arguments currently being deployed by US President George W Bush, he says.

    Hmmmmmm, I wonder why that could possibly be? Reality is “at variance” with Big Media depictions and “more in line” with what Bush is saying? How could that possibly be, unless the media has some sort of interest in not reporting reality…

  309. 309
    Pb says:

    Mac Buckets,

    Don’t tell the American Left! They are the only true voice about Iraqi living conditions!

    Heh, as if you speak for the left. Don’t tell Mac Buckets that he’s the only true voice about Iraqis and the American left!

    Now personally I’d cite Gallup here–seeing as how they actually *did address* Iraqi living conditions–but I already have, haven’t I? Don’t tell Mac…

    Reality is “at variance” with Big Media depictions and “more in line” with what Bush is saying?

    Six of one, half a dozen of the other, I suppose, but still unlikely.

    How could that possibly be, unless the media has some sort of interest in not reporting reality…

    Now that one I’ll give you, but I don’t think it really helps your case there.

  310. 310
    StupidityRules says:

    This one is the bestest ever from Onion. I want their crystal ball, I could make a fortune with it.

  311. 311
    Mac Buckets says:

    By the way, I have been there, pal. That makes me a teeny bit more aware of Iraqi reality than you.

    You quote a blog to me, remarking that the current violence is “disgusting,” and that’s supposed to somehow outweigh all the polling data on how Iraqis feel about the conditions there? No sale. If new polling data comes out with significant changes based on the recent fighting, I’ll be willing to discuss it.

    It is a good blog, though. I’m glad he’s disgusted, and I believe the huge majority are in line with him rather than the thugs.

    And the fact that you’ve been to Iraq doesn’t make you more aware of Iraqi reality than the Iraqis who have been polled.

  312. 312
    Pb says:

    StupidityRules,

    Satire is dead. Tom Tomorrow has done a good job at this as well.

  313. 313
    Perry Como says:

    For God’s sake, keep clapping!:

    For the last 18 months, we’ve been in a low-grade civil war. The Askariya bombing kicked us up to “medium-grade,” I guess you might call it. Both Sunnis and Shi’a I’ve spoken with are waiting and preparing for it, and that very preparation might make for a self-fulfilling prophecy. For to many Iraqis, it’s only a matter of time.

  314. 314
    Mac Buckets says:

    Now personally I’d cite Gallup here—seeing as how they actually did address Iraqi living conditions—but I already have, haven’t I? Don’t tell Mac…

    What, that devastating Gallup poll that says that by a two-to-one margin, the Iraqi people say they are doing better than before the invasion (even in the Sunni areas, it was an even split)? What a hellhole George Bush has created!!!!

  315. 315
    Steve says:

    Thanks for that poll, Mac. I do see a lot of mixed news in there, though.

    On issue after issue, from personal satisfaction to security to political views, people in Sunni areas — about one in four Iraqis — express vastly more negative views than their Shiite- or Kurdish-area counterparts.

    Just 11 percent of people in predominantly Sunni-Arab provinces, for example, feel safe in their own neighborhoods, compared with eight in 10 Iraqis in other areas. People in mainly Sunni-Arab areas are far less confident in the Iraqi government, army or police. They’re half as likely as those in mainly Shiite provinces to say their own lives are going well and half as likely to expect things to improve in the next year. While 53 percent of people in predominantly Shiite areas say the country as a whole is doing well, a mere 9 percent of those in mostly Sunni provinces agree.

    The basic concern I’ve outlined above is that it’s deceptive to cite “majority opinion” in a country that is not truly unified. How do you tell the residents of a province that voted 97% against the constitution that they’re bound by it anyway?

  316. 316
    Pb says:

    Mac Buckets,

    Way to address the living conditions, moron.

  317. 317
    RonB says:

    remarking that the current violence is “disgusting,”

    Not just the current violence. The trial of Saddam, Al Sadr, the violence, the whole enterprise. Good try.

    and that’s supposed to somehow outweigh all the polling data on how Iraqis feel about the conditions there?

    You cherry picked the fuck out of that poll. You can only make this thing look as good as your efforts to hide the negatives.

    And the fact that you’ve been to Iraq doesn’t make you more aware of Iraqi reality than the Iraqis who have been polled.

    I didnt say that, numbskull. You said I’m just a commenter on a blog, and considering I have seen the way they live up close, I have no idea who the fuck you think you are telling me what I am and that my experiences with the Iraqis is somehow null compared to your stupid ass cherry picked polls.

  318. 318
    Mac Buckets says:

    Thanks for that poll, Mac. I do see a lot of mixed news in there, though.

    If only Big Media reported “mixed news,” instead of “all bad news, all the time,” I’d be happy.

    Frankly, the constant nay-saying from the Sunnis is the least important thing to me about the new Constitution. They had it real good for a real long time, oppressing the majority population. Even after the Constitution is written to over-represent them, they kill and obstruct and provoke.

  319. 319
    Perry Como says:

    Iraqis are so overwhelmed with happiness they are keeling over dead. 1300 in the last week.

  320. 320
    RonB says:

    If only Big Media reported “mixed news,” instead of “all bad news, all the time,” I’d be happy.

    If only you watched Big Media instead of reading about it or listening to someone trash it you might find that you might get what you want. Besides, Mac, ain’t ABC part of Big Media? How come you find it ok to listen to Big Media when it supports your la-la land view of things?

  321. 321
    Pb says:

    If only Big Media reported on news all the time instead of missing white woman crap, I’d be happy.

  322. 322
    Mac Buckets says:

    You cherry picked the fuck out of that poll.

    You obviously don’t know the meaning of the word. 77% of Iraqis think everything they’ve been through is worth it. That’s not cherry-picking, that’s bottom-lining. Go ahead, argue with that.

    Sorry if this contradicts what you’ve been fed by the New York Times.

    I have no idea who the fuck you think you are telling me what I am and that my experiences with the Iraqis is somehow null compared to your stupid ass cherry picked polls.

    I don’t care if you’ve vacationed in Baghdad, I don’t care if you took a business trip to Tikrit, I don’t care if you went to soccer camp in Ramala, I don’t care even if you served there…you are still just a blog commenter, compared to the Iraqi citizens who say it’s all been worth it. You don’t know more than them about their lives, regardless of how much you whine “cherry-picking!”

    Your opinion might well be more valid than mine if you’ve spent significant time there, but you see, that’s why I don’t give my opinions on the lives of Iraqis, but rather I cite the opinions of the Iraqi people.

  323. 323
    Mac Buckets says:

    Besides, Mac, ain’t ABC part of Big Media? How come you find it ok to listen to Big Media when it supports your la-la land view of things?

    You mean the Iraqi people’s la-la-land view of Iraq, of course — such arrogance! Of course, you know better than them!

    I’ll bet you 1000 bucks that this poll wasn’t reported for a single second on the ABC televised news that week (I’d double down on the BBC, and double that on the fact that if it were a negative poll result for Bush, it would’ve led the news both places), and I’ll parley that wager with a bet that there was at least a story a day on Iraqi violence and how bad the situation is. After all, this is the network that gave us the “Be nice to Kerry, be mean to Bush” memo.

  324. 324
    RonB says:

    77% of Iraqis think everything they’ve been through is worth it. That’s not cherry-picking, that’s bottom-lining. Go ahead, argue with that.

    Not a problem. Your opinion that it is the bottom line is just that.

    my opinions on the lives of Iraqis, but rather I cite the opinions of the Iraqi people.

    You also add a heaping dollop of your opinion of the polls, which amounts to cherry picking, non-current, news-ignorant information.

    You mean the Iraqi people’s la-la-land view of Iraq, of course

    Is Iraq la-la land, regardless of how many Iraqis get a cell phone and a satellite dish? Besides, you sidestepped my question-how come you will cite Big Media but cast aspersions against it when it suits you?

  325. 325
    Mac Buckets says:

    Mac Buckets,

    Way to address the living conditions, moron.

    77% of Iraqis say all the hardships are worth living in a post-Saddam democracy. Whatever deficient living conditions you want to talk about, it’s worth it. A two-to-one margin say they are better off. How’s that for living conditions? Please, find something else to whine about.

  326. 326
    Mac Buckets says:

    Your opinion that it is the bottom line is just that.

    Sigh…Fine. What is your opinion, then? What is the bottom-line question, if you don’t think it’s “Was it worth it?” which is about as bottom-line an opinion question as you’re ever likely to find.

    You also add a heaping dollop of your opinion of the polls, which amounts to cherry picking, non-current, news-ignorant information.

    Help me out, and provide an example. I’ve posted a lot here. You’ve got to be able to find something to back you up.

    Besides, you sidestepped my question-how come you will cite Big Media but cast aspersions against it when it suits you?

    I didn’t sidestep. I bet you that this poll was buried and unreported. No way ABC would put this on TV — it would undermine everything they’ve been airing for almost three years. I didn’t criticize Big Media for what it knows. I criticized it for what it chooses to report.

  327. 327
    RonB says:

    77% of Iraqis think everything they’ve been through is worth it.

    I must be tired, Im on night shift, I cant find this particular metric in the cherrypicked poll.

  328. 328
    Mac Buckets says:

    You put quote marks around something I didn’t say, now fuck the fuck off you idiotic hypocritical cretin.

    Pb,

    so you didn’t post:

    * Because of your denial.
    * Iraq lost.
    * Are you happy now?
    * We aren’t.

    Funny, this very page says you did. Oh, and say fuck again, because that makes you sound so smart.

  329. 329
    Perry Como says:

    77% of Iraqis think everything they’ve been through is worth it.

    How exactly do you poll dead people?

    Pollster: Is everything you’ve been through worth it?
    Dead Iraqi: lays there
    Pollster: Are you better off now than you were when Saddam was in power?
    Dead Iraqi: lays there
    Pollster: Do you expect thing to get better in Iraq over the next year?
    Dead Iraqi: fly lands on corpse

    Maybe the dead Iraqis were undersampled in the polls.

  330. 330
    Mac Buckets says:

    I must be tired, Im on night shift, I cant find this particular metric in the cherrypicked poll.

    I’m only here to help. Go to page 10 of the What the Iraqi Public Wants pdf.

    Was Ousting Saddam Worth It? YES:

    Overall, 77%
    Kurds, 91%
    Shia, 96%
    Sunnis, 13%

    Is Iraq going in the Right Direction? YES:

    Overall, 64%
    Kurds, 76%
    Shia, 84%
    Sunnis, 6%

  331. 331
    Mac Buckets says:

    Maybe the dead Iraqis were undersampled in the polls.

    Nice one, PC.

    If we grant 30K dead in the war, that’s a little over 1% of the pre-war Iraqi population. Assuming that all would answer “No” to the “Are you better off?” question (although what with the virgins and all…), I’ll give the naysayers their one percentage point. That still leaves about a two-to-one margin to the “Yes” and 76% who would say it was worth it (assuming all “nos” again).

    Turns out that the dead just aren’t that statistically significant.

  332. 332
    chopper says:

    Turns out that the dead just aren’t that statistically significant.

    take out ‘statistically’ and you’ve got the republican party platform.

  333. 333
    Blue Shark says:

    …It is simple really to understand Bush’s deaf ear regarding the ports deal when one considers that he needs the UAE as a base of operations to launch “pre-emptive” strikes against Iran.

    …Bust out the duct tape and sheet plastic.

  334. 334
    Perry Como says:

    Vote Mac Buckets in 2008: The dead aren’t statistically significant.

  335. 335
    RonB says:

    Might be a dead link, Mac

  336. 336
    ppGaz says:

    Arguing about Iraqi polls?

    So now we are governing the US based on what Iraqis think we should do?

    I’m sorry, did you stupid motherfuckers say you were Republicans? What kind of Republican idea is that?

    If Iraqis are really interested in having a stable country, they better get their goddamned act together and start being able to defend themselves and govern themselves like a stable country. And fast.

    Three years into this and we don’t have a single Iraqi unit over there ready to fight on their own?

    WTF? Why not? And why have our talking heads been lying to us about it?

  337. 337
    Pb says:

    Mac Buckets,

    If you had a brain, you’d well know that the fake quote in question was this:

    “American lefties know better than they do about how they should feel?”

    I never said this, even in your deluded fantasy land. But the truly pathetic part is that you’re so stupid that you had to have me spell it out for you at length. So don’t tell me about what makes me “sound smart”, motherfucker, you don’t know the first goddamned thing about “smart”. I’m through with your lying bullshit, you pathetic, morally bankrupt scum.

  338. 338
    RonB says:

    Turns out that the dead just aren’t that statistically significant.

    Pray tell me this is a troll and not something you actually believe. Using this insane overreach of the value of a statistic, out of 1 million American soldiers, 2,300 have died. Thats .23% percent of our total force. Would you say that based on those numbers, our losses are not significant? They may be statistically insignificant, but that’s not what I’m getting at- is it insignificant or does the fact that we have lost 2300 soldiers for what has turned out to be muddled reasons at best mean something?

    Eventually this number game must give way to bad tidings.

  339. 339
    chopper says:

    its just the new republican party platform. they care about iraqis more than they care about americans. oh yeah, and the dead are insignificant.

  340. 340
    RonB says:

    …or that 40000 dead Iraqis make a lot of bitter families and friends? Is this not significant? Will your numbers cover these things?

  341. 341
    Steve says:

    I think the amount by which the average living person is better off is somewhat less than the amount by which the average dead person is worse off.

    To put it in another context, if you shot 1 out of every 10 people on the subway, the rest of us would have more space and a better ride home. But I don’t think the subway population would be made better off thereby.

    I don’t think Mac was really serious with that argument, though.

  342. 342
    RonB says:

    How can you sit on the goddamn sidelines and give me numbers when you have never been mortared three times a week, when you have never robbed a child for the MRE that a soldier dropped off a truck, when you have never watched your town barricaded by blast walls and barbed wire, or had your family members kidnapped and shot execution style because of your religion? When you have never put your own ass on the line for something you so fervently believe in and instead cite cold numbers?

    I’d like to drop you in Safwan and see you quote me some fucking statistics.

    These polls don’t show shit.

  343. 343
    vetiver says:

    Mac Buckets

    Let me get this straight. You’re justifying the war based on one opinion poll ? A poll taken in a place where polling conditions are pretty difficult, not to mention living conditions. And of course people being polled never, ever give the answer they think the pollster wants to hear, not even when the question involves explosives and firearms.

    Please explain to me how it is that looking at this one poll, taken months ago, gives you unerring insight into the current thoughts and opinions of Iraqis. Or maybe you’re a hyper-advanced telepathic cybernetomatic android from the future, struggling to make these idiot lefties understand ! Hard to say which is more plausible.

    You really are too dumb to pour piss out of a boot with instructions on the heel.

  344. 344
    RonB says:

    although what with the virgins and all…

    And frankly Mac, if youre going to be so fucking flip about their religion, why the fuck should anyone care that your jerked off ass marshals a couple of lines from a few polls that celebrate how much better off they are?

    It’s isn’t funny, so try to avoid telling me to lighten up.

  345. 345
    RonB says:

    30 dead Iraqis yesterday in bombings. Our military is about to rescind their proposed troop cut. Got any good fucking numbers to explain that things are going ducky in Iraq?

  346. 346
    Perry Como says:

    Do 1300 dead Iraqis in a one week time frame require a mass grave or will normal graves do?

  347. 347
    RonB says:

    Here’s an even better one, clown, out of 8 million people in New York, 3000 died in the tower bombing. Is that .003% statistically significant, or did something really fucked up happen in New York City that day?

  348. 348
    demimondian says:

    Actually, Mac, the best estimate of Iraqi war dead (as of May, 2004) was about 100K. That’s 3% of the population. But that’s one of those pesky “facts” which isn’t sufficiently truthy for you, I know.

  349. 349
    RonB says:

    Bombing. Whoops. Plane attacks. Guy’s got me so irritable…

  350. 350
    Perry Como says:

    How many torture rooms would the Iraqi Interior Ministry need to open in order for them to be statistically significant?

  351. 351
    RonB says:

    Let me get this straight. You’re justifying the war based on one opinion poll ?

    No, he has several that he cherry picks from because he can’t find a whole one that says what he wants it to say.

  352. 352
    Pb says:

    demimondian,

    And the body count is probably twice as high now, but who’s counting…

  353. 353
    Mac Buckets says:

    Vote Mac Buckets in 2008: The dead aren’t statistically significant.

    You guys just can’t quote me accurately, can you? I was saying that the Iraqi war dead “aren’t THAT statistically significant” that they would sway the overall poll results, which is exactly what I showed, even giving the naysayers every bit of the benefit of the deceased’s responses.

    I never said they were insignificant as individuals, or that they were less than human, or that I don’t care if they’re dead, or let’s all eat their babies.

  354. 354
    Mac Buckets says:

    Might be a dead link, Mac

    I’m getting it OK, Ron. Might be a problem with IE accessing .pdfs — I used to have that issue before I stopped using IE.

  355. 355
    Mac Buckets says:

    So now we are governing the US based on what Iraqis think we should do?

    Listen, Johnny One Note, if you could get out of your own way for a second, you’d realize this isn’t for one second about justifying the overall war effort. This is about getting one set of facts right — the condition of the lives of Iraqis post-war. I grew tired of the unquestioned assertions upthread by some of the lefties that “Iraq lost” in the war, that we’ve screwed everything up for them, that we’ve left them a “mess,” and that the people of Iraq aren’t really free because they have to live in a hellhole (yours).

    As I’ve shown, Iraqis don’t share the left’s doom-and-gloom outlook for them. By a two-to-one margin, they say their lives are better since the invasion, that Iraq is headed in the right direction, and 77% say that their hardship after Saddam’s ouster has been worth it.

    None of that means that we were necessarily right to oust Saddam, none of it means we spent the right of money, time, or lives to do it, and none of the polls is used to justify the war or tell us how to govern.

    But now maybe some of you (although I’m sure most of you will continue to dissemble willfully — it’s what some of you do for kicks) will start getting at least one fact right — Iraqis know they don’t live in a messy hellhole that C. McSmirkburton created. They like the new Iraq, by and large, and are hopeful for the future, too.

  356. 356
    Mac Buckets says:

    Mac Buckets,

    If you had a brain, you’d well know that the fake quote in question was this:

    “American lefties know better than they do about how they should feel?”

    Now I see your problem — you misunderstood what I wrote.

    I never attributed that to you, or anyone else, did I? I just put that phrase in quotes to use it as a categorical signifier.

    If I was attributing it to you, I would’ve said “We American lefties,” and I would’ve said that you said it.

    What I did whip you for was your “Iraq lost” garbage, which I repeatedly and overtly attributed to you, and which you still childishly refuse to withdraw, even in the face of the polling data that indicates that only you Bush-haters think Iraq lost (and absent any supporting data from you except the Gallup poll that makes my bottom-line point for me: two-to-one, Iraqis say they are doing better now than under Saddam).

    Iraqis know they won…but what do they know about Iraq, compared to the American lefties?

  357. 357
    Mac Buckets says:

    …or that 40000 dead Iraqis make a lot of bitter families and friends? Is this not significant? Will your numbers cover these things?

    Your first point is irrelevant, since I never said deaths were insignificant — I just showed that they weren’t THAT significant that they would change the polls, even if the dead voted as a bloc, replacing New-Iraq-supporters’ votes.

    The above point is better, but most of those 30K or whatever dead were dead when this poll was taken, and 77% of Iraqis, which must include relatives of the slain, still say it was worth every life lost, every building destroyed, all of it.

    Think about that. Those Iraqis must really, genuinely like to be free. What a shock to some of the folks on this board that must be!

  358. 358
    Mac Buckets says:

    I don’t think Mac was really serious with that argument, though.

    I don’t think Perry was 100% serious, either, but it was a good post, regardless.

    Interesting point on the level of dissatisfaction, but kind of hard to quantify. Many Shiites killed by Sunni terrorists were no doubt willing to die for the cause, as was stated during the first election there, so their “worth it” responses wouldn’t go 100% to the “No,” but I threw the naysayers a bone there. They dead would probably still put themselves in the “worse off” category, though. Yeah.

  359. 359
    Mac Buckets says:

    When you have never put your own ass on the line for something you so fervently believe in and instead cite cold numbers?

    I’d like to drop you in Safwan and see you quote me some fucking statistics.

    These polls don’t show shit.

    Wow. Ummmm, why not, again? Because I haven’t been shelled? Hmmmmmmmmmm. (This has to be the biggest nonsequiter in the history of the board.)

    Look, those “cold numbers” show what the Iraqi people think about their lives — whether I am in Palm Springs or Baghdad, the Iraqi’s responses don’t change. They still like their new Iraq. I didn’t respond to the poll, so what I’ve been through is totally irrelevant.

    Sorry you seem to dislike the fact that Iraqis say they are better off. I’m sure some of them would apologize for doing well, if they could possibly fathom the level your dementia over the inaccurate, fantasyland narrative that so many have been suckered into by the Media and the Left.

  360. 360
    Ned Nederling says:

    Things are getting much better in Iraq. Only people in a cult would think otherwise.

    from the BBC

    2004
    Total attacks: 26496
    Improvised bombs: 5607
    Car bombings: 420
    Suicide car bombings: 133
    Suicide bombers wearing explosive vests: 7

    2005
    Total attacks: 34131
    Improvised bombs: 10593
    Car bombings: 873
    Suicide car bombings: 411
    Suicide bombers wearing explosive vests: 67

    Democracy is on the march.

  361. 361
    Osama bin Laden says:

    Interestingly, a recent poll of New Yorkers shows that 77% of them believe they are better off than five years ago. So why all the hate, friends?

  362. 362
    Mac Buckets says:

    Let me get this straight. You’re justifying the war based on one opinion poll ?

    Nope, not even close, as I’ve explained above… and I’ve cited at least four polls that all say essentially the same thing — that Iraqis say they are doing better now than they were doing under Saddam.

    Please explain to me how it is that looking at this one poll, taken months ago, gives you unerring insight into the current thoughts and opinions of Iraqis.

    Better question: Explain how the Left’s utter inability to produce any poll to counter the ones I’ve linked to gives them the unnerring insight to contradict the Iraqis whose opinions I’ve posted.

    Come on, you’ve got nothing. Just admit it.

    You really are too dumb to pour piss out of a boot with instructions on the heel.

    Now I really know you have nothing. I’m dumb because I believe the Iraqi people about their condition, absent any other evidence? What a genius you must be, you know, since you have no evidence at all to support your assertions! Up is down! Black is white!

    Get the A-team Lefties back in here. These minor leaguers are kicking the ball all over the infield.

  363. 363
    Mac Buckets says:

    And frankly Mac, if youre going to be so fucking flip about their religion

    The virgins aren’t part of everyday Islam, so stop calling it “their religion.” The “72 virgins” bit is part of the wacked-out extremist Islamists’ doctrine, and I’ll be as flip about those murderers as I want to be.

  364. 364
    Mac Buckets says:

    Actually, Mac, the best estimate of Iraqi war dead (as of May, 2004) was about 100K.

    LOL! Good one! You’re only over a year behind the times, peddling that Lancet garbage. No, the best estimate was between (IIRC) 19K and 26K last year, according to a UN survey that did approximately what the Lancet survey did, but did it better, twenty times bigger, more accurately, and without the election-year agenda.

  365. 365
    Mac Buckets says:

    No, he has several that he cherry picks from because he can’t find a whole one that says what he wants it to say.

    Every study cited has said the same thing — Iraqis say they are better off now, and the invasion was worth it. Keep lying, though. It’s funny to watch your Big Media-primed brains melt down when you find out that you’ve been fed an unsupportable load of crap by the Left.

    And what’s hilarious to me is that you oh-so-nuanced lefties have zero, none, nada statistical evidence that even hints at what you guys assert so loudly and so often — that the poor Iraqis are living in a mess of a hellhole that BushCo created (oh, if only BusHitler had left these poor people under Saddam’s thumb!). It’s hilarious because it’s so blatantly arrogant! You guys think you know better than the Iraqis about life in Iraq! Priceless!

  366. 366
    Steve says:

    Seriously, Mac, you’re going way way overboard with the significance of this poll. I get the point you’re making, sure. But it’s worth considering that if the poll showed the opposite result, you would be laughing your ass off at any liberal who tried to claim it was the conclusive answer.

  367. 367
    Slide says:

    bucket boy are you ok? really seriously? I’m concerned for you. You are acting… well… bizarre. Six posts in a row doesn’t make you any more correct in your assine assertions. You put a lot of stock in a poll of a country that has lived under tyrany and tortue for multiple generations. You don’t get a lot of good honest responses from people that lived with the prospect of death and torture if you disagree with the powers that be. But if Iraqis are happy with their current situation good for them, but you know what bucket boy, I don’t really give a shit. We dont’ go to war and invade a soverign nation, give al qaeda a huge recruiting tool, distablize the entire mideast in order to win a FUCKKING POPULARITY POLL WITH SADDAM HUSSEIN. You absolute moron.

    The damage this war has done to America is HUGE. Loss of credibility around the world. Huge decreases in approval in the Muslim world (you know, the hearts and minds). Al Qaeda’s hopes and dreams were realized with the invasion of an oil rich Muslim country on, what we all now know to be, lies about WMD. Hundreds of billions of dollars wasted that could have been spend on providing security for our ports which as recent events have shown, is a major vulnurability. And of couse the huge toll on American lives, not only the 2,000 plus that have died, not only the 25,000 horribly injured, not only the one in three that have mental difficulties after combat, not only on their brother, sisters, mothers, father and children. You are a disgrace to pull out polls showing how happy Iraq is as some justification for this disaster. You are a moron. A ideological asshole of the highest order. Go fucking move to Iraq if their future is so bright and save us all the headache of reading your disengious bullshit.

    You were WRONG about WMD. You were WRONG about Iraq being a cakewalk. You were WRONG about Iraq oil paying for it all. You were WRONG when you said it was just a few ‘dead enders”. You were WRONG when you said we were making great progress. You were WRONG when you didn’t listen to Gen Shenseki. You were WRONG when you disbanded the army. You were WRONG when you lost 8 billion dollars of reconstruction money. You were WRONG to staff the coaliton authority with young idelogues from the Heritage foundation. You were WRONG when you disregarded the State Dept’s post invasion planning. You were WRONG about every single thing about Iraq. Lets just remember the record, ok?

  368. 368
    ppGaz says:

    Lets just remember the record, ok?

    Record? We don’t need no stinking record!

  369. 369
    Pb says:

    Mac Buckets,

    Now I see your problem—you misunderstood what I wrote.

    I never attributed that to you, or anyone else, did I? I just put that phrase in quotes to use it as a categorical signifier.

    Let’s go to the videotape:

    Do you withdraw that “Iraq lost,” finally? Or are you sticking by the “American lefties know better than they do about how they should feel?”

    Nope, you still can’t weasel out of this one, asshole. My god, learn to lie better first, and then learn to write. Or even better, fess up when you screw up–not that I’d even remotely expect that from you.

  370. 370
    demimondian says:

    LOL! Good one! You’re only over a year behind the times, peddling that Lancet garbage. No, the best estimate was between (IIRC) 19K and 26K last year, according to a UN survey that did approximately what the Lancet survey did, but did it better, twenty times bigger, more accurately, and without the election-year agenda.

    Oh, really? Want to point to a peer reviewed publication to back that claim?

  371. 371
    demimondian says:

    Oh, and by the way, if you meant this study — which is the usual lie the right’s been spreading — you’re wrong, Bukkake. It was run eight months before the Hopkins study, it measured one fifth of the number of households per PPU, and it used a odd definition of PPU. (As a scientist, I’m also concerned that its methodology, in which large teams of data collectors accompanied by a government minder, imposed a significant bias towards suppressing death reporting.)

    In short, you’re wrong, and you’ve been taken in by the usual right-wing lies.

  372. 372
    searp says:

    The reason the noise machine is going to kick into high gear is that they KNOW they will be taking the blame, at least for the next ten years. They know that, and they know the political consequences have to be minimized.

    This really isn’t a matter of opinion, I’d bet my pension fund on it. I have not heard one person of any political persuasion, who wasn’t an apparatchik, say anything good about this war for a long time. They have lost the public, both the loud public and the silent public, and they know it.

    Nope, the effort will be to shift blame, paper over any remaining cracks and change the subject. No more purple fingers in the state of the union. If I were a political pro, I’d be running those shots in campaign commercials starting now.

  373. 373
    RonB says:

    OK. I grabbed a copy of the poll from Google. Now what you seem to have, Mac, is a plurality of people who are relieved that Saddam is gone and it was worth it to get rid of him. What you also seem to have is a set of polls bookending an election, of which the pollers say has a profoundly positive effect on polling questions like “was it worth it to get rid of Saddam?”

    Alot of the other data is quite telling about the way Iraqis view us, the recon effort, how suspicious they are of our reasons for being there, and their feelings about the country as a whole. It is probably almost reflexive for Iraqi Shi’a to say they are glad Saddam is gone. The reality we have replaced it with is a fairly grim one, with a whole new host of problems. It’s a tough choice to give an Iraqi-most of them had a deep hatred for Saddam and what he did to them-but that they are none too impressed with our efforts either and living in a warzone daily doesn’t tell me that they are any freer from terror than they were before.

    Defending this metric as the prime measure of success seems to me to be excluding a host of realities that do not support the idea that the Iraqis are grateful, free, or particularly happy. I’ll just speak for myself and say its hard for me to understand your optimism for this occupation after all that has happened, after all that has gone wrong. And you seem very quick to accuse us of having blinders on, but you don’t seem to want to acknowledge anything particularly bad is going on there, either. I’m seeing broken promises kept to the Iraqis. I’m seeing a situation that is beyond the Army’s control and wishes to fix it.

    The US government has done everything it possibly can to screw this occupation and reconstruction up. There doesn’t seem to be much to do to reverse this deteriorating state. Add to that a host of indigenous hatreds and jealousies and you’ve got-a mess. It didn’t have to happen like this. The cost in lives and money weighed against the results makes this look like a fool’s errand.

    It’s a crazy Scylla and Charybdis thing, this invasion, for both Americans and Iraqis. If as an American you say you are against the war, then you do not care about Iraqi freedom. And where do we get off caring about Iraqis in the first place when we didn’t care to free them? I think many would say there was a better way to do this. No sincere liberal in his heart wants to see Iraqis back under tyranny. It doesnt do much for the discussion when you jab at people and say they do. Even though some people’s logic is tortured by the nature of the decisions we’ve made and the forces at work here, not one of us wants to see Iraqis suffer. And now that we see the suffering, now that we are in the midst of it, I’d like to see us do something. But we aren’t. What good are elections and constitutions to people with basic needs not being met? They may make people feel optimistic for a little bit, but that seems to be all they have accomplished.

    I will lament that there was not a better way, a better plan. You may say that we had to go to war for WMD- there were plenty of people who were ambivalent about their intelligence, there was plenty ignored, and some was BS and we still used it as justification. Don’t you wonder that if we had waited a little bit longer, maybe all that dead wrong intel could have been gotten rid of? We fluffed up a bunch of crap to justify going in. Why? Really, Mac, why? Because if it was for a concern over WMDs being used right then right soon if we dont go now now now, then that was a lie. If it was for Iraqi freedom, then why did we go in with no plan to fix that country after we broke it?

    Sorry this has gotten long. I’m incorporating the idea that Iraqis are glad Saddam is gone and it was worth it to them to see him go, Mac, but there is a vaccuum that needs to be filled, and it isn’t pretty what is rushing in. What have we done so far? Did anyone in the administration see this coming, why did they not prepare for it, or listen to those who had better ideas?

  374. 374
    Perry Como says:

    Mac, I like you. In the face of absurdity you don’t flinch. We’ll disagree about foreign policy from now ’til forever. But your arguments give me material for years.

  375. 375
    chopper says:

    This is about getting one set of facts right—the condition of the lives of Iraqis post-war

    since you got your ass kicked on the argument that iraqis wanted democracy in the beginning, i guess you should concentrate on trying to get at least one set of facts right.

  376. 376
    Mac Buckets says:

    Six posts in a row doesn’t make you any more correct in your assine assertions.

    Meh, I had some time yesterday. And you should really look up “assertions,” because when I’ve posted the only links and data in the whole discussion, it doesn’t really apply, does it? An assertion goes something like, “Yeah, but I’ll bet Iraqis don’t think they’re so well off now!” There are about 20 examples from your buddies on this page.

    But if Iraqis are happy with their current situation good for them, but you know what bucket boy, I don’t really give a shit.

    Of course not, Joe. You only give a shit about Democrats. So you’ll go on lying about how Bush ruined Iraq, how dismal their lives are now, and how they must want Saddam back, or whatever. You’ll do what you lefties always do: Ignore reality if it doesn’t fit into your DNC-produced, Big Media-fed narrative. That doesn’t make you smart, Joe. It makes you a closed-minded partisan hack…but who are we fooling? We both knew that already.

    We dont’ go to war and invade a soverign nation, give al qaeda a huge recruiting tool, distablize the entire mideast in order to win a FUCKKING POPULARITY POLL WITH SADDAM HUSSEIN. You absolute moron.

    And I never claimed that we did or should have.

    The rest of your post is similarly off-topic, but I didn’t expect someone of your well-documented limited capacities to grasp my argument anyway. In this discussion, I’m only trying to make you wacko lefties look honestly at yourselves about your “Iraq lost,” “Bush made Iraq a hellhole,” “They have to live in the mess we created” bullshit.

    Now you know that by 2-to-1 the Iraqis say their lives are better now than before the invasion. Now you know that by over 3-to-1 the Iraqis say their hardships were worth overthrowing Saddam. Now you know that if you say otherwise, you’re a liar. I don’t expect this will stop any of you from spreading you doom-and-gloom armchair “expertise” about the current state of Iraq, but you know that I have the facts, and I’m not afraid to use them.

  377. 377

    […] Tinkerbell Died […]

  378. 378
    Slide says:

    Another right wing Iraq war supporter sees the light:

    John Derbyshire of National Review Online:

    Well, I’m with Bill Buckley and George Will. This pig’s ear is never going to be made into a silk purse, not by any methods or expenditures the American people are willing to countenance. The only questions worth asking about Iraq at this point are: How does GWB get out of this with the least damage to US interests, and to his party’s future prospects? I wish I had some answers.

    bucket boy… everyone is deserting you… fewer and fewer seem to share your rosy view of Iraq… and since you put so much stock in polls we have this:

    A new Gallup/CNN/USA Today poll out tonight shows that 2 out of 3 adult Americans now want U.S. troops to start to come home from Iraq. And 55% call the decision to attack Iraq in 2003 a “mistake.”

    The same poll found President Bush’s approval rating plunging to 38%. It was even lower in a CBS poll earlier this week: 34%.

    In the poll, 38% said some troops should be withdrawn from Iraq now with another 27% say they all should come home.

    Bush’s handling of Iraq drew the support of just 35%, while 64 percent said they disapprove.

    Of the 1,020 adults surveyed, 59% said President Bush can no longer manage the government effectively.

    oh bucket boy what are you to do? No one seems to be buying your arguments anymore. Feeling lonely?

  379. 379
    Mac Buckets says:

    Now what you seem to have, Mac, is a plurality of people who are relieved that Saddam is gone and it was worth it to get rid of him.

    Plurality? 77% to 22% is not a plurality. It’s a huge majority. Is this your first attempt to minimize the voice of the Iraqi people because it doesn’t fit the phony narrative?

    What you also seem to have is a set of polls bookending an election, of which the pollers say has a profoundly positive effect on polling questions like “was it worth it to get rid of Saddam?”

    Minimization attempt #2? Of the four polls I cited, only one of them was done near an election (it’s hard to take a poll these days without an election close-at-hand or just passed, but that is kind of the point of the whole democracy bit). The results of all the polls are essentially the same — two-to-one say their lives are better than before the invasion. Face it, that’s not a quirk of timing, nor would a reasonable person suggest that it is. It’s kind of disingenuous to slough off consistent data because of an unquantifiable, unexplained “election effect” (and if the pollsters thought this was any kind of major effect, of course, they wouldn’t have taken their poll at that time, anyway). I would think any such effect would equally magnify the “No, we aren’t better off” responses.

    It is probably almost reflexive for Iraqi Shi’a to say they are glad Saddam is gone.

    Uh, yes. It was probably reflexive for slaves to say they thought the Emancipation Proclamation was a good thing, too.

    The reality we have replaced it with is a fairly grim one, with a whole new host of problems.

    Obviously, its not as grim for most Iraqis as it was before the country was liberated, though. No one promised Disneyland Iraq in three years.

    Defending this metric as the prime measure of success seems to me to be excluding a host of realities that do not support the idea that the Iraqis are grateful, free, or particularly happy.

    I’m not attempting to measure Iraqi gratitude, their level of freedom (though I think you’d be foolish to take up that discussion), or their overall happiness. I’m showing that Iraqi people, the people who live in that reality, have a much more positive view of Iraq than the one Americans are fed by the Left and Big Media. I’m just sick of the American Left, most of whom have never met an Iraqi nor ever will, arrogantly telling us how much worse off Iraqis are now than in 2002, when the Iraqis themselves are saying essentially that the Left is full of garbage.

    And let’s be frank — we all know why most of the Left is naysaying the current conditions in Iraq. Their partisan narrative must not admit that anything Bush did in Iraq produced any good results for anyone except the US’s enemies. Would it harm these Bush-haters to say, “Yes, the majority of Iraqis say they are better off now, but we paid too high a price for it?” That’s an intelligent, nuanced argument. Why the need for the phony, knee-jerk doom-and-gloom, except for their dementia about all things Bush? It just doesn’t make them look too smart. So I’m just here as an educator!

    I’ll just speak for myself and say its hard for me to understand your optimism

    Woah, big fella. Don’t make this about me. I have not expressed one shred of personal optimism. I’ve only shared the Iraqis’ opinions. If you don’t think they should be so optimistic, perhaps you can tell me why you know more about the current situation in Iraq than they do. I’ve asked many to do so, and everyone has tucked tail firmly between legs. Obviously, it’s a pretty tough explanation to make without sounding like a total a-hole. Care to take a crack at it.

    And you seem very quick to accuse us of having blinders on, but you don’t seem to want to acknowledge anything particularly bad is going on there, either.

    Wrong again. I’ve acknowledged over and over that there have been hardships, screwups, and violence…but that doesn’t change the bottom line at all — the huge majority of Iraqis STILL think it was all worth it to overthrow Saddam.

    The rest of your post regarding your view of the justification and prosecution of the Iraq War is thoughtful, but since it’s off-topic to this discussion, maybe we can get into it another time.

  380. 380
    Mac Buckets says:

    bucket boy… everyone is deserting you… fewer and fewer seem to share your rosy view of Iraq

    Joe, I’ve given up hope on your tiny brain ever getting this right. It’s the Iraqi people’s rosy view of Iraq that you arguing against, not mine.

    Care to take a crack at explaining how you know better about the situation in Iraq than the Iraqi people do? Everytime I ask you, you run and hide like a frightened rabbit. Maybe one day you’ll man up and tell us why I should care what you think when I know what Iraqis think.

    oh bucket boy what are you to do? No one seems to be buying your arguments anymore. Feeling lonely?

    Since those polls have nothing to do with my arguments, they don’t affect me in the least.

  381. 381
    Slide says:

    Care to take a crack at explaining how you know better about the situation in Iraq than the Iraqi people do? Everytime I ask you, you run and hide like a frightened rabbit. Maybe one day you’ll man up and tell us why I should care what you think when I know what Iraqis think.

    Lol…. the absolute arrogance of the right is astounding. Absolutely fucking astounding. Our resident expert on Iraq KNOWS… absolutely KNOWS what Iraqis THINK because of a poll or two he read. Isn’t that just fuckin precious?

    Lets recap some of what bucket boy and his ilk KNEW with a little historical perpective shall we:

    – they KNEW that Iraq had WMD
    – they KNEW that Iraq had reconstituted their nuclear program
    – they KNEW those aluminium tubes were for nuke programs
    – they KNEW that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger
    – they KNEW that Iraq had a working relationship with al Qaeda
    – they KNEW General Shenseki was “wildly off the mark” in his assesment of how many troops would be needed.
    – they KNEW disbanding the Iraq army would be a good thing
    – they KNEW that Iraq would be a “cakewalk”
    – they KNEW that major combat operations were over and MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
    – they KNEW that it would be good to staff the Coaliton Provisional Authority with young, inexperienced, right wing ideologues from the Heritage Foundation would be just the right thing to re-build Iraq
    – they KNEW that having no accounting whatsover would not result in 8 billion dollars (give or take a billion) would be stolen or lost.
    – they KNEW that “freedom is messy”
    – they KNEW that the insurgency was only a “few deadenders”
    – they KNEW the insurgency was in its “last throes”
    – they KNEW we are making “incredible progress”
    – they KNEW we would have 30,000 US Troops in Iraq by the end of 2003
    – they KNEW that Iraq oil would pay for it all

    – and of course they KNOW that the war is a good thing for the Iraq people.

    ok, maybe you are right bucket boy but that would be quite remarkable considering your track record. Enjoy the delusion if it gives you comfort but you have make quite an ass of yourself being the last bush apologist standing. Cole doesnt even post on Iraq anymore as he must be totally chastened by how wrong he and this adminstration have been. Perhaps someday you will grwo out of your infantile stuborness to admit what EVERYONE now sees. IRAQ IS A HUGE BLUNDER OF MONUMENTAL PROPORTIONS. I’m done here. Adios

  382. 382
    Mac Buckets says:

    Our resident expert on Iraq KNOWS… absolutely KNOWS what Iraqis THINK because of a poll or two he read.

    Coming from the side without any polls or anything but their own arrogant delusions about people they’ve never met to back up their fantasyland preconceptions, that sentence is downright retarded. Mentally defective. You didn’t even have to sign it. I could’ve told who it was from.

    To sum up, I have cited four polls of what the people eho live in Iraq are saying (it was worth it to overthrow Saddam, they are better off now, they want democracy, they are optimistic aboiut the future). All you “those polls can’t be true!” whiners together have cited a total of one, which actually showed that Iraqis indeed say they are better off now than before the invasion.

    So therefore, since you have no polls to back your doomy assertions and ample evidence to dispel them…you conclude that your ideas of what Iraqis think are better than the Iraqis ideas.

    I didn’t realize that posting what Iraqis thought would explode you Lefties’ brains — sorry for the mess. Well, at least yours probably didn’t make more than a pixel’s worth of splatter on your monitor, Joe.

  383. 383
    Slide says:

    lol

  384. 384
    chopper says:

    Plurality? 77% to 22% is not a plurality. It’s a huge majority. Is this your first attempt to minimize the voice of the Iraqi people because it doesn’t fit the phony narrative?

    74% of iraqis not wanting democracy in 2003 was a huge majority too, but you soundly ignored that because it didn’t fit your phony narrative.

    ‘but the 36% who wanted democracy is a plurality! the iraqis wanted democracy!’

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Tinkerbell Died […]

  2. […] Tim F. over at Balloon Juice has an abosolute gem of a post regarding the current right wing meme that the failure of Iraq is the left’s fault. (Why the right would ever take responsibility for anything in and by itself would be shocking): The war is an ongoing problem and people who regularly got it right maybe have a more realistic sense of what to do than the people who got every single thing wrong. The long-term question hasn’t worked itself out yet, true ehough, but the folks whose short-term projections proved so inept (WMD, AQ links, we’ll be greeted as liberators, reconstruction will pay for itself, bureaucracy will go back to work right after the war, candy and flowers, drawing the troops down to 30k within months, ‘last throes,’ no sectarian problems to worry about) will have a hard time convincing most people that their long-term vision is on the money. […]

  3. […] Clap Louder! By Doug Tim F. over at Balloon Juice has a good post entitled “Tinkerbell Died.”  He expounds upon the growing Iraq meme among righties noted by Glenn Greenwald: “Iraq failed because the lefties didn’t clap loudly enough.” (All this talk of Tinkerbell and clapping alludes to a scene in Peter Pan where Tinkerbell is dying but will survive if enough people believe in fairies. In the play the characters make a plea to the children watching to sustain her by clapping.) […]

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