Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 9, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

BREMER ON IRAQ....On Dateline last night, Paul Bremer confirmed something that he briefly alluded to last year: we never had enough troops on the ground to keep order in Iraq, and both George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld knew it.

Bremer said he sent a memo to Rumsfeld suggesting that half a million soldiers would be needed, three times the number deployed by the Bush administration.

"I never had any reaction from him," the former diplomat told NBC's Brian Williams on "Dateline."

Although he never heard back from his direct boss, Bremer said he discussed his concerns with Bush, who told him he would seek troops from other countries, but did not mention increasing U.S. forces.

Now, Bremer is trying to sell his new book, and he's also trying to make sure that other people take the blame for screwing up the occupation. Still, that half million number is pretty stunning. It's one thing to tell your boss you need more troops, but it's quite another to tell him you need three times as many as you have. That's the kind of warning that really ought to make someone sit up and listen, and if Bremer is on the level here it means that Rumsfeld and Bush screwed the pooch even worse than we thought something I'm not sure I would have thought possible until now.

Of course, Bremer's statement makes it all the more odd that he allowed the Iraqi army to disband shortly after he took over. His explanation? "We really didn't see the insurgency coming." Sounds like everyone screwed the pooch here.

Kevin Drum 11:53 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (144)

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Comments

frist!

Posted by: Silent E on January 9, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz!

Posted by: SilentE on January 9, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

I certainly will not read it - I will not indulge in gossip - And if I read it, I certainly would not understand it.

Please come to my new site:

www:drexelhilldummy.com

Posted by: rdw on January 9, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

So if Bremer didn't see the insurgency coming, why did he think we needed 500,000 troops? Good grief! Maybe that's why Bush and Rumsfeld ignored him - and by that comparison, they come off a bit more sensible than Bremer. How many troops does Bremer think we need now - 2 million?

Posted by: Silent E on January 9, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

And McAristotle makes Three.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 9, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

If he didn't see the insurgency coming, then why would Bremer think we needed 500,000 troops?

Posted by: JR on January 9, 2006 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

So does he tell us, in his new book, where the missing $9 billion is?

Posted by: Don on January 9, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

If the Bush regime "didn't see the insurgency coming" then how can they claim credit for their "flypaper" theory? After all, supposedly one of the goals of the invasion was to lure insurgents and terrorists to Iraq; to trap them so that we could "fight them there so we don't have to fight them here." But if they didn't foresee the insurgency then they couldn't have foreseen any chance to "fight them there," could they?

Posted by: Stefan on January 9, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

JR: creepy, man, creepy.

Posted by: Silent E on January 9, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

So Bremer's recommendation would have led to 500,000 troops being exposed to roadside and homicide bombers? Could that have loosely translated to 3x the number of casualties? Or was he figuring that more troops = less problems?

For the sake of our troops, I am very happy that Bremer's "recommendations" were ignored.

Posted by: pencarrow on January 9, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

pencarrow,

I like your logic. You agree with me. We should have withdrawn a long time ago and there would have been 0X the casualities.

Posted by: Tripp on January 9, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Looks to me like what Bush and Rummy knew was that Bremer's opinion was that we didn't have enough troops.

Terrible thing, isn't it; Saddam gone, elections in Iraq, and we didn't use enough troops. If I were you lefties, I'd use this to pound Bush.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

All Bremer is doing is citing the Shinseki estimates.

Nothing to see here folks, move along.

Bremer belongs in the same wing of the prison as Rumsfeld and the rest of the Pentagon planners who went into this war half-assed.

King of the Hill for this crowd--Douglas Feith.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

I attended a spech that Bremer gave where he said that one reason that he disbanded the Iraqi Army was that it had already disbanded. During the invasion, whole units took off their uniforms and went home. These were mostly conscript troops, with little or no loyalty or discipline, who may not have been effective at keeping order anyway. The disciplined troops such as the Republican Guard were loyal to Saddam, and we're still fighting some of them. I don't know that the "disbanding" of the Iraqi army wasn't just an announcement of what had already happened in fact.

Posted by: Tassled Lafered Leech on January 9, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Poor pooch!

Posted by: Bemused on January 9, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

...it means that Rumsfeld and Bush screwed the pooch even worse than we thought...

Maybe they screwed up worse than some thought, but certainly anyone with even a passing knowledge of military history and occupation knew this Iraq War was doomed from the start. General Shinseki said we needed somewhere around 300,000-400,000 troops. But he was forced to retire for stating facts and being realistic.

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are beyond incompetent; they really will have left a mark in history for one of the worst military disasters in human history.

Posted by: puppethead on January 9, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

yet more confirmation that King Turrdeater, Rumdumbfuck and Bremer are the dumbest fucking morons ever to steal their way into high office.

Posted by: POed Liberal on January 9, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

All this ignores, of course, that we didn't have 500,000 troops to commit to long-term occupation duty in the first place (not, that is, without stripping all our other commitments around the globe and/or instituting a draft). So Bremer knew from the first that we were embarking on a task that we didn't have the ability to accomplish.

Posted by: Stefan on January 9, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

If the Bush regime "didn't see the insurgency coming" then how can they claim credit for their "flypaper" theory?

Interesting thought Stefan. The way I would interpret it is that Bush may have predicted that the foreign "terrorists" would come to Iraq to confront the Americans, but he and his advisors did not anticipate the internal Iraqi "insurgency" that reflect Sunni muslim reactions to the "new order", greatly complicating the mission.

Posted by: pencarrow on January 9, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

As Tonto said to the Lone Ranger, "What do you mean WE, paleface?"

Posted by: C.J.Colucci on January 9, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

As the years go on and the memoirs come out, we're going to be confronted with this thorny problem again and again: Which bought-off, incompetent, pathological liar to believe?

Posted by: sglover on January 9, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Expanding on Stefan's excellent point--

Forget there even was a plan for the Iraq war that made any military sense.

This was all election year politics--the mid-term election was held in 2002 after the trumped up vote authorizing the use of force in Iraq. The 2004 Presidential race was centered around the rosy prediction that we would already be leaving thanks to the elections. The electorate has yet to make an informed decision on the management of this war. 2006 HAS to be the year of the informed decision on the war.

Meanwhile, reality bites us in the ass over the weekend--better body armor would be saving lives and our guys are getting killed.

But hey--freedom is on the march. Last throes and all that...

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Bush and Rumsfeld have repeatedly said that they would supply more troops if our leaders in Iraq asked for them. Either they were lying, or folks like Bremer forgot to say "please".

Posted by: Alf on January 9, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Be careful guys. The President has just signed a law that makes it a crime to post an annoying message anonymously.

So in theory rdw can have you indicted and jailed for annoying him.

Posted by: lib on January 9, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

More than the raw numbers, which strike me as in isolation meaningless, I'd like to have some idea what those 500,000 troops, as opposed to our current deployment, would be doing that would change the basics in Iraq.

My strong impression is that the insurgency has operated almost entirely under stealth, via IEDs, car bombs, suicide bombs, etc. How would a larger number of troops counteract this? Isn't it equally probable it would simply provide the insurgents with more targets?

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Bremer must be lying through his teeth about requesting more troops. I think I've heard Bush claim several times that he would send additional troops if only someone would request them. Since Bush never lies, Bremer must be lying.

Posted by: WhoSays on January 9, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone knows there weren't and aren't enough troops to get the job done... except maybe Bush because he's very, very stupid.

The only plan they had was for the "cakewalk scenerio" where we get greeted with flowers and the Iraqis hand their country over to us because they are so grateful for being liberated.

Any other contingency would require half a million troops. And we could not field that many troops (the Army isn't big enough for that), so Bush couldn't have had his war under any realistic plan.

But he had to have his war. With the results we can all see.

That, you can't blame on Bremer. He was brought in very late, after the situation became unmanagable. He did make it worse, but no one could have made it better, the die was cast by that point.

Posted by: grytpype on January 9, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, why on earth would anyone assume that a heavily armed native population would resist an invasion by an invader with a long history of enmity towards their country, an invader whose troops have a different religion and culture? It was literally impossible to predict, let alone plan for!

The short form of the whole "we didn't foresee it" school of excuses is "we were too incompetent to foresee what even a child could predict and we have, therefore, proven ourselves too dumb and too careless to ever be listened to or trusted anymore."

Posted by: Stefan on January 9, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

But isn't there a possibility that the letter that Bremer sent to Rumsfeld requesting for more troops was lost in the mail?

See, life is much easier and less stressful if you do not assume the worst of our great leaders.

Posted by: lib on January 9, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

If the Bush regime "didn't see the insurgency coming" then how can they claim credit for their "flypaper" theory?

It wasn't their theory, really... the right-wing bloggers thought it up first, we all had a good laugh, and then it became official policy.

Posted by: grytpype on January 9, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

rdw or even better, fake rdw, how do you spin this story about Bremers request for more troops?

Posted by: WhoSays on January 9, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Bremer is nothing but an operator trying to cover his a** and to sell his new book. Whether or not its actually true, he has lost all credibility. And -- come on -- a daring interview aired first on "Dateline"? Give me a break.

Posted by: Jon Karak on January 9, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

How would a larger number of troops counteract this? Isn't it equally probable it would simply provide the insurgents with more targets?

It would take an explanation of Fourth Generation Warfare, and the proper way to counter an insurgency. There actually is a right way to counter the insurgency in Iraq.

Here they are in short form:

1. Proper troop levels-10 soldiers for every 1 insurgent.
2. Political legitimacy-real elections, not CIA run elections
3. Secure the borders-Go into Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran after anyone supporting the insurgents.
4. Involve at least 50,000 NATO troops
5. Involve at least 25,000 Russian troops
6. Involve at least 25,000 United Nations peacekeepers
7. Involve at least 400,000 US troops (good luck finding them--our military is so badly depleted that they are lucky to maintain 150,000 right now.)

This is a wishlist, not my endorsement in any way.

My position is that, since we can't achieve 1-7, we need to bring the troops home now.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

simple. nothing in Bremer's academic or professional background indicates that he knows the algorithm for estimating the number of troops needed for a given task.

Posted by: rdw on January 9, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK
If he didn't see the insurgency coming, then why would Bremer think we needed 500,000 troops?

To secure Iraq against external infiltration and provide control of regular crime, perhaps, especially if dismantling the existing security infrastructure (and much of the governing infrastructure), as they did in fact, was part of the plan from the beginning.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 9, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Jon, I believe Bremer said shortly after he left Iraq that we didn't have enough troops and that he eventually told his superiors that. So this is not really anything new.

But to do that he had to overcome the overwhelming pressure against telling Bush that he screwed up. That he managed to do so on one occasion is I think slightly to his credit.

Posted by: grytpype on January 9, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

My strong impression is that the insurgency has operated almost entirely under stealth, via IEDs, car bombs, suicide bombs, etc. How would a larger number of troops counteract this? Isn't it equally probable it would simply provide the insurgents with more targets?

Well, traditional military practice holds that the more soldiers you have for the task at hand, the better. Not only does having more men enable you to rest and rotate your forces, thereby avoiding wear and tear, more men would also have enabled us to better secure the ammunition dumps (thereby depriving the rebels of the explosives they're now using), border crossings, etc. If we'd been able to "flood the zone" when the rebellion was in its early stages (a few thousand men as opposed to the tens of thousands now fighting) we might have been able to cripple it in its infancy.

Right now we simply have too few troops charged with too many tasks (reconstruction, force protection, search and destroy missions, general occupation duty, border patrol, etc.). We simply don't have enough men for all the jobs there are to do.

Posted by: Stefan on January 9, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

hey nut, where are the WMDs?

Posted by: cleek on January 9, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

There actually is a right way to counter the insurgency in Iraq.
Dang, Mr. Rider, you'd better go back and study your Mao again. What was all that about the population being the ocean in which the fish of insurgency swim?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

It wasn't their theory, really... the right-wing bloggers thought it up first, we all had a good laugh, and then it became official policy.

True, it was merely one of several dozen ex post facto rationalizations for the war. This merely points out how many of those rationalizations are in direct conflict with each other.

Posted by: Stefan on January 9, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK
My strong impression is that the insurgency has operated almost entirely under stealth, via IEDs, car bombs, suicide bombs, etc. How would a larger number of troops counteract this?

How more troops in the same area would counteract an enemy relying on not being observed is fairly obvious. You'd have less places you could be at any given time without being observed, reducing the opportunity to set up attacks.

This can especially be seen by the momentarily successful major pushes the US has periodically undertaken in Iraq, driving insurgents out of one stronghold by concentrating our forces there. Of course, if we had more forces overall in Iraq, it would be easier to deny the insurgents somewhere else to go.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 9, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

The president has the wartime authority to apply voltage to Bremer's testicles for his traiterous remarks.

Posted by: John Yoo on January 9, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

If we'd been able to "flood the zone" when the rebellion was in its early stages (a few thousand men as opposed to the tens of thousands now fighting) we might have been able to cripple it in its infancy.

We also could have gotten reconstruction off the ground. Electricity and clean water would have gone a long way toward winning popular support for the occupation, which would have hurt the insurgency even further.

But Bush's plan was doomed to failure from Day One. It was unrealistic to the point of being insane.

Posted by: grytpype on January 9, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Dang, Mr. Rider, you'd better go back and study your Mao again. What was all that about the population being the ocean in which the fish of insurgency swim?

Could you come up with something better? That was really weak.

Let's hear your ideas.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

The whole flypaper theory is as if the IMF set up a "Free Economic Zone" to attract poor people -- there's no shortage of them in the first place, and its policies are creating more every day! I suppose the very nature of fascism is to impose fake (if brutal) order on the chaos it is sewing wherever it goes. What a weird fantasy world BushCo lives in; too bad we have to share it.

Posted by: Kenji on January 9, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider,

That's an interesting assessment.

I do have to wonder though, how well developed an art or science "Fourth Generation Warfare" might possibly be.

Even if there have been a few such successful wars, I wonder how sensible it would be to extrapolate from a very small number of cases.

How, for example, does one deal with the issue of stealth warfare? How does the ratio of 10 soldiers to 1 insurgent do the trick, when the insurgents, however small their relative numbers, can simply hide out and do damage when and where they choose to? I mean, a couple dozen terrorists did great damage in the US on 9/11, even though there were probably millions of law enforcement officers throughout the US.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

where are the WMDs?
I dunno, maybe you'd better ask Clinton, he told us they were there. Or Albright, she told us they were there. Or Al Bore, he told us they were there. Or Chirac, or Kerry, or Biden, or a whole frigging slew of Democrats that I'd have to look up the whole list.

Saddam gone, Iraq holding elections, too few US troops exposed while bringing it off. Ya, you lefties have a lot to whine about here.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut is stupid and ignorant, and a lying sack of shit, and a Bush-bootlicking neo-brownshirt mental slave.

But worst of all, he's boring.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 9, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

How more troops in the same area would counteract an enemy relying on not being observed is fairly obvious. You'd have less places you could be at any given time without being observed, reducing the opportunity to set up attacks.

Yes, but you are also setting up an equally larger number of targets. It's not obvious who wins in that scenario.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like everyone screwed the pooch here.

I didn't and I am sticking by that statement. I did not have sexual relations with that pooch.

Posted by: rick on January 9, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

I want to know at a billion dollars a week average cost, not to mention replacement costs on hardware who is going to pay for this?

Posted by: allen kayda on January 9, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut, it's a good thing for you that Ayatollah Sistani forced Bush to hold elections in Iraq because otherwise you wouldn't have a damned thing to say.

Elections were not part of Bush's plan, but you probably didn't know that.

Posted by: grytpype on January 9, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Could you come up with something better? That was really weak.
I can see that the little red book is getting dusty from dis-use around your house. Mao conveniently laid out the strategy for an insurgency, claiming that it survived with support from the people.

You laid out conditions for militarily defeating the insurgency, but as has been pointed out many times here: you don't defeat insurgencies militarily. You take Mao's advice for a successful insurgency and use that.

Now, support for terrorism is down in virtually all Muslim countries, support for terrorists is down in Iraq. The Sunnis have participated (not completely yet, but increasingly) in the voting. In other words: the terrorist/insurgent ocean is drying up.

So strangely enough, while you lefties are concentrating on what you know can't be done, other people are working on what can be done; and succeeding at it.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

sglover nails it: As the years go on and the memoirs come out, we're going to be confronted with this thorny problem again and again: Which bought-off, incompetent, pathological liar to believe?

Indeed.

What are all these references to anonymous annoying messages now being a crime? What'd I miss this time?

Posted by: shortstop on January 9, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut, it's a good thing for you that Ayatollah Sistani forced Bush to hold elections in Iraq
I know it won't help to point out all the things Bush said before we went to war, because you lefties have consistently ignored reams of written material to focus on 3 letters.

So I'll leave you to your delusion. You and the voices in your head seem to be getting along swimmingly.

conspiracy nut is stupid and ignorant, and a lying sack of shit, and a Bush-bootlicking neo-brownshirt mental slave.
Thank you, because apparently the alternative is being a lefty and keeping my head buried in the sand.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

It wasn't their theory, really... the right-wing bloggers thought it up first, we all had a good laugh, and then it became official policy.

I know what you mean. Every day is April Fool's day with wingnuts and their administration. One minute they say something utterly absurd, you laugh, then you see they are dead serious in their ridiculousness, then evening news anchors start to spout it with a straight face, and then it becomes one more edifice in the administration's alternate reality.

Posted by: R. Porrofatto on January 9, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, but you are also setting up an equally larger number of targets.

You're correct; but you're also using the proper number of troops to secure an area and deny that area to the insurgency.

Increasing the number of troops provides more people to shoot back.

It becomes a discussion about tactics. Our troops conduct useless sweep operations and are concentrated on large bases scattered throughout the country. This is a repeat of our failed tactics in Vietnam.

What they found in Vietnam was that, when a battalion commander was allowed to conduct operations and adopt the tactics used by the insurgents, the US Army could actually begin beating back the Vietcong and whatever NVA forces were lined up against them.

The Marines had a great program where a handful of Marines would move in with some villagers and show the people that they were protecting that they were ready to share the adversity--this was actually successful. The winning of hearts and minds begins when people realize that you're ready to make a real sacrifice for them.

You'll know you've won the hearts and minds of people when they start killing insurgents themselves.

In a country like Iraq, where every family is heavily armed, it should be a wake-up call to everyone that more insurgents are not being killed by Iraqis. That tell me that we have not won the hearts and minds of anyone.

There really are ways to do this correctly; the Bush Administration has found every single possible way to do things the wrong way and have gotten away with it because nobody has been paying attention.

Some months ago, I was assured by a wingnut that Tal Afar was pacified and that the Iraqi Army could now fight on its own. Tal Afar is not pacified, the Iraqi Army is a disgrace, 4,000,000 military age eligible Iraqi males are currently doing nothing to build a future for their country--why are we even there?

Oh, yeah. Political expediency. We can't admit a mistake and leave.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

you don't defeat insurgencies militarily. You take Mao's advice for a successful insurgency and use that.

Whoa, you're citing Mao on tactics?

Sorry, I'll go with the Art of War.

Yet another lesson the wingnuts have never learned.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

This can especially be seen by the momentarily successful major pushes the US has periodically undertaken in Iraq, driving insurgents out of one stronghold by concentrating our forces there.

Again, the basic problem would seem to be that the insurgents can be as out in the open or as stealthy as they choose to be or need to be.

Why, for example, do they need to fight in a given region at all, rather than simply laying down their arms and mingling with the population, or simply moving elsewhere temporarily while we supposedly win the battle for the area?

This strikes me as being similar to the problem the Israelis have always had in closing down suicide bomber operations in the occupied territories. Whom do you target? They move from day to day, as need requires, and are able to do so because the population is mostly sympathetic. What do you do? Kill the entire population?

The Israelis, of course, never solved that problem no matter how well they got to infiltrate into the regions over many decades. In the end, they just put up the wall, because the problem was intractable.

How does a larger number of troops solve that kind of problem?

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Now, support for terrorism is down in virtually all Muslim countries, support for terrorists is down in Iraq.

Actual terrorism, in fact, is at an all-time high. There's more terrorist bombing and attacks than there ever were before. According to Reuters:

Updated: 4:43 p.m. ET April 26, 2005
WASHINGTON - The U.S. count of major world terrorist attacks more than tripled in 2004, a rise that may revive debate about whether the Bush administration is winning the war on terrorism, congressional aides said Tuesday. The number of significant international terrorist attacks rose to about 650 last year from about 175 in 2003, according to congressional aides briefed Monday on the numbers by U.S. State Department and intelligence officials.

[Note: I cite 2004 figures because the last annual report was issued in April 2005. The State Department has since then discontinued issuing such reports since their conclusions have proven too embarassing. If you use the right-wing defintion of "terrorist," meanwhile, according to which every rebel in Iraq is a terrorist then we're actually suffering from tens of thousands of terrorist attacks a year.]

Posted by: Stefan on January 9, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Whoa, you're citing Mao on tactics? Sorry, I'll go with the Art of War.
Oh, me too. But you don't seem to recognize the value of Mao here, it's not something to emulate but more a "know thy enemy" thing.

But then, I'm silly coming out here and expecting any actual thinking. Sorry I bothered you.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

How does a larger number of troops solve that kind of problem?

Stefan made a great point--you can use those troops early on to prevent an insurgency from starting.

If you follow the advice given in the Art of War, don't invade a country full of hostile people who won't support you. Don't campaign far from your supply bases.

Better yet, try not to fight a land war in Asia.

Now, what would be so bad about saying that we invaded the country, deposed Saddam Hussein, made certain there were no nuclear WMDs, and then left?

Is it because it's harder to steal their oil that way?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

But if you read Dune by Frank Herbert, Paul Moadib defeats the empire. He then controls the spice also the universe. Kind of a resource war.

Posted by: babe on January 9, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

But then, I'm silly coming out here and expecting any actual thinking. Sorry I bothered you.

You got actual thinking from me, no personal attacks, and real ideas exchanged in a diginified manner.

Seems to me you prefer the howling and the name calling, so go ahead and keep thinking you're smart.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Actual terrorism, in fact, is at an all-time high.
Ah, more focusing on the military confrontation of terrorists instead of addressing what needs to be addressed.

Convenient for you lefties, that. First you clamor for us to do what can't be done and you know it can't be done, then you whine because it can't be done. But like I said, fortunately brighter people than you are in charge and getting results.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

You'll know you've won the hearts and minds of people when they start killing insurgents themselves.

I think this really is the inescapable point, Pale Rider.

You can fight insurgents, who choose to operate by stealth, ONLY if you can enlist the support of the population to be the eyes and ears of the counterinsurgency. It's just too easy to do damage by stealth -- witness the success of suicide bombers in very carefully guarded Israel. The only way Israel could stop them, short of walling them out, would have been to have had such sympathy in the occupied territories that the population there would have turned in the suicide bomber operations. That, of course, never happened.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

You got actual thinking from me, no personal attacks
If you couldn't figure out my 1:05 from my 12:55, then I'm not getting much actual thinking.

And the lack of personal attacks is a today thing, let's not pretend you're some innocent bystander here.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy, if you can show me a pre-invasion speech where Bush said he wants to hold one-man one-vote elections in Iraq, I'll admit I was wrong.

My recollection is that Bush wanted to put Chalabi in charge and this fait accompli would be ratified by local councils that would be appointed by the occupational authority -- no real elections.

Sistani demanded elections and hundreds of thousands of Shiites went into the streets, causing Bush to reverse course and support elections.

Show me where I made a mistake.

Oh, and about your "three little letters" gibe, if it wasn't for the WMD lies the American public would never have supported the invasion. Polls showed little support until the Bushists started lying about nuclear weapons and mushroom clouds.

Bush lied America into the war, and then he lost the war and can't pull out. And you still support him, I have to wonder why.

Posted by: grytpype on January 9, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Again, the basic problem would seem to be that the insurgents can be as out in the open or as stealthy as they choose to be or need to be.

Once they get going, yes. At this point there's no way for us to defeat the rebellion. If, however, at the beginning of the war we'd had enough troops to secure the borders and ammunition dumps, control crime, get basic services up and running and stop looting then conditions would not have deteriorated to the point where the rebels would have attracted popular support.

We lost this war over two and a half years ago. Since then we've merely been going through the motions.

Posted by: Stefan on January 9, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan made a great point--you can use those troops early on to prevent an insurgency from starting.

There's certainly a point there.

The thing that strikes me as most crucial, perhaps, would have been preventing the ammunition dumps from being raided by the insurgents.

Of course, it's also possible that the insurgents made a point of putting aside plenty of ordnance well before we even got fully into Iraq. And it's possible that they really aren't using very much firepower anyway in aggregate, so that it would have been mostly pointless to secure that ordnance.

It would be nice to see an objective analysis of this issue. Not that we'd ever get that out of the Bush administration of course.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

And the lack of personal attacks is a today thing, let's not pretend you're some innocent bystander here.

It wouldn't take much for me to go back to my old ways, fucko.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK
Why, for example, do they need to fight in a given region at all, rather than simply laying down their arms and mingling with the population, or simply moving elsewhere temporarily while we supposedly win the battle for the area?

What you don't seem to get, is if the "region" is "Iraq" -- which requires, of course, lots of troops, more than we could probably raise without conscription -- we don't merely supposedly win the battle, we actually win the battle, and indeed the war, if they do that, presuming, of course, that having won the security battle, we then succeed -- or, more accurately, the Iraqi government succeeds -- in following through and winning the war on the social front by governing in such a way that the motivation for armed resistance is eliminated.

That's how you defeat an insurgency. You make the insurgents stop actively fighting -- by a combination of popular sentiment and security presence -- on the one hand, and then follow through by governing in a way which minimizes the motive to take arms up again (and, at the same time, works on the rest of the public to increase support for the regime so that the mix of public sentiment and security presence required to keep an eye on insurgents is higher on the public sentiment and lower on the security presence.)

Posted by: cmdicely on January 9, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Would you mind not using the phrase "screwed the pooch"? It's really tacky, and it conjures up disturbing, annoying images.

Posted by: aperson on January 9, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

That's the kind of warning that really ought to make someone sit up and listen, and if Bremer is on the level here it means that Rumsfeld and Bush screwed the pooch even worse than we thought something I'm not sure I would have thought possible until now.

I'm curious, Kevin, what it is about the past five years' worth of the Bush Administration's medacity and incompetence that makes you think it wasn't possible for themto have screwed the pooch even worse than we thought.

Posted by: Gregory on January 9, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

by governing in such a way that the motivation for armed resistance is eliminated

That's Fourth Generation warfare, in a nutshell. You have to make your enemy realize that there's no point in fighting.

You will never completely, militarily defeat an insurgency. You can make an insurgency end by denying it legitimacy and by ending the thing that motivates people to fight for that particular cause.

Fourth Generation warfare is so irregular and runs so counter to the way that the current Pentagon leadership is configured, they have not gotten a handle on it.

Witness, General Pace criticizing Rep Murtha after admitting to Murtha the Iraq war cannot be won militarily. If the most senior person in our military can't respect the views of a Congressman and has to tell the guy one thing and then go say another thing, how can we believe they're ready to fight anyone?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

The short form of the whole "we didn't foresee it" school of excuses is "we were too incompetent to foresee what even a child could predict and we have, therefore, proven ourselves too dumb and too careless to ever be listened to or trusted anymore."

Once again, I'm forced to point out that the difficulties, not in conquering, but in occupying Iraq were not only predictable but predicted by Bush pere and Colin Powell in the first Gulf War.

Posted by: Gregory on January 9, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Conspiracy Nut & Pale Rider...

Seriously folks, thank you for both educating AND entertaining us casual readers of this forum. I, for one, enjoy the feisty repartee on this blog and hope that you both will continue to be active participants.

Still LOL at Pale Rider's 1:16 post!!!

Posted by: pencarrow on January 9, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut seems to be getting bored with his own shtick: "Lefty, lefty, moonbat, moonbat, lefty, moonbat, Bush can do no wrong, cut and paste some idiotic boilerplate right-wing drivel, link to some bogus data from some bogus corporate front group pretending to be a think tank, Dan Rather, Michael Moore, lefty moonbat lefty, I'm so smart because I can be annoying and that proves I'm smart". Snore.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 9, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy, if you can show me a pre-invasion speech where Bush said he wants to hold one-man one-vote elections in Iraq, I'll admit I was wrong
Ah, narrowing it down to using the words one-man one-vote. I don't recall him using those words. If you'll accept the word "democracy", then that's easy. Here's a link to a transcript, and a discussion of that transcript. There'll be many more of that type.

Would you mind not using the phrase "screwed the pooch"?
Personally, I learned that phrase from the dean of my college. The circumstances wouldn't interest you.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Foresight didn't matter to the echo chamber called the Cabinet. Bush is a petulant mental case and wanted to go to war. Perhaps to distinguish himself from his father. Alas for us all, he is too dim to understand his own father's sense of foresight against such a move was based on understanding the perspectives of many different viewpoints and being able to weigh the costs and benefits.

Posted by: jcricket on January 9, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

I dunno, maybe you'd better ask...[wingnut bogeymen deleted]

i'm pretty sure none of them misled our country, by torturing the evidence, into war against a country that didn't have any WMDs.

elections are great.

but nobody believes for a second that conservatives would've approved spending $200,000,000,000 giving Iraqis elections, especially after 9/11.

it's only in the wingnut fantasy world where the best answer to the problem of al-Queda and Islamic extremism is to invade a country that was at best tangential to both in order to give them the ability to vote-in an Islamic theocracy.

Posted by: cleek on January 9, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

I really don't know why we're still there. We've deposed Saddam and disbanded the Baath Party. The Iraqis have a constitution and elections. And, many of our whackball brethern have said that Iraq is safer than DC. So, what else are we supposed to accomplish? Why are we still in Iraq?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on January 9, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

i'm pretty sure none of them misled our country, by torturing the evidence, into war against a country that didn't have any WMDs.
You moonbats sure have to shift the argument a lot, don't you? The only irritating thing about this is, you start in the same place all the time and shift to the same place all the time. Losing an argument once isn't enough for you lefties, you have to keep losing it over, and over, and over.

You have no answer to the: Saddam gone, elections held, exposed too few troops in the process; so the argument shifts to "Bush said there were WMDs". After having no answer to the fact that the Democrats told us the same thing the argument shifts to "but only Bush took us to war over them".

So I'll point out again that Democrats voted for this war. If this was a bad idea, and even if all Repubs are Bush-bootlicking neo-brownshirt mental slaves, where the hell was your party? If there was a decent argument against this war, what the hell was the opposition party doing?

I submit that there was no decent argument against, or we would have heard it.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

many of our whackball brethern have said that Iraq is safer than DC.

I drive through northeast DC every weekday, back and forth to work. I can assure you, my Honda does not afford me protection from IEDs.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

I submit that there was no decent argument against, or we would have heard it.

It's hard to make an argument against something when you've been continuously lied to about it.

The fact that the intelligence justifying the war was designed to deceive should indicate how dishonest the whole debate was in the first place. Anyone can move the goalposts, craft the facts in a particular way, and ultimately win a dishonest debate.

Are you trying to tell us that a Democrat is supposed to reflexively hate America, vote against defending it and side with a butchering tyrant? Of course not, and that's why Democrats voted for the war. They believed the intelligence that they were given and voted for what appeared to be an action in the best interests of defending America.

That it turned out to be a disaster that placed America even deeper in jeopardy is the problem; that it has been proven that the Bush administration lied to justify the war is inexcuseable. I would submit to you that the real criticism of Democrats should be that we didn't challenge the intelligence sooner and that we should have stopped funding the war in early 2004 when it was readily apparent that the Bush Administration was lying.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

nut, don't try to blame the Democrats for Dumb George's War. This was his idea, he pushed for it, he lied about the nonexistent threat Iraq posed for the US so Dems had to vote for it or look weak, he set the whole thing up.

He got the war he wanted, and he lost it. Now Bush cultists like you are thrashing around trying to find someone else to blame.

Forget it. Bush is 100% to blame for this.

Posted by: grytpype on January 9, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut wrote: even if all Repubs are Bush-bootlicking neo-brownshirt mental slaves,

Not all Republicans are Bush-bootlicking neo-brownshirt mental slaves, nor are all Republicans stupid, ignorant liars.

But you are a Bush-bootlicking neo-brownshirt mental slave, and you are also a stupid, ignorant liar.

In fact, of all the Bush supporters who comment on these threads, not one is more stupid, more ignorant, more dishonest, or more of a just plain mechanical and mindless regurgitator of the lamest, most inane, most blatantly dishonest, fake and phony scripted Bush-bootlicking talking points than you.

So in addition to being a Bush-bootlicking neo-brownshirt mental slave, and a stupid, ignorant liar, it is evident that you are also lazy, and incompetent even at being that.

You at least need to find some better right-wing websites to cut and paste your propaganda from. The stuff you rely on (Dan Rather! Michael Moore! Al Gore invented the Internet!) is just stale, and very, very boring.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 9, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Presidential Medal of Freedom, baby!

Bush's statement that he'll provide more troops at the request of ground commanders is utterly transparent, self-serving, wholly cowardly bullshit. Where are the troops going to come from? No one wants a draft, even in the Pentagon, and it would be years before the new units would be ready to deploy. Poppy Bush worked hard for an international coalition that would supply enough troops and cash for Gulf War I--to hold together this coalition he had to compromise, to be sure, and the Bush Administration has been too arrogant for that process--but the US Armed Forces were larger then, too. So, faced with these circumstances, smart upper-echelon commanders no better than to ask for troops, and are quick to quietly tell subordinates that it's useless to ask for more troops, more supplies, or anything else that will be politically difficult for Bush and Rumsfeld. Fallows pointed out that thinking ahead in 2002 and 2003 was actively discouraged, because it raised doubts about an enterprise to which Bush was already committed.

Posted by: Brian C. B. on January 9, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Bremer wants it both ways, that he knew we needed more troops (which he wasn't directly responsible for), but had no idea an insurgency would develop.

If there were no insurgency, why would we need all those troops? More? Sure, but 500,000?

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on January 9, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

I submit that there was no decent argument against, or we would have heard it.

I have never heard a convincing argument for the war.

Posted by: nutcracker on January 9, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Boys, boys, boys.

Most of those Democratic Senators were in office during the Clinton Administration. Do you think they heard radically different stuff from Bush? (which would have happened if Bush was cooking the info) Don't you think that would have raised some alarms? Alarms we never heard? Right.

No, the simple fact is that there was no decent argument against the war. I know it hurts, but the truth sometimes does that.

Bush is 100% to blame for this.
This I'll agree with; just like Bush is 100% to blame for Saddam being removed, 100% to blame for elections in Iraq, and 100% to blame for the positive movements in the ME (Libya disarming, Syria pulling from Lebanon, Eygpt talking about actual elections, Saudi Arabia talking about women voting).

But somehow, I suspect that you only want to tag Bush with failures and not successes. That's the moonbat in you.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

I have never heard a convincing argument for the war.
Your politicians did. What were you doing?

Al Gore invented the Internet!
He said it, I just agreed with him.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

In fact, of all the Bush supporters who comment on these threads, not one is more stupid, more ignorant, more dishonest, or more of a just plain mechanical and mindless regurgitator of the lamest, most inane, most blatantly dishonest, fake and phony scripted Bush-bootlicking talking points than you.
You know, I don't usually read your comments through because you never have anything to add (even your personal abuse is fairly weak). But this paragraph really gives me pause.

Are you still pissed over that brocolli stuff?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

GW Bush said we were under an imminent threat of attack by Saddam
He said it, I just agreed with him

Posted by: conspiracy idiot on January 9, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: If there was a decent argument against this war, what the hell was the opposition party doing? I submit that there was no decent argument against, or we would have heard it.

What an oblivious stump you are. It is really almost unbelievable that you are this stupid and this ignorant.

Twenty-one Senate Democrats (plus one Republican and one Independent) and 126 House Democrats (plus 6 Republicans and one Independent) voted against the October 2002 legislation authorizing Bush "to use the armed forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq, and (2) enforce all relevant United Nation Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."

Of course, there actually was no "continuing threat posed by Iraq", and the entire premise of the legislation was the deliberate, repeated, elaborate and sickening lies told by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and other principals of the Bush administration.

As Rep. Dennis Kucinich -- who led the opposition to the October resolution in the House -- wrote in November 2002:

Unilateral military action by the United States against Iraq is unjustified, unwarranted, and illegal. The Administration has failed to make the case that Iraq poses an imminent threat to the United States. There is no credible evidence linking Iraq to 9/11. There is no credible evidence linking Iraq to Al Qaeda. Nor is there any credible evidence that Iraq possesses deliverable weapons of mass destruction, or that it intends to deliver them against the United States.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 9, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

No, the simple fact is that there was no decent argument against the war.

Hello? If it had been revealed in February 2003 that the bulk of the intelligence surrounding Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program was false, and that the Bush Administration knew that it was false, I would submit to you that the war would never have happened.

Just as you can't prove a negative, you cannot assert that there was no argument against the war. There was. One side was deliberately covering up the facts that would have made that argument.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Of course not, and that's why Democrats voted for the war.

Actually no Democrat nor any Republican voted for "the war." What they did vote on was a resolution authorizing Bush to use force to enforce Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq's disarmament -- a disarmament, we now know, they had already done. Here from the "Congressional Resolution Authorizing Force Against Iraq":

H.J.Res. 114 authorizes the Use of Military Force Against Iraq. The resolution expresses support for the President's efforts to: (1) strictly enforce through the United Nations Security Council all relevant Security Council resolutions applicable to Iraq; and (2) obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion, and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions.

The bill authorizes the President to use the U.S. armed forces to: (1) defend U.S. national security against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforce all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

Posted by: Stefan on January 9, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

You people are just not cleared to know the Top Secret truth.

George W Bush DID send in 500,000 troops. It was a secret. But Saddam Hussein gassed and nuked them, so now there's only 150,000 left. And if the truth were to get out, the terrorists would win.

YOu whining liberals aren't fit to sniff George Bush's crotchless panties.

Posted by: r2w on January 9, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: Are you still pissed over that brocolli stuff?

You are really unbelievably stupid, ignorant and dishonest.

The main interest I have in your comments is that they are a good example, although an entirely sickening example, of the depraved stupidity, ignorance and dishonesty that a diet of nothing but right-wing Bush bootlicking propaganda induces in someone who consumes it constantly and gets no information from any other sources, ever.

Not to say that you weren't really stupid, ignorant and dishonest to begin with.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 9, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

You have no answer to the: Saddam gone, elections held, exposed too few troops in the process; so the argument shifts to "Bush said there were WMDs".

first of all, how do you "answer" a timeline ? secondly, i already said "elections are good". thirdly, the point in bringing up WMDs is that it clearly points out that conservatives cheering of elections today has essentially nothing to do with their cheering of the war before we started bombing.

the chanting of "elections! yay!" is hollow. it's clearly a post-hoc justification intended to show support for Bush against his political opponents.

nobody believes conservatives give a fuck about elections that install a government based on Islamic law - these are the same people conservatives like to fantasize about killing when they "turn the whole region to glass".

nobody believes conservatives care about human rights - if they did, they'd be pressuring Bush to do something about the situation in the Congo.

Posted by: cleek on January 9, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I'm glad to see that is has finally sunk in that Democrats voted for the war (sorry, the use of military force). Good job all.

If it had been revealed in February 2003 that the bulk of the intelligence surrounding Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program was false...I would submit to you that the war would never have happened.
And you would be right. But then again, if Geo Washington had known for sure where the English were going to land on Long Island he never would have split his forces, and he would have guarded that pass a little better.

Imagine all the examples we could come up with. But here's your clue for today: we don't get to make decisions based on future information. Bush doesn't get to just like the Dems in Congress didn't get to.

As Rep. Dennis Kucinich -- who led the opposition to the October resolution in the House -- wrote in November 2002:
And if he had a more persusive argument, he would have won. The fact that he lost means his argument was not as persuasive. But thanks for playing.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

nobody believes conservatives care about human rights
Funny thing to say after Afghanistan and Iraq. Has it occurred to you that conservatives are the new champions for human rights because you lefties are dragging your feet?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

I have never heard a convincing argument for the war.
Your politicians did. What were you doing?

In case you misunderstood what I said, here it is again: "I have never heard a convincing argument for the war."
Don't try to change the subject to what someone else might have said, done, or heard.

Posted by: nutcracker on January 9, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: I submit that there was no decent argument against, or we would have heard it.

Hey, get this. This is rich. conspiracy nut actually doesn't know that there was a debate about the war before the invasion.

You know, even on Fox News they did put a couple of anti-war people on the air before the invasion, even if it was only so that Bill O'Reilly could scream at them and cut off their microphones.

conspiracy nut's oblivious ignorance is profound.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 9, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: Has it occurred to you that conservatives are the new champions for human rights because you lefties are dragging your feet?

Has it occurred to you that actual conservatives wish you would shut up because you are a stupid, ignorant, dishonest and pathetically laughable clown and you make them look bad?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 9, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: And you would be right. But then again, if Geo Washington had known for sure where the English were going to land on Long Island he never would have split his forces, and he would have guarded that pass a little better.

Good point - you can never be too careful. If FDR had known for sure that Orson Welles wasn't trustworthy, he never would've invaded NJ.

Posted by: Richard Clarke on January 9, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut wrote: even your personal abuse is fairly weak

I have never, ever, not even once, engaged in any "personal abuse" towards you. Without exception, every single one of my comments regarding you has addressed the content of the comments that you post here -- which are, without exception, idiotic, stupid, ignorant and dishonest. I don't know anything about you, personally, and I have never said one single thing about you personally.

What I have said, and will continue to say, is that you, as a commenter on this site, are a stupid, ignorant, dishonest, brainwashed, scripted, programmed, Bush-bootlicking, neo-brownshirt mental slave who can do nothing but post idiotic drivel (moonbat! lefty!) and occasionally rise to the level of regurgitating inane, though usually irrelevant and stale, right-wing Republican propaganda (Dan Rather! Michale Moore! Al Gore!), and less occasionally, when venturing into anything of substance, reveal your astounding and shocking ignorance of facts and reality.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 9, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

This is rich. conspiracy nut actually doesn't know that there was a debate about the war before the invasion.
I know there was a debate. And you moonbat lefties lost it. That is my point. The argument against the war was not as strong as the argument for the war.

is that you, as a commenter on this site...
Very good, I modify my statement to say:

even your ... abuse to me as a commenter is weak
Good, now we can all sit down and have some cookies and soy-based milk substitute.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: I know there was a debate. And you moonbat lefties lost it.

The Martians are back! No, really, this time it's not just a joke.

Posted by: Orson Welles on January 9, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

The Martians are back! No, really, this time it's not just a joke.
And after a few months of debate on this, we'll come to the best conclusion we can, and act on it.

Nice example, keep 'em coming.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: The argument against the war was not as strong as the argument for the war.

There was no actual "argument" for the war. In place of argument, there was a barrage of deliberate lies and fear-mongering by the Bush administration.

I know you love to gloat over the success of Bush's lying, cheating and stealing. Well, gloat away.

After all, Bush's lies indeed succeeded in leading America into an illegal war of unprovoked aggression for corrupt purposes of personal financial gain for Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al, their families and their cronies and financial backers in the military-industrial-petroleum complex, a war which has so far killed over 2000 American combatants, hideously maimed thousands more, and has killed tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians and hideously maimed and impoverished many thousands more, while squandering America's wealth and reputation and leadership capability and dramatically increasing anti-American sentiment and anti-American terrorism all over the world.

Of course, since you are a mental slave of Bush worship, all you care about is that Bush gets his way, and none of that matters to you. So gloat away, Bush bootlicker, gloat away.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 9, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

There was no actual "argument" for the war.
Sure, all those Democrats just voted for it because...because they thought GW Bush was a snappy dresser, right?

I'm supposed to be the idiot here, don't be horning in on my territory.

And keep in mind, if Bush lied so did Clinton, and Gore, and Kerry, and Albright, and Berger, and Graham, and Levin, and Daschle, and Kennedy, and Rockefeller, need I go on?

Do you realize that the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate lied to the American public about WMDs in Iraq?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: Nice example, keep 'em coming.

Emmanuel Goldstein threatens us.

Posted by: Big Brother on January 9, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: Do you realize that the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate lied to the American public about WMDs in Iraq?

Feingold '08!

Posted by: IOIYAR on January 9, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

CN,

Stay warm tonight for the debates. Don't start wandering around Montreal without your knickers.

Posted by: stupid git on January 9, 2006 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

And too few of the millions of Americans who've turned against the war on Iraq feel clear enough about it and confident enough to act on how they feel. that's where the Bring Them Home Now! campaign comes in. Speaking with the voice of veterans, military families and active duty troops, we deliver a simple, direct message: Real support for the troops means Bring Them Home Now!

Posted by: Sharon on January 9, 2006 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Feingold '08!
Is that Russ or Ken?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Real support for the troops means Bring Them Home Now!
Ya, cut and run, it's the American way! Then we can watch a few million Iraqis die like we watched a few million Vietnamese die!

Democrats: Forget 'em, they're just brown people!

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 9, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: Is that Russ or Ken?

I prefer Russ, but either would be an improvement. So would Mickey Mouse.

Posted by: IOIYAR on January 9, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Has it occurred to you that conservatives are the new champions for human rights because you lefties are dragging your feet?

the people in the Congo beg to differ. but, you guys could prove your bona fides by spending a few hundred billion to help them out - after all, we leftiese don't control the purse strings these days.

bah.. why even joke about it. you guys are as serious about human rights as you are about small government.

Posted by: cleek on January 9, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it's clear from Bremer's tone that he doesn't think there's going to be a lot of glory to share down the road. That's something to ponder. He's more intent in avoiding blame for the Iraqi Adventure than positioning himself to take part in the parade down the Mall when democracy has been spread like softened cream cheese over the Middle East. So he doesn't believe there will be success. That should be read as a bad sign by those who still say it was a good idea.

Posted by: cowalker on January 9, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

nut, do you think the war has been a big success? Are we still arguing about that?

Posted by: grytpype on January 9, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut wrote: And keep in mind, if Bush lied so did Clinton, and Gore, and Kerry, and Albright, and Berger, and Graham, and Levin, and Daschle, and Kennedy, and Rockefeller, need I go on?

No, you needn't go on regurgitating brain-dead, scripted, programmed, fake, phony, lying, bullshit right-wing Republican propaganda, but I'm sure you will.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 9, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

nut: Ya, cut and run, it's the American way!

nut, what are you going to say when Bush cuts and runs from Iraq and thousands more die in the ensuing civil war? "Oh, it was the Iraqis' fault, it was the Democrats' fault, it was Hillary's fault, it was everyones fault but my Dear Leader!"

Posted by: grytpype on January 9, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

For all the reasons that made it imperative to pursue Al Qaeda inside Taliban Afghanistan, virtually none of those reasons existed in Iraq. Saddam ran a secular state without a dominant Sharia based system of laws and he was more interested in the benefits of modernity than reinstating the caliphate.
If GWB was truly chasing the terrorists, it makes much more sense to move against the Khomeinists in Iran, which is more a religious backed sponsor of terrorism,although Shia rather than the Sunni branch which arguably is the more direct descendant of 7th century Islam.

Posted by: TJM on January 9, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

They did not see the insurgency coming because Republicans are better on defense? Or is it because they are better on shock and awe? Or is it because they are better at going to war with the army they have and not what with what they would want? Or that they are better at managing war with the number of troops the generals (minus one) tell them they need?

The Bush I coalition opened up a big can of high tech whoopass on Iraq in Kuwait. Did we expect that the Iraqis were dumb enough to dig into the sand and get their asses kicked a second time? This insurgency was so predictable to anyone with any kind of common sense that it is just inconceivable that military planners did not see this coming. I really think that they did see it coming but Rumsfeld and Bush prevented them from planning to confront a prolonged engagement with insurgents.

Let us count the lies.

Posted by: lou on January 9, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

The IncompetentCurruptAmericanPrince only ran for president to take out Saddam.

Once Uday and Qusay were dead and Saddam captured it was over for the ICAP. He wouldn't have stood for re-election except to see just how stupid poor conservatives were.

Face it. The ICAP is closer to Prince Bandar then he is to any common american. He could care less abbout the number of dead, the cost, the deficit, Osama, NYC, or even his "legacy". The ICAP got everything he came for and then some.

I blame the pattycake Senate - and not just Goopers.

Posted by: johnnytrumpet on January 9, 2006 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

CN is certifiable. "Cutting and running?" Are you writing this from Iraq? No? Of course not. Besides, we're already deeply complicit in the death of perhaps half a million, in addition to the 2,200 U.S. troops and the 15,000 or more U.S. wounded--a trillion-dollar impact to the federal budget, all of it funny money. What a monumental fuck-up. Sure, let's hang there for another decade. Are you ready for more than 10,000 dead U.S. troops, and perhaps more than a million dead civilians? Are you ready for the biggest bill this country will ever face for war, at a time when China is paying big bucks for oil, thanks to Wal-Mart et al.? CN, you and your friends are the dumbest idiots to come down the U.S. pike in a long time. And you're directly complicit in the downfall of our democracy at the hands of the most inept, immoral, criminal Administration I've ever seen in 47 years.

Revolution now. With guns.

Posted by: a_retrogrouch on January 9, 2006 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

GEORGE ARMSTRONG RUMDFELD BUSH BREMER CUSTER " WHERE DI D ALL OF THESE OPOSING FORCES COME FROM , SIR " ?
HOWLER MONKEY

Posted by: HOWLER MONKEY on January 9, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

Revolution now. With guns.

Posted by: a_retrogrouch on January 9, 2006 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

My position is you should have one when you have as many troops as you need for Iraq. So since you need 500,000 for 20 million people - you only need 7.5 million for the 300 million person US.

Call me a gain when you reach 7,499,999 armed revolutionaries.

If not, you wouldn't start a war with insufficient troops would you?

Posted by: McAristotle on January 10, 2006 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

nut, do you think the war has been a big success?
In some ways yes, and in some ways no.

No: We have not done much of a job on security. We did a poor job of introducing self-rule, that should have been started on the local level as soon as a locality could do it. The national government could have waited (all politics is local). This would have given them a better introduction to democracy and given more time to get infrastructure up (you don't worry about who is president when you can't eat). So from a standpoint of a democratic Iraq, we haven't done well.

Yes: This has turned the Islamofacists to the "close enemy". First that was us; which was very damaging to then, because they couldn't mount a real operation without getting their clocks cleaned. When actual democracy started taking hold apparently they thought the "close enemy" were those Iraqis supporting it; so they started targeting Muslims instead of us. I can't believe they were that stupid, the attacks on Muslims and particularly Muslim women and children are what is turning the ME population against them. So they are caught between bad options:
1) Engage US forces and get pasted.
2) Engage Muslims and watch popularity drop some more.
3) Do nothing, or even apparently do nothing.
All of these damage their ability to recruit.

Also under yes, the rest of the ME has seen 2 things:
1) When a Republican is in the WH we will actually protect ourselves.
2) Democracy is not out of the question in the ME.
These will stand even if Iraq fails. And that is why the war was worth it.

nut, what are you going to say when Bush cuts and runs from Iraq and thousands more die in the ensuing civil war?
I'm gonna scream loud and long. If Bush caves to you spineless moonbats on this he will have thrown away the only thing that made him worth having as president.

we're already deeply complicit in the death of perhaps half a million
You can make bullshit up all day long, but that don't make it true. It's a little hard to have a discussion with someone that only hears the voices in their head. Should I just poke fun at you?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 10, 2006 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

C-Nut rants and raves this morning:

Also under yes, the rest of the ME has seen 2 things:
1) When a Republican is in the WH we will actually protect ourselves.

Right. Of course, no one said that by 'protecting ourselves' we would fail to get the guy who attacked us, start a land war in Asia that has rendered us militarily incapable of responding to other threats and leave our southern border completely unsecured. Hell, even Mexico could invade us and the Republicans wouldn't know it. Hint: they already have. Thanks for defending us, Republicans. I'm sure people all over the Middle East are shitting themselves with fear over the idea that Mexico has carte blanche over our border.

2) Democracy is not out of the question in the ME. These will stand even if Iraq fails. And that is why the war was worth it.

Democracy in the Middle East comes with Sharia law and big bags of cash needed to bribe people to do things. It comes with its own death squads and torture chambers. Nice touch, including the notion that Greek Democracy can ever find a place in the Arab world, which has culturally abhorred Greek philosophy and thought for a good 2,000 years. The war was worth bringing Sharia law to Iraq? Now there's a stretch. Pity we can't just bring back the Spanish Inquisition and fix what's wrong with poor old Europe.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 10, 2006 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

This just in.

Two developments took most of the interest in Iraqs political scene today. The first is the latest audio tape of Zaqrqawi in which he urged the Iraqi Sunni parties especially the Islamic Party to abandon the political process and go back to the right path.
The Islamic Party didnt need much time to voice their rejection for Zarqawis message and his ideology that recognizes only violence as a way to reach goals. The 2nd man in the Islamic Party Ayad al-Samarrai stressed that the Party has no intention to abandon the political process. Salih al-Mutlaq is another Sunni politician who apparently feels that Zarqawi was addressing him as well. Al-Mutlaq has also condemned violence again today and stressed that ending violence is the key to stability in Iraq. [source]
If this be true, Mao's ocean is drying up.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 10, 2006 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

Mao's ocean is drying up.

What does that have to do with anything? You keep throwing Mao around like you know something. You clearly do not. What is your attempt to link the insurgency of Iraq--which is not fueled by nationalism and is instead fueled with money donated by individuals who want to see Iraq become a client state of Iran--to Mao's revolution in China?

Mao's revolution was driven by nationalism. Where the old communist saw of linking the revolution to the workers was successful in Russia, Mao adopted the idea and applied it to the peasantry. Both communist revolutions were complete disasters, on a human and political scale that is unimagineable with regards to Iraq. Iraq is not going to become a client state of Cuba or North Korea. Iraq is well on its way to becoming a Sharia law practicing version of Iran, with the exception being that the western provinces will follow some sort of secular Sunni Arab version of permament chaos and the north of Iraq will become a new Kurdistan.

Mao! Lefty moonbats! Giggle, giggle, giggle.

Try harder to think of something, won't you?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 10, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

we would fail to get the guy who attacked us
How much has bin Laden been doing lately? Can you say "neutralized"? Ya, it'd be nice to know he was pushing up daisies, but here's your clue for today: bin Laden ain't the only terrorist. I seem to recall this being the "War on Terror", not the "War on bin Laden".

has rendered us militarily incapable of responding to other threats
Not being a paper tiger helps prevent us needing to respond, proaction you know. So it actually helped.

I'm sure people all over the Middle East are shitting themselves with fear over the idea that Mexico has carte blanche over our border.
I agree with you here. But don't pretend that your politicians aren't dragging their feet over that as well. That's a big voting block and that's all politicians care about.

Democracy in the Middle East comes with Sharia law and big bags of cash needed to bribe people to do things. It comes with its own death squads and torture chambers
Well, the only democracy in the ME is Israel and I don't see those things there. Your doom mongering is a waste of breath. And your stretch to associate Greek democracy with Muslim hatred of Greek culture is laughable. I challenge you find a stupider objection.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 10, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Can you say "neutralized"?

There are some dead people in Spain, England, Bali and Morocco who might quibble with you on that one.

Not being a paper tiger helps prevent us needing to respond, proaction you know.

You prefer the de-fanged paper tiger that has no spare parts and cannot provide the air- and sea-lift necessary to move troops around the globe? Or the proper body armor? That's the kind of proaction that doesn't really achieve much--hey, we've shot our bolt so you know we had a gun once.

3rd point--no need to respond.

And your stretch to associate Greek democracy with Muslim hatred of Greek culture is laughable. I challenge you find a stupider objection.

Greek democracy is the sole surviving aspect of ancient Greek culture, except for some ruins.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 10, 2006 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

Also under yes, the rest of the ME has seen 2 things: 1) When a Republican is in the WH we will actually protect ourselves.

Actually, what they've seen is that when a Republican is in the White House he'll ignore clear warnings because he's on vacation and let the World Trade Center get destroyed and the Pentagon get attacked. Then, instead of getting the guy responsible he'll invade someone completely unrelated to the attack and let the real perpetrator go.

Posted by: Stefan on January 10, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

How much has bin Laden been doing lately?

Quite a lot, apparently, since according to the Bush Adminisistration terrorist attacks are at an all-time high. See, e.g., Iraq, London Tube bombings, etc.

Can you say "neutralized"?

Can you say "caught"? Here's what Bush said about bin Laden at first: "I want justice. And there's an old poster out West, I recall, that said, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive.'" Do we have justice? Have we caught him dead or alive?

Besides, Saddam was "neutralized" yet Republicans kept insisting that that wasn't enough, that his mere existence in the post 9/11 world was threat enough because we couldn't take the chance on what he might do in the future. So we couldn't take the chance on Saddam, who had never attacked us, but we can take the chance on bin Laden, who actually has? And people wonder why we don't take Republicans seriously when it comes to national security.

Ya, it'd be nice to know he was pushing up daisies, but here's your clue for today: bin Laden ain't the only terrorist. I seem to recall this being the "War on Terror", not the "War on bin Laden".

Which is the whole pathetic truth in a nutshell. When we were attacked by Al Qaeda the Republicans, seeing their chance, failed to target that group and instead turned this into an inchoate and undefined "war" against a vague tactic rather than against the real actors which threatened us. Terror, being one of the tools of the powerless against the powerful, will always be with us, and we will never succeed in eliminating it. Al Qaeda, however, we could have destroyed, if Bush hadn't dropped the ball and given up the fight against them.

Posted by: Stefan on January 10, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

But, by Bush, we have brought freedom and democracy to Afghanistan.

Karzai's appointed Chief Justice and his Supremes have announced that:

Amputation and stoning will be brought back by popular demand.

Cable TV will be banned.

Co-ed schools will be closed.

The death penalty has been recommended for two journalists who criticized Islam.

As Twigless would say, "Freedom is on the march".

And, now if CN would only tell us about the Martin-Harper debate, or perhaps he is waiting for the debate in French tonight, and discuss Victor Davis Hanson's views on Grecian democracy as it pertains to Islam.

Posted by: stupid git on January 10, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

discuss Victor Davis Hanson's views on Grecian democracy as it pertains to Islam

Oh, no you dinnit! No you did not!

Yeah, I'd really like to hear C-Nut essplain VDH's views on the Greeks and the Arabs. I'd really like to see him claim that VDH--Bush's favorite writer, if you believe the hype--is a moonbat lefty Streisand acolyte.

C-Nut,

I own four of VDH's books--if you want an excellent read, outside of political aspersions and debate and all the nonsense we go through here, try The Soul of Battle.

The Soul of Battle is an excellent book. It is a condensed three part biography of the Greek general Epaminondas, General Sherman and General Patton with commentary and excellent analysis. I often find myself at odds with modern writings or commentary by VDH but he analysis in this book is very much worth the read.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 10, 2006 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK
Also under yes, the rest of the ME has seen 2 things: 1) When a Republican is in the WH we will actually protect ourselves.

And by "defend ourselves" that means make a perfunctory effort to respond to actual threats or attackers then shift focus to someone who is not threatening or attacking us to take the public eye of the failure to pursue the actual threat or attacker. (See Bush 43 and the campaign against al-Qaeda, Reagan and Lebanon for examples; arguably, Bush 41 and Iraq is a counterexample to the more general Republican regional trend.)

Posted by: cmdicely on January 10, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Since this is roughly comment #143 in this thread, someone's probably already said this. But just in case:

While running the CPA, Bremer didn't remotely act like a man who was worried about the security situation.

His priorities were to institute a flat tax, privatize government-owned businesses, open the country to unlimited foreign investment, and that sort of thing. He represented the forces in the Bush Administration that wanted to use Iraq as a laboratory for every cockamamie conservative economic nostrum.

If you think security in the country's about to go to hell in a handbasket because you only have 1/3 the troop strength you need, none of this stuff remotely matters. But Bremer kept pushing these 'reforms' all along, and on leaving his position, talked about his pride in his accomplishments in this direction in a now-firewalled WaPo interview.

In short, Bremer's a fraud.

Lovingly documented by Naomi Klein in her Harper's piece, "Baghdad Year Zero".

Posted by: RT on January 10, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

There are some dead people in Spain, England, Bali and Morocco who might quibble with you on that one.
And your theory is that bin Laden...what? Wore the vest? Ordered the bombing? Provided the money? Help me out here. Like I said, he ain't the only terrorist. (I know that comes as a shock to you lefties here)

You prefer the de-fanged paper tiger
Improper use of metaphors here, the paper tiger part no longer applies (at least it doesn't apply until we elect another Democrat president). As to the level that we're "de-fanged", hey, there are competent people that get paid to take care of those problems. I'm not apt to worry about it because of somebody whining on a lefty blog.

Greek democracy is the sole surviving aspect of ancient Greek culture
Ah, so democracy is now conducted the same way the Greeks did it. Right. Check the date of the fall of the Greek empire, then check the date of the rise of Islam. Then consider that Jews are the same stock as Arabs, and they managed a democracy. You've got zero argument here. But keep it up, it's fun to watch to flail around with it.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 10, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

he'll ignore clear warnings because he's on vacation and let the World Trade Center get destroyed
You know, if you had any actual evidence of that, Bush could be in some real trouble. But since voices in your head don't count as evidence...

Quite a lot, apparently, since according to the Bush Adminisistration terrorist attacks are at an all-time high.
Being a moonbat apparently means you don't have to think. I'll type it slowly, maybe you can get it this time: bin Laden is not the only terrorist.

And people wonder why we don't take Republicans seriously when it comes to national security.
Uh, you'll notice from the last election that people do take Republicans seriously on national defense. It's the Democrats they laugh at on that count. And deservedly so.

Al Qaeda, however, we could have destroyed, if Bush hadn't dropped the ball and given up the fight against them
Like I said, deservedly so. al Qaeda will form, go underground, reform, change, etc. Thinking that we can al Qaeda is exactly the same as thinking we can defeat a tactic. See why we don't trust you moonbats for defense?

And by "defend ourselves" that means make a perfunctory effort to respond to actual threats or attackers then shift focus to someone who is not threatening or attacking us to take the public eye of the failure to pursue the actual threat or attacker.
And that was exactly that much more than the Dems would have done. When your plan is to sit still and adsorb attack after attack, you don't have much room to criticize somebody that did something.

Oh, I'm sorry, we're supposed to sit down and try to understand them and change to meet their desires. In plain English, that's called capitulation. Maybe you can explain why we should give up our way of life for them.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 10, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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