May 1, 2007

"It makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing."

"All the terrorists would have to do is mark their calendars and gather their strength and begin plotting how to overthrow the government and take control of the country of Iraq."

191 comments:

Methadras said...

How many of you here actually think that as we withdrew from Iraq, getting all of our equipment and manpower on planes and redeploying back to either Kuwait, or the UAE, or Germany, or wherever that the insurgency or AQ will sit back and watch us while doing nothing? If any of you think that is what the timetable will do then you are sorely and woefully mistaken.

It will be a hot and active retreat? Meaning, the insurgency and AQ will be shooting, bombing, and RPG'ing us even as we pull out. They will take any pot-shots they can get. They will then declare victory and then they will start the systematic ethnical purging and cleansing. Then you will see the true face of the enemy you allowed to reign free. You will then see Syria and Iran start dividing the spoils as they move in. You will see AQ turn Iraq into a massive training ground. You will see the people/civilians of Iraq subjugated once again under an even worse tyrant. You will the plannings if not outright attack on Israel from all of it's enemies.

You will then see the US go right back in to push back the aggression. Except this time it will be under a level of weakness, and then blamed for the level of atrocities and genocide they allowed to happen because of the Democratic Party/The world doesn't like us sponsered spokesmouths. We will have to expend even more money and resources against a fully entrenched and emboldened enemy.

In essence it will be a nightmare and it will be a juggernaut that will be to late to stop. Then you will start to see the migratory patterns of these death dealers visit our shores again. And once more the cries of our citizens will bellow out into the air, but this time the level of passivity will be much greater. They will go after your children, they will hit us in our softest spots. This in turn will make government clamp down in a way you moonbats never envisioned.

If you actually thought that your liberties are somehow now being curtailed or taken away, just wait until the Jihadists strike because Leftist Americans have last the stomach to fight evil wherever it exists. Poor, pathetic fools and tools, you all.

Scott said...

This is all about in whose lap the war will end up in by election day. No Democrat wants to be Nixon to Bush's LBJ come January, 2009.

You can smell the desperation in the air.

peter hoh said...

I say we commit to having most of our forces out of Iraq by the year 2048.

Galvanized said...

Couldn't have said it better, methadras. No matter for what reasons the U.S. is in Iraq/Afghanistan, to pull out our troops is indeed cutting and running and destined to create more problems worse than there are now. And I, too, greatly fear for Israel.

hdhouse said...

So we are on the horns of the dilema that mr. bush created.

1. we have no idea what victory will look like so we have no date when that will happen and even if it does happen we won't recognize it.

2. we can't tell the iraq government that you have so much time to get it together or we are leaving because..well i have no idea why not but we don't.

3. seems like we have no control whatsoever about what happens there so really the civil war is in control and we are just holding on for the ride.

don't worry...this mess will be on bush and the GOP. this is his mess. he broke it. he can't fix it. he is clueless as to a solution and why should we be punished because he hasn't a clue?

your "makes no sense" comment at the top of the thread makes no sense. the civil war will go on if we are there or not. the fraction that is terrorist will just follow us to the next war as we are the enemy not iraq. your dog doesn't hunt.

Anthony said...

If we set a date, the terrorists will gather their strength and begin plotting how to overthrow the government and take control of the country of Iraq.

This would be terrible, because at the moment they are knitting sweaters....

Anthony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert said...

"Don't matter who did what to who at this point. The fact is we went to war, and now there ain't no going back. I mean, shit, it's what war is, you know? Once you in it, you in it. If its a lie, then we fight on that lie. But we gotta fight."

- Slim Charles
The Wire: Episode 37, "Mission Accomplished"

JSF said...

Since 1968 the Democrat party have no stomach for protecting allies (The South Vietnamese, Cambodians, Haitians, Rwandans). If we fought the war with a lie, then how come we fought WWII against the Germans in North Africa? It was the Japanese that attacked Pearl Harbor.

I am a partisan, however, I have yet to hear the Democrats say "We should not fight in Iraq, we should fight in _______" And since we lost Iran as one of America's Three Pillar Middle east Policy (Israel -- which the modern Dems still want to abandon, Saudi Arabia and ([pre-1979]Iran)--or-- [A Democratic Iraq]), do we leave despots behind? It seems the modern Democrats would rather deal with Despots then spread Democracy under any circumstances. Where is the Democrat's 2007-8 version of Senator Vandenberg?

I think the modern Democrat party believes in Nixonian Realpolitick instead of Wilsonian Idealism.

SteveR said...

The senators who were for it before they were against it, are the ones with something to answer for. I mean at this point its just stupid to call a mulligan. I'm sure HDH was a negative from the getgo so bitch away, but withdrawal for the 77 is chicken crap.

Freder Frederson said...

If we fought the war with a lie, then how come we fought WWII against the Germans in North Africa? It was the Japanese that attacked Pearl Harbor.

You might want to review your history and doublecheck who declared war on whom in World War II.

dave said...

Typical wingnut bullshit.

Just the thing I'd expect from the Blithering Misogynist Idiot.

Time for another box of wine, dear?

Bruce Hayden said...

The speech made a lot of very good points, and made them well. Which is why I suspect that it was written by someone else (of course it was - presidents any more have teams of speech writers).

Eli Blake said...

Then again, conservatives don't have the practicality to realize when something isn't working and try something else. If they had their way, we'd still be fighting the Vietnam (no, make that the Korean) war.

Four years is long enough that if we could 'win' in Iraq (not that this was ever defined) we'd have done so by now. To continue fighting, we could continue for four more years, or ten years, or forty years, and we'd still be stuck right in the middle of the same millenia-long feuds that have been going on there since the dawn of time.

Iraq is itself an artificial creation, with borders drawn arbitrarily on a map by British and French colonialists when they divided up the Ottoman empire after WWI. It has no historical identity, and by now it is safe to say that no matter how many of the king's horses and the king's men that we send, we won't be able to put it back together because it was an unnatural creation to begin with.

Doyle said...

Hmmm... Should we take your reproducing this section of Bush's speech in bold type as an indication that you agree with it? Or would that be a partisan liberal assumption, and you are in fact just curious as to what other people read into it? It's so hard to tell!

Even Bush doesn't believe this crap, Ann. Wake the hell up.

Fen said...

Eli Blake: Then again, conservatives don't have the practicality to realize when something isn't working and try something else.

How about if we surge more troops into the capital, quarter them in the neighborhoods instead of on firebases, and fix the ROE? Oh wait, we're already doing that, already trying something else... and yet, war opponents are still parroting the same stupid talking points.

If they had their way, we'd still be fighting the Vietnam (no, make that the Korean) war.

No, we would have finished fighting. Millions of cambodians would not have been slaughtered. North Korea would not be a rogue nation building nukes.

I say if we pull out, we should air drop all the "peace" activists into Anbar. This time, they should pay directly for the consequences of their fecklessness [instead of the cambodians]

Fen said...

You might want to review your history and doublecheck who declared war on whom in World War II.

Why did we attack Germany? They never did anything to us. That was an illegal immoral war

Fen said...

Can anyone imagine the tactial and strategic victory Al Queda would hand to us if they announced when they were pulling out of Iraq?

Tim said...

"How many of you here actually think that as we withdrew from Iraq, getting all of our equipment and manpower on planes and redeploying back to either Kuwait, or the UAE, or Germany, or wherever that the insurgency or AQ will sit back and watch us while doing nothing? If any of you think that is what the timetable will do then you are sorely and woefully mistaken."

They don't care.

Not in the slightest.

Not now, not ever.

They yearn and they lust for our defeat in Iraq so much they can almost taste it. It is sooo close for them.

It's the political equivalent of "blue balls."

Al Qaeda or Iran gaining power in the Middle East? It's of no consequence to them.

Al Qaeda cells swelling across the world? It's of no consequence to them.

Musharraf's government and its nukes falling to the hand of militant Islamic fascist elements allied with al Qaeda and the Taliban? It's of no consequence to them.

Moderate Muslim and Arab governments realizing the Americans, lead by Democrats, are two-timing, double-crossing, feckless and irresolute allies when the price is "too high?" It's of no consequence to them.

The dashed hopes of moderate Muslims across the world living in fear of militant Islamic fascists that the U.S. succeeds in killing off the murderous terrorists? It's of no consequence to them.

Handing victory to an enemy that has not and cannot defeat us on the battlefield, a victory the enemy has not and cannot earn? It's of no consequence to them.

A defeated and demoralized U.S. military with plummeting retention and enlistment rates? It's of no consequence to them.

Americans having to fight a longer, bloodier war against militant Islamic fascism because we chose to surrender in Iraq? It's of no consequence to them.

Future terrorist attacks from an enemy emboldened by validation of bin Laden's assessment of the U.S.'s retreat from Somalia in 1993: "You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew. The extent of your impotence and weaknesses has become very clear. When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse."? It's of no consequence to them.

None of it is of consequence to them - only losing in Iraq and hanging defeat upon a president they hate more than they hate the enemy. That is all that matters. And they won't be satisfied until we lose - and Bush gets the blame.

Fen said...

Agreed. Although I find some perverse consolation in the fact that our "blue" metropolitan city-states will be the primary targets. They want their cheap oil and decaff lattes and MTV. And if 50 million arabs must suffer genocide and tyranny, so be it. If the Left abandons these people, Justice will insist they watch their children choke to death on their own blood.

Sorry, but I don't think I'll have much sympathy for them.

TMink said...

hdh wrote: "So we are on the horns of the dilema that mr. bush created."

While I am not a big fan of the way the president and the generals ran this thing, especially under Rummy, I think that Hussein and other terrorists had a little something to do with the situation.

"1. we have no idea what victory will look like so we have no date when that will happen and even if it does happen we won't recognize it."

Their idea has been a free and democratic Iraq. We know what democracies look like. So do you.

"2. we can't tell the iraq government that you have so much time to get it together or we are leaving because..well i have no idea why not but we don't."

Because the vacuum of power left by our leaving would set up more trouble like we got from Afghanistan and the Taliban.

"3. seems like we have no control whatsoever about what happens there so really the civil war is in control and we are just holding on for the ride."

The guys at strategy page have some really good info on the subject. They note three wars: Shia vs Sunni, Iraqis vs. interlopers sponsered in large part by Iran, and people looking for leverage to avoid war crime prosecution and general political maneuvering. That said, we can certainly influence Iraq, and have, but fer goodness sake we beat the Nazis in less time than we have taken in Iraq since we beat Hussein. That is my main complaint, we should have killed more people, blown more stuff up, and done the bitch faster.

"don't worry...this mess will be on bush and the GOP."

Agreed. The problem is that so would the victory. This puts the democrats in a very difficult situation as well. If the surge works, they are sunk. So it is VERY difficult for them to do anything but stall and pray, those of them that do.


Trey

Sloanasaurus said...

If we fought the war with a lie, then how come we fought WWII against the Germans in North Africa? It was the Japanese that attacked Pearl Harbor.

You might want to review your history and doublecheck who declared war on whom in World War II.


I did recheck my history. As it turns out, FDR was trying to push us into war with Germany even though 80% of America was against it. FDR made it nearly impossible for Germany not to declare war on us. We were extremely beligerant towards Germany... we allowed British warships to dock in our ports, we were giving Britain ships and arms (not just selling). We garrisoned strategic locations for the British such as Iceland. Hitler declaring war on us in December 1941 was a mere formality. Was FDR a warmonger?

reader_iam said...

Although I find some perverse consolation in the fact that our "blue" metropolitan city-states will be the primary targets. They want their cheap oil and decaff lattes and MTV. And if 50 million arabs must suffer genocide and tyranny, so be it. If the Left abandons these people, Justice will insist they watch their children choke to death on their own blood.

Bleccchhh.

Sorry, but I don't think I'll have much sympathy for them.

No, you're not, and in the event, we'll see.

Fen, you do SUCH a good job of advocating your POV.

Shame on you. You have a good grasp of a number of realities and issues to consider.

Yet you're willing to piss it all away to make cheap points and express cheaper emotions.

Look in the mirror, Fen, look in the mirror.

What's your actual goal? How much does it mean to you? What are you willing to sacrifice for it?

What thing is it that you're not willing to sacrifice that you'd write the bolded sentence above?

Tim said...

"The problem is that so would the victory. This puts the democrats in a very difficult situation as well. If the surge works, they are sunk. So it is VERY difficult for them to do anything but stall and pray, those of them that do."

Exactly.

Yet we're supposed to trust the Democrats with national security as they work for political profit by actively undermining the nation's security.

Shameless, of course. But what really bothers me is too many Americans are willing to sign up for the program. The price will be much higher than they anticipate.

PatCA said...

"Iraq is itself an artificial creation, with borders drawn arbitrarily on a map by British and French colonialists>'

So is the United States--so what? From what I read on Iraqi blogs, anti-war or pro-, there is an Iraqi identity. This is just another hand wringing reason to surrender.

If we had this level of media scrutiny and antipathy back then and such pathetic government PR, we would have lost WWII. Imagining that all politicians were angels then and all soldiers angels and all generals brave and wise is just foolish and destructive.

reader_iam said...

Never mind the damn demographics of any large city in America. Nor the odd conflation of the three separate elements to which you point, one of which, at least, doesn't belong with the others.

Synova said...

TMink: "but fer goodness sake we beat the Nazis in less time than we have taken in Iraq since we beat Hussein."

(Trying to remember the names of some of the cities full of civilians that were fire bombed in Germany...)

"That is my main complaint, we should have killed more people, blown more stuff up, and done the bitch faster."

Oh, never mind, you were already thinking of that.

I can't say I agree, but it's an excellent point that needs to be made. For the most part we took the path we did, the less effective path, so that we could lessen the horror as much as possible. As usual, no good deed goes unpunished and our failure to kill more people and blow more stuff up and do the b*tch faster, is biting us in the butt.

Tim said...

"Sorry, but I don't think I'll have much sympathy for them."

Elections have consequences.

So too does failure of will in time of war.

The manifestations of that, while specifically uncertain, are generally predictable if you have an approximate understanding of history, our enemy, his purposes and his intent.

We generally know, for any who care to think about it, where the sword will fall.

The Congressional majority has, repeatedly, informed al Qaeda we are only so serious about defeating them. This, for anyone who is paying attention, gives our enemies strength. It also makes us weaker. Fen's assessment of his feelings in that event, while possibly startling for the willfully ignorant, shouldn't be surprising. They would be logical.

The Democrats failure of will to defeat our enemies in Iraq will only embolden them; the consequences of that failure will be many, it will ultimately be borne by Americans. Most of us can figure out the voting patterns of the most likely targets.

Unless, of course, you're really stupid.

Evidence to date suggests that probability shouldn't be dismissed until exculpatory evidence is provided.

You really cannot complain when someone tells you if you empower the enemy, and then the enemy kills you because you made the enemy stronger, that he'll feel no remorse for the consequences of your actions. I know you'd like for the U.S. to lose our war in Iraq, and then demand the troops whose defeat you worked so hard for to continue defending you unto their death as you see fit, but the real world doesn't quite work that way.

I am quite certain both the troops and our enemy have exactly the same appreciation of the Democrats "support for the troops," and they will each draw the same conclusion. Those who vote for Democrats really shouldn't be surprised by the inevitable result of that fecklessness, nor should they protest the observation.

reader_iam said...

Fen's assessment of his feelings in that event, while possibly startling for the willfully ignorant, shouldn't be surprising.

They don't startle me. They don't surprise me.

Unless, of course, you're really stupid.

I'm not. That's why they don't startle me, nor surprise me.

Your comment may very well have not been in response to what I wrote to Fen, but in case it was, I'm responding back.

And in case it was, you're misreading the background for it, not to mention the attitude and knowledge.

I'll cut if off here, specifically because I'm not sure you were addressing me, except to say the following:

If this statement: I know you'd like for the U.S. to lose our war in Iraq, in any way applies to me, you're so far off the mark it's goes from being funny to so NOT funny, that it's funny in the most sublime (not to be confused with marvelous) sense.

Tim, your defense of Fen is admirable, in its own way. But your assumptions?

The laugh is on you.

Methadras said...

reader_iam said...

Fen's assessment of his feelings in that event, while possibly startling for the willfully ignorant, shouldn't be surprising.

They don't startle me. They don't surprise me.

Unless, of course, you're really stupid.

I'm not. That's why they don't startle me, nor surprise me.

Your comment may very well have not been in response to what I wrote to Fen, but in case it was, I'm responding back.

And in case it was, you're misreading the background for it, not to mention the attitude and knowledge.

I'll cut if off here, specifically because I'm not sure you were addressing me, except to say the following:

If this statement: I know you'd like for the U.S. to lose our war in Iraq, in any way applies to me, you're so far off the mark it's goes from being funny to so NOT funny, that it's funny in the most sublime (not to be confused with marvelous) sense.

Tim, your defense of Fen is admirable, in its own way. But your assumptions?

The laugh is on you.


Really? The laugh is on who? Nice prose, yet you said nothing. However, let's test your assumptions. Very simple question, who do you stand with? So what is off the mark with respect to your statements? What is your goal for supporting the current goals of the Democratic Party? This didn't work out so let's just quit or do you have a more optimistic tone of never say die? I'm just looking for clarification here.

Eli Blake said...

Fen (10:48):

If they had their way, we'd still be fighting the Vietnam (no, make that the Korean) war.

[your response]:

No, we would have finished fighting.


We fought to a bloody standstill against China in Korea, which bogged down into something resembling a WWI-style static front by the end of the war. What makes you think that we'd have done anything other than lose more troops if we'd kept fighting in Korea.

In Vietnam, we fought for over a decade and failed to defeat the Viet Cong. What makes you think we'd have succeeded there (and incidentally, the Khmer Rouge which slaughtered all those Cambodians were eventually driven from power after a 1978-1979 war against-- that's right, Vietnam).

You assume that we wouldn't still be fighting in those wars. My guess is that we would have.

Oh, yeah-- and add this little note: It is not true that no one has been winning in Iraq. There has been one clear winner-- after fighting for a decade to get rid of their most hated enemy, Saddam, the Iranians have succeeded, have a very friendly government (to them) in Iraq and now don't have to fear a ground invasion by the U.S. because there is no way could pull off anything other than a bombing campaign with our army spread thin as it is (and history teaches that it is possible to survive a bombing campaign). Five years ago it is hard to imagine Iran being as openly belligerent as they are now, because they feared the army we had that could have taken them out. But that army is no longer in a position to be much of a threat to them, chasing (Iranian-supported) terrorists all over Iraq.

Torn ligament said...

"FDR made it nearly impossible for Germany not to declare war on us. We were extremely beligerant towards Germany... we allowed British warships to dock in our ports, we were giving Britain ships and arms (not just selling). We garrisoned strategic locations for the British such as Iceland. Hitler declaring war on us in December 1941 was a mere formality"

Germany and Italy declared war on the US not for the reasons you state but because the US declared war on Japan after Pearl Harbor. Under the Tripartite Agreement signed on 27 September 1940, Germany was obliged to join with Italy to defend its ally Japan.

Kirk said...

Eli Blake,

"Four years is long enough that if we could 'win' in Iraq ... we'd have done so by now."

Wos, you must have a newer edition of The Big Book of Everything than I do, because I certainly can't find that in my copy!

Torn ligament said...

'Five years ago it is hard to imagine Iran being as openly belligerent as they are now, because they feared the army we had that could have taken them out.'

Clearly they weren't according to yesterday's op ed by Nicholas Kristof.
"In May 2003, Iran sent a secret proposal to the U.S. for settling our mutual disputes in a “grand bargain.”

It is an astonishing document, for it tries to address a range of U.S. concerns about nuclear weapons, terrorism and Iraq. I’ve placed it and related documents (including multiple drafts of it) on my blog, www.nytimes.com/ontheground.

Hard-liners in the Bush administration killed discussions of a deal, and interviews with key players suggest that was an appalling mistake. There was a real hope for peace; now there is a real danger of war."

Read the rest at
http://iraqwarit.blogspot.com/2007/
04/come-on-down-leana.html

reader_iam said...

Short answer: To leave Iraq now, as it is, and as we're attempting to do, is a grave mistake.

reader_iam said...

What is your goal for supporting the current goals of the Democratic Party?

Not my goal. That'd be just one of the things included in the But your assumptions? sentence.

I'd thank you for proving my point, but I'm not in the least grateful.

Methadras said...

reader_iam said...

Short answer: To leave Iraq now, as it is, and as we're attempting to do, is a grave mistake.


Fair enough answer. So how do you stop the DP/DNC from making this grave mistake?

Methadras said...

reader_iam said...

What is your goal for supporting the current goals of the Democratic Party?

Not my goal. That'd be just one of the things included in the But your assumptions? sentence.

I'd thank you for proving my point, but I'm not in the least grateful.


I said let's test your assumptions. You are being fairly obfuscating about your answer and I'm not sure what point of yours I proved. However, your gratitude isn't what is required, but rather your stated goal. I'll ask it a different way. Do you or do you not support the Democratic Party's assertions that pulling out of Iraq by October 2008 is what is called for in this conflict? Simple question I would think.

reader_iam said...

I didn't, and don't, support the vision of certain elements of the Republican party, either.

But we are where we are, in terms of Iraq and the state of that country, and in terms of our obligations, and the stakes involved. (And yes, we're in a "no clear win" situation; it's a matter of choosing what's going to be lost, what the price is going to be and paid by whom, as a result of whatever choice we make. A hard place. Rocky. No easy out. Forget any notion of nobility or righteousness, from any side, regardless.)

As for my general disgust, which I've scattered in bits and pieces across various threads? In, one could almost say, an ecumenical fashion?

To quote something said to me recently, by someone I believe would forgive me, in this context, for doing so a bit out of context:

There is no future, and the present is just the string you pull to spin the past..

That pretty much sums up my personal feelings about the pox inflicting both houses: the infection is in the obsessive, compulsive spinning and pulling of the string.

reader_iam said...

We are cross-posting, at this point, and it is almost 3 in the morning where I am.

Methadras said...

reader_iam said...

I didn't, and don't, support the vision of certain elements of the Republican party, either.


And yet, you are incapable of answering a simple question that I'll state again:

Do you or do you not support the Democratic Party's assertions that pulling out of Iraq by October 2008 is what is called for in this conflict? Simple question I would think.

Whatever the elements you don't support within the republican party are irrelevant to the topic at hand. Only because:

1. No one, least of all myself asked you any questions regarding the elements of the vision of the Republican party you disagree with, and

2. I really don't care what you think of the republican party's elements of the vision that you disagree with.

However you've summarized your 'feelings' about this conflict is out of context with your unwillingness to answer my question, but yet have allowed to dovetail with your unwanted and irrelevant answer about you not wanting to support elements of the vision of the republican party.

This type of nebulous and ambiguous posting only allows room for people to make 'assumptions' about your true beliefs, which in this case are still hidden and couched behind that fact that you didn't, and don't, support the vision of certain elements of the Republican party, either.

Methadras said...

reader_iam said...

We are cross-posting, at this point, and it is almost 3 in the morning where I am.


I'm a san diegan that doesn't sleep.

reader_iam said...

October 2008 is a magical date for one reason, and one reason only.

And it isn't even an honest one.

Chip Ahoy said...

The idea of wanting to withdraw from Iraq to punish Bush makes me physically ill.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Doyle,

My guess is that this blog entry is intended to generate additional website traffic. I consider it to be Ann's version of chumming. Clearly it works.

I have to admit it's amusing to watch Methadras and other great internet warriors patriotically step forward to help fight the "war on terror" from their keyboards. Terrorists everywhere, who carefully follow American debate about the war in Iraq on blogs, looking for dissent, and being emboldened by it, must be shattered that Methadras has revealed their playbook:

...You will start to see the migratory patterns of these death dealers visit our shores again. And once more the cries of our citizens will bellow out into the air, but this time the level of passivity will be much greater. They will go after your children, they will hit us in our softest spots.

Hitting us in our softest spots? Should all American men be issued athletic cups, and all Bush supporters be issued helmets?

Daniel J. McKeown said...

Bush wants to give up the 'war president' costume the way people in Wisconsin want to give up bratwurst.

hdhouse said...

Jesus Methadras - where did you ooze out of? Hate to tell you pal but you sound like a GOPBOT that has been appearing on a number of blogs lately.

Your observations are two things: 1. poorly expressed and 2. wierder than all get out.

Bush in Iraq will not go down as Moses in Egypt redux. It will go down as the era when all reason was lost in a blur of political rhetoric and idiotic logic.

You have contributed well to it.

Monkeyboy said...

Yeah methadras, all this "consequence" stuff for actions? Thats just crazy talk!

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Cyrus, Doyle, and hdhouse are representative of the current Democratic mindset, so spoken by "show me the money" Harry Reid and Diane "show my husband the money" Feinstein.

That they have no idea why declaring surrender is the absolute worst thing you can do in war is both alarming and disgusting.

That they persist in questioning the motives of we who actually support the troops by supporting a successful mission (and there is no other way to support them) tells me that they are truly, finally, and at long last, nuts.

George said...

Yesterday I stumbled onto John Murtha on Flashpoint or Crossline or Shoutyoudown or whatever the name of that show is that stars that fast-talking Irish guy.

Murtha made two main points:

a) Gen. Petraeus is lying when he says that al-Qaeda is one of our enemies in Iraq. He may not have used the word 'lie', but his meaning was clear.

b) One reason we should exit Iraq immediately is that it upsets the children of soldiers. He said that on a recent visit to Ft. Bragg he was told that children complained to teachers about their parents' time away from home.

And I thought, hmm, here's a guy who was nearly indicted for taking bribes from FBI 'Arabs' calling a top US general essentially a 'liar.'

Even more bizarre, we must listen to our children and stop a war so that they can be with their mommies. Heeding that sort of rationale would send this country to its knees.

Crimso said...

"Germany and Italy declared war on the US not for the reasons you state but because the US declared war on Japan after Pearl Harbor. Under the Tripartite Agreement signed on 27 September 1940, Germany was obliged to join with Italy to defend its ally Japan."

Dead on. But more to the point, the U.S. Navy was in a de facto state of war against Germany well before 12/7/41 (or the actual date of the German DOW). Roosevelt had ordered U.S. ships to sink German subs on sight, and they were escorting British convoys. But the thread digresses...

Monkeyboy said...

Gen. Petraeus is lying when he says that al-Qaeda is one of our enemies in Iraq.

Maybe he meant that they were there, but they were not one of his enemies.

Crimso said...

"I have to admit it's amusing to watch Methadras and other great internet warriors patriotically step forward to help fight the "war on terror" from their keyboards."

Psst: Someone on your side should explain to you that invoking the chickenhawk fallacy hurts, rather than helps, your argument (at least among rational thinkers).

Mark said...

It is fairly clear that there are no facts, on the grounds or otherwise, that would convince the so called conservatives posting here in support of the indefinite stay in Iraq, that they are wrong.
I posit a simple challenge to those who oppose gradual withdrawal of troops from Iraq: please answer honestly,

1)when would you withdraw troops from Iraq, if ever?

2) if achieving goals in Iraq requires 20-30 year committment, are you prepared to honestly state that US will be there for that long?

3) exactly how our presence there "keeps them from coming here"?

4) do facts on the ground influence your decision at all or are they irrelevant?

5) does it matter that the majority of Iraqis want us out and support attacks on the troops?

6) given that neoconservatives have been wrong in almost everything they predicted about the war, why do you believe them now when they gravely warn of bloodshed following the withdrawal?

7) do you feel at all responsible that americans are dying in vain now solely because Bush and you are too stubborn to admit mistake?

8) do you concede that the war, so far, benefited mainly one nation: Iran?

Roger said...

I think that some strategic issues may have been thrown out with the tactical bathwater. (bad metaphor alert). Given the recent events in Iraq with respect to Al Maasri, it looks like to me that AQ may be on the outs with everyone. They seem to have absolutely no allies anywhere and have antagonized everyone; they really are dead enders

The President's rhetoric about AQ "taking over the government...." is silly. AQ are a bunch of terrorists, and it would be akin to the Mafia, as a mob, taking over the US. All AQ has is terror, which while spectacularly unpleasant builds no popular support with anyone. Does anyone honestly think AQ or sunni extremism is going to take root in Shiite Iraq?

Reflecting back a bit, it seems to me that AQ has been built into much more of a coherent structure than it really is. Intelligence agencies tend to do that: painting your enemies 10 feet tall when in fact, they are nothing like that. AQ really has nothing to offer for anyone because it uses terror indiscrimanately.

So if the take above is accurate, what to do? One facet of our strategy probably ought to be to continue to take out any geographic bases of operation to force AQ to stay mobile and decentralized. Once decentralized, they are easier to track with listening technology and I would argue easier, rather than more difficult to contain.

Terror is going to happen--its a tactic and can't be stopped in a free society. We have to continue to be vigilant which argues for increasing domestic security in those areas we can control, eg, the homeland. It means there must be a "law-enforcement" type of response as an element of our strategy.

So of our troops in Iraq? They are there there, IMO, to support the larger strategic mission which, I think, has been lost sight of: establishing a democratic state in the mid east. That, I believe, has been overlooked in the narrorer debate on Iraq. Are there advantages to building a democratic state in the Mid East? I think so, and that is the context in which our presence should be viewed--the "GWOT" may, in fact, be a sideshow and distraction.

If what I outline above has any coherence, then it argues for keep some presence of US troops in Iraq as long as a duly elected Iraqi governmetnt wants us to. That also establishes a benchmark and a mechanism for judging success in Iraq.

Building a democracy isnt easy--esp with the bloody distraction of terrorism, but recall, the declaration of independence was in 1776, and the constitution wasnt ratified until a decade and a half later. It does take time, and to the extent our presence in Iraq supports the democracy building effort, it would be foolish to leave for the wrong reason.

I really do wish that all sides would sit down and figure out where we are, because it looks to me like we have totally lost sight of the big picture.

George said...

Mark--

To answer your questions above...

1) I don't know. When will we bring the troops home from Germany, Korea, and Japan?

2) Sadly, yeah. We're still in Germany!

3) If you're a bored teenager in Saudi Arabia who thinks blowing himself up is cool, it's a shorter trip to Iraq than it is to Omaha.

4) Hard to know exactly what's going on. Lots of fog.

5) Is there an accurate poll on this subject??? Even if a minority only want us there, only a minority wanted independence from the King in 1776, and I presume that people prefer some level of independence, liberty, and freedom over rule by a foreign power (i.e. Iran).

6) Terrorists already kill innocent Iraqis just for talking to Americans on the street, so...sure, there're be a hideous bloodbath if we split.

7) They will have died in vain only if we come home and pretend the world will go away. We're the big kid on the block, sadly, and if we go home, the bullies take over. The post-Vietnam period from 75-82 was pretty darn ugly. We lost respect all around the world, and lots of innocent people died because we took our ball and went home.

8) No. Iran's economy is a shambles. Its people mostly loathe the regime, especially its ethnic minorities. Iran is an egg that will crack, so long as we keep applying pressure on it.

We're going to be involved militarily or otherwise in the Middle East for the rest of our lives and for the next few centuries until those nations mature into something resembling democracies.

This problem's going to be especially critical until we end our dependence on foreign oil (Ha!) If we get another oil crisis (a shortfall similar to what happened in the fall of '73), we'll get a wickedbad recession. Then the price of gas shot from @.30/gal to $1.20. Imagine if the price goes from $3 to $12 by the end of summer. The only people with jobs will be tenured law professors.

Monkeyboy said...

Mark;

Perhaps you should look at the facts on the ground. Start with Anbar and then move to operations in Baghdad. Micheal Yon and Iraq the model are good places to start.

Anywhoo...

1)when would you withdraw troops from Iraq, if ever?
When they are removed by our govt or requested by theirs.(see Subic Bay and Clark AFB)

2) if achieving goals in Iraq requires 20-30 year committment, are you prepared to honestly state that US will be there for that long?
I doubt the fighting will go on that long, so what we are talking about is a similar manning commitment to Germany, Japan or South Korea.

3) exactly how our presence there "keeps them from coming here"?
I mentioned Sun Tzu before, and Boyd. "Appear where he must hasten"

4) do facts on the ground influence your decision at all or are they irrelevant?
I keep abreast of the facts, which is why I am confident.

5) does it matter that the majority of Iraqis want us out and support attacks on the troops?
The Iraqi people have a representative government, we will leave when asked (see 1)

6) given that neoconservatives have been wrong in almost everything they predicted about the war, why do you believe them now when they gravely warn of bloodshed following the withdrawal?
Like the dreaded Afghan winter and Baghdadgrad? I'm not outraged because I know military history and planning. I worry about a bloodbath because I pay attention to what our enemies say, and I know history, bloodbaths usually follow.

7) do you feel at all responsible that americans are dying in vain now solely because Bush and you are too stubborn to admit mistake?
No, because we are not dying in vain, do you feel any responsibility?

8) do you concede that the war, so far, benefited mainly one nation: Iran?
So, paying attention to the violence and protest in Iran?
You also forget the Iraqis who can vote, speak out, see their children released from prison and have a say in the future of their country.

Crimso said...

"4) do facts on the ground influence your decision at all or are they irrelevant?"


We know the answer that would be given by Pelosi, Reid, et al., insofar as that experiment has been done. They would answer that facts on the ground are important, and then refuse to be briefed by Petraeus

MadisonMan said...

The Iraqi people have a representative government, we will leave when asked (see 1)

Why would the government ask us to leave if our departure might hasten the government's end? You can only support your children so long before you have to let them free to wander their own course, which may or may not endanger them. (Second Bad Metaphor Alert)

There should be Althouse awards like the Oscars for best post, worst Pun, etc. I'd nominate the first paragraph of this entire comment stream as the worst strawman. No one thinks a withdrawal will be pretty.

Roger said...

Mark: With respect to the questions you posed, here are my responses (and if you are interested in dialogue, then read my post immediately following yours where I laid out my views):

1)when would you withdraw troops from Iraq, if ever? Some troops remain in Iraq as long as a duly elected government in Iraq requests them to remain.

2) if achieving goals in Iraq requires 20-30 year committment, are you prepared to honestly state that US will be there for that long? Of course--look how long we have been in other regions of the world--building democracy is a long term project

3) exactly how our presence there "keeps them from coming here"? No amount of troops ANYWHERE will prevent a terrorist attack on the homeland; terrorism is a tactic--and I don't buy completely into the so-called fly-paper strategy, but it does seem to me that given a choice, I would rather fight some terrorists in Iraq than in chicago.

4) do facts on the ground influence your decision at all or are they irrelevant? Thats a silly question, frankly--the so-called "facts" on the ground have to be interpreted and they are always interpreted through the lenses of the observer. Are you so certain that you KNOW precisely what the facts on the ground are? if so, you are at best presumptious, and probably foolish. But to answer your more general question: of course strategy and tactics are adjusted in the face of reality, however defined.

5) does it matter that the majority of Iraqis want us out and support attacks on the troops? This is apparently one of your "facts" that I question. and to the larger point, as long as the duly elected government of Iraq, which is in theory responsive to "the people" want us there, then we ARE answering to the people of Iraq.

6) given that neoconservatives have been wrong in almost everything they predicted about the war, why do you believe them now when they gravely warn of bloodshed following the withdrawal?

Strike your first clause which is not entirely accurate; some predictions were wrong; the initial occupation was badly handled, but the larger strategic question (building a democracy in Iraq and the mid East) has yet to be answered; unless you KNOW what the future is, you are again, being presumptious.

7) do you feel at all responsible that americans are dying in vain now solely because Bush and you are too stubborn to admit mistake?
Again, you pose the question badly--why do you assume Americans are "dying in vain?" They may be dying in vain to YOU but not necessarily to them or to me. (and if you are sincere about posing questions, please stop with the "when did you stop beating your wife" kinds of questions. It only exposes your agenda and suggests you really arent interested in dialogue.

8) do you concede that the war, so far, benefited mainly one nation: Iran? Absoutely not; I think it could be argued that removing Saddam, even though the post war has been a mess, has and will continue to benefit Iraqis; we have influenced other nations in the region by our presence; and it can be argued that our action in Iraq, persuaded Libyia to give up its weapons program to the benefit of all.

Your thoughts?

Monkeyboy said...

MM:

Sorry I was thinking long term, like beyond the next election.
Any government that gives us basing priveledges can withdrawl them. At some point it may be in their best interest to have us leave, like in the Phillipines (and possible Okinawa). That would probably take years, or like the Germans, it may be their best interest to keep us.


No one thinks a withdrawal will be pretty.
And yet so many want it. Actually check with Mark, he may think it would be pretty.

Fen said...

"In May 2003, Iran sent a secret proposal to the U.S. for settling our mutual disputes in a “grand bargain.” It is an astonishing document, for it tries to address a range of U.S. concerns about nuclear weapons, terrorism and Iraq.

And Hitler just wants a bit more "living space". If only we had a Chamberlain with his "Plan Z"... he could have flown to Tehran to barter his soul for the promise of future negotiations [Manchester, The Last Lion Vol2]

reader_iam: Yet you're willing to piss it all away to make cheap points and express cheaper emotions.

Fair point. I'm just tired of watching others pay the price for US cowards enabling despotic bullies. To paraphrase Lincoln, those that advocate the surrender of the Iraqis deserve to feel the lash on their back.

Cyrus: I have to admit it's amusing to watch Methadras and other great internet warriors patriotically step forward to help fight the "war on terror" from their keyboards.

I'm a former US Marine. Served in Kuwait, Iraq, Somolia. So lets reverse your chickenhawk argument: if you haven't served, you can't criticize the war effort. Happy now?

Galvanized said...

Again, regardless of why, we are there. We cannot leave these people at the mercy of insurgents who terrorize their own people, or in the midst of a civil war between those who want democracy and power-hungry strategists.

Like Fen said, "Why did we attack Germany? They never did anything to us. That was an illegal immoral war."

It all boils down to the fact that history books will long from now distill actual results from popular opinion. I believe that history books will see this differently than we do now, because there will be much more come to light. As long as these insurgents know that America is at war with herself over this situation, and Bush is perceived around the world as a bully, then they have already won. Does it make sense for superpowers to cross oceans to contain bullies? I believe that it does. "To whom much is given, much is required." It's a clash of ideologies -- that Judeo-Christian belief of being a brother's keeper, protecting the underdog. Has America exploited others? Sure, she has. Prosperity is part of the big picture, and greed and consumerism abound. But have America's overall goals always been for peace? The answer is, "Yes, even at a price." It's clear that we've lost the respect of most of the world, which makes this war different. But time will tell. And even as Iraq blames her inability to ever become a peaceable country on the U.S. invasion, we will always know that American/Britain did all they could to bring them into democracy and out of the dark ages of tribal rule, genocide, and a corrupt dictatorship. It was clear to even Bush going in that this attempt to bring democracy to Iraq could be a decades-long struggle and not a quick win. However, I don't think that he correctly gauged the effects of the hostility and animosity that would develop between people here at home, and how the media would spin it against him and, in turn, the world. It began as a war on terror, clearly a gotta-do-something response to 9/11. But it has become a war of Muslims against Judaism/Christianity, democracy against old-world, antiquated tribal dictatorship, and anthropological question of if it is morally right to impose one culture's values on another, in the belief that it will benefit the imposee...in short, this war is on so many levels and deals more with fundamental beliefs than what's actually occurring. And, unfortunately, those will not be worked out in this generation. It's a sad fact. And in the meantime, the enemy -- AQ, terrorists -- sit back and enjoy the strife Americans are enduring over it all. I choose to believe that our aims were honorable (though naive and overly zealous) and in the interests of everyone -- the Iraqi people, Israel, the Middle East, and, admittedly, ourselves.

Roger said...

I have to agree with MM; the physical process of withdrawing troops will not be anything like "fighting our way out," or the helicopters on the embassy rooftop thing in Viet Nam. Thats just silly and gives AQ credit for a lot more capability than they have. If they had that kind of capability, they would be doing a lot more than blowing themselves up in order to blow up innocents.

Too many jims said...

Why would the government ask us to leave if our departure might hasten the government's end?

As a corollary to that, why would the government ask us to leave if we are paying for their defense and a good chunk of their infrastructure? Especially when we are asking for so little (i.e. political progress) and getting even less.

Tim said...

A simple fact remains: the enemy has not defeated us on the battlefield, yet the Democrats in Congress and their voters want us to give the enemy a victory they have not earned.

There are lots of reasons for this, of course, but love of country is most surely at the bottom of the list, if on it at all.

TMink said...

Galvanized wrote: "But it has become a war of Muslims against Judaism/Christianity, democracy against old-world, antiquated tribal dictatorship . . ."

It has become this for us, but I think it was always thus for our enemies.

I think that the left's responses on this are due to their humanistic and kind view of the world. Seriously, many on the left and kind folks who believe in the good of humanity. They are sitting ducks in a bad neighborhood and not suited for being wartime consiglieri, but they are fine people by and large.

Their basic premise, that people are inherently good and that progress is hampered by paranoid people (read ME lol) who are not advanced enough to recognize that people are good, is flawed. And that flaw is never more apparent than when someone is attempting to go medieval on their ass.

Sadly, that time is now, in so many ways. And they look foolish. But they are not, just wrong on the fundaments.

Trey

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Exactly so, Trey.

Exceptions include people who do know better, but exploit the naive do-gooders for political power: Murtha, Pelosi, Reid.

Traitors all.

Fen said...

/link fixed

Well said Trey.

I'm reminded of Bill's excellent article on Tribes at Eject!Eject!Eject

Tim said...

After almost one hundred years, the United States' progressive income tax, designed to redistribute wealth to resolve the mal-distribution of wealth in the country, has clearly failed.

We still have the poor.

We still have tax cheats.

We still have tax shelters.

It's a quagmire.

These will never change. No benchmarks will improve the lot of the poor. No deadlines will stop tax cheats. No tax enforcement surge will end tax shelters. The idiot liberals and progressives have been given a blank check to take money from hard working Americans based upon a lie - that redistributing income will win the war on poverty. Poverty has won. Tax cheats have won. Tax shelters have won. Tax collectors have lost. The war on poverty has been lost. It's time to end the war on poverty and repeal the income tax.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

1. we have no idea what victory will look like so we have no date when that will happen and even if it does happen we won't recognize it.

This can be said about almost every aspect of our own daily lives. When is the perfect time to have children? What is the exact outcome of changing jobs? Moving to a new location? How long exactly will it take for me to recover the costs of quiting a career and going to school to learn a new one? How can I be sure that getting married to this person is going to be the perfect marriage? Should I give it a date certain to know that it just didn't work out and file for divorce?

Does this mean we just give up and do nothing?

There are no certainties in life. But of one thing I feel certain, if we pull out before the situation in Iraq is stabilized, we will be responsible for another genocidal event. If we show such weakness of moral fiber and national character, we are inviting more attacks on our own soil and against our allies.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Fen wrote:

So lets reverse your chickenhawk argument: if you haven't served, you can't criticize the war effort. Happy now?


Fen, I don't believe I identified you as a chickenhawk. Why did you jump to the conclusion that what I wrote applied to you?

In fact, I didn't accuse anyone of being a chickenhawk, although at the Althouse blog what one actually writes is usually less important than the distorted version that gets repeated by anyone who disagrees. Why are people so eager to be offended that they manufacture insults against themselves?

Fen, aside from your premise being wrong, your "reversal" of my argument is not logically sound, as I never suggested that anyone be denied the right to support or criticize the war. The fact is that it is generally the war supporters, not the critics, who attempt to stifle dissent.

In any case, I forgive you for misunderstanding my post and criticizing me based on your misunderstanding.

Happy now?

Delighted. Fen, any day I am lucky enough to get your attention and a response is a very special day in my house. I hope you have a lovely Wednesday.

Crimso said...

"I have to admit it's amusing to watch Methadras and other great internet warriors patriotically step forward to help fight the "war on terror" from their keyboards."

"In fact, I didn't accuse anyone of being a chickenhawk"

I call bullshit.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

crimso wrote:

Psst: Someone on your side should explain to you that invoking the chickenhawk fallacy hurts, rather than helps, your argument (at least among rational thinkers).


Psst: I didn't mention chickenhawks at all. People who don't read well should be careful before criticizing others. And responding to someone based on sloppy reading hurts, rather than helps your argument (at least among rational thinkers).

No need to apologize; everyone makes mistakes now and then.

Crimso said...

I again call bullshit. But I suppose you are of the ilk who say it depends upon what the meaning of the word "is" is.

Mark said...

Roger,

I appreciate your comments and I do want a real dialogue. Although we disagree, I feel that a dialogue is beneficial as it hopefully helps us to see flaws in each other's position.

I agree almost 100% with the first half of your 7:56am post. I too, believe that AQ has been overrated, so to speak. They are a bunch of terrorists and they have no uniform support in Iraq. For now, it is an ally of some Iraqi tribes because they are united in common goal: to resist American occupation and to fight Shiites. Once US troops are not seen by most Sunnis as occupiers (because they have left and refocused on fighting Al Qaeda rather than participating in the civil war), I believe there'll be fewer reasons for Sunnis to cooperate with Al Qaeda and it's very likely that Al Qaeda will be left with very few, if any, allies in Iraq.

I agree with your strategy of forcing AQ to stay mobile and decentralized. Btw, I believe that's exactly what Democrats would do, too, from Edwards to Obama to Clinton.

I take some issue with your second half of the post. You say that US troops have a larger strategic mission to establish a democratic state in the Middle East. Now, that's a noble and worthy goal: who would disagree that it's to US benefit to have a free secular democratic state in the Middle East, as opposed to some authoritarian or extremist regime? Everyone would agree that it's desirable. However, we have to be realists. Democracy, as I am sure you know, is not simply being able to vote freely. Otherwise, Iran may be considered a democracy. Democracy is much more: it includes human rights, respect of law, minority rights, freedom of association, freedom of press, etc etc. It is, in my view, unfortunately, unrealistic to expect anything like true democracy to emerge in Iraq at this stage of history. No amount of US troops is going to make Iraq a democratic state in any foreseeable future simply because it's impossible for an artificial state as Iraq to go from a totalitarian dictatorship to democracy in any short period of time. Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites don't have any love for each other; for centuries they have been fighting, and it's only due to ruthless rule by Saddam that Iraq stayed together. With Saddam gone and elements of democracy being introduced, you see that Iraqis vote along religious lines and have no visible desire to stay together as a state, much less a democratic state. I don't see any political progress which would demonstrate that Sunnis and Shiites want to be together. The only thing keeping Iraq together now is the presence of US troops.
When you say that the troops have to stay in Iraq as long as their government wants us to stay, you assume that the government reflects the will of the Iraqi people. There's no fair way to judge this assumption to be correct. The government has a self-preservation interest; that's the only reason why it wants us to be there. The government represents the views of only Shiite part of Iraq, and probably of the minority of the Shiite part (see Al Sadr). Our presence, thus, is seen by most Iraqis as taking sides in the Iraqi civil war on the part of Shiites. Accordingly, our troops do not contribute to building democracy in Iraq; their primary goal is to keep Iraq from sliding into further civil war and partition, both of which appear (unfortunately) to be unavoidable in any case.

I predict that with the troops being gone (which will happen within 1-2 years, regardless of whether it's a good or bad idea), it is likely that Iraq will not be a single state. I don't like this outcome, but I think it's very very likely. Even if US troops stay in Iraq, there'll be next to none political progress and slowly-simmering civil war, exactly which is going on now. It will bring Iraq no closer to democracy and at best, will delay the massive civil war and (likely) partition.


With respect to your second post,
I don't believe that keeping troops for even 20-30 years will achieve "building democracy." As I said, it will defer the larger civil war but at what price? Growing anti-americanism; generations of Iraqi and other Muslims viewing US as occupiers. And it won't achieve our goals anyway! Therefore, it is counter-productive.

Noone likes to admit that the war is lost. However, this particular war in Iraq (more accurately, the attempt to build democracy in Iraq) is lost. We need to cut our losses and re-focus on fighting AQ, rather than utopical goal of bringing democracy in Iraq. Sadly, the history proved yet again that democracy cannot be imposed by force. The examples of Germany and Japan are inapposite because a) both countries have relatively strong sense of national identity, unlike Iraq, b) in neither of these countries, Americans were seen as occupiers by the majority of the population. From what read, Americans were indeed welcomed in both countries after the WWII. Further, Germany had democratic traditions for a long time, thus transition to a prosperous western democracy was easier there.

Regarding "fighting them there", I fail to see how us being there impedes in the slightest degree them from fighting us here. If anything, us being there is the best recruitment tool for AQ which paints us as occupiers of a Muslim nation, thus inspiring young jihadists to attack us anywhere.

Regarding facts on the ground, of course neither I nor anyone else KNOWS precisely what the facts are. But we can make our own judgments from the variety sources of information. In my judgment, which is informed by reading and watching a lot of different sources, it is impossible for us to build a democracy in Iraq, no matter how long we stay there; and therefore, in my judgment, Americans are dying in vain.

About neoconservatives being wrong: I had in mind all their predictions so far about the course of the war. For more than 4 years, they made totally unrealistic and false assumptions about Iraq and have been wrong in every single TESTABLE prediction, from us being greeted as liberators to the "last throes" of insurgency. Of course, we cannot KNOW what the future is, but we can make reasonable assumptions. Let me ask you: if someone is wrong about every single thing so far, do you trust his predictions about the future?

About Iran: I don't see how one can dispute that Iran emerged as a much stronger regional player as a result of the war. Its main regional adversary has been defeated and turned into a civil war; it is likely to be partitioned; the US is bogged down in Iraq and physically cannot engage in another war with Iran; the credibility of US among the world is almost zero; the anti-americanism throughout the world and especually among Muslim states is on the rise, etc.

Removing Saddam has benefited some Iraqis; however, in my view, it has not benefited regional stability and has not benefited Iraq as a state.

About Libya giving up its weapons, I concede that it's one of the very few positive outcomes of the war in Iraq.

Crimso said...

Or we can play it this way. I didn't say you mentioned chickenhawks, I said you invoked the fallacy, and I stand by my position.

Fen said...

Crimso, I've been down this road with Cyrus once already - you're wasting your breath. Let it go or he'll obfuscate for another 40 paragraphs.

Fen said...

Otherwise, Iran may be considered a democracy.

Nah, not when 250 candidates are removed from the ballot for being too moderate

I think you're losing sight of the goal re Democracy in Iraq: we have to reform the ME. We have to give the suicide-bomber a reason to live. Reform his civilization or he will tear down ours. The Iraqi's are sophisticated enough to create a "West Berlin" that will cascade across the ME. Thats why the tyrants in Syria, Iran [and House of Saud] are against it - it threatens their despotic hold on the populace. Bernard Lewis sums it up best:

"There is some justice in one charge that is frequently leveled against the United States, and more generally against the West: Middle Easterners frequently complain that the West judges them by different and lower standards than it does Europeans and Americans, both in what is expected of them and what they may expect, in terms of their economic well-being and their political freedom. They assert that Western spokesmen repeatedly overlook or even defend actions and support rulers that they would not tolerate in their own countries.
...there is nevertheless a widespread [Western] perception that there are significant differences between the advanced Western world and the rest, notably the peoples of Islam, and that these latter are in some ways different, with the tacit assumption that they are inferior. The most flagrant violations of civil rights, political freedom, and even human decency are disregarded or glossed over, and crimes against humanity, which in a European or American country would evoke a storm of outrage, are seen as normal and even acceptable.

...The underlying assumption in all this is that these people are incapable of running a democratic society and have neither concern nor capacity for human decency."

The Crisis of Islam, Bernard Lewis, p104

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

pogo wrote:

[lots of garbage]


Dear Pogo,

As I'm not a Democrat, it's not obvious how you conclude that I'm "representative of the current Democratic mindset." Will you please describe, in detail, the "current Democratic mindset" so that I can compare it to my current mindset and see if there is a match?

Also will you do me the great favor of reposting anything that I've written to indicate that I believe in "declaring surrender" in Iraq or in some other war elsewhere? I don't recall posting anything of the sort, so unless you're suffering from recent severe head trauma, there's little excuse for assigning that opinion to me.

Finally, will you also have the courtesy of reposting anything I've written in which I question the motives of those who support the troops? It seems to me that you're taking some liberties with the truth here (i.e., you're lying to create your strawman).

Pogo, intellectual dishonesty is not a good platform from which to launch your assault on anyone who disagrees with you. If you can't support your argument honestly, maybe you should remain silent and retain some self-respect in the process.

Fen said...

Mark, forgot to add that our attempt to forge a free and democratic state in the heart of the ME is the first step in our long range plan to defeat terrorism. Like you said, we can't kill all the terrorists, but we can co-opt them. Just like there are still socialists, but no Soviet Empire.

I have yet to see any long-range plan from the Left that addresses Islamic terrorism. If they have a better idea, I'm all ears.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

crimso wrote:

I didn't say you mentioned chickenhawks, I said you invoked the fallacy, and I stand by my position.


Hmmm, that's not much of an apology. I know I said you didn't have to apologize, but an apology (even a small one) would have been very considerate. Well, there's no law against being stubbornly wrong, so carry on.

By the way, what is the "chickenhawk fallacy?" Aside from the fact that you can't find any evidence that I accused anyone of being a chickenhawk, do you have any evidence that I claimed some consequence of being a chickenhawk that in some way represents application of the "chickenhawk fallacy?"

I'm eagerly awaiting your reply.

tjl said...

Mark argues, "The examples of Germany and Japan are inapposite because ... in neither of these countries, Americans were seen as occupiers by the majority of the population."

Wrong, wrong, wrong. If Mark had ever set foot in Japan, he'd know how conspicuous a single Westerner is in that insular society, much less an occupying army.

"Further, Germany had democratic traditions for a long time"

A long time? The Weimar republic?

Before citing history to support your argument, it would be a good idea to actually learn some history.

Fen said...

Cyrus: By the way, what is the "chickenhawk fallacy?"

The chickenhawk fallacy: ad hom attack on war supporters, implying that if they really believed in what they advocate, they would support the war effort from the FEBA [ie enlist] instead of debating it on the net.

Here's an example:

"I have to admit it's amusing to watch Methadras and other great internet warriors patriotically step forward to help fight the "war on terror" from their keyboards."

Roger said...

Mark--with respect to my argument that we should stay in Iraq as long as a duly elected government wants us there, yes--I am assuming that the elected Iraqi government reflects the will of the majority of Iraqis--and given the shiia majority as well as what appears to be a sunni diaspora, looks like iraq will end up as a shiia state (and I do expect Iraq will ultimately be partioned, not tri part, but Kurdistan and shiia Iraq.

I do agree that Iran MAY be in the best position given events in Iraq. Two things may make it difficult for them to benefit even more: the internal situation in Iran, and the fact they are Persian and not Arabs, shiia notwithstanding. While I think the Iraqis might find their support tactically useful, they will remain suspicious of them.

And you, are of course correct with respect to establishing democracy. It is problemmatic to say the least and I regard it as a
gamble, and big gamble. and were Iraq, or a partitioned Iraq, to become a stable democracy, that could, ironicaly, result in even more regional turmoil, if the neocon theory about democracy in the mid east comes about.

As to strategies with respect to fighting AQ--I believe military forces used against decentralized terrorism to be a waste of resources: Small unit, aggressive Mossad-like actions are the only way to eliminate decentralized terror cells. And yes, it does also require what I think republicans are too easy to dismiss as a law-enforcement approach.

If military force is useful at all it is useful in the Afghan-Taliban situation where AQ had a base of operations. No amount of battalions, brigades, and divisions can stop people who are willing to blow themselves up.

It is genuinely ironic, that in all the furor about the so called timetable withdrawal plan, I don't know how many people looked at the bill that came out of conference. It actuallly, IMO, laid out a pretty good approach: (1) withdraw major combat formations (2) keep (undefined) residual forces there as long as need to protect American intallations, AND, significantly (3) maintain enough forces there to combat terrorism and train Iraqis! Sounded like exactly the approach I would take. But it all became a political kabuki.

When I suggest leaving forces there I dont mean a large amount. It used to be said by opponents of US deployment in germany, that all we really needed was a platoon and a flag to act as a tripwire.
I dont know how many forces would be required in Iraq: my thought is no more than a couple of brigades, whose mission would be training and back-up for iraqi forces. The reason I think boots on the ground are important there are more for the symbolic commitment to other regional players.

Appreciate your comments, and apprreciate the opportunity to share views. and as you may have noted, when the rhetoric tones down in the arguments, we end up not that far apart! Funny, that!

Crimso said...

"but an apology (even a small one) would have been very considerate"

No, it would have been wrong. Your intellectual dishonesty here is on display for all. You might want to just declare victory, and, you know, redeploy to Okinawa.

Kirk said...

Mark,

"if achieving goals in Iraq requires 20-30 year committment, are you prepared to honestly state that US will be there for that long?"

Other than the slur you imply by including "honestly" (so my previous statements haven't been honest?) I have no problem with such a committment per se. It took us much longer than that to achieve our goals in the Cold War, didn't it?

ShadowFox said...

Methadras, Galvanized:
Does it bother you at all that your argument extends equally to any military action that creates an active warzone? To put it another way, Bush's statement--as so many are--is idiotic because under his definitions there is no possibility of ever leaving, except (1) under the cover of darkness when no one is looking--and without advance planning, or (2) when the entire population is suppressed or destroyed so that there is no one left to attack the retreating force.

This is complete nonsense. As it stands now, the US is not even a party to the conflict. Sure there are elements (let's call them al-Qaeda if it makes you feel better) whose primary target is US troops, but for the majority of "insurgents" the target is local. Since Shia are the majority, the "insurgents" are generally viewed as Sunni.

But, of course, when "insurgents" attack, the Shiite militias retaliate. The conflict is completely internal, but, as is common in such situations, any other irritant, however minor, will come under attack as well.

The war, as W has so proudly proclaimed, was over 4 years ago. "Rebuilding" is nothing more than occupation with extra money to friends. Whether the goal was legitimate or not, the rebuilding part has been a complete failure--most funds were outright stolen, the remainder was used for shoddy construction, or, worse yet, for indirect training of death squads.

So all that remains is occupation. Occupation--unless it has annexation as a goal--must have an end date. Generally, the end date is the point in time after which the occupation serves no useful purpose. The question is, have we reached that point?

This is the crux of the dilemma. On one side, we can still talk about the problems that we are trying to address. What are they? On the other hand, you have the administration attitude that even asking that question "aids the terrorists". So we have absolutely no idea what the goals are.

It is perfectly reasonable to ask
(1) to outline specific goals;
(2) to establish a decision process for judging if (1) is being reached;
(3) to establish a limited window for determining if any progress is being made under (2);
(4) to create guidelines for withdrawal if no progress is made under (3).

This is what has been repeatedly demanded last year. The administration remained obstinate even on (1), no matter whether the demands were coming from civilian opposition or military command. Solving the military command problem was easy--they removed most of the senior officers and replaced them with rubber-stamping flunkies.

Then they responded to a changing tide of public opinion by inventing the "surge". The new bunch of commanders were recruited to endorse it (hence the purge of the military command).

Since the civilian opposition, by then, took its constitutional oversight role, noises were made that the "new" tactic will be evaluated in "60 to 90 days" (just ask Condi).

Now, 90 days are up. With nothing else changed, it is reasonable to assume that the only goal of the occupation now is the preservation of occupation. This is not a legitimate military or policy goal. Unless the administration is prepared to articulate specific goals, there is no purpose to continued military presence. If that means that "we" have to withdraw with the tail between the legs, so be it.

I'll address the Israel issue later.

Pogo said...

Cyrus,

It's beyond the time to suggest a discussion where column A ("Complete the Mission") is set against column B ("Withdraw").

The left does not want and cannot have that discussion. Instead, like you, they call people names. Chickenhawks (your denial thereof being worhtless), idiots, etc.

I no longer believe the left has a reasonable argument and simply sees things differently. They are copperheads, and therefore traitors. I no longer give a flying f*** if you think that's "intellectually dishonest", because this is a discussion about core beliefs, not some stupid exercise where more data points would sway one's opinion.

The course of the next 100 years is being set now.
And you have chosen the side of defeat, and surrender to barbarism.

Mark said...

Roger,

I appreciate your last post. As you correctly note, we are not that far apart with respect to Iraq and probably other foreign policy issues.

I agree with your take on Iran; I don't know what's more important for Iraqi Shia: their identity as Arabs or as Shia. I suspect that Shia has a stronger identity, but I don't know for sure. I do know that Iran has been supporting Iraqi Shia for a long time and the party in charge of Iraq used to be based in Iran.

I also agree that Iranian regime is probably not very stable domestically; their President is a la Zhirinovsky who has bombastic rhetoric but cannot deliver. Ironically, it was the war in Iraq that contributed to his rise in power in Iran on the wave of anti-americanism. Hopefully, he'll be out of power in Iran come next year.

I agree with you 100% about the funding bill vetoed by Bush.

I also completely agree that some troops will have to stay in Iraq for training, back up, and anti-AQ operations.

We are in fact very close in our views and I appreciate the exchange of ideas.

Mark said...

Cyrus,

I strongly advise against any "dialogue" with traitors like Pogo. Pogo-types are incapable of honest dialogue.

Crimso said...

Pogo

I strongly advise against any "dialogue" with traitors like Cyrus. Cyrus-types are incapable of honest dialogue.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Fen,

I know that's your way of admitting you were wrong, and I have to say, it shows great strength of character on your part. Thank you.

Roger said...

Mark--sorry; didnt respond completely to your previous re neocon predictions. You will get no argument from me that the post combat phase was botched and badly botched. the single biggest mistake: disbanding the iraqi army. Donald Rumsfeld actually did some good stuff from a larger military perspective (from a non-iraq perspective) but screwed up the ocupation phase badly; The "PR" aspects of the war were badly handled. Too many administration officials painted too rosy a picture following combat operations and failed to set realistic expectations. And the President really failed, IMO, to mobilize the nation for a long haul operation. I know he continued to talk about the GWOT being a long term operation; but when your speeches arent particularly memorable, that is easilly forgotten. The president is very clearly no FDR nor Churchill, and that has not helped.

That said, I do agree with the basic element of so-called neo-con strategy: the need to foster democratic development in the middle east to reduce the incubator for terrorism.

Mark said...

Kirk:

I didn't imply that you in particular were being dishonest.
However, very often war supporters are hiding behind the slogans of "progress" in Iraq to create a false impression that we are close to achieving our mission (whatever that is) in Iraq. That's why it's important for an honest discussion to have a clear timeframe of how long the war supporters are prepared to keep US troops in Iraq.

It's equally important for war opponents to deal with consequences of withdrawal or re-defining the mission. I too, believe that Democrats are often too vague about what happens in Iraq after most of the troops are withdrawn. For my view, see my previous posts. I agree with Roger that some troops will have to stay in Iraq.

Methadras said...

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Doyle,

My guess is that this blog entry is intended to generate additional website traffic. I consider it to be Ann's version of chumming. Clearly it works.

I have to admit it's amusing to watch Methadras and other great internet warriors patriotically step forward to help fight the "war on terror" from their keyboards. Terrorists everywhere, who carefully follow American debate about the war in Iraq on blogs, looking for dissent, and being emboldened by it, must be shattered that Methadras has revealed their playbook:

...You will start to see the migratory patterns of these death dealers visit our shores again. And once more the cries of our citizens will bellow out into the air, but this time the level of passivity will be much greater. They will go after your children, they will hit us in our softest spots.

Hitting us in our softest spots? Should all American men be issued athletic cups, and all Bush supporters be issued helmets?


What are you amused about? The fact that you sit hapless behind a keyboard eviscerating your country to the likes Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, et. al. so you can score some sort of political brownie points that you got one over on Bush? Bush isn't the problem, you and your ilk are the problem. You cry like errant children that don't get their way and your support for handing our enemy a victory is proof positive of that notion. I've asked this time and time again. What are you trying to gain from saying that Iraq is a loss? How can you defeat your enemy when you and other like you, citizen and politician, neither have the stomach or the penchant to support a conflict that you dislike because it's criteria wasn't picture perfect for you?

It's one thing to say you don't support a war. It's another thing to cowardly undercut the entire process for political purposes and that's what this entire kabuki theater from the democrats is all about. Your support of these notions only makes you complicit in this cowardice because you think you have a better way, which you know against an enemy like this won't work, but yet you chug on, hammering your anti-bush nonsense as a means to an end. And that end could spell the end for the west. Maybe not in 10 years, maybe not in 20, but maybe by a generation. The only solice you will get from it, I suppose, is you can stand by and watch as radical Islamic Fundamentalism takes hold and sweeps across the world.

I wonder if Hugo Chavez and the other South American countries are prepared for the scourge that will be coming their way.

Be that as it may, a stoppage of this war means that terrorism and it's acolytes can set up staging areas in this country, bidding their time and waiting for their moment to strike. And when they do it won't be against police stations and fire stations or other targets. It will be in your childrens classrooms, it will be at their bus stops, it will be where they shop, it will be in our centers of commerce, it will be in the middle of a freeway during rush hour traffic, It will be in churches on a nice sunday morning. So while you are asking for the government to issue atheletic cups in your smarmy, leftist way to protect our soft spots, maybe the DNC will bring you and your ilk on short buses to watch these potential horrors unfold.

Either way, you've once again demonstrated that parsing is your modus operandi, which in general demonstrates that you are of weak mind and demonstrate even weaker intellectual acumen.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Fen,

The problem with your "chickenhawk fallacy" example is that I have absolutely no idea if Methadras, or anyone else here, is qualified to serve in the military.

Again, in your rush to take offense, you've distorted what I've said. As you say, we've seen it before...

Mark said...

Crimso,

Your sarcasm falls flat. I haven't seen Cyrus accuse Pogo of being a traitor; while Pogo just wrote that he views "the left" as traitors. I see no point in dialogue with crazys. I would use the stronger word but I'll refrain. It's the Pogo-types (a la Ann Coulter) that poison political discourse in this country. Disgusting.

Mark said...

Roger,

I agree that US needs to foster democracy in the Middle East and in the long run, it is the best anti-terror strategy. However, it is my firm belief that the Iraqi war has been completely counter-productive to this worthy goal.

Methadras said...

hdhouse said...

Jesus Methadras - where did you ooze out of? Hate to tell you pal but you sound like a GOPBOT that has been appearing on a number of blogs lately.

Your observations are two things: 1. poorly expressed and 2. wierder than all get out.

Bush in Iraq will not go down as Moses in Egypt redux. It will go down as the era when all reason was lost in a blur of political rhetoric and idiotic logic.

You have contributed well to it.


And your point is, is that you don't like what I've had to say, while you express essentially nothing. Bravo for leftist/liberal wit and shallow thinking. Do you people not get tired of your own malignant narcissism of thinking that your idea and ideology bear any resemblance to being correct or accurate? All you've done is critique, and horribly so, my ability to articulate my ideas. If that is what you call intellectual prowess, then your ilk are masters at it.

Crimso said...

[sigh]

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

... pogo graduates from the methadras school of creative writing:

I no longer believe the left has a reasonable argument and simply sees things differently. They are copperheads, and therefore traitors...

The course of the next 100 years is being set now.
And you have chosen the side of defeat, and surrender to barbarism.


Funny stuff! Not methadras quality humor yet, but stick with it. The "surrender to barbarism" ending was a nice touch however.

Roger said...

Mark--and the Iraq operation may, in fact, be as you describe; I am willing to give it more time before I reach that conclusion.

Enjoyed the discussion!

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

methadras wrote:

[Y]ou've once again demonstrated that parsing is your modus operandi, which in general demonstrates that you are of weak mind and demonstrate even weaker intellectual acumen.


Ok methadras, I have to give you credit... I don't think you plagarized your post to me this time. Does this mean you learned your lesson?

Richard Dolan said...

Two things struck me about Bush's statement explaining his veto. First, he emphasized heavily the importance of giving Gen. Petraeus's "new strategy" a chance to work. Bush said that the General expects to be able to render his first in-depth evaluation at the end of the summer. The President didn't say anything about what happens if that evaluation turns out to be negative or ambivalent. Given his point about not tipping our hand to AQ (they'll just "mark their calendars"), the President clearly doesn't intend to discuss publicly what Plan B might look like if Plan A (Petraeus and the surge) doesn't work (however that will be defined). But his emphasis on waiting for the General's evaluation was in obvious tension with his other themes (America must "meet its commitments," etc.). I doubt that anyone (including AQ) missed that tension in Bush's speech (and the Bush Admin's policy generally). Bush's emphasis on Petraeus made that tension all the more evident when his speech is viewed against the Dem's announced view that the war was lost a long time ago but Bush just never noticed. If Petraeus' evaluation turns out to be negative, where does that leave Bush's policy?

Second, the political tone of the speech was different -- certainly different from the tone of this thread. Bush clearly wants to be the adult in this drama, by which he means that America must "keep its commitments," refuse to set a "date for failure," etc. In contrast, Bush noted that the Dems knew all along that they never had the votes to accomplish their statutory fixed-timetable-for-retreat policy. Instead, the whole thing was just an exercise in theatrics, so that the Dems could send "their message." Now that the Dems have sent it (not that anyone didn't know what it was without all the theatrics), Bush says that it's time for us adults to do the right thing by the troops.

Nothing about this speech is going to change anyone's mind about the Iraqi war or the jihadi war more generally. But Bush comes across as a remarkable leader nonetheless. He clearly believes what he is saying, and thinks that any other course would expose the US to unacceptable dangers (both in terms of how other perceive US willpower and reliability, and how retreat would just strengthen AQ and the jihadis and expose the US to worse attacks elsewhere). And he doesn't give a fig whether the actions he feels he has to take to defend America and its interests will lead to electoral disadvantage or even disaster for the R team in 2008 -- political calculations of that sort (i.e. of the sort that Harry Reid insists on blurting out on the other side) are completely absent.

Depending on one's perspective, that's either a principled profile in courage or a stubborn refusal to accept reality. In all events it was a remarkable speech by a man that his opponents continue to underestimate -- the sort of simple, plain speech that Truman could have delivered.

Methadras said...

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

methadras wrote:

[Y]ou've once again demonstrated that parsing is your modus operandi, which in general demonstrates that you are of weak mind and demonstrate even weaker intellectual acumen.

Ok methadras, I have to give you credit... I don't think you plagarized your post to me this time. Does this mean you learned your lesson?


First of all, I don't plagiarize anything, contrary to your beliefs. I try to give credit where credit is due. Not that I have to answer to your repugnant assertions of plagiarism, which I won't even dignify a response to, but I will say that my standards for due diligence have been raised. I admit I got singed, but not in the way you think, and even more so it doesn't discredit the content, perspective, or context of the message. So please stuff your smug notions that I've committed plagiarism wherever it is a leftist like you derives his most pleasure from. I won't satisfy you.

MadisonMan said...

If Petraeus' evaluation turns out to be negative,

If that happens, I suppose one option for Bush would be to replace Petraeus with a General who supports the Bush goals. That's certainly one of Bush's powers.

Now that the Dems have sent their message, and the President has sent his, the Exec/Legislative branches can reach the obvious compromise.

Mark said...

Roger:

I much enjoyed our discussion too!
A pleasure to exchange views with someone who's open to persuasion and who's not drooling with admiration for a "strong resolute leader".

Moreover, I sincerely hope that you are right and I am wrong regarding democracy in the Middle East.

Mark said...

Shadowfox:

An excellent post. However I wouldn't expect any serious arguments from the Methadras' crowd: they are not interested in a dialogue.

Pogo said...

Re: "It's the Pogo-types (a la Ann Coulter) that poison political discourse in this country. Disgusting."

Really?
You haven't been around here much.
From dave "the blithering misogynist idiot six pack wine box" stalker, to cyrus who thinks that surrendering to barbarism is actually something funny and cannot admit he's called people chickenhawks (the chicken), to doyle who demands that Ann Wake the hell up, to hdhouse who asks "where did you ooze out of?" and says disagreement is by GOPBOTs.

And you say I am poisoning political discourse in this country?
Shit, dude, that's rich.
MadisonMan and Ann are the only sane discussants from the left remaining. All else is slogans, so i respond in kind. No discussion is wanted or granted from Freder, et al. And my concerns are summarily dismissed, so Mark can say "they are not interested in a dialogue." when he doesn't get the submission he demands.

So screw it.
Why pretend that hdhouse et al are engaging in any sort of reasoned discourse on the topic of Iraq? It's just more brick throwing. And yes, I now believe, because of Harry Reid, that these folks are actually traitors to this country.

Mark said...

Pogo,

I've been here for a long time.
There are some commenters on the right with substantive arguments: simon, reader_iam, occasionally but rarely fen, etc. There are some centrists like Roger with whom it's a pleasure to debate. Likewise, there are some commenters on the left who don't really contribute to a dialogue. However, by and large, the posts of right wingers come down to accusations of treason, empty slogans, idiotic rhetoric, and admiration of Bush's "resolve."
Cyrus, as I understand, is not even of the left. His mocking of the nonsensical "surrender to barbarism" does not make him a leftist, you know.

And when you have no arguments except for slogans, you accuse others of treasons. Really despicable, and yes, it's you and other extremists who poison the political discourse. I see no point in dialogue with you.

MadisonMan said...

Pogo, I'm a very cynical pragmatic with an inherent distrust of most politicians. I'm not "The Left" (especially not here in Madison).

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

My dear friend Pogo,

I apologize profusely for not knowing that the "war on terror" is now officially termed the "war on barbarism." It's so hard for me to keep up with the "marketing" side of the war effort.

I remember in 2004 when Bush renamed the war...

We've actually misnamed the War On Terror; it ought to be the the the struggle against ideological extremists who do not believe in free societies who happen to use terror as a weapon, to try to shape the conscience of the free world.

I guess the "struggle against ideological extremists who do not believe in free societies who happen to use terror as a weapon, to try to shape the conscience of the free world" didn't really catch on. Plus it was hard to fit on bumperstickers.

I remember that Rumsfeld also renamed it, coming up with the "battle against the enemies of freedom and the enemies of civilization." Even though this is short and snappy, it didn't do well with focus groups, so it was scrapped.

An important rule in selling a product is to have a sharp name. Personally, I liked the "crusade against terrorism," but I can see how your "war against barbarism" would be less offensive to the rest of the world.

Keep up the good work.

Freder Frederson said...

No discussion is wanted or granted from Freder, et al. And my concerns are summarily dismissed,

I must really get under your skin when I get picked on in a thread I commented on once way at the top! And that was on a factual error (that we declared war on Germany in World War II, when in fact Germany declared war on us).

Monkeyboy said...

Cyrus:

Using "air quotes" may be "cute" but it doesn't mean that any of those "issues" go away.

So keep being "cool" and "above it all". We "adults" will continue to "protect" you, whether you have done anything to "deserve" it or not.

Monkeyboy said...

Fed;

fed:

Fens point was that while Hitler did declare war, we were the ones acting warlike in the Atlantic (See Sloans 11:31)
Another reason for the declaration was to attempt to get the Japanese to declare on Russia, and open a second front in Manchuria. The Japanese didn't. Its not like Hitler considered himself bound by the letter of any treaty he signed.

Pogo said...

Mark,
Come on. Fen has no arguments? Criminey. That colors your answer, to be sure. I find Fen quite informed, reasoned, and intelligent. He has military experience, and has repeatedly debunked numerous stray coments here. He does thrust and parry, and even mock when called for. Nothing wrong with that; it's hardly his modus operandi.

I find it "despicable" to call me an extremist, for it permits you to dismiss my concerns without discussion. You don't call out any of the left I have named, and they represent the majority of posters here, to be sure, for their repeatedly underhanded and sometimes vile behavior. Instead the nasty portion of the left becomes "some commenters on the left who don't really contribute to a dialogue", while I and the right are "despicable".

Hell, I'd love to have a reasoned debate about Iraq. But you close it off as impossible, announcing you cannot discuss anything with me, even before opening a conversation or our ever having discussed anything at all together.

I think Harry Reid is a traitor because he said that we have lost in Iraq and wants to defund the troops precisley as he has said this was just so the democrats will win more votes in 2008. I'd sincerely like a discussion on the merits or demerits of that belief. But I suspect you'll just say I am despicable, because it's easier. So, are you going to throw more bricks, or what?

P.S. to MadisonMan. Not left? Well, you're left of me, anyway, but perhaps that's not saying much. Still, you are a sane voice, like Elizabeth and Ann, whom I consider adults who simply have different beliefs than I carry. hdhouse? A brickthrower.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

methadras wrote:

First of all, I don't plagiarize anything, contrary to your beliefs. I try to give credit where credit is due. Not that I have to answer to your repugnant assertions of plagiarism, which I won't even dignify a response to, but I will say that my standards for due diligence have been raised. I admit I got singed, but not in the way you think, and even more so it doesn't discredit the content, perspective, or context of the message. So please stuff your smug notions that I've committed plagiarism wherever it is a leftist like you derives his most pleasure from. I won't satisfy you.


Oh, so when you copied your lengthy response word for word from a source that you didn't cite, that wasn't plagarism? How morally relativistic of you!

Methadras, frankly I don't care if you plagarize from Steven Milloy. He's been discredited hundreds of times, and in my response to him (or you, or whomever), I showed specifically how the "content, perspective, and context" are logically and factually incorrect. You're right, however, that your plagarism isn't the basis for the failure of his argument. His case falls on its own, without help from you.

The point I was trying to make, and that you of course missed, as usual, is that you, having been caught plagarizing, are in no position to accuse me or anyone else here of having a "weak mind" or an "even weaker intellectual acumen." You forfeited all credibility when you stole the words of someone else because you were too lazy and/or too stupid to do the research and writing yourself.

You're right that you don't have to answer to me about your plagarism. That's something I'll leave to you and your conscience.

Invisible Man said...

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is,"
"I think it's also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn,"


Guess which surrender monkey made these 2 statements. The answer is on Andrew Sullivan's blog if your curious.

Pogo said...

Re: "An important rule in selling a product is to have a sharp name."

Ah, John Stewart is here. Adolescent cynicism at its finest.

I believe, in contrast, that honor, duty, country and integrity have real meanings. And real consequences. It's not some sophomore's game to see who gets pwned by the best snotty remark.

For example, the 'plagiarism' crap. Get over yourself. This is a blog. We post stuff, and many cut and paste without attribution. You want footnotes for snark? Heh.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

monkeyboy wrote:

We "adults" will continue to "protect" you, whether you have done anything to "deserve" it or not.


Holy crap! The "adults" elected you to speak for them?

Look monkeyboy, you and the other "adults" may have good intentions, but the Iraq invasion isn't protecting me. Terrorism in the world is on the rise, not the decline. Americans are NOT safer in the world because we invaded Iraq. So please, next time you "adults" decide to do me a favor, don't. I don't need that kind of "protection."

Doyle said...

We "adults" will continue to "protect" you, whether you have done anything to "deserve" it or not.

Well get to it then! What are you doing loitering at Althouse? Go kill some Islammunofascists already. We're counting on you, MonkeyBoy.

Monkeyboy said...

Doyle - Thats the second time on this blog you've stepped in it slinging "chickenhawk".

I'm slated to go to Afghanistan in a month.

Next time make it a deniable slur, like Cyrus does.

Doyle said...

Well good luck then. You're still an idiot.

Roger said...

For those interested in terrorist incidents, the US Dept of State tracks those incidents here. And Cyrus Pinkerton is correct that terrorist incidents world wide have increased steady since 2003.

Roger said...

For those who might question one of the keystones of the so-called neocon strategy about promoting democracy as a way to reduce terrorism, see this study

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

Pogo,

"Come on. Fen has no arguments?Criminey. That colors your answer, to be sure. I find Fen quite informed, reasoned, and intelligent. He has military experience, and has repeatedly debunked numerous stray coments here. He does thrust and parry, and even mock when called for. Nothing wrong with that; it's hardly his modus operandi."

You are not reading carefully. I said that Fen occasionally posts substantive comments.


"I find it "despicable" to call me an extremist, for it permits you to dismiss my concerns without discussion. You don't call out any of the left I have named, and they represent the majority of posters here, to be sure, for their repeatedly underhanded and sometimes vile behavior. Instead the nasty portion of the left becomes "some commenters on the left who don't really contribute to a dialogue", while I and the right are "despicable"."

Well, you didn't point out who exactly accused you of being a traitor. You, OTOH, accused the whole "left" of being traitors. I consider myself slightly left of center on most, but not all issues. So, your comment about the "left" being traitorous is offensive to me; to the point that I doubt the wisdom of debating someone throwing such comments.
You named some left commenters; dave is obviously a jokester; I would not necessarily use all of hdhouse and doyle's rhetoric, but they often make substantive valid points and they don't accuse those who disagree of treason.

"Hell, I'd love to have a reasoned debate about Iraq. But you close it off as impossible, announcing you cannot discuss anything with me, even before opening a conversation or our ever having discussed anything at all together."


See above; if you really would love to have a debate, I am open to it; but as soon as you accuse me (by implication) of treason, I conclude that you are not debating in good faith.

"I think Harry Reid is a traitor because he said that we have lost in Iraq and wants to defund the troops precisley as he has said this was just so the democrats will win more votes in 2008. I'd sincerely like a discussion on the merits or demerits of that belief."

Now, that's narrower, only Harry Reid is now a traitor. I guess we're making some progress.
Substantively, this is of course a false statement, or less charitably, a lie. I can say so because I followed Reid's comments closely. Please cite where Reid said that the he wants to defund "just so" to help Democratic electoral prospects. I won't accept anything but a direct quote since that's what you accused Reid of.
For now, I assume you were in good faith mistaken and misunderstood Reid's comments.

Fen said...

And Cyrus Pinkerton is correct that terrorist incidents world wide have increased steady since 2003.

Only if you include terrorism in Iraq and Afganistan:

"Nowhere in either piece do you learn the fact that aside from the Middle East (which does not include Afghanistan according to State), the number of terrorist attacks worldwide is down from a year ago by over 300 incidents. The number of deaths from terrorism was only up 14 percent.

In other words, the Bush administration's idea that making Iraq the "central front in the war on terror" seems to be working. According to the State report, terrorism in South Asia is down by 10 percent from a year ago. In Europe, it's down 18 percent. In Central and South America, terrorism-related deaths are down 54 percent."

http://newsbusters.org/node/12431

Roger said...

Fen's commente is well taken; you really need to dissaggregate the data to make any meaningful conclusions.

Mark said...

Fen,

You're gasping for straws. Your quote says:

"Nowhere in either piece do you learn the fact that aside from the Middle East (which does not include Afghanistan according to State), the number of terrorist attacks worldwide is down from a year ago by over 300 incidents. The number of deaths from terrorism was only up 14 percent."

This seems to exclude the whole Middle East. Any logic for excluding the most volatile region on the Earth? It's like saying in the midst the WWII: aside from the Russian casualties, the rate of casualties has dropped.

Moreover, the number of deaths is up by 14%.

It's great that the number of terrorist acts in South America, Asia, or Europe is down compared to last year. However, it doesn't mean that Bush's strategy is succeeding unless you assume that the drop is due to the war in Iraq; and I see no reason at all for this assumption.

Fen said...

mark: You are not reading carefully. I said that Fen occasionally posts substantive comments

Mark, I'm beginning to think you are a Concern Troll. I do not lash out unless someone else draws first blood, and my comments to you here have been civil. In fact, my remarks re Iraqi Democracy are so similar to Roger's that I had to double-check to ensure you weren't attributing them to him.

Pogo and others have a valid point comparing Dems to Copperheads. Since this debate began, the Left has dishonestly argued that Bush Lied, has pretended that Bush blamed AQ for 9-11, has denied evidence of connections b/w Saddam & AQ, has harped and nitpicked every decision, smeared supporters of the war in Iraq as chickenhawks and war-mongerers, etc. Now you come in wanting a civil discussion? How can you expect anyone to grant your side the benefit of doubt after the last 4 years of dishonest debate from the Left. And why should your complaints be taken seriously when you ignore first-blood drawn against Methadras by those on your side? And btw, I seem to recall some bomb-throwing from you on this very blog. Do I need to cite it?

Regardless, here's my question for you: Assume Ayman al-Zawahiri declares the war is lost and that Al Queda will be redeploying from Iraq to Afganistan. What would that mean to the West? What affect would it have on our morale and our will?

Fen said...

has pretended that Bush blamed AQ for 9-11

Should be has pretended that Bush blamed Saddam for 9-11

Thats twice now. No idea why I keep doing that [sigh]

Roger said...

I think the way I would look at the data is that outside Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorist incidents are, in fact, down. This would suggest to me that as a US citizen I am safer as long as I stay out of those two places. I think the data also clearly show the US presence in Iraq/Afghanistan is linked to the number of terrorist incidents; I think that piece of information, along with the decrease in world wide terror attacks, gives some credence to the fly paper strategy arguments.

Pogo said...

Re: "Now, that's narrower, only Harry Reid is now a traitor."

I haven't narrowed it, except to be able to discuss one item with you.


"Substantively, this is of course a false statement, or less charitably, a lie."

So already you've abandoned civil discourse. Figures.
Cheers.

reader_iam said...

I see I've been put back "on the right again."

Guess it depends on the thread (the day? the phase of the moon)?

Whatever. On to the next meeting in the series that marks my Wednesdays. Just had to help write a letter of intervention to a mom who may be abusing her children. Don't have the heart to engage in any online battles just now.

Roger said...

oops: US presence is linked to the number of terrorist incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan

Fen said...

MadisonMan: I'm not "The Left" (especially not here in Madison).

Thats disappointing. You were my example of civility from the Left on this blog. Now I have to find another.

Pogo said...

Gosh, if only we didn't fight back, then there's be fewer terrorist attacks!

Pogo said...

“Listen to the generals.” - Sen. Harry Reid, 01/19/2007

“If the President won't listen to generals, he won't listen to the American people, who have spoken for a new direction, then perhaps he will listen to us, Congress, when we send him a supplemental bill that acknowledges reality in Iraq.” - Reid, 03/26/2007

However....
“The Pentagon first approached Armed Services Committee aides to set up a briefing [with General Petraeus], but panel aides said they were “too busy” to schedule a meeting next week, the administration official said. A second attempt to set up a briefing with the Speaker’s office was likewise declined.” - Roll Call, 04/18/2007

“Initially, some Democrats rejected the offer to meet with General Petraeus, but said they changed their minds to avoid being cast as unwilling to compromise.” - NYTimes, 04/19/2007

"He's the man on the ground there now. … I agree with General Petraeus. … …I stick with General Petraeus. … He's the commander on the ground there.” – Reid on Gen. Petraeus, 4/23/07

“I don’t believe him.” - Reid on Petraeus in the same interview

So who's the liar, Mark? Somehow I'll bet it's still me, according to you.

Mark said...

Fen,

I guess I am confused why you are upset. I said that occasionally you post substantive comments; what's "trolling" about it?

Pogo,

Well, I said I assume you were in good faith mistaken. But your statement that you attribute to Reid is just false. I asked you for proof and so far you didn't provide it. Is your idea of civil discourse throwing false statements which smear the left and refusing to back them up.


Moreover, you said that you didn't narrow the accusation, so you still accuse me (by implication) of treason. If someone call you a traitor, how can you expect to have a civil discourse?

Mark said...

Pogo,

Your remarks have nothing to do with your initial accusation. If you had forgotten, it is: Reid said that he wants to cut off funding so that Democrats win more votes in 2008. On the basis of this statement (which, if true, would be truly despicable), you accused him and the left of being traitors. When I asked you to back it up, you cite a bunch of irrelevant quotes about Reid refusing to meet with Petraeus. How is it relevant to your statement?

Mark said...

Fen,

You asked:

"here's my question for you: Assume Ayman al-Zawahiri declares the war is lost and that Al Queda will be redeploying from Iraq to Afganistan. What would that mean to the West? What affect would it have on our morale and our will? "

That would obviously improve the morale. However, it is irrelevant.
Noone said that the war against AQ is lost; what is "lost" is the war in Iraq, more accurately, a neocon-inspired attempt to bring democracy to Iraq. The war against AQ and other terrorist groups is much larger. All Democrats support the war against AQ; moreover, I believe they would conduct it much more competently than the current administration.

See Buckley column in National Review on the point of the war in Iraq.

Fen said...

I guess I am confused why you are upset.

Oh I'm not upset, just wondering if you are arguing in good faith and should be taken seriously

I said that occasionally you post substantive comments; what's "trolling" about it?

re my "Concern Troll" comment? You develop a civil debate with Roger to appear rational, then pivot off that to accuse rw commenters here of poisoning the debate: by and large, the posts of right wingers come down to accusations of treason, empty slogans, idiotic rhetoric, completely ignoring the fact that those are responses to attacks from the likes of doyle, hdhouse, freder, etc. So your position re civility appears affected.

Fen said...

No one said that the war against AQ is lost; what is "lost" is the war in Iraq

Thats where we diverge. The war in Iraq is merely one front in the war on terror. Thats why AQ is there fighting against us. Thats why Iran is fighting there against us.

Mark said...

"Pogo and others have a valid point comparing Dems to Copperheads. Since this debate began, the Left has dishonestly argued that Bush Lied, has pretended that Bush blamed AQ for 9-11, has denied evidence of connections b/w Saddam & AQ, has harped and nitpicked every decision, smeared supporters of the war in Iraq as chickenhawks and war-mongerers, etc. Now you come in wanting a civil discussion? How can you expect anyone to grant your side the benefit of doubt after the last 4 years of dishonest debate from the Left. And why should your complaints be taken seriously when you ignore first-blood drawn against Methadras by those on your side? And btw, I seem to recall some bomb-throwing from you on this very blog. Do I need to cite it?"

That's a bunch of BS. You throw a bunch of smears against "the left" by which you apparently understand all those who disagree with the Iraq war. I personally don't think Bush lied, but I think that he mislead all the way and was willfully blind to reality, as evidenced by tons of memoirs and records. The link of Iraq to 9/11 was suggested throughout, in a deliberately confusing way: such as "links between Iraq and AQ", although it was well known that they had operational links whatsoever and hated each other.
They managed to confuse US public to the point that the majority of people thought that Saddam had something to do with 9/11 (btw, Fox viewers were the least informed). You yourself again talk about connections b/w Saddam and AQ; but by your logic, US had stronger connections to AQ (after all, AQ members were in USA as well). The Senate investigation demonstrated that Iraq and AQ had no operational relationship. The Downing Street Memo demonstrated that Bush administration was all set to go to war as early as in summer 2002, no matter what inspectors would find. We all know what Andy Card said about marketing the war: from marketing point of view, you don't sell the war in August. So, they wanted to market the war in the runup to the 2002 elections to paint Democrats as weak on terror.

And you have the chutzpa to accuse the LEFT of dishonest debate??? Unbelievable. Seriously, I don't know how you can make this accusation with straight face, when it is the current administration and its supporters adopted the most dishonest, the most divisive type of politics.

I don't want to rehash this argument all over again; if someone still believes in the nonsense that you had just written, he's beyond any persuasion. History will judge.

For now, the main question should be what to do now. And on that point, I mostly agree with Rogers.

Mark said...

Fen,

I am not trolling. I am all for civil discourse, and I prefer to focus on what to do, rather on how we got here (although the latter is important too!).

I see no inconsistency whatever between me engaging in a civil debate with reasonable people here (among them, you, too) but speaking out against vile accusations of treason or other nonsense, whether provoked or not.
The first post by Methadras was full of poisonous rhetoric and tons of demagogy. It ended with "poor pathetic fools." Is this a good way to have a reasoned discourse?

Also, I hate generalizations, such as "the left", "the right", etc.
More than 60% of the public doesn't support the war, does it make them all "left". I believe that the current administration is not conservative; it is radical and it is overly political in every aspect.

So, let's not discuss how we got to this point in Iraq and focus on what to do. I am open to normal discourse without mutual accusations.

Fen said...

The Senate investigation demonstrated that Iraq and AQ had no operational relationship.[emph added]

No, the Senate said they had no evidence of an operational relationship, there's a difference.

As for ties between Saddam and AQ, I've already provided a few examples here [starting at 4:09]:

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2007/04/crow-was-insistent-poking-rove-in-chest.html#comments

/here's a summary of it:

1998 request by Iraq to Al Queda to have UBL moved to Iraq for his protection.... Iraqi embassies around the world caught making frequent calls to Al Queda affiliate/branch groups...Iraqi list of IIS agents who are described as "collaborators." On page 14, the report states that among the collaborators is "the Saudi Osama bin Laden."...request from bin Laden that Iraq begin joint operations against foreign forces in Saudi Arabia... Iraqi document itself states that "cooperation between the two organizations should be allowed to develop freely through discussion and agreement... former director of operations for Iraqi intelligence Directorate 4 met with Mr. bin Laden on Feb. 19, 1995... Tenet reported, "We have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda going back a decade." He added that Iraq and al Qaeda "have discussed safe haven and reciprocal non-aggression."... Tenet went on to warn, "We have credible reporting that al-Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD capabilities... The reporting also stated that Iraq has provided training to al-Qaeda members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs."...Iraqi intelligence agents met with [Usama] bin Laden, the head of Al Qaeda in Sudan."... Saddam gave safe haven to Al Qaeda associate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.... Saddam and bin Laden reached an understanding that al-Qaida would no longer support activities against Baghdad... bin Laden met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Khartoum and later met the director of the Iraqi intelligence service... Saddam sent his agents to Afghanistan sometime in the mid-1990s to provide training to al-Qaida members on document forgery... bin Laden and his top deputy in Afghanistan, deceased al-Qaida leader Muhammad Atif, did not believe that al-Qaida labs in Afghanistan were capable enough to manufacture these chemical or biological agents. They needed to go somewhere else. They had to look outside of Afghanistan for help. Where did they go? Where did they look? They went to Iraq... Iraq offering chemical or biological weapons training for two al-Qaida associates beginning in December 2000... Abdallah al-Iraqi had been sent to Iraq several times between 1997 and 2000 for help in acquiring poisons and gasses... LtCol in the Saddam Fedayeen, Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, attended the key planning meeting of the Sept. 11 plotters... Saddam dispatched one of his top intelligence operatives, Faruq Hijazi, to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden... intelligence tying Saddam's VX nerve gas program to a suspected al Qaeda front company in Sudan.

Mark said...

Fen,

As I said, I am not going to argue the Saddam/AQ link with you. I went to your link and saw a bunch of citations from Powerline and various other sites with zero credibility (to me). I already saw them at National Review blog a long time ago. However, the documents that were available prior to the Senate report were judged to be unreliable (otherwise, Senate report would not have said that there's no evidence of operational relationship). I'll evaluate the documents (if any) that came out after the report if you provide me link to the primary source, and not to Powerline or other neocon outfit.

In my eyes (and in the eyes of the most observers, I believe), it's been well established that AQ and Saddam had no operational relationship. Tenet just recently confirmed yet again that it was CIA's judgment that AQ and Saddam did not collaborate.

If you want to cling to your view, I don't think there's anything that will dissuade you from that. For me, there is no debate on that point.

Pogo said...

Re: "For me, there is no debate on that point."

Of course not; there never was. Only the appearance of debate. You reject all evidence you don't like and accept the evidence that fits with your view, even from someone like Tenet, who seems like the least cast member of all, and hrdly is embraced by the left.

So tell me again why I should bother responding to your call for "evidence"?

Pogo said...

"the least trustworthy cast member of all"

Mark said...

Pogo,

I was talking to Fen about Saddam/AQ link.

BTW, did you come up with any proof of your statement that Reid said he wants to defund the troops so that Democrats pick up more votes?

Why are you so incapable of admitting a mistake?

Methadras said...

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Oh, so when you copied your lengthy response word for word from a source that you didn't cite, that wasn't plagarism? How morally relativistic of you!


The problem with your assumption is that I didn't derive those sources from a website called junkscience.com or from anyone named Steven Milloy. The fact of the matter is, and which is why I stated earler to you, that I didn't exercise proper due diligence with regards to the source, is because I had no knowledge of junkscience.com, nor of Steven Milloy. My source(s) neither cited nor attributed those citations to either junkscience.com nor Steven Milloy. I never made the claim that I did the original research, but I did claim that I did have the facts and the research to refute what was being presented before me. You may may flutter about the internet to gain your sources, but I try not to in order to at least have a modicum of honesty about what I'm saying. It appears in this case, like I said before, it fell through the cracks and I got singed. I've admitted the mistake, but not because you claimed that I committed plagiarism. I had no knowledge that I was willfully doing it. I hope you can see the distinction and understand the mistake that was made.

Attributing plagiarism to me would be false and I think I stated why. Firstly because I'm not a plagiarist, but secondly because I've read your arguments and they didn't merit a response outside of now. I stated my case and felt no further need to elaborate further.

Methadras, frankly I don't care if you plagarize from Steven Milloy.

Of course you cared, otherwise why would you have accused me of it. This strikes directly at the heart of your generally disingenuous critique. You accused me of plagiarism. I've just told you that I had no knowledge of the source you've attributed to me alleged plagiarism. For you to take the stance now of not caring is a lie.

He's been discredited hundreds of times, and in my response to him (or you, or whomever),

I still have no knowledge of who he is, so I can't make that assertion besides your vehement bias

I showed specifically how the "content, perspective, and context" are logically and factually incorrect.

That's for whoever reads it to decide. To proclaim victory on a singular issue that was taken out of the context, perspective, and content of a larger argument is foolish. But if you want the brownie point. Then by all means, take it. It's ultimately irrelevant to the overall argument of the leftist fascination of environmentalism.

You're right, however, that your plagarism isn't the basis for the failure of his argument.

Look, at least spell the word correctly, okay. And again, I'll restate, I did not plagiarize.

His case falls on its own, without help from you.

His case isn't the only one, nor is it mine.

The point I was trying to make, and that you of course missed, as usual, is that you, having been caught plagarizing,

only based on your assumptions, which in this regard I've told you are false.

are in no position to accuse me or anyone else here of having a "weak mind" or an "even weaker intellectual acumen."

Oh please. This is infantile and hypocritical nonsense. I've read your babblings and I think the case can be made that credibility or your ability to assess is woefully lacking and have no expertise to that regard. So please stop thinking you are the ethics police when it comes to your base assumptions with regards to what you think about what is and what is not plagiarism.

You forfeited all credibility when you stole the words of someone else because you were too lazy and/or too stupid to do the research and writing yourself.

Again, simply because you found a connection to what I wrote and gave as a source, from research that I cited from other sources that you attributed to someone else does not negate my credibility. Your assertion that I don't do my own research or writing is once again a monumentally base and stupid assumption on your part. Please stop using it as a basis to attack that which you don't understand.

You're right that you don't have to answer to me about your plagarism. That's something I'll leave to you and your conscience.

My conscience is quite clear and quite clean. But that isn't your concern. You just worry about defending your bankrupt ideas and ideology. You do a poor job of even representing that.

Pogo said...

We're going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war. Senator Schumer has shown me numbers that are compelling and astounding.
--Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, April 12.

I interpret that to mean that as a boast, that the Democrats will gain politically from their efforts to legislate defeat. Despicable.

Pogo said...

Reuel Marc Gerecht wrote in his recent article "On Democracy in Iraq":
"Honest Democrats should admit that they are in a predicament: The electoral interests of their party are at odds with the interests of the country in Iraq. If the surge fails, the Democrats stand to gain enormously in 2008. A Republican could try to depict himself as the candidate best able to manage retreat from Mesopotamia, but such a Nixonian approach, given how lamely the Bush administration has handled much of the war, doesn't seem compelling. On the other hand, if the surge works, and the Sunni insurgency and sectarian strife no longer convulse Iraqi society, the odds of Senator John McCain--or another Republican--succeeding George W. Bush go up considerably. The entire Democratic field, however, could end up looking wrong, faint-hearted, and politically reckless.

hdhouse said...

mmmm methadras, pogo and fen...you all have to be the same person.

as i figure it God didn't create three idiots like you to share all the stupidity in the world and, frankly, i'm curious as to why God would make such a horrendous mistake 3 times.

nawww. you pricks have all got to be the same person.

Methadras said...

hdhouse said...

mmmm methadras, pogo and fen...you all have to be the same person.

as i figure it God didn't create three idiots like you to share all the stupidity in the world and, frankly, i'm curious as to why God would make such a horrendous mistake 3 times.

nawww. you pricks have all got to be the same person.


The fact that you had enough time to remove your hands from the inside of your pants to touch your keyboard to write this piece of typographical, stilted retardation, is a testament and an inspiration to all double-digit IQ holders, like yourself, that they too may see career potentials as blogger commentarians.

Fen said...

mark: I went to your link and saw a bunch of citations from Powerline and various other sites with zero credibility (to me).

Powerline merely rounded up the links, they are not the primary source. BTW, what is your justification in saying Powerline has no credibility?

it's been well established that AQ and Saddam had no operational relationship.

Again, the qualifier "operational". You said you wanted to debate in good faith...

Tenet just recently confirmed yet again that it was CIA's judgment that AQ and Saddam did not collaborate.

Tenet: "We have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda going back a decade."

Tenet: "[Iraq and al Qaeda] have discussed safe haven and reciprocal non-aggression."

Tenet: "We have credible reporting that al-Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD capabilities"

Fen said...

/mark, can you provide me with a list of sources you find credible?

Another:

Tenet: "During the mid-1990s, Sudanese Islamic Front Leader Hasan al-Turabi reportedly served as a conduit for Bin Ladin between Iraq and Iran. Turabi in this period was trying to become the centerpiece of the Sunni extremist world. He was hosting conferences and facilitating the travel of North Africans to Hezbollah training camps in the Bekaa Valley, in Lebanon. There was concern that common interests may have existed in this period between Iraq, Bin Ladin, and the Sudanese, particularly with regard to the production of chemical weapons. The reports we evaluated told us of high-level Iraqi intelligence service contacts with Bin Ladin himself, though we never knew the outcome of these contacts. [Emphasis added]

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/013/596texms.asp?pg=2

Fen said...

"Al-Shamari also told me that the links between Saddam's regime and the al Qaeda network went beyond Ansar al Islam. He explained in considerable detail thatSaddam actually ordered Abu Wael to organize foreign fighters from outside Iraq to join Ansar. Al-Shamari estimated that some 150 foreign fighters were imported from al Qaeda clusters in Jordan, Turkey, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, and Lebanon to fight with Ansar al Islam's Kurdish fighters.

Al-Shamari said that importing foreign fighters to train in Iraq was part of his job in the Mukhabarat. The fighters trained in Salman Pak, a facility located some 20 miles southeast of Baghdad. He said that he had personal knowledge of 500 fighters that came through Salman Pak dating back to the late 1990s; they trained in "urban combat, explosives, and car bombs." This account agrees with a White House Background Paper on Iraq dated September 12, 2002, which cited the "highly secret terrorist training facility in Iraq known as Salman Pak, where both Iraqis and non-Iraqi Arabs receive training on hijacking planes and trains, planting explosives in cities, sabotage, and assassinations."

Abu Wael also sent money to the aforementioned al Qaeda affiliates, and to other groups that "worked against the United States." Abu Wael dispensed most of the funds himself, al-Shamari said, but there was also some cooperation with Abu Musab al Zarqawi"

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=3768&R=9D1F1E72A

Fen said...

/momentary pause so mark can castigate hdhouse for posioning the debate...

Pogo said...

Actually, hdhouse, Freder and I are the same person.

Mark said...

Fen,

Of course, the qualifier "operational" is essential to any meaningful discussion. Otherwise "links" lose all meaning; as I said, it's like saying USA and AQ had links based on the fact that AQ agents were in the USA. Yeah, in some sense it means that USA and AQ had links but it only obfuscates the discussion. The real question is the presence of "operational relationship", that is whether Saddam helped AQ in any way.

The Powerline has no credibility to me because they (in my view) are nothing but apologists for Bush. They present extremely slanted viewpoint; moreover, they have been demonstrated time and again to make false statements. I don't have the time to do research right now for you (or I will be fired for spending so much time online) but I tried to explain why they have no credibility with me. Oh, and another reason: they too were wrong about every single verifiable prediction they made about Iraq.


Tenet: "We have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda going back a decade."

I, too read it. While there may have been some contacts between AQ and Iraq, I believe there was a document that said that Saddam decided it was too dangerous to cooperate with AQ.


Tenet: "[Iraq and al Qaeda] have discussed safe haven and reciprocal non-aggression."

Note the weasel words "have discussed". Having discussed and having agreeing to are not the same things.


Tenet: "We have credible reporting that al-Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD capabilities"

So what that AQ sought contacts? The question is: has Iraq helped them in any way? I believe the answer is no.

And it was not just the CIA that didn't believe Iraq was helping AQ, it was also the Defense Intelligence Agency. From the Fox News Transcript of recent interview with Rice:

"
WALLACE: And in March 2003, just before the invasion, you said, talking about Iraq, “a very strong link to training Al Qaeda in chemical and biological techniques.” Secretary Rice, a Senate committee has just revealed that in February of 2002, months before the President spoke, more than a year, 13 months before you spoke, that the Defense Intelligence Agency concluded this, and let’s put it up on the screen: “Iraq is unlikely to have provided bin Laden any useful CB, that’s chemical or biological, knowledge or assistance.”


As to your question of what sources I find credible, they would be primary sources.

Mark said...

Yeah, I didn't like the latest remark by hdhouse. Insults are inappropriate and poison the debate. I disagree with almost everything fen, pogo and methadras write, but I think it's wrong to call them names.

Pogo said...

Mark,
Under Saddam, by design, Iraq was operated in a Stalinist fashion. Spies everywhere, no trust, severe punishments, random checks, long imprisonments for vague crimes. Consequently, it's quite impossible for the known terror associations to have taken place without his direct knowledge and approval. But he found them useful in some way, and at a minimum looked aside from there activities, hoping to profit from them, no doubt.

It simply wouldn't have happened without Saddam knowing about it. I myself doubt he had any connection to September 11, and that played no part in my support for the war.

Eli Blake said...

OK, so some of you are arguing against withdrawing because we'd have to plan a withdrawal and therefore the enemy would know the date.

Here is my suggestion then:

Let's appoint Robert Irsay (the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, who used to be the Baltimore Colts before he moved the entire operation to Indianapolis in a few hours during the middle of the night) as the new Secretary of Defense.

The Iraqis would wake up one morning and everything would be stripped down and gone, right down to the outhouses.

hdhouse said...

oh mark mark mark...such a silly boy. pogo and fena and now the butthead in chief methadras are all the same person. there can be no doubt. god may be tricky and he may be mysterious but why would he toss up three idiots when there is so much work to do and he can save time and effort by just 1 who pretend to be 3. and mark mark mark...ohhhh very very very simple one....are you the fourth in this stupidity bouquet?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Roger,

Thank you for your polite response, as always. I think there are at least three problems with Fen's interpretation of the data. But before I list my criticisms, let me repeat the two main findings of the NCTC comparison (for what they are worth):

- "Compared to 2005, [terrorist] attacks rose by 3,000, a 25 percent increase in 2006"

- Compared to 2005, "deaths rose by 5,800, a 40 percent increase" in 2006

These are substantial increases.

Here are my criticisms of Fen's interpretation:

1. To begin with, I was referring to a larger data set than you link to. The problem with looking at the smaller data set, as the NCTC acknowledges, is this:

[The] NCTC cautions against placing too much emphasis on any single set of incident data to gauge success or failure against the forces of terrorism. Furthermore, NCTC does not believe that a simple comparison of the total number of incidents from year to year provides a meaningful measure.

Furthermore, breaking this small data set up by regions, as Fen did, makes each resulting data set that much smaller, and makes a year to year comparison that much less meaningful.

Let me give you an example that is included in the NCTC disclaimer:

Counting protocols matter and inevitably require judgment calls that may have an impact on results. For example, NCTC protocols dictate that events identified as simultaneous and coordinated would be recorded as one incident, as would be attacks that subsequently targeted first-responders. For instance, on the morning of August 17, 2005, there were approximately 450 small bomb attacks in Bangladesh, and because they were coordinated according to a central plan, NCTC counted them as a single incident.

I highly recommend anyone interested in the results from the NCTC read the section entitled "Considerations for Interpreting the Data" before getting too involved in interpreting results.

2. Fen suggests a causal link between a drop in terrorism in South America and the war in Iraq. I don't believe there is a causal link, although I am happy to consider anything Fen provides as evidence of a causal link.

The NCTC study does not try to establish causal links, for the most part. However, to the extent that they do suggest causal links, they contradict Fen's claim that

...[T]he Bush administration's idea that making Iraq the "central front in the war on terror" seems to be working.

For example, here's what the NCTC said about terrorism in Indonesia:

There were no high casualty attacks and 95 percent fewer victims of terror in 2006 in Indonesia; that was attributable, at least in part, to enhanced Indonesian security measures.

I see absolutely no evidence to claim a causal link between a reduction in terrorism in any part of the world and the Iraq war.

3. I don't want to falsely attribute this to Fen, but I get the sense that there is an attempt to minimize the number and magnitude of terrorist attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan. Please remember that attacks against any troops are NOT counted in the NCTC tallies. Also, please be aware of this important disclaimer by the NCTC:

We note, however, that because of the difficulty in gathering data on Iraq and Afghanistan, the dataset does not provide a comprehensive account of all incidents of terrorism in these two countries.

In other words, the number of terrorist attacks and deaths from terrorist attacks are undercounted. To the extent that these attacks and deaths are systematically undercounted every year, there is still some value in comparing year to year counts and examining trends. But let's agree that we need to understand what the data set represents before we get too deep in analysis.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

methadras,

Ok, let me get this straight...
You asked someone else to do the research on bald eagles for you, and then you pretended it was yours, but when you pretended it was yours, you didn't know that the third party who did the research for you was plagiarizing from Steven Milloy? Is that it?

Did it ever occur to you that it would have been perfectly acceptable to either cite your researcher (since you copied what he fed you word for word), or to acknowledge at least that the research and writing you presented as your own was in fact not your own? Why did you huff and puff and present yourself as an expert on DDT when you apparently know nothing about the subject? It seems to me that your "excuse" for presenting someone else's work as your own still boils down to you misrepresenting your knowledge and your work.

Methadras, I'm willing to accept your explanation that you didn't intentionally plagiarize. But you really don't seem to understand my complaint about what you did and continue to do. You like to feign expertise in subjects, and frequently refer to people who disagree with you as "tools" and "fools." As we discovered in our conversation about DDT and bald eagles, the "tool and fool" was you. If you look back on what you wrote to me in that blog entry, how can anyone fail to conclude that you are a remarkable hypocrite? Amazingly, you still pretend that you understand the scientific basis of the arguments that were made, but clearly you haven't read any of the scientific studies. So it's hard for me to conclude anything other than that you are still misrepresenting what you know.

It really is time for you to stop trying to "win" the debate with bullying and bluster. And this doesn't apply just to you either. I don't believe that anyone commenting here is a "traitor" or is "unpatriotic." Therefore it's completely unreasonable that these words continue to be tossed about in what is meant to be civil discussion. The same applies to terms like "warmonger." If we are really "adults" (me excluded) as monkeyboy claims, why do I have to tolerate this childish behavior?

I'll reserve the right to continue to mock the arrogant, the shrill, the willfully ignorant, the illogical, the hypocritical and the partisan hacks. If you don't want to be a target, sharpen up. It's that simple.

By the way, thanks for correcting my spelling error (seriously). I can honestly say I learned something valuable here today. Cheers.

Revenant said...

I agree that US needs to foster democracy in the Middle East and in the long run, it is the best anti-terror strategy. However, it is my firm belief that the Iraqi war has been completely counter-productive to this worthy goal.

Whether or not the Iraq war helped or hindered that goal is really beside the point. The relevant question is whether retreating from Iraq now that we're in it will help or hinder that goal. It is obvious that it will hinder it -- first, because oh-so-shaky the Iraqi democracy will probably collapse without our direct support, secondly because doing so strengthens the antidemocratic Iranian, Syrian, and Islamist regimes/organizations that are currently opposing us there, and thirdly because it signals that modern Americans are unwilling to bear even the most inconsequential battlefield losses in the service of democracy, and can therefore be ignored as a factor in future conflicts.

If establishing democracy in Iraq takes tens of years and tens of thousands of American lives, then that's what it takes.

Methadras said...

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

methadras,

Ok, let me get this straight...
You asked someone else to do the research on bald eagles for you,


No.

and then you pretended it was yours,

No.

but when you pretended it was yours,

That is your fabricated mischaracterization that you've created. I never pretended that I created the information. I never pretending that I did the original research. I had the information in a myriad of documents I already am in possession of.

you didn't know that the third party who did the research for you was plagiarizing from Steven Milloy? Is that it?

The documentation I have only listed the primary sources, not who collected them. This is why you erroneous charge of plagiarism is just that, erroneous and quite shrill if I might add. Are we pretty clear on this issue now? I don't think it's that difficult to discern.

Did it ever occur to you that it would have been perfectly acceptable to either cite your researcher (since you copied what he fed you word for word)

I was the didn't have a researcher. I did my own research in finding the factual data with the sourcing. I thought I was citing the sources when I gave the fact and then cited the source of that fact right below it. Are you either daft, dumb, or just blind.

Also, the facts as I presented them weren't in computerized format, so I simply retyped them.

or to acknowledge at least that the research and writing you presented as your own was in fact not your own?

Again, this is your mischaracterized allegation that I claimed this research as my own. I was already in possession of this research and the factual data. I already cited the sources. I never claimed it as my own, anywhere, not at any time. Since, I didn't know it was attributed to someone else who had already used it in other material, but yet I retained the source that I cited along with the fact, then I didn't see the need to ensconce myself in the level of due diligence when at first appearance this data didn't cite any other sources besides the sources given.

Are you having a hard time assimilating this?

Why did you huff and puff and present yourself as an expert on DDT when you apparently know nothing about the subject?

I am not an expert on DDT, I never claimed to be an expert on DDT. I am however quite knowledgeable with the subject. I understand it's pros and cons. I know from first hand experience from actually using it when I spent my time in Africa that it is a benefit to the people I helped to serve. Watching several people die (mainly children) from malaria makes me knowledgeable about DDT and it's uses and it's chemical composition. Also with regards to my knowledge from talking with and corresponding with many naturalists that have sent me information over the years about the myth of bald eagle populations vs. the uses of DDT.

I do have to tell you that I was of the mind that you hold now, but after seeing the data, I've since changed my opinion.

It seems to me

Quite a money statement here. It seems to you that a lot of things you wish happened, could happen. More wishes and desires that didn't come to your fruition.

that your "excuse" for presenting someone else's work as your own

As I've said. I never did that, that is your fantasy concoction. I've never made any excuses for the data I presented, nor the source of that data. Only that you've made me aware that it has been used elsewhere that I had no knowledge of.

still boils down to you misrepresenting your knowledge and your work.

What this boils down to is that, in essence you have nothing. My knowledge is gleaned from years of fact finding that I've accumulated in my travels. That's what I do. I horde information, understand a subject thoroughly and save as much data as I can get from it or ask those that know more about it than I do if they can pass along their expertise. Outside of my first hand knowledge of the uses of DDT and my experience with it.

You are barking up the wrong tree. You want to see something that doesn't exist. You are making a mountain out of a mole hill because you think you've acquired some sort of advantage. I'm here to tell you that you haven't. I didn't make these facts up. I simply presented them as factually as possible to counter the argument that bald eagle populations declined as a direct use of DDT, which I believe has been proven factually.

The fact that in your mind I've committed a procedural error of presenting the facts. It still doesn't negate the potency of those facts with regards to the subject.

I am now finished with the discussing this subject with you any further. I've given you plenty of justifications and my side of the story. At this point you can either choose to believe what I'm telling you or not. Beyond that, it isn't an issue of discussion any longer as far as I'm concerned. A mistake was made, a mistake was rectified. I didn't hide from it and I've gone to great lengths to explain my side of this situation to you. Not that you deserved it, but out of respect for the discussion. I hope you can understand that.

Methadras, I'm willing to accept your explanation that you didn't intentionally plagiarize. But you really don't seem to understand my complaint about what you did and continue to do. You like to feign expertise in subjects, and frequently refer to people who disagree with you as "tools" and "fools." As we discovered in our conversation about DDT and bald eagles, the "tool and fool" was you. If you look back on what you wrote to me in that blog entry, how can anyone fail to conclude that you are a remarkable hypocrite? Amazingly, you still pretend that you understand the scientific basis of the arguments that were made, but clearly you haven't read any of the scientific studies. So it's hard for me to conclude anything other than that you are still misrepresenting what you know.

It really is time for you to stop trying to "win" the debate with bullying and bluster. And this doesn't apply just to you either. I don't believe that anyone commenting here is a "traitor" or is "unpatriotic." Therefore it's completely unreasonable that these words continue to be tossed about in what is meant to be civil discussion. The same applies to terms like "warmonger." If we are really "adults" (me excluded) as monkeyboy claims, why do I have to tolerate this childish behavior?

I'll reserve the right to continue to mock the arrogant, the shrill, the willfully ignorant, the illogical, the hypocritical and the partisan hacks. If you don't want to be a target, sharpen up. It's that simple.

By the way, thanks for correcting my spelling error (seriously). I can honestly say I learned something valuable here today. Cheers


The rest of your blithering nonsense is just that, blithering. I believe I've gone above and beyond in explaining to you an honest mistake that you pointed out that I made. I never tried to hide it, I never tried to deny it. I simply gave you the facts with regards to the subject and with regards to my explanation. If you choose to not accept that, then that's your problem not mine.

If you wish to continue to opine that I am blustery and a bully, then all that proves is that your hypersensitivity to me attacking your way of thought and the ideology you hold dear are subject to scrutiny and disassembly. I don't believe I've called anyone here a traitor or unpatriotic. However, the notion that you are a fool and a tool is fairly spot on, lest you forget that you, once again erroneously and have willfully neglected all of the other salient points in favor of one that you thought you could wrest away. As I said before, you can have your little brownie point. It doesn't matter.

The facts are clear, the only shrill, partisan hack here is your ideological ilk. You're thoughts and ramblings are about as cohesive as the synapses you've used to formulate such thoughts. You can spend the rest of your life bleating that you are the now the watcher of who should critique your stupid political ideas, but that simply strikes back at the malignant narcissism your pathological ilk exercise on a daily basis, online and offline.

So please stop the gnashing of teeth and wailing at the perceived injustices visited upon the ideology you hold dear. Please stop the phony, emotional rhetoric, and fake righteous indignation that you are now suffering under. It doesn't play well anywhere outside of leftist enclaves. You live in a world where actions and deeds speak louder than your bankrupt wishes and desires.

You want civilized discourse. I'd be happy to have that with you, but please set aside the vague, nebulous, and obfuscative posturing for once. I've never pretended to lay out what my biases are. However, the phony puppets that make up your ideological brethren hide from knowledge almost on a daily basis and cower like little lemmings whenever a finger points their way for them to justify their conclusions and who they are ideologically. Not just here but elsewhere and it's pathetic.

MadisonMan said...

a good post has brevity and crispness! i'll not naME THe nAme; a DRopped hint cAn Suffice?

Methadras said...

MadisonMan said...

a good post has brevity and crispness! i'll not naME THe nAme; a DRopped hint cAn Suffice?

That made me chuckle.

Theo Boehm said...

Hoo boy! This certainly stirs the pot better than hyacinths and duck genitalia.

I have absolutely no opinions, facts, or ideas to share.  Just stopped by to say "hello."

Hi Pogo.  This looks like about as much fun as dropping an oxygen tank on your toe.  Hope to run into you in a quieter place.  Too much Sturm und Drang here.

Carry on.

TMink said...

Honestly, hdh and I are the same person. But I am the only one of us who still has his prick.

Trey

Theo Boehm said...

Hmmm..."hyacinths and duck genitalia."

I could swear that was on the menu at that place my wife and I ate at last week.
Always beware the word "innovative" in restaurant reviews.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Methadras wrote:

I had the information in a myriad of documents I already am in possession of... The documentation I have only listed the primary sources, not who collected them. This is why you [sic] erroneous charge of plagiarism is just that, erroneous and quite shrill if I might add. I did my own research in finding the factual data with the sourcing. I thought I was citing the sources when I gave the fact and then cited the source of that fact right below it.


Ah, I get it now. You aren't guilty of plagiarism because you don't know what plagiarism means.

Let's look at a few samples of what you wrote:

Methadras: "Bald eagles were reportedly threatened with extinction in 1921. 25 years before widespread use of DDT."

Steven Milloy: " Bald eagles were reportedly threatened with extinction in 1921 -- 25 years before widespread use of DDT."

(Note significant change in punctuation!)

Methadras: "Alaska paid over $100,000 in bounties for 115,000 bald eagles between 1917 and 1942."

Steven Milloy: "Alaska paid over $100,000 in bounties for 115,000 bald eagles between 1917 and 1942."

Methadras: "The bald eagle had vanished from New England by 1937."

Steven Milloy: "The bald eagle had vanished from New England by 1937."

(Hey, by a very strange coincidence, your statements appear in exactly the same order as Steven Milloy's! And the references given are exactly the same as his, in the exact same format. Wow, what are the odds on that?)

Methadras: "After 15 years of heavy and widespread usage of DDT, Audubon Society ornithologists counted 25 percent more eagles per observer in 1960 than during the pre-DDT 1941 bird census."

Steven Milloy: " After 15 years of heavy and widespread usage of DDT, Audubon Society ornithologists counted 25 percent more eagles per observer in 1960 than during the pre-DDT 1941 bird census."

And on and on and on...

Methadras, this is plagiarism. You can make any excuses you want for how it happened, but you can't pretend that you pulled this information from a "myriad of documents" or that you "did [your] own research in finding the factual data with the sourcing. You're lying. This information came from a single source which you didn't reference. It's plagiarism.

In spite of your protestations, it's clear that you don't know what you are talking about re DDT. That's why you didn't respond substantively to even a single point in the long summary of findings from the scientific literature I presented to you. It's nothing new, of course; when you are challenged by another commenter, you typically filibuster by spewing some garbage about what you judge to be the inadequacies of the dissenter and "his ilk." It's a dishonest and cowardly approach in a forum that is meant to encourage people to engage in civil discourse.

Now, you've promised that you won't subject us to any more long-winded justifications for what you did. Thank goodness for small miracles. Take your lumps and move on.

Pogo said...

Theo,
In order to test your theory, I dropped an oxygen tank on my toe.

That experience was far superior by comparison.

P.S. "Sturm und Drang"?
Make it work!

P.P.S. Cyrus, you old windbag. Crying "plagiarism" about a comment on a blog post is a real stretch of the definition. Far more accurate would be to say to him, "Dude, that stuff is verbatim from Milloy, who I think is the Great Satan."

But "plagiarism"? Jayzus Christ on roller skates, man, but get your undies outta that very tight lefty bundle you've got. That's like the "liar" response so easily said about, well, everything. It's the sort of argument a tubby 25 year old types from his Mom's basement, poised next to write "PWNED!!!". And then his Mom yells at him to feed the cat.

Fen said...

Tenet: "[Iraq and al Qaeda] have discussed safe haven and reciprocal non-aggression."

Mark: Note the weasel words "have discussed". Having discussed and having agreeing to are not the same things

But Saddam and Al Queda did indeed agree to a non-aggression pact. Thats not in dispute.

Fen said...

mark: Of course, the qualifier "operational" is essential to any meaningful discussion... The real question is the presence of "operational relationship", that is whether Saddam helped AQ in any way.

Will you please give me your definition of "operational relationship" so I can meet it?

The Powerline has no credibility to me because they (in my view) are nothing but apologists for Bush.

I still don't understand this complaint. Its almost as if you are willfully ignoring information of Saddam-AQ connections that don't dovetail with your opinion. Powerline merely rounded up the links - they stretch from NYTs to WaPo to ABC, and provide links to "original sources" that you could follow if it really interested you.


/begin

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/006218.php

Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough of the Washington Times

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/006998.php

New York Times

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/008063.php

Scott Wheeler, with links to original Iraqi docs

http://powerlineblog.com/archives/017333.php

links to orignal letter from Tenet to Senator Bob Graham

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/006935.php

link to Powell speech, links to 9-11 commission report to show they do not refute Powell

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/016745.php

link to ABC News report

Roger said...

Cyrus--I linked to the data without comment so folks could look at the data and judge for themselves; regretably the public, as well as most pundits and reporters are totallyl innumerate and the caveats are always significant but never really read. (its like reading the footnotes on a prospectus like no one ever does.)

Anyone on either side of the debate who attributes causality--in either direction-- to what is simply a collection of categorical data ( attack/not attack) is going too far.

The most significant thing to me with respect to the data was that muslims are bearing the brunt of the attacks--which, to me, suggests that AQ and other islamic terrorist organizations really arent doing themselves any good.

The figures "prove" nothing. I suppose one could run some regression analyses on the data, but the problem is with the underlying data themselves. I think it is best to regard them as impressionistic.

Fen said...

FloppingAces has a good roundup of Saddam-AQ connections:

"Speaking of Ansar al Islam, the al Qaeda-linked terrorist group that operated in northern Iraq, the former high-ranking military intelligence officer says: "There is no question about the fact that AI had reach into Baghdad. There was an intelligence connection between that group and the regime, a financial connection between that group and the regime, and there was an equipment connection. It may have been the case that the IIS [Iraqi Intelligence Service] support for AI was meant to operate against the [anti-Saddam] Kurds. But there is no question IIS was supporting AI."

And info from Saddam himself [on tape] discussing his desire to hand WMDs off to terrorists for proxy attacks inside America:

/begins

Transcripts of Saddam's tapes reviewed by NBC News show him ruminating about future terror attacks in the United States using weapons of mass destruction.

"We shouldn’t be surprised to see a car bomb with nuclear [material] explode [in] Washington, either germ or chemical," Saddam tells aides. "So this is coming,” Saddam says on the tapes, “but not from Iraq," he adds, seeming to indicate that Iraq would not be the source of any such attack.

http://www.floppingaces.net/saddam-documents/

Roger said...

I do seem to have missed the DDT bald eagles thing--was that on this thread? can someone provide a precis of the discussion?

Fen said...

Sure.

Summary: Cyrus distracts with innanity in order to spike discussion of a Democrat retreat that will embolden terrorist attacks against the West.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

fen wrote:

Cyrus distracts with innanity
[sic] in order to spike discussion of a Democrat retreat that will embolden terrorist attacks against the West.

In case anyone missed this recent relevant news item:

"Under interrogation, several terrorists recently captured in Afghanistan by coalition forces revealed that they had been emboldened in their attacks against the West by reading Ann Althouse's blog. In particular, they pointed to a discussion of the effects of DDT on bald eagle reproduction, citing that as evidence that America's "copperheads" (as led by Cyrus Pinkerton) are trying to distract patriotic Americans with "innanity" [sic], in order to "spike discussion of a Democrat retreat."

Fen said...

Heh. At least your sense of humor is still intact.

Ben said...

Torn ligament said...
Clearly they weren't according to yesterday's op ed by Nicholas Kristof.
"In May 2003, Iran sent a secret proposal to the U.S. for settling our mutual disputes in a “grand bargain.”


I don't know anyone who would seriously take an unsigned document from unofficial channels an official request for peace. I don't know anyone who would accept the title to any piece of property without the seller's signature. Or even accept an unsigned credit card transaction.

How lame is that thinking?

Oh, what happened with that appeasement strategy in WWII?

Pulling out of Iraq now is just as lame. The thought that our pullout would get the Iraqis to suddenly step up is a very weak assumption. Taking this hard-line anti-Iraq War stance is irresponsible and will bite the Dems in the end.

Has anyone compiled a history of our premature pullouts? I can only think of two so far. What happened to Somalia and Vietnam once we decided they were lost?

Ben said...

mark said...

That's why it's important for an honest discussion to have a clear timeframe of how long the war supporters are prepared to keep US troops in Iraq.


Do you really think we'll pull all our troops out ever? There will be a limited US presence in Iraq for a long time considering the strategic location that Iraq has to the region.

My take - as long as things keep going the way they have been under Petraeus, as long as it takes to secure the freedoms of the Iraqi population. AQ is increasingly unpopular, the militias are slowly giving up/being defeated, the residence are offering up more intelligence than ever. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Methadras said...

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Methadras wrote:

I had the information in a myriad of documents I already am in possession of... The documentation I have only listed the primary sources, not who collected them. This is why you [sic] erroneous charge of plagiarism is just that, erroneous and quite shrill if I might add. I did my own research in finding the factual data with the sourcing. I thought I was citing the sources when I gave the fact and then cited the source of that fact right below it.

Ah, I get it now. You aren't guilty of plagiarism because you don't know what plagiarism means.


You know, I was going to initially just ignore any of your lame rantings as a matter of principle in me telling you that I’m basically done arguing this topic. I’ve more or less watched you commit internet epilepsy at the expense of my better judgment in meeting this issue head on. Not because I had anything to hide, but because I thought it more prudent to let the issue die and choose another battlefield to which I can fight on again.

But what you’ve done here in this posting is, in my opinion, crossing the line. You’ve called me a liar and I’m not standing for that. Not because I have anything to prove, but because I will not let you dictate who I am to you or anyone else that reads what I post.

I for one am not a liar, You have no basis of proof of that in anyway, shape, or form outside of your lame slanderous assumption on what you think occurred with the topic we are arguing about. As I’ve stated before an error was made, but now looking back on it, I should have addressed it earlier instead of letting it fester. Now you say that I didn’t respond to your earlier arguments about DDT and bald eagles. That’s true, but you don’t even understand why, but I’ll tell you.

I was more than prepared to rebut your assertions based on the discussion at hand, but when you threw the charge of plagiarism around, coupled with your enfeebling attempts at rebuttal. I simply saw the charge of plagiarism and recoiled somewhat, took a step back to understand fully what your were saying about what I just had typed. I was a little dismayed that someone would say this to me. It had never been done before to my knowledge and it had never occurred that I might have actually had made that mistake. Since I hadn’t known about Junkscience.com or Steven Milloy, nor their connections to the facts I’d used, I decided to research it. I went to Junkscience.com, I even emailed Steven Milloy to ask him where he researched these sources from. He had them there, I had them in the documentation I had that I used as well. He never wrote back to me to answer the question. I also tried to contact my friends who also, and I might add who had no foreknowledge or knowing of the data being used elsewhere. I was able to talk to my friend who actually mailed to me the large set of data on bald eagles and DDT some years ago. It was all type written, not computerized. He couldn’t recall where he amassed the data from because it had been so long for him as well. So now I’m left with a problem. I know these sources are good, but I have no way to verify the chain by which they emanated from. Not because I felt I had to, but because I wanted to be able to give you and other readers a cogent chain of events as to what happened and why. The fact that I have to repeat this to you a third time speaks volumes of your inability to comprehend what others say to you and how you choose to cherry pick and parse what you like as opposed to what you can't use.

Since I couldn’t do that, I thought it best to leave the subject alone and let it die. However, in your earnest and unthinking hubris, you started throwing around even more baseless nonsense without knowing the facts. I tried to explain the disconnect of knowledge and information, and tried to let it go there, but again, in the typically childish manner in which you appear to behave on hear, you now throw around the charge that I’m lying. How, by enumerating the facts as I presented them. Even, so much as to pretend you are some kind of forensics expert by pointing out punctuation differences between one quote to the next. Do you even understand why that happened? I thought I explained it before, but apparently reading comprehension isn’t high on your list of skills.

The fact of the matter is, as I stated before, was because the documentation wasn’t in computerized format. Therefore I had to RETYPE the stated facts and their sources from a given block of facts that were included, unknowingly from Steve Milloy’s site. Meaning the documentation I had in possession, amongst all of the other data about bald eagles and DDT, this portion of data was a part of it. I used it as a basis for my arguments, not because I plagiarized it or because I’ve lied about it, but because it was there without giving any credit to anyone else who might have used it prior. This implies two possible things. That either Steven Milloy derived it from somewhere else himself or that whoever put this data together derived it from Steven Milloy’s work and neglected to include it as another footnoted source.

But, you’ve now called me a liar and now I’m rebutting your specious assertions and your lies about what I’ve done. Furthermore, you engaged in trying to smear/kill the messenger because you don’t like the message. This is classically typical leftist hubris and tactics. Furthermore, you’ve made gigantic leaps in assumptions about my knowledge on the subject of bald eagles and DDT. Namely, lying to others about my knowledge of DDT. You neither have your facts straight nor do you know my background or history, yet you have pieced together incredulous ideas of what my knowledge is, as if you know who I am. By the way, I do know what plagiarism is, but if someone unknowingly makes that mistake and when another person points it out to them and I, being that person addresses it and acknowledges that you are correct. Does that make me a liar? Does it make me a knowing plagiarist?

You’ve attacked me personally and I won’t let that stand. You’ve called me a plagiarist and I won’t let that stand. I came forward and acknowledged the mistake that was made. Did I lie about it? Of course not because there was nothing to lie about. Furthermore, I’m not a lair, Cyrus. I don’t need to lie. I’ve been nothing but honest and forthcoming about, the circumstances surrounding the discussion, the events that occurred as I’ve recounted them, and the behind the scenes goings-on about the situation.

I would ask you to hold your tongue when throwing out the accusation of liar. Not because I find it disturbing and bothersome that you would throw it around so casually and without the facts that surround it’s use, but because you may run into someone who may decide to take it further than I have. This is the internet Cyrus, where I am nothing more than a faceless typist that engages in debate and discussion. I try to wage war against a set of ideas and ideals in the marketplace of ideas and ideals. You don’t. You are nothing more than an attack dog who confronts textual adversity with unfounded claims.

That is why I chose to not respond to you any further with regards to this subject any further. I could almost predict your behavior on where you were taking this. The speed by which you throw out unfounded and slanderous claims is mystifying and with such ease and without even bothering to know facts. Anyone here can go back and read everything I’ve written on this and make a determination of the level of explanation I’ve given. That wasn’t good enough for you Cyrus and what makes it worse that you don’t care. You completely ignore what is said and then impart you reality to alleviate your misperceptions. Is this kind of person you are? Is this how you regulate your life with respect to dealings with other people? The level of arrogance that you’ve imparted is disappointing only because I thought you may have proven to be a formidable debater. You aren’t. You are nothing more than a mischaracterizing trash talker. You attack people personally, not because you disagree with them, but because you cloak your ignorance by using smear. I’ve never attacked you personally, even when I disagree with people I don’t attack them personally. I attack their ideas, I attack their thoughts, I attack their ideology, I attack the way think and how they apply that thinking. You are incapable of even seeing the nuance and distinctions of those words. You shotgun your way through an argument, hoping that some of your buckshot hits other things and that buckshot hitting other things is your personal and demeaning attacks.

I’m not demeaned by your flagrant fantasies of lies and plagiarisms, I’m emboldened by them. I’d like to think that were trying to be honest in pointing out a mistake I had made, but instead you’ve painted a completely different and a false picture. All you done is further prove that your ideology reeks with the politics of personal destruction. Kill the messenger because you simply don’t like the message. Shame on you for even trying to attempt it and thinking you could get away with it, you hollow little child.