September 26, 2006

"It will stop all the speculation, all the politics about somebody saying something about Iraq..."

President Bush says about releasing more of the National Intelligence Estimate that was partially leaked the other day. I can't believe the politics and speculation will stop but it's good to have more of the document, here. Excerpt:
United States-led counterterrorism efforts have seriously damaged the leadership of al-Qa’ida and disrupted its operations; however, we judge that al-Qa’ida will continue to pose the greatest threat to the Homeland and US interests abroad by a single terrorist organization. We also assess that the global jihadist movement — which includes al-Qa’ida, affiliated and independent terrorist groups, and emerging networks and cells—is spreading and adapting to counterterrorism efforts....
We assess that the global jihadist movement is decentralized, lacks a coherent global strategy, and is becoming more diffuse. New jihadist networks and cells, with anti-American agendas, are increasingly likely to emerge. The confluence of shared purpose and dispersed actors will make it harder to find and undermine jihadist groups...
We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere.
• The Iraq conflict has become the "cause celebre" for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.
So the NIE underscores the importance of victory in Iraq.

85 comments:

JohnF said...

Well, this is ceertainly a good quote Ann uses:

"The Iraq conflict has become the "cause celebre" for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight."

Oddly, all the media outlets seem to be inspired solely to report the first sentence and not the second. How strange.

WisJoe said...

The fact that jihadists leaving Iraq may feel that they have failed (that remains to be seen, given that suicidal jihadists somehow seem happy about leaving Earth entirely) does not mean that the invasion of Iraq did not breed more terrorism.

gj said...

Ann, did you mean to say "[emphasis added]"?

While it would indeed discourage Jihadists if they "lost" in Iraq, we should see from the recent conflict in Lebanon that it takes a lot to get them to admit that they've lost. The Jihadists in Lebanon claim to have won, and as far as providing inspiration for a broader Jihadist movement, they did win.

And while the report emphasises the importance of ultimate victory, it also uncovers the cost we are currently paying for having started this war in the first place: "deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world" --- not just in Iraq, but in the entire Muslim world.

Yes, there was some resentment before, but we've made it much much worse.

Hey said...

The main thing is that so much of this is obvious. Ideological sympathisers are motivated by a fight involving their idols. If we win we'll be successful in achieving our goals.

No kidding. Just as the Spanish Civil War was important and rallied supporters of communism and fascism internationally, how Vietnam, Grenada, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan invasion by the Soviets... This is how the world works, especially in an environment where conflicts are heavily ideological as compared to the more calculating realpolitik wars of the European powers before the 1900s (even the religious wars such as the 30 years war were much more calculating and less ideological than those we see now or tend to believe happened then).

Those people who think that terrorism (i.e. Islamism/Salafism/Qtubism/Jihadism/Islamic Fascism) is a real threat to the US and the West tend to believe in taking on these forces wherever they are by whatever means are necessary. Those who don't, or don't believe that the threat should be opposed thanks to the wickedness of the West, will oppose these efforts. Both camps have the same evidence, but interpret it differently.

All of this shouting won't do much, though it will show for history (if any is written by or about the West) who was right. The claim that the West is not facing an existential threat forget the lessons of Rome and Byzantium. The barbarians would have been easy to wipe out, but it was much cheaper to find a modus vivendi or to buy off their opponents. After a while, the opponents who posed no threat were dividing the riches and territory of the empire between them.

Derve said...

"Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight."

Well, duh. "What actions are going to be effective in getting that message through to the jihadists?" *

That's the tough one we need to see real leadership on. (And telling the American people that 'cut and run' is a worse option doesn't answer the question. Enough to win elections, not wars.)
--------
*stay the course, and blindly hope for different results? Has this story already been written?

Brent said...

Oh . . . My . . .(can't breathe from laughing too hard). . .gosh . . .

The New York Times and Democrats - redundancy apologies - had its pants pulled down to its ankles AGAIN! Exposing their, er, well . . . maybe lack of . . .

Please Ann, let's just start fresh on proving daily abuse of information and concerted efforts to add Democratic Spin to the Front Page by the Gray Lady. We'll start today - actually with last Sunday's purposely misleading article - with the mischaracterization of this report. Your honor . . .Exhibit A!

Kudos to you being a Times lover but having the intellectual honesty to recognize the deliberate anti-Bush administration spin effort. Wish I could say the same for Gj above and others who see their world view (and eventual Congressional takeover) beginning to crumble before their very eyes.

This one is too easy. . .

Meade said...

Interesting to now see what the partisan anonymous leakers at CIA and the treasonous NYTimes/WaPo left out.

Fenrisulven said...

The fact that jihadists leaving Iraq may feel that they have failed does not mean that the invasion of Iraq did not breed more terrorism

And the fact that the liberation of Iraq did breed more terrorism does not mean it wasn't the right thing to do.

NY Times: Mayor blames surge in gang-violence on police efforts to arrest gang-leaders

Fenrisulven said...

Derve: stay the course, and blindly hope for different results? Has this story already been written?

Yes. The stay the course / blindly hope for different results policy of the last 60 years has been a total failure - we supported tyrants in the ME in exchange for stability. Saudi Arabia -> Wahhabi Islam -> Osama Bin Laden -> 9-11.

Fenrisulven said...

gj: Yes, there was some resentment before, but we've made it much much worse.

Resentment from people who riot and kill over cartoons of their prophet.

PWS said...

I think the most challenging thing is trying to realistically imagine what victory in Iraq looks like. Even if a government there were somehow to get even a modest grip on stability, aren't the angry jihadists already stirred up? Won't they view a Western-style democracy installed/created/caused by the U.S. as illegitimate and simply more fodder for their cause? Given where things are now and that the U.S. has been there for over 3 years, what outcome can be arrived at that will not fuel those who hate the U.S.?

Derve said...

Fen:
Pardon me for trying to peer ahead... Don't get angry. Answer the question.

Pws:
= Perhaps the story already has been written?, like it or not.

monkeyboy said...

Given where things are now and that the U.S. has been there for over 3 years, what outcome can be arrived at that will not fuel those who hate the U.S.?

Conversion to Whahabi?

David Walser said...

[S]tay the course, and blindly hope for different results? Has this story already been written? ... That's the tough one we need to see real leadership on. (And telling the American people that 'cut and run' is a worse option doesn't answer the question. Enough to win elections, not wars.) - Derve

Derve, this is a war of attrition. Both sides (with the possible exception of our own peaceniks) understand that this war will be won when one side loses the will to keep fighting. They can't defeat us on the battle field and we can't find enough of them at any one time to secure victory through force. Either they come to believe that we'll stay the course come what may, in which case they'll give up; or the American public determines it's had enough, in which case we'll give up. Staying the course and cutting and running are, in the end, the only two options.

The sad fact is that, were it not for the well meaning peace activists, the terrorists might have given up by now. As it is, they've lost thousands more than we have. They should be finding it harder to recruit. (This was the case in Israel not long ago. The suicide bombers kept getting younger and more of them were female.) Their financial backers should be wondering if they're getting a return on their investment. However, every time someone here makes a credible call for our withdrawal, the terrorists and their financiers have reason to hope that just one more car bomb will do the trick. I'm not saying people calling for our withdrawal are trying to help the terrorists. I am saying that's the result.

Fenrisulven said...

Just a quick reminder: this report was written in April, 5 months ago.

The only reason democrats leaked it was to affect mid-term elections.

LoafingOaf said...

Interesting to now see what the partisan anonymous leakers at CIA and the treasonous NYTimes/WaPo left out.

Don't you think you're sticking the "treasonous" label on the wrong party? The NYT is just a newspaper with biases. The CIA - or at least elements within it - are the ones constantly leaking classified materials in order to undermine the Iraq war and influence political elections.

If I look back over the last 15-20 years, I see a record of almost complete incompetance and failure to protect America by the CIA. The leaks serving hidden and/or political agendas, however, are crimes, and crimes that potentially harm the country. I'm not quite at the point where I'd call the CIA a rogue agency, but I'm getting there.

BTW, in a thread yesterday I was stating my continued confusion over Clinton's attack on the al Shifa medicine factory in Sudan. Last night I got Lawrence Wright's book The Looming Tower and I find out that it has since been established that the "intelligence" which was the basis for that attack was erroneous, Bin Laden was not involved with nerve gas there, and the plant was not involved with nerve gas whatsoever. So I guess that's another instance where the CIA was wrong, and really Clinton may have been "wagging the dog" by hastily striking that target, but he was also a victim of CIA incompetance.

My question is, what value, exactly, does the CIA have to justify their existance and massive budget? Apparently they don't know anything about anything that's going on in the world, plus they have all sorts of hidden agendas to undermine policies as well as influence who gets elected in the future.

johnstodderinexile said...

I still think it's laughable that we even take this "estimate" seriously, although in its full context, the remark about Iraq seems a little less absurd.

There is no way for anyone to know whether a less aggressive Middle East strategy -- invading Iraq being the defining difference between the two ideological/strategic camps in this country -- would have "led to" more or fewer terrorists joining the movement. The psychology of why thousands of individuals join a violent religious cult where death by suicide is a sacrament cannot be explained as simply "the result" of a president's policies.

It's like those old laxative commercial where someone is pondering how many prunes they should eat: "Is four enough? Six too many?" Was Clinton too weak? Bush too strong? I think our political community flatters itself by thinking they matter all that much.

The fact is our Intelligence Community is not an authoritative source, as proven by their many failures since...since I was born really, but especially since the 1980s. We don't have good informants among the jihadi. The writers of this report probably got most of their information from English-language sources, like newspapers.

We invaded Iraq to bring down Hussein, because it was erroneously believed he was developing WMDs, and because (I suspect) we envisioned a day when his reign would end, and felt a need to be on the ground to control the outcome of his fall. We screwed up on the implementation, so things are somewhat worse than they needed to be. Now we're in a necessary war of attrition, one we will win unless we decide to defeat ourselves.

Derve said...

Staying the course and cutting and running are, in the end, the only two options.

I disagree. But thanks for the "war on attrition" lecture. You might want to factor cost and geography into your calculations, along with culture. (Hey if it were easy, everybody could be a credible foreign policy expert.)

The sad fact is that, were it not for the well meaning peace activists, the terrorists might have given up by now.

I very much disagree with this one, and think you not only underestimate, but don't even have a clue as to the will of the enemy. (remember -- it ain't the left and it ain't rational.)

gj said...

this is a war of attrition.

David, it's very hard to win a war of attrition against an ideology of martyrdom.

It may be that winning is very important at this point, but I haven't seen a strategy for winning from the President and the Republican party or from the Democrats.

RogerA said...

John in exile and loafing oaf have brought more insight into this affair than any of our national media--One should start with those treasonous bastards at the CIA who apparently think they are above ANY administration--and if you think its just the dem sympathizers now, wait till a dem president gets in the repub CIA types will be leaking just as readily. If these people cannot be controlled, then their leadership should be fired summarily--the leadership cannot manage the bureaucrats, proving once again, that Max Weber was right.

Johninexiles' points are equally valid--we have an intel community where native arabic speakers or those born in a third country can be counted on two hands. They recycle their own pontifications and those of academics--they have little idea of what goes on on the ground, and I doubt seriously if any many of them could read an arabic newspaper.

More to the point: the NIE, like many documents inside the beltway, attempts to take the conflicting positions of some 18 agencies ranging from DOS I and R, DIA, the service G2s, the FBI, the CIA etc etc--each with their own advocates for their own analyses, whose bureaucratic imperatives and survival are more important than what they say. The NIE represents a negotiated consensus among too many people--the consensus somewhat translating itself into a truth. Much like, say, the scientific consensus about Phlogiston and fire. Finally, we have the sheer track record of erroneous judgments of these intel agencies. Why are they NOW trusted when they couldnt get WMD remotely accurate?

My suggestion: Fire Negroponte for inability to manage a bureaucracy, and hire Johninexile and loafingoaf--these guys know what they are doing.

Bruce Hayden said...

What must be remembered about Iraq today is that the conflict has really shifted from a primarily Sunni attack on the U.S. to primarily sectarian violence, much of it apparently instigated by Iran, with their target not being us, but rather Sunnis in general, and former Saddamites in particular. The Shiites are doing revenge killing (for things done under Saddam), while the Sunnis are retaliating with random indiscriminate violence. Also happening is that the Shiites and Kurds are effectively pushing the Sunnis out of Iraq - apparently about 1/4 have already fled (dropping their percentage of the population from about 20% to 15%).

Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia (i.e. Iraq) had been under a lot of pressure prior to the death of Zarqawi, but that really opened things up against them, esp. with the information found there. Within a short period of time, hundreds of raids were conducted, and hundreds of al Qaeda and their sympathisers were either captured or killed, with information from one raid leading to another.

Indeed, just today, another al Qaeda leader was killed in a pre-dawn raid by the Brits.

In the last six months, the number of foreign born terrorists being found has dropped noticably. Many of their former Sunni helpers have turned on them.

It should also be noted that al Qaeda can't just send a budding martyr through a one week course and turn him into an effective terrorist. More importantly, leadership takes a lot more training and experience, and that is precisely where al Qaeda has been hit the hardest over the last six months - in its leadership positions in Iraq. The result is that the replacements are not nearly as effective as the guys they are replacing.

It would be interesting to see if the NIE would be different today.

Bruce Hayden said...

Iraq has almost always been about draining the swamp and not fighing the alligators. The problem with merely fighting the Islamic terrorists is that there is an almost unlimited supply of would-be martyrs. If we knock them out of Afghanistan, then they will move to Iraq, Iran, the Sudan, Pakistan, etc. We can make life difficult for their state sponsors or facilitators. But we can't stop the flow without a paradigm change. Slow it down, but not stop it.

That is where Iraq comes in. It is smack in the middle of the Islamic world, and is one of the traditional centers of middle east civilization, and has been for millenia. If we succeed there, it will be a viable, attractive alternative to the rest of the Moslem world.

A strong, democratic, Iraq would put enormous pressure on Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and even Egypt to reform. And it would in particular be an effective counter to Islamic nihilism so evident in their terrorists.

Yes, it is a dream. But it is also the only really potentially effective long run solution we have seen to the problem of Islamic disfunctionalism that we see throughout the Middle East today.

Bruce Hayden said...

David, it's very hard to win a war of attrition against an ideology of martyrdom.

Actually, we are winning that war in Iraq - as I noted earlier. The flow of foreign born terrorists is slowing, and those there are dying at a faster rate.

It may be that winning is very important at this point, but I haven't seen a strategy for winning from the President and the Republican party or from the Democrats.

This is where I disagree. I think the Republican strategy is fairly obvious - change the paradigm in the Islamic Middle East, and you change the debate and offer alternatives.

It may not work - Arabs may be incapable of effective democracy. But it at least has a chance for success. The alternative of whack-a-terrorist doesn't - there are somewhere around a billion Moslems in the world today, and probably tens of millions of them are potential terrorists. We have to offer them a viable alternative. Or, we can evict our own Moslems and put up a wall to keep any more from entering this country, and watch as Europe goes under Sharia law.

Revenant said...

So the NIE underscores the importance of victory in Iraq.

So the Times either misrepresented the report or gullibly accepted a Dowdified version of it as true? Color me extra-surprised by that one.

Why aren't the people leaking this stuff being hunted down and shipped off to federal PMITA prison, anyway? Is the Washington culture of self-serving leakage just too ingrained for anyone to want to do anything about it?

Tim said...

"I very much disagree with this one, and think you not only underestimate, but don't even have a clue as to the will of the enemy. (remember -- it ain't the left and it ain't rational.)

Leaving aside the presumed rationality of the Left for another day, assuming the will of the enemy is greater than some or most of us might imagine, what does that mean? We have two choices in this war - win or lose.

Given that most of the Left would be happy to leave Iraq without victory, to leave Iraq to the terrorists, in short, to lose the war in Iraq, how does adopting the Left's choice help us win the larger war? Us losing in Iraq will strengthen, not weaken, the enemy's will. Us losing in Iraq will severely erode the pride and confidence of the US military, leaving us with a military reminiscent of the post-Vietnam era. Us losing in Iraq will weaken US political will to continue the fight against militant Islamic fascism. Us losing in Iraq will encourage many more Muslim men without futures to join the jihad because they will believe they can win. Us losing in Iraq will confirm to moderate Muslims and quietly allied Muslim nations that the US is weak, irresolute, faithless and destined to lose the long war. Us losing in Iraq will prove bin Laden's characterization of people choosing the strong horse over the weak horse correct. Us losing in Iraq makes the large war longer, bloodier, and much more difficult to win.

So, again, leaving aside the rationality of the Left, it is difficult to see how losing in Iraq benefits the US, western civilization, or even the long term project of expanding individual liberty and consensual self-government. How does the Left benefit from this?

The strength of the enemy's will tells us we need to strengthen our own will to win. And against that task we have the Left, which is nothing but a cancer on our will to win. The enemy couldn't do a better job of undermining our will to win than the American Left has. It simply could not.

David Walser said...

[I]t's very hard to win a war of attrition against an ideology of martyrdom. - gj

Of course it is. They are willing to die for their cause, but that does not mean they are willing to die for nothing. If they had no hope they could drive out the US, would they still be willing to die?

We don't know. We do have several historical examples, one of the most famous is the WWII era Japanese. They demonstrated time and again a willingness to embark on suicidal missions in an attempt to reach their goals. They also put down their weapons once it became clear they could not win. This was true in individual battles as well as the end of the war. So, history teaches that even enemies with an ideology of martyrdom can be defeated. Unless we believe our current enemy is even more fanatical than those we've faced in the past, we have every reason to believe they'll give up once convinced they have nothing to gain by further struggle.

Derve said...

it is difficult to see how losing in Iraq benefits the US, western civilization

Tim:
You've twisted the question well. Wins elections, not wars.

Not leaving/losing does not equal winning. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

quietnorth said...

That second line "should jihadist leaving Iraq percieve themselves...to have failed" seems a little less empirical and more speculative than the first, but lets say it is true:

The question for those remaining Bush policy supporters: If winning in Iraq is necessary to prevent further terrorists from being inspired, Why doesn't the President mobilize the country to fight and win? How about a tax on gasoline to go for rebuilding our military and getting us off of foreign oil? How about the President asking personally, in front of the country, for volunteers to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan? "We are facing a crisis. The enemy is stronger than we anticipated. We need you to give a year or two to prevent the enemies of freedom from building an empire in the Middle East, all the way to Spain"

Or do you still believe (in spite of what the generals, many conservatives, and pretty much everyone else says) that we are winning in the manner we are fighting?

Too Many Jims said...

"So the NIE underscores the importance of victory in Iraq."

Now if the current administration could just get busy doing that effectively maybe more Americans would be supportive of the efforts. And just to anticipate the "what would you do" question. I would immediately deploy more troops to Iraq (specifically Baghdad and al-Anbar).

OddD said...

Ha! Is "PMITA" a well-known enough acronym these days that you can use it at Althouse without any queries?

It took me a moment to realize I had gotten the memo on that one.

MadisonMan said...

Didn't the Bush Administration selectively release an earlier NIE, keeping back parts that were critical of the war effort? I do remember reading that somewhere, maybe even somewhere reliable, so before y'all throw stones at the Times, recall recent history.

fenrisulven, I'm curious to know how you know the political party of the leaker of this document.

Tim said...

Not leaving/losing does not equal winning. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

Not leaving/losing equals not losing. And right now that is immeasurably better than losing.

And that is no wish.

It is, redundantly, also immeasurably better than anything the Left has to offer.

And that is no wish either.

Something beats nothing every time.

Daryl Herbert said...

David, it's very hard to win a war of attrition against an ideology of martyrdom.

Especially when people nominally on our side keep sending messages that we're almost ready to give up. That gives our enemy a great deal of hope in continuing to fight us.

dave said...

So what part of the following can't you moronic brownshirt fucks understand?

The war in Iraq has become a "cause celebre" for Islamic extremists, breeding deep resentment of the U.S. that probably will get worse before it gets better, federal intelligence analysts conclude in a report at odds with President Bush's portrayal of a world growing safer.

In the bleak report, declassified and released Tuesday on Bush's orders, the nation's most veteran analysts conclude that despite serious damage to the leadership of al-Qaida, the threat from Islamic extremists has spread both in numbers and in geographic reach.

Bush and his top advisers have said the formerly classified assessment of global terrorism supported their arguments that the world is safer because of the war. But more than three pages of stark judgments warning about the spread of terrorism contrasted with the administration's glass-half-full declarations.

"If this trend continues, threats to U.S. interests at home and abroad will become more diverse, leading to increasing attacks worldwide," the document says. "The confluence of shared purpose and dispersed actors will make it harder to find and undermine jihadist groups."

The intelligence assessment, completed in April, has stirred a heated election-season argument over the course of U.S. national security in the years following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Virtually all assessments of the current situation were bad news. The report's few positive notes were couched in conditional terms, depending on successful completion of difficult tasks ahead for the U.S. and its allies. In one example, analysts concluded that more responsive political systems in Muslim nations could erode support for jihadist extremists.


And speaking of lying right-wing sacks of shit...

You lunatics want to continue living in your little Nazi fantasy world, go right the fuck ahead. But don't expect reality to give you a fucking break.

Althouse: The Stupidest Place on the Internet™.

Derve said...

And right now that is immeasurably better than losing.

Come join us. Think past "right now." Playing not to lose is no game plan, even with all the cheerleader support in the world. (see quietnorth and JimC above for ideas)

I think some of you more gung-ho Republicans sometimes approach foreign policy in a manner similar to terrorists who crash planes into buildings but never have to bother learning about landing.

Derve said...

Something beats nothing every time.

In elections, not wars.
Don't you want to win this thing?

Revenant said...

If winning in Iraq is necessary to prevent further terrorists from being inspired, Why doesn't the President mobilize the country

Because that's Congress' job? They raise and fund the army.

How about a tax on gasoline to go for rebuilding our military and getting us off of foreign oil?

Because that would hurt the economy and do nothing to wean us off foreign oil -- and in any case a dependence on foreign oil has nothing to do with victory in Iraq.

How about the President asking personally, in front of the country, for volunteers to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan?

Because he doesn't think mindlessly throwing more warm bodies at the problem is the solution, and I happen to agree with him.

Or do you still believe (in spite of what the generals, many conservatives, and pretty much everyone else says) that we are winning in the manner we are fighting?

I think the reasonable view is that we cannot yet say who's winning. In any event, I am open to hearing discussion of a better way of achieving our two remaining goals of (a) getting rid of the terrorists in Iraq and (b) establishing a stable, democratic Iraqi government. You haven't explained how raising taxes and sending in more troops will achieve anything positive at all.

Revenant said...

So what part of the following can't you moronic brownshirt fucks understand?

Not sure. I quit reading after "moronic brownshirt fucks". :)

Derve said...

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US Army and Marine Corps are looking for ways to send more combat units into the Iraq rotation pool and are considering accelerating the pace of deployments for some brigades in order to keep more than 140,000 troops in the country through at least the spring of 2007.

dave said...

And as long as we're cramming the truth down the throats of moronic brownshirt fucks...

Another Old Navy Chief said...

Derve

You said:

"Something beats nothing every time.

In elections, not wars.
Don't you want to win this thing? "

So, what's YOUR plan for winning this thing? Perhaps you can stand on the top of a mosque and insult them to death...

Tim said...

"Come join us. Think past "right now." Playing not to lose is no game plan, even with all the cheerleader support in the world. (see quietnorth and JimC above for ideas)

No thanks. It's no game. I swore an oath to the Constitution. Your plans are for the enemy to win, us to lose. Your plans are transparent, even as you fail to understand ours. And we sure as hell aren't playing to lose, no matter how much you wish it so.

Regardless of how you choose to characterize yourself, or me, we have nothing in common and you have nothing for me join. I'm no jihadi, jihadi sympathizer, nor do I think we deserve to lose, or that it would be better for us to lose. I won't be joining your side. It is as bankrupt as the jihadis - but worse, for at least they know who is their enemy.

Derve said...

So, what's YOUR plan for winning this thing?

My job is concerned voter.
I listen, I read ... I think. Critically.

The rules are different in civilian life, you know.
-----------
Tim:
Simmer down. Don't go alienating and making enemies of half the country now. Hasn't gotten us very much this far, other than winning elections.

Revenant said...

I listen, I read ... I think. Critically.

But apparently not about how to win the war in Iraq, or else you'd presumbly have a few ideas along those lines worth sharing.

Strange how a person could be such an expert in how we're losing a war without having the foggiest of ideas how we might NOT lose it.

Fenrisulven said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Fenrisulven said...

Derve: Tim: Simmer down. Don't go alienating and making enemies of half the country now. Hasn't gotten us very much this far, other than winning elections.

Uhm, nothing in Tim's tone is heated or angry. And you're a disingenuous hyprocrite for implying he would play divisive to win elections. Don't marginalize him just because you can't counter his argument.

johnstodderinexile said...

"dave" is funny. He prefers a news story (source undisclosed) describing the NIE to the actual report itself, because the news story conforms to his worldview.

It's Groucho Marx: "Who are you gonna believe, me or your own two eyes?"

"dave," just keep stepping on the rake. No matter how many times it smacks you in the face, everyone laughs.

Fenrisulven said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
downtownlad said...

But we're really not trying to win, are we? Because that would involve more troops - and thus a draft. And Bush is a wimp and is not willing to do that.

Fenrisulven said...

MadisonMan: I'm curious to know how you know the political party of the leaker of this document.

I'm referring to both the leaker and the reporter/editor at the NYTs.

The CIA ID is speculative, but we've known for quite some time that there are Democrats deliberately leaking info to damage Bush. We've even got an interview of one admitting to it - his "cell" were Dems who would laugh about how "there's no way they will vote for Bush after this leak". I don't have the link handy but will try to dig it up for you.

Tim said...

"Simmer down. Don't go alienating and making enemies of half the country now. Hasn't gotten us very much this far, other than winning elections."

Right. Because al Qaeda tells their warriors Americans are weak, don't have the stomach for the fight, and will quit when it gets hard, so all they have to do is hang on, because we'll quit. Because when every anti-war protester tells the enemy if they just hang on, they'll win, they vindicate bin Laden's strategy. Because when every Democrat calling for cut and run tells the enemy if they just hang on, they'll win, they vindicate bin Laden's strategy. Because when every news report highlighting every setback tells the enemy if they just hang on, they'll win, they vindicate bin Laden's strategy. When bin Laden recites American Leftists' complaints about America, they tell the enemy "here are your talking points in your propaganda war against the US." Because every time the enemy thinks they stand a chance if they just hang on, the anti-war protester, the elected Democrat, the journalist and the American Leftists all say, "Yes, hang on until we can cut and run from Iraq, and you'll win."

Making enemies of half the country? I swore an oath to the Constitution with no expiration date. I only wish they already weren't.

Fenrisulven said...

But we're really not trying to win, are we? Because that would involve more troops - and thus a draft.

No. We don't need a draft - that would destroy our armed forces. Our NCOs have more important things to do than babysit parasite weasels who don't want to be there.

If the Field Commanders say they need more troops, then by all means. But we'll do it by raising pay and incentives. I like "free tuition and books at any state school" or "immune to taxes - never file an IRS form again in your life". Hows that sound?

And Bush is a wimp and is not willing to do that.

No. Even Bush is intelligent enough to see that your argument is not made in good faith. Just like the Americans should forced to sacrifice meme, you argue for the draft not because you care about our troops, but because you know a draft will create a massive anti-war movement similar to that of the 60s.

Its a cynical ploy, using our troops as political props. Don't complain that I'm questioning your patriotism - I stopped doing that a long time ago.

downtownlad said...

Actually - I couldn't give a damn about the draft.

I for one - don't have to worry about fighting.

But I do care about my taxes going up - so no, I am NOT willing to pay higher taxes or incur more debt to pay the soldiers more. Why should they get higher pay if we can just draft people for less money? Are you a communist or something. Pay them what they are worth - which at the current market rate is about $20,000 a year. Sorry - but it is communist to pay them more.

downtownlad said...

And free tuition and taxes at state schools?

Yes - you are a communist.

State schools have ZERO legitimate reasons to exist. They are a complete waste of taxpayers money and contribute nothing to society that the free market couldn't take care of for itself. State schools are an abomination.

Fenrisulven said...

tim: ...it is difficult to see how losing in Iraq benefits the US, western civilization, or even the long term project of expanding individual liberty and consensual self-government. How does the Left benefit from this?

They gain political traction. If Iraq falls, they can point to it for the next 20 years to trump the National Defense card in the GOPs hand. Its all about political power to them, its why they hope for quaqmire in the ME, its why they hope for higher gas prices, its why they hope for higher body counts. Nothing else explains it, because their arguments sure aren't based on principle.

Fenrisulven said...

And free tuition and [no taxes for life] at state schools?

I would extend it to private schools too, but the government can't force that.

State schools are an abomination.

Says you. I would have jumped at the chance to attend the Univeristy of Texas [Austin] for free.

And I see I hit a nerve by outing your ploy. You're frothing something about communism now...

downtownlad said...

Not only are you a communist, you are completely ignorant about economics.

Nothing is "free". Ever hear of opportunity costs?

University of Texas, Austin? Give me a break. That's the school that the dumb Bush daughter attended. Enough said.

johnstodderinexile said...

A political party that puts principle above the success of the party is a party that will soon be looking for a new chairman.

The Democratic Party is, naturally, focused completely on winning. To their foes, their current positions seem incredibly cynical, but to them, these positions keep the base activated and organized for possible victory.

I am confident the Democrats will reassert basic American principles if they gain power. Right now, the Democrats don't have that luxury. That's what they really mean when they say "don't question my patriotism." They're patriots, all right. We're supposed to understand that underneath all the hate-Bush rhetoric, they're really supporting his policies and have no intention of changing them very dramatically. Think about it: How could they? We will never be in a pre-9/11 mindset again, and an elected Democrat president will know that more than anyone else.

As pathetic as Clinton was the other night, he was right about one thing: He tried to do the right thing. He made efforts to act on principle. He just failed, is all. And with 9/11, the political consequences of that failure suddenly went from a speck to Jupiter. He can't forgive himself for that -- can barely acknowledge it -- and that's why he was so emotional. It's got to eat at him.

downtownlad said...

And if you think I'm being sarcastic about the state schools, you really don't know me.

I'll tolerate a military, police and fire department, and the courts. Barely. And that's about it as far as government is concerned with me. Any other money taken from me in taxes is simply legalized theft. Including sending you to school for "free" just because you're too cheap and lazy to pay for it yourself.

Fenrisulven said...

Any other money taken from me in taxes is simply legalized theft. Including sending you to school for "free" just because you're too cheap and lazy to pay for it yourself.

You're the one who brought up the draft. So too cheap and lazy to pay for [defend us] yourself. Seems rather inconsistent. I only brought up free tuition [GI Bill?] as an alternative - increase pay and incentives instead of a draft, and instead of directly punishing Americans with a war tax.

And you shouldn't knock UT. I doubt you would meet the admission requirements.

Daryl Herbert said...

Althouse: The Stupidest Place on the Internet™.

Does anyone else remember "stupid lipids"?

Dave isn't the first person to make up a name for the website he trolls at.

Seven Machos said...

Dave -- Enjoy your time in the political wilderness.

altoids1306 said...

Dems are rightly afraid of the full NIE report because it will expose the futility of their nuanced anti-war-but-don't-question-my-patriotism stance.

Their anti-war arguments simply don't stand up to a few moments of silent thought, much less page after page of dry, dispassionate military analysis. What happens the day after we pull out of Iraq?

Seven Machos said...

For anyone who does not read instapundit:

"It's late but I'll add one more thought: While we should fire the leakers on general principles, we should probably also fire whoever wrote this -- for producing a meaningless document full of empty bureaucratic twaddle. If the jihadists win, they'll have more prestige! And they will probably use the internets! Do tell. Jesus Christ, if this is the quality of intelligence we're getting, no wonder we haven't won yet."

Tim said...

"They gain political traction. If Iraq falls, they can point to it for the next 20 years to trump the National Defense card in the GOPs hand. Its all about political power to them, its why they hope for quaqmire in the ME, its why they hope for higher gas prices, its why they hope for higher body counts. Nothing else explains it, because their arguments sure aren't based on principle.

Agreed. It is beyond pathetic the nation's minority party would wish for its defeat in war so they might be able govern. Why they want to govern a nation they despise so much they work for its defeat in war makes no sense to me. That alone disqualifies them from ever getting my vote no matter what else happens.

Revenant said...

But we're really not trying to win, are we? Because that would involve more troops - and thus a draft.

I was going to say that the idea that we need a draft in order to win the war in Iraq is the dumbest comment in this thread to date.

Then I saw that you'd taken to referring to everyone who wants a paid volunteer military as "communists". Nobody's that dumb -- you're clearly just posing as a loony libertarian to troll for flames.

Fenrisulven said...

dave [8:42]: So what part of the following can't you moronic brownshirt *** understand?

Aside from his poor social skills, I'd like to point out that dave posted the AP version of the NIE. He didn't even bother to check the original report - he swallowed the AP propaganda, grew enraged and vile, and then spat invective at us - just like the disciples of Himmler once did. And he has the audacity to call us brownshirts?

George Will once said no one ever died from reading Der Sterner, but the culture it served caused 6 million Jews to drop dead. Want to guess which media has cultivated the hatred of people like dave?

Powerline has the fisk of AP. How is it that a mere day after the NYTs gets caught with its pants down, the AP pulls the same stunt?

"The Associated Press is apparently relying on the assumption that hardly anyone will read the report's conclusions. Here are a few significant items that, with just one exception, Loven and her colleague didn't see fit to mention:.."

Hey said...

A libertarian that wants a draft but claims that raising the salary of a position to attract more applicants is a "communist" position?

Oy, leftists trying to troll by impersonating a Libertarian need some serious help. Us Libertarians and VRWC types know you're ideology, and can usually argue you out of it fairly easily. You don't seem to know ours very well. Better luck next time.

As to the iddea of a draft... has possibilities. But only for a full mobilisation a la WWII. That would produce something like 20-30M people under arms, and allow us to conquer and occupy every country from Morocco to Pakistan, including Nigeria, Kenya, etc. An excellent idea and a great way of drawing out every possible jihadi and killing them. Just what the far left wants us to do with a 30M person army is a question that highlights the disingenousness of the idea. But it has merit. Definately offers a solution. Plus, no matter how much it annoyed China or Russia, no one could do anything about it, thanks to US control of the sea and air.

So, anyone have any objections to recolonizing most of Africa? That would also neatly solve the problem of "foreign" oil. Wouldn't be foreign anymore!

Bruce Hayden said...

I didn't see it above, so here is link to the Declassified Key Judgments in the NIE (in .pdf format).

I felt somewhat vindicated because it hit hard at the democratization points I tried to make earlier in this thread.

Daryl Herbert said...

And as long as we're cramming the truth down the throats of moronic brownshirt fucks...

You're performing forcible oral sodomy with a mental deficient? In Nazi fetish garb?

The thing is, this creep dave thinks he's a feminist. That's why he came here in the first place: to stand up for the dignity of women.

And now he's talking about ramming his toothpick down a woman's throat, against her will, because she doesn't agree with his interpretation of a tiny sliver of an incomplete document.

Derve said...

Anybody who reads this thread all the way through, isn't going to come away thinking "we're winning and the message just isn't getting through."

Sorry online soldiers and partisan warriors. (I don't believe for a minute all commenters are as they represent themselves). We're still waiting something, other than your angry words, to demonstrate you understand the fight and have a credible plan. No evidence to date, just harsh words for honest critics.

"Jesus Christ, if this is the quality of intelligence we're getting, no wonder we haven't won yet."
Don't go blaming Jesus now. He didn't get us into this one; the current Republican administration and all its eager followers did.

Grow up, take some responsibility for your role, and quit trying to split the country pointing fingers at why nothing has gone according to plan thus far. Wins elections, not wars.

Derve said...

It is beyond pathetic the nation's minority party would wish for its defeat in war so they might be able govern.

This is exemplary of the thinking on the right: if we keep saying things over and over, and wish really really hard, then they must turn out to be true!

I call it the "tinkerbell" school of foreign policy.

noah said...

Sorry Derve, I can't let a moonbat have the last word. Every bit of what you say (and given the apparent state of your mind...ever will say) has been thoroughly refuted on this thread and elsewhere ad nauseum.

noah said...

Richard Miniter has an interesting article @ Opinion Journal..."What Clinton Didn't Do...And When He Didn't Do It"!! which bears on much of this controversy. Read it and weep, Derve.

Mary said...

Sorry noah.
I must have skimmed over the leadership plans (under President Bush, not President Clinton).

I'll just give it some time, and see where we are one year from now then. Glad to hear everything is in capable hands. Give ya a year to come up with some fresh excuses, if you need to...

Mary said...

Mary/Derve...
one and the same. #;-)

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
monkeyboy said...

An massive increase in US forces on the ground (draft) is close to the absolute worst thing we can do short of just leaving.

At this stage we need to support and increase the Iraqi government, police and military. Marginilizing them and replacing them with untrained US troops who don't know the area is not the best idea. As we move more and more authority and responsibility to the Iraqi Army the less we will be accused of occupation, and the better they will be.

Too Many Jims said...

"At this stage we need to support and increase the Iraqi government, police and military."

That has been the plan for thelast 3 years (or so). Every six months the Administration says "Things are looking good, the next 6 months are critical." At some point people start to fee like Charlie Brown and that the Administration is Lucy pulling the ball away. It took him a long time to figure out she was just going to pull the ball away.

Derve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Fenrisulven said...

Derve: And I must note, I love this commenting technique. (wait til they go to bed, then attack the critics)

Thats your defense? I'm not playing fair by posting after your bedtime? Heh. If you're going to surrender the field, at least do so gracefully. What's next? Are you oppressed because I have more bandwidth?

Okay Derve, I promise not to respond to you at 1 AM. Please lets us know when its bedtime for you so we can call a Derve Time-out.

Just priceless.

Derve said...

Presumably Ann deleted because my excerpt was too long, not because she didn't want you to read this:

BASRA, Iraq — The first British camp to be handed to the Iraqis was looted almost bare within days of the army's departure.
...
The Iraqi and British governments had described the transfer of Camp Smitty on July 30, a base outside the southern city of Samawah, as a key step in handing control of security back to Iraqis.

Derve said...

Please lets us know when its bedtime for you so we can call a Derve Time-out.

You're really good at the verbal gymnastics, fen.

Won't win you a war though.

Enough facts will still leak out., while you're trying to silence honest critics.

Fenrisulven said...

Before I respond, is it nap time for you or are you awake? Wouldn't want to take unfair advantage or anything.

Kirk Parker said...

David Walser,

Re: "well meaning peace activists", have you actually found some? And no, I'm not being facetious--I can well imagine that there are some real pacifists in, say, the Mennonite tradition who aren't actually (or additionally) really on the other side, but I haven't encountered any in the real world. And no, Jim Wallis definitely doesn't qualify. He made a brief swing towards sanity after 9/11, but it didn't take him too long to revert back to type. (See God's Politics as Exhibit A.)