New Iraq Talking Points

Two days ago, we were informed that the current situation in Iraq is a “by-product of the success of the surge.”

As the crisis deepens, with widescale defections and heated street-fighting breaking out and the need for US bombing missions and US armor entering into the fray, Captain Ed has some revised talking points. I am sure you will all be shocked to learn that the blame for this can be place solely on war critics and those god damned Brits:

That’s why this isn’t a collapse of the American surge, but a demonstration of the folly of premature withdrawal. The lack of fortitude on Iraq left a vacuum that created bigger problems and more serious fighting than tenacity did. Had we listened to the war’s critics in 2005 and 2006, gangsters would have swallowed the entirety of Iraq, and we would have a second Somalia in southwest Asia.

While just a few days ago the current violence was a sign of the success of the surge, now we are assured that it is not a sign that the surge is failing. At this rate, by Monday of next week, there will be helicopters circling Saigon and we will learn that the real culprits are Code Pink and Cindy Sheehan.

It is simply amazing that the people who were just wrong, wrong, wrong about everything just keep on talking as if they have any credibility. I have come to at least recognize I don’t know what the hell is going on, and this realization goes a long way in keeping me from looking like a total moron. Granted, this is the kind of thing that is hard to analyze using scale models and a sand table, so maybe we should cut our citizen journalists some slack.

*** Update ***

I really wish I could remember who it was that emailed me or commented here (one of the two) that the wingnuts would be blaming the Brits for this.






117 replies
  1. 1

    The Americans don’t call the shots in Iraq any more.

    Captain Ed’s “fortitude” and “tenacity” don’t mean shit when the Iraqi government isn’t listening to us any more. All the American forces can do now is lose more men in a fight someone else picked.

    GI Joe is just a rented bitch, now, so expect a lot more frothing from the people who were stupid enough to support this war. They will never accept that we’re just there to be used.
    .

  2. 2
    ntr Fausto Carmona says:

    It is simply amazing that the people who were just wrong, wrong, wrong about everything just keep on talking as if they have any credibility.

    The party cannot fail, it can only be failed.

  3. 3
    jake says:

    I heard Pegboy has finally decided to go out there and show ’em how it’s done.

    Ha, ha. Just a little early April Fool’s humor.

    Had we listened to the war’s critics in 2005 and 2006, gangsters would have swallowed the entirety of Iraq, and we would have a second Somalia in southwest Asia.

    But “we” didn’t listen to those America-hating critics, so I guess the lack of success is down to those lily-livered Europoofs who realized history was about to repeat herself and got the fuck out wussed out and ran away.

    And know we know what Peggers will say about the war in Iraq for the next 50,000 years. Next!

  4. 4
    calipygian says:

    Very simply, we have sided with the Iranian-backed Shi’ites (the group formerly known as SCIRI) against the indigenous Shi’ite Iraqis.

    Pretty funny, huh?

  5. 5
    calipygian says:

    Every time you see the words “Iran” or “Iranian” in the context of Iraq, don’t forget to put the words “our allies (the)” before it.

  6. 6
    srv says:

    Very simply, we have sided with the Iranian-backed Shi’ites (the group formerly known as SCIRI) against the indigenous Shi’ite Iraqis.

    Long ago, I adopted the premise that Darth Dick is an Iranian agent. It always works when wanting to understand events like this.

  7. 7
    Zifnab says:

    That’s why this isn’t a collapse of the American surge, but a demonstration of the folly of premature withdrawal.

    How many troops have we withdrawn since the “Surge” began? Which budget request did Congress fail to approve? In what way has the US begun divesting itself of stock in the Iraq Invasion?

    Damn. These questions are so hard to answer given that all the answers directly contradict Ed’s assertion. I’m betting they’ll be left to less “serious” discussion.

  8. 8
    Punchy says:

    Very simply, we have sided with the Iranian-backed Shi’ites (the group formerly known as SCIRI) against the indigenous Shi’ite Iraqis.

    Pretty funny, huh?

    This is what I cannot fathom. We’re “supporting” the gov’t entity which is closely alligned w/ Iran, and demonizing the group that is strongly Iraqi-national. While we saber-rattle the Iranians?

    Does it follow that if we indeed bomb Iran, that pretty much every group in Iraq will feel the need to attack our soliders? And why does it take just some chumps on a blog to realize this, and our gov’t apparently does not?

  9. 9
    Jen says:

    It may be too tough for a sand table and a Princess Sparkle Pony, but I’m pretty sure you could make a flow chart for it.

    The final results would be:

    Success! Success! Success! Success! Success! It’s the pansy liberals’ fault.

  10. 10
    Bernie says:

    You forgot the 4th level of wingnut talking points: “The ‘terrorists’ are causing violence in Iraq in order to demoralize the American people so that they will put a Democrat in the White House”.

  11. 11
    jake says:

    Does it follow that if we indeed bomb Iran, that pretty much every group in Iraq will feel the need to attack our soliders?

    I wonder how many groups are left that don’t currently feel the need. I think we’re down to little old ladies who own more than six cats, near-sighted Elvis impersonators who lisp and left handed dentists who’ve had their tonsils removed.

    And why does it take just some chumps on a blog to realize this, and our gov’t apparently does not?

    We hate freedom, America, the troops(R) and ponies.

  12. 12

    This is what I cannot fathom. We’re “supporting” the gov’t entity which is closely alligned w/ Iran, and demonizing the group that is strongly Iraqi-national. While we saber-rattle the Iranians?

    Yes, just like we were saber-rattling against the Chinese in 2001 even while we were totally dependent on them economically. The Iranians support the same people we do, but it’s easy to tell Joe Twelvepack that Iran is making trouble for us in Iraq, in order to get him to hate the liberals who know better.

    Saber-rattling is mostly for one’s own domestic stupids. It gives them something to yell at people smarter than themselves, so they can pretend to be in the debate which functioning merely as suppressing fire for the elite.

    Works every time.
    .

  13. 13
    calipygian says:

    As a chump who just got out of the government, I know many brilliant people who DO know this.

    The problem is that there are policy makers who just put their fingers in their ears and shout loudly, “LA LA LA, I can’t hear you!”

    “Thank you for your input, now we’re just going to do what the hell we want.”

    That is the government in a nutshell.

    And to think – your average GS-13 gets 80-100k a year, just to be ignored by the policy makers when their analysis doesn’t jibe with the policy.

  14. 14

    while functioning

    not

    which functioning

    all my malapropisms are belong to me

  15. 15

    And to think – your average GS-13 gets 80-100k a year, just to be ignored by the policy makers when their analysis doesn’t jibe with the policy.

    Yep. You’d never see that in the private sector!

    [runs, hides]
    .

  16. 16
    Binkyboy says:

    It appears the Iraqi “animals” have learned from their mistakes.

    Perhaps we may be so bold as to request that our glorious leaders do not undermisestimate Sadr and his army any further? Or perhaps that is too much to ask, since it might save a few soldiers and a lot of Iraqi lives.

  17. 17
    The Other Steve says:

    What are we trying to accomplish in Iraq?

  18. 18
    Brachiator says:

    Grand Moff Texan Says:

    The Americans don’t call the shots in Iraq any more.

    Captain Ed’s “fortitude” and “tenacity” don’t mean shit when the Iraqi government isn’t listening to us any more. All the American forces can do now is lose more men in a fight someone else picked.

    Americans never called the shots in Iraq. There was never a stable government pulled together that could listen to us. Ironically, the closest thing we had to an ally, although an undependable one, was Saddam Hussein.

    GI Joe is just a rented bitch, now, so expect a lot more frothing from the people who were stupid enough to support this war. They will never accept that we’re just there to be used.

    Sadly, most Republicans, and quite a few Democrats, just do not understand that other countries have their own national interests and will pursue them as tenaciously as we do our own.

    And it is becoming more clear every day that the Bush Administration has no coherent policy for this region of the world, and — more important — the people we thought we could control are pushing back.

    Consider this recent NY Times editorial on Pakistan (Sense and Insensitivity in Pakistan):

    Since winning parliamentary elections last month, the leaders of Pakistan’s new coalition government have shown good judgment: putting aside destructive personal rivalries and moving quickly to revive their country’s moribund democracy.

    Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, they have also made clear that they do not trust the Bush administration, which bet everything on President Pervez Musharraf’s destructive authoritarian rule. And the new leaders are talking about reviewing Pakistan’s role in the Washington-led war on terrorism. That is very worrying.

    The Bush administration bullied and bought Mr. Musharraf’s loyalty — and he never stayed bought. It is unlikely that President Bush can now overcome Pakistanis’ visceral mistrust. But with the right mix of aid, attention and humility, the administration can help strengthen the new government. With more aid, and more humility, it can also argue the case for why fighting extremism is in Pakistan’s clear interest.

    Nawaz Sharif, a former prime minister and the leader of one party in the coalition government, bluntly told American officials who visited Islamabad this week that there would be no more “one-man show” in Pakistan. The new government is working hard to marginalize Mr. Musharraf and undo his worst abuses, starting with the release of judges detained last year.

    The recent Vanity Fair has a devastating article on the Bush Administration’s tragically misguided attempt to undermine Hamas in Gaza, which ironically only made them stronger (The Gaza Bombshell):

    After failing to anticipate Hamas’s victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs. With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials, David Rose reveals how President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever….

    There is no one more hated among Hamas members than Muhammad Dahlan, long Fatah’s resident strongman in Gaza. Dahlan, who most recently served as Abbas’s national-security adviser, has spent more than a decade battling Hamas. Dahlan insists that abu Dan was tortured without his knowledge, but the video is proof that his followers’ methods can be brutal.

    Bush has met Dahlan on at least three occasions. After talks at the White House in July 2003, Bush publicly praised Dahlan as “a good, solid leader.” In private, say multiple Israeli and American officials, the U.S. president described him as “our guy.”

    Bush foreign policy (soon to be fully-embraced John McCain foreign policy) is like Bizarro world real-politick. Everything they do is teh stupid.

    Oh yeah. And according to Hillary Clinton, John McCain has met the “foreign policy” threshold to make a good commander-in-chief.

  19. 19

    Americans never called the shots in Iraq.

    I meant the offensive itself. Although there is speculation about Cheney’s visit, this offensive is something foisted on the American military.

    Used to, we at least got to plan our offensives. Every now and then there would be a new OPERATION ROLLING TITANIUM TESTICLE or some such shit and then everything would go back to normal.
    .

  20. 20

    What are we trying to accomplish in Iraq?

    Well, we were going to bomb them ’till they loved us, which worked so well in Vietnam.

    But now, the people we want to love us want us to bomb some of them until they love each other, so it’s gotten complicated.
    .

  21. 21
    PaulB says:

    What’s really pathetic is that two years ago, Basra was being trumpeted far and wide as an outstanding success. The Brits got it right, the story went, and that was a model we should adopt everywhere in Iraq. And this was at the same time the police chief in Basra was admitting that he wasn’t in control even of his own forces, much less the city.

    It’s even worse now, though, since the U.S. has been dragged into this. We’re being forced to openly take sides in this Shiite internal conflict and it’s likely to come back and bite us in the ass, just as has happened before.

  22. 22
    NickM says:

    Thanks, Brachiator, you linked to some interesting articles I hadn’t seen, particularly the Hamas article.

  23. 23
    NickM says:

    Thanks, Brachiator, you linked to some interesting articles I hadn’t seen, particularly the Hamas article.

  24. 24
    Rick Taylor says:

    It is simply amazing that the people who were just wrong, wrong, wrong about everything just keep on talking as if they have any credibility.

    Yup. Sometimes I wonder what I would have done if I were as wrong as the war supporters were. Say if we’d found Saddam’s secret weapons of mass destruction he was going to share with the terrorists, while an Iraqi government, not perfect but far more liberal and democratic than anything in that part of the world spontaneously arose the way we were assured it would. I would have been extremely humbled to discover how wrong my view of the world was, and I would have given a lot more weight to the war supporters who’d seemed so crazy, but who had predicted things so accurately. I’d probably a lot less about politics, as my judgment had proven so faulty.

    It’s hard to imagine the outcome of the Iraq war being much worse than it was. If someone had said, look this is a terrible idea, five years from now we’ll still have most of our forces tied down there, there will be millions of refugees, thousands of American dead, still no sign of an end, they would have been ridiculed as a liberal defeatist. Yet these are the conditions that are now characterized as success. Unbelievable.

  25. 25
    PaulB says:

    From Ed Morrissey, on December 16, 2007:

    Still, Baghdad seems eager to prove itself in Basra, and it has a good chance of doing so. Its security forces have performed impressively, if not consistently, in the west. Basra is a more homogeneous population of Shi’ites, which should get along with the majority-Shi’ite central government. The British will remain in the area and can provide logistical and strategic support if necessary, at least in the short term.

    At some point, the US will do the same in the west as the British have done in Basra, and the issues will look much the same. [Emphasis added]

  26. 26
    torrentprime says:

    John, in response to your question about blaming the Brits: Fear not, the grateful folk at FreeRepublic started blaming the British the moment they pulled out of Basra. I read the “cowardly appeasement” insult threads right after the news came out, along with regrets that we helped them in WWII.

  27. 27
    jbofmo says:

    Damn how I miss those Rumsfeld pep talks. Only thing missing is his sweet smiling face.

  28. 28
    El Cid says:

    Clearly this means the insurgency is in its last throes. This is obviously an act of desperation by the dead-enders. Fourthbranch will take care of ’em.

  29. 29
    w vincentz says:

    I just saw the Smirking Chimp blame Maliki. The pResident said that it was Maliki’s decision. Of course, he said that we are obligated to support the effort.
    Geesh!

  30. 30
    TheFountainHead says:

    Our government has become every software customer service department:

    “That is working as intended.”

    “That’s not a bug, sir, that’s a feature!”

    “We are aware of the issue and are taking steps to determine it’s origin. Please be patient.”

  31. 31
    Loviatar sock puppeting for "F" says:

    It is simply amazing that the people who were just wrong, wrong, wrong about everything just keep on talking as if they have any credibility. I have come to at least recognize I don’t know what the hell is going on, and this realization goes a long way in keeping me from looking like a total moron. Granted, this is the kind of thing that is hard to analyze using scale models and a sand table, so maybe we should cut our citizen journalists some slack.

    .
    I found this through Glenn Greenwald Pleaase read the whole thing, I though the comments by Who Is IOZ were priceless and summed up my feelings exactly about the war supporters.

    The Evidence of Absence

    Indeed, one of the most common charges levelled against war opponents by jingoes was that our historical analogizing was irrelevant. “Iraq is not Vietnam.” “Iraq is not Algeria.” “Iraq is not Afghanistan and the Soviets.” Etc. And of course, Iraq turned out to be all of those things, and more–it could no more be otherwise than I could fly by flapping my arms. The people supporting invasion and occupation were the ones proposing that Iraq would be a single, vastly distant historical outlier, totally devoid of precedent or context, and those who thought that the mere incompetence of the administration, or its untrustworthiness, were substantive arguments against invading were almost universally people who wished (and still wish) to hedge their bets just in case it all worked out.

    .

    People who supported the invasion of Iraq were fatuous, bloodthirsty, ahistorical, immoral, politically naive, callous, unthinking, reprehensible morons–to the man. The proper attitude is contrition, silence, and contemplation. Making a gaudy spectacle of having “supported” something so awful, even if only to show how smart you were to change your mind when you noticed things going south, is disgusting.

  32. 32
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Our government has become every software customer service department:

    “That is working as intended.”

    “That’s not a bug, sir, that’s a feature!”

    “We are aware of the issue and are taking steps to determine it’s origin. Please be patient.”

    “Your problem is being caused by another vendor’s product”

    “Your aren’t registered to receive free tech support”

    and of course the granddaddy of them all:

    “Shut up and reboot”

  33. 33
    tBone says:

    John, in response to your question about blaming the Brits: Fear not, the grateful folk at FreeRepublic started blaming the British the moment they pulled out of Basra. I read the “cowardly appeasement” insult threads right after the news came out, along with regrets that we helped them in WWII.

    Why shouldn’t we blame the Brits? How can you rely on a group of people that call freedom fries “chips”?

    If it weren’t for the limeys, Scott Beauchamp and you libtards, there’d be a pony in every pot in Iraq by now.

  34. 34
    Ryan S. says:

    and of course the granddaddy of them all:

    “Shut up and reboot”

    Or my personal favorite, “Do you intend to pay via credit card? Our tech support is $69.99 an hour.”

  35. 35
    Kav says:

    It was me John, I commented that they would blame us Brits here, they have done it before.

    We have been perfect allies for the pro-war lobby; we gave them cover as part of the international coalition and now we give them cover for everything that goes wrong. Perfect.

  36. 36

    The Brits didn’t make Maliki fuck up in Basra. He did that all by himself.
    .

  37. 37
    jake says:

    This Just In. New n’ improved talking point for the Brown Squirts:

    Maliki has also extended his deadline for Basra fighters to lay down their arms by ten days. Originally the deadline was set to expire today.

    “See? If Maliki had stayed the course, the victory ponies would be nibbling flowers and candies in Iraq!”

    As an added bonus, it allows the fRightWanks to maintain the oh so comfortable Blame the Brown Guy status quo.

  38. 38
    rawshark says:

    And it is becoming more clear every day that the Bush Administration has no coherent policy for this region of the world,

    Yes they do. Oil contracts. Keep in mind one simple piece of information that we seem to often lose sight of but Iraqi’s and other dwellers of the middle east never forget. If they weren’t sitting on an ocean of oil we wouldn’t give a shit about anything that happens there. It could be Sudan East for all we’d care. I don’t even buy the Rapture crap. Some might believe it but it’s not why we’re fighting in the middle east, we’re not saving the Jews so they can die when the Rapture comes. That’s just a part of how they sell war.

  39. 39

    Oh, and now Maliki’s guys are filling new mass graves in Basra.

    And we removed Saddam … why?
    .

  40. 40
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    What are we trying to accomplish in Iraq?

    Simple: we want Iraq’s huge oil deposits to stay in the ground. More oil = lower prices for oil, and the people who own the White House do not want that. The best part is, a stable Iraq or an Iraq in chaos works equally well toward this goal.

  41. 41
    tBone says:

    And we removed Saddam … why?

    Freedom, bitches! Ignore that nauseating smell of decay, it’s just fertilizer for the tender shoots of democracy that are about to flower.

  42. 42
    Punchy says:

    What are we trying to accomplish in Iraq?

    TOS, it’s simple: the objective of our occupation is to occupy the objective’s object acerage, in a objective manner that does not lead to objective objections that may occupy the inbox of a subjuctive operative.

  43. 43
    SP says:

    Here are a few choice sample comments from Special Ed’s extra special readers. I honestly can’t believe people say this shit and believe it…sorry for having to do this

    Numbnuts #1 sez:

    the timing of this offensive has much to do with the Democrats needing a distraction here in America. The enemies of America are working hand-n-hand with your party.

    Oh mah gawd, not this shit again. Are they really this fucking stupid, or just so damn deluded knowing they have been wrong for five years, they cannot distinguish a lie from their own asshole?

    Numbnuts #2 and yes, it’s a different moron

    For months the U.S. mainstream media have ignored Iraq but now that a minor flare up has occurred they’re more than happy to jump back in. The New York Times, Washington Post and CNN couldn’t wait to headline this incident. These leftist rags are ecstatic anytime they can offer support to their leftist buddies in the party of the Democrats

    Trot out the usual suspects, WaPo, NYT, CNN, all enemies of Amurika. Stupid fucking morons, the lot of them.

    And finally, Numbnuts # 3

    the enemies of America have been busy offering their support to your party for the past several years. We have video tape and sound bites galore to prove such a claim. The love affair thugs have with the Democrat party is undeniable.

    Ah, that settles it. The terrorists words are gold and lock solid. Everything they say is true and should be believed.

  44. 44
    Ferdof the Nort says:

    So, 10 days is a Maliki Unit?

  45. 45
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Hold up your hand if you’ve ever heard of MSR Tampa. Thought so.

    MSR (Main Supply Route) Tampa is the convoy route for supplies being brought into Iraq from Kuwait. On an average day, there are 3,000 trucks on Tampa carrying the majority of the food, fuel and ammunition needed to support the US war effort. The US forces in Iraq require 3.3 million gallons of fuel per day to maintain their operational tempo. Most of it is brought in by tanker trucks via MSR Tampa.

    MSR Tampa runs through Basra Province, close enough to Basra itself that elements of the Mehdi Army were able to attack bridges in 2004. So, naturally, the smartest thing in the world to do would be to stir up the Mehdi Army in Basra. The spin will be,”No one could have anticipated that they would cut off this vital supply line by blowing bridges, sowing mines and IED’s or by carrying out hit-and-run raids on our convoys.”

    Don’t even think about aerial resupply. At best only 25%-30% of the needed supplies could be provided by air.

  46. 46
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Addendum to my post:

    These guys make Custer look like Clauswitz.

  47. 47
    dj spellchecka says:

    Yahoo News: Maliki has also extended his deadline for Basra fighters to lay down their arms by ten days. Originally the deadline was set to expire today.

    So, here we are. Three days after deciding to invade Basra, Maliki is admitting that his forces can’t actually do it.

    In Sadr city, according to the Washington Post, the americans are doing all the lead fighting and the Iraqis the following along afterwards.

    Our pal Maliki just dragged us into the middle of an intra-shite dispute.

    wonderful

  48. 48
    Brachiator says:

    Grand Moff Texan Says:

    Americans never called the shots in Iraq.

    I meant the offensive itself. Although there is speculation about Cheney’s visit, this offensive is something foisted on the American military.

    Ah, OK. I see your point more clearly now. One problem is that since our leaders don’t really know who’s who and what they want, our prior offensives never achieve any meaningful results. The present situation only accelerates the level of strategic foolishness.

    rawshark Says:

    And it is becoming more clear every day that the Bush Administration has no coherent policy for this region of the world,

    Yes they do. Oil contracts. Keep in mind one simple piece of information that we seem to often lose sight of but Iraqi’s and other dwellers of the middle east never forget. If they weren’t sitting on an ocean of oil we wouldn’t give a shit about anything that happens there.

    I don’t have a problem with making the world stable for resources. If there were only one small area of the world where critical components for solar panels could be found, some environmentalists would be pushing for all-out war there.

    On the other hand, Bush’s Folly is not doing much for oil production. And even if his fat cat buddies get richer as the price of oil rises, the net effect on the world economy is not good.

  49. 49
    jake says:

    And yet, DemoNcRats are free to roam the streets of our country spreading their hatred for freedumb and kittens and The Bestest pResident Evar does nothing to stop them.

    Either these knuckleheads think Dick n’ Bush are in cahoots with the Demorrists, or they know they’re full of shit.

  50. 50
    libarbarian says:

    The fighting that has erupted in Basra should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the course of the war in Iraq

    Least of all the people who have spent the last year saying “The violence is over”. They knew this was coming all along.

    The fighting in Basra now was inevitable at some point. Baghdad couldn’t allow a major city like Basra to operate outside its control forever.

    This has been known by everyone who pointed out that the reduction of violence caused by a temporary surge in a restricted part of the country signified not that a mortal blow had been dealt to those causing the trouble but rather that they had simply hunkered down with the intention of rising again.

  51. 51
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Our pal Maliki just dragged us into the middle of an intra-shite dispute.

    But it’s not a civil war. No, it is no way, shape or form a civil war. There aren’t any Rebs there.

  52. 52
    Tom says:

    Yahoo News: Maliki has also extended his deadline for Basra fighters to lay down their arms by ten days. Originally the deadline was set to expire today.

    Best of all, he’s offering cash to militia men who turn over their weapons.

    Yesterday, it’s “we’ll fight til the end” today it’s “come on guys, let’s not fight… we’ll even pay you not to.”

  53. 53
    Ferd of the Nort says:

    Regarding Dennis – SGMM and MSR Tampa:

    Yes I had heard of it. I used to read Steve Gilliard. Perhaps we should get some people to read his archives, so that they can prepare for what is predicted there: A fighting retreat back through the supply line bottlenecks.

  54. 54
    chopper says:

    I heard Pegboy has finally decided to go out there and show ‘em how it’s done.

    Three Chord Monte is a tough-as-shit record. play that in iraq and the insurgents would immediately give up and drop their weapons.

  55. 55
    Neal says:

    MSR (Main Supply Route) Tampa is the convoy route for supplies being brought into Iraq from Kuwait. On an average day, there are 3,000 trucks on Tampa carrying the majority of the food, fuel and ammunition needed to support the US war effort. The US forces in Iraq require 3.3 million gallons of fuel per day to maintain their operational tempo. Most of it is brought in by tanker trucks via MSR Tampa.

    Wow. I’d never heard of that MSR. How lovely to see it named after this city of mine.
    Thanks for the info, Dennis.

  56. 56
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Thanks for the info, Dennis.

    You’re welcome. I had the privilege of sitting at the end of a long, easily-interdicted supply line in another war so it’s one of my hangups.

  57. 57
    joe says:

    Neal,

    Tampa, FL is the headquarters of Central Command, which has responsibility for the Middle East. That’s probably where the name comes from.

  58. 58

    One problem is that since our leaders don’t really know who’s who and what they want, our prior offensives never achieve any meaningful results. The present situation only accelerates the level of strategic foolishness.

    Well, McCain can’t tell Sunni from Shi’ite and thinks al Qaeda is being trained in Iran. How’s that for foolish?

    Being a POW, apparently, doesn’t make you a military genius. Go figure.
    .

  59. 59
    "Fair and Balanced" Dave says:

    Long ago, I adopted the premise that Darth Dick is an Iranian agent. It always works when wanting to understand events like this.

    I’ve found adopting the premise that Cheney is a thoroughly evil motherfucker works just as well.

  60. 60
    Zifnab says:

    Being a POW, apparently, doesn’t make you a military genius. Go figure.

    But being a Swift Boat Veteran makes you an America-hating coward fifth columnist. There’s really no end to where the wingnuts will take their delusions.

  61. 61
    w vincentz says:

    I think Maliki is protecting Dubbya’s legacy. Maliki will be to blame for the failure, not the chimp.
    It will go down like this, “We liberated them, gave them a constitution and fair elections. We fought along side them there so that we didn’t have to fight the terrorists here. We took out a ruthless dictator. Unfortunately, fations within Iraq were unable to cope with their freedom. They made errors. We did our best, our intentions were clear and well executed.”
    So…Dubbya absolves himself of “blame” and his “legacy” remains intact, despite the Shia-Shia Civil War.
    Only problem, Sadr (nationalist Shia) defeats Iranian trained Maliki (that the Bushies backed).
    Oh FREEDOM!
    Occupiers go home.
    And yes, our 4,000 died in vain, as will the next 4,000 if the US remains.

  62. 62
    rawshark says:

    Brachiator Says:

    rawshark Says:

    And it is becoming more clear every day that the Bush Administration has no coherent policy for this region of the world,

    Yes they do. Oil contracts. Keep in mind one simple piece of information that we seem to often lose sight of but Iraqi’s and other dwellers of the middle east never forget. If they weren’t sitting on an ocean of oil we wouldn’t give a shit about anything that happens there.

    I don’t have a problem with making the world stable for resources. If there were only one small area of the world where critical components for solar panels could be found, some environmentalists would be pushing for all-out war there.

    I don’t have a problem with keeping resources stable either. I didn’t disgree with Wolfowitz when he said we can’t let a madman control the economic lifeline of the west. I have a problem with being lied to. Don’t tell me its terrorism, 9/11, spreading democracy or ridding the world of WMD. Its economics. The republican party is about money, anything else is incidental.

    On the other hand, Bush’s Folly is not doing much for oil production. And even if his fat cat buddies get richer as the price of oil rises, the net effect on the world economy is not good.

    I never said it was a good plan. But its a typical republican solution. Solve for the few and fuck over the rest.

  63. 63
    PaulB says:

    I’ve found adopting the premise that Cheney is a thoroughly evil motherfucker works just as well.

    So does the premise that he’s a moron. He’s versatile that way.

  64. 64
    rawshark says:

    Grand Moff Texan Says:

    Well, McCain…thinks al Qaeda is being trained in Iran. How’s that for foolish?

    Do you think he thinks that or is he trying to get others to think that?

    I don’t think it’ll be too long before Al Qaeda is ‘recieving training’ in Mexico.

  65. 65
    Ed Drone says:

    “Shut up and reboot”

    No, that should be “Speak Up and Reboot!”

    It’s time to [Ctrl][Alt][Del] this madministration. Let’s don’t wait for the election, either. Impeach ’em all!

    Ed

  66. 66
    joe says:

    I don’t think it’ll be too long before Al Qaeda is ‘recieving training’ in Mexico.

    Venezuela!

    And Cuba. As part of their WMD program.

  67. 67
    Punchy says:

    So, here we are. Three days after deciding to invade Basra, Maliki is admitting that his forces can’t actually do it.

    In other equally-surprising news, Amy Winehouse is incredibly appropriately-named.

  68. 68
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    Yesterday, it’s “we’ll fight til the end” today it’s “come on guys, let’s not fight… we’ll even pay you not to.”

    Wanna guess where that money is ultimately coming from?

  69. 69
    Xanthippas says:

    What’s really pathetic is that two years ago, Basra was being trumpeted far and wide as an outstanding success. The Brits got it right, the story went, and that was a model we should adopt everywhere in Iraq. And this was at the same time the police chief in Basra was admitting that he wasn’t in control even of his own forces, much less the city.

    That’s because the less informed and less intelligent among us equate a lack of fighting with peaceful resolution of conflict. Apparently they’ve forgotten that people don’t fight as long as they can get what they want without fighting, which has been exactly what happened in Basra. Now SIIC and Dawa realize they can’t get what they want with the Mahdi Army hanging around, and so now they fight. It’s the same sort of thinking that equates elections where everyone votes 100% for their own provincial leaders with a functioning democracy.

    Also, it doesn’t help that with the MSM no fighting = no news.

  70. 70
    skyler says:

    look at all the reports of “fighting” in Basra but not one single mention of the new brick factory…brick production up 500% since january to almost one half of what it did under Saddam! Ignore all the good news you liberals

  71. 71
    Tom says:

    That’s because the less informed and less intelligent among us equate a lack of fighting with peaceful resolution of conflict.

    Keep your eye on Anbar…

  72. 72
    DBrown says:

    Iraq + major civil war starting = more dead Americans = bush “Bring it on”

  73. 73
    Svensker says:

    Is any of this getting covered on the TV? I had CNN on briefly this morning and they did 30 seconds on Green Zone getting hit, then it was on to which celebrities the preznit candidates most resembled, which was getting at least 3 minutes (before I switched to HGTV for actual information).

  74. 74
    Face says:

    I don’t think it’ll be too long before Al Qaeda is ‘recieving training’ in New Mexico.

    Home to a Democratic Gov’ner, natch.

  75. 75
    b. hussein canuckistani says:

    6 months from now, I want it remembered that I was first to coin the name “Bagdhadgrad”.

  76. 76
    marjowil says:

    John, in answer to your question, I think this was the one you’re looking for:

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/?.....ent-574036

    March 27th, 2008 at 10:29 am: srv Says:

    Smart Republicans would say this is a result of the Brits pulling back and watching. But of course the ISC and Sadr and other riff-raff are going to fight even over Basra.

    This is just the shape of things to come in other idylic places like Baghdad.

  77. 77
    w vincentz says:

    Link to Joshua Holland’s article, “Five Things you need to Know…”
    http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/80580/?page=1

  78. 78
    4tehlulz says:

    Bagdhadgrad

    fgsfds

  79. 79
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    In today’s press conference, Bush called the battle for Basra, “a defining moment in the history of a free Iraq.” He further stated, “the decision to move troops — Iraqi troops — into Basra talks about Prime Minister Maliki’s leadership.”
    So, translating from Bushanese:
    1) The Iraqis are fucked.
    2) We’re going to throw al-Maliki under a bus as soon as we can figure out how to spin it.

  80. 80

    Smart Republicans would say this is a result of the Brits pulling back and watching.

    And that argument would make a lot of sense …

    IF THE SADRISTS HAD STARTED THE FIGHTING

    … once again proving that there is no such thing as a smart Republican.
    .

  81. 81
    Tim (the Other One) says:

    I think Amy Whinehouse is in charge of our foreign policy.

  82. 82
    Xanthippas says:

    Keep your eye on Anbar…

    Yeah, that’ll blow up too and when liberal bloggers rightly say “See, we told you that wasn’t going to work either” they’ll be accused of “joyfully claiming vindication.”

  83. 83
    b. hussein canuckistani says:

    Bagdhadgrad

    fgsfds

    Based on Dennis – SGMM’s comments about supply routes and the impossibility of air supply, I was reminded of another city on a river which was cut off and couldn’t be resupplied by air either. It ended badly for the occupiers. But I’m thinking Saddamgrad or Sadrgrad might have been better.

  84. 84
    Brachiator says:

    Tim (the Other One) Says:

    I think Amy Whinehouse is in charge of our foreign policy.

    “The Democrats want out of Baghdad, and Bush says ‘No, no, no.'”

  85. 85
    tBone says:

    And that argument would make a lot of sense …

    IF THE SADRISTS HAD STARTED THE FIGHTING

    … once again proving that there is no such thing as a smart Republican.

    This “Grand Moff” fellow sounds like a tory-symp. He’s past due for a countertop inspection if you ask me.

  86. 86
    Jen says:

    I had CNN on briefly this morning

    On at lunch in the restaurant, and it was a boy down a well and the nipple pierced lady in the airport. I’m not sure where they go from there, there’s a lot of day left.

  87. 87
    truth machine says:

    It is simply amazing that the people who were just wrong, wrong, wrong about everything just keep on talking as if they have any credibility.

    Not nearly as amazing as that they keep being listened to as if they have any credibility.

  88. 88
    Tim (the Other One) says:

    “The Democrats want out of Baghdad, and Bush says ‘No, no, no.’”

    Good times. Good times….

    oh I and suggest “Chalabistan”

  89. 89
    Jen says:

    Do you remember the list of things Obama transcended? I’d like to compile a new list, of things wingers say when Iraq is fucked 8 ways from Sunday.

    I’ll start with

    a defining moment in the history of a free Iraq

    — George W. Bush, March 28, 2008

    And its excellent follow-up…

    There have been other defining moments up to now, but this is a defining moment, as well.

    Since Petraeus put the kibosh on saying “turned the corner”, I guess this is v 2.0.

    It *is* hard to believe John tied his shoes for all those years.

  90. 90
    Face says:

    On at lunch in the restaurant, and it was a boy down a well and the nipple pierced lady in the airport. I’m not sure where they go from there, there’s a lot of day left.

    You just know they are scouring every single city in America just desperate to find some blond bimbo who’s 15 minutes late to an appoitment.

    Anything but report about some pissed off brownies with a strong grudge.

  91. 91
    DougJ says:

    Had we listened to the war’s critics in 2005 and 2006, gangsters would have swallowed the entirety of Iraq, and we would have a second Somalia in southwest Asia.

    Or worse yet, a second West Baltimore in southwest Asia.

  92. 92

    This “Grand Moff” fellow sounds like a tory-symp. He’s past due for a countertop inspection if you ask me.

    My haggard formica will confound your efforts to fauntleroy me.
    .

  93. 93
    dj spellchecka says:

    one slight problem with maliki’s army…
    from the [london] timesonline.co.uk:

    Abu Iman barely flinched when the Iraqi Government ordered his unit of special police to move against al-Mahdi Army fighters in Basra.

    His response, while swift, was not what British and US military trainers who have spent the past five years schooling the Iraqi security forces would have hoped for. He and 15 of his comrades took off their uniforms, kept their government-issued rifles and went over to the other side without a second thought.

    Such turncoats are the thread that could unravel the British Army’s policy in southern Iraq. The military hoped that local forces would be able to combat extremists and allow the Army to withdraw gradually from the battle-scarred and untamed oil city that has fallen under the sway of Islamic fundamentalists, oil smugglers and petty tribal warlords. But if the British taught the police to shoot straight, they failed to instil a sense of unwavering loyalty to the State.

    good times

  94. 94
    stuck in 200 says:

    So, 10 days is a Maliki Unit?

    Hmmm – 18 Maliki Units = 1 Friedman Unit, 200 Friedman Units = 1 McCain Unit. We’re gonna need some intermediate measure in there.

  95. 95
    El Cid says:

    I really wish I could remember who it was that emailed me or commented here (one of the two) that the wingnuts would be blaming the Brits for this.

    The moment the words “Basra” and “violence” were tied together, I knew the right wing fruitcake brigade would charge at the Brits for being so treasony and drawing troops out instead of SURGE-INg.

  96. 96

    6 months from now, I want it remembered that I was first to coin the name “Bagdhadgrad”.

    I think Beirutdad will turn out to be more accurate. I’m not sure why we volunteered to play the role of the Syrians.

  97. 97
    D-Chance. says:

    He and 15 of his comrades took off their uniforms, kept their government-issued rifles and went over to the other side without a second thought.

    Hell, Maliki’s police forces are abandoning him left and right. Of course, this isn’t exactly news to some of us. We were warned back at the beginning of all this that as many as a quarter of these “new recruits” for the Iraqi police force were insurgents waiting to sabotage the unit.

    This guy has been preaching this ever since he got wind of the plan for a US-trained Iraqi occupational police force.

  98. 98
    borehole says:

    You shouldn’t have linked to that, John. My hot brunette nerd-chic girlfriend read it and–not of her own volition, mind you–leapt up off the couch, assuming a vigilant hands-on-hips stance. For some reason she’s balancing on one foot, as though the other is on an invisible stool. Also, she seems to have suddenly become very stupid and hippiephobic.

    Anyone who doesn’t get the reference is to be envied.

  99. 99
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    6 months from now, I want it remembered that I was first to coin the name “Bagdhadgrad”.

    I have to go with what I know: Dien Bien Phu II.

  100. 100

    Dien Bien Phu II

    Surging Boogaloo?
    .

  101. 101
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    6 months from now, I want it remembered that I was first to coin the name “Bagdhadgrad”.

    Steve Gilliard locked up that claim years ago. You guys are seriously late to the party.

  102. 102
    Dork says:

    Anyone who doesn’t get the reference is to be envied

    /raises hand, sheepishly

  103. 103
    borehole says:

    Dork, I won’t provide you a link because you’ve never done anything to hurt me.

    Ever hear of “Day by Day?” The cartoon, not the Godspell song? It’s from that. I’m sure you could find it by Googling “Captain Ed” and “Chris Muir,” but I wouldn’t recommend it.

  104. 104
    Neal says:

    Tampa, FL is the headquarters of Central Command, which has responsibility for the Middle East. That’s probably where the name comes from.

    That much I knew very well and I figured that was probably where it came from. Trust me, you can’t live in Tampa without knowing all about MacDill Air Force Base. I live a few miles from it and you can see the C130s headed there all the time…and you can generally tell they aren’t headed to TIA. Opposite direction.

  105. 105
    jake says:

    /raises hand, sheepishly

    That should be: raises hand proudly, laughs at pathetic bastards who do get the reference, go have a beer.

    If you stuck Chris Muir in a room with G.B. Trudeau (the artist he pathetically tries to emulate) the anti-funny/funny reaction would take out half the planet.

  106. 106
    Redhand says:

    Captain Ed has some revised talking points . . . “a demonstration of the folly of premature withdrawal.”

    Oh Pleeaze. Yes, those perfidious Brits, who didn’t want to “stay in” forever, so that they too could be completely f*cked like us, again and again and again.

    The delusion that Bush and his followers show in spinning this debacle is mind blowing. But I guess any fantasy is better than admitting that you’ve killed more Americans than Al-Q did on 9/11, and wasted trillions of dollars more than they ever could have cost us through their own direct efforts, for nothing other than a pipe dream about creating “democracy” in the region.

    The quicker we get out of this cesspool the better.

  107. 107
    Soliton says:

    3 300 000 / 145 000 = 22.7586207

    23 gallons per day per troop?

    Wow!

    And how many of them are REMF’s?

  108. 108
    w vincentz says:

    Can we send Chuck Norris to deal with this?

  109. 109
    Soylent Green says:

    Being a POW, apparently, doesn’t make you a military genius. Go figure.

    But what if you get edumicated first in military affairs? J.S. McCain III, U.S. Naval Academy Class of ’58, class rank 894 out of 899.

  110. 110
    HyperIon says:

    the talk of CentCom in Tampa reminds me of the scene at the beginning of “The Control Room” (worth another look IMO) where the al-Jazerra fellow is talking to an american and thinks the guy is saying “sitcom”. well, tragicomedy, maybe.

  111. 111
    Brachiator says:

    Does this still count as part of the surge (US forces launch airstrikes in Iraq)??

    U.S. forces stepped deeper Friday into the Iraqi government’s fight to cripple Shiite militias, launching airstrikes in the southern city of Basra and firing a missile into the main Shiite stronghold in Baghdad.

    The American support occurred as Iraqi troops struggled against strong resistance in Basra and retaliation elsewhere in Shiite areas — including more salvos of rockets or mortars into the U.S.-protected Green Zone in Baghdad.

    It was the first time American jets have been called to attack militia positions since Iraqi ground forces launched an operation Tuesday to clear Basra of the armed groups that have effectively ruled the streets of the country’s second-largest city for nearly three years.

    One militia barrage slammed into the headquarters of the Basra police command late Friday, triggering a huge fire and explosions when one of the rounds struck a gasoline tanker, police officials said.

    Earlier Friday, U.S. jets struck a building housing militia fighters and blasted a mortar team that was firing on Iraqi forces, British military spokesman Maj. Tim Holloway said without further details.

    Many of those groups are believed to receive weapons, money and training from nearby Iran, the world’s most populous Shiite nation.

    The crackdown in Basra has provoked a violent reaction — especially from the Mahdi Army of anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. His followers accuse rival Shiite parties in the government of trying to crush their movement before provincial elections this fall.

    Their anger has led to a sharp increase in attacks against American troops in Shiite areas following months of relative calm after al-Sadr declared a unilateral cease-fire last August.

    Before dawn Friday, a U.S. aircraft fired a Hellfire missile in the Sadr City district — the Baghdad stronghold of the Mahdi Army — after gunmen there opened fire on an American patrol.

    The U.S. military said the missile strike killed four militants, but Iraqi officials said nine civilians were killed and nine others wounded.

    Another U.S. airstrike targeted a rocket-propelled grenade mounted vehicle in the mostly Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah, killing two militants, the military said separately.

    U.S. military officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss Pentagon assessments, said commanders are wary of bringing major firepower into Shiite areas such as Sadr City, fearing large-scale civilian casualties could bring more backlash through Baghdad.

    But, the officials said, American forces are more willing to offer air support in Basra, which is the centerpiece of the current showdown.

    Just asking.

  112. 112
    w vincentz says:

    Brachiator,
    Good link.
    Since Maliki, according to the article. is fighting “gangs” and not Sadr’s guys, this might not be part of the “surge” (that doesn’t appear to be working either).
    I’m guessing that Maliki’s days are numbered.
    Of course, Bush has stated that “violence is necessary for Iraq’s progress”.
    Believe that, and that we’ll be greeted as “liberators”, and I have a really nice bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

  113. 113
    Suicidal Zebra says:

    I mentioned back in 2003, probably posted on some forum in the bowels of the internets in fact, that we (the Brits) weren’t there for support or to provide a veneer of legitimacy and multilateralism. Rather, we were the scapegoat, dressed and seasoned well in advance to be served up in the inevitable event of things turning into a cluster**** of moderate proportions. ‘An American strategic failure? Impossible, it must be down to those Brits reducing an already minor force. And secretly, didn’t we all know that they are Dhimmi cowards deep down. After all, they’re only real hero of the 20th century was half-American’.

    Epic servings of said goat have of course been reserved to be whomever wins in November (if Democratic) or the Iraqi people (if McCain).

    Unfortunately those with an overblown fantasy of British Military Might didn’t get it, and now that everything is going belly-up fail to remember that things weren’t too bad by comparison in Basra Pre-Surge. Relatively speaking. Instead they seek to blame our Government and only our Government without once holding a critical eye towards American strategy, tactics and foreign policy.

    Well with any luck one positive thing will come out of this debacle: when the next Republican administration encourage us to tag along in Iran or wherever we’ll be able to point to the following months and say ‘Yeah… about that… we don’t take kindly to being thrown under the bus as you put it, so kindly piss off’. Then again, our politicians are sheep looking to ingratiate themselves with whichever economic block they are wining and dining this week, so I don’t hold out too much hope.

  114. 114
    Xanthippas says:

    One more point: can Cap’n Ed explain exactly why the fuck the British should go out of their way to get their troops killed in Basra in the interests of our little forever war?

  115. 115
    Brachiator says:

    Suicidal Zebra Says:

    I mentioned back in 2003, probably posted on some forum in the bowels of the internets in fact, that we (the Brits) weren’t there for support or to provide a veneer of legitimacy and multilateralism. Rather, we were the scapegoat, dressed and seasoned well in advance to be served up in the inevitable event of things turning into a cluster**** of moderate proportions. ‘An American strategic failure? Impossible, it must be down to those Brits reducing an already minor force. And secretly, didn’t we all know that they are Dhimmi cowards deep down. After all, they’re only real hero of the 20th century was half-American’.

    Sadly, this is probably largely the case. On the other hand, British regular forces, and the SAS, have done some tremendous — and tremendously under-estimated — work in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Unfortunately those with an overblown fantasy of British Military Might didn’t get it, and now that everything is going belly-up fail to remember that things weren’t too bad by comparison in Basra Pre-Surge. Relatively speaking. Instead they seek to blame our Government and only our Government without once holding a critical eye towards American strategy, tactics and foreign policy.

    Very well said. The Bush Administration, and their goon neo-con allies, have a field day blaming the cowardly French for not joining in, and the supposedly inconstant Brits for not doing enough.

    It all deflects attention from those who are truly responsible for this mess.

  116. 116
    TenguPhule says:

    I now understand how the Galactic Empire got whupped by little fuzzballs armed with pointy sticks.

  117. 117
    El Cid says:

    Maybe this will now put to rest the notion that George H. W. Bush did the right thing by avoiding premature withdrawal.

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