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More Good News from Iraq

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One of the most valuable resources for keeping informed about what’s going on in Iraq is Arthur Chrenkoff’s phenomenal series of articles on Good News from Iraq. This monthly feature is now in its 33rd installment, and he has done what most of us don’t have the time and resources to do and gone through every possible source, and used his unique contacts inside Iraq to come up with a comprehensive summary of all the positive things which are happening in Iraq which the media around the world chooses to ignore. Not to blame them – they are stuck in the ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ mentality, and can’t sell a lot of papers based on electricity production figures and school openings. But too few people outside of Iraq realize that for every terrorist attack there, a dozen good things are happening to make the lives of everyday Iraqis better.

So here are some quick highlights gleaned from the hundreds of news items Chrenkoff has gathered. Please note that this is a tiny fraction of what he has to report and it’s just a summary. If you’re astonished by all the good news, he has the full descriptions with links to sources and all his previous installments on his site.

On Security…

Attacks damaging infrastructure like roads and powerplants are down enormously, from 41 per month last year to an average of 7 per month since February.

Iraqi forces have successfully shut down most terrorist operations in Diyala province, which had been one of the most violentin the country. They are lifting curfews and life is returning to normal. Towns like Bahraz which were under rebel control are not at peace and under government protection.

Mortar attacks are down all over Iraq compared to last year, with a 50% drop in western Mosul where they had been common.

Car bombings are now a thing of the past in Sulaimaniya where Arif Anwar, an ER surgeon commented to a reporter “Car bomb? Are you joking? We don’t have anything like that. The biggest problem we have here is car accidents — too many car accidents.” He works in a newly built and totally modern wing of the Sulaimaniya hospital.

Also in Sulaimaniyah 1816 new police recruits just graduated from training academies, bringing the total of trained officers there to over 40,000.

The Iraqi army is also picking up speed, with a new mechanized division in the field and the creation of a special division of 32,000 former Kurdish Peshmerga freedom fighters, valuable militarily experienced former guerillas. They are taking over control of Camp Echo in a Diwaniyah from coalition forces. This is part of a general hand-over of security throughout Diyala province to Iraqis.

Along the same lines preparations are underway for turning security over to Iraqi forces in Karbala, Najaf, Nasseriya and Samawa, some of the larger cities in the south, where terrorism and insurgency are now under control.

Under the Iraqi Reconstruction Program a new military academy is being completed which sounds a bit like a country club. It’s one of 2800 projects the IRP is involved in, including building water treatment plants, new schools, power infrastructure upgrades, fortifications on the border and health clinics. Some major projects of the IRP include a new $8.2 million water treatment plant at al Zakho, the new $2.5 million Civil Defense Headquarters building in Baghdad, the new $8.5 million Baghdad courthouse, and many others.

Then there are the endless reports of terrorist killed or captured. Too many to go into in detail here. In the first week of august alone there were 144 in and around Baghdad, 10 in Ramadi, 56 in Mosul, 37 in northern Iraq, 15 in Rawah, 7 in Tal Afar, 24 in Haqliniyah, 39 in Sharmiyah, 2 in Hit, 4 in Abu Ghraib, 4 in Sadr City, 32 in Al Batha, 11 in Haditha, 25 near Salman Pak, 4 in Sarmmara, 63 in Northern Iraq. The total for that week is the discovery and removal of 109 IEDs, 32 weapons caches and the capture of 805 insurgents.

On Politics and Society…

Large numbers of Sunni leaders are now actively encouraging Sunnis to be involved in the political process and take part in the upcoming elections, which they failed to do in large numbers in the previous voting. Imam Abdul-Sattar al-Jumaili told a crowd in Falluja “It is a duty for all those here to take part in the upcoming elections so that we are not politically marginalised. I call upon you to register your names in Falluja and other cities.” Many prominent Sunnis have said the boycott of the January election of the interim government was a major blunder.

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have taken part in town-hall style meetings to give input into the new Constitution according to a UN report. There have also been radio and television debates, a conference of religious leaders and a lot of activism by womens groups. The report observed “Women’s groups have been particularly active, with literally dozens of conferences demonstrating that, although they have a great variety of views, Iraqi women have a common aspiration to increase their level of participation in politics.”

Iraq already has a well established network of new radio and television stations, plus local and national newspapers. In addition this month saw the creation of their first independent news agency under the sponsorship of the Reuters Foundation, the UN and the SpanishAgency for International Cooperation. The new agency employs 50 journalists and is called Voices of Iraq.

This month Iraqis have also officially taken over the International Press Center in Baghdad, a US-built facility with computers, scanners, color copiers, laptops, CD burners, high-speed Internet and satellite news channels at the disposal of local and international journalists.

Additional new equipment includes 30 English-learning programs with headsets, an LCD projector, a scanner, a color copier, dozens of memory sticks, hundreds of blank CDs and floppy discs, CD writers and dozens of computer programs. This new equipment joins the satellite dishes, TVs, laser printers, copier, computers, refrigerators and other high-tech gadgets already being used by journalists.

Another interesting new development is the launch of Radio Almahaba, a radio station specifically devoted to women’s issues, funded by an American humanitarian and with a grant from the UN.

The Economy and Infrastructure…

Iraq is still risky, but full of business opportunities.

Iraqi oil extraction is still recovering slowly, but the Ministry for Oil has announced its intention to issue new tenders in the last quarter for contracts to develop 11 southern oilfields the oil sector will be a growth area for the Iraqi economy. In June, the oil production stood at 1.44 million barrels per day, in July it rose to 1.6 million. In that month, Iraq earned $2.5 billion from oil sales. In early August, the exports stood at 1.6 million barrels and the local consumption at 600,000 barrels. As in America the main bottleneck is refinery capacity, so new refineries are planned for Baghdad, Mosul and Basra with capacities ranging between 250,000-300,000 barrels per day. The Ministry also plans to build mobile refineries with 10,000 b/d capacity to be increased later to 30,000 b/d in Arbil, Sulaimania, Amara, Haditha, Nassiriya and Diwaniya. These new refineries will be supported by foreign investment from companies including Korea National Oil Corp. An agreement has also been reached to send 35 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to Kuwait for five years. Kuwait will also be supporting new Iraqi refineries with training and spare parts.

Iraqi banking is coming back online. The IMF has accepted their Monetary Survey which will allow them to begin to participate in international banking. Standards are also being developed for banking practices under the guidance of USAID.

Iraq still faces a serious housing shortage and the Ministry of Housing and Construction is making land available at a discount to developers who want to construct the 3 million housing units the nation needs. Housing investments will be insured through the American Export-Import Bank. With support from the world bank, Japanese investors plan a $1.2 billion housing development project. Ironically, Denmark is also funding the construction of housing in Iraq, eager to encourage recent Iraqi immigrants to return home.

The Iraqi Ministry of Housing & Construction is keen to set up a property system like that of the United Kingdom, which is based on a highly competitive building society market.

The Diyala Company for Electrical Industries is increasing production of key electrical generation hardware. They have signed a 19 billion-dinar contract (approx. $140 million) to supply the ministries of oil, industry and communications with electrical transformers and meters as well as fiber optic cables. They are just one of 45 similar companies in Iraq whose revenue is projected to hit more than $300 million in 2006.

The cellular telephone business is also booming, with three competing providers. The fastest growing is Asiacell based out of Sulaimaniya, which has attracted $300 million in foreign investment. The owner of the company also owns two cement factories, a steel plant and a 28-storey five-star hotel and is planning to branch out into cultural projects, apartment complexes, satellite broadcasting, wireless technology and computer training centres. He anticipates Sulaimaniya’s development into the high tech and international commerce center of the new Iraq. Sulaimaniya is growing rapidly as people move there from more troubled regions like Basra, bringing with them skills and resources.

Air travel into and out of Iraq has resumed, with regular flights to Istanbul and a new airport planned near Najaf to take advantage of the pilgrim interest in that city, funded by a low interest loan from Iran.

For the first time this month Iraq’s electricity production has exceeded the levels that were standard prior to the war, at 5,350 megawatts. This is a happy development during a very hot Iraqi summer. The rise in power supply of over 1,000 megawatts has come from an extra 500 megawatts generated by hydroelectric power after Turkey increased water flows from the Euphrates River to Iraqi dams and from importing electricity from Iran, Turkey and Syria. Ironically, although this is a record for Iraq, it is only about half of the level of production the country really needs, and a third of what they would like to be able to produce. Further development is expected with the help of Japan, Iran and Turkey. There are still blackouts and power rationing, but no more now than there were under the previous regime. However, with all the new development in the country demand for electricity is rising rapidly. New generators are already scheduled to come online later this year in Mussayab and Kirkuk.

Water distribution has also made great progress, with water available to almost the entire country, with the exception of Basra which continues to present some of the largest problems with terrorism and with unreliable local government.

The UN is supporting the revival of Iraqi schools, with new computers, sports equipment, building renovations, books and other school equipment. USAID has established a center fro training women teachers in Babil, and has granted 41 grants to Iraqi contractors for school reconstruction in Baghdad, Arbil, Diyala and Hilla. The Ministry of Education has also launched a model schools program to create 4 model schools in each region to demonstrate improved systems and teaching methods.

Universities are also growing with the return of 87 professors who were removed from their jobs under the old regime at universities in Baghdad, Al Musel, Al Mostansereya, Al Kufa and Babylon. In total the ministry has rehired 2365 politically discharged or harmed persons in the ministry, the universities, and its affiliate administrations.

The WHO reports that health is also improving in Iraq, with a 93% polio vaccination rate among children, additional doctor trainign from USAID for approximately 5000 medical center staff, 1,400 physicians, 1,000 nurses, 2,100 medical assistants, and 150 center directors who will get improved knowledge and enhanced clinical. complete; Currently 23 new health care centers are either under construction or being planned. 19 medical training facilities are also being reconstructed or built from scratch. 450 million dinars is being spent to rebuild the National Drug Quality Control Laboratory.

The US Department of Agriculture and the US Grains Council are working to revitalize Iraqi agriculture and make seed grain more widely available. They are also providing loans for farmers and poultry producers, plus training and irrigation projects. USAID is providing 6 outreach teams with veterinarians and agronomists to conduct educational workshops in 240 different villages. They are also training mechanics to repair farm machinery.

All of this is just the tip of the iceberg of what Chrenkoff has to report, and I’ve left out all of the most touching and interesting stories about the humanitarian relief projects, like the amazing efforts of people like actor Gary Sinise for Iraqi children, and the phenomenal things our military is achieving working with local leaders to rebuild basic conveniences and provide training and security advice. Before you write off Iraq as ‘a disaster’ as so many ill-informed people seem to be doing, take some time to read up on the subject and Chrenkoff’s report is the place to start.

I’ll just leave you with this quote from Army Capt. Christopher Vick who was interviewed on CBS: “I think it’s hard for Americans to get up every day and turn on the news and see the horrible things that are going on here, because there’s no focus on the good things that go on. What they see is another car bomb went off… You’ve got to win the information war. I mean, it’s, if they (the terrorists) can turn public perception away from the good that is happening in this country, then they will eventually win the battle.”

Dave

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About Dave Nalle

  • billy

    this is absurd, you are rah-rahing things of no significance, and in fact we are paying for all this with OUR tax dollars for a foreign country, when we are deeply in debt.

    A true republican would be furious at the reckless spending you described if it was done for the USA. to spend this cash on Iraq is a crime.

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

    I posted this less than a minute before you responded. I seriously doubt that you’ve had time to even skim the content, much less follow the links and read any of the more detailed information.

    And this post isn’t about the spending issues – they’re an entirely separate concern. It’s about Iraq and where things stand there. Plus, if you’d actually bothered to read the piece, you’d notice that minimal amounts of US money are involved in most of these projects, which are being funded by international loans or foreign companies and investors.

    Dave

  • billy

    Are you serious?

    “a US-built facility with computers, scanners, color copiers, laptops, CD burners, high-speed Internet and satellite news channels at the disposal of local and international journalists.

    Additional new equipment includes 30 English-learning programs with headsets, an LCD projector, a scanner, a color copier, dozens of memory sticks, hundreds of blank CDs and floppy discs, CD writers and dozens of computer programs. This new equipment joins the satellite dishes, TVs, laser printers, copier, computers, refrigerators and other high-tech gadgets already being used by journalists.”

    and we cant do this for our own schools and we need to cut social security, like bush said.

    give me a break. you are more dedicated to iraq than america and it is getting tiresome.

    america is my first priority, why isnt it yours?

  • http://www.thebmrant.com Matt

    Dave–Chrenkoff’s thinking that the news should show “all of the good things” is so naive. People slow down at car accidents to watch. Its how we’re hard wired. Its really not political at all. Its ratings book and ad dollars. The news orgs know what sells paper. If all the news orgs started giving us the shiny happy stuff, there would be someone else ready to point out the death and destructyion, and they’ll steal the ratings.

    I concur with Billy–let’s spend a little less making Iraq such a great nation, and put some into strengthening our borders so these freaks can’t get in.

    Chrenkoff’s website is tantamount to Pravda.

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

    >>and we cant do this for our own schools< <

    Our local public schools have all of that. And these facilities are for only 4 schools out of hundreds in the entire nation of Iraq. Give me a break.

    >> and we need to cut social security, like bush said. < <

    That's a whole different issue and not related in even the vaguest way.

    >>give me a break. you are more dedicated to iraq than america and it is getting tiresome.

    america is my first priority, why isnt it yours?<<

    Because I’m not a loony isolationist.

    Nice to see you managed to read one paragraph of the article, though.

    Dave

  • billy

    you are more dedicated to rebuilding iraq than the USA. if you think this will help drum up support for bush by highliting how he is going all out for iraq and neglecting the us at the same time, i think you are mistaken. this is like throwing salt in his 36% approval rating wound.

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

    >>Dave–Chrenkoff’s thinking that the news should show “all of the good things” is so naive. < <

    This is NOT what Chrenkoff believes. He just thinks that someone ought to be out there presenting the positive news that people don't get from the media. As I said in my introduction there are good reasons why the media focuses on what it does, but this stuff is important too.

    >>People slow down at car accidents to watch. Its how we’re hard wired. Its really not political at all. Its ratings book and ad dollars. The news orgs know what sells paper. If all the news orgs started giving us the shiny happy stuff, there would be someone else ready to point out the death and destructyion, and they’ll steal the ratings. < <

    This is virtually a paraphrase of my introductory comment on the media.

    >>I concur with Billy–let’s spend a little less making Iraq such a great nation, and put some into strengthening our borders so these freaks can’t get in.< <

    One way to keep them out is to make them want to stay where they are.

    >>Chrenkoff’s website is tantamount to Pravda.<<

    I agree if you make that a lower case ‘p’ in pravda.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    I have to agree – but not with Dave: we are spending far too much for Iraq when we ourselves are dealing with crumbling infrastructure & deficient services & facilities. When our own house is in order, then we can think about building state of the art whatevers in other countries’ yards. America first!

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

    >>you are more dedicated to rebuilding iraq than the USA. if you think this will help drum up support for bush by highliting how he is going all out for iraq and neglecting the us at the same time, i think you are mistaken. this is like throwing salt in his 36% approval rating wound.<<

    Why do you think I give a rat’s ass about Bush’s approval rating? This isn’t about domestic politics, it’s about letting people know what is really going on in Iraq since they seem to be so ignorant.

    Look at Shark and his endless posting of “Iraq is a Fucking Disaster”. This is intended to counter to some degree that knee-jerk, ill-informed rhetoric with fact.

    Dave

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

    >>I have to agree – but not with Dave: we are spending far too much for Iraq when we ourselves are dealing with crumbling infrastructure & deficient services & facilities. When our own house is in order, then we can think about building state of the art whatevers in other countries’ yards. America first!<<

    Did you not SEE the recent highway bill? It alone is almost 100 times the total amount we’re spending on reconstruction in Iraq. Give me a break. We’re not building a paradise in Iraq, we’re just helping to get them on their feet.

    And as I said before, the best way to produce stability in the middle east is to introduce modern culture and prosperity.

    Dave

  • http://www.thebmrant.com Matt

    “We’re not building a paradise in Iraq, we’re just helping to get them on their feet.”

    That’s not our job.

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

    Matt, what do you think our job is now that we’ve invaded their country and deposed their government? Perhaps we should just line them all up and shoot them? Or would gas chambers be cheaper? I guess we could just let them have a bigass civil war with hundreds of thousands dead – would that make you feel good?

    Dave

  • Rich

    Dave,

    Seems like your trying to defend Arthur Chrenkoff with his views of the “positives” in Iraq. Your in for a lot more postings to defend this window dressing.

    Would a true conservative want to spend 1 billion US dollars a week on anything?

    Or do you believe 1 billion US tax dollars a week is yet more “ill informened rehetoric” by the left?

    Maybe you are a defense contractor and welcome all this spending. The contractors are just about the only ones the neocons are helping.

    Isn’t there about 8 billion not accounted for? Where is is the outrage from the conservatives, where is that money?

    In this context it seems like term “conservative” is just a label without meaning.

    Lets get some congressional oversight on all this waste of US tax money.

    –Rich

  • Nancy

    What is this ‘we’? ‘We’ never wanted to get involved in Iraq to begin with; that was Bush’s big project, fostered with lies, misrepresentations, and all kinds of other baloney. At this point, yeah – I think letting them do what they’ve been doing for thousands of years and just letting them go for each others’ throats would be fine.

  • http://www.thebmrant.com Matt

    Dave–there’s probably going to be a civil war once we leave, anyway? Then they’ll get a chance to undo everything we blew billions of dollars on. Or maybe we’ll never leave.

    Your boy Bush had this all figured out ahead of time, didn’t he?

  • http://www.scottcsmith.net Scott C. Smith

    The problem with rah-rah Iraq-is-great posts like this one is that it ignores real issues of importance. For instance, many Iraqis go without electricity for hours at a time. In 120-degree heat.

    Or the miles-long lines for gasoline.

    Or the 50-60% unemployment rate.

    Since reports from the WHO are quoted, here are some other items from the WHO regarding Iraq:
    http://www.who.int/hac/crises/irq/en/

    “The military conflict of March/April 2003 with the following looting and civil unrest led to a further disruption of water treatment and supply plants, of sanitation facilities and power production plants and to the destruction of the remaining medical equipment in health facilities.”

    Meanwhile, the infant mortality rate is at 50.25 deaths per thousand on average. As a comparison, the infant mortality rate in Saudi Arabia is 13.24 deaths per thousand on average. In the United States, it is only 6.5 per thousand on average. (This data from the CIA World Factbook). So while right-wingers celebrate cell phone infrastructure improvements in Iraq, we ignore the situation that results in such a high infant mortality rate.

    So…the priority is to build facilities with computers and scanners? We’ll just fix water treatment plants later?

    Iraq is a disaster, and all of the sleight-of-hand tricks conservatives are using to distract attention away from the real reality is not going to work.

  • Shark

    Davey, although I think you look great in a tight sweater, a short skirt, and wavin’ little Pom-Poms —

    I don’t think yer gonna get too far with the average American — y’know… trotting out all the millions and billions of DOLLARS and listing the “projects” we’ve financed for these Iraqi strangers on the other side of the planet.

    Sorry.

    Damned if ya do; damned if ya don’t.

    —–

    My advice: talk about how much cheap oil we’re gonna get. That could work.

    (Hell, I’ll vote for Bush for a third term if you can get me a tankful at something below $3.00 a gallon.

    —–

    PS: Don’t even mention that “constitution” as yet ANOTHER FUCKING INDICATION of how swell things are.

    [nudge nudge, wink wink]

    Shark
    “Marketing Advisor to the Deluded”

  • Shark

    Dave approaching a nervous breakdown: “…Look at Shark and his endless posting of “Iraq is a Fucking Disaster”. This is intended to counter to some degree that knee-jerk, ill-informed rhetoric with fact.”

    heh.

  • kuros

    i think this says it all
    the Iraqi town of Haditha (90,000 people) is under insurgent control
    “Islamist guerrillas are the sole authority, running the town’s security, administration and communications.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1553969,00.html

  • Shark

    Dave: “…We’re not building a paradise in Iraq, we’re just helping to get them on their feet.”

    Accompaniment tune:
    $200+ BILLION

    Dead Americans Permanently Leaving the Dance Floor:

    1,868 (as of this morning — but the day is young!)

    ======

    BTW, Dave, the Libertarian Party called; they said that not only do they want your membership card back, but they’re puttin’ a contract out on yer ass — and that next time you come to the NRA Gun Show, you better be wearin’ a *bullet-proof vest and arrive in an *armored HumVee.

    * if you can find one; I hear there’s quite a shortage!

  • Shark

    Dave sounding like he’s in the last throes of a hormonal insurgency: (note: it works best if you picture veins stickin’ out of his forehead)

    “…what do you think our job is now that we’ve invaded their country and deposed their government?

    Perhaps we should just line them all up and shoot them?

    Or would gas chambers be cheaper?

    I guess we could just let them have a bigass civil war with hundreds of thousands dead – would that make you feel good?”

    =======

    Oh.

    My.

    Gawd.

    Guess the OPERATIVE word here:

    Dave: “I guess we could just let them have a bigass civil war…”

    *”LET” –?

    *let them –?

    *we could “let them”–?

    ~FUCK. We’re all that’s holding ‘em back?

    Then ya know what, davey…

    ~FUCK THEM.

    Yankees Come Home!

    *PONDER THAT, all you armchair psychologists.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    A refreshing diversion from all of that “if it bleeds, it leads” news from Iraq. The people who have lost their stomach (or who never really had one) for this war and want to pull out now should read this article.

    Sure, there are lots of serious problems over there in Iraq and the results of our efforts there are not likely to meet the original expectations, but it’s not all doom and gloom just because progress has been inconsistent.

    This needs to be pointed out not only so that we can get a really “fair and balanced” picture of what’s going on in Iraq, but to let people know why pulling out at this point would be a really bad idea.

    And nevermind the now-irrelevant argument that we should never have invaded Iraq in the first place. “I told you so” is counterproductive at this juncture.

    Right or wrong, we’re there now and — save for a sudden radical advancement in the field of time-travel technology — there’s no going back. We are now morally obliged to see it through to some workable and livable conclusion.

    Given these circumstances, those small rays of hope are essential. And I thank you for providing a few, Dave.

  • http://Druxxx Druxxx

    More and more people smarter then me are admitting “victory” is impossible. When/If we leave, we will be leaving behind an islamic state or one that will fall into civil war.

    Our the lives of the over 1800 dead american soldiers worth creating another islamic state that supports terror, or rebuilding a country that will fall into civil war anyway?

    Does anyone really see an Iraq that embraces democracy and freedom actually happening without our infinate presence?

  • cathy

    when do u think the dinar will hit the foregin exchange

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    “Victory” in Iraq is elusive because the objectives were and still are in a state of political flux.

    An Iraq that embraces democracy and freedom without our infinite presence might be too lofty a goal at this point.

    However, since we did invade that country (and it’s way too late to debate the rightness or wrongness of that action), destroying its government and infrastructure, we owe the Iraqi people our best efforts to help them to re-gain some sort of stability in governance and re-build their infrastructure to its pre-war state.

    If we can do that before we leave, then at least the Iraqi people will have a decent chance at making some form of democratic government work for them.

    And if they cannot make it work and the worst predictions about chaos and civil war come to pass, despite our best efforts, our conscience will be a lot cleaner than it would be if we left before that job is done.

    Right now, it is still up to us. But once Iraq’s government and infrastructure are stabilized, it will ultimately be up to them.

  • Shark

    mmmmm… that speech sounds familiar… wait…

    ummm….

    Apocalypse Now – REDUX:
    by M.R. Toigo

    “Victory’ in Vietnam is elusive because the objectives were and still are in a state of political flux.

    A South Vietnam that embraces democracy and freedom without our infinite presence might be too lofty a goal at this point.

    However, since we did invade that country (and it’s way too late to debate the rightness or wrongness of that action), destroying its government and infrastructure, we owe the South Vietnamese people our best efforts to help them to re-gain some sort of stability in governance and re-build their infrastructure to its pre-war state.

    If we can do that before we leave, then at least the South Vietnamese people will have a decent chance at making some form of democratic government work for them.

    And if they cannot make it work and the worst predictions about chaos and civil war come to pass, despite our best efforts, our conscience will be a lot cleaner than it would be if we left before that job is done.

    Right now, it is still up to us. But once South Vietnam’s government and infrastructure are stabilized, it will ultimately be up to them.

    ========

    ugh. Scary.

  • Shark

    Dave, we’ll save ya a spot on the helicopter evacuating Americans from the roof of the embassy in Baghdad.

    — We’ll lift ya out of that “Green Zone” — have no fear!

    ====

    Oh, wait, Dave’s not there!

    Nevermind.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Salam Pax, the Iraqi blogger who became internationally famous for blogging from Baghdad during the first months of the war, points out that the civil rights of Iraqi gays and lesbians have dropped to lower than those of a sewer rat, since the war.

    I know building a nation is no easy feat, and I’m glad for all the accomplishments along the way. It would be nice if human rights were a little higher on the list of priorities though.

  • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

    Flamewar HALFTIME!

    Breath. Take a drink. Now everybody look at this cute kitty.

    Second half. Go!

  • Bennett

    Dammit Shark! Close your “center” tags ya heathen!

  • Bennett

    Did I fix it?

  • Bennett

    What I haven’t heard mentioned is what kind of army the Kurds are building up. I just about guarantee you that they’re seriously considering this to be JOB #1.

    Face it, they got pretty beat up during Saddam’s rule, and I don’t see them knuckling under to ANY central government from this point on.

    They have oil reserves, motivation, and the relative stability required to make the move towards autonomy.

    If I was a betting man…

    ——————————

    Dave ‘ol chum…..

    Heh, joke there.

  • Rich

    The Kurds pretty much do have a self-determined autonomous state. They are just NOT internationally recognized. They have there own system of governemnt, police, the whole nine yards.

    But a robust military, ahh, that remains to be seen. The Kurds are largely overlooked and taken for granted.

    The US doesent want to mess with the Northern region too much. The have enough headache in the rest of Iraq as it is.

    The Turks want the North to destabliize so they can go in and occupy it to “stabilize” the area. The Oil fields there main goal. But the US knows it will be like throwing gas on a fire if that happens.

  • Rich

    Looks like Dave gave up defending himself, on the “Good News from Iraq”.

    –Rich

  • http://ezsgblog.com/vtdawson/index.php Bennett

    Don’t believe it Rich. Dave is out doing family time I surmise. He doesn’t run, or shrink from a debate.

  • RKC

    Dave may not be out yet, but he is still flat on the canvas.

    The referee has just called out 8…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “we need to cut social security, like bush said.”

    When did Bush ever talk about “cutting” social security?

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

    Rich: “Looks like Dave gave up defending himself, on the “Good News from Iraq”.”

    Bennett: “Don’t believe it Rich. Dave is out doing family time I surmise. He doesn’t run, or shrink from a debate.”

    RKC: “Dave may not be out yet, but he is still flat on the canvas.”

    Bennett seems to have the right answer on this one, because it was my wife’s birthday and we had a party, and then I had to swing by the Lion’s club to discuss our upcoming BBQ cookoff.

    As for me defending my article, what is there to defend? All I did was post facts. Facts don’t need to be defended, they just are what they are.

    Now, as time allows I may decide to deride and point out the fallacies in some of the responses from people who think that they can take the facts and deny, ignore or misrepresent them, but that may take a little while.

    Dave

  • RKC

    Dave says unique contacts inside Iraq have come up with a comprehensive summary of all the positive things which are happening in Iraq which the media around the world chooses to ignore.

    The ignored good news reported here about Iraq is analogous to the ignored good news that a person does not have any of the following diseases… all he has is TERMINAL CANCER…

    THE GOOD NEWS… NO achondroplasia, or Acne , or Adenoma , or, Ageing, or AIDS , or Albinism , or Alcoholic, or hepatitis , or Alopecia , or Alzheimer’s disease , or Amoebiasis or Amebiasis , or Anemia , or Aneurysm , or Anosmia , or Anotia , or Anthrax , or Appendicitis , or ,Apraxia , or Argyria , or Arteritis , or Arthritis , or Aseptic meningitis , or Asthenia , or Asthma , or Atherosclerosis , or , Athetosis , or , or Atrophy , or Autism , or Bacterial meningitis , or Beriberi , or Bipolar disorder , or Botulism , or Brucellosis , or Bubonic plague , or Calculi , or Campylobacter infection , or Cancer , or Candidiasis , or Cardiac arrest , or Chagas disease , or Chalazion , or Chancroid , or Cherubism , or Chickenpox , or Chlamydia , or Chlamydia trachomatis , or Cholera , or Chordoma , or Chorea , or , or Chronic fatigue syndrome , or Cleft lip , or Coccidioidomycosis , or Colitis , or Color blindness , or Common cold , or Condyloma , or Congestive heart disease , or , or Coronary heart disease , or Cowpox , or Cretinism , or Diabetes mellitus , or Diphtheria , or ,Ebola , or Encephalitis , or [edit] , or Foodborne illness , or Huntington’s disease , or Hypertension , or Ichthyosis , or Influenza , or Interstitial , or ystitis , or Iritis , or Iron-deficiency anemia , or Irritable bowel syndrome , or Keloids , or Keratosis pilaris , or Kuru , or Kwashiorkor , or Lazy eye , or Lead , or , or oisoning , or Legionellosis , or Leishmaniasis , or , or Leprosy , or Leptospirosis , or Listeriosis , or Leukemia , or Loiasis , or Lupus erythematosus , or Lyme disease , or Lymphogranuloma venereum , or Lymphoma , or Malaria , or Marburg fever , or Measles , or Melioidosis , or Ménière’s disease , or Meningitis , or Migraine , or Multiple myeloma , or Multiple Sclerosis , or Mumps , or Muscular dystrophy , or Myasthenia gravis , or Myelitis , or Myoclonus , or Myopia , or Myxedema , or Neoplasm , or Non-gonococcal urethritis , or Obsessive-compulsive disorder , or Obesity , or Osteoarthritis , or Paratyphoid , or ever , or Parkinson’s disease , or Pelvic inflammatory disease , or Peritonitis , or Periodontal disease , or Pertussis , or Phenylketonuria , or Pityriasis rosea , or Plague , or Polio or Poliomyelitis , or Porphyria , or Progeria , or Prostatitis , or Psittacosis , or Psoriasis , or Pubic lice , or Q fever , or Rabies , or Raynaud’s , or isease , or Repetitive strain injury , or Rheumatic fever , or Rheumatoid arthritis , or Rickets , or Rift Valley fever , or Rocky Mountain spotted fever , or Rubella , or Salmonellosis , or Scabies , or Scarlet fever , or Sciatica , or Schizophrenia , or Scleroderma , or Scrapie , or Scurvy , or Sepsis , or , or SARS , or Shigellosis , or Shingles , or Shock , or Sickle-cell anemia , or Siderosis , or Silicosis , or Smallpox , or Stevens-Johnson syndrome , or Strabismus , or Strep throat , or Streptococcal infection , or Synovitis , or Syphilis , or [edit] , or Taeniasis , or Tay-Sachs disease , or Teratoma , or Tetanus , or Thalassaemia , or Thrush , or Thymoma , or Tinnitus , or Toxic shock syndrome , or Trichinosis , or , or , or Trichomoniasis , or Trisomy , or Tuberculosis , or Tularemia , or Tungiasis , or Typhoid or Typhoid fever , or Typhus , or [edit] , or Ulcerative colitis, or Uremia , or Urticaria , or Uveitis , or Varicella , or Vasovagal syncope , or Vitiligo , or Von Hippel-Lindau disease , or Warkany , or yndrome , or Warts , or Whooping cough, or Yellow fever , or Yaws !!!

    THE BAD NEWS WINS!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    It’s interesting that Leftists attack a fellow blogger for (GASP!) pointing out some positive news from Iraq.

    Perhaps they would rather we all believe that Iraq is a “FUCKING DISASTER!!!,” and pull out before the job is done, thereby aiding the terrorists?

  • RKC

    Who is a leftist?

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

    Noam Chomsky is!

    Dave

  • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

    Who is a leftist?

    Randy Johnson, I believe.

  • RKC

    Those who are predicting that it would be a disaster to pull out of Iraq now are the same ones who predicted the war would be a pushover, and accepted the MISSION ACCOMPLISHED announcement…

    They were wrong then — why should their views be accepted now?

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

    >>Would a true conservative want to spend 1 billion US dollars a week on anything?< <

    Yes, when the alternative is more expensive and more destructive of our rights and security.

    >>Maybe you are a defense contractor and welcome all this spending. The contractors are just about the only ones the neocons are helping.< <

    I have to admit to making $18 by selling a font to the DoD. Not sure what they used it for.

    >>Isn’t there about 8 billion not accounted for? Where is is the outrage from the conservatives, where is that money? < <

    Actually, that money was accounted for about 6 months ago and ultimately written off as reasonable cost overages and errors due to poor accounting methods.

    >>Lets get some congressional oversight on all this waste of US tax money.<<

    I’d suggest you go right to your congressman and ask him that. I’ve brought it up with mine.

    Dave

  • RKC

    I predicted the war in Iraq would be a disaster the day it was announced.

    Let’s get our ass out now.

    The Iraqis can sort it out for themselves.

    And money is not the issue.

    Money is fungible.

    The lives of Americans are not.

  • ss

    England
    Spain
    Indonesia
    Turkey
    Egypt
    Saudia Arabia
    Pakistan

    International terrorism seems to be alive and well. And that’s just al-Queda linked, and off the top of my head. I left Russia, India, etc. off the list.

    Not that it has any effect on terrorism at all, but…

    What the hell, as long as we’re already in Iraq with a volunteer army, we might as well try to set up a democratric government that guarentees the rights and freedoms of all it’s people.

  • RKC

    If the Iraqis cannot fend for themselves after Saddam has been overthrown for over two years — what will our continued involvement produce?

    Answer: Nothing but more dead Americans.

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

    >>The problem with rah-rah Iraq-is-great posts like this one is that it ignores real issues of importance.< <

    You may have noticed that it's called 'Good News from Iraq, not ‘All the News from Iraq’. There’s already plenty of coverage of the bad, and regardless of your opinion, many of these positive bits of news ARE of real importance.

    >> For instance, many Iraqis go without electricity for hours at a time. In 120-degree heat.< <

    However, if you read the article you might have noticed that there is now more generating capacity than was there during Saddam Hussein's regime, so they are no worse off than they were before we invaded - under Saddam they were also having blackouts and rationing. Plus, by 2010 we expect to have production up to 3 times the current level to allow for economic growth.

    >>Or the 50-60% unemployment rate.< <

    Only in some areas, and jobs are being created at a truly impressive rate. This is still a post war situation we're dealing with. Do you expect instantaneous recovery?

    BTW, your WHO report on water is interesting. I mentioned it in the original article, as I recall, in the context of water production and treatment having now reached the point where water is available everywhere except in the Basra area.

    >>Meanwhile, the infant mortality rate is at 50.25 deaths per thousand on average. As a comparison, the infant mortality rate in Saudi Arabia is 13.24 deaths per thousand on average. In the United States, it is only 6.5 per thousand on average. (This data from the CIA World Factbook). So while right-wingers celebrate cell phone infrastructure improvements in Iraq, we ignore the situation that results in such a high infant mortality rate.< <

    LOL, this is a classic example of misuse of data. Yes, the infant mortality rate is high compared to some countries. And how are you blaming this on the US, when the current rate of 50.25/1000 is actually LOWER than it was under Saddam Hussein, and in fact represents a steady decline in infant mortality in Iraq, where the rate was 62.49/1000 in 2000. That's from the CIA world fact book too - interesting how you neglected to mention that the infant mortality rate had improved since the war when you presumably had access to that data.

    Oh, and one more thing. Perhaps you should have looked at that infant mortality rate in more of a context than Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has a comparable infant death rate to many European countries – they’re rich, after all. Perhaps you should have compared Iraq with comparably sized and nearby Pakistan which has an infant mortality rate of 74.5/1000.

    Got anything more to say about infant mortality in Iraq? I hate when any babies die, but I also hate it when people try to misuse statistics in such a blatant and easily exposed way.

    >>So…the priority is to build facilities with computers and scanners? We’ll just fix water treatment plants later? < <

    Brilliant comparison of apples and oranges. The media facility was already built by the military and by international news groups. It took nothing away from the rebuilding effort and is a gift to the Iraqi people from those who paid for it. And do you not think people need information as a vital necessity of life in the modern world? And as I pointed out before, water facilities are a top priority and one of the areas where huge progress has been made.

    >>Iraq is a disaster, and all of the sleight-of-hand tricks conservatives are using to distract attention away from the real reality is not going to work.<<

    After the errors I pointed out in your comment I think we can see where the sleight of hand tricks are being used and by whom.

    Dave

  • RKC

    Those who believe Dave’s “Good News from Iraq” might now want to go live there.

    Dave’s optimism should assure us that success is just around the corner.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    LOL, RKC. It’s good news that I didn’t get hit by a car when I crossed the street this afternoon. Does that mean I’m going to stand in the street all day tomorrow? Let’s have some perspective silly person.

    Dave

  • RKC

    Dave’s reference to “being hit by a car” shows he wants to change the subject…

    Is Dave withdrawing his optimism about Iraq?

    Why does he try to create a diversion?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>Dave’s reference to “being hit by a car” shows he wants to change the subject…< <

    Huh? Did I not get handed the code book on this or something?

    >>Is Dave withdrawing his optimism about Iraq?

    Why does he try to create a diversion?<<

    You’re a very confused and troubled person, aren’t you?

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>I don’t think yer gonna get too far with the average American — y’know… trotting out all the millions and billions of DOLLARS and listing the “projects” we’ve financed for these Iraqi strangers on the other side of the planet.<<

    So Shark, you just write but aren’t actually able to read, right? Because if you’d actually read the article you’d have noticed that very little of the money referred to in my summary was coming from the US. Most of the big projects are privately funded or getting money from the UN, NGOs or loans from a variety of countries – not one of the ones I mentioned (Spain, Japan, etc) being the US.

    DAve

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>TW, Dave, the Libertarian Party called; they said that not only do they want your membership card back, but they’re puttin’ a contract out on yer ass — and that next time you come to the NRA Gun Show, you better be wearin’ a *bullet-proof vest and arrive in an *armored HumVee.<<

    Good one. Guess you haven’t heard that the big controversy right now in the LP is a recent position paper from the LP board which is taken by many as sort of endorsing the Iraq war in the guise of proposing a gradual withdrawal plan.

    Dave

  • RKC

    “You’re a very confused and troubled person, aren’t you?”

    Good attempt to avoid the real issue here…

    Dave is proficient at ad hominem attacks when he is in a corner.

    Just watch him.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>i think this says it all
    the Iraqi town of Haditha (90,000 people) is under insurgent control
    “Islamist guerrillas are the sole authority, running the town’s security, administration and communications.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1553969,00.html<<

    So, does the Socialist Workers Party just hand out subscriptions to The Guardian now? I figure that’s the only way they can get subscribers who believe the utter crap they publish.

    There’s something very fishy about that article. The source ‘Omar Mahdi’ doesn’t seem to have ever produced any other information for the Guardian or any other paper, and the description he has of Haditha appears to be several months out of date. The Insurgents were driven out of Haditha on May 25th, and US and Iraqi government forces are currently active in the town, with ongoing regular patrols.

    Ther’es no question that Haditha is one of the hottest areas in Iraq, but the description in the article doesn’t seem credible. My guess is that The Guardian, in typical fashion, is using old material to spread disinformation to serve their peculiar purposes.

    Dave

  • RogerMDillion

    “It’s good news that I didn’t get hit by a car when I crossed the street this afternoon.”

    Not to everyone

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>What I haven’t heard mentioned is what kind of army the Kurds are building up. I just about guarantee you that they’re seriously considering this to be JOB #1. < <

    Actually, it was mentioned in the article. The Kurds have provided a FULL division for the Iraqi army. That's 32K troops to you and me.

    >>Face it, they got pretty beat up during Saddam’s rule, and I don’t see them knuckling under to ANY central government from this point on.<<

    But at least for now they’re 100% behind the government because they’ve got a bit of disproportional representation, and they’d rather be part of the group making the rules than on the other end like the Sunnis almost were.

    Dave

  • Shark

    RJ on those pessimistic “Leftists”: “…Perhaps they would rather we all believe that Iraq is a “FUCKING DISASTER!”

    RJ, babe, we’d rather be honest and realistic. “We” have listened to lying and/or deluded right-wing wack-jobs long enough.

    On Iraq — you (and the Bush administration) were WRONG ON EVERY COUNT — and, dare I say it…

    ummm… “the Leftists” WERE CORRECT ON EVERY PREDICTION.

    RJ on the “leftist” solution to Iraq: “…pull out before the job is done, thereby aiding the terrorists?”

    ~AIDING terrorists?

    You have the gall to speak of “aiding terrorists”?!

    Have you heard this intercepted tape of a cell phone conversation back in 2003?

    Voice 1: “Osama, Osama! Bush has announced he will invade Iraq!”

    Voice 2: “Oh, Praise be to Allah!”

    Voice 1: “Yes. Merry Christmas, Big O!”

  • Shark

    DaveSpock: “So Shark, you just write but aren’t actually able to read…? Because if you’d actually read the article…”

    Davey, you cut and paste some puffy novella that’s a thinly disguised blow-job for someone in the Oval Office — and I’m expected to read it?!

    Sorry, man, I don’t participate in criminal acts that are deemed impeachable. (Besides, Linda Tripp and Ken Starr might be watching!)

    Anyway, I read the headline and I GOT IT.

    [Dave’s Cheer Paraphrased: “In Iraq, the dreaded America-hating Liberals say the glass is half empty. We Right-Wing [ex-Libertarians!] say the glass is half full.”]

    Dude, Shark sez IT DON’T MATTER — cuz it’s FRIGGIN’ POISON.

    Ya follow me, Dave?

    Good, it’s your turn —

    ========

    [RJ lifts Dave over his head. Together: “READY… O-KAY!”]

  • http://ezsgblog.com/vtdawson/index.php Bennett

    >Actually, it was mentioned in the article< Hmmm.. Missed that. Do you know if they are building a "home guard" division? Man, if I was a Kurd, that's what I'd be doing.

    It's true that "Kurdistan" exists between what could become two very hostile neighbors. Turkey is certainly drooling a bit at the thought of taking northern Iraq, but their desire to join the EU will probably keep them in line with the EU on this one.

    Damn good thing too. It would be best for all if the Kurds can reach a workable coalition with a central government, from a gazillion standpoints, but I'm still willing to bet they're preparing for the worst.

    It's the logical thing to do.

    And about this whole post. Despite the fervor by most folks who seem pretty pissed off at the mess we're in, things are NEVER all bad or all good.

    In a country the size of Iraq, if insurgent activity was pushing the country to the edge of chaos, there would be thousands of deaths, car bombs, acts of sabatoge, and general mayhem every single day!

    So despite my general revulsion of Bush and his decision to invade Iraq, I’m begining to understand that things ARE better, than they were six months ago.

    Me, I hope it gets to the point where they’re able to avoid a civil war, and we’re able to get most of our troops out of harms way.

    Who wouldn’t?

    Dave – It is good that you posted this to BC. Without a wide range of ideas and opinions offered here, we are nothing more than a circle-jerk.

    …and that would truly suck, eh?

  • Shark

    Bennett: “…I’m begining to understand that things ARE better, than they were six months ago.”

    ==========

    In November, 1967: LBJ launches an extensive “public relations” campaign designed to convince Congress, the press, and the public that there was “progress” in Vietnam and that the war was being “won.”

    “…Johnson was advised to “[E]mphasize light at the end of the tunnel instead of battles, deaths, and danger.”

    “There are ways,” Johnson was told, “of guiding the press to show light at the end of the tunnel” [Lyndon Johnson’s War, p. 98 and 99] 

    As part of this Marketing Campaign, General William Westmoreland, (the DaveSpock of his era) addressed the National Press Club saying that the U.S. had reached the point “where the end comes into view”.

    ======

    HISTORICAL NOTES:

    * This happened at a time when the anti-“Cut & Run” crowd were advising adding MORE TROOPS in Vietnam to boost ‘security’ — a tragic and all-too similar parallel to what’s going on today.

    * the War in Vietnam would last another 8 YEARS (fall of Saigon: April 1975)

    * around 41,000 (!) MORE AMERICAN SOLDIERS WOULD DIE AFTER the administration cheerleaders announced that “…the end is in view…”

    * “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” — G. Santayana

  • Shark

    BTW: Dave, I know you’re a big fan of Bush’s Orwellian use of langauge, so I thought I’d keep you updated on a handy new euphemism:

    Iraqi Constitution = “a blueprint for civil war”

    Just tryin’ to be helpful,
    S

    PS: Bush Supporters = B.S.ers

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

    >>Davey, you cut and paste some puffy novella that’s a thinly disguised blow-job for someone in the Oval Office — and I’m expected to read it?!

    Sorry, man, I don’t participate in criminal acts that are deemed impeachable. (Besides, Linda Tripp and Ken Starr might be watching!)

    Anyway, I read the headline and I GOT IT.< <

    Good to hear you admitting that you didn't read it. Sicne you think I cut and pasted it you obviously didn't read the source article, and by your own admission you didn't read my version, so the conclusion is - you're commenting based solely on the title and therefore you have zero idea what you're talking about, except that no news that comes out of Iraq could ever be good in your eyes.

    In fact, I imagine they could create an earthly paradise of freedom loving secular government and hand us all the terrorists on a silver platter and you'd complain that the platter was only silver plated.

    >>Dude, Shark sez IT DON’T MATTER — cuz it’s FRIGGIN’ POISON.<<

    Only to those who see failure as the only option.

    Dave

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

    >>RJ, babe, we’d rather be honest and realistic. “We” have listened to lying and/or deluded right-wing wack-jobs long enough. < <

    Honest and realistic? This would be the first time. Just because you're shouting "the sky is falling" that doesn't make you realistic or honest, it just makes you pessimistic, especially when you discount anything positive and elevate everything negative.

    >>On Iraq — you (and the Bush administration) were WRONG ON EVERY COUNT — and, dare I say it… < <

    Every count except for the need to be there, the desire of the Iraqi people to be free, the effectiveness of creating a new mecca for terrorists to go to and die, and the strategic significance of being there.

    >>ummm… “the Leftists” WERE CORRECT ON EVERY PREDICTION.<<

    Show me some predictions they were correct on – you know, like some quotes from prominent talking hat idiots like Noam Chomsky that have since come true.

    Dave

  • Shark

    DaveSpock: “…I imagine they [Iraq] could create an earthly paradise of freedom loving secular government and hand us all the terrorists on a silver platter…”

    Quite an imagination there, Davey!

    …And to think that all this time, I’ve been arguing with one of Dick Cheney’s speechwriters!

    Man, I’m honored!

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

    Bennett, who is not insane like Shark:

    >>Hmmm.. Missed that. Do you know if they are building a “home guard” division? Man, if I was a Kurd, that’s what I’d be doing.< <

    My understanding is that they already built a home guard and this new division is made up of the younger fighters who were in their militias.

    >>It’s true that “Kurdistan” exists between what could become two very hostile neighbors. Turkey is certainly drooling a bit at the thought of taking northern Iraq, but their desire to join the EU will probably keep them in line with the EU on this one.< <

    Turkey's chances of joining the EU are fading away fast. I hate to think what will happen when they finally get rejected.

    >>Damn good thing too. It would be best for all if the Kurds can reach a workable coalition with a central government, from a gazillion standpoints, but I’m still willing to bet they’re preparing for the worst.< <

    The Kurds have gotten everything the want from the central government so far, and in the constitution as well. I suspect that if Turkey were to invade they'd get all the backup that was available. Iraqis are peculiarly loyal to their cobbled together nation.

    >>And about this whole post. Despite the fervor by most folks who seem pretty pissed off at the mess we’re in, things are NEVER all bad or all good.< <

    If only it were that simple we could all just agree on what to do right away. That's the problem with Shark's viewpoint, it filters out anything that doesn't fit his scenario for disaster.

    >>In a country the size of Iraq, if insurgent activity was pushing the country to the edge of chaos, there would be thousands of deaths, car bombs, acts of sabatoge, and general mayhem every single day!< <

    There are certainly more than one would like. But what I'm noticing in following the news from Iraq is that every time there's an attack it's followed by arrests and seizure of weapons caches. For a terror cell to be effective it needs to be able to carry on sustained attacks, and it looks like they're losing that ability, despite all the support they are getting from Iran and elsewhere.

    People also forget that conditions were bad before we invaded and that people get used to troubled times as they have in Israel. It seems to always shock visitors how blase people in Iraq are about terrorism. The cafes and bazaars and businesses are open in most of the cities right in the middle of conflict.

    But really, how much different is a bomb taking out a handful of people each day from death squads coming and dragging them off to rape rooms, torture rooms and mass graves the way things were for 30 years? They're both acts of terror, and people learn that life goes on.

    >>So despite my general revulsion of Bush and his decision to invade Iraq, I’m begining to understand that things ARE better, than they were six months ago.< <

    6 months ago things were particularly bad - it was the bottoming out point, IMO. So things had better be improved since then.

    >>Me, I hope it gets to the point where they’re able to avoid a civil war, and we’re able to get most of our troops out of harms way.

    Who wouldn’t?< <

    Not I.

    >>Dave – It is good that you posted this to BC. Without a wide range of ideas and opinions offered here, we are nothing more than a circle-jerk.

    …and that would truly suck, eh?<<

    Indeed, and it certainly keeps discussion going now that we don’t have Cindy Sheehan to bat around anymore.

    Dave

  • Shark

    Dave, I can’t speak for Chomsky, but these are predictions I made before the invasion — and I’ll be brief:

    * NO WMDs (I actually believed Scott Ritter)

    * no “flowers and kisses” welcome from the Iraqi people

    * extended urban guerrilla war against bulls-eye wearin’ US troops

    * too-few troops for occupation

    * an over-extended military for a prolonged occupation

    * a big no-bid ‘corporate welfare’ handout to Halliburton et al

    * overestimations on the ability of oil to finance iraq reconstruction

    * Iraq to become the new Afghanistan, ie meeting room – training ground for future terrorists

    * isolate/distance America from some western allies

    * contribute to anti-American propaganda [reasons to hate] in non-western countries (esp. Muslim)

    * drain the American treasury

    * become a QUAGMIRE resembling Vietnam

    * END UP WITH ONE OF THREE SCENARIOS:

    1) American troops there in large numbers for years, maybe decades

    2) a “democratically elected” pro-iranian islamic theocracy

    3) a civil war/total anarchy

  • ss

    Just comments pulled from a couple of Iraqi blogs:

    ‘Yes you see schools being rehabilitated, yes you see hospitals getting renovated , yes you see construction taking place, bridges, roads, airports, but what does all this mean if people cant enjoy what they see. What do newly painted schools mean, when children get kidnapped???

    What does this whole reconstruction mean when you cant even go out and enjoy it. I look at peoples eyes and theres no lustre, its filled with sadness and hopelessness, even me, when I used to see that before, I would try to make them feel better by saying things will change, just give it time, now I dont even dare say these words, for I dont believe in them myself. And whoever says things will change is a dreamer. People are still living in dire circumstances. Electricity is barely there, do you know how that feels when you are in this scorching heat??? Water is not continious. Corruption is everywhere. What kind of a life is this??? Yet Im amazed at how Iraqis are so resilient, they really are survivors, they really have the spirit of Life.’

    http://neurotic-iraqi-wife.blogspot.com/

    post 8/7/05

    ‘Well rumour has it that its planned to not reach an agreement on the constituion. I hope its true and the results will be new general elections and a new parliament. This is probably what is needed in Iraq at this point.

    Lots of people who voted for the Islamic 169 regret it, while at the same time Sunnis realising that every vote does count will enter meaning that it won’t like the old days where the islamists can do what they like. I hope that 35 years of baath, gets followed by a swift smashing of the islamists who wish to take the country back to the stone age with all their added paragraphs in the constitution.’

    http://iraqithoughts.blogspot.com/

    post 8/16/05

  • Maurice

    Good post Dave. I noticed very few people stayed on topic here. In other words there is no denying that good things are happening in Iraq.

    Would Shark (or any of the dissenters) be happy to be wrong and find out that Iraq was a success? Or is it more important to be right about that bastard W?

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

    i am certain that there are good things going on in iraq.

    however, the fact that the current draft of the constitution give islamic law such weight is very disturbing.

    “No law may contradict Islamic standards”

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    I wouldn’t deny that good things are happening in Iraq, but I also wouldn’t be naive enough to think that just because good things are happening, like the building of bridges, that Iraq is a success.

    As long as civil rights are worse than when the dictator was in power (comment 28), as long as people are having their children kidnapped, the life is gone from their eyes and they aren’t able to use the shiny new bridges for fear of safety (comment 70), hmmmm, perhaps it isn’t a matter of proving Bush was wrong, but simply having a different definition of success when talking about freeing people from oppression? Perhaps the left didn’t know that when the right said they were going to free oppressed Iraqi’s, that meant we rebuild their transportation system?

  • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

    Guys, guys, GUYS ….water park.

    And it’s clear that since you guys are still yelling at each other that you DIDN’T LOOK AT THE GOD DAMN CUTE KITTEN!!!

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    yelling? Do you mean that in a Leftist way or a Right Wing way? Because like most words, the definition is now different.

  • ss

    Maurice:

    I honestly hope things work out for the secular and freedom craving people in Iraq.
    I don’t think recent events are working in their favor.
    Blowing sunshine up the Ameircan moderate’s ass to justify a flawed political process in Iraq and an early withdrawal of our troops isn’t going to help.

  • http://jmaximus.blogspot.com John Bill

    The real reason we went to Iraq was to transform Arab society, why can’t we tell the truth? My problem is while we spending our way to the poor house protecting Iraq, our own southern border is being invaded. If this is to protect America, then why aren’t we protecting ourselves from an actual invasion? Personally, I think a few neutron bombs launched on 9/12 would have been an easier way to transform Arab society.

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

    >>however, the fact that the current draft of the constitution give islamic law such weight is very disturbing.

    “No law may contradict Islamic standards”<<

    In the sentence after that it says “no law may contradict democratic standards”.

    So that means laws have to meet both criteria, which means minimal laws, which is good.

    They also removed most of the religion-specific laws which had been in earlier drafts, so that’s a good thing too.

    They’ve also preserved the laws protecting women and guaranteeing them equal rights, which is also good.

    But more on the Constitution once I have a full copy.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    two word’s for Mr Nalle, et al

    Sharia Law

    ya know, the whole Islamist old school code of laws from the Quran…

    kind of like the Taliban, you remember them…those kooky kids in Afghanistan, the ones still blowing shit up over there…

    next is another two words, crucial for any modern civilization

    electricity and water/sewage (ok, 3 words…but some are related)

    nice that some things are going well, but please notice that these are things folks are making money off of(and NOT neccesarily Iraqi folks at that)…but electric is still sparse, even in Baghdad…and those Army folks trying to lay sewer lines in the city for people still cannot get PVC pipe so the SOLDIERS themselves can do the work…

    so much for “no-bid” contracts

    don’t even get me started on the GAO reports about how American tax dollars are being “spent” , stolen and just plain missing…

    and how about that “deadline” for the constitution? the one with Islamic Law tacked on it?

    long way to go, and no sugar coating is gonna help

    yes, there are good things happening, but there are tons of shit as well

    try and keep both eyes open, eh?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    Wow! A flame war. And the attached article is pretty straight news reporting, containing very little spin and even a few caveats, such as, “Iraq is still risky, but full of business opportunities.” and “Iraq still faces a serious housing shortage…”

    So what’s wrong with reporting a little good news from Iraq, for a change? It is not as if this one article — or even the content of the web site that inspired it — is going to make people forget about all of the very bad news that comes from that part of the world on a daily basis.

    What good does it do to proclaim that “Iraq is a FUCKING DISASTER” when that is already so painfully obvious to most people — who, according to the polls, have been paying close attention to our progress there — whether they supported the war in the beginning or not?

    What real satisfaction — other than that of the ego variety — is there in us anti-war folks having had most of our pre-war prognostications come to pass?

    Didn’t we want to be wrong, even if being proven right vindicates us? Or is that vindication more important than our moral obligations to the Iraqi people who must actually live with all the Vietnam-like consequences we predicted back in early 2003?

    Outside of academia, all of the coulda, shoulda, woulda, might-a-beens are irrelevant to the present reality in which we are now [quag]mired — as are historical comparisons to Vietnam (no matter how chillingly similar they are).

  • Shark

    re: the “GOD DAMN CUTE KITTEN!”

    I looked.

    All I saw was an allergy-spreader with legs, a potential feline-AIDS case, and a carrier of ticks and plague-infested fleas.

    Kitty looked like Gloom & Doom to me.

    [heh — this one’s a special *gift for Davey!]

    * although Pom-Poms would have been more appropriate…

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

    >>Dave, I can’t speak for Chomsky, but these are predictions I made before the invasion — and I’ll be brief:< <

    But Shark, you're psychic. I wanted predictions from leftists who don't have super-powers. Because no major leftist figures said most of the things you listed until well after the war was under way.

    >>* no “flowers and kisses” welcome from the Iraqi people< <

    Well you got this one wrong. Apparently you don't remember the first few weeks in Basra and Baghdad.

    >>* a big no-bid ‘corporate welfare’ handout to Halliburton et al< <

    No one but you even hinted at this one, and I have my doubts you remember it right either.

    >>* overestimations on the ability of oil to finance iraq reconstruction< <

    Oil hasn't been used to finance reconstruction and isn't going to be, so that's a bit of a cheat.

    >>* Iraq to become the new Afghanistan, ie meeting room – training ground for future terrorists< <

    And a much more convenient place it is to meet and kill them.

    >>* contribute to anti-American propaganda [reasons to hate] in non-western countries (esp. Muslim)<<

    My 2 year old could have made that prediction.

    Amazing how doom and gloom predictions can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. You make the doom and gloom prediction. Then keep saying it’s happening until you convince everyone it’s true. Then you undermine the administration until they make enough mistakes that it becomes true.

    Be proud.

    Dave

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

    or…

    Amazing how rose-colored glasses predictions can become self-fulfilling prophecy. You make the rose-colored glasses prediction. Then keep saying it’s happening until you convice everyone it’s true.

  • billy

    wow, at the expense of the american taxpayer, we have made iraq into a socialist utopia, new schools, power, hospitals , . . . . all paid for by us.

    any true conservative should be thrilled, shouldnt they?

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

    For SS – here are a couple of quotes from other Iraqi blogs.

    From an open letter to Cindy Sheehan in Iraq the Model

    Why was this woman chosen to lose her dear ones? Why you? Why did a million women have to go through the same pain?

    We did not choose war for the sake of war itself and we didn’t sacrifice a million lives for fun! We could’ve accepted our jailor and kept living in our chains for the rest of our lives but it’s freedom ma’am.
    Freedom is not an American thing and it’s not an Iraqi thing, it’s what unites us as human beings. We refuse all kinds of restrictions and that’s why we fought and still fighting everyday in spite of the swords in the hands of the cavemen who want us dead or slaves for their evil masters.

    You are free to go and leave us alone but what am I going to tell your million sisters in Iraq? Should I ask them to leave Iraq too? Should I leave too? And what about the eight millions who walked through bombs to practice their freedom and vote? Should they leave this land too?
    Is it a cursed land that no one should live in? Why is it that we were chosen to live in all this pain, why me, why my people, why you?

    But I am not leaving this land because the bad guys are not going to leave us or you to live in peace. They are the same ones who flew the planes to kill your people in New York.
    I ask you in the name of God or whatever you believe in; do not waste your son’s blood.
    We here have decided to avenge humanity, you and all the women who lost their loved ones.
    Take a look at our enemy Cindy, look closely at the hooded man holding the sword and if you think he’s right then I will back off and support your call.

    About a terrorist attack by Hamorabi

    If any thing one may say about these cockroaches is that when they hit targets like this it means their days are counted. On the other hand their achievement is the hate of every one but the devils like them and the wrath of God which will soon fall on them by the hands of the same people whom they kill. Again and again Syria, and Saudi Arabia feeding such terrorist attacks with money, manpower and support. From these countries it is estimated at least 100 terrorists entered Iraq via Syria and Saudi Arabia each month.

    And here’s my milblog for the day Iraq War News

    Dave

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

    >>Amazing how rose-colored glasses predictions can become self-fulfilling prophecy. You make the rose-colored glasses prediction. Then keep saying it’s happening until you convice everyone it’s true.<<

    Mark, would you rather that what comes true is the positive position or the negative one? If we really can influence results by looking at either the positive or negative side or an issue, then we should all be playing up the positive in the hopes of a better outcome for everyone.

    Dave

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

    >>Would Shark (or any of the dissenters) be happy to be wrong and find out that Iraq was a success? Or is it more important to be right about that bastard W?<<

    That’s the $64,000 question, isn’t it, Maurice. I get the distinct impression that as far as they are concerned Iraq can go to hell and all the people there can die in a bloodbath and end up in an islamic theocracy with saudi-style slavery, and they won’t care if it brings Bush down. The hypocrisy of that when they’re constantly whining about things like the genocide in Darfur is positively sickening.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    That is an EXTREMELY cute kitten.

    The only ‘good news from Iraq’ I’m interested in hearing any more is that they’ve all been wiped out, every last one of them, big & small, by some quick acting disease, & removed their lousy 8-millenia squabbles from the face of the earth. Geez, people! These assholes have been killing each other since the days of Gilgamesh. It’s their favorite form of recreation. So let them at it.

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

    temple stark was right.

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

    But Nancy, Osama bin Laden EATS cute little kittens – if they’re hallal anyway.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    He probably does – if they’re hallal. No, seriously: these people out in the mideast have been enjoying mutual homicide for thousands of years now. In all of recorded history, there has never been a time when they WEREN’T at each others’ throats. All of a sudden they’re supposed to behave like civilized human beings & live according to over-nice western ideas of how to get along? Let them do what they live to do, and save ourselves the trouble, lives, & money. When they’re all dead, then Bushco can move in and appropriate all the oil fields.

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

    Actually, Nancy. Under both the Caliphate and the Ottoman Empire they were relatively peaceful, practiced religious and sectarian toleration, and built pretty successful societies.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    Well, that’s news to me, as I’ve always read that the caliphs spent most of their time either taking each other out or going after the Europeans via the back door of Turkey/Hungary.

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

    You said they were fighting among themselves in the first comment. My point is that they didn’t always fight among themselves. But yes, they did still fight christian and other neighbors. BTW, it’s was the Ottomans not the Caliphate who invaded Europe and almost pulled it off.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    At any rate, to me, not a million Iraqis or anyone else are worth the lives of one US soldier. Jingoistic, perhaps, but that’s the way I feel about it; and I certainly wouldn’t put any American in harms way for putative “democracy” for any foreign population. They want it that bad, they could damn well rise up & get it themselves, the way we did, & the French, and a couple of other nations I could name.

  • Anthony Grande

    “At any rate, to me, not a million Iraqis or anyone else are worth the lives of one US soldier.” by Nancy

    Our U.S. soldiers think differently my freind. Over 90% of them voted to reelect Bush. Even Casey Sheehan reelisted to go back and fight for lives.

    I say one U.S. soldier’s life is worth the same for one Iraqi life. Being American doesn’t make you a special person. Humans are humans no matter where they are from. 1,700 Americans have lost their life to give 30,000,000 Iraqis long deserved freedom. Not to mention our own safety that they also died for. Now that is well worth it.

    Bush should get the Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to world safety.

  • Anthony Grande

    Great, Great post Dave. It is a hundred times better than Jude’s post.

  • ss

    Dave:

    If you read the second blog I posted, an Iraqi Kurd said he was hopeful we would let the political process there start over so the Sunnis could offset the power of the Islamic 169 ticket.

    After reading blogs posted by many Iraqis, I hope we do what that gentleman suggets.

    That’s right, I’m a leftist who opposes Bush and most of the propaganda his supporters and apologists spue, but based on the conversation I’m able to overhear between actual Iraqis through blogs, I think we should stay and try to help them work this out.

    That said, it’s going to be a much longer, costlier, and more complicated process than the American right or middle ever predicted. Don’t do a half-assed job, spin it, run, and blame the results on the left.

  • Shark

    Dave: “…You make the doom and gloom prediction. Then keep saying it’s happening until you convince everyone it’s true. Then you undermine the administration until they make enough mistakes that it becomes true.”

    Soooooo… Iraq is a disaster.

    And it’s MY fault!?

    Wow. Didn’t know I had so much power. I must make more predictions!

    Shark’s New Prediction: Pat Robertson will get VERY pissed at Bush.

  • MCH

    Hey Anthony,

    Support the troops.
    Enlist.

  • RKC

    Anthony Grande says…

    “1,700 Americans have lost their life [sic] to give 30,000,000 [sic] Iraqis long deserved freedom”.

    1. Is this the reason we invaded Iraq?

    2. If this is a measure of what we should be doing in the world, where do we go next?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “flowers and kisses” welcome from the Iraqi people

    Uh, this actually DID occur in the days immediately after the fall of Baghdad…

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

    >>If you read the second blog I posted, an Iraqi Kurd said he was hopeful we would let the political process there start over so the Sunnis could offset the power of the Islamic 169 ticket.< <

    After reading a number of reports from Iraq my impression is tha tthis is very much what's happened. They had to make a lot of compromises on the Constitution to satisfy the Sunnis and get them on board, and while there are still some Islamist elements it's nowhere near as bad as the early draft I saw which was heavily slanted that way. Have yet to see a full translation, though.

    >>That’s right, I’m a leftist who opposes Bush and most of the propaganda his supporters and apologists spue, but based on the conversation I’m able to overhear between actual Iraqis through blogs, I think we should stay and try to help them work this out.<<

    That seems like the only reasonable answer given the situation. I’d be against taking it on now if we weren’t already involved, but we ARE involved, and so we should use that involvement for the benefit of the Iraqi people.

    Dave

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

    >>Dave: “…You make the doom and gloom prediction. Then keep saying it’s happening until you convince everyone it’s true. Then you undermine the administration until they make enough mistakes that it becomes true.”

    Soooooo… Iraq is a disaster.

    And it’s MY fault!?

    Wow. Didn’t know I had so much power. I must make more predictions!<<

    No Snark, it hasn’t come to pass yet, but that’s the process which you and your ilk are pursuing so fervently. Your goal is peace at any cost. The problem is that there’s nothing more peaceful than piles and piles of dead bodies.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    RJ sez…
    *flowers and kisses” welcome from the Iraqi people

    Uh, this actually DID occur in the days immediately after the fall of Baghdad…*

    just before the riots and looting…but as Rummy said “well, freedom is messy”

    good planning from the SecDef…..NOT!

    Excelsior!

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

    >>Uh, this actually DID occur in the days immediately after the fall of Baghdad…*<<

    It was actually much more pronounced in the welcome the Brits got in Basra, which has turned out to be a bigger hell hole than Baghdad, of course.

    Dave

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

    >>I say one U.S. soldier’s life is worth the same for one Iraqi life. Being American doesn’t make you a special person. Humans are humans no matter where they are from<<

    I agree with the general sentiment, Anthony, but in practical terms the one US Soldier is worth more than one Iraqi civilian, because he’s going to save a lot of lives in his careers, so without that soldier a lot more innocents might die.

    Dave

  • RKC

    The number of illogical statements posted here by Dave Nalle and his supporters is nothing short of staggering.

  • Anthony Grande

    “Hey Anthony,

    Support the troops.
    Enlist.” MCH

    I am only 16, but it is my life long dream to serve and the first thing a do after High School will be to enlist.

  • RKC

    Not having graduated from High School can explain Anthony’s naivete.

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

    >>The number of illogical statements posted here by Dave Nalle and his supporters is nothing short of staggering.<<

    Do tell us more, RKC. Perhaps you could point to some specific logical failures in my postings. I can’t speak for anyone else. And BTW, not agreeing with my opinion is not a logical argument. Good luck.

    Dave

  • RKC

    Latest example:

    “in practical terms the one US Soldier is worth more than one Iraqi civilian, because he’s going to save a lot of lives in his careers, so without that soldier a lot more innocents might die.”

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

    Example of what, RKC? Do you seriously want to argue with that statement? Are you really THAT deluded?

    Dave

  • troll

    -one US Soldier is worth more than one Iraqi civilian-

    Holy Shit – I can’t believe this

    Dave wins – he is from now on Troll King – TK for short

    I am not worthy

    troll

  • http://iddybud.blogspot.com Jude

    You used Joseph Braude’s wonderful book as your ISBN, and I can’t help but wonder if you realize that Joseph is more of a realist than you seem to be? I realize you support this war, and will possibly say anything you can to bloster that support, but I would have more respect for realistic talk. Our militray shoudln’t be doing social work over in Iraq – how can they concentrate on social work when the security situation threatens their lives on a minute-by-minute basis?

    Joseph sends me his articles whenever he writes a new one, and I sometimes e-mail him back about them. I mention them often in my own blog writings. He’s a smart fellow. I will excerpt just one of his many about what is happening in Iraq and the entire Middle East:

    “….with the increased prominence of Abu Mus’ab al Zarqawi and his Al Qaeda-backed jihad in Iraq, the terrorist group evolved again. As a new global icon for Islamist militants, Zarqawi used his status and the popularity of his cause to turn parts of Iraq into a new Afghanistan: a magnet for Muslim recruits from abroad. According to David Low, chief transnational threat analyst for the CIA’s National Intelligence Council, Iraq now provides “a training ground, a recruitment ground … There is even, under the best scenario, over time, the likelihood that some of the jihadists who are not killed there will, in a sense, go home, wherever home is, and will therefore disperse to various other countries.” In the judgment of Israeli Colonel Zohar Palti, Al Qaeda is now “operat[ing] in two parallel trajectories, one dedicated to conducting effective terrorist attacks on high-priority American or Western targets, and a second focused on Iraq, an attractive objective because of the strong U.S. presence there.” In other words, Iraq has become a key component of Al Qaeda’s global plans.

    Now recent events in the ancient Libyan town of Derna raise the question of whether Al Qaeda could soon evolve for a third time since September 11–adopting a strategy centered around urban insurgencies in Arab countries. Zarqawi’s rise to prominence, after all, has provided more than just a new center of gravity for Al Qaeda; it has also offered a new model for Al Qaeda splinter cells to emulate. By surviving and thriving not in the remote mountains of a failed state but in a thoroughly urbanized country, Zarqawi has shown that Muslim cities can become centers for international recruitment and sustained warfare rather than just the target of hit-and-run attacks. Such a mutation by Al Qaeda would enable a series of mini-Fallujahs–insurrections in various Arab cities. Needless to say, this development would be disastrous for Arabs, dangerous for Americans, and a serious blow to any chance liberal democracy has in the Middle East…….the major factors making Libya ripe for Zarqawi-style urban warfare are attributes Libya shares with other Arab countries. This suggests that what is now happening in Derna could soon happen elsewhere in the Middle East. If it does, America will have an enormous problem on our hands. LINK

    And in the real world, all of Iraq’s petroleum production was completely knocked out yesterday.

  • Jude

    Iraqis are peculiarly loyal to their cobbled together nation.

    Just wait a few months and chances are that I won’t have to waste my breath telling you how ridiculous that statement is, on its face, as things stand in Iraq today.

  • MCH

    “Example of what, RKC?…Are you really that deluded?”
    – Dave Nalle

    Might wanna check the Comment Policy, Nalle. Abusing commenters is not allowed, especially from an editor (which I still can’t believe BC permitted).

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

    Jude, I used Braude’s book because it’s interesting and controversial, like its author. I don’t agree with everything he has to say, but he does have some good insights, though the book is very poorly edited. I admire the fact that he found something useful to do with his 6 months on house arrest after his conviction for antiquities trafficing.

    It’s also not entirely clear to me that Braude is against the war on Iraq. He’s certainly strongly anti-terrorist and not at all sympathetic to the support terrorists have gotten from the American left.

    Oh, BTW, your link to the New Republic Article is wrong. This is a link to his recent articles.

    Dave

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

    MCH, I’m pretty sure ‘deluded’ doesn’t count as a major personal attack – it’s certainly not in the same league as ‘chickenhawk’ yet you’re still here.

    Dave

  • RKC

    RE: Comment 119

    “MCH, I’m pretty sure ‘deluded’ doesn’t count as a major personal attack – it’s certainly not in the same league as ‘chickenhawk’ yet you’re still here.”

    Yes, it’s not in the same league — “chicken hawk” is an accurate assessment of anyone who promotes war but has failed to serve in the military — whether during war or peace.

    So I repeat:

    The number of illogical statements posted here by Dave Nalle and his supporters is nothing short of staggering.

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

    Still waiting for you to point one out, RKC. Until you do ‘deluded’ remains a pretty accurate descriptive term too.

    Dave

  • RKC

    de·lude ( P ) Pronunciation Key (d-ld)
    tr.v. de·lud·ed, de·lud·ing, de·ludes
    To deceive the mind or judgment of: fraudulent ads that delude consumers into sending in money. See Synonyms at deceive.

    So how did I deceive Dave’s mind or judgment?

    Why does Dave blame me for any problem he may have with his mind or judgment?

  • troll

    Immoral rather than illogical

    I’m still staggered by -one US Soldier is worth more than one Iraqi civilian-

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

    I didn’t use the verb, RKC, I used the adjective. Perhaps you should look that up next.

    As for my immorality, troll, I call it common sense. Every life is equally valuable in the abstract, but in practical terms the life of someone who will likely save and protect scores of other lives is more valuable to humanity as a whiole than the life of an average citizen. It’s cold and mathematical, but also logical.

    Dave

  • RKC

    Dave may not always be right — but he is never wrong.

    Just ask him.

  • troll

    So –

    one New York policeman is worth more than one Bronx resident

    one doctor is worth more than one patient

    one capitalist is worth more than one laborer

    mathematical?

    get off my bridge with your twisted elitist logic –

    troll

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I’m a big fan of Anglo-Saxon law where they set a value on every human life called Weregeld, and if you killed someone there was a cash penalty.

    The same concept persists today in our personal injury suits where they set a value on a person’s life based on their potential earnings.

    So don’t tell me that I’m out of step with reality in saying that the life of someone who is in the job of saving other lives isn’t of at least somewhat enhanced real value.

    Dave

  • RKC

    “I’m a big fan of Anglo-Saxon law where they set a value on every human life called Weregeld, and if you killed someone there was a cash penalty.”

    Some people will say anything when trying to cover up for saying something stupid.

  • http://iddybud.blogspot.com Jude

    It’s also not entirely clear to me that Braude is against the war on Iraq.

    No one suggested that he was or was not.

    I commented about the sense of realism that he sets forth in his writing.

    The position on the war on terror does not have to be completely for or completely against.

    Good news is good news.

    Bad news is bad.

    We are at war.

    If you think this whole war on terror has to be black or white and nothing in between, we won’t get very far.

    He’s certainly strongly anti-terrorist and not at all sympathetic to the support terrorists have gotten from the American left.

    We are all Americans. Joseph is a fine example of what I’m talking about here. If any of us have questions about the way we’re prosecuting a struggle against extremism, it certainly does not equate to lending support to extremists.

    Don’t be such such a McCarthyite.

  • Realist

    We need a definition of what is meant by the “war on terror”?

    What is it?

    Is it the war in Afghanistan?

    Is it the war in Iraq?

    Is it the war in dozens of other parts of the world?

    Since “terror” is a tactic, how can there be a war against a tactic?

    Will we have to “reform” the entire world to win?

    Will we know when we have won?

    Calling it a “war on terror” makes the enemy invisible.

    How can we fight against something invisible and expect to win?

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

    >>Some people will say anything when trying to cover up for saying something stupid.<<

    And some people aren’t really willing to SAY anything at all, right RKC?

    Dave

  • Nancy

    I wouldn’t trade a million lousy Iraqis for ONE US soldier. If this be immoral, then make the most of it!

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

    >>It’s also not entirely clear to me that Braude is against the war on Iraq.

    No one suggested that he was or was not.

    I commented about the sense of realism that he sets forth in his writing.< <

    Can't argue with you there. Realism is my guiding motivation as well. I believe we ought to have full disclosure, honesty and balance.

    >>The position on the war on terror does not have to be completely for or completely against. < <

    There are lots of viable positions, but those who would rather turn away and not deal with the issue are definitely not being realists.

    >>Good news is good news.

    Bad news is bad.

    We are at war.

    If you think this whole war on terror has to be black or white and nothing in between, we won’t get very far.< <

    When have I ever said anything like that?

    >>He’s certainly strongly anti-terrorist and not at all sympathetic to the support terrorists have gotten from the American left.

    We are all Americans. Joseph is a fine example of what I’m talking about here. If any of us have questions about the way we’re prosecuting a struggle against extremism, it certainly does not equate to lending support to extremists. < <

    I've never said that it does. But there's a difference between having sensible questions and being part of a calculated campaign to undermine every effort to deal with extremism and terror because it's politically advantageous to sow chaos and damage the administration. People who put their personal interests and political ambitions ahead of the welfare of the people and the nation - be they religious extremists or political ideologues - need to be exposed for what they are and reviled for their behavior.

    >>Don’t be such such a McCarthyite.<<

    McCarthy was a nut. But we do face a genuine threat from extremists on both the left and the right today who want to pervert our political processes and create dissention so that they can take advantage of it to gain political power.

    Those of us in the Rational Middle – which I hope you are part of – need to stand firm against all of the extremists, and not just against the ones who are clearly of the opposite political faction, but against the extremists on our own side of the divide between right and left. Just because you’re nominally a Democrat that doesn’t mean you have to give a pass to radical socialists and just because you’re nominally a Republican that doesn’t mean you should pay lip service to Neocons and the Religious Right.

    Dave

  • RKC

    RE: Comment 131

    Dave Nalle says:

    “And some people aren’t really willing to SAY anything at all…”

    Better to say nothing than to say something stupid.

  • Shark

    illogical statements posted here by “illogical statements posted here by Dave Nalle…is nothing short of staggering.”

    Dave: “Still waiting for you to point one out…

    HERE’S ONE:

    Dave: “…You make the doom and gloom prediction. Then keep saying it’s happening until you convince everyone it’s true. Then you undermine the administration until they make enough mistakes that it becomes true.”

    =====

    Davey,

    Bottom Line on Iraq —

    PICK ONE:

    An Islamic Republic.

    A civil war.

    ===

    More good news!

  • RKC

    Dave says:

    “Then you undermine the administration until they make enough mistakes that it becomes true.”

    Whose fault is it that “the administration makes mistakes.”?

    Then Dave says:

    Be proud.

    Of what? The administration’s mistakes?

  • RKC

    Better to say nothing than to say something stupid.

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

    And better to say something stupid twice than to say it once, right RKC?

    Dave

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

    >>An Islamic Republic.

    A civil war.<<

    Actually, Shark. In a geopolitical sense, as far as disrupting terrorism, an ongoing state of chaos and civil war would be a minimum acceptable outcome. The problem for me with that is the humanitarian issues associated with it.

    I notice you left out the third possibility – a functional secular government. That’s what the constitution seems at this point to support, and that’s what I’m holding out for, as your two preferred outcomes are inhumane. But you keep working for your solutions and I’ll keep working for mine.

    Dave

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

    >>We need a definition of what is meant by the “war on terror”?

    What is it?

    Is it the war in Afghanistan?

    Is it the war in Iraq?

    Is it the war in dozens of other parts of the world? < <

    The answer to all of these is 'yes', because it's a war of ideology against all those who feel that terror is a valid way to advance their political goals.

    >>Since “terror” is a tactic, how can there be a war against a tactic?< <

    It's against those who think the tactic is acceptable.

    >>Will we have to “reform” the entire world to win?< <

    No, because the last time I checked most of the world didn't think that blowing up random civilians was a good way to achieve their goals.

    >>Will we know when we have won?< <

    We probably never will. All we can do is minimize the amount of terrorist activity and eliminate terrorists and terrorist regimes as they are clearly identified.

    >>Calling it a “war on terror” makes the enemy invisible.< <

    No, calling it a war on terror identifies it as more than just a war on a particular nation, because it is a war on a mindset or ideology.

    >>How can we fight against something invisible and expect to win?<<

    That’s why the war will never have a definitive ending. We fight the manifestations of terror, not the amorphous idea. It’s like fighting a virus for which there is no cure by treating and suppressing the symptoms. And sometimes that virus goes dormant as a result.

    Dave

  • WTF

    And the weasles rip Dave’s flesh… and they snap his bones and lick the marrow.

    What ever happened to the “light of the world” theory.

    It beats the guns and butter method of the Cold War (and I’m speaking of the USSR model).

    Anyone up for isolationism?

    Hands please.

    Global economics got you down?

    I guess Clinton (the strong advocate of both) was wrong.

    We are turning Nationalistic, Isolationists and the comments on this particular blog, strangly reflect that.

    Are we Con-War, Con-Bush, or Con-World?

    What are the Micro and Macro indicators?

    There are over 140 answers to that above this posting.

    Of course it could just be bear baiting.

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

    However, those who are nationalistic and those who are isolationists seem to be two different groups, both basically wrong. The time for isolationism passed a long, long time ago, and nationalism is only of any value when taken in moderation.

    Dave

  • RKC

    Dave says:

    “ the war will never have a “definitive ending”…

    The irony here is that while we are fighting the war with no “definitive ending” — China is plotting how to bury us with the money we have to borrow to fight our war with no “definitive ending.”

    On to victory!

    How about figuring out how to modify the terrorist’s ideology so they attack China instead of us?

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

    >>The irony here is that while we are fighting the war with no “definitive ending” — China is plotting how to bury us with the money we have to borrow to fight our war with no “definitive ending.”< <

    This is another fallacious idea which has become one of the core talking points of the left. The debt instruments which China has bought cannot be manipulated to 'bury' us. They have specific defined terms and rules and behave the same fixed way no matter who owns them.

    >>How about figuring out how to modify the terrorist’s ideology so they attack China instead of us?<<

    Watch the news during the next year. China is definitely on their list.

    Dave

  • RKC

    “Watch the news during the next year. China is definitely on their list..”

    NEWS FLASH!

    DAVE IS CLAIRVOYANT!

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

    No, RKC, Dave is INFORMED. I realize the concept is alien to you, but the internet is a wonderful tool if you learn to use it.

    Ever hear of Xinjiang province? It borders on Pakistan. You can start by reading this article.

    Dave

  • RKC

    “The debt instruments which China has bought cannot be manipulated to ‘bury’ us. They have specific defined terms and rules and behave the same fixed way no matter who owns them.”

    Don’t you wish.

    Dave ignores the fact that our balance of trade payments plus the interest on our national debt — much of which goes to China — continues to grow.

    What we are spending on “defense” is increasing at triple the rate of growth of our economy. This is not sustainable.

    While we fight a war with no “definitive ending” — eventually it will consume so much of our GDP — that our economy will be greatly disrupted.

    And now we have the rising price of oil…

    What does Dave’s “informed” crystal ball show that will change all this?

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

    >>Don’t you wish.< <

    Unlike some I prefer to go with actual knowledge rather than wishes.

    >>Dave ignores the fact that our balance of trade payments plus the interest on our national debt — much of which goes to China — continues to grow.< <

    Which is all financed with contract based loans which have strict and specific terms which are provide us with the same protections no matter who buys them.

    >>What we are spending on “defense” is increasing at triple the rate of growth of our economy. This is not sustainable.<<

    That I can agree with. We need to find new and better ways to manage defense spending and find major cuts in other areas of the budget, which Bush has absolutely failed to do.

    Dave

  • RKC

    Dave says:

    “Dave is INFORMED”

    “Ever hear of Xinjiang province? It borders on Pakistan. You can start by reading this article.”

    This article was written October 27, 1997 — has nothing happened since then?

    Why are you referencing stale data?

    Dave — polish your crystal ball — it appears you are not reading it correctly.

    And Dave fails to address the real problem I outlined.

    OUR ECONOMY IN “A WAR WITHOUT END.”

  • RKC

    Dave —

    You have ignored the fact that our balance of trade payments plus the interest on our national debt — much of which goes to China — continues to grow.

    This is not sustainable and there is no end in sight.

    What does your crystal ball tell you about this problem?

    (Polish before consulting it)

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

    RKC, last I checked neither Pakistan, China nor Xinjiang has moved in the last decade. I referenced that article because it’s the best background piece I know of on the region and I didn’t think you were up to subscribing to Central Asia Monitor yet.

    Dave

  • The Duke

    China is waiting, patiently. There are several websites that elude to the fact that China will have it’s way in the region, Taiwan will be taken over, Korea, perhaps Japan.

    50 years 75, it will happen. The latest military outlook report for 2005 on China is out. Read it.

    The topics covered are Understanding China’s strategy, Military Strategy and Doctrine, Resources for Force modernization, For modernization Goals and Trends, PRC Force Modernization and Security in the Taiwan Strait.

    Check out economic (Global) indicators at WEForum.org, or EcomonicIndicators.gov.

    Deng Xiaoping once stated:

    “Observe calmly; secure our position; cope with affairs calmly; hid our capacities and bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile; never claim leadership.”

    Wise commie, don’t you think. Do WE have anything to worry about? The Chinese are always harrassing our networks. In fact there’s an article out this week concerning the 10,000 attempts the military thwarts yearly. Luckily our network assurance has worked adequately (I said adequately).

    Got kids? Then you have something to worry about. DINK’s? No worries.

    I know 3 economists, or rather former economists. They can’t understand why companies, the government etc… are ingnoring the HUGE risks involved in dealing with China. They are appalled. They know that China is poising itself to CRUSH the west economically and then probably militarily. It’s their goal, it always has been. China hasn’t changed; the West has just forgotten.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    They deal with China because there’s money to be made there. These aren’t exactly long term thinkers. The Chinese, on the other hand, do think long term.

    But the question for China is whether they can pursue their long term goals while assailed by internal dissent, westernization, and the emerging threat of separatism and terrorism in a number of their provinces.

    Dave

  • Shark

    While Dave continues to lecture from his Gospel (“Good News”) to a half-empty auditorium, (the other half either dozing or playing on their GameBoys) — Iraq continues to spiral into a violent shitstorm spiraling toward the circled streets of Hell — and qualifying for official designation as “A FUCKING DISASTER.”

    (And Davey, I’m not gonna say “I TOLD YOU SO” — but I DID TELL YOU not to mention that pesky, overdue “Iraqi Constitution” (aka “Blueprint for Civil War”) as yet another indicator that things are gonna “get better”!

    — But damn, ya just never listen to your Carcharodonian Daddy!)

    ========

    MORE GOOD NEWS FROM IRAQ:

    “…In the Newsweek poll, Bush’s approval rating on Iraq is down to a shockingly low 34 percent, with 61 percent disapproval.”

    “…Half the public now thinks we are losing ground rather than making progress (40 percent) in our efforts to establish security and democracy in Iraq.”

    “…A staggering 64 percent now believe the Iraq war has NOT made Americans safer from terrorism, compared to just 28 percent who believe it has.”

    “…In the Ipsos-AP poll, more now say he is dishonest (50 percent) than say he’s honest (48 percent).”

    [AHAHAHAHAH!]

    “…And a clear majority (56 percent) now say he can be described as arrogant.”

    [AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!]

    “…Dishonest and arrogant. Not exactly the characteristics Americans are typically looking for in a president.”

    Yeah, yeah, Davey, I know yer gonna try to distract your tiny somnambulent American crowd by invoking our thriving economy, but before you break out the pom-poms and get RJ to lift you up onto his shoulders, check this out:

    “…In the ARG poll, Bush’s approval rating on the economy is down to 33 percent, with 61 percent disapproval…”

    …which is one of the lowest in American history.

    Thanks, George!

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

    Shark, none of the news you cite is actually from Iraq at all. And I’m not taking responsibility for the inability of the American people to notice that they have jobs, their houses are worth more, more of them are insured, and their wages are higher. A certain amount of ‘grass is greener’ mentality seems to have infected them…let’s see, who’s promoting class envy really, really heavily right now? Let me think…

    Dave

  • Shark

    More good news from Iraq

    WEDNESDAY, Aug. 24, 2005 – After months of silence, rebel Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr placed his militiamen on high alert Wednesday and asked his followers in the Iraqi government to suspend their work as Iraq descended into political chaos a day before a crucial vote on its proposed new constitution.

    In Najaf… as many as 24 people died in street fighting between al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia and a mixture of government forces and the Badr Organization Shiite militia.

    The Iraqi government struggled late into the night to restore order, dispatching an elite force of police commandos to help overwhelmed local authorities and banning outsiders from entering the city.

    In Baghdad, at least two Cabinet ministers and several other politicians loyal to al-Sadr announced they’d stopped carrying out their government duties, and there were signs that unrest had spread to Sadr City, Baghdad’s vast Shiite district where the Mahdi Army has a large following.

    Earlier in the day, at least 15 people were killed and 59 wounded when suspected Sunni insurgents ambushed Iraqi security forces responding to a car bombing in the western Baghdad neighborhood of Hai al Jamea.

    More than 30 rebels were involved in the ambush, unleashing a barrage of rocket-propelled grenades and machine-gun fire on the security forces…”

    THURSDAY, Aug. 25, 2005 – 36 bodies, found handcuffed, naked, shot, and dumped by a road near Kut…”

    FRIDAY, Aug 26, 2005 -Iraq’s ruling coalition missed ANOTHER deadline to complete a constitution. Sunnis charged that the delay violates the law and requires the national assembly be dissolved…”

    =====

    Yer turn, Dave.

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

    IMO the resurfacing of the Sadrists so that they can be eliminated as they should have been long ago, is a bit of good news from Iraq.

    My next good news will be in another post after I’ve finished going over the new constitution.

    Dave

  • Shark

    Davey: “…the resurfacing of the Sadrists so that they can be eliminated as they should have been long ago, is a bit of good news from Iraq…”

    Dave, I have one tiny quibble: you didn’t start your comment with: “Ready…. Okay!”

    Please try to remember in the future.

    Thanks,
    Shark, Iraq War Cheerleading Style Enforcer

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

    You know, Shark – I was a male cheerleader in high school. Same squad Al Gore was on a few years before me, in fact.

    Dave

  • Shark

    Davey: “…My next good news will be… after I’ve finished going over the new constitution.”

    Dave, please use the correct term; replace constitution with Blueprint for Civil War.

    Thanks —
    Shark,
    Captain, Euphemism National Guard, Texas Division

  • Shark

    Davey: “..I was a male cheerleader in high school.”

    Dave, when a man says he was a cheerleader, it’s safe to assume he was a “male” — making that word redundant and unnecessary.

    Please remove when bragging (or apologizing) in the future.

    Thanks,
    Shark – Ministry of Clarity

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

    Shark, I thought I’d reserve my judgement of whether the constitution is a blueprint for civil war until after I’ve read the whole thing. Have you read it in order to form your astute assessment of it? Perhaps you could forward me your complete text copy, since I can only find partial translations.

    Dave

  • Shark

    Dave, I haven’t read the “constitution”, aka “Blueprint for Civil War” — because it’s immaterial; It doesn’t matter what’s in the document if the Sunni’s refuse to sign on.

    BTW: I would suggest that Iraq is ALREADY experiencing a ‘civil war’ — and that it has slowly escalated from “insurgency” and “terrorist” in such small increments that no one ‘officially’ recognizes that the country has “crossed a line” between ‘anarchy’ (terrorism, insurgency, etc) into “CIVIL WAR”.

    Civil War: it’s what’s for breakfast.

    —-

    PS:

    HEADLINE: “Unity looks unachievable in Iraq:
    Sunnis protest draft of charter”

    August 27, 2005

    BY ROBERT H. REID
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraq’s Shi’ite-dominated constitution committee will submit an amended draft charter to parliament this weekend despite opposition from minority Sunni Arabs, negotiators said today.

    The chairman of the committee, Sheikh Humam Hammoudi, a Shi’ite, said “there has been an agreement on the differences including the federalism issue. This will give guarantees for the Sunnis.”

    But Sunni negotiators said they didn’t accept the revised document, and one of them, Saleh al-Mutlaq, called on Iraqis to reject it in the Oct. 15 referendum, warning of a “terrifying and dark future awaiting Iraq.”

    The development was a blow to U.S. President George W. Bush’s efforts to rally support for a deal. Bush telephoned a Shi’ite leader, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, and urged the Shi’ites to compromise with the Sunnis in the interest of national unity.

    But despite more than two months of talks, the factions couldn’t agree on fundamental issues involving the future of Iraq.

    These included the country’s identity, whether Iraq would continue as a centralized nation or a federation based on religion and ethnicity…”

    =====

    Yer turn!

  • Shark

    BTW: Davey, in the interest of seriousness and sanity (for once), I’ll toss out the Olive Branch and ask you a serious question:

    I see two options in Iraq at the moment:

    1) More US troops to ‘try’ to insure security;

    2) Get the hell out.

    ====

    #1 smells a lot like Vietnam to me, so I dunno about that one;

    (having recently watched “Gunner Palace” — I don’t think we’ll ever “civilize” the place no matter how many troops we throw at it. I was especially struck by the black soldier training the “iraqi security forces” — He said something like, “look at these people; what do you think they’ll do when we’re gone? They’re here for the money.”)

    #2 will probably end in a civil war/bloodbath, followed by the establishment of the largest terrorist training camp on planet earth, with some 10 to 20 million Arab males signing up for training in urban guerrilla warfare (which they’re getting pretty good training at as we speak, btw…)

    This scenario will probably be followed by us having to REINVADE a few years from now, perhaps with the help of a real ‘coalition’ — since the destabilization will extend to Europe, Asia, etc.

    Either way, I think Bush’s blunder means WE’RE FUCKED for at least the first half of the 21st century.

    You see any alternatives?

    xxoo
    S

  • troll

    here’s some good news for wildlife (pdf on the wetlands) that would not have been possible under Saddam

    troll

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

    Afraid that link generates a bigass error, Troll.

    I believe that server generates unique URLs for each PDF download so you can’t link direct to them.

    Dave

  • troll

    crap

  • troll

    try the link here

    troll

  • Dave Nalle

    Aha, it’s related to the persecution of the Marsh Arabs, of course. Another cultural/ethnic minority which Saddam didn’t like very much, though most of them managed to flee the country before he could kill them.

    Dave

  • troll

    that and the Iraqi Babbler – back from the brink of extinction

  • MCH

    October shaping up as one of Iraq’s deadliest months
    By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN – Associated Press Writer -10/18/06

    BAGHDAD, Iraq —
    “Bombings and shootings across Iraq killed at least 28 people on Tuesday, including four students and a doctor. In Balad, the scene of sectarian fighting that has killed close to 100 people, U.S. troops aided Iraqi security forces struggling to contain the bloodshed.

    October was shaping up as one of the country’s deadlier months. According to an Associated Press count, 708 Iraqis have been reported killed in war-related violence this month, or just over 44 a day, compared to a daily average of more than 27 since the AP began tracking deaths in April 2005.

    U.S. deaths were also running high. Seven American troops died in fighting over the weekend, raising the U.S. toll to 58 killed in the first two weeks of October, a pace that if continued would make the month the worst for coalition forces since January 2005.

    Ten people were killed a spate of shootings in the southern, predominantly Shiite city of Basra. Unidentified gunmen in police and civilian cars opened fire on the victims, who included four students shot on campus and a well-known doctor killed on her way to work, Basra police said.

    In Karmah, west of Baghdad, a roadside bomb killed five Iraqi soldiers as their convoy passed through the town, police Lt. Ahmed Ali said.

    Gunmen stormed into the house of a Shiite family in Balad Ruz, northeast of Baghdad, killing a woman and her four grown sons, provincial police said.

    Two policemen in a patrol car were killed by gunmen in a passing car in the western city of Falluja, police said.

    In the northern city of Mosul, gunmen killed a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of two main Kurdish political parties, police Brig. Saed Ahmed said. Gunmen approached by car and fired at Fatah Hurki as he stood in front of his home, Ahmed said.

    Also in the heavily Kurdish north, two suicide car bombers blew themselves up in a botched attack near the police academy in Kirkuk, police Brig. Sarhat Qadir said. There were no reports of other casualties in the attack.

    A suicide bomber attacked a Kurdish girls’ high school in Kirkuk on Sunday, one of several attacks that killed at least 10 people in the ethnically mixed city.

    Unidentified gunmen attacked an electrical facility in the town of Hillah, south of Baghdad, killing a technician.”

  • MCH

    Honor the Fallen

    “Army Pvt. Brett A. Walton, 37, of Hillsboro, Ore.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.; died April 9 in Baghdad when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.”

  • REMF

    HONOR THE FALLEN
    “Army Staff Sgt. Joshua P. Mattero, 29, of San Diego; assigned to 749th Ordnance Company, 63rd Explosive Ordnance Battalion, Andrews Air Force Base, Md.; died July 24 in Baqubah, Iraq, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device.”
    (from the miltary city web site)

    – MCH

  • REMF

    HONOR THE FALLEN

    “Army Staff Sgt. Jerald A. Whisenhunt, 32, of Orrick, Mo.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; died Feb. 8 in Taji, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Sgt. Timothy P. Martin, Spc. Michael T. Manibog and Sgt. Gary D. Willett.”

    (from the militarycity.com/valor web site)

    ———————————–

    Americans KIA in Iraq……….3,960
    Cost of invasion/occupation…$494.7 billion
    …and counting.

    – REMF/MCH