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We’ve Lost The War In Iraq, But Bush Still Babbles About “Victory”

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It’s almost impossible to measure how far America has fallen these days. And it all happened because of a single man: the President.

We went from having a president beloved by the entire world –- Clinton –- to one hated and despised by the universe, it seems.

Poor Bush. Paul Wolfowitz talked him into a neocon dream — to establish a friendly democratic government in the Middle East from where democracy would spread to the rest of the region — and Bush paid off Wolfowitz by letting him run the World Bank.

Now Bush has only Cheney and Rumsfeld to hang on to, as they sit stuck with the shards of the neocon dream — another war lost by America, our biggest loss since we lost the Vietnam war.

Why have we lost the war in Iraq? Because we won’t get anything out of it that we started the war for.

Number one, we won’t get a place to park our troops in the Middle East. The Iraqis want us out. Having wisely decided that Saudi Arabia is no place to park our troops (our troops there being the reason Bin-Laden launched 9/11), the Pentagon will have to accept the fact that the entire Middle East is no place to park our troops (even if it’s found more than 140 other countries around the world to put ‘em).

Egypt and Israel may be our allies but they don’t need our troops, because they’ve got good armies themselves (in a fair fight the Israelis would kick our butts through our skulls). Afghanistan has our troops but they serve little purpose there, except to put Karzai on an equal warlord footing with the other warlords who’ll be running Afghanistan for the foreseeable future.

Number two, we won’t get our oil companies to control or exploit Iraq’s oilfields. Why? Because, number three, we won’t get the friendly “democracy” we wanted.

Our 1953 intervention in Iran led to the eventual fall of the puppet we installed, the Shah, and to his replacement in 1979 by a Shiite theocracy who doesn’t like us. Our intervention in Iraq is doing exactly the same thing: Iraq will be a Shiite theocracy (with a small secular Kurdish north) who won’t like us. As the only Muslim states with Shiite majorities, Iraq and Iran are natural allies, and it’s high time they got together. So instead of creating an American ally, we’re creating an ally of Iran.

With one big difference.

We’ve given Iraq’s Shiites the golden opportunity to exact a bloody revenge on its Sunnis, who are going to be paying heavily for their earlier oppression of the Shiites. Call it what you will — an insurgency, a civil war, or chaos — it’s all rhetoric for the same thing: the systematic persecution of the Sunnis by Shiite militia until the Sunnis are crushed to the satisfaction of the Shiites, i.e. until the Shiites have exterminated all members of the Sunni leadership class who refuse to bend over.

So not only are we installing a theocracy, we’re also creating a mini-genocide.

Post-election, the Shiite leaders will cut a deal with the Kurds, about how to divvy up oil revenues. Will they allow the Sunnis a cut? Why should they, when the Sunnis are killing Shiite cops every day? The Sunnis will get nothing. Their leaders will either keep the insurgency going and get wiped out, or get used to being second-class citizens in the new Shiite theocracy, or leave Iraq for other Muslim states, where Sunnis rule.

Those are the facts on the ground.

No fantasies about the recent “election,” or a “victory” strategy, or a withdrawal “timetable,” can change any of it. The war of Shiites vs. Sunnis will continue whatever our troop strength there — 160,000, 100,000, 50,000, or 0 – or whatever theocracy the Shiite leaders establish now that the Iraqis have voted for a “democracy.”

What are our troops doing there? God knows; mostly they’re holed up in their bases. Whenever they leave on some moronic “mission” to “kill terrorists,” they kill a few insurgents and civilians, upset the locals mightily, and get killed themselves. The country is controlled and policed by local militias, or terrorized by gangsters. The Shiites have been running southern Iraq and Baghdad for a year now, and the Kurds their part of the country. They don’t rely on the US Army or a national army or the police force, but on private militias and mercenaries. The interior Minister, Bayan Jabr, has his own militia, allegedly responsible for offing Sunnis with Saddam-style murder squads and torturing them in Saddam-style torture chambers. The country’s governors, mayors and police chiefs stay in power by cutting deals with gangs and militias. What can our troops do in these circumstances? Reporter Simon Jenkins writes in The Times of London:

In reality the occupation cut and ran from Iraq in the course of 2004. This was when the Americans and their allies abandoned the policing of towns and cities and retreated bruised to more than 100 fortified bases … The bases are like crusader castles dotting a hostile Levant. Movement between them must be by air or heavily armoured convoy.

Our generals may complain that the Iraqi police are infiltrated by the Shiite militia, but they are simply mouthing empty rhetoric for the reality that the Shiites will continue to happily rub out recalcitrant Sunnis, whether they use the police, their militia, or receive help from US soldiers (of which we’ve lost over 2,000 so far in rubbing out Sunni insurgents, for a “cause” that’s nothing but a screw-up we were lied into – like the 55,000 we lost in that other screw-up of a “cause,” Vietnam, that we were also lied into).

Those are the facts, and Bush is either (1) too stupid or (2) too clever to share them with us:

1) Too stupid maybe, because his gentleman’s-C brain can’t figure it out, as his limited cortex may still be suffering from a neocon-failure hangover, along with the limited CEO brains of Cheney and Rumsfeld (being a CEO has to be the worst preparation for running a democracy, probably because it’s the best preparation for being a dictator). Or maybe Bush has dumbed down himself — as well as our nation — by his silly “war on terror” rhetoric, a war which he gave up long ago when he outsourced the job of looking for Bin-Laden to the Pakistanis, who either won’t or can’t do the job we should be doing.

2) Or too clever perhaps, because maybe Bush knows exactly what’s happened, yet Karl Rove can’t figure out the right rhetoric to tell the American people straight and not look like a stupid failure at the same time.

There are signs that the Administration may be getting ready to cut and run anyway. Apparently they’re not going to ask for more than the $18 billion they already got for Iraqi reconstruction. So if they’re giving up on reconstruction, how soon will they give up on having our troops killed? My guess is the Republican leadership will force Bush to pull out by summer 2006 when they’ll be running scared at the slate of Democratic ex-Iraqi soldier candidates against them in November.

If Bush resists, he’s going to have a full-scale Republican revolt against the presidency on his hands. Now that will be something to see.

But I think he’ll buckle before then. Expect a speech before summer that we’ve won the war in Iraq, that our troops have served with great honor, that they did not die in vain, that Iraq is well on the way to democracy, and other face-saving BS.

Our toadying media will be kind to Bush; Cheney and Rumsfeld will probably get most of the knocks.

Whatever happens in our own elections, we cannot and will not achieve what we wanted in Iraq — a friendly puppet regime or a “democratic” Iraq who’ll allow us to keep military bases there and do big favors for Cheney’s Texas oil cronies.

In other words, we have lost the war.

We can pull our troops out en masse tomorrow, and it won’t change a thing. Or we can keep them there for the next 10 years, and it won’t change a thing, either. Iraq will be a theocracy that doesn’t like us, and the Shiites will continue to punish the Sunnis.

We’ve lost the war, and for Bush to talk about “victory” at some point is the ravings of either a full-blown idiot — or a total sucker who’s trying to maintain a speck of dignity.

(ENJOYED reading this? More stuff like it on my irreverent blog at Adam Ash.)

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About Adam Ash

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    Interesting, thanks

  • Bennett

    Spot on Adam. Can’t wait for excusists and appologists to show up. Where the hell is Ant G now that I could use a laugh?

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    The original headline had more (harsh) punch and keywords. Too bad it was changed.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Just a few clarifications for factual accuracy:

    We went from having a president beloved by the entire world — Clinton — to one hated and despised by the universe, it seems.

    Clinton was certainly not liked by a signficant portion of America itself, which ultimately matters more than how the rest of the world feels about him. Plus a lot of us thought that when Bush was running he might be another Clinton from the other side of the aisle, given his campaign positions and moderate history.

    Poor Bush. Paul Wolfowitz talked him into a neocon dream — to establish a friendly democratic government in the Middle East from where democracy would spread to the rest of the region

    That’s actually not at all like a Neocon dream. That kind of benevolent foreign policy is antithetical to the Neocon agenda.
    Neocons would prefer to install easily controlled puppet regimes rather than self-actualized and independent democracies. The Neocons lost big time on this one and everyone else won.

    Why have we lost the war in Iraq? Because we won’t get anything out of it that we started the war for.

    That’s why the Neocons lost, it’s not a loss for the rest of us. I don’t want to see America go to war for profit. If we come out of the war with a better Iraq and a more democratic middle east that’s an enormous victory. We shouldn’t take home any direct profit.

    Number one, we won’t get a place to park our troops in the Middle East.

    We already have several good locations for this, and from the very beginning of the war we have repeatedly and specifically stated that we had no intention of establishing a permanent presence in Iraq. This canard from the left just won’t go away, but there’s not an ounce of truth to it.

    the Pentagon will have to accept the fact that the entire Middle East is no place to park our troops

    Except that we’re expanding the Al Udeid base in Qatar and it looks like that very pro-US country is going to be our main basing partner in the region.

    But even more likely is that we’ll be massively reducing our troop commitments in all parts of the world. We’re clearly going to be pulling substantial forces out of Europe and other areas, not just the middle east.

    Number two, we won’t get our oil companies to control or exploit Iraq’s oilfields. Why? Because, number three, we won’t get the friendly “democracy” we wanted.

    Wrong on two counts. We never intended to have ‘our’ oil companies control the oil fields, because ‘our’ companies are multinational oil companies which are going to control the oil fields no matter what we or the Iraqis do. From the moment the war started there was only one possible outcome for the oil fields – a partnership between major oil distributors and the new government which has nothing at all to do with the US government.

    Iraq will be a Shiite theocracy (with a small secular Kurdish north) who won’t like us.

    Except, of course that this is specifically NOT happening. Perhaps you should read up on the history of Iraq and some current news from there as well. Iraq has a strong history of secularism, including among the shiite population, and the current government building process has the shiites making deals with secularists to create a government acceptable to everyone, which means Kurds and secularists at the top.

    Post-election, the Shiite leaders will cut a deal with the Kurds, about how to divvy up oil revenues. Will they allow the Sunnis a cut? Why should they, when the Sunnis are killing Shiite cops every day? The Sunnis will get nothing. Their leaders will either keep the insurgency going and get wiped out, or get used to being second-class citizens in the new Shiite theocracy, or leave Iraq for other Muslim states, where Sunnis rule.

    Sunnis who have been participating in the government are getting plenty of support, and that deal you talked about between the Kurds and Shiites already happened about a week ago. But it didn’t shut out the Sunnis, and since the government isn’t going to be a theocracy most of your other claims don’t make much sense either.

    Those are the facts on the ground.

    Or at least you’d like them to be.

    What are our troops doing there? God knows; mostly they’re holed up in their bases. Whenever they leave on some moronic “mission” to “kill terrorists,” they kill a few insurgents and civilians, upset the locals mightily, and get killed themselves.

    You really are remarkably ill-informed and biased. Go read some actual reports from Iraq before you make such ignorant comments. Try some of the more informed sources – like people who are actually IN Iraq, for example Michael Yon or some of the Iraqi bloggers. US forces are regularly active all over the country, not hiding in ‘crusader castles’. They’ve pacified huge areas, the roads are open and running and the cities are increasingly peaceful.

    Those are the facts

    Or not, depending on whether you rely on propaganda for your ‘facts’ or actually do some research.

    and Bush is either (1) too stupid or (2) too clever to share them with us:

    Good thing some of us can go out to reliable sources and find them for ourselves – too bad you bought into propaganda as bad as anything to ever come out of the White House.

    There are signs that the Administration may be getting ready to cut and run anyway. Apparently they’re not going to ask for more than the $18 billion they already got for Iraqi reconstruction. So if they’re giving up on reconstruction, how soon will they give up on having our troops killed?

    There’s been a timetable for troop reductions for more than a year and I imagine they’ll keep following it and we’ll be down to 100,000 by the summer and maybe to 50,000 by the end of the year depending on how things go.

    My guess is the Republican leadership will force Bush to pull out by summer 2006 when they’ll be running scared at the slate of Democratic ex-Iraqi soldier candidates against them in November.

    And you’ll be cheering all the way, right? The more problems America has the better from your perspective, because it advances your political interests. Screw the country, screw the Iraqis – let’s just get some more socialists elected whatever the cost.

    In other words, we have lost the war.

    And if we all clap and show that we believe in fairies then tinkerbell will come back to life. Wishing WILL make it so!

    Dave

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Damn, but this is one impressively stilted piece of writing with particularly careful detachment from reality. This is a long and impressively detailed piece of writing, but it’s so completely wrong at nearly every turn.

    Your stated premises are just totally wrong, besides taking absolutely the strongest worst possible way of interpreting them. For starters, “Because we won’t get anything out of it that we started the war for. Number one, we won’t get a place to park our troops in the Middle East.” Who ever said that was even a goal? Not W.

    Also, this business about the Shia crushing and oppressing the Sunnis is SO dumbfoundingly backwards from reality as to defy rational criticism. See, in reality it has been the Sunnis doing the brutal oppressing. We’ve pretty well ended that, whatever else we do or don’t accomplish. So far, in reality, the Shia have not been trying to oppress Sunnis, but to fold them into a democratic process. I can understand being a bit concerned about the possibility of retaliation, but it hasn’t happened.

    In fact, I’d say the glass so far in Iraq looks to be at least two-thirds full. Beyond the real benefits to the Iraqi people that are emerging daily, we HAVE shut down the Hussein regime from a thousand types of sponsoring terrorism.

    There’s still some vicious bastards running around, but they’re not being sponsored by the government anymore. Indeed, we have the SUPPORT of the emerging government in shutting them down and thinning them out. It’s not pretty, but it seems to be in fact making good progress.

    Alright, enough reason and empiricism, I return you now to your regularly scheduled Two Minute Hate.

  • gonzo marx

    Bennett sez…
    *Can’t wait for excusists and appologists to show up.*

    your Wish is granted…

    i ain’t even going to touch this topic other than to say it was an interesting read, but some of the conclusions are tenuos at best…only time will tell for the most part

    side note…Abramhoff pleads guilty, and will testify

    it’s going to be a very weird year leading up to November

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I don’t believe I made a single excuse or apology, but the post is so riddled with spin and misrepresentations and outright propaganda that I had to say something.

    It’s prompted me to go out and research another Iraq update article with some REAL news from Iraq, but I had been planning to work on something else, so that’s kind of irritating. I just can’t stand to let this kind of garbage stand without balancing it out with a bit of reality.

    dave

  • Baronius

    Haven’t we had this same discussion before? You set up preposterous reasons for the war, then say that we haven’t achieved them, so the war is a failure.

    One: we fought this war to provide whipped cream for Iraq. But we haven’t brought any whipped cream to Iraq! Another Rove/Cheney/Wolfowitz lie! Why does Bush allow them to get away with it? Because he’s dumb.

    Two: not only have we failed to bring whipped cream to Iraq, the people there don’t want it. There will be civil war the moment we turn our backs, which admittedly hasn’t happened yet, but it’s safe to assume that it will, because Bush is stupid. No fantasies about “elections” or a “constitution” or “other things that have actually happened” can make me question my premonitions.

    Oh, for the days of Bill Clinton, who left office as the Constitution dictates, and was replaced by someone I don’t like. Those were days when America was loved by bin Laden, when Palestine was at peace.

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joanie

    It seems that you’re laboring under the impression that Iraqis and Afghanis are opposed to their newfound freedoms. If they are, indeed, opposed to self-determination, you’re right – we lost the war.

    Since that is not the case, it’s difficult to imagine how freedom can be construed as a loss.

    I have worked with a good number of ex-pats from Iraq and Afghanistan and I can tell you straight out that they are thrilled with the progress made in their countries. For the first time in many years, they are now able to return to their homelands to see the few living relatives they have. Few living because most were killed by brutal leaders.

    The only reason that you can claim “we’ve lost the war in Iraq” is because our government is doing something you don’t support.

    You’ve also completely lost perspective by characterizing Clinton as the most beloved president. I voted for Clinton. Twice. But he was far from loved by all – not just in this country, but internationally.

    No president will be 100% popular everywhere. Ever. That’s just the way it is when you have people with differing agendas – either foreign or domestic.

  • Justin Berry

    I cant get over the Isreal Kicking our ass part. Once I read that I knew you were smoking that shit again.

  • Pradeep

    General Wesley Clark has the wisdom and ability to turn the Iraq mess into a success. I urge you to read his policy papers. It might renew your hope in America’s future.

  • Dave Nalle

    Clark is a weasel puffed up to the size of a buffalo by his own ego.

    Dave

  • RedTard

    More wishful thinking from the anti-American left. As usual, American Loss = Liberal Win.

    I hope I never sink as low as you guys, wishing death and destruction on the USA just so I can get my favorite candidate in office.

  • Nancy

    I don’t think anybody on “The Left”, as you call it, wishes death & destruction on the USA for any purpose whatsoever; that’s just your ascription of their motives, probably based on your own proclivities. I read it that they decry the fact that W has singlehandedly destroyed what good reputation abroad we did have, alienated all our allies by his arrogance & bombast, & blundered & lied his way into a losing war for personal aggrandizement – because he wanted to be a ‘War Prezident like [his] poppy’ – and for the enrichment of his greedy billionaire buddies in the oil industry. To date, I haven’t heard or read one liberal actually wishing defeat on the US. They just object to stupid or venal people getting the US in deeper than it already is, not to mention doing it in the first place.

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    RedTard:
    What’s wrong with your life that you think opening a discussion is about wishing “death and destruction on the USA”? Who wishes death and destruction on the USA? Only terrorists. Don’t be crazy: talk things out. Calling people anti-American is not thinking; it just replaces discussion with stupidity.
    You people on the far right and the far left think name-calling serves a purpose — all it is, is emotionality. It’s all about yourself and your feelings, not about the issue. You always get so hurt and upset, you’re always so sensitive. You need to grow a little skin, dude.

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    BTW, Nale, Baronius, Al Barger:
    It’s obvious you guys have drunk the neocon Kool-Aid. Maybe you should read Juan Cole (juancole.com), who reads the Iraqi press every day, to get an idea about what’s really going down in Iraq. Take the administration filter off your information, dudes. Wishful thinking is no substitute for real-life politics.
    Another BTW, if we didn’t go to war for the sake of exploiting oil, planting military bases, or “spreading democracy,” why in hell did we? Those are the reasons laid out in the Cheney/Wolfowitz/neocon PNAC initiative, going back to 1992, and 1997.
    You guys got any new reasons to add to the reasons these guys already gave THEMSELVES? You know their minds better than they themselves have ALREADY explained them?
    I didn’t come up with these reasons: THEY did, and they wrote them down, for you to read. Just Google PNAC, for chrissake, and stop bullshitting yourselves.
    Those are the reasons they give, and those are the things we’re not getting out of our Iraq invasion. Conclusion: we’ve lost the war. It’s that simple.

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

    Yuck. Neocon Koolaid is hard to drink because the cup leaks.

    Then again it’s no better tasting than the liberal Koolaid, which only comes in one flavor — sour grapes.

  • RedTard

    “You people on the far right and the far left think name-calling serves a purpose”

    It certainly got you and Nancy to respond. Must have been a little close to the truth.

    This war, as all against insurgents are, is a battle of propaganda and will. The US military cannot be defeated in Iraq, they can only be defeated here by domestic pressure. The eventual outcome is unknown but both positions are basically self fulfilling prophecies.

    If you accept winning as the only solution, stand firm in your resolve, and provide an alternative to warfare/suicide for the insurgents you can wear down the insurgency. In that case America wins and that is the position I take.

    If you waffle in your cowardice and resign yourself to defeat you offer the insurgents renewed hope. Everybody jumps on the winning bandwagon and a young Iraqi is not going to side with the US if we’re already talking about defeat. A defeatist attitude emboldens and swells the ranks of the enemy. That is the position you take.

    The purpose of the original article is to convince people of the clear defeat we are facing in Iraq. This type of propaganda is what causes democracies to lose wars. By writing it you are aligning your goals with that of the terrorists even if it is not a conscious decision.

    I could go on to make the case that increased insurgency=”death and destruction” and that peoples political views have always effected their view of the war but I think these things are self evident.

    Also, next time you make a rebuttal for supposed name calling please try and refrain from pointing out the “stupidity” of the opposing argument, it undermines your point.

  • gonzo marx

    RedTard sez…
    *If you accept winning as the only solution, stand firm in your resolve, and provide an alternative to warfare/suicide for the insurgents you can wear down the insurgency.*

    point of Fact…i can’t think of a SINGLE instance in ALL of human history where this has worked

    from the American Revoloution itself, to Viet Nam, to Afghanistan when it was invaded by Russia

    on and on

    militarily, an “insurgency” fighting on it’s home turf has such an enormous advantage over any “foreign” invaders that Time is ALWAYS on their side

    whenever it has been overcome, even temporarily (such as British Occupation of India bfore Ghandi) it has been due to local “authority” going along with the “invaders”…even then, eventually one of two things happens

    either the local population is systematically exterminated(Native American Tribes) or the “invaders” leave (all the other examples given)

    this is NOT any kind of admission of defeat, Bog and JuJu know i want this mess to work out for U.S. AND the Iraqis

    but the outcome is up to the local population,in the long run, not any outside influence from either other Muslim Nations or U.S.

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior!

  • Nancy

    My terms “stupid” & “venal” were not directed at you, but at the administration. I should have been clearer on that, you’re right.

  • RedTard

    Gonzo,

    There are examples on both sides but a significant portion of writings on this topic indicate that most insurgencies lose. It seems that losing insurgencies just seem to be forgotten much easier.

    Most of the rest of your post is true and bolsters the idea that this is a battle of minds and wills as much as it is bombs and guns. Certainly, the US leaving Iraq (in better condition than it found it) is part of beating the insurgency and putting this one in the “win” column.

    Answer this question honestly.

    Would it help the US against the insugents and improve support for the war if Bin Laden and Zarqawi hosted a news conference saying that using suicide bombers and terrorism were mistakes and that they felt their side could not win?

    If so, why is the reverse not equally true?

  • ss

    I’ll step into the middle on this one:

    Adam: Iraq will not be a theocracy in the sense that Iran is a theocracy (ruled by a Supreme Religious Council that vets all candidates). This doesn’t mean the fundies will give up, they’ll focus on maintaining influence over the courts (as they have in Afghanistan, where a journalist who wrote that Islam should be a choice was recently sentenced to two years in prison). They will also want to control the schools.

    Dave: The secular parties were in the minority before this election and it looks like they lost seats, down to 25 by the last projection I saw.
    Also, Alawi got attacked and chased out of Najaf while campaigning.
    And although religious parties probably won’t interfere to overtly in the elections they will get to decide the make up the Supreme Judicial Council that will decide on candidates for the new Federal Supreme Court, AND they’ll get to vote on the nominees.

    What we’ll see in Iraq is what they have in Afghanistan, a democraticly elected government where fundies can use the power of the state to silence their critics.
    Better than it used to be, but still well short of free.

    I have a brief one word answer to the Iraq=Vietnam v. Everything is gonna be great in Iraq arguement:

    Lebanon

  • Baronius

    Adam, I checked out the PNAC, and their focus was always on removing Saddam Hussein because he was a threat. They weren’t seeking to exploit oil reserves, although removing Hussein would help to protect them. They didn’t mention military bases in anything I saw. They talked about spreading democracy, which is admirable. I don’t know why you put that word in quotes.

    I think the reason your credibility is so low is your reluctance to acknowledge that Saddam was an evil ruler. You seem to regard democracy as a bad idea, or at least not as an improvement. There was a genocide going on before we got to Iraq. Whether or not there will be one after we leave is unknown, but you focus on the worst-case scenario of the future.

    Your position is insulated from good news. The Iraqi Constitution addresses the issue of revenue-sharing from oil sales. It’s a tad vague, but it’s in their constitution. Yet you say that the Shiites and Kurds may cut the Sunnis out of the profits. You call your speculation about the future a “fact on the ground”.

    And do you really think that other people are thin-skinned name-callers? You post a stream of insults directed at the President, his staff, and anyone who agrees with them. Then you complain that the rest of us fall back on emotion because can’t construct arguments. You probably can’t see us clearly because of the plank in your eye.

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    Baronius:
    1) Of course I think Saddam was and is an evil bastard. Who doesn’t? Why do you guys have to accuse others of idiocies, like “reluctance to acknowledge Saddam was an evil ruler” or “anti-Americanism”? Jeez, this is so tiresome. It’s not an argument, it’s got to come from some weird hurt feeling inside you guys, like I said.

    2) Thank you for checking out the PNAC, but check a little more. In the PNAC 2000 report, it states that “the presence of American forces in critical regions around the world is the visible expression of the extent of America’s status as a superpower” and proposes “a network of ‘deployment bases’ or ‘forward operating bases’ to increase the reach of current and future forces.”
    Translation: military bases.

    3) My point is I fear we’re not getting a democracy in Iraq, but a theocracy. Evil Saddam ran a more secular state. Either way, you have to keep your mouth shut and your nose down if you want to survive or prosper.

    4) As for those, who include Nalle, who keep saying our invasion had nothing to do with oil, tell me this: would we have invaded Iraq if its main export was lettuce and pickles? Don’t be naive, dudes.

    5) If you think the Shiites and the Kurds won’t cut the Sunnis out of oil-revenue sharing, you don’t understand human nature. Unless they’re all Nelson Mandelas, which they’re not, they’re going to get the Sunnis back for being such bastards to them under Saddam.

    6) I think this President deserves to be insulted, because he has dragged the name of a good country through the mud, and made us the pariah of the world. Remember how admired we used to be, and how hated we are now? History will relate that the US went from an admired to a reviled state under these guys. Christ, even Canada doesn’t like us anymore; all a politician has to do there, is run against us to get votes. My God, Canada!? Yes, Canada.
    I actually care for America’s good name; maybe others don’t give a shit what others think of us, but I do.
    If there are Americans who want to support people who make America stink in the eyes of the planet, go ahead, be anti-American, but don’t accuse me of being anti-American. I want to hold my head high as an American, and Bush/Cheney make it hard for me to do so. Their support of torture puts them beyond the pale for me. They, and those who support them, are anti-American — not me.

  • Anthony Grande

    “We’ve Lost The War In Iraq…”

    Gee, I thought with Saddam being tried DEMOCRATICALLY, ratification of the Iraqi CONSTITUTION, attacks going down and know this near 80% voter turnout rate in this last election that we won or are close to winning.

    And even better: The Sunni minority faction in Iraq are PROTESTING this election. This shows THAT THEY CARE ABOUT THEIR FUTURE.

  • Anthony Grande

    “As for those, who include Nalle, who keep saying our invasion had nothing to do with oil, tell me this: would we have invaded Iraq if its main export was lettuce and pickles?”

    Tell me, where in the mother@#$@ing hell is all the oil that we took from Iraq? Why are our gas prices so high?

    And yes, we would have invaded and brought democracy to Iraq if their main export was pickles. Didn’t we invade and bring democracy to oiless dirt poor Afghanistan?

  • gonzo marx

    to RedTard…sorry i missed this earlier…

    in answer to your Question and in all Honesty…
    of course…yes

    then you ask…
    *If so, why is the reverse not equally true?*

    because they are running a terrorist organization, and we live in a Republic that places a high Value on Free Speech and public dissent as part of the Process in determining our Nation’s policies

    doesn’t it show how much greater our Stregnth, as a People, is..simply by the indisputable Fact that almost ALL americans(regardless of political affiliations) wholeheartedly SUPPORT the troops of our Military…EVEN those who may be against the Policy that sent them there?

    as to your assertation about defeated Insurgencies…might i Ask you to cite some Examples? when i made my case for NO insurgencies EVER being defeated by a foreign Invader , short of genocide…you counter by saying differently

    i am honestly curious..can you name me at least as many examples as i named for you?

    thanks for the stimulating discourse

    Excelsior!

  • gonzo marx

    Ant G asks…
    *Why are our gas prices so high?*

    check the record breaking Profits posted by the oil companies for this past year

    Excelsior!

  • Dave Nalle

    And once again gonzo comes out with the new left talking points party line without an ounce of thought behind it.

    Those ‘record breaking profits’ you talk about were exactly in proportion to the increase in the base price of oil. The percentage which the oil companies made on the gas stayed the same, but the net profit went up slightly because the percentage was being applied to a higher base price.

    This has even been investigated and all but one company – Conoco as I recall – were cleared of any profiteering. A couple of them even cut their profit percentage to keep the price down a little.

    Dave

  • ss

    At its inception I doubt the war had any more to do with oil than it did with democracy. It was meant to show the world that some people (terrorists)kill total strangers in a fit of anger and are reviled for it, other people (us)can do the same thing and basiclly get away with it. Of course to get away with it, and not be forever reviled by the world, we have to come through with the democracy for Iraq. What they get from it will be determined by their votes, and the last election means they’ll have to fight, in the political arena, not the way terrorists and superpowers do it, to undo the damage they’ve done to their own freedoms by putting religious parties in charge of their first Supreme Court.

  • troll

    Dave – ya mean supply/demand (ie. that which the market will bear) is not driving prices?

    please explain the price of diesel…

    your explanation/justification of oil profits is incomplete (and here I’ve asked politely and repeatedly that you keep the simplistic apologetics off my bridge)

    troll

  • ss

    Dave:
    Since you imperiously accuse gonzo of spouting leftist talking points without an ounce of thought, let me ask you this:
    Do you honestly believe the price of oil has gone from $12 a barrel in ’98 to $62 a barrel today because of China’s growth, or is the increase more likely due to OPEC cutting production in 2003 and continued instability in the Gulf.
    If the price of oil is up due to the war, then the oil companies have done quite well by it without ‘stealing’ a drop from Iraq, haven’t they?
    Again I think this was of minor importance to Bush Co. at the outset of the war, but I doubt any of his friends back in Texas are pissed off it worked out that way.

  • troll

    ss – the ‘war’ (sometimes hot sometimes cold) over Iraq’s nationalized oil fields has been going on for decades…

    as of today, our companies are ahead

    Crude Design has been discussed here before and I think that we can all agree that it is a propaganda tool…but worth reading

    troll

  • tommyd

    The really sad and pathetic part about this whole ordeal is that we’ll be debating the same shit about Iraq this time next year.

    That’s something all the Armchair Warriors on Blogcritics just don’t understand, and can’t understand, and won’t understand.

    The war in Iraq is lost in so many ways that I’m sick of talking about it.

  • troll

    * we’ll be debating the same shit about Iraq this time next year*

    ……if we’re lucky

    troll

  • tommyd

    True that, Troll, “if we’re lucky”. Bush & Company might just feel that there’s too much free speech on the internet and just shut it down.

    By the way, 7 US Troops were killed in Iraq today, January 5, 2006. 80 more Iraqis were also killed today. Yea, we’re winning the war, sure, yea, right.

  • Shark

    Iraq is SOOOO 2005.

    zzzzzzzzzzzzz….

    PS: We lose when the Iran-friendly Shiite theocracy takes over via a “democratic” election. Thanks, George!

    PPS: 7 American soldiers were killed today? Thanks, George!

  • gonzo marx

    as to comment #29…

    once again the commenter begins with “distortion” and “distraction” and then heads into apologetics

    fair enough, and each are entitled to their Opinions…

    it has been disclosed before, by said commentor, that he does have some stock in Haliburton at the very least…i am unaware if he holds any other stock in oil based corporations

    interesting( no theory offered here, just noting documented Fact) that a large percentage of the Administration (including Bush, Cheney(former CEO of Haliburton) and Rice(who has an Exxon tanker named after her) come from the oil business

    i will gladly ask the gentle Readers to do some homework and draw their own Conclusions

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    SS, I haven’t actually discussed why oil prices are up, but there are certainly a lot of reasons, including reduced production, insufficient refinery capacity, enormous and growing demand from China and elsewhere, and the utter failure of the US government to be responsible about providing access to oil sources in the US. The one thing which clearly is NOT responsible for high oil prices is profiteering by the major oil companies. That’s been investigated by congress and the evidence just doesn’t support that argument. When the price of oil triples and your profits double, that hardly makes you a profiteer.

    Gonzo, Haliburton is hardly an ‘oil based stock’. They’re a service, personnel and equipment company. They work in just about every possible industry, including the oil industry. When you need just about anything done, you can hire them to find the people and the equipment to get it done. That includes setting up oil refineries, but it also includes food services, dredging swamps and a thousand other things.

    And the fact that a lot of the people in the administration have an oil background doesn’t mean that they are profiteering from oil, it means that they KNOW oil, which ought to mean that they are pushing for the sensible policies which will increase our domestic oil production as we so desperately need. And Rice doesn’t come from the oil industry, she was a college professor and happened to serve on the board of Chevron along with about a dozen other companies. Chevron is one of the most responsible oil companies and actually cut their profits during the recent price increases. Plus the tanker was renamed Altair Voyager because Rice complained about having a tanker with her name on it.

    Gonzo, you really need to think about your rabid anti-corporatism. It makes you say some very silly things.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    for the Record…i could care less about corporations..i DO despise greed and unEthical behavior

    other than that…i’ll leave all this be

    too much Fun with the Abramoff bit

    Excelsior!

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

    i would like to interrupt the nalle/gonzo follies to ask a simple economics-type question.

    this is something that i hoped would have been addressed post-katrina, but i saw nothing about it.

    what is the latency time between when oil is purchased and when said oil has been refined into gasoline?

    it’s interesting to me (and hey, maybe i’m just an economics simpleton) that the price of the raw material can rise, with a parallel rise in the finished product…even though the finishsed product was created with raw materials obtained at a lower than current price.

  • Nancy

    The answers to this from the oil industry vary to support whatever slant they need to feed the public. I’ve heard them say it takes them 3 months to ‘catch up’ with increased crude supplies and that’s why the price hasn’t gone down immediately, and then turn around the SAME day and say that price increases per bbl within the same week period created higher prices at the pump. Either way they spin it, it means the consumer & US public are screwed.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    The lag time doesn’t actually matter, Mark, because pricing is averaged over time, so as soon as the source price starts to go up it gets figured in to current pricing so that they can lay the increase in costs off over a larger period of time theoretically evening out the price changes for the end consumer.

    Dave

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

    i dunno. the instant price increases at the pump sounds like ‘free money’ for the oil companies to me. a boatload of it.

  • Nancy

    It is. But when considering answers, consider also that Dave not only owns oil company stocks, he believes it’s possible to support a family on less-than-minimum wages while also buying adequate medical insurance for a few hundred dollars a year. He seems to live in some kind of fiscal time warp I wish would extend to the rest of us.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Nancy, I don’t own stock in any oil companies at this time. When did I ever say that I did? And I’ve also never said it’s possible to support a family on less than minimum wage. You really ought to try to remember what I write rather than just making it up. Same thing on the medical insurance, the figures I posted on that a while a go were a couple of hundred dollarse a MONTH not a year.

    And Mark, it’s not free money, because it’s just their increased expenses spread over time. To use abstract figures, let’s say that they know that their price per barrel is going to be $24 more in the 3rd quarter of the year because of increased prices at the source. Well, instead of bumping prices up by $24 per barrel just in that quarter they divide that into 4 parts and increase the price they use in figuring final gas prices by $8 per barrel in each of the year’s 4 quarters. The amount of money they make remains the same, but the impact on the consumer is spread out and therefore less harsh. Doing this is GOOD for the consumer, not bad.

    Dave

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com/ Christopher Rose

    Wouldn’t 4 quarters at 8 bucks come to an increase of 32 not 24?

  • Baronius

    Mark, oil and gas sales are dominated by futures markets. The lag time for a price effect is literally the time it takes a photon to travel from the AP newswire to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (or any number of similar trading floors).

    And one more time, we’re in Iraq and Afghanistan because their governments supported terrorism. As noted above (good pickup, Anthony), Afghanistan isn’t a major oil producer. We sure don’t want that Afghanistan is producing these days, but novice democracies do stupid things.

    Which reminds me again of the sharia fear on this board. No one thinks that free Iraqi elections will result in a Brooklyn-on-the-Tigris. US administrations are barely able to get their own CiC reelected. An Iraqi state which follows the desires of its people won’t always be pretty, but it will mean that Iraq is free.

  • Shark

    Dave on the Dreaded Liberal America-Haters stating that the “war” in Iraq is lost:

    “…And if we all clap and show that we believe in fairies then tinkerbell will come back to life. Wishing WILL make it so!”

    Shark reads Nalles’, Barger’s, RedTard’s (et al) assertions that things are hunky-dory in Vietn… um, I mean Iraq — that THERE WILL BE NO CIVIL WAR, THAT THERE WILL BE NO IRAN-FRIENDLY SHIITE THEOCRACY — and that — as Barger says, the glass is “two-thirds full”…

    Shark reads Nalle’s pedantic advice to “…read up on the history of Iraq and some current news from there as well…”

    SHARK DECIDES TO TAKE NALLE’S ADVICE

    Shark reads Iraq history, finds there was no such thing as “Iraq” until recently — that prior to that, it was divided among regional, religious, and tribal gangs usually violently opposed to each other;

    that Baghdad, Basra, and Mosul (sound familiar?) were the regional centers of many disputes;

    that — since the 1930s — Iraq has had more military coups than Bush has had business bail-outs from Daddie’s rich friends —

    Shark scans current news; reads:

    “At least 130 people were killed across Iraq today in suicide bombings targeting Shiite pilgrims in the south and police recruits in central Iraq. A U.S. convoy was also hit.”

    Shark thinks back on how the The BlogCritics Right-Wing Tag Team has been saying Iraq is SWELL for almost THREE YEARS…

    …Shark thinks of Nalle’s “…And if we all clap and show that we believe in fairies then tinkerbell will come back to life. Wishing WILL make it so!”

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Ah, but Shark. The Tinkerbell principle is more powerful than you can possibly realize. Nations rise and fall based on it. The disinformation machine of the left certainly knows that – as one of their willing accomplices you ought to be aware of what you’re participating in too.

    And none of us have been saying Iraq is ‘swell’, we’ve just been trying to make sure that a balanced viewpoint is presented rather than the entirely one-sided presenation we get from the media and the enormously biased spin the left puts on it.

    And just to make you happy, a political coalition which represents the major anti-government terrorist groups has said that all terrorism from them will stop – most has already – and they will assist in eliminating the remaining Al Qaeda cells if the end result of the coalition building process is equitable – meaning no Shiite theocracy.

    So basically, if Iraq gets the kind of government we here in the US want then the terrorism will stop. If it gets the kind we don’t want, then the terrorists we were previously fighting will start fighting our mutual enemies in Iran and their minions in Iraq. An ironic turn of events.

    Dave

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    Shark:
    In a barfight against neocons Barger, Nalle, RedTard and Baronius, one of you is worth ten of them combined.
    Your blows of hard common sense land with knockout power on their wispy wishful fantasies!

    As for Baronius claiming we invaded Iraq because it supported terrorism — what the f? I thought it was because they had WMD, the “bureaucratic” reason as Wolfowitz called it.
    Or does Baronius still believe Saddam planned 9/11? He’s in good company: a clueless 40% of Americans apparently believe it.

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    See, Shark: Nalle has already started back-tracking under the might of your common sense. Now he’s got the terrorists fighting for us in Iraq. It must be bizarre living in Nalle’s mind. He needs to get out the house and off more feral rodents — or try to face down the pesky varmints living in his own head.

  • tommyd

    Just to update y’all blogcritic neocon war fanatics on the progress in Iraq:

    11 US Soldiers were killed in Iraq yesterday. More US dead expected in the coming days, months and years in Iraq.

    Yea, um, yea, sure, we’re winning the war and the Iraqis love us dearly. Yea, sure, turn on the electricity and flush the toilet Mr and Mrs Iraqi….d’oh!!!! Oooops!!

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

    Adam asserts: “40% of Americans apparently believe [that Saddam planned 9/11]”

    Oof.

    From our own David R. Mark:

    “Saddam Hussein helped plan and support the hijackers who attacked the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001.” 22% believed the statement to be true.

    A sad number, indeed, but man you gotta get these numerals right.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Adam, #52 shows your remarkable ignorance of anything about Iraq. Do you even know the difference between Sunnis and Shiites?

    And BTW, I’m not a Neocon, nor do I hold any beliefs in common with them. Not one. I’m pro-Iraqi, not pro-war or pro-empire, and the fact remains that the US is still the best hope for maintaining peace there long enough to establish stable self-government, a fact which the left in its glee to condemn stupidly forgets far too often.

    Dave

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    Nalle:
    Sorry about the neocon slur. I know you’re smarter than that.
    But your belief in the US as “the best hope for maintaining peace there long enough to establish stable self-government” reaches beyond the bounds of excusable naivete into sheer Bushit dumbfuckery.

    The US is now a destablizing force in Iraq.
    This is a fight the Iraqis — Sunnis vs. Shiites — have to sort out themselves. It’s not our job to stop the fighting between them, and if we took it on, like you think we should, we can never succeed.

    We’ve got to get out of there and let them settle it, the way these things are settled — with the gun. That’s how we settled our own fight in the Civil War. That’s how they’ll settle theirs, and there’s ABSOLUTELY NOTHING we can do to help.

    As they say down in your Texas, we don’t have a dog in this fight. We did them a great favor in removing Saddam, and they should be thankful they now have a chance to settle long-simmering scores.

    I for one don’t want to sacrifice one more American kid to the internal squabbles of some medieval desert tribes who happen to be sitting on a sea of oil.

  • Shark

    HARRIS POLL 12/29/05

    “Forty-one percent (41%) of U.S. adults believe that Saddam Hussein had “strong links to Al Qaeda.”

    Twenty-two percent (22%) of adults believe that Saddam Hussein “helped plan and support the hijackers who attacked the United States on September 11.”

    Shark’s conclusion:

    41% of Americans are deluded morons
    22% of Americans are window-licking motards

  • Shark

    Matthew T. Sussman: “A sad number, indeed, but man you gotta get these numerals right.

    ~We don’t need NO STICKIN’ ARABIC NUMERALS!

  • Shark

    Nalle: “…a political coalition which represents the major anti-government terrorist groups has said that all terrorism from them will stop – most has already – and they will assist in eliminating the remaining Al Qaeda cells if the end result of the coalition building process is equitable – meaning no Shiite theocracy.”

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    …and Davey, I’m puttin’ the Brooklyn Bridge up for sale on EBAY… just for you, Tinker Bellboy.

    {Troll not included}

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    Dave Nalle,
    The day will come quite soon that the scales will fall from your eyes — when we leave Iraq, and it becomes a Shiite theocracy allied with Iran, and they start instigating a little Shiite uprising across the border in Saudi-Arabia. Yes, Saudi-Arabia.

    That’s another little nightmare Bush/Cheney didn’t plan for, or even realize could happen, when they blithely marched into Iraq. Remember, they thought we’d be showered with flowers, and that Iraq’s oil would pay for the whole thing.

    Now that we know none of THAT has worked out, why do you think any of the other Bush/Cheney BS will come to pass? When will you stop drinking their Kool-Aid? How wrong do they have to be before you give up your blind Tinkerboy faith in their stumblebum ways? Haven’t they been wrong enough? Are you ready to follow them off a cliff? Do you want to drown in this half-full glass you see?

    When it comes to blind adherence to Bush/Cheney BS, you actually have a choice: to dream on or wake up. America is waking up around you; are they smarter than you?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Sorry about the neocon slur. I know you’re smarter than that.
    But your belief in the US as “the best hope for maintaining peace there long enough to establish stable self-government” reaches beyond the bounds of excusable naivete into sheer Bushit dumbfuckery.

    The US is now a destablizing force in Iraq.
    This is a fight the Iraqis — Sunnis vs. Shiites — have to sort out themselves. It’s not our job to stop the fighting between them, and if we took it on, like you think we should, we can never succeed.

    This is at least a reasonable argument. Wrong, but reasoanble.

    Multiple polls of Iraqis of all backgrounds show that they believe that the US is a stabilizing influence and that they need our help until the point at which their own military and government can carry the full load.

    All of the evidence on the ground seems to support this belief as well. If we pull out prematurely you get a civil war of huge proportions and a partitioning of the country which will lead to a full-scale regional war. This might actually be good for the US in the short run because of all the chaos it will cause to people who wish us ill, but it likely won’t be good in the long run and certainly won’t be good for Iraqis.

    We’ve got to get out of there and let them settle it, the way these things are settled — with the gun. That’s how we settled our own fight in the Civil War. That’s how they’ll settle theirs, and there’s ABSOLUTELY NOTHING we can do to help.

    The Iraqis aren’t the Somalis. They have a history of government by negotiation and deal making, and that tradition can come to the fore and solve their problems if we give them the room to work. If they’re in the midst of a hot war that’s not going to be possible.

    What you are essentially advocating is the idea that a few thousand American lives are worth more than the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and I don’t think that that math works. If we stay for another year, we will lose more men and spend more money, but there’s an ever increasing likelihood that it will lead to peace. If we pull out the only outcome is death and disaster.

    As they say down in your Texas, we don’t have a dog in this fight. We did them a great favor in removing Saddam, and they should be thankful they now have a chance to settle long-simmering scores.

    Well, that’s pretty monstrous. I’ve got no response for it.

    I for one don’t want to sacrifice one more American kid to the internal squabbles of some medieval desert tribes who happen to be sitting on a sea of oil.

    But you’d like to sacrifice thousands of Iraqi kids so your political faction can score points? That doesn’t work for me.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    And BTW, none of this has to do with bling adherence to Bush/Cheney. I’d rather someone else were running this war, but they’re the people we’ve got in office, so we’re stuck with them.

    The situation is so simple now that even they ought to be able to not fuck it up. All they have to do is bullishly stick it out until the country solves its own problems.

    And I’ve got news for you. If Bush suddenly got voted out today and any Democrat with half a brain replaced him – not counting ultra left loonies – they would do the exact same thing.

    There are no choices here. There is only one way to deal with the situation and that’s the play the hand we were dealt.

    You can complain all you want and yap like a crazed chihuahua, but this is the real world and withdrawal isn’t even an option.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    comment #63 sez…
    *There are no choices here. There is only one way to deal with the situation and that’s the play the hand we were dealt. *

    it’s the “only one way” bit that i have to disAgree with

    and it’s the insistence that such is indisputable fact which is in contention…among other things

    but such insistence by some folks coud possibly be why other folks refer to it as “blind adherence”

    just a Thought

    Excelsior!

  • Dave Nalle

    Sorry Gonzo, I should have said “the only way which is not insane and suicidal” – does that help? I forgot that you include insane and suicidal policies as acceptable options in your world view.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    comment #65 sez…
    *I forgot that you include insane and suicidal policies as acceptable options in your world view.*

    not only is this statement insulting, but it assumes the commentor has a clue as to my worldview and that the only options other than those proposed by the commentor in question are “insane and suicidal”

    not only do i disAgree, but so do many other experts, last night there was an Interview with one of the generals who had been in charge of the entire Iraqi operation….he also disagrees that such is the only option, and gave his considered opinion

    might i suggest, in the Realm of military operations, that there are always more than one Option…and that merely “deny”ing those others serves no purpose other than to “distort” the actual Facts

    Excelsior!

  • ss

    I think the best reason for staying in Iraq is the one I’ll never hear from supporters of the President or opponents of the war:
    Since Saddam stashed alot of his munitions away before the war, and since some fanatics who like to make their own bombs and blow people up with them have easy access to Saddam’s explosives, the only choice we have left is a choice of targets:
    Target 1: Four guys in body armor driving in an armored vehicle
    Target 2: A large crowd of civilians, probably Iraqi but since so many bombs go of every week in Iraq, they could probably afford to export a few if they can figure out how to smuggle them.

    I don’t see American troops leaving until the bombing slows down from several a day to a journalist here, a Prime Minister there…

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    Dave Nalle:
    Now that was a well-reasoned reply. Thank you.
    Two points.
    1. You say: “The Iraqis aren’t the Somalis. They have a history of government by negotiation and deal making …”
    What? The only deal-making I know about under Saddam was, hey, you toe my line or I kill you after I torture you in front of your wife and kids. What “history” are you talking about?
    2. You say: “Multiple polls of Iraqis of all backgrounds show that they believe that the US is a stabilizing influence and that they need our help until the point at which their own military and government can carry the full load.”
    The “multiple polls” I know about say the Iraqis all want us out. How do your polls square with that?

    The Shiite and Kurd militias are running their parts of the country, and Sunni gangs theirs. The Shiites regularly off Sunnis here, there and everywhere, and the Sunnis regularly off Shiite cops here, there and everywhere. Meanwhile, we stay holed up in our fortified US bases and venture forth to shoot a few insurgents every now and then, and try to be back in our bases before midnight.
    What “stability” does this give them? We gave up policing the place quite a while ago. What do they need us for?

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    Third point.
    You also say “But you’d like to sacrifice thousands of Iraqi kids so your political faction can score points? That doesn’t work for me.”

    Listen, the Iraqis don’t kill kids, they blow up police stations and US convoys. We’re the ones who bomb Iraqi kids.

    My point is, our presence there does not help to control the violence at all. We can’t stop the suicide bombers. We can’t police the place. We haven’t been able to “win” for years now. It’s time we got out.

    I bet you two dead New York rats to every dead raccoon in your backyard that if we leave, the violence will go down. We’re not stabilizing the place, we’ve destabilized it, and every time we kill a few insurgents and a few innocents collaterally, we help recruit more resurgents and upset the citizenry.

    We’ve succeeded in upping Al Qaeda recruitment and insurgency recruitment a thousandfold. It’s time we leave before we attain any more success.

  • Baronius

    Adam, WHAT?!!??

    “If we leave, the violence will go down.”

    As soon as we leave, “Call it what you will — an insurgency, a civil war, or chaos”.

    You’ve clearly reached the point where you don’t care what news you deliver, as long as it’s bad. You can’t even keep your predictions straight. It’s nap time; you’re getting cranky.

    There have been so many dumb postings in the past couple of days, I can’t keep up. But let me address another comment by Adam: Iraq had been supporting terrorism in Palestine, Europe, and (if you want to call it terrorism) on its own soil. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, but had worked with al Queda previously. Iraq has lobbed bombs at four of its neighbors. They qualified as a terrorist state.

    WMD’s don’t grow on trees, and they rarely explode on their own. They require a government willing to produce them; Iraq had such a government. To be a threat, they have to be in the hands of someone willing to use them; again, Iraq. So trying to divorce WMD’s from terrorism is semantics.

    We replaced the government of Iraq under the Carter Doctrine (the Monroe Doctrine with the phrase “Middle East” in place of “South America”) and the Bush Doctrine (states which support terrorism will be treated as terrorists).

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    1. You say: “The Iraqis aren’t the Somalis. They have a history of government by negotiation and deal making …”
    What? The only deal-making I know about under Saddam was, hey, you toe my line or I kill you after I torture you in front of your wife and kids. What “history” are you talking about?

    Like I said, you’re remarkably ignorant of the history of Iraq. Even under Saddam a large portion of the population was essentially still tribal living in regions where traditional tribal government still ran day to day life, and that government was done by consensus and by negotiation. Saddam ruled the country, but the sheikhs still had power and they’re still there today. They’ve outlasted every tyrant to rule them for thousands of years.

    2. You say: “Multiple polls of Iraqis of all backgrounds show that they believe that the US is a stabilizing influence and that they need our help until the point at which their own military and government can carry the full load.”
    The “multiple polls” I know about say the Iraqis all want us out. How do your polls square with that?

    The polls all say that they want us out, but they also say that they want us out ONLY after we stabilize the country. I suspect they’re the same polls you’re talking about – you just haven’t been given or chose to ignore the parts that didn’t agree with your preconceptions.

    The Shiite and Kurd militias are running their parts of the country, and Sunni gangs theirs. The Shiites regularly off Sunnis here, there and everywhere, and the Sunnis regularly off Shiite cops here, there and everywhere. Meanwhile, we stay holed up in our fortified US bases and venture forth to shoot a few insurgents every now and then, and try to be back in our bases before midnight.

    This just isn’t an accurate description of the situation in any but a few problem areas. Where are you getting this information from? Is this what the left is putting out these days?

    What “stability” does this give them? We gave up policing the place quite a while ago. What do they need us for?

    We aren’t doing general policing because the IDF is doing a pretty good job in most of the country. That leaves us to fight the real terrorists. Makes sense to me.

    Listen, the Iraqis don’t kill kids, they blow up police stations and US convoys. We’re the ones who bomb Iraqi kids.

    Where the hell did you get this crap from? The US military goes out of its way not to harm kids and the terrorists not only target them, they even use them as unwilling suicide bombers.

    My point is, our presence there does not help to control the violence at all. We can’t stop the suicide bombers. We can’t police the place. We haven’t been able to “win” for years now. It’s time we got out.

    This is the tinkerbell theory I’ve talked about before. The people who are feeding you this garbage figure that if they can get enough people to believe it and repeat it then it will become true.

    I bet you two dead New York rats to every dead raccoon in your backyard

    The guy who owned our place before us kileld all the racoons. How about voles? We’ve got some cute little voles. The cats love ‘em too.

    that if we leave, the violence will go down. We’re not stabilizing the place, we’ve destabilized it, and every time we kill a few insurgents and a few innocents collaterally, we help recruit more resurgents and upset the citizenry.

    Actually, according to those same polls you’ve only read selected parts of, Iraqis understand very clearly the difference between terrorists and the US and who is actually trying to help and harm them. They may dislike us and want us to leave, but they hate the terrorists with a fiery passion.

    We’ve succeeded in upping Al Qaeda recruitment and insurgency recruitment a thousandfold. It’s time we leave before we attain any more success.

    Another classic tinkerbell moment. Where do you get this information from? People keep saying it ,but I have yet to see one bit of evidence or one statement from a person with access to classified data on Al Qaeda supporting this belief. Most who know seem to think that we’re causing Al Qaeda to alienate an awful lot of Arabs and waste their resources fighting war by methods to which their forces are not ideally suited.

    Dave

  • SFC SKI

    Adam, aword, please, “Listen, the Iraqis don’t kill kids, they blow up police stations and US convoys. ”

    The bombers have actually targeted areas where US soldiers were handing out candy or school materials to Iraqi kids, and they don’t pull into the middle of a marketplace and ask mothers to kindly remove their children before they blow themselves up.

  • Shark

    [SFX: sound of bells tinkering — slight glow of fairy dust emanated from Nalle’s open mouth]

    Dave the Historian: “They [Iraqis] have a history of government by negotiation and deal making…”

    Oh c’mon Dave, YOU JUST MAKE THIS SHIT UP! And not everybody here is as historically ignorant as you assume.

    Iraq began as a puppet monarchy; has had more uprisings, coups, factions, nationalistic revolts, and tribal disputes than George W. Bush has had drunken fraterity parties.

    Take your own advice: READ SOME FUCKING HISTORY.

  • troll

    oh master of pollyanna propaganda who spans grand canyons of fact with no more attribution than a shrug and a wink

    asks another

    *Where are you getting this information from?*

    ironical?

    troll

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    Dave Nalle:
    After reading your last well-argued post, I realize one thing. We’re both too smart for our own good: both extremely adept at filtering the news about Iraq in a way that meets our preconceptions.

    Neither of us having been there, we have to get our “truths” from all those who have, and it’s like we’re looking at Plato’s wall in the cave, seeing shadows, and drawing our conclusions from them.
    You may be right, I may be right, but then we may both be wrong, since we’re both feeling only our part of the elephant.

    It comes down to this: I interpret the news my way, from a perspective that we should never have invaded, and you interpret it from another way, that we were right to invade.
    From thence follow our arguments.

    There is a third camp out there, probably the biggest, that says, now that we’re there, what do we do? They range from Hillary to Kerry to Bush, and they all say we’ve got to stick it out until the country is “stabilized.” We broke it, we own it.

    I guess I think it’s the Iraqi’s country, and I trust them to fix it. I don’t trust Bush/Cheney to fix it (or anything else, for that matter).

    There is something blindingly hubristic in the American character than makes us think we can solve other people’s problems better than they can themselves, and worse, makes us feel self-righteous about this self-appointed job. It is, if you will, the “good” side of the US imperial enterprise.

    I always thought it was a dereliction of duty that Bush/Cheney didn’t try to get Israel-Palestine together like Clinton and others have tried, that they never tried hard to be the good guys there.
    But now I think they were right: let the Israelis and the Palestinians sort it out themselves. There is no place there for an “honest broker.” In the same way, I believe we can’t be honest brokers in Iraq either. For example, we wouldn’t like the French to come and solve our healthcare problems, even though they obviously could, because their system costs them half what ours costs us, and gives them better outcomes.

    You and I, we’re just going to have agree to disagree. At least I know you’ve given great thought to your side of the issue (more than most others on the Blogcritics Right Wing Tag Team) as I have to mine — and we’re pretty damn good at making excuses for our preconceptions.

    I greatly respect you for your smarts at articulating your thoughts in a logical, no-nonsense manner. Nobody else could’ve argued me to standstill, and you have.

    Still, I hope to be arguing with you about these and other matters for a long, long time, because it does sharpen the rhetorical skills — and makes Blogcritics the great fun it is.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    After reading your last well-argued post, I realize one thing. We’re both too smart for our own good: both extremely adept at filtering the news about Iraq in a way that meets our preconceptions.

    Actually, I go out and find news from Iraq that balances out the picture I get from the media – it’s not exactly the same as filtering it out.

    Neither of us having been there,

    Actually, I’ve been there – at least technically. I drove through northern Iraq with my family in 1963 and got stuck in a blizzard.

    It comes down to this: I interpret the news my way, from a perspective that we should never have invaded, and you interpret it from another way, that we were right to invade.
    From thence follow our arguments.

    I guess you could be more wrong if you actually tried. When have I ever said we should have invaded?

    There is a third camp out there, probably the biggest, that says, now that we’re there, what do we do? They range from Hillary to Kerry to Bush, and they all say we’ve got to stick it out until the country is “stabilized.” We broke it, we own it.

    This would be the camp I’m in, actually.

    I guess I think it’s the Iraqi’s country, and I trust them to fix it. I don’t trust Bush/Cheney to fix it (or anything else, for that matter).

    I actually agree with your basic premise here, but where I differ is that I don’t see Bush and Cheney as actually making much of an effort to fix the country. It seems to me that what we’re doing is giving the Iraqis and other groups the opportunity to fix the country which they would not have if we just pulled out and let it degenerate into chaos.

    There is something blindingly hubristic in the American character than makes us think we can solve other people’s problems better than they can themselves, and worse, makes us feel self-righteous about this self-appointed job. It is, if you will, the “good” side of the US imperial enterprise.

    Only a tiny number of people want to turn this into a foreign policy. Most Americans who hold these beliefs would rather sit back and sneer at the incompetence of foreigners and let them go to hell in a handbasket.

    I always thought it was a dereliction of duty that Bush/Cheney didn’t try to get Israel-Palestine together like Clinton and others have tried, that they never tried hard to be the good guys there.

    You live in a bubble, right? Have you never heard of Bush’s ‘Roadmap’ plan for the Palestine situation? It was one of the most successful diplomatic initiatives in that area ever.

    But now I think they were right: let the Israelis and the Palestinians sort it out themselves. There is no place there for an “honest broker.” In the same way, I believe we can’t be honest brokers in Iraq either. For example, we wouldn’t like the French to come and solve our healthcare problems, even though they obviously could, because their system costs them half what ours costs us, and gives them better outcomes.

    Better outcomes like double to triple the rates of death from cancer and heart disease as we have here in the US, and BTW the cost per capita is about double what it is for healthcare here.

    You and I, we’re just going to have agree to disagree.

    No we aren’t, because you’re just dead wrong on too many points, including basic knowledge of the facts.

    (excessive hypocritical sucking up deleted)

    Dave

  • Shark

    Man, I’m just thankful to read someone who’s more arrogant and a bigger asshole that I AM.

    Thanks, Dave! Made my day!

  • Shark

    BTW: that was meant as a compliment!

    xoxo,
    S

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Glad to provide a benchmark for you, Shark.

    Dave

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    Dave Nalle:
    I’m about to lose all respect for you — not about your reasoning ability, or your affability, obviously ruined by having to dig up voles, but whether you can be trusted.

    Regarding US vs. French health care systems:
    Are you making stuff up, pathologically deluded, catatonically stupid, or simply an outright liar?

    You say: “BTW the cost per capita is about double what it is for healthcare here.”

    Where do you get your facts, Nalle? Out of your thumb or your ass?

    Here are some facts for your perusal, care of the World Health Organization:

    The US has by far the most expensive health care system in the world, based on health expenditures per capita, and on total expenditures as a percentage of GDP.
    $4,178 per capita, far more than its closest competitor Switzerland at $2,794, and France at $2077.

    We spend 14.6% of our GDP compared to France’s 9.7%.

    When it comes to access, the US is the only country in the developed world, except for South Africa, that does not provide health care for all its citizens.

    As for outcomes, we rank 26th among industrialized nations for infant mortality, and 24th in life expectancy, way behind France.

    It is interesting that when the World Health Organization ranked health care systems in 191 countries in 2000, France was rated as having the best system in the world.

    France’s health care system bodyslams us on most every metric.
    France has 8.4 hospital beds per 1,000 people, US 3.6. France has more doctors per 1,000 people (3.3 vs. 2.4), has 3.2 more physician visits per capita (6 in France vs. 2.8 in America, which probably accounts for the better preventive care in France), has a much higher hospital admission rate, and beats us handily on the most important measure: potential years of life lost. American women lose 3,836 years per 100,000, while American men give up 6,648 in the same sample size. In France, the comparable numbers are 2,588 years for the women and 5,610 for the men.

    France spends less, gets more, and does so through a public-private hybrid that’s heavily public. Yes, I know, socialized medicine sure is scary.

    The US health care system is a national scandal. It’s not only killing us earlier than Europeans, it’s screwing up the competitiveness of our businesses because of the health care they have to provide to their workers because we don’t have a single-payer national health care system.

    If your well-argued points about Iraq are based on the same quality sources as your health facts, they’re dubious at best, totally misguided at worst, and I now believe, mostly sucked out of your very creative thumb, or your overly productive ass.

    I ain’t cutting you any more slack from now on, Nalle. Your last post proved you may be a good arguer, but you’re not much of a mensch, and that’s putting it lightly.

    Arrogant? I can think of another word that starts with A.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Let’s twist again …

    #74 unanimity in the face of mendacity

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Adam, again your information is bizarrely skewed and incomplete.

    Regarding US vs. French health care systems:
    Are you making stuff up, pathologically deluded, catatonically stupid, or simply an outright liar?

    No, I’m telling the truth based on accurate and complete information which you seem not to have access to.

    You say: “BTW the cost per capita is about double what it is for healthcare here.”

    Where do you get your facts, Nalle? Out of your thumb or your ass?

    From sources like the WHO, the National Coalition on Health Care, medical journals and government health statistics.

    The US has by far the most expensive health care system in the world, based on health expenditures per capita, and on total expenditures as a percentage of GDP.
    $4,178 per capita, far more than its closest competitor Switzerland at $2,794, and France at $2077.

    We spend 14.6% of our GDP compared to France’s 9.7%.

    I recognize these figures. They come from a 1998 WHO report which uses some pretty questionable methods of comparison. For example, in France they only look at what the government spends per capita and ignore the fact that most people in France have to augment their government coverage by paying substantial amounts for drugs, plus additional fees to any kind of specialist or for doctor choice, so the cost per capita quoted by the WHO is extremely deceptive. Real per capita cost is close to double the number the WHO provides.

    In addition, the WHO figure for the US is innacurate because it counts premiums paid by employer health plans as part of the costs paid by consumers. HHS reports a real cost per capita for healthcare in the US to the consumer of $2350 per year in 2003.

    In addition, the French healthcare system is running a yearly deficit more than equal to what it actually pays, so the government is actually losing more money on each patient than they officially report paying. They are losing more than $10 billion a year on the system. That amounts to hiding the real cost of healthcare in deficit spending and raises the real cost per year to over $5000 plus another thousand or more in additional fees paid for special services which aren’t covered.

    The WHO figure looks at only what is spent per person, but ignores what is taken per person in the form of tax from each citizen because of health insurance, and that figure is about 3 times what they actually spend at the end of the process.

    When it comes to access, the US is the only country in the developed world, except for South Africa, that does not provide health care for all its citizens.

    Which is, of course, untrue. Medicaid provides care for the indigent. There’s no one in America who goes without necessary treatment and the treatment is better and provided faster than almost anywhere in the world.

    As for outcomes, we rank 26th among industrialized nations for infant mortality, and 24th in life expectancy, way behind France.

    This is true, but we also rank far lower than most nations, including France in rates of death from chronic, treatable illnesses like cancer and heart disease – the largest causes of death after automobile accidents and cigarettes. For example the rate of death among men from cancer in France is almost double what it is in the US – they have a particularly bad problem with colon cancer because of lack of equipment for modern surgical treatment methods.

    It is interesting that when the World Health Organization ranked health care systems in 191 countries in 2000, France was rated as having the best system in the world.

    France does have an excellent health care system as managed care systems go. Better than most in Europe – it’s one of the few there which isn’t a complete disaster. But how good it is depends entirely on what things you measure. They do a great job getting babies born and a terrible job taking care of old people with chronic illness. WHO reports automatically discount the effectiveness of the US system because it is not a managed care system. They also increase the cost because they don’t take into account the huge rate of waste, measuring the amount spent by the government, but not the amount wasted out of the huge amount taken in taxes.

    France has 8.4 hospital beds per 1,000 people, US 3.6. France has more doctors per 1,000 people (3.3 vs. 2.4), has 3.2 more physician visits per capita (6 in France vs. 2.8 in America, which probably accounts for the better preventive care in France), has a much higher hospital admission rate,

    The US, of course, averages just over half as long for a hospital stay in most cases, and thus does not need as many beds or on call physicians. This is largely because the quality of care once you are hospitalized is enormously superior. More than enough to counter-balance France’s edge in things like prenatal and preventative care.

    and beats us handily on the most important measure: potential years of life lost. American women lose 3,836 years per 100,000, while American men give up 6,648 in the same sample size. In France, the comparable numbers are 2,588 years for the women and 5,610 for the men.

    Which is an aggregate figure which has little meaning. Take out the higher infant mortality rate and adjust for the much higher number of traffic fatalities and any advantage France has disappears.

    France spends less, gets more, and does so through a public-private hybrid that’s heavily public. Yes, I know, socialized medicine sure is scary.

    As I demonstrated the French actually spend more, and while their results are good, the system is also going bankrupt even more rapidly than our Social Security system.

    And here’s the real comparison that matters.

    French citizens pay a real tax rate of 65% on a per capita income of $30,090. US citizens pay a real tax rate of 35% on an average per capita income of $41500 per year. That means that the average US citizen has $17,000 more per year in disposable income than the average Frenchman. That’s more than enough to make up for the fact that our healthcare isn’t paid out of our taxes.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    Guys, we’re never going to solve the problem of French health care policy if we keep going on tangents about Iraq.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Lord knows the French health care system has more impact on us than Iraq, right Baronius.

    Not sure how or why we got on this tangent – but maybe we’re all just sick of discussing Iraq.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    comment # 83 sez…
    *Not sure how or why we got on this tangent – but maybe we’re all just sick of discussing Iraq.*

    of course it is easier to distract from the Events in Iraq by dragging out some kind of scapegoat(french healthcare for Bog’s sake?)

    here’s to my fervent Wish for Iraq to be resolved in a manner which helps the most people with the minimal loss of human Life

    yet, no matter how “sick” of the discussion some may become…it IS a vitally important discussion, and such discourse is a prime factor in not only Understanding what is going on there and what is at stake, but hopefully to it’s resoloution as well

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Shark: Dave the Historian: “They [Iraqis] have a history of government by negotiation and deal making…”

    Oh c’mon Dave, YOU JUST MAKE THIS SHIT UP! And not everybody here is as historically ignorant as you assume.

    No, but apparently you make up for whatever knowledge the others have by your combination of ignorance and arrogance.

    Iraq began as a puppet monarchy; has had more uprisings, coups, factions, nationalistic revolts, and tribal disputes than George W. Bush has had drunken fraterity parties.

    Iraq ‘began’ as a puppet monarchy? Come again? Their history goes back thousands of years. They’re the fucking cradle of civilization. They’ve been engaging in tribal consensual government since before Europeans could read and write.

    Take your own advice: READ SOME FUCKING HISTORY.

    You seem to have confused history with current events, Shark.

    Troll:oh master of pollyanna propaganda who spans grand canyons of fact with no more attribution than a shrug and a wink

    asks another

    *Where are you getting this information from?*

    Troll, I can cite sources for every fact I provide. In fact most of them are cited in articles I’ve previously posted on BC. When I don’t immediately cite the source in a comment it’s likely something I’ve already covered in an article on BC, and you can click on my posting history to find the source if you like.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    gonzo, Adam brought up the French healthcare distraction, not me. I’d be glad to go on discussing Iraq and saying the same things over and over again to people who don’t bother to read anything but USA Today and the National Enquirer.

    Dave

  • Bennett

    Dave, you’re embarrassing yourself.

  • troll

    Dave – *I can cite sources for every fact I provide.*

    then it will be no problem for you to do so when questioned…or better yet – to post them as you go thus saving others the choice between tediously challenging or simply reading your work with citatory skepticism

  • RogerMDillon

    “maybe we’re all just sick of discussing Iraq.”

    I don’t think all of you are.

  • Dave Nalle

    Troll, feel free to ask me for a source any time. I post them in comments when it seems called for, but I’m not going to footnote every comment when I’m synthesizing a bunch of information from multiple sources just to make a trivial point. They’re still comments, not full-blown articles.

    Dave

  • http://godisnotanasshole.blogspot.com/ Indigobusiness

    W doesn’t even try to make sense anymore, he’s just trying to run out the clock.

  • SFC SKI

    Again, a 1000 pardons for my lack of ability, but please read this link.

    It ties into the lack of qualified translators to speed up the process of gleaning intel from Iraq and Afghanistan.

    If, as the article suggests, Saddam was allowing terrorists to be trained in Iraq, will that change anyone’s opinion?

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    Dave Nalle:
    Now that I’ve caught you out on facts, I will say this: I simply don’t believe your stating that the World Health Organization is using questionable comparison methods. You, a voles-hunting Texan and ubiquitous Blogcritic commentator, know better than this massive statistic-gathering respected world body?
    Come on.

    You end with this supposed zinger comparing the French with us:
    “French citizens pay a real tax rate of 65% on a per capita income of $30,090. US citizens pay a real tax rate of 35% on an average per capita income of $41,500 per year. That means that the average US citizen has $17,000 more per year in disposable income than the average Frenchman. That’s more than enough to make up for the fact that our healthcare isn’t paid out of our taxes.”

    Well now, let me enumerate some other differences:
    1. The French live longer than us.
    2. They get 4 to 6 weeks vacation a year — we get 2 weeks, and we get it only after we’ve worked for a company for more than a year, often longer.
    3. More of their babies live than ours.
    4. They’re better educated than us.
    5. After the lesson of Algiers, they’ve avoided starting wars with other countries, unlike us, who — even after the lesson of Vietnam — still start unnecessary wars with others (Afghanistan necessary, Iraq unnecessary).

    It’s symptomatic of your moral blindness that you think the amount of disposable income every citizen has in his pocket is THE important difference between nations.

    Me, I’d be happy to pay more taxes if it means I could take a month vacation every year. I value time more than money. I envy the French for their vacation time. Not that I don’t love living in America — but I still wish our healthcare system was more French than American, because theirs is better and cheaper.

  • troll

    thanks for the link Ski – if Hayes’ reporting is accurate it should be big news over the next few days

    troll

  • tommyd

    First off, just to bring everyone up to date:

    US Blackhawk helicopter was shot down in Iraq today, Sunday, killing everyone on board….about 11 Americans.

    Adam and Nalle: One more thing about France and the French: For all their smoking and eating bread and butter and drinking wine everyday, the French suffer 40% LESS, yes, 40% LESS, heart attacks than the Americans in the USA. 40% LESS! and that’s a fact. The French also have a much lower rate of obesity per capita than the US. WHY??????????

  • MCH

    “US Blackhawk helicopter was shot down in Iraq today, Sunday, killing everyone on board….about 11 Americans.”

    …and here’s where Nalle usually counters with something like, **Yeah, but there were 67 Americans killed in traffic fatalities during the same period, so what’s the big deal**…

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Why, tommyd? Because they have less stress and a better diet. That’s pretty obvious.

    Dave

  • Anthony Grande

    To the author:

    You still haven’t answered my question, how exactly have we lost the War in Iraq???

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    Adam:
    This is right on the money. Well done.

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    Anthony: We’ve lost the war because we haven’t achieved, and won’t achieve, any of the aims we had that we started the war for — I think I made that pretty clear in the piece.

  • Dave Nalle

    What, Saddam is still running Iraq? That’s one objective clearly achieved.

    Dave

  • SFC SKI

    Actually, there is not yet evidence that the helicoper was shot down. Though it is a possibility, weather could just as easily have been a factor. I think more helos have crashed from weather effects than enemy fire since the war started. IN any case, it is a sad event.

    It seems that people introduce other unrelated arguments when they ind they can’t support their initial one.

  • Dave Nalle

    All I know is that I’m glad I don’t have to ride in a blackhawk.

    Dave

  • The Stage Manager

    “All I know is that I’m glad I don’t have to ride in a blackhawk.”

    Psst, MCH. That’s your cue.

    ~rmd

  • Dave Nalle

    I’m also glad I don’t have to ride in a Pinto. What’s your point?

    Dave

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I really liked the corvair though….dammit!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Dammit, the Corvair was not unsafe! I’ve driven one. My grandmother drove one. They corner fine at 45 or so and don’t flip over. Nader basically just made that bullshit up.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    No one regrets the disappearance of the Pinto. The Corvair was sweet. These days, with the Bug and the PT cruiser as re-introduced designs, they should start building Corvairs again. (I’ve never understood why Ford doesn’t go back to the original Mustang. They’d sell.)

  • Dave Nalle

    Baronius, have you seen the 2006 Mustang? It basically IS the old Mustang – or the best features of the various versions combined into one damned fine looking machine. All the crappy things that started with the Mustang II are gone.

    Dave

  • Alice

    Dave sez “I drove through northern Iraq with my family in 1963 and got stuck in a blizzard.”

    From what I’ve read here, his brain remains stuck there.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Stuck in 1963 or stuck in Iraq?

    In either case I don’t see it as such a bad thing.

    Dave

  • Alice

    Stuck in a blizzard of confusion and that’s a bad thing.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    You have a point. It is sometimes awfully bewildering how little good sense and ability to understand simple reason some people have.

    Dave

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

    how little good sense and ability to understand simple reason some people have

    that can be read as: “how many people don’t agree with me”.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Well, if you’re a sensible person who makes rational arguments and people reject them out of hand for emotional reasons, then yes those people disagreeing with you are confused and deluded. An awful lot of people cling to emotion and beliefs originating in irrational assumptions about the world and hold those beliefs very strongly. Reason and logic are often seen as threatening and provoke a strong negative reaction in such people. This is as true of those who are motivated by religion as it is of those motivated by strongly held irrational political beliefs.

    Dave

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

    the problem dave is that you sometimes have your very own “rational assumption”…that you are always correct.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Mark, if I’m proven wrong I freely admit it. I don’t think there’s anyone who goes around all day working from the assumption that the facts they read and the conclusions they draw from them are wrong.

    Dave

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

    someone’s actually proven you wrong?

    woa, i musta been sick that day.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    It’s happened Mark. I do my best to reduce the likelihood by either not commenting on things I don’t know about, or reading up on things I want to comment on, or admitting ignorance and speculation right off the bat. Seems to work well.

    Dave

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    Dave Nalle:
    If you can quote me ONE instance on BC when you’ve admitted you were wrong, in so many words, I’d be totally stunned.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I’ve been confused and deluded many times. but never wrong.

  • zingzing

    dave’s still looking…

  • Alice

    Dave isn’t always right but he’s never wrong.

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    Dave said, and I quote, “Mark, if I’m proven wrong I freely admit it.”
    Question: Will Dave at least admit that he’s never admitted to being wrong?

    (And thereby start take the first step in the long journey — for him — to his stated position, which he can’t prove, that “if I’m proven wrong I freely admit it”?)

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    No, adam, because I actually HAVE admitted to being wrong, right here on BC at least a handful of times.

    If you want to go back and check all the comment threads you can find the instances, but the one which sticks most in my mind is my change of position on gay marriage prompted by a discussion with Steve S which convinced me that my position was wrong. But there are a number of instances where I’ve made small factual errors and admitted it. Like one time I posted a number as dollars when it was supposed to be Euros or a case where I got a person’s name wrong. Plenty of instances of that sort of thing.

    But the reality is that most of what I post is either fact or opinion. The facts are researched and therefore hopefully correct. The opinions are opinions and therefore they cannot really be proven right or wrong.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Speaking of people being wrong. This might be time for Adam to admit that his claim from just a few days ago in this article that Iraq was going to be a Shiite theocracy was wrong. The current breakdown of seats in their assembly no longer gives the shiite alliance a clear majority and they’re going with Sunnis and Kurds or secular Shiites for all of the top government positions.

    Dave

  • troll

    *they’re going with Sunnis and Kurds or secular Shiites for all of the top government positions.*

    please post your source(s) for this statement of fact – I’m unable to turn up a list

    thanks in advance

    troll

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    Troll, I think Dave is sucking it out of his thumb. Here’s the latest news via a NY Time editorial:

    An Incendiary Threat in Iraq

    Iraq’s most powerful Shiite politician has just dealt a huge blow to American-backed efforts to avoid civil war through the creation of a new, nationally inclusive constitutional order. That leader, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, has turned his back on the crucial pledge, made before last October’s constitutional referendum, that the new charter would be open to substantial amendment by the newly elected Parliament. Instead, Mr. Hakim, who runs the dominant, Iranian-supported fundamentalist party, now says no broad changes should be made. In particular, he defends the current provisions allowing substantial autonomy for the oil-rich Shiite southeast.

    The vote count from last month’s parliamentary election is not yet complete. But it is already certain that the Shiite religious alliance, in which Mr. Hakim is the most important leader, will hold enough seats to block any constitutional changes it doesn’t like.

    Mr. Hakim’s latest position is a prescription for a national breakup and an endless civil war. It is also a provocative challenge to Washington, which helped broker the original promise of significant constitutional changes. On the basis of that promise, Sunni voters turned out in large numbers, both for the constitutional referendum and for last month’s parliamentary vote. Drawing Sunni voters into democratic politics is vital to creating the stable, peaceful Iraq that President Bush has declared to be the precondition for an American military withdrawal. The most unacceptable defect of the new constitution for Sunnis is its provision for radically decentralizing national political and economic power, dispersing it to separate regions.

    In a quirk of geology, most of Iraq’s known oil deposits lie under provinces dominated by Shiites or Kurds, while the Sunni provinces of the west and north are resource-poor and landlocked. A radically decentralized Iraq would leave the Sunnis impoverished, aggrieved and desperate, driving them into the arms of radical Sunni groups in neighboring lands.

    Decentralization is the most dangerously explosive issue right now. Mr. Hakim seems perversely determined to inflame it.

  • troll

    sigh…I guess you’re right Adam – but I’m hoping that he’s getting something together on this topic

    troll

  • Dave Nalle

    please post your source(s) for this statement of fact – I’m unable to turn up a list

    There’s ongoing on the scene coverage on Iraq the Model. He updates every couple of days.

    As for Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim, if he pushes his hardline position he’s going to find himself even more marginalized than he is already. Secular Shiites have already turned away from the UIA and formed tentative alliances with the Sunnis and the Kurds, and if Al-Hakim pushes it he’s going to end up with nothing but his radical faction and no larger coalition left. He’s already caused defections which have left the UIA whittled down to only 80 seats in the assembly from over 100, and although they would remain the largest single party if they alienate the rest of their allies they could end up with fewer than 70 seats and leaving the secularists firmly in control.

    Dave

  • troll

    Dave – knowing your predilection I went to ‘the model’ before asking for sources and could find nothing in recent entries to base your statement on…perhaps I didn’t dig deeply enough – I did not go into the comments

    could you ‘point’ to specific entries where the ‘appointments to all of the top government positions’ are discussed and your statement is justified – ?

    who is in control of what infrastructure – it’s hard enough to figure out what’s going on in Iraq without the BS

    troll

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Troll, they don’t discuss every possible appointment, but if you look through you’ll see that they make pretty clear how the government forming process is working out, hell the post from the 9th is about the likelihood of Talabani retaining his position – it’s in the title of the post.

    Things are still up in the air until the final election results are confirmed in the next few days, but if you read closely you will see that the lines of allegiance have more or less been drawn and the top contenders for key positions are easy to identify.

    Admittedly they don’t come right out and say Talabani is going to stay President, Jafari is going to stay Prime Minister and most of the major positions are going to go to moderates, but it’s there if you look. You need to understand the way the process works. It’s all about the coalitions of different lists. As the gets trimmed down to its more radical elements then the Sunnis and moderate Shiites power is growing, and as the various Iraqi lists realign themselves into what will ultimately be two more even camps, the more unified and organized Kurds continue to wield disproprtianate power.

    As for who controls the infrastructure, there’s info on that as well. Chalabi just got oil minister to pay him off and get him out of the way. The Sunnis will likely end up with a large degree of local autonomy and a couple of top positions, while moderate Shiites will get most of the mid-level appointments. At least that’s what I’m gleaning from the last half-dozen posts anyway.

    What I’m waiting eagerly for is the next post which I’m guessing will be about the argument over constitutional reform after the election, which appears to be a major sticking point for some groups.

    As for Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim, he’s becoming politically marginalized because he’s pissing off his own allies who want to work things out and are finding him a liability.

    I’ve also begun a correspondence with the guys on ITM and I’ll ask them about some of the issues and for some more specifics as well. Their time and internet access are limited since they use an internet cafe so they can have high speed.

    BTW, the mere fact that there are operating internet cafes in Baghdad says a hell of a lot about the state of the country.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    comment #132 sez…
    *Things are still up in the air *

    Quoted for Truth….

    all the rest is pleasantly optimistic speculation based on uncertain factual data and the fantasy that anyone knows what is truly going on there…including those involved direcly, much less anyone outside the immediate political circles directly affected in-country

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • Dave Nalle

    It’s mostly up in the air only because no one yet knows exactly how many seats each list is going to get. Once that’s resolved then it ought to shake out very quickly because they’ve been negotiating and forming coalitions like made for the past couple of weeks.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    for comment #134

    i do truly hope it goes well, and forms a secular government…but i would not bet lunch money on it

    we will see as time goes by, but i stand by my assessment that far too many Variables are unKnown to make the predictions you are attempting

    Excelsior!

  • TL Thozzman

    “We” didn’t lose thew war in Iraq we were soundly beaten by the islamic terrorists and the democrats.
    Next time we’re attacked by the muslim extremists I’m taking my revenge out on democrats.