April 9, 2008

"A year ago, the president said we couldn't withdraw because there was too much violence."

"Now he says we can't afford to withdraw because violence is down."

Ted Kennedy to General Petraeus.

Me to Ted Kennedy: A year ago, you wanted to give up because we were losing, and now, you want to give up because we're winning.

88 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Well, that's the problem with the surge. You put in more troops, and the cockroaches sit in hiding places until the troops leave, and then they come out again. What the President really means is that we can't leave yet because the Iraqi Government can't get its act together. Even with the extra ~year of security bought for with American money and blood.

If we withdraw now, what happens? Iraqi violence goes way up, chaos ensues, and that's George Bush's legacy to history. Far better to leave with the troop levels high and have the next President clean up the mess of his (Bush's) making.

P. Rich said...

Completely eradicating violence from Iraq would be akin to accomplishing the same thing in Detroit, or LA, or NYC or... The interesting things about this up-tick are the timimg and the obliging MSM. Suddenly there's news and, voila, it's bad. Lefties suck it up and never bother to ask themselves "why".

Violence there is always carried out with intent toward influencing publicity. The objective this time: Petraeus' status report and congressional response. What a surprise, and Dims can be counted on to mindlessly react in the usual manner. Nothing like having a major US political party that enjoys dancing to the happy tunes of Al Qaeda band leaders.

Pogo said...

MM, I suppose that's one interpretation. Another might be that the "mess" is inherent in all wars. At present we are fighting Islamic fascists from Hezbollah, Egypt, Syria, and Iran. An independent non-fascist Iraq is our best bet for regional safety.

We are in WW4. This is just one of the battles. We can't stop playing the game. Even if we withdraw, we're still in it. We cannot take our ball and go home.

We will fight them in Iraq, or somewhere else. But fight them we will. This failed Tet offensive was meant for America's left, who responded similarly when the first Tet also failed ...militarily.

MadisonMan said...

At present we are fighting Islamic fascists from Hezbollah, Egypt, Syria, and Iran. An independent non-fascist Iraq is our best bet for regional safety.

Wouldn't it be refreshing to hear George Bush say that!? Communication skills in a President are important.

MadisonMan said...

..and I'll add -- the President has to say that consistently and over and over. He doesn't.

Hazy Dave said...

When General Petraeus reads this, he's gonna be so, "D'oh, I wish I'd said that!"

Roger J. said...

There were not as many fireworks as I had expected during the testimony--I assume the dems learned their lesson from their last attempt to smear General P.

That said, the things going on in Iraq now are certainly in flux. I think that Maliki gained some support from the rest of the factions in Iraq by cracking down on Sadr's militias. A lot has been made of the "defections" but in terms of those numbers compared to the Iraqi security forces as a whole, and the population at large, they are small, and, as I understand it, largely confined to the Police.

The audience for Maliki's actions was not the American public, but the Iraqi public--and in that, I think he may have succeeded. Time will tell.

Cedarford said...

Madison Man - You put in more troops, and the cockroaches sit in hiding places until the troops leave, and then they come out again.

Except your theory is wrong. When AQ was in charge of villages and had working torture chambers and was killing informants, no one dared report them. When they lost control to the US and to the tribes, there was no more incentive NOT to inform authorities on where the murderous, unwanted guests are.

Now, a little simplified, it is "Where are the cockroaches hiding", with villagers more willing to say: "Safehouse on the corner of Saladin and Mouta the Martyr of 1923 streets.." or, "I'm nervous about my brother-in-law might be be with them so I don't want to tell you someting to get him killed, but I will say I saw them burying 60 or so 122mm howitzer shells over on farmer Omar's lot last year..."

The general results is that the cockroaches are being flushed. Literally. Milblogs have video footage of 10 AQI fleeing one small village as Pretraeus's forces and Iraqi cops entered the other side, then all 10 getting whacked by 30mm cannon fire from the Apache gunship filming them, then Iraqi cops dragging off the 2 that were wounded, not killed.

In 2007, we killed 2400 of the cockroaches, maimed 500, and captured 6,000. They have not been able to lie low. The pressure is steady, and incentives for Iraqis to cleanse out the foreigners is too strong. Iraq has many problems, but it has served as a killing field for AQI members now foghting to survive against very lethal Americans, Sunni and Shiite Iraqis.
Binnie has now called for ending the practice of sending recruited terrorists into Iraq.

****************
Teddy Kennedy is invested in defeat. He stabbed S Vietnam in the back and still considers that one of his best votes, despite the Canbodian genocide and 160,000 S Vietnamese perishing in communist reducation camps because it "properly humbled America."

I can only hope there is an afterlife, and his brother JFK administers him a good bitch-slapping for his many anti-American, defeatist votes.

Middle Class Guy said...

Was Kennedy sober? Why would anyone in their right mind pay attention to, let alone take seriously, anything Ted Kennedy has to say.

Robert Cook said...

We're not winning and won't win--what does "winning" in Iraq even mean? We lost the moment we violated international law and invaded Iraq based on false premises, lacking either a valid self-defense justification or approval by the UN Security Council. Without one or the other of these latter two justifications to attack Iraq, we committed a war crime with our first dropped bomb. Staying merely compounds our criminal aggression. Add that the torture and secret renditions of suspected "terrorists"--often innocent, but in any case untried--ongoing violations of the Constitution, etc., we are simply a rogue nation engaging in prolonged criminal mayhem.

I recommend reading Patrick Cockburn on some of the realities on the ground in Iraq.

The only victory possible for us would be for the American people to demand (and achieve) the indictment and prosecution of the architects of this vile enterprise, and to see the day that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Feith, Bremer, Rice, et al. be marched into prison to serve long terms of incarceration.

As I say, there is no victory awaiting us at the end of this ghastly stage in our history.

Bob said...

Sadly Petraeus couldn't say that. Lieberman's "see no progress, speak no progress, and hear no progress" was great.

I also wish Petraeus would have made a couple of historical comparisons. Like the desertion rates of US soldiers in Europe in WWII or Civil War. Hint: Iraqi's are comparable.

The thing ignored now is Petraeus didn't say he wouldn't ask to lower troop levels. It would be interesting to watch if on August 15th Petraeus requests to go down by say a brigade every other month. That puts Obama or Clinton in a box and then all the democratic cries would be priceless. No matter what, there isn't any way we could remove all our troops such that this won't become the next administration's problem.

Pogo said...

Teddy's always good for a laugh.

His most recent best unintentionally ironic comment was about waterboarding.

He will never escape that event. It comes up every single time.

knoxwhirled said...

Talk about poor communication: if democrats don't actively, ardently desire our failure in Iraq, they sure do a great job of sounding like they do.

Roger J. said...

Robert Cook: stop commenting on blogs and buy futures--with you ability to foresee the future you will make a fortune.

Fen said...

We lost the moment we violated international law and invaded Iraq based on false premises, lacking either a valid self-defense justification or approval by the UN Security Council.

Ignoring for a moment all the false assertions above, isn't it hysterical that some people think we need the approval of the UN Security Council to project force?

Robert Cook said...

As a member of the United Nations, and as a member of the Security Council...we DO need UN approval to "project force." (Unless, of course, we were under attack or were about to be and thus were compelled to defend ourselves. This was not the case, of course.)

We do not rule the world, and may not act unilaterally simply because "we call the shots," (sic), much as some may think otherwise.

Fen said...

we DO need UN approval to "project force."

We do not.

may not act unilaterally

We did not.

[yawn]

Pogo said...

We do not rule the world

Neither does the UN, that stinking tomb of corruption, totalitarian lovers, and rapists. Why should I care for the opinions of anti-Americans, much less abide by their "decisions"?

Sloanasaurus said...

Ted Kennedy led the fight to let the Communists take over South Vietnam. He is just being consistent.

AlphaLiberal said...

We're "winning"? Really? Rockets and mortars landing in the Green Zone is winning? Basra in upheaval until Iran works out the cease fire is winning?

Millions of Iraq refugees pushed from their home is winning?

This what we've been fighting for?

Cuh-razy, baby.

Ger said...

AA says: "...and now, you want to give up because we're winning."

Really?!?!?!

I guess I can't see the scoreboard from here. What inning are we in and how many more runs do we have than the other team?

former law student said...

At present we are fighting Islamic fascists from Hezbollah, Egypt, Syria, and Iran.

Yep, Muslims love the chance to both (1) help their co-religionists and (2) stick one in Uncle Sam's eye. The longer we're in Iraq, the more Islamic "fascists" there will be to fight. We should have learned from Israel's experience: Hezbollah was insignificant until Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 -- resisting the invasion gave Hezbollah power and numbers that they retain till this day.

But you left out Saudi Arabia, home of the Bush family friends the Bin Ladens (GHW and the senior Bin also helped lead the Carlyle Group till 9/11 made it embarrassing.)

Fen said...

Alpha: Millions of Iraq refugees pushed from their home is winning? This what we've been fighting for?

Obviously, our Lefty friends can't endure testimony and advice from General Petraeus.

I'm opening side bets on when their heads will explode.

Meanwhile, if you want a reasoned commentary of the hearings, check out Wretchard at Belmont Club.

"In his testimony, Petraeus argued that a framework for the nonviolent resolution of ethnic differences now existed and would eventually succeed unless it was derailed. "Ethno-sectarian competition in many areas is now taking place more through debate and less through violence. In fact, the recent escalation of violence in Baghdad and southern Iraq was dealt with temporarily, at least, by most parties acknowledging that the rational way ahead is political dialogue rather than street fighting.

...Corn seems to think that the proper role of the Democratic Congressmen was to discredit or attack the Surge. I would have thought their first duty was to listen to Petraeus and think about America's strategic choices in the region. But then it's 2008 and we all know what that year signifies."

gophermomeh said...

Thanks, RC. There is nothing to win, and yes, I too, think we have already failed.

Why all the talk about troops, troops, troops, as if that's the only solution to this, is beyond me. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results-when the hell do we decide, as a country, that we've hit our bottom?

We've become morally and ethically challenged - bending the rules to fit our needs - at home and around the world. Are we so dyfunctional and so self-centered that we can't (or don't want to) come up new ideas so that we can get out of there in a responsible manner?

Fen said...

SockPuppet#3: come up new ideas so that we can get out of there in a responsible manner?

Please google "Surge" and "COIN".

And try to comprehend what you read. Its about more than increased troop numbers.

Bob said...

Robert - if I agreed with your assertion on UN then the first Prez to be tried for war crimes will be Mr Clinton who felt the need to bomb Serbia for about 80 days. Of course if Senator Clinton becomes the next Prez that might be entertaining to watch...

Robert Cook said...

Don't think I don't consider Bill Clinton to be a war criminal...I do.

Fen said...

*rolls eyes*

Roger J. said...

"Getting out of there in a responsible manner...." That is certainly a consideration. Irrespective of how we got into the war and all the other issues, those are now history. We are there and we need to have a satisfactory outcome.

Amb Crocker made an important point in his testimony that gets to the issue of follow up for the next administration. Assuming, as some have, that a precipitous withdrawal of troops would result in chaos (I don't agree), is it more prudent from a national security perspective to leave troops there and maintain some level of security in Iraq as a backdrop for the next administration to make their decisions. I think that is the most prudent course of action.

While both democratic candidates have talked about withdrawals, I would not hold my breath--What a candidate says on the stump may give way to much more serious consideration once that candidate becomes president. The view changes considerable from the hustings to the oval office.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Winning?

Winning what? How?

Private armies, militias, Al-Q, various armed crazies, tribal conflicts....

We are not winning. Likely we cannot win. Ever.

gophermomeh said...

surge and coin are pretty much just about troops. Generals opinions and military solutions...how's that workin' for everyone?

knoxwhirled said...

We are not winning. Likely we cannot win. Ever.


speak for yourself. Death before burqas.

AlphaLiberal said...

I find Juan Cole's post of today much more enlightening.

He lays out how US forces "may be" (I have less doubt) prolonging the civil war, rather than containing it.

AlphaLiberal said...

"Death before burqas."

Man, the right wing is intensely paranoid and has inflated the Islamic terror threat far beyond reality.

They are not going to make you, or anyone else here, wear a burqa.

Otherwise, whose death and whose burqa you refer to is not clear.

mickey said...

Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

AlphaLiberal said...

And John McCain continues to display confusion over who is al Qaeda:

MCCAIN: Do you still view al Qaeda in Iraq as a major threat?

PETRAEUS: It is still a major threat, though it is certainly not as major a threat as it was say 15 months ago.

MCCAIN: Certainly not an obscure sect of the Shi’ites overall...

PETREAUS: No.

MCCAIN: …or Sunnis or anybody else.

Memo to John McCain: al Qaeda is Sunni. Get it right already!

Compare the media coverage of McCain's multiple misstatements of fact to a) John Edwards' hair, b) Hillary's laugh, c) Obama's preacher.

Will McCain the media darling have to face ANY scrutiny this year? Not likely!

Original Mike said...

AlphaLiberal said: Will McCain the media darling have to face ANY scrutiny this year? Not likely!

"I now inform you that you are too far from reality."

mickey said...

Did Rodham claim that Al Qaeda snipers shot at her?

mickey said...

I just read Ted Kennedy's book.

Pt-Delta88.

His Pt boat sank, but thank God Ted got out alive.

Middle Class Guy said...

gmail.comPogo said...
We do not rule the world

Neither does the UN, that stinking tomb of corruption, totalitarian lovers, and rapists. Why should I care for the opinions of anti-Americans, much less abide by their "decisions"?


Pogo, you left out irrelevant. The UN has been totally irrelevant, and, thus a useless organization for over thirty years.


AlphaLiberal said...
We're "winning"? Really? Rockets and mortars landing in the Green Zone is winning? Basra in upheaval until Iran works out the cease fire is winning?

Millions of Iraq refugees pushed from their home is winning?

This what we've been fighting for?

Cuh-razy, baby.



We could have been out of there a long time ago, but no one had the testicular fortitude to do the right thing. When the military had Sadr and his band of insurgents surrounded and demanded his surrender, the politicians- Iraqi and ours- refused to allow the military to blast him, his insurgents and his mosque full of weapons to kingdom come. Once a mosque is used as a fortress it is no longer a religious place. Sadr has contributed to most of the insurgent activity. Unfortunately he is still alive and kicking.

Who cares about Iraqi refugees? Yawn.

The Drill SGT said...

I think Zawahiri, the AQ-global number 2 guy, makes the strongest case. In his recent candidate/blogger online chat Zawahiri was asked:

As-Sahab: And what is the most important field in which this Mujahid vanguard is wrestling with the enemies of Islam?

Zawahiri: Iraq is the most important of these fields.


As long as AQ thinks Iraq is the most important field of battle, I think we need to stay and whoop'em.

Declaring victory, and running home will only encourage them (AQ and the Democrats). Proving to the Muslim/Arab world that AQ is hated by the Iraqi locals and that the US stands by its commitment to Democracy in Iraq is the answer to a more stable Mid-East.

Middle Class Guy said...

AlphaLiberal said...
They are not going to make you, or anyone else here, wear a burqa.


Um, you better do some reading instead trying to think. In parts of Michigan those nice fuzzy moslem pals of your want to insitute Sharia law. They are not alone.

I will choose death before burqas, thank you.

Middle Class Guy said...

mickey said...
Did Rodham claim that Al Qaeda snipers shot at her?



Not yet.

mickey said...

middle class guy....If the Marine Corps hadn't turned Rodham down, she would have been a fine Marine.
Remember she tried to enlist, but they wouldn't take her.

Middle Class Guy said...

mickey said...
middle class guy....If the Marine Corps hadn't turned Rodham down, she would have been a fine Marine.
Remember she tried to enlist, but they wouldn't take her.



I kind of thought it was amatter of the "couldn't" take her.

The Drill SGT said...

Remember she tried to enlist, but they wouldn't take her.

Being a bit more precise. Enlisting is what enlisted people do. Officers, and I categorize lawyers loosely as officers :) are commissioned. The general form for both enlistments and commissioning is "accessions" as in:

The U.S. Army Accessions Command (USAAC) was established by general order on 15 February 2002. It is a subordinate command of TRADOC charged with providing integrated command and control of the recruiting and initial military training for the Army's officer, warrant officer, and enlisted forces. Designed to meet the human resource needs of the Army from first handshake to first unit of assignment, the command transforms volunteers into soldiers and leaders for the Army.

ZPS said...

Win, lose, win, lose, blah, blah, blah. People who define this thing in terms of "Winning" and "Losing" don't get it.

You don't "win" by adding fuel to a fire. Take out one bad guy, another one will spring up. Again, and again, and again. Perpetuating an ideology by reinforcing it doesn't sound like the best way to "win" a "war", but good luck. See ya in a hundred years...if you're lucky. Of course, now that we're there, it would be cruel and irresponsible to leave
due to the fact that we created the freakshow in the first place thanks to us removing Saddam. Either way, we already lost because we're stuck, morally and physically.

Can you imagine how we Americans would react if the Iraqi military invaded us and started killing us because they claimed, incorrectly, that our leader had a WMD program? Would Althouse become an insurgent? Instead of Sunnis and Shiites, we'd have blacks against latinos against whit--oh wait, we already do.

The Drill SGT said...

The point ZPS is that Iraqis are no longer, for the most part, joining the insurgency. Iraqis are leaving the insurgency. They are joining their army and official forces to protect their communitities and assist the US in locating and destroying AQI. what is left is an increasely isolated group of "foreign fighters" that most folks are willing to rat on and allow us to destroy. Even the Arab press recognizes this basic trend. Why can't you?

The principle of a good COIN campaign is to protect the population and separate the bad guys from their support among the populace by a variety of means. Once you demonstrate that you can protect people, they assist you in locating the killers.

Fritz said...

I'm reading Michael Yon's excellent book, Moment of Truth in Iraq. "They will use their favorite of all weapons, the camera, and make it look like we are ravaging the city and that they are defeating us. For they have understood from the beginning what we learned almost too late: this is political war and political war is media war."

Original Mike said...

The Drill SGT asked ZPS: Even the Arab press recognizes this basic trend. Why can't you?

I believe the term you're looking for, Drill SGT, is "willful ignorance".

ZPS said...

Right. I remember reading about how the insurgency was in its last days, oh, I don't know, 3 years ago? If the majority of Iraqi civilians are turning over AQ all the time, we should be out soon, then. Just like we were to be out soon 3 years ago. Oh, and just like we would be out soon days after the initial invasion, when we were to be greeted like liberators.

Willful ignorance! Love it. Keep believing whatever you need to.

Fen said...

surge and coin are pretty much just about troops.

How ignorant and simplistic. Merrill “Tony” McPeak, is that you? Shouldn't you be off supplicating yourself before Ahmadinejad?

Generals opinions and military solutions...how's that workin' for everyone?

Great so far. The Left simply does not appreciate how difficult the Iraqi enterprise is. They don't recognize its the center of gravity, necessary to depose radical Islam. But in 20 years they'll be claiming "Islamic Jihad fell apart all on its own", despite OBL giving Bush credit for it.

AlphaLiberal: I find Juan Cole's post of today much more enlightening. He lays out how US forces "may be" (I have less doubt) prolonging the civil war, rather than containing it.

Cole actually uses the term "civil war"? What an idiot. Why do you read him? No wonder you are so misinformed.

Willful ignorance indeed.

Dear Obama & Cult, and UN Appeasment Weasels:

1) How are those UN sanctions on Iran working out?

2) Do you UN peeps really think that will stop Iran from going nuclear?

3) Who will you ask to enforce your "soft power" threats?

gophermomeh said...

We can only hope that Islamic Jihad falls apart on it's own.

Chris said...

I've given up hope myself of ever getting Liberals to realize that we are in a war for cultural survival.

When Moslems crack atoms over US cities then, and only then, will they wake up to the menace that is growing.

My only consolation is that with any luck the primary casualties that will result from the likely targets will be the same liberals advocating defeat today.

Sad really. I used to think of them as my fellow Americans. Now I just think of them as fools.

Sydney Carton said...

Chris: "When Moslems crack atoms over US cities then, and only then, will they wake up to the menace that is growing."

No they won't. They will not wake up. They will blame America even more. Their delusion isn't a case of bias for political reasons. It's basically a religion for them. Liberals have a faith in the belief that America is the cause of all the world's ills. The nuking of an American city would only solidify that belief. They won't give up their faith because it will mean that their entire lives are a mistake, and that is unacceptable to human psychology. You'd have a better chance convincing a lunatic that he's not the King of England.

XWL said...

A year ago, you wanted to give up because we were losing, and now, you want to give up because we're winning.

I swear I thought that, and almost blogged something to that effect last afternoon.

Darn you, and your infernal mind-reading ray!!!

(or it's both an astute, and somewhat obvious repositioning of Sen. Kennedy's words)

Instead, I just bemoaned the fact that we are going to have a Senator as President for the first time in awhile, we've consistently rejected Senators for their Senator-ness, but now we have no choice but to go with one of these preening, long-winded, egotistical gasbags. That body gives its members the opportunity to revel in the worst excesses of politics with high position, great individual power, yet an almost complete abscense of personal accountability. When they succeed, 'I alone led the fight', when they fail, 'if only I could have convinced another 59 Senators to see things my way, things would be better'. I think of them as a room of 100 Glenn Greenwalds all arguing (and worse, agreeing), with each other.

Oh, well.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Can you imagine how we Americans would react if the Iraqi military invaded us and started killing us because they claimed, incorrectly, that our leader had a WMD program?

Well.....if our leader and his henchmen had been feeding people feet first alive into wood chippers, torturing for the fun of it, kidnapping women and putting them into rape rooms because they could, killing entire families and bashing out the brains of little children while at the same time they were living in obscene luxury based on the massive theft of donations that were supposed to go to feed the population.......I imagine we would react in a positive manner.

I would be more than grateful to be rid of such leaders. Of course the deposed henchmen would be a bit disgruntled at having lost their Godlike powers and access to wealth.

Chip Ahoy said...

Fritz, I just now got my copy too. Yay! *dances* Now I can stop reading profoundly resolutely negative comments here by people who wouldn't recognize victory if it was presented to them on a plate and would reject it anyway for not fitting their narrative, now permanently etched, and instead read material by people in the arena with flexible and adaptive minds who actually know what they're talking about.

*reads*

Oooh, it's signed!

*reads*

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Ted Kennedy (or was it John Kerry sometimes I can't tell the difference) continued to bolviate about how 10 military personnel died yesterday in Iraq as if that should be the defining criterion of whether we are winning or losing a war.

Now while it is very very sad that anyone, especially our own brave volunteers, is losing their lives in a war zone and it is regrettable that we are in a conflict, I bet there were ten people killed in various gang instances in urban areas of California.

OMG!!!!! we need to redeploy!!!! Pull all of the police out of LA and run away before anyone else gets hurt.

Will the left never learn from history? See what happened in South East Asia when we left a power vacuum by precipitously leaving? Of course not, because they refuse to study or acknowledge history. It will never happen THIS time......right?

EDH said...

I'm beginning to see Uncle Teddy's point (along with the pink elephants):

"A year ago, the president said we couldn't withdraw because there was too much violence... Now he says we can't afford to withdraw because violence is down."

It's just like years ago when they told Teddy to stop drinking because he drank too much.

Now they still tell him not to drink, even though he doesn't drink as much as he used to.

Ah, ah, baa-keep-ah, another Chivas for the Sen-a-tah!

former law student said...

how 10 military personnel died yesterday in Iraq as if that should be the defining criterion of whether we are winning or losing a war.

What criteria should we use, dbq?

mickey said...

Sydney, you are correct.
Liberals have decided that unless they can have power and your money, that they are not going to be patriots. They occasionally pretend to be loyal, that's usually when the are running for office as "moderates".
You know what is really really sick? If libs didn't abort so many babies, there would be more libs.

AlphaLiberal said...

Crocker disagrees with many occupation-mongers here:

From YESTERDAY:
SEN. BIDEN: Mr. Ambassador, is Al Qaeda a greater threat to US interests in Iraq, or in the Afghan-Pakistan border region? … Which would you pick, Mr. Ambassador?

AMB. CROCKER: I would therefore pick Al Qaeda in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area.

But still you guys want to keep us mired down in Iraq, losing troops, bleeding money like there's not tomorrow.

And you think that's patriotic? Please stop hurting America.

gophermomeh said...

Oh Chris and Sydney (mickey, too), it really sounds like you're carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders (fools, fools, everywhere fools!). I know we're such an inconvenience to have around *sigh*...and thanks for making us your personal projects! I feel so honored.

And (sarcasm alert), thanks mickey for confirming that those stooping to abortions only do it out of convenience. I still like you guys and the US, anyway. Have a great day!

AlphaLiberal said...

Oh, brother....

In parts of Michigan those nice fuzzy moslem pals of your want to insitute Sharia law.

I call bullshit. And if you're actually fearful of such things, you probably wet your pants every time the Bushies ramp up the Terror Threat Level*.

To think the Muslims will enact Sharia here is really a departure from reality.

Althouse really needs to rename this blog "the Twilight Zone," with apologies to Rod Serling.

* - Funny how they don't do that anymore.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What criteria should we use, dbq

First of all it is specious at best to do a daily tally of body count in a long term conflict. The people who do it, don't really care about the individuals, they just want to rack up some scores on their scoreboard to use as talking points. It is also indicative of people who refuse to take a longer view and demand immediate results or want to give up and damn the consequences.

The criteria should be: did their sacrifice advance the effort of the rest of their comrades including those who have also made the ultimate sacrifice?

The criteria should be: will we have the will to win and make their sacrifices worth something or do we want to cravenly run away half finished and make their life and death worth nothing?

People who beat their chests about the loss of 10 men (as painful and regrettable as it is) in a wartime situation have no sense of history, reality or ability to grasp the difficult concept that people can die in war. As wars go this one has been barely a scratch that doesn't even require a bandage.

The total estimated human loss of life caused by World War II was roughly 72 million people. The civilian toll was around 47 million, including 20 million deaths due to war related famine and disease. The military toll was about 25 million, including the deaths of about 4 million prisoners of war in captivity. The Allies lost approximately 61 million people, and the Axis lost 11 million

At least 618,000 Americans died in the Civil War, and some experts say the toll reached 700,000. The number that is most often quoted is 620,000. At any rate, these casualties exceed the nation's loss in all its other wars, from the Revolution through Vietnam. This also doesn't count the numbers of women and children who starved or died from diseases.


And lest you thing that war is the ultimate scorecard for death. There is always those murdered by their own leaders.

Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, set in motion events designed to cause a famine in the Ukraine to destroy the people there seeking independence from his rule. As a result, an estimated 7,000,000 persons perished in this farming area, known as the breadbasket of Europe, with the people deprived of the food they had grown with their own hands.

And lest you think that people are the only ones who can cause massive death.

1918 influenza pandemic caused at least 675,000 U.S. deaths and up to 50 million deaths worldwide
1957 influenza pandemic caused at least 70,000 U.S. deaths and 1-2 million deaths worldwide
1968 influenza pandemic caused about 34,000 U.S. deaths and 700,000 deaths worldwide


Read a bit of history and try to put things in perspective.

Jeff the Baptist said...

Funny how they don't do that anymore.

Has it occurred to you that we haven't had a terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11? Yet we've caught several groups and individuals planning them. Maybe they aren't ratcheting up the terror level because they actually have a handle on the threat.

But of course that would mean admitting the Bush administration has a clue or that we were winning, so you couldn't do that.

The Drill SGT said...

I call bullshit. And if you're actually fearful of such things, you probably wet your pants every time the Bushies ramp up the Terror Threat Level*.

To think the Muslims will enact Sharia here is really a departure from reality.


Minnesota has a public school with an Imam as the Principal, where Koranic prayers are conducted each day at 1PM after footwashing run by the teachers.

http://www.startribune.com/local/17406054.html

Maybe not Sharia courts, but Sharia compliant education

Methadras said...

AlphaShrivel said...

"Death before burqas."

Man, the right wing is intensely paranoid and has inflated the Islamic terror threat far beyond reality.

They are not going to make you, or anyone else here, wear a burqa.

Otherwise, whose death and whose burqa you refer to is not clear.


You've never been to Lebanon have you?

David said...

Quoth xwl:
"That body [the Senate] gives its members the opportunity to revel in the worst excesses of politics with high position, great individual power, yet an almost complete absence of personal accountability."

As Kipling wrote: "power without responsibility - the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages."

It takes an utterly purblind fool to see the current conflict solely in terms of "who perpetrated 9/11?" Yet even those who characterise this as World War IV (including Norman Podhoretz, PBUH), are seeing through too narrow a prism. This isn't WWIV, it's World War Zero, the ur-War. The high watermark of Islam in Western Europe was the battle of Tours (or Poitiers, depending on who you read). The Moorish forces got within 150 miles of Paris. Gibbon mused on the possibility that had France fallen, Britain would have come under the Moorish yoke. Creasy counted it among his 15 decisive battles. Yet there is a greater stretch of time between Tours and Ferdinand and Isabela's Reconquista, than between the Reconquista and the present day (732 to 1492 vs. 1492 to 2008). To the East, it took another September 11th, that of 1683, for the Ottoman Empire to finally be decisively defeated in Europe. By that time, vast swathes of the world had been subjugated under an expansionist, totalitarian and openly geno- and xenocidal force. What is now Syria and Lebanon was at one point part of the most deeply Christian region in the World (Occupied Territories? Don't make me laugh). A million Europeans were captured (and many more were simply slaughtered on the spot) in razzias, the captives to be sold into conditions so abominable as to defy rational thought. The US paid tribute to pirates, until it finally grew a spine.

The world has been fighting, dying, and quite often losing in the war against militant Islam for 1300 years. This current brouhaha is nothing more than the resurgence of that ancient enmity.

The Drill SGT said...

At least 618,000 Americans died in the Civil War, and some experts say the toll reached 700,000. The number that is most often quoted is 620,000. At any rate, these casualties exceed the nation's loss in all its other wars, from the Revolution through Vietnam. This also doesn't count the numbers of women and children who starved or died from diseases.

we lost about the same number of KIA (KIA in Iraq is really less than 4000, once you subtract DNBI deaths out, e,g auto acidents, cnacers and heart attacks) in a single bad month (Feb 68) than we did in all 5 years in Iraq.

another comparison. In 5 years in Iraq, we have lost 59 helicopters. In 5 years in Vietnam, (66-71) we lost 5,000 helicopters. 2000+ due to enemy fire.

Bob said...

For some scale the WEEKLY average for US KIAs from June 6 1944 to VJ day is about 4,000. The US lost approximately 1,000 KIA per month in Korea. Overall the US lost about 9x in Korea what we lost in Iraq.

Cedarford said...

AlphaLiberal said...
Crocker disagrees with many occupation-mongers here:

From YESTERDAY:
SEN. BIDEN: Mr. Ambassador, is Al Qaeda a greater threat to US interests in Iraq, or in the Afghan-Pakistan border region? … Which would you pick, Mr. Ambassador?

AMB. CROCKER: I would therefore pick Al Qaeda in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area.

But still you guys want to keep us mired down in Iraq, losing troops, bleeding money like there's not tomorrow.


Yes you dumbass, just as you could get the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to say that China and Russia are far greater potential military threats than AQ is....and have the same dumb Lefty response "Well then, it is clear that our beloved troops belong in neither Iraq or fighting 20 million Pashtuns in the Afghan Pak border area plus possibly the 1.8 million person Pak military - they should be facing down the even greater threats!!"

As is Iraq is sort of like Guadacanal was to us and the Japs. It was not where the strength of the Japs was, but it was where both us and the Japs learned who had the better military. We did. From then on, the Japs did not win a land war.

AQ is now almost defeated on their Central Front of Jihad - namely Iraq. It would be stupid to cut and run as we are now decisively beating the terrorists and beginning to mop up their survivors to then start war with Pakistan. Or the other Lefty dream of military invasion(as long as none of their sweet asses are in danger) - Saudi Arabia...After 5 years of infantile rants: "Why are we in Iraq? Why is Bush not attacking Saudi Arabia? Why aren't we saving the poor Muslims of Darfur? Why? Whah! Why?"

The basic reason we aren't in Pakistan playing hide and seek with the Jihadis is that we face enormous casualties and the will of the American people right now can't accept the very light ones we have taken compared to previous wars. It will take more dead Americans before there is any will for war with the Pashtuns or possible nuke war with Pakistan.

This is not a simple "Bring bin Laden to Justice" FBI law enforcement exercise where 10 FBI agents backed with a letter from the UN approving it go in and arrest AQ.

We show that AQ was hated and ineffectual and LOST in Iraq.

Then see if the shitheads can manage another big go at the infidels or they try taking over another failed state where we may have to go in and show all the Muslims that when radicals face down Algerians, Jordanians, the Zionists, America - they LOSE. But it will take an attack bigger than 9/11 to make voters believe that the huge casualties we would possibly take in an attack into Pakistan was worth it.

Roger J. said...

As my armor colleague drill sergeant points out, the American military has not lost many men in Iraq. The fact that we have lost any is a tragedy. But we have been damn good about minimizing our KIAs.

Ultimately, warfare, the movie Patton notwithstanding, is not about how many people you kill--it is about how you affect the enemy's will to fight. For that reason, I think, our leaders have not fallen into the body count trap--a smart move, IMO, and the fact that some among the left are fixated by it says a whole lot about (1) the motives and (2) their total lack of understanding of what warfare is about.

BTW: I would like to acknowledge Alpha Liberal's honesty and willing to research a point. I seldom agree with him/her--but we disagree on questions of value and that makes disagreement OK. Alpha was honest enough to research a point several of us made, and in turn acknowledge it pubicly.

Alpha: my hats off to you--you are a good man.

Freder Frederson said...

A million Europeans were captured (and many more were simply slaughtered on the spot) in razzias, the captives to be sold into conditions so abominable as to defy rational thought. The US paid tribute to pirates, until it finally grew a spine.

First of all, the Islamic was much more civilized and advanced than Christendom at when they conquered good chunks of Europe. And when the tide turned, the Europeans more than got their revenge.

A million Europeans sold into slavery? Boohoo. Do you know how many black Africans were sold into slavery to work European plantations--at least 10 to 15 million. And that doesn't count the millions more born into slavery. We also wiped out the populations of three continents and much of Oceania.

Now while it is very very sad that anyone, especially our own brave volunteers, is losing their lives in a war zone and it is regrettable that we are in a conflict, I bet there were ten people killed in various gang instances in urban areas of California.

Not only is this probably untrue, it is an completely inaccurate comparison. If ten police officers had been killed in one day, that would be the same as our soldiers being killed. If you are going to throw gang killings in, then you need to include Iraqi civilians killed too. Several hundred people are still being killed every month in Baghdad. Don't try and tell me that any city in California has a murder rate that high.

Bob said...

Iraq is in many ways the Italy of this war. It was the place where both sides really went head-to-head and both were found to be somewhat unprepared. AQI till Iraq had met a US which ran when it took some causalties, would not engage in a protracted struggle, and who's will was driven by the latest poll. I suspect they viewed Afghanistan as a Taliban defeat and not their's. The US found the place into which its enemy reinforced failure. Where AQI drove much of its forces into a place while it (the US) learned costly and painful lessons but where it got better with time. If we don't lose our spine I think Iraq will be seen as the place where we sharpened our craft and where both sides got an insight into just how brutal the long fight would be. Not a "pretty battle" but a meatgrinder. I'm reading Atkinson's latest and there is a lot of similarity

Middle Class Guy said...

AlphaLiberal said...
Oh, brother....

In parts of Michigan those nice fuzzy moslem pals of your want to insitute Sharia law.

I call bullshit. And if you're actually fearful of such things, you probably wet your pants every time the Bushies ramp up the Terror Threat Level*.



No, boyo, I just keep my guns well maintained. Unlike you I am not a coward or a liar.

Freder Frederson said...

Me to Ted Kennedy: A year ago, you wanted to give up because we were losing, and now, you want to give up because we're winning.

No wonder you are such a McCain fan. You also envision staying in Iraq forever.

No, boyo, I just keep my guns well maintained. Unlike you I am not a coward or a liar.

What on earth does ownership of a gun have to do with being a coward or a liar?

Bob said...

Freder - I agree with your idea that no US city has that high a murder rate. So mull on this - is Cairo a disaster because it has a high murder rate? What about the Brazilian coastal cities? The Columbian cities such as Bogata? Do you believe that the death rate in Somolia is higher or lower? Shouldn't we pull out the large numbers of US troops stationed in any of those places? Just what is the "acceptable" death rate threshold for Iraq? Has cutting the death rate by better than half constituted progress for you?

Your point that Baghdad isn't LA is taken. Then again neither is Cairo or those other cities.

And just who rounded up those slaves and sold them to Europeans? A hint: they lived in the same continent as those sold into slavery.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Don't try and tell me that any city in California has a murder rate that high.

First of all I said California. Not any specific city. Since California is about the same size as Iraq it might be an adequate comparison. Actually if we want to pull in the City with the highest actual murder we can pick Detroit.

I didn't say murder either. I said killed in various gang activity. This can include drive by shootings, auto accidents, random beating services, getting blown up in meth labs, getting shot on the local marijuana farm and other deaths that are not necessarily "murder".

Just as Kennedy doesn't specify how the 10 men/women in Iraq were killed. They could as well have been killed by a vehicle accident, or a sand bag to the head as by enemy activity. I don't mean to be flippant about the death of any of our soldiers or of any Iraqi citizens, but we don't know the reality because the reference by Kennedy has no supporting documentation. Since some previous statistics of military Iraq deaths included such things as suicides well after the military personnel was no longer in Iraq.

And especially since when Kennedys lips are flapping we can be fairly sure he is not telling the truth.

If you want to compare apples and oranges, we might as well just make fruit salad.

Fen said...

Can you imagine how we Americans would react if the Iraqi military invaded us and started killing us because they claimed, incorrectly, that our leader had a WMD program?

Thats a dishonest statement. Iraq had many WMD programs, we just never found any products. The Left seems to think the goal was to find WMD stocks, not stop the WMD programs.

knoxwhirled said...

To think the Muslims will enact Sharia here is really a departure from reality.


Your ignorance of what's going on in the rest of the world--including western Europe--is telling. Muslims are making concerted efforts to slowly implement Sharia law in countries all over the world.

I'll grant you, they'll have a harder time here, where there are actual men -- who aren't cream puffs like you and the Euro-weenies.

knoxwhirled said...

That's not fair FF, because I've never met you, but I'm getting the feeling you're a cream puff. Hat tip to Camille Paglia.

Synova said...

You know, the argument of "How would you feel if that happened to you" is not useful past trying to teach manners to a toddler.

Because guess what... it doesn't *matter* if something is right or just, those on the receiving end still don't like it. Arrest a gang-banger and he or she doesn't *like* it. And odds are good that Mama will be at court crying over her poor baby.

Revenant said...

Can you imagine how we Americans would react if the Iraqi military invaded us and started killing us because they claimed, incorrectly, that our leader had a WMD program?

If America was a fascist dictatorship and Iraq was a capitalist democracy? I'd be thankful. I'd help them do it, in fact -- yes, even if that meant years, even decades, of sectarian strife here in America.

former law student said...

The criteria should be: will we have the will to win and make their sacrifices worth something or do we want to cravenly run away half finished and make their life and death worth nothing?

I'm surprised to read such words from an investments expert because in economics, this is viewed as irrational behavior, the "sunk cost fallacy." Those people are gone and cannot be brought back to life. Per wikipedia, "Economics proposes that a rational actor does not let sunk costs influence one's decisions, because doing so would not be assessing a decision exclusively on its own merits."

This phenomenon is also known as "irrational escalation of commitment" or commitment bias. We have to decide if remaining in Iraq makes sense irrespective of what happened before.

Synova said...

I realize that a great many people do make the argument that there is too little investment in Iraq. Too little sacrifice.

I don't think that the people who make those arguments are arguing for more of any of it.

Rationally, what we're doing is working better than it has before with real progress that can be pointed to and defined. The objections are almost entirely irrational since they call for irrational levels of progress... an Iraqi government that is more effective and responsible than our own for one! And that's *now* and not even referencing the 11 years it took for us to "progress" from our Declaration of Independence to an agreement and signing of our Constitution.

That's irrational.

Like investing in a fruit orchard and having a tantrum when five years have gone by and there's a harvest but just a piddling little worthless harvest. If the analogy could hold *selling* the orchard to someone else who was willing to continue the investment of care... but it won't. All the analogy can hold is burning the dang thing or letting the bugs and drought at it because you aren't willing to throw good money over bad.

homesickamerican said...

ann, that was such a fantastic smackdown on teddy that i just had to blog it. you ROCK!

and this thread is really good lunchtime reading! :-)