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Yes, You Really ARE Encouraging the Terrorists

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Bloggers and pundits on the right are often accused of making the unpleasant claim that those on the left who criticize the Iraq War are encouraging terrorist attacks on US troops — in effect saying that to oppose the war is to be on the side of the terrorists. It's not a claim which is actually voiced that often by any but the most extreme elements on the right. It may fly with Freepers, but it's an argument which is a little too extreme for more reasonable commentators to state, even if they secretly believe it in their heart of hearts.

Now evidence has arrived in the form of a study (PDF) from Harvard scholars Radha Igengar (a quantitative sociologist) and Jonathen Monten (an international affairs expert) which makes a very strong argument that opposition to the Iraq War which is heavily promoted in the American and international media does have a direct effect in encouraging terror attacks against US troops and the civilian population.

The paper is a brief but thorough statistical analysis based on data from neutral sources and on direct interviews with about 1,400 Iraqis in major urban areas. It correlates specific news events and coverage in the international media with increases in violence in Iraq and finds direct relationships which are so numerous and so consistent that they establish a pattern which is very hard to dismiss or ignore. It also confirms those findings by surveying Iraqi citizens and assessing their reaction to news reports of American and international criticism of the war. Basically, when the US and international media plays up war opposition, Iraqis are highly aware and perceive it as weakness. As a result, the level and intensity of violence in Iraq increases measurably.

The explanation is fairly obvious and goes back to the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War. When the enemy looks like it is weakening from within, the insurgent aggressors see an opportunity to further demoralize the enemy and accelerate them towards capitulation with heightened violence. The Viet Cong pretty much wrote the book on the insurgent war of terror, and al Qaeda and other terrorist groups have certainly learned their lessons from history. What we sometimes forget is how modern the environment in which this war is being fought is. Our enemies in the Middle East and even average citizens in war-torn Iraq have high-speed internet access, satellite TV, cell phones. and they're a literate and pretty well educated population. They know what's going on around the world, and they can see opportunity when it's put in front of them.

The news constantly reminds them that they are not facing an implacable enemy which will grant no quarter and stay until the job is done, whatever the cost. The media drives home to them every day that there is a limit to what the American people and the international community will accept in this conflict, and every time they are reminded of that, they look for ways to push us over that limit, either in gross numbers of casualties and dollars or in excesses of retaliatory violence. This dynamic should make obvious sense to anyone who isn't a blinkered ideologue, but with this study it gains the weight of clear statistical support.

Long ago, in a more popular war, the catch phrase was 'loose lips sink ships', and a similar principle seems to apply here. Enough vocal protest does get attention, but it isn't always the right attention and it could very well be costing the lives of coalition soldiers and innocent Iraqis. Rather than ending the war it seems likely that excessive protest and highly visible dissent drags out the conflict and keeps hope for capitulation alive among the insurgents and encourages them to keep on fighting. If that's your goal, then keep making a big noise and cheering them on. But if your goal is fewer casualties and a shorter war then presenting a facade of solidarity is probably more effective, though it's a bit late to shut the barn door after that horse.

The authors of this study don't come right out and point any fingers or quantify the cost of our lack of national unity, but the study certainly raises the question of how many lives and how many billions of dollars and how many years of additional conflict can be chalked up as the cost of the free speech and dissent which we so cherish. It also makes very clear that the media and their confederates in the anti-war left have a great deal of blood on their hands for which there should eventually be a reckoning. It's easy to place blame on those who make war, but perhaps it is time to start holding those who encourage violence in the name of peace accountable as well.

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://jonsobel.com/ Jon Sobel

    So you think we should just shut up? Cooler and smarter heads keeping quiet (or acceding, like Hillary Clinton did) helped get us into this mess in the first place.

    But more to the point, look at the actual conclusions of the report and compare them to the incendiary tone of your headline. They include the following:

    “To the extent that U.S. political speech does affect insurgent incentives, it changes things only by about 10-20 percent.”

    And, “the insurgent response to low resolve periods may not represent an overall increase in the total number of attacks, but rather a change in the timing of attacks.”

    Finally, and most sensibly, and most egregious for you to have ignored: “From these results it is not possible to determine the benefits or costs of public debate. Without knowing the effect of changes in policy generated by this debate and the nature of changed perception of the insurgents about US casualty sensitivity, it is not possible to determine if criticism of U.S. policy is on balance bad.”

    My conclusion? You can make statistics say anything you want. But we all knew that.

  • Heloise

    We are in Iraq now, and of course mudslinging is going to make it worse. That’s does make sense. what does not make sense is WHY or WTF are we doing there in the first place? Where’s the freakin oil you promised BUSH? Show me the OIL!!

    Heloise

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    This is yet another example of Dave’s use of twisted premises and phony logic to prove…exactly nothing.

    As Jon says, what is your point? Americans who differ with the government should keep their mouths shut?

    Even more important to point out is that if the US hadn’t invaded in the first place, or at least hadn’t then proceeded to do a million things wrongly or incompetently in the post-invasion, there would be have been vastly less blood and treasure expended. Far more blood is on the hands of Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Bremer than on anyone in the “anti-war left” [Dave always conveniently conflates those two] or in the media.

    60-70% of the US public opposes the war now. [Do you brand them all “antiwar left”?] Do all of them have blood on their hands too?

    How much blood are you willing to admit is on your own hands for the sum total of ridiculous, specious articles you’ve published on this site defending the dismayingly bad Bush policies? And then more articles pretending you never really supported those policies? And now more articles saying anyone who disagrees with you is a traitor?

    Unbelievably offensive and awful piece. I don’t think Dave even believes this stuff himself…he’s just trying to get some hits for the site. Pitiful.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The title is also objectionable. It implies that “the terrorists” are all one thing, when it’s the insurgency in Iraq that’s being referred to. From yesterday’s “Five Years On” piece in the NY Times:

    …”money, far more than jihadist ideology, is a crucial motivation for a majority of Sunni insurgents, according to American officers in some Sunni provinces and other military officials in Iraq who have reviewed detainee surveys and other intelligence on the insurgency.

    Although many American military officials and politicians — and even the Iraqi public — use the term Al Qaeda as a synonym for the insurgency, some American and Iraqi experts say they believe that the number of committed religious ideologues remains small. They say that insurgent groups raise and spend money autonomously for the most part, with little centralized coordination or direction.

    Money from swindles in Iraq and from foreign patrons in places like Saudi Arabia allows a disparate, decentralized collection of insurgent cells to hire recruits and pay for large-scale attacks. But the focus on money is the insurgency’s weakness as well as its strength, and one reason loyalties can be traded. For now, at least 91,000 Iraqis, many of them former enemies of the American forces, receive a regular, American-paid salary for serving in neighborhood militias.”

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

    So you think we should just shut up?

    Where did I say or even imply that?

    Cooler and smarter heads keeping quiet (or acceding, like Hillary Clinton did) helped get us into this mess in the first place.

    Hillary enthusiastically jumped in with both feet. And at least part of my point is that if you are going to commit to something like this you need to do it completely and not change your mind halfway through and try to back out, thereby showing weakness and contributing to turning it into a disaster.

    But more to the point, look at the actual conclusions of the report and compare them to the incendiary tone of your headline.

    This is why it’s an opinion piece and not just a link to the article. I’m taking their work and drawing my own conclusions from it.

    They include the following:

    “To the extent that U.S. political speech does affect insurgent incentives, it changes things only by about 10-20 percent.”

    So that would be 400-800 US lives and 100-200 billion dollars then?

    And, “the insurgent response to low resolve periods may not represent an overall increase in the total number of attacks, but rather a change in the timing of attacks.”

    As I said in my commentary they are pretty timid in their conclusions from their data. I’m not.

    Finally, and most sensibly, and most egregious for you to have ignored: “From these results it is not possible to determine the benefits or costs of public debate. Without knowing the effect of changes in policy generated by this debate and the nature of changed perception of the insurgents about US casualty sensitivity, it is not possible to determine if criticism of U.S. policy is on balance bad.”

    It’s not possible to draw those conclusions because they choose not to draw them. It certainly IS possible to draw those conclusions from the data if you’re willing to take a stand and admit what the data implies.

    Dave

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

    Where’s the freakin oil you promised BUSH? Show me the OIL!!

    So you REALLY think the war is about oil? After all this time and all the evidence you still buy into that leftist canard? Incredible.

    Dave

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

    As Jon says, what is your point? Americans who differ with the government should keep their mouths shut?

    No. My point is that Americans who have caused the war to be prolonged and more difficult to resolve should be held accountable for their irresponsibility.

    Even more important to point out is that if the US hadn’t invaded in the first place, or at least hadn’t then proceeded to do a million things wrongly or incompetently in the post-invasion, there would be have been vastly less blood and treasure expended. Far more blood is on the hands of Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Bremer than on anyone in the “anti-war left” [Dave always conveniently conflates those two] or in the media.

    So two wrongs make a right in your book?

    60-70% of the US public opposes the war now. [Do you brand them all “antiwar left”?] Do all of them have blood on their hands too?

    Your figure is made up, as usual. And passive opposition to the war is far different from active and publicly vocal opposition.

    How much blood are you willing to admit is on your own hands for the sum total of ridiculous, specious articles you’ve published on this site defending the dismayingly bad Bush policies?

    Show me an article where I defended Bush or his policies as such. Explained, perhaps. Exposing truth about Iraq itself and the situation there, sure. Put in context, certainly. But defending policy as such, good luck.

    And then more articles pretending you never really supported those policies? And now more articles saying anyone who disagrees with you is a traitor?

    Handy. You don’t have the first idea what the real world is like and the real dangers which exist in it. Attacking me out of pure, whining, emotion and abyssmal ignorance wastes my time and yours.

    Unbelievably offensive and awful piece. I don’t think Dave even believes this stuff himself…he’s just trying to get some hits for the site. Pitiful.

    I certainly think hits for BC are a good thing, but there are much easier ways to generate hits than this if that’s what I was all about. I’m much more interested in assailing the self-righteous arrogance of the chronic capitulators of the left when opportunities present themselves.

    Dave

  • http://jonsobel.com/ Jon Sobel

    “So you think we should just shut up?” Where did I say or even imply that?

    Right in your article, when you said, “the media and their confederates in the anti-war left have a great deal of blood on their hands for which there should eventually be a reckoning.” If that doesn’t mean “they should have kept their mouths shut,” I don’t know what does. If I say “the war was a misbegotten, stupid and criminal act,” doesn’t that imply that I think it shouldn’t have been started? It’s the same thing.

    Of course you can draw conclusions from the report that the authors don’t. I do not agree that the data backs up the claim in your article title. The authors’ cautiousness appears to be based on their objectivity. From what I can see, you based your conclusion on a previously decided agenda.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I certainly think hits for BC are a good thing, but there are much easier ways to generate hits than this if that’s what I was all about.

    Yep. Like my Ron Paul experiment, for instance.

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

    Jon. A ‘reckoning’ does not mean shutting up. It means paying the price for your actions. IMO that should probably take the form of losing all political credibility, especially in the area of foreign affairs.

    But you’re quite right that my interpretation is different from that of the authors. I’m writing a political opinion article and they were writing an academic study. As for my ‘previously decided agenda’, yes it was already obvious to me from pure common sense and my familiarity with Islamic culture and the region that the behavior of the war opposition would encourage insurgents and terrorists, but it’s nice to have some statistical confirmation.

    Dave

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    but you don’t have any statistical confirmation. correlation and causation are not equivalent.

    but you already knew that.

  • Tony

    If anything, it is important for Americans to show that this disgrace of a President (dancing with Arab kings and shieks and begging for oil) does not represent the view of most Americans. That we do not support his baseless, Pearl Harbor-esque attack on Iraq and that we do not support his immoral and illegal policy of pre-emptivly attacking nations that we see as possible future threats.

    While in some small way American dissent may empower terrorist and prolong the war the real elongation of the war stems from a perverted President and a worthless Congress sending 18 year old kids, and all of our tax dollar, to a country an ocean away when that money, and those kids, should be here, making America great.

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

    “Unbelievably offensive and awful piece.”

    Sooo…what is your point? Blogcritics who disagree with you should just keep their mouths shut?

    ;-)

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

    “Pearl Harbor-esque attack on Iraq”

    Yeah, I’m sure Saddam never saw it coming!

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

    “While in some small way American dissent may empower terrorist and prolong the war”

    So you cede the point? That’s nice.

  • troll

    handyguy…the ‘blood on Dave’s hands’ has more to do with his war profiteering than with anything he has written

    when will there be a ‘reckoning’ for that behavior – ?

  • http://jonsobel.com/ Jon Sobel

    Dave’s a war profiteer? Is he supplying the armed forces with new fonts? I KNEW IT.

    Aside from the Pearl Harbor reference… right on, Tony.

  • Cannonshop

    Okay, the STUDY guys, he’s basing his assertion on the study. Now, from a purely tactical perspective, it’s hard to fault the result of that study. in a bar-fight, the guy who hesitates usually loses his teeth, and conflicted resolve in a street fight is an advantage for the guy who ISN’T suffering an inner conflict, even if he’s the smaller and weaker opponent.
    if the Insurgent leaders have any brains whatsoever, they’re familiar with these things, and it follows that protests and vacillation on the part of the U.S. is going to encourage them.
    it’s not a “Middle eastern” thing, it’s purely about strategy-if your opponent is distracted, he’s easier to defeat, and anyone with more than a minute’s experience in a fight knows that, while Officers are trained to recognize and latch on to this to their own advantage.

    Iraq used to have a LOT of officers and trained officers, Terror groups are often advised by officer-trained individuals from foreign states, so-called “insurgencies” recieve advice and training as well. As the writer referenced, the Tet Offensive wasn’t a spontaneous event, it was PLANNED, and it wasn’t about taking ground, it was about spurring American Anti-War sentiment (Gen. Giap’s own autobiography points this out.)

    It’s quite ridiculous to assert that bombing recruiting stations and rioting isn’t going to embolden “Insurgents” who have cable tee-vee and watch CNN. The leaders of these groups are NOT stupid, ignorant, or uninformed about the political conditions in the homeland of their opponents. (a difference there between the terrorists and their American, domestic, apologists, who for the most part ARE ignorant of basic military strategy, and proud of it.)

  • troll

    the study goes to prove what a poorly thought out strategy it was to take a divided nation to war

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

    “the study goes to prove what a poorly thought out strategy it was to take a divided nation to war”

    Opinion polls at the time of the invasion had around 70% of the American people supporting the war.

    That’s not unanimity, but it did have broad support. Like, from both houses of Congress.

  • Clavos

    “the study goes to prove what a poorly thought out strategy it was to take a divided nation to war

    ..Which in turn, goes to prove what a well thought out strategy it is to keep that nation divided until it finally collapses on its own…

  • http://jonsobel.com/ Jon Sobel

    A ‘reckoning’ does not mean shutting up.

    That’s circular. When you accuse someone of having blood on his hands, that’s an implicit criticism of what he did to get thus bloodied. Otherwise you’d say he “took the action that was required” or “acted in a necessary if distasteful way” or even “chose the lesser of two evils.” You wouldn’t say, “Blood on his hands!”

    If those who protest against unlawful and wrongheaded action by their government deserve partial blame and a reckoning of their own, then there is no meaning in anyone taking any action at all. There is, in effect, no meaning to the concept of a free society. Your argument here is a closed loop.

  • troll

    RJ – 2 to 1 represents a real division in my book

  • troll

    Clavos – Persians and Arabs are not stupid

  • Clavos

    It’s not just them, troll.

    People (and governments) all over the world are stoking that fire.

    Practically everybody wants to see it collapse…

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

    I’m not sure what the real contraversy is – this is a no-brainer. Of course the insurgency ebbs and flows according to the media coverage, the anti-war vs. pro-war sentiment etc., of course it impacts the timing or attacks, who the targets are etc… This is, bluntly, an unsurprising result from the study. It was true in Vietnam, it is true today.

    The current convergence of media and information technology makes this a dead easy equation to put together. The Iraqis are not stupid, neither is Al Quaeda – both have demonstrated a high degree of understanding of the usefulness of modern media and the Internet for propaganda and info-war as strategic and tactical elements of their overall actions.

    This isn’t new. From the Iraqi perspective, it is the most sensible strategic approach – one with demonstrated effectiveness against the US in previous wars…How on earth could you NOT see a connection? Claiming there isn’t is demonstrating hugely blinkered reasoning.

    However self-righteously claiming that “the anti-war left have a great deal of blood on their hands for which there should eventually be a reckoning” is divorcing action from reaction.

    The manifest error was in kicking off the war and in monumentally fumbling the aftermath. If the current adminsitration had not so egregiously handled the situation, the anti-war movement would not have “gotten legs”…and thus in turn emboldened and embiggened the insurgency etc. etc. etc.

    It is a classic chicken-or-egg scenario.

    If you want to get into tit-for-tat questions of what causal effect caused the most deaths, you are really engaging in a ridiculous (and unprovable) form of reasoning.

    The reality is that in an open, democratic society with free speech, the debate NEEDS to happen, and your enemies take that into account in their planning, so you need to take it into account when you do yours.

  • Lee Richards

    “My country right or wrong.”–Decatur

    “I was only following orders.”–Nuremberg

    “…the media and their confederates in the anti-war left have a great deal of blood on their hands…”–Nalle

    ***

    Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan were and are full of anti-American terrorists, but not Iraq until Bush’s invasion and botched aftermath planted them there in newly fertile ground.

    And we’re not supposed to notice that?

    Drawing logical, well-supported and warranted conclusions from a study is reasonable, but Nalle’s are so lacking in support(even from the study’s authors) and reason(agree or shut up), as to compare with claiming the sun revolves around the earth because misinterpreted, misapplied and made-up evidence is cited as real proof.

    And chickenhawks crow again, and the Big Lie lives on.

  • Bennett

    Dave,

    How does it feel to get you ass handed to you, again?

    You stepped way over the line with this travesty, an insult to all who cherish the concept of free speech.

    If anyone is encouraging the enemy, it is you.

    With your attempt to paint those that value freedom as bloody handed, you give solace to those that would cherish the Orwellian repression of free thinking patriots.

    Shame!

  • http://jonsobel.com/ Jon Sobel

    Well said, Deano. The whole world knows we have a free press and many in the populace who oppose our government’s warmongering.

    And speaking of which, citing opinion polls at the time of the invasion is worse than meaningless. At the time of the invasion, much of the country had been bamboozled by a misinformation campaign and poor intelligence about weapons of mass destruction.

  • Doug Hunter

    No, I don’t really encourage the terrorists. Rarely does an individual have that platform, but there is someone who can provide that platform and take none of the blame for it. If you guessed the media you’d be absolutely correct.

    The media stokes wars, incites riots, enflames racial tension, destroys lives, propagate conspiracy theories, creates a homogenous society based on sex greed and envy, and generally gives a platform to imbeciles and hatemongers all while hiding behind the freedom granted their great profession because those things sell copy. They have awesome power and absolutely zero responsibility.

    I don’t have an answer.

  • Pablo

    How to encourage terrorism

    Invade a country that has never posed a threat to our country. Bomb the living shit out of them for months. Send in 150,000 goons to kill and maim more people. Set up torture facilities in the military prison system, and torture prisoners. Send in more troops. Raid countless peoples homes and destroy their dignity.

    Yup a very easy recipe, and it has worked so well.
    Unfortunately people such as Dave do not have the common sense to see this, and people such as himself with his political beliefs will only encourage more terrorism. Shame on you Dave, but I do support your right to express yourself, even at the cost of more human suffering.

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

    How does it feel to get you ass handed to you, again?

    Handed to me in the sense of everyone who disagreed with me eventually restating my thesis and essentially agreeing as Deano did in #26?

    Admitting something is the truth and then trying to dismiss or minimize it isn’t a terribly winning argument.

    You stepped way over the line with this travesty, an insult to all who cherish the concept of free speech.

    It’s an insult to free speech to point out that free speech has consequences? Come again?

    If anyone is encouraging the enemy, it is you.

    How does that follow?

    With your attempt to paint those that value freedom as bloody handed, you give solace to those that would cherish the Orwellian repression of free thinking patriots.

    Ah, that’s a different enemy. That’s the other agenda of the left, to enshrine defeatism and treachery as dissent and dismiss obvious good sense as warmongering.

    Dave

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

    I think Doug has a very pertinent point in #30 and I did try to stress it in the article – though everyone sort of skipped past it.

    The anti-war left would be relatively harmless were it not for the media giving their behavior a prominence and a legitimacy it might not have otherwise. It’s the collusion between the two which produces the problem I examine in the article.

    Dave

  • troll

    Jon asked – Dave’s a war profiteer?

    yup…and I recommend that all other stock owners check themselves and their portfolios

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    But we will never “finish” this war, as HRC finally admitted today. We need to come home, now. President Obama will do what needs to be done, starting next January. All your foolish attempts to justify an immoral, illegal, useless conflict will then finally lose their point.

    The deliberately divisive ugliness of this article goes beyond most of Dave’s previous work. His unbelievable crassness in the comments section is also his worst ever. Congratulations.

    A new low for this site.

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

    Stick around, Handy. I’m sure I’ll eventually say more truthful things which you find threatening in your little safety zone.

    And BTW, having committed to this particular front in the inevitable war with Islam, your suggested pull-out would be the height of suicidal irresponsibility.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Some of Mr. Nalle’s greatest hits:

    So the story here is not really the unsupportable claim of 100,000 casualties, but the less alarming but really much more impressive fact that the war and pacification of the country has been carried out with so amazingly few civilian casualties…
    –Dave Nalle, Jan 2005

    Dave’s cited source for “only” 17,000 civilian deaths, the web site Iraq Body Count, now lists 89,710.

    GWB hits a relentlessly positive note in his speeches and in his policy proposals…If the country has problems and you try to fix them that’s not acting out of fear, that’s taking positive initiative to change things for the better.

    I know I’m not afraid because GWB is president or because of anything he says. The fact that he has plans and knows what he wants to do and is confident in his initiatives reinforces my feeling of progress and positivism.
    –DN, Jan 2005

    Iraq has proven to be the perfect place to focus our efforts to break the growing power of Radical Islam.

    Iraq is not Vietnam. In Vietnam we fought for a principle. In Iraq we are fighting for much more practical and pragmatic reasons and with a concrete, identifiable goal.
    — DN, March 2005

    Just as Iraq was a good place to fight because of its location and potential for success, Bush ought to look for one or two other soft targets to move on to once the situation in Iraq resolves itself. He needs to steel himself to selling the American people on the idea of ongoing warfare in multiple locations with the objective of keeping the terrorists occupied and spreading order and democracy in troubled parts of the world.

    His next target should probably be Sudan, because it’s a breeding ground for Islamic discontent, relatively easy to take on, and will win him some good credit internationally. He ought to move troops there as soon as a significant number can be taken out of Iraq. Operations in Sudan shouldn’t take more than a few months, but the situation there will require long-term occupation which we’lll have to do even if the UN doesn’t get off its ass and help. After Sudan Bush should look closely at Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia.

    — DN, May 2005

    There’s more, but I just can’t bear to read it or repeat it. Would he care to disown any of this nonsense now, or take his usual tact of rationalizing it?

  • Bennett

    How does it feel to get your ass handed to you, again?

    “Handed to me in the sense of everyone who disagreed with me eventually restating my thesis and essentially agreeing as Deano did in #26? Admitting something is the truth and then trying to dismiss or minimize it isn’t a terribly winning argument.”

    Again, you misrepresent the whole of what Deano (and every other person who commented) puts forth. He doesn’t back you up in your assertion that speaking out against the war causes more bloodshed, but only that it may change the timing of the attacks. Same bloodshed, different day.

    You stepped way over the line with this travesty, an insult to all who cherish the concept of free speech.

    “It’s an insult to free speech to point out that free speech has consequences? Come again?”

    Of course it has consequences, but not the ones you draw in this article.

    If anyone is encouraging the enemy, it is you.

    “How does that follow?”

    The real enemies of freedom are those that would sacrifice the public debate of national policy in the hopes that “the enemy” will be so darn scared of our “united front” that they’ll just give up and go home. Get real! It was the united resolve of men who valued freedom over security that founded this country, and those of us that hold the same values will not let you twist the truth of the matter when it comes to free speech.

    With your attempt to paint those that value freedom as bloody handed, you give solace to those that would cherish the Orwellian repression of free thinking patriots.

    “Ah, that’s a different enemy. That’s the other agenda of the left, to enshrine defeatism and treachery as dissent and dismiss obvious good sense as warmongering.”

    Ah, that’s the twisted logic of the right wing war profiteer telling the concerned mother that “we know what we’re doing, now get on home with your poor self”. Dave, your “obvious good sense” reaches only as far as your pocketbook. As far as “enshrining defeatism and treachery”, if that’s how you see free speech and public debate, I pity you.

    Bennett

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

    Nothing there to deny or disown, Handy. You can post all the out-of-context quotes you like. I’ve freely admitted that I do frequently post things based in the real world, proposing logical next steps based on what has gone before, even if I don’t agree with what went before.

    I’m afraid I don’t see much useful purpose in responding to things as they are today by decrying something which happened years ago which could or should have been done differently.

    DAve

  • jamminsue

    No one seems to get the idea that the insurgents WANT us to be on the fence. That gives them an “in” with more decent people.
    An old example is how the Mafia wanted to keep Prohibition going because it meant more money to them, for making booze and “protection” rackets. Without the controversy, the issue dies and the money dries up so the “bad guys” go home.

    What is so hard to understand?

  • Clavos

    “and I recommend that all other stock owners check themselves and their portfolios”

    To what end, troll?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Fine, Dave. You and Sen. McCain can schedule those invasions of Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria…from your shared cell in the funny farm. Our treasury is depleted, our morale is shot to hell, but at least we’ll have a legacy, damn it! And don’t forget to “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran” while you’re at it.

    Still think Iraq is “the perfect place” for us to fight the Islamists? Think we’re accomplishing much on that front? Bully for you.

    Still feeling that rush of positivism and progress as the collapsing credit markets lead the country into the deepest rut in 15 years [or perhaps 30]? Oh, I forgot. That’s a leftist conspiracy too, isn’t it?

    I used to have a modicum of respect for you. But too much of what you write is fraudulent. And your inability to admit even one error in judgment is both laughable and unsavory.

  • troll

    in anticipation of the ‘reckoning’ of course

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Beyond my comments on the piece’s author and his serial habit of false assertions, it is really quite tiresome, and repugnant, to have one’s patriotism questioned.

    There’s plenty of room to argue about the consequences of leaving Iraq. But don’t tell me I don’t love my country or its ideals.

    This tired device has been used by the right constantly since at least the 1930s. Is it just possible that you might go a month or three without resorting to it?

    A lot to ask, I know.

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

    The real enemies of freedom are those that would sacrifice the public debate of national policy in the hopes that “the enemy” will be so darn scared of our “united front” that they’ll just give up and go home. Get real! It was the united resolve of men who valued freedom over security that founded this country, and those of us that hold the same values will not let you twist the truth of the matter when it comes to free speech.

    Do note that I’m hardly the one here objecting to free speech. I’m the one whose ‘unpopular’ speech is under attack. And for the record the nation was far from united during the revolution. And if you can’t see the difference between debating policy and actively working against the best interests of the nation, you’re a lost cause.

    With your attempt to paint those that value freedom as bloody handed, you give solace to those that would cherish the Orwellian repression of free thinking patriots.

    We all value freedom. Some of us understand that the price paid for it is being responsible.

    Ah, that’s the twisted logic of the right wing war profiteer telling the concerned mother that “we know what we’re doing, now get on home with your poor self”. Dave, your “obvious good sense” reaches only as far as your pocketbook. As far as “enshrining defeatism and treachery”, if that’s how you see free speech and public debate, I pity you.

    This whole ‘war profiteer’ thing is a pretty cheap shot. I originally invested in Haliburton because their type of infrastructure services are always in demand and it was just coincidence that war makes those services more valuable. Damn me for not investing in fairycakes and dreampalaces. Oh wait, I bought Global Crossing that great brainchild of left-leaning media geniuses. Lost my shirt on it too.

    Dave

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

    Beyond my comments on the piece’s author and his serial habit of false assertions, it is really quite tiresome, and repugnant, to have one’s patriotism questioned.

    Out of curiosity, who questioned your patriotism here, Handy? It certainly wasn’t me. I didn’t say word one about your motivations.

    Ah well, just another of the gross misrepresentations you throw in between your personal attacks.

    Dave

  • Pat the Expat

    “A rational terrorist model”?

    That’s an oxymoron.

    The author of the article comes off as awfully naive and appears to be using a flawed report to justify his beliefs. Who are these 1400 Iraqis? Are they invloved in the insurgency? Surely they didn’t speak to succesful suicide bombers, so the responses of what is actually triggering the increase in violence is suspect.

    If people speaking out against the iraq war are responsible for 5-10% increase, should we also believe the terrorists who tell us that the US is responsible for 9/11?

    “My point is that Americans who have caused the war to be prolonged and more difficult to resolve should be held accountable for their irresponsibility.”

    If that was actually your point, where’s the mention of the Bush Administration?

  • bliffle

    Had we pursued OBL and settled that issue in 2001-2002 we would probably have finished off the terrorist threatand our measured response to 9/11 would have earned worldwide support. But diverting the invasion to Iraq appears unreasonable and faked to most people in the world.

    Now we are blamed for the deaths in Iraq. Our invasion only made us the killers of Iraqis instead of Saddam.

    Everything went wrong. Nothing followed the Bush/Cheney dreams.

    We have bungled an opportunity and made our nation a Terrorist Nation. How dreadful.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    While we’ve been worrying about other things here in the US, life in Iraq has gone on, moving step by step towards normality…The level of terrorist violence in Iraq has stabilized at a point where it can be factored in as an inconvenient fact of life.
    — DN, Sept 2005

    This gem was written as car bombings were on a steady increase, by over 40% from 2005 to 2006 and 60% from 2006 to 2007.

    Where was the ‘inspired’ notion of a ‘surge’ during this period? And now how many more ‘surges’ will it take, and how long will they have to last?

    If you’re going to insist on all-out war as the only acceptable alternative, then spell it out: how long? how many years? how many bodies? Do you really think that’s tenable? I doubt you do.

    So what, really, in the end, is the argument you’re actually making?

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

    Handy, it’s not ‘all out war’ if it has a time limit, a casualty limit or a budget limit.

    As for the ‘surge’, as I’ve said before the surge is fairly meaningless. It’s the change in strategy which began in 2005 which has actually made a difference in Iraq.

    And Bliffle, if you’re still trotting out the bogeyman of OBL you’re not seeing the larger picture, but that’s the mentality of the rabbit, always looking for the hawk and not noticing that a snake has taken up residence in his burrow and eaten all his brothers and sisters.

    Dave

  • bliffle

    Maybe Dave has no intention other than to stir up activity on BC.

    Maybe more BC activity just improves his CV as a potential columnist for, say PowerLine, or NRO.

    Maybe.

  • Clavos

    I’m not worried about the reckoning, troll.

    I think I’ll just continue to be a war profiteer until there’s no longer a war from which to profit.

    Probably will be a while. Bet we’re in Darfur before the end of the first Dem administration…

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

    Bet we’re in Darfur before the end of the first Dem administration…

    And I bet we hire Haliburton to provide support services once we’re there.

    Dave

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

    “armed forces with new fonts?”

    Artillery Condensed Bold. The goal is to corrupt the terrorists’ cross platform network with TrueType fonts.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I don’t know why anybody’s feathers have been ruffled here. Your government built up the muhajedin in Afghanistan, allied itself with the Wahhabi against the Russians. Then, your government went after the wrong enemy in the first place, double-crossing Saddam Hussein (a loyal ally who went to war for you against Iran) in 1990, and then, when Saudi terrorists struck you, fomenting war agianst the dictator you had double-crossed.

    Now, your economy is up shit’s creek because you poured all your money into the Tigris and Euphrates, and you are being blamed for unneccessary brutality against the victims of the dictator you yourselves built up – Saddam Hussein.

    The way I see it, you are only getting your just desserts for allowing yourselves to be fooled by your own oil and banking establishment. You are being punished for blind greed, and for blindly following the greedy.

    This will sound cruel, but you deserve what you are getting.

  • Cannonshop

    Well… Ruvy, put in the simple ugly of it, Saddam wasn’t so much a “Loyal Ally” as he was a “Useful tool”, and when he stopped being a useful tool, his other shortcomings came to the fore, and like Manuel Noriega (another one-time useful tool) he had to be removed. Unlike the French and the Soviets, we Americans aren’t in the habit of leaving our trash lying around waiting to explode randomly. That’s also the real tragedy of Afghanistan-we helped them win, but we didn’t finish the job after they beat the Soviets, so Pakistan (led by another useful tool, but one with just barely enough remaining use not to be put down) supported the Taliban in stabilizing the country in a way that served the interests of their leadership.

    Osama and Hussein are great examples of why you don’t leave your more extreme weapons to run where they wish when you’re done, and the war in Iraq demonstrates that it’s a lot harder to clean up a mess you left behind if you let it fester.

    You, of all people, should understand this-the PLO and its various offshoots are a hangover from the soviet era’s policies of ‘Supporting Progressive Movements’ (arming and supplying people who want Americans and Jews dead). The only difference being that the U.S. has started occasionally removing the cancerous bastards when they become inconvenient.

  • Pablo

    RIGHT ON RUDY!!!

  • Pablo

    I wonder when Dave is going to stop encouraging terrorism. It is highly unbecoming of him.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Of all people, Cannonshop, I appreciate that someone who goes to war for eight years over a few hundred square kilometers of territory, (Saddam Hussein) is a lot more than a “useful tool”. The blood of millions of Iraqis are on the hands of George H.W. Bush, first for encouraging the bastard (Saddam Hussein) to sacrifice so many of his own citizens in a purposeless war to satisfy American desires to weaken Iran and second, for the policy of starving Iraqis he pursued because he didn’t have the balls to remove his “useful tool” from office in 1991.

    The USA is an awful big dog, and when it takes a shit, it stinks up the whole neighborhood. And now that I live in that neighborhood, I can sure smell that shit.

    Usually the rule is “no dog smells his own”. But the impending financial collapse of the United States due to pursuing this war is bringing home to Americans the stink, the awful stink, of policies of betrayal and blind greed that the American government has followed.

    Mind you, Cannonshop, it is not that my sympathies for Iraqi Arabs are aroused, so much as that my sense of anger seeing injustice pursued and acquiesced to, rouses me to speak truth to power.

    the PLO and its various offshoots are a hangover from the soviet era’s policies of ‘Supporting Progressive Movements’ (arming and supplying people who want Americans and Jews dead).

    So why is it that the spike heeled bitch, Rice, and her bosses support the PLO and this ridiculous “two-state” solution? “Palestiniasn” Arabs have all of Jordan to live in if they wish a state, and should have Jordanian citizenship if they live here. THAT is a solution. Israeli leaders come cheap and because they have all been bought out by the U.S. or the E.U., a kotzer ruaH (look it up, guys) has descended upon Israel, its Jews and upon all its institutions.

    WHY SHOULD JEWS DIE TO PLEASE YOUR GOVERNMENT? Is this the price of your “foreign aid”? If it is, keep it!

    We can clean up our own messes, thank you, and we do not need Americans (especially the know-it-all American Jews like Eric Yoffie and Alan Dershowitz) to interfere in our own affairs, telling us how to handle rebellious Arabs.

    And it is about time we started calling these “Palestinians” for what they are – rebellious Arabs and fifth columnist terrorists in our midst.

    Dissent in America at the stupid policies of your government in draining you of all of your money is healthy – very healthy. But until you actually go after your real enemies, the Wahhabis and the government in the White House that acquiesces to their criminal savagery and kisses their asses, you Americans will suffer the consequences of their actions. Full stop.

  • troll

    Clavos – war is a matter of individual free choice…it saddens me that someone as intelligent and decent as you clearly are would choose death and destruction for a profit

    …and btw how much do you want to wager on that Darfur prediction – ?

    Dave – pointing out the blood on the hands of war profiteers is not a cheap shot…it’s a call to action

    I hope that folks who claim to be against this war and yet make money off of it will ponder the disconnect and take responsibility for their behavior

  • troll

    (…oh yeah – my bet is that ‘we’ bomb the shit out of Pakistan before the year is over)

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

    And would Hillary’s bombing campaign in Pakistan be a good or a bad thing, Troll?

    Dave

  • troll

    bad

  • troll

    (Dave – I think that you still mistake me for someone who gives a shit about partisan politics

    …but I do realize that this piece is your opening barrage in a series of articles supporting Mac’s positions – it’s time after all)

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    it’s not ‘all out war’ if it has a time limit, a casualty limit or a budget limit.

    Meaning that if it’s open-ended in terms of time, blood and money, that’s just fine with you? Then say so. If it’s not acceptable to you – that is, if you are a thinking, feeling human – then what is?

    You [and John McCain] conveniently refuse to characterize this. I think it’s because you know this absolutist position will not stand, so you won’t have to deal with the reality of it.

    My own feeling is that we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t…so we should withdraw and stop throwing money and young lives down a rathole. There will be consequences – but there will be consequences if we stay at current troop levels too.

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

    but I do realize that this piece is your opening barrage in a series of articles supporting Mac’s positions – it’s time after all

    Actually, I don’t think it’s time yet. Though there is one of his issues that has caught my fancy and which I’ll probably write on.

    it’s not ‘all out war’ if it has a time limit, a casualty limit or a budget limit.

    Meaning that if it’s open-ended in terms of time, blood and money, that’s just fine with you?

    You’re the one who brought up the issue of ‘all out war’, not me. I merely pointed out that it isn’t ‘all out’ if there are limits on it.

    I think it’s still early enough in this war (and by that I mean the meta-war with Islam) that we have a lot of options open to us which are short of total war, including diplomacy, covert operations, propaganda and various forms of limited warfare.

    Then say so. If it’s not acceptable to you – that is, if you are a thinking, feeling human – then what is?

    I have always favored addressing this problem with a combination of methods but spearheaded by cultural subversion. All of our current problems originate with our failure to support and defend secular states in Lebanon and Iran with as much determination as we have supported one in Israel. Had we done that we could have spread secularism as a counter to Islam in a domino-pattern through Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Pakistan and Turkey all of which were ripe for secularization in the 1960s and even the 1970s.

    We were in a position to end the threat of Islam once and for all, and we threw it away because of a one-sided policy of supporting Israel without providing the same kind of support to secular Arabs and Persians at the same time. It was a disastrous foreign-policy blunder which led directly to the situation we are in now. If there were a Nobel anti-peace prize it should go to Jimmy Carter for his naively incompetent foreign policy.

    We’re now faced with trying to turn the clock back to that time, and because of Bush’s rash decision to invade Iraq we’re committed to trying to establish our secular cultural beachhead there, because if we fail there then we will see another phase of increased radicalization like we saw in the 1980s. And the next phase of radicalization will likely be intolerable and put us in a position which requires the total war which none of us wants.

    At this point we need an Iraq which can be our new Iran and Lebanon rolled into one and if we can’t achieve that we’re in serious trouble.

    My own feeling is that we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t…so we should withdraw and stop throwing money and young lives down a rathole. There will be consequences – but there will be consequences if we stay at current troop levels too.

    But which will produce worse consequences, staying or going? Very few who support withdrawal understand the consequences we will be faced with as a result. The reason to support McCain in this is that he will get us out of Iraq, but he will do it from a position of relative strength rather than engaging in a unilateral withdrawal followed by disengagement with the entire region, which is what the Democrats will do based on past performance.

    Failure to resolve the Iraq situation positively and just give up instead, will lay the groundwork for a horrendous world war somewhere not too far down the line, a war in which I suspect one of the main fronts will be the cities of Europe, and the level of death and devastation will make the current conflict in Iraq look like a picnic.

    Oh? Just like your protesting of the Vietnam War gave aid and comfort to the enemy, Nalle?

    I was just a teenager, MCH, but even then I understood that it made sense to protest the draft while still supporting the principle of opposing the spread of communism in southeast asia.

    Dave

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

    “Had we pursued OBL and settled that issue in 2001-2002 we would probably have finished off the terrorist threat …”

    Does anyone seriously believe that killing Osama would mean that all the Islamic extremist terrorists disappear? I mean, there are thousands of them, who trained in terrorist camps in Afghanistan, Sudan, and elsewhere (mostly during the Clinton years). And they have literally millions of sympathizers across the Islamic world, many of whom donate to “charities” that are really just front groups than funnel money to al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist cells.

    Killing Osama would be nice, of course. But it won’t “win” the war. Anyone who makes such a claim simply does not understand the radical Islamic movement.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Bin Laden is mostly a symbol. His death would carry mostly symbolic weight. Some would see him as a martyr and it might give his ideas even more appeal.

    But I don’t believe most of the right-wingers on here “understand” radical Islam any better than anyone else. Quite the opposite in several cases. Several of the lefties too. As a whole, we Americans are all rather pitifully ignorant and tend to bloviate at the drop of a hat. We should read a lot more before asserting too much.

    I am glad to see Dave at least give some lip service to the value of propaganda and diplomacy in battling the jihadists. The militarist approach of the Bushies was almost entirely wrongheaded from the start, based on emotion rather than a long-term view of consequences.

    And all of this is mostly tangential to Iraq anyway, and vice versa.

  • REMF

    “I mean, there are thousands of them, who trained in terrorist camps in Afghanistan, Sudan, and elsewhere (mostly during the Clinton years). And they have literally millions of sympathizers across the Islamic world, many of whom donate to “charities” that are really just front groups than funnel money to al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist cells.”

    Uh-huh, and all of which have multiplied twenty-fold since our invasion of Iraq.

    ————————–

    “Killing Osama would be nice, of course. But it won’t “win” the war. Anyone who makes such a claim simply does not understand the radical Islamic movement.”

    Staying at home won’t “win” the “war” either, it’s going to take getting up from the computer and heading down to the recruiter’s office. And anyone who claims this is an actual “war” simply doesn’t understand global urban terrorism.

  • Pablo

    I still hope very much that Dave will stop encouraging terrorism by aplologizing to the Iraqi people for the acts of our government, in killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, and setting up torture chambers in that country. This in my opinion is what has led to the increase in terrorists in that country, some would call them freedom fighters, or people protecting their homeland (homeland security), however you want to label them it is caused mostly by people that supported entering an illegal pre-emptive war that has caused nothing but mayhem, death, injury and a loss of our honor worldwide. Please Dave denounce this atrocity for what it is, and do not encourage terrorism anymore!!

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

    Pablo, you really do exist in a realm largely divorced from the reality which the rest of us occupy.

    You’re so obsessed with made-up conspiracies that you don’t see the real conspiracy of the transnational socialist elite whose agenda you promote every day as a willing dupe.

    Dave

  • Pablo

    If you say so Dave, keep on encouraging the terrorists, great!

  • Pablo

    Dave,
    you said:
    “Pablo, you really do exist in a realm largely divorced” from THE reality which the rest of us occupy.”

    Thank you sir, I could not have expressed it more elequently than you have, without seeming egostistical. I wholeheartedly agree with your appraisal of me in this particular post.

  • Pablo

    Oh and Dave?
    On the subject of Socialism, of the more virulent variety, Communism. I would like to remind you of what David Rockyfeller said in 1973. You know David, Dave, that socialist. Founder of the Trilateral Commission, biggest wig at the CFR, attendee of most Bilderberg meeting of the last 50 years, and the USA’s chief resident Globalist. He said:

    “Whatever the price of the Chinese Revolution, it has obviously succeeded not only in producing more efficient and dedicated administration, but also in fostering high morale and community of purpose…. The social experiment in China under Chairman Mao’s leadership is one of the most important and successful in human history.”
    -David Rockefeller, 1973

    Cute huh? Gotta love that Rocky!!

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

    I’ll leave you to revel in your dark love for David Rockefeller. I think he was a strange and twisted individuall, but he certainly wasn’t a socialist. He just saw it as a way to organize labor to the benefit of international capitalism. But then you’re not much of a fan of capitalism on that scale, right?

    You remind me that I need to finish up my article outlining the two kinds of globalism and the differences between them.

    Dave

  • Pablo

    Um Dave, you said:
    “I’ll leave you to revel in your dark love for David Rockefeller. I think he WAS a strange and twisted individuall, but he certainly WASN’T a socialist.”

    I have some startling news for ya Davey boy. Mr. David Rockefeller IS still very much alive and kickin. I just thought you might want to know that if your going to write an article on Globalism as he is arguably the biggest and richest proponent of it.

    Heres another quote for ya, you might want to even incorporate it into your article!

    “Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.” – From Rockefeller’s “Memoirs”, (p.405).

    Kind of hard to take that particular quote out of context there Davey boy, don’t ya think?

    Also from a recent book entitled “Trading Truth for a “Social Gospel” by Berit Kjos

    “In 1907, Rauschenbusch met with the leaders of Fabian socialism in England, Sidney Webb and Beatrice Potter Webb. Unlike impatient Marxist revolutionaries, the methodical Fabians emphasized peaceful transformation through propaganda and infiltration of universities, seminaries and churches.

    Through the years, this socialist movement grew to include Bertrand Russell, H. G. Wells (who wrote Open Conspiracy), playwright George Bernard Shaw, Sinclair Lewis, Theosophical leader Annie Besant, and the Communist leader Harry Dexter White who worked with Alger Hiss to establish the United Nations.[10] It spread through Western nations — thanks, in part, to liberal churches that preached its message as if backed by the authority of God.

    As you saw in Part 1, the Rockefellers and other powerful “change agents” fueled this movement. Their funding would sway universities, seminaries, and churches from coast to coast. It supported psycho-social research through Hitler’s eugenics program, through London’s Tavistock Institute, and through various American Universities and institutions. This new “science” would raise propaganda, persuasion, and mind control to ever more sophisticated levels.”

    Sure hes not a socialist Dave, and theres an Easter Bunny too Bucko. I suggest if your going to do an article on Globalism and its proponents you at least do your homework, or I will have a field day with you. I can’t wait!

  • bliffle

    If, after 9/11, we had chased down the perpetrators, presumably OBL, swiftly and purposely, the extant terrorist threat would have been diminished or arrested. But using 9/11 as an excuse to bully Saddam was seen as cynical and deceitful around the world. THAT, coupled with Gitmo and Abu Graib, is what draws recruits to terrorism.

    The biggest encouragers of terrorism are Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc., and their apologists like the war team at BC.

  • Pablo

    Dave,

    I am still waiting for you to renounce terrorism and those of YOU that are encouraging it.

  • Pablo

    HOW CUTE DAVEY BOY

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

    “all of which have multiplied twenty-fold since our invasion of Iraq.”

    Cite for that “twenty-fold” figure? Or just your usual bullshit?

    [edited]

  • REMF

    ^
    From CBS News:

    “The U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq has increased the number of terrorist groups worldwide and “made the overall terrorism problem worse,” a U.S. intelligence official said in a secret study.

    The assessment of the war’s impact on terrorism came in a National Intelligence Estimate that represents a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government, CBS News learned Sunday. CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante reports that the intelligence report contained some broad conclusions:

    **The U.S. presence in Iraq is providing new recruits for militant Islam.
    **The movement has spread and is now “self-generating.”
    **While inspired by al Qaeda, the radical movement is no longer directly tied to Osama bin Laden.
    **Because of the Internet, the radical Islamist movement is more connected and no longer isolated.

    The details of the Intelligence Estimate were first published in Sunday’s New York Times and Washington Post.”

    (Sept. 26, 2006, cbsnews.com)

  • bliffle

    “The paper is a brief but thorough statistical analysis based on data from neutral sources and on direct interviews with about 1,400 Iraqis in major urban areas.”

    It’s surprising to me that among 1400 Iraqis one could find a statistically significant number whose willingness to kill Americans is based on what they read in American papers.

    If there are so many so disposed, then the inherent opposition to the US Invasion must be much greater than is usually admitted by the administration.

    One would think, then, that a prudent US President contemplating invasion of a foreign country would take that into account when weighing his decision. Especially after reflecting on past wars.

    But we know that Bush is neither prudent or aware of past wars, except for the vaguest notions, perhaps gleaned from watching History Channel reruns of WW2 glories.

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

    It’s surprising to me that among 1400 Iraqis one could find a statistically significant number whose willingness to kill Americans is based on what they read in American papers.

    I think you’re misreading the paper a bit if that’s what you’re coming up with. First off, the media they are exposed to is primarily in video form or on the internet. They have satellite dishes and internet access is widespread. Even with all the chaos it is one of the most active telecommunications markets in the middle east. Second, they didn’t get responses where people said they would go out and commit acts of terrorism, they got responses where people said that some terrorist acts were justified. Not at all the same thing.

    If there are so many so disposed, then the inherent opposition to the US Invasion must be much greater than is usually admitted by the administration.

    I’ve written on this before, and if you want sources for this, go find my prior articles on Iraqi public opinion. To summarize public opinion in Iraq, it goes like this. Most people agree that the invasion was a good thing when asked that question. About an equal number agree that the ongoing presence of US troops is a bad thing. But at the same time a similar majority believe that the ongoing presence of US troops is necessary until their government is stable and can stand on its own. A significant minority also believe that terrorism against foreigners is justifiable so long as they are in the country. So paradoxically there must be a signficiant portion of the population who both want the US troops there and support them, but also expect them to get hit by terrorists and think that’s a good thing.

    One would think, then, that a prudent US President contemplating invasion of a foreign country would take that into account when weighing his decision. Especially after reflecting on past wars.

    If you read the polls at the time of the invasion, a large majority of Iraqis supported the invasion. Bush was not wrong on that score. If he had preserved the army and replaced Saddam with Chalabi or Allawi as a new ‘president’ backed by the existing Iraqi army we’d have peace in Iraq now, minimal US military presence and they’d probably have been able to hold some sort of semi-legit election in the time that’s passed. The rush to democratize the country and dismantle the old army was idealistic idiocy.

    Dave

  • bliffle

    All guesswork. :

    “If he had preserved the army and replaced Saddam with Chalabi or Allawi as a new ‘president’ backed by the existing Iraqi army we’d have peace in Iraq now, minimal US military presence and they’d probably have been able to hold some sort of semi-legit election in the time that’s passed.”

  • bliffle

    One must laugh at mention of the name “Chalabi”.

    Some people never let go.

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

    Bliffle, since it didn’t happen that way, what do you expect me to have except ‘guesswork’. Never mind that the ‘guesswork’ is supported by numerous prior examples of similar situations, and every element of logic and statements from people in positions of leadership in Iraq, including among the insurgents.

    As for Chalabi, this is clearly what folks at the Pentagon and CIA had in mind for him before the invasion and that plan getting overriden by the administration. Sure, Chalabi was a lying scumbag, but how does that disqualify him as a puppet dictator?

    Dave

  • bliffle

    Some nitwit said:

    “If there were a Nobel anti-peace prize it should go to Jimmy Carter for his naively incompetent foreign policy.”

    This non-fan of Jimmy Carter must point out that Carter negotiated the Israel-Egypt peace, which endures to this day. For all of Condi Rices huffing and puffing she’s been unable to accomplish anything similar.

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

    Bliff, at the time of the settlement most of the credit was rightly given to Begin and Arafat who were joint men-of-the-year on the Time cover, not to Carter.

    Carter gave away the Panama canal and made Iran the theocratic disaster it is today. Those far outweigh being in the white house at the right time to take part of the credit for Sadat and Begin working things out.

    Dave

  • bliffle

    Spin spin spin. Can’t stand to let Carter get his little bit of credit.

    It was Eisenhower who OKed the 1953 coup against Mossadegh. that’s what set the Iranians against us.

    You cite the Time magazine? Is that how low you’ve sunk for citations, a stupid pop magazine founded by Henry Luce?

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

    Bliffle, the Shah’s regime made Iranians happy, prosperous and educated. It didn’t set them against us, it just gave the fanatics an excuse to make us into the ‘great satan’ they needed to use as the target for the hate of the outsider that drives most totalitarian movements. Go talk to an educated Iranian who lived under the Shah sometime. They’re easy to find, most of them live here in the US now.

    Dave

  • STM

    Bliff,

    The regime in Teheran is very unpopular with the locals right now. Educated Iranians, and there a lot of them, have really had it up to their foreheads with the current administration but it’s not likely they’ll have a huge opportunity to change it. And the last thing they want to do is have their country meddling in situations that might get it in hot water.

    It’s all cyclical … just when things seem like they’re easing off a bit, you get a silly bugger like Ahma-bin-a-bad come along, whose strings are being pulled by some of the more radical or conservatibve mullahs, which drowns out the voices of those Shia clerics and administrators given to a tad more moderation.

    Also, the US gets blamed a lot for stuff that it doesn’t really have that much of a hand in – beyond what you’d expect of any country trying to protect its own interests.

    Americans, while not always free of blame, have nevertheless been made the scapegoat too often for situations that are wholly created by those doing the criticising.

    Old trick: It serves to distract the locals, but in Iran right now, they’re awake up to that. Maybe it’s time we in the west accepted that notion too – up to a point.

    Truth is, nothing’s that black and white.

    My experience is that Dave, for all his smoke and mirrors posturing on occasion, is not always wrong as a matter of course either, especially about the middle-east – a subject on which we both have more than a passing interest.

    He’s also right in that the Shah’s regime, whilst somewhat heavy-handed with certain sections of the populace determined to have Iran returned to the middle-ages, brought prosperity to the country – and not all of it to be just enjoyed by the ruling elite.