July 17, 2007

The three things that would happen if we withdrew from Iraq.

WaPo reports the results of a U.S. military war game:

1. "Majority Shiites would drive Sunnis out of ethnically mixed areas west to Anbar province."

2. "Southern Iraq would erupt in civil war between Shiite groups."

3. "[T]he Kurdish north would solidify its borders and invite a U.S. troop presence there."

In other words, the country would break into three parts. According to the man who ran the game, it would be "ugly" but not "apocalyptic."

192 comments:

Troy said...

That could be the Dem campaign slogan... "Ugly, but not apocalyptic."

It's much better than Contract for America or "A Chicken in Every Pot" -- also a good band name.

Maxine Weiss said...

The THREE things that happened when we pulled out of Vietnam:

1. Pol Pot murdered millions of Cambodians

2. Jimmy Carter got elected President

3. The Irans took Americans hostage

Nothing like a good surrender to make things even worse!

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

"Ugly, but not apocalyptic."

Always nice to avoid the apocalypse.

More apt would be this quote, from further down in the article:

"a range of truly awful possibilities"

Bissage said...

Then there's no time to lose!

Quickly now, before Iraq collapses into utter chaos, restaurants must be ordered to post the caloric content of their menu items!

If the Iraqi people cannot enjoy their unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, then at least they should be slim.

Roost on the Moon said...

"That could be the Dem campaign slogan... "

I don't believe any of the Republican candidates will stay, either. I guess I'm still unclear on what the alternative to pulling out would be. Stay there at $250,000,000/day until staying there starts working?

Fen said...

Austin Bay has SEVEN, with better analysis:

(5) CHAOS: The region becomes a cauldron. Iraq shatters into ethnic enclaves, a few “new Mesopotamian city states” managing to control oil fields. Iran and Turkey exert “regional influence” over eastern Iraq and northern Iraq, respectively, but concerned about confrontation between themselves or provoking sanctions from Europe and the US, neither send their military forces in large numbers beyond current borders . Terror attacks and intermittent fighting afflict neighborhoods throughout Iraq. Local warlords rule by fear and make money either smuggling oil, drugs, or arms. This tribal hell is a perfect disaster—the kind of disaster that allows Al Qaeda to build training facilities and base camps for operations throughout the Middle East and Europe."

More at:

http://austinbay.net/blog/index.php

Fen said...

Stay there at $250,000,000/day until staying there starts working?

Go back in again 10 years later at 500,000,000/day after losing NYC and LA?

Roost on the Moon said...

Oh, I see, because leaving Iraq causes terrorism, but staying prevents it.

Fen said...

Oh, I see, because leaving Iraq causes terrorism, but staying prevents it.

No, you don't see it.

Leaving Iraq emboldens terrorism and justifies OBLs claim that we lack the will to fight. Why do you think Al Queda is fighting for Iraq?

Fen said...

2) REGIONAL SHIA-SUNNI WAR: Iran sees a chance to recover not only the Shaat al Arab region – the delta of the Tigris and Euphrates, but a chance to extend its border into the economically productive areas of southern Iraq. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait immediately react to Iran’s drive into southern Iraq. Iraq has served as a “buffer” between Sunni Arabs and Shia Iranians, and the buffer is dissolving . Jordan and Egypt prepare for action. The War Over Mesopotamia could last for weeks, it could grind on for years.

http://austinbay.net/blog/index.php

Roost on the Moon said...

The reason America isn't being overrun by the Jihad is that right now, terrorism isn't emboldened enough.

I think I see just fine.

rhhardin said...

Here's the deal, given the state and availablity of modern weapons.

It takes a certain size group, X, to do the logistics and finance and organization to work serious damage with modern weapons. A group smaller than that can't pull it off, and a bigger group can.

On the other hand, the bigger the group, the easier it is to detect, through financial trails, defectors, and so forth.

The strategy is to make it very hard to grow a group to size X, by harassing and pursuing and general hassle.

Then, so long as there's no state support or acquiescence to such groups, they're beaten. They can blow up the odd mall or airliner, but it's no more than a media event, not serious damage.

So long as Iraq can pursue such groups in its territory to keep them from growing to size X, we win. Our goal is to get them to this stage, not to end mall explosions. The Iraqis are fighting for us as well as themselves.

Then it's on to the next problem state, to repeat the process.

Leaving Iraq before this is achieved means more than what happens to Iraq. It means groups of size X, and sooner or later a US city disappears, perhaps repeatably.

Then we'll settle the matter in a few minutes. It's avoiding that eventual choice that's at stake.

Kirby Olson said...

I don't understand how powerful all the local armies are. Al-qaeda is one group, but then there are Shia armies, and Sunni armies, and the Kurds have an army. Which one is the most powerful? If we left would the Iraqi government immediately dissolve, and leave the country, so that the hardcore militias would fight it out for dominance? Would one of the local militias decimate Al-qaeda, when right now they are unified against America?

Would we leave "advisors" and spies, and sharpshooters, etc.?

Would we continue to fund one group, in an attempt to destabilize another?

There are so many different scenarios.

In Vietnam the north had friends in the Communist Chinese and in the Soviets. Whoever won in Iraq would need a powerful supplier from some other country to stay in the saddle. Who's stronger -- Saudi Arabia or Iran?

MadisonMan said...

Being in Iraq correlates with an increase in Al Qaeda's strength. How will staying in Iraq cause Al Qaeda to weaken? Perhaps leaving emboldens AQ because it demonstrates no will to fight (not a characteristic I would attribute to leaving, but others might). Staying is a great recruiting tool as well: Look what the infidels are doing in Iraq!

I wonder why there wasn't serious discussion about what to do after Saddam was toppled? The 3 things listed that will happen aren't exactly a surprise.

Oh yeah, that's right: Bush and his Congressional Cronies were using the fear associated with 9/11 to solidify their reins on power.

Fen said...

Excellent post rhhardin. The Left can't seem to grasp the importance of seperating terrorist orgs from rogue nations states with WMD programs.

Roost on the Moon: The reason America isn't being overrun by the Jihad is that right now, terrorism isn't emboldened enough.

That makes no sense. If you're claiming our presence in Iraq will embolden terrorist attacks against the West, then how do you explain the Iranian hostage crisis, the WTC bombing, USS Cole, Kobar Towers, and 9-11?

Oh right. It actually my fault for violating sacred ground when escorting food convoys to starving Somoli's.

Roost on the Moon said...

Then it's on to the next problem state, to repeat the process.

Until there is no country with an organization large enough to acquire a dirty bomb or a suitcase nuke? Your list of 'problem states' is probably longer than you realize. And every time we invade and occupy a new country preemptively, that list grows.

Maybe you don't buy that argument, but this one is hard to deny:

Even if this were an economically feasible strategy (it's simply not), it wouldn't be a politically feasible one. War without end just won't fly in a democracy.

Sloanasaurus said...

If we pull out of Iraq now, Al Qaeda will almost certainly take over. No one but the U.S. military can currently face the terror brought by these armies of suicide bombers and fanatical jihadists.

maybe though we would be safe for a while as Al Qaeda sets its sights on the rest of the middle east.... but for how long....

If we pull out now, anyone in America with a son who is younger than the age of 10 will see their sons back in Iraq fighting a much larger and more expensive war 10 years from now.

Fen said...

MadisonMan: Being in Iraq correlates with an increase in Al Qaeda's strength. How will staying in Iraq cause Al Qaeda to weaken?

Have you been following the surge? Kickoff was June 15th and already Al Queda is on the run in Iraq. Read more like Micheal Yon:

http://www.smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2007/06/understanding-current-operatio/

http://michaelyon-online.com/wp/al-qaeda-on-the-run-feasting-on-the-moveable-beast.htm

Bush and his Congressional Cronies were using the fear associated with 9/11 to solidify their reins on power.

Yah, the "reins" they're going to hand over to Hillary in Jan 2009. Now you're just being silly. I must have missed the signing statement where Bush declares himself dictator for life...

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Ugly, but not apocalyptic

What is that? One horseman shy of an apocalypse?

Justin said...

Roost on the Moon said...

Stay there at $250,000,000/day until staying there starts working?

I am so sick of hearing people complain about the monetary cost of this war, as if that is a reason to end it. The price tag is irrelevant.

War is ugly. Nations get destroyed, lives are disrupted, sometimes entire cultures and races face extinction, people die, and, yes, it costs a lot of money. But if the war is just and necessary, then it is worth the sacrifices because it is better than the alternative. If it not just or necessary, then the human cost alone is enough justification not to engage.

If you think the war is wrong, should be ended, should never have started, or whatever, then make that argument. But complaining about the price just makes you look petty.

ricpic said...

We have to expel the muslims who are already in the United States. If we can't or won't do that all the rest is a sideshow. The moment of truth will come after the next 9/11. If we can't gather the will to expel the muslims after that, in other words if the insane doctrine of liberalism stays in place even after it is again demonstrated that they are our sworn enemy unto death -- then we are doomed.

Fen said...

Roost: Your list of 'problem states' is probably longer than you realize.

Iran/Syria and North Korea.

And every time we invade and occupy a new country preemptively, that list grows.

Not every rogue state will be handled with military force. If anything, advocates of "soft power" should be championing the war in Iraq. How will you use diplomacy and the UN Security Council without the credible threat of force? If we abandon Iraq, madmen like Ahmadinejad will laugh in your face. And why not? What good is international law without enforcement?

Maybe you don't buy that argument, but this one is hard to deny: War without end just won't fly in a democracy.

If true then something will change. Either the democracy will fall or its people will: "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you" [Trotsky]. We've been at war with radical Islam for over 30 years, we're just didn't notice until 9-11. And we're going to be at war for another 30 years.

The only alternative is too submit and get fitted for a burqua. Thats the Left's foreign policy: insist we need not attack the enemy while he gathers strength, then later insist the enemy had grown too strong to attack.

Invisible Man said...

If we pull out of Iraq now, Al Qaeda will almost certainly take over. No one but the U.S. military can currently face the terror brought by these armies of suicide bombers and fanatical jihadists.

That's pure bs. What you fail to realize is that the Arabs are much more brutal in their tactics than we are. When we leave and it becomes about land, there isn't a chance in hell that they don't viciously remove Al Qaeda and its 2-10,000 troops out of Iraq. The Shiite's and Kurd's will definitely have no problem sending them back to Pakistan, and the Sunni fighters will do much of the same when stake claim to their own land.

The notion that Iraq will be overrun by Al Qaeda is nothing but some Right Wing fanatasy.

David Walser said...

"Ugly, but not apocalyptic" is the prediction of the military -- the same folks who were wildly overly optimistic about how quickly Iraq could be pacified after the fall of Baghdad. Why should we believe that "Ugly, but not apocalyptic" is NOT an overly optimistic assessment?

Sloanasaurus said...

The prediciton report in the Post reminds me of that concluding report last year by Thomas Ricks in the Washington Post who claimed that Al Anbar Province was "lost" politically to the terrorists. Ricks is often quoted by the Left as being knowledgable about Iraq. It wasn''t an opinion column either, it was a news article.

Except Ricks was wrong. Not just a little mistaken, but totally wrong! How can Anbar be lost as of september 2006, and then be completey 180 degrees six months later. The truth is that it probably wasn't lost. Ricks just wanted it to be. I am still waiting for the Post's follow up article.

Of course Ricks will blame the faulty reporting on his secret source... (which was probably himself).

The Drill SGT said...

rhhardin,

While I generally agree with your post, there are 2 flaws:

1. They can blow up the odd mall or airliner, but it's no more than a media event, not serious damage. Remember what the IRA told Thatcher after missing her with the Brighton bomb: "You have to be lucky every time, we only have to get lucky once". The WTC attack was designed to kill 100,000 not 3,000. If the pales had struck a bit lower, or 2 on one tower, or later in the day, there would have been 50,000 folks in each tower at risk.

2. It's true that it likely takes the resources of a nation state to build a Nuke from scratch, but a checkbook can buy one off the shelf. some big checkbooks in the ME. Then we'll settle the matter in a few minutes. It's avoiding that eventual choice that's at stake.

We can tell after the fact from the debris where the fissionable material was made. by that I mean the major known nuclear power facilities. what if somebody working for the Iranians or a Saudi billionaire buys a Russian nuke from a poor soldier in Minsk. Which city do we turn into molten glass and ashes? Mecca, Tehran or Moscow? The isotope fingerprints will say it was the Russians.

Fen said...

The notion that Iraq will be overrun by Al Qaeda is nothing but some Right Wing fanatasy.

More like recent history:

"The mujahideen won when the Soviet Union pulled troops out of Afghanistan in 1989, followed by the fall of the Mohammad Najibullah regime in 1992. However, the mujahideen did not establish a united government, many of the larger mujahideen groups began to fight each other, and they were in turn ousted from power by the radical splinter group known as the Taliban in 1996..."

...which then hosted Al Queda.

The Drill SGT said...

On the original story, I would not put a huge stock in the story. I was an Army modeling and simulations guy (ORSA). There are a couple of different purposes for games. One is to attempt to predict outcomes. Those would be the ones run in secret using real data...

This was the second type. A think piece, run at the War College as a training tool to stimulate thought about alternative possile outcomes from a game in a fake country.

Fen said...

We can tell after the fact from the debris where the fissionable material was made. by that I mean the major known nuclear power facilities.

Check that. I'm told that primitive nukes are difficult to fingerprint - too many commonalities. We might not know with 100% certainty who to retaliate against.

TMink said...

The article makes a lot of sense based on the premise that Iran, Syria, and Turkey leave Iraq alone.

Does anyone believe that these countries will leave Iraq alone? I do not.

Trey

Sloanasaurus said...

That's pure bs. What you fail to realize is that the Arabs are much more brutal in their tactics than we are. When we leave and it becomes about land, there isn't a chance in hell that they don't viciously remove Al Qaeda and its 2-10,000 troops out of Iraq

You mean like they all rose up to get rid of Saddam, the Taliban, or of the Iranian regime. If you think Bush had rosey glasses....

It just doesn't happen, most arabs are normal humans meaning they are susceptible to terror. Only an organized and trained military free of corruption can stand up to such a force.

There was a recent story where Al Qaeda stuffed young boys and cooked them in ovens to make sure the local townspeople were obediant. How can normal people fight against that kind of terror.

Fen said...

This was the second type. A think piece, run at the War College as a training tool to stimulate thought about alternative possile outcomes from a game in a fake country

Ah hell. I was in a few of those sims at Fort Irwin. If thats true, its all about contingency planning, not intelligence analysis & prediction. Which means this WaPo article is useless.

The Drill SGT said...

Fen,

My example still holds. we have a good catalog of Russian material, and my example bomb was from Soviet stockpiles, so the NEST Team will report that it as a Russian 10KT SADM.

the locally made nukes would come up as ambiguous, that is correct.

Fen said...

tmink: The article makes a lot of sense based on the premise that Iran, Syria, and Turkey leave Iraq alone.

If DrillSgts 1:26 post is correct, then this was just a warfighting sim with predetermined variables.

Kinda like the models for Global Warming ;)

Fen said...

My example still holds. we have a good catalog of Russian material

Rgr that, my mistake. You were talking nukes bought on black market. I was thinking of 1st generation [primitive] islamic nukes.

The Drill SGT said...

Fen,

read this part of the artcle. If it was a predictive game the sponsors would have been J3, J-8 and CENTCOM, not JFCOM and the AWC, both of which are training institutions.

In April of last year, the Army and Joint Forces Command sponsored a war game called Unified Quest 2007 at the Army War College in Pennsylvania. It assumed the partition of an "Iraq-like" country, said one player, retired Army Col. Richard Sinnreich, with U.S. troops moving quickly out of the capital to redeploy in the far north and south.

Peter Palladas said...

Why do you think Al Queda is fighting for Iraq?

Oh for a bit of pre-invasion scenario planning. Wouldn't have been that hard to work that one out in advance.

Fen said...

/begin Monday Morning Quaterbacking

Peter: Wouldn't have been that hard to work that one out in advance.

Well hell. If only Rumsfeld had known Peter Palladas was available. What were you doing while thousands needlessly died? Playing golf?

Fen said...

Drill Sgt: both of which are training institutions.

So the war game Wapo reports on is more of a training scenario, like the one where we invade Canada to seize oil reserves.

Kirby Olson said...

Al-qaeda can't take over in Iraq. They can make things messy for the leadership, but they can't take over. They would be blown to bits themselves.

No foreigner is going to run Iraq.

Even as it is they can't come out of hiding even for a day and have a normal press coverage. They will never be able to do this. As soon as they show their faces, their faces will be blown off.

You won't even be able to find their beards!

Al-qaeda will never run anything. They will just make things uncomfortable for those who do run things.

But the second they try to come out of hiding all kinds of particles will come screaming toward them and blow them clear to Allah.

So they're not a serious contender for takeover. Ever. They have made too many enemies.

But are any of the other contenders powerful enough to take over Iraq? Probably not. Hence the tri-partite division, and the ethnic cleansing that will follow.

Once that's accomplished, maybe they will want to get back to business. Most people do.

Even in Cambodia, etc. After five murderous years, Pol Pot was out and now most Cambodians just want to run some small business and feed the faces of their kids.

So maybe a pullout will work just fine. It would be fun to do it all in one day to watch the chaos that would result, and see if it firmed up into something within a year or two. Order has to be established. It always is.

Synova said...

The "cooking boys and feeding them to their families" story was secondhand and unconfirmed. We do know they kill children.

Al Qaida has certainly murdered the children of local sheiks to force cooperation and has demanded daughters be given to them for wives against the wishes of their fathers.

We can look at the pronouncements about rules for what women can eat and where they can sit (not on a chair and no "phallic" fruit or vegetables) and it's pretty funny except that they aren't joking.

That said...

The "three things" utterly ignore the fact that Iraq exists in a larger context and that splitting it into three parts concerns others every bit as much.

If it happens there is no doubt that Kurds would beg us to set up there because they know they can't hold against Turkey or Iran.

They are in a far stronger position if they are a mostly independent part of the larger nation of Iraq (or at the very least, if we are in the Arab regions and can nip up to the border with Turkey on short notice... which we have *already* done at least once because Turkey has sent troops over the border...)

And that's not taking into account the Arab mess with Sunnis and with the Shia or with Iran which may be Shia but is Persian and not Arab. Or Saudi. Or Syria. Or...

Roost on the Moon said...

Fen:

If we leave Iraq, we've still got the credible threat of force. What we lose is the credible threat of indefinite occupation, which we don't have now and never had to begin with. There is a situation that weakens our credible threat of force, though: an extended occupation elsewhere.

Justin:

Acknowledging the fact that we can't spend over a billion dollars a week forever (or even for very long) is not being petty. A crushing deficit affects such things as your ability to find a job, the education of your children, the crime rate, the cost of food, whether and if you can afford a home, what happens to you if you can't, etc...

The price tag is only irrelevant in the movies. That you find it distasteful to think about doesn't make it go away, and I suspect a war planner at the pentagon or a soldier in an unarmored vehicle would tell you the same.

The Drill SGT said...

Fen,

That's what I think. I don't know for certain, but I do know that if Col Anderson (USMC Ret) ever wanted to work again, he would not allow himself to be quoted about a secret predictive game. The stuff Ann pulled was a training sim IMHO.

the article does talk about the predictive style however:

In a secret war game conducted in December at an office building near the Pentagon, more than 20 participants from the military, the CIA, the State Department and the private sector spent three days examining what might unfold if the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group were implemented.

Nobody gets quoted there.

There is one element is the take-away from the AWC game. you can't be sure that any of the predictions will play out. stochastics, bad assumptions, bad players, etc, but you need to look for universal truths. "The games also predicted that Iran would intervene on one side of a Shiite civil war"

lee david said...

Invisible,

AQ doesn't neet to take over the country. If you havent noticed, what they have been trying to do is foment the feared civil war. All the really have to do is fracture the country into the three autonomous regions and then terrorize their brother Sunnis and they then have another Talaban/Afghanistan like area from which to operate free from a lot of interference. If you have been paying attention to any real reports from the ground, The Sunnis have started to turn against them. This is only possible because of the Coalition forces aggressivly clearing them out and giving the Sunnis the chance to get out from under AQ's reign of terror in their areas.

Just as there is starting to be some success in this area is not the time to back off of taking them out and giving the Iraqi's the chance to determine their own future without these AQ barbarians controlling a portion of the country and continualy stirring the pot. Not to mention the stupidity of our letting up and ceeding AQ a new autonomous region from which to operate. This is the top of AQ's wish list. We should have no desire to grant them their desires for obvious reasons.

Tim said...

"So maybe a pullout will work just fine. It would be fun to do it all in one day to watch the chaos that would result, and see if it firmed up into something within a year or two. Order has to be established. It always is."

It is difficult to find such analytical skills on the internet these days. The notion that war policy should hinge upon the entertainment value resulting from a one day pull-out followed by chaos is, at best, spitefully adolescent. As is the ever-so-facile notion that "order has to be established. It always is." Tell that to the Somalies. Good Lord, but some people are surpassingly stupid.

The Drill SGT said...

Even in Cambodia, etc. After five murderous years, Pol Pot was out and now most Cambodians just want to run some small business and feed the faces of their kids.

So maybe a pullout will work just fine. It would be fun to do it all in one day to watch the chaos that would result, and see if it firmed up into something within a year or two. Order has to be established. It always is.


yeah, sometimes all it takes is 2-3 million dead, then things are back to steady state normalcy.

The irony is that if things turn to crap in Iraq, and I really mean crap, like Rwanda for example, the same folks (led by the NYT) that want us out now would be demanding our humanitarian intervention.

Tim said...

On a related note, nothing empowers diplomacy like winning wars.

Nations losing wars have notoriously weak ability to influence events.

If you support diplomatic initiatives to, say, resolve the nearly 50 years of intermittent wars between Arab nations, terrorist groups and Israel, it is difficult to see how an al Qaeda-defeated U.S. would be in a stronger rather than weaker position after losing.

That is, if such things matter to you. There is no doubting that for many opposing the war it does not matter, and a defeated U.S. is an unqualified good no matter the consequences.

Fen said...

Roost: If we leave Iraq, we've still got the credible threat of force.

Ahmadinejad: "Disarm? Or what? The US will invade, dick around for a few years, then retreat? HA! The West has the attention span of a gnat. All they want is their MTV and cheap oil economy. We'll wait you out. And we'll outlast you"

In the same vein, how can we expect the disidents in Iran to stand beside us against the Theocrats after watching us betray the citizens of Iraq?.. Lets see, we help Americans fight the enemy -> Americans abandon us -> enemy kills our families in revenge... Nope. Not helping the feckless yanks

Justin said...

Roost on the Moon said...

Acknowledging the fact that we can't spend over a billion dollars a week forever (or even for very long) is not being petty. A crushing deficit affects such things as your ability to find a job, the education of your children, the crime rate, the cost of food, whether and if you can afford a home, what happens to you if you can't, etc...

Point taken.

However, I have seen the argument made, here and elsewhere, that this war is wasting our tax dollars and therefore should be stopped. I mistakenly assumed this was the point you were making. That's my fault.

Anyway, I didn't intend to address you directly, but to people who make that point generally. But, since I didn't make that clear, you had no way of knowing.

Tim said...

"The irony is that if things turn to crap in Iraq, and I really mean crap, like Rwanda for example, the same folks (led by the NYT) that want us out now would be demanding our humanitarian intervention."

Yes, this is absolutely the way to go. Redeploy to Darfur to stop the genocide there; once finished, return to Iraq, this time with the ever-so-necessary blessings of both the New York Times and the UN, and stop the genocide there.

Too bad those evil idiots Bush and Cheney couldn't figure that out...

Balfegor said...

Re: MadisonMan:

Perhaps leaving emboldens AQ because it demonstrates no will to fight (not a characteristic I would attribute to leaving, but others might).

I think this gets to the heart of the disagreement here. Because that view there just doesn't seem realistic to me.

For my part, I don't see how retreat can be viewed as anything but a massive victory for Al Qaeda, allowing them to paint themselves as the saviours of the Holy Empire, the heros who broke the will of the craven, degenerate Americans, who love their Coca-Cola more than Death, etc. etc.

When we "withdrew" from Somalia, where we had no real interest at stake other than a generalised humanitarian concern, that's what all the powers hostile to us thought: "America is a paper tiger." Bin Laden even crowed about it. See this article in Slate:

Bin Laden has strategic reasons to believe in terrorism, too. The Muslim victory over the Soviet Union in Afghanistan showed him that superpowers are not so superpowerful. And the ignominious American withdrawal from Somalia—following a Bin Laden connected attack—convinced him that the United States is morally weak. The U.S. soldier is "a paper tiger" who crumples after "a few blows."

It's possible that the speed and ease with which America's armies crushed Saddam Hussein's government and toppled the Taliban will work to counteract this impression, and leave us with a modicum of military credibility -- quick with the smiting, not so keen on the rebuilding. And if it does play that way, then good! That's hardly the worst message to be sending to our enemies. But I don't see any reason at all to think that's the way retreat will play in the eyes of the Muslim world. Or, for that matter, anywhere else in the world.

All that said, the wargamed outcome (partition, with Shiite civil war, bankrolled by Iran) doesn't actually seem incongruent with our interests. Gallia est omnia divisa in partes tres and all that, or however it goes. Britain, for example, usually gets a pass on the bloodshed and massacre following Lord Mountbatten's partition of the Raj, with all the little invasions and wars involved (e.g. Operation Polo, the annexation of Hyderabad). And at one time, we could have managed that process and made it look like we meant for it to happen, even if it meant that (as in much of both Pakistan and India), the process resulted in people who hate our guts coming to power in fairly short order (e.g. India promptly allied with the USSR). We didn't do so probably because diplomatic recognition of Kurdistan would tick off our ally (Turkey), and possibly provoke our enemy (Iran). In retrospect, Turkey doesn't seem to have been such a terribly useful ally, and Iran was provoked anyway by our fielding huge armies immediately to their east (Afghanistan) and their west (Iraq), and putting an aircraft carrier or two immediately to their south (Persian Gulf). And in retrospect, that this was going to provoke them should have been obvious.

So perhaps we should have done. And perhaps we still should do? That's what the Democrats are arguing, even if they don't come out and say it. And it's not all that unrealistic (once you take out the immense propaganda value of an American retreat in Iraq.)

It would have been more clearly in our interests had we withdrawn directly after deposing Saddam Hussein and stealing all his uranium, though. At this point, I don't think it really serves our interests to allow them to fall into bloody partition, now that there's an allied government there and everything. Now it's just another one of those "America sells out her allies" narratives.

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

yeah, sometimes all it takes is 2-3 million dead, then things are back to steady state normalcy.



And how many have died so far in Iraq, since the invasion?

A cheap shot, but someone had to say it :)

Roost on the Moon said...

Tim, Fen, Sloan, Hardin:

How long will this take? How long would you estimate for victory in Iraq, at current troop levels? I understand you don't have all the facts, but just offer your best guess. How do you see it playing out, under the best possible political circumstances at home?

Follow up question: Is this possible politically, even with a McCain or Giuliani victory in '08?

Tim said...

"Lets see, we help Americans fight the enemy -> Americans abandon us -> enemy kills our families in revenge... Nope. Not helping the feckless yanks"

Right.

Those working for U.S. defeat in Iraq know exactly what they doing.

They know abandoning indigenous allies in Iraq as we did in Vietnam and elsewhere in South East Asia will cement our reputation as faithless allies; future war games will all come a cropper knowing that any military action in any nation overseas will be utterly opposed by indigenous populations or governments who will have no sound basis for forming alliances with us. Better to find some accommodation with the enemy than to ally with the U.S., only to be abandoned in a few short years.

Those working for U.S. defeat in Iraq have a strategy to deny us allies and force us to fight only unilaterally.

What rational person or government would ally themselves with the U.S. when anti-war Democrats will reliably, ceaselessly and successfully work to abandon you and your family to the enemy?

Balfegor said...

Re: MadisonMan:
"yeah, sometimes all it takes is 2-3 million dead, then things are back to steady state normalcy."

And how many have died so far in Iraq, since the invasion?

According to some outfit called Iraq Body Count, about 70,000 people, after four years of war and occupation. At that rate, it would take about a hundred years before we reach 2 million dead.

2,000,000 dead / (70,000 dead / 4 years)

Beth said...

It would have been good to see this "what would happen?" analysis before we invaded Iraq. Now that the same people who hadn't a damn thing to offer other than "flowers in the streets!" finally have some speculations to offer, why should I listen to them?

Tim said...

"And how many have died so far in Iraq, since the invasion?

A cheap shot, but someone had to say it :)"


Madisonman,

Yes, indeed, a cheap-shot, and I'm disheartened you found it necessary to cap with a smiley face; regardless, the answer, as you know fully, is a very small fraction of 2-3 million.

How many had to die defeating Nazi Germany, and was it worth it?

Doyle said...

Tim -

Defeating Nazi Germany was a lot easier than making the Iraqis like each other and us by keeping 160,000 US troops there, because the latter is impossible.

Sloanasaurus said...

How do you see it playing out, under the best possible political circumstances at home? Follow up question: Is this possible politically, even with a McCain or Giuliani victory in '08?

It's difficult when the media and the democrats constantly lie about the conflict and lie about the consequences of failure.

Bruce Hayden said...

There is one thing that is pretty well assured in Iraq, al Qaeda is not going to take over. Why? It is a Wahhabi sympathetic Sunni organization. The number of those potentially sympathetic to al Qaeda in Iraq, the Sunni Arabs, have dropped from about 20% to probably less than half that since we went into Iraq. And of those remaining Sunni Arabs, al Qaeda has managed to alienate a large number of them, which is one of the big reasons that the Sunni tribes have mostly switched sides over the last six months.

But that doesn't mean that there wouldn't be a lot of bloodshed if we pulled out too quickly. There are still probably over two million Sunni Arabs left in Iraq. Prior to this spring, they were being pushed out of mixed areas, and even the country by the Shia militias. But they were mostly being allowed to leave with their lives, thanks to Uncle Sam being in the picture.

So, yes, the ethnic cleansing would recommense, but without our presence, it would look more like what we see in Africa.

But would the Shiites be allowed to do that without foreign intervention? Not likely. Saudi Arabia in particular is likely to try to protect the Sunnis. But, of course, the Shiite Iranians are unlikely to accept Sunni intervention, even if done to protect lives.

Oh, and the Turks? Only thing really keeping them out of the Kurdish areas of Iraq is our presence around there. Actually, they aren't staying out, just doing it unofficially. It would look bad for one NATO member to be seen fighting another one, but that becomes a non-issue if we pull out - which is why the Kurds are likely to beg us to stay up north.

Sloanasaurus said...

Defeating Nazi Germany was a lot easier than making the Iraqis like each other and us by keeping 160,000 US troops there, because the latter is impossible.

Heh... it was? We lost 300,000 soldiers fighting Nazi germany.

Fen said...

Roost: How long will this take? How long would you estimate for victory in Iraq, at current troop levels?

IF the surge strategy is successful [early indicators are bright] I would say another 1-2 years at current levels, followed by another 3-4 years in reduced "advisor" strengths. Its also likely that air assests will be based there indefinately.

Follow up question: Is this possible politically, even with a McCain or Giuliani victory in '08?

McCain is history. And I think alot of whats driving anti-Iraq sentiment is the sensational 24/7 coverage by the MSM. If the surge is succesful, they'll start covering "more pressing" matters like Paris Hilton. So public opinion may not be as energetic in 08.

But I think whoever wins in 08 [even Hillary] will renounce whatever campaign promises they made "after looking at intelligence not available to me as a candidate". They may pull some troops out so they can spin it as a "withdrawal", but they'll understand why can't abandon Iraq. Hopefully, they'll communicate the need better than the Bush team has.

Doyle said...

the media and the democrats constantly lie about the conflict

Wow. Talk about balls.

You want a good lie? How about "Al Qaeda is the main source of violence in Iraq"?

No one's catching up with the Chimp in the Lies About Iraq category anytime soon.

Bruce Hayden said...

The insanity of this whole thing is that the "Surge" is working well. Actually, better than predicted, and that is probably because of all those Sunni tribes swapping allegience and now helping us with al Qaeda, etc.

The disconnect between reality and what we hear here in the U.S. is amazing. It is almost as if those who have a vested interest in the Iraq campaign failing are getting more and more panicked and strident in their claims of failure and demands for withdrawl, the better the campaign goes.

Doyle said...

The insanity of this whole thing is that the "Surge" is working well.

HA! I thought it was "too soon to tell"? That's what Tony Snow told me and he's never steered me wrong.

Doyle said...

BTW Bruce, do you really think those Sunni tribes are now staunch allies in the War on Terror? Or did they just figure out that if they say they're going to kill Al Qaeda in Iraq, we'll give them guns?

Fen said...

Beth: It would have been good to see this "what would happen?" analysis before we invaded Iraq

Beth, this "analysis" is not what you think. Its been presented with the weight of an NIE, when its really just a training tool.

See DrillSgts 1:24 PM post and follow ups.

dick said...

Ditto Korea, Germany, Japan, Phillipines, etc.

Why are we still in Bosnia and Kosovo now. Our NATO allies should surely be able to take care of that little problem now that we have knocked it down. And we did not have the support of the UN there either IIRC.

Seems like you are good to go if the Western Euros come up with the idea and then step back while the US does the work but not good to go if we have even more countries working with us but not the Western Euros. Guess it is different if the little brown people want to work with us and if the caucasian people want to. But then we of course celebrate diversity since all people want the best for their families (or so the LLL dems tell us -unless it means that the conservatives get some credit).

Fen said...

Bruce: It is almost as if those who have a vested interest in the Iraq campaign failing are getting more and more panicked and strident in their claims of failure and demands for withdrawl, the better the campaign goes.

More like the reverse - success on the battlefield leads to more hysteria and panic on the Left. Gee, its almost as if they want us to retreat before the surge is complete.

And I love the way Troll Doyle shows up to prove your point.

Doyle said...

That's right fen, American opposition to this mindless, disastrous war is in its last throes!

Just a couple hundred million dead-enders is all.

Bruce Hayden said...

You want a good lie? How about "Al Qaeda is the main source of violence in Iraq"?

And your proof of that?

I guess it all comes down to how you define "al Qaeda". If you define it as Sunni terrorists who are sympathetic to OBL, then most of the violence is al Qaeda. But if you limit it to card carrying members who have personally sworn fealty to him, then you are correct.

The nasty secret that the MSM keeps from us is that most of the violence is by Sunni mostly Arab terrorists. We are talking what was at one time 20% of the population, now under 10%, causing 80% of the violence (Pareto's rule).

But what the Americans don't know, the Iraqis do, which is the biggest reason behind the ethnic cleansing that went on until the "Surge" got started, and will pick up with renewed vigor if we pull out too quickly.

Doyle said...

And yes, it's because it's getting better all the time in Iraq.

dbp said...

Roost on the Moon said...

Acknowledging the fact that we can't spend over a billion dollars a week forever (or even for very long) is not being petty. A crushing deficit affects such things as your ability to find a job, the education of your children, the crime rate, the cost of food, whether and if you can afford a home, what happens to you if you can't, etc...

We live in a country with a GDP greater than 13 Trillion Dollars. 50 Billion/year is less than 0.4% of that amount. An economy of our size could sustain this expense forever.

Just to get a feel for our deficit: It was greater than 400 Billion back in 2004 and is roughly 200 Billion now. So, since 2004 we have been reducing the deficit by roughly a billion/week. If we keep it up another three or four years and we will be back into surplus. Will the expense not bother you then?

Doyle said...

Bruce - if you use any remotely meaningful definition of "Al Qaeda", other than "bad guy," you're full of s--t.

Sloanasaurus said...

BTW Bruce, do you really think those Sunni tribes are now staunch allies in the War on Terror? Or did they just figure out that if they say they're going to kill Al Qaeda in Iraq, we'll give them guns?

You could be right. However, it is also possible that the Sunni tribes, being inundated with anti-american propaganda over the last 20 years provided by the Baath party and arab media, hated the Americans more than Al Qaeda even though their actual experience with the two groups was zero.

It took actual on the ground experience over the past 4 years with Americans and Al Qaeda to realize the truth on who is the real enemy. You can choose those who cook your children and decapitate your tribe leaders or choose those who help you build schools, help you hold elections and help you decide your own future.

Fen said...

Doyle: That's right fen, American opposition to this mindless, disastrous war is in its last throes! Just a couple hundred million dead-enders is all.

Thanks Doyle. Your posts are also so illuminating, esp when contrasted with other comments in the thread. Basically, you pound the table because thats all you've got. Would you mind having your recurring BDS breakdown in private? Maybe with your therapist? Because we aren't your PPO.

Bruce Hayden said...

BTW Bruce, do you really think those Sunni tribes are now staunch allies in the War on Terror? Or did they just figure out that if they say they're going to kill Al Qaeda in Iraq, we'll give them guns?

Not so much guns, as doing the heavy lifting. Artillary, JDAMs, Abrahms, and gunships are nice to have on your side when you get into a firefight.

But you also have to keep in mind that it has gotten to the blood feud level with some of these tribes and al Qaeda. Yon a week or so ago posted a bunch of photos of mass graves he witnessed being dug up, where al Qaeda had beheaded the kids, and buried them with the adults. The donkeys were even killed. So, the story making the rounds of kids being cooked and then served to their parents by al Qaeda is probably false, but is apparently being believed by a lot of those Sunni tribes in Iraq right now.

Finally, these Sunni tribes also know that the only way that they can survive and live in Iraq is to play nice. They tried terrorism and brutality, and that just got the Shiite and Kurdish majority mad enough that ethnic cleansing was instigated against them.

Two things have really changed the minds of the Sunni Arabs in Iraq in the last six months or so. One is the level of brutality that al Qaeda turned on them (note the stories above). And, secondly, the realization that they will never rule Iraq in the forseeable future, regardless of the level of brutality they utilize. Rather, it was just getting them killed and thrown out of their native land.

Sloanasaurus said...

And yes, it's because it's getting better all the time in Iraq.

Nice one Doyle. On that note, it's getting better all the time in America too.

Bruce Hayden said...

Bruce - if you use any remotely meaningful definition of "Al Qaeda", other than "bad guy," you're full of s--t.

Well, that is one way to make a point. Often not the most effective, but certainly colorful.

Fen said...

Hotlink to excelent blog on CounterInsurgency Operations in Iraq. Explains the tactics of the surge and why its better/different than what we were trying before:

the thing to understand at this point is the intention and concept behind current ops in Iraq: if you grasp this, you can tell for yourself how the operations are going, without relying on armchair pundits.

chickenlittle said...

The sky is not falling

Luckyoldson said...

Why does anybody think that if we stay for another 1-5 years, things will be any different? These people have been fighting for quite some time and I can't imagine our involvement will settle matter.

And...based on the following, are we really concentrating on the right enemy?

About 45% of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians and security forces are from Saudi Arabia; 15% are from Syria and Lebanon; and 10% are from North Africa, according to official U.S. military figures. Nearly half of the 135 foreigners in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq are Saudis, he said.

Fighters from Saudi Arabia are thought to have carried out more suicide bombings than those of any other nationality. This is the first time a U.S. official has given such a breakdown on the role played by Saudi nationals in Iraq's Sunni Arab insurgency, with 50% of all Saudi fighters in Iraq come here as suicide bombers.

Luckyoldson said...

When will Fen, Sloan, Seven, etc. begin offering opinions other than those of the hard line neocons?

Literally every posting is nothing more than a rehash of what Tony Snow or Bush says every day.

Right now only about 30% of the country supports Bush, only about 35% of the country feels we can extricate ourselves from Iraq with any honor intact, yet every day of the week these people, along with others continue to say things are getting better and that we can win and that we have to be there...but never, do they indcate just how long that will be or how many more Americans will be lost.

This isn't a strategy, this is nothing more than delusion based in right wing politics.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I love the way that people, on the left especially, can calmly rationalize the certain deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Kurds as some sort of a mental gotcha exercise.

If we precipitously pull out of Iraq, leaving a vacuum everyone agrees that it will be "ugly".

These are real people with hopes and dreams that we are talking about throwing into the meat grinder for our own convenience and to score political points against each other while typing away in our safe comfortable homes.

Shame.

Kirk said...

Tim,

You're right to object to Kirby's "pull out in one day" scenario on the grounds that you do. But it's worth adding that "one day" is of course a fantasy scenario anyway. It would take months to get all of our troops and equipment out of the country.

Justin said...

Doyle said...

Bruce - if you use any remotely meaningful definition of "Al Qaeda", other than "bad guy," you're full of s--t.

Bruce Hayden replied...

Well, that is one way to make a point. Often not the most effective, but certainly colorful.

I'm not convinced he made a point. Here's what he's really saying:

1. Unless you define "Al Queda" as "bad guy", you are "full of s--t".

2. Therefore, Doyle's definition: "Al Qaeda" = "bad guy".

3. Using the Identity property, we have "bad guy" = "Al Qaeda"

4. Based on his previous posts on this blog, I deduct that Doyle thinks violence is bad.

5. If violence is a bad thing, then the guys who are the source of said violence are "bad guy[s]".

6. Fact: There is violence in Iraq.

7. Fact: This violence is caused by people (guys).

8. By definition, the guys causing the violence in Iraq are "bad guy[s]".

9. If, "bad guy[s]" = "Al Qaeda", then the people causing violence in Iraq are "Al Qaeda".

10. Doyle said: You want a good lie? How about "Al Qaeda is the main source of violence in Iraq"?

11. The statment in 8. and 9. are directly contradictory. Therefore, Doyle just blatantly contradicted himself.

Q.E.D.

Tim said...

"Shame."

The word has no meaning amongst the Left.

Neither does the word "Honor."

Genocide in Iraq has two benefits for the Left: it cements the fact of U.S. defeat in Iraq; they can exploited it as yet another thing for which Bush is responsible, notwithstanding the 24-7 efforts by the Left and Democrats to midwife our defeat in Iraq. For them, ethnic cleansing and genocide in Iraq is just collateral damage to defeating Bush and the U.S.

It is a moral calculation with which they have long been at peace.

Luckyoldson said...

wittle bunny says...with a straight face: "I love the way that people, on the left especially, can calmly rationalize the certain deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Kurds as some sort of a mental gotcha exercise."

How many innocent Iraqis do you think have been killed and wounded since we invaded, and why don't you show the same bullshit empathy for our own American soldiers?

And why?

Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 and if you read my previous posting, you'd know that
"45% of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians and security forces are from Saudi Arabia; 15% are from Syria and Lebanon; and 10% are from North Africa"...NOT Iraqis.

And how many new terrorists do you think we've created by killing 1,000's of innocent people, all with extended families, intent on paying us back for the death and destruction we've wrought?

When we leave, things will probably be very bad (but no one knows for sure), but the longer we stay, the more long term terrorism we create.

Luckyoldson said...

Tim,
Where do YOU get off saying the left has no "honor?"

And exactly where does the term fit into the torture, misrepresentations and flat out lies and activities of the neocons?
(Cheney continuing to say Saddam had something to do with 9/11, Bush saying we're "winning.")

Not one of the assholes who started this war ever served a fucking day in the real military, yet they talk the talk and send young Americans into battle as if they have.

History will prove you and the other right wing people here to be wrong about everything and Bush will be remembered as the worst President ever.

Roost on the Moon said...

dbp,

Fluctuations in the deficit happen from year to year. We may indeed wind up with a surplus shortly. This phenomenon concerns me less than the mounting debt, and our war in Iraq is going to add at least a trillion to that.

vnjagvet said...

The "assholes" who "started" the war were the same ones who started the war in Afghanistan after the US was attacked.

Many of those "assholes" were serving in the military at the time they formulated the plans for both attacks, and had years of combat experience in RVN and Kuwait.

Tommy Franks and his fellow generals were the primary architects of both operations.

Revising history and calling people names won't work on this thread.

Cedarford said...

Fen - Fen said...
Stay there at $250,000,000/day until staying there starts working?

Go back in again 10 years later at 500,000,000/day after losing NYC and LA?


We gave it a shot, but the Bush-Sharansky vision of a peace-loving democracy founded by those wonderful noble purple-fingered Iraqi folk failed utterly.

That means we let the animal Arab Islamoids fight it out like they did in Algeria, Morocco, Yemen. Are currently doing in Sudan - and are getting ready to do in Pakistan. Best we can do is limit the slaughter while not being in the middle of it, protect allied tribes and the Kurds, protect basic oil infrastructure - and long-term - use intelligence assets to watch for any threats to Americans...here and abroad from the Ummah.

Muslims killing Muslims does not mean "they are an eyelash away from killing us all in LA and NYC and defeating Western Civ" if we don't do as Beloved Maximum War Commander, the 2nd Churchill- and his faithful pack of Neocons - says we must do.

Sloanasaurus warning that we must stay - or the few thousands of Al Qaeda will TAKE OVER!!!!! - against the Kurds who hate them, the Shia who they kill as heretics and kill them back, and against the Sunni tribes who have had their fill of the tiny cadres of terrorists - is similarly silly.

AQ is just one group of 130 organized Islamist groups on the planet. They are not nation-seizing supermen. Not in Afghanistan, not Jordan, not Saudi Arabia, not Yemen...where other hardcore Islamists kill them as threats if they misbehave - even if they are tolerated as guests (Taliban and Wazhiri tribes).

The odds of AQ "seizing Iraq", Sloanasaurus, are about the same as Dubya's face one day being on Mt Rushmore. Just as silly.

And the same on the dumb argument that we must die for years or decades more and spend another trillion as the US faces massive fiscal challenges and social problems - just so in that shitty little country it becomes a democracy where no terrorists can be recuited and "Our Special Friend Israel is Safe From a Fellow Democracy".

More garbage. Democracy is no bulwark against a radical religious ideology.

1. The best radical Islamist recruitment grounds are in limited demcracies like Pakistan or full democracies like Britain - after the obvious Wahabbist hotbed and epicenter Saudi Arabia. Violent Islamism grew and flourished in the UK while it didn't exist in the mean, repressive Soviet Union's Muslim areas.

2. Right now the greatest threat to "Our Special Friend" is the clerically limited, but nevertheless actively democratic nation of Iran.

3. From the stark reality of millionaire 9/11 destroyers to doctors organizing suicide bombers to turning their own Mercedes sedans into car bombs....the notion that radical Islam comes from unstable poor neighborhoods has also been proven fatuous neocon nonsense.

Luckyoldson said...

vnjagvet,
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, so it wasn't Bush, Cheney, Rove, Kristol, Wolfie, Rummy, and the rest of the neocons who got us into this mess.

It was the "military"...led by Tommy Franks?

Like I said...delusion run wild.

dbp said...

Yes, Roost On The Moon, the costs of the Iraq war will add to our debt, just like any other expense. As long as the debt increases percentagewise by less than the growth in GDP, our ability to service the debt will increase

The current ratio of debt/GDP is around 0.4 and the growth in GDP is about 500b/year, so a sustainable deficit would be around 200 Billion.

Seven Machos said...

Do people who post Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh really believe that they are being impressive. Isn't the fifth "h" enough? Isn't 10 sufficient? Or do they really believe that if they can just type "h" enough times that they will woo over the people who disagree with them with steely "h" resolve?

Robert Cook said...

Given that Bush/Cheney, et al. started this criminal war of aggression to annex Iraq property and resources (i.e., oil) unto itself, and to establish a base of operations in the middle east, we obviously--as a nation--had not the slightest regard for the fate of the Iraqi people, not then, and not now. Whether they're slaughtered by Hussein or by us is immaterial to those running our country at this time.

However, IF we can find in ourselves any scraps of real concern for the innocent citizens of Iraq being ground up in the meat grinder unleashed by us, and IF our reason to stay is to, ahem, "protect" them against the ravages of violence which will grow greater after we depart, then I propose we offer an open door to all Iraqis who wish to immigrate to America to escape the cataclysm for which we're responsible.

I'm not kidding.

Bush/Cheney, et al are war criminals who have violated the Geneva Conventions and we must end the war because it is ILLEGAL. Moreover, we must make reparations to those whose lives we have destroyed in our imperialistic hubris, and if we offered refuge in our country to the Iraqi men, women and children who simply want to live their lives, grow old, and have families, we could perhaps mitigate the irrevocable damage we have done and continue to do.

WE are the bad guys here, and we must make amends.

rigolette said...

Sorry Lynn Cheney's mysterious novel was "Sisters" not "Daughters".

Still it will be a huge success-think Brokeback Mountain for the lesbians and for the straight men who like them. The sex scenes will be the most explicit ever. Full frontal frontier women!!!!

Sloanasaurus said...

The odds of AQ "seizing Iraq", Sloanasaurus, are about the same as Dubya's face one day being on Mt Rushmore. Just as silly.

Hmm, the Taliban seized Afghanistan. Mao seized China. The Baath seized Iraq. All these movements start out small. It's not the size of the movement but the veracity and the motivation of the movement. We all know Al Qaeda is motivated. No group in Iraq at this point will be able to stand up to the tactics of Al Qaeda without support except maybe the Kurds. Al Qaeda will take the rest of Iraq.

Seven Machos said...

Yeah, Robert Cook: It's really sad. I remember reading how Saddam had brought full employment and peace to Iraq before the United States screwed up everything.

I also remember reading how, if Saddam died, we would see a huge increase in the number of suicide bombers in Israel because angry Iraqis would pay a large bride-price for each bombing. Or do I have that backwards?

Cedarford said...

Justin - I am so sick of hearing people complain about the monetary cost of this war, as if that is a reason to end it. The price tag is irrelevant.

It is called "opportunity costs" and except for the dwindling band of supply-side cultists that think economic law doesn't apply when a Republican is in office doing reckless spending on behalf of the rich - there are cancerous fiscal consequences.

Otherwise, if the "price tag is irrelevant" then by all means lets spend the equivalent funds now being blown in Iraq to establish universal health care and get our death rate (95,000 from medical errors and 120,000 from lack of medical insurance for preventative care) down to the levels of France and Germany.
If the price tag is irrelevant, then why not spend the equivalent on a crash energy program to cut our use of oil by 3/4ths?

********************
The Drill SGT - We can tell after the fact from the debris where the fissionable material was made. by that I mean the major known nuclear power facilities.

Incorrect. Tom Clancy fiction.

We can tell where some comes from a particular reactor run in the right conditions, but both we and the Soviets sometimes blended PU from several reactors in weapons fabrication.

Also, you have considerable product variance from the same reactor. In the same reactor you can get quite varying PU + contaminents based on duration of fuel burnout impact on fission fragment %, PU 139-241 ratios, the neutron flux pattern you set up for that core load. Then after you pull the fuel sticks, the refining methods in reprocessing, PU alloying, and other nuke weapons components all affect the same signature.

What we have a better grasp on was - earlier - what bomb run a Soviet or American or French, CHinese weapon came from based on the old days of atmospheric testing or "leaky" underground tests. A production run could be dozens or hundreds of nuke weapons made over 1-2 years of the same model and materials.

HEU, on the other hand, is just uranium that could come from any mine on the planet enriched for it's U-235 portion. And that is the most likely fissile material the Islamists could use. Nearly impossible to detect. Not really toxic.

You are talking plutonium, possibly traceable, unless there was a deliberate attempt to conceal it's origins by adding a pinch of spent fuel back into the bomb casing to totally mess up the profile of isotopic contaminants in the PU. After the "Sum of All Fears" a few pals of mine also with nuclear experience figured out ways to mask PU origin and how you could disguise what model and make a HUE weapon was.

If us "field boys" could come up with methods to snooker bomb origin traceback, you can bet that one of thousands of Muslim nuclear engineers trained in the USA, France, UK, Canada, Germany could as well.

There are other means of eventually narrowing the suspect list down enough to justify wiping out millions in retaliation, but the notion of the NEST team guy waving a wand at fallout and going "Ah-ha! Matches the 1995 Islamabad facility plutonium run!" aren't factually correct.

Luckyoldson said...

seven,
maybe if you were to actually respond to my comments and "facts," you wouldn't be considered such a fucking dolt.

Seven Machos said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Luckyoldson said...

Sloan says: "Taliban seized Afghanistan."

And the still have it, but with poppy production UP 65%...they also have plenty of money to spend on whatever they need to keep it. (Oh, and I just heard a Republican say that one of the reasons we haven't caught Osama Bin Laden (remember him?) is because only 2% of the Afghans support America in the Mideast, allowing him a safe haven and many more terrorist recruits.)

Seven says: "Saddam had brought full employment and peace to Iraq before the United States screwed up everything."

Actually that's basically true. There was not only full employment, but he also served as the perfect "buffer" between Iran, Syria, Pakistan and Turkey...all who were petrified of his (mystical) WMD program.(And yes, he killed lots of Kurds, but as anyone who reads knows...America helped him do it.)

Oh...and by the way...in the ten years BEFORE we invaded, while Saddam was confined to Iraq, America spent about 5 billion dollars and didn't lose a single American life. *Right now we spend upwards of 2 billion a week and have lost 3,600 lives.

And if that's not bad enough, you morons continue to spout the far right necon line that we're "winning."

Palladian said...

"However, IF we can find in ourselves any scraps of real concern for the innocent citizens of Iraq being ground up in the meat grinder..."

Unfortunate little analogy on your part, sweets...

ricpic said...

rigolette you're a scream.

Palladian said...

Does anyone else get the feeling that this exact screeching match has happened before, led by the exact same protagonists and antagonists? Iraq threads are like "Groundhog Day". Except not interesting or funny. And without Bill Murray.

Luckyoldson said...

Palladian said..."Does anyone else get the feeling that this exact screeching match has happened before, led by the exact same protagonists and antagonists?"

Geeee, can we take a wild guess as to who you consider to be the guilty parties?

Maybe...anyone who doesn't agree with the right wing Bush supporters you find here?

I find it rather amusing that so many of the conservatives here think the people who do not support Bush and his policies are "trolls" or "out of touch"...yet, according to all of the polling (even Fox)...those same trolls and out of touch people...represent a vast majority of America.

rigolette said...

Oh I almost forgot.

Scooter Libby's book will be re-released also. You know the one where the young girls do it with bears?

The book again, a record in sales and a NYTimes Bestseller. Scooter is swimming in millions again.

Hollywood loves a good bestiality story and it becomes the biggest Hollywood Hit ever. Dakota Fanning stars as the shy, apprehensive small town girl who learns to love bears. The bear is played by Ridley, from the San Diego Zoo. Ridley senses Dakota's apprehension and wins her over by riding a bike while balancing a all on his nose.

The sex scenes between Dakota and Ridley are startling at first but then we understand there special kind of love.

Scooter writes the screenplay for the movie and wins the academy award for screenwriting. Dakota wins best supporting actress and in the first animal win ever, Ridley, the bear wins best supporting actor.

At the academy awards Ridley and Dakota dance to best song by John Mayer. The camera flashes to Scooter who has a tear in his eye.

The Drill SGT said...

Cedarford... read my post. I was positing a detonation of an old soviet weapon that had been sold by some poor under paid Russian soldier to the highest bidder. a Saudi jihadi with a large checkbook.

Under those circumstances, the bomb blast would likely result in a "Russian signature".

This scenario was postulated in the context of Fen saying if a bomb went off (in NYC) we'd know who to blame and glassify some (implied) Muslim city.

My point was that if the bomb was constructed, the source might be ambiguous, however if it was "bought" the source ID might lead you astray for a different reason.

I stand by my scenario.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Balfegor wrote:

According to some outfit called Iraq Body Count, about 70,000 people, after four years of war and occupation.

I wish everyone who cited IBC for "body count" figures would at least bother to read the methodology section in the IBC FAQ. Here's part of what the FAQ says:

We are not a news organization ourselves and like everyone else can only base our information on what has been reported so far. What we are attempting to provide is a credible compilation of civilian deaths that have been reported by recognized sources. Our maximum therefore refers to reported deaths - which can only be a sample of true deaths unless one assumes that every civilian death has been reported. It is likely that many if not most civilian casualties will go unreported by the media. That is the sad nature of war.

I hope all understand that this means that IBC acknowledges that it grossly underestimates casualties in Iraq. So, given this admission by IBC, can we all agree to stop reporting their figures as an accurate estimate of the number of Iraqi civilian deaths?

chickenlittle said...

Robert Cook said:

"Bush/Cheney, et al are war criminals who have violated the Geneva Conventions and we must end the war because it is ILLEGAL."

Please don't say "illegal", but instead use the term "undocumented" until such documented proof is wrested from Cheney's cold dead hands.

rigolette said...

After Ridley wins the Academy Award he refuses to go back to the San Diego Zoo and is no longer interested in other bears.

Ridley is only into young women. He ends up escaping and running down the LA freeway. In a scene similar to the OJ bronco chase the LA police and ASPCA are chasing Ridley as he is flying by the cars. People along the side of the road are holding signs saying "Run Free Ridley" and "One bear One Woman". Fox News is on the scene and Geraldo is breathless declaring what a magnificent creature Ridley is. Geraldo details how muscular and athletic the bear is and understands the attraction. Bill O disagrees vehemently.

In a devastating climax Ridley is hit head on by a prius being driven by Larry David. Larry is ok but unfortunately Ridley doesn't make it.

Ridley is buried next to Marilyn Monroe and Divine. In a controversial decision Dakota Fanning puts her panties into the coffin along with Ridley. It is what he would of wanted.

Thank you good night.

chickenlittle said...

Roost the moon said:

"Stay there at $250,000,000/day until staying there starts working?"

I suspect most of that money is going into the hands and pockets of those fighting and working there as salaries and bonuses, rather than vanishing in situ.
Rejoice, for in the end, this will be a good thing: a wealth redistribution from the majority to the fighting poor!

MadisonMan said...

My how this thread has grown.

The surge may be working -- but how permanent is it? I'm pessimistic enough, given the wretched track record of the Govt re: the execution of this war, to wait until the troops draw down before declaring something as having worked. It's possible that the surge has just pushed, perhaps temporarily, perhaps not, Al Qaida into some other country.

Cedarford said...

Lucky - How many innocent Iraqis do you think have been killed and wounded since we invaded??

Innocence has nothing to do with it.
In war, most of the casualties are innocent folks blamless of any criminal or moral wrongdoing. From the civilians to men serving their nation in uniform. Germans, Japanese, Americans, Iraqis - the moral and legal equation remains the same. And irrelevant.

The trick, to paraphrase Patton, is to get the innocent soldiers and civilians on the enemy side to die for their cause if necessary - rather than see your own innocent bastards die.

and why don't you show the same bullshit empathy for our own American soldiers?

It is common knowledge that the Left hates the military, always has, and only has empathy for deserters or other dishonorables - or wounded and dead they can display as useful "victimhood" tools. The smarmy Lefty "sympathy" for "the children in uniform" duped and dull people fit for lower blue collar jobs and exploited instead by evil military recruiters nonwithstanding..

Everyone knows the depth of Lefty solidarity with "the suffering American children in Iraq" - even the Lefties, if they are honest.

*****************
Drill SGT - I think I was more responding to Fens "piece of cake" ID'ing a nuke detonation than your "it's possible" post. You know what you're talking about on nukes, Fen does not.
***************
Luckyoldson - Not one of the assholes who started this war ever served a fucking day in the real military, yet they talk the talk and send young Americans into battle as if they have.

Lefty twits like you who never served don't have a clue what "real military is".

Nor it seems, of our American system having elected civilian government being in charge of military mission and funding - not just "Vets who served in Lefty twit's notion of the real military".

chickenlittle said...

I'm calling time of death: 2:46 PM
Cause of death, Godwin's Law

downtownlad said...

It's in the Democrat's interest for the war to be raging in November 2008.

Sucks for the soldiers who will die in the interim, but whatever - they probably voted for Bush anyway.

Gahrie said...

downtownlad:

Everytime I think you've reached the bottom, you manage to come up with something even more contemptable to say.

downtownlad said...

Gahrie - You're the one who favors policies that are killing the soldiers.

I'm the one who wants them home.

So the blood is on your hands - sorry.

Palladian said...

downtownlad is a dog turd on the sidewalk. Don't step in it, steer around it!

And now let's see how long it takes for girlfriend to call me fat...

Sloanasaurus said...

Oh...and by the way...in the ten years BEFORE we invaded, while Saddam was confined to Iraq, America spent about 5 billion dollars and didn't lose a single American life.

Interesting. Our policy of isolationism prior to World War II was even cheaper. I guess the good times never last forever.

Sloanasaurus said...

I hope all understand that this means that IBC acknowledges that it grossly underestimates casualties in Iraq. So, given this admission by IBC

I was lookng for IBC's stats on Iraqi civilian deaths caused by Saddam's totalitarian state prior to the war. I couldn't find any. According to bodies in mass graves, Saddam was doing away with 25,000+ per year. Of course reporting on 100 separate incidents each day of people dissappearing in the middle of the night for speaking Saddam's name in vain doesn't make for very interesting reporting. IBC obviously wasn't motivated back then.

cyrus pinkerton said...

cedarford wrote:

[nonsensical garbage] +

It is common knowledge that the Left hates the military, always has, and only has empathy for deserters or other dishonorables

Cedarford, believe as you wish, but think twice before posting this sort of rubbish. Rather than wasting my time telling me how other people think, tell me what you think. It's boring and unenlightening to read your fantasies about "the Left." Please, stick to what you know.

Also, when I see phrases like "it is common knowledge," or "everyone knows," I generally find them associated with claims that the writer cannot prove. If you feel the need to insult "the Left," please do so directly instead of adorning your attack with logical fallacies. IMO it's much better to be thought offensive than dumb.

cyrus pinkerton said...

sloan wrote:

I was lookng for IBC's stats on Iraqi civilian deaths caused by Saddam's totalitarian state prior to the war. I couldn't find any.

Sloan, I know you are playing dumb here, but because you do so very convincingly, I'll post the first paragraph from the IBC project statement:

This is an ongoing human security project which maintains and updates the world’s only independent and comprehensive public database of media-reported civilian deaths in Iraq that have resulted from the 2003 military intervention by the USA and its allies. The count includes civilian deaths caused by coalition military action and by military or paramilitary responses to the coalition presence (e.g. insurgent and terrorist attacks).

Does that clear up all confusion on your part?

Sloan, I don't know what source you are using for a death count during Saddam Hussein's rule. According to USAID, 300,000 to 400,000 bodies have been found in mass graves in Iraq. This corresponds to approximately 12,500 to 16,700 Iraqi deaths per year (according to the body count from mass graves) during the Saddam years. (Again, using the USAID figures, this corresponds to 34 - 45 deaths per day.) Do you have any reason to believe that USAID is intentionally underestimating the number of bodies in mass graves?

Obviously IBC was not operating then. However, if it had been in operation and was using its current methodology, it would have grossly underestimated the death toll, just as it does now.

I'm annoyed by the dishonesty of Iraq war supporters and opponents in discussing the Iraqi death toll both before and after the invasion. Since exact counts of the dead are not available, we have to rely on estimates for an accurate assessment of the death toll. Let's be honest and admit, as IBC does, that the IBC count grossly underestimates the number of civilian casualties in Iraq.

hdhouse said...

It is obvious from the amount of disinformation spewed and politically biased lies swallowed whole, as evidenced on this thread, that Bush and Cheney must rub their hands in glee knowing that their "base" has bought their tall tales hook line and sinker.

I'm not sure who gets the award for the silliest post here, from Maxine's list that starts wtih Pol Pot and the pull out from Cambodia to the "we can easily absorb the spending in Iraq forever".

Amazing. Just Amazing.

Cedarford said...

Pinky -

"It is common knowledge that the Left hates the military, always has, and only has empathy for deserters or other dishonorables."

Cedarford, believe as you wish, but think twice before posting this sort of rubbish. Rather than wasting my time telling me how other people think, tell me what you think. It's boring and unenlightening to read your fantasies about "the Left." Please, stick to what you know.

Also, when I see phrases like "it is common knowledge," or "everyone knows," I generally find them associated with claims that the writer cannot prove. If you feel the need to insult "the Left," please do so directly instead of adorning your attack with logical fallacies. IMO it's much better to be thought offensive than dumb.


If there is any problem, it is that too few people have called the Lefties out as the dishonest, anti-American, unpatriotic sacks of shit they truly are.
The Left has gone with the most personal, vitriolic attacks on the opposition but the slightest questioning of why they are campaigning to close all the ROTC facilities they can, worshipping volunteer soldiers who refuse to go to Afghanistan or Iraq, and embark on their periodic efforts to gut counterterrorism and military spending - gets the usual hystrionics that people are DARING to question their patriotism!!

Then the self-serving crap about how the Lefties show the ultimate form of patriotism - which is dissent in wartime with their elected leaders - something that Lord Haw Haw, Tokyo Rose, and Vidkun Quisling would have been happy to know back when...

And the usual attempts to exploit the dead and maimed military to further their cause mixed in with attempts to eradicate the officer corps that the troops deserve to consist of the best possible, smartest leaders America has.

No, Pinky, pretending to love the dead soldiers and insisting on half-staff flags, indulging in theatric hysteria over "X more dead Americans!!!!?? The protests to bar military recruiters from high schools so we have more Abu Ghraib bottom feeders and less SGT Paul Smiths joining? The whines of: "Oh, the intolerabilty of it! - all flacked to every media outlet", on realizing that war means we have casualties??? Duh! And those precious demands to pose with coffins of dead soldiers as media props, and those cute little fake cemeteries?
--While hating the functioning troops in the field, seeking to undercut their funding and end spending on better systems so more money can go to "more urgently needed social services here at home"?
That does not make Lefties "supporters of the troops".

You want to do something, Pinkerton? Go write every Lefty group and tell them to support restoring ROTC, jROTC, and allowing military recruiters to come to High Schools to seek out the best and most able people to serve our nation.
If that doesn't fit your fancy, then denounce those that volunteered, took the money, got all the training then refused to embark on Duty as the miserable craven little welshers and frauds they are.

You see, most people would have a better impression of the Left if they just had a few people yelling at other Lefties to knock off the anti-military, "soldiers are just victimized children duped into uniforms, USA is evil" type of shit.

But those people are as rare as outspoken moderate Muslims.

I give people like Fallaci, Hitchens, Beinhardt their props - but they are outliers on the Left to the Party Line...

Bruce Hayden said...

I guess "independent" means that they aren't government connected. But that doesn't mean that the IBC don't have an axe to grind.

And I do question at least the way that the data is being presented.

The problem with ignoring the past under Saddam is that pretty much the same group of people are doing the killings as were doing them then, and the class of victims is somewhat similar too. Most of the murders are committed by Sunni Arabs, and most of the victims are Shiites.

Every time one of those bombs goes off in Iraq killing innocents, police, or Americans, it is being financed, built, placed, and detonated by Sunnis, either Iraqi Arabs or foreign jihadists working under the al Qaeda umbrella. Almost all of the money funding this was, at lest until the last month or so, Baathist, with the remainder being from (mostly) Saudi individuals.

And guess what? That was essentially what was going on under Saddam - Sunni Arabs murdering everyone else in order to maintain his power.

Yes, from the time that that Mosque was first blown up until mid-Spring, the Shiites did retaliate. These were most of the bodies found killed execution style. Initially, most of the victims of their violence had some direct tie to the Baathists or the more recent bombings, or their families. It was only in the last six months (ending maybe in April) that it moved from retaliation and revenge to ethnic cleansing.

Nevertheless, the vast bulk of those killed in Iraq since our intervention there were killed by essentially the same people who were doing so before our intervention, and the victims were roughly the same too. And the rates appear to be somewhat comparable too, if that is relevant, which it really isn't.

So, explain to me again why we are responsible for those killings.

Bruce Hayden said...

This is my vote for silliest post:

I'm not sure who gets the award for the silliest post here, from Maxine's list that starts wtih Pol Pot and the pull out from Cambodia to the "we can easily absorb the spending in Iraq forever".

Notice that he made no attempt to rebut the point that many of the same Democrats who are saying right now that nothing bad will happen in Iraq if we cut and run were saying the same thing back in the early 1970s. We have some of the same people still in Congress, esp. the Senate, and we have John Kerry there, who had testified to this before Congress. I am not sure what this poster wants us to do here - drag out those votes and testimony, and then document the Killing Fields of Cambodia and the reeducation camps of Vietnam?

But instead of trying to refute the point with counter facts, the poster merely made fun of the argument by calling it silly. It wasn't, but he was being so.

Roger said...

As several posters have noted, these pol-mil simulations at the Army War College are simply training exercises for the participants. Predictions resulting from them are useless for policy determination when you have people on the ground in the region who have a much better perspective of the real events.

For many years, all military contingency plans with respect to Iran were based on the Iranian communist party (the Tudeh party) taking over after the Shah left. Think about that: a fundamentalist islamic country going communist. The CIA has not improved much in its capability in the last 35 years.

Sloanasaurus said...

I'm annoyed by the dishonesty of Iraq war supporters and opponents in discussing the Iraqi death toll both before and after the invasion. Since exact counts of the dead are not available, we have to rely on estimates for an accurate assessment of the death toll.

Lucky, the problem we Iraq war supporters have is the use of this metric in the first place. The argument you are trying to make is that because civilian casualties are up, it therefore proves that the invasion has made things worse; i.e. that things were better under Saddam with only 16,000 per year dead. (Lets not discount the million that Saddam wasted in his 8 year war with Iran).

the difference however, is that the 16,000 dead per year in Saddam's regime was a never ending fact... the price of totalitarian dictatorship. Our goal is to change this formula.

Most of you ant-war types believe that we cannot make things better and that the terrorists will win in the end anyway. So much so that you are already invested in our defeat. But, you offer no alternative plan. You offer no alternative on what to do about the future.

At some point those on the left need to realize that in the modern/nuclear era, you cannot keep the indefinate going; you cannot idefinately keep a no fly zone going at $5 billion per year. You cannot indefinately keep these totalitarian societies holed up in their parts of the world for ever through policies of containment You cannot keep up sanctions for ever. Eventually these states will acquire technology/nukes, etc.., and they will move from foreign policy problems to nightmares. Something has to be done.

The Iraq war did this. It's difficult now. But, we will succeed if we stick it out.

Henry said...

Tim, Where do YOU get off saying the left has no "honor?" - Luckoldson

This just in:

...many [of those who back a withdrawal] acknowledged that Iraq could first plunge into vicious sectarian fighting much like the kind of ethnic cleansing that consumed Bosnia a decade ago and is now afflicting Sudan's Darfur region. Yet they flatly rejected the use of U.S. troops to stop the killing.

"I wouldn't be surprised if it's horrendous," said House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat who has helped lead the drive against the war. "The only hope for the Iraqis is their own damned government, and there's slim hope for that."


Genocide is a possible, even likely outcome of our withdrawal. By staying we prevent it from happening. The left chooses to let it happen.

Arguing that, oh in the long term it will all work out, is not good enough.

peter hoh said...

Sloan, I could be more tolerant of calls to give this administration more time if they hadn't screwed it up so much. We went in without the troop strength to secure the known weapons sites. We blew past munitions dumps because guarding them was not in the war plan. Subsequently, these sites were looted, thus helping to arm the insurgents. We invited the terrorists in, for God's sake. How many times did we have to hear that the insurgency was in its last throes before the administration finally got serious about facing the insurgency?

We announced the surge and then it took months to finally bring troop strength up to surge levels. I'm hearing reports that we won't be able to sustain troop levels like this for much longer. Then what?

And yet, I accept that it is our responsibility to continue to deal with the mess in Iraq. Just wish I could trust our current administration with such a task.

Fen said...

Cedarford: I think I was more responding to Fens "piece of cake" ID'ing a nuke detonation than your "it's possible" post. You know what you're talking about on nukes, Fen does not.

C4, if you have expertise on that, please clue me in: my understanding is that primitive first generation nukes [like the kind Iran will make] do not have a distinguishable fingerprint - too many commonalities to know origin with 100% certainty needed to justify a counter-stike. If I'm wrong, I'd honestly like to be educated on the subject. Thanks.

Luckyoldson said...

cedar,
i think you left out one "lefty" in your standard right wing talking points rap.

*did you clear everything with rush, sean and ann?

Luckyoldson said...

henry says: "Genocide is a possible, even likely outcome of our withdrawal. By staying we prevent it from happening. The left chooses to let it happen."

really?

and you know this for certain?

how?

oh, and exactly how long should we stay? i keep asking, but those who support bush can't seem to answer the question.

rebel said...

The left is a bunch of commie bastards who would love nothing more than to destroy this country.

The fact that they come on conservative websites and rant is repellant.

They enjoy every bombing in Iraq as proof them war is failing when it is not. They would like nothing more than to destroy our great president and all he has done for our country in keeping us safe.

The best thing for this country would be to annex these liberal bastions of filth from our great land.

They dwell in the most deprived liberal enclaves in the country: NYC, LA, San Franciso, Boston, Detroit sucking on the federal government's teet. Homosexuals, illegal immigrants, sanctuary cities, abortionists all making this a depraved and disgusting society. Living in their fancy "lofts" drinking their fancy coffees and doing "designer" drugs and alcohol along with anonymous sex. They call themselves the "creative sect" but what they really are is hippies who add nothing to this country or its amazing traditions. Being patriotic to them means burning american flags while descrating the sanctity of marriage. They are all sodomites, trogolytes and parasites as well as diesease ridden whores.

They make me sick.

Keep up the good fight Althouse you speaking truth to power when dealing with these nazis.

Luckyoldson said...

Sloan,
It's a complete waste of time discussing the Iraqi fiasco with you.

For whatever reason, you continue to support everything Bush does and stand behind every decision he's made.

Right now you're part of the 30% of America who supports Bush, yet you appear to think the other 65% of America and probably 75% of the world is wrong...and you're right.

You spew out the usual right wing bullshit, over and over again, touting the fantastic success of the "surge," the premise that we'll eventually "win" and that the Bush administration is merely defending America by continuing to shore up the Iraqi government.

I don't believe you read enough to know anything about what you say...and if you are actually an attorney I'd love to know how the hell you find time to practice law.

*And God knows I feel sorry for any clients you may have.

Henry said...

and you know this for certain? - Luckoldson

Lucky, old boy, read Obey's quote. Read the New York Times editorial of several weeks ago. I don't need to say genocide might happen. It is the withdrawal proponents that are saying it.

If people think genocide is a possible outcome of their position (did you read Obey's quote yet?), I'm saying they need to rethink what they're proposing.

How long should we stay?

A really long time. Cold War time. Most of the hawks that comment here, if you bother to notice, are clear on that.

Luckyoldson said...

Latest Rasmussen Polling:

A separate survey of Likely Voters highlights how fragile support for the President has become.

Just 34% of the nation’s Likely Voters give the President good or excellent marks.

Another 14% say he’s doing a fair job while 51% say poor.

Here's the one I love: Only 62% of Republicans are willing to give the President good or excellent marks.

When only 62% of your own party give you good or excellent marks...you know, as Brownie would say..."you're doing one hell of a job, Bushie!!"

Luckyoldson said...

Henry,
Oh, please...

Regardless of editorials, commentaries or opinions by whoever...NOBODY knows what will happen when we leave.

That's the boogie-man argument that's been used for the past 3 years...to shore up support for the failed policies and inept handling of the invasion aftermath.

Regardless of what will or will not happen, this is for sure: None of this would even be happening if we hadn't gone in in the first place (a factor always ignored by the right wing element, defended by idiots like Sloan, with the WMD argument or Cheney's nonsense about "mushroom clouds" or Saddam being in on 9/11), and when we do leave...it will be up to the Iraqis to do what they must.

And why is that??

Well, because it's their country and their responsibility to do whatever they deem necessary...not ours.

Palladian said...

"They dwell in the most deprived liberal enclaves in the country: NYC, LA, San Franciso, Boston, Detroit sucking on the federal government's teet. Homosexuals, illegal immigrants, sanctuary cities, abortionists all making this a depraved and disgusting society. Living in their fancy "lofts" drinking their fancy coffees and doing "designer" drugs and alcohol along with anonymous sex. They call themselves the "creative sect" but what they really are is hippies who add nothing to this country or its amazing traditions. Being patriotic to them means burning american flags while descrating the sanctity of marriage. They are all sodomites, trogolytes and parasites as well as diesease ridden whores."

My God, you're describing paradise!

Now please excuse me, I have to get back to my fancy loft so I can fuck an illegal immigrant homosexual abortionist, snort designer drugs off his ass, then drink a Cosmopolitan with him while we boil water for our fancy coffee over a burning American flag. After coffee, I'll send Pedro down to the bank to deposit our welfare check so we can afford our wedding license.

I think his names' Pedro... Maybe it's Mohammed.

Henry said...

Lucky,

If people think genocide is a possible outcome of their position (did you read Obey's quote yet?), I'm saying they need to rethink what they're proposing.

Yeah, I'm repeating myself. The issue is that you can't be persuasive if you ignore the logic of your own premises.

For example:

None of this would even be happening if we hadn't gone in in the first place....

it's their country and their responsibility to do whatever they deem necessary...not ours.


You see?

hdhouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sloanasaurus said...

Lucky said: None of this would even be happening if we hadn't gone in in the first place

Hmm...we do know a few things that would have happened if there were no invasion:

1) There would be a lot lot more arab terrorists fighting us in Afghanistan.

2) Saddam Hussein and Libya would still be pursuing Nuclear Weapons.

3) Saddam would be raking in over $50 billion a year to his personal account from $70 oil (it was about $15 in the 1990s). What he would do with this large pot of cash is anybodays guess (maybe he would build schools?)

4) Saddam would most likely be funding the terrorist efforts in afghanistan along with Hamas with his $50 billion.

4) Saddam would be continuing to bribe the UN and arab media outlets.

5) Russia and China would have effectively ignored the UN sancations against Saddam.

5) Saddam would continue killing his 16,000 people per year.

6) Finally... Luckyoldson would be calling Bush an idiot for not taking out Saddam when he had the chance back in 2003.

hdhouse said...

Sloanasaurus belched:
"It's difficult when the media and the democrats constantly lie about the conflict and lie about the consequences of failure."

Asshole you are such weak shit as to make me laugh. Who lies about Iraq? (mission accomplished!!!..thats a hint) and who lied us into war? (mushroom cloud, wmd, yellowcake, mobile bio weapons labs....ohhh the list is nearly endless)....and now who thinks it is his devine duty ...god's will..that we are there???

Sloan...you constantly amaze me. When I think the last bus to stupidville has left the station up you drive.

Sloanasaurus said...

and who lied us into war? (mushroom cloud, wmd, yellowcake, mobile bio weapons labs....ohhh the list is nearly endless)

do you seriously beleive that Saddam wasn't trying to build these weapons? What about the Nuke reactor destroyed in 1982 or the program uncovered in 1996. Do you think Saddam had changed his ways?

What about all the chemical weapons saddam used against Iran ans his own poeple. Do you think he really gave all of these up?

Roost on the Moon said...

Heads up, Palladian,

I'm pretty sure 'rebel' is a sock puppet operated by a liberal troll.

Of course, it's near impossible to tell when juxtaposed against:

Most of you ant-war types believe that we cannot make things better and that the terrorists will win in the end anyway.

and

If there is any problem, it is that too few people have called the Lefties out as the dishonest, anti-American, unpatriotic sacks of shit they truly are.

Fen said...

hdhouse: Asshole you are such weak shit as to make me laugh. Who lies about Iraq? (mission accomplished!!!..thats a hint) and who lied us into war? (mushroom cloud, wmd, yellowcake, mobile bio weapons labs....ohhh the list is nearly endless)

And your list is all Leftist lies, not Bush's. "We can't afford to wait for a mushroom cloud over NYC" is not a lie. That you must exagerate, distort, and quote out of context says much about the honesty of the Left. Tell us again that Saddam was not responsible for 9-11, its always amusing to see you charge into your strawmen.

Fen said...

Lucky: oh, and exactly how long should we stay? i keep asking, but those who support bush can't seem to answer the question.

Another lie. I answered your question at 3:01 PM yesterday:

"IF the surge strategy is successful [early indicators are bright] I would say another 1-2 years at current levels, followed by another 3-4 years in reduced "advisor" strengths. Its also likely that air assests will be based there indefinately."

Of coruse you missed it. You lefty trolls don't even bother to read the thread, you just parrot your ignorant talking points ad nauseum. No wonder the Left has zero credibility.

Luckyoldson said...

rebel says: "The left is a bunch of commie bastards who would love nothing more than to destroy this country. The fact that they come on conservative websites and rant is repellant."

Gee, thanks, Reb.

I didn't realize an American's First Amendment rights were suspended on "conservative websites."

As for your inane and standard right wing screed regarding the left being "commie bastards," well, it goes without saying that that comment alone illustrates what I've said over and over:

Any view or opinion that is not shared by the "regulars" or "conservative" as you call them that are here...is considered un-American or even traitorous.

And...that's exactly why people like yourself will find yourself, along with your "conservative" buddies...enjoying a Democratic Presidency and Congress for years to come.

Luckyoldson said...

henry says: "The issue is that you can't be persuasive if you ignore the logic of your own premises.

For example:

None of this would even be happening if we hadn't gone in in the first place....

it's their country and their responsibility to do whatever they deem necessary...not ours."

henry...your logic is rather suspect.

as I said before: Had we never gone in...how would this situation have occurred? There was no civil war, no al queda no terrorists flooding over the borders from saudi arabia and other countries.

saddam scared the hell out of anybody even considering such a move...except of course, our fearless and dense leader...and see what it's gotten us?

Luckyoldson said...

Sloan says, again, with a straight face: "do you seriously beleive that Saddam wasn't trying to build these weapons?"

with what, moron? a screwdriver and a hammer?

we invaded...found NADA...and you continue to yap about WMD. (even as bush himself admits they have nothing)

you can't be this stupid...

Fen said...

Lucky: [....]

Note Lucky completely ignores the proof that he's simply a lying lefty troll.

Any view or opinion that is not shared by the "regulars" or "conservative" as you call them that are here...is considered un-American or even traitorous.

Copperheads posting here do come off as un-American or traitorous. You want to express your opposition to the war? Fine, do so in a way that doesn't trash our soldiers and their mission. And try to do so without invoking the usual BDS. Because to date, your position on the war has not been made in good faith. You have yet to present genuine criticism or alternatives that are more than cheap partisan shots.

Sloanasaurus said...

Lucky:

"Peace for our Time."

Words to live by (for you at least).

Luckyoldson said...

And fen-fen rears his ugly and consistently uninformed head for yet another round of: "WE CAN WIN IT!!! WE REALLY, REALLY CAN!!"

all we have to do is stay for, oh..."another 1-2 years at current levels, followed by another 3-4 years in reduced "advisor" strengths. Its also likely that air assests will be based there indefinately." (have you calculated how many more americans will die and be wounded at current rates?
how about innocent iraqi civilians? does that even matter to you??)

and then...after we've WON!!!...the iraqis will agree to allow the united states to hang around...for an "indefinite" period of time...and there won't be ANY problems with the populace because by then, even after another 50-100,000 are dead...they'll all join hands and salute the red, white and blue??

hey...and maybe they'll even be good christians, too...

*fen's comments: 1 : the act of deluding : the state of being deluded
2 a : something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated

Luckyoldson said...

fen-fen,
where have i "lied?"

Luckyoldson said...

fen-fen,
show me a single posting where i:
"trash our soldiers and their mission."

c'mon...show me the post.

*of course we already know what you really mean; if you don't agree with fen and the "gang," you're trashing the troops.

you know...like the other 65% of the american public who's on MY SIDE of this argument.

Luckyoldson said...

fen-fen,
you're full of shit.

i've offered up any number of ways in which i feel we can extricate ourselves from the fiasco in iraq.

i've also provided plenty of information relating to the corrupt and thoroughly inept way in which bush has handled his position and duties.

you just don't want to hear anything you don't already believe.

Justin said...

Lucky,

You are truly fascinating. I cannot fathom what you get out of coming here day after day and beating the same dead horse. Doesn't it ever get boring? Seriously, what's up?

Luckyoldson said...

Are these people...left wing traitors?

WASHINGTON, July 17 — President Bush’s top counterterrorism advisers acknowledged Tuesday that the strategy for fighting Osama bin Laden’s leadership of Al Qaeda in Pakistan had failed, as the White House released a grim new intelligence assessment that has forced the administration to consider more aggressive measures inside Pakistan.

*The intelligence report, known as a National Intelligence Estimate, represents the consensus view of all 16 agencies that make up the American intelligence community.

Luckyoldson said...

justin,
in between meetings, and i love aggravating these morons.

i don't personally know anyone this stupid, so i take what i can get.

what's really interesting is that they appear to be unaware of the fact that they represent only about 30% of the american public, yet blather on and on as if they are in the mainstream.

*i can't wait for the 2008 elections...and hillary becomes our new president...that's when they'll literally implode.

Justin said...

Luckyoldson said...

One thing that amazes me about you is that you constantly insult people and accuse them of doing the very things you do. For example:

what's really interesting is that they appear to be unaware of the fact that they represent only about 30% of the american public, yet blather on and on as if they are in the mainstream.

Yet you blather more than anyone else on this blog.

Sloanasaurus said...

Al Qaeda will take over iraq if we leave to early.

Luckyoldson said...

Justin,
You asked ma a questions and I responded.

As for your claim that I "constantly insult people," are you actually saying that when you read the following postings...you don't consider them to be insulting?

1.rebel said..."The left is a bunch of commie bastards who would love nothing more than to destroy this country"

2. Fen said..."Lucky completely ignores the proof that he's simply a lying lefty troll.

3. cedar says: "If there is any problem, it is that too few people have called the Lefties out as the dishonest, anti-American, unpatriotic sacks of shit they truly are."

etc., etc.,etc.

And...I've said this before and will say it again...since you evidently do not retain information: If you don't like what I say...DON'T READ THE FUCKING POSTS.

Is that clear enough for you??

Luckyoldson said...

Sloanasaurus said..."Al Qaeda will take over iraq if we leave to early."

But they weren't even there before we invaded.

So...who do you blame for what you say will happen?

Justin said...

Luckyoldson said...

As for your claim that I "constantly insult people," are you actually saying that when you read the following postings...you don't consider them to be insulting?

No. I didn't say anything even close to that. I didn't even imply it. Why do you ask?

And...I've said this before and will say it again...since you evidently do not retain information: If you don't like what I say...DON'T READ THE FUCKING POSTS.

I like what you say. You're entertaining. It's like watching a pot run around looking for kettles to fight. A rabid, completely unhinged, and delusional pot. I don't understand how someone can have so little self-awareness. As I said earlier: fascinating.

I only asked the question because I was curious. I can't figure you out. I'm not any closer now than I was before, but I'm still entertained.

cyrus pinkerton said...

cedarford wrote:

Pinky -

If there is any problem, it is that too few people have called the Lefties out as the dishonest, anti-American, unpatriotic sacks of shit they truly are.


Fine. You're on record with your opinion, bizarre as it is.

By the way, if you were hoping to offend by referring to me as "Pinky," you should know that you've missed the mark. Unfortunately for you, I'm not easy to offend. I'm sure you'll keep trying, however.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Bruce Hayden wrote:

Nevertheless, the vast bulk of those killed in Iraq since our intervention there were killed by essentially the same people who were doing so before our intervention, and the victims were roughly the same too. And the rates appear to be somewhat comparable too, if that is relevant, which it really isn't.

The rates of civilian casualties are not roughly the same. The civilian death rate is significantly higher since we attacked and invaded Iraq.

Luckyoldson said...

justin,
I can tell from your response that you're no smarter than 90% of the right wing nutcases you'll find here.

You blather on about how I "insult" people, yet when I illustrate the same thing being done by others, you ignore it.

You say you read my postings because you find them "entertaining," then immediately refer to me as "A rabid, completely unhinged, and delusional pot. I don't understand how someone can have so little self-awareness."

And you can't understand why I might "insult" some on this blog??

Duh...

And here's another suggestion for you: Blow me.

Luckyoldson said...

cyrus,
how does it feel to be a lefty, commie bastard who hates america?

Cedarford said...

Fen - C4, if you have expertise on that, please clue me in: my understanding is that primitive first generation nukes [like the kind Iran will make] do not have a distinguishable fingerprint - too many commonalities to know origin with 100% certainty needed to justify a counter-stike. If I'm wrong, I'd honestly like to be educated on the subject. Thanks.

I apologize. In the back and forth between you and Drill SGT, I confused your stance. It was I who didn't know what he was talking about with respect to what you were saying.
You are correct, primitive nuke's provenence if we only had the intel that one just detonated in a Blue Democrat city would be very difficult to "prove in a criminal court of law".

Especially HEU devices, which are effectively undetectable - and all the airport and seaport inspectors in the world, if they suddenly did become detectable - wouldn't do any good.
Because all you would need to do is detonate the devices as the cargo plane flies into the airport, the ship as it approaches 500 meters of the "Homeland Defense Inspection Facility" in the harbor of any major coastal city, or inland seaway city like St Louis, Chicago, Pittsburgh.

I do disagree about the necessity of 100% certainty. If nukes go off in Russia, or NATO countries we may look at all the intel and signals intercepts, the technical analysis - and narrow it down to Islamist groups in either KSA or Iran, for example. Then tell KSA and Pakistan we are sending 1,000 FBI agents and 2,000 French DST, MI-6, KGB, German and Iralian State Intelligence to interview a full list of suspects - which we expect the Paks and Saudis to round up and have ready for us.

The nation that refused to thank us profusely for "helping them" and didn't do full diligence would be the one with the WMD terrorists. Then we decide if we do nuclear extermination on a national scale, or exterminate enough of the Islamoids with nukes (10 to 20 times our losses) that they rewrite the end of the Qu'ran to bar use of any WMD by any Muslim forever in the future.

We would have to scrap a pile of US laws and International laws too.

But once war becomes existential, you throw away all the laws and treaties you need to to end the threat - and kill or imprison the opposition.

Pogo said...

LOS said "If you don't like what I say...DON'T READ THE F*ING POSTS."

This advice I have followed for weeks, and now my teeth are whiter, my head clearer, the sun shines more brightly, my clothes are cleaner, my bowels are more regular, and the birds have suddenly appeared.

Luckyoldson said...

Here's a link to classic interviews with people much like you'll find here...conversations with at least twenty College Republicans about the war in Iraq.

All talking the talk, repeating the Bush talking points, but none actually doing anything about it themselves. (You'll also see Tom Delay, saying that if we didn't have abortions, we'd have 40 million people to do the jobs of illegals...really.)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-blumenthal/generation-chickenhawk-t_b_56676.html

Luckyoldson said...

Pogo,
And you're still just as ignorant and uninformed as ever.

That's not going to change soon.

*And since when do you have teeth?

Luckyoldson said...

Well, gotta go...so I'll leave the chickenhawks with two things to think about:

3,622 Dead
26,806 Wounded

Cedarford said...

Pinky - The rates of civilian casualties are not roughly the same. The civilian death rate is significantly higher since we attacked and invaded Iraq.

Only if you Lefties buy the discredited Lancet Study prepared by your anti-American fellow travelers that claimed 650,000 dead by the evil blood thirsty, oil-thirsty Zionist Crusader Imperialists.

Other studies say 70,000 Iraqis, most butchered by other Iraqis(which counts armed Iraqi terrorists US forces whacked as co-civilians), 4,000 foreign fighters, 3500 Americans.

Contrasted with the 300,000 Iraqis Saddam killed between 1991 and 2003 and the 280,000 civilians estimated to have died from "excess" to pre-1991 disease and malnutrition due to UN sanctions....overall, post-Saddam Iraq is a far better place. Especially in Kurd-only and Shiite-only areas.

Except for the Kurds, the gratitude is underwhelming. The French have nothing on the Iraqi Arabs in the art of backstabbing.

I happen to agree with the Center of America that if the only rationale for us being there and blowing 100s of billions and taking 800 dead and 4,000 maimed a year is to "save the noble pro-democratic Iraqi freedom lovers that hate infidels from killing one another" - the blood and treasure sacrifice is not worth it.

Same with having the Saudis as "good friends" if they continue to pump out the cancer of intolerant Salafi Islam globally.

cyrus pinkerton said...

cyrus,
how does it feel to be a lefty, commie bastard who hates america?


No one has called me a commie yet unless you count Cedarford's infatuation with calling me "Pinky."

hdhouse said...

Cedarford said...

Nothing. But of course I am happy that there is such a distinguished arms expert among us...and so well versed in military tactics and forward planning too. Gosh oh gee a true genius.

Here Cedarford is in what, midlife, and has managed to not loose one of those little toy soldiers played with since childhood. duck and cover everyone, Cedarford is about to let loose with another powerful bowel movement of dis/mis-information.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Cedarford wrote:

Only if you Lefties buy the discredited Lancet Study prepared by your anti-American fellow travelers that claimed 650,000 dead by the evil blood thirsty, oil-thirsty Zionist Crusader Imperialists. Other studies say 70,000 Iraqis...

[Sigh] We've covered this ground before. The "Lancet study" (Burnham, et al) has not been discredited or dismissed. There are a few legitimate questions about the Burnham et al methodology and there continues to be debate about these issues. I suggest you refer to the scientific literature if you are interested in learning about the subject.

The Burnham et al estimate is not simply a number, as you suggest. The Burnham et al findings should be reported this way:

Using a 95% confidence interval, Burnham et al report 392,979 to 942,636 excess Iraqi deaths.

Furthermore, the IBC figure (70,000, to which you refer) is not based on a "study" nor is it meant to be an estimate of civilian casualties in Iraq. It is the sum of selected media reported civilian casualties. Again, this is what the IBC says about its methodology:

What we are attempting to provide is a credible compilation of civilian deaths that have been reported by recognized sources. Our maximum therefore refers to reported deaths - which can only be a sample of true deaths unless one assumes that every civilian death has been reported. It is likely that many if not most civilian casualties will go unreported by the media. That is the sad nature of war.

Get it? The IBC admits that they are counting a fraction (and possibly a small fraction) or all civilian casualties. Therefore this does NOT constitute an estimate of Iraqi civilian casualties. Can we finally stop repeating this same mistake now?

There are other estimates of the Iraqi death toll that you don't mention. For example, the ILCS study (Pedersen) estimates Iraqi civilian casualties at about twice that reported by IBC. Are you going to claim that the ILCS study has been discredited? If not, why do you reject the ILCS estimate?

Stop playing politics with the Iraqi casualty estimates please. If you reference the IBC, show some sign that you understand what the IBC number means.

peter hoh said...

If you believe that the Iraq war was necessary to keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists, what do you make of this administration's decision to go into Iraq without a plan to secure weapons sites and prevent them from being looted?

Luckyoldson said...

peter hoh said..."If you believe that the Iraq war was necessary to keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists, what do you make of this administration's decision to go into Iraq without a plan to secure weapons sites and prevent them from being looted?"

Total ineptitude?

Luckyoldson said...

Can you spell: INEPTITUDE??

BAGHDAD, July 18 — For more than a year, the leader of one the most notorious insurgent groups in Iraq was said to be a mysterious Iraqi called Abu Omar al-Baghdadi.

As the titular head of the Islamic State in Iraq, Mr. Baghdadi issued incendiary pronouncements. Despite claims by an Iraqi Interior Ministry official in May that Mr. Baghdadi had been killed, he appeared to have persevered unscathed.

On Wednesday, the chief United States military spokesman here, Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Bergner, provided a new explanation for Mr. Baghdadi’s ability to escape attack: he never existed.

General Bergner told reporters that a senior Iraqi insurgent captured this month said that the elusive Mr. Baghdadi was actually a fictional character whose declarations on audiotape were read by a man named Abu Abdullah al-Naima.

peter hoh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peter hoh said...

Lucky, yeah, I think there's been a lot of ineptitude on the part of the administration, but I think you're reaching for straws by trying to suggest that the make-pretend Iraqi insurgent leader somehow proves ineptitude on the part of the US military.

By the way, I am not arguing that our military was inept. They carried out a plan, but the plan was flawed. The President saw fit to award the architects of that plan with medals, and those guys have all retired. Meanwhile, the slog of occupation continues.

Sloanasaurus said...

Lucky I think I saw the Lancet study next to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion at the library. Perhaps you forgot to read the placard that said "fiction."

*sigh*

Sloanasaurus said...

General Bergner told reporters that a senior Iraqi insurgent captured this month said that the elusive Mr. Baghdadi was actually a fictional character whose declarations on audiotape were read by a man named Abu Abdullah al-Naima

It makes sense. Being leader in Iraq is a short lived job. They are hoping for more job security after Democrats vote to surrender.

cyrus pinkerton said...

sloan wrote:

Lucky I think I saw the Lancet study next to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion at the library. Perhaps you forgot to read the placard that said "fiction."

Sloan, unless you are prepared to discuss scientific criticisms of the Burnham et al study (rather than just whine that "those number just have to be too big!"), it will be hard for me not to conclude that you are just another science denier (i.e., picking and choosing what scientific findings you like and rejecting the rest).

cyrus pinkerton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cyrus pinkerton said...

Pogo wrote:

...my clothes are cleaner, my bowels are more regular...

Pogo,

T M I !!!

Luckyoldson said...

peter hoh said..."By the way, I am not arguing that our military was inept. They carried out a plan, but the plan was flawed."

I agree.

It's just too bad the Bush administration didn't take care of them.