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Iraq Sees Coalition Troop Pull-Out by Mid-2006

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With the insurgency in Iraq still raging, a top Iraqi official issued a statement likely to jangle some nerves in the PR wing of the White House.

“I will be very surprised if they (U.S. and other foreign troops) don’t think very seriously of starting pulling out probably by the end of the first half of next year,” said Iraqi national security adviser Mowaffak Al-Rubaie in an interview with CNN’s “Late Edition.”

It’s getting hard not to wonder what will happen when (not if) Iraq asks the United States and associated allies to remove its military presence. Will the U.S. immediately comply, relieved of the burden of bolstering a fragile democratic state? Or will President Bush refuse, engage in stall tactics, or perhaps insist that a foreign military presence in necessary in the grander scheme of the War on Terror?

Will a United Nations peacekeeping presence be established in time to make a smooth transition?

“I think we are winning — on the winning course, there is no doubt about it. The level of violence is not measured only by the number of explosions every day, or the number of casualties,” he said.

One cannot help but to be reminded of the bald lies and grotesque comedy during the final days of Saddam Hussein’s fall, when it was insisted that Iraq was winning the war. That the invasion, in fact, was barely even taking place.

That’s not to say that progress isn’t being made in Iraq, due to the hard work, courage, and sacrifice of a great many individuals. But it is misleading at the least to state that the “winning course” is not closely related to level of violence in Iraq, particularly at a time when the United States alone has 138,000 troops on the ground.

What will happen when those 138,000 troops are removed?

In related news, a suicide bomber killed 25 people in Northern Iraq on Sunday. The target of the attack was the headquarters of a political party based in Kurdistan.

Insurgents have in recent days carried out a furious sequence of attacks, including more than 15 car bombings in Baghdad that have killed dozens.

In more related news, a funeral procession in Northern Iraq was attacked by a suicide car bomber, killing more than 20, according to reports.

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  • SFC SKI

    There is a big difference between “start pulling out” and just plain up and leaving.

    Because the media is NOT doing it’s job and presenting actual news and analysis of day to day in events (if it don’t explode, it’s below the fold), you’re not to be blamed for not knowing the the Iraqi Security Forces and Iraqi Army are now conducting most of the raids and patrols, albeit supported by US and other forces. Slowly, and I emphasize slowly, they are learning the skills to take on the job of stabilizing their country. It is working, but it will be a few years more before they stand completely unsupported. This years raw recruits will be winter’s blooded vets, and will eventually shoulder the load.
    Despite insurgent attacks, Iraqis continue to join the police and army, continue to send in info leading to the detention or execution of insurgents, and they continue to go about rebuilding their country and their lives. If the insurgents were really having an effect, the reguar Iraqis would be too cowed to leave their homes, let alone vote or attend funerals or go to market.

    It looks bleak when all you get fed is the 30 second casualty reports alongside the pictures of blown up cars, but the media presents what sells, and we buy it.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Nonetheless, there will be a moment when we’re asked to leave. I wonder what will happen at that moment — that’s the Big Picture thing to focus on right about now. There will continue to be an insurgency, likely for years. The questions are:

    – What happens if (likely when) we’re asked to leave
    – If we do begin pullout, what happens when raids are stepped up

    And more significantly:

    – Will the Iraqi army / police forces be able to handle security on their own

    There are a number of what if questions too, of course, such as what happens if a quick election is called and a new theocratic government is voted in… or one very sympathetic to Iranian-style rule… and on and on.

    Lots of questions here — I’m just using the news of the day to get into them a little bit. As you say: Iraq slips off the radar in the Western media all too easily.

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

    Here’s the way it works. We won’t be asked to pull out until everyone in Iraq, including us, is confident the local forces can handle their challenges. Then we’ll pull out slowly to make sure we were right and to be prepared if we need to go back in. There’s not going to be any stalling or hemming and hawing. If Iraq can function on its own and remain democratic then we have everything we need there and we can sure use those troops elsewhere. Bush can obtain no bigger victory than that.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Okay good — I guess there’s nothing to worry about then.

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

    Well of course there’s stuff to worry about. As long as we’re there our guys are at risk and as soon as we start pulling out the terrorists might step up their attacks. But the bizarre worries I perceive in the original article about us imposing ourselves on the Iraqis seem totally improbable.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    “Bizarre worries” when suicide bombers are teeing off all over the country and there’s a shaky at best and brand new government trying to establish itself? Bizarre worries when we’ve been at war for several years now and there’s no end yet in sight?

    You crack me up sometimes, man.

  • Shark

    U.S. Secretary of Insane Optimism, DaveNalle: “…We won’t be asked to pull out until everyone in Iraq, including us, is confident the local forces can handle their challenges.”

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Shark

    re: ALL news from and about Iraq in general:

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • HW Saxton

    Didn’t it take us over 7 years to get a
    “FULLY democratic”(as if THIS could EVER
    happen in the Mid-East)government up and
    running in Post WW2 Germany??? And they
    weren’t running around fighting us with
    mortars,grenade launchers & human bombs?

    I think we’re there until the US Govt.
    comes clean about it’s intentions and it
    finally re-names the country “Bushnia”
    or “Halliburtonia”.

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

    I think a lot of people here need to read up on the realities of the situation in Iraq right now. I’ll put together an article with links which will clarify the situation for everyone. It’s a good idea since the news media isn’t covering anything but the bad news.

    Dave

  • HW Saxton

    Dave,I’m not really all that extreme as
    regards the situation. But I know that
    there are some unrealistic expectations
    being put forth as far as withdrawal of
    troops and the time it takes to do these
    things.I hope for the best but only seem
    to be seeing the worst. Along with the
    rest of the country.

    I do know for fact how hard it was to re
    establish a working government in West
    Germany in the post war years without
    all of the vexations large and small we
    are facing now.

    I just don’t think that the Government
    is being very realistic and that we are
    either going to have to occupy on a
    permanent basis or leave them to Civil
    War such as what happened after our gov.
    occupied Haiti in the 1930’s.That was a
    total disaster. I’ve been reading about
    that a lot lately and the parallels to
    Iraq right now and Haiti then are really
    uncanny. Destroyed infrastructure,civil
    strife between factions of ex loyalists
    etc. I hope for the best but am only
    seeing a brief glimmer of light now and
    then. And I want to see it suceed and a
    working country come out of this mess.

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

    Iraq has a much more educated and technologically sophisticated population than Haiti. It also has resources and potential wealth. There’s more surviving infrastructure than their was in post-war Germany and more capacity to rebuild as well, as far as manpower and know-how.

    I realize it seems like a big job, but if you look at reports on reconstruction and check out photos and news stories, it’s clear that their infrastructure is getting back up to speed remarkably quickly. They’ve even got a cell-phone network online and two more coming on line this coming month.

    Dave

  • nick

    This country should never have been invaded in the first place. It was foolish. The French were right.

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

    Brilliant, Nick. Such evidence and support for your well argued position. I’m sure the millions of Iraqis who can listen to news on the radio and speak freely in public for the first time in 50 years agree wholeheartedly with you.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    So onward to North Korea and Syria and Iran, Dave?

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Dean

    North Korea is an unpredictable wild-card at best, so I doubt anyone can cohesively guess what might or might not happen there but…I can make an educated guess on Syria and Iran:

    Syria – Syria is between a rock and a hard-place right now. They have the US on one side, Israel on the other. The Syrians are working to moderate their stance as much as is feasible within the context of their own Baathist government so aside from some continual diplomatic sniping and low-level support for the Iraq insurgency, I have few expectations of any major events regarding them – with the exception that increasing external assistance may embolden (or embiggen) their activity in the region (note: for external assistance read Russia and Putin). In short, I would be surprised if the Syrians did anything overt to support or permit a US invasion and I would be surprised if the American’s bothered. Bluntly Syria wouldn’t be worth it.

    Iran – This is a much trickier nut as Iran is very split and divisive in the power structures between the political and the theological. With a huge segment of young people looking avidly for the new, there is tremendous internal pressure to modernize and for a more open society, but there is also tremendous and highly entrenched opposition to change.

    Active US involvement would probably end up causing Iran to unite against the invaders. In case you haven’t checked out a map lately, Iran is *not* like Iraq. It is highly rugged, much larger, with a substantially higher population and resource base. It would not be a cakewalk. I suspect that the US would be too smart to set down into Iran without something significantly more important to gain so those who scream “Iran is next” from both the pro-war and anti-war sides are mostly full of sh*t.

    What you might see is increasing efforts by the US to develop deeper intelligence sources, reach out and fund opposition, use diplomacy, sanctions, isolation and pressure to move Iran to a stance more conducive to US interests. If matters decay to the point of no return and relations have devolved into an active threat level, you might see use of US airpower to cripple Iran’s nuclear ambitions. What I don’t think you will see, short of an act of war by Iran against the US, is an invasion of Iran, it just wouldn’t be an intelligent use of US power (not to say that they couldn’t do it…just that the costs would so far outweigh the gains that it would not be supportable).

    That’s my two cents….

  • nick

    Yeah ? I am certain that that was the main concern of your government when they declared the war. The US government doesn’t give a shit about the Iraqi people and/or democracy.

    The US governements have a history of getting rid of governments that stand in their way without showing any respect for democracy whatsoever. If they did they would never have created the putsch against the Allende government in Chile or the more recent one in Venezuela.

    And according to the news that we can see every day, it does not really look like the US troops are welcome in that country.

    You wish the US could be seen as a force for the good, but it is far fropm being the case !!

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    I think engagement with Iran on as many levels as possible — particularly cultural and academic — would yield the most fruit over time. There’s a huge and westward leaning youth population there, for which a somewhat-friendly U.S. can be a bright beacon of hope.

    But that’s not usually how this administration plays it, so…

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

    >>Yeah ? I am certain that that was the main concern of your government when they declared the war. The US government doesn’t give a shit about the Iraqi people and/or democracy.< <

    And you know this because of our long history of not helping out other countries and leaving them more democratic afterwards? Any actual evidence to support this theory?

    >>The US governements have a history of getting rid of governments that stand in their way without showing any respect for democracy whatsoever. If they did they would never have created the putsch against the Allende government in Chile or the more recent one in Venezuela.< <

    The Allende assassination was 30 years ago under an entirely different administration and prior to the passage of a LAW specifically forbidding that kind of activity. As for Venezuela, we didn't invade and we haven't assassinated Chavez - we've just been outspoken about how undesirable he is. And not wrongly, I might add.

    >>And according to the news that we can see every day, it does not really look like the US troops are welcome in that country. < <

    They're viewed as a necessary evil. You should perhaps try reading some actual opinions from Iraqis rather than the comments of international socialists filtered through the media.

    >>You wish the US could be seen as a force for the good, but it is far fropm being the case !!<<

    Except on the basis of actual facts and evidence, of course.

    Dave

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

    >>I think engagement with Iran on as many levels as possible<<

    Including the military level? Even I’m not willing to go that far.

    I think our work in Iraq will bring the changes we want in Iran eventually, but I do think it might be necessary to take more direct action with Syria.

    Dave

  • nick

    Very good idea. Thanks to fanatics like you Al Qaeda still has many good days ahead.

  • MCH

    “I think our work in Iraq will bring the changes we want eventually, but I do think it might be necessary to take more direct action with Syria.”
    – Dave Nalle

    By “OUR work” and the “changes WE want,” don’t you mean those who are brave enough to enlist and actually serve?

    And it’s interesting that you’re willing to sacrifice the lives of others to carry out the “taking of more direct action,” while safely seated at your keyboard…

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    >>I think engagement with Iran on as many levels as possible< <

    Including the military level? Even I’m not willing to go that far.

    That’s supposed to be funny, I guess. Good work.

    Dave – Your willingness to spill blood is cavalier, so say the least.

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com dean

    “I think our work in Iraq will bring the changes we want in Iran eventually, but I do think it might be necessary to take more direct action with Syria.”

    Dave, I’m not certain just what you would hope to accomplish by taking more direct action with Syria, aside from confirming the perception that the US is waging an imperialist war across the Middle East.

    Syria as a strategic target is of marginal value. Does it support and export terrorism? Yes, it certainly does. So does Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, etc. Will it do so with the same affinity now that it is under the spotlight? Not to anywhere near the same extent.

    If you want to crush every state that sponsors or supports terror in some form or another you are going to awfully busy and overextended. The reality is that low-intensity, guerrila and terror attacks are part of the geopolitical landscape and bombing another country into the stone age is simply not a cost-effective way to deal with the situation.

    Syria is in a situation not dissimilar to that of Libya a number of years ago. It has few friends, limited external support and very nasty downside awaiting it if it continues down the road. It can be shifted towards a more ameanable stance through a combination of economics, diplomacy, overt threats, intelligence and pressure. The recent events in Lebanon are a perfect example – that wouldn’t have happened 10 years ago – but the combination of external and internal events have resulting in a Syrian pullout.

    Whamming Syria into a puddle might be immensely satisfying, it really wouldn’t accomplish much in a strategic sense.

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

    MCH, do shut up unless you have something new and halfway intelligent to say. Maybe spend some more time ressurecting old posts and calling people chickenhawks since you seem to have no grasp whatever of the nature of the social contract or how the volunteer military actually operates.

    Eric, have I mentioned that I’m a proponent of the Culture of Death? You’re the one who said you wanted engagement with Iran. They’re not interested in peaceful engagement, so when you say that you had best be prepared for that engagement to mean war.

    As for Syria, Dean, I agree that we have no absolute need to take military action there. The question is whether our actions in Iraq will be sufficient to keep change going or if we’ll need to make a second example of Syria – mainly becuase it’s a much easier target than Iran. Ultimately what happens to Syria probably depends mostly on how they continue to behave in Lebanon. If they can stay out then they probably get a pass and their various transgresssions can be dealt with diplomatically.

    I think that in the future what we need to try to do is build a coalition of the reasonable middle eastern nations to do their own peacekeeping and maverick roping. A military alliance between Turkey, Jordan and Iraq (once it’s pulled together) could get Syria to toe the line very quickly. An alliance between Pakistan, Afghanistan and a future Iraq could pressure Iran into sanity as well.

    Dave

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    dave channels o’reilly, film at 11.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Okay, you caught me: I meant peaceful engagement, which I thought was obvious via the context of my comments.

    If Iran’s government isn’t interested in peaceful engagement (which I don’t think is the case), millions of its citizens certainly are.

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

    So you’re advocating a popular revolution against the democratically elected government of Iran? Works for me. Let’s get the CIA on arming the Mujahedin.

    Dave

  • SFC SKI

    Aside from the obvious trolls here, some good ponts have been made.

    If there is one thing to be learned here, it is that there is no single best way to deal with another country.

    Syria, for example, is actually squeezed from all sides (don’t forget, Turkey and Israel have treaties and business dealings, but Turkey is not that friendly with Syria), so it can be pressured in ways that Iran, for example can’t.

    I wrote elsewhere that Asian cultures value patience and take a long view, and we need to do the same, in the sense that invading Iran would cause a nationalistic surge against us, but when younger Iranians see Iraq, and Afghanistan as becoming free democratic countries, they will be even more demanding of reform and freedom in their own country.

    North Kora is making big noises, but China really holds the key to controlling them. The Chinese do not want a war next door, what they do want is for us to give them Taiwan in return for China reining in North Korea.

    Back to your topic, Eric, I would not say there is nothing to worry about, The new Iraq is in its infancy, it will take a while for it to stand on its own. I do agree that the Iraqis have a lot of well-educated and hard-working people who want to make the most of a free society, and that it will take time.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    No, I’m advocating that we encourage positive and peaceful change.

    But you knew already knew that.

  • SFC SKI

    The problem is, Iran’s government is not truly representative of its people (shocking, I know, and some smart ass will soon chime in that neither is the US’s). There have been a lot of protests by younger Iranians against thir government. Again, if the media was doing its job of reporting news, it would be a lot clearer.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    SFC – I believe that Iran can see a peaceful transition to a moderate, benign presence in the region if given a chance. The westward looking factions must be given a chance to influence the government from within.

  • SFC SKI

    I agree as well, but their government’s determination to obtain nuclear weapons may not allow for that. Left to its wn devices, outside of the nuclear factor, the old hard liners would die off to be replaced.

    That is what I man by the long view, 25 years ago, the the Islamic Republic had no chance of obatining the technology, but as times change and events are forgotten, people are willing to deal with them for economimc or other reasons.

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

    This would, of course, all be much simpler if the French didn’t give away nuclear technology like candy.

    Dave

  • Shark

    Re: IRAQ

    DaveNalle sez: “…the news media isn’t covering anything but the bad news.”

    Hard not to, given today’s events.

    But close yer eyes and keep yer head up yer ass, America: everything is hunky-dory in Iraq — and getting better all the time. Besides, we have better things to do than worry about Bush’s blunder now that they’ve got “democracy” and cell phone networks!

    Gotta run: American Idol is on!

  • Shark
  • Shark

    DaveNalle: “I think a lot of people here need to read up on the realities of the situation in Iraq right now.”

    Dave, go to “Google”, “News”, enter “Iraq”

    Get back to us, Mr. Delusional Pedant.

  • Shark

    How ’bout that Lyndie Englund, eh?

    (“I’m for the war, but against the troops.” — Bill Hicks)

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    SFC – My comment #30 is responding to Dave, not you, just in case that wasn’t obvious.

    Shark – You bring up a good point regarding Nation Building — a key component of Bush’s ’00 campaign was to… not nation-build.

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

    You really can’t unbuild nations and then not build them back again. That’s hardly realistic. I don’t think that Bush conceived when he campaigned that he’d find himself in a situation which would prompt him to full scale military conquest and the nation building which its aftermath mandates.

    Thanks for that link to google news, Shark. But I already know how to find it. BTW, today’s news has nothing significant or new about Iraq on it. Not a word. When I want news about Iraq I find it far more informative to go direct to the source, like to Iraqi papers or Iraqi bloggers. Maybe you should try these ones for a start:

    http://www.alsabaah.com/English.html
    http://www.iraqthemodel.com
    chrenkoff.blogspot.com/

    As for the recent surge in suicide bombings after a relatively quiet month – which is what I assume you thought I’d find on google news – experts are pretty sure it’s a sign of increasing desperation on the part of both the al quaeda invaders and the baathist hard line terrorists. Their resources are running out and iraqi public opinios has turned so overwhelmingly against them that they need to win soon or they’re history.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    ok..here’s the nut of the matter, summed up by our own Mr. Nalle..
    *I don’t think that Bush conceived when he campaigned that he’d find himself in a situation which would prompt him to full scale military conquest and the nation building which its aftermath mandates.*

    it shows the entire problem being experienced in Iraq, starting with the day after the statue of Saddam was taken down..

    you do remember all the looting that was going on and Rumsfeld saying “freedom is messy”….

    an old saying in the military when i was in “prior planning prevents piss poor performance” appears to have been forgotten by those in charge of this Administration…i mean , they are great at planning out the dates when stuff should happen to coincide with their political calendar’s agenda…but not so good at anticipating the consequences of their actions..

    let me be clear here, i do NOT think it is the fault of the military commanders in any way shape or form….they are doing the best they can with what they have…and Bog knows the troops themselves are performing above and beyond the Call…

    Mr. Nalle sez..
    *experts are pretty sure it’s a sign of increasing desperation*

    now i would like to believe this..butr we have heard from each and every iteration that it is a sign of desperation…the volume of incidents goes down…the insurgency is dying…they increase …it’s to try and stop the election..

    on and on…i will readily admit it coudl be absolutely correct and they are terribly desperate…

    but this Opinion comes from the same brainiacs that gave us the “slam dunk” and “infallible” intelligence that got us into the Conflict in the first place..

    no good Answers anywhere for this conundrum, gentle Readers…all we can do is hope for the Best for our Troops in harm’s way…

    but please spare me the bullshit that all is well, or that this is going according to some Plan..

    once we can all admit it is a major clusterfuck we can all try and do whatever is possible to fix it and spare any unneeded loss of life..

    that’s just my one sixth billionth’s of the world’s Opinion…

    your mileage may vary…

    Excelsior!

  • nick

    Yep those damn French again !
    Dave thank God the world has you to open up people’s eyes (Sarcasm intended)

  • nick

    The last time I checked the only country that had nuclear weapons in the Middle East was Israel.

    But since it doesn’t seem to bother anybody…

    The US will not have any credibility as long as it will carry on applying double standards.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Gonzo — Very well said, I largely agree.

    Nick — It must be said that in terms of Israel, the Bush Administration has been immensely supportive, which, coupled with the large Jewish population in New York and 9/11, made some Republican gains in that community. Actor/activist Ron Silver is a great example, though I’m getting off-topic.

    I’m actually fine with the “double-standard” in the Middle East. Israel is a close ally in a troubled region… why wouldn’t the U.S. have thier backs in issues that are common to both nations?

    In terms of policy it gets very sticky, of course, as does almost everything in the Middle East: settlements in the West Banks, Jersualem, and on and on.

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

    Gonzo: “but this Opinion comes from the same brainiacs that gave us the “slam dunk” and “infallible” intelligence that got us into the Conflict in the first place..”

    Actually, in this case that opinion comes from a number of journalists and international observers, rather than the administration.

    The pattern of decreasing overall violence followed by brief but increasingly far apart periods of heightened activity is characteristic of a guerilla war running out of resources. It’s the Tet Offensive syndrome, where the insurgents bet it all on one big hit to make enough political impact in the conquering country to reverse their policies.

    Nick: “Yep those damn French again !”

    So, you’re under the deluded impression that the nuclear materials the Iranians have were sold to them by someone other than the French?

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Didn’t the Tet Offensive basically achieve its goals and knock the U.S. out of the war?

    I don’t think that’s the best example to use to make your point.

  • SFC SKI

    Eric, the short answer is, No. The Tet offensives were failures, and it would be years later before the US would withdraw from Vietnam.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    It’s the perfect example, Eric. The Tet Offensive achieved its goal because the US wasn’t resolute and buckled under the threat it represented. But it was a hollow threat. The offiensive used up Viet Cong resources to the point where they were much less capable of fighting on than if they had not made it, and in the aftermath the US regained more territory from them and did them more harm than at any other time during the war. But the political impact of the Tet Offensive was enough in America to bring down the Johnson administration, because it created the impression that they were losing the war, so while it was a longterm military disaster for the VC, it was a political death blow to the US.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    Mr. Nalle sez..
    *Actually, in this case that opinion comes from a number of journalists and international observers, rather than the administration.*

    call me cynical,but the only places i have heard that rhetoric from have been either the Administration, or it’s stooges…either case, it has been neither proven nor disproven what the means nor intentions of the insurgents are, other than they are mucking things up and killing folks..

    Mr Nalle sez..
    *The pattern of decreasing overall violence followed by brief but increasingly far apart periods of heightened activity is characteristic of a guerilla war running out of resources.*

    i must disagree with your Postulate here, the “decreasing overall” statement is suspect with conflicting reports on totals and depending on the definitions of time periods involved, as for the “increasingly far apart periods of heightened activity”, i also disagree that they are getting further apart…this past week or two have seen almost daily assaults, many of those days with multiple incidents that could well be co-ordinated according to various military sources…

    as for the nuclear materials in Iran..it could just as well be the Russians as the French…more probably the Russians since they actually can mine the raw materials and know quite a bit more about the subject than the tiny French nuclear power industry…i understand that both countries have quite the extensive history with Iran…but so do we..

    or is it so easily forgotten that the US overthrew a democratically elected Iranian president and installed the Shah?

    but i digress…

    the crux of my difficulty here is understanding the why and when aspect of the invasion of Iraq..speculative “evidence” concerning WMD’s were supposedly the “clear and present danger” used to justify it…but anyone can easily see that Iran and most especially North Korea actually HAVE fissionable material

    this leads to concern that there was/is some other motive for the Administration’s choices…especially the timing…note that every date involved, the invasion/”mission accomplished”/the election, were all conveniently placed for perfect timing in American politics

    that bothers the hell out of me…especially after Rumsfeld’s “you go to war with the Army you have” when he was asked about proper supplies for our troops..

    if we had been directly attacked ..as in Pearl Harbor..i would heartily agree..even Afghanistan could be understandably rushed since it was direct retaliation against those that attacked US….but Iraq?

    spare me

    the Administration chose the time and manner and all the details…their hands were NOT forced in any way, shape , or form…they could have waited a year or more to get everything right…so why the rush and ill prepared army?

    that, gentle Readers…is for you to decide, and i would wager it depends on where you stand, politically…

    but look at the facts of the timing with an open mind, remember the riots and looting after we “won”…the difference between the “Powell Doctrine” and what Rumsfeld and company actually did…hell , look at Afghanistan..the forgotten step-child in this whole conflict…nice for them to be #1 opium producer while we are there…

    on and on, ad nauseum…

    but remember…i am the crazy one around here, eh?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>call me cynical,but the only places i have heard that rhetoric from have been either the Administration, or it’s stooges…< <

    I pay little or no attention to the administration or its surrogates. I'm getting my assessment information from more objective sources.

    >>either case, it has been neither proven nor disproven what the means nor intentions of the insurgents are, other than they are mucking things up and killing folks..< <

    Here I agree with you to some extent. Analysts are currently expressing a lot of puzzlement over exactly what the hell the insurgents are trying to achieve, since they are mostly attacking Iraqi civilians who just hate them more every day. They're turning neutral Iraqis pro-American and anti-terrorist faster than our best propaganda could.

    >>i must disagree with your Postulate here, the “decreasing overall” statement is suspect with conflicting reports on totals and depending on the definitions of time periods involved, as for the “increasingly far apart periods of heightened activity”, i also disagree that they are getting further apart…this past week or two have seen almost daily assaults, many of those days with multiple incidents that could well be co-ordinated according to various military sources…< <

    Yes, THIS week. But the last two months showed a clear decline in activity no matter whose figures you look at. There were even a couple of stretches of 3 or 4 days at a time with no US casualties at all and few Iraqi casualties.

    >>as for the nuclear materials in Iran..it could just as well be the Russians as the French…more probably the Russians since they actually can mine the raw materials and know quite a bit more about the subject than the tiny French nuclear power industry…i understand that both countries have quite the extensive history with Iran…but so do we..<<

    Except that it was the French and they admit to it. This isn’t a theory, this is acknowledged fact.

    The rest of your post was speculative twaddle so I’ll save everyone’s time by ignoring it.

    Dave

  • nick

    Dave I am not aware of the acknowledged fact regarding the French involvement in selling nuclear technology to the iranians.
    Could you please direct to some articles or research that confirm that ?
    Thanks

  • gonzo marx

    Mr. Nalle sez..
    *The rest of your post was speculative twaddle so I’ll save everyone’s time by ignoring it.*

    well then..it’s like that now, eh?..ok..i will gladly leave it to the gentle Readers as to which is more relevant as well as entertaining, my “twaddle”, or your own diatribes…

    i am on neither “gang”, demlicans nor repubocrats, and so am free to pick oln both whenever they do something silly or just plain wrong…you are part of the GOP structure in Texas (the “Liberty wing”, as you name it), the same chapter of the GOP that spawned Rove, Bush and Delay…

    my Interest in these matters is purely based on the use of our Nation’s “Blood and Treasure”…ie: how is the Administration spending our money as well as the lives of our Troops…are they doing so in the best Interests of the Citizens?
    as you have stated previously, you have a vested financial Interest in Haliburton and KBR..( side note, KBR=Kelogg,Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Haliburton, known for their legions of mercenary soldioers..that’s right kiddies, a huge majority of those “civilian contractors” you keep hearing about are gun toting mercenaries for Haliburton, and you and i are paying for them)…this Interest is purely financial on your part, Mr. Nalle…and you have openly stated that your stock holding increased in value dramatically when the “war” began…could this also influence some of your positions elsewhere, ANWR perhaps?..

    now..on to the rest of your prose..

    as for the French..i am Aware that they have had a role to play in Iran..my point was that the Russians have as well, the full extent is not entirely public yet…but the whole “French” bit is merely a “distraction” from the topic of Iraq…so let’s move on..

    Mr. Nalle sez..
    *There were even a couple of stretches of 3 or 4 days at a time with no US casualties at all and few Iraqi casualties.*
    those “few Iraqi casualties” include a female Minister Elect for the new government as well as recruits for both the police force and the military..
    i can readily admit the levels of insurgent activity increase and decline..i argue that the so call “trend” is non-existant when you factor in all variables over the course of the entire conflict…but the point is moot..whichever view you care to take..the Insurgents are still killing folks…silly me, i think that is a bad thing..

    and now, the best Joke..
    Mr Nalle sez..
    *I pay little or no attention to the administration or its surrogates. I’m getting my assessment information from more objective sources.*

    what sources would they be?..there are NO independant journalists in-country that are completely Objective that i am aware of…almost ALL US reporters are “embedded” and NOT allowed to roam or file as they like but are strictly controlled…you surely cannot believe that any Souce claiming to be “iraqi” can be un-biased or objective under the circumstances so i am quite curious as to these supposed sources…

    we will leave aside for the moment that for all your protestations of “I pay little or no attention to the administration or its surrogates.” that your expressed opinions fall directly under the GOP talking points and Party line in the majority of cases..i have seen, and do Acknowledge anytime that you step out from Rove’s shadow and express an Individual position..and will gladly state that such usually falls along what could be considered “Libertarian” lines

    please note..gentle Readers, that part of my “twaddle” had to do with the History between our nation and Iran

    also note that whenever i have been shown to be factually incorrect i admit it here, quite publicly, and adjust my position accordingly…even thanking whomever has Enlightened me…

    can the same be said for my Detractor?

    enough of my “twaddle”

    the Persecution rests…

    Excelsior!

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Give me twaddle! Please God, more twaddle!

  • Eric Olsen

    a man can live a long time on twaddle and vitamin C

  • gonzo marx

    heh..

    many thanx to both Eric’s

    >bows, hand over fist<

    nice ta know i was missed while on my trip…

    i’ll twaddle some more on the morrow..

    Excelsior!

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    a man can live a long time on twaddle and vitamin C

    …and $2 bottles of wine from Trader Joe’s… (vamping from another post… sorry)

  • Shark

    Hey Dave,

    Comparing Iraq to Vietnam is not winning you converts.

    re: Tet Offensive

    THEY WON, YOU FUCKING MOTARD.

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

    Nick. Check this press release from Tehran.

    Of course, everyone has had some role in Iranian nuclear development except for the US and Israel. The Germans, Russians, Pakistanis, Chinese and French are the big players.

    Dave

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

    Snark:

    >>Comparing Iraq to Vietnam is not winning you converts.

    re: Tet Offensive

    THEY WON, YOU FUCKING MOTARD.<<

    Good lord. Are you unable to read or just dense? The Tet Offensive was a military failure but a political victory. They didn’t win the war because of ground gained on Tet – they lost that all back and more within a week. They won the war because America lost the will to fight and Tet contributed to that.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    That’s a weak argument, Dave. That’s like arguing that the British could have won the Revolutionary War had they tried harder and poured in more money and troops.

    War is innately political.

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

    >>Mr. Nalle sez..
    *The rest of your post was speculative twaddle so I’ll save everyone’s time by ignoring it.*

    well then..it’s like that now, eh?..ok..i will gladly leave it to the gentle Readers as to which is more relevant as well as entertaining, my “twaddle”, or your own diatribes…< <

    Now Gonzo, we all agree you manufacture the finest twaddle this side of Tiperrary.

    >>i am on neither “gang”, demlicans nor repubocrats, and so am free to pick oln both whenever they do something silly or just plain wrong…you are part of the GOP structure in Texas (the “Liberty wing”, as you name it), the same chapter of the GOP that spawned Rove, Bush and Delay…< <

    You're deeply confused. None of those three are Liberty Republicans. We're represented by people like Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo. The GOP Liberty faction is totally opposed to the approach to politics which Delay represents and only reluctantly supports Bush and Rove, and many individual members oppose most administration policies. Rather than try to lump us in with the neocons who are our diametric opposites, why not go read some of our positions on the RLC faq at http://www.rlc.org/?p=FAQ#4261

    >>as you have stated previously, you have a vested financial Interest in Haliburton and KBR..( side note, KBR=Kelogg,Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Haliburton, known for their legions of mercenary soldioers..that’s right kiddies, a huge majority of those “civilian contractors” you keep hearing about are gun toting mercenaries for Haliburton, and you and i are paying for them)…this Interest is purely financial on your part, Mr. Nalle…and you have openly stated that your stock holding increased in value dramatically when the “war” began…could this also influence some of your positions elsewhere, ANWR perhaps?..< <

    It's not purely financial. I also have a friend who's a mercenary working for KBR, so there's a personal element as well. Let me also point out that I did not own Halliburton before the invasion of Iraq and bought it specifically because it was clear that it was the only US based company which could provide the services that would be required once the reconstruction of the oil infrastructure began. Any sensible investor would have done the same, and I have no problem with a company which makes its money by supporting our troops and helping to rebuilt Iraq.

    >>Mr. Nalle sez..
    *There were even a couple of stretches of 3 or 4 days at a time with no US casualties at all and few Iraqi casualties.*
    those “few Iraqi casualties” include a female Minister Elect for the new government as well as recruits for both the police force and the military..< <

    Um, how do you know this? I didn't name the specific dates I was talking about.

    >>i can readily admit the levels of insurgent activity increase and decline..i argue that the so call “trend” is non-existant when you factor in all variables over the course of the entire conflict< <

    You can't realistically argue that casualties were not down in March and April. Both months were substantially lower in US casualties than any other month since the war began. That's not some random pattern, it's a significant change.

    >>…but the point is moot..whichever view you care to take..the Insurgents are still killing folks…silly me, i think that is a bad thing..< <

    We can agree on that, at least.

    >>what sources would they be?..there are NO independant journalists in-country that are completely Objective that i am aware of< <

    There's no such thing as an objective journalist at all, but there are lots of sources other than the administration to get news from. I posted some links earlier. You can read Iraqi papers and blogs, you can read Al Jazeera for that matter.

    >>…almost ALL US reporters are “embedded” and NOT allowed to roam or file as they like but are strictly controlled…< <

    This is not strictly true anylonger. That was the case during the active phase of military operations, but journalists have a great deal of freedom now.

    >>you surely cannot believe that any Souce claiming to be “iraqi” can be un-biased or objective under the circumstances so i am quite curious as to these supposed sources…< <

    Of course they're just as subjective as anyone else, but if you read a variety of sources you can tell who makes sense and who doesn't.

    >>we will leave aside for the moment that for all your protestations of “I pay little or no attention to the administration or its surrogates.” that your expressed opinions fall directly under the GOP talking points and Party line in the majority of cases..< <

    I have yet to see these talking points. Where can I get hold of a copy. I hear that such things exist, but no one is sending them to me.

    >>i have seen, and do Acknowledge anytime that you step out from Rove’s shadow and express an Individual position..and will gladly state that such usually falls along what could be considered “Libertarian” lines<<

    Wow, you really aren’t paying attention at all, are you?

    Try some of my BC postings:

    blogcritics.org/archives/2005/04/21/143045.php
    blogcritics.org/archives/2005/04/16/023510.php
    blogcritics.org/archives/2005/03/15/045917.php

    Read these and get back to me. I agree with Bush on 2 or 3 issues. That’s hardly the whole political spectrum – but apparently they’re the issues that annoy you the most.

    Dave

  • Shark

    Ben Tre, Vietnam = Fallujah, Iraq

    “It became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it.”

    ===============

    Dave, what does your freerepublic.site say about average # of American deaths per day? What– around 1.7 to 2?

    Wow! Good news!

    And as of May 3, 2005, ONLY 1590 American GIs dead to secure those weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
    (1 soldier listed as captured)

    Total Number of WMDs found: ZERO

    Latest US Military Fatality: TODAY, May 3

    But there’s more good news: Iraq has two — count ‘em — TWO cell phone networks!

    Some say the glass is half empty; DaveNalle says the glass is half full; I say it doesn’t matter, ’cause it contains toxic shit.

    Drink up, Davey! You broke it — you own it!

  • Shark

    DaveNalle, on investing in Halliburton once Bush announced he was throwing them a $200 billion bone drenched in American Cannon Fodder (aka “soldier’s”) blood: “…Any sensible investor would have done the same…”

    Any greedy opportunistic, traitorous whore would have done the same.

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

    Reality rarely makes an appearance in the gloom of sharkworld, but at least there continue to be no WMDs there.

    You’re almost as tedious as MCH. Post something interesting and I’ll respond to it. The same old whining gets tedious.

    Dave

  • Shark

    And I’m out of touch with reality?

    Dave: “…at least there continue to be no WMDs there.” [in Iraq]

    Yep. And thank God we rooted out all those terrorists, too!

  • Shark

    Dave: “Post something interesting and I’ll respond to it.”

    How ’bout:

    “Dave, come take one in the yarballs, ya big Right-Wing Pussy”

    ???

    xxoo
    S

  • JR

    Of course, everyone has had some role in Iranian nuclear development except for the US and Israel.

    Actually, the U.S. had a major role in Iran’s nuclear development before the revolution. In the late seventies, Israel was negotiating to help Iran build missiles which could carry nuclear weapons, although that seems to have had no tangible result.

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

    >>But there’s more good news: Iraq has two — count ‘em — TWO cell phone networks!<<

    Actually, Shark – there are 3 now, but only 1 of the 3 has wide coverage. Interestingly they’re paying the equivalent of $500 a month to anyone who puts a tower in their yard, which is a damn fine income in Iraq.

    And in fact, I see this as enormously significant. The development of this kind of infrastructure and economic growth is what will stop the terrorists. Nothing discourages terrorism more than obvious prosperity and a population that can taste civilization and realizes how terrorism threatens it.

    Dave

  • nick

    nobody will deny that the best way to corrupt your mind is money

  • SFC SKI

    Or whatever you’re on, Nick.

    Earlier this week, one of the nephews of Saddam Hussein was captured, joining his father in captivity, two major insurgent leaders in the space of 30 days. BTW, Syria turned in the father, IIRC.

    Communications indicate that many of Zarqawi’s followers are no longer working in coordinated efforts, and are becoming demoralized. Zarqawi not going out of his way to answer back.

    Osama’s # 3 man captured.

    Iraqis keep getting killed at recruiting stations, because despite the risks, they feel this is something worth doing to bring stability to their country.

    Iraqis continue to inform on insurgent groups in their area, in an effort to get rid of them.

    No, not all is sunshine in Iraq, it’s a hard, bloody, dangerous fight. Good thing the people involved in the fighting have more persistence than those on the sidelines.

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

    You have to wonder about what kind of police force Iraq will end up with. First, these guys are dedicated enough to volunteer despite the obvious risks, then they face incredible danger every day. Don’t you imagine the survivors in a year or so are going to be the most hardassed cops ever?

    Dave

  • SFC SKI

    They have the same problems of having to distinguish from civilian, insurgent, and just simple criminals. I feel for them, they are putting themselves out as targets regularly, and if some insurgents take a mind to, they usually shoot up a police station or police patrol, or go to the cops’ homes and try to kill them. Still, the ones I have worked with were professional.

  • nick

    They must be so thankful for the US to have brought in their “democracy” and their Mc Donald’s !

  • SFC SKI

    No, almost every Iraqi I met while sitting in McDonald’s wanted to know if we could put Saddam back in power.

  • nick

    Dave thanks for the article, it was interesting.
    However i will no resist the pleasure to quote you.

    I this post you successively declared:
    “So, you’re under the deluded impression that the nuclear materials the Iranians have were sold to them by someone other than the French?”

    and then

    “Of course, everyone has had some role in Iranian nuclear development except for the US and Israel. The Germans, Russians, Pakistanis, Chinese and French are the big players.”

    So my question to you is:
    Why would you single out and blame exclusively France for it ?

    As you now know, the majority of American people think, as the French did, that the Iraq War Not Worth Fighting.

    Are you upset that France was right about Iraq ?

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

    Nick, what gives you the idea that France was right about Iraq.

    And France’s role in Iranian nuclear development was primarily to supply fissionable materials rather than technology.

    And whether the French or the American people think the war was not worth fighting because the media has programmed them to think that, the truth and public opinion are not the same thing.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Here’s what I’d like to know: if the mainstream media is so powerful, so biased, so convincing, and so manipulative…

    How did Bush win reelection and how did the Republicans win a modest majority in both Houses of Congress?

    Well, maybe Fox/Wall Street Journal/Washington Times/Rush/Hannity/Bill O’R did their job after all…

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I didn’t say the mainstream media were anti Bush. They contributed to his victory to some extent, because although they may have personally liked Kerry better, Bush was a lot easier to cover. He produced better soundbytes, was more interesting and more personable, and kept people watching. Regardless of their political persuasion as individuals, the media is ultimately a business, and Bush was just more marketable for them than Kerry was.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    That sounds reasonable to me. But that in some sense contradicts your statement that the media is programming the public to turn against the war. I just don’t see that. If anything, the media has been lax in turning away from an ongoing American war… which is again due to business concerns. No one wants to see the drip and drab of dead bodies and explosions day after day.

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

    Well, the war and Bush are not the same thing. The media DOES want to see the drip and drab of dead bodies and explosions. Heartless though it is, they realize that death and destruction keep people watching – the old maxim ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ lives on.

    In the case of the Iraq situation the observable phenomenon is the repeated reporting of X number of people died in Iraq, generally not followed by certain key clarifications – such as explaining that none of the people who died were Americans or that a good portion of them may even have been terrorists. It’s the body count that matters. They want to return to the days of Vietnam when they felt relevant when they could put a big number on the screen.

    The press relentlessly focuses on the bad news from Iraq and reports almost none of the good news. The fact that most people there are getting back to pretty normal lives and that the terrorist attacks are fewer overall, but more concentrated, never makes the news. Did the major networks cover the resumption of 24 hour electricity in most of the country, or the competition between three cellular companies for customers, or the fact that there’s so much traffic on the streets that they now have to deal with traffic jams, or the myriad other signs that normal society is functioning there on a day to day basis. All they report is the isolated incedents of violence, painting a false portrait of the situation.

    And just as has been the case in Israel for decades, a normal society CAN survive and function even with daily terrorist attacks – and that’s something you never see admitted even on Fox News.

    Dave

  • nick

    The facts give me the idea that France was right about Iraq.
    We were told that we should go to war over there because of the imminent threat posed by weapons of mass destructions.
    France opposed the war on the grounds that the inspectors were there for the very purpose of finding out about those alleged WMD.
    Two years and some tens of thoudands of dead people later, we now know that there was no WMD whatsoever and that subsequently Iraq was not a threat at all.

    France 1 – USA 0

    But then of course, now we are told that the US went to war on humanitarian grounds. That must be the biggest jokes of all times. If the US government were a charitable organization, I suppose we would know about that !

  • Shark

    Dave “I Love Iraq!” Nalle: “In the case of the Iraq situation the observable phenomenon is the repeated reporting of X number of people died in Iraq, generally not followed by certain key clarifications – such as explaining that none of the people who died were Americans or that a good portion of them may even have been terrorists.”

    Yeah, well…


    “As of Wednesday,
    May 4, 2005, at least 1,590 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

    “…Since May 1, 2003, when President Bush declared that major combat operations in Iraq had ended, 1,452 U.S. military members have died, according to AP’s count. That includes at least 1,106 deaths resulting from hostile action, according to the military’s numbers.

    “…The latest deaths reported by the military:

    Two U.S. soldiers died Tuesday when their vehicles were struck by roadside bombs.

    One Marine’s body was found Wednesday in Baghdad, Iraq. The Marine’s plane had been missing since Monday. The other pilot’s body was found Tuesday.

    The latest identifications reported by the military:

    Marine Maj. John C. Spahr, 42, Cherry Hill, N.J.; died Monday when his plane crashed in Iraq; assigned to Fighter Attack Squadron 323, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif.

    Army Spc. Derrick J. Lutters, 24, Burlington, Colo.; died Sunday along a supply route in Iraq when a vehicle-borne explosive detonated; assigned to the National Guard’s 891st Engineer Battalion, Pittsburg, Kan.”

    They died so Iraqis can have cell phones.

    I’d say it ain’t worth it — but then again, I’m not a heartless, opportunistic investor in Halliburton.

    Let’s ask Dave.

  • Shark

    Oh, wait, I’m sorry! It’s THURSDAY already; my, time flies when you’re liberating Islamic strangers who fucking hate you!

    “…Sgt. Eric W. Morris, 31, of Sparks, Nevada, was one of four killed in Iraq Thursday when a homemade bomb exploded near their Stryker military vehicle in Tal Afar, Iraq.”

    DaveNalle & George Bush’s $250 BILLION shopping list:

    (aka “The Good News From Iraq”)

    * 24 hour electricity in most of the country

    * three cellular companies for customers

    *there’s so much traffic on the streets that they now have to deal with traffic jams

    =========

    God Bless America! Support the Troops!

    Iraq now has TRAFFIC JAMS!

  • Shark

    Dave, seriously:

    why do you folks on the Right HATE AMERICA?

  • nick

    They just love money.

    Here is a quote from Gordon Brown, British Chancellor of the Exchequer.

    “Iraq invasion was about national economic interest “.

    Which, in my opinion, makes much more sense than WMD or “liberating” Iraqi.

    It is all about money and has always been. Now what is devastating is that clueless American people chose to re-elect the criminals who chose to send their family to death for the profits of a few.

    I am not blaming only the american people here. Today May 5th, British people are giving another 5 years of office to their own corrupted liar. Such is the world ! Better laugh about the injustice or else we’d go mad.

  • Shark

    re. DaveNalle’s “bizarre worries” (comment #5)

    TODAY’S news from NY Times:

    “BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 5 – Insurgents struck in four separate attacks in Baghdad this morning, killing at least 21 people and wounding 19, as the effort to destabilize the newly formed Iraqi government continued.

    …Close to 200 people, mostly Iraqi police officers and soldiers, have been killed in car bomb attacks and other insurgent ambushes since the government was announced last Thursday…”

    EricBerlin wondered what would happen when Americans pull out of Iraq — since it appears the greatest military on earth can’t begin to stop or control the anarchy/terrorist attacks in Iraq.

    Good question?

    Or just a negative spin from a Leftwing America-hater?

    Feh.

    ============

    Speaking of money, greedy American conservatives, and the plunder of the American taxpayer, here’s

    TODAY’S news from AP/Boston Globe:

    “WASHINGTON (AP) U.S. government mismanagement of assets in Iraq, from the lack of proper documentation on nearly $100 million in cash to millions of dollars worth of unaccounted-for equipment, are setting back efforts to fight corruption in the fledgeling democracy, auditors and critics say.

    “…Iraq became awash in billions of dollars in cash after the U.S. invasion two years ago, often with few or no controls over how that money was spent and accounted for. From the $8.8 billion provided to Iraq’s interim government to millions provided to U.S. contractors, investigations have detailed a system ripe for abuse…”

    Um, Patriotic Dave, WHAT WAS THAT YOU WERE SAYING??

  • Shark

    BTW:

    “Iraq became awash in billions of dollars in cash…”

    –45 MILLION Americans don’t have health insurance.

    –Social Security is “going broke”.

    Fellow Patriots: What’s wrong with this picture?

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

    Shark, why is it necessary to bombard two separate threads with what is essentially the same posting?

    How about, when you have something new to say, you make your own thread so we can all just ignore it.

    Dave

  • nick

    Don’t be nasty Dave. His opinions are not worth any less than yours. That is the beauty of democracy.
    May I remind you that it is now the only excuse your governmant is left with regarding the war. If you are not going to set the example, who on Earth is ?

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

    Actually, Nick. His opinions ARE worth less than mine, because his choice of facts is tailored to fit his opinions, while my opinions are derived from the facts on the issue.

    Dave

  • nick

    Well I suppose we all do the same. We all choose to emphasise the facts that fit our opinions.
    You and I know that none of us is objective.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Nick brings up a great point — BlogCritics is a democracy: messy and wonderful and the “worst form of [communication], except for all the others that have been tried from time to time.”

    Shark — Thank you for specifically mentioning the bios of the U.S. soldiers killed over the last few days. I know for me at least it’s easy to glaze over at numbers and bombs and explosions. Reading about a specific person from a specific place in the U.S. with family, etc. makes one take pause.

    Dave — Your assumption that your opinions are worth more than others gets you into trouble time and again. I might also add that it likely lessens the respect that others might hold for your opinions.

    / lecture

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Eric, I couldn’t care less what people like Shark think about me. His infantile carrying on is one of the main problems with blogcritics. He never stops to make a reasonable argument or engage in a two way discussion. He just flings insults and runs. If he’s got a point that’s worth anything he ought to be able to discuss it.

    Dave

  • Shark

    Dave: “How about, when you have something new to say, you make your own thread so we can all just ignore it…”

    I’ll do it if you do.

    Dave: “He never stops to make a reasonable argument or engage in a two way discussion.”

    I’m not here to ‘debate’ you, Dave, and I don’t aspire to change your opinions with engagementanymore than I long to change the diaper of a chimp with diarrhea.

    Dave: “He just flings insults and runs.”

    I never run, Dave.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Dave – I hear what you’re saying (not that I agree) but my statement still stands with relation to anyone and everyone who holds a different opinion than you… on just about anything.

  • gonzo marx

    i’m almost sorry to dredge this one up..but i cant’ seem to find any of the other Threads that have comments trying to stipulate that things are getting better in the Iraq conflict..

    here’s today’s bit from Reuters..

    http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=8492592

    another Iraq Minister kiled by insurgent guerrillas, some more of our troops killed…but according to the DoD we did get at least 125 Iraqi’s killed by our forces…we do have their word for it that those folks were real military targets…

    just me being cynical there, too many tales from my sifu about ‘Nam where anyone killed, even by collateral damage was immediately counted as the “enemy”…this included women, children, SVA regulars and sometimes oxen…

    please Bog, may this be over soon..may our Troops return home safely..may the Iraqi people find their Way in the world

    and may those Responsible for all the fuck ups get the Punishment they deserve..on BOTH sides of the Conflict…

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Gonzo – I was going to do a story on an explosion that killed 14 people (though no Americans, I believe) and do a another day, another explosion, same old same old story, but found I just didn’t have the energy.

    It’s important to keep talking though, even if there’s not much to be done about it at present. People are dying every day, which means it was an important story and remains an important story.

    I hope things are getting better, I really do. It’s easy to want to glaze over at the violence, though, and close your eyes and believe the Optimists.

    I don’t want to become one of the sheeps, one of the robots.

    Make any sense?

  • gonzo marx

    makes a lot of sense Eric…

    given the choice your humble Narrator will remain a wolf, not a sheep..

    mebbe i should just give in and start my own Blog rather than remaining the Interlocutor on the other side of Socrates’ log…

    who knows?

    but yes..this stuff IS important..notice how many pro-Conflict folks fell silent once things took the current bloody turn?

    but again, my ONLY Wish here is that our Troops make it home safely…my desire is that the Iraqi’s find their own Peace

    so much for “no Nation building”, eh?

    Excelsior!

  • Bennett

    Body Count 400 this week. But only a few dozen were Americans. If this is getting better…

    BTW The military announced a *new* enlistment plan where you only spend 15 months on active duty (Iraq), and then a few years in the National Guard (Iraq).

    Whoa, sign me up.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Bennett — That’s yet another story I was trying to get to for BC!

    Gonzo — I thought you were vibing Burgess a few comments back with your Bog comment. Your last one proved me out, right?

    I think you should definitely get a blog going and then contribute regularly to BC. I use Blogger — http://www.blogger.com — it’s free and super easy.

    Your voice is wanted and needed here.

  • gonzo marx

    added to that the Army recruitment goal was low by 42%

    seems like the bottom of the barrel scraping is about finished

    but who can blame the young folks on this one..it’s not like this Conflict is about America, or defending your Nation against an Agressor

    as has been shown countless times, Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and as far as i am aware there has never been an Iraqi terrorist that has killed any Americans BEFORE we invaded their sovereign Nation..

    don’t get me wrong..i do think Saddam was scum and deserved to be taken out..

    but , silly person that i am..i think it should have been an Iraqi/Kurd revolt that did it, since we decided not to in ’92 for the first War…

    /end twaddle

    Excelsior!

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Bennett — There’s a story floating around — I saw it on Hardball and heard it on Al Franken’s radio show — about recruiters lying their asses off to get young people to enlist: bonuses, education, choice of assignment, guarantees that the posting will be domestic, and so on. But nothing’s in writing. As soon as the kid signs — boom! they’re in the Army (or whatever) Now for X years.

    Not cool…

  • Shark

    That army enlistment story (google Colorado/army recruiter) is fantastic news for us liberal America-haters; a high school journalism student exposes Satan’s underbelly.

    ahahahahaha.

    re: Viet…um, I mean IRAQ as Ongoing Disaster

    Y’know what else is amazing?

    That this shit has gone on for so long. [shameless plug warning!] Just to demonstrate, here’s a couple of my ‘golden oldies’ from the semi-distant past —

    Oh, and… guess what…

    ~NOTHING HAS CHANGED.

    My new Army Enlistment ad

    My ancient take on the “good news” from Iraq

    Note: this also contains a classic exchange from the late-great Jim Carruthers — one of the last, I believe.

  • Bennett

    Eric – How could ANY parent allow their child to sign up at this point? If the potential fodder is well into their 20’s and away from mom and dad’s influence, does the military really want someone who’s dumb enough to buy the “15 months and you’re out” line of crap?

    Perhaps there’ll be a sudden surge in patriotism, and the idea of being blown to bits by a roadside bomb will bring thoughts of red white and blue to mind… I dunno..

    If we could only convince the young people of our country that if they die in battle they get the same number of virgins that muslim martyrs receive?

    Not such a great deal for the female soldiers however.

    Even a job at WallMart sounds better than Iraq right now.

    I second your feelings re:gonzo. But he does fine by piping up in the ongoing posts.

  • Bennett

    Shark – Thanks for the link to that post. Predated my arrival on the scene by a month, give or take. That was a fine job of reflecting on the *progress* in Iraq. Loved the “stuffed socks into his flight suit” line.

    Six months later, nothing has changed except the daily body count.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    The 15-month “deal” certainly shows a level of desperation by the military. Hasn’t the normal hitch typically been four years for new enlistees?

    And I agree, it’s hard to believe that many parents would willingly allow a child that has “infantry” pre-stamped on thier forehead to sign up. I hope the story I mentioned gives some people a head’s up to get everything in writing before signing.

    You’re right: Wal Mart sounds better by a good piece to me. But that doesn’t have much of a future in it…

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    That being said, some people have an overwhelming sense of patriotism and they want to defend our country etc. etc. and I can dig that: it’s their right.

    But the military literally conning people into service is not cool.

    And for all you Michael Moore bashers out there: Moore hit upon this subject with great restraint and great humor in F-9/11.

  • Bennett

    Heck, I have an overwhelming sense of patriotism. But the whole lead up to Iraq, and everything we’ve learned since, kinda took it off my radar as *defending America*.

    I can’t imagine how it would feel to lose a son or daughter over there. What would you believe?

  • gonzo marx

    on scandalous recruitment and dirty deal done to the folks serving..

    no matter WHAT your contract with the government states, they can now keep you in indefinately just by issuing a “stop loss” order..

    this clause is only supposed to be used in “national emergencies” or in case of active wartime…

    can we truly say the current Conflict is either?

    nope..not when the average citizen’s sacrifice is a few dollars for a yellow ribbon magnet on their car and we give huge tax cuts while not providing body and humvee armor to EVERY one of our Troops in the field..much less the combat pay and benefits they SHOULD get in any “war” enviornment..

    and now we are closing “blue state” bases and upping the work force in red state bases..

    you know..like the submarine base in Groton Conneticut being moved to the midwest..Oklahoma if memory serves..

    a lot of places to launch a sub there…

    Reuters link for the summary of the week in politics as well as the court ruling about the “stop loss” policy

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/14/AR2005051400653.htm

    Excelsior!

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    The red state-blue state thing did occur to me when I heard the base closing story, but I failed to persue it because I did not hear that side of it come up in the few sources I heard it from.

    I do remember hearing something about the sub base moving to Georgia (I think) which definitely caused me to take pause.

    The closing of air force bases in Cold War strategic locations like the Dakotas makes more sense upon first appearance.

  • Shark

    RE. “…an overwhelming sense of patriotism…”

    I oppose Bush because I love my country.

  • Bennett

    Yeah Shark, that’s some of it for me. But my feelings are really patriotism on a local level. Didn’t quite feel this way when I lived in Seattle or SF, as the system was too big for me to get a grip on. But out here in the countylands, my voice can make a noticable difference in town meetings, and at the various board meetings that I drop in on. It inspires a “patriotism of participation” in me that is very satisfying.

    I’m very much anti-chauvanism however, and feel that yelling USA USA USA at olympic sporting events is a manifestation of unacceptable ignorance, and a lack of class that inspires (deserved) anti-american feelings. We may be lucky to live where we live, but that doesn’t mean that we’re “better” than anyone else.

    Two cents worth.