Michael Ware on the Surge And Iraq

Yesterday I linked to a report stating large-scale attacks are down in Iraq, and it was met with some skepticism. Last night on Anderson Cooper 360, Michael Ware said some things which seem to confirm my general opinion of what is going on in Iraq:

COOPER: It has been nearly six months since the U.S. increased its troop levels in Iraq, and today U.S. military commanders said major attacks are declining. Officials said there are about half as many truck bombs and other large al Qaeda-style attacks in July as in March.

Of course, any reduction in the violence is great news, but the question is, are major attacks declining as a direct result of the so- called troop surge? That’s where things get more complicated.

Joining me now is CNN’s Michael Ware.

Michael, the U.S. military commander in Iraq says that large- scale al Qaeda-style attacks have declined by almost 50 percent this year, down to 70 attacks a month from a high of 130. Is this because of more boots on the ground?

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT:
Well, Anderson, the surge is a part of it. Militarily, the surge is designed to deny al Qaeda and the Shia death squads the freedom of movement they once had in Baghdad.

Are they doing that? Yes, to some degree. The surge has shown some successes.

But the real success, Anderson, is coming from something totally different, and that is coming from America cutting deals with its former enemies, principally the Ba’athist insurgents, the Sunni insurgents. It’s by cutting a deal with the Ba’ath Party on the terms that the Ba’ath Party offered America four years ago and had to wait for America to be battered into submission to accept that the tide has turned against al Qaeda.

It’s by unleashing the Ba’ath that the al Qaeda bombs are coming down, that the al Qaeda attacks are starting to slow down, not directly from the surge and not from the presence of U.S. troops.

What the U.S. troops are doing is giving a set of numbers, a series of data, a number of lowered attack figures that may give the military the political cover it needs in Washington. But at the end of the day, by cutting these deals the seeds are being sown for a much broader, more entrenched civil war that America will leave behind.

Given the fact that the larger political reconciliation at the national level in Iraq is going nowhere, it seems that the successes at the local level (and yes, there are successes) will probably be short-lived. The most likely outcome is that, as Ware goes on to reference, the surge will succeed in providing the cover to eventually withdraw the troops.

At which time there will be the inevitable bloodbath.

*** Update ***

And yes, this is the same Michael Ware upon whom jihad was declared by Greater Wingnuttia. He seems unscathed from their previous full frontal assault.






100 replies
  1. 1
    rawshark says:

    The enemies we creatd by invading their country are fighting the enemies that declared war on us. And the message that passes through the minitrue filter is that we are winning the fight? Weird.

  2. 2
    Tulkinghorn says:

    And yes, this is the same Michael Ware upon whom jihad was declared by Greater Wingnuttia. He seems unscathed from their previous full frontal assault.

    The real question is whether the sanity of the rest of us can withstand another jihad from Malkinistan.

  3. 3
    Zifnab says:

    Ok. New rule. You can’t add an “Update” until there’s been at least one comment in the comments section.

    Secondly,

    Given the fact that the larger political reconciliation at the national level in Iraq is going nowhere, it seems that the successes at the local level (and yes, there are successes) will probably be short-lived. The most likely outcome is that, as Ware goes on to reference, the surge will succeed in providing the cover to eventually withdraw the troops.

    I’m not sure if this constitutes a “success” in anything but the most limited sense. It’s like shoving all your clothes into a giant pile in your closet and announcing you’ve cleaned your room – just don’t open the closet door or you’ll create a giant mess again.

    If the violence just picks up again by December, with Ba’athist militias and Kurdish death squads and a Shia insurgency (Al-Qaeda agents to a man!!!11!) then we didn’t succeed at all. We just managed to cover September with a little more pixie dust and made the MSM clap louder.

  4. 4
    capelza says:

    It’s by cutting a deal with the Ba’ath Party on the terms that the Ba’ath Party offered America four years ago and had to wait for America to be battered into submission to accept that the tide has turned against al Qaeda.

    Doesn’t that just frost you? All that time, and more importantly all those lives wasted because the fuckwits that went in there, Bremer, etc. dismantled everything without something to take it’s place. It makes me so livid. The incompetence and lack of foresight is mind boggling. I have to control myslef, else I become BIRDZILLA shrill.

    Yeah, I think Ware can take the heat of a bunch of hysterical Wingnuts. Look at that face, that guy’s been through something…he looks like a boxer or some kind of fighter. I have a feeling that he would kick their whiny asses six ways to Sunday if they actually said that crap to his face.

  5. 5
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Why do the Ba’ath insurgents hate America?

    Oh, right…the invasion and de-Ba’athification.

  6. 6
    John Cole says:

    I add updates when I add something significant to a post and when I do something other than fixing typos/sentence structure/grammar so that the legion of knuckle-dragging fact-checkers don’t accuse me of “COVERING UP” something.

  7. 7
    Jake says:

    I thought the Ba’athist were the bad guys. Maybe after a set number of FUs bad guys become good guys? Sort of like letting your laundry soak overnight.

    Or maybe this entire clusterfuck is going to haunt us in one form or another for the next several decades.

  8. 8
    jnfr says:

    Anyone seen “No End in Sight” yet?

  9. 9
    John Cole says:

    Anyone seen “No End in Sight” yet?

    Yes. It was truly and deeply upsetting. The alternate working title could have been ‘Everything John Cole wrote about the war and everything he defended in the first two years of the war turns out to have been horribly and excrutiatingly wrong with a devastating and deadly outcome.’

    Seriously- whether it was my insistence there was in fact a plan in place for the reconstruction(there was not), that looting was no big deal (it was), that we had enough troops (we did not), that the troops were adequately trained and supplied (they were not- at least not for the jobs they had to do), that dissolving the Iraqi army was a good thing (it was not), etc., ad nauseum.

    In the first two years of this war I was a sickening 0 for eleventy million when it came to my predictions. If my record was any worse, I would be on the editorial board of the Weekly Standard.

  10. 10
    Not the Senator says:

    I must be having an Alzheimer moment. I thought I just heard “It’s by cutting a deal with the Ba’ath Party…”

    That can’t be right. We invaded Iraq to get rid of the Ba’ath Party. If we’re now working with them, then all our soldiers died in vain. And you know we would never do that. At least not while George W. Bush is the Decider.

    I must of misheard it. Maybe it was “It’s by getting a deal at Bed, Bath and Beyond…” You know, some fresh sheets could make everyone in Iraq happier.

  11. 11
    Wilfred says:

    Civil war? Quagmire? Pandora’s box? Who knew?

  12. 12
    MBunge says:

    “The most likely outcome is that, as Ware goes on to reference, the surge will succeed in providing the cover to eventually withdraw the troops.

    At which time there will be the inevitable bloodbath.”

    Uhm, am I the only one noticing that the troops are not going to be withdrawn? The President is clearly not going to withdraw the troops and this Congress has shown no willingness to force him to. Even if the Republicans suffer a genuinely catastrophic wipeout in 2008, Bill Richardson is the only legitimate Democratic candidate who’s even talking about really withdrawing the troops.

    American troops are not going to be withdrawn from Iraq. Deal with it.

    Mike

  13. 13
    Fwiffo says:

    It’s by cutting a deal with the Ba’ath Party on the terms that the Ba’ath Party offered America four years ago and had to wait for America to be battered into submission to accept that the tide has turned against al Qaeda.

    Hey, it could be worse, imagine what it would be like if Saddam were still in power!

  14. 14
    Zifnab says:

    I add updates when I add something significant to a post and when I do something other than fixing typos/sentence structure/grammar so that the legion of knuckle-dragging fact-checkers don’t accuse me of “COVERING UP” something.

    :-p Touche.

  15. 15
    jnfr says:

    Thanks for that honesty, John. At least you’re not Bill Kristol, who was flagrant on the Daily Show last night, still insisting there is a pony in all that shit, really there is.

  16. 16
    Pb says:

    In the first two years of this war I was a sickening 0 for eleventy million when it came to my predictions. If my record was any worse, I would be on the editorial board of the Weekly Standard.

    Be ever vigilant to see that it doesn’t happen; of course, Bill Kristol (who visited Iraq along with the no doubt very serious and impartial Kagan family) is going on about how “the surge is working”, etc., etc. Naturally I don’t believe a word of it, especially after considering how many more casualties we’ve been taking during this latest “surge”. Then again, I heard that the surge was working six months ago too, so I guess that means we can leave now…

  17. 17
    Cassidy says:

    At which time there will be the inevitable bloodbath.

    And this is a problem why…?

    Look, if these people want to wake up and spend their whole whacking each other into extinction, why should we feel the need to stop them?

  18. 18
    ThymeZone says:

    this is the same Michael Ware upon whom jihad was declared by Greater Wingnuttia

    He’s a mensch. He speaks his mind, he backs it up with facts, and he hasn’t sold out to the media types with their “balance” and mealy-mouthed WolfBlitzerSpeak.

    I wish there were more like him.

    If my record was any worse, I would be on the editorial board of the Weekly Standard.

    Your record is wiped clean, just by making that statement. Stop beating yourself up.

  19. 19
    Tlaloc says:

    If you look at casualty numbers there is some sign of an improvement since the beginning of the year but not so much that 2007 actually looks good- just less bad.

    You can look through the numbers at icasualties.org/oif
    or you can go here where I plotted it all for you:

    Swordscrossed

  20. 20
    Dave says:

    And this is a problem why…?

    Look, if these people want to wake up and spend their whole whacking each other into extinction, why should we feel the need to stop them?

    While I agree with you, Bush doesn’t and thus we’ll stay in Iraq until his forced retirement in ’09.

  21. 21
    RSA says:

    knuckle-dragging fact-checkers don’t accuse me of “COVERING UP” something

    Better than “COVER UP” requests coming from Second Lifers who saw you in boxers and a cowboy hat.

  22. 22
    g-rant says:

    Tlaloc’s right, it is just less bad. It may be a trend but who knows (it may just be a summer lull.) Like Tlaloc, I graphed the data out of curiosity (from the same source) here.

  23. 23
    canuckistani says:

    Look, if these people want to wake up and spend their whole whacking each other into extinction, why should we feel the need to stop them?

    Presumably out of some humanitarian concern for the innocent civilians caught in the crossfire that you (the US) created. Unless one doesn’t care for brown children, in which case, no reason at all.
    Since the war is unstoppable, however, when will the US open its doors to the refugee crisis it created?

  24. 24
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    At least you’re not Bill Kristol, who was flagrant on the Daily Show last night, still insisting there is a pony in all that shit, really there is.

    You know what’s weird about that? Kristol has been flagrantly wrong about everything in Iraq, he has exactly zero credibility among normal people, and the fact that he still cheerleads and talks about impending pony parades is downright disturbing. Yet I have a grudging respect for the guy because he’ll actually go on TDS knowing he’s going to get the shit kicked out of him. He doesn’t hide behind his magazine or anything like that. He’ll actually get out there and take a beating on behalf of his fucked-up views. Most other Bushies will only run to the warm embrace of the Wingnutosphere or Faux News, but Kristol is willing to actually get outside of the bubble a bit. He’s horribly wrong and has argued in favor of some downright despicable policies…yet I afford him a modicum of respect for actually taking his lumps. Weird.

    On another note, I hope to be seeing No End in Sight this week.

  25. 25
    Pb says:

    Tlaloc,

    Of all the numbers there, I trust the ones of Iraqi civilians killed the least–because they’re obviously vastly incomplete. However, I had been looking at the casualty data for our forces, and your graph of that shows what I had been seeing in the data as well. As for the current trend, it seems to go along with what trends we’ve seen in past years — and if that continues, then we’re almost certain to see higher casualty figures in October, November, and December, which would put the lie to all that supposed progress we had allegedly been making.

  26. 26
    Cassidy says:

    Presumably out of some humanitarian concern for the innocent civilians caught in the crossfire

    As with almost every conflict and tyranny of the past, the “innocents” outnumber the ones with guns. And no, I have no humanitarian attitudes towards the Iraqi people.

    Nothing agaisnt the brown children (IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN…CHILDREN!!!!! he screamed), I just can’t eat a whole one.

    Since the war is unstoppable, however, when will the US open its doors to the refugee crisis it created?

    Why? Their fellow muslims are right next door.

  27. 27
    Wilfred says:

    Cassidy Says:

    At which time there will be the inevitable bloodbath.

    And this is a problem why…?

    You’re a bigot and a racist. Go back to free republic, spoof boy.

  28. 28
    Nussmier says:

    Ok now I don’t understand this concentration on the fact that major attacks are down. I mean who cares if there are 400 more smaller attacks to replace every large attack that has disappeared. What I want to know is how many people were/are dieing. I just don’t understand the focus on large scale attacks. Decreasing large scale attacks would be good if small scale attacks went down also. But really it comes down to how many people are being killed.

  29. 29
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Since the war is unstoppable, however, when will the US open its doors to the refugee crisis it created?

    Can’t do that. Opening up to refugees woudl imply that there’s some sort of problem in Iraq. And cleraly, there isn’t a problem in Iraq. Everything’s going great, moonbat! We’re surging in extra ponies daily.

  30. 30
    Third Eye Open says:

    On a completely OT question:

    Has anyone else just about reached their point of apathy with the whole of politics (in the name of full disclosure, I am a poli-sci/history major) recently? I have tried booze, bud, and video games; junk-food books, vacations, and even endured one of those ‘I’m ok, you’re ok’ philosophical circle-jerks. But I still find that the more I try to crystalize the criminality, obstructionism, and out and out pathetic nature of politicians in general, I just wanna find a nice cave to morphadite within.

    Anyone have any tricks of the trade for learning how to absorb this BS without driving yourself mad?

  31. 31
    capelza says:

    Why? Their fellow muslims are right next door.

    Because their “fellow Muslims” didn’t rip the scab off the wound, we did that when we took out Saddam and the infrastructure of the country, civil and physical.

    And in case you haven’t kept up, there are over 1.5 million refugees living in Syria, over a million living in Jordan (750,000 there alone), Iran, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Turkey and other countries..the wealthy ones go to the UAE, Dubai.

    Again, none of these countries invaded Iraq, we did. It’s our baby.

  32. 32
    Andrew says:

    And this is a problem why…?

    And how! That will be like 3-4 lifetimes of dead brown children for Cassidy to masturbate to.

  33. 33

    Mike, you comment how the other candidates are talking of leaving troops in Iraq… Please reread what they’re tending to say, and then think about it.

    The common phrase from Hillary and Edwards and Obama is along the lines of “we’ll be in Iraq for about two more years.” Do the math. It’s August of 2007 now. The new president takes office in late January of 2009 – approximately 17 months. Given a six-month controlled withdrawal this puts troops out of Iraq in… about two more years.

  34. 34
    jnfr says:

    I understand your point about Kristol, Bubblegum Tate, but even though Jon makes some points about the war, he goes pretty easy on Kristol overall, covering it all in laughter and “we’re just having fun” smiles. Which is part of Jon’s thing, it’s how he handles all his guests, so I won’t complain. But of all the places to be “outside the bubble”, TDS is a fairly easy one.

  35. 35
    Rick Taylor says:

    “In the first two years of this war I was a sickening 0 for eleventy million when it came to my predictions. If my record was any worse, I would be on the editorial board of the Weekly Standard.”

    Well at least you’re able to say so. The thing that really scares me is how few people on the right are able to face reality and admit they made a mistake. I keep wondering, how horrendously awful does it have to get for the right to recognize that invading Iraq was a bad idea? And I’m beginning to think nothing could happen to convince them. No wmd’s, the causus belli a complete pretense, millions of refugees, the country we invaded becoming a haven for terrorists; if that’s not enough to get them to wake up, nothing is.

    It floors me that among the Republican candidates for President, only one is able to admit unambiguously that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake. Only one. And that one is a nut with no chance of winning who’s supported aboloshing the Federal Reserve and bringing back the gold standard. I find this shocking and disheartening. I’m a Democrat, but I want an opposition party that is at least sane.

    By the way, I don’t know what the right thing to do is in Iraq, and I doubt anyone does. I support withdrawal, but it does look like that’s going to lead to a blood bath. If I felt we had competent leadership that had a plan with some hope of preventing it, I might support staying, but we don’t. The thing is, I was nearly certain this where we’d end up when we invaded, damned if we leave, damned if we stay. Not invading should have been an easy decision to make, but now that we’re here, there are no easy decisions left.

    –Rick Taylor

  36. 36
    Cassidy says:

    You’re a bigot and a racist.

    Prove your accusations or apologize.

    You are an ignorant twit, who bandy’s around terms like racist, watering them down to the point where any disagreeable POV involving non-white people is considered racist. Bigotry is burning people or hanging them from trees. Racism is apartheid, Jim crowe laws, acts of genocide,etc. Jesus Christ! You really are an ignorant fool.

    Again, none of these countries invaded Iraq, we did. It’s our baby.

    That has no logical correlation with acceoting them as refugees. Judging by the state of Europe’s immigrant problems, the last thing we want is an influx of muslims, especially if you’re pretty and blonde (not to mention the possibility of terrorists slipping in). The last thing this country need is the trial lawyers finding fresh meat, arguing that our laws shouldn’t count because they have a different culture. Are you a fan of honor killings and female castration? I doubt it, so I doubt you really want “New Baghdad” in your backyard.

  37. 37
    Andrew says:

    You’re a bigot and a racist. Go back to free republic, spoof boy.

    Prove your accusations or apologize.

    Yeah! Maybe cassidy wants children of all races to be murdered in a chaotic civil war? He’s like the MLK of genocide equality.

  38. 38
    Jake says:

    Look, if these people want to wake up and spend their whole whacking each other into extinction, why should we feel the need to stop them?

    Ergo we shouldn’t have given a fuck when Saddam was whacking them.

    What if this whole crusade’s,
    a charade?

  39. 39
    Jake says:

    Bigotry is burning people or hanging them from trees. Racism is apartheid, Jim crowe laws, acts of genocide,etc. Jesus Christ! You really are an ignorant fool.

    Shit, there goes another irony-o-meter. [Unwraps ned irony-o-meter]

    Are you a fan of honor killings and female castration? I doubt it, so I doubt you really want “New Baghdad” in your backyard.

    Fuck!

  40. 40
    r4d20 says:

    It’s by cutting a deal with the Ba’ath Party on the terms that the Ba’ath Party offered America four years ago and had to wait for America to be battered into submission to accept that the tide has turned against al Qaeda.

    Those who pontificate about how “defeatists” are “emboldening our enemy” by allowing them to think that they can beat us should wake up to the fact that the Bush admin has done more to convince the terrorists of our weakness than any democrat.

  41. 41
    Cassidy says:

    Ergo we shouldn’t have given a fuck when Saddam was whacking them.

    Well I didn’t then either, so…

    Yeah! Maybe cassidy wants children of all races to be murdered in a chaotic civil war? He’s like the MLK of genocide equality.

    I prefer “letting humans be humans”. Children die everyday. Life is hard sometimes.

    How much have you contributed to stopping that. Oh! I know…you bought a little orange rubber bracelet (or some other such accessory). You are a true humanitarian I’m sure. That 30 cents you spent (cheap child labor in India) will make a muslim refugee child smile. Good for you.

  42. 42
    Doubting Thomas says:

    If my record was any worse, I would be on the editorial board of the Weekly Standard.

    Every time I think I’m getting a little bored with this blog JC pens a little gem like this!

    Thanks for reminding me why I read you everyday John!

  43. 43
    Wilfred says:

    Prove your accusations or apologize

    I like pie. And I like listening to you, Redstate Boy,

    . Bigotry is burning people or hanging them from trees.

    Actually, that’s killing them. But now I see how those Marines got off so easy.

    Judging by the state of Europe’s immigrant problems, the last thing we want is an influx of muslims, especially if you’re pretty and blonde (not to mention the possibility of terrorists slipping in

    Hide the white women!

  44. 44
    Cassidy says:

    I like pie. And I like listening to you, Redstate Boy,

    Don’t eat too much of it, it’ll make you fat, like most of America. Never been to Redstate, doesn’t interest me.

    Actually, that’s killing them. But now I see how those Marines got off so easy.

    You can go back and find where I said they should be in jail, but don’t let facts get in your way.

    Hide the white women!

    Jest all you like…crimes against women, perpetrated by arabs increased.

  45. 45
    tBone says:

    You can ask if it’s worth the cost in American blood and treasure to remain in Iraq, despite the humanitarian concerns about what happens if we leave. It’s not an easy question.

    Or, if you’re Cassidy, you can ask “Who cares if the Iraqis kill each other?” and marvel at your trollish powers over the BJ comments section.

  46. 46
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Prove your accusations or apologize.

    Okay, if not a bigot and a racist, then how ’bout just a “major league asshole”?

    Guess Id’ better apologize for that.

    I’m sorry that you’re an asshole, and that you pretend to be a Democrat.

    [cue ‘nice ad hominem’ response from Cassidy…]

  47. 47
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Prove your accusations or apologize.

    Okay, if not a bigot and a racist, then how ’bout just a “major league asshole”?

    Guess I’d better apologize for that.

    I’m sorry that you’re an asshole, and that you pretend to be a Democrat.

    [cue ‘nice ad hominem’ response from Cassidy…]

  48. 48
    ImJohnGalt says:

    It was so important to say, I said it twice.

  49. 49
    Cassidy says:

    Seriously, how much do you care? You care enough to say it on a forum. I’ll make a logical assumption that you care enough to say it out loud in real life. Is that it? Do you care enough to sell all your possessions and take it over to an orphanage and donate your time raising little brown children? How about divorcing your wife and leaving your children for the greater good of Iraq? Do you care that much? How about just selling your car (you cna walk everywhere) and sending the proceeds to a NP that’s working over there? Do you care that much?

    Seriously, how much do you care? Because if all you’re doing is saying it out loud, your care is worth its weight in hot air. I don’t think the little brown CHILDREN!!!!! care, if you say you care. AAMOF, I’m sure they don’t give a fuck.

    At least I’m honest. No, I don’t care. To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t lose a wink of sleep to find out that full blown civil war had begun and that the streets of Baghdad were running with blood. But you keep “saying” you care. As long as you feel better about yourself and your morally superior fabrications, who cares, right?

  50. 50
    Cassidy says:

    then how ‘bout just a “major league asshole

    Coming from this crowd…Thank you.

    I’m sorry that you’re an asshole, and that you pretend to be a Democrat.

    Im sorry you’re a narrow-minded lefty who thinks anyone who doesn’t think like you, can’t be a Democrat.

  51. 51
    Cassidy says:

    And just a reminder…I’ve done more to help the Iraqi people than all your platitudes have done. So take your self-righteous wailing and kindly fuck off. :D

  52. 52
    Wilfred says:

    ? Do you care enough to sell all your possessions and take it over to an orphanage and donate your time raising little brown children?

    Ah, the first ever orphanhawking charge.

  53. 53
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Ideally if one cares, at the very least you vote for representatives that will stop bombing the hell out of other countries and creating conditions in which more deaths occur.

    People should be using their votes as a way to enforce their will. That they don’t cash in their life savings to open orphanages only gives you an opportunity to make a sophomoric “point”.

    That you think your idiotic construct is in any way convincing pretty much completes the arc that had you begin commenting on BJ as a “Democrat” and has ended at the pot-of-gold labelled “freeper”.

    Henceforth, I will limit myself to the enjoyment of your assertions of pie-liking.

  54. 54
    Cassidy says:

    Ah, the first ever orphanhawking charge.

    Still didn’t answer the question. How. Much. Do. You. Really. Care.

    If you’re not doing anything about it, then your “caring” isn’t worth a thimple full of piss.

  55. 55
    Pb says:

    I’ve done more to help the Iraqi people than all your platitudes have done.

    Did you care enough to sell all your possessions and take it over to an orphanage war zone and donate your time raising little brown children?

    Well, no, if you had done that, then I guess you wouldn’t be posting here.

  56. 56
    Cassidy says:

    I’m sorry Mr Galt…I didn’t mean to confront you with the uselessness of your words. I just figured with your self-righteous display, you’d appreciate that actions always speak louder than words.

    I guess it is you who is the “Major League Asshole”, then. Why don’t you like brown children, Mr. Galt? What have they done to you?

  57. 57
    Cassidy says:

    Did you care enough to sell all your possessions and take it over to an orphanage war zone and donate your time raising little brown children?

    No, instead I went to combat and did what I could for the year I was there. OTOH, as I haven’t claimed to care about the Iraqi people and their future disposition, you don’t get to question my altruism, or lack thereof.

  58. 58
    ImJohnGalt says:

    And just a reminder…I’ve done more to help the Iraqi people than all your platitudes have done. So take your self-righteous wailing and kindly fuck off.

    That may or may not be true. But even it is is, you were only following orders, so big fucking deal. Unless you selflessly threw yourself in the way of a bullet meant for an Iraqi child, whatever you may or may not have done doesn’t count.

  59. 59
    ImJohnGalt says:

    I went to combat

    I thought you were JAG?

  60. 60
    Cassidy says:

    Unless you selflessly threw yourself in the way of a bullet meant for an Iraqi child, whatever you may or may not have done doesn’t count.

    Really? Interesting criteria. So, your impotent bleating counts more than my actions…just because you care? What a dizzying set of logic you just applied. Now I’m starting to think you’re a Republican.

  61. 61
    Cassidy says:

    Nope, I’m a Combat Medic. I served with a Combined Arms Manuever Battalion in 3rd ID. My tour over there was spent as a Senior Line Medic for an Armor Company, Augmented with Mechanized and Motorized infantry.

  62. 62
    Pb says:

    you don’t get to question my altruism, or lack thereof

    I missed the part where you got to approve what I got to question; therefore, consider your altruism or lack thereof questioned, nonetheless.

  63. 63
    ImJohnGalt says:

    OTOH, as I haven’t claimed to care about the Iraqi people and their future disposition, you don’t get to question my altruism, or lack thereof.

    Actually, you have claimed to not care about the Iraqi people:

    And this is a problem why…?

    Look, if these people want to wake up and spend their whole whacking each other into extinction, why should we feel the need to stop them?

    It is not unreasonable to assume that the only reason you are there is that you are following orders. And who the hell are you to tell us what we can or can’t question? You work for us. You’re a fucking employee.

    I’m assuming, given your willingness to have the Middle East explode into a powderkeg that you are against the mission as it has been described (i.e. “bringing Democracy to the Middle East”).

  64. 64
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Sorry about that metaphor. The Middle East is already a powderkeg. It won’t explode into one.

  65. 65
    Cassidy says:

    It is not unreasonable to assume that the only reason you are there is that you are following orders.

    And that changes things how? I’ve still helped. You have not.

    And who the hell are you to tell us what we can or can’t question?

    I missed the part where you got to approve what I got to question;

    Allow me to re-phrase then. You can question my altruism all you want, but considering I haven’t beat my breast about THE CHILDREN!!!!, it won’t get you anywhere. I don’t care about the Iraqi people. Never have.

    And who the hell are you to tell us what we can or can’t question? You work for us. You’re a fucking employee.

    I think maybe you misunderstand the relationship of Federal Employees to civilians. But if you like, stop bieng a shitty employer and dnon’t accept your tax return. Earmark it for an increase in pay.

    I’m assuming, given your willingness to have the Middle East explode into a powderkeg that you are against the mission as it has been described

    You can find several instances on this site, where I’ve stated that I’m against the war.

  66. 66
    Cassidy says:

    So who is going to answer first? Who has actually cared enough about THE CHILDREN!!!!, to have actually done something about it? Who here has done more than string words along into a sentence? There has got to be one of you. There has got to be one of you who cares so much about THE CHILDREN!!!!, that you made some sort of personal sacrifice; something that took you outside your comfort zone.

  67. 67
    Punchy says:

    down to 70 attacks a month from a high of 130.

    Just imagine if the “attacks” were rapes and instead of Baghdad, it was NYC. You think politicians would be trumpeting that “improvement”?

    Unfuckingbelievable. “LOOK EVERYONE! IT’S NOT A SHITHOLE ANYMORE, JUST A SEMI-F’ED UP CESSPOOL! HOORAY!”

  68. 68
    ThymeZone says:

    At least I’m honest

    Yeah, proof by assertion is not really the best look for a claim like that, do you think?

    I’m going to need to see a little more evidence, if that’s okay with you.

  69. 69
    Cassidy says:

    Would you like me to make a necklace out of ears or bring home a piece of a child’s skull next time i’m there? I hoinestly stated I do not care about the Iraqis, nor do I care about their future disposition. What else do you want?

  70. 70
    Jake says:

    What else do you want?

    If we tell you will you do it?

  71. 71
    Tsulagi says:

    Given the fact that the larger political reconciliation at the national level in Iraq is going nowhere, it seems that the successes at the local level (and yes, there are successes) will probably be short-lived. The most likely outcome is that, as Ware goes on to reference, the surge will succeed in providing the cover to eventually withdraw the troops.

    At which time there will be the inevitable bloodbath.

    Yep, and the inevitable strongmen like Sadr, Hakim, and/or others who will control their parts of the self-segregated country, and will continue to look to get turf and power from the other guys who go ass up praying for Allah differently.

    And gauging by results to date, at least the same level of corruption, nepotism, and willingness to screw over their fellow countrymen in order to achieve it as Saddam. But hey, they have different names! Success.

    Cost for that benefit? A mere $trillion or so, 3600+ service members lives, Iraqi civilian casualties in six figures, two million Iraqis (generally those with marketable skills, more secular, and with means) leaving their country behind to the crazies, another estimated two million displaced who wish they could, destabilization and radicalization of the region, and the ancillary benefit of the rest of the world thinking we’re brain dead while al-Qaeda franchises.

    Mission Accomplished. Assrocket must get a tear in his eye viewing another masterpiece from the guy and administration he calls genius.

    Vote Republican for national security! To solve the pesky problem of when a lobotomy still leaves too many functioning brain cells. Then you can truly drool at the wonderment of Eve cavorting with vegetarian raptors as pets in her Martha Stewart garden 6,000 years ago.

  72. 72
    Cassidy says:

    If we tell you will you do it?

    Not really into committing war crimes. Not my thing. How grotesquely morbid of you.

  73. 73
    canuckistani says:

    So who is going to answer first? Who has actually cared enough about THE CHILDREN!, to have actually done something about it?

    I did. Wallet, ballot and voice. And I chose “the children” as my rhetorical point because I didn’t feel like having to argue for the “inncocence” of other innocent civilians, including the millions of secular Iraqis who are, frankly, fucked as their country slides into violent theocracy. And whose fault is it? Yours, as a voter and a willing participant in the clusterfuck. And what are you going to do to help the people whose lives have been ruined? Yeah, jack shit. Just what I thought. Cuase it would be a shame if white women were made uncomfortable.

  74. 74
    MBunge says:

    “The common phrase from Hillary and Edwards and Obama is along the lines of “we’ll be in Iraq for about two more years.” Do the math. It’s August of 2007 now. The new president takes office in late January of 2009 – approximately 17 months. Given a six-month controlled withdrawal this puts troops out of Iraq in… about two more years.”

    You know what magical thing will happen if Hillary or Edwards or Obama wins the Presidency? They’ll suddenly discover that they just can’t pull the troops out of Iraq because…

    A. They’ll be a bloodbath.
    B. Al-Qaeda will make a comeback.
    C. Iran will take over with a proxy government.
    D. Whatever other half-assed reason they can come up with.

    Here’s the dynamic you need to understand. As shitty as Iraq is, as long as you keep American troops fighting and dying there the Very Serious People will say you’re not to blame and just trying to fix things. When American troops are withdrawn from Iraq, the country will be just as shitty and likely get even shittier…and the Very Serious People will blame whoever takes the troops out. They won’t blame Bush. They won’t blame Cheney. They won’t blame any of the worthless f**ks who got us into Iraq and then did everything they could to screw it up. They’ll blame Hillary or Obama or Edwards or whoever does it.

    American troops are never leaving Iraq. They may be pushed out or have to run out, but they’re never walking out.

    Mike

  75. 75
    Cassidy says:

    So you gave some money…outstanding. I applaud you (no snark at all) for putting your money where your mouth is.

    So that’s one people. Who else? C’mon, all this rhetoric, there has to be more.

    BTW, I voted for Kerry and intend on voting for Richardson in the primary. So I bear no responsibility in the voting. As for being over there, most of my missions were involved in trying to maintain the stability of the region and get rid of the assholes killing “innocent” Iraqis.

    But as for taking in refugees…hell, no! No, I don’t want them here. We have enough rpoblems of our own, without expanding our welfare state to people who have been shown to not have a whole lot of personal motivation.

    a willing participant in the clusterfuck.

    I’ve said before, my word means more than your platitudes or my selfish beliefs.

  76. 76
    ThymeZone says:

    What else do you want?

    Heh.

  77. 77
    Cassidy says:

    Heh.

    I know…you want me to smuggle you a little, brown child to make your coffee and clean your house for you. That’s a tall order…I don’t know.

  78. 78
    ThymeZone says:

    I’ve said before, my word means more

    …. and other examples from his informative booklet, “Twelve Surefire Phrases For Putting Your Audience to Sleep Instantly.” Just $12.95 plus S&H.

    Make checks payable to the Cassidy Narcolepsy Foundation.

  79. 79
    Cassidy says:

    Hey, if you want to pay me go ahead. I’m an underpaid federal employee.

  80. 80
    canuckistani says:

    But as for taking in refugees…hell, no! No, I don’t want them here. We have enough rpoblems of our own, without expanding our welfare state to people who have been shown to not have a whole lot of personal motivation.

    Yeah, those Vietnamese refugees were famous for their slacker gimme-the-welfare attitude.

  81. 81
    Cassidy says:

    Vietnam was over a long time ago…let it go. Charlie ain’t coming to get you.

    I was talking about Iraqis.

  82. 82
    Punchy says:

    Not really into committing war crimes. Not my thing. How grotesquely morbid of you.

    Not that our military would actually prosecute you, however.
    Perhaps a Silver Star instead?

  83. 83
    Chubbs says:

    Cassidy, do you know BEAUCHAMP????? :)

    I think MBunge nailed it. Call me a cynic, but I think that is exactly how it will play out.

  84. 84
    tBone says:

    We have enough rpoblems of our own, without expanding our welfare state to people who have been shown to not have a whole lot of personal motivation.

    I don’t know; I think leaving behind your home, your culture, and everything else familiar to you shows at least a little motivation.

  85. 85
    tBone says:

    I was talking about Iraqis.

    You mean like the ones who came here after Gulf War I? Slackers feeding off the welfare teat, all of ’em. We oughtta ship them back home if they’re just going to lounge around and bleed the taxpayers dry, eh, Cass?

  86. 86
    Perry Como says:

    Third Eye Open Says:

    Anyone have any tricks of the trade for learning how to absorb this BS without driving yourself mad?

    As a fellow poli-sci guy, two words: Linear Algebra. QR decomposition will take your mind off pretty much everything else.

  87. 87
    Face says:

    John Cole pens:

    Yesterday I linked to a report stating large-scale attacks are down in Iraq, and it was met with some skepticism.

    Skepticism, eh? Check out CNN’s huge, mother-of-all font-size headlines

    Three suicide bombings in a northern Iraqi town left at least 100 people dead and 150 wounded, police officials said.

    Clusterfuck, Inc.

  88. 88
    Face says:

    Whoops! MSNBC adds:

    4 suicide bombings in northern Iraq

    kill at least 175

    , Iraqi army says

    Yeah, those large-scale bombings are down, alright.

  89. 89
    Punchy says:

    I think they also bombed a bridge, kidnapped a few gov’t lackeys, and off’ed 9 more US soliders (5 via a holi crash).

    just like a market in Indiana. Yep.

  90. 90
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    I think they also bombed a bridge, kidnapped a few gov’t lackeys, and off’ed 9 more US soliders (5 via a holi crash).

    And the only reason they did it is because they were emboldened by traitorous, treasonous Defeat-o-crats.

  91. 91
    Zifnab says:

    I think they also bombed a bridge, kidnapped a few gov’t lackeys, and off’ed 9 more US soliders (5 via a holi crash).

    just like a market in Indiana. Yep.

    Why don’t you just break out the pom-poms and do a dance for your terrorist friends, moonbat? Statements like this prove that you Dems are nothing better than a bunch of America-hating Muslim-kissers. Just out of interest, why do you hate our troops?

  92. 92
    RSA says:

    just like a market in Indiana. Yep.

    Yeah, I hear they got some rugs for like $5 a piece.

  93. 93
    Alexandra says:

    Dear Mr. Cole,
    You are a class act.

  94. 94
    Jake says:

    And the only reason they did it is because they were emboldened by traitorous, treasonous Defeat-o-crats.

    Damn you Scott Beauchamp! USA TODAY!

    This is why quotes like this:

    “The enemy had the initiative and the momentum in ’06,” said Jack Keane, a retired general who is a chief architect of the increase in troop levels and mentor to Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq. “We’ve got it now.”

    make me cringe. Call it a superstition caused by too many last throes just around the corner.

  95. 95
    TenguPhule says:

    Look, if these people want to wake up and spend their whole whacking each other into extinction, why should we feel the need to stop them?

    Because of course the US military had absolutely nothing to do with it.

    Naturally the Muslim neighbors should deal with this problem by themselves.

    Not America’s fault.

    Oh no, it’s the lazy stupid muslims who are ungrateful and unwilling to stand up so their heads can be cut off by militias.

    After all, they should be willing to fight for their democracy with the single Ak-47 per family they’re allowed against the military level guerillas who can swoop in and kill them at any time because the US can’t protect anyone off base.

    They probably all want Welfare anyway. Well pick up your own bootstraps if you own any and haven’t boiled them for soup yet! It’s not like immigrants contribute anything and if they can afford to run from Iraq, they obviously must be poor illiterate foreigners who don’t speak English and are dumb as rocks.

    Now where’s my tax cut and pay raise for being a heroic veteran, Bitches?

    -Cassidy distilled to a slightly less obnoxious level

  96. 96
    jake says:

    General Casey says we’re just 20 FUs from Victory (TM)!

  97. 97
    Cassidy says:

    Naturally the Muslim neighbors should deal with this problem by themselves.

    Yes. It’s called being responsible for your own regional stability.

    Oh no, it’s the lazy stupid muslims who are ungrateful and unwilling to stand up so their heads can be cut off by militias.

    After all, they should be willing to fight for their democracy with the single Ak-47 per family they’re allowed against the military level guerillas who can swoop in and kill them at any time because the US can’t protect anyone off base.

    You’ve made several assumptions that are not true.

    They probably all want Welfare anyway. Well pick up your own bootstraps if you own any and haven’t boiled them for soup yet! It’s not like immigrants contribute anything and if they can afford to run from Iraq, they obviously must be poor illiterate foreigners who don’t speak English and are dumb as rocks.

    Another assumption. Whether they want wellfare or not is immaterial. The amount of money that it would cost to resettle and stabilize said refugees would be a trmendous drain on the welllfare system. Secondly, I’ve never said anything detracting from immigrants. We’re all immigrants at some level. Refugees, are not immigrants, though.

    And no, most of them don’t speak english.

    Now where’s my tax cut and pay raise for being a heroic veteran, Bitches?

    I’ll just take the pay raise. If only Americans cared as much about paying its public servants, as they do about some dogs getting killed or a bimbo heiress, then we’d be okay.

  98. 98

    Mike, sure they’ll be blamed.

    Like Nixon was blamed for pulling out of Viet Nam.

    If you can’t see the sarcasm there I suggest reading newspapers of the time. He got some guff because of what happened afterward, but mostly everyone was glad to be done with the lingering mess.

    For that matter, see blame for leaving Somalia and Haiti and, well, several other places where we left only to have it collapse into the anarchy our presence was delaying.

  99. 99
    MBunge says:

    “Mike, sure they’ll be blamed.

    Like Nixon was blamed for pulling out of Viet Nam.”

    You’re forgetting about the neo-conservative cabal that got us into Iraq and wants us to stay there FOREVAH! Maybe my reading of history is off, but I can’t recall any similar such political/partisan movement that had been pushing for war in Vietnam for years and then weasled its way into positions of power to make it happen. I don’t believe there was any real equivalent to Bill Kristol and his ilk back then.

    Those are the people who are going to blame Hillary, Edwards, Obama or anyone (even Bush!) who pull troops out of Iraq. And unless their enormous influence over the political and media elites is suddenly squashed, that blame is going to be echoed throughout the establishment media.

    Mike

  100. 100
    TenguPhule says:

    Yes. It’s called being responsible for your own regional stability.

    Translation: Iraq just happened to fall apart while nobody was looking, why didn’t those Muslim neighbors do something?
    It’s not like the US will accuse them of meddling in Iraq if they do. Oh wait a minute…

    You’ve made several assumptions that are not true.

    Translation: I can’t think of any other way to duck the charge then by making a general accusation back that can quickly be ripped to shreds by reality. I will pretend that I am morally superior to those Iraqis who are unwilling to endanger their lives and the lives of their families by helping US forces who are unable to prevent them from being killed by guerillas as collaborators in retaliation. I will ignore the long line of bodies of translators, informants and regional leaders who helped the US only to get tortured to death because the guerillas have better intelligence then the Americans do and use it more effectively.

    Whether they want wellfare or not is immaterial. The amount of money that it would cost to resettle and stabilize said refugees would be a trmendous drain on the welllfare system. Secondly, I’ve never said anything detracting from immigrants. We’re all immigrants at some level. Refugees, are not immigrants, though.

    Translation: Let them die. They’re all poor leeches anyway. They’re not real immigrants like the Irish or the Jews anyway. They’re running away from their country when they should be glad to stay and die in it. After all, who cares that the USA made the mess, its not like we should have to deal with the fallout, that’s for the Muslim countries to worry about because they live next to it.

    And no, most of them don’t speak english.

    Translation: I will make a general assumption backed up by nothing.

    If only Americans cared as much about paying its public servants

    Translation: Screw them. I want what’s coming to me. Now let me have it!

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