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Facts About the “Surge” In US Troops for Iraq

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I just read a wonderful post at Mudville Gazette that gives a blow-by-blow breakdown on what the planned surge in US troops "is" and "isn't."

One interesting fact is that no troops are heading to Iraq that were not already scheduled to go there. It's just that some are going a little ahead of time to increase the numbers rather than simply replace them.

A second interesting fact is that 70% of the civilian deaths in Iraq in recent months have been Shi'ites . . . giving the lie that al-Sadr's Mahdi Militia is the source of most of the mayhem. Sunni Baathists and al-Qaeda folks seem to be the main murders of late. This makes Iran's "bi-partisan" support of Sunni as well as Shia "insurgents" particularly noteworthy.

The only place in Iraq that will experience any sort of significant "surge" is, of course, Baghdad. This increase in American troops in the city was made possible by changes in the political situation in the Iraqi government… especially as regards President al-Maliki.

Not only are the additional American troops being allowed into Baghdad but they are being allied with Iraqi security forces that are now fully trained and, in some cases, battle-tested to do most of the dirty work themselves. As President Bush said in his State of the Union Address, the "rules of engagement" have also been changed. Until now, there has been no targeted crackdown on militia members or their leadership permitted by the Iraqi Government.

Now, however, it appears that it is the strong desire of both Shia and Sunni leaders to end this inter-sectarian violence once and for all. Each side is particularly concerned about whether they can trust Iraq security forces and police to actually protect them from terrorist attacks and murder squads.

With the US forces working alongside the Iraqi forces, the level of confidence in this matter seems to have grown considerably.

For an update on the security cooperation being hammered out between Sunni, Shi'ite and Kurdish leaders (a very positive development) read the news here.

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About Bird of Paradise

  • ProfEssays

    “With the US forces working alongside the Iraqi forces, the level of confidence in this matter seems to have grown considerably.” I believe it is an extremely preposterous statement.

  • SHARK

    WORST EXAMPLES OF WISHFUL THINKING
    dressed up as Right-Wing Commercial for More American Deaths:

    “…additional American troops being allowed[?] into Baghdad but they are being allied with Iraqi security forces that are now fully trained and… battle-tested to do most of the dirty work themselves.”

    Laughable.

    “…Until now, there has been no targeted crackdown on militia members or their leadership permitted by the Iraqi Government.”

    That’s because they’re one and the same.

    “…the strong desire of both Shia and Sunni leaders to end this inter-sectarian violence once and for all.”

    YOU MUST BE JOKING. THEY’RE JUST GETTIN’ STARTED.

    Did you see the news yesterday, 1/30/07?!

    There was a huge firefight– and a plan to massacre Shiites and assasinate Al-Sistani in a plan to provoke a nation-wide bloodbath.

    “…With the US forces working alongside the Iraqi forces, the level of confidence in this matter seems to have grown considerably.”

    PLEASE CHANGE TO REFLECT REALITY thus:

    “…With the US forces working alongside the Iraqi forces, the potential for deadly ‘set-ups’, kidnappings, ambushes, etc. — seems to have grown considerably.”

    ========

    BoP,

    Please stop MARKETING this fiasco in Iraq. We lost. The only honorable thing to do is to withdraw and save the lives of American soldiers.

    For you to continue writing Pollyanna shit like this — especially in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence — puts you in league with the *devil.

    *dick cheney

    As I told Nalle elsewhere: for you to continue MAKING UP ROSY-CRAP COMMERCIALS meant to convince the public to continue to ‘allow’ American G.I. deaths in Iraq is a fucking intellectual CRIME.

    YOU.

    ARE.

    A.

    HEINOUS.

    HUMAN.

  • Bliffle

    They just increased the percent of time each soldier spends ‘in country’.

    Since Gen. Petraeus trained the Iraqi soldiers we will be able to forecast his surge success by their performance the next few weeks.

  • Nancy

    This latest ploy of continued extension of troops’ rotations is nothing but a version of the good ol’ Press Gang: forced conscription, as good as a draft in all but name – the usual lying crap that BushCo plays.

    As for you, BoP, you seem to have bought into Smilin’ Dick’s blowing sunshine up your grass skirts. Cheney is delusional, if not outright insane, as in psychotic; have you WATCHED his expression, his face, lately when he’s interviewed? In no way does he live in reality any more; the pity is he has the power to destroy far more than his own life, & controls Bush, who is too stupid, arrogant, and stubborn to listen to reason or face reality, as long as he thinks there’s a chance for him to leave a legacy as a ‘victorious’ War Prez. For which he’s willing to send any number of Americans to slaughter or mutilation, for his ego. God damn them both to eternal hell.

  • Dave Nalle

    You guys are so right. Damn this Bird guy to HELL for hoping that we could solve some problems in Iraq and do some good before we leave. What an evil, reactionary bastard! Doesn’t he know the terrorists are the good guys here, just like those sweet, innocent Viet Cong 40 years ago. He must be silenced! Let only the voices of failure, defeat and destruction be heard.

    Dave

  • Dave Nalle

    Oh, I don’t want to upset Shark and ruin his whole day, but the latest reports from Iraq are that terrorists of all stripes are fleeing Baghdad and fleesing the country by the thousands in anticipation of the ‘surge’. They’re crossing into Syria and into Iran and hiding out in support camps provided for them by the governments of those countries. This includes both Al Quaeda terrorists and many of the 30,000+ Iranians operating inside Iraq.

    Now if the military could just close those borders with the terrorists and invaders on the other side we might actually see some progress.

    dave

  • Nancy

    No, I don’t speak that of BoP, and you know it, so stop twisting my words. The malediction is for those evil leaders who cynically abuse their power & consider that they are above the law. If you want further clarification, check out the evidence now coming out about Dick Cheney’s REAL involvement in the Plame leak. He’s going to make Spiro Agnew look like Mother Teresa by comparison by the time this is over. As one WP commentator said, like Tony Soprano in the WH.

    If you want to spread paleocon lies, do it with your own words, don’t try to hide behind or pervert mine, coward.

  • Dave Nalle

    Damn Spiro Agnew kicked some ass. Thanks for reminding me of him.

  • Nancy

    You’re entirely welcome. Whatever happened to him, BTW – is he dead yet?

  • Dave Nalle

    I think you’re confusing him with Generalissimo Francisco Franco, though both are good and dead.

  • http://www.tbirdofparadise.blogspot.com Bird of Paradise

    Your comments are very interesting. So are mine. You see, I filed this post under the headiing “news” instead of “opinion.” Everything in it (except for the next to last paragraph which is speculation) is simply saying what is happening in as objective a way as possible. While I am optimistic I am not even taking a stand on whether I support the surge or not.

    It seems that the Bush-haters cannot even think objectively anymore. If Bush says it . . . it is a lie or a pompous, idiotic, monstrous, delusional insanity.

    This is not dialogue. It is not comment. It is ranting.

    Shark, While your tone is negative, you at least identify the “down-side” of what is being attempted. It could go that way . . . or it could go in a more positive way . . . as vox populi has mentioned. Most likely it will (as Bush himself has said) go both ways.

    Will the sacrifice be worth it in the end?

    Here’s where we seem to differ. I have hope for something good to come of this. Most of you have already damned the whole effort to hell.

    I suggest you read some of the milblogs and some of the embed reports from folks like Michael Yon. These folks don’t give a damn about Cheney or Bush or Pelosi or Reid. They seem to know why they are there and are doing their best to make it work.

    The remarkable thing is that, even when they and their buddies are being blown up, kidnapped and murdered they are still positive about what they are doing . . . and seeing progress every day.

    Perhaps they are wrong. I don’t know. I’m not there . . . but neither are you.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Bird, given the level of pure hatred displayed in some of the comment threads here, you deserve some credit for even trying to post something objective. Truth may be your armor, but people like shark will still try to smear it in shit.

    The remarkable thing is that, even when they and their buddies are being blown up, kidnapped and murdered they are still positive about what they are doing

    Interestingly, I encountered some MIA/POW info for Iraq the other day. Do you realize that we currently have only 1 MIA soldier in Iraq and that every other captured soldier in the past two years was rescued alive by our forces. That’s the kind of thing which gets no coverage at all.

  • http://www.tbirdofparadise.blogspot.com Bird of Paradise

    Vox, I wish that what you said was true. However, we had two GIs captured and brutally tortured (eyes poked out, etc) before being killed just a few months ago. On January 20 we saw the elaborate special ops attack against our forces in Karbala where one GI was killed in the attack and four others kidnapped and later murdered 30 miles away.

    Unfortunately, not all missing GIs are being found alive. But they are being found. I do believe that this part of your post is correct. Only one MIA so far.

  • troll

    vox #6 – link or source please

    thanks

  • Baronius

    I don’t follow paragraph three. Are you saying that Sunnis are the murders or murderers? Either way, there is plenty of evidence of intra-sect violence.

  • zingzing

    i think he’s trying to say something like, “them muzzlams is killin they selves.” doesn’t matter which side is dying, because as long as it’s not us fucking up the country with our bullets, it’s like it doesn’t happen at all. and that’s our rose-tinted silver lining of the day.

  • Nancy

    Well, the latest this weekend is that some Shi’ite cleric leader of an apocalyptic group calling themselves “Soldiers of God” decided he was going to go wipe out his fellow Shi’ites during the holiday festivities, thereby creating the proper conditions for the Mahdi to come again. As someone else said, kind of like the Jesuits storming the Vatican to bring on Christ’s second coming. You’d think his fellows would put this fella in a nice padded cell somewhere, but no: he had over 600 followers to help him. (The Iraqi government claims they took out at least 600 in 2 pitched battles). Bunch of savages.

  • Martin Lav

    The surge is all about withdrawal….

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Nancy, have you read my article on the Ashura festival? Savage barely begins to describe Shiite behavior on this ‘holy’ day.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    I don’t think so. I’d like to. Is it in the BC archives? Thanks.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    You can find it here, Nancy. But let me warn you up front not to go there if you are at all squeamish or have a tender stomach. It’s gruesome and I included pictures.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    Yes, I did read it, but I just read it again. Excellent as usual, and you’re right: they’re psychopathic & unreasoning/-able. I think maybe I was right on another thread & we should just poison their water or drop ebola-infected money on them.

  • MCH

    “Now if the military could just close those borders with the terrorists and invaders on the other side we might actually see some progress.”
    – Vox Populi

    Any particular reason you’re not over there now, helping out?

  • MCH

    “Truth may be your armor…”
    – Vox Populi

    Oh really…? Kinda like GW’s “The reason I wasn’t flying at Dannelly is because they didn’t have the same kind of planes there”…??

  • Baronius

    Interesting point, MCH.

  • Nancy

    Other ‘facts’ about the Surge which BushCo hasn’t bothered to think about or mention to Congress or the public: there isn’t enough equipment over there for the current level of troops to do their jobs, let alone the addional numbers being sent in The Surge. Those over there now are scrambling to cope with inadequate weapons, supplies, armor, vehicles, & even food on occasion.

    Heckuva job, Bushie.

  • troll

    we’d best get those manufacturers cranking with cost plus plus plus contracts huh

  • http://www.tbirdofparadise.blogspot.com Bird of Paradise

    Nancy et al, Just wondering. Are you among the 30%+ of Democrats who do not want the US to be successful in Iraq . . . who want the US to lose? Or . . . if you aren’t, how do you suggest that we win? How would you define victory? What would happen in Iraq if we left too soon . . . (such as Obama’s Senate resolution that requires we be gone by Spring of 2008)?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Bird says: “Nancy et al, Just wondering. Are you among the 30%+ of Democrats who do not want the US to be successful in Iraq ”

    Once again, some like to try and paint those who question or disagree as unpatriotic somehow.

    I’ve got a clip for that.

    the Tao of D’oh

  • Dave Nalle

    Maybe I’m weird, but it seems to me that actually taking pleasure in the idea of the US military being defeated by terrorists is a hell of a lot more than just ‘disagreeing’.

  • Nancy

    BoP, there is NO American of ANY party who doesn’t want the US to “win”; but some of us don’t define increasing the dangers to our troops for the sake of Bush’s ego & lies so they get slaughtered by a bunch of muslim maniacs to be “victory” – as defined by Dirty Dick “Madman” Cheney, apparently YOUR loonie leader. Don’t pull that ‘if you don’t agree with me you’re a traitor’ Karl Rove maggot bullshit with me, fool.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Nancy, are you familiar with Shark? He’d clearly be happier if the US lost in Iraq. Anything to take down Bush.

    Dave

  • troll

    Vox – I fear that you’ve missed SHARK’s point which is that the US has already lost…

    thanks GWB – !

    some of us have seen this show before although set in greener environs

  • Nancy

    No, that’s not true. Try – TRY REAL HARD – to separate Fearless Leader & Dirty Dick from our troops & US interests, because they are neither. One can utterly support our troops (I have friends & family among them) by NOT wanting them to be subjected to middle eastern barbarian brawls for the sake of a pack of lies concocted by a wannabe War Prez/faux cowboy & his maniac VP straight out of Psycho who wants to Rule The World. I believe Shark is in that category, it’s just that he’s a lot more sarcastic & oblique about it than I am.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Vox, I don’t know of any who actively want anyone in the military hurt, or desire for the U.S. to “lose”.

    However, I would ask that those defending the so called policy , please state clearly exactly WHAT fucking goals constitute “winning”?

    How is it that this entire bullshit operation has lasted longer than WW2?

    What kind of military strategic planning does not have victory conditions from the outset?

    How does one trust an administration to run things properly when they themselves (as in W) has stated that he planned on leaving the entire Iraq problem for the NEXT president to solve?

    I could get into the whole timing of the invasion, how the boondoggle has taken resources away from Afghanistan…so no bin Laden, and al Qaeda is with the Taliban taking that country back, with the money they got form the opi9um crop last year, grown in Afghanistan, that made up 95% of the opium produced last year.

    All this after constantly shifting goalposts as to why we are there, and what we are attempting to do…all the while spending 10 million dollars an HOUR on the fiasco, with over $9 billion last year that just disappeared according to the GAO.

    So, we should trust ANYTHING from this administration….why?

    Their decision to fight this invasion/occupation on the cheap…too few troops and inadequate equipment/supplies is heinous in the extreme and does our military a far greater disservice (including some of them dead or injured/maimed/crippled because of it).

    So, you see any “pleasure” there? Or perhaps a hopping fucking mad ex-military person who knows better than to trust in politicians when it comes to military matters?

    And Rummy was a politician, NOT any kind of military strategist…same with Perle and Wolfowitz and all the rest of the neocon planners of this fiasco.

    But they set it up, and threw our troops into a meatgrinder for their purposes, NOT for the good or security of our nation.

    Any student of strategy would tell you that sending those troops and resources into Afghanistan..bringing that nation into the 20th century, destroying the Taliban and al Qaeda…THAT would accomplish all the bullshit about showing the middle east how a democracy could work in their region.

    Instead it was left to rot, in favor of Iraq being invaded half assed on a political, NOT military, timetable.

    So, who exactly is it that you think is “taking pleasure” from all of this?

    Then ask yourself, who is making a fortune from it.

    the Tao of D’oh

  • Clavos

    What kind of military strategic planning does not have victory conditions from the outset?

    That’s an easy one, D’oh: ALL American strategic military planning since the end of WWII.

    We have NO business entering into war ANYWHERE; we don’t have the stomach for it.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Clavos, the Sec of State at the time had literally written the book on it, it was used in the first Gulf War…they called it the “Powell Doctrine”.

    It states to know why you are there, set clear goals, and use overwhelming force…then get the hell out once done…occupations are NEVER good.

    This was tossed aside by those who never served and who had political reasons, NOT valid national security concerns by a cadre of people who had NEVER served, or even properly studied the subject.

    As for your bit about “not having the stomach for it”… I call bullshit.

    This nation, indeed the entire fucking world…was fine and behind us for Afghanistan, it was crystal clear and cut and dried. Hell, even the Chinese and the Russians said “go for it, do you want any help with anything?”

    I don’t know of ANY instance where ANY one has bitched about Afghanistan, except to say we aren’t doing the job there.

    THAT kind of thing, where our interests are clear and not clouded by bullshit…the public can and does get behind.

    Made up bullshit, or imperialistic neocon adventurism…well, the public may fall for it briefly, but then they wake up and get cranky.

    As November’s election results began to show, expect more tidal changes depending on what happens in Iraq between now and Nov ’08.

  • Nancy

    Additional info straight from the troopers themselves (yesterday’s WP on direct info from a soldier recently killed in battle): the surge will do no good, because the troops in Iraq are already scrambling to stay alive because they lack adequate supplies, weapons, armor, vehicles, etc. But neither BushCo nor any of their carefully vetted Pentagon spokespieces are letting on about that. All the additional troops in the world won’t do any good, because there ISN’T ANY MATERIAL SUPPORT OVER THERE for them – capeesh? Dubya’s sending the guys to fight, but he forgot to send anything for them to fight WITH! Jez-us H. Christ! What part of that do you not understand? How are they gonna win if they don’t have vehicles? Weapons? Bullets? Armor? If they’re short on all these things, because the Boy Blunder sitting yonder in the WH hasn’t provided those little details, ya see. He’s been busy letting Dirty Dick’s Halliburton buddies & his trick pony, Zawahiri, sack the funds sent over. $9 BILLION spent on swimming pools in police academys that were abandoned due to shoddy building, supplies &/or facilities never built/delivered to begin with, cash handed out by the bagful to Iraqi ‘authorities’, weapons & communications equipment & armor – even vehicles & fuel – casually “lost” or “mislaid” or “missappropriated” by the half-wit brass there who never learned how to track their materiel because it always has just come pouring out of a bountiful Pentagon? What the fuck???!!! How many brain cells are you still needing to catch any of this BushCo fiasco? Wake up & smell the Bush-shit.

    This ISN’T my opinion; this is straight from a soldier who was stationed in the thick of it & who managed to get word to Outsiders of what the brass & WH won’t admit – just before he bought it. He died. For what: Bush’s ego & legacy? So fucking Dick Cheney can rule the world? No American should die for those canards. They wouldn’t have to, if Bush & Cheney didn’t view average Americans – our troops – as nothing more than cannon fodder for their psychotic, deluded fantasies & ambitions. And if you DO support that rationale for this Iraqi mess, then the traitor & un-American here is YOU. You – you – YOU! Basta!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    One thing Nancy. A military supply clerk KNOWS where every nut, bolt, bullet and fig newton are.

    The military supply line isn’t doing the vast majority of logistics, that was farmed out to KBR and other private military firms, who were brought up by the GAO for overbilling.

    All part of Rummy’s “leaner fighting force”.

  • Clavos

    I stand by my statement, and I think both Korea and especially Vietnam are excellent examples of it.

    As far as Afghanistan goes: Yes, we were justified. And yes, we won handily: we were Goliath to their David. And, as you pointed out, we then threw it away.

    My point is, there was no possibility of massive loss of life there as there is in larger wars, so we “had the stomach” for it.

    We’re squeamish about killing, which basically, is what you do in war; it’s why we don’t win real wars anymore.

    Hopefully we’ll get our balls back someday.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    And you consider Nam and Korea “real wars”?

    Korea you can make a case for, but Nam? You know better. That little fiasco had many of the same root causes as Iraq…with even worse results and so many more dead/wounded.

    Funny how no one looks at where going into an area with a long history of sectarian violence that was a cause for at least WW1, and many other conflicts, has been resolved and where things are looking much better than ever. All without bullshit, and with quiet delivery on mission, a dictator who was into genocide removed, regimes changed and all much more stable.

    Or don’t the Balkans count?

  • Nancy

    Well, on that point, Clavvie, I’ll agree: if you’re going to go to war, go all the way. Be prepared to kill everybody, wipe out everything without mercy or let. You can’t tiptoe around trying to separate the sheep from the goats when they all not only look the same, but ARE the same. We should have just turned the area into one big sheet of molten glass – EXCEPT that would have meant that BushCo wouldn’t have access to the oil fields, now, would it? Which is why we waged a half-assed war: BushCo wanted to be careful not to spoil any of the goodies that were the real goal of this tragic farcical lie.

  • Clavos

    D’oh,

    I think I wasn’t clear enough, you said:

    That little fiasco had many of the same root causes as Iraq…with even worse results and so many more dead/wounded.

    Which is exactly my point: we tried to fight it half-assed; we had LOTS more we could have thrown into it, but didn’t.

    I don’t like to get personal about VN, but here’s a REAL experience:

    On patrol. Fired at from a ville. Have to call back, more than one level up the chain of command, to GET PERMISSION TO FIRE BACK. By the time that happens, they (the enemy) are gone; leaving a ville full of not-so-innocent “civilians”, who are, officially “non-combatants.”

    I wasn’t there, but I have absolutely no doubt that’s how and why My Lai happened.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    I don’t agree with the entire “balls” bit.

    It ain’t about balls, courage or resolve.

    It’s about the REASON for the war…WHY is there to be killing/dying? Give the public a good, solid reason, and the world remembers why war is America’s favorite past time…because we are fucking good at it!

    When generation upon generation are squandered on bullshit, the public gets cynical, and wants more info and debate as to why beforehand… Jefferson help the fuckers who deceive and distort to drag the U.S. into a war…once they find out, the peasants get all kinds of uppity, as recent headlines show.

  • zingzing

    clavos–war has changed since wwII. it changed during wwII. at the outset of the war, we had an antiquated vision of what war was.

    because of wwII, total war is not an option. maximum force means complete destruction. insurgent resistance means that we CAN’T go in and just kill, because that’s not what you do in this type of warfare. basically, with our understanding of war, we shouldn’t fight these types of war. “balls” means stupidity and murder.

    what we did in wwII, especially in germany and japan, is arguably criminal. since then, we haven’t been fighting to our fullest capability, and even when we get a little bit evil, the inhumanity of it all is inescapable.

    the end of wwII changed the way people view war and the value of human life. if you ever want to see us, or anyone, making war like we used to, you’d have to turn back the clock or witness the end of the world.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Those were command decisions (and fucked up ones) by Westmoreland, as you know Clavos.

    He was to Nam what Rummy was to Iraq in many ways. But look at the differences too, we had a lot of troops in country, and suffered what, over 58,000 casualties and I have no clue how many wounded/maimed/crippled come out of that mess.

    I can’t think of a single instance in history where it worked out well for any occupying force in a foreign land over the long term….ever.

    Big difference between fighting a war, and occupation.

  • Nancy

    Yeah … somehow occupying forces seem to bring out the worst in the natives, don’t they?

  • Martin Lav

    “This nation, indeed the entire fucking world…was fine and behind us for Afghanistan, it was crystal clear and cut and dried. Hell, even the Chinese and the Russians said “go for it, do you want any help with anything?”

    Don’t forget about Iran, they were at the table too!

  • Clavos

    D’oh,

    As often happens, we’re getting near agreement on this, you and I.

    It WAS Westy’s bad strategy, but it WAS forced by LBJ and the Congress, which goes to my point about balls.

    I have no clue how many wounded/maimed/crippled come out of that mess.

    I don’t either, but I’m a VA patient myself, and the Miami VA Medical Center is full of Nam vets, and increasingly, Iraq ones, too.

    Big difference between fighting a war, and occupation.

    Which is why it’s imperative to fight to win; then get the hell out.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Which was exactly why I quoted the Powell doctrine, says just that, and noted that the policy was thrown out.

    The lesson is that a war against a tangible enemy, when there are REAL national security concerns, can be fought an won by the U.S.

    It’s when you get half assed attempts at bullshit unclear objectives that really don’t have any direct bearing on national security that problems arise as the public grows more aware and more soldiers return in boxes or in pieces.

    NO amount of “balls” can solve an occupation, never has…never will. the insurgents LIVE there, they ain’t going away…and a man will die for his home much faster than he will for somebody else’s profits.

    THAT was the lesson of Nam, and THAT was the lesson completely thrown aside in Iraq.

  • Clavos

    zing #45,

    I respectfully disagree with your entire comment.

    Though WE (and some of our allies) have changed the way we view war and the value of human life, none of our enemies since then have. Particularly not those whose cultures do NOT value human life.

    We will probably never win another war under those circumstances, which is why I advocate leaving now and bringing all our troops around the world home.

  • Martin Lav

    What culture that you know of does not value human life?

    That’s ridiculous for even you to say Clavos.

  • Clavos

    Well, for starters, martin, how about those who use suicide bombers??

  • Martin Lav

    They are poor uneducated people heavily influenced by a religion that uses “martyrdom” as a form offensive fire power. If they had the sophisticated weaponry that west has then I doubt you would see much of this form.

    Either way, dying for a cause, does not indicate a level of value placed on human life.

    What about abortion in the West?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Careful, Clavos..you start getting into the ends versus means argument.

    And it’s my contention that the American view is that the ends never justify the means, the means are an end in and of themselves.

    the Tao of D’oh

  • troll

    imo invading Afghanistan in response to 911 took us down the wrong path

    rather we should have invested our treasure in massive r&d to change the game – energy independence and freedom from the family Saud

    had we done so we’d be there now

  • zingzing

    well, clavos, i’m only talking about OUR willingness to commit to total war. we just aren’t willing to do it because our technology allows us to do things that our humanity will not.

    that’s why we will never fight a war with the abandon of wwII again. we can win that way, but we can’t fight that way anymore. if we were willing to fight that way, of course we could defeat our enemy–we’d just blow them off the map. easy.

    unfortunately, that’s not the goal of this war. the goals of a war determine how you fight it. so… since we can’t fight the way we can win (because we won’t let ourselves and it’s not what we want to do here), we have to learn to fight another way. unfortunately, the past 40 years has taught us that we suck when fighting this type of war. we haven’t learned how to get around that fact.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    A rare instance where we have some disagreement, troll.

    Your solution, that I do think needs to be part of the overall answer, does not address the very real problem of the Taliban/al Qaeda in Afghanistan, especially in light of the sympathetic and nuclear Pakistan right next door.

  • Martin Lav

    We won this war with ease.
    Yet we weren’t prepared to occupy the country and still aren’t. If we had taken lessons from the Nazi’s in WWII in France or Poland then we could have had some success in controlling events in Iraq.
    Our dumbass leaders however thought we would be greeted as liberators, not occupiers and that my friends is the crux of the problem.

  • Clavos

    They are poor uneducated people heavily influenced by a religion that uses “martyrdom” as a form offensive fire power.

    Correct, martin. And is their religion not an important part of their culture?

    Their level of sophistication, or weaponry, is irrelevant, they buy it. You didn’t ask what “sophisticated, advanced culture” does not value human life.

    The point is, you asked which culture doesn’t value human life and I pointed out the martyrdom aspect of the islamist religion. You might also look at the wahhabists, who advocate extermination of every non believer. Same religion, different sect.

    There are several religions and cultures in the world which place a very different value on human life from what we in the west customarily do.

    There are even political beliefs which value an individual life less than that of the group.

    You asked what about abortion in the West. I’m not sure what you’re asking there, but there ARE people who would probably point to it as a sign that we don’t value human life, either.

    I wouldn’t agree with them.

  • Clavos

    Yours is a very Americocentric view, martin. We Americans tend to do that; looking at the world through red, white, and blue glasses.

    The vast majority of us never even bother to learn another language, expecting the rest of the world to speak English to us.

    Having grown up in another culture and having one foot in each, I’m particularly sensitive to that.

    IMO, it’s one of the major reasons we screw up so much in our international relations.

  • Martin Lav

    Clavos,
    Christianity has martyrdom prevelant in it as well. However, they don’t believe they are oppressed people’s and don’t use it as an offensive or defensive weapon.
    I get it.
    I get wahhabism as well.
    I don’t believe that these radical elements would last long if the ruling elite didn’t oppress their people.

    And……I would imagine that the Muslim’s of the world look at the millions of abortions performed in the US per year and they probably think we are an obvious example of one of those:

    “cultures do NOT value human life.”

  • Baronius

    Martin, that’s just wrong. Suicide bombers tend to come from the educated middle class. They’re not particularly religious. They don’t fit the Western image of the poor, desperate fanatic.

    We claim we want to understand our enemy, but we use old templates: founding fathers, peasants rebelling, religious fanatics. Currently there’s an effort to portray all Muslims as unworthy of our aid. We get very little information about the Afghan, Iraqi, or Kurdish cultures.

    There’s the old saying about fighting the last war. We’re fighting the current war, but the press is covering Vietnam.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Baronius, I think you have that a bit backward.

    We are fighting Nam all over again, having learned nothing, but the MSM coverage is all 21st century.

    Last time, you saw body bags, reporters roamed freely and wrote and photographed whatever they could find, bringing moments, not photo ops… no reporters with Stockholm syndrome from embedding.

    I think you get the idea.

  • troll

    D’oh – but for their barbaric social and religious practices – and their attacks on the US – what’s the real problem with the taliban and al qaeda – ?

    their complaint is valid – the US has occupied (economically) the ME

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    My objection is to the attacks by al Qaeda on the U.S.

    The why is not my problem, their decision, backed by the Taliban government, was to attack and kill civilians.

    That’s still an act of war, by all standards, and as you know, I’m a firm believer in self defense.

    Our strategic goal should be to oust the Taliban regime, destroy/kill capture al Qaeda, and THEN rebuild Afghanistan into a 21st century nation, then get the hell out of there.

    Solves the military problem, takes some of the sting out of potential nuclear weapons in the hands of al Qaeda from Pakistani sources, and makes Afghanistan into a fine example of what can happen anywhere once tyrants are removed and people can govern themselves.

    Unfortunately, none of this has occurred.

    As for their complain that the U.S. has bases in their holy lands (Saudi Arabia), that would be between the Saudis and the U.S. , and really not the concern of any Afghani, wouldn’t you think?

    I have not forgotten that bin Laden and many in al Qaeda are indeed Saudis, as were most of the 9/11 hijackers…but that is another thing all together.

  • troll

    what makes you think that we could succeed in nation building in Poppyville – ?

    I suspect that we’d be bogged down in yet another guerrilla war no matter how much force we used

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    I should have been clearer…not “nation building”, you let the Afghanis do that shit for themselves.

    I meant literally building up the country, repair road damage, fix the one big road that serves the country, help them with infrastructure while they sort out the business of creating their own nation the way they see fit.

    Stay only by invitation, and get the fuck out as soon as possible after military objectives are achieved.

    We were doing just fine with exactly that, and a lot of locals were coming around and actually began to think that the Taliban was gone and they could move on…a U.S. soldier considered a benign sight.

    Until Iraq, of course.

  • Emry

    “Our strategic goal should be to… rebuild Afghanistan into a 21st century nation,…”

    “…a fine example of what can happen anywhere once tyrants are removed and people can govern themselves.”

    Then maybe they will follow the example of Great Britain by interfering in other people’s business in other parts of the world and generally causing a whole lot of trouble that will come back to haunt them.

    BTW, thanks for the links to the excellent videos.

  • Martin Lav

    “Martin, that’s just wrong. Suicide bombers tend to come from the educated middle class.”

    I don’t believe this is true, but so what. Your point is not my point at all.
    What I’m saying is that these people don’t want to die for some religious reason, they want to fight us for religious reasons and they use their religion to allow for this insane practice.

    Suicide bombing is a relatively new phenomenum yet the Koran has been around for a number of years hasn’t it?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Emry – big difference in dealing with a nation that attacked you, and then fixing it up afterwards Marshall plan style, and moving in, taking over and never intending to leave a la British Imperialism of an earlier age.

    It’s the imperialism part that bugs the shit out of me, as opposed to a proper military objective that is important to national security.

    Hence my part of this thread’s conversation.

    Oh yeah, and I’m glad the videos were entertaining…extra points if you ponder them a moment , and figure out WHY I link as I do…it’s pretty easy, but you’d be surprised how many miss things.

  • SHARK

    Clavos: “We’re squeamish about killing…”

    Americans? You must be joking!

    We’d love a good reason to go kill The Other in some semi-romantic, not-too-godfersaken part of the world.

    Shit, Nalle is so desperate to use his guns, he’s takin pot-shots at feral dogs, ferchrissakes!

    And I don’t know about you, but I live in Texas — where we’re required by law to carry concealed weapons. Hell, I can spit out my door and hit some half-enraged gun-totin’ fellow American just WAITIN’ blow somebody away because they scratched his BMW by mistake.

    Man, I’m so sick of this “we don’t have the stomach for war” shit. It’s Vietnam redux. We’ve heard it before. Blame the pansy-ass liberal protesters!

    Here’s the deal, Clavos; AMERICANS FUCKING LOVE WAR. We love guns, killin’, black-white moral choices, simple solutions to complex problems, etc etc.

    It’s just that we haven’t had a “decent”, JUSTIFIABLE war since WWII. Vietnam and Iraq were socio-political experiments by Capitalistic, Imperialistic, Scared-shitlessisitc, Irrational, Doughy, Golf-Playing, Military-Industrial-Complex Shareholding, Overweight White Men.

  • SHARK

    And we lost before we started.

    Same in Iraq: fuzzy objectives.

  • SHARK

    And dare I add:

    WHAT D’OH SAID.

  • Clavos

    We’d love a good reason to go kill The Other in some semi-romantic, not-too-godfersaken part of the world.

    Then why is such a hue and cry being raised about the killing we’re doing in Iraq?

    Sorry, shark. Not buyin’

  • Martin Lav

    “Then why is such a hue and cry being raised about the killing we’re doing in Iraq?”

    Because even blood thirsty savages get sick of blood.

  • Clavos

    shark,

    A significant portion of the american antiwar movement is not anti Iraq war; they’re anti all war.

    They turn out every time we send troops in anywhere; even Afghanistan.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Because, Clavos, Americans like killing the bad guys…not women and kids due to collateral damage, not old folks…or innocent civilians who have nothing to do with it.

    And there’s the nut of the problem in both wars, our troops just can’t tell who is wearing the black hats!!

    But give U.S. a known baddie, somebody we can get into hating, and we will do the Hiroshima/Dresden on them so fast you’ll get whiplash.

    However, unleash that hell on a country, you better make DAMN certain of why…because if the public finds out you lied to them to blow those folks up, and they weren’t as bad as you claimed…then “you” become the “bad guy”.

  • Martin Lav

    Clavos,

    Go back to 9/12/01 and think how many people supported some form of action in Afganistan.
    Someone said even Russia and China.
    Even Iran.
    We had the stomach for that and the worlds support, it wasn’t until your boy Bush went to Iraq that things turned sour.

    Now even your kind have turned against him.

    But you won’t turn against the cause, you will call the liberals “cut and runners” pacifists accuse US of handcuffing the military and that the only way to truly get the job done is NUKE EM ALL…….

    I say YOU GUYS made the mistake and YOU supported BUSH and now WE are making you pay with fucking typed words and you attack back with your same typical non-patriotic “I HAVE HOPE” bullshit.

    Bullshit….

  • Martin Lav

    “A significant portion of the american antiwar movement is not anti Iraq war; they’re anti all war.”

    blah blah blah….

    How the fuck do you know?

    You obviously weren’t marching on Washington, you were sitting on your boat checking to see if you had enough stock in defense contractors.

    ……and so what, what’s your point…..?

  • Clavos

    D’oh,

    You’ve contradicted yourself a bit there. There were PLENTY of non-black-hatted civilians in both Hiroshima/Nagasaki and Dresden.

    Unfortunately, waging war, whatever the reason, will involve killing civilians; sometimes, as in those examples, deliberately. In fact, von Clausewitz argues it’s a necessary part of breaking the enemy’s will. That’s the main reason pundits say we’ve been fortunate in not having had to fight wars on our own soil.

    I’m sorry, that may have sounded like I was talking down to you; that was not my intent.

    Which takes me back to my original point: don’t go to war (and ask the soldiers to die for you) unless you’re going in to win, whatever that takes.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    No contradiction at all, Clavos. You accurately spot that the examples I cited are prime bits of how good things can go horribly wrong…that IS the nature of war, after all.

    My point was that things such as those examples can be accepted as part of the cost when it comes to killing the black hats, who are clearly defined and perceived as such by the public.

    When no such perception exists, you had better not kick a puppy, much less kill innocent civilians…you will hear about it and deal with the consequences.

    War against a foe who has attacked you, and endangers you clearly is one thing, self defense and all.

    On the other hand, pre-emptive invasions for no clear reason, and the ones that were given all turn out to be false means the onus is on the invader to do everything really carefully. Every death on either side will be examined and looked at via the lens of this one NOT being self defense.

    It may not be considered “fair” for those who like war as some kind of international sport… but it ain’t harsh enough by half for those who think about these matters.

  • Clavos

    martin,

    Go back to 9/12/01 and think how many people supported some form of action in Afganistan.
    Someone said even Russia and China.
    Even Iran.
    We had the stomach for that and the worlds support, it wasn’t until your boy Bush went to Iraq that things turned sour.

    Show me where on any of these threads I have supported the war. On the contrary, based on my own experience as cannon fodder in Vietnam, I’m adamantly opposed to a war like Iraq, just as I’ve said repeatedly in this thread.

    Now even your kind have turned against him.

    But you won’t turn against the cause, you will call the liberals “cut and runners” pacifists accuse US of handcuffing the military and that the only way to truly get the job done is NUKE EM ALL…….

    I say YOU GUYS made the mistake and YOU supported BUSH and now WE are making you pay with fucking typed words and you attack back with your same typical non-patriotic “I HAVE HOPE” bullshit.

    Here you’re just ranting, martin. I’ve never said anything that could lead you to come to those conclusions about me.

    “A significant portion of the american antiwar movement is not anti Iraq war; they’re anti all war.”

    blah blah blah….

    How the fuck do you know?

    Because, martin, as I said in #77:

    They turn out every time we send troops in anywhere; even Afghanistan.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    You should point out the numbers there Clavos.

    Compare whatever demonstration there were about Afghanistan (I’d like a link if you can..i never heard about any) to the ones from this week end past and I bet you find a HUGE difference inthe numbers of how many show up.

    I would be willing to bet a bottle of Balvenie the percentage of the population that would show up to demonstrate AGAINST “any war” is about the exact same as those who would show to demonstrate FOR “any war”..and just as the one side would do it whether the war was worthy or not, the same could be said for the supporters, they would support it no matter how worthy…

    or not.

  • Martin Lav

    Clavos,
    Of course they show up, just as you would show up at a convention of Cubans exiles in Miami calling for the overthrow of Castro. But that doesn’t mean that all those that oppose the war in Iraq are pacifists. Again what’s your point?

    And be truthfull, the only reason you’re against this war now is because as you say “we don’t have the stomach for it”. If we did or you thought the public was behind, wouldn’t you support the President. And didn’t you?

  • Martin Lav

    “the percentage of the population that would show up to demonstrate AGAINST “any war” is about the exact same as those who would show to demonstrate FOR “any war”..and just as the one side would do it whether the war was worthy or not, the same could be said for the supporters, they would support it no matter how worthy…”

    I couldn’t (and didn’t) say it any better myself….

    Thanks D’oh

  • Clavos

    Of course they show up, just as you would show up at a convention of Cubans exiles in Miami calling for the overthrow of Castro.

    martin, I’m not a cuban. And further, I don’t demonstrate for anything.

    And be truthfull, the only reason you’re against this war now

    martin, I haven’t changed my mind since I first saw, shortly after “shock and awe”, that we were just repeating the same old Vietnam shit all over again.

    wouldn’t you support the President. And didn’t you?

    Voted for him in 2000; not in ’04.

    You think you’ve got me all figured out, martin, but you’re not even close…

  • Martin Lav

    Well Clavos, this is not exactly a strong statement against the war:

    “We have NO business entering into war ANYWHERE; we don’t have the stomach for it.”

    and this is seems to me like your not stating any more clearly:

    “We will probably never win another war under those circumstances, which is why I advocate leaving now and bringing all our troops around the world home”

    What you fail to recognize IMO, is that people against this war aren’t just against war because they are against war in general (see comments about Afghanistan) but you seem to be saying you are against it solely because the majority of people are against it and without the 100% support of the nation, we can’t win.

    You don’t want to fight because not everyone wants to fight and we don’t want to fight because we don’t believe we can win.

  • Clavos

    OK martin, whatever you say.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    I think we have beaten this horse way past the glue stage…

    Might I suggest some could be well served if they would just liberate their minds.

    And for Clavos, and others who might read but who have asked, “why?” concerning my switch from gonzo styling to the impact of D’oh…

    theTao of D’oh

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I don’t see how Martin can miss what Clavos is saying so completely here. It seems pretty straightforward to me, and I basically agree.

    We should not enter into wars we are not prepared to fight through to a relatively swift and successful conclusion. War is not something you do in a half-assed manner. That just gets people killed needlessly.

    Clavos does not believe that the US body politic or our leaders are currently capable of prosecuting any war effectively, and he’s probably right.

    I’d go further and suggest that we probably ought not to have a federal military capable of making war at all, and should instead rely on federally coordinated state guard forces for national defense and only defense. Something Clavos posted earlier suggests he might agree with that too.

    Dave

  • troll

    agreed –

  • MCH

    “We should not enter into wars we are not prepared to fight through to a relatively swift and successful conclusion. War is not something you do in a half-assed manner.”
    – Dave Nalle

    I guess the difference is, Nalle, that when Clavos says something like this, his words have actual meaning, because we know he’s already put his money where his mouth is by serving in combat during time of war;

    Whereas as your bellicosity is no more than phoney, empty rhetoric, since you’ve never served, in spite of having the perfect opportunity during Desert Storm.

  • MCH

    …but it IS interesting, your constant attempts to align yourself with those braver than you…

  • troll

    Americans are not weak hearted but rather are grasping that an invading force cannot defeat a guerrilla force with popular support in the long term – an inconvenient fact understood by the entire ‘third world’

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    I was always for half-assing the war.

  • Baronius

    Oh, hey, MCH, that’s a good point. Thanks for adding the perspective.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    …but it IS interesting, your constant attempts to align yourself with those braver than you…

    MCH, why on earth would I not want to align myself with the brave? You’d rather I join you in aligning with fools and cowards?

    Dave

  • SHARK

    Clavos: “…I haven’t changed my mind since I first saw, shortly after “shock and awe”, that we were just repeating the same old Vietnam shit all over again.”

    Bless yer heart, Clav. Seriously. Clarity of thought is its own virtue. And maybe this quote will reduce some of the blows that Martin Lav delivers on this subject.

    Note to Martin: Apparently, on Iraq… He’s one of “us”.

    [Clav immediately contemplates suicide at the thought of having some affinity with SHARK]

    ========

    Clavos: “…Then why is such a hue and cry being raised about the killing we’re doing in Iraq?”

    Sorry. You’ve got it wrong.

    We don’t mind killing for no good reason;

    we don’t like DYING for no good reason.

    Hope that helps.

    =======

    Clavos: “Which takes me back to my original point: don’t go to war …unless you’re going in to win, whatever that takes.”

    Clav, I see yer point, but I think you’re looking at this all wrong; that sentiment APPEARS to be a lesson from Vietnam, but that’s been a mistake for years; the real lesson from Vietnam is that you don’t go into a “war” without some clear understanding of WHO you’re fighting, WHY you’re fighting them, and WHAT will be the criteria for “victory” and withdrawal/cessation of American fighting forces.

    Simple stuff — reiterated, I might add, by everyone from Sherman, Patton, MacArthur to Colin Powell.

    We’ve always got the stomach for a good fight; unfortunately, our political leaders are bad at picking ‘em.

    =======

    Speaking of NOT LEARNING FROM HISTORY — & Just for the record — I’m gonna go out on a limb here and point out for the umteenth time that — as with Afghanistan in the 1980s — we’re ARMING AND TRAINING the very enemy we’ll have to face in the near future, ie. Iraqi Shiites.

    Way ta go, George!

  • SHARK

    Nalle: “You’d rather I join you in aligning with fools and cowards?”

    Dave, no one died in Iraq today.

    Now run outside and play.

  • Clavos

    Clavos: “…Then why is such a hue and cry being raised about the killing we’re doing in Iraq?”

    Sorry. You’ve got it wrong.

    We don’t mind killing for no good reason;

    we don’t like DYING for no good reason.

    Hope that helps.

    Um, shark:

    There are plenty of people, both on BC and throughout the country who have raised all kinds of hell every time there’s even a hint of a civilian having died at the hands of a US soldier, regardless of the circumstances.

    And, to borrow a leaf from MCH’s book (shudder), none of them have ever been anywhere near a combat zone, but that doesn’t stop them from passing judgment.

  • troll

    (I’m one of those who is most concerned about the killing – and it’s effect on all involved)

    Clavos – folks only get uptight about killing civilians when it’s caught on tape it seems…each and every 500 fucking pound bomb (for example) that a flyboy drops on a populated area runs a high probability of shredding civilians

  • Nancy

    D’oh, I guess I’m dense; I don’t get the connection between various rock bands & your name change. But I AM glad to know you’re around, Yoda.

  • MCH

    Nalle: “You’d rather I join you in aligning with fools and cowards?”

    …as he writes confidently from deep within his fortified compound, 10,000 miles from the action.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Nancy – glad I am, what you say to hear. Connection lyrical and content, could be.

    For you, Nancy..

  • Martin Lav

    “I don’t see how Martin can miss what Clavos is saying so completely here. It seems pretty straightforward to me, and I basically agree.”

    No Davey me boy……I think you miss it.

    Clavos is saying (IMO) that we shouldn’t have entered into war with Iraq, because we don’t have the will to do what it takes to win.

    Whatever that is…..NUKES? Who knows…..

    I say…..we shouldn’t have because we can’t win this kind of war.
    Like SHARK says:

    “don’t go into a “war” without some clear understanding of WHO you’re fighting, WHY you’re fighting them, and WHAT will be the criteria for “victory” and withdrawal/cessation of American fighting forces.”

    and summed up again nicely by TROLL:

    “Americans are not weak hearted but rather are grasping that an invading force cannot defeat a guerrilla force with popular support in the long term – an inconvenient fact understood by the entire ‘third world'”

    IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH:

    – Liberals
    – Democrats
    – Professional WAR PROTESTERS
    – Our military stratergery
    – Capabilities

    It has everything to do with us being somewhere where others don’t want us and us having no business being there.

    Nalle: I really don’t see how you can miss the point so completely. Are you living in a duck blind or are you just blind?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Oh damn, and here I had thought it was his pimp is a blind duck!!

    Fucking dyslexia…

  • Baronius

    “a guerrilla force with popular support”

    That’s a perfect example of using the wrong template to understand Iraq. This isn’t a guerrilla war, and there isn’t popular support. You’re using a standard (erroneous) description of Vietnam.

    Try a Yugoslavia analogy instead. Historic religious tensions, psychopathic leader overthrown, weary population who supports national unity – under their own militia. Plenty of unsettled scores. That fits Iraq much better.

    Yugoslavia makes for a good analogy. Rwanda may be better. Lithuania is dealing with a split population and old wounds; so is South Africa. We need to look at how some of these nations made it through their troubles successfully, and why some failed. Any of these examples is more illuminating than the old “peasant revolution” lie about Vietnam.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    So Baronius, you mean like the Balkans? With Milosevic deposed, the entire region with historic constant warfare and so on.

    It would have been a better model, too bad those who planned and implemented the pre-emptive Iraq invasion didn’t study up on that. They didn’t read the Powell doctrine either…funny since Powell and even Wes Clark were readily available.

    However, on the “a guerrilla force with popular support” quote, I do think this line accurately describes some of the conditions in areas of Iraq, also with Hizb’allah and other organizations in which we are in conflict.

    There are definite parallels to be had and learned from, but the two are not identical by any means…cultures and desert/jungle environs are obvious differences.

    Part of the trick in forming synthesis from analysis is ensuring the information available is looked at openly and completely, then you see which pieces fit and which are different variables that require further study before any kind of decision making should be made.

    the Tao of D’oh

  • troll

    Baronius – don’t be confused by the fact that gorillas are not desert creatures…I said guerrilla

  • Baronius

    “You mean like the Balkans?” Yup. I didn’t say it was a happy analogy.

    You and I are saying the same words. We need to honestly appraise the situation so as to understand what to do next. I think Mark is doing that on a different thread. Martin isn’t moving past a Vietnam analogy. I assume that you’re seeking understanding; I know I am.

    Really, why should I care if the Yugoslavia or Rwanda analogies hurt my political side? If Iraq is headed toward genocide we need to be conscious of it. C’mon, we’re not ABC News, we’re intelligent adults. I hope that we’re all yelling at each other as we study the war, not studying the war as an excuse to yell at each other.

  • Martin Lav

    “Martin isn’t moving past a Vietnam analogy.”

    I never mentioned Vietnam and I don’t think I am able to make an analogy as I am not a warrior or trained to be one.

    I’m not qualified.

    I can only see what’s obvious in that this surge is really about purge.

  • troll

    Baronius – *This isn’t a guerrilla war, and there isn’t popular support.*

    I think that you are mistaken on both counts….Vietnam was just one permutation of guerrilla warfare

    and don’t confuse any of the levity or yelling with a lack of serious intent

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Troll, it may be a guerilla war, but it’s certainly not an insurgency and it doesn’t have popular support. At this point there’s no longer any question that the ‘insurgency’ is nothing but an invasion by two competing forces, Iran and al Qaeda.

    Dave

  • Martin Lav

    “At this point there’s no longer any question that the ‘insurgency’ is nothing but an invasion by two competing forces, Iran and al Qaeda.”

    Don’t buy it for a minute.

    Do you believe everything BushCo. is telling you? Since the Iraqi army just killed 100 “insurgents” a couple days ago, I’d like to see the stats on their papers that showed they were foreigners or Iranians.

    If these are just Gorilla’s, then take off their suits and let’s see their Iranian or Al Queda faces.

    Not buying…..

  • troll

    Dave #114 – I’m willing to be convinced of this but it will take some strong evidence and argument

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Dead guerillas don’t carry their paychecks from Iran or have their nationality tattooed on their faces as far as I know.

    But the signs are pretty telling. We can start with the fact that the IEDs being used in bombings are made in a factory in Iran, which has been very well documented and carry on to the claims from pretty reliable sources, including Iranian agents who were stopped and questioned and then released, that there are thousands of militarily trained Iranian agents operating in Iraq.

    Dave

  • MCH

    “Dead guerillas don’t carry their paychecks from Iran or have their nationality tattooed on their faces as far as I know.”
    – Dave Nalle

    Nor have dead dogs found near fortified compounds in Texas ever been given the choice between an .06 or buckshot…

  • Clavos

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  • troll

    Dave – you realize that you provided no links to help check your statement out – I await some evidence…

    and you didn’t address the critical factor of popular support at all

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Excuse me a moment, but for all that weapons have come from other countries, let us not forget how much the U.S. has supplied that is now in the hands of militias and other insurgents.

    Same with Iran, we’ve been selling them weapons for years, up to and including replacement parts for the F-14. At least they stopped the plane parts this week, dig around and be appalled by just how much in the way of weaponry and equipment we have been and still are selling, and to whom.

    What troll said in #116…it’s going to take quite a bit of very hard evidence for me to be convinced with the track record this administration has playing fast and loose with their infotainment.

    It’s like double deja vu here…flashback to Cambodia and the run up to Iraq all at the same time.

  • SHARK

    re: IEDs from IRAN

    After our “invasion” — the old defunct, disbanded, retreated, changed-clothes quickly Iraqi Army’s supply of a few million artillery shells came up missing. Those are being used for IEDs — and they probably have a few decades supply.

    ===

    AS WITH THE “REASONS” the US went to war in Iraq — the definition of the ‘enemy’ seems to keep changing to meet political pressures here at home: what oncer were a few pissed off, marginalized Sunnis has now become “Iran & Al Kayda.”

    whoo-boy.

    Here comes another war.

    Thanks, Nalle!
    Thanks, George!

  • Zedd

    The cost of the entire war was supposed to cost 50billion dollars. It has cost 600billion so far.

    The budget for the war last year was for 50billion, it cost us 153billion. This year we’ve budgeted 147billion and we’ve added more troops than we had last year……

    Anything rosy to say about this little nugget???

  • Igor

    Latest estimate for total Iraq war cost is $2-$4trillion.

    Boy, we could really use that money back in our national budget. That would clear up a bunch of our money problems.